Pros & Cons of Housing Indicators

The market value of different products always depends on market condition. The faltering financial circumstance is responsible, in most of the cases, for the faltering product valuation and estimation. There are certain factors for a particular product that control, more than other factors, the product valuation. These factors are generally known as market indicators. Several financial institutions and experts summarize on these indicators and explain their influence periodically. In real estate industry, these are known as housing indicators. Sometimes, these become useful, sometimes they simply confuse.

Some indicators’ reports like House Price Index of Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) derive information from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Their report is based on mortgage closings of the same houses periodically. This is a kind one one-to-one comparison for home purchase. The comparison mainly based on sales price or appraisal figures.

The pro of this method is undoubtedly the type comparison. However, the con is that there is no option to estimate property improvements. A property improvement can boost home price beyond apprehension. Also, in various cases the high priced properties are quite absent from this report, as well as purchases where major secondary market participants do not operate.

The housing indicators have different advantages. The indicators are very updated and timely. There are at least two reports published in each month. Mainly US Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors do this in USA. There are various disadvantages of this kind of housing indicators also. To publish monthly updates, the experts need to summarize the whole month’s features in a very short time. This opens a chance for being easily influenced by the locality of the place. It does not give a chance for general comment.

However, few other reports, to avoid this drawback, report only on particular house sales. OFHEO report is one like that. But this also is defected, as it does not include refinancing in the evaluation of a same house purchase for some times. This report also leans to miss trends. This happens mainly because of the appraisal values upon which refinances are based incline to stay behind real prices. OFHEO and CMHPI get their information from a particular surveyor. On their process they omit a large portion of information, which their source does not provide.

There are other indicators also like Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. They repeat sale comparisons. However, their advantage is that, they cover the higher priced loans, private financed purchases, and government insured loans. These sections are most of the time omitted by other indicators. On the other hand, Case-Shiller’s report is limited geographically. They procure limited home sales data. Upon this they made their report, which is bound to omit many areas, even several states. This report provides trends with an up-end housing markets. This diverges from general financing. It also provides more importance to high priced regions.

These various types of indicators with all their drawbacks and advantages may confuse a buyer. But also these various information sources and various opinions ultimately help people to decide more wisely.

Essential Steps on How to Build Concrete Slabs

When laying down a foundation, you should clearly know that a reinforced concrete is the main and most basic part of any building. They are basically made from concrete and steel usually 12-16 centimeter in thickness. Reinforced slabs are mainly made for ceilings and floors. The slabs do not have to be necessarily 12-16 cm for exterior pavements have to be a bit thinner. So just how do you go about building concrete reinforced slab? The first step is to establish the size and the distance of the slab. You should use a white marking and ensure that it is straight so that the materials to be used do not go to waste.

After establishing the size and the distance, you should then make a mold that will be holding the concrete mix. The mold should be made from smooth and straight boards in order to define the shape. If you intend to use the mold elsewhere, you should use screws to join instead of nails. You should dig a slight ditch before placing the mold that will mold the reinforced concrete. If you want the mold to come out well and strong, then you should make sure that you follow the instructions to the latter. If you have no idea of where to get the instructions, you can look for them on publications from bookshops, libraries and the internet.

The internet is the best option because there is a wider variety and in a nut shell it can be concluded that the internet gives the best process on how to build a concrete slab before pouring the concrete, you should make sure that your trenches are deep enough in terms of reaching the Mowlem.

This ensures that the slab comes out strong. The other thing that should be strictly followed is ensuring that the slab is treated adequately using water. In order to make it even stronger, you should put rocks and gravel.

This also ensures that materials making the reinforced concrete are saved and not wasted. Failing to follow the instructions might course the slab to crack which might result in huge loss of funds and property. It is advised to sacrifice and ensure that proper financing is allocated in order to make the construction a success. After the whole thing is complete and dry, then you can go ahead and decorate it the way you want preferably with colored rocks. Reinforced concrete should be allowed enough time to harden before applying any pressure on it.

