Sex and the City – the Big Tour

We watched the series, we copied the shoes and we let ourselves imagine what it would be like to live like Samantha, Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte. And now we can, well for a little while anyway.

The Sex and the City tour is the perfect holiday for the girls and is the perfect excuse to ban your boyfriends and have some fun! Goodness knows how may times they’ve gone on a golf weekend or a ‘lads weekend’ – well ladies, now it’s our turn.

The Sex ad the City Tour is one of the most popular tours in New York City. Running twice daily at 11am and 3pm the tour gives SATC fans the chance to visit some of the most famous locations from the hit show.

First get your photograph taken on Carries apartment stoop then stop off for a cupcake at the bakery where Miranda stuffed cakes in her mouth. Next stop is the church where Samantha met ‘The Friar’ before heading to the gallery in Soho where Charlotte worked. Finally head to a bar used in the show and have a Cosmopolitan, of course.

The tours are based around Fifth Avenue and 58th Street and tickets are $37 each.

And after you’ve seen the SATC sights why not check out the rest of the Big Apple. Don your Manolos and hit Times Square or do a spot of shopping on Fifth Avenue before you and the girls treat yourselves to a slap up meal.

Live like the Sex and the City girls and add a bit of glamour to your life!

Cathodic Protection – An Effective Way to Prevent Metal Corrosion

Cathodic protection is a well known technique to manage the corrosion of any metal surface in a manner by getting it to work in the form of a cathode of the electrochemical cell. Cathodic protection testing is a very favorable option to consider in order for the protection of steel, water pipelines, fuel pipelines, storage tanks, pier piles made of steel, ships, oil platforms and many others. Cathodic protection is also to relieve stress corrosion or cracking.

Cathodic protection testing is a very effective method in order to prevent metal corrosion and deterioration. UST testing needs to be regularly run in order to avoid such mishaps. UST compliance testing is a widely considered alternative to counter metal corrosion. Since underground storage tanks, metals, pipes, connectors or tubes are located in the ground, they often come in close contact with soil. This is where the corrosion appears. If not appreciated at the earliest, it can prove to deliver harmful results. With the appropriate use of direct electricity current in order to curtail any sort of corrosive action, procedures for cathodic protection testing takes care of metal deterioration in a manner that makes the underground storage tank the cathode of an electrochemical cell.

In order to constantly battle these issues or avoid them, companies must search and locate an efficient and favorable UST compliance testing provider. Since, UST compliance testing providers undergo frequent fuel inspections, UST leak detection and provide remedies for fuel infiltration, you can be ensured that your systems systems will operate very smoothly. Corrosion experts make sure that there are no interruptions with cathodes and confirm that the cathodic protection procedures are followed fool-proof and beneficial. A regular system check every 60 days is a must. This enforces consistency on all the products and systems performance. Cathodic protection testing enables your company to initiate a technique of up keeping your equipment.

Cathodic protection testing involves certain necessary methods of operation such as regular surveys in order to ensure the system installed is genuine. They also provide the most cost effective system to save up on maintenance expenditure. Other surveys for inspection on UST leak detection and corrosion of the underground storage tanks are also undertaken. If petroleum companies can work towards regular check on all their devices, products and other equipments, they can insure themselves of having a good performing storage tanks. If tackled with urgency and through inspection, these hindrances can be kept clear of. All one needs to do is find a suitable and fine UST compliance testing provider to counter the occurring problems in time.

Building an Effective Reimbursement Policy With Expense Reimbursement Software

An effective T & E reimbursements policy acts as a systematic guide for the reporting and reimbursements of any travel-related or other business expenses incurred in the course of furthering the business interests of an organization. It lists out the stakeholders in the process and details every step and activity that has to be endeaken by the concerned stakeholders. It also has details about the approval flows, kind of reporting and its frequency, and the different types of expenses that are reimbursed by the organization. Without an effective policy, organizations will find it hard to complete the process in a systematic way and give scope for inefficiencies and fraud to creep in.

In this article, we'll look at the important tasks involved in clearing and building an effective travel and expense reimbursment policy and how expense reimbursements software helps with policy enforcement.

Approval and approval flow: This is an important task that has to be clearly defined. The policy must clearly tell the employee who he must get approvals from. It could have been the direct supervisor, the head of the business unit, or the CEO of the company. It should also state whether the approvals and authorizations should be taken pre-trip or post-trip.

The next step is the approval flow. It has to be clearly stated if the organization follows a single, double, or multi-approval policy. If that is the case, the approval flow, whether one after the other or simultaneous, has to be defined.

Limits and thresholds: Some companies impose limits on the amount that can be sent by the employee. Some others have a particular threshold after which multiple approvals have to be thought. All these have to be laid out clearly in the policy.

Reimbursed and non-reimbursed expenses: This is the most important task in the exercise. The policy has to clearly and exhaustively list down the expenses that are considered legitimate business expenses and since reimbursed and those that are personal and hence non-reimbursed. This list includes transportation, boarding, lodging, gifts, training fees, entertainment fees, etc …

If there is any ambiguity in this list, the whole purpose of the policy will be defeated.

