Cast Iron Teapots Benefits

Cast iron teapots are essential utensils used for preparing and serving tea. They are made of strong metal coated with enamel that make them durable and heat intensive. These qualities allow them to prepare the beverage quickly and enhance harmonious distribution of heat throughout the interior. They can also be used to retain hot beverages in one temperature for more than an hour due to their compact designs. The ornate utensils have their origins in the orient where they were used for special occasions.

The kitchen equipment comes in a variety of sizes, with the most common of these having a capacity of about 450 milliliters which amounts to several cups. They contain rust-resistant filters that can be removed for cleaning or other uses depending on the home owner's needs. They also come with a set of extra accessories like cups that are customized for use with the particular make. Many of these have small receptacles and pointed spouts supported long bow handles, all convenient features for easy pouring of tea.

The cast iron kettle is one particular item that is preferred to cooks than aluminum utensils not only because it is more elaborately designed, but due to its many beneficial qualities. The hallmark benefit is that it adapts easily to the fire be it on a grill or electrical heat and due to the sensitive, sturdy metal surface, which is a good conductor, it distributes all the warmth in one sweep through its surface. Even when being used for storage it goes through the same process which means that the liquid inside retains the same temperature during its different stages of cooling. Another important benefit accrues to health. The metal itself is rich in iron minerals which are transmuted to the liquid when it is being boiled which in the longterm supplements other natural sources of the ingredients.

One of the most popular kinds of this cookery item is the Tetsubin cast iron teapot, which originally came from ancient Japan where it served to supplement other similar items from the Asian mainland. It is usually engraved in different patterns set in one uniform color, which makes it easily recognizable. That is why its benefits do not just stop at making quality warm beverage but it has also been used to just adorn the kitchen and dining room due to its beauty and simplicity. Its filter and spout is bent upward in order to allow egress of steam from the interior which has the additional advantage of giving warmth to a cold room. It does not also consume much coal over which it boils the water. Overall, this home item also retains the aroma of the ingredients used. That one does not lose the flavor of the broth they have prepared.

Rails Hosting – 10 VPS Providers That FULLY Support Ruby on Rails

The simple answer to running Ruby on Rails applications on different hosting services is that if you have access to the underlying operating system, you will be able to run the apps.

The core requirements (well, two core requirements) that are essential for Rails applications, and missing from most “traditional” hosting services include…

  • Deployment mechanism (typically GIT)
  • Viable application server that supports Rails (Puma or Passenger)

The first issue can generally be overcome with the help of FTP (not the most effective solution, but still works).

The second is much more problematic, and why most people end up using VPS solutions to deploy Rails apps (VPS servers give you unrestricted access to the underlying infrastructure).

VPS servers are basically what the “cloud” providers are giving people access to. Contrary to “traditional” hosts – who literally allocated space on a single server, the new “cloud” infrastructure setup basically splits the load across an entire datacenter of servers.

This not only brings the cost down but ensures that the buyer can actually *scale* their compute resource without having to physically pay for a new server. In any case, if you absolutely want to host a “rails” based application on a “cloud” VPS. The only problem with this is that you are responsible for getting the server provisioned (which is another story in itself).

Rails-Compatible Hosts

To this end, the most important thing to realize is that if you’re looking at this list – ANY VPS server will be able to run a Rails app. You just need to ensure you know how to install the various applications (which I’ll cover in another article). For now, let’s look at the most effective & cost-effective hosts:

  1. Digital Ocean

    The undisputed KING of low-cost “cloud” VPS providers. Founded in 2011, it was the first to provide a single-priced VPS infrastructure for developers. From $5/mo, you get access to a multitude of data-centers and many different server configurations.

    The most important thing to realize about DO – as with most other “cloud” VPS hosts – is that spinning up a VPS server literally gives you access to a Linux box running in a data center. You are responsible for setting up everything else (unless – of course – you pay for the pre-compiled images etc). Regardless of this – this is by far the most effective “budget” VPS provider for Rails apps.

  2. Vultr

    A lesser-known, but still highly effective, cloud VPS service – Vultr is basically a “mini-me” to DigitalOcean. It has data-centers in a number of different locations (ranging from the US to Japan and even Germany & the Netherlands) – allowing for broader coverage.

    The most important thing to appreciate with Vultr is that it’s basically designed to be the equivalent of DigitalOcean – without any of the extra frills that the former may have. For example, it doesn’t have any inbuilt monitoring software (which DigitalOcean includes for free), and

    The big claim-to-fame of Vultr came from its $2.50/mo VPS server (which is currently “sold out”). This was highly effective for developers who just wanted to push simple apps (either to test in a staging environment or to keep costs low). You still have to provision servers as you do with DigitalOcean.

  3. UpCloud

    Touted as the “fastet” cloud VPS provider, the Finnish UpCloud essentially provide the same services as the first two providers (DigitalOcean + Vultr) – except with a much deeper focus on support.

    Providing an API along with a myriad of other services, the system provides users with the ability to deploy VPS servers across a number of data-centers around the world.

    Again, the main difference with this is the proported speed of the servers they operate. This is apparently down to their MaxIOPs technology, which basically allows them to hold a lot of data in memory (hence speeding it up).

    Prices start from $5/mo and – yes – you’ll still need to provision the servers yourself.

