What's Your Decorating Style?

Everyone has their own decorating style, yours will be different from mine, and your sister's will be different from yours …

It is very important to truly understand your own decorating style, before you make any decisions regarding your hardwood floor purchase.

The best way to find out what your design style is, is to look around you. If you are just starting out in life and do not own any furniture; you are just out of collage and have no idea what you like … take a good look in your closet.

Your favorite pieces will tell a story, will guide you in the right direction. If you have been around for a while, and over a years had a chance to collect different furniture pieces, they will also tell you what you like and where to go from there.

You may have an eclectic style that started with some of your grandmother's pieces, you added to them over time to complement them and to, form your own decorating style. You may discover that you like the rustic feel of the wide plank pine floor, with it's own build in beauty, showcasing the deep, dark knots, that give it fabulous character.

Or you may love the stream-lined style of modern design, at home with spectacular, smooth maple floors, that look seamless and elegant.

Then there are the traditional, sophisticated and rich dark tones of majestic oak floor, with just the right amount of grain interwoven through each board. Here you may find gleaming dinning room tables and Persian area rugs, with tailor drapery framing the windows.

If you like the traditional style, but are a bit more boring in life, you may love hardwood similar to oak, but with a lot more grain and character, incredible beauty of ash will work with your style.

No matter what your own style is, you should know it, before you start making any decisions regarding your new hardwood flooring choices.

You see, the choice that you make here will become one of the major parts of your decorating scheme. If all your furniture are shaker style or traditional country, they will be out of place on a modern, seamless maple.

If you own high lacquered, sophisticated pieces it will be a mistake to showcase them on the wide plank, knotted pine. If you are sure of what your decorating style is, your choice of hardwood will work not only with the furniture that you already own, but also with those, that you will acquire in the future.

One other aspect of choosing your hardwood floor process that must be considered along with the decorating style is your lifestyle, or in other words, you need to look into your families, activities, their habits, and their favorite locations within the house.

Only then your decision will be the right one.



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Engagement Photography Tips, Article 2

Are You Serious?

If you are – do not be! When you go out to have your engagement photos taken by a friend, you need to have a good time. Focus solely on your fiancé and your love for them. Enjoy spending time with them! Too many people focus on the camera and get nervous and uptight: and it shows in the photos.

Hopefully your fiancé is the only person in the world that can help you forget about everything else – which would include the camera …

Do Your Homework

Planning for an engagement session will typically improve the quality of the results. Here are a few steps I would suggest you take as you begin planning:

Run Google searches for "engagement photography" and "engagement photos." Look for images that you think you and fiancé could imitate. Print off about 20 of your favorite images. Go over them with your fiancé and narrow the list down to the ones that both of you really like and think will be possible. Then, show those to your friend who will be taking your pictures. Whittle the samples down even further based upon their thoughts and feedback. Try to end up with 5 or 10 sample images that everyone is excited about.

Look closely at those sample photos to see what types of location are being used and what the lighting looks like. A lot of engagement photos are taken in either a park or city location. I would suggest driving around and scouting possible photo locations for the session. But do not just do a "drive-by scouting"! Get out of your car with your camera and take actual photos inside each park of the locations you think would work best. Compare your snapshots with the sample photos you printed off.

You can also do internet research by looking at the web sites of local wedding photographers. While your previous search for engagement photography would have returned nation-wide results, the goal of this research is to see where the local wedding pros are shooting their engagement sessions. You'll likely recognize some of the parks and buildings that they are working in and near.

Lots of Photos

Hopefully your friend will be using a digital camera. That way they can take lots of images without worry about film expense. Sometimes the difference between an average photo and a great photo is simply changing the angle and perspective of the camera!

This point was really driven home to me with some recent engagement photo sessions I have done. I am in the process of creating an eBook to help couples take top-notch engagement photos. I had another photographer help me out with several engagement sessions. Together, we shot about 600 photos during each two-hour engagement session. During the session, I would often setup and take photos of the couple. While I was doing so my assistant would be moving around and photographing the same scene at different angles. Afterwards, I would look at the photos I took and also some of the side-angles my assistant shot at those same times – and there is often a night and day difference between the two. The couple did not move or change their pose; the only difference was the angle at which the image was taken!

So, once you have found a good location for your photo session and you and your fiancé are in position – let your photographer snap away! Do not limit the shots they're taking!

And again: have fun with the session. Smile a ton. Laugh a lot. Make the photo session a special memory that you and your fiancé will share for a lifetime.



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YouTube Marketing – Can It Take Your Brand to the Next Level?

Online video is virtually dominating the internet, and businesses are striving to keep abreast with this trend and promote their brand. YouTube is a great platform that businesses can effectively utilize to promote their messages. It is important to be aware that most people visit YouTube for the primary purpose of entertainment and therefore businesses must create and publish YouTube videos that are entertaining enough.

Video marketing has been adopted by many famous brands such as Sony Mobile and Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube, which are taking advantage of YouTube’s mammoth audience base to engage with their potential customers. Compared to other traditional search engine optimization strategies, videos in your SEO plan can maximize your outreach and attract more number of customers. Let us consider how YouTube fits into an effective search engine optimization plan.

YouTube Marketing for Business Success

Video SEO based on YouTube analytics essentials, can play a solid role in deciding the success of your marketing strategy. According to this report that quotes Chris Clarke, chief creative officer at DigitasLBi, the agency that produces YouTube content for Sony Mobile, YouTube remains the biggest and best video site on the web. However, brands aren’t leveraging YouTube talent in the best way. Brands need to provide content that operates in the ways YouTube and its communities operate. Only then can they make the best of YouTube marketing.

Though challenging, businesses can choose from the many promotion options available on this popular video channel. Pre-roll ads that run before videos and are skippable can be created. This is an economical option since the advertiser needs to pay only when someone watches the ad for at least 30 seconds. There is also the option of buying ads that appear at the bottom of the screen during video or buying display advertising on the site.

Here are some reasons why you need to consider YouTube marketing.

  • Absolutely free and easy to upload your video in YouTube and share it with others.
  • No need to spend on web servers to store your video, as it is possible to host it directly through YouTube.
  • YouTube easily accelerates the broadcast of the video and helps to reach out to a massive crowd.

Find the Perfect YouTube Tool

YouTube provides powerful tools which you can use to create excellent content, share content, build a strong fan base and effectively market your brand.

  • YouTube Capture: This enables you to create movies on the go, capturing every moment. You can record as many clips as you want and any number of clips can be stitched together. Moreover, you can trim and reorganize the clips conveniently from your phone and even add a soundtrack that you prefer either from your own music library or from Capture’s audio library. Upload your video to YouTube and simultaneously post to all of your social networks.
  • YouTube Video Editor: This is another valuable YouTube tool that can be used to enhance your uploaded videos in your web browser. You can combine videos, add music and text effects, trim and rotate clips, insert transitions and stabilize clips. You can auto-fix and fine-tune the colour and lighting using a panel of controls and soothe the shakiness of the video. Options are available to alter the speed of the play. You can specify half speed or quarter speed and include smooth slow motion effects. The face blurring property of the tool identifies and removes the anonymity problem of actors. You can also add your favourite music from the approved tracks available in the library.
  • YouTube Captions: With this tool, you can add, edit or remove captions and create automatic captions.
  • YouTube Analytics: This tool allows you to monitor your videos/channel with up-to-date metrics and reports. Data is available for Views, Traffic sources, and Demographics. This tool can be accessed through YouTube.com/analytics.
  • Audio Library: This enables you to download background music for your videos. It is absolutely free as well.

