Gay Dating Tactics: Your First-Date Do’s & Don’ts

Introduction

Nothing gets the heart pumping quite like the nervous anticipation that goes along with going out on a first date with a guy. Whether it’s a blind date or someone you’re already acquainted with, the first meeting with a dating prospect brings with it a host of emotions, more commonly a mixture of excitement and nervousness. As the pivotal moment approaches, thoughts can become centered on such questions as: “Will he like me?” “Will I like him?” “Is he going to be The One?” “What if I mess things up and make a fool of myself?” “What will I talk about? What if I run out of things to say?”

Everyone’s experience is different, but the one common denominator that most daters would testify to is that it can be difficult to navigate through the waters of man-to-man dating. Although it’s changing, we gay men have few role models to emulate when it comes to love and romance. There’s no template to follow and we were never taught how to flirt with and date other men. There are no rules, no structure, and no guidance. How do two men join together in the “courtship dance?” While a lack of rules for gay dating can be a positive thing, lending to more creativity, spontaneity, and individuality, it can also create anxiety and a sense of “cluelessness” in how to meet and date successfully–kind of like a car without a driver.

This article will offer some tips on how to approach your first date with that lucky guy you’ve chosen to get to know in sequence of that date’s occurrence. While these are by no means “rules”, these ideas can offer a means to ground yourself and make the most out of the experience without sabotaging it before it gets off the ground. Pick and choose the ones that seem right for you and create your own principles as a means of being a healthy dater who lives with integrity and follows his own values.

Before the Date

·When setting a time and place for your date, be sure to make it a short meeting (1-2 hours) for the first time and select a place that is either activity-oriented or allows for lots of opportunity to talk. Avoid movies and instead opt for a short get-together at a coffee shop or at the zoo. Making it brief takes a lot of the pressure off, especially if you find the two of you aren’t compatible, and allows for healthy pacing of your dating relationship. You can always extend the date if you’re getting along famously.

·Take the emphasis off of it being a date and instead view it as a chance to meet a potential new friend. This can help “take the edge off” and allow you to relax without focusing on the outcome of the date. Avoid placing too many hopes and expectations on the encounter; let it evolve naturally and if a spark ignites during your time together, then that’s an added bonus!

·If you’re particularly nervous, take some time to do some relaxation exercises (deep breathing, visualization, etc.) to help soothe yourself and get centered. If you’re worried about what to talk about, generate a list of possible ideas beforehand and role-play with a friend to build confidence. But don’t rely too much on this or you’ll appear stiff and rehearsed. Be cool and be yourself. This isn’t about performance.

·Dress comfortably and in clothing that makes you feel good about yourself. Make sure you and your date are on the same page about the style of dress for your date. In my own dating days, I showed up for a second date in a nice oxford shirt and jeans to then find my other half dressed to the nines in a French suit not realizing his intentions for the evening. It made for a very embarrassing moment and he cancelled the reservations he’d made for us for dinner at a ritzy, fine-dining establishment. He then changed into more casual clothes and took me to a family restaurant instead. Ouch! His image of me instantly changed and he stopped seeing me after that. He did us both a favor by ending things, but at the time it was quite humiliating. So be clear to avoid any miscommunication.

During the Date

·Be punctual and relax. No matter how attracted you may be to the man sitting across from you, it is your responsibility to be yourself–avoid trying to put up a façade and be someone you’re not to try to impress your date. You are great just as you are. Let him get to know the real you; otherwise, you’re engaging in a form of deception that will only come back to bite you later. Be authentic and eventually you’ll be rewarded with a truly compatible partner.

·Be attentive to your date. Show respect by maintaining good eye contact and don’t let those eyes stray if there are other attractive men in the room. Have an open posture and let your nonverbal communication and body language convey interest in learning about your date. Stay out of your own head and shut off those distracting thoughts; really listen to what he’s saying. Balance active listening with sharing things about yourself. Ask open-ended questions to gain more elaboration on points made in your discussion to stretch out conversations and learn more about your date. This is especially effective if you’re feeling shy or are short on things to say because it gets the other person talking more, allowing for more tidbits that you can start other dialogues about. Be positive and let your sense of humor shine through.

·Avoid controversial topics of discussion as these may be offensive to your date. You can ease into these the more you get to know him. Avoid alcohol, as this may alter your behavior, and stay away from sexual content and innuendo. Unless sex is the motivation for your date, introducing sexual talk into your first date can set the tone in an inappropriate direction. Discussions about sex and sexual preferences can come later after you’ve been able to establish more of a genuine, mature connection. Questions like “Are you a top or a bottom?” may appear crass at a first meeting and may cause an unfavorable impression of you to form in your date’s mind and image of you.

After the Date

·Whether your date was a smash hit or a disaster, exercise good manners and thank your new acquaintance for the date. If you’d like to see him again, state this and call him in a day or so to ask him out again. Don’t get caught up in the whole dating game of “How many days should I hold off to call him to avoid looking desperate?” or “I’m going to let him be the one to call me.” If you like him, take charge of your life and make that call. If you didn’t feel a “love connection” with the guy, thank him for the date and kindly and tactfully tell him that it’s not a match. While this may be extremely difficult, it’s always best to be honest and direct in a gentle, polite way. If you’d like to try to develop a friendship instead, suggest that. But be honest and direct and don’t tell him you’ll call him again if you really have no intention of doing so. That’s cruel.

·Do some de-briefing after your date and reflect on your conduct, as well as your date’s, and perhaps journal about the experience. How did you feel? How did you manage yourself during the date? What would you have changed? What went well? What did you learn about yourself as a result of this date? How would you rate the date and the guy you met? From what you can tell so far, is there compatibility with your personal requirements and vision for a life partner? Is he matching up thus far with your needs, wants, goals, and values?

