Solid Wood Is Unsuitable for Crawl Space Floor Framing

Do not get the wrong idea. Solid wood lumber in the form of "2x" studies and joists still qualifies as premium framing material for use in house construction. But in the last 20 years or so, engineered lumber has taken about a revolution in building.

The Thrust Joist I Beam

Today, the majority of builders and architects prefer to frame floors with TJI's, or truss-joist I beams made from composite wood. TJI's are essentially wood I-beams with a center "web" made from OSB (oriented strand board) and identically sized top and bottom chords made from plywood or other composite lumber.

Like other engineered wood products, TJI's are more uniform and dimensionally stable than old-fashioned solid wood joists. The solid wood joists used for floor framing in older homes can be weakened by knots and cracks; individual joists can warp, bend and bow. This "real wood" lumber will also shrink and swell in response to changes in humidity. A floor framed with TJI's does not suffer from these defects or dimensional variability.

Wood Girder

In many older homes with crawl space foundations, there will be solid wood floor joists that are supported at mid-span by a wood girder. The girder is often made from multiple 2x joists that are nailed together. Girder ends are supported by the foundation, while wood posts bolster the girder at regular intervals in the middle of the foundation.

The cumulative result of joists weakened by knots, cracks or decay, in addition to joists that have warped or shrunk, is a floor that may sag, tilt, or bounce, making life difficult for building inhabants. Another structural problem has to do with the post-and-girder assembly that provides mid-span support for the floor.

Because of postponed posts, inadequate post footings, or an undersized girder, the overall floor structure canaken and bow downwards. If the girder lifts or sinks, the entire upstairs floor structure is often affected. Wallboard typically cracks, while door and window openings become skewed so that doors and windows become difficult to open and close.

The Alternative

As mentioned above, new construction using engineered lumber for floor framing offers improvements in floor flatness, strength and longevity. But what can be done with a floor which joists and mid-span support have weakened? Fortunately, there's a good one-word answer: Plenty. Foundation repair specialists are familiar with all the above-mentioned problems. What's more, they have access to well-engineered products designed to repair sagging, bouncy floors.

Foundation repair experts can replace undersized, deteriorated wood posts with certain steel posts that can (in many cases) actually jack a sagging floor back to its proper flat, level position. Individual joists that have been weakened by knots or cracks can be strengthened with new "sistered" joists. It's even possible for repair technicians to install an entirely new post-and-girder assembly using steel posts, and a beefed-up girder. This retrofit provides a secure and permanent solution when many of the original floor joists are sagging because they are undersized for their span and load-bearing requirements.

Feng Shui Tips – How to Cure the 10 Most Common Bedroom Nightmares

We spend a third of our life in our bedroom, it is the room we retire to at the end of the day for rest, relaxation and to recharge our internal batteries. Because of this it is very important that our bedroom promotes a sense of calm and that the energy supports us in getting a good night’s sleep.

How we decorate our bedroom and how we use, or in some cases abuse our bedroom can work against us and prevent us from getting the great night’s sleep our body and mind deserves. In this article I share with you the ten most common problems I come across with bedrooms and explain simple yet effective ways in which these problems can be overcome.

10 – Bookshelves in the bedroom

Having books in the bedroom and especially if you have lots of books on a bookshelf stimulates your mind and does not promote a restful nights sleep. The easiest, and I have to say the best cure, is to take the bookshelves out and place them in another part of the house. If this is impossible or impractical cover the shelves with either cupboard doors or fabric so that you cannot see the books when you go to bed at night.

9 – A Sleigh Bed

Sleigh style beds are becoming very common in the UK and I have to say they look very stylish in a bedroom. The problem with this style of bed however is that the head and the foot curve in which can give the impression of pressing down on the occupants of the bed. To cure this problem you need to lift the energy by placing something light above the bed, a crystal will work best or a stylish light fitting.

8 – Bed too low to the ground

If your bed is too low to the ground then energy cannot flow underneath effectively. Beds ideally should have plenty of space between the mattress and the floor. If it is not practical to put the mattress on a base, then you can place a red sheet or cloth the exact size of the bed underneath to stimulate chi

7 – Beams over the bed

Exposed beams above the bed cause problems in a number of ways. A beam lengthways down the bed can cause two people in a relationship to live separate lives as it has the impact of dividing the couple. If you are not in a relationship it can still be challenging as it has the effect of weighing down on a person causing problems and worries. A beam across the bed can cause illness in the part of the body that the beam crosses, so if it crosses the legs a person can find they have aches and pains in their knees or legs, crossing the chest can cause chest pains and breathing problems and if it crosses the head the person can suffer from headaches or migraines.

Covering the beam by putting in a false ceiling or taking the beam out altogether is th best solution although this is often not practical, and to be avoided if the beam is load bearing. There are however other solutions that can be more practical and which are just as effective.

Hanging two bamboo flutes from the ceiling above the bed so that they cross the beam making a shape like the bottom of an octagon has the benefit of drawing any negative energy upwards. Alternatively you can disguise the beam with drapes of fabric that are in the colours that correspond with the bagua area of the bedroom, so pinks and creams if your bedroom is in the relationship area, reds or turquoise if it is in the wealth area or shades of green if it is in the family area.

6 – Sloping Ceilings

Having a similar effect to beams, a sloping ceiling over the bed can make the occupants of the bed feel the weight of worries and problems as they sleep. In this instance it is best to hang a crystal above the bed, remembering to hang it from a piece of red ribbon or thread that is 9 inches in length

5 – Clutter under the bed

Clutter under the bed, whether this is in drawers under the bed or piled in boxes has the effect of blocking the natural flow of chi around and underneath the bed. There is only really one cure for this, take the boxes out and store them somewhere else.

4 – Mirrored Wardrobes

A lot of people seem to favour mirrored wardrobes but they can really disrupt the natural flow of energy and have a very destructive effect on a natural night’s sleep. If you really must have mirrored wardrobes try and find someway of covering them during the night, whether that be by placing a decorative screen in front of the wardrobes or by hanging some voile across the mirrors.

3 – Metal bed

A metal bed can disturb the flow of energy around the bed harming the restful effects of positive chi. If you have a metal bed, or even just a metal headboard you can minimise the negative effects of this by covering the metal with a soft sensual fabric, silk works best

2 – Ensuite bathroom

Ensuite bathrooms are now very common in most modern homes and it is very rare that I run a course where nobody has an ensuite bathroom in their bedroom. Bathrooms are not bad but can, if not carefully designed and decorated lead to the draining away of chi. Ensure that your bathroom is kept clear of clutter, that the toilet, sink, bath and shower are all clean and in good working order and ensure fresh towel, crystals and plants are in abundance. To strengthen positive chi in the bedroom even further always ensure you keep the bathroom door closed when sleeping

1 – TV or Computer in the bedroom

Without question, the most common problem I see with bedrooms is a TV or a computer in the room. This really is not to be advised but I accept that sometimes a bedroom has a multiple of uses. If you must have a TV or computer in your bedroom, house it in a cabinet or cover it with a cloth or a blanket when it is not in use. A TV is a conduit of fast flowing electrical energy and can harm sleeping patterns leading to a disturbed night’s sleep.

Leather Furniture Care – Stupid Is What Stupid Does

As a leather repair and restoration expert, I receive e-mails with photos from people all over the country and beyond. Sometimes they are seeking solutions for pretty dumb actions that have caused serious damage to their leather furniture. With 23 years experience inspecting leather furniture either on-site or in my leather restoration studio, I have also witnessed first-hand abuses and hear comments proving that idiocy is an incidental human phenomenon. Here is a list of my top ten dumbest in no specific order as any one can grab the top spot. Names are removed to protect their reputation.

1. I used my leather ottoman as an ironing board. The leather is totally shrunken and distorted. Can you help me?

2. I saw an article on the internet that said to use bleach to clean leather. It did not work so great. The leather is clean I guess, but it's disintegrating on me. What can I do?

