Evolution of a Fairy Tale: The Three Little Pigs

James Orchard Halliwell-Phillips included the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf fairy tale in his 1843 book called Nursery Rhymes and Nursery Tales. It was the first known written version of the story, although it probably existed in some form in oral folktale tradition. The written form of the story may have borrowed elements from other fairy tales of the time, like The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids to create a new fairy tale. It is not clear what the exact origin of the tale is, but this 1843 version is the beginning of the Three Little Pigs story as we know it today.

Joseph Jacobs put together a collection of fairy tales in a book called English Fairy Tales, published in 1890. He cites Halliwell-Phillips as the source of The Story of the Three Little Pigs that he includes in his book. In fact, it appears to be a word for word reprint of the 1843 printing of the story. However, it is usually Joseph Jacobs who is credited as the person who created the version on which most modern versions of the story are based.

In the Jacobs and Halliwell-Phillips version of the fairy tale the mother pig sends her kids out into the world to seek their fortune. The first pig builds and house out of straw. The wolf comes, blows the house in and eats the pig. The second pig builds a house out of twigs. The wolf comes, blows the house in and eats the pig. The third pig builds his house out of bricks. The wolf comes, can’t blow the house in, and tries to trick the pig to let him in. The third pig outwits the wolf so the wolf tries to come down the chimney. The wolf falls into a pot of boiling water and the pig ends up killing and eating the wolf. There is very little personality given to the pigs, especially the first two. We know that their choices were poor, but the pigs weren’t characterized as dumb or lazy in the story.

Joel Chandler Harris included a variation of The Three Little Pigs in the book Nights with Uncle Remus. He called the fairy tale The Story of the Pigs and included 5 pigs instead of three. This version has the mother pig close to death when she warns her 5 children to beware of Brer Wolf. The pigs were named Big Pig, Little Pig, Speckle Pig, Blunt, and Runt. Big Pig built a house out of brush. Little Pig built a house out of sticks. Speckle Pig built a mud house. Blunt built a house with planks. Finally, Runt built a stone house. However, the wolf doesn’t huff and puff and blow the houses in. The wolf tricks the pigs into letting him in and then eats them, except for Runt. Runt outwits the wolf and ends up killing him in the fire when he comes down the chimney. Joel Chandler Harris really added more personality to the pigs by giving them names and they each also had an attitude about their mother’s warning about the wolf.

Another version of The Three Little Pigs was included in Andrew Lang’s collection of fairy tales called The Green Fairy Book, published in 1892. Like Harris, he also named the pigs: Browny, Whitey, and Blacky. Also like Harris, he gave the pigs more personality than the Jacobs version. Browny was said to be a dirty pig who only liked rolling around in the mud and didn’t obey his mother. Whitey was smart, but she was also greedy and selfish and only wanted to eat. Her mother warned her that one day she would suffer for her greed. Blacky was a very clever pig who was neat and nice. His mother was very proud of him, but only him. In this version of the tale, the mother pig asked her children what kind of houses they wanted and she would have them built. Browny wanted a mud house, Whitey wanted a house made of cabbage and Blacky wanted a house made from bricks. Another difference is that Lang’s version features a fox as the villain, not a wolf. Also, rather than huffing and puffing and blowing the first two houses in and eating the pigs, the fox is easily able to get into the houses to capture the pigs. He then carries them to his den. Blacky outwits the fox in a similar manner to the Jacobs version, kills the fox, and then goes to the fox’s den to save his brother and sister. Browny and Whitey then go to live with Blacky and give up their bad ways and all three live happily ever after. This is quite different from the Jacobs version.

Disney produced an animated short film of the The Three Little Pigs, released in 1933. It has some story elements from both Jacob’s and Lang’s versions of the fairy tale. Disney names the pigs Fifer Pig, Fiddler Pig and Practical Pig. They are also given more personality like in the Lang version. Fifer builds his house out of straw and Fiddler builds his house out of sticks. They do so very quickly and then have fun all day while teasing their brother, Practical Pig, about working so hard to build his brick house. They just want to play instead of work hard. Practical warns his brothers about the big bad wolf, but they ignore his warning. Like Jacob’s version,the wolf huffs and puffs and blows the straw and stick houses down. But, instead of the wolf eating them, they escape their own houses and end up in the brick house. The wolf tries to blow down the brick house but when he can’t he tries to gain entry through the chimney. There is no attempt at tricking the pigs to let him into the brick house, like in the Jacobs or Lang version. Finally, once the fox gets burned from the pot of boiling water, we runs away in pain rather than being eaten by the pigs. Like Lang, Disney chose to soften the story by not killing off the first two pigs. Unlike earlier versions, Disney also lets the wolf survive.

These are just a few of the variations of The Three Little Pigs fairy tale. To read the full version of the Joseph Jacobs version please follow the link in the resource box.

Finding an Apartment to Rent in Austin With a Broken Lease, Bad Credit Or Bankruptcy

Austin, the state capital of Texas, is a modest yet high-tech town which combines a serene life with some of the biggest names in technology and academia. The University of Texas in Austin has a looming presence and continues to attract thousands of young ambitious people from not only all over the US but the world. Austin also has some of the best apartment rental units one can ever find in Texas. But renting an apartment in Austin involves getting acquainted with the rental process. This is because most prospective tenants can expect a background checks which involves rental history and court records. Rental background checks are designed to unearth prior broken leases while court analysis reveals if the applicant has had a bankruptcy. But where can one rent an apartment in Austin if they have a broken lease or have filed Chapter 11 or 13?

Prior broken agreements or bankruptcies can spell automatic denial

Many apartment complexes in Austin deem a prior broken agreement with an apartment very seriously. They also take equal seriousness to issues to do with filing bankruptcy. Many apartments will automatically deny any applicant whose name falls under this category. In many cases, this now means the applicant has to search elsewhere. This can be a very frustrating ordeal especially if one does not know where in Austin to look. Below are some localities in Austin where one can find what are termed “second chance” apartments.

