How To Get Rid Of the Stink Bug Smell

Getting rid of that stink bug smell once it gets on your clothes, the carpeting or any rugs on the floor, any fabric items in your house, or even on your skin can be quite a bit challenging. The odor that this particular species of insect emits can be quite potent while at the same time it is pungent.

Stink Bug Smell On Your Clothes Or On Fabric

Once the smell gets on your clothes or any type of fabric material, it is a simple matter of throwing them into the washing machine and using a good quality laundry detergent. That should be sufficient to do the trick.

If the item requires a little bit more delicate handling or is too big to fit in your washing machine, such as a bed comforter, or is a professional suit, you may want to take it to the dry cleaners.

Getting rid of the stink bug smell in the aforementioned scenarios is pretty straightforward and is a no-brainer.

Stink Bug Stench On Your Skin

But what if it gets on your skin? Many people have reported that try as they might, the foul stench of the stink bug won’t go away with soap and water. That doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

In that case, what should you do?

While there is no textbook answer, there are many “home-remedy” types of solutions that many people have shared in various discussion forums online. For example, will swear by using acidic solutions such as that found in tomato juice or lemon juice. You basically wash the affected area with these juices. The acidic composition of the juice will usually permeate the skin, neutralize and eliminate the stubborn odor-causing molecules of the stink bug stench.

Stink Bug Stench On Furniture Or On The Walls

You can use an aerosol air freshener to mask the stink bug odor in rooms where it has become prevalent, although this will not permanently eliminate the source of the odor. If you happen to know what surface(s) the stink bugs were on when they released their trademark odor, then it may be possible to cleanse the surface and purge it of the odor-causing chemicals that may have saturated it.

As for cleaning furniture or walls, you should resort to using whatever cleaning agents you might have normally used otherwise for anything else. Any highly concentrated cleaning agent for fabric upholstery will do on furniture. Any chemical cleaning agent designed for cleansing wood, steel, or plastic will do the job just fine.

So, sorry folks, if you came here looking for some kind of exotic answer. While the stench may be quite pungent, it isn’t something that can’t be overcome with today’s modern household cleaning technology.

The good news is that the chemicals released by stink bugs that cause the stench are not in any way toxic. They are just annoying. (Although to many people, the smell happens to bear a strong resemblance to that of the herb known as cilantro.)

If you are having a difficult time figuring out how to get rid of that stubborn smell, then you really should just make sure that you are using a highly concentrated dosage of whatever cleaning agent you use, and that you scrub it thoroughly. Sometimes it may take several tries to get the odor out, but it eventually will.

And in the worst case scenario, you can resort to (or supplement with) using room air fresheners or scented candles to mask the smell.

Milliken Legato Carpet Tiles – Which Style to Use?

Milliken’s Legato carpet tile selection is the standard bearer for all other residential carpet tiles on the market. Many consumers find carpet squares and tile appealing due to their easy installation and superior functionality over all other floor types. Milliken Legato has taken carpet tile to a whole new level with many of their features. The Legato carpet panel line by Milliken gives flooring consumers 3 different types to choose from to fit any look and d├ęcor in their home or light commercial setting. These 3 types are Fuse, Embrace, and Touch.

Legato Touch is the most popular entry level residential carpet tile in the market. With prices typically below $2 a square foot, Legato Touch fits the bill when it comes to budget minded projects. Legato Touch by Milliken also fills the need for consumers who like the look of frieze carpet but want to use carpet tiles. A very nice feature of Legato Touch is that the frieze design hides seams flawlessly. Legato Touch has Milliken’s famous TractionBack system that typically requires no glue for installation. Touch is also treated with Scotchguard for extra protection against stains. Touch features a build in padding in the backing so it’s ready to go right out of the box! Legato Touch is available in two different, flecked earthtones and is a nice fit in any room in the house.

Legato Embrace is quite popular. Embrace is a textured plush carpet tile design, with a slightly smoother look than Touch. It is also a denser weight product and holds up well to foot traffic in the home. Embrace has 18 solid colors to select from. Milliken’s Legato Embrace also has TractionBack and Scotchguard protection. The Embrace Legato carpet squares and panel collection have tremendous appeal in bedrooms, playrooms, basements and many other spots in a home. Embrace has an added bonus with Milliken’s anti microbial barrier used between the top layer of the carpet panel and the integral, padded backing.

Legato Fuse is a bold tile. Fuse offers an array of over 15 choices. Some of the choices are geometric designs, some feature stripes, other have texture, and there are also solids. The neat concept is that there are just 5 colors used, so it makes it very possible to create a custom looking floor with the Legato Fuse line. Fuse also has Milliken’s TractionBack, glueless padded backing system. Scotchguard is applied as well giving you confidence that these residential carpet panels will last. Milliken’s Legato Fuse is a perfect match for when you need a quality but discounted custom floor for anything from fun to formal.

Types of Headache and their Treatment with Ayurveda

Headache is known as Shiro Roga in Ayurveda. Literally it means ‘disease of the head’. Headache is not a single type of disorder; but it is a name given to several problems of the head. There are 11 types of headache in Ayurveda. They can be caused due to a various number of causes. Some of them are:-

– Trauma

– Inflammation of the meninges

– Encephalitis

– Cerebral abscess

– Migraine

– Hypertension

– Cerebral hemorrhage

– Vasodilator drugs

– Alcohol hangover

Apart from these there are several other factors such as fevers, metabolic disorders and diseases of the eye, ear and nose which can cause headaches.

Though pain is predominantly vitiation of the vata dosha, vitiation of the pitta and kapha doshas can also cause headaches. The chief symptoms of the three different doshic types of headaches are:-

1. Vata type of Headache – The pain is intermittent, i.e. of a hammering type. There is constipation, insomnia and depression. These pains are compounded by mental tensions.

