How to Fly You and Your Fencing Bag Safely to a Competition

Are you a fencer who will be flying? If so, then you should consider some tips to make your trip as smooth as possible. We learned in kindergarten that airplanes, buses and cars are different modes of transportation. However, as adults we need to consider some of the logistical differences, before packing our fencing gear before flying. If you are flying to another region, another country, or another continent, here are some steps to help make the experience as smooth as your fencing moves:

1. Buy the right fencing bag

Buying the right fencing bag for you may be more challenging than it may seem at first. You have many options to consider, including:

· color

· durability

· features

· size

· style

To help narrow down your choices, make sure to consider your particular needs. As a general rule, you should select a large fencing bag with wheels, if you are flying to a fencing competition. Such a bag will be able to store your sword(s), protective gear, and anything else you need for your journey. One practical matter to consider is that hauling all of that gear will be quite heavy! Thus, choosing a fencing bag with wheels will make it easier to transport the bag.

2. Consider packing your gear in a hard travel case

One of the hassles of flying is needing to pay airline baggage fees. Airlines can charge you if your baggage exceeds the maximum weight allowed. However, if you are exclusively flying to a fencing competition, then you probably will not have much luggage, besides your fencing equipment and enough clothes for a week or two.

However, the problem is that airlines tend to charge extra baggage fees, for luggage that exceeds certain dimensions. The dimension applies to the luggage’s length, width, or height. Considering the length of fencing swords, it is highly likely that their lengths will exceed an airline’s maximum baggage length.  

The good news is that airlines allow an exception on luggage dimensions, for hard golf travel cases. Unfortunately, soft fencing cases are not (yet) included in this exclusion. Thus, if you do a fair amount of traveling with your fencing gear, then you should consider purchasing a hard golf travel case. This will allow you to avoid extra baggage fees. However, keep in mind that if you still exceed the airline’s maximum baggage weight, you will still have to pay some sort of fee.

3. Verify that your fencing gear is completely secure in your luggage

This is important, to prevent your fencing gear from becoming destroyed while flying to your competition’s destination. Double-check everything before the airport processes your baggage, to ensure that all of your equipment is safe in its bags. Fencing gear is somewhat expensive to replace!

When flying to a fencing competition, make sure to follow these aforementioned tips. It will help to ensure that you and your fencing gear get to your destination safe and sound. Then you can focus on your main objective-winning the competition!

Rising Popularity of Health and Spa Retreats

In the last few years, the world has seen a stable growth in the popularity of health retreat and spa. One of the foremost reasons for the rising popularity of these retreats is a shift in the lifestyles of working professionals. The increasing pressure of work is also one of the other reasons why people prefer these retreats.

It is found that people have maddening work schedules and many of them often suffer from high stress levels. With the passage of time, people with hectic schedules have understood the importance of striking the right balance between work and pleasure. It is important that people have their mind, body and spirit at the right level.

It is not a difficult task to achieve this right balance. One can surely strike balance and also attain peace of mind when they spend some time in the spa retreat. These spas are designed in a manner that people are able to relax in the lap of nature. These retreats are also popularly known as health resorts. These health resorts make it a point that you undergo unique intensive treatment therapy to help you relax your senses. The treatment makes use of natural therapy coupled with grand services.

The spa health care provides a variety of services and therapies so that the mind and body can relax. There are many tempting offers also available that provide the perfect mix of services and treatments. At the end of the day, you should achieve the desired goal and feel satisfied with the services.

If you are not sure what services these retreat holidays offer, then you can make a personal list of things you want. Here, we have mentioned few examples and they are listed below-

– Herbal massages and treatment.

– Promoting organic food.

– Friendly atmosphere and cooperative staff.

– Extremely comfortable and grand accommodations.

– Beautiful location of these spas.

– Rejuvenate mind and body.

– Relax your senses.

– Contentment to your soul.

If you have a list similar to the one which is mentioned above, then you are most probably looking for such a spa holiday that will be authentic in its approach and also conventional. Therefore, it is important that the location of your spa vacation is decided cautiously.

When you book any retreat centre, ensure that you first gain proper insight about the services and the therapies offered. For this purpose, if you seek personal help, it is not a bad idea. You can also take advice from people who have already visited such a place, as they will be in a better position to guide you. They will tell you if your expectations can be met or what you should look for in these spa holidays.

Earlier, spa resorts were mainly ones that had ‘baths’. It consisted of whirlpool baths and water springs. These places made use of special devices to aerate water so that people enjoy relaxing baths. But with changing times, the concept has changed and it has become more of a rejuvenating place.

Hotel Supplies and Amenities – Managing Expectations to Increase Occupancy Rates

Not unlike other businesses, hotels have been forced to step up their game as people travel less and, when they travel, their budget is smaller in a still lagging economy. While the goal is always full occupancy and high occupancy rates, all hotels have unoccupied rooms that need to be filled. Hoteliers realize that their hotel are each one among many and that consumers have a variety of hotel options to choose from. Hotels realize that part and parcel of maintaining their occupancy rates is offering the right amenities at a competitive rate in order to attract new guests and retain returning ones. In the lodging industry, hotels must be ahead of current trends in order to better their occupancy rates which means being mindful of hotel supplies guests prefer as the mind their budgets.

Hoteliers start with the premise that most hotels offer the same basic hotel supplies and amenities such as complimentary toiletries, durable ice buckets and functional hangers. They offer the basics in an effort to make a guest’s stay comfortable by offering the conveniences of home. While the definition of “basic” hotel supplies will vary depending on the hotel class, most hotels provide drinking glasses, either plastic, an ice bucket of either shatter proof plastic or faux leather and an iron with ironing board. Hotels compete with one another for business. The amenities they offer are part of that competition which is why guests find many hotels in the same general area and price range with the similar amenities and hotel supplies.

Depending upon the sophistication of the hotel itself, guests may define ‘basic’ differently. Absorbent towels, bed linens with higher thread counts, bowed shower rods, and heavy duty wooden luggage racks become basic, expected hotel supplies in mid-grade hotels. Because they’re constantly competing for guests in order to maintain their occupancy rates, hotels are constantly striving to best their competition. This is truer the more sophisticated the hotel as they know consumers have a wide variety of options and the standards such as drinking glasses and coffee service are no longer enough. Instead, hotels must study what the new basic is and add it to their repertoire of hotel supplies and amenities in order to impact their occupancy rates.

5 Star hotels and resorts are on a unique plane in every way from the level of guest services they offer to the list of available conveniences and amenities offered to attract guests and increase occupancy rates. Microfiber bathrobes and slippers, monogrammed glass tumblers, video game systems and fog free shaving mirrors are among the high quality hotel supplies offered to guests at resorts and luxury hotels. They hope, and the numbers tell them, that by offering amenities that are above and beyond the basic hotel supplies provided by their competition they’ll not only attract and retain wealthier guests but increase their occupancy rates as well.

It’s a given that hotels, regardless of their rating and price point, want to please their guests by offering the best possible hotel supplies and amenities. However, when hotels are reviewing the amenities they may offer guests, deciding which specific hotel supplies they’ll offer will depend in part on their budget and what prior hotel guests have indicated they’d like to see or be likely to use. Hotel supplies are an intrinsic part of the hotel experience and their impact cannot, and should not, be under estimated as they can affect occupancy rates. All else being equal, the right hotel supplies can make or break a guest’s experience.

Manufactured Homes 101 – The Things You Need to Know!

