Why You Need to Shock Your Pool

Shocking your pool is Step 2 in good pool care.

Shocking is as important as regular sanitizing with chlorine (step 1) and adding algaecide (step 3). All pools need to be parked on a regular, weekly or bi-weekly basis. Period.

Shocking your pool weekly helps rid the pool of organic & organic wastes such as sweat, cosmetics, suntan lotions, body oils, urine, contaminants brought in by rain or wind, bird droppings (most pools are outside, exposed to the surrounding air) dead bugs and small animals that "visit" your pool or even make up water. Proper shocking helps ensure that the sanitizer (chlorine) can concentrate on killing bacteria & algae rather than having to fight these other foreign materials.

When a pool is properly shocked, the pool stays cleaner, more sparkling, is less sooner to algae blooms and cloudy water. An added bonus is that you will use LESS chlorine over the course of the average swimming season. Shocking should be done at least every week or 2 weeks from pool opening to pool closing depending on use & current conditions.

Even pools using other sanitizing systems such as bromine, ionizers, salt generators (chlorine is still being produced), biguanides such as Arch Chemical Baquacil® or BioGuard® Soft Swim® must use the appropriate shock treatments to oxidize swimmer and environmental wastes on a regular , routine basis following the particular manufacturer's instructions.

But there's more to it! Are you shocking, trying to reach "break-point" chlorination or curing a chlorine demand? Let's take a closer look.

Regular Shocking.

"Regular Shocking" is just that. The pool is otherwise clean & clear. Algae is under control. There is no haze to the water. When you test the water (done twice each week), the Total Chlorine is the same as the Free Available Chlorine (FAC) – when using a DPD test kit. There are no Chloramines (chlorine combined with swimmer and organic waste) present.

Regular shocking should be done once every one to 2 weeks from the time you open the pool until closing or winterizing.

Regular shocking oxidizes swimmer and organic wastes that accumulate in the pool water over time. These wastes include sweat, urine, lotions, cosmetics, "stuff" that is introduced from the wind & rain. More recently, there is a concern for "stuff" or wastes that are bought in from normal "top offs" of municipal (tap) water or well water.

These wastes contribute to red, irritated eyes, hazy water, algae growth, and water that smells like it has "too much" chlorine. Actually there is not enough FAC. Shocking helps to "re-chlorinate" the chlorine. A properly treated chlorine pool should smell fresh and be sparkling in appearance.

Mono-persulfate shocks are OK to use from time to time to oxidize wastes, but chlorine shocks such as Cal-hypo or lithium are the preferred product. Liquid shocks? Sorry, but they are just not strong enough (11% versus about 50% available chlorine) to do a thorough job. Household bleach? Save it for the clothes in the laundry! Would you use pool chemicals to wash your clothes?

Typical doses: BioGuard® Burn Out® Extreme: 1 bag per 10,000 gallons (or any part of) every week or 2 weeks depending on weather and usage. BioGuard® Burn Out® 35: 1 bag per 6,000 gallons (or any part of) every week or 2 depending on weather and usage.

"Break-point" or super-chlorination.

The need for "break-point" or super chlorination comes when there is a build-up of chloramines or combined chlorine in the pool water. Chloramines are a combination of chlorine and usually nitrogen. When the chloramine situation becomes "bad" it is because hydrogen has combined with the nitrogen to form ammonia. This is also the preferred treatment for algae blooms and cloudy water.

The more chloramines present, the more dull the water becomes. The pool does not sparkle as it should. The added nitrogen becomes food for algae. The water smells like there's too much chlorine, but the actual FAC (the chlorine that is killing bacteria) is low or maybe even zero!

Here's an example: The total amount of chlorine in the pool is 2.0 ppm but the FAC is 1.0. That means there is 1.0 ppm of chloramines. Those chloramines must be completely destroyed or they will produce MORE chloramines and the situation will worsen. When you are treating chloramines, it's an "all or nothing" proposition.

In cases of very high chloramines, it is often a good idea to use a mono-persulfate shock (MPS) which will break up most if not all of these nitrogen bonds without adding more chlorine to the pool. This is good to do in cases where the FAC is over 1.0 ppm.

If your pool has less than 1.0 ppm FAC and lots of chloramines, follow that MPS shock with a solid chlorine shock of Cal-hypo or lithium shock. about a day later. Retest after 2 – 3 days for an accurate chlorine reading (MPS shocks will distort the actual chlorine for a brief time).

To reach break point, 10 times the amount of chloramines present must be reached to destroy the chloramines. In the example above, you would need to reach 10 ppm of FAC to reach break-point! So, a 10,000 gallon swimming pool with 1.0 ppm combined chlorine will require 4 (round numbers) lbs. of Calcium hypochlorite shock to reach breakpoint chlorination (or about 6 lbs. of Lithium hypochlorite).

Typical doses: At least Double or Triple the amount of regular shocking.

Chlorine Demand.

These are the typical symptoms if your pool has a chlorine demand problem: an inability to hold or maintain a normal Free Available Chlorine residual (1.0 ppm or higher) over several days, cloudy or hazy water, visible algae that just will not clear up . Behind the scenes, there are most likely chloramines that are combining and re-combining due to exceptional shock treatments. When "break-point" is not reached, chloramines recombine with a vengeance & become more difficult to destroy. Mono-chloramines can become dichloramines which, when allowed to worsen become trichloramines (used in tear gas!).

