Cell Phone Review – The AT&T Tilt

The AT&T Tilt phone is an awesome cell phone for a small business person or executive. Even soccer Moms love it. Why you ask? Well, because the AT&T Tilt phone allows you to synchronize with your Outlook or other contact manager program. Meaning whenever someone calls that matches any of the phone numbers in your data base, their name appears on the screen. You can also go to your data base and call any number there, by highlighting and pressing send.

The AT&T Tilt phone also has multiple ring tones so that you know by the tone who is calling, the phone also has just about every feature that all the other top phones have too. The cost is around $400 which makes it an excellent value, and since the phone can use Windows CE, you are able to send and receive emails too. The Tilt has a key board and if your fingers are too big there is a nifty little pick for the touch screen and also for the key pad.

The phone also helps you as you type to allow you to complete words that are most probable as you go. The battery does not last as long as I had hoped for, but that is about the only drawback I can think of. The battery is sufficient, however, you will find that the phone is so versatile and that you use it so much, the battery seems to not last long. It does, but it sometimes does not seem like it. The feature I love best is the GPS like navigation, as the telephone tells you where you are, anytime you need to know and it connects to the internet to use Google Maps too. I like the AT&T Tilt and I think you will too.

Creating Shade On A Patio

There’s nothing quite like reclining in a lounger and enjoying your patio when the weather allows it. But sometimes even the most sun loving among us need to catch some shade when it gets too hot to bear, so this needs to be kept in mind when you are designing, creating and enjoying your patio.

So it’s essential then to make sure your patio area has some shade that you can retreat to when the sun really breaks through. If you are in the process of designing your patio area it’s worthwhile seeing if you can extend it to go under the cover of a tree if you have one nearby. View your garden from all angles during a sunny day to see where the sun gets to, and where the natural shade from your house falls as the sun moves round.

Of course, patio furniture will generally come with the option of a matching umbrella that can be used to provide shade when you are sitting at your patio table, and it can be moved and tilted to protect you as much as possible. This is an instant and affordable option for all patios.

A more permanent solution would be to install an awning or canopy which would be attached directly to your house. The more advanced options are retractable, offering you the most versatility without being an eyesore when not in use. You will also have a choice of natural shades and colors that can be chosen to fit in with the color of your garden furniture, for example.

Another possibility is to use a combination of hanging baskets to form a wall display that also provides some shade once the flowers are in full bloom. This won’t provide as much shade as the other suggestions above, but it can help to improve the usability of certain areas as the sun moves round.

Another less well known way of creating a shady patio is by purchasing a sunshade sail. This is basically a big piece of material (usually triangular or rectangular) that is attached to whatever points you wish by cord and O-rings. This can be one or two points on your house, a tree branch, a fence, or whatever you wish. In this sense they are more versatile than an awning, as they can be used on a patio area in the middle of a garden, so long as you have places to string them up from.

However much you like to soak up the sun, it’s important that you don’t overdo it, and by using a combination of the methods above, you will always have a shady area to retreat to.

RV Awning Use, Care, Maintenance Tips, and Advice

RV awnings are a great feature to have on your RV. There are different types of RV awnings and they serve different purposes. There are window and door awnings that provide shade over your RV windows or entry door. There are slide out awnings that protect the slide out roof from debris and water. And there are patio awnings that provide us with shade when we want to sit and enjoy the outdoors. The awnings on your RV will provide years of reliable trouble free operation, if you take the time to do a little preventive maintenance and cleaning.

The fabric used on awnings is made from vinyl or acrylic. Some awnings have an aluminum or vinyl wrap-around weather guard that protects the awning fabric when it’s in the travel position. When you open the awning for the first time each year, or if it has been stored for a while, you will need to inspect the awning fabric for any signs of mildew or stains. Vinyl awnings will mildew. If the awning fabric is fairly clean, normal cleaning can be accomplished with a soft brush and mild soap and water. Do not use oil based or abrasive cleaners. Clean and thoroughly rinse both sides of the awning. For more difficult stains, or mildew, there are after market commercial cleaners made just for awning fabrics.

Note: Carefully follow all awning and cleaner manufacturer directions.

