bookmark_borderFiltering For Drinking Water Testing

Environmental Tests : Well Water Basic Profile Test

According to the Connecticut Department of Health (DPH), approximately 15% of Connecticut’s population rely on private wells as their source of drinking water. Private well owners are responsible for the quality of their own drinking water. Because a clean source of drinking water is critical to your health, the DPH recommends testing your well water once a year for routine analysis and after any work is done on your well, pump or piping. The recommended tests, (total coliform bacteria, nitrate, pH, sodium, turbidity, and color) are all covered in Basic Profile- Bacteria Physical/Chemical test.

The Basic Profile Water Test analyzes the following bacteria and physical/chemical properties:

Coliform Bacteria are not disease-producing organisms themselves, but they are used as an indicator of disease-producing organisms. When coliform bacteria are present, there is an increased probability that the source water may have been contaminated by surface water or fecal material and may also contain disease-producing organisms. Chlorination is the best method for eliminating bacteria from the water, but if possible, the source of contamination should be located and treated so the problem does not recur.

For healthy people, the Sodium content of water is relatively unimportant because the intake of sodium from other drinks and foods is so much greater. People following a low sodium diet because of hypertension, kidney, or cardiovascular disease should be concerned with an elevated level of sodium. The usual low sodium diet allows 20 mg/L in the drinking water. Elevated sodium levels are likely to be seen with the use of a water softener. Other possible causes are run-off from road salting or sewage contamination.

An elevated Nitrate Nitrogen level may be an indication that agricultural fertilizer or waste disposal is polluting the water. The AL of 10 mg/L has been established to prevent a disease called methemoglobinemia “blue baby disease” in infants. Reverse osmosis and ion exchange resins can remove nitrates.

Odor in water can be caused by foreign matter such as organic compounds, inorganic salts or dissolved gases. These materials may come from domestic, agricultural or natural sources. The action level (AL) has been set according to aesthetic values but acceptable waters should be free of any objectionable odor.

Manganese at levels greater than .05 mg/L may produce brownish black stains in laundry and on fixtures and impart an objectionable odor and taste. It is usually found along with iron in soil with a high mineral content. Oxidation followed by a greensand filter is a common method of manganese removal.

Water Color may be caused by dissolved organic material from decaying vegetation and/or certain inorganic material such as iron or manganese. While color is generally not a problem from a health standpoint, its presence is aesthetically unpleasing and suggests that the water may need appropriate treatment.

The AL for Chloride was established primarily as an aesthetic standard. The concentration at which the average person can detect a salty taste in water is 250 mg/L. A very high chloride level can lead to the corrosiveness of water on pipes and heating equipment and is usually associated with a high sodium level. Sewage contamination, run-off from road salting or an improperly maintained water softener may cause elevated chloride.

Turbidity is the presence of suspended material such as clay, silt, plankton, finely divided organic material and other inorganic materials. Turbidity in excess of five units are detectable in a glass of water and are usually objectionable for aesthetic reasons. The most common method of lowering turbidity is with a filter system.

Sulfate in drinking water has no beneficial effects. The desirable limit is 250 mg/L. At higher concentrations sulfate may have a laxative effect and cause taste deterioration.

pH is a measure of the acid or alkaline content of water. Water with a low pH (acidic) is corrosive to plumbing and may cause leaching of toxic metals such as lead or copper. Soda ash can be added to the feed water to effectively raise the pH.

Iron levels above 0.3 mg/L can discolor fixtures and laundry and may impart a metallic taste to the water. Iron is frequently present in water because of the large amounts present in soil. Corrosive water will also pick up iron from pipes. Common methods for removing iron from the water are aeration or chlorination of the water followed by filtration.

Calcium and Magnesium salts are the major cause of Hardness in water supplies. Although not detrimental to health, hard water retards the cleaning action of soaps and detergents. When hard water is heated it will deposit a hard scale on heating coils and cooking utensils with a consequent waste of fuel. A water softening system is the most common method of lowering the hardness in water. The following is a scale on which to compare your water hardness: (0-75) low/soft; (76-150) moderate; (151-250) hard; (over 250) very hard.

Water Testing

In spite of all the stories we hear about possible contaminants in the water supply, most people have water that is safe to drink, especially those served by a large municipal water system. However, well water should be tested periodically for coliform bacteria.

Additionally, if the property is located in an agricultural area, the water should be tested for nitrates, and if the home is more than 30 years old, or if the plumbing pipes are joined with lead solder, then the water should also be tested for lead. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires water tests for bacteria, nitrates, nitrites and lead.

Other reasons a water test may be warranted:

lender may require a water test prior to loan approval

well located downstream from a septic system

use of lawn fertilizers, salt or de-icers near the well

Testing more than once a year may be advisable in certain situations:

pregnant or nursing household member

unexplained illnesses in the family

any change in taste, odor, color or clarity of the water

a neighbor tests positive for contaminants in their water

any dumping of chemicals, pesticides or fuels into or near your well

if any part of your well system has been replaced or repaired

Home Inspections

When they sign the contract of sale. The county introduced this law to monitor the water quality in the area regarding private wells. It requires the seller to have their well tested by a certified water operator and laboratory for a number of substances including bacteria, chemicals, metals and other contaminants.

The tests must be paid for by the seller and be ordered within 10 days of the signing of the contract. The law also states that the buyer and seller cannot waive the testing because a copy of the test results must be sent by the laboratory to the County Department of Health, and to the seller via Home Inspections This new law also affects tenants who rent a property that is supplied with well water.

Q2: What types of properties are subject to the testing requirement? A2: The Law covers SALES and LEASES of properties served by private wells, as well as

Q3: When in the real-estate sales process does testing have to happen? When the contract is

signed? What about rentals? What about new wells or wells not in use? A3: The law requires the following:

• Upon the signing of a contract of sale for a property subject to the Law, the seller must cause a water test to be conducted in the manner provided, and for at least the contaminants required, by the Law.

• The lessor of real property served by a private well must test the well water: (1) by November 19, 2008; or (2) within twelve (12) months from the date that any real property becomes subject to a leasehold if a lessor begins leaking the real property after the law’s effective date (i.e., November 19, 2007); and (3) at least once every five (5) years after the dates established in (1) or (2) above. Results must be provide3d to current lessees within five (5) days of receipt of water test results. Every time a rental property subject to the Law id Leased, a written copy of the most recent test results must be given to the lessee.

• All new wells, prior to first use must have the well water tested prior to use. All wells not in use for a period of five (5) years are treated as new ells and must be tested prior to use.

Q4: When do the testing requirements take effect?

A4: The effective date of the Law is Monday, November 19, 2007. Accordingly, on and after that date, all sales of property served by private wells, all new wells and wells that have not been in use for a period of five (5) years are subject to the Private Well-Water Testing Law and are required to meet the testing requirements. Testing is not required for real estate transactions that were already under the contract before the statute went into effect (November 19, 2007).

Home Inspections

Home inspections, radon testing, and water quantity testing. These inspections can be either for the buyer or seller. Our home inspections include:

Structure

Roof

Plumbing

Heat and Cooling Systems

Foundation

Electrical

Drainage

Ventilation and Insulation

home inspectors will provide you with a digital detailed report complete with pictures and a summary listing any major concern or safety hazard. The inspections we provide conform to and exceed the InterNACHI standards.

Home Inspection offers flexible hours for your convenience. Inspections can be scheduled Monday through Saturday

Water Well Inspections

Private water well is one part of your home that you probably never think about, until there is a problem. And if not properly inspected, it can lead to a very expensive repair that you never expected and certainly never wanted. This can be avoided with the proper well inspection.

If you are looking to buy a home with a private water well, it is important that you have the system inspected. There can be many hidden problems that you will not know about until they happen. Unlike most things in a house, when something goes wrong with your well it’s usually very expensive.

Are you selling your home? When a home is put on the market to sell, it may be required in your county (like County) that the well and septic systems be inspected before the house can be sold. This is called Time of Sale or TOS. You may want to check with your Realtor or County Health Department beforehand to see if your well needs to be inspected.

it means that we have gone through many hours of training to make sure we know how to properly inspect your well and septic systems. In fact, WCPH Environmental Health Division is known to have one of the best training programs for well and septic systems in Michigan. Our inspections are done the same rigorous way we do the WCPH TOS program, which include making sure that the water well is properly located away from possible contaminations, the well head is properly installed, and to check for abandon wells on the property.

bookmark_borderAccountant Careers

What Are the Three Major Areas of Accounting?

Accounting and finance are integrally connected for each business firm. Accounting is the study of how information is gathered and distributed inwards and outwards. Finance, is the study of how firms make the investments and financing decisions they make operate their business.

Finance relies on accounting information to operate, and accounting must have financial experts in order to translate accounting information for the general use. There are three major areas of accounting:

Financial Accounting:

Financial accounting is where accounting deals with external parties interested in the business firm. According to the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), it provides the most important financial collecting and reporting functions for business firms.

Financial statements produced for the benefits of your external investors. Investors need to be able to get the review of financial statements such as the income statement, the balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows in order to decide whether they should invest in this business firm or remain invested in the company, or not.