Everyone has dreamed of owning their dream house. A place they can call your own. It’s a place of sanctuary to shelter you and your family. Manufactured homes have always been a good option. Putting your money into it is worth while, although, a lot of people are still unsure whether to purchase one.

Factory built houses come in all shapes and sizes. They come in various floorings and fashion that it is easy to find one that will suit your taste. Aside from being way cheaper than houses constructed right on the location, these homes also give you a chance to design your home. Ranging from $20,000 – $100,000, they are ready for transfer to any location you’d want your house to be set.

A Factory Built Home: What is it?

Also known as a prefabricated house, manufactured homes are units of houses constructed in a huge factory. After purchasing, it is then dragged to the site where it can be put ready for transfer to another location or mounted on the ground through masonry groundwork.

Prefabricated homes are constructed upon certain set of codes which administers mobility, fire safety, effectiveness, style and sturdiness. All of these sets of guidelines are closely monitored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The same set of guidelines also manages the electrical, heating and plumbing systems.

The Basics About Prefabricated Homes

Here are some of the things that you need to know about manufactured or prefabricated homes.

  • They are houses built in large factories.
  • After they are constructed from the factories, they are wheeled to the chosen site for the house. It is done by transporting the whole house one portion after the other.
  • Prefabricated home cost less than the houses constructed right on the site.
  • They are used to be regarded as mobile or trailer houses. They come in many designs.
  • They are constructed under the guidelines set by the HUD or the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • After transferring the house’s portions in the site, they are put into pieces.
  • Its market value depreciates as time goes by.

So, now that you have the basic knowledge about what a factory built home is, I guess you can clear up your mind and start weighing things. Buying a house is really a good investment of your hard-earned money and considering the given details about prefabricated homes, counting it as an option is not a bad idea after all.

The Care and Handling of Baby Chicks

It’s 7:15 in the morning. You are checking email and drinking coffee in your robe and slippers when the phone rings. It is the US Postal Service telling you that they have a box of baby chicks for you.

Whether you were expecting them or not, they’re here and you need to go get them. The post office is a cold and scary place for a box of baby chicks. Take a pair of scissors, some tape, and a camera with you to the post office. Always open the box of live birds with the postal person witnessing. Many shipping containers for live birds use zip ties, so have scissors handy to cut them or any tape keeping the box closed. Carry extra tape to secure the box again for the ride home. When opening a box of live birds, do so just enough to decide if they are all alive. You don’t want chicks escaping and running through the post office. Some of the containers actually have a window, covered by cardboard that opens for viewing. These are often just for larger birds.

The post office does not guarantee live bird shipments. They do not even honor the $100.00 insurance that comes with Express shipping. They do not guarantee overnight delivery either, and in fact, will only reimburse shipping charges if they go one day over the two days allowed for delivery. Then all they do is reimburse the shipper for the shipping charges.

The reason for opening the box with a postal service employee present is to have proof for the seller if there are problems. Sometimes, but not always, the seller will reimburse the cost of the birds or replace birds that do not survive shipping. Be sure to ask your seller the policy for live shipments and get it in writing if the birds are expensive. Many rare breeds cost several hundred dollars and you will want to know what to do if they do not arrive alive. Many times a seller will include extra chicks for warmth and they will only reimburse for losses over and above the number of extras. Often the large hatcheries will put extra cockerels in the box for warmth and these will not be considered when compensating for losses.

So verify that your birds are alive in front of a witness. Ask them to sign a short note attesting to the fact that some or all arrived dead. Take pictures in case the seller requires additional proof. We like to think that everyone is honest but, anyone who has been in the chicken business long enough knows that isn’t the case. It’s nothing personal; they just need to be sure. Notify the seller as soon as possible if there are losses. Include the name of the postal employee you spoke with and offer to email the pictures. Many shippers put time limits on refunds so act quickly.

Then head home. Don’t stop to get your nails done or pick up a few items at the market. Day old chicks can live up to 3 days on the yolk sac after hatch. Past that point they need water and food to survive. When opening your box of chicks, don’t be surprised to find a pile of green goo in the box. This is a good thing. That green goo is a product called GroGel. It is a powder that turns into a thick gel when water is added. It provides chicks being shipped with nutrients and fluids on their journey. Regulations prohibit water in the shipping box and GroGel is a good option. I routinely offer GroGel to baby chicks the night before shipping so they know what it is and will eat it while in transit.

Once you get home, hopefully you have everything ready for your baby chicks. Here’s what they are going to need from you now.

HOUSING: You will need a brooder for your baby chicks. This can range from a simple cardboard box to a Taj Mahal brooder. Many people use plastic storage bins and these work just fine. The most important thing to remember about your brooder is that the flooring cannot be slippery. This means no plastic, no newspaper, and no cardboard type surfaces. Baby chicks are very prone to leg problems in the first days and weeks of life and stable footing is paramount in preventing the types of injuries that cannot be treated. For the first two days, use paper towels on the brooder floor. It is safe for them to walk on and absorbent. After two days replace the paper towels with vinyl shelf liner. It gives them good traction for running, is fairly inexpensive and you can cut it to fit your brooder.

You will find yourself changing the brooder liner many times in the first few days. When the chicks are five to six days old you may want to move them to a larger brooder. Cover the floor with puppy pads, which are readily available in pet stores, although can probably find them cheaper elsewhere. Over the puppy pads place a 2″ thick layer of pine shavings. Use only pine shavings, preferably the triple screened types. Never use cedar shavings, shredded paper, corncob, or many of the other bedding materials available at the pet store. They could be toxic for chicks to breathe. They may taste good so they chicks eat them. They may mold as they degrade. Stick with what’s tried and true. Don’t be in a rush to put your chicks on shavings until they have been eating for a few days and know the difference between food and shavings.

HEAT: Baby chicks need to be at the correct temperature or they can get sick and die. You can accomplish this by the use of a heat lamp. That being said, using a heat lamp carries with it the risk of fire. You can NEVER be too careful when using a heat lamp. Accidents can and will happen. There are horror stories of fires happening when pets and kids have accidentally knocked over the heat lamp. The clamps that come with heat lamps are in no way sufficient to prevent accidents. You need to use zip ties, clips, whatever it takes to keep the heat lamp from being displaced. Chicks get rowdy as they grow and they too can cause a heat lamp fire. Bottom line, make it as secure as you possibly can, then make it more secure!

The temperature should be 90 to 95 degrees for the first week. Reduce the temperature five degrees per week until you get to 70 degrees. You can accomplish this by raising the height of the heat lamp or by using one of the heat lamp units with a dimmer switch (my personal favorite). Chicks should be feathered out shouldn’t need any heat after 70 degrees. Use a thermometer with a probe to check the temperature at the chick’s level. Another important point about heat is to not try to heat the entire brooder. Some chicks may like it cooler than others. If you find your chicks all huddled directly under the heat source, it is probably too cold in the brooder. Ideally they should sleep around the perimeter of the heat source and you will often find them arranged in a circle around the outer edge of the red glow from the heat lamp. Those are happy chicks! Provide areas of the brooder for chicks to get away from the heat entirely. Keep the heat at one end of the brooder and the food and water at the other end after the chicks are about a week old. Another alternative available now is a contact brooder called the EcoGlow made by Brinsea. It eliminates the need for heat lamps altogether. There is a version for 20 chicks and one for 50 chicks.

WATER: As soon as your chicks are settled in the brooder, whether shipped or hatched at home, they should have access to water. There are many options available for chick waterers but care must be taken to prevent drowning. It sounds silly, but baby chicks can and will drown in a half inch of water. Use a chick waterer designed to be drown proof by only allowing a low water level and not allowing chicks to get in it to drown. Using any shallow dish and just filling to about a half-inch is an acceptable alternative.

Another good method for preventing drowning in a dish waterer is to place small rocks or pebbles in the water so the chicks can drink around them but not get in too far. If you can get some red rocks from the aquarium department at the pet store they work well. Chicks are attracted to the color red. When you first offer water to your chicks, it helps to dip their beaks in the water a couple of times. Make sure you just dip the tip of the beak and not the nostrils or you risk drowning them as well. As soon as one or two chicks start drinking they usually all have to try it. It will take perseverance to keep the water clean and free of shavings. They need clean water to be healthy so check it several times a day to make sure it isn’t empty or messy. Another option is the use of nipple waterers, which work really well in the brooder and stay clean.

FOOD: By a day or two of age, chicks are ready to eat. You have probably already observed them checking out poop and other little things in the brooder. For chicks from 1 day to 6 weeks you need to offer a starter feed. Some feeds are medicated with Amprulium for coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a disease that can kill chicks that have not built up a resistance to it. Chicks pick it up as they come in contact with the droppings from other birds, including wild birds. Give them medicated feed, which controls the coccidiosis while allowing the birds to build up a resistance. Feed only medicated chick starter until they go outside and for a few weeks thereafter. Never use a feed with antibiotics added. Always have feed available for growing chicks. If you have an emergency and run out of feed, an acceptable substitute for a brief period of time is mashed, hard-boiled egg yolk.

SECURITY:After a few days it is imperative that the brooder be covered. Hardware cloth, readily available at home improvement stores works just fine. Cut a piece about three inches bigger all the way around than the top of the brooder and place it on top. Use something heavy to weigh the covering down. Baby chicks often like to explore the world beyond their brooder before they are ready.

ACCESSORIES: This is referring to extra things that should and shouldn’t be added to the brooder. Even little chicks like to roost, so a dowel or some type of branch for roosting is a good idea. You can buy perches sold in the pet store for birds. They have a bolt and nut at one end so you can drill a hole in the brooder and attach it securely to the wall.

If you ever end up with a single chick you will soon discover they can be a handful. Happy chicks chirp quietly but a single chick will chirp constantly because it is lonely. You have a couple of options. First you can usually buy a companion chick at the feed store unless it’s not chick season. Sometimes you can post on Craigslist and ask if anyone will sell you a single chick. Lastly you can just live with it. Try putting a mirror in the brooder. The chick will see its reflection and think it has company. Put a stuffed animal in the brooder for warmth and comfort. The baby chick will snuggle with it like it would a broody hen. Another trick is to put a feather duster in the brooder, but be very careful when doing this. Hang the feather duster so the chicks can get under it but not get tangled in it.

Don’t put flimsy plastic tubs in the brooder. Baby chicks will try to stand on them, overturning them and suffocating under them. Styrofoam is not a good choice either. Make sure all containers are heavy enough not to turn over and are non-edible.

Raising baby chicks can be fun and rewarding if you follow these few basic rules.

Boiler Repair: Basic Guidelines for Welding

Common types of repair for boilers with welded construction are replacing sections of boiler tubes, replacing tubes and stays, window weld, weld build-up of wasted area, welding gage holes, and many others. Under all conditions, only electric arc welding process such as shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) and gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) is accepted. GTAW is normally used for root pass or on thin plate. Welding process and procedures must be taken seriously since any welding defects can lead to serious problems. Here are some fundamental guidelines for boiler repair by welding. I cannot cover all aspects of repair in a short article but I will try my best to help you learn a little bit more about this topic in simple technical terms.

First of all, you must know that the owner shall obtain approval from the Authorized Inspector responsible for the jurisdictional inspection prior to making any repair or replacement that affects the pressure retaining capacity of a boiler. Only Authorized Inspectors licensed by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Malaysia) or the National Board may authorize and document the repair forms.

The welding procedure should be carried out by a firm approved for Class 1 welding under the direct supervision of an experienced foreman and to the satisfaction of the third party surveyor and the authorized inspector. Where Class 1 permission is not available, appropriate performance tests should be carried out by selected operators to the surveyor’s satisfaction. Recognized codes such as ASME Codes or BS codes must be followed whenever applicable. The material should comply with the original specifications or be equal to them. The specifications can be obtained from the boiler blueprints. Acceptable welded attachments, weld form, and welding preparation outlined in the blueprint should be adhered to. Only welders who are experienced in Class 1 welded pressure vessel construction shall be employed on boiler repair works. Very careful supervision should be given at all stages of the repair work. Substandard workmanship, should never under any circumstances, be compromised. Low-hydrogen electrode must be used to prevent hydrogen-induced cracking. Low hydrogen electrode used must have the tensile properties similar to that of parent metal.

In welding cracks, carry out dye penetrant test or magnetic particle inspection first to locate the cracks or discontinuities. If defective areas need to be cropped by flame cutting, a suitable final weld preparation of double V, U, or J form should be made by careful chipping or grinding. ASME Code Section IX AF-613 specifies that preparation of plate edges, welding bevels, and chamfers and similar operations involving the removal of metal shall be by machining, chipping, or grinding, by gas cutting or gauging. Where welding is to be carried out in both the down hand and overhand position, the larger V or U preparation should be arranged for the down hand position. With this approach, the flow and penetration of weld material into the parent metal is the optimum. Welding strength depends on the penetration capabilities of the electrode onto the parent metal and the flow of the electrode material into the parent metal.

Where flame cutting or overheating has occurred on boiler shell, hardness plot should be made to determine the corresponding tensile strength by referring to the published table. By doing so, the affected area can be separated from ground material or area. This also gives a clear indication as to whether or not the material has been overheated to some extent that the microstructure of the material has been affected. Under no circumstances may welded repairs be undertaken when the microstructure of the parent material is suspected to have undergone any change from its original form. In any case, MPI should be used to ensure that there are no cracks present before the welding is commenced. The design of the repair should be such that there are no sharp corners and the new insert plate should be of similar quality and specification to that of parent material. This method is called window weld (or window patching).

Areas to be welded should be preheated to a minimum of 93oC for material thickness above ½” and up to 1½”; thicker plate requires higher preheat temperatures. Maintain at that temperature throughout welding process. Care should be taken to eliminate any cold draught from impinging upon the area under repair. Insulation mattress could be made available to protect the welded area from rapid cooling. After welding, grind flush the weld, and carry out DPI or MPI again.

Changes can occur in the metallurgical structure of the base metal adjacent to the weld (heat affected zone or HAZ). The changes can cause embrittlement or degrade the material properties. In addition, upon cooling, the weld metal shrinks to a greater extent that the base metal in contact with the weld (HAZ) exerts a drawing action. Therefore, post weld heat treatment (PWHT) is necessary to restore the ductility of the material and thus prevent stresses, shrinkage, and cracking. Finally, because welding usually affects the pressure-retaining parts of the boiler, the boiler shall be subjected to a hydrostatic test of 1½ times the MAWP for at least 15 minutes.

Did You Text Your Ex? Here’s How To Respond To Their Response

After you take a break from your ex and then decide it’s now time to try and text your ex back, you may find yourself in a dilemma. It’s hard enough trying to figure out what to say in those first few text messages to your ex. But that’s not your only problem.

What happens when your ex responds? What do you say then? How do you respond to their response?

Hopefully you were careful about the first few texts you sent. After all, you shouldn’t be trying to get your ex back right off the bat.

Instead, you simply want to open the lines of communication and give your ex the opportunity to start a conversation, but only if he or she wants to. Your first few texts should never put any pressure on your ex to respond.

So let’s assume you did that and sent a good “across the bow” text to get the ball rolling. Maybe it was something like, “Just caught myself thinking of you when I heard that Adele song you love. Hope you’re doing great.”

Now it’s a waiting game. How is your ex going to respond? There are 4 possible scenarios.

1.) No response at all

2.) A neutral response

3.) A positive response

4.) A negative response

If you get no response at all, it’s ok. Don’t worry about it. Your ex may not be ready to hear from you. Wait a few days or a week and then try again with another text message variation. Whatever you do, don’t start sending them message after message asking them why they aren’t replying to you.

A neutral response is something like, “Thanks” or “I’m ok, thanks. You?” If your ex responds like this, you may be tempted to reply back and get into a big long conversation with them. But you shouldn’t. Instead, reply in a friendly, but equally as neutral way and end the conversation.

For example, “I’m good. Hey, I gotta run, but nice hearing from you. Bye for now.”

More than likely you won’t get a super positive response unless you broke up with your ex and they’re excited to hear from you because they weren’t ready for the relationship to end. If they broke up with you, they may also have realized they made a mistake and may therefore be extremely happy to hear from you.

Again, don’t get into a long conversation. Treat this much like a neutral response. Reply back that you’re doing great, it was awesome to hear from them but you have to go, and then end the conversation. This will keep them missing you and longing for you even more.

Lastly, if you get an extremely negative response from your ex, then you will need to give them more time. In this case, don’t text them again for several weeks. If they say something like, “I’m still really hurt and really don’t want to talk to you right now” just reply with something like “Sorry. I totally understand. Hope you’re doing well.”

No matter what response you get from your ex, always be the one to end the conversation first and resist the urge to get into a long, drawn out conversation. It’s extremely hard to resist the urge to talk to them more, especially when you get a positive response, but you’ll put yourself in a much better position to win them back if you keep them wanting more.

Surgical Removal Of Foot and Ankle Ganglion Cysts

Ganglion cysts are the most common masses in the foot and ankle, and can often be difficult to eradicate since drainage usually results in an eventual refilling of the cyst. Surgery is often necessary for permanent removal of these compressible lumps. This article will discuss ganglion cyst treatment, especially surgical removal.

A ganglion cyst is essentially a benign, fluid-filled mass that develops near joints and tendons. While the exact cause is unknown, it is generally thought that a defect forms in the tissue surrounding a tendon or a joint that allows fluid from one of these areas to penetrate through into the surrounding tissue. This fluid becomes walled off by fibrous tissue that surrounds it, and the cyst forms. It is essentially a balloon of thick, jelly-like fluid that becomes thicker than the joint or tendon fluid from which it came. The cysts can start off small, and then quickly grow. It is also not uncommon for cysts to wax and wane in size. These cysts are generally benign, and cause few issues on their own. However, the location and/or size of these cysts can become problematic, especially in the foot and ankle.

Cysts can sometimes be located near sensitive structures, such as nerve tissue, and the simple presence of the cyst expanding against this tissue can cause pain. Additionally, if the cyst is especially large or irregularly shaped, or if it is wrapped around joints or tendons, the function of the foot can be affected. This can lead to difficulty in walking, or pain. It is because of the above reasons that foot and ankle ganglion cysts are typically treated.

Diagnosing ganglion cysts is usually done by an external exam, as they are either visible through the skin or can be felt under the skin surface. Ganglion cysts usually feel fairly distinct, and most physicians can make a confident diagnosis by feel alone. However, if the cyst has several bumps to it, feels unusual, or is deep or in an unusual location away from a joint or a tendon, the physician may prefer to get an MRI or ultrasound study to assess its size and appearance better.

The initial treatment of ganglion cysts can involve an attempt at drainage. Cysts usually can be drained, although smaller ones are sometimes difficult to accurately find through the skin. The old technique of hitting the cyst with a heavy book, like a Bible, is very traumatic, ruptures the cyst, and can create inflammation to the entire area. This treatment is not advised in modern medicine. The best technique for drainage is for needle and syringe drainage by a physician. The drainage is usually followed by an injection of a cortisone-like medication (corticosteroid) that reduces local inflammation and may scar the cyst origin to prevent regrowth. Unfortunately, this technique does not have a great chance of keeping the cyst from returning, as the cyst wall and the cyst origin remain in the body. The cyst typically regenerates its fluid shortly after drainage. Drainage and corticosteroid injection is safe and does work in some cases, especially for small cysts, and that is why it is attempted in the first place.

When the cyst returns and creates pain or functional limitation, that is the point at which surgery is considered. Surgical removal of cysts can be simple, or can be complex if the cyst is large or integrated into surrounding tissue. The surgical procedure for removing ganglion cysts involves making an incision directly over the area where the cyst lies, and careful separation of the cyst from the surrounding tissue without rupturing the cyst. Once the cyst ruptures, the fluid that remains can potentially become walled off again, and finding the exact ending margin of the cyst wall becomes more difficult once it is ‘deflated’. The cyst must be removed in its entirety, including all of the cyst wall and the original connecting tissue. If this is not done, the cyst may simply reform. The complete removal of all this tissue is not always easy, and sometimes even the slightest of remaining tissue not visible to the surgeon can allow for a return.

Removing cysts often requires identification of several different lobes, or branches of the cyst, if it is not in one smooth piece. This exploration often requires the surgeon to gently move around surrounding vital tissues, which could have cyst material wrapped around them. This can result in a complicated removal process, and can increase the risk or likelihood of the cyst returning after surgery. It also places the surrounding vital tissue, like nerves, at risk for damage during the surgery. In rare cases, the expansion of the cyst has already damaged the surrounding tissue, and there may be lasting effects even after the surgical healing has completed.

In general, healing from removal of the cyst is successful and without complication. The skin heals readily, and deep scar tissue is not typically a problem as the cysts are usually more superficially located, aside from the base that stems from the underlying tendon or joint. An exception to this is cysts located along the back or sides of the ankle, where more tissue dissection is needed to reach the cyst. Weight bearing is usually immediately allowed, except for uncommon cysts on the bottom of the foot requiring an incision under the foot, and activity can usually be resumed in several weeks.

As one can read, ganglion cysts are a common foot mass that may be somewhat difficult to be rid of permanently. On its own, a ganglion cyst is usually benign and without significant symptoms. However, treatment is needed when the cyst causes pain or a limitation in one’s activity. As a rule, one should always have a medical exam when a new mass appears on or under the skin. There are tumors that can be mistaken for cysts, and a physician can determine what the nature of the mass is. For foot and ankle masses, a foot specialist (podiatrist) is the best specialist to see first for evaluation.

How to Test Drainage Pipes After Laying

Drainage pipes start from the first manhole or inspection chamber to the septic tank or sewer system. After laying the pipes, before use the drains should be tested. Each section in between the manholes should be tested. Its appropriate that this is done at least twelve hours after jointing the last pipe. There are various methods of checking the system. This ensures that the system is air tight to avoid foul smells and leakages along the lines.

The testing of drainage pipes after laying commences with the following method. First the lower end of the pipe and all junctions are securely stopped. The whole length is then filled with water. After filling with water, a stopper is inserted at the top leaving a pipe attached with drain plug. This pipe is bent at ninety degrees and terminated at an elevated tank. The vertical distance of elevation should be at least one meter. This will give gravity flow.

