How Asco Solenoid Valves Work

Asco solenoid valves offer some of the most sophisticated features of all products of their kind. Of course, it stands to reason that the company responsible for developing and manufacturing the first commercially available solenoid valves, having weathered over a century in business, would have refined every element of its core product to perfection.

Still, Asco solenoid valves, just the same as all solenoid valves, are designed on the basis of very simple principles. Learning about the inner workings of a device of this nature can help you to better understand how the specs quoted by various manufacturers like Mac, Asco and Burkert actually translate in terms of the nature and quality of the performance of the device.

Were you to take an Asco solenoid valve to pieces, the most interesting-looking component would probably be the coil of engine wire, with its cylindrical slug or armature, designed to fit snugly inside of it, held either inside or just outside the coil’s cavity. Solenoid armatures always have a spring attached, positioned so as to balance the force exerted on the slug by the coil, and so return the slug to its initial position after activation.

You see, that coil of motor wire, when charged with electric current, is able to produce a force which, depending on the direction of the (preferably DC) current, will either suck the armature into the coil’s cavity, or push it out, expelling it from its starting point inside the coil.

This simple inline movement has been exploited in a million ways by engineers over the last century. Asco’s been using them since 1910, when the first Asco solenoid valves went to market. Solenoids are also used to perform such functions as tripping switchboards when the voltage gets too high, or closing the pair of contacts that allow current to run from a car battery to the car’s engine. They sometimes also serve as the basis for rotary movements, pushing platforms or nuts threaded onto large bolts so as to rotate when forced to move up or down.

In terms of industrial applications, well, Asco solenoid valves utilize solenoids to open and close themselves. Essentially, the solenoid is placed in such a position that it’s the only thing keeping the pressure in the mid-chamber of the valve sufficiently high to hold closed the diaphragm sealing the valve’s inlet from that mid-chamber.

When the ‘pin’, the inline solenoid armature, is sucked into its coil, that pressure is released, and the diaphragm rises under the pressure of incoming gases or fluids, allowing the fluid to run directly through the valve unimpeded. Thus all you need to do in order to open those floodgates is throw an electrical switch, which, of course, can also be automated with a timer or computer software that judges when fluids need to be released.

As mentioned above, truly world-beating companies producing inline DC solenoid valves include Mac, Asco, Burkert and about a half dozen other companies that have been in the game for decades. The done thing in this industry is to go with the experienced players – for as hungry as the younger companies may be, there’s simply nothing to match the product streamlining that decades of manufacturing, research and development have achieved.

Rock And Rubber Mallets

Born out of a religious devotion to one of the greatest exponents of all that was ever Metal; Metallica, Alien Ant Farm housed a quartet of cheeky, wholesome Californian nerds. Perhaps, four of the most unpredictable and unimaginable rock stars ever to grace the U.S, these ordinary looking kids off the block blazed into teenage vulnerability around 1996.

In strange and extreme arrogance, their first album was titled ‘Greatest Hits,’ released in the U.S in November 1999. In America, it managed to con the teens into submissiveness and an award was promptly handed out to the band the same year at the L.A Music Awards. The Brits, on the other hand, were having none of that and the LP failed to create even the slightest dent over here. After all, we invented Metal. We already knew what it was like to feel our ear drums bleed – we had Ozzy…

Thunderous, thrashy and somewhat Alice In Chains tinted, the band, visually, can only be described as The Beastie Boys meets the Myth busters, or perhaps even Adam Sandlers lost cousins, yet there is something disturbingly appealing about these guys with their shaved heads and Scooby Doo tee shirts. They reflect a certain mood within all teenagers, but perhaps mostly towards kids in the U.S. Sniggering still at their farts and whistling at girls, it is not difficult to imagine that these fellas, loaded and famous as they are, still ring old ladies door bells in the middle of the night and run away laughing.

Their contribution to the rock industry is merely down to taste. If you like your rock heavy on the bass and minus any real noticeable guitar riffs yet you prefer the lead vocal to actually sing in key, then AAF is certainly the band for you. If you ever become fortunate to see them live, then please don’t be put off by the fact that they are not famous for putting on a show. The all-American named Dryden Mitchell does nothing to promote a form of eye candy. His hunched over stance with mouth busy tonguing the microphone is almost an imitation of Grindcore Gods, Napalm Death. Despite their visual effect and their ability to perform good, and surprisingly tuneful Metal music, they have, unlike a lot of their hero’s, stayed far away from making any social comment. Choosing, I believe, to distance themselves from anything too political and topical, they have, in previous years, met only criticism from the media on how they were a bad influence on the youngsters of the Nineties generation. Although the critics were harsh, it was how the band unitedly stood their ground with great maturity that was perhaps, more shocking.

AAF gave us another shock in September of 2001 by releasing their own take on Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal.’ This shaky, club classic dance number filled with all the glitz and styled glamour that was Jackson in his element, was probably one of the very last pieces of cover that any rock band would ever dare to take on, let alone endanger their already growing respect from other long haired rock giants already masterful. This daring take on such a record was tarnished with all the right amount of bass, heavy drums and chain saw styled guitars that was needed and leapt, peculiarly to number three in the singles charts in the U.K. The British kids were buying it at last. As a ‘make sure’ marketing ploy, the song was released again in February 2002 as the B side to the single, ‘Movies,’ which, again had enjoyed such huge success that it was released twice and instead of it’s humble number 55, it sat readily at number five the second time around.

