How My 4 Months of Welding School Went That I Took at Palomar College for Hi-Tech Welding

I just finished a class at Palomar College called Hi-Tech Welding, which is really welding 100.

I had welded in school when I was younger, and it was fun. I had over the years, always had a little portable welder, that I could use if something went wrong. I like to write books for my fun and hobby, and I own a store, and I also run a landscaping business. When something breaks down, I can weld it up myself.

I wanted to think of something I could do, that would not injure me, or be to physical, since tree cutting and stump grinding are pretty physical jobs, and I like to get outside and work, so I thought I would like to take a welding class.

I signed up for the welding class. It was fun, and I learned a lot from it actually. We have about 15 people in the class, and there are several classes. While one class is in the shop welding, the other class is in the classroom learning about welding. Each night we get 1 hour of classroom work, and 2 hours of welding work.

The first section of the class, we learn and practice ARC welding. ARC welding has a much bigger spark, and throws off more sparks, and it’s pretty fun to melt metal together.

The second section of the class, we learn TIG welding. TIG is a more intense type of welding, and they let us sit in chairs for TIG welding.

The third and final section of the class is MIG welding, which is the easiest type of welding, also known as a wire feed welder. After you become familiar with your machine, and experience, you just only have to point and shoot, and it’s pretty fun also!

In the welding class, you learn about welding symbols on blueprints. You learn all the different types of metals, electrodes, and various amps and volts you would use to weld.

Archery Technique – Are You Over-Bowing Yourself?

For the traditional archer, the temptation to shoot a high poundage is large. The higher the poundage, the more inconsistencies you start to remove from your archery as your arrows travel faster (with wooden arrows you really notice the difference). Today though I want to talk about the dangers of “over-bowing” yourself.

Unfortunately, many archers ignore the preparation needed to build yourself up to a higher poundage – and without this preparation you’re likely to do yourself far more harm than good. I guess preparation just isn’t as much fun as shooting! It is important though, and I recommend:

  • Firstly, making sure your technique is solid. To start with, you’re going to need to be holding the extra weight using your much stronger back muscles rather than your weaker arm muscles.
  • Try to build up to the higher poundage. If it helps, try to get hold of a formaster (basically a large elastic band that mirrors the tension of the bow). Many archery stores sell them, and the real value of them is they allow you to build up your strength by practising just a few minutes a day – without setting your bow up and scaring the neighbours! Try attaching the formaster to your elbow rather than holding it on your fingers, and try to build up to holding at full draw for 30 seconds without shaking.

Unfortunately, this build-up is not a regular part of archery training, and many archers continue to struggle shooting a bow that actually may be too heavy for them. If you’re over-bowing yourself, there are often a few tell-tale signs:

  • You may start to shoot “through your face”. From hard experience, I can say that this can be both extremely painful – and highly unnecessary, and results from pressing your anchor point too tightly against your face (so the string catches it on the way past). This can happen to varying degrees, and is amazingly common.

    I’ve heard archers say that this is simply a sign that you are referencing properly. I strongly disagree with this – you shouldn’t be damaging your face when you shoot, and you can achieve good back tension without doing this.

  • If you shoot point of aim for example, try to make sure you reference by simply touching the side of your mouth.
  • If you shake at full draw. It may just be that you haven’t shot for a while, but if it continues then it’s time to consider a lower poundage. You may also find that your shoulder hurts for a long time after you shoot. This is very bad – tell someone if this is happening to you.
  • If you forward-loose regularly, this might be a sign that at your current poundage you can’t maintain the necessary back-tension.

Quite often the answer comes down to regular practice, but before you shoot make sure you warm up your upper body. Everybody warms up differently, but I recommend as a minimum a range of ‘windmilling’ with your arms, then stretch your arms behind your back.

What is a Sinus Tract? – An Insight of the Sinus Tract

A sinus tract is an asymmetrical type of passageway that leads from within the bones to the surface of the skin. This channel is also called a fistula. It can also be said as a drainage pathway from a deep focus of acute infection through tissue and/or bone to an opening on the surface.

A contagion or a decompression of a synovial joint in rheumatoid arthritis or common fistulous rheumatism can also lead to a formation of Sinus tracts.

When a profound disease develops, the body restrains the disease, stopping it from contaminating the bloodstream. Pus develops in the area that is weak. As it continues to develop, a slender channel is formed in the weak spot. In time, the channel reaches the surface of the skin, where it bursts. When the pus burst the pressure is also relieved thus the patient feels less pain and may not have any fever Sometimes we see that an infection develops in a long bone and it worsens, over months. Ultimately the infection gets to the skin, forming a sinus.

A sinus tract is a small uncharacteristic channel in the body. A tract usually goes from the cause of infection to the skin’s surface. A sinus can be developed after an abscess is cleared (by itself or by medical treatment), then one of more of the small openings (tracts) connect the cavity to the skin surface. But in some cases some people can develop a pilonidal sinus without ever having a pilonidal abscess.

