Geothermal Slinky Loop Construction

Slinky loops are used in horizontal closed loop system. The name “slinky loops” comes from the shape that is created when the tubing is tied into concentric coils. The purpose of this procedure is to make the long lengths of pipe more manageable during installation and to be able to construct a consistent heat exchanger in a given amount of space. Not all horizontal closed loop systems are constructed in the slinky method, some just lay out the pipe in a down and back layout.

A slinky is most easily constructed by using a jig made out of plywood with edges to contain the tubing. Measured marks can be drawn onto the jig to give you a reference point for sizing the overlap (pitch) of the slinky as you build it. It will take three people to most effectively build a slink. One will do the tying, one will feed the coils to the one doing the tying, and one will pull the slinky along out the back of the jig as it is built. It will take three people approx. 20 min to tie an 800′ slinky once they are up and rolling.

The first step is to determine how long of a slinky you need to build based on the loop field design. A chart that shows the lengths of slinky coils based on tube length, pitch of coils, and diameter of coils can be found here. A length of tubing will be pulled off the roll that is the needed length to be the return from the very end of the coil back to where the manifold will be; this portion will be straight. Once this is pulled off the coil you can begin tying the tubing into loops.

The first loop will be tied into whatever diameter you made the jig (36″ is good). The second loop will be laid over the first loop by whatever pitch is needed to make your total length work. For example if you have a 36″ coil with a 18″ pitch you would lay each coil approximately half over the one in front of it. It your length called for 36″ loops with 36″ pitch you would not overlap them at all but simply place each loop end to end as you tie the coil. Plastic zip ties are the preferred product for tying the loops.

When you get near the end be sure to leave enough left untied to make it back to the manifold location. The first part of the coil that was left uncoiled can now be tied along the coil as it makes it’s way back to the “front” of the coil. Both ends should now be close to equal distance from the loops and both at the front of the coil where you will build the manifold. Tape the ends of the pipe to keep dirt out if they don’t already have caps.

The final step is rolling the slinky into a donut roll which will actually resemble more of a giant birds nest but will in fact be fairly manageable and transportable. Simply start at the “end” (not the “front” where the lines are) and roll the thing up. Try to keep it as in line as possible when rolling it up.

The slinky is now ready for transport. It will take two people to carry it due to both weight and shape. It can be transported in a truck of trailer to the job site if you built it elsewhere. Once onsite carry it to the trench or pit where it will spend its life and unroll it. If it is going in a trench I would suggest unrolling it besides the trench at the top and then with several people throw it into the trench. Be sure that the coil lays flat in the bottom of the trench but be careful if entering trenches that could collapse. The safer way would be to use a long pole to situate the slinky as needed.

When bedding the loop field be sure the fill material is sufficient to provide good contact with the pipe without leaving air gaps and be sure that big rocks are not dropped on the pipe. In rocky soil screening the soil and bedding the pipe in two feet of fines is recommended. After proper bedding the tubing the rest of the back filling can be done and the area compacted.

Firecracker Lobster Cooked on the Grill

Though I certainly can’t always afford it, good seafood is one of my favorite things to eat. I’m not big on places like that Long John place that fries everything they serve. But if someone doesn’t mind treating me to dinner, I’m always ordering scallops or shrimp. I’ll get lobster too if it’s done a certain way. I don’t mind having it plain and dipping it in clarified butter. But lobster is such a delicious food by itself; it begs to play with other flavors. One of those flavors lobster loves is that smoky flavor you get from a grill. My gas grill is the perfect device to cook some fresh lobster on.

Every once in a blue moon, that meat truck that comes around my house will have some lobsters that Mr. and Mrs. John Q couldn’t afford to pay for that week. So, they’ll knock 3 dollars off the per-pound price and sell them to another customer while they’re still fresh. I make sure to ask them weekly. When I do get lucky, they go straight out to the grill for their date with destiny.

Firecracker Lobster

I doubt everyone gets their lobster from the meat guys, so you’ll need to hit up the store. We’ll need some lobsters (1 per person), a couple of lemons, a can of chipotle peppers, some garlic powder, and a stick of real butter. Don’t forget to grab your kitchen essentials like salt and pepper while you’re there. We’ll need those too.

This recipe is really all about the dipping sauce. The lobster is so good by itself; all I do is cut a slit in the tail, cut those bands from their claws, and grill them up. But for the sauce we’ll need to melt that stick of butter in a small sauce pan. When it’s melted, add 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, some black pepper, and just a pinch of salt. In a blender, take 2 chipotle peppers and about 2 tablespoons of the adobe sauce and blend until smooth. Combine that with the butter and stir over low heat. Add the juice of a lemon to balance it all out.

Cut your grill to medium and let it heat up for a bit. To make that slit in the tail, just take a good, relatively large knife and gently tap on the tail until you notice it’s starting to make an impression. After that, give it a healthy whack and it should split open. You can definitely skip this step. I just like the way the meat looks when it cooks like this. Plus you get a bit of smoky flavor in the meat itself.

After your grill’s heated, just place the lobsters down and close the lid. Come back in 10 minutes and take them off. Let them rest for about 10 minutes and you’ll have perfectly cooked lobster. I don’t really have any tips for getting the meat out without making a mess. But I do know that most people waste the lobster’s legs. There’s actually a good amount of meat in there. Just pull them off, get yourself a good grip on the bottom with one hand, take your other hand and squeeze upward. The meat comes right out.

This sauce is perfect for dipping. I like just using 2 peppers in the sauce; it doesn’t overtake the butter and garlic. If you want it hotter, then just put more on the lobster. The taste of the lobster still comes through predominantly; the sauce just gives it a nice firecracker pop.

7-Day Meal Plan For Professional Soccer Players

We all know that playing professional soccer requires a big commitment for both physical training and mentally. However, the same is to be said for a food commitment and eating well. How you eat will depend on your performance both on and off of the soccer field; plus before and after the match.

Below are some specialized soccer meals for a week. For professional soccer players.

Monday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, breakfast cereals and a banana.
  • Lunch: Spaghetti, Beef filet with potato and tomato, and fruit salad.
  • Snack: Sandwich with ham and an orange juice.
  • Dinner: Vegetable soup, omelet, rice, and apple pie.

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, Toasted bread with olive oil and tomato, and an orange juice.
  • Lunch: Lentils Beans, bread crumb chicken fillet with mushrooms, and a yogurt with sugar.
  • Snack: Peanut butter sandwich and a fruit juice.
  • Dinner: Mixed salad, Salmon in sauce with fried potatoes, and strawberries with cream and sugar.

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, toast with butter and ham, and a fruit juice.
  • Lunch: Rice with vegetables, pork loin steak undressed breaded with lettuce and a yogurt with sugar.
  • Afternoon Snack: Cheese sub or sandwich and an orange juice.
  • Dinner: Mixed vegetables with peas with ham, grilled hen with lettuce and corn, and a yogurt.

Thursday

  • Breakfast: a glass of chocolate milk powder, biscuits with butter and jam, and an orange juice.
  • Lunch: Cooked beans, Fried fish with lettuce and tomato, and Pineapple with honey
  • Snack: Ham sandwich.
  • Dinner: Mashed vegetables and grilled garlic & shrimp and plain yogurt with sugar.

Friday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, Toasted bread with olive oil and tomato, and fruit salad.
  • Lunch: salad from the garden, rice with squid in its ink, and a custard.
  • Snack: Cottage cheese with honey and a banana.
  • Dinner: Noodle soup, sea bass baked with roast potatoes and two kiwis.

Saturday

  • Breakfast: 1 yogurt cereal, homemade biscuit, and a fresh orange juice.
  • Lunch: Pasta a la carbonara, veal steak with fresh tomato and corn, and two tangerines.
  • Snack: Sandwich with serrano ham with fresh tomato and a fruit juice.
  • Dinner: vegetable soup, swordfish with mashed potatoes and a yoghurt with sugar.

Sunday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup powdered chocolate milk, a croissant with jam and a fresh orange juice.
  • Lunch: Fried eggplant, Roasted chicken with mixed salad, and an apple with cheese.
  • Afternoon Snack: Egg Omelet (preferably yoak)
  • Dinner: Cream of spinach soup, Baked chicken with roasted tomato and a natural yogurt with sugar.

Popular Lionel Model Train Sets From 1946

In 1946 Lionel produced an array of outfits similar to those in their prewar catalogs. Among these offerings were 23 sets. This broad spectrum of sets allowed Lionel to offer outfits at several prices, with the least expensive outfit retailing for only $24.95, while the deluxe outfit was $85.00.

1946 was the debut year of many new designs, unlike the previous year which only rehashed previously produced products. New motive power included the O-Gauge 726 Berkshire, produced by installing a 2-8-4 mechanism in a boiler based on the prewar 226E, and the all-new 6-8-6 Pennsylvania turbine. The latter was offered in O-Gauge outfits as catalog number 671, while those included in O27 outfits were numbered 2020. To the lower end of the line was a streamlined 2-6-4 with the catalog number of 221.