Conclusion

Dating can be a nerve-wracking, daunting task, particularly with the absence of dating education available to us as gay men. What traditions and roles that our heterosexual counterparts have for dating are applicable for us, if any? What are we supposed to do?

The key is to have fun with dating and take a light approach. Dating is both an art and a science in my belief, combining common sense decision-making with self-awareness of what one wants and needs for a happy and fulfilling lifestyle. When your dating behavior is in alignment with your values and vision for a relationship, you’ll be living with integrity and will be able to approach all your dates with a more relaxed tone and confident demeanor. It will make the process much more easy-going and rewarding. Cheers to your dating success!

©2005 Brian L. Rzepczynski

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Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs,and teleclasses, please visit www.TheGayLoveCoach.com.

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Plumbing – What Does a Plumber Do?

Plumbing is a profession which will never go out of demand. It can never be hurt by the recession, because heating and cooling systems, gas, and water supply are commodities that people need on a daily basis, even in the worst of crises. The basic job description of a plumber includes installing and repairing items such as gas systems, drainage systems, water systems, and waste disposal systems in commercial, residential, and industrial buildings. Plumbing includes the ability to install basic fixtures, such as showers, bathtubs, sinks, toilets, water heaters and dishwashers, as well as laying the foundations of the piping system of the house.

Plumbers must have an idea of what materials are appropriate for each setting that they work in. On a construction site for example, the professionals would have to map out where the pipes are to be laid and then installed. Once the structure is built around the pipes and the cement foundation is laid, then the rest of the internal plumbing is done and connected to the bathroom fixtures.

Plumbers must be able to read and follow blueprints, which are usually drawn up by architects or structural engineers. This can help them gauge the layout of pipes for the entire building, and then follow the same procedure, on each floor, for each individual apartment, or block, as is the case. Now, the aesthetics of the particular construction need to be considered, but, the plumber must also make sure he has an idea of the codes and regulations of the city, county, and state that he is operating in, so that the homeowners do not need to worry.

Apart from this, sometimes, basic carpentry work might be required to access pipes inside walls or brace pipes to keep them in place. The fittings may need to be welded or soldered together to attach them. It can also be valuable for the professional to be familiar with electrical systems. The piping system is the main focus but installing fixtures is another important function.

Your plumber is also responsible for repairs to any of the systems that have been installed, if they should become clogged and need to be drained. Some homeowners may opt for their professional to do a routine maintenance check, so a time can be set up for when he could come to your home to check and make sure everything is okay with your plumbing systems. Many professionals are also on call in case of emergencies.

A Brief Overview and History of the Wrench

First patented by Solymon Merrick in 1835, the wrench is also commonly called spanner in British English. Since 1835, it has had an almost universal presence across the world, due to its simple yet effective design.

In the following article, I’ll run through the factors that have lead up to the wrench’s (or spanner; depending on which side of the pond you’re from!) ubiquity. Alongside this, I’ll also talk about other major varieties of wrenches out there and what they have.

The wrench’s simplicity of design is one of the main factors why it has been so widely adapted since it’s inception. The simple design guarantees it is easy-as-pie to duplicate and consequently is able to be mass produced efficiently, yet its extreme effectiveness in the design and employment of torque ensures loosening or tightening bolts is an easy process.

The workings of the wrench are wonderfully simple in fact; it acts as a lever, and because of the length of the tool, it reduces the amount of force you need to apply to fasten or loosen the nut. With adjustable wrenches, one of the most commonly found variations of the wrench, the head of the wrench is adjustable within a given toleration so it is able to accommodate a range of nut sizes. Hence, its effective at adapting to a range of situations.

Conventionally, the wrench head is at a 15 degree angle towards the shaft. This facilitates the use of the tool in close quarters.

Another commercially widespread sort is the socket wrench, the ratchet wrench being the clear winner here. These are normally used by mechanics, as they allow for one way ratcheting – a quick process that decreases the time it takes trade people to do certain tasks like unfastening car wheels.

Finally, you might also be familiar with the Allen wrench (commonly called the Allen key), which are cheap and easily reproduced pre-fabricated wrenches of a individual measurement. Their hexagonally shaped head is not changeable, and they usually accompany specific products that require them for maintenance.

How Can I Treat Phimosis at Home?

The conditions of Phimosis is where there is an inability to retract the foreskin over the glans (head) of the penis. Paraphimosis is the entrapment of a retracted foreskin below the head of the penis.

In the majority of cases the tight foreskins which cause these two conditions may be loosened sufficiently after a few weeks of persistent stretching. Eventually this stretching process will encourage the growth of new skin cells, which will permit normal retraction.

Listed below are described two techniques for stretching a tight foreskin:

1. Ridged band stretch

Insert the ends of two fingers at the inner sides of the foreskin opening and start to pull them gently apart. Gently apply just as much tension in order for the stretch to feel mildly uncomfortable but not painful. Hold on this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then relax for several seconds before repeating. Keep this up (no pun intended) for as much as 15 minutes and do it two times a day. Ideally this should be done after soaking in a warm bath.

After being performed persistently this exercise will also help to avoid Paraphimosis which is where the retracted foreskin gets trapped below the glans of your penis which may be both painful and distressing.

In such a circumstance try to ease the foreskin forward but if after several attempts you don’t manage to bring the foreskin back over the glans then seek medical help.