Financial statements are of interest to another group of external individuals- the creditors of the firm. Creditors are the bond-holders of the firm or they could be the debt-holders of the firm. Creditors are individuals who loaned money to the firm, and interested in receiving a return on their investment and, eventually, a return of their principal.

Managerial Accounting:

Managerial Accounting is where accounting associated with gathering and articulating the financial information for inside organizations such as managers and staff.

You may compare it to the financial accounting which is concerned with information for external individuals. The Institute of Certified Management Accountants states that management accountants are the ‘value creators’ among accountants, thereby taking their place between the finance people and the financial accountants in the business organization.

Managers use financial information to take better business decisions. They use a variety of techniques such as variance analysis, risk management, and cost-volume-profit analysis to predict the best forward-looking information as possible.

Cost Accounting:

Some professionals consider Cost-Accounting as a part of Managerial-Accounting and some think that Cost-Accounting is a different functional area of accounting. Cost-Accounting and Managerial-Accounting surely overlap.

Cost-Accounting looks at the costs of production for a business by looking at the fixed costs of the products and services, they sell and their input costs. Input costs compared to output cost for the measurement and better understanding of the financial performance of a firm with directly regards to the production costs. Elements often used: indirect costs, or overhead, raw materials, as well as labor. Managers use the information from Cost-Accounting to establish the cost control programs for their business firms.

Why is accounting important?

Accounting is a deciding factor regarding the financial health of a business. Logging and tracking an organization’s financial data can help you find out a company’s cash flow, income and expenses. All of this information can be provided to stakeholders who have a direct impact on business operations. The more financial information you have about your company’s financial health, the better positioned you are to make decisions about your company’s future.

Types of accounting

Contrary to popular belief, accountants don’t only prepare taxes. Accountants can also investigate white collar crimes, audit businesses, or work exclusively in government and manufacturing environments.

Accountants can be CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) or perform bookkeeping and accounting tasks such as managing the accounting cycle at a small business or a large corporate entity. They can also work for a nonprofit or a large consulting firm.

Here are some of the different areas of accounting and what they entail.

Financial accounting

Financial accounting is the process of compiling financial reports for external use. Financial accountants work with their colleagues and managers to strategize how a company can be more profitable. Also, they track all financial activity recorded in a ledger in addition to ensuring that internal procedures are being followed and that all financial activity appears on relevant financial statements.

They must abide by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles set for U.S. businesses and International Financial Reporting Standards if a company operates overseas. Overall, financial accountants need to have strong attention to detail to convey the current financial state to outside sources.

Managerial accounting

This type of accounting documents, monitors and assists in the financial planning of an organization. Their documentation is typically meant for internal stakeholders rather than the public. A managerial accountant must be careful in communicating confidential information and to whom. They work with their managers to analyze and create a budget to meet the needs of the short- and long-term goals of the organization.

Cost accounting

Cost accounting can be seen as a subcategory of managerial accounting. Cost accountants are responsible for documenting, presenting and reviewing manufacturing costs. They oversee all variable and fixed costs to see if output aligns with the cost to produce a product. They also work with managers to decide on future decisions based on the financial forecast and the progress of production.

Auditing

Internal and external auditing falls under the category of public accounting. External auditing is the action of a company providing financial statements to a third-party for financial feedback. In this instance, a third-party is a reliable source in describing if a company’s financial statement is a representation of GAAP.

Internal auditing determines the effectiveness of internal accounting processes. An internal auditor can review employee departmental responsibilities, management policies and approval procedures on related projects. In turn, they provide useful feedback that can help a company to become more profitable and efficient.

Tax accounting

Tax accountants help businesses stay in compliance with annual tax codes when they file each year. They also assist companies in planning for future tax returns, such as avoiding certain tax burdens and understanding the implications of specific tax decisions. Usually, larger organizations will hire a tax accountant to navigate the complexities of financial records.

Accounting information systems

Accounting information systems, or AIS, manage the improvement of successful accounting procedures. Employees working in this field decide on the best times to install updated technology and monitor the progress of existing systems to determine if there is an increase in productivity over a given timeframe. They can make decisions in conjunction with the IT department to instill continuity with technological processes.

Fiduciary accounting

Fiduciary accounting is the procedure of trusting one individual to handle financial accounts. They’re obligated to serve on behalf of their clients for accounts tied to real estate, trust funds, investments and others. Also, they must give relevant financial information to their clients once a year, which includes a summary of all accounts, schedules of receipts, gains, losses and the assets they have at their disposal.

Forensic accounting

Forensic accounting requires accountants to reconfigure a company’s financial information when some information is missing or not available to review. The goal of forensic accounting is to gather all available documentation and accurately and comprehensively record all credit, debit and cash transactions in financial statements. These professionals often work on legal cases involving fraud, claims and disputes.

Public accounting

Public accounting refers to businesses that provide accounting advice to clients based on their needs. They can work in auditing, assist with tax returns, consult on procedures tailored to the installation of technology or computer programs and provide legal advice.

Government accounting

Government accountants manage the financial planning and allocation of resources to departments within a local, state or federal government. This type of accounting has standards that must comply with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) who is responsible for developing consistent accounting procedures for local and state governments. They also monitor a government’s budget and allocate funds appropriately.

bookmark_borderStarting A Successful Carpet And Upholstery Cleaning Business Based Out Of Your Home

Guide to Upholstery Cleaning

carpet cleaning always seems to get all of the attention but it’s time to show your furniture some love too! With all of the traffic that comes through your house, your upholstery items go through a lot of wear and tear, making your furniture lose its color and vibrancy over time. No need to fear! Here is a guide for your upholstery cleaning needs!

Upholstery Items Need Attention Too!

It’s obvious that something will last longer when it is taken care of, so it shouldn’t be a secret that your upholstery items need a regular cleaning! With all the people that use the furniture in your home, it is recommended to have your upholstery items cleaned about every 6 months. Getting a cleaning this often will lengthen the life and help keep the natural color of your upholstery items. Giving the needed attention to your upholstery items will help your home look cleaner and feel healthier!

Fight Lingering Stains

It seems to be almost impossible to prevent any stains from getting on your carpets or furniture. You might even have an internal stain that just won’t come out! Don’t let that stain keep embarrassing you every time you see it

Upholstery Cleaners Tips

Upholstery Cleaning Tips, DIY and Service

spend the majority of our free time in the heart of the home: the living room. Whether you’re entertaining, or just relaxing, the last thing you want to see is a big water ring on your sofa, or smell a foul odor coming from the spot where your dog usually sleeps

Furniture and Couch Cleaners

You have that favorite chair or couch, and you don’t want to get rid of it. It is like an old shoe, worn out but comfortable.  Is there an alternative to replacing it with something new?  You bet there is

Upholstery has to be maintained regularly because the furniture is soiled so frequently. Body oils, bacteria, germs, dust mites, mould spores, allergens, and bugs lurk in places that we cannot see.

services job is to thoroughly clean, sanitise, deodorise, remove stains, and protect your furniture. It’s our job to make sure your furniture is clean and safe for you, your family, and your guests! Dirt, grease, and dust will build up over time and soil your furniture.  Regular vacuuming helps, but there comes a time when this no longer fits the bill.  It is time to call in the professionals to give that worn piece of furniture a new lease on life

Upholstery Virus & Bacteria Disinfection Clean

Capable Truck mounts hot steam cleaners kill and removes viruses, bacteria, germs, dust mites, and other pathogens from interior car upholstery if the steam is over 70C hot.

Pre-spraying your mattress and mattress bed with an FDA approved antiviral disinfecting sanitise treatment. Before performing Hot Water Extraction on your mattress beds to eliminate risks from Sars COVID-19 corona viruses, bacteria germs, bed bugs, dust mites, and other pathogens.

A Guide to Upholstery Fabric

Upholstery fabric can be made from a variety of materials. It can be natural, man-made or a combination of the two. Each material has its pros and cons. To get the right fabric for your look and lifestyle it is important to compare them.

Here is a list of the most common fabrics for upholstery:

Cotton is soft and durable, but it is also susceptible to wrinkling and can be easily soiled. If exposed to direct sunlight, cotton may begin to fade.

Linen is made from the flax plant. It is a good upholstery fabric for both casual and formal spaces. It naturally resists pilling and soiling, but it can wrinkle easily. Some linen slipcovers can be dry-cleaned.

Synthetic (or man-made) fibers such as polyester are more resistant to fading and staining than natural fibers. Many upholstery fabrics blend natural and synthetic fibers to offer the best of both worlds. For example, a cotton-polyester blend has the soft feel of cotton but with greater resistance to fading and wrinkling. There are many different synthetic fibers, but the following three are the ones most commonly found in upholstery fabrics.

Acrylic is lightweight and soft. It also resists wear, wrinkling and fading. This is a great choice for furniture in bright sunlight or near a window. Most acrylics require special cleaning.

Nylon, one of the strongest fibers you can find, is incredibly durable. Manufacturers might combine a delicate fabric like velvet with nylon to help prevent the nap (the raised surface) from getting crushed. Its big downside is that it is sensitive to light and usually needs to be cleaned with solvent-based cleaners.

