Technology Transfer Case Study – Pathfinders for Independent Living, Inc.

Pathfinders for Independent Living, Inc., a nonprofit organization, was founded after the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.) Pathfinders provides information and assistance to elderly and disabled individuals and their caregivers on how to live as independently as possible. Its core value is to Promote Self-Reliance. The culture within Pathfinders is one of friendly support. Pathfinders’ IT leadership proposed a project to design and build a network infrastructure that would provide security for sensitive data, data storage, Internet access, email access, updated applications and hardware, and user training. Changing the environment would affect the organizational structure and culture of Pathfinders. This paper discusses the organizational changes that occurred due a change in technology.Technology TransferTechnology transfer describes activities that have the aim of establishing measurable process improvement through the adoption of new practices. Assistive technology reduces the gap experienced by disabled and elderly individuals in accomplishing daily activities. Some of these technologies are text telephones, Braille computer monitors, infrared pointing devices, artificial limbs, and assistive software. Introducing and encouraging the use of these technologies and many others to Pathfinders’ consumers, is a responsibility of the independent living specialists.The independent living specialists assist the consumers in identifying the assistive technologies needed, applying for funding to purchase the technologies, and educating the public on the various technologies available. However to provide its services to its consumers, Pathfinders had to adapt to current information technologies.A Strategy for Technology TransferRecognizing the relationship between technology transfer and process improvement is fundamental to Pathfinders’ approach to change. Technology cannot be changed without some impact on the process or personnel that use the technology, be it an increase in productivity, a reduction in cost, or a fundamental change in method. A number of key issues had to be addressed for the technology to be successfully transferred. These are divided into several categories; technology issues, process changes, and changes in culture.Technology IssuesPathfinders would join the Information Age by installing, new computers, file servers, network printers, a local area network (LAN), and Internet access. The installation process required preparing the PCs before delivering them to Pathfinders, then a visit to the office site to build the network and deploy the equipment. The PCs were standardized on Microsoft applications. Following the installation of the network, etc., training on the use of the software was provided. With the installation of the infrastructure complete, each independent living specialist and the executive director had a personal computer, email, and Internet access.Designing and building a training center provided the opportunity for anyone to come in and learn more about computers and office application software. Pathfinders provided some basic training courses. Additionally, computer books were available for use with the computers to learn how to use the programs. Access to the Internet was provided. Funding was allocated through federal funds to support the changes in technology.Process ChangesBefore the technology changes, there were only two stand-alone PCs available for use by the staff, these PCs were very old, running DOS applications. Employees were forced to share the PCs or use typewriters to complete correspondence. Data was maintained on floppy disks and hardcopy. Access to the Internet for research was accomplished by going to the local library, which consumed valuable resources of time and personnel. Deploying the new infrastructure significantly changed the way the employees worked. The changes in infrastructure gave real-time access to the Internet, consumer data, and improved data security.Changes in CulturePrior to the deployment of technology, the employees were equal in their knowledge of using the available tools at Pathfinders. With the delivery of their network, a fundamental change occurred within the employee dynamics. An atmosphere of resentment developed due to an imbalance of knowledge and workload. Some of the employees went out of their way to grasp the advancement in technology thereby, improving themselves and their work processes. They pursued the educational opportunities offered to them by Pathfinders and enhanced their knowledge of computer applications. Productivity for these individuals increased, causing an increase in satisfaction by Pathfinders’ consumers.Conversely, there was a minority of employees, who took a stance in not excepting these changes. These individuals spent much of their time complaining that they could not do the work using the tools provided, or repeatedly requested help from the employees that understood the technology. Defense mechanisms were employed to justify their reactions to the new technology. These employees viewed the technology change as a threat and wanted nothing to do with improving their computing skills or their work environment. However, as training and practice in using the improvements to the technology progressed, acceptance began to increase and resistance began to decrease. Change is difficult in all organizations but to stay in business Pathfinders was forced to change with the times.Pathfinders operations depend heavily on federal grant money. Each year Pathfinders must forecast how that money will be spent and report that the goals of the previous year have been met. The Federal reporting system began as a hardcopy report that evolved to an online reporting system. Without the changes in technology, Pathfinders would find it difficult to apply for Federal grant money or report its disbursement.ConclusionCareful consideration was employed to determine if a change in IT infrastructure was warranted within the Pathfinders organization. Potential obstacles were identified and anticipated. One of those obstacles was the affect that a change in technology would have on the organizational culture of Pathfinders verses the improvement in customer service. Pathfinders identified that resistance to change and fear played a role in the effectiveness of the change. Additionally, Pathfinders identified that as the staff moved along the learning curve, acceptance of the technology increased and fear of the technology decreased.