3. I steam cleaned my leather sofa with the upholstery attachment to my steam cleaner. The leather turned dark and seemed to have shrunk. Please help !!

4. I was practicing my golf swing and punched a hole in the back of my beautiful leather sofa. It was a 6 iron. Is this something you can fix?

5. I had a party and moved my love seat into my back yard. I had it too close to the barbecue. The whole back of my love seat got fried. What can I do?

6. My 3-year-old son got ink on my new leather cushion. After I disciplined him severely I tried to remove the ink with rubbing alcohol like it said to do on some web-site. The ink is still there but the leather color is gone. (The client brought the cushion in my shop. In this case, there was a hide scar on the leather and as often as the case, the scar tissue absorbed higher concentration of color making it darker than the surrounding leather, appearing to the client as an ink stripe. We restored the color to the alcohol afflicted area. The innocent child is still in therapy.)

7. Upon arrival to the client's home to inspect for claimed defects in the leather of a huge new sectional, I noted a few dozen post-it notes scattered here and there on the leather. The client applied them to show all the "defects." Upon examination of the first problem area, I pointed out that it was not a defect, rather a natural character in the leather. She seemed confused. So I explained that the cow may have rubbed against barbed wire, causing the wound, and that it is fully healed hide scar and not a defect. She said; "What do you mean a cow?" I waved my arm toward the sectional and replied, "Ma'am you have a whole herd of cows here." At which point she dropped to the floor, sobbing, "What have I done? What have I done?" Turns out she's vegan and had no idea leather came from a cow. Opppps.

8. Asked to do a repair for transit damage in a client's home, I arrived on site with my senior technician. The client is a prominent physician and was present upon arrival. He and his designer went off to another part of his house to discuss decor. With the assignment completed, I called him in and as he examined the repaired area, with a look of amazement exclaimed, "It's gone." Lightheartedly I said, "We use lasers." He called out to his designer to see the repair. When she arrived, he said to her, "Look, the damage is gone. I had to explain to the sheepish doctor that I was joking.

9. After carefully restoring a beautiful chair and ottoman in our Hayward shop, the client arrived in a pick-up truck to bring the pieces back to his home. He inspected the furniture and was delighted with the results. To prepare it for transit, we covered it in plastic and shrink-wrap as is our standard practice. The client and I loaded it into the back of his pick up I asked if he had rope to secure it. He assured me that he did. At which point my office phone rang. I turned back into my office to take the call. The client promptly left. On his way across the San Mateo Bridge, at 70 or so miles an hour, the unsecured furniture pretended to be a kite and silently lifted out of the bed of the truck, tumbling through the air like a wounded duck. Gravity took over. It flipped and turned and smashed and crashed. Road kill. 45 minutes later he was back in our shop with a severely damaged piece including a broken frame. Cost to repair the damage exceeded the value of the piece. It remains in my shop as a relic and testament to the frailty of the human brain.

10. A client owns an auto detailing shop. His customer has a BMW with leather interior. The auto-detailer assigned the interior cleaning task to one of his grease monkey techs. Thinking it would be a fast and easy way to clean leather it grabbed its trusty engine degreaser and vigorously applied it to all leather components. Of course it dropped the color coat off, exposing the raw leather. (As an aside, here is a list of other chemicals that our clients were told by supposed experts would be proper for the cleaning of their leather — mayonnaise, acetone, milk, honey, baby oil, detergents of all types, saddle soap .)

Bonus award: Client called to say that he's cleaned his sofa with 409. Onon full completion of the project he realized that 409 is far too aggressive and has severely distorted the color coating. He was shocked and was preparing to sue 409's manufacturer. His reason for the suit was that there was no warning on the label not to use it on leather. When I pointed out to him that there was also no warning about using it on your face, he didnt get the connection. Asked why he did not stop after he completed a section and noticed the damage, he explained that he thought when it fully discharged it would return to normal. Duh!

The moral here is to think before you act and if in doubt at all, contact a qualified leather restoration professional for advice.

ITIL – The 4 P's of Service Design

The implementation of Service Management as a practice is about preparing and planning the effective and efficient use of the four Ps: People, Processes, Products (technology, tools, and services), Partners (manufacturers, suppliers).

There are five aspects of Service Design:

Service solutions

The design of the services themselves, to deliver the utility and warranty required by the business. A formal and structured approach is necessary to ensure that the three components of good design – functionality, cost, timeframe – are addressed. Design activities start when a set of new or modified business requirements are chartered; design activities end when a Service Design Package is produced.

Service Management systems and tools, particularly the Service Portfolio

We have already discussed the Service Portfolio.

Technology and management architectures

Architecture provides an overall strategic blueprint that permits an organization to design and implement services in a rapid and consistent manner. It describes the components and their relationships to each other and to their environment, and includes standards and guidelines that guide the design and evolution of the service.

There are many architectures relating to different components of a system and existing at different levels within the wider enterprise architecture of an organization. Examples include: service architecture, application architecture, information / data architecture, IT infrastructure architecture, and environmental architecture. Infrastructure architecture may require us to standard on servers from a specific manufacturer.

The purpose of architecture is to provide a set of standard building blocks that can be used to provide a service.

Processes

Each organization should adopt a formalized approach to the design and implementation of Service Management processes. The objective should not be to design 'perfect processes', but to design practical and appropriate processes with 'inbuilt' improvement mechanisms, so that the effectiveness and efficiency of the processes are improved in the most suitable manner for the organization.

Documentation standards, processes and templates should be used to ensure that the processes are easily adopted through the organization.

Measurement systems

"If you can not measure it, you can not manage it"

The subject of measurement will be covered in more detail in the Continual Service Improvement module. For the moment it is sufficient to say that the design of new services and processes must include the requirement to measure them, and ensure that the measurements are:

o Aligned with business objectives
o Comprehensive across all areas
o Consistent in terms of method, presentation and calculation across all areas

The Service Management Foundation Course is a three day event leading to the examination for the ITIL Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management.

ITIL® is a registered Trade Mark, and a Registered Community Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, and is registered in the US Patent and Trademark Office, and is used here by SYSOP Ltd under license from and with permission of OGC.

IT Infrastructure Library® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce and is used here by SYSOP Ltd under license from and with the permission of OGC.

© Crown copyright material is reproduced here under license from and with permission of OGC, under delegated authority from the Controller of HMSO.

Why Do Women’s Feet Get Bigger As They Age?

There are many reasons why women’s feet get wider as they age. Some of the reasons include weight gain and an aging population. We’ve probably all noticed that people are generally bigger today than years ago. Weight gain adds more pressure on your feet as you stand or walk which makes the joints and ligaments work harder to retain the structure of your feet. The more pressure the feet have to put up with, the more your feet will stretch or spread out. As feet age, they lose fat padding and grow wider and longer, resulting in lower arches and problems like corns and calluses. Structural changes can affect balance and gait. With time, your feet will stop going back to their normal shape, and their size in due course will become wider and longer. As we get older the ligaments and soft tissue start to grow weaker and lose elasticity, causing the feet to grow wider and flatten.

Good fitting shoes with enough cushioning and support can help with this. As the foot becomes wider, longer and less padded, the plantar fascia tendon which runs along the length of the sole and makes up the arch becomes stretched; this contributes to the lowering of the arch. A lower arch can lead to bunions forming. Women are inclined to have wider feet due to pronation. Pronation is when the arch area in the inside of the foot, rolls inwards towards the ground. Women tend to have wider hips which make pronation more common in women than men. Legs are made to turn inwards at the knees, which can lead to pronation at the feet. If a woman is overpronated it will look as if she has flat feet. Pronated feet are wider than unpronated feet thus making them look bigger. Another reason when women complain about having wider feet is during pregnancy.