Occasionally draining cutaneous sinus tracts in the area of the face and neck may be caused by chronic dental infection. Intraoral sinus tracts owing to dental infections are quite widespread. Nasal dermoid sinus cysts are very widespread congenital midline nasofrontal masses, but on clinical inspection they are very easily misinterpreted to be sinusitis. Sinus tracts are best demonstrated on MR imaging. Small tracts, however, may be difficult to find. T1 weighted images with intravenous gadolinium may be more sensitive in finding smaller abscesses and sinus tracts.

Mini Oil Change – Changing the Oil in Your Classic Mini Automobile

Changing the oil in your Classic Mini is easy to do, yet you’d be amazed how many people pay garages to do this.

To carry out the oil change yourself you will need the following:

  • A 5 litre container of new oil
  • A new oil filter
  • A large spanner
  • A screwdriver set
  • An oil filter removal tool or large flat-headed screwdriver
  • A funnel
  • A clean rag
  • An oil tray

First, run your Mini engine for five minutes in order to heat up the oil in the engine. Then park the Mini on a level surface and turn off the engine and open up the bonnet.

Using the large spanner, unscrew the sump plug on the side of the sump beneath the car. Make sure you place an oil tray underneath the car to catch the oil.

When the oil is flowing out of the sump, unscrew the oil filler cap on top of the engine to allow the oil to flow faster.

A Mini engine and gearbox will hold over 4 litres of oil. If the container you are using to catch the oil cannot hold this amount, replace the sump plug to stop the flow of oil while you empty the container. I find it useful to keep an old oil container in which to empty the used oil. Use a funnel to prevent spillage.

While the oil is draining out of the engine, remove the front grill using your screwdriver set to gain access to the oil filter.

Eventually the oil will trickle to a few drips a minute. What I like to do next is to pour in some new oil into the top of the engine using a funnel, and let that drain through. It will come out black at first as it collects gunk along the way. When it starts coming out looking like it went in, clean the drain plug of all oil and metal filings with a clean rag. Use the rag to clean the grooves of the sump hole as well so that it is free of metal filings. You can also pour some new oil onto a clean rag and smooth it into the sump hole and over the sump plug.

Next screw the sump plug back in until tight, but don’t go mad and try to over tighten it. It’s tight enough if no oil drips out when you fill it back up.

Mini oil filters can be hard to remove, which is why you can buy oil filter removal tools. Use the oil filter removal tool to remove the old oil filter. With the old Mini oil filter removed, dab some new oil onto a clean rag and clean the oil filter seal on both the engine and the new oil filter.

Screw the new Mini oil filter onto the engine making sure that your hands and the filter casing are not covered in oil, which can cause slippage and prevent a tight seal. Replace the front grill.

With the sump plug back in place and the new oil filter fitted, start pouring new oil into the top of the engine through the filler hole using the funnel, and let it settle. Keep topping up the oil until the dipstick level reads close to max.

Replace the oil filler cap and close the bonnet. Take the car for a short drive around the block and then park it up and allow the engine to cool down.

Once the engine is cold you will find that the oil level has dropped. Remove the filler cap and top up the oil until the oil level reaches max.

You should find that your Classic Mini runs a lot better after an oil change. I could not believe the difference an oil change made to my Mini in both terms of performance and how smooth the engine ran.

It is worth giving your Mini a regular oil change. Check your oil level periodically, and if the oil on your dipstick starts looking a little black, it’s time for another change.

Kawasaki Cordless Drills Review – Worth the Money Or Not?

Kawasaki Cordless Drills tend to fly under the radar. Obviously they aren’t known for their power tools prowess-this is more of a recreational vehicle company-and many aren’t even aware they make drills at all.

They make a 19v model, and this is their main model. Its’ cheap-it sells for just $60-so do you get what you pay for?

Power

It goes up to 1100 RPMs, which is a pretty respectable number considering the cheap price. And it’s actually quite powerful despite its’ low price tag.

Chuck size

It can only hold smaller bits-the chuck is just 3/8 inches.

Batteries

This one uses NiCad batteries… and they are known for giving out very quickly when used in excess. If you are just a “handyman” who uses it around the house every now and then, Kawasaki Cordless Drills will do the trick. But if you plan on doing BIG projects, avoid this one.

Who’s it made by?

It is NOT made by Kawasaki–and you won’t find anything about it on their website. It’s actually made by AllTrade-and this company is known for their lousy customer service.

If you buy it, you’d better hope you never have to replace anything-it might never get done.

The bottom line:

Most of the complaints around this drill are from those who’ve attempted to use it a lot for bigger projects like putting in a hardwood floor, installing a deck, etc.

It’s NOT built for BIG projects

If you are a heavy duty industrial worker–this is NOT your machine. But if you are planning on using it for smaller things-such as driving screws into more forgiving kinds of wood–then Kawasaki Cordless Drills will get the job done.

