Cantilever Umbrellas Vs Shade Sails: What’s More Affordable?

Sure, you need a shading structure if you can no longer beat the heat, or if you want to be more comfortable within your open space. However, you also can’t just ignore the cost. Keep in mind that you’re going to spend some money not only in the purchase and installation of the structures but also in their maintenance.

Which, then, between the shade sails and cantilever umbrellas should you purchase?

What Are They Really?

Definitely, cantilever umbrellas and shade sails are different from each other. The former remind you of the parasols, those very huge umbrellas attached on tables. The only difference is that you don’t insert them in the middle of a table. Instead there’s a post with a protruding beam. Attached to it then is the umbrella.

The shade sails, on the other hand, are usually fabrics that are stretched out across an open space, the area you wish to cover. You need four corner points, which will hold the material.

Nevertheless, despite their differences in form, they share almost the same function. Both protect your skin from the heat of the sun. The cantilever umbrellas are also often made from fabrics.

Now for the Price

There are a number of factors you have to consider before you can say the shade is worth the investment. First, you have to know the amount of protection it can provide. In this category, the shade sail is a sure winner. Because it’s spread out, it tends to cover more space. The only thing you can do with cantilever umbrellas is to change their position, but the area they cover is basically the same.

On the other hand, with regards to flexibility, cantilever umbrellas take the lead. The posts are easier to carry and move around. You can speedily set up a cantilever than a shade sail.

But you’re going to save more money in terms of equipment or material if you’re going to use shade sails. This is because all you need to have are dependable posts. If you already have them-say, a pillar of a gazebo or a pergola-you don’t need to need to purchase a lot of them. For some people, this could really mean a lot of savings.

Both are certified eye candy, though you’ll have more flexibility in design and shade with shade sails.

Though shade sails are cheaper than cantilever umbrellas, the latter may still be worth it if you like greater mobility.

Kanban in a Nutshell

Kanban method as formulated by David J. Anderson is an approach to incremental, evolutionary process and systems change for organizations. It uses a work-in-progress limited pull system as the core mechanism to expose system operation (or process) problems and stimulate collaboration to continuously improve the system. One example of such a pull system is a Kanban system, and it is after this popular form of a work-in-progress, limited pull system that the method is named.

Basic Kanban principles

The Kanban method is rooted in four basic principles:

1. The Kanban method starts with the roles and processes you have and stimulates continuous, incremental and evolutionary changes to your system.

2. The organization (or team) must agree that continuous, incremental and evolutionary change is the way to make system improvements and make them stick. Sweeping changes may seem more effective but have a higher failure rate due to resistance and fear in the organization. The Kanban method encourages continuous small incremental and evolutionary changes to your current system.

3. We need to facilitate future change by agreeing to respect current roles, responsibilities and job titles we eliminate initial fears. This should enable us to gain broader support for our Kanban initiative.

4. Acts of leadership at all levels in the organization from individual contributors to senior management should be encouraged.

Kanban – 5 core practices

David Anderson identified five core properties that had been observed in each successful implementation of the Kanban method. They were later relabeled as practices and extended with the addition of a sixth.

1. Visualize

Visualizing the flow of work and making it visible is core to understanding how work proceeds. Without understanding the workflow, making the right changes is more difficult. A common way to visualize the workflow is to use a board with columns and swimlanes. The columns represent different states or steps in the workflow while horizontal swimlanes may indicate different project, department, person or priority.

2. Limit Work-in-Progress

Limiting work-in-progress implies that a pull system is implemented on parts or all of the workflow. The pull system will act as one of the main stimuli for changes to your system.

3. Manage the work flow

The flow of work through each state in the workflow should be monitored, measured and reported. By actively managing the flow the continuous, incremental and evolutionary changes to the system can be evaluated to have positive or negative effects on the system.

4. Make Process Policies Explicit

Set your own rules and guidelines of your work. Understand your needs and make sure everyone follow these rules. The policies will define when and why a ticket is moved from one column to another. Change the rules when work variables change.

5. Use models to recognize improvement opportunities

When teams have a shared understanding of theories about work, workflow, process, and risk, they are more likely to be able to build a shared comprehension of a problem and suggest improvement actions which can be agreed by consensus.

Powerful Presentations: 4 Easy Steps to Making Interesting Presentations

Why is it that some speakers captivate an audience from the very start of their presentation while other speakers don’t?

Great presenters have structure to their presentations and a consistent format they use to ensure fabulous presentations every time they speak to a group. Great presenters understand that individuals within the audience have different learning styles and they know how to grab the attention of each.

