Convert Clients Like a Pro – 5 Steps to Turning On The Fence Prospects Into High Paying Clients

As a coach, I'm sure you talk to a lot of people about what you do. You network, you have one-on-one meeting, you offer free sessions. But, it's hard to get people to sign up. Does your conversion rate match the amount of time, energy and money investing in all this talking?

It's not you or your coaching service. Rather you're not saying it in the right way. To inspire people to take action there's a very specific sequence of events they must experience before they will take that step into change.

See + Feel + Hope + Believe + Inspire = Step into Change

This formula can be used in any form of your marketing: feel sessions, one-on-ones, and written marketing materials.

First off, your prospects need to see there's a problem. We often do not recognize a problem until someone points it out.

Here is where you have to identify you who you work with and exactly what they are going through. Be specific. How does the challenge they are experiencing affect their everyday life? Draw a picture here so they can see the challenge.

Once they see there is a problem, they have to feel the pain of the situation. Since change is uncomfortable and we resist it, if we are numb to the pain or comfortable, there's no reason to change. Your prospects must feel the pain they are experiencing before they will change. It's simple, the pain of change must be less than the pain of staying the same. Then, and only then, will they take the next step.

Ask them about their situation. How does it affect them? What does it stop them from achieving? What will happen if they did not make that change?

Do not worry. You will not leave them feeling that pain. The next step gives them hope. Hope is an important element because it allows them to see it does not have to be this way. It can be different.

To help plant hope, talk about the benefits you offer. What will they be able to do differently? What will they get? What will they be able to achieve? These are usually direct answers to how their challenge is affecting their lives.

Once the seed of hope is sown, they must now believe it is possible to make this change. If they do not believe it, they will never be motivated to take the next steps. At this point, you want to offer a few examples, case studies, testimonials of other people. Once they believe, they will say, "if others can do this, maybe I can too."

Now, you've got them to see there's a problem, to feel the pain of that problem, you've planted the seed of hope, and helped them believe they can make this change. But, you're not done yet. Here is perhaps the most important point that is also left out the most. At this point, your prospects are not sure what exactly to do. To move into action they have to know what to do. Otherwise, there's no change. Here you inspire them into action, by telling them what to do. This is your Call to Action. This needs to be very specific and very simple next steps. Your Call to Action can be saying "yes" and signing an agreement, or to give you a call, or to sign up for your newsletter. You have to know what you want them to do, then ask them to do it.

This is a very simple 5 step formula that your prospects must go experience to one degree or another. Once you guide people through feeling each step, your on-the-fence prospects will gladly turn into highly motivated, high paying clients.

Luxury Hotel Spa Or Resort Spa – What Are the Differences & Benefits?

However, a luxury hotel spa is favored by a select group where the sole emphasis is on wellbeing and personal relaxation. In essence spa enthusiasts adore the experience a luxury hotel spa delivers.

I have listed the differences between the two, hope you find them interesting.

Go to a luxury hotel spa if you want:

  • Lavish surroundings where the design and layout of the spa environment is purely focused on healthy living, relaxation, energy building and getting inspired
  • An adult environment – leave the kids at home!
  • A relaxing atmosphere that has a sense of camaraderie that is easy to get to know new people.
  • An abundance of relaxation programs that might include walks, meditation, lectures on health improvements and exercise classes
  • An excellent selection of healthy organic foods
  • Package pricing that could include hotel room, set meals, lectures and of course spa treatments

When booking spa treatments, make sure to request a male or female therapist if there is a preference. Feel free to ask questions during the treatment or let the therapist know of any concerns or requests.

Go to a resort spa if you want:

  • Spa treatments as part of your weekend break experience
  • To spend time with your family, whilst escaping for a bit of 'me time'
  • Spend just one day or only a few hours (some destination spas have minimum stay requirements)
  • Extra amenities like golfing, fishing or lots of hiking paths
  • Simply just to unwind instead of getting involved in classes or lectures

Whichever you type you decide upon – luxury hotel spa or spa resort – it is strongly recommended to book all your spa procedures when you make your reservation. Make sure that the spa hotel you want to visit has enough spa treatment rooms to keep up with demand. Anyway, it is safer to book luxury hotel spa treatments in advance than to wait until you actually get there.

The Invisible Women of the Great Depression

During the Great Depression, women made up 25% of the work force, but their jobs were more unstable, temporary or seasonal then men, and the unemployment rate was much greater. There was also a decided bias and cultural view that “women didn’t work” and in fact many who were employed full time often called themselves “homemakers.” Neither men in the workforce, the unions, nor any branch of government were ready to accept the reality of working women, and this bias caused females intense hardship during the Great Depression.

The 1930’s was particularly hard on single, divorced or widowed women, but it was harder still on women who weren’t White. Women of color had to overcome both sexual and racial stereotyping. Black women in the North suffered an astounding 42.9% unemployment, while 23.2%. of White women were without work according to the 1937 census. In the South, both Black and White women were equally unemployed at 26%. In contrast, the unemployment rate for Black and White men in the North (38.9%/18.1%) and South (18%/16% respectively) were also lower than female counterparts.

The financial situation in Harlem was bleak even before the Great Depression. But afterward, the emerging Black working class in the North was decimated by wholesale layoffs of Black industrial workers. To be Black and a woman alone, made keeping a job or finding another one nearly impossible. The racial work hierarchy replaced Black women in waitressing or domestic work, with White women, now desperate for work, and willing to take steep wage cuts.

Survival Entrepreneurs

At the start of the Depression, while one study found that homeless women were most likely factory and service workers, domestics, garment workers, waitresses and beauticians; another suggested that the beauty industry was a major source of income for Black women. These women, later known as “survivalist entrepreneurs,” became self-employed in response to a desperate need to find an independent means of livelihood.”

