How to Deal With Difficult Neighbors

Moving into a new neighborhood and settling into a new house is exciting. If it is your first home, you will feel as if you finally own a little piece of your own space in the world. If you are upgrading or downgrading to a larger or smaller home, it will feel great to be able to live in a space that suits your lifestyle better. For some people, the excitement ends abruptly when they realize the people living next door to them are terrible neighbors and nuisance people. Few things are worse than trying to enjoy your new home and having to cope with problems from the people living around you. If this has happened to you, your family might be desperate to find a way to enjoy your time in your home without having to deal with your problem neighbors. In some cases, the problem can be fixed with a CT fence. Those living in New England can use a Connecticut fence to create privacy and shut out many of the problems that are going on around them. In other cases, the problems are so severe; you need more than just privacy to correct the problem.

There are generally two types of bad neighbors. The first type is terribly unfriendly and mean. The other type is too friendly and has no respect for neighborly boundaries. If you are dealing with the first type, your best bet is to try and mind your own business. If you have reached out to your new neighbors and they have responded cruelly, give up as soon as possible. You have better things you can be doing and better people who deserve your friendship and attention. If you find that leaving these nasty people alone is not enough to alleviate the problem, you may need to take further action. If these people are coming onto your property or doing things that create a problem for your property, you can report them to the city or town board. For instance, if they are not bothering with the upkeep of their home and it is having an effect on your property values, the city can intervene and notify them that maintenance is needed on their property.

In some cases your problem is the exact opposite. Instead of having terribly unfriendly neighbors, you are stuck with nosy people as your neighbors. At first, it may seem comforting to have a welcome wagon come visit your home. Being welcomed into a new neighborhood is one of the best parts of moving into a new home. However, that welcome will wear thin very quickly if your doorbell is ringing two or three times a day. Even the friendliest people with the best intentions will get annoying if they are interrupting dinner or sticking their noses into things that are not their business. If this is what you are coping with, it may be time to be blunt with your new neighbor. They may not even realize they are over-stepping boundaries until you point it out. With a little patience, you can create a safe, comfortable environment for your whole family.

The First Hotel For Women Was Opened in Saudi Arabia

The first hotel in the country, which is intended exclusively for women, was inaugurated in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh. The regulations which are currently in force in the Kingdom provide that a woman (a local resident or a tourist) who is not accompanied by a guardian, who can be her husband, father or somebody else of her agnates, does not have the right to stay in a hotel or to book a room by herself. These regulations do not apply to the new hotel for women.

The "Luthan", as this hotel is called, includes 25 rooms and several halls for conferences and receptions. It was built by the initiative of some Saudi business women and was destined to make easier their life and travel round the country.

Prince Sultan ben Salman, who is the head of the Supreme Committee of Tourism in Saudi Arabia, participated in the ceremony of the inauguration of the hotel and told he hoped that soon such hotels would be built in the other cities of the country and it, undoubtedly, would contribute to the development of the business activity of Saudi women.

Saudi Arabia is one of the most severe Muslim countries. Unlike the other Islamic countries, the women in this country are not allowed to drive a car. They are also prohibited to participate in elections. However, over the last few years, the Saudi women have been more actively participating in the social life of the Kingdom.

The St. Valentine's Day [http://www.tripspirit.com/204:Saudi-lovers-are-prohibited-to-present-roses] has also been prohibited by the Vice Squad of Saudi Arabia as a non-moslem hoiliday that can not be celebrated and is a sin and contributes to the non-marital relationships between men and women.

Trapped by Belisle

TRAPPED!

Summer of 2004, an expert trapper and trapping instructor, finds himself in a very dire situation. Inherent dangers, yes! Should be required reading for all trappers of all ages and expertise. This is his story.

Have you ever used the Belisle 330 Super X trap? They have proven to be one of the best traps my husband Ross has used. They have some of the strongest springs in the industry. He uses the 330's year round because of the animal control work he performs. The traps last and are excellent.

He often remembers thinking that "I would never want to get caught in one". They will hold a beaver no matter where it is caught. They are designed for humane and instant dispatch of the animal. He has always used the safety grippers when handling the bigger traps and has taught his students to do the same.

In August of 2004 (on his birthday), he was in a hurry to check some traps that had been set in an attempt to capture a beaver that was causing trouble in a remote industrial area. As he stood on the bank he could see that the trap was empty as the top of the trap was above the water level.

Something about it looked wrong, so he stepped down and closer to the trap for a better look.

The trap had a lot of algae and duckweed (green slime) clogging it and he wanted to remove it. Ross recalls, thinking he should get the safety grippers from the truck, but was in a hurry so he went ahead and unhooked the trap wire and got a hold of the jaws with both hands and lifted it up. The trigger appeared bent over but the trap was still set.

The rest of the story hurts to tell. He moved his right hand and in the blink of an eye the trap fired! It caught his right arm at the wrist, and his left hand was caught across three outside fingers above the knuckles. It's still hard to believe that it had happened so fast. The pain was horrible! He headed for his truck to get the trap setters, still not realizing that without at least one hand free, he would never get out.

He tried to get into the truck to use the cell phone for help, but could not even open the truck door, let alone dial a phone.

The reality of his situation, along with the pain and shock, began to set in. His mind quickly searched for any possible way to escape the trap, even to the point of somehow lodging the springs under the truck wheel, but nothing worked. He began to feel sick from the pain and was now going into shock. With the knowledge that very soon he would pass out, he got onto his knees and put his head down to keep the blood there, hoping not to pass out.