In testing the drainage pipes, water is poured into the header tank. This is kept full for at least three hours. It allows absorption to take place. After this time, the tank is topped up and testing commences. After a period of thirty minutes have elapsed check the water level in the tank. The water level in the header tank should not have fallen. If has dropped by there millimeters then the test is satisfactory. Give one hour and check the levels.

After testing the drain pipes and they fail the test, check the point of leakage. Its important to note that tests are run on pipes laid in trenches but are not covered. The point of leakage is then noted and fixed. This is done using a strong concrete surround with fine aggregates. A minimum cover of one hundred and fifty millimeters is done. Tests are then done again and confirmed. After passing the test, back filling is then done for the trenches.

Fun Volleyball Drills

One challenge that every sports coach eventually must face is making practices fun. While repetitive drills are necessary for building skill and muscle memory, when players become accustomed to certain drills they are more inclined to turn their minds off and go through the motions. Instead, coaches must continually rotate drills and add fun and exciting new ones to their practice line up to keep players focused and sharp. Feel free to use one of the following fun volleyball drills at your next practice to break up the routine and challenge your players in new ways.

Bingo Volleyball

For the first of these fun volleyball drills you will need a large sheet of white paper and a black marker. Begin by brainstorming a list of some of the crucial skills and moves that your players need help with such as perfect dig, block, spike, etc. Once you’ve come up with at least 25 draw a bingo card on the sheet of paper, filling each of the squares with one of the skills and post it next to the court.

Now divide your team into groups of six for scrimmage. The teams play against each other as if it were a regular match with one key difference: each time they successfully execute one of the aforementioned moves, they earn that spot on the bingo card. Players must call the move before the execute it to earn the spot on the card.

The goal is to make a line of 5, at which point all members of the team must yell “Bingo”. This game causes players to come up with a game plan that successfully incorporates the necessary moves to make a line of 5, which can often be radically different from their normal game plan.

Hit the Deck!

When searching for fun volleyball drills remember that the emphasis does not always have to be on hitting the ball. Volleyball requires many other skills that are often less recognized, such as the ability to drop and hit the floor without fear or hesitation. The following drill, which we call “Hit the Deck”, will help your players overcome that hesitation.

Begin by having your players jog on the spot. Either at the sound of your whistle or when you yell the words “Hit the Deck”, all players must drop to the floor instantly. If you’d like to up the competitive spirit of the drill, you can enforce a rule where the last player to hit the floor is out.

Building Defensive Toughness

The third of the fun volleyball drills I like to use to change up my practice routines is a simple variation on 2-on-6. For this drill, one team has 6 players and the other has only 2. To begin with, have the strongest players on your team as the outnumbered ones.

The 6-player team begins by serving the ball within two steps of a member of the 2-player team. The goal is not to try and humiliate the 2-player team; rather the goal is to have them get down and play defense. You’ll really begin to notice your players develop their defensive toughness after running the fun drill at a couple of your practices.

Axel N Erlandson’s Tree Circus

Axel Erlandson and his Circus Trees have fascinated people since the 1940s. Axel was very closemouthed about his techniques of shaping trees. When asked he would say “Oh I talk to them”. There has been a great deal conjecture as to how he shaped over 70 trees into marvellous shapes. These trees would became a roadside attraction called the Tree circus, the trees are generally known today as the Circus trees. Some of his trees acquired individual names like telephone booth, knot tree, cathedral, diamond, picture frame, needle and thread, basket tree and many more.

Working out how he did it.

Axel seemed to relish working on a large-scale using timber trees like sycamore and box Elder. Later in life he trialled several others tree species.

Old photos reveal the complicated framework Axel build to guide the growth, the photographs divulge some of his mysteries. By looking closely one can see a series of small-scale wooden blocks to guide the growth around curves. In one of the photos it reveals the construction of new framework being added to an existing design to further guide the tree when it grows that far. He also used timber spacers to sustain the design until the trees could support themselves.

Axel practiced a gradual shaping technique. In his daughter’s book (Wilma Erlandson) ‘My Father “Talked to Trees”‘ she wrote “When the stems of the trees were very young and flexible he shaped them as desired.” Wilma also talks about the role of the framing in the process of shaping the trees. Instead of forcing the trees into position as one tree shaper has advised, Wilma talks about the framework supporting the trees. Quote from ‘My Father “Talked to Trees”‘ “They were then held in place by framework for several years until they were strong enough to stand on their own.”

Modern Tree shapers who use a gradual technique of shaping are GrownUp Furniture and Pooktre. On the internet site GrownUp Furniture by Dr Chris Cattle there is a how to guide about shaping trees.

http://www.grown-furniture.co.uk/how-to-grow.html

Where are the trees at present

Though out the life of the Circus Trees there has been a great deal media attention about them. They’ve appeared a dozen times in Ripley’s believe it or not. They’ve continued to appear in media worldwide. Axel never trained an apprentice, this meant as he aged and grew frailer he was not able to look after his trees. After years of trying to sell his trees he negotiated to sell them in 1963. It was just one year later that he died at the age of seventy-nine.

After Axel’s death the trees had a series of owners. Disney tried to purchase them but loss interest when they discovered how much the owner wanted for them. During this time the trees were slowly dying from neglect. Robert Hogan bought the land the trees where living on in 1977, for development. Joseph Cahill, a landscape designer, gave Hogan $12,000 for the trees and was given two and a half years to remove them.

About this time a young a architect Mark Primack went to great lengths to guarantee the survival of the remaining Circus Trees. Mark was awarded an art grant to draw and immortalize them as they were. He went onto the property without permission to tend and water the trees. He became an ardent advocate for saving Axel’s Trees. His campaign to have the trees recognized as an historical or a cultural resource failed. Mark retains an interest in the Circus Trees and the potential they represent. He is considered the Leading authority on Axel Erlandson’s Trees in the world today. On Mark’s internet site there are some photographs of Axel’s trees

Ultimately, in 1984, Michael Bonfante steped forward to purchase the trees for a horticultural amusement park. He moved 24 trees to the new location in Gilroy which was called Bonfante Gardens Theme Park. Were they’re happily flourishing and open to the public today. Bonfante Gardens later changed their name to Gilroy Gardens.

Wilma Erlandson’s book My Father “Talked to trees” is available at Gilroy Gardens.

To see photo’s Axel’s Trees go to this site http://www.markprimack.com/pages/tree_circus/tree_circus.html

History of Axel N Erlandson’s tree circus and some other interesting trees.

The Story of the Menominee River Sugar Company 1903-1955

Menominee, Michigan, situated far from the world’s financial centers a hundred years ago, much as it is today, nevertheless placed itself directly in the middle of one of the hottest business booms of the early twentieth century – sugar. The small community that dared to plant a footprint in world commerce occupies a slivered point of land that dips into Lake Michigan at a point so close in proximity to Wisconsin that had a cartographer’s finger twitched at a crucial moment, Menominee would be in Wisconsin instead of Michigan.

Menominee is bordered on the east by Green Bay, an arm of Lake Michigan, and on the south-west by the Menominee River. In 1903, many investors in the beet sugar industry had a timber background and had thus come to believe that the same rivers that had once delivered logs to sawmills in abundance could also serve the needs of a beet sugar factory where massive volumes of water are used for fluming beets into the factory, washing them and then diffusing the sugar from them. A sugar factory could easily put three million gallons of water to use every twenty-four hours. Barges can carry sugarbeets from the farm fields and freighters can carry products to market. The presence of the Menominee River convinced investors that Menominee could compete with the nation’s sugar producers despite negative comments from naysayers who said Menominee was too far north to successfully grow sugarbeets.

