Cesspool Inspection When Buying a House

People who look for new properties are concerned about the aesthetics of the house or the landscape, but only a few consider asking about the septic tank or cesspool. However, cesspool inspection is important when obtaining a property. Cesspool services are necessary in many cases. You have to learn the value of cesspools in homes.

A lot of home buyers are not too concerned about cesspools. Knowing whether the cesspool is in good condition and functional is important whenever you are about to buy a property. You have to ask your realtor about this, and he or she should be able to give you an answer. A realtor who does not know the condition of a property’s cesspool or septic system cannot be trusted.

The problem with cesspools is they are buried underneath the ground, so you cannot be sure if the one in a prospective property is in good condition. A specialist should be called to do an inspection. There are companies that offer cesspool services including inspection. Keep in mind that an inspection is just an inspection. The service specialist will not fix problems unless you specifically ask him to do so. You probably will not need cesspool repair unless you really are planning to move into the property. If a property you are looking into has damaged cesspool, you can consider a repair service. If not, you can look at another property.

Cesspool inspection is a dangerous task if you are untrained. This is why it has been stressed that only a trained professional should do the task. You may only do as far as removing the cover. The next step should be reserved for the trained professionals.

How would you know if it needs service? A faulty cesspool may leak and cause contents to pollute the surrounding soil. In this case, foul odor will diffuse from the ground into the air. If the area smells like rotten eggs, the pit must be damaged. Water leaking from the pit will also saturate the ground around it. Look for signs of sogginess. You would also know if the cesspool is draining properly if the leach field has green grass. If not, the drainage lines must be clogged.

Cesspools should be checked regularly for signs of clogging or leaks. Settling solid matter and scum may build up and block drainage pipes. Such event poses problems in the future, but this may be momentarily un-obvious. Ask the realtor if it has been checked in the past year. You don’t want to buy a property and then spend your bucks getting the troublesome pit serviced.

Supposing you have bought the property and then sometime in the future you encounter a problem with the cesspool, what would you do? In this case, you can contact a septic plumber or a cesspool cleaner to find out what the problem is and fix it. Cesspool and septic tank services may be available in your area. Be careful when checking out your cesspool on your own. The gas build-up is toxic and flammable, not to mention extremely sickening.

Managers Coaching in the Workplace

Workplace coaching has been for the reserve of executives or individuals within organizations. Now organizations realize that managers using coaching skills can provide direct performance and business benefits.

More than 70% of organizations with any formal leadership development activities use coaching as an important part of that. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) states that line managers typically deliver 36% of the coaching to their reports, while HR and Training and Development specialists were delivering 30%. This suggests an expectation for line managers to deliver more coaching.

I will start with defining what is coaching in the workplace, and what it is not. I will cover how it works as a development tool, the topic of the Manager as coach, their roles and responsibilities; the deliverables to the business and the pros and cons of delivering coaching.

I will cover how a manager can coach, who they will coach, and different styles and to conclude the issues that it may raise, how they can be recognized and some solutions.

How does it work?
Organizations realize that they can improve the performance and motivation of their people through coaching. A coaching style of management is preferred to the traditional command and control approach.

Coaching is a more a management style rather than a tool. Application of coaching has many examples; delegating, problem solving, team building, planning and reviewing.

Coaching embraces 2 fundamental principles, that of awareness and responsibility. Huge potential lies within all of us. What blocks that unleashed potential? Restrictive structures and company practices, the lack of encouragement and opportunities provided, and management style of the company. The most common internal block is self belief. Building self awareness, responsibility and self belief is the goal of a coach.

Awareness can be raised by focussed attention and by practice. It is the clear perception of the relevant facts and information. It helps in recognizing when and how emotions or desires distort our own perception.

When we accept, choose or take responsibility for our own thoughts and actions, our levels of commitment increase, and so does our performance. Performance is likely to improve if someone chooses to take action, rather than being told.

Effective questioning in conversation best generates awareness and responsibility. Questions should be open beginning with words like what, when, how (much / many), and who. Why is discouraged as it suggests criticism. Questioning will follow the coachee's train of thought. If they appear to be going way off track a simple interjection like "I notice we have not talked about", helps bring things back on course.

What should we ask, and in what sequence? Several coaching models exist. The most familiar is the (T) GROW model. The G is for Goal, setting the agenda for the session as well as the long term aspiration. The R is for reality, exploring the current situation. The O follows for options or courses of action. Finally W is for what is to be done, when, by what (the way forward).

Other coaching models exist, such at the SHOOTS model. Here they cover Seek to understand, Hone the goals, Objectives set, Options and action planning, Try it out, Success review. One further coaching model the "Coaching path", is another.

The Manager as Coach the pros & cons
Can a manager coach and do their own day job? With the demands placed on managers these days, adding one more task to their list of objectives in an ever demanding workplace.

Organizations realize that they can improve both the performance and motivation of their associates through coaching. Focussing on encouraging people to think for themselves, a coach provides support, challenge, feedback and guidance, but rarely answers.

A survey conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests managers who have been trained in coaching can also self coach. While operational coaching carried out by line managers will help to improve performance, it is dedicated internal coaches who will bring about long-reflecting behavioral change that can really add value.

Dedicated internal coaches within an organization must raise the question of value for money and cost effectiveness. My own observations of cost-cutting programs, flatter organizations, and the need to demonstrate value for money leave little room for a coach to exist as a dedicated resource.

There are some additional pros and cons for coaching a team From the perspective of the coach is a successor could be created, avoiding team members being "off the job" to develop skills, and could be cost effective. The downside to this is that they (the manager) feel their own job may be jeopardized, it can be time consuming, and giving people responsibility may encourage them to dispute the coach's authority. The manager in coaching may develop a lack of confidence if the coaching experience does not go well.

For the team the benefits are that they will be trained by someone who knows them and their development needs. Development is part of the job and is there immediately directly relevant and useful, and it makes work more challenging and interesting. The downside could be if coaching is not taken seriously.

Coaching may not always be appropriate. A manager may have to switch from a coaching role to a routing role and then back again. As long as this is explained to the team this should not cause an issue. If not then the behavior can be seen as ambiguous.

For the manager to be successful he needs to build rapport with the people he is coaching. Without this coaching will have limited benefits. The relationship will often be one to one, however in the case of a development or performance focus; the manager may have to report to a sponsor to give feedback. All parties will need to know this from the start.

How can a Manager Coach?
Organizations need to decide how coaching will be deployed, who will do the training (internal / external) and how many managers are to be trained. This would usually be led by the HR function, supported by senior management. This could be built into the organizations objectives and targets. By the creation of a "coaching culture" coaching will be more readily accepted.

Various coaching models are available for the manager as coach. The most common is (T) GROW. Used effectively it's relatively simple to use (previously discussed). Regardless of which model the coach chooses to take, it will give them a repeatable model to use. One disadvantage of having many managers coaching in organizations is standardization, a model will help.

Assuming the manager has received coaching training, and is now armed with a repeatable model to follow, what next? There are several dimensions in the coaching relationship to consider. One is between the coach and the coachee (team or individual).

A third dimension which is the manager to the organization. This may mean reporting upwards on progress and developments of a coaching relationship.