2. The pull back stretch

If the foreskin is particularly tight and inserting two fingers in the opening just isn’t yet feasible then the easiest first approach will be to simply withdraw on the skin at the shaft of the penis so your foreskin opening feels tight and stretched over the glans but again pain free. Hold the stretched position for two minutes and after that relax. Again repeat this process during a period of 15 minutes a couple of times a day. Using this method is more effective and easier if performed with an erection.

Following persistent stretching over a few weeks the opening will get bigger and arrive to the point where it could almost fit over the rim of your penis glans when erect. At this stage make sure to avoid trapping the foreskin behind the glans (Paraphimosis) when it becomes loose enough to happen but tight enough to be hard to bring forward again. Instead proceed to the 1st ridge band exercise described above.

In both of the above approaches should the foreskin opening become sore or small splits develop you must stop and let things heal. You may notice that as you progressively expose more of the glans (the head) of the penis that it is super sensitive as well as painful to touch. Gradually this over sensitivity will subside as you continue your exercises. Try gently exposing the glans to the flowing water of a tap or even the spray of the shower to reduce sensitivity. Should you continue slowly with this process it is highly likely you will notice results after a few weeks, stop too quickly however and most likely things will just firm up again. Depending on the relative tightness of your foreskin the process may take an additional few weeks.

You can actually ask your physician to prescribe Betamethasone 1% ointment. A small quantity of this ointment can be applied to the tight section of the foreskin. It can accelerate the stretching process but won’t do anything alone, without stretching. Stretching will still work without having the ointment, just less quickly. After stretching be always sure to pull your foreskin back over the glans.

5 Easy Steps To Building Your Own Soccer Goal

Soccer is easily one of the most widely played youth sports in America right now, and with the economy the way it is, purchasing equipment might be a little more financially challenging than it was before. The equipment needed for a game of soccer is really not all that much: a ball, shoes, shin-guards, and a goal. What is the most expensive? The goal. Below are a few steps for building a cost effective goal that can be used at home for practice or on a field for a game.

Materials needed (most if not all of these can be purchased at your local hardware store): First, you need a post hole digger to dig holes deep enough to place your goal-posts in. Next, you will need two 4×4 vertical bars and one 2×4 cross bar. Other miscellaneous materials that would be helpful include: a staple gun, tape measure, nails, cement mixture, a net, and a string to tie the net onto the bars. For your bars, you can use PVC, aluminum, or steel tubing (I think PVC is the best because it is the easiest to work with).

According to the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, the dimensions of a full-sized match play goal must be 24×8 feet, so take this into consideration when purchasing your materials and constructing your goal.

WARNING: I suggest that you do not use home-made goals if your child plays on full-sized goals as these can break and potentially seriously harm your child. Instead, it is suggested that you buy competitively priced, professionally made soccer goals from a reputable dealer.

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is get your post hole diggers and dig holes for your two vertical posts. Keep in mind that the stability of the entire goal rests on these holes, so be sure that you dig them well enough and deep enough as to ensure structural stability.

Step 2: Once your holes are dug, mix your concrete and pour it into the holes with the vertical bars in place. I suggest quick drying cement here because it is simple and more efficient.

Step 4: Find a friend! Here you will need to attach the cross bar to your goal, and it will be much easier if you have more than one person doing the job. A ladder might also come in handy, unless you’re Yao Ming, then you might be alright.

Step 4: Choose a net that best meets your needs. A net can be either permanent or replaceable. Make sure that you decide this ahead of time and fasten the net to the posts accordingly. Be advised, this job can be time consuming because of the many connections between the bars and the net that need to be made.

Step 5: Once the net is installed, test it out using a good quality soccer ball and a good quality leg! Make sure to also check the structural stability to ensure safety for you friends and family.

Making a goal is really not as hard as you think, as long as you have the time and patience to do it right!

7 Important Components Of A Great Office Interior Design

Do you agree that interior design plays a massive role in improving the productivity of the business and the overall attitude of workers? Nowadays, offices are being taken to a whole new level of beauty and functionality. Most companies aiming for competitiveness and dominance in the industry invest in smart office designs.

But what are the things you should look into when designing your office? Listed below are the important components of a good interior design for offices:

The Floor Layout

Different activities are accomplished in the workplace daily. Note about comfort and function. Make sure that work tables and other equipment are placed just right for the employees occupying a particular space. You would know that you have a smart floor layout if this allows the smoothest flow of operation.

Noise Reduction Implements

Soundproof glass windows and walls and other noise reduction features should be implemented. The sound of traffic outside, the click-clicking of women’s high heels on the floor, the conversations going on in a different room, etc are distracting. These sounds can be irritating to workers. Concentration is lost and quality of work is reduced.

Quality of Light

This is very important in any workspace. The quality of light should not strain the eyes. Choose a combination of natural and artificial light sources when designing your office. Natural lighting is eco-friendly and best of all help you save on electricity. Artificial light on the other hand are smart ways to illuminate an area effectively.

Windows and Curtains

Workplaces should not be blinded by darkness. Allow enough sunlight into the office by having enough numbers of windows in appropriate sizes. Big windows will give the room enough illumination and ventilation during the day. When designing, place the windows systematically into the direction of the sun. To control the amount of light coming through the windows, install curtains, shutters, or blinds. These interior pieces are part of the office decoration so make sure that you choose curtains that complement the overall theme.

Walls

Wall colours in particular can affect the productivity of employees. To create a calm setting, choose neutral colours for your walls.

Ergonomics

Studies show that physical stress can be reduced and body aches are prevented using ergonomic fixtures. Buy ergonomic chairs and tables for your office.

Shelving And Compartments

Aside from the stock room, provide storage for your employees. They usually have a lot of things to keep. To avoid clutter, shelving and compartments are needed to help them organize their things properly.