How to Make Money From Things Found in the Woods

There are numerous ways to make money from things you can find in the woods or even fields. Most people think of logging timber or cutting firewood, but I’m going to list some different options that involve less physically demanding work, less equipment, and less environmental impact. The majority of them will not affect the ecosystem if done moderately. Here are eight ideas to get you started.

Morel mushrooms, also known as dryland fish, can be found in the woods in the springtime across most of the entire Eastern half of the United States and a few places in the Northwest. Morels can sell for $20 or more per pound.

Pine cones come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can be turned into crafts which can then be sold. You can also soak them in certain chemicals which will in turn cause them to burn different colors when put in a fireplace. These treated pine cones sell for around $15 for a 3 pound bag.

You can dig ginseng and other herbal roots such as goldenseal, black cohosh, and wild hydrangea. A pound of wild ginseng usually brings anywhere from $300 to $800 a pound depending on the market that year.

Arrowheads, flint tools, and other Indian rocks and artifacts can be found in fields and woods across the country. Just one nice artifact could be worth anywhere between $10 and $1000.

Keep an eye out for twisted, small trees or branches. You can make really nice walking canes out of these fairly easily. Just try to use trees or branches that have a unique, distinctive quality. This makes the cane a one of a kind item with character.

You can find giant cane, also known as river cane, in 23 states. It is often found in floodplains with sparse tree cover overhead. You can take a few of the larger ones and make fishing poles (cane poles) out of them and sell them.

You can find and sell antler sheds from deer, elk and moose. Many sell for several dollars a pound, but if you find a trophy-sized shed it could bring much more.

You might need to exercise some caution on this one. Most people wait until after the fall frost. It is gathering hornet nests. They generally bring around $20-30 apiece from people who want them as a type of rustic decoration or just collect them. Plus, hornets do not use an old nest, they build a new one each year.

Hopefully, you have gotten at least a few ideas from this article and maybe you have most of these things in your area. Just please be responsible when taking advantage of nature’s available resources and always check your local laws and regulations before proceeding.

Piercing the Nevada Corporate Veil

In Nevada, “piercing the corporate veil” is now the subject of a statute, NRS 78.747. Under section 2 of this statute, to establish an “alter ego,” three things must be proven:

a. The corporation is influenced and governed by the stockholder, director or officer;

b. There is such unity of interest and ownership that the corporation and the stockholder, director or officer are inseparable from each other; and

c. Adherence to the corporate fiction of a separate entity would sanction fraud or promote a manifest injustice.

This statute is a codification of the test enunciated in prior case law. See, e.g., Ecklund v. Nevada Wholesale Lumber Co., 93 Nev. 196, 562 P.2d 479 (1977), where it was also held that all three elements must be proven to pierce the corporate veil. In any case, as the Court stated in Baer v. Amos J Walker, Inc., 85 Nev. 219, 220, 452 P.2d 916, 916 (1969), “The corporate cloak is not lightly thrown aside.”

Turning to other relevant considerations, in North Arlington Medical Building, Inc. v. Sanchez Construction Co., 86 Nev. 515, 471 P.2d 240 (1970), where this Court listed, in footnote 3 to its opinion, some 22 factors tending to establish the second element of NRS 78.747(2). In Polaris, however, this Court noted that “[t]hese factors may indicate the existence of an alter ego relationship, but are not conclusive.” Id., at 747 P.2d 887. Thus, as other courts have done, this Court made the point that each veil-piercing case is sui generis. “There is no litmus test for determining when the corporate fiction should be disregarded; the result depends on the circumstances of each case.” Id.

In re Blatstein, 192 F.3d 88, 101 (3rd Cir. 1999). Furthermore, regarding shareholder loans to a corporation, the Colorado Court of Appeals has held, in Hill v. Dearmin, 609 P.2d 127, 128 (Colo.App. 1980):

“It would frustrate the purposes of the corporate law to expose directors, officers, and shareholders to personal liability for the obligations of a corporation when they, in their individual capacities, contribute funds to, or on behalf of, a corporation for the purpose of assisting the corporation to meet its financial obligations, and not for the purposes of perpetrating a fraud or promoting their personal affairs.”

Thus, intercompany loans and loans from shareholders do not, per se, establish either commingling of assets or the existence of an alter ego.

As the law has developed in this Court’s decisions, the “injustice” which might result from recognition of the corporate fiction must more than merely fortuitous. It must be accompanied by some sort of wrongdoing by the purported alter ego. In Polaris, for example, when the shareholders learned that a creditor had a legitimate claim against the corporation, they withdrew or siphoned off corporate funds for their personal use. But “undercapitalization” or “siphoning” alone will not serve to fulfill the third element of the alter ego test. As the Court stated in North Arlington:

In any event, it is incumbent upon the one seeking to pierce the corporate veil, to show by a preponderance of the evidence, that the financial setup of the corporation is only a sham and caused an injustice.