A manager can coach in various ways; coaching downwards, meaning coaching individuals who report directly. Coaching upwards, meaning the relatively unusual situation of coaching ones superior. This can be dangerous as a senior manager may ask for honest feedback, but does not want to hear the truth! I would advise extreme caution in this situation.

Coaching sideways, meaning coaching groups peasants or equals in the organization. This occurs in different areas and can benefit the coach, coachee and the organization with an exchange of views and knowledge. It allows challenging questions to be asked, which may not necessarily be raised if one had expert knowledge of the functional area.

Team Coaching, is another dynamic where a manager can apply his coaching skills. For a team there are times when coaching intervention will be effective. These are the beginning, midpoint and ends. The beginning helps establish boundaries, identifies what to do regarding tasks and timings. This helps the group to have a good launch, and can clearly enhance member's commitment to the team and the task. At the midpoint failures and successes can be shared, as well as experiences. Teams are able to review how they have worked together and will be open for some coaching intervention. The end of a task or performance should be time for lessons learnt for future project work.

These 3 coaching interactions can be summarized as motivational in the beginning, consultative at the midpoint, and educational at the end. Evidence suggests that coaching a team in between these points in the cycle may have small beneficial effects.

What issues does it raise?
There are three angles, the coach (manager) the coachee (individual and team) and the organization.

In all organizations politics have their place. It is important to remember that as a coach your role is non-judgmental. The manager needs to recognize when there is a conflict of interests and flag at the earliest opportunity. By finding themselves "in the middle", this is potential for stress. Managers should be aware and take early action to avoid this situation.

In commercial organizations, Return on Investment (ROI) or at least a clear measure of how coaching will impact the organization is required. Few initiatives will be approved or deployed unless there is a clear measurement system. This is where a "coaching culture" may support the initiative. Being incorporated into the organizations missions, and values ​​as well as one of the organizations corporate objectives will support success and adoption.

Tracking success of coaching can pose a headache. Process tools & guidelines will help with this. For example specifying how long the coaching will last for, the assessment instruments and agreement as part of the contracting phase.

One issues a manager may face when coaching in an organization is that of standardization. For example coaching models, how information is recorded, and how coaching sessions are conducted.

A barrier to coaching is the perception the time to do it. Small companies and some owner managers are likely to complain that they do not have the time to do everything. Smaller companies tend to have fewer dedicated resources. However it is accepted that some small businesses fail as a consequence because they had not quite developed their key staff.

Managers as coaches may well come across the international dimension and are an aspect that the manager as a coach needs to be aware of, even within a single organization. This is particularly relevant in a more diverse workforce.

Managers bought to understand how development impacts on people in the organization. Managers need genuine interest; otherwise they may only pay lip service to the "coaching culture" or their organizations "strategy and vision". In hostile environments (such as fast paced manufacturing) with aggressive attitudes and styles, change needs to happen quickly, and coaching is not automatically chosen.

Autocratic environments where management "tell" their associates display language and behavior in direct conflict to the coaching style. If managers have to "tell" their associates, they handle and remove any ambiguity in their role as coach. As long as this is explained to associates this should not cause an issue.

If time is upmost then telling will be the fastest way. If the quality of the result is upmost, then coaching for high awareness and responsibility is likely to deliver. If maximizing learning is upmost, coaching will optimize learning and retention.

Coaching is a tool for people development. What if there is now for the people to develop to? Organizations adopting flatter and leaner structures, particularly in the light of current economic situations there may leave little scope for individuals to move without someone leaves. Succession planning helps here but people may have to "stand still" for some time.

As a consequence of downsizing individuals find them with even higher workloads than before. Organizations typically employed jobs and structure with little thought as to how the business processes and people are affected.

Other organizational barriers to coaching success are lack of time, where the managers did not feel that they had the time; they want things done now so revert back to "command and control".

Fear of skills coaching used, for managers who can not or will not coach will oppose its use. They may feel weakness in their ability. Fear from the associate's side their mengers are not confident in their role as coach, and some associates may be better than them. From the manager's side there is the fear of the coach, that the coach can perform better than them and perceive it as a threat. There is the fear of risk, that if it does not bring the results that are expected (whether reasonable or not) that it would be a waste of money (externally provided), or resources and time (internally provided).

Coaching is not a "catch all" for everything and everyone and the manager needs to recognize when coaching is not appropriate. As a guide but by no means exhaustive, when faced with the following situations, a manager may question if coaching is appropriate. If a criminal act is committed, serious health or emotional problems, stress, and substance abuse.

Conclusion
Coaching has been recognized as adding value in the workplace, not only for high achievers and executives. Responsibility for delivering the coaching still rests largely with the line management team in an organization (70%).

Coaching is applied in a non-directional, non-judicial way. Before improving performance awareness and responsibility need to be raised. Coaching models exist to aid the manager the most common being (T) GROW.

Coaching may appear an additional task on f the manager's already heavy workload. Done correctly, it allows the manager more time on core tasks such as long-term planning and objective setting. In developing staff it avoids them being "off the job" to develop skills. There are occasions where a manager will have to "tell" staff and needs to be handled by them appropriately.

Coaching can be done at various levels within an organization, team, individuals, peers, superiors or themselves. It is important for the manager to recognize when coaching is not appropriate and seek assistance.

The manager needs to be aware of any conflicts of interest, particularly in the area of ​​values ​​and beliefs. A demonstrable measurement system will support the coaching approach. The standard of training and ongoing support to coaches is important to ensure that a coach does not have a negative effect on the work. Cultural and diversity dimension also needs to be considered.

Coaching is clearly not a "catch all" or a sticking plaster for a manager to heal over their areas of responsibility. It is extremely powerful when used as a management style, supported by a strong and visible coaching culture within an organization.

The final question I would raise to any organization not using, or considering using coaching is why would they not want to benefit from the overriding benefits that it can yield?

How to Submit Cartoons for Publication

The goal for any cartoonist is to see your work in print. Whether it's in a magazine or newspapers, there's nothing quite like having your efforts validated by a real, by-gosh genuine cartoon editor. My first published cartoon was in a nationally published magazine. It only paid me 25 bucks, but the value of being a published cartoonist was incalculable! Here's a quick primer on how to prepare a single-panel cartoon for submission.

Neat Drawing

Once you have worked out the details in your brainstorming session, you need to transfer your drawing to a clean sheet of 8 x x 11 inch sheet of paper. Regular printer paper is fine – as long as it's clean. Do not get cutesy with the size of the paper or the color. Bigger paper is a pain for editors who have to pour through lots of submissions, and submitting your work on brightly-colored fluorescent paper will not make it stand out – at least not in a good way. It screams amateur and will get it thrown in the trash.

I will often transfer the drawings straight out of my sketchpad onto printer paper via a light box. I like this process because it preserves the spontaneity and comical whimsy of the sketch which is sometimes lost when a piece is overworked in an attempt to make it "perfect".

Using a Light Box

You can get a light box at your local craft store for next to nothing, or you can go to the internet and look up plans for building your own. Simply tape the cartoon rough in place and then tape your clean sheet of paper over top. Turn on the light and you can clearly see the original through the paper. Transfer the drawing using a black pen. This also eliminates the need for erasing pencil marks which can leave your work messy.

