Arc Flash Hazard and Workplace Safety

What is Arc Flash?

An Arc Flash is an explosive release of energy caused by an electrical short circuit between 2 energised conductors or an energised conductor and earth. The sudden discharge of electrical energy causes a brilliant explosion of light and sound. The temperatures inside a flash incident can reach 19,000 ° C (sun's surface temperature is 6000 ° C) causing conductors especially copper to vapourise (Copper expands by a factor 67,000 when it vapourises). The explosion causes shrapnel and vapourised conductors to escape the blast site at 1600km / hr. This amount of energy is sufficient to cause severe injury to anyone within the blast radius. The injuries can range from burns, blindness, hearing loss, impact injury, psychological trauma and even death. Critically, most flash incidents happen when the electrical system is being worked on and "live" and thus Arc Flash presents a serious risk to the employees.

The incident energy in a flash incident does not necessarily depend on the system voltage because the lower the voltage, the more current there can be in the system and the higher current levels create the high amounts of energy that is dissipated in an arc flash incident in an electrical system.

Arc Flash Standards and the Law

Arc Flash is a workplace electrical hazard and therefore there are laws and standards governing the measurement and mitigation of the risks associated with arc flash incidents as the safety of the people in the workplace is paramount. Such incidents can cause damage to the electrical networks on the site by overloading parts of the electrical grid on site. This can also cause the electric network to shut down and cause expensive downtime. A proper workplace safety audit that includes Arc Flash incident energy calculations and risk assessment can suggest electrical equipment settings to reduce the probability of a serious arc flash related incident from occurring in the workplace.

USA

In the US, there is a standard for measuring the energy released in a flash incident. It is the IEEE1584-2002 standard that was published in 2002 and details how to calculate the amount of energy that is released in an arc flash incident.

The calculation involves an assessment of the maximum bolted short circuit current available at a given location, the possible maximum duration of the arc, the distance from the arc source, the line voltage (if above 600V) and the conductor spacing. The possible duration of the arc is determined by the settings of the protection devices upstream of the network point including all sources.

From these data the incident energy is calculated in Joules per square centimetre, J / cm2 (or cal / cm2). Four hazard / risk category classifications are defined and for each category the NFPA requires an appropriate level of PPE for each level in the table.

The NFPA standard (NFPA 70E) is centred around setting a process of achieving workplace safety in an eletcrical environment. NFPA 70E requires the employer to implement and document an electrical workplace safety program that directs activity appropriate for the electrical hazards, voltage, energy level, and circuit conditions. A key recommendation is that as far as possible electrical conductors and circuit parts should be de-energised and have lockout / tagout devices applied.

Arc Flash Shock Protection Boundaries

The standard outlines the procedures, labelling and training required to achieve workplace safety. It also sets out the requirements for work on electrical equipment where it can not be de-energised or locked out. NFPA 70E sets out a number of boundaries from the live electrical conductors, arc flash boundary and shock protection. An Arc Flash boundary is defined as the point where the energy of the electrical arc is 5J / cm2 as it is the amount of energy needed to inflict 2nd degree burns on a human being. The NFPA 70E standard also details the look of any signage that is to be used to warn employees of electrical hazards.

Europe and Ireland

In Europe, Ireland and the UK, Arc Flash is dealt with differently. In the absence of a local standard or method of energy calculation in the European jurisdiction, Arc Flash is dealt with as a workplace hazard and as such the onus is on the employer to ensure workplace safety. The IEEE standard is used for energy calculations as it is the best method of doing so. The NFPA 70E standard stipulates 4 levels of incident flash energy but in Europe, an equivalent 2-level system is used. Due to the multi-lingual working environment in Europe, all signage must conform to the European standard and any non-standard signage is not considered adequate.

In Ireland, it is a requirement under Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005 (SI no. 10 of 2005) that 'every employer shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees '. This clearly extends to working on electrical systems.

SI299 of 2007 part 3 (Electricity) states that 'it is preferable that work on or near electrical equipment should be carried out when that equipment is dead, but work on or near live conductors may be permitted in exceptional circumstances'.

Also stated in this standard, work on live equipment should not be undertaken unless:

  1. It is unreasonable in the circumstances for it to be dead
  2. It is reasonable in the circumstances for such person to be at work on or near it while it is live
  3. Suitable precautions are taken to prevent danger, including, where necessary, the provision of protective equipment

According to the Act, electrical hazards associated with electrical systems and equipment include:

  • Electric shock
  • Burns sustained at the point of accidental electrical contact, or due to arcing from high voltage conductors
  • Fires caused by overheating or ignition of explosive atmospheres
  • Secondary injuries as a result of muscle spasms during electric shock or, for example, falling from a ladder after a mild shock.

Therefore, it is the employers responsibility to provide a safe working environment for their employees, have risk assessments carried out (associated with Arc Flash hazard), have clear labelling in place to warn employees and to have proper CE marked P ersonal P rotection E quipment available on site.

In Ireland by: Currently, the Awareness of the Arc Flash : hazard is very Low Shoes and Premium the Power is Committed to Ensuring That Arc Flash is at the Forefront of discussion on workplace safety scanner in Ireland Especially in the context of the industrial manufacturing and data center environments.