Id., at 471 P.2d 244. See also, Rowland v. Lepire, 99 Nev. 308, 662 P.2d 1332 (1983), where the corporation was clearly undercapitalized, having a negative net worth at the time of trial, corporate formalities had been ignored, no dividends were paid to shareholders, and the directors and officers receive no salaries. On the other hand, the corporation had a separate bank account and a contractor’s license in its own name. Under those facts, the Court held, at 662 P.2d 1338:

“Although the evidence does show that the corporation was undercapitalized and that there was little existence separate from… the evidence was insufficient to support a finding that appellants were the alter ego of the… corporation.”

The holding in Rowland is somewhat surprising, given that so many of the North Arlington factors had been established. But the Court gave no indication in its opinion that there was any evidence of inequity, unfairness, or fraud. The Court did remark, however, that the matters which gave rise to the litigation were “a legitimate business dispute.” Id., at 662 P.2d 1336. In such a case, therefore, there is not an abuse of the corporate form that would merit a piercing of the corporate veil. To be sure, this Court has been very conservative in its application of veil-piercing principles. And, after all, use of the corporate form to shield the shareholders from liability is precisely what the corporate form is supposed to do.

Last, NRS 78.747(2)(c) expressly requires a showing that a manifest injustice would result from recognizing the corporation as a separate entity.

Affiliate Marketing Board Benefits

It seems like almost everyone in the world is on the Internet, this is because millions of dollars are spent by people every day on the Internet.

Many of these people use the Internet as a way of saving some money and trying to buy all of the things that they love on the limited amount of money that they have.

Since everyone is thinking about saving money when they are shopping through this method, there is a great potential to make money by simply offering products that customers are looking for at a lower price. Keep in mind that every dollar counts, the ability to offer an item at a discount of just one dollar may give you the potential for millions of orders that will give you a very successful venture.

This can be done with marketing where you are connecting with other businesses to offer products to an established base of customers with a affiliate marketing board. Using these board will allow you to connect with businesses that will provide you with a portion of the profits that are made on each sale.

One of the hardest things to do is find a new person that is looking for a product that is already offered. An affiliate marketing board will help you discover businesses that offer products that you can sell to start your own business. If you want to make money on the Internet, you will need to know which businesses will help you generate large profits and a great board can provide you with this.

Gotta Get Big for Football!

On the first day of Football practice when I was entering the 10th grade, the coaches took our height and weight, and told us to bench press our bodyweight as many times as we could.

I was fifteen years old, 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. I played Center and Defensive End. The only bench pressing I had done was lying on the floor pressing the 100 pound plastic-coated cement weights my parents bought at the department store. The guys I was lifting with on my first day of practice were a little smaller than me, and had to press 135 pounds, but they only did it for a few reps. Before adding anymore weight, I wanted to try the 135. It was a good thing that we did not add any weight, because I could not even press the 135 once! I was embarrassed that I was so weak, and I knew I had to get stronger.

The next blow came a couple of weeks later when I found out that my Mom had gone to the coaches to express her concern. She told the coach, "Aaron is so small and skinny that I am afraid he will be crushed by those older boys." That did it. Now I was mad! There was no way that I was going to be crushed by anyone, and there was no way I was going to be small and skinny for that matter!

The funny thing about it was that even though I was small, skinny and weak, I was actually pretty good for a guy who had only played organized football for one season. We had enough guys that we were split into three teams. The Varsity was for the best of the best no matter what grade they were in. The JV was for those who were not quite good enough for the Varsity, and was mostly Juniors, with some Seniors and Sophomores. The Sophomore team was for all of the 10th grade players who were not good enough for the Varsity. Most of them played only on the Sophomore team, but I was different. I played for the Sophomore team each week, and that was just fun. I mean the competition was weak, and I was hitting the Quarterback on almost every play. Some of the 10th graders were good enough to play on the JV team each week also, and I was one of them. Now three 10th grade players were allowed to dress for the Home Varsity games, and I was one of them. The other two guys were!

wide receivers and they actually played, whereas I was a lineman and I never got in a Varsity game that year.

My 10th grade year was the first year I could take weight training class at school, and I took full advantage of it. I wanted to be the biggest, strongest guy on the Football team, but that was a long way off. The weight training program that the coach put us on was very simple and basic. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays we benched. If we had time after the bench press, we could choose between military presses for our shoulders, French presses for our triceps, or Barbell curls for our biceps. Sometimes we got to those exercises, but with 4 guys in our group, it did not happen often. The workout was 5 sets of 5 reps. Usually, we warmed up with a light weight, like 95 pounds for me in the beginning, for our first set of 5. Each set we added a little more weight, so that only our final set of 5 was all out. Every couple of months the coach had us test our maximum for 1 repetition, even though I could not even do 135 pounds at the beginning of the year, I was quickly b!

ecoming one of the stronger guys.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays our workout consist of the Squat for 5 sets of 5 reps. If we finished our Squats early, we could do stiff-legged deadlifts or donkey calf raises with our partners sitting on our backs. For the Squats, we used the same protocol as we did with the Bench presses. Starting with a light weight, we added a little bit each set so that our 5th set of 5 was an all out effort. We did not test our maximum on the Squat though.

