Best Flooring For High Traffic Areas

The Best Flooring Choices for High Traffic Areas In any interior decorating project, choosing the right flooring can be among the most difficult decisions. This is true for both homeowners and business owners. Choosing the right flooring for heavy traffic areas can be particularly difficult. The flooring used in these areas must be able to withstand all of the “abuse” it will suffer due to the many feet that will walk across it over the course of its lifetime. It should also be easy to clean. After all, heavier foot traffic means a greater likelihood that the flooring will suffer spills, stains, and more.

Of course, there are many different flooring options, including carpet, laminate, tile, wood, and so on. Within each of the major categories of flooring, there are some choices that are quite suitable for high traffic areas. Nevertheless, some flooring materials remain better than others in areas where people and animals will move repeatedly across the floor every day.

The best flooring for high traffic areas is probably tile. Ceramic tile, stone tile, and other tiling materials are incredibly durable and hold up well to high foot traffic. Unless it is made of a highly porous material, tile is also easy to clean with a damp mop. It should be noted, however, that not every type of tile is good for an area that many people walk across. Glossy tiles made of material such as marble can be quite slick when they get wet, increasing the odds that pedestrians will slip and fall. Tile grout may also stain easily if it is not sealed. A darker grout is probably the best flooring for high traffic areas because it will not show spills and stains as easily.

After tile, wood is a good flooring choice for high traffic areas. In addition to adding warmth to a room or building, wood flooring is durable, especially when it is made of a hardwood such as oak or maple. Real wood floors, on the other hand, are very expensive. Furthermore, they can get scratched and scuffed very easily. Therefore, it is probably not a good idea to install them in high traffic areas where heavy items such as furniture are regularly moved across the floor.

Laminate flooring is a wood alternative that, while less expensive than wood, retains many of wood’s benefits. It can also add warmth to a room because it is designed to look like real wood. Laminate can also be quite durable, especially if it is cared for properly. However, this layered flooring material is also susceptible to water damage. Spills must be cleared immediately; otherwise, liquid can soak through the layers of the flooring material and ruin it.

Vinyl flooring can be a good choice for high traffic areas because it is inexpensive and can mimic the look of real ceramic or stone tiles. Usually, it is made of a durable plastic or a plastic composite. However, like various laminates, vinyl can be damaged by water over time. It will usually take longer for such flooring to suffer water penetration and damage, but water that sits on vinyl for lengthy periods of time can warp the vinyl and cause it to pull up from the floor.

One final flooring material that many people consider for high traffic areas is carpet. This flooring is perhaps the least attractive option for high traffic areas because it soils easily. Buying carpets that are stain resistant can help alleviate this problem, but no fiber is completely stain proof. Those who insist on this flooring material for a high traffic area should choose a carpet rated with a performance level of 4 or 5 in order to guarantee that it will hold up well over time.

How Stimulating Music Can Improve Your Workout Performance

When it comes to bodybuilding and weightlifting, it is rare for a person to really get the most out of their workout routine without listening to stimulating music. Similarly, it is rare to find a bodybuilder who does not get pumped up when listening to his favorite track on his iPod.

Anyone can go ahead and ask those who have relied on music to find the necessary motivation in order to improve their weight-training sessions: is it really working? The answer is definitely a positive one, and it's actually a fact provided by numerous studies.

In the fight against weight problems, including flat muscles and active lifestyles, music can play a major role in reversing these ongoing trends, and increasing exercise performance.

The conclusions drawn from various studies have repeatedly explained the positive effects of music on workout sessions.

First of all, the feeling of fatigue can be reduced by listening to stimulating soundtracks, helping the bodybuilder to continue his bodybuilding routine for longer periods of time without investing any additional effort.

Another benefit of music lies in its role of boosting the bodybuilder's spirit in order to push him further to let go of those uncomfortable emotions produced during heavy training.

Music also promotes improved motor coordination, decreasing the risks of injury and also helping those who suffer from different movement disorders either produced by diseases or accidents.

Carefully selected rhythms can really help a bodybuilder to achieve positive outcomes. It is proven that pairing music with workouts can really help bodybuilders achieve incredible results.

But not any kind of music can motivate a bodybuilder to exceed his own limits or increase his training endurance. The ideal tracks should be between 120 and 140 beats per minute, making most other types of music totally inappropriate. For example, traditional Chinese music that induces a state of relaxation will not aid a weightlifter's workout when trying to pump up his muscles by limiting himself to lift heavy objects at the gym.

In general, any kind of music that forces the bodybuilder to match the pace according to the track's tempo will push him further in his endeavors to achieve a certain physical performance. And by lifting up his mood and spirit, working out may become quite an enjoyable hobby for any bodybuilder.

Since we listen to music when performing different kinds of activities (like driving, shopping, when heading to school or work, in the club or even in the bathroom), why not use it to aid us while exercising as well?

Listening to adrenaline-pumping music in the gym can definitely be a huge motivational force, perfect for pushing us to put in that extra effort in the gym. As a result, we can improve the strength of our muscles, while making our bodies firmer and healthier.

Let Your Product Launch Be A Success

Product launches done by experienced marketers will seem like a walk in the park as they usually use certain strategic methods to do the job. It can be quite a daunting task if you have no experience in the field. It is to no wonder that people still can not handle product launches without some help. The product that is set for launch is a great contributor to how the product launching process is tackled. Knowing the basics in launching a product or products is quite important. Any applications in the process that will be required need to also be learnt. Your budget, whether tight or hefty will never curtail the whole process of introducing a new product into this ever-growing market.

Come up with an intuitive marketing plan for the product. You will find it really important to get your hands on marketing strategies that will be of help as you work on a marketing plan. If you have used certain product launch devices, you will want to stick with them. In as much as you might overlook offline strategies they will come in handy combined with online tactics. Well, you might want to consider your budget when looking to apply any of the methods you prefer. The limited monetary funds for the launch may limit your ability to advertise the campaign. You can go for postcards as they are cheaper ways of going about the promotions.

