How a Pleasant Shopping Experience Can Make Your Day

Would anyone in this world be jubilant about spending at least 2.5 hours in a grocery store? Well, I can honestly say, “I would not.” However, my shopping experience today was a very satisfying.

To begin, to put this experience into context, let me describe for you our new, enormous marketplace grocery store that recently opened in our neighborhood. This store has almost everything that one might desire. First and foremost, for me, there is a coffee shop, not to mention a wine bar, where you can stop and have a drink of wine and socialize before or after your shopping experience. Once you have tackled your grocery list, if there is just a little left over in your budget, you can treat yourself to a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes.

Now that I have set the tone of my experience, let me move on to the gist of my article, why in the world did this shopping experience last 2.5 hours. Well, to begin, I had just returned from an early morning medical appointment and I had not had my morning cup of java and anyone that knows me, can understand why that would be a problem. So, my first stop was the coffee shop. Once, I had my first sip, I was good to go. However, my stomach alerted me that the shopping experience would not be good, if my hunger was not satisfied. Just in the nick of time, while at the food deli, I was greeted by one of the store employees and I questioned her about breakfast foods. She immediately pointed me into the direction of a rack where there was one large Meat Lover’s Burrito left. Without hesitation, I grabbed the burrito, returned to the coffee area to eat it.

Now that my hunger had been satisfied, I moved on to the vegetable and fruit area. While picking out my vegetables, there was another shopper who had on nautical clothing. So, I kindly mentioned to her that her attire would be the perfect outfit for me, as I am planning to go on a cruise in a few weeks. She responded and we socialized for just a little bit. I noticed that she was removing her earrings and without hesitation, she gave them to me and went on to explain her reasoning. She thought they would go very well with my cruising experience, as the theme was, of course, nautical. I stated that I could not accept her earrings; however, she insisted because she indicated she had another pair exactly like this pair. Remembering what my mother taught me, “to always be humble and graciously, thankful for any gift that I receive.” So, I thanked her for the gift and mentioned that I would tuck them away in a safe place until my trip.

Moving on, my next area would be the gourmet cheese section and there I met another shopper where her and I discussed the various cheeses that was displayed in the counter. She, pleasantly, began to share with me her experience with cheese and she sounded like a “cheese expert” to me. I should have mentioned early in the article that my family deemed a “social butterfly” early in life and I have lived up to that reputation since then. So, our conversation continued for well over 15 minutes, of course, drifting off to several other topics. After a while, we shared what area of the community that we lived in and would you believe that she turned out to be my neighbor, whom I had met approximately four years ago. We both moved into the community around the same time. Subsequently, we shared our contact information, once again, and both of us decided that we needed to get back to shopping and agreed to stay in touch.

Finally, my grocery shopping was all done and I proceeded on to the check-out counter. In conclusion, my hope is that by sharing my experience, it will challenge others to take the time to reach out to others. Extend a friendly compliment to someone, or pay it forward; and, hopefully, the positive experience will help set a tone for the rest of your day, as well as the other individual with whom you interacted.

The Dangers Of Overhead Power Lines Best Practices

Every year people at work are killed or seriously injured when they come into contact with live overhead electricity power lines.

If a machine, scaffold tube, ladder, or even a jet of water touches or gets too close to an overhead wire, then electricity will be conducted to earth. This can cause a fire or explosion and electric shock and burn injuries to anyone touching the machine or equipment. An overhead wire does not need to be touched to cause serious injury or death as electricity can jump, or arc, across small gaps.

One of the biggest problems is that people simply do not notice overhead lines when they are tired, rushing or cutting corners. They can be difficult to spot, eg in foggy or dull conditions, when they blend into the surroundings at the edge of woodland, or when they are running parallel to, or under, other lines. Always assume that a power line is live unless and until the owner of the line has confirmed that it is dead. This guidance is for people who may be planning to work near overhead lines

where there is a risk of contact with the wires, and describes the steps you should take to prevent contact with them. It is primarily aimed at employers and employees who are supervising or in control of work near live overhead lines, but it will also be useful for those who are carrying out the work.

Types of overhead power lines

Most overhead lines have wires supported on metal towers/pylons or wooden poles – they are often called ‘transmission lines’ or ‘distribution lines’. Most high-voltage overhead lines, ie greater than 1000 V (1000 V = 1 kV) have wires that are bare and insulate but some have wires with a light plastic covering or coating. All high-voltage lines should be treated as though they are uninsulated. While many low-voltage overhead lines (ie less than 1 kV) have bare insulate wires, some have wires covered with insulating material. However, this insulation can sometimes be in poor condition or, with some older lines, it may not act as effective insulation; in these cases you should treat the line in the same way as an insulate line. If in any doubt, you should take a precautionary approach and consult the owner of the line.