Treating a chlorine demand is similar to break-point chlorination except that the stakes are higher. Treatment must be complete and done at ONE time. It's like long-jumping the Grand Canyon; you must do it in one jump. You can not be short!

Most folks do not know that their pool has a chlorine demand problem until they have shocked & shocked & shocked but nothing has happened. The water will not clear. The algae persists. A solid chlorine level is almost impossible to maintain. Even a clear pool can have a chlorine demand. If the pool can not hold chlorine, yet the water balance (pH, total alkalinity & calcium hardness) is good and proper, then a chlorine demand most likely exists.

The best way to determine a chlorine demand is to perform a chlorine demand test. The BioGuard® Accu-Demand 30 is the best method available for testing. The test takes about one hour and is very accurate. In extreme cases, the test may call for shocking the pool with up to 50 lbs of shock in a 20,000 gallon pool. Do not be "shocked"! Sometimes, that is what's needed. There's no getting around it.

Here's another analogy: Let's say you have a leaky roof. The house is over 50 years old and there are already 2 layers of shingles on the roof. You want to save money by not removing the old layers so you insist that the roofing contractor (who knows what he's doing) NOT remove the old curled up shingles and simply install the new shingles right on top of the old. You sign the papers that YOU are responsible for the roof and its leaking, not the contractor. What happens with the first serious rainfall? The roof fails and it leaks. What must be done to correct the situation? Start from scratch! Rip everything off and start again.

The good news is once the chlorine demand is met., It is met. The pool will normally stay in great condition for weeks or months on end. But remember to shock the pool weekly or you could be back to a break-point or chlorine demand situation.

When shocking your pool, always …

  1. Use the full dose or amount of shock needed. Do not skimp!
  2. Do not guess the amount of shock needed. Know your pool's actual gallonage & calculate properly. For example, if you think you have a 16×32 foot inground pool with a 6 ft deep end, but the pool is actually 18×36 with an 8 ft deep end, the gallonage is going to differ by several thousand gallons and you will not reach break- point.
  3. Do not use the pool until the chlorine level comes back down to 3.0 ppm or less.
  4. Make sure that the filter system is operating properly.
  5. Remove the solar blanket or automatic pool cover to allow oxidized wastes to "gas off" and away from the pool water.
  6. Shock the pool the evening before a party and immediately after the party to keep sparkling, clear water. In this case a slightly higher chlorine level will help bathers with added protection from bacteria.
  7. Shock the pool after heavy rain storms.
  8. Be sure to rinse out and properly dispose of empty shock bags or bottles or containers. Do not reuse them.
  9. Brush the pool to help distribute the chlorine to all levels of the pool water.
  10. Indoor pools should have plenty of good ventilation to properly draw out contaminants that have gassed-off during the shocking or super-chlorinating process. Without good ventilation, waste gases will literally hit the ceiling and fall back into the pool.
  11. Follow all chemical label instructions.

Shock regularly, prevent problems. It's that simple.

Challenges for a Mobile App Development Company

India stands second in the world, in the number of active mobile phones users. The number of people who own and use cell phones continues to grow. 1 billion Smartphone users are expected to sell in the coming year, doubling that of the number of PCs. With over 10 billion mobile Internet devices expected to be in use by 2016 which is 1.4 device per person on the planet. According to some recent research Moms spend 53 percent of their app-usage time playing games with Android phones. On iPads, that's 48 percent of their app time, and on iPhones, 31 percent. "Moms are gamers, too." So, you can certainly experience its explosive growth.

But it is not as green as it appears. Starting and establishing a mobile app development business is a hard nut to crack. Few challenges faced by start-up companies are:

  • Resource restraint: It's not that corporations do not have access to in-house programming talent-they usually do. However, most of that talent is going to have experience on the Windows side; not necessarily on popular mobile platforms like Android and iOS. Windows can and should be a part of any mobile platform discussions. However, it's only a part and there's got to be work done on Android and iOS. But, let's be honest. If you're a hotshot 27-year old mobile programmer, are you going to look for work inside a corporation's in-house app development team? Or are you going to try and join one of the seemingly never-ending supplies of mobile startups who seem certain they can make millions with the latest hot app?
  • Security: Every mobile device manufacturer understands the importance of security, and offers accommodations for it. Sometimes different mobile platforms provide varying degrees of support for securing data stored on the device. At the same time, not every mobile application needs the same level of security, and users dislike multiple login to access data on the device itself or back-end data. However, the responsibility for protecting data falls squarely on the application developers' shoulders, so they must incorporate encryption into the application down to the file system level
  • Gathering & Implementation of Ideas: When you start a new business the very first point that matters is objective evaluation. Gathering all ideas. And not just falling in love with those ideas. Doing rigorous study and investigation also matters. Referring experts and then taking a decision. According to a popular business trainer "When you choose to open a business, your chances at success-and satisfaction-are greater if you love the work you do".
  • What is their business model? Do they sell their own apps?
  • Finance: Most people assume that this is an easy ride especially for someone whose father is already a billionaire, whereas, whether it's an investor or your own father he wants to see great projections before he agree to invest in your new business. Whatever kind of business you're setting up – from a one-person operation based at home, to a high-tech manufacturing plant – you need to be clear about how much money you're going to need and where you're going to get it.

