Swimming Tips For Frustrated Swimmers – A Simple Method For Effortless Swimming

Are you frustrated with your swimming? Swimming is more than the physical elements such as your fitness, strength and endurance. Effective swimming is about learning how to work with the water and not fight against it. It’s important to reduce your frontal resistance and not just increase your power.

Effective swimming is all about how well you can control your body in the water. The important key is to keep your body ‘long’ and ‘relaxed’ when swimming. This is achieved by implementing a simple but effective concept called ‘Power Words’.

‘Power Words’ are words which you repeat to yourself during an exercise or activity which help you perform that activity faster, more effective or more efficient. The two most powerful words which a swimmer should repeat while they are swimming ‘long’ and ‘relaxed’.

By picturing yourself swimming ‘long’ (long meaning to lengthen your body, arms and legs to make your body as long as possible) you will be focusing on reducing your frontal resistance in the water, which is the quickest way to drop seconds from your times.

By keeping your body ‘relaxed’ (relaxed meaning to swim without strain or any tenseness) you will be allowing your body to work with the water and not against it. Rather than tensing up when you increase your speed, the key to swimming faster is to relax more. This will not usually come naturally, but with practice you can learn to speed up by relaxing more.

In your next workout, imagine yourself swimming long and relaxed and feel the difference of working with the water and not fighting against it.

What Is Fitzgerald Trying to Say About the American Dream in ‘The Great Gatsby’?

The American dream is such a major theme in The Great Gatsby that whether you are studying it was just reading it for fun you must be wondering what Fitzgerald is trying to say about. Some people argue the book of the criticism of the American dream, some people think Fitzgerald is trying to say the American dream is dead, others think the criticism is solely of Gatsby who paid the price of living too long with a single dream. Let’s have a look at some quotes from the Great Gatsby.

Gaby’s dream is the most prominent of the book. It is all encompassing, it has taken over his life completely. He thought he loved Daisy, but when he finally met her after all these years he found that he still wanted more. He wanted her to say that she never loved another man. He couldn’t be happy with what he had, he has to be perfect. He is an example of people who abuse the American dream.

Character’s like Myrtle and Wilson look up and Daisy and Tom. They want what they have, they think that they have achieved the American Dream. The reader knows different thought, we can see exactly how happy Daisy and Tom are. Behind the fa├žade of perfection they present, their perfect marriage, in their lovely house with their beautiful daughter, they are both bored and unhappy. With no job and no purpose in life they have grown ‘restless.’ Both of them have affairs and neither seems to care about there child. Fitzgerald is trying to say that life isn’t what you imagine at the top.

It is obvious that, at least in the world of the Great Gatsby, money doesn’t buy you happiness. Unfortunately it is just as clear that the lower classes are obsessed with money and view it as their ticket to living the dream. When you only look at their bank balances Gatsby and Tom are both wildly successful and that is all the lower classes see.

The photograph that Gatsby’s father carries around with him becomes the symbol of this obsession of the lower classes. Instead of carrying a picture of his son he carries a a picture of his house, a symbol of his wealth, and what proves he is a success. Just as Gatsby was lured by Dan Cody’s expensive yacht, so the next generation will look at this photo and think that if they work hard enough they can come from nothing like Gatsby and be as happy as him. The sad fact is we know Gatsby was never happy and when he died no one came to his funeral.

What can we draw from this then, does Fitzgerald think the American dream is dead. On the contrary I believe that he thinks it will continue perpetually, the people always look at the rich and wish they could be like them. And so the book is not telling you the American dream is dead is telling you that it will always live on and be wary of its promises.

Mercedes 126 Repair – The High Idle Saga

One of the most common Mercedes 126 repair challenges is a high idle. Generally, the culprit is electronic, but sometimes a simple mechanical adjustment of the throttle linkage will solve the problem. Of course, older engines are likely to suffer from intake vacuum leaks of varying severity, and these also can cause idle problems. We shall look at vacuum leaks in another article.

ELECTRONIC CAUSES OF HIGH IDLE

  1. The idle control module, located behind the false bulkhead next to the ABS control unit, is the most common cause of problems. The module processes a variety of inputs and controls the voltage sent to the idle control valve, which physically regulates the amount of air supplied to the intake ports whenever the throttle valve is closed. It is definitely useful to have a known working unit available for diagnostic purposes. While there is no one area of the circuit board that we can point to as a frequent location of cracked solder joints, there are four capacitors which tend to die with age. New units cost well over $200 and even rebuilt units are pretty expensive. I strongly suspect that, in most cases, all the rebuilders do is replace the capacitors.
  2. The idle control valve can suffer from two problems. The electrical solenoid can fail or, more commonly, the valve simply becomes gummed up with oily deposits. (Some of the crankcase ventilation fumes are routed through the valve.) A good soak in carb cleaner will usually cure this ailment. Be careful not to expose the electrical part of the valve to the solvent.
  3. Very rarely, there is an issue with the lambda control unit, the closest thing these cars have to an ECU. The idle control unit is connected to the lambda controller and “looks for” signals therefrom. Usually, if there is an issue with lambda control the engine will be running poorly anyway (due to incorrect fuel mixtures). If the lambda controller is not functioning at all, the most common reason is a failure of the over-voltage protection relay (OVP) located in the fuse box. There may also be a poor ground connection. The unit itself appears to be extremely reliable, possibly because it lives in a cooler climate — next to the front passenger’s feet.
  4. If the idle problem occurs only when in one particular gear, the starter-lockout switch on the side of the transmission may be faulty.
  5. If the problem occurs only when the A/C is used, there may be trouble with the delay relay in the fuse box, which is intended to boost engine revs when the compressor engages, thereby stabilizing idle speed under heavier accessory loads.
  6. Finally, the throttle position switch (TPS) on the side of the throttle body may be defective. This is very unusual and we should be grateful for that, since replacement of the TPS requires removal of the whole intake manifold. Sometimes the switch is simply out of adjustment and can be tapped back into the right position with a long punch.

