Contract Work: The Pros and Cons of Being a Contractor

Accepting  contract  work is an option that some job searchers look at not only when they are having trouble finding fulltime work but because of the lucrative nature of  contract  assignments.

Typically,  contract  work can run anywhere from around 1 month to 12 months in length and sometimes, even longer than that.

Depending on the industry and job,  contracts  might differ in length but as a recruiter, this is the typical range that I tend to see available.

Depending on the specific situation, here are some possible benefits of  contract  work:

1. Money

Contractors typically get paid on an hourly basis for actual hours worked with no benefits or holidays paid but depending on the specific job, can often make more money than if they were doing the same job on a fulltime basis. Hence, working on  contract  – especially if you can find a long-term  contract  of 1 year or longer – can be quite lucrative. Plus unlike most salaried staff,  contract  staff get paid overtime.

2. Variation of Work

 Contract  work often allows you to change your jobs frequently especially if you are working short-term  contracts . There isn’t much chance of getting bored if you are constantly working on new projects or for different companies.

3. Tax Benefits

Depending on your local tax laws, you might find tax benefits if you are self-employed and have the ability to write off business expenses.


There are some possible negative aspects you need to think about when it comes to  contract  work. First off, some employers can be turned off considering you for a fulltime job with their company if you have a recent track record of working on  contracts .

Since one of the benefits of  contract  work is the money you can make, hiring managers tend to be aware that many people who choose to work on  contracts  do so because of the monetary benefits. Therefore, they might be hesitant to hire you fulltime believing you would not stay with them long term earning a salary if a more lucrative  contract  appeared.

You might need to convince a hiring manager that you will stay long term if your recent work history is made up of  contract  work.

Also, be prepared for periods of unemployment during slow times. If you’re fortunate, you can pick up a new  contract  when an old one is ending but it doesn’t always work that way.

Following Y2K when I was working as an Information Technology recruiter, the market for most IT professionals – and especially contractors – went down the toilet as companies had spent their IT budget (and then some) upgrading their systems preparing for Y2K. After this, the dot com bubble burst and then September 11 occurred and by then, many IT professionals had been laid off and previously high-flying contractors were forced to take far less paying fulltime jobs just to get back into the workforce.

Finally, if you’re accepting  contract  work but prefer fulltime work, keep in mind that timing doesn’t always work in your favour. If you are several months away from finishing a  contract  and a great fulltime job comes along, what do you do? You might not be able to break your  contract  to take the fulltime job and the company offering the fulltime job might not be able to wait until your  contract  is over to hire you.

How To Pack Containerized Seafreight Container

External Checks Before Packing

There should be no obvious holes, dents, bulges and tears to outside paneling. There should be no broken or distorted door hinges or locks, doors must be secure and door gaskets should be checked to see if watertight when closed. Look at Lifting Fittings at each corner of  container  to see if damaged. Look at fittings that secure  container  to trailer chassis to check if damaged. If Open-Top  container , check if fabric cover supplied is in good condition and properly secured. Any labels on outside of  container  from previous cargo (e.g. dangerous goods labels) must be removed. For Refrigerated  Containers , check temperature setting for commodity.

Internal Checks Before Packing

The Interior must be free of splinters, snags, dents or bulges.  Container  must be cleaned out and no evidence of previous cargo. Interior should be dry and free of sweat, frost etc Check for Infestation, no evidence of pests, rodents, bacteria and fungi which will avoid delays by Port Health Authorities. Immediately after opening doors, check that  container  is Taint Free and free from bad odours. The  container  must smell sweet. To check if  container  is Watertight, do the following check. Enter  container  and lock doors behind you, if any spots of light can be seen from paneling and also  container  floor, then  container  needs to be replaced.

Take note of all Instructions and Recommendations posted inside the  container . Check that all Fittings like cargo tie-down cleats or rings are well anchored and in good condition. Make sure if there are ventilator openings that they are not blocked and that they are equipped with baffles to avoid rain and seawater entry.

Cut Air Conditioning Costs

How Air Conditioning Uses Up Energy

We all want to stay cool during the summer time. But unfortunately, the cost of air conditioning is ridiculous. How can the average citizen still keep paying hundreds of dollars per month just to support their cooling needs? It does not seem like a smart idea to keep paying that much money just for cool air. It is actually possible not to. Did you know that your air conditioner uses up more energy than any other appliance in your home? To be exact, your air conditioner burns 3500 watt-hours per watt hour of use. That is horrible compared to your television which only burns 75 watt-hours per hour of use. A regular window unit doesn’t even burn that much, just 900 watts. In comparison to your air conditioner, that is not that bad.

Why the Cost of Air Conditioning is so Costly

As stated earlier, air conditioning burns 3500 watt-hours per hour. This can definitely raise the price on the power bill in only a matter of hours. The average power bill for a house of three occupants usually costs anywhere from 180 to 400 dollars a month. The majority (over half) of your bill comes from your air conditioning system. The older the system, the more energy it uses.