Ship Model Jigs

You have selected the model that you want to build and decided how and where it will be displayed. You have collected the tools, plans and reference material you will need and created a secure work area for yourself. You are almost ready to begin.

Before the actual construction of the model starts, there is one more preparatory job to be carried out; the building of the jig. The jig’s task is to provide the model with a stable base during construction and to hold it still while the modeler carries out work on it. There are two types of jigs that you will find useful. The temporary jig and the permanent display stand.

The temporary jigs are either commercially available or the model builder can build his own. Commercially available jigs are devices such as the Fair-A-Frame used to ensure perfect alignment of the bulkheads to the false keel, a hull planking vise which holds the false keel allowing the builder plank the model on the stand, a timber tapering tool which acts similarly to the hull planking vice and the Keel Klamper which is also similar to the hull planking vise but with the feature of allowing the builder to rotate the model in many directions making the build much more easy. With anyone of these jigs, the model can remain on the jig during the compete construction.

To build your own jig, the base plate should be a sheet of chipboard about ¾” thick, somewhat longer and wider than the ship’s hull. Glue paper or plastic film on to the base, and draw on it the exact centerline of the ship and the precise location of the frames – later on you will appreciate these lines: you will be able to tell whether the bulkheads are exactly at right angles to the false keel by using a small plumb bob or a square. The supports for the stem and stern must be exactly 90 degrees to the base plate, to ensure that the keel, stern, and sternpost are exactly vertical. This again allows you to check whether the centre of the frames and the centre of the deck beam are exon the mid-ship plane by using a small plumb bob. The supports can be made of wood but angle iron is better. The model will remain on this building jig until the wales are fitted when the hull becomes quite rigid. At that stage the model can be removed for planking.

After planking, staining, painting and coppering underwater hull (if appropriate) it makes sense to fix the model on a permanent display stand. The base plate of this stand should be made of a high quality hardwood, as appropriate to the model. The choice of wood is of course a matter of taste but it should harmonize with the colouring of the ship model. The stand should not draw the attention of the viewer away from the model itself. As an example, oak, walnut or mahogany should only be used with the fairly dark planked ships of the 19th Century. To prevent the base plate suffering damage during further construction work, cover it with a sheet of thick plastic and secure the edges with tape.

There are three types of model display stands; cradles, pedestals, and blocks. Dioramas are also some times seen with slipways holding up the model.

Which ever way you choose to display your model, ensure that the stand is securely attached to the base board and the model itself. Gluing is good, screwing is better. The advantage of the cradle is that the models security and the builders peace of mind are ensured; the disadvantage is that in two places, the lines of the underwater hull are interrupted. Incidentally, the support surfaces of the cradle must be an exact fit for the hull. The advantage of the pedestal is that the hull form is shown off to its maximum effect; the disadvantage is that you have to drill a hole in the keel of the model. The pedestal should not be too tall – maybe 1 ½” to 2 inches – again you don’t want to distract from the ship model itself.

There are a number of other jigs that you will find helpful. For planking of the deck, it is useful to create a cutting template so that all of the lengths are equal and an overlay pattern so that the toenails are properly lined up. More on this topic later.

For bending wood, once again there are commercially available jigs and tools. A Planking Machine will bend the wood to an unspecified degree but does make the piece more pliable. A Plank Forming Jig allows for different shapes and angles because the tool itself is adjustable. This is very good for pieces of wood that are up to 0.8mm thick. Then there is the Electric Plank bender which allows for very severe bends in thicker pieces of wood. This tool is excellent for early period ship modeling. There are a number of hand tools that are available that work by notching the wood to allow for bending. You can also create a wood bending jig from a scrap piece of plywood and nails. Arrange the nails into a crescent shape, cover them with tape (to avoid rusting) and place your wet planking material in the jig to dry. This is very effective for hull shapes like schooners.

For rigging, assembling rat lines present a special challenge. Once again there is a commercial product available called a Loom-A-Line The advantage of this jig is that you create two rat lines at once and the pegs that are used to create the shape are adjustable allowing for different sizes of rat lines. However you can easily build your own jig using a scrap piece of plywood and nails positioned in the shape of a teepee. You would likely need to build a few of these for the sizes required by the model. There is also a jig called a reeving tool. This tool makes threading of deadeye assemblies or blocks and tackles easier, and assures perfect spacing of deadeyes.