Advertising and marketing only comes with a little help, you will want to emulate a little of this and that in marketing or advertising from competitors. The tactics they use for launching products to the market are usually quite evident. Borrow a leaf from them and spice it up to suit your product. It is wise to tap the ideas and methods that they use in the whole process, so that you can adopt them step by step till completion of the launch. If there is a trend in the way that place their ads, then it will be clear that the trend works for them. Pricing can also be learnt from your competitors, anything that you can pick on to work for your campaign should be treasured. Do not get caught up, stick to what works and avoid obvious pitfalls.

If you have been in the internet marketing business then you must have heard of beta testing. It is imperative to learn ways of saving a dime during the process, use beta testing before launching the product. Segmenting your list of emails is something you need to do if you are working online full time. Merge forces with a business that can use your products in their campaign using emails. Whether short or long term, you need to ascertaining the timeline in which you will be using beta testing. As a novice marketer or a highly skilled one, there is no certainty in how a product launch will go. The marketplace has so many products such as movies, computers and cars and other products that have failed; it's reported all over the media. Failure and success are two things that you need to expect as a business person. Have a deep knowledge of the niche you are venturing in, through research. This will take you millions in ensuring your product succeeds.

The Three Models of Auto Tilt Umbrella

In the automated world in which we live, very little has to be done manually. One can now order groceries from the comfort of one's home computer, then have them delivered right to their door. This automation extends also into the realm of patio furniture, notably in the form of the auto tilt umbrella. There are three variations to this patio umbrella, each with special features to facilitate convenient outdoor entertainment.

Auto Tilt

First, let us begin with the basic form of auto tilt umbrella. The basic model is made out of an aluminum pole with a crank mechanism attached that opens and closes the umbrella. Once open, if the crank is turned more, the umbrella will then tilt in usually two to three preset angle positions, or some which have infinite locked positions. These automated versions are easier to open than manual umbrellas, and so cause less strain to arms and backs. Also, by being able to tilt the umbrella, you can move the shade to where you most need it, which is great for smaller spaces and control. The only thing that can go wrong with an auto tilt umbrella is that in some cases the crank or locking mechanism can fail, but that is a rare occurrence and usually caused by poor quality factory manufacturing.

Collar Tilt

Similar to the basic auto tilt umbrella is the modified collar tilt feature. The fixture of the automated umbrella has been around almost as long as modern patio furniture, but the collar feature popped up in the 1990s. To operate these, you still crank the umbrella to open it, but rather than keep cranking, it stops when it's fully open. From there, a specially designed ring or collar at the top is what tilts the umbrella. It can move into a number of positions and is preferred by some people for its smooth movements. It's a nice umbrella for tables because it's easier to reach up and twist the collar rather than crank or manually use a push button to re-angle. On the other hand, it is a more involved process than the auto tilt umbrella. This is because the collar requires two separate manual movements as far as opening and tilting. Also, the collar tilt may not be as easy to operate for some as a crank motion. In addition, if the umbrella is not securely attached to the base then the entire thing may fall over when you turn the collar.

Shade Dial

Lastly, the most evolved model is the shade-dial. This trademarked feature does one better than the auto tilt umbrella because it tilts a full 360 degrees to accommodate. This way, you can enjoy around the clock shade from sunrise to sunset. It resembles the collar tilt in that there is the crank with a second mechanism located above it. But rather than a collar, the second mechanism is the dial, which when turned will point the umbrella canopy in the sun's direction. It's much easier to turn a dial than either crank or twist the collar of the other models. However, like the collar tilt, the shade-dial installations two manual movements, but however is particularly difficult.

In conclusion, the three types of auto tilt umbrella are similar in look and operation. The differences lie in their price points and complexity, but all are a valuable asset to patio furniture which can make your time outdoors more pleasant.

Things to Consider When Picking the Best Motorcycle Helmet

Do you own a motorcycle? If so, you know that riding this two wheeler provides a phenomenal experience. When it comes to riding a motorcycle, safety should be our number one priority. After all, you can enjoy life only when you are alive. Therefore, nothing can be more important than wearing a helmet before leaving for a journey on your bike. Before you get your hands on a helmet, make sure you do some research. Below are some helpful tips to help you.

Types of helmets

Helmets that are designed for motorcycles are rounder than those designed for bikes. Moreover, you have a lot of options to choose from, such as open face helmet, modular helmet, half shell helmet, dual sport and full face helmets, just to name a few. You can choose one based on your needs.


If you need one for your daily commute to work, make sure you go for a high end helmet. These units are comfortable and provide improved dynamics in addition to reduced noise of the wind. As a matter of fact, versatility and comfort are two things that you need for traveling, riding or touring. On the other hand, if you need one for racing or riding, you may want to go for one that offers extra features, such as aggressive venting and tear off posts.


Following features should be considered when making a choice.

1. Material

The material of the unit you buy effects other factors, such as the weight, safety rating and comfort. Common materials used in the making include carbon fiber, fiberglass composite and polycarbonate along with a layer of expanded polystyrene foam. Polycarbonate is cheap, flexible and absorbs energy. Fiberglass composite may flex, split and crush as it absorbs energy, but it costs more. So, make sure you know what your unit is composed of.

2. Weight

The weight of helmets is between 1.4 kg and 1.8kg. Make sure the one you choose properly fits. If the weight of the unit is not even on your head, it may feel heavy on your shoulders and head. Your neck may also get strained. Unlike a Full Face, modular units weight more.

Other features

Nowadays, helmets provide many technological features, such as communication provisions, wind reduction measures and integrated sunshade, to name a few. These features improve you riding experience.

