Understanding Basic Terms in Indoor Fiber Optic Cable Installation

Fiber optic cables are exposed to electrical, mechanical, chemical and environmental elements, so proper installation is critical for the long-term stability and survival of fiber cables.

Cable installation must also meet the NEC(National Electric Code) and local building codes. NEC indicates that fiber optic cables can be placed in the same raceway, cable tray or enclosure with CATV, telephone, communication circuits and Class 2 and 3 remote control signaling circuits.

Note that you should never put the fiber optic cable in the same enclosure that houses electrical terminations.

What are conduits?

Conduit is a tube or trough for protecting electrical or communication wires and cables. It may be a solid or flexible tube in which cables are run. They house and protect the fiber optic cables as well as any other type of data or communication transmission line.

Underground conduits are also called ducts and consist of one or more conduits spaced closely together. They are often buried directly in the ground in concrete casing. Duct lines terminate in underground vaults called manholes. Conduits are made of fiber, PVC, PE and other materials.

Above ground conduits are made of metal or nonmetal materials. They can be used in exposed or concealed locations aboveground.

Characteristics of a good conduit installation

1.Good mechanical properties to withstand the forces imposed by cable installations

2.Observes fiber optic cables minimum bending radius

3.No sharp edges or bends touches the fiber optic cables throughout the route

4.Meets current and future expansion requirements

What are cable trays?

A cable tray is an assembly of units made of metal or other noncombustible materials that form a continuous, rigid support for fiber cables. Cable trays are used throughout the industry and they greatly simplify the installation of fiber optic cables.

Cable trays come in several different types including ladder type, trough type, channel type and solid-bottom type.

Ladder type cable tray is a metal structure consisting of two longitudinal side rails connected by individual transverse members. The transverse members provide the support for fiber cables.

Trough type cable tray is also a metal structure. It consists of a ventilated bottom and has closely spaced supports within integral or separate longitudinal side rails.

Channel type cable tray consists of a one-piece ventilated or solid-bottom channel section.

Solid-bottom type cable tray is a metal structure that has no openings in the bottom. Integral or separate longitudinal side rails provide the support for the fiber cables.

What are pull boxes?

Pull boxes are used to break up long conduit lengths for easier and lower tension cable pulls.

Pull boxes are usually placed near conduit bends and in long straight runs. You should use at least one pull box after every second 90° bend and in long conduit spans.

When pulling cable out of pull boxes, ensure that the cable’s minimum bend radius is always observed. Cable pulled through a corner pull box should first be pulled into a loop since the sharp corner of the pull box can easily damage the cable and the fibers.

Top Places to Visit in Brisbane Australia

Oprah is coming! John Travolta is coming! Are you coming to Brisbane too?

Brisbane is a fantastic city that you really must visit. It is known as the river city because the Brisbane River passes right through the city centre. When you travel to Australia you must include Brisbane in your itinerary. The people are friendly, the food is delicious and the weather is awesome. How do I know? I have lived in Brisbane for 34 years and here are the top places you must see during your visit.

#1 – Southbank Parklands

The Southbank Parklands are located in the heart of the city on the Brisbane River on the old site for Expo 88. It has been redeveloped into wonderful parklands where you can relax by the public swimming pools and watch the boats cruise up and down the Brisbane River. If you are lucky you will see the fireworks spectacular called “Riverfire” and the amazing dump and burn by the F111 fighter jets over the Brisbane city. The sky is on fire. Surrounding the parklands are some of the finest restaurants and eateries in Brisbane so check them out.

#2 – Story Bridge Climb

The most physically rewarding challenge you can complete during your visit. In the morning you will see schools of bull sharks and river dolphins cruise the river. In the evening the bright lights from the Brisbane city skyline dance on the river. Stunning! The whole time you are safely secured to the bridge and the tour guide shares with you some dark secrets from the underbelly of Brisbane’s history. You also cross the shortest highway in Australia, the Bradfield Highway, which is the length of the bridge. Great fun and the views are brilliant.

#3 – Treasury Casino

Located on the old Treasury Building on the corner of George Street and Queen Street the Treasury Casino provides first class gaming facilities, fantastic entertainment, great eateries and a 5 star hotel. It is perfectly positioned between the Southbank Parklands and the Queens Street Mall. Try your luck but please gamble responsibly. Be sure to check out the statue of Queen Victoria in the adjacent park. When we stay in the city we stay at the Treasury Casino.

#4 – Queen Street Mall

The home for serious shoppers, you have everything from K-Mart to Tiffany & Co. There is no limit to what you can buy or how much you can spend. The Queen Street Mall is a shopping institution and you can spend days here if you are a shopaholic. There are fantastic eateries for you to enjoy and plenty of ATMs because you will always get better deals for cash.

#5 – Performing Arts Centre

The cultural hub of Brisbane, it is a world class facility with many major Broadway productions performing there including Mamma Mia, Cats and Chicago. You will enjoy the shows and be totally consumed by the wonderful visual and musical experiences. It is centrally located on the Brisbane River in the Southbank Parklands precinct. Definitely check it out.

#6 – Queensland Museum

When you walk in you will be greeted by massive Humpback Whales   suspended  from the  ceiling . Don’t worry they will fall on you. In the museum you will see many examples of Australian flora and fauna as well as historical artefacts from Australia and around the world. Just take your time and enjoy the experience. This is great for families and conveniently located in Southbank Parklands precinct.

#7 – Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art

These wonderful galleries exhibit some the finest collections of local and international paintings and sculptures in the world. If you are an art lover you will not be disappointed. This opportunity should not to be rushed as there is much to appreciate. Take your time and really enjoy the wonderful art on display.

#8 – Sciencentre

This is a fantastic for families and anyone interested in Science. The Sciencentre is totally interactive and enjoyed by everyone. It is educational and fun even for the Mum and Dad. You can spend hours playing with the experiments and the children just love it. It is well positioned near the Queensland Museum and Queensland Art Gallery so include it in your itinerary.

