Ideas for Simple Halloween Party Games

With Halloween only a week away, we thought we'd share some ideas for simple spooky party games that your little monsters will love to play, and that take slightly little effort to organize:

• Ghost Hunt – cut out ghost shapes from white paper or card (allow approximately 4 – 5 per guest). Hide them around the house and garden and get your little guests to find them. (If you have different age groups of children, you may want to give the youngest ones a head start.) The child who finds the most ghosts is the winner. This is also a great game to play near the end of the party and you will not have to provide filled party bags either. Stick a small treat to each ghost before hiding, give each child an empty party bag and let them fill them with what they find.

• Ten-Pin Pumpkin bowling – part-fill 10 similar size plastic bottles with a small stones and gravel, so that they stand, and do not fall over too easily. (If you have time, or are feeling creative, you can also decorate them to look like monsters.) Draw a scary face on a mini pumpkin – this will be the bowling ball. Line your bottles up and let the children take it in turns to knock them over with the pumpkin, keeping score as they go. The child with the highest score is the winner.

• Yucky Dip – scoop out a pumpkin and fill with cooked, cooled pasta. Add small packets of sweets or wrapped tricks and mix well. Invite your little guests to take turns at the yucky dip – be warned this can get messy!

• The Haunted Jar – fill a jar with small sweets or toys and shredded white paper (making a note of how many goodies you've put in!). Each child then guesses how many items are in the jar and the closest guess wins the goodies!

• Musical monsters – put on some spooky music, and get your little guests to move around like monsters. When the music stops they have to stand still – if they move, they're out of the game. The last monster standing still is the winner!

• Trick or Treat – cut up squares of paper. On half of the squares, write 'treat'. On the other half, write 'trick' on one side of the paper and a simple activity (such as 'cackle like a witch') on the other side. Fold the squares up and put them all into a bucket (or cauldron if you want to be inventive). The children then take it in turns to pull a piece of paper out of the bucket. If they pull out a 'treat', give them a small prize. If they pull out a 'trick', they must perform the task written on the back before receiving their prize.

• The Graveyard game – this is a great game to play when you want to quiet the party down. Your little monsters lie down in the 'graveyard' – the child who stands still the longest is the winner.

And finally, how do monsters predict their future? They read their 'horror' scope!

How to Install Your Own Carpet

Are you a do-it-yourself type of person? It probably would not be a big surprise if you are planning to install your own carpets. While it may seem like an easy task, there are a lot of factors that you will need to consider, such as what type of carpeting your home needs, and the type of carpet underlay you should use underneath.

If you are loath to have professional installers touch your floors, then you will have to learn how to install your own carpets with the right equipment necessary to undertake the job.

If your carpet is coming with a manual, always remember to read the manual first before you begin the actual installation. This way, you can have a better understanding of the procedure and keep from making any costly mistakes that will send you running to the phone to call the manufacturer, or a professional carpet installer. Remember that erroneous installation of your carpets frees the manufacturer from the warranty, so make sure you are doing the installation correctly, by the book.

The first chore you have to do is to move away furniture from where you plan to install your carpeting. Furniture can get in the way of your work, and you'll need to put them far away where they will not snag the padding and the carpet's material that you plan to lay down. If you want wall-to-wall carpeting and a door is in the way, remove the door from its hinges first. This way, you can simply trim the excess length and thickness, and re-install your door as soon as you are done with your installation.

Before laying down your carpet, you will need to clean the floor first. Dust and dirt can soil the bottom of the carpeting and make it harder to clean. You will also want to install the underlay between the floor and your choice of carpet. The carpet underlay acts as heat insulator that serves to keep your floors warm during cold weather. It also sound proofs your floor, as well as keeps moisture away from the cargoing material. Moisture is one of the main culprits that can damage carpets.

Whether you have chosen waffle padding, foam padding, or rubber padding, among the many choices for your carpet underlay, make sure it is the right weight and thickness to suit your requirements for cushioning and insulation.

Check the smoothness of your carpeting. It will not do to have unsightly wrinkles and ripples on the surface. On the other hand, over stretching the material may damage it beyond repair.

Finally, cut any fibers that may have come lose during the installation, and open all doors and windows to ventilate your home from the initial "new carpet odor".

Office Design – 5 Tips for a Great Reception Area

The office reception space is an often overlooked component in office design. From simply awkward to mysteriously absent, the design or presence of a reception area is regularly disregarded. To shed some light on how proper planning of this space can greatly benefit the efficiency and professional image of your business, I've put together the five most important design aspects of the office reception space and how to best use them.

1. Plan to have a reception area and a receptionist.

Not having a reception is mistake # 1. Have you ever had a meeting at an office where you've never been before and when you walked in you found yourself in the middle of all the employees with all of their work suddenly paused while they stared at you blankly. I have, and it makes a negative first impression. Plan to have a conspicuous reception area and staff it with a pleasant and informative individual who will keep your other employees from getting interrupted.