Types of Air Conditioners

Window air conditioners – These air conditioners fit conveniently inside of a medium size window. They typically do not use as much energy as central air conditioning units do. They usually only burn 900 watt-hours per hour.

Central air conditioning system – This is the one that costs so much money. Try to avoid purchasing this kind of cooling system as much as possible. There are other great alternatives to use that work just as effectively.

Ceiling fans – Believe it or not, ceiling fans can be a great alternative to more expensive cooling systems because they work, and are also very affordable.

Attic fans – A fan that is mounts your ceiling. It works by bringing fresh air through open doors or windows in and pushing the air out through your attic. It is also great for getting the hot air out of the attic.

Geothermal system – This is basically loops of piping installed under the ground that circulate water. It is similar to the central air conditioning unit, except that the heat is taken out of the home and put inside of the earth. This system is much more affordable as well.

How You Can Cut Costs

1. Paint your walls a lighter color. Dark colors attract heat, while lighter colors such as olive green, beige, and white tend to attract cooler air.

2. Install a metal roof or shingles. This works great because metal reflects heat away from the home.

3. Plant trees around your home. The shade will keep the sun from beaming directly down onto your house and keep the heat away.

4. Install blinds and curtains throughout your house. This will help to keep heat from coming in through the windows.

5. Re-insulate your house. This may take some time and money, but you will be saving thousands in the long run if you put more insulation in your home to keep the heat from getting in.

What You Can Do Now

1. Place caulk around holes and cracks that are in your home. This will keep cooler air inside of your home, and warmer air out. Not to mention that your air conditioner will not need to run as much to keep your house cool. This in turn will save you money.

2. Install reflective film on windows. This will help to block 40-60% of the heat away from your home.

3. Install a couple of ceiling fans. Do not worry, they do not cost much at all. They will usually run you at about $25 dollars per fan. Ceiling fans are a wonderful option because they can keep the air circulating throughout your home without having to leave the air conditioning on, and they help to lower the temperature from up to 10 degrees.

4. Replace old air conditioner filters. Old filters tend to cause your cooling system to work harder, therefore burning more energy and costing you more out of pocket.

5. Place solar screens on your windows. They will help to block 60-70% of the heat that travels through windows. You can find solar screens at most home improvement stores.

It is a known fact that cooling systems are very costly, but it does not have to be that way. If you really want to save some cash during this bad economic season, then you will be sure to take all of the proper precautions before summer is officially here. You will not regret taking preventative measures when you are saving thousands per year.

Air Compressors: Much Needed Info When Shopping For One

Air compressors can be a difficult device to choose from when buying one. There are a lot of things to consider before actually buying one. A lot of people find it difficult to find a place to start their search for the best air compressor.

To help you decide on which compressor to buy, here are essential things that you will definitely need to arm you with the right information when deciding on buying one.

Will you be moving around, or are you going to stay put?

Here’s one factor that you absolutely need to consider before thinking of buying one. If you think that you will be changing locations when using the compressor, it’s best to go for a compact or mobile compressor. However, these types don’t really pack that much power to be used with multiple air tools at once. If you are planning on using a big one as a centralized compressor that can be tapped by various tools, go for a big stationary one that you can place in a centralized location.

What tools are you going to use it with?

Of course you do have the tools that needs an air compressor, else you don’t have a reason to buy one. Depending on the tools and how many at a time you want to use with the air compressor, you will need the right amount of both horse power and PSI. Additionally, you also need a decent amount of CPM or Cubic Feet per Minute is also something to consider. All pneumatic tools require a minimum amount of CPM to function properly. So you need to look at this one if depending on the number of tools you want to use with it, and their corresponding CPM requirements.

One at a time or are you planning to use the whole garage with your compressor?

As was stated on the above, the more tools you have the more power you will need from the compressor. Look at the compressor’s PSI, CPM, and Horse Power to get the right one for the tools you want to use it with.

What do you need one for?

Are you going to use it for a hobby? Maybe you are planning on setting up a business in home improvement and would like to use this tool for work such as framing and various industrial uses? How you intend to use or the purpose of buying one should be the first thing to consider. You will need to look at a compressors horse power and PSI or Pounds per Inch. The higher the value for both, the more powerful the compressor.

While this article may have given you valuable information on how to buy the right air compressor for you, there are even a lot more valuable information out there. All you need to do is to log on to the internet and search for more information like articles and product reviews on different leading brands to arm yourself with the right knowledge on air compressors.

Aim For The Moon

When it can’t be done – do it. If you don’t do it, it doesn’t exist.

A new idea can be either unfamiliar, or silly, or both. It can be judged by description, it needs to be done to exist. It’s unlikely that anyone will invest or sanction the cost of something they don’t understand, therefore you have no choice but to do it yourself. You have to find a way to get it done

It’s exciting. It’s difficult and it’s fun. If it was easy anyone could do it. The film Citizen Kane is a very good example. It was stolen not sanctioned Orson Wells couldn’t find any financial backers, but he raised a small amount for casting. He begged, borrowed and milked people into building sets and shooting full -blown screen test which eventually formed a third of the film. Now it existed.