Regardless of your challenges, that you'll be facing. There are a few important qualities that may lead you to success:

  • Platform appropriate – Your app should be optimized for a mobile user. Make sure your app is compatible and functional for all brands and devices.
  • User Friendly – Your app needs to look amazing. Even the best app idea could falter if it is not packaged in a fully branded, colorful enticing way. Your app needs to be easy to install, easy to access, and easy to use. Sketch out how you think you'd like your app to work and spend time making it simpler.
  • Memorable & shareable – Your user should be left with a major impression. Use any design, wording, and interface techniques you can to make sure your user never forget their experience. The most successful mobile apps are the ones that are easily shareable. Your app needs to have a feature that rewards users for sharing it with other users.
  • Spontaneous – Any app needs to be accessible for short bursts of user activity. If your app only is good for long, drawn-out sessions of use, it probably will not succeed.
  • Cheap – It's a no-brainer. The cheaper something is, the more users are likely to download it. Try a free version coupled with a full version.
  • Demographic targeted – Know your audience. Not everyone in the world will want your app, so focus on the users who will.
  • Fun – Possibly the most important quality in any app is its level of enjoyment ability. Take the time to entertain your users in addition to whatever your app's primary function is.

How To Build A Rat Rod – From Beginner To Expert

So you have finally decided to build your Rat Rod car and you feel that you know what to do, but if you are smart, you will always be open to suggestions. Knowing the basics will help you get a good start.

For those of you who are new at this, keep it simple. No one wants their project to remain a project, and not a driver. Beginners should save up a bit more money and try to get something that runs and drives. Bodywork and modifications can be done at your leisure, as long as your Rat Rod doesn’t have huge holes in it. Spend more time customizing your Rat Rod than fixing it. Messing with a car when you don’t have the experience is very tough, and although you might have some friends to help, chance are they will not always be there to help you. Don’t get a Rat Rod that has electrical issues or motor problems. It’s most likely that someone has “patched” it up to get it sale-able and now you are stuck with someone else’s headache. Don’t fall in love with a piece of junk. Let your brain choose your new Rat Rod, not your emotions.

For those of you that have been doing this for a while, here are a few tips for you. Keeping the cool factor with Flathead Fords and 392 Chrysler Hemi’s are great. Nothing show a better Rat Rod then with period correct parts arranged and selected in a tasteful manner. Try not to find anything old and rusty and just weld it to the car or bolt it to the motor. Having a unique powered car is cool though. There is nothing wrong with the old reliable Chevy small block, and with all the aftermarket parts out there, you can make it look correct for that era. Big blown motors are not necessary as Rat Rods are not made to be driven at the strip, but if you have the means, you can do it, but like we always say, keep it period correct. Find a blower from the early 40’s or 50’s. Big fancy drum brakes from old Buick’s are popular. Use your imagination and keep it cool.

Whether you are new at this, or are just looking for other ideas for a new build, make a plan, and follow through with it and build the Rat Rod of your dreams.

Is G & G Airsoft Good? A Quick Look at the Guns From G & G Airsoft

With all of the popular brands of airsoft guns on the market it can be difficult to know what brand is good and what brand is bad. One of the more popular brands that is popular right now is G & G. Below I will tell you a little more about the offers from this company.

Is G & G Airsoft Good

The answer is yes they are for a variety of reasons. The nice thing about this company is that they offer guns in a wide range of styles and price range. This means that beginners can buy a lower entry level gun that still performs well and move up when time and money allow them to.

What Are The Popular Series of Airsoft Guns From G & G

One of the more popular series is the combat machines series. These guns are made from thick high impact ABS plastic and cost under $ 175.They come in many variants like the M4 and AK47. Do not let the low price fool you the combat machine series offer high rates of fire and velocities around 350 FPS and can hold their own in any skirmish.

Electric Blow back Models

Another cool option in the combat machine series is the electric blow back models. These offer the same performance of the standard combat machine series but have a air operated blow back bolt that really adds the realism of the gun. These are still priced under $ 200 and are made from primarily high impact ABS plastic

High End Guns

After that price point the higher end G & G airsoft guns begin to have all metal construction, tight borers and shooting velocities approaching 400 FPS. The prices for these higher end models can range in price from high two hundred dollar range to over $ 400. Many of these guns are assault rifles but there are also many sniper rifles available as well. There are many blow back models in the higher end guns as well.

The Role of Glycerine in the Production of Soap

Glycerin, also spelled glycerine, is a basic ingredient in most soap. In fact, it is a by-product of soap manufacture as it occurs due to the reaction of strong alkali with an animal fat. This process is known as saponification and it is this process that brings out soap or detergent. While most manufacturers separate glycerin from the mixture, others incorporate the compound for its natural benefits.

Lots of soap-makers recommend glycerin as a basic ingredient because it has the ability to draw in moisture preventing drying of the skin. The compound is a natural moisturizer. In fact, it is a humectant – a substance that attracts water. Thus, soap containing the hygroscopic compound is known to have skin conditioning and moisturizing effect.

Glycerin is a viscous liquid that is at the same time sweet and colorless. It solidifies to a paste-like substance and has a high boiling point. During the soap-making process, some manufacturers remove the compound from the soap mixture and incorporate it into other products like lotion and creams. However, when it is added to a bar of soap it results to a nearly transparent product with moisturizing properties.

The compound is known to be a good solvent and this is one of its most remarkable properties. In some instances, it is better as a solvent than water or alcohol. This property makes it highly miscible in both alcohol and water. However, it never dissolves in oils. In its pure form the compound is called glycerol which suggests it belongs to a classification of organic compounds called alcohol.