To gain ultimate success in your business, you need to have a clear-cut understanding about video marketing tactics and trends. YouTube is a prevailing platform to optimize your video content. Make the best use of the built-in tools available in the website to enhance your visual content and gain maximum visibility for your brand.



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How To Quiet A Noisy Aquarium

An aquarium represents a small, contained segment of the great ocean, a raging river, or a tidal pool teaming with life. It’s like taking a cube of the underwater environment, and containing it so that we can unlimitedly enjoy all of its complexities, while still being able to breath!

And understanding that the underwater environment is silent (actually it’s very noisy, but we perceive it to be silent), the last thing we want in our display is a noisy aquarium. Or aquariums. I say that as we currently have 4 active aquariums set up in our apartment.

We are surrounded by life. Fish, plants, and a big, crazy, Peaches & Cream Tabby cat. And after twenty some years of tanks, large and small and everywhere in between, I finally answered the problem that perplexed me since the beginning – “Why is my tank so noisy?!”

What causes the noise?

We’ll get to the big answer in a moment. First, here’s a bullet list of things to look for that could possibly be your noise problem.

Air Equals Noise: Air stones and air tubes all give beautiful effects to your underwater environment. They also add power to those ornaments that require the pressure from bubbles to function. The little treasure chest with the hinged lid needs a certain amount of air to function properly. But overload it, and all the excess bubbles popping at the surface will create constant, loud noise.

Current Equals Noise: Second to air movement, we like a lot of water movement (simulated natural currents) in our tanks. Fish need it for growth, and fro pleasure. We have one Guppy tank where you could almost paint a treadwheel on the side of the tank in grease pencil. The fish swim against the current, diving and rising in unison. They love the current. But add Powerheads, and overpower the size of the tank, and you’ll have noise problems.

Equipment Equals Noise: Pumps, filters, sumps, even plumbing can all yield noise. Sometimes too much noise. Most pumps have built in sound deadening. But if you defeat it when custom installing your system, the vibrational hum will very soon be noticeable. And not in a good way. Just as important, the surface you have the items secured to, or merely sitting on, can as easily be the culprit.

Furniture Equals Noise: I’ve built all my aquarium stands, and structural built ins. As soon as I skinned the top of one with plywood, I noticed a horrendous buzz. The air pump’s rubber feet was transferring the vibration through the plywood skin, and the open underside of the built-in was becoming an echo chamber. Placing the air pump in a more substantial place on the cabinet solved the problem.

Design Equals Noise: And finally, even your design can be a big, noise culprit. Air moving over rocks, currents and eddy’s going around fixtures and decorations, even the placement of your pump’s intake and output all go into the formula for noise abatement in an aquarium.

What can I do?

Tone It Down: The quietest aquarium would be a simple bowl of water. No air movement, no currents. Just a container of water sitting in silence.

If you are using multiple air pumps, especially the small ones with a single outlet, opt for a bigger pump with multiple outlets. The rule of thumb – the pump should supply all your air needs for that one aquarium. Not only do you only then have one noise maker, the bigger pumps have better sound deadening.

And if your pump is more than a few years old, trash it. Even if it’s still functioning. The old parts, especially the rubber ones are probably your chief source of noise. The now hard rubber feet, are doing nothing to deaden sound. They may even be adding to it.

And use gang valves to specify the air volume going to your accessories. That little air stone with a single line coming to it from the pump is a major noise issue. And it will look just as nice with half that air volume going through it. Maybe even better.

Listen To The Effect: Most power accessories you purchase to add to your tank have some adjustment feature to them. Get your ear down next to the current the powerhead is creating, and listen as it quiets when you adjust the outlet. It may be a volume issue, or simply a direction issue. It may even be vibrating against the tank, or rocks. Adjust it as necessary.

Adjust your gang valves on your air lines the same way. Put your ear to the surface of the water, and listen while you adjust the flow. When you find a suitable level of quiet, look at the effect it has on the appearance. Then make small adjustments to reach a happy medium of appearance versus noise.

Design With Consideration Of Noise: It’s easier to set up a quiet tank, then try to achieve one afterwards. Remember the bowl of water, sitting silently? Keep that in mind as you add accessories or plan the placement of your necessary equipment. Which brings us to the big problem I solved after 20 years of aquariums.

Not everything works together

I love Bubble Wands at the back of my tanks. They are virtually invisible, yet put out great amounts of bubbles. I like oxygenated tanks, so I like a lot of air movement. That rotates the food in the tank, and helps with currents for the fish to be happy in.

But because of space and budget limitations, I’ve always relied on saddle tank filters, not the canister type. There are only so many places you can place the saddle filter, and thus, only so many places the inlets can sit in the tank.

The noise from my filters have always drove me nuts. They have been, by far the noisiest filters of all my friends. And recently, my other tanks. That’s when I figured out the problem.

My wife set up the three other tanks, and isn’t as huge a fan of Bubble Wands as I am. Her filters were silent, their flow every bit as powerful as mine.

Yet my filter sounded like the impeller was coming apart. I had pulled the whole system, checked all the parts, and made sure everything went back together easily. As had always happened in the past, my filter rattled away.

That’s when I figured it out. I pulled the airline to the Bubble Wands and the noise stopped. The airflow from the wands was going past, and into my filter inlet tube. The filter was trying to fill with water. It couldn’t because the wands were filling it with air.

And so, the filter would forever sound like the filter when it first starts, and self primes. Problem found! Now, to solve it. I didn’t want to get rid of my Bubble Wands.

I took a drinking straw (clean and new) and cut it in half. Then I sliced the pieces lengthwise, to create an opening. I wrapped the straw over the Bubble Wand, under the filter inlet. It left a slight opening that air escaped from, so I positioned the second straw over the first, with the slit 180 degrees opposite the first. Problem solved, air stopped in that area.

And no bubbles getting to the filter inlet. I even saw a slight increase in water flow through the filter, which means better filtration.

Less may be better

In this case I found that just because accessories really give me the look I want in my ‘natural’ environment, certain things don’t work with others. You can modify them. But the lesson is that not all accessories in your tank are best for the tank, and your fish. And especially, your ears.



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Rustic Log Cabin Theme Bedrooms for Kids

One of my favorite themes for a little boy’s room is the log cabin kids rustic bedroom theme. This was the choice of my son, Dakota, and we had a lot of fun achieving the “lodge” look for his room. What I liked best about it, was that it was suitable for a young boy, but works just as well for an older boy. There is a lot of room for creativity with a rustic style theme room. Lots of boys like to camp out, go hiking, fish and explore the outdoors. The room can be created to feel like your child is experiencing a wilderness adventure every night! Some design tips and suggestions are as follows:

1. There are so many options for bedding that are suitable with a rustic look, such as comforter sets that feature bear, moose, elk, deer and camping scenery. Log cabin quilts are another option, and there are numerous log cabin and rustic theme quilts available. Denim bedding or plaid flannel patterns for bedding and linens can also be used. Homespun fabrics in ticking stripes also works. For my son’s room, we used a solid print earth tone comforter, a beautiful rustic coverlet with moose in a fall scene, and an assortment of throw cushions with wildlife and navaho prints.