For a group of four young lads, all born between 1971 and 1977, it is surprising that in the years of Alien Ant Farm being around, they have only managed to release five singles. Four of which were two songs released twice, and only two chart positioning albums to 2003. At a glance, one could argue that they are the laziest rock band in existence, failing to produce a decent single and record a fairly passable album, but a closer look shows us that these musicians (and isn’t it a blessing from God that we see a band that can actually play instruments? This is the only reason why I think Ben should win the X Factor…) we can see that apart from the obvious single, these fellas have written everything. Like their counterparts of today and the giant Metal bands of the past, they are proud to say that they have not once leaned on others for their musical contribution to teenage album collections. They are humorous, thoughtful and, most of the time, polite. They are melodic, play in time and are good to their mothers. In my book, they posses all the makings of a fairly decent heavy rock band.

Their music can’t always be described as custom built heavy metal. In fact, many of you out their will be disagreeing with their title of Metal band as it is. For example, the jolliness of the backbone of ‘Glow,’ from the album ‘TruANT,’ (2003) is more Manic Street Preachers than Anthrax. Yet, ‘These Days,’ taken from the same album has a more grinding feel to its theme, hanging in the air with the heaviest of cobweb guitar riffs, the density of some of their work would have even Miss Havisham reaching for the duster. They had even tried their hands at deliberately mixing Spanish guitar with a darkly forcible bass line yet keeping the vocals strained and cutting. Working these layered Latin themes, this band takes on a whole knew meaning and far from the Metal legends they are supposed to be. Although they still appear to be a bunch of guys fresh out on vacation from high school, they seem friendly, alluring, shy and very attractive to English speaking teens across the world.

However geeky and freak loving, these giggling, immature youths on a Blair Witch Project trip shouldn’t be regarded as what they appear to be. Frighteningly in 2001, the band came close to a major loss. Dryden Mitchell suffered a severe broken neck when the band’s tour bus crashed after colliding with a big truck on route from Spain to Portugal at two o’clock one morning. After the initial shock and then being shown the devastating pictures of the remains of their twisted coach, the band took the incident as a true near death experience for all of them. Their work has since taken a more serious turn. Passing fans, probably won’t notice anything different about this heavy metal band, but for Alien Ant Farm, their next album, ‘TruANT,’ released in August 2003, certainly lent towards a more definitive and reflective key. Though the bands style and lack of responsibility will pretty much, always shine through, it is their inner most souls that had been tarnished with the freak accident two years before. Due to extensive surgery to Mitchell following the smash, the band took time out whilst Mitchell lived for months in a halo brace around his head, holding it in place with screws and wires.

The band now take on a whole new meaning yet again, yet this time, matured, edged and introspective, we wonder where the band go from here. After the release for the long awaited ‘TruANT,’ they seemed to have died a death as far as the Brits are concerned. Even though it had been noted that they are one of those rare bands that genuinely appreciate their fans, nothing seems to have come from the AAF camp for quite sometime. It is a shame as I do believe that we haven’t, in many ways, not seen the best of Alien Ant Farm yet…

Dryden Mitchell – vocals

Terry Corso – guitar

Tye Zamora – bass/vocals

Mike Cosgrove – drums

DreamWorks records

Album releases;

Greatest Hits – November 1999 (cd)

ANTology – March 2001 (cd)

TruANT – August 2003 (cd)

©michelle duffy 2006

Also on ciao and dooyoo (sam1942). 2006.

Apartment Investing Business Plan – Step by Step

“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same” — Chinese Proverb

Last Monday I was on the phone with a beginning apartment investors. She said she really wanted some type of shortcut or tool to help her find and purchase a great apartment property – one that would be right FOR HER.

We all have different ideas on what a good deal is, don’t we?

This is true at all different levels of investment. What may be a great deal for some, may be a bad deal for the next person. It really comes down to the fact that we all need great profits from a property that is right FOR YOU!

I mean we ALL want to make money and build wealth through owning commercial real estate properties but how do we now which kind of properties we should buy, what size, what location, what condition, etc.?

All of the investors I work with begin by filling out and Apartment Investing Business Plan. The template will walk you through step-by-step in writing up your business plan, and then taking action to achieve your investment goals.

Here are the essential elements you need to include in your Apartment Investment Business Plan:

1. Mental Toughness And Commercial Investment Real Estate.

This step will define what you want to own and what you want to achieve as an apartment investor. What do you want to achieve as a result of owning and profiting from commercial investment real estate? What BENEFITS do you want as a result? What Kind Of Commercial Real Estate Do You Want To Avoid?

2. The Three Properties Per Week Rule.

If all you do was to take a look at three properties per week you will have accumulated millions of dollars in commercial real estate in less than 2 years, on average. Getting this kind of market exposure is important – especially for beginning investors.

3. Commercial Investment Property MARKET ANALYSIS

The next step is to do a thorough analysis of the market in your area. How many apartments are on the market? What are the CAP Rates for your area? What is the average number of days that buildings are on the market?

4. INVESTOR PERSONAL ANALYSIS And Team Building…You Need To Get These Things Done FIRST.

Identify the people that will be on your personal investment “Dream Team” and what each of their roles will be in your investment business. What attorney, appraiser, inspector, accountant, and commercial brokers will you use is simply the tip of the iceberg in this section.

5. Investment Property Analysis

This is where you will go into the details of each property you are considering for purchase. It is an in-depth investment analysis of the profitability of the property. You should also identify andy growth opportunities for cash flow, and reduction opportunities for expenses.

6. STRATEGY: Recommended For Each Apartment Property That You Own And For Your Overall Apartment Holdings

Finally, in the Strategy section, you will want to identify exactly how much money you would like your investments to earn over the next X months. Determine how many units you will own and break these down into sub-steps to achieve your goals.

Developing a solid Apartment Investing Business Plan does not have to be complicated, nor take much time. Contrary to popular believe, you do not need to spend months on this step before you begin. However, one of the biggest mistakes I see investors make is not to create a business plan before getting started. Be sure that you do not make this mistake and take the time necessary to plan ahead for maximum profits and opportunities.

