You Can Do Something to Enhance Your Business’s Potential

Your business has the potential to become the next Apple or Microsoft in terms of success and market reach. You just have to implement good strategies so that your company will reach its full potential. Do you think you can Read more

How to Build a Dream House That Lasts

Given the huge capital commitment when building a home, many people spend a significant portion of their lives paying off mortgage loans. In fact, a home remains the most valuable asset for the average American citizen in California. Here are Read more

Effective Advertising: The Old But Proven Art of Signage

When articles, or even experts, talk about advertising and marketing nowadays, they usually refer to the online or mobile kind. In spite of what they all say about online and mobile marketing, you can still rely on dependable physical Read more

How to Build a Dream House That Lasts

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on How to Build a Dream House That Lasts

A pair of construction workers working at the siteGiven the huge capital commitment when building a home, many people spend a significant portion of their lives paying off mortgage loans. In fact, a home remains the most valuable asset for the average American citizen in California.

Here are some suggestions on how to build that dream home.

Do Not Skimp

Considering that a well-built house boasts an incredibly long lifespan, make sure to use excellent construction materials. Resist every temptation to take shortcuts as a way to keep the costs low and affordable. In particular, you should not cut corners when building your home’s foundation.

Hiring grading contractors’ services in California who are reputable ensures the correct excavation depth and leveling to anchor the home securely to the ground. Such a move avoids costly structural repairs later while ensuring longevity.

Do Not Buy Too Much House Either

While a large sprawling house earns you respect and brownie points from your neighbors and friends, you should not overreach your means. “House poor” is a term that refers to people with a mortgage so high that they can afford nothing else.

Such individuals make the mistake of buying houses beyond their means, and it ruins their finances. Consulting an expert keeps you from making such costly mistakes that could ruin your finances.

Do Pick the Best Building Materials

Your choice of construction materials dictates the amount of effort and money that you invest in keeping the house in excellent shape. Inferior materials are not durable will cause you to incur significant repair and replacement costs.

You get better value for money by settling for durable and aesthetically appealing materials. Similarly, you should consider availability as it affects the overall value. Ensure that every item you pick is suitable for the local climatic conditions as it affects the lifespan.

Since building a house calls for a considerable financial investment, you need to make every effort to get it right from the onset. These pointers can help you make the best choices and get the best value for your money.

The Shuriken: Everyone’s Favourite Ninja Weapon

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Shuriken: Everyone’s Favourite Ninja Weapon

ShurikenThe shuriken, more commonly known as ‘throwing stars’ is one of the most famous and recognisable ninja weapons in the world. These small, flat, multi-edged knives resemble four-pointed stars, with a small hole in the middle so that it spins more evenly as it flies.

Popular among ninja enthusiasts and knife hobbyists, you can purchase shuriken anywhere online, one site to visit is Global Gear. Though the shuriken is one of the most iconic symbols of Japan, the weapon is shrouded in myth.

Historical Shuriken

In Japanese, ‘shuriken’ actually refers to any small, concealed weapon. They may be slashing, stabbing, or thrown weapons, and can be any hard item such as knives, coins, and nails.

The throwing star shuriken that Western people are familiar with are familiar with is known as ‘shaken’. While the modern shaken is a small, flat, star-shaped blade, traditional shaken looked very different.

Shaken gathered by historians during the Edo period of Japan, which lasted between 1604 to 1867, were larger and heavier. They resembled two, sharp, narrow spikes that form a cross.

There were also other types of shuriken that came from the same period, called bo-shuriken. These weapons resembled large, metal darts.

Were They Thrown at All?

While shaken and other types of shuriken truly did exist and were used by the Japanese ninja there are no records of these weapons being thrown at all. Though modern people know them as ‘throwing stars’, no one really knows how they were used. They could be used to slash or to stab, or merely as a form of intimidation or distraction.

Yet, the popularity of the shuriken show no signs of waning. In Japan, a theme park called ‘Nikko Edomura’ offers ‘Edo Work Experiences’, which teaches children Edo-era skills, including ninja fighting techniques.

The famous ninja star may not be the most historically accurate piece of weaponry, but will forever be associated with these stealthy warriors of old.

Reasons for Choosing Clear Span Tents

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Clearspan TentAre you planning an outdoor event? Then, you should start your preparation now as an event outdoor needs more time when it comes to preparation. You should research on the venue and the equipment to use as early as you can.

