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Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wrap a Crystal

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wrap a Crystal

Robert WilliamJuly 6, 20210 Comments
How many times have you received a crystal as a gift and been unsure how to wrap it? I know how that feels. Wrapping crystals can seem like an intimidating
Read More »
How to Watch Stanley Cup Finals 2021 Live Stream in Australia

How to Watch Stanley Cup Finals 2021 Live Stream in Australia

Robert WilliamJune 4, 20210 Comments
Ice hockey is not only popular in North America but also in Australia. So, if you live in Australia or visiting the country in July, you can watch the Stanley
Read More »
How to Care for Your Upholstered Furniture

How to Care for Your Upholstered Furniture

Robert WilliamMay 24, 20210 Comments
There are a multitude of reasons why many people fall in love with their furniture, one of those is that they like the way it looks. However, in order to
Read More »
NBA Finals Live Stream: Broadcasting Partner in Every Country 2021

NBA Finals Live Stream: Broadcasting Partner in Every Country 2021

Robert WilliamMay 13, 20210 Comments
Every year people from all over the world wait for the finals of the NBA. It’s the biggest basketball event of the year. So, if you want to know where
Read More »
Best Nail Gun for Fencing – All You Need to Know

Best Nail Gun for Fencing – All You Need to Know

Robert WilliamApril 30, 20210 Comments
Are you looking for the best nail gun for fencing? If yes, then you are at the right place; you will find the supportive information to choose the right gun
Read More »
Us Open Golf Live Stream: How to Watch from Spain

Us Open Golf Live Stream: How to Watch from Spain

Robert WilliamApril 22, 20210 Comments
USGA will allow golf fans to watch the US Open Golf Live stream from Spain. People from all around Spain wait for this championship to start. A true golf fan
Read More »

Special Instruction Program


St. Joseph's School is proud to announce that we will be working this school year to implement the new Illinois Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for learning. CCSS has been adopted by 45 states including Illinois. Both the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Rockford have made a strong commitment to CCSS implementation. We wanted to let you know what that means for your child. The CCSS were adopted in Illinois in 2010. CCCS focuses on supporting the development of skills and strategies your child will need to be successful both in the worlds of work and higher education.

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Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wrap a Crystal

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Wrap a Crystal

How many times have you received a crystal as a gift and been unsure how to wrap it? I know how that feels. Wrapping crystals can seem like an intimidating task, but in reality, there are only few steps involved in wrapping them! In this blog-post tutorial, we will cover how to wrap a crystal step by step.

Step-by-Step guide to wrapping a crystal

Step-by-Step guide to wrapping a crystal

Step #1:

Gather your supplies. What you need to wrap a crystal is:

  • A Crystal,
  • A Tarp or an Image that can be used as a background for the crystal,
  • String or Rope, and
  • Something Sharp (I prefer wire cutters).

Step #2:

Put the tarp or image down on a flat surface and put your crystal in the middle of it. Tie the rope around one end of the crystal so that it’s tight but not too tight. Repeat until all four sides are tied. Cut off any excess at the end of each side with the wire cutters.

Step #3:

Wrap the string or rope around the crystal, starting from one end and working to the other, making sure it is tight enough so that when you place your hand on top of it, there’s no space between your fingers and the string/rope (you can wrap it as many times as you like).

The more wraps you have on a side will make for thicker strings or ropes. Cut off any excess at each end with wire cutters before moving onto wrapping another side. If using string instead of rope, I recommend cutting about 12-inches worth in order to get two lengths per side.

This way if anything happens to one length while you’re wrapping (tangles up), then having a back-up will save you any extra hassle.

Step #4:

Wrap each side until there is no more string/rope left, then cut off the excess at the end of that last wrap and all four sides should be done! If not, repeat steps from beginning again for how many times needed to finish wrapping your crystal.

You can also choose to add a ribbon or bow on top if desired as well. I always like adding something special when it’s finished so it looks pretty while doing its job (this way my crystals don’t get mixed up with someone else’s).


It is recommended that you store the wrapped crystal in an air-tight container, such as a box or jar. If storing for long periods of time, it’s best to use something like plastic wrap on top so nothing can get inside and ruin your crystals work over time. I usually keep mine in my jewelry storage containers when not being used yet still need them at hand.