New freight cars were introduced as well. The 2411 “big inch” flatcar shared its die-cast frame with the 2419 and 2420 work cabooses. Also using die-cast frames were the new dump cars: 3451 for logs and 3459 for coal. The new 2460 crane also had a die-cast frame, and rode on a pair of six-wheel trucks. These trucks shared many components with similar six-wheel trucks used on Bakelite-bodied 2625 passenger cars and the die-cast-bodied 2426W tender used by the 726.

The engineering used to produced the 1945, 2452 gondola, was expanded. The 2454 boxcar, 2465 Sunoco tank car and 3454 operating merchandise cars included plastic bodies mounted on steel frames. The 2452 was continued, and joined by a second gondola, the 2452X, which lacked the brake wheels and barrels that adorned the 2452.

The low-end O27 sets contained many cars that were reworked from prewar designs, but as more of the year passed, increasing numbers of new products were produced, which were included in more expensive outfits. Following up on the success of the 1945 knuckle couplers was a spectacular new feature included in the better sets, smoke. Even more spectacular, but much less widespread, was Electronic Control-the latter available only in set 4109WS. As was the case in 1945, the 1946 outfit boxes were simple corrugated cartons with pasted-on labels to identify the set they contained.

The following are some of the most sought after Lionel O27-Gauge Outfits from 1946:

1400W–Lionel O27 Passenger Set– Retailed for $35.95

Included: 221 2-6-4 steam locomotive with operating headlight; 221W sheet-metal tender; two 2430 blue Pullman cars; 2431 blue observation; eight 1013 curved and three 1018 straight track; 1019 O27 remote control track section; UTC Lockon, 926-5 instruction booklet; 1041 60-watt transformer.

This set was a slightly more expensive version of the 1400 outfit. For the an extra $5.95 over the 1400, a 221W whistling tender replaced the 221T, and the transformer was upgraded to a 1401 60-watt unit. In excellent condition, this set is worth approx. $650. In like new condition this set is worth approx. $1400.

1407B–Lionel O27 Switcher Bell Outfit– Retailed for $37.50

Included: 1665 0-4-0 steam switcher with operating headlight; 2403B slope-back tender with ringing bell; 2560 crane; 2452X gondola; 2419 work caboose; eight 1013 curved and five 1018 straight track; 1019 O27 remote control track section; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet; 1037 40-watt transformer.

This train was powered by a 1665 0-4-0 switcher, which was a revamped prewar 1662 switcher. Among the changes made to the locomotive were the installation of the new postwar trucks on the tender, and mounting Lionel’s new knuckle couplers on the rear of the tender and pilot of the locomotive. Mounting an injection-molded plastic cab and two injection-molded plastic toolboxes onto the die-cast body casting created for the 2411 flatcar crated the 2419 work caboose. A die-cast smoke-jack was installed on the caboose cab. The sheet metal 2560 crane car was carried over form the prewar line in its original colors of yellow cab with red roof. The 1946 production of these cranes included two-piece booms that were riveted together, and had the Lionel name molded in. In excellent condition this outfit is worth approx. $900. In like new condition this outfit is worth approx. $1500.

1421WS–Lionel O27 Freight Train–Retailed for $85.00

Included: 2020 6-8-6 steam turbine locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2020W early coal whistle tender; 3451 operating log car; 2465 Sunoco double-dome tank car; 3454 merchandise car; 2472 non-illuminated Pennsylvania N5 caboose; 164 operating log loader; ten 1013 curved and five 1018 straight track; 1019 O27 remote control track section; pair of 1121 remote-control turnouts; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet; 1041 60-watt transformer.

While the 1419W provided the owner with a coal empire, the 1421W, also priced at $85, created a lumber empire. Trailing the 2020 steam turbine in the set was a die-cast 3451 log dump car to be used in conjunction with the 164 log loader. The 1964 log car carried five unstained logs and was rubber stamped in silver. The pick up shoes were wired with blue wire, and a pair of 1121 remote-control turnouts was included in order to incorporate the 164 in the track layout. A silver 3454 operating merchandise car added even more action to the train, which was surprisingly finished with a plain red, non-illuminated 2472 caboose. Like the 1419WS, many examples of this set have been found with a 75-watt 1042 transformer rather than the listed 60-watt 1041. This train in excellent condition is worth approx. $1500 and in like new condition is worth approx. $1500.

The following are some of the most sought after Lionel O-Gauge outfits from 1946:

2110WS–Lionel Three-Car Passenger– Retailed for $75.00

Included: 671 6-8-6 steam turbine locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2466W early coal whistle tender; three 2625 heavyweight Pullmans; eight OC curved and five OS straight track; RCS uncoupling/operating section; 167 whistle controller; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet.

To create a premium O-gauge passenger set, Lionel revived it prewar Bakelite “Irvington” passenger car. The postwar incarnation of this car included newly designed six-wheel trucks with knuckle couplers–derivatives of these trucks were used on the 2460 crane and 2426W tender as well. The car bodies were painted maroon or reddish-brown in contrast to the prewar color of medium brown. To tow this passenger train, Lionel used its replica of the Pennsylvania 20-wheel steam turbine, the 671. This set in excellent condition is worth approx. $1750 and this set in like new condition is worth approx. $2975.

2113WS–Lionel O-Gauge Three-Car Freight Outfit–Retailed for $67.50

Included: 726 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2426W die-cast whistle tender; 2855 black Sunoco single dome tank car; 3854 operating merchandise car; 2457 illuminated caboose; eight OC operating merchandise car; 2457 illuminated caboose; eight OC curved and sever OS straight track; RCS uncoupling/operating section; 167 whistle controller; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet.

Premiering in outfit 2113WS was the new 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive. Though a 2-8-4 would be a staple of Lionel’s O-gauge sets into the 1960s, the 1946 model was unique. The smoke unit was based on a light bulb, the motor and reversing E-unit was mounted horizontally, and the handrails mounted with turned stanchions. The earliest versions of the 726 were equipped with what collectors refer to as the “large stack” motor. Later, the number of field laminations was reduced, resulting is what is known as a “short stack” motor.

The corrugated component box was unique to the 1946 locomotive. Sealed with prewar-style orange and blue sealing tape, the carton was marked with a manufacturer’s seal that stated, “GAIR BOGOTA CORR. & FIBRE BOX CORP.” The ends of the box were stamped with “No. 726” in small lettering. The cars in tow were just as unique. Though cataloged as the common silver 2755, the tank car included was actually the scarce black 1855. The prewar semi-scale boxcar tooling was revived and modified with the addition of a roof hatch and internal mechanism to create an operating merchandise car, the 3854. This car is one of the most difficult to find items from the postwar era. In excellent condition this outfit is worth approx. $2000. In like new condition this set is worth approx. $3200.

2114WS–Lionel O-Gauge Three-Car Passenger Outfit–Retailed for $77.50

Included: 726 2-8-4 Berkshire steam locomotive with operating headlight and smoke; 2426W whistle tender; three 2625 heavyweight Pullmans; eight OC curved and five OS straight track; RCS uncoupling/operating section; 167 controller; UTC Lockon; 926-5 instruction booklet.

This was the most expensive passenger outfit offered in 1946. The three Bakelite 2625 Irvington passenger cars presented the 726 with a formidable load, especially those locomotives equipped with the later “short stack” motor. The die-cast tenders were equipped with die-cast whistle housings and, though initially stamped in white, ultimately were lettered in silver. In excellent condition the outfit is worth approx. $2500 and in like new condition is worth $4000.

While the Homeowner is Saving Pennies For a New Deck, Properly Cleaning the Old Deck Will Suffice

Last weeks cookout was a big success. The grill fired up, the food was fresh, and the company was pleasant. Even the weather was forgiving. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said of the deck. While a deck can be in good condition structurally, it often shows its age through severe fading and weathering from the elements. There are just two options at this point. Redesign and build a new deck or clean it and re-stain it.

While replacing an entire deck for the majority of homeowners is not the most viable option, for those few that are planning on a new deck installation, there could not be a better time. Obviously, most people would opt to clean their existing deck and re-stain it, but this does require more than just a hose, a can of stain, and a brush to revitalize a deck. Staining a deck properly is still considered a do-it-yourself project, but will require several days and a lot of elbow grease.

The first step for any outdoor project is to prepare with safety in mind. Many homeowners already have a set of gloves and safety glasses for working around the house or using power tools. If this basic safety equipment is missing, then the cost to clean a deck will increase by a margin. Other equipment and materials necessary to clean a deck include one pump sprayer, a bucket, bio-degradable wood cleaner, borade, a stiff bristle deck brush, a drill with a paint mixer attachment, and a hose. As one can see, there’s quite a bit of equipment that is required to needed to properly clean and prepare an existing wood deck for staining.