Hash Tag twitter #ArcFlash

Bow Draw Weight – How To Choose

All other elements being comparable, a 70 # bow would certainly store more power and shoot at a faster rate when compared to a 60 # bow. However, this is often a complex issue to consider carefully when selecting your new compound bow. The maximum for the bow is typically based on the stiffness of the bow's limbs. Shooting a bow featuring a heavier weight is the number one means for elevating the degree of stored energy during the bows powerstroke. Compound bows are available in a range of maximum draw weights, however the most common tend to be the 50-60 # and 60-70 # versions. Even though you acquire a bow with 70 # limbs, you can generally change it 1-10 # down from the max weight. So a 70 # bow could actually be readjusted for 61 #, 64 #, 67 #, or anything inside of the allowable range. Additionally, it should be said that a 70 # bow, turned down to 60 #, just is not going to perform as well as the same bow in a 60 # model operating at it's max. Bows are typically more efficient at or near to its highest possible draw weight.

Draw Weights Guidelines

Listed below are general recommendations for making a suitable choice. Keep in mind, everybody is different. You are advised to apply your good judgment in this case and interpret this data with due regard to your own age, basic shape, and Body Mass Index (BMI). If you are brand new to the sport, I highly recommend you looked over additional discussion material on picking an ideal draw length and weight.

Very Small Child (55-70 lbs.) 10-15 lbs.

Small Child (70-100 lbs.) 15-25 lbs.

Larger Child (100-130 lbs.) 25-35 lbs.

Small Frame Women (100-130 lbs.) 25-35 lbs.

Medium Frame Women (130-160 lbs) 30-40 lbs.

Athletic Older Child (Boys 130-150 lbs.) 40-50 lbs.

Small Frame Men (120-150 lbs.) 45-55 lbs.

Large Frame Women (160+ lbs.) 45-55 lbs.

Medium Frame Men (150-180 lbs.) 55-65 lbs.

Large Frame Men (180+ lbs.) 65-75 lbs.

Draw Weight as well as the Arrow Velocity

Higher poundage bows require heavier, firmer arrow shafts. So whilst they will be able to deliver added momentum at the intended target, they may not realistically deliver faster arrow speeds at IBO standards. Lower poundage bows are able to use lighter, more limber arrow shafts. IBO standards allow 5 grains of arrow weight per single pound of draw weight. So a 70 # bow has the capability to shoot an arrow (safely) as light as 350 grains. A bow set for 60 #, no less than 300 grains and so on. That being said in reality, when set for IBO minimum standards, many bows are merely fractionally faster in the 70 # version vs the 60 # variation. Considering the fact that a 70 # bow has to shoot the heavier arrow, the reduction in arrow weight offsets the reduction of power storing during the powerstroke. So successfully set-up for best speed, a 60 # version of most bows will perform within 10 fps of the heavier 70 # variation.

Just How Much Draw Weight is Necessary?

A number of states will require a compound bow to meet specific minimums if you want to hunt good sized game like Whitetail Deer. You should always follow the rules and regulations with respect to lawfully harvesting game in your state. At the same time, it should be kept in mind that a number of these rules have been in effect for quite a while, and do not necessarily consider the present-day technological changes in archery production. The standard bow of 15 years ago was basically struggling to shoot 230 feet per second, and even at these rates a great deal of bowhunters got clean pass-through's on large game for example Whitetail Deer. In these modern times the common bow is shooting over 300 feet per second at 70 # draw weight and 30 "draw length. As a result even bows in shorter lengths and smaller draw weights could still present fantastic velocity to penetrate the ribcage of a Whitetail Deer as well as other sizeable game. Today's singular cam bow with a 50 # maximum draw weight and only a 26 "draw length will still zip arrows well over 220 fps. Keep in mind that, if you are going to hunt a larger size game such as Elk or Moose, or if perhaps you're planning to take shots from longer ranges, you must have increased kinetic energy to obtain complete penetration and greatest probability of a humane harvest. Typically, a 40-50 # provides acceptable energy to harvest deer and a 50-60 # bow will furnish good enough energy to harvest much larger elk-size species. Except in cases where you are intending to hunt enormous animals like Cape Buffalo or Musk Ox, a 70+ pound bow really is just not needed. It is possible to be just as competent with a more acceptable draw weight.

Water Drainage Issues

Odds are that at some point in your life you will experience water drainage issues. Whether it occurs in your basement, in your backyard, or at your place of business, these problems are more than an annoyance – they can be downright dangerous. The following article explores the results of water drainage problems, as well as the solutions at your disposal.

What Can Happen if You Let Water Issues Fester

Water drainage problems, especially when concentrated on peoples' backyards, tend to be put off. The whole "out of sight, out of mind" mentality comes into play, because most people feel that puddles in the backyard are just that – harmless pools of water. However, any water drainage specialist will tell you the contrary.

Allowing water to collect in your backyard (or basement) can end up causing major problems in the long run. For example, in some situations a yard that is not built up properly will cause water to drain towards the home, rather than away from. The result is water collecting up against the foundation. If you have a concrete slab, this water can loosen the soil around and underneath it, causing the entire home to shift. This will not only inevitably cause cracking in your slab, but it will also result in internal damage to your home, such as:

  • Cracked sheet rock
  • Bowing floors
  • Doors and windows that will no longer shut
  • And more

Should you have a basement, look for the walls to slowly give way and begin to crack too. As these walls develop hairline cracks, water will find its way in, dampening your entire basement. Now you will have to deal with a wet basement, which almost assuredly will result in mold growth. And once mold starts growing, the spores will take flight and you will really be in trouble. As you may know, mold remediation is no small task, and it certainly puts a huge dent in your pocket book.