2. Pitta type of Headache – The pain is usually felt on half of the head. It is accompanied by a burning sensation and wateriness in the eyes. The person is generally scared of light.

(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Headache

1. Betel (Piper betle)

The leaves of the betel have analgesic and cooling properties. When a paste of them is applied to the center of the headache, then immediate relief is obtained.

2. Bishop’s Weed (Trachyspermum ammi)

Bishop’s weed can keep severe headaches away. It is most effective in headaches that occur due to migraine. The fumes of the lighted bishop’s weed seeds are used for the treatment. These fumes are smoked or the seeds are sniffed directly.

3. Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

The aroma of the clove has a headache-allaying effect. It can soothe the nerves and bring it back to a pacified state.

4. Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic has almost miraculous properties in relieving headaches, of whatever type they are. Their juice slowly permeates the head region and acts as a painkiller.

5. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger has painkilling properties. Due to this property, it is used as an external application on the affected head region. This gives relief from the headache.

6. Henna (Lawsonia inermis)

Henna flowers have the capacity to reduce headaches if they are caused by excessive heat. The henna flowers are applied externally on the head with vinegar to get the desired results.

(2) Dietary Treatments for Headache

Sweet and mild tastes are better in relieving headaches than other tastes. When there is a headache, consuming a sweet preparation or even a spoonful of sugar helps.

Milk and ghee are also beneficial in headaches. Preferably, the milk of a cow should be warmed and had when there is a headache.

Rice is the preferred carbohydrate to be taken in times of headache. The water left after cooking the rice should be had when it is warm, with a dash of ghee added in it.

Spicy and fried foods must be avoided when there is a headache.

(3) Ayurvedic Treatment for Headache

Since there are many different types of headaches, there are different treatments for them in Ayurveda. Ayurveda does not treat all headaches with uniformity. The following are the different treatments prescribed:-

1. If the headache is of vata type, then Triphala choorna is first prescribed to clear the digestive system. Then Shirashooladivajra rasa must be taken, or Mahavata Vidhwansana rasa must be taken twice a day in dosages of 125 milligrams in warm water.

2. If the headache is of pitta type, then amalaki is prescribed, or Triphala which contains amalaki can also be given. Half a gram of Shatavari is to be taken twice a day for a month.

3. If the headache is of kapha type, then anu taila is applied first to clear the nostrils. Then medicines such as Shoola Gajakesari rasa are given in dosages of 125 milligrams thrice or four times a day.

(4) Home Medications

a. A paste of clove and salt crystals is prepared in milk. The main curative ingredient in this is salt, which, being hygroscopic, absorbs the fluids in the head and decreases the tension.

b. Early morning after waking up dab an apple with salt and eat it. After that, drink some warm water or milk. Continuing this for ten days will reduce the problem of continuous headaches.

c. Peel a piece of garlic. Put it in the mouth and chew it slightly. Let its juices spread around the mouth region and upwards into the head. Keep on chewing the garlic mildly and allow the juices to spread. Within some minutes the headache would disappear. This treatment works even for the most persistent of headaches.

d. For headaches that are caused due to common colds, drinking a decoction of coriander and sugar helps tremendously. One more method to clear common cold related headaches is to place both feet in warm water for about half an hour.

e. For headaches that are caused due to excessive gas in the stomach, drinking a glass of warm water with a fresh lemon squeezed in it brings the headache as well as the gas problem down.

f. Grind some cinnamon and make it into a paste with water. Apply this on the head. This reduces headaches.

g. Soak some almonds in water overnight. In the morning, grind them into a paste and warm them slightly in ghee. Mix this in water and drink. This helps in treating headaches that have been going on since a long time.

h. Drinking a glass of water in which jaggery has been mixed helps in reducing headaches.

Top 5 Car Restoration Tips

Restoration isn’t a hobby – it’s a way of life. Whether you have a recently-purchased classic (stored safely under a car cover) or something that’s been sitting on blocks (without so much as a sun shade), taking that first step towards fixing it up can be a daunting task. Here you’ll find a few tips that can help prioritize the job and keep you from having to do things more than once.

Tip 1: Restoring a car is like building a house. There’s a logical order. You wouldn’t build the roof before the foundation. So, the first step in any restoration is to plan out exactly what needs to be done, making a complete list of the entire project to avoid missing something essential or risk damaging a refurbished bodyline or fresh paint job. Once you have an overview, organize it into a game plan. Depending on the repairs you’re making, it’s best to proceed in the following order: transmission, engine, electrical, suspension, interior, body and wheels.

Tip 2: An older car may have been built like a tank, but the downside is it usually sounds like one too, especially on the freeway. If your restoration includes stripping the vehicle down to the undercarriage, take the time to sound-proof your ride with spray undercoating, insulating foam or reflective insulating wrap. Undercoating helps minimize vibration through sheet metal and is highly effective when you need to reduce noise coming through metal air ducts or fender voids. Expanding foam is great for filling cavities in car bodies and holes in firewalls. Keep in mind, it’s called expanding foam for a reason. So, be sure to leave room for expansion, or your fender may swell out like a botched Botox treatment. Finally, reflective insulating wrap comes on rolls that are either two or four feet wide. It installs with spray adhesive and is thin enough not to require any modifications to upholstery or trim, making it ideally suited as a liner in doors, hard tops or over flooring.

Tip 3: The words steel wool and auto repair aren’t often used together. But there are different grades of steel wool intended for a variety of uses-notably, very fine grade 0000. It can be used on a variety of auto parts and car accessories, including chrome, glass, stainless steel and other delicate materials, without scratching the surface. Use it with chrome polish to brighten stainless to a high luster, polish auto parts with chrome trim like molding or wheels, and clean around your headlights or rocker-panels. You’ll find it in most hardware or do-it-yourself stores. One thing to remember when using anything for the first time: start small. Begin in a corner, underside or unnoticeable area and work your way out. It’s the best way of avoiding disaster should the surface not be compatible with the grade or chemical treatments in your polishing pads.