Documentation and reporting: The policy also has to mention the kind of documentation and reports that employees have to submit along with their expense claims. It should also define the period and frequency of reporting, if necessary. Also included will be details of those to which this report is to be submitted.

Timelines: The policy should state the deadline within which the reports are to be filed. It should also convey to the employees the time it generally takes to reimburse them.

Online expense reimbursements software gives organizations a platform to manage their expenses and reimbursements. The limits and thresholds can be configured within the software so that there is no scope for the employee to go across the limit. The same way, as only the reimbursed expenses are listed, employees can only fill in legitimate expense line items.

How to Determine My House’s Worth

Whenever you sell something, it’s only natural you want to get a good price. This is especially true when selling a house, since it’s generally the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. However, since real estate prices can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as the state of the nation’s economy, current inventory of properties in your area, and other circumstances, it’s important to get an accurate value of your property. But since there are many ways to go about this, it’s always good to be armed with as much knowledge as possible about what determines home value. Therefore, when you decide it’s time to sell your house due to a divorce, illness, inheritance, job relocation, or other life event, here are some details to keep in mind.

When many people want their home’s value assessed, they choose to hire an appraiser. But before doing so, make sure it is one who is trained and certified, since their opinion can have a great impact on you financially. If you hire an appraiser, they will take many factors into consideration, such as the area where the home is located, condition of the home, and how much similar houses nearby sell for in comparable areas.

While not giving as detailed a report as an appraiser, a real estate agent can still assess your home’s value quite well. Since in many cases the agent will have a more in-depth knowledge of the local market and what other properties are selling for, the price they provide may in fact be closer to what you will actually get from a buyer. And while this option will also cost far less than hiring an appraiser, the agent may do so with the expectation of being your agent should you choose to sell.

Since people use the internet for so many aspects of their lives, it’s no surprise they may also use it to assess their home’s value. An easy and convenient way to determine the home’s value, it’s best to use these sites only to get a general idea as to the price of your property. For the most accurate results, consulting a trained and experienced real estate professional is always the best approach.

While selling a home is always a big decision, it’s also one that should not be done without working closely with an industry professional who has your best interests at heart. Therefore, if you decide to sell your house due to an illness, divorce, relocation, or inheritance, make the process as easy as possible by working with those who can get you the price you seek.

Your Guide For Decorating Church Pews For Weddings

If you are going to be decorating Church pews for wedding's, read on. This article will explore decorating Church pews for weddings.

The traditional wedding pew decoration is the simple white bow. For those who like the bow, but want something a little different, there are options. For instance, if you add a few sprigs of baby's breath, the traditional pew bow becomes more romantic. Layer two tulle bows gives the decoration extra flair and volume.

Candles and flowers are being used as substitutes for the ordinary bow. Also, some couples choose not to attach decorations to the pews and instead use new ideas for their wedding decor.

A modern take on decorating Church pews for weddings is to use flowers. You can use bouquets of the same flower or flowers of the same color. Attach them to pews with pew bow hangers.

If you want to go for a garden look, use small bouquets tied directly to the pews with satin ribbon. Tie the ribbon completely around the pew's end meeting.

You can also use greenery to liven up pew decorations inexpensively.

But you can go without decorated arrangements attached to the pew. Perhaps you'd like small candleholders made of brass placed directly at the end of designated pews. You can top the candleholders with flowers or greenery for a finished look.

If you want to completely transform the church or chapel, use fabric on the pews. Draping fabric in your wedding colors over the pew can completely change the look of the place. When you decorate the entire pew, you add elegance to the ceremony venue. While this option can be expensive and the slipcovers often have to be custom made, it is reliably easy to do.

Whatever you decide, remember that you are no longer bound to just the pew bow. If you come up with an original wedding pew decoration idea, you can create the look you dream of whatever your budget.

Some of the most creative ideas for decorating church pews for weddings can not be purchased from a catalog, they're lovingly made by the bride and her party.

Landscape Professonals – What You Need to Know For What You Need to Do

The seven professionals potentially available to help you with your landscape and gardens are:

o Landscape Architect
o Landscape Designer
o Garden Designer
o Landscape Contractor
o Landscaper
o Nursery
o Landscape Designer / Builder

Although there is certainly overlap, these are distinctly different levels and kinds of professionals. We will consider them in the order listed. First we will give a general description, list the strengths and weaknesses, then a comparative analysis will follow. Finally, we will examine how to evaluate any given individual within each of the professions.

Landscape Architect:

A landscape architect has a minimum of a four year Bachelor's degree and may have six or more years of higher education. To be thoroughly certified she must also have three years of internship in a landscape architectural office. The following paragraph is taken from the United States Department of Labor.