Backers could see what they were getting and he got the money. Without him doing it when it ‘couldn’t be done’ it would be another in the endless list of ideas that never happened. Myles Munroe says the wealthiest underground deposits are not the oil fields of Arabia or Alberta, not the Natural Gas deposits of the North Sea, it’s not even the diamond mines of South Africa – rather its cemeteries across the world. For in those graveyards are books that were never written, art never painted, songs never written, companies never started. In those tombs lies the greatest wealth potential – ideas.

You have them every day – what will you do with yours? What stops you from pursuing yours? Fear? Perhaps you are searching for an idea – well think outside the box. If you can’t think of anything that hasn’t been thought of already, then you need to start playing by the rules.

The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything. Benjamin Franklin said “I haven’t failed. I’ve had 10,000 ideas that didn’t work. Thomas Edison said “Of the 200 light bulbs that didn’t work, every one of them told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt. Theatre director Joan Littlewood said “If we don’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.”

All of them understood that failures and false starts are a precondition of success. It takes a positive attitude to make mistakes well. Samuel Beckett said “Fail, Fail again, Fail better!”

It’s wrong to be right.

Being right is based upon knowledge and experience and is often provable. Knowledge comes from the past and its safe. It is also out of date and the opposite of originality.

Experience is found in solutions to old situations and problems. The old situations are probably different from the present ones, so that old solutions will have to be bent to fit a new problems) and possibly fit badly). Also, the likelihood is that if you’ve got the experience, you’ll use it. This is lazy.

Experience is the opposite of being creative. If you can prove you’re right, you are set in stone. You cannot move with the times or with other people. Being right is also boring and you mind is closed. You are not open to new ideas.

Star being wrong and suddenly anything is possible. You are no longer trying to be perfect. You are in the unknown, with no clue as to what will happen, but there’s more of chance of it being worthwhile than if you try to be right.

Most people worry about suggesting stupid ideas because of what others will think. Yes, it’s a risky business – you can look silly. Risk is a measurement of a person. People who won’t take them are trying to preserve what they have. People who do take them often end up having more.

Let’s dare to try new things, to aim high knowing that if we miss – its ok… we are closer to something new that has never been seen or heard of.

You should take a look at Internet Marketing, Forex Trading and other crazy ideas that everyone will doubt and predict your failure in. But its OK to try and fail… but what happens if you don’t fail? What would your life look like if you were not afraid of the new, of being wrong or failing once again?

Freecell Solitaire: A Strategy Guide For Beginners

Freecell Solitaire is a highly popular game, made famous by Microsoft. Freecell is included in Windows, and is considered a classic solitaire game by many. Because you can see ALL the cards right from the start, there is no luck involved, making Freecell one of the few solitaire games which is based totally on the player’s skill.

Freecell is quite a hard game, but despite that, all deals (except for deal number

11982) are solvable in the 32000 deals in Microsoft’s version.


The key to finishing Freecell is judicious use of the freecells. They should be used as

temporary storage- only storing cards in them for a short time to help you move

longer sequences around.

For example, suppose you had a column with the following (taken from deal 14396)

5 Hearts
Ace Spades
Ace Hearts
4 Clubs

In this situation, it is okay to move the 4 of Clubs to a freecell, because we know

that right after that, we can move the two Aces to the foundation, and then move

the 4 of Clubs back from the freecell onto the 5 of Hearts. See how the freecell was

only used temporarily?


There are certain moves you can make at any time in Freecell and know it wont

“trap” you later on in the game. You can move the Aces (and the twos when they can

be played), at any time, as no other cards depend on them. For the other cards, you

can safely move them to the foundation if the cards one less in rank, of the opposite

color, are already in the foundation. For example, you can safely move the 5 of

Diamonds, if the black 4s have already been moved to the foundation.

Better Freecell games will automatically do these safe moves for your, so you can

concentrate on the moves that matter, rather than having to manually make

inconsequential moves.


Your first goal in Freecell is to empty a column.

Why is this?

Because an empty column allows you to move longer sequences around. The size of

the sequence you can move in Freecell is based on the number of available freecells

and empty columns. The more empty freecells and columns you have, the longer the

sequence is that you can move.

The formula for how many cards you can move is:

(number of empty freecells + 1) * 2 ^ (num empty columns)

For the less mathematically inclined, here is a table showing how many cards you

can move in some different scenarios…

Empty Freecells Empty Columns Card Sequence Length
0 0 1
1 0 2
2 0 3
3 0 4
0 1 2
1 1 4
2 1 6
3 1 8
0 2 4
1 2 8
2 2 12
3 2 16

As you can see, empty columns are particularly valuable, as they allow you to move

considerably longer sequences. By the time you have two columns free (particulaly

with two or more freecells free), you can move very long sequences, and the game is

usually quite easy to complete from there.


