Jeffrey Archer’s "Old Love" Redefines Love Story

The “Old Love” of Jeffrey Archer is a unique amorous tale between two brilliant students of English literature from Oxford. Archer makes an exploration of the theme of love from a completely unusual standpoint. The rendition is fiercely honest while he portrays a chronic sense of envy and rivalry between two sworn arch-rivals in the Oxford University: William Hatchard and Philippa Jameson. Initially, their aggressive competition unsettles their tutor Simon Jakes. In their constant intellectual debates, Philippa confronted the deep, confident voice of William with her high-heeled boldness. The mutual hatred was absolute. Their sharply perceptive and analytical mind refused to be submissive to each other. Indeed, this fierce sense of competition enabled them to outshine everyone else in the field. Given the background of 1930’s she, to him, was “that silly woman” and he “that arrogant man”. Yet strange is the way of destiny that an unusual love story should blossom between the bitterest of academic rivals!

This rivalry assumed an unpalatable intensity when both excelled as toppers in their final degree exam. The Charles Oldham Shakespeare’s essay writing competition fed fat to this fire of passionate jealousy and became a life and death question for each to defeat the other.There were liberal exchanges of scornful remarks between the two to play each other down. However, things took a dramatic turn when William unwittingly discovered about the death of Philippa’s father (who was a Vicar) from cancer, and also, his secret dream to let his daughter study in Oxford and win the Charles Oldham award. The sight of silent sobbing of his proud and powerful adversary stirred up a sudden feelings of empathy in his guts. He got over his tentative doubts and offered to accompany her to her village for the burial ceremony. They held hand for the first time and discovered the new bond of friendship as they started their journey to her village. They communicated with each other spontaneously while returning to Oxford which bounces Philippa back to her normal competitive spirit. She slowly discovers the growth of her new found intense attraction for William. The latter secretly enjoys this interesting conversion in the Vicar’s daughter.

The transformation of hatred into love has always been a captivating subject in itself, and Archer makes the situation entertaining with the employment of sparkling wit in their conversation. They make a visit to Stratford and have meals together. But their first date was far from usual: it is a unique blend of warmth and intellectual antagonism! If this instinctive antagonism triggered a strong sense of hatred before, now it drew them closer. In fact, this killer instinct became a delirious source of entertainment for both. Archer makes the reader question if intense hatred could indeed be an expression of hidden attraction?

Anyway, the situation takes a quirky turn while returning from Stratford. On their way back to Oxford, Phillipa and William had to spend the night in a car as the petrol gauge showed empty. The former obviously did not miss the chance of expressing her doubt about the cerebral power of a person who couldn’t even read a petrol gauge! The day next William gave her the reason why he let the car run out of petrol: He said with a rare sense of humor: “My father told me if I spent the night with a barmaid then I should simply order an extra pint of beer, but if I spent the night with the vicar’s daughter, I would have to marry her.” He came down on his knees and said,” Will you marry me if I win the Charles Oldham?” Philippa answered that “as there is absolutely no fear of that happening I can safely say, yes… ” When William declared his love for her she told him not to show his face in Somerville again if he failed to win Charles Oldham. The readers wonder if the writer reveals Philippa’s secret wish that she could marry himeven at the cost of losing Charles Oldham! Otherwise why would tears come to Philippa’s eyes when a girl informed her that she had won? It was a moment of crisis for her because between the conflicting emotion of ambition and love in her heart, the latter had won and for once the proud girl confessed, “I do love nothing in the world so well as you; is that not strange?”

However, when she discovered that William was a joint winner, her puckish spirit returned as she said ” I take thee for pity” to which William replied ” I yield upon great persuasion… ” They were locked in a passionate embrace, and after that, they were never apart for more than a few hours. Strangely, their honeymoon in Athens ended up in a heated argument over the relative significance of Doric and Ionic architecture!

Later in life, this constant battle of wit prevented their romance from dwindling into boredom and banality. Their serious research works and creative activities, though on different fields, kept them deeply connected. After three years, “with well-received D. Phils”, they moved on, in tandem, to college teaching. But their fierce encounters continued and their sharp wit at each other’s expense would flash across the dinner tables at Oxford. However, those who understood their love felt envious of their unique relationship! They were childless yet their life was not tasteless.

Returning home after the celebration dinner (being declared the Joint Professor), their heated argument over Proust’s monumental work took such an intimidating turn, that a policeman, nearby, asked Philippa “Is everything all right madam?” “No, it is not”, William declared “this woman has been attacking me for over 30 years, and to date the police have done deplorably little to protect me”. Yet, beneath this apparent antagonism, their bond continued to grow stronger with each passing year. Interestingly, their intense love was inseparable from their zealous intellectual antagonism which lent a peculiar aura to their relationship. When Philippa was made the Dame of the British Empire, William referred to her as an “Old Dame” he had to live with now. It is this bitter-sweet flavor of their love which defines their marriage.

The most irritable habit of Philippa to William was her determination each morning to complete “The Times” crossword before he arrived at the breakfast table. One fine morning in June, William, studying the clue, filled in the eight boxes left incomplete by Philippa. Philippa’s instantly retorted that there was no such word. To the delight of Philippa the word “Whym Wham” could not be found in the shorter Oxford Dictionary. William assured her that the word could be found in OED on his desk, made for scholars like him. William left the breakfast table with sharp comments on Philippa’s limited command of English language and that she will have to eat a humble pie at Somerville’s Gaudy Feast as she reads the collected works of John Skelton…

William left with a sigh, kissing his wife on her cheek, wishing he had lost Charles Oldham. Philippa replied that he did indeed because it was highly inappropriate during those days to declare a woman as the sole winner! Having closed the front door, as she entered the kitchen, Dame Philippa suddenly suffered her lone heart attack. She called out to William hoarsely but in vain. The news of her death was conveyed and the story ends with a note of dark humor in the suicidal note of Sir William (who shot himself with his pistol): “Forgive me, but I had to let her know”. There was the volume of the work of John Skelton held open in one of his hand with the word “Whym Wham” underlined neatly, his fingers stiff and cold around it. Such weird ending, subtly hints at the essence of special relationship this couple shared so that they rise above the great marriage vow “TILL DEATH DO US PART.” Archer’s love story excels because death could not part Sir William and Dame Philippa! Even while following his wife to her grave, William felt the need to camouflage the inseparable bond they shared, and the insufferable loneliness he would feel without her… he does it with a wry sense of humor!