"Persons planning a career in landscape architecture should appreciate nature, enjoy working with their hands, and possess strong analytical skills. Creative vision and artistic talent are also desirable qualities. to other professionals and clients and to make presentations before large groups. Strong writing skills are also valuable, as is knowledge of computer applications of all kinds, including word processing, desktop publishing, and spreadsheets. , reports, and land impact studies for clients, colleges, and superiors. The ability to draft and design using CAD software is essential. understanding of the day-to-day operations of a small business, includ ing how to win clients, generate fees, and work within a budget. "

Strengths:
Landscape Architecture is a thorough and serious discipline aimed at providing aesthetically satisfying solutions in the creation of spaces owned, visited or seen by humans. The study involves design theory, engineering, planning, aesthetics, history and the sciences. The scope of the education is both broad and deep and consequentially the scale of the projects a landscape architect can underake is essentially unlimited.

The landscape architect has a sound education in all practical considerations – proper building codes and techniques, legalities and so on. He can provide a detailed plan with material specifications, quantities, sizes and so on, from which contractors can give accurate bids. Because of their degree they are qualified to apply for a broader range of projects, for example government projects, which are not open to non-licensed designers.

Weaknesses:
The term landscape architecture was first used by Frederick Law Olmstead in the late 1800's. At that time there was no specific academic discipline for it so it began to be taught and studied under the roofs of the architectural schools and has been stamped with that mind-set. – That is to say, with many notable exceptions, landscape architecture, by the views of this author, is characterized by a quality of architectural rigidity and over- reliance on structure. As mentioned, there have been noticeable exceptions. Tommy Church and Russell Page, to name two, and there are many exceptions practicing today.

Typically, landscape architects are not touted horticulture so their plant recommendations are frequently unreasonably limited. More importantly, a degree in landscape architecture does not signify talent as the qualities, or lack of, in the designs produced do not guarantee or prevent a degree. In fairness it should be said that no degree of any kind in any of these categories signifies talent – it only signify the successful completion of a curriculum.

Many landscape architects spend most of their time in offices and have little field experience. Too often they are not able to communicate in a real fashion with various trades people, such as masons as their knowledge may be seriously theoretical, not based on hands-on experience. Before hiring a landscape architect, ask to see a portfolio, even if only of school assignments and make sure that she is capable of understanding your aesthetic and working within your budget. If possible, get references.

Landscape Designer

A landscape designer may be certified through one program or another (of which there are many), or may not. These programs are usually associated with an educational institution but there are various individuals and other organizations which also offer a certification program. In addition, many botanic gardens have ingoing master gardener classes (which is not landscape design), as well as design courses which individuals may take towards certification or simply for the education.

The landscape designer works with site analysis, cost estimates, practical considerations such as drainage, light availability, elevations and all other facets of designing an applicable and sustainable landscape. He also usually works with hardscape elements such as walkways, patios, walls and so on. The following is a course description for a Landscape Design Course from a University in California.

"The practice of landscape design involves site analysis, development of design concepts and design plans, selection of construction and plant materials, and preparation of construction plans and documentation.
The Certificate in Landscape Design (CLD)

The curriculum for the Certificate Program in Landscape Design emphasizes the interaction between human needs and the environment and provides students with practical skills for understanding landscape design. All design studios emphasize the design process and problem solving using actual sites as case studies. Students generally complete the Certificate Program in Landscape Design on a part-time basis in three to five years.

Certificate Requirements:

In the description that follows, the word "course" refers to a full semester of thirteen classes. A "module" is equivalent to seven classes. Two modules may satisfy one course requirement.

To earn the Certificate in Landscape Design, students must complete the following twelve courses with a grade of B- or better in each course.

o Design I, II, and III
o two courses in landscape design history
o two courses in construction / site engineering
o two courses in plants / horticulture
o one course in drafting
o one landscape course, or two modules of the student's choice
o an independent thesis project on landscape design

There are, however, many people who call them landscape designers and are practicing landscape designers who do not have this education. For them it has generally been a vocation and they have come up through the business by working in various capacities associated with gardens, such as nurseries and landscape contracting companies before launching their own design business. They may do installations as well or can act as contractors and find the sub contractors to do the work.

Strengths:
Generally, landscape designers seem to have a more natural, less structural orientation than many landscape architects. If they have the education outlined above, they are at least theoretically prepared to handle a wide range of design projects. Very often they are dedicated to quality garden design. If they do not have the education then they have followed a rotation, or are just beginning one. If they have followed a vocation and have been at it some time they should have a portfolio as well as the ability to quote price ranges for various aspects.

Weaknesses:
As with Landscape Architects, the title does not need to signify talent. The education, experience and ability among landscape designers vary considerably. Before hiring a landscape designer, ask to see a portfolio and speak to references, be sure of compatibility and know exactly what you are to expect for what you are to pay.

Garden Designer

A garden designer may have a formal education and may not but is usually well versed in horticulture. Garden designers also works with site analysis, light availability, cost estimates and such but often do not work with hardscape elements. These people are generally plants people. Their talent is in using their knowledge to create attractive planting beds with shrubs, ornamental trees, perennials, vines and groundcovers.

Some schools offer professional level courses in garden design, in which they teach; site analysis, client brief, plan drawing, section and elevation drawing and color rendering. The following paragraphs are from the syllabus of one such university.