So what is the easiest way to empty a column?

Start by emptying columns that don’t have any Kings in them. A column with a king

can’t be emptied initially, because there is nowhere for the King to go.

Don’t just make moves because you can. Have some mini plan in mind, and only

move cards if they help empty the column you are aiming for.

Another popular strategy is just to go straight for releasing the Aces, and then the

2’s, etc. This strategy is easier, and requires less thought. It will work for the easier

games, but won’t help on the hard deals (such as deal 1941)

The most important strategy of all though, is to try and keep the freecells empty. If

you can do that, and empty a couple of columns as well, then you should find it very

easy to finish the game.

The Benefits of Specialty Horse Breeding Mats for Mating, Birthing and Foaling Applications

It is important to design breeding areas with the utmost safety for the horses and handlers in mind. Too many times we see or hear about accidents and incidents where good horses and handlers have been injured (or worse) due to something being overlooked regarding the safety of the breeding environment. Considering the costs involved with any breeding program, it is critical to get the safety aspect right the first time and to be able to maintain that standard.

One of the most important considerations when it comes to breeding area safety is the flooring. Because of the increased levels of strenuous activity and fluids that are present in any breeding operation, the choice of flooring is critical. You need a non-slip flooring material that can maintain traction even when wet. Traction and non-slip areas are imperative when it comes to safety. Not only is the stallion, mare and perhaps foal at foot in danger should there not be adequate footings, handlers and veterinary staff are also at risk. The flooring should also allow for the stallions and mares to have optimum shock absorbency during this time, as the act of breeding can be intensely physical.

With these needs in mind, rubber horse mats are the obvious choice for this application. However, not all mats are created equally. When it comes to horses or any animals for that matter, it is better to choose a revulcanized rubber mat rather than a polyurethane bonded rubber mat. Revulcanized mats have an impermeable surface that will not absorb animal fluids which can result in bacteria and foul odors. Given the increased volumes of fluids present in a breeding barn, the need to clean these areas thoroughly in order to reduce the risk of bacteria and infection being transmitted is paramount. Depending on the number of mares coming to the stallion, the likelihood of infection is increased with the more outside mares attending for service. Revulcanized rubber mats can be cleaned with warm soapy water and will dry relatively fast. Using a neutral Ph cleaner is recommended for these areas. Unlike polyurethane bonded rubber mats, moisture and liquids will not penetrate the surface of revulcanized mats, and therefore will not harbor any bacteria. Revulcanized mats are also more durable than polyurethane bonded rubber mats which is an important consideration, particularly in these demanding applications. Even with all of this in mind, revulcanized rubber horse mats are most commonly designed for the application of standard horse stalls.

There is a unique solution available that is specifically designed for breeding applications including semen collection, mating and foaling. These ” interlocking revulcanized rubber breeding mats have a diamond traction surface combined with a waffle pattern underside. This advanced design offers the superior traction and increased cushioning that these applications demand without compromising durability. These mats interlock to create a virtual one-piece floor for maximum stability. These specialty breeding mats provide superior performance when compared to standard horse stall mats for these demanding applications.

Let’s look at each breeding application more closely. When it comes to semen collection, lubricant and semen can provide for a wet environment. Both the stallion and the handlers are at increased risk of slipping. The extra traction that these breeding mats offer is a necessary element for a handler’s safety during the preparation of the stallion and the actual collection of the semen. A negative experience for a stallion when collecting semen can influence future semen collections from that horse. It is therefore imperative that the breeding barn is set up in such a way that the stallion is able to enter and exit safely and without incident as well as provide a good quality semen sample.

Looking at mating, the surface of the matting should have a ridged surface so that a stallion is able to get maximum grip when mounting the mare. The mare will also need to have plenty of traction to endure the weight of the stallion. Both the stallion and the mare will benefit from the increased cushion of these mats when mating. This increased forgiveness also adds greatly to the traction when it comes to mounting. Even when wet, these mats are able to continue to provide the ultimate amount of traction for horses. This means that staff may therefore clean the area between services, and allow another mare to enter the barn whilst the mats are still wet. This will not jeopardize the mare’s safety or that of the handler or awaiting stallion. If there is a foal at foot whilst breeding the mare, then the foal will need to be in a safe area that will not allow for it to slip and be injured during the mating.

For foals, standard rubber horse mats do not provide the cushioning required as they are designed for much larger and heavier horses. The unique waffle bottom design of these breeding mats provides the perfect cushioning to young foals. They also greatly help foals gain their footing and help them to stand up.

In all three scenarios, these revolutionary revulcanized waffle-bottom breeding mats offer many benefits that traditional horse stall mats cannot. Waffle mats can allow optimum cushioning in order for a horse to get the greatest possible traction regardless of whether the mat is wet or dry. This means that a mat such as this is able to reduce the likelihood of slipping, sliding and stumbling by both mare and stallion as well as handlers and veterinary staff. This unique design of breeding mat can provide maximum longevity as well as comfort to the horse. These mats are easy to clean, will not harbor bacteria or cause infection and can be installed with ease. When it comes to the financial as well as the emotional investment of breeding horses, ensuring that you provide the best possible environment for a mare to be bred, or for semen to be collected is pivotal in this transaction. Unsafe and slippery flooring means an increase in the potential for injury to handlers as well as equines. For these reasons, it is best to use specialty revulcanized rubber breeding mats over standard horse stall mats for these demanding applications.

