Business Etiquette Awareness Quiz – Your Manners Matter! Do They Make the Grade?

Workplace manners do matter!

Many studies have shown that workplace incivilities create tension and stress in all types of office settings. Business etiquette encompasses much more than saying “please,” “thank you” “hello” and “goodbye” to coworkers – although these common courtesies do help.

Test your etiquette knowledge. How would you handle these situations? I’m willing to bet you could use a refresher course in basic business manners. Do you manners make the grade? Take this quiz and find out.

1. The following is a proper introduction: “Ms. Boss, I’d like you to meet our client, Mr. Smith.” (True or False)

False. First mention the name of the person of greatest authority or importance. Gender or age is not the deciding factor. When a client is involved, he or she should be mentioned first. A proper business introduction should mention first and last names: “Bill Smith… “

2. If someone forgets to introduce you, it’s appropriate to move on with the conversation without saying anything. (True or False)

False. You should say something like: “My name is _______, I don’t believe we’ve met.” Or, “I am __________, Joe’s wife, and you are?”

3. If YOU forget someone’s name, don’t worry about it. Keep talking. (True or False)

False. It’s OK to admit you can’t remember. Say something like: “Your face is familiar, please help me with your name.” Or, “My mind just went blank, your name is?” Or say: “I’m Marjorie Brody;” then the other person will usually say his or her name.

4. When shaking hands, a man should wait for a woman to extend her hand. (True or False)

False. With greater numbers of women in the workforce, business etiquette has become gender neutral. Women don’t have to hesitate to offer their hands first.

5. Who goes through the revolving door first?

a. Host

b. Visitor

a. Host. That allows him or her to be ready on the other side to lead the guest to where they are meeting.

6. It’s OK to hold private conversations in office bathrooms, elevators and other public spaces. (True or False)

False. The saying “The walls have ears” is true. You never know who could be hearing intimate details of your life or business transaction/conversation. And, it’s inconsiderate at best that you are invading these public areas by being loud.

7. You should always carry a drink in your left hand at a cocktail party. (True or False)

True. This will allow you to properly greet someone with a handshake without having to juggle your drink.

8. What percentage of the message that you communicate to someone is conveyed through your visual appearance?

a. 30%

b. 55%

c. 75%

b. 55% Remember, your package does count – that means your wardrobe should fit and be appropriate for the setting, and you should be properly groomed. Also pay attention to your body language, and don’t forget to smile!

9. When two businesspeople are communicating, the average visual distance is:

a. 1 1/2 feet

b. 3 feet

c. 7 feet

b. 3 feet Any closer and you could be invading their personal space. Any further and you’d have to yell. This distance will vary depending on the country. It’s important to understand cultural differences before doing business in foreign countries.

10. It is appropriate to tell a business associate that his fly is open. (True or False)

True. Otherwise, he will be embarrassed when he learns about it. Why let others see him in this state, if you can take him aside and subtly tell him to zip up? Imagine how you’d feel if no one told you!

11. It is appropriate for women to wear sexy outfits to a company cocktail party. (True or False)

False. The key word here is “company.” This is still a business event, so women need to dress appropriately and professionally.

12. Women should wear stockings and men should wear socks for “business casual” attire. (True or False)

True. Bare feet are almost NEVER acceptable in any work-related setting. The only exception – if your company retreat or business trip is at a beach or pool location and everyone else has on flip flops or sandals. “Business casual” does not mean “dress down.”

13. Your water and wine glasses are placed on the right side of your setting. (True or False)

True Water and wine glasses go on the right hand side above the plate. Remember, glass has five letters, so does the word “right.”

14. To signify that you do not want any wine, turn your wine glass upside down. (True or False)

False All you have to do is wave your hand over it when asked or say, “No thank you.” Most waiters or waitresses will not ask again.

15. Bread should be cut into small pieces with a knife. (True or False)

False Break off small pieces by hand to butter and then eat.

16. The host – the one who does the inviting – pays for the lunch. (True or False)

True Find out your company’s policies BEFORE inviting clients to lunch. Be selective about the restaurant and make sure it’s within your budget.

17. You place your napkin on the chair when finished dining and when leaving the table. (True or False)

False The napkin (cloth or linen) is placed on the table, to the left of the plate when finished eating.

18. If you are disconnected, it is the caller’s responsibility to redial. (True or False)

True You initiated the call; you have to redial if something happens to the connection. It doesn’t matter how it happened.

19. When using a speaker phone, you should announce if anyone else is present before a conversation begins. (True or False)

True If you must use a speaker phone (something I recommend avoiding unless it’s a group call), it is rude not to inform all parties involved in the conversation who is present.

20. If you’re out of the office it’s important to change your voice-mail message. (True or False)

True You should record a greeting that says something like: “I’m out of the office today, April 12. If you need help, please contact _________ at extension 12.” Or, say: “I’m out today, April 12, but will be back on ___________.”

21. It’s OK to send confidential information and large attachments in an

e-mail message. (True or False)

False First, there is no such thing as private e-mail. Even after you think you’ve deleted a message, any competent IT professional can retrieve it from your hard drive. And, the message also travels to other mail servers during the entire messaging process. Rule of thumb: NEVER send confidential or private information. Second: never send a large attachment. Consider using traditional mail methods (USPS, UPS, FedEx), because the recipient may have trouble downloading the file (taking too much time or space on their hard drive).

22. Important mail should be answered within:

a. 48 hours

b. 4 days

c. One week

a. 48 hours Follow up is critical in business. Anything more than two days is unprofessional and will likely cost you a client or business deal.

23. “Dear Sir/Ms.” should be avoided as a salutation. (True or False)

True It shows you didn’t take the time to get a name and shows no respect or the recipient.