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Understanding the Communication Process – The Key to Organisational Success

The process by which one person or a group of persons receive an increment of information which has some value for either sender or receiver either by way of knowledge addition or entertainment or acquisition of energy to act or persuasion to buy or act as required by the sender is the process of communication.The Process of CommunicationThe critical part of communication is the information, which is being transferred. Information may be in any form- ranging from hand signals to public speech, from email to detailed contract, from one word greeting to a lengthy letter, from a message on a notice board of a school to a full page advertisement on a daily, from a hint with raised eyebrows to five-minute hug, from a memo from a superior or subordinate to a HR manual and so on. For the transfer of the information or the message, certain vehicle or medium is employed, which loads itself with it and passes it on to the intended receivers. Paper, phone, one-to-one meeting, public meeting, conversation, hoarding, newspaper, words written or spoken, body gestures, smile, books etc are the vehicles or media. The way the vehicles take and transport the information in such a way that the receiver understands it as it should be is the communication process. The medium or the sender or the receiver characteristically distorts the information, which in one way or other contributes fully or partly to the failure of the communication in accomplishing the purpose intended.Two important stages of communication are a) encoding and b) decoding. The process involved in these two stages is a potential source of communication failure. Encoding is translation or conversion of the idea or intention or message into words or signals so that receiver would reconvert the same as intended by the sender. Decoding is what the receiver does to reconvert the received words or signals into the idea or intention or message as originally intended by the sender. The problems associated with encoding or decoding are due to the fact that words or signals have multiple meanings and thus there is a possibility of either use of wrong words or wrong signals or understanding them in a way different from what is originally intended.Understanding of the process of communication would facilitate transactions. Else, the there would be no action at all or delayed action if at all there is some action or wrong action or relationships turning bad and so on. For instance, a boss tells his secretary that a meeting with contractors is urgent. But he finds to his surprise that a meeting has been convened quickly the next day morning, but it clashed with another program, which the secretary is not aware. The boss, in this case, while being busy with office routine overlooked the process involved in passing messages and the attendant chances of communication going wrong in many of the stages. He failed to specify the time. But the secretary understood it as next day morning. This illustrates how the process involved in encoding and decoding goes wrong and thus it springs surprises.All the elements involved in communication which constitute the communication process are a) sender b) receiver c) message c) encoding d) decoding e) channel f) noise g) feedback.The following brief discussion explains the process of communication.Sender: The point from where the message originated, here the boss, is the sender. The action intended to happen out of this message is convening of a meeting urgently, but definitely not the next day morning.Message: Message is the essential content of communication or information intended to be passed. The request for convening of meeting is the message.Receiver: The person who has to take delivery of message is the receiver. Here the secretary is the receiver whose job is to understand exactly and act on it as intended by the sender.Encoding: The idea of convening a meeting, in this instance, has been converted into words, probably with facial expressions signaling the urgency of meeting. Such process of converting an idea is words or expressions is encoding.Channel: The encoded message needs a vehicle or a medium to be transported from sender to receiver. The vehicle may be a paper or a telephone or Internet or meeting or conversation. In the present example, oral communication made by the boss to secretary is the channel.Decoding: The process of understanding by receiver of the message given by the sender. In this example, the secretary while decoding understood the message given by the sender.Noise: Noise is the causative factor for the message being miscommunicated or misunderstood due to the problem either in the medium chosen or encoding or decoding or in some stages of the process. In this instance, the message was not properly constructed and hence the secretary did not understand it as intended by the sender. The noise in communication is analogous to the external noise generated by cable or transmission equipment of land line telecommunication while the subscribers talk on land line phones and hence they don’t listen or understand the words exchanged.Feedback: The sender would be communicating back to the sender his or her evaluation or how he or she understood about each part of the message or word before the sender goes further in acting on the message. Here in the present example the secretary did not give her feedback about what she understood and thus the intended message failed.While what was described in the preceding paragraphs is a general understanding of the concept of communication process, a brief study of various theories propounded till date would facilitate a fairly in-depth understanding of the communication process. The same has been attempted in the following paragraphs.Aristotle Theory of One Way Communication: Aristotle proposed that communication has three components- sender, receiver and message. It is a simple and basic model, which, nevertheless, laid base for the rest of the theories to come up. Aristotle, at such an early period of