Offshore Platform Drilling Safety – Industrial Stair Injury Liability & Emergency Medical Evacuation

Working aboard offshore drilling platforms has long been considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. As the number of offshore platforms constantly increases, more and more workers are being exposed to the potential hazards and risks associated with the industrial marine drilling environment. According to the Health and Safety Executive: Offshore Safety Statistics Bulletin of 2006/2007, the number of offshore platform workers rose 22.1% from 2006 to 2007 to a total of 28,176 personnel. Of these workers that year, there were 2 fatalities and 39 major injuries reported. Most of these injuries were related to slips, trips, falls, being trapped, struck by equipment, or injuries associated with lifting, pulling or pushing loads.

Offshore safety practices are of the utmost importance to limit catastrophic injury, fatality, corporate liability, and major equipment damage via explosions. Since offshore platforms are typically isolated from conventional emergency personnel and equipment, successful response to emergency situations requires complete personnel cooperation. Total cooperation is only obtained through rigorous preparation, training and the use of the appropriate safety equipment to minimize injury. While the offshore environment is an isolated one, successful life saving procedures must incorporate equipment that minimizes both response time and personnel risk of injury or back strain.

A new powered stair chair was recently developed in order to meet the requirement of carrying injured offshore personnel up the steep, narrow flights of stairs to the helipad for evacuation to hospital care. This new portable MÖV stairlift provides a safe solution to transporting injured personnel on stairs. The lightweight stairlift can carry up to a 500 lb patient up or down stairs at the touch of a button. The chair has been designed for ease of use and most importantly safety. The stair chair can be stopped at any point on the stairs without it slipping or falling down the stairs. The powered chair uses a reliable 24VDC drive train and easily charged battery pack. Even though the chair is capable of navigating an astonishing 18 full flights of stairs at 300 lbs on a single charge, extra easy swap battery packs can be obtained to meet the user’s needs. The industrial MÖV requires very little maintenance and has been manufactured to be resistant to the corrosion of the marine seawater environment.

Another critical feature that the MÖV stair lift offers offshore personnel is its ability to function as an equipment transport. With the available material rack attachment, the MÖV performs in hauling toolboxes, valves, and other gear weighing up to 500lbs up and down the stairs on offshore platforms. This aspect, allows workers to avoid back strain and injury in hauling equipment to and from necessary locations on the platform.

The MÖV chair has proven to be an effective resource in offshore safety and is currently being used on many of the offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. An emergency medical coordinator using the MÖV chair recently commented, “Our [offshore] facility had patients go down with injuries on the lowest offshore platform level. The evacuation required a climb of 300 stairs, taking as long as 45-55 minutes to reach the top of the helipad. The MÖV Power Chair turned this operation into a two-man, three-point contact evacuation taking 12-15 minutes.” The MÖV chair allowed a reduction in manpower of 83% and reducing evacuation time by more than 78%.

The Most Important Components for Your Deck Rail Plans

For anyone who isn’t aware about creating a plan for the deck railings, you should know that a deck railing component is important. It will help to give that all important finishing touch to the railings and when it comes to creating that perfect deck railing, a number of different components come into the equation.

Deck railing components

The baluster is one of the most important components which is used for the deck railings. Basically these are the small structures which are placed between the other larger posts. Most of the traditional decks are usually built with balusters that are two by two wooden ones. The problem with a lot of home owners these days is that they are after something that is not as traditional and they opt to choose different materials. These could include anything from PVC, aluminium, iron or even glass.

Popular components

One of the most popular choices is the aluminum type because of the different varieties of colours and it is basically maintenance free. Another material which is starting to gain a lot of popularity is glass because it looks classy. Also, it comes available with different options for tinting and it is also see through which is always good. However, it is not just the materials people like to change, but also the style of the baluster too. While some settle for the classic look, others may look into the Victorian architecture for inspiration.

The connecters are another important component when it comes to deck railings. These can have multiple purposes when it comes to the railings. The main importance of them is that they are used to connect the railings to each other as well as the wall and the stairs. Another use for the connecters is to connect the balusters to both the top and the bottom rails. Also, like the railings, the connectors also come in a range of different styles and a variety of colours. They can be made from various materials such as PVC, iron, wood and some other metals too. Something that will need to be bared in mind is that the connectors have to be strong in order to create the correct support for the deck. If the connectors you choose are not up to the job, you will need some different connectors.

To finish off the components, you have the accessories for the deck. These are generally what are used to make everything look unique and elegant. You can even get centrepiece accessories which are for the balusters and they come in different designs.

One piece of advice is that now you know about all of the components; make sure that you get all of the right ones for your deck railing plan, otherwise you will end up simply wasting money.

Renovating Cornice Crafted From Architectural Terracotta – The Process and the Challenges

Cornice is an architectural element found on all types of structures, including churches, government buildings, retail establishments, and private dwellings. Before modern and durable building materials were developed, architectural terra cotta was commonly used to craft cornice. While renovating cornice crafted from architectural terracotta is possible, there are a couple of major challenges. This article will provide an overview of the terracotta renovation process and outline the main challenges of terracotta renovation that are specific to cornice.

Renovation of Terra Cotta: The Process for Cornice

When cornice is being renovated, the first step is to identify which sections of the terracotta cornice will need to be replaced. Then, a mold must be made so the replacement parts needed to complete the terracotta renovation can be cast. Molds often make this part of the terra cotta renovation process much more straightforward. While the original architectural terracotta cornice may have been composed of over 100 pieces, for instance, casting replacement parts in modern composites often allows terracotta cornice to be replaced with a single-piece unit. The replacement pieces for the architectural terracotta cornice are prefitted in the factory to ensure they will be compatible with the existing terracotta cornice. Finally, the replacement pieces are hoisted and installed to complete the terracotta renovation process.