Holiday Carpet Dangers To Watch Out For

Carpet has it tough. It is subject to a lot of abuse during its life. This is particularly true during the holiday season. Learn about the dangers that your carpet faces during the holidays and ways to protect your rugs.

The first and the most obvious danger is from spills. People are walking around with food and drinks during the holidays. They will inevitably end up on your carpet especially if you serve alcoholic drinks. You may not be able to stop people from eating and drinking but you can be prepared for accidents. Keep a bottle of spotter and rags handy in case of an emergency.

The next danger your carpet faces during the holidays is damage from decorations. Watch out what holiday decorations you put on your carpet. Many items such as ribbons and tree skirts can leak dye onto your carpet if they get wet. You can test decorations by wetting a white towel and rubbing it on them. If the dye bleeds onto the towel you should not place them directly on the carpet. Put them on a hard surface or put something between them and the carpet.

The last danger I will talk about is from the extra traffic that your carpet will face. To limit the damage be sure to place mats at all entrances to your home. This will trap the dirt and keep it off of your carpet. Soil is what abrades and wears out your carpet so by keeping it off your carpet you will be protecting it.

You may not be able to completely protect your carpet but you can at least be prepared for accidents. So enjoy the holidays, be prepared and protect your   carpeting . Good luck

How To Stop Your Dog Chewing The Rug!

If you want to learn how to stop your dog chewing your  rug , then this article will show you how! In particular, I’m going to show you the main reasons why your dog may be displaying this kind of behavior, and what you can do to solve it. By the time you have finished reading this guide, you should be ready to fix this problem. So let’s get started!

Firstly, the main reason your dog may be doing this is due to boredom. If your dog is left alone for long periods of time during the day, he may not have much to entertain himself with. Usually, dogs don’t display this kind of destructive behavior when people are around. So, if possible, make sure your dog isn’t left unattended for too long during the day. If this is inevitable, then make sure your dog has something interesting to play with. A few entertaining chew toys may be all you need to save your  rug !

However, some dog breeds and personality types are more likely to exhibit this chewing behavior. If your dog is targeting a specific area of your  rug , then you can protect it with a sheet of plastic, although this is a short-term solution. There are also several types of “spray” products which can discourage your dog from chewing your furniture. If the problem persists, you made need to contact a professional dog trainer for specific behavioral advice.

To summarize, this article has shown you the main reason why your dog is chewing your  rug , and some solutions you can try for preventing this problem.

Vibrating Sex Toys For Men

Even if you have an active sex life together with your partner, you and your partner might be looking for more exciting techniques to heat up at night in your bed. There are a lot of ways to satisfy your partner, by using different techniques such as using sex toys.

One of the most popular sex gadgets is the vibrating   cock  ring. This kind of sex toy can actually make you sizzle through the night. Because of its very unique function of combining two sex gadgets in one. This specialized sex toy is a combination of a vibrator and a  cock  ring. By having this vibrating  cock  ring, you can experience two sensations with just one sex gadget.

For those people who are newbies in using this kind of sex toy, this vibrating  cock  ring is just right for you. You do not have to be a skilled sex addict to be able to use this toy. Once the vibrating  cock  ring is in the right place and turned on, the only thing for you to do is have sex. Applying this ring just as simple as putting on your sock.

Just simply pull the ring up with your fingers just like a rubber band. Pull it over around the penis and your ball until it is properly placed. Just relax and don’t put on added tension, let the ring slowly contract into its original size. Compared to other vibrators, vibrating  cock  rings do not need the use of your hands, making your hands free to stroke and massage your partner during the sexual intercourse.

If you do not want to spend much on a sex toy, choose a vibrating  cock  ring. Most  cock  rings are made up of silicon making it more affordable than others. Plus it is easier to clean, use and it is rechargeable. You can play with your vibrating  cock  ring to maximize your pleasure. Experimenting on how to use it is a nice thing to do during your sexual activity.

It has a rubbery material, so you cannot avoid instances wherein your pubic hair may stick unto the rubber. You can simply avoid this irritating situation by making sure that your genitals are properly lubricated. When taking off your ring you have to carefully pull it to avoid damaging your pubic hair.

Always make sure that your hands are dry before putting it on. You may lose your grip of the ring, because of its rubbery material. Different positions can have different effects on the  cock  ring. Be sure to go on one position to the other one at a time. Just by rotating the  cock  ring you can create a different new position. By doing this you can provide greater stimulation on your scrotum and perineum area. You can add a more intense sensation on your penis.