Do not worry about drawing the border around your cartoon. The editor will do that if they need one – often they do not.

The Artist's Market

You can find lots of publications that accept freelance cartoon submissions by looking through a current edition of The Artist and Graphic Designer's Market . This book contains lists of magazines and what they pay, as well as the names of editors and submission details. Study them and then submit accordingly. This is important because different magazines require different things. Some have a minimum number of cartoons that you have to meet; many list things that they are looking for as well as things that they do not want to see.

Mail 'em Out

Once you have your submission packet ready, it's time to send them in. Most publications ask that you send in copies of your originals. Just make sure that you send them in on decent quality paper – not the thin paper most public libraries use. Each packet will require two manila envelopes: one for the packet itself, and another that you will put your own address and postage on. This is commonly called the SASE (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and is a courtesy you offer the editor so he / she can conveniently send back your artwork (along with a check for any they decided to buy!). Do not worry about any kind of cover letter – they know what a submission packet is for, and your cartons will speak for themselves.

Once you've sent the packet in, it's time to get started on the next set of submissions. Keep doing this week after week and you'll always get that first sale!

Jungle Party Theme – Go Tarzan Wild While Planning Your Jungle Theme Party!

Jungle party themes are one of the most fun party ideas to plan, organize and attend. Whether it is a birthday party theme, special occasion theme or a Halloween party theme, everyone enjoys being party of a jungle party.

The ideas and party decorations seem endless and easily available; let's look at a few of the possibilities that fit in with the jungle party theme that can be used.

Jungle Party Ideas

  1. One of my favorite things that was used at a party in the past was using some old tan rope (you can buy some new rope from a department store that will work as well), fray the ends of the rope and cut into different lengths. Hang the rope (which will mimic the vines of the jungle) from the ceiling, rain gutters on a house, swing sets or anywhere else you can think of. Get some small stuffed monkeys, a stuffed parrot and medium Tarzan and Jane blow up figurines and hang them from these vines. Instantly this creates that jungle theme feel and your guests will like the effect.
  2. Make a large cupcake birthday cake (they are usually 25 times larger) and decorate it to look like part of the jungle and have a small fondant monkey grabbing the sides with his arms and peaking up the edge of the cupcake so the monkeys face is looking up to the top of the cupcake. It looks like the monkey is trying to climb up the side of the cupcake. Serve this large cupcake to the older guests and have some smaller (regular size) cupcakes decorated with smaller jungle animal figurines on each one. These work out great for the youngger guests at the party and they feel special getting their own.
  3. Download some jungle animal sounds and put them onto a iPod or MP3 player and play them over a music system on a loop so it plays them over and over. This makes the guests feel really into the theme of the party. Also download a copy of the Tarzan Yell and place it through out the animal sounds.
  4. Play some jungle themed movies for the youngger guests, there are many jungle cartoon videos that will keep their interest entertained.
  5. Serve some Jungle Juice that is made up of equal parts of 7-UP or Sprite pop with cranberry juice. Just before serving add one frozen pink lemonade juice and mix together. Add tropical fruit such as bananas, pineapple, kiwi and mixed berries, everyone likes Jungle juice!
  6. Put "caution" or "do not enter" tape in certain areas with signs warning of wild beasts and animals seen roaming in these areas.
  7. Add a safari tour around the house and yard, to make it interesting print off pictures of various animals and hide them in the bushhes, plants and behind fences. See if the guests can find them for prizes, make sure to give hints through the tour as to what animal they should be looking for.

Jungle Party Decorations

  1. Let's face it; everyone likes to hit a pinata. There are pinatas in the shape of a monkey, parrot, tropical palm tree, pineapple and more. If swinging a stick is not an option then opt for the pull string pinatas.
  2. Jungle party costume, it does not matter if you are having a general party or a birthday party. The addition of a couple costumes really sets the theme and mood in action. Birthday costumes are becoming a real popular item, the birthday person gets a costume that fits the theme and then also wears it for Halloween of the same year. It makes it a double whammy plus the theme is celebrated all year. Have one of the hosts dress up as a Safari Guide with the desert hat and make sure they are armed with a toy hand gun or rifle to protect the guests. The guide can really have a lot of fun with the guests around this theme.
  3. Removable wall decals are also becoming very popular for parties all alike. After the party they can easily be removed and put up in a kid's room for the year. Change it up each year which makes the look and feel for the kid's room very special.
  4. Jungle party kits make contain everything like the plates, cups, utensils and napkins all in one easy package. They are very affordable and make the dreaded clean up time a breeze! Some of them may also contain table or party favors as well, be sure to check them out.
  5. Clump your inside green plants together in corners of the room to play the whole jungle plant theme. This just helps make the party rooms feel more like the jungle, add a rubber snake or two in them to complete the look.
  6. Add some maps of Africa and the Rainforests so the guests can have a look at these countries we usually do not talk about a lot. Point out some of the more popular animals found in the jungle and safari showing your guests where the animals call home.

These are just some ideas and suggestions that you can use in your very own jungle party, there are numerous jungle party supplies available for this theme. So do not be afraid to go jungle wild and enjoy planning this event!

Indications and Contraindications for Laser Therapy

Laser has been used successfully in physical medicine and rehabilitation for more than 30 years in various parts of the world and has begun to increase in popularity in the United States since the FDA has cleared its use for a number of medical indications. Laser treatment involves introducing the energy of light into damaged or injured tissues to promote healing through the stimulation of ATP production and lymphocyte activity among other physiological responses.

In the United States, the FDA has thoroughly evaluated and subsequently cleared a number of laser devices for the treatment of neck and shoulder pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. The FDA has also cleared infrared light, which is light energy with wavelengths longer than visible light, to do the following:

  • increase local blood circulation
  • alleviate minor muscle or joint aches, pain, and/or stiffness
  • relaxation of muscles
  • relieve muscle spasms
  • ease the pain and stiffness of associated with arthritis

Though laser therapy has been used safely and effectively throughout the world in animal research since the 1960’s and safely with humans since the 1970’s, there are precautions with regard to the use of laser and specific instances where laser should not be used.

Only authorized and trained medical professionals should use laser for medical treatment. Since the beam of an infrared laser cannot be detected by the human eye, protective eye wear that is designed for the wavelength being used should be worn to prevent accidental exposure. Infrared light will not usually cause the eye to blink for protect itself. Another precaution relates to the use of laser over growth plates in the bones. Though very few, if any, studies have concluded that the use of laser has any negative effect on growth plates, it is probably wise to avoid using a laser directly over them. Highly reflective jewelry should be removed from the area being treated, and treatment should not be done over or near reflective surfaces. Laser should only be applied to the area to be treated and should not be used over areas where sensation has been compromised, as the patient may not be able sense discomfort if the laser is too intense.

Laser should not be used to irradiate the eyes, over cancerous tumors, within 4 to 6 months of radiation therapy, over hemorrhage, over or near the thyroid or endocrine glands, over a fetus or uterus during pregnancy, in cases where the patient has sensitivity to light, if the patient is using medication that is photosensitive, or with patients that have vascular disease.