While most “professionals” will just resort to using a pressure washer to blast off the dirt, the majority of pressure washers are far too powerful and will actually cause further damage to the deck. The reason why pressure washers are a popular choice is because of the fact that it’s much easier than actually scrubbing the surface and it saves time in the short term. Pressure washers will actually create small tears and openings in the wood fibers of the deck planks thereby allowing more moisture to enter and degrade the wood at a faster rate. Where regions of the country receive a variety of different types of weather from sun to freezing ice, such as North Carolina, it is especially important to maintain the integrity of the wood.

The key to any paint job or staining is to clean and prep the surface properly. After hosing off the deck surface of any loose debris, fill the pump sprayer with a 1:1 ratio of wood cleaner and water. After spraying down the deck boards and any steps, begin vigorously scrubbing the surface with the deck brush. This will loosen and remove the embedded dirt from the deck. After a 10 to 15 minute break, again hose down the deck. Rinse out the pump sprayer as well. What is left will be a dirt free deck.

The next step is to eliminate any algae which is a common problem on decks throughout the entire country. In a clean bucket, mix a 1:5 ratio of borade to water. It will need to be mixed thoroughly with a mixing paddle and drill in order to prevent any residue from clogging up the pump sprayer. Fill the pump sprayer with the borade solution and spray down the entire deck. Do not hose off the deck. Again, the purpose of the borade solution is to kill any algae. Now clean up and let the borade solution soak into the deck and dry for two or three days.

Upon returning to the deck, inspect the deck for any loose boards or railings. After making any necessary repairs, the next steps are to apply the stain. In short order, that old worn out looking deck will reflect the newness that the homeowner can enjoy for several cookouts and years to come.

What You Should Know About House Electrical Wiring

Wiring a house can be surface, in which case the cables are laid on the surface of the wall and held by clips; or conduit, where the cables are passed through PVC pipes laid inside the wall. There is also surface trunking, where the trunking PVC pipes are laid on the surface of the wall and through which the wires are passed. Cables used for surface wiring are usually made up of 2 or 3 insulated wires. Cables for conduit wiring on the other hand, are single-wire insulators, to facilitate the easy passage through the PVC pipes. Conduit wiring is recommendation because of the neatness but care must be taken to ensure that a qualified electrician is hired to handle the project and that only quality materials are used. This is because if a fault results in a conduit case, it is usually difficult to trace and may result in fire outbreak.

The insulators which are commonly called wires or cables are made up of difference sizes measured in millimetres and as well, used for different kinds of connection of electrical fittings. There are also the aluminum and copper variants of wires. Because of the former’s greater resistivity and larger requirement of conductors, copper wire is recommended. The following are common sizes of wires and examples of appliances they can be used to connect:

* 1mm – light switches and sockets for electronics

* 1.5mm – bulbs and other lighting devices

* 2.5mm – air conditioners and refrigerators

* 4mm & 6mm – air conditioners, refrigerators and other heavy-duty appliances

* 16mm – used to connect the house to public source of power (PHCN).

ELECTRICIAN’S DICTIONARY

Change Over: This is used to switch between different sources of power, for instance, between private power generating set and public power source. It can be manual in which you manually change over to alternative source in case of power failure or fault, as the case may be. There is also the automatic type of change over which is configured to automatically switch between sources of power.

Circuit Breakers: This functions like a fuse, in that it breaks a circuit path when a predetermined amount of current is passed. Some breakers are self resetting while others require manual resetting. The manual type is strongly recommended so that one can watch for any problems when the circuit path is restored.

Control Switch: This is also known as load control switch. It is placed on home appliances that consumes large amount of electricity, such as air conditioner and deep freezers.

Switchgear: In wiring, this refers to the combination of electrical disconnects, fuses, and/or circuit breakers used to isolate electrical equipment. In other words, it is used to cut power from a particular section of the building to allow work to be done to clear faults.

Junction Box: This is a container for electrical connections, intended to conceal them from sight and hence prevent damage from unauthorized hands. This forms an integral part of circuit protection system.

Switch: This is an electrical component used to break an electrical circuit, interrupting the current or diverting it from one conductor to another. That is, it is used to control power flow in a circuit, example is a light switch.

Lamp holder: This is used to suspend bulbs and other lighting devices. This is usually attached to the wall or ceiling.

Thunder Arrestor and Earth Wire: Thunder arrestor is important to control the effect of thunderstorm on appliances, in that it reduces the electro-magnetic interferences resulting from thunderstorms, which can cause damage to electrical devices. On the other hand, earth wire is used to earth (connect) the thunder arrestor to the ground. It is also used to connect electrical circuits as a standard procedure in wiring.

Colostrum For Asthma and Sinus Issues

Colostrum for Asthma and Sinus problems

Asthma is a disorder of the respiratory system in which the passages that enable air to pass into and out of the lungs narrow, causing wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath due to a restriction of air intake. More than 17 million Americans suffer from asthma and it occurs equally in males and females and in all ethnic and socio-economic groups. The prevalence of asthma increased more than 60% in Americans between 1982 and 1994. Scientists suspect that the sharp increase was due to more exposure to second-hand smoke, growing populations in polluted city centers and new housing that was poorly ventilated.

Asthma attacks occur when the bronchi and bronchioles become inflamed, usually by contact with a triggering irritant such as pet hair or cigarette smoke. This reduces the space through which air can travel through the lungs, causing the lungs to work harder to move air in and out. The attack usually begins with mild chest pressure and a dry cough and, as the attack intensifies, wheezing develops and breathing becomes difficult with the cough producing a stringy mucous. Since the airway inflammation prevents some of the oxygen-rich air from reaching the alveoli, the cells of the body start to burn oxygen at a higher rate, which actually increases the body’s demand for oxygen.

Inflammation of the airway occurs when an irritant comes into contact with the airway walls. The body’s immune system detects the irritant as foreign and releases an immunoglobulin of the IgE class that can attach to the irritant. This triggers the release of specialized white blood cells, known as mast cells that head for the site of irritation. When they get there, the mast cells release histamine, a chemical substance that causes swelling and redness as part of an inflammatory response. This causes the muscles lining the airway to contract even more, narrowing the passage further. The cells that line the airway overreact to the inflammatory response and secrete a lot of mucous, which clogs the bronchioles and causes the wheezing.

The most common causes of asthma attacks are extremely small and lightweight particles that are transported through the air and inhaled into the lungs. For many people, the environmental triggers are allergens like plant pollen, mold spores, animal dander and fecal material from dust mites and cockroaches. The triggers can also be physiological, like exercise and infections such as the common cold. Alternatively, attacks may be brought on by substances found in food, such as the sulfites used to preserve beer and wine, and in medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Sinus problems are likely linked closely to a person who may suffer from asthma. The paranasal sinuses are air-filled, mucous-lined cavities in the head and cheekbones and in the frontal bone just above and between the eye sockets. The sinuses all drain into the nasal cavity. The sinuses are often infected with bacteria, causing inflammation and severe pain. Environmental and chemical irritants, as well as most allergens, can similarly cause a mild to severe inflammatory response in the sinuses. In all cases, the inflammation results in overproduction of mucous by cells lining the cavities. Repeated attacks often lead to a thickening of the mucous membranes and, sometimes, scarification requiring surgical intervention, which frequently provides only temporary relief.

So what can be done about all of this? The answer is routine dietary supplementation with a high quality bovine colostrum and here is why.

First, allergic reactions and asthma are manifestations of an immune system that is out of control. The problem is that at about age 13, the body’s health support mechanisms began to deteriorate. Before puberty, when you were just a young child, the very foundation of your immune system was being established by a small gland-like structure in the upper chest, the thymus. It is within this structure that the cells mature that will determine the appropriate type of response that your immune system should mount after an insult and then cells from the same source will regulate the quality and intensity of that response. Cells from this gland also scan the blood for abnormal cells and remove them. After puberty, the thymus begins to shrink and ultimately almost disappears by age 50-60. So, although the immune system develops more immunologic memory with time, it gradually loses the ability to efficiently and effectively orchestrate and direct the actual immune response itself.

When dealing with any type of inflammatory condition, including an infection, it is wise to recognize that the best defense is founded on a good offense. Scientific studies have shown that insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), a major component of high quality bovine colostrum, and the IGF superfamily of proteins can restore and maintain a fully functional thymus, even in adults. In addition, colostrum contains the alpha and beta chains of the hormone thymosin that act independently and in concert to regulate the functions of the thymus. Further, the proline-rich peptide (PRP), also known as thymulin, in colostrum is known to down-regulate the immune system and keep the response to a foreign substance under control. Other studies have shown that including only small amounts of colostrum in the daily diet of adult animals significantly enhances the ability of their white blood cells to respond to infection and destroy invading bacteria and viruses.