Know that Clearspan tent rentals are great for any major event — conferences, reunions, debuts, proms, and weddings, among others. These tents are ideal for many events and there are a number of reasons why. Although they can be slightly more expensive to rent than the average tent, they give a classy ambiance and are definitely more stable than other tents. Not to mention setting up lighting and speakers to top it off is significantly easier. Even though this type of tent may take slightly longer to set up, the final outcome in terms of the view and acoustics is worth the trouble.

Beautiful atmosphere

The acoustics usually depend on the venue where you set the tent, but clear tents give a nice natural background that really sets the mood. To top that off, evening events are more interesting with these tents as the clear roof allows you and your guests to enjoy gazing at the stars in the night sky or fireworks display without even having to leave the tent.

Lighting and sounds are gorgeous

Since this type of tent is generally more stable than the average types, installation for lighting and sound systems are relatively easier to do. For the sounds, the acoustics are beautiful because the music resonates through the whole tent. For lighting, the clear material refracts and reflects the lights to give the party a very energetic vibe.

Whether you are planning a wedding, debut, prom, reunion, or any other major event, clear tents is definitely the way to go. All you really need to worry about is how you are going to use it. Nevertheless, with a little creativity and innovative thinking, you can definitely make the best of it. Your only real limit is your imagination when it comes to this kind of tent.

Exhibits & Conventions: 3 Absolute Essentials in Organising Events

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Exhibits & Conventions: 3 Absolute Essentials in Organising Events

Organising Events in Perth Event organisers know that conventions and exhibits are highly complex events that require the most extraordinary effort. They need coordination, logistics and manpower to succeed. These events can only be successful with the cooperation of many stakeholders such as the exhibitors, the organisers and even the guests.

If you are in the event organising business in Perth, you have to know the basics. For starters, here are three fundamentals you should always cover.

The Program

Although exhibits and conventions are usually open, there must be a main attraction. In the event venue, you will have several exhibitor booths, but they should be on the sidelines. You must have something that will take centre stage, a program of main events. For example, you can have certain demos, contests, and even promos of different exhibitors at the centre for people to watch. The program must have a time table, with the type and amount of resources allocated for each component and teams responsible.

The Stakeholders

The stakeholders are the exhibitors. Now that you have your main attraction, centre stage program already ironed out, the next thing you need are the exhibitors. Exhibitors are the event’s partners who pay to become part of the event to market and sell their products or services. If the event is a food festival, restaurant exhibits will be there. You must secure the attendance, support, sponsorships and commitment of your exhibitors to beef up the event.

The Logistics

You need a lot of materials to support all the operations from security and crowd control, to the production of the stage events. In this part, the tasks must be delegated to the event committees in charge of matters such as food, security, sales, marketing and the like. Take stock of your resources as you will have to procure a variety of event materials such as tents, awnings, scaffoldings, first aid kits and possibly, portable toilet hire, as suggests.

Now that you have the basics, start working with the team. Learn everything you can, and make those event plans huge successes.

For Car Owners: Unlocking the Secrets of Car Thieves

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on For Car Owners: Unlocking the Secrets of Car Thieves

AutoYou park your car in front of your home after a hard day’s work. You thought it safe to park on the kerb, as you live in a gated neighbourhood anyway. The next morning, as you rush through breakfast to avoid the early morning traffic, you find that your car is gone.

Vehicle theft may happen even if you live in a secure location. As long as your car has market value, thieves will find a way to steal part of your car or even the entire vehicle. Understanding how car thieves steal will help you know the ways to deal with such problems.

Scavenging Car Parts

Given the technological advances in vehicle manufacturing, they know they might not be able to steal the whole car. Instead, they go for costly car parts they can steal easily.

Think catalytic converter, rims and tires, even side mirrors, as these are the most common victims. and other garage door specialists in Perth suggest installing or reinforcing your garage doors to deter thieves, and never leaving it at the mercy of the elements and burglars.

Car Cloning

Car cloning involves stealing multiple cars of the same model and registering them with a different Vehicle Identification Number from other vehicles. You could be a victim of car cloning if you see signs of tampering on the car’s VIN or receive unpaid traffic tickets without incurring them.

Park your car in areas with people and lights. Install car alarms and immobilising devices like pedal jacks to prevent thieves from getting away with your car.

Using proximity keys

Just as car manufacturers create more sophisticated security devices, thieves come up with gadgets to make them ineffective. Some use hacking technologies to bypass keys. Others use amplifiers to boost the signal coverage of proximity keys, allowing them to enter the car from a distance.

In such cases, vehicle specialists advise owners to store their keys in freezers or any aluminium or steel container to shield them from radio frequencies used by thieves.

