Winterize Your Home to Survive Winter Weather: The Ultimate Home Prep Checklist

Every winter, your home goes up against the roughest of weather. From relentless snow, to pounding storms to ever-lingering ice, the elements sure do put your home through the ringer. And according to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2014 alone, American homeowners who failed to winterize their homes lost a collective $ 2.4 billion dollars from damages caused by snow, ice, and freezing winter temperatures.

How, you ask? From all of the associated property damage. For example, the average claim for damage caused by a frozen pipe that's burst is about $ 18,000. This cost often includes replacing or repairing the pipe itself, as well as the draked floor and drywall. And collapsing trees – with weak or dead branches that can be snapped off by the howling wind, or from the weight of ice and snow – can cause anywhere from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 dollars in damage per tree when they come crashing into your house.

But the good news is that the winter does not always have to have its way with your home and wallet. Preparing your home for winter weather can help prevent, avoid, and reduce these and other problems that could cost you thousands of dollars to repair. And the best way to see what needs fixing in your home is to perform a winter home fitness test.

There's a long list of benefits that go along with winterizing your home. Real estate experts note that weatherization efforts, on average, lower homeowners' energy consumption by 35%, as well as reduce their annual energy costs by 32%.

And as an added bonus, weatherization efforts also boast a strong ratio of savings from the home improvement investment. For example, for every $ 1.00 you spend on saving your home from airflow and insulation issues, you'll net a return of $ 1.80 in savings in your bank account.

On top of all the energy savings, preventing a small problem from becoming a huge issue will save you thousands. As our wise founding father Benjamin Franklin once quipped, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." And here's how you can make the most of your prevention efforts this winter.

4 Ways the Winter Elements Can Destroy Your Home

Contrary to popular belief, your home is not indestructible. It might feel that way when you're sitting by the fire as the wind howls outside, but there's probably a problem brewing at this very moment. So, let's look at some of the common ways the elements damage your home

1) Ice Will Destroy Your Chimney

Go outside and take a good look at the mortar on your chimney. There's no way it's going to last as long as your roof, and over time, the rain will begin to find its way inside the cracks. As it freezes, you'll find chunks of the mortar falling off. And now your flashing (that thin sheet or strip of water-resistant material that's installed at roof intersections) will not be able to save you because the water will get in and roll down your interior walls. If you're really unlucky, you could end up with a mold problem you had no clue about.

2) Extremely Powerful Winds Are Determined to Damage Your Roof

If you live in an area where hurricanes, blizzards, and very strong winds commonly strike, then you know that they can be powerful enough to rip branches off trees and send them hurtling towards your roof. Once this happens, it can easily tear your roof apart until you have large holes where the rain and snow will find its way inside, causing all sorts of water damage. The best way to make sure this does not happen is to keep an eye on trees and cut off any old or broken branches. It's one of the reasons why steel roofs are becoming ever more popular, as they're capable of withstanding almost anything the wind will throw at it.

3) Your Pipes Can Freeze and Burst

One of the most annoying ways the cold weather can damage your home is by causing your pipes to burst. It's a much harder problem to fix, especially if you end up with additional issues like a flooded basement. Burst pipes are caused by the water inside your pipes freezing up until they expand so much that they crack. It's common when your pipes run outside to garden taps or through uninsulated walls. You could always stop using your garden tap during winter, but it might not be practical, and this does not solve every issue. The best thing you can do is add insulation to your pipes to stop them from getting too cold.

4) Piles of Heavy Snow Could Collapse Your Roof

Snow might look pretty when it's lying on your roof, but if there's too much of it, then it's becoming dangerous for a number of reasons. The most worrisome one is that the snow may slide off – like a mini avalanche – and fall on top of someone standing or walking below it. An old roof could also buckle under the pressure, which would cost a great deal to fix.

Even if the pile of snow on your roof is not heavy enough to damage the roof itself, your guttering might not be so lucky. With all that added weight, it could soon come crashing down to the ground. To prevent this, you can clear your gutters of leaves and other tree debris ahead of time so the snow does not build up as easily, and then you can remove any piles yourself with a rake if there is enough there to be deemed dangerous.

How to Prepare Your Home for Winter: The Space-by-Space Home Fitness Checklist

When was the last time you took a tour of your home and thought "How do I protect my house from winter weather"? It's probably been years, and in all that time, it's likely that a few important things have slipped through the cracks. But if enough melting snow starts seeping into those cracks, it's going to cause far too much expensive damage to your refugee from Mother Nature's cold shoulder.

Because winterizing your home entails a lot more than just making a quick trip to the nearest supermarket for some eggs, milk, and bread. You have to keep in mind that the blizzards, sleet, and the extreme cold can wreak havoc on your home's structure and safety. And to ensure that your home is fit and properly prepared for the next blast of winter weather, use our Winter Home Fitness Checklist below to do a complete once-over of your property and fill those cracks. It's a simple breakdown for how you can prepare and protect your home – both inside and out.

For Your Indoor Spaces

Adequately winterizing your home's interior for the cold weather is critical, as you're going to be indoors most of the time. Here are a few important steps to keep yourself warm and protected. A few quick fixes around the home could alleviate many energy inefficiencies and reduce your monthly costs through winter and beyond.

Insulation: Check the insulation in your attic, foundation, and garage. According to data collected by the National Association of Realtors, improving insulation alone can reduce your heating bills by 20%.

Pipes: Make sure all the pipes passing through these unheated places are adequately insulated. Ideally, they should be wrapped in electrical heating tape first, followed by foam insulation. Bursting of pipes from freezing is far more common than it needs to be, and it can give rise to some seriously expensive repairs.