  4. ExoScale

    European “cloud” hosting – based in Switzerland, they specialize in the provision of euro-centric infrastructure. With 4 data-centers (2 in Switzerland, 1 in Austria and 1 in Germany), the company has chosen to be extremely specific in its approach to providing infrastructure for various application developers.

    Whilst their pricing is very competitive, the most important thing to realize about this company is the efficiency they bestow. Being Swiss, they benefit from the ingrained culture of efficiency which pervades the majority of the Swiss community. This means you’ll not only get rapid email responses, but deep and well-thought-out replies.

    They tend to provide services to many banks & financial institutions across Europe. Their niche-level targeting allows them to specialize in ensuring the speed, reliability and efficiency of their service is optimal for the clients they end up working with.

  5. Hetzner (Cloud)

    Hetzner are a German hosting company with two data-centers in the country. Whilst they were founded as a “traditional” hosting, meaning they essentially allocated their data-center around who was paying for servers.

    Since 2017, the company started to offer a “cloud” service – whereby you could provision VPS servers in exactly the same way as DigitalOcean, Vultr and the swathe of other providers.

    With comparable pricing, the most important element to Hetzner’s business is that it’s almost exclusively focused on the German market.

    This is not to say they don’t serve international clients – but in terms of their data-center availability and how they deal with support etc, it’s an entirely German operation.

    Obviously, with prices starting from ~$5/mo, they only provide the ability to deploy servers – the onus is upon you to get them provisioned.

  6. Linode

    Not as well known as DigitalOcean or Vultr, but no less effective – Linode is a favourite of many smaller developers, as it was one of the first to offer low-cost “cloud” VPS servers.

    Linode is effective, with prices starting from $5/mo – it’s got a number of datacenters around the world and is pretty much on a par with the more popular “cloud” services.

    As ever – you don’t get any frills with the service. You still have to provision and maintain the servers yourself.

  7. Rackspace

    The “daddy” of online hosting, RackSpace has been a major player in the hosting world since its inception in 1998. As you’d imagine, they were involved with the “cloud” game very early on, too.

    The problem with Rackspace – like Microsoft – is that it’s expensive.

    Designed predominantly for larger organizations, their “cloud” servers start from $50/mo – but are offset with the “fanatical” support the company will provide. This support is actually very good, and allows users to really rely on them to keep things running as effectively as possible.

    I would not recommend Rackspace for any smaller projects. It’s just not worth the price, especially when you have the likes of DigitalOcean who do the same thing but for a fraction of the cost.

  8. Microsoft Azure

    Microsoft’s “cloud” VPS offering is arguably the most effective out of the big 3 (Google, Amazon, Microsoft). Azure is packed with extra services which help developers to launch applications across a huge number of Microsoft-owned data-centers.

    Fully supporting Linux and Windows VPS systems, the company is one of the few to provide deeper insights into how the various servers are operating. They give access to a rich dashboard, through which you’re able to track everything from resource usage to how many requests different servers have received.

    Whilst this sounds nice, it’s expensive. And it’s really designed to help huge organizations adopt “the cloud” – which puts it out of the scope of most smaller developers. If you are interested in using it, you should certainly look up about it first.

  9. AWS (EC2)

    AWS is good but expensive (especially if you need more compute resources). Hailed as the “original” cloud provider, every EC2 instance you spin up is basically acts as an independent VPS.

    The problem with AWS is that since it’s so broad, it’s difficult to know what you actually need with it. Further, like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform – the sheer scale of the infrastructure at play is massive.

    To this end, it should be no surprise to learn that the majority of popular web based applications (especially those which rely on the likes of S3) rely on EC2 & AWS to operate. Because of this, the service is typically seen as a supporting larger implementations, which require multiple server clusters, DB servers and CDN management (Amazon actually own “CloudFlare”).

    Ultimately, if you’re looking to deploy a large & popular application, the AWS infrastructure certainly would help you. Pricing isn’t great, but it’s supported well and is backed by Amazon’s mammoth infrastructure (which it uses for its own operations).

  10. Google Cloud Platform

    Google’s entry into the “cloud” space, its “cloud platform” is used by the likes of Apple and Twitter. Much like Azure & AWS, it’s used by larger organizations to streamline their infrastructure requirements.

    Because Google uses the platform for their own infrastructure, it’s obviously the case that you should be able to trust the system – and their community is actually very strong & active.

    The big difference with Google’s platform is the pricing. They offer a very competitive set of prices, which allows a number of different developers to deploy software without incurring huge expenses in doing so.

The key with all of these – as mentioned – is that you will typically have to provision the various servers. This means installing the web + application server software, libraries and any ancillary services (SSL certificates etc).

If you’re prepared to use a service such as Nanobox, Hatchbox, RailsHosting or VPSDeploy – you should be able to avert the pain of having to set up a valid web host… but in the end, it’s entirely up to you what you do.

To be clear – the beauty of “traditional” / “shared” hosting has not yet been captured in the “cloud” arena. Rather than providing a simple platform to deploy apps, you pretty-much are left to your own devices.

What Are the Different Types of Iron Fireplace Screens?