Wheelchair "Flat" Tires

This article describes the problems of wheelchair tires, the problems encountered with specific types of tires, some of the newest features of specific types and what to do when living with extraordinary problems. Further, the advantages and disadvantages of specific types of tires are examined along with their purposes. Finally, recommendations are made based upon expectations and conditions of daily usage

A. Problem Specifics

Getting you from point-A to point-B in a wheelchair is more than just a wheel-issue. The wheels chosen determine how and where you use the chair. Wheelchairs, normally, have two sets of wheels – two large ones in the back and two smaller ones in the front but some chairs for specialized usages (sports, power, etc.) may have as many as three sets of wheels. The wheels consist of various components: tires, rims, push-rims, solid wheels, wheels with spokes, “quick-release” axles and front-wheel casters, to name a few.

The tire is the only part of the wheel that makes ground contact. Some manual chairs have several sets of tires for seasonal or climate changes. The rear wheels are the largest on manual wheelchairs that aid in “self-propelling”, known as “drive-wheels” because of the “push-rims” attached to the rims of the tires. Chairs designed for a caregiver or attendant to push may have larger tires in the front since there is no need for “drive-wheels”, per se. It is advisable to save the wheelchair’s serial number and “tire-details” in case of replacement along with the seat-width, depth, frame-color and other pertinent factory information that may be needed at a later time during the life of the wheelchair.

B. Symptoms and Causes

Tires, with or without inner-tubes, have been known to go “flat”. There are two classes of tires – pneumatic (air, inner-tubes) and puncture-proof (solid and “flat-free”). How you use and where you ride will help to decide which type is best for you. High-pressure tires (air) are narrower than the everyday pneumatic tire. The tread pattern is minimal – not as deep as a pneumatic tire while requiring a greater inflation pressure. Many manufacturers recommend tires that are designed with increased camber (angling with the vertical) and tread to be “off-center” to maintain good surface contact. The tire is of a smooth, light-tread for indoors and thin for mobility. For out-doors and better traction, the tire is wider with a medium, knobby tread.

Pneumatic Tires

They are made of rubber and require an inner-tube, under pressure. Pneumatic tires are widely used on most manual and power wheelchairs because they are generally lighter, shock-absorbing and offer good traction on most terrains. While pneumatic tires are the most popular, they require the highest degree of maintenance. This is because the inserts consist of a thin liner that can be easily punctured by thorns, nails or other sharp objects penetrating through the tire.

With these tires, you must always be prepared for a flat, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. In addition, you must keep a close eye on maintaining the appropriate pressure since leaks from pneumatic tires are common and should be replaced every couple of months.

Puncture-Proof (“Flat-Free”) Tires

These are made of rubber or plastic (usually polyurethane). The rubber puncture-proof tires are similar to the pneumatics but the inner-tube consists of a solid material such as foam, plastic or rubber. These tires are essentially “flat-free” and require less maintenance than the pneumatics.

However, a single, solid insert is generally heavier by an average of 1.5 times than that of a single pneumatic insert.

The combined difference in weight between having two pneumatic inserts and two solid inserts is approximately two to four pounds, depending on the material. While this does not sound like much, the additional weight can have a significant impact when it comes to transporting and/or propelling the wheelchair. They are also stiffer, not as shock-absorbing and tend not to grip the surface, as well. These features may adversely affect the performance of your chair if you spend a lot of time outdoors in slippery conditions, if you often travel up-and-down hills or if you ride often on rough and/or rocky surfaces.

Replacing a solid insert can be very difficult to do on your own and should be taken to an expert, authorized service center. Unfortunately, servicing a wheel can be expensive. Changing a tire with a solid-insert takes a little longer than a pneumatic-insert (inner-tubes) so you can expect the cost for the service to be a little higher. Bicycle shops can also provide repair or installation services for most wheelchair tires and are, generally, more inexpensive.

Puncture-proof tires are made of “solid” plastic (no inserts). They are, generally, the least expensive but are, at the same time, low performance, greatly reducing your comfort and are damaged somewhat more easily. Solid plastic tires are commonly found on hospital chairs that are designed for indoor use, only. New technologies have enabled puncture-proof tires to become more lightweight and comfortable user while still providing longer wear. Typically, these tires are constructed of a semi-pneumatic “foam” and rubber combination which are available in various tread-designs and sizes.

Pneumatic tires and tubes are the most inexpensive combination to buy. For a standard, rear tire for manual wheelchairs, prices depend on materials used. They are made of a lower grade rubber with simple wire reinforcing beads that hold the tire inside the rim edges. The more expensive tires are made of high-quality rubber with reinforcing of Kevlar on the side-walls. Generally, foam, puncture-proof inserts are more expensive than those of a hard, plastic-type material.

Tires are available in many different tread designs and widths, accommodating almost any type of terrain. Treads range from very smooth to extremely knobby such as those typically seen on high performance mountain bikes. The smoother the tread and the thinner the tire, the less rolling resistance required to push the wheelchair. If a majority of time is spent indoors, a smooth to lightly treaded, thin tire is desirable. If a lot of time is spent outdoors, a wider tire with a medium “knobby”-tread has better traction on rough surfaces. Special tread designs and widths are available for traversing over snow, dirt, turf and grass.

Power wheelchair users tend to use medium treads and thicker tires on all wheels to accommodate many different surfaces with smooth treads not being a problem with a power-chair. Many manual chairs are not equipped to support different wheel sizes. The most appropriate diameter is determined by how long your arms are and how high or low you sit in the chair. You should be able to easily reach the entire, upper half of the push-rim without bending forward, “hunching” your shoulders and not flexing your elbow out too far.