Ceiling: Check for leaks in the ceiling and repair or replace any damaged or missing shingles

Heating: Examine your furnaces, heating vents, thermostats, oil tanks, wood stoves, and water heaters. Make sure they're clean and in good, working condition. Buy a space heater to keep on hand as a good back-up on those extra chilly days

Filters: Replace dirty filters in your furnace and HVAC system every month or two. Dirty filters can, sometimes, lead to a fire. And if you use a propane or oil-powered furnace, be sure that you refuel it.

Vents: Keep your vents free of obstacles to allow the free-flow of air.

Smoke Detectors: Check for smoke and carbon monoxide leaks with the help of proper detectors, and replace old batteries as well.

Fireplace / Chimney: Examine the fire brick in the fireplace for open mortar joints. Should you see any, get them repaired immediately to prevent the possibility of a fire breaking out.

Weather Stripping: Check for weather stripping on all sides of the doors and the windows. If some it cracking or missing, apply new or additional weather stripping. You can also use rope caulk for this by simply pressing it into the areas where air leakage has been taking place. Air leaks can cause the cold air from the outside to come in and allow your warm air to escape, compromising your home's efficiency by up to 30%. It is, therefore, crucial to avoid them.

Fans: Make sure that your fans are spinning in the right direction. During the summer, ceiling fans run counterclockwise to create cool breezes. Turning blades in reverse displaces hot air as it travels upward to the ceiling, sending that hot air back into the room – making the space more comfortable for those nearby and reducing heating bills by up to 10 percent. So circulate smarter and save!

Water Heater: While most water heaters are set to about 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the can actually operate at 120 degrees without a perceptible change in performance. Stepping down into your basement or into the maintenance closet to adjust your furnace will just take a few minutes, but the positive impacts will last until next spring. Covering your water heater in a special insulating wrap will also keep it working more efficiently.

For Your Outdoor Spaces

The outside of your home will be taking the main brunt of the winter weather. So make sure you give it the TLC it needs to make it through to the spring. Many of these solutions are simple, affordable, DIY projects that you can often complete in under an hour.

Windows: Dual-pane windows are not only safer, but they're also really good at insulating your home. The double layer of glass between you and the world outside is filled with argon gas, which will greatly help with the insulation properties of your windows. You could also have the UV coating on your windows which lowers the chance of fading for any artwork and furniture inside your home. You could also have ones with safety film on, which keeps them from shattering into pieces in case of impact.

Roof: Check your roof for cracks or other openings. Make sure you replace any missing shingles and install weather striking on the roof opening (s) to deter melted snow from seeping into your home.

Pipes: Turn off the water supply to all your exterior faucets, and drain out excess water from plumbing lines, underground sprinklers, garden hoses, and pipelines by opening up the exterior faucet. Doing so should help keep the pipes from freezing and bursting.

Gutters: The gutters and the spouts should be devoid of leaves, grime, and other devris. The deposits of wet leaves in the gutters adds substantial weight and volume to them in winter, which increases the risk of damage. Clean out the gutters to reduce the risk of ice dams as well.

Chimney / Fireplace: Make sure the chimney's flue and draft is functioning properly and fully operational. It needs to easily and securely open and close, and then drawing up the smoke as well. Apart from that, keep your chimney clear of bird, rodent, and other animal nests.

Patio Furniture: Since you will not be using it much in the winter, keep your patio furniture covered and protected.

Deck: Apply an extra coat of sealer on your deck so the sitting winter water does not warp it.

Pool and Fountain: Drain your pool and water fountains, and unplug their pumps as well.

Doors and Shutters: Repair any loose shutters or doors to minimize possible damage from wind. And be sure to apply weather-stripping around these as well.

Walkways and Driveways: Spread anti-slip gravel out all over your walkways and driveways. This will help prevent slips, skids, and falls when the snow comes down. Also, make sure you've got shovels and rock salt on hand for when the next snow storm strikes.

How to Win the Winter Weather War: Prevention

There are thousands of things that could potentially go wrong with your home in the winter, and we've only touched on the most common ones today. However, far too many people wait until something goes wrong before they fix a problem affecting their homes, and this almost always ends up costing them a lot more money. That's because it's cheaper to prevent anything bad from occurring in the first place.

So if you can take care of potential home issues before something gets damaged and take the time to winterize your home, then your wise prevention will save you a lot of hassle and keep you from having huge bills to pay. Remember, your home is your castle, and it's smart to start treating it as such. So make the smarter move and devote the time it takes to properly prepare your home for whatever wicked winter weather may come your way. Because, after all, it's always smarter to over-prepare than to be left out in the cold.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Distinction Between Provisions And Reserves


1. It is created by debiting the profit and loss appropriation account.

2. It is created to meet an unknown liability, or to strengthen the financial position of the company or for equalization of dividends etc.

3. A reserve is created only when there is profit in the business.

4. It can be distributed among shareholders as dividend.

5. The reserve is created without taking into consideration the actual amount required except in the case of redemption of debentures when a definite sum is set aside.

6. Creation of reserve depends upon the financial policy of the business and discretion of its management.

7. It is usually shown on the liability side of the balance sheet as it is not a specific reserve.


1. It is created by debiting the profit and loss account.

2. It is created to meet a known liability or a specific contingency, e.g.. provision for bad and doubtful debts, or provision for depreciation etc.

3. A provision is created irrespective of whether there is profit or loss in the business.

4. It is not available for distribution as dividend among shareholders.

5. A provision is made for a definite amount and, therefore, a definite sum is set aside every year to meet the known contingency.