There are at least three different types of this particular fireplace screen. These are wrought iron, cast iron, and steel. They are made from iron that has been heated to very high temperatures so that it becomes soft. The softened metal can then be pounded into different shapes. A wrought variation can be very beautiful, but do tend to rust easier than other types, so it is necessary to keep them primed and painted regularly.

The next type is cast iron. Cast iron is iron that has had small pieces of carbon and silicon added to it. The addition of these materials cause cast iron to be considered an alloy. The result is a very durable metal that lends itself well to being used in fireplace screens. Cast iron is more rust-resistant than wrought iron, and therefore may be easier to care for.

Steel is another iron alloy in which carbon and iron is mixed together. Steel can come in different types, one of which is known as "mild" steel. This is a very easy material to work with, and is suitable for iron fireplace screens as it can withstand heat.

No matter which type of iron fireplace screens you choose, you can find one that matches your interior decorating scheme. If your home is decorated on a modern format, brushed steel fireplace screens can be a beautiful addition to a room. The brush marks that are left in the steel actually serve as the design, and can add a very interesting touch.

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Breast Pump to Supplement Breast Feeding

If you plan on breastfeeding your baby, you may be wondering why in the world you would need a breast pump. Although for some, breastfeeding goes without a hitch and handles all of their child's needs, for many a breast pump comes in handy in numerous ways. Here are 10 reasons that you may want to supplement your breastfeeding by pumping.

1. If your baby is born prematurely or ill, you may not have access to breastfeeding in those early days. A breast pump such as the Avent Isis Breast Pump can be your savior. By spending those first precious days or weeks pumping, you can provide the hospital staff with your own breast milk to feed your newborn.

2. Although movies and media sometimes portray breastfeeding as the most easy, natural thing in the world, that's not always the case. Sometimes, babies struggle to form a proper latch and find breastfeeding painful and difficult. This leads to frustrated mothers and hungry babies. By pumping, you gain the ability to choose a bottle that works for your child while ensuring that they get the precious nutrients and antibodies found in breast milk.

3. If a mother can not keep up with her baby's hunger, a breast pump can be used to stimulate her milk supply. An automatic pump, such as the Medela Pump Style Advanced Breast Pump, features several different modes that simulate your baby's suckling and can raise supply to meet baby's needs.

4. While breastfeeding is a special bond between mother and baby, pumping breast milk into a bottle allows the father and other relatives to experience similar joy. Not only that, it can also give mom a much needed break while dad takes over a couple of late night feedings!

5. While low supply is a concern, the issue of over supply should not be underestimated. When a mother is producing more milk than her baby needs, it can lead to painful engorging and embarrassing leaks. By pumping excess with a Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump, a mother's discomfort can be lessened or eliminated without having to wake baby for an extra feeding.

6. A common complication of breastfeeding occurs when mother and baby develop thrush or other infections that are passed from mouth to nipple. These conditions are uncomfortable to both. Until the infections are under control, pumping and storing milk can heal the pain and reduce the chances of re-infection from one to the other.

7. A breast pump that comes with a storage bottles and an insulted bag such as the Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump allows a new mother to pump directly into containers which can then be transferred to freezer bags. Keeping a backup frozen supply is good practice and easily accomplished with a pump. An emergency may take you out of town or otherwise keep you separated from baby for a while. Having breast milk on hand can be a lifesaver.

8. The backup milk supply can come in handy in many situations. If a mother finds herself ill and in need of antibiotics or other medicines, she may not be able to breastfeed due to the medications entering the milk supply. In these cases, milk can be pumped and discarded while the frozen supply from before the illness is used.

9. Occasionally, many mothers will have to return to work. However, that does not mean that the special connection of breastfeeding has to end. For instance, many manual breast pumps are quiet and discreet. Using a lunch break to pump when unable to be with her baby can keep a mother's supply active and allow her to breastfeeding in the evenings while having enough milk to send along with baby to daycare.

10. Lastly, although public breastfeeding done discreetly is becoming more and more accepted, sometimes a mother may find herself at an event or location where it would be uncomfortable. In these cases, carrying along a few bottles of pumped milk in a cooler bag such as the one offered with the Medela Pump Style Advanced Breast Pump can allow her to continue to feed her baby with nutritious breastmilk without having to leave an event early.

While exclusively breastfeeding works well for many mothers and babies, the advantages and security offered by a breast pump can not be taken lightly. Quiet, easy to use and readily available, a good breast pump can help mother and baby along in many situations.

ASP.NET Uncovered

ASP.NET is a web development platform which is used to cater a programming model, along with comprehensive software framework and various other services that are required to build up powerful web applications for Desktop, as well as mobile devices.

It runs on HTTP protocol, which uses commands and policies to define a browser-to-server bilateral communication and cooperation environment.

It is a part of Microsoft.com’s dot net platform. The applications in asp dot net are compiled codes, and are written using the expandable and renewable factors or objects present in .Net framework.

The ASP.NET application codes are written using in any of the following languages:

  • C#
  • Visual Basic.Net
  • Jscript
  • J#

This platform is used to yield interactive as well as data-driven web applications on the internet. It includes a variety of controls such as text boxes, buttons, and labels that can be used for accumulate, construct, and Wield codes to create HTML pages.

