The Dog Poop Initiative – A Review

I’ve read quite a few books on leadership and various related subjects but I’ve never come across one quite like “The Dog Poop Initiative” by Kirk Weisler. All of us in the business of trying to help others develop their skills are constantly searching the world around us for events that can be turned into great stories. Weisler has set the bar high with this book.

The premise of the book is that there are few people who will take the initiative to solve a problem. The majority are much more likely to avoid it. As the author points out, in the case of parents, that tendency for avoidance will most likely result in a new generation of avoiders, choosing to avoid, rather than solve, problems.

This is a terrific leadership lesson. What example are you, as a leader, setting for your people? Leaders must be ever mindful that they are always being watched. What they do, or don’t do, can have immediate results, but can also have far reaching consequences. Leaders who avoid problems or sweep issues under the rug will find their subordinates will begin to do the same. When the leader then protests that type of behavior, a conflict will develop that will be impossible to resolve without a change in the leader’s behavior.

I found another interesting application to this story. One of a leader’s most important jobs is developing new leaders. “The Dog Poop Initiative” provides a perfect example of one character trait to look for in potential new leaders: initiative. A person who is not willing to take the initiative when the situation calls for it will probably not be a good leader.

This is certainly one of the shortest book reviews I’ve ever written. But then “The Dog Poop Initiative” is one of the shortest books I’ve read. That’s why I haven’t spent much time on the story line either. To do so would be to give it away. The story is only 23 pages; each page containing a rhyming sentence and some illustrating art work. It isn’t just a children’s book though. It’s one of those clever little books you’ll put in your office for others to read, hoping they get the point.

How to Clean After Toilet Flooding

Water damage to your bathroom after a toilet overflows can be incredibly dirty and difficult to deal with. Only cleaning what the eye can see can lead to mold, mildew and an overall unhealthy environment to live with. The smell alone can be hard to get rid of if the clean up effort is not done in a thorough manner. How would you clean after toilet flooding? Some steps to take in assuring that the water damage clean up is successful are as follows.

Stop the overflow and observe the surroundings to see if there is any raw sewage on the floor or walls. If there is be certain to wear protective clothing such as waterproof boots, gloves, and possibly a mask to help alleviate any fumes being inhaled.

Find out the reason for the flooding. If you see any sewage it is probable that there is a clog in the pipes. This can be due to many things such as too much debris when there are leaky or cracked pipes or something as simple as an obstruction blocking the flow of water. If you cannot find the issue yourself you may have to call a plumber just to be sure.

You are going to need some sort of absorbent material to soak up the excess water. Once you have accomplished that, the chore of picking up any waste from the surrounding area is next. You can do this manually or with some sort of suction instrument that is specifically used for sewage. The latter is recommended if possible.

Disinfecting the floors and walls if need be should be done with a powerful detergent that is specific to the material you are cleaning. Bleach should also be used but make sure there is ventilation. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions on measurements and precautions. If you are dealing with rugs these should be taken out and properly cleaned due to sewage. Wall to wall carpet should really be replaced all together but if this is not possible the padding definitely does. Even then the carpet itself should be cleaned by a professional.

Use a dehumidifier to ensure that even the smallest amount of moisture remaining under the floors, behind the walls or in the grout is eliminated. This is very important so that any smells will not occur.

All of this needs to be done before you can think about replacing any materials or carpet.

Natural Remedies For Jaundice – Treatment of Jaundice

Natural remedies are best option to cure or prevent any disease. As it have no side effects, 100% safe and effective. Read some of the finest natural home remedies for jaundice.

1- Juice of the green leaves of radish should be pounded and extracted with the help of cloth. If the patient is adult, daily half liter of the juice should be taken. It also ensured complete cure in some cases by regular doing this up to at least 8-10 days. Bowel is properly evacuated and healthy appetite is induced and the trouble is gradually decreased.

2- The effective natural remedy for jaundice is also a glass of fresh tomato juice early in the morning, a pinch of pepper and salt is mixed in it.

3- One cup of barley boiled in 3 liters of water and simmered for three hours should be taken several times during the day. It is also an effective remedy in curing jaundice. It is good and easily digested.

4- One of the best home remedy for the patient of jaundice is to take one teaspoon paste of the grind papaya leaves and add one tablespoon of honey to it and mix it well. This is also a home made product which is safe also.

5- Take the paste of 10-15 basil (Tulsi) leaves and adds it to half glass of freshly made radish juice. It should be taken everyday for at least 2-3 weeks. It is also very effective.

6- Though ‘Amla’ is rich in vitamin C and it is highly required by the patient of Jaundice and it is very helpful in curing jaundice.

7- Jaundice is naturally cured by lemon. It protects the damaged liver cell. So drink lemon juice daily. Orange juice is also very effective as it helps in bowel movement to normal.

8- Patient suffering from jaundice should drink juice of sugarcane at least 2-3 times a day. It is one of the important remedy. However it should be preferred to prepare at home and it must be neat and clean.

Chamomile, dandelion, turmeric and barley are the herbs which are effective in curing jaundice, hepatitis and more.

Dos and Don’ts

1- Avoid spicy and fried foods as they adversely affect the jaundice disease.

2- Consume more and more salads of radish and its leaves, carrot, tomato and 2-3 slice of lemon. It is very helpful in curing jaundice in a natural way.

Copyright © Ryan Mutt, All Rights Reserved. If you want to use this article on your website or in your ezine, make all the urls (links) active.