The TPS informs the idle control unit when the throttle valve is closed, partially open, or wide open. Electrical continuity exists across one pair of three pins, across another pair, or not at all. If the correct signals are not being sent, the switch itself might be perfectly fine; the problem may simply be that the throttle linkage is out of adjustment. The switch is extremely sensitive; even the slightest opening of the throttle is enough to break continuity across the pertinent pins. So it doesn’t take much excess pressure from the linkage to disrupt the system. Ensure that the throttle valve is in fact closing against its stop.

One other basic factor to consider – and one which tends to be neglected in this context – is your ignition timing. Too much ignition advance will most definitely have an effect on idle speed. On the Gen I cars, there is a lot of scope for adjustment, and the engines can handle quite a bit of advance before they start to detonate (ping). Around ten degrees of initial advance is optimal. Bear in mind that the vacuum advance unit adds about 16 degrees of advance at idle (when manifold vacuum is high). Occasionally, the advance unit can cause problems, the main one being a rupture of the internal diaphragm and creation of a vacuum leak at that point.

Why Your Pearly Penile Papules Won’t Go Away?

Those bumps running rings round the head of your penis are not only ugly, they could also be embarrassing. Many people confuse them for hepatitis, a dreaded sexually transmitted disease. Some ladies will ask, are those not warts you have? Others will just say how disgusting the bumps are. And yet, some others would scream, “I am not touching that”. Some would just bolt out of the room. These pimples are treatable and there are many methods out there, These include using natural oils, surgery like CO2 laser therapy and the use of Hyfrecator. With all these methods, many people still go about with Pearly Penile Papules(PPP) and they seem unable to get rid of it. Hereunder are reasons why your PPP won’t go away.

Sufferers of pearly penile papules suffer in silence and they get embarrassed by the opposite sex when they have enough courage to expose their member to he opposite sex. PPP suffers have experienced situations where their partners desert them in anger and frustration. One needs to experience it to know how humiliating it is.

But then, they do not have to suffer in silence because Pearly Papules is treatable. You can stop the shame.Unfortunately some people still live with it when they can get rid of it cheaply and permanently.

So, why won’t your PPP not go away?

First, it won’t go away just yet if you do not do anything about it. Problems are to be solved and PPP is a health challenge. Yes, it will not kill you, but for how many years are you going to keep it under your pants? For how long will you deny yourself the sexual pleasure you are entitled to? So, if you do not have the will, the yellow dome-shaped bumps will stay put.

Of course, if you are looking toward surgery, it may take you years to remove your Pearly Penile Papules. This is more so, if you are like many who cannot afford the astronomical cost of CO2 laser surgery which dances around $2000. That is if you are ready for the risk the pain and the post-operation stress. Remember that surgery is 50:50 chance, you may end up rendering your penis useless.

Also,If you are one of those people trying some really unorthodox methods you may not only fail to remove your PPP, you may end up harming your penis. Run in the other direction when you hear of any of these methods. You must not try any of these dangerous methods. All of them will harm your member. I am talking of methods like using a pressing iron, soldering iron, and hot poker. Do not cut, scrape, pick or dig. And do not use caustic chemicals like Chlorine, Ammonia, Bleach, Oven cleaner, Gasoline or Aspirin. For the benefit of undiscerning PPP sufferers, manufactures of these chemicals should have printed on their labels a warning in red screaming “Dangerous to your penis”

Using natural oils like tea tree, castor oil or even toothpaste and even weak Iodine solution like Lugol’s iodine do help but they do not give a complete holistic approach to removing PPP. So. what you get is at best a partial removal that may not endure, Therefore,, completely relying on one-step home-made remedy may make your PPP linger and may be a reason why it won’t go away.

Now, a procedure that will work must follow a systematic scientific approach and not a hit and miss method. Most likely, for a method to be effective it must be combination of methods to be used over time. There are thousands of people who have used homemade therapy successfully. Of course, home-made methods are cheap, less stressful and with no risk whatsoever. To top it, you can do it in the corner of your home without showing your dick to a stranger. Collect my free ebook “How Hydroxyl Acid Cures PPP” Here

Suffering From Hip Pain? Use The Leg Wedge Pillow And Feel The Change

Hip pain is a common discomfort people have, it does not let you feel comfortably either when you are awake or when it is time to sleep. But in order to understand this pain, why it happens and how we can obtain hip pain relief, we have to know how the hips work. A joint is formed by the ends of at least two bones that are connected by ligaments. The hip consists of two parts: a ball or femoral head at the top of the femur, and a rounded socket or acetabulum in the pelvis. The surfaces of the ball and socket are covered by a material called articular cartilage, which cushions the bones and allows them move easily.

So what causes hip joint pain? Arthritis is one of the most usual causes, and more precisely osteoarthritis, which involves a breakdown of cartilage in the joints, and when cartilage wears away the bones rub against each other causing this pain. It is more frequent in people older than fifty years old. Another cause is the avascular necrosis, which happens when there is not enough blood supply to the bone, like when someone has been through organ transplantation.

Treating hip pain

In most cases that are not as extreme as the ones which require hip surgery or hip replacement, doctors recommend medication, physical therapy like hip exercise and changing your sleeping position and getting an ergonomic pillow to accommodate your legs in the right position. This is where the Leg Wedge Pillow proves to be right what people who suffer from hip pain need. This orthopedic pillow keeps pelvis correctly aligned and relieves pressure on the hips as well as in all joints. People will feel a great difference in how their hips, lower back and the rest of the body feels after sleeping comfortably without feeling pain.

But there is more. Most people are side sleepers, which mean they prefer to sleep on their sides. However, people who like this sleeping position know that the most common set of discomforts are hip and lower back pain. And here is another cause for hip pain: sleeping in this position the natural shape of the body causes that the leg that is furthest from the sleep surface to be misaligned and it is pulled straight down by gravity, creating pressure and tension on the hips causing more pain. The Leg Wedge Pillow, when used as a leg spacer pillow, helps people to stay on their side without feeling any discomfort. People can feel the pressure and tension release as your spine and your hip are properly aligned right after they place the Leg Wedge Pillow between their legs, which allows them to sleep comfortably and quietly and forget about hip pains.