#9 – Suncorp Stadium

Home to the National Rugby League team the Brisbane Broncos. It is a first class facility that is easily accessible by public transport and within walking distance if you are staying in the Brisbane CBD. Arguably it is the best stadium in Australia for sporting events and concerts. Recent performers include Robbie Williams and Andre Rieu. If you want the absolute best experience you must attend the Rugby League event called “State of Origin”. The biggest local sporting event each year where two state Rugby League teams, one from Queensland and one from New South Wales, do battle at Suncorp Stadium. Two words BRUTALLY AWESOME!

#10 – Surfers Paradise

Board the train from Brisbane to Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. There you will find some of the best beaches in the world. It is also home to the tallest building in Australia called Q1 which stands over 320 metres. If you are brave take a ride in the elevator to the top of Q1 and enjoy a meal, have you photo taken hanging off the side of Q1 and watch a movie in the highest cinema in Australia on the 80th floor. The 360 degree viewing deck is unbelievable. You can actually look down on the helicopters flying pass. The shopping on the Gold Coast is world class and there is an abundance of quality accommodation and entertainment available. I love staying at the Marriot Surfers Paradise.

Wherever you go and whatever you do during your visit to Brisbane Australia you can be assured it will be an enjoyable and memorable adventure. If you are travelling to Australia check out these sites for the best Brisbane Accommodation Deals and Gold Coast Accommodation Deals.

3 Things That I Really Like About Bamboo Wood Flooring

Flooring, whether laminate or engineered, is a very popular way to improve your home or office. It’s no wonder since it’s expense can be minimal and it’s attractiveness maximal. One choice in flooring is using bamboo. Here are three reasons why I like bamboo so much.

I really like bamboo flooring because it is an eco-friendly product

Although hard wood is technically a renewable resource oaks, walnuts, cherry, etc. take many, many years to mature before they can be harvested and used not to mention the complete change in the landscape when they are taken. Bamboo on the other hand grows as much as 12 inches a day. Add to the fact that it can be harvested without killing the plant makes it a wise choice for the eco conscious consumer.

I really like bamboo flooring because of its unique beauty

Bamboo wood flooring has a unique beauty all to its own. Each plant has rings and knuckles and the grain can be shown horizontally or vertically. Add to its unique light color and you have the ingredients of a work of art.

I really like bamboo flooring for its pricing

When compared to its hardwood counterparts bamboo wood flooring is very competitive. Just like hardwood you can find veneer finish to full bamboo planks. Prices do vary but you can usually come out cheaper than a similar grade of hardwood.

If you are looking for that special something to liven up your space you really should consider installing bamboo flooring. With its looks and pricing it’s hard to beat. Plus, there’s no thought about clearing a forest since no trees were harvested therefore making it a home run for flooring choices.

Go Green With Geothermal Heat Pump

We all are aware that our Planet Earth will die unless we, the most intelligent among its inhabitants reverse the damage cause to its environment. An urgent mandate is on now that calls for every human being on earth to go green as much as possible and wherever possible. The geothermal heating system is one such way that helps us conserve fossil-based fuels with a renewable all natural geothermal heat  pump .

The advantages of use geothermal power:

1. Environment friendly – the first and the most important of all the reasons is that this is an environmental friendly method which helps you to get adequate heat without putting any pressure on the already depleted fossil based fuel that the planet has little to spare. The geothermal source is a perennial source of energy and it is easy to collect and use as well as cost-effective.

2. Be a responsible house builder – besides the fact that you save a fortune in heating fuel, you could also use other natural elements to run your home, such as solar panels for electricity, collect rain water and recycle it for drinking and bathing purposes, use your backyard to generate compost and grow organic vegetable in your kitchen garden, use only appliances that make optimal use of energy and do away with the air conditioner by insulating your home correctly and so on. You really can do your part, if you want to make your home environmental-friendly.

3. Low cost, low maintenance – the geothermal  pump  is a superb piece of machinery that requires the least of amount of maintenance once it is set up correctly. The system consists of small pipes that are buried in the earth to pull in the heat. The whole machinery requires no repairs for years.

4. Superb mechanism – while you can get your home heated by running the  pump , the reverse can happen by just switching it over. So you can have heat generated in the winter, and air conditioning working like magic in the summer.

5. Low cost heating and air conditioning – besides doing your part for Mother Earth; it will also save you money on energy costs in the long run. The geothermal installation used the earth’s heat to warm up your home, and therefore you would have nothing to worry about buying fuel or paying utility bills every month. In fact, the savings are such that you could count on having a small fortune in just a couple of years by just saving on utility bills.

Green construction and green living is not a fad, but a necessity for every human being if we want to save ourselves for sure self-destruction. We should stop pollution, stop wasting natural resources and stop destroying the environment. Every home should become green-oriented and every human being should try to adopt as many measures that save energy as much as possible. If every person on this earth does their part, we can still hope that our children and their can enjoy this wonderful planet, called earth.

Lose 30 Pounds in 5 Weeks – Most Effective Way to Get a Lean Body Lightning Fast – This Works!

Who hates a  lean , healthy and fat free body? Everyone in this world loves to be slim and fat free. This article provides you more information on how to lose 30 pounds in 5 weeks time. This is not a joke or magic. I am also not going to prescribe you any costly weight loss product to reduce your weight which is temporary. Just by following consistent nutritional diet and understanding the pattern of eating style, you are going to lose your excess fat in a month period permanently.

* Firstly, you must understand the benefits of nutrients you eat. Your body needs proteins, lots of fiber foods (also called complex carbohydrate), good fats (found in omega, polyunsaturated products) and other food products that provide essential vitamins, minerals (vegetables & fruits) etc. All the above nutrients are readily available in your kitchen. Only thing is you must know the right combination of food that your body need. Fruits and vegetables are the items that can be taken in plenty whenever you wish.

* Why should we avoid fad diets is the question raised by many. Fad diets completely bring halt to your metabolism and this slows down the weight loss process. If your aim is to lose 30 pounds in 5 weeks time, then your metabolism should be always at the high level.

* Is it good to eat frequent diets? Yes, if you are serious in losing weight start eating good diet in 2 to 3 hours intervals. You can take food for 5 times in a day. When you switch over to this eating style, your metabolism will accelerate giving room to reduction in your excess body weight. Along with proper food, you can take some good beverages like green tea. Green tea not only strengthens your body, but also is a good fat reducing agent.