Renovation Challenges That are Specific to Cornice

There are two major renovation challenges that are specific to cornice. First, cornice crafted from architectural terra cotta is often assembled using steel straps, and the individual cornice components frequently interlock. This makes removing an individual section of the cornice quite difficult. In some cases it is impossible, meaning the renovation will involve replacing the entire cornice. Second, the manner in which terracotta cornice is often assembled leaves it vulnerable to moisture, which can present problems during renovation. In many instances, water penetrates terracotta cornice and then becomes trapped inside. Here, it can cause the steel to rust and swell, causing further damage to the architectural terracotta. If extensive rusting is observed, the structural steel supports and the cornice may need to be completely removed and replaced during renovation.

Although renovating terra cotta on is possible, it is not exactly a straightforward process. The amount of the original terracotta that will have to be replaced depends on a number of factors, including the assembly method used for the cornice and the extent of rusting that has occurred. For many, though, renovation is preferable to replacing the entire cornice, as preserving elements crafted from this traditional material is often a top priority.

Scuba Diving – Paradise on Earth

No wonder that marine archaeologists and treasure hunters from all over the world have been coming here for almost four decades. Especially northern coast of the island is known according to the experts in this matter as one of the biggest cemeteries of historical shipwrecks in the whole world.

New surveys and studies have shown recently that there are at least 450 historically documented shipwrecks and most probably other hundreds of so far unmarked wrecks not found in the archives yet rest on the sea bottom around this island as well. Island of Hispaniola, as this beautiful tropical paradise was called before, was also highest point of interest for pirates for more than 250 years.

Even the most famous of them, such as Henry Morgan, Francis Drake who sacked also Santo Domingo, Blackbeard, Olonés, Jack Bannister or Roberto Cofresí who was nicknamed Robin Hood of the Caribbean, all these black personalities were waiting for their victims exactly here, in the coastal waters of this island and it has been historically confirmed. Many pirate ships were also lost in shallow waters of today’s Dominican Republic but it is not surprising because well-known pirate lair and base of operation, Island of Tortuga is only 55 nautical miles from the city of Montecristi on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic…

Famous world treasure hunters like, for example, Burt Weber, Captain Tracy Bowden or Richard Berry and their professional teams permanently extend their legal contracts with the government of this country for other period and they know very well why they are doing that.

The Museum of Atarazanas will be ceremonially re-opened in Santo Domingo in December of 2009. Only artifacts from the shipwrecks found in the Dominican waters will be on display there. There is not small number of historical shipwrecks loaded with treasures that were found in the coastal waters of the Dominican Republic.

We can name here just some of them: “Nuestra Señora de la Concepción”, the galleon that sank here in 1641 with more than 5 million of Dollars only in silver coins on board, or galleons “Conde de Tolosa”, “Guadalupe” and “Scipion” that shipwrecked close to the beautiful Bay of Samaná on the northern coast of the island in the second half of the 18th century. But dozens and may be hundreds more shipwrecks are still waiting to be discovered.

Cave diving is becoming to be more and more attractive in the Dominican Republic recently but according to the experts Dominican beautiful flooded caves will attract very soon more divers than famous cenotes and caves in Mexico. You can find flooded caves practically all over the island but they are from 90% not mapped and examined yet.

There are two or three diving bases on the island specialized on cave diving but new localities are found practically every month. Only on the southern coast there are over ten wonderful caves with different level of difficulty waiting for cave divers from all over the world. Rock carving and petro glyphs at least 500 years old made by original inhabitants of the island, Taino Indians, can be admired in some of them as well.

For all lovers of scuba diving, whether recreational or professional will cave or archaeological diving in Dominican Republic will be real paradise on earth.

How To Reset Your Cisco 2960 Switch Password

They say that you get what you pay for! In the case of the best-selling Cisco 2960 switch, a reliable enterprise-grade Ethernet switch with a lifetime warranty, the quality does come with a price. It makes sense for a buyer to look around for a used model.

When buying a used switch, you may face a problem if the seller has forgotten to reset his password. Luckily, recovering the password on this switch is straightforward. You can interrupt the boot sequence during the power-on, and then assign a new password.

However, if this functionality is disabled, you’ll only be able to recover the password by agreeing to lose your old configuration: in that case, the system configuration will be restored to factory settings. The password recovery process on Cisco 2960 switches will differ depending on whether the password recovery is enabled or disabled.

On the other hand, you can very easily reset the password on your Cisco 2960 switch to default. Be aware that while rather uninvolved, the reset procedure reverts your switch back to its factory settings: all your settings will be wiped out, not only the old password! This procedure only works if you have physical access to the device. The auto setup should be disabled.

First, power off your Cisco 2960 switch by unplugging its cord. As you reconnect the switch to the power source, press and hold the “Mode” button. On Cisco 2960 switches, this button is located on the front of the switch, on the left hand side.

After three seconds, the LED above the button should change from amber to green and start blinking. You are supposed to hold down the button until the light stops flashing. Release the button.

Congratulations, you have just reset your Cisco 2960 switch! The password is now set back to factory defaults.

Obviously, you should only use this procedure if you don’t care for the current configuration, because you’ll lose your configuration in the process of password recovery! The old configuration will get renamed “.old”.

This reset procedure can come in handy in those cases when you need to move a switch from one network to another, or when a configuration has become too complex, and you’d want a fresh start.

The default password for Cisco 2960 switches is “cisco”, and the username is also “cisco”.

Now that you’ve had successfully recovered your Cisco 2960 switch password, don’t leave it as a default for too long. Hackers know these default passwords too, and may try to use them to access your device and change your network settings. To prevent the unauthorized access to your network, change the default password as soon as possible.

Why Does a Sinus Infection Headache Occur?