During this time, the body releases hormones which relax the soft tissue structures like the ligaments. This hormonal change along with the natural weight gain during pregnancy is known to increase a woman’s shoe size. Women tend to spend a lot of time walking and standing on hard surfaces, which can lead to foot deformities. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes more often than not. Feet can change in size as we get older or heavier. Health problems like diabetes, circulation problems and heart disease can cause swollen ankles and feet, making them look bigger. Sales figures show that the average woman’s shoe size has gone up from a 5 in the past five years. This means that demand for the bigger sizes, like the nines, tens and elevens is also going up. This increase has been linked to the obesity epidemic.

Medical experts believe that consuming high-density foods like pizza and processed foods during puberty stimulates the growth hormone. This not only then increases waist size, it also affects other parts of the body such as the feet. What causes foot pain? Almost all women have experienced a dull ache or throbbing feet sometime in their lives. There are many reasons for this but mostly ill-fitting shoes are to blame. Most people put up with foot pain as a part of their lives. Foot pain and discomfort is generally a sign that something isn’t right, your body is trying to send you a message. If you do something about it then, it will save you from unnecessary pain in the future. The foot is designed to adapt to uneven ground. Nevertheless, hard and flat are the types of surfaces most people find themselves walking on these days.

Sadly, human feet don’t do too well on this kind of surface. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (SCP), the leading professional body for registered chiropodists and podiatrists in the UK, have stated that 37% of British women have bought ill-fitting shoes in the summer sales and 80% women have suffered from foot problems. The study has found that women are ignoring the consequences of buying and wearing ill-fitting shoes just for fashions sake. Many foot problems arise because of this. Out of the 80% of women who endure foot problems because of bad shoes is made up of 39% with cracked heels, 19% having in-growing toenails, 15% having bunions and 24% resulting corns on their feet.

The top five foot problems in the UK are:

27% – Cracked heels

26% – Veruccas

26% – Fungal infections

19% – In-growing toenails

16% – Corns

Blisters are also another cause of ill-fitting shoes. Years of wearing ill-fitting shoes can take their toll on your feet. Problems such as bunions, neuromas and hammertoes can occur. Not forgetting arthritis. Overlooking foot problems can increase the chances of developing osteoarthritis in your feet. Nearly half of the people in their 60s and 70s have arthritis in their feet or ankles. Ill-fitting shoes are a danger to people with diabetes too. Something as simple as the wrong size shoes can put those with diabetes at risk of serious foot problems that could lead to amputation. We all think that ‘killer’ high heels are the shoes which would give you the most problems. They do cause problems but slip-on shoes like the court shoe is the worst out of them all as they give no support, they tend to be too narrow in the toe and cause the foot to slide forward and squash the toes.

Common foot problem

  • Blisters – caused from friction when rubbing against ill-fitting shoes.
  • Bunion – a swelling on the side of the big toe, causing pain and worsened by wearing ill-fitting shoes.
  • Ingrown toenails – tight footwear and socks in ill-fitting shoes worsen this condition.
  • Corns – hard and thick skin on areas of the foot where there is a lot of pressure or rubbing on the skin.

Bunions

Bunions are caused when the toes are pushed out of their normal position. This causes a lump on the side of the foot that can be very painful and swollen. Wearing tight fitting shoes can cause this.

Corns and calluses

The skins way of protecting itself against repeated pressure and friction is to build up hard layers of skin cells where the irritation has occurred. When this build up occurs on top of or between toes is called corns. Calluses are hard skin which is thick and yellowish on the sole of the foot.

Hammertoes

A hammertoe is when one of the smaller toes starts to look like a claw, when the outer toes are bent rather than straight. Wearing ill-fitting shoes like exceptionally high heels or pointed shoes can cause hammertoes. These types of shoes force the toes into an unnatural shape which cause the muscles in the toes to shorten thus forming a hammertoe. People with diabetes are more likely to develop hammertoes; extra care is needed to ensure correct shoes are worn to help prevent this. Wearing correct fitting shoes and looking after your feet is a must with the hectic lifestyles women lead today.

Serious And Funny Construction Definitions Contractors Enjoy Reading

Over The Past 30+ Years -I have accumulated a variety of terms to describe the construction industry. Some of them are intended to be funny, some are serious and the rest are entertaining. Please feel free to share them with your friends, relatives and most importantly contractors as they will appreciate the humor and perhaps find value in the words of wisdom we are sharing.

If You Have Any Others You Would Like To Be Added Please Leave A Comment On The Right

80/20 Rule – of a contractor's wealth and wellbeing comes from 20% of their activities

24 Hour Bookkeeper – Bookkeeper that sits in your office quietly, no watering, no feeding, available to work around the clock, never wastes company time surfing the web or chatting on cell phone

Aggravation Box – Computer with construction accounting software operated by a trainee

Auction – End result of working in the business, focusing on the wrong stuff and bad financial reports

Auditor – Person who goes in after the war is lost and bayonets the wounded

Assets of Company – Cash / Receivables – Payables / Trucks / Tools / Equipment / Material

Assets of Firm – Cash / Business Process / Sales Process / Client List / Predictable Cash Flow

Bad Bookkeeper – Wealth prevention tool keeping contractors from approaching more than bookkeepers

Bad Bookkeeper Thinking Patterns – Some of the reasons they do what they do to drive contractors crazy

Bad Bookkeeping – Saving money in the wrong place and making decisions on garbage reports

Bad Numbers – Lead to bad decisions / cash shrinks / business unstable / bankruptcy or failure

Bankruptcy – Result of saving money on bookkeeping and making decisions on garbage reports

BCA Business Coach – Someone who helps you raise your level of thinking and income

BCA Staff Member – Cheerful, well paid, thinking, responsible adult, Mastermind Team member

BCG Matrix – Graphical representation of Cash Cows / Rising Stars / Question Marks / Dogs

Belly Button Accountability – The one person who is responsible for a deliverable on a construction project

Bid – A wild guess carried out to two decimal places

Bid Collector – Customer looking for cheap contractor

Bid Opening – A poker game in which the losing hand wins

Black Box – Computer with construction accounting software operated by a trainee

Bookkeeper Training Contractor – Bookkeepers, who train the boss to let them come in late, leave early, call friends and relatives, take long breaks, get paid more and do less and less.

BPM – Business Process Management for construction company owners to grow passive income streams

Budget Bookkeeping – Listing all deposits from the bank statement as sales income and leads to contractor paying too much in taxes.

Business Failure – No meaningful financial and project management records in the calendar quarter prioring the failure

Business Life Cycle – Start small / grow big / lose shirt / shrink back to small business

Business Plan – A plan to have accurate financial reports to base long and short term decisions on

Business Process Management – Develop a construction business that generates passive income

Business Roundtable – Little round table in tavern with pitcher of beer and four contractors strategizing

CPA – Someone who is qualified to do tax returns and we refer a lot of business to the ones that only do tax returns.

CPA Construction Consultant – Someone who has seen a bunch of tax returns and thinks they know how to run a construction business. They are generally more dangerous to the contractor's financial health than a drunken car salesman on a backhoe at a gas station, in the dark, digging up live fuel lines.

CPA Involved In Construction Bookkeeping – QuickBooks setup to make doing tax returns easy while raising the rails for the contractor to go down the tube and go broke by focusing only on making the CPA's job easier and not on increasing cash flow and profitable jobs.

Change – The only people who want change are wet babies! Everyone else hates change!