Finding a Dallas Water Drainage Professional You Can Trust

When you notice that you have a legitimate water drainage issue, your best course of action would be to find someone locally who specializes in remedying the issue. Of course, doing so can seem like a daunting task. Here are a few tips to make sure you get connected with someone you can trust to do a good job for you:

  1. Look for someone with good references. This can take many forms. Perhaps the company will list customer testimonials on their website. You can also ask them for customer references who you can actually call. Some companies will gladly offer these. Either way, positive customer reviews increase the chances of having a good experience with the company.
  2. They need an informative website. A company that does a good job will put care into their promotional materials. And in this day and age, no marketing materials are as important as a company website. Look for a company that conveys the idea that they are water drainage specialists.
  3. Make sure they are in solid standing with the BBB. The BBB is the number one resource for checking out a company to ensure they are legit.

Cleaning Out Drains

If your drains are clogged and backed up you may have a bigger problem than you can solve on your own. Many bathroom clogs are caused by hair going down the shower drain while kitchen clogs are generally caused by grease being poured down the drain and becoming a solid clog. If commercial chemical products don’t clear the blockage you may have to consider the need to have a professional plumber come in and clean out the drains.

Homes with older pipes are prone to becoming clogged from years of accumulated gunk, hair and grease and an endless list of other things that have gone down the drain over the past few decades to have finally built up and settled into an unmovable mass that is causing your pipes to drain slowly if at all.

Another possibility is tree roots have started to penetrate the sewage and water lines causing a blockage. This can be possible even if the nearest tree is not on your property unfortunately. Trees can have long and deep roots that grow into whatever may be blocking their path including sewage lines.

A lot of people hope if they just leave the clog alone it will right itself but a clogged drain left unattended can lead to sewage back up in not only the toilet but also the sinks, and bathtubs so this is not an issue to ignore hoping it will resolve itself.

In either case this type of drain cleaning job is something that only a licensed, professional plumber should tackle because of the potential to do more harm to your system if done incorrectly. A plumber will use an electric snake to penetrate and sweep out everything that is in its wake in the lines and if this is done by a novice the results can be broken pipes and leakage.

A plumber will likely use an electric snake to clear the blockage in the drains. This type of snake is very fast- it can spin five hundred reps per minute and has a feed of two hundred feet. Due to the high rate of speed that this snake operates at it needs to be used by someone who knows how to handle it effectively such as a plumber.

For inside drains a plumber will likely use a smaller snake to clean out sediment and pipe blockage to resolve a smaller drain clog problem. Once your drains are cleaned out make sure to take preventive measure such as cleaning hair out of drains and not pouring grease down the drains and hopefully your drains will be clog free for a long time to come.

Drilling Made an Easier Task With Hitachi DV14DL Drill

Drilling is such an important activity in our day-to-day lives that almost everyone comes up with a drilling need occasionally. This drilling arises in their profession directly or as an incidental to their professions; other drilling needs arise right in our homes or offices. This increased needs for drilling needs an efficient and reliable drill and this is why Hitachi DV14DL is here for you.

Hitachi DV14DL is a hand held drill 14.4v cordless combi drill. This is a very powerful but light drill; it weighs about 2.1kg or 4.6lbs and has a length of about 250mm (9-27/32″)

Features of this powerful tool:

Hitachi DV14DL has a very lightweight of about 4.6lbs (2.1kg); this is about 15% less than average. This lightweight makes Hitachi DV14DL easy to work with; one is able to maintain precision and accuracy of drilling. The lightweight also makes it possible for one to work with the drill on very uncomfortable surfaces like high walls, rooftops, ceilings, among others. It would be a daunting task to try to work on these surfaces with a heavier drill. It enables the user to operate the drill using one hand while they use the other hand for support to prevent them from falling, which would be disastrous.

Hitachi DV14DL small length also makes it fit for working in areas with limited working space. Drilling inside a vehicle, for instance, would be a problem for relatively longer drills

It is a cordless drill and uses a battery. This powerful drill is fitted with a 14.4v high capacity battery: 3.0 Ah Lithium-Ion BCL1430 batteries for longer life. This battery has an approximately 1500 battery life cycles. Being cordless and having its own battery, makes Hitachi DV14DL the most appropriate drill in many situations. For instance, this is the best drill when one is going to work in a place where there is no electricity or where there is a problem of power disruptions. All one needs to do is charge the drill’s battery before hand and they are assured of continuity of work despite of power problems.

Being cordless ensures easier working with this state of the art drill. Unlike with the other drills that are fitted with codes, one is able to work with this tool from any angles, without hindrances from any code.

The Li-ion battery is a top of the world battery manufactured to give the best services without disappointments; it is equipped with over charge, over heat and over discharge protection. This ensures that the battery will have a long life.

Why Should You Consider The Hitachi DV14DL Drill

The state of the art Hitachi DV14DL combi cordless drill comes with two 14.4v 3.0Ah Li-ion batteries, a multi charger UC18YRL, s side handle and a carrying case. All these are to ensure the customer gets value for their money on top of having a wonderful machine that will enable them complete their drilling tasks without any hitches.