Inspect the awning fabric for any tears or excessive wear. Do not store the awning when the fabric is wet. Allow it to dry completely on both sides before storing. You can clean the awning hardware with the same cleaner you use to wash the RV. While the awning is out, inspect the awning hardware. The bottom awning brackets support most of the load from the awning. Check that the lag screws in the awning brackets are tight. Inspect the arm pivot holes for any enlarged holes or broken rivets in the handles. Check for a warped roller tube. If the roller tube is warped it will be noticeable when you roll the awning out. Inspect the end caps for secure mounting and broken rivets.

Caution: Do not attempt to remove the awning end caps. Spring tension can result in serious injury.

Make sure the awning rail is securely mounted to the side of the RV. Have any damaged or broken parts repaired before using the awning. In addition to cleaning and inspecting your awning there are a few things to keep in mind when using the awning. Always lower one end of the awning to allow for water run off. The weight from water pooling on the awning fabric can cause extensive and costly damage.

Wind gusts over 20 miles per hour can also cause extensive damage to the awning and to the RV. Never leave the awning out unattended. If everyone is leaving the campsite, store the awning in the travel position. When you go to bed, store the awning. Even when you are at the campsite, you should use awning tie downs to prevent any sudden damage caused by high wind gusts or a sudden storm. You have the option to position the awning arms straight down and stake them to the ground, but you will get better support if they’re attached to the bottom awning brackets on the side of the RV. Remember, it is much easier to prevent damage to your awning than it is to repair it.

Happy Camping,

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk, owner of RV Education 101

Asphalt Paving Contractor: How to Choose an Excellent Contractor

Choosing a good asphalt paving contractor can be tricky. There are many contractors out there who will try to scam you out of your money. If you’re a private homeowner who does not have enough experience in handling paving projects, here are some tips on how to find reliable asphalt paving contractor and acquiring high quality work.

First and foremost, always choose contactors who are famous for the quality of their job. Here’s what you can do:

1. Look for their names in phonebooks or the internet.

2. Check if they have insurance certificate to their name

3. Check their portfolio and assess the quality of their previous jobs and work locations

4. Check if they have tons of testimonials to their credit.

Because of the stiff competition nowadays, many asphalt paving companies or asphalt paving contractors make use of all the ways and means to advertise their names. In fact, even scammers are fully capable of creating false advertising and they are individuals whom you don’t want to find.

To distinguish the best asphalt paving contractor, here are some probing questions that you can ask:

1. Do they have in-depth knowledge of the current technologies and techniques?

2. Can they offer good customer service before and after the job? And what kind of customer service can they offer?

3. Do they also perform other kind of value-added services?

4. How do they communicate with their clients?

5. Ask them what their definition of quality products and services that they provide

6. Do they have knowledgeable sales personnel who can clearly tell you of the benefits, and options for several approaches that they will implement during repair?

7. How long have they been in the asphalt paving business?

8. How long will they be able to complete the job?

These are useful questions that you can ask during comparison shopping. Comparison shopping is done so you can get several proposals from more than one paving contractor. This way, you’ll be able to choose the best from the rest. Keep in mind that you must not easily accept contractors who will offer their services at a lower price. Carefully examine their track record and the products that they are using.

And lastly, to seal the deal, insist on creating a written agreement. This will protect you and the pavement contractor’s interest as well.

Overview of Bridge Structure Design, Bridge Design Plans and Drawings

Bridge plans are most commonly used as supplements to the actual construction plans. The basic types of sheets in a set of bridge plans involve General plans, Notes, Structural drawings, Contractor plans and quantity estimates. This article will briefly detail all of the above.

General Plan

It contains a plan view, which is the bridge seen from the top and an elevation view, which is the bridge seen from the sideways.

The plan view provides:

• Precise location of the bridge

• Degree of skew

• Centerlines for the roadway, bridge structure and bearing

• Lengths of individual spans and the whole bridge

• Widths of sidewalks & parapets

• Hurdles the bridge is intended to cross

The elevation view provides:

• Actual and estimated ground lines

• Elevations of highways, water pipelines and railroads, etc to be traversed

• Placements of fixed & expansion bearings

The General Notes which is part of the General Plan includes information that is contract specific.