Cheap – Not enough time or money to do it right first time; but plenty of time and money to do it over

Chaos – Always on the dollars coming in; never on the money going out

Client – Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about quality than price

Comfort Zone – Success you have now since that is what you feel you deserve no more / no less

Company Bookkeeper – Expensive luxury for construction companies that do not know about outsourced contractor bookkeeping

Completion Date – The point at which liquid damages begin

Contractor Not A Banker – Student of Business Consulting And Accounting who has mastered the art of managing cash flow properly

Contractors – The people who makes civilization possible by building and maintaining structures

Contractor Gambling – One project away from making it big or going broke

Contractor Chaos – Contractor netting <$ 100K doing everything his way; especially the bookkeeping

Contractor Cheap – Amateur with customers from Hell and host of the game show "Low Price Leader"

Contractor Income – The average income of the six people they spend the most time with

Contractor Rich – BCA client awareness $ 100K- $ 200K by building a client base to sell and service

Contractor Student – BCA client net <$ 100K learning how to get Rich then Wealthy

Contractor Successful – Contractor using timely accurate financial reports to base their decisions upon

Contractor Volume – Loses money on every sale and tries to make it up with a volume of new work

Contractor Wealthy – BCA Client earning $ 200K + Investing 50K with 100 clients to service

Construction Accountant – Someone who turns piles of numbers into meaningfulful trends

Construction Accounting – System that combines construction bookkeeping with Quarterly Tax preparation and payroll processing and presents the annual tax prior with the information for them to prepare the annual income tax return. Construction accounting does not prepare annual tax returns as that is a profession and specialty of its own

Construction Bookkeeping – System for setup and maintaining construction bookkeeping

Construction Bookkeeping And Accounting – System for setup and maintaining construction bookkeeping and accounting together in order to develop and maintain the Key Performance Indicators that when viewed daily and understood leads contractors to accumulate wealth

Construction Worker Thinking Patterns – Insights into the mind of a typical construction worker

Construction Worker Fully Burdened Labor Cost – Cost of having construction workers on your payroll

Critical Path Method – A management technique for losing your shirt under perfect control

Customer – Someone who buys construction services and is more concerned about price than quality

Delayed Payment – A tourniquet applied at the bank balance of any contractor who will allow it

Delusional – Contractor going to learn to use QuickBooks effectively in a few months

Developer – Company looking for a few, good, low priced, high volume contractors they can school

Displaced Aggression – Being angry at someone because of past events or circumstances which are resulting in ingoing issues. In some cases contractors have hired cheap or bad bookkeepers without realizing the consequences of not having useful financial and job cost reports

Dog And Pickup Truck – Contractor with a dog and a pickup truck One of the four types of contractors

Emergency Accounting – When taxes, payroll or paperwork piling up causes contractor to seek help from someone to get the "books" cached up, tax reports prepared, paid processed or other issues

Emergency Bookkeeping – When taxes, payroll or paperwork piling up causes contractor to seek help from someone to get the "books" prepared up, tax reports prepared, paid processed or other issues

Emerging Contractor – Someone who is moving to a little less hands-on role in their contracting company you could be an Emerging Contractor.

Engineer's Estimate – The cost of construction in heaven

Expensive – Goods or services that no matter how cheap they are; do not work

Experience – What you get, when you get, what you do not want

Failure – A few errors in judgment repeated everyday

Fear – What initiates change or stops progress

Five For Five At Five – The five reports at five o'clock for five minutes that tells you how your business is doing

Fifteen Minutes Too Late – If you think you should fire somebody, you're already 15 minutes too late

Fully Burdened Rate -Includes all the costs of keeping an employee on the payroll, not just wages

Hard Work – Expressway to Retired

Hustle – The expectation of getting 40 hour of work done in 20 hours

Income – Working for daily money

Insanity – Hiring and firing cheap in-house bookkeepers over and over and over expecting useful reports

Inexpensive – Goods or services that do work beyond the warranty period

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) – Reports if viewed daily and understood leads to wealth

Lawyer – Person who goes in after the auditors to strip the bodies

Leveling – When two or more people spend time together the group will level to the strongest personality

Listening – Contractor who asks their client what materials and results they want and give it to them

Little Leaks – Sink the construction business because they are easy to ignore

Liquidated Damages – A penalty for failing to achieve the impossible

Low Bidder – A contractor who is wondering what he left out

Mastermind Team – BCA Staff and Clients who mentor BCA contractor clients

MAP – Marketing / Accounting / Production / formula for success

Maximize – The process of building and running your construction business to generate the highest possible profits for short run so you can spend it all quickly and go broke. Similar to running your pickup truck on the race track as fast as it will go without proper maintenance so it lasts for about ten hours and 1,000 miles before it is destroyed

MR> MC – Wherever marginal revenue exceeds marginal cost do the job

No Financial Reports – Driving on the highway, at night, windows blacked out and being surprised by the crash

Non-Construction Accountant – Dim-bulb want-to-be bookkeeper without any construction bookkeeping skills trying to jam retail accounting methods into construction accounting

Not Listening – Contractor who gives their clients what the contractor likes not what the client wants

Optimize – The process of building and running your construction business to generate normal and economic profits for the long haul and provide you with a basic income for current living expenses and a comfortable retirement. Similar to running your pickup truck on the roads and highways at normal safe speeds with proper maintenance so it lasts for ten years and 200,000 miles or more

OSHA – A protective coating made by half-baking a mixture of fine print, red tape, split hairs and baloney

PAM – Production / Accounting after checks bounce and letters for back taxes / Marketing word of mouth

Personal Assistant – Someone who works part time with big red "S" on back of their cape (Superman / Superwoman) able to run personal and business errands, answer phones, make deliveries, clean restrooms, take messages, memorize a verbal list of to -do items from contractor without writing any of them down, schedule jobs, listen to customer and staff complaints, babysit children and pets, wipe runny noses, clean up spills, make and serve coffee, pay bills, open the mail, go make bank deposits, work on tiny desk, no air conditioning in summer, limited heat in winter, bad lighting, fix broken computers and printers and do the bookkeeping for multiple companies

Pioneer – Contractor with flaming arrows in the back from asking the construction bookkeeper for accurate reports

Poor Contractors – Have hundred dollar conversations with their mentors and attend the business round table

Process – Part of a system to produce predicatable quality results and reap dividends for the owners

Process Development – Do it, Document it, and Delegate it

Professional Contractor – Serious construction business owner with construction strategy and certainly in construction business to earn a worthy profit. One of the Four Types of Contractors

Purpose Of Your Construction Company – Acquire clients, satisfy their needs and repeat as often as possible to increase cash flow and profits.

Project Manager – The conductor of an orchestra in which every musician is in a different union

Project Management – Combination of skills and construction project software

QuickBooks For Contractors – Accounting software for construction companies

Rain Maker – The person in the contractors firm that acquires new clients

Remodel House Process – Forming (Honeymoon), Storming (demolition), Norming (Rough-In), Performing (Paint)

Retail Bookkeeper – Worked at store somewhere, thinks all accounting is the same, expensive lesson for contractors

Retired – Means you got tired of them, or they got tired of you

Rich – Income exceeds outgo

ROI – Risk of Incarceration; in most cases the business owner is liable for unfilled taxes and missed payments, not the bad bookkeeper

Salt Of The Earth Contractor – Has up to three employees and is one of the Four Types of Contractors

Salesperson – Amateur sorter

Sales Process – Documented system for acquiring new clients for the Firm

Solution – Properly setup and maintained QuickBooks For Contractors file

Sorter – Professional Rain Maker

Strategic Bookkeeping Services – Bookkeeping services for construction that understands and applies principles of profit and growth strategies

Strike – An effort to increase egg production by strangling the chicken

Success – A few simple disciplines practiced everyday

SWOT – Knowing the company's Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats and what to do about it

Tax Preparer Doing Construction Bookkeeping – QuickBooks setup to make doing tax returns easy while increasing the rails for the contractor to go broke focusing only on reducing taxes not cash flow and profitable jobs.

Tenant Improvement – Bid, award contract, work day and night, pressure, pressure, pressure, done

The Contractors Cash Management Mentor – Shares keys to peace of mind by showing you how to optimize your cash flow by properly managing receivables, payables, payroll, payroll tax reports, 941 quarterly returns, 940 annual returns, W-2 and W-3 ​​returns in your construction business regardless of the economy, Sharie DeHart

The Contractors Profit And Growth Accountant – Shares the keys peace of mind by showing you how to optimize your bottom line profits by spending five minutes a day reviewing the Five Key Performance Indicators (KPI) of your construction business performance. And by regular phone and / or in person strategic consulting sessions where we focus on what your company needs to do to help you achieve your definition of success, Randal DeHart

Unlicensed Contractor – Someone who thinks they can save their customer money by scamming the system with supposedly lower overhead than likened contractors. All too often they provide FREE labor and material because they can not sue customers for payment.

