Elevator Networking Tactics

What is Networking?

Networking refers to a word which is related to the computer its connectivity. More often than not, it invokes ideas of the connectivity or the link in between two or more computers. Now wait a minute. That’s the easy one and definitely not the type of networking most of us want to know about. The part where it gets really hard is when one has to move out of the world of computers and digital devices in order to face and talk to real people. One of the main drawbacks of the advancements of information technology has been that most people are nowadays a lot more comfortable to talk over the phone, Email, SMS or other forms of digital person rather than in person. As a result, physical forms of networking are becoming more and more difficult for people to master with each passing day.

Networking essentially is the process of getting to know a person or a group of people who can help one in enhancing his/ her career prospects. The main aspect of networking is that once understood, it is extremely easy to master and one does not need any sort of degree or experience to be able to network efficiently and effectively. While it is great to be able to network easily due to the advent and development of digital technology and social media, one of the main places for an individual to network is the elevator.

Elevators as a networking tool?

Yes, you heard that right. Over time, elevators have proven to be one of the most successful networking tools and have played a tremendous role in enhancing numerous careers and putting individuals on the fast track to success and promotions. While there may be many forms of elevator networking and elevator networking tactics, the most common and the most important one is elevator networking in the workplace. In any normal workplace, there is bound to be a time when one is all alone in the elevator with the boss who is normally only accessible during the company AGM’s. Since, these few precious moments with the people who matter is all one may get, it is best to be prepared on how to tackle it. The main prerequisite for such cases is to always be prepared and have an effective elevator networking tactic ready. While most may argue that the best tactics are always spontaneous, elevator networking can actually become really tricky as one would get just about 20 seconds to make any sort of impression. As a result, there is no better elevator networking tactic that putting in some amount of effort and time behind mastering the art of elevator networking.

Top Elevator Networking Tactics

Since impromptu speeches might end up leaving one speechless, it is best to prepare one beforehand for those unforeseen moments where one may just have to stand up and deliver. Out of all such moments, the first 20 seconds spent all alone with the boss in the office elevator is the most important. These 20 seconds can either allow one to bag promotion after promotion or turn the person into a paper pusher. Thus, in order to create an effective elevator networking tactic, one must always try to make use of these three pointers.

– The universal truth and the first and foremost pointer is that you should never hesitate or chicken out. In simple English, an opportunity lost is an opportunity wasted.

– Secondly, there is no point delaying the inevitable. It is always best to start off with your gig at the first opportune moment since it gives you that much more time to create an impression.

– Finally, you need to sound respectful and yet supremely confident. There is an extremely thin line between sounding confident and sounding arrogant and you should ensure that this line is never crossed. The best way is to practice in front of a mirror for the umpteenth time until you are sure that you have mastered the tune.

However, understanding these pointers is not enough. You need to know how to fill up those 20 to 30 seconds which could change your life. Thus, constructing a step by step process for that 20 second impromptu speech is extremely important.

– The first and most important step is to introduce yourself and your occupation/ department of work/ organizational position in as few words as possible. The best way to handle it is to keep it simple and cough out only your name and position/ occupation.

– The next step is to establish yourself as a genuine person and not a pesky salesman. This is best done by offering your credentials. This is best accomplished by boasting about your recent performance appraisals and/ or any other awards or credits that you may have received in the recent past.

– With the second step taken care of, you need to make sure that you cover your current area or current project. This is as important as the first step since it enables you to connect with the other person and somewhat establishes a bond in between you and the other person. The most important aspect which most people ignore is to always try to have eye contact. This allows you to immediately foster a bond with the other person and makes your task a lot easier. It also allows you to read that blink of an eye when the person understands that both of you may share some common interests.

Never make a request in your first meeting

Once this link has been established and you have deciphered your common interests, you could either simply carry out conversing about the common topic by putting in your thoughts and ideas about it. It is strongly recommended not to ask for any sort of requests or favours in your first meeting as that would undo all the hard work that you just did. There shall always be a second time and therefore the first meeting should just be focused on building up your image in front of the other person in the elevator.

Different Styles of Number Plate for Sale

Cherished, Personalised, DVLA prefix number plates. Call them what you like, but there are 5 types of Personalised number plates for sale which includes Irish registrations. They are, in chronological order, Cherished number plates which were original issued from 1901 until 1963. Suffix number plates which have a year letter at the end of the plate that were issued from 1963 until they ran out of letters in 1983. Then DVLA issued prefix numbers from 1983 until August 2001 and more recently the style of plate is the new-style of registration number.

The most popular of these styles is undoubtedly the prefix style plate. The reason is simple. When the DVLA first became active in the sale of private plates, this was the type of plate that was being issued at that time. As a result, they kept all the attractive numbers like 1 to 20 back from release to garages so that they could sell them to the public. After 12 months most of the popular combination of letters had sold so the DVLA decided to keep an even larger selection of numbers for sale. Numbers like 22, 33, 44 and so on. This meant that they now had almost three times the number of registrations for sale.

These days, the new-style plates are being released for sale every six months and whilst there are hundreds more combinations for sale, the prefix style plates still outstrip the new-style sales by three to one proving that they are still the most popular style of number plate on sale today.

The cherished registrations were, and still are, the most revered of private plates. The very early single number and single letter registrations will always look amazing on any car. The likes of A 1, the first registration issued, to V 1 and Y 1 that are amongst the last, can’t help but turn heads whenever they are seen.

Prefix registrations have made a somewhat late appeal to the public who want that something different without spending a great deal. They are more appealing than a DVLA prefix registration but they are not so widely available as it was during the period when they were being issued that the non year letter cherished number plates became desirable. As a result many of the prefix style plates seen on sale today originate from the DVLA auction.

The recent new-style Car Registration Plates that will appear on all new cars for around another 40 years don’t really inspire much interest unless they spell a word or name like BR15 TOL or PR05 PER. Only then will they really be worth more than their original sale price.

How to Choose the Right Camping Stove

In this article, I go over the different things that you have to look for in a camping/backpacking stove. I look at what is important and what is not, why you should care about getting the best camping stove there is.