"Students will be able to survey a small site using running dimensions and triangulation making note of site details such as the position of trees, buildings, simple level changes, and services, etc. They will be able to evaluate the data collected on site and produce a scale drawing at 1/8 or 1/4 inch scale to accurately portray the site's characteristics.

Students will apply pattern analysis concepts which have been taught concurrently during the course. The proposal will be drawn using pencil and then technical pens, on architectural blanks using the title blocks to display appropriate information. Students will demonstrate an understanding of spatial concepts, design philosophy and a reasonable knowledge of landscape graphical symbols.

Students will produce section / elevation drawings to help illustrate the project, both for contractor and client, as well as a display board to help convey their ideas. "

A graduate of such a school would probably not call themselves a garden designer but a landscape designer. There are many garden designers who do not have this education.

Strengths:
Garden designers are usually devoted gardeners and knowledgeable about plants, especially perennials. They usually know the best plant suppliers in a given locale and can design and implement attractive gardens comprised primarily of plants.

Weaknesses:
Typically, garden designers are not builders and do not do hardscaping or take on major site alterations. Before hiring a garden designer, be sure the scope of the work you want done is within their capabilities. Ask to see a portfolio and to speak to references.

Landscape Contractor

A landscape contractor is someone who implements, or installs theaters and will often also contract for garden maintenance. These can be very large operations with several trucks, various machines and pieces of equipment and a large crew of workers overseen by foremen or project managers or both.

However, there are tens of thousands of landscape contractors, the major comprised of a small staff, one or a few trucks and a couple of small tractors or backhoes. Sometimes a landscape contracting operation will have a designer on staff and offers designs at low or no cost. This is because they will make their money on the installation.

The larger the operation generally the more intensive are the tasks a contractor can undertake. These range from simply planting plants to building in-ground swimming pools, to landscaping future developments.

Most landscape contractors have the capacity of building masonry structures such as patios, walks and walls, wood structures such as arbors and decks and can either do or have other tasks done, such as installing irrigation or lighting systems.

Strengths:
The focus for landscape contractors is building, or implementing the plans of landscape architects, developers, and landscape designers. For residential work, there is generally nothing they can not achieve, in terms of building others' designs and they may have their own designer or design staff. They are usually insured and bonded.

Weaknesses:
Landscape contractors are usually at the high end of building costs. They often have considerable overhead so must add a profit onto all materials and labor so the bottom line tends to be high. Their use of plants is often very ordinary and repetitive and their designs can be uninspired – but there are exceptions. Get all agreements as contracts, not estimates, ask to see a portfolio and for references.

Landscaper

Someone calling himself a landscaper is usually a garden maintenance person. He will generally have a small truck with a trailer, a couple of professional lawn mowers, string cutters, electric pruning shears, rakes, shovels and brooms. There is usually little or no education behind the landscaper though there may be experience and they will often contract to install gardens. These people should not be used as designers, generally, unless they offer that and have a portfolio.

Nursery

Many nurseries have landscape operations which include design and installation. Usually overseen by someone who came up through the horticultural industry with an education in horticulture, these can offer turn-key services and guarantee the plants. They will usually give you a design for little or no cost as they will make their money on the plants and the installation. Normally they can contract for residential-scale hardscaping such walls, patios, irrigation systems and such.

Strengths:
You can be sure the plants selected will do well where they are designated to go. You need only contract with the one operation and they generally have the man-power to get the job done.

Weaknesses:
Of course, there are always exceptions, but generally nursery designs tend to be quite ordinary, not inspired. The plants will thrive but the design may be quite blah. Nurseries tend to get over-extended in peak season so may begin a job, leave it for a while and come back later. If this is important to you, get a completion date specified in the contract. Before hiring a nursery, ask to see a portfolio of designs that they did as well as projects that implemented and ask for references you can call.

Landscape Designer / Builder:

A landscape, designer builder is just that. He combines the services of a landscape contractor, and the landscape designer. As with the landscape and garden designer, he may have a formal education and he may not. And as is true of the other professionals, his degree of experience may be intense and it may not. Many landscape designer / builders came to the profession through a vocational or professional association with garden services. Many were gardeners-turned-designers-turned-builders. Normally, the landscape designer / builder will give a price for the design and only when the design is completed will contract for the implementation.

Strengths:
Can do the entire job from design through installation. Landscape designers tend to be less rigid than architects and usually have much more hands-on experience. They usually combine a knowledge of landscape construction and of plants and should have a good feeling for design. Some of the best work being done in America is by landscape designers / builders.

Weaknesses:
May be attributable or incapable of taking on very large jobs or government projects. Before hiring a landscape designer / builder, ask to see a portfolio and for recommendations. Make sure you know what you are getting and what it is costing. Be sure that there is a sympathy between you.

GENERAL NOTES ON ALL GARDEN PROFESSIONALS

The four most important qualities to assess in hiring someone to create your gardens or landscape for you are; Talent, Capability, Integrity and Compatibility. A not very talented person you like, who is capable and of high integrity will do a great job creating for you a garden not worth having. A talented person without capacity will give you an inspired design that can not or should not be built, a person who is talented, capable and of good integrity that you do not get along with is a poor choice and a person without integrity will let you down in every way.