Log & Timber Homes – Natural Elegance in a Custom Home

Custom homes are built in various sizes and shapes. The materials used in them also vary and each custom home has a different appeal. Log and timber custom homes have a unique appeal and they stand out for their rustic appeal. A custom timber home redolent with the smell of timber presents unique styles for designs that are only possible with wood. No matter how modern or smart looking a timber home is – it will always remind of the 1600s through the early 1900 homes – homes that stood in the middle of vast greenery, near a lake, or on the bank of a river. Timber homes have the ability to transport us to a different era. Just imagine a home with log side walls and roof made up of either crafted timber or massive log beams – does it remind you of a rustic life? Custom log homes can be made a mixture of elegance and rusticity if you want. People are moving in to log homes as primary residence or using it as a second / vacation home for their timeless beauty and appeal.

Types of Log and Timber Homes

Wood species used in the log and timber homes may include: pine, cedar, fir, hemlock, and cypress. Again there are a variety of timber types including: hand-hewn, weathered, rough-sawn, and plane. You also have the choice of using different timber for different rooms. There are hundred of log profiles to choose from. Log profiles may be round, D-shaped, square, and half-log, and handcrafted etc. Log sizes vary in diameter. Generally 8, 10, and 12 inches diameter logs are used for homes. Timber framing is an age old technique of constructing log homes and is still widely used. This technique requires that instead of building the log home piece by piece an entire solid wood frame is assembled first, then erected with the help of a crane, and finally the frame is covered with an enclosure.

The final wood finishing and coating would give each wood a different look. Douglas Fir Picklewood flooring produces a popular flooring style with distinct color variation and straight grain make. Oakwood flooring is unbeatable for its history and style. Those that prefer grey colored wood may select Barnwood lumber. Barnwood lumbers provide a natural variation in look. No two Branwood pieces will be absolutely same in looks. This is an inconsistency that's preferred by people. Mushroomwood is a beautiful alternative to Barnwood as it comes in dark brown rustic color shades. If the Barnwood offers a subdued and muted appearance the mushroomwood gives out a loud and extrovert appeal. White pine is best for weathering harsh climate as it has the least shrinkage among all woods.

Where Log and Timber Homes Go Well

It's unimaginable to use anything other than log and timber if your custom home is going to be in a wooded area. Custom homes facing a lake or a beach also look good when the material used are log and timber. People that love the outdoors have a strong preference for log and timber homes. Log homes and cabins are found in large numbers in holiday destinations. Winter vacation destinations have mostly log wood homes as wood is a poor conductor of heat and cold. And there is nothing to beat the powdery white outlines and coverings of snow on a log house as the wooden walls stand in complete contrast to them. Many types of custom homes have come and gone out of fashion, but log houses are timeless in their appeal.

Cutting Crown Molding – Compound Miter Saw

When cutting crown molding with a compound miter saw the molding will sit flat on the saw table for these cuts. The angle at which you will set your bevel now depends on the spring angle of the crown molding you are using. The most common are 45 degrees and 38 degrees. An easy way to check is to take your framing square and use it as your wall and ceiling and place your molding in the square.

If the measurement from the corner along the ceiling and wall are the same then you have a 45 degree spring angle. If the measurements are different than it is not 45 degree and 99% of the time it is a 38 degree spring angle. While 45 and 38 are the most common, of those two 38 is the most common and is most likely what the spring angle is of the molding you are using. Always make test cuts when cutting crown molding to be sure.

For 90 degree corners with a 45 degree crown molding set your saw bevel left at 30 degrees and the miter angle (left or right) at 35.3 degrees. For 90 degree corners with a 52/38 degree crown molding set your saw bevel left at 33.9 degrees and the miter angle (left or right) at 31.6 degrees. These settings may already be marked for you on your compound miter saw.

The best place to get your crown molding is believe it or not is not at the local home center, but at you local lumber yard. I have found that the price per foot on moldings at the home center compared to the lumber yard can be double. I could not believe this at first but it is true compare for yourself. Besides just cost, the quality of stock is in most cases better at the lumber yard.

When you pick out you pieces of molding thoroughly inspect each piece for cracks, stains or excessive warping. A straight piece will be much easier to install. The only advantages to buying at the home center are that they will let you buy by the foot. At the lumber yard you will have to buy pre cut lengths like 8′, 12′ or 16′. Also the home centers have more convenient hours and are open on the weekends.

Lumber yards are typically open to 5:00pm on weekdays and 12 noon on Saturdays. Most lumber yards will have small samples of molding that you can have for free. Where ever you do decide to buy you molding from make sure if you need more of the same that you buy it at the place as before. Even molding that looks identical to the eye will have slight differences and your corners and splices will not line up.

Board Game Fun With Family

Many households follow the tradition of conducting a family game night. It is getting more and more difficult these days to spend time with family with everyone on the move every minute of the day. To those people who are unable to find time to spend with family, family board games come as a blessing in disguise. Be it adults or children the family games unite the family and leave some beautiful memories for kids to cherish along with their parents.

Family games are definitely advantageous because the entire family can spend quality time with each other. Games are considered to be a fun way of entertainment that includes every member of the family and allows them to enjoy themselves. With the busy schedule followed by family members in many families, they never get time to even sit together and have a meal let alone spending quality time. By introducing a games night with board games lets every member of the family unwind and reconnect after the difficult week. This way children and adults collectively look forward to the games night every week.