Epoxy or Polyurethane Crack Injection – What’s Best?

The Basic Characteristics of Epoxy and Polyurethane

Epoxy and polyurethane are both resins; generally, they are two component formulations. The blending of the components for each resin type creates the material with the requisite properties for crack repairs.

Epoxy’s components are a resin and a hardener; blended together before a crack injection. The mix ratio is typically two parts epoxy to one part hardener. Injection epoxies typically cure within three to four hours. Once cured, epoxy has a strong bond and a hard plastic-like texture.

Polyurethane, while not necessarily a two component blend, typically has two; one is the resin and the other is an accelerator. Unlike epoxy, the texture of cured polyurethane varies significantly; one cannot generalize regarding the properties of cured polyurethane.

Differences in The Epoxy and Polyurethane Crack Injection Processes

There are significant differences in how polyurethane and epoxy crack injections are carried out. Epoxy injections are referred to as “Surface port injections” because they involve the use of injection T-Ports to inject the epoxy into a crack.

Polyurethane injection involves much higher injection pressures using packers inserted into drilled holes through the crack in the poured concrete foundation. Like epoxy, the injected polyurethane fills the crack through the entire thickness of the foundation thereby preventing water from entering the crack. Professional polyurethane crack injections typically involve a flushing process to clean the crack to improve adhesion within the crack.

Advantages of Epoxy Crack Injection

1. The tensile strength of cured epoxy is greater than that of poured concrete. Under tension, cured epoxy crack repairs will not yield.

2. Epoxy injections provide positive confirmation to the injection technician that the crack has been completely filled.

3. Epoxy crack injections are extremely reliable due to their low failure rate.

4. Epoxy’s curing time allows the epoxy to gravity feed within the crack, thereby filling all parts of even the finest cracks.

Advantages of Polyurethane Crack Injection

1. Polyurethane can be used regardless of the crack condition and the weather. It doesn’t matter if the crack is actively leaking, full of mud and/or mineral deposits, or if it is small or large.

2. Polyurethane injection involves a crack flushing process that cleans out the crack prior to the injection.

3. The chemical expansion of the polyurethane will fill voids within the concrete.

4. The rapid curing of polyurethane is beneficial when rapid waterstopping is required.

Disadvantages of Epoxy Crack Injection

1. Moisture adversely affects the adhesive qualities of the anchoring epoxy used to adhere the T-Ports onto the crack. Without sufficient adhesion, the anchoring epoxy will not withstand the injection pressure.

2. Epoxy is inappropriate for re-injecting previously injected crack repairs that have failed.

3. Homeowner basement leak repairs with hydraulic cement or caulking render epoxy injections inappropriate because there is no longer surface access to the crack, mud and/or mineral has built-up in the crack, and the concrete around parts of the crack is often damaged by water saturation.

4. The curing time and the available viscosities of epoxy are positive attributes, but also weaknesses. Epoxy crack injection relies on the containment of epoxy within a crack until the epoxy has cured. This containment uses the compacted soil against the outside wall. Poor compaction, air-gap membranes and the use of epoxies with insufficient viscosity will result in the bleeding of epoxy into the soil.

Note: The strong epoxy bond is often cited as a negative attribute of epoxy crack injections due to its rigidity. Keep in mind that the entire poured concrete foundation is rigid; therefore, the need for flexibility in the material used to inject a crack, in my opinion, is illogical as there is no real need to accommodate crack movement.

Disadvantages of Polyurethane Crack Injection

1. While polyurethane is flexible and can absorb compressive force it doesn’t fare well when exposed to significant tension; consequently, it is possible that polyurethane will tear if there is excessive tension in a crack, unless it is reinforced.

2. Unlike the epoxy injection, polyurethane crack injection doesn’t provide the injection technician with positive confirmation that the crack has been filled completely.

Foundation Crack Reinforcement

Structural reinforcement of foundation cracks is either accomplished by epoxy crack injection alone and/or by using carbon fibre reinforcing staples. A cracked basement wall can be structurally reinforced regardless of the injection method used.

Concrete cracks will either be in a state of compression or tension at any time. The state of a crack varies during the year due to themal cycling as well as the changing soil pressure on the foundation wall. Epoxy will not yield to tensile forces; however, polyurethane may tear due to tension within a crack.

The Bottom Line

OK, so which method is best for repairing cracks in concrete: epoxy or polyurethane? In my opinion, one should use epoxy crack injections wherever possible. However, the characteristics of the crack to inject should dictate the method used. Failure to take into account the characteristics of each injection type will considerably increase the probability of crack repair failure.

For a more detailed comparison of both crack injection methods visit our website at

Dos and Don’ts of Eyelash Perming

Glamorous eyelashes that you see in the magazines are rarely the exact eyelashes you will see when you personally meet the model. If you want to know the secrets of having beautiful, dark and visible eyelashes, the best option is to learn the basics of eyelash perming.

Eyelash perming is used for people who prefer to go outside without eye make-ups. This procedure also offers men and women a more natural way of making the eyelashes more visible and plumper. Active women can benefit from eyelash perming because the curls of the eyelashes will not go away even in extreme physical conditions. Men today are also using eyelash perming to enhance appearance dramatically without an eye-catching change.

Eyelash perming can take from thirty up to forty-five minutes. For about $50 worth of perming products, the effects could last up to one or four months (depending on the brand used). For men and women who wish to darken their appearances, the perming product can be easily mixed with mild vegetable dyes.