Warranty Work – The project that never ends

Wealthy Contractors – Work on building relationships and innovating (faster / better / cheaper)

Wealthy Contractors – Have million dollar conversations with their mentors

Wealth – Not working because you have enough cash to live the rest of your life

Working On Wrong Stuff – You can not get rich with your head in the ditch

Team Building Program – Sample Agenda Community Building & Inter-Departmental Collaboration

Often time Team Building Organizations and Customers looking for a team building program lack the understanding of what a "Team Building Agenda" looks like. Below is a sample group full day agenda:

Special Notes

Samples Groups team training will take place over a 7 hour period with 1 hour for lunch at a location to be decided.

Program Team Training (10:00 am – 5:00 pm: all time are approximate and subject to change)

(?) Participants will arrive at the meeting site ~ 9: 00 – 9:30 am, have a light breakfast and the program will begin at 10:00 am.

Program Goals

1. Strengthen Existing Existing Community: For participants to gain a greater understanding of the members that make up the group. Develop respect and appreciation for the skills, diverse backgrounds, values, and talents that each member brings to the group and understand that their individual attributes are a resource to be adapted for group effectiveness and learning.

2. Collaborative Team Work: For team members to see a "whole team" approach understanding that top quality customer service requires everyone's best work and is interrelated for success. Participants will examine what their role is in the team and how a shared collaborative community is more successful than a competitive community.

3. Having Fun through a Shared Experience: The teambuilding program will be enjoyable and set an expectation that the work setting will be rewarding while requiring hard work to increase and sustain effectiveness.

10: 00-10: 30 Opening: Establish Team Program Atmosphere

o Introduction of Team Building Facilitator

o Logistics of Site – restrooms, general property layout etc.

o Agenda of the Program

o Expectations of team for the program

o What the team expects from Team Building Facilitator for the success of the program

10: 30-11: 00 Icebreakers and De-inhibitors

Overview: Participants are led through a series of initiatives that will open them the team building experience.

Outcomes: Participants will have fun and begin to open up to others. The initiatives are all low risk, low physical and minimal touch. By creating an atmosphere of a slow introduction to the more challenging initiatives to come, the participants are part of the experience and take greater personal responsibility in the success of the program. These initiatives will also allow for the group to get to know Mike, and allow Mike to gain a greater idea of ​​how to progress with the Team programs.

11: 00-11: 45 DiSC Overview

Participant will have already taken the DiSC profile on-line prior to the Program. They will know their results (Team Building Facilitator will also be knowledgeable of the team results)

Overview: This program empowers team members to understand individual styles of behavior and group dynamics. Each participant will have taken a DiSC® personality profile on line, that highlights their specific DiSC profile. Participants will receive information that illustrates their styles and other useful information on how to create productive relationships. The team will also be able to view and discuss the groups' dominant style highlighting strengths and possible blind spots.

Through dynamic and highly interactive activities participants will experience their DiSC styles, as they are involved in a variety of teambuilding initiatives. Additionally they will have the opportunity to adjust behaviors to improve individual and team effectiveness. Fun, powerful and immediately applicable in the workplace, this program provides a foundation for further organizational development. The respect, teamwork, and trust created by this approach develops a framework in which all team members can excel. This is an investment in the true power of diversity and how it can be leveraged for organizational growth and success!

Outcomes:

o Trust and respect between individuals

o Greater understanding of individual behavior and its impact on personal and group productivity and morale of the group

o Improved Communication by breaking down communication barriers

o New techniques for adapting behaviors based on individuals they work with

o Key challenges that inhibit optimal team performance

11: 45-12: 30 What's Your Style

Overview: Participants choose several different cards that list behaviors that correlation to DiSC profile words. They place these behavior cards on posters with the departments name written on them (ex. Human Resources). Following a public showing of which departments are dominant in which dimension of the DiSC profile, the participants are placed into teams according to their dominant DiSC, and lead through some challenges.

Outcomes: The participants will know the results of the DiSC profile. The "What's Your Style" activity helps reinforce the participants in DiSC language. Additionally it gives the participants the opportunity to see how they relate to other team members. With the processing session of "What's Your Style" team members will greater awareness of each other and the foundation for a collaborative atmosphere created.

Additionally team members will see DiSC as it relates to departments within the sample team.

12: 30-1: 00 Rope 'Cuffs

Overview: Departments are connected to people in their department; additionally departments are connected together with the ropes' cuffs. All the departments and team members of each department are now connected together. The challenge is for all the team members and departments to become separated, causing a company wide success.

Outcome: The concept of working through a problem that seems to have no obvious solution is a valuable work skill. Creative, outside the box thinking is required. Retracing the steps between the initial formation of the puzzle, and finally solving the puzzle, provides a roadmap for future investigations and solutions to other problems. Finding the answer as part of a group investigation and then sharing the solution is also a living lesson of an abundance mentality towards sharing information that can grow the sample organization. An exploration of the DiSC profile in relationship to working through this initiative will be discussed.

1: 00-2: 00 LUNCH

2: 00-2: 15 Cooperative Ricochet

Overview: The team chooses a game closing score then is challenged to reach this score in the given game time (usually about 10 minutes). Each player chooses a drawer and while standing in a large circle must catch a "ricochet ball" off its first bounce. FUN !!

Outcomes: Having fun after lunch and energizing the group.

2: 15-3: 15 PVC Network

Overview: Participants are split into mixed sub-groups according to their dominant DiSC. Each group must work together to accomplish a challenging goal with a tight time deadline. Each team is given a collection of PVC pipes with connectors and must assemble a single, interconnected structure so that no holes are left open. Each sub-group will work independently on this project.

Outcomes: This activity is rich in opportunities. Reading for comprehension and following the rules, organizing your workspace and equipment, taking inventory (of items and team talents), working as a team, using all the available information, taking care of the team vs. getting the job done, starting over if necessary, empowering other team members, and celebrating a job well done are some of the possibilities.

3: 15-4: 00 Trap'Tory

Overview: The sample group is challenged to replicate a workplace environment. Although instead of making high quality products to be delivered to customers they are using mousetraps that must be arranged according to strict customer guidelines. The team will be given tools (spoons, plates, mousetraps) and have time to delegate their responsibilities amongst team members for success.

Outcomes: This activity is physically and mentally challenging enough to push team members out of their comfort zones. Trap'Tory explores shared team work and holding the team accountable for results. Team members quickly discover that each part of the Trap'Tory requires various skill sets and talents for the customers to be satisfied; team work and commitment to the project are illuminated in the activity.

4: 00-4: 15 Goals, Learning and Blockers Discussion

Overview: The team will be split into sub-groups to discuss what was gained from the team training, what they wish to take back to the workplace and what will block the team from actualizing their goals. They will be asked to write these Goals, Leanings and blockers on tennis balls.

4: 15-4: 45 Focus Ring

Overview: The subgroups will be lead to an area with a focus ring (one for each group). They will be asked to rest their Learning ball on a piece of PVC pipe. The teams are challenged with transferring their learning ball off the PVC pipe and placing it on the other teams' pipe. The focus ring is a 2 inch diameter key ring with multiple thin strings radiating off the ring.

Outcomes: When a group works together to complete a task, the impact each person has can be profound. In this activity, the ball can be caused to drop if even one person does not do their job well. This fact may prove useful to the group during the debriefing (processing of the activity).