Components of .net Framework

  • Common Language Runtime or CLR: Asp.net come with a CLR function that helps it in memory management, debugging, security check, code execution, verification, code safety, compilation and exception handling. The code that is directly managed by the CLR is known as managed code.
  • Common Language Specification: Asp.net has those essential specifications that are required for the .Net supported languages and also for the implementation of language integration.
  • Common Type System: It caters to those guidelines that are required for declaring, using, and managing types at runtime, and also for cross-language communication.
  • Dot.Net Framework Class Library: It comes with a huge library which has reusable types. These types include classes, interfaces, structures, and enumerated values collectively.
  • Windows Forms: It includes graphical and extensive representation of any window that is displayed in the application.
  • Metadata and Assemblies: Metadata is the binary information that describes the program, and is either stored in a portable executable file (PE) or in memory. Assemblies are logical units that comprise of the assembly manifest, type metadata, IL codes, and other resources like image files.
  • Windows Communication Foundation (WCF): It is the technology that is used to build and execute connected systems for web applications.
  • Windows Presentation Foundation: This presents a distinction the user interface and the business logic. It aids to develop interfaces that are visually stunning and are built using documents, media, two and three dimensional graphics, animations, and more.
  • Windows CardSpace: This provides a safe platform for accessing vital resources and sharing personal information on the internet. This helps us to make a safe and secure platform.
  • LINQ: It communicates data querying capabilities to other .Net languages that are using a syntax which is similar to the traditional query language SQL.
  • ADO.NET: It is the technology that is utilized for working with data and extensive databases. It provides an access to data sources like SQL server, OLE DB, XML etc. for retrieving, manipulating, and updating data.

Difference between ASP.NET and ASP.NET AJAX

ASP.NET is a web development model whereas AJAX is an extension of ASP.NET that is used for developing and implementing AJAX functionality. ASP.NET AJAX includes the units that allow the developer to constantly update data on the website without reloading the page.

Future Designs and Styles of Skateboards and Hoverboards

What will the future designs and skateboards look like? If the skateboards are to fly and operate like hover boards then chances are they will be quite a bit different from what we are used to. For instance we know that hover craft has an interior area underneath to trap the air in a ground effect fashion.

We also know that hovercraft blow low-pressure air underneath at one to two pounds per square inch. To lift a 200 pound person does not require too much air flow close to the ground while in the ground effect. But as the hover board gets higher the low-pressure area escapes and as the hover board moves faster the air gets away.

Any future design of hover boards will have to take all this into consideration. The mechanism which blows the air also takes up space and this will have to be part of the interior of the board. Therefore the board will have to be very light and hollow inside and a little thicker in or taller to contain the mechanical part.

Our drawings show 4-5 inches in height with 2 inches below the board. Additionally, hovercraft need quite a bit of air and therefore the board will have to be designed in such a way to collect the air as it moves forward with a series of air scoops and slats which help redirect the air into the interior mechanism.

Too much restriction of the airflow will cause the hover board not to work very well. This means the rider will not be satisfied with his speed, agility or performance of the hover board. The board will also need a spoiler system to dump the airflow it does not need at times, as do hover crafts.

The design must also allow the hover board to produce enough lift, through normal aircraft wing aerodynamic theory to support five times its weight during forward flight. A wing shape with side gates will need to be incorporated into the designs.

No airflow can be wasted and thus air which is blown underneath will need to be re-used through a series of design shaping strategies to force that air back along the aerodynamic structures of the hoverboard body.

The goal is to build a hover board which can travel like a hockey puck on and near table game board; very fast and maneuverable. Then use that speed to gain lift from the relative wind and use deflection strategies for maneuvers and tricks, jumping and clearing objects. Since forward flight does exist also the rider will employ an angle of attack strategies as well.

If the rider decides to slow down or turn directions then they will simply pivot the board into the relative when and use that to slow down and change directions. During this transitional phase the airflow coming at the bottom of the hover board will need to be trapped and redirected back through through the turbines rather than fighting them so the rider can zoom off and the other direction.

All this is possible but it will radically change the design and looks of what we consider to be a modern-day skateboard. The futuristic design will be very cool looking and like nothing you have ever seen before. Will it fly? Yes and like nothing else you have ever seen either.

Articulating Ladder

The first and foremost equipment required for any construction or renovation work is a ladder. It is used to work at places that are out of reach or above normal heights. It is an arrangement of steps to work at residential as well as commercial projects. The existence of ladder dates back to ancient times. With advances made many new style ladders are in business with style, colors, materials, size or even shapes. The original one was made from tree trunks.

Nowadays you have ladders from:

1. Steel
2. Rope
3. Aluminum
4. Fiberglass.

Amongst all in market, the aluminum is more popular as well as durable.

Fixed ladders are those with fixed arrangements that can be placed entirely at the construction place. Step or platform ones are popular for residential purpose and extension ladders are used for both commercial as well as residency renewal. Telescope ones are among the latest inventions in market that can be reduced to small steps down below level. Roof ladders, as the name suggests are used for outdoor purposes to work on roofs.

The articulating ladders are useful for heavy duty commercial works, or industrial support. These are comfortable with more stability and flexibility for moving up to a certain horizontal or vertical distance.