Laser use has been proven effective for the treatment of a number of conditions, and may prove to be effective in the treatment of others as the use of laser increases. However, when laser is used caution should be exercised and attention should be paid to the conditions under which laser may be harmful to avoid negative effects.

Advantages Of Steel Frame Kit Homes

Generally, standard kit homes are made from good old timber chemically treated against attacks from termites and mold. Although timber can also withstand the wear and tear of wood through different seasons, this material still remain vulnerable to fire. In contrast, steel frame kit homes are specifically made of steel trusses and wall frames. Because of the material, these homes rarely need maintenance check-ups and repairs. Other advantages to building steel frame houses are expanded in detail in the following discussion.

Steel Frame Buildings as Warehouses for Business

Steel frame kit homes can be used as commercial buildings, such as warehouses to store perishable goods. Wooden frame kit houses also work fine as storage areas, but they’re prone to termites and mold, not to mention a favored nesting place by birds and mice. If you’ve got food in there, then you’d be greatly concerned with the possibility these animals might invade your space any time and steal your goods. As a result, your business gets compromised and you have to spend money on repairs in case the mice gnawed holes or the rafters, walls, and foundation needed another round of anti-termite treatment.

Steel Frame Homes as Secondary Dwellings

These types of kit homes may be constructed as secondary dwellings, such as storage sheds for an extra pantry space or for chopped wood, or as storm shelters. According to expert builders, steel frame structures are more well-grounded and durable than timber frame buildings. Homes built with steel in their trusses, rafters, and frames aren’t likely to buckle, divide, distort, rotate, chink, rot or splinter because of climate changes or an incoming storm. Actually, the material is resistant to corrosion, and so, it won’t worsen and age as fast as wood and not in the same way as timber frame houses do.

Reduced Costs in Construction of Steel Frame Houses

Kit homes made of timber often need the hand of professional builders because of the measuring and refining of fittings. In comparison, steel frames are made to make it easy for owner-builders to assemble their house or shed. Whether they use their new building for commerce or for shelter, these kit homes don’t need extra labor during construction. And so, owners may save up to $35,000 in labor costs alone. In addition, they may save further maintenance costs by around $60,000 or more depending on the number of repairs done and the termite treatments needed every six months.

The Many Benefits of a Retractable Cord Reel

If you’re tired of electrical power cords laying all over your home, garage, or office, it’s time you start shopping for a reliable, high-quality extension reel. While there are many types of extension reels available, among the most durable and convenient types to use are retractable reels. Outlined below are some of the most attractive benefits of retractable cord reels, and why these are highly useful for any home or office setting.

Organize electrical cords and extension wires

A retractable cords reel keeps electrical cords in place, especially when not in use. In general, it is used to wind cords, cables, and wires – especially electric cords and extension wires – in one place. There are several types of extension reels, including regular, hind wind, wall mounted, bucket, and retractable reels. There are other similar types as well. Since a retractable cord reel does the winding on its own, organizing all your cords and wires is almost effortless.

Self-stop or self lock features

Since retractable reels are self-winding it’s easy to assume that these are complicated to use. However there are features which keep the cords from winding themselves while you are using them. A self-stop mechanism automatically locks the cords in place so that you can use the wires conveniently and safely. After using the cord, one tug will send the cord winding on its own, keeping the electric wires in an easily accessible but organized place.

Ensure safety

Dangling or scattered electrical cords are a potential hazard, especially if you have small children in your home. Loose wires all over the floor may also cause stumbling accidents. A retractable electric reel that winds the cords and keeps them in place helps you ensure safety and orderliness around your home or office.

Versatile

Many retractable reels are designed to suit a variety of settings. These reels are always handy to have around the home and the office, but they may be useful in vehicles, boats, hospitals, and health care clinics as well. There are models specifically made for medical use, or those designed merely for use indoors. These retractable power cord reels may be mounted on different surfaces, from walls and floors to benches and ceilings.

Electrical cord reels can come in many different types but a retractable cord reel, such as the Coleman Cable Retractable Electrical Light/Power Cord Reel, makes keeping and winding your cords a simple and effortless task each and every time.

Quarter Sawn Wood Furniture VS Plain Sawn

Furniture artisans such as Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Amish used and often preferred the look of quarter sawn woods, especially oak, over any other woods. In oak the quarter sawn pattern exposed is often informally known as "tiger oak", especially when the cut has created that amazing striped effect. Popularized in the Arts and Crafts era by Mission furniture designers, the quarter sawn look is timeless and intriguing.

What then is the difference between plain sawn lumber and quarter sawn? Why does each one present their own beauty and production issues in furniture making?

The various sawing techniques used on the timber will affect and cause a difference in the wood's appearance. The way it is sawn even affects the properties of the tree and eventually its final use. The efficiency of the plain sawing technique means the production yields more. It is much faster and more efficient to plain saw and leaves less waste that can be sold for much less. An important factor furniture makers must consider is that the nature of wood is to expand and contract depending on the grain. Plain sawing timber can typically cause the board to be less stable. Because of wood movement plain sawn wood has some disadvantages. Plain sawn wood, however, can even have a very thoughtful after and interesting pattern to its grain called cathedrals and really can not be recreated by any other method.

A real prize of any furniture craftsmen or collector is in the grains and the ray flecks, of the woods. A tree always display growth rings and rays but the more obvious the rays, the more character is in the wood. Irregular growth rings can actually enhance the character of the rays. The proper cutting technique alone will bring out these other hidden lustrous rays. The nature of the oak is always beautiful and strong but the true beauty, much like in a good diamond cutting, is arguably revealed in higher priced quarter sawn oak. A log is first cut into quarters lengthwise and then each quarter is cut again lengthwise with parallel cuts. These cuts run sort of perpendicular to the tree's natural growth rings. This style of cutting, while less cost effective to produce, has an advantage. Because of the properties of the grain quarter sawn lumber makes it less pre to warping and shrinkage. Plain sawn lumber's grain is in many directions so making it more vulnerable to these two common enemies of wooden furniture. Quarter sawn wood adds a certain stability to furniture. Also, because of the features of quarter sawn boards, furniture makers can glue together boards for large projects and the grain can be matched as if it were seamless. This can make larger high end quality designs a masterpiece of nature and man.

Since cost is a factor in many furniture designs plain sawn boards have been used by many furniture manufacturers for decades since they are less expensive. Depression era furniture is often identified by its plain saw cut woods, or by its slightly more expensive quarter sawn veneers. That said not all veneers mean low end furniture but in many cases it is a cost cutting measure. Like Gustav Stickley, honorary father of American Arts and Crafts Mission furniture, the Amish still carry on the use of quarter sawn white oak with no veneers in their Craftsman style furniture.

How to Write a Business Plan That Works

Key components in and organisation’s success will depend on a great degree on how well you;

  • can gather and interpret information
  • adapt to change
  • manage staff and resources
  • promote your business
  • look after customers and more.

This is where forward planning can help you.

A colleague once told me that ‘even a bad plan is better than no plan at all’. A bad plan at least shows that you have given some thought to the direction you want to go in.