Polyester is strong and durable and is commonly blended with other fibers to reduce fading (it stands up well to sunlight), provides wrinkle resistance and adds resilience to napped fabrics.

Stain-resistant fabrics. There are many fabrics that are stain-resistant, either because they are made from a fiber that inherently repels moisture and stains or because they have a treatment applied to them.

Slipcovers have a slightly more casual look, which some people might not want, but you should strongly consider going with a slipcover if you have young children or you are choosing a white fabric. White is hard to keep clean, no matter how hard you try.

Durability

When you research upholstery fabric you often come across the term double rubs. This refers to a test of a fabric’s durability. The double-rub test is done with a back-and-forth motion, similar to the wear that occurs when someone sits down and gets up again. The number of double rubs before the fabric shows visible wear provides the rating. The higher the number of double rubs, the more durable the fabric

Texture

Many fabrics may look great, be stain-resistant and have the durability you need but then fail on the most important test: texture. Nobody likes a piece of scratchy furniture. Your hands may not pick up on the roughness, so when you’re looking at fabrics, make sure to touch them to your face or arm. This is especially important for a piece you’re likely to lounge on, such as a sofa in front of a television.

Upholstery Cleaning Guide

There is a huge array of fabric and vinyl upholstery options available for casino chairs and attempting to list them all as well as how best to clean them, is an impossible task. Stains do happen and removing them from the upholstery can be difficult.

As a general rule of thumb, you should treat stains immediately before they become permanent. Use white towels, roller towel or an absorbent cloth to ‘blott’ the spillage. Keep blotting and changing the absorbent material until no more of the spillage or coloured matter is being removed.

VINYL upholstery

Vinyl upholstery should always be cleaned with clean water using a damp cloth to wipe away stains or spills. Solvent-based cleaning materials should never be used as they may damage the vinyl causing it to crack and peel. Cotting Esprit vinyl cleaning instructions.

FABRIC upholstery

Always follow the manufacturers’ cleaning instructions. If none are not available, then use the general guide to cleaning everyday stains on fabrics as suggested by Materialised. Pre-test all solutions on an inconspicuous area. When using liquid cleaners work from the outer ring of the stain toward the centre.  Always rinse with clean water and blot dry to finish as detergent residue tends to attract soiling.  If in any doubt, contact a cleaning specialist.

Standard & Reference Guide for Upholstery Cleaning

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Upholstery Cleaning (IICRC S300) is a procedural standard. It has been written using reliable principles, research and practical experience, plus consultation with and information obtained from numerous sources.

For many years furniture manufacturers have used colorfastness codes to assist consumers in determining safe cleaning solutions (e.g., dry solvents, water) to use on their upholstered furniture.  Over time these “colorfastness codes” evolved into “cleaning codes” for professional cleaners as well.  However, upholstery cleaning technicians have always determined the appropriate cleaning method for individual furniture based on fiber content, fabric construction and careful inspection, rather than “colorfastness” or “cleaning” codes.  One of the primary purposes of IICRC S300 is to clarify the way in which appropriate cleaning methods are determined

IICRC S300 provides a specific set of practical standards for all methods of dry and wet upholstery cleaning.  It does not attempt to teach comprehensive upholstery cleaning procedures; rather, it provides the foundational principles for proper cleaning practice.  There are numerous programs available in the industry to teach the specific details of upholstery cleaning.

IICRC S300 is presented using a two-part format: the Standard itself, and a supplementary “Reference Guide.”  The procedural Standard is featured in the first section of S300.  This Standard is supported by the Reference Guide in the second section.  The intent is to use the information outlined in the Reference Guide as a tool to better understand and apply the Standard itself.  However, the Reference Guide is not considered a part of the Standard.

bookmark_borderDifferent Types Of Veterinarian

Advantages and Disadvantages of being a veterinarian

What are some of the pros of becoming a Veterinarian?

If you are considering becoming a veterinarian, following are the pros:

  • There are plenty of jobs available if you are a veterinarian. You will easily land up getting a job just after the completion of your studies, as long as you are not very particular about the location of the job. Most of the veterinarians get into independent practice.
  • Gamut of job options is available to choose from, ranging from government hospitals to independent clinics, from poultry farms to NGOs and so on.
  • As compared to medical doctors, chances to get sued are very rare and least likely.
  • Being a veterinarian can pay you very well.
  • There is immense satisfaction in serving the helpless and the needy.

What are the cons of a career in Veterinary Sciences?

CONS:

  • The course duration is too long. If you want to become a veterinary surgeon, then you need to go for a 4-5 years program in veterinary sciences and animal husbandry. And then in order to get good opportunities, you might also consider going for a Masters which again takes 2 years. In this way, it takes almost 7 years after your high school before your career actually starts paying you.
  • Sometimes you might come across angry and agitated pets and animals. Every now and then you are on a risk of being bitten by one such animal.
  • To become a veterinarian, the foremost attribute that you require is compassion. However it deeply pains giving euthanasia to an animal.
  • You might sometimes as well come across upset pet owners.
  • Doesn’t matter if you are practicing independently or with an organization, you need to be on call.
  • The work of a veterinarian is both physically and mentally demanding. And sometimes emotionally too!

You’ll have the chance to help animals.

Obviously, becoming a veterinarian gives you the skills and knowledge you need to treat dogs, cats, and other animals and put them on the road to recovery. This is one of the most rewarding parts of the job: helping a creature that came to your clinic in a bad condition and using your abilities to improve its health and help it get better.

You’ll have a job that you love.

Being a veterinarian means you’ll be surrounded with different animals. One day you might be working with small, fluffy dogs; the next day you might be treating large cows or horses. You’ll definitely run into many challenges, but all of them can be worth it since you’re following your passion and working in a job that aligns with your values and interests.

You’ll go through emotional roller coasters.

No matter how hard you try, there will definitely be times when you can’t save a patient. There might even be instances when you’ll need to perform euthanasia to free patients from unnecessary suffering. These events can leave you emotionally broken; over time, you might experience “compassion fatigue”, a term that’s used to define a set of emotions that can range from being highly sensitive to the slightest events to feeling numb about what’s going on around you.

2. You’ll struggle for work-life balance.

More likely than not, you might find yourself working regular hours and being on call even after your work day has ended. This is particularly true if you’re in a small town that doesn’t have a lot of veterinarians. As a result, you might find it hard to balance your work and family life, and you might end up being constantly fatigued and overworked.

Difference Between a Veterinarian & a Veterinarian Technician

Veterinarians and veterinarian technicians work closely together to ensure the medical health of animals in veterinary clinics across the United States, but there are important distinctions between them. Veterinarians require far more schooling and assume much more responsibility than do veterinarian technicians, and as a result veterinarians earn far more money.

According to Careers in Healthcare, becoming a veterinary technician can be a stepping stone to a career as a veterinarian. Becoming either a vet or a vet tech will provide an opportunity to help animals at all stages of life.

Contrasting Educational Requirements

Veterinarian technicians typically go through a two-year postsecondary program to acquire the licensing and certification needed to work in the field. To get somewhat higher pay and additional responsibilities, a veterinarian technician can complete a four-year postsecondary program and work as a veterinary technologist or apply to veterinary school.

By contrast, veterinarians first complete a bachelor’s degree with a pre-medicine concentration, and then undergo an additional four years of schooling to receive the title of doctor of veterinary medicine.. The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says that some veterinarians also complete a residency to become certified in a specialty area like equine medicine. Some earn a Ph.D. and research animal diseases and new cures.

Different Occupational Responsibilities

Veterinarian technicians usually work as assistants to veterinarians. They take X-rays and blood samples, test blood or urine, administer medications and keep patient records in order. They sometimes perform emergency first aid and assist the veterinarian during procedures.

Veterinarians may perform all of these duties. But veterinarians also are responsible for diagnosing the causes of illness, recommending treatment, performing surgery, prescribing treatments and medications, and putting animals to sleep. They may treat livestock or limit their practice to small companion animals.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Veterinary Technician

There are many reasons that the veterinary technician career path is one of the most popular in the animal industry. The vet tech profession has grown exponentially in recent years, and demand for qualified technicians remains strong. Here are some of the pros and cons of this very rewarding but demanding profession.

Job Security and Opportunities

There is a strong demand for veterinary technicians. The projected rate of growth for the profession is 30 percent through the year 2022. A veterinary technician should have no problem finding a job with such sustained demand for the foreseeable future.

The nature of veterinary work virtually guarantees that no two days are alike. Technicians get to perform a wide variety of procedures, see many different patients and interact with a dozen or more owners each day.

There are usually opportunities for advancement in the veterinary office. Technicians may be promoted to a supervisory role over time (either working as a head technician or in an administrative position such as veterinary practice manager). They may also advance their careers by achieving a specialty certification that can lead to a higher salary and more specialized duties.

Working with animals in hands-on capacity is a huge selling point for this career path. Veterinary technicians have constant interaction with their patients ranging from general exams to post-surgical care.

Downsides

The clinic can be a stressful work environment. Technicians must be able to deal with upset owners, aggressive or uncooperative animals, euthanasia, and seeing severe injuries caused by trauma or neglect. Stress is one of the biggest factors cited by techs that decide to leave the profession.