C. What To Do About Persistent “Flats”

Persistent flats are a problem, to say the least. The user is left with two choices – continue pur-chasing the inexpensive tires whenever they are flat and beyond safe repair or invest in a tire that is guaranteed and warranted to never go “flat” based upon its construction components.

For example, Flat-Free Tires (Canada), Inc. is an importer and distributor of a tire (“Amerityre”) which uses closed cell polyurethane foam that is considered “airless” for bicycles, wheelchairs, lawn and garden products, commercial and residing lawnmowers and golf-carts. These tires are 100% recyclable and meet or exceed the performance of conventional rubber tires for a slight increase in cost per tire.

D. Cautions and Comparisons

Pneumatic (Air) Tires

This type of tire is light-weight, more shock-absorbing and has good traction on most terrains. The high-pressure versions are, normally, lighter than the standard pneumatics, are narrower (smaller-footprint) and have shallower treads for decreased rolling-resistance (easier to push and rolls further per push). Many users prefer the softer ride of a conventional pneumatic for the improved push-ability of the high-pressure tire which are, also, favored by athletes for perform-ance reasons which have a “protection-belt” made of natural rubber and are skid-free.

Conversely, inner-tubes have a thin liner that can be easily punctured by sharp objects and should be replaced every 3-4 months depending on usage to reduce the potential for flats due to wear with outer tires every 6-9 months when the tread may appear worn or cracked. The small volume of air at higher pressure does not afford as much shock absorption making it a harder ride than a conventional pneumatic tire. The smaller “footprint” of the high-pressure tire may result in diminished traction on wet or slippery surfaces, tend to wear out quicker than a conventional pneumatic when used for street use and may require a valve converter for inflation.

Solid, “Flat-Free”, Puncture-Proof Tires

This type of tire is essentially flat-free and requires less maintenance since the same pair of solid inserts can be used over and over again. On the other hand, they are heavier, less shock-absorb-ing and replacement can be costly and difficult.

How To Use A Bluetooth Motorcycle Intercom With a Shorty Helmet

So, you want to use a Bluetooth motorcycle intercom or headset like the Scala G4 or Sena SMH10. You are convinced of the benefits of having an intercom or listening to music, pairing to your phone etc but half the year (the half that you ride the most) is hot and you wear a half helmet. Bluetooth motorcycle intercoms can be attached to the half helmet in the same way as any other helmet but the challenge is where to put the speakers. Here are your best options:

Sena SpH10 – The Sena SPH10 behind the ear intercom was released late in 2011. It is designed to be used with a shorty helmet or with no helmet at all. If your helmet choices are half helmet and no helmet the Sena SPH10 may just fit your needs.., if it fits your head. It seems to fit average and bigger than average heads well but you will want to try it on and make sure the speakers sit just over your ear canals. The drawback to using the SPH10 is that it CANNOT be used with a 3/4 or full face helmet. So if you wear a full face helmet in the winter months consider one of these other options.

Use Speaker Pouches – IMC is the manufacturer of Harley headsets and their speaker pouches (sku is HF-pads) can be purchased for about $25. These pads slide between the helmet shell and its lining. You can then install the Bluetooth motorcycle intercom speakers into the pouches. The v-strap of the helmet holds the speaker pouch to your ear. This option allows you to choose from most any of the Bluetooth motorcycle headsets on the market today and if you get a Scala G4 or Sena SMH10 you can buy an additional helmet clamp for about $35 that can be installed on your winter helmet. The Bluetooth intercom module can then be transferred easily between helmets. Both the Scala G4 and the Sena SMH10 have enough volume to be heard over the wind and exhaust noise under normal riding conditions and speeds. Many other Bluetooth motorcycle intercoms do NOT have enough volume and are not suitable for half helmet use.

Use Ear Buds – This option is currently only available if you buy a Sena SMH10 and the additional ear bud clamp(SMH-A0303). If your bike has loud pipes or if you simply want to enjoy the best sound with minimal wind noise this is the best option. But don’t settle for normal ear buds that came with your iPod or MP3 player as these often don’t stay in well and may end up being a distraction while riding. You will want to get a pair of “in ear speakers” that have foam or rubber around them to fill your ear canal. This will help them stay in better and block out the wind / motorcycle noise.

Resin Jewelry Making – How to Prepare Inclusions

Resin jewelry making provides you the ability to encapsulate objects and suspend them in the resin; producing jewelry items that incorporate materials that may not otherwise be used in jewelry making. Many items may be embedded within resin jewelry including insects, plants, pictures and fabric. The most important thing to consider when embedding objects into resin is that the inclusion is completely free from moisture as the moisture can interfere with the resin curing process. The following explains how inclusions should be prepared before being embedded into resin.

Flowers and Vegetation

Flowers, leaves and other garden vegetation must be dried and completely free of moisture. They can either be pressed (by using a press or between pages of a large book and blotting paper and left for several weeks). Pressed flowers should be coated with craft or decoupage glue as darker flower colours may bleed into the resin and lighter colours may become transparent. Alternatively, small blooms of flowers can be dried be covering them with silica gel for several weeks. They can then be sprayed with clear acrylic spray before being embedded into the liquid resin.


Wooden pieces should be sealed with resin, craft or decoupage glue and cured before embedding into resin. This will prevent air bubbles from escaping from the wooden piece, which will in turn create bubbles in the resin jewelry casting.

Pictures and Photographs

For best results use mat or photocopied images as some ink-jet printed images will bleed when glue is applied to seal the image. For best results, print the image on photo paper and leave 24 hours to thoroughly dry. You can often embed it like this straight away, but for extra caution, seal the image with a small amount of craft or decoupage glue. This will seal the image and prevent ink from bleeding out into the resin and the original image becoming transparent.