Tip 4: Taping off an area to be painted protects windows and trim but also raises the problem of tearing off a freshly painted surface if you use the wrong tape. If you can, use masking tape designed especially for your application. But when you don’t use the right thing and realize too late that you’re going to tear up your new paintjob, there’s a simple way to get standard masking tape off without ruining your finish, and it’s as close as your own bathroom: a hair dryer. Gently heat the tape as you peel it off the painted surface. In case you’re wondering, the operative word there is GENTLY. If you’re a pro and have a heat gun, that works too, but keep the temperature LOW. The tape will pull right up. It may leave a slight residue but it’s easily removed with a mild solvent or a variety of car waxes like Zymol wax.

Tip 5: Gluing vinyl or leather material onto panels or seats can result in splotches of contact cement on the appearance side. Cleaning products like 409, Mr. Clean or other solvents may remove the glue but discolor the vinyl or leather in the process. Instead, grab some vinyl or aluminum duct tape and wrap a little bundle around your fingers with the adhesive side out. Then, just like removing lint from a sweater, pat the glue spots with tape and the glue will come right up. This technique also works on sewed seams and seat covers, a task that’s nearly impossible to achieve with cleaners.

Best Materials for Inflatable Kayaks: Finding the Kayak That’s Right for You

There are 3 main materials inflatable kayaks are made from today that makes them more durable and long-lasting than versions produced a decade ago. Modern inflatables are made from Nitrylon, Hypalon or PVC, each with unique advantages. Some people prefer one material over the other, but all are very tough.

PVC Kayaks

Of the three, PVC kayaks are probably the most common. PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride, a vinyl polymer that is flexible and durable. PVC inflatables have many advantages. They are much cheaper than other materials, thus they make a great kayak for a beginner. These kayaks are also very portable, convenient and known to last a long time. Unlike some other materials, PVC can also come in a huge variety of colors. It’s also very easy to patch with repair kits and can be welded for a very solid construction. Other materials may only be assembled with glue, which slowly breaks down over time.

Unfortunately, PVC inflatable kayaks have a couple of disadvantages. They aren’t incredibly resistant to extreme temperatures, sunlight and chemicals. They may also be damaged by UV rays from the sun unless they’re treated with a protectant spray.

Hypalon Kayaks

Hypalon is a patented synthetic rubber that’s resistant to chemicals, sunlight and temperature. Hypalon kayaks are probably the most long-lasting styles available today with the ability to stand up to environmental conditions like mildew. Hypalon boats are actually used by the United States military and Coast Guard due to their reliability.

Downsides to the hypalon inflatables include their high cost and the need to use glue to assemble the boat.

Nitrylon Inflatable Kayaks

These kayaks are newer on the market and came about after the controversy surrounding PVC. Nitrylon is seen as a more eco-friendly material for kayaks and is actually a lamination of natural and synthetic rubber over 1200-denier polyester fabric. Advantages to this material include its ability to easily withstand punctures and cuts and the way it can perform in even the coldest environments. It’s also very easy to patch. Because this material is so heavy, it’s usually reserved for very cold use or in environments that require a very tough kayak.

If you’re thinking about buying a new inflatable kayak, it can help to consider the different materials available to choose the right kayak for your needs. If you’re going to very cold environments like Alaska or want something ultra-durable, Nitrylon is the best bet. PVC is a good choice for most people, however, due to its affordability and durability.

Propane Patio Heaters – Are They Safe Or Not?

No question you can expand the use and enjoyment of your patio or deck with an LP patio heater. However, they generate high heat from gas, so are they safe?

It depends on what level of safety you are looking for. If you want guaranteed safety, do not buy an outdoor patio heater. Likewise, do not live in a home equipped with gas or electric heat, get rid of all appliances, and trade your car for a horse.

Guaranteed safety does not exist in anything, outdoor patio heaters and horses included. As with any appliance, machine or device, safety ultimately is determined by the way we use it. Common sense precautions, such as those presented here, will help ensure the safe enjoyment of this product for many years.

Most likely you will connect your LP (propane) heater to a 20lb propane cylinder, what most people use with their gas grill. Rest assured that propane tanks are virtually indestructible. You would have a very hard time blowing up a propane tank even if you tried.

More important for our discussion are the connections between the tank and heater, as well as the flame that is involved. Faulty connections can produce gas leaks, which are very dangerous, as are poorly managed flames from any source. A good idea is not to use a dented or rusted propane tank, or one with a damaged valve, collar or footing.

Should you smell gas, shut off the gas and extinguish the flame. If the odor continues, contact your gas supplier or fire department. They will be able to restore safety and peace of mind.

In addition to smell, there are effective ways to test for leaks, including brushing soapy water on all gas connections (with tank valve open). If this creates bubbles, you have a leak. Manufacturers may provide other testing guidelines, which you should follow.

It is a good bet they will not include using matches or lighters, or smoking and consuming adult beverages while checking for leaks. If unsure why that is, please obtain a restraining order from any gas heater, grill or appliance.

Generally, new patio heaters require some assembly. Although top manufacturers usually check factory connections for leaks, movement during shipping can loosen parts. To be safe, thoroughly check for leaks before firing up the unit and gathering everyone around.

Be sure to complete all assembly steps and not to force parts together. If assembling appliances is not your cup of tea, this would be a good time to offer a cup to someone who has the right skill set.

Outdoor patio heaters should not be used indoors, as every owner’s manual will state. Indoor fireplaces have chimneys for a reason. Burning anything requires proper ventilation, and patio heaters are not equipped with a chimney. Combustion of propane creates carbon monoxide, which, in enclosed areas, can kill you.