  • Allandale
  • Avery Ranch
  • Balcones Woods
  • Barton’s Bluff-Spyglass
  • Battle Bend Springs
  • Barton Creek
  • Barton Hills
  • Bouldin Creek
  • Brentwood
  • Bryker Woods
  • Canyon Creek
  • Copperfield
  • Crestview
  • Dawson

These areas have a few complexes where one can rent an apartment even with a tarnished rental history. The challenge that almost all applicants within this category face is the fact that these apartments do not advertise. This means that they will not readily sell themselves as being accepting of sub-prime tenants.

The Internet can be a great place to search but in many cases this is also a shoot and miss scenario. Canvasing the city can also be a frustrating and totally expensive experience. Using the services of an apartment locator can be somewhat more promising.

If you do indeed find an apartment in Austin that can rent to you with previous lease issues, then one must also demonstrate that first and foremost, they can pay rent. This means being able to furnish proof that you have a job. Then one must also show that they earn enough to pay the rent. These apartments may also conduct a criminal background check.

The 3-Date Gay Dating Plan – Getting Steady in No Time Flat

So many people focus on the first date. What to wear. Where to go. What to talk about.

Big mistake.

From this issue came the Three Date Plan – a battle plan for determining your ideal match in just three dates.

Warning: the Three Date Plan is not for everyone. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, or where you want to end up, I don’t recommend it. But if you’re ready to get serious know what you want, and are sick of the hookup and heartbreak cycle, read on.



The goal:

Get to know each other. Hardcore.

The Set-up:

I must discourage you from seeing a movie, a show, or going to a party. You don’t want distractions, or an external source of entertainment. You need to face each other and see if you have what it takes to interact for a concentrated period of time. A Starbucks works wonders. Or a bar before the crowds roll in.

So choose the place – and make it somewhere between the both of you. Then set a time limit, and make other plans for afterwards. This way there will be no awkward “when does this end?” business. I recommend anywhere from 1 and a half to 3 hours for The First Date.

What you should do:

The first date is like a job interview – a chance to get a handle on the human sitting across from you. Here you will sit, face each other, and talk. Nerve wracking? Sure. But entirely necessary.

Brush up on your date’s online profile beforehand, and then come with questions. Was there anything they mentioned that intrigued you? Challenged you? Mystified you? Let them talk about it. End the date with a strong hug and (if comfortable) a kiss on the cheek.

Once the date is over, follow up within a day (none of this 3 day or wait for them to respond stuff.) And while text messages are convenient, we’re working in the real world here – so give a call. Tell them you had a great time, and would love to see them again.

What you shouldn’t do:

People love talking about themselves. For this reason, I defy you to not utter a word about yourself unless your date asks you. If your date ends and the guy or girl didn’t ask a single thing about you, consider The Three Date Plan at an end. You want someone who really wants to know about you.

THE SECOND DATE – The Real World

The Goal:

See how your date interacts in larger groups.

The Set up:

Your second date should take place at a public event. If you like barhopping, invite them out with your friends (and let them know they can bring their pals). Concerts, museums, movies, and game nights are also fair game – so long as friends are there as well.

What you should do:

Meet your steady in advance, alone. You don’t want to flank them with your friends without warning. Tell your friends your date is coming, but don’t ask them to put on the kid gloves. In the long run, your date will need to co-exist with them.

Through the night, stay with your steady. If you’re comfortable with physical contact, try it out and see how they react. Take this chance to observe them carefully. Are they at ease with your friends? Are they legitimately contributing to the evening, and having a good time?

At the end of the night, leave when your date leaves. Tell them you had a great time in a quieter place, and then give them a peck on the mouth. Spare the tongue just this once, and say goodnight.

What you shouldn’t do:

DO NOT flirt with anyone else. You are not significant others yet, but there is a certain level of respect here. Also, refrain from talking about recent exes or hookups.

Conversely, if your date does either of these two things, beware. It points to either a self-esteem issue, or a braggard complex. You don’t want to get competitive, and you don’t need jealousy this early on. You’ll have plenty of time to rehash your pasts later – but in the first two dates, consider it off-limits.

THE THIRD DATE – Get it out in the open

The goal:

Show your cards.

The setup:

If you’re still talking, still making plans, then you might be ready to make the next move: invite them to your place. But you should also trust your gut. If it feels like you’re not far enough along, lather-rinse-repeat dates one and two a few times. Over the course of the repetition you will get to know each other better.

Finally, when you’re comfortable, initiate The Third Date.

What you should do:

Have activities prepared. Whether it’s a DVD, a few hours playing video games, DVRed shows on your television, whatever. If you have things in common (which you do, if you reached this point!) it won’t be very hard to pick activities.

Now, with little but your roommates (assuming they’re there, or you have any) to interrupt, now is the time to have the meaningful conversations. Hold nothing back. Ask more questions, really get in there deep.

Nothing should be off-limits. Because if this goes well – and if you’ve made it this far, the chances of success are higher than they’ll ever be.

At this point I leave it to you to act on instinct. From the past two dates, has your steady proven to be what you’re looking for? If so, move boldly ahead. If not, feel free to end your journey here, go back online, and start from scratch.

What you shouldn’t do:

Don’t hold back! If there’s something your steady should know about you, reveal it. In order to set up a serious relationship with real compatibility, you can’t begin by lying, or hiding parts of your past or personality. This is about finding true chemistry, not forcing a situation and you want a relationship built on honest chemistry, not farce.

Don’t feel like you HAVE to continue this. If something feels wrong – it’s probably for a good reason. Unless you want to eternally swallow down an issue with their personality, their past, their body, whatever, now is the time to exit. Tell them you’ve had a great time, but you don’t think something long term can come of it.

Finally, don’t fight them if they decide that this isn’t right for them. You are not here to convince them that you’re right for them. Remember that you are driven, not desperate.


Humans are strange and random creatures. Everyone is different, and so they will behave, react, and think differently. The Three Date Process doesn’t guarantee you success with anyone. Don’t expect it to. What this process ensures is a lot less wasted time, and (when completed successfully) a better shot at actual chemistry. Anyone who doesn’t stick through it with you is not compatible with you. If you can’t bear your date halfway through it, then they aren’t meant for you.

Dating is not about accepting what you can get. It’s about toughening your shell, weeding through the snowflakes that aren’t meant for you, and finding your true steady.