It is extremely hygroscopic, which means that it readily absorbs moisture from the air. For instance, leaving a flask of pure glycerol open allows attraction of water that it soon loses the purity.

It was in 1889 when the compound was first obtained from animal fat through candle making. During which time the only way to derive the compound is through this process. Also, in that time animal fat was the only raw material for making candles. During the World War II, it has become a major component of dynamites and heavy demand for the substance was not sufficed by soap making industry. Thus there was an abrupt production of synthetic forms of the compound.

The substance has a chemical formula C3H8O3 which is also occurs as a liquid by-product during the production of biodiesel in a process called transesterification. This syrupy liquid occurs in nature. Found in cells of plants and animals (including humans), it is a part of the large bio-molecules of many lipids. In biologic processes the compound occurs as a result of the fermentation of carbohydrates. In organic chemistry it is produced by propylene synthesis.

Glycerin is an ingredient in several health-care products and toiletries. It is found in food products, as well as pharmaceutical and cosmetic items. It is found in moisturizing lotions and creams because of its hydrophilic and hygroscopic properties, which allow the substance to retain moisture. There is a debate whether it is the hygroscopic properties of the compound that makes it good for the skin, or it may be possible that the chemical has other unexplored and unidentified properties aside from the one already mentioned. The moisture-drawing property makes it an excellent emollient when added in soaps and moisturizing creams. An emollient is a substance that smoothens and softens skin. Another reason personal care products utilizes the substance is because of its skin lubricating advantage, not to mention it serves as a thickening or emulsifying agent in cosmetic products.

Home-made soaps or the hand-made varieties naturally contain glycerol, which commercial soap-makers remove. The separated liquid is used in massage oils, lip balms, skin softeners and moisturizers, perfumes and essential oils, and pharmaceutical preparations.

Is Berber Carpet Right For You?

Berber carpet is a style of carpeting that contains large and small tufts of fiber, usually woven in a cut pile or looped construction. Usually, berber carpet contains two colors, a darker color on a lighter shade background. It is readily available in neutral colors and can also be found in darker shades and even bright, vibrant varieties. Berber carpeting can be made from a wide array of materials including wool, nylon or Olefin.

Many homeowners are choosing berber for their home flooring solution because it is not only stylish, but durable and easy to care for. The high-density woven fibers offer a unique look and can be very resistant to staining. Because the fibers are looped and grouped, they may be snagged or readily, damaging the carpet. This may be more impressive if you have pets with long nails or children's toys that can catch on the carpet fibers.

Wool berber carpet is more expensive then other materials. It is soft and durable, giving your home a comfortable feel and a luxurious look. Wool is hypo-allergenic, so can be a great choice for anyone who suffers from allergies. Because of the high price of wool, this type of berber carpet is not as popular as nylon and other blends. Wool berber carpet, however, is tough and resilient, and therefore able to withstand years of use.

Berber carpet that is made from nylon is not as pricey as the wool alternative. Nylon is also able to withstand years of use and abuse, and is fairly resistant to staining.

Berber carpet made from Olefin and nylon or other materials is much less expensive than wool or total nylon carpets. However, when it is made from Olefin blends, studies have shown the fibers are much more pre-staining and discoloration than oil-based products. Some types of oil-based stains will bond with the Olefin fibers, often times causing irreversible damage to the carpet.

Berber carpeting is the ideal choice for many homeowners because of the sustainability of the high-density looping. Footprints are less likely to show up, and while are vacuum tracks. Furniture is less likely to imprint on the carpet because of the toughness of the tightly woven fibers. Many homeowners report reduced utility and energy costs because berber is thick and, therefore, acts as a great insulator. You can choose a thicker berber carpet with small, tight loops or a berber with larger, knob-like loops. It is evan available with multi-level loops for an even more unique and distinctive look. For extra thickness and insulation, use carpet padding.

Finally, the affordably of berber carpet over traditional carpet styles is a great reason to make it your household floor choice. Along with a durable and long-lasting life, berber is a cost-efficient and economic option for any room in your home.

Benefits of New Balance Running Shoes

Of late, many fitness enthusiasts take to running. New Balance’s running shoes traditionally has the reputation of backing runners. The New Balance Company, which started off as a foot and arch support manufacturer in Boston in the early 1900s, soon became a running shoe corporation by the 1970s.

Today, many New Balance shoes are getting the attention of runners. Their running shoes are made of synthetic material, suede, mesh, or a combination of these materials. Name any model of New Balance men’s or women’s running shoes and they come with amazing shock absorption and durability. The patented N-ergy cushioning technology that goes into every pair reduces the impact on the body as the foot hits the ground and thus minimizes the stress on the foot, ankle and legs. They are lightweight allowing for comfort even during long distance running.

While many of its competitors manufacture off shore, New Balance crafts a majority of its running shoes in the United States. As the only brand to make shoes in a variety of widths, New Balance has earned a name for specializing in shoes with softer soles that appeal to long distance runners. It has the distinction of providing shoes to Greg Meyer, American winner of the Boston Marathon.

New Balance has a wide variety of shoes designed especially for runners with feet that need greater stability, particularly facing the problem of pronation or supination. As one of the first companies to design shoes for runners, New Balance has shoes for trail runners as well. These feature cushioning and control technology and they have sole and upper designed for off-road performance.

Participants in fast races can surely depend on New Balance running shoes. These special shoes are super light weight meant for racing at distances from 5 km to marathon races. Top class material and world’s number one technology go into the making of every pair.

How Can You Prevent a Steel Storage Shed From Rusting?