The naysayers had a point. Menominee, Michigan is an unlikely place to construct a beet sugar factory. Situated at the western end of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, the growing season is about forty days shorter than the prime beet growing regions in the state’s Lower Peninsula. The short season can prevent the ripening of beets which will then lessen sugar content of immature beets ill prepared for the stress of the milling process. Severe frosts in early spring are not unusual and are almost always fatal to a crop of young beets. Frosts can come early in the fall, too, which can make it impossible to harvest a crop. A farmer stood to lose his entire crop either early in the growing season or near the time of harvest after he had invested heavily in bringing the sugarbeet crop to term. Investors, however, in Menominee, as in many of Michigan’s cities, tended to discount input from farmers before building a factory and would frequently interpret exaggerated enthusiasm from a handful of growers as representing the broader farming community. Quite often, as in Menominee’s case, as it would turn out, the handful did not represent the whole.

Official recognition by the United States Department of Agriculture in 1898 of the importance of the sugarbeet industry sparked the construction of beet sugar factories across the nation. One year earlier the nation could boast only ten beet sugar factories, four of which were in California, one in Utah, two in Nebraska and three in New York. The construction of seven sugarbeet factories in 1898 brought into focus for the first time the stirrings of a rush not unlike the dot-com boom that blossomed nearly one hundred years later. The idea that sugar produced from sugarbeets could compete with sugar produced from sugarcane expanded into a full-fledged boom by 1900 when the nationwide count of sugarbeet factories stood at thirty-two in eleven states.

Nowhere was the blaze hotter than in Michigan where nine factories followed the successful start up of a factory in Essexville, Michigan, a suburb of Bay City. A burst of cyclonic enthusiasm caused a mad scramble when investors, constructors, bankers, and farmers combined energies and skills to bring to life eight factories in a single year! They were in Holland, Kalamazoo, Rochester, Benton Harbor, Alma, West Bay City, Caro, and a second factory in Essexville. Despite the paucity of factory constructors and the engineers to operate them, fourteen additional factories rose on the outskirts of Michigan towns during the next six years, one of which appeared in Menominee in 1903.

In Menominee, a group of investors undeterred by the natural disadvantages and buoyed by encouragement from influential investors and knowledgeable experts, set a plan in motion to maintain the economic viability of their city after the approaching demise of the lumber industry, which had until then provided the underpinnings of Menominee’s economy. The plan included the design of one of the largest and most modern sugarbeet factories to appear in America up to that time.

As the lumber era petered out at the beginning of the 20th century, railroads that had come into their own because of timber, sought new sources of revenue. Principal among them was the Detroit and Mackinac Railroad whose land agent, Charles M. Garrison, collected and distributed information about the potential of the sugarbeet industry. While Garrison spread word among Detroit’s financiers about prospective profits in sugarbeets, communities affected by the decline of lumber looked to area resources for ways of replenishing wealth. They had plenty to work with. The state was crisscrossed with rail lines and rivers and some left over cash from the lumber era. With Garrison leading the way, investors perked up. Communities eager to find a quick replacement for lumber hastened to attend meetings sponsored by Garrison and quicker yet to bring their towns into the fold. All that was needed was to persuade the farmers to grow the beets. That is where the Michigan Agricultural College (Now Michigan State University) stepped in.

Upper Peninsula farmers, encouraged by Michigan Agricultural College to plant sugarbeet test plots, received an even greater shot in the arm by the visit of Secretary of Agriculture James Wilson, in 1902. He expounded the advantages of sugarbeets and discouraged the notion that the Upper Peninsula’s climate wasn’t up to the task of producing profitable crops. Wilson served in three presidential cabinets, McKinley, Roosevelt, and Taft, serving longer (1897-1913) than any other cabinet official. He encouraged modern agriculture methods, including transportation and education as they applied to agriculture. His word carried a lot of weight. When he spoke of sugarbeets, some farmers listened and when his department avowed that the cold northern temperatures would not inhibit the development of the industry in their neighborhood, investors, farmers, and manufacturers lined up to begin the industry in Menominee.

Optimism rose to new heights when the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced favorable results of the sugarbeet plot tests. The Sugar Beet News of December 15, 1903, reported test results from beets delivered by approximately 140 farmers. The test runs revealed 15.6 to 19.9 % sugar, which meant a cash value to the farmers per acre of from $5.70 to $7.13 per ton ($135-$169 inflation adjusted to the current period). At those projected prices, no crop in human history had held the potential for creating such a high return from so few acres.

In the Lower Peninsula, a farmer with above average ability who placed fifteen acres in sugarbeets could earn more than $800 and if his family provided the bulk of the labor, the net profit would more than take care of a family’s needs for a year, which, including food, was less than $800. After adding revenue from crops in rotation and revenues from milk, eggs, and poultry, the farm family’s standard of living advanced from a subsistence level to one that compared favorably to those who held mid-management positions in industry. USDA figures supported belief that Upper Peninsula beets would exceed by two per cent the average for all the other 18 sugar beet factories in the Lower Peninsula.

If the tests proved reliable indicators, Menominee region beets were worth up to $10 more an acre than Lower Peninsula beets, assuring an income of nearly $1,000 per year just from sugarbeets.

Although enthusiasm was on the upturn, something more was needed to seal the deal. To instill confidence in prospective investors that technical expertise lay near at hand, Benjamin Boutell, who won fame as both a tugboat captain and as a captain of industry, arrived in Menominee from his Bay City, Michigan headquarters for the single purpose of conveying interested investors to Bay County where they could see groomed beet fields and efficient factories spinning out white crystalline sugar. Eleven prospective investors accompanied Boutell to Bay City where convincing evidence lay at hand. Four beet sugar factories, more than in any other city in the United States, had been constructed in that city’s environs. Bay City virtually hummed with economic activity because of the presence of sugar factories. Mansions peopled by former lumber barons who had transformed themselves into sugar barons, lined the city’s prestigious Center Avenue.

Boutell announced he would become one of the investors, providing the other investors had no objection to having a factory designed and installed by Joseph Kilby who was according to Boutell, the finest constructor of beet sugar factories in the United States. Many others agreed with Boutell’s assessment; Kilby built nine of the eventual twenty-four factories built in Michigan. Local investors lined up behind Boutell to organize the Menominee River Sugar Company. A half dozen important backers came forward, each of whom subscribed to more than $25,000 in stock of the Menominee River Sugar Company.

Heading up the list of local shareholders was Samuel M. Stephenson, a former lumber manufacturer and native of New Brunswick, Canada who had made a home for himself, his wife, Jennie and their four daughters and one son, in Menominee. He was then seventy-one years of age but in no mood for retirement. Following a successful career in lumber and banking, he served three successive terms in Congress (Michigan’s 11th District 1889-93 and the 12th District 1893-97). He invested $100,000 ($2 million by modern standards) in the beet sugar factory, taking heart in not only favorable test plot results and the enthusiasm of his neighbors but also interest shown by the American Sugar Refining Corporation, generally known by its then popular sobriquet, the Sugar Trust. Some years later the Sugar Trust would fall into disfavor as a result of charges of unfair business practices, but in 1903, it had the confidence of the general public and investors alike and controlled the manufacture and sale of 98% of sugar consumed in the United States. Trust Executives, Arthur Donner and Charles R. Heike, invested $300,000 to acquire 36% of Menominee River Sugar Company’s stock.