evolution of social science, posited that communication is a one way process. It connotes that sender is responsible for good persuasive communication to happen. Neither the concept of noise nor the necessity of feedback in communication crossed his mind.Lasswell Model of Communication: Lasswell extended the communication theory of Aristotle to include another element, channel. Three important elements or components in this theory are a) Sender b) Message c) Channel. His theory posits that it is the responsibility of the sender to see that receiver understands the message, by choosing a proper channel. It is also a one-way direction of communication as that of Aristotle.Shannon-Weaver Model: CE Shannon and W Weaver, the engineers’ duo, proposed this theory in 1949. This theory was based on a mechanistic view of communication. This is the first theory, which recognizes that the message received is not the same as the message sent. This distortion is due to the noise present in the system.They introduced feedback as a corrective measure for noise. But, they did not integrate the feedback into the model. They proposed that feedback would start another cycle of communication process. The theory essentially posits that real communication takes place only when the message received and message sent are one and the same without any difference, which may be true for an engineering model. But the communication that takes place between individuals, which mostly happens without any machines, cannot be as perfect as assumed in the theory, since the filters in the individuals operate while both listening and sending. Filters are the attitudes, perceptions, experiences and evaluations that operate much before the actual communication starts. The action that takes place as intended is the proof of success of communication.The elements in this model are a) Information source b) Encoding c) Channel d) Decoding e) Destination f) Noise g) Feedback.Schramm Model of Communication: Wilburn Schramm proposed this model in 1955, which was considered to be the best of all the theories since it is evolved and comprehensive. It was proposed in three stages with some improvement in each successive stage over the previous one. These stages are also referred to as three distinct models.In the first stage, it emphasized on encoding process and source like that of Aristotle without any recognition for noise. It too was a one-way direction of communication flow.In the second stage, the emphasis shifted to the shared domain of experience of sender and receiver. The sender has to take into consideration, according to this theory, the needs and abilities of the receiver, which he must be aware of due to shared experience, and thus the selects the right channel and at the same time encodes the message in the way that can be understood by the receiver. Here the communication process is understood to be a two-way flow.In the third stage, the feedback was thought to be an essential element of communication system. In this stage of Schramm’s theory, the communication process encompasses sender, receiver, good channel, proper encoding, proper decoding, and feedback. The flow which ends with feedback starts immediately again to make a circular process.The Inferential Model of Communication: Prof.Mathukutty Monippally proposes a new theory called ‘Inferential Model of Communication’ emphasizing on symbols displayed and the construction of meaning inadequately from such symbols. The model assumes that there is no adequate and proper way to send a message, and nevertheless we send message through some chosen symbols, which again are not properly understood.Prof. Mathukutty (2001) explains, ” The inferential model assumes that we cannot communicate, that we cannot communicate, that we cannot share our message with anyone, that we cannot it in the minds of and hearts of others. And yet we want to communicate. There is no code that can capture our message faithfully and then be cracked clean by others. So we resort to displaying symbols….This procedure is generally satisfactory. Of course, we can go wrong; and occasionally we go terribly wrong. But this is the only means available.” ( Mathukutty M Monippally, Business Communication Strategies,2001, New Delhi, Tata Mcgrawhill Publishing Company Limited, pp 6-9)An Overview of Some More Models of CommunicationAnother model of Katz -Lazarfeld is the one related to mass communication, which states that the sender has to encode the message and transmit the same through mass media to an opinion leader. The opinion leader in turn transmits the same to the target audience, the public. This is also constructed as a one-way direction of information flow.Another model, which has taken a different path, is that of Westley – Maclean. It emphasizes on interpersonal communication. In this, the carefully encoded message is sent to the receiver who in turn sends it to either the sender or other individual with some changes. The model lays stress on sender, receiver and feedback, which make this model a circular one.One more one- way model is that of Berlo, which recognizes perception as an important element of communication. According to this model, any discrepancy in the reception of message due to influence of perceptions of intermediaries would lead to miscommunication. The important building blocks of this model are the source, the receiver, the meaning intended and the process of sending and receiving the message.Watlaw- Beavin-Jackobson, proposed a model of two-way communication with emphasis on the behavior of participants and the relationships existing among them to achieve communication success.Rogers-Kincaid proposed that for the communication to be successful, the individuals should be connected through social networks and sharing of information.ConclusionUnderstanding communication process is very critical to the managers of the organization. They should understand that communication is rarely understood as it should be. The distortion of the message can happen at any of the stages in communication process-sender, receiver, encoding, decoding, channel, message and feedback.