It’s tough. It’s bloody. It’s backbreaking work. But, if you’re seriously ready to get steady, then you’re already willing to put in the effort, face the heartbreak and the challenges, and come out on top.

A Guide to Subdivision in Western Australia

Costs Related To Subdividing Property In Western Australia

Please note, the costs and conditions discussed in this article have been written in relation to subdividing property in Western Australia. If you are considering subdividing property in areas outside of WA, I I recommend you seek advice from a local town planning / surveying consultant.

The reason for varying costs

There are many different estimates that get thrown around regarding the costs of subdividing land. In saying this, the wide varying estimates are to some extent valid as every particular subdivision has its own set of unique circumstances.

Below are some indicative costings and discussion as to what it may cost to undertake a typical 2 lot residential subdivision with an existing dwelling to be retained. In most circumstances, surveyor’s fees will not be too different between a 2, 3 or 4 lot subdivision, however, infrastructure servicing costs will increase.

Sewerage, Drainage & Plumbing

A licensed plumber is usually required to assist with sewerage and drainage plumbing. The discussion below relates to survey strata subdivision where PVC pipes are sufficient. Freehold (green title) subdivisions require a concrete pipe sewer extension to the Water Corporation’s sewer mains.

Sewer plumbing costs will vary depending on location and depth of the sewer mains. The position of the sewer connection will dictate how far, if at all, the internal property sewer will need to be extended to service the new lots. If an existing dwelling is to be retained and the existing internal sewer line traverses through the new lot/s, it is likely that the existing sewer line will need to be realigned to within 0.6m of the boundary.

A sewerage connection point will be required for the new survey strata lot/s. In Western Australia, the Water Corporation currently allow this to occur off the existing Inspection Shaft connection.

As the location of sewer infrastructure is site-specific, plumber’s fees will vary. In cases where the existing house is to be retained, from my experience, the cost of satisfying sewerage requirements for a 2 lot subdivision is generally upwards from $3,000+GST.

Drainage plumbing costs will again vary depending on site-specific circumstances. The requirement for whether drainage is required is largely dictated by the property’s soil type. Some Local Governments are happy for drainage to be resolved as part of the later building process. It would be unreasonable to provide an estimate for drainage costs as they can vary quite significantly and also largely depend on the proximity of the Local Government’s drainage network.


In Western Australia, the Water Corporation Headworks Contributions is around $6,000 (no GST) per additional lot being created. That means 1 x $6,000 for a 2 lot subdivision, 2 x $6,000 for 3 lot subdivision, and so on.


To install a green power dome (pillar) for a 2 lot subdivision, Western Power charge around $1,500 (no GST), around $2,000 for a 3 lot subdivision. When creating 4 or more lots, the costs are on a case-by-case basis and can increase quite significantly. This is largely due to the fact that the costs are not subsidized like they are for amalgamations and 2-3 lot subdivisions.

Licensed Electrician

If an existing dwelling is to be retained then the power to this dwelling will need to be converted from overhead to underground. An electrician will essentially provide an underground connection between the green dome and the existing dwelling, and also coordinate with Western Power for the removal of the overhead power line. If coordinated properly, the existing dwelling is generally left without power for only a few hours.

Again, the distance from the green pillar to the house and any encumbrances such as hard ground or concrete between the pillar and the house will influence overall costs. In my experience, 2,000+GST is a sufficient estimate for an underground power conversion for a 2 lot subdivision. For a 3 lot subdivision, a transmission board is required and the costs would generally be around $3,500+GST.

The Battle-axe Driveway

If undertaking a battle-axe subdivision (i.e. house behind house), then a constructed and drained driveway will need to be provided for access to the rear lot. This may already exist if the driveway for the rear lot will utilize the driveway for the existing dwelling.

The majority of Local Governments will allow a battle-axe driveway to be bonded, as they appreciate that it will be damaged by concrete trucks and other heavy vehicles during the construction of the rear dwelling. Some Local Governments will ‘clear’ the battle-axe construction condition if they are provided with 1.5 times the construction amount. If, for example, the cost of the new driveway will be $6,000 to construct, then the Local Government will require $9,000. This is fair and reasonable as there needs to be an incentive for the landowner to construct the driveway in due course. Upon the construction of the driveway the bond will be released. Alternatively, some Local Governments are willing to enter into a legal agreement, which costs in the order of $1,500. It should be noted, there is an increasing tendency for Local Governments requiring battle-axe driveways to be brick paved as opposed to concrete/bitumen for aesthetic purposes.

Cash-In-Lieu of Public Open Space

The Planning & Development Act now provides the potential for a subdivision approval condition to impose a monetary contribution in lieu of providing Public Open Space – this is only applicable to subdivisions comprising of 3 or more lots.

This condition has and continues to catch developers out when they least expect it. If a Cash-in-lieu of Public Open Space condition is imposed on a subdivision, then to satisfy the condition it will cost 10% of the unimproved valuation of the entire property. For example, on a property with an unimproved value of $600,000 the cost to ‘clear’ the condition would be $60,000. It is highly recommended that you research whether such a condition will be applicable for your property prior to embarking on a subdivision for 3 or more lots.

Surveying Related Costs

Surveyor’s fees will generally include client liaisons, a site feature and contour survey, the preparation of the subdivision plan, the management of the subdivision approvals process, final pegging, drafting of the Survey Strata Plan and the lodgement of plans with Landgate. As a general indication, $8,000 inc GST will be sufficient for a 2-3 lot subdivision including a number of Government related fees which amount to approximately $2,500.

Other Miscellaneous Costs

* Tree removal (not a condition of subdivision, but a possible cost if considering selling vacant lot/s)

* Filling in and compaction of any water bore on the new vacant lot/s

* Removal of clothesline from vacant lot and erection of new clothesline on house lot

* Fencing is not a condition of subdivision (unless property abuts a reserve), but a possible cost if considering selling lot/s

* Removal of redundant crossovers

* Shire contributions such as footpath and/or road upgrading

* Removal of existing garage/carport for existing dwelling if located within new lot

* Construction of new garage/carport and associated driveway and crossover for house lot

* For dual coded land (i.e. R20/30), then a cosmetic upgrade may be required for the existing dwelling

* Storeroom for existing dwelling to be provided

* For dual coded land it is reasonably common that unit designs will need to be prepared and approved by the Local Government prior to subdivision at the higher density code (i.e. R30 in the case of land coded R20/R30). In some cases the units need to be built prior to subdivision

* Settlement agent fees for making application for new titles

* Surveyor to assist landowner with managing completion of subdivision conditions

* Demolition of sheds/outbuildings etc – does it contain asbestos?