6. Making of a provision is a must to meet known liability or contingency.

7. The provision is generally shown on the assets side of the balance sheet.

Distinction between general reserve and specific reserve

General reserve

1. It is created for a specific purpose.

2. It is utilized for that specific purpose, for which it was created.

3. Whether profit or no profits, it must be created.

4. It is necessary to create in order to ascertain profit.

5. It is shown on the debit side of profit and loss account.

6. Net profits are reduced because of it.

Specific Reserve

1. It is created not for any specific purpose but for meeting future contingencies.

2. It can be utilized for meeting any future loss.

3. It is created only when there are sufficient profit.

4. They are created only when there are profits i.e. they depend upon profits.

5. It is shown on the debit side of profit and loss appropriation account.

6. Only distributable profits are reduced because of it.

Reserve Fund

Profit set aside and used in the business is a reserve. But profit set aside and invested outside the business is a reserve fund. Thus, the use of the term ‘fund’ indicates

investment of reserve outside the business.

Sinking Fund

A sinking fund is a fund built up by annual contributions. The contributions are invested outside the business in readily realizable securities. Interest received on investments is reinvested in the same securities.

A sinking fund may be (i) for replacement of fixed assets or (ii) for the redemption of debentures or repayment of loan. A sinking fund for the replacement of a fixed asset is a provision. But a sinking fund for redemption of debentures or repayment of loan is an appropriation of profits. A sinking fund represents amount invested outside the business.

Distinction between reserve fund and sinking fund

Reserve fund

1. Investments are not for definite period.

2. It is created always out of divisible profits.

3. Interest received on investments representing reserve fund may not be re-invested.

Sinking fund

1. Investments are for a definite period.

2. It is not always out of divisible profit e.g. sinking fund for replacement of asset is provision for depreciation, it must be created even if there are no profits.

3. In case of sinking fund, interest is always re-invested.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Creating a Work Environment That Works

Whether you are working at home, in the office, or in your car – your ability to produce results with the least amount of stress, is directly affected by your physical environment. A functional desk that is ugly can be as much of a deterrent to productivity as a beautiful desk that is not functional. I have spent over twenty years with people working in their homes, offices and cars. One thing has become vehemently clear. Your desk can be your greatest enemy or your best friend.

Take a good look at your desk. How does it make you feel? Are you comfortable there? Can you do what you need to do there easily? How does it look to other people? Does it reflect the message you want to give to the world about your work and your values?

Analyze the kinds of activities you need or want to do at your desk. If you use a computer, an L-shape desk is usually the best option. Use the short end of the "L" for your computer, and the long end for desk accessories, your telephone, and spreading out papers while you are working.

One of the major detractors to an effective and attractive desk are those pesky scraps of paper, which appears to proliferate in your absence and sometimes in your presence! In my experience, an important component of any desk is space for files. I prefer two file drawers in my desk – one for current projects and another for reference materials I use repeatedly. If you are an "out of sight, out of mind" person, you may prefer a file holder that sits on top of your desk. You can use Post- it? Flags with colored bars for easy-to-use color-coded labels.

Do you get lots of phone calls? If so, it is important to develop a systematic way to record all those messages. In our office, we leave an open 6 "x 9" spiral-bound notebook by the telephone to jot them down. The top of each page is dated, and we put the initials of the person responsible for responding to the call in the left-hand column. When the action is completed, the initials are crossed out. Any pending issues are flagged with a Post-it? Flag – a different color for each person. The flag dispensers are attached to the side of the telephone.

Do you spend lots of time talking on the telephone? If so, what do you need? Is your source of phone numbers – electronic or paper – easily accessible? Do have a consistent way to take notes while you are talking? To make filing your telephone notes easier, keep Post-it? 4 "x 6" pads nearby. Avoid putting notes from multiple conversations on the same piece of paper.

The greatest desk in the world will be sabotaged without a comfortable adjustable chair and good lighting. An inspirational piece of art in your natural line of vision can be a real stress reducer too!

Most people want to be able to move around in their work area, so a swivel chair on rollers is a big advantage. If there is a carpeting, you will need a chair mat so the chair will roll easily.

Most desks I see are too cluttered – paper that could be filed away if you were confident you could find it when you needed it (we'll talk more about that in future columns!), Office supplies you never use, and memorabilia that has Was there so long you do not even see it!

Essential desktop supplies for most people include an "In Box" for mail you have not looked at yet (not a place to put postponed decisions!); An "Out Box" for the things that need to go outside your office, and a "To File Box" for the papers that need to be filed outside the reach of your desk. Caution: Eliminate any container not designated for a specific purpose or it will soon become a catchall for unidentified objects!

My definition of "organized" is very simple:

1) Does it work and

2) Do you like it? If you answer "No" to either of those questions when it comes to your desk, decide now what you can do about it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

The Only Six Travel Hacks You Really Need

Do we all need special hacks to make our travelling experience easier for us? We all do need them. Even though travelling sounds to be very thrilling and exciting, but on the other hand, it can be very exhausting. Along being exhausting and tiring there are many other unseen things that can happen at the most unwanted time. So in this article, I would like to tell you some hacks that will save you from all the travel-related hassle.

1. First thing, travel websites can be pretty sneaky at times. What many don’t realize is that they track your visit on the website and every time you pay back a visit the price is increased. Why do they do such things? Well, the first thing they want to scare you into buying a ticket before you change your mind. You will think that the price of the ticket is rising, so you will end up purchasing the ticket. The travel hack you should use here is to enable private browsing, so they don’t track your visits.