In order to protect from any harm during travel, make sure they’re either secured into place (with holes cut out around where the string/rope are) or put into another protective wrapping material before putting back in their original packaging if this wasn’t how it came originally shipped to you. This will help avoid any accidents from occurring.

Last Words

The process of wrapping a crystal can be done in many different ways, but they all have the same purpose. This is to protect your new purchase and keep it from getting scratched or damaged by other objects that might come into contact with it.

How to Watch Stanley Cup Finals 2021 Live Stream in Australia

How to Watch Stanley Cup Finals 2021 Live Stream in Australia

Ice hockey is not only popular in North America but also in Australia. So, if you live in Australia or visiting the country in July, you can watch the Stanley Cup Finals 2021 live stream from your home.

The NHL Playoff started earlier on May 15. And, the league will continue until the finals end in July. Read this full article to know how to watch the final games from your home in Australia.

Watch Stanley Cup Finals in Australia

Watch Stanley Cup Finals in Australia

Last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning had an amazing season. They got victorious in the finals and raised the Stanley Cup high. This year they’re also doing great. But anyone else also has a great chance to win.

Ice hockey may not be as popular in Australia as in North America. Still, you’re reading this article means we at least got one ice hockey fan in Australia. Besides, if you’re someone who is a citizen of another country visiting this part of the world, this article will help you.

In Australia, Fox Sports will telecast the Stanley Cup Finals 2021 live stream. It’s a major sports channel in the country. Besides, Fox Sports has its channels in the US and few other countries too.

In Australia, Fox Sports has multiple channels. To watch the play-off and finals, you’ll have to subscribe to all the channels under Fox. These are named Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, and so on.

Fox Sports is available on both cable networks and Satellite. If you watch TV at your home, you must have one of these connections. However, whether cable or satellite, you need to have a Foxtel subscription to watch Fox channels on your TV.

As we already told you, the games will be streamed on multiple channels. Therefore, it’s best that you check the schedule on Fox’s website. This way, you will know beforehand which channel to tune in to.

Fox Sports Online Streaming in Australia

Fox Sports Online Streaming in Australia

That was about watching the Stanley Cup Finals 2021 live stream on television. But you may not always be at home watching TV. So, does that mean you’ll miss the games? Of course not; you’ve two options to stream Fox online.

Foxtel Go

Foxtel Go is the official mobile application from Fox Sports. You can sign up with your Foxtel subscription or purchase a new subscription plan. And after that, you can enjoy your favorite games from anywhere you want.

Kayo Sports

Kayo Sports is a popular video streaming platform in Australia. It offers channels from Fox Sports. So, you also can subscribe to Kayo Sports to watch the Stanley Cup Finals on Fox. Their subscription plan starts only at $25 per month. Besides Fox, it also comes with ESPN, beIN Sports, and many other sports channels.

Final Words

So, who are you cheering for in the Stanley Cup Finals 2021 live stream? Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, or any other team? Well, whichever it is, we hope you enjoy the final games in Australia. One thing is certain; it’s going to be an exciting week in July.

How to Care for Your Upholstered Furniture

How to Care for Your Upholstered Furniture

There are a multitude of reasons why many people fall in love with their furniture, one of those is that they like the way it looks. However, in order to give it the proper care that can help you keep it looking brand new you do need to know about upholstery care.

Proper upholstery care should always be included in your normal household cleaning chores. For instance, take the time to vacuum your upholstery when you vacuum the floors. You should do this every week, since vacuuming your furniture will help remove any surface soil, while reducing the amount of dirt that can become embedded into the fabric fibers. On the other hand, you can always us a soft bristle brush to sweep away any dirt from your furniture.

Upholstered Furniture

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should turn over your loose cushions from time to time as this can aid in extending the life of your furniture. Your cushions will not develop indentations right away, since this allows an even distribution of wear and tear on your cushions. You should also fluff your cushions to help keep them in good shape. Changing your cushions around from periodically also helps them stay in good shape. Since some seats are used more often than others, changing you cushions will help distribute an even amount of use.

Since too much sunlight can cause your furniture to fry and fade, you should never place it in direct sunlight. Silks are even more delicate.