A good plan takes time and effort, especially the first time you do one and many business owners or operators think they don’t have the time, or don’t see the value in it. But believe me… it is worth the time and effort!

It is an opportunity for you to build solid foundations for your business, based on known facts and these allow you to:

  • be very accurate in your plans and future projections.
  • avoid unforeseen pitfalls and crisis situations
  • spend your money and/or other resources in the most effective way
  • stay ahead of the market
  • make the most of every opportunity
  • be pro active and choose your own course rather than be reactive and follow everyone else
  • stop wasting time, effort and resources on inefficient processes and more

Good business planning involves:

  • looking at what you’ve done in the past few years
  • looking at where you are now
  • drawing conclusions from the above two points
  • based on that information determining your objective for the coming year/s
  • setting key strategies to help achieve the objective

Analysis of Past Performance

In this section of a business plan you look at the past year (or two) to take a good look at what worked and what didn’t. Where you came from is every bit as important as where you are going. You need to look at:

  • What promotional activities did you run– for example did you have any discount deals, special offers etc?
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • Why did the activities work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • Advertising campaigns
  • (again) What worked? What didn’t?
  • Why did the campaigns work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • What mediums did you use? (ie Newspapers, magazines, radio. List the actual companies you used as you may have used a number of different ones.)
  • How much did you spend on them?
  • Which ones generated enquiries and which ones didn’t?
  • Did you keep track of the enquiries, if so, what were the results?

Keeping statistics on where enquiries come from can help you to use your advertising budget in the most effective way. There’s no point in spending a lot of money on advertising on television, for example, if most of your enquiries come from newspaper ads or word of mouth. Asking customers where they heard about you and keeping a record is the best way of determining advertising effectiveness.

  • Were there any noticeable or unusual increases or decreases in your business? If so, why did they happen?
  • Were the increases/decreases at any particular time of the year, or did they affect any particular product or service. If so why? Do a detailed analysis of product and service sales. How many of each individual product or service did you sell? Break these figures up by month (as shown in the graph above) as this will, again, show up regular high and low periods which will then allow you to forward plan. For example in high sales periods you know that you will have to order more stock and put on more staff whereas in low demand periods you order less. You can plan for these peaks and troughs in advance… because you have statistically shown that they are coming. An example of a detailed sales analysis is shown on page 15.
  • Did your competitors do anything that impacted on your business? If so, what was it?
  • How did it affect you?
  • Are they likely to do it again?
  • What did you (or could you) do about it?
  • Budgets – income and expenses. This is extremely important and we will look at this in detail later in the document. Over the years these statistics will build an extremely accurate picture of your expenditure habits and sales that will show trends. With this information you can anticipate what is going to happen and proactively avoid any pitfalls or take advantage of upcoming opportunities. You can forecast – with a fairly high degree of accuracy – how much you will earn and spend in the coming year. While you might have an accountant to look after the “book keeping” for you, it is essential that you know exactly where your money is being spent and what your income is made up of.

The answers to these and any other questions relevant to your particular industry and business will give you a solid base upon which to build your plans for the future. Knowing how you got to where you are now can show you where you went right… and where you went wrong and gives a clear

Conclusions

Looking at the above information – what conclusions can you draw? For example:

  • What will you do again next year and why?
  • What won’t you do again next year and why?
  • What will you do differently and why?
  • Were there any lessons to be learned?
  • What were they?
  • Did you spend money on areas that were unsuccessful / unsuccessful?
  • How much?
  • Was this money well spent? Why / why not?
  • Which products sold well / not well?
  • Will you expand your product line?
  • Are there any products you should discontinue?

Overview of Current Situation

It is very important to have a firm grasp of your current business environment. This is where you look at what is happening around you right now. Things that are happening that could potentially have an impact on your business. This will:

  • give you a clear idea of any issues that might get in the way of your plans in the foreseeable future
  • give you the opportunity and the time to take proactive action on any of these issues. This is much better than having to “react” to a change or problem that you didn’t anticipate.

It’s like having a high powered torch in a tunnel as opposed to a match!

A good overview of your current situation will involve looking at:

  • the business environment in which you are operating
  • your strong and weak points
  • what your competitors are doing.

Business Environment Analysis

What exactly does “business environment” mean?

At its widest view point it can mean the sum total of a number of external and internal factors that affect you and the organisation you work for.

External factors could include such things as:

  • Political issues. The stability of the Government can have a dramatic affect on the country’s or state’s economy.
  • Legislative issues. New legislation can have an impact on your particular industry.
  • Economic Trends. Are people spending money? What are they spending it on and so forth.
  • Social Trends. What’s in.. what’s not? Safety & security issues as well as environmental protection issues etc are considered here.
  • Competitors. What is your competition doing and how does that affect your business?
  • Technology. This is an area that is constantly changing and can have quite an impact on the way business is done.

Also known as a PLESCT Analysis this is a thorough look at the world around you and the influences various issues may have upon your customers, suppliers and therefore your business. Doing this type of research means that you should not be caught unawares by new legislation, trends, changes or advancements. PLESCT stands for: Political, Legislative, Economic, Social, Competitor and Technology and looks at each of these sectors and how they may affect you positively – or negatively .

Doing a PLESCT Analysis

Some of the issues to consider when doing this analysis can include such things as:

Political issues. Here you should look at the general political stability of the country or state.

  • Is there an election due? People get nervous around election times and are cautious about spending / investing their money
  • Has there just been an election? In which case is the new government likely to make changes to the status quo – and if so, how will this affect you?
  • International economic and social environment – how stable is the situation?

and so on….

For example changes in government often have an impact on businesses dealing with health, education and employment as existing programs are often changed or discontinued after an election, or new programs are introduced. International economic crises often have a big impact on our own market as does the increasing threat of terrorism or conflict situations.

Legislative issues

  • Have any new legislations been passed / or amended that affect your industry?
  • If so, what will you have to do to comply with them? How will these changes affect:
  • staff?
  • resources?
  • policies and procedures?
  • costs?
  • Do you need to obtain any licenses or permits?

For example all staff working in the childcare industry, or dealing with under 18’s, must have a Blue Card, while industries dealing with tobacco or alcohol have very strict licensing laws.

Economic issues and trends

  • What is the current economic climate?
  • Does the current international climate have an effect on us?
  • Are people spending more / less money?
  • What are they spending it on?
  • Are they likely to spend it on your product or service?

For example, the cost of living is currently rising faster than wages – things such as petrol prices and interest rates are increasing rapidly and people are thinking twice about spending their hard earned money.

Social issues and trends

  • People will often be influenced in their purchase decisions by “what’s IN”, or may wish to keep pace with friends
  • Environmental issues such as water saving, conserving energy and so on can have an impact on people’s purchasing decisions and so need to be considered
  • Cultural issues also need to be considered – people from different countries and backgrounds have views and customs that may dictate how they make their purchasing decisions.

Competitor information – This is a very important part of your business environment analysis – you need to know as much as you can about your competitors. Questions you need to ask are:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • How big are they (compared to you)?
  • Do they have any affiliations?
  • What are their promotional activities?
  • How do they advertise?
  • What do they advertise?
  • How does their product range compare to yours?
  • How do their prices compare to yours?
  • How does their service compare to yours?
  • What impact do they have on your business?