Telesales – How to Structure a Powerful Sales Call Opening

Structuring a powerful sales call opening is worth spending a little time to get right. You will need to decide exactly what to say. I can’t tell you that, but it is a significant part of the sales call.

Because of course if the opening doesn’t grab their attention, then you won’t get past first base, and all the other wonderful things you want to tell them will be wasted ! It’s a bit like writing a mail piece, a mailshot. I find the most difficult bit is the first couple of sentences – to get them hooked.

So do I recommend starting with a powerful series of benefit statements ? Well ‘No,’ probably not in most instances. People like to be communicated with in a respectful, clear way. So make your call crystal clear.

You should start with 3 things in the first sentence. You say:

1. Your name

2. Your organisation’s name

3. The reason for your call

This allows the other person to be clear about the context for your call, and they’ll start to consider their responses. Be honest and open at the start and you will get more from the other person. This is one of the parts of telesales training courses that we run.

And of course preparing the reason why you’re calling also makes sure that you know why you’re making this call ! Because if you don’t it won’t come across to them either.

The first stage then is your name. Giving them your name instantly makes the call more personal. If you’ve got their name as well it starts to make this a conversation between 2 human beings. It also shows that you’ve got nothing to hide and that you’re not ashamed about what you are doing, or what you are offering.

The second part is the name of the organisation you are calling from. This will in most cases give them a clear idea of what this call is all about. For instance saying “and I’m calling from Smithson Telecommunications” or “… and I’m from Jackson Engineering Supplies” will often tell the other person most of what they want to know. Again it also reinforces the fact that you’re being honest and up front. You’ve nothing to hide.

You then wrap this up with your reason for calling. If you’ve spoken to them before, this is easy, you just summarise (and I mean SUMMARISE) what they said to you before. And if you can use their own words it makes it even more powerful. “and when we spoke 6 months ago you told me that you would start to look at your PPE suppliers again once the ‘dust had settled’ on the merger.” Using their own language back to them has a strong resonance. In addition, the fact that you are able to tell them something that they know to be true, proves that this is no longer a cold call. Finally it also shows that you’ve done your homework and know exactly why you’re calling. This all marks you out as a professional.

So in one sentence you’ve set your stall out, and told them all the key things they want to know. As a result of this, you will find that they will be far more relaxed and open and honest with you in return. Not every time perhaps – but certainly far more than if you don’t lay your cards on the table at the outset.

Working on your sales call script is well worth doing. It helps you produce more effective sales calls and it works for them too.

If anyone reads this blog stuff, and wants some thoughts on call scripts to avoid, let me know via this site. And I’ll let you in on some of the stuff that doesn’t work.

Bury Your Trampoline in the Garden – How To

It has become increasingly popular for trampoline owners to bury their trampolines in the garden so the bounce mat is level with the grass or surrounding area. There are two main reasons for wanting to do this. The first is one of safety particularly for those who do not want, or like the look of, a trampoline enclosure. If you choose not to have a trampoline enclosure then, by having the trampoline mat at ground level, the risk of accident from falling off the trampoline is reduced. The second is just one of appearance as some customers do not want the trampoline and enclosure to dominate their garden. By burying the trampoline it is far less obtrusive and in many gardens virtually invisible.

A minor benefit is that the total height of the bounce from ground level is reduced (by the height the trampoline is off the ground) and your neighbours will get more privacy. It can be annoying for those in neighbouring gardens or houses when trampoline bouncers can see (and be seen!) over the garden fence. Another consideration is that by burying your trampoline it avoids the risk of other children and animals getting under the trampoline when someone is bouncing on it and risking injury.

This guide is written with the popular round garden trampoline in mind but it could apply as well to hexagonal, oval and rectangular trampolines.

1. Pick your Site

The site needs to be level, with good drainage and surrounded by grass or a soft landing area. It needs to be well clear of obstructions like walls, sheds, fences and washing lines. It should also be well clear of trees, even if they are small now they may grow later to overhang the trampoline. As well as a potential obstruction to those bouncing, tree leaves may drop on the trampoline mat and trees close by will increase the likelihood of bird droppings getting on the trampoline. You will also need to check that the site has sufficient depth of soil without hitting rock to enable you to dig to the required depth.

2. Practicalities of Digging the Hole

A hole will need to be dug at just over the diameter of your trampoline and nearly the height of your trampoline. For a 14 foot trampoline we suggest a hole that is about 14 feet 6 inches in diameter. This could be a considerable volume of soil so you need to arrange where it will be tipped (in another part of the garden or elsewhere) and how you will dig the hole – will it be done manually or by mechanical digger? If it is a mechanical digger you need to be able to get it to where the hole will be dug. Access may be a problem.

You may want to consider what you will do when you leave your property. If you intend to take your trampoline with you then leaving some soil on site may be useful so the hole can be backfilled by you or the new occupants.

3. Air Movement

One of the biggest considerations will be allowing a large volume of air to move in and out of the hole as the trampoline is used. You will need to leave a gap of perhaps two inches around the trampoline for this purpose. To help you may also decide to set the level of the trampoline a couple of inches above the surrounding area. If there is insufficient air flow this will impede the bouncer using the trampoline.

It is important there isn’t a gap between the edge of the trampoline and the ground which would be large enough for a child’s wrist, arm or leg to get trapped in.

Another solution is to install flexible pipes leading from inside the hole to another location on the ground surface nearby, to allow the air to escape. This will mean the trampoline can be installed to fit much more tightly to the edge of the hole as the air movement is accommodated by the pipe.