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A Simple Way to Manage Investments

One investment criterion important to many people, and perhaps to you, is: How easy are my investments to supervise? For example, does the investment require constant care, supervision, or expense, such as the complete or partial ownership of real estate property with its rental, repair, maintenance, taxation, and other management problems?Or does the investment require none of your time, such as your contributions to a pension fund? Some people feel confident and enjoy the time and effort that may go into managing their investments. Others have neither the skill, time, nor patience to bother with their investments. There are investments that satisfy both groups, depending on personal objectives.The best method to manage all investments is the Investment Portfolio Evaluation Grid. It is a great chart to help organize your present portfolio, even if your investments right now are some money in a savings account, or an IRA or pension plan.Start by creating 7 columns and input the following: Date, Cost, Present Market Value, % Total Portfolio Market, Annual Return, Yield, and % Return on Market.Next, input all your investments on the left in rows: Savings Accounts, U.S. Savings Bonds, Treasury Securities, Certificate of Deposit, Bonds-Tax-Free, Common Shares-Dividends, Preferred Shares, Blue-Chip Shares, Real Estate, Second Mortgages & Trust Deeds, IRA & Keogh Accounts, Pension Plans, Insurance Annuities, Growth Stocks, Undeveloped Real Estate, Precious Metals, Stock Options, Commodity Contracts, Commercial Paper, Other, and Total Portfolio.Determine the percentage of the market value of your portfolio as a whole. Divide the present market value of the individual investment by the total present market value of your portfolio. Determine the percentage of what it costs you to make an investment. This is easy to figure with interest bearing investments. A $1,000 10% bond you paid $1,000 for has a 10% yield. On stocks or real estate, estimate yield by dividing the amount of increase in value and/or dividend by the amount you paid. For example, if you paid $100 for a stock and received a $5 cash dividend, the yield would be 5%. Determine the percentage of the return on your portfolio as a whole. Divide the annual dollar return on all investments by the total present market value of your portfolio.For each investment you now have, fill in all the information you can in the columns to the right. The last three columns (Annual Return, Yield, and % Return on Market), tell how your investments have performed for you, as well as their relative value within your portfolio. If you do not have exact numbers for everything, do not worry. At this point you are just seeking an overview of what you have. A big picture will start to form that indicates how your money is allocated. You can also see what types of investment vehicles serve your objectives.If you are like many people who are just starting to invest, your grid is heavily weighted toward protection of principle. You may not even be aware of some of the listed investments. Before you get into the characteristics of different investments, you will benefit greatly from having a reference point with which to evaluate the various investment opportunities. Consider all the personal factors in your financial picture, including the other people affected by the decisions you will make.Forecast as much as possible, where your current and potential income sources will take you 5-20 years from now. What standard of living is important to you now and in the future? Will you need to provide for children? Do you wish to retire early? Where do you want to allocate investment and other disposable income? To a house in the hills? In world travel? To building a business?These and dozens of other personal questions should get some serious thought at this point. Do not be rigid. Expect your priorities and goals to change. But better a mutable plan for the future than none at all. Allow yourself to dream and get excited about the possibilities. Though it is difficult, even dangerous, to generalize about what investment objectives are most important to different groups, the following information will give you broad guidelines to consider, if you are:a) Single, with low to average working income, with a savings-oriented temperament, seek investments that produce income but that also provides some long-term capital growth.b) Single, with an average to high working income, and/or an aggressive temperament, seek investments with strong total return (the sum of the current yield and the capital-gain yield), concentrating on long-term, and high-growth vehicles.c) Married, with no dependents earning an average to high income growth-oriented but aggressive, look at safe income-producing investments, such as bonds and money-market mutual funds.d) Married, with dependents, a low to average income and a conservative temperament, seek secure investments with long-term growth in both capital and income, perhaps blue-chip stocks.e) An older person, with income from Social Security and some savings, and a goal of more income while preserving current capital, seek a conservative income fund that pays dividends and has appreciation value, or a money-market fund with a satisfactory yield.Take a look at your new chart and you will see Percentage of Portfolio typically allocated to investments goals. You can use this as a guideline when considering how to allocate your investment money. However, at a younger age, safety and capital gain has greater weight. In later years the need for income and safety of principle tends to increase.