2. Rustic wood beds, heavy timber-look bed frames or handcrafted log beds work the best for the rustic bedroom theme.

3. Walls can be painted in earth tone colors, such as tan, rust, copper, or warm shades of brown. A color scheme of red and hunter green contrasts well with wood tones. Choose a color from the bedding if possible, or a complimentary contrasting color. Wall paper borders are available with everything from bear, moose, elk, camping scenes, snowshoes, forests and trees, and trout. Another fun option is to use log wallpaper. This works best if it is run partially up the wall. The paint above can be a neutral creme or tan color, to prevent the room from looking to dark. Wood paneling or rough-sawn plywood panels can also be used. Try painting log ‘beams’ on the ceiling.

4. A stone fireplace running up the length of one wall, creates a cozy feel. Fake stone can also be purchased. Wall art can be purchased with wilderness scenes, animals, the woods etc. Photos can be cut out from books or magazines, framed, and hung on the walls, or clustered together in groups on dressers and bookshelves. We used prints by Bev Doolittle for my son’s room, as we both loved the color and scenery. Stock photos can be purchased online of bear, moose and deer, for a minimal price. They can be printed and framed. Rough frames can be made by hand. Small tree branches can be used as curtain rods.

5. Use stuffed animals, such as beaver, bear, moose, elk, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons and owls. Throw pillows with the same animals can be used on the bed or grouped together on the floor. Hang fake geese in mid-flight from the ceilings. Use old trunks to store toys.

6. Try painting an outdoor scene on the wall, or purchase a wall mural of the forest. This can then have a ‘window frame’ applied to the surrounding edges. Accessories can include: vintage signs, country cabin or wildlife area rugs, rustic lighting and decorative lanterns.

7. Wooden furniture works the best in the log cabin theme room. Simple squared-off furniture in oak, pine, or rustic furniture. Vintage household items, fishing lures, canoe paddles, or a set of weathered snowshoes can be hung on the wall. Canoe bookshelves work well in this space.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Have fun!



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The Beauty of Large Wall Clocks

It looks like every time I walk into a really nice home I am sooner or later confronted by one of the hot new trends in interior design: large wall clocks. They are everywhere! And there's a good reason why: they add a real magnificence to any home in which they appear. I am seriously becoming a big fan of this take on the typical smaller or medium-sized version. Go big, that's what I say.

The first thing you need to consider if you want to emulate this design trend is if you even have the room to do it. You really only need one thing: a big empty space on a wall. That is all you will need. (And a little cash.) If you are very stylistically inclined then you might be able to kind of wedge a large wall clock in next to some other things on the wall such as photographs or paintings, or even light switches and TV's. But most people will probably prefer to play it a bit safer and have some space on either side of the clock.

Most people agree that large wall clocks should be classified as being at least two feet wide. This alone is quite big, approximately a third the height of a human. But you may even want a larger one than this. If so, I applaud you. Just make sure you have the wall space and do your measurements before you make the purchase. A lot of us are not exactly intuitive when it comes to making visual approximations on measurements. (By the way, two feet equals about 0.60 meters.)

No one can really deny the magnificence of these items. They are a great way to really do something with a big wall. Rare is the person who can make an empty wall look good without doing anything to it. You really bought to make use of this space to show something off. Large wall clocks are a new and modern way to do this. Also, no one will ever forget what time it is! It sort of has the effect of minimizing the consciousness of time in a paradoxical way. It parodies time and our obsession with it. But beyond this it tells everyone who walks into your home that you do things in a big way and you are not afraid to take chances. This is an impression that I think most of us would like to make on our guests and visitors. (It also tells people you are a bit wealthy.)

So that is my little spiel about large wall clocks and how I have become a big fan of them. I suppose not everyone will echo my thoughts, but I just think they are great. The other side of things is that if you take this plunge you will probably want to (at least over time) re-emphasize everything else that is within a vision of the clock. It would be a mistake to have your house be overshadowed by one single item.



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Workplace Violence – Acknowledge, Anticipate, and Act

Part I–Acknowledge that workplace violence will happen

The workplace has become a dangerous place. Just ask staff and faculty at Virginia Tech University or the people at NASA. People prone to committing violent acts are in fact mentally unstable, and they work alongside us every day. Organizations of all kinds must develop policies and contingency plans to deal with the potentialities of workplace violence.

Unbalanced people cause disruptions

Many Americans are mentally ill. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older–close to 60 million people–suffer from an identifiable mental disorder. The killer at Virginia Tech clearly fell under this category, and while mass murder at work or elsewhere remains a rare event, worker-against-worker violence and on-the-job homicide happens all too often. No matter who studies the matter, the numbers are gloomy. Statistics from the Occupational Health & Safety Association claim that 2 million Americans are victims of workplace violence each year. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, each year about 1.7 million workers in the United States are injured during workplace, and, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2005 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the years 1992 through 2004 saw an average of 807 workplace homicides annually. While the most recent of these years, according to the CFOI, have seen a modest drop in incidents in the United States, the problem is growing worldwide, as found by a United Nations’ International Labour Office study released last year.

Guidelines restore order and prevent violence

Officials cannot control the behavior of others, but they can incorporate guidelines to follow. They just need help. Faced with a range of threats, such as disgruntled employees, domestic violence, stalkers, and, of course, robberies, rapes, and assaults, American businesses and organizations are hiring consultants in record numbers to design programs that train employees and employers in how to predict and prevent violence on the job. By developing official policies that include safety procedures, hiring and firing practices, threat management, crisis intervention and supervisory training to address the “red flags,” the organization and security consultant can join forces to reduce the risk of violence.

Understanding human behavior is a key ingredient in countering this violence, and management must learn this skill, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, “Bosses Have to Learn How to Confront Troubled Employees.” The same article points to major corporations that have implemented programs that train managers in how to spot troubled, potentially violent workers and have instituted hotlines employees may use to report workplace violence.

A study by the Society for Human Resource Management finds that 68 percent of employers have a formal workplace violence policy. A survey by the American Society of Industrial Security finds 25 percent of firms turning to employee training, 15 percent to zero-tolerance policies, and 13 percent to limited building access in their attempts to prevent workplace violence.

What’s clear is the need for intelligent anticipatory strategies. The next installment of this series will look at the behaviors employers must anticipate in determining who might be a perpetrator of workplace violence.

Part II–Anticipate workplace violence before it happens

In the previous installment of this three-part series, “Workplace Violence: Acknowledge, Anticipate, and Act,” we acknowledged the problem by looking at statistics on workplace violence worldwide and touching upon the prevalence of various guiding policies that organizations have already put in place to counter the trends. We will now explore how organizations can anticipate workplace violence before it happens.