Based on the work of David Kolb and Bernice McCarthy, the 4-Mat System is one of the most widely used learning and teaching systems today. The 4-Mat system is an easy and practical way to prepare presentations. Based on this system, there are 4 basic learning styles: “why”, “what”, “how” and “what if”.

Why learners need to have their why questions answered before they will be interested in hearing about the “what”, “how” or “what if”. They need reasons and relevance. As a presenter, you need to answer the question: “Why” is this topic important to the audience. They learn best by listening and sharing. The more reasons you can offer to answer the question “why” or “why not”, the more likely you will capture the interest of the “why” learner/participant who will represent the largest portion of your audience at about 35%. I once observed a presenter who went right into the “what” of his presentation skipping the “why” only to have “why” questions popping up throughout his presentation, slowing down the flow and confusing the heck out of the audience.

What learners are more patient than why learners so they will patiently wait to have why questions addressed. They will be interested in “what” the topic is all about. They will want to know the specifics about the topic. They will want to know as much information as you can provide on the topic to deepen their understanding. So it is important you fill up their “what” before you move to addressing the how. These learners learn by thinking through ideas. About 22% of your audience will be “what” learners.

How learners will patiently wait for the why and what information to be provided. They are interested in “how” it works. They want to know about how to apply the information. They will be interested in trying it out, experimenting or practicing and learn best by testing theories in ways that make sense. About 18% of your audience will be “how” learners.

What if learners, the most patient of learners, will sit through the why, what and the how and they will be most interested in the application of the material. What would happen if? What if I did this? They will look for the hidden possibilities. They will patiently sit through the presentation and then have a list of questions to ask during the question and answer period. They learn best through trial and error. They will represent about 25% of the audience.

Here are the 4 easy steps to ensure consistently interesting presentations:

1. Start your presentation with a thorough list of reasons why your topic is of importance. Use wording like: “Here is why you want to know about this topic.” Share with your audience all the benefits of knowing about the topic to gain their interest and keep them interested in learning more.

2. Then tell the audience what your topic is all about. Here is where you get to share everything you know about the topic. Use wording like: “Here’s what the topic is all about” or “Here’s what you need to know about this topic”.

3. Then tell the audience how to. This might include describing steps of a process, providing a demonstration, doing a group activity or exercise so that they get to experience the presentation content. “Here’s how to do x”.

4. Lastly, you should include a question and answer period at the end of your presentation so that what if questions can be fully answered.

Be the speaker that captivates his/her audience from now on.

Tinting Your Car Windows to Protect Your Leather Seats

Having window tint professionally installed onto your vehicle will provide you with a stylish and sleek look. But having your car windows tinted will also serve a more useful purpose: protecting the interior of your vehicle. This is especially beneficial if your car has leather seats. Leather will eventually become brittle and crack if it is exposed to sunlight for too long. Protecting your car’s interior with tinted windows can significantly prolong the life of your leather upholstery and trim, which will improve the resale value of the vehicle.

Leather seats are abundant in luxury cars and SUVs. These vehicles cost a lot of money, so it would be wise to protect your investment by shielding the interior of your vehicle from harmful UV rays. UV rays will not only cause the leather to dry out and crack, but it can also fade the color of your interior, including carpeting, fabrics and plastic trim.

Without tinted car windows, you and your passengers risk being burned by the super-heated leather seats on a hot day. Everyone has entered a vehicle after it had been sitting in the sun for a while. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the leather interior to become so hot that it can actually cause severe burns to the driver or passengers. When your vehicle windows are professionally tinted, your interior will have protection from direct sunlight and the leather will not be able to reach such a dangerous temperature.

Furthermore, tinted windows can protect your vehicle by warding off break-ins. Criminals will not want to break into a vehicle if they can’t see what’s inside. While you should never leave valuables in your car, having tinted windows will provide the necessary privacy you need for your belongings. Thieves will be deterred from breaking into your car simply because they can’t see through the window tinting.

You should always hire a professional window tinting company to install your window tints. They have the equipment to do the job correctly and have years of experience installing window tint on all types of vehicles. The do-it-yourself kits should be avoided – especially if you have no experience installing window tints – because often times they result in air bubbles and a tint that will only last a few years.

Every state has laws regulating the tint darkness grade allowable. Bring your vehicle to a reputable automotive tinting shop and they will be able to offer your window tinting solutions that are within the boundaries of your state’s laws.

Protect your vehicle and your leather interior with professional automotive window tinting. You can keep your car private, cool and shielded from dangerous UV rays – all while giving your vehicle a classic and sleek look.