His eyes were fixed on the trap. You would think if your right arm was in the trap up to your wrist that you would be able to pull your left hand out, but no matter what he tried, nothing would work. Then while on his knees, a thought in the back of his mind, persisted … If he could get his left knee on the spring next to my his left hand, there could be hope for escape.

After several attempts he was able to get the spring down most of the way. He then held his breath and with a swift decision, jerked his left hand with all the power he had. As he pulled his hand from the trap over the top knuckles he felt the pain, as he broke two fingers. The howling was loud enough to wake up every creature for three miles. Now the trap was across three of his fingers above the second knuckle.

He knew that he had to repeat this and do it all over again. He pushed the spring down with his knee and again pulled as hard as he could, he managed to pull his hand free.

Again pushing down with his knee and using the ball of his hand, (the only part that was working at this point) he was able to swing the hook around and hold the spring. Thank goodness for the type of hook that Belisle uses on their traps, the hook stays wherever it is put.

He then got back to the back of his truck, and grabbed the trap setters. With much difficulty, finally getting the slots in the spring ends and then kind of rolled on the handles until the spring closed enough so that he could get the hook around with his left hand and hook it.

What a nightmare !!! He lay down beside my truck and cried. (So ​​much for being a tough guy!)

When it was all over, he had broken the small bone in his wrist and 2 of his fingers on his left hand. His right hand had purple lines all over it which he was to find out later were exploded blood vessels because the blood could not return while being squashed in the trap.

As a trapping instructor he was embarrassed by his own carelessness but more urgently, was the desire to spare someone else, a repeat episode. Perhaps in reading this it might just remind others how quickly an accident can happen. Maybe you think it serves him right for being so foolish. What ever you think … Watch yourself … You will not believe how fast it happens !!!

Do not forget your safety grippers!

"This article is published in the November, 2012 issue of ALBERTA OUTDOORSMEN MAGAZINE"

Caregiver Versus Personal Attendant – Wages and Benefits

Are you a caregiver or a personal attendant who works in a private household or home? As a household worker either as a caregiver or personal attendant, are you entitled to minimum wage? Over-time pay? Other benefits?

If hired directly by an individual or family, your benefits are different from one who is hired by a private firm or agency and governed by general employment laws: applicable federal and state statutes.

A live-in employee as opposed to a live-out employee is subject to special work rules discussed below.

A caregiver or “care custodian” is defined by Section 15610.17 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code as:

“… an administrator or an employee of…public or private facilities or agencies, or persons providing care or services for elders or dependent adults, including members of the support staff and maintenance staff.”

A “personal attendant” is not entitled to overtime compensation, unless: (1.) he or she is a live-in employee; or (2.) he or she does general household work (cleaning, cooking, feeding, dressing, or supervising) that exceeds 20% of the total work time; or (3.) he or she does nurse-like duties (checking pulse, taking temperature, giving medication) more than 20% of the total work time.

In these three instances, the household worker is no longer considered a “personal attendant” and is entitled to overtime pay. Otherwise, light house keeping and cooking chores qualify as work exempt from overtime compensation.

Personal Attendant As Defined In CA IWC Wage Order 15:

Section 2(J) of the California Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Wage Order No. 15-2001 defines “personal attendant” as follows:

“‘Personal attendant’ includes baby sitters and means any person employed by a private householder or by any third party employer recognized in the health care industry to work in a private household, to supervise, feed or dress a child or person who by reason of advanced age, physical disability, or mental deficiency needs supervision. The status of ‘personal attendant’ shall apply when no significant amount of work other than the foregoing is required.”

Indeed, the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has historically adopted the standard used in the federal regulations, 29 C.F.R. 552.6 on “companionship services,” to wit:

“…(T)he term ‘companionship services’ shall mean those services which provide fellowship, care, and protection for a person who, because of advanced age or physical or mental infirmity, cannot care for his or her own needs. Such services may include household work related to the care of the aged or infirm person such as meal preparation, bed making, washing of clothes, and other similar services. They may also include the performance of general household work: Provided, however, that such work is incidental, i.e., does not exceed 20 percent of the total weekly hours worked.”

Federal regulations, 29 C.F.R 552.6, supra, further clarifies that:

“The term ‘companionship services’ does not include services related to the care and protection of the aged or infirm that require and are performed by trained personnel, such as registered or practical nurse.”

Thus, the acceptable duties of a “personal attendant” involve activities of daily living such as getting in or out of bed, showering, bathing, using a toilet. A “personal attendant’s” duties of “supervising” would include assistance in obtaining medical care, preparing meals, shopping for personal items or groceries, using a telephone, even managing money.

As long as any general housekeeping duties performed do not exceed 20% of the weekly working time spent by a “personal attendant,” he or she is exempted from the protections of California Wage Order No. 15-2001 such as overtime compensation, etc., except for minimum wage. But prior to 2001, a classification as “personal attendant” also excluded minimum wage in California.

This overtime compensation exemption also applies to “personal attendants” as well as other household workers such as caregivers, spending 20% or less of their working time doing general household work, who are employed by an agency and sent to private households to work.

Benefits Of Household Workers:

A. Minimum Wage:

The state minimum wage covers all employees, including household workers (live-in employees, caregivers, and “personal attendants”) but excluding legitimate independent contractors. The current California minimum wage is $8.00 per hour since January 1, 2008, a 6.7% increase over the previous $7.50 minimum wage.