Remember, airborne pollutants from cooking fumes and smoke is harmful to your fabrics. Proper ventilation can help when it comes to cooking fumes. However, prevention is the best means of keeping your things clean.

Set up some ground rules to reduce dirt and stains from your furniture. Do not allow anyone to eat on your chairs, loveseats or couch. Choose removable and machine washable covers for your dining room chairs with a fabric seat cushion. Do not allow shoes on your couch by making a rule that everyone take off their shoes before sitting on it. Never permit animals on your furniture or even in the same room when you are trying to protect your upholstery.


Never underestimate the power of fabric protectors. When furniture is already protected you might simply remove a stain by blotting it up. If your furniture is not protected, you should act quickly when it concerns stains, by using a clean towel to blot up as much liquid as possible. Rubbing the fabric can cause even more damage. Use a special made spot cleaner for your upholstery. Read all the manufacturer’s directions before using and test the product in an inconspicuous area to make sure that it will not cause damage to your fabrics. Using a soft brush you will gently work the cleaner into the fabric fibers using a circular motion. Vacuum it up after allowing it to dry.

You may consider hiring a professional to come clean your upholstery every few years of so. Remember, once your furniture has overcome with dirt and grime it is much harder to restore it to the appearance of being brand new.

NBA Finals Live Stream: Broadcasting Partner in Every Country 2021

NBA Finals Live Stream

Every year people from all over the world wait for the finals of the NBA. It’s the biggest basketball event of the year. So, if you want to know where you can watch the NBA Finals live stream in your country, continue reading.

Last season, the Los Angeles Lakers did an amazing performance to win the title. Earlier, they qualified for the play-off. Can they win the title again? The only way to find out is by watching the event live. Where? You’ll know in a while.

International Broadcasting Partners List for NBA Finals Live Stream

International Broadcasting Partners List for NBA Finals Live Stream

The finals of the NBA Season 2020-21 will start on July 8. Two teams from two conferences will battle against each other for the ultimate glory. It’s a must-watch event for every basketball fan. The excitement and the actions of the event are a whole new level of games.

If you live outside the US, you may not know who will telecast the event in your country. Therefore, we have come up with this article. Following is the list of the broadcasting partner in every country for the NBA Finals 2021:

North America

Canada: TSN, RDS, Sportsnet

Mexico: ESPN, TDN

Caribbean and Central America

Costa Rica: ESPN

Dominican Republic: ESPN

Panama: ESPN, Cable Onda Sports

Puerto Rico: ABC, ESPN, WAPA 2 Deportes, TNT

South America

Argentina: ESPN, DIRECTV Sports

Bolivia: ESPN, DirecTV Sports

Brazil: ESPN, SporTV, and Band

Chile: ESPN, DirecTV Sports

Colombia: ESPN, DIRECTV Sports

Ecuador: ESPN, DirecTV Sports


Austria: DAZN, Sport1, and

Belarus: Setanta Sports and Viasat Sport East

Belgium: Eleven Sports

Bulgaria: Diema Sport

Croatia: Arena Sport and HRT

Czech Republic: Nova Sport

Denmark: T.V. 2 Sport

Estonia: TV3 Sport

Finland: Ruutu+

France: beIN Sports

Georgia: Silknet, Setanta Sports and Viasat Sport East

Germany: DAZN, Sport1, and

Greece: Cosmote Sport

Hungary: Sport1

Ireland: Sky Sports

Italy: Sky Sport

Netherlands: Ziggo Sport

Poland: Canal+ Sport

Portugal: Sport T.V.

Romania: Telekom Sport

Russia: MEGOGO and Viasat Sport East

Serbia: Arena Sport

Spain: Movistar+

Sweden: Sportkanalen

Switzerland: DAZN, Sport1, and

Turkey: S Sport

Ukraine: Setanta Sports and Viasat Sport East

United Kingdom: Sky Sports


Central Asia: Setanta Sports and Viasat Sport East

Indian subcontinent: Sony SIX, Sony Ten

China: CCTV-5, BesTV, JinBao Sports, GreatSports Channel, and

Hong Kong: Sports 2 World, ViuTV

Indonesia:, and Indosiar

Japan: Rakuten NBA Special

Malaysia: Astro SuperSport

South Korea: SPOTV

Philippines: TV5, One Sports

Singapore: Hub Sports

Taiwan: Videoland, ELTA TV, and Eleven Sports

Thailand: TrueVisions and NBA TV International

Vietnam: VTV Cab

Africa and the Middle East

South Africa: ESPN,, and TV5Monde

Nigeria: ESPN

The Middle East and North Africa: beIN Sports

You can check the NBA’s website if any new country is added later.