3-D Objects

Small 3-D Objects such as games pieces, shells and figurines can usually be added to resin with little preparation. They must firstly be washed with detergent and left to dry. For best results to avoid creating air bubbles, they should be brushed with a layer of resin prior to adding them to the liquid resin.


To prevent flavourings from candy, dried foods and sweets from bleeding out into the resin, they should be sprayed with clear acrylic spray and left to dry thoroughly over night. As with 3-D objects, to prevent air bubbles, they should be coated with a brushed layer of resin prior to adding them to the liquid resin.


Most fabric can be included in resin jewelry without any prior preparation, however to prevent any fabric dye from bleeding into the resin the fabric can be sealed with craft or decoupage glue. Alternatively, a range of fabric paper is available in craft shops that already coated so its colour will remain once embedded in resin.

Examples of other items that that may be embedded within resin jewelry and usually do not require any prior preparation include glitter, glass, metal power, beads and confetti. These items can be included within resin jewelry for decoration or to change the texture of the object. Light objects will suspend within the resin but heavier ones will sink to the bottom, therefore heavier items must be added when the resin has cured for a while and the resin has become firmer.

Outsourcing – Pros And Cons

Stripped of its technical terms, outsourcing is basically the practice of one company to contract another company to provide the services that could have been performed by their own staff. There are many reasons why companies now are on the bandwagon of having some of their services done by others. (It had been an old practice, really.) These outsourced services passed on to other companies are usually call center services, e-mail services, and payroll. These particular jobs are part of the outsourcing trend practiced by many companies these days.


One of the main reasons why companies are into outsourcing is diminished company resources, both in financial terms and in manpower costs. When a company expands (which can be sudden), the growth can start to eat up on the companies resources.

Financially, the company might not be able to match the growth with the needed infusion of money to sustain the expansion. This holds true with their human resources as well.

With the growth, manpower might be sucked up with the new growth and diminish the company’s productivity in its core areas. The service-providing companies can do the work for less costs (thus not over-stretching most of the company’s resources), and has the manpower to do it.

Other Reasons

Efficiency sometimes suffers once there is a sudden expansion that cannot be absorbed by the company’s present staff setup and other resources. If, for instance, there is a huge demand for huge number of their products, other departments might not be up to it.

The purchasing department might need so many men to do the buying of raw materials, for instance. Outsourcing the purchasing department is a good move and costs less.

Other reasons could be that overhead costs might be disastrous to the company’s budget and current plans. Or, perhaps an offshoot to its growth is impossible to meet. If the company had grown to such an extent that it needs a bigger office, outsourcing the functions of the projected new additional staff is cheaper. (Transfer of the whole office to someplace bigger is definitely expensive in time, effort and money values.)

Companies are also bound to experience production demands that come and go in cycles within a year. Outsourcing additional resources during times of so much demand can ease up the company’s problems.

The good part of the deal is that the contracted periods of having these extra jobs outsourced can follow the cyclical production demands. (A toy company’s production department might need more manpower in the middle months of the year to produce the goods needed for, say, Christmas or some holidays.)


On the other hand, this new business model of parceling some important work aspects of a company to another had sparked a mini-controversy which had not been thoroughly resolved even until now. Definitely, there are those who are not fully convinced of the viability of such an arrangement.

The biggest argument against this deal is actually focused on the relationship of the company and its clients. In short, it may invite dissatisfaction from client side. Reasons could range from lower quality of work output, unnecessary dilution of company-client trade secrets, etc.


Control is also put to the test. Some aspects of the company are in danger of spinning out of the company’s control since the outsourced company conducts the decisions that would have been better handled by the parent company.

Some clients are not fully convinced that the outsourced company can function as efficiently as the original contracted company. If they do (most companies can, in practice), clients feel it might be better to deal with the new company rather than their old supplier or contracted business partner.

Riding on this threat is the mounting danger of delayed communications that causes delayed implementation. Without proper management and apportioning of responsibilities, there is tendency that confusion might set in.

Outsourcing had also allowed a political issue to float around – social responsibility. It is said that with more and more companies allocating jobs to foreign countries, the people of the parent company will have reduced opportunities. While this debate and questions are still up in the air, more and more companies are outsourcing some of their work. Offhand, companies and their managers think the current trend is the result of the current situation in commerce and trade all over the world. At the moment, outsourcing looks like it will stay for a while.

Metal Wood Burning Fireplaces

A fireplace which is an additional attraction to most of the houses. An effective device which is for heating the room can also prove to be a wonderful setting for a romantic mood. Metal wood burning fireplace are designed to improve an existing fireplace with more environmental -friendly, economical burning potions.

The metal wood stove for burning logs or other types of wood fuel comprises in a combination of a rectangular metal shaped shell including opposite sides, a top, a back and a bottom that supports upon legs on a supporting surface. It is manually adjustable.

Most of the people choose to burn wood or adapt their fireplaces to gas for visual purposes. This metal wood burning fireplace is possible to boost your existing fireplace and it a possible source of heat as well.

There are various instructions to maintain the metal wood burning fireplace; you have to clean the fireplace and chimney annually that helps to maintain the safety and efficiency of the fireplace. You should burn hardwoods instead of softer varieties. These burn more slowly and produce more heat. You should open any glass or metal doors that are part of the fireplace to allow heat to escape. The metal wood burning fireplace can be of conventional cast iron pieces or lighter sheets of metal which reflect heat back into the room. It establishes heat transmission ducts. These fans blows forcefully heated air into the room and suck the cooler air into the fireplace. The metal helps to spread out the heat into the room. These wood-burning stoves are efficient and add attractiveness to the home. It will linger warm and continue to heat the room after the fire is extinguished.