How can you know these things about someone? Your own instincts, to begin with. If you do not have a good feeling about someone, stop right there. Beyond that, always ask for references if you have any doubt and no matter whether you are dealing with a landscape architect or a gardener, ask to see a portfolio.

Keep in mind though, that everyone has to start somewhere so he may not have much to show. Anyone with any kind of education in the field should have design projects to show at least and these are worth seeing. Let him explain his drawings, tell what he was trying to create and see how you resonate. If he has built gardens or hardscape elements, ask to see photographs. This applies equally to the landscape architect as to the garden designer. His degree does not bestow nor even indicate talent and you have a right to know what kind of a designer he is.

Walk the area with the person and get their response to the site. Ask them what they see, what they might do. You may have to pay a consultation fee for this but it is worth it. Many, many gardens have been built that are utterly mediocre. You probably want yours to be splendid so take the trouble to find the right person to do it.

Do not assume the person with the most education is the most capable, or the most reliable. Ask for recommendations from previous clients. If they work for a firm, do a search on the internet or ask to speak with previous clients and to see previous projects. If you are talking to a landscaper (they are often only outdoor janitors), ask about plants, what the plant names are and what they need. If the person mows lawns, it is not likely that he also designs and builds beautiful gardens.

If you do not know the person or do not have a definite sense of their quality and they do not come with a known background of considerable experience or a known reputation, get a contract, not an estimate, in writing.

Most of the people working in the realm of planning and building gardens, apart from the outdoor janitors who frequently go under the name of 'landscapers' and the giant contracting firms, are dedicated individuals who live and breath gardens. They want to give you a beautiful landscape. All the above should help you in deciding which among them to choose.

Teaching In A Boys’ Prison

“Cover!,” the guard yelled. Everyone fell to the ground and covered his head. I thought it was some kind of drill and started to do the same but the probation officer who issued the command touched my arm and said,” not you, ma’am. So went my first week in the tank with the inmates of a boys’ prison in Southern California.

Walking through gate after gate surrounded by razor wire, I wondered how the inmates were contained. Was this a full lock-down facility or a regimented version of a camp, both places held juvenile delinquents who are referred to as ‘at-risk youth’ by educators.

The massive size of some of my students was always intimidating. A 300-lb 17-year-old male can do a lot of damage. That’s what this system is here to contain. Security is tight. Multiple officers are always within sight. The air smells of pepper spray and fragments of warrior energy left over by the boys.

When a fight breaks out, it happens lightning fast. The detainees know guards will respond quickly but a few punches are possible. Shanks add danger-these are homemade spears. Another ‘weapon’ is a sock filled with rocks. That is the atmosphere here: stay ready to fight.

I taught incarcerated high school students who had been convicted of felonies. Some saw me as an ally and tried to show me the ropes. Others tried to break me. I have never been around so many predators before. They could steal my eyelashes without me knowing it. That’s how slick they were.

Usually 20 or so young men in identical outfits and shoes filed in-head down, arms at the sides, arms-length apart. Not a word spoken except the guard calling orders. Teachers were the only staff that were not in police uniforms.

“GTA,” one of my students said. “I thought you’d be curious why such a handsome guy like me is among all these gumps.” As he was saying this, another student tried to crawl behind my desk to steal my lunch, again.

Some students fell for the ploy of running drugs across the nearby US/Mexico border. Five thousand dollars was the payoff for having drugs strapped to your body and successfully evading the border patrol. I could not find one boy who got the payoff.

It was hard to penetrate their angry barriers. Staff indicated that around 40% were on psyche medications. Quite a few told me that they heard voices telling them what to do. I shudder to think what those voices said.

Timber Framing on a Budget

Timber framing construction uses tenon and lap joints along with wooden dowels or pegs to create the frame structure of a home. This is a historic method of constructing the frame structure and can be expensive. One reason is that this type of construction is more advanced that stick frame construction. People like to use timber framing because it will continue to hole up the weight of the home long after the nails of stick frame construction has rusted and created the need for some major repairs. If you are building a new home and want to use this type of construction there are ways in which you can work this into your budget.

Use the local species of timbers

When using timber framing make sure that you use whatever tree is a native species of that area. It is expensive to ship timbers across the country. For example, if you love on the East coast two of their native species trees are oak and white pine but on the West coast it would be the Douglas fir. You also have to look at the cutting and material handling of the joinery. One of the harder ones to work with is oak because it is heavier so it would take more time to make the joints.

Choose a simple frame design

If you have a complex design in mind it will simply cost you more because of the board footage of food and number of joints you would need for the frame. Some companies that do timber framing will count how many joints will be used for the frame and will give you an estimate based on that information,

Find the best pricing

This includes not only the building material but also the contractors who are going to build your timber framing for your home. Make sure that you get at least three estimates because if you only get a couple you have just one to compare against another one. Make sure that you get a written estimate that lists the costs of materials, labor costs, and anything else that will figure into the cost of the home. Do not choose the lowest price because they may be using inferior timber. If possible ask to see the timber they will be using before you make your decision. You should also ask to see the results of their construction to make sure that they have the actual experience to construct your dream home. Ask for references and check them out. You and your family are going to be living in this home for a long while and you want to make sure that it well constructed.

