How to Save All the Money You Earn

In this time of recession, a lot of people are now more conscious about their savings. Even those who earn money in excess of their basic needs adjust their usual spending pattern and enlarge the percentage of their earnings that they set aside as savings. The need to save is especially important given the recent threats to the employment status of countless employees around the world. The unemployment rate continuously rises, and more and more companies are cutting costs by laying off some of their employees. As an employee, saving up is necessary. However, this is easier said than done, especially for those who want to move to other places for lack of job opportunities in their native locations.

If you are affected by the recession and the threat of unemployment, there is a way to secure your financial stability. As you work, you can save all the money you earn. This is only possible through the homestay opportunities offered by Host & Care. Host & Care can find you a host family you can stay with. Staying with a host family means that you don’t have to pay for accommodation and in some cases, even meals. Thus, you don’t have to spend for your living expenses anymore and will be able to save all the money you earn from work. All you have to do is to give your host family a hand around the house. You can choose to provide free child care, free tutorials, even free language tutorials if you know a different language, free pet care, or free senior care, depending on what you can provide and what your host family needs.

Even those not affected by unemployment also face difficulties in saving money. Although earning is not a problem, saving usually is. This is because most people earn money then spend their earnings to pay for their regular day-to-day living expenses such as food and accommodation. This usually takes the bulk of their earnings, leaving them with very little to save. These two items, especially accommodation, is a generally heavy burden especially for those who are renting their living places.

Joining Host & Care is definitely the best solution for this problem. Now, you can save all the money you earn when you stay with a host family without having to worry about paying for rent. This is clearly the best option especially for newly graduated workers who can’t afford a place of their own yet. This option allows them to earn money and save a lot or even all of it instead of earn then lose most of the money even while they earn it.

This opportunity is also beneficial for hosts. Nowadays, the common household consists of two breadwinners, but the money that working mothers earn usually get spent on child care expenses since they cannot stay at home and take care of their kids. To avoid this somewhat ironic situation, you can sign up as a host and find someone who is willing to provide free child care in exchange for free accommodation. This means you also get to save all the money you earn.

Snowmobiling Tours in Breckenridge Colorado

If you’re seeking to explore more than just the ski slopes on your next winter getaway to Breckenridge, Colorado, consider booking a snowmobile tour. Breckenridge snowmobiling provides an adventurous escape into the heart of the Rocky Mountain wilderness, treating guests to dazzling views and non-stop opportunities to play in the area’s deepest powder-filled bowls and high alpine meadows.

Local snowmobile tours travel as high as 12,500 feet atop of the Continental Divide, offering guests a new perspective on the spectacular mountain scenery that surrounds them. Every Breckenridge snowmobile tour starts off with an overview of your machine’s operation, followed by a brief ride to a practice area on wide, well-groomed trails. Here, guests are invited to better acquaint themselves with driving their snowmobiles before tackling the more challenging terrain that lies ahead.

After the practice session is complete, guides pair riding parties into smaller groups according to the pace of ride their members are seeking. The tour then begins to climb and weave through wooded terrain on a trail system that meets the wide open terrain of the Continental Divide. Upon leaving the timberline below, adventurous guests are invited to open up their throttles and bank turns off of the surrounding mountainsides, while those seeking a more relaxed ride can take it easy and appreciate the amphitheater of 14,000 foot peaks towering above them.

As riding parties reach Chicago Ridge, located 12,500 feet above sea level on the Continental Divide, snowmobilers are invited to break for pictures with postcard-like scenery providing the backdrop. The tour then descends back into high alpine terrain below the ridge for some powder riding before re-connecting with a trail system that takes guests through towering spruce and lodgepole forests. Along the way, guides may offer the opportunity to break for hot chocolate at one of the historic miners’ cabins that remain intact along the lower elevations of Fremont Pass.

Breckenridge Snowmobiling Tours are an ideal non-ski activity for individual, families, friends and corporate retreats because unlike skiing and snowboarding, they require no previous experience for everyone to remain a part of the group. Tour guests will find complimentary transportation available from their Breckenridge   lodging  property to and from local snowmobile base camps. Local snowmobile outfitters provide helmets, snowsuits and boots free of charge. Guests are advised to bring their own eye protection, such as ski goggles or sunglasses and a waterproof pair of gloves or mittens.

Whether you’re an experienced rider seeking access to the most adventurous terrain the Colorado Rockies have to offer, or a first time snowmobiler craving a scenic tour through the backcountry, a Breckenridge snowmobiling tour is sure to be the highlight of your winter getaway.

How to Get Approved For an Apartment Even With a Criminal Record

One of the most frustrating episodes ones can encounter is a denial of housing. Apartment complexes, which in reality are run by real estate management firms, use a number of factors to determine who should rent and who should not. One of the most common factors that they use is criminal background check. A criminal history can be one of the greatest huddles one can ever come across in the process of renting an apartment.

The reason apartment communities request a criminal background check is first of all for the safety of the overall community. There is a general consensus that people with violent pasts are bound to fall back into their previous destructive habits. The concept of history repeats itself seems to be a prevailing belief in many places when it comes to criminal history and nowhere more so than in apartment leasing offices.