I put everything I had into my workouts, trying to lift more weight every workout, and trying to beat everyone else. That was important, but it was only half of my plan. Now, I do not know how I figured it out, and I guess I never really thought about what possible ways there were to get big. It just seemed natural to me that getting big and strong required only three things. First, train as hard and heavy as you can. Second, Eat as much food as you can. Third, have enough desire to make sure that you do the first two things, no matter what. It seems simple, and to tell you the truth, it is. But, most people who want size and strength do not get it. They think that expensive supplements or fancy exercise equipment will get them where they want to go, but unless they follow the Three Principles for Bulking up, they will not make it.

When I say eat as much as you can, not everyone understands that I am not talking about gorging yourself once in a while. I am talking about constantly eating and staying full day in and day out. I did not know about protein shakes [http://www.nlpbodybuilding.com/protein-powder.html], and nobody had heard of creatine [http://www.nlpbodybuilding.com/creatine.html], but there was food, and I ate as much as I could. I do not want you to think this is for everyone, but for a teenager or young adult who wants to put on as much muscle and gain as much strength as they can, this way works.

I actually had a girlfriend during this time period, who was very helpful. While there were limits on how much I could eat at my house, she and her parents were more than happy to provide me with as much food as I wanted, whenever I wanted. They cooked me steaks, bought pizza and anything else I wanted. I do not know if that was part of their plan to keep me around, but it worked, at least for awhile. I remember being at Burger King one night. I was eating 3 Whoppers, some fries, a shake and I do not remember what else. Two policemen were sitting at a nearby table, and one of them asked my why I was eating so much. My reply to them was the same as it was to everyone of the many people who asked me the same question, "I gotta get big for Football." That single-minded focus on my goal is why I reached it so quickly.

When I started the 10th grade I could not Bench press 135 pounds. At the end of the school year, I benched 235. When Football started for the next year, I benched 250 and my bodyweight was up from 160 to 190 pounds. I was also 2 inches taller at 6 feet 2. By the end of Football season, I benched 285, and I weighed 200 pounds. I was the best pass rusher on the Varsity team, I had two defensive touchdowns that season, and I was given the nickname of Drago, from Rocky 4. 15 months, more than 150 pounds added to my Bench press, and 40 pounds of muscular bodyweight. Now that is what I call Bulking up!

Aaron Anderton

No Limits Physique [http://www.nlpbodybuilding.com/personaltraining-aaron.html]

Internet Communication

Email, Instant Messaging, Blogs, RSS, Forums and Listservs: What's Next?

How do we keep Internet communication simple? Let's start by taking a look at the different methods used to communicate on the web. It is important to understand the nuances and benefits of the different forms.

Email

This is the most popular communication method. Users typically use desktop software to receive, read and respond to messages. Some users use web-based mail and manage messages in a web browser like Internet Explorer. The downfall to email communication is that anyone can send email messages to anyone else if they have (or guess) the correct email address. This system's Achilles heel is its simplicity and universal popularity.

Email accounts are often banned by spam or unsolicited email. Despite software developers having created complex spam filters and legislators having introduced new anti-spam legislation, the problem persists and spam continues to burden email as a messaging medium.

Email Clients –
http://www.messaging-software.net/e-mail-client-software.htm
Spam Software – http://www.email-software.org/spam-filter-software.htm

Instant Messaging
Instant messaging allows users to "chat" in real time. Users can send text messages to anyone online and receive instant replies if the user is also online. The "instant" fad gave way to parental fears as children made "friends" online. With no way to confirm if "friends" are who they represent themselves to, and multiple security holes, instant messaging has taken a back seat in internet communication.

Instant Messaging – http://www.instant-messaging-software.com

Blogs
Online journals and daily diaries have taken hold. Some blogs are interactive, allowing users to respond and comment on posts. Locating topic-specific blogs that provide relevant and interesting content on a daily basis can be a challenge. The nature of a blog is to contain fresh public content. As our lives become more complicated blogs are often abandoned, as they require constant updating.

Blog Connections – http://www.blog-connection.com

RSS
RSS is the latest messaging medium and shows genuine promise as a means to communicate. RSS files are produced as XML files and are designed to provide content summaries of news or information. The largest benefit to RSS is that it does not have the spam issues inherent to email; users opt-in to the RSS feeds that interest them.

RSS Specifications – http://www.rss-specifications.com

Forums / Newsgroups
A forum is an online discussion group. Forums can be newsgroups, or they can be web-based discussion groups. Forums have proven themselves as valuable business resources – often creating communities of customers helping customers. Without moderation and oversight they can potentially create an unfriendly environment.