Having a headache simply means experiencing an ache or pain in the head. This situation usually occurs due to various malfunctions of the body system one of them being, having a sinus infection. A sinus infection refers to the inflammation of the sinuses in the body where by their linings are forced to swell up and cause an obstruction of air going to the sinuses. This condition makes it hard for one to breathe and in the process a lot of other complications such as nasal congestion, fever, constant coughing and sneezing start taking place.

A sinus infection headache however seems to be different from the other types of headaches.This type of headache tends to increase its severity whenever you bend over or during the time coughing takes place but on other times, the pain appears to be a bit dull rather than its usual nature of having a piercing or knife-like effect on the person’s head.

Since a sinus infection headache will always be triggered by the inflammation of the sinuses, the position in the head where the pain is being felt usually helps to determine which pair of sinuses have been infected. This is possible since nerves attached to the sinuses are also attached to the head skull and therefore, When the pain is being felt around your forehead, the most probable infected sinuses have to be the frontal pair of sinuses. The reason for saying this is that, these sinuses are situated over the eyes and when infected, one would expect the pain to be around the forehead. When pain coming from the sinus infection headache is being felt in the area between and behind your eyes, then the most likely sinuses that have been infected should be the ethmoid sinuses since they are the ones that are located in the deeper recesses of the nose.

Infection of maxillary sinuses believed to be situated in the middle part of your face, below the eyes and to the side of your nose, often cause pain to be felt across your face and according to medical reports, the maxillary sinuses appear to be the ones that get infected most of the time. Doctors always ask for this symptom when conducting a diagnosis to ascertain that indeed you are suffering from a sinus infection. However, occasionally, a rare occurrence of a sinus infection headache can also take place in the back part of your head. This type of headache occurs when the deepest situated pair of sinuses known as the sphenoid sinuses get infected.

Having a sinus infection headache, most of the time serves as an indication that the sinus infection is worsening and that appropriate treatment should be looked for by the patient.

Pain relievers such as paracetamals and asprin may be used to ease the effect of the sinus infection headache on the patient but to get rid of this problem once and for all is through curing the infection itself. This can be achieved by taking antibiotics such as Amoxillins which are used to treat sinus infection brought about by bacteria present in the respiratory tract. Nasal sprays like Neosynephrine and Afrin can also be used to treat the sinus infection by shrinking the swellings that block air from reaching the sinuses hence in the process, preventing sinus infections and in the end curing the sinus infection headache.

Adirondack Rentals – An Alternative to Buying a Cabin in the Woods

If you are thinking of buying a cabin in the mountains, then you probably have some disposable income and enjoy spending time in nature. That’s fantastic, congratulations. I agree that there is no better way to unwind than to spend time in the quiet beauty of nature. The Adirondack Mountains offer unparalleled beauty and peace in this regard. But if you’re looking to buy property in Adirondacks however, you may want to consider Adirondack rentals instead.

Over the last 10 years there has been a historic run-up in real estate prices. This ended in 2006 as we saw the average prices in America hit a peak and then start to turn lower. Adirondack cabins were no exception to the trend. To buy a small cabin on Adirondack lake used to be fairly inexpensive. But after the run-up, any property in and around the park with lake frontage became quite expensive. You will pay a premium for mountain views as well as remote locations with great privacy. For these reasons, Adirondack rentals have become more popular in the last two years.

Since 2006, as prices have started to fall, people have wondered if they should use Adirondack rentals until prices return back to their normal levels. Some people believe that real estate prices are back at their normal levels. The data I look at it don’t agree, and show we still have another 30 to 50% to fall from these levels. Whether or not I am correct, many people see Adirondack rentals as a way to avoid the risk of owning property as we wait and see what will really happen in real estate. The great thing about this approach is that you still get to enjoy Adirondack cabin with a Mountain View, or perhaps sitting on the side of a beautiful lake, without having to put down all the capital and worry all night about what you paid for the property.

Clock Radio Problems?

What happens if the alarm clock radio does not work. To repair it yourself, I would suggest the following:

1. Check the power at the outlet, and make sure the power is on.

2. Check the pointer. Some household radios use a station frequency pointer mounted on a dial cord that is moved by a small wheel on the side of the clock radio. Other household radios use a digital frequency readout that cannot be adjusted.

3. If the sound is fuzzy, disassemble the unit and locate the volume control. Spray electrical contact cleaner into the control and rotate or slide the control several times to lubricate the mechanism.

4. Replace a damaged or broken antenna.

Most modern clock radios are built on printed circuit boards that can only be repaired by trained technicians. Some of the tools you may need are screwdrivers, wrenches, electronic control cleaner, denaturedl alcohol, soldering iron and solder.

Reset Dial Pointer

1. Turn on radio. Find a strong radio signal, listen to the frequency.

2. Use a piece of tape or grease pencil to mark the dial where the pointer should be for that frequency.

3. Unplug the receiver and open the housing. There are usually two to four screws in the underside of the radio.

4. Inspect the pointer mechanism for problems, such as a cord that came off at the end rollers, or a break in the cord. Replace the broken cord or repair it.

5. Loosen the spring clips Move the pointer along the dial cord until the station being received lines up with the tape or mark on the dial.

6.Tighten the clips on the cord. Make sure you do not move the pointer.

7. Plug the radio in and verify that the dial pointer reads correctly.

Replacing External Antenna

1. Loosen the antenna screw.

2. If there is no exterior screw, open the radio and access the antenna base.

Replacing an Internal Antenna

1. Unplug the receiver and open the housing.

2. Find and remove the internal antenna, of the internal base of the external antenna.

3. Inspect the wires wound around the antenna for serious damage. Make sure the antenna is firmly plugged into the main circuit board. If the antenna is damaged, replace it or attempt to repair the antenna, or replace the radio as a unit.