24. Thank-you notes should be typed. (True or False)

False A nicely handwritten thank-you note works wonders – the recipient feels special and appreciates the fact you took the time to personalize the note by handwriting it.

25. During a meeting it’s OK to leave your cell phone on just in case you are expecting a call. (True or False)

False It’s rude to your fellow attendees and any speakers if your cell phone rings during a meeting. Turn it off or put it on vibrate mode.

26. If you overhear a colleague’s conversation in a cubicle, it’s OK to

comment on what you just heard. (True or False)

False. Discretion is advised in this situation. In general, try not to eavesdrop on your fellow cubicle dwellers. But, sometimes, you DO overhear information. This is the time to pretend you didn’t. Of course, there are always exceptions.

Score:

0-8 correct – Uh oh! You’re probably one of those people who forget to fill the photocopier with paper, and steal paperclips from a coworker’s desk. Tsk tsk. I bet your coworkers don’t think much of you. I also doubt you’ll get that coveted promotion. Buy an etiquette book or consider hiring a coach to help polish your professionalism – before it’s too late.

9-17 correct – You occasionally forget which fork to use for salad during a business meal, and you may also forget that sweat pants aren’t appropriate when the dress code is “business casual.” Still, there’s hope for you. Find a role model/mentor and vow to improve your workplace etiquette.

18-26 correct — Not bad. You probably remembered to send a thank-you note to the client you met last week. It’s probably also safe to assume that you’d never forget to call your office if you expect to be late. Don’t act too smug around others, however. The consummate professional never gloats, but tries to help others improve and work efficiently as a team.

Pessoa Saddles – Buying Guide

History

Rodrigo Pessoa, is responsible for the trustworthy and original, Pessoa Saddles. He grew up by his father’s example and at the age of 12, he conquered the title, “Champion of the Pony Class,” in Belgium. He was the youngest rider competing at the Olympic Games in 1992. This legend, having conquered much, gave trademark and strength to each Pessoa product!

Quality Made

Pessoa Saddles are made from premium leathers which are obtained from famous European tanneries. Care is taken that nothing during the manufacturing process will harm the environment, as these saddles are made with all natural materials. Pessoa Saddles are rich in texture and color, tanned with chrome in a traditional process. They are known for their extreme durability and amazingly perfect softness! Pessoa only uses carefully chosen and authentic materials.

The technology behind all Pessoa products is unique, and they are all very well put together. They are made with two different types of panels for the customer to choose, both of which are made to last. Every Pessoa is presented with adjustable gullet plate X-change system so the rider can modify width of the tree.

Sizing

The physical build of the rider should determine the measurement of the saddle seat. For younger riders, a 17″ seat would be sufficient. Larger, 17.5″ seats are built for adult riders and 18″ for large riders. All Pessoa saddle trees are designed by DuPont, and made with special polymers which are indeed, flexible. Because of this, Pessoa’s never loose resistance and flexibility and they adjust perfectly to the back of the horse and it’s rider. Even temperature changes will not alter the saddle structure. To choose a saddle correctly, you should first choose the seat size, flap size and in final, the knee roll. Pessoa’s are made through a 200 year old tanning procedure and are well respected among riders.

Care and Maintenance

Caring for your saddle is a trade worth learning. When left to dry, saddles may crack and harden. There are some products available to help extend the life of your saddle. Gel, or “saddle” soap, for daily care, and leather oil which is used prior to your first ride, will provide lasting protection.

Benefits

Pessoa saddles provide the rider with many benefits including comfort, flexibility, long life and strength. Compared to others, a Pessoa is in many ways better for the environment and will outlast most.

No matter which one you choose, you can be assured that you will be getting top quality equestrian equipment.

Kitchen Appliances – The Benefits of a Sandwich Maker

It seems that every year several new appliances are introduced into the wonderful world of kitchen shopping. One of the newer products on the market is the sandwich maker. It may seem like such a small and insignificant appliance, but many people do not realize the benefits of one of these handy appliances.

The sandwich maker is a quick and easy way to make homemade toasted sandwiches with quality taste. Before this wonderful invention, people who wanted a toasted sandwich had to slave over the stove or wait for the oven to heat up. A sandwich maker heats up quickly allowing people to easily toast their meal. It is also a great way to make Panini sandwiches which cannot be easily emulated with an oven or stove.

One of the best things about this appliance is that most of them are not only sandwich makers. Many of them have interchangeable parts and features which make them multi-purposeful. The most common feature of sandwich makers is that they double as an indoor grill. This is convenient for a variety of reasons. Heating up, cleaning, and slaving over a grill can become a nuisance at times, but an indoor grill can be used quickly and easily, rain or shine.

Most of these useful appliances are designed for healthier cooking. Many of them have a slanted runoff with a small bowl at the end, which helps to eliminate most of the grease that gets trapped in foods. With a convenient grease catcher, it is much easier to make healthier meals. They are also fairly easy to clean. Since most of them have detachable parts, they can easily be taken apart and cleaned quickly and efficiently. The appliance itself is also small and easy to store in any kitchen.

The benefits of a sandwich maker are a great addition to any home. They can be used to serve several different purposes and cook a wide variety of dishes. They can also be a great alternative to an outdoor grill, especially on those rainy days.

Shelving: 20 Practical Things To Make Out of Slotted Angles To Dramatically Cut Costs And Save Money

Slotted Angle: A Powerhouse of Creativity

I recently carried out a short study of the basic building blocks of shelving systems and discovered I could make structural sections for small bridges, workbenches, shelves, partitioning, fencing and a whole range of very practical equipment to serve as day to day work equipment. This article demonstrates how a little imagination and a few power tools can transform you into a professional improviser and money saver. In an age of mounting costs and financial pressures it is still possible, with minimal investment, to create very useful, low cost equipment at a fraction of the cost of retail prices. With modern hand tools, what used to take hours and be tedious work, has become fast, fun and rewarding. If you thought slotted angle was a museum piece, think again. There is more low cost, fast build functionality to be extracted out of slotted angle in less time than a trip to the local D.I.Y branch to buy a flat pack of lesser strength and less specific to your needs.