2. An awesome way to keep your clothes smelling fresh and reduce the static in your clothes is by placing dryer sheets to line your suit case. This will soak any extra dampness in your products or clothes. You will love the fresh scent when you wear your clothes.

3. Not having a lot of space in your suitcase can be a reason for anxiety. Where do you fit that last dress which you just have to take? It’s a dilemma, but I have a solution for it as well. Instead of folding your clothes it is best that you roll them. You can thank us later.

4. I know how annoying it is when your chargers and data cables get mixed up in your luggage. Well here is an easy way to keep them organized, pack your data cable and chargers in an old sun glasses case, this way they won’t get mixed up in your luggage.

5. Here is another travel hack, it might sound strange to you, but it helps in saving space. Pale your socks and underwear in your shoes. I know it’s weird, but this is one of those travel hacks which travel experts also use.

6. We all know about the magical hair clips that just disappear. They are the easiest things to lose. Though this hack won’t help you in saving any space, it can assist you in not losing your clips. Take a makeup pouch and store your clips in them, this way you will never lose them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Digital Signage – Powerful and Flexible Ways to Market Your Business in Tough Times

You gain new clients, increase average spend, save on print costs, introduce an elevated level of energy and vitality, and increase your profits. You have to have a good reason not to use it. Whether you're a hotel, Boutique, Pharmacy, Leisure Center, Car Dealership, Restaurant, or Take-Away, providing clients with eye-catching messages and information is vital.

Time to join your fellow SMEs who are tapping into the power of digital signage to attract attention, boost sales and avoid the costs associated with static, non-digital methods for presenting menus and promotions. Discover as many others have, the real benefits, savings and increased sales that exist within those pixels.

Impulse buying behavior

Where you have a market dependent on impulse ie Boutiques, Restaurants and Take-a-ways to name a few, you've got it made. Impulse buying disruptions the normal decision-making models in consumers' brains. The logical sequence of the consumers' actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self-gratification. Impulse items appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered functional or necessary in the consumers' lives.

Good signage solutions are designed to trigger these impulses, by exposing promotional messages at the right place and at the right time – you simply nudge consumers' to spot that something that stirs a particular passion in them – which in turn leads them straight to your tills .

Raise your company's profile

Many SMEs also realize that not only do they generate a great Return on Investment (ROI). Sure, we know they're eye-catching and that they can easily tempt passer-by's with mouth-watering images or up-sell on impulse using carefully crafted messages using the power of motion and change.

But now those screens are also saving money in creating a modernizing effect; At a lower cost than undertaking major leasehold improvements ie an "eye-catching" 40 "digital screen integrated into the design of your shop front, on display to anyone walking past." Digital Signage can introduce an elevated Level of energy and vitality to any shop front, adding a fresh look to your business promises. A more "high-end" appearance, this is easily achievable by any small business with a vision and desire to stand out from its competitors.

Not only does this provide SMEs with a prime promotional space on any busy high street, it also raises their profile. As digital signage becomes more established as a mainstream marketing technique it becomes more accessible to smaller businesses. The days of only seeing digital signage in Piccadilly Circus are over; The age of digital marketing is upon us.

Opportunity to profit from advertising time

These systems can also be used as a tool to generate advertising revenue by promoting other businesses and services; By selling advertising time on your digital display to other local businesses.

Revenue generation by advertising local non-conflicting businesses; A big brand like Budweiser may not get excited about advertising on your one – two screens inside your shop, but the local hairdressers or plumbers around the corner might. And with the local community Newspapers circulation falling – similar local retailers would be wise to follow.

Digital Signage can be an active element in anyone's marketing, unlike those never-changing listings within local directories and printed banners / signs – which when you add all these up – can cost the average retailer a fortune over time, and with a hard to measure ROI.

In tough times, you have to change the way you do business, by stopping the drip of less viable products that provide limited value to you. Digital Signage delivers real and measurable benefits to SMEs – proven business benefits.

Digital Signage = Smart Expenditure

The rising use of digital signage by small and medium-sized companies can be attributed to many factors, falling equipment costs – a 50% drop in the price of LCD displays over the last five years has previously made expensive solutions a realistic proposition for SMEs – Increased awareness and a realization of the competitive advantage that can be gained are all positive drivers. Smart expenditure, on this type of technology provides SMEs with a real affordable advantage in tough times.

The following excerpt from an article "Small businesses should make their technology pay" from (the online resource for SMEs in the UK) acknowledges this competitive advantage:

"Digital signage is another area which has seen leaps of progress over the past few years. And far from being a luxury, these screens can save thoughtful costs and so offer fast ROI – particularly for customer-facing businesses. Increase market share is to ensure your customers have the information they need about your company and products at the point of purchase.

Nowadays digital signage is far more than an elaborate poster; Used correctly it can provide real-time data; Stimulate demand by offering further information surrounding and complementary to products such as recipes or alternatives. Already they are being used extensively in restaurants and hotels – for example, to promote special dishes and update menus without the printing costs and allied transport overheads.

Small businesses need to be more responsive and quick off the mark than their larger counterparts – there's no better way to do this than using a digital sign which can be updated, either from a central location or locally, to reflect changing situations.

These are just two examples of the way that making smart investments in technology can make a real difference to the effectiveness of a business today. The challenge, particularly for SMEs, is to know what is available and how to implement them for the best return.

The key is to find a solutions provider that can give reliable advice and has a good relationship with a vendor so they can give you the inside track on the development of the product in future.