There are several factors that determine whether a person is an independent contractor or not. But the primary factor is control by the employer of the means, manner and outcome of the job. An independent contractor runs his or her own household services business, has his or her tools and materials, and controls the manner and outcome of the job.

Independent contractors are not covered by minimum wage and overtime compensation statutes.

B. Overtime Pay:

Household workers who are not live-in employees, as well as “personal attendants” who do general household work that exceeds 20% of their weekly working time, are entitled to overtime compensation, consisting of one and one half times their regular rate of pay for working more than eight (8) hours in a day, or more than (40) hours in a week.

Live-in employees must be paid one and one half times the regular rate for all hours worked over twelve (12) hours (instead of over eight (8) hours) in one work day for five (5) workdays. On the sixth and seventh day, live-in employees must be paid double the regular rate for all hours worked over (9) hours per day. See California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 3(A)-(B) (8 Cal Code Regs. 11150(3)(A)-(B)).

Under federal law, 29 U.S.C. 213(a)(15), “any employee employed on a casual basis in domestic service employment to provide babysitting services or any employee employed in domestic service employment to provide companionship services for individuals who (because of age or infirmity) are unable to care for themselves” is granted exemptions from minimum wage and overtime pay.

C. Other Benefits Of Household Workers:

1. Hours And Days Of Work:

A live-in employee is entitled to at least twelve (12) consecutive hours free of duty during each workday of twenty-four (24) hours, and the total span of hours for a day of work should not exceed twelve (12) hours, except that: (a) the employee must have at least three (3) hours free of duty during the 12 hours span of work; and (b) the employee required or permitted to work during scheduled off-duty hours or during the 12 consecutive off-duty hours must be paid one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all such hours worked. See California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 3(A).

Moreover, no live-in employee shall be required to work more than five (5) days in any one workweek without a day off of not less than 24 consecutive hours except in an emergency. See California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 3(B).

2. Rest And Meal Periods:

Household workers are entitled to a ten-minute paid rest break for every four (4) hours of work under California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 12(A), and a thirty-minute meal period of every five (5) hours worked, just like others kinds of employees, under California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 11(A).

Otherwise, the employer shall pay the employee one (1) hour of pay at regular rate for each workday that the rest period, or the meal period is not provided. See California IWC Wage Order No. 15-2001 12(B), 11(D). But “personal attendants” are not granted rest and meal periods.

3. Meal And Housing Deductions From Wages:

The employer may subtract meal and housing credits from the employee’s paycheck if: (a) the employee actually uses the meals and is provided with housing; (b) meals and housing are used as salary to comply with the minimum wage; and (c) the employee executes a voluntary, written agreement, crediting meals and housing towards minimum wage.

Meal credit may be deducted as follows: breakfast – $2.45; lunch – $3.35, and dinner – $4.50. Housing may also be credited at $31.75 per week for a room ($26.20 if shared). See California IWC Wage Order No. 15 – 2001 10(C).

In summary, whether you are a caregiver or a “personal attendant” entitled to particular wages and benefits in California or in other states depends on whether the general household work you do exceeds 20% of your total work time.

(The Author, Roman P. Mosqueda, practices wage and hour law in California.

This article is not legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed with the reader. For specific labor law issues, consult a competent attorney.)

How to Make a Jewelry Jig – Example, Ear Wire Jig

Jewelry jigs are very easy to make, if you have wood, a saw and a drill. Jigs make duplicating a wire design very easy. I prefer the home made variety jig since the pegs are stationery and do not wobble when bending the wire.

Materials needed:

4″x4″x2″thick piece wood

1/8 x 1″ brad nails

1/4″ diameter wooden dowel

20 gauge practice wire

drill

1/4″ drill bit

wooden or rubber mallet

anvil or pounding block

saw

graph paper

file or burr cup

round nose pliers

flush cutters

sharpie pen

To begin, find a piece of scrap lumber at least 4″x4″x2″ thick. A thinner piece of lumber can be used, but the 2″ thickness gives more weight and stability to the jig. This size should be large enough to make several jigs on the same wood block.

Draw the design on graph paper with a soft pencil.

Mark with dots the places to put brads or dowels(for large curves) for bending.

Turn the paper over on the wood block and draw over the design. This will make a light tracing. Another method to duplicate the design (if you have a prototype) is to trace around the piece on the wood block.

We are going to make an ear wire jig as an example.

To place the dowel, drill with a 1/4″ bit 1/2″ into the wood block. Set a drill press to this depth or mark this depth with tape on the drill bit. Cut the dowel piece 1 1/4 -1 1/2 inch in length. Sand or shave off the edges slightly on one end. Insert the shaved end of the dowel into the hole and use the mallet to wedge it tightly into the wood block.

Mark a cross on the top of the dowel to divide it into four equal parts. (Some designs might use a cross marked on the wood block.) At the 3 o’clock position 3/16″ away from the dowel, mark a dot (position 1). At the 6 o’clock position 7/16″ away from the dowel, mark a dot (position 2). 5/16″ below the last dot and in a parallel line adjacent to Position 2, mark with a dot (position 3). Position 3 gives a slight bend in the end of the ear wire. The tops of the brad nails should be filed or ground to make removing articles form the jig easy. Drive the brad nails in 1/4″ at each position. For other designs, smaller dowels can be used with matching diameter drill bits.