Quantity Estimates

The Quantity estimation sheet contains tabulation of the quantities of materials to be used for each section of the proposed bridge.

Structural Drawings

Bridge structure drawings contain railing details, pile splicing methods, bearing assembly details, etc. Generating new drawings with these features is time-consuming and repetitive process.

Contractor Plans

In addition to the general bridge plans, some plans are provided by the Contractor. These plans include the Contractor’s proposed method of meeting specific design requirements and provisions. In all cases, Contractor plans are required to be submitted and approved by Engineer of Record (EOR).

Below mentioned items require approval by the EOR:

• Structural shop drawings for fabrication and installation

• Deck pour sequence

• Traffic control plan

• Erosion prevention plan

Any work started prior to approval is done at the risk of the Contractor. The Contractor plans are approved for design features only.

For any queries related to Bridge structure design or Shop drawing feel free to contact us. Contact us at http://www.outsourcestructuraldesign.com/bridge-detailing.php

How Home Assembly Jobs Work

For those of you curious about how home assembly jobs work, I have decided to write you a brief overview. People that have never worked for a home assembly company before typically think that it’s as easy as signing on with the company, putting together relatively easy to assemble projects, and sending them back whenever they feel like it to get paid. I would have to say that is the more glamorized vision of how things are done. Let’s now take a more realistic approach into the world of work at home assembly jobs.

How to get started. It’s as easy as signing up with a company, one might think. Not so fast. Any legitimate home assembly company knows that home assembly is not for everyone. Before they’ll even consider putting you on their pay list you are required to complete a test kit to see if you’re even capable of assembling their products. If the word “capable” sounds a bit scary, it should. Most work at home assembly products are not easy to assemble for the average person. If the products were that easy to make, these companies wouldn’t be outsourcing to you in the first place. Don’t let that discourage you though. Like any job, it takes a while to learn how to do, and if you stick at it you’ll eventually be able to assemble whatever they throw at you. Just know that there’s usually a decent leaning curve.

But anyway, getting back to the subject at hand, you will have to pay for this test kit that they send you. Sometimes the test kit is refundable, sometimes it’s not. The test kits always contain very detailed instructions on how to assemble a product and usually will include a finished sample product so that you’ll know exactly how your item is supposed to look after it’s fully assembled. In all of the work at home assembly jobs I have tried, this already finished product has been a life saver for helping with your assembly of their product. Once you have finished how ever many units that the company requires in the test kit, you then must send it back to the company for inspection. The shipping and handling is non-refundable most of the time.

Once your test kit gets approved, it’s time for step two, purchasing the materials to make your first complete shipment of product. Purchasing?! you’re probably thinking. Yes, you must pay for the items needed to make your product. The people who own these companies operate a business and can’t afford to give you materials for free, even though you’ll be paid for them later. I have yet to run across a home assembly job that doesn’t make you pay for the materials in advance. But don’t think that makes home assembly jobs an instant rip off. You will always be reimbursed for the materials once you have completed your set number of projects. And if for some reason you decide you no longer want to do home assembly, most will usually refund you the money for unassembled materials.

Once you have completed your projects you must send them back in to the company for inspection before being paid. Some companies reimburse you for shipping and handling, some do not. Inspection again, you might be thinking. Why do they need to inspect my work again if they approved my test kit? Once more, this is a business you’re dealing with. They will be selling your assembled products to consumers, some of which have no idea that the company outsources its product assembly. Any good business has quality standards. Having said that, items that are approved by the company you will be paid for. Items that the company does not approve are usually shipped back to you with a quality assurance form telling you why the company feels your work was substandard. If you want to be paid for these items, you will have to fix what is wrong with them and send them back to the company.

If you haven’t noticed, there is a decent time lapse between when you start one of these programs and when you get paid. I would highly suggest not quitting your day job until you’ve received your first paycheck and have a system in place as to when you’ll get paid for your home assembly work. Payment dates depend on the company. Some home assembly companies pay out every Friday, some once a month, some twice a month, and some within a few days of approving your completed project.

And that’s basically how it works. Rinse and repeat the steps to keep your home assembly job going, minus having to buy a test kit before every shipment of materials you order. Home assembly jobs are not for everyone. If you want to make a living off of it then you must treat it like a regular job. You must hone your skills at crafting your products and find a speedy way to produce them while still keeping with the quality standards.