2. Where to put the reception area.

Place it at the entrance so that it's the first place a visitor will head. There's no point in having a reception area if visitors find it easier to interrupt other staff.

3. Lighting in the reception area.

Not just mistake # 3, but the most common mistake is lighting, and the most overlooked detail is lighting color. Have you ever walked into an office where the light makes everything look distasteful or sickly? Every bulb, whether fluorescent or incandescent, emits light which is measured on the Kelvin scale. Typical bulbs will be anywhere from 2500 – 7500 Kelvin, where 2500 is warm and yellow, and 7500 is cold and blue. A cold, blue light will make skin and even food look unpleasant so stick to between 3500-4500 Kelvin, which you'll find written on the bulb box.

4. Seating in the reception area.

This is very important to the office visitor, and how they perceive your business. This mistake takes two forms: 1) not having anywhere to sit, and 2) art chairs. If there is now to sit, your visitors will be left to either stand around or pace in your reception hall. Either option is uncomfortable and does not project a welcoming atmosphere. And by 'art chairs' I am referring a phenomenon most commonly seen in design offices and office designs created by those firms. Make sure your reception seating can actually be sat on and that it's comfortable and natural to sit in.

5. Open vs. closed reception desks.

If you're really worried that office visitors may attack your receptionist, then having a closed reception desk with a sliding window or slot is perfectly reasonable. Otherwise, it's mistake # 5. It tells your visitors that you assume they're undesirable, dangerous or otherwise untrustworthy. They're most commonly found in hospitals & police stations, which makes for a bad impression to your visitors.

The points above are just a framework of the most common office reception mistakes. Following these simple points will not only improve your employee's efficiency, but also the first impression visitors to your workplace form about your business. There are many other considerations that make for proper office design and the best possible way of getting a good return on your investment is to hire an experienced design professional.

Work Ethics and Etiquette – Leaving Your Job Through the Front Door

About a year ago, my friend (and former co-worker) Steve was having issues with a manager. He is -or used to be- sentenced to bursting into flames when he disliked the way he was talking to or when he felt that something was unfair. One August afternoon, he had enough with this supervisor, confronted him (maybe even using some expletives) and walked away from the facility, never to be seen again.

Unless you've already gotten another job, leaving your current one in a tempestuous manner will certainly not help you in your quest to find a new job. Employers usually perform reference checks on candidates so if Steve applied for a job in a different company or decided to re-apply to the company where he quit, what do you think HR is going to say when required by the recruiter? That moment of "Wookie Rage" may condition your professional future for a long time. Diplomacy is mandatory.

This may be an extreme example of how not to end a job relationship. There are also grays.

Keeping your team on the loop

If you are transferring to another department make sure your boss and teams know beforehand about your intentions to leave (same rule applies when migrating to a different organization). Big companies have migrated to online recruiting platforms. Internal applications are now typically handled through the company's portal or intranet which have automated notification services that inform the person's direct supervisor when an employee is exploring new opportunities. And let me tell you, I (nor, I think, anyone) appreciates finding out that someone is leaving the team through an automated notification. Sadly, It happens a lot. People will find out you are planning to leave sooner or later. It'd Rather be sooner.

Letting your boss know you are leaving does not mean that he or she will start looking for ways to fire you if you do not get the job you are now applying for. On the contrary, it will give the company time to find someone to fill your spot and make an orderly transition. In the case you do not get the job … well, they get to keep you for a bit longer.

What you get from it

Letting those around you know about your plans can bring a wealth of benefits for you. When I left my last job I made sure everyone knew-before I applied for the new one, even knowing that it was not sure I would get it- my intentions and the reasons I was leaving. When I was finally given confirmation that I was accepted in my new position, I got not one, but 2 farewell parties (with cakes and everything), more than 30 cards (including a Gift Card: thank you Nurse Jan !!!) and the director of the program offered me her help, give references or advice if I ever run into problems or needed something in my new job. She did not have to do it, but she did it anyways. My former direct supervisor? We go sailing together every other week (or when our schedules permit).

The second possibility is that you could be tempted to stay either through a promotion or raise. If you do not say anything about your departure, this will never happen.

Sneaking behind everyone's back is bad work ethics, poor teamwork and a way to be remembered in an unfavorable light. This is particularly important in today's hyper-connected world. Some people fear what his / her boss may say or do if they applied for another job so they choose to keep it under the carpet until the " right moment to say it ". Usually that right moment is often known as too late . I'm sure there are a myriad of other possible reasons why people do not notify their superiors or co-workers but I sincerely do not know them. If you do, I'd love to know.

Three Ways to Build a Motorcycle

Some people build custom bikes because they are cheaper than buying one. Others just want the I-built-that feeling as they look at it. Still others might want customization that they can not get in an "off the shelf" model.

When someone decides to build a motorcycle, there are three paths to take depending on budget, mechanical skill, design aims, and past building experience. Those paths are custom bike kits, a rolling chassis, and building the whole thing from a collection of motorcycle parts.