You won’t starve working as a vet tech, but you are likely to only make a moderate salary for your efforts. Even techs with specialty certification do not earn particularly large salaries.

Long Hours and Risk of Injury

Many veterinary technicians work longer than the traditional 40-hour workweek. Many clinics are open on Saturdays, and some clinics are open seven days a week. Emergency clinics may be staffed around the clock. Even in a clinic that keeps more traditional hours, there are often occasions where they are understaffed, resulting in mandatory overtime work.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this and many other hands-on animal career paths is a higher risk of being injured at work. Veterinary technicians must work with animals under considerable stress from injury or being in an unfamiliar environment (and sometimes both of these things play a role simultaneously). A tech must be very careful to avoid bites or kicks from their patients, taking extreme care to handle and restrain animals properly at all times.

bookmark_borderChoosing An Exotic Possums

Living with Possums – Making a possum box

Removing a possum from your roof

Steps to successfully and safely remove a possum from your roof;

Provide an alternative home for the possum by constructing a sturdy weatherproof possum –house

Where possible, get inside your roof and locate the nest. The nest, which has the scent of the possum, should be placed in the new possum house.

Securely fix the possum house to a tree in or near your yard. Place it at least 4 metres from the ground so the possum will be out of reach of domestic cats and dogs.

To encourage the possum to investigate its new home, put half an apple or banana in or near the possum house.

Trim any branches that over hang the roof to remove access to your roof

Place a light in the roof cavity and keep it switched on for three days and three nights. The combination of light and smell should drive the possum out of your roof and hopefully into the possum house you have provided.

Block off the access points to the roof with timber, chicken wire or both to prevent a possum returning.

If this does not deter the possum, you may need to have the possum trapped.

Possum traps

Possums are protected fauna in NSW and catching possums without a license is illegal in NSW. Contact and we will refer you to a licensed possum removalist. Please see a plan provided by Department of Environment and Conservation for making your own possum box

Marine ply at least 12mm in width is recommended for making possum boxes. Chipboard is not suitable as it disintegrates rapidly outdoors.

Drill four 5 – 7mm holes through the floor of the box near each corner to allow any water that might get in to drain out. Hinge the roof/lid to allow easy access.

Opossum Repellent Natural Home Remedy

When there are opossums on your property, you will want to take the necessary steps to get them off and keep them away. Repellents should theoretically accomplish both of these goals at the same time, discouraging new possums from entering your yard and encouraging the current ones to leave. Unfortunately for those who think repellents are a miracle cure, they are not always effective and are frequently a waste of time. That being said, they can sometimes work with a bit of knowledge.

Consider Safety And Environmental Impact

Before you get too far into considering a particular repellent to keep opossums off your property, you should consider whether it contains any chemicals. The vast majority of repellents sold commercially will contain some sort of chemical and there is no telling what it will. Aerosol repellents in particular tend to be rich in these harmful substances. When chemicals are part of the repellents, there are a few important risks to consider. What happens if your child or pet gets close to the repellent and accidentally ingests some? This would be easily possible if they touch the area sprayed with the repellent then put it in their mouth. You also need to think about the environmental impact as aerosols can harm the planet and any repellent containing chemicals can lead to these ingredients running off into the ground and water supply.

Things To Consider About Scents

You will notice that a large number of the repellents that claim to work for opossums are scents, whether in a spray, liquid, granules, or other format. Scents have a unique set of disadvantages that you need to consider. First of all, the smell will fade over time naturally so you need to reapply it every few weeks for as long as you want the possums to stay away. You will also need to reapply the scent after every single rainfall as it would be washed away. Don’t forget that opossums can also get used to smells over time, meaning that a repellent which was once effective may not remain that way.

Scents To Try

A quick online search will show you a long list of home remedies that theoretically work as possum repellents. One of the most commonly suggested is predator urine, which you can either buy in the store or even get from your pet dog. You may also see recipes that include ingredients like peppers. Looking at the options for sale will show you another long list of ingredients and scents that promise to produce results. The common theme, however, is that none of them actually do. In most cases, people who see success with these repellents were just lucky.

Ultrasonic Sounds

Another type of repellent that is commonly suggested but won’t likely produce results is an ultrasonic sound machine. These machines are designed to operate at a frequency that humans can’t hear but animals do. The idea is that the possums and other wildlife will find the sound annoying and leave your property. In reality, the animals typically ignore the sounds. In some cases, humans may even hear them, meaning you become an annoying neighbor. Considering these machines are costly and would theoretically need to be on 24/7, plugged in the whole time, they are a big waste of money.

Caring for possums

These guidelines are for the Top End subspecies of brushtail possum, as this is the species most likely to come into care. Rock ringtail possums should only be cared for by experienced carers. This information should be used as a guide only. You will need specific information to properly care for injured or orphaned wildlife.

There are two species of possum in the NT, the rock ringtail possum (Petropseudes dahli) and the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Both species are nocturnal marsupial mammals.

Rock ringtail possum

The rock ringtail is found across the Top End. It lives in tight-knit family groups, where parents and the young from previous breeding care for the new young. These possums are found in rocky terrain with trees and foliage nearby. These animals rarely come into care. When they do, they should only be looked after by experienced carers.

Common brushtail possum

There are two subspecies of the common brushtail possum in the NT. The subspecies Trichosurus vulpecula vulpecula lives in isolated populations in the southern part of the Territory and is endangered in the NT. If you encounter this species, report it to Parks and Wildlife immediately.

Possums should be kept in a quiet, secure location away from family pets and excessive noise. This includes general household noise, traffic, domestic animals and construction.

Possums

For many Victorians, sharing your property with possums is a fact of life. The trees and gardens around our houses provide a modified woodland similar to their natural habitat. A possum in your roof or eating your flowers can be very frustrating, but people and possums can live together successfully.

Do not feed possums. Human food can be dangerous to possums and cause serious dietary imbalance. Possums eat the leaves, flowers and fruits of a wide variety of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The Common Brushtail Possum may also eat grass, fungi, bird’s eggs and baby birds.

The Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) is about the size of a cat. It has large pointed ears, grey fur and a bushy black tail. Brushtail possums have a single young born in autumn or spring. The baby spends around six months in the pouch, one to two months riding on its mother’s back until it is weaned and leaves the maternal den at 7–16 months old.

The Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus) is much smaller than a brushtail, about half the size of a cat. Ringtail possums have round ears, a grey back with rusty sides and a curled tail with a white tip. They have one to three young, mostly twins, born during autumn or winter. Ringtail possums usually build a nest of twigs and leaves, called a drey, several metres above the ground. They rarely enter house roofs.

Possums living within buildings

Possums are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. Possums must not be harmed in any way or kept without approval from DELWP. It is illegal to harass or interfere with possums.  However, common brushtail possums living within buildings, municipal parks and municipal gardens may be controlled.

Homeowner’s Guide to Possum Removal

Why Remove Possums?

Possums are gorgeous animals but if they’ve gotten into your roof, you’ll know how annoying they can be – thundering around making lots of noise and disturbing your sleep for one!  This isn’t just the only problem though.  Possums can cause significant amounts of damage to your home’s wiring and to the roof itself and these problems can end up costing big dollars to fix.

Removing Possums from Your Home

Possums are surprisingly crafty at getting into the roof of your home, so you or a professional will need to take a look around the roof and seal all of the obvious entry points.  The sealing will need to be done with suitably strong materials so that the possums don’t just get back in again in the future.  If you currently have possums, the professionals will install one way exits on the common possum access point – the possums will be able to get out of your roof but not back in!  Once all possums have left, the entry points are sealed.  In rare cases, where the possum just won’t leave itself, the professional may need to catch the possum inside your roof using a special possum cage.  The possum is then released onto your property (possums generally don’t survive relocation and it is illegal to move them from their home).

As well as doing all this, the possum removal professional will also check the ridge capping, the gables and the eaves, and seal these as necessary (such as through re-pointing).  They’ll also make sure there are no loose spots on your roof or any broken tiles that can give access.  Also, you may be surprised to learn that if you have possums in your roof, you may also have rats, so rat baiting is commonly done when the possums are removed.  Never bait for rats while possums are still present.

Provide an Alternative Shelter for the Possums

If you like possums but don’t like them in your roof, an easy way to stop them from going back into your roof again is by providing them with an alternative shelter.  A possum box is ideal for this and you can install it in a tree, or even on a pole.  While you can’t keep the possum as a pet, hopefully the possum will be attracted to your possum box and use it as a home

Who Removes Possums?

If you have possums in your home, you’ll need to call a possum removal company.  These are the best people to use as they will humanely move the possums from your roof and block up all the entry points so that they can’t get back in

bookmark_borderCould Your Metabolic Engine Rebuilding Need A Tune Up

How do you free up a seized engine?

What Is a Seized Engine? What Causes a Seized Engine?

Before you can learn how to fix a seized engine or if the repairs are worth it, you need to understand what does seized engine mean. Engines seize from mechanical failure.

Oil Problems

In most cases, this comes from a lack of oil. The oil may not be circulating properly or you may have no oil. When this happens, there is no internal lubrication, so the metal parts create friction as they rub against each other. In extreme cases, this can even lead to various bearings welding against other parts.