A fireplace consists of a firebox that contains fire with a chimney which releases smoke out of the houses. The fire places have other advantages like that it keeps the house heated and it is helpful in cooking also. The metal wood burning fireplace some artistic significance of the house though there has been a rapid scientific development and it is available in various electronic shops but the demand for the fireplace still exists.

The fireplace has to be cleaned by Flue brush, dust mask, newspaper, ladder, stiff nylon, drop cloth, vacuum, ash can, glass cleaner and soft cloth, rubber gloves, and trash can and bags. The initial cost can be high but when you use for few years it will show major savings in heating costs to justify the initial costs.

Should You Be a Stone Mason? How to Get Into Masonry As a Career

Should you be a stone mason? It is a wonderful profession, both art and craft. And how do you get to become a mason once you decide Stone-masonry is a rare bird: it is both a beautiful art and a practical craft. Stone masons are also known as stone cutters or bricklayers. If you enter into this profession, you will be part of an ancient craft. When you are a stonemason, you will have the pleasure of knowing that you are creating beauty as well as functionality. Stone can be a wonderfully environmentally sound structure, as it is permanent.

Some people believe that stones have their own spirits – although since stone masons are pretty practical people – it isn’t talked about much! Most of the earliest structures were made out of stone. Masons have worked all across the world in as diverse structures as the Taj Mahal, Easter Island’s statues, Stonehenge, and the Egyptian Pyramids to modern structures uses such as the Spanish inspired Plaza in Kansas City – or the wall in your garden.

You may decide you want a trade instead of going to college. However, masonry is one of the most creative and artistic of all the trades. And you need to be a balanced person to be a mason, you will need to be able to lift, plan out intricate designs and execute plans to do your work. It is likely that some of the work that you will be doing will be similar to that of an architect. Job opportunities are expected to be good in the future. According to the Bureau of Labor, median hourly wages of brickmasons and blockmasons in May 2008 were $21.94.

How do you become a stone mason? Unfortunately the path is not straight- forward, and it might take some sniffing around. Here are some ideas:

* Check out whether there are any Masonic Institutes in your area. These are training schools for masons that are available in some areas.

* Seek out a Union Apprenticeship. If you are into a Masonic Institute, they can help you find one. Once you have completed your apprenticeship, you will work as a journeyman and then can be certified as a mason.

* Try to take courses that prepare you for your training. While in high school, take math, art,and industrial sciences and check out colleges in your area as well for prep classes.

High Voltage Line Construction – Basics of Electric Power Transmission

Electricity distribution can also be referred to as electric power transmission, and this is generated by power plants to substations which are dispersed throughout any areas of high population. There are three major grids in North America that require high voltage line construction and maintenance. These include the Western Interconnection, the Eastern Interconnection, and the ERCOT or Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Between these three major power grids, electricity is supplied to the entire continent. Those who are interested in a career maintaining these power lines would most likely start their work within one network, near a larger metropolitan area where power lines are dense.

Throughout much of the history of high voltage line construction, the transmission and distribution lines belonged to one company. However, with an increase in the freedom that is allowed in the electricity market, there are now separate electricity transmission companies from distribution companies. The transmission companies are usually the ones that are in charge of the construction of any high voltage power lines, as opposed to distribution companies; although in the past the two would go hand in hand.

When looking at the differences in high voltage line construction and different transmission lines that are used, you will notice that there are different types of alternating current, or AC, which are possibilities. In most cases, they use the three-phase AC, although you will also see one-phase alternating current used mainly in railway electrification systems. Submarine power cables are used for long distances, while high-voltage lines are used for the longest distances, usually over 400 miles in length.

The reason why high voltage is used for the transmission of energy is because it helps lower the energy that is lost in this long distance type of transmission. These high voltage line construction projects take place through overhead power lines, because underground power stations can involve a far higher cost. It takes greater manpower as well as different types of tools entirely to construct underground power stations and transmission lines. Those interested in becoming power line technicians will need to learn more about the ins and outs of all of these various possibilities, as well as familiarize themselves with the major distribution and generation networks before they will find success working in this field. It is also essential to have the right power tools, so that you can be certain that you are following the right safety procedures.

Line and Mass in Drawing

Line and mass are important concepts in drawing.  Line does not exist in the real world, but is used in drawing to show the transition from one value to another, or to delineate the shape of a  subject.  Mass, in a drawing is the shading used to indicate the volume of the subject.  Mass and line are often used together in a drawing.  Each has it relative strengths and weaknesses.

A drawing can be started using either line or mass.  Most beginners usually start with line, as they like to see the shape of what they are drawing, and then “color” in the mass.  If you have never tried it before, I would suggest that you shade in your masses first, then draw your lines in.  The final effect is the same in the end, but the feeling you will get towards the drawing is quite different.  Starting with line focuses you on the shapes of the subjects of the drawing.  Starting with mass, focuses you on the three dimensionality of the subjects.  Adding line afterwards enhances the viewers ability to see the shapes, and reinforces the mass.

When choosing to do line or mass in a drawing, often different drawing tools are better for each.  A tool good for one can be used for the other, but often this can lead to frustration especially for the beginner.  Line is usually thin and fairly precise.  Mass on the other hand is depicted by shading, and this usually covers a much larger area than a line would.  For example, if I am using charcoal, I might want to choose a woodless charcoal pencil for drawing my lines.  It will give me the control and the thinness I want for my lines.  I could use this charcoal pencil to fill in the shadow masses, but this would take lots of line close together.  There is more opportunity for unevenness, and it is more time consuming.  On the other hand, if I used a stick of charcoal for the shadows that indicate mass, I could draw the masses in more quickly, and more consistently.  This is not to say that line should not be used for shading.  Lines done using cross hatching, or parallel lines, or lines merged together to create a shadow that indicates mass can produce a nice effect, and may be one that you chose, but keep in mind that certain tools are easier to use for massing.