There is a legal minimum height for overhead lines which varies according to the voltage carried. Generally, the higher the voltage, the higher the wires will need to be above ground. Equipment such as transformers and fuses attached to wooden poles and other types of supports will often be below these heights. There are also recommended minimum clearances published by the Energy Networks Association.

What does the law require?

The law requires that work may be carried out in close proximity to live overhead lines only when there is no alternative and only when the risks are acceptable and can be properly controlled. You should use this guidance to prepare a risk assessment that is specific to the site. Businesses and employees who work near to an overhead line must manage the risks. Overhead line owners have a duty to minimize the risks from their lines and, when consulted, advise others on how to control the risks. The line owner will usually be an electricity company, known as a transmission or distribution network operator, but could also be another type of organization, eg Network Rail, or a local owner, eg the operator of a caravan park.

Preventing overhead line contact

Good management, planning and consultation with interested parties before and during any work close to overhead lines will reduce the risk of accidents. This applies whatever type of work is being planned or undertaken, even if the work is temporary or of short duration. You should manage the risks if you intend to work within a distance of 10 m, measured at ground level horizontally from below the nearest wire.

Remove the risk, the most effective way to prevent contact with overhead lines is by not carrying out work where there is a risk of contact with, or close approach to, the wires. Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. If you cannot avoid working near an overhead line and there is a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, you should consult its owner to find out if the line can be permanently diverted away from the work area or replaced with underground cables. This will often be inappropriate for infrequent, short-duration or transitory work. If this cannot be done and there remains a risk of contact or close approach to the wires, find out if the overhead line can be temporarily switched off while the work is being done. The owner of the line will need time to consider and act upon these types of requests and may levy a charge for any work done.

Risk control

If the overhead line cannot be diverted or switched off, and there is no alternative to carrying out the work near it, you will need to think about how the work can be done safely. If it cannot be done safely, it should not be done at all. Your site-specific risk assessment will inform the decision. Things to consider as part of your risk assessment include:

the voltage and height above ground of the wires. Their height should be measured by a suitably trained person using non-contact measuring devices;
the nature of the work and whether it will be carried out close to or underneath the overhead line, including whether access is needed underneath the wires;
the size and reach of any machinery or equipment to be used near the overhead line;
the safe clearance distance needed between the wires and the machinery or equipment and any structures being erected. If in any doubt, the overhead line’s owner will be able to advise you on safe clearance distances;the site conditions, undulating terrain may affect stability of plant etc;
the competence, supervision and training of people working at the site.

If the line can only be switched off for short periods, schedule the passage of tall plant and, as far as is possible, other work around the line for those times. Do not store or stack items so close to overhead lines that the safety clearances can be infringed by people standing on them.

Working near but not underneath overhead lines – the use of barriers. Where there will be no work or passage of machinery or equipment under the line, you can reduce the risk of accidental contact by erecting ground-level barriers to establish a safety zone to keep people and machinery away from the wires. This area should not be used to store materials or machinery. Suitable barriers can be constructed out of large steel drums filled with rubble, concrete blocks, wire fence earthed at both ends, or earth banks marked with posts.

If steel drums are used, highlight them by painting them with, for example, red and white horizontal stripes.
If a wire fence is used, put red and white flags on the fence wire.
Make sure the barriers can be seen at night, perhaps by using white or fluorescent paint or attaching reflective strips.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

The safety zone should extend 6 m horizontally from the nearest wire on either side of the overhead line. You may need to increase this width on the advice of the line owner or to allow for the possibility of a jib or other moving part encroaching into the safety zone. It may be possible to reduce the width of the safety zone but you will need to make sure that there is no possibility of encroachment into the safe clearance distances in your risk assessment.

Where plant such as a crane is operating in the area, additional high-level indication should be erected to warn the operators. A line of colored plastic flags or ‘bunting’ mounted 3-6 m above ground level over the barriers is suitable. Take care when erecting bunting and flags to avoid contact or approach near the wires. Passing underneath overhead lines, if equipment or machinery capable of breaching the safety clearance distance has to pass underneath the overhead line, you will need to create a passageway through the barriers, In this situation:

keep the number of passageways to a minimum;
define the route of the passageway using fences and erect goalposts at each end to act as gateways using a rigid, non-conducting material, eg timber or plastic pipe, for the goalposts, highlighted with, for example, red and white stripes;
if the passageway is too wide to be spanned by a rigid non-conducting goalpost, you may have to use tensioned steel wire, earthed at each end, or plastic ropes with bunting attached. These should be positioned further away from the overhead line to prevent them being stretched and the safety clearances being reduced by plant moving towards the line;
ensure the surface of the passageway is leveled, formed-up and well maintained to prevent undue tilting or bouncing of the equipment;
put warning notices at either side of the passageway, on or near the goalposts and on approaches to the crossing giving the crossbar clearance height and instructing drivers to lower jibs, booms, tipper bodies etc and to keep below this height while crossing;
you may need to illuminate the notices and crossbar at night, or in poor weather conditions, to make sure they are visible;
make sure that the barriers and goalposts are maintained.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines

On a construction site, the use of goalpost-controlled crossing points will generally apply to all plant movements under the overhead line. Working underneath overhead lines. Where work has to be carried out close to or underneath overhead lines, eg road works, pipe laying, grass cutting, farming, and erection of structures, and there is no risk of accidental contact or safe clearance distances being breached, no further precautionary measures are required. However, your risk assessment must take into account any situations that could lead to danger from the overhead wires. For example, consider whether someone may need to stand on top of a machine or scaffold platform and lift a long item above their head, or if the combined height of a load on a low lorry breaches the safe clearance distance. If this type of situation could exist, you will need to take precautionary measures.

If you cannot avoid transitory or short-duration, ground-level work where there is a risk of contact from, for example, the upward movement of cranes or tipper trailers or people carrying tools and equipment, you should carefully assess the risks and precautionary measures. Find out if the overhead line can be switched off for the duration of the work. If this cannot be done:

refer to the Energy Networks Association (ENA) publication Look Out Look Up! A Guide to the Safe Use of Mechanical Plant in the Vicinity of Electricity Overhead Lines.2 This advises establishing exclusion zones around the line and any other equipment that may be fitted to the pole or pylon. The minimum extent of these zones varies according to the voltage of the line, as follows:
– low-voltage line – 1 m;
– 11 kV and 33 kV lines – 3 m;
– 132 kV line – 6 m;
– 275 kV and 400 kV lines – 7 m;
under no circumstances must any part of plant or equipment such as ladders, poles and hand tools be able to encroach within these zones. Allow for uncertainty in measuring the distances and for the possibility of unexpected movement of the equipment due, for example, to wind conditions;
carry long objects horizontally and close to the ground and position vehicles so that no part can reach into the exclusion zone, even when fully extended. Machinery such as cranes and excavators should be modified by adding physical restraints to prevent them reaching into the exclusion zone. Note that insulating guards and/or proximity warning devices fitted to the plant without other safety precautions are not adequate protection on their own;
make sure that workers, including any contractors, understand the risks and are provided with instructions about the risk prevention measures;
arrange for the work to be directly supervised by someone who is familiar with the risks and can make sure that the required safety precautions are observed;
if you are in any doubt about the use of exclusion zones or how to interpret the ENA document, you should consult the owner of the overhead line.

Where buildings or structures are to be erected close to or underneath an overhead line, the risk of contact is increased because of the higher likelihood of safety clearances being breached. This applies to the erection of permanent structures and temporary ones such as polytunnels, tents, marquees, flagpoles, rugby posts, telescopic aerials etc. In many respects these temporary structures pose a higher risk because the work frequently involves manipulating long conducting objects by hand.

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines. The overhead line owner will be able to advise on the separation between the line and structures, for example buildings using published standards such as ENA Technical Specification 43-8 Overhead Line Clearances.1 However, you will need to take precautions during the erection of the structure. Consider erecting a horizontal barrier of timber or other insulating material beneath the overhead line to form a roof over the construction area – in some cases an earthed, steel net could be used. This should be carried out only with the agreement of the overhead line owner, who may need to switch off the line temporarily for the barrier to be erected and dismantled safely.

Ideally, work should not take place close to or under an overhead line during darkness or poor visibility conditions. Dazzle from portable or vehicle lighting can obscure rather than show up power lines. Sometimes, work needs to be carried out near uninsulated low-voltage overhead wires, or near wires covered with a material that does not provide effective insulation, connected to a building. Examples of such work are window cleaning, external painting or short-term construction work. If it is not possible to re-route or have the supply turned off, the line’s owner, eg the distribution network operator, may be able to fit temporary insulating shrouds to the wires, for which a charge may be levied. People, plant and materials still need to be kept away from the lines.