Additional Safety Features

You may also want to ensure that your unit has extra safety features, such as emergency cheekpad release system. This system allows you to take off the helmet in case of a medical need.


Often, the price of a helmet is based on the features and materials. In short, if you opt for an expensive unit, you can enjoy better technology, comfort and protection. However, even if you spend a bit less, you can still get a decent unit.

So, if you are going to invest in a good motorcycle helmet, we suggest that you consider the tips given in this article. Hope this helps.

Metal Awnings

An awning, when installed over a window, a terrace or a balcony, provides protection against direct sunlight, wind drafts, rain or ice, without shutting out the surrounding view. The view of the house is enhanced when its doors and windows are covered with awnings of an appropriate color and style. Terraces, decks, and balconies can be converted into large covered areas that become airy attractive additional rooms with the proper use of awnings.

Metal awnings are usually made of aluminum, copper, iron, or steel, depending upon the architectural requirements of the building. Usually, vertical metal panel awnings and window or door awnings are of solid, structural construction of strong ribbed heavy gauge materials, for all-weather durability against wind, rain, and sun. Depending on the individual shape and configurations, the awnings may or may not have distinctable sides. Aluminum awnings are available in solid or striped styles and in several attractive colors. Metal awnings are available in several distinct types, depending on the functional requirements of the individuals.

Horizontal window panel or louvered awnings have an angled slat design with space between slats that enable the person inside the house to see out but but prevent anyone from seeing in. Overlapping slat design also allows the sunlight to filter in indirectly. Aluminum slats are usually made of heavy gauge with a baked-on enamel finish that resists chipping, cracking, and peeling.

Retractable or roll-up metal awnings are usually constructed from flexible horizontal slats without any visible space between slats when the awning is in open position. They are controlled with a hand cranking device or cord pull. Storm awnings are particularly made of heavy-duty materials and can be rolled down to cover and protect the entire window during a storm or horse, a riot.

Aluminum door awnings are designed for installation over the door to help keep stairs, entries, and landings free from excess rainwater. They have to be installed with enough head clearance to allow the door to open. Copper, iron, or steel rigid type awnings are excellent for protecting doors and windows from the elements.

Craftsmanship: the Meaning of Life

"Manage more, supervise less."
– Bryce's Law

When I got into the work force back in the mid-1970's it seemed
everyone dressed in a suit and tie, drank black coffee, smoked
their brains out, and worked their butts off. Today, golf shirts
have replaced suits, herbal tea and bottled water have replaced
coffee, nobody is allowed to smoke, and rarely does anyone work
beyond 5:00 pm. More importantly, we used to care about the work we
produced; there was a sense of craftsmanship, regardless of the job.

My Brother-in-law in Cincinnati conducts me on a tour of his company's
machine-tool shop years ago and showed me how he could take a block of
aluminum and convert it into a high-precision machine tool. It was a
pleasure to watch him work, as it is to watch anyone who knows
what they are doing, be it a waitress, a programmer, a laborer or
a clerk.

Quality and service used to be considered paramount in this
country. If it was not just right, you were expected to do it over
again until you got it right. We cared about what we produced
because it was a reflection of our personal character and
integrity. But somewhere along the line we lost our way and
craftsmanship has fallen by the wayside. Why? Probably because
we no longer care.

In today's litigious society, employees are acutely aware that it is
difficult to be fired due to poor performance. They know they will
still get paid and receive benefits, regardless of the amount of effort
they put forth. Consequently, there is little to encourage people
to perform better. Money is not a motivating factor anymore. People
now expect bonuses, rises and other perks to be paid out regardless
of how well they perform during the year.

We've also become a nation content with doing small things. America
used to be known as a powerhouse that could tackle large projects,
such as building skyscrapers, designing innovative bridges and tunnels
spaning substantive bodies of water, engineering transcontinental
rockets and highway systems, conquering air and space travel, and
defending freedom not just once but in two world wars. If you really
wanted something done, you talked to the Americans and no one else. Now
we get excited over iPods, cell phones, and other electronic trinkets.

Many believe Craftsmanship is in decline due to the general apathy found
in today's society. Maybe. I tend to believe it is due to an erosion
of our moral values. Let me give you an example. Having a child in college,
my interest was piqued recently by an article describing the pervasiveness of
cheating and plagiarism in our schools. It is not my intention to make a
political statement here but many of the students mentioned in the article
rationalized their cheating on the fact that one of our past Presidents
cheated and lied under oath, and got away with it. They figure if it is
okay for the Commander-in-Chief to act this way, it was an acceptable form
of behavior.

Arnold Toynbee, the accused English historian, observed, "Civilizations
die from suicide, not by murder. " If the moral fabric of our society
dies, our story is told as evidenced by other great civilizations that
long preceded us. Our perspective needs to be realigned: Our personal
and professional lives must be viewed as one. As Toynbee remarked,
"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play." By
doing so, we identify more closely with our work and assume a greater
pride in workmanship. We do not need to hear this from our boss, but
rather from within. As strange as it may sound, I see Craftsmanship as
being patriotic in nature; doing a good quality job is part of leading
a good and honorable life and builds on the individual's esteem, the
company he works for, and the country he lives in.

The biggest problem though is that we have forgotten how to manage
people. The manager's primary goal is to create the proper work
environment for employees to produce the desired work products. This
is different than a supervision capacity that leads how each person
Performs the various tasks of a job. In fact, I encourage managers to
manage more and supervise less. I cringe when I see a manager try to
"micromanage" either a Fortune 500 company or a non-profit organization.

Yes, people need to be trained in order to properly
perform their work but following this, employees should be mature
enough to supervise themselves. In the old days, management stressed
discipline, accountability, and structure; three ugly words in today's

Understanding Craftsmanship

Some might say craftsmanship is a simple concept that we should
intuitively know. Not true; most people today have no comprehension as
to what makes up a good craftsman; they have either forgotten or it has
simply passed them by. Craftsmanship can be found in any field of appeavor
imaginable, be it in the product sector or service industry. Craftsmanship,
therefore, is universally applicable to any line of work.