How to Install a Swivel TV Wall Mount

Lets turn our living room, man cave, or TV room into a whole new room by just a simple addition by mounting your TV on the wall. Home Improvements can be done in so many ways to help bring the value of your home up and also help your viewing area for you and guest of your TV.

TV Mounting can be done yourself or you can find a company to do it for you. Make sure the company is licensed and insured because hanging a TV wrong can hurt your walls and even fall and not only break your TV but can land on something value or even you.

One of the most important things to make you that you or the company handling the installation does is choose the right bracket for the TV. This means choose a bracket that can hold the size of the TV and choose from swivel or flat mount. Swivel enables you to turn the TV in different directions left and right and up and down to change your viewing directions. A good bracket can run you between $45 – $100 easily.

If your doing it your self make sure you have the following tools. pencil, level, power tools such as drill, and screw driver. Depending on the size of your TV you should always have someone helping you. You will need to lift the TV up on the bracket mount later. Also you will need a stud finder. This is most important. Your TV needs to be mounted to studs that help support the weight on the TV. If you don’t have a stud finder, get one. Trust us you don’t want to do it without it.

Always make sure also that the spot you have chosen to mount your TV is the best place for it. Depending on the location and TV type you may have a sun glare or it might not be in the best viewable area. Also make sure there is a wall outlet close by to plug your cords into.

You can wall mount your TV also by hiding your wires in the wall or behind a plastic strip.

When all is said and down your room will look completely new and your guest will wonder why. If you choose a company to do it for you it will cost around $279. Do not get fooled by companies charging you over a $1000 to have it done. That’s more then your TV worth.

Teaching Young Children Mosaic Art

Teaching children how to create a mosaic can be difficult but only in the sense of neatness. Kids love to see the different colors and patterns of a finished mosaic. They love the many options that they have available when creating their own work.

When describing what a mosaic is, always reference a puzzle. Every child has put together a puzzle and can relate closely to this. Explain that a mosaic is the same as a puzzle, there are a bunch of small pieces that they put together to form a large overall picture. Kids are thrilled to know that they have created their own mosaic before. Also make sure to bring in a few finished mosaic pieces so they can get a good visual.

Choose a very simple project for young children to start out on. Creation of a coaster is perfect. Provide 4″ square ceramic tiles for the base. For children 10 years and under, it is not recommended to use any sort of glass cutter, instead use 3/8″ mini tiles. These don’t need to be cut but are small enough that the kids can still choose a variety of colors. One hundred tiny tiles will fit perfectly on a 4″ tile with 1/16″ grout joints.

If working with a large group of children, pour some Weldbond into a bowl. Provide cotton swabs for them to dip into the glue. This will make applying glue to the large tile easier. Keep in mind that they will most likely need several swabs each.

It makes it easier if you have some designs already made up. These would consist of grid paper cut to 10 squares by 10 squares. You would just color in different squares to make a pattern. Each 3/8″ tile will be used to represent a grid square so keep it simple at 4 or fewer colors. The younger kids like to try to replicate patterns while the older kids would want to create their own design. If this is the case, provide the older students with their own grids and colored pencils. If timing is an issue, have them do their coloring before they come into the class. Some ideas of popular patterns include; checks, stripes, squares within squares, hearts, etc.

To set up the grid on the 4″ tile, have the children spread glue across the top row of the large tile. They will then copy the pattern onto the large tile using the mini tiles to represent each grid square. After getting the first row on, make sure they spread the mini tiles out to have a grout joint between each one. This is difficult for the students as they want to make each tile touch instead. You will have to continually watch and remind them as the project progresses as some students will still have their tiles touching by the time they finish.

Next they will put a glob of glue down the side and replicate the pattern. Please note that they will need to use a large amount of glue. Too little and tiles will pop off like crazy when grouting. To much and the glue will squish up between the tiny tiles. They want to use enough to create a bed of glue for the tiny tile to sit in. Students are taught to conserve glue and you have to show them that they need to use a lot and continually remind them.