Emergency procedures

If someone or something comes into contact with an overhead line, it is important that everyone involved knows what action to take to reduce the risk of anyone sustaining an electric shock or burn injuries. Key points are:

never touch the overhead line’s wires;
assume that the wires are live, even if they are not arcing or sparking, or if they
otherwise appear to be dead;
remember that, even if lines are dead, they may be switched back on either automatically after a few seconds or remotely after a few minutes or even hours if the line’s owner is not aware that their line has been damaged:
if you can, call the emergency services. Give them your location, tell them what has happened and that electricity wires are involved, and ask them to contact the line’s owner:
if you are in contact with, or close to, a damaged wire, move away as quickly as possible and stay away until the line’s owner advises that the situation has been made safe:
if you are in a vehicle that has touched a wire, either stay in the vehicle or, if you need to get out, jump out of it as far as you can. Do not touch the vehicle while standing on the ground. Do not return to the vehicle until it has been confirmed that it is safe to do so;

Avoiding danger from overhead power lines, be aware that if a live wire is touching the ground the area around it may be live. Keep a safe distance away from the wire or anything else it may be touching and keep others away.

Hold the Mayo

The first time it dawned on me there were two distinct camps regarding mayonnaise was one afternoon at a restaurant. I was having lunch with a good friend, and she was interrogating the waitress about the chicken salad plate, asking her, “This doesn’t have any of that horrible Miracle Whip, does it?” The waitress assured her it was pure mayo that held those little morsels together. My friend seemed relieved and ordered it, but I ordered something else. I am in the Miracle Whip camp, and I make no apologies.

I admit I come by it honestly. I grew up in a Miracle Whip household, and I inherited my mother’s dislike for mayonnaise. early. To this day, I buy only MW and so does my sister. But mayo holds top honors in the condiment world, at least in the U.S., tied only with ketchup in popularity, and a must-have on millions of sandwiches daily, as well as in salads and sauces. Some fanatics even put it on french fries.

As a child, I frequently asked my mother why some sandwiches or salads tasted “gross” until I understood that MW had a distinctly different flavor than traditional mayo, which, in my opinion, has no flavor at all. (Please, no hate mail). When it finally clicked in my young mind, and I understood the difference, it was MW all the way from then on.

But let’s travel back in time to learn about mayo, and the French passion that started it all. The creation of mayonnaise is credited to the chef of Duke de Richelieu in 1756. While the Duke was defeating the British at Port Mahon in Menorca, Spain, his chef was whipping up a special victory feast that included a unique sauce made with eggs and cream, staples of French cuisine. Some food historians insist that the Spanish pioneered the rich spread, but it seems more likely that the French did the honors. Word of mouth (and taste buds) traveled across the pond, and Americans quickly embraced the creamy madness. Many residents of French heritage, not to mention chefs searching for new frontiers, introduced it in New York City, and we know that by 1838, the popular restaurant Delmonico’s in Manhattan offered mayonnaise in a variety of dishes. Gourmets were hooked.

Soon chefs were dreaming up different ways to use the wildly popular spread, especially in salads. In 1896, the famous Waldorf salad, made its debut to rave reviews at a charity ball at the Waldorf Hotel, chock full of apple pieces, celery, walnuts and grapes, all held together by that creamy mayo, and diners couldn’t get enough.

As refrigeration blossomed at the turn of the century, hundreds of food manufacturers raced to get their version of mayo in the shops. One such manufacturer was Hellmann’s, a New York City brand which designed wide mouth jars that could accommodate large spoons and scoops, and they soon began to dominate the sector. Mayonnaise, which had heretofore been considered a luxury, was fast becoming a household staple and taking its place at the dinner tables in millions of homes. Many professional chefs and homemakers made their own versions, but jars of the popular condiment were featured prominently on grocery store shelves.

Enter Miracle Whip, created in 1933 by the Chicago-based Kraft Foods Company. It made its debut during the Depression as a cheaper alternative to mayo, and while it does contain the key ingredients of mayonnaise (egg, soybean oil, vinegar, water), it deviates from the standard of mayo with a sweet, spicy flavor that many folks preferred and still do, but is required to label itself as “salad dressing” rather than mayo.

So whether you are a straight mayonnaise user, a renegade Miracle Whip aficionado, or you are frequently heard to state “hold the mayo”, there’s no getting around this wildly popular condiment, and we can thank the French gourmands once again for this creation.

Information About Hip and Pelvis Injury Compensation

The hip is a joint that connects our upper leg bones to our pelvis, giving us mobility. Our hip and pelvic bones are constantly at work for us, even when we are sleeping. Whether managing your everyday responsibilities or relaxing after they’re done, your hips are always playing a role in what you are doing with your body. They are a major component to your body’s overall stability, comfort, and physical capabilities. This explains why injuries to these areas are often very inconvenient and extremely painful.