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How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.

The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.

The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.

There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.

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Understanding the Impacts of Gout

Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.

Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.

While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.

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How To Approach Removing Asbestos Removal in Sydney

Planning to renovate your home built decades ago? Well, you got to be careful! There is a good chance it may have asbestos. This is a popular building material used throughout Australia before it was completely banned in 2003.

Asbestos is not generally considered hazardous. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to remove up to ten square meters of non-friable asbestos. More than that, people are advised to seek professional help, especially handling friable ones. Because of the health risks involved, DIY removal is considered illegal.

This is particularly prohibited in Sydney. Hence, the expertise of your trusted asbestos removalists is required to handle the dangerous job.

Why Removing Asbestos Can Be Dangerous?

There are many DIY ideas. Some are equally fun. Whilst, others can be hazardous, like removing asbestos by yourself.

Here are some reasons why removing asbestos without proper knowledge can be dangerous:

Exposure to diseases

Small quantities of asbestos are present in the air most of the time and are being breathed in by everyone without ill effects. But, exposure to high levels of asbestos for a long time is pretty serious. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Accidents and Injuries

Asbestos is used in cement sheeting, drainage and pipes, guttering, and even roofing. But, asbestos roofing can become fragile over time. Hence, you might risk breaking it apart, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Also, a single sheet of asbestos can weigh 30-50 kilograms. Such weight can cause injuries.

Wrong removal and ill-fitting equipment

You may not know the proper ways to remove asbestos, exposing you to very harmful fibres. And the recommended removal equipment is quite expensive. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal can be pretty costly. It is determined by the type and size of the area, as well as the amount of debris to be removed. The safety risks of asbestos also increase the cost, especially when friable asbestos is involved. But health is wealth. It is always worth the price.

Most junk removalists in Sydney are priced from $99.99 per cubic metre, however, given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, prices may be higher. It’s important to receive a few quotes before proceeding with an asbestos removal service.

How To Find The Right Asbestos Removal Provider?