In recent years, steel storage sheds have grown in popularity. This is due to the many benefits they provide such as durability, strength, low maintenance, and security. As well, steel can withstand such weather conditions as strong winds, heavy rain, and snow. They are also resistant to fire. However, it is important that one maintains a steel storage shed that is resistant to rust.

One can prevent rusting of a steel building by purchasing metal buildings that are made from galvanized steel. As well, steel storage buildings can be coated with aluminum elements that will prevent rusting. These metal panels coated with aluminum material can extend the life of the steel for 25 – 30 years. There are metal storage building suppliers that provide hot dipped galvanized steel panels that come with a long warranty against rust that can be about 15 years. This type of steel prevents moisture from affecting the steel. Most aluminum or galvanized steel metal storage building panels are coated with a vinyl finish or baked enamel. If one wanted to ensure they are extending the life of their metal storage building, they can coat the metal every few years with a vinyl finish that is specifically made to cover metal. Many experts recommend that steel structures should be treated with anti-rust coatings every two years. Another method for rust coating steel panel is the use of galvanized zinc that is applied to the steel using a hot dip process. As well, there are vinyl coated storage steel buildings.

If your metal storage building is already showing signs of rust, you can treat the rust areas by sanding it until the rust is gone and then apply a primer to the spot. Once dry, you can paint over it.

Steel storage buildings are very beneficial. When one buys a do-it-yourself steel building kit, they can save a lot of money. As well, installation is not difficult as they come with easy to follow instructions. Metal building kits come in a variety of sizes, designs, and shapes. There is a steel building that meets everyone’s needs.

Steel storage buildings are an investment in protection. They keep water, insects, and wildlife out of the building so you will have peace of mind knowing that your items such as valuables, equipment, home from the home such as clothing, books…etc, are protected. There are even steel buildings that will hold vehicles, large manufacturing equipment, farm supplies, and even farm animals. These buildings are air and water tight to ensure that what is inside is protected. They are also secure enough to keep authorized individuals out. To keep moisture from forming inside a steel building, many experts suggest adding more ventilation.

Steel storage buildings are perfect for personal, commercial, industrial, or small business use. They are a wise investment that requires very little maintenance. Fortunately there are simple things you can do to maintain the life of your steel building by preventing rust from developing. Innovative protective methods have allowed for the construction of high-quality and durable steel storage sheds that can last for many years.

Why Are We So Fascinated By Koi Tattoos?

One of the principal reasons people get tattoos are in order for them to symbolize something significant in their lives through art on their bodies. It is quite literal like wearing one's heart on one's sleeve or back or where it is one happens to have a tattoo placed. That is why tattoos of koi fish are so popular. It is because these fish are laden with symbolism in the Japanese and Chinese cultures from which they come.

The meanings associated with koi are generally those of perseverance, aspiration, advancement, non-conformism or downright good luck. Perhaps this is because there is an ancient Chinese koi myth about these fish being the only one of their kind to swim up the waterfall towards the "Ryumon" or dragon gate at the upper edges of China's "Huang He" (Yellow River). It is at the dragon gate that it is said, the carp were transformed into dragons. From hence also comes the Japanese idiom, "koi-no-taki-nobori" or "carp swimming up the rapids," which is used to describe success in life sometimes in the same way that we use, "going against the grain."

Tattoos of koi fish are also taken to mean "love." This may be due to an old Japanese chronicle called the "Nihonshoki" which tells of how the Emperor Keiko fell in love with Princess Otohime (meaning Shy and Modest princess) and tried to make her visit him at Kukurinomiya Palace. The Emperor was known for taking pleasure in viewing his koi pond at the palace for this was common practice among the aristocracy of the Heian period (794-1185 BC). To the emperor's delight, the princess who happened to share his same pastime, could not help but finally pay him a visit. This paved the way for romance, all thanks to the koi fish.

Another symbolism for tattoos koi fish is that of masculinity, bravery and heroism. In Japan, koi are called "bushyi-go" or "Japanese warrior fish" because of their serene and determined manner of swimming, sometimes even jumping out of water. It is also said, that much like a samurai, koi fish do not flinch under the knife.

Tattoos of koi fish are often accompanied by backdrops of streams. To some, a koi swimming upstream or in rough water might mean one is struggling with a challenge. If the fish is swimming downstream it may mean that one has failed that challenge. Oftentimes however, koi representations are those of victory. Which is why even celebrities such as Cherliize Theron and her mother both sport the same tattoos of koi fish after their successful battle with cancer. Others like the late Alexander McQueen had a koi tattoo on his chest; popular singer John Mayer also wears one on his right shoulder.

Finally, a depiction of five golden koi may mean increased wealth or good luck, five being considered a lucky number in the East. This would be reason enough for anyone to have these beautiful carp close by. By having tattoos of koi fish one can be certain this is always the case.

Guide to Brick Pointing

Bricks are the most frequently used material in our homes. They are most important of all the materials used in construction as they provide beautiful looks to our home while providing the desired stability. Two bricks are joined with the mortar. Now when this mortar is exposed to water or ice in the rainy seasons or even to the excess heat in the summers, it leads to its weakening. These joints of mortar worsen at various points around windows, walls or other exposed areas.