Another reason why apartment leasing offices conduct a criminal background check is so as to create the appearance of safety in the community and in so doing have the justification to charge more for rent. If a neighborhood or apartment housing community has a high level of crime, then tenants will not want to renew their leases and this means that there will be more housing units which are vacant and which the management has to fill (or risk being censored by the owner). The more housing units are vacant in an apartment community the more it hurts the management bottom line because this drives down the rent.

When conducting criminal background checks, apartments normally concentrate on felony convictions. Misdemeanor crimes which are only punishable by fines are generally not a concern. If you have a misdemeanor, you should not be concerned but if it is a felony you may get a denial.

There are two main ways to get an apartment approval if you have a criminal record. The first one is to check the nature of your offense and see whether you received what is called a deferred adjudication. This is a probation granted to first time offenders and is also known as community supervision. If you were convicted of a misdemeanor, and got probation, you can go to the county clerk’s office and request for what is called a court deposition. This is a print-out that shows the offense, the court that heard the case, and the judgment that was rendered and the fact that you have deferred adjudication. The printout also states that you have successfully completed the community service without any other incidences and that you should not be discriminated against when it comes to services. You can take a copy of this document to an apartment manager and in most cases they will approve you.

Another way to get an apartment is to get an expungement. This is the sealing of your criminal records and can be done depending on whether you’re eligible. There is an excellent eBook out in the market regarding how to get an apartment even with an existing criminal record and bad credit and you can get it at []

How to Pass the ICC Structural Masonry Code Examination

The International Code Council (ICC) Structural Masonry Code Exam is a nationwide examination given to interested individuals who are in the building construction industry or not. Passing the exam increases the candidate’s chance of a successful career in the special inspection industry and it also awards him or her with a Certificate of Completion which is required to be called a ‘Structural Masonry Special Inspector’. The certificate is an affirmation that the individual is committed to abide and implement the ‘Code of Ethics’. The ‘Code of Ethics’ requires the Special Inspector to have a strong commitment toward the public’s safety. This is the special inspector’s primary concern during the execution of his duties in the construction of commercial and/or residential buildings.

Helpful Tips to Successfully Pass the ICC Structural Masonry Code Exam

Primarily, the ICC Masonry Code Examination is no different from other exams in a way that the candidate has to follow the given examination guidelines and has to prepare in order to pass. If you are an aspiring building inspector or a seasoned veteran who might be lacking the knowledge and proficiency on the topic of structural masonry, you can seek schools to obtain the needed study information and/or instruction to pass the exam successfully.

Secondly, there are other factors that would elevate your chance of passing the exam and making your testing experience less stressful. Here are some useful tips to remember:

  • The exam is held at an independent 3rd party testing facility. To know and understand the items required for taken the exam is an often missed step. So you should review the ICC ‘Candidate Bulletin’ that explains all of these items.
  • The examination is provided through a computer-based test program. Candidates are given 3 ½ hours to finish both the code and plan segments, so it is all so important to know how to budget your time and determine beforehand you will allocate 1 ½ hours for the 60 code questions and 2 hours for the plan portion.
  • You should also know the references that will be used on the exams. Most examinees fail to pass the exam because they miss this important step. The exam is divided into two segments. Examinees will use the required code books to answer the 60 multiple-choice questions and the copy of plans provided to you for the 30 multiple-choice questions. The references for the code part of the exam are the following:
    • 2009 InternationalBuildingCode
    • ASTM Standards A 615, A 951-02, C 476-02, C 1019-05, C 1314-07, C 216-07, C 270-07, C 62-05, C 90-06b, and C 140-07
    • ACI530-08 BuildingCode Requirements for Masonry Structures/Specification for Masonry Structures
    • Reinforced Grout Brick Masonry, 14th edition
    • Reinforced Concrete Masonry Construction Inspector’s Handbook, 6th or 7th edition
    • Model Program for Special Inspection
  • And last, it is also advisable for you to bring instruments such as a battery operated calculator and a magnifying glass to help you with calculating bar splice and interpreting the plans. Plus if you need guidance or study material that will successfully provide you with a passing score to attain your state certification, please seek the correct instruction.

Good luck on the exam…

Landscape Drainage Requires Professional Attention

Drainage and Repairs

The most important problem that a property can encounter is a leakage or blockage in the drainage system. This does not represent only a serious inconvenient, but it is also a problem that can affect the health of the inhabitants. So, the safety regulations require it to be properly taken care of. In this case, you can take advantage of a large number of experts or useful services. The service provider of your choice can do an inspection which will help in discovering the type of problem. He will also establish an approximate cost and a period of time for the problem to be fixed.

CCTV Survey

In the situations in which blockages are blamed, a certain survey is performed (Close Circuit TV) in order to see what it going on in the pipes. The drainage professionals have modern equipment that can tell them exactly the type of problem and the solutions for it. Normally, they can work with business and house owners, so don’t worry.


In case you encounter backed up water or smelly drains, take into account problems at the drainage system. A professional will be of great assistance in diagnosing the problem and solving it. In addition to this, they can also offer viable options for diverting the excess water from driveways and they can come up with the right solutions to fixing and maintaining a perfect drainage for your home.


Installation might also be necessary in some cases. The experts in this field can install the system safely and efficiently, inspecting at the same time the entire location in order to find the perfect solutions for your needs.