Some of the types of articulated are:

o Multi-master
o Michigan
o Louisville
o Folding
o Climb tech
o Step
o Extension

These articulating ladders are in demand more than other types due to their long life use and stability while use. These are flexible with slip proof body, used for multiple heights. Articulating ladders can be of variety of shapes, sizes, weights, colors, styles or even materials. Prices of these depend on usability, type, quality of material. This useful tool is available for affordable prices from local shops, retailers or from online resources. A search for these famous ladders on wireless networks will prove to be beneficial.

Stable stand of these provide a better grip for other accessories while working on heights. Some ladders are supported with side bars for extra balance from all positions. These are professional ones used for any construction site, renovations or even for heavy duty industrial construction.

Steel Container Buildings – What You Must Know About Them

Steel container buildings can be used in hotels, houses, offices, sentry box, guard house and so on. Various brands offer these through online suppliers and they are very easy to assemble and disassemble. The durability is guaranteed and it is a cost-saving measure as it is made of steel which meets structural standard requirements. It is also water-proof and anti-corrosive. These are constructed in modules and can be assembled to create a variety of designs suitable to your requirements.

You can easily transport these steel container buildings as it can be easily disassembled without creating any building debris. The steel components are also painted so that it does not rust and many of them have sandwich panels which are resistant to heat and sound. Roof panels of these container buildings are also made of corrugated steel sheets and the roof is constructed in such a way as to allow easy flow of water. You can also fix doors and windows in the interior as also partitions and can also design staircases.

There are various applications for such steel container buildings as they can be used as a temporary construction housing in work sites, as in construction, railways, bridges, electric power, petroleum, as housing for tourists, and military units. The buildings are also provided with antisepsis and are resistant to dampness. If you wish, there are many online suppliers who also offer supervision during the installation and training for assembling and dissembling. The buildings are very attractive and uncluttered too and also very comfortable. These light steel structured prefabricated buildings can be used in various ways.

You can also use these for transportation. You can now purchase top brands of from online suppliers. These are certified to ISO container standards and provide the best means for universal transportation for all industrial goods. If you wish to transport any pre-assembled goods internationally, then these container buildings are the best solution for such export projects.

There are a number of advantages in these kinds of containers, as they provide maximum security for your goods and are also very durable and resistant to corrosion. They are the most cost-effective solution for your industrial transportation requirements. The standard containers are available in various brands at many online stores and you can view the images as well as the dimensions before purchasing.

Take the maximum advantage of these steel container buildings for all your in-site work, any other housing or industrial needs or even transportation. You have a wide range of brands which are just a few clicks away.

Great Information Regarding the Model Airplane

The model aircraft are the flying or the non-flying models of those existing or just an imaginary aircraft. They are usually scale versions of the full-sized airplanes which are made of different materials like foam, polystyrene, balsa wood and fiber glass.

The designs are varying from the simple glider airplane to the accurate scale model that could be very big. Models can be constructed by flying or non-flying models and the techniques for building the two were very different from the other.

Static Model Airplane – this is a scale model of an airplane and being belt by using the plastic, metals, woods or papers. Some of the static models were scaled intended for the wind tunnels, wherein the data that has been acquired can be used for helping the design of the full scaling aircraft.

Promotional Purposes – most of the airline companies permit their airplane to be utilized as models for publicity. In previous days, airlines companies will order big models of their aircraft and provide them into travel agencies in order to make them as promotional items.

Flying Model Aircraft

There are three groups of flying model airplane:

a) Free flight model – aircraft which fly with no attachment into the ground. This model pre-dates the hard works of the Wright Brothers and also other founders.
b) Control line model – this aircraft makes use of cables (normally two) leading from the wings to the pilot. A deviation of the system is the Round-the-pole flying model
c) Radio-controlled aircraft – this airplane has a transmitter maneuvered by the pilot in the land, transferring signals into the receiver in the plane.
Several flying forms look like scaled down form of piloted aircraft, while others were built having no intentions of appearing similar to piloted aircraft. Moreover, there are some models of birds as well as flying dinosaurs.

Glider Aircraft- is an aircraft that resembles an airplane without an engine. Bigger outside model gliders are normally radio controlled and hand-winched opposing the wind by a cord connected to the hook underneath the fuselage means of a ring, in order that cord will drop when the glider is overhead. Other methods entail catapult-launching.

Since gliders are authorized, flight should be continued by means of the use of ordinary wind in the atmosphere. A slope or mountain will frequently manufacture updrafts of atmosphere which would continue the voyage of the glider.

Planning for Payor Negotiations

Every year, the time comes to begin looking at one or a set of payor contracts. A multitude of questions abound regarding appropriate rates, term length, and whether or not to participate or stay on panel. These are all good questions to raise. But are these the only questions to ask? This article seeks to explore the value of planning for payor negotiations.

As a back to the planning, it is important to remember the value of strategic planning as described by Sun Tzu:

The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple where the battle isought. The general who loses a battle makes but few calculations beforehand. So do many calculations lead to victory, and few calculations to defeat: how much more no calculation at all! It is by attention to this point that I can foresee who is likely to win or lose.

The point is primarily to ensure that a group can position itself for the best value in a given payor contract. There is an old saying in contract negotations, "Everything is negotiable." This is important to keep in mind when planning for payor negotiations. Finally, the approach to planning is also important. This should represent the consistent methodology to make decisions for the group. Two good examples include the McKinsey strategic problem-solving model and the decision-making model found in Pedersen's book, Lead with Intent.