This type of problem can occur if you let your engine run out of oil or if you do not take care of oil changes regularly. It is also possible to experience a no oil seized engine due to sudden interior failures of the engine or issues with the engine oil pump. In addition to situations where no oil seized up engines, this can also happen due to low oil. It will have a similar cause.

Not Running Enough

It is also possible that your engine will seize when it has enough oil. In this case, it would be because you did not run the auto enough. That particular cause occurs when rust “freezes” the piston rings onto the cylinder walls. You can prevent that cause of a seized engine by running your car occasionally.

Hydrolocked Engines

You may also be dealing with a hydrolocked engine. This happens if water enters the combustion chamber of the engine. This makes the piston unable to make the top of the combustion stroke since the water does not compress in the same way that the air-fuel mixture is designed to.

If your engine is hydrolocked, it will likely stop working suddenly. If you get lucky and this happens at a lower speed, you may have minimal damage to the engine. However, if the RPMs are greater when it occurs, expect damaged pistons or bent connecting rods at the very least. Hydrolocked engines usually happen when water enters the engine via the air intake. That is most common if you accidentally drove through high water.

Vapor Locked Engines

Your engine may also be vapor locked. When this happens, the engine will not start due to an issue with the fuel system. This problem is more common in older vehicles that have low-pressure fuel systems. The gas in your fuel pump or fuel lines converts to gas from liquid, but this takes fuel from the engine, starving it. You can recognize a vapor lock by the engine sputtering and losing power before turning off and refusing to turn back on.

How to Free a Seized Engine

Engines rarely seize, but when they do, it is almost always due to a long period of nonoperation. When an engine seizes, one or more pistons have literally become stuck against the cylinder’s wall. Thankfully, just because an engine has seized does not necessarily mean that the entire engine must be rebuilt. The keys to freeing the engine are to reduce the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders and to reduce the amount of force necessary to break the piston free by disconnecting the components that the engine turns, such as the alternator and power steering pump.

Step 1

Remove all of the engine’s spark plugs with a socket wrench to alleviate the air pressure within the engine’s cylinders. First, pull each spark plug’s wire off the tip of the spark plug. Attach an appropriate-sized spark plug socket to a socket wrench; then remove each spark plug by turning the wrench in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 2

Remove the accessory belts from the alternator, power steering pump, and any other belt-driven accessory. Each accessory attaches to the front of the engine with one or more brackets. The brackets are in turn attached to the engine with retaining bolts. Loosen the retaining bolts on each accessory bracket with a wrench; then slide the accessory toward the engine to reduce the tension on the accessory’s belt. Slide the loose belt off the engine to remove it.

Step 3

Remove the valve covers from both cylinder heads by removing each valve cover’s retaining bolts located on the lip of each valve cover with a wrench; then pull the valve covers off the cylinder heads to access the rocker arms.

Step 4

Remove the rocker arms and pushrods to remove the amount of force necessary to turn the engine. Each rocker arm is held in place with a single nut located in the center of the rocker arm. Remove the nut for each rocker arm with a wrench, then pull the rocker arms off the cylinder heads. Removing the rocker arms will free the pushrods, which can simply be pulled out of the cylinder head.

Turn the crankshaft to free the seized engine. Since the engine’s pistons are attached to the crankshaft, turning the crankshaft will free the pistons. The engine’s crankshaft can be turned with the single bolt located in the center of the circular harmonic balancer, which is located on the bottom of the front of the engine. Attach the appropriate-sized deep socket to this single bolt; then apply steady force to the socket with a socket wrench. The bolt should be turned in a clockwise direction to avoid inadvertently loosening the crankshaft’s bolt before the crankshaft turns.

Two things you can’t have too much of in freeing a seized engine.

  • Patience
  • Penetrating oil.

Usually there is a nut or bolt on the crank end that can be used to try and turn the engine but the danger of breaking it off means a safer alternative is to use a lever on the ring gear through the starter motor aperture. The engine will need to be out of gear,resist the temptation to force things quickly by using a socket and a long breaker bar,if the bolt breaks off it will be an added complication to extract the remains. If the engine seems to have locked up remove the spark plug holes and squirt or pour some releasing fluid like Plus Gas or diesel fuel in the plug holes trying to get as much as possible on the cylinder walls. Leave the plugs out and try and move the engine. With some engine designs it is quite difficult to wet the bores but spoonfull of oil or fluid should be enough,it will have to be removed before the plugs are back in and serious attempts are made to start the engine.Hopefully it will get to the stage where it can be spun over on the starter with the plugs out which should eject the oil.Some people advocate the use of petrol and two stroke oil mixed or even petrol and ATF fluid.Thin oils like WD40 are really designed to chase off water,redex or thin penetrating oils can be used. Penetrating fluids will take a while to have any effect,dont expect an instant result..

If possible fill the radiator or the block if the engine is not in a vehicle with some hot water,this will expand the block slightly.Whilst waiting it might be an idea to remove the rocker covers and air filters etc if they are still in place to see if corrosion is present deep inside the engine.It’s possible the engine might now have some movement on the crankshaft ,if so try and turn it back and forth gradually building up to a full revolution,if not try again with the release fluid and hot water but if it resists any attempts to turn after a few more goes more work will be needed.

Understanding water damage

If the water is from an external source such as rain, and it came into the air cleaner via the butterfly stud on the air cleaner, chances are there is only a small quantity in only a few of the engine bores. You can only have so many intake valves open at one time, and the water would have only migrated into those cylinder bores. Therefore, you could only have two or three stuck pistons at the worst, not all of them. In such a case, the likelihood of freeing the engine is much better. On the other hand, if the engine had been flooded by rising flood waters, water could have entered via the exhaust system. To make matters worse, water may have also entered through the oil breather and is now (or was) present in the oil pan. Flood waters also have a large presence of silt, chemicals of unknown nature, and varying pH.

Flood water damage

The silt particles present in flood water could accumulate deep inside of the engine and hang on to the rough casting surfaces of all the internal workings. These particles are so small that when they are in solution they will infiltrate the oil clearance of a bearing. When the water dries, they will form a layer of dust within the bearing. The dust will wick up the oil from the surface and water vapor from the air will start to rust the steel surface over time. The dust may also have acids and alkalies (caustics) attached to it, and together with water vapor will etch the bearing and journal surfaces.

After a flood, newer, essential and operational vehicles take priority for being repaired, others will have to wait. Many flooded engines will just have to wait, sometimes until after the winter freeze-up, sometimes even longer. Internal damage and cracked blocks and heads are often the result of frozen water. Sometimes they will end up being junked for the cast iron. If these engines are gotten to before such damage occurs, it may be possible to salvage them intact.

How do I fix the engine that is seized?

Lots of good answers to this question have been provided, but the engine seized for a reason … usually either because the rings rusted to the cylinder bores or because the bearings have fused or become stuck to the crankshaft. Neither situation is good, and forcing it to turn isn’t likely to make it better.

Using methods like pouring ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) or Diesel Fuel or WD-40 into the cylinders and crankcase may enable you to rotate the crank eventually, but I’d never trust the engine for any long trip, and I’d even question it for around-the-town driving. But I’d concede that if it were the zombie apocalypse and you really needed a car to get away … and maybe had several days to let the fluid work its magic … that such a solution might work fine. Indeed, I’ve heard of several such stories from friends and relatives that suggests that it can work.

But in most such cases, the engine actually has fairly significant damage internally — or will once you force it to run.

bookmark_borderHome Remodeling Big Ideas For Underutilized Spaces

Doorless Showers Open a World of Possibilities

I’ll never forget my first experience with an open shower. On a French-class trip at the innocent age of 14, I arrived at my hotel tired, jet-lagged and longing for a good, hot soak. I pushed open the bathroom door and looked around, flummoxed. Where on earth was the bathtub? Then I glanced up and gaped: I was standing in the shower, which was just a handheld faucet and a grate in the floor — no tub, no door, no curtain, no threshold. The entire time I was there, I never mastered the art of soaping up and rinsing off without drenching the whole room.

It turns out, the French were onto something. Doorless showers have become a design darling in recent years. Not only do they create an open, expansive feel in a bathroom, but they also lend themselves well to universal design and aging in place. And while they’re a little more sophisticated now than my Parisian puzzler, they still require careful planning.

Add a Half-Wall to Protect Against Splashes

Ideally, an open shower requires at least a 6-foot buffer zone on every side to avoid flooding the rest of the bath with water. But a half-wall, such as the one that divides this shower from the vanity, can help to contain droplets.

Consider a Corner Location if Possible

Orient the shower in a corner that faces away from the other bathroom zones. Not only does this guard against spraying water, but it also preserves some measure of privacy (more on that in a minute).

Prepare to Combat Chills

There’s no getting around it — open showers can be drafty, especially in the winter months. Installing a heat lamp and radiant heat bathroom flooring can offset the shivers. Mount a heated towel rack nearby and you’ll be extra toasty as you dry off.

Designer Secrets to Work Into Your Kitchen

Before we get started, here’s a bonus piece of advice: I highly recommend you invest your dollars in the best cabinetry you can afford, and worry about the appliances later. In other words, don’t sacrifice the quality of your cabinets for new appliances if budget is an issue. Instead, delay purchasing your dream appliances. Why? Long after you’ve replaced your refrigerator and dishwasher, your cabinets will be standing, and they are the foundation for a beautiful kitchen. Now on to more details that make a difference.