Craftsmanship is not "workmanship", nor is it synonymous with quality,
although the three concepts are closely related. Let's begin by
giving "Craftsmanship" a definition: "The production and delivery
of quality goods or services from highly skilled workers. "

Quality relates to the absence of errors or flaws in the finished
product or service. In other words, finished goods operate
according to their specifications (customers get precisely what
they ordered). Such products are normally durable and require minimal
maintenance. Craftsmanship produces quality products. In the absence
of craftsmen, a rigorous methodology or assembly line process is
required to produce quality goods using workers without the expertise
of craftsmen. Such processes detail "Who" is to perform "What" work,
"When", "Where", "Why" and "How" (5W + H), thereby assuring a quality
product or service is produced. Such is the underlying ratione of
the ISO 9000 certification as used by many companies today. The point
is, quality is not the exclusive domain of the craftsman.

Craftsmanship is also a human trait. Some might argue a computer or
industrial robot can produce quality products and are, therefore,
craftsmen. However, we must remember these devices are programmed by
human beings in accordance with the rules of the craftsman. As such,
they are an extension or tool of the craftsman.

Craftsmanship can be found in either the overall work process or
a section of it. For example, there are craftsmen who are intimate
with all facets of building furniture, such as a table, a chair or
desk, and can implement the product from start to finish. However,
as products grow in complexity, it becomes difficult to find people
suitably qualified to build them from the womb to the tomb. Consider
military weapons alone, such as the complicated ships, tanks, and
airplanes we now use, with thousands or millions of parts to
assemble. Such complexity makes it impossible for a single person
to have the expertise to build the whole product. The same is true
in the service sector where different types of expertise and
capabilities may be required. In other words, craftsmen have a
specific scope of work. The scope of work may relate to other
types of craftsmen through a chain of work dependencies, eg,
Craftsmen A, B and C concentrate on separate sub-assemblies which
are ever joined into a single product.


So, what are the attributes of a craftsman? What makes a craftsman a
craftsman? There are three basic attributes described herein:

1. Possesses the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the work.

The craftsman is an expert in his field of endeavor; so much so that
he could easily serve as an instructor in the subject matter. But the
craftsman is also smart enough to know that education is not a one
time thing, that his world and field evolve as new tools and techniques
are introduced. As such, the craftsman is a student of his profession
and is constantly looking to improve himself. This is exercised through
such things as continued education, routine certification, studying books
and trade publications, and industrial groups. The craftsman willingly
participates in trade groups, often at his own expense, in order to network
with his peers.

It is Important to note that the craftsman does not need to be told
he needs periodic training to sharpen his skills. Instead, he takes the
personal initiative to stay on top of his game. Further, the craftsman
has no problem with a periodic job review; in fact, he welcomes it for
it may bring out a weakness in a skill he needs to sharpen.

2. Attention to detail.

The craftsman understands and respects the process of building / delivering
a product or service and is acutely aware of the penalies for cutting
corners. Earlier we discussed the need for a methodology that specifies
5W + H. The craftsman is intimate with all details of his scope of work,
so much so, he could probably write the methodology himself. Further,
His intimacy of the work process means he can produce a reliable estimate
of time and costs to perform the work.

Although many of the craftsman's tasks may be repetitive, it does not
meaning he easily falls into a rut. Instead, he is constantly looking
for new tools and techniques to improve the work process. As such,
he plays the role of Industrial Engineer who is normally charged
with such a task.

The craftsman's attention to detail also means that he demonstrates
patience in his work effort. Again, wary of cutting corners, the
craftsman must possess such patience in order to produce the product
the right way.

3. Views professional life as an extension of his personal life.

The craftsman identifies with the end product which is where
pride in workmanship comes from. In his mind, the craftsman has
has charged with the responsibility of producing something, and
wishing to satisfy the customer, puts forth his best effort to
produce it. In other words, craftsmen take their work
personally. This is a difficult trait to teach particularly in
today's society where the focus is more on financial compensation
than on the work product itself. It may sound naive, but the
craftsman believes he will be suitably compensated for
producing superior results.

Years ago, Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears (NFL) confounded sports
writers who could never understand why Butkus played as hard as he
did year after year for a losing football team. True, Dick loved the
game, but beyond that, the sports writers did not understand one thing
about the seven time All-Pro linebacker: Butkus took his job
personally. It was important to him that his opponents know that
they had been tackled by the best player; as he said, "When they
get up from the ground I want them to say 'it must have been Butkus
that got me '. " Dick Butkus was a craftsman.

The craftsman has a burning desire to produce a superior product / service
because he sees it as a reflection of himself. As such, the lines delineating
their personal life and professional life are blurred. This is a significant
characteristic that clearly separates a craftsman from the average worker. The
craftsman's work is his life. He does not shirk responsibility, but rather
embraces it with confidence and embosses his name on the finished product.
Conversely, making a work related mistake of any kind pains a true craftsman.

Job titles are normally inconsequential to the craftsman who is more
interested in delivering a quality product / service enjoyed by the
customer. Instead, the craftsman takes pleasure in being touted as
the best in his craft. He appreciates recognition; when someone
makes a compliment about a product, the craftsman views it as a
personal compliment. This too runs contrary to today's corporate
world where people desireately seek recognition through simple
job titles. Want someone with an inflated ego? Give them a title.
Want something done right? Call a craftsman.