To conserve expensive wire when making an ear wire or any prototype, mark 20 gauge practice wire with sharpie in 1 inch increments. With round nose pliers make a loop large enough to fit the brad at position 1. Put loop over brad at position 1 with the loop opening toward the dowel, bend around dowel, then bend between dowel and brad at position 2, then bend to position 3. Cut the wire at position 3. Remove ear wire or prototype from jig.

To flatten the ear wire or prototype, place on an anvil or pounding block, hitting it several times with a rubber mallet. This hardens the metal making it brittle. Never pound where wires cross since the wires might break. Smooth the ends of the ear wires with a file or burr cup.

Determine from the sharpie marks the length of wire used. Mark a line the length plus about 1/4″ on the wood block. This will facilitate measuring wire for future projects.

Jigs can be made to make ear wires with beads, a variety of shapes or longer tails. With imagination the possibilities for duplicating jewelry designs pieces made by bending wire are endless.

Although the finished jig looks rough, it works very well.

Holdem Tactics – The 5 Easiest Ways to Increase Your Stack

Any Texas Holdem strategy, and whatever holdem tactics you employ, are probably going to revolve around growing your stack. Growing your stack is one of the oldest holdem tactics around. By growing your stack you exponentially increase your power in the game. You can bully, your all-ins mean so much more, and you can afford to call / check people to force them to play honest.

Strategy + Tactics = Success

Employing holdem tactics is important if you are ever going to become successful at Texas Holdem Poker. Going in with a game plan – a strategy – will enable you to have a long-term plan to stick to and follow. This will allow you to focus on your game and the steps you need to take in order to win the money, or the tournament if you are playing that.

Having an arsenal of holdem tactics you can call on at any time to help you achieve the goals of your strategy is what makes the difference between someone with a plan and someone implementing their plan. Being acutely aware of the situations you can take advantage of in order to get what you want is beneficial and a desirable trait to have.

Holdem Tactics To Increase You Stack

1) Steal blinds
Almost anyone worth their weight will speak of stealing blinds. Its the crux of any good strategy. Stealing blinds involves you betting aggressively when no one else seems to be taking the lead. Often times everyone will just fold because they do not have very good cards and do not want to challenge you. Then you get to pick up the blinds. The beauty of this tactic is that you do not need good cards to implement it; no one will ever know.

2) Grab antes
Less players know or focus on this method even though it is even more effective then stealing blinds. In holdem tournaments, after a certain time has passed or at a certain table and beyond, antes are required to be posted. This means that not only do the small and big blind players have to put chips out before they get cards, everyone has to! Smart players will amp up their game as soon as the antes hit because picking up pots and pots of antes, even if they are just $ 25, will add heaps to your stack over the long term.

3) Reraise and reraise
Reraising is a method that is directly in your control. If you have good cards and you seriously think you have the nuts and can take the pot, raise and reraise. And reraise again. If you in a pot going to the turn, the river and plan to have a showdown and you seriously think you have the win sealed up (or you've calculated some favourable odds), do not hesitate to bet big. When you take the pot it will pay off way more. Great players make the most of every hand, especially the good ones.

4) Never check or call
Never checking when its your turn to bet and never calling another players raise will enable you to increase your stack over time. Checking and calling are weak moves. They communicate weakness and a sense of being unsure. You do not want to be saying this to the other players at the table. You want to say 'I have strong cards, I'm in and you better not mess with me.' If you're going to be in a pot, raise. This will increase the pot size and increase your stack more when you do win. It also enables you to do other things, like steal blinds and antes, a lot easier because the other players will be more afraid of you.

5) All-in just to be mean
You can all-in to bully players to fold. A lot of players do this because it is so effective. Players that go all-in will win every time, bar once! The trick to doing all-ins is to do it smartly. Do not just start going all-in out of nowhere. First, build a bit of an aggressive reputation at the table by following the previous points. Next, make sure you have a fairly good stack so that even if someone does call you and you lose, you're not completely out. Third, try to target certain players, those you know are very tight or that have a small stack. Fourth, bet as early as possible, so the likelihood of them having a good hand made already is not probably. Before the flop is the best (also the scariest).

These holdem tactics are are good way to craftily grow your stack. Winning massive pots and taking the gold with great cards is not the only way to get chips. You can win chips even when you do not have good cards by playing aggressively.

Improving the Morale of Technical Professionals

Recently a client asked, “How can we more effectively manage our technical and professional personnel?” The basis for the question dealt with morale issues that had developed within the technical employee group.

People are people, always remember that basic fact. Next, distinguish between leadership and management. Leadership is about people and involves setting the values, vision and direction for the organization. It is about people and processes while management is more about getting tasks accomplished. Management involves five basic functions, no matter what the business happens to be. The five functions are: planning, organizing staffing, directing and controlling the work being done by the organization. It takes both leadership and management to succeed.

Next, we need to realize that the term “technical and professional personnel” refers to what are typically called “knowledge workers” today. This term applies to people in many different situations including high tech, smokestack industry, banks, bio-tech, electronics, computers, education and many more industries.

The successful leader of knowledge workers must recognize certain key factors about these workers, and deal with each individual yet be equitable with all in the organization.