General Overview Of Total Cost And Time: The cheapest a 2 lot subdivision can reasonably be undertaken for is approximately $20,000 (where the entire property is vacant). For a 2 lot subdivision where an existing dwelling is to be retained, $30,000 will generally be sufficient. Due to servicing costs, it’s approximately $10,000 more for every additional lot to be created.

The quickest new titles can reasonably be created for vacant land subdivision is 4 months. In most cases, the process takes approximately 6-7 months where an existing dwelling is to be retained. The developer plays a major role in the eventual time frames as the quicker contractors and Government agencies are paid, the quicker the necessary paperwork can be sorted out and issue of new titles.

How Many Phone Lines Does Your Business Need?

Depending on your specific company profile, the number of phone lines your business will need can vary. While you certainly don’t need one phone line per employee, you also don’t want to cut too many corners.

To help you decide how many phone lines your business will need, consider the following:

  • The majority of your employees are in the field: If you have a construction company with 50 employees and only four of them work in the office, leaving the rest at job sites, you don’t need 50 phone lines. Instead, you would be wise to purchase four lines for your office employees, plus one voicemail line and one or two lines for your fax machines. You can vary this configuration of course. If your business is very busy, consider purchasing three or four lines for faxes.
  • You have a large volume of incoming and outgoing daily calls: If you own a telemarketing company with 25 employees, each making phone calls 8 hours a day, you should consider purchasing 35 or 40 lines just for the calls your employees make. Adding another two lines for faxes is a good idea as well.

As a rule of thumb, if your business has about 15 employees you should consider purchasing one phone line for every employee who makes calls in your office. But if your business has more than 15 employees, a cheaper solution is to move to a dedicated circuit that contains 24 phone lines.

Interestingly enough, if your business is growing, you will actually need fewer phone lines per employee as the number of employees increases. While this increased number of employees will most certainly be making more calls, the probability is low that every employee will be making or receiving calls at exactly the same time. Most likely, when one employee hangs up the phone to do some work, another will be picking up the phone to make another call.

To get an understanding of your business’ phone call volume, go over your phone bill’s itemized list of calls to determine the number of calls made during peak times. A better approach is to scan your phone bill and determine whether every phone number is being used. If several of your phone numbers are set as inbound faxes or are set for your security system and are not currently being used, then you most likely have too many lines.

On the flip side though, if customers, employees or associates complain that they keep getting a busy signal when calling your business, you probably need to add some more lines.

Before rushing out and buying more phone lines, make sure to troubleshoot the bottleneck in your phone system. It could be caused by a card failure that caused you to lose ten lines in your phone system. If after troubleshooting your hardware and you find no problem, order additional lines to match the number of people affected by the shortage of lines. Perhaps the Human Resources department hired 20 more people and did not tell you. If during peak calling times, 10 people in your office can’t get outside lines, order 12 more lines.

In summary, the number of phone lines you business needs depends on the number of employees in the office (as opposed to out in the field) and the volume of their calls during peak calling times. Taking a look at your business’ past calling records will help greatly in determining the number of phone lines needed.

Pros And Cons Of RCA Cables

The most commonly used cable connector is the RCA connector or Radio Corporation of America connector. These cables are the oldest of its kind and were originally invented to allow mono phonograph connectors to be connected to amplifiers. But today it is widely used everywhere in almost all kinds of audio or visual equipment we use. RCA cables are also known as clinch-connectors or phono cables. They typically have 3 color coded jacks and 3 color coded plugs. They started replacing TRS connectors first, then took over most of the audio equipments and then were used for video equipment as well. But in Mp3 players, mini TRS connectors are gradually replacing traditional RCA connectors.

The advantage of such connectors is that they are widely used in many systems like televisions, stereo system, digital cameras, camcorders, etc. These cables are also very flexible and can be easily handled. The plugging color code system is also very easy to remember – the red and white or red and black plugs are for audio signals and the yellow one is for the video. The great thing about these is that they are cheap and are also easily available. Also most dealers would give you a set of free RCA cable connectors with any equipment you buy so you don’t actually have to buy them separately. For analog audio signals, like in home theatres, for surround sound systems, the color codes are grey, brown and tan. Sometimes for component videos, an extra blue and green plug and jack is also present. But these are more complex to understand and remember, so it is good to stick to the user manual which has been given by your dealer. Once the connections are clear to you, you will find how easy it is to use these connectors.

The main disadvantage of these connectors is the color code system. It is hard for one to keep in mind the colors especially in complex systems like component video systems and home theatres. Also three different cables may become difficult to handle. Low quality camcorders do have one single cable and jack but this reduces the video quality. Companies are trying their best to find a way to combine all the cables into one and keep the quality of video good but so far, there has not been much progress. HDMI connectors are another choice over RCA cables which help in covering these disadvantages. But RCA cables are being used for ages and there is no way that they will be rejected just because of the color coding problem. Soon enough there will be a solution to this minor difficulty and then these cables will have more years before they go out.

Does a Mortgage Modification Hurt Your Credit Rating?

This is one of the most hotly debated topics in consumer credit, mortgage, and loss mitigation circles. The short answer is yes, and no. However, I think you want to hear a better explanation. According to some consumer advocates, loan modifications have no adverse effects on your credit scores. Of course, they put an asterisk next to their statement because they really don’t know. Other reports show that many of the large lenders and mortgage services are using special codes to indicate that a client is paying a modified payment.

Recently, I spoke with a representative from Equifax. She did not want her name disclosed for privacy reasons, but she stated that some of the big banks are using a special code of “AC”. Even with my vast knowledge of credit reporting, she had to refresh my memory to what an “AC” is. Basically, the “AC” code indicated that a borrower is only making partial payments on their debt. The result would be credit scores being dramatically lowered. In this light, many creditors will cut back your lines of available credit.

