Conamedis

Reminiscing about the good old days when we were growing up is a memory trip well worth taking, when trying to understand the issues facing the children of today. A mere 20 years ago, children used to play outside all day, riding bikes, playing sports and building forts. Masters of imaginary games, children of the past created their own form of play that didn’t require costly equipment or parental supervision. Children of the past moved… a lot, and their sensory world was nature based and simple. In the past, family time was often spent doing chores, and children had expectations to meet on a daily basis. The dining room table was a central place where families came together to eat and talk about their day, and after dinner became the center for baking, crafts and homework.

Today’s families are different. Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were what held families together. Juggling work, home and community lives, parents now rely heavily on communication, information and transportation technology to make their lives faster and more efficient. Entertainment technology (TV, internet, videogames, iPods) has advanced so rapidly, that families have scarcely noticed the significant impact and changes to their family structure and lifestyles. A 2010 Kaiser Foundation study showed that elementary aged children use on average 8 hours per day of entertainment technology, 75% of these children have TV’s in their bedrooms, and 50% of North American homes have the TV on all day. Add emails, cell phones, internet surfing, and chat lines, and we begin to see the pervasive aspects of technology on our home lives and family milieu. Gone is dining room table conversation, replaced by the “big screen” and take out. Children now rely on technology for the majority of their play, grossly limiting challenges to their creativity and imaginations, as well as limiting necessary challenges to their bodies to achieve optimal sensory and motor development. Sedentary bodies bombarded with chaotic sensory stimulation, are resulting in delays in attaining child developmental milestones, with subsequent impact on basic foundation skills for achieving literacy. Hard wired for high speed, today’s young are entering school struggling with self regulation and attention skills necessary for learning, eventually becoming significant behavior management problems for teachers in the classroom.

So what is the impact of technology on the developing child? Children’s developing sensory and motor systems have biologically not evolved to accommodate this sedentary, yet frenzied and chaotic nature of today’s technology. The impact of rapidly advancing technology on the developing child has seen an increase of physical, psychological and behavior disorders that the health and education systems are just beginning to detect, much less understand. Child obesity and diabetes are now national epidemics in both Canada and the US. Diagnoses of ADHD, autism, coordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders can be causally linked to technology overuse, and are increasing at an alarming rate. An urgent closer look at the critical factors for meeting developmental milestones, and the subsequent impact of technology on those factors, would assist parents, teachers and health professionals to better understand the complexities of this issue, and help create effective strategies to reduce technology use. The three critical factors for healthy physical and psychological child development are movement, touch and connection to other humans. Movement, touch and connection are forms of essential sensory input that are integral for the eventual development of a child’s motor and attachment systems. When movement, touch and connection are deprived, devastating consequences occur.

Young children require 3-4 hours per day of active rough and tumble play to achieve adequate sensory stimulation to their vestibular, proprioceptive and tactile systems for normal development. The critical period for attachment development is 0-7 months, where the infant-parent bond is best facilitated by close contact with the primary parent, and lots of eye contact. These types of sensory inputs ensure normal development of posture, bilateral coordination, optimal arousal states and self regulation necessary for achieving foundation skills for eventual school entry. Infants with low tone, toddlers failing to reach motor milestones, and children who are unable to pay attention or achieve basic foundation skills for literacy, are frequent visitors to pediatric physiotherapy and occupational therapy clinics. The use of safety restraint devices such as infant bucket seats and toddler carrying packs and strollers, have further limited movement, touch and connection, as have TV and videogame overuse. Many of today’s parents perceive outdoor play is ‘unsafe’, further limiting essential developmental components usually attained in outdoor rough and tumble play. Dr. Ashley Montagu, who has extensively studied the developing tactile sensory system, reports that when infants are deprived of human connection and touch, they fail to thrive and many eventually die. Dr. Montagu states that touch deprived infants develop into toddlers who exhibit excessive agitation and anxiety, and may become depressed by early childhood.

As children are connecting more and more to technology, society is seeing a disconnect from themselves, others and nature. As little children develop and form their identities, they often are incapable of discerning whether they are the “killing machine” seen on TV and in videogames, or just a shy and lonely little kid in need of a friend. TV and videogame addiction is causing an irreversible worldwide epidemic of mental and physical health disorders, yet we all find excuses to continue. Where 100 years ago we needed to move to survive, we are now under the assumption we need technology to survive. The catch is that technology is killing what we love the most…connection with other human beings. The critical period for attachment formation is 0 – 7 months of age. Attachment or connection is the formation of a primary bond between the developing infant and parent, and is integral to that developing child’s sense of security and safety. Healthy attachment formation results in a happy and calm child. Disruption or neglect of primary attachment results in an anxious and agitated child. Family over use of technology is gravely affecting not only early attachment formation, but also impacting negatively on child psychological and behavioral health.