Message Board Software – http://www.messaging-software.net/message-board-software.htm

Listservs
Liststervs are mailing list programs for communicating with other people who have subscribed to the same list. Using e-mail, you can participate in listservs relating to your topics of interest. When you submit a message to the server, your message is relayed to all on the listserv. You receive messages from other participants via e-mail.

Yahoo Groups – http://www.yahoogroups.com

What's Next?
Internet communication is intrinsically tied to the hardware options available. Wireless technology has accelerated the development of messaging software, opening the market to a dizzying array of devices for web access. Where we were once tied to a keyboard and mouse, we will soon be navigating the web with our voices from a moving automobile, or browsing via screens in our eyewear, with tiny cameras reading our eye movements to move the cursor and make selections. Our interactive conversations will include more and more participants at once. Evaluating the many options and choosing what works best for you is the first step to effectively communicating on the web.

Sample Hotel Reservation Letter – What to Include and Why

Just follow the steps in this sample hotel reservation letter structure and you should have no unexpected troubles.

Before you begin:

Hotel reservation letters can vary in style, But just make sure you give the reservation staff all the information they need to make sure there are no misunderstandings or disappointments on arrival.

Every specific piece of information should be in a separate paragraph. This makes for easier reading.

Keep it short and sweet (it’s not an essay), and don’t forget the following information:

1. Opening (example):

Dear Sir/Madam

My name is (your name) and I would like to book a (type of room) in your hotel for (number) nights.

2. Dates and times: (important)

I/We will be arriving on (date, including the day of the week) at approximately (time). Departure will be on (date, including the day of the week) at (time).

Notes: -State the date and approximate time of arrival and departure because it helps the staff know which guests will be arriving first to prepare the way for them, so waiting time for your room is kept to a minimum.

-It’s always a good idea to also include how many nights you will be staying in brackets. This is a good way for the reservation staff to double check the length of your stay as hotels count nights and not days when preparing your invoice.

-Remember, even if you arrive there at 2 o’clock in the morning, that night counts and you are seldom entitled to remain in your room after 12 o’clock noon on your departure date.

3. Number of people: (important)

How many adults? How many children? (always include children’s ages).

4. Room type(s) and preferred location(s):

Single, double, suite, ground floor, top floor, overlooking the sea, etc.

5. Board preferences: (important)

Self catering/bed & breakfast/half board/full board/all-inclusive

Note: make sure the hotel you are considering has the services you desire as not all hotels offer things like all-inclusive, and what you get for each type of service may vary from one hotel or country to another depending on their policies (find out before making your reservation to avoid disappointments).

6. Special needs/desires: (optional)

Some people may have health conditions which may require special attention (migraine sufferers would probably want a quiet room far away from any entertainment facilities, for example). Business men/women may need an internet connection in their rooms, while others may just have special preferences (overlooking the sea, rooms on upper floors, etc). These should be specified in your letter.

Note: Obviously the needs of those with medical conditions will be given more importance than other preferences if the hotel is fully booked, so don’t be surprised if you cannot get what you wanted unless you have the option and have paid for it specifically.

7. Facilities: (depending on the hotel)

If there are special facilities (sauna, jacuzzi, etc.) which need to be reserved before using them, you may wish to do so in advance to avoid waiting.

8. Contact information: (important)

Especially your phone number, cell phone and/or fax number.

*The main thing to remember is to include all the important information above and keep the hotel reservation letter short. The hotel staff prefer it that way and it helps to avoid confusion. You can even use bullet text to display the information.

Web Design and Its Evolution

Web design has come a long way since August 1991 when the first ever website was launched. Tim Berners-Lee published a text-based site on behalf of the European Organization for Nuclear Research. The site itself was informative only and in no way interactive. Primitive in its looks, content included hyperlinks and was actually removed from the web in 1993. It was later decided to reinstate the website due to the importance of human and technological development.

Q: What's one of the biggest differences between websites of the early 1990's and those of today?

A: The first website ever created was solely for informative purposes whereas today, owners can offer a wealth of information, sell products and services, provide platforms for social interaction and much more. All of this is carried out in a visually appealing manner.

Q: Can we talk about speed?

A: Absolutely! You may have been around long enough to remember the days of dialup internet. If not, its highly recommended you look into it. Those used to lighting fast fiber broadband will almost certainly be enlightened to learn the process of dialup and how this would mean the telephone (land line) could not be used and was somewhat slow and at times intermittent. Taking this into consideration, websites of 90's were based primarily around text. Design layouts were a concept of the future along with imagery, typography and navigation. Due to the simplistic (looking) nature of a primitive website, it meant that the user experience was as optimized as it could possibly be and this notification was based upon a user requiring information from a website that worked through a dialup connection.

Q: So what happened next?