Camping and backpacking can be wonderful, but after a long trek through the wilderness, you might feel like having a warm meal. Of course you can light a fire to keep you warm and boil water, but a warm meal might be nice. There is no quicker and easier way than using a camping/backpacking stove.

When it comes to choosing the right camping/backpacking stove you need to consider several factors like where you’ll be using the stove, how far you have to carry it as well as other factors like the kind of fuel you may need to use to light the stove. Now, I will show you 3 main factors to pick a good one.

1. Main Fuel Types

Canister – For short overnight stays, propane camping stove or isobutane fuel systems are good.

– Pro: They are compact units and easy to use as well.

– Con: On the downside, they cost a lot and the fuel is hard to gauge.

Liquid Fuel – White gas, also known as naphtha, which is highly refined, works well in high altitudes and extremely cold temperature.

– Pro: Ideal for cold temperatures and at high altitudes

– Con: Liquid fuel systems are a heavier option and they require priming

Wood (as an alternative fuel source) – Wood as an option is ideal for long-distance hikes and very light

– Pro: Wood is easy to source even if you are on the go.

– Con: Need constant attention; tricky to control especially in windy situations

Alcohol (as an alternative fuel source) – You can find alcohol in most remote parts where hiking or backpacking is common. Look for denatured alcohol, preferably high ethanol content alcohol. Never use methanol, it is toxic.

– Pro: commonly available in various countries and it also fits a wide range of systems

– Con: If the alcohol is not pure enough, it can produce heavy soot.

Solid Fuel (as alternative fuel source) – These are compact fuel tablets made of hexamine. They are lightweight and great for emergency situations.

– Pro: Light and easy to light

– Con: They burn for a short time and tend to be more expensive than other systems

When you’ve decided on the fuel you can now consider other factors that will make your stove ideal.

2. How big should your camping/backpacking stove be?

The size of your camping backpacking stove will depend on the number of people you’ll be cooking for. Generally there are two sizes to choose from: A two-burner that sits on a tabletop or a freestanding stove

– Group of 4 or less

For small groups of people just camping or backpacking for a few days, a compact two burner will work just fine. Look for a camping stove that is light, will easily fit into the trunk of your car and has enough cooking power to suit a small group. With a Coleman Chef Everest you can use a 16-ounce canister or use a larger propane tank. Space is limited with this model so be sure that the usable cooking space fits your pot. Some products can only accommodate a 12″ skillet and others can accommodate the same size skillet with the wind flaps removed. There are models that can fit two 12″ sized skillet so before you buy a camping stove, pay heed to the dimensions but remember that they can only help you in deciding if the stove has enough cooking space. The size and placement of the burner are a good indication of the usable cooking space on the stove.

– Group of 8 and more

Eight is a large number and you may need more than a standard two burner stove. Freestanding models are great for large groups. The advantage is that they don’t need a tabletop. Check out camping stoves that have more powerful burners and prep trays, which give you more cooking, space. You need to keep in mind that freestanding stoves take time to pack and unpack and they take up a lot of space. If space is an issue you might want to get two compact two-burner stoves.

– Groups of seven or less

If you have a mid-sized group of say, seven, choosing the right camping stove can be hard. It might help to know what you’ll be cooking, or how long you expect to be out in the wilderness. Start off with a two-burner stove and include one more if the demands increase. A freestanding burner might be too bulky and too much of a hassle to lug around and assemble. With a two-burner stove you can cook meals that you’d typically cook at home like a Pasta and Sauce meal.

Coleman and other brands offer different versions of two-burners stove. The difference with these versions is the space for the pots. Standard versions work well for small families or groups but with a little creativity these can be used to even cook for as much as ten people. A campfire can always be used to heat up some dishes.

3. BTU & Power

The power of a camping stove is measured by how many BTU (British Thermal Units) it. BTU is a measure of the amount of energy required to heat or cool one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. So the more BTU a camping stove has, the more power it has. This should not be the only factor that you consider when buying a camping stove, you should also consider the cooking space it has.

– Look at the time it takes to boil water

All stoves should be able to boil if the temperature is ideal, wind conditions are moderate and the group size is fairly manageable. However, before you choose a camping stove you should know how fast it could boil water. This is crucial if you have a big group and time is of the essence. Boiling water for your morning coffee should not be a two-hour event. The number of BTU should be an adequate indicator, but it is not always the case.

– Simmering capability and wind resistance

Most products that are tested can boil water relatively fast but they are unable to keep a small flame to simmer down. You should look for a model that can boil water fast but also keep a small flame without turning off when the burner is lowered. The fact that you are using a camping stove should not mean you should expect it to perform any less than your stove at home.

When it comes to wind resistance things are more straightforward. You can buy a camping stove with a windscreen or you can forego the windscreen and create your own by putting your stove in a protected area. If you camp in extremely windy places then its best to invest in a camp stove with a powerful burner and a windscreen.

If you enjoy camping and enjoy food and cooking then you should choose a product that really meets your requirements. Remember also to maintain your stove so that it can last for as long as you need it to.

How to Choose the Right Slow Cooker

Do you love to cook healthy, nutritious home-cooked meals but do not have the time to prepare and watch over them? Then you need a slow cooker. Preparing delicious home-cooked meals will be as easy as adding ingredients to your cooker because it will do all the cooking for you. There are a lot of cookers available on the market right now, before we proceed to choosing the right one; it is helpful to first learn how they work.

Learning how a slow cooker works will help you understand what features you need to look for. When a cooker heats up, the steam caught in the grove of its lid and circulates back into the pot. This helps lock moisture and flavor in whatever you are cooking. Cookers also maintain a low pressure and there is no risk of accidents to the accumulation of high pressure that comes with pressure cookers. The food is gradually and continuously cooked at temperatures of 170-200 °F as the crock acts as the heat reservoir.

Because of the way a slow cooker works, finding a model with a great locking lid, a sturdy base and a reliable heating element should be your primary priority. High quality ones may cost a little more, but they are absolutely worth the purchase.