The importance of maintaining the manufacturer’s recommended clearance from combustible materials cannot be overstated. Generally, at least 3′ is needed. On patios and decks, this includes overhanging trees and shrubs, siding, children’s toys, paper plates, clothing….

Some materials require much more clearance, such as gasoline, paint and other flammable vapors and liquids.

The dome and burner of an outdoor patio heater are extremely hot during operation. The surface of a heater’s emitter can reach temperatures approaching 1600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Therefore, take special care with children and pets. Alert children and adults to the hazard of high temperature and demand they not touch or get close to the heater. Likewise, you should not try to move a patio heater when in use, and never leave a lit patio heater unattended.

Be sure to place your heater on a hard, level and stable surface and not to use it when winds exceed 10 mph. Although well-made units are equipped with an automatic tilt shut-off switch, it will not prevent injury should the heater land on someone. Also, extra wind may douse the flame and allow gas to escape.

Are propane patio heaters safe? Yes. Higher industry standards and expanded regulations have greatly enhanced the fundamental safety of outdoor patio heaters and propane usage. A better question is whether the person using these products is safety minded, which you are if you have read this far. For you, therefore, propane patio heaters are safe.

The Difference Between a Casio Baby-G and a Casio G Shock Watch

Are you looking for the perfect watch that can stand up to your tough lifestyle? There are two that come to mind: the Casio Baby-G and the Casio G shock. These two watches are remarkably similar. They are both tough and durable. They can withstand large falls and impacts that other watches would crumble under. They can both be used in water, and they both have sleek designs that set them apart from other watches.

Their similarities make sense, though. After all, the Baby-G is just a smaller version of the G shock. Despite their similarities, however, there are a few unique differences you should consider before you decide to make a purchase.

Analyzing the Differences

  • Men vs. Women – One of the biggest differences between these two watches is that the G shock is made for men, and the Baby-G is made for women. The sizes of the straps and the watch’s face are different because of this. The Baby-G’s face is generally about the same in length, but it is usually not as deep as the men’s version of the watch.
  • Water Resistance – A G shock watch is generally (although not always) water resistant for up to 200 meters. While some Baby-G’s are as well, many are only resistant for up to 100 meters. Unless your favourite activity is snorkelling or deep sea diving, however, this should not be a problem.
  • Colour – The men’s version of this watch generally comes in very few colours, like black, red, silver, gray, and white. The women’s version, however, is much more colourful. You can find these watches in red, pink, green, white, purple, black, blue, and silver. This allows women to pick and choose different and vibrant colours to match any outfit they put on.

What do These Watches Have in Common?

Aside from their sleek look and unmatchable durability, these two watch styles have several features in common, including:

  • Temperature resistance – Some of the watches can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Celsius.
  • Electro-luminescent backlight – The backlight on these two types of watches allows you to enjoy them anytime- no matter what time of day it is.
  • Auto-Calendar – These Casio watches are programmed so you will not only know the time, but the date as well. While the number of years the auto-calendar is programmed until will vary, depending on the exact version you purchase, some are programmed all the way until 2099.
  • Long Battery Life – The Casio G shock and Baby-G both come with long-lasting batteries. You can use these watches for up to two years before you need to replace them.
  • Stopwatch – Are you in training or simply trying to lose weight? These watches can help with one hour countdown timers, complete with an auto-repeat option, and a one hour stopwatch.

Whether you are a man or a woman, you are going to enjoy all of the unique features available to you from Casio’s line of G shock watches. If you are a woman, you can enjoy the traditional G shock gives a masculine flair and has all the bells and whistles you need, and if you are a woman, you can enjoy all the same great features, but with a more feminine and colourful accessory.

Is the Antique Business, Dying, Dead, Wounded Or Just Hybernating?

If you are a small business owner of a antique business, you have probably heard the “death knoll claims”, been deluged with discouragement from the “gloom and doom”crowd and look frequently out your window to see if “the funeral procession” is passing by…I am here to tell you that while antiques as well as all discretionary retail businesses are challenged…they are not dead and won’t be any time soon!

Almost every day I hear the constant comment from some customers and a lot of discouraged dealers saying that the antique is industry is dead, dying or disappearing. There rationale is:

1. The existing customer isn’t buying.

2. The existing customer has bought all they intend to.

3. The younger customer isn’t interested.

4. Everyone that might be buying is buying online.

I would like to give you “tough and committed” antique dealers who have store fronts some counter intuitive insight and contrarian opinion about the “state of things in the antique industry”.

For years the antique industry (like many other industries in America) became over populated with part time, marginally committed participants who saw there opportunity to turn a “passion for garage sales” into “off or on the books” profits with little day to day efforts through the proliferation of antique malls everywhere! These dealers would “plop down” a security deposit, load up the SUV, get a few tables and cloths together and open up a Antique Mall Space. The large size of this group proliferated a huge amount of antique malls popping up on many main streets and malls throughout the United States.

The fallacy of this concept was the space was expensive, add on percentages pretty high, and marginally committed staff not having the same “vested interest” as a owner of a mall space would have. The dealers in the malls were not “retailing veterans” and in many cases found out at the end of the month that instead of the “slush funds” that they thought they had created, a bill for the short fall between space rent and sales was waiting for them on the first of the month instead of the hoped for check. A new “harsh reality” sunk in to the mall space tenants and they soon said this is not a good idea and “bailed” in record numbers. The “bailing process” of mall space tenants created huge empty gaps in antique malls and led to a new reality for the antique mall owner “they are upside down on their rent due to the vacancies”. This has led to record Antique Malls closing their doors and hanging the “for rent” signs on the front of the buildings.