4. Maintaining the integrity of the hole

You need to be careful that the sides of the hole to not cave in or disintegrate. You could use chicken wire to support the sides or a propriety system such as that supplied by Trampolines Down Under. Another solution is to use some of the soil you extracted to back fill the hole once the trampoline is in place and shore up the sides so they form a sharp slope rather than being vertical and leaving the maximum depth in the centre of the trampoline. If you use this method you will have to install the trampoline frame first and add the springs and mat afterwards.

5. Ensuring a stable and firm base

The base will need to level and have good drainage. It might be necessary to spread the base of the hole with gravel to achieve this. Make sure the legs will not sink, even when the soil is wet, and that they do not sit in water which could lead to the frame rusting.

6. Maintenance

From time-to-time you may need to lift the trampoline out of the hole to check the frame is still in good condition.

Consider how you will cut the grass around the edge of the frame. A strimmer cord may damage the spring padding so it may need to be removed before strimming, or you will need to trim the grass by hand.

Benefits of Using Diffuser Light Panels

Your ceiling is a place where you could install all sorts of tools that can make your house energy-efficient. However, it is also a part of the room where most of the energy is wasted causing you to have a sky-rocketing bill particularly for your energy consumption. If you would like a cost-effective workplace or home, you should take advantage of the benefits of the diffuser light panels.

The light diffuser allows you to create a very inviting ambiance without the need for high-powered lights or tons of lighting fixtures. It helps you to spread the illumination in your room even if you are only using a fluorescent lamp. More often than not, people tend to install too many small lighting fixtures thinking that they could save energy by doing so. Unfortunately, they are doing it the other way around. The more lights that are opened, the higher will be the consumption of energy, thus, the higher will be your utility bill. If you would opt for a diffuser light panel, the brightness of the light from your fluorescent lamp can spread on the room. So even if you only have a couple of fluorescent lamps, you will still have a dazzling and inviting atmosphere without the high cost.

Aside from that, you would also get to add drama to the area especially if you would use the light diffuser in your home. Instead of getting an intense luminosity, what you would have is a soft and a soothing brightness. It can even add that elegance without the need for expensive chandeliers or spotlights in your home. Moreover, by getting the right shape and size, your diffuser light panel will also enhance your furniture at the same time. Add more radiance to the part of the room for a very low cost.

Advantages And Disadvantages of LED Flood Lights

LED Floodlights is a kind of floodlighting fixtures that offer even illumination across a wide area such as the yard, square, stadium, stage or other spacious locations. Once in a time, metal halide and high pressure sodium are commonly used in for floodlight sources. Light Emitting Diode are introduced into this area recently due to the rapid development of LED manufacturing and packaging. Compared to conventional lighting sources, LED has unprecedented advantages which accommodates the needs for energy-saving and less maintenance.

This article would explain the advantages of LED floodlights in detail and some disadvantages will also be mentioned for your quick reference.

Advantages of LED Floodlights:

  1. LED Floodlights, no matter the lamps or the integrated fixtures are compatible to standard flood lamps or fixtures. It means that you can buy a LED flood lamps and install it in a few minutes. Or if you want to use a LED flood light fixture, you just need remove the old fixture and replace it with the new one simply.
  2. They don’t generate too much heat. Due to the lighting mechanism, LEDs have no IR radiation, which increases the ambient temperature rapidly. It means less cost for air conditioning. Moreover, there is no harmful UV radiation and the fixture body maintains at an acceptable temperature due to the high-efficiency of LEDs.
  3. As mentioned above, LED is the most efficient lighting source than the conventional metal halide or high sodium. The lumen per watt record are frequently in labs around the world. And LEDs in mass production can reach around 90~100 lumen per watt. The value already exceeded that of HPS (High Pressure Sodium) and Metal halide, which was the most efficient light sources previously.
  4. Long life-cycle is the most amazing advantage of LED lighting. The rated life of LED is around 50,000 hours, which is the period from initial 100% lumen output to 50%. The lifespan is 10~50 times of the traditional lighting sources. Moreover, LED floodlights use chips that assembled with tens of single LEDs or integrated high power emitters. There is no impact on the functions if one or several lighting units burn out. So it’s more robust than other conventional lamps.
  5. The unique feature of LED allows it to generate different colors easily without filters. This gains an extra energy-saving as there is no waste because of filtering. Moreover, LED floodlights are more compact in size and integrative without extra optical fixtures.

Disadvantages of LED flood lights

  1. The initial cost is higher than traditional lamps. Generally, LED lights are 3~5 times more expensive than conventional lamps. While the operation cost may be much less, as there are much less energy bills, fees of frequent lamp replacement and labor of maintenance.
  2. LED flood lights are not powerful enough for some critical applications that need extra-high lumen. Due to heat sinking limitation, a LED flood light fixtures can not exceed 200 Watts very easily. So it’s hard to reach 10,000 lumens for LED flood lights. In this aspect, HPS or metal halide can reach the goal easily as there is not too much concern of heat dissipation for them.

In brief, LED flood lights can replace conventional lamps for floodlights applications in many cases. The new LED technology are the ecological solutions that gains in less power consumption and less maintenance. The barrier to mass application mainly comes from the high initial cost and limited total lumen output.

Overcoming Communication Barriers in Organizations

Although all communication is subject to misunderstandings, business communication is particularly difficult. The material is often complex and controversial. Moreover, both the sender and the receiver may face distractions that divert their attention. Further, the opportunities for feedback are often limited, making it difficult to correct misunderstandings. The following communication barriers in organizations and ways to overcome them will be the main topic of this article.

1. Information Overload. Too much information is as bad as too little because it reduces the audiences ability to concentrate effectively on the most important messages. People facing information overload sometimes try to cope by ignoring some of the messages, by delaying responses to messages they deem unimportant, by answering only parts of some messages, by responding inaccurately to certain messages, by taking less time with each message, or by reacting only superficially to all messages.

To overcome information overload, realize that some information is not necessary, and make necessary information easily available. Give information meaning rather than just passing it on, and set priorities for dealing with the information flow. Some information isn’t necessary.