Kitten Behavior Problems – How To Tame Your Frisky Kitty

Sometimes, dealing with kitten behavior can be so daunting and confusing. One minute, he wants all of your attention and the next minute, he just wants to be left alone. There may also be times where he’ll even use your leg as a scratching post! If you’re having difficulty figuring out your frisky feline, here’s what you can do about kitten behavior problems.

WHY DOES MY KITTY ACT SO CRAZY?

At times, dealing with a misbehaving cat can test your patience. But the fact of the matter is kitties are hyper. It’s a part of kitten-hood. Like human adolescents, they also go through a teenage stage. This is when they will push boundaries and test their limits. Chewing, scratching, biting and jumping are all behaviors that your little fur ball might display.

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?

It’s a sad fact that many cats are surrendered to shelters because of behavioral issues. When it comes to kitten behavior problems, you may not be able to figure out what he is doing and just cannot tolerate it any longer. Maybe he keeps using your favorite rug as his toilet or he’s shredding your couch to pieces. You may feel like giving him up for adoption as well. But before you make any hasty decisions, you should take your kitty to the vet to rule out any medical problems that could be causing him to act up.

If he has a clean bill of health, consider talking to a feline behavioral counselor. They are experts who may be able to help with matters such as extreme aggression, eating disorders, destructive clawing and scratching and litter box issues.

Kitten behavior problems can be corrected. All you need is a little time and patience. Once you understand why your feline is being bad and have the tools to correct it, you’ll be well on your way to a happier relationship.

The Best Rug Pad For Aubusson Rugs

The reasons for having the correct pad under your aubusson rug are to keep your carpet flat and wrinkle free, prolong its life and hold it to the floor. Many people ask me which is the right rug pad for an aubusson and my answer is simple. Choose a dense and relatively thin, no more than 1/4 of an inch thick, rug pad that grabs both the rug and the floor. This will maintain the beauty of an aubusson’s flatter look on your floor.

There are many thinner rug pads available yet it is important to try to stay away from some of them. To save your time, my experience shows that the best rug pad for aubusson rugs is one that is almost 1/4 of an inch thick and made from recycled jute and solid, natural rubber. It is important for the life of your aubusson as well as for the protection of your floors to choose one that contains recycled jute and a real layer of rubber, not a sprayed on latex that can damage your floor.

This quality pad has a slightly textured jute surface that does well in grabbing your aubusson and keeping it from slipping on the pad. The bottom layer is a real, textured rubber that is sewn on to the jute, hence creating a solid pad. This rubber grips the floor as best as possible and keeps your rug and pad still. The fact that it is real rubber means it is safe for your floor and the recycled jute surface is mold and mildew resistant, odor free and does not shed.

If you opt to save a little money now and choose a different rug pad form your aubusson carpet, what you may experience is a rug that never lies still as well as the possibility of damage to your floor. Your aubusson rug is like a painting on the floor and this look should be maintained with the proper rug pad. It is never a good feeling to look at your aubusson on the floor and feel that you always need to bend down and pull out the wrinkles. Use of this proper pad will prove to eliminate any wrinkles while adding safety for anyone walking on the rug.

Poppy Seeds Or Kash Kash Are White in Pakistan

I hadn’t realized that poppy seeds come in different shades; I always thought they were black, as they are in breads in Europe, so I was surprised to be told that the small grains of sand I was looking at were in fact, seeds from the poppy plant. Then I was shown different coloured seeds, some dark-blue, and some more of a yellow than white. Because bread as we know it is not popular, or common in Pakistan, there is no bread with poppy seeds. The typical roti (or chapattis) are plain, as are the naan type breads, although some naan are like pizzas, and topped with potato paste or gram flour paste with slices of tomato and hot green chillies. Only paratha are stuffed with vegetables such as grated mooli, and these are eaten at weekends for breakfast, when people aren’t in a hurry to go to work. Nowadays, where I live in Rawalpindi, very few people bother to cook roti, as they are subsidized by the provincial government, and sell at only 2 rupees per roti. Given the amount of time and effort it takes to cook roti, it’s much easier to buy them from the local tandoor ready made.

The Latin name for the poppy, Papavar somniferum (the poppy of sleep) always reminds me of the scene in the “Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy and her companions succumb to the somniferous effects of the flowers and fall asleep in a field of poppies.