You do not have to spend herculean amounts on board games because they are inexpensive comparatively. This way the family can spend time together without going over the budget by long. You can cut short on spending money going for a dinner or movies by staying home and playing the games. There is no limitation on how many times you play the game. You can keep repeating the board games as many times as you want. In order to incorporate variety in playing games you can go ahead and purchase more than one game to be played each week. Many of these board games are easily available on sale or sometimes even on offers with discounts. Thrift stores have board games but you need to be vigilant and extra careful to ensure that all the pieces are intact before you buy a used version.

Board games actually inculcate lots many skills academically as well in children. Younger children easily learn about colors and shapes when the game Candyland is played. Games that include a lot of reading and trivia will help children when they get older. Children learn social skills as well as communication skills by playing these games. The team games teach children to be cooperative and work in unison.

It is clearly evident that family games are equally beneficial to children as well as to adults as it unites the entire family even if it is just for a few hours. Having fun with family is very essential and vital especially in the modern world. Taking time off your busy schedule and having a game night will entertain you as well as help inculcate valuable skills. Family board games are definitely a convenient and affordable solution to bring about cooperation and unity along with being able to spend quality time with family.

Selecting A Porch Swing

A porch swing is a great focal point for the front of a home, but it should be chosen with care.

A porch swing is a wonderfully simple yet beautiful addition to any home's front or back porch. Today, there are many products to choose from. Before heading to the local department store and purchasing the model that is on sale, do a bit of research and make sure that your investment is worth it. Some of the models you will find in these low priced locations are just not worth the cost and you will lose much of the benefit of having a porch swing with them.

What To Look For

There are several things to look for when it comes to a porch swing. The first thing that you should always consider is the construction of the unit. Is it made to the highest quality? To determine this, learn a bit more about the considerations that you have.

For example, select the type of product that the swing will be made out of. They can be made out of virtually any type of material from wood to wicker to fabrics and plastics. While this choice is yours to make, it is recommended that you look for a wood or wicker made swing. In woods, look for pine, oak or maple. These are the highest in quality and give us that look that we all want from the swing.

Next, consider the swing's seat size and weight limits. A good quality swing will be able to hold three adults to it. Yet, there are some that are much smaller. Selection here is up to you but you want to make sure it can hold you and your loved one for that midnight swing.

Look at the details. The bolts and other fastenings should provide a good quality tight feel to the unit. You should not be afraid to sit on it. Anything that is not highly secure is a signal that something may not be right. Also, avoid those units that are nailed together. This is not enough of a tight fit for comfort.

Finally, look at the details of the piece. The swing can porch The be simplistic That color : as you would like it to be or color : as decorative . Add a bit of flair to it with a bold color. Or, stain the wood to match your home's color. This is up to you. Most pieces will come stained already with waterproofing. If not, you will need to do this to protect your unit for many years to come.

Taking these steps will allow you to have the best possible result in the furniture that you purchase as a porch swing.

How To Find A Good Roofing Contractor

There are a number of options when it comes to work on your roof. You can opt to work with vinyl roofing because of the many benefits they pose such as flexibility, energy efficiency, versatility, incredible performance, weather sensitivity, fire resistance and easy installation among many others. To enjoy these benefits to the fullest however, it is important to make sure you call in the right vinyl roofing contractor so that everything is put in its place. Some of the things that you need to look out for to find a reliable and good professional include:

Reputation

You need to work with a company that has created a good name for itself over the years that it has been in service. This way, you can be sure that you are only working with the best. Talk to people who have worked with the company before to find out what kind of experience they had with them. You can also read various reviews that have been written about the company to know what to expect from them. This is very important as it helps you make a wise decision on whether to hire them or not.

Licensing and insurance

It helps to work with a legal roofing contractor as you can be sure that they will offer high quality services that will impress you. Look for a company that is a member of BBB (Better Business Bureau) as this helps to ensure that they are credited. Licensed companies also know how to follow all the procedure before they can start work like getting the required permits to ensure the project goes on flawlessly. In addition to this, it is important to work with professionals who are have insurance incase something happens when they are working.

Attitude

Since you will be interacting with the roofing company for a while, it is important to look for the ones that you are comfortable having around house. This means that they should have pleasant attitudes and they should also be transparent so that you can know all the operations of the company without any complications. The company should be able to answer any questions that you might have so that you can know how the entire process will run without any doubts.

Contract

It is important that you have a written contract with the roofing contractor once you have settled on the one that you will work with. This should incorporate all the important details of the project such as costs, timeframes, insurance, materials that will be used, how many people will be walking in and out of the site, clean up and any other details that you think is important enough to be written on paper. This is very important as it comes in handy in case there are ever any work related squabbles in the future. For this reason, it is important to read through the contract carefully to ensure you understand all its provisions. You can also have a witness with you when you are signing it to be on the safe side.

Chicken Tortilla Soup – Where to Get the Best Darn Soup When You’re in That Mexican Soup Mood!

If you’ve got an insane hankering for some chicken tortilla soup, but don’t know how to make it, then you’re pretty much stuck having to go out and get it right?

Well not necessarily but more about that later.

First let’s talk about where you CAN go out and get the best chicken tortilla soup.