2. Message Complexity. When formulating business messages, you communicate both as an individual and as representative of an organization. Thus you must adjust your own ideas and style so that they are acceptable to your employer. In fact, you may be asked occasionally to write or say something that you disagree with personally. Suppose you work as a recruiter for your firm. You’ve interviewed a job candidate you believe would make an excellent employee, but others in the firm have rejected this applicant. Now you have to write a letter turning down the candidate: You must communicate your firms message, regardless of your personal feelings, a task some communicators find difficult.

To overcome the barriers of complex messages, keep them clear and easy to understand. Use strong organization, guide readers by telling them what to expect, use concrete and specific language, and stick to the point. Be sure to ask for feedback so that you can clarify and improve your message.

3. Message Competition. Communicators are often faced with messages that compete for attention. If you’re talking on the phone while scanning a report, both messages are apt to get short shrift. Even your own messages may have to compete with a variety of interruptions: The phone rings every five minutes, people intrude, meetings are called, and crises arise. In short, your messages rarely have the benefit on the receivers undivided attention.

To overcome competition barriers, avoid making demands on a receiver who doesn’t have the time to pay careful attention to your message. Make written messages visually appealing and easy to understand, and try to deliver them when your receiver has time to read them. Oral messages are most effective when you can speak directly to your receiver (rather than to intermediaries or answering machines). Also, be sure to set aside enough time for important messages that you receive. Business messages rarely have the benefit of the audiences full and undivided attention.

4. Differing Status. Employees of low status may be overly cautious when sending messages to managers and may talk only about subjects they think the manager is interested in. Similarly, higher-status people may distort messages by refusing to discuss anything that would tend to undermine their authority in the organization. Moreover, belonging to a particular department or being responsible for a particular task can narrow your point of view so that it differs from the attitudes, values, and expectations of people who belong to other departments or who are responsible for other tasks.

To overcome status barriers, keep managers and colleagues well informed. Encourage lower-status employees to keep you informed by being fair-minded and respectful of their opinions. When you have information that you’re afraid you boss might not like, be brave and convey it anyway. Status barriers can be overcome by a willingness to give and receive bad news.

5. Lack of Trust, Building trust is a difficult problem. Other organization members don’t know whether you’ll respond in a supportive or responsible way, so trusting can be risky. Without trust, however, free and open communication is effectively blocked, threatening the organization’s stability. Just being clear in your communication is not enough.

To overcome trust barriers, be visible and accessible. Don’t insulate yourself behind assistants or secretaries. Share key information with colleagues and employees, communicate honestly, and include employees in decision making. For communication to be successful, organizations must create an atmosphere of fairness and trust.

6. Inadequate Communication Structures. Organizational communication is effected by formal restrictions on who may communicate with whom and who is authorized to make decisions. Designing too few formal channels blocks effective communication. Strongly centralized organizations, especially those with a high degree of formalization, reduce communication capacity, and they decrease the tendency to communicate horizontally thus limiting the ability to coordinate activities and decisions. Tall organizations tend to provide too many vertical communication links, so messages become distorted as they move through the organization’s levels.

To overcome structural barriers, offer opportunities for communicating upward, downward, and horizontally (using such techniques as employee surveys, open-door policies, newsletters, memo, and task groups). Try to reduce hierarchical levels, increase coordination between departments, and encourage two-way communication.

7. Incorrect Choice of Medium. If you choose an inappropriate communication medium, your message can be distorted so that the intended meaning is blocked. You can select the most appropriate medium by matching your choice with the nature of the message and of the group or the individual who will receive it. Face-to-face communication is the richest medium because it is personal, it provides immediate feedback, it transmits information from both verbal and nonverbal cues, and it conveys the emotion behind the message. Telephones and other interactive electronic media aren’t as rich; although they allow immediate feedback, they don’t provide visual nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, eye contact and body movements. Written media can be personalized through addressed memos, letters, and reports, but they lack the immediate feedback and the visual and vocal nonverbal cues that contribute to the meaning of the message. The leanest media are generally impersonal written messages such as bulletins, fliers, and standard reports. Not only do they lack the ability to transmit nonverbal cues and to give feedback, they also eliminate any personal focus.

To overcome media barriers, choose the richest media for no routine, complex message. Use rich media to extend and to humanize your presence throughout the organization, to communicate caring and personal interest to employees, and to gain employee commitment to organizational goals. Use leaner media to communicate simple, routine messages. You can send information such as statistics, facts, figures and conclusions through a note, memo or written report

8. Closed communication climate. Communication climate is influenced by management style, and a directive, authoritarian style blocks the free and open exchange of information that characterizes good communication.

To overcome climate barriers, spend more time listening than issuing orders.

9. Unethical Communication. An organization cannot create illegal or unethical messages and still be credible or successful in the long run. Relationships within and outside the organization depend or trust and fairness.

To overcome ethics barriers, make sure your messages include all the information that ought to be there. Make sure that information is adequate and relevant to the situation. And make sure your message is completely truthful, not deceptive in any way.

10. Inefficient Communication. Producing worthless messages wastes time and resources, and it contributes to the information overload already mentioned.

Reduce the number of messages by thinking twice before sending one. Then speed up the process, first, by preparing messages correctly the first time around and, second, by standardizing format and material when appropriate. Be clear about the writing assignments you accept as well as the ones you assign.

11. Physical distractions. Communication barriers are often physical: bad connections, poor acoustics, illegible copy. Although noise or this sort seems trivial, it can completely block an otherwise effective message. Your receiver might also be distracted by an uncomfortable chair, poor lighting, or some other irritating condition. In some cases, the barrier may be related to the receiver’s health. Hearing or visual impairment or even a headache can interfere with reception of a message. These annoyances don’t generally block communication entirely, but they may reduce the receiver’s concentration.

To overcome physical distractions, try to prepare well written documents which are clear, concise, and comprehensive. When preparing oral presentations try to find a setting which permits audience to see and hear the speaker clearly.