"Dependable", "professional", and "resourceful" are ads that
aptly describe the craftsman. He is not one who fabricates excuses but,
rather, always finds a way to get the job done. The craftsman is typically
your most productive employee. He is mindful of the concept of productivity
that we have touted for years:

Productivity = Effectiveness X Efficiency

Most people fallaciously equate productivity with efficiency, which simply
gauges how fast we can perform a given task. Effectiveness, on the other hand,
validates the necessity of the task itself. There is nothing more unproductive
than to do something efficiently that should not have been done at all. An
industrial robot, for example, can efficiently perform such tasks as welding. But
if you are welding the wrong thing, then it is counterproductive. Going back to
our description of a methodology, effectiveness defines "Who / What / Where / Where / Why",
efficiency defines "How." The craftsman is well aware of the difference
between the two and knows how to apply both. As such, the craftsman is in tune
with his work environment and corporate culture.

So how do we make craftsmen?

Not easily. Because of the human dynamics involved with the craftsman,
you will need to be a pretty intuitive manager or industrial
psychologist to make it happen. Selecting suitable candidates is the
logical first step. Devise an aptitude test to determine the candidate's
suitability to become a craftsman. After all, "you can not make a silk
purse from a sow's ear. "Aside from specific knowledge and experience
in a given field (eg, programming, woodworking, construction, accounting,
etc.), here are some other important traits to look for:

  • Fertility of mind – judge its ability to learn, to adapt to changing conditions, and to look beyond its scope of work. Evaluate his professional curiosity.
  • Confidence – judge how well the candidate knows himself, particularly how well he knows his own limitations. He should admit his shortcomings and not fabricate excuses.
  • Dedication – judge his loyalty and determination to accomplish something. What is his attendance record? What outside clubs and organizations does he belong to and how active is he in them?
  • Entrepreneurial spirit – judge his personal initiative. Is he driven to succeed (but not to the point of reckless abandon)? Does he have a problem with accountability? This says a lot about assuming responsibility.
  • Attention to detail – judge its ability to focus on a subject. Does he have a problem with discipline or organization? A person's dress, mannerisms, and speech says a lot about a person.
  • Reliability – judge his ability to assume responsibility and carry a task through to completion.
  • Resourcefulness – judge its ability to adapt to changing conditions and persevere to see a task through to completion. The candidate can not be inflexible; he must be able to find solutions to solve problems.
  • Socialization skills – does he work better alone or as a team player? His position may depend on his answer.

When you have selected qualified candidates, here are three areas to
concentrate on:

  1. Develop their skills and knowledge by allowing such things as: participation in trade groups, outside certification and on-going training, subscriptions to trade journals, continued education, etc. Some companies even go as far as to develop an in-house school to teach the company's way of doing things. If the in-house school is good, it will promote confidence through consistency. Even if people leave the company, they will recommend your company because they know the quality of the work produced. Supporting the education needs of our workers is not only smart, it is good business.
  2. Teach them the need for producing quality work; they should become intimate with all aspects of their work process (5W + H). Further, instill discipline and patience in their work effort.
  3. Change their attitude towards development so they become more focused on delivering a quality end-product. This is perhaps the most difficult element to teach. However, it can be realized by having them become intimate with the needs of the customer (have them visit or work with a customer for awhile – "let them walk in the customer's shoes"). It may also be necessary to change their form of remuneration by going to a reward system for work produced (as opposed to guaranteed income regardless of what is produced). Changing the mode of financial compensation is highly controversial in today's business world. But, as an example, you can imagine the change of attitude of today's professional athletes if they were paid based on their accomplishments (eg, runs or points scored, hits, rebounds, etc.) rather than having a guaranteed income? Their motivation and attitude towards their profession and team would change radically. Candidates must learn to respect their institution, the process by which they work, fellow human beings, and themselves. They must also learn not to be afraid to TRY; that they must put their best foot forward, win or lose. Bottom-line: they must learn that their work has meaning and worth. If they do not enjoy their work, they should not be doing it.

"There are two things that I want you to make up your minds to: first,
that you are going to have a good time as long as you live – I have no
use for the sour-faced man – and next, that you are going to do
something worthy, that you are going to work hard and do the
things you set out to do. "
– President Theodore Roosevelt
Talk to schools in Oyster Bay, Christmas-time 1898


Teaching the elements listed above probably can not be done in one
fell swoop. Further, companies simply do not have the time or money to
wait for the craftsman to be produced. Instead, they must understand
the human spirit needs to be cultured and be allowed to grow over
time. Because of this, it is strongly recommended that an in-house
certification program be mandated specifying what the candidate should
know and what skills and talents he should demonstrate. This should be
divided into classes of progressive expertise; eg, apprentice, intermediary,
and craftsman. The ancient builders in Egypt, Rome, and Greece understood
this concept and devised such classes of workmen. Other disciplines and
schools follow similar tactics (the various degrees or belts in martial
arts for example). Each degree is based on specific prerequisites to
master before moving on to the next level.

An in-house certification program has the added nuance of making
people feel special which greatly enhances their self esteem. If
they are made to feel like a vital part of the company, regardless if
their work of a large magnitude or trivial, they will strive to do
what is best for the company overall, not just themselves. Consequently,
their work adds meaning to their life.

There is one pitfall to all of this; today's "go-go" management
style fails to see how craftsmanship adds value to the company. In
fact, there were companies back in the 1980's that shut down such
programs simply to reduce costs. As a result, quality suffered,
repeat business was lost, products were more in need of repair,
absenteeism on the job escalated, etc. Want value? How does
a loyal customer base who has confidence in your products or
services sound? And what effect would employee harmony have,
especially if they believed in the work they were producing? It
would be mind-boggling, all because we had faith in the human
spirit to produce superior results.

A final note: craftsmanship is not a one time thing. After it has
was instilled in people, it has to be cultured and perpetuated. If
a manager slips even for a moment, it will go right out the window and
it will take time to bring it back to life. As for me, I like to post
motivational reminders kind of like the one recently spotted in the
Hickey Freeman manufacturing facility in New York,
"Excellence is Tolerated."