Custom Bike Kits

The simplest choice for someone who has never built a bike before is to try one of the many custom bike kits out there. You get a box that has everything you need to build the bike from the ground up except the paint.

Kits are great for first-time builders. If you can follow instructions, you end up with a bike put together with your own hands. You do not have to worry about picking the wrong parts or whether two pieces will work together. You will make mistakes along the way, but they will tend to be safe mistakes that will not ruin the build.

The biggest downside is the cost. This is perhaps the most expensive way to build a custom bike. You are also limited as to how much customization you can do. Sure you can swap out the included parts with others of your choice, but that means throwing away pieces you've already paid for.

Rolling Chassis

A rolling chassis is a partially assembled bike that you can customize. It includes the frame, handlebars, wheels, gas tank, and other basic parts. You need to add an engine and a transmission then finish it off with custom pieces.

This is a good middle-of-the-road choice. A rolling chassis is cheaper than one of the kit bikes while keeping the advantage of pre-selected parts that work together. Since all you have is the undering framework, you still have lots of customization options.

Building a bike from a rolling chassis requires more skill on your part, since you are going to have to choose the other parts yourself.

A variation on the rolling chassis is to take an existing bike, cut it down to the frame, so producing your own chassis. A used bike will probably cost less than a rolling chassis and you will be removing the parts that have seen the most wear and tear such as the engine.

Building from Scratch

The ultimate in a custom bike is one that you select all the motorcycle parts yourself. The bike becomes a true expression of your personality because every nut and bolt was hand selected. Needless to say this build is beyond most first-timers and even most second-timers.

You can either go cheap, cannibalizing parts from junk bikes, or expensive, buying high end custom chopper parts. This is definitely a blank canvas and the ultimate challenge for the bike builder.

Laminated Flooring – Easy to Install Stylish Home Floors

Laminated flooring is a popular option that many home owners use to spruce up the appearance of their house. It offers several benefits to those who choose to install it with minimal drawbacks. If you are considering home flooring renovations, here are a few things to think about when it comes to your floors.

Affordability

While hardwood flooring is still incredibly popular, laminate floor coverings give the same look as hardwood, without the price. Wood floors are the most expensive on the market so many people can not afford them, but laminate can be purchased and installed for a fraction of the cost. On top of being cost effective, the installation process is simple as well. Many people have found that installing laminate flooring is simple enough for them to do it themselves, but if you have any doubts, professionals can be hired to do the job for you.

When purchasing your laminate, take the time to check on warranties. Some manufacturers offer a 5 or even a 10 year warranty for replacement which can be a real money saver if something unexpected happens to your home.

Variety

Laminated flooring is also available in a wide variety of colors, styles and installation types. Laminate can be purchased that looks like wood, stone or tile which allows you to get the look of any type of flooring without the hefty price of real wood or the hassle of laying individual tiles or cleaning grout. Wood laminate styles can be found in a variety of colors from oak to cherry, while tile and stone styles can be found in almost any imaginable color.

There are also several different types of installation methods available including floating laminate installation. This method will allow you to reserve your original flooring without damaging it with nails, glue or staples because the laminate planks connect to each other instead of to the floor benefit them.

Drawbacks

While there are several benefits to laminated flooring there are also a few drawbacks to consider before committing to laminate. One concern is that some laminates may contain chemicals that can be released into the air in your home over time and cause illness like formaldehyde.

Another thing to consider is that laminate can be easily damaged or stained so it requires a decent amount of attention and cleaning. Areas that get a lot of traffic should be cleaned often to avoid scrapes from dirt and dust. Spills should be cleaned immediately to avoid stains and may require steam cleaning for full removal. Most people with pets or children often choose to cover their laminate floor coverings with area rugs to help avoid damage.

Although laminate floors do have some drawbacks, they certainly offer many benefits that make them worth while. If you have ever wanted to redo your flooring, but decided against it because of the cost or long and drawn out installation processes, then laminate may be the answer to your prayers. Whether you want your floors to look like wood, stone or tile, there are plenty of affordable laminated flooring options available.

The Top 3 Tricks Horse Owners Can Use To Unspoil A Barn Spoiled Horse

It's been weeks since you walked riding. Now you have time to ride this afternoon and there is not one one gonna stop you. Excited, you saddle up your horse and get on him. You get about 50 feet from the barn and your horse turns around and goes back – and you can not stop him. Why? You have a barn spoiled horse. This is a common scenario for novice horse owners.

Here are the top three tricks to solve the barn sour problem.

Teach your horse that you have control over him. Once your horse gets it in his mind that you can make him do what you want him to do, you have control over him and can so make him leave the barn. One way to get control over him is to use a training technique called doubling. When you double your horse you teach him you can control him.