A general plan for negotiations follows along a path similar to the following stages of negotiations:

Identify> Research> Options> Execution

Identify
In reviewing a contract for negotiations, it is important to understand what the main issues are for the group. This lays the groundwork for the research and extremely, the group's contractual objectives. Secondly, it is very important to note the termination provision of the current contract. There are times when it makes sense to terminate before the group negotiates. There are several issues to be brought up in the Identify phase including money, claims submission time, term and termination provisions, conflict resolution provision, and audit provisions to name a few. Again, focusing on the critical issues for the group will drive the process and ultimately the final deal.

Intuitively, the conversion factor is a big deal for most groups. This is the one part of the money that affects a greater percentage of anesthesia providers. Another area of ​​money to focus on is the OB rate. It depends upon the practice if this is of major importance or not. The area demographics will drive that. There are schools of thought on OB rates. One focuses OB on a flat rate while the other is base plus time, with a cap. Again, the group needs to identify what makes sense for them. The last area of ​​money is the flat fee schedule. The flat fees affect chronic pain practices primarily as well as nerve blocks (femoral and sciatic), arterial lines, CVP, TEE, and Swan-Ganz catheters to name a few.

The language of the contracts tend to go largely unnoticed by groups. There are certain specific areas that may be of interest such as claims submission time, term of the contract including renewals, termination provisions, conflict resolution, how under and over payments are handled, and audits in particular. Again, a review of the practice will help to identify the areas of importance. When it comes to contractual language, it is a good idea to have outside counsel to help review and negotiate as necessary.

Research

All good decisions and negotiations begin with research. The first step of identification is important because it drives the focus on gathering the data points for the negotiations. It is important to understand the size and scope of the practice as well as the yield per unit and case. With the growing trend of high deductible health plans, you should analyze payments from the health plan only, not the patient portion. This will determine the actual yield from the payor. While deductibles and co-payments are a growing part of the financing of healthcare, this article is not going to focus on them. A separate article will better serve that purpose.

Another aspect of research is the review of the practice. This includes the internal business process for obtaining the finalized anesthesia records from the facility to the billing office or company and extremely to the payor for payment. Take the time during the research phase to audit both the payor and the practice to understand the working relationship better. This will help when working on the mutual trust required in negotiations.

One final point to make in the research phase is how the data is completed and prepared for presentation. It is important to help to make the case, or argument, for an increase.

Options

From the findings in the research phase, it is time to develop the options for the negotiations. One critical error made in negotiations is the definition of the pie. Is it set in stone, or is there way to recast it? In Getting to Yes, Fisher and Ury discuss the concept of inventing options. While planning for the actual negotiations, ask questions and look for ways to brainstorm on mutual gain between the parties. Decide exactly what the practice needs and wants. There is a difference between the two and the distinction should become perfectly clear during the course of negotiations.

Another item to consider in this phase is the contractual language. In particular, this is the time decision which provisions match the actual business functions of the relationship and which do not. It is also important to note that many payers put their updates and provider manuals online and expect participating providers to read them (or not to read them, but to sign anyway). Recalling our earlier suggestion to engage legal counsel concerning language, that professional will now be able to help the group with the contract and the trends of a particular payor especially if that legal counsel works with other anesthesia groups in the area.

The final aspect of this phase is the decision on roles. This includes who will participate in the negotiations as well as what role the person will play.

Execution

With all of the planning completed, the group is now prepared to begin negotiations. One of the key tenets to negotiation is building trust. An easy approach to starting correctly is to meet and talk about the impending negotiations and act cordially with one another. In the first meeting, it is also good strategy to present the group's case for the opening offer. Building the case may rely on national and regional data from the ASA on commercial payment rates. It might also include any quality measurement efforts in which the group is engaged. It is important to leverage available information to help build the case. The opening offer comes at the end of the case building. The payor representatives will guard their reaction to the presentation and offer. Realize that they do come in prepared as well.

During the early phase of the negotiations, it is not unusual to have several different counter-offers. In addition, look at the pie. Is it set in size or can it grow? How else can the parties slice up the pie for their mutual benefit? Does a group have to accept a standard type of offer? Or, can that offer be more creative? The planning phase has already provided the base line that the group will accept.

Once an offer is accepted, it is time to celebrate. It is easy to overlook celebration if there has been an adversarial relationship. However, it is important because of the emotional investment made prior to, during, and after the negotiations. It helps both parties to celebrate a win. In the end, the contract must be a win for both parties or it is not a winning contract.

Trucking Cargo Insurance

Commercial trucks are vital to keeping the economy running. They deliver necessary goods to stores for individuals to buy. Without trucks, these items would not get to stores and, extremely, into consumers' hands. These necessary goods make up the truck's cargo.

Cargo is often worth several thousand dollars per truck. It is the truck driver's duty to ensure that the cargo gets to its destination intact and in working condition. Failure to do this may make the company liable for damage to these items.

As such, trucking employers need to be sure to have cargo insurance. This insurance protects companies from liability when something goes wrong during a truck's route and cargo gets damaged. This insurance can save companies several thousand of dollars.

The amount that monthly insurance payments cost will depend on how much coverage the trucking company chooses to carry. These costs are just a fraction of the overall value of the truck's cargo, however.