Following these tips will allow you to have your dream home and stay within budget.

Bird House Kits Make Great Bird Houses

One great way to attract birds to your garden is by providing them with a comfortable nest in which they would definitely continue returning. Believe it or not, there are bird houses that are already made and there are bird house kits which could easily be assembled on your own. However, if you are adept to working on crafts, you could easily create one simply from any materials that are available around your house.

If you are in any way planning to use a bird house kit, the primary thing to consider is just how you are to use a bird house kit. Do you think the bird house is to be used as a fixture in your own yard? Or do you prefer the bird house to be portable? Do you have a good idea on the specific bird types that you plan to attract? If so, you should there before have an advanced plan as to what types of bird seeds or feeds to use.

There are also many types of bird house kits that cater to any types of birds. There are those bird house kits that are created for single type birds. There are also others that are for a lot of birds. There are bird house kits that could be hung while there are also others which could be mounted on a post or a fence.

The fact of the matter is that giving yourself appropriate time and effort in planning way ahead will eventually make your bird house making experience a lot satisfying. However, if you are planning to buy a kit that is ready to be assembled, the wood to be used will then be already cut and measured.

Also included in the kits are the hardware. The holes for the bird house are also pre-cut. Another good thing is that the holes for mounting it are also pre-prepared. These kits are also made generally from wood cedar as this type is resistant to weather.

Take note that the bird house kits spaces are either primed or rough, ready to have a coat paint finish. The good thing about this is that painting it is extremely fun. There are colors you could choose wherein you could go for simple or those that easily attract birds – like a paint job that is a lot fancier.

Believe it or not, these kits could also be made as easily by kids. Therefore, building one could be a very interesting project which kids could easily finish in one session. This also works for cub scout groups or for your grand children. You could even make them and give them out as presents during Christmas!

What you need are basically the following things: (take note that this is usually available in lumber yards or in your local home improvement shops) boards that measure 1x 6, boards that measure 1 X 8, one box of five penny nails, exterior paint (either brown, white, green) that is preferred made of latex for the purpose of making it easy to wash using water, a disposable cheap paintbrush for every bird house kit, a wire single heavy strand, hammers for kids (the less than three dollars kind) for those children who may have forgotten their.

All in all, making a bird house is easy as long as you put your mind to it. The important thing of course is for you to enjoy what you are doing and the rest is simply a walk in the park. Nothing really beats seeing your finished project hanging on a tree somewhere with lovely birds nesting innocently on your creation. It brings unquestionable pride for you especially for anyone – especially kids – who may have a part on the making whether you used a pre-made bird house kit or made one from scratch.

Crushing Machinery: The Past and Present

In China, there had been the most simple crushing tool–ball and socket in 2000 BC. From the 200 BC to 100 BC,the crushing machinery–ball and socket further evolved into the foot pestle. These tools using the leverage were the initial prototype of the crushing machine, but their action was still intermittent crushing.

The earliest crushing machine with continuous crushing action was invented by the Lu Ban living in the late Spring and Autumn Period. The other with continuous grinding action was the roller grinding machinery, it appeared later. 200 AD later, Du Yu and other Chinese had developed the water-mill based on the foot pestle, and the water was the driving force, which improved production efficiency to a new level. These machines were used for grain processing, but also extended to other materials on the crushing operations.

Modern crusher had been created after the gradual improvement of steam engine and electric motors. In 1806 there appeared steam engine-driven roller crusher. In 1858, Blake, in the United States, invented the jaw crusher. Rotary crusher was developed in 1878, the production efficiency was higher than the jaw crusher with intermittent crushing action. In 1895, American William invented impact crusher which was lower energy consumption.

Meanwhile, the grinding machinery also had a corresponding development. In the early 19th century, ball mill had been widely used. Rod mill with uniform size of the discharge was invented based on the development of ball mill in 1870. In the 1930s, Americans and Germans had developed a roller bowl mill, roller mill and other vertical shaft mill.

With the development of technology, so far crushing machinery development has made considerable progress. Especially after the 1990s, crusher production and sales increased rapidly, while the number of enterprises continued to increase. These enterprises could produce 30 ton vibrating crusher, 24 ton static roller crusher and 30 ton tire crusher and other range of varieties of products. They had self-development and production of complete crusher manufacturing system, and the gap with international advanced level was gradually narrowing. Therefor, crushing machinery industry was entering a new period of development.

In the twenty-first century, there are a group of outstanding enterprises in the crushing machinery industry. In these companies, you can see the latest development of crushing machinery. A lot of experts who are dedicated to advanced research and development of crushing equipment have developed crusher with international technical standards. Some high-quality products are as follows: jaw crusher, impact crusher, cone crusher, mobile crushing plant, high pressure suspension grinder, sand making machine, and the production line with the feeder, vibrating screen and a full set of aggregate conveyors.