The group identifies their most important goal and is asked to identify the largest obstacles to reaching this goal. The team writes the goal on the tennis ball using a marker and then place physical objects (tables, chairs, doors, etc.) in the path of the group – the group identifies each obstacle with an index card (example: table = lack of appropriate time). Then the group travels under the table, over the chairs, through the door, etc. During processing I'll ask the group to describe how they handled each of the physical obstacles and how they may be able to use similar skills to handle the obstacles which are real to them in achieving their goal.

4: 45-5: 00 Recap and Now What?

Overview: Participants are shown a series of pictures on cards. Participants are placed into their work department and asked to choose three cards with a picture that metaphorically symbolizes the past, present, and future of their relevant department. The group will then discuss and choose a final three cards that represent the past, present and future of the Sample Group.

Outcomes: This is an excellent closing activity as each department declares their personal insight from the day and states their commitment on what they will do to take their team to the next level. The team deciding their future gives them ownership over the opportunities and supports a team community.

How to Draw Castle Floor Plans

The Floor Plan for every Medieval Castle was different but there were some rules of thumb that they pretty much all followed. Here are some guidelines to help you draw a castle floor plan that is realistic and attractive.

Whether you are drawing a castle floor plan for a school project, a website, or a board game it can be difficult to find good information on some of the more important points of why and how medieval castles were built.

There are two very important aspects of a castle that you have to consider when drawing out your castle floor plan. The first is the concept of concentric circles and the second is the thought that a castle needed to be self-sufficient for long periods of time.

The Concept of Concentric Circles

This is a very important aspect of castle design. It is the concept of putting lines of defense inside each other. This way an attacking army had to overcome an obstacle and when they did that they still had another obstacle to overcome. This is how a typical castle would be built. Around the castle would be a large area clear of all brush and trees. Then there would be a moat, then an outer wall, an inner wall, then finally the keep. All of these obstacles would have to be broken by an attacking army one at a time.

Here is how you draw it:

  1. Draw a large circle on your piece of paper. This is the area around the castle that is cleared of all trees and brush.
  2. Draw a rectangle in the middle of your clearing. Make it about three quarters the size of the clearing. This is your outer wall. Around this outer wall draw a band about an inch or two thick in blue. This is the moat.
  3. Now draw another rectangle inside your outer wall. This is the inner wall and the castle proper. In this area there would be many of the rooms and functions of your mini self-sufficient village.
  4. Finally, make the top third of the last rectangle you draw into the Keep. This is the last line of defense for your castle. In this rectangle would go some basic rooms like the main hall, living quarters, dining hall and armory.
  5. Most of your other rooms and functions would go in the courtyard between the inner wall and the keep. These rooms would be formed along the walls all the way around the inside of the rectangle.

The Concept of Self Sufficiency

A castle had to have everything needed for the occupants to survive inside without any help from the outside world for a long period of time. This was because a major tool of any attacking army was the siege. This was when they would surround the castle and not allow anyone or anyone in or out. This would starve the occupants of the castle into surrender.

So inside the castle you should add all of the major components of any medieval town. Put these inside the Keep:

  • A Main meeting hall
  • A Dining Hall
  • An Armory for storage of weapons and armor
  • A Chapel
  • Living quarters for Royalty, Knights, soldiers, servants and peasants
  • A Kitchen large enough to feed the castle

And inside the Castle proper hugging up against the inner castle wall put these rooms and functions:

  • Multiple storage rooms for foods, grains and meats
  • A large garden, the inner courtyard of a castle was often fully used to grow vegetables
  • Livestock pens
  • Stables
  • Bakery and grainery – bread was an important part of the medieval diet. Grain stored well for long periods of time and bread was easily baked
  • Dungeon and prison for captured enemies
  • Craftsman Shops such as Blacksmith and Carpenter
  • A well for drinking water

If you are making a castle floor plan as part of a game you can get very creative with the way the castle is laid out and you can add many functions and rooms not described here. But if you follow the concepts of Concentric circles and Preparedness against siege you will still have a castle that has a sense of authenticity to it no matter how elaborate or imagined your plans are.

3 Tips to Raise Your Standards in Business and Life, Right Now!

How do we get better? We raise our standards within ourselves. How? Just as a runner decides they want to run a faster mile. First they make the decision WHY they want to. Then the tough part, the runner has to beat the time they ran the day before, pushing through the pain to go a step further to break that time. The runner's uncomfortable because they're changing, they're tolerating more pain and adapting to what they must become in order to achieve this time. It's the same in your business. It's possible that your attention to detail could have improved in your reports, or your presentations could have been more poise, accuracy, and fluent. No matter what you intend to raise your standards in you'll have to know what your best work has been to give yourself a target. Then consistently aim at that level of work every single time until it becomes your average. Once you know what you're capable of doing right now, you can build a consistent standard within yourself around that capability. So here are a few things to keep in mind when trying to build a better business, get a promotion, getting fit, or just simply raising your personal standards:

1) Decide why you want to: We need to have a reason why we are making the decision to improve what we do, and we are to hold that reason with us until we reach the level we're looking to achieve. Sometimes we have trouble making that decision and we do not put the best effort into our work because something happens. For example, we do not like our boss or our coach, so our efforts lapse. What suffers for that? Our standards, we compromise our abilities because we feel we did not get a fair shot. But who actually suffers from those situations? We do, we let the work we do suffer because we do not want to waste our best effort, or give the best effort to someone we do not care for. Some of us go to work thinking, "I should not be doing this" or "I should be further along than this", and we're probably right. But can you say you've given your best effort regardless of the circumances around you, or did you compromise because of things out of your control. What can you control? You can control your decisions, and you can choose to raise your standards.

2) Create accountability, measurability: Finding a way to measure what we do and practice is essential to know where we are and where we came from. Do not get discouraged if you have trouble reaching your personal best for a second time right away. Just keep moving forward doing what you can to consistently improve. Once you reach your personal best a 2nd time, you'll find ways to consistently reach it going forward to make it your new standard. One day, you'll freakishly break out of your new standard and set a new high for yourself. Then your new challenge will be to find a way to make your new personal best your future standard.

3) Get leakage: Most people I speak with do not fully understand the concept of leverage. Building leakage, or something that will require you to accomplish a certain task will ensure success. Think of your mortgage or rent. What would happen if you did not make that payment on time? There would be a penalty for not doing so. Also, a fighter trains to compete and beat their opponent. If they do not train up to a certain level they will not be able to compete with their opponent. Taking the time to write out the rent check, or finding the reason to train at such an intense level with consistent motivation is the leakage, it's the consequences or rewards. The easy part is saying you need leverage, and the hard part is finding leverage that will help you realize the punishment or reward related to your goal, and take consistent action toward it.

Congratulations! I'm sure by now you know what you want to take to a new level in your life. Do you want to keep going? It's going to be tough, but you know how to do it. Go raise you standards, get better, and climb to a new level. Realize what you've accomplished, because anything gained no matter how small is a new place to build from and is something to be proud of.

Save Your Back By Using a Cement Mixer

If you have landscaping projects that deal with mixing cement, then there are a lot of ways that you can go about doing this. Many times, you will want to just mix a few bags to create some sort of design or even fill in some cracks around your home. In these situations, you can usually mix cement without much of a problem. However, if you need to mix more than a dozen bags or so, then you will definitely want to use a cement mixer. This article will be about the benefits of using one and how you can potentially save yourself thousands of dollars.

If you have ever mixed cement manually with a shovel, a wheelbarrow, and some water, then you know it's not the easiest thing to do. Sure, the first few bags are a cinch but once you get into over a dozen or two bags, it can really start to get difficult. This can even cause some injuries depending on your health. Just lifting the bags can wreck havoc on your back. The mixing part can be quite a hassle as well. By using a cement mixer, you can really make your life 100 times easier.

One of the reasons why people do not bother getting an electric cement mixer is because they want to save the money. This is okay if you're only doing a minor job and do not need that much cement but if you need over a dozen or so bags, then using a mixer will really help you to not only get the job done a lot faster but it will also help prevent you from hurting your back or other parts of your body which as you know, one wrong move can cost you a ton of money in medical bills. If you do not want to buy a cement mixer, you can always rent it out at your local hardware store.