Replaced by White women in more traditional domestic work as cooks, maids, nurses, and laundresses, even skilled and educated Black women were so hopeless, ”that they actually offered their services at the so-called ‘slave markets’-street corners where Negro women congregated to await White housewives who came daily to take their pick and bid wages down” (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 1945/1962:246). Moreover, the home domestic service was very difficult, if not impossible, to coordinate with family responsibilities, as the domestic servant was usually on call ”around the clock” and was subject to the ”arbitrary power of individual employers.”



Inn Keepers and Hairdressers


Two occupations were sought out by Black women, in order to address both the need for income (or barter items) and their domestic responsibilities in northern cities during the Great Depression: (1) boarding house and lodging house keeping; and (2) hairdressing and beauty culture.

During the “Great Migration” of 1915-1930, thousands of Blacks from the South, mostly young, single men, streamed into Northern cities, looking for places to stay temporarily while they searched for housing and jobs. Housing these migrants created opportunities for Black working-class women,-now unemployed-to pay their rent.

According to one estimate, ”at least one-third” of Black families in the urban North had lodgers or boarders during the Great Migration (Thomas, 1992:93, citing Henri, 1976). The need was so great, multiple boarders were housed, leading one survey of northern Black families to report that ”seventy-five percent of the Negro homes have so many lodgers that they are really hotels.”

Women were usually at the center of these webs of family and community networks within the Black community:

“They ”undertook the greatest part of the burden” of helping the newcomers find interim housing. Women played ”connective and leadership roles” in northern Black communities, not only because it was considered traditional “woman’s work,” but also because taking in boarders and lodgers helped Black women combine housework with an informal, income-producing activity (Grossman, 1989:133). In addition, boarding and lodging house keeping was often combined with other types of self-employment. Some of the Black women who kept boarders and lodgers also earned money by making artificial flowers and lamp shades at home.” (Boyd, 2000)

In addition from 1890 to 1940, ”barbers and hairdressers” were the largest segments of the Black business population, together comprising about one third of this population in 1940 (Boyd, 2000 citing Oak, 1949:48).

“Blacks tended to gravitate into these occupations because “White barbers, hairdressers, and beauticians were unwilling or unable to style the hair of Blacks or to provide the hair preparations and cosmetics used by them. Thus, Black barbers, hairdressers, and beauticians had a ”protected consumer market” based on Whites’ desires for social distance from Blacks and on the special demands of Black consumers. Accordingly, these Black entrepreneurs were sheltered from outside competitors and could monopolize the trades of beauty culture and hairdressing within their own communities.

Black women who were seeking jobs believed that one’s appearance was a crucial factor in finding employment. Black self-help organizations in northern cities, such as the Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women, stressed the importance of good grooming to the newly arrived Black women from the South, advising them to have neat hair and clean nails when searching for work. Above all, the women were told avoid wearing ”head rags” and ”dust caps” in public (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 1945/1962:247, 301; Grossman, 1989:150-151).

These warnings were particularly relevant to those who were looking for secretarial or white-collar jobs, for Black women needed straight hair and light skin to have any chance of obtaining such positions. Despite the hard times, beauty parlors and barber shops were the most numerous and viable Black-owned enterprises in Black communities (e.g., Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 1945/1962:450-451).

Black women entrepreneurs in the urban North also opened stores and restaurants, with modest savings ”as a means of securing a living” (Boyd, 2000 citing Frazier, 1949:405). Called ”depression businesses,” these marginal enterprises were often classified as proprietorships, even though they tended to operate out of ”houses, basements, and old buildings” (Boyd, 2000 citing Drake and Cayton, 1945/1962:454).

“Food stores and eating and drinking places were the most common of these businesses, because, if they failed, their owners could still live off their stocks.”

“Protestant Whites Only”

These businesses were a necessity for Black women, as the preference for hiring Whites climbed steeply during the Depression. In the Philadelphia Public Employment Office in 1932 & 1933, 68% of job orders for women specified “Whites Only.” In New York City, Black women were forced to go to separate unemployment offices in Harlem to seek work. Black churches and church-related institutions, a traditional source of help to the Black community, were overwhelmed by the demand, during the 1930’s. Municipal shelters, required to “accept everyone,” still reported that Catholics and African American women were “particularly hard to place.”

No one knows the numbers of Black women left homeless in the early thirty’s, but it was no doubt substantial, and invisible to the mostly white investigators. Instead, the media chose to focus on, and publicize the plight of White, homeless, middle-class “white collar” workers, as, by 1931 and 1932, unemployment spread to this middle-class. White-collar and college-educated women, usually accustomed “to regular employment and stable domicile,” became the “New Poor.” We don’t know the homeless rates for these women, beyond an educated guess, but of all the homeless in urban centers, 10% were suggested to be women. We do know, however, that the demand for “female beds” in shelters climbed from a bit over 3,000 in 1920 to 56,808 by 1932 in one city and in another, from 1929 -1930, demand rose 270%.

“Having an Address is a Luxury Now…”

Even these beds, however, were the last stop on the path towards homelessness and were designed for “habitually destitute” women, and avoided at all cost by those who were homeless for the first time. Some number ended up in shelters, but even more were not registered with any agency. Resources were few. Emergency home relief was restricted to families with dependent children until 1934. “Having an address is a luxury just now” an unemployed college woman told a social worker in 1932.

These newly destitute urban women were the shocked and dazed who drifted from one unemployment office to the next, resting in Grand Central or Pennsylvania station, and who rode the subway all night (the “five cent room”), or slept in the park, and who ate in penny kitchens. Slow to seek assistance, and fearful and ashamed to ask for charity, these women were often on the verge of starvation before they sought help. They were, according to one report, often the “saddest and most difficult to help.” These women “starved slowly in furnished rooms. They sold their furniture, their clothes, and then their bodies.”

