Bird Feeder Types

There are many different kinds of bird feeders out there, and if you are a fan of birds and having them eat out of your feeder, then you will definitely benefit from knowing more about the designs and purposes of different types of feeders. Even a very basic understanding, you will find, will give you more insight as to how to attract your favorite birds to your feeding ground for your enjoyment.

The most common type of feeder is the seed feeder. This type of feeder has seen inside of it, and employs a way to dispense the seed to the birds that want to eat from it. You can usually put all kinds of different seeds in these bird feeders, such as sunflower seeds.

Another type of bird feeder is called the hummingbird feeder. These feeders hold a sugar solution instead of sugar, which tastes a lot like nectar to hummingbirds. Hummingbirds love these kinds of feeders, and you will be surprised at how many you can attract with a simple feeder like this.

Another type of feeder that you might enjoy is a suet feeder. This feeder is like a metal cage that houses a suet, which is like a block of food that attracts birds like flickers, woodpeckers, and nuthatches. This type of feeder will be especially popular during the winter months, as the fat found in the suet can help keep birds warm.

Some bird feeders are prone to being broken into by squirrels. If you have this problem in your area, then you might want to get an anti-squirrel bird feeder. These have mechanisms built into them that will keep squirrels out. Squirrels will often carry the food away, leaving none for the birds….which is why a lot of people like to take measures to keep them out.

For information on squirrel proof bird feeders click here.

SEO Services

Professional SEO services can lift your site above your competitors. According to SEO experts, they help business owners deliver their sites to top rank search engines. They ensure that the site has a unique setting that attracts Internet users. Search engine optimization experts apply the newest analytics service, which has a positive impact on a website. SEO companies are facing great competition in the SEO field. However, they introduce guaranteed SEO services to cope with the competition.

These SEO companies have a strategy requiring clients to pay the major search engines (including Google and Yahoo) for monthly website maintenance. However, the company has guaranteed SEO services, where clients do not pay maintenance for that month.

Google has remained top, since they have accurate methods and algorithms that deliver credible results to the searchers. However, Google has made it difficult for web developers to use optimization tricks in manipulating search engines. This is why SEO companies have the guaranteed SEO money refund.

SEO companies ensure that guaranteed SEO services include the Google’s webmaster guidelines. Webmaster guidelines boost website rank and search activity. The services clients get from SEO experts are like marathons. However, clients should be aware that SEO tricks can have a great impact on a website and damage it-which is why they have to use the legitimate SEO strategies in order to receive impressive results.

Although one may read a lot about the search engine ranking, no search engine optimization company can ensure that his or her site will get the first page in Google or Yahoo search engine results. Despite this, SEO companies have guaranteed SEO services and it is great when one signs with Google. The fact remains that SEO services assure clients that even if the site will not rank among the top search engines, the money will not be a waste because of the refund.

Many webmasters are confused when hiring a search engine optimization SEO expert. Although SEO experts are believed to save time and improve webmaster sites through SEO strategies, they can also frustrate webmasters. Thus, webmasters must investigate the pros and cons of SEO services. The major tasks of the SEO experts are:

– Ensure that the site is well reviewed in the content or structure
– Provide Search engine optimization SEO advice on website development like use of JavaScript and web hosting
– Develop website content using SEO services
– Provide online business improvement campaigns
– Target keyword research
– Offer SEO training

However, the webmasters can grasp search engine optimization SEO through websites. They will understand the benefits of hiring an SEO expert and what to expect from one.

It is clear that when webmasters hire a search engine optimization SEO expert, they stand a better chance of maximizing their SEO services. When they want to start a new site it is good to look for web developers who have web design talent. The web developer will ensure that a webmaster’s site reaches the top search engine ranking like Google or Yahoo. The web developer also assists in improving an existing site.

However, webmasters have to ask several questions about search engine optimization SEO including:

1. Do they have previous examples and testimonies from past clients?
2. Do they follow the guidelines from the Google webmaster?
3. Do they implement the SEO Internet marketing services to improve online business?
4. Do they have experience in the webmaster’s industry?
5. Do they have knowledge of the webmaster’s country/city?
6. Do they have experience in developing sites for international companies?
7. What are the best SEO techniques to implement on the webmaster’s site?
8. How long has the SEO expert been in web design?
9. Does the SEO expert have good communication skills when making changes on the client’s site?

Although the SEO experts provide great SEO services to their clients, there are a few who ruin the web design industry through their greed in marketing efforts and manipulate search engine rank. If search engine optimization SEO does not involve ethical practices, the site may have low visibility on Google or even be removed from the Google index.

SEO and social media marketing ensure that one’s site has the best SEO Cambridge Internet marketing, which means that their company can remain competitive in the online market. All the individual has to do is transition in their online business.

SEO Internet marketing has major components, which develop the website traffic, and top search engine rankings. However, webmasters should be aware that these components are not easy to get. They must apply formulas and SEO strategies to produce effective results. There are many websites providing pertinent information about SEO and online marketing, and you can learn from them.

If one’s business does not have SEO Internet marketing strategies, he or she will need help from SEO experts. They will have to find SEO expert websites, who will help the business owner’s site have many customers in online marketing. The obligation of SEO experts is to create exposure to businesses. They focus on SEO Internet marketing goals and provide top search engine rank like Google and Yahoo. However, to accomplish all this, web developers use SEO custom services, which have long-lasting SEO Google rank.

SEO companies ensure that your site has all the SEO Internet marketing such as business improvement, localized product sales, high quality online generation and the rest. Webmasters are guaranteed to remain competitive in the online business if they stick with SEO experts. They will have all they need to ensure business success.