Hopefully we are through the tunnel of recession. However, it's worth coming up for air and taking a look at what there is to help smaller businesses. Far from being mere window dressing, the new electronics equipment just emerging onto the market can actually make a difference. "Time to open your eyes to the opportunities that digital signage has to offer.

Innovative Advertising Displays

You need a solution that addresses the fast growing need for digital signage displays in areas within the public eye, providing an effective form of advertising, information, communication or entertainment – you really need to be exploiting this, now.

Your best course of action would be to select one with a built-in media player and scheduling software; Allowing for simple plug and play methods for updating content, making them extremely user-friendly. Unlike many of your fellow SMEs, you will not be exploited into having to pay out for annual software licenses.

Using our Plug and Play displays, you do not need a computer or DVD support as the display has a memory card reader built-in. Simply insert an SD / CF Memory Card and power on. The screen automatically starts playing the images, video and music that are loaded onto the card.

You can easily set the position order and interval time (Breakfast, Lunch Hour Specials and Evening Dining) of each slide giving you complete control over every aspect of your digital signage – take a glimpse as to how easy our software is at Scheduling your playlists. The screen has a memory card locker to protect the memory card from public access. A wall mount also comes with the screen, so you can fix the screen on the wall without extra cost. Professional installation can be provided which also includes a walk-through of the product and its features.

Commercial grade displays are different from that of a TV purchased from your local electronic shop – these displays are more robust and rated to show content for more total hours, fit for purpose. All displays are designed for 24/7 use and have special LCD panels so that the color does not fade over time, as it would with other LCD panels found in TVs and PC monitors.

Their sleek, elegant tempered glass styling, ability to be in constant use (more energy-efficient) and wide viewing angle means that they offer many advantages over using home TVs for commercial display. As well as these benefits the Digital Advertising displays are also brighter than home TVs and have no buttons or controls on show. By placing a TV in a business environment, you typically lose or limit its warranty.

Additionally they can be easily networked or wirelessly connected to a PC for more frequent updates and even up to the minute RSS feeds.

Digital signage can be one of the most effective shopper marketing technologies in use in retail today; It can deliver the right message to the right place, at the right time, and in the right format; It has the power to impact sales, build brands and improve the customers' experience.

Cost of content and who controls it

There are companies that are claiming to be creators of Digital Signage, where the opposite being, there just jumping into the industry simply because it's hot. And with the analysts promising 33 percent or higher growth this year; This creates plenty of scope for others to follow.

One of their more noticeable mistakes, being content creation, an issue for these resellers, which in turn becomes an issue for their clients – these companies are simply not adept to creating interesting visual content – let alone the need and importance of refreshing content.

These companies often try to sell you expensive digital campaigns with their products – it should be noted that most of these content deals are just simple PowerPoint presentations that can be made by anyone with little experience. Alternately, most will provide you with contact numbers to very expensive Design Agencies that they have formed partnerships with – all this can be a real put-off for SMEs.

As an SME, you will want to cut costs when it comes to Digital Signage Content, so using in-house resources instead of giving the business to an outside supplier is one sure way of cutting costs. Most of us, have PowerPoint installed on our computers, and with powerful editing features such as adding videos, pictures and animations, you would be crazy not to use it for creating your own Digital Signage Content.

Integrating existing content such as logos, images, animations and video will be less time-consuming and inexpensive – this also ensures compliance with your existing image, listed by your company. Many SMEs may have internal / external marketing, printing and web design departments – these are great places to look for existing assets. Inevitable though, new content will obviously be required at some point in time.

Many providers and brands that may be part of your on-going promotions can also provide these assets. Existing logos and graphics can be retouched and animated, to provide a more dynamic and contemporary look. There is no reason why an SME can not produce and deliver a broadcast-quality experience to their clients, using in-house resources.

Small businesses in particular need to control the cost of content, to make their investment in a Digital Signage System, worthwhile. Therefore, when considering your Digital Signage Partner, it is best to choose a provider that will consider your size, budget and needs – one that specializes in designing low-cost media and content for SMEs.

A knowledgeable partner that has the time and desire to provide you with that one-to-one attention, dedicated to the highest level of customer satisfaction and service – walking you through every step of the specification and implementation process; Focusing on three things: improving sales, reducing costs and improving customer relations. A Digital Signage Partner with, a good proposal at good cost.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Is Graffiti Art?

You can travel almost anywhere in the world, and you will probably see graffiti. Although graffiti art is usually more common in big cities, the reality is that it can occur in almost any community, big or small.

The problem with graffiti art is the question of whether it’s really art, or just plain vandalism. This isn’t always an easy question to answer, simply because there are so many different types of graffiti. Some is simply a monochrome collection of letters, known as a tag, with little artistic merit. Because it’s quick to produce and small, it is one of the most widespread and prevalent forms of graffiti.

Although tagging is the most common type of graffiti, there are bigger, more accomplished examples that appear on larger spaces, such as walls. These are often multicolored and complex in design, and so start to push the boundary of whether they should really be defined as graffiti art.

If it wasn’t for the fact that most graffiti is placed on private property without the owner’s permission, then it might be more recognized as a legitimate form of art. Most graffiti art, however, is only an annoyance to the property owner, who is more likely to paint over it or remove it than applaud its artistic merit.

Many solutions have been put into practice around the world, with varying degrees of success. Paints have been developed that basically cause graffiti paint to dissolve when applied, or else make it quick and easy to remove. Community groups and government departments coordinate graffiti removal teams.