Guide On How To Install LED Lights

One of the benefits of strip lights is that you can install them on almost any surface. For the units to work effectively and give you a great service you need to install them properly. To help you out here are tips on how to install the lights on different surfaces:

Installing the lights on a drop-down ceiling

Drop-down ceilings are decorative ceiling features that are suspended in such a way that they sit lower than the main ceiling. When installing the lights you can install them in such a way that the LED tape is fitted horizontally facing upwards or vertically facing sideways. Whichever the way that you choose to install them, ensure that you install the LEDs behind a lip at the edge of the drop-ceiling. To prevent light dots from shining on the vertical surface behind it, stick the LEDs as close as possible, behind the lip of the ceiling.

Installing the LEDs on cornices and coving

Coving is the decorative molding at the junction between the ceiling and walls. When installing the units here, install them as far away from the back wall as possible. This is to avoid seeing visible light-dotting. You should also ensure that there is a lip on the coving to hide the LEDs. This creates a great effect as you only show the light and not the light source.

Installing the lights on kickboards

Kickboards are often found in the kitchen but they are also present in other locations. When installing the lights in this area avoid placing the LED tape too close to the wall. This is to avoid seeing lighting-dotting. To hide the LED light source install the lights behind a lip. You should be cautious of the type of floor that you install the lights on. To avoid reflection install the lights on surfaces that are not too shiny. If your wall is already shiny, use surface extrusions to diffuse the lights. Due to the extrusions, the lights appear like continuous lights instead of dots.

Conclusion

For you to get the most of the LED strip lights you should install them properly. To have an easy time you should install them according to the given tips. For the lights to be professionally installed ensure that you hire a professional to do the work. When buying the lights, always ensure that they are of high quality. You do this by buying from a high rated store.

Commercial Property Agents – Time Management Barriers and How to Fix Them

Most commercial salespeople struggle with time or neglect it to a large degree in their job. They agreeently get little of the important stuff done every day. Over an extended period this means less opportunity and less responsibilities.

If I was to put a ratio on this I would suggest out of all the sales teams that I have worked with I have seen only 10% of the people really control their time and tasks every day. This is remarkable problem for sales team leaders and yet a great opportunity for the salespeople that can get organized and focused on doing the right things in their career.

For those salespeople that do get organized and focused, the conversions of new business and listing opportunity is far more significant. Here are some of the critical components of a salespersons day that need to be optimized in your diary or time management system:

  1. Your current clients need regular updates regards the status of lists and inquiries.
  2. Existing lists need to be marketed comprehensively into your prospecting database.
  3. Current market share should be monitored through signboard counts and with regular advertising tally.
  4. Prospecting should occur every day so you are finding new people to talk to that may have an interest in property.
  5. Negotiated deals should be monitored so you know that things are still on track and moving for your client.

These 5 things can take up a huge amount of time and yet they have to be done. Prospecting is the most important out of all of them and that single fact will impact your business in a major way if you neglect the process.

As a way forward here I would suggest that a strict time management process is adopted by every salesperson in commercial real estate that wants to improve their business. Making wise choices time is really important, and then following through on the choices is critical.

Here are some points to bear in mind:

  • It will take some weeks of struggle to implement this new system of time management
  • Other people will try to imposes on your time with things that are important to them.
  • Events will happen that you do not expect and will have to be handled.

If you can break through these barriers then you will find that results start to occur. Make no mistake here; the results only come to the people that really work to a plan and focus. Luck may occur from time to time but actions and focus are the only things that you can control. It is all up to you.

Pursue Safety – Follow Fire Safety Regulations

One of the most terrible things that could happen to anyone is becoming a victim of fire. Fire is one of the most notorious disasters that could hit any home, office or establishment and it could take away everything from a person right before their very eyes. That is why more people are becoming more concerned about protecting their homes from becoming victims of this blazing monster.

With that, the government has also created a way to avoid or to lessen the probability of fire starting in the homes and offices of the people. They have created the fire safety regulations to ensure the safety of a house or building against fire.

The fire safety regulations are policies that guide the people on how they could make their house become more fire proof and it helps the people protect their homes from fire. These regulations are constantly checked upon by inspectors who give the fire risk assessment and examine if the house or building has taken the necessary safety precautions against fire.

One of the requirements in the fire safety regulations is having fire alarms and fire extinguishers in the key areas like the kitchen, bedroom, and hallway. These are two of the most important fire safety equipments that should be present in any home or building to make sure that the people staying inside will have the right tools to fight small or controllable fires. These are also preventive tools that are vital in averting fire from becoming too big to control.

Part of the fire risk assessment, which would check if you are following the fire safety regulations, would be checking the electrical wirings of any building or establishment. Often, it is because of poor wiring or faulty electrical wires that fire begins without the knowledge of anyone. A small spark in the electrical wiring could be the cause of a big fire that could burn down several homes and buildings.

Inspectors will also check on the materials that were used on the house or buildings. More often than not, the fire risk assessment is a bit stricter with office buildings than houses in this area because buildings are often made up of several floors. That is why in the fire regulations, they usually advise or encourage building contractors to use fire resistant materials to make sure that the building will be strong enough to withstand fire so that the rescuers will have more time to rescue the people who are trapped inside the building.