The Emancipated Woman and Gender Myths

If cultural myths were that women “didn’t work,” then those that did were invisible. Their political voice was mute. Gender role demanded that women remain “someone’s poor relation,” who returned back to the rural homestead during times of trouble, to help out around the home, and were given shelter. These idyllic nurturing, pre-industrial mythical family homes were large enough to accommodate everyone. The new reality was much bleaker. Urban apartments, no bigger than two or three rooms, required “maiden aunts” or “single cousins” to “shift for themselves.” What remained of the family was often a strained, overburdened, over-crowded household that often contained severe domestic troubles of its own.

In addition, few, other than African Americans, were with the rural roots to return to. And this assumed that a woman once emancipated and tasting past success would remain “malleable.” The female role was an out-of-date myth, but was nonetheless a potent one. The “new woman” of the roaring twenties was now left without a social face during the Great Depression. Without a home–the quintessential element of womanhood–she was, paradoxically, ignored and invisible.

“…Neighborliness has been Stretched Beyond Human Endurance.”

In reality, more than half of these employed women had never married, while others were divorced, deserted, separated or claimed to be widowed. We don’t know how many were lesbian women. Some had dependent parents and siblings who relied on them for support. Fewer had children who were living with extended family. Women’s wages were historically low for most female professions, and allowed little capacity for substantial “emergency” savings, but most of these women were financially independent. In Milwaukee, for example, 60% of those seeking help had been self-supporting in 1929. In New York, this figure was 85%. Their available work was often the most volatile and at risk. Some had been unemployed for months, while others for a year or more. With savings and insurance gone, they had tapped out their informal social networks. One social worker, in late 1931, testified to a Senate committee that “neighborliness has been stretched not only beyond its capacity but beyond human endurance.”

Older women were often discriminated against because of their age, and their long history of living outside of traditional family systems. When work was available, it often specified, as did one job in Philadelphia, a demand for “white stenographers and clerks, under (age) 25.”

The Invisible Woman

The Great Depression’s effect on women, then, as it is now, was invisible to the eye. The tangible evidence of breadlines, Hoovervilles, and men selling apples on street corners, did not contain images of urban women. Unemployment, hunger and homelessness was considered a “man’s problem” and the distress and despair was measured in that way. In photographic images, and news reports, destitute urban women were overlooked or not apparent. It was considered unseemly to be a homeless woman, and they were often hidden from public view, ushered in through back door entrances, and fed in private.

Partly, the problem lay in expectations. While homelessness in men had swelled periodically during periods of economic crisis, since the depression of the 1890’s onward, large numbers of homeless women “on their own” were a new phenomenon. Public officials were unprepared: Without children, they were, early on, excluded from emergency shelters. One building with a capacity of 155 beds and six cribs, lodged over 56,000 “beds” during the third year of the depression. Still, these figures do not take account the number of women turned away, because they weren’t White or Protestant.

As the Great Depression wore on, wanting only a way to make money, these women were excluded from “New Deal” work programs set up to help the unemployed. Men were seen as “breadwinners,” holding greater claim to economic resources. While outreach and charitable agencies finally did emerge, they were often inadequate to meet the demand.

Whereas black women had particular hard times participating in the mainstream economy during the Great Depression, they did have some opportunity to find alternative employment within their own communities, because of unique migration patterns that had occurred during that period. White women, in contrast, had a keyhole opportunity, if they were young and of considerable skills, although their skin color alone offered them greater access to whatever traditional employment was still available.

The rejection of traditional female roles, and the desire for emancipation, however, put these women at profound risk once the economy collapsed. In any case, single women, with both black and white skin, fared worse and were invisible sufferers.

As we enter the Second Great Depression, who will be the new “invisible homeless” and will women, as a group, fare better this time?



References:

Abelson, E. (2003, Spring2003). Women Who Have No Men to Work for Them: Gender and Homelessness in the Great Depression, 1930-1934. Feminist Studies, 29(1), 104. Retrieved January 2, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.

Boyd, R. (2000, December). Race, Labor Market Disadvantage, and Survivalist Entrepreneurship: Black Women in the Urban North During the Great Depression. Sociological Forum, 15(4), 647-670. Retrieved January 2, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.

Empty Nests to Boost Builders

As a result of the world-wide global recession, we have seen a trend where children tend to stay in the nest with their parents longer. The State Treasurer of Queensland, Andrew Fraser announced in January 2012 that studies were showing that many families had children as old as thirty staying with them in order to save money. However, in the next twenty years, it is predicted that this group of nesters are finally going to leave as the economy improves and also because it is evident that one can not be supported by their parents their entire lives.

When these older children finally get out of the nest it is predicted that two things will happen to boost the building boom in Queensland. First of all, new homes will be needed to be built for the children leaving and their families. As there is a shortage of affordable, large-enough housing in Australia there is going to be a real demand for investment in family homes, especially those with pools and good schools nearby.
Secondly the parents of these children are also likely to sell their larger homes and move into smaller nests that are more appropriate for their space needs and that help them free up their income for recreational pursuits, second businesses and recreational activities.

In general it is projected that the number of households with children in Queensland was set to fall 3% between the years 2006 and 2031 just creating a need in the market for empty nester smaller housing.
It is also well known that Queensland, especially the Gold Coast, has a bit of a housing shortage with many areas having a less than 2% vacancy rate. This means that within a day or two of the ad appearing online or in the paper, the opportunity to rent disappears! Most places for rent in Surfers Paradise are only available show for ten days or much less. In January 2012, a two-bedroom apartment in Brisbane was going for the high rent of $ 380 a week. In January, Rockhampton, rents climbed 9% and Mackay 10%. In Gladstone the median rent jumped $ 46% which means it now costs $ 480 a week to rent a three bedroom house.