Wound Dressings – Hydrofibers

Hydrofiber dressings are a relatively new concept in dressings, and can be very cost effective because they can be worn for several days at a time. In this article, we will explore how and when these dressings can be used.

Product Overview

Hydrofiber dressings gel upon contact with moisture, locking in fluid that is absorbed by the dressing. In this manner, they help to maintain a moisture balance in the wound bed that is not too wet or too dry, protecting the edges of wounds from becoming macerated. They provide a passive method of wound control by filling in dead spaces where bacteria tend to proliferate. The addition of silver to some of these dressings can provide antimicrobial protection for infected wounds. The main component of these dressings is sodium carboxymethylcellulose. These dressings may come in a sterile, soft non-woven pad or as a ribbon dressing.

Indications

  • Partial thickness burns
  • Diabetic foot/leg ulcers
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Traumatic wounds
  • Surgical wounds left to heal by secondary intention

Contraindications

  • Hydrofiber dressings containing silver should not be used on those patients sensitive to silver
  • Not compatible with oil-based products, such as petrolatum jelly

Advantages

  • Can be used with compression bandages
  • Can be used on dry wounds (wet with sterile normal saline)
  • Conforms to irregularly shaped wounds easily
  • Comfortable for the patient to wear
  • Easy to remove; painless and does not damage granulating wound tissue
  • Can be worn for several days, therefore these dressings can be quite cost-effective
  • Helps to balance the inflammatory response
  • The addition of silver provides sustained antimicrobial response over time

Disadvantages

  • Secondary dressing may be needed for wound that are highly exudative i.e. oncologic wounds

Hydrofiber dressings have been shown to be effective in the management of both acute and chronic wounds, as well as wounds that are infected.

For dry wounds, the dressing should be moistened with sterile normal saline, and then an occlusive dressing that traps moisture should be applied as a secondary dressing, such as a transparent film. For wounds that are extremely moist, a secondary dressing to “catch” any excess fluid should be applied.

References:

Bowler, P., Jones, S., Parsons, D. & Walker, M. (2004). Microbial properties of a silver-containing hydrofiber dressing against a variety of burn wound pathogens. Burn Care Rehabilitation, Mar-Apr; 25(2), pg. 192-196.

This article on the use of hydrofiber dressings continues our series on dressings types and use. We hope that you find these articles informative. Perhaps, as you read these articles, you will discover that you have an interest in becoming certified as a wound care specialist. If so, please visit WoundEducators.com to find out more about how you can take the next step in becoming an expert in wound care management.

House-Training a Puppy – Top 10 Survival Tips

House-training a puppy does not have to be a difficult or time-consuming process when you have the key points covered. I find that many new dog owners approach house-training as if they were dealing with another person.

Let me assure you that this approach will not work. You actually need to appreciate and take advantage of differences between dogs and people. For any kind of dog training, the most important difference is that dogs are creatures of habit and not creatures of reason.

You can not simply appeal with a dog or punish him in order to make him understand what you expect from him. You must correct his bad behavior and praise his good behavior. Then do this over and over until your dog gets it. Once you realize this key to successful dog training, house-training will become much easier.

I'm about to give you 10 of the most important tips for house-training your puppy. These tips, which apply to both housebreaking and paper-training, cover all of the essential components of successful house-training.

  1. Visit your veterinarian . This is always a good first step because it will help to ensure that there are no medical reasons preventing or hindering your house-training efforts. Plus, it's always a good idea to have a new pet checked out as soon as they're introduced into the family unit.
  2. Start house-training your puppy early . As soon as your new puppy arrives in your home, start house-training him. But, do not expect too much from a very young puppy. They have almost no control over their bladder and bowels. So it's up to you to get them outside regularly.
  3. Decide what method of house-training is right for your situation . If you live in a high-rise apartment building or if you're disabled or handicapped, you might want to consider paper-training rather than housebreaking.
  4. Get your puppy on a schedule immediately . Do not miss the importance of this step. Puppies need to eliminate shortly after they eat, drink, play, and sleep. If you can schedule these events, you can get them outside (or onto papers) at the appropriate time. This can speed training considerably!
  5. Use confinement and supervision religiously . Never allow your puppy to wander around the house unsupervised. I can guarantee that he will have an accident. And, every accident that goes unaccompanied slows the training.
  6. Consider Crate Training to speed house-training . When done correctly crate training is very beneficial for any puppy. It provides a secure retreat for your puppy and it also helps him to learn to control his bowels and bladder. That's because dogs by nature do not like to eliminate where they sleep. So as long as you do not leave him in the crate for hours on end, your puppy will try to hold it until you let him out.
  7. Correct an accident only if you witness it . Without you see your puppy eliminating in the house, you can not do anything except clean it up and try to supervise him better next time. If you do catch him, do something to interrupt him (like saying "NO!" In a strong tone) and get him outside immediately. Never hit him or try to punish him after the fact! You'll only be teaching him to be afraid of you. This could backfire causing him to urinate every time he sees you.
  8. Praise every successful elimination . Never miss the opportunity to praise your puppy profusely when he goes where and when he should. Praise is the golden key to successful and quick house-training.
  9. Be patient . Try to be as patient with your young puppy as you would be with your child being toilet trained. Different children take to toilet training at different speeds. The same is true for puppies and house-training.
  10. Be consistent . I saved this for last because its probably the most important. If you're not consistent in all your training efforts, your puppy will find it hard to recognize exactly what you want him to do. And, failure is assured.