Business owners who do have a business website lose massive amounts of money from online marketing. They should know that SEO Internet marketing mandates a business website, since it is a necessary online marketing tool. A website or blog is same as news ads, letterheads, or the yellow pages. However, the website must be user-friendly and just as advertisement is important, the SEO website is the same.

It is true that 44% of small businesses do not have a website or blog. They are unable to reach 73% of Internet users each day. If your company has a website, customers can research the latest products the business owner’s company offers. SEO Internet marketing can help any company through their site to sell products. All businesses should have their own website, including companies using websites provided by insurance.

Inflatable Water Slides

Inflatable water slides can have a positive impact on any outdoor event where there are children involved. Some people choose to rent these for special occasions, such as birthday parties. Others make the one time investment of purchasing inflatable slides for their kids. Whichever choice you make, know that having one of these on hand will be a great deal of fun and excitement for any children around. Also, if you offer a party planning service, you will want to be sure to have at least one of these slides on hand to increase your revenue.

These inflatable water slides are great for children with birthdays that fall during the summer months. The weather is so hot that having an outdoor party is preferred, but it is nice to be able to cool off as the festivities carry on. The answer is having a large slide that you can rush down into a pool of water. Plus, the water squirts down the slide itself, providing your with even more coolness as your enjoy your or your friend’s birthday party.

Inflatable slides also make for great entertainment pieces for other outdoor events. Family reunions and barbeque can be a lot more exciting once you have added a water slide to the mix. This can keep the children out of your hair while you catch up with relatives that you do not see on a regular basis, or friends that you enjoy spending time with. Plus, it gives all the children a fun way to enjoy the day and you will not worry about them getting overheated.

For those that living in areas where it is a hot a great deal of the year, inflatable water slides can be a good investment for everyday use. Putting one of these slides in your backyard for your children can have them loving the outdoors during the summer. Nowadays, children prefer sitting indoors in front of the television and video gaming system for hours at a time. Having a unique device such as an inflatable water slide at home can change their minds and have them outside with their friends.

If you run a business that offers party planning, it is a good idea to have one or two inflatable slides available for your clients. Those that do not wish to purchase such a slide will have to rent them from someone when their outdoor event occurs. Why not let it be you? You run the risk of losing a great deal of money if you do not have inflatable slides to offer with your party planning services.

As you can see, inflatable water slides are a great way to provide hours of entertainment to your children. It can get them off the couch and outside, having fun with their family and friends. They are good investments if you want to have one on hand in your backyard. You could also just choose to rent a slide when you have barbecues or other events going on.

Preparing for a Massage Interview – What Every Massage Therapist Should Know and Ask

Before you can start working as a massage therapist, you have to perform a massage interview to get the job, and interviewing for a massage position is quite different than most other interview processes. For many massage therapists, the first job they hold directly out of massage school is for a chiropractor, or a spa / salon owner instead of working as an independent contractor, and it’s important to know what to ask in order to accept the right position. Understanding if you will work as an employee or an independent contractor – especially when a massage therapist is beginning his or her practice – is helpful when deciding where to work.

Why You Need a Resume and Cover Letter When Interviewing for a Massage Position

While you will not be sitting at a desk or crunching numbers, you do need to prepare a resume and cover letter for your anticipated massage interview. Even though it is a non-traditional environment, your employer will want to see that you are a professional massage therapist who can represent himself or herself adequately, and a well-written cover letter can show that you have good communication skills – an invaluable asset when working with a diverse set of clients. Be sure to include information about your school, your modalities, and your intended certifications – the more a potential employer knows about you and your specific interests, the more you will stand apart from the rest of the crowd and the higher the likelihood that you will soon be interviewing for the massage position.

Coming in for a Massage Interview

When you receive a call to come in for an interview, prepare to actually give a massage. This might surprise some applicants, but you are interviewing for a massage position, and your employer wants to know what you can do and what your style is like. Because you want to be comfortable while giving the massage, be sure to wear an appropriate outfit for both a massage and an in-person interview. Often, clean, long black yoga pants and a collared shirt will do just fine. Unlike most interviews where applicants are expected to wear slacks and a button-down shirt, your potential employer will expect a massage therapist to be dressed for the test massage. Just to be sure, when you schedule the massage interview, ask over the phone what would be appropriate attire. Additionally, it is always a good idea to arrive at the massage interview fully prepared – a massage therapist should bring supplies to the interview such as sheets, and lotion or oil. While the interviewer will likely have these supplies on hand, it is always a good idea to be in control of the session by being fully prepared.

When interviewing for a massage position, depending on the size of the business, a human resources person or the owner will likely be the first person to sit down with you for a few moments and talk with you about your education and experience. During the massage interview, be prepared to talk about what you learned in school, what your strongest and weakest modalities are, what you envision for yourself as a massage therapist, and about your previous experience with clients. Then you will give a test massage, either an abbreviated (30 minutes or less) or standard (one hour) massage, showing your abilities to give Swedish and deep tissue massage. Interviewing for a massage position sometimes, but not often, involves you being asked to display competence in additional modalities that you have listed on your resume such as hot stone therapy, or sports massage.

It is important to be yourself during the massage interview. Just relax and give the same massage that you would give to a client. Do not be nervous, because it will come through in your touch. Your employer is looking to see your skill as a massage therapist, and the more natural and relaxed you are the better interviewing for the massage position will go.