Work with the best interior design companies to ensure that your workplace can help you achieve your business goals. They know how significant it is to carefully put together your interior while considering both function and aesthetics.

Tiki Torches – Easy and Inexpensive Outdoor Mood Lighting

When the evenings are warm and you want to sit outdoors on your patio, adding a few tiki torches will bring a unique, authentic feel which will help you relax and imagine you’re in a tropical paradise. These outdoor oil torches are easy to use and maintain, and are relatively inexpensive depending on the style you decide to buy. Here, I will explain some of the things you’ll need to know about owning and using tiki torches.

First, always remember that tiki torches, no matter how decorative and beautiful, are filled with oil and have real flames. Be sure that you keep the torches away from any nearby flammable materials and always keep children and pets at a safe distance. Ensure that the torch pole is firmly attached to the base or solidly driven into the ground so it will not fall over.

Second, buy good quality lamp oil for use in the tiki torches. I once bought the cheapest oil on the shelf at the local store and it smoked horribly. Everything anywhere near the torch become covered in a disgusting black soot that was a real hassle to clean. I recommend getting a low smoke or no-smoke oil since you’ll be sitting near the flames and probably don’t want to be breathing the nasty black smoke all night. These better oils will cost slightly more, but I feel they are worth every penny.

In addition to getting good quality oil, you may want to consider getting a citronella scented oil. The addition of citronella will turn your tiki torches into functional mosquito repellents. They will not perform miracles as the citronella is relatively mild and natural, but every little bit helps when it comes to keeping those hungry mosquitoes away.

Most tiki torches will come with a wick when you buy them. Make sure that the units you purchase have the wicks because the torch is useless without it. The wick absorbs the oil in the bowl and makes it available for the flame to consume. If you have durable metal torch bodies, you may need to replace the wick periodically depending on the quality and whether it is exposed to harsh weather conditions or not. I’ve never had a bamboo torch last long enough that I had to replace the wick, so if you’re using that style, you will probably just get a replacement with the new torches when you upgrade.

When you’re positioning the wick, ensure that you don’t have too much exposed. You want just enough wick available for the flame to light and burn nicely. Arrange it so that about one half of an inch of exposed and adjust as necessary. Fill the oil bowl about three quarters full and install it into the torch holder. When you’re starting a new torch for the first time, you may need to drip some oil onto the wick from the top and let it soak down in order to help the oil get absorbed. Once the wick is soaked with the oil, you won’t have to do this again.

As you can see, tiki torches are very simple and easy to maintain. They require very few extra items to use and maintenance is minimal. Once you light your patio with a few tiki torches for the first time, you’ll be amazed at just how relaxing the light is and how mesmerizing the dancing flames can be.

How to Erect Hoarding Around a Construction Site

Hoarding is done around a construction site to protect the public and ensure safety. This ensures that also workers are protected when work is going on. This is done by erecting a barrier around the home and adhering to local authority by laws. it is important to seek permission for erecting this barrier from the local planing authorities. The general height of the hoarding is about seven feet high. The are different types that can be erected depending on the work being carried out.

Hoarding can be made by using screens, nets, strings, ballads, boards and sheets. The materials to be used vary from project to project. Where a basement is to be constructed, strings may not be used and thus boards or sheets would be preferable. For a telecommunication manhole work, a string can be used around it as the work progresses. It is important for home owners or developers to keep unwanted persons away from site. This is due to safety of those around and out side the construction site.

The hoarding construction involves a barrier and a covered walkway. This covered walkway protects passers by from falling materials. The work commences by erecting poles around the site. These poles are seven feet long and have angle end of two feet. The poles are either timber, plastic or steel. This are spaced at about six feet apart. They are cast into the ground using concrete in a pit. Once the pit is excavated, the poles are concreted and let to dry for about two days.

After the poles are cast in, planks and struts are fixed on them for the hoarding fabric. This are used to support the posts. After this is done, sheets or boards are fixed along the planks. The angled part of the posts should face outwards. This is also fixed with the boards for protection from falling materials outside the site. Also since the public outside are curious about the site, provide peep holes along the sheets. This should be about eight inches square openings. Finally decoration using paint can be done on the hoarding sheets.

The Causes of Fire Damage

While some causes of fire are general and can occur anywhere, other causes are more specific for certain rooms.

General Causes of Fire

Electrical

Don’t underestimate the fire risk from electricity just because there is no flame involved. The over warming of hot plugs and sockets and blown fuses may start a fire.

Smoking

Most cigarettes related fires start because the cigarette is not put out completely. Additional common causes include falling asleep with a cigarette and using improper ashtrays.

Candles

Even a tiny candle flame can have upsetting consequences. Many candle related fires start due to draughts that lead fire to catch burnable items and tilting candles that are not placed in suitable holders.

Room by Room Causes of Fire

The Kitchen

The kitchen contains many hazards that can cause fires. The common combination of open fire, grease, electricity, and water is very dangerous. Grease fire is a common cause for fires in the kitchen is and is usually caused by fry pans. This type is dangerous as it can set the whole kitchen on fire. Additional fires are dry cooking fires and oven fires. These types are easy to control and they are not likely to cause damage. Kitchen appliances may also cause fire if not maintained well.

Bedrooms

Bedroom fires are usually caused by misuse of electrical devices. Electrical fires can start due to overloading extension cords and the use of electric blankets and warmers with no lab-approval. Heaters are a concern during winter if they are recklessly placed near linen, clothes, and other flammable items

Attics, Basements and the Garage

Popular as storage areas these places usually contain fire hazards such as gasoline and other flammable liquids. Old clothes, papers and other combustible items are also hazardous and should be stored safely. Many of the electrical fire hazards are also located in these areas. Worn cords, electrical boxes and other signs of electrical trouble should be treated immediately.