Getting Inventive

Slotted angle is one of the cheapest and most versatile sections. Rolled by the mile and finished in an anti corrosive coating, it is an ideal solution for a range of useful working facilities easily constructed in a bespoke fashion specific to the task you have in mind, whether it be in the garden shed, green house, garage or at work. For the input of your own time you can easily create some impressive equipment at a price and quality which you will find impossible to match elsewhere. Starting with some very simple construction shapes, it is very easy to see how a rectangle, square or triangle can be very simply constructed. These are the building blocks for any basic structure or frame. Once you have a frame you can clad it or line it to enclose or control the space you have created. Angles can be put back to back to form a ‘T’ shape, assembled toe to toe to create strong structural box sections or channel and even ‘I’ beams or ‘H’ sections. As the angles are all pre-punched they provide perfect fixing surfaces for finishing, access, storage or mobility fixings and thereafter you are limited only by your own imagination.

Structural shapes are created by a simple joining mechanism comprising a square or angle plate as a valuable but very low cost accessory. A cut section can easily be used to join up two lengths to extend and create load bearing sections for deployment into your creation. Once built the sections may then be joined to form new structural shapes, such as rectangular frames or trusses. Other simple but very effective load bearing shapes, such as angle brackets, can easily be made up for stiffeners and nut and bolt fasteners are quick to use with power tools. Armed with these power tools you can make your own workbench or storage rack and get into production to equip your home or business at very affordable prices.

Savings – What to expect

There are so many uses, for example the slotted angle on its own is a quick and strong way to fix up a P.V.C. strip door. By joining it to other angles it is easy to change the shape and strength to enable you to span larger distances. It is easy to manufacture triangular support brackets to enable the angles to be cantilevered forward away from a wall to avoid obstructions. You can also make wall mounted shelves and storage systems in the same way. A £145 fabricated version of a bin rack to hold plastic bins to organise components for assembly work can be made by yourself for less than £30. A luxury workbench which would retail for over £300 can be built for under £200. This is a saving of 30% and provides a work top, two lower shelves and two over shelves. Louvred panels, holding tools or more storage containers can be easily added. Trolleys can be constructed from about £30 plus castors or a flat top work bench can be constructed from as little as £70 to which lighting rails, power track for electric sockets or tool rails are a very easy addition. Even conveyors can be made from as little as £90. One kit will easily make a workbench or trolley.

20 Practical things to make

It is a really easy way to save money and get a made to measure job. With modern power tools they are very fast to build. A bench can be easily made up in an hour making it as quick as many D.I.Y. self assembly kits at a fraction of the cost. There has never been a better time to be your own D.I.Y. entrepreneur. Here is a list of items you can easily construct from slotted angle

  1. Shelving.
  2. Racks.
  3. Tool holders.
  4. Workbenches.
  5. Work Stations.
  6. Trolleys.
  7. Stillages.
  8. Garage benches.
  9. Greenhouse plant benches.
  10. Conveyors.
  11. Light structural sections in the following shapes: T’s, H’s, box rectangles, trusses, frames and brackets.
  12. Wall racks.
  13. Bin storage assembly racks.
  14. Steps.
  15. Fences and simple partitions.
  16. Small sheds.
  17. Gates and doors.
  18. Dolly bases for transporting plastic box stacks.
  19. Mobile bases for pallets.
  20. Lintels and supports for fixtures such as lighting and P.V.C. strip doors.

Electrical Jobs: Substation Operators or Switchmen Jobs

Substation operators, also known as switchmen, are in charge of the monitoring of the machinery that distributes electricity to residential, business and industrial areas. They operate in electrical substations monitoring equipment that increases or decreases voltage. They have to check the electric substations throughout the country to check charts, oil levels in equipment, temperature changes, load conditions, oil leaks, and any irregularities. In addition, switchmen have to operate switchboard levers to control the flow of electricity in and out of the substations. They are working closely with power generation operators and transmission engineers in order to anticipate and solve the change in power needs. If the power requirements change, substation operators have to start or stop distributing lines and switch them between the circuits.

These workers work at the micro-level of power generation and distribution. Switchmen are also the operators in charge of taking immediate emergency switching when power plant operators anticipate an issue in the power distribution. Often, they also can take decisions related to power distribution or warning power plants about potential issues regarding power dispatch.

How to become a substation operator or switchman? Potential candidates to work in this field must at least possess a high school diploma. But most recruiter will favor candidates who obtained a college degree and had prior experience or training in mechanical or electrical sales jobs. You have to know that by starting a substation operator or switchman, which is the entry-level, you may be promoted as a power generation operator or dispatcher. Successful candidates are expected to have excellent skills in mathematics, science skills and computer science, and also a good physical condition since most work is done outside in substations.

In the U.S., there were about 47,000 power generation operators or plant technicians including substation operators in 2004. Most of them were employed in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution companies or in local government authorities. However the job prospects for substation operators are quiet negative in the near future with a declining overall the employment rate through 2014. This situation can be mostly explained by the slow pace of construction of new plants and deregulation of the sector.

Why the Word Timeshare Is Taboo Even Within the Timeshare Industry

Millions of dollars have been spent in recent years to remove the stigma of the word timeshare yet it continues to evade most of those attempts. That is why you hardly ever hear the word used inside the industry today. And if you do it’s in whispered tones because it is considered taboo in many circles. At a few of the major vacation ownership companies every employee knows that the mere mention of the word timeshare may get you fired.