What is the post mortem of this process? “Bigger opportunities” for the surviving retail outlets for the sale of antiques by getting a bigger slice of a (economically caused) smaller pie. This is a moment to not lament the advent of online antique sales but take advantage of it. The internet gives a dealer a chance to reach millions of new customers and “start slicing up” their share of the smaller pie. The reduction in shopping malls makes your “brick and mortar” shop more appealing to the customer who enjoys a new adventure in a antique store (as long as he or she is welcomed with enthusiasm) and well priced and unique items to be tempted by.

Willl the antique industry and store survive and return back to life? I think so. The antique customer is first and foremost a “collector” not unlike a museum. They collect things that interest them, have intrinsic value to them and that they think will in time appreciate in value. The number and longevity of museums throughout the world is testimony that there is still interest in viewing and owning things of historical significance on the part of many individuals. A private collection of a “item of passion” for a collector is their private museum to be enjoyed by themselves and shared with friends…and perhaps ultimately sold for profit!

The traits that will determine the”winners and losers” in this antique industry “shakeout” are:

1. Perserverence coupled with tight expense control.

2. Exciting and unique merchandise flowed regularly to ensure newness to your repeat customers.

3. Good value. The days of “obscene profit” are over. $10 profit to $1 investment may happen occasionally but a more modest $3 to $1 sales price to cost ratio probably will give better value and motivate the thinning “customer count” to purchase.

4. A good attitude. The last thing anyone needs (or wants to hear) when they visit a store or business for some quality shopping time is “gloom and doom”. Motivation and enthusiasm are contagious…so is wining and growsing. If you want more positive customers… be a more positive shop owner!

5. Look for new ways to reach new customers. Pack up the car or truck and hit the high, low, or medium end flea market, antique show or swap meet with a load of business cards and great merchandise. Give the people who stop by a “preview” of your taste and selection and invite them to stop by for a visit of the larger assortment in your shop. Give them a discount coupon, if you want to fuel urgency, to be used on their next visit.

6. Finally keep you store fresh. If new merchandise flow isn’t possible with current cash flow challenges… Rearrange your stocks so that the same items are presented in new locations, with new adjacencies and with new ways to visualize their use. You will find a old item becomes a new sale by simply moving it to a new location.

In summary when the going gets tough…The committed antique shop owner should look at the situation as a opportunity to grow market share…Not toss in the towel!

The world is littered with businesses that would have been successful with a little more perseverance and patience! Quitting is easy…Winning is commitment!

4 Pro-Tips on How to Sublet Your Apartment

Subletting your apartment can be fraught with stress and worry because you’re giving a stranger the keys to your home. If you follow the best practices listed below, summarized in 4 easy steps, you can mitigate the risk of ending up in a very bad situation. The most important takeaway is not to forget that you’re letting a stranger into your home so you must conduct a thorough screening process of the potential subletter.

1. Get your landlord’s approval for the sublet.

You should take a look at your lease to see if it forbids subleases. However, even if it does, it’s worth talking to your landlord to see if he or she is amenable to a sublet under your particular circumstances. This step is often overlooked by cavalier tenants, but it’s really worthwhile because it (1) prevents you from having to scheme with your subletter to avoid the landlord catching on; (2) you put your lease and apartment in the hands of your subletter, most likely a stranger you have no reason to trust. That gives them tremendous bargaining power later because the tenant can use his/her knowledge that you’re breaking the terms of your lease to extort you. Even if the landlord inadvertently finds out about the sublet, he/she could boot you from the apartment for breaking the terms of the lease and that’s quite possibly the most catastrophic consequence of a sublet — losing your home.

2. Advertise your apartment widely, but starting with those closest to you.

Ideally, you won’t sublet your apartment to a stranger at all. You should start with friends and friends of friends to explore the possibility of subletting your place to someone who you have some reason to trust. Their pre-existing relationship to you means that they’re more likely to treat you and your place with respect.

For instance, as a law student at Michigan, if I couldn’t find a friend who needed a sublet, I would ask around to see if anyone they knew needed a sublet. If that failed, I would next email the law school listserv. Finding a law student to sublet likely meant that the subletter would be financially responsible and they likely had a reputation to keep up at school which meant they wouldn’t trash the place.

Finally, Craigslist is your last option, but it’s not a bad one. I’ve found numerous subtenants off of Craigslist and many of them turned out to be fine people. However, if you do get someone off of Craigslist, step 3 becomes especially important advice. Note that you can start the formal screening process described in step 3 by including a link to a Leasely rental application in your Craigslist advertisement.

3. Conduct a Formal Screening of the Subletter

A formal screening of the subletter is a must. If the subletter doesn’t pay rent, you could lose your home, so ensuring that the subletter’s credit is up to sniff is vital. Even if the subletter pays rent up front, it’s important to know whether your subletter has a criminal or eviction record because that indicates the level of respect with which your tenant could treat your home while you’re away. When you sublet your apartment, you’re putting your reputation in the hands of your subletter so it’s of paramount importance that he/she can handle that level of responsibility.

Putting a formal screening process into place means conducting a credit, criminal, and eviction check of your tenant including information gathering of references and employment information. Even if it’s not worth your time to check the references up front, it’s important to have that information in the case that your tenant subsequently live up to his obligations. The references can be used to track down the tenant.

Leasely makes this process easy, because you can just take our standard application form and use it to gather information and conduct the background check. The only thing that’s left is to meet the subletter in person to show him or her around the place and see if the fit is good.

4. Negotiate a Sublet Agreement and Make Logistical Arrangements

After you’ve determined that the subletter passes muster, it’s time to reduce what you guys have discussed as the terms of your agreement into a formal document. Draft a document that details the rent, duration, move in and move out dates, whether the landlord will be paid directly or you will be paid, and any other terms you may have discussed. Consider asking for a security deposit to cover any damage or unpaid rent which you would return upon the termination of the agreement.