Crock pots or slow cookers come in different sizes and you can find one that suites your needs. It is important that you get the right size on your first purchase so you wouldn’t have to buy another one in case the first one is too small. Cookers function best when they are about three-quarters full because it ensures that your food maintains its moisture as it cooks. To help you decide which size to get, remember that a three quart slow cooker can feed between two to four people and a six quart one can feed between six to eight people.

Another important factor to consider is the shape of the slow cooker. The oval ones are your best choice if you want to cook poultry, roasts and joints most of the time. They are more useful as the shape of the meat will fit better. If you mostly want to cook stews, soups and chillis, then you can get any shape you want.

Some cookers are programmable and they offer several advantages for the user. Even if all cookers are designed to be left, programmable ones will let you control how long they will cook and set them to automatically switch to keep warm when they are done. That way, your food will never be overcooked and you will always have a warm dish waiting for you when you get back. Some of them also have a delay timer that you can set what time they will start cooking.

Another factor to consider is the weight of the slow cooker especially if you want to take your cooker to a pot luck party. Their weight varies a lot and the lightest ones can usually range from 7-10 kg. Some slow cookers have also extra features for traveling like a clip-tight lid, a clip-on serving spoon, and bigger handles.

A slow cooker is a great way to let you enjoy nutritious home-cooked meals. Preparing them would be a breeze. All you have to do is add all the ingredients before you leave for work, and when you get back home, you can enjoy a warm and healthy meal. There may be hundreds of slow cookers to choose from, but now that you know what to look for, it’s easier to narrow down your search. Once you know what you want, you can go ahead and check out reviews to help you choose which specific model is right for you.

Scientists Are Working on Converting Windows Into Solar Panels

Scientists at Michigan State University have achieved a marvelous breakthrough in solar panel technology, a panel that can be applied over a window to generate solar power. The most exciting feature of the new panel is that it will be totally transparent. Thus far, other luminescent plastic-like materials used for this purpose have not been transparent. This breakthrough could allow entire buildings to produce enough power to run on. With all the recent improvements in window technology, this new solar-converting technology is a welcome addition to everyone concerned about energy efficiency.

Transparent Luminescent Solar Concentrator

Michigan State University researchers have “developed the “‘transparent luminescent solar concentrator’ which they say could be used on buildings, mobiles and ‘any other device that has a clear surface.'” (1) In the past, scientists have struggled with luminescent plastics, which did not perform as well as hoped. Moreover, their highly colored appearance would not make for an appealing window coating. New developments, however, have allowed scientists to work with colorless material that, once completely developed, should be 5% efficient. Thus far, the best colored luminescent plastic material is only 7% efficient.

How Does the Luminescent Plastic Work?

First of all, the solar harvesting plastic does its work unobtrusively. That is, while a person might be looking out the window at a beautiful sunset, the organic molecules within the luminescent material are gathering sunlight and converting it to electricity. To the human eye, the process is transparent. The window functions as it’s supposed to–only it’s also generating free solar energy. Once this technology is perfected, consumers can look forward to a whole new generation of solar-friendly windows and smart phone screens. The technology has great potential for not only the residential sector, but the commercial and industrial sectors too.

Technological Milestones in Windows

While this new generation of solar windows takes shapes, consumers have plenty to be excited about in the world of window technology. “From smart phones to smart cars, smart windows have recently come into the market with the potential to significantly reduce energy consumption and more.” (2) When considering new windows for your home, the following options are just a few of the smartest on the market.

Electrochromic Windows: With electrochromic technology, these windows have the ability to change from translucent to opaque in order to control the amount of light and heat that may enter a room.

Photochromic Windows: Photochromic windows are self-tinting and can respond to sunlight intensity in order to control the amount of light that may pass through the window.

Liquid Crystal Windows: Liquid Crystal windows can go from a clear view to opaque in order to obscure views. These windows are a great security feature.

If you are in the market for new windows, consider smart technology. You’ll be able to select a smart window that suits your home’s needs. With their emphasis on energy efficiency, you’ll discover that these new windows are an excellent investment that not only adds to your home’s value, but they can also save you money each month on energy costs.


1. DailyMail Online, “Could we turn windows into solar panels? Transparent material could harvest energy to make buildings self-sufficient,” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2733936/Could-turn-windows-solar-panels-Transparent-material-harvest-energy-make-buildings-efficient.html

2. AAAWindows 4 Less, “The Amazing Potential of Smart Windows,” http://www.aaawindows4less.com/amazing-potential-smart-windows/

How to Do the Plank Stomach Exercise

The Plank is one of the most effective exercises for working towards a flat stomach and revealing your six-pack abs.

Not only does it strengthen the abdominal muscles, but also works the back and the hips. The Plank stomach exercise method requires no special equipment or exercise machines. All you need is the floor and your body.

Here is the proper way to perform The Plank:

  1. Lie face down on the floor or on an exercise mat.
  2. Place your forearms and elbows underneath your chest with your palms flat on the floor.
  3. Push up off the ground onto your toes and resting on your forearms.
  4. Focus on tightening the abdominals while in the position.
  5. Keep your back in a straight line from head to heels and don’t allow your hips to sag down towards the ground.
  6. Hold this position until you can no longer keep your body in a straight line.
  7. Bring your body back down to the starting position.
  8. Start with trying to aim for 20 seconds and do 3 sets.

Continue the exercise and try and work up to 30, 45, 60 seconds and beyond.

Things to remember when doing The Plank:

Remember to not let your hips and back sag. This exercise will only be effective if you work to maintain a flat line from your head to your heels. Once you become more advanced at this exercise you can leg lift, side arm lift, or perform the exercise on your hands instead of elbows.

This is the first post in the Flat Stomach Blog’s 30 Abs Exercises In 30 Days Series.

Sales Management Planning – 5 Tips to Help You Plan

Working with many different sales organisations, teams and managers I have found that most of the problems that they face on a regular basis are due to the lack of planning by the sales manager. As the old adage states, “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. So why don’t sales managers plan?