There are many other jigs that can make your modeling experience rewarding;

If you are coiling lines for a ship model to hang around belaying pins, you can make a jig from a piece of one-by-two and three nails or pegs for each coil. One nail goes into the top surface and the other into the face and a third nail is further down the face.

Mast and spar tapering jigs are very useful and are made from hollowed out tapered wood in which you rest a piece of sandpaper.

Rope walks can be easily made that allow the builder to produce your own rigging lines. There is also a commercially available rope walk.

And the list goes on.

Woodworking With Dowel Rods

All woodworkers should be familiar with dowels. They are easy to work with and can make a lot of woodworking endeavors less complicated. They can add beauty and strength to many different types of projects. Just imagine all of the things that you can do and create. Dowels should be staples in your wood shop or garage. Learn about the different types of dowels and their uses.

1) Dowels can be used to create hanging rods, flag poles, toy parts, and many other wood crafts. They aid in joining wood together in bigger projects, like chair building and making shelves.

2) Choose the type of dowel that matches the rest of your project. Pine, birch, and cherry wood dowels are very light in color. Birch and cherry also come in darker varieties. Some darker types include maple, oak and walnut. Any hardwood dowel can be stained or painted to match your project.

3) Over time, you may see that you need a variety of diameters as you practice your trade. Some manufacturers can carve specific diameters for you. They can even use your materials to make your dowels if you have something that is hard to match.

4) Dowels are great for turning spindles or decorative poles on a lathe. They are essentially a blank for starting projects that require poles for decoration or functionality. They are great for getting in lots of practice on the lathe without investing a lot of money or time. People most often need spindles for doll house decoration, chair backs, stair railings, candlesticks, or on deck rails. You can use spindles to create decorative easement accents, table legs, drawer pull hardware, and more.

5) Dowels are commonly used in making toys or toy parts. You can use them to make axles in toy cars, jump rope handles, monkey bars, game pieces, and more. Many woodworkers like to advance their skills by taking on small projects. Creating toys is a fun and easy way to test your limits and learn new skills, without investing the type of money that it would take to say, build an armoire. Toys are generally quick and simple. You can practice your carving skills, create decorative accents, and create an heirloom quality piece that could be treasured for generations.

The more you work with wood, the more you’ll start to appreciate the things that make your projects more predictable and less time consuming. A wood dowel is handy, inexpensive, and can be useful in a multitude of applications. You can choose softwood or a hardwood dowel, paint or stain, hand carve or use the lathe. Woodworking provides you with a variety of ways to accomplish a task based on your skills and personal tastes. Dowel rods can help you to keep that flexibility without starting from scratch when it’s not necessary.

Stack Molding For Plastic Injection Molding

Stack molds are some of the most amazing production tools to be found anywhere. The engineering and craftsmanship that goes into a stack mold is truly a marvel.

For the layman, who has never built a plastic injection mold, it might look like a big, fancy piece of machinery that produces plastic widgets. Yet, from the perspective of an plastics mold maker, stack molds represent a very high level of expertise.

What is a stack mold?

There are numerous variations on the theme of stack molds, but some common features are:

  • Built for very high production runs
  • Have a one cavity and multiple cores
  • Use indexable cores to injection mold multi-materials
  • Have the ability to do multiple operations in the molding cycle

Basically, a stack mold has a stationary “A” half, and at least two “B”, or moveable halves. They are similar to the rotary molds that have been in use for many years, but are vertical rather than horizontal.

This means that the moveable cores rotate about a vertical axis, rather than a horizontal. Also, the stack mold is very compact and has a much smaller footprint.

Are stack molds expensive?

Yes, stack molds are quite expensive. That is why a high volume is required to justify their expense. However, especially in medical or cosmetic molding, the ROI is quickly realized.