Thus, routine dietary supplementation with a high quality first milking colostrum, like that from Immune-Tree, will strengthen and support the immune system and help keep the immune system operating at an optimum level and hold the inflammatory response in check or, at a minimum, reduce the impact of the asthma attacks. As a suggested use routinely consume 5 – 6, 500 mg capsules or the equivalent powder daily and attempt to increase this to 8-10 capsules daily during the periods when the attacks historically occur.

References:

Ancell CD, Phipps J, Young L; Thymosin alpha-1, Am J Health Sys Pharm 2001; 58(10): 879-85.

Aspinal R, Andrew D, Pido-Lopez J; Age associated changes in thymopoesis, Springer Semin Immunopathol 2002; 24(1): 87-101.

Clark R, et al; Insulin-like growth factor-1 stimulation of lymphopoesis, J Clin Invest 1993; 92(2): 540-8.

Fry TJ, Mackall CL; Current concepts of thymic aging, Springer Semin Immunopathol 2002; 24(1): 7-22.

Grimberg A, Cohen P; Role of insulin-like growth factors and their binding proteins in growth control and

carcinogenesis, J Cell Physiol 2000; 183(1): 1-9.

Hwa V, Oh Y, Rosenfeld RG; The insulin-like growth factor binding protein IGFBP) superfamily, Endocrin Rev 1999; 20(6): 761-87.

My Favorite Narcissist

In your lifetime you may have the misfortune of encountering a true narcissist. It is an experience you’ll never forget, that’s for sure! When I say ‘narcissist’ I don’t mean the type of person you usually think of; Hollywood actors, rock singers, newscasters or politicians and, of course, the ‘reality’ stars like the Kardashians. They are an especially cartoonish example of the self absorbed but this type of narcissist is common and usually benign.

No, the breed of narcissist I refer to literally suffers with a personality disorder so severe it negatively impacts their life and the lives of those who are close to them. It’s called Narcissistic Personality Disorder and is a long term pattern of abnormal reasoning, feeling and behavior, especially when interacting with other people. Their personalities are not organized in a way that makes sense to most people which is why, when you encounter a narcissist (N), you walk away feeling vaguely angry or sad or even bad about yourself without understanding why.

Narcissists are generally male, high functioning, incredibly charming and very intelligent. They are successful in their chosen field but have a history of alienating co-workers, colleagues, students, employees, and eventually family members. Most of the time they manage to maintain long term marriages and have children and, from the outside, they seem perfectly normal and agreeable until you have a close encounter with them.

To live with one would be a losing proposition indeed. To have one for a parent would be a nightmare that would eventually causes you to sever ties.

There are two kinds of narcissists: Cerebral and Somatic. Cerebral N’s get most of their satisfaction with self through their intelligence, academia and professional achievements. They would be high end college professors, researchers, physicians, etc. The character, Sheldon, from the TV show The Big Bang Theory, is a perfect, if not somewhat exaggerated example. Advancing age does not bother this type as they are usually capable of pursuing intellectual camaraderie as years go by.

Somatic N’s self image is found in their physicality. Examples of occupations that can draw them would be the upper ranks of the military, law enforcement or fire fighting. They consider themselves to be exceptionally attractive and exercise constantly, usually involving some level of body building. They love physical contests that allow them to showcase and prove their superiority and strength over other men.

They are quite proud of their sexual prowess and fancy themselves expert lovers, able to attract the opposite sex with little effort. They tend to deny and dread the physical signs of aging and, having little left to offer others in terms of personality and a lifetime spent alienating family and friends, they often suffer from depression and, sadly, end up elderly and alone.

An excellent internet resource on this subject is the site, Narcissistic Personality Disorder: How to Recognize a Narcissist by Joanna Ashmun. The following description of their inner reasoning cannot be improved upon so I’ll let her speak.

Narcissists have normal, even superior, intellectual development while remaining emotionally and morally immature. Dealing with them can give you the sense of trying to have a reasonable discussion with a very clever six-year-old — this is an age when normal children are grandiose and exhibitionistic, when they are very resistant to taking the blame for their own misbehavior, when they understand what the rules are (e.g., that lying, cheating, and stealing are prohibited) but are still trying to wriggle out of accepting those rules for themselves. This is the year, by the way, when children were traditionally thought to reach the age of reason and when first communions (and first confessions) were made. Narcissistic characteristics that are abnormal in adults are completely normal at six years of age and that the survival of these childish characteristics into adulthood is, essentially, immaturity rather than bad intentions.

Once you recognize what you are dealing with, their behaviors and demands can be quite predictable. Surprisingly, scientists have found that N’s the world over employ the same tactics to manipulate others. It’s as if they go to a Narcissistic Personality Disorder school to learn how to make others miserable. However, it is important to remember they honestly don’t realize how destructive and abusive they are to others. Although difficult to believe, no malice is intended on their part.

Overall, what the N needs most is the attention and admiration of others. Because they stopped maturing emotionally at about age six, there is very little inner self from which they can reflect, grow or enjoy memories of past relationships and the skill of self comfort and sense of pride in their own identity was never developed.

In reality, deep down, they despise and abhor themselves and cannot fathom how anyone could genuinely love them, so they sabotage relationships with their false, paranoid, arrogant façade. They unwittingly engineer their greatest fear; that of being abandoned and alone.

Far from being truly conceited, they are empty shells, lonely and desperate to be loved. Unfortunately, their abusive behavior causes the people who want to love them to eventually leave them and they never seem to comprehend they’re to blame; that they are the common denominator in a lifetime of dysfunctional relationships.

For instance, once you get to know them, they are self-absorbed and fantastically insensitive. They demean you and are quick to point out your weaknesses. They are bigger than life and are authorities on every subject. Their time, schedules, energy, drama and life issues always outweigh yours. At times, they’ll use your most personal belief system against you like a weapon, i.e., “You cannot be a good person and do or say or think so and so…”

They are experts at projecting their bad behavior onto you, making you feel guilty and you find yourself constantly apologizing to stay in their good graces. Trying to love them is a never ending roller coaster of emotions.

It’s as if they have fully grown, functioning bodies that look human but are hollow inside and therefore must fill that emptiness with the adoration you give them; in a sad way, it confirms to them that they really exist and are important and valuable. This attention and reassurance they seek is called Narcissistic Supply and, like a drug, they will do almost anything to get and maintain a quality source.

Whether or not they are consciously aware of it, they are always on the prowl for new and better sources of supply. When you encounter a true narcissist, they will sweep you off your feet with their incredible charm, intense attention and agreement with everything you say. They make you feel like the most intelligent, beautiful, charming, sexual, woman that they’ve ever known. You are SO special, even though you just met each other and he knows next to nothing about you.

You experience instant rapport, like electricity, because they are experts in assessing what you think about yourself and are careful to reflect back to you what you long to hear. NO ONE has ever made you feel this giddy and happy! It feels like a fairy tale because it IS a fairy tale. The N is not capable of receiving or giving real love.

This happens because the N is hypnotizing you, getting you tangled in his web and you unknowingly become his new source of narcissistic supply. This is done deliberately and methodically. Your brain is flooded with dopamine and oxytocin in amounts you’ve never experienced before. These chemicals are the ones responsible for the feelings of contentment, attachment, love, romance and the excitement of something new. Experts in psychiatry and the study of addictions liken the “high” you experience in the beginning of your relationship with a N to be as strong and pleasurable as heroin. And just as addictive. You will put up with an amazing amount of abuse from this person in the hopes of feeling that high again.

Once you are hooked you’ll enjoy a honeymoon period of high level mutual admiration for several weeks or even months before the cracks begin to show. Things will be going splendidly and all of a sudden you will say or do something the N perceives as critical and he will instantly and inexplicably turn 180 degrees and verbally attack you with such viciousness it will makes your head spin! This rage is completely out of proportion to the imagined criticism and is mind bending!

You’ll find yourself profusely apologizing for crimes you had no idea you committed, and he will ignore your pleas and tears until he feels you’ve suffered enough to be admitted back into his good graces. He punishes you by banishment or silence. It’s all downhill from there.

You must remember having a relationship with a narcissist is a losing proposition. He is literally not capable of loving anyone other than himself because he never developed empathy. He cannot identify with anyone’s feelings or needs, therefore everything is about him. And it always will be. You cannot improve him. You cannot love him enough to heal his personality. It’s impossible and the sooner you comprehend this, the better you’ll be able to make an intelligent decision on whether your relationship is worth the bother. You’ll give 99% and get 1% back and be told you’re lucky to get that much!