Further analysis of the impact of technology on the developing child indicates that while the vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile and attachment systems are under stimulated, the visual and auditory sensory systems are in “overload”. This sensory imbalance creates huge problems in overall neurological development, as the brain’s anatomy, chemistry and pathways become permanently altered and impaired. Young children who are exposed to violence through TV and videogames are in a high state of adrenalin and stress, as the body does not know that what they are watching is not real. Children who overuse technology report persistent body sensations of overall “shaking”, increased breathing and heart rate, and a general state of “unease”. This can best be described as a persistent hypervigalent sensory system, still “on alert” for the oncoming assault from videogame characters. While the long term effects of this chronic state of stress in the developing child are unknown, we do know that chronic stress in adults results in a weakened immune system and a variety of serious diseases and disorders. Prolonged visual fixation on a fixed distance, two dimensional screen grossly limits ocular development necessary for eventual printing and reading. Consider the difference between visual location on a variety of different shaped and sized objects in the near and far distance (such as practiced in outdoor play), as opposed to looking at a fixed distance glowing screen. This rapid intensity, frequency and duration of visual and auditory stimulation results in a “hard wiring” of the child’s sensory system for high speed, with subsequent devastating effects on a child’s ability to imagine, attend and focus on academic tasks. Dr. Dimitri Christakis found that each hour of TV watched daily between the ages of 0 and 7 years equated to a 10% increase in attention problems by age seven years.

In 2001 the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement recommending that children less than two years of age should not use any technology, yet toddlers 0 to 2 years of age average 2.2 hours of TV per day. The Academy further recommended that children older than two should restrict usage to one hour per day if they have any physical, psychological or behavioral problems, and two hours per day maximum if they don’t, yet parents of elementary children are allowing 8 hours per day. France has gone so far as to eliminate all “baby TV” due to the detrimental effects on child development. How can parents continue to live in a world where they know what is bad for their children, yet do nothing to help them? It appears that today’s families have been pulled into the “Virtual Reality Dream”, where everyone believes that life is something that requires an escape. The immediate gratification received from ongoing use of TV, videogame and internet technology, has replaced the desire for human connection.

It’s important to come together as parents, teachers and therapists to help society “wake up” and see the devastating effects technology is having not only on our child’s physical, psychological and behavioral health, but also on their ability to learn and sustain personal and family relationships. While technology is a train that will continually move forward, knowledge regarding its detrimental effects, and action taken toward balancing the use of technology with exercise and family time, will work toward sustaining our children, as well as saving our world. While no one can argue the benefits of advanced technology in today’s world, connection to these devices may have resulted in a disconnection from what society should value most, children. Rather than hugging, playing, rough housing, and conversing with children, parents are increasingly resorting to providing their children with more videogames, TV’s in the car, and the latest iPods and cell phone devices, creating a deep and widening chasm between parent and child.

Cris Rowan, pediatric occupational therapist and child development expert has developed a concept termed ‘Balanced Technology Management’ (BTM) where parents manage balance between activities children need for growth and success with technology use. Rowan’s company Zone’in Programs Inc. http://www.zonein.ca has developed a ‘System of Solutions’ for addressing technology overuse in children through the creation of Zone’in Products, Workshops, Training and Consultation services.

One of the main purposes of travel is to gain experiences that allow us to grow and develop as individuals and it is important that people travel the way that bests suits them at a particular time. For example, I like to go on adventure holidays and this invariably includes a small group and expert guide, and I frequently participate in writing retreats around the world with like-minded people. However for me, the real joy of travelling has always been to take off on my own and just ‘see’ what comes along the way. Of course this can sometimes be fraught with frustrations, difficulties and even dangers.

Advantages of travelling alone

  • Freedom
    Most people who travel alone generally cite freedom as the great motivating factor: freedom to please themselves, go where and when they want, change their plans on a whim when they hear about something that is a ‘must’ to see, and to accept spontaneous invitations by locals.
  • No compromises
    This is associated with the previous point. Even if travelling with one other person, be it friend, colleague, lover or spouse, there will always be some compromises required. Not everyone has the same interests or the same energy levels, some people need to be emotionally supported all the time, others are apathetic, some have different attitudes to time. With solo travel, there is no peer pressure over finances, the unspoken need to divide up restaurant bills equally, or guilt trips when you want to go off on your own for a while.
  • Meeting people
    Travelling solo does not mean that you will always be alone. In fact, it allows you to meet more people because other tourists and locals find an individual traveller more approachable than those in a tightly-knit group. Also, people in groups have very little need to reach out to others for communication. I have met more people, had more interesting conversations and invitations and made more long-term friends while eating alone in foreign restaurants or sitting alone at bars. But then I am gregarious. Travelling alone allows you to choose the people you wish to spend time with rather than having to face the day-after-day annoyances of the inevitable clowns and whingers found in any large group.
  • Discoveries
    There is a real sense of discovery involved in travelling on your own, and that includes self-discovery. You don’t have to rely on an often ill-informed guide to lead you around on a leash, and there’s the surprise and thrill when you find something you weren’t expecting, like the time I became lost and ended up in a small Bavarian village with a monastery that contained a library with tens of thousands of Medieval manuscripts. Travelling alone allows you to discover more about yourself as you overcome simple challenges such as missing a bus or boat and realizing there is no other for a day or a week. Then there is the sense of achievement when solving much more challenging problems like finding yourself lost in a strange town at midnight or running out of money on a holiday weekend with no ATM in sight and the banks closed.

Disadvantages of travelling alone

  • The single supplement
    For those who like to stay in decent hotels, there is the unfair single supplement that can add thousands to the cost of your trip.
  • Lack of help
    There is no one to watch your luggage while you go to the restrooms at airports or train stations, no one to help with persistent touts, no one to be there for you if you get sick or if you are being stalked or harassed by a determined male in the street.
  • Photos
    There are times when I would like to have had more taken of myself in certain places, but there again, there are always people willing to snap one or two for you.