You see, these companies have chosen to disassociate themselves from timeshare by simply ignoring it. But like a wart on your nose, it is hard to miss when you look into a mirror. Unlike the wart however, which can be removed, the memory of early timeshare atrocities is difficult to erase and continues to haunt many in the industry.

Timeshare resorts were, and are today, often exposed to financial implications created by sometimes strict state government timeshare regulations. This too spurred the movement to circumvent the timeshare classification. For example, in many states timeshare is considered real estate (although it is unlawful to present it as a real estate investment) and therefore real estate laws apply, in addition to stringent timeshare regulations and disclosures which are often very unfriendly and costly to marketing efforts. And nearly every state provides the timeshare buyer with a cooling off period, often unique to the industry. But without totally removing the timeshare concept a resort cannot dodge the regulations so, admitting failure on that front, today the resorts focus on distancing themselves from the early ‘timeshare-bandit’ days.

The timeshare stigma was perpetrated in the early seventies by a host of unscrupulous developers, marketers, sales organizations and individuals who would stop at nothing to separate a new timeshare prospect from his money. Thankfully most of those perpetrators have been purged from the industry but that stigma still lingers in the minds of the buying public, thus the attempts in recent years to snip the timeshare moniker from the vocabulary of the timeshare salesman. Here is the definition of timeshare from our good friends at Wikipedia.

The fine folks at Wikipedia tell us that a timeshare is a form of ownership or right to the use of a property, or the term used to describe such properties. That these properties are typically resort condominium units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time (typically one week, and almost always the same time every year) in which they may use the property. These units may be on a part-ownership or lease/”right to use” basis, in which the sharer holds no claim to ownership of the property.

So what is not to understand? When you buy a vacation week (or the use of a week) in a resort, that is timeshare folks, plain and simple. They can call it vacation ownership, interval ownership, vacation points, vacation club, quarter shares, you name it. They all have their roots in timeshare. But don’t ask me, ask any state’s Attorney General and Wikipedia.

I can’t understand why they don’t simply acknowledge the fact that they have a black sheep in the family and move on. Instead they continue to dodge and weave around the issue as they have for years. Today most sales training classes teach and demand use of their own well-rehearsed and canned response to the prospect’s question, “Is this timeshare”. Some of those taught responses are quite humorous because they are down-right silly but unfortunately some are simply bold-faced lies. Some companies attempt to build elaborate facades merely to keep their timeshare roots under wraps while some are even beginning to believe their own hype.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck. Yes, timeshare has earned these dark synonyms but the industry needs to get over it and move on.

Healing and the Heart Chakra

When most people start studying the mind-body-spirit connection, they realize that the heart helps healing. Unconditional compassion, pure love: intuitively, we know that these vibrations can transform dis-ease into wholeness and bliss. We also sense that a “broken heart” can contribute to illness, and that extreme anger can cause a heart attack. But there’s much more to the heart chakra! As humans, we could study the heart chakra forever because it continues to expand and evolve, but here are some of the most common manifestations:

Major Systems of the Heart Chakra:

Circulatory System

This one’s pretty self-evident to most people. When speaking of the heart chakra, we expect to see the heart as part of it. High cholesterol, heart murmurs, heart attacks: all of these make sense. But the circulatory system also includes the blood itself, which means things like anemia and leukemia. Additionally, the movement of that blood comes into play with varicose veins, cold hands and feet, Reynaud’s Syndrome, and high or low blood pressure.

Some of these conditions straddle other chakras, and they all carry their own unique vibration and set of symbols, related to the individual soul and body in question. To give you an idea of how deeply and beautifully your body can talk, let’s look at something obviously related to the heart chakra: a heart murmur. If you wanted to hear the body’s talk, you could take a few moments to listen – really listen – to what that heart was murmuring! Intuitively, you could commune with the heart and ask what secret hopes, loves or desires it wants to express. Why does it feel compelled to murmur instead of thumping joyfully to the universe? A heart murmur usually sounds like an extra beat or “turbulence” in the blood flow. How do this heart’s natural desires not fit into the normal beat of life? In the case of a weak valve, where might the person be backtracking in life – expressing dreams and then pulling those back, not honoring the heart’s deepest desires?

Science recognizes connections among emotions and stress, and among stress and heart attacks. But these connections exist on all levels and in all disorders. With compassionate attention, the body’s secrets can be unlocked, revealing insights and opportunities for healing on all levels.

Respiratory System

Housed in the chest, the lungs make up a huge part of the heart chakra. I cannot tell you how many times someone calls me with pneumonia, bronchitis, the flu or lung cancer after experiencing a major period of grief. Grief resides in the lungs, and when we don’t fully release our grief, our lungs start shedding tears for us. Excess phlegm and mucus are the tears of the lungs.

Emphysema and asthma often occur when people cannot articulate their grief or when the cause for grief seems too little to justify its full expression. Coupled with this fear of being understood, grief literally suffocates until someone or something intervenes.

Lung cancer tends to come from extreme grief combined with anger/frustration and a sense of utter depletion from imbalanced giving. When Dana Reeve died of lung cancer, many people felt surprised because she hadn’t ever smoked. But lung cancer sometimes appears in long-term caregivers, even (especially) if they felt very close to the one who needed care. Rather than directing the anger at the spouse or child, the anger starts to bubble up at the universe at large: how can a loving God allow such suffering? Why, after all this caregiving, all this love, is their loved one still dying? In the presence of grief, anger and what I call soul-weariness, that love begins to mutate, sometimes into cancer cells.