Anticipate problems

As mentioned last time, zero-tolerance policies are among those gaining in popularity. Behavior that was at one time looked at as harmless is now considered hazardous, and it is possible to create psychological profiles of people most likely to commit a potential act of violence. Causes for concern are any employees who:

o Constantly make slighting references to others

o Consider themselves superior

o Are never happy with what is going on

o Exhibit a need to constantly force own opinions on others

o Have a compulsive need to control others

o Seem paranoid (convinces that other employees are “out to get them”)

o Are consistently unreasonable

o Makes coworkers feel uneasy just by their mere presence

o See a conspiracy to all functions of society

o Own firearms and share what seems to be obsessive interests in military, law enforcement or underground military groups

o Don’t take responsibility for any of their behaviors or faults or mistakes (always “someone else’s fault”)

o Take legal action against the company, constantly filing one grievance after another

o Blow everything out of proportion

o Have many hate and anger issues on and off the job, whether with co-workers, family, friends, or the government

o Applaud certain violent acts portrayed in the media such as racial incidences, domestic violence, shooting sprees, executions, etc.

o Make statements like “he will get his” or “what comes around goes around” or “one of these days I’ll have my say”

o At once lack people skills and are good at their tasks, paying attention to the details

o Are sometimes sexist or sexually harass others

o Have had trouble with the law, even just a minor incident

o Might be addicted to alcohol, prescription or street drugs

Any combination of these is enough to lead to workplace violence. Even just one is a red flag. In days or weeks prior to a violent act, significant emotional events may push questionable employees to commit violent acts. They might feel humiliated as a result of being proven wrong, or lose out on a promotion or pay raise. Love interests might reject them. Marriages might end. The ensuing emotional storm and physical symptoms (e.g., trouble sleeping, fatigue, sudden weight loss or gain, and other maladies) resulting from any of these scenarios can overwhelm the fragile soul, one prone to acts of rage in the absence of a social safety net; managers, therefore, should encourage employees to maintain strong social networks at work. Peers have a way of anticipating disaster before it happens.

Downsizing might upsize aggression

Organizational downsizing may be a major contributor, too. Employee termination can cause a significant degree of trauma. We equate our “selves” with our job titles. We introduce ourselves to others by give both our name and job title: “Hi, I am Robert; I am a personal security consultant.” Being a personal security consultant is what I do, but it is not who I am. While layoffs alone are traumatic, most of us ultimately see the difference between what we do and who we are; take away a mentally unbalanced person’s job title, however, and the loss of identity may seem, to him, much more profound and lead to violence.

The next, and final, installment in this three-part series will look at the actions we can take to prevent full-blown workplace violence if aggression has already escalated conflicts to the brink.

Part III–Act to prevent workplace violence

The previous, second installment of this three-part series, “Workplace Violence: Acknowledge, Anticipate, and Act,” included tips organizations can follow to anticipate workplace violence. Ideally, anticipatory strategies will stop workplace violence long before it happens. But aggression in the workplace has a way of becoming difficult to manage. If anticipatory strategies have failed to catch potential violence before it has begun to escalate, organizations can still act to quell the aggression before becoming a statistic.

The University of California, Davis’ Division of Human Resources identifies a number of tactics that managers can use to respond to aggression at work. Many of these are mainstays of conflict resolution that others have developed, on their own, and adopted.

o Respond quietly and calmly. Sudden movements or outburst may provoke retaliation.

o Ask questions. The aggressor may simply want attention, which he or she interprets as respect.

o Consider offering an apology. It’s a tactic to create a sense of calm.

o Summarize what you hear the individual saying. There’s a better chance that the aggressor will understand that you’re actually listening.

o Calmly and firmly set limits.

o Ask the individual to stop the behavior and warn that official action may be taken.

o If the disruption continues, reiterate the possibility of legal action and involvement of law enforcement.

o Direct the individual to leave the office.

At this point, if the situation has yet to diffuse, signal for assistance. You will, most likely, need to involve law enforcement.

Random acts of violence hold their own

Disgruntled employee syndrome is just one form of workplace violence. High risk professions such as taxi driver, gas station attendant, grocery clerk, liquor store cashier, and jewelry store merchant remain. It is estimated that 85 percents of assaults and 55 percent of murders happen in service industry worksites or retail trades. Those whose occupations find them handling money or engaging in person-to-person contact with the public should exercise caution. Random acts of violence continue to hold their own in these spheres, and physical assaults are common in health care and social service-type agencies.

Any company whose workforce’s duties fit the abovementioned descriptions can improve its security by incorporating or utilizing the following:

o High-watt external premise lighting (paying special attention to visibility in high-risk areas)

o Timed drop type safes and signs explaining that a “timed drop type safes in use”

o Robbery response training

o Violence in the workplace consultants

o Silent alarms

o Video cameras everywhere

o Guards, badges, and checkpoints

o Employee assistance programs

o Crisis intervention training

Onus of responsibility falls upon the employer

Ultimately, every organization needs a prediction-prevention plan that incorporates elements of anticipation and action. Proper hiring and firing practices are essential, too; employers must know what to look for when prescreening potential employees–and what signs to look for in long standing employees. Without taking proactive measures, the company risks huge losses in lawsuits, reputation, and, of course, human life.



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Step-By-Step Installation Guide For LED Scanner Knight Rider Lights

Are you wondering about installing an all new LED scanner Knight Rider light kit in your car and sparking up your boring vehicle? If the answer is yes, then this article just might come as a pleasant surprise for you. Listed below are simple easy-to-follow instructions for installing a Knight Rider light kit in your car.

Installing a LED Knight Rider kit doesn’t require much specific professional skills or technical expertise. With the simple plug and play facility, such illuminations can be installed within minutes without putting in any significant efforts. This kit can easily be installed in your car by following the easy instructions step by step. Read below to know how!

  • Remove the kit and open up the front cover of your car.
  • Position the scanner bar in such a manner that the wiring portion of the kit lies close to the battery of your car. This is done to ensure that later on the illuminations can be powered easily with the car’s battery without facing any kind of wiring problems.
  • Take out the zip ties and tie the scanner bar onto the grille of the vehicle using the zip ties. While tying the scanner bar with the grille, make sure that the end portion of the LED scanner bar wiring doesn’t get bent, or else the entire setup might just get damaged. The end wiring portion must be kept straight throughout the process, without fail.
  • Once the bar is tied firmly, attach the LED scanner with the control module, which is supplied in the Knight Rider kit.
  • Make sure to hide way the control module near the battery of the vehicle. This will ensure that the control module always remains dry and intact without getting damaged.
  • Out of the wires provided in the control module, connect only the red and black wires with the positive and negative terminals of the car battery. Leave all the remaining wires as it is, without making any connections.
  • Once the connections are done, you are all set to flaunt the upgraded version of your LED scanner Knight Rider light equipped car.

By following the above mentioned instructions, an LED scanner Knight Rider light kit can be installed easily and quickly in your car. Now, you won’t have to rush to the local mechanic or panic about installing the newly bought scanner lights in your car. Just read through these instructions and impart an all new look to your car!



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Things To Consider When Choosing Film Locations in Los Angeles

Hollywood, California is synonymous with movies. As part of the city of Los Angeles, Hollywood attractions hopeful movie industry workers and tourists alike from all over the globe. Having sunshine and a wide array of desirable film locations in Los Angeles, California was an ideal place for the fledgling US movie industry.