I know there will be times in the future when I will travel as part of a group out of choice because I want to visit areas where it is just not possible or sensible for a woman alone, or because I wish to be with family or like-minded people. However, due to my particular personality traits, my preference is to travel alone. I guess it really doesn’t matter how people travel, but that they travel.

 

Some people think that automotive fasteners are only useful in automotive industries because of its name. However, such items are also depended upon by aerospace, petrochemical, waste processing, pharmaceutical and even machine industries. Typically, a fastener is derived from materials most specifically metals like iron, aluminum, brass, nickel and stainless steel.

Automotive fasteners are defined as mechanical components in order to hold two or more structures together. They are classified further as nuts, screw, rivets, studs, pins and tie rods. Each of these classifications has its own distinct characteristics. More facts on some of these types of fasteners are discussed in detail through the succeeding paragraphs.

Automotive nuts

Nuts are examples of fasteners used in order to secure a bolt or screw to a certain surface. Depending on the application where it is to be utilized, the nut is classified. Some examples of nuts are also classified depending on its shape and design. In this regard, subcategories include hex nuts, wing nuts, cap nuts and t-nuts. Lug nuts, plate nuts, jam nuts and self-locking nuts are also popular in a lot of automotive industries.

Automotive bolts

These are generally classified as threaded automotive fasteners with threaded pins or rods. Typically, it is easy to detect a bolt because it contains a head on one of its end. Bolts are offered in the market in different sizes and may only be placed depending on the hole’s size where it is to be used. The most common types of automotive bolts are wheel bolts, U-bolts, mounting plate bolts and hub bolts. Rod bolts, lug bolts and radiator bolts are also included in the list.

Automotive washers

Just by hearing the term washer, one may not be able to comprehend well about why it is classified under the list of auto fasteners. Well, automotive washers are those that have small and flat dishes containing holes on its center and are used to hold a load of automotive bolts. It is often found below the nut or the joint in order to prevent leakage as well as distribute pressure. Common examples of automotive washers are bolt lock, hardened, cylinder head, lug nut and radiator washers.

Other types of fasteners

Aside from the three types elaborated above, there are yet other forms of fasteners offered in the market. Studs, for instance are those that have double-ended features and are fastened at both ends. These fasteners are classified according to where they are used and the material utilized to make up such industrial products. Other automotive fasteners are rivets, screws and tie rods.

A recent survey conducted by this writer on the Internet for a quick, snap shot sense of the subject matter, immediately revealed that there’s a state of relatively scanty knowledge of, or information about, this particular refined petroleum product called the AGO, among international oil dealers and suppliers. In deed, in one rather remarkable instance involving a popular ‘Ask for Answers’ online discussion portal, one reader expressly posited the question, soliciting information from the readers as to what is/was ‘the meaning’ of the petroleum term AGO, among three other refined petroleum products, which he went on to list – DPK, PMS, JET A1. There was just one response – a response that has stood the same for 5 years since. Oddly enough, however, of the 4 oil products that the answerer named, the answerer was exactly accurate in the definition he proffered on three of those. But, on ONLY one of them, the AGO product, the answer given by the answerer was somewhat slightly off, as he gave the definition of the product as meaning ‘Automotive Gas & Oils.’

So, first, we start with this basic question: What is AGO Oil Product, or the Automotive Gas Oil?

What the AGO Oil Product Is

The term AGO, which specifically stands for the Automotive Gas Oil, is the name given to the fuel type that’s used by road vehicles (cars, trucks, buses, vans, and the like) that are powered by DIESEL engines. That is, in a word, it is the diesel vehicle engine fuel. In terms of how the fuel gets to be produced or manufactured, the fuel is the type that, in the distillation and processing of crude oil work, is obtained in the mid-boiling range of that process. Related fuels which are used for non-road applications including off-road diesel engines, such as the Industrial Gas Oils (IGOs), are obtained from the same ‘fraction’ of the crude oil barrel.

Technically speaking, the term Automotive Gas Oil (AGO) is the technical name used by the oil industry in describing this particular fuel. However, in terms of the ordinary consumers in the market, the term ‘automotive diesel fuel,’ or just plain ‘diesel,’ is the more commonly used and more widespread name that the ordinary consumer uses in describing this fuel. Petroleum products are usually grouped into THREE categories: the ‘light distillates’ (LPG, gasoline, naphtha), the ‘middle’ distillates (kerosene, diesel), and the ‘heavy’ distillates and residuum (heavy fuel oil, lubricating oils, wax, asphalt). This classification is based primarily on the way crude oil is distilled and separated into fractions (called distillates and residuum). Within the oil industry, the generic oil industry name that’s used to describe gasoils – which include both AGO and IGO – fall under the ‘Middle Distillates’ category, meaning those kinds of refined oil products whose ‘boiling range’ fall in the MIDDLE, that is, between those whose range fall in the higher levels or in the lower levels. (See the Chart below). As you can readily see in the Chart below, at a Boiling Range of between 520 to 650, the AGO falls right in the middle range of most categories of the refined oil products.