The ancient Greeks associated the poppy with the minor god Hypnos, the god of sleep, so I guess the opium obtained from the poppy was associated with his twin brother, Morpheus, the god of dreams. Before I came to Pakistan, I thought poppies would still be cultivated, but I haven’t seen any poppy fields and there doesn’t seem to be a social problem involving the use of morphine, although heroin is a different matter. Poppy seeds contain little if any trace of narcotics, despite the fact that the plant they come from is the same one that provides us with codeine and morphine.  

Traditionally poppy seeds are used in medicine on the Indian subcontinent. They are cooked with green cardamoms and sugar to treat diarrhea, and extract from the poppy plant are used to reduce fevers, help with liver complaints and treat TB.

In Pakistan poppy seeds, or Kash-Kash as they are called, are used ground to thicken sauces and in refreshing drinks. They are also sometimes added to rice dishes to give a different flavour. One of the popular drinks is Serdai, which can be made with milk or water.  

SERDAI

Ingredients

1 litre milk or water

30 gr blanched almonds

50 gr poppy seeds

4 green cardamoms, seeds removed and husks discarded

6 black peppercorns

ice

sugar to taste 

Method

Grind the poppy seeds very well. Then grind the cardamom seeds and almond

Put the black peppercorns, sugar and milk or water into a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, put all the ingredients except ice in it and leave to cool.

Serve chilled, with ice.

Roof Shingle Wind Damage – Clearing Up the Confusion

You may think that wind has not damaged your roof if you don’t see any shingles blown off. Think again. Wind can cause a multitude of damages to your roof that will decrease its life and leave it susceptible to leaks and further damage. And you may never even know it!

When the wind blows, it creates an enormous amount of pressure on the shingles. Damages don’t occur from the wind itself getting underneath the shingles, but rather from the vacuum-like forces created on the surface. Have you ever watched video of a tornado approaching a house, and suddenly the entire roof lifts off the house as though it were a lid? It is the same uplift force that can cause damage to your shingles, albeit on a smaller scale.

The first thing wind uplift will do to your shingles is break the adhesive seal. Once that seal is broken, the shingles become susceptible to tearing off completely. These loose shingles will often flap up and down during the next thunderstorm, allowing rainwater to get underneath, where it isn’t supposed to be! Wind driven rain can then cause leaks and damage the interior of your home. Though many insurance companies and their engineering firm partners claim a broken seal is not damage, there is no doubt that it is damage. The shingles must be sealed down in order to do their job correctly. Every manufacturers specification emphasizes the fact that the shingles must be sealed. At a bare minimum, these shingles must be hand-sealed back down. This may not be possible with older shingles, depending on their condition.

In some cases when the seal of the shingle is broken, it will cause de-lamination of that shingle, or the one it was sealed to. In this case, the shingle cannot simply be resealed. Both shingles must be replaced. It is very possible an entire roof could need replacement because of de-lamination, even though all of the shingles are still in place.

Another common form of damage caused by wind that cannot be seen from the ground is creasing. This happens when the seal has been broken, and with the shingle flapping in the wind, it folds it back far enough to form a crease. This will usually happen before the shingle tears off completely, which is the most obvious form of damage, and readily visible from the ground.

Don’t wait until your roof springs a leak! Have your roof inspected at least once a year, and following any major storm to insure you are aware of its condition. You may be able to get a new roof through your homeowners insurance!

Sports Memorabilia Certificate of Authenticity – Is it Valuable?

The market for autographed sports memorabilia is massive. In 2007, the sports memorabilia industry took in an estimated $2 billion – and that number has grown even gaudier over the past three years.

For collectors paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for sports memorabilia, an item’s authenticity is of primary concern. The industry’s leading autograph authenticator, PSA/DNA, recently claimed that only 33 percent of more than 10,000 Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan autographs it scrutinized were real – just one example of the ease to which non reputable sellers can slip fraudulent items into the market.

In assigning the value of a sports memorabilia certificate of authenticity, some in the industry can’t help but think of the scene in Tommy Boy when Chris Farley’s character attempts to undermine a competitor’s written product guarantee:

Tommy: Why would somebody put a guarantee on a box? Hmmm, very interesting. Here’s the way I see it, Ted. Guy puts a fancy guarantee on a box ’cause he wants you to feel all warm and toasty inside.

Customer: Yeah, makes a man feel good.

Tommy: ‘Course it does. Why shouldn’t it? Ya figure you put that little box under your pillow at night, the Guarantee Fairy might come by and leave a quarter, am I right, Ted?

Customer: What’s your point?

Tommy: The point is, how do you know the fairy isn’t a crazy glue sniffer? “Building model airplanes” says the little fairy; well, we’re not buying it. He sneaks into your house once, that’s all it takes. The next thing you know, there’s money missing off the dresser, and your daughter’s knocked up. I’ve seen it a hundred times.