The same holds true for line.  If you want to draw a delicate line, it can be done using the corner of a charcoal stick for instance, but the corner wears down quickly, and so requires repeated shaping to continue.  On the other hand, a woodless charcoal pencil can be handled like a pencil, and because of the round, sharp point, can be used more easily to make our lines.

Again this is not to say that tools such as a charcoal stick should not be used for lines.  Some artists are renown for their strong, bold lines.  One that come to my mind is Kathe Kollwitz.  I myself naturally gravitate to strong, bold lines, and I have to be carefully if a drawing requires more delicate line.

Another interesting example is pen and ink for drawing.  Dip pens are primarily a line drawing media.  To expand this, these pen nibs come in various widths to the point where some of the nibs are called brushes, and make a very broad line.  Traditionally in pen and ink, the mass is indicated by hatching, or cross hatching of lines.  How close the lines are often determines how dark the shadow value becomes.  Another technique used in pen and ink for massing is using dots to indicate shadow.  The dots are of uniform size, but the density determines how dark or light the shadow area is.  While producing a very pleasing image, it is time consuming and requires a lot of discipline.  Seurat was famous for this technique.

I love dip pens and sketch with them.  I really am interested in masses, and found that dip pens took way too long to shade in the masses.  I then started to do the masses with watercolor, but found I was getting caught up in producing color paintings, more than drawings.  My solution to this problem was to move to pen, ink and wash.  I kept the feeling of drawing, yet the ink washes were quick to apply to create mass.

I use permanent india ink for my line work, and I use non-waterproof sumi ink for my washes, so I can get a range of values by just diluting the ink with water.  I find this keeps me focused on drawing, yet the brush with sumi ink lets me sketch at an acceptable quick rate so I can complete the sketch in a couple of hours.  A side advantage of using pen, ink and brush is that it focuses me on values, and keeps me aware of them.

Mass and line are two very important elements of a drawing.  Being aware of both will help you use one to enhance the other, and make conscious your decisions about when to use line and when to use mass.  Picking the proper tools for line work or mass and shadow work will certainly make the drawing process easier, and in special circumstances such as sketching, it may be necessary.

What Is the Difference Between Cat6, Cat5e, and Cat5 Cables?

>> What is Cat5 Cable?

Category 5 also has 4 twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connector. Category 5 cable has a bandwidth of up to 100 MHz and speeds up to Gigabit (1000 Mbps). Category 5 cable can be used for ATM, token ring, Ethernet 1000Base-T, 100Bast-T, and 10Base-T networking. Cat5 is one of five grades of UTP cabling described in the EIA/TIA-586 standard.

Category 5 cable comes in two versions: UTP Cable (Unshielded Twisted Pair) and ScTP Cable (Screened Twisted Pair). Catetory 5 UTP cable is commonly used in the United States, whereas ScTP Catetory 5 cable is mostly common in Europe only.

>> What is Cat5e Cable?

Category 5e is an enhanced version of Category 5 (Cat5) cable, developed by TIA/EIA to improve certain cable characteristics important to Gigabit Ethernet operation, for example, it adds specifications for far-end cross-talk. It supports 1000Base-T Gigabit Ethernet.

Cat 5e (which stands for Category 5, enhanced) cable goes along the same lines as basic Cat 5, except that it fulfills higher standards of data transmission. While Cat 5 is common in existing cabling systems, Category 5e has almost entirely replaced it in new installations. Cat 5e can handle data transfer at 1000 Mbps, is suitable for Gigabit Ethernet, and experiences much lower levels of near-end crosstalk (NEXT) than Cat 5.

Cat5 and Cat5e cables look the same, but Cat5e cable is manufactured with a higher standard to allow for higher data transfer rates. The most common type cable used in a network is Cat5e. Cat5e cable was formally defined in 2001 in the EIA/TIA-568B standard, which no longer recognizes the original Cat5.

>> What is Cat6 Cable?

Category 6 cable is also called Cat6 and it has a bandwidth of up to 250MHz. It is the 6th generation of twisted pair Ethernet cabling defined by ANSI/EIA/TIA. It has 4 pairs of copper wire and all 4 pairs are used in Gigabit Ethernet applicationis. Cat6 cable is backward compatible with the Catetory 5, Catetory 5e, and Category 3 cable standards.

Category 6 cabe is constructed with even higher standards than Cat5e. Category 6 cable may have a center divider to separate the pairs inside the cable.

Catetory 6 cable is ideal for supporting 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Since technology and standards are constantly evolving, Cat 6 is the wisest choice of cable when taking any possible future updates to your network into consideration.

If you compare Cat6 with Cat5 and Cat 5e, you can see that Cat6 features more strict specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Cat6 can be used for 10BASE-T Ethernet, 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet, 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet) and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet).

You can have up to 100 meters Cat6 cable in 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, and 1000Bast-T application in the horizontal cabling run. This 100 meters includes up to 90 meters of solid cat6 cable between patch panels and work area outlet, and up to 10 meters of stranded Cat6 patch cables from work area outlet to the computer or server.

For 10GBase-T Ethernet applications, you can have up to 55 meters Cat6 cable in the horizontal run.

Some businesses and homes have installed Cat6 cable so that they are prepared for additional bandwidth requirements int he future. Applicationis such as video, video conferencing, and gaming use a large amount of bandwidth.

>> What is Cat6A Cable?