Versatube Buildings, A Review Of Our Prefab Versatube Garage

My wife and I purchased a Versatube prefab garage kit measuring 20 feet wide by 24 feet long. I did my best to research Versatube along with many other prefab garage kit manufacturers and found that for some odd reason, there weren’t many reviews available online. If you are a research junkie like me, you already know that this is the sort of thing that drives you crazy. I decided that regardless of our experience with the construction of our metal garage project, that I would post a review online of the entire process from ordering through to completion.

My family owns a 2 acre recreational property at a nearby lake. We have two ATV’s and two PWC’s (Sea-doos) and we wanted a garage for storage that was secure and completely maintenance free. Our lake property was bought for relaxing, socializing, and recreation so we didn’t want the inevitable maintenance involved in a wood frame building. Obviously, re-shingling, painting, or fixing vinyl siding damage was to be avoided if possible. Thus we decided on a metal prefab garage kit.

CONSTRUCTION OF THE VERSATUBE GARAGE…

We decided that we wanted the building to be portable, and we also wanted to avoid a higher property tax bill. To accomplish this we built a wooden skid foundation (no permits needed and our county doesn’t tax portable buildings). Once the ground was perfectly level, we used sixteen 6x6x12ft pressure treated with 2×6’s screwed to both sides to achieve the 24ft length as a base. We then screwed down two layers of 3/4″ plywood as a floor.

Ours has a 7′ x 9′ overhead door. We also chose to have one semi transparent sunlight panels on each side of the roof since we like to use small solar panels to charge the batteries in the sea-doos and ATV’s while we’re away.

I did some horse trading with my neighbor for an almost new man door. The overhead door provided was great. The sunlight panels provided for the roof were a bit disappointing though. They seemed a rather light duty and I worried about hail damage. Sure enough, within the next two weeks we got marble sized hail, and sure enough, about 10 little holes in the sunlight panels. I went to back to the supplier and bought 2 more identical panels (at a much discounted price) and installed them over the originals. Suffice to say, I’d recommend that you ask to double up on the sunlight panels. Who knows, mention this review and they might even throw a couple extras in for free.

The construction video is decent as a primer more of a promotional thing. The instruction booklet was much more useful. There was obviously a lot of effort that went into it. I can’t think of any frustrating moments wondering “what the heck do they mean!”.

The moment I saw the Versatube framing system I was impressed (and relieved) by how heavy duty it seemed. As a bonus, it is quite simple to assemble. Just slide the pieces together, use some some self tapping screws to solidify, and that’s it. Make no mistake though, this isn’t Lego. While we didn’t find the construction to be very mentally difficult, you’ll definitely need some physical strength and agility to complete this project. A couple of good 8 or 10 foot ladders are a must. You’ll also need a good quality cordless drill with a spare battery on the charger. There are several million (slight exaggeration) self tapping screws that hold the prefab garage kit together. A small amount of cutting using tin snips will also be required.

The end result is incredibly nice. It’s sturdy, functional, and attractive. Apart from the minor sunlight panel issue, the Versatube prefab garage kit deserves a five star rating. It’s much easier to build than a traditional wooden garage and of course it’s fireproof. Mostly it appeals to the lazy part of me that would rather have fun at the lake than worry about maintenance.

What Factors Affect Home Resale Value? Simple Home Improvements To Increase Your Home’s Value

It’s never too early to start thinking about selling your home, and many real estate experts say that the best time to start is before you even buy it. If you’re buying a new home, chances are you’re going to be selling it in five, ten, or twenty years from now. While reselling may be far from the top of your priority list, there are a few interesting facts to keep in mind. Some attractive features of your new home might turn out to be investments that don’t pay off when it comes time to sell, while other features that you overlook now could have a positive effect on your home’s value over time.

When looking for a new home, your top priority should still be your own needs and desires, but it can’t hurt to have “resale value” in the back of your mind. After all, a home is a huge purchase, and it can turn out to be a great investment.

All features of a home will essentially be built into the price. If you do your best to learn about the true value of these features, especially their effects on the value over many years, you will have a better idea of how much you should be paying initially.

Features that add to your home resale value

Good location

Real estate experts agree that a good location is the biggest factor in adding value to a home. The home should be in a growing community; close to freeways and commercial areas, but not so close that the neighborhood is too noisy or congested. It’s also a good idea to check city records for any proposed land use action that will affect the area. The neighborhood may look peaceful now, but the city could be planning on tearing down the green space to build a new freeway. Planned city action could drastically change the value of the house over time, positively or negatively.

Large kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. It’s a central location for gatherings, and it’s a room in which you spend a great deal of time. Large kitchens that are open, accessible, and adjacent to dining and family rooms will add substantially to your home resale value.

Three or four Bedrooms

Bedrooms provide room to spread out, secluded workspaces, or extra space for a growing family. As far as the home resale value is concerned, three or four bedrooms is ideal. If the house has five or more bedrooms, make sure they’re not inflating the price too much. You shouldn’t be paying much extra for more rooms, as they won’t add significantly to the resale value. Also, if the home has less than three rooms, your pool of buyers will be limited and you could have a harder time selling in the future.

2.5 Bathrooms

One bathroom in the master bedroom, one shared bathroom, and a half bathroom for guests is ideal. If the house has more than 2.5 bathrooms, make sure it’s not inflating the price, as more bathrooms will do little to increase the resale value. Two bathrooms is also an acceptable number, but any less than two will hurt the value of the home.

Large, rectangular lot

Most buyers are looking for a fair sized, rectangular, level lot. Small yards, odd shapes, or sloped lots will decrease the home resale value. There should be enough space in the front and back yards for a person to consider them accessible. Enough room for decorations or activities is a huge plus.

Closet space

A walk-in closet for the master bedroom is a very desirable feature. Aside from the master bedroom, a home should have enough closet space scattered throughout. A lack of closet space can alienate certain buyers, and depreciate the value of the home.

Two-Car garage

Depending on the location of the house, a two-car garage is most desirable. If the house is surrounded by other homes with larger garages, it might be best to consider a larger garage size to match. In general, two is the magic number. More or less could affect the home value in undesirable ways.