Refrigerator Side Panel

Most kitchen remodels incorporate the refrigerator into the design by adding side panels that match the cabinetry for a built-in look. Standard countertops overhang base cabinet doors by half an inch. Be sure the depth of the refrigerator panel is slightly greater than the depth of the counter. Otherwise, the counter will jut past the panel instead of converging with it.

Tall Cabinets

In addition to increasing the depth of the refrigerator panel, also increase the depth of your tall cabinets as shown here. Consistency is the key to good design, therefore all counters should have the same reveal, or edge configuration.

Flush Countertop

Not all countertops overhang the doors by a half-inch. Some clients prefer their counters flush with the doors and drawers for a modern, streamlined appearance.

Pantry Pullouts

Pullout cabinets should be only 9, 12 or 15 inches wide, in my opinion. Why? By virtue of the pullout’s design, every time you need a can of soup, you experience the full weight of everything that’s stored there. A wider pantry pullout is simply too heavy.

Tips for Designing a Home That Sparks Creativity

They say the best ideas come to us in the shower. And architect and author says homeowners and design pros who really want to make the most of those bathing brainstorms should keep lighting in the bathroom minimal and install a waterproof notepad on the shower wall for capturing any inspiration that bubbles up mid-shampoo.

We recently spoke with the Connecticut-based Rattner about why the home has so much idea-generating potential — for professionals and hobbyists alike — and what he’s learned about how homeowners and design pros can tap into it.

Why Design for Creativity at Home?

Although there have been plenty of mainstream articles about the research done on design that boosts creative thinking and productivity in commercial office spaces, Rattner noticed that the studies on home features that do the same were mostly hidden away in academic journals. But the home, he found, is often more conducive to creativity, so incorporating choices that can spark innovation there can be an even smarter investment, particularly since more people are working from home.

Embrace Features That Keep You Unfocused

There’s truth to that shower adage, says, because the shower is a place where people allow their minds to wander⁠ —and keeping the shower dimly lit only amplifies that lack of structured focus.

It’s a place where we do a lot of mindless stuff, whether it’s taking a shower or dumping the garbage or doing the dishes or walking the dog,” says. “But it’s those kind of moments, where you’re not trying to solve a creative problem or do something creative, that we tend to get our best ideas.”

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a General Contractor?

A good general contractor can bring a lot of value to a home renovation or building project. These professionals help their clients set a realistic budget, keep a project on schedule and manage construction so the homeowners don’t have to. How much does it cost to hire a general contractor?

General contractor fees vary depending on the scope of the work to be done and the way the contractor structures his or her fees, as well as on the going rate for services in the region. To get a good range

What Do General Contractors Do?

Provide realistic cost estimates. One of the most important services a contractor can provide is nailing down a realistic cost to build or remodel a home — before construction starts. There are two ways to get this all-important cost estimate from a contractor.

Traditionally, clients either purchased house plans or worked with an architect to develop them. Then the homeowner sent the plans to multiple contractors for competitive bidding. The contractors bid — estimated the cost of building — the project without charging the client for their time. Many contractors still work this way today.

However, plenty of excellent general contractors don’t participate in competitive bidding or offer free estimates. “Over the years we have discovered it’s really not worth our time to throw bids out there all the time,” says, owner of Construction.

Alternatives to Plain Wood Flooring in the Kitchen

Wood flooring laid in a straight pattern can be a beautiful option for a kitchen and continues to be popular in photos we see uploaded. But what if you want a kitchen floor that’s a bit more distinctive?

Herringbone Medley

This kitchen by Studio marries black porcelain tile with solid oak pieces in a herringbone pattern, interspersing the two materials along the transition. It’s a nice effect that softens the divide between flooring while providing an artistic surprise. The white lines on the floor are veins within the black tiles, which are designed to echo the look of Nero Marquina marble.

Graphic Green to Organic Wood

The flooring in this kitchen by Architecture shows a similarly blended border, with cuts of wood edging into the green tile floor at the transition to the dining area. The green tiles with white lines look a bit like palm leaves and complement the natural look of the wood floors.

Inlaid Brick

This rustic yet sophisticated kitchen floor in a townhouse in, remodeled by Think Construction consists of bricks laid in a herringbone pattern. The material has an indoor-outdoor feel that works well as a transition from the walk-out patio beyond the kitchen.

Midcentury Mod

In this reboot of a midcentury kitchen, remodelers placed square white cement tiles with gray edging in a strategic grid. The result is a formation of gray rectangles placed evenly and at perpendicular angles.

bookmark_borderHow To Build A Solar Hot Water Heater

HOT WATER OPTIONS

Hot water for less

To get the most heat from the least amount of non-renewable energy, go for solar water heating. The next most efficient water heating option is probably a heat pump hot water system, followed by wetback water heaters and instant gas.

Saving hot water

There are several easy ways to cut down on your use of hot water without sacrificing your lifestyle:

Fit water-efficient showerheads.

Fit water-efficient taps. Consider having your hot and cold taps separate. It’s more common to have a mixer these days – make sure the handle is left in the cold position so  it doesn’t draw hot water unless you need it.

Use cold water for washing clothes, rinsing, filling the jug etc.

Turn off the water heater when you go on holiday.

Have showers instead of baths and keep your showers relatively short.

Choose water-efficient household appliances.

Fix leaks and drips.

Don’t run the hot tap unless you need hot water

Water heating options

Solar water heating can provide a large contribution using free energy (the sun) and greatly reduce your reliance on reticulated energy sources. Depending on usage patterns and household size, the next most efficient water heating option is probably a heat pump hot water system.

Solar water heating

Solar hot water heaters use the sun’s free, unlimited energy. A well-installed system should be able to deliver up to 75 percent of hot water heating over the year, in most parts of the country

However, the concept of solar hot water heating has a few challenges:

the high initial cost compared with other water-heating options

difficulty in ensuring the system’s designed and installed correctly

difficulty in telling whether the system is working properly due to the non-user friendly interfaces

needs annual maintenance.

What to Do with an Old Water Heater

Have you recently changed or are about to change your water heater? Once your shiny new toy is giving you nice hot water, what do you do with the cast-off? Here are some ideas.

Firstly, whoever is fitting your new heater may be able to dispose of the old one for you. It could be that you want to dismantle it and scrap it yourself or take it for recycling. Alternatively, you might want to repurpose it so you can carry on using it for something else.

Cut the Power Supply

First things first! Disconnect the gas or electricity that has been powering your water heater.

Gas Water Heater

On a gas-powered water heater, there will be a shut off valve located on the supply pipe. Follow the supply pipe along its length until you find a lever. This will usually be level with the pipe when on; turn it through 90 degrees to shut off the supply.

Electric Water Heater

For an electric water heater, you’ll need to find your main electric service panel. This is generally located on a wall in your garage, basement, or the outside of your home. If you know which fuse or breaker switch supplies the power to your home then either remove that fuse or switch that breaker to off. If you are unsure or can’t find the right one then use the main lever which will be at the side or top of the box. This will cut the power to your whole house.

Drain the Tank

The next step is to turn off the water supply and drain the water from your heater. The water supply comes from a cold water inlet located near the top of the tank. Again, follow the pipe until you find the lever or knob to shut off the water.

Homebuyers feel duped by hot water tank rentals included in their new homes

She’s now living with a rental contract with Enercare that lasts for the “useful life” of the appliance (an average of 14 years), paying $56.43 per month for the water heater. She can get out of it if she buys the equipment outright at $3,600 — three times the cost of lower-efficiency models offered in some stores, but less than she’d pay for the same model she currently has in her home.

Buyer seeks documentation

But the law fails to address the issue at hand for buyers of new builds. She asked her builder for documentation about her contract, but she got a response saying that they didn’t have any. Her home purchase agreement does state that a buyer executes a lease/rental agreement for the hot water tank, but her lawyer argues it doesn’t confirm that she is taking it for up to 18 years.

says that in their agreements with home builders, “the home builder is required to provide all the necessary rental details to the purchaser and agrees to do so as part of their legal obligations under their agreement with Enercare

“A homeowner is not required to rent their equipment and can purchase it outright from the builder or otherwise negotiate with the builder.” On — who had rental contracts for his hot water tank, air handler and air conditioning unit — was quoted $5,000 for each unit if he were to buy them outright. “I did the math. It just wasn’t adding up,” he says.

Landlord chooses to rent the equipment

frustration with started in November when her tenants couldn’t get hot water due to a broken part of the hot water tank. “I was so angry,”

Water Heater Repair Services

Hot water is essential to your home or business. It’s something we take for granted until we don’t have it. There are a few reasons that can cause you to have no hot water and they all involve your water heater.