The Market & Primary Uses of the AGO oil Product Among Its Customers

AGO is used in two main types of vehicles: 1) the heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses, and 2) the light-duty vehicles, such as vans and passenger cars. In most countries, including the USA as well as the developing countries, the heavy-duty vehicles make up the bulk of the market for AGO. In a country such as Japan, there is a significant light-duty vehicle sector, but it is in Europe that the demand for AGO from this sector is highest, with more than one-third coming from the passenger cars and other light vehicles. Customer requirements between the two types of fuel usage differ to some extent. Diesel engines are widely used in heavy-duty vehicles. Such vehicles are frequently operated in fleets and are re-fuelled centrally with the fuel delivered directly from the supplier. In the light-duty vehicle sector, recent advances in engine design now also allow light-duty diesel engines to compete with gasoline engines in terms of the performance standards. Light-duty vehicles are generally re-fuelled through retail outlets. In any case, whether it is in the light-duty sector or in the heavy-duty sector, in both sectors the customer will generally be looking for the fuel that provides economy, power, reliability and environmental acceptability.

Use As Car Fuel

Diesel-powered vehicles, such as AGO-powered vehicles, generally have a better fuel economy than equivalent gasoline engines and produce less greenhouse gas emission. Their greater economy is due to the higher energy per-liter content of diesel fuel and the intrinsic efficiency of the diesel engine. True, petrodiesel’s higher density results in higher greenhouse gas emissions per liter compared to gasoline. However, the modern diesel-engine automobiles have a 20-40% better fuel economy, and this well offsets the higher per-liter emissions of greenhouse gases, while a diesel-powered vehicle emits 10-20 percent less greenhouse gas than comparable gasoline vehicles. Biodiesel-powered diesel engines offer substantially improved emission reductions compared to petrodiesel or gasoline-powered engines, while retaining most of the fuel economy advantages over conventional gasoline-powered automobiles.

How Crude Oil Fractions Are Processed Into Refined Oil Products, Including AGO and Other Products

How do we get to have refined petroleum products, of which a product like AGO is one? Put simply, it is out of the refinery processing (i.e., out of the ‘refining’) of crude oil that many other usable products – products that we generally refer to as refined or finished petroleum products – are produced. Meaning products such as gasoil, gasoline, kerosene, AGO, etc. The process of oil ‘refining’ or processing is a very complex one, and involves both chemical reactions and physical separations. The substance that’s called Crude Oil is composed of thousands of different ‘molecules,’ and according to chemical engineers and molecular experts, it would be nearly impossible to isolate every molecule that exists in crude oil and thereby make finished products from each molecule.

Consequently, the way chemists and engineers deal with this problem, is simply by them isolating the mixtures (also called ‘fractions’) of molecules according to what is known as the mixture’s “boiling point range.” For example, molecules for the gasoline product might boil within the ‘range’ of from 90 to 400 oF. While the range at which the home heating oil product’s molecular mixes could boil might be from 500 to 650 oF, and so on. For purposes of convenience and simplification, each mixture or fraction is assigned a specific name to identify it.

The following chart illustrates the ‘boiling range’ and name of the petroleum fractions.

Fraction

Boiling Range,oF.

Butanes and lighter

<90

Light straight run gasoline (LSR)

or light naphtha (LN)

90-190

Naphtha or heavy naphtha (HN)

190-380

Kerosene

380-520

Distillate or atmospheric gas oil (AGO)

520-650

Residua

650 +

Vacuum gas oil (VGO)

650-1000

Vacuum Residua

1000 +

In sum, refined products are products that are produced by isolating the mixtures or fractions of molecules that come from the raw crude oil, and combining them, along with those from various refinery processing units. These fractions are ‘blended’ or mixed to satisfy specific properties that are important in allowing the refined product to perform in accordance with the specifications or requirements that are designed by or in an engine, in terms of ease in handling, reducing the undesirable emissions produced when the product is burned, etc

FINDING OR OBTAINING A SUPPLY OF THE AGO

Simply stated, the KEY term and task here is finding an authentic AGO oil product supply or supplier. Or an AGO buyer, as the case may be. Why? This is simply because, today, in the international refined oil products trading market, specially in the so-called “secondary” market, probably the single most fundamental and most difficult common problem which legitimate dealers who seek to find reliable suppliers have, is often NOT so much finding a party who will claim heaven and earth that he/she has the AGO oil product to sell and can supply you the product. Or that he can buy one from you, as the case may be. BUT finding such a party who is actually AUTHENTIC & LEGITIMATE, and can actually DELIVER on the product.

MOST PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY’RE SUPPLIERS OF PRODUCT PROVIDE NO VERIFIED OR VERIFIABLE PROOFS OR SOURCES

A well-established reality and a given today, is that in world oil deals involving trading in the crude oil and refined petroleum products, specially in the so-called international “secondary” market, probably the single most fundamental and most difficult common problem which legitimate buyers frequently confront today, is the problem of the genuineness and authenticity of the supplier of product and his ability to deliver on the sales offer he presents. Refined petroleum products, such as AGO, D2, Mazut, Jet fuel, etc., are certainly not immune or exempt from such endemic problem that seems to plague the entire secondary market oil trade industry, but rather are, in deed, right in the middle of it.

It’s a problem whose central source can simply be summed up in one word – namely, that not unlike most persons or entities who claim via the Internet to be oil or petroleum products suppliers or “sellers,” most who claim to be suppliers of AGO, as well (or of similar refined oil products, such as the diesel gasoil or Russian D2, Mazut, Jet fuels, and the like), either provide NO proofs or evidence at all of that, or provide proofs or evidence that are often absolutely meaningless because they’re unverified and unverifiable. That is, for the serious or credible Internet petroleum buyer involved in the world oil deals and seriously intent on finding duly verifiable authentic AGO oil product supply or supplier, there are generally just NO such supply or suppliers of the product in the so-called “secondary” market.