It does not take long before your horse will know you can control him. Be careful when doubling though. If you do it too much at a time you can over do it. Your horse could get so sensitive to you doing it that he may try to anticipate it. If he sees your hands making the slightest movement that looks like you're about to double him, he may double himself. Thus, just double him four to six times a day on both sides. He'll quickly learn you have control.

The next thing you can try is this: Make it dang hard to do the wrong thing – and make it real easy to do the right thing. Here's what I mean. A while back my horse did not want to leave her buddies or the barn. We'd get about 100 feet away and she'd turn around and bolt back. She'd stop in front of the barn expecting me to get off, remove the saddle and tack, and put her back into the corrals.

By my barn is two hay stacks. There is a space between them big enough to go through and do figure eights around the hay stacks. So every time she'd go back I would make her work, and work, and work at running figure eights around those hay stacks. Then I would test her to see if she had enough and would leave the area.

The first seven times she ran back. Each time we came back to the barn we'd run more laps around the hay stacks. I could tell she was getting tired. But the eighth time I walked her away from the hay stacks I noticed she went quite a ways before turning to go back.

When we went back again we ran more figure eights. Only this time I could tell we did not have to do too many. I walked her out and away from doing the figureights and I suddenly had a horse who decided that it was sooo much nicer going for a walk away from the barn rather than doing a bunch of crummy ol 'figure eights. We had a nice ride that day and she was in no hurry to get home.

The last thing to do is this: Ride. Ride a lot. Do not wait for weeks or months in between riding. Try to ride at least once per week for three or four hours. Preferably, try to ride at least twice a week for a few hours at a time. (Ideally, you should ride everyday. But that's hard to do with today's time constraints) Doing that your horse will get in his brain that you're going to ride and he's going to leave the barn and there will be no argument. In fact, if you want to have a great horse the biggest secret is this: Ride the heck out him!

So if your horse is barn spoiled you can try doubling it to show you are in control. The next thing you can try is making the wrong thing difficult and the right thing easy. Make it dang hard for him to go the wrong thing and very pleasant to do the right thing. And lastly, ride your horse often. Two to three times a week if possible.

Environmentally Friendly Fireplaces

If you have ever sat in front of a burning fire, you know that it can be a very pleasant experience. It is a great way to warm your home and it does reduce your electric bill. However, all fireplaces are not created equal and depending on what you want to use the fireplace for will determine what type of fireplace you need to have. You do want to use the most environmentally friendly fireplace that will suit your needs. Here are some of the more eco-friendly fireplaces you may want to consider:

Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves use pellets made from waste materials and therefore are very environmentally friendly. They burn very clean and they are very low maintenance. The pellets can be loaded into an auger and can be automatically fed into the stove. Another added feature is that you do not need to install a chimney for the pellet fireplace.

There are however, some disadvantages to the pellet stove. They may not be allowed in mobile homes in your area so you will have to check with your particular county to see if you can install one in a mobile or modular home. They do require electricity to run and they can be very expensive. You will have to purchase pellets for your pellet stove. So, you should price the pellets and the unit, before you decide to go with this type of fireplace.

Wood-burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces have a wonderful appeal. The fuel is renewable and if you have wood s on your property or know someone that does, you may be able to get your wood free. There is no electricity needed to burn wood except if you elect to put an electric blower on your unit. Putting one of these units on your wood-burning fireplace greatly increases the fireplace's heating capacity.

One thing about wood-burning fireplaces, and that happens to be one of the things that I do not like about them, is that they are messy. You do need to keep the ash cleaned out of the fireplace so it will work efficiently. Another thing about burning wood is the smoke that is produced which can be irritating to some people. Heat also escapes if you use an open fireplace versus a wood-burning insert. These are all things you should take into consideration when deciding which fireplace you want to use.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are not very expensive and they are convenient and portable. They do not produce real flames which makes them safer than a wood-burning fireplace. Actually, they are just a fancy space heater. They do, however, use electricity to run. They do not use as much as a central heating system does, but they still consume more than some of the other types of fireplaces.

Gas or Propane Fireplaces

These fireplaces are great. I have a propane fireplace because we do not have natural gas in our area. The gas or propane fireplace has a real flame but without the mess and the work of a wood-burning fireplace. Some of these models do not even require a chimney. No chimney means that you do not lose much of the heat as with a real wood-burning fireplace. And, if you have a blower on the unit, it will warm a large room rather quickly. When deciding on a gas or propane fireplace, check with the manufacturer regarding any carbon monoxide concerns. Carbon monoxide can be an issue with an unwanted or fireplace with no chimney. You will also need natural gas or propane to run the fireplace. Both of these are not inexpensive.

When deciding on one of these environmentally friendly fireplaces, check with the manufacturer or a knowledgeable person in the store where you will purchase it for information regarding the best type of fireplace for your needs.