For businesses, the issue of the drainage system is discussed at a larger scale. If the company works hard and has lots of clients, it might prefer an on-call drainage professional. This will know the proper way to install, fix and maintain everything around quickly and efficiently. This way your business will preserve a proper work flow!


When looking for an expert, the cost is not as important as the reputation of that particular company. Do some research and talk to previous clients that can offer you accurate feedback. The drainage issues and installation can disrupt the life of your business or house so make sure you ask some information on the steps that need to be taken. This way you will know exactly what to do and what accommodation to search during this “cleaning mission.” Remember to read the contract before signing it. Through this you will learn the costs of the materials, labor and extra fees related to this job.

Another thing to remember is to look for professionals that are accredited and comply with all the proper regulations. In order to obtain the best results, find a local provider that can offer constant assistance and can deal with any emergency that might appear. Also keep in mind to get quotes from various drainage systems before making any serious decision. Don’t forget that the experts in drainage do not deal only with blockages, but they include various other services in their offer.

Clogged Drain Prevention – Learn How Maintain Free Flow in Household Plumbing

Each Drain Is Different

In the typical home you will encounter a number of different drains, each with their specific use and function. Kitchen sinks for example, will frequently have a garbage disposal attached, and can accept kinds of waste that would not be acceptable in a bathroom–or lavatory–sink. There are types of drains that will be found in every building or home. Knowing their purposes and capabilities will allow for best clog prevention practices, and the quickest clearing of any troubles that do arise.

In the home, kitchen drains are attached to sinks and dishwashers. Restaurants and related businesses will also have floor drains found in kitchens.

Keep Kitchen Drains Clear

A common thought is that if a sink has a garbage disposal that just anything can be tossed in as long as the disposal is run. This belief has paid the college tuition for many a plumber’s kid. The fact is, garbage disposals can grind certain food and waste into particles small enough to flush away, but a disposal drain is just as vulnerable as any other to the most common causes of clogging: fats, oils, greases, and grits. Fatty substances will congeal on the interiors of pipes, and will ignore garbage disposals on the way. Then grit like coffee grounds, egg shells, or disposal residue sticks to the grease, and eventually flow through the pipes is constricted.

To prevent clogs in kitchen drains always dispose of fats and grease by pouring into a can and tossing it in the trash. Pouring grease down the drain is asking for trouble, but if a blockage does develop, there are still many do-it-yourself options available for clearing the clog.

The other common drain in home kitchens carries wastewater away from the dishwashing machine. To prevent clogs in drains from older model dishwashers, scraping and pre-rinsing of dishes is advised. Newer model dishwashers will be attached to the nearby garbage disposal, and will be able to handle larger particles of waste, but plates should still be scraped before placing in the dishwasher.

Utility Drain Maintenance

Laundry drains, shop sink drains, floor drains, pool drains and the like fall in to the category of utility drains. Each of these will have particular expectations about what it can carry away.

To prevent clogs in utility drains, they should always be properly assembled. Cover all open drains with attached strainers to prevent solid objects from falling in. Floor drains should have backflow prevention devices installed in addition to protective straining plates.

Also common in the same area as laundry machines or work sinks are floor drains. These are some of the least used but most important drains in the home. Floor drains generally exist for the purpose of flood prevention–they allow water in the area to drain away. But when floor drains fall into disrepair through damage or neglected upkeep, they may not function properly. When this happens water can not only be prevented from flowing away, but in worst case scenarios can even back up from the sewer into the building, causing flooding and potentially destroying property. For this reason, floor and even patio drains should be equipped with well maintained backflow prevention valves.

Bathroom Drain Upkeep

No other room has more drains than the bathroom. A typical bathroom will have a lavatory basin drain, a shower or bathtub drain, and perhaps the most important drain in the house, the toilet.

Shower drains must have straining plates in place to prevent objects like bottle caps and soap shards from falling in. Longer hair can also build up and slow the drain over time. Plates will prevent this by catching much of the debris for easy removal.

Tubs and bathroom sinks will have stopper assemblies. Their design will differ, but most work by means of a linked leverage to raise and lower the stopper device. This linkage assembly will serve the purpose of a strainer, and catch quite a bit of debris which will build up over time.

Clogged Toilet Prevention

Finally there is the humble workhorse of the head, the commode. Toilets are among the greatest achievements of civilization, and we each depend on their functioning properly. When a toilet fails you can feel as if a friend has let you down. But despair not, because clogged toilets are easily fixed when you own the right tools and know how to use them.

Indeed, clogged toilets need not be the end of the world, or even the cause of a bad day. Most blockages in toilets are easily cleared, with a little advance preparation, sound advice, and proper tools.

Prevent clogs in the commode by keeping the loads small, and not flushing foreign objects. Use common sense on this one!

Fencing Drills – The Exchange Drill

Drills play an important part in teaching fencing and in training fencers for competition. The acquisition of any physical skill requires repetition, and the smooth execution combined with speed and accuracy required for fencing demands extended repetition. In addition, developing athletes perfect their technique best in a situation which allows experimentation and individual discovery. The exchange drill allows both repetition and perfection of technique.