Knowledge Workers typically:

  • View the job as an extension of themselves (the job is me)
  • Are different because “they feel they are different” (special)
  • Look for interesting and challenging work (inquisitive and independent)
  • Generally feel contributions not fully understood by management (nobody listens to me)
  • Take any criticism of work as personal (it’s personal)
  • Careers are the result of many small successes over time (growth is important)
  • Supervisors must deal in facts and ideas (emotion still counts)

When dealing with knowledge workers the most important trait for a leader is to be honest. Next, the leader must be willing to take time to treat people as individuals and recognize the value of each knowledge worker. In manufacturing I have seen situations in my consulting practice where the factory worker gets most of the attention and the engineers are just sort of “taken for granted” by the senior management. This leads to frustration and low morale.

To maintain and improve the morale of knowledge workers such as technical professionals the effective leader will:

1. Take time to listen to ideas

2. Not attack ideas too quickly, but rather let the small flame of an idea grow

3. Seek to assign meaningful and challenging work

4. Establish and communicate expectations and goals

5. Realize the strong need to be right, so deal in facts not personalities

6. Do not over supervise, rather treat the individual as the professional they should be

7. Allow flexibility in approaches, but stay focused on the goal

Attention to these seven factors along with honesty and integrity will help you improve the morale of the technical and knowledge workers in your organization.

Arc Welding Business Tips

An experienced arc welder should, at some point in time, embark on his own business rather than be employed eternally. Of course, a welder has to initially gain some useful work experience before venturing out on his own. Even some less confident arc welders, instead of straightaway starting a full fledged business, can undertake a few part-time assignments and gradually expand his customer base before quitting employment.

There is no denying that starting one’s own business is a serious matter and lot of ground work is needed. Further you must acquire complete proficiency in arc welding, mig welding and tag welding and it is not prudent to abandon employment till you become confident that you can handle all types of arc welding jobs.

It is preferable that even welders who have some experience enroll in a vocational program and undergo formal training to further hone their skills. This will go a long way in further enriching your knowledge before you venture out on your own welding business.

As a matter of fact, it is advisable that you acquire a certificate from The American Welding Society to inspire confidence in your customers. Of course, you will have to appear for an exam to receive the certification – but it is worth spending the time and money.

Demand a minimum price for any work you undertake and scrupulously avoid doing arc welding work free even for your close friends. The word will soon spread around that people can approach you for some odd arc welding jobs without having to pay for it.

People should not expect you do free jobs merely because you have the welder equipment. Remember you have paid for the welder equipment and the consumables and it should be you intention to recover the cost together with the concomitant profit elements. The first qualification to become a successful businessman is to develop the required business acumen.

The job of a welder is to join metal parts by melting and fusing them together. Many industrial sectors including automobile, aerospace, fabricators and ship builders have regular work for welders. According to recent surveys, the arc welding business has immense potential for growth and any welder aspiring to set up independent business is bound to thrive.

Before setting up your own establishment for doing arc welding jobs, you will need to apply for a business license and fulfill all other legal formalities – which may differ from state to state. Licenses are typically issued through your city or county business department.

Needless to say, effective marketing is the key to your business success. You must concentrate on field sales activities to secure jobs. It will be worthwhile to become a member of the local chamber of commerce to interact with local businesses. Spread word among industry circles about your arc welding business. Explore the possibilities of becoming a sub-contractor to larger companies who are overburdened with arc welding work and will be eager to outsource some welding work.

Despite the long history of welding, not much research has been done in the field of welding safety. Arc welding, or for that matter all types of welding entail risk of physical injury from excessive heat, pressurized flammable gas, and electricity. Learn to use safety techniques to protect yourself, and those nearby, from the hazards of welding.

How Do I Aim A Bow And Hit The Target Every Time

When I picked up a bow to start archery for the first time I found that aiming was a very difficult thing to do. I had been used to rifle shooting and I was trying to aim my arrow by sighting down the shaft. It’s not very practical to do that with a bow and arrow. My coach was an elderly relative who was a veteran target archer and he gave me a few tips when I asked him how do I aim my bow?

Practice, practice, practice

My archer relative told me that I should draw the bowstring so that it touched the side of my face. Look at the target while pointing the arrow in the right direction then release the arrow smoothly. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it?

I still didn’t understand how to aim the arrow at the center of the target though and my coach kept telling me to always pull the bowstring so that it came to rest at the same place on my face. He also told me that the secret to accurate shooting was practice.

Consistency is the key to accurate archery

Then it slowly came to me that there was no definitive way to sight an arrow or aim a bow at a target. Well there might be but I still don’t know what it is. The secret truly was in the practice, which enabled me to get consistent in the way I drew and released the arrow. Where the arrow hit the target was initially just trial and error but if you’re consistent with the draw and release then you should be able to hit the same point of the target with every arrow.

How do I aim a bow at the center of the target?

Of course it then follows that if you can consistently hit the same place on the target every time all you need to do is make that place be the little circle in the center.

I’m still very much a beginner and there are a lot of very neat secrets to archery and how to aim a bow that I still have to learn. Most things require lots of practice but you need to read as much as you can about techniques too to make sure that you practice the right things.

The Insider’s Guide to Drainage Surveys

You need to take care of almost everything and properly inspect things from time to time. This even holds true for the drainage system. We all know that drainage issues can impact household. If you ignore leakage of drains, then it might lead to structural problems later. The greater impact of it can lead to surface flooding. Therefore, it is mandatory to inspect the drains for which CCTV cameras can help you a lot. Since, you cannot reach the underground; the cameras can easily detect the problems and give you exact details of the same.