The Features and Benefits of Revolving Doors

There are now many door options available to architects when designing commercial, public or educational buildings. These can be manual, automatic, or a combination of both, but the underlying needs and requirements are likely to be the same e.g. effective, safe, and easy for the user. Revolving Doors made their first appearance in a New York Restaurant in 1899 but there’s Patent evidence to suggest that a Philadelphia resident actually thought of the idea over 10 years earlier. So why over 100 years later is this idea still so relevant and so widely used?

The Features

Revolving doors essentially consist of a series of 3 or 4 panels which are also known as wings or leaves. These panels are attached to a central vertical shaft around which they rotate. The whole structure is enclosed in a cylindrical structure and the panels are spaced in such a way that in normal operation the door is never really open i.e. there is no clear direct passage from the street into the building which can bypass the panels. The panels and enclosure generally incorporate glass for safety as well as aesthetic reasons. The glass allows people to see others using the door and to regulate their movements accordingly.

Automatic versions have a powered central shaft and use sensors to stop and start the door in potentially unsafe situations. There is generally a speed control feature, and the doors themselves can be folded back to create a clear space through the opening for emergency situations or for moving large objects in or out of a building. The direction that the doors revolve actually differs in different counties. For example the predominant movement of UK revolving doors is clockwise with a right hand side entry. In Australia and New Zealand however the situation is reversed. In U.S. in the 1940s a fire in a popular Boston nightclub meant that lives were lost because there was only one revolving door as an exit. Since then revolving doors have been made collapsible, and a hinged door of equivalent capacity is generally placed next to the revolving door. This other door also assists with disabled access.

The Benefits

These doors have an obvious aesthetic appeal and can enhance the look of a building. They provide energy and they save money. This is because they are never actually open as they allow people to enter and leave a building. This means that valuable heat is not lost, and any air conditioning balance is maintained. In very tall buildings the revolving doors stop the effect of air being sucked up and down through the building through the vents and doorway depending on the different temperatures inside and outside. These doors are very effective at keeping a regulated flow of people in and out of a building which enhances safety, and they are easy for people to use particularly if they are carrying bags and other objects. Their one way operation means that they can also be very useful for security where certain areas can’t be bypassed or avoided or where a certain direction flow is necessary e.g. airports.

Chanel Logo Earrings – How & Where To Buy

The most sent-after Chanel Logo Earrings, as with other Chanel brand fashion and perfume products, are famous for the unmistakeable Chanel logo design. This design is formed by an interlocking double-C, one C faces forwards the second faces backwards. The double C originates from the full Chanel name, "Coco Chanel", although this full name is less commonly used now.

There are many products which bear the famous Chanel mark, for example earrings and jewelry, sunglasses, watches, and fragrances. The Chanel logo design is perfect for their range of earrings in particular. The Chanel logo is itself a work of art, attractive simple and elegant, so why not use it as the focal point of their jewelry range? Unfortunately the range has changed considering over time and now incorporates earrings and jewelry which is seen by some as "fussy" and overly complicated, relying on less the simple logo. In fact browsing the latest catalog online there does not appear to be any traditional double-C earrings.

In addition there are many fake Chanel products being sold online, mostly originating from China Vietnam and Thailand, which are designed to trick buyers into thinking they are purchasing original Chanel merchandise. There is a simple way to tell a course – a real new Chanel product can not be found at discount prices. If you want a new Chanel product keep in mind that you will have to pay full price for that quality. If you are tempted by someone selling supposedly new Chanel Logo Earrings at an impossibly low price, it is very likely they are selling fakes, and you will find later that the quality of the product is not comparable.

However, if you have set your heart on Chanel Logo Earrings then do not despair – there are a number of solutions. One of the joys of the internet is the ability to see products and store catalogs from all across the globe, simply and quickly. Having access to this global market you can always locate Chanel Logo Earrings, Purses and other products which are being sold by their current owners, potentially at significant discounts when compared to new Chanel prices. This also means you may be able to find older designs which you possibly prefer.

How To Install Blown In Attic Insulation

Scenario:

I have just completed an addition to my house. I’ve heard that blown in insulation is better than batts since covers the joists completely and leaves no open areas. Do you have any do it yourself suggestions?

Solution:

Yes you are correct. Blown in insulation is better that batts when installed properly as it does seal the attic better.

First you need to measure your attic area that you plan on insulating. Most attics require a value of R-30, R-38 or R-49, depending on your climate and location. Once you know the square footage of your attic you can determine how much insulation you’ll need by simple looking on the chart located on the bag of insulation.

Before you get started you will need to determine what materials you will need. Assuming your home has recessed lights, ceiling and bathroom fans and eave vents you will need the following tools and materials:

Loose Fill Insulation

Cardboard Baffles

Flashing

Duct Tape

Staple Hammer and Staples

Utility Knife

Ladder

Insulation Blowing Machine (Available at your local rental store)

The attic will need preparation before you can actually blow insulation into it. Make sure you are wearing a dust mask, protective goggles and a long sleeve shirt. Recessed lights must have flashing installed around them leaving a open space of at least four inches from the flashing to the light. Using a utility knife cut a piece of flashing of the correct length and form it into a cylinder shape, securing the edge with duct tape. Place over recessed light leaving a four inch open area. This allows for the heat to escape. Use the same process for any vented kitchen or bathroom fans in the attic area.