These  cock  rings are not only design for men and women, lesbian and gay can also used it for more exciting sexual intercourse. Enjoy the unique experience of this sex toy and make your partner scream for more.

Flooding – Reporting a Flood

Flooding isn’t defined as one single type, there are actually several types which can be encountered on a daily basis. Reporting these problems to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible means that they will be fixed quicker allowing you to return back to your normal daily routine. Different types of flooding have different authorities who deal with them. This guide is aimed at helping you to understand the different types of flooding and who exactly is in charge of resolving them.

Main River or from Watercourses

Contact: The Environment Agency.

The Environment Agency should be notified as soon as any river or watercourse starts to overflow. The Environment Agency also provide a 24hr ‘Floodline’ for information and advice.

Should your property be adjoined to a river or watercourse, you are then responsible for the maintenance of the banks, verges as well as keeping it free from debris. If you fail to do this and it leads to the damage of other properties, you could be held liable for lack of maintenance contributable to flooding.

Flooding isn’t defined as one single type, there are actually several types which can be encountered on a daily basis. Reporting these problems to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible means that they will be fixed quicker allowing you to return back to your normal daily routine. Different types of flooding have different authorities who deal with them. This guide is aimed at helping you to understand the different types of flooding and who exactly is in charge of resolving them.

Burst Water Mains

Contact: The local water supplier – details of who the local water supplier is can be found at the Water UK website.

The local water supplier is responsible for your water supply and pipes which also include the stopcock on the boundary of your property. If the flooding originates from within your property, then you are in charge of contacting a plumber to resolve the problem (or the landlord if applicable). Should the flooding spread to neighbouring properties and cause damage, you are then held accountable and you could be liable for compensation claims.

Drains and Roads

Contact: Local authorities in charge of road maintenance – details of who to contact in your local area can be found on the Directgov website.

Notifying the local council (who have copies of all sewage and drainage systems) will enable them to contact the utility provider responsible for maintaining public drains and sewers. Direct details of the utility providers can also be found on the Water UK website (see above). Alternatively, some sewers and drainage are owned privately therefore making the property owners using them liable for maintenance. Seeing as these situations can arise at any time, it is best to check with you insurance provider that you are covered for flooding.


Floods can arise at any time for any reason, therefore it is best to ensure that you have the appropriate home insurance. For those who live within an area at a greater risk of flooding, obtaining the necessary insurance cover can be somewhat difficult. Insurers perceive these areas to be ‘high risk’ and try to avoid providing coverage for this reason. However, there are a number of insurance providers will to provide the appropriate insurance coverage where need irrespective of your situation.

Antique Restorers’ Tricks of the Trade

Whether you inherited that sentimental antique from grandma or found a compelling piece of furniture at the flea market that was just calling to you, nothing is so frustrating than trying to restore a piece of furniture that has a missing or damaged draw pull, scroll work or finial. More often than not, after searching in vain and failing to find a duplicate, that old piece of furniture is relegated back to the attic or basement to wait for the next generation to try their restoration luck. But the story doesn’t always have to end like that. As a matter to fact, it can more often than not, have a happier ending if you follow the workshop tricks of the old-time-craftsmen.

Most of us are good with paint strippers, steel wool and stain or paint. It doesn’t require too much instruction to apply them, only patience and attention to detail. But paint or stain can’t cover the fact that an applique or draw pull might be missing no matter thick the paint covering. Yet it is not as difficult as one thinks to duplicate a handle, drawer pull our missing scroll work if you have the right materials and a copy to work with. Then all it takes are a few steps to create a mold and to cast a duplicate.

For beginners, I recommend a silicone mold putty that when the two parts combined and mixed; will set in about five minutes. It makes for a fast and study mold as before it cures it fairly thick with the consistency of putty or clay, thus, easy to apply without runs or drips. Once properly mixed, simply press the mold putty against duplicate scroll work on your furniture piece and then allow it to cure. For a missing knob or drawer pull, cover the entire surface of any remaining knobs or pulls and allow the silicone to cure.

Once cured, the silicone mold putty is flexible enough to be stretched so that the original item may be extracted from it without tearing. So as you can see, the mold making part really doesn’t require any decision-making. It comes in two parts, you combine equal parts of each and work them in your palms to mix them together. Each part is a different color, so the objective is to mix both parts thoroughly enough so you don’t see any color marbling, just a homogenous color all the way through. That is how you know it has been properly combined. A big advantage of using silicone over other mold making materials is that you don’t need to apply a mold release to the surface of your work before applying the silicone mold material.

As to decision-making, the opposite is true of casting materials. Here a number of material decisions must be made. First and foremost you must determine the type of material that the original was crafted from. Is it wood, metal or plastic? That is a fairly easy call. But if it is metal, what type of metal is it? Whatever the original material may be, creating duplicate casting material follows the same method. For example, if you are duplicating wood, then you would acquire wood powder. A common one is pecan shell flour. The formula combines one-third of pecan shell flour with one-third of Part A of fast setting polyurethane resin and one-third of Part B of the same resin. Once thoroughly, mixed it is poured into the mold and allowed to cure. Fast setting resin will cure in about fifteen minutes. After curing, the piece is buffed with “0000” steel wool to expose the wood surface. All that is needed is to carefully duplicate the original color by applying a matching wood stain.