In some places you can’t buy spray paint unless you’re over 18. Cans of spray paint are locked away in display cases. In a nearby area the local council employs someone to go around and repaint any fences defaced by graffiti. A friend of mine has had his fence repainted 7 times at least, and it took him a while to find out why it was happening! Certainly the amount of graffiti in my local area has dropped substantially in the last year or two, so it appears these methods are working to a great extent.

But is removing the graffiti doing a disservice to the artistic community? Maybe if some of the people behind the graffiti art were taken in hand and trained, they could use their artistic skills in more productive ways. It hardly makes sense to encourage these artists to deface public property, and so commit a crime. But perhaps there are other ways to cooperate with the graffiti artists rather than just opposing them. Graffiti artists can create sanctioned murals for private property owners and get paid for it.

Maybe we need to start at a very basic level, and find a way to encourage the creation of graffiti art on paper or canvas, rather than walls. After all, who would remember Monet or Picasso if they’d created their masterpieces on walls, only to have them painted over the next day? Finding a solution to such a complex situation is never going to be easy, but as more graffiti art is being recognized in galleries around the world, we do need to try.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Improving Your Flight Experience With Southwest Airlines

Despite the economic fares, Southwest Airlines is often criticized for its services and delays. You're at times hear complaints about the lack of punctuality or the discomforts passengers experience while choosing the airline. This is not entirely a true picture. If you've managed to score a good flight deal, this no way means you're in for a bad flight experience.

Here are some helpful tips through which you can score a good seat when flying with Southwest Airlines without ruining your inflight experience.

1. Ask About the Flight

Most of the times, you'll experience a full flight when flying with the airline. When boarding, ask the gate agent about the condition of the flight. If the flight is full, you just have to bear along with others. However, if you have a window or aisle seat, chances are that you'll survive much better than the others!

2. Avoid the C Group

As a rule of thumb, it is a big no to being traveling when you're in the C Group. If you wish to maintain your sanity, avoid it at all possible times, even when you're in the desperate need of flying somewhere. This is where the passengers mostly experience the greatest amount of discomforts. If you've landed there unknowingly, the window and aisle seat will always turn out to be a savior!

3. Opt for the Front

Front seats of the plane are the best when flying with Southwest Airlines. If you've managed to check in early, chances are that you'll land in the front ones and have a peaceful flight. Once that is filled up, passengers are likely to resort to the rear ones. If you're traveling on a lucky day, you might have the front one entirely to yourself.

4. Traveling with a Kid

It's not always bad to take along a young kid with you on your travels. On Southwest flights, most of the passengers would do their best to avoid sitting next to a kid. If you're traveling with one, this is an amazing chance to have some space to yourself. This is not one of the nicest things to be experiencing, but with so much going on it only makes sense!

5. EarlyBird

Instead of begging, yelling or fighting, Southwest Airlines has given you a decent option when it comes to flying with them. The EarlyBird option is a great choice to opt for in this regard and allows you to check in early, against a payment. Although most people would not fancy the idea of ​​paying for the sake of boarding, it is still worth it if you're worried about what seat you'll end up in.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

How to Save Money on Your Calls While You Travel


If you know you will be traveling in the near future, start planning for it. Many calling providers have special plans for use abroad . If your provider does – you might want to use it. Typically, they offer an add-on for a small charge a day. If you are the type of person that spends a lot of time on your phone, it is probably worth it to go for that add-on to your regular plan. Just remember to stop it when you get back, you do not want to be paying that extra charge forever.

If you provider does not have an international add-on or you do not want to use it, there are still plenty of other options to call your home town while you are abroad at a cheaper rate.

Consider buying a local SIM when you are abroad. This is an excellent solution if you travel to the same place often or if you are going to stay in the same place for a long time. When you buy a local SIM card in the place you are visiting, you will usually pay for a bundle of minutes and the price will probably work out a lot cheaper than using your regular phone plan plus you will not need to pay roaming (in Most countries).

If you have a locked phone, you will not be able to use a foreign SIM card without unlocking your phone first.

You can also buy a local calling card which you can then use to call from hotel phones, pay phones … Calling cards are not that popular anymore these day, but if you need a solution for cheap international calling then they are a good option . Also here you have the advantage that there are no roaming costs.


Whenever you need to make a call, think of what you want to say beforehand . This will usually make your call shorter and it will also prevent you from forgetting to say something and then needing to call back.

Text messages are cheaper than calls, so sometimes it may be worth it to send a text message instead of calling , if it is just a short message you need to give over. Remember that text messages are free to receive while calls are not. If someone needs to tell you something, ask them to text instead of call.

Beware though that a back-and-forth text conversation will probably work out the same price as a phone call.

Even if you do not call abroad, you need to pay for incoming calls – so you need to pay when people call you and also some provide make you pay if someone leaves you a voicemail while you are abroad (depending on the country you are In).

You can eliminate at least one of these problems by deciding – do you want people to be able to contact you while abroad or do you want to enjoy you holiday in peace and quiet without being disturbed by anyone calling?

If you do not want to speak to anyone, divert all your calls to voicemail . This way you will not be charged for roaming. You might have to pay if anyone leaves a message for you though.

If you do want to stay in contact with people and answer calls, then disable voicemail . This will eliminate any charges for voicemail (if applicable) and when your phone rings you will be able to see who is calling and decide if you want to answer of not. If you answer you will need to pay roaming charge and if you do not answer, there will be no charge.

Do not listen to voicemail when you are abroad unless you really have to. Calls to voicemail are charged at the same rate as regular calls so you can end up paying a lot of money for just listening to your voicemail.