The answers to these questions will give you an overview of how you compare to them and what you can do to improve, and therefore win extra business.

If practical, a product/price comparison grid is an excellent way of keeping an eye on how you are faring against them.

It’s also a good idea to also do a SWOT Analysis on your main competitors (next section) – you need to be able to:

  • counter their strengths
  • take advantage of their weaknesses
  • take advantage of the same opportunities and
  • maximise their threats.

Technology –

  • Is there any new technology available that will have an impact on the way you do business?
  • Is it viable for you to adopt this new technology from a cost point of view?
  • Can you afford not to adopt this new technology from an efficiency point of view?
  • What impact does the internet and electronic means of communication have on your business?

Internal influences also need to be taken into considerations and could include:

  • The overall economic state of your business. Is it doing well or not?
  • Change of ownership or management of the business. This could have a big affect on the internal workings of the company and the company morale.
  • Change of direction for the business. Are you offering new services or products?
  • Updating or upgrading of the business. New premises, new equipment etc.
  • Down or Upsizing. Are you laying off staff or hiring more?

Looking at the PLESCT Analysis and your internal influences in detail will give you a firm understanding of what is going on around you, and will help you:

  • avoid unpleasant surprises that could be costly and damaging to your business
  • stay a step ahead of your competitors
  • help you take advantage of new opportunities quickly
  • minimise the impact of negative trends…..

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis allows you to have a deep down, honest look at your organisation in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to look at ways to make you stronger.

Strengths

What are your organisations strong points? For example:

  • Do you have a great location?
  • Is it easily accessible?
  • Is it a long established company?
  • Does it have an excellent reputation?
  • Does if offer anything unique?
  • Do you have a lot of repeat business?
  • Are your prices the best?
  • Are you a market leader?

and so on.

Weaknesses

What are your organisations weaknesses? For example:

  • Is it a newly established business and not yet well known
  • Is the infrastructure in the surrounding area poor making it difficult for customers to get to you?
  • Are there any problems with suppliers or staff?

and so on. A point to remember is that not all weaknesses are negative and could be viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Opportunities

What opportunities are there that you could take advantage of? For example:

  • New legislation opening new markets to you
  • New housing or business developments bringing new customers into your area
  • New technology that will make your production or processes more efficient
  • Introduction of new product or service lines that will increase revenue

and so on.

Threats

What things could stop you from achieving your goals? For example:

  • A new competitor in the marketplace
  • A change in legislation that will mean major changes to your business practices.
  • Re-zoning of your area or roadways changing and taking customers away from their current routes (where you are located)

and so on.

Conclusion:

When looking at your SWOT Analysis what areas need to be addressed?

  • Strengths – what can you do to capitalise or maximise on them?
  • Weaknesses – what can you do to minimise or negate their impact. Which of them can be turned around to become a strength?
  • Opportunities – what do you need to do to take advantage of these opportunities? How can you ensure you get your slice of this opportunity?
  • Threats – what can you do to avoid or minimise the impact of the threat?

The answers to these questions will form part of your business plan.

Objective for Next Year

Having looked at your past analysis and current business situation you should now have a solid grasp of your business and where it needs to go to remain successful. Your endeavours to date will now give you a clear direction – or objectives – to aim for in the next one to three years.

One overall objective will have a number of Key Strategies – each of which will, in turn, have a set of tactics designed to help achieve each strategy and therefore the ultimate goal.

  • Your objective is WHERE you want to be in a given period of time (ideally 1 – 3 years0
  • Your Key Strategies are WHAT you need to do to achieve the objective and
  • Your Tactics are HOW you are going to go about actually making it work

Key Strategies

The objective, as stated, is where you want to be. The key strategies are the issues you need to address in order to achieve the objective; WHAT needs to happen. For example if your objective is to increase your revenue by 10% over the previous year, then typical key strategies could be:

  1. Introduce a new product range to fill an identified market need
  2. Decrease expenditure by 15%
  3. Increase your customer base by 10%

All of which would work towards achieving the overall objective.

Obviously strategies will be determined by your own business and industry needs, so think about the things you need to do to achieve your goal.

Tactics

Each strategy will have a series of tactics (or steps) that need to be taken to make that strategy work. As mentioned, these will outline HOW you will go about each strategy. For example.

Key Stratey 2: Decrease expenditure by 15%

2.1 – Review all current suppliers to ensure we are getting the best product for the best price

  • 2.1.1 Offer tender opportunitities to new suppliers
  • 2.1.2 Research new suppliers via web, phone calls etc
  • 2.1.3 Review all suppliers on an annual basis.

2.2 – Introduce new procedures regarding unnecessary printing of emails and other documents to decrease amount of paper being used

2.3 – Re-use single sided documents as scrap paper / memo pads to save paper

2.4 – All electrical equipment and lights to be turned off when not in use

2.5 – Review discounting policy and determine if this could be replaced in a more cost effective manner

2.6 – Review consumable usages

and so on.

Once again, the tactics will depend entirely on what strategies you need to fulfil and should be as detailed as possible. These tactics will form part of your action plan. If there is a cost involved, or extra resources, then detail them here.

Sales Forecast for Next Year

Forecasting is neither as scary nor as complicated as it sounds – if you keep accurate sales records!

Sales forecasting means making an “educated” guess on how much revenue you will earn in the coming year and for this reason accurate records are essential and indispensable. You need to know where your sales came from – by product or service and even by month or week of sale. This may seem overkill but eventually this data will give you a complete and detailed picture of exactly how your business is performing. For example spikes (up or down) in sales figures don’t happen for no reason – detailed statistics can show up these spikes which might be due to such things as:

  • Promotional or advertising campaigns
  • New trends
  • New products
  • Competitor initiatives
  • Seasonal fluctuations
  • Economic climates and so on….

For example – the Tourism Industry is very much affected by high and low seasons. They usually know well in advance when demand will increase or decrease. Travelling to Europe in their winter is low season and demand is not as high as going in their spring or summer time. Knowing this tourism operators can plan for these periods by developing specific products designed to increase sales and take advantage of increased demand in high season. They can also accurately forecast revenue because they have a solid knowledge of who their customers are and when they travel on a month by month basis.

The same may well apply to your own industry.

A review of past years sales statistics can give you an excellent idea of how your sales happen on a month by month basis. You can read the trends like a story – allowing you to estimate with a large degree of accuracy what sales you can expect to make and know how much you will need to spend in the next year.

But what good does all this do you in forecasting? When you have collected this data for a number of years you can start to build up a picture of:

  • peaks and troughs in your sales
  • popular and less popular products,
  • popular times of the year
  • effects of advertising and/or promotional campaigns and so on

Sales figures rarely drop (or increase) for no good reason.. the trick is to be aware of what is going on around you so that you know why increases or decreases happen. This is where your PLESCT and SWOT prove valuable.

Armed with all this accurate and well researched information you should be able to make a reasonably accurate prediction on how many of each product you will sell in the coming year.