Well over the years of training, my students have given me many reasons why they don’t plan and these are the most common:

  • I don’t know how to plan;
  • I don’t have the time to plan, I am way too busy;
  • I prefer to be spontaneous and reactive and planning stops me from doing this;
  • I spend so much time addressing problems, I don’t have time to plan; and
  • It isn’t part of my job description so why should I do it.

Planning should not be a burden, as it will assist a sales manager become more effective and efficient. My experience has shown that when a sales manager does plan they solve a lot of issues that normally took up most of their time. So if you are failing to plan, here are a few tips that may help you begin or improve your planning. My students advocate these as the top 5 tips so I thought I should share them with you.

Tip One – Allocate time in your schedule to plan. Commit yourself and block out time in your diary or calendar to planning. This may be every day, week and/or month. Whichever the case you must write in down in the schedule you use for your appointments so you don’t use the time for something else.

Tip Two – Get your team involved in the planning. Your team should take part of some of your planning, as they may have to contribute to the goals you want to set. Get them involved as they will provide excellent ideas and they will take ownership of the plan ensuring its success.

Tip Three – Change the way you think about planning. Don’t consider planning as a task you must undertake as a sales manager. You should consider it as a chance to think about issues, opportunities, staff and other areas in a creative way. If you consider it to be a mandatory task your chances of successful planning will be limited.

Tip Four – Set yourself and/or team some goals. A plan is only as good as the goals you set. Make the goals SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timeframe), as it will give them more substance.

Tip Five – Break down your goals into action plans. I have found that a 90-day action plan is a great way to help people achieve their goals. It allows the sales manager to write down the tasks required to complete the goal but also specify the due dates. The action plans that I teach are broken down into 30, 60 and 90-day tasks. Each task also has its own due date and reason why they should be completed.

Planning will help you solve the problems of the future so don’t put it off. Give it try and let me know what happens. I am interested to hear your comments. Good luck.

Wheelchair Ramp Guidelines

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility guidelines suggest ramp specifications that include preferred slopes, width, landings, surfaces, handrails, and environmental conditions. The next area to the point list of these factors for building, purchasing, and using ramps for wheelchairs:

Wheelchair ramp slopes

A ratio of rise over run is used to define ramp slopes (e. g. 16 inches of level run for each one inch of upright rise would be expressed as 1:16). The preferred ADA ramp slope is between 1:16 and 1:20. New construction slopes shall not exceed 1:12. Slope alone is not the only issue to consider; ramp distance and maximum rise are to be minimized. Maximum rise shall not exceed 30 inches (760 mm), and ramp distance should avoid lengths greater than 30 feet (9 m).

Wheelchair ramp width and landing

Ramp widths shall not be less than 36 inches (915 mm) and apparent. Landings, at both the top and bottom, shall be level and accommodate the slope of the connecting ramp. The next added landing features are necessary:

• Landings shall minimally be as extensive as the ramp.

• Landing length shall at smallest amount be 60 inches (1, 525 mm).

• Landings with a direct turn require a minimum of 60 x 60 inches (1, 525 mm x 1, 525 mm).

Wheelchair ramp handrails

Wheelchair ramp handrail guidelines are for adults. If children are the most important users, such as in schools, then a following, subordinate rail should be provided. If two handrails are being used, one above the other, a minimum distance between rails shall be 9 inches to avoid entrapment. Handrails shall be a maximum of 28 inches from the surface of the ramp to the top of the rail. Ramp rises greater than 6 inches (150 mm), or level projections superior than 72 inches (1, 830 mm), require railings on both sides of the ramp. Handrails are not necessary for curb ramps and ramps next to audience seating. The next added handrail features are necessary:

• Both sides of ramp segments require handrails; where doglegs and switch – backs exist, the inside railing must be continuous.

• If handrails are continuous, they shall extend 12 inches (305 mm) beyond the end of the ramp, and run equivalent to the ground.

• The apparent space between the wall and handrail shall be a minimum of 1 ½ inches (38 mm).

• Gripping surfaces shall be continuous.

• Handrail ending shall be round or returned smoothly to post, walls, or ground.

• Handrails shall not rotate, or otherwise move, within their fittings.

Wheelchair ramp surfaces, edges, and environments

Ramps for wheelchairs require surfaces compliant with ADA regulations for such. Ramp edges shall be provided if drop offs exist. These edges can be in the form of walls, lips, or other projections that are at a minimum of 2 inches (50 mm) in height. Design and construction of outside ramps for wheelchairs shall not allow for the accumulation of water or snow at the approach or on the ramp.

Installing Deck Railings the Professional Way

Meet safety requirements:

As per the law certain safety requirements need to be made. By meeting these requirements you can then make the designs of your porch or deck as far as your creativity and imagination can take you. Exclusive and unique railings are seen in homes where a lot of creativity has been used. With the right combination of materials, techniques and designs you can install some of the best porch and deck railings. Certain specifications have to be met while designing railings.

The handrails should be at a height of at least 36 to 42 inches. Even the spacing between the   balusters  is important, to prevent a small child from passing through the  balusters . Once you have fixed railings which fit within the safety requirements, there is no cause of worry for you.

Your carpentry skills can help you greatly:

If your have that extra time to spare and some of the basic carpentry skills, you can install the railings yourself. It may take you some time if you add your creativity to it, but in the end you derive extreme satisfaction on completion of the job. To keep the  balusters  evenly spaced you may require some of the basic mathematical skills. Width of the  balusters , the distance between them, etc. are main points of consideration, besides their design. Notching the railing posts, installing them, cutting the  balusters , as per the recommended size, and then installing the rails and  balusters  if done in a professional way can enhance the entire look of the railings. Using the right carpentry tools is essential, or else you would be causing more damage to the materials instead.

Materials for making the railing are not very cheap, and hence one cannot afford to do a bad job while making the railings themselves. There are books which provide a lot of guidelines of fixing railings for the deck. Another important source of information these days is the internet, where detailed information is available on installing deck railings the professional way. If not, you can hire the services of a professional to fix the deck railing.