As a response to this need for more housing fast, the Premier Anna Bligh announced that simplifying the paperwork associated with applying for building permits and contracts will be reduced from six pages to one. This will rid the industry of unnecessary complications and make it easier to buy and sell a home. The fact that there is such demand, that there are subsidies for builders and that there is no red tape to snarl up the process makes investing in building in Queensland a great proposition.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Steel Roofing

You can find varying levels of finishing and texture on steel roofing. This happens because manufacturers have special tools and procedures to facilitate such differences. Very often, the original shine of metal is gone to make it look like another roofing material. Here is a rundown of the benefits and drawbacks of steel roofings.

The primary benefits of steel roofing

Many homeowners in the US prefer to have steel roofings installed in their homes. The main driver for this is because of the low expense involved. If a homeowner has to replace the whole roof then metal roofs win over the other roofing materials like tile, wood etc.

The other significant drawback that steel roofings have is that they are very light in weight. Compared to roofing materials such as tile or slate, the steel roofings are much lighter. For each square foot the steel materials weigh only 1.5 pounds. Compare this with tile roofing that weighs 7.5 pounds or concrete roofing that weighs 9 pounds and you will quickly see why so many people prefer steel roofing. Since the steel materials are lighter in weight, there is no need to reinforce the structure of the roof to enable it to accommodate increasing loads.

The third benefit that steel roofings have over other counterparts is that these are resistant to fire. It has the highest rating of Class A and this is applicable when the roofing is installed on top of appropriate materials underneath. Most homeowners who have steel roofing installed will have the assurance that their roofs are resistant to any sort of fire. This creates more peace of mind for the homeowner.

The other benefit that steel roofings have is that these can be installed directly over an existing roofing structure. However, usually such a method of installation is not employed. Instead, the old materials used on the roof are removed. Then the surface is cleaned properly. Only then is the steel roofing attached to the roof.

The other primary advantage of having steel roofing is that you do not need to spend much money on the maintenance aspects. The low cost of maintenance coupled with its long shelf life means that it is a low cost investment in the long run.

The long shelf life coupled with its excellent condition means that you can enjoy your steel roofings for many years down the line, without worrying about maintenance and overhead issues.

Drawbacks involved

Steel roofings have a disadvantage of being susceptible to rust and corrosion. Many manufacturers these days pre-treat their steel roofings to Kynar. Kynar is a special kind of plastic, which comes in many different colors. This helps make the steel roofing rust and corrosion resistant. You can also ask your manufacturer to treat the roofing to make it rust-proof. This way, you will have the perfect roofing material, which is light in weight, highly durable, rust-proof, corrosion-proof and lasts for many long years.

Thus, now you have a fair idea of ​​the benefits and disadvantages of using steel roofings. Most of the drawbacks can be easily overcome with modern technological advancements.

Fiberglass Speaker Boxes

Most speaker boxes are either fiberglass mat, or MDF construction. MDF while easy to work with and achieve good results, lacks the custom touch. Fiberglass allows you more freedom to do what you want. In this guide we are are building a simple box to show the process of working with speaker rings and glass mat. Many of the same steps apply for a built in sub woofer box.

Start by cutting out a MDF base for your new enclosure. If you are building a built in box, this does not apply to you. Once you have your base, you need to figure out how you want to aim your speaker. How you aim them depends on the type of speaker and personal preference. Once you know how you want to aim the speaker you can start cutting and gluing dowels to hold the speaker rings in the correct alignment. These dowels only need to be strong enough to hold the rings until your first resin application dries. Make your enclosure the correct size to meet the volume needs provided by the speaker manufacturer.

Next using hot glue or stables wrap your form in either fleece or cotton. While fleece is the preferred fabric, I like to use cotton. Cotton will soak up less resin which makes for a stronger lighter box.

With the fabric stretched tight you can apply the first layer of resin. In this step you do not use glass mat. You are just trying to get the fabric to retain a shape you can work with. For resin, I recommend a cheap poly based resin. There is no need for more exotic epoxy resins as the resin will not see high stresses or UV. In any case, you should follow the resin manufactures instructions for mixing and working in only a well ventilated area. If you have experience with fiberglass you can add up to 50% more hardner to speed cure times. Any more than 50% compromises strength and creates too much heat.

Now that you have a rigid form you can begin building your mat layers. I suggest the heavy weight mat used by marinas for boat hulls. The heavy weight mat is both inexpensive and strong. Mix enough resin to lay down 3-4 pieces of mat that are 12 "x12". You can cut down a large paint brush to apply resin and stab out air pocket. Another method is to use a fiberglass roller. No matter what method you use keep you tools in paint thinner between coats to prevent them from becoming un-usable. Keep applying mat and resin until the enclosure is complete and sturdy. A good gauge of when the box is strong enough is when it can support your full weight.

Once the sub-woofer box is strong enough to support your weight, completely sand it with 80grit sand paper to provide a good base for the auto-body filler you will apply.

The key to applying auto-body filler, is use thin coats and more coats than you think you need. You will need to sand between coats to prevent de-lamination. Whenever sanding use a quality dust mask.

Keep applying and sanding off the filler until all major holes and dimples are filled. Now is the time to install any speaker terminals or brackets you need to complete your install. I also take this time to remove any dowels that have become loose. For any I can not remove, I simply mud them in place to prevent them from coming loose later.

If you plan to carpet your enclosure you can stop at this point. If you are going to paint it you need to apply a glaze coat to fill any pin holes and minor dimples left. After the finish is defect free sand from 120 to 600 grit sandpaper in preparation for primer and paint. From here you have a wide variety of choices from lacquer paint to Rhino-Liner.

Simple Flag Storage

Seasonal and holiday flags are often seen adorning homes and lawns across the nation. From Valentine's Day to Easter; from Flag Day to the Fourth of July; from Halloween to Thanksgiving and Christmas; and from equinox to equinox, a festive spirit abounds during each holiday season. And that spirit is what is reflected on lawns and flagpoles. As the months and seasons change, so do the flags. This makes storage and accessibility important to preserving your favorite seasonal and holiday flags. So, how can your flags be stored during the off-season, but easily accessed when the time comes to use them again?