Let us take a look at the aspects of CCTV and how it can help you.

1. Homeowners can now easily afford CCTV surveys.

2. It helps you to find problems hidden above the ground.

3. This is a very preventative and effective maintenance program

4. You do not need to dig holes

5. You can fit it in drains, pipes, sewers and other places too.

6. There is little hassle when you fit the cameras at such critical places

7. You must place it in a way such that the camera does not get affected with water. The CCTV cameras are not intelligent enough to understand whether the drainage is leaky or watertight

8. Various commercial enterprises use these devices

9. It is better to get advice from your drainage contractor

10. If you are planning to buy a new house or property, then you can definitely use these devices for future safety.

The following are the various characteristics of the camera. Some of them are:

1. They are high-resolution color cameras

2. You can immerse them and fit them in pipes up to 6m in length and the diameter between 25mm to 100mm.

3. The cameras have centralizing brushes. This helps to give you great picture clarity

4. You can conduct video recording as well as external monitoring

5. These cameras are mostly water-resistant if not otherwise

6. The coil of the camera is of cast aluminum so that the user does not have much trouble in maintaining it.

7. When the manufacturers ship these cameras, they do it in a robust and custom-built packing case.

8. The cameras usually comply with operations in potentially explosive environment

Thus, with a CCTV camera, you can easily solve a lot of problems related to drainage and sewage. It helps you to have a comprehensive survey and find the problem and find a solution. You must hire proper drainage contractors who can rightly guide in this regard.

The Importance of Drain Cleaning and How it Affects Your Home

Inside of every home are water drain lines, that carry gray water and sewage out of our homes. Drain cleaning to keep these lines clear and flowing is paramount to a healthy home. Too often, people ignore their drains until something goes wrong. But by then, dirty, bacteria filled water has soaked your floors, perhaps your walls, and the damage is already done.

Check Your Pipes!

As with many areas of home repair, preventing these occurrences through property maintenance, is the best way for residents to keep their home and family healthy, and keep unexpected repairs at bay. Pipes throughout your home take waster water from your home, under the house, through the yard, eventually leading it to your septic system, or the city sewer connection. It is important to keep these plumbing lines clean, and your drains flowing well.

When drain lines are working well, the water flows quickly, straight down the drain. Eventually, though, these drain lines get clogged up with an accumulation of food, grease, soap scum, hair, and even odds and ends that fall down the drain.

At the first sign of slow draining, you should call a drain cleaning specialist. This specialist can use the proper tools and chemicals to keep your drains clear, without damaging the pipes or fittings. Even a simple sink clog can cause serious flooding, which can damage drywall.

Such flooding is usually not covered by homeowners insurance. However, a qualified professional plumber can unclog your drains, and repair any plumbing issues, very quickly.

The Benefits Of Proper Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is even more effective; regular drain cleaning in homes can stop these drains from clogging, breeding bacteria, and eventually flooding homes. For the best prevention homeowners should have their bathtub, shower, and sink drains cleaned by a professional once each year.

Clogs do not happen only in the drains that lead directly from your plumbing fixtures, but also in your larger sewer lines. The plumbing fixture lines connect to larger plumbing sewer lines that run underneath the home, then out into the yard. These lines often become blocked by tree roots, resulting in sewage backing up into the home, usually through floor drains, in the lower level of the home.

This can be a serious problem, particularly for the older, more established neighborhoods where large trees, with established, far reaching root systems, are common.

Fortunately, with this type of blockage drain cleaning professionals can help, sending a rotating blade, called a snake, into your sewer lines, freeing trapped, accumulated debris, and removing tree roots from the lines.

Catch The Clogs Early!

When it comes to the drain lines in home plumbing systems, preventing serious clogs and back-ups is the best strategy, and the proper maintenance can help.

When a clog is caught early, inexpensive plumbing repair can remove the clog, restoring free flow to your waste water system, and ensuring that your home stays free of sewer water, keeping you and your family dry and healthy.

Cordless Drill Review

Most of the consumers usually rely of some of the advanced technology and latest innovations when it comes to cordless drills. Public ratings and comparing prices is one of the important aspects every consumer follows these days. Best units are continuously manufactured and promoted endlessly in the market. However when you read some of the reviews you come to know about its feature, and functions. Makita 6935, Bosch 13618, Panasonic EY6432, Porter Cable 9977 and Dewalt DC 759 are some of the most famous and best models available in the market.

If we take Makita 6935 14.4 volt, you will come to know that it is one of the best drills that are available with a ML143 cordless torch. Makita is also one of the most efficient and durable ones available in the market. Some of the useful features of this model include:

o Free flashlight
o A variable speed for smoothly increasing the speed and controlling it
o External brushes for longer life
o In-built higher quality output LED to enhance visibility
o Quarter inch portable driver
o Two piece D28R motor along with a double ball bearing
o Ergonomic pistol grip
o Phosphorescent bumper to assist and locate the tools in the areas with low light

Now we can look at the Dewalt DC 759KA. This drill is said to be one of the most sold in the market. This drill has been revamped with an 18 volt motor and provides a double speed and weighs just five pounds. It usually comes with the beautiful case and two rechargeable batteries. Next in this line is the Bosch 13618 Tough Hammer. This one has a scheme of blue paint which is quiet appealing to the consumers. These machines are contoured and streamlined. It is one of the best selling drills from Bosch as it provides excellent deigns and better performance all through the year. Some of the useful features of this cordless drill include:

o 18 volt batteries
o Reinforced collar steel cover
o Durashield construction
o Maintains the alignment between the clutch, motor and gearbox with its universal body power
o This drill also comes with double ended bit, 30 minute charger, side handle and a magnetic bit holder.

