Pet Hammocks

People seem to be easier to train then dogs about learning to find a suitable place to lie down. Of course, we all have family members who choose to use the floor in front of the television set than the couch. But, when we go outdoors we usually choose a hammock hung between two trees or a glider to sit rather than on the wet grass.

The same situation occurs with our pets.

Most of the time, pets lounge indoors wherever they choose unless they have been trained to use a doggies bed. But, for the most part pets are allowed to rest on couches and floors. But, when our best friends go outdoors. do we really want them lying on grass or cement? Our pets are like us. Lying on cold grass can make us sick, give us grass stains or make our arthritis impossible to bear. Our pets can also get sick from lying on grass, get grass mites in their fur and make their joints ache. A reasonable solution is a pet hammock. A pet hammock is different from a people hammock in that the size of the hammock has to be suitable to our pets size.

The hammock has to be easily reached by our pet and has to be of a fabric that our pets will like to lie on. Pet hammocks can be found in pet stores or you can make one for your own pets by using two heavy outdoor pots. Just tie rope to one pot and to the other making sure that it is taut and a little above ground. You can use a favorite doggies or kittie stuffed cushion or a light weight canvas and tie it to the rope. Your hammock will be your pets outdoor seat and a safe one.

Source by Ray B Spencer

Mongoose XR-75 Mountain Bikes

The Mongoose XR-75 is an affordable light-weight, durable mountain bike for adults and children. The bikes are either 24″ or 26″ frames. The bikes are made for boys, girls, women and men. They are all made the same way and you can expect to find similar features. You can find Mongoose bikes at your local discount department store or can find online at an affordable price.

For the kids, the Mongoose XR-75 24″ comes in the color of orange or electric green for boys and pink for girls. It is a great bike for kids because they like to ride all over the place whether riding on smooth ground, on bumpy ground or over dirt paths. This bike can handle just about any terrain. The dual-suspension frame makes the bike durable and powerful. It is lightweight making it easier to maneuver and control it. There are 21-speeds to shift through with a rear derailleur. The bike is equipped with linear pull brakes and has alloy, lightweight rims.

For the adults, the Mongoose XR-75 26″ is available for men and women. It is a dual-suspension mountain bike providing ultimate shifting efficiency. For dependable stopping power, the bike is equipped with linear pull brakes. The seat can be easily adjusted with the quick release post. The bike is fully loaded and equipped with a 21-speed SRAM MRX/Shimano.

The Mongoose XR-75 bikes are built to be durable and comfortable. The dual-suspension, aluminum frame will maximize comfort while keeping its performance. When ordering the bikes through the mail, it will require assembly. If purchased at a store, it should already be assembled and may require slight adjustments.

The Mongoose XR-75 is an affordable, attractive looking mountain bike. You can purchase either a 24″ or 26″ for around $110 – $130. If you don’t find what you are looking for at the store, you can order it online to either be shipped to your home or shipped to your local store.

Most of the Mongoose XR-75 reviews were positive. Those who ordered the bikes online to be delivered to the store for pick-up said they were completely satisfied and found the store had already put together their bike upon their arrival for pick-up. Others raved about the bike’s performance and how it exceeded their expectations including being comfortable while riding.

The bike’s consumer ratings are excellent. The bike met the consumer’s expectations and were satisfied with the great value for those consumers who purchased a Mongoose. People felt the performance of the bike was great for the value. The consumer ratings ranged from 3-5 stars. Most reviews stated the bike rides well and is comfortable.

Whether you are a beginner rider or an experienced rider, the Mongoose provides many great features that people look for in bikes being at an affordable cost. They are built to be durable, comfortable and made to last. If you are not picky and do not care about the lack of color choices, then it is a bike to consider.

Source by Charles D Smith

An Overview of Modern Technology

Present-day technology has changed development in a lot of ways. People have often been on a way of movement, yet on account of technology. Some of the technology progresses has turned into a necessity of life because of their significance and our dependence on them.