Remember, your puppy would like nothing better than to please you. As soon as he figures out what it is that will please you, he'll be eager to do it! And, the training will be pretty much complete.

Therefore, your task is to make it very clear to him exactly what you want and expect from him. And you do this by correcting mistakes WHILE they're happening and by seeing his successes.

If you do this consistently , you can not fail!

Tweaks to Speed ​​Up Internet Streaming Video

The birth of "Guerilla Video" sites, such as Peekvid.com, Alluc.org and Youtube.com have given users instant access to a plethora of free media files. Although streaming video technology offers instant access to video files, zero loading time is not always possible. There are many factors that attribute to your computer's ability to start videos immediately. Other factors such as choppy PC video playback and slow video streaming also hinder your viewing experience. There are easy fixes to these problems. Sometimes choosing another site for the source of the video streaming or a lower quality version of the video can award you with instant play. These alternatives are not always available. However, there are a number of tweaks that help speed up your streaming video startup times, eliminate choppy PC video play and stop slow streaming video.

Before we start with the tweaks to speed up slow streaming video, lets get a basic understanding of streaming video technology in order to stop choppy video. Streaming video is a prerecorded video files that can be distributed as part of a live broadcast "feed." The video signal is converted into a compressed digital signal and transmitted from a Web server. This server is able to be multicast the same file to multiple users at the same time. When you click on the on video it is partially loaded before you can access it. This is known as "buffering". This helps you to load and play the video instantaneously. Now lets take a look on how to cut down on buffering time, stop slow streaming video and eliminate choppy PC video playback.

Common Streaming Video Problems

Problem # 1: Choppy PC Video Playback – Choppy video is typically a PC performance related issue. Here are a few things you can try to stop choppy playback and improve computer performance.

Solution A. Turn Off Hardware Acceleration-All media applications require different aspects of your computer's hardware. Depending on the task, the requirements may change. Turning off hardware acceleration allows the application to set the requirements itself and not be forced to use one universal setting. Hardware acceleration has been known to cause choppy PC playback, application crashes and slow streaming video problems.

You can eliminate the problem below:
1.Click on "Start"
2.Click "Control Panel"
3.Select the "Settings" tab and click on the "Advanced".
4.Click on the "Troubleshoot" tab.
5.Disable the hardware acceleration completely by dragging the slider to the extreme left.

Solution B. Turn off Video Acceleration-The reason for this tweak is the similar to hardware acceleration. This act frees up resources in your media player and not your hardware. However you will need to decrease video acceleration in your chosen player. Some sites like Youtube.com do not offer this option. However, Windows Media Player gives the ability to easily alter this problem, following the steps below. Other players' instructions will vary.

1. In Windows Media Player
2. Click the "Tools" menu tab
3. Click on "Options"
4. Select the "Performance" tab.
5. Move the Video Acceleration Slider to "None"

Solution C. Adjust your Windows Desktop Visual Effects-You computer will get a significance boost in
speed. This tweak will also free up more resources for your media player and PC performance.

1.Click "Start", and then click "Control Panel".
2.Click "System" and choose "Display".
3.Find the "Advanced" tab and Click
4.Under "Performance", Click "Settings"
5.Under "Visuals Effects", you may choose from a list of options such as "Adjust for best performance" or custom. If you choose Adjust for best performance all the features will be unchecked.

For more performance tips check the "Speed ​​Up PC" to free up more resources to stop PC choppy playback.

Problem # 2: Slow and Constant Buffering-This problem can be attributed to two factors internet speed and your media player. You can tweak your PC setting in both areas to cut down on slow streaming video. Remember that each player has its own buffer settings. Below is an how to change buffer setting in Media Player.

Solution A. Adjust Buffer Settings – To change the default buffer settings in Windows Media Player, use the following steps:
1.Start Windows Media Player
2.Click the "View" men
3.Click "Options"
4.On the "Advanced" tab, click "Streaming Media" (Windows Media)
5.Click "Change" to alter the buffer settings.

Remember that the higher you set the buffer the more of the clip will be loaded. The waiting time before you can see or hear the file will be longer, but there should be fewer interruptions once the clip begins to play.

Solution B. Use a Video Specific Proxy-A proxy allows for popular files to be loaded onto its servers. This eliminates the need for your computer to load the files. For example if you use the proxy, YouTubeProxy.org, you will not have to wait for your computer to download popular YouTube.com content because it may already have been loaded in the server. This is a great way to stop slow streaming video.

These are just a few tips to eliminate choppy PC video playback and slow streaming video. However, there are more advanced ways to stop this problem. Depending on the site, there may be independent software developed specifically to speed up slow streaming video. Also, remember the general maintenance is a good way to avoid choppy PC video playback.

Agoraphobia and Social Phobia – What's the Difference?

What's the difference between agoraphobia and social phobia?

I get this question all the time. That's because the two disorders have some similarities that can make them hard to distinguish from one another. For example, both the agoraphobic and the social phobic are afraid to be in public settings. Both develop a similar pattern of avoidance behavior. Both experience similar physical symptoms associated with panic and anxiety. And since both are classified as phobias, both conditions can be successfully treated with a program of cognitive-behavioral therapy.

So what are the differences between these two conditions? How can you tell them apart?

The main difference between agoraphobia and social phobia can be found in the nature of the fear causing the avoidance behavior. People with social phobia are afraid of social settings that involve groups of people or crowds.

The fears of people with social phobia include the presence of or interaction with other people. For example, a person with social phobia would feel safe walking alone in the forest on a secluded beach.

Agoraphobia, on the other hand, is the fear of open and public spaces, in the presence or absence of other people. People with agoraphobia typically avoid crowds or social situations because they fear having a panic attack and embarrassing themselves.

But people with agoraphobia, unlike those with social phobia, would also be afraid to walk alone in a forest or on a secluded beach because no one would be around to help if they had a panic attack or medical emergency.

But the good news is, you can completely recover from agoraphobia.