Clean Electronic Components

1. Unplug the receiver and open the housing.

2. Use canned air to blow dust from components, including any power cords and speaker jacks.

3. Use electrical contact cleaner, or a cotton swab dipped in dentured alcohol to clean electronic components.

4. If you find broken components on a circuit board, replace the circuit board. Before purchasing a circuit board, you can use a soldering iron and electronic solder to attempt a repair.

Your clock radio has been repaired by you.

Hip Replacement

After years of a deteriorating hip joint, you are left with almost constant pain and decreased mobility. Eventually, your personal and social life suffers. You are no longer able to do all the things you could once do with ease. If you’ve exhausted all other attempts to relieve the pain and stiffness, it may be time for you and your doctor to consider hip replacement surgery. You don’t have to live with pain for the rest of your life. Hip replacement is a common surgery with a high success rate.

Depending on your age and the condition of your hip, total hip replacement surgery (total hip arthroplasty) may offer the best solution to your problem. Hip replacement hardware (ball and socket prosthesis) can last up to 20 years. And it can often be replaced if the first prosthesis wears out (though second surgeries are not always as successful as the initial hip surgery). If you are fairly young, your doctor may suggest delaying surgery. If so, medications or lifestyle changes may help control your symptoms until the time is right for joint replacement. Losing weight can take a tremendous amount of stress off your hip and knee joints.

Surgical Procedure

Most hip replacement surgeries involve the traditional approach to the hip joint (lateral/posterior or posterior approach). With the common lateral approach, an incision (8-12 inches long) is made down the outside of your hip. The ball at the upper end of your femur (thigh bone) is cut off and replaced with a ball/metal stem component. The stem is placed into the marrow cavity of the thigh bone and the ball portion at the top fits into your new ceramic or plastic socket that is implanted into your pelvis (the cartilage from your hip socket is removed or smoothed).

The Birmingham Hip Resurfacing System (BHR) is relatively new (introduced in 1997). Long term studies are still in progress, but so far results have been favorable. The BHR method eliminates the need to cut off the ball at the top of the femur. Instead, the ball is left intact and merely resurfaced (reshaped) to allow an anatomically shaped metal sphere to be attached. The socket is replaced with a metal implant. The procedure is bone-saving and results in a stronger hip joint than the traditional total hip replacement. The chance of hip dislocation is greatly reduced. For younger and active people, this may be the procedure of choice.

Minimally invasive hip replacement surgery involves an anterior approach to the hip joint. An incision is made along the front of the hip, which allows a more direct route to the hip joint. The major hip muscles are not in this area, so there is minimal tissue/muscle damage during surgery. This usually results in a shorter hospital stay, a quicker recovery/rehab period, and less pain. The only downside to this method is there are few surgeons performing the anterior approach surgery. It requires a special surgery table (which few hospitals have) and special surgical training.

Total Hip Precautions

After traditional total hip replacement surgery, patients are required to follow strict precautions that restrict certain movement/positions of your new hip. This is to prevent your new hip from dislocating. They are commonly called total hip precautions, or total hip protocol, and include the following:

  • Do not cross your legs
  • Do not point your toes inward (no pigeon toes)
  • Do not bend your new hip more than 90 degrees

Your doctor may also restrict the amount of weight you can put on your new surgery leg while walking. This is called your weight-bearing status. This should be strictly followed so you do not damage your new hip while it’s healing.

Surgery Complications

All surgeries carry risk. Hip surgery complications include, but are not limited to, infection, DVT (deep vein thrombosis- blood clot), dislocation of your new hip, leg length discrepancy, vascular damage, nerve damage, just to name a few.

Surgery Recovery

Recovery after hip surgery depends on the amount of cartilage damage, your age, and your fitness level prior to surgery. Exercise before your surgery and your recovery will be easier. Approximately 4-6 months after surgery you should be fully healed, but you must take an active part in your recovery by doing daily exercises and taking daily walks.

How to Open a Halfway House Or a Recovery Home

To begin with, let us tell you that this article is going to smash any preconceptions out there regarding opening a halfway house in the USA. You do not need a license, permit, or any other document to open a halfway house. If any person, government official, government agency, zoning commission, etc. tells you otherwise, they are engaging in illegal and unfair practices. Know your rights (see bellow links to know your rights).

NATIONAL LAWS (ADA) ALWAYS SUPERSEDE LOCAL LAWS.

Just for a hypothetical situation; let’s say that 3 people who have depression decide to become roommates in a home. Should they be shut down and kicked out of the neighborhood because of their disability? Does that mean they have to get a license or permit to stay? Of course not. They are protected under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), as well as other determinations (see links below) against such discrimination. Havingchemically dependent persons in a home is no different!!! Alcoholics and addicts have the same laws to protect them.

It is a well known fact that City Councils have tried to stop halfway houses in their neighborhoods by stating that a halfway house with alcoholics and/or addicts, in other words disabled persons, (and alcoholics and addicts qualify as disabled under the ADA), must not have roommates (as in 2 people in a room at a house), which prevents most halfway houses from opening.

If you have a house, and you want to open a halfway house, and your mortgage payment is $700.00 per month (see additional expenses at the bottom of this paragraph), there are many things to consider before accepting residents into your house. Let’s say, hypothetically, you follow licensing and zoning guidelines. With the average charge to a resident with a substance abuse problem, being around $125.00 per week, you can see that if you went with what the license division / politicians tell you, (which are illegal tactics), you would be out of business shortly. Keep in mind that in addition to your mortgage payment are things such as: utilities, phone service, water, food, furniture, cooking utensils, beds, sheets- basically everything you would need to survive, etc.

On the other hand, if you did not license your house, you could put in 2 or 3 people in a room and keep your halfway house open. In other words, helping others to get a hand up at living sober. Please read more details below…

NATIONAL LAWS (ADA) ALWAYS SUPERSEDE LOCAL LAWS.