Finally, make logistical arrangements for the subletter to move in. Give the tenant a copy of the key, show him/her where the garbage, laundry, and mail are located, and let him/her know anything else as needed to ensure a comfortable stay. Make sure that your contact information is available to the tenant so that you can be contacted should the need arise. When you leave and upon your return, give your subletter a ring on the telephone to confirm his or her arrival and departure.

These tips will help you mitigate the risks associated with subletting. Go forth, and sublet with confidence!

Freelance Bookkeeping Rates – How to Charge For Your Bookkeeping Services

New to the bookkeeping business?

Then you are probably uncertain about how much to charge for your services. This is business advice for Bookkeepers and other consultants as well.

When I began my bookkeeping business in 1999, so was I. Here are some tips on what to charge.

One lesson I learned quickly is that EVERYBODY wants a deal and they think that you should give them one, but the minute you do, they will undervalue your services and consider it to be a permanent discount.

Don’t make the mistake of charging too little – Use reward incentives and bonuses for new client referrals instead of lowering your price for any customer. Even once can be the “Kiss of Death” to your rate sheet.

Do not guess at how much to charge, either. When you begin you need to seek out other professionals in your field and simply ask them what the rates are that they are charging in that area. Ask them if there is a sliding scale and if so, what criteria they use to determine those variables.

Here is what I figure –

Small business clients would rather pay a flat fee than an hourly rate. Most bookkeepers charge an hourly rate, but will charge a flat fee based on the number of transactions that need to be entered, plus $5-10 (if they don’t know the client in advance). You must also calculate these costs into your calculations – Workers Compensation, self-employment tax (10% for USA), and business insurance.

For a basic bank and credit card reconciliation, data entry and set of monthly financials you will work approximately 2.5 minutes per entry. Each data entry transaction counts as “2.5.” So, if you have an average small business with 200 entries per month, you need to charge 2.5 minutes per entry minimum.

Experience tells me that some entries will take more time and some entries will take less time, but from start to finish all entries made will balance out to 2.5 minutes apiece. At the rate I charge that means that a monthly flat fee for this customer equals 2.5 times number of entries divided by 60 total minutes times hourly rate (2.5 x 200 / 60 x $45 = $360 per month flat fee).

Not all bookkeepers are willing to share their fee structure with others, so do not be afraid to ask several bookkeepers what they charge for a beginning point of reference. You will find that there are ranges of rates from $16-60 + per hour. Pick one of those rates that feels like it covers your costs and still holds you accountable as an expert in your field. If you charge $16 an hour then you really need to get more experience and/or education to be taken seriously. Bookkeeping Accreditation is one way to do that. Check with your local chapter of American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers for accreditation.

If your customer seems apprehensive about your fee then ask them if they would imagine a set of records presented to their accountant at the end of the year with no problems, and if that would be an equitable way to think of your fee. If they still hesitate then you are best advised to help them find someone else.

The benefits of hiring a bookkeeper also include the fact that a full-time employee and payroll costs are eliminated, computer hardware and software and extra office space and storage for bookkeeping purposes aren’t necessary.

$25-45 is the average cost per hour for a good bookkeeper who knows the business. For higher hourly rates you are paying for a bookkeeper who works with an accountant. Those rates reflect the fact that they work with professionals who oversee their work and the higher rate is symbolic of the review by a tax professional of the records of a business before they go out the door to the IRS or CRA. It is worth the extra cost for a lot of clients. For others it is not and those people probably don’t make the best clients for experienced bookkeepers.

When you are creating your invoices for your own customer billings, briefly rewrite the work you did for them (client) in the body of your invoice to them. There is really no need to add all the items on your list of the services you provided for them. You just want to include a 2-5 sentence outline for your client so that they understand what they are paying for.

TIP: If you have a large amount on your invoice to present to them then try to break it up into 2-3 separate invoices in the course of a month. Your clients may need you to do their work, but nobody appreciates a huge bill at the end of the month without any warning. Those situations lead to ill-will and short-term clients. Longevity is the key to owning and operating a reputable and long-standing bookkeeping business.

Invoice Descriptions Include:

“Bookkeeping services rendered for November, included but were not limited to, the following: Bank and credit card reconciliation and reports for October statements, cash receipts journal, cash disbursements journal, general journal entries (for those on an accrual method of accounting. General journal and accruals, trial balance, general ledger postings. If you performed payroll services then add “payroll preparation,” “quarterly payroll tax returns,” etc.

The big picture and a few details help your client understand why you bill the way you do. And why you are worth it!

If you performed additional services that you choose to leave as un-billed go ahead and add it to your invoice as a note on the bottom listing that service – For example: IRS phone calls for payroll issue 3 hours at no charge. ALWAYS say, “Thank you.” NEVER ask a client to call with questions on your invoice.

Charge for telephone consultations and training sessions at reduced rates – Unless you want to be training your clients for free and that just takes away valuable time you can be spending getting other jobs and clients. Time is Money-Use yours wisely to grow your business. Do not nickel and dime clients – faxing and copies should not be billed out unless they exceed $20.00 in your time and costs.

Always invoice your clients regularly – the same time every single month. Create professional invoices even if it’s on an Excel spreadsheet. Use the last day of the month as a guideline in billing dates.

Still looking for clients?

– Look through the want ads for people who are interested in hiring a 10-15 hour person a week. Generally these people are less interested in hiring an employee. Give them a call or send your business card and resume and cover letter explaining why your service is good for them – outline the benefits for them and request a phone call to discuss it.

– Join a local networking group. I found that Business Networking International (BNI) not only helped me professionally with public speaking, and self confidence, but they also gave me a steady and solid stream of references every single week that grew my business and kept me busy. The cost of membership paid for itself in only one week.

Good luck!

Christmas Card Fonts – Which Do You Like Best?