The process to repair the broken or worsened ends of the bricks is known as brick pointing or simply pointing. Hereby an overview will be given about how you can go about this process along with the tools required. Other that this you should try to stop the water or moisture from coming in contact with the brick joints. Although you can do this work yourself but still it will require a lot of patience at your end as at max you will be able to repair around 18-22 sq. ft. brick area in a given day. So if your work is large enough, requires rebuilding or containing repairs at the chimney or walls then you can also consider to hire a professional.

To do the brick pointing you will require hammer, broom, waterproof gloves, glasses and mask. Then other compulsory components are trowels (both brick and pointing). If doing at large scale where mortar is hard make use of angle grinder with appropriate diameter. Wear the safety equipments like glasses and gloves along with dust mask. Now with the help of hammer and chisel (thin enough to enter the joints) clean up the old mortar. Remove the old mortar in such a way that you reach the solid mortar base. Take care of the fact that bricks should not loosen too much.

If the cleaning up is taking time because of the hard mortar make use of angle grinder. Now clean up with the broom. Next mix mortar and water as prescribed by the manufacturer. Do not make it brittle, though it should be stiff enough. Keep it as such for 10-15 minutes. Now with the equipment fill in the joints with mortar in waterproof way. If the joint is deeper take two three turns to fill it. Try to work when the temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit so that mortar should not set in too fast. In the market, you will get the tools that will help you in matching the old joints with new ones. Make use of them and your work about brick pointing is done.

How to Create a Successful Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser

This article explains how to take an ordinary bowl-a-thon fundraiser that might have produced $ 5,000 and turn it into one approaches six-figures. Below is a quick summary snapshot of the idea, followed by sections describing how it works and ideas to consider.

Summary Snapshot:

  • Potential Revenues: $$$$$
  • Revenue Source: Attendance fees, silent and live auctions, raffles, lane sponsorships
  • Advertising: Social media, press releases to local newspapers and TV / radio stations, website, signature, all communications
  • Equipment / Supplies: Event planning with area bowling establishment, tables for auction items, audio system
  • Partners: Area businesses, restaurants, corporations, bowling lane owner
  • Volunteers Needed: Extensive committee structure to handle all aspects of the event

How It Works:

This fundraising idea can be a surprisingly large fundraising event. The Domestic Violence organization of New Haven, CT uses this as their premier annual event, and earned $ 91,000. The great part of this event is that the bowling alley comes fully equipped to handle your event. Simply arrange to rent a block of lanes or the entire building for your event.

The hard part is deciding on fundraising venues. Typically, the event is either done by inviting teams to come in and compete, or by open bowling. The preference is for the teams, as you can pretty much decide ahead of time what you'll be getting for donations, as well as what you'll be needing for space. Typically, teams pay between $ 60 to $ 150 and more to compete. Prizes are donated and awarded, and team scores are posted as the day goes on.

The day is usually broken up into multiple time slots, and teams are assigned to each slot for the competition. If you have a 60-lane facility, you can see how quickly the contributions can add up. Five 2-hour time slots, completely filled, equals 300 teams. At $ 100 to enter a four-person team, that's $ 30,000 to begin with. Then there are the other added fundraisers that can be combined: silent auctions, live auctions, food and drinks, sponsorships, and even an awards dinner later in the evening.

Ideas to Consider:

So where do you come up with 400 teams? Well this becomes a perfect venue for existing bowling leagues, local businesses and associations (like Kiwanis and Rotary) to participate in. Contact each local business and ask them if they're support your event by entering 1 or 2 teams. Explain the rules, prizes and your cause. It's not too hard to come up with 1 or 2 teams in a company, and a healthy competition makes for great press releases and sponsorships.

While you're in talking with the businesses, ask if they'd like to sponsor one of the lanes during the event. Sometimes a good sign sponsorship would cost $ 200. With 50 lanes, that's an additional $ 10,000. Allow fans to attend for a small donation, or even for free. You want a lot of participation in the silent auctions, buying food you have for sale, or attending the rewards dinner event that evening. Remember that you have to charge to attend, unless you've included it in the team entry fee.

If you can get a few of the local celebrities to attend, that will draw additional people to the event. Make sure that you use the Live Auction and Silent Auction formats at the dinner.

Make the prizes fun. Come up with unusual prizes to augment the normal first, second, and third place prizes. Maybe you can get a car dealership to come in with an overall sponsor, and offer up a car for a 300-game. (Believe it or not, Lloyd's of London insures these types of rewards, based on expected risks.) The more prizes the better: most gutters, lowest individual score, highest individual score, best team jerseys, and so forth.

For more details about how this fundraiser works, you can go to www.FundraisingAlmanac.com/bowl-a-thon.php .

Significance of Home Inspection Before Buying or Selling

Performing home inspection before buying or selling the property is good both the parties involved in the deal. Having a good assessment of home can consider expedite its sale. Presenting the buyer a pre-listing report of home inspection can boost their confidence in the person selling and also in the house for sale. If you have a house to sell, then you must recognize the significance of such inspections, as these can probably sway their final decision in your favor.

The idea behind such inspections is to identify various potential problems, which you might not be aware of. Having your house inspected, before putting it for sale in the market, is that a great idea. Almost every property has some or the other issue, which needs to be addressed. Discovering all the imperfections, before listing your property, gives you the needed time for making necessary repairs. It provides the seller more time for pursuing estimates and looking for reliable companies, to ensure that the repair work can be completed as quickly as possible. If the faults are noticed after any buyer expresses some interest in your house, then the chance to compare the estimates and select a good company would all be gone.