Most such serious or genuine AGO buyers (or suppliers, as well, as the case may be) seeking to find equally genuine AGO suppliers (or sellers seeking buyers, when applicable) in the international secondary market, find that the problem is particularly acute and compounded by the fact that almost all “sellers” (or suppliers), or their brokers or intermediaries, that one meets on the Internet, are essentially unknown, unestablished dealers who lack any name, reputation or identity, or any known location on the planet, and lack any record or history of past performance in doing the business. In consequence, a serious AGO buyer, for example, is often being asked – and actually being realistically expected – to, in effect, merely take “the word” of some dubious, anonymous, unidentified and apparently unidentifiable, phantom “seller” or “supplier” for it, with no credible supporting evidence provided, and no verification or authentication whatsoever of the Internet seller’s offer or claims.

In sum, he’s being asked – and actually being expected – to risk, or, rather, to gamble away, his hard-earned mini-fortune of some hundreds of millions of dollars merely on such a “word.”! This, it should be added, is being expected of the buyer in a business environment and climate that is patently awash in fraud and a network of notorious scammers worldwide!

WHERE TO BUY AGO OIL PRODUCT, HOW DO YOU FIND THE SUPPLIERS?

Clearly, then, if you are a real buyer of product seriously intent on finding authentic diesel AGO oil product supply or suppliers (or those of any similar refined oil products, such as the diesel gasoil or Russian D2, Mazut, Jet fuels, and the like) – meaning one that is duly verified and verifiable – probably the most critical, vital, even life-or-death task for you, is that you had better be sure to develop, in some way or manner, a skilled and effective strategy for finding, vetting, selecting out and authenticated suppliers that can provide you reliable steady supply of the product, and which will be scam-free, assured, and long-lasting.

How?

Quite oddly enough, the answer to that question is actually not that complicated or complex. For our limited purposes here, suffice it simply to just say, that there is, in fact, such a methodology, tool and strategy for doing just that long in practical use in the industry. Long in practical use by knowledgeable, experienced and trained eyes and experts, and the successful traders, in the business. If you are, yourself, in fact a provable legitimate trader or authentic practitioner of the petroleum trade (assuming you are actually one) operating in the secondary market, and are truly serious about finding and securing authentic and reliable AGO oil product supply or supplier, or about finding and securing a buyer of equivalent caliber for the product, as the case may be, that’s actually readily within your reach. There’s just really one crucial proviso, only – namely, PROVIDING that you’re equipped with the requisite knowledge, skill, training, tool, methodology and practical experience, by which to undertake the whole process of doing so.

To be sure, true, in today’s world oil deals of the international secondary market, including sourcing for AGO product, which is largely an Internet-dominated world, and is for the most part prevalently awash in fake dealers and scammers, finding duly verified authentic petroleum or automotive gas oil product supply, suppliers and sellers of such caliber (or buyers, just as well), is not ordinary or commonplace. Nor is it at all an easy task to attain. It is, however, by no means impracticable, nor are such suppliers non-existent. Far, far from it! Quite to the contrary, such suppliers abound. It’s only that you just have to search around for such suppliers (or the legitimate buyers, as well, as the case may be) more diligently and skillfully and in the right places from the right sources, and know precisely how and where. That requires, unavoidably, supreme industry knowledge, skills set, training, know-how, connections, precious time expenditure, and experience.

FOR A FOLLOW UP

YOU WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON HOW TO FIND AUTHENTIC AGO OIL PRODUCT SUPPLY OR SUPPLIERS, OR EVEN BUYERS, THAT ARE ALREADY VERIFIED, CONFIRMED AND VERIFIABLE AND SCAM-FREE? Please see the link provided in the author’s Resource Box below.

A Public Improvement District (“PID”) is a financing tool created by the Public Improvement District Assessment Act as found in Chapter 372 of the Texas Local Government Code. The PID enables any city to levy and collect special assessments on property that is within the city or within the city’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (“ETJ”). A county may also form a PID,but must obtain approval from a city if the proposed PID is within the city’s ETJ. The PID establishes a mechanism to finance improvement projects through the issuance of bonds secured by special assessments levied on all benefited properties. Because PID bonds can be used to reimburse the developer for eligible infrastructure early in the development process, often before the closing of the first home.

Public Improvements Eligible for PID Financing are; Acquisition of Right of Ways, Art, Creation of pedestrian malls, Erection of foundations, Landscaping and other aesthetics, Library, Mass transit, Parks & Recreational or Cultural Facilities, Parking, Street and sidewalk. Supplemental safety services for the improvement of the district, including public safety and security services. Supplemental business-related services for the improvement of the district. Water, wastewater, health and sanitation or drainage.

Benefits of a PID

A PID may be established early in the development process allowing the developer to be a reimbursed upon completion of the public infrastructure. Furthermore, unlike a Municipal Utility District (“MUD”), Water Control and Improvement District (“WCID”), or Fresh Water District (“FWSD”), PIDs do not require TCEQ approval, and are governed by the governing body of the city or county, thereby alleviating concerns regarding board turnover and the integrity of the board. If the city chooses to annex property that is within the boundaries of a PID, the city is not forced to pay off the assessments, and the assessments do not affect the city’s debt capacity or rating.