Getting the Job and Working

If the massage interview goes well and you get the job, you will likely begin either as a full-time or part-time massage therapist. Be sure to speak with your employer up front about the method of compensation and your designation as either an employee or an independent contractor, because these are very different and can make a big impact on your revenue and tax filing at the end of the year. This is a very important question to ask when interviewing for the massage position as employees are expected to work during a set number of hours, can only work for one employer at a time, and must comply with the employer’s standards of service and instructions about how to deliver massage therapy. From a financial standpoint, make sure that you understand during the massage interview if you will be an employee, as employers pay the majority of the employee’s taxes, and the massage therapist is often eligible for benefits such as health insurance and paid vacation time.

Unlike employees, independent contractors are typically able to set their own hours, and are paid a percentage of the total revenue they bring into a business. They tend to have more flexibility about the type of massage protocol delivered and the types of services offered. If this is the type of work environment you have envisioned, you should establish this when interviewing for the massage position. For example, a massage therapist who is an employee at a large spa will be expected to adhere to the standard services as listed on a published menu of services but a contractor should legally have more flexibility. During the massage interview, ask if customers expect to receive a comparable massage regardless of which therapist they see, and if therapists are expected to closely maintain a massage protocol. If a massage therapist works as an independent contractor in a smaller spa or for a chiropractor, he or she is more likely to be able to decide upon which services to offer, the rate of the services, and the hours during which those services will be available. Another reason to clarify your status as an employee or contractor when interviewing for the massage position is because independent contractors are responsible for their own client records, and have control over those client records when and if they decide to leave their place of business. It’s important to understand this early on in the massage interview, because with this independence comes the expectation of independent costs – contractors do not have taxes paid for by their employers, and often pay a large amount of money out-of-pocket at the end of the year.

Longevity as a Massage Therapist (Employee or Contractor)

It is important to understand all of the different elements that go into interviewing for a massage position, and know which questions to ask before you get hired. In addition to being prepared to give a hands-on trial massage, you should also determine during the massage interview what your potential employer expects from you in terms of compensation, hours, employee status, massage type, and career ambitions. That way you can be sure to begin a long-term, profitable, and enjoyable job as a massage therapist, either as an employee or an independent contractor.

For information on Brighton Massage click here.

Luxury Apartment Living in Modern Suburban Communities

Like many of my generation, I left fast pace, aggressive city living for a kinder, gentler lifestyle in South Florida. I sought temporary living accommodations, because I was sure that my housing wants and needs would become more apparent and defined once I settled into the tropical lifestyle, assuming they didn’t change altogether. So, I set out to rent an apartment from among South Florida’s abundant supply of luxury apartment communities.

Once I had made my decision to move I was eager to find a place to live and allotted myself a week in which to accomplish the task. Before leaving for Florida, I started my groundwork and searched online using a variety of websites that cater to the needs of people relocating and seeking housing in Florida. After I arrived in Florida, I picked up a couple of free paperback guides at the local supermarket, which proved more useful than I ever would have imagined. Finding a new home was going to be a snap, I thought.

IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOU WON’T FIND IT HERE.I quickly learned that sometimes too many options can be (almost) as frustrating as too few, and came down with an acute case of “analysis paralysis” trying to sift through the dozens of possibilities I had before me. Initially, all I really knew was that I needed a place to live and that I wanted it to be somewhere on Florida’s Gold Coast, that vast region stretching from West Palm Beach south to the Florida Keys. With the Atlantic Ocean bordering the region to the east and the everglades to the west, I felt fortunate that my region of interest was fairly narrow, even if it had been longer than I would have preferred.

My next move was to buy a map of the region and select some criteria to focus my search and further limit my search area. Some considerations were more obvious than others were. For example, I knew I’d need a job and that, in my field, the prospects for finding one would dramatically increase with my proximity to the larger, denser urban areas of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. However, I also knew that, with my luck, it was more than a possibility I’d land a job in less likely West Palm Beach and probably the day after the ink dried on my apartment lease in a community in the midst of one of those more prominent cities. I decided to hedge my bet and search within the nondescript area of Southern Palm Beach County-Northern Broward County, somewhat equidistant in space and time between the polar extremes of West Palm Beach and Miami.

In an attempt to further minimize my potential commutation time, I figured it might be a good idea to find a place near the region’s two major north-south highways, I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. Seeing still too many options on my list, I knew that further limiting myself to moderately priced communities would be sure to eliminate both the high end and more affordable extremes. I soon discovered that seeking moderate pricing would also narrow the geographic scope of my search, as I would now be looking too cheap to be near the Atlantic Ocean, but expensive enough to avoid sleeping with the gators in the glades.

Although I had done my best to winnow my list, I still had too many communities to evaluate in detail within the week’s deadline I had set for myself. I also knew that the kind of evaluation I needed to do would require more than a seat-of-the-pants review of the various apartment websites and paperback guides that I had at my disposal. It was time to get out in the field and kick a little dirt and wrestle with some bricks and mortar.

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE. How hard could that be? I wondered. I had limited myself to a mere twenty-mile radius centered somewhere on Military Trail, between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, and I already possessed the complete addresses for all the communities I intended to visit. All I had to do was plan a logistically sensible itinerary, hop in my car and go take a look. As I started to plot each day’s itinerary on my map, I realized that having an address offered little insight into a destination’s location. After all, this was laid back Florida where residents come and go at a leisurely pace and show little concern about how long it takes to find their destination. Sure, South Florida has addresses, but no one abides by them, not even the mailmen. Around these parts, if you want to know where to go, you ask someone for directions, and get accustomed to hearing them in terms of mileage, number of traffic lights, or counting local landmarks like Winn-Dixies or Exxon stations.