Good-ol’ Carjacking

The traditional breaking and entering into cars is still prevalent. Thieves use steel bars, guns or knives to force their way in. They even threaten drivers to open the doors for them. In such cases, it’s better to let the thieves have their way and let the police handle the situation. Installing a tracking device will also help the authorities find your car faster.

Thieves will use every tools and technique to steal cars. All they need is the opportunity to do so. Don’t give them an opening. Guard your car against the threat of vehicle theft and burglary.

The Myth About Teflon/PFOA Exposure — Busted!

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Myth About Teflon/PFOA Exposure — Busted!

TeflonIt used to be that home cooks loved Teflon just as much as bakeries, restaurant chains, and companies in the food industry did. It was one of the miracle products of the post-war era, freeing cooks, chefs, and bakers from the long-standing task of scraping burnt food from a pan.

Everything changed when US scientists announced that Teflon contains Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) — a chemical said to increase the likelihood of tumours of the liver, pancreas, and testicles (according to tests on laboratory animals). The research also linked the chemical to reduced fertility.

Now, as if serving good food and ensuring customers are highly satisfied were not already hard enough, food businesses also need to consider the products they are using and avoid Teflon.

Back to Teflon

All of this, however, happened a few years back. Teflon is back in the scene, and Consumer Reports, including other trusted sources like Siltech Industries Ltd, verified that the health risk of non-stick pan use is actually very low — and getting lower.

Researchers from Consumer Reports experimented on non-stick pans to test the safety of new and used pans at temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 204 degrees Celsius. They found that PFOA emissions were actually minimal.

Low Levels of PFOA

According to the research, the highest level was only about 100 times lower than the levels shown in the studies that tested animals. Even Health Canada has said that non-stick coatings are actually safe to use at temperatures under 662 degrees Fahrenheit or 350 degrees Celsius.

This is because PFOA chemicals are only added at very low concentrations; manufacturers only use it to help the non-stick polymer powders adhere. During the “baking-on” step in manufacturing cookware, a huge bulk of the remaining PFOA emulsifiers go to a fume vent system.

There is a Risk — Regardless of Cooking Equipment Used

Teflon or not, cooking food at temperatures over 500 degrees Fahrenheit heightens the risks. Normal cooking greases are at the ‘flash point’, creating serious risk of a grease fire. This can also denature foods and greases, which emit smoke and vapours that may be highly hazardous to your health.

The study above shows that it is high time to stop the Teflon/PFOA exposure myth. Focus on the real exposure risks instead.

Leaving Your Safe Heaven: Ways to Push Through Your Plan of Moving Out

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Leaving Your Safe Heaven: Ways to Push Through Your Plan of Moving Out

boxesNo matter how tight you are with your family, there will come a time when you will feel the need to separate from them. It could be the day you will start a family of your own, or it could be becoming independent from dad and mum.

It, however, pays to be prepared before you bolt out of the door of your parents’ house. Before you hire that man with a van, here’s what thinks you need to know.

You’re On Your Own

For one, you should be 100% sure that you can manage on your own. Plates don’t wash themselves—and the same goes for your laundry. Made a mess? Clean it up yourself. Unless you have a house helper at hand, everything about maintaining your home will depend on no one but you.

Money Really Matters

Of course, similar rules apply when it comes to overseeing your finances. Remember, using utilities comes with a price, so better gauge how you will budget your income for your expenses. Take note of your electricity and water consumption. Don’t forget to allot money for your daily commute to work, as well as the food you will put on your table. Keep in mind that your folks are no longer there for you to support you when it comes to finances.

Speaking of money, you should also have enough to spend not only for an apartment that you will call your own—but on furniture as well. What’s a house without much stuff, right? The fun part of moving out is having your own items and transforming a space into something that will fit you and your personality.

Your old stuff will seemingly always belong to your parents’ home, but you could bring them to where you’re going. The trick, though, is knowing what to bring—and knowing which ones should be left. You have to make sure that you only take what you really need.

If you read it this far and feel like you’re ready, better hire that a van and welcome your independent phase. But, of course, it always boils down to how okay you are from being cut from your safe haven, and how well you could adjust.

School Starting Soon? Back To School Activities To Do With Your Kids

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on School Starting Soon? Back To School Activities To Do With Your Kids

Back to School in  UtahWhen school is right around the corner, parents feel a mix of dread and excitement. On one hand, the house will be cleaner and much more peaceful with the kids in school most of the day. On the other, it will be too quiet and eerily peaceful. If you’re having these jitters, take advantage of the remaining weeks to connect with your kids!

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Do a short day trip.

This is one of the activities you need to do now because when classes start, you won’t have time. You and your kids will be too tired or too preoccupied to even consider spending a day at an amusement park — so better do it now! In Cottonwood Heights, you can visit the Butler Park or Skate Park and play some sports.

2. Take them shopping for school clothes and things.

For kids, the best thing about going back to school is the shopping. You know how excited they can get when they see all the new bag designs.

3. Take them to their checkups.

You don’t want your kids’ school year to be bogged down by flu or a toothache. Take them to their pediatrician and dentist a few weeks before school. If you haven’t found a kids’ dentist yet, there are great choices around the Cottonwood Heights area.

4. Do a big sleepover.

To your kids, school means sleeping early and waking up early every day. Plan a big sleepover just a week or two before school starts. Organize a fun slumber party with at least 10 kids. It’ll be a blast!

5. Plant a tree

Teach your kids about nature and conservation by planting a tree. Choose a low maintenance or no maintenance tree like cherry. Your kids will forget about it at some point; it will make for an amazing surprise when school comes to a close and the tree has grown!

These activities get you and your kids ready for school. Use this time for you to bond and create memories together.

Food Gift Guide: What to Give a Foodie Friend on Their Special Day

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Food Gift Guide: What to Give a Foodie Friend on Their Special Day

Chocolate GiftFoodies have discerning taste when it comes to everything that involves food. You can’t just bring them to any restaurant or make them try a cheap food brand. So if you’re planning to gift them for their upcoming special day, you might want to take time looking for the best gift.

Here are some great gift ideas for foodies with a distinct interest in particular types of food.

For the Wine Connoisseur

The easiest gift idea would be a bottle or two of your friend’s favorite wine, but of course you want a more special present. If you want them to enjoy their special day, a wine tasting package is a great idea. These packages let wine lovers experience everything from white wines such as Riesling and Chardonnay, to red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

Trips to vineyards and wineries are also a great option. This is a great idea if your friend loves to travel, too. Most trips also include wine tasting.

For the Sweet Tooth

A basket of sweets and candies is always the perfect gift for someone with sweet tooth. This is also a great option if you want to personalize your gift. Just toss their favorite candies and baked goodies in a basket, put some ribbons, and your friend will surely find it sweet, suggests.

You may also add California dried fruits, jellies, vanilla marshmallows, or the famous English toffee from Colorado for more variety of flavors. You sweet tooth friend will surely love the many choices they will receive.

For the Chocoholic

For someone who loves chocolate, the best gift will be an evening chocolate party. Throw a surprise party and invite other close friends to celebrate. Buy the best chocolate cake in town or some chocolate cupcakes. A chocolate fondue is never a bad idea, too. Just don’t forget to grab some fresh fruits that go the best with hot melted chocolate.

Never mind the calories for that day and enjoy all the chocolates. Remember that you’re there to make your friend feel special.

Whether you wish to send a gift basket or spend an evening together while indulging on their favorite food, the key is to make sure your present will be appreciated.

Home Sellers: Make Sure the Plumbing Works before the Sale

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Home Sellers: Make Sure the Plumbing Works before the Sale

FaucetSelling a home can be just as stressful and daunting as buying a home. Aside from deciding your selling price, think about how low you can afford to go as well. Always keep in mind that many factors influence the selling and purchase price of a property, with one of them being the overall integrity of the house.

One way to get a fair price for your home and give potential low ballers no reason to bring the price down is to ensure the plumbing system is working at its best.

General Trades lists the most important steps you should take to make certain your property does not have plumbing issues.

1. Honestly assess this part of your home.

Pipes, drainages, and other components of the plumbing system should be inspected on a regular basis. So if you haven’t had a plumber check your system for years now, this is the best time to do it. Many buyers nowadays usually hire their own team of home inspectors, and if they find out your  plumbing is a cause of concern, you can expect the offer to go down considerably.

2. Check all plumbing-related fixtures.

Taps, sinks, toilets, and shower heads should be working properly and smoothly. The taps and shower heads should be producing adequate amounts of water with proper pressure. When you flush the toilet, make sure that the water goes down easily, and that the cistern refills quickly.

3. Make sure that all lines are clog- and damage-free.

Hard water, dirt, debris, as well as small organic and inorganic materials may have already accumulated in your home’s pipes and drain lines over the years, especially if you have not been maintaining it regularly. It’s important you get rid of these build ups, as they can cause serious problems for the new home owner.

Best leave this in the hands of professionals, though, not only because these parts of the system are difficult to access, but also because one wrong move can damage them or further aggravate existing problems.

So before you advertise the sale of your home, contact a reliable plumbing expert to inspect this part of your home and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.