Dowels are perhaps one of the most valuable and useful supplies used in wood crafts and projects. Frequently, they are used as a part of the building process. However, they are so versatile that, in some cases, they can be used as stand-alone supplies. When it comes to our flag storage project here, they are just that.

Based on the length and width, the bulk of the material comprising the flag, and the number of flags you wish to store on each dowel, select a dowel that will accommodate the size of your flag and storage space. During the off-season, simply roll your flag over the dowel. Consider tautly securing the flag over the dowel by using small safety pins on either end. Conforming the flag to the shape of the dowel also maintains its shape, preventing wrinkles and creases that may need to be ironed or steamed out before displaying the following season.

There are several ways to go about storing the rolled flags. Simple method is One to hammer nails into the storage place and then set the wood Dowel – upon – it. Perhaps a method more to a seasoned woodworker's liking would be to use two pieces of wood equal in all dimensions and carve notches upon which, or into which, the dowels can be placed. Once the notches are carved, the pieces of wood can be mounted congruently on a wall, in a closet, or in another storage compartment.

If mounting is not an option or is not a preferred option, consider purchasing PVC pipes with dimensions large enough to encompass the width of the dowel plus the width of the rolled flag or flags covering it. This will accommodate upright storage, perhaps making the most of limited space in a hallway closet or storage cabinet.

As a side note, this same concept can be applied to other storage needs that may have multiple themes. For example, gift wrap and ribbon for various events, including children's birthdays, weddings, baby showers, and Christmas, can also be stored on and easily accessed using hardwood dowel. The circular nature of the dowel will also facilitate easy rolling out of the paper and ribbon for measuring and cutting purposes.

The versatility of dowel makes for creative outcomes!

How to Stack Firewood in Your Firewood Rack?

I was filling my Firewood rack yesterday and thought I would suggest some tips and advice on how to stack the wood. This is typically for firewood that is already cured but you can use the advice for stacking your wood in the spring.

The first stage is to stack all the first layer of wood with the points pointing upwards. Typically for this layer you want to use quarter cut logs, where possible pick pieces with the bark intact. The bark of your log is already designed to prevent moisture ingress, compared to the white center wood. By putting the bark nearest the ground it puts a natural barrier to moisture creeping up through the firewood rack.

This method also provides a very strong and sturdy base for your firewood stack, which will significantly reduce the risk of your stack falling over. Once you have laid your base layer with quarter cut logs with the points facing up your ready for the main body of the stack.

At this point there are two techniques.

The first is to keep the logs in the same direction but to stack them alternating between pointy up and pointy down. This method results in a strong stack and is my preferred way.

The second technique is to alternate the direction of the logs every 2 layers. So place the firewood point tip up, then pointy tip down. At this point some people change the direction of the logs so they go the length of the stack and repeat. It is felt by cross laying the logs it builds a stronger stack.

One of the best techniques you can use is a combination of the two. At the ends of your firewood rack stack them using the second technique, this provides a straight end. It also prevents the logs from falling down as it is vertically stacked. In between these vertical stacks I use the first method.

This technique leads to a slightly more complex wood stack but I believe it is the best way to generate a secure firewood rack. The last tip for your wood stack is how to finish the top. Similar to the bottom of the stack I like to put the logs bark up at the top of the stack. This method stops moisture getting into the wood stack.

As your building your wood stack you are likely to come across logs that are warped, these tend to be pieces of firewood that have been warped or where a branch broke off the tree. Likewise you may come across round pieces of wood. When building my stack I tend to throw these into a small pile of there own. If you have a good firewood seller there shouldn’t be that many in your order.

Due to the shape of these pieces they can make you stack very unstable so these pieces should be put on the very top of the stack. My personal use of these pieces is as kindling though. I tend to split these pieces into kindling sticks. I find that if you split the logs small enough you can get enough kindling to last the winter. By splitting the logs you also make it easier to store them.

If you have advice or suggestions on how to stack a firewood stack please let us know below. For more advice on Firewood and firewood racks please visit Firewood rack

Outdoor Fireplaces for Environment and Ambience

Although the summer season is coming, many people are looking towards their fireplace as a great place to spend time with friends and family in the warm months – not an indoor fireplace, but a semi-portable design often located on a back deck or in the backyard. These outdoor fireplaces provide ambience to any outdoor evening gathering, less expensively than many people think.

The most common kind of outdoor fireplace is known as a chiminea, consisting of a concave base, a single opening through which to feed the fire, and a short chimney or smoke stack. These small outdoor fireplaces are often made of cast iron, aluminum, ceramic or terra cotta, and although they are intended mostly for small fires, there are larger and more durable units (generally cast iron) which are intended for a controlled but roaring bonfire in the safety of your own back yard.

Chimineas and other outdoor fireplaces are designed for use in the summer with the intention of winter storage, since the clay or terra cotta based units can actually crack in extremely cold winter temperatures. Cast iron chimineas or outdoor fireplaces are not at risk for cracking, but snow and other precipitation will quickly cause them to rust. These outdoor fireplaces tend to range in price from $ 150 all the way up to well over $ 500 depending on the material, size, and the extra safety or comfort features that you happen to choose.

Some have safety grills and pitched chimney stacks to keep hot embers or ash from floating away and creating a fire hazard, while others are no more than a firebox with an open stack. Regardless of the type of chiminea or outdoor fireplace, only firewood should be burned in it. Other substances may give off toxic chemicals that can ruin the atmosphere of your gathering both literally and figuratively, and some fuels may leave hard to clean deposits on the inside of the fireplace.