I learned quickly that most street addresses are useless, especially those on streets that don’t extend more that a couple of miles, or those on streets that change their names occasionally along the route. Adding to the confusion is the fact that every other town seems to have a road, street, avenue, or boulevard named “Atlantic” or “Ocean,” or has street numbers and directional designations that from the perspective of passersby seem to emanate from some fictitious place. Streets that don’t calibrate evenly like, for example, NE (Northeast) 47th street, followed immediately by NE 52nd street, and then NE 89th street are bad enough. But, when they intersect, say, SW (Southwest) 11th avenue, you start to wonder if you’ve found a new wrinkle in our universe’s space-time continuum.

Many apartment communities just make matters worse by concocting their own “exclusive” street addresses specially designed to give their locations cache, even if they lack a spatial context. In reality, the addresses exist only on their own community site maps and usually relate to nothing more than a long driveway extending from public access roads to their front gates.

LOTS OF DATA, BUT NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION. Street address numbers are among the most heavily guarded secrets in Florida. Many places don’t even bother to display them or display them so poorly that even a pair of eagle eyes and x-ray vision can’t spot them modestly displayed behind palm trees, store signs, shopping center marquees and the like. Besides, in my experience, following address numbers are more likely to hinder than help. Sometimes they lull you into a false sense of security as you observe them ascending or descending toward your destination only to find them jump ahead or completely reverse direction when you pass from one town to the next.

After these revelations, I knew that nothing short of some serious old-fashioned dead reckoning was going to be required in order to find my way. That meant picking up a phone, calling leasing offices, and asking for specific driving directions to their apartment communities. In some cases, I literally had to simulate in my mind taking the actual trip by visualizing all its landmarks before ever leaving my driveway. Gone were the days when travel directions were a matter of pinpointing a major intersection near a destination on a map and then leaving the rest up to an organized grid of roads to get there.

As I approached the entrance of the first community on my list, I couldn’t help feeling the sense of accomplishment I imagined Magellan had felt after circumnavigating the globe, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. However, I realized my celebration was pre-mature as I sat in my car outside the property’s heavy metal gates trying to guess the magic words that would get me inside. I followed the instructions posted on the gates’ sophisticated telephone directory system, but was denied access just the same. I ultimately ended up sneaking in behind a resident entering with an electronic key card. I learned during subsequent visits to these so-called secured, gated communities that sneaking in was part of the normal routine, which explains why none of the representatives I met at the various leasing offices I visited ever wondered how I got in without their assistance.

GOOD LEASING FOLKS CAN EASE THE PROCESS. I’m pleased to say that most of the leasing representatives I met at the more than two- dozen communities I visited that week were highly professional and efficient in discharging their obligation to enlighten me about their apartments. The really good ones cut to the chase and sized-up their offerings quickly. Many answered questions before I had asked them and usually with a few well chosen words and the aid of brochures, fact sheets and apartment floor plans and site maps. I was particularly glad when some representatives dispensed with filling out all the pre-application paperwork until after showing me their available units. As far as I was concerned, it was a complete waste of time for both of us unless and until I decided I wanted to live there.

DON’T BE FOOLED BY SMOKE AND MIRRORS. The fun part of the process was actually making inspections of the apartments. It was also the time I felt the need to start paying close attention to what I was doing. Some apartment communities will only show you model apartments they reserve specifically for that purpose, which are designed to help prospective tenants visualize living there. Needless to say, virtually all the models I saw looked brand new, tastefully furnished, and in much better condition than the apartments actually available to rent. And, except for giving a sense of the layout of a floor plan (and some communities have many) and how furniture might be arranged, models give little insight into the finish quality of the apartments actually available to new tenants. They also offer no sense of your neighbors or any other features that relate to the ambience of your apartment, such as its views or its exposure to light, air, and noise.

PRETEND YOU LIVE THERE. I learned quickly that the easiest way to become enthusiastic about or eliminate an apartment was to examine its layout, especially paying particular attention to room configurations, connecting walls and sight lines. If, for example, while standing at the front door, I was able to see all the bedroom and bathroom doors, I knew immediately I was ready to move on to the next apartment and hopefully one that would give the appearance (if not the reality) of more privacy. If layouts flowed logically with, say, kitchens situated near dining areas but separated from other living areas, I was satisfied and moved on to examining the rooms themselves.

During my inspections, I came to appreciate that room quality was not only a matter of size, but also shape and wall space considerations. Large rooms are great, but those with imaginative polygon shapes create odd angled corners that are difficult to utilize. In the same way, wall surfaces that are too encumbered with closets, windows and doors could make even rudimentary furniture placement a frustrating exercise.

The number and placement of doors and how well they separate living spaces was another consideration. For example, some master bathrooms have toilet closets, but no doors separating the shower/bath tub from bedrooms, which won’t suffice if you’re claustrophobic or finicky about not wanting shower humidity spreading throughout your home. Kitchens without doors can be troublesome too, unless adequate care has been taken to prevent cooking odors from wafting throughout the home.

While examining rooms, I took particular note of the number and spacing of electric outlets, and telephone and cable jacks available throughout an apartment. It came as no surprise that older properties do not usually cater well to today’s space-age electrical, entertainment and telecommunications requirements.