The next step is baffles. This is a chore nobody enjoys. The baffles need be installed by using your staple hammer and install them where the ceiling joists intersect with roof rafters. Make sure you only install the baffles over the vents and that they are high enough so the vents won’t get covered with insulation. Now that you’ve installed you might want to climb out of the attic and give you back a much needed rest.

The next step of preparation is to make a dam around the attic access hole. The easiest way is to cut a few extra cardboard baffles into lengths of about 4 inches above the amount of insulation you plan on installing. Simply staple them around the perimeters of the access hole. This will allow for a uniform depth in the insulation you are blowing in.

So you don’t have to keep crawling in and out of the attic it’s best to have another person outside helping you load the insulation blowing machine. Hint: If you’re using fiberglass insulation have your helper add about a cup of water per bag, spreading it over the top after its loaded into the machine. This will help cut down static electricity when you are blowing the insulation and it will lay down more evenly when installing it. After the bag of insulation is loaded into the hopper it will take several minutes before the next bag is needed. Don’t let your helper be lazy. Have him get on the ladder and pull excess hose out of the attic for you so you don’t get tangled in it.

I’ve found blowing insulation into the attic is a simple process. Start and the far ends of the attic. Going back and forth make sure its level and smooth. Make sure to get all areas of the attic and don’t fill any vents or recessed light areas. Take a tape measure with you and check the levels once in a while. As an example, if your installing an R-38 of fiberglass insulation you would want it to measure 16 inches deep. As you work your way back near the attic access make sure your helper is getting that excess hose out of the way. When you get to about 6 feet from the access hole stop the machine so you can get on the ladder. Once on the ladder finish installing, making sure to bring the level evenly against the dam you previously built.

The final step is to place a piece of batt insulation in the access hole and carefully put the attic hole lid back into place. Now your done! Stay out of that attic as much as possible from this point as loose fill insulation that has been stepped on or crushed looses it’s R value.

Graphic Design Jobs for Felons – How to Get Started in Graphics Felony Jobs

Graphic design is an excellent career choice for ex-felons. Jobs for felons are not too easy to find nowadays because of the current economic slump but jobs are always available for talented graphic designers. Graphic conception jobs for felons are a top paying felony friendly job.

Graphic design is a profession that melds the creative design process and technology. Designers work with painted, drawn, photographed or computer-generated images and text to create a message. They design the visuals of posters, logos, magazine advertisements, album covers, T-shirt designs, product packaging, websites and more.

If you are having difficulties getting a job, graphic conception may be a good choice for you. For one thing, it is not a highly regulated field. In addition, one of the main advantages for a felon who wants to pursue a career in graphic architecture is the large number of jobs for felons available and the possibility of self-employment. Many graphic designers work freelance because they enjoy the flexibility and freedom of being their own boss.

Graphic Design Jobs for Felons

What types of graphic design jobs for felons are available?

You can either choose freelance graphic conception jobs for felons or work for just one company or organization. Both jobs pay well but the regular jobs offer more job security while freelance work offers more freedom and flexibility.

Most companies do not need graphic architecture work done every day so they do not have a graphic designer on their payroll. When they do need something designed such as a logo, poster, banner, magazine advertisement and other such work, they will need to hire a freelance graphic designer for that particular project.

A freelance graphic designer has many clients who hire him to work on many different design projects. With more and more companies using the internet to search for talented designers, freelance graphic conception jobs for felons are plentiful. You can even work from home which is an especially good option for people who have disabilities or those who want to spend more time with their families.

Not all graphic designers work freelance. Many choose to work regular jobs as designers for advertising agencies, magazines, newspapers, public relations firms, film and animation studios, computer game design companies, etc.

Graphic Architecture Jobs for Felons: How to Succeed

To succeed in a graphic architectures career you need to be a creative, artistic person who can translate ideas into visual form. Nowadays almost all design work is done on computers. Graphic conception software doesn’t remain the same from year to year so you also need to be comfortable with having to learn to work with changing technologies and software.

As a graphics person you will be working with many different clients so you need good communication skills. Clients will also criticize your work and possibly ask you to make many changes before a project is finished. That means that personality-wise you should be flexible and open to criticism.

Job Opportunities for Felons: How to Attain Your Goal

It is not required to have a formal graphic degree in art or design. Some smaller businesses will hire designers based on previous experience and knowledge of whatever software programs they intend to use.

On the other hand, many clients and big businesses are reluctant to hire people who have no certificate, diploma or degree in graphic conception or its related fields. That is why it is a good idea to invest in getting formal training as a graphic architect.