Another interesting thing is that if you ask 99% of the mortgage lenders, they will state that they never take “partial” payments. Many of my clients have attempted to pay a half or less than a full mortgage payment. In all of these cases, the lender has turned around and sent the un-cashed check back to the client. They also received a letter informing them that their payment was not accepted because the bank does not accept “partial” payments.

I pressed the Equifax employee for a better explanation. If a lender does not take partial loan payments, why would they be allowed to report that a consumer was only making partial payments? Needless to say, I think she was caught off guard by my inquiry. After a few moments of silence, she stated, “well, we (the credit reporting agencies) do not tell creditors how or what to report.” In essence, your lender can report anything they want to the big three credit reporting agencies.

With this information, let us discuss how this impacts you.

If you are current on your mortgage and have not made a late payment within the last 12 months, the “AC” code can do some damage to your credit scores.

For the current customer with strong credit scores, my advice is to take a serious look at whether or not you want and/or need a loan modification. If you are comfortable making your mortgage payment and you just want a lower rate and payment, you need to assess the pros and cons. You might not want a hit to your credit, so you will need to forgo applying for and accepting a mortgage modification offer. If your finances are really tight and you are squeezing every penny out of your budget to make your mortgage payment, you might just want to suck it up; accept the modification and take the negative bump to the credit.

Remember, time heals all wounds. So, if your credit scores drop due to a mortgage modification, you can make up for this by having an outstanding pay history over a relatively long period of time. On time payments, definitely have the most positive influence on your credit scores.

If you are a customer that is behind on your mortgage and/or you have had a 30 day late payment within the last twelve months, the “AC” code is not going to affect your credit score. Your credit has already taken a dramatic blow, so any additional drop caused by this type of credit reporting is not going to have much bearing.

For this consumer, you obviously need some sort of mortgage workout. My advice is that you apply and obtain a mortgage modification. Then, pay your new modified mortgage payment on time. Once you do this for at least twelve months, your credit score will increase and overcome any negative reporting by your mortgage lender/servicer.

As with any issues, things just are not black and white. Grey seems to rule the day, and each customer needs to go into any financial transaction with their eyes wide open.

What Makes the Best Plantation Shutters: Vinyl, Basswood, Poplar, Maple or Another Hardwood?

Plantation shutters are an excellent choice for high quality, attractive and functional window treatments. If you are considering buying plantation shutters, no doubt you quickly learned of the myriad of choices that are available to you.

Plantation shutters can be purchased as stock units or you can buy custom interior shutters to fit your windows. And then there is the construction material – among the most common materials used include vinyl, Basswood, Poplar, Maple and a variety of fine hardwoods. And not surprisingly, each material brings different levels of quality and price ranging from vinyl shutters to custom wood plantation shutters. So which is the best choice for your home?

Plantation Shutter Construction Materials

Here is a summary of the pros and cons for the most common interior shutter materials:

· Vinyl

· Basswood

· Poplar

· Hardwood

Vinyl Interior Shutters

Some of the most affordable interior shutters are made from vinyl.

While vinyl interior shutters will not warp and typically don’t require a finish, there is an undeniably synthetic look and feel to them.

The advantage to vinyl is it presents the most economical solution and is widely available.

However, vinyl shutters are among the lowest quality on the market and don’t offer the warmth or beauty of wood plantation shutters. And if you are considering vinyl interior shutters, remember that affordable does not always mean value.

Wood Plantation Shutters: Basswood and Poplar

Basswood and Poplar are two of the more common woods used to make interior shutters. Basswood and Poplar are technically hardwoods. But as hardwoods, they are light and relatively soft compared with other hardwoods such as Maple or Oak.

Basswood takes a finish well; it can be either painted or stained. Because Poplar’s color is not uniform, ranging from white to green to almost purple, it should be painted only and never stained.

However, when considering wood plantation shutters made of Poplar or Basswood, one should be aware that both are very soft and susceptible to dents and dings. In larger openings, Basswood and Poplar shutters frequently require additional reinforcing or extra rails or stiles for rigidity. The overall width or height of your window treatment may also be limited.

And finally, research the shutter joinery method. Because Poplar and Basswood shutters typically represent the mid-market pricing and quality range, often times the joinery of these interior shutters is inferior to higher quality shutters. For example, you should look for products where the rails are joined with reinforced dowels.

Hardwood Plantation Shutters: Durable and Beautiful

True hardwood plantation shutters, such as maple, represent the highest levels of quality and value in today’s plantation shutters. While the initial cost is sometimes higher than a comparably sized Basswood or Poplar shutter, the manufacturing quality is generally superior and there is greater likelihood that your Maple shutters will outlast shutters made from more affordable materials.

In addition to the increased durability and longevity of quality wood plantation shutters, solid hardwood shutters provide greater aesthetic appeal, whether stained or painted. The natural beauty and grain pattern of the vast array of hardwood species presents a limitless palette of design and style for your hardwood plantation shutters. Plus you can select the wood species and finish to match your existing décor.

High quality hardwood plantation shutters will also be custom made to precisely fit your exact window opening. And with a professional installation, your interior shutters will look like they were meant to be there, enhancing the beauty of your room.

The Best Material for Interior Shutters

When it comes to beauty, versatility and durability, no other material can match a quality, dense hardwood such as Maple. Other outstanding choices are Walnut, Mahogany, Oak, Cherry and Alder. While quality hardwood shutters may cost more initially, the lifetime value of your shutters will far exceed that of cheaper alternatives.

Feeling Secure Inside – The Capacity to Be Alone

Some people are capable of literally being alone, even for long periods of time, but they are uncomfortable, depressed, restless, and anxious in their own presence. Some individuals drink alcohol, take pills or smoke weed when they are alone, to take them to another state of consciousness where they feel calmed, even stuporous. In some cases the body and mind altering substances are substitutes for a mother who was never emotionally present for them when they were infants and young children.