As a movie setting in Los Angeles has been shown to be able to fulfill a number of disparities duties. Iconic and prototypical, LA has been made to serve as both micro and macrocosm for filmmakers wishing to discuss American lives. It is sprawling landscape, ethnographic history, and charming reputation make LA not just a practical backyard for Hollywood storytellers. As the ways of interpretation as well as representation in film making have changed, so too has American movies experienced major shifts as a manifestation of the popular consciousness.

Film locations in Los Angeles known as the Entertainment Capital of the World; Los Angeles is really a popular location for film making with plenty of natural and excellent filming locations. To some people it's a paradise of breathtaking beaches, buxom bodies, Beverly Hills, and also the world's most pimped-out cars. As a way to fully understand the bigger picture of Los Angeles, you need to know the way the city moves in and out of its local landscape. These are the areas that run the city; they're the parts that make LA just what it is. They're areas created so that other, possibly a lot more small activities can take place here. Once you know the way they function, how they create a system, the way they consort and are connected, these areas have beauties to them.

With regards to producing high quality productions in Los Angeles, whether it is a reality show, commercial, motion picture scenes, or episodic television, the filming location you select could make the difference between a product that is sub-par and one which will be taken seriously. Here's what to take into consideration when choosing a film locations in Los Angeles. Expert staff, team, and actors already are aware of the very best way to get to the most often used film locales like those in the Burbank Media district. Picking a film location in Burbank or perhaps in nearby North Hollywood is simple and will be well-known to most people involved. Choose a location that has a lot of parking and you'll prevent a real headache.

Pulling off a professional production necessitates the location to provide all the stuff needed to keep everyone relaxed. Aside from having the cast and staff well treated, they also need to have the standard anatomy of film production set up: enough electrical hook-ups and power, high ceilings, lighting grid, cargo doors, as well as area for production workplaces.

Film locations in Los Angeles take into account the recognition of areas, or record screening homes, complexes, cemeteries, carnivals, forests, beach locations as well as other places to go, or see and think that it could be fantastic locations specifically in film making . The main point here is the Los Angeles movie scouts mostly are looking for a site that will create an impression of authenticity.



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Hotel Ambiance – What is Essential is Invisible to the Eye

We define ambiance as the mood or the atmosphere that we encounter in a particular place at a particular instance of time. Ambiance, in this context, is a very important aspect of the hotel experience. It’s not really something guests see, but rather something that is felt, something that is experienced.

Without ambiance, hotels will simply be buildings with a bunch of rooms for lodging-and nothing more. Ambiance helps transform the hotel from a building with accommodations to a home away from home, an establishment where guests can be alive and well. Ambiance is the hotel’s character, important both for the hotel’s own mark as well as for the enjoyment of its many patrons.

Take the Gravetye Manor Hotel, for example. It is perhaps one of the most ambiance-filled hotels ever. This garden hotel located in England may not be the most flamboyant and spectacular hotels in the world, but it is filled with an inherent beauty and character afforded by the garden, the hotel’s stone construction, and a remarkable view of the surrounding English countryside. Its unchanging composition makes travelers come back for more.

Another excellent example is the roof of the Lebua at State Tower, located at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. With its breathtaking perspective overlooking the sprawling Bangkok cityscape, it’s no wonder many voted it one of the most ambient hotels in Asia.

See, the thing about ambiance is that one hotel doesn’t have to be located anywhere in particular just to simulate an atmosphere. Sure, being surrounded by lush groves and a rustic setting helps create a particularly relaxing mood, but it takes more than location to pull it off.

When it comes to creating that perfect atmosphere, well-appointed rooms that complement the hotel’s desired theme or character are always a big plus. Every tiny little detail should be able to work with every other detail as well as the environment, in order to create a unified mood that meshes together perfectly to achieve the desired result.

Sometimes it’s all about getting all things perfectly matched. From the food to the furnishings to the music played in the dining hall, these details all help create a unique ambiance. Lighting, of course, has a big effect on the ambiance. Even the decorations on the doors and the intricate tapestries adorning the walls play a significant role in establishing a mood inside the hotel.

People look for ambiance practically everywhere, from where they will be sitting at lunchtime to where they will be drinking their venti caramel frappuccino when the night comes. Atmosphere is everything-well, maybe not everything, but it sure is a very big something-especially when it comes to choosing hotels. Getting that particular mood just right helps establish the character of the hotel, and it is this defining characteristic that will help make guests book at the hotel more than once. Great ambiance translates to happy clients, and having that down pat means the hotel is well on its way to success.



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Important Tips About LCD Televisions

Liquid crystal display television is now considered as the best option when it comes to flat panel category. Well known for energy efficiency, it is the hot favorite product of the consumers. When compared with other types of televisions, LCD generates less heat even if used for prolonged hours. These two factors make it environment friendly television, the core characteristic that attracts the attention of modern consumers. In the recent past LCD television technology was subordinated to many up gradations to make it free from few minor aberrations it suffered in the early stages of its introduction in the markets.

At the outset, there is a general perception that LCD television is an expensive product especially when compared with the conventional CRT. But considering the qualitative advantages it offers, the consumers will be convinced that they have opted for a bargain. The cost of this television of 23 to 40 inches sizes is much lower than other flat panel televisions of same sizes. Further it is well known that LCD is a better choice when it comes to small screens. With the innovative natural light technology, its dynamic contrast ratio has been brought to 50,000: 1. LCD television with HDMI input can offer superb digital display. It can also offer high definition audio and video output. Some models come with picture in picture feature which enable the viewer to watch two programs simultaneously.

One of the advantages of this television is that it has no burn-in problem like its counterpart plasma. The early models of LCD had problems with viewing angles. But modern products offer 176 deg. viewing angles. Many of the LCD comes with VGA input making it capable to be a computer monitor. It is also free from altitude problems and can be used in hill stations etc without hassles. Enhanced response time and refresh rates in the LCD make it free from motion blur. LCD TVs will have no problems from ambient lighting and offer superior display irrespective of surrounding conditions. It can offer high definition output with superb color saturation.

Television market is functioning in a highly competitive environment. Well known manufacturers like Panasonic, Samsung, LG, Toshiba, Sony and Philips are among some leaders who offer innovative LCD televisions. Some of the latest ones have automatic light adjustments to match ambient lighting. Another feature incorporated in this television is the Dolby technology which will balance the volume of sound while maintaining Bass and Treble. Built-in USB port and SD card slots are provided in all LCD products. As for response time latest LCD models have 4 milliseconds, a feature which enhances the quality of display.

Periodical up gradations of technology, as mentioned earlier has helped LCD technology to eliminate almost all the inherent anomalies implemented in the early models. Recent market surveys reveal that the demands for LCD are growing by 12 percent every year in the global market. The recent development of LED backlighting in this LCD TV is poised to give boost to the popularity of the products. The new technique is now being progressively implemented in several brands and models and it is expected that in another 5 years at least 25 per cent of LCD TVs will have LED back lighting feature. Even though this new feature will make the television a bit more expensive, the quality conscious consumer world will no doubt accept it without reservations.



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Games Can Be Much More Useful Than You Give It Credit For

The age old sayings have always said that games are the best way to keep you away from complete dumbness and boredom.

Games are the perfect sort of escape from a monotonous life and it helps to refresh your brains from extreme tiredness and same old routine.

In today's world, video games have risen to an unexpected level of entertainment. It has gained a lot of popularity and has come up with different kinds of variations in its content.