There are a few key things you can do right now to ensure that your search for a provider is a successful one. They include:

Check Online Reviews

Does the asbestos removal service provider have an abundance of positive Google reviews? Check the history of their reviews to make sure that they are in-fact, legitimate. Businesses with legitimate reviews tend to have a stream of reviews that span across years of their lifetime; not just all within a few months.

Service Locality

Hiring a local asbestos removal business is always best. This ensures that you receive the best pricing as the business is local and nearby to your location. Typically, local businesses tend to take more pride in their workmanship as a positive reputation is key to their ongoing success.

Number of Years in Business

Given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to check how long the business has been in operation. A business who has over 10 years servicing the local community may provide cheaper pricing, given that they likely will have more refined practices.

Conclusion

Take your time while in search of a suitable asbestos removal provider. Due-dilligence is important and always shop around for the best quotes.

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A Pall Settles Over America

I see it in their eyes, downcast and wary. I see it in their steps, shuffling and tentative. When they talk, they use a word I rarely hear, depressed.

These are the producers, those who make the country work. Hourly and salaried employees and managers, who go to their jobs every day, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

They’re the kind of people who have been with us since the country began. Back then, we called them Pilgrims, sod-busters, and settlers. Today they go by many names, Physician, Technician, Engineer, and Laborer. But for all of them, life has a rhythm, just as it did two centuries ago, that comes from our agricultural heritage.

Spring has always been the time for planting, and looking forward to the year ahead. Summertime is when they cultivate the crops. Fall is harvest time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for blessing us. Winter is the time of austerity, the time to prune, the time to cut back.

But not this year. This year, we are still in harvest time. Yet the pruning has already begun. Major companies across this land are already cutting back, eliminating staff to reduce.

For thousands of laid-off workers, it comes at the worst possible time. Just before the holidays. A time when many who have children will have to cut back this Christmas. There will be little joy for those who lost their jobs these holidays.

If you’ve lived through a corporate “downsizing,” you know that anxiety runs high. No matter how often the boss has assured you that you will be kept on, you’re never sure about your future. Should you start looking for a new job now, or wait? Does the boss know what lies ahead, or might he be on the corporate chopping block? There is no job security once layoffs begin.

But there is much more to our collective angst this year than at any time in our memory. These corporate cutbacks are merely reflecting a more significant issue, an issue that is nationwide.

Our country is headed in the wrong direction. That is a sentiment shared by three-quarters of us. And we’ve felt that way for a couple of years. Producers know that the country should be operating better. Yes, there were all difficulties associated with the Pandemic. But those are now behind us.

Today recovery should be well underway. But it’s not. Despite all the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, our standard of living is falling. Each day inflation marches on; real income is declining. Gasoline, food, and shelter costs accelerate in real-time, but a salary rise comes annually. Corporate raises will arrive at the end of the year and likely come nowhere near the level of inflation we’ve already experienced.

Producers see all of this.

Producers also know that many, perhaps most, of our problems come from Washington. We see that a feeble old man has his bony fingers on the nation’s tiller, steering us straight for the shoals. He, and those who surround him, have a policy of austerity. In their eyes, less is better, and fewer is preferred. We should use less heat this winter, drive smaller, preferably electric vehicles, and eat vegan. And the less we consume, the better. From this perspective, we are the problem. Our destiny is to have shortages and wants. And they’ve pushed us in that direction.

However, these leaders told us last week that we could change everything. By walking into our voting booth, we could make our voices heard. We, the people, could take this country in a new direction that our leaders were indeed subject to the will of the people.

That didn’t happen. Counting votes has become a haze of computational complexity and slow-walking results. So that the incumbents in Washington get the results they want, it’s the complete inversion of the principal and values that the country’s founders intended. But there it is—today’s reality.

It’s the reason the word I hear most often from Producers today is: depression. And I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

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How to Choose the Right YouTube Channel Name for Your Brand

Who is your target audience?

Before you even think about branding, you need to have a clear understