Of breaks and trivia.

I’m swamped with work. There’s so much I want to type to expound on this, as blogging is one of my de-stressors but my mind is racing with a couple of things that need to be addressed asap. So yes, I’m swamped with work. But I find it more effective to work with people in close proximity. Hands on deck, they call it. The people I’m working with had been very helpful in reminding me to take meal breaks, or mental breaks.

“What kind of element is neon?” someone suddenly asked me.

a. Transition metal
b. Noble gas
c. Alkaline metal
d. Rare earth metal

I initially looked at him, wondering what in the world was he talking about. Then someone answered “b. noble gas”. Then I remembered there’s a trivia game the team is playing for their mental breaks.


Speaking of neon, I am contemplating buying a neon shirt for my kids. They look nice on summer photos.


Top Tips for Preparing for a Long Boat Trip

Long boat trips can be an incredible amount of fun if you really love being on a boat, and they can also be life changing experiences that teach you a whole lot about the world. However, they also come with a fair amount of risk if you’re going to be in the ocean, especially if you’re doing your trip for the first time.

That’s why preparation is so important when it comes to long voyages on a self-manned boat out at sea. Use these tips to help you prepare for a long boat trip the right way.

1. Buy plenty of food ahead of time for your trip. The food you want on a boat are things that really won’t go bad but don’t really need to be cooked for eating. For example, canned meats and beans, dried fruit and vegetables and snack items for each day like nuts and a dark chocolate bar are ideal for stocking your boat. Make sure you’ve got plenty of variety on the boat, and enough for at least twice as long as you plan on being out at sea.

2. Check the weather for the next few days in your expected locations. You need weather reports early in case you need to change course in order to stay safe.

3. Look over safety equipment on your boat at least twice. You want to make a checklist to guarantee that you have life vests, rafts and even working swimming ladders for your voyage.

Advancements in Saw Technology Have Made Building Projects Easier

Modern tools have made the building and construction processes a lot easier. Mankind has gone from needing to use hands saws to cut things to now being able to use circular saws that are powered by electricity. One of the most revolutionary changes in saws has been the introduction of diamond blades. Diamond is one of the hardest materials known to mankind. So when diamonds are applied to a circular saw blade, it makes it possible to cut through just about anything. These blades can cut through tile, cement, wood, as well as a whole host of other materials without the user needing to worry about the blade chipping, cracking, or getting warped.

Circular saw blades come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. The size and shape that they come in is determined by what they are going to be used to cut. There are wet blades that have reinforcement that are designed to cut through concrete and asphalt. Other blades, such as those provided by companies like US Diamond for example, can be used to repair cracks in the concrete, for tuck pointing in mortar joints, as well as a whole host of other types of repairs.

One of the most popular circular blades is a diamond tipped wet blade used for cutting tile and glass. These blades allow the user to cleanly cut through these materials without chipping the material or without causing the glass to shatter. These advancements in saw technology has made construction easier and the output quality higher.

4 Useful Home Modifications for Seniors

No one likes to admit a loss of mobility, but sometimes it’s necessary to prevent slips, trips and other accidents. If you’d like to make some changes to a senior citizen’s home, here are four modifications that might save their life one day.

1. Replace Small Buttons

Look at the buttons on the stove. Are they easily read without eye strain? Can they be grabbed and turned even with a weakened grip? You might need to install bigger, more accessible controls if your loved one wants to keep their independence.

2. Bed Rails

A bed rail, also called a bed grab bar, can help an elderly resident lift and lower themselves on their mattress without assistance. They can even be customized for size, texture and durability, so you can get different bed rails for grandma and grandpa depending on their individual mobility.

3. Handheld Devices

If your mother can no longer raise her arms, she’s going to find it difficult to clean her shower head when it gets grimy. This is where adjustable, handheld devices come into play. You can buy them for showers, garage doors and even trash compactors.