The great psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott defined the psychological meaning and origins of the “capacity to be alone. ” In the earliest months after birth, the mother and child are symbiotic. The child cannot distinguish between himself and his mother or mother surrogate. Through his growing development and the needs met by a loving mother figure, the baby begins to feel secure within himself and internalizes these feelings. According to Winnicott a key element in this growth toward individuality takes place when the infant learns to be psychologically alone in the presence of a loving parent. When they are together without interacting, the baby senses a solid compassionate presence, a positive, loving mutuality. As the child matures, he incorporates these feelings of security, safety and confidence into his body, mind, and psyche. Eventually, by the age of four or five, the child has achieved the psychological capacity to be alone. This ability grows and thrives throughout the many stages of life. .

There are others who never feel safe or loved enough to develop the capacity to be alone. As infants and young children they were unwanted, threatened, neglected, assaulted, cast off from the beginning. In many instances, the parent has such severe mental problems that she cannot relate to her baby Some parents act as if the baby is an inanimate object, a doll, that can be taken care of one minute and discarded the next. Many tiny babies are sent to caregivers who neglect or abuse them. Their chances of developing a sense of trust and inner security are very slim.

There are extraordinary benefits to having the capacity to be alone. Creativity is frequently fueled by moments we spend in solitude. At these times the imagination is ignited to spin tales, create characters, travel afar, view visions of other worlds, create mental pictures of color and shape that will become fine paintings, have adventures that could never occur if we were surrounded by people all the time. When we are alone and cherish the time to be introspective or analyze those great gifts of the night—-our dreams—we are moving forward to become more evolved human beings.

There are several ways you can learn to be comfortable in your own company:

1. Become acquainted with yourself and learn to appreciate your unique qualities.

2. Practice being alone in thought, reverie, prayer, or meditation for short periods of time each day.

3. Learn how to quiet your mind and body through various types of deep breathing, muscle relaxation or yoga

4. Become aware that as your capacity for being alone grows, you are opening up the gates of creativity and expanding your consciousness.

Additional Tips in Using the Dremel 8200-2/28 Cordless Rotary Tool

Here are some more tips and reminders for when you are using your Dremel 8200 rotary tool. Knowing these should make your efforts easier, safer, and more productive.

1. Always us the collet size which matches the shank size of the accessory you are going to use. There are 4 different collet sizes (1/32″, 1/16″, 3/32″, and 1/8″) available for the Dremel 8200. The 1/8″ size collet is normally included in most tool kits.

2. The 8200 comes with a built-in “hanger” that you can use to hang up your rotary tool when it is not in use. When you need to use your Dremel 8200, just snap the hanger back in place on the body of the rotary tool.

3. Make sure that your attached accessory is in balance on your rotary tool before you use it. After attaching your accessory, just turn on the rotary tool and you should be able to tell from the feel and the sound whether the attached accessory is in balance. To correct an imbalance, simply loosen the collet nut, twist the accessory a little, and retighten the collet nut. Then recheck the balance by restarting the rotary tool. You may need to perform these steps a couple of times until you are satisfied with the balance. The Dremel 8200 comes with a collet wrench.

4. When using wire brushes, never set the operating speed of the rotary tool at greater than 15,000 RPMs. Pieces of the wire brush may come loose during operation and become embedded in your skin. In addition, when you first attach a wire brush to your Dremel, turn on the Dremel and let it run for about a minute before using it. This 60-second warm up period should shake free any pieces of wire on the brush that are loose.

5. When using your tool for serious grinding or when using a cutoff wheel, grasp the body of the Dremel like you would hold a fishing rod – with your thumb on top near the OFF/ON switch, the body of the tool resting in the palm of your hand, and the other four fingers securing the left side of the tool.

6. Setting your rotary tool at a speed greater than 15,000 RPMs when using a bristle brush, may damage the brush.

7. When working with plastic, start your tool at a low rate of speed and gradually increase the speed until you see the plastic begin to melt. Then reduce your tool’s speed a little. This will give you the optimum working speed for that piece of plastic.

8. If the 3 lights on the fuel gauge begin flashing “off and on” that indicates your rotary tool’s battery has become too hot for use. Just turn off your tool, take a break, and let your tool cool down. (Note: If the 3 lights are flashing “side to side” or just 1 light is flashing “off and on”, that means that your battery needs to be recharged.)

9. Just like with most cutting tools, never turn on your Dremel with it touching the material you are going to work on. Instead, start your Dremel and let it reach the full speed you set it for before you begin to cut/polish/sand/grind/etc the material.

10. If your tool bit binds up in the material you are working on, don’t worry. Your Dremel’s motor will stop automatically (a nice feature). Once you are able to unbind the tool’s bit from the material, the rotary tool will start up again automatically.

I hope these tips and reminders help!

What Does Software Engineering Involve?

The first point that has to be made about software engineering has to do with its scope of activities. Software engineering is the management of the entire process of development of computer systems to solve problems.

As software systems have grown more sophisticated and complex, software developers have sought new methods for their development. Software engineering is a response to that need. Software engineering is still rapidly changing and maturing.

Typically, when someone is told to write a program, someone else has told him or her what the program is to do and why; the programmer is concerned only with how to write it. As software engineers, however, we will be the ones concerned with the what and why. Software engineering includes the whole range of activities having to do with problem solving – from helping the client define the problem or opportunity, to evaluating the client’s satisfaction with the solution.

Developing a software system may require writing a whole collection of programs to tell machines what to do, writing procedures to tell people what to do, and providing training so that people understand how to do it. We may need to convert data from an old system so it can be run by a new system, hire people and acquire machines to run the programs, and obtain space in which the machines and people can do their work. What we are building is a system of many parts working together. Such an endeavor requires patience and flexibility. We will have to fix the system when it does not do what we expected, or the client may ask us to change the system because he or she wants it do something else not previously intended.

Programming may be no more than 20 per cent of the total scope of software engineering, and the fraction of effort involved with programming can be expected to drop as improved methods are used for developing software systems. As time goes on, more of our effort will go into managing the overall process and less into programming.

How to Avoid the Friend Zone and Repair Your Relationship After a Break Up!

So, your ex just walked out on you saying that they needed some space…breaking up is intense on so many levels, and now you have to figure out how to mend things. The entire thing is dismal, but if you adhere to a a small number of simple guidelines you may be able to make things right again. This guide will help you avert making any further mistakes as you go to work on healing your connection.