Places That Have the Best

There’s really nothing worse than wanting something so bad, like the way you might crave a soup, (especially one as good as tortilla soup) but not wanting to waste a trip going to a restaurant where they just don’t do it right. Don’t you hate that.

Where do you go when you want something that is so…well…so specific I guess you can say. I mean you really just can’t head out to the diner on the corner and expect to get some good chicken tortilla soup. They’re just not going to do it. I mean most diner’s can’t even mix up a good French Onion Soup for heaven’s sake. My wife once went to a diner and the French Onion Soup was basically chicken broth with some onions and soggy bread. Not even an attempt to make it look brown.

That was horrible, and you know that went right back. So you know that if a diner can’t even muster up something that simple, then they’re likely not going to pull off something like this soup recipe. Of course I’m sure there are some diners who knock it out of the park with the tortilla soup, but for the most part you’re going to have to go somewhere else other than a diner.

Types of Restaurants to Go for Tortilla Soup

Now you may not believe it but actually the best place to go for this sort of soup is to one of the chain restaurants. Here’s why. Usually the way these restaurants make something like a soup, or any food for that matter is tested, and improved, and tested some more until it gets rave reviews by customers of their restaurants.

So you can almost be sure that if you’re going to a restaurant like Houlihan’s, or Friday’s, or On the Border then you’re going to get some really good chicken tortilla soup.

Now the one’s above I’ve mention are all good. Actually I don’t know about Friday’s…in fact I don’t know if they even have it, but I do know that On the Border has some tremendous tortilla soup. Houlihan’s I recently had and it was OK. Not great, but I would get it again. The chunks of chicken in theirs was actually the best part.

My Very Favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup with a Different Name!

For the most part this soup is simply chicken broth, Mexican seasoning, onions, corn, and tomatoes (salsa)…with some sort of tortilla chips and shredded cheese on top. But though so simple, finding a restaurant who gets it right seems to be a challenge for me.

But one of the best that I’ve ever tasted was from Chili’s. Wow, the head chef’s there at Chili’s, wherever they are, got this one right. Oh in case you go there looking for it though, it’s actually called Chicken Enchilada Soup. Little play on Mexican terms I suppose, or maybe that’s why it’s so much better, maybe there’s some enchilada sauce mixed in there somewhere.

Either way, hands down they’ve got the best chicken tortilla soup that I’ve tasted and I’ve looked high and low.

GR-4N Cuisinart Grill Review: A Time Saving Device for Cooking Small Meals

I have never tried an electric grill before. It happened that I’ve got one for the birthday. Its model code is GR-4N and it is made by Cuisinart company. Internet sources says that there is another model GR-4 produced by the same brand and GR-4N is tuned and improved version of it. Let me do a short review of my Cuisinart grill.

First of all I would like to say that the concept of an electric grill that has floating top was a discovery for me. Manual refers to the cooking space as of 200 square inches. In real life you have to split this number in half, because there is a 100 square inches plate on the bottom of the grill and another 100 is at the top. I would say that you will be unable to grill more than three large panini sandwiches at a time. The device is optimized for feeding up a group of two to four people. You have to buy bigger grill in case your family is larger.

What I like about my Cuisinart grill is its simple but classy style. Although it is not going to win any design competitions, it looks good and will fit organically in almost every kitchen. Stainless steel looks very good when trimmed with black plastic. Other good things are the cooking plates. Those have non-stick covering and can be removed from the grill for cleaning. Each side of the plate has its own “setting”: one is for “grill” mode and the other is for “griddle”. I was pleased with the fact that Cuisinart grill is being shipped with a very handy scraper specially designed for cleaning of the ridged side of the cooking panels.

Cleaning of the plates was an easy thing to do. Non stick surface works well and wiping with dump cloth was enough for me. Heavy cleaning can be done in a dishwashing machine.

Controls are simple and clear to understand. There are just three knobs on the front panel: the one in the center sets the cooking mode while left and right are used for setting up the temperature. There are two ways to set the heat: by degrees or by preset values like low, medium and high.

There is a lovely color lightning system built in the center knob: it is red when Cuisinart grill is heating up and turns to green when the desired temperature is reached an it is time to cook.

Excessive oil and grease removing system was one of the major problems of an old version of this griddler, but not anymore. Redesigned by Cuisinart engineers it is working fine in GR-4N. Grease is now sliding down easily and it is just matter of minutes to get it cleaned.

If you’d ask me about the downsides of the Cuisinart grill I would mention the following: the heat up time is pretty long. Maybe it is just about my particular GR-4N but it usually takes around 7-8 minutes to reach 320 degrees. Another issue would be the fact that non stick surface on plates is really sensible. You have to take good care of it, because I have a few spots where it already broke off. I am pretty sure that in just a year of daily usage that covering will be gone completely.

Temperature sensor is not that precise as you would expect. It might be wrong for about 20 degrees in both directions. This is might be not an issue when grilling sandwiches but crucial in case of cooking meat.