Hummingbird Houses – A Shelter For The Birds And A Delight For You

Through the centuries, bird enthusias and other people have been putting up bird houses all over the country and all over the world. These bird houses are designed to attract different kinds of birds, and they are very helpful in enhancing your bird-watching experience.

One of the most intriguing and captivating birds to watch is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are generally found in South America, and they are the smallest birds in the world. They are the only birds in the world that are able to fly backwards. Because of these characteristics, hummingbirds are among the most watched-after creatures of bird watchers everywhere.

In order to spend hours watching this delightful little bird, you would have to be able to make it stay in the same place for a long time. You can do this by creating a hummingbird house in your own backyard. This is a bird house specifically designed for the unusual hummingbird species.

You do not need to spend a lot to put up hummingbird houses. You can even make them yourself. Hummingbird houses are small, so you can use small boxes or even tin cans for this. When building hummingbird houses, just remember that if your open hand can fit in the box, then it is big enough for the hummingbird.

In order to prevent other birds from crashing your hummingbird house, make sure that the opening is only big enough for a hummingbird.

Hummingbird houses are quite tiny, and it is rather hard to see them once they are in position. Typically, hummingbird houses are placed on the trees themselves, very near the tree trunk. However, they can also be put up practically anywhere else in your backyard, such as under the roof of your house, or on other tall plants in the garden. Just make sure that the hummingbird houses are out of reach of cats and other house pets on the ground.

The best way to attract hummingbirds, though, is to place your hummingbird houses near flowering plants. Hummingbirds like hovering near flowers because they feed on the nectar of the flower. These birds are most attracted to colorful flowers like the trumpet vine and honeysuckle.

Your hummingbird house will also be more attractive to the tiny critters if you put hummingbird nectar inside. Make sure you do not offer them sugar water because this may cause fungus on their beaks, and could even be potentially lethal to the little birds.

Burton Air Review

The Burton Air snowboard is another version of the Custom Snowboard which includes CARBON I-BEAM in addition to the technology applied onto the Air.

The Burton Air is 100$ cheaper than the Custom but generally snowboarders purchase the Custom one. The Custom really has more pop because of that Carbon inside, but only experimented riders will see the difference.

The Burton Air now includes many sizes and suits big guys needs with decks ranging from 145cm to 166cm.

Technically, the Burton Air has a Negative Core Profile which results in having a softer and more freestyle flex and torsion suitable for park, pipe and rails riding.

The Super Fly Core makes the board lightened and loaded with pop as it is a vertical sandwich of hard and soft woods.

The DualZone EGD adds solidity to the edges for more control and durability with added wood grain next to the edges.

The Fiberglass used is the TRIAX RESPONSE, basically one lengthwise layer of fiberglass topped with two layers of diagonal glass yielding to more torsional stiffness and thus a more precise carving and turn initiation.

The base is obviously the Sintered one and Burton Air features the Sintered Vision Base which is highly porous for a nice wax absorption (better gliding) but also to put a nice Vivid Design.

And a personal Burton touch adds strength to the deck by tuning the deck especially for a long season. Their technic is to overbuild the board and put it in a machine which simulates the conditions of an entire riding season.

Now that you have learnt about the technical features behind this Burton Air Snowboard, you can admit that this deck is a solid one and fits many conditions. Before you decide to shop for a Custom, think twice and try the Air and you will see that it’s already a great machine. For those who have big feet you should have a look to the Royale snowboard, a replica of the Air.

The Dead Rabbits Irish Street Gang

The Dead Rabbits Irish Street gang, of the middle of the 19th Century, was as vicious as any gang in the history of New York City. They ruled the squalid area of Lower Manhattan called the Five Points, and if a member of any other gang dare set foot in their territory, bad things happened to them very fast.

There is some dispute as to how the Dead Rabbits got their name. One version is that the word “Rabbit” sounds like Irish word raibead, meaning a “man to be feared.” “Dead” was a 1800’s slang word that meant “very.” So a “Dead Rabbit” is a “man to be very feared.”

Another version is that the Dead Rabbits were an offshoot of a older gang called the “Roach Guards.” Two factions within the Roach Guards constantly quarreled, and during a fistfight at an especially violent gang meeting, someone threw a dead rabbit into the room. When the fighting subsided, one group took the name “Dead Rabbits,” while the other kept the name “Roach Guards.” Predating the present street gangs the Crips and the Bloods by more than a 125 years, to mark which group a man belonged to, a Dead Rabbit wore a blue stripe on his pants, while a Roach Guard wore a red stripe on his pants.

Besides the Roach Guards, the Rabbits’ arch enemy was the Bowery Boys. On July 4th, 1857, the Rabbits and the Bowery Boys squared off at the corner of Bayard and the Bowery. The incident started, when a embattled policemen, being chased out of the Five Points by a group of Rabbits, ran into a Bowery Boy’s saloon. The Rabbits followed the policeman into the dive, and were beaten back by an angry group of Bowery Boys.

The Bowery Boys took offense at their turf being invaded, so a large group of Bowery Boys marched into the Five Points area. They were cut off by a battalion of Rabbits and a two-day war started, with as many as a thousand combatants fighting with hatchets, knives, stones, and even guns. The police sent in reinforcements, but they were beaten back by both gangs and told in no uncertain terms to mind their own business. The war swayed back and forth into both territories, with Canal Street being the boundary line.

By the end of the second day, the two gangs were near exhaustion, and the Seventh Regiment of the National Guard was called in by New York Mayor Fernando Wood. The National Guard, joined by the New York City Police, busted into what was left of the skirmish and started cracking the heads of the weary warriors. When the dust settled, eight gang members were dead and hundreds more were injured.