Next is the Panasonic EY6432. This drill is reasonably prices and of high quality. It is portable, handy and lightweight. It usually comes with a 390 pound torque and allows complete torque for acquiring high speed helping the motor to control the speed when required. This drill is a smart choice for woodworkers, electricians, carpenters and plumbers. Some of the useful features of this drill include:

o 15.6 volts
o 3.5 Ah amp per hour battery
o Double speed range
o Keyless chuck
o Electronic brakes
o Chassis measure from 8 inch to 8 1.2 inch
o 4.4 pounds in weight and 9 inches long
o Its soft padded grip offers additional cushioning

These above mentioned ones are among the best available cordless drills in the market. The bestselling features include the charging time, ergonomic grips, long battery life and high speed torque.

Polyurethane! Water Vs Solvent

After years of admiring other people's glossy timber floors, I decided it was time to rip up our old carpet and see what treasure's lay beneath. On removing the carpet we were presented with old Tasmanian oak hardwood timber floor boards. We then hired a floor sander to remove the paint and clean them up back to original appearance. The timber that was presented was a beautiful array of different shades and grains as we had hoped. The next step was to seal the floor with polyurethane to really bring out the colour and shine, the only problem being was which polyurethane to use? There are so many on the market that it is very hard to choose, so I spent the next couple of weeks investigating polyurethane.

The more I looked into polyurethane's the more apparent it became that it is not a very safe option in regards to health. Sure, the floors looked fantastic, but at what price? The following disclaimer was given to me by a flooring sander when I was considering solvent based polyurethane.

IMPORTANT WARNING-Toxic fumes given off by solvent-based floor finishes contain isocyanates that effect the respiratory and central nervous systems. They are particularly dangerous for asthma sufferers, children and the elderly. There is growing evidence that solvent-based floor finishes may also be dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn children.

That in itself was enough to ring alarm bells and after further investigation I found these claims to be quite accurate and also came across a lot of other floor sanders with the same opinion. The next part of the disclaimer was enough to put me off solvent-based polyurethane completely and start to look at an alternative. It read as follows.
If a solvent-based finish is to be used on a floor the owner must adhere to the following basic precautions:

1.Vacate the premises for at least 14 days.
2. Empty pantries and refrigerators. Solvent fumes taint foodstuffs-even packaged products.
3. Remove pets from premises.
4. Remove all indoor plants.
5. Remove all oil and water based paintings.

The decision to move back into premises, including pets and plants, is totally at the discretion of the owner. Solvent based finishes normally take 14 days to a month to fully cure.
"Please sign your life away" ….
We'll that was enough for me, so I started to look into water-based polyurethane. These finishes did not come up quite as glossy as the solvent based polyurethane when compared side by side, but on their own gave a very nice gloss shine without the health issues attached. Most of the environmentally friendly polyurethanes were manufactured overseas, and now that I was looking "green" I decided that I may as well also look at a product that was locally manufactured. Finally I came across Tuff Enviro polyurethane.

This product is water-based polyurethane with a solid content of 50%, and is 100% environmentally friendly. I came across this product at a local development that is totally green and self sufficient. Tuff Enviro met all of their strict criteria and was also locally manufactured. This was one of only two products allowed in this development and the other was from over seas. Naturally I decided on Tuff Enviro.

After investigating as to what makes a good water-based polyurethane, I compared all on the market and came to the conclusion that Tuff Enviro was the best product (apart from the fact that it was locally manufactured) to use. It has greater solids content than any other on the market, it has long wet edge, no smell, is easy to apply and is extremely scuff and scratch resistant. Having come to this conclusion, I then applied Tuff Enviro to my timber floor with an outstanding result. For anyone who is contemplating a gloss or satin timber floor, it is well worth while checking out the environmentally friendly polyurethane's, particularly Tuff Enviro as an alternative to the nasty solvent based polyurethane.

Deforestation Information You Should Never Miss

Deforestation is a term that, at it's simplest, means the destruction of a forest. It can apply to natural forces that destroy a system of trees, like a forest fire or a disease which kills off all the plant life in a given area. However, recently the term deforestation has come to apply to the casual destruction of a forest through artificial, human controlled means.

One of the most common reasons a forest is destroyed by man is for lumber. Wood is one of the most basic of commodities, and vital to the survival of man. This need can be taken to extremes, however, and some people strip all the trees in a given area and render them into lumber and wood by products like glue and paper. In cases like these, the term deforestation applies not only to the loss of the trees, but the forest's inability to cope with the loss by natural seed germination. In simple terms, the number of trees that get destroyed are at a higher and faster rate than the forest can grow now ones back.

Another common deforestation information that brings about its occurrence is the conversion of the land on which the trees are into arable farm land. With mankind's needs for food increasing with a burgeoning population, the land areas covered by forests are razed by builders who take over the land and either convert it into pasture lands for animal grazing or for farm lands for growing crops. Since the land is converted into something beneficient for man's needs, this type of deforestation is considered to be the most benign, especially if the cut trees are also used for lumber instead of simply discarded.