For a metal part reproduction, metal powders are used and combined with polyurethane resin in the same ratio as the wood powder. There are many types of metal powders available on the Internet, the most common ones being bronze, brass, copper and tin. Make certain that they are fine enough to properly combine with resin. You need to specify a 325-screen mesh to be safe.

These simple, but effective restoration tricks can bring those cherished by wounded pieces furniture back to life so you can enjoy them for many generations.. They can also allow you to inexpensively restore a piece of flea market furniture and turn it around for a quick profit. So with those tricks in mind, happy antiquing!

Aircraft Structural Design and Build

There is no doubt that the cost of producing the “next generation” of transport aircraft has to be the lowest possible, so that the aircraft will sell at a price which enables profitable airline operation. Advanced design concepts need to be developed to achieve the goal of reduced manufacturing costs.

Current design practice for Aluminium structures is based on the use of semi-finished products and mainly four categories are purchased in the following product form:

– forgings 6%
– extrusions 13%
– thin sheets 17%
– thick plates 64%

Clearly the use of thick plates keeps a major share within the total amount of Aluminium products needed. However very large quantities of the raw material being machined away in most current applications, end up in an extremely high buy-to-fly ratio.

Cost effective design of Aluminium components would tend to reduce the utilization of thick Aluminium plates and to increase the use of extrusions and forgings or to enter into entirely new manufacturing technologies in order to keep the buy-to-fly ratio as low as possible. Extensive research and technology programmes were initiated some years ago, throughout the Airbus system, to acquire and validate the necessary advances in the most promising manufacturing techniques, such as

– aluminium castings
– integrally extruded wing and fuselage panels
– welded structures.

Just to mention some predominant examples:
Casting is the most consistent “near-net-shape” process. The cost saving potential of investment castings is considerable for Aluminium alloys. Due to the good surface quality, practically no finish processing is required.

The successful example is an A320 bulk cargo door, which has now resulted in an industrial application study for the A340-600 Airbus passenger door.

Extruded panels for fuselage structures with integral stringers or alternatively, welded-on stringers compare very positively with today’s riveting process in terms of weight and cost reduction. On riveted structures there is a substantial additional volume of stringer material and additional skin thickness to compensate for the rivet holes.

Currently, the Airbus partners traditionally producing fuselage structures have made investments in large C02 laser beam welding machines capable of producing integral panels, about 4m wide and about 10m long. Initial test panels are being manufactured to optimize the process and to collect statistical data. High welding speeds up to 15m/min and a high degree of automatization allow a reduction in manufacturing costs of 20% compared to the automatic riveting process.

Aluminium extruded panels.

For wing structures the technology for heavy and very long extruded panels is under investigation. This principle has been used for many years by the Russian aviation industry, mainly on large transport airplanes designed by Antonov.

The large An 124 wing structure, for example, is built up from 44 extruded panels, up to 28m long. Indeed, machining is still necessary to a certain extent, but first investigations show a double profit which could be obtained from reduced buy-to-fly values as well as increased structural efficiency over conventional riveted structures.

Airbus wing design provides outstanding aerodynamic performance. However achieving this requires the use of complex double curvature wing panels, particularly near the root end where thickness is greatest. This presents an exacting manufacturing challenge, whether considering our current skins with fastened stiffeners or integrally stiffened panels. A process called Adaptive Creep Forming (ACF) is being developed by Airbus Industrie partners in consortium with various research organisations, which provides for rapid panel forming to a precise contour with software control of adaptive tooling. The ACF process also supports our automated wing box assembly project. This system, currently at the demonstrator stage, is to provide a jig-less, tool-less high throughput assembly, using machine visual feature recognition and laser position scanning. This manufacturing process promises maximised use of factory facilities. It offers increased production rates and flexibility to introduce any developed or new products that are within the machine geometrical capacity, in principle by software changes alone.

Welding of thin fuselage structures, using laser beam technology, for welding of thick wing panels, the friction stir welding technology is currently being investigated with very promising results.

Friction stir welding is a non-fusion solid phase welding process based on research in a consortium with the TWI. It is a continuous hot shear process. A non-consumable rotating tool made from a material harder than the work piece is passed along a joint between two closely butted sheets.

The friction heat creates a plasticized region around the immersed welding pin which consolidates behind forming a solid phase bond.

This process causes a more limited heat affected zone than conventional welding. This allows retention of a high proportion of parent metal properties for high strength heat-treated aluminium alloys.

It is also suitable for long joints and high tracking speeds, using machines similar to those for milling. It offers the possibility of low cost, high integrity assembly of integral wing structures.

These few examples of innovation in airframe design and manufacturing give an indication how Airbus can improve overall aircraft efficiency.