Trucking companies that are looking to purchase cargo insurance may have many options. Often, they will need to buy insurance for their fleet fleets. Some insurance providers will offer fleet discounts while others will not.

Since there are so many possibilities for insurance, trucking employers can benefit from using an insurance agreement website. These websites allow individuals and trucking companies alike to compare rates and insurance companies with just a few clicks of a mouse.

It is important for trucking companies to keep in mind how much coverage they want to carry and how much they can afford to spend each month, as both of these factors will be large determining factors in the coverage that a trucking company will absolutely purchase.

HVAC Companies

Time will come that a building will need to bring in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) companies to do repair, replacement and installation of HVAC equipment. Technicians for HVAC solve problems such as leaky seals, ventilation ducts, chimneys or piping. Other common HVAC problems involve furnaces, air conditioners and refrigeration units.

Although working on HVAC systems today is just simple, technical training is still required to do such job. Many of HVAC companies take pride in maintaining best technical education and service and often include references to this knowledge in their advertisements. HVAC companies which have NATE (North American Technical Excellence) is considered to have certified service technicians on staff. NATE certification is the highest standard of training available for HVAC technicians.

When looking for HVAC companies, it is important to consider the company's up to date training as well as modern equipment available to prevent mistakes that could lead to many more problems in mechanical and health. Installation, repair and replacement should be done properly to get away with cost part failures and replacements in the future.

HVAC systems function as the controller of air quality in a building. It includes humidity, temperature and airflow within the building. All parts of the system must work properly and coordinately to get the best benefit of this system. HVAC has small parts which includes thermostats, humidistats, pressure gauges, wiring, piping, control units and switches. Refrigeration equipment, fans, motors, burners, boilers and venting ductwork combines the heart of HVAC so should be taken utmost care.

HVAC companies should be called when a new building is at the planning stage. Blueprints for HVAC systems should be done to secure the overall quality control of the building. If remodel job is needed, HVAC professionals can assure the important equipments such as furnace, air conditioning and refrigeration system are working well or need repair or replacement.

It is important to secure that HVAC equipments in a building is all running right. Heating, cooling, ventilation and refrigeration is very essential in a building. Look for only professional HVAC companies to do installation, repair and replacement of HVAC system.

It is Easy to Buy an Air Conditioner

Like every year when summer comes we try to spend as much time outdoors as we can to enjoy the charms of summer. Having fun in the warm weather and swimming in the pool are just some things that we dream of during cold winter. But, when we came back home and we want to relax, we will see summer as a problem. It is very hot inside. Fortunately, you can resolve this problem if you buy and install an air conditioner.

Just a few years ago it was expensive to buy air conditioner. Fortunately it is no longer the case. It is now much easier to choose and buy unit that you can afford. In case you do not have enough money to buy a split system and to install it, you can always buy a portable air conditioner. This way you will be able to save because you will not cool the whole house but the room where you are.

Depending on the size of the room you want to chill you can buy a portable air conditioner. You do not have to spend a lot of money but chose wisely. In the case that you buy to cheep and weak air conditioner for your room you will not get anything because it will not be able to do the job for which it is designed. Take a look at the vendor sites and sites of large companies; find the models that you can afford and that can chill your room.

Depending on whether the air conditioner set to a window, installed on the wall or can be transferred depends how much it costs. Personally I would recommend you devices that are installed on the wall because their outdoor units are located outside your house. In this way, warm air, which compressor relieves will be outdoors and it will not be noisy. Another good possibility is buying air-conditioners which are placed on the window; just in that case you will be unable to open the window.

I recommend you to first decide how much money you can spend for it. Then, browse the internet; see what people say about the device that you can buy. Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of air-conditioners. In my case, I was not looking for a brand. I did not want to pay more just because it is popular. I was looking for performance.

Another good thing if you are looking for air-conditioner via the internet is that you can find them on sale. Many vendors will even offer you free home delivery. In this way you will not have to go out of your room to buy air conditioner. As you can see, buying air-conditioners is really no big deal, what more, can be even fun.

Investing Basics – The 4 Pillars of Investing

Investing is never a stagnate path. It is always changing as our needs and circumstances change.

How we choose our investing options is very much dependent on our big picture vision of what we want in terms of our financial and personal goals. If we can define our target exit clearly, then we can formulate our investment strategy and take the right options to get us there. This will ensure a much better chance of achieving our target, compared to the haphazard way of grabbing whatever " hot " that comes our way.

Our big picture vision can be defined by four considerations – Liquidity Needs, Goals and Objectives, Time Horizon and Risk Profile.

Liquidity Needs

Liquidity means the ability to convert an asset to cash quickly. You want to keep an amount of cash or liquid asset (which you can quickly convert into cash) for daily or short-term needs, as well as for emergencies. You do not want to tie up all your cash in non-liquid investments because you'll be in a fix if there is an emergency and you need the cash which you can not withdraw.

Goals and Objectives

You also need to examine what are your goals and objectives for investing. Do you have a specific goal in mind, such as a house, or retirement? Be specific in defining your goal. It's not enough to say "I want to invest to have enough money for retirement". How much is enough? $ 50,000? $ 100,000? Having a clear and specific quantifiable goal will help you to pin point the type of investment instruments you are going to use.