One of the regions where present-day technology is most essential is in the domain of correspondence. Long back, speaking with people outside your prompt area was a troublesome procedure, requiring correspondence by physical letter and a much measure of tolerance. The Internet has made long separations practically straightforward, permitting clients to relate with people on the opposite side of the planet in a moment. Technology has additionally expanded our availability, with mobile phones and different gadgets.


Another territory where PCs and the Internet have turned out to be critical is in training. PCs can store a lot of information in a little space; diminishing whole give up work of refer to books down to a voluntary CD of information. The Internet likewise serves as an essential asset for learning, connecting educational locales together and permitting the inquisitive to scan for any subject possible. A solitary PC could store many instructional diversions, sound, and visual lessons and also give access to an abundance of learning for understudy. In the classroom, virtual whiteboards can supplant boards, permitting instructors to give intuitive substance to understudy and play instructive movies without the need to set up a projector.


Technology has likewise affected the human services industry. Advances in symptomatic instruments permit specialists to distinguish sicknesses and conditions early, expanding the odds of an effective treatment and sparing lives. Progressions in medicines and antibodies have likewise demonstrated very powerful, about killing infections like measles, diphtheria, and smallpox that once thought about huge plagues. Cutting edge pharmaceutical likewise permits patients to oversee constant conditions that were once incapacitating and life-underlining, such as, diabetes and hypertension. Innovative advances in solution have likewise developed life expectations and improvement personal satisfaction for people around the world.


Technology has likewise expanded efficiency. The capacity of PCs to set complex numerical conditions permits them to accelerate any undertaking requiring estimation or different figuring. PC displaying of physical impacts can spare time and cash in any assembling circumstance, giving specialists the capacity to renovate structures, vehicles or materials to give essential information on execution before prototyping. Indeed, even in the workplace environment, the capacity of arranged PCs to share and control information can speed a wide assortment of errands, permitting representatives to unite proficiently for most extreme efficiency.

Thus, the role of technology is essential for all of us.

Source by Farrukh Mirza

Mattress Buying Guide – Simplifying the Task of Buying the Right Mattress

Believe it or not there is a buying guide for just about everything. Mattress buying guides are a very essential and important tool and if each person did a bit more reading before they made purchases, there would be a lot more satisfied consumers than there is now. Many people think that when it is time to buy a mattress there is no more to it then walking into a store, laying on a mattress for a few minutes and paying for the purchase. Unfortunately these people could not be more mistaken. There are certain things that people should be aware of when looking for a good mattress, things that may not show up until much later, when it is too late.

Mattress shopping can be a bit confusing because you do not get to see what is in the center of the mattress and it is not a purchase that you make very often. Mattress buying guides can help the process considerably especially if you follow the recommended steps. Evaluate your options; educate yourself before making any purchases, shop for what you are looking for, and ensure quality care. Experts claim that these steps should be followed when making all purchases, not just mattresses.

Mattress buying guides will usually let you know that you need to choose a comfort level which consists of a mattress that is well built, has great support and good value. Make sure that you consider your height as well as your weight before making a mattress decision. If you have any back related issues then you will want to spend even more time deciding your purchase since excellent back support is essential for people with bad backs.

Experts also claim that when you do go to the store and start looking for a mattress these are the steps that you should take before making a decision. No pun intended, they refer to it as the SLEEP test.

S-select a mattress

L-lie down in your sleep position

E-evaluate the level of comfort and support

E-educate yourself on the purchase

P-partners should shop together

Lay down on the mattress for a while as that is really the only way to know how you feel about it. As far as size goes, the mattress buying guide says that is entirely up to you and what you feel most comfortable with. Define the dimensions and see how you fit on the bed in various positions.

Source by Robert Schielmann

Irish Christmas Traditions and Customs

Ireland is a magical country, filled with tradition and folklore dating back many years. Christmas in Ireland is an especially magical time of year. Many Irish Christmas traditions have become part of the Christmas celebration of many nationalities and have made their way into mainstream American Christmas customs.

In Ireland people say "Nollaig Shona Duit" pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich. This Irish Christmas greeting literally translates to Happy Christmas .

One beloved Irish Christmas tradition is that of the Christmas plum pudding. The traditional Irish Christmas plum pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of leftover meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period in England, discharged prunes were added to the pudding mixture which became known as a plum porridge . Sometimes becoming called plum pudding.

Another very common Christmas custom in Ireland is the candle window. The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practiced today and has become an American Christmas tradition as well. The candle in the window has a number of purposes. One of its primary meanings is as a welcoming symbol to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for Catholic practices to perform mass during the penal times when Catholic masses were not allowed. Another part of the tradition is the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the family and should only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name Mary.

In Ireland celebrating the Feast Day of St. Stephen's is usually accompanied with the Wren Boy Procession . Saint Stephen's Day celebrated on December 26th, also know as the Day of the Wren is a national holiday in Ireland.

During Penal times there was a plot in a village against the local soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and about to be ambushed when a flock of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened them in time to defend themselves. The plot failed and the wren became known as the "Devil's Bird".

On Saint Stephen's Day a process takes place where pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes with blackened faces. In olden days an actual wren bird was killed and placed on the pole. This custom has seriously disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Louis. Stephen's has survived and is a large part of the Irish Christmas celebration today.

Last but not least a fabulous Irish Christmas tradition that has not made its way to the states is called "Women's Christmas" . In Ireland on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany , is when traditionally the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as "Nollaigh na mBean" in Irish or "Women's Christmas" . Tradition has it that women get the day off and the men of the house get to do the housework, cooking and take down the Christmas decorations. Women meet up to go have a day out and treat themselves. Have you ever celebrated "Women's Christmas" ?

Source by Jennifer Derrig

The Signage Evolution

Do you may remember the classic porcelain service station signs illuminated with high-watt light bulbs, like “Texaco” and “Skelly” (which are now highly valued collector items)?

Then came the vacuum-formed, plastic-faced signs that were backlit with fluorescent lamps and used a marquis with changeable plastic “Wagner” or “ZIP” letters for specials and fuel pricing.

Yes, the sign industry has evolved over the past few decades. Today, large LED displays offer high impact, animated message systems that employ a marketing strategy.

One of the latest contributions to the signage evolution is interior digital video signage. More and more restaurants, retailers, service locations and medical offices are using these displays for various content to engage their customers.

“Video enhances the customer experience: People like videos and have come to expect them. And often videos are the best way to impart the information. Video boosts customer service by increasing customer engagement, leading to higher customer satisfaction.” – Right Answers Inc.

The days of the static white board food menu are being replaced with high definition product photographs and videos with brief descriptions and pricing. Digital menu boards help customers make decisions faster and more accurately, while reducing order and wait times. CarterEnergy customer, Sugarfoot C-Store & BBQ, experienced this first-hand when they made the decision to go with digital menu boards for their BBQ and their new Fresh Burrito Bar in their C-Store.

Digital signage is being utilized to highlight a menu of specific auto services that KCI Auto Care offers while customers are traveling through Kansas City International Airport (KCI). Big-O-Tires uses their digital signage for service pricing and to educate customers with Auto Seasonal Preparation videos.

Other digital sign applications include interactive (touchscreen) building directories and wayfinding kiosks, company information in lobbies, trade show booths, in-store video billboards, video walls, cylinders and boxes, to name a few.

But in all things digital signage, bigger is often better. Considered the avant-garde of digital signage solutions, video walls, aka architectural media or techorating, depending on the application, can influence the ambiance of the building by the way it is integrated into the environment. Similarly, creative content can stimulate the senses, arouse and influence behavior that complements the purpose of building designs, which reinforces and extends the core brand image. Dynamic content can immerse control rooms, wrap around buildings, decorate expansive interiors with artistic displays, and provide interactive content into an exciting and over-the-top visual experience.