Basic Instructions for Eyelash Perming

Before using the perming kit, make sure to remove your contact lenses or glasses and makeup by using oil-free removers. Allow the eye area to completely dry for ten minutes or more. Dip ten cotton pads in lukewarm water and squeeze excess water out.

Your eyelash perming kit should include a rod (in small, medium or large size). A small rod is ideal for people with short eyelashes, or if you desire a tighter eyelash curl. Medium rods are the most common because it is an all-around curler. Large rods, on the other hand, are appropriate for people with long eyelashes, or those who prefer loose curls.

Majority of eyelash perming kits contain a setting lotion, a perming lotion, a nourishing agent, an eye cleanser and the perming glue. The most tricky part in perming your eyelashes is applying perming glue and determining the consistency of each part. However, all steps in perming eyelashes can be done in ten minutes or less. Make sure to wear protective gloves and read the instructions before performing an eyelash perm.

Most eyelash perming kits are recommended for professional use to prevent possible accidents. It is best to have your eyelashes done from a practiced technician to ensure correct application and guarantee longer results. In cases where perming solution or glue gets into the eyes, make sure flush it with water immediately.

Advantages and Uses of Regenerative Blowers

Regenerative blowers have created a new definition in the field of air handling equipment. The principle on which it functions is a considerable solution for pushing larger volume of air at lower pressure or vacuum. Therefore, the device can be an effective replacement for vacuum pumps. Working on different principles from those of vacuum pumps, regenerative blowers actually regenerate air molecules with a non-positive displacement method for creating vacuum or pressure. Until now, the technology of this equipment, though, has not been understood widely, yet when necessities matching with the potentialities of this gadget arise it becomes unparalleled.

This is also known as side channel blowers and ring compressors. The name explains the way of their physical construction. The term regenerative comes from their basic mode of operation system, as these are actually a direct drive design opposed to electric motor or gas engine belt drive. The impeller in monobloc is attached right on the electric motor shaft and with that rotates at the speed of 2900-3500 rpm. As the impeller starts rotating air is captured between each blade it consists of on its circumference, and is pushed to and fro into the channels. Immediately, the air returns to the blades’ base, a process repetition and continuation which enables the device to produce its pressure or vacuum strength.

Regenerating Blower gives great benefit to the engineers, by the power of working system they act on. As well as, this equipment does not require frequent monitoring and maintenance. The only part that moves is the impeller which does not make contact with the housing channels, and so is wear-free. The only wearing part that is found in these devices is the self-lubricated bearings. Regenerative blowers are completely oil less, and do not have any complicated in or out valve. Moreover, these blowers can be mounted on any surface paying little heed to the probable noise produced.

The failure of the majority of the blowers, however, happens because of improper installation and operation. On account of its less number of moving parts chances of their going inactive are very low. The blowers have close tolerance internally devised between the impeller and housing, so inserting any external thing can harm the equipment. In the process of ingesting debris the blowers can face a failure by particles wedged between the impeller and housing. To overcome this situation a filter of the thickness of 10 micron should always be used. Leading to over pressurization is another issue to meet the gadget’s failure. Some blowers have the system of air passing through them to remain cool. If this passing does not work properly the device can go faulty. A relief valve is helpful in this regard.

Regenerative Blower is employed in many sectors for its numerous advantages. These sectors include vacuum packing, vacuum lifting, sewage aeration, printing presses, spas, pond aeration, industrial vacuum systems, dust removal and soil vapor removal. In any case where high airflow along with low vacuum is required these blowers provide a substantial solution.

Disadvantages Of Carrying An Overstuffed Wallet

When someone makes the statement “I hate big fat wallets” they probably aren’t using the phrase in reference to people who have a lot of money. For some men, the challenge of getting a wallet stuffed with all types of papers or cash into their back pocket can be comparable to stuffing a brick into a space that was meant to hold an envelope. Although men often make fun of women who carry everything but the kitchen sinks in their purses, most are just as guilty of carrying things that they don’t need in their wallet. The end result could have a greater impact on you than you realize.

Even when many men have made the comment “I hate big fat wallets” more than once, they fail to take the time to address the problem, possibly because they do not realize the seriousness of the matter. These are some of the disadvantages of carrying too much “stuff” in your wallet and some good reasons to re-think what you consider essential.

– It can easily attract the wrong kind of attention. Although your wallet may contain three-year-old ticket stubs and receipts from gifts you bought last Christmas, a pickpocket may think that you just got your paycheck cashed or that you have a wide variety of credit cards. The best kind of wallet is one that looks inconspicuous and doesn’t get the attention of would-be thieves.

– Identity thieves are also a potential concern. Those who use an RFD-card reader can get account and personal information from any card with a magnetic strip while it is still in your pocket. The more unnecessary cards you carry with you, the greater your risk of identity theft.

– An overstuffed wallet can actually cause unnecessary stress to your clothes and shorten their lifespan. Large pockets will cause the fabric to pull at the corners until the fabric begins to wear. The shape of the wallet will also cause faded creases where the fabric is stretched over the shape of the wallet.

– Receipts are often one of the biggest contributors to a fat wallet. Most of us think of them as harmless pieces of paper that aren’t even necessary unless they are for something you can claim on your income tax or you need to return the item. There are many differences in the ways different stores print receipts today, some with credit card information, signatures and other information. Just dropping a single receipt as you open your wallet could be all it takes to give identity thieves what they need to use your accounts or open new ones in your name.