Although most common in elderly patients, young to middle-aged adults and children can also be at risk for pelvic and hip injuries if they are involved in a serious accident. The most common types of accidents that cause severe pelvis and hip injuries include motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and even bicycle accidents. When a person is injured in such an accident as a result of another person’s carelessness, they are likely eligible for legal compensation. At this time, it would be in their best interest to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer for help with filing a claim against a wrongful party. They will develop an impactful case to profile the type of injuries their client suffered, and how it has negatively affected their overall health and quality of life. This will be the foundation of determining the amount of compensation that should be paid to the victim for their losses and damages.

Types of Pelvic Injuries

There are several types of hip and pelvic injuries, all of which are generally accompanied by muscle bruising and ligament sprains as well. They are all extremely painful, and can restrict a person’s mobility for months on end depending on the severity of the damage. Here are some of the most common hip and pelvic injuries seen as a result of negligent accidents:

Dislocations

Hip dislocations occur when an impact causes the ball-shaped head of the femur bone to come out of the cup-shaped acetabulum set in the pelvis. They are a very common injury among slip and fall victims, and victims of traffic accidents. It is unimaginably painful, and renders a victim immobile instantly. It can also cause nerve damage, resulting in numbness of the leg, foot, and ankle.

Hip Sprains

Hip sprains are serious muscle tears in the ligaments that support the hip joint. They occur when the ligaments are stretched past their limit and tear. This type of injury is tremendously painful, and can also result in bruising and swelling of the hip and pelvic area. It can take several weeks to heal, during which mobility is mostly restricted. Slip, trip, and fall accidents are common causes of hip sprains, but they also occur regularly in vehicle accidents and workplace accidents.

Pelvic Fractures

Pelvic fractures are among the most serious hip and pelvis injuries a person can sustain. This is because they have the potential to seriously change a person’s life forever. Some pelvic fractures comes with life-long consequences, or permanent complications. If the injuries are not permanent, they are still extraordinarily painful and are accompanied with months, or even years, of rehabilitation and healing. Painful physical therapy, loss of mobility, long-term medical care, and more are just a few circumstances a patient will face after fracturing their hip. Since the reproductive organs are in this area, more serious pelvis fractures can cause infertility, impotence, and sterility.

Hip Bursitis

One of the most common causes for hip pain, hip Bursitis is the inflammation of the bursa. The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that reduces friction between muscle tissues by providing a gliding surface. Although most cases can be treated at home with proper care and pain medication, they are very painful and can takes weeks or months to heal completely.

If you or someone you love has recently suffered a pelvic or hip injury as a result of a serious accident, call a licensed personal injury attorney to file a no-risk, no-fee claim. They have the proper resources and knowledge to effectively navigate your case and recover the fair amount of compensation you deserve.

Posted in Law

The Cybercrimals

The mindset of an individual who would want to attack the computers and networks owned by others is, without question, criminal. The act of intruding upon another confidential personal or business information requires a pre-meditated and calculated act. Its purpose is to inflict financial or personal harm on others by stealing money, denying the use of their information or to gain illegal access to proprietary plans. The cybercriminal is totally cynical and strives to remain in the shadows.

People who attack the information assets of others are on the prowl for system weaknesses to exploit. The prime targets are unsuspecting individuals or businesses that are vulnerable to the attack modes chosen by cybercriminals. They are deceitful and seek the cloak of anonymity.

The true nature of someone who would access, use and exploit your private information is a mixed bag. His or her character is between that of a person who would enjoy searching through your personal items and an employee who would embezzle money from a corporation.

The focus of crackers and hackers is to use their specialized knowledge to encroach upon the private lives of people and organizations. Electronic thieves seek to take advantage of people who are without information needed to fight back and block them. Cyber criminals are true low-life.

Digital bandits are sociopaths who ply their trade without regard to the harmful effects they have on others and truly lack remorse. What’s particularly unsettling about felonious computer whizzes is that they are usually very intelligent. They are without a conscience and enjoy stealing and hurting others.

Computer crooks can be ranked on a scale from “less skilled” to “expert”. Anyone can download basic cracking software from the Internet. The real pros, however, study their targets over time in stealth mode. The highly skilled cracker plans and analyzes the victim to get the maximum effect.

Preying upon unsuspecting users is among the most disturbing behaviors of the PC and mainframe pirates. Most computer users are unaware of how many threats and vulnerabilities that they face when they power-up their computer or go online. Lawless computer users thrive on the ignorance of others.

So how do you fight those who would breach your personal data with the purpose of stealing or hurting you in a variety of different ways? Presume that the bad guys are trying to break into your system. Use your knowledge and security best practices to block them.