The exchange drill has four significant advantages. It maximizes the number of repetitions of one or more skills by a pair of fencers, while requiring the fencers to constantly change from attack to defense and vice versa. It allows fencers to discover how best to perform a skill and encourages self-reliance. It introduces the feeling of combat in that every exchange is a fencing phrase. And it is relatively simple to conduct, with the fencers managing their own activity. The exchange drill model is simple, and is based on the exchange of roles between two fencers immediately after each phrase:

(1) The coach specifies the conditions with an initiator executing a set action and a responder responding to that action. For a very simple example, the initiating fencer could execute a lunge with straight thrust into 4th, with the responding fencer parrying 4th and riposting with a straight thrust to hit. In general, the phrase of the drill should consist of no more than three actions (a maximum of initiator, responder, initiator).

(2) The fencers execute the drill, switching roles after every phrase. The initiator becomes the responder and the responder the initiator. The fencers must stay with their assigned role and the assigned actions.

(3) The two fencers continue to work together until a halt is called, for example based on 5 touches for each fencer or a specific time limit. New pairs are identified, usually by rotation, and the drill continued as appropriate.

In its simplest form the exchange drill can be done from lunging distance as an essentially static drill. However, the addition of footwork increases training value and realism. As a practical matter, footwork specified should be limited to that needed to launch an attack without a prolonged chase; conceptually this is two preparation steps and an advance-lunge. The use of footwork feints and distance stealing footwork should be incorporated as soon as the fencer’s performance of the skill is at an acceptable level. Defenders can be instructed to match the footwork of the attacker, to attempt to maintain distance, or to manipulate the distance to enhance the defense, the riposte, or the counteroffensive action.

Timing is also an important consideration. Fencers will tend to fall into a rhythm and maintain that during the drill. That is not necessarily bad, and being able to match the rhythm of the opponent is a useful skill. However, the fencers should be encouraged to vary tempo, speed up or slow down from the rhythm, or employ broken time.

The coach supervising the drill should make minimal corrections to technique, intervening only when a fencer is clearly lost. However, coaches should be alert to fencers who fail to maintain realistic distance; beginners and recreational intermediates may collapse the distance to reduce the level of work, working inside lunge to short distance. Attention also should be paid to the rhythm of actions. Finally, the tendency of some fencers to convert the drill into a bout or to do additional actions after the specified exchange in order to try to score a hit needs to be suppressed instantly if the drill is not to spiral downward out of control. This means that the coach must stay alert to the action of all of the pairs of fencers during the drill.

The exchange drill has become a standard drill used by many fencing coaches. If you are not using it, I encourage you to try an exchange drill in your next practice. If you are using exchange drills, I encourage you to introduce varied footwork, require changes in timing, or otherwise modify the drill for your more advanced fencers to maintain the challenge and to provide better training.

Timber Frame Homes Exposed!

Building a home is a journey of discovery, great stress and hopefully greater joy. Before you decide to build a  timber  frame you will hopefully have all the information you need to make an informed decision. All too often though you won’t. Lets remedy that.

But first what is a  timber  frame? And are they really as good as they appear?

A  timber  frame home is essentially a house that is primarily made from  timber . In America, Canada and Northern Europe this usually means that the inside walls are made from  timber  studding and the outside skin is made from some kind of  timber  cladding, either some type of log finish, or  timber  boards.  Timber  frame construction is almost universal in these areas for residential construction.

In the UK and Ireland a  timber  building is normally constructed with the internal walls made from  timber  studding and only the very outside skin of the cavity constructed in either brick or block.

So no problems so far. The wooden internal walls are filled with insulation which means that the house is warmer and more comfortable to live in than a block house and certainly in the long run is much cheaper to run. And that means that sq ft for sq ft it has a much lower impact on the environment than a block house.

So what could possibly be the problem? Well there are a few problems you should know about.

The first problem with  timber  frame homes that you should be aware of is this; most of the people who are making your kit are overcharging you for the service. Especially on the erection side. Why should you pay more for a product that should cost you less? Perception? Perhaps. But more realistically they are squeezing that last few pennies from your already overused wallet.

So what can you do about this? Well the first thing you need to do is to talk to someone who can explain to you the difference between several companies offering and which quote actually gives you value for money. Your architect or engineer should be able to offer independent and technically relevant information. They should be able to give you the insight you require into the technical aspects of  timber  construction, which will allow you to make informed and financially beneficial decisions.

The second problem and perhaps the most serious one is that many builders either do not know or do not care to learn how to finish this type of project successfully. The trades simply are not used to working with  timber  frame construction and because of this they are ignorant of the finer points of  timber  Construction.

This simply should not be the case.  Timber  frame is an incredible construction method. It surpasses block building by a country mile in both comfort, sustainability and it also has a much smaller carbon footprint. Always good for the environment.

Manufacturers have the knowledge required to ensure that a self build project be completed to a very high standard. All too often they don’t pass this information on except by request. And even then the information is just what is required. Additional information is simply not passed on to the client unless some financial gain can be made.

So when you are getting ready to build your dream home, don’t be afraid to build in  Timber , just make sure you ask all the relevant questions and be certain you understand the answers. As the old saying goes “Knowledge is the key to success”.