– For some of the people who feel that “I hate big fat wallets”, the problem really is from carrying a great deal of cash. Although there are things that you need to pay for with cash, there is never a good reason to carry more than you absolutely have to have. Instead, use your debit card that requires a pin number to take out cash. If it is stolen, you can have it blocked from use as a credit card and the thief won’t be able to withdraw cash without the pin.

– It just looks bad. Nothing will bring down the value of a nice, expensive suit faster than an overstuffed wallet.

If you have ever made the statement ” I hate big fat wallets ” but never took the time to trim yours down, these are some good reasons to make today the time that you change your mind.

The Three Most Important Areas of a Home Or Apartment

In Feng Shui, as in life, certain factors or areas must take priority over others. In Feng Shui, the three most important areas of a home or apartment are:

– the main door

– the kitchen

– the bedroom

If positive energy (chi) collects outside and flows into these spaces, you’ll bring money and opportunities into your life. If these areas are affected by a lack of chi or negative chi, any other positive changes you make won’t have as much of an impact.

This article explores basic ways you can use Feng Shui for these three areas.

Feng Shui your Front Door

The front door represents the way life comes to us — our opportunities and possibilities. It represents the yang dimension of experience. It is important to have a good main door and entrance to allow money, wealth and opportunities to come into your space and life. If the chi or life energy is not able to get into your house to circulate freely, it won’t matter much what’s going on in other areas within the space.

The main door is the chi mouth of the house. Make sure nothing is repelling, expelling or blocking the chi from entering the house. Additionally, make sure no objects that exude Sha chi (killing chi) point to the front door. This may include a corner of a building from across the street, a t-intersection, an item blocking the door or directly in line with the front door. The question to ask yourself regarding these items is, how far is it from your property.

To evaluate your entrance:

– Stand at the front door and look out. Verify that no trees, lampposts, mailboxes, pillars, planters or other items sit in direct line of the door. These items can impact your ability to take advantage of incoming chi and may negatively impact the health of your household.

– Stand outside your front door and look in. This area directly in front of the property is the Bright Hall (Ming Tang). Chi settles here and collects before the residents receive it. Make sure the chi can collect and circulate. Avoid placing anything here that repels, squeezes or blocks the chi from entering the space. You can learn more about how to Feng Shui your entrance here.

Feng Shui your Kitchen

The kitchen – specifically, the stove – represents our source of food and our ability to gain food through our work and careers. The stove has a great deal to do with our public life, our career, the recognition we receive, and our ability to manifest our goals and dreams. As a result, make sure the top of your stove is clean and all of the burners are working correctly. Use your stove regularly, even if just to boil water for tea. And try to use all of the burners rather than just your favorite burner.

If there is poor chi in the kitchen, this could result in career issues, money difficulties and bad health. Take a moment to look at the distance between your stove and sink – if there is a gap of less than two feet between the two, this can create a clash of elements between fire and water.

Feng Shui your Bedroom

We spend one-third of our lives in the bedroom. It’s a space to heal, rejuvenate and relax, improving our health and vitally. Our bed is energetically connected to each of us. Sleep is a yin condition — that the bed shelters, comforts and enables us to truly rest illustrates its great importance.

When evaluating this space look not only at how the Chi is entering the room, but evaluate where your bed is located in relation to the incoming chi and place the bed in a command position.

Your bedroom should be square or rectangular; this represents stability and makes the room suitable for sleeping. Avoid rooms that are round, L-shaped, triangular, or other odd shapes, as they do not allow a balanced flow of chi. Learn more about how to turn your bedroom into a peaceful sanctuary.

A Guide to Managing Fallen Arches

If you have recently visited a podiatrist or chiropractor who has diagnosed you with fallen arches, you may be interested in learning about healthy lifestyle changes. The best way to prevent the pain from fallen arches or flat feet is to understand how balance and harmony between bones and muscles can be improved. When the body suffers from diminished arch support this causes stress and pressure to be placed in other parts of the foot, ankle, and leg which cannot support the weight. This causes friction between bones, tendons, and ligaments which impairs the overall balance of the whole body. There are different steps one can take to prevent chronic conditions from forming due to the presence of fallen arches.

The best way to prevent the common problems associated with fallen arches is through balancing your lower extremities and vertebral canal. When you offer your body extra support you are able to move pain free. Inflammation is a biological process which is stimulated when bones and muscles interfere with each other and tissue damage occurs. This is one reason why those who suffer from reduced arch support are prone to ankle, leg, hip and back pain. Tissues are more easily damaged, the area becomes inflamed, and inflammation means pain. Fallen arches and flat feet may be worsened with age and the onset of arthritis.

The Best Therapeutic Care for Your Fallen Arches

Collapsed foot arches can be corrected through several therapeutic means such as orthotic insoles and even acupuncture therapy, as well as customizing your shoes. The key is to balance the bones, muscles and tendons so that the joints do not suffer from an abnormal amount of weight being placed on them. This is one of the primary reasons for the inflammation of joints in the lower extremities. When inflammation and swelling occurs near a joint such as the ankle or the knee, it can damage surrounding structures and can potentially lead to infection.

In order to make healthy lifestyle changes to accompany healing of the foot arches and to avoid complications with your fallen arches, you may need to make adjustments to your daily activities. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may need rest and avoid strenuous activities from time to time, especially if you have a very fast paced and physical lifestyle. This will also help to avoid straining or tearing muscles that are involved in foot motion. Preventing excessive weight and pressure to be placed on parts of the foot such as the heel or ankle can reduce likelihood of inflammation and foot pain.