TYPES OF WATER HEATERS WE REPAIR:

Standard Tank Water Heaters

Tankless Water Heaters

Commercial Water Heaters

Unfortunately, because many water heaters are gas or electric you usually need to call an experienced plumber to help find and repair your water heater problem. When you have a problem with your water heater you need help fast.

has many experienced technicians available to repair all types of water heaters. Whatever your water heater problem, you can turn to for fast reliable service to your water heater problem anytime, day or night. Because know that hot water problems happen when you least expect them plumbers are available

Standard Water Heaters

can replace all types of tank water heaters. Many times water heaters fail when you’re least prepared. experienced plumbers can replace water heaters same day for emergency situations.

Will a Tankless Water Heater Really Never Run out of Hot Water?

are big proponents of new technology. The newest advances for storage tank water heaters have made them more energy-efficient than ever before. But often recommend homeowners try a different type of water heater technology to take advantage of new methods for heating up water, such as a heat pump water heater, which uses heat from the air to warm up the water.

especially excited about the tankless water heater. Although the tankless water heater isn’t exactly “new” (the first versions were invented in the late 1900s), the technology that has made them useful and affordable options for households is a recent development. When people hear about the benefits of these water heaters, they’re often excited about their possibilities.

Is This Really True? Will I Never Run out of Hot Water?

Answering this requires some explanation about how a tankless system works compared to a storage tank system. A storage tank system does exactly what it says: it stores water kept at a high temperature so it’s ready for use. But this means the supply in the tank can be depleted, and it can take a while for the natural gas burners or electric heating elements to replenish the heated water supply. People can end up with cold showers until that happens.

With a tankless system, there isn’t a supply of hot water that can be depleted. Instead, the water heater heats up water as there is a demand for it. If you turn on the shower for hot water, the tankless system will detect the movement of water in the hot water lines and start to apply heat through a heat exchanger to the water. It will keep doing this as long as there is demand—and that means you won’t run out of hot water!

But … yes, there’s a downside to this. Although a tankless system can’t run out of hot water, it can be overwhelmed with demand. A single tap won’t do this: run that single shower all you want, you’ll keep getting hot water. (But please don’t do this! Save water, save energy!) If more than one tap is on-demand hot water at the same time, however, such as other showers or a running washing machine, the water heater will struggle to keep up and drain extra power.

bookmark_borderTips From A Pro Camera Operator

Utilizing One Camera Versus Multiple Cameras in Your Video Production

When shooting a new video project, one of the first decisions made is whether it will be multi-cam or single cam. Both strategies have their benefits depending on situation and context: multi-cam offers the freedom to switch between multiple points of view in a single setting, while single cam creates a more cinematic feel. By identifying your needs and your desired end product, you should be able to determine whether multi-cam or single cam is right for your project.

Multi-Cam Shooting: Fast, Affordable and Simple

Multi-cam shooting is often used for event coverage, interviews and other live events. In a multi-cam setup, two or more cameras are placed throughout a set. In the case of an event, cameras may even be in separate rooms. The end result is that the video can switch between these different perspectives throughout the process of recording. In an interview, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch the focus between speakers. In event coverage, a multi-cam setup may be used to switch between different perspectives of the same event

Shooting with multiple cameras is usually less expensive than shooting on a single camera. The shooting can be done quickly because the cameras do not need to be moved or positioned throughout recording, and it eliminates the need for multiple takes to capture a scene from a different angle. However, shooting with multiple cameras can also be seen as restrictive, because the set needs to be positioned and created to accommodate them. As an example, one might look towards sitcoms which have a multi-cam setup. Commonly, an apartment or house is only viewed from a specific angle. It can only be viewed from that angle because there is no wall there — just a camera.

Multi-cam shooting lends itself particularly well to live event coverage. A good example of a multi-cam shooting would be at a sports event. It would be prohibitively difficult to shoot a live event with a single camera, as it would be impossible to know when a recordable event was occurring. With a multi-cam setup, the entirety of a live event is recorded and the data can then be worked through in post-production.

Single Cam Shooting: Cinematic, Controlled and Clean

Single cam shooting is most often used for commercials, promotional videos, training lessons and other similar media. When a person thinks of a movie rather than a television sitcom, they are usually comparing single cam with multi-cam. In a single cam setup, one (or occasionally two) cameras are positioned for each scene, but they are not installed permanently within the environment. Single cameras often move during shooting, with the use of dollies and tracking devices, and provide a more cinematic feel to the resulting video. Movies, dramatic television shows, commercials and music videos almost always use single camera shooting rather than multi-cam shooting.

FILM GLOSSARY

AERIAL SHOT: An exterior shot taken from a plane, crane, helicopter or any other very high position. Also referred to as a BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

ANIMATION: A form of filmmaking which consists of photographing individual drawings (cels) or inanimate objects (such as puppets or clay figures) FRAME by frame, with each frame differing slightly from the one before. When the images are projected at 24 frames per second, they appear to move (or are animated)

ASPECT RATIO: The ratio of the projected image’s width to its height. The standard for Hollywood theatrical releases is 1.65:1. Shapes may vary, from the television standard, a nearly square ratio of 1.33:1 to a very long rectangle. In the l95Os, Hollywood attempted to attract new audiences by developing various kinds of widescreen systems, such as CinemaScope and Cinerama, which average 2.35:1. The European ratio is 1.66:1.

ASYNCHRONISM: A disparity between what is seen and what is heard. At its extreme, asynchronous sound is contrapuntal; that is, the sound contrasts with the image. For example, you see a train arriving while you hear a bird chirping. Contrapuntal or asynchronous sound was supported by Sergei Eisenstein as part of his larger theory of dialectical montage.

AXIS OF ACTION: In CONTINUITY EDITING, the imaginary line that passes from side to side through the main actors, defining the spatial relations of the scene. The camera is not supposed to cross the axis at a cut and reverse the spatial relations. Ensures constant screen space and constant screen direction. A term used in film production more than as a term in film analysis.

CAMERA MOVEMENTS:

CRANE SHOT: A HIGH ANGLE, moving shot photographed from a crane (a mechanical arm which carries both camera and camera operators).

DOLLY, TRUCKING, OR TRACKING SHOT: A shot taken from a moving dolly (a platform on a set of wheels). when the camera moves towards the subject, it is a “dolly in.0 when it moves away from the subject, it is a “dolly back” or a “dolly out.0 With the use of Steadicams and other mobile cameras, a moving camera may not be mounted on a dolly in order to achieve the same smooth effect. one of the early effective uses of the Steadicam is in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, where the camera follows characters through the maze of the hotel.

PAN: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels horizontally. compare DOLLY SHOT, in which the camera moves bodily from one place to another.

SWISH PAN: A rapid pan that results in a blurred image. It usually begins and ends at rest.

TILT: A shot taken when the camera stays in one place (on a tripod, for example) but rotates or swivels vertically.

Who owns the footage?

I’ve been acting in a collaborative TV Pilot in which everyone gave their time and talent for no pay. Now the writer has had a major falling out with the producers and is telling them thay can’t use any of the footage shot. There were no contracts signed between any parties, and the producers made it very clear they are a start-up, so don’t have any money. Can the writer derail the whole thing in this way?

The footage itself belongs to the producers, the right to the content of the footage will be harder to determine. It’s a pilot, won’t be exhibited, and if the writer is no longer on board the series can’t be commissioned on his work anyway. Can you resolve the dispute with the writer ? If not, learn from it and get agreements in place next time. The legal ins and outs are largely moot if you haven’t got money to sue/defend over a pilot, get a new writer, there are many.

The actual tapes belong to who paid for them – which I presume is the production company. There is a myth amongst cameramen that they by default they hold the copyright to the footage they shoot, which is mostly untrue. By default, copyright is vested in the director and producer and they need to assign or licence that copyright for the footage to be useable.

If the the footage is based on a piece of writing then there is an underlying copyright in the screenplay. Without a release, I’m afraid what’s been shot is not useable in a commercial way (and probably in non-commercial ways too) without the writer signing a contract

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 does indeed attribute default copyright for the finished film (as a single entity) but that does not confer Copryright ownership of the component parts.

TIPS FOR VIDEO TECHNICAL DIRECTING IN A LIVE CHURCH PRODUCTION

I do a lot of technical directing in my church’s productions. I also have the privilege of teaching newer directors the basics of directing. I figured I would share the main tips that I teach all my new new directors. This article is great for new directors, and also good for experienced directors who just like to read random people’s rambling articles.

tips for Video Technical Directing in a live church production

When working in a live church production, there are many roles required to pull everything off. One of the most important roles in the video department is that of the technical director. The technical director is the person calling shots and putting up the camera feeds on the big screen. They’re kind of a big deal, so it’s very important that the director is trained and always on-point with the flow of the service.

The point of a live video production is to convey the worship atmosphere to anyone watching the video. The viewer needs to feel like they are part of the live congregation and get a similar worship experience. So, how do you, the director, accomplish that?

Always be thinking ahead.

It is your job to know what is happening before it happens.

This is one of the most important and obvious things that a director needs to know. As the director, it is your job to know what is happening before it happens. If there is a solo coming up, you need to have a camera ready on the soloist BEFORE they start the solo. If someone is about to speak from stage-left, get a camera on them BEFORE they start speaking. You need to always be one step ahead and think about where your cameras need to be to capture the moment.

Be specific.