Beautiful and Functional Handrails for Stairs

A staircase is the centerpiece of the home. It serves a function, to be sure, and furthermore, as a large architectural feature, it also contributes significantly to the home’s overall style. Therefore, the choice of stair components can be a good way to give your home or commercial property a whole new look, or to further enhance the style that’s already there.

A staircase is comprised, most simply, of the steps and the balustrade. The balustrade is made up of the handrail, or banister; the newels, which are the larger supports at the beginning, end, and turns of the staircase; and the balusters, which are the more slender posts between the newels. Each of these elements should be chosen so as to work well together in a cohesive design.

Wooden handrails are the most popular and, some would say, most attractive option. The hardwoods used to construct them are very durable for long life, and the wear that develops from use tends to simply add to the attractiveness of the rail. Wood can be restained or painted to change its look without expensive, time-consuming replacement.

Oak handrails are a very frequent choice, but other hardwoods are used as well, including poplar, hard maple, cherry, walnut, mahogany, birch, and more. Design profiles range from the round hardwood handrail to square, and highly detailed architectural wood railing.

Handrails, including round wood rails, are available with or without a plow, a groove on the underside which fits over the top of the balustrade. Round hardwood handrails are required to meet ADA hadicap codes in many commercial staircases. Plows increase strength and are also attractive. In addition to the standard railings available for sale, custom handrails can be designed to suit any need or desire.

Curved and circular stairways require that the handrail be built in a specific manner. Once the core has been built in this way, then any profile can be incorporated over it. There are just as many style choices for curved staircases as there are for their more angled cousins.

The design of the hand rail should be chosen so that it fits well with the rest of the design of the staircase, whether the entire staircase is being remodeled or if just the railing or balustrade is being replaced. Consider also the overall style and décor of the rooms which open onto the stairs and of the entire house in general. Do your family or company a favor and resist the temptation to build a staircase that you love, but which simply doesn’t fit your home or commercial space.

With a wood railing for stairs, wood newels and iron balusters complete the most popular current look. This is a very elegant design which can be modified, through the choice of the various components, to match any style from Victorian to Contemporary, and everything in between. Different stains and finishes can be chosen to personalize the design.

Stair remodeling brings a fresh, new look to the home while increasing its value. When you choose the finest standard and custom interior hardwood handrails for stairs, you show your pride in your living space. With so many options available, including custom designs, you can create the perfect staircase.

Benefits of NLP in Your Professional Life

Outcomes / Goals

It’s a living but is it a life? Many people are not happy in their professional life, yet when you ask them what they really want in a career, they are not sure. Becoming clear on what you want from your work is essential, if that work is going to be fulfilling for you.

Equally, within an organization, having clear outcomes for yourself, your team and the organization is vital. NLP has been used to great benefit by large and small organizations’ to make sure that everyone has shared goals and is moving in the same direction.

Relationships & Communication

There are organizations’ paying lip service to the importance of communication skills nowadays. Yet, if we think of highly successful colleagues and managers, is it not true that their ability to communicate, influence and motivate is one of the keys to their success?

The wealth of communication skills that NLP offers provides an invaluable tool for your professional life. You will become more effective as a communicator, and more able to communicate easily with those around you, particularly with those who often seem ‘difficult’ to deal with.


NLP offers many benefits for managers, ranging from the ability to control your state and stay focused, to skills for team management, presentation and leadership skills, negotiation and goal setting.

Entrepreneurs / Self Employed

For those who run their own business or are looking to go self-employed, NLP often proves an invaluable resource. Apart for the benefits already covered, many in NLP have modeled successful business people, to discover the strategies and beliefs that will allow running your business to be both more enjoyable and more profitable.

Coaches / Therapists

NLP seamlessly fits into existing models of change (psychological, health etc) and adds in a set of practical skills and techniques. These can be used in combination with your existing professional background to help people achieve their goals and master their thinking and feeling. Often these changes happen so deeply and quickly they appear magical to your client!

I congratulate you are taking the time to learn about how I can help you with NLP remember if is personal change you want there are other tools and techniques I can use to help you get the results you want.

5 Habits To Be Successful In Sales

When I agreed to watch the football the other day with my friend Ian, I didn’t know I was about to see a big moment that changed football. The moment commentator started to criticize the female linesjudge, I cringed. Women are part of football today, I think most people accept that but for an eighties’ stalwart it was step to far. In his mind, as it was back his era, women had no place in football.

The commentators paid the price as both lost the jobs that they very much loved The world has changed, as it always consistently have. Again this is yet another lesson in history where the person who wasn’t flexible in updating their belief system gets left behind.

Just look in the past with Roger   Bannister  being the first man to break the 4 minute mile. This was epic at the time yet today, a 4 minute mile is considered “slow”.

Another example, Alan Sugar. I just finished his book. A great read actually.

It shows how Lord Sugar started out selling car aerials, then adapted to stereos. As customer demands changed, Amstrad tried selling phones. That didn’t work, so they changed again to selling computers to great success. Then as demand changed Amstrad moved to selling satellite dishes.

People who are flexible will succeed.

People who adapt to what is going on in the market place, who listen to what customers want will be the people who get results.

I have had to go through several changes during both my personal life and my career but every change has made me stronger.

I could have blamed the world for taking my Dad away from me when he was far too young.

I could have blamed the Italians for taking Paul Gascoigne away from my beloved Spurs.

It would have just been wasted energy though as I cannot change what has already happened.

I can adapt to the new situation.

I left a high paid job as I blamed someone else for holding me back in my career at that place of work. I blamed the economy for my business not going to plan in the early days. It was just wasted energy.

Instead I learnt the lesson from my experiences and made the changes I needed to in my own way of thinking and became stronger. And in my line of work, that has helped me continue to be successful in sales.