Pool Table Light Installation

Your pool table light must be hung properly to ensure full illumination of your billiard playing area including the rails, cushions and guide point arrows. The average height of your billiard lamp should be 32 "to 36" above the playing surface or bed of your table to the bottom of your lamp shade. A general method of determining billiard light height is to have your billiard lamp level with the bridge of your nose. Also when your adjusting the height of your billiard lamp turn off any other lights in the room and adjust the light so there are no shadows on your table.

Instructions For Hanging Your Billiard Light:

1. You must find the center of your table's Playing Area which is the length and width of the pool table bed only, not the rails. Here are the standard playing areas of billiard tables:

Billiard Table Size

6 'x 3' table has a playing area of ​​L 66 "x W 33"

7 'x 3'6 "table has a playing area of ​​L 78" x W 39 "

8 'x 4' table has a playing area of ​​L 88 "x W 44"

8 'x 4' (oversized) table has a playing area of ​​L 92 "x W 46"

9 'x 4'6 "table has a playing area of ​​L 100" x W 50 "

10 'x 5' table has a playing area of ​​L 112 "x W 56"

12 'x 6' table has a playing area of ​​L 124 "x W 62"

2. Next place a small piece of masking tape on the center of your tables playing area. For example: If you have a 9 'x 4'6 "billiard table your playing area is L100" x W50. "Now take your tape measure (which should be flush against the inside head rail) and use your middle diamond on the rail as a guide and measure in L 50 "and tick with a small piece of tape and measure the width which should be W25" and that will give you the center of your tables playing area.

3. Now that you have the center of your billiard table marked with a small piece of masking tape, hold a plumb line from the ceiling and align it to the center of your tables playing area and mark your ceiling when the plumb line is aligned with your pool table center. You can buy a plumb line at any hardware store.

Pool table lights are fairly heavy and the ceiling mounts or hooks should be screwed into a ceiling stud. Use a stud finder to locate your ceiling studs. If a stud is not available you can fasten your billiard light using strong drywall fasteners such as a Toggle Bolt .

4. Measure the distance from the center of your billiard light to the center of the chain on both sides of your billiard light and mark these measurements on your ceiling. This is where our hooks will be screwed into the ceiling. Run your plumb line again to ensure your ceiling marks are aligned and centered to your billiard light.

5. Pre-drill a hole or two holes (if it is a two chain mount) into the stud / studs or drywall. Drill size Tip: A quick technique is to hold a drill bit up to the shank of the mounting screw. The proper drill bit size is the same size as the shank between the threads of your mounting screw. Screw the mounting hooks securely into your pre-drilled holes.

Note: If you need to stand on your billiard table bed to install your light, place a piece of dense foam or a thick blanket on your pool table bed to protect the felt.

6. Count the chain links on both sides to ensure your billiard lamp is level. Once mounted you can adjust your billiard light height for proper illumination of your billiard table. That's It!

TOOLS NEEDED: Ladder, Measuring Tape, Plumb Line, Small Hand Drill, Screwdriver, Possibly a toggle bolt, Masking Tape and a pencil.

Garage Door Repair – What You Should Know

Most garage door repair should be done by a professional firm that does overhead door installation and repair as they have the tools and knowledge for this type of work You can do some of the repairs yourself if you are moderately mechanical inclined. When a garage door needs repaired there are two main parts that may need repaired. This would be the garage door opener or the door itself. With sufficient patience, effort, and time they can both be easy to fix. If you decide that you want to do the garage door repair yourself make sure that you observe all the safety precautions. You also need to work when there is a lot of daylight available.

In order to determine where the problem is you need to perform two simple tests. The simplest test to do is on the door opener. Use it to see if you can open the door with no problems but if it is not working right then this is your problem but if is working right, test the door. To see if it is the garage door that needs repaired open it manually. It if makes a grinding noise or is difficult to move then the door is the problem. The overhead door moves using spring tension and rolls along metal tracks attached to the garage walls. A heavy spring creates the power that goes through the tension. When you are working on garage door repair you should always check the hardware first to see if there are any issues after checking the door opener.

When it is a garage door repair project the first step is to inspect the metal tracks. You should tighten the mounting brackets that are securing the track to the walls because overtime they can become loose. After closing the garage door look for any breaks, marks, or dents on the tracks. If you see any remove just that section of tract and using a hammer flatten out that section.

To make sure that they are properly aligned use a carpenter’s level. The vertical tracks have to be exactly straight while the horizontal tracks have to have a downward slant. Check to make sure that the alignment of the track is correct along with being parallel to each other. If you see any problems make sure that you only loosen the screws and bolts but do not move them to make the necessary adjustments.

To ensure smooth operation you should clean and lubricate the rollers and tracks. You should also inspect the springs carefully to make sure there are no breakage or wear issues. The fasteners can also become loose and will require maintenance over time so the parts are in correct alignment.

Installing Ceramic Tile in Your Bathroom in 7 Steps

Installing ceramic tile in your bathroom does not have to be a tough job. The materials you will need are a carpenter's level, hammer, tile cutter, tile nipper, grooved trowel, rubber gloves, plastic tile spacers, chalk line, rubber squeegee, popsicle sticks, tile sponge, tile mastic, grout, tile sealant, and caulk .

1.) The first step is to choose the size, color and pattern of the ceramic tiles to achieve the look you want in your bathroom. There is a wide variety of selection for any taste or budget.

2.) Next the surface the tiles will be installed on should be prepped and cleaned. Walls should be smooth and free of wallpaper, plaster, and peeling paint. It may be necessary to add primer to unfinished drywall. Floors should be stripped down to bare underlay or concrete.