SOME PRISONS HAVE MORE WINDOWS. Windows were by far the biggest disappointment I encountered in all apartments across the board. Generally, there aren’t enough of them, they’re small and rarely found in kitchens or bathrooms. To make matters worse, most (if not all) tended to be on one side of apartments. It amazes me that in a place like Florida with all its sunshine, clean air and pleasant climate (at least 6 months a year), more care isn’t taken by architects and builders to optimize the use of windows in residential structures. Suffice it to say that fresh air cross ventilation is hard to come by in Florida, so get used to working your air conditioner hard, because you’ll need it and every ceiling fan you can install to pump air through your home all day long, all year long. Another important factor about windows is simply the direction they face. For example, if you like it cool, you should select a northern exposure, or alternatively, if you’d rather bask in sunshine all day long, then a southern exposure will be to your liking. A preference for cool mornings or cool afternoons will translate into a preference for western and eastern exposures, respectively.

SO MUCH FOR AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE. Patios were my second biggest disappointment with Florida apartments, and for similar reasons as windows. In general, they’re too small and confining to provide a relaxed, comfortable living experience. Most amazingly, few patios are screened-in to provide adequate protection from all those lower forms of life that seem to outnumber humans by many orders of magnitude, especially during the summer. In addition, surprisingly few have overhanging roofs or eaves to provide that little extra protection from sunshine and rain that at times can enhance the patio living experience. On the other hand, most patios have such poor views and overlook such noisy mechanical equipment that you probably won’t want to spend any quality time out there anyway. Those of you who look forward to napping on the patio will best appreciate the importance of these seemingly nitpicky comments.

Among other factors, don’t overlook the importance of elevation to the overall quality of the apartment living experience. Most of the apartment communities I visited charge a nominal rental premium for an upper floor apartment (approximately $25 per month), probably because upper floor apartments don’t have pesky noisy neighbors overhead throwing cigarette butts off their patios. They are also less likely to be flooded from rainstorms and tend to receive fewer visits from all those critters you’ll find on your unscreened patios (ants, spiders, lizards, etc.) that Floridians have learned to coexist with. However, along with the superior views and access to light and air that upper floors provide is the excessive heat and possibility of leaks (on top floors). Upper floor units sometimes offer the amenity of a vaulted or cathedral ceiling that can enhance the light and air or feeling of spaciousness in an apartment.

DON’T BE TOO IMPRESSED WITH ALL THE SHINY GADGETS. During most of my apartment inspections, the leasing representatives did their best to talk around the aforementioned design flaws and tried to “sell” me on all the gadgets and labor saving conveniences that typically come with luxury apartments. Many apartments come equipped with washers and dryers (which I prefer to be installed in utility closets off the kitchen or outside on the patio, instead of adjacent to carpeted living areas). By the way, if washers and dryers aren’t featured in an apartment, you better get a peek at your apartment community’s on-site laundry facility. Many communities offer dishwashers, garbage disposals, oversized bathtubs, microwave ovens, refrigerators with icemakers, and one or more ceiling fans, in order to enhance the comfort of their apartments.

MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS TO STRETCH YOUR LEGS. After touring apartments that met my basic criteria, I spent some time walking the communities to get a sense of their residents, a feel for their comfort and ambience and to inspect their amenities. Also, as I strolled I took particular note of how well properties appeared to be maintained. Although most luxury apartments will be up to snuff on the day you move in, even the newest and best built will require routine maintenance and repairs from time to time. Walking around may also give you some insight into the mindset and proficiency of the management and maintenance crew. If the common areas are well maintained (e.g., clean and recently painted, parking lots well paved, landscaping well groomed, and few signs of deferred maintenance), chances are better that the same philosophy and vigilance will apply to the upkeep of your apartment.

The best single place for a maintenance inspection is the pool and its surrounding lounge area, which usually is the most popular common area within a community. Most leasing tours for prospective tenants begin with a tour of the pool area, which is usually centrally located adjacent to the property’s leasing and property management center. As a community’s showcase, these areas are usually better maintained than other less visible areas. So, if the pool area needs a renovation, you should wonder how the rest of the property looks.

SWIMMING POOLS OR CEMENT PONDS? Even if the pool area is well maintained, you may not be all that impressed with the scale and scope of those facilities. Before I started my search it was inconceivable that I would find such woefully inadequate pool facilities in a place where sun bathing and swimming take place more than 300 days per year. In general, pools are small and shallow (barely 5 feet deep in some cases), not very well maintained and surrounded with only enough lounge chairs to accommodate 5% of their tenant population. Most of the places I visited had whirlpool spas, but some are barely larger than bath tubs, are not particularly well maintained, and are as likely to be out of service as they are to be operating on any given day of the week. Even more surprising is the fact that some brand new apartment communities I visited, which typically pride themselves on being loaded with recreational amenities, are not even bothering to build these all-popular whirlpool spas into their otherwise state-of-the-art properties.

DO-IT-YOURSELF TORTURE CHAMBERS. In most cases, health clubs are small, dark unfriendly spaces that suffer from a serious lack of cable TV entertainment and exterior light and views. If I had to use such facilities, I know I’d be even more eager than usual to finish my workout. Except for basic treadmills, stationary bicycles and free weights, the other equipment in some of these facilities looks as though it is borrowed from The Smithsonian. As for other forms of recreation, some apartment communities provide tennis courts, bicycle paths, basketball courts and kiddy playgrounds, but not necessarily in a state of repair you might consider inviting.

DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. After one inspection, I started to pay attention to some of the amenities I would normally take for granted, such as where and how tenants go about retrieving mail or disposing of garbage. Tenant mail facilities range from the expected (i.e., located near apartments, sheltered from the elements by a breeze way or some other structure) to the ridiculous (i.e., all huddled together in the middle of a parking lot completely unprotected from the rain and sunshine, and dangerously close to moving vehicles). You may not mind waiting for the rain to stop to pick up your mail, but you can rest assured the mailman isn’t going to wait when he/she delivers it. If you live in one of those unfortunate places, you better have your mail delivered to a post office box, or get used to opening soggy mail.