How to open a Recovery Home, Halfway House, Sober Living Home OR starting a Half Way House/Recovery Facility*- Resources to assist you. This article includes information on the standards and requirements of opening and operating a Halfway House/Recovery Home- NOTE: Not every county in the United States approaches standards and licensure in the same way- it is best to contact your local licensure department and/or zoning division.

The first thing you should know about opening a halfway house is that you do not need a degree or special certification to open one, and that most operate without a license/permit. Also, under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and The Fair Act Amendment, as well as other determinations, makes it illegal to discriminate against halfway houses and the people who own, operate, and live in them. Please see our links below for more information concerning these issues. There are a number of other important issues to cover concerning opening a halfway house that are vital to know.

You must first decide where you will operate. Once you have determined a location you have a choice in whether to license* the facility or not. There are also other permits, inspections, zoning variances, etc. to explore prior to opening up a halfway house. Please keep in mind that it is your choice whether to obtain a license, permit, and other certifications for the operation of a halfway house. If you choose to open a halfway house without a license, there are certain parameters you must operate under to make sure you are not shut down by the county/city you operate within. It is always best to check into what is required, allowed, and not allowed by contacting your local licensure agency and zoning department.

Most halfway houses that are not licensed are mandated to NOT provide on-site counseling or other wrap-around services- to avoid additional

paperwork and hassles, you could provide these services at a local church or other building. Most halfway houses that are licensed may need to

obtain a zoning variance, simply because (in the eyes of politicians) you are basically operating a business in a residential area. You may find that

because you are licensing it, the county (Zoning Commission) will limit the number of people you can have in any one room and at any one residence.

A halfway house that is going through the licensing process (and this may take months, even years to work out) will be required to have certain

structural adaptations made (water/fire sprinkler lines installed- which is very expensive) wheel chair accessible, parking and traffic issues to deal with, etc.

There are some overhead details to work out before you start taking in residents. You should know how many residents you will have in each room, what you are going to charge each resident, and what services are included in this cost or rent. You may also have to contend with residents coming in with no money, or that some residents will be late and/or short of the entire rent monies owed. It’s up to you how you handle these situations. If you have a house ready to use as a Halfway House (providing you have decided whether to license it or not) and your mortgage payment, for a 4 bedroom home, is $700.00 per month (estimate), you will also need to factor in start-up and continued costs like food costs per week, water and utility costs, household needs, (paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap, cleaning chemicals, phones, etc.), as well as monthly and yearly costs, (beds and sheets, TV, computer(s), Internet connection, towels and face clothes, shampoo, dishes and utensils, pest control services, vucuum(s), maintenance, etc.)- basically everything you would need if you were starting from scratch in a new home (considering you have nothing on hand) only this time it is for X number of people. Also include additional items, if licensed, like license and permit charges, health inspection fees, reports, paperwork and filing, accounting, etc. With the above example you can clearly see that many licensure and zoning variances would limit you to having only 4 people at your house, so meeting your overhead is not possible- you would be operating in the red every month.

Fair Housing Act

A case in point (actual court case) in which, for a period of more than 1 year, a city violated the provisions stated within the Fair Housing Amendments

Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3619) and denied the operating of a Halfway House within a residential area.

In an effort to assist individuals, agencies, religious affiliations, etc. open recovery places and tackle the unfair and illegal tactics politicians and others are using to stop them, NICD has put together some basic, and very needed, resources to aid in the journey. Counties are using zoning

codes/variances to try and control halfway houses/sober living homes and the total census allowed within these centers. Some of the bias is a

NIMBY, (Not In My Back Yard) situation, while others include property value concerns. In any case, the reasons for discrimination and unfair tactics are not based on fact or material circumstances. These counties and individuals are in violation of the law as it relates to the ADA, (Americans With Disabilities Act), Section 36.209 section 510 which describes alcoholics/drug addicts as people with disabilities. The Federal Fair Housing Act, (see link below), 42 USC section 3604(f)(2) makes it unlawful “to discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling because of a handicap.” The 42 USC section 3604(f)(3)(B) provides that unlawful discrimination includes failure to make “reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices.

providing some resources that you can use in starting up a program.

There are numerous obstacles to overcome in trying to open up a halfway house for alcoholics and/or drug addicts. NICD will attempt to help you by

Note: Please feel free to copy/print this page, as we have waived the copyright for this page only.

Some additional concerns you may encounter:

The next section has some rules that should be a part of any quality run halfway house. In addition to these is a section for navigating your way

through getting your residents into benefits and entitlements.

Specific: Halfway Houses Rules- A good halfway house should have rules. We have constructed some that we feel are essential.

RULES & REGULATIONS

IMMEDIATE DISCHARGE

*Being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs

*Possession of alcohol/drugs

*Possession of weapons

*Threats either verbal or physical, or acts of violence, fighting

*Property destruction or altering the physical construction of the premises, including interior walls

*Failure to submit a U/A (which are always at your cost)

*Unaccountable or discrepancies in times off of premises

*Lies, either found on your intake paperwork or otherwise, stealing, unusual behavior, and any criminal activity

*Failure to comply with rules and/or staff directions

1. You are required to attend at least 3 12-Step meetings per week, have a program book, (Big Book, NA Text, etc.), and have your meeting slip

signed by a member of the group, and not another resident, and attend on-premises “House Meetings” which are held 2 times per week, 1-2 hours per meeting.

2. House meeting attendance is mandatory, (which means you must arrange for employment that does not interfere with these meetings), there are

no exceptions to this rule.

3. For the first 30 days you are to remain on premises, (during this time you are expected to be working on your steps), and must arrange 12-Step meeting attendance with another resident who is not on restriction, and this must be pre-approved by the house manager.

4. You are required to sign-out when leaving the premises, and sign-in upon return- all leaves must be pre-approved by the house manager in

advance, and any inconsistencies in leave times are grounds for discharge.