Considering the tremendous amount of engineering and mold making involved, the expense is understandable. Designing and building a stack mold is not for beginners, or mold makers who cut corners! Plastic injection molding is not easy, and stack molding is on an entirely new level.

What are the applications for stack molds?

Because they are for high production products, the common applications are for cosmetics and consumables, such as deodorant or toothpaste containers. Automotive and medical products are also frequently produced using stack molds.

More and more products are being designed to use soft overmolding, such as toothbrushes or hairbrushes. These are perfect applications for stack molding.Because the part is injection molded, ovemolded, cooled and ejected in sequential cycles, production costs can be minimized.

What are the benefits of stack molding?

Stack molds are available in numerous configurations to meet a variety of molding demands. Stack molding offers an economical and efficient manufacturing solution for the production of multiple plastic parts. Injection molding companies are always looking for more efficient way of molding, and for the right

A few of the benefits of the stack molding process include: Increased output efficiency (productivity)

  • Decreases number of machines required
  • Lower machine size requirement vs.. multi-cavity single face molds
  • Produce twice as many parts without increasing press size or clamp tonnage, which greatly reduces part costs
  • Set-up time and run-time costs are divided by all the parts produced
  • Producing the front and back parts of a key fob at the same time is a good example of an application for stack molding
  • Mold ejection functions are self-contained, no additional labor or steps required

Stack molds are not for everyone!

Learning About Bows – The Basics of Compound Bows

Advanced compound bows feature pulley systems called cams that are found at each end of the bow to pull the strings. As you draw the bow, the cams pull and turn the strings, lessening the amount of force it requires. This makes advanced compound bows easier to use than traditional or recurve bows. Most bows are made up of one riser set in the middle of two limbs, with the cams found at the end of each limb. Risers are usually made from magnesium or aluminum while the limbs may be a combination of fiberglass, laminated wood, plastic, or carbon foam.

Kinds to choose from

Advanced compound bows come in single cam, hybrid cam, twin cam, and binary cam variations. Single cams have two wheels: one round known as the idler wheel and the other elliptical called the power-cam. They are easier to use compared to the other kinds and generate less noise, although they can be hard to tune and may have uneven nocking.

Hybrid cams, on the other hand, use two elliptical cams, one known as the power cam and the other the control cam. They offer straighter nocking so they’re more accurate and are easy to tune and maintain.

As for twin cams, they have two cams for each limb, which may either be elliptical or round depending on the design. Faster and more accurate, they have the most level nocking around, making them ideal for competitive shooting. In the case of binary cams, they are compound bows with two cams for each limb like the twin cams, except that the cams are arranged to have the top and bottom cams moving in relation to one another. Since the cams move independently of the limb, this takes care of problems like varying string lengths and limb deflection.

What is Sinus Drainage? – Ways to Stop Sinus Drainage

A brief idea on what is sinus drainage

Sinus drainage starts when the mucus lining gets irritated and turns out excess mucus. Mucus is generated to keep the nasal passage clean. This may be termed as post nasal drip which could lead to bad breath.

Bad breath could be due to many factors like food you intake to improper oral hygiene and medical complications like diabetics and gum disease. Bad odor is usually associated with sinus drainage. Ironically, the smell as such comes from the mouth and not nose.

Tips on what is sinus drainage and how to cure it

Germs are a major part of sinus infection and it has to be killed. Germs have abhorrence to heat and that is why we boil the water we drink. A hot cup of tea is an immediate relief because the heat helps to drain sinus. The nasal passageways should be kept clean, draining the sinus. If you do not want to take hot vapors, you could always go for a hot shower or a visit a steam room.

Sinus could be drained by drinking lot of fluids, 6-8 glasses of water a day is needed to keep your system clean. This could flush your system. Cleaning your system could clear your sinus. Beware of aerated drinks and caffeinated beverages as they are of no help. Hot soup could also be of great help.

Nasal sprays and decongestants are also available to clear the blocks.

What is sinus drainage remedy to a long lasting problem? Apart from the above remedies over the counter medication are also available. If the problem persists consult your doctor.