Now that the grid is set up onto the larger tile, the children can fill in the large tile by replicating their pattern. Remind them not to start putting tiny tiles in the center because they will not line up at the end. The first row and column they created are used as guides for where to put the next tiles so that everything lines up and looks somewhat straight.

You will find that it is easier for the group to use only 9 tiles across and down. This is fine but the end coaster looks more sporadic and messy. The design seems to get lost. This works well with 6 year olds and younger though. Another option is to have the younger students create a border around the outer edge and then just randomly fill in the center with a variety of colors and not try to keep things lined up.

After the students have finished their tiling then set their project someplace safe to dry. Allow to dry overnight. You can let older kids (10 and up) grout but it is still difficult for them. They tend to be rough on the mosaics and knock off the tiny tiles. This is very frustrating for them and you as the teacher. If you can, grout these yourself. It doesn’t take long and you can glue on any tiles that fall off as you go.

This project can take up to two hours so you may need to cut some corners. Having the designs already finished is a great way to shave off 30 minutes. You will have to constantly push some of the kids to keep working because they will get bored quickly.

If you do have plenty of time, then spend some of it talking about the history of mosaics or even the mathematics involved. Print out some pictures of ancient mosaic art to show. The kids are fascinated by the thought of using tiny pieces to create an image of a man. Turn this project into a math lesson by simply talking about symmetry. The designs you create will most likely be symmetrical so you can describe rotational, reflective, or translational symmetry by showing your designs. If you are working with a school, they will appreciate the added educational lesson that you can provide.

The main thing to remember while working with younger children is to have patience. You will have to repeat yourself constantly and will continually help every student in the class. However, it is very rewarding and with some parent volunteers, everyone will walk away happy.

Vincent Van Gogh – The Man, the Painter, the Master!

Vincent Willem van Gogh or Vincent van Gogh or Van Gogh or Vincent Gogh, was one of the finest Dutch artists, who is also called as the father of Expressionism. Most of Van Gogh’s works were heavily influenced by colors that described the divine spirit of man and nature, in dramatic and powerful ways. The range of colors he used, moving from very dark or morbid color palette to brighter colors, provide an oversight into his troubled life and his struggle against his unbalanced mental state, which eventually took his life at an early age of 37.

Vincent was born in a village of Southern Netherlands, Groot-Zundert. He was the son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh, a minister with the Dutch Reformed Church. At an early age of fifteen, in July 1869, he obtained a position with an art dealer, Goupil & Cie at The Hague Gallery. By the age of twenty, Van Gogh was pulling in more greenbacks than his father did. This was also the same time where his first rejection in love happened. This phase marked a series of step down in his life, which can be felt and seen later in his drawings. For the second time again he felt love had failed him, was when his recently widowed cousin Kee, who was seven years older than Vincent, the daughter of his mother’s elder sister, refused his proposal. The girl’s father also made it clear to Vincent that his daughter cannot marry him, as he was not financially sound & strong enough to support and start a family. The rejection affected him deeply and he left for Hague, where his painter cousin-in-law encouraged him towards painting. Another unsuccessful relationship with an alcoholic prostitute drove him further to loneliness and isolation.

Later in Nuenen in 1880, Van Gogh immersed himself in drawing and painting. One of his major works, The Potato Eaters (Dutch De Aardappeleters) (spring, 1885), was recognized after his father’s death at which he grieved deeply. In the same year, he moved to Paris. It was the same time he moved from dark tones to a bright color palette when Theodorus (or Theo), his brother suggested to him to use bright colors to make his paintings more saleable. This is where Vincent discovered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism styles of painting. In 1888, he moved to Arles, France, where he created another famous piece, Flowering Orchards, while his unsettled mental state deteriorated further. During the last few years of his life, he did not paint much because of his deepening depression. He was getting depressed with every passing hour and with every new painting. Around December 1888, there was a major shift in his mental state, which resulted in his self-destruction and suicide.

The life of Vincent van Gogh has been the subject of inspiration for generation of painters, filmmakers, musicians etc. In 1971, Don McLean dedicated a song, “Vincent,” to Van Gogh’s painting, which is named after his masterpiece, “The Starry Night.” Most modern art forms and abstract art movements have gained from Gogh’s probes into gestural marks. Van Gogh has immortalized himself with his work and still lives on in the hearts of the present generation of art enthusiasts.