He is only capable of acting or imitating human emotions such as love, empathy and tenderness and what seems to you to be genuine feelings are the subconscious, learned behaviors he uses to control and manipulate others. He knows trust is important in a relationship but he finds it next to impossible to trust anyone, therefore he will lord the possibility of you earning his trust over you, almost like a carrot on a stick. One day you’re worthy of being trusted, the next day, you’re not.

Remember, it’s like being romantically involved with a six year old. At that age, the child is the center of his own universe. He is arrogant, pompous, and self-important, demands his own way rather than ask or negotiate, thinks his way is always right and, once started, will stick to a course of bad behavior or bad judgment regardless of the inevitability of a less than desirable outcome.

His feelings are crushed by the smallest of disagreements and he simply cannot accept being corrected. Because he is so anxious to be the best, be loved and praised any failure is very hard for him. He will go to extreme lengths to avoid admitting any wrongdoing. He will turn on you and throw a spectacular, raging tantrum to any perceived slight. He is a poor sport and can’t stand to lose. He is argumentative, quarrelsome, defiant, snippy, petty, competitive, combative, belligerent, verbally aggressive, vindictive and vengeful.

He extends little forgiveness and again, will punish you by withdrawing or silence. He will be very critical of others but expects friendships to be resumed immediately following tremendous conflict. He will verbally eviscerate you and turn around a few minutes later as if nothing happened and everything is just fine. This makes you insecure, questioning yourself and your judgment.

He must play one-upmanship with everybody. He cannot stand to be seen as inferior so he’ll compile a repertoire of stories to trot out every time someone else seems to have a better one. He has done more, seen more, been more places, experienced greater danger, been ill or injured more seriously, earned more honors, medals, accolades, etc. than anyone else. Ever. He works more hours and sacrifices more, has fantastically unusual hobbies and the most glorious plans for the future.

He is an expert at making anyone under his influence crave his approval but only gives it sparingly. He provides just enough of what you need emotionally to get you to stay; just a big enough hit of the narcissistic drug that hooked you to make you feel special, then he will emotionally distance himself in ways that keep you off balance. But no matter how much you invest in the relationship, you will NEVER, EVER regain or experience that initial, glorious high again.

Eventually, you begin to emerge from your stupor only to realize you don’t want to be used and abused anymore. You have given up so much of yourself emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually, etc., that you now barely function as an individual. But because he is everything to you and it is unthinkable to visualize living without him in your life, the thought of leaving is worse than a death because you know he is still alive.

What kind of fool falls for and is loyal to a narcissist? Women who are exceptionally nurturing, compliant, giving, loving, trusting, gullible, naïve and adaptable; whose greatest pleasure is to serve and please their mate. After years of narcissistic abuse, they find themselves totally dependent on and in awe of the N. They cringe at the thought of ever being without them because they have made the N their whole reason to exist.

There are only three outcomes to a relationship with a narcissist. You learn to live as a satellite that revolves around his world, giving up your autonomy, desires and personal needs; he eventually tires of your particular flavor of ‘supply’ and dumps and discards you like a used napkin, or you gather the courage to walk away from what you thought was the love of your life.

This leaves you to grieve what was just an illusion, a fairy tale, and is excruciatingly painful! To realize that you truly meant nothing to him, that he never really loved you because he is incapable of loving anyone other than himself, will nearly destroy you. It literally drives some women to suicide.

And to top off the agony, you must face the gut-wrenching fact that he will move on to another source of supply almost immediately. He feels no guilt or loyalty to you. He does not miss you. He does not think about you. You were like a good magazine that entertained him for a while which he then threw away in the garbage when he was finished reading. You were a thing used to temporarily fill him with the self worth he craves.

You remain for some time hooked to the memory of how those brain chemicals he triggered made you feel. You’re accustomed to trying anything to please him. You know you’ve been treated badly but you want nothing more than to pick up the phone and call him or email or visit him. You have to understand how completely he controlled you and that it will take considerable effort on your part to break that control and the addiction you have for him. Sometimes it takes years. The pain is breathtaking!

There are plenty of internet sites with ‘survivors’ of narcissistic relationships to help you and they will provide all the information, validation and support you’ll need to help you heal. The experience you have is so surreal that, almost like rape, until you’ve tried to love one of these people, you cannot possibly understand the injuries inflicted that scar you forever. You will always think of them as “my narcissist.” They are a permanent part of you and you will love and miss them the rest of your life.

The greatest tragedy is they are never satisfied, happy or content. They will never, ever comprehend that they don’t need to be perfect or better than everyone else to be lovable. They are worthy just as they are. Unfortunately, the love they so desperately need is the very love they destroy with such bitter, arrogant disdain. And it will break your heart!

The Difference Between Real and Fake Jewelry

The law requires metal to be marked by the maker and the metal quality. For sterling, the mark will be either the numbers 925 (meaning 92.5 % silver, which is sterling) or a “sterling” stamp with the words. Near the clasp should have the mark, it would be at the end of the chain if anything. Sometimes the mark is on a little flat looking ring at the end of the chain, so check around.

Sterling silver will tarnish and on some people it tarnishes quickly due to body chemistry, but on others it may never tarnish. To keep tarnish from happening, sterling is very often plated with another metal to protect the sterling and keep the tarnish from happening. The plating will be a metal called “rhodium” which is very bright or another metal recently used on silver that looks more the color of silver. However, the chain can be sterling and still have the plate on the outside to prevent tarnish.

Other than that, the only real way to tell if something is sterling silver is to test it. For example, like an acid test done by a jeweler. Generally a test will cost some money, not a lot, but maybe not worth it, depending on what you paid for the chain. On a large heavy chain, the test might be worth it, but that’s all up to you.

I suggest thinking about where you got the chain from and whether or not you got it from an established business. An established business would serve little purpose in selling anything fake for sterling silver. Always look for both a sterling marks and a stamp or symbol for the manufacture as I said before. Both of those marks should be there.

Here’s some information on how to tell if the gold on your bracelet is really gold. The chlorine in bleach is dangerous to gold jewelry, so it’s best not to test gold in bleach, or else you’ll ruin your jewelry. Stress points like where the metal has been hammered, bent over stones in prongs, formed by chain making machines and the like are the most affected by chlorine. Soldered areas are sometimes affected by chlorine. White gold is most easily damaged but apparently this happens with yellow gold also at stress points in the metal.

Chlorine will cause a darkening on gold, but on yellow gold it looks almost like a very pale gray color. White gold reacts the same way but sometimes goes darker. This is the chlorine reacting to the metals in karat gold. All jewelry metal of 18k, 14k and 10k has other metals in the recipe when the metal is made. Pure gold is mixed with mostly silver and copper (with nickel or palladium with white gold) to make metal strong enough for jewelry.

The karat mark shows how much pure gold is in the mix. For instance, pure gold is called 24k. Now, 10k will have 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts of the other metals, all adding up to 24 part. 18k gold will be 18 parts pure gold and 6 parts other metals, all adding up to 24 parts. That is how it goes with karats.

Yellow gold is not as dangerously affected by chlorine in bleach and a good buffing should make it ok, that is, if it is really gold. The best way to see if it is real karat gold is to have it tested. That means an acid test or a test using one of the newer electronic gold testers some jewelers use. That is what I would recommend.

Ceramic Disc Capacitor – How to Accurately Test It

The last article I mentioned about electrolytic capacitor breakdown when under load. In this article I will talk about the high voltage resin coated ceramic disc capacitor. In computer monitor, it is frequent used in the screen voltage (G2) line at the crt board. When it fails, it can cause erratic or intermittently raster bright and dim and sometimes no display.

Adjusting the flyback transformer screen control will not solve this problem. You can isolate the problem as whether if it cause by a defective fly back or G2 line at crt board. Remove the G2 wire from circuit and measure the screen voltage with a digital multimeter- it should have a constant voltage (will not vary). If the voltage is not stable suspect the fly back. If it OK then trace the screen voltage circuit. Usually this circuit consist of only resistors and capacitors. Sometimes a defective crt socket might cause this type of problem also!

Many times a tech can’t solve this intermittent or no display problem is because their digital capacitance and ohmmeter measured OK on the capacitors. The capacitors in the screen voltage line are usually rated of 102,103, and 472 1kv to 2kv. A ‘missed’ in checking this capacitors will caused the technician can’t solve the problem, unless he direct replace the capacitor. An intermittent capacitor can pull down the screen voltage causing the display problem.

As mentioned earlier, an ohmmeter with 12v output and a digital capacitance with 3v output are unable to accurately check the capacitor that have the rating of 1-2 kilovolt!

If you have the analog insulation tester or meter, the panel will show a short circuit when certain voltage are pump in to check the high voltage capacitor. The voltages that you can select is depends on the brand or model you buy. Some have the range of 50v to 1000v and some have the range from 100v to 500v. It is optional whether you should have one. If you have one then it would be an added advantage for you. The other option that you have is to direct replace the suspected capacitor. In my country, you can get a new one in less than US150.00 or you may bid a used unit from eBay.