These steps could definitely drain your sinus and you could see getting to know what is sinus drainage is lot more easily than you ever predicted.

Today’s modern world requires a lot of more elegant personality not only with pleasing manners but also a healthy look. A person is judged not only by his habits but also by his clean ways of living. In this socializing environment where you meet people often a bad oral breath could ruin your relationships. Keep in mind your associations with the outer world.

The Concept of French Drains and How They Work

A French drain is used to help drain water away from an area. It is basically a ditch lined with rocks or gravel. Generally, it is utilized to protect the foundation of a house or any structure from both ground and surface water. It is also good for gardening, as a backup for retaining walls and for draining water away from a septic tank.

Read below and understand French drains and how they work.

These drains work on the principle of gravity. They are installed slightly sloped down from the area to be drained to the area where one wants to redirect the water. With this, excess ground and surface water goes into the drain and is directed away. To prevent dirt or plant roots from clogging the system, the drain is typically lined with perforated clay pipe and is surrounded with a landscaping textile.

Most of the drains are installed well underground and completely hidden from view. Usually, it is being covered with sod and leads to a dry well which returns the excess water to the supply of groundwater, sometimes to a rain garden. A rain garden is an invention that uses wetland plants for absorbing excess water and returning it to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration.

To easily understand the concept of French drains and how they work, think of it as a shallow drainage system. This is in fact the easiest way to keep your basement dry, and is one of the best foundations to a basement waterproof design.

Knowing the importance of French drains and how they work is necessary to maintain a dry space and basement. Having a dry basement is a top priority for a responsible homeowner as too much moisture in this area may result to cracks and other house damages.

Types of Cordless Drill

The drilling or screw driving capacity of the various types of cordless drill is largely determined by the voltage and battery capacity (Ah). Broadly speaking the higher the voltage, the bigger the hole it will drill or screw, and a higher battery capacity will usually give a longer run time for any given job.

As with most power tools the more you invest the more you will get. Particularly for tradesmen, spending a little bit more can often make a significant difference to the performance and flexibility of the tool and dramatically improve the return on investment over the working life of the drill.

For any job, your requirements will affect the drill that should be selected. To assist you in choosing the right tool for the job in hand, below we evaluate drill drivers, combi drills and SDS Rotary Hammers, outlining their functions.

Drill Driver

Cordless drill drivers typically have two primary functions. In the first instance they are used for drilling holes in wood, plastic and metal, while the variable clutch function makes it suitable for driving screws accurately into various materials. Given the nature of the work, drill drivers of around 14.0v with a minimum of 2.0Ah batteries will generally be suitable for most tradesmen.

Combi Drill

Combi drills offer the same drilling and screw driving features as drill drivers, described above, with the additional feature of a hammer action to allow the drilling of masonry, brick and concrete. Typically an 18.0v tool with 2.6Ah batteries is adequate for most trade applications but tools with higher voltages and higher capacity batteries are available for situations where the workload is geared towards drilling larger holes in masonry.

SDS Rotary Hammer

SDS plus rotary hammers are available from various manufacturers from 14.4v up to 36v. These tools are designed primarily for the repetitive drilling of holes in concrete and masonry. Through the use of a small piston a much higher impact blow is delivered to the drill bit which is securely held by an SDS plus chuck rather than a three jaw chuck. This means that larger diameter holes can be drilled much faster than in masonry etc., than they would be by a combi drill.

The same rule of thumb applies where the higher voltage tools will drill larger holes faster improving the return on in investment which is all important to the hard working tradesman.

Timber Exploitation in Cameroon

The law n° 94-01 of January 20 1994 door system of the forests, wildlife and fishing foresaw in his item 71(1) the stop of the exportation of timber to the end of five years, the objective being to favor the economical development of Cameroon while creating value added by the local transformation of a first matter.

Carrying research through the Cameroonian ministry of the environment and forests (MINEF), a study on the industrialisation of the system drinks to the Cameroon between 1994 and 1998. This study was realized by the CERNA, the economy center industrial of the school of the Paris expressions, and was presented to the administrations, to the silent partners and to the economical operators June 11 1999.