Fire regulations also require every building and homes to have a fire exit that people could go to in case there is a fire. This is crucial for the survival of the people inside the burning building because this will be their way out of the building safely.

Fire is truly a very scary and dreadful thing that is why it is best to be prepared and to prevent it from happening. So if you do not want to fall victim to this nightmare then pursue safety and follow all fire safety regulations.

Residential Construction Site Cleanup Checklist

The construction industry is a large and messy one. Even the smallest construction site can end with a large and daunting mess that needs to be cleaned up. In order to efficiently and effectively clean a construction site, follow this simple checklist to make sure nothing is left unclean. This checklist is a great tool not only for small remodeling construction sites established by a homeowner but is also a valuable tool for the commercial cleaner who is hired to clean up a large-scale commercial mess.

Start first with general cleanup. In newly constructed homes, buildings, etc. clean and scrub the walls, ceilings, any installed appliances, trims, base boards, doors, mantels, windows, etc. Also make sure to dust well as the act of construction will build up reserves in dust in any nook and cranny it can. This dust if left to continue to accumulate can become detrimental to overall health if left unchecked. Check the tops and undersides of doors, hinges for dirt, debris of any extra paint that is leftover and make sure that it is removed. If interior masonry is existent in the construction site, make sure it is properly cleaned before proceeding. Vacuum or sweep carpets, hardwoods or tiled floors respectively, making sure to remove any accidental paint splatter or any scuff marks. Wipe off faucets and knobs as well as any electrical switches. Then, a final item to check off your list of general cleanup is to remove and dispose of any trash.

For other areas of construction sites, such as entries, exits and kitchens, special cleanup care is necessary. For all exits and entryways, take special notice to clean doors and hinges properly so everything closes in the way that it is designed to do so. For the exterior doors of a building or home that has a porch or deck, sweep and clean those accordingly. Also including in an exterior construction site cleanup checklist is to completely pressure wash those areas as well as the driveway and garage spaces. If the construction site includes an outdoor patio, also pressure wash that site.

Kitchen construction cleanup requires all the of the items on the general construction site cleanup checklist but requires you to make note of some special areas to clean unique to the kitchen space. Clean all kitchen appliances inside and out, this meaning the stove, refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, etc. Check around the appliances to where they either attach to the wall or counter tops to see if you need to remove any excess caulking or wipe clean of any leftover dust residue. Also, if the appliances are new, make sure to remove any plastic packaging or labels.

This being a very basic cleaning checklist, it should be no means be used as a standard or even an exclusive construction site cleaning checklist. But the items mentioned in this list will leave you with a home or building that is considerably cleaner and nicer to look at than the one you saw before you started to clean. Even so, a more professional checklist or company might need to help assist you in officially cleaning a construction site.

5 Reasons to Buy Laminate Flooring

You may be weighing up the right flooring choice for you and your family and are wondering why so many people are choosing to go for laminate flooring over carpets, hard wood or vinyl, well there are many advantages of this type of flooring and this article aims to set out a number of these.

1 – Stains

Stains are a constant hassle for those with carpets or vinyl flooring and have to be treated straight away to ensure there is no staining. This can be especially challenging trying to get red wine out of a carpet, and whilst you search frantically for the stain removal spray with a laminate floor it is simple as wiping it up from the floor as it is stain and water resistant.

As well as being easy to clean up any spillages laminate flooring can easily be kept in good condition as it is easy to keep any rooms with it in clean and tidy and unlike carpet is fade resistant.

2 – Scratches

Laminate floors are also tougher and longer lasting than their competitors and are less likely to be damaged by dents or scratches. In contrast carpets are a lot more prone to damage and can be torn up at the corners by pets, be tricky to clean or hoover and can fade if exposed to sunlight meaning your carpets can quickly lose their vitality. There are many examples of laminate flooring scratch resistance on YouTube that clearly demonstrate this.

3. Longevity

Laminate flooring also trumps hard wood flooring as its longevity and durability mean that it is a more practical surface than hard wood. Solid wood flooring can also fade from exposure to sunlight and is unsuitable for areas with high moisture or humidity levels such as bathrooms or cellars.

4 – Durability

The durability of laminate flooring makes it a great choice especially for family homes where it is hard to keep areas clean while the kids are wreaking havoc. They can come in covered in mud and the floor can be easily cleaned, they can get paint on the floor and it can be easily removed and your pet can walk through your rooms with dirty paws and the evidence is easily washed away.

Due to the durability of the product even the busiest household can have flooring that will stay looking as good as new for longer and will give you a surface you can be proud of when inviting over friends or family.

5 – Value for Money

In a time of economic uncertainty for many families laminate flooring also provides value for money and has a longer lifespan than a hard wood floor or carpet, both of which may need replacing a number of times, while the laminate floor holds up well to the test of time.

So if you want a durable flooring solution that can be kept in tip-top condition in a busy and well trodden house, standing up well to stains and easy to clean, then this type of flooring is the best choice for your home.