Action Plan

Points for your action plan will come from the tactics. By putting them into an actual action plan, detailing what needs to be done, by whom and by when, you can ensure that each task (or tactic) is done on time and will therefore take you that step closer to reaching your objective.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is basically it!

By following these logical steps you can:

  • gain a greater awareness of the environment in which you operate
  • avoid major pitfalls that may come your way
  • realise your strengths
  • overcome weak points
  • take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you and much more

Templates for building a better business plan can be found on www.lptraining.com.au

How Much Do Builders Make on a House?

After all is said and done, how much does your builder walk away with?

Do you wonder how a builder decides what to charge for a new home? You know that you pay for the lumber, carpet, fixtures and all the details, but how is the final price determined?

Buying a home requires a lot of money. The cost is based on many different factors, including the construction, land and the marketing and administrative costs for the builder. And of course, the net profit.

Does it sound any easier to understand?

Most builders will charge in a similar way. The construction of the house will account for approximately 50% of the base price of the home.

There are several costs within the construction factor. There are direct costs, which are the sticks and bricks. These are all of the materials that go into the home, from the lumber to concrete and windows to carpet.

The work is usually mostly provided by subcontractors hired by the builder.

Then there are construction labor costs. These are the costs associated with work performed by the builder’s employees. These go along with the indirect costs, which are usually performed by the builder’s employees. They include the correction work that is done to fix any mistakes by subcontractors.

You will also be charged the construction interest on the home. To finance the purchase of the lot and the cost of construction before you pay the builder, the builder takes out a bank loan. The cost of the loan, including all interest and fees, will be figured into the base price you pay.

The actual cost of the lot can be between 25% and 40% of the base price. With the cost of land constantly going up, especially near metro areas, the lot portion has increased over the years. Added to your land costs are any off-site improvements, such as water and sewer lines, street developments, curbing and paving and driveways and sidewalks.

Many builders offer a discount on the base price, often by paying for points at settlement, to encourage first-time buyers. A discounted home will often have construction costs that equal 50%, lot costs of 30%, a discount of 3% and a 17% gross profit.

Out of the gross profit, the builder deducts administrative costs, marketing costs and taxes.

If you choose options, you could add 10% to 30% to the base price.

Surprisingly, builders walk away with less profit than you would expect. Net profits on the sale of a home often ranges from 2% to 6%. In general, the larger the home, the higher the net.

You can easily find out the net profits for builders that are publicly traded companies. You simply have to read their annual reports.

When you are contemplating the building of a home, sometimes you should shop around a bit. Compare the costs for similar homes offered by different builders. Ask the builder how much of the cost is construction. They may or may not tell you. But it never hurts to ask. You can use this figure to estimate the rest of the costs.

Fix Error 193 0xc1 in Windows 7, Vista and XP

While installing or repairing “On Demand” features in Microsoft Office suite, error 193 0xc1 may occur in Windows 7, Vista and Windows XP. It may also occur while installing Microsoft.NET Framework or starting related services on your computer. In this article you will find steps which are helpful to fix this problem at ease.

First of all, let us understand the actual causes behind error 193 0xc1 in Windows 7, Vista and XP. The factors responsible for this error are as under:

1. Corrupted Ose.exe File

2. Wrong registry settings

3. Corruption in program files

4. Lack of Free Disk Space

5. Problems with Computer Services

Corrupted Ose.exe File

Error 193 0xc1 may appear if the file ‘ose.exe’ is not present in the installation directory or it has become corrupted. Replacing this file may solve the problem.

1. Insert Microsoft Office installation disc.

2. Open My Computer, open CD/ DVD Drive location.

3. Double click to open the following directory:

FilesSetup

4. Select the file Ose.exe and click Edit | Copy.

5. Click Back and open the following directory:

C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedSource Engine

6. Click Edit | Paste.

Wrong Settings of Registry

Microsoft Office stores installation related configurations in your system’s registry. If some of these registry settings are corrupted, it may result in error 193 0xc1 in Windows 7, Vista and XP.

1. Download a Registry Cleaner software.

2. Install and run the downloaded program on your computer.

Corruption in Program Files

For running the instances of Microsoft Office suite, the installation files must be unmodified. Corrupted installation files often lead to Windows error 193 0xc1.

1. Click Start| Control Panel.

2. Click Programs | Uninstall a Program.

3. Select Microsoft Office from the list of installed programs and click Uninstall button.

4. Select Repair the installation, click Next button.

5. Follow the on screen instructions.

Lack of Free Disk Space

Lack of free disk space for performing Microsoft Office setup operations can result in error 193 0xc1. Using System Cleaner application, clean the disk space to solve your problem. Otherwise use the Disk CleanUp tool by doing the steps provided below:

1. Click Start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Disk CleanUp.

2. Select the system drive and press OK.

3. Follow the instructions on your screen.

Problems with Services

You also need to fix computer services to get rid of the error in question. The steps required are as under:

1. Click Start, type Services.msc and press ENTER.

2. Right click and select Properties for the following two services:

AudioEndpointBuilder, Multimedia Class Scheduler

3. Under General tab, note down the Path to Executable.

4. Click OK when done.

5. Now, click Start, type RegEdit and press ENTER.

6. Locate the following registry location:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServices

7. First, click MMCSS key and double click the ImagePath string. Replace the value with the Path to Executable that you just noted down in the Step 3.

8. Do the same for AudioEndPointBuilder. Click it, double click the ImagePath string and replace the value with the Path to Executable you have noted down.

9. Close Registry Editor.

Lumbar Multifidus Muscle: Key to Chronic Lower Back Pain?

A growing amount of research indicates that the lumbar multifidus muscle may be the key to many instances of chronic lower back pain.

The multifidus muscle stretches from the sacrum to the bottom of the skull and runs along the spine. Its thickest part is located in the lower back. Although relatively thin, this muscle is largely responsible for the alignment and stability of the spine; some estimate it is responsible for 2 / 3rds of spinal stability. Its superior layer supports alignment, while the defect layer is responsible for stabilization. By supporting the spine, the muscle takes undue pressure off spinal discs.

The multifidus mainly comes into play when bending backward, bending sideways and turning to one side. The muscle can become interrupted during these actions if the position is held for too long, if you are carrying an object or if the muscle is weak. Sports are a common reason for multifidus injury.

After any muscle is injured, it needs to be rested for a day or two to recover. What researchers are now considering is the possibility that the multifidus atrophies quickly after injury, meaning that those who do not take steps to rebuild the muscle post-injury are susceptible to recurrent back pain. The quick atrophy may be caused by the fact that the body readjusts posture and movement patterns to avoid pain.

A 2009 study by MacDonald et al thought to answer why 34% of people who experience lower back pain experience recurrence. They compared the multifidus muscle activity of healthy patients with those who have recurrent pain. The muscle normally activates before it is needed in order to prepare the spine. In the group with lower back pain, the muscle engaged later than in the healthy group. This lack of spinal support when needed increases the risk of further injury and pain.

The study can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19186001 .

Rebuilding the Multifidus

The loss of muscle size and strength due to atrophy combined with delayed activation may be liable for chronic lower back pain in many individuals. Any type of back pain or injury can lead to disuse of the multifidus, so strengthening this and other core muscles is a sound component of any back pain recovery plan.