Glue sniffing aside, there is no guarantee sports memorabilia accompanied by a letter of authenticity is legit, and one should not assume that memorabilia lacking a certificate is fraudulent. That said, a certificate of authenticity for a sports collectible – be it an autographed baseball, signed football jersey or pair of game-worn soccer cleats – holds an important place in the sports memorabilia market ecosystem.

Casual and professional sports memorabilia collectors factoring in the role a certificate of authenticity can play should take into account the following:

Consider the source

Earlier this summer, the former minor league team (Harrisburg Senators) of Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg held an auction that included a pair of Strasburg game-worn, autographed cleats. The cleats were accompanied by a letter of authenticity from the Harrisburg Senators Baseball Club – a credible league organization whose letter holds meaningful weight relative to lesser-known or established authenticators.

Another example is eTopps – a service of Topps – which provides limited edition autographed cards accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity (COA). The COA has the sticker number associated with the particular card autographed. In both of these examples the COAs and LOAs come from reputable organizations for which the purchaser has at least some means to communicate with employees and staffers. In other words, the source is important. COAs and LOAs from firms with less brand credibility, or ones that provide limited means for communication (PO Box address, lack of phone number) should serve as a red flag to collectors.

Just because eBay is legit, not all of its sellers are

eBay takes fraud very seriously, and has poured significant resources and funds into doing everything it can to protect honest buyers and sellers. But on eBay – as with any e-commerce site – those motivated to act in a criminal manner will do so. Sports collectors who buy items on eBay that include a Certificate of Authenticity should not automatically assume an item – or Certificate – is legitimate. As mentioned above, carefully examine the seller providing the certificate, because it is possible for sellers to fabricate these Certificates. At the same time, understand that a seller’s positive reviews are most likely for its diligence in mailing an item and ‘customer service’, and should not serve as assurance the items it ships are authentic.

Understand Benefits, Limits of a Sports Memorabilia Certificate of Authenticity

Certificates of Authenticity may accompany an item purchased on eBay or other online sites or, alternatively, fans and collectors can submit autographs, photos, etc. to an authentication service such as PSA|DNA. These services employ signature and authentication experts that will examine, for a fee, submitted items and provide Letters of Authenticity if the autograph is deemed authentic. Services like PSA|DNA guarantee major auction houses (Christie’s, Mastro Fine Sport, Grey Flannel, Hunt Auctions, etc.) will accept items accompanies by their Letters of Authenticity or will provide a refund.

A Few Facts About Heart Murmurs

To begin with, what are heart murmurs? They can be described as unusual sounds heard while the heart beats. A stethoscope helps your doctor to hear them. To your knowledge, most murmurs are not dangerous or life-threatening. They often resolve on their own and even if they don’t and stick around, they will cause no serious health problem.

Stated simply, murmurs are caused by blood flow through a damaged heart valve. As a result, the efficiency of the heart to pump blood will be reduced, which if not treated properly, may even cause a congestive heart failure. When this happens your venous blood pressure will be increased causing swelling and edema in the lower part of your legs (Ankle Edema). Apart from that, the excess fluid that builds up may also induce breathing difficulty. This means that you will have restrictions in doing the things you normally love to do and your style of life will be affected.

Apart from the brain, the heart is undoubtedly the most important organ in our body. The main function of heart is to pump blood to all parts of the body so that all our organs and tissues can get sufficient amount of oxygen and nutrients which are required for optimum health.

When you first visit your doctor, the first thing he will do is listening to your lungs and heart using a stethoscope. He will listen to both normal and abnormal sounds such as a murmur. There may be various causes for such a heart murmur. They may be genetic in nature or may have occurred due to a serious defect in the heart present at birth. Apart from these, damages to a heart valve can also occur from a bacterial or viral infections, or due to poor lifestyle habits such as cigarette smoking or alcohol consumption.

Keep in mind that when taken alone, a cardiac murmur is not a disease but an indicator of a more serious underlying disease. To be exact, there are mainly 2 classes of heart murmurs. The first type is called an innocent heart murmur which rarely requires treatment. The second type is called an abnormal murmur. These types of murmurs occur usually due to some other serious heart conditions which require ongoing and immediate treatment.

if your doctor suspects an abnormal heart murmur, he will order a series of blood tests as well as ultrasound examination of the heart (Echocardiogram).

Using Large Water Fountains to Accent the Driveway

It does not matter if you have a long, winding, brick driveway or a small circular one, chances are pretty good that it could use a water feature. To most people, a driveway is nothing more than a means to get from the street to the house. However, a driveway can easily become a focal point of the property when highlighted properly.