As for me, checking the small blue resin coated ceramic disc capacitor that have the capacitor code of 104 50v, besides using digital capacitance meter to check for the value, i also use an analog meter set to times 10Kohm that have the output of 12v to check this type of capacitor. Many times it will revealed the bad intermittent capacitor. You will be shocked to see the capacitance meter checked OK but show a shorted reading when check with analog multimeter.

In the market there is certain brand of analog multimeter that have the range of 100kohm. If you open up the cover, you can’t see the 9v battery in it, what you see only the 2 pieces of 1.5v battery. This type of meter can’t accurately detect the short in the capacitor because the output voltage is only 3volt!

For those of you who involved in repairing monitor, you will agree with me that checking the flyback internal capacitance- quite often you get the right value 2.7nf with digital capacitance meter but when you switch on the monitor, you will hear a ‘tick-tick’ sound from the flyback. This is because the capacitor is breaking down when under load. If you did not do anything with the flyback, gradually the internal capacitance will become shorted and you will need to refurbish the flyback.

So You Want to Own and Operate an "Alarm Company" – What is Your Plan of Attack?

There are an immense amount of things to consider once you choose to enter the electronic security and alarm field as your next business. In my experience, the people who take this endeavor on, are coming from careers as alarm installers or have a great amount of engineering experience. What attracts a person to the alarm industry and makes them want to run their own alarm company are usually the recurring revenues from monitoring. There is a great amount of money to be made in the monitoring side of the business. Many also find the industry to be somewhat recession proof as it is a product that is both needed and accessible to all, no matter what their financial status might be.

Alarm installers have an advantage over many that open an alarm company. I equate it to opening a restaurant, you can have the nicest dining room in town and the best service in place as well, but if the chef is no good, your restaurant will fail. Installation is the one side of the business that controls the quality of all other aspects. As with most things, when you sub work out, you will sacrifice quality unless the owner of the company comes from an alarm installation background and can supervise and train other installers, to maintain the highest standards of the industry. Many municipalities and state governments have extensive licensing and background check requirements to operate or even work for an alarm company. Other states require minimum experience and their licensing is as informal as getting a permit. A good starting point to research these requirements would be to contact the (national) NBFAA or (your state) burglar and fire alarm association.

When you decide to build an Alarm Company from the ground up, there are many considerations that one must take into account. As there are few places to turn where all the needed information is under one roof, you may find yourself speaking to many experts in individual aspects of business and alarm company operations. After a great amount of information is gathered, you can then begin to put the puzzle together.

The inherent problem with this approach is that the information taught by one was not designed to flow with the information taught by another, and you end up putting out many fires, at a time that you should be learning how to prevent them.

Here are just a few of the questions you should be asking yourself at the beginning stages of starting your alarm company:

*Do I join an alarm dealership program or run an independent alarm company?

*How will I set up administration for the daily operations of my alarm company?

*What should I pay all the crucial positions?

*How does the paperwork flow from sales, to alarm install, to administration?

*What numbers should I target and expect?

*How is my alarm sales department structured?

*How is my alarm installation department structured?

*How do all of these positions get managed productively?

*What equipment should I sell and install?

*What is normal industry pricing?

*How do I find potential customers?

*How do I efficiently convert these people into clients?

*Who does the monitoring of these alarms?

*How do I hire for all the necessary departments?

*How do I train them and make them accountable to success?

In order to fully understand your options and be able to make decisions that will be both financially beneficial and easily assimilated, you should seek expert advice and training from a singular source if at all possible. This way the programs you learn are designed to interact with each other. Below is a list of the training modules that you will need to learn in order to complete the picture and compete in our field.

Hiring- A sales manager is only as good as their ability to hire new employees. Learning to hire quality employees is multi- faceted endeavor with an emphasis on time management. Seek out the best concepts in ad writing, ad placement, cost controls, ad calls, interview process, time management and employee retention.

Training- Buildings that last the longest are built on the most solid foundations. New hires are evaluating their future with the company on their ability to learn the job as quickly as possible, and to make themselves productive members of a team. Experts will teach you methods of training, and help you add structure and accountability to your in house training programs.

Scheduling- Understanding time management and scheduling, allows you to get the most out of each day without sacrificing or delaying other tasks. A manager must be able to perform all necessary roles without the sinking feeling of never being able to catch up. An employee must be able to attend training and meetings and still be able to use the available workday productively.

Pay Plan- Experts will introduce you to some of the most cutting edge and motivating pay-plans in the industry. If your pay and commission structure is not consistently benefiting the company and its employees equally, it is time to learn about alternative concepts.

Time Management- Explore how all the necessary growth in your Management, Sales and Marketing divisions can be accomplished, taught and maintained on a daily basis, while affecting your bottom line positively from day one.

Accountability- Accountability programs are controlled by both supervisors and the employees that are holding themselves accountable to the highest standards. Learn how to make these programs work for all parties involved. When accountability programs are administered improperly they will create the perception of baby-sitting. When done properly they will provide pride in workmanship, a feeling of accomplishment, and job security.

Reports- Accurate and comprehensive daily record keeping and periodic reports to teammates and officers of the company will keep all players on the same page. Experts can help you design a custom database that will take minimal time for a team manager to maintain. Experts will teach you how to share this information with your superiors and employees alike. A comprehensive daily report is a “Crystal Ball” and will guide your individual training needs.

Forms- There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Experts have a complete database of the forms necessary to maintaining daily training and record keeping in our industry.

Motivation- Learn the methods for team motivation which include employee acknowledgment programs, bonus programs, team display boards and most important, earning genuine loyalty and respect as a manager.

Bonus Programs- Explore new concepts for employee bonus programs that work in conjunction with production growth, without becoming expected and repetitive. Learn how to create the budget for these programs and manage them from request for funding to distribution of bonus awards.

Meetings- Productive team meetings are a privilege and something to look forward to. Are your employees seeing the opportunity to get together with teammates and grow as positive? If your answer is anything less than an exuberant YES, you should be looking for methods of creating positive and constructive team meetings.

Goal Setting- Individual goal setting is the most important tool a quality sales manager has at their disposal, for growing a consistent and loyal employee. It allows you to get to know an individual’s hopes and dreams on a personal level, while helping them to accomplish the steps necessary to success. Experts can review any existing goal setting programs or concepts that you have in place and suggest alternative ways to manage this program.

Lead Production- Explore field proven programs that have been created to increase your dealerships lead production. Residential Referral Programs, Canvas Lead Production, Exhibition Lead Production and Preferred Partner Programs are a few of the methods that should be learned.

Protocol-Consistent handling of each possible situation creates accountability. Learn to teach employees how to report in on all aspects of daily work. Teach employees how any breach in protocol will be recognized and addressed in a constructive manner.

Lead Runners- Develop your lead runners as specialists in the art of the first visit close. All aspects of lead runner’s daily requirements are taught, from time management to the actual processes of:

Rapport, Body Language, Equipment Presentation, Product Knowledge, Cost Analysis, Creating the Greed, Creating the Need,

Assumption, Walk Through, Creating Possession, Take-Away’s,

System Design, Parts Sales, Pre-Pays, Paperwork, Cancel Killers, Self-Generating. (Sales without leads)

Canvasser’s- Masters of the doorstep with proficiency in all the modules above. Teach your canvasser’s not to burn doors, and to stop turning their jobs into door to door sales. An effective canvasser should speak to only four homeowners to put two on paper. This is taught through constant roll playing and attitude adjustment in the arena of creating opportunity. Explore field proven methods of converting your canvasser’s into an elite team of productive experts with a high quality of life as a reward.

Telemarketing- Time tables, concepts and controls for development of an in house telemarketing department for creation of sales and promotion leads.

I have only begun to scratch the surface of all the things that need to be considered when opening an Alarm Company. Set yourself a consultation with an industry expert that can help you decide on the complete structure. This way your chosen path will have continuity and flow, while saving you time getting to where you are going as a

competitor in a complicated but lucrative venture.

Hookless Shower Curtains

A hookless shower curtain is simply that – a shower curtain without hooks! Traditionally shower curtains have small holes in them for adding hooks or rings which can be attached to a rod or rail across the shower or bath. Hookless curtains have much larger holes, grommets or eyelets allowing for a rod to be placed through the holes. The rings are flexible and literally pop over the curtain rod allowing for quick and easy installation.