For many people, high phone bills when abroad do not actually come from speaking on the phone that much, but rather from high data usage. When abroad, your provider will charge you a high rate per megabyte used. If you need to use the internet then by all means use free WiFi when possible, there are loads of places where you can get free WiFi. Some hotels offer you internet at a small charge but that will probably still be cheaper than using mobile data. Just to make sure your phone does not switch to data automatically, it is best to switch off your data for the duration of your stay.

If you are using your phone for GPS and need to download maps, do so before your trip or when you have WiFi. Many navigation programs allow you to download the map beforehand and once it is downloaded no internet is needed for the navigation itself.


Many people these days are turning to internet calling when they are abroad as it offers so many benefits. Internet calls are practically free if both end users are on the same network and provided there is WiFi. If there is no WiFi then you need to count in the cost of data. If both users are not on the same network, then there is a small charge for using VoIP but it is still a lot cheaper that using your regular phone plan.

So obviously the price is a major factor as to why people use VoIP when abroad. But also, VoIP is not connected to a physical place so it can be taken anywhere. Think of business people who want to keep the same number when traveling. With a business phone this would be impossible but with VoIP, people can call you anywhere if you have your mobile / PC with you and there is no roaming charge.

In addition, many VoIP service providers offer features that are not offered with standard phone plans. These may include video calling, sending locations, group chats, and more

There are different types of internet calling:

• Phone to phone calls – using regular phones, VoIP adapters are used to connect the phones to the internet. If both end users are on the same network – the call will be free. If they are on different networks – there will be a small charge.

Calls can also be made using IP phones instead of VoIP adapters to make the calls.

• PC to PC calls – using an app to make calls between PCs.

If the person you are calling has the same app on his PC – the call will be free. If the person you are calling does not have that app there will be a small charge.

• PC to phone calls – make calls from PC to a phone.

If you are calling a phone on the same network the call will be free. If the phone is not on the same network, there will be a small charge.

• Mobile to mobile calls – using an app to make the calls between the mobiles.

If the person you are calling has the same app on his PC – the call will be free. If the person you are calling does not have that app there will be a small charge.

Many apps also allow you to call mobile to PC and PC to mobile.

Whatever type of calling you use while abroad, if you plan a little before your trip you definitely save yourself a lot of money in the end

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Experience Guatemala

A tour of upland Guatemala will immerse the traveler in the archeology of the last aboriginal Maya of 900-1524, with unparallel experiences in how archaeological knowledge about society, culture and astronomy is read in the ruins of the richest civilization of the Americas. The adventure travelers are guided by an archaeologist, who is author of many volumes. Our archaeologist tour director also deciphers the principal Mayan sites of the always climatically temperate highlands. The many Maya who live in the region today also provide keys in their lifeways to reconstructing the rich past. This incomparable experience of learning by doing archeology and anthropology is coupled observations of the incredibly rich flora and fauna under the guidance of an expert ornithologist.

Mayan Green Tours is offering a ten day expedition combining archeology, cultural anthropology and birding – to Guatemala during June 11-22, 2007. The four thousand-year-old Mayan culture still flourishes in highland Guatemala among millions of Mayan speakers today. While a glimpse of the aboriginal Maya is viewed in this year's film Apocalypto our tour situates our members while still living Mayan communities with their colorful costumes, religious rituals and dance ballads, and more generally lifeways of the millennia. The discerning traveler that experiences the ancient Maya in their archaeological cities located on mountaintop as well as the living Maya at the foot of these mountain sites in their indigenous communities of today. This is the most authentic adventure and educational learning setting of the premier indigenous civilization of the Americas. In the achievements of writing, city building and the architecture of kings and high practices in palaces and temples, the Maya rank among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans and Chinese. If one is to fully understand the Americas, understanding its civilization is a must.

The observation of the wildlife in its natural habitat is the second of our twin goals. The Mayan landscape is also a biotic treasure trove where wildlife abounds around every tree. The setting of highland Guatemala is also unparallel in its natural beauty-lofty volcanoes ring highland lakes, a rich diversity in flora and fauna are set in a year round spring-like climate of temperate days and cool evenings. The different altitudes make excursion rich in an ever-changing biotic diversity each and every mile. Ecotourism thus multiplies the Maya experience in their natural settings.

We travel by van across the verdant highland valleys and mountains to see the Mayan cities in their natural settings as they were on the eve of the arrival of the Europeans immediately following Columbus. Our first stop outside of Central America's metropolis of Guatemala City is to Iximche, the location of the first Guatemala City (called then "Cuauthemala") where the Spanish Conquistadores garrisoned in 1524. At 7,000 feet elevation, the citadel of Iximche was capital to the Cakchiquel Maya with what the Spanish conquistadors allied in their strategy to "divide and conquer" the major Mayan kingdoms. This strategy was an improbable one of succeeding – for the native population was in the millions and the Spanish military force was merely in the hundreds. But in the final analysis the plan defied the odds in victory. Yet the Maya have deal with conquerors before and have endured to rise again. And they have, for they represent the only indigenous American civilization still intact in so many of its original practices

The magnificent palaces, temples, ancient ballcourts, and murals at Iximche have been brought to light by meticulous archaeological excavation so that the site is the best preserved in the highlands. The city is intact and all there for understanding of meanings ascribed by the Maya. At this highest site in altitude and all sites that the tour visits a variety of birds inhabit the ruins.