If you were driving by your house for the first time, is there honestly anything that would draw your eye to the home? Curb appeal is a lot more than a nice rosebush and a bird bath. The exterior of your house needs a focal point, just as every room in your home does. Large outdoor water fountains can help create them.

What Style Should You Choose?

If you were shopping for a fountain for your deck or patio, then you would want to compliment your outdoor furniture. if you were looking for a wall-mounted variety to be placed near the front door then the finish would become important to ensure that it appeared to be an extension of your home. When you are shopping for large water fountains for the driveway there really are no rules, other than size.

Since you are trying to create a focal point in an open space without boundaries, you really can’t use anything other than Large Outdoor Water Fountains. If you try to save yourself a little money by buying a smaller one you will likely be disappointed. It will end up looking smaller than it really is, and will do nothing to create curb appeal.

Can a Fountain be too Large?

Absolutely! You also need to make sure the one you choose does not overpower the design of the home. If you have a small ranch-style home, opt for a short but wide fountain. From the road, a tall tiered variety can look as big as the house, which will make your home appear smaller. The height of the house and the height of the fountain need to compliment one another.

Where Should They be Placed?

If you have a circular driveway then placement is fairly easy. Most people will place the piece on the grassy island that is created in the curved design of the driveway. However, if the grassy area is shallow and really close to the road, or if it is relatively small you may choose to put the fountain on the opposite side of the driveway but facing the road. The only problem with doing this is that if you park in front of the fountain then it will not be seen.

If you have a “straight” driveway, place the fountain off to one side. If you have a walkway traveling from the driveway to the house, it can be positioned next to it. If your property is quite large, you may even choose to put large outdoor water fountains on either side of the driveway.

Help! I Have To Evict My Nephew!

The eviction of a friend or relative is not easy to do. It has to be one of the most difficult lawsuits, if not the most emotionally draining, of all types of evictions. You may be one of the lucky ones who can rent to a friend or relative with no side effects. Still one day, there may come a time when you have to look your friend or family member in the eyes, and ask him or her to leave your apartment.

In the eviction of a relative stranger, even a long-term tenant, the process isn’t personal, just business. The tenant can’t pay the rent, so he has to leave. It’s the end of an association with more or less minimal emotional ties between the tenant and the landlord.

Evicting a friend or relative is one in which sides may be chosen, and lines drawn in the sand. Once the eviction notice has been delivered, do not expect many friends or allies to come to your aid. Depending upon the circumstances of the eviction, you can expect to have your life made miserable by anyone impacted by your decision.

This is because the expectations of a friend or relation are much higher than that of a stranger. If there is a tenancy problem, the expectation is that you will treat the tenant more as a friend or relative than as a financial investment problem. You will be asked to accept less than you normally would for rent arrears, to wait longer for your rent, and to accept behaviors that you would not normally tolerate.

For example, let’s say you need to raise the rent. A rent increase could be perceived as a betrayal of your friendship. Your aunt could think you are taking advantage of her. It doesn’t make sense, but when money is concerned, all bets are off. As far as a friend or relative is concerned, you are in his or her pocket. A belief that you are soaking your tenant for more money that you ‘don’t really need’ could cause your family member to not pay the increase.

Be clear and resolved about why the eviction must take place. Have all of your written documentation in place. Check all of your paperwork, rent cards, letters of warning etc. before you send your notice to quit. Make sure you have a leg to stand on before starting the eviction case. Conduct a due diligence of your property and the legal case.

Hard feelings will sometimes come with the rental and eviction territory. Do not expect to be able to discuss the case calmly with the offended tenant. Do not expect a cool head to prevail over your eviction action. If you evict your nephew, expect your sister or brother to be totally ticked off at you. Your friend may think you are a jerk for evicting her because she parties loudly every weekend, disturbing your other tenants. Your aunt may not come to your aid when your niece does not pay the rent.

When blood is evicting blood, much more blood could be shed before the battle is over. Few people want to be in the middle of a turf war. You may find yourself isolated and alone during the eviction process until the dust has settled. This is the reason why most landlords refuse to rent to a friend or family member. It is preferred to have only one relationship, than to confuse the personal relationship by adding a legal one.

How can you ease the pain of evicting a friend, relative, or even the relative of a friend? It could depend on how the person was moved in. Were you doing your friend “a favor” by renting your apartment to him or her? Did your cousin have to complete a rental application like everyone else? Did you verify all references, employment information, credit check, former landlord information, etc.? Does the tenant have a lease?