However, one form of deforestation for creating farm lands is highly frowned upon, both for it's sheer destructiveness and waste of resources. This is the use of fire to clear a forest away. In some third world countries, farmers who want to use a certain patch of land for crops or grazing fields will resort to fire as the quickest and simplest means of clearing away large tracts of forest. This is both a safety hazard and a waste, not only because the fire may rage out of control and consume the entire forest, but also because the trees, which might have been converted into useful lumber products, are simply destroyed outright. This also causes damage to the soil of the cleared land, so that crops grown there are substandard quality. Knowing this deforestation information will save not only forests but consequently, humans, too.

Another deforestation information is the reason for deforestation that can sometimes be a cause of controversy is the razing of a forest for urban renewal. This basically means that trees in an area get cut down so that the land itself may be used as a place to construct urban architecture like houses, apartment complexes, and buildings. The reason for the controversy is because of the potentially damaging effects the loss of a large number of trees will have on the environment. Compromises have been reached where such razed sites will often have their own parks where trees, grass, bushes, and other vegetation are planted, nurtured, and allowed to grow.

The last reason for deforestation is for mining and petroleum. Some forested areas have high concentrations of iron ore, mineral, and oil deposits which are valuable natural resources. Under normal, acceptable circumstances, the trees in the given area are rendered into lumber and used productively, and only when the area is clear of trees is the mining begun. However, in some areas, again notably third world countries, the "quick and dirty" solution of burning down the forest is used to clear the land and get to the mineral deposits as quickly as possible. This type of deforestation is a waste of what would otherwise have been productive lumber.

Aside from the waste of trees through fire-type deforestation, another reason it is frowned upon is it's impact on the environment. Forest systems have a huge effect on the atmosphere, not only by generating breathable air, but by controlling the amount of moisture that cycles in the air. Deforestation has been known to have an adverse effect on weather patterns. Another ecological effect of deforestation is flash floods. In some climates, forests take in the water from heavy rainfalls, so that little if any excess water reaches the lower landscapes. The sudden loss of trees in such areas gives the water from such rainfalls only one place to go – nearby settled human habitations. This results in heavy floods and similar disasters.

Lastly, it should be noted that forests support their own eco systems, with balanced flora and fauna. Deforestation has been known to render some species extinct or near-extinct simply by removing the places where these animals live or these plants grow. Given that some of the largest contributions to modern medicine have been made by studying rare plants and animals, it is also widely held that deforestation robs man of the potential benefits he might otherwise have discovered in the destroyed forests. If you do not take into heart the abovementioned deforestation information, it's almost like you've dug your own grave.

Nonprofit Board Self-Evaluation – The Who, What, When, Where and Why of Board Self-Assessments

The best-run boards take time to self-reflect. They think not only about their past successes but how they can improve their relationship with the staff, their donors, and each other. Well-run boards are not afraid to ask themselves the hard questions about themselves – and to continuously improve.

Who is responsible for making sure that a board self-evaluates?

The Board Development Committee is responsible for making sure that the board self-evaluates. Give this article to your Board Development Committee Chairperson and ask them to consider ways to engage the board in a self-assessment process.

What is a board self-assessment?

A board self-evaluation can focus on one or both of these two areas: (1) the quality of the board’s work as a whole and/or (2) the quality of the individual’s contribution as a member of the board. Assessments of the whole board could include these topics: ability to focus on the mission of the organization, committee effectiveness, board/staff relationships, meeting quality, retreat effectiveness, financial health, organizational policy strength, objectives accomplishment, and suggestions for improvements. If you want to assess each individual’s contribution, your evaluation questions might include these: degree to which you are knowledgeable about the organization’s finances, operations, or personnel, reaction to meetings and committees, areas where expectations are falling short, suggestions for improvements.

There is a several methods of self-assessment. One way is to conduct a general discussion of how the board is doing, what the board is doing well, and where some improvements might help out. This discussion might help tease out some issues that could be further explored in one of two second steps: (1) one-on-one interviews with individual board members or (2) a board survey or questionnaire (which can be anonymous or name optional).

When is the best time to make a board assessment?

Boards that excel conduct self-evaluations on an annual basis. This provides you with feedback about what positive changes have been made in the past year while it solicits ideas for where improvement is still needed. The best time to make a board evaluation is during the middle of the year. At that point you are not a group with many new members nor are you racing to complete your year-end goals. Instead, the middle of the year is a good time to reflect on how things are going and where improvements might help the organization and the board.

Where is the board self-assessment survey conducted?

When your board discusses and evaluates it own progress, you may want to select a different venue than the one where your meetings are typically held. This change in meeting location may help signal to members that you want them to adopt a different perspective on their roles, plans, and activities. If you are conducting a survey or questionnaire, it’s essential to give board members time to reflect on the questions and their responses. Emailing or mailing the questionnaires in advance and giving board members a few days to think about the questions and their answers is a good idea. Their responses can be emailed or mailed back to a specific member of the Board Development Committee – or you can ask board members to bring the questionnaire to the next board meeting. Depending on the technical sophistication of the board members, you can use an on-line survey tool.

Why is it essential to conduct a board self-assessment?

To expect the entire board to engage in an annual self-evaluation is a best practice of well-run boards. This practice demonstrates that each member of the team is an integral part of the whole and that everyone needs to be participate in self-analysis. Annual surveys allow board members to provide feedback on the work they are doing and the work of the group – and it gives the board a way to measure their own progress over time as they seek to improve their board governance and the support they provide to the nonprofit organization that they lead.