How To Install Crystal Chandeliers

If you’re looking to add a touch of elegance to your home decor, think about getting a crystal chandelier. They’re chic, classy and a great way to brighten up a room, literally! Crystal chandeliers are also fairly easy to install, so long as you know what you’re doing. Take a look at the instructional guide below, and you’ll have a crystal chandelier hanging in no time.

First, gather all the tools you will or might need:

-Wire nuts/connectors

-Collar nuts

-Escutcheon plate

-Threaded nipple

-Mounting strap



-Utility knife

-Circuit tester

-Two pliers (to twist chain apart)

-Long-nose pliers

-Insulated screwdrivers

-Multipurpose tool

Now that you have your tools, turn off the power to the circuit you’ll be working on. You won’t get anywhere if you’re electrocuted before even starting. Obviously this is a project best done during the day, as you’ll have lots of natural light, but it’s wise to have a flashlight handy, or even a strap-on head light. If there are lights on other circuits in the room you might be able to work at night.

Once you’re sure there’s no power running to your circuit (use a circuit tester), take down the old fixture. If it’s a large fixture, enlist a helper to support its weight while you disconnect the wires. As you’re removing the fixture, take note of how it was connected so you can connect the new one in the same fashion.

Next, replace the junction box (the box surrounding the circuit connections). This step might be optional if the current one is strong enough to support the next crystal chandelier, it need not be taken down. Once whichever junction box you use is in place, thread the hardware onto the mounting strap. There should already be a mounting strap, but if there isn’t, use the one that came with the chandelier kit or get one at a hardware store.

Now it’s time to start wiring. Hopefully, you paid attention to the way the previous fixture was wired. This part can be as simple as matching colored wires, but it might be trickier, in which case you’ll want to do anything you can to make it easier.

Loop the wires through the chain’s last link, then through the support and collar nuts, escutcheon plate, up through the lamp nipple and into the junction box. Connect the wires to the home wiring with wire nuts and splice the black hot wire from the junction box with your wire nuts. Then splice the white neutral wires. Connect the ground wires to the grounding screw in the junction box, and use the chandelier’s instruction manual to finish the installation.

Look at that! You are now the proud owner and installer of a crystal chandelier. Savor the moment! Take photos of your good work and post them all over Facebook! Pretty soon your friends will be asking when you can come over and install chandeliers for them.

Kate Spade Purses – Colorful Choices for All Seasons

Just the way you have to replace your summer shoes with winters shoes at the arrival of winter season or you have to replace your winter clothes with summer clothes at the coming of summer, in the same way you also need to change your choice of purses and handbags depending on what season you are using them in. Most women do not know this, but I am here today to tell you a secret to look stylish and elegant. Therefore, remember your purses also need a replacement with the change in the season. Kate Spade Purses offers a wide range of purses available for all seasons and occasions to cater all needs. They are affordable, stylish and made of the best quality material.

Following are some of the ways you can choose appropriate purses for the right seasons:

For winters

Best way to choose your winter purses is to look for purses in colors such as black, blue, brown and other such dark shades. The size depends on your individual needs and requirements.

For summers

When buying your summer purses, keep two things in mind. One that you need to buy a big size purse since you will be often going out for beach activities and shopping and second thing is that you have to be careful about the selection of colors. Your summer colors should be light, not dark since dark colors absorb heat.

For spring

It is ideal to pick small purses with bright flowery colors and floral prints and patterns. This will match well with the color of the surroundings.

Group Rapport – Shovel It Up and Filter It Out

When I first started out in the persuasion business I would have huge anxiety for about a week before a big seminar. I was impossible to be around. My family would sequester themselves and avoid me. Even my dog steered clear of my office somehow intuitively knowing I was in no mood to play. Not only was the gear up for these events intense and chaotic, but the let down after, not because the event was not successful, but because the energy I spent and absorbed and that worked its way though me, was immense.

As I became more comfortable with public speaking and more assured of my affect with students, I became aware of techniques that I could use to get my students/audience to become more connected and cohesive right from the start.