Be it doing telesales to SME’s business, face-to-face sales to big corporate companies and government bodies or working with feeling entrepreneurs and business owners. The lessons I have learnt have given me a set of habits that will always bring me results no matter what changes I have to face. So here are the five habits that enable me to be successful in sales:

1) “You Reap What You Sow”

I always have a choice in what I do. My life is my responsibility and every action I take is my decisions. I used to do what I thought other people wanted me to do and that approach dam near killed me with stress. If you are not controlling your own game, you cannot win. If someone else’s is in control the goal posts will always be moved.

If I am not getting the results I want, it is only me that has to change. As Tony Robbins says “all I need is within me now”!

2) “Can A Taxi Driver Understand Where You Want To Go”

When you order a taxi, you know where you want to go. You can clearly and concisely tell the driver your destination.

In terms of business, this means know and understand your figures. If you want to be a millionaire, how many sales do you need to make? How many appointments is that? How long will it take you?

3) “Don’t Be A Busy Idiot”

If you don’t know where you are going but are very busy, you are a bit of an idiot really.

When selling, every action you take can be measured and turned into a monetary term. I don’t subscribe to the “build it and they will come” mentality many business owners seemed to operate by. I much prefer to take control of my destiny and make sure every action I take contributes in a measured way to my success. I like to turn my actions into systems and outsource them so I can focus on what I do best and that is closing deals and delivering a great service to my customers.

4) “Never Leave A Bad Taste In The Mouth”

In my career I have met some great characters and one of them is a Sales Director called Paul. On one deal Paul has completely out-negotiated me yet I felt I have agreed an amazing deal.

Paul actually then gave me better terms on the deal and explained to me that he could have taken me and let me walk away happy but he knew eventually I would realize I have given too much away and be left with a bad taste in my mouth.

Paul didn’t want that as he knew I wouldn’t work with him again. He would rather agree a fairer deal, show trust and respect to each other and come do more business in the future.

I always treat both customers and suppliers with respect. There is no point in slamming a deal as the real success will always come when you get repeat business from your network.

5) “Walk A Mile In Their Shoes”

Always think customer first.

Your business is not about you. It is not about how great you are or how many qualifications you have.

Your business is there to earn you money as vehicle to you living the life you want.

People will not pay you money because you have letters after you name. They will pay you a lot of money because you have the reputation and experience to help them with their exact problem.

When people are in pain, or are desperate to get a specific feeling of happiness that is where you step in and serve them.

And there you have it. Just always remember to be flexible in life and in business. Remember the five habits of successful selling and in now time you will start to get the results you are looking for.

Automotive Relays – What Are They And Why Do You Need Them?

What is a relay?

A relay is an electromechanical or electronic device through which a heavy load

can be   switched  ON & OFF with a nominal input of current & voltage. This article

focuses on electro-mechanical relays used in automotive applications.

How does a relay work?

The utility and function of a relay can be best understood by thinking of a lever.

A lever is inserted at a corner of a heavy load and by placing a wedge (fulcrum)

under the lever, the heavy load can be easily lifted by a small amount of effort.

Similarly, a heavy electrical load drawing heavy current can be  switched  on & off

by applying a small amount of current through a coil(solenoid). What happens is

this – the coil gets magnetized with the current and attracts or repels a

plunger(a rod passed through the coil). The attracting or repelling of the plunger

either connects two  switching  contacts in the relay (also known as NO or Normally

Open/Single Throw/Form A) or separates them (NC or Normally Closed/Double

Throw/Form C), as required. As soon as the energisation of the coil is stopped,

the main contacts go back to their original position.

In automobile applications relays of different configurations with single or

multiple contacts are used for different applications.

Why is a relay required?

Apart from  switching  a circuit with heavy load, on & off, a relay is required to

1. Conserve energy

2. Prolong the life of device

3. Improve the efficiency of a device.

For example let us take the  switching  of two headlamps of an automobile. If the

same is  switched  on through a normal  switch  at the dashboard, the voltage drop

from the battery to the lamps through the  switch  will be enormous and the heat

generated in the circuit due to resistance will be considerable. The heavy current

will be drawn by the lamps which will not only heat the circuit but also drain the

battery heavily.

To give an example of the effect of voltage drop, a chart is given below:

Operating Voltage. Luminous Intensity of a Lamp.
100% 100%
95% 83%
90% 67%
85% 53%

To  switch  on a 12V-60/100 Watt Halogen lamp, a typical 12V Relay allows a voltage

drop of only 0.02V and the coil current is only 2 milliamps.

Another important function of the relay is quick  switching  off(0.05Sec Max.). The

more time the contacts of a  switch  take to break at full load, the more sparks

will be generated due to electromagnetic effect on contacts in a  switched  on

state. Prolonged sparking will mean more wear of the contact points and the danger

of contacts melting and generating a fire. International standards have very stringent relay specifications. The endurance of a relay is generally specified in millions of  switching  operations.

Where should a relay be installed?

Wherever manual  switching  has been used for direct  switching  of a Lamp or Motor or

any gadget exceeding 10 Amps of load, a suitable relay must be put in the circuit.

It is best if the relay can be kept as near as possible to the load (but not in a hot area surrounding near the engine)

How should a relay be installed?

1. Wires connected to the manual  switch  should be connected to any Coil terminal

of the Relay.

2. The load should be connected to any one contact terminal of the Relay (unless

Positive/Negative are specified) and the other to the positive terminal of the

battery (for Negative Ground circuit), with an appropriate Fuse.

Personality Changes Following a Brain Injury

Personality changes can include many things. Most of these changes will be based on deficits resulting from brain injuries. They will contribute to associated behaviors and these behaviors will contribute to changes in a personality.

Becoming ‘stuck’ on a notion such as the ‘dog with a bone’ attitude is one such change; mood changes are another. A change that I found rather disconcerting was my partner’s tendency, following his injury, to make up stories. This, I believe is the result of his short-term memory difficulties – if he can’t remember the whole story, he makes up what he can’t remember. In spite of the fact that he doesn’t appear to remember the original story, he does remember his ‘made up’ version and will argue it vehemently.