First, end all interactions with your ex. Although this may look very extreme, it is absolutely essential. In view of the fact that you know each other so well, you have to be careful not to settle into the position of best friend. Once your ex sees you as a friend, it will be hard for them to imagine you as a lover. So ending all contact guarantees that you will not just fade into the background.

In all likelihood your ex will attempt to talk to you. If and when they do, be civil and inform them it is now time for you to work on yourself. Let them know that you would be willing to talk about the relationship whenever, as you have always thought that it would turn out well. Politely end your chat when it goes off point.

Do not send out cards or presents until you are dating again. While it virtually by no means helps the situation, it usually just makes it seem worse. If you study this circumstance with detachment your ex does not rate getting a reward from you.

Enjoy this time to develop your horizons. Head outside for a pleasant run or walk in the sunshine. If you are feeling dejection, working out will revitalize you and make you feel well again. While drinking booze dulls the sensation of hurt for now, it will not help the problem.

Take some time to truly make yourself better inside and out. It is the moment in time to reconnect with yourself.

Remember that you’re not in the correct frame of mind to talk with your ex at this moment. Following a little time to contemplate you might have a better understanding of your ex’s rationale for leaving. If your ex was feeling overwhelmed and crowded then letting them have a little space may possibly actually fix the problem for you. They will think a lot of you as you honor their demands.

2 AWG Copper Electrical Cables That Are Direct Burial

There are many types of electrical cables out there with different types of insulation that allow it to be exposed to certain environmental conditions. Don’t forget, these cables also need to withstand certain voltage, amperage and temperature requirements depending on the application as well.

As for direct burial cables that have 2 AWG wires in them; a Tray Cable is the most universal type of electrical cable used in the industry. It’s basic, it’s round and it can be placed in conduit or buried directly in the ground if you so choose. The best part about it is the pricing. Copper weight cannot be changed no matter what happens, so if you’re looking for three 2 AWG wires in a jacket that can be protected from underground use then the insulation and the jacket will be the only differences in your search.

If you need a single conductor 2 AWG wire without an additional jacket you can use USE-2 solar panel wire. Don’t assume that it can only be used for solar panels because a 2 AWG copper cable is a 2 AWG copper cable. You’re looking for enough protection to use it underground and the insulation on a USE-2 cable has exactly that.

Some cables that get confused about direct burial are SOOW and Type W. SOOW is oil and water resistant and approved to be used outdoors but not in conduit or underground. Type W is an SOOW cable on steroids as it’s bumped up to 2000 volts from 600 with an additional rubber EPDM jacket for added protection. However, it still cannot be used in conduit or underground. The added protection is meant for industrial use on industrial job sites where machines will be running over the cable day to day.

So if you’re looking for a direct burial single wire you should use USE-2 and if you’re looking for a cable with multiple 2 AWG wires in it then you should use Tray Cable. Talk to your supplier about your application to make sure you’re buying the correct electrical cable. There is also different flexibility options you might want to consider for a slightly higher price.

You might be able to slightly downgrade the cable to save money and spend a less amount on conduit if your object is to save money. There are many scenarios that can be worked out so make sure you at least have the discussion with a professional before diving into an underground cable.

How to Make Homemade Wine – 10 Reasons That Fermentation Can Fail

When you are learning how to make homemade wine , one very important thing you will want to avoid is fermentation failure. It is important to recognize the many causes of failure, so that you are able to avoid them before they ruin your wine. This list will show you why you are experiencing slow or non-consistent fermentation of your wine products.

1. Your Fermentation temperature may be too hot or too cold. The yeast in your liquid is better suited for its job if the temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with approximately 72 degrees being the ideal temperature. If the fermentation is too cool it may become sluggish and ferment very slowly or it may not ferment at all. Fermentations that are too warm may allow microorganisms to grow in your wine causing it to have a bad flavor or may even cause the wine to be spoiled. In order to combat this problem you may want to buy a floating thermometer and put it into your fermentation vessel, that way you can watch it and be sure that you are maintaining the proper temperature for your wine.

2. Another reason for fermentation failure is adding to much sugar. Yeast needs sugar to produce the alcohol that you will need to make your wine, but sometimes you may add too much causing adverse effects that you do not want when you are making your wine. When your sugar level is too high, the sugar will stop being a food source for your yeast and instead will prevent the ability of the yeast to produce the alcohol needed to make wine. Before you add any sugar you will want to know just how much sugar your fruit already has. Keeping in mind that the sugar level may be different in one fruit than it is in another. Some grapes need no additional sugar in order to make the 10% to 13% needed to make a good amount of alcohol. However in the instance of berry wines you may need to add a significant amount of sugar in order to get to the acceptable levels. It is recommended that you use a hydrometer to help you control the level of sugar you have in your must. It will tell you how much sugar you currently have as well as how much you sill need in order to reach the desirable level of alcohol.

3. The next reason for the failure of your fermentation is improper yeast starting methods. You will find that some packets of yeast will tell you to hydrate your yeast in warm water for a few minute before adding it to your must. The only problem with this is that some winemakers will use water that is too warm or they may leave it in the water too long. Some of the yeast packs will tell you to make the temperature of the water between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit; although it is much better to use 90 degrees instead, because at the recommended temperature for every minute you leave the yeast in the water some of the yeast cells will die. If the water is even a little bit warmer, say 110 to 115 Fahrenheit, you will find that your yeast cells are dying even faster. This means that if your water is too hot or you leave it in the water to long, your cell count will be to low to support good fermentation.

4. Another reason for fermentation failure is sealing up your fermenter to quickly after you add the sulfites. Many wine making recipes call for you to use sulfites such a Campden tablets, you will be instructed to add them to your juice at least 24 hours before you add any yeast in order to sterilize your juices. The sulfites are used to destroy unwanted contaminates including molds and wild yeast. The process usually takes about 18 to 24 hours of allowing sulfite gases to dissipate in to the air. After the 24 hour period you can then add your wine yeast. However, if your wine is sealed or air locked, the sulfite gases will not be released into the air, and when the yeast is added, it is most likely to be destroyed.