Solutions if Your Country isn’t on the List

It’s unlikely that you didn’t find your country on the list. But if you haven’t found your country, you can do a few things to enjoy the NBA Finals live stream.

First, you can purchase an NBA League Pass. It’s a special pass from the NBA for fans to watch NBA games. The pass is internationally available. Check their website to know the latest subscription fee.

Another way is to use VPN or DNS Proxy. These methods will allow you to change your online location to a country where NBA Finals live streams are available. Then you can enjoy the games.

Final Thoughts

Besides, NBA TV international is available in most countries. If you have that channel in your area, you also can tune in to watch the NBA Finals live stream. No matter where you are, there’s always a way to watch this exciting basketball event.

Best Nail Gun for Fencing – All You Need to Know

Best Nail Gun for Fencing

Are you looking for the best nail gun for fencing? If yes, then you are at the right place; you will find the supportive information to choose the right gun for your fencing project. Selecting the best nail gun for fencing is necessary because it makes your fencing experience easier and perfect.

But how will you know which gun you should select for your project? When choosing the right tool, the below guidelines will help you choose the best one for your fencing project.

How to get the best nail gun for the fencing project

How to get the best nail gun for the fencing project

Before knowing about the correct nail gun for the fencing, we will tell you why you need the nail gun for fencing projects. Installing fencing around your garden, home, or any other area is a challenging task. The surface of fencing develops by connecting different pieces of hardwood or any other material.

The best way to connect different pieces of wood material is to connect them with metal nails. You can do that job by pushing the nails with hammers, but hammering is a fatiguing job, and it takes much time and energy.

But modern nail guns have made this job much easier, and now you can complete your many days of work with a hammer in just some hours with a nail gun.

But more than everything, you need to have the best nail gun for fencing. Follow the below guidelines to get the best nail gun for your fencing projects.

Tips for selecting the best nail gun for your fencing project

Consider your fencing project

First of all, consider the nature of your fencing project, your project’s volume, and view the material such as hardwood, plastic, or any other material you are using for the fencing. You will need to choose the right nail gun for your project according to the material.

Before choosing, read the nail gun instructions; if your project volume is not bigger, you can use a simple nail gun for the project, but a big volume project needs only the proper nail for best performance.

Type of Nail gun

Type of Nail gun is also necessary to consider; you have plenty of options to choose the Pneumatic nail gun, cordless nail gun, and electric nail gun. When you select the nail gun for the fencing project, keep in mind what kind of power source you can easily manage.

If you are in an urban area where electricity is available easily, you can go with an electric nail gun, but cordless nail guns are better to choose in distant regions.

Pneumatic guns are optional, but for professional projects, these nail guns are not good to pick. So depending on your available power source, choose the right type of nail gun.

Cordless nail guns and electric nail guns are better to work for professional fencing projects.

Size of nail gun

Nail guns come in various sizes and weights; some are lighter in weight while others are heavier. But when it comes to doing professional fencing projects, you need a balanced weight and size machine that help you to do a lot of work but comfortably.

The average weight for professional fencing projects ranges between 7 to 8 pounds. You may also find fewer than seven lightweight and comfortable to use, but such nail guns do not perform well with professional projects.

But if you are doing work at complex places, then dimension is also necessary to consider; choose the size that allows you to work efficiently in small spaces.

Easy adjusting feature

Adjusting button feature is also better for the nail guns to work for professional fencing projects. You can easily manage them and can change them according to your needs. Try to get the nail gun that comes with adjusting button features to make it suitable for use.

Depth Adjustment features

The depth adjustment feature is one of the essential features of nail guns, especially for fencing projects.

When choosing the nail gun, make sure that your chosen gun offers you the flexibility to adjust the required depth with ease and offers you options to adjust the right level.

It would be best to choose a nail gun that comes 5 cm in length and ability to nail between 3 to 4 cm. But it can vary depending on the thickness of your fencing surface.