Immune System

This one surprises many people, but the thymus gland, located under the top of the breast bone, is part of the heart chakra. In children, the thymus gland plays an important role in developing the immune system. In adults, tapping on the thymus gland can “remind” the body to stand strong in the face of infection. All lymph nodes begin with seeding from the thymus gland, which means the emtire lymphatic system begins in the heart chakra. Unlike the circulatory system, the lymph system does not have a pump. It needs regular exercise and/or massage in order to move things around and clean house. By extension, issues with the lymphatic system require self-care, self-love and attention.

Common immune system/heart chakra issues? Allergies, auto-immune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (especially breast and lung cancer), influenza, AIDS/HIV, Lyme Disease, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr … Swine Flu … As humans, we are being asked to evolve in a major way through the heart chakra. It should come as no surprise that so many of our biggest killers or most commonly “communicated” illnesses reside in the heart chakra.

Lyme Disease and Chronic Fatigue are sometimes called “seventh chakra issues.” Indeed, they do affect both the heart and crown, one reason that survivors of these types of illnesses tend to become healers themselves. People with extremely wide open hearts often develop compromised immune systems, like their system is too “friendly” to bacteria. A solution is allowing the self to feel completely at one with, and balancing the ebb and flow of love. Too much love out without receiving the equivalent love from self or others can weaken the immune system. The solution is not to send out less but to allow the self to receive more love.

On the flip side – also a generalization – people who struggle with an overactive immune system benefit from backing down judgments of self or others. Allergies occur when the body recognizes an otherwise harmless substance as an invader. This mistaken attack by the immune system causes the symptoms we associate with allergies. Some people with intense, “incurable” allergies have unresolved past life issues driving the reaction. Bringing those events to light can allow the immune system to stop attacking itself and innocent bystanders like food or pollen.

The Breasts

Breasts are also an important part of the heart chakra, especially for women. Breasts represent mothering, nurturing and the feminine principle. Breast cancer happens when sluggish lymph and toxins stagnate in the breasts. Fibroids and tumors come from things things that “weigh on the chest,” as in “I wish I could get this off my chest.” To support breast health, allow yourself to speak from the heart. And allow yourself to listen. Suppressing the deep longings of the heart or trying to convince the heart that it feels something else can morph into something even less desirable.

Emotional Disorders and Imbalances

Depression, Phobias, Grief, Fear, Sorrow, Anxiety: all have at least one foot in the heart chakra. As the bridge between our three lower chakras and our three upper chakras, the heart picks up on a lot of imbalances from both the gut and the brain. For this reason, cleaning up the diet can affect both physical health and mood; practicing meditation to reduce stress offers the side benefit of opening the heart and radiating joy.

What You Can Do

Spend some time each day connecting with your heart. Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to feel the center of your chest like a tender flower or warm ball of light. Feel that flower or light flicker with your breath. Listening to sacred chants or the harp can move your heart strings, too. Imagine the music flowing out from the center of your chest. Reiki also offers a way to nurture and balance your heart chakra. You can find a certified practitioner or learn how to give Reiki to yourself.

In general, if you have any health issue, you would be wise to ask your heart what it wants to share with you and with the world. As a culture, we have nearly lost touch with the language of the heart, but our hearts continue to cry out in layered songs and symbols.

Listen.

Love.

And do not be afraid.

As Helen Keller once said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart.”

Recorder Notes in Relation to Piano Notes

When a musical instrument is played we can hear sounds in the form of music. Musical instruments have unique sounds which are formed by playing notes, in varying ways. So what is a note? What is a Recorder and Piano? What are recorder notes in relation to piano notes? Let us explore.

A note is a sign in music. It tells the musician to do something on his or her musical instrument to produce a sound of the note name and note length as indicated on the sheet of music. The names of the musical notes are A B C D E F G which are the first seven letters of the alphabet and called the musical alphabet. The musical alphabet repeats itself for the note range of the musical instrument. Each of the note names are associated with flats and sharps eg A sharp and A flat, B sharp and B flat etc. Notes are given specific positions on a set of five lines called a stave to indicate which A or B or C etc to play.

Notes vary in the length of time they are sounded. They are given names which correspond to a number of beats or counts and they have different pictures. The first few note lengths which people learn and play are the crotchet ( 1 beat ), minim ( 2 beats ) and semibreve ( 4 beats ). And so if a two beat A is required then the picture of the minim will be placed on the stave in position of the A required.

Musicians learn the positions and note lengths whilst learning their instrument.

Now you need to understand what a recorder and piano are to understand the recorder notes in relation to piano notes. A recorder is a wind instrument in varying sizes made from wood or plastic. It is like a tube in two or three sections with a headpiece and shaped mouth hole at one end, a round open hole at the other end and holes. A recorder player creates a sound by closing their lips over the mouth hole and blowing air down the tube. Different sounds are made by pressing the finger tips or pads on the holes in various configurations called fingering, so that no air escapes from the required holes. For example, if a musician wants to play an A, then the fingering for one of the A’s is to place your left hand thumb on the thumb hole which is underneath, and the first two fingers on the top two holes on the upper side. The range of notes on a recorder is greater than two octaves. Music is written on the treble clef stave for most of the recorder sizes.

A piano is a keyboard instrument with black and white keys. A pianist produces a sound by pressing down on the keys in varying numbers. What happens is that the pressed down key or keys cause small hammer or hammers to hit tuned strings which cause vibrations and produce a sound. The lower the key the thicker the string. The black keys repeat themselves in groups of 2 and 3 for the entire length of the keyboard. The note names of A B C D E F G are positioned on the white keys in relation to the black keys eg all C’s are directly to the left of the group of two black keys, hence when you press this key down, the sound of C is produced.. A piano usually has around seven repetitions of A to G, called octaves. Music is written on a grand staff consisting of a treble staff joined to the bass staff below, by a line.