Why is this important? Having everyone go through an application process regardless of their status with you establishes the ground rules from Day One. Without it, the tenant could feel that he or she was taken in as a friend, and then treated otherwise when things got tough. It helps to set up the lines of separation between the friendship and the tenancy.

So, what is the best way to evict a friend or relative? Here are some tips:

· First, do not take shortcuts during the legal process. In fact, do everything strictly by the book. A wounded friend or relative who knows your personal business becomes a worthy adversary in a legal case. He or she will use whatever information is available to fight you tooth and nail.

· The jury is still out as to whether or not you should serve the initial notice of lease termination personally, or use a constable. The friend or your sister will feel the sting of you starting legal action just as shocking no matter how the news is given.

· Exercise the same professional manner in dealing with the loved one as you would with a stranger. Try to keep your emotions out of the situation. Avoid discussing the case at length with your now adversarial tenant. The less said, the less information that can be used against you in court.

· Put any rent arrears payment plans in writing. Continue the eviction case, and present the payment plan to the judge. Have the judge enter the payment plan in the court decision. Then, if the plan is broken, it is broken with the court, not you. Your friend or cousin will be less likely to violate a court agreement.

· Some landlords hire an attorney to process their eviction cases specifically against a friend or relative. When your best friend or nephew calls you about the eviction notice, refer all comments and questions to the attorney. Resist the temptation to explain why you started the action. With an attorney, you are taken out of the middle position. Let the lawyer earn the fee by listening to the anger, frustration and feelings of betrayal by the friend or relative.

· If you need to take legal action against a friend or relative who is your tenant, do it. Do not be intimidated by their personal association with you. Your real estate is a business investment. If you remember this during the process, you will be able to separate the two relationships, that of friend or family member who is also your tenant.

Span of Management

Also known as span of control, is a very important concept of organizing function of management. It refers to the number of subordinates that can be handled effectively by a superior in an organization. It signifies how the relations are planned between superior and subordinates in an organization.

Span of management is generally categorized under two heads- Narrow span and Wide span. Narrow Span of management means a single manager or supervisor oversees few subordinates. This gives rise to a tall organizational structure. While, a wide span of management means a single manager or supervisor oversees a large number of subordinates. This gives rise to a flat organizational structure.There is an inverse relation between the span of management and the number of hierarchical levels in an organization, i.e., narrow the span of management , greater the number of levels in an organization.

Narrow span of management is more costly compared to wide span of management as there are larger number of superiors/ managers and thus there is greater communication issues too between various management levels. The less geographically scattered the subordinates are, the better it is to have a wide span of management as it would be feasible for managers to be in touch with the subordinates and to explain them how to efficiently perform the tasks. In case of narrow span of management, there are comparatively more growth opportunities for a subordinate as the number of levels is more.

The more efficient and organized the managers are in performing their tasks, the better it is to have wide span of management for such organization. The less capable, motivated and confident the employees are, the better it is to have a narrow span of management so that the managers can spend time with them and supervise them well. The more standardized is the nature of tasks ,i.e., if same task can be performed using same inputs, the better it is to have a wide span of management as more number of subordinates can be supervised by a single superior. There is more flexibility, quick decision making, effective communication between top level and low level management,and improved customer interaction in case of wide span of management. Technological advancement such as mobile phones, mails, etc. makes it feasible for superiors to widen their span of management as there is more effective communication.

An optimal/ideal span of control according to the modern authors is fifteen to twenty subordinates per manager, while according to the traditional authors the ideal number is six subordinates per manager. But actually, an ideal span of control depends upon the nature of an organization, skills and capabilities of manager, the employees skills and abilities, the nature of job, the degree of interaction required between superior and subordinates.

How to Set Up Merchandise in Your Retail Business

An essential part of planning any retail business from the outset will be pre-determining how to maximise the trading space available in your store and how best to use the wallspace and centre floor trading areas. Effectively arranging your products within that given space could be key to your stores’ success, especially if you have a brand image or ‘attitude’ to reflect. Product placement, how that product is merchandisied, what kind of product density you need to achieve the look and the overall visual balance of the store is paramount to your retail success. Because in retail, our customer is a tactile shopper, who likes to interact with products (touch,feel, try things on), we need to be more vigilant in fulfilling their needs. This is why it is crucial for the merchandise to be set up and presented at its best in your business. Therefore with this in mind it is wise to plan the store layout first ensuring that the product positioning on the floorplan is the best commercial decision for maximising the potential sales growth in your business. After the initial draft of the floorplan is complete, the shopfittings & fixtures should be designed around the needs of the products and floorplan. In this way fitting rooms can be positioned near areas where you would expect customers would want to try on garments etc. Instead of a retailer i know who ask men to use the same fitting rooms as the Lingerie department – needless to say not many men try on in that store!