Day two will find the group on Lake Atitlan, which is incomparable for its pristine beauty, for birding within the Reserva Natural Atitlan where hundreds of species of birds have been sighted and recorded. Next, we boat 10 miles across the lake and tour the destroyed Tzutuhil capital of Chuitinamit in one of the most picturesque spots in the world. The more avian minded adventurers may climb on the forest engulfed Volcano of San Pedro with rich vistas of the tropical birds and of the Pacific coastal plain below.

In cosmology, Lake Atitlan was the southernmost edge of the Mayan world and was conceived as the place of the famous creation of humanity dramatized in the Mayan book of the Popol Vuh. (This book is the single largest native American epic, and has been translated into every European language plus many more around the world). After an evening of birding in San Lucas Toliman, the group may participate in the continued mapping of the only known Mayan zodiac. The archaeological remains of the zodiac, with each of the constellations of the night sky carved on huge boulders, is where the assembled Mayan tribes would ignite the flame of the solar calendar during the last week of January each year. The Mayan chronicles detail the actual ceremony and dance; Vestiges of the ancient ceremony were enabled until about 50 years ago and are still remembered.

While the zodiac was simply the ritual south point for a highland Maya, the political and cosmic center was Utatlan (K'umarcaaj). This city was seen as center of the Mayan ritual and political cosmos. The astronomical principles dictating the arrangement of temples, caves and palaces of this most revered of the highland Mayan ies to coincide with the equinoxes, solstices and the rising and setting of particular constellations, will be decoded on site by Dr. Fox, based on his three decades of research.

When the conquistadors burned Utatlan as bastion of Mayan resistance in 1524, its population was forcibly removed to nearby Chichicastenango. Members of the tour will have the opportunity to bargain with Mayan vendors for their handicrafts of textiles, dance masks, pottery and much more in the biweekly market of today in the central plaza of Chichicastenango in much the same way it was when held in the central Plaza of Utatlan before.

The tour culminates in a flight to Tikal in the lowlands to see two hundred foot high temples loom above the jungle canopy and relish in the experiences of some of the richest birding locales in the world. Birding enthusiasts will probably note this as a highlight of the trip as do most visitors to Tikal. Tikal is testament to the grandeur and mettle of the Classic Maya. It is an enduring legacy in which the people of Guatemala take great pride.

The traveler will return with remembrances to fill a lifetime; The Maya will be known first hand in person and in their mighty archaeological achievements which have come to represent the indigenous civilization of the Americas. Flora and fauna will be observed and probably photographed in their native habitats in both the highlands highlands and lowlands -together observing almost unparallel species diversity.

Dr. John Fox together with Roy Smallwood formed Mayan Green Tours, Inc. To introduce tours to the rich archaeological and cultural labyrinth and ecosphere of Guatemala. Dr. Fox is a leading authority on the Maya and has published extensively having spent 30 years researching the highland Guatemala. Roy Smallwood joins the tour assisting in the identification of the avifauna of Guatemala.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Tenant and Landlord Responsibilities for a Rental Property

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it is important that both the tenant and the landlord have a fair understanding of the required responsibilities and rights, to have a peaceful and pleasant renting experience.

Property Dealers in Dwarka involved in renting business offer society flats, apartments and DDA flats for rent in Dwarka. The people who rent these residential properties are called tenants. When a person rent a property, the basic rights and responsibilities of both the tenant and the landlord are spelled out in the lease agreement. To avoid confusion and legal disputes, both the landlord and the tenant must be aware of these responsibilities and rights.

Types of Tenancy Agreement

Indian Tenancy agreement consists of 2 different types of contracts namely The Lease Agreement covered by the Rent Control Laws and the Lease and License Agreement, which is not covered. The first option allows the tenant to get the ownership of property for an undefined period of time. This becomes a big problem when the tenant refuses to vacate and to find a legal solution to this problem may take the court a very long time of 10 or 20 years. The second option however, is more viable as it comes with conditional agreement of ownership for a limited period of time with the option to renew with certain changes in rent and stay. This is the most popular contract which most of the real estate agents in Dwarka choose.

Deciding on Rent

A Lease Agreement is covered by the Rent Control Laws. The landlord can decide on the amount of rent by adhering to a formula devised by the judicial government, local executive or legislative. According to that formula, the maximum annual rent for Delhi is a combination of 10% of the expense of property construction and market price of the land. Both these costs are dependent on the historical values where current market valuation is not taken into account. Therefore, with old properties you can expect smaller rent, whereas new properties can give profitable margins to the landlord. The rent can also be increased marginally by including the cost of renovating a property.

Responsibilities Both Tenant and Landlord Should Share

A responsible tenant should pay off the rent and other rental bills associated, within the mentioned time period in accordance of the agreement. If by any chance, the tenant fails to pay the rent within the mentioned time period, the tenant in Delhi is subjected to pay simple interest at the rate of 15 per cent per annum. The rate of interest should be calculated from the due date of the rent to the period it was paid off.

Similarly, there are also some responsibilities the landlord should share. The Property Dealers in Dwarka, New Delhi should provide a rent receipt as a proof of the paid rent to the tenant. If a landlord fails to provide a rent receipt, the tenant has the right to complain to the consumer court. In such a scenario, the authority can bring a solution by listening to both the parties whereby compensating the tenant by the landlord. There are certain rules which the tenant should follow like complaining within a period of 2 months from the payment date. The tenant has the right to ask for bank particulars of the landlord to deposit the rent money. Without such availability, the tenant can choose to deposit the same through money order.

If a landlord wants to revise the rent, he/she should notify the tenant beforehand. A formal notice according to the rule listed down in the section 106 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882 should be sent bearing the signature of the landlord.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off