Let’s look at the recorder notes in relation to the piano notes.

1. Note names and note lengths are the same for both instruments.

2. Musical notes are written on the treble staff for most recorder types and piano. The piano also has notes written on the bass stave. And so the notes from most recorder types are equivalent to the notes played with the right hand on the piano. Hence most recorders use the treble clef and the piano uses the treble clef and bass clef.

3. The recorder has a smaller note range than the piano which is > 2 octaves compared to 7 octaves. And so all notes you play on the recorder can be played on the piano.

4. Both instruments are completely different in looks, size, production of sound and the actual sound you hear. Recorder sounds are produced when air vibrates down a recorder tube. You play different notes by pressing your finger tips on the holes in various configurations. Piano sounds are made when pressed down keys cause a hammer to strike a tuned string which vibrates. You play different notes by pressing down different keys with your finger tips

5. Loud and soft notes are formed differently between the two instruments. A loud sound is produced by blowing harder on the recorder or pressing more firmly on the keys of the piano. A soft sound is produced by blowing more gently on the recorder or pressing less firmly on the keys of the piano. However the markings on sheet music for loud and soft notes are the same for both instruments.

You now have an understanding of what a note is, what a recorder and piano is and that the notes on the recorder in relation to the piano have features which are the same and different.

Celtic Wedding Jewelry – Celtic Knots and Their Meanings

Deciding to tie the knot is an important and monumental step in a couple’s lives together. Promising to support and love someone can bring a lifetime of happiness and security for two people.

The phrase “tying the knot” comes from a Celtic ritual in which the bride and groom’s hands would be tied together with rope or the priest’s stole as a public declaration of a trial marriage. Today, in western culture, fidelity and love are proclaimed by the wearing of engagement rings and wedding bands.

To emphasize the power and fortitude of their love, many brides and grooms choose Celtic jewelry. Renowned for its tradition of elaborate and stunning designs, Celtic jewelry is the perfect choice for couples who wish to give a significant and specific meaning to their wedding rings. From the Claddagh Ring to the variety of knotwork, Celtic jewelry designs are a beautiful addition to any wedding ceremony.

Appearing in 450 AD, Celtic knots are an assortment of artistic and decorative knots that are traditionally endless, meaning that the lines interlace one another and do not have a clear beginning or end. The most common Celtic knots found in art and jewelry today can be traced to illuminated Christian manuscripts, such as the Book of Kells. Fifteen hundred years later, interlacing knotwork has become the essential trait of Celtic art. Today, many people regard Celtic knots as premier symbol of “the permanent continuum of life, love, and spiritual growth.”

While there are no written records defining Celtic knotwork, today, many knots are universally understood to portray specific meanings. If you and your fiancé(e) are considering Irish wedding rings for your marriage vows, here are explanations of some very popular Celtic knots and Neolithic symbols for your reference:

Eternity Knot – While this does not define a particular knot, an eternity knot is “any knot that has a closed path, with no beginning or end [and] may be symbolic of eternity or continuum.”

Lover’s Knot – Similarly to the eternity knot, this title does not depict a singular knot, but is rather a definition for any knot that connects what would otherwise be separate channels. Common lover’s knots used in Celtic jewelry are the Josephine Knot and Granny’s Knot.

Triquetra – Also known as the Celtic Trinity Knot, this knot consists of an individual line that wraps into and onto itself to create a three-lobed outline. Depending on the school of thought, this meaning can range from the Christian principle of the Holy Trinity, the Pagan depiction of the three feminine powers, and the transcendental union of mind, body, and spirit. These are all uniquely powerful meanings that can add special significance to your wedding jewelry.

Spirals – Spirals are some of the oldest representations in Neolithic art. The depiction of clockwise moving spirals signifies joyful blessings and good luck. This association with the movement of the sun across the sky represents harmony with the earth.

Triskele – This Neolithic design involves a triple spiral that often stands for “personal growth, human development, and spiritual expansion.” It is found on many prominent ancient structures, such as Newgrange in County Meath, Ireland.

Heart Knots – A fashionable and modern addition to the range of Celtic knots, heart knots are a further and vivid depiction of everlasting love, as they form the traditional heart shape with intertwining eternal knots.

Celtic jewelry is uniquely beautiful and holds great importance in declaring eternal love and commitment. Choosing Celtic wedding rings will add a special and cultural meaning to your ceremony. Have fun picking which traditional knots speak the most volume to your joyous union!

Pros and Cons of Reflective Foil Insulation

Insulation has always been a very popular topic for home owners, the energy saving that good insulation can incur have people very keen to get their hands on the most effective varieties on the market. Currently there’s a lot of talk about reflective foil insulation, in simple terms this serves to keep in heat when you need it to and block it from entering when you don’t by creating a radiant barrier made out of foil. Knowing how this insulation is one thing, knowing what it can do for you is quite another, this guide is going to show you what it’s all about.

First of all this insulation is extremely simple to install, part of the reason for this is that it’s very light so you won’t need a lot of man power to set it up properly. But don’t let its weight fool you, this foil is also very durable and strong so it can regulate the heat in your how even in harsh weather. Unlike other types of insulation this foil isn’t impacted by humidity, often times other varieties of insulation can start moulding.

Another great thing about reflective foil is that it doesn’t degrade and you won’t see a decline in its ability to provide thermal insulation over the years like other materials. This is great because it means you won’t have to face spending money all over again. Reflective foil used for insulation also isn’t harmful to your health; it doesn’t contain any toxic materials so you needn’t worry about handling it.