3.) Start by using a level to draw a line on the wall from the edge of the tub to as high as you want the tile to go. Lay a starter row of tiles starting along the back wall, adjusting them so that the last tile will not have to be cut more than halfway. Then remove the tile and cut the end pieces to fit. For the fixtures, use tile nippers to cut holes from the adjacent tiles. Do not worry about being exact, as the escutcheons will cover the edges.

4.) Use a grooved trowel to lay enough mastic on the wall that you can cover in half an hour or less so you have time to adjust the tiles before it dries. Place the starter row along the edge of the tub, adjusting them to level. Leave a 1/8 "gap between the first row and the tub, and use tile spacers to keep them even. Save the cap tiles until last.

5.) Finish the other walls using a similar pattern. Once finished, allow the mastic to dry for at least 24 hours.

6.) Once the mastic has discharged, it's time to lay the grout. Mix the grout to a smooth putty consistency, then wet the tiles so they do not suck water from the grout. Remove the tile spacers and spread the grout using rubber gloves. Then use a rubber squeegee to spread the grout between the tiles. You can use the popsicle sticks to force the grout between the tiles, then wipe them with a damp sponge to remove the excess. Allow it to dry overnight, then use a tile sponge to remove the thin film of grout that has dried on the surface of the tiles.

7.) Apply caulk to the gap left around the edge of the tub, as well as around any windows. Apply ceramic tile sealant according to the label.

How to Find a Cheap Painter

Time is something that you should consider when you hire contractors that will improve, update and repair the looks of your house. The same principle applies as well when you hire a house painter that will re-invent the looks of your house. You have to make sure that every time spent is a time worth paying for. You are paying for the services that can improve the value of your property and as such, you need to work with a house painter that can provide you with the services that you can be proud of.

You will find a number of professionals that can provide you the services that you need but not all can provide you with the services at the price that you can afford. Here are recommendations on how to find a cheap painter that can meet your budget and at the same time provide you with the services that you can be proud of at the end of the day.

Network with professional organizations

One thing that you can do is to network and contact professional organizations. Different areas and states will have their own professional organizations. If your links are not enough, you can always get referrals from friends or business partners who have worked with painters in the past. You can get their suggestions on who are the best painters in the area and who are the ones that can provide the cheapest services around.

Validate their credentials and experiences

Do not just take their credentials and pronouncements at face value. You need to make sure that you can back up their claims with real life experiences and portfolio. In your search for a cheap house painter, make sure you ask the right questions that will drill down on their experiences and competencies. Be sure to verify the length of experience that they have in the business and the kind of certificates and licenses that they maintain. It is also critical if you can ask if the company can offer a bond and insurance. This will ensure that the company that you will hire can provide assistance and protection for their workers. If possible make sure to pay attention to the guarantees or warranties that can be provided by the company.

Be aware of their behavior

When you look for a contractor or a cheap painter, make sure you pay attention to the way the potential contractor presents his business to you. Look for signs that will tell you that the team is professional, courteous and only means business. Is the painter always employed? Sometimes the best painter is always swamped with work. Can he come on time during your appointments?

Compare their quotes by checkinging websites

The nice thing about painters and painting services providers is that they maintain their websites where quotes are offered. Pay attention to quotes and use the web to your advantage.

The search for a house painter should be fun. Use the resources around if you want to find a cheap house painter that can provide quality painting jobs, at a cost that you can manage.

Hanging Lights – Chandeliers Or Pendant Lights

If you like the look of lights that hang down from the ceiling, maybe because you've grown tired of looking at recessed can lighting that was so in vogue in the 80s and 90s, then you have thousands of styles of choose from. Swag lamps and string lights are fun, but can also look at a bit dated if you're ready to upgrade a room into the 21st century. But chandeliers or pendant lights are options that can take your room's lighting from hidden in the ceiling to decorative pieces in their own right.

Chandeliers and pendant lighting are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they're really not the same thing. Both are secured to the ceiling and hang down on a cord or a chain, or a solid base and drop system of some kind. But pendant lights are typically a single light or a pair or group of lights together at the end of the drop. A chandelier will have branches or arms with lights at the end of them. They often have many such levels and tiers.

Think of the difference between a candleholder and a candelabra. The candle holder is like a pendant light-a single point. The candelabra is like a chandelier, with many lights that span out from the center point. But just because chandeliers have more than one or two lights on branches does not mean they have to be busy or ornate. Very simple kitchen chandeliers just offer multiple lights on a pretty fixture that's very clean-lined and tidy. All chandeliers do not look like they belong in the ballroom of an antebellum mansion. You can have one of those, but you can also enjoy these versatile fixtures in just about any room, if you choose the right size and style.

You could have a kitchen chandelier , for instance, though you'll probably want other lighting, too. An overhead fixture of any sort will not provide enough task lighting on your countertop, for instance. Here's where something like mini pendant lights could come in handy, hanging from the ceiling or the bottom of overhead cabinets to illuminate your workspace. In a dining room, you might only need a single, elegant chandelier hanging over the center of the table. You will not need bright task lighting there, because you'll be going for a certain look and mood instead.

Look at a well-stocked showroom or one of the many lighting stores online to see the options you have, and you'll find something that will look perfect in your room.

Golf Terminology of Old

This is a description of some of the old terms used in the golfing world of the past. Some of these words are still in use today.

This is a redundant term used to describe what is now the number four club. When it was in use, the club it referred to was a steeply lofted wooden club with a small head.

The is another old term, whose equivalent club is the number two club. The name is derived from the fact that the club had a brass sole plate.

This is the number one wood, which is the farthest hitting golf club in the golfer's bag. Originally the driver was the two farthest hitting clubs, the play club and the grass club.

These days the number one iron, but prior to that, the term was used when referring to the light, narrow bladed iron clubs. The irons were used for putting, and getting the ball out of the sand or rough ground.