This did not end the animosity between the Bowery Boys and Rabbits. In August, 1858, on the corner of Worth and Centre Street, a small group of Bowery Boys were pummeled by a larger group of Rabbits. As the Bowery Boys ran off licking their wounds, two unsuspecting men exited a house at 66 Centre Street. They walked right into the path of the angry Rabbits, and thinking these two men were Bowery Boys coming back for more, the Rabbits descended upon them with a vengeance. One man was able to escape, but Cornelius Rady was not so lucky. He was hit in the back of the head with a rock from a slingshot and died soon afterward. Rabbit Patrick Gilligan was arrested for Rady’s murder, but it is not clear if indeed he was convicted.

The Civil War started two years later and many of the gang members were drafted, against their wills, into the war and sent to far away places, mostly in the South. When the war ended, the Rabbits were either dead themselves, or in no physical condition to continue tormenting the streets of Lower Manhattan. But in New York City, the creature that it was, and in some cases still is, other street gangs soon followed to take the place of the Rabbits.

Fireplace Accessories – Adding The Finishing Touch To Your Hearth

Back in the day, fireplaces were an integral part of heating the home. People relied on the heat which radiated from their fireplace as their main heat source. Today's modern heating systems have negated the need of the fireplace in the home, but many people continue to incorporate the fireplace into their existing and new home construction. One of the reasons why this is the case is that the peace and comfort gained from a pretty crackling fireplace simply can not be obtained any other way. Many people like nothing better than a warm, cozy fire on a brisk fall day or cold winter's night.

While some families use their fireplace to offset the cost of heating their home and build a fire almost daily, others may only use their fireplace on special occasions or every time in a while. But no matter how often you build a fire, the use of hearth accessories makes the task much more convenient.

There are many different types of hearth accessories including grates, damper pulls, match holders, humidifiers and fire starters, just to name a few, and their main goal is to make your hearth experience as easy and stylish as it can be.

Match holders, for instance, can be a very practical solution for storing matches. Instead of keeping your starter matches in a cabinet or drawer a few feet or in the next room from your fireplace, a match holder can be a perfect way to bring your starter matches into arm's reach. Match holders are also very stylish. You can choose from materials such as oak, brass and copper and styles which range from formal to whimsical.

Grates are more of a necessity than a stylish addition to your fireplace. Available in a wide variety of sizes to suit your individual fireplace, these hearth accessories are generally constructed using durable cast iron.

Some hearth accessories can also be fun. Take for example damper pulls. While these fireplace accessories have a very practical use, they are often stored close to the hearth and present a great opportunity to show off your unique style and personality. Constructed mainly of brass, damper pulls can be whimsically fashioned into your favorite designs such as a flying bird, golf club or pineapple. If whimsy is not your style, you can also find brass damper pulls in classic styles.

If you want to take the headache of starting a fire, Firepots and fire starters can be just the thing to make the whole experience quicker and more enjoyable. And they are stylish too. Ranging in materials from cast iron to solid brass, firepots are a great addition to any hearth no matter whether it graces a Formal home or a Rustic one.

The bottom line is that hearth accessories are a perfect way to make starting a fire in your fireplace more enjoyable and convenient. While many of the hearth accessories that you find may not be a necessity for your fireplace, once you try them you may wonder what you ever did without them.

How to Kill Bed Bugs – Tips On How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs Quickly And Easily

Many of us were put to sleep with the saying, 'good night, sleep tight, do not let the bed bugs bite' as children really, but have bed bugs were? Bed bugs are not as bad as everyone thinks they are, of course. They do not carry vicious diseases or imply uncleanliness – bed bugs can be picked up without you ever having to do anything but they are certainly a great deal harder to get rid of than they are to get. Luckily, learning how to kill bedbugs is not hard to do at all, and many of the things that you might have heard about their dogged tenacity to make your life miserable is not true at all.

If you want to know the truth about how to eliminate bed bugs, put the mop and bucket down. Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs do not give a care in the world about the cleanliness of their surroundings. They are easily submitted through clothing, luggage, boxes, and other vehicles from location to location and that is how they survive. Many people try the approach of just abandoning the awards for a while, in hopes that the bed bugs will be gone when they return but unfortunately they are known to live up to a year without a host to feed off, so you might have to truly abandon your residence for that tactic to work.

A way to kill bed bugs more easily without having to move out of your home is to completely eliminate them; this can be difficult as these little creatures can hide just about anywhere, from behind the light plate on your wall to under your pillow and mattress, and seal up all cracks and crevices in the home – even the area between the wall and the molding where the floor meets the wall. Sealing up these areas decreases the likelihood of the bed bugs finding a place to lay low until the air clears – literally.

After everything has been sealed and exposed, there are a few methods you can use to get rid of bed bugs but the most practical by far is steam cleaning. Most professional exterminators will use steam cleaners to kill the bugs as they can barely survive at temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat kills the bugs, and after that it is just up to you to clean up the remains and make sure you do not ever have to deal with the bed bug problem ever again.

After the bugs have been killed, the problem is no longer how to kill bed bugs but how to keep them gone. If things are done right, rarely do bed bugs re-surface but it is important to always keep an eye out for them when you are traveling, even if you are staying at the Ritz-Carlton or the Waldorf-Astoria. After all, bed bugs do not discriminate and they have a tendency to travel great distances just to make the lives of human beings a tad bit more trying.

Know When Your Business Needs IT Consulting Services

Businesses must ensure that only the latest technologies and software are deployed at the workplace, in order to provide quality solutions to their clients, and to be ahead of the competition. With the ever-changing technological trends in the industry, businesses find it cumbersome to adopt these technologies. Instead they can hand the entire function over to a sound IT consulting services company – who in turn will tap into their global pool of highly skilled IT professionals, who have the advantage of working in various IT environments, and have extensive experience across sectors. By providing assistance to business, IT consulting services providers free up existing resources; ensure IT transfers are smooth and problem-free; optimize key business processes; identify areas that benefit with further cost saving; build competitive advantage through IT; reduce IT complexities; provide IT strategy consultancy services, IT project management services and provide specialized program management solutions – all of which, help the organization achieve significant business efficiencies and cost benefits.