Power source capacity

If you have chosen the Pneumatic nail gun, make sure your compressor should have enough capacity, the minimum capacity for professional fencing projects should be 50 liters. If you have chosen the Cordless, choose the nail gun with a dual battery system and work for more than 6 to 8 hours.

Pressure and Vibration

This feature is also essential to consider for fencing projects. It would help if you preferred to choose the nail gun with higher pressure.

A higher pressure gun will create more vibrations and speed that will make your fencing job easier.

You should select the nail gun that offers pressure ranges between 4 to 8 bars.

Easy to operate and maintain

Operation and maintenance is the key feature for better performance of a nail gun. When you choose the nail gun for your fencing project, keep in mind that you will need to maintain, load the nails, remove the jammed nails, and operate comfortably.

So consider all such factors when picking the best nail gun for fencing; a nail gun with an easy nail loading mechanism and easy to remove nail mechanism are better to choose.

Also, consider your safety and comfortability feature when selecting the right nail gun for the fencing project.  Never get the awkward guns; choose only the nail gun, which is feasible for you according to your fencing project.

Final Thoughts

Fencing your home or garden makes them safe from many risks, and it also gives a very charming look. You have plenty of options to choose fencing material, but you need to connect the pieces with nails whatever material you have decided.

But a good quality nail gun with the best features can make your fencing project easier and more professional.

Us Open Golf Live Stream: How to Watch from Spain

Us Open Golf Live Stream

USGA will allow golf fans to watch the US Open Golf Live stream from Spain. People from all around Spain wait for this championship to start. A true golf fan will never miss the US Open golf. That’s because it’s one of the biggest golf events of the year. If you don’t know yet how to watch the event from Spain, read this article till the end.

The US Open Golf Live Stream from Spain

The US Open Golf Live Stream from Spain

Telefónica will be streaming this year’s US Open golf tournament in Spain. It’s the biggest telecommunications network in the country. The giant networks also have the right to stream La Liga and F1. The 121st edition of US Open golf will be live on Telefónica from day one of the tournament.

Spain has been very popular around the world for its sports fans. Especially because of the energy they have. We’ve seen on many occasions, including major golf tournaments, Spanish fans always support their favorite players in unique styles. This year, we expect things will be the same.

One more thing worth mentioning. The US Open golf live stream will also be available with Spanish commentary. So, gear up folks to support the player you want to win. You may not be in Torrey Pines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your support. So, get ready for the thrilling journey in June.

How to Watch Telefónica in Spain

How to Watch Telefónica in Spain

Telefónica, in Spain, has wide availability. It’s competing against some of the top sports networks, including ESPN. So, they focus both on quality and availability. You can watch this year’s US Open golf championship on Telefónica in the following way:

Movistar Plus

Telefónica broadcasts its multiple channels through Movistar plus. At first, you may think it offers only entertainment content. But that is not the case. Movistar plus offers different sports content, including soccer, f1, and golf. Therefore, you can subscribe to Movistar plus to watch the Upcoming season of US Open golf.

Movistar plus is available both via cable network and satellite. So, if you have a cable connection in your home, it’s likely you already have the channel on your tv. In case you failed to find the channel, try to contact the network service provider. If the channel is not available on your cable, you can switch to another network that has Telefónica.

Then you also can sign up for a new account on the official website of Movistar plus. You can have an online streaming account instantly. Besides, you also can add the subscription to your TV regardless of the operator. After that, you’ll be able to watch Telefónica and enjoy the US Open golf championship 2021.

Moreover, if you subscribe to Movistar Plus, you will have access to other channels too. You can enjoy movies, dramas, other sports programs and many more.

Final Words

So, who are you supporting this year? A lot of legendary golfers will take part in the championship. Therefore, you can’t miss the US Open golf live stream. Telefónica will surely fill your expectations to give you a fantastic experience with the game. They’re continuing to get bigger and better.

Marvel Comics: The Early ’70s: Conan Arrives, Spider-Man Fights Drugs, and Stan Lee Moves On

Marvel Comics The Early '70s

As the 1970s arrived Marvel Comics found itself heading in a new direction. Younger artists and writers came on board and the company began to experiment with virtually any comic book concept that the new talent could come up with.