Hidden, main floor laundry room

A laundry room should be out of sight to avoid becoming an eyesore, and it should be located on the main floor of the house. An easily accessible laundry room can cut back on trips up and down stairs. Remember, even if an inconvenient laundry room isn’t an issue for you, it could be an issue for your potential buyers, and it could hurt the value your house.

House size vs. surrounding houses

The size of the house can either increase or decrease its value, depending on its location. If the house is a large luxury house surrounded by smaller homes, the surrounding houses will drag down the value over time. On the flip side, if the house is small or medium and it’s surrounded by larger homes, the value could increase over time. If you’re looking at a home, compare its value with the values of the surrounding homes, keeping size in mind.

Surprising Features that don’t add to home resale value

A view

While a pretty view is easy on the eyes, it doesn’t do much for the value of a house, and it could be costing you a lot of money. Compare the price of the house that has a view with another comparable house in the area that doesn’t have a view. Is the price inflated because of the view? Chances are, when it comes time to sell, you won’t be getting the extra money back from the sale.

Fancy landscaping

Unless you are thoroughly impressed with the fancy landscaping, don’t pay extra for it. Landscaping can be the sign of a hobby or investment made by the previous owner. If you can’t imagine yourself enjoying the landscaping in the future, let the seller know. If it doesn’t interest you and you’re not willing to invest the same amount of time and money as the previous owner, the landscaping will eventually deteriorate, and you won’t get your money’s worth when it comes time to sell.

Swimming pools

Houses with swimming pools were very popular a few years ago, but with the recent awareness of dangers and injury statistics, families with children are steering clear of them. Unless you want a pool for your own recreational use, make sure you’re not paying extra for it, as you won’t be seeing a return on the investment.

Multiple stories

In the past, multi-story homes were very popular. Recently, the market has made a surprising shift, and now single-story homes are far more desirable. The exception is single-story homes surrounded by multi-story homes. In most cases, a single-story home will pay off more in the end.

Fireplaces

Though they are quaint and comforting, fireplaces do little to increase the value of a home. Let the seller know that you’re indifferent to the fireplace, and you don’t see it as an additive feature of the house-at least not one that’s worth paying for.

Home Improvements That Increase Home Resale Value

While you’re looking for a home, or if you’ve already moved in, you can always think about ways to increase the resale value. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Home improvements

While you’re browsing homes, look at any “less than desirable” features as an opportunity to make some home improvements. Any ideas you have, from paint color to new furniture, could go a long way toward increasing the home’s value. Assess your own skills, or form a relationship with a contractor, and view the home from the perspective of a restorer. If the lot is sloped, could a new terrace or porch do the trick? If the home only has two bathrooms, could a new half bathroom be added in? Can you turn the home’s imperfections into assets?

Kitchen & bathroom renovation

If you’re checking out a new house, and the kitchen or bathrooms appear uninviting or cramped, consider the cost of renovating these rooms compared with the money saved from purchasing the house in such condition. Even do-it-yourself fixes, like new tiles, new cupboards, or a new coat of paint can increase the value drastically. Keep in mind that most buyers scrutinize the kitchen the most, with the bathrooms a close second, followed by the master bedroom. If you see beauty potential in these rooms, you could turn that potential into profit.

Remove wallpaper

Most buyers don’t like wallpaper. The design is often dated, and buyers don’t want to have to remove it themselves. Here’s where you can turn a hindrance into an opportunity. If you’re willing to put in the effort to remove the wallpaper yourself, you can significantly increase the home’s resale value. When the wallpaper is removed, make sure to paint the walls a neutral color, as this allows a wider range of buyers to essentially project themselves into the home and imagine their lives within its walls.

Your house is your home

While these facts represent the opinions of many real estate experts, thinking about home resale value is still a guessing game. You’re betting that today’s valuable features will retain their value in the future. There are many proven trends, and it’s always a good idea to educate yourself on the local markets and neighborhoods in which you plan on commencing your search. While your house is a large investment, it’s also simply a home. You need to find a house that you can see yourself living in for many years. Keep these tips in the back of your mind, begin your search with confidence and optimism, and when you’ve finally found a new home it will be a positive financial investment, as well as an investment in the future of you and your family.

Westhollow Laminate Flooring Will Improve Your Home

Laminated flooring is gaining in popularity every year because of it’s high quality and durability at a low price. Westhollow laminate flooring compares well to companies like Shaw, Mohawk, Armstrong, Mannington, Alloc, Nirvana, Kronoswiss  and Floor Trends while bringing it’s own unique qualities and patterns to the consumer. The Westhollow collection of wood laminate floors is extensive with 11 attractive ranges to choose from. This company is unique because it uses up to 90% real wood and wood products in its laminate flooring.

Westhollow laminate flooring combines traditional craftsmanship with innovative technology to give the consumer a floor with durability, beauty and value that makes it one of the leading providers of laminated flooring for business and residential uses. They are involved in the whole manufacturing process for better quality control. Because of their manufacturing processes, their wood laminates look more like solid wood and has a richer look. The wear layer on Westhollow laminate flooring goes from 8mm in the beginning ranges to 12 mm in the higher ranges of patterns. That is impressive.

You will have an easier time installing Westhollow laminate flooring because of their own Uniclic installation system. It requires no glue or nails and is a floating floor that can be installed over old vinyl, cement, ceramic or wood. The required foam underlay can be purchased in rolls to be installed before laying the laminate, or attached to the back of each plank on some ranges of patterns. Attached underlay is more expensive, but saves on time and labor. There is a great installation kit available that has spacers and the tool to help you click the planks together without damaging them and more. The only other tools needed are a saw and a hammer. You will be leaving a small space all around the exterior edges of the room for expansion. There is very little waste because of the staggered seams and 4 foot lengths of planking.