Take a moment to notice the digital signage around you, and you will be amazed how prevalent and creative this marketing tool has become.

Source by David Little

Starving for Intimacy

Some are seeking love in a bottle. Others look for it on the streets and many are trying to find it in their food.

Most of our food is grown on acres of land, sprayed by airplanes, cut by machines, transported by trucks or boats to plants adjusted to grind, package and ship. It is sent to stores where in bright colored wrappers; we are sold by seduction the richness of this product. We take it home open the can, package or jar one at a time to "feed" ourselves and maybe our family. The goal is often speed as we have or have had other obligations in the day. TV may be our entertainment as we consume this meal intended to nurture us.

This food is also sold to a distribution plant where it is sent to food chains across the country to feed a growing segment of the population. They take the food, mix it to their formula in large vats, package it in measured amounts, ship it by trucks to their envelopes to be prepared quickly by workers for their breakfast lunch and dinner crowds. In these restaurants or at drive through windows food is dispersed in plastics or paper with speed as the goal so each of us can meet deadlines, time limits and multiple obligations. Some of us eat in our cars as we drive to other destinations or eat at our desk. What would happen if each day we had a pause in the day's occupation as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said in his poem The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower,

Comes a pause in the day's occupations,

That is known as the Children's Hour.

Every day we hear on TV or read in newspapers and magazines of this new disease – obesity impacting all ages, cultures and communities. Is it any wonder for we are starving for intelligence and are trying to feed that need.

There is a growing market these days for organic and slow cooking and is it any wonder. We are coming to the realization of how to meet our needs as we feed ourselves each day .. Organic farmers know their soil is the foundation for their crop production. They have prepared it to meet the needs of each seed they plant. They walk their fields observing the soils' needs and the challenges and the requirements of each crop The food may be picked by family or they will run the machines. Their cows or chickens may have names and they raise their family in this true home-based business. This food is usually sold at a farmers market or sent to the co-op or health food stores who buy from regional suppliers. The food bought this way is taken home and prepared as a meal served at the table feeding one or a large number as they gather to share and laugh together.

There is a growing trend with chefs to buy from these farmers and they often ask for specialty foods for their demanding customers. These customers are people who dine out in a relaxed atmosphere and get fed food prepared by inspired hands.

We can find a similar commitment to feed their customers in the Mom and Pop restaurants. They may specialize in grits and eggs or chili and stews and they prepare it from their recipes and often times with food from local sources.

There is a saying "A bitter cook bakes a bitter bread". Is it then not true there is a missing link in our food chain; that of caring. Caring for the food that feeds us. Caring for the food as it is prepared. Is love not the missing ingredient in much of our food supply today. Is that not why many of us are staring for intimacy. Would not love in growing, love in preparing and joy in eating change the way we look and feel. Food, in order to feed our body and our souls must be grown, prepared and ateen with an intention of caring, of love.

Sophia Loren said the most vital ingredient in any recipe is love. Would it not be wise to add love to every dish we make, serve and eat.
Save some of those candy hearts and serve them with each meal as a reminder of the love in your food and the joy in your life. I think it might be the best diet you will find for the next year.

© 2004 Susan Bacon Trumpfheller

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VoIP and Local Telephone Companies

With VoIP technology entering the main stream, it brings the possibilities or huge profits for the companies that provide the service. The current promise of cost savings is driving more and more residential and business users to investigate this technology. But the local telephone companies are not going to give up customers without a fight.

There is a current mandate by the US federal government that all VoIP providers offer E911 service. The initial blocking of this information was with the public switched telephone network maintained by the major telephone companies.

The next stumbling block is 'naked DSL' or DSL access without local phone service. This service is rare, but without it a residence would not be able to use VoIP as their primary phone service mechanism. You see, DSL is running over your existing phone line provided by your local telephone company. Drop your local phone service and you'll probably drop your broadband DSL access as well. (Cable broadband access is a viable solution here and the increased cost in cable access should be offset by the reduction on your monthly phone bill)

These are just two fronts in the battle over VoIP. Should companies be compensated for the infrastructures that build? Should E911 service be 'free' and offered as a public service? What about the existing phone service run into our homes? Who pays for those lines to be laid and hooked into the public switched telephone network?