There are many different types of courses you can take. Schools may sometimes offer similar programs that sound the same but have a different focus. For example, one multimedia course may emphasize animation techniques while another course may focus more on the print industry.

Short diploma or certificate programs are good but when you graduate and start looking for your first job, you will probably have to start from the bottom and work your way up the career ladder. A four-year bachelor’s degree is more expensive but also more impressive and will help you to start work at the higher-paying jobs for felons.

Graphic Conception Jobs for Felons: Summary

Graphic conception jobs for felons are an excellent choice for people who like to work with computers and are artistically talented. Although it is possible to teach yourself graphic design, you will probably need a diploma or degree in graphic design to get the best jobs for felons. You can either work freelance or look for regular graphic design jobs for felons. The best thing about graphic design jobs for felons is that they pay well and there are many job opportunities for felons available.

Please, Just Say No to Emojis! These Apps Corrupt the Ford Sync System!

Using emoticons on your smartphone can cause severe problems with the voice-to-text functions of the Ford Sync System. This self-help article reveals ways to correct these problems.

Since late 2012 there were numerous problems with the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S as well as the Samsung Galaxy, the HTC Evo and other smartphones having connectivity issues with the Ford Sync system. User forums for these smartphones and for the Sync system have been filled with people which connectivity problems that affected the base model, the MyFord and the MyFord Touch Sync systems. The issue was something was seriously affecting the Sync users accessibility of their phone book contacts with Voice commands. If you pushed the “Voice” icon on your steering wheel and said “Phone” and then “Call + (your contact name)” then your Sync system might reply, “Calling Dot on Cell.”

Some of the issues were a result of smartphone users downloading and using any of the Emoji Apps. The word emoji is Japanese for ideograms, you know, those little emoticons such as smiley faces, “frowny” faces, etc.

The new Apple iOS even allows iPhone 5 users to go to their Settings folder, to the General settings, to the Keyboard tab, and then to the next menu to select “Keyboards.” You can then tap “Add New Keyboard” and add an emoji keyboard. However, this is the kiss of death for your Sync system.

The issue is that the cute emoticons seen on your smartphone screen as a smiley face are, in fact, long strings of programming language which cause Sync’s text-to-voice conversion to go haywire. When given a Voice command to call a contact the system will say “Calling Dot on Cell” and then dial the first contact listed in your phone book.

If this has happened, then review EVERY phone contact and remove any emoticon. Also remove any extraneous exclamation points, periods, commas, dashes and so on that you might have in your phone contact list. Be sure to even check the name of your device! Some overzealous users renamed their phones with smiley faces on the device name. Check to see that everything is cleared again. Then go to your Bluetooth settings and remove Sync from your phone.

If you have an iPhone, do a soft reset. This is done by holding your “Home” button, the large button at the lower center of your front screen, while also holding down the Power button at the top edge of the phone on the right side. Hold these buttons down until the Apple icon appears. Then release the buttons. Let the phone go idle for a few minutes. You can further push the power button, then slide the on-screen button to power down the phone. Leave the phone off for a few minutes. Then push the power button and let the phone power back up.

Then go to your vehicle. Go to your phone settings and delete your phone from the list of Bluetooth devices. Then turn your vehicle off. Open the hood and find the car battery. Loosen and remove the black (negative) battery cable) for about five minutes. Then replace the cable and tighten the clamp. Close the hood and restart the vehicle. Let a few minutes pass before resetting the radio from AM and resetting the clock. Then go to your phone settings and pair your phone back. See this video for instructions on pairing a phone.

Yes, this is a lot to do. This is why you need to really clean Emoji Apps and emoji keyboards from your phone files. Emoticons are cute but they defeat the whole purpose of having a Bluetooth-enabled hands-free communications system. Maybe it’s time to say bye, bye to smiley faces! So sorry!

Stainless Steel Water Bottle Saves the Earth and the Economy

Send a fashion statement, an environmental declaration, and an economic encyclical with a stainless steel water bottle.

You are done with plastic. That innocuous-looking little plastic bottle in your hand is, in fact, a menace to society. Properly recycle it, and promise never to buy another one. Invest in a water purifier and good glass or ceramic containers for home use. For auto, gym, and trail use, invest in and cherish a new steel bottle. Not only will you help save the planet and contribute to a sustainable economy, but also you will get a fashionable little product that will deliver years of reliable service under the most trying conditions.

The short course in plastic economics.

Today’s economy very closely resembles the fragile American economy after World War II. Women skillfully and reliably had replaced men in manufacturing and other “smokestack industries,” and conversion from wartime to peacetime production demanded that corporate America preserve the jobs it had created and open-up more for war-worn vets eager to return to their “normal” lives.

“Disposables” offered a wonderfully viable solution. Paper towels create a lot more jobs than cotton towels ever could. Disposable diapers, a post-war innovation, create jobs in forestry, manufacturing, and waste-management. Aluminum cans create jobs in mining, manufacturing, bottling, and retail. It took seventy years for the downside risk to become apparent. Your not-so-harmless little plastic bottle is a relic of and icon for an outmoded way of doing business and disgracing the earth. In its tiny little way, your steel water bottle demonstrates your commitment to a new way of thinking about consumer products developed in a sustainable economy.