Get a Hold of the Best Recycled Lumber for Your Home

When building a home, you make a list of the materials and the interiors that you want to be done in the different parts of your house. Reclaimed wood or recycled  lumber  is an excellent option that you could opt to use because of its notable characteristics. More often than not, newly built houses nowadays consider using wood in their houses, some mainly use it as a theme of their house and some just use it as decorations, but nevertheless, they use wood because of its impressive characteristics such as its durability, maintainability, longevity and its uniqueness.

Know More about Recycled Wood

As more and more people are now getting involved with the save environment campaign, recycling of wood has become a common practice to conserve the existing trees and forests and demote illegal logging. Even reputed companies involved in the timber industry are stressing out the importance and advantages of using reclaimed or recycled  lumber  to avoid complete deforestation. Wood used form old barns, ships and old buildings are beautifully etched and will be artistically refurbished to suit your preferences and the interiors of your home. Choosing to use reclaimed  lumber  is not much of a task but it will give you the opportunity to help save our nature and environment effortlessly.

Reclaimed Wood has Less Moisture and are Sturdier

Put creative additions to your interiors by hand picking reclaimed wood available throughout the world. There are online companies who sell reclaimed  lumber  which are actually exotic hardwood  lumber , most of these wood are unique and has their own design making them good choices to get your home that unique sense of style. Moreover, pine  lumber , American chestnut wood, Brazilian chestnut wood, Maple, Oak, Douglas, Fir and other rare wood are deprived of moisture. Making them sturdier, more durable and more long lasting and can be used even as an outdoor deck.

Exotic hardwood  lumber  have all the qualities mentioned above. Houses and work places look extremely sophisticated when this kind of wood is employed in their interiors. People who are on a budget but wish to use wood for their homes or work spaces need not compromise the design that they want to go for. Exotic wood is also reclaimed wood making it much cheaper compared to new wood and allows you to go for the design that you actually want without spending a fortune. Now, you can have the furniture, doors, beams, windows, frames and floorings made out of reclaimed wood without spending as much compared to if you have them made out of new wood.

Keep in mind that when buying, always ask for the certificates and permits of the seller. You should always remember that the selling of wood is under regulations and is governed by laws. Make sure that you only make use of genuine reclaimed  lumber  and that wood sellers follow the laws to prevent any unnecessary problems from happening in the future.

How to Customize Your A Board

The use of A Boards may affect your business in a positive way. It is said to be one of the best ways to attract those who are passersby. When we talk the size of A Boards, it comes out as an advantage to the person who wants to use it. The shape and size of A Boards are designed in such a way that they provide great support to be at their place and displaying what they are meant for.

A Boards are great to be for the small and medium advertising, or in simple words we can call it “Street Advertising.” A Boards become important because they are effective, portable, and include low investment. It can be used to get the attention of pedestrians, displaying your opening or closing time, the menu of your restaurant, promoting special offers, or anything else you want to.

A Boards are easily available in the markets as well as on internet. You can buy them whenever you want to. There are different ways to customize your A Boards which are available in the market. Let us have a look at the options we have in buying the A Boards.

  • Size – This is one of the best sought after feature of A Boards because the advertisers always look for a specific size which can easily serve their purpose of displaying their message or signs. A Boards come in different sizes which range from small to large frames. Some advertiser might need a bigger message to display where small A Boards cannot serve their purpose. So it would be better to use large A Boards in these cases. This is not the end; A Boards can be customized to any possible size you want. This can be done while giving special orders to the A Boards manufacturers.
  • Shape – This feature does not seem to be much important, but it is given importance by some advertisers. There are some A Boards which are available which fine edges. It becomes little difficult to put these boards at a public place because someone might get hurt by any chance. Another reason why advertisers look for different shapes of A Boards is to have a sense of trendy generation. A simple sign board may not catch the attention of the pedestrians, but an oval shaped or triangular A Board might do that magic. This feature again gives full freedom to the advertiser to decide on his own shape of his A Boards
  • Design – This is something which can catch people’s attention in seconds. Think of something which is having a beautiful design on it and you will realize how important it is. It will be useless to have A Board which does not suit your message or your business. The A Board used by a boutique should have something which matches the business. Some swirls and curls with beautiful colors might add on to the message displayed on the A Board for him. There are many designer A Boards available in the market and it can be designed by the advertiser as well.
  • Material used – This feature gives the advertiser the right to decide on his budget. There are different types of materials which are used in manufacturing A Boards. Some of these are Wood, Steel, Aluminum, Paper, etc. Different material A Boards have different cost, durability and portability. If the advertiser is looking for a low budget A Boards to be used inside the building, then he can go with paper made A Boards. If the advertiser is looking for a light weight but strong A Boards, then aluminum or steel made A Boards will be best to go with.
  • Permanent or Temporary message – There are many advertisers who go with A Boards where they can change the displayed message or signs whenever they want. The messages on these types of A Boards are temporary, and can be removed when they want. On the other hand, there are advertisers who want A Boards with permanent messages or signs. These A Boards can be seen at different stations, shops displaying whether they are open or close, traffic police to display a sign to the traffic, and many other places.
  • Portability – As we know that there are different sizes of A Boards which are available in the market, it becomes a problem when we talk about how portable these A Boards are. There are some A Boards which are big in size and the two faces of the board are permanently fixed. It becomes difficult to move and put these A Boards at a small place. On the other hand, we have foldable A Boards which are portable. They can be kept behind the door or under your desk whenever you want. This feature is important because in many cases you just cannot leave your A Boards at some public place and go.
  • Base for the message – The frame of the A Boards might be anything, but the base where you can write your message depends on the purpose of the advertiser. There are some advertisers who want to display pictures, images, or posters on the A Boards. For these advertisers, it would be better if the A Board has a rough but washable base because the advertiser might need to out another poster after some time. Some advertiser might need to write their message on the A Boards, the wooden black base or smooth steel base might help them to write well. We can also have some advertisers who want to out the letter mails on the Board to display the message. Having a base with a layer of foam will be great for them.