There really are no easy answers to the questions above. The phone companies are not about to give up customers without a fight. They have years and billions of dollars spent in building one of the most reliable communications networks 'currently' known to us.

Is VoIP the next step in the emerging communications industry? How will this play out with phone companies offering internet and TV services and cable providers offering phone and internet service? The line is being disturbed and yet the technology pushes forward.

I do not have the answers, only questions. I know how I'd like to see it all play out, but alas, there is no Nirvana and no, it would seem we all can not get along. Not when there's literally billions of dollars at stake. There will be winners and losers as this war rages on, but it is my hope that we, the end users, will, in the end, be better for it. After all, we've been down this path many times before and it's turned out ok.

Remember the advent of the PC and where we've gone since then? Remember the first bulky cellular phones vs. what's available today? Yes, TV's, radios, computers, phones the list goes on. Technology advances will continue to push us into new directions. I'm sure that in the end, VoIP will be as commonplace as the home computer.

We can leverage this technology today in a cost effective manner. Like any technology how you implement VoIP will make the difference. Whether you're a residential or business user, there can be an immediate benefit. Check with your communications broker to find out if your existing phone needs can be met cost effectively with VoIP.

Source by Michael Weaver

The Definition of Beauty

The definition of beauty is taken from both individual and social perspectives. Some people define beauty as characteristics related to outer beauty such as complexion, health, youthful appearance and facial symmetry. Beauty however is a mixture of both inner and outer aspects of beauty. Characteristics of a person, such as their personality, their politeness, their integrity, their elegance, their charisma, their intelligence and their grace can be considered as aspects of inner beauty. These aspects define what inner beauty is, and are factors that can be felt and sensed when the person is around, and not just perceived by the eyes alone.

Culture also dictates the standards of beauty and is constantly changing. The concept of beauty has changed from curvaceous women in the past to the skinny ones of today. Regardless of this, it is still up to the individual person to define and judge what is beautiful. The adage “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” rings true in that what is beautiful for you is not necessarily beautiful for another, it is akin to the saying “one man’s drink is another man’s poison”.

The inner attributes of a person must be of high quality for the person to be considered truly beautiful. The person’s ability to warm anothers heart, place a smile on someone’s face definitely shows the characteristics of one who has inner beauty. The criteria therefore to judge a person’s inner beauty is his or her level of sensitivity, compassion, tenderness, intelligence and creativity. These qualities of inner beauty are indeed powerful for they can exceed the person’s outer features.

Nonetheless, how to achieve beauty in both inner and outer beauty is very important to a person. Therefore even though one is kind, true and loyal, it is still important to know how one looks physically. It is not just how pretty you dress up to be beautiful, but you also need to have a healthy lifestyle since sickness can affect you sooner or later. One should also prepare one’s overall appearance before socializing in the world, for people that we have never met will always judge us on a first impression on our physical appearance.

In summary, put on your best smile and comb your hair and iron your clothes. Wear something dignified that makes you feel comfortable at the same time. You have to love yourself for who you are before anyone else can love you. You must be attracted to yourself before you can attract attraction. Knowing this you must also accessorize your new beauty with kindness, and tenderness, integrity and compassion.

Source by Brent McNutt

Management Skills Vs Leadership Skills

Leadership style sets the tone of a recreational agency. Some lead by example, others lead with an iron fist. Let’s examine the two leadership styles to determine what is best for your leadership role.

Transformational leadership creates a learning environment for staff members. It fosters trust, and inspires employees to work toward a collective vision through intrinsic process motivation. Transformational leaders are effective communicators, share information, and have a strong vision. The style heightens employee aspirations and focus employees on the goal. The leader serves more as a coach than a supervisor. Less absenteeism occurs, as people want to be at work, because they feel valued.