* Water also plays an important part to lose weight. Majority of human body part consists water. You can lose pounds of weight by drinking lots of water. It is recommended that you drink at least two gallons of water in one day. This will flush out the fat storing toxins from body.

If you follow the above instructions along with well balanced diet to shoot-up the metabolism, you are sure to lose more weight quickly. At the same time you need to concentrate on improving the fat burning hormones to convert your dream to lose 30 pounds in 5 weeks time.

Monitor Desk Mount

Both homeowners and businesses are increasingly using a monitor desk mount for their PC monitors to improve ergonomics. If you want to choose one or more of these mounts for your home or office, make sure that you know about the types of mounts and how to choose them.

Consider the options

When you are choosing the mount, consider all the available options based on your need:

• Do you need a monitor mount for 1 or more screens?

• The level of adjustment you require – horizontal/vertical, forward/backward, swivel, tilt and landscape/portrait monitor orientation.

• You may want to restrict pan adjustment to prevent others from getting a view of the screen.

• Does the mounting surface have any issues?

• If you have a touch screen, it will change your demands on the mount.

• Do you require the mount for screens in office, retail, or residential settings?

Once you have determined the answers to the above-mentioned points, it will become easier to choose the right monitor desk mount to meet your needs.

Types of monitor desk mount

Based on your requirements, you will find many types. However, there are a few styles and they can meet almost any type of desk mount requirements.

1. Freestanding monitor desk mount

Referred to as just “stands.” Many of the computer monitors will have a stand. However, you can find desk mounts that can lift the monitor higher or that could allow mounting multiple screens. As expected, the multi-display mounts require some work to set them up, and the single-screen mounts are easy to set up. If you choose a freestanding mount, keep in mind that they require more space. One of their main features is that they have small but heavy bases to save as much space as possible. However, their cable management system is quite efficient and helps minimize most of the clutter.

2. Attached Mounts

If you want to save more space on your desk, there is no better option than an attached monitor desk mount, and it will be even better to choose the one with a clamp system. Another type of attached mount is the one that uses bolt-through for attaching to the desk.

Attached desk mounts provide a higher level of adjustments compared to fixed stands. If you require the mounts for POS applications, you could find further options in terms of pole styles. Even more choices are available for applications involving classrooms and touch screens. You can find special designs with articulated arms that make ideal mounts for retail and other commercial settings. Besides, there are many more sophisticated designs with multiple axis adjustment features.

With so many options in desk mount, it is important you determine your requirements first before making any choice. A big advantage of so much variety is that you can eventually find a solution that best meets your demands whether you require it for a residential or commercial setting.

Advantages Of External Sun Shading

There are various ways to protect the interiors of a house or commercial building from the heat and glare of the sun. One of the most effective is an external sun shading. These offered the added advantage of enhancing visual appeal. There are also adjustable ones meaning they can be open and shut to the degree one wishes. They can be adjusted mechanically or manually.

Privacy

In addition, exterior sun shading offer added privacy, especially for rooms and offices that are on the lower floor. The other advantage they offer is that they do not hinder the free circulation of air. Neither do they hinder free views of the exterior from the inside. The materials and production methods used to produce them are quite advanced so they are quite lost lasting. Once they are put up, it is a long time before they need to be replaced.

Energy Alternatives

In fact, many manufacturers use production methods that are aimed at conserving the environment. Most of them also make sun shading with the aim of making it possible to harness energy from the sun as one of the free energy alternatives. This reduces dependency on artificial sources of power like electricity and use of fuel to generate it.

Fixed Shading

The shading can be horizontal, vertical or tilted and are placed over shade window openings. The fixed shading work best where the high angle of the sun needs to be reduced during the hot season. They can also be effective in letting through the low angle of the sun in cold months, which makes it possible for solar power to be used.

Ideal Shading

The shading is ideal for use in all kinds of buildings. It provides the privacy and shading needed in hospital rooms, in offices, shops, and showrooms. It does the same in residential buildings, whether they are stand-alone homes or apartments. As is possible to have them custom made, they can be done in such as way that they are a major point of focus because they have been used to create a striking contrast or to blend in flawlessly with the design and color of a building.

Design

There are various designs of exterior shading and a choice of the materials used to them. One of them is the aluminum louver system. This may be installed together with other fixtures such as roof lights. These are made differently from the more common conventional blades that are usually Z-shaped that can lessen both diffused and direct light. Instead, the aluminum ones are made to be especially effective in countering solar heat gain and at the same time letting through high levels of diffused light. There are also those made with perforated blades.

Paneled

There are also paneled systems. This will be placed differently than the typical louver system that is mounted below or above fixed rafters that are projecting from the building. With this system, profiled end plates are used and the end result is very prominent. There are also shading that is made in form of support rafters. These will be used depending on how they will be installed. The style and weight of the structures are also factors that have to be taken into consideration.

The 4 Important Elements to Own While Being a Landscaping Service Provider

Landscaping often involves taking care of several aspects of a lawn or garden. It includes its beautification by modifying, changing and adding elements to make it look appealing to the eye. Often you would see landscaping service providers having to perform several tedious tasks of cutting into the soil, uprooting unwanted trees, digging canals, etc. They are the ones who stock themselves with the latest equipment and machinery that helps people in accomplishing their landscaping needs.

Landscaping can be carried out in residential areas or commercial areas, and whatever is the need, the provider should have it all in them to help their client have a satisfying experience. If you are a service provider, you should ensure that you have the following equipment to help you with the process and make the tasks easy for you as well as your client. Having all of this equipment would allow the customer a peace of mind and not hire someone else for other devices.

• The right transportation vehicles – Having the right fleet of vehicles to aid in landscaping work is vital. You would require vehicles such as excavators, tippers, cranes, etc. that would allow your workers to carry on with the various requirements in a garden comfortably. You may need to add soil to the garden or remove foliage from the backyard to make it look elegant and then would you have the need for such vehicles that can make your work comfortable rather than using manual labour.