While doing my research, I read that personality changes will sometimes be an exaggeration of the person’s pre-injury personality (an amplification of their negative traits increased by frustration and a sense of loss); or at other times the personality change can be a complete reversal of the pre-injury personality. i.e. Where once the person may have been easy-going and thoughtful, they may now be easily angered and self-absorbed.

Also, according to my research, some changes may be due to the brain injured person’s coping style and responses to stressful situations pre-injury, i.e. their adaptability to change, or their tendencies towards minimizing or magnifying their emotional situation.

In   frontal  lobe injuries, the changes are mostly in the emotional and behavioral area with some relating to cognitive impairments. In my partner’s case, a couple of the behavioral deficits he has been left with are his difficulty to tolerate frustrations and his decreased social skills. One of the symptoms of this is he does not participate in conversations as he once did.

In the words of a brain injury survivor – ‘each person has personality traits, habits, strengths and weaknesses before they sustain a traumatic brain injury. If a person was disorganized before their injury, they’ll look like a train wreck after; if they were cranky before, they’ll be ruthless after; if they were low maintenance before, they’ll completely disengage after; if they were extremely bright before, they’ll have some ‘cognitive reserves’ to help make up for the deficits; if they were of low or average intelligence, they’re going to struggle to keep up; if they had interpersonal problems before, they’ll have chaotic relationships after.’ She said each of us is flawed in some way and a brain injury makes those flaws worse.

Extreme fatigue is another change. When my partner required what seemed to be an excessive amount of sleep, I assumed his body was still healing from his many other injuries. But through my research, I discovered that fatigue is a very common symptom of brain injury. Because the brain isn’t working in the same way, the survivor has to work much harder to be able to accomplish less than what he once did. Also the extra effort that is required to compensate for short-term memory loss has an enormous fatiguing effect. Added to this is the effort of trying to keep up with a conversation; the difficulty of paying attention or analyzing what is being said, thinking of a response and trying to look interested all at the same time.

And then there is the change that is difficult to describe. There is a song by Johnny Reid about an angel who has fallen from heaven. Before my partner’s accident, he used to say I was his angel. But something has been lost since his brain injury. I believe the caring is still there but the ability to show it, and definitely the ability to articulate it, is gone. It is another change in his personality.

Austrian Airlines’ Cancun Charter Flight Operation

Although passengers are aware that airlines fly to the destinations they need to travel to, whether it be for business, pleasure, or relational reasons, they may not know that some are served by cargo-only flights; code-share services, in which another carrier operates the aircraft; or charter arrangements, which enable airlines to extend their reach to cities only supportable by group or travel agency bookings, particularly during seasonal-demand periods.

Acting in the capacities of overseer and trainer, the author experienced one such charter flight operation-that of Austrian Airlines in Cancun, Mexico-at the beginning of its Winter 2006-2007 schedule. Observed was the season’s inaugural flight.

1. Mexican Civil Aviation Regulations

Austrian Airlines was handled by Passenger Handling Services/Maca in Cancun. According to Mexican Civil Aviation Regulations, all ground handling companies were required to adhere to three regulations.

They first needed to submit a letter from the handled carrier, verifying that the ground company in question was properly trained in the areas of Flight Plan Coordination, Weight and Balance, Ramp Procedures, Refueling Procedures, and Passenger Service. The letter also needed to indicate the names of the staff actually trained in these areas.

They secondly needed to possess copies of the applicable, aircraft-specific operations manual(s). In the case of the Cancun flight, it was the one concerning the Boeing 767.

Finally, they needed to file a manual check-in plan, with the necessary seat charts, boarding passes, and other supplies.

2. Ground Operations Training

In order to fulfill the training requirement, the author reviewed the Cancun Station Operation Plan, inclusive of the passenger check-in and Centralized Load Control (CLC) procedures, with the handling company’s Duty Manager shortly after his arrival in Mexico, and held two training classes with its staff the following day.

The first, the 2.5-hour Austrian Airlines Load Sheet Familiarization Training, included an overview of the Centralized Load Control (CLC) procedures, load plans, the creation of an inbound load plan based upon the day’s actual container/pallet distribution message (CPM), and the collective completion of a manual load sheet example, copies of which were placed on file at the Cancun station.

During the second session, held after the flight departed, the author again reviewed the CLC procedures with the three staff members who had been unable to attend the morning class.

3. Passenger Check-In

Passenger check-in and boarding occurred in Terminal 1. A small passenger service office, located behind the Mexicana de Aviacion check-in counters, was located in the Vuelos Nacionales (Domestic Flights) section of Terminal 2, while the Operations office was situated behind the security checkpoint and on the ramp side of Terminal 2. A complimentary, periodically run passenger shuttle connected the two buildings from designated terminal frontage departure points. Terminal 3, intended for international flights, was scheduled for March 2007 completion at that time.

The Passenger Handling Services/Maca Duty Manager of Austrian Airlines’ Cancun flight operations, a licensed Aircraft Dispatcher, had amassed 15 years in the airline/aviation industry and took great pride in adhering to regulations.

Passenger check-in was located in the recently reopened, but downsized, hurricane-damaged Terminal 1, which was then only occupied by charter carriers, such as Miami Air, First Choice, Air Transat, and Corsairfly.

Passenger check-in itself commenced three hours before the scheduled 1640 departure time of the flight at counters that were located only a few yards from the terminal entrance. All passengers, in accordance with Mexican security regulations, were required to have their baggage manually inspected prior to actual check-in.

Five check-in positions were used: one for Amadeus (business) Class and four for the economy cabin. The Passenger Service Supervisor and the business class check-in agent spoke Spanish, English, and German, and seat selection, provided by the MaestroDCS system, along with any authorized upgradings, were coordinated with the Tui tour representative, whose company chartered the flight.

Check-in itself was accomplished with the MaestroDCS system. During the process, a passenger requested a wheelchair and it was immediately furnished.

4. Boeing 767

The Cancun flight was operated by the extended range version of the Boeing 767-300, the second of the two stretched-fuselage, higher capacity variants, whose general design features included the following.