As for the trash disposal, I resigned myself to the fact that the best I could expect would be having one large compactor and storage facility located near the exit of my community, regardless of how large an area that might be. The obvious advantage of such an arrangement is that tenants won’t have to smell or look at garbage anywhere else within the community and won’t have to be bothered by noisy garbage men carting it away in the wee morning hours. However, I’m still getting used to a routine of hopping in my car every time I need to dispose of trash or coordinating garbage runs with my daily travel schedule.

PEEK OVER THAT SECURITY GATE BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE. Before registering a community on my short list of acceptable options, I made sure I drove completely around its periphery, and noted its proximity to public utility plants, highway interchanges, or some other equally undesirable land uses. In the process, I was sure to check out its neighborhood amenities, especially within a five-minute drive. Most appealing community locales were off main drags but near most of the daily conveniences I’d likely need, including supermarkets, restaurants, drug stores, banks, movies, etc.

Communities within 15 minutes of shopping centers, entertainment hubs and other desirable landmarks were placed high on my short list. As a contrast, some of the communities I visited were long hauls from commercial activity of any kind, and some were near special facilities I’d be more likely to visit on a monthly or annual basis, like Lowe’s Home Improvements, Home Depot, furniture outlets, vacuum cleaner distributors, and so on.

FINAL OBSERVATIONS. I am pleased to report that I live in a community that provides a reasonable blend of the four major features I had sought from the outset: decent living accommodations (spacious, functional layout, with a view); basic community amenities (good swimming pool and safe, convenient access to personal mail boxes and trash disposal facilities); abundant neighborhood shopping opportunities; and good accessibility to major highways and regional employment centers. Best of all, I reside near the intersection of two important road arteries, which means visitors can find me on a map even using the most schematic maps of the region.

Over the course of my inspections, certain facts emerged as apparent truths. And, you should be aware that some of the foregoing comments apply to other areas of Florida and other types of housing (like condominiums and single family homes) as well as luxury apartment rentals. Readers are encouraged to verify similarities and differences across geographic areas and housing types based on their own experience.

Some general comments are worth noting. Notwithstanding the extreme volatility in residential real estate markets recently, Luxury garden-apartment-style communities in this area of South Florida still rent for $1.00 (give or take) per square foot per month. That means a 900 square foot apartment will rent for approximately $900 per month. Not surprisingly, one bedroom units have the highest per square foot rents; three bedroom units the lowest. Some communities charge extra for water, sewer and trash removal. Most charge a rental premium for certain apartment views (especially golf course or lake views), upper floor apartments and pets.

Newer doesn’t always mean better and be aware that down here 10 years is considered old, if not a lifetime. Unlike other more traditional regions of the US, old residences down here are not considered classic, vintage, or quaint, but rather just plain obsolete and undesirable. However, as the expression goes, “they ain’t building them like they used to” and if you want spacious, well proportioned, logical layouts you’re going to have to look at the old stuff. The best compromise is to find an old unit that has recently been completely renovated and refurbished.

Age 55 plus communities cater to the seniors, but those without such designations don’t necessarily cater to the young single adult population. In my experience, the only tangible difference between the tenancies of the two types is the existence of lots of toddlers and teenagers in the latter.

Like everything else in life, tradeoffs do exist in trying to find that perfect blend of apartment features. In South Florida, within a given price range, if you want to be near the Ocean, you’re going to accept older, lesser accommodations. Newer properties tend to have more and better site amenities, such as pools, health clubs and tennis courts, but tend to be located farther away from regional employment centers and shops and facilities you’ll need to visit daily, such as food stores, restaurants, drug stores, banks, etc.

For information on short term accommodation in Sydney click here.

Straight Vs Angled Spotting Scope: Choosing a Spotting Scope Body Style

The topic of Straight vs. Angled Spotting Scope is a discussion that has been and will be disputed for a long time. It is hard enough just choosing which brand of scope you will buy, then you have to decide the body style: Angled or Straight Spotting Scope. Here we will discuss which scope body style is best for you by looking at what is best for certain situations.

If you ask around or read forums on the topic of straight vs. angled spotting scope body styles, you will find that people have strong opinions of which is best. I would be willing to bet that the one they think is best will usually be the body style they got use to first. If their first scope was angled, then that is probably the body style they will prefer, and vice versa. That being said, it is advised that you get use to the body style that fits most of your activities best.

Angled Body

Angled body scopes are best in several different situations. Here are the pros and cons of an angled scope over a straight scope.

Pros:

1. Good option if there are going to be several people using it as it is easier to accommodate people of different heights, as you just lower your eye to the eye piece.
2. Best for situations when standing as it requires less height of a tripod
3. Some say angled spotters are more comfortable for long hours of glassing.

Cons:
1. Not good for spotting while sitting in a vehicle using a window mount.
2. Angled scopes are harder for beginners to find game due to the angle.
3. Does not pack into a back pack as well as a straight body style
4. Due to the angle, the eyepiece is very exposed to the elements, mainly rain, snow, dust.

Straight Body

Straight body spotters are best in several different situations. Here are the pros and cons of a straight scope over an angled scope.