Heating Devices and Fireplaces

These are planned to generate heat and may be hazardous if not maintained well. Operating the fireplace without a screen will allow sparks to fly into the room and cause fire. Other causes of fire are combustible items such as wallpaper, curtains, and clothing that are left without maintaining adequate clearance around the heater.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Stone Tiles

The variety available in home decor would send anyone in a tizzy. The market of home decor is competitive and consistent when it comes to fashion, so you will find that manufacturers and artisans keep using the same ideas, technologies and even materials for years together. Stone is one of the most popular and important material used in various aspects of home decor, right from walls to tiles. Like everything else, using stone has its own advantages and disadvantages, and here is a brief list.

Stone is the strongest material that you can use for your walls as well as tiles. They do not require much maintenance. If you are not comfortable with the stony look that they provide to the room, you can go ahead and install polished stone; this will give your apartment a look and feel that few other materials can counter. Stone tiles are the best for buildings that will see a lot of movement. You will see many public as well as private offices, and other places that see many footfalls have stone tiles. Some even use stone tiles on the walls for better effect.

Stone tiles are natural products, and the manufacturing – that is cutting and shaping – process is the least polluting. Stones are some of the most eco-friendly materials used in home decor. They are extremely durable, and if installed in the right manner, they are stain proof too, which make them a very good option for people who wish to add a unique aspect to their homes.

The usage of stone tiles has some disadvantages too. They are durable, but extremely heavy too, and in some cases they may increase the weight of the building, make the entire building cumbersome. Stone tiles also do not give something known as ‘give’, which makes it difficult for people to walk on them on bare feet. Then again, because these tiles are so strong, it could injure a person harder than the other types of tiles in case of an accident.

These tiles are not just heavier, but they also are difficult to install, as well as expensive. It is difficult to install them too, therefore the price of installing them increases manifold. Therefore, these tiles might not fit in everyone’s budget. Traditionally, stone tiles have been expensive, and only the rich and the famous used them in their houses. Unless they are sealed, any stains on them will remain for a lifetime. Though this might give them a unique look, not everyone would like it.

These are the advantages and disadvantages of using stone in the walls and flooring of structures. You would need to ask your interior decorator about which type of flooring and walls would be the best for the structures. There are several manufacturers and retailers that provide such materials and some of them have websites too. These websites provide information like contact numbers, the inventory that they offer, and the logistics that go into supplying these materials.

Problem Statements That Lead to Solutions – Solving Problems Requires Effective Problem Statements

One of the most overlooked, yet most powerful techniques in problem solving is how to make problem statements. A problem that is not clearly and concisely stated (defined) is usually difficult to solve. Many times engineers, supervisors, managers and others fail to clearly identify and define problems. Failing to properly define the problem leads to frustration in problem solving. Let’s use an example of pump seal failures in a particular processing area to illustrate.

An engineer comes into the maintenance office and says, “we’ve got a problem with pump seal failures on raw material (RM) feed pumps in the AA-12 area.” Being on top of the issue, so he thinks, the maintenance supervisor issues the necessary paperwork to change out the seals in all five pumps in the AA-12 area during the July 4 shutdown. A few days after start-up, you guessed it; the engineer is back with the same “problem.” Now what? After the finger-pointing and discussion ends, our two problem solving heroes are back at work changing out pump seals again…to no avail.

Now, what can we do to prevent such scenarios? Making a clear, focused and concise problem statement that uses actual data in the statement would help. What can the engineer do differently? Let’s see how we can help our heroes.

Instead of having a seal failure problem, the engineer could say, “we’ve got seal failures on RM feed pumps in the AA-12 area with pumps 2 and 4.” Well, this is better, but still not really a “good” problem statement. Ask “Why?” and it will lead you to the real problem in most cases. “Why do we have seal failures on these pumps?” This leads our engineer to the real problem statement that is much more precise.

The better statement of the problem would be we “we have had seal failures on pumps 2 and 4 in the AA-12 area during the three of the last five start-ups.” Now, we have a statement that can focus our efforts on a real problem solution rather than simply changing pump seals. By employing proper problem solving tools and knowledgeable people, we can solve the real problem; in other words find and eliminate the root cause. In this case, from a real world example, the problem was in the valve opening and pressure sequences specified in the start-up procedure NOT a seal problem with a particular vendor’s seals or pumps. Changing the procedures solved the problem. Without a concise and clear problem statement, many hours and dollars could’ve been spent on the “wrong” problem.

Next time you have a problem in your processes, focus your efforts on the real problem and not just the symptom. Attempt to get to the real problem by asking “why?” about five times after you make your first attempt at defining or stating the problem. This technique, known as “The 5 Why’s” is one of the simplest, yet most powerful tools for effective problem solving. It will usually lead you to the problem statement that enables you to focus on solving the real problem. Also, it’s a good idea to get the problem stated in twenty words or less. More than twenty and you’ve got a paragraph to deal with instead of a specific problem. Try it, you’ll experience the benefits!

Why is Body Composition Important to Our Health?

As human beings there are three basic structures that determine our body composition. They are bone mass, fat and muscle. The percentages of fat versus muscle determine our overall fitness and in the next few paragraphs we’ll discuss why is body composition important to our health.

You see there can be two people of the same height and weight, however each person can look entirely different dependent on their fat levels. Generally speaking, a body composition analysis is used to measure how lean a person is and how much lean body mass they carry. The more fat they carry the more unhealthy and prone to disease that person would be.