You should:

1. Develop a security mindset
2. Assess your risks
3. Use complex passwords and phrases for your system(s)
4. Identify and eliminate common vulnerabilities
5. Routinely update software patches and fixes
6. Probe and test electronic systems
7. Use appropriate security-related hardware and software (e.g. anti-virus software, firewalls)
8. Lock your computer screen when you leave your work area
9. Encrypt and back up all of your data
10. Practice good cyber hygiene (e.g. avoid clicking on email links and attachments)
11. Avoid maintaining a persistent Internet connection

You can defend against those who would try to harm you using digital technology and the Internet. Obstruct the pathways that are followed by lawless information thieves.

Searching for a Personal Loan Just Got Simplified

Figuring where to get a loan with the best rates isn’t easy, but it’s still possible even after the credit crunch the United States has experienced in recent years. With a bit of research and persistence, it’s still possible to get a great personal loan. Many loans are still ridiculously high in spite of the Federal Reserve’s influence on rates which they’d hoped would trickle down to each and every loan type product.

It’s smart to know what determines interest rates in order to strike a better deal when wondering where to get a personal loan. A bit of research will help a person learn how to get the best rates on the following:

1. Mortgages

2. Lines of credit

3. Home equity loans

4. Auto loans

5. Credit cards

6. Student and personal loans

About Mortgages

There’s a lot that affects mortgage rates, and of course there are several different types of rates from fixed-rate to adjustable. Fixed-rate are always in relation to the current state of the economy. They are also subject to the expectations of the investor. They usually have long-term interest rates via treasury note as opposed to short-term personal loans that are regulated by The Fed.

ARMs or adjustable rate mortgages are affected by short-term rates. For those looking to find where to get personal loans at the best rates, they should prepare a portfolio that shows stable income, and a great credit score. A score of 740 or more is best. If they have a down payment that will also help, and cash reserves on top of that makes them a prime borrower.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great rates for those who aren’t considered “perfect” borrowers. Making a larger down payment or borrowing less money will help get a personal loan, be it for a mortgage or other purpose, that’s a much lower rate.

Another way to reduce rates when searching for where to get personal loans is to pay an origination free up front, or even what are called discount points. This is simply a percentage of the loan amount that helps decrease the interest rate. Of course, this means one will pay more at closing if mortgage related.

How much these points lower the mortgage or rate of the loan depends on the market at the time of the loan. It’s smart to pay points because it reduces not only the interest for the total life of the loan but also lowers the monthly payment. Take into account how long the home will be owned to figure out if it’s a smart move. Most homeowners sell or refinance within 5 years of ownership, to give an idea.

Home Equity Line of Credit

Many prefer to take advantage of a home equity loan in lieu of trying to get a loan elsewhere. In this case, borrowers get money right away and in a lump sum. The loan is set at a fixed interest rate, which allows them to make the same payment every month for the entire loan term.

These type of personal loans are lines of credit that let the borrower take out money periodically when necessary. The interest rate can be different, depending on what is called the prime rate. The borrower may have the choice of making interest-only payments over a set period of time.

In any case, to get the best rate when looking for where to find personal loans, it’s best to be aware of one’s credit profile and secure a loan whenever interest rates are at their lowest.

Competitive rates and flexible terms are a click away, and you’ll have money from trusted lenders deposited directly into an account of your choosing. Applications are free, then fees and loans are up to the individual and the provider.

The Ways to Improve Fundraising

Donor management is never easy no matter how easy it may seem; there is always some information that you will need to get and some that you will need to impart in order to learn some of the best ways of it.

In the many things about donor management the one that counts to be the most important of all is improving fundraising and getting into the skills of it all for the best results. Here in this article are the ways you need to follow and imbibe to improve the fundraising program for your nonprofit or church.

1. Be Transparent with Your Donors – Though this might seem like an obvious point, it is usually the one that is most ignored, and the most important of all. What is important about transparency is your donors being able to trust you with all – from your plans to our ideas and ideologies. Also, this is an important point to note because only when they trust you will they be able to steward their money well and you must be able to show them you are doing so. By ‘transparent’ we mean both financial and program transparency.

Financial Transparency: You might not be considering financial transparency to be an important point but this should definitely be on your list of important things. It is considered important to release a note time to time which would show how you are allocating your funds, but your donors are not going to sit and read through that long document. Make sure you give your donors an easy way to digest how you are investing their money. Create a graph, chart, infographic etc. And if it looks like you spent more in say, fundraising, than expected, explain why. Your donors love your mission and giving them a peek behind the curtain creates a sense of belonging and teamwork.
Program Transparency: Program transparency is all about the IMPACT. If you can show your donors the impact their money has made in changing the lives of those you’re serving or where the money has impacted, you can be sure you’ve done your thing right. Create annual reports showing the graphs of how far you’ve come with the support, meanwhile mentioning exactly where you want more changes and where you’re striving to achieve more.