Once you decide to put your house on market, most likely you would want a quick and easy sale. However, without a good home inspection, many issues can arise, which may hold the sale for too long. Even if both the parties reach an agreement concerning the repairs, the whole negotiating process would be pretty time-consuming, causing further delays. On the other hand are the numerous benefits of getting a home inspection conducted by the professionals. Getting awed by a home's outer beauty is easy, but it is critical to seriously consider the various aspects, which are less perceptible. Today, the buyers are smarter than ever before and have the eye for immediately noticing the imperfections in a house.

An expert and well-trained professional exactly knows what all to rummage around for. They immediately spot the potential hazards and substandard workmanship from the past repairs. The potential buyers may not really climb up the roof space to examine damages over there or inspect the gutters. But usually they do check if the plumbing, appliances and electrical systems work fine. And not any buyer would like to spend on these expenses, straight away after becomingiable for the mortgage payments plus homeowner's insurance. Thus, it is indeed a good idea to get a home inspection done, before putting it for sale.

Even if you are a buyer and looking for a good buy, make sure to check for every possible thing, be it the plumbing fittings, electrical systems, landscaping or any other. Not paying attention to such details may sway you towards a wrong decision. If some imperfections are disclosed in the home inspection reports, but you really like the house otherwise, then you can always negotiate, regarding the expected repair cost and the house's asking price. In short, irrespective of whether you are a buyer or a seller, a thorough home inspection may extremely save a great deal of your money, time and also prevent the undue frustration and stress.

Artwork Analysis: ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ by Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso’s complete name is Pablo Ruiz Picasso. He was of Spanish origin and was born in 1881 and died in 1972 at the age of 91. Picasso is regarded as one the greats in the field of modern art. He is credited with being the co-founder of the Cubist movement which is an early 20th century avant-garde movement. Picasso shares credit for this movement along with Georges Braque. Later other notable artists like Jean Metzinger, Albert, Robert Delaunay Henri and Juan Gris joined this movement and revolutionised European art.

Love with Marie Therese Walter

Pablo Picasso was an emotional man. In 1927 he met 17-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter who was then only 17 and fell in love with her, though he was already married. He fathered one daughter from her, but never divorced his wife.

Marie Therese and her Effect “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust”

During the period Picasso had his affair with Marie-Therese, she exerted a deep influence on him, though this did not deter him from having affairs with other women, some of them nearly four decades younger than him. During the period Marie was his muse and love he painted a series of paintings with her as his center piece. The first of these paintings titled ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ was painted in 1932. Marie was the inspiration behind these paintings. The painting is fairly large and stands over five feet. It is painted in blue and lilac colors and brings out Picasso’s deep passion for Marie who was 29 years younger than him.

The War Years

Around this time Picasso had become friends with a French-Jewish art dealer named Paul Rosenberg. Picasso was staying in France at this time. War clouds were gathering over Europe and Rosenberg took an excuse of exhibiting the work in New York and shipped the painting out of France in 1939. This was a sane step as Picasso was not in favor with the Nazi’s who had occupied France. Picasso remained in France during the war years, while his painting remained in the United States.

History of the Painting after the war

Rosenberg put the painting on display at his gallery on East 57th street. The painting was bought by Francis Brody in 1951 and after that went out of public display. It was displayed only once in 1961 on the 80th birthday of Picasso. Francis Brody died in 2009. After his death the painting was put on auction in 2010 by Christies in New York City. The painting was auctioned for $106 million which was a record price at that time.

Analysis of the Painting

Nude, Green leaves and Bust‘ is Picasso’s deep passion for his blonde mistress Marie. The girl it appears was infatuated with Picasso despite his many affairs. She committed suicide after his death. A tragic end to a tale of love. There is no doubt that the painting which is now displayed on loan at Tate gallery was inspired by the young mistress of Picasso.

Picasso greatly liked philodendron leaves. He represented them in his painting of Marie by showing they emanated from her side.

The painting of Marie is one of Picasso’s finest works and in it he has left an endearing image of a girl who gave everything up for him.

Different Types of Portable Cranes

When it comes to heavy equipment, there are primarily two different types of cranes, portable and stationary. These two groups can then be further categorized into several different subgroups such as hydraulic truck cranes and intelligent lifting devices. This article will discuss only the different portable cranes that are available. No matter the type however, the basic crane must possess a boom mounted onto a type of platform. Primarily discussed will be the portable pickup truck cranes, the portable gantry cranes, and the rough terrain crane.

First we will discuss truck mounted or portable pickup truck cranes, which are possibly the most well known. These machines consist of a typical crane that is mounted onto a truck carrier. This is an excellent combination which allows for maximum mobility. They do not require any type of special equipment in order to transport them from one location to another as they are able to travel themselves on the highways. They come in a wide variety of weight capacities, from 15 tons to 1300 tons, so no matter what type of application you require them for you should be able to find the perfect match for you. In order to provide extra stability, outriggers are installed. They also move more slowly when carrying a load to prevent from tipping.

Even though the typical gantry crane is stationary, there is a group of portable gantry cranes that are available that travel along train tracks. They are typically mounted onto either a single beam known as a mono girder, or a double beam called a twin girder. The gantry system which is used to support the frame uses a system of beams and wheels which allow the machine to run along the train tracks. They come in all different sizes and can be used for several different applications. Some are able to carry very heavy loads such as at ship yards, while others are only suitable for much smaller tasks. One of the most common examples is the container crane which is used for loading and unloading freight ships.