• Tilling equipment – You could attach tilling blades to the excavators and the Bobcats that you own to till the garden if required. Tilling a garden while beautifying it aids in the removal of weed and thus nourishing the soil with the necessary nutrients for the plants and grass to grow in future. You may want to own manual equipment if the garden is small in size which may not require heavy duty machinery to take care of the tilling process.

• Trimming material – Landscaping involves beautification of a garden, and trimming equipment makes an important part of the process. It is important to maintain a sober height of the grass and this trimming equipment such as mechanised or manual mower can come to great help. There is specialised machinery that allows you to prune hedges, maintain the height and growth of the plans and trees. Having them with you along with other equipment would be of great help to your clients to keep their garden beautiful.

• Safety gear – You may have a team of workers helping out your customer with their requirements but it is an essential duty on your part to provide them with safety gear such as helmets, goggles, work suits, gloves, work shoes, etc. This helps in protecting the workers during work and thus allowing them to work safely and comfortably.

2010 Toyota 4Runner

Toyota’s first 4Runner was rugged, tough and capable. That was 1994—and nothing has changed. The 2010 on- and off-road favorite is still all of those things, and better.

All models have wider shoulders and new-design head and taillights. The SR5 also wears overfenders, mudguards and a standard roof rack, and the outside mirrors on V6 models now incorporate turn signals and puddle lamps. The Trail grade has a higher ground clearance, better approach and departure angles and a wide selection of functional upgrades to optimize its off-road performance, plus front and rear bumper guards, a unique hood scoop, specific wheels, black outside mirrors and a dark smoke treatment on the front and rear lamps. The Limited and SR5 sport chrome trim on their grille inserts, fog lamp bezels, roof rack, bumper and side moldings, and color-keyed side skirts and overfenders for a more premium appearance.

Rear-drive 2010 4Runners offer a choice of a 157-hp 2.7-liter four with a 4-speed automatic or a 270-hp 4.0-liter V6 coupled to a 5-speed automatic, while all 4×4 models get the V6/five-speed combo. With advanced engine management that includes Toyota’s dual independent Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), this new V6 pumps out 34 more horses than the previous V6 and 10 more than the previously available V8. Yet (partly thanks to the new body’s somewhat slipperier shape) its EPA fuel economy improves from 16 mpg city/21 highway to 17/23 for 4x2s and from 16/20 to 17/22 for 4×4 models. And both achieve 19-mpg EPA combined ratings, about a five percent better than last year. The standard VVT-i 4-cylinder in the SR5 4×2 is EPA rated at 18 mpg city/23 highway.

SR5 and Trail 4×4 models have a two-speed part-time system with a manual lever, while the Limited packs full-time four-wheel drive with a locking center differential. Toyota’s A-TRAC system, standard on all 4×4 models, can distribute driving force to any one wheel in contact with the ground, and the Trail grade has an electronic-locking rear differential. An automatic LSD (Limited Slip Differential) provides better slick-road traction on 4×2 models.

The Trail grade also offers: 1) standard Crawl Control (CRAWL), which can be tuned to match the terrain by selecting one of five speed levels; 2) a Multi-Terrain Select system that allows the driver to dial in wheel slip control to match the terrain; and 3) optional Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System (KDSS), which improves terrain-following ability by disconnecting the stabilizer bars for better suspension articulation and more axle travel in slow, difficult terrain. All 4×4 4Runners have Downhill Assist Control (DAC) for steep descents and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) to keep the vehicle stationary while starting on a steep incline.

For improved on-road handling, the Limited features an X-REAS suspension system that automatically adjusts shock-damping force in corners and on rough surfaces. It also uses a center control damper to cross-link shocks on opposite corners to significantly reduce pitch and yaw. As a result, the Limited corners and handles choppy pavement amazingly well. The 2010 4Runner’s Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with traction control (TRAC), an Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. In addition go active headrests for the driver and front passenger, its eight standard airbags includes front, side-mounted and knee bags and side curtain bags for the second and third rows.

The instrument cluster houses speedometer, tachometer, voltage, fuel and temperature gauges and a multi-function meter. Major controls are large and industrial looking, suitable for a working truck that will be driven while wearing gloves. Off-road control switches are easily organized on an overhead console. Water-resistant fabric seats are standard on Trail models, while leather is standard on Limited and optional on SR5. The Limited also has Smart Key keyless entry with push-button start and automatic dual-zone climate control.

The front seats have a greater range of adjustment than before, and the sculpted front seatbacks increase second-row knee room. The second-row seats recline up to 16 degrees, and (available) third-row access is improved with a one-touch walk-in function. The 40/20/40 second-row and 50/50 third-row seats fold flat, the former without removing their headrests, the latter using convenient one-touch mechanisms on their sides, or at the rear. Another great convenience feature is an available slide-out cargo deck that doubles as sheltered outside seating (for up to 440 pounds) and comes with a 6.4-liter storage box behind the rear seat.

The base SR5 8-speaker AM/FM/CD audio gets upgraded on the Trail grade with MP3 capability, integrated XM Satellite Radio (with a 90-day trial subscription), a USB port with iPod connectivity steering wheel controls and Bluetooth hands-free phone and music streaming capability. An optional 15-speaker JBL premium system has a six-disk CD changer and a way cool Party Mode setting that raises the bass and transfers equalization to the rear for tailgating.

Although the full-frame, truck-based SUV market has dramatically shrunk due to fuel economy concerns, this versatile and relatively fuel efficient new 4Runner may be an excellent choice for those who still want or need one, especially for serious off-road usage.

Why "What" Is More Important Than "How"

Part of a leader’s job-a big part-is to define the destination. You can call it the vision, the target, the goal. At a certain point, these terms become almost interchangeable. They are all some version of “This is where we want to go.” Problems can arise, however, when the leader follows “This is where we want to go” with a rigid “And this is how we’re going to get there.

Why is this a problem? Two reasons:

It doesn’t take into account that fact that situations change.

It takes the rest of the team out of the game.

There’s an old adage in the military: “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” What this means is that when your plan meets the real world (“the enemy”), the real world wins. Yes, it’s important to have a plan. But while that plan may live on paper (or on a computer hard drive), the execution of that plan lives in the real world, where stuff happens. Like, for example, a key supplier going out of business. If your plan is too rigid, the “stuff” of the real world is going to be a problem. And the real world is going to win.