Improving foot biomechanics to absorb shock and pressure on joints is absolutely essential to relieving inflammation and swelling of joints caused by problematic arches. Fallen arches can lead to other foot problems such as inflammation of tendons and the stiffness of the ankle which inhibits normal walking capabilities. Physical therapy, acupuncture and even chiropractic care may be recommended if treating your condition independently does not prove to be effective. These healing arts offer the body the ability to grow and enhance strength so that imbalances do not occur through the skeletal or muscular systems. They can be a real help to people with fallen arches.

Celebrating Jesus With a Santa Claus Christmas

St. Nicholas was just a man, but he was a man with a mission. Born in the third century, he grew up to be an intensely kind-hearted man who was especially devoted to children’s issues and helping the poor. He was a Greek Bishop who defied the established Church in order to go out among the ‘unwashed masses’ and live his life as the ‘heart and hands of Jesus.’ While many miracles and legends about him evolved through the centuries, his penchant for leaving secret gifts is the one that captured the hearts and imaginations of people world-wide, leading to the present-day legend of Santa Claus.

I, like many new parents, struggled with the idea of perpetuating a ‘false belief’ and thus undermining my children’s trust. But then I turned to the Bible and saw how Jesus, who always spoke absolute truth, often spoke that truth in stories. He knew something about people’s hearts that I needed to learn as a young parent. He knew that the human mind is logic, analysis, reason, and that the human heart is imagination, creativity, love. He knew that sometimes you have to bypass people’s minds and speak straight to their hearts, those well-springs of wonder, for true understanding to occur and that often the deepest truths are the ones that are too big for the human mind to receive and can only be grasped by the heart.

When it comes to the breathtaking gift of the Christ-child~the Eternal Creator born of a woman, God Himself wrapped in swaddling clothes, the I AM in a manger~what better way to share such an absurd and immense truth than Jesus’ way…with a story? How else would my little ones be able to grasp the concept of such a gift? How would they embrace the wonder? How could I possibly break down the impossible into a pedantic lecture? Would the improbable make more sense in a dissertation?

And so I chose the way of the parable. I embraced Christmas in all its glory, decorated and baked and showered my little ones with gifts, all while sharing the story of the birth of a Baby. Woven through every event, every tradition, every memorable moment of our family’s Christmas, is the celebration of the wondrous gift of a Savior. We watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, and all the other fun Christmas shows together. We read bedtime stories about Christmas elves and Magical toys and talking animals. And when my children ask me if Santa really exists, I tell them, “Yes!” because it’s true. Every parent who carries on St. Nicholas’ tradition of leaving secret gifts, of being the heart and hands of Jesus, of sharing the wonder, excitement, and glory of the most extraordinary Gift ever given to mankind, every one of us is Santa Claus.

I believe in Santa Claus because I am Santa Claus…and you are, too!

Note: I don’t ever use Santa Claus as a threat (i.e. “I’m calling Santa right now if you don’t…” or “Santa’s watching, and you won’t get any presents for Christmas if…”) first because a parable’s purpose is to teach, not to manipulate or control and second because what I am teaching is the wonder and miracle of receiving a free gift, one that can’t be earned because it is given! Manipulating my children into ‘performing’ might work temporarily, but am I really trying to raise works-driven Christians, or am I trying to teach my little people about the incredible gift of grace?

Here are some of the ways we focus on Jesus for Christmas:

Children learn best and most happily through play, so letting my little people ‘play Santa’ is a very important part of our Christmas traditions. And the best part is…they’re playing Santa for Jesus! Here’s how…

Leading up to Christmas, we marvel about how Jesus loves us so much He wants us to get presents on His birthday (truly awe-inspiring to little people, lol, and a lesson on sacrificial giving!), and how all He wants for His birthday are smiles and happy hearts.

Then we brainstorm ways to give Jesus as many ‘birthday presents’ as possible (a lesson on generosity). We work together to share Christmas cheer with everyone we meet, but focus our best efforts on the grumpiest people because they don’t smile as often and so their smiles make really special gifts for Jesus (a lesson on unconditional love!).

We have a 12 Days of Christmas tradition where everyone gets a small present (chocolate, a special pencil, etc), and we read Christian Christmas-themed picturebooks every evening (building excitement for the Christmas morning celebration of the BEST GIFT EVER!).

On Christmas Eve, we go to a special church service and then, after celebrating Christmas with family, we go home and make a fire in the fireplace (in Florida weather!) and make s’mores and hot chocolate and read the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke.

Then, on Christmas morning, we have a ‘Happy Birthday, Jesus’ party before opening presents, complete with a birthday cake and candles and singing ‘Happy birthday to Jesus!’

SMS Long Code Vs Short Code for Texting in the US – Dispelling the Myths

The SMS Long Code has hit a level where its adoption rate is significant enough to get attention from Short Code providers. When searching for information about the Long Code you will find plenty of “opinions” for and against its use from providers of both technologies.

As a veteran of 25 years in the telecommunications industry and having worked within both the wireless and landline sides of the industry, I will do my best to present the facts without prejudice and let you the reader decide what you think is right and what is best for your situation.

I will start with what the Long and Short codes are, and a brief history on how they evolved.