These are some of the best features which can be easily customized by interested advertiser. Customization, by nature, is not limited to anything. Advertisers may further try their experiments on their A Boards to make them more attractive and effective.

Front Porch Ideas – Take Your Porch to the Next Level With DIY Upgrades

Transform your porch and add a fresh, new dimension to your home! Many people are staying in their homes until the economy improves and they want to make the most of what they have. Others want to add extra curb appeal to encourage new buyers. Either way, giving your porch a face lift can be a relatively inexpensive project that enhances the look and comfort of your home.

A fresh coat of stain or paint can always do wonders and repairing loose railings, steps, and moldings goes without saying. But there are some other transformations you may not have thought of that give it a whole new look. Here are some easy DIY ideas from the ceiling down to the porch flooring.

Porch Ceiling

Replace your existing ceiling panels with bead board. Painted or stained, bead board adds warmth and charm to any porch. It’s easy to install and can be placed over the existing ceiling under most conditions. Outdoor porch ceilings can be artsy and attractive just like the inside of your home.

Porch Columns

With a wide variety of products available today, you can easily transform your porch columns into a different design.  If your columns are rectangular in shape, use round column wraps to give your porch a whole new look. If they are currently wrought-iron, consider adding additional pieces to give it more of a Mediterranean look. Most wrought-iron porch columns (and railings too) need regular maintenance. A wire brush, elbow grease, and paint can go a long way to make them look fresh and new again.

Porch Railings

Change your porch railings to add pizazz! Consider upgrading your railings to aluminum balusters (which come in several different colors) to give your home an updated, contemporary look. If wood is your style, choose a different style baluster (they come in all kinds of designs and patterns). Or, for a totally different look, replace your porch railings with a knee wall (solid structure) and cover that with faux stone! Place craftsman style columns on top of the knee wall and I bet you’ll love the look!

Porch Flooring

Your porch flooring (also known as porch decking) makes a big statement about your porch. Concrete? Paint it.  Wood? Stain it or paint it. Definitely replace any damaged wood flooring. Consider painting the floor and ceiling either contrasting or complementary colors for a whole new bold look. Look for porch and floor paint at your favorite home store. Don’t forget painting front door and trim with the best quality exterior paint your budget allows.

We are often so busy trying to update our house that we forget about the most obvious part- the porch! There are so many affordable, easy-to-do projects you can do to upgrade the look of your front porch. A little imagination and work can go a long way.

Contractors Websites

 Contractor  Websites,  contractors  websites &  contractors  websites and marketing! What does it mean to build  contractor  websites?  Contractors  websites are the 21st century answer to marketing 101. When developing  contractors  websites and marketing plans, it’s important to establish your business as a leader in your area of expertise as well as geographically. As important as yellow page advertising was 20 years ago, businesses with a desire to truly expand without adding infrastructure or cost, the web is an awesome opportunity.

The concept of exchanging and sharing information about your company to a very specific target audience, at a fraction of the typical marketing cost, is amazing. In looking back over the years, imagine a time when direct mail was just beginning to take hold as a reasonable method for marketing your business. Whether you are marketing to other businesses or to consumers, direct mail has worked for years. So bring the concept of direct mail forward. Today, when developing a website for a contracting company, target a specific group. It can be geographic in nature or age focused. Specific socioeconomic targets can also be accomplished. The point is that all of this is done without the cost or time to have the marketing material into the hands of your prospect.

A properly built website should incorporate some simple concepts.

1. Should be attractive to both human visitors as well as search engines;

2. Should generate relevant traffic to the core content of the site;

3. Should pre-sell your prospects without any personal contact from a human;

4. Should provide measurable and quantifiable leads;and most importantly,

5. Should act as a 24 hour a day 7 day a week sales person, representing your company.

Your site should be working for you 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year!

How to build a website that works.

We have seen fads and flash in the pan marketing schemes. The internet is not one of them. The web offers  contractors , a unique opportunity to truly be on the cutting edge in there individual markets. There are in fact, huge numbers of people looking for your company on the internet. Where do you think they are going if you don’t have a website? Yep, your competitor. Not necessarily the typical competitor that you have faced for years, in fact, the internet has given some smaller companies the ability to compete in common with established, long existing businesses just because they have a web site.

How about an example of a landscaping company that was just beginning in business. About three years ago, they developed a web strategy. Now as is the case with all  contractors  websites and marketing, it was important to understand what their specialties were. Where they could really break into the marketplace. Their strength happened to be drainage. The site was developed with the background theme of drainage as the hub and literally within the first year of the site being in place they had written $200,000 plus in just drainage business. This obviously doesn’t include the other areas that they succeeded in as well. Overall in that first year, the internet was their only marketing and represented nearly $500,000 in total revenue. Since that first year, their business has grown at a remarkable pace, in spite of a huge downturn in the market.