If you want to buy one then there are different ones for you to choose from. They come in different sizes as well as different types such as electric and gas powered. The cost will depend on what you get. If you want to see what sort of options you have, you can do some research online. It's better to spend some money to get the work done more quickly than to hurting your back or spending more time than you have to.

Top Five NBA Trios of All-Time

Ever get in a debate with your buddy at work over what trio was better Magic, Kareem and Worthy or Bird, McHale Parish? Or perhaps Jordan Grant and Pippen? What about the great Celtic Teams of the past with Bill Russell and company? Well now next time you find yourself in that spot you will have some concrete info to backup whatever your claim is. For all you NBA junkies out there this is a must read about the best of the best in the history of the great game known as NBA basketball.

5. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant: Chicago Bulls, 88-93

List Placement Reasoning:

Many may be surprised to see Jordan occupying the bottom spot on our list or to see the name of Horace Grant instead of Dennis Rodman. The facts do not lie however. Since Jordan's place as the games all-time greatest player in the eyes of so many, what he and his bulls did in both of their three-peats pails in comparison to what the other great dynasties on this list have done when you factor in things like all-pro teams, combined points scored, longevity and balance. Basketball is after all a team game and we are talking about TRIOS NOT one player, Jordan's comrades were simply not good enough to allow Mike's trinity to be any higher. Grant was selected in place of Rodman due to the fact that he played with Jordan and Pippen longer (six years instead of three), and was overall a better, more complete player then was Rodman.

Accomplishments and Accolades:

During their six year run together the triumvirate accumulated three world championships, (91-93) three league MVP awards, nine all-star game appearances, seven selections to either the first or second team all-pro team and 29,303 points. The trio was also responsible for 56.5% of the total offensive output for the Bulls during that six-year stretch.

4. Bill Russell, Sam Jones and Bob Cousy: Boston Celtics 1958-63

List Placement Reasoning:

Cited by many NBA history buffs and gray-bearded sportswriters as the first great trio, it was not a question about if to include them on this list, but rather where. It was hard for me to put such a dynamic group near the bottom given what they accomplished, (more on that later) but at the end of the day when you factored in the supporting cast they had to work with. During the course of their six years together, Russell, Jones and Cousy, all hall of famers themselves played with seven other future hall of fame teams. Having this many great teams does not diminish the magnitude of their accomplishments, but it does diminish their individual responsibility in achieving them, thus dropping them to fourth on our top five list for the NBA trios.

Accomplishments and Accolades:

History tells us that the magic formula for winning championships in the NBA in the late 50's and early 60's was to trot out this trio and let them do their thing. This formula rendered in an astounding five titles in six seasons together as well as four MVP's for Russell. For decoration the triumvirate also decided to throw in 14 all-star appearances, 10 all-pro selections and 22,245 points.

3. Bill Russell, Sam Jones and John Havlicek: Boston Celtics 1963-69

List Placement Reasoning:

It may seem redundant to have a second trio that is two-thirds the same as the previous one, but that is what happens when you win 11 titles in 13 years (Bill Russell) you and a few special guests, (call them VIPs) get extra attention. The fact was when going through the numbers I could not in good faith deem one Russell led big three better than the other. We rated this group slightly higher than the first mainly because the numbers where slightly better. Another consideration of the ranking was the fact that excluding Russell Havlicek was a better player than either Jones or Cousy were, so putting his group one notch higher than Cousy's.

Accomplishments and Accolades:

Much like the trio that preceded them both chronologically and on this list Russell, Jones and "Hondo" won the NBA crown every year but one (1967 Philly) during their seven years together. Russell also added two more MVP awards to the four he had won previously giving him a total of six for his hall-of-fame career. Collectively this group would also tally 16 all-star selections, 14 all-pro selections and nearly 29,000 combined points. (28,952 to be exact)

2. Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy: LA Lakers 1983-89

List Placement Reasoning:

The placement of this group on this list really needs no explanation that they are any measure, statistical or otherwise one of truly great trios of all-time. Given that fact the decision to include them in the top two was not hard, but choosing which spot to pencil them in for (or I guess type them in would be the more operative word here) was probably the most difficult decision that had to be made while compiling this list. I can tell you for sure that I flip-flopped on this one more than once but at the end of the day I choose to rank them just behind our top team (no I will not give it away) simply because they had far more help than did the next team on this list.

Accomplishments and Accolades:

The group known as "Showtime" will be three titles in seven years together, and the lead pairing of Johnson and Abdul-Jabbar will be five together during the decade of the 80's. "Big game James" joined the team in the 82-83 season as a first round pick out of North Carolina, and made an instant impact with the up-tempo Lakers, scoring 13.4PPG as a rookie. The trio's most dominant year came in 1987 when they accounted for 52% of the offensive en route to their second title as a unit. All-tolled Johnson, Jabbar and Worthy accumulated three MVPs, 18 all-star appearances, 11 all-pro selections and 29,197 points playing together. That said it was not enough to unseat their # 1 rival, and most dominant NBA triumvirate of all-time …

1. Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish: Boston Celtics 1981-92

List Placement Reasoning:

When you really sat down and analyzed the numbers, accomplishments and the rosters you quickly realized just how great this trio was. It is not enough to say that they scored a bunch of points (which they did) or that they won multiple titles (which they did as well) but you also have to take into account the fact they often did it while overcoming significant deficiencies in depth and athleticism. Compared with the Lakers who rated players like Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes Michael Cooper and Byron Scott coming often times coming off their bench the Celtics relief corps with the exception of Dennis Johnson who by the way should be in the HOF managed to win consistently with aging , often improvised stars like Bill Walton, Pete Maravich and Nate Archibald either starting or coming off the bench. Couple that with the incredible length of time they were together (12 years in all) Boston's "big three" of the 1980's got the sports-ayd.com nod as the greatest trio of teams in NBA history.

Accomplishments and Accolades:

During their decade plus run together Bird, McHale and Parish accomplished far too many things to chronicle here (trust me you would get bored reading such a long list jammed with so many numbers) so I will just include the real important and impressive ones. This trio went to the NBA finals four times together, winning it all three times. In addition they tallied three straight MVP awards (Larry Bird 84-86), an astounding 26 all-star appearances, 11 all-pro nods and an otherworldly 53,004 points scored. More impressive still is the fact that they played such a huge percentage of their relative care workers together. Larry Bird played just one of his 13 NBA seasons without McHale and Parish, likewise McHale played just one year without Bird. Parish is a bit of an exception here having played for four teams in his 22-year career however, the bulk of that time was spent with Bird, McHale and the Celtics and he is no doubt much more known for what he did in those 15 seasons in Boston than what he did in his other seven years with Golden State (76-80) Charlotte (94-96) and Chicago (96-97). This incredible trio hit its apex in the 1985-86 season during which they accounted for an impressive 56.7% of the Celtic liability on the way to their final title together. The next season although they would lose four games to two to the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA finals the big three would score an unfathomable 5487 points which translated to an equally if not more impressive 63.4% of the total liability.

The Porcelain Doll Collector

As far as collecting is concerned, dolls are one of the most popular items collected worldwide and antique dolls remain highly restored-after by discerning collectors. The enduring popularity of dolls is aptly described by Pamela Shearer in 'A Century of Dolls': "an antique doll, with its smooth bisque skin and luminous eyes, has a direct appeal that skips right past logic to lodge in the heart. this essential trick of the human mind, to find irresistible fascination in a face, that underlies our capture with dolls down through the millennia. "

For many collectors, the French and German porcelain bisques of the late 1800s to early 1900s are the first choice. At that time the rivalry between the leading manufacturers lead to the creation of what are generally considered the most beautiful dolls ever made. Expensive even when new, the rarity of the best dolls is reflected in their prices today, leading some collectors to take a closer look at modern reproductions.