We all know how special interest groups can blow things out of proportion – like the nonexistent “Exotic Pet Crisis.” If you listened to some animal rights groups, you’d think keeping exotic pets is cruel, dangerous, and even bordering on treason! Before you buy that agenda, consider that a junior high student once made a convincing case for banning dihydrogen monoxide: colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it kills thousands of people every year.

Most deaths are caused by inhalation, but the dangers of dihydrogen monoxide do not end there. Prolonged exposure to its solid form causes severe tissue damage. Dihydrogen monoxide is also known as hydroxl acid, is the major component of acid rain, may cause severe burns, contributes to land erosion, may cause electrical failures and decreased effectiveness of automobile brakes, and has been found in excised tumors of terminal cancer patients.

This report was presented to 50 students, asking them what should be done about the chemical. 43 students favored banning it, 6 were undecided, and only one correctly recognized that ‘dihydrogen monoxide’ is actually H2O — plain old water. How gullible are you?

Banning my cat makes about as much sense as banning yours – and the results are just as heartbreaking for pet and owner. Are you ready for the truth about the “Exotic Pet Crisis?”

  • Exotic pets are not dangerous! One study showed that the risk of injury to exotic cat owners was less than the risk of injury due to a domestic dog bite. And every person who drives a motor vehicle subjects themselves and their family to a risk three times greater then does someone who owns even a large exotic cat such as a tiger.
  • Most exotic pet owners are kind, intelligent people who adore their animals and take excellent care of them. We love our pets just as you love yours.
  • Exotic animal bans result in beloved pets being confiscated, impounded, and usually killed. A lucky few live out their lives in cages under the care of strangers in zoos and sanctuaries. This is the dirty secret animal rights groups don’t want you to know. Banning does not help animals: it kills them!
  • Exotic cat ownership is already regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Interior, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, CITES, the Animal Welfare Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Lacey Act, more city, county, and state regulations than you can shake a stick at, as well as existing animal welfare and public safety laws that govern both exotic and domestic animals.
  • “You can buy a tiger on the Internet for $100.00,” research-averse activists proclaim in horror. Just try to order up a tiger online, or even a serval. You won’t succeed. This urban legend has great repeatability at cocktail parties and save-the-cute-animals-from-evil-humans fundraisers, but is severely lacking in the reality department. Breeders do have web sites, but it takes much more than a click of the mouse to purchase an exotic cat.

 

It will typically describe our attitudes, interests and is a big part of our personal identities. In the media the term lifestyle is used a huge number of ways. From health to financial it has a varied meaning throughout many areas of our lives.

In the media the term was actually introduced in the 1950’s and at the time it was used to describe a certain style or art. Since its introduction we now all use the word to determine where we are in society and the lifestyle we choose to follow will ultimately lead us on our own separate and varied paths.

We are all looking for ways to improve our lives and we are constantly given tips and advice on how we may get healthier or how we can improve our fashion or style. With all of the different places offering advice, it can be confusing and conflicting. Some people may turn to magazines or friends and others will look for online information via blogs.

Looking to improve your lifestyle in any form can be a big decision and for a lot of people it will come down to wanting to change they way they look or eat. Choosing a healthier way of life has become a top priority for most people as we all seek out the best place for advice and to teach ourselves the skills we need to achieve our health goals.

Looking online at blogs for fashion advice and tips is often a great starting place, we have the chance to find out about a range of different subjects, often covered by extremely passionate people. For example if you decide you want to get fitter, you will be able to go online and find out about the best exercise plan for you, all of which will eventually help you improve your health and fitness levels.

Fashion is another place we often look to when we want to enhance our lifestyle. Clothes have the innate ability to make us feel special, confident and unique or individual. Many of us do not take the time to think about buying clothes that suit our personalities and finding inspiration and advice from an expert can be a liberating experience.

When you are able to walk down the street and feel confident and happy in what you are wearing, it can have a hugely positive effect and essentially has the power to enhance your lifestyle. Confidence will allow you to make other decisions in your life that may have seemed unachievable before. Even something as simple as treating yourself to that new jumper can make you feel better and happier within yourself.

The expression ‘fashion is passion’ is very true for so many people and we are all spoilt for choice in finding clothes and shoes we want to wear. Fashion has the power to connect friends, join communities together and make us all feel happier and comfortable about who we are and how we express ourselves.

Fashion really does have the power to improve your lifestyle and finding someone or a place you can look to for advice and tips is now easier than ever. Searching online for that one person you can relate to and want to learn from is an exciting part of learning about your identity.

The real estate market is a booming industry. The success of the industry is a result of competition and the intervention of modern technology. Most people in the business prefer to use real estate property management software to stay ahead in the race. This software has been designed to cater to commercial and residential property, office buildings and apartments.

Real estate property management software is an effective and easy-to-use tool. This software helps people understand the real estate business. It is a quick response application that can store each detail of every transaction. This helps study non-payments and full-payments of rent, and maintains a detailed report of rent receipts and invoices.

Property owners are able to key inputs as and when required. The secured system is intelligent and allows changes from authorized personnel. Real estate property management software can evaluate an unlimited number of properties and units simultaneously. The software stores detailed data related to rent payments for all individual properties. This systematic approach eliminates any problems due to taxation.

Real estate property management software generates automated reports in cases of wrong payments and non-payments. The software does away with the practice of owners waiting for rent payments. All maintenance expenses or any extra revenue statements are regularly updated. The software also stores tenant information.