Learning what your body composition is quite important to your health. For general fitness, it is recommended that a healthy man should have between 10 – 17 percent body fat. Females tend to carry a little more fat naturally and a healthy percentage for them would be between 20 – 25%. If you’re looking at becoming more of an athlete or body builder then you would usually strive for between 4 – 10% body fat and 10 – 20% for females.

There are several methods to measuring your body fat and no one method you may hear of is entirely accurate. The most common method used, where you can also do this is at home, is with body calipers. They basically just measure the skinfold of certain areas of your body, generally anywhere between 4-7 areas. You’re always best to get a professional such as a personal trainer to measure and track this but after getting your reading ensure you take measures to reduce your body fat level and increase lean muscle mass if you don’t fall in any of the healthy percentages mentioned above.

Other method to measure your body composition could include body fat weight scales that use bioelectical impedance analysis (BIA), which measures the resistance of electrical flow through the body to measure body fat. These can also give you an accurate reading but it’s important to measure yourself always at the same time first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.

Why is body composition important to our health? Because high fat levels for both male and females can be detrimental to our health and can be the cause of many diseases out there that attack overweight and obese people. People who are looking to lose weight or put on muscle are also much better off using their body composition to set and achieve body fat goals, rather than just rely purely on body weight. Even though not always that accurate, lean muscle mass weighs heavier then fat, so don’t be fooled by the scales alone as putting on lean muscle and reducing fat levels should be a goals for all of us.

DJ Subwoofers Placement – Where To Place Your Subs For Maximum Power

A newbie DJ or a DJ who is serious about majorly improving their game is always tweaking their performance and their equipment. A lot of the improvements will come from simply “being out there and kicking it”, but there is also a lot to be learned from seasoned DJs.

Most DJs simply miss out on a lot of positive vibrations (pun intended) that a DJ subwoofer speaker offers. Most DJs simply do not feel employing a sub is necessary in their setup. That might be true to an extent that it is of course quite possible to do a decent gig with all-purpose speakers.

However, without DJ subwoofers, you will not take advantage of subtle and not-so-subtle influences on the audience that a subwoofer, especially well placed subwoofer presents. A properly placed DJ subwoofer will create the right energy (in case of loud, dance music played) and the right mood (in case of quieter background music being played during sitting sessions for instance).

Assuming that you as a DJ are convinced in the benefits of subwoofers, in this article we will explore various possibilities of placement of subs that will vastly improve their performance, and may even save you money by requiring to not necessarily go for the highest wattage speakers you can afford.

Since a good quality DJ subwoofer goes for upwards of a thousand dollars, the info that follows could save you a lot of money.

Where do most DJs currently place their subwoofers?

It is interesting to know that most DJs today place their subwoofers right under their table. There is some logic in that as the bass sounds travel across the room well and the subwoofers do not need to be elevated above the audience like the mid-range and tweeter speakers which definitely require elevated tripod DJ stands.

What is the best placement of DJ subwoofers?

Experiments measuring the loudness level of a subwoofer have shown that placing a subwoofer in the middle of the room is sub-optimal. Instead, depending on your venue, here are the three best placements:

  • A good placement of a subwoofer is about 1 yard from the wall. The measured increase of loudness was 6 Db as compared to placing the subwoofer in the middle of the room.
  • Even better, placing a subwoofer 1 yard from the corner of the room will bring even more volume gains.
  • In open spaces, the trick is to tilt the subwoofers into the ground for maximum effect. A 30 degree tilt will already present a major improvement.

Are Outdoor Patio Heaters Worth the Investment?

The first thing you need to know before discussing patio heaters are the basic functions. Many people enjoy sitting on an outside patio and enjoying the outdoors, which is why weather is an enormous factor to be considered. Obviously, during warmer months many people like to spend time outdoors; however, when the weather becomes colder families tend to stay inside and wait for warmer months to come. To make the most of your patio, no matter the temperature, considering a patio heater is crucial.

There are several design options in patio heaters but the bottom line is they are created to provide enough warmth for you to enjoy your patio year round, watching the changing seasons in comfort. There are directional heaters which will provide heat in one space or radiant heaters designed to heat up the space all around them.

You also have options in the type of energy you are going to use with patio heaters, each has their pros and cons. There are basically two popular types of patio heaters electric and propane. Electric heaters have no odor and many come with weather-proofed cords, however they may take some time to reach optimal temperature. Propane heaters on the other hand are completely safe and very fuel-efficient.

Patio heaters also differ in size, style and price. Many of these can fit easily onto an outdoor table and are decorative as well as affordable. For instance, the Coral Coast Deluxe Cast Iron Tabletop Patio Heater is made with a solid cast aluminum base with decorative lattice design.

It has a 100% safety shut off burner system, safety tilt switch that will turn the unit off if tipped, and comes with and electronic ignition. This propane patio heater heats an area up to 9 feet in diameter, and while its listing price ranges from $199.99-$229.99, you can pick this unit up on sale for under $130 at some online outlets.

Do you have a nice patio umbrella? There are patio heaters for use under your umbrella. You can easily attach the Dimples Patio Umbrella Heater to any kind of umbrella. This unit is a triple quartz radiant type heater that will fold away when not in use. The heater operates with whisper quiet efficiency, as there are no moving parts. It comes complete with an 8 ft weather proof cord and will provide you 1500 watts of constant electric heat. You can find this heater from many retailers at around $200 but you may find it on sale for about $150.