Short and Long Code Background

Short Code

The Short Code was created by the primary cellular carriers, CTIA, Neustar and a handful of others in 2003 as a solution for carriers to handle the higher volume, more bursty A2P (Application to Person) text messaging traffic. P2P (Person to Person) text messaging would be handled through standard 10 digit phone numbers. The Short Code was created as a 5 or 6 digit number that is leased on a monthly basis for higher volume A2P traffic at a cost of $500 or $1000. Numbers deemed “common” are $500/month and vanity numbers are $1000/month.

Once a Short Code is obtained the lessee then has to submit to the carriers a quite comprehensive plan outlining how the code will be used. This is usually done through a handful of aggregators that work with all the carriers.

Neither the Short nor Long Code escape the transactional charges that are applied to each message sent and received. The transactional costs to the end user can range from $.02 to $.05 with the Long Code usually being less expensive than the Short Code.

Long Code

The Long Code is a 10 digit telephone number that has been enabled for text messaging. Until 2003, the Long Code was the only way text messaging was transmitted because the traffic was all P2P. There is a lot of controversy over using the Long Code for A2P traffic in which I will discuss later.

For now, there are two flavors of the Long Code, and it is important when reading articles to identify “prejudice” opinions. It would be equally horrible to commit your company to a bad idea as it would to omit something that makes sense.

Reputable companies such as ILEC’s, CLEC’s, Virtual Telephone Service Providers, Cable Companies, ASP’s and others I may have missed, can use the Long Code for text messaging. I will label these companies as legitimate, reputable users or potential users of the Long Code, but will again cover the controversy within this later.

The second flavor of the Long Code will often be referred to as Grey Route numbers. It is a loosely used term, rarely clarified and often used as propaganda to create confusion in the competitive Short Code/Long Code debate. It is most often associated with companies/people who are trying to get around ethical use of the Long Code.

The concerns around Grey Routes are their use for questionable applications, such as spamming (sending messages to someone who has not asked for it, ie… “opted in”). This is usually executed by companies setting up banks of SIM cards, purchased from a mobile carrier and used to blast out unsolicited text messages to many people at once. Because it is coming from what appears to be a cell phone it looks like P2P text messaging, when in reality they are just masking what they are truly doing.

It is called a ‘grey route’ because it is simulating an individual users (P2P) account, however it could be sending out thousands of messages at a time and will slip through the cracks until reported.

Businesses who are approached to work with a mobile marketing company that suggests or conducts their business through Grey Routes should realize the potential risks of losing their money and more importantly the potential concerns for promoting a product through spamming.

The cost for a Long Code is simply a feature charge on top of the regular monthly cost of a phone line. Costs for the additional feature should be in the low 10’s and never 100’s or 1000’s.

The Issues

Both the Short and Long Code have supporters and both have valid points to support their opinions.

Short Code providers defend the right to block 10 digit NANP (North American Numbering Plan) numbers enabled with SMS because they deem any messaging traffic from a 10 digit number, sent to multiple people at once, or being sent at rates faster than someone can type, is spam and therefore will block it.

In a recent Mobile Marketer article, Jay Emmet, General Manager of OpenMarket, a leading aggregator for Short Codes said – “Any organization that sends an unsolicited text message to a consumer is in violation of the “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003″. One of the key concerns is establishing and maintaining consumer protection. With Long Codes or grey routes, an unscrupulous content provider can send unsolicited SMS to a mobile subscriber, using unauthorized carrier access.”

This is a good example of a statement made about Long Codes that was said for one of two purposes. Either Mr. Emmet doesn’t understand that Long Codes can be deployed through non-grey routes by legitimate, respectable phone companies, which he does clarify by calling them “unscrupulous content providers” or he is labeling Long Codes and Grey Routes one in the same. Maybe he is doing both but lumping together the reputable companies with the spammers, of which no one stands behind spammers from either of the Long or Short code supporters, is an injustice for the reputable content providers and the businesses who would truly benefit from the Long Code.

One of the more challenging issues of the Short Code is it’s unnecessarily costly and there are many approvals to go through, sometimes taking up to six months before it can even be used. Short Code supporters say the system was created this way to protect the end user from annoying and unwanted text message solicitations.

Long Code providers that fall into the reputable category, as I discussed before, feel the text messaging market is monopolized and the wireless carriers illegally block legitimate traffic in fear of it being spam.

Even the reputable Long Code providers shun the use of a 10-digit phone number through a grey route and strongly look down upon any company sending unsolicited text messages to subscribers.

Other issues expressed by Long Code providers are how inter-carrier messaging decisions are made by associations and companies that have a vested interest in their own companies. It is felt that these decisions and actions create barriers for fair competition and ultimately hurts the small business and the consumer.

The Controversy

The companies and associations that control the Short Code are very powerful and are financially very strong as a group. In 2003, the introduction of the Short Code was an example of their power.

The new rule said SMS over a 10 digit number that appeared to be A2P texting would be blocked and all companies sending A2P texting moving forward would have to start paying a monthly lease for a Short Code and a transactional fee for sent and received text messages.

In a class action suite filed by a reputable messaging company which makes its living with solutions for both the Short and Long Codes, filed 4/5/2012 against the Short Codes governing body companies, to list a few: AT&T mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp., T-Mobile USA, Inc., US Cellular, CTIA-The Wireless Association, Syniverse Technologies, Inc., Nuestar, WMC Global, Inc. and others, here labeled “Carrier Defendants”, it is stated –

“The Carrier Defendants conspired to set up systems under which persons transmitting A2P SMS could not use inexpensive ten-digit telephone numbers, but were forced to use common short codes (CSC’s) – five digit (and later six-digit) numbers at materially higher lease and transmission charges with additional fees for connectivity and content review, all of which resulted in substantial overcharges to persons transmitting A2P SMS and materially higher revenues for the Carrier defendants and other defendants.”