General Description: A widebody, twin-engine, cantilever, low-wing monoplane of semi-monocoque construction intended for commercial passenger and cargo and military applications.

Fuselage: Of aluminum alloy, fail-safe construction.

Wings: Employed advanced aluminum alloy skins and featured 31 degrees of sweepback and six degrees of dihedral.

Tail: Conventional empennage with swept surfaces on both its horizontal and vertical tails.

Landing Gear: Hydraulically-retracted, tricycle undercarriage with a Menasco twin-wheel, which retracted forward, and two, four-wheeled, Cleveland Pneumatic main gear units, which retracted inward. Both were equipped with Honeywell wheels and brakes.

Engines: Two aerodynamic, pod-encased high bypass ratio turbofans pylon-mounted to the wing leading edge undersides.

Design Features: Replacing the 727 with a larger capacity, widebody design, it was nevertheless optimized for 727-type route sectors with one-stop transcontinental range capability. It employed computer-aided design (CAD) during its initial development phase, whose costs were reduced because of parallel 757 development. Although it was not considered a single-aisle aircraft, it introduced a narrower fuselage cross-section than that used by previous widebody types, yielding several advantages, including a reduction in parasite drag; a twin-aisle cabin, in which passengers were never more than one seat from the window or the aisle; gate and ramp compatibility at smaller, 727-like airports; and advanced, light-weight aluminum alloy flight surfaces, specifically the fixed wing leading edge panel, the spoilers, the ailerons, the fixed wing trailing edge panel, the undercarriage doors, the elevators, and the rudder.

Additional benefits were derived from the use of a supercritical wing, such as a high aspect ratio, an aft-loaded section, the development of more lift for less drag than any previous airfoil, 22-percent greater thickness than that employed by previous-decade airliners, a lighter and simpler structure, and more wing-integral fuel tank capacity.

Powered by two high bypass ratio turbofans, it was able to offer higher thrust, lower specific fuel consumption, a reduced noise footprint, lower maintenance costs, and improved reliability.

Like the 757 then concurrently designed, it was operated by a two-person cockpit crew.

By using the previously dry center-section fuel tank, Boeing was able offer an increased-range version that required few other modifications, yet its inherent fuselage stretchability, the greater capabilities of its existing wing and tail, its 757 common pilot type rating, and its extended range twin-engine operation certification enabled carriers to substitute it for DC-10 and L-1011 aircraft.

It offered the optimum range and capacity for Austrian Airlines’ transatlantic charter operations to and from Mexico.

Powered by two 60,900 thrust-pound Pratt and Whitney 4060 high bypass ratio turbofans, the aircraft operating the flight, registered OE-LAX, was first delivered in 1992 and bore serial number 27095. Accommodating 30 Amadeus business class passengers in a six-abreast, two-two-two, configuration and 200 in economy in a seven-abreast arrangement with one additional seat in the middle bank, it featured the following maximum weights: 130,634-kilo zero-fuel, 145,149-kilo landing, 186,880-kilo take off, and 187,333-kilo ramp.

5. Ramp

Operating as Flight OS 9573 from Vienna, Austria, and Varadero, Cuba, the aircraft landed at 1515 and taxied into the non-jetbridge-equipped parking position 1, as scheduled, at 1520. It was chocked and the safety cones were properly positioned. A stair truck was immediately positioned at door L2 and, in accordance with Mexican regulations, marshaled into this position. The passengers disembarked after a short consultation with the Chef de Cabine (chief purser).

According to the inbound container/pallet distribution message (CPM), the following Cancun-destined unit load devices (ULDs) were on board: an empty DPE in position 11L, baggage AKEs in positions 22L, 23L, and 24L, and an empty DQF in position 43. With the exception of the last one, all were located in the forward hold and were single, or half-width, containers. The latter, in the aft hold, was a double, or full-width, one.

6. Departure Gate

All five departure gates were located immediately up the escalator, through the security checkpoint, and a short walk away. Two snack bars and two shops comprised the terminal’s passenger convenience facilities.

Because of the proximity of the aircraft parking positions, buses or mobile lounges were not necessary, and access ramps led from the departures level to the ramp.

Sequential boarding of the departing flight, operating as OS 9574, commenced at 1545, with announcements in both English and German, and entailed pre-boarding passengers, followed by those in Amadeus business and economy class, the latter by row numbers, beginning at the rear of the aircraft.

Boarding control was computerized, with seat numbers entered into the system. After the last passenger passed through the gate at 1612, the general declaration and all required lists were brought to the cabin crew. Since the Varadero station had changed some seats, the seat occupied message (or SOM) of through-passengers to Vienna was not entirely accurate and resulted in several discrepancies, but these were quickly rectified by local ground staff.

7. Centralized Load Control

In accordance with the Centralized Load Control procedure for charter flight operations, the cockpit crew sent the final fuel figures to Vienna by means of the aircraft communication and reporting system (ACARs), while the local operations staff filled out and faxed a preprinted sheet with passenger totals subdivided by class and zone, along with the number of bags and their weights, all of which was furnished by the MaestroDCS check-in system and telexed to the Terminal 2 operations office. Back-up sheets were available in the event of last minute changes (LMCs) or an ACARs failure.

Although initial difficulty with the fax machine delayed the sending of the information to Vienna on the day of my visit, missing Atlantic tracks in the meteorology folder caused a short, 15-minute departure delay.

8. Conclusions

All the members of the Cancun ground operations staff were professional, dedicated, and motivated, and obviously possessed considerable knowledge and experience. Because the handling company’s operations office had to be relocated from Terminal 1 to its then-current Terminal 2 facility due to hurricane damage, the logistical challenge could only be met with ramp vehicle conveyance, but the operation was otherwise well orchestrated. The Maca duty manager was an excellent asset to the station and his team, and the use of the German language at the check-in counter was a plus to Austrian Airlines’ passengers.

Its Cancun charter flight operation that day could not have been more seamlessly executed.