5. Rent must be paid every Friday directly to the house manager, and kept up to date without exception.

6. You must see the house manager at least 1 time per week to discuss your recovery program- it does not count as a visit to discuss program while paying rent, unless the house manager chooses to do so.

7. You must obtain a Home Group and a Sponsor (You must provide a contact name and phone number), within the first week of residency, and this will be verified.

8. You must have Steps 1,2, and 3 in writing, and present these in the House Meeting by the 3rd week, along with a copy to the house manager.

9. You are required to be employed full time, and you are not permitted to quit a job without first discussing it with the house manager, (employment status will be checked on periodically).

10. There are certain types of employment that are not allowed, and you must speak with the house manager

11. No cab driving, working in bars, clubs, or places that sell alcohol.

12. Your room must be kept neat, with your bed made at all times, rugs vacuumed, toilet cleaned, kitchen area clean, which means absolutely no

glasses, dishes, forks, knives, spoons, etc. left in the sink at any time, and any trash disposed of in a timely manner.

13. You will be assigned daily and weekend chores (these are mandatory as part of your stay).

14. All vehicles will have current tags and insurance, and this must be verifiable. Also, there will be no storage of vehicles, and no working on vehicles on the premises.

15. Bikes and other modes of transportation must be stored in the appropriate locations, and security for these are at your own cost.

16. Any situation that requires police involvement must be discussed with the house manager before the police are called, (any police involvement

without house manager approval will be grounds for discharge).

17. There are absolutely no visitors allowed on premises without prior approval from the house manager.

18. There will be no congregating outside, no loud music or discussions, no walkmans, caps, sunglasses, bandanas, or inappropriate dress allowed, and you are required to attend to daily hygiene needs.

19. No one is allowed in another residents room- period.

20. There are no sharing of clothes, personal property, loaning money, borrowing vehicles, including bikes by either staff or residents.

21. You may be requested to submit to a U/A at any time, which may include either with cause or without.

22. Any resident who is aware of a rules infraction and does not notify the house manager immediately will be subject to discharge, which includes

finding out later that you knew about it.

23. All rooms are subject to inspections at any given time, and any room that does not pass inspection may cause all residents in that room to be

discharged.

24. Smoking is not allowed in rooms.

25. There will be no illegal hook-ups of cable, or use of cable boxes. Cable hook-ups will be done legally, at your cost, and your risk. If bills are not current you will be required to cut-off services until the bill is paid for.

26. Phone hook-ups are your responsibility, as are the bills that go along with it.

27. Any cooking done by residents requires immediate clean-up.

28. Any delegation, directive, or request that is made by staff will then become a rule.

29. Any medical conditions and/or injuries must be brought to the attention of the house manager.

30. Calls to 911 for medical conditions, injuries, etc. must be approved by the house manager before calling.

31. If there is an emergency, call 911, and then notify the house manager immediately.

32. Any and all medications, including pain pills, psych. meds, aspirin, Advil, cold, flu, sinus, etc. will be kept, and locked up by the house manager and dispensed according to the instructions on the bottle- any Rx. or

33. House shut downs will occur if chores are not done, the grounds and buildings are not cared for, rooms are not kept clean, or general attitudes are not in line with house etiquette, and is done so at the discretion of the house manager.

34. All rules and regulations are subject to additions and changes at the house managers discretion.

This is not a complete list of all the possible rules and/or violations that may happen, so to insure a healthy, happy, drug and alcohol free recovery

environment please do your part to use common sense when it comes to either doing or not doing something that may affect yours and others

continued stay.

Finally, staff will not take the role of cop, lawyer, or investigator. This means discharges will occur without investigation of who did what, what was said, who is, or who is not at fault.

The NIMBY Syndrome, (Not In My Back Yard), is one area that an owner of a recovery home / halfway house will have to contend with. It is usually best to address this issue up front before you open, or before construction is started. Your local Zoning Commission office should be able to provide information on the area you plan on opening the halfway house in. The census bureau can provide information on the neighborhoods make up, (economic base, average salaries made, gender average, average cost of homes in the area, and other good information to educate yourself with).

Check to see if there is a homeowners association, as that could be your best bet in getting to know your neighbors, and them getting to know you.

You should plan on going to one of their meetings before you open, but definitely after you have been armed with the information that you know will come up for discussion. Some concerns will be on whether or not you will accept violent offenders, psychiatrically unstable residents, how your home will affect property values. You can convince people that you plan on running a safe, drug free, and strict program by bringing a copy of your intake protocol and halfway house rules. Let them know how you plan on handling the situation when one of your residents comes up positive on a drug

screen. You should develop, in writing, protocols for dealing with this and other situations- there should be a plan of action that all staff and residents are to follow in any given situation. There will be some fear there, as no one wants a drug addict discharged/kicked out in their neighborhood at 1:00 A.M. on a weekend or any other time.

You need to arm yourself with the facts and also how you will handle all sorts of possible situations. If you take the lead and let your neighbors know, before they ask, what they can expect from you, you will go far in gaining their trust. Just be sure you follow through as you promised. It will pave the way to open another site, if you want to, if you have a great relationship with those that live around your halfway house.

In six major studies of communities where halfway houses were opened, no significant change in average housing prices could be found (MacNeil & Kappel, 1986, Part III.A.).

Ice Fishing – Putting That Hole in the Ice

Ice fishing is a wonderful way to get outside and active during the winter. Some people actually only ice fish, and don’t bother fishing when the ice melts! In order to ice fish obviously you need to put a hole in the ice first and here is how to do it.

Most people use augers which are large corkscrew type devices. There are other options like special ice saws, chisels, and chainsaws, although most people use augers specially designed for the purpose.

There are two types of augers, manual and powered.