Are there benefits to owning patio heaters? Well if you enjoy sitting on the patio in any weather then the answer is a resounding yes! Even when the weather is questionable outside with a patio heater, you can enjoy the changing of the seasons, or even stargazing on a cool night.

You and your spouse or partner can enjoy an intimate moment together without freezing your tush off, or you can have a nice hot drink on the patio, even on a brisk morning. There are many benefits to owning a patio heater.

Rights of Passage, Or, What’s Yours is Mine, Too

First, a visual. Your screen (you may want to use the wallpaper with that green hills background) is a 100-acre parcel owned by Kong. (Okay, if you use the wallpaper, you’ll have to visualize a 15 foot-wide, mostly linear creek that divides the two parcels about equally into two, 50-acre tracts.) While Kong owns the land, he accesses it only from the far western (left side) edge of the property. In 1993, Kong sells the left “half” to Dolt; and in 1995, he sells the right “half” to Pope. Pope and Dolt are neighbors, separated only by the creek, but they don’t see each other much. Pope starts a cattle ranch on his piece, but Dolt’s tract is vacant most of the time; Dolt uses it for a retreat during the pleasant-weather months of the year, and builds a cabin far back from the public road that runs along the tool-bar portion at the bottom of your screen.

Scenario 1: Pope figures that he’s got a little more pasture land at his disposal if he moves his fence west across the creek–about 50 feet from its left bank. He puts up a three strand, barbed-wire job with support posts, and puts a concrete bridge acros the creek in 1996, so the cows can cross over. He never talks to Dolt about his activities, and keeps a few head of cows grazing across the creek for the next decade, that meander up to the fence line now and then. In 2007, he sues Dolt in a declaratory judgment action seeking to quiet title, meaning establishing his outright ownership of the land inside his fence line. You all know the result. That’s what adverse possession is about.

Scenario 2: Pope decides in 1997 that cattle-raising isn’t his métier. (I fancy the notion of a cowboy having a métier.) And, he’s not fond of barbed wire either; it’s a bad aesthetic for him, so he takes down his fence. A year later, he decides to grow cotton on his land, but to get the maximum benefit from the creek water, he grows his crop from stem to stern, planting right up to the bank and covering his 50 acres so that he can’t access his fields (except between tight rows of the crop, which would get mangled by tires) by driving onto his property from the public road. So, he rents a grader in 1998 and blades across the east boundary of Dolt’s dirt adjoining the creek bed a path that’s wide enough for a single vehicle, thereby connecting the public road to the bridge across the creek. Pope puts pea gravel on the pathway at first, but lets the spinning of tires and occasional rainfall wash the gravel mostly away, and the drive “improvement” turns into a mess, though the vegetation where he drives stays mashed-down. A vacationing Dolt at first uses the driveway to get to the creek for fishing on his bank-side, but eventually Dolt tires of Pope’s indecision about his agricultural pursuits and Pope’s spendthrift ways, and all the dust stirred up by Pope’s pickup, too, so he erects a picket fence across the gravel driveway. Pope sues for trespass and to quiet title in 2008; Dolt counter-sues for the same relief. Who wins, and how? And what does the winner have, actually?

Easements, other than those established by an express grant, are a weird construct in Arizona’s law. There’s at least four ways a landowner can establish an easement involuntarily (as to the fee title holder) here: By implication via prior, existing use; by implication via necessity; by prescription; or, rarely, by estoppel (where usually an irrevocable license is found to exist by the court, rather than an easement). Let’s begin with some thoughts on the two types of implied easements.

An easement created by implication arises from an inference of the intentions of the parties to a conveyance of land. The factors determining the implication of an easement, according to the Third Restatement of Property (Servitudes) at §2.11, et seq. are these:

a. whether the party claiming easement rights was the conveyor or the conveyee of the land through which the easement is claimed;

b. the terms of the conveyance;

c. the consideration given for it (if any);

d. whether the claim is made against a contemporaneous conveyee (meaning if two parties got their lands at about the same time from the original overall owner);

e. the extent of necessity of the easement to the claimant;

f. whether reciprocal benefits result to the conveyor or conveyee;

g. extent to which the manner of prior use was or might have been known to the parties.

Here is an illustration of each type of implied-in-law easements:

Easement implied from a prior use: In the case of Van Sandt v. Royster, the easement is implied on the basis of an apparent and continuous (or permanent) use of a portion of the tract existing when the tract is divided. It is also called a “quasi-easement.” This is imposed by a court to protect the probable expectations of the grantor and grantee that the existing use will continue after the transfer. In truth, this is an implied reservation, not an implied grant. This is an implied reservation because she reserved a right for her own property when she sold the other property. It would have been an implied grant, if she would have remained on the “quasi servient tenement” and sold the “quasi dominant tenement.”

Easement by necessity: In the case of Othen v. Rosier (1950), the plaintiff and defendant own tracts of land which were formerly part of one larger parcel. To reach a public highway, the plaintiff had to cross over another’s property, and used a road that ran over the defendant’s property, that he kept in repair. Because of drainage issues that had water encroaching, the defendant erected a levee, which made the road muddy for weeks on end. The plaintiff filed suit for injunction, to compel the plaintiff to eliminate the levee. But the court found in favor of the defendant, asserting that the roadway was not a necessity at the date of the division of the parcel by the original grant deed. So, in the necessity scenario, such an easement is implied when the court finds the claimed easement is necessary to the enjoyment of the claimant’s land and that the necessity arose when the claimed dominant parcel was severed (separated by ownership) from the claimed servient parcel.