Outdoor fireplaces are an increasingly popular way for people to gather together, experiencing the outdoors without traveling too far from home – in the evening when the air grows cooler and some brave souls venture past the air conditioning. If you think back towards childhood memories of open campfires, an outdoor woodstove might just be the thing to try.

Reducing Arc Flash Risk

Every year, dozens of workers are injured in arc flash incidents from overloaded electrical equipment. These explosions happen instantly with pressure that can cause deafness or blindness and a fireball that can cause devastating injuries and even death. The pressure is so intense from these flashes that injury to those around the blast can result from flying, molten debris. The risk of arc flash incidents can be significantly decreased by taking recommended safety precautions and wearing protective gear.

According to an IEEE report, electric arc burns are responsible for the majority of the injuries from electrical malfunctions. The arc’s incredibly high temperatures, about four times that of the surface of the sun, can cause fatal burns within five feet and major burns within just ten feet.

It is the responsibility of both employers and their employees to do their best to create a workplace for electrical workers that is not just safer but puts in place the best possible processes and procedures that are fully understood, practiced and enforced for optimal results.

Employers are required to do several things to help ensure their employees stay safe on the job. They must:

– Conduct an analysis of their workplaces to assess risks for arc flashes.

– Safety train employees.

– Create safe zones or boundaries for workers to protect them from flash and shock.

– Provide employees with protective clothing and equipment that meets government standards.

– Label equipment susceptible to arc flashes upon failure.

Other precautions that can be taken include:

– Limiting the fault current with devices that improve grounding and bring the current down to no more than 5 amps, faults have nowhere to go and extinguish. This also disables multi-phase faults.

– Setting protective devices for lower target controls during maintenance periods.

– Avoiding the use of people altogether for very high-risk work. By using non-human operators, the risk to people is almost completely eliminated. However, some work requires people and not robots to be completed properly if it is a highly-complex operation.

While many standards groups working together to keep the workforce safe (OSHA, IEEE, NFPA) and have made great strides in standardizing safety procedure, it’s still not possible to eliminate all arc flash incidents. Employees in high-risk jobs must be vigilant about their surroundings and regularly monitor their equipment for faults. Through both assessment and arc resistant technologies, worker safety continues to improve.

Ground-Bound Bow Hunting

Like most everyone, I started out bow hunting from a tree stand and still do most of my hunting up above the scent and sight line of deer.

But after my first two or three years, someone stole my climbing stand. This was during my "mountain man" period. I was actually living off the land at the time and simply could not afford to buy another. So I learned to hunt from the ground.

It can be done. So I thought I would share what I've learned about this most challenging and rewarding way to hunt, just in case some of you would like to get down and walk around once in a while.

Stalking to within bow range of a deer is not as difficult as many may think. If you've learned to be a good squirrel hunter, you can approach deer using the same methods, but you do have to stop more often and stop for longer periods.

In fact, I see more deer when hunting from the ground than I do from a stand, mainly because I am mobile and cross paths with them more often. I sure have not killed many this way, however, because I do most of my hunting from a tree stand and use a compound bow.

What I've learned is that color-blind deer do not see as well as most people believe. What they are extremely adept at is detecting the slightest movement. Hunting deer from the ground is not much different than hunting turkeys from the ground. They may notice something strange about your shape or form, but if you do not blink for however long it takes, they will go on about their business.

The problem is that to draw and aim a compound bow requires considerable movement and some time. When you are that close, it is rare when they do not see you draw, and they usually bolt before you even get a chance to put the sights on them. A practiced "instinct shooter" with a recurve would have a much better chance.

The most important thing is being aware of the direction of the wind. A deer may see you or hear you, but if you stay still long enough, they will not leave. If, however, they get the slightest hint of your human stink, they're gone in an instant-no questions asked. Just from the feel of it, I am able to determine the direction of the slightest breeze and pay attention to it constantly. If you can not do that, it is a good idea to tie a short piece of very light thread to the end of your bow and pay
attention to it.

Stalking them really is not the best way to hunt from the ground, however. I will move around quite a bit when I'm ground bound, but I spend most of my time siting or standing in natural blinds. One of the best is a fallen tree. If it still has some leaves on it, all the better.

I climb right into the middle of it and then practice swinging the bow around and drawing to be sure I can shoot through the openings. The irregular cover of the twisted limbs not only breaks my outline and masks small movements, deer do not seem to expect danger from within it.

Fallen trees on an otherwise open area are similar to isolated cover in a lake. Deer usually pass very near to them. They feel secure next to them and they seldom look into them. So, when I'm hunting from the ground, I most often follow visible deer trails and look for trees that have fallen within bow range of the trail. In hilly or mountainous areas, those on saddles or benches are ideal.

Fallen trees are best, but a brushy area, or even the base of a tree broader than your shoulders will do, just as it does for turkey hunting. It is important that wherever you chose to sit is in full shade, and it is very important is that the natural blind be above, not below, the deer's path. As they travel, they often look down a slope, but seldom up it.

The very best place to hunt from the ground, however, is along an open field-not where they come to or enter the field, but where they venture along the edge after coming into the open. Deer usually avoid these open areas, except during the low light of early morning or late evening. Late evening definitely is best.

Open areas make them very nervous, and when in the open they spend a lot of time scanning the open area for approaching danger while they graze, or socialize or whatever. Rarely do they look back into the woods, and, because the contrast between the open field and the darkened woods (especially along pine thickets) is so dramatic, you can get away with drawing and aiming without detection, as long as you are in the darkened area behind the brushy edge of the field.

Hunting from the ground is very challenging and less productive, to be sure, but it's not as boring as sitting in a tree for hours on end.

There is something very real and rewarding about ground-bound bow hunting.

Why Does Sinus Drainage Make You Cough? – Nurse's Guide

People often think if they have a cough they must have a lung problem. In many cases it may be simply sinus drainage. If you have a non-productive cough and congestion, chances are you have a sinus irritation, sinus infection, acute sinusitis or other sinus problem or condition and not a lung problem.