Of course every type of insulation has its drawbacks and this one is no different, generally speaking foil insulation is more expensive than using fibreglass. Also, although its performance isn’t affected by aging, if enough dust is allowed to accumulate on its service it reflective properties, and there for its insulating properties, can be greatly reduced.

Diffused Aerators vs Surface Aerators

The two most common types of pond aeration systems are diffused aerators and surface aerators. While each is highly effective, each has certain pros and cons that make them the appropriate choice based on your ponds characteristics.

Diffused aeration systems utilize the power of air to de-stratify the water column and infuse oxygen into the pond. Typical set up involves an air compressor that pushes air through tubing down to diffuser(s) located and the bottom of the pond. When the air reaches the diffuser, the diffuser breaks it up into tiny bubbles that are released into the pond. The bubbling action of the air rising to the surface causes the water to de-stratify, meaning the poor, oxygen deprived water at the bottom of the lake is mixed with the oxygen rich water above, causing noxious and harmful gases to be released into the atmosphere. At the surface, where the bubbles break, additional oxygen transfer is made adding to the overall oxygen content of the water.

Diffused aeration is typically used in larger/ deeper ponds and lakes of more than 8 ft deep. Diffused aeration is more energy efficient where large ponds are concerned while also offering the advantage of keeping electrical wires out of the water. They also cause very little surface agitation for people who like a smooth look to their pond or lake

Surface aerators, as their name suggests, are located at the ponds surface. These units utilize a pump mounted beneath a float that pumps water from the pond into the air or right at the surface. Unlike diffused aerators, surface aerators are best used in shallow ponds and lakes. Oxygenation using floating aerators occurs when the water that is splashed into the air makes contact with the ponds surface when it comes back down. This interaction allows for the venting of gasses and the transfer of oxygen, however because all of the pumping of water and oxygen transfer occurs at the surface, very little benefit is gained at the lower depths.

Surface aerators can also serve a dual purpose. Aside form the primary function of oxygenating water, surface aerators can add aesthetic appeal as they are available with different spray patterns. However, if aeration is to be the primary function of the unit, it is important to select an aerator that creates a fine mist and a wider display. These types of units allow for greater venting and oxygen transfer as they create more turbulence at the pond’s surface.

SIPOC Diagrams – A Six Sigma Technique For Developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

I have found it very useful to use SIPOC diagramming to solve many of the problems I face when helping customers developing SOPs. SIPOC diagramming is a technique used by Six Sigma Black Belts for years in process improvement. The literal translation of SIPOC is Supplier, Input, Process, Output, and Customer.

The beauty behind the SIPOC is that it is easy for the user to understand and helps to keep the team focused. A procedure can be represented in one page versus the seven to ten pages in a typically written document. I use the SIPOC to articulate and gain approval on the actual procedure steps. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is then drafted from the SIPOC by business writers. The SOP is simply a representation of the SIPOC. Therefore the need to review the procedure document is reduced and the approval process is dramatically simplified.

To maximize the benefits of the SIPOC, I modified the traditional version to include sections I refer to as “Critical Prerequisites (CPR)”, “Points of Interest (POI)” and “Inter Procedure Touch Points (IPTP).” CPRs are used to identify procedure triggers and the critical prerequisites that must be met before the procedure can begin. POIs highlight information that is of a special interest. Spending authority, warnings, and special considerations, are examples of POIs. If the output of a procedure step touches another procedure, I note the output and the receiving procedure name in the IPTP.

My motto is “Always be prepared.” Therefore, based on my previous experiences, I populate the SIPOC with procedure steps that normally should be followed. The best format for preparing and publishing SIPOCS is through Microsoft EXCEL. Everyone knows how to use EXCEL. Also developing training decks is simplified when based on an approved SIPOC because they normally answer the questions that students might ask during a training session.

I have prepared a SIPOC TEMPLATE for general distribution in Microsoft EXCEL. It is formatted for legal size paper and prints with headers, footers, and line numbers for easy reading.

Jazz Shoes – Interesting Facts

Jazz dancing is increasing in popularity as it’s an exciting and fun style of dance to take part in. If you’ve recently started jazz classes, then you will no doubt already own a pair of jazz shoes. If not, then you should go out and buy a pair as they’re really important for you to successfully and safely execute all the spins, twists, jumps and turns required by jazz dancing.

Here are a few interesting facts about jazz shoes:

Jazz Shoes Are Not Designed for Outdoor Wear

Just like any other style of dance shoes, jazz shoes are designed specifically for use in a dance studio. Split sole jazz shoes usually have a very thin sole which is made from suede which is not suitable for outdoor use. This is because suede soles are easily damaged by abrasive surfaces such as tarmac or concrete used on pavements. In addition to this, the split soles are designed to support only the toes and heels in order to allow optimum flexibility for the dancer’s foot. This means that there is little or no sole underneath the arch which is not ideal for walking. Even if you wear full sole shoes, it’s best to resist the temptation to walk to and from dance class in them as they will pick up grit and dirt which can damage the dance studio floor.

Jazz Shoes are Available in Several Designs

When it comes to choosing jazz shoes they’re available in a wide range of styles, colours and fabrics. The main fabrics available are leather and canvas. Leather is usually the most expensive option but it’s also the hardest wearing making it the most recommended. It will also mould to the shape of your foot over time which makes leather ones very comfortable and also very attractive to look at. Canvas is also relatively hard wearing but shoes made from this fabric are not quite so easy to care for as those made from leather. This is because canvas cannot be wiped down in the same way that leather can be which means that it can be easily marked or stained. It is also difficult to remove any debris from it which may be picked up from the studio floor. On the other hand though, it is light and comfortable and offers a cheaper alternative to leather.