In Arizona, the case of Tobias v. Dailey, 196 Arizona 418, 422, 998 P.2d 1091, 1095 (App. 2000) is a “necessity case” that arose under the state’s private condemnation statute, but the court of appeals ruled that the landowners failed to show that they lacked an adequate alternative outlet to their parcels.

Here are the essential elements of an easement by prescription in most jurisdictions:

1. Open and notorious use of the land of the other (that is, it’s visible–the user isn’t sneaking around)

2. Adverse and under claim of right (that is, the user knows that he wasn’t originally vested with the right to use the other’s land, and that he wouldn’t be welcome to use it if the owner were asked for permission)

3. Exclusion of the owner; in Arizona, however, this is not a requirement for a prescriptive easement, so long as the claimant is not staking his claim on the basis of being a member of the general traveling public but rather as an individual making somewhat consistent use of the easement tract, see Ammer v. Arizona Water Company, 169 Ariz. 205, 209, 818 P.2d 190, 194 (App. 1991). (As a matter of fact, this issue of exclusion strikes me as the single biggest “difference maker” in understanding the distinction between adverse possession and prescriptive rights in Arizona.)

4. The passage of 10 years of continuous use, see Harambasic v. Owens, 186 Ariz. 159, 160, 920 P.2d 39, 40 (App. 1996).

Additionally in Arizona, if the use is open and obvious (the courts say that the owner must have “notice,” but that has been construed to include constructive notice where the adverse use is obvious), there is a presumption in favor of the claimant that the use is adverse, see Harambasic above; it then becomes the burden of the owner to prove that the use was permissive. But proof that the use was expressly or impliedly with permission of the fee title owner will defeat a claim, and no number of years of use will lead to a prescriptive easement, see LaRue v. Kosich. (What constitutes an implied grant of permission is a whole ‘nuther discussion, I suspect; a recent Court of Appeals case, Spaulding v. Pouliot, 218 Ariz. 196, 181 P.3d 243 (App. 2008) stands for the proposition that when the claimant uses the tract acknowledging its use “in subordination to the owner’s title”-whatever that means-such an acknowledgement will support a finding of permission, even if it never were expressed.

The Spaulding court said this: “if a use is shown to have begun with the owner’s permission, any subsequent use is presumed to have remained permissive. That is, a use that begins permissively cannot “ripen into a prescriptive right” by the mere passage of time. Consequently, in order to overcome the presumption of continued permissive use, the party claiming the easement must show that, despite the initial permissive nature of the use, his or her later actions indicated to the owner that the use had become hostile and under a claim of right.”

So, how does that work? Suppose Dolt had said to Pope when the latter first put down the driveway, “Yo, Pope, thanks for the improvements on my land–and hey, feel free to use that sucker all you want, ’cause I’m sure enjoying the ease of takin’ the truck over by the creek, and I aim to drive along that path every time I’m in the neighborhood.” Does Pope now have to “fence off” the 1998 driveway along its west side, to prove that he’s not using it “in subordination to” Dolt’s title? Is it enough only to tear down Dolt’s picket fence and proceed with Pope’s use? How about if everyone in the county starts using the driveway to get to the bridge to fish the creek?

An easement by estoppel is the rarest bird. Perhaps that’s because it’s like a consolation prize for someone deserving but who cannot claim prescriptive rights. In a 2006 Ohio case, Kienzle v. Myers, 167 Ohio App. 3d 41, 2006-Ohio-2765, the Ohio appellate court said this: “While permissive use may prevent an easement by prescription from arising, in another context an owner’s grant of permission for land use may act as an inducement for another to act, especially when the permission granted is for an act not easily undone.” Twenty-one years after Myers had installed a line, counsel for the Kienzles sent a letter to appellants advising them that the Kienzles had “decided to terminate the revocable license” by which Myers’ sewer pipe crossed the Kienzle property. The letter directed appellants to “make other arrangements” within 30 days. Subsequent letters from the Kienzle family threatened to “cap” the sewer line absent certain concessions from Myers.

Another example of easement by estoppel is Holbrook v. Taylor, decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1976. There, for years Holbrook tacitly was given permission to use a road which ran across the defendant’s property. In reliance upon this, the plaintiff made improvements on his land, like a building of a home. The court found for Holbrook, holding that the right to use a roadway over the land of another can be established by estoppel. This is not, remember, an easement by prescription that fundamentally is acquired by adverse possession. Holbrook had received permission, however desultory, to use the property, so the use could not be ruled adverse. In this case, an irrevocable license was formed by estoppel and it has the potential to last forever or be used “to extent necessary to realize upon his expenditures.” The irrevocable license formed here is the equivalent to an easement by estoppel-and evaluating the respective hardships to the relying party and the “permissive” party likely is the determining factor in a court’s decision.

So, what does the prevailing claimant for an easement or irrevocable license get from a court, more often than not? It’s a useful question because–more often than not–a court forgets to indicate that aspect of the outcome, especially if the use is ill defined, such as when a road bed washes away. Courts that do speak to the matter seem intent upon realizing the Jagger-Richards unified theory:

You can’t always get what you want, no!

You can’t always get what you want (tell ya baby)

You can’t always get what you want (no)

But if you try sometimes, you just might find

You get what you need

Oh yes! Woo!

Did I wake you up? [Sorry] So, what you probably “get” is what the community standards are for the dimensions of the type of pathway (driveway, utility line right of way, etc.), often established by building or development codes, plus any access needed to maintain the easement tract. If Pope wins his 2008 case, whatever a private drive minimum width (curb cut and pavement) is in that community will be what is granted, probably-if for no other reason than concern for public safety. And that is what you need, just in case there’s a zoning enforcement authority in the jurisdiction of the dispute. But will Pope win?