This is just one example of a site that was developed the right way, that has been a run away success. The rationalization is quite simple, for what it costs to develop a quality website, most  contractors  pay for the site and have net profit left over after just the first or second project they win from the web. The rest of the projects that are won become pure profit.

Why Full Frontal Male Nudity is Good For Games

You might be asking yourself, how in the world can male nudity in video games possibly be good for the industry? Well young padawan sit right down and I’ll tell you how. In short: Main stream acceptance. For the past few recent years a war has been waged upon our beloved hobby claiming that games will never be considered art, even main stream figures such as Roger Ebert composing treatises about how and why it will never be so. Now this may be understandable if we were speaking of Custer’s Revenge featuring 8-bits of raging genocidal rape, there’s nothing artistic about that.

It’s easy from an outsider’s perspective to just write off video games as an art because they have no appreciation for how far it has come. Starting out with a Commodore 64 and aging with the industry I can remember that there was virtually no story in the early days of video games. “Thank you Mario. But our princess is in another castle!” isn’t exactly Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut. But, as the years have progressed our industry has matured along with its audience and has started to develop games that contain stories that rival the writing of movies and television shows.

One of these developers pushing the envelope in more ways than one is Rockstar, the famed developer of the Grand Theft Auto series. GTA 4 has gained numerous accolades for its writing and overall excellence. In the expansion, (The Lost and Damned), just recently released, there is a scene containing full frontal male nudity. Now, being a male of the heterosexual persuasion, my first reaction was; “Really? That’s not necessary at all.” Upon thinking about it more, though I came to the conclusion that sometimes letting it all hang out, pun intended, is the best way to advance a movement. For example, when Mortal Kombat was first released it was railed against as incredibly violent and in my eyes totally awesome. If you haven’t played Mortal Kombat, the game features “Finishing moves” that allow the avatar to perform amazing feats of martial arts expertise such as removing the head along with the spinal chord, thereby killing ones opponent. Legislative happy mothers of the time, including Tipper Gore, lobbied congress to remove such games from the shelves opting for legislative parenting. This is, in my eyes, an extreme over reaction. Upon my parents viewing these totally awesome moves, they were also appalled, but then started to play with us…for hours. My parents made sure that we understood that these acts in all of their blazing 16-bit glory were in fact not real. This is what parenting should be people. The government should not decide what is acceptable for children to view. The parents should because that is what real parenting consists of. I digress.

I think that part of the hesitation on pundits to label video games as art is that it takes a whole team of developers often consisting of 40 plus people to complete a game. To that I answer this: It takes just as many, if not many more to create a film, on top of that who says that art needs to be created by a single person or a small team? It scares pundits that art can exist outside the bounds of their frigid paradigm. Continuing along this thread of thought, since we consider much of what makes up a game as microcosms of art (technical artists, concept artists) and do not yet accept coding as an art (many would argue the virtues of beautifully written code) we write off the entire end product as a whole because a portion of it is not “art”. I would argue that video games CAN and often times are art. Just because some games are pure trash (X-men 3: The Movie: The Game anyone?) doesn’t mean that the rest of them should be dismissed as a slight. If we did that to movies, ‘Transformers’ would have ruined it for ‘The Departed’, (I’m sorry Michael Bay, but don’t leave so many damned plot holes in the sequel and maybe you wont get called out.) This all seems fair enough, right?

Pushing the envelope is essential to gaining acceptance into a category; this is the wonderful part about art. We don’t need talking heads to say “OK, I say that this is so and it now is.” As long as we ourselves see and understand that our chosen hobby is many things to many people, we may view them as whatever we want them to be. If a person can look at a pile of trash and claim it to be social commentary then we too can say “Hey, maybe Mario never finding the princess in the castle that the damn little toadstool said she was in was a metaphor for perseverance in the face of adversity.”

How To Profit From Vacant Land Without Selling It

O.K. so now you purchased that ideal piece of land that you always dreamed about. Perhaps you’re planning to build your retirement home there or maybe to take the family camping. Now what? The tax bills are going to start coming in and that could be a drain on your wallet. It’s not like rental property where you have an opportunity to generate some positive cash flow, or is it?

If you give it some thought and you are willing to be creative, there are many ways to generate income from vacant land before you even sell it. Below I have listed several methods for generating excess income from your property depending on its size, location and topology.

1) Billboard Advertising – If your property has good road access on a fairly well traveled road and local zoning law permit, you can contact a Billboard company and offer your land to allow them to erect a billboard. Such arraignments can generate monthly income while not taking up much of your property. Generally, you must commit to a certain amount of time for them to erect a new billboard. Google ‘billboard advertising’ in your zip code to get the particulars.

2) Logging – If your property is wooded, you could allow a logging company to thin out some of the trees on your property and sell them for timber. There are usually restrictions on how large a tree must be before they will cut it for timber so you need not worry about your property being cleared of all of its trees. Generally, the logger does all of the work and splits the proceeds with you in the area of 60/40 with them getting 60%. Negotiate the best deal that you can before signing any contracts.