That’s why the military has another tenet: commander’s intent. Commander’s intent succinctly describes what constitutes success for the operation. It very clearly spells out the “what” and the “where,” but not the “how.” This way, a team that’s clear on the commander’s intent can improvise as situations change.

Let’s say the commander’s intent is to cross the river. The team gets to the designated spot, only to find that the bridge has washed away. Now, if the commander had said, “We want to cross the river, and we’re going to do it by crossing the bridge at Position X,” then the plan would pretty much come to a halt, because there’s no bridge at Position X. But with commander’s intent, the team knows what the destination is, and they can come up with their own “hows:

  • We can wade across the river if it’s shallow enough.
  • If it’s too deep for wading, we can swim across.
  • If it’s too wide/cold/strong for swimming, we can build a boat.
  • Or… we can use that other bridge half a mile away.

This approach also takes care of the second problem, that of taking the team out of the game. When the leader dictates not only what is to be done, but also how it’s to be done, the rest of the team is basically relegated to drone status, just mindlessly doing the work.

I don’t have the statistics in front of me, but I’m guessing that very few 7th graders, when asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” answer, “I want to be a drone doing mindless work.”

When you, as a leader, focus on the “What” and let your team focus on the “How,” you’ll get better results from a more engaged team. And that sounds pretty good to me!

Assemblies in .NET

 Assemblies  are the fundamental building blocks of a .NET Framework application. They contain the types and resources that make up an application and describe those contained types to the common language runtime.  Assemblies  enable code reuse, version control, security, and deployment.

Put simply, an  assembly  is a project that compiles to an EXE or a DLL file. Although .NET EXE and DLL files resemble their predecessors externally, the internal structure of an  assembly  is quite different from that of an EXE or DLL created with earlier development tools. An  assembly  consists of four internal parts:

The  assembly  manifest, or metadata. This contains information about the  assembly  that the common language runtime uses to obtain information about the  assembly . The type metadata, which exposes information about the types contained within the  assembly .

The intermediate language code for your  assembly .

Resource files, which are non-executable bits of data, such as strings or images for a specific culture. The  assembly  manifest contains the metadata that describes the  assembly  to the common language runtime. The common language runtime then uses the information in the  assembly  manifest to make decisions about the  assembly’s  execution. An  assembly  manifest contains the following information: Identity.

It contains the name and version number of the  assembly , and can contain optional information such as locale and signature information. Types and resources. It contains a list of all the types that will be exposed to the common language runtime as well as information about how those types can be accessed. Files: It contains a list of all files in the  assembly  as well as dependency information for those files. Security permissions

The manifest describes the security permissions required by the  assembly . If the permissions required conflict with the local security policy, the  assembly  will fail to execute. For the most part, the developer does not have to be concerned with the contents of the  assembly  manifest. It is compiled and presented to the common language runtime automatically. The developer does, however, need to explicitly set the metadata that describes the identity of the  assembly . The identity of the  assembly  is contained in the AssemblyInfo.vb or .cs file for your project. You can set identity information for your  assembly  by right-clicking the AssemblyInfo icon and choosing View Code from the drop-down menu. The code window will open to the AssemblyInfo code page, which contains default null values for several  assembly  identity attributes. The following code example shows an excerpt from the AssemblyInfo file.

Creating Class Library  Assemblies 

You will frequently want to create class library  assemblies . These represent sets of types that can be referenced and used in other  assemblies . For example, you might have a custom control that you want to use in several applications or a component that exposes higher math functions. Such an  assembly  is not executable itself, but rather must be referenced by an executable application to be used. You can create class library  assemblies  and control library  assemblies  by using the templates provided by Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

The class library template is designed to help you create an  assembly  of types that can be exposed to other applications, and the Microsoft Windows control library template is provided to assist you in building  assemblies  of custom controls.

Creating Resource Files

The .NET Framework includes a sample application called ResEditor that can be used for creating text and image resource files. The ResEditor application is not integrated with Visual Studio .NET-it must be run separately. In fact, it is supplied as source code files and must be compiled before it can be used.

The ResEditor source files are located in the FrameworkSDKSamplesTutorialsresourcesandlocalizationreseditor folder, which is in the folder that Visual Studio .NET is installed in. You can build the application using either the batch file supplied in that folder or by adding the source files to an empty Visual Studio project, configuring, and then building them.

Embedding Resources

Once you have created resource files, you can embed them in your  assembly . This allows you to package resources into the same  assembly  as the code files, thus increasing the portability of your code and reducing its dependence on additional files. To embed an externally created resource into your  assembly , all you have to do is add the file to your project. When the project is built, the resource file will be compiled into the  assembly .

Creating Resource  Assemblies 

You can create  assemblies  that only contain resources. You might find this useful in situations where you expect to have to update the data contained in resource files, but do not want to have to recompile your application to update it.

Creating Satellite  Assemblies 

When creating international applications, you might want to provide different sets of resources for different cultures. Satellite  assemblies  allow different sets of resources to automatically be loaded based on the CurrentUICulture setting of the thread. You learned how to automatically generate applications for localization in Chapter 8. In this section, you will learn how to create additional satellite  assemblies  and incorporate them into your application.

Visual Studio .NET allows you to effortlessly create satellite  assemblies . All you need to do to create a satellite  assembly  is to incorporate alternate sets of resource files that are appropriately named into your application. Visual Studio .NET does the rest upon compilation.

To be incorporated into a satellite  assembly , your resource file must follow a specific naming scheme based on the culture it is designed for. The name of a resource file for a specific culture is the same as the name of the resource file for the invariant culture, and the culture code is inserted between the base name and the extension. Thus, if we had a resource file named MyResources.resx, a resource file containing alternate resources for neutral German UIs would be named MyResources.de.resx. And a version of the file containing German resources specific for Luxembourg would be named MyResources.de-LU.resx.

Once these alternate versions of the file are added to your solution, they will automatically be compiled by Visual Studio .NET into satellite  assemblies , and a directory structure for them will be created. At run time, the culture-specific resources contained in these files will automatically be located by the common language runtime.