So always begin your merchandise set up on the shopfloor with a basic floorplan. For the floorplan to be effective at delivering sales, some important considerations should be taken into account:

1 – Know Your Customer – Who are you targeting? If you have a clear understanding of the customer demographic you are targeting then you will be better placed to make decisions about where to put certain lines to attract them into your store. Check out the local competitors and steal some layout ideas for them especially if it is also your target customer that shops there.

2 – Brand Image – What is your Brand Identity? How important is it to you/ your business and how brand conscious is your customer? Asking yourself these questions will help you make commercial decisions about where to feature premium lines or key brands depending on what your customer type is.

3 – Promotional Lines -Promotional products should ideally be positioned in an area of the store that is clearly visible from the entrance area. As these type of lines usually offer less profit margin per sale, it is essential that the promotion drives sales volume in order to make up for the loss in margin due to promo price. Therefore with this in mind, promotional lines should be situated in an area of the store where you would expect a lot of customer traffic. e.g at the entrance to the store, at the tillpoint, on the edge of walkways, on entrance to departments etc..

4 – Main Range Lines – the bulk of your core products should be grouped together by type and then by colour before being merchandised on the shop equipment. If your retail business is ladies clothing for example then for best presentation, pull all your ladies garments into collections by colour story thus creating a ‘wardrobe’ effect which wll appeal and entice the female shopper.

To achieve an authoritative representation of each product line you stock, try grouping similar, related or associated product types together (e.g shoes, earrings, handbags all grouped together as ‘accessories’ ).Once you have grouped all your products into logical product areas then the floorplan will start to develop and the pinpointing of these product zones on the floorplan can begin. There may be several floorplan draft devised before you are completely satisfied that you have the most visually appealing yet commercial floorplan for your business. As a general rule of thumb, product lines with the best appeal (could be brand appeal, newest range instore, best visual appeal etc) should be merchandised on the wall areas with high density promotional lines and smaller, capsule collections better suited to centre floor equipment.

When allocating centre floor space on your plan to your products, remember that the customer will appreciate a floor layout where everything makes sense and is laid out in an organised and logical fashion. The ease-of- shopping factor is a big plus for most shoppers! Therefore any brand or promotional signage, marketing or photography images that you have available should be used to enhance designated areas or Brands within the shop so that they stand out from the main range and add interest to your store.

To draft the best centre floor plan you need to firstly, imagine where your customers will enter your store and visualise what journey around your store you want them to take in order for your products to get maximum exposure. The more floorspace they customer covers in your store the more they see, the more they buy. Once your walkway/s have been established on the floorplan simply drop-in your product zones or mini departments around the edges of the main walkway ensuring that the flow of these product zones or mini departments is logical. The clearer your shop is the more the customer will actually see the products and the more chance they will purchase something. To add further clarity to the layout add a small lead-in display at the front of each of your mini departments to allow the customer to notice the change in products as they pass along the walkway/s.

Facts to Consider About the Computer Power Supply Unit

Computer PSU’s provide constant electricity to the computer allowing it to work properly and these units are considered crucial if you own a computer. There are many facts about PSU’s that not many people know about and this article is going to elaborate on some facts about computer power supply units.

The life span of the device is measured in mean time between failures. Higher mean time between failures is always preferred since they ensure a long life span. Power supplies often last lesser then what the manufactures suggest. While an ordinary computer PSU has a life span of 100,000 operating house, some PSU’s have a life span of 200,000 operating house. These numbers are rough estimates of the life of these units and due to various factors the life span of a power supply unit can be reduced by 50%.

A computer power supply that has sleeved cable looks aesthetically pleasing. Sleeved cables are easier to clean and maintain hence they are preferred by many people. These sleeved cables also prevent detrimental effects on air flow hence they are often recommended over normal cables.

A greater power capacity that is greater output wattage is not always good and ideally a computer power supply unit should have a wattage that is not too low or too high. Extremely high output is usually of no use and extremely low wattage units do not function optimally. Greater output wattage does not ensure that the extra electricity is used for high end graphic cards.

A good computer PSU should supply adequate electricity to all the parts of the computer and not to just one specific part. A good power supply unit should have added features like short circuit protection, under voltage protection, over voltage protection, over temperature protection and over current protection.