Pros:

1. A straight body is easier for finding the intended object making it especially better for beginners
2. A straight body is the best choice for using with a window mount from the seat of a vehicle.
3. Takes up less room in a back pack due to its streamline shape.
4. Straight body spotting scopes are slightly less expensive than angled body spotting scopes.
5. The eye piece is 100% vertical making harder for dirt, dust, rain, snow, etc…

Cons:

1. Taller tripod needed for viewing in a standing position
2. More height adjustment needed when several viewers are using a straight spotter.
3. Less comfortable than angled body spotting scope for long glassing sessions due to neck positioning.

Authors Preference: Straight or Angled Spotting Scope

Like I said at the beginning of this article as to straight vs. angled spotting scopes, most people will prefer what they learn and become comfortable on first. Due to the fact that I do a lot of back country glassing, packing my spotter in my back pack, as well as a lot of glassing from the comfort of my vehicle, the decision for me was simple to buy a straight body over an angled scope.

Although I believe a straight body scope is best for my situation, I do know the value of an angled scope. My father has a Swarovski 20-60X80mm Angled Spotting Scope that stays in the house or on the porch for viewing wildlife from the house. There are several users a lot of the time and it gets a lot of use, so the angled is the best bet for this situation. I have since become comfortable using angled or straight spotting scope body styles.

Decide and Go Glassing

I hope this has helped you to determine which scope style is best for your situation, a straight or angled scope. For the most part, which ever option you go with you should be able to get use to it. The best thing you can do is figure out what points above best pertain to you, buy whichever will be best for your style of use, and go give it a try. Be very careful with your new scope in case you decide you would like the other body style more; most places will let you return the scope if you are unhappy with it.

Custom Home Builder

Have you ever sat in your kitchen and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I have a skylight in here?” Do you wish you had bought a home with a little more elbow room, or perhaps an extra bedroom? Did you ever wish you had been able to look a little longer for your dream home?

For your next home, you may want to consider a customer home builder.such as Custom homes, unlike the cookie cutter homes in this age of mass production, have your unique style and needs in mind. Custom contractors allow you to pick and choose the styles and sizes of your rooms and your layout, and also allow you to include amenities not available in normal, generic housing. With a custom built home, you will have control over the style, materials, layout, appliances, and even the height of your home without spending years waiting to find the perfect home on the market through a realtor.

When choosing a customer builder, the first thing you want to consider is budget. Decide how much you want to spend, and what you would be willing to give up or change to stay within budget. Once a budget is decided, then your contractor will have a great idea of how much money he or she will have to work with, and what plans may need to be changed or altered.

When considering a contractor for your home, make sure to do your homework. Check with the Better Business Bureau, at online reviews, and with friends and family to find a customer builder that can be trusted with such a big project. Ask for a one-on-one with the contractor; see if he or she can sketch up a few ideas, and see if that contractor’s style matches up with yours. Make sure that the builder is bonded and has all the correct insurance before agreeing to work with them. But the most important thing: don’t forget to ask for a quote!

To help your contractor learn your style, have a small collection of photographs, fabric samples, pictures from magazines, or even printed pictures from the internet to help the contractor with an idea of what you are looking for. The better your contractor knows your style, the better he will be able to build for you.

Next you want to make sure to go over the legal stuff. Make sure that the contractor will handle building permits, or that you can manage them yourself. Have open communication with your builder; make sure he or she has your cell phone number, office number, e-mail, and pager number to make sure that if any extra costs or delays come up, he or she can contact you immediately.

Another great tip is to make sure of the time line. Get your contractor to give you a calendar of how long this will take, and make sure that you can wait that long for your new home to be finished. You may need to rent an apartment and storage space for your stuff while you wait, so make sure that fits into your budget as well.

For a custom build click here for Bespoke studies in Cheshire.

Homeowner Considerations When Hiring A Residential Electrician

An electrician is someone who specializes in the electrical wiring of buildings, machines and related equipment. Because electrical equipment is highly sensitive and potentially dangerous, electricians are always in need for emergencies and to deal with electrical problems. Electricians can work in residential, or private electrician jobs or commercial jobs. Residential jobs may involve work such as fitting a home for electrical wiring and investigating and repairing electrical problems in a home. Commercial electrical work may involve fitting buildings for electrical wiring, doing electrical work en masse for corporations and working aboard planes or ships. An electrician may do a variety of electrical jobs, or they may choose to specialize in certain areas of electrical management. For example, some electricians work in the area of installing and repairing electrical infrastructures such as power lines and generators. Other electricians may specialize in the electrical wiring of ships, airplanes, automobiles, or other areas. Electricians are a vital component of the modern day workforce as more and more businesses, residential homes and day to day activities become reliant on electricity.

Residential vs. Commercial Electricians

The two most common types of electricians are residential electricians and commercial electricians. Some electricians choose to specialize in just one of these areas, although many are trained to deal with a variety of jobs in either commercial or residential areas.

Residential electricians must receive training and a license before they are able to work on residential assignments on their own. A duties of a residential electrician are varied. People may call one for everything from the repair of an outlet in their home to a complete rewiring of their home. The work of residential electricians can be broken down into the areas of installations, upgrades, and repairs.
Upgrading is also a major aspect of their daily work. Upgrading in a residential setting typically involves changing the electrical infrastructure in the home so that it can accommodate the home owner’s needs. This can involve installing new outlets, or wiring high voltage outlets so the home owner can relocate large appliances, or running wire behind the walls for the installation of home theater appliances.