Your stainless steel bottle says and does a lot of good things.

Your metal bottle accomplishes a great deal of good by all that it does not do. It does not introduce BHP, PVC, and phthalates into the environment or your body; and it does not add a billion tons of waste to landfills every year. It does not consume 17 billion barrels of oil in production and distribution. Your steel water bottle does, however, encourage renovation of American manufacturing, bringing home thousands of outsourced jobs. Your steel water bottle will last a lifetime, and manufacturers may “up-cycle” it when you are finished with it. Best of all, your steel water bottle will keep your beverages icy cold and mightily refreshing with no strain on your conscience or the planet.

Personal Branding: The Lighthouse Branding Model

More and more people are talking about the importance of personal branding, both in career searching and in career development. Effective personal branding not only makes you stand out from the crowd to employers and recruiters, it can also increase your job security by communicating your value as a leader and team player to your organization.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is the process of identifying the unique and differentiating value that you bring to an organization, team and / or project and communicating it in a professionally memorable and consistent manner in all of your actions, both online and offline, to all current and prospective stakeholders in your career.

The Lighthouse Personal Branding Model

The lighthouse is a great model for breaking down the branding process into four key steps: the foundation, the beacon, the tower and the beam.

Foundation:

Your foundation is your unarguable strengths and experience in your chosen area. To identify your own foundation, write down the strengths that differentiate you from the rest and ask your friends, family and colleagues / managers to do the same for you. Identify the top three to five overlapping strengths that support the career direction you want to pursue.

Beacon:

Your beacon is the memorable and consistent communication of your strengths and experience. Now that you have identified your foundation, it's time to create your beacon by finding a word or phrase that represents these strengths and can become your brand. Develop a short pitch that can follow your brand, describing your strengths in more detail. Ensure that your word or phrase is capable and can change with your direction.

Tower:

Simply put, your tower is your visibility, reach and presentation, both online and offline, which support the beacon. This is really everything you do to proactively build your personal brand. The higher you build your tower with your efforts, the more visible you will be to potential career stakeholders. Here are some ways to proactively build your brand and credibility in front of your target audience:

  • Create a LinkedIn profile and follow the suggested steps to complete your profile 100 percent, making sure you include your personal brand and pitch in your subtitle and summary sections.
  • Create a Google account and profile for improved search engine optimization.
  • Include your personal brand on your resume, cover letter, business cards, email signature, voicemail message and across your other social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Consider creating a personal website / blog site where you can house all of your information, including experience, education, skills, honors, entrepreneurial efforts and more.
  • Start your own blog with a unique point of view on your industry / area of ​​interest.
  • Contribute value in your book or product reviews, your tweets, your comments on other blog posts, your own blog articles or articles for print publications, your discussions in LinkedIn Groups and your advice via LinkedIn Answers or other forums.
  • Start a company full-time or on the side with relevant and valuable products / services / resources for the industry.
  • Publish and offer print and / or electronic publications.
  • Get quoted in the media by joining HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and contributing advice, experiences and insights to reporters and journalists seeking expert sources.

Beam:

Your beam is your career direction and more active personal branding and career search strategy. It involves you gaining and projecting a strong understanding of where you want to go, what you want to pursue and how you will pursue it. First, you need to determine what functional area, geography and industries / companies you want to target. Then, you need to actively network your brand with potential career stalkholders. Here are some ways to start:

  • Join associations or networking groups within your industry and attend events to meet new contacts and build your target network. Be sure to share your personal brand with those new contacts.
  • Conduct informational interviews with target network contacts (whether or not you're seeking a job) and share your personal brand with them in your introductions.
  • Find ways to bring fellow industry thought leaders together on a project or at an event.
  • Find ways to contribute to the projects or events of fellow industry experts.
  • Get recommended on LinkedIn and display testimonials from customers, clients and partners

Personal Application

I used this model to help develop my own personal brand during my MBA career search. Having identified my foundation to be my endless energy, out-of-the-box creativity, relationship building and problem solving, I looked for a word that could pull all of those strengths together into one memorable brand message. The beacon I chose was "generator" as I generate energy, creativity, relationships and solutions to problems. I was pursuing a career in marketing and brand management, and therefore, I became a brand and marketing generator. I proactively built my tower by incorporating my brand directly into my online profiles, my resumes and my entrepreneurial efforts. I then took a more active approach, targeting the "beam" by incorporating my personal brand in my interview responses, networking introductions and informational outreach outreach. It was this process that helped me successfully secure my current employment, and this model continues to help guide all of my professional and entrepreneurial ventures.

As you create, build and improve on your personal brand, keep the lighthouse in mind as a visual model and guide to personal branding success.