Advanced metal and composite materials combined with new manufacturing technologies are the possible means to face the economic challenge for meeting the expectations of the airlines for a 15% to 20% improved operating costs over current large transport aircraft.

One should not deny, however, that significant efforts will be required in innovative technical and industrial approaches, in a world in which progress has become an increasingly self generating process.

With limited opportunities in the current climate, UK companies like Marshall Aerospace are sustained by some long term contracts. MA has begun the structural design and build of the aero engine nacelles for the new advanced light jet, HondaJet.

Solo Fencing Training – Physical Work

The average fencer does not have ready access to a training facility in which he or she can practice fencing skills with a training partner on a daily basis. However, with a little thought and planning and some simple tools, the same fencer can work key technical elements on a daily basis between the regular lessons or club practice sessions. This solo practice is a key part of a solo training program and can be included in the weekly training microcycle.

There are two major types of physical training that can be done alone and that require only minimal space and simple equipment. The first is bladework. The second is footwork. The key to both is execution that starts slowly with detailed attention to technically correct action. This means that the fencer must have learned in lessons how to execute an action, and have a real understanding of how his or her execution approaches the model performance, and where it may need correction. To make training productive the coach needs to provide clear standards and frequent feedback on technical execution.

Bladework practice requires space for a complete extension, and enough vertical and horizontal space to permit the normal range of offensive and defensive blade movement. Bladework practice can be used to work on issues as varied as a smooth extension, closing the line on parries and guard positions (a mirror is helpful for this), fingerplay, and sequencing of actions to include compound attacks and parries and ripostes and counterripostes. Virtually any blade technique can be practiced against the open air, although some level of visualization may be required.

Bladework can be improved by the use of simple training aids. A suspended ball (available in softball, baseball, and golf ball sizes) is probably the least expensive, and is a recognized tool for developing point control and accuracy. Several vendors sell wall lunging pads. Several of these pads set at different heights allow work against high and low line targets. An enhanced version of the pad is the combination of a pad with a mechanical arm that can be positioned to hold a blade at different heights and angles. A more advanced version is the spadassin, a target dummy equipped with the arm. And sabre fencers for years have worked against a mask attached to the wall as the target for head and cheek cuts. Blade and footwork combined with timing can be worked with Tyschler’s training device, a beeper that provides stimuli for executing a variety of drills.

Unfortunately, footwork requires more space and a solid surface with no neighbors beneath it. The longer the available space, the wider the variety of footwork practice possible. However, even a short hallway allows practice of advance and retreat and training in change of direction and shifting from one type of step to another.

The ideal situation is if the available space allows a combination of footwork, such as multiple advance- lunge, with bladework against a training target. A garage bay or a long hall or a back porch may provide a training area in which fully coordinated training is possible.

It is important to understand that this training activity is not just a second class substitute for really fencing with a real partner or taking a real lesson with a real coach. Solo work allows the fencer to concentrate on the specific technique being worked in the exercise, to move at slow speed to perfect the movement patterns, to build speed, and to build the number of repetitions need (variously estimated as between 10,000 and 100,000) to fully understand the technique and automate execution. This has to be done, and eliminating distraction may actually provide a better training experience.

5 Advantages Of Fences You Never Knew

When you consider getting fence installation, there are several benefits of it that every person is aware of. A good fencing will keep your yard, separate from the neighbor’s yard, offer you privacy and will keep your dog in the yard. However, there are several other benefits as well of proper fencing that you may not be aware of.

Benefits Of Fencing

Fences offer more than just protecting your property. They achieve a number of things that in the long run, maintain your property from damage; here are five benefits that you never thought of when it comes to fence installation:

They keep stray animals away – Even though the purpose of fences is to keep your dog in the yard, they also work the other way round, by keeping stray animals out of your yard. For example, if you keep the trash bin outside or have a garden then your yard is at a high threat rate of raccoons and other stray animals. Fences help in keeping the pests out of your yard.

They prevent from thieves – Fences are a good way of keeping away people from walking in your yard, they are also good at keeping away burglars. Thieves like to go for the easy targets, but with excellent security enclosures many burglars don’t want to struggle with.

Fences protect from other elements – Another reason why a good fence is an asset to your yard is that fences protect against strong winds, snow storms and other different weather related aspects that can harm your backyard on which you have worked so hard to maintain.

They secure your property – In this era of continuous real estate development and expansion, your property can be under a threat, a good fence line will secure every rightful inch of your property. This is why you will see temporary fences installed on different construction and job sites. They provide the best definition of an outline for the property.

They give your yard an amazing look – You may think fences are not so decorative, but a well installed fence will not only complement your house and serve its purpose but will also give your house a finished look. Fences nowadays are available in different designs and styles and can be turned into decorative features for the owners.

Every house needs a fence for its several uses; a good fence will serve a number of important elements and will also give the property a great look. It will also give your yard a secure and finish look. Everyone loves their house and yard, so it’s best that you should get a fence installed for its several benefits.