Manual ice augers are operated by your strength. This can be tiring or even impossible if the ice is very thick or you move around a lot and hence need to make many holes. They are light and inexpensive, although your arms and shoulders will get tired.

Powered ice augers come in both electric and gas powered varieties. Electric ones are not that common and are usually connected to a vehicle battery, often the one you drove onto the ice.

Gas powered augers are more popular and make cutting through the ice nearly trivial. They are much heavier than manual ones though and that can be an issue if you carry them very far. They can also refuse to start just like a lawnmower, although they are fairly reliable. If you are ice fishing a lot or making lots of holes, you should consider a powered auger.

Ice fishing starts with putting a hole to fish through the ice! There are lots of ways to do that.

Night Vision Watches – Why Most Night Vision Watches Don’t Work

Night vision wrist watches are ones that light up in the night. They allow you to see the watch face…and therefore tell the time in low light and dark conditions. Basically the watch face “lights up” in dark conditions.

Because of that, they’re desired by police, military, and law enforcement agencies as well as outdoor adventurists.

The problem is that up to 95% of them don’t function very well. That’s because most of them use luminous phosphorescent and similar materials.

These materials will illuminate for a few hours but after that require a light source to “recharge” the illumination. Good luck with that when you’re in the dark!

Also, some of these watches require you to inconveniently “push in a button” to make the watch dials light up. That can be very annoying in low light, dark and emergency conditions.

There is good news though. There are watches out there that offer true night vision. They don’t fade after a few hours…there are no buttons to push, and they can illuminate for thousands of hours

Look for these qualities in a night vision watch:

o H3 Tritium – is it an H3 tritium watch? The good night vision ones are. They capture a substance called tritium and encapsulate it in air tight borosilicate glass vials. A safe and microscopic amount of this substance activates in low light conditions;

o Glow All Night Long – good tritium time pieces will glow all night long without any need for an external light source to “recharge” themselves. In fact, some will glow for up to 25 years even if never exposed to light;

o Phosphorescent Paint – phosphorescent materials should be painted on the hands of the watch as well. That will help enhance visibility. A combination of tritium and phosphorescence illuminates the best. Be sure your night vision watch has both features, though…phosphorescence alone is not enough; and

o Glow Up To 100 Times Brighter – Watches using the H3 tritium technology glow up to 100 times more brightly than ordinary luminescent watches. Just check to make sure that tritium is used on the hour markers, hour hands and minute hands of the watch.

A night vision watch with the above features will provide you with many years of enjoyable night vision illumination.

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Mobile DJ Lighting – Designing a Practical Light Show For Your Mobile Disco

Most mobile DJs will need some form of lighting to illuminate the guests and the dance floor. This guide is intended to help beginner mobile DJs design their first lighting rig by considering some of the less obvious issues that become apparent only after working with a mobile lighting rig for some time. Tempting as it may be, the best option is not to jump straight in to buying the latest and greatest lighting effects. By taking a step back and planning the overall package, you will be able to design an impressive, practical setup that serves you well for a variety of functions and won’t break your back or your bank balance.

There’s no right or wrong way, and the relative importance of each of these issues will vary depending on the type of functions at which you perform, your preferences, and even your transport. You might choose to ignore some of them altogether, but it’s important to give them some thought before you start assembling your equipment.

Practical Considerations

Mobile DJs perform in all sorts of different venues, with wildly varying dimensions and facilities. One day you might be in a hotel ball room with all the space and power you need, and the next in a marquee with a low ceiling, uneven floor, and restricted power supply. Most of a DJ’s equipment is adaptable enough to fit into most spaces without too much trouble. Speakers, whether they’re on stands or not (and in most cases they should be), can be positioned independently of each other so they don’t need a space of rigidly fixed dimensions. However the lighting rig can often be the largest item to be set up and might need a significant amount of power, and can therefore be the most difficult to accommodate in a variety of venues.

The layout of your lighting rig needs to take into account various practical considerations:

  • Size when packed — will it easily fit into your vehicle?
  • Size when set up — will it easily fit into most venues, or be adaptable enough that you can quickly modify it if necessary e.g. by using a shorter length of truss or just one T-bar?
  • Weight — some lighting fixtures are heavy. Can you carry all of the components without hurting yourself? Are your lighting stands strong enough to support them all safely?
  • Carrying in/out — how many trips will it take to carry all of your equipment into/out of a venue?
  • Speed to set up — you’ll often find you don’t have much time to set up, and nobody wants to wait around for hours while you pack down at the end. How long will it take to assemble/disassemble?
  • Power — how much power will be required to run all of your lighting combined? Finding more power sockets takes time and power supplies are sometimes limited (e.g. in a marquee running from a generator). Modern, LED-based lighting effects use very little power and can be a great help here.

Stands

Lighting effects work best when raised up high so that the beams shine down from above and are in a good position to cover a wide area. While others do exist, the types of lighting stand that are most practical for a mobile DJ are:

  • T-bar — a horizontal bar mounted on a tripod.
  • Truss — a horizontal metal structure mounted on two vertical stands, consisting either of tripods or more truss sections.

Both can be very effective. Trussing can look very impressive but is generally more bulky to transport, takes longer to set up, and is less adaptable. T-bars are easier to transport/setup, and can be positioned independently to allow greater flexibility when setting up. Depending on your transport arrangements both types can sometimes be pre-rigged with cables and even lighting effects, saving time and effort when setting up and packing away, although in the case of trussing this can make it even more bulky and difficult to set up in a tight space.

Lighting Effects

Not only will your lighting rig need to be adaptable enough to physically fit into a variety of venues, it also needs to be adaptable in terms of the effects it produces. Including a variety of effects will mean you have something appropriate to all events and types of music, and also helps to keep the show interesting by varying the effects throughout the party.