A: Towards the mid 1990's on page page builders began to grow in popularity with web designers choosing this option as a preferred layout. Offering tables, columns and rows, content was able to be separated into specific blocks based upon a subject or category. This meant a web page held even more visual appeal than that of those from the early 1990's. The main focus continued to be the users' experience.

Q: Do you remember the page counter?

A: Page counters were great marks, offering insight into the number of people who visited a web page. This type of information was important to both the website owner and the customer. The former gives an idea of ​​the number of people landing on the website with the latter giving the potential reader an idea of ​​website popularity.

Q: Can we look at page structure then and now?

A: As previously mentioned, early website structure was based heavily around text before moving onto a more boxy feel in terms of blocks and columns. Today, web pages are hot on offering great navigation in order to complete a call to action in as fewer clicks as possible. Great images, well-written content and trust signals are all strategically placed within a professional build.

Q: Can we learn about the 2000's?

A: This is where content and design saw a clear separation through the magical realms of CSS. Whitespace became a positive aspect making way for the eradication of block colors through a web page. Another positive feature of this era included the addition of links to icons as well as text. Resolution and pixelation moved to the forefront of important design considerations.

Q: What about today?

A: Known in the industry as the 'modern web', and starting out with the birth of Web 2.0, this modern era has built up over time including the likes of social media integration, interactive content and multimedia applications. Results over time have mapped out how websites are built and how we have come to market them today.

With the user experience always at the forefront of design and development since 1993, it will be interesting to re-visit in a further decade.

Current Trends in Business Communication

Anyone who has owned or worked for a business knows that the continual advancement of technology goes hand in hand with the advancement of business communication. In the last ten years alone, the tremendous technological advancements that have taken place in communication have changed they way we do business so drastically that we view the communication trends of pre-2000 as ‘vintage’. So in a conversation about current trends, be aware that in a few days they will be old trends.

Cloud computing is the latest trend to hit business communication. The most simple way to describe cloud computing is by comparing it to an electricity grid. A ‘cloud’ of shared servers provides resources such as software and data to a host of other computers – all on demand. In reality cloud computing is the natural evolution of the web-based world of communication. It takes the management of the technological infrastructure out of the hands of the IT professionals, who can now focus on their areas of expertise such as development. The use of cloud computing from a business communication standpoint brings in the discussion of finance. Small to medium size businesses no longer have need to purchase, set up and maintain their own server. Capital expenditure budgets are reduced, possibly entailing a conversion of those dollars to the operations expenditure side of the ledger. Another huge benefit to cloud computing in business is how it lowers the barriers of entry into the market. New businesses can simply supply themselves with the appropriate equipment to manufacture their product, a computer and an internet connection, and be ready to communicate to their customers.

The book reader is one of the latest trends to appear on the business communication horizon, but it is not clear if purveyors of commerce have fully appreciated its potential. The book reader has the ability to scan printed material, recognize the characters and using text-to-speech software, play it on the user’s computer or mobile audio player. In other words, you could listen to this article on your iPod. Most business people receive their email on their phone and check, now large volume documents, contracts, training manuals and other printed matter could be downloaded to any device. The affect on business communication is potentially quite significant, but the software is not widely tested or used as yet.

Social media networking has officially crossed over from only being used socially to an important and viable method of customer relationship management (CRM). Using tools like Facebook, blogs, public forums and wiki sites, business can better know how to attract and keep their customers. CRM begins with acquiring new customers through contact management, sales and customer satisfaction. Enhancing CRM occurs through excellent business communication and the use of customer service tools such as product experts and ease of purchasing. Retaining customers occurs through loyalty and reward. CRM software or databases can notify the business owner of long term clients and create the ability to recognize them through promotional measures.

Streamlining every phase of business communication will always be a trend in business. Making it easier for your client to send and receive materials or communication from you is increasingly important. Many companies are choosing to create interactive websites whereby the client can attain a report, invoice or product information whenever they feel the need. This creates a whole new level of service quality, as well as opening up the field of business communication. No longer does the client have to wait for 9 am Monday morning.

PowerPoint presentations have been around for over a decade, but they are still a valuable audiovisual tool in business communication. Dynamic presentations aimed at teaching the client about the product or service are full of impact and have a much clearer result than a one-dimensional oral presentation. Even telephones are being used in a more purposeful way in business communication, and not always for talking. Email, text messaging and internet are readily available and highly useful tools for any business person. Plus book readers (as previously mentioned) will soon allow business related documents to be read on a cell phone.

Technology will continue to advance and new communication devices will emerge. The trick to successful business communication is in keeping up with trends and learning how they can make your business better.

Scuba Diving From Sailboats

SCUBA diving from sailboats is generally something that will require some special consideration. Most divers want to get from the dock to the dive site as quickly as possible. If speed or time is not a concern, then there are at least 5 other considerations.