4. Non-Slip Flooring

Tiles are a disaster waiting to happen, so look into non-slip flooring options that will reduce the possibility of a fall. Some material types are especially resistant to slips, and you can also buy specialty tape for problem areas.

These are just four ways to prevent tragedy in a senior citizen’s home. Whether they’re your beloved grandmother or just an elderly member of your church, these modifications can help them age with grace.

All About The Hotel

When you’re staying in hotels in Las Vegas and other cities, you might try to find ways that you can save money either on attractions in the area, food or the hotel itself. There are some ways that you can make your vacation money stretch as far as it can go so that you can take money back home.

The first thing to keep in mind when looking for a hotel is that the method of finding a hotel might save you a few dollars. Some hotels will offer discounts when you make a reservation online while others will give discounts if you pay for the room with cash when you arrive instead of using a credit or debit card. Make a budget for your trip. Don’t go over this budget no matter ho much you want to upgrade your room or how much you want to make a purchase. Unless you have a little extra money that you take with you, then you need to keep in mind how much you can spend on food and shopping.

If you don’t have a specific time of the year to go on vacation, consider going during the off season. Beaches normally have lower rates in the fall and winter because most people want to go when the weather is warm. Mountain hotels often have lower rates in the summer as most people travel to mountain areas to go skiing. Another advantage of going during an off season is that there won’t be as many people in the area.

When you stay in the inner city, you might find that the hotels are more expensive. Try to find a hotel that is smaller and family owned or one that is located outside of the city limits. A bed and breakfast is also an option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. You will also get a free meal when you stay at these locations. If you have a favorite hotel, see if you can get a discount if you have stayed there every year. Some hotels are loyal to their guests because they want you to keep coming back.

Global Clashes and Rivalries in Tennis’ Australian Open Coming Up!

The Australian Open, one of the foremost tennis tournaments in the world, is played in Brisbane, Australia, and promises much more thrilling and entertaining tennis by the world’s most successful and talented athletes. The three initial events that make up warmup competitions during the first week of the tournament include the Brisbane International, the Hopman Cup and the ASB Classic.

The Brisbane Cup, taking place from January 4 to January 11, features defending male and female champions Lleyton Hewitt and Serena Williams, respectively, returning to compete and provide the very first exciting events of the Australian Open. Other major tennis players appearing include stars Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori and Bernard Tomic, as well as newcomers such as Thanasi Kokkinakis and Marinko Matosevic. Plenty of established and notable female tennis players will also be bringing their talents to the matches, including Victoria Azarenka, eager to rebound from injuries sustained last year. Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Angelique Kerber and Dominika Cibulkova are entering the competition as well, certain to make the tournament a nail-biting and unpredictable event.

From January 4 to January 10, the Hopman Cup will be taking place, and France is the defending champion nation. However, without player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga present due to injuries, the French team will have an uphill battle. Andy Murray will partner with Heather Watson for Great Britain, while Flavia Pennetta and Fabio Fognini will represent Italy. Australia has not won this tournament since 1999, and the country is counting on Newcombe Medallist, Nick Kyrgios and local favorite Casey Dellacqua to bring the trophy home after 16 years. Among the men, John Isner, Fabio Fognini and Vasek Pospisil will be among those to watch out for.

The ASB Classic, meanwhile, which will take place in Auckland, New Zealand from January 5 to January 10, returns to the single player format instead of the doubles format of the Hopman Cup and focuses on female tennis players. The big names include Caroline Wozniacki, Venus Williams, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Sara Errani. Despite being 35 years old, Williams is a formidable athlete with a proven track record of consistent success in multiple tournaments across the world. She will be one of the top players to watch out for, and has a very strong chance of taking home the top award. Wozniacki of Denmark is also a longstanding and extremely versatile athlete, likely to challenge Williams and provide plenty of excitement for spectators.