Retrieving Resources at Run Time

At run time, you can use the ResourceManager class to retrieve embedded resources. A ResourceManager, as the name implies, manages access and retrieval of resources embedded in  assemblies . Each instance of a ResourceManager is associated with an  assembly  that contains resources.

You can create a ResourceManager by specifying two parameters: the base name of the embedded resource file and the  assembly  in which that file is found. The new ResourceManager will be dedicated to the embedded resource file that you specify. The base name of the file is the name of the namespace that contains the file and the file without any extensions.

The  assembly  parameter refers to the  assembly  that the resource file is located in. If the  assembly  that contains the resources is the same  assembly  that contains the object that is creating the ResourceManager, you can get a reference to the  assembly  from the type object of your object.

Understanding Private and Shared  Assemblies 

Most of the  assemblies  you create will be private  assemblies . Private  assemblies  are the most trouble free for developers and are the kind of  assembly  created by default. A private  assembly  is an  assembly  that can be used by only one application. It is an integral part of the application, is packaged with the application, and is only available to that application. Because private  assemblies  are used by one application only, they do not have versioning or identity issues. Up to this point, you have only created private  assemblies .

When you add a reference to a private  assembly  to your project, Visual Studio .NET creates a copy of the DLL containing that  assembly  and writes it to your project folder. Thus, multiple projects can reference the same DLL and use the types it contains, but each project has its own copy of the DLL and therefore has its own private  assembly .

Only one copy of shared  assemblies , on the other hand, is present per machine. Multiple applications can reference and use a shared  assembly . You can share an  assembly  by installing it to the Global  Assembly  Cache. There are several reasons why you might want to install your  assembly  to the Global  Assembly  Cache. For example:

Shared location. If multiple applications need to access the same copy of an  assembly , it should be shared.

Security. The Global  Assembly  Cache is located in the C:WINNT (Microsoft Windows 2000) or WINDOWS (Microsoft Windows XP) folder, which is given the highest level of security by default.

Side-by-side versioning. You can install multiple versions of the same  assembly  to the Global  Assembly  Cache, and applications can locate and use the appropriate version.

For the most part, however,  assemblies  that you create should be private. You should only share an  assembly  when there is a valid reason to do so. Sharing an  assembly  and installing it to the Global  Assembly  Cache requires that your  assembly  be signed with a strong name.

How to Set-Up and Use Filtration Kits

Proper air quality management is vital in hydroponics. Even if you have a small garden, ensure that your plants receive their required air supply. Plants utilize the carbon dioxide present in air to prepare their food. Inadequate air supply deprives your plants of nourishment and makes them droop and wilt. Improper air supply can also leave your plants vulnerable to many diseases.

Air quality management involves using well-designed and efficient equipment. The most common option is known as a filtration kit. The filtration kit is a combination of devices that promote air circulation and remove unpleasant odors.

Components of a Filtration Kit

The type of filtration kit you select will depend on the size of your garden and any budgetary constraints you might have. A basic filtration kit will consist of a blower or fan, a carbon filter, and some ducting. Each component serves a purpose as described below:

Fans: The fan promotes air exchange. There are many different types of fans available such as centrifugal fans and oscillating fans. They come in many sizes depending on your garden’s needs. If fans are not to your liking, you can use Active Air blowers instead.

Carbon filters: Carbon filters purify the air and keep it odor-free. Carbon filters contain activated charcoal, which acts like a sponge and absorbs contaminant particles and odor molecules. The Deau Passe filters function in tandem with the attached fan.

Ducting: Ducts perform the important function of bringing in fresh air and removing stale air. Ducts are usually made of metal and come in elbow, T, and Y shapes for added flexibility.

Installing a Filtration Kit

Before you install your filtration apparatus, you must decide where you want to put it. For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that the filter be close to the ceiling. Stale air is warmer than fresh air and will naturally rise upwards. While fans may be suspended from the ceiling,   mounting  it on a wall near the ceiling is a better option. Most fans come with wall  mounting  brackets for attachment to walls.

Carbon filters need not be directly attached to a fan. Maximum efficiency can be obtained by having a small length of ducting between the two, allowing them to work properly. Ducts are attached to appliances using duct clips, which attach the ducts firmly without causing any damage.

How to Fill in Your In-Ground Swimming Pool

In my case, my in-ground pool was in need of some costly repairs, so my wife and I decided to fill in the swimming pool. Hiring a demolition company to do the job can also be very costly. In the range of about $5000 – $8000, as I found out. So we decided to tackle the job ourselves. This is a step by step process of how we did it.

This project is for avid do it yourselfers. Make no mistake. It is a physically demanding job. However, you will save thousands of dollars. First of all, be safe filling in the swimming pool. You must take every precaution to be safe as with any do it yourself project. Always wear ear and eye and face protection. This is simply a step by step account of how we did it.

Let’s get started! Drain any water that may be in the pool. Disable all power going to the pool.

The first thing I had to do was go to the City where I live and get a permit to perform the demolition of the pool in my backyard. This permit only cost me about $35. The City simply wants to make sure that the pool will drain sufficiently once you fill in the pool.

Next, I had to punch holes in the bottom of the in-ground pool to allow for drainage. You don’t want a big mud bog or standing water that will breed mosquitoes (or other creatures). To accomplish this, I rented an electric jackhammer. I made a series of holes close together near the drain at the deep end. Then using a sledge hammer, I began to break through the concrete. The rebar that is embedded makes this a little difficult, but just keep working on it. Every time I exposed the rebar, I would cut it out with an electric grinder with a 4 inch abrasive wheel. Keep hitting the edge of the hole you created to make the hole bigger and bigger. I made the hole in the deep end of the pool about 3 feet by 3 feet. Make sure you go deep enough to the underlying dirt.

I also dug a trench across the shallow end of the swimming pool as well as punching several random holes in various places. I wanted to make sure the pool would drain with no problem.

Now to break up the pool. After a couple of good rains and running some water in the pool, I was confident that I had good drainage. I notified the City that I had completed the holes. They then sent someone to inspect it and gave me the OK to start filling it in.