Because sailboats are designed to take high seas their decks are higher than most other boats designed for the ocean. Diving from any vessel is best viewed as how easy is it to enter and exit from the water while wearing the required gear. Entering the water by jumping spread eagle or a back roll off any boat higher than 6 feet off the water would be considered dangerous. So, your entry needs to be from someplace closer than the side or transom of a standard sailboat. If you have to climb a ladder more than about six rungs, you’ll have a greater risk of injury if you slip. Not to mention that following a long dive, many people are winded and tired, so this puts you at even more risk for an accident.

Scuba divers who do dive from sailboats typically will make their dive from the sailboat’s dinghy. If this is an inflatable or small rigid boat with a ladder, it does make for entry and exit to be a lot safer and easier. The advantages of the dinghy are that you can anchor the sailboat in a sheltered area and use the faster, smaller more portable dinghy to ride to the dive spot. Once at the dive site, you still must anchor the dinghy and following the dive, return to the dinghy. The disadvantages are that the dinghy will most likely be unattended during your dive and you have to transfer the gear from the sailboat to the dinghy, which could be more risky in moderate seas.

Space on sailboats is always a premium. Except for larger catamarans designed for group day sailings, most sailboats have every nook and cranny taken up something important (sailing equipment). So, diving from a sailboat usually means keeping all your gear neatly confined to your equipment bag and stowed during the sail or motor to the dive site. Additionally, the dive tanks are always a hassle on a sailboat, even when there are racks to store the tanks in the sailboat’s cockpit. Because of the tight quarters already, tanks make for a more difficult situation.

It’s usually a small group setting when you’re on a sailboat. Diving from a sailboat will naturally mean less number of divers. This is usually a good thing because crowds on dive boats are rarely seen as a positive. The one consideration for diving in small groups is the safety equipment on board and the qualifications of the staff in the event of an emergency. These are not usually the first questions you’ll ask the boat charter people, but don’t forget about safety equipment and procedures when booking a trip.

Is the scuba diving the first priority or do you want to do some sailing and take in a dive? If your priority is to do some sailing, maybe a full day with an hour or two out for a dive, then diving from a sailboat might be the perfect setting for you and your small group. If you have snorkelers in your group, you’ll probably find this environment more accommodating to the snorkelers over the divers.

There’s nothing finer than anchoring the sailboat in an isolated cove or beach area with some diving followed by a nice island meal served to the relaxing motion of the seas. Advantages or disadvantages, good or bad, suit your desires and experience diving at its best.

The Mayan Gods and Godesses

The ancient civilization of the Maya worshipped a number of Gods. They would sacrifice humans in order to communicate with them. After death, the soul was believed to go to the Underworld (Xibalba) where the sinister Death God (Yum Cimil) tested, tortured and tricked their unfortunate visitors.

The most powerful god was HUNAB KU. He was the creator. In the daytime he would be KINICH AHAU, the Sun God, who was the patron god of the city Itzamal. He was believed to visit the city at noon and would descend as a macaw and prepare offerings to the people. His feathery serpent mode was also known as KUKULCAN or also known as the Wind God: QUETZALCOATL. The feathered snake, Kukulcan is believed to of settled at the archeological site of Chichen Itza. At the two yearly equinoxes the play of light and shadow on the staircase of El Castillo makes them appear like a snake is slithering up the pyramid.

Hunab Ku was married to IX CHEL, the Moon Goddess, also known as “The Rainbow Lady”. The Mayans associated all human events with the phases of the moon. Ix Chel was an old woman wearing a skirt of crossed bones, and a serpent in her hand. She had an assistant sky serpent, which carried all of the waters of the heavens in its belly. She was believed to be more kind than her somewhat cruel husband. She was also the protector of women in child birth. On the most southern tip of Isla Mujeres there is a Mayan Temple named after Ix Chel. This temple is the most eastern point of the whole of Mexico and at this exact point is where the sunrise first touches Mexico.

The Maize God was known as YUMIL KAXOB and is shown as ripe grain, which was the base of the Mayan agriculture. Yumil Kaxob was young and powerless and was protected by Chac (the Rain God). His fortunes and misfortunes were decided by rain and drought. Yumil Kaxob suffered a painful death when YUM CIMIL (God Of Death) ordered famine and drought. Yum Cimil was also known as AH PUCH, the god of the Underworld. His body was a skeleton. The body of Yum Cimil is represented as being covered with black spots and also wears a collar with eyeless sockets.

Human Sacrifices were most commonly directed at Yumil Kaxob, for the maize and also to CHAC: the Mayan Rain God. The Mayans often sought for his help to help their crops grow. Chac was associated with creation and life.

We know that the Mayan offered human blood to their gods. However, Suicides in the Mayan World were very common. This was sometimes due to depression however most probably due to the fact that they would be taken directly to heaven and to paradise. IXTAB was the Suicide Goddess. The ancient carvings would show Ixtab with a robe around her neck.

The topic of Mayan Gods and Goddess’s and the brutally complex beliefs about blood and human sacrifice astonishes continues to fascinate people all around the world.