One of the biggest news stories in the sport of tennis last year was the retirement of Chinese tennis champion Li Na, who has now vacated her seat as winner of the previous Shenzhen Open held from January 4 to January 10. Local hopes rest on world number 21 Peng Shuai, last year’s runner-up who will continue to seek her first career singles title. Last year, she did reach the semi-finals at the US Open. Injury forced her retirement out of the match against Caroline Wozniacki, however.

Another particularly interesting match to watch is the Qatar Open in Doha from January 5 to January 11, which will allow viewers to enjoy the sights of top players Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Nadal will thus face some tough competition in the defense of his Qatar title. This competition of male athletes is likely to be especially tense and close, as many of the competing players have lengthy histories of success and skill. The other two main challengers, Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer, may be able to advance and ruin any fan prospects of an expected final between Djokovic and Nadal, the world number one and three players, respectively.

Reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka will kick off his 2015 season by attempting to defend his Chennai Open title successfully, which he won last year prior to breaking through in Melbourne for his first Grand Slam title at the expense of then-world-number-one Rafael Nadal. Rankings wise, there aren’t expected to be any serious challengers to his crown, although, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez might prove to be a problem should the two go head-to-head at this event. Garcia-Lopez defeated Wawrinka in last year’s French Open, taking the Swiss player by surprise and knocking him out of the first round

4 Methods to Be a Profitable Philanthropist

When you invest in the wellbeing of humanity, you become a philanthropist. There are many professionals across the globe that have made a career out of caring for the less fortunate while securing their own financial future. People such as Robert Rosenkranz promote this welfare by donating to schools and other venues that can improve the lifestyles of many. There are many ways you can become a philanthropist while securing your own household income at the same time.

Care for Your Own First

If you’re unable to maintain your own household, you may have a more difficult time helping others. Self sacrifice is one thing, but going to the point where you’re as destitute as those you’re trying to help would be detrimental to your cause. Sustainability in your own life allows you to continuously help others for extended periods of time. It’s not greedy to keep your family above water while trying to help others achieve similar goals.

Marketing Business Support for Charities

If you own a business, you can market support for beneficial charities by donating a certain percentage of sales to a worthy cause. For example, computer repair shops can advertise pink ribbon mouse pads and other breast cancer awareness electronics and donate 15 percent of the sales of such products. Donating all proceeds to the charity would be nice, but you need to remain in business as well. If you give everything away, you will lose your ability to effectively help others.

Donate Non-tangible Assets

Time, informational banners on websites, digital products and more can help bring awareness to your charity of choice. As these assets have very little cost involved, you can support good causes without risking your own finances. Time is one of the more common of donations as it doesn’t require cash coming from your pocket to assist. However, you need to make sure that helping others doesn’t interfere with your own career. Remember, stability in your life can help you bring stability in the life of others.

Budget Your Income

Create a strict budget that will allow you to maintain your personal and professional life while giving you the finances to invest in humanity. This will keep your bills paid while giving the less fortunate a chance to improve their own lifestyles. If your business supports a charity, make sure that you budget from net income. This will prevent you from exhausting the bank account before wages, bills and other overhead costs are paid.

Philanthropy can be considered any act that enhances the way of life for others. Usually, this is done through donations to organizations such as cancer societies and educational facilities. By promoting humanity over commercialism, the philanthropist helps stabilize economies by giving people the means to become self-sufficient. After all, society is what makes commercialism possible.

The Lasting Quality of Stainless Steel

In bathroom or kitchen spaces designed with neutral colors and durable surfaces, stainless steel helps to kick the ambiance up a notch. Its strong appeal across many different tastes makes it one of the most coveted design materials available. Buyers simply follow the universal online call to action to “click here,” and their rooms go from standard to upscale faster than they can move through the checkout.

It Brightens

Stainless steel can usher an abundance of light into an otherwise dull room. Typically, when it is applied to appliances like refrigerators or range ovens, it adds the element of clean lines, giving the room the feel of being refreshing. When matched with heavy woods or detailed granite, it can help the room feel less weighted. The surface of stainless steel also reflects any light that may come from open windows or ceiling lighting.