All the members of the board of directors and roster of officers apart from Bay City resident, Benjamin Boutell, listed Menominee as their home of record. Menominee residents made up 74% of the shareholders. Together, they controlled 53% of the shares. In addition to Stephenson, other major shareholders who also accepted positions as either officers or directors were: William O. Carpenter who invested $55,000 and served the sugar company variously as president and vice-president. Gustave A. Blesch invested $15,000 and served as treasurer. John Henes, a brewery owner, invested $25,000 and served as a director. Augustus Spies was the second largest investor after Stephenson and the Sugar Trust. He, too, served as a director.

Spies provide an excellent example of the hardy pioneering spirit that prevailed in Menominee. He was a native of the grand duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany where fertile soils and a mild climate allowed the production of grain and wine. He participated in the founding of the Stephenson National Bank in partnership with future U.S. Congressman Samuel M. Stephenson and Samuel’s brother, future U.S. Senator, Isaac Stephenson. In addition, he owned the Spies Lumber Company and several large tracts of forest; he was an investor in the First National Bank of Menominee, the Marinette and Menominee Paper Company and president of the Menominee Light, Railroad and Power Company. When the fledgling sugar company got under way, he stepped forward with $75,000 ($1.5 million in current dollars).

Support from Menominee’s wealthy class, who also shared distinctions of making good business decisions and rising on their own merit rather than inherited wealth, was so great that there was no need to solicit funds from the public at large. With its shares over-subscribed by $35,000, the Menominee River Sugar Company was in the enviable position of having adequate capital for its venture. Not only was it possessed of sufficient capital but also it enjoyed the added benefit of the experience of Benjamin Boutell and representatives of the Sugar Trust. Menominee would not want for technical or business expertise.

Gustave Blesch, like Augustus Spies, owed his success to the inherited qualities of hard work, honesty and the respect of his peers. He would become the sugar company’s first treasurer. He was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1859, the son of Francis Blesch, a native of Germany and Antoinette Schneider, a native of Belgium. Gustave became an office boy in the Kellogg National Bank of Green Bay, rising to teller by the age of twenty. Five years later, he moved to Menominee to help establish the First National Bank of Menominee where he began as cashier before becoming the bank’s president. He became president of the Menominee Brick Company, vice-president of the Menominee-Marinette Light & Traction Company, and treasurer of the Peninsula Land Company.

In January, 1903, the newly elected board of directors approved an $800,000 (nearly $19 million in current era dollars) construction contract for a Kilby designed and built factory that would slice 1,000 tons of beets per day. Of the 48 beet sugar factories in operation in the United States in 1903, only two were larger than Menominee’s new factory, one in Salinas, California and another in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The average sugar factory in Michigan in 1903 could slice six hundred tons of beets in a twenty-four hour period. Four thousand acres of beets would easily supply a season’s factory run. Had the investors surveyed the farmers first, surely they would have been advised to build a smaller factory, and perhaps would have been persuaded to build none. Farmers delivered beets from approximately 1,500 acres, well short of the 9,000 acres the investment demanded.

The Menominee factory’s first factory run (referred to as a “campaign” in the sugar industry) ended quickly, having received only 14,263 tons, enough for a production run of fourteen days for a factory the investors planned to operate at least one hundred days. However, the farmers had submitted beets containing the highest sugar reported of any company during its first campaign, 15.04 percent – about 20 percent more than average and enough to allow for a small profit from a meager beet supply. Like nearly all the factories, records that would inform us of profit, if any, earned during that first campaign, did not survive the passage of time. However, it would be reasonable to estimate, based on the known cost of supplies of coal, coke, limestone and the cost of labor, that a profit of $36,000 was achievable, especially under a management style that paid close attention to expenditures and especially in light of the very high percentage of sugar in the beets.

The second campaign was better with enough beets for a full month, still well short of a supply needed to generate profits enough to justify the investment. By 1911, the local supply reached a level that allowed steady profits but was insufficient to encourage expansion, a condition that persisted until 1926 when grower apathy fell to a level that required closing the factory until 1933 when it reopened for a final run of twenty years during which the factory lagged behind the industry in technology and growth. Year in and year out, because of an inadequate supply of beets, mostly grown in Wisconsin, the underutilized factory ended its campaign weeks earlier than was needed to produce healthy profits which then could have been reinvested in the factory. Menominee investors learned, as did many other sugar factory investors, that the mantra, “build it and they will come” fell on deaf ears among farmers who often displayed a better understanding of sugar economics than did investors.

The passage of time brought neither harm nor good to the Menominee factory as it was unable to expand or modernize. It settled into the process of graceful aging. Profits awaiting opportunity gradually accumulated thanks to the company’s penurious management style and a dedicated cadre of farmers.

George W. McCormick, the company’s first manager, inaugurated a careful management style that went a long way toward keeping the company profitable despite annual shortfalls in the beet supply. He managed the company during its first thirty-two years of operation, beginning when he was twenty-four years of age. He met Benjamin Boutell in Bay City when he moved there to take a job as a district manager for Travelers Insurance Company. Boutell thought the young man belonged in the rapidly developing sugar industry and encouraged him to help in the establishment of a sugar factory in Wallaceburg, Ontario. After completing the assignment with success, Boutell recommended him for the manager’s job in Menominee.

Menominee was the most difficult place in the United States to process sugarbeets. The low temperatures took a heavy toll on workers, machinery and beets that usually went through the slicing machines like boulders, damaging equipment that robbed the factory of slender resources. It was difficult to find replacement parts because of the distance separating Menominee from suppliers and from Lower Peninsula sugar factories where it was common for factory managers to lend spare parts to one another.

The company’s diligent attention to cost control paid off in 1924 when sugar factories located in Green Bay and Menominee Falls, Wisconsin went on the market. Menominee River Sugar Company purchased both and then invested significant sums in restoring the Menominee Falls factory that had been shut for three years immediately preceding its sale.

The renovated Menominee Falls factory combined with the Green Bay and Menominee, Michigan factories created more capacity than was needed for the available acreage. One of the factories would have to close. Menominee won the noose after the accountants counted up the freight costs for hauling beets to each factory. The Menominee factory remained closed until 1933 when Michigan’s farmers relented and agreed to return to sugarbeets, a decision that came too late to save the hides of the sugar company’s owners who had lost the company to defaulted bonds three years earlier.

Disruptions in Europe beginning in the early part of the 1930s brought a new name to Michigan’s beet sugar fields and corporate offices – Flegenheimer. Albert Flegenheimer was the son of Samuel Flegenheimer who had immigrated to the United States in either 1864 or 1866 and became a naturalized citizen in 1873. The next year, however, he returned to Germany, settling in Wurttemberg. He lived out his life there, dying in 1929 at the age of 81. His brief sojourn in the United States and his U.S. citizenship status, however, would one day save his descendants from German death camps.

In February 1939, Albert Flegenheimer carried his family to the safety of Canada and then to the U.S. claiming nationality as the son of a naturalized citizen. He planned to raise his family and devote his time to the sugar industry in both the United States and Canada. His plans met with considerable success and by 1954, he controlled the sugar factory in Menominee and the one in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Despite Albert Flegenheimer’s efforts, a lack of interest on the part of farmers kept the factory small and outdated. It struggled year by year until finally in 1955 with its equipment exhausted, its buildings in tattered repair and its farmers pursuing other crops, Menominee River Sugar Company, built on hopes and dreams and operated with fortitude and persistence for more than a half-century, closed its doors forever.

Sources:

GUTLEBEN, Dan, The Sugar Tramp-1954- Michigan, Printed by: Bay City Duplicating Co, San Francisco, 1954

1962 TWIN CITY COMMUNITY RESOURCES WORKSHOP, section entitled Famous Leaders Who Helped Build Menominee, prepared by Irene Swain, Dr. Leo J. Alilunas, Director.