Choosing to work with an IT firm definitely boosts a company's overall efficiency, which in turn decreases costs. Firms tend to look for a flexible and bespoke solution to address the client's IT needs, thereby delivering solutions that are in tandem with the client's goals.

The advantages listed above necessitate hiring an IT company. But how will a business know that it needs IT consultancy services?

A business may function with its existing IT architecture without knowing the benefits of such services. In order to discern the need for IT consulting services, businesses must first understand the details of their services. According to Wikipedia, 'IT consulting is a field that focuses on advising businesses on how best to use IT to meet their business objectives. In addition to providing advice, IT consultancies often estimate, manage, implement, deploy, and manage IT systems on businesses 'behalf, known as Outsourcing'. IT consulting services firms thatby help businesses strategize and evaluate their IT functions as a whole and take the necessary steps to implement and / or deploy and then administrator effective and robust IT systems in place. Businesses can seek the services of an IT firm when:

  1. IT investments regularly overshoot the set budget. Fast-paced technologies and trends warrant proper planning. When making strategic use of the allocated budget seems difficult, seeking the advice of IT consultancy services providers is imperative.
  2. A business decides to relocate or reduce staff.
  3. Projects regularly miss deadlines. Lack of specialists, complex projects and shoestring budgets lead to inefficient project management. A sound IT consulting services company designs bespoke, safe and cost-effective solutions, either full time or part time.
  4. Challenges of globalization, technical and regulatory changes arise. Business and technology management when integrated help the business survive, and therefore IT strategy consultancy is important.
  5. Programs and projects eat into the budget. A business needs specialized program management solutions to achieve significant cost savings. A robust IT services company provides either the co -ourcing or the outsourcing model to help businesses remain ahead of the competition, by providing tailored solutions.
  6. There is a need to change networks or when the need to shift to a new IT architecture arises.
  7. The company is in need of a robust disaster recovery plan.
  8. There are no data storage systems in place.

Availing the services of the right IT consulting services company may be a challenge. A business must choose a provider before the problems stated above get worse – and must choose a provider who is able to set in place a sound IT system in place. Therefore, a business must choose a provider who provides flexible solutions. Businesses must also remember that although they think they are able to fix small issues, the reality is that these issues must be valued at the root, and they can be properly tackled only with strategic IT solutions – only provided by an effective IT consulting services company .

Reflective Foil Insulation

What is reflective foil insulation (RFI)?

Insulation is a material that is placed on the side of a wall that is internal to space being insulated. RFI is a reflective insulation that has the explicit objective of insulating the inside space from heat generated specifically by light-ie sunlight. You'll likely find reflective insulation at the closest point of contact in which the sun hits the so called membrane of the inside room. This location is key, because the insulation is reflective, ie it bounces light and heat in, generally, the opposite direction. So, if you place RFI at the bottom of your insulation stack, your this will likely produce a sort of greenhouse effect, where whatever heat does get through the initial layers of insulation, will be reflect by the outer reflective insulation but will likely be false enough to be trapped at a rate of 98% back inside the room.

RFI is cost effective; it's a light material, and builders like it because it's amiable in terms of shaping in hard or difficult contorted positions on more intricate roofing and insulation projects. RFI is typically made of aluminum, and is reliably light weight and physically easy to manage.

Again, the location within the stack of insulating materials should be at the top or closest to the point of contact, ie closest to the sun. RFI is known to reduce the amount of heat that lower lying insulating materials have to absorb by a rate of 15 to 65%, depending on the quality, the thickness, the engineering of the aluminum.

RFI is reliably cheaper in the Atlanta, Phoenix, Miami, and Los Angeles metros due to those locations' overbearing sun exposures during the summer, or even year round. Some fireproofing insulation comes built in with RFI; these products though are only found in roofing insulations, and less so with room to room insulating materials and products. Foam board insulation does not typically carry any RFI features, while mineral wool insulation never carries any RFI features.

Where can RFI be installed?

RFI is typically installed in and during roofing projects. Again, the objective is to place your RFI where the building will be seeing the most sun-or any sun for that matter. If you're on a tight budget, you really should not skimp on RFI, though. It's difficult to undo or redo, and when you get insured, you incorporated such features as RFI into your risk profile-ie your insurance agent will ask you if you have RFI installed, and where you have it installed. Same goes for tax credits related to energy savings, so called green initiatives, and sustainability programs in your area.

RFI is usually installed toward the top of your house, but your sun exposure is unique to your building, and should be analyzed and respected on a case by case basis. Your foundation, as unusual as it might be, could be a point of high sun exposure. You might have a sun or moonlight feature that is an opening at mid ground to your basement. You'll want to check this point for abnormally high sun exposure, especially if it's on the side of the property that bears the brunt of the morning or setting, or worse, lunch time sunlight.

When can RFI be installed?

RFI is installed when the property project is completed; it's typically installed soon after the frame of the project and building is completed, when there's a roof to speak of, and an insulating room to protect the exposed insulation material from the elements. The timing of RFI installation is key, since it's very difficult to go back and correct poorly timed RFI pieces-especially if the roofing project is one that's intricate, detailed, or unconventional.

RFI is a great tool to use, if you're missing in space, or if you're in an industrial space that does not allow for very many of the conventional insulating materials that aim to absorb. They're also great for outdoor use, where humidity and rains can spoil absorption based insulating materials, such as wool insulation. The general rule is that if your property and building project is over 1,000 square feet, you'll not want to do this project on your own, but rather have a professional contractor do this for you.

Massage Oils – Advantages & Disadvantages

Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil is the most widely used oil for body massage. It is finely textured, smooth and free-flowing. It is high in linoleic acid (E.F.A.) and contains some vitamin E.. This will nourish the skin and allow it to store for longer, vitamin E. being an antioxidant prevents rancidity.

Advantages

o Smooth hence good for full body massage.

o Provides good slip and is easily absorbed.

o Suitable for all skin types and areas

o Cheap and readily available.

Disadvantages

o Usually produced by hot extraction, has lost a lot of its beneficial properties.