Whereas Cat6 cable only supports up to 55 meters maximum length when used for 10GBASE-T Ethernet; Cat6A cable, or Augmented Category 6, is certified to 500 MHz in bandwidth and has improved alien crosstalk characteristics, allowing 10GBASE-T to be run for 100 meters just as the same distance as 10Base-T, 100Base-TX, and 1000Base-T Ethernet.

Mortgage – Dos And Don’ts

Below listed are some guidelines that must be followed while going for a mortgage loan.

The Dos:

1. Do check for credit reports well in advance before applying for a mortgage loan. Ideal period is to check your credit report every 6 months. This will provide ample time to the borrower to communicate with the credit bureau and get any errors and misunderstandings rectified, if any, in the report. Also, six months is sufficient to make amends in the credit ratings if the credit scores are low.

2. Do shop around. Due to an increased level of competition in the market, several lenders are now offering incentives with mortgage loans so as to attract customers. It is important to shop around for a mortgage lender offering loan at lower interest rates.

3. Do negotiate. It is important to negotiate the interest rates and other costs associated with the mortgage loan with the lender. This saves a good amount of money in the due course of time.

4. Do ask the lender to furnish detailed fees included in the closing costs. Most costs listed are not even required for every customer. It is important to have a clear understanding about these costs. One can even seek advice from a legal professional having expertise in real estate law.

The Don’ts:

1. Do not ever sign the loan agreement in haste. It is important to understand each and every point listed in the agreement before signing.

2. One should never make any assumptions. Everything should be clearly written on paper. It is important to get clarifications and answers for all your queries and questions regarding the mortgage loan. All these details should also be properly documented. Assumptions in case of mortgage loans can result in loss of thousands of dollars.

3. Do not abstain from making monthly mortgage payments. It is important to save some money that is equivalent to at least 3 months of monthly mortgage. This money can be used in case of emergencies.

4. In case of any trouble or emergency, where the borrower is unable to pay the monthly mortgage, it is important to contact the lender well in-advance. It is foolishness to wait until the lender sends delinquency or foreclosure notice. Many lenders have alternatives that are designed to help customers who are facing financial distress.

How I Came to Love Wind Chimes

My husband and I have a favorite vacation spot in Tennessee. On the first weekend after Labor Day there is a huge, and I do mean huge, classic car show with 20,000 plus classic cars spreading out between the three towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. During a visit to Gatlinburg, we took time out to do some shopping. One of the many shops sold beautiful wind chimes. Big beautiful ones, the likes that I had never seen before. I couldn’t help myself and we bought one of those chimes. The different lengths of tubes that the chimes had made the most beautiful sounds I’d ever heard before and thus began my new love.

That was several years ago that we bought those big beautiful sound makers and now they hang on the east side of our front porch. Thank goodness I am a country girl because sounds tend to really travel far at night in the country and a city slicker may not appreciate their sounds the same way that my country neighbors or I do. One of our neighbors has told me that she can hear the sounds of those chimes at night and she’s not even upset about it! In fact she really enjoys hearing them and often falls asleep to the soft sounds of their chiming. But then again, even I like doing that because there’s nothing quite like the sound of these wind chimes lightly chiming in the night breezes. There is just something soothing and serene about it. So there they hang on one side of the porch like a giant while teeny little ones from the dollar store on one corner of the porch tinkle in their own pathetic little way while some cow wind chimes that were a gift from my daughter tinkle on the other corner. Oh I must mention the special ones given to me by my husband, a set with carousel horses hanging right over the steps going up to the porch chiming a warm welcome to everyone who visits our home.

I guess it’s just a matter of time before I have wind chimes hanging from every tree in the yard. I think that there’s no turning back now. Something has taken a hold on me and I don’t think I can let go. There’s just so many beautiful different kinds that provide so many different sounds. I may eventually drive my neighbors bonkers thinking I’m some kind of crazy wind chime lady but I could be called a lot worse I guess.

What Do Men Really Want From Women? – Get Inside His Mind

Men often comment on the fact that they can’t understand the woman in their lives. The same is true of women and if you are already involved with a man or are interested in a particular man, you may often wonder exactly what he is thinking. One area where this would be especially helpful is in understanding what a man finds appealing. When it comes to the all important question of what do men really want from women, most men are actually looking for the same thing.

If you were to ask a group the question of what do men really want from women, the males would likely answer one way, and the women another. This is one of the reasons so many relationships hit rough spots. The woman makes assumptions based on what she believes her mate wants from her. In actuality, in many respects, men and women want the very same things. Many men want to fall in love with an honest, fun and adventurous woman.

One character trait that almost every man finds appealing in a woman is confidence. Yet so many women find themselves self conscious when they are in the presence of a man they are attracted to. It’s important for a woman to genuinely like herself, flaws and all. She should never make excuses for anything about herself. She should instead accept who she is and never try and change to suit the taste of another person. Men will tell you that they don’t want a woman who sacrifices her own interests, passions or tastes just to suit his. Men love a challenge and a woman who speaks and thinks for herself without excuses, is always intriguing.

When you are asking a group of men the question of what do men really want from women, they will likely also tell you that they want someone they know they can have fun with. Men love a woman who can laugh and who has a sense of adventure. This certainly doesn’t mean that she drives race cars or cliff dives, but it does mean that she’s not afraid to be spontaneous. Being outgoing and living life to its fullest is incredibly attractive.

Honesty is at the top of the list of what do men really want from women. If you are disingenuous in a relationship with a man, he’ll likely be able to tell and this is an automatic turn off. There’s a difference between honesty and candor. Never be brutally honest if you know you’ll hurt another person. Men are much more attracted to a woman who can temper her honesty with kindness. If there’s something he’s doing that you don’t like, tell him don’t berate him.