It is Durable

Since Harry Brearley accidentally discovered stainless steel in the early 1900’s, it has been heralded as a lasting building material. From kitchen knives to surgical instruments, it has held up as a reliable design element for more than 100 years. Manufacturers know that stainless steel resists corrosion, so it helps to build consumer confidence in their products.

Over time, stainless steel has earned an ironclad reputation as the one element in a room most likely to be the last thing standing. It gleams from the towel bars and toilet paper holders in luxury hotel rooms and endures the daily grind of chefs at the prep tables of commercial kitchens. It is something the world can count on indefinitely.

How to Choose a Charity

Donating to a charity is a wonderful thing for you to do, even if you can not afford to donate a large sum of money. Charities benefit the world in an enormous amount of ways. They help to find cures for diseases, feed people who are starving, give toys to poor children on Christmas and countless other endeavors. However, with such an enormous amount of charities to choose from, the decision regarding which charity to donate to can be a difficult one. Organizations such as the Salvation Army, the United Way, the Bob Parsons Foundation and UNICEF are changing the world for the better every day. With so many noble causes that require funding, how can you possibly decide which one is the most worthy of your donation? Here are some tips that will help you to choose a charity.

1. Are you passionate about the cause?

Nowadays, there seems to be a charity for every cause you can think of. With so many charities doing quality work, one of the best ways to narrow down your choices is to only consider charities that are involved in causes that you are truly passionate about. For example, if you have always been a person that has supported environmental issues, you might want to focus on donating to one of the many organizations that were formed to protect the Brazilian rain forest. Greenpeace would be another great choice. It would be a good idea to make a list of your favorite causes. This will be helpful in case your favorite cause is obscure and does not have many charities to choose from, you can move on to your next choice. You can search online to find all of the charities that currently support your causes.

2. Overhead and expenses of the charity

These are very important factors to consider when you are deciding which charity to donate your hard-earned money to. After all, if you are giving money to a cause, you want to be sure that the money is actually going to help that particular cause, not going into an executive’s pocket. This is a very real concern and one you should not take lightly. Therefore, you will need to thoroughly research what percentage of your donation money goes towards the charitable endeavor, and how much goes to pay for the overhead and expenses of the charity. The amount of money that a charity makes, how much they spend and how much their executives make are all public information that will be easy for you to access. You can use these details to see if it is a charity that has good management of the money they take in. Ideally, you want to give your money to a charity that has an outstanding overhead ratio.

3. Has the charity ever been investigated?

This is something else that is important for you to find out before any of your money gets donated. A charity being investigated often means that is has been suspected of possible criminal activity, usually related to its reporting or finances. If you see that a charity you were thinking about donating to has been the subject of an investigation, it is best to move on and find a different one. There is definitely no shortage of legitimate charities that need your help.

Heating Repair

Heating Repair Considerations
There are quite a few considerations to think about before contacting a Pittsburgh heating repair company. The age of the furnace which is going to be worked on should be taken into consideration. The length of time that the problem has been present should also be factored into the questions asked of the professional service associate. The safety of every person associated with the problem should also be discussed prior to making any decisions which will affect the people living in the environment.

Age Of Equipment
People need to think about the investment they are making their furnace before they have a repair person work on the unit. If the unit is extremely old it is usually better to invest in a more environmentally friendly unit. This can save both time and money for the individuals who are concerned about the environment as well as staying warm during the winter months.

Access To Parts
Having access to parts is also another important factor before making any plans to repair a unit. Finding out how much it will cost to do the repairs before scheduling events work is usually a good idea for people who are trying to work on the furnace on a budget. It is essential that people understand the financial commitment they are making before choosing to invest a great deal of money in the older machines.

It is essential that everyone stay safe during the repair process. Many times older equipment can be temperamental and it is a sensual to make sure that everyone who is working on the equipment is going to be able to do so safely and efficiently. Planning ahead when it comes to me and say is necessary so that people are not in an unsafe living environment.

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