The sinuses are small cavities in the bones of the skull that are filled with air. Their main purpose is to help with secretion of mucus and with voice resonance. There are four pairs of sinus cavities behind the forehead, cheek bones and nasal area.

The job of the sinuses is to secrete mucus to provide proper lubrication and help the nose prevent dust, particles and harmful organisms from entering and infecting the respiratory tract.

With an acute sinus infection you will have excess amounts of mucus that will trickle down the back of your throat and cause you to cough.

So when the sinuses secrete mucus it is carried down to the throat area where it gets swallowed. You usually do not notice this small amount of mucus. But if you have a lot of mucus from a sinus infection you will have thicker more irritating mucus, often yellowish, and it may cause you to cough.

This cough is the body's voluntary reaction to protect its airways.

At the same time the mucus backs up in your sinus cavities and gets inflamed and hardens and starts a sinus infection because it can not move through the sinuses properly. One quart of mucus needs to move through the sinuses every day.

When the sinuses secrete this irritating mucus from an infection it may also cause a slight sore throat. This is called post-nasal drip. Often people think this sore throat is from other causes.

Usually the cough is not severe in the early stages and is a signal to you that something is wrong or is starting up.

To cure the cough and stop the excess sinus drainage you want to cure the sinus infection, sinusitis or other sinus problem right away before it gets worse. You do not have to suffer with acute or chronic sinusitis anymore. And antibiotics are not the way to go. Most sinus infections are caused by a fungus and not bacteria. Plus the antibiotics have a difficult time reaching the sinus cavities. The best way to cure your sinus problem or sinus infection is to do it naturally. There are many ways to do that.

How to Clear Clogged Drains Without Calling a Plumber

If someone asks me what is the easiest way to save money on plumbing repairs I always tell them to learn how to clear clogged drains.Clogs of one kind or another are one of the most common plumbing problems.They are so common, in fact, that some entire companies specialize in drain cleaning. Since most drains will eventually get clogged you can save a bundle by learning to fix clogged drains, including clogged tub drains, clogged kitchen drains and other clogged sink drains with no special tools and a little know how.

Clogged Tub Drains

Let’s start with something fairly simple, clogged tub drains. If your tub isn’t draining well it’s very likely the result of hair around the stopper. Plunging probably won’t help this. You will need to remove the stopper and clear the hair out.

There are two common types of tub stoppers, the “trip lever” type and the “lift and turn” or “tip toe” type. The “trip lever” ones have been in use for at least 50 years, the others are a little more recent. They both accomplish the same thing but do so very differently.

Trip Lever Drains

The “trip lever” has a lever on the overflow plate near the top of the tub. There is a linkage rod inside the overflow pipe which connects to the stopper. Some styles have the actual stopper inside the piping and other styles just use the linkage to operate the stopper in the tub.

The first thing to check is the drain in the bottom of the tub. Removing any hair or debris with a pair of needle nose pliers may solve your problem. If not you need to go a little further. Remove the overflow plate and pull the linkage and stopper out through the hole (or remove it from the drain in the tub). Remove any hair or debris that comes out with the stopper, make sure the tub drains now and put everything back together..

Lift and Turn Drains

The “lift and turn” and “tip toe” type are very similar and use a stopper that is connected at the tub drain itself. These have to be unscrewed from the tub drain to clean them out. There’s a trick to unscrewing a lift and turn type stopper. If you open it all the way and try to unscrew it it will just turn forever. You have to barely lift it up and hold it in that position while you unscrew it. A pair of needle nose pliers is very helpful for removing the hair that is usually clogging the drain.

If your tub drains now pat yourself on the back and go to dinner and a movie with the money you just saved. If things are still clogged the next step is to auger, or snake, the drain. This is done with a small cable snake through the overflow opening. Depending on your skill or confidence level this may be a job for the pros.

Clogged Sink Drains

The first thing to try with clogged sink drains in the bathroom (technically these are called lavatories, not sinks) is a plunger. Be sure you have a sink plunger, not a toilet plunger. It should look like a rubber bowl on a stick. If your lavatory has an overflow you will need to plug it with a wet washcloth, fill the bowl and then plunge away. Be careful if you have plastic piping underneath. If the connections are not tight enough the plunging could cause them to come apart.

If plunging doesn’t work the next step is to remove the trip lever (this is connected to the little rod you pull to operate the stopper), the stopper and the p-trap to make sure they are all clear. Put a medium size bowl under the p-trap to catch the water. If you have metal traps be very careful, these traps get brittle with age. If yours are plastic you should have no worries.

This should solve most slow drainage problems in the bathroom. If not, you are once again faced with the decision of whether or not now is the time to call a Licensed Plumber. If you do decide to call a pro at least you know you won’t be paying them to do something you could easily do yourself.

Clogged Kitchen Drains

Clogged kitchen drains are handled pretty much the same way as bathroom sinks except if you have to plunge one side you may need to block the other side with a wet cloth. This will prevent the plunger from just pushing water from one side to the other. If the plunger doesn’t do it be very careful before you remove the trap and piping under the sink. Clogged kitchen drains can involve fairly large amounts of water. Get a big bowl this time, just barely loosen one of the connections to allow things to slowly drain and re- tighten it when the bowl is full. Repeat this process until it stops draining. Now you can safely remove the p-trap and see if it just needs cleaning out.

How To Unclog A Garbage Disposal

If you have a garbage disposal clogged it is usually also jammed and not turning. Most garbage disposals have a reset button on bottom that you can push to reset the motor. Most of then also can be manually turned with an “Allen” or hex key by inserting the key into the shaft on bottom of the disposal. After manually turning the shaft a couple of times back and forth, remove the key and try the switch.