Isn’t it interesting how things such as paper quality, ink color, and even fonts can affect how we emotionally react to printed material? It’s all in the presentation and during this holiday time of year, that is clearly evident in the Christmas cards we send out to those we love and want to remember. It’s a generally happy season, and so we want to only utilize effects that will evoke joy in our recipients.

Ever wonder about fonts? Who creates them…how they are developed…what goes on in the mind of those who do bring them into being? It’s clearly an art form, something that never existed before – and then is. When I think about creation, things such as music and literature are easy enough to process. We put together words, and come up with something someone else reads and reacts to. We string together sounds, and the result is music that can stir someone else’s soul, or make them want to run and hide with their hands over the ears.

Yet fonts, while they truly are art, take an existing reality-a letter-and that letter is developed into various shapes, sizes, and formats to bring about a completely different set of visualizations for that one previously-simple reality. It’s almost like a math equation. Take one letter, add one shape and another slant, and the final count is a completely different creation.

The best-recognized fonts used for the Christmas holidays are often the traditional ones, those we have adjusted ourselves to seeing year after year. Times New Roman or something old-fashioned like Bookman Old Style, or a script such as Royal Classic-these bring to mind, somehow, turn-of-the-century snow rides, cocoa by the fireplace, Victorian houses decorated in fir trimmings and snowmen in the big front yards…and Currier and Ives-esque lifestyles.

Then there are singularly-recognizable Christmas fonts, created just for the holidays…fonts called Snowcaps and Snowdrift, both with the images of dripping white at the top of each bold and solid letter; or Christmas Regular which shows letters drawn inside of tree ornaments; or of course the so-traditional Christmas Tree or Christmas candy letters or snowflakes, all of which are self-explanatory and logical to the mind’s eye.

Fonts created out of recognizable pictures are more literally artwork than developed fonts, and it becomes your choice to decide if you’re looking for something which compliments the holiday artwork, or which becomes the holiday artwork. There are many sites online these days offering free fonts, and they can be beneficial to someone who wants to develop their own Christmas cards with an online printer. Find that font that speaks directly to you, go to your printing choice, and use the online options to design your own cards.

Your creativity is limited in today’s world only by that which your imagination-or your search engine-can bring to your mind. And, really, we don’t have to understand the art of fonts to appreciate them and the senses they create in our hearts and minds. Mix it up and make something unique for this holiday season!

The Different Types of Tires and Their Purposes

Are you wondering about the different types of tires and their purposes? This introduction will cover the basics and help you decide what kinds of tires are right for your car.

First, what’s the purpose of a tire in general? Well, the tire is basically a cushion between the road and your car. Most tires you see these days will be pneumatic, meaning they’re oval shaped, and made of inflated wires and cords. They’re made mainly from rubber and fabric. They also include a selection of compound chemicals, and these chemicals may differ between the various manufacturers.

The different types of tires and their purposes arose in direct response to the needs of drivers. Different tires exist for every type of weather and performance need. Whether you drive an RV, station wagon, or sports car, you will be able to find the ideal tires to help your vehicle’s performance.

Learn About 3 Different Types of Tires

  1. All Season Tires
    All season tires are common in countries that have two distinct cold and hot seasons. They are meant to perform adequately in any month of the year. One benefit is that they are easy to use and convenient, but on the other hand, the drawback is that these tires are not designed to be high-performers in either winter or summer. They are pretty average. These are the kind of tires that most people have on their cars, and for most of us nothing more fancy is needed. If you live in a muddy or snowy area, however, you may need the extra traction provided by mud and snow tires. Keep reading to learn more about those.
  2. Mud and Snow Tires
    Mud and snow tires are specifically engineered for low temperatures, using a special chemical make-up. They have a soft tread compound to ensure a good grip on snow or ice. When you look at a mud or snow tire, you will see more grooves in the tread pattern than in all season tires; these additional grooves provide extra grip for slick surfaces. You will also notice M&S or M+S marked on the tire, telling you that it is designed to be a mud and snow tire.

    • More About Snow Tires: Some snow tires have metal studs. Again, the metal studs are just one more way to increase traction in extremely wet and icy conditions. They work by roughening the ice on the road as you are driving along. You won’t typically see metal studs on an ordinary car, as they do tend to damage a road surface over long periods of time. They are a specialty item that you may see on tires used for ice racing and other sports.
    • More About Mud Tires: These tires have very large chunky tread patterns that help clear out any mud that gets trapped in the tires. Mud tires tend to be wider than the other different types of tires. This is so the weight will be distributed over a wider area. As you can imagine, this helps your vehicle avoid sinking into the mud – always a good thing!
  3. High Performance Tires
    High performance tires are not needed on your average car. You would want to invest in a good set of high performance tires if you own a sports car or do a lot of racing. These kinds of tires have a softer rubber compound than other kinds. This softness gives them better traction control, which is key for high speed cornering. In contrast with snow tires and mud tires, high performance tires have shallow treads. The idea is that you want your tires to have increased road contact so you can go faster. Now these tires won’t last you a long time, because you tend to work them pretty hard.

Now you know all about three different types of tires and their purposes. Just be sure to know the road rules around tires to avoid getting a ticket. You can also use devices like speed camera detectors to save money and keep your license.

The 5 Strangest Radio Stations on the Internet

Internet radio is amazing, not least of all because it’s possible to find a station that caters to almost any taste.

No longer are you stuck listening to the dozen or twenty alternatives on your local AM/FM bands. Now you can tune in the whole world right from your computer — or on one of the increasingly popular wi-fi radio devices.

The listening possibilities opened up by Internet radio would be astounding even if you were limited to the regular, over-the-air stations that happen to provide an audio stream as well. But for something really different, you have to look to the Internet-only radio stations.