2. Optimize our Donor Experience – Your donors shouldn’t be there for just one years or only a period of time, and that is possible only if you manage to optimize the donor experience convincing them that there are things that’ll help you stay in contact for more than one donation period. Try personalization (which definitely does no longer mean just hey and the first name); it is always recommended to stay in touch with the donors through emails, letters and phone calls. You can segment based on last gift amount, last gift date, a specific campaign – anything. And then create fundraising messaging around each category.

3. Audit Your Systems – Thought this is not important? Wrong!!! One of the most important points to be considered to improve fundraising is to audit your system – audit on your end – use the right set of tool and the right techniques. Keep the audit impartial and keep it clear – this will help you understanding how far you’ve come with your fundraising program and exactly how far you will be able to go with it.

Fundraising for churches, charities and non profits is the thing that does the most benefit and an increase in the finds over a stipulated period of time is exactly what they’re striving for. It is therefore recommended that you use these set of tips mentioned above and create a draft accordingly of you new ideas and plans for an increase in the funds.

Curate and Control Your Online Reputation

Shakespeare, in Act 2 of his circa 1603 play Othello, said it best: Reputation, reputation, reputation. It is the original personal brand and one of the defining realities of our lives. For Solopreneur consultants and other self-employed professionals, reputation governs the number and quality of projects made available to us and therefore, reputation impacts our income and the kind of life we’re able to live. It pays, in more ways than one, to cultivate a peerless reputation and guard it vigorously.

In the internet age that is especially so, in both the personal and professional sectors. Mistakes and mischaracterizations made in digital formats are extremely difficult to dodge, ignore, deny, or correct. One’s online reputation is the ultimate flypaper. Take steps to ensure that what sticks to your name is all good.

Images

Along with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are the sites where images of you are most likely to be posted, by yourself and others. When cameras are around, meaning whenever anyone has a cell phone, which is about 24/7, make sure that your behavior represents you and your brand well.

There’s nothing wrong with being photographed in an obviously casual gathering. Just make sure that you (or others) are not in the midst of activities that could be misconstrued and reflect poorly on you sometime in the future. If you regularly appear in photos that you know or suspect will be posted to social media sites, counteract with a photo of your own that shows you at work, paid or volunteer. Balance your accounts, so to speak, and show that there is more to you than non-stop partying.

Content

Create and regularly post original content that makes you look smart, professional and successful. On your LinkedIn account, announce when you will attend a symposium, serve on a panel, teach a course or workshop and definitely broadcast the good news if you’ve recently earned a professional certification or advanced degree.

If you’ve presented a webinar, request the replay and turn it into a podcast for your website and YouTube. If you write a newsletter or blog, link it to your website and LinkedIn. If you’re on Twitter or Instagram, produce streams of high-quality feed and images that convey the competencies and values that you want to be known for.

Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can feature glimpses into your personal life as well and it could all be for the good, as long as you are strategic about what is revealed. Your volunteer work is always a safe bet. Training for a marathon or even a fun and casual volleyball or softball league would be excellent. Your parent’s wedding anniversary party would make another good personal aspect to include in your online narrative. Be aware that narrative is the operative word. Create the story that you want to be told, in a manner that makes you look wonderful.

Search

About every three months, search your name and your company name in engines such as Bing, Google and Yahoo and see what comes up in the first 50 listings. Are you happy with what you see? Try keywords related to your business along with your city and check your professional reach in a more profound way.

If you find that your business has been reviewed in a negative and inaccurate way, contact the reviewing site and request that the offending post be removed. If customers have offered criticism that just may be constructive, address the matter. Apologize and offer your side of the story. Make amends if possible. By doing so, you’ll add to your credibility and customer service reputation.

It’s been reported that 70% of U.S. employment recruiters have rejected potential job candidates when something about them that was considered unsavory appeared on social media. Solopreneurs should assume that prospective clients will do the same. Maintaining and monitoring your online reputation has never been more important.

The Benefits Of uPVC For Your Home Or Office

As far as building materials is concerned, you may have heard of uPVC. But what exactly is it? This article will give you the answer to this question in addition to shedding some light on the benefits of uPVC. After reading this article, you will come to know why local builders go for this material instead of other stuff out there. Read on to know more.

uPVC

Actually, uPVC is a short form of unplasticised polyvinyl chloride, which is commonly known as a high quality rigid PVC. Since it hard but won’t flex, it falls under the category of PVC. The beauty of the product is that it leaves out BPA or phthalates, so it is quite safe. Apart from this, it is safe and stable and can be used to manufacture mouth guards and dental retainers as well.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits you can enjoy if you go for this material.