The rough terrain portable cranes are another popular example. They typically use a crane mounted on top of an undercarriage that is designed for all terrain travel. It uses four heavy, rubber tires and is designed primarily for operations that will require the machine to travel off road. In order to provide extra stability when the crane is hoisting a load, outriggers are often used. They are usually single engine machines that use telescopic booms. They are very similar to the crawler crane which uses a set of tracks, or crawlers, instead of tires. The crawler is much more stable so it does not require the use of outriggers. It can even travel fairly quickly when carrying a load as opposed to rough terrain portable cranes which can only move very slowly with a load.

The Wild West and The Role of Organizational Design

I have always enjoyed stories about the old west with gunfights at high noon out in the middle of nowhere. Some old western towns would start, grow and die in a very short period of time. These types of towns were called boom towns. They would start quickly, flourish and then leave a few broken down buildings with tumbleweed blowing across an otherwise empty ghost town. Other towns would boom and keep booming allowing the town to grow and spread across the frontier. Other towns would start slow and grow as needed with new and innovative ideas to meet their needs. With this combination, America moved west toward what many people called manifest destiny. Somewhere, someone in those old western towns had to have a vision or a design for the towns that survived. Many reasons existed for starting a town, but it took a designer to bring the town to life as well as innovations to keep them going.

Wild West Organizations

Organizations of today are much like the old western towns. Some start with a boom and then quickly go bust. Others come out of the gate running and never look back. Many start out small and grow as needed. Somewhere, somebody had an idea and design for the organization to take shape. Herein lays the key to the role of organizational design in 21st century organizations which is a designer, with a plan or idea, forecasting the future and yielding to innovation to bring it to pass.

To better understand the role of organizational design today, the designer needs to accurately forecast the future of the organization and allow innovation to have free reign to get there. A successful forecast requires a solid understanding of the mission and purpose of the organization. Some organizations have thrived for years as a traditional top-down hierarchical organization while others have undergone significant innovative organizational changes. Organizational leaders consistently use innovation and forecasting to develop future organizational structures. In his textbook on the Introduction to Management Science, noted Virginia Tech professor Dr. Bernard W. Taylor III states that a forecast is a prediction of what will occur in the future and many managers of today are constantly trying to predict the future in order to make decisions in the present that will ensure the continued success of their organization. The role of organizational design becomes vital to the forecasting of organizational growth and allowing the necessary innovations to get it there.

Forecasting

Today, people expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and where they want. Life in an increasingly busy world is where people must balance demands from home, work, school, and family, which poses a host of logistical challenges for today's ever more mobile society. Much like the old west, work and learning are often two sides of the same coin, and people want easy and timely access not only to the information they need, but also to tools, resources, and up-to-the moment analysis and commentary . These technology needs, as well as the increasingly essential access to social media and networks, have risen to the level of high expectations. The New Media Consortium (NMC), which is an international community of experts in technology from the practitioners who work with new technologies every day to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning by conducting cutting edge research, identified those opportunities for informal learning in the modern world are abundant, and greatly expand on earlier notions like "just-in-time" or "found" learning. The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way organizations are structured. Because employers value collaboration as a critical skill, silos both in the workplace and at school are being abandoned in favor of collective intelligence. According to the NMC, to facilitate more teamwork and group communication, organizational projects and programs are more familiar on tools like wikis, Google Docs, Skype, and easily shared file-storage sites like Dropbox. Innovation is leading the way into the foreseen future.

The Wild West of Innovation

The Wild West is often thought of as lawless, unreasonable and without boundaries. Yet, through this reckless and impossible environment, the Wild West was tamed. Regent University professor, Dr. Gary Oster, concluded in his book The Light Prize that a vision that is extraordinarily expansive and even unreasonable- many would say impossible- is the key to producing successful innovation. However, not all forecasted plans lead to innovation. Some plans are simply boom towns waiting to collapse. Forecasting should be used in the innovation process to see and build for the future. The ability to see beyond the realistic and peer into the impossible or near impossible requires a leader to push beyond the edge to see what may be out there. Jay Galbraith, author of Designing Organizations, concludes that leaders of today need to become less of a decision maker and more of a decision shaper, which can be accomplished through organizational design. Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian-born biochemist who won the Noble Prize in 1937, stated that discovery consists of seeing what everyone has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. Dr. Gary Oster connected discovery and innovation by eliminating discovery as the unaware, identification, and recognition of a new concept, property or truth. However, true innovators need to be looking beyond the current age to see what the next age is, and then begin building the organization towards it. Strategic authors Dr. Cornelius A. de Kluyver and Dr. John A. Pearce II in their book Strategy: A View from the Top identified five common characteristics to foster a culture of innovation: first, a business needs a top-level commitment to innovation; second, a business needs a long term focus; third, a business needs a flexible organization structure, fourth, a business needs a combination of loose and tight planning and control; fifth, a business needs a system of appropriate incentives.

Conclusion

The 21st century organizational design will require an ability to share ideas, knowledge, resources and skills across organizational, generational and cultural boundaries within and outside of the organizational system for the purpose of achieving desired goals. Notable author Dr. Richard Daft in his textbook Organization Design and Theory asserts that top executives decide on the end purpose the organization will strive for and determine the direction that it will take which shapes how the organization is designed and managed. The Wild West atmosphere of innovation can be coupled with forecasting to tame the landscape of organizational design for 21st century organizations. Implementing the five characteristics of Dr. de Kluyver and Dr. Pearce will help organizations grow and develop without becoming another ghost town in the sky.