Roy Thomas, Writer, Assistant Editor, Historian

When Roy Thomas had come on board at Marvel Comics he assumed the responsibility of tracking and cataloging the continuity of its characters. If a writer had a question about where a character had been at a particular point Thomas was the man to go to. This meticulous attention to detail became the hallmark or Marvel’s style of comic books and Thomas oversaw it all, click here for more info.

Thomas became an unofficial Assistant Editor and made sure that all of the experimenting and chaotic new writing maintained itself within the overall continuity of Marvel Comics. Nowhere was that more apparent than in 1971s massive Avengers story “The Kree-Skrull War”.

For nearly a year, the Avengers, already a mega-team composed of heroes from several separate Marvel books, engaged in a massive storyline that incorporated characters and elements from all over the Marvel Universe. From Captain Marvel to the Fantastic Four’s enemies the Skrulls back to the golden age heroes, “The Kree-Skrull War”, more than anything before it showed that everything ever published by Marvel was part of a grand and ongoing story.

The Rise of the Barbarian

The Rise of the Barbarian

One of Marvel’s most daring risks in the ‘70s was to pay to license the character Conan the Barbarian. Letters had been coming in occasionally suggesting that the Robert E. Howard character would be perfect for comic books. Roy Thomas got behind the idea and in October of 1970 Conan found himself in his very own Marvel mag.

The series was a hit. Thomas provided the grand and sweeping stories for the magazine, and a new artist at Marvel was chosen to do the art. Barry Winsor-Smith, a 21 year-old British artist, brought a style of art to Conan that was unlike anything seen before in comics. His intricately detailed art lent a feeling of timelessness and majesty to Conan. Fans couldn’t get enough and the series spawned two other Howard character spinoffs, Red Sonja and Kull the Conqueror.

Spidey Breaks the Comics Code

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare contacted Stan Lee about doing an anti-drug storyline in one of Marvel’s books. Stan felt it was a good way to reach the masses and warn kids about the dangers of drug addiction and so he agreed to do a three issue tale in The Amazing Spider-Man. Unfortunately the “Comics Code” (a series of self-imposed regulations comic publishers adhered to) prohibited the mention of drugs in comic books.

Stan Lee made the decision that the books message was too important to censor and for the first time a Marvel Comics book was published without the approval of the “Comics Code”. The story received widespread critical acclaim and the “Comics Code” was changed to allow the negative depiction of drug use.

Goodman Gets One Over On DC

Goodman Gets One Over On DC

Inflation had made it necessary for comic book prices to rise once again, but the slump had shown that simply increasing the price could be a serious problem, Martin Goodman found a solution. Marvel decided to raise the price on its books from 15¢ to 25¢, a drastic jump, but at the same time they increased the page count from 36 to 52. DC Comics caught wind of the coming changes and did the same simultaneously.

That’s where Goodman tricked them. The very next month, Marvel books returned to 36 pages but their cost went down to 20¢, still 5¢ more than they had been but 5¢ less than DC books. The result was DC sales dropping, during the year that they bullishly held on to their 52 page books, and Marvel becoming the undisputed leader in comic books, with sales far in excess of DC.

Stan Steps Up

In 1972 Stan Lee took the position of Publisher for Marvel Comics. The new job meant that Stan would no longer be the head writer for Marvel, nor would he be the editor. Roy Thomas was tapped as his replacement. Lee wrote in his column “Stan’s Soapbox” that it was time for a new generation of writers to take Marvel into the future. He spent the next couple of years doing the college lecture circuit and in 1972 he was appointed President of Marvel Comics as well.

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean with the Dirt Devil Vac N’ Mop

Hardwood Floors Clean

I love my Dirt Devil Van n’ Mop. It is a great way to clean any hard surface such as ceramic tile or hardwood floors. The Vac n’ Mop is light weight, cord free and is so easy to use. The best thing about the Vac n’ Mop is that I can vacuum and mop my hardwood floors quickly and easily. It is a great way to clean up small messes in the kitchen or anywhere else in the house. The system allows you to first vacuum up any dirt or dust that may be on the floor and then quickly mop. It is a great, all in one tool.