The third main aspect of a residential electrician’s job is repairs. Some residential electricians work primarily in repairs, although every electrician should have at least the basic knowledge of troubleshooting problems regardless of whether or not they focus on residential electrician repairs. Repairs in a residential setting typically involve malfunctioning outlets, repairing electronic equipment, and possible faulty wiring. Residential electricians should be prepared to respond quickly to reduce the inconvenience of the home owner, as well as to assess any possible dangerous situation.

Many newly licensed residential electrical experts choose to focus on the electrical installation needs of new homes. This involves installing the wiring, circuits, fuses, outlets and any other electrical equipment needed in a residential home. Because installation can be a complex process, a residential electrician needs to know how to read the blueprints of a home in order to know where to install electrical appliances and work on wiring. There are also federal and state laws and regulations regarding residential electrical work that they must abide by, although these tend to be less strict than those for commercial electrical work.

House Cleaning – Plan for the Best

You see that your house is a chaos even after you have cleaned. Why one must bother trying the impossible? To tell you what can be done. For one thing, those people whose house seems clean always do not live in uncertainty. Another reason – people have a propensity to occur unexpectedly. The second reason enough for me to make the path to the bathroom debris is allowed. Also the bathroom itself is clean, with hints of pine.

If your house is a mess… Once again…Here are a few quick cleaning tips to help you out.

1. Make a schedule for house cleaning. This must be done so that you can plan your time to keep each and every corner of the house clean. Plan your schedule as per the size of your family and how you clean each and every place. When planning for house cleaning, consider each corner with the point that how often you ought to clean it.

2. Study all the parts in your abode. Look for hotspots and then decide how you would be doing the house cleaning. Here you can make your mind up what apparatus you could do with, what can be redundant or, improved yet, who you can hand over the chore

3. Get some help. Rome was not built in a day and we are sure it was not built by a Roman. If there is anyone else in the house living with you, ask him/her to help.

4. Gather your cleaning materials. A big misuse of time and interruption when house cleaning is moving here and there, up and down getting a broom or cleaners or whatsoever you need to comprehend the task you are doing. So before you start in on, make positive that you need.

5. Try your best to use natural house cleaners. The cleaning is not just about cleanliness, it is about home safety measures. Using natural cleaning products can protect you and your family against the harmful elements that are mostly present in all the synthetic detergents.

7. Get the mess free. This is certain that we all have lots of old magazines and newspapers wherever in the house. Are people in the house gathering dust just because there is an article on the education of children who have read or a recipe that has a clip? Or, if the linen cabinet has turned to a mess because they repudiate to throw away old sheets and belongings, mess free is a good option.

8. Get rid of interruption. For example, when you’re going to for house cleaning, do yourself an act of kindness and mute the ringer on the phone in the house. Telephone conversation may lead you to put out of your mind the task at hand.

9. Get some music with house cleaning. Do not choose those slow love songs. Get live or hip hop music, the stuff that you get to the mood of cleaning.

10. Hire an company.

Not for everyday but at least once in 365 days of the year you can afford to give yourself rest from house cleaning. For this, you can hire an agent that comes and cleans your house. You will have to just give the instructions as to what you want and you can rest on your couch. This would be a real treat to you.

For information on spring cleaning in Brisbane click here.

Bounce House Rentals

Visit any kids’ birthday party and you’ll see the newest fashion in birthday party entertainment; the fun, inflatable bounce house which is popular as well as party jumper, moonwalk, water slide or inflatable moon bounce. Fairly cheap to rent and filled with a constant stream of cold air, these sewn vinyl party supplies come in bright colors and fun shapes (like castles, houses, slides) and keep kids jumping and entertained for hours. Bounce House rentals are huge hit with both kids and grownups. Not only do they keep children occupied, they also give the parents a needed break and help them socialize with guests. Bounce house rentals and bouncy house birthday parties for children are generally held in backyards, front yards, but depending on the season and the area, they can even be held in local parks, recreations or indoors.

Perhaps the key factor when renting a bounce house rentals in Phoenix or other inflatable such as water slides, party jumpers, moon bounces or jump and slide combos is safety. A good party rental company will have insurance, and this is particularly important if kids will be using the bounce house. Most city parks in Los Angeles and all over USA also consent that the party requires insurance if they are to set up in a community area. If possible, go and see the bounce house jumper before hand, just to be sure it is safe. You may also want to check and be sure it is clean, as microorganisms can pose just as great a danger as substantial injury. Although there are many reputable companies involved in this business, there are also those who do not appropriately take care of the party supplies.

For many customers, bounce house rental rates are the biggest concern. While you want to make sure you don’t pay more than you have to, be sure you do not sacrifice quality or the safety of your kids. Most moon bounce party rental companies have a set rate for the entire event, including set-up and break-down. Try to find some information on the company you are considering renting from. Check the Internet, ask friends and family, and look at local business reviews. A little bit of research can help you a lot. Remember just because jumpers cost more or less than their competitor, it doesn’t mean they are better. Do some shopping around; try to find a price that you can afford. For a 13′ by 13′ sized Bouncy House, it should cost around $95 US Dollars for 8 hours, and that should include delivery setup and break-down. Also be sure you try to rent one with a front ramp, the last thing adults are going to want to be doing are lifting kids in and out of the jumper all day long.

Before you rent a Bounce House you need to find out what your requirements are. Take into consideration how many kids are invited, what their ages are, if any grown up will want to join the fun jump, etc. If there are going to be small kids or babies visiting, it may be worth renting a small Jumper House as well, to prevent possible injuries with older kids inside the moon bounce. Also evaluate how much space is available on the area, as Bounce Houses can be pretty big. All in all, bounce house rentals are a great way to add fun to any occasion.