HENLEY, ROBERT L., Sweet Success . . .The Story of Michigan’s Beet Sugar Industry 1898 – 1974, Michigan Historical Center, Department of History, Arts and Libraries

INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS: The pre-1975 data are the Consumer Price Index statistics from Historical Statistics of the United States (USGPO, 1975). All data since then are from the annual Statistical Abstracts of the United States. Recorded at http://www.westegg.com/inflation

MICHIGAN ANNUAL REPORTS, Michigan Archives, Lansing, Michigan
©2009 Thomas Mahar

About the Author:
Thomas Mahar served as Executive Vice President of Monitor Sugar Company between 1984 and 1999 and as President of Gala Food Processing, a sugar packaging company, from 1993-1998. He retired in 1999 and now devotes his free time to writing about the history of the sugar industry. He authored, Sweet Energy, The Story of Monitor Sugar Company in 2001.

Term Limits – Critical to Your Nonprofit Board’s Success

Recently, I ran into a nonprofit organization that had been around for over 20 years – but they had never implemented term limits for their board. As a result, a few people had been on the board since the organization was started. These “old timers” ran the organization and newly-recruited members were not able to contribute much of anything new. Needless to say, the organization was stagnant and inflexible and had lost ground year after year. The newer members were frustrated because they were unable to contribute to the organization in any meaningful way.

Term limits are critical to a board’s health because they prevent a single individual or group from monopolizing the spirit of the organization. They ensure that new ideas and approaches are explored – something that’s essential to the success of every organization. Everyone is forced off the board eventually. If your board doesn’t have term limits, I recommend you start thinking about them now. You can easily incorporate them into your board by taking these three simple steps:

1. Add term limits to your bylaws. 2. Include specific terms in your “Expectations of Board Members” when you recruit. 3. Decide on a fair way to apply term limits to current board members.

Add term limits to your bylaws. The bylaws should state the term limits for each board member. I find that a 3-year term (renewable for a single, second 3-year term) is a good length of time for people to serve on a board. Less than three years and a board member is just getting started when it’s time to leave. More than 3 years and the commitment seems daunting and can discourage new board candidates from agreeing to join.

Here’s some language you can use in your bylaws: “Each Board Member will serve for a 3-year term. At the end of the first term, there will be an option to renew for another 3-year term if both the board member and the board are happy to continue. The Board Development Committee works with each board member at the end of their term to determine if they will renew their board membership or not.”

Include term limits in your “Expectations of Board Members.” When recruiting new members, using a one-page summary of your expectations helps clarify the commitment that potential members are being asked to make. You can explain the time commitment, when and where the meetings are held, that there is an expectation of an annual financial contribution, and the term limits for joining members.

Here’s some wording that other nonprofits have used that pertains to term limits: “Commit initially to a three-year term (unless otherwise stated). There may be an option to extend this term if you are meeting the needs of the XYZ Non-Profit and XYZ Non-Profit is meeting yours.”

Decide on a fair way to apply term limits to the current board members. This is often the toughest part to implement. In some cases, boards have members who have been involved with the organization for many years and they are loathe to leave. The Board Development Committee works on this task. Your goal is to get 1/3 of the board to agree to stay on for one year, 1/3 of the board to agree to stay on for 2 years and 1/3 of the board to stay on for 3 years.

First, ask each board member privately (or in a secret ballot) if they have a preference for whether they will stay on for one, two or three years. If approximately 1/3 of your board is interested in terms ending in each of the next three years, you are ok. If you need to move some people around, then you can talk to them privately to see if they’re willing to change. If not, you can draw straws to see who stays for shorter or longer periods of time.

Finally, everyone needs to be aware of these decisions – and you should publish the “end-of-term dates” for each person on your board roster. If you are a new nonprofit, don’t forget to include term limits in your bylaws. If you are an existing organization and allow board members to stay around forever, starting thinking about term limits and how they can best be applied to your organization soon.

Want To Relax, Relieve Pain And Reduce Stress?

In this stressful society many people are looking for a way that they can unwind and feel good at the end of the day. What's better than your own in home infrared sauna?

Many people are looking for a great way to get rid of the stress that their jobs and life are giving them. One great way, is to consider this wonderful new technology called an infrared sauna.

This sauna uses infrared heaters to heat the people and things inside the sauna and not the air. This makes it so that you can use the sauna anywhere, even outside of your home, on a porch or in an enclosed room without any issues to worry about. This can make the placement of your sauna very easy and you can enjoy it anywhere. Beyond that it also enables you to stay in the sauna longer, as the air inside is not as hot as a traditional saunas.

You may also be able to benefit from the relief from aches and pains. It uses infrared rays which can penetrate deep inside the body helping to boost your immune system, lose weight and improve your skin tone. All in all you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated after an infrared sauna session. An infrared sauna can also help you to relax, and could be part of your routine prior to bedtime.

The whole family can enjoy the benefits of this great income because it can be used by many people for their relaxation purposes. Melt your stress and pain away in your customized and life changing infrared sauna and you will be glad that you did.
What a great way to end the day, relaxed and pain free!

How Thinking With Consequential Logic Creates A Better Life

Foresight is a tool we should all have in our war chests.

However, many of us disregard this critical thought

process. If I drink this much and drive my car, I just might

crash, killing myself or someone else. If I talk about my

boss behind his back to the wrong person, I could get fired

for some trivial reason.

Almost everyone knows the difference between right and

wrong, but do we all apply thinking with consequential

logic before committing our wrongs? Probably not. The

reasons are plenty, but simply put, many of us are too lazy

or careless.

If it is lazy, that can be more easily fixed than that of

careless. Lazy is just that, lazy. Working a little extra hard

by churning the brain with logic before minor or major

decisions creates a more seamless living environment for

not only yourself, but everyone around you.

Careless is more difficult to fix because the person is caring

less about something that requires someone to yield more

care. This is a fundamental disregard for the situation or an

inadequate comprehension of the dynamics of that

particular situation or decision.

Usually people other than yourself are involved, assuming

you have careless tendencies. Let me clarify with an

example: You are on a roof reshingling with a working

partner, but you are a level below him/her and this person

would like to get down to your level. They ask if you

could set the step ladder up so they can get down, so you

do. By not holding the ladder tightly as the person

descends, they fall and die.

This is a blatant example of disregarding someone else’s

safety by not caring enough. It could also be construed as

lazy; however, in this situation it is more likely that

carelessness trumps laziness big time.

In this hypothetical example, if this person thinks with

consequential logic, they would know that leaving the

ladder unsecured while this person is stepping down could

have deadly consequences.

This mindset should be on automatic pilot all the time.

However, many people think their logic is fine when they

pass another car when climbing a hill. Their thinking is it

shouldn’t matter because it’s a new V6. This is skewed

thinking because logically you should, under any

circumstances, never attempt this maneuver. However,

putting too much hope and faith into something and

thinking that everything will be just fine is always asking for

trouble.

When thinking under a more controlled mindset, logic will

prevail and instead of always wearing the rosy glasses

hoping everything will turn out fine, you will have

assurance knowing certain variables need to add up before

a decision is made.

If this mindset is not taken seriously, problems, trouble, and

dysfunction in relationships and employment will more than

likely always follow.

Taking the extra time to pause and let the brain logically

process any given scenario without obscuring its reality, can

only benefit any perspective person. Life will consistently

throw curve balls at you, but using consequential logic

when critical thinking or not, makes for a better life.