The Dirt Devil Vac n’ Mop is a vacuum and mopping system all in one. While the manufacturer does not recommend the cleaning solution that comes with the Vac n’ Mop for cleaning hardwood floors, you can add your own cleaning solution to the tank. I mix a bit of vinegar with warm water to fill the tank and it keeps my hardwood floors shining. If you would rather use a cleaning solution specifically made to clean hardwood floors, Dirt Devil does make one but it needs to be purchased separately.

Keep Your Hardwood Floors Clean with the Dirt Devil Vac N' Mop

With small children in the house, the Dirt Devil Vac n’ Mop is a must for anyone that has hardwood floors. The Vac n’ Mop can also be used on tile but I don\’t think that it gets in between the tiles that well. The Vac n’ Mop is rechargeable and the cord free use adds to the convenience factor. The charge will last long enough to clean a couple of rooms but does weaken rather quickly, investigate this site.

If you have a hard time finding the Dirt Devil mopping pads in your area, the manufacturer states that you can also use the mopping pads by Clorox. I hated my hardwood floors before I got my Vac n’ Mop because they always seemed to have something on them. Now, my hardwood floors are cleaned daily and have the lustrous finish that clean hardwood floors should have.

The Dirt Devil Vac n’ Mop is an affordable vacuum and mopping system that will definitely make your life a bit easier if you have hardwood floors in your home. I only wish that I would have gotten mine sooner. It would have saved me countless hours on my hands and knees trying to keep my hardwood floors clean. I give the Dirt Devil Vac n’ Mop a big thumbs up.

Confessions from the Back Room of the Car Lot’s Finance Department

Confessions from the Back Room of the Car Lot's Finance Department

No Credit, Bad Credit, Okay. “We Finance Anyone.” “Buy With No Money Down.” “Trade Your Car In: Stupid Buyer On Duty.” These are the typical signs you might find plastered to the entrances and the lampposts of used car lots. Surrounded by miles of colored triangle flags and helium-filled balloons, the allure of the lot is visible from any blurred landscape adjacent to most major highways. While some drivers rubberneck to view an accident in hopes of seeing squashed body parts, others turn their heads towards the car lot for a glimpse of this year’s new makes and models. Next week’s paycheck is quickly calculated in hopes for a down payment to drive one home as the image of the sleazy salesman drifts in and out of the daydream.

But when it comes to buying a car, it’s not the sales people that one has to be cautious of. The truth is that most of these salespeople don’t even own a car; they get rides from their friends or ride the public transportation bus to work. It’s expected for them not to know what they are talking about other than the few lines they have memorized describing the car’s automatic features and anti-lock braking system, find more info. The techniques have been practiced so that when test-driving the car, the sounds of the engine cannot be heard over the loud rock music. Being lied to by the salespeople about the quality of a car’s transmission or its dependability is really the least of anyone’s worries.

Confessions from the Back Room

It’s the fellows in the back office that are never seen or heard that are the ones to be truly leery of. These individuals are the ones who have the power to change the price of a multi-track CD player by thousands of dollars. Tucked somewhere in between the restroom and showroom area, these guys sit behind locked doors that often require a secret pass code to get in. Inside, the finance department is housed with dingy low lighting and a mixed miasma of years-old collected filth and stale coffee. If you could tough out the stench, you will find that there are sexy pictures of cars and typical trade-in offers stuck to the walls along with a variety of reasons for declining – all as though it were this month’s pin-up girl.

There are only a few people that are privy to the secretive action that takes place in this back room. One is the owner of the car lot and the other one is the trade-in “expert” who acts more like a customs agent inspector with a clipboard. The inspector is trained to find everything that is wrong with the cars brought in for a trade-in – from the sliver-sized dent underneath the lock to the clinking sound of the fuel pipe that was never heard of until now. Most every car ends up having very little or no resale value. Instead of receiving cash, the inspector promises that by trading in the beat up old rust bucket of a jalopy for “parts,” he’ll get the best annual percentage rates closest to the market’s prime just for “thinking of us.” After a little finagling, the papers are signed, the car keys are turned in and then the accountant takes over.