Transformational leadership has four key components:

Idealized influence – serves as a role model, encouraging staff to do as he/she does;

Inspirational motivation – motivates the staff through shared vision and enthusiasm;

Individualized consideration – expresses a genuine concern for employee’s well being and is attentive to personal needs;

Intellectual stimulation – challenges followers to be innovative and pioneering, always questioning the status quo.

There is a misconception that transformational leaders are weak, yet these managers are constantly challenging employees to achieve more and push the envelope creatively.

On the other end of the spectrum, transactional leadership focuses on a punishment and reward system. The chain of command within the organization is clear. Obeying the instructions of the leader is primary goal, and subordinates need to be carefully monitored.

This form of leadership is common is business, notably for hourly employees who are replaceable and have little personal investment in their work. Leaders use punishment and reward systems and attempt to correct undesirable performance while it is happening. Unsatisfied employees do not come to work, as they feel undervalued and replaceable.

Transactional managers serve an administrative role by utilizing a short-term perspective, accepting the status-quo, and copying processes year after year. The manager does not inspire a vision, does not effectively communicate goals, nor foster collaboration. Typically, they remain in middle management roles and cannot ascend to senior executive, as they fail to see the big picture.

Case Study:

A director of a youth dance studio hires instructors as independent contractors to teach dance basics and create routines for a holiday recital. The leader has set many rules for the teaching staff, mostly as a result of incidents that have occurred in past years.

For instance, instructors must submit their substitute requests in August for the September to December class session. Last minute teacher substitutes are not permitted, except with a doctor’s note, and are cause for immediate dismissal of the teacher. All instructors must contribute time, outside of class hours, to prepare for the holiday dance recital. Typically this means additional practices, answering parent questions, sending e-mail blasts, and day-of-show duties. This time is unpaid; however, if an instructor wishes to maintain a job, one must donate the extra time.

The program director has a clear vision of how the end product of the recital should look. The director chooses music, costumes, run order, and writes the final script. Although the recital is a creative endeavor, the instructors’ creative role is through choreography only. Because the instructors are not invited to participate in the creative process, the environment is not developmental, and staff feels replaceable. For this reason, there is a high turn-over rate, which is what has lead to the large number of rules and restrictions in the contract. Talented instructors do not want to stay for the long term, as the instructors feel undervalued and unappreciated. The recreational agency has a transactional leader at the helm.

A progressive approach that melds both transformational and transactional leadership styles would reach a more positive outcome in the recreational forum. For instance, although the director may have an idea of the recital’s format, a brainstorming meeting should take place in the summer to involve staff in the creative process. Ideas and suggestions need to be voiced, discussed, and vetted. Even if not all the ideas are put into action, instructors need to feel valued and included in the process. Along the way, the director should keep instructors informed of why choices were made to proceed in a particular direction. The communicated will take more effort on the part of the leader, but it will ultimately lead to more participation and a learning organization. Many recreational directors are worn out from lack of resources and an increasing demand from customers and budget requirements, and do not have the energy to be a transformational leader. However, for the purposes of fostering a positive, learning environment, the inspiration and stimulation must come from the leader as a role model.

Some leaders may be frustrated by the give-and-take process of brainstorming and creativity, as one believes they have all the answers. However, a leader cannot see oneself as the authority on a subject. Instead, one should be a coach in the process, guiding the team toward their own decisions and outcomes. When ownership of the end product, such as the dance recital, rests with the team, not solely the leader, a learning organization is achieved.

With regard to hourly staff, the manager can combine the two leadership styles, as hourly staff needs a more concrete structure to follow for break/lunch times, list of duties, and extrinsic rewards. The manager can still lead by positive example with hourly staff, and provide team building sessions when appropriate. The hourly staff should feel part of the overall team, even if staff is not all part of the creative process. Effective leaders make all staff members feel valued.

Source by Heather Rappaport