Sweet Almond Oil

Sweet almond oil is a pale yellow, thick liquid that mixes well with most other carrier oils and essential oils. It is rich in nutrients, such as unsaturated fatty acids (EFA), and also contains a high percentage of vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, D and E. It is excellent in treating psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis due to its vitamin E. content. It also has some anti-inflammatory properties, which allows it to be beneficial to conditions such as sunburn.

Advantages

o Stores well due to vitamin E. content

o Cold pressed therefore relatively pure.

o Has protective and nourishing qualities to the skin

Disadvantages

o Not suitable for full body massage on its own, becomes too sticky.

o Expensive

o Contra-indicated in diabetics, and those suffering from nut allergies.

Wheatgerm Oil.

Unrefined wheatgerm oil has a strong odour, which many people find unpleasant. It contains high levels of vitamin E., which is a natural antioxidant. Although expensive wheatgerm oil is the richest food source we have of vitamin E.

Advantages

o Moisturisers dry/mature Skin.

o Good for reducing scar tissue and stretch marks.

o Relieved symptoms of dermatitis.

o When added to an aromatherapy blend will help prevent oxidation.

Disadvantages

o Too thick and sticky for use on its own.

o May cause allergies, as it is a protein.

o Contraindicated with celiac sufferers.

Evening Primrose Oil.

Evening Primrose oil is an expensive oil, but has excellent moisturising benefits. It contains linoleic acid, and gamma linoleic acid (GLA). Also contains some vitamins and minerals.

Advantages

o useful for dry skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dandruff.

o Useful for PMT, period pains, arthritis and rheumatism.

Disadvantages

o Too expensive for use on full body.

Avocado

Avocado oil is a highly penetrative oil, rich in essential fatty acids, and also has a high vitamin content. It contains vitamin A. vitamin B. and vitamin D.. It also contains proteins and fats, and the minerals potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It can be mixed in a small ratio (10%) with other carrier oils, and is commonly used in beauty care.

Advantages

o Stores well.

o Emollient

o Unrefined,

o Viscous-but still penetrates the skin deeper than most carrier oils.

o Has healing properties-helps reduce inflammation (beneficial to psoriasis/eczema).

Disadvantages

o Can become too sticky during massage-blend with another carrier oil.

o Has a strong smell.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba is actually a liquid wax, not on oil. It is a nutritious oil containing vitamin E., minerals and proteins. It is beneficial to many conditions as its structure is similar to sebum, therefore it can be used on oily or dry skin. Unlike many oils, it can be heated to high temperatures and still retain its nutrients.

Advantages

o Nourishing-beneficial to all skin types.

o Highly penetrative with anti-inflammatory properties-excellent for acne, psoriasis, eczema and arthritis.

o Helps control the release of sebum, useful for seborrhoeic skin conditions.

o Stable-does not evaporate or react with air.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive-use small amounts, mixed with another carrier oil.

Calendula

This is an infused oil produced by maceration for its medicinal properties. It contains anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and healing properties. It is generally used for medicinal purposes on specific areas.

Advantages

o Very suitable for skin problems-chapped skin, eczema, bruising and sunburn.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Not as pure as cold pressed oil due to maceration process.

Macadamia

This is a stable, fine textured cold pressed oil, and is available either refined or unrefined. In either case solvents are not used and the oil retains its natural properties.

Advantages

o Emollient

o Contains palmitoleic acid (found in sebum), good for oily and dry skin conditions.

o Help prevent ageing, good for driving wrinkled skin.

o Good keeping properties, lasts a long time before becoming rancid.

Disadvantages

o Very expensive.

o Has slight aroma, nutty smell.

o Contra-indicated on clients with nut allergies.

Peach kernel.

This is cold pressed from the kernels of the fruit. It is similar in appearance and chemically to apricot oil and sweet almond oil. It is finely textured and rich in vitamins a, B1, B2 & B6. It is especially ideal for facial blends, since it is kind to the skin and easily absorbed.

Advantages

o Keeps well.

o Protects, nourishes and moisturises the skin.

o Useful for dry skins and eczema.

o Helps relieve itching, so can be useful for psoriasis.

o Good for sensitive skin.

Disadvantages

o Expensive

The Best Final Expense Sales Presentation Ever

Arriving At The Prospects Home

When I arrive at the house, I like to park in the driveway because that is where family parks and they are more likely to greet me. I look for the door that they use the most and I go and knock on their door (usually the back or side door). While waiting for them to come to door, I look down at my clipboard and pretend to read. I try not to make any eye contact until they open the door.

When they open the door, I greet them as if they have been waiting for me all day long. “Mrs. Jones? My name is Joseph and the reason I’m stopping by today is because you recently sent this card in and it’s my job to bring you that information you requested. I’d really like to go over this with you, can I come in?”

If they say yes, GREAT!!! I’m in! If they say it’s not a good time, then I will schedule an appointment with them for the next day. Now you are off to your next one. Some people will let you in and some people will make appointments with you, some won’t be home. (Always make sure you go back or call if they’re not there.) Of course, some will slam the door in your face… ha (fortunately, not usually.)

At the end of the day, you should have made 3-4 presentations and scheduled 4-5 appointments. The point is, you are out there working and making money. I’ve honestly made $8000 in commission in one day!!! No joke.

Making Appointments

Rather then drive around all day, some people prefer to make appointments or hire someone to make appointments for them. Personally, I hired someone to do this for me. I schedule my appointments an hour and half apart. Usually it starts at 10:30am and ends at 7:30pm. I try to get 7 appointments a day, 4 days a week. I always make my appointments the day before because they forget if it’s more than one day away.

Script for Setting Appointments Yourself

Here is an appointment script you can use:

Good Afternoon ____________, This is ____________

I have in my hand, a pink card that you filled out and sent in requesting information on the Social Security Death Benefit Program.

Now, my job is to get this information out to you.

The address I have here is ___________________.

Is that correct?

Okay… Great!