One that I use very regularly will help you form a group bond and a group rapport. I imagine a shovel, a big snow shovel, a great big wide thing, as wide as the audience, and it sits in the back of the room. The shovel starts just over the top of the heads of my audience and then it curves back around.

What I imagine that I am drawing energy through my feet, and I project it out of my eyes, so it goes like a blanket, over the top of everyone’s head, all the way back to the snow shovel.

The snow shovel catches this blanket of energy, and whips it around and just as it is coming to my feet, it hits a box that is sitting right down in front of me. The box is a filter.

I’m bringing in everybody’s energy, and this filter eliminates the negativity. I never want to take on all that myself, unfiltered. So I see the energy come back, and as see it coming to the box. As it hit the box, it becomes completely clear.

Then energy then comes right up through my feet and out through my eyes to the back of the room where the shovel is, and back up. That’s how it starts.

At first it goes kind of slow, and then a little faster, and then pretty soon, it goes faster, and faster, and faster, and faster, and faster, until I can simply step aside, and watch the energy

This energy has a life of its own. As I give presentations I let this go the whole time.

When I do trainings of 250, 300 people or more, it bonds the group like nothing I have ever seen.

Could this bonding be the language I use? Could it be the suggestions I make? Could it be that we’re all working together and having fun? Yes. Absolutely. It could be all those things. But I think this adds dramatically to what I do.

When you’re working with a big group, consider this to be another construct you can use.

Marketing Your Printing Company Via the Elevator Speech

Website? Check. Website tuned? Check. Rent due? Check. Business rushing through the door? Um… not so much…

Unfortunately, “build it and they will come” only works for baseball movies. When it comes to business, it takes a lot more than a field of dreams to succeed. The truth is that when you’re in business, you’re in sales. And when you’re in sales, that means at least one very imporant skill in need of mastering: developing your elevator speech. This applies to all business, including a printing company.

You’ve got to get out there and pound the pavement, and the phone lines, and the emails, and the social networking sites. You’ve got to let everyone know you’re in business, what you do, how you do it, and, how you do it better than anyone else.

This is what you absolutely, positively, must do: You’ve got to come with an ‘elevator speech’. I.e., if you were on an elevator with a complete stranger and you had to sell them on your company before they got off, what would you say?

That’s what you have to come up with, like it or not.

Your elevator speech should contain something called your ‘unique selling proposition’, your ‘USP’, as well. Working on this will help you refine your elevator speech. You must ask yourself, “What am I doing that distinguishes me from the competition?” “How am I better?” Whatever it is, make it your USP. If you can’t come up with a USP, then you’re just like everyone else.

And that’s not good.

With a printing company it could be…”24 Hour Turnaround Times Guaranteed”…”Free Typesetting”…This will help you define yourself, and put you in better position to succeed. It will help you define the goals of your company, something that every employee should know about and strive to meet.

It should become you, and BE your company.

Selling Old License Plates on eBay – Know What Collectors Want

Not everyone who buys old license plates on eBay is a collector, but if you have a license plate that is of interest to collectors, your profits will increase measurably. So knowing what is attractive to a collector is important to your bottom line as an eBay seller. If space allowed, we could discuss a hundred different types of license plate collections, and that would still just be the tip of the iceberg. Thankfully, there is no need to go into such detail. Being aware of the ten most common core collections will put you on the fast track to eBay success.