There are some interesting points to note when comparing the antiques to modern-day reproductions, of which some collectors might not be fully aware.

o An antique Jumeau or Bru in excellent condition and wearing her original costume would sell in the tens of thousands of dollars. An authentically reproduced doll by a skilled doll maker, wearing a hand-sewn costume and undergarments in keeping with the original dolls, can be bought for a fraction of the price.

o Today's reproductions are made using a finer bisque than the originals.

o A beautifully made and costumed reproduction antique will remain highly collectable and, depending on the mold, can appreciate in value considerably.

o The quality of the painting on some antique dolls can vary noticeably as many were outsourced to village workers where the painting was often performed on a production-line system where different artists specialized in painting different features.

o Just as the antique dolls were highly valued when new and passed on down through the generations, a good quality, new reproduction can likewise begin its journey down through generations of your family, starting with you.

A great place to find the best reproduction dolls is at doll shows, many of which include a competition where doll artists present their best work to be scrutinised by experienced sentences. Although most do not sell their award-winning creations, you can expect all their dolls to be of a very high standard. For more information on antiques and reproductions you might like to visit the website listed below, where you will find exquisite dolls, plus a wide selection of books on the subject, available to buy online.

Factors to Keep in Mind Before Hiring a Plastic Molding Manufacturer

The need for plastic based consumer products is on the rise and this is directly linked to the cheaper costs of materials and manufacturing of synthetic products. As a consumer you may not be aware or be concerned about the highlight injection moldings manufacturing process but as a business entrepreneur, learning how to choose the molding companies is critical to deliver the highest quality. The following points must be kept in mind to ensure you hire the best plastic molding manufacturer:

Product design

It is vital to have a professional product designer develop the required product designs before firing the highlight injection moldings companies. A prototype requires being making and testing extensely before mass production. Most plastic molding manufacturer will have the professionals to design the products but getting an independent designer based in your city is advised. This helps save time and money required during the refining of the design until it is perfect for use.

Material used by molding companies

Although highlight injection moldings predominately involved the injection of molten plastic in to mounts of a certain shape and design, you may require using other materials. Rubber and polystyrene are some other materials which can also be used to make the molds. Make sure the plastic molding manufacturer you consult offers a range of molding services to cater for your material requirement.

High quality control

It is vital you make sure the company you intend to hire follower only the highest and most stringent levels of quality control since you intend on mass producing the product and low quality could lead to major loss. One small miss calculation in the design could lead to a disaster so consult the companies and discuss this concern in advance. Another way of locating customer satisfaction is by locating reviews and feedback website which will have the required information linked to the plastic molding manufacturer. If there was a quality concern you are bound to locate it on the review and feedback websites.

Always compare services and have an alternative

Although many companies prefer sticking to a single plastic molding manufacturer, it is vital you make sure you have an alternative in case they do not deliver. Checking on other highlight injection moldings company terms and charges as they may be more attractive but do not compromise on the price, lower pricing may affect the quality of the plastic molds you order.

Spending time to research on what to expect from a plastic molding manufacturer will help you make the best choices with regards to getting the highest quality services and products. Today quality is the main concern you must be looking to acquire since low quality is sure bound to cost you more on the long-term perspective.

When You Stumble Over The Truth, What Action Will You Take?

Men often stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

-Winston Churchill-

What an awesome quote! Today "truth" to many people has become relevant to whatever they want to make it.

BUT … truth is not relevant and you can not change it.

TRUTH IS TRUTH NO MATTER IF YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE THE TRUTH.

I do freely admit that getting back to the standard of truth can be a painful thing. Our built-in pride makes it especially hard to admit that we have gone astray. I can say this from my own experiences.

In years past, people were much more willing to admit their failure or sin because they knew the truth was the standard they needed to live by.

Today Satan has blinded the minds of many people. Deep down they know they need to change, but he keeps them so busy doing other things that the truth is crowded out.

Then after a few days they have been able to justify their actions.

Satan is a master of chaos, confusion, busyness and most importantly JUSTIFICATION.

When I have strayed from the standard of the truth, the Holy Spirit starts to convict me of what I have done.

From that moment on, I must make the choice as to what I will do – repent or justify my actions and choose not to repent.

The first thing that usually happens to me is that my pride kicks in and tries to tell me something similar to the following list of excuses:

  • I only did this because (insert flimsy excuse here)
  • What they did to me was terribly wrong and totally unjustified
  • The other person said something hurtful first and I only responded to what they said. Can not I defend myself?
  • I do not want to admit to the other person that I lied because it will make me look bad
  • If I admit my failure I will look weak as a leader

*** Sometimes there is a huge fight that goes on inside me that tries to justify why I should not make things right.

*** Sometimes I am just wrong before God because He sees the secret condition of my heart, and another person is not involved at all.

But Satan will still try to convince you that you do not need to repent.

Justification seems to be a legitimate way out when you can not swallow your pride and repent.

In my experience, pride is the biggest thing Satan tries to use against me. My flesh does not want to admit that I have been wrong about anything, and it certainly doesnt want to admit that I have stumbled against the truth and now must do whatever it takes to get back into a right relationship with God.

Satan wants me to think that pride and arrogance are completely acceptable solutions to my problem – anything but true repentance.

There was one time I struggled furiously because Satan was trying hard to convince me that I definitely should not humble myself before God and repent.

In the end I forced myself to make the choice to go to the other person and ask for their forgiveness. They had said several things that were hurtful and unjustified to me. I had said ONE thing to them. But that One thing is all it took for God to convict me that I must get things right with the OTHER PERSON so that I could have a right relationship with HIM.

I literally forced myself to go to them and ask forgiveness. I knew it was for me more than them, and as soon as I had done it I was so glad I had not let "pride" be the ruler of my life. It felt really good to win such a hard battle.

The other person did not ask my forgiveness, but I realized that because I had done the right thing my relationship with God was now restored.

I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR ME – PERIOD !!! Others are responsible for what they have done. I do not have to answer for them.

Even though I fought one of the biggest battles of my life that day, I realized something huge that has served me well since then:

It may hurt for a little while to get rid of your pride and do the right thing. But in the long run, you will live a life of freedom and your relationship with God will be restored, which is vitally important.

There are many ways to be a slave other than someone forcibly holding you and making you do something against your will. Many times we make slaves of ourselves by refusing to do the right thing because it is too hard, or we are just too stubborn.

Since that day it has been much easier to go to others and ask forgiveness because I know my future relationship with God depends on it.

I do not have to be a slave to something that will keep me in a virtual prison for years or even for the rest of my life.

Make the choice to swallow your pride and live in God's freedom. It might be hard for the moment, but it is well worth it in the end!

How to Give Women G-Spot Orgasms That Will Blow Her Mind

The fabled G-Spot is much talked about by men as being a thing that when stimulated unleashes massive, even squirting orgasms in women. Trouble is that not many men out there know how to give women G-Spot orgasms.

This article will tell you exactly where this super sensitive zone is and exactly how to stimulate it.

Where is a womans G-Spot?

It is to be found about 2 inches inside the front wall of her vagina and is the size of a walnut. It has a very spongy texture and is quite firm and resistant to the touch. At first it takes a while to find but you will soon be able to pinpoint it's location in a split second.

How to give women G-Spot orgasms.

The secret to giving these types of climax is all in the preparation. She needs to be relaxed, feeling sexy and very turned on. To relax her give her a massage, to make her feel sexy compliment her and to turn her on give her lots of foreplay.

Now to give women G-Spot orgasms the last thing you should do after all the preparation is try to kick it straight away. What you have to do now is get her to the point where she is almost begging you for more. This is best done by giving her cunnilingus. Lick her vagina slowly with some tongue strains for a few minutes to get her real horny then stop and put two fingers inside her.

Now you should use these fingers to push gently on the G-Spot and within seconds you will have her screaming. That's how to give women G-Spot orgasms.