With technology speeding up in lighting speed, Video Games have created quite a name for itself amidst the younger generation and it happens to have a lot of health benefits as well.

1. A healthy shot for the development of your vision

A lot of discoveries and research by scientists have led to the belief that there are certain games which if played in moderation can help you in improving your eye sight for the better. Do not bend more towards training your eyes, but a moderate amount of times spent focusing and enjoying video games was seen to get a minimal amount of improvement in the affected eye. It has been hear saying that watching so much of television is harmful for the vision, but in the case of video games, the output is opposite but again it should be done in moderation and the limit should not be exceeded.

2. Getting the crowd to like knowing about the history of places and people

Some of the video games involve historical excerpts and references in their video games. A lot of these games use a historical background to create a story around the game so that it comes out in a flow. These uses of historical characters and places can get kids excited to know more about such historical facts and gain their interest. Thus these video games are a sort of educational inspiration as well to spark the interest regarding history amidst the players.

3. Helps in getting some physical exercises done

There are certain games that would require you to participate a lot more and get your entitlement body involved so indulging in a lot of bodily movements. However there are some games in which even a simple handheld controller would drive you towards some physical activity. Certain sports games such as football, basket ball, and long tennis can motivate and help the children to practice and enjoy the same skills outdoors as well. So it is not like it is only limited to indoor activities or indoor involvement.

Therefore since now a day's kids are more enthusiastic about video games; this article has focused more on that area of ​​games and how it is helping in rekindling some beneficial acts for the users.



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Awareness Check Point – Where Do You Live?

Envision this: Peace, wellness, freedom, trust, reception, gratitude, abundance, joy, blessings, energy, confidence, authenticity, giving, allowing, connection, passion, openness, creativity, bliss, love, courage, prosperity, self acceptance.
(Feels pretty good, yes?)

Now go here: (but not for long) Worry, doubt, fear, angst, hopelessness, blame, scarcity, grasping, anxiety, ego, sickness, victim hood, addiction, obsession, panic, resentment, grief, revenge, depression, lack , shame, suffering, despair.

(A definite case of the icky icks and you now need a shower.)

Did you feel the vast contrast of both of those places? All right, so now it's truth time. Which of these places do you hang out in the most? If you do not live in the best feeling places often, then why not? What's stopping you from doing so? If you're interested in reconnecting to the abundant wellspring of power that lies inside, then this is your Divine appointment to get started. The life you've been craving is patiently waiting for you to say Yes let's venture on the light already!

Take a minute and ask yourself if you think it's really possible to take up a permanent … or at least a consistent … residence at this Divine Address of feeling good. Underneath all of the repetitive ego banter, does your heart KNOW that you deserve to feel good, and often, at that? A simple request … be gentle with yourself and your findings and know that you are expanding your consciousness in this very moment. Know that your answers are completely INFORMATION. All of this inquiry is part of your shift that's happening right now.

Feeling good IS your natural state and your glorious birthright! Notice if the thought of that TRUTH scares you or excites you. You are safe to delve deep here. In fact, you are encouraged to eavesdrop into your very soul and notice your internal conversations. For only you know the answers and they are to be blessed, for they are leading you to your expansion right now.

The objective here is to determine what areas you take up residence in the most, so you can now declare where you'd like to end up. You have to know where you are before you map out the journey towards your final destination, do not you? Just ask any GPS. The good news is that you have been directed to this point, and you can breathe easy now and know you are well on your vibrant way.

If you are suspecting or even knowing that your daily pattern is to act from the not so positive emotions, relax. This is not a time for beating yourself up. Resist going there and feeding that pattern. If you do vibrate in these darker places often, it's probably safe to say that you are most likely curious about how to live in the better feeling places.

Do you already live your life from the higher spectrum of emotions? If so, you are our inspiration and our role models and we need you. We bless you, revere you and desire to learn from your being! Thank you for teaching us by example that this ever-present good feeling reality is possible. You are lighting the way for us all.

The bottom line is this: You have CHOICE.

To accept your invitation to your new reality:

1. Become aware of where you are.

2. Check in to see if this is where you want to be.

3. If you warn to shift to a different place, then CHOOSE it.

THE POINT OF POWER IS IN THE PRESENT MOMENT.

Just reach for a thought that feels a little bit better, and your life will change. A little bit better … a little bit better … a little bit better … and before you know it, you have reached your own personal state of feeling good.

And That is a very savory moment.

And now you have officially entered – Heaven on earth.

Welcome home …



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Interior Design And Interior Design Tips

Most interior designers would advise that you decide on a general theme to use throughout your home. That doesn’t mean all rooms will be the same, just the theme would be the same throughout your home. The style one decides on should reflect on the family unit as far as character and style.

ASSORTED DESIGNS AND THEMES

The farmhouse theme is a very popular theme due to it appears to be timeless. For most, this would entail a country or cozy feel. For wall colors you could use light yellow, white or pastel colors. The furnishings would be farm-style shapes and worn-looking wooden furniture.

Bohemian or rustic is another popular theme. If you like warm colors this would be your style. Items from the Middle East, Africa and Morocco could be involved in this design. The colors for this design would be red, orange, purple and sand.

Contemporary or Minimalist is another popular theme. This style diminishes disorder and is a good means of opening up areas. The main color for this theme is white. That would include furnishings so normally you would not find this theme with families with young children.

Whichever you choose remember that all your rooms should possess a strong sense of compatibility.

INTERIOR DESIGN TIPS MADE SIMPLE

Mirrors is an outstanding way to expand an area to make it look larger. Utilizing a large mirror that is positioned directly across from a natural source of light such as a window or door. This should make the space not only look larger but less cluttered also. If you are working with a small area a little bit of clutter can easily make the space fill unorganized.

Adding an accent wall will draw in the eye and highlight a feature or piece of furniture. You can accomplish this by painting a focus wall or using wall paper to create a focus wall. Just remember you never want you wall art to be longer than the piece of furniture you are featuring.

Develop the illusion through motion by laying out your space so that your eye keeps moving from point to point.

Your furniture and other pieces should suit the total area of the room. In other words, don’t overshadow it or throw it out of symmetry.

Finally, home decor and designing is oftentimes a highly sensitive matter as many people feel that they understand the process but the outcome says something totally different.

Using items you might already have like candles and figurines could easily be re-arranged to bring dramatic results plus improving lighting. Always be sure you have lighting in places that are normally overlooked by obstructions.

If you are looking at some alternative ideas think about Gothic, Traditional, Mediterranean, Tropical, Asian and of course Contemporary interior designs.



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Web Design and Its Evolution

Web design has come a long way since August 1991 when the first ever website was launched. Tim Berners-Lee published a text-based site on behalf of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. The site itself was informative only and in no way interactive. Primitive in its looks, content included hyperlinks and was actually removed from the web in 1993. It was later decided to reinstate the website due to the importance of human and technological development.

Q: What’s one of the biggest differences between websites of the early 1990’s and those of today?

A: The first website ever created was solely for informative purposes whereas today, owners can offer a wealth of information, sell products and services, provide platforms for social interaction and much more. All of this is carried out in a visually appealing manner.

Q: Can we talk about speed?