Summing that up, the Class Action law suite is claiming the Carrier Defendants have violated Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act of 1890, a landmark federal stature on competition law that prohibits certain business activities that reduce competition in the marketplace (anti-competitive) and requires the US Federal government to investigate and pursue companies and organizations in violation.

Interesting as well, in a closed meeting, as recent as last falls CTIA show in San Diego, CA, the CTIA put it in writing to prohibit A2P messaging using the Long Code in their new inter-carrier text messaging guidelines.

My Take on It

The Short Code was created in a time when text messaging was just starting to catch on. If one keeps in mind a statistic published in 2003 from the CTIA showing monthly volumes of text messages sent in the US were reported to be 1.2 Billion The CTIA’s latest data shows that same monthly number at a whopping 193.1 Billion. That is a 16,092% increase in text messaging volume.

With that said, it is safe to say times have changed. During this time, consumers and companies have gone through an educational and adoption process with text messaging. How it used, who it is used by, and more importantly what the consumer wants out of text messaging has all changed.

I agree that the consumer needs to be protected, but assuming that consumers would tolerate spam is an insult to our very own text messaging education we provided them during adoption and more importantly an insult to the consumer.

Grey routes used for unapproved purposes should not exist and those who choose that route should be shut down and I am sure this process would happen quickly because the average consumer won’t tolerate it, nor pay for it.

What ever the evolution of messaging follows it will only be a band-aid until the next technology comes around. The companies who can adapt in a “fair playing field” are the ones I will be writing about in another 9 short years, the amount of time it took text messaging to grow by 16K percent.

Short Code providers need to let go of their strong hold and realize the industry has changed. If they aren’t aware of these huge changes, maybe they should read this article

Businesses have a legitimate need and right to use both the Long and Short codes but Long Codes can’t support these businesses because traffic will be blocked by the carriers.

Example: A College that needs to send out an emergency alert message to their students, technically, based on the way the rules of inter carrier message are written, cannot use a Long Code because it will either be blocked or throttled to a speed to slow in the time of an emergency.

Overall, such a great job has been done building the communications infrastructure in United States and it should be used to its fullest potential. In order to do so, we can not focus on yesterdays needs. We need to focus on today’s needs and how to meet the needs of the future.

How to Rig a Spinner For Trout Fishing

More than twenty years ago I was taught a great technique for rigging spinners for trout fishing. In reality this method can be used for rigging spinners for fish other than trout, but it is most effective when used in the flowing waters of a river or stream. The man who taught me this method was a bait fisherman and needed an efficient way to change from bait fishing to spinner fishing as fishing conditions changed.

The first thing to keep in mind when using spinners for trout fishing is that light line and small spinners should be employed. Your fishing line should be six-pound test at the heaviest, and your spinners should be between 1/12 and ¼ ounce. The spinners that you use should be the size of the quarry that trout normally eat, which is normally quite small.

Now, let’s get down to how to rig a spinner for trout fishing shall we? Start by grabbing the end of your line and cutting off a piece of line between eighteen and twenty four inches. Set this piece of line aside. Now tie a small barrel swivel onto the end of the line coming from the end of your rod, size 10 to 18 will suffice. Once your barrel swivel is attached, take the piece of line you cut off and tie this onto the opposite end of the barrel swivel.

At this point tie your spinner onto the other end of the piece of line you had previously cut off. What you have now is your spinner on the end of your line, and your barrel swivel twelve or so inches above your spinner. Having this barrel swivel between you spinner and the end of your rod will help prevent line twist and make the spinner perform as it was designed.

This way of rigging a spinner is very effective, but also very light. You’re going to need to add some weight to effectively cast your spinner rig. This is accomplished by adding split shot sinkers to your line above the barrel swivel. By adding split shot sinker you will get the necessary weight for casting.

This way of rigging a spinner for trout fishing helps to prevent line twist and allows your spinner to perform in the manner it was designed. This makes a huge difference in the number of bites you receive. Now you know how to rig a spinner for trout fishing. Give it a shot and find out for yourself just how effective this method is.

PoE and Edge Access Control Devices – The Good, the Bad, and the Cautious

With more and more access control devices residing on a network infrastructure it only seems right that the next logical step is for edge access control devices. You may ask what edge access control devices are. With an edge access control device the control panel resides above the access control door – on the secure side (at the “edge” not in a main control panel room). All of the door components wire to this edge device; the electric lock, the door contact, the request to exit, and the reader. The edge control panels are powered over the PoE Ethernet cable. This same power will also power the card reader, the electric strike, and the request to exit. Edge devices typically come in a single door or sometimes a two door configuration, depending on the manufacturer.

Using PoE (Power over Ethernet) makes cabling to the door simple. Saving you both labor and cabling costs. Using network cabling such as CAT5e or CAT6 also provides some future proofing. Meaning that we don’t know what the future will hold but installing network cable to a door instead of legacy cable types will better allow you to grow with future technologies. Today security industry innovation and technology is being driven by IT standardization and “Commercial Off The Shelf” (COTS) products. Looking at Ethernet cabling for a security project may be the smart choice for the longevity of your security system.