The study, foreseen by the item 71(4) law n° 94-01 of January 20 1994, had for ambition to erect a state of the precise places of the body of the Cameroonian factories of first transformation of wood and of their evolution since five years.

Thus, an exhaustive investigation concerned the 87 inventoried factories to Cameroon, completed by discussions with the general directions of the businesses to Cameroon and, if need be, corporations mothers in Europe.

The increase of the transformation capacities since 1993-94 In five years, 28 new factories were constructed for a transformation capacity of 1,15 millions of m3 and an investment of 34 billion FCFA. In addition, 9 of the 38 factories existing in 1993-94 were the object of buybacks with modernization (capacity increase of 320 000 m3) for a total amount, investment understand, of 5 billion FCFA.

Thus, in five years, the transformation capacity has more than doubled, passing of 1,20 to 2,67 millions of m3, and surpasses henceforth the one of Ivory Coast from my research carried.

The investors in the construction of new factories or the buyback of factories principally existing was done it three categories of investors:

ten exploiting forest that had not any factories in 1994;

nine exploiting forest that already transformed before 1994;

Nine foreign transformers that did not be present to the Cameroon before 1994.

But one notes also it arrived among the new investors of six Cameroonian businessmen (of which the origin trade is not the forest exploitation) : this point deserves to be underlined for the one of the objectives of the political forest one Cameroon is exactly to favor the promotion of the national contractors (SME).

The type of the built factories

The study made obvious the following characteristics:

a climbed in power of the factories in industrial frank points, that represent henceforth a third of the transformation capacity;

a movement of the factories of the forest towards the urban environment (approval to the electric network and accesses to the harbor of Douala by the paved road): one does not construct anymore factories in bush;

An increase from the timber bought on the local market, in complement of the timber originating permit belonging to the factory.

The reasons of the acceleration of the investment

The arrival of 25 new investors of which 19 directly were threatened by an eventual stop of the exportations of grumes indicates that the perspective of a stop of the exportations of grumes has certainly, among of other factors, played an important role in the acceleration of the observed investment during the period 1994-98.

That says, this perspective did not reverse the tendency to construct brief factories: simple scieries, without dryer or workshop of industrial, insufficient woodwork to promote correctly the Cameroonian grumes of good quality, the one precisely that are available after a stop of the exportations of Timber.

The Facts About Pressure Treated Lumber

Pressure treated lumber is advertised as having a long life (some say 40 plus years) with direct earth contact. The manufacturers soak the lumber in chemicals that penetrate into the outside surface. The most vulnerable area is where the wood is cut. Any such ends require localized treatment, if they are to be buried. My experience is that, usually, this lumber does last a long time. I have some fence posts, I put in 20 years ago, that I have since dug up. All of these were still as good as the day I put them in the ground. On the other hand, a few times I have found pressure treated wood under decks, even posts resting on piers, where the wood had decayed. As with all of life this goes to show that there is the design, the plan, the odds and sometimes something does not turn out as was expected. It is out of the “norm”.

Pressure treated lumber, and how to deal with it, is not well defined by the Washington state (where I work) wood destroying organism laws. The wood is manufactured for ground contact, so having it touch the earth is not specifically a defect. At one point I asked the WSDA about this issue and was told this — Fact: Pressure treated wood in contact with the soil will last much longer if all soil contact is eliminated. An inspector should probe, if possible, all pressure treated lumber which has soil contact and, if it is decayed, then call it out that way. If no decay is apparent, an inspector might, to be helpful to the client, say that grading soil back from the lumber, or putting it up on a concrete pier, will make it last longer. This advice may, or may not, make sense depending on the design elements of the structure, say a deck.

Personally, as an inspector, here is what I do. If I see pressure treated lumber in a crucial role, and it is in contact with soil, then I call out for grading or removal of the soil. For example, I call it as a problem when I find pressure treated lumber down in soil and it is used as a post under the house or on a deck of any height. In that crucial role, you do not want to take chances on rot, the result of wood to earth contact and the moisture that brings to the wood.