A: Absolutely! You may have been around long enough to remember the days of dialup internet. If not, its highly recommended you look into it. Those used to lighting fast fibre broadband will almost certainly be enlightened to learn the process of dialup and how this would mean the telephone (land line) could not be used and was somewhat slow and at times intermittent. Taking this into consideration, websites of 90’s were based primarily around text. Design layouts were a concept of the future along with imagery, typography and navigation. Due to the simplistic (looking) nature of a primitive website, it meant that the user experience was as optimised as it possibly could be and this notion was based upon a user requiring information from a website that worked through a dialup connection.

Q: So what happened next?

A: Towards the mid 1990’s on site page builders began to grow in popularity with web designers choosing this option as a preferred layout. Offering tables, columns and rows, content was able to be separated into specific blocks based upon a subject or category. This meant a web page held even more visual appeal than that of those from the early 1990’s. The main focus continued to be the users’ experience.

Q: Do you remember the page counter?

A: Page counters were great landmarks, offering insight into the number of people who visited a web page. This type of information was important to both the website owner and the customer. The former gives an idea of the number of people landing on the website with the latter giving the potential reader an idea of website popularity.

Q: Can we look at page structure then and now?

A: As previously mentioned, early website structure was based heavily around text before moving onto a more boxy feel in terms of blocks and columns. Today, web pages are hot on offering great navigation in order to complete a call to action in as fewer clicks as possible. Great images, well-written content and trust signals are all strategically placed within a professional build.

Q: Can we learn about the 2000’s?

A: This is where content and design saw a clear separation through the magical realms of CSS. Whitespace became a positive aspect making way for the eradication of block colours throughout a web page. Another positive feature of this era included the addition of links to icons as well as text. Resolution and pixelation moved to the forefront of important design considerations.

Q: What about today?

A: Known in the industry as the ‘modern web’, and starting out with the birth of Web 2.0, this modern era has built up over time including the likes of social media integration, interactive content and multimedia applications. Results over time have mapped out how websites are built and how we have come to market them today.

With the user experience always at the forefront of design and development since 1993, it will be interesting to re-visit in a further decade.



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No Hot Water – No Problem, Fix it Yourself!

Your water heater is one of the single most expensive components of your plumbing system. It costs a lot of money to buy it and it costs more money to operate it. If your water heater isn’t working properly it can make your life miserable. Unless you really like cold showers it is a big deal when your water heater has problems.

When To Call A Plumber

This is a good time to talk a little about when it is appropriate for you to fix things yourself and when you should probably go ahead and call a plumber. Water heater problems are a good example of when this choice is important.

If you water heater itself is leaking, as opposed to the piping connected to it leaking, this probably means that it needs to be replaced. It is virtually impossible to repair a leaking hot water heater. If you can’t confidently say you know how to install a water heater you really need to use caution.

A water heater replacement raises a lot of safety concerns and there are some fairly technical skills needed to do the job right. It is usually better to call a licensed plumber if yours needs replacing. Licensed plumbers know how to install a gas water heater without creating a potentially dangerous situation (and how to install electric water heater without getting electrocuted in the process).

You Can Do It!

On the other hand, if you have a non-leaking water heater and no hot water, you can often correct that yourself without calling a plumber. You don’t need any really technical skills to learn to troubleshoot water heaters, just a little common sense and patience.

The first good news is that, although the trend is toward more economical water heaters, the basic operation and controls haven’t changed much over the years. So some basic knowledge will allow you to troubleshoot water heaters of almost any age or manufacturer.

Gas or Electric?

There are two main kinds of storage water heaters (we won’t get into tankless models here): gas and electric. This indicates what sort of energy source is used to heat the water.

Gas Water Heaters

Gas water heaters use natural gas (and sometimes LP) to fuel a burner which in turn heats the water sort of like a pot on the stove. They have only a few components that control whether or not you have hot water.

The first thing to check if you have a gas water heater and no hot water is whether or not you have gas. I know it my sound silly, but I have gone to many homes only to find that the gas had been turned off for one reason or another. If you have a gas stove see if it works. If not check your meter to make sure it’s on.

If you have gas, the next step is to check your pilot light and, if it’s out, try to light it. The lighting instructions are usually right on the water heater. If your gas has been off it may take a while for the air to bleed out and the gas to get to the pilot, so be patient.

The Thermocouple

If your pilot won’t light, or won’t stay lit, the thermocouple may be the problem. This looks like a copper wire coming from the control box on front of the water heater and going down to where the pilot light should be. It has an enlarged tip at the pilot end.

The thermocouple is positioned with it’s enlarged end in the flame of the pilot. This heat from the pilot flame causes a tiny electrical signal to be sent to the control valve, telling the control valve that there is a flame present so it’s OK to let the gas through to the main burner when the thermostat calls for heat. . You can change a thermocouple on most water heaters with only a small adjustable wrench. Just make sure that the bulb end is securely positioned in the pilot flame. You can get a new thermocouple at most hardware stores for under $20. This will usually correct a pilot light problem.

On more recent water heaters, the combustion chamber may be sealed. If you have one of these there will usually be a small inspection window you can look through to check the pilot. You may need to call the manufacturer to get a complete pilot assembly and new cover seal in order to repair these models, but the procedure is still pretty much the same once you get the parts. These parts are usually covered by the manufacturers warranty.

The Gas Control Valve

If you are sure you have gas, and replacing the thermocouple doesn’t fix the problem, the gas control valve is about the only thing left to check. This is a fairly major repair so if you aren’t very comfortable working with gas connections you may want to call a licensed plumber for this.

Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters use, you guessed it- electricity, to heat the water. If your electric water heater isn’t working the first thing to do is check your breaker or fuse box. Many electric water heaters also have a separate disconnect box at the water heater, check this too.

If you are sure you have power, the problem is either your heating elements or thermostats. Most electric water heaters have two of each, upper and lower. In order to check or replace a water heater element you will have to turn off the breaker serving the water heater circuit and remove the access cover on the water heater. At this point you might get lucky and find the easiest way to fix an electric water heater.

The Reset Button

Many thermostats have a reset button which can sometimes be pushed to reset the circuit and get the water heater working again. To find it you may have to carefully remove any insulation covering the thermostat. If the reset button has been tripped you should be able to hear and feel a definite click when you push it. If you think it was tripped, put everything back together, turn the power on and check for hot water in about an hour.

If the thermostat can’t be reset you will need a voltage meter or continuity tester before going any further. There’s not room in one article to cover electrical diagnostics but you can perform a simple continuity check on the elements to make sure they make a complete circuit.

The Heating Elements

First, make sure the power is off to the water heater! Then locate the heating elements. The elements will have two wires connected to each one and will either have a big hex nut where they screw into the tank or will be fastened to the tank with a bracket and usually 4 bolts. After confirming that the power is indeed off to the water heater, remove the 2 wires from the element and check for continuity. If there is not an intact circuit between the two terminals on the element, it is bad.

If one or both of the elements is bad it is probably a good idea to just replace them both. You will need to shut off the water and drain the water heater to replace the elements. If they are the hex nut style, you may need a special socket. You can usually find these tools where you buy the elements. Make sure the water heater is completely full and all air bled from the system before turning the power back on or you will ruin the new elements by “dry firing” them.