Advantages:

– no fiddly hooks to mess around with or snap

– easy to install with ‘flex-rings’ (10 seconds)

– clean straight line

– easy to slide curtain along pole

– do not have to take whole rod down for washing curtain

– curtain folds/stacks neatly when pulled back

– no additional hooks or rings to buy

Disadvantages:

– holes could tear if eyelets fail or poor quality

– cannot personalise with curtain hooks

When choosing a hookless option for your curtain you are not restricted to plain curtains or even just white. Curtains suitable for rods come in a myriad of designs, colours and patterns with contrasting or co-ordinating eyelets. One of my bright favourites that I have come across is a Peva 71 x 74 inch ‘Splash’ design which has different sized panels featuring different coloured spots with the 3 words: Suds, Ker-splatt and Splash printed across the curtain and contrasting red eyelets or grommets.

How to correctly install your hookless curtain:

1. Stand outside the tub facing in

2. Grasp the top half of a pair of rings (with the slit between them) with both hands

3. Gently push top half of rings over the shower rod, the lower half of rings will follow under rod. The slits magically disappear

4. Continue until complete

5. When installed correctly the curtain’s side edges will face out and the slits will be behind the rod.

Most shower curtains have a special anti-microbial treatment that helps to resist mould and mildew. Hookless curtains are available in plain white, plain colours such as blue, red and pink. Striped curtains can have horizontal or vertical stripes, two-tone or multicoloured. Curtains with mosaic borders where the eyelets are look great and hide the slits really well. Patterns feature widely in hookless shower curtains and another very popular design is with a clear viewing panel. Some even have pockets for customising and personalising your curtain. Black and white stripes are a classic for any bathroom decor and of course you will be able to find liners if you need them.

A Small Dark Galaxy Hides In Space

Silently, secretly, and swathed in a strange, exotic material woven of an invisible form of mysterious matter, it lurks in intergalactic space, bereft of starlight. It is a small dark galaxy that haunts the halo of a much larger, star-blasted galaxy nearly 4 billion light-years away. A dark galaxy is one that hosts no, or very few, brilliant and fiery stars, and these objects got their name because they are barren of the stellar constituents that can illuminate them. In April 2016, a team of astronomers announced that they have detected subtle distortions hidden in an Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) gravitational wave image that shows tattle-tale signs that a dwarf dark galaxy is haunting the outskirts of its much larger galactic neighbor. ALMA is an astronomical array of radio telescopes in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. This important discovery paves the way for ALMA to find many more similar objects and could help shed new light on important questions concerning the nature of the transparent, mysterious, and exotic non-atomic dark matter.

In 2014, as part of ALMA’s Long Baseline Campaign, astronomers investigated a variety of astronomical denizens of the Cosmos in order to test the telescope’s new, state-of-the-art high-resolution abilities. One of these experimental images proved to be particularly special because it revealed a truly remarkable buried treasure in the enchanting shape of an Einstein ring. The Einstein ring had formed as a result of the gravity of a massive foreground galaxy warping, bending, and distorting the light emitted by another–and much smaller–invisible galaxy 12 billion light-years away.

The phenomenon that formed the Einstein ring is termed gravitational lensing, and it is a prediction of Albert Einstein’s General theory of Relativity (1915). Gravitational lensing is a natural and precious tool that astronomers can use for studying galaxies that are otherwise too remote for them to observe. It also reveals the properties of the nearby lensing galaxy because of the way its gravity warps and focuses light from more distant objects.

The term gravitational lensing refers to the path that light takes when it has been deflected. The light does not need to be exclusively visible light–it can be any form of radiation. As a result of lensing, beams of emitted light, that would normally not have been detectable, are bent in such a way that their paths travel towards the observer. Likewise, light can also be bent in such a way that the emitted beams move away from the observer. There are various forms of gravitational lenses: strong lenses, weak lenses, and microlenses. The differences that exist between these varying forms of gravitational lenses are based on the position of the background object that is emitting the beams of light, the foreground lens that is bending the traveling light, and the position of the observer–as well as the shape and mass of the foreground gravitational lens. The foreground object determines how much light from the background object will be warped, as well as the path that this emitted light will take.

The Universe that we see today is filled with billions upon billions of fiery stars that inhabit the more than 100 billion galaxies situated in that relatively small region that we are able to observe. What may (or may not) exist beyond what we can see, from the small region of the Cosmos that we call the observable, or visible Universe, is lost to us. Indeed, the answer to our origins and very existence may lie hidden in those mysterious regions that we can never reach. We are unable to observe those objects because the light that travels towards us from those incredibly distant domains has not had enough time to reach us since the Big Bang. This is because of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. The speed of light, the universal speed limit, has prevented us from observing beyond the cosmological horizon. As we peer further and further out into Space, we look further and further back in Time. This is because the more distant a luminous object is in Space, the longer it has taken for its traveling light to reach us. The light wandering to us from the most distant regions of the observable Universe has taken billions of years to reach us, and so we observe those remote objects now as they were billions of years ago. In astronomy, long ago is the same as far away. Time is the fourth dimension. The three spatial dimensions of our familiar world are up-and-down, back-and-forth, and side-to-side. It is impossible to locate an object in Space without also locating it in Time–hence, the term Spacetime.

Soon after our Universe was born in the inflationary Big Bang, that occurred almost 14 billion years ago, there was a mysterious era devoid of light, termed the Cosmic Dark Ages. During this ancient era, the Universe was a bizarre expanse of featureless darkness, barren of starlight. This mysterious era came to a dramatic grand finale when the first generation of brilliant baby stars were born to hurl their fabulous light into this domain of perpetual midnight. The first galaxies were dark and opaque clouds of pristine gas, tumbling into, and then collecting, within the strange hearts of halos composed of the exotic and invisible dark matter. The primeval objects then pulled in the very first sparkling batches of bright baby stars.

Strange Dark Objects

Astronomers have long proposed the existence of dark galaxies. Even though these strange, dark objects are bereft of sparkling stars, they may be detectable if they contain large amounts of glowing gas.

The actual size of dark galaxies is not known. This is because they cannot be seen with the normal telescopes that astronomers use. A variety of estimates have been suggested, however, ranging from twice the size of our large barred-spiral Milky Way Galaxy to the size of a small quasi-stellar object (quasar).

Dark galaxies are composed of the dark matter. In addition, dark galaxies are theoretically composed of hydrogen gas and dust. Some astronomers suggest the possibility that dark galaxies really do host stars. Alas, the precise composition of dark galaxies remains mysterious because there is no conclusive way to detect them so far. However, many astronomers estimate that the mass of the gas in these galaxies is about 1 billion times that of our Sun.

A Small Dark Galaxy Hides In Space

In a new paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal, Dr. Yashar Hezaveh and his team provide a detailed analysis of the ALMA image showing signs of a hidden dwarf dark galaxy lurking within the halo of the more nearby, larger galaxy.

“We can find these invisible objects in the same way that you can see rain droplets on a window. You know they are there because they distort the image of the background objects,” Dr. Hezaveh explained in an April 14, 2016 National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Press Release. In the case of a rain drop, the image distortions are caused by refraction. In the revealing ALMA image, similar distortions are formed as a result of the gravitational influence of dark matter. Dr. Hezaveh is an astronomer at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. The NRAO is in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The dark matter is theorized to account for 80 percent of the mass of the Universe. Even though dark matter is thought to be composed of strange, unidentified, non-atomic particles that do not interact with light or other forms of electromagnetic radiation, it can be identified because of its gravitational influence on objects that can be seen.

For their study, the team of astronomers used thousands of computers working in parallel for many weeks, including the National Science Foundation’s most powerful supercomputer, Blue Waters. With the help of Blue Waters, the scientists searched for subtle anomalies that displayed consistent and measurable counterpart in each “band” of radio data. From this collection of combined computations, the astronomers were able to attain an unprecedented understanding of the lensing galaxy’s halo, which is a diffuse and almost star-free region surrounding the galaxy–and they discovered a distinctive clump less than one-thousandth of the mass of our Milky Way.

Because of the clump’s estimated mass, its relationship to the larger galaxy, and the lack of an optical counterpart, the astronomers suggest that this gravitational anomaly may be the result of an extremely dim, dark-matter dominated dwarf satellite of the large, lensing galaxy. According to theoretical predictions, most galaxies should be swamped by swarms of similar dwarf galaxies, as well as other companion objects. Spotting these objects, however, has presented a great challenge. Indeed, in respect to our own Galaxy, astronomers are able to identify only about 40 of the thousands of satellite objects that are predicted to be lurking there.

“This discrepancy between observed satellites and predicted abundances has been a major problem in cosmology for nearly two decades, even called a ‘crisis’ by some researchers. If these dwarf objects are dominated by dark matter, this could explain the discrepancy while offering new insights into the true nature of dark matter,” explained Dr. Neal Dalil in the April 14, 2016 NRAO Press Release. Dr. Dalil is of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and a member of the discovery team.

Computer models of the evolution of the Universe suggest that by measuring the “clumpiness” of the invisible dark matter, it may be possible to measure its temperature. Therefore, by counting the number of small clumps of dark matter around distant galaxies, astronomers can determine the temperature of dark matter–which has an important influence on the smoothness of the Cosmos.