I began breaking up the Cool Decking around the pool with sledge hammers and jackhammer. (My wife also got out there frequently to swing the hammer, I was impressed. This activity will keep you in shape, that’s for sure.) Throw all of the broken pieces into the pool as well as any rocks, bricks, broken concrete you want to get rid of. I also put out the word to all of my friends that I needed some filler and to bring anything they have as well. You need bulk at this point to fill the bottom of the pool.

I chose to cut about a foot off the top edge of the pool. I had to cut deep enough to cut the rebar in the wall. A concrete saw was used for this. I also used a walk behind concrete saw to cut the concrete and rebar going around the top edge of the pool. (All tools rented at Home Depo or anywhere that rents tools). I made these cuts about 8inches apart. This makes it a bit easier to break up with the hammer. I simply throw all these pieces in the swimming pool as well.

After all of the concrete demolition of the pool is complete, now I needed dirt and lots of it. I found a great resource. Craigslist. If you look under the Free or Materials section, you can find people or construction companies looking for places to dump their dirt. Some will dump it for free. Just keep looking, you will find what you need. I found a guy that not only brought me about 8 loads of dirt, he also had a tractor that he brought over to level it all out, photo. It cost me a whopping $350.

Feeling Worthless – Here’s How To Build Up Your Self-Worth And Self Respect

I want to get straight to the heart of this topic, because I firmly believe that there is a simple three-step approach that can cure feelings of worthlessness, even if you’ve felt crushed by those feelings for many years.

That’s right: a cure.

It may not surprise you to learn that feeling worthless is very common among women. You almost certainly know that. In fact, feeling worthless is possibly the most obvious symptom of low self-esteem. But it’s also one of the easiest to overcome.

Let me provoke you for a moment by making a bold statement about worthlessness. You may want to reject it out-of-hand, but I urge you to hear me out on this point because I’m going to show you how to prove this statement is true!

Feelings of worthlessness are entirely subjective. They are all in the mind. They have no basis in reality. They do not constitute a problem that requires “fixing”, and you can choose to stop feeling worthless simply by opening your mind.

Fixing your self-esteem as a whole is not quite so easy, but nevertheless it is a reality for every woman.

OK, I know that some of you are now cross with me. You may even want to scream at me “it’s all very well for you to say that, but I’ve been feeling worthless all of my life and I have no idea how to stop and it’s driving me CRAZY and, and, oh I’m so sick of being ME!”

Whether you’re cross or not, I’d like you to think carefully about what I’ve got to say next. It’s about how we might assess what something is worth.

What’s the easiest thing to value?

How about a ten-dollar bill, in pristine condition, uncrumpled, never having changed hands?

It’s worth 10 dollars, right? To you, to me, to anybody. Imagine sealing that newborn, crispy ten-dollar bill in a watertight container and dropping it in the middle of a deep lake. What’s it worth now? Well, it’s still got an intrinsic value of 10 dollars, but in order to hand it over to a storekeeper in exchange for some food, you’d have to rent a pretty sophisticated boat, some fancy detection equipment, and maybe a team of skilled divers to get that box back. And that would cost you far more than 10 dollars.

At the bottom of a lake, your perfect, crispy ten-dollar bill is worth less than nothing.

What’s that got to do with you?

You had some intrinsic value when you were born. Everybody does. You had a potential capacity to make the world a better place, to bring joy and happiness to others, to experience a sense of emotional, spiritual, and physical fulfilment.

That was worth something. It still is. Because you still have a potential capacity to do those things.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

– Marianne Williamson –

But what if you’re an exception? What if your parents, the other kids at school, your ex-husband, or the rest of society has gradually knocked all of that potential worth out of you?

Well, they haven’t. I can be sure of that, because it’s impossible to take away a living person’s capacity to add value to the world.

Only you can suppress that value. Only you can decide to hide yourself away, feeling empty and alone. Only you can put yourself in the position of a ten-dollar bill at the bottom of a lake.

Do you see what power you have, right there in your own hands?

No matter how tough your childhood, no matter how rotten your luck, you can CHOOSE to enrich the world every day simply by the way you interact with others, by the way you make caring decisions, and by the way you feel about yourself.

If you’re feeling worthless right now, then I’d like to ask you a question. What proactive steps have you been taking recently to overcome those feelings? Many, many women – when I put this question to them – answer with something along the lines of “um, well, nothing really because I feel stuck in a rut”.

Those women, all of them, are certainly not happy that they feel like that. But feeling like that is a habit that has become – almost paradoxically – a source of comfort to them. Why? For one of two reasons:

  1. Feeling worthless is a safe option because it reduces the amount of pain you suffer when things go wrong. If you already know that you’re no good and that no one will fall in love with you, or give you a job, or even care enough to listen to you, then when a rejection wings its way towards you – which it certainly will because it happens to all of us – then you’re better prepared than most. You can say: “Ah ha, you can’t ruin my life because I already knew this was going to happen; I already knew that you didn’t really love me/want me/value me!”
  2. Feeling worthless is an easy option; if you’re worthless there’s no need to try to do well and succeed in the things that matter to you because there is simply no point. Also, if you act as if your opinions and your desires are all worthless then people leave you alone. If you say you have no remarkable skills or talents then there is no need to apply them. If you say that you are a useless, hopeless nobody then people will expect far less from you. And just maybe you could get lots of sympathy and perhaps even another person (on a white horse in shining armour) coming to your rescue to sort your life out for you.

Deep down, all of us really WANT to feel valued

But, the harsh truth is, we will feel valued only if we are willing to contribute something to the world around us. And whether we contribute anything or not is a choice. OUR choice.

A few of you might be annoyed with me at this point because you’re still feeling worthless but you do not agree that you are either choosing the safe, easy options or looking for a sympathy vote. If so, let’s take a look at your logic.

Your annoyance can only be caused by the injustice of my suggesting you are choosing the “safe” or “easy” option. You’re saying to me “Don’t put me down. I’m not like that. I AM WORTH MORE THAN THAT!”