The GR-4N Cuisinart grill is advertised as a 5-in-1 feature device, but I was using it for cooking just a limited number of meals:

  • hamburgers are just outstanding when grilled in Cuisinart grill. All you have to do to turn frozen burgers into tasty bits of food is to set the device to run with the temperature of 340 degrees and wait for seven minutes. Juicy, smelly and tasty hamburgers are ready! There is no need to worry about the excessive grease: it will be collected with improved catcher.
  • it works very well for making panini but you need to gain some experience in setting up the temperature. Once it is done your sandwiches will be perfect. Famous grill marks come out just like in the adverts and the ingredients are being heated nicely. Maybe a bit heavier top would be nicer to have, but you can always add some pressure manually.
  • even the Cuisinart grill is losing its heat rapidly, it is suitable for baking pancakes. Be prepared to have one side of the pancake to be baked a bit more that the other. Don’t be too hard on GR-4N with this because it wasn’t designed to do the baking. Just treat it as a little bonus feature.

My summary would be the following: GR-4N Cuisinart grill fits perfectly for feeding the family of two, three or four members with a various types of delicious food. Device is built well, looks good and allows you to save a lot of time. With a 5-in-1 features it would be a nice addition to any kitchen.

The Speed of CSLA Vs Open Source Alternatives

Standing for Component-based Scalable Logical Architecture, CSLA.NET is a software development framework designed to manage the cost of building and maintaining applications. By focusing on object-based design, CSLA gives all of its created business objects full functionality with all.NET platforms. CSLA is widely preferred because of its versatility and detailed documentation. The great barriers to successful CSLA implementation stand with the challenging learning curve and its complexity; these factors lead some to consider other options.

Businesses gravitate toward CSLA because of its ease of use with other critical programs and platforms. The latest incarnation of CSLA.NET, version 4.3, functions with Microsoft.NET 4.0, Visual Studio 2010, and Silverlight 5. As demand continues to increase for strong mobile applications, CSLA 4.3 also supports mobile devices, including Linux, Android, and Mac OSX.

Utility aside, some critics argue that CSLA’s learning curve makes it unsuitable for some business needs. In theory, small businesses enjoy neither the time nor the budget necessary to learn the program or hire experts. CSLA’s sole documentation comes in the form of creator Rockford Lhotka’s books, and while they are not prohibitively expensive, some may balk at the proposition of learning a software development framework from a book. The alternative would be to seek a mentor in a classroom environment, but the cost – and perhaps more significantly, the time – involved could form a barrier to entry. Even with training, businesses will need least one person with expert knowledge of things like serialization, generics, and programming using abstract classes. Though no software development framework is “easy ” to learn, other open-source alternatives may provide a simpler solution. Likewise, the belief in CSLA’s “feature bloat” usually comes from those with a specific need as opposed to CSLA’s broad applications. For a fledgling business with a small project, CSLA’s powerful capabilities could become unnecessary complications.

Other users cite frustration with CSLA’s reliance on reflection over interface method implementation. CSLA’s DataPortal uses reflection to identify an object’s data save and retrieve behavior, which can lead to problems when debugging code. Specifically, reflection will negate compile time during DataPortal’s runtime, increasing the threat of deploying buggy code. Furthermore, reflection’s detractors claim it is slow, especially when compared to static code execution.

Lhotka developed the primordial version of CSLA.NET in 1998, and its long history of refinement has currently afforded it the status of the “alpha and omega” of open-source software development frameworks. To some, its over-arching capabilities will require too intricate knowledge for efficient use because of budget and time constraints. Those without the expertise or finances to take full advantage of CSLA.NET’s offerings should consider a more narrowly-focused open-source alternative. For enterprises who have the means to take full advantage, however, it remains one of the market’s top choices for open-source.NET development frameworks.

Weight Lifting For Beginners – Tips And Pointers

Weight lifting and muscle building is a fad that will never go out of fashion. Most men, especially young boys, generally of a late teen age group begin weight training in their vacations with such gusto! However there are minor details that one does not wholly understand or know of when they embark on this juncture. While looking good and having a good body is an important aspect for many, avoiding injury and doing things the right way should also be a major concern. There are certain techniques and methods that need to be followed while muscle training especially by beginners.

Before one enrolls for gym and decides to go in for a routine full of weight lifting, one must spend a little time understanding the human body. It is natural human tendency to expect more that what can be achieved. You will find plenty of information on the human body and how to go about weight training. You must read through these blogs and websites and enter the gym with an informed and knowledgeable person. Of course your gym instructor will help you out with a few tips and pointers. Make sure you listen to him and follow his instructions.

A good body requires exercise, a healthy diet and enough of sleep and rest. You must pay attention to your diet. It should have enough protein and carbohydrates and fiber in it. You must consume more protein while you are working out so that the wear and tear and muscle building is well supplemented.

An ideal routine consists of alternate cardio workout and weight training. You must do cardio vascular workouts one day followed by weight training on the next day. Sundays are for rest. You should not work out on Sundays and allow your body to repair and rejuvenate itself. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of rest each day.

While weight training, always listen to your body. Do not start with lifting extremely heavy weights. Always start light and increase the poundage with every passing workout. Work your way up. A warm up is extremely essential before you start workout. Always do some stretches before and after the workout.

Free hand exercises are the best to build endurance and muscle. Endurance is also a very important aspect of training.

Do not overwork your body. Always train only till failure point and not further than that. Training beyond failure may lead to injury. Always train in circuits. Do not arbitrarily train your muscle groups. There is a method to training. For example, if you decide to do an upper body workout, you must do your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back only. Your chest can take up another day. Your trainer is your best friend on the gym floor. Make sure you pay attention to what he is saying and do only that. Keep your postures right while pumping iron. Wrong postures may also lead to injury. Keep yourself hydrated while weight training!