Can be Lace-Up or Slip-On

Jazz shoes are also available as lace-ups or slip-on. It’s worth trying both to find out which style you prefer and also to find out which ones offer the best fit. Some dancers find that lace-ups can rub a little or dig into the foot so therefore prefer slip-ons. This is by no means the consensus though so it’s really down to your own personal choice.

Offer a Snug Fit

As with any other type of dance shoe, it’s very important for jazz shoes to offer a good fit. It may be fashionable to wear your casual trainers with their laces as loose as possible but with jazz shoes, function should prevail style. They should be a snug fit without being so tight that your toes are crammed inside. This will allow them to provide the necessary support to your foot whilst also allowing enough flexibility to perform your dance successfully.

Sinus Relief by Humming – Why it Works

Sinus symptoms are usually caused by lazy nasal cilia. Cilia are the tiny oars that move bacteria and dust out of the nose. Then the bacteria don’t remain in place long enough to multiply and cause disease.

In postnasal drip, the cilia move slowly. This allows the mucus to thicken and grow bacteria. Hence the gloppy feel and the odor, and the constant hawking.

Why do cilia slow down? Are you stuck behind a diesel bus? Smog in the air? Work where odors and dusts harm the cilia? For example, persons exposed to chromium dusts get many of these symptoms.

Allergies contribute too, but in a roundabout fashion. Initially, in allergy, the cilia speed up. Here the nose drips and there is excessive sneezing-which blows out the pollen. But, after several weeks of symptoms, the cilia are exhausted and then bacteria remain in place and multiply.

The cure? Hum! When you hum you set up a vibration in the air. That vibration does several things. It vibrates the mucus layer and breaks up the thick bonds so that the mucus is thinner and more liquid. This in itself allows better movement of the cilia.

Humming also vibrates the cilia. Know how your fingers tingle when you touch a piano at a certain note or chord? Know how soldiers marching across a wooden bridge in perfect step can set up a vibration that causes a bridge to vibrate too? That is the kind of action you can get from humming.

However you need to get the right tone. Usually the deeper into base you go, the better. If you put your fingers on your nasal tip, often that can tell you when you reach the right pitch.

This harmony tone is the principle of the kazoo that you blow into and it creates a low pitched sound for the chest cilia. That vibration helps break up thick chest mucus and get the chest cilia moving so they can remove bacteria.

Indra Devi, the Yoga Master, demonstrated to me how the yogis do it. They alternately sniff saline in and out in a rhythm that is ideal for activating the nasal cilia. This explains why she and her followers were sinus free.

The pulsatile irrigator is a mechanical way to follow the Indra Devi method. This gently sends a stream through the nose and sinuses at a pulse rate to stimulate nasal cilia. At the same time the pulse rate also removes the stale mucus and massages the nasal tissue in order to bring better circulation to the area.

For those of you athletically inclined, jumping up and down also works by shaking up the mucus and the nasal cilia. Some of my patients have been sinus free by this method.

Today, the method of taking huge doses of antibiotics at the onset of a sinus infection is contrary to the studies showing not much difference in outcome between placebo and drugs. Surgery methods that don’t restore cilia function may not succeed if the cilia movement is not restored; despite the best surgery, if cilia don’t return to normal, the symptoms may persist. This is why a trial of humming and/or Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus irrigation is always best before other more invasive methods are used.

After any nasal/sinus surgery, you may get post-op nasal/sinus infection syndrome (PONSIS). this is because with surgery, the nasal cilia may take a long time to recover. Using humming and other means to return cilia speed to normal can help prevent this condition.

Additional aids for sinus problems include tea, lemon and honey, probiotics, and good sleep.

Since these methods work, why not try them, hmmmm? To receive Dr Grossan’s newsletter:

The Best Way Of Cutting Quartz Floor Tiles

When installing a Quartz floor, you should cut the tiles to fit against the walls and objects around them. Since they have a tough surface it cannot be cut with normal hand tool. You can either use a diamond crusted blade i.e. a wet saw.

Here are the steps to cut Quartz Floor tiles – Place the tile on the floor and measure the exact area you need to cut. To get a straight cut, use a square or a rectangle. Place the cardboard on the surface of the tiles and the trace out its edges. Or you can also measure out the surface cuts by using a tape measure and color chalk piece. You can either buy or rent the wet-saw. They are available in all normal home improvement stores and tile shops. Fix the saw according to the instructions given in the manual. Attach the hardware tightly with bolts and nuts. Now fix the wet saw tightly to the stand and make sure it does not come-off and cause harm. Diamond blade is the right tool to cut Quartz because they are stronger than Quartz and they are one among the natural stone. Before turning-on the wet saw, check whether the water reservoir is fully filled with warm water. Cover your face and mouth with protective gear, so that the dust particle thrown off from tiles will not cause any respiration problem. Wear goggles to protect your eyes. Before cutting allow the saw’s tip run at high-speed and dip the saw’s blade into cooling oil lubricant because Quartz has an extremely dense surface and during cutting, the blade might break. And also by applying the solution on the wet saw’s surface make the tool very cool and also it does not get heated while cutting. Now place the tile on the wet saw’s table. Gently, move the tile’s pencil mark towards the blade and press the tile with your finger so that you cut the Quartz Floor tiles with proper direction. Check the cut piece to fit your space. If it does not fit with the right measurements, cut the tiles again or try doing with fresh piece. If you are confident that you have cut with exact measurement, then continue. Once you have fully completed the task, turn the saw’s speed to lower mode and make the diamond blade to run through water to decrease the hotness and once it is cool turn off the saw.

Here are some safety tips during Cutting process.

Wear all necessary protections to safe guard yourself. During cutting keep your children and pets away. Use diamond-tip blade for cutting Quartz Floor tiles.