3) Leasing your property to hunters – If you have a large enough parcel of land, hunters will pay you to allow them to use your property for hunting. This is usually restricted to certain time of the year so you will need to check local ordinances. You can go on the Internet and Google ‘gun clubs’ and hunter websites in your area and post an announcement on their site offering your land for hunting.

4) Leasing your property to campers and/or ATV riders – Many free-spirited individual love the greater outdoors but do not have any property to enjoy. Consider putting a free advertisement on Craigslist or BackPage offering your property to campers, ATV riders, etc. I once found a local movie production company that had advertised on Craigslist that they wanted to lease some property to film a short movie outdoors. The duration was about three weeks and they were offering about $1000 for use of the land. I also found another ad where some former college buddies got together once a year to do some camping, drink some beer and play waffle ball. They didn’t really care for regular campgrounds and were willing to spend a couple of hundred dollars to for the use of some property just to get away from it all.

5) Get paid to have a company remove your stone walls – There are companies out there that will pay you to come in and remove the stone walls from your property. Me, personally, I like stone walls, I think that they have character and I would never have mine removed but it’s an option.

6) Lease some land to local farmers – Consider leasing some of your property to local farmers to allow them to grow vegetables in season. Or if you have enough property you might even consider allow them to grow a Christmas tree farm on your property. You can find local growers through your Chamber of Commerce or by search the Internet. There are usually groups that farmers join in local areas. You can also go to the local Farmer’s Market and discuss such arraignments in person.

7) Leasing your property to raise livestock – Similar to leasing your property to local farmers to grow vegetables, you can lease your property to livestock farmers to allow them to raise livestock on your parcel. There are also agricultural tax exemptions for raising livestock on your property, check with your local government for more details

8) Lease your property for windmills or cell towers – Leasing your property to a company to allow them to place windmills or cell towers on your land can be quite profitable. They take care of all of the details of building these structures and you end up getting paid a monthly rent for the privilege.

9) Sub-divide your property – Depending on local laws, you may be able to sub-divide your property and sell off some smaller sections. This can allow you to still keep the bulk of your property while generating some cash and also reducing your tax bill.

10) Storage Rental or parking – Place an advertisement in the local Penny Savers offering be allow someone to place a storage contain on your property for them to store their ATVs, boats etc. Quite often people from the city and suburbs enjoy coming out to the country for all that it has to offer but they don’t like having to haul their ‘toys’ back and forth every time. Allow them to place one of those Pod units on your property to storage theirs vehicles for their weekend outings and charge them a monthly fee for the privilege.

11) Lease highway frontage to businesses -If your property is located on a busy roadway, the location might be desirable for a business to lease a portion of your parcel. Properties with good road exposure might lend themselves well for a gallery or studio, a farm stand or even a food truck.

These are but a few of the many ways that one might generate income from land that they own. You are only limited by your own imagination so take some time and think outside of the box and I’m sure that you can come up with many more way to profit from your property. Good luck and shoot me an email me at and let me know what unique ways you’ve come up with. For more ideas, visit us at

History of Facade Tarot Readings

The history of Facade Tarot reading goes back to the middle of the fifteenth century. Originally, tarot cards were used to play games and it was not until the late eighteenth century that they were used as divinatory tools by spiritualists and occult authorities. In fact, even today, tarot cards are still used primarily for games in some European countries.

Early appearance (1400s)

Tarot first was known by the name “Tarocco” in Milan, Italy, and the first known deck was believed to be created for the Vicsconzi-Sforza family. The cards in this particular deck are believed to represent figures from a local annual parade. Further experts theorize that early figures from the Major Arcana were designed to symbolize colorful characters that Italian nobles would recognize. There are very few surviving decks from this time period, though references do exist to Tarocco.

Transition (1700s)

The practice of tarot card reading for divination purposes is believed to begin in the late eighteenth century. Count de Gebelen, a prominent occultist, saw meaning and symbolism in a Marseilles Deck relating to Egyptian arcane knowledge, a subject that he had studied extensively. His work, “Le Monde Primitiv,” was one of the earliest known studies in Tarot. His heavy emphasis on arcane Egyptian matters can be attributed to Europe’s obsession with Egyptian history at that time.

Rise to prominence (1800s)

In the nineteenth century, Eliphas Levi (also known as Alphonse Louis Constant), a disenchanted priest-in-training, began to study occult and mystic forces. He began to research Tarot cards exclusively, and theorized that Tarot was connected to Kabalah (the Hebrew mystic order of life) and was a key towards finding heaven.

Further research into Tarot was conducted by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a late nineteenth century alchemy and occult organization, whose members included two future Tarot deck creators: Aleister Crowley and Arthur Edward Waite. Crowley’s Thoth Tarot deck was heavily symbolic, textured, and rooted in mysticism. Waite’s Rider-Waite Tarot deck, on the other hand, is based on storytelling, and relies on the interpretation of symbols for its divinations. It is the Tarot deck most commonly used today for Facade Tarot Readings.

Ultimately, Facade Tarot reading has overcome its humble beginnings to become a tool of divination associated with great foresight and wisdom. From kings and queens of Europe in the past to spiritualists across the world today, students of tarot know that its history tells the story of a great power for good.