When using Ethernet cable to the door there are some drawbacks. Door hardware selection is the most critical. PoE has power limitations so some electrified devices may be out for this type of solution or may require additional cable for power. Magnetic locks also pose a problem for this type of system. Magnetic locks have special building codes that regulate them. Mag-locks must release in the event of a fire alarm. This means an NFPA approved device must cut power to the magnetic lock (i.e. must be a mechanical relay disconnect not software driven). A second drawback is the cable length limitation. Doors now have to be within 330 feet of a network switch as opposed to the traditional 500 ft. for wiegand readers. This may be an important design feature to consider when laying out the security system.

The best solution may be a mix of traditional panels and PoE edge devices depending on your current layout. Make sure that you have evaluated your choices and that the access control system you select can meet those needs. Many manufacturers offer both a PoE and traditional panel solution within the same software platform. Making sure the system that you select meets your needs as well as national and local building codes.

Using new technology can sometimes be a risk. Before selecting a manufacturer and security company make sure that the product and implementation of the system has been well laid out and makes sense for your security application. Be diligent and do your homework and applying this new system infrastructure to your security system way work out well for you.

Olympic Bar Sleeves Maintenance

We covered general barbell maintenance in our last article. Now that you know general care and maintenance of your barbells we’ll delve into more thorough cleaning of your Olympic barbell sleeves. The ‘sleeves’ on a barbell are the rotating ends where your plates are added to the bar. A newer bar shouldn’t require such close cleaning and care for your sleeves; this will be for your older, well used barbells. Your barbell sleeves are likely held on by one of two methods- snap rings or a pin and end cap. This article will be covering those types of sleeves. There are bar manufacturers that have it made it so the sleeve does not come off, you will have to contact them directly for any maintenance questions and/or concerns.

First, if you have a snap ring style bar you’ll need a snap ring pliers to remove them. You’ll need to remove the outer snap ring, the end cap, and the inner snap ring to loosen your sleeve from your bar. You want to grab the two holes in the ring and compress it to remove it from the bar. Your end cap should pop out next, and you can remove your final snap ring.

Secondly, the pinned barbell sleeves. If your sleeves are pinned there’s a steel disc, or end cap, and pin keeping them from falling off of your bar. The end cap is approximately 2-inches in diameter, and about 1/2″ thick. To hold the endcap in place a pin runs the diameter of the bar. You can use a hammer and small screw driver to tap the pin out of its hole. Once you’ve got the pin out, the end cap should come off and you can remove your sleeve.

Next you should take a clean rag and wipe off any excess dirt, corrosion and grease on your bar, and inside the ends of your sleeve. If some of the dirt is caked on you may want to use a bit of steel wool to smooth things down. You can use the steel wool again, on the now bare bar, and inside the ends of the sleeve. Be sure to wipe down your bar again to remove any residue from the steel wool.

You should use a Teflon grease on the inside ends of the sleeve, and either end of the sleeve portion of your bar. You want to use a high pressure type of grease that will hold the pressure of the bar. Grease should keep the sleeve spinning longer, and will keep it cleaner than if you used oil. You don’t need to use a lot of grease on the bar a little goes a long way. Finally you can put your sleeve back on, remove any excess grease that may be around. Spin the sleeve a few times, again wiping up any excess grease.

As we said in our last article you need to be sure you are otherwise taking good care of your bar. You don’t want to let it slam down on the ground after you’ve removed weights. Don’t drop an empty barbell, letting the barbell slam to the ground may damage your bearings/bushings. Remember to remove the weights from the bar when you are done. Storing weights on hanging bars can cause the bar to bend over time. Be sure to check your workout area for any sharp edges that might damage your bar. Use collars at all times to prevent plate movement on the bars. Proper care and maintenance of your barbells can keep them performing well for a life time.

Why Are Hilti Tools So Expensive?

Hilti have a reputation for manufacturing excellent quality tools that are used extensively in the construction industry. Whilst their reputation and performance are undoubted many people think about using them for home based DIY jobs but the price can seem prohibitive. This article explains why Hilti tools are so expensive and why you should consider buying them.

Anyone who has worked in the construction industry will have undoubtedly come across the Hilti brand of construction tools. Their reputation for build quality and performance make them one of the most popular choices for construction tools and power tools available. This reputation has spread towards home use for diy tasks but sometimes the price can seem high when compared to other manufacturers of power tools.

There is absolutely no doubt that Hilti power tools can seem expensive so are they that good that the price is worth paying?

Having been developed for the construction industry you can be sure that any Hilti tools you buy will have been manufactured to cope with rough use and will easily handle any tough tasks you need them for. Hilti power tools are designed for long term use and maintaining them is easy as they are designed to be easily taken apart for cleaning. Hilti manufacture a wide range of replacement parts and accessories to ensure your power tool will maintain its performance and remain in excellent condition for its full life cycle.

Each Hilti tool has been manufactured with ease of use in mind and is ergonomically designed to provide the maximum possible comfort when in use. This forethought in design ensures you can use your Hilti power tool for extended periods without it placing undue strain and stress on your body. After all they have been designed to be used for long periods on construction sites and have been developed for such purposes over many years.

Ok, so you now know that Hilti tools are very durable and made to a very high standard. You also know that you will be able to use the tool for extended periods and it has been designed specifically for this but do these benefits really validate spending so much more than the alternatives?

Another advantage of Hilti tools is the wide range of accessories available for them. Hilti have created complete fastening solutions so using a Hilti nail gun for example with Hilti fasteners will ensure quality workmanship for the whole job. Hilti have a wide range of different fasteners, drill bits, nails, and sanders available so you can be sure the accessories you use are just as good as the tools.