The Thermostats

If the elements are OK and don’t need to be replaced, it is probably the thermostat(s). It is a good idea to replace both thermostats if there are two, they are fairly inexpensive. Just remove the wires, connect the new one the same as the old one, put the access plate back on and turn the power back on. You should have hot water in about an hour.

Know Your Limitations!

Learning how to troubleshoot water heaters can be fairly simple but you do need to understand and be comfortable working with gas and electricity. Either one can literally kill you if you fail to observe the proper safety precautions. If you aren’t qualified or aren’t sure about something it is better to be safe than sorry.



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Interior Design Ideas – Conservatory Living

Can you imagine the joy of spending late autumn afternoons warmly lounging in the midst of your garden, of growing and harvesting your very own tropical fruits and of twilight summer suppers that are guaranteed rainproof? No, this is not a description of life on a faraway tropical island, but a glimpse of the bliss to be had when you own a conservatory.

Yet another inspired Victorian concept that we are revisiting and appreciating anew, despite the disparity of lifestyles between then and now. A conservatory gives life a new dimension. It allows us to enjoy a garden year-round and stretches the living areas of our homes. All age groups can benefit: it provides an ideal space for a toddler to play in (the semi-outdoor finishes should stand up well), for an elderly person to relax in out of season, and for people of any age to enjoy atmospheric dinner parties.

Should you be on the brink of deciding to construct a conservatory, be sure to pin down your ideas well in advance;

How much do you want to spend? A finished conservatory may cost more than you imagine and such extras as heating, lighting, wall and floor finishes, furnishings and plants can add considerably to an initial estimate.

How will the finished conservatory look from outside? Do you wish its style to reflect the architecture of your home?

Which direction do you wish your conservatory to face? A southerly orientated conservatory will be full of sunshine, but unless a good ventilation system is installed and shade provided (by blinds or by painting the glass), it is likely to overheat in summer. A north-facing glass house will receive little sunshine and so will require an efficient heating system for cooler days.

To what purpose will you put your conservatory? Is it to be a place for indoor gardening, relaxing, dining, cooking or playing?

Do you wish your conservatory to become an integral part of an interior living area and/or to open up to and become one with your garden or terrace? The larger your opening on to either or both of these areas, the more linked they will appear. Double, sliding or folding-back doors will help to achieve the connection you desire.

Because the conservatory represents a link between the house and its exterior, the most appropriate furnishings will be those that reflect this connection. Well-designed garden furniture, softened with table cloths, cushions and upholstered seats, will help to blur the line between inside and out, as will rattan, wicker or cane furniture.

A floor of flagstones, scrubbed wood planking or terracotta tiles will underscore the connection. Accessories can provide a similar link – garden statuary, urns, plants and terracotta pots are all particularly suitable.

The best window treatments are ones that do not detract from the view or interior planting. Tailored blinds or curtains of muslin or calico in a simple style are ideal.

When it comes to selecting a color scheme for your conservatory, the choice is yours – but do remember that the exterior views will become your ‘wallpaper’ and indoor plants your ‘accessories’, so choose colors that blend well.

Lighting a conservatory is a relatively easy process so long as electrical points have been well positioned and there are sufficient sockets for free-standing fittings. Wall- or ceiling-mounted lanterns will look good, as will discreet spotlights focused on features.

A well-lit garden will form a magnificent backdrop at night and a dining table might be lit by a simple country-style chandelier or candles in glass hurricane lamps on the table. Free-standing uplighters placed behind plants will add some magic to the room.



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Building a Chicken House – 5 Important Design Aspects

Proper Ventilation

When building a chicken house it is imperative that you must take into consideration proper ventilation of the coop because chickens need to be cooled down during the intensity of noon-time heat. Free flowing inflow of air within the building can tremendously help keep the temperature from rising; thereby making the chickens fully comfortable.

Good Drainage

Chickens must be dry most of the time; and you must avoid getting them wet. For this reason, the coop must have well designed drainage system that fully flushes the water out of the building; theby ensuring that the poultry is not wet since the moment that they are wet they are also highly susceptible to various health issues and diseases which could affect the entire poultry.

Proper Lighting

Lighting is essential in keeping the chickens warm during night time when the environment is cold; as well as during winter time and cold season. Bear in mind that chickens are not only sensitive to extremely hot condition but also to cold environment; and one way of keeping the room temperature from going down much more is to provide proper lighting.

Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance is important since this can greatly affect the poultry; in terms of health.
So, you must also give provision for cleaning; ensuring that it is very easy to clean.

Appearance

Of course, when building a chicken house it is also ideal to make your coop look good within your property or farm. Here, it may be optional but it is also highly recommended to have some creativity in making its design and appearance very pleasing to the eyes of the viewers.

Therefore, when building a chicken house always keep in mind the aforesaid design factors because they can greatly affect the success of your business; failure to consider some of the vital aspects of the design can tremendously make a lot of differences on the overall condition of the poultry and your business.



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LED Retrofit Kits And Their Benefits

Lighting cost is an area many people concentrate on especially when building. Everyone yearns for cheaper, more user friendly and environmentally friendly lighting options. Facility managers and even homeowners who are conscious about costs want modern solutions that still serve their purpose efficiently. LED retrofit kit make a very popular lighting solution for all. This is because the kit is long lasting, efficient and calls for minimal maintenance. The retrofit kits are popular options for both commercial and residential settings because of the following benefits.

1. The kits are energy efficient

Compared to conventional lighting systems such as incandescent bulbs, LED retrofit kits consume lee power with a huge percentage of high light output. The retrofits are therefore not only energy efficient, but also more economic. They make amazing choices for offices and showrooms among many other settings.

2. They are versatile

The LED retrofit kits can be used in a wide range of applications. They come in handy in offices, commercial buildings, garages and even homes. The kits are designed to fit almost any given place with illumination needs.

3. The kits are long lasting

The LED lights do not easily burn out compared to bulbs and fluorescent, they last thousands of hours thereby becoming an inexpensive lighting solution. The need to keep changing them every once in a while is eliminated.

4. The retrofit kits have exceptional dimming capacity

They offer maximum brightness immediately as compared to other lighting systems. In addition, you can easily regulate the brightness according to your demands and what you find most appropriate for the given setting. It means, therefore that you can still enjoy even lower energy use by dimming to the right levels.

5. They are free from UV rays and infrared

LED retrofit lights do not have ultra violet rays as compared to infrared rays and fluorescent tubes. They are free from UV transmission, thereby making the kits suitable for environments that are sensitive, such as museums, art galleries and archaeological sites.

6. They come with less maintenance needs

LED retrofit kit offer flawless lighting for years and there is no need for regular replacement. The kits are functional and do not require much maintenance to keep them functional as they are designed to do.

7. The kits do not flicker or make humming sounds

For this reason, the retrofit kits keep the lit area peaceful and quiet compared to conventional lights that keep flickering and make noise causing eyestrain and headaches because of these characteristics. An LED retrofit kits saves you from these annoying effects. When used in industries, the kits have shown to have positive effects on performance, wakefulness and mood.

LED retrofit kits come in different sizes and designs in that you can choose an option that suits your settings and lighting needs best. It is best that you get your kits from reputable suppliers for quality purposes to enjoy all the benefits they have to offer. There is so much to enjoy the energy efficiency.



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