What does this mean? Here is an example: you’re directing and you see a guitar solo coming up after this chorus, and you know you need a guitar shot. Most new directors just naturally say, “Somebody get the guitar.” Then, every camera gets the same guitar shot. Now, all of your cameras are redundant and not usable.

LIGHTING ASSISTANT

AN OVERVIEW OF THE ELECTRICAL DEPARTMENT

The Electrical Department provides the lighting for any production that wants to use more than natural available light. The department works closely with the Director of Photography in order to fulfil his/her creative vision for the production’s lighting. The electrical department also works closely with lighting companies, who usually supply equipment for commercials, film and TV productions. The Electrical department safely rig and set lighting in line with the Director of Photography’s plan and then de-rig the equipment before returning it to the lighting company.

Head of the Electrical Department is the Gaffer. The Director of Photography (DOP) or Camera Operator (on small scale productions) head up the Camera Department. The DOP is in charge of the overall look of the production. The Gaffer (also know as Lighting Director) is responsible for designing and executing the lighting plan. They will provide the power needed for for the lights, and work with the Grip to shape the light.

Once a DOP has chosen their prefered Gaffer, he/she will come on board in preproduction and attend prep and production meetings. Sometimes the grip and electric departments will be given a couple of days or even weeks of prep for a project. This time is needed to do several things that will make life easier while on the project. On a high end TV drama production – this time is used to read the script, watch any look references supplied by the DOP, discuss the lighting approach, equipment needed and schedule.

The Gaffer will work on equipment lists which are analysed by the Production Manager/Co-ordinator who try to make everything on the list a reality by liaising with lighting companies to get the best deal on the kit list. If the shoot involves a lot of lighting, the kit will include a generator (genny) and a large truck to transport everything to the shoot location. Any electrician tasked with driving a truck or genny needs to have a HGV licence – and liaise with the Location Manager in advance of travel in case they need to check the weight-bearing capacity of any bridges on route.

The fully assembled Electrical Department are present through principal photography and they use a range of equipment, a lot of which is rather cumbersome and bulky. Lighting equipment may include HMI, Tungsten, Fluorescent, and a menagerie of stands, scaffolding and accessories to support these different lighting options. High budget Dramas sometimes require lighting balloons (large inflatable lights which shed a soft overall light – great for ballroom and courtroom scenes). The team may be required to build a ‘tent’ around a doorway using scaffolding and blackout drapes – if you’re shooting a night scene during the day. 

bookmark_borderRepresenting Yourself In Family Law Attorney

Family law area of practice

Family law is one of the more challenging specialities, insofar as it involves counselling people through particularly difficult periods of their lives. As a family law practitioner, you’ll help your clients navigate divorces, property settlement, post-separation parenting arrangements, financial agreements (“pre-nups”), child support disputes and agreements. To a lesser extent, you may also deal with family matters involving State based issues including adoption applications and surrogacy agreements. While some lawyers specialise in one of these processes, many instead maintain a ‘general practice’, advising their clients on a range of issues.

Personality is perhaps more importance for success in family law than in other legal specialities. This is because, as a family lawyer, you’ll frequently meet with clients who are emotionally distressed or dealing with very challenging circumstances (such as the breakdown of a relationship and family situations involving family violence and abuse )

Whether or not this is an advantage or disadvantage depends largely on your disposition. For patient, compassionate and people-oriented graduates, this aspect of family law can be hugely rewarding – you’re in a position to make a real difference in your client’s life. Others may find the interpersonal aspects of family law to be draining or unpleasant.

Graduate experience

Graduates who move into family law will quickly find themselves taking responsibility for various tasks, from attending clients meetings and taking notes to preparing briefs and supporting more experienced practitioners during their court appearances. You will also find yourself drafting many diffierent documents, including correspondence, court applications and settlement documents. As noted above, the beginning of your career in family law may involve you developing the ability to remain relatively neutral when faced with emotionally charged situations.

What are my career prospects in family law?

The flow of cases in family law is fairly independent of economic fluctuations. If anything, notes the Australian Institute of Family Studies, the 2008 recession is likely to have generated more work for family lawyers, having increased “uncertainty and fear about the future”, with the “economic and psychological impacts of [rising] unemployment placing relationships under strain”.

DIVORCE LAWYERS

You thought Your Marriage was ‘Okay’.

Sure, you and your wife had problems. Just like any other married couple.  But you had spent years building a life together. You were committed to continue being a good husband and working through any issues.  Sadly, your wife just didn’t feel the same way. You were sitting at your desk at work and, suddenly, a man hands you a stack of papers that changes your life in a instant.

Your Wife has Just Served You with Divorce Papers…

Divorce is emotionally challenging for all men. Unfortunately, some men experience so much guilt and despair about divorce that they give into every demand made by their wives or her attorney, no matter how ridiculous. If your wife filed first for divorce, it means she has been preparing to do it for a while and has a clear plan of what she wants to take with her from your marriage. While you may feel shell shocked, this is no time to surrender.

Even though Your Wife Filed First, it Doesn’t Mean You Lose Your Rights

At Divorce Lawyers, we’re dedicated to helping men just like you. Good fathers and husbands blindsided by wives ready to end years of marriage and take whatever they can get

Divorce cases are not decided by who files first. Still, the person who files first does gain a few advantages. It is important that you understand that by filing first, your wife has started a series of deadlines that you must meet. She has started out prepared with a plan. Now you need to play a little catch up.

Your Wife Already Has a Lawyer

While you may have had no idea you were getting a divorce until you were served, your wife has likely been planning this for a long time. This probably means she has had a divorce lawyer for a while now. Her attorney’s legal team has carefully prepared her Petition as well as other motions and court filings. She has had time to evaluate your assets and work out what she wants to keep once you are gone. You just got dropped into a plan she has been crafting for a long time.

Family Legal Issues

Adoption is the creation of a new, permanent relationship between an adoptive parent and child. Once this happens, there is no legal difference between a child who is adopted and a child who is born into a family.

These programs can help you learn more about adoption and foster parenting:

Child Welfare Information Gateway – offers the National Foster Care and Adoption Directory, where you can find resources by state, as well as information about foster care, including kinship care and residential and group care

International Adoption – information for U.S. citizens adopting children from abroad, and families in other countries adopting U.S. children. Learn about intercountry adoption service providers.

Adoption Resources from MedlinePlus – find links to adoption and foster care resources from a medical perspective to help you, your foster or adopted child, and your other children adapt to change

You may be able to get identifying or non-identifying information about your adoption. What information you can obtain will depend on state statutes. Some states have age restrictions or require court proceedings to get information about an adoptee’s birth.

In some states, you may be able to access identifying information through a mutual consent registry. Using these registries, all involved in an adoption can declare what information may be disclosed. Some states may require the consent of both the birth parents and adoptive parents for the release of records. However, the release of information varies by state.

SECRETS YOUR DIVORCE LAWYER WON’T TELL YOU

If you’re facing a divorce, your expectations have probably been shaped by the experiences of your family and friends, and maybe what you’ve seen on TV and in the movies. The best way to know what to expect from a divorce comes from an objective party who has seen not just one or two divorces, but hundreds: your divorce attorney

You Might Not Get Your Day in Court…

A divorce is a lawsuit, and we usually think of lawsuits as ending in a trial. However, many, if not most lawsuits end in a settlement. This is especially true of divorce, where upwards of 90% of cases settle—and some reports place that figure in the 95-97% range.

…And You Probably Don’t Want To.

Sometimes a trial in a divorce case is necessary, like if one party refuses to come to the table and negotiate or is hiding assets. Most of the time, the couple can do a better job (with their attorneys’ help) of figuring out custody, support, alimony, and property division terms that would work for them than a judge can. Think about it: you know your family, your kids’ needs, your finances, your schedules. Even the best-informed judge can understand only a fraction of what you do about your family.

Your Divorce Lawyer Might Not Have Much Trial Experience.

If most divorces don’t go to trial, that means many divorce attorneys don’t have a lot of trial experience. Why does that matter if your case is likely to settle anyway? Because when you settle, you want it to be because you’ve reached a good agreement—not because your attorney wants to avoid a trial he or she isn’t confident in handling.

You Have More Control Over Your Legal Bill Than You Think…

Yes, attorney fees can be costly, and add up quickly. But your attorney may not tell you what you can do to keep them down unless you ask. You should ask, because there are some simple things you can do to reduce your attorney’s workload, and more importantly, save yourself some money.

Divorce Advice (And It Won’t Cost You a Thing)

Divorce can be costly, as most people know, with each side expected to spend, on average, $15,500, during the process, according to Nolo, a publisher of legal books and software. Many spouses spend a whole lot more.

But he and other family lawyers say there are ways to keep costs down, and maybe minimize your heartache, too. Here is some of their advice — right now free of charge.

Choose the right course.

Opting for arbitration, collaboration or mediation may help you avoid the costs of a lengthy court battle, but each of these paths has its pros and cons. A lawyer can point you in the right direction, but be sure you agree on the path.

law firm, often advocates mediation, where a neutral third party helps a couple work through issues and come to a resolution. (In arbitration, a third party arbitrator makes the final decision.)

She once mediated a case for two years before it came to a halt and ultimately ended up in court. Your lawyer has to be ready to change tack, she said, if things go south.