How I Met My Soulmate – A Psychic Medium’s Experience

What would it take for two mediums from different countries to meet and get married one year later? Why, Spirit intervention of course!

I had been developing my psychic abilities for many years and decided to travel from Toronto Canada to Ohio US for a week long advanced public mediumship course. I went with some girlfriends and at that time had just reached that golden point where I was truly happy being single. So when I arrived in the class, I took little notice of the only man in the course.

My girlfriend, however, found an instant connection with him as they were both Italian. She was flirty and coy – I’d never seen her like this before! I figured she was really interested in him, so it was with some surprise that she told me later that day in our hotel room that she wasn’t. “What about you? Are you interested in Ron?” she asked. “No way!” I told her. Little did I know that Spirit was about to play matchmaker.

The next day, we practiced giving messages in front of the class. If you’ve ever seen the TV program Crossing Over with John Edward, you have an idea of how it works. A student stands in front of the group and gives a message to someone from the Spirit of someone who has passed.

“Who’s going to go next?” the teacher asked. “Ron, why don’t you give a message to Selina.” Standing in front of the class, Ron tells me he has my Mom with him and she is humming a tune. “What is that song? It goes something like…shot through the heart”, he sings. “And you’re to blame”, sings someone else. “That’s it! You give love a bad name,” he proclaims pointing his finger at me.

As the class erupted in laughter and I turned several shades of red, Ron realized he had put his foot in his mouth and retracted the last line. “That’s not the message”, he said. “The message is that there is someone who is trying to shoot an arrow into your heart but your heart is closed so it can’t get through.” Little did I realize it was him.

At break time I stood out in the parking lot to soak up some of the sun. Ron was talking on his cell phone a lot. “Hmph!” I thought. “Must be a partier with that many friends.” And with that, I closed my eyes.

Ron was in the parking lot and bent over to pick up a lucky penny. He looked at it and saw that it was a Canadian penny. Not much chance of finding a Canadian penny in Ohio. Just then another student walked up to him and said, “I have a message to give you. Your destiny is over your right shoulder.” Ron turned to look over his right shoulder and saw me standing there. “I’ll help you”, my Mom whispered in his ear. “I’ll tell you when.”

The last night we were staying we were going to give messages in front of people at a party. The house it was at was spectacular and had an elevator, a movie room complete with theatre chairs and a large screen, a gym, and the biggest living room I have ever seen. There must have been 50 people seated waiting for use to give messages from Loved Ones. It was a tough crowd and after the messages I had a headache. Feeling low, I saw Ron and mentioned my headache.

“Now!” my mom suddenly said in his ear. “Uh, would you like me to give you a healing? We can go outside.” Ron is a Reiki Master. “Sure,” I replied.

Outside we sat on a bench and Ron put his hand on my back. I felt the warmth of energy starting to flow. Then he said, “They are telling me that you need to talk.”

Now what possessed me to tell this man my entire life story, I’ll never know. But out it all came – my childhood, mom’s death, my 1st marriage and divorce, my unhappiness with my job – everything. And he listened with compassion and grace.

“This man has nice energy”, I thought to myself. “And he has nice eyes too.” All of a sudden, I was open to him. He had accepted everything that I had told him without judgment. And then the party was over, and we all went back to the hotel.

The next morning, we were all leaving to go back to our respective homes. Ron came over and held both my hands, looked into my eyes and asked, “We’ll stay in touch?” Before I could open my mouth, my girlfriend said, “The teacher is going to email a contact list.” And with that, goodbyes were said.

I didn’t hear from Ron for a couple of weeks. The contact list was never sent. He was in the middle of emailing the teacher to ask for the list for the third time when his computer suddenly turned off and on. When the screen came back on he had a sudden thought to look through his old messages. He found one that had a list of people who were staying at the hotel in Ohio in case people wanted to share rooms. My email was on it.

He sent me a short email with his phone number. I hemmed and hawed. Did I call him? Did I really want to start something? Now that I was back in Toronto, I had been thinking about him, but he was in a different country far away after all.

It was about 8:30pm that night and Ron was at home talking on the phone with a friend. My mom whispered to him, “She is going to call at 9pm.” “I’m expecting a call from Selina. She’s going to call at 9pm, so I have to go”, he told his friend.

Meanwhile in Toronto, I’m still undecided. “Oh why not?” I exclaimed to myself as I picked up the phone and dialed.

“Hello?” “Hi. It’s Selina. Is it too late to call?” “Oh no, it’s just 9. How are you?” And so the conversation went. Many phone calls later, we were to meet for my birthday in Lily Dale, a Spiritualist community in New York state.

We were sitting by the dock after we had finished dinner. It was evening and the stars were coming out. “Say something about the stars!” whispered my Mom to Ron. “Look, the stars are coming out!” he said. I had always loved the starry night. How romantic! There was a chilly breeze and Ron snuggled up to keep me warm. And then our first kiss.

From there it was like magic. Ron sold his house and moved to Toronto. There were so many synchronicities we both knew that we had help from the Other Side. We are not only mediums, we are also both Reiki healers. Many of our nights were spent talking about psychic experiences, and giving each other messages and healings. We even cleared some houses of ghosts together. I had finally met my soulmate, thanks to the Spirit World!