Low Maintenance

Windows and doors made from uPVC don’t need to be sealed or painted. As a result, the cost of maintenance is not that much with the passage of time. The reason is that these windows and doors are easy to clean with water and detergent.

Tough And Durable

Due to the durability of the material, it has been used for making sewer and water pipes for more than 100 years. You can get the idea from the fact that vinyl windows that were installed more than two decades back are still in use. Moreover, quality uPVC doors and windows go through different rests for ultraviolet resistance to make sure that they don’t fade in the sun.

Rot Resistant

Unlike other materials, uPVC is not prone to corrosion or rotting as time goes by. So, this is another great benefit of opting for this product instead of many others available in the market.

Thermal Comfort

You know metals are conductive. But uPVC doesn’t fall under this category. Therefore, windows and doors don’t transfer heat. As a result, you can enjoy consistent temperature in your rooms. As a matter of fact, the windows of your rooms will be a lot more efficient provided they are made of this material.

Tilt And Turn

These windows can be opened in two directions in order to allow you benefit from the cross ventilation, which is another great benefit.

Acoustic Insulation

With double glazed doors and windows, you can reduce the noise by up to 70%. So, you can have peace of mind especially if there is a lot of noise outside your house all the time.

Salt Erosion

You won’t have corrosion problem caused by salt-filled air. So, they are an ideal choice as far as coastal properties is concerned.

High Security

As far safety and security is concerned, these windows feature multi-locking systems that provides higher security for your house or office.

Long story short, if you are looking for the best doors and windows for your office or home, we suggest that you give a go to uPVC doors and windows due to the many benefits they offer.

Affordable Housing for the Middle Class

“What does affordable housing in Gurgaon, with its high-lifestyle, urbanization, and posh-societies look like?” You may think, given that Residential Flats varies in its meaning for different demographic profiles. Especially in the Indian real estate market, affordable housing has a connotation for housing for the lower income group (LIG), by which they too can enjoy a comfortable living and security. With the incumbent government’s focus on this section and more on the affordable housing, it seems like the real estate sector has been able to get the boost that it had been waiting for of late.

However, there is an important trend that needs to be taken note of before the government claims that its affordable housing project is a success. The term affordable housing, in different contexts, also has a local meaning. According to this, affordable housing includes housing options for a segment of population that can become potential home buyers in a city. If we take this definition into consideration, there is a sizeable population in every city, which although it will not identify with or fall under the LIG, is equally incapable of allotting a large budget for buying homes. It is not only sensitive and cost-wary but is looking forward to finding a house of a decent budget-size within the realms of the city. A typical example is of the residential flats in Gurgaon, which although are well-furnished, but do not still fall under the budget for the middle class.

When we take this population’s demands and needs a little more seriously, we find that there is a dearth of properties in good locations within the city, which buyers can afford. These buyers often have a budget of INR 30-40 lakhs, but more cities including Delhi NCR have a deficit in properties which match this budget range. Usually properties which are around INR 20 lakhs are still on the outskirts lacking good transportation and other facilities required by the urban middle class. This means that there is indeed a requirement for more housing under the affordable housing section, where different demographic profiles can find properties for themselves.

There is an urgent need for developers to come up with budget housing projects in the larger cities. As modern India moves towards development and rising aspirations, affordable housing and the security that comes with it, is increasing. This appears to be a very high opportunity for developers who can count on a boost in the real estate industry. More absorption of the housing projects in the urban cities is also a strong indicator of the socioeconomic growth in the country, thereby projecting a positive image. While the demand is strong and only increasing, there are a lot of policy-level changes that need to be introduced.

Not only will the affordable housing for the middle class prove to be a sustainable business model for the future, it will also allow more cities to come up to ranks. More affordable housing projects will assure developers that they do not struggle with inflation or even setbacks in the economy. Another trend that one needs to channelize is that more real estate investors are now eyeing budget and affordable housing projects. Where luxury homes and premium homes find it hard to make it through a rough economy, affordable housing is still on the move. The healthy demand in addition with more money coming in steady from investors means a healthy micro-economy. It is now time for builders and the government to give this proposition a try, ensuring that the overall development of the country happens throughout.

Gurgaon based real estate company’s residential flats in Gurgaon include their massive projects of Solera (Sector 107), Synera (Sector 81, NH8) Andour Heights (Sector 71), Orchard Avenue (Sector 93), Grand Iva (Sector 103), Roselia (Sector 95A), Serenas (Sector 36) and The Millennia (Sector 37D). At present, Gurgaon based real estate company’s Signum project offers retail shops in Gurugram in sector 36, 95A, 93, 103, 71, 81, and 107.