Residential property managers must select property management software that is most suited for their work. These applications are available with one-month money-back guarantees.

The residential property management system is considered to be time- and cost-effective for a manager and resident. The application can create a personalized website for an individual company in a relatively short time. This allows prospective and existing customers to visit the web site. This is a convenient method to view pictures of property, pay rent and submit maintenance requests.

Nobody knows your business better than you do. After all, you are the CEO. You know what the engineers do; you know what the production managers do; and nobody understands the sales process better than you. You know who is carrying their weight and who isn’t. That is, unless we’re talking about the finance and accounting managers.

Most CEO’s, especially in small and mid-size enterprises, come from operational or sales backgrounds. They have often gained some knowledge of finance and accounting through their careers, but only to the extent necessary. But as the CEO, they must make judgments about the performance and competence of the accountants as well as the operations and sales managers.

So, how does the diligent CEO evaluate the finance and accounting functions in his company? All too often, the CEO assigns a qualitative value based on the quantitative message. In other words, if the Controller delivers a positive, upbeat financial report, the CEO will have positive feelings toward the Controller. And if the Controller delivers a bleak message, the CEO will have a negative reaction to the person. Unfortunately, “shooting the messenger” is not at all uncommon.

The dangers inherent in this approach should be obvious. The Controller (or CFO, bookkeeper, whoever) may realize that in order to protect their career, they need to make the numbers look better than they really are, or they need to draw attention away from negative matters and focus on positive matters. This raises the probability that important issues won’t get the attention they deserve. It also raises the probability that good people will be lost for the wrong reasons.

The CEO’s of large public companies have a big advantage when it comes to evaluating the performance of the finance department. They have the audit committee of the board of directors, the auditors, the SEC, Wall Street analyst and public shareholders giving them feedback. In smaller businesses, however, CEO’s need to develop their own methods and processes for evaluating the performance of their financial managers.

Here are a few suggestions for the small business CEO:

Timely and Accurate Financial Reports

Chances are that at some point in your career, you have been advised that you should insist on “timely and accurate” financial reports from your accounting group. Unfortunately, you are probably a very good judge of what is timely, but you may not be nearly as good a judge of what is accurate. Certainly, you don’t have the time to test the recording of transactions and to verify the accuracy of reports, but there are some things that you can and should do.

  • Insist that financial reports include comparisons over a number of periods. This will allow you to judge the consistency of recording and reporting transactions.
  • Make sure that all anomalies are explained.
  • Recurring expenses such as rents and utilities should be reported in the appropriate period. An explanation that – “there are two rents in April because we paid May early” – is unacceptable. The May rent should be reported as a May expense.
  • Occasionally, ask to be reminded about the company’s policies for recording revenues, capitalizing costs, etc.

Beyond Monthly Financial Reports

You should expect to get information from your accounting and finance groups on a daily basis, not just when monthly financial reports are due. Some good examples are:

  • Daily cash balance reports.
  • Accounts receivable collection updates.
  • Cash flow forecasts (cash requirements)
  • Significant or unusual transactions.

Consistent Work Habits

We’ve all known people who took it easy for weeks, then pulled an all-nighter to meet a deadline. Such inconsistent work habits are strong indicators that the individual is not attentive to processes. It also sharply raises the probability of errors in the frantic last-minute activities.

Willingness to Be Controversial

As the CEO, you need to make it very clear to the finance/accounting managers that you expect frank and honest information and that they will not be victims of “shoot the messenger” thinking. Once that assurance is given, your financial managers should be an integral part of your company’s management team. They should not be reluctant to express their opinions and concerns to you or to other department leaders.

The 1950’s spawned a wide variety of original and distinctive styles, presented with a classic new age twist. For America, recently recovering from catastrophic tragedies related to the second World War, the 1950’s brought restored hope; a chance for a new way of life whose destiny would be decided by them alone. This metamorphosis of America was heavily represented by fashion.

Women especially dramatically altered the way they dressed and presented themselves; during the evolution of an increasingly liberated society, women began to favor casual, relaxed clothing over traditional dress rules and associated formality of previous decades. Some of the most admired new trends for women in the 1950’s included button-up sweaters with simple necklines, fitted blouses, and full knee-length skirts. However, the most prevalent fashion for women during this time was dresses. Most dresses were worn casually, and were accentuated with circle skirts, halter straps, or small collars. Evening wear dresses seemed soft yet daring, coming in many pastel hues and accompanied with bold ruffles, tulle trim, and dazzling velvet bows. The fitted evening wear of this period, which was usually sleeveless or strapless, was also emphasized with sheer silk.

Growing increasingly popular, the full skirts of the 1950’s needed some sort of support in order to maximize their look. To address this problem, Nylon petticoats were created exclusively to be worn in conjunction with full skirts to create fullness. Nylon was a favorable material because of its high quality and easy care wash. This fullness it created transformed the skirt who gave nothing more than a gentle swish, into a glamorous royal-like flutter. Another significant fashion of this period is the swing coat, developed in the last 1940’s by Jacques Fath. The silhouette of the swing coat was “designed perfectly to cover full skirts, and also ideal for the post war high pregnancy rate”. Another trend in the 1950’s was the “trapeze dress: a swinging dress almost triangular in shape and designed to be worn with low shoes and bouffant hairstyles.” The trapeze dress was later modified into a shorter baby doll tent style dress, which was popular in the next decade. Perhaps one of the most classic fashion garments from the 1950’s was Christian Dior’s H-line of 1954, which consisted of a slender tunic-style suit with a slim skirt. His other popular fashions during this period were his A and Y lines. Dior has long been a dominant force in the fashion world, especially in the 1950’s. His creative and usually voluminous garments gave women a more feminine touch. Another designer, Hubert Givenchy created a Parisian style dress in 1957 which he called the Sack. The Sack began the trend of straighter-waist dresses. Initially, it developed into the “fitted darted sheath dress and later into the loose straight short shift dress.”