On the card ________, you wrote down that you were 65 and that your wife was 63… is that correct?

Awesome, awesome…

Let me ask you a question: are you (you guys) working, retired or receiving disability?

Oh yeah, that’s good, that’s good… What time… do you/she/he get off work…

chit chat…

anyway, like I said, my job is to this information out to you and I can either get it out to you tomorrow at ______ or ______…

which is best for you?

Great…

Do you have a pen and paper handy or do you have your calendar in front of you?

I just want you to write down my first name… It’s Joseph. Last name Haworth, H-A….

Now put down there ______am/pm on ___________day… that’s tomorrow.

Well, I really appreciate your time, I look forward to meeting you and __________, at ______________am/pm _____day________.

Have a great day.

When you arrive at your appointment, smile BIG and assume you are getting in. Say you are there for the appointment and ask to come in. It’s easy to get in… most of them remember that you are coming.

Presentation

To put you at ease, I want you to know that I’m not a sales person at all. I’m the most passive, non pushy person you can imagine. There really is no trick to it. So relax your shoulders and have fun.

Once you are in the door, you compliment their home, their yard, their dog, the smell of the house… you know… whatever! Just compliment. My favorite one is to mention how clean the house is. If it is really clean, it means they work really hard at it and they appreciate someone noticing. As I’m walking in the house, I look at the pictures and I either ask who is in the pictures before I sit down or I ask later. In any case, seniors love to share their pictures so make sure you ask about them.

I’m always very casual and I do my best to avoid the sales presentation for about a half hour. I like to have them talk to me and tell me about themselves and their family and their problems etc. I honestly get sucked in. I’m right there, feeling their joy and pain and I’m concerned and interested. I don’t care about the insurance at that point. Eventually, you move to the presentation and by this time you are friends and this helps them listen and helps you know how to communicate to them. Here are the steps:

1. You tell them why they received the card and what it’s about.

2. You bring up the cost of a burial and the fact their family is going to have to pay $10,000.

3. You find out why they sent the card in.

4. Ask who their beneficiary is and if they have ever paid for a funeral (both these questions bring out emotion because they don’t want their kids to pay for the funeral and by asking if they have ever paid for one, this helps them remember the pain of paying all that money for a funeral.)

5. Ask them what medications they take and what they are for. Then you ask how their overall health is. “Have you had any heart problems, or kidney, or liver or lung problems? If so, when?” You need to know when because most applications only care about the past 2 years or so.

6. Now you know what they are going to be approved for and you can show them some prices. I usually write down 3 or 4 prices on the back of their lead card. I try to match what I think they can afford. Once I write them down, I go over the prices and then hand them the sheet. I say, “Now, Mrs. Jones, I want you to look over these three prices and you tell me which one is best for you?

7. Before I give them the prices, I tell them about an immediate benefit and a graded benefit. The immediate benefit means that their family will get the full face amount if they died even after only one payment. The graded policy, however, makes them wait two years before they have full coverage. To find out which one they qualify for, I have to ask the questions on the application. (However, if you asked enough questions earlier, you already know….)

8. Before I ask the immediate benefit questions, I ask them to pick out a price first. (This is called asking for the sale. You have to ask for the sale or you will not sell!!! Plain and simple). Knowing the price they will pay helps with the next step. When you know they qualify for immediate benefits, after you ask the appropriate questions (that you already know the answers to), you stand up and congratulate them.

9. At that point, all you have to do is ask for their personal information. “Mrs. Jones, can I see your SSN and Drivers License”… the point is that you start writing the application.

We hope you will join us to see the full presentation in print, audio and on video.

Demolition and Site Clearance: The Importance of Planning for an Efficient Site Clearance Project

A site clearance project involves the machinery removal from a cleared site and the leveling and preparation of land for building or landscaping. Some materials such as the soil, stones and bricks can be recycled and reused in the new construction on the site. Others that can not be reused such as vegetation are removed from site.

So Why Is Site Clearance Planning Important?

1. Proper site clearance planning will ensure that the safety of workers and other people in and around the site is assured. Exit routes and the supervision processes need to be made well in advance. An expert and his foreman should supervise the machinery removal process at all times.

2. During site clearance planning, the nature of debris and the abundance and nature of contamination is established. Importance of the targeted site to the surrounding community will determine the level of safety precautionary measures to be instituted before the project is undertaken and also the decontamination that will take place in order to secure the residents that everything is safe and the site is ready for development .

3. The time to be taken for site clearance can be estimated and this is important when applying for clearance from the local community. Clearance is important especially if the project is going to render some public roads impassable or may interfere with some utilities like clean water supply, electricity supply and sewerage disposal. The surrounding community is generally more accommodating when the project is estimated to take a shorter time.

4. Ensures restoration of the area amenities like water and electricity are managed effectively.

5. It is essential for safe machinery removal and specialized handling of any waste that is contaminated. Showing competency in your ability to properly dispose of waste and decontamination procedures will assure the public and holders of the usability of the land reclaimed.

6. Planning also enables you to take into account any legal procedures required in the disposition of debris. If the legal requirements are ignored or are unknown or are not followed, the whole project may end up being delayed and even stopped. When the debris disposal plan has been made, it will be approved by the required authorities.

7. By planning site clearance, you establish the amount of work involved so that you can organize what needs to be done first. The site clearance is then undertaken in phrases where where one section of the site is cleared the debris is cleared to another location where further sorting of the debris is established to establish what is usable and what is to be disposed.

8. All equipment and machines for machinery removal of debris to be used in the project is established; land reclamation machinery and vehicles to be used in debris relocation is identified and put on the ready to minimizeize undue delays. Debris should be quickly removed from the site so as not to endanger the workers or any other persons on the site.

9. The costs involved in the project can be estimated with proper planning. This is essential for quotation purposes where a site clearance contractor will be able to determine how much to charge the client. Costs are established by looking at the nature of debris, amount of labor required, type of machinery to be used and estimated time the project will take as well as general difficulty of the job.