On the other hand, if I am inspecting a house and find a couple 4×4’s, for support of a handrail, sunk into the earth, at each side of the steps from a modest porch or deck, I check the lumber at the ground level and, if it is fine, then I do not say very much. No grading is applicable, with the post sunk, and it seems to be holding up well. In my view, simple and non-critical outdoor uses, such as fence posts, are common and, down the road, the repair is easy to do and the area easy to access. The repair can be done by a workman who is affordable and no structural damage is likely to take place.

Conflict of Interest – 9 Essentials to Include in Your Policy and Statement

Increasingly, nonprofit boards are adopting policies and standards that reflect good governance. The Conflict of Interest Policy is one of those essential policies for any well-managed organization. Even the federal government has started reinforcing the importance of this particular policy by including questions about the Conflict of Interest Policy and Statement on the IRS Form 1023 (the application for 501(c)3 nonprofit status) and the IRS Form 990 (the annual financial information filing).

If your organization does not have a CoI policy and statement, ask your Board Development Committee (or an ad hoc board committee) to establish one now. Give them this article as a starting point for discussion.

Your Conflict of Interest Policy and Statement should include these “must-have” topics:

1. Definition of a conflict of interest

a. conflict between private interests and professional responsibilities

b. possible when establishing relationships with suppliers, partners, and clients

c. also includes: staff relationships, board relationships, employed board members

2. Applies to whom? (all board members, staff, and volunteers)

3. How will this topic be discussed with board members, staff, volunteers?

a. Conflict of Interest Policy discussion and Statement signing at orientations

b. Annual discussion and re-signing of CoI Statement

4. Who’s responsible for managing this communication?

a. Executive Director makes sure all staff and volunteers understand and sign Statement

b. Board Chair or Board Development Committee Chair works with board members

5. Where are these annually-signed statements kept?

a. Staff – personnel files of each employee

b. Volunteers – volunteer files

c. Board – board development committee files

6. Who needs to be notified of a potential Conflict of Interest?

a. Staff and volunteers notify the Executive Director

b. Board Members notify the Board Chair

7. What happens next?

a. Who’s responsible to investigate and decide what to do? (Board Development Committee)

b. Within what time-frame? (within 1 month)

c. Options for handling a conflict of interest:

i. Individual taken out of a position to decide or vote on the situation

ii. Remove this option from the choices under consideration

iii. Communicate to appropriate parties that this potential conflict exists

8. What communication will take place after the Board Development Committee’s decision?

a. Communication to all involved

b. Notice to the entire board of the decision and actions taken (entered into minutes)

9. Annually-signed statement should include:

a. Definition of conflict of interest

b. Directions about who to notify if there is a possibility of a Conflict of Interest

c. Possible penalty if a potential conflict of interest has not been disclosed

d. Signature and Date

A free sample Conflict of Interest Policy and Statement can be found at the bottom of this web page: http://boardsthatexcel.com/7-steps/step-1-foundations/.

Another sample Conflict of Interest Policy is available in the Instructions for IRS Form 1023, Appendix A: http://www.irs.gov.

Piano Sheet Music – Bar Line – What is it and What Does it Do?

Reading piano sheet music is like learning a new language. Each symbol has a unique meaning. Discover what a bar line is and what it does.

A bar of music is a small section of music. It is the maths of music!

The bar line is the vertical line that marks the end of the bar.

At the end of a piece of music you will find a double bar line.

If a piece of music has a 4/4 time signature, the top number tells you how many beats in a bar. In this case, since the top (or 1st) number is 4 – then there are 4 beats in every bar.

Most dance music is played with a 4/4 time signature. It gives the music a steady, driving beat. Most verses or choruses of a song contain 16 bars. This gives music a balanced, natural feel.

Individual rhythms, like coins, are worth different values. There are rhythms worth 1, 2, 3 and 4 beats in music. There are also rhythms that are worth less than 1 beat. A bar contains an exact number of beats. You could have one rhythm worth 4 beats in your first bar. The next bar could have four rhythms worth 1 beat. The rule is – they must all add up to the same number of beats.