The back bridge exercise engages the multifidus most. This exercise also engages the deep abdominal and gluteal muscles. The best way to prevent multifidus strain in the future, along with practicing proper body mechanics, is to develop the core muscle group as a whole; this will provide support to the muscle and ensure it is not compensating for other, makerer ones. See the Mayo Clinic's slideshow of core workouts at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/core-strength/SM00047 . If your back pain is severe, you should consult a physical therapist to guide you through exercises that do not exacerbate your pain.

If you suffer chronic lower back pain, then your body has adapted to that pain by changing its movement patterns. In this case, less short-term pain means more long-term pain. A weak multifidus muscle leaves your spinal receptible to injury. Conditioning this and other core muscles could be the answer to your pain.

Foam Insulation Is Green Insulation

These days, everyone's building green. There are lots of ways to build that are both friendly to the environment, and more energy efficient than traditional building techniques. These not only do right by planet earth; they also save you money.

Insulation is a major concern in house building. Using green materials to isolate your house is more efficient and healthier than potentially potentially toxic substances. Green is the way to go!

Done With That Newspaper?

If you want to insulate your house with green materials, there are several green products available. One of the most common is fiber insulation, which is recycled paper that is used as to insulate your home. This is not fiberglass, which some studies have shown to be bad for your lungs.

Most of the paper for fiber insulation comes from newspapers, but cardboard and other paper materials are used as well. This material is just as effective, if not better, than traditional materials.

Fiber insulation is often referred to as "loose fill." Bags of loose fill, or recycled paper, are blown into the spaces between walls and complected until it is solid. This technique is always being improved, and in the future it may be an even more efficient means of keeping your house insulated. It's also a good way to re-use those Sunday papers.

Good Old Fashioned Cotton

What happens to all those clothes that you can not hand-me-down anymore? Some of it is used to insulate houses. Recycled cotton, a material that has been used for centuries to keep warm, is a great way of insulating your house.

Recycled cotton is very energy efficient. The process of getting the cotton ready for insulation takes less energy than most other recycling processes. It is blown into the area between the walls and packed there. This is a particularly good choice for those who live in colder climates.

Expanding Spray Foam

By far, the best and most efficient green product is polyurethane spray foam insulation. This is a vegetable oil based substance that is sprayed in, and then expanses and hardens. It is the most efficient way of insulating a house because, as it expands, it fills all the cracks and holes completely.

In addition to providing excellent insulation, it is the only way to keep water and moisture completely out of your home. It is effective at keeping out pests as well, and is naturally fire resistant unlike other kinds of insulation.

Spray foam is environmentally friendly and saves homeowners anywhere from 20% to 40% of their utility bill every month, depending on where they live. This saves you money, and it also helps save the planet.

You may also be surprised to know that using green products are almost always cheaper than installing insulation the old fashioned way. And of course, it saves you money in the long run by providing superior energy efficiency.

Look into green insulation products today, whether you are building a home or thinking about remodeling and going green.

Why You Should Not Worry About Termites on Your Home

To explain why I believe you should not worry about termites eating your home first I should explain what a termite is. A termite is an insect with six legs, head, thorax, and abdomen. On the head are two antennae made up of many bead-like segments. Also, on the head are mandibles that bite wood, as well as black compound eyes which are usually present. Termite wings if present are attached to each of the last to segments of the thorax. When an infected piece of wood is broken open, one observes what appear to be a white maggot with legs. This is the blind or almost blind "worker" termite. Since the outer covering is thinner than most insects, it is less effective in preserving moisture and must avoid exposure to the sun. This is why subterranean termites usually live in underground colonies where they are able to obtain adequate water or in areas of your home where excess moisture is present. Compared to many other insects termites are very fragile and they are not able to move their colonies which makes them easier to control than many other insects.

Termites take a long time to develop into a colony large enough to do any real damage to your home. In the few years they require to grow a colony of sufficient size it is likely you will notice signs of excessive moisture or signs of the termites before they are able to do any structural significant damage.

Avoiding common situations that can create moisture problems on your home will reduce the chances of getting termites, reduce the damage they can cause, and make them easier to notice if they occur. Maintaining proper drainage and landscape elevation around your home is usually a simple matter of not adding to much soil or mulch to your beds and lawn. Making sure you have a good chimney cap and properly sealed windows and doors will help to keep your walls drier and therefore less attractive to termites.

New construction techniques and materials have reduced the incidence and impact of termites. The use of treated wood in decks, fencing, and framing along with the use of non-wood type siding and roofing has significantly reduced the food source for termites around homes. Improved ground preparation and foundation building procedures like using sealants around penetrations has made it more difficult for subterranean termites to enter homes. Cleaner job sites and more thorough foundation form board removal (because of higher wood costs) has also had a negative effect on the termite's ability to get started on a typical home. Leaking shower stalls once a very common source of moisture and therefore termite problems have all but disappeared.

Subterranean termites are much easier to prevent and eliminate with the advanced pesticides now available. The effectiveness of TERMIDOR (available to all pest control professionals) is well documented by state regulatory agencies and the ongoing tests to determine how long it lasts keep yielding data data every year. Although it is an expensive chemical it has reduced treatment costs by essentially eliminating retreatments.

Drywood termites, although harder to find in a home, are a smaller threat to the structure because the colony sizes are much smaller and have a limited life span. All the same factors working against subterranean termites are having a negative effect on the drywood termites. Treatment innovations like directed heating, expanding foam injection, and baiting have reduced treatment cost and improved treatment effectiveness.

James Stuart, BA in Business sciences Sam Houston State university 1980, Certified Applicant since 1974. Personally treated over 1000 homes since 1970. Personally Conduced over 2000 termite inspections. Attended hundreds of Continuing education courses. Participated in the training of hundreds of technicians currently working for pest control companies in the greater Houston.

Subcontract Assembly

There are many stages during the manufacture of a product: sourcing, parts manufacturing, etc. But for products complied with many different parts and components, the final stage (or penalty stage if to be tested before sale) is the assembly. Assembly lines are some of the most important procedures in the manufacturing industry, and some are so complex that only a few Subcontract Assembly Assembly has the space and means to tackle them.

Assembly lines were, in fact, not simply 'thought-up' or 'invented' by one individual, but rather evolved over the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A famous example of an assembly line is that of the Ford Model-T: considered to today the first full mass-production assembly line. Ford realized that to really produce a car (still a novel item at that time) they would have to be able to assemble them extremely quickly. So, instead assembling each car individually, they devised a huge assembly line: so that whilst one car was having the chassis bolted, another was having the glass installed, and another was having the wheels put on, while another was being painted etc. This paved the way for modern high-production assembly.

Assembly lines remain very similar today as they were in the time of Henry Ford. However, a new factor in assembly is the introduction of robots, commonly found in many large-scale production facilities across the globe. These are of an advantage to producers as they require less man-power, yet offer much higher precision and consistency, despite higher initial costs.

Entrepreneurs who require assembly services for a product should consult a subcontract assembly specialist. These have wide experiences in the field of assembly, and know how to squeeze maximum efficiency out of the assembly process for those on a tight budget. Please click below for more information on them.