Coco Chanel was another major fashion designer in the 1950’s. In contrast to popular full and flouncy skirts, Chanel began creating the boxy, now classic Chanel suit jackets and skirts in trimmed and textured tweed. The materials Chanel chose were always richly textured, which contributed to the finished product’s high prices. Chanel’s silhouette of her suits was completely straight, divinely lined with silk. Her look was classic, refined, and adorned with details. Chanel also accessorized many of her designs with strings of pearls and collarless jackets, both of which were considered fashionable in the 1950’s. One of the most classic trends from the 1950’s is the empire line, which was introduced in the late 1950’s. This style was applied to dresses and shirts mostly, and was adored by teenagers who looked innocently childlike, hence the coined phrase “baby doll style”. During the 1950’s, all teenagers were expected to dress like their elders. The empire line was also a striking contrast from what most mothers wore at the time, which contributed to its high approval among teenagers in America.

Until the 1950’s, the term “teenagers” was not commonly used, and certainly not a targeted market group. But with a new range of influences, including film, television, rock music, and magazines, teenagers began to be respected and acknowledged in the community. Often nicknamed the “Space Age”, the 1950’s was an important time in history for science and development as well. So many aspects of life changed during this period, perhaps partially attributed to the recent end of World War II. America had emerged from war with prosperity and a new identity. A new consumer-based society was “forging ahead, helped by such new developments as the credit card system” (Baker, 6). These innovative conditions however produced a similar effect on the fashion industry: while so many things in the lives of Americans were changing, they stayed clear from the radical, intense fashions while preferring the normalcy of standard trends. For once, being normal felt good. Another huge change in the 1950’s was the increased ownership of television sets. Popular television programs such as I Love Lucy connected Americans on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing a sense of unity in the country. Segregation was ended in 1954, which brought together black and white students for the first time though racial tensions were still high, and also birthed the existence of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. Constant fears of communism reaching the states held many Americans tight with fear. More changes brought forth in the 1950’s include the discovery of DNA, the launching of the first space satellite, an increase of women in the work field, and of course, rock and roll. All of these economic, social, and political changes in the world affected the American citizens, and therefore the fashion industry.

Regardless of the world’s issues, the top fashions that drove the industry were more influenced by those who were idolized by the consumers: celebrities. Some of the most popular celebrities in the 1950’s include Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Ricky Nelson, and of course, Elvis Presley. Marilyn Monroe’s sexy yet simple style was a widely imitated across America, by women of all shapes and sizes. Elvis Presley was another huge influence in the 1950’s; not only was he adored by millions of girls, but he was also an inspiration for men. In a time where men only wore traditional attire, Elvis tore down all barriers which confined men to navy suits and ties. Elvis typically wore clothes that were more popular among the African American population. His wild pegged pants and zoot suits concerned the conservative community of America, who hardly approved of such a “gender bending, race-integrating star” (SOURCE). Elvis’ bright and baggy clothes, makeup, and so called obscene dancing all acted as evidence of his single handed destruction of the morals of America’s youth. Not all men followed the examples Elvis set however. In fact, more men in this time period dressed conventionally than not.

Most men in the 1950’s maintained clothes with casual and modest colors, including dark blue, dark brown, and charcoal. The occasional daring young man would wear pastel pink to stand out; a trend that was just gaining momentum in the 1950’s. Cardigan sweaters were popular among athletes, and older men. Additionally popular were fitted vests, plaid flannels, and collared jackets. There was flexibility in men’s casual wear, and was a common sight to see shirt tails sticking out. Basic fedora-style hats were also a staple item in the 1950’s for men.

Hats were also fashionable accessory for women in the 1950’s, for the reason that they were believed to add a final touch of glamour to any woman’s outfit. The pillbox hat, first introduced by Balenciaga and later modeled by Jackie Kennedy, became one of the trendiest accessories of the decade. Several glorious hat styles existed in the 1950’s. Some hats were covered in flower petals, while others were adorned with swirls of georgette. Gloves were also worn often by women, especially those of elite social status. Some were made of cotton, which was much more affordable than leather or nylon. Though gloves came in many colors and styles, clean gloves whose color was white or cream were the most favored. Fur trimmings and adorned collars were also extremely fashionable. Brooches too, were considered a glamorous accessory.

The 1950’s was a decade in which fashion changed dramatically from previous generations. Multiple influences from political debates, to economic issues, to new age celebrities and mass media all influenced the distinct styles and trends which identify the 1950’s. Recovering from the casualties of World War II brought a lasting change to America, which was reflected in the fashions of this decade. The American women craved glamorous simplicity in their new lives, and as a new and liberated society evolved, the women of America began to liberate themselves by choosing which fashions they felt depicted them best. Not only were the 1950’s important in history, but they also greatly transformed the face of fashion in America.