The accountant’s computer screen is set up like a bazaar of interest rates where the numbers are changing rapidly. Like a virtual-reality stock market, people from all ends of the world are huddled around their computers waiting for a car application while smoking cheap cigars and “hoping” to finance your automobile for you. It’s as though these jolly good fellows are placing bets with the interest rates being the grand prize for the taking. The accountant member is sitting at his desk placing quotes on the price of your automobile waiting for someone to electronically accept the bids or raise the ante. This can go on in point-for-point increments for what might end up being a long time. In the end, whatever amount gets financed between the markup and the actual amount your car costs goes straight into the pocket of the car dealership.

Unscrupulous as it seems, this painfully slow process helps to contribute to the fact that buying a new car could take anywhere from a few hours to all day, making the car buying experience exhausting for both the customer and the salesperson. The car salesman’s secondary job is to come up with the best way to pamper the customer to stay long enough while the finance department “approves” the loan. The customer is weary of leaving the premises for fear of having the sale lost (besides, there are only so many bags of popcorn one can eat).

Car Lot's Finance Department

So what can be done to save time and money when buying a car? First of all, researching the car online or through materials sent from the manufacturer’s website saves a lot of hassle by not having to deal with a salesperson. The consumer reports and online forums are a great way to learn about any problems other people have experienced with the car before buying it. The car salesman should actually be the last stop to make and done so only when one is ready to drive the new car off the lot.

To save time with the finance department, leasing the car is a simple option that’s available to people with varying degrees of credit. The worse the credit, the higher the down payment will be, of course. If one truly wishes to finance the purchase of an automobile, it’s better to first get approved for a line of credit from a bank or to take out a personal loan in order to pay cash for the automobile. By doing so, the buyer also gains the leverage to negotiate a lower price tag on the car. Just remember to stoically use the standard car lot negotiation line…”If I do that… Will you do this today…”?

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is for entertainment purposes only. Before making any decision that may affect your finances or credit, consult your personal financial advisor, accountant, attorney, and/or respected clergy.

Change Control Management

Change Control Management

Change Control Lessons learned:

1. Get it in Writing:

When the customer desires specific model/brand/specifications of and for equipment used in the project, get it in writing and signed off by the customer and the person who approves the budget. In long duration projects, and with technology that changes and advances quickly, users of the final project’s outcome tend to want the latest and greatest technology installed instead of what was originally requested, project design around and budgeted for – if left unchecked and properly managed, the project will quickly spiral out of budget and schedule. The project’s sponsor, the people who control the budget and really hold the power over the birth and death of the project, need to be read-in to every change that will have an adverse or beneficial effect on the budget or schedule. The real power brokers don’t always know that the company’s users are pressuring the project team to make changes favorable to the user’s personal preferences. Circumstances like these are one of the most significant reasons for having a change control process that includes a Change Control Board (CCB).

Change Control Lessons learned

2. Change Control Spreadsheets:

Using an Excel Spreadsheet for a Change Control Management Report. It allows for easily entered data, sharing of the file over the business intranet, sending as an email report, “print screen” shots, and the ability to use Excel formulas to tally up quantifiable data and automatically display total cost and time variances of the approved changes.

3. Regular Change Control Reviews:

Include a review of the change control tracking document during the regularly scheduled project meetings and any other briefings with the sponsor/customer. This serves multiple purposes: one, it lets everyone know where changes stand, what has been completed and how it has impacted the project in terms of scope, time, cost, and quality. It acts as a continual reminder to the team and the sponsor on how the change control and why it is necessary. If a significant number of requests for changes are coming in from users or other stakeholders, keeping the customer/sponsor/boss routinely informed will let them know that there may be a bigger problem, for example: there may have been a change to how business is done, there may have been a change/update to the technology, there may have been cost over runs or changes to available work force. All these are indications that it may be time to re-evaluate the project scope and potentially need to re-baseline the project in terms of time, cost, and quality.

4. Buy-In:

Have the contract/cost authority and the sponsor as signatories on the change control form for approval or rejection. Get them to buy-in or not. Let them help you control the changes.

Sum-Up: As stated in Part One, change will happen in a project and in large and or long duration projects, a lot of changes are bound to occur: some good and some, not so good. As shown in Part Two: Lessons Learned, although change control management is the project manager’s responsibility, he/she cannot do it alone or in a vacuum. To effectively and efficiently control change in the project a change control process that includes a requesting, tracking, reporting, and approval procedure is essential to the success of a well-managed project.

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