This will usually do the job. If it is still jammed, turn off the breaker, get a flashlight and see if you can see anything inside that doesn’t belong. If you can, try to remove it with your trusty needle nose pliers.

If none of these things work, you know the drill by now. At least you gave it your best shot. When the plumbers get there be sure and tell them what you have already tried.

Whole House Clogged

Having one slow draining or stopped up fixture is bad enough. When your whole house won’t drain it is a real emergency! While you may not be equipped to fix the problem yourself, there are some things you can do save yourself some serious money if you have to call a plumber.

The first thing you need to know, if you don’t already, is whether you are connected to the public sewer system or have a septic tank. If you don’t already know this there are several ways to find out. Your water bill will usually have a sewer charge if you are connected. Ask your neighbors if they know, usually you’ll have whatever they do. Check your street for manholes, a sign of a sewer system.

Something else you should do before you have a problem is look around outside your home for a clean out. This is a pipe with a plug that can be unscrewed to access your sewer pipe. Clean outs are usually close to the house and may be buried in a flower bed. If you are connected to a sewer you probably have a clean out so poke around and find it.

If you know where your clean out is and your house is stopped up you can remove the cap and, if the blockage is in the yard, you can prevent your house being flooded with sewage. Just take a big pair of channel lock pliers and SLOWLY remove the clean out plug. If the line is full it might spray out of the cap as you unscrew the last few turns.

If you get the clean out cap off and the line is full of waste water that means that the blockage is downstream of the clean out. It also relieves some of the urgency of the situation as you can now usually use your plumbing sparingly and it will drain into your yard. While not great it’s better than in your house.

You will probably need to call a plumber to correct this but now you can wait until regular hours and avoid those high after hours rates. You may have also prevented a lot of costly (and disgusting) damages. You can still pat yourself on the back but you may want to wash your hands first.

Hopefully this article has shown you that anyone can learn how to clear clogged drains without calling a plumber (at least most of the time). With most plumbers charging well over $100 per hour, this one simple skill could save you a bundle.

Flag Football Drills

Flag football drills are essential for helping players understand the fundamentals of the sport in order to prepare for their opponents in game situations. Offense drills are a wonderful way to practice plays and built a strong offense. Here are a few drills that are ideal for quarterback, running backs, and wide receivers.

Open Area:

Open area is a flag football drill for quarterbacks and wide receivers. The purpose of the drill is for a wide receiver to find an open area on the field in order to catch a pass. Like many other offensive flag football drills, this drill illustrates how quarterbacks and wide receivers communicate. The defense should focus on the hips of the ball carrier rather than the shoulders because that is where the flag is.

Setting Up the Open Area Drill:

Designate an area that is ten yards by ten yards, and then divide the players into groups of six, with five players on offense and one player on defense. Next, station four players in the four corners of the area and place a lone receiver and lone defender in the inside of the area. This drill can be used by the whole team by dividing the players into groups of six and performing the drill in separate areas. Each group needs one football.

Outline of the Open Area Drill:

The object of the open area drill is for the quarterback to pass the football around the area until he is able to find an opportunity to make a pass to the wide receiver. The length of the drill is thirty seconds, with six points being awarded for each successful reception, and three points awarded for each interception. Alternating the positions of the players enables the defender and receiver to get some rest and experience the other elements of the drill.

Progression of the Open Area Drill:

As the open area drill progresses you will want to lower the drill time to twenty seconds in length. Then try adding a second defensive back to the area. If the football is intercepted, try putting the quarterback who threw the interception on defense.

Quarterback Toss Drill:

The purpose of the quarterback toss drill is to practice tossing the ball to the running back and to develop proper tosses or pitch techniques. Designate an area twenty yards by twenty yards, and divide teams into even groups. Then line up players opposite one another about five yards apart. One team is the quarterbacks and the other is running backs, and the teams will be alternating.

Outline of the Quarterback Toss Drill:

The quarterbacks will have their backs to the running backs, and the coach will yell out, "SET GO!" Each quarterback then holds the ball in front of them with knees bent and feet apart, as the running back moves right to take the pitch from the quarterback at a distance of three to six yards. Alternate running left and right. A good's it idea A playersA have to move in slow motion the first time you do these flag Change to USD football drills so they 're have a facility clear understanding of the concept.

Shed Plans – Are You Choosing the Right Plans?

Let’s start off by looking at the different shed designs available. The most common will be the gable roof. Then there is also the gambrel style that resembles a barn. You also have the lean-to shed, which is great for narrow or limited space. The lean-to shed looks great against walls or fences. There is also the salt box design. It pretty much resembles a gable, except one side will not be even with the other. To get a better idea what these shed designs look like you can search the web and look at pictures of the different designs.

The size you choose to build, will of course be determined for the intention you plan to use it. What do you plan to use it for, or what do you plan to store inside? By knowing this you can get an idea of what size of shed plans you will need to find.

Where do you find shed plans? Well you can search for plans, there are lots of websites that have free and also very affordable plans. If you can not find any you should definitely consider purchasing. It is a very small investment, yes investment, that you will be making. I am sure adding a beautiful well built shed to your property is an excellent investment to your home. Another option to consider is drawing your own plans. Sheds are pretty much very basic structures. If you do some research, read some how-to books on sheds, I am sure you will have no trouble drawing up plans. Once you get an idea of what you want, and how to do it, you can build an excellent storage shed.

What kind of lumber should you use to build? The lumber you use will be the same type you use to build a house. The one exception I would imagine will be the foundation. If you are building a wood foundation or skid foundation, pressure treated lumber will be practical. Since the foundation is on the ground, there will be more moister, so pressure treated lumber is a good choice. Pressure treated lumber is treated to resist rot and decay making it last longer than regular framing lumber.

As with any other new construction project, you will need to be aware of any codes, or regulation that may be required. So check zoning laws, research as much as you can, and in due time you will have the storage space you very much need.