5. Using an airlock during the primary fermentation phase is another reason for failing in the fermentation process. In the primary fermentation stage, during the first few days, yeast uses most of its energy reproducing. The yeast will need to multiply itself to over 100 times the amount of yeast you put into the must. In order for this to occur the yeast must have air. If you use an airlock, it will keep the air out, reducing yeast of the much needed air and slowing down the reproduction. Instead of using the airlock, you should use a thin towel, or a cheese cloth. This allows air to get in and keeps out unwanted germs and bugs that could deliver your must.

6. The next problem that could affect fermentation is a lack of much needed nutrients. Having the right amount of nutrients is very important to the success of the fermentation process. Without these nutrients, your yeast may have a problem performing as they should. This may because the fermentation process to be slow and sometimes even cause it to stop before it can complete its mission. When you are making wine from juices, you will be able to easily meet the nutritional needs of the yeast by simply adding yeast nutrients to the must.

7. Another interesting but sometimes unbelievable phenomenon is that your fermentation is already done. In most wine making recipes you were told that fermentation takes as much as six weeks to complete. However, in reality, the process can be done in about 7 days. Many new wine makers will think something is wrong and may add sugar thinking they need to restart the fermentation; however time does not govern the amount of alcohol that is made. The best way to tell if your fermentation was done correctly is to use the proper wine making equipment such as a hydrometer to test your levels and if the answer is 0.998 or less on the Specific Gravity Scale, it means that fermentation has been successful.

8. Another problem that may occur is that the yeast has reached its limits, many times musts that are in the beginning stages of fermentation, have problems when the yeast reaches it limits. As alcohol levels rise, you will notice that the process slows down. It does this because alcohol is a preservative (something that helps something perishable stay in the state it is in) which means that alcohol may very well be the reason that the wine is no longer fermenting, another thing is fermentation may shut down no matter how much sugar is still in your must. It is very possible to still have quite a bit of sugar that could render you wine undrinkable. You will need to use your hydrometer to find out how much sugar is needed to produce the 12% to 13% of alcohol content that your wine needs.

9. Another fermentation hindrance may be the use of distilled water, using distilled water can cause you to have problems for 2 reasons. First distilled water has had all of the excess oxygen removed from it, and the second is that there are no minerals present in distilled water. Both conditions have a way of slowing down the fermentation process. While it is okay to use bottled water, distilled water can be a hindrance to the fermentation of your wine. During the fermentation process, the yeast will need all of the oxygen it can get to reproduce itself. If the yeast does not get an adequate amount of oxygen, the fermentation of the wine may be slow and take additional time to complete the process. Having no minerals causes adverse effects in the fermentation as well. Minerals play an important part in providing the much needed nutritional requirement to the yeast and giving it the boost it needs to consume the sugar and make enough alcohol for great wines. If you are going to use bottled water be sure they say spring water or mineral water before purchasing them.

10. Sometimes you may find that your wine is not fermenting at a normal rate, it is either very slow or not fermenting at all. This problem comes from the fact that the yeast is too old. Another thing to remember is that that a portion of the yeast cells die every day depending on the temperature where they are kept. At 80 degrees Fahrenheit your yeast will die very quickly, at room temperature it may die within a year, refrigerated yeast lasts about 2 years. Also know that yeast will not be usable forever and could be one of the reasons for your fermentation process not starting properly.

When learning how to make homemade wine you will want to learn everything there is to know about the process, but most importantly you will want to know what can affect the quality of your wine, because it makes the difference between good wines and great wines.

Nutrition for Expecting Women and Breastfeeding Mothers

Most women usually think twice about using food supplements when they are expecting a child. Women really have to take all the crucial precautions before taking any medication during this very important part of their lives.

GNLD International (Golden Neo-Life Diamite) is a global organisation delivering organic wholefood nutrition supplements to health conscious individuals since 1958 and GNLD nutritional products are highly recommended for use by pregnant women and those who are currently breastfeeding.

Support for all Women

GNLD offers a whole line of premium quality supplements to provide nutrient support for expecting women as well as moms who are nursing. These nutritionals can help moms supplement the key nutrients that are necessary by mother and child. Pregnant women need a lot of nutritional support, even after giving birth. Mothers should replenish their supply of nutrients for their little one’s sake.

Pro Vitality Pack

The GNLD Pro Vitality Pack is one of several multi-nutritional products from GNLD. Each pack contains the very same wholesome nutrients you can get from an often recommended dose of fresh fruits and vegetables, essentially coming from the carotenoid complex content. A consistent balanced fruit and veggie diet helps improve mom’s blood circulation and reduces the chances of birth defects. Each pack contains a carotenoid complex, one Tre-en-en, and one Salmon Oil Plus. In other words; Pro Vitality pack contains fundamental nutrients that promotes ideal prenatal development.

Zinc (Chelated)

Every parent doesn’t want their newborns to develop any birth defects, which makes zinc an important mineral in mommy’s diet. This GNLD mineral product also includes chelated amino acids to make it easier to absorb. Not only does it prevent birth defects in newborns, zinc also improves the overall immune health of a child. Making it an important factor.

GNLD Formula IV Plus

Another suggested nutritional pack from the line of GNLD products is Formula IV Plus. This recommended product offers all the essential vitamins, minerals, and folic acid that mums (and everyone else) need. Moms who need that extra burst of energy to beat down stress can get it from this vitamin power pack.

Cal-Mag + Vitamin D (Chelated)

This is one of the GNLD products that is often recommended for pregnant mums. Women need sound bones and teeth since they are more susceptible to osteoporosis than men. This crucial vitamin and mineral supplement supplies the essential amounts of both calcium and magnesium. Note that sufficient amounts of magnesium helps with uterine contraction pain during the time when women are about to give birth.

GNLD Nourishake Protein –

Mothers need to have the proper amount of protein in their diet. It essentially helps in the production of muscles, tendons, hormones, ligaments, hair, brain tissue, and nerves. It also helps sustain one’s energy. Nourishake Protein Drink comes in three sweet flavours.


Even though these products are food based and safe, we advise for pregnant mums to seek medical advice from their doctor before taking vitamin supplements. This is especially true for those who plan to take food supplements while on prescribed medications.

Other GNLD products commended for pregnant mothers include Vitamin C (Threshold controlled), Vitamin E Complex, Feminine Herbal Complex, and Garlic Allium Complex.