The main types of effect to consider, in order of importance, are:

  • Colour wash — PAR cans, LED bars, etc. to throw coloured light over a wide area.
  • Room-filling effects — twisters, gobo flowers, etc.
  • Scanners/moving heads — scan beams and patterns around the room / dance floor.
  • Special effects — lasers, strobes, etc.

A haze or fog/smoke machine helps to highlight the light show by making the beams visible in mid-air, but beware of using them in venues with fire alarms. The consequences of triggering a venue’s fire alarm system could include an evacuated venue, a ruined party, and a visit from the local fire service!

Controlling the Lights

Having a variety of effects is no use without a way of controlling and switching between them. This can be as simple as a power switch panel (19″ rack-mount versions are available), or for better control use a DMX controller. With a suitable DMX controller and DMX compatible lights, it is possible to control your effects such that they synchronise and complement each other. Although it is more complicated and requires more effort and equipment, this is the best way to create a truly professional looking show.

Use gentle, slow-moving effects for slow music, and more energetic effects for faster music. Everything gets boring after a while, so vary the effects throughout the event and use special effects sparingly at appropriate moments.

Presentation

The look of your system is important. Although most people won’t recognise specific makes/models of lighting fixtures, they will notice if your setup is untidy or unprofessional. Try to aim for fairly consistent looking fixtures. Stick to a colour scheme if possible — most lighting effects, clamps, and stands are black and silver. Use all black cables and keep them tidy by taping or strapping them to your lighting stands. Try to set up the effects so that they are evenly distributed and symmetrical on your stand(s).

Although they might not be visible during a performance, the look of any boxes or cases is also important. A neat row of professional flight cases gives a far more professional appearance to guests and venue staff than a pile of tatty cardboard boxes.

Cost

There’s a vast array of lighting effects available, ranging from very affordable to extremely expensive. Be realistic about what you need and what you can afford. Set a budget and try to stick to it. Buy the best you can afford within your budget — you’ll regret buying cheap equipment if you’re quickly forced to upgrade to something better. However, don’t worry about getting the best of everything — a well designed setup of consistent quality is what’s most important.

Common Barriers to Making Sales

Making more sales is often a matter of avoiding the common barriers which can derail a sale’s progress. Here are three common barriers to making more sales:

  1. Failing to uncover customer needs, objectives, or motivations for purchase
  2. This is the biggest barrier which prevents sales from happening. When a salesperson does not have an excellent understanding of typical reasons why customers might buy from them, it creates two problems. First, the most immediate problem is that the sale just does not happen. Second, it leaves the sale up to the customer, who buys for reasons which may or may not necessarily be in their best interests. Doesn’t the customer always know what is in their own best interests? Well, the answer to that is: Sometimes. However, usually the reason a salesperson is involved is because the purchase decision is not one which can just be made on the obvious merits of a particular product. As a salesperson, the customer is in your care. If they select the wrong product or service, rest assured they will probably find out later, and they will not blame themselves for not asking more questions, or for making a bad choice. Instead, they will blame you for allowing them to buy the wrong thing, as they certainly should.

  3. Failing to uncover other people who have influence on the sale’s progress
  4. The more complex a sale is, the more people usually wind up being involved, so that proper due diligence is performed. This does not always result in the best choice being made, but it does diffuse sole responsibility should a bad choice be made. Not all the people who are involved in a sale’s approval will be decision makers who can give authorization, but some of them can kill the deal if their requirements are not met, or their approval is not obtained. Finding out who these hidden gatekeepers are is one of the biggest challenges in making major sales, and is another common barrier to getting a deal done.

  5. Failing to link product or service advantages to customer needs
  6. This final barrier occurs when the salesperson does not remember that the customer is the one who decides whether a particular product or service’s advantages meet the customer’s needs. While this barrier is not quite as bad as spewing features at a non-expert customer (and expecting them to make sense of why the features are important), it is equally fatal to the sales process. A product or service which does something extremely well, which nonetheless is not something the customer needs or wants done (or understand why it should be done at all), will seldom get a positive buying decision from the customer.

Thus, when you discover customer needs, find out who else has a say in the sale going forward, and explain how your products and services benefit the customer, you have resolved three of the biggest barriers to successfully making more sales.

Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays

Foam Board Insulation

Foam board insulation is the perfect solution for insulating walls and attic’s. You can find it in three different types – polystyrene, polyisocyanurate and polyurethane. You will need to learn about the use for each of these types before you buy just any. Attics are often suffer from moisture issues, which is why it is so important that you choose the right type of foam board in order to properly protect against water vapor.

When you are looking to purchase any type of insulation you must know the safety regulations that are required for the area. For example various areas throughout your home will require fireproof or flame resistant material. Installing the wrong type of material could result in problems somewhere down the road. Learning this before you begin your project is extremely important.

Polystyrene insulation is often the most expensive of the three, and also the strongest. There are so many different types of insulation that you can use throughout your home, and choosing just one to install in your home can be overwhelming. You want the best in your home, but at the same time you don’t want to spend a large amount of money on it either. This is where the difficulty comes in.

You can find many websites that will help you to uncover the best form of insulation that will also be affordable. Some of the other types include reflective foil, radiant barrier, and mineral wool insulation is just a few of the many choices that you have. There are some very important factors that you must consider, such as the amount of the moisture in the area you will be insulating. Basements and attics often have moisture, and choosing one that cannot handle this situation will result in mold damage. Black mold can be extremely harmful to your health. You will also need to check with your local codes to determine whether you will need to put in specific type of insulation such as fireproof insulation. Many states have specific codes. You can learn this online by searching for insulation requirements in Michigan or which ever state that you live in. This is important and these codes are in place for a reason.

Putting fireproof insulation is extremely important for attics, and around duct work. You can find more information about this searching online. Fireproof and fire resistant insulation will prevent a fire from moving quickly through your home.