You can wait for your local flooring distributor or building center to have a sale on laminated flooring, or look for flooring liquidator and discount stores. They are in many cities and on the Internet. They sell discontinued, overstock and slightly damaged flooring at highly discounted prices. For these cheap prices, just be sure to buy enough to do your whole project plus some, because they have limited quantities and can’t order more.

Kohler 5E Generator Raw Water Pump Impeller Removal and Installation

Changing the raw water pump impeller on a Kohler 5E marine generator is actually very easy as long as you can fit in the small work area where the pump is. The generator is a closed system with a heat exchanger mounted on the top of the generator. You will only need a few hand tools to get this job done. A new impeller is readily available at your marina or a local marine supply store.

First you need to shut off the raw water supply at the hull fitting. Locate the pump, mine is mounted on the starboard side of the vessel even with the water line, yours could be on the opposite side. Remove the four 1/4″ bolts that fasten the pump to the generator. The only things you really need to take off of the pump is the cover with the o-ring and then get the old impeller out of the pump.You might have to slide to pump partially off the drive shaft and then back into position to get the impeller to stick out a little so you can grab it with your pliers. If you have any problems getting the old impeller out you will have to remove the whole pump to work on it.

If you have most of the impeller vanes on the old impeller there is no need to worry. If there are only a couple of impeller vanes on the old impeller it is a good idea to flush the system with a garden hose to make sure you have a good flow of water and most of the vanes are out of the system. Check the rotation of the pump by touching the start button on the generator control panel and observe which way the shaft has moved or if the impeller still has vanes on it install the new impeller with the vanes running in the same direction.

The next thing to do is to install the impeller in the pump. You should lube the impeller with Vaseline or liquid soap for ease of installation and start up. The easiest way of getting the impeller in the pump is to pull the pump from the generator a little bit, place the impeller on top of the pump and twist it in the proper direction to get it started (vane tips are trailing rotation) then align the impeller with the flat(s) on the drive shaft and slide it into the pump body. After the impeller is installed the o-ring needs to be placed in the groove in the pump housing with a little bit of lube on it and the cover replaced with the bolts and tightened.

When the cover is in place and tightened it is time to open the valve for the water intake, checking for no leaks. After all looks well there it is time to run the generator to make sure the whole system is functioning properly. There should be an ample supply of water coming from the generator exhaust port while the generator is running. This will become a normal yearly maintenance job on your vessel with normal generator usage.

Sometimes these impellers will last a few years with only periodic use but most will have to be changed yearly if used frequently during the boating season. Different brands of vessels will have the same type of system and are very close to this procedure. The one major difference might be the pump used on the generator but it still should not be a large pump.

After the first time of doing this maintenance item and getting to know your vessel it should only take about 20 minutes to complete this task. The first time might be up to 90 minutes give or take according to what you will study, focus on and observe.

This procedure was done on a 2006 Searay, 280DA with twin 5.0 Mercruiser engines.

Lean Tools: The Kaizen Newspaper

I would like to take you through a useful Lean Tool called the Kaizen Newspaper.

Just like a real newspaper, the Kaizen Newspaper is a great way to summarise the main headlines of the activities that are of interest for your work area.The kaizen newspaper is a visual management tool for detailing and grouping a set of improvement actions that you intend to make happen.

What is it primarily used for?

The Kaizen Newspaper is mainly used to facilitate the following:

  • Assigning improvement activities to individual,sub team or team members
  • Create action quickly
  • Keep track of activities and level of completion
  • Help maintain team momentum

It can be the main summarising and reporting mechanism for a team of people working on Continuous Improvement activity in a particular area.

What does a kaizen newspaper look like?

Typically a kaizen newspaper is written up on an A1 flip chart.The very top of the flip chart should have the following information: The words ‘Kaizen Newspaper’, the team name, the area they are working in, and the date.Straight after this, the following headings need to be written up going from right to left with column lines separating them.

ACTION WHO WHEN OUTCOME

For each continuous improvement activity the above detail needs to be added

For example,Under the ACTION column you may write ‘Review storage system of files’,under the WHO column you may write ‘Fred Lean’, and under the WHEN column you may write ’10am-12pm’

At this stage the OUTCOME column would be left blank.Typically this is filled in after a review of the actions has taken place. i.e. if Fred Lean was charged as a member of the team to go and review the storage of files between 10am and 12pm we may have a review meeting at 1pm where Fred would give us an update of how he got on.We would then update the outcome column with the fruits of Freds’ labour.

Obviously there would be an action, who, when, outcome entry for every continuous improvement activity that we come up with.Hopefully you get the idea. As well as using paper flip charts by being a bit creative, you can help save the planet. I’ve made up a fold-able A4 kaizen newspaper from laminated white card that folds out to A1 size. I’ve also recently started to use ‘magic white board’ on a roll which was featured on “Dragons Den”.

When, Where and Why do you use a kaizen newspaper?

One reason for using a kaizen newspaper is when we are running a Rapid Improvement Workshop / Kaizen Blitz Event.It is a great way to track the teams action throughout the few days that you have to make improvements.That said,it can also be very effective in helping run day to day activities in any operational area.Only actions associated with the improvement of the area should be put on the paper.i.e. It is not a personal wish list but a process improvement list associated with eliminating one or more of the seven classic wastes.Typically the newspaper needs to be situated in a focal point where everyone involved knows its location. The tool works best when we use it to assign short bursts of activity.i.e. We assign a few hours worth of activity,review that activity and then write up a new chart for the next set of actions.This helps keep momentum going and makes the newspaper a living document that people actually use.

Who is responsible for creating the Newspaper?

There needs to be an owner for the Kaizen Newspaper. This typically should be the groups team leader, a team facilitator or a person within the team that has agreed to co-ordinate the improvement work.They need to organise regular reviews of activity and make a judgement call as to when to write up the next Kaizen Newspaper.

Summary

The Kaizen Newspaper is a very straightforward Lean Tool. Although it is very simple its power is often overlooked. When used well, it can help facilitate a real buzz and a sense of contributing to the overall good within a group.