“If these halo objects are simply not there, then our current dark matter model cannot be correct and we will have to modify what we think we understand about dark matter particles,” commented study co-author Dr. Daniel Marrone in the same NRAO Press Release. Dr. Marrone is of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

These new observations are important because they suggests that most of the dwarf galaxies may simply be in hiding, and cannot be seen because they are primarily made up of the invisible dark matter–and, thus, emit very little (if any) revealing light, to give away their secret presence. “Our current measurements agree with the predictions of cold dark matter. In order to increase our confidence we will need to look at many more lenses,” explained Dr. Gilbert Holder in the April 14, 2016 NRAO Press Release. Dr. Holder is of McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

“This is an amazing demonstration of the power of ALMA. We are now confident that ALMA can efficiently discover these dark galaxies. Our next step is to look for more of them and to have a census of their abundance to figure out if there is any possibility of a warm temperature for dark matter particles,” Dr. Hezaveh explained to the press.

The Benefits of Battery Lights Over Traditional Fairy Lights

Everyone loves fairy lights. They look great, they can be used almost anywhere and with so many colours and styles available there is the perfect fairy light option for all people and occasions. Whether you are after some elegant white fairy lights to brighten up a vase full of flowers, or you are holding a disco themed party for teenagers and want some colourful, flashing rope lights, you will always find the right fairy lights for your needs.

The majority of fairy lights are now available in both a traditional, plug-in version and as cable free battery lights. Some are even available in a USB format. They are used for everything from Christmas and birthday parties to wedding receptions and more, however they can also be used as a fantastic home decoration the whole year round. In almost every instance, battery lights beat plug-in lights as a better, cheaper, safer option to choose. Here are some of the main benefits of choosing battery lights for your fairy lighting needs.

Use Them Anywhere

Unlike traditional fairy lights that need to be plugged into a socket, battery lamps can be used absolutely anywhere, at least above ground. From small strings used to decorate vases and photo frames, to extra long rope lights used for outdoor venues, it is always possible to buy battery versions of the fairy lights that you want if you look for them. You are not limited by needing to hang them up within a certain distance of your nearest plug socket, nor do they only need to be used indoors. You can pop battery lights in trees, on the ceiling, on your roof… the opportunities are endless.

No Unsightly Cables

Not only can battery lamps be used pretty much anywhere, they will also look great no matter where you choose to put them. There are no long, unsightly cables trailing away from them, which also means no trip hazard either. With their vastly improved versatility, their aesthetic attractiveness, and their practicality, using battery lights is win, win, win.

Less Risk of Fire

When plugging in fairy lights or rope lights to a wall socket, there is the danger of the plug overheating if leaving the lights on for long periods of time, and this can cause a fire. You can minimise this risk by using battery lights as these are a single unit that receives no more power than the batteries can give them, eliminating the risk of a potentially dangerous power surge.

Cheaper to Run

Electricity powered lights will, on average, consume more energy than battery lights. Of course, batteries will eventually need changing but by buying rechargeable batteries you ensure that you will not have to keep buying new batteries, and recharging a set of batteries costs much less than powering the lights themselves for the same period of time. Battery lights will therefore save you money in the long run.

Extra Durable

As battery lights can be used both inside and outside, manufacturers have generally gone to extra lengths to ensure that these portable fairy lights can withstand varying weather conditions. You will generally find that battery lights are much more durable and long-lasting that traditional plug-in lights.

Overall, I think that the benefits of battery lights are clear when it comes to choosing the correct fairy lights for you needs. However, if you have decided to opt for battery lights there still remains the decision over which ones to choose exactly, with numerous different varieties available. From elegant clear or white lights to multi-coloured versions, you will be able to find absolutely any colour that you desire. You can also choose from bulbs that remain permanently on, flashing lights or ones with a special lighting sequence such as waves. Finally, there are also many different types of battery lights available above and beyond the humble string of lights. You might want to buy thick rope lights which are especially useful for outdoors thanks to the fact that the bulbs themselves are insulated from the elements, or you might want to choose a net or curtain lights to easily decorate walls and create a stunning backdrop for any event.

The Power Of Apology

“A few things are more powerful than common sense, wisdom and the strength to admit when you’ve made a mistake and to set things right”. – Dr. Spencer Johnson, MD

Whether we have mistreated others or have been wronged by others, it is human nature to cry out for restitution. All human relationships will at some point require an apology regardless of the nature of the relationship in which we find ourselves. That could be a marriage, a working relationship, siblings, a dating relationship, or with friendships. A genuine apology makes resolution possible. Without an apology, people will harbor anger and resentment, demanding some sort of justice.

When you apologize, you are accepting responsibility for your actions, and seeking to make amends with those who have offended you. A genuine apology will open the door to forgiveness and reconciliation. This is what the power of an apology will do – it breaks down those walls that have been holding people back from having fulfilling relationships with one another.

When you refuse to apologize, you build a barrier in the relationship with those who have offended you. That barrier will remain up and the fabric of relationship will deteriorate. Great relationships are a result of a willingness to apologize, to forgive, and to reconcile. Without those elements, relationships will remain cold, superficial, and distant.

In healthy families, children are taught to apologize for their wrong behavior towards their sibling(s) or parents. However, many children grow up in dysfunctional environments and become emotionally wounded or bitter and never learn the art of apologizing. They carry this inability to apologize into adulthood, full of stubbornness and unwillingness to give in.

Understanding the power of a genuine apology can restore broken relationships and enrich your life with your loved ones. After some extensive research on the subject of apology, Dr. Gary Chapman shares in his newest book, The Five Languages of Apology,

“When it comes to apologizing, people indeed speak a different language…sincere apologies may not always be received as sincere, and why forgiveness and reconciliation are not always forthcoming.”

The Five Languages of Apology

1. Expressing Regret: This can be using words such as, “I am Sorry.” When you use these words to express sorrow, it expresses your own guilt, shame, and pain for your actions that have hurt others. Doing this is a necessary ingredient to a good relationship. For some people, “sorry” is the cure-all while it will not work for others. You must be specific when apologizing, and you must leave out the “BUT”. Starting an apology with, “I am sorry, but”… will not work to restore the relationship. When you do this, it goes from being an apology to an attack because you are shifting the blame. An attack will only lead to more strife, not to reconciliation.

2. Accepting Responsibility: This is difficult for most people. Admitting wrong is oftentimes misconstrued as a weakness by others. According to Dr. Chapman psychologists have concluded that if a child is humiliated and condemned for wrong doing, it is linked to their sense of self-worth. The child will then grow up with an emotional link between their self-worth and wrong behavior, determining that confessing their faults is bad behavior. Paul Meyer, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Golden Soul, says, “One of the most important success factors is the willingness to admit that you were wrong”. We would all be more successful today if we adopted this principal.

Mature adults learn to accept accountability for wrong behavior. Immature adults tend to downplay or rationalize their wrong actions. They blame others and will not admit to doing anything wrong.

3. Making Restitution: This means to make things right. It is such an awful feeling to go through life knowing that you have hurt or offended someone, or that someone has hurt or offended you. You want restitution. The proof of a sincere apology is having an eagerness to do something to resolve the pain that you have inflicted on someone.

“Sorry” may not be enough of an apology for some people. Sometimes, people will only be satisfied with restitution, a repayment for an offense. For example, if a loved one was physically violated, hearing the offender say “I am sorry” may not be enough. Seeing that person in prison is the recompense that will allow them to be happy and be able to move on.

4. Genuine Repentance: Repentance means to turn around, to change one’s mind. Don’t make the same mistake over and over. When a mistake or an offense is repeated consistently, there is no genuine repentance in practice. If someone in the relationship has hurt you emotionally or physically over and over; simply saying “Sorry” will not cut it. You need to know that this person has changed and that they will stop hurting you. Sincere repentance starts with the heart before it can be an action.

5. Forgiveness: Forgiving someone is to exonerate or pardon them from the wrong they have caused you. This is the hardest part for the majority of people to do. True forgiveness is the ability to forgive a person no matter how horrible the offense you have suffered. Forgiveness starts with a request to be forgiven. By requesting forgiveness, it shows that you want the relationship fully restored. An apology is an attempt to bring down barriers that have kept the relationship distant.

The person asking for forgiveness realizes that have caused someone to be offended. People who are controlling have difficulty asking for forgiveness. This is because if they do, they will feel as though they are losing power.

The power of apology will restore broken relationships and produce great, meaningful life-long friendships, marriages, and parent-child relationships. It will also impact day to day encounters with people outside of your circle. Genuine apologies will soften even the toughest and most stubborn hearts. A soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1, KJV)

Sources:

The Five Languages of Apology; Dr. Gary Chapman