Driving Iron
Modern day equivalent is the number one iron, but these driving irons are no longer in use. They refer to the clubs used to for making shots through the green.

This refers to a club, similar to the modern day pitching wedge, which is used for chip shots. These were short shafted iron clubs with shallow faced and moderately lofted.

The number five iron is the modern equivalent of this club. It was a lofted iron club, used for back spin and pitching.

Mashie Iron
The number six club would be the modern day equivalent of this club. It was a lofted iron golf club, which was used for driving and for long shots through the green.

Mashie Niblick
The modern day equivalent of this club would be the number six and number seven golf clubs. The mashie niblick iron clubs were used for pitching.

Mid Iron
The modern day equivalent of the mid iron clubs would be the number two iron. The mid iron golf clubs were more lofte than the driving iron.

Mid Mashie
These iron golf club's modern day equivalent would be the number three iron.

The number nine iron is also known by this name. The original niblicks were a steeply lofted club constructed from wood.

Spade Mashie
The number six iron would be the modern day equivalent to the spade mashie. These spade mashie were more lofted than the mashie, and considered of a deep faced iron club.

The modern day equivalent of the spoon would be the number three wood. The spoon got its name from the way the club head was constructed. The loft on early golf club faces was concave (dipped inwards), and gave the appearance of a spoon's bowl. The term spoon referred to clubs that had shorter shafts than the grass driver, and more pronounced graduated lofts.

JCB 3CX and Other Backhoe Loaders

The JCB 3CX is a backhoe loader, which is a vehicle commonly used in the construction industry that consists of a tractor as the main body with a shovel fitted on to the front of it and a backhoe on the back. This type of vehicle was invented in 1953 by the process of fitting a backhoe and a loading bucket onto a farm tractor.

The biggest of the backhoe loaders from JCB are the JCB 3CX and the JCB 4CX. These models offer very high lifting abilities and good loader performance. The heavy-duty loader arms on these vehicles are resistant to twisting when digging is taking place, making for a stronger dig, and the high-reaching arms mean loading a high-sided vehicle is relatively easy.

The JCB 3CX and 4CX are for larger jobs and have the largest buckets of the backhoe loaders designed for moving a large amount in one go. There is also the option of adding an auxiliary hydraulic circuit which allows the user to switch between attachments such as a 6 in one shovel or a sweeper.

There are many manufacturers of backhoe loaders, including Hitachi Ltd, Fiat, Case Corporation, Caterpillar Inc, Hydrema, John Deere Tractors, JCB, Volvo Construction Equipment, Terex, Venieri, Komatsu Ltd and New Holland Ag, but probably the most widely-known and used is the JCB 3CX.


The JCB 3CX and other backhoe loaders are most commonly used for construction purposes and are a common sight on building sites around the world. Other common uses for the backhoe include landscaping, paving roads, small demolitions, transporting light building materials and digging and excavating.

Smaller versions

There are three very small backhoe loaders; the JCB Mini CX, the ICX and the Midi CX. The Mini CX is similar in weight to mini excavators yet it can travel around three times as fast which makes it very quick and convenient for use on a building site. The smallest version weighs only 3,370lbs.

The ICX can turn on its own axis and measures just 4 feet 6 inches wide and has a big range of attachments and a low center of gravity for safer operation. The Midi CX is both a loader and an excavator as well as an industrial tractor.

This is a brief guide to the backhoe loaders popular in the market today. If you are looking to hire a construction vehicle, a reputable dealer will be able to offer you further guidance in which vehicle will be most appropriate for your project.

Scrapbooking Ideas and Solutions – Using Rub-On Transfers

Rub-on transfers will bring quality and impact to your scrapbooking layouts in an instant. Rub-on transfers have come into the scrapbooking and paper crafting industry in a huge way, as they provide a glue-free way of attaching pictures, motifs and words to most types of surfaces. Rub-on transfers have a smooth quality when placed properly and will have no raised edges or messy glue smudges.

Best of all rub-on transfers are simple to use and you can even use them on curved surfaces. They remain durable, as long as you follow the on-pack instructions. Most rub-ons are acid free which make them ideal for your scrapbooking projects. Because they are totally opaque, you will be able to use them on any colored background.

The most popular form of rub-ons for scrap bookers are lettering and messages. These are available in numerous different types of faces and sizes, as well as upper and lower case lettering. It's easy to align the lettering neatly using the guides on the sheet, or you can cut the letters out and arrange them freely on your layout.
Alternately you could go for a whole sheet of instant messaging that is already embellished with sentiments. You should find something for every occasion from Christmas to Christenings to Birthdays.

You will also find loads of illustrations that can be used to feature in your work. Floral designs are quite popular and rub-ons can also be used for your card making projects. You will easily find themed sheets for Xmas or any other special occasion you wish to use.

Decorative embellishments are also popular in rub-ons. You can add rich and elegant flourishes with beautiful borders and corner designs that are inspired by graphics from the decorative art nouveau era. You can choose from plain black to bronze, silver or even gold for an opulent touch.

Rub-ons are even available in foil transfers, and you can embellish your work with immaculate and gleaming mirror finished words and decorations with that slightly embossed effect. When you transfer the foil, it will be sticky and tacky on top and you can then apply embossing powder or glitter for an extra special finishing.

Here are a few basic principles to applying your rub-on transfer.

First remove the protective backing sheet and decide on what you want to use. Carefully cut out the image and then replace the backing sheet onto the unused portion for use another day. Position your transfer onto your layout where you want it and gently rub over the top with a burning tool or blunt pencil to release the design from the sheet and transfer it to the surface of the paper. Very carefully lift off the sheet, then place the backing sheet over the transfer and gently rub over it again for a durable finish. You will see when the transfer goes through, as it softens and greys through the sheet. When you lift the transfer do it slowly and if some parts of the transfer still stick replace and rub that section again.

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