Time Horizon

How much time are you allowing your investments to grow to reach your goal? How long are you willing to wait to see your returns? 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Perhaps you plan to get married and buy a house in 5 years' time. Or maybe you are investing for your retirement in 20 years' time. The time period you allow your investments to grow will determine the type of investment options you take, because of the different risks involved and the initial investment sum required.

Risk Profile

What kind of risk are you able to tolerate? Can you sleep at night knowing that you have put your money in an instrument which will give you high returns but with a high probability of losing it all? Or can you only have mental peace when you know you have put your money where there is very little risk of losing but low rate of return?

Does this mean that investing is risky? Investing is risky when we do not have the proper education and skills. What we want to achieve here is to raise our level of competency as an investor in knowledge and skill, so that we can minimize the risk and achieve high returns with each dollar we invest.

Putting the four pillows together

These four considerations are essential to finding the types of investments we want to use from the long list of available markets and paths out there today. Addressing these four areas makes the path fairly obvious.

Things That You Need to Know About Carpet Cleaning

Carpets are indeed one of the most important things that we can find in our homes. These can make or break the look the whole room. This is why most people always make it a point to have carpets in their homes so that their homes will look as elegant and as nice as they should be. This is true only under one condition. Carpets usually look their best especially when they are still clean and new. A newly bought or installed carpet would always pull the look of the simplest room there is. Most carpet owners do make it a point to maintain the cleanliness of their carpets.

We all know how carpets attract dirt so much. Even if we try to take care and keep our carpets clean, there will always be a stain that will begin to pop out of it. Once a carpet looks very dirty, this can now destroy the look of the whole room. This can now leave the room very untidy and not well cleaned. This is the primary reason why you should always maintain the cleanliness of your carpets all the time. Whether you do this on your own or you hire cleaning services to do so, you need to make sure that your carpets look as new as they should.

One equipment that has really made carpet cleaning such an easier but effective cleaning job is a vacuum cleaner. These are tools or equipment which are used to suck out dirt which are trapped within the fibers of the carpet. This is very effective when you want to remove the solid particles, allergens and the dust which have stayed in the carpet. Although cleaning the carpet thoroughly, removing the stains do need extensive cleaning procedures in order to remove them in the best way possible.

As time passes by, the popularity of carpets in homes have changed the way that people are cleaning their carpets. In the past, carpet cleaning only meant having to use baking soda paste scrub in order to remove whatever is trapped in the carpet fibers. As time passed by, people have devised so many cleaning methods in order to ensure cleaner carpets. There are so many cleaning chemicals that can be bought so that people will not have a hard time cleaning their most prized possession. There are products which remove stains such as carpet shampoo, deep steam, carbonated water, carpet powders and protectors. All of these products claim to remove the stains and soils that have accumulated in the carpet for some time now.

There are basically different phases that need to be completed when cleaning a carpet. Of course, this is a very delicate thing in your household which needs to be cleaned properly. Without following these phases, you are just risking the worsening of the condition of your carpets so you should always keep these in mind and you are on your way in maintaining the best conditions for your precious carpet.

The first phase of carpet cleaning involves the pretreatment of your carpet. This may seem to be an unnecessary carpet cleaning step, but in reality, this is the most important cleaning step. This prepares and conditions your carpet so that it will be cleaned easily. What is done in this step is that the carpet is spayed or sprinkled with a particular solution that help in cleaning of the carpet. It basically lets the solid particles, soils, dirt and dust which are trapped inside the carpets to resurface and lift up. This will now make it easier for the particles to be cleaned.

The next phase would involve the cleaning process itself. The removal of the resurfaced dirt will be done here. As mentioned, there are different ways of cleaning the carpets but just so you know, there are just three major cleaning procedures done when it comes to carpet cleaning. Carpet cleaning would involve hot water extraction, dry extraction and cold water extraction. These methods usually work for a certain type of carpet cleaning job. It is best to research first on which is the suitable cleaning method to do so that cleaning will be done in the best way possible without leaving any dirt behind.

The last phase basically neutralizes the carpet leaving it to be as presentable as it must be. Cleaning will leave no dirt behind but instead remove cleaning residue. Carpet cleaning, involves methods mentioned, and these usually leaves some of the cleaning materials in the carpet. This can actually do more damage and even leave the carpets looking dirtier. This is why this last step should never be neglected and always be done to ensure that the carpet is left clean as it should be, without leaving behind particles. This even makes the carpet feel as soft and looking as new as it was.

Whether you would have your carpets cleaned by professionals or by yourself, you should be knowledgeable when it comes to carpet cleaning. There are now green cleaning products that you can use for your carpet cleaning job. If you want to clean the right way, then might as well check out these cleaning materials each time you use them for cleaning. The environment will be thankful or taking part in trying to protect it from the harm that the people has caused. You can now clean without that guilty feeling of doing so.

These are the things that you have to know when it comes to carpet cleaning. Being that carpets are very precious things, we should never neglect them. Cleaning them is a must which is why we should always make it a point to have them as clean as possible. Remember, a clean carpet will always make any room look as nice as it should be. This is why carpets are meant to be cleaned and left to look as new as they are. Check out the ways in which you can clean your carpets and never regret the decision that you have made.