There are several functions of bar lines.

#1 – It divides the music up into readable chunks – rather like punctuation marks in English.

#2 – If several musicians are playing together, it gives them all an exact location to start from: “Play from bar 17”.

#3 – Its vital job is to place the emphasis on beat 1. The 1st beat of every new bar should be played slightly stronger than the other beats. It would sound like this: 1 2 3 4, 1 2 3 4

The Lionel Model Train – How Much is Your Collection Worth?

Are Lionel trains worth a pretty penny? Well, the answer to this question depends on various factors. For instance, the value of the train will depend on which era the train was produced and also the condition that train is in. So before you sell that train on eBay or at a local garage sale, consider these factors first.

First, the value in collectible Lionel trains depends on the era in which they were produced. Lionel has been manufacturing trains since 1902 when it first introduced the Electric Express model as a retail store display. However, the models that are most prized by collectors are the “original Lionel trains” made between 1940 and 1959. The trains produced during this post-World War II era are considered to be some of Lionel’s finest products and coincide with the company’s rise as a juggernaut in the American toy industry.

The trains produced after 1969 are considered Lionel’s “modern era” trains. These trains have not retained as much collector interest or value especially the ones that are not in pristine condition and in the original packaging. In addition, some critics argue re-issues of vintage Lionel trains decrease the value of the original models.

Now that we’ve established the type of Lionel trains that are highly sought after by collector, it is important to discuss the single factor that most influences the value of a particular collectible train-the condition. Unlike hobbyists, collectors care less about how the train operates compared to how the train appears. In fact, the appearance of the train determines the value because dents, scratches, and damaged parts decrease the value to a collector. Trains that are in “mint” condition or brand new condition will command the highest price whereas those that are beat up will fetch the least amount.

So how is value actually determined? With regards to Lionel train collecting, there are two guides that are published annually-Lionel Price & Rarity Guide and Greenburg’s Pocket Price Guide to Lionel Trains. However, keep in mind these price guides only provide a guideline for pricing. The true value of a train depends on the buyer and seller. In other words, how much is the seller willing to offer in order to part with the train and how much is the buyer willing to pay to obtain the item.

There you have it. Not all Lionel trains are the same. Look carefully and you may not only find a small piece of American history, but you may also have an antique collectible sitting in your attic or someone else’s garage sale. Even if you’re not a model train enthusiast, that train will be worth a pretty penny to a Lionel train collector.

Ceramic Tile Over Linoleum – Is it a Good Idea?

Ceramic tile installation over many materials will work just fine. But will ceramic tile over linoleum work? That’s a good question and the answer is … it depends!

Probably the most important step in a successful tile installation project is preparing the backing – the surface over which the tile will be installed. Save time and money by properly preparing the backing so that’s it’s solid and of the right material. Backings must be flat, solid, smooth and clean. Install tile over a springy surface and you’ll have a failure. Any movement will produce cracking of the grout and maybe even cracked tiles.

You can install tile over many surfaces including linoleum or vinyl. Tile is also installed often over old tile, plywood, brick, wall board and cement board. As long as the surface is flat, solid, smooth and clean you can use it as a backer. Now the surface may require proper preparation and the proper adhesive. Your tile supplier can help with these decisions.

Ceramic tile over vinyl works if the backing is smooth, clean and tightly in place. Any movement of the flooring will likely crack the grout. Certain types of vinyl flooring are cushioned so that they will flex. These floors will not work because of the movement. A cushioned floor should be covered with plywood or cement board. You could also remove the flooring and eliminate that layer.

Be careful when removing old resilient flooring. Until 1986, many floors contained asbestos, which is a health hazard if fibers are released into the air. The only way to know whether this flooring contains asbestos is to have it tested. The best way is to just assume older floors contain asbestos. Don’t sand the floor. Usually the best approach is to tile over the floor. If the floor is loose, just cover it with exterior plywood.

Installing ceramic tile over linoleum will work great with the proper preparation and adhesives. Once you have the right base, installation is just like any other base. It’s often the best way to cover older resilient floors.