With perhaps 50,000 Internet radio stations on line now — an up-to-date, accurate count is probably impossible to come by — here are the 5 that I consider the strangest of the ones I’ve sampled. Just do a web search on the name if there’s one you think you’d like to listen to:

  • 12 Step Radio – Plays songs about drinking and the havoc alcohol can play with people’s lives, with an emphasis on “recovery songs” to encourage people to stay sober.
  • Radio Didgeridoo – All didgeridoo music, all the time; apparently there’s a craze for this native Australian instrument in Poland, of all places, which is where the station originates.
  • Nirvana Radio – Streams sounds that are supposed to help you meditate; the “best vibrations in the world” according to the station’s web site.
  • Birdsong Radio – You guessed it: Non-stop bird recordings, for ornithologists and those who find that sort of thing relaxing rather than annoying.
  • ATOS Theatre Organ Radio – Recordings of music played on those big old pipe organs that sometimes accompanied showings of silent films; definitely an acquired taste (ATOS stands for the American Theatre Organ Society).

Speargun Rigging – How To Setup and Rig a Speargun

Setting up a speargun using either string or nylon line.

Many if not most spearguns require rigging and setting up prior to use after they have been purchased. Although the exact procedure can vary very slightly the general steps and methods are the same.

The speargun can either be rigged with a cord (string) line or a nylon/multi filament line that is stronger and less likely to degrade and break over time. I will start by describing the method for rigging the speargun with string or cord as this is the slightly simpler way that uses knots as opposed to crimps.

Remove the spear from the speargun. Thread the string/cord through the “eye hole” at the back of the spear. Tie a knot in the end of the line that is now sticking out the back of the spear and load the spear into the speargun.

Take the string and feed it out the end of the muzzle, then back along the underside of the speargun barrel. Wrap it around the release catch, and then back along the speargun barrel towards the muzzle. At this point depending on whether you are using a bungee or not, either tie the string or cord straight to the eyelet on the muzzle, or connect the bungee to the muzzle then tie the string/cord to the bungee. You need to make sure that the string does not have to much or little slack in it so that it stays in place prior to the gun being fired.

The method for using nylon line or filament is in general the same, however as opposed to tying knots we use crimps instead. These crimps are usually supplied with the filament line and can be crimped wither with a special crimping tool (ideal) or with a pair of grips/pliers.

Remove the spear from the speargun. Thread a crimp onto the nylon/filament then feed the nylon through the eyelet at the back of the spear. Now thread the nylon back through the other side of the crimp and carefully insert the spear into the speargun trigger. Adjust the crimp and nylon so that it does not obstruct the either the insertion of the spear into the speargun trigger or the loading of the wishbone onto the groove of the spear. Now snip off any excess nylon leaving a very small (1cm) tail and burn the end with a lighter to make a small ball on the end of the nylon. Get your crimping tool (or grips) and crimp the crimp closed.

Now run the line out of the muzzle then back along the length of the speargun barrel, wrap the nylon around the line release catch the back along the speargun barrel towards the muzzle. Again you can now either attach the line directly to the muzzle, or you can use a bungee. If attaching the line to the muzzle the procedure is the same as what we did with the spear. Slide a crimp onto the nylon; thread the nylon through the eyelet on the muzzle and back through the other side of the crimp. Adjust the slack in the line then snip off any excess line leaving a 1cm tail. Burn a ball onto the end of the line and crimp the crimp closed.

If you are using a bungee attach this to the muzzle then thread a crimp onto the nylon line, thread the line through the end of the bungee, thread the line back through the crimp, adjust the slack, cut the line to leave a small 1cm tail, then burn the end to leave a ball and crimp the crimp closed. These steps should allow you to setup or replace the line on your speargun.

Remember to check that all knots or crimps are secure and that the tension of the line is correct. If the line is to slack the line will not stay in place, and if the line is too tight it will be more difficult to put into place around the line release.

Advantages of Copper Wires Over the Iron Wires

Copper wires are the most preferred choice for electrical wiring, main reason being the high electrical conductivity of this metal. High conductivity of copper allows easy passage of electricity through it without being much heated up. These wires are the raw material for Cable Industries for manufacturing different types of wires. Some of the electrical power cable drawn from copper include, tinsel wire, submersible winding wire, copper strip, special cable and control cable to name a few. In addition to this copper is also use in manufacturing several other instruments as well as machines.

The other metal used in manufacturing power cable is iron. PVC coated wire and PVC Insulated wire drawn from this metal are the most popular plastic for the coating of electrical wires. It is relatively more fire retardant low in resilient, price and also possesses excellent insulating properties.

Wires drawn from these metals have become the most popular metal for both the residential as well as commercial wiring. Some of the features of copper that gives it an upper edge over the other metals is that they are highly flexible and are known to have high resistant against metal exhaustion. Durability and malleability of this metal make it possible to draw them into any shape and size in a very convenient manner. Moreover the durability aids copper wire to stand to any climatic condition ranging from high heat to extreme cold.

Braided wire is largely used as flexible connector in electric appliance, storage batteries and electric stove. They are made up of super quality round copper wire composed of tinned flexible copper wire which is braided in to multiple-thread. The DC electrical resistivity braided copper wire is comparatively low. Copper strip are used in automatic machines for enhancing the production and reducing wastage of electricity moreover they are resistant to corrosion. Copper strip manufacturer facilitates customized strips in accordance to the customer’s demands and specifications. Bare copper strip are further useful as a raw materials for various industries, they are best suitable for the places having high salt content in the soil.

Different forms of electrical power cable drawn from copper and iron are very popular for power distribution. Among them PVC coated wire, braided copper wires are low voltage electrical wires and are made by wrapping many copper foil strands or by doing plastic coating around the textile core. Copper wire in India is largely available in different sizes and forms owing to the increased demand. Significance of copper has been proven across the world as the wires drawn from this metal are been largely used for both the residential as well as commercial electrical appliances. With the increased demand of copper wires the number of copper wire suppliers has significantly increased across the globe.