Ten Most Common Types of License Plate Collections

  1. All 50 States – The most popular of all collections is the goal to obtain a license plate from all fifty states. Of course, one could simply purchase a complete set online, but a lot of people still prefer to do it the hard way over time.
  2. Birth Year Run – Taking it one step further, many collectors aren’t satisfied with simply owning one plate from every state. To make it more challenging, they seek a plate from each state issued during the year in which they were born. Often, once they’ve accomplished this goal, these individuals will move on to collect a plate from each state for their children’s birth years as well.
  3. Complete State Collection – This is a tough but very popular type of collection. The goal here is to own a tag from every year your state issued license plates. Obviously, with states issuing plates as early as 1904, this can be a daunting task.
  4. County Collections – Some states, Georgia and Mississippi are two popular ones, issue their vehicle registrations by county. The plates have either the county name on the face or a number code indicating the issuing county. Owning a plate from every county in the state is a great challenge and can take years to accomplish.
  5. Unique Numbers – Here’s why the numbers and letters on a license plate are important. There are collectors who seek out particular number sequences. Triple digit plates, such as 777, 666, or 111, are very popular. Then there are people who collect their lucky number, like 13, for example. Others go after plates with their initials on them. The variations here are endless.
  6. Vanity Plates – This is a fun category. We’ve all seen humorous vanity plates in our travels. Vanity collectors seek to own this type of tag. The more humorous or racy, the better.
  7. Special Graphics – Today, almost every state in the union has a multitude of license plates representing different special causes or organizations. Generally speaking, these are colorful plates featuring a wide range of graphics. Some of the more collectible types are wildlife plates (birds in particular), college and university plates, lighthouse plates and plates promoting professional sports teams.
  8. Oddball Collections – Some collectors, myself included, seek out the unusual types that are often referred to as “oddballs”. Included in this group would be plates issued to non-passenger car vehicles like bus, taxi, trailers, tow trucks, farm vehicles, antique vehicles, government vehicles, mobile homes, car dealers and so forth. Again, this is another category with unlimited variations.
  9. Sample Plates – Did you know that many states sell or even give out free sample license plates? Often these plates will have sequences on them like “S A M P L E” or “123 ABC”. This practice has been going on for years, and the older sample plates can fetch you big bucks from an eager collector.
  10. Foreign Plate Collections – Owning an auto tag from a faraway land is the goal of a growing number of collectors. With the availability of the internet, this type of collection has taken off in recent years. The smaller the country, the better, as far as collectors are concerned.

These are just the most common types of license plate collections. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of variations. But at least if you are aware of these basic types, it will help you spot and understand why certain license plates are valuable. With that information in hand, you will be able to make easy profits selling license plates on eBay.

How to Buy Wood Burning Stoves

Nothing beats the crackling sound of a wood burning stove on a cold winter evening. Well that’s not true, the heat from your wood burning stove is awesome as well. When it comes time to purchase a wood burning stove you should consider these facts:

  • How much of my home do I want to heat
  • BTU’s and exactly what they mean
  • Efficiency rating and why is this important
  • Emission ratings
  • Tax Rebate on Select Stoves

A lot of people who have never used a wood burning stove don’t realize it will not heat the entire home useless you have a very simply house plan. In fact our first home did not heat well at all in our bedrooms because the flow of air in the home went from our living room to the kitchen and out the garage door. Never did the heat flow down the halls into our bedrooms.

With that said, heat pumps heat the entire home and wood burning stoves will heat certain areas of the home. Yes, the heat will trickle to other areas but the temperature difference can be 10 degrees.

BTU’s are short for british thermal units and that translates into the higher the BTU’s the more heat it will produce and the more square footage it will heat. BTU’s in the 40,000 range will heat around 1200 sq ft. and units in the 80,000 range can heat areas in the range of 2100 sq. ft. Pick the wood stove that can safely heat the area you want heated.

Efficiency rating is based on the stoves ability to take the fuel you add and turn it into usable heat. Wood stoves range from 70% to 80+. Moral of this story: the higher the efficiency rating the less wood you will burn.

Emissions rating is based on how many grams of particulate enter the atmosphere per hour. Production of wood stoves in the 70’s ranged in the 70-80 grams per hour. Today’s wood stoves are as low as 2.4 gm/ per hour. Big difference!

Tax Credits: this year 2009 and next year you can get up to $1500 tax credit on your income tax if you purchase select wood burning stoves. Each manufacturer is prominently displaying the wood stoves that meet the tax credit. Bottom line you can get 30% back on your income tax and the most is $1500.

During your research make sure that the prices you find are for complete stoves. Some places do not include the price of railing, doors and other basic things to make your wood stove work.

One accessory you shouldn’t leave the store without is a fan. This fan will move the heat that builds up on the top of the stove into other rooms. This is one incredible source of moving heat into rooms that normally get the direct heat from your wood stove.

If you are planning on installing the wood stove on your own, make sure and pick up the local regulations in your area. Learn what type of stove pipe they require, placement of wood stove away from walls, etc. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how close you can place your wood stove to current walls in your home.