Exactly my point! Please remember, I am not the one doubting your self-worth, you are. All I’m doing is pointing out that if you’re feeling worthless then it simply means that you are not doing as well in the areas that matter to you and therefore you need to invest in your self-esteem. There are no exceptions: if you want to feel like a worthwhile human being then you have to really work at it like everyone else and never give up on yourself.

It’s up to you know to acknowledge the fact the all human beings are capable of adding value to society, including YOU. As an adult there are no excuses for saying things like “I’m a worthless, stupid, lazy, ugly, useless, pathetic, helpless woman” because – as an adult – you now have the choice not to be any of these things.

All you have to do is acknowledge your real value, accept it and then make a commitment to retain it and build upon it.

George Bernard Shaw once said:

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

Woolly-thinking in the Self-esteem Movement

Remember that old adage about the road to somewhere nasty being paved with good intentions? Here are just two examples.

  • The Self-esteem Movement has attempted to wrap us all in cotton-wool for years now in the hope of protecting our precious self-esteem. It’s the “self-esteem is our birthright” argument.

    Sadly, the only people who cling to this argument are people with low self-esteem who either have no idea how to improve matters, or lack the will to do so. The argument seduces them, because it appears to hold out hope that “someone else” might somehow take responsibility for their lack of self-esteem and magically confer higher self-esteem upon them, like a court awarding compensation.

    Believe me, this won’t happen, and nor should it. If you’ve ever been even slightly seduced by this argument, try asking someone whom you consider to possess strong self-esteem whether she believes it was her birthright or whether she had to earn it for herself. You can guess what she’ll tell you.

  • The Self-esteem Movement seems to want us to believe that both self-esteem and self-worth are “binary” – that is, they exist in only one of two states like a light-switch that can be on or off. You’ve either got self-esteem or you haven’t. Of course, this fits well with the first point, but it’s simply NOT TRUE.

    Your self-esteem is more like a mosaic – made up of lots of little pieces, some of which can be damaged or missing to the detriment of the whole. You can make small improvements (baby steps, if you like) in one area, or in several areas at the same time. Either way, the overall mosaic will become more defined, stronger, and more appealing.

The best path forward

Thankfully, I sense that the world is beginning to reject the “teachings” of the Self-esteem Movement. Their good intentions have not delivered the results that were hoped for. There is a far better path to tread, and it leads to somewhere meaningful. It’s a path that anyone can follow if they want to. The signpost showing the way is this:

Self-esteem = doing well x feelgood factor

The truth of the matter is that NO-ONE is worthless but some people are worth more than others.

Of course it’s true that some people are born with physical features that are generally considered more beautiful than the average person’s physical features. Other people are more intelligent, some are more athletic but none of this is anything like as important as whether you make the most of who you are today and what you’ve got going for you right now. If you do this, and keep doing this day-in, day-out for the rest of your life, I can guarantee that you will never feel worthless again. You’ll be far too busy adding value here, there and everywhere to stop and wallow in self-pity.

Right at the beginning of this article I promised you a cure for worthlessness. Here it is, in three straightforward steps:

  1. Acknowledge your real value by writing a list of your strengths, attributes and the good things that you do each day. If you’ve taken the Ultimate Self-esteem Test, then refer to your Self-esteem Profile and the Self-help Programs recommended to you to remind yourself of both your strengths and the areas you still need to work on. Accept this list as your starting point.
  2. Make a commitment now to build your self-esteem and keep adding positive things to your life every day and find it within yourself to eliminate things from the negative side. Do more smiling, share more kind thoughts and caring emotions, be curious, optimistic, and courageous, work hard and have fun. And reduce the time and energy you expend in whingeing, moaning, or feeling sorry for yourself.
  3. Be your own judge. You know yourself better than anyone and now that you’re an adult it is up to you to decide your worth and to attempt to live up to realistic expectations of yourself.

When I was living and working in Australia a few years ago I heard for the first time the expression “tall poppy syndrome”. It captures the notion that small-minded people often like to put down those who strive to do well because “tall poppies” make little weeds seem even smaller!

Don’t be afraid to be a tall poppy and enjoy the sun shining down on you.

Ceramic Tile Installing Tricks

Ceramic tile installing is much the same whether your project is a floor, walls or a counter top. Get the basics ceramic tile installation right and you can do most any project successfully. Let’s start with what you need for any tile project.

1.Tools

Gather your tile tools first. These are the basic tools, many of which you already have. Here’s what you need:

  • Plastic 5 gallon Buckets,
  • Ceramic Tile Nippers,
  • Tile Cutter Board,
  • Hammer,
  • Screwdriver,
  • Notched   Trowel ,
  • Margin  Trowel ,
  • Chalk Line,
  • Pencils,
  • Tri Square,
  • Spacers,
  • Tape Measure,
  • Level,
  • Tile Sponge,
  • Tile Saw.

You for sure need tile nippers. Then a tile cutter board is used for making clean straight cuts. A tile saw can make all the cuts needed. You can start with a small cheap saw and upgrade later.

2. A Solid Base

Many kinds of surfaces will work for a base, but the mounting surface needs to be solid. Old linoleum will work. Old tile will work. Concrete will work. But the best surface is usually cement board, Hardibacker board. It’s rigid and adhesives stick to it just right.

3. The Right Adhesive

The pros use a wettable powder called thinset that’s a masonry product. You can also use a pre-mixed adhesive with latex. For mixing wettable powder get a paint stirrer for use with your portable drill.

4. Careful With Spacing

To look great, the tile must be set evenly with consistent spacing. Mark off chalk lines as guide lines and then carefully keep the spacing between tiles consistent. Your tile suppliers stock plastic spacers that make keeping those spaces between the tiles uniform. Use those until you can eyeball the space and make it consistent. Part of the fun of laying tile is keeping the tile straight and level even though the tile size varies a little from tile to tile.

5. Grout Right

After the tile is set and dried in place, fill the spaces with grout. Grout can contain sand or not. Whether you use sanded grout depends partly on the size of the spaces between tiles. Grouts often contain latex additives to improve the performance. Sometimes installers choose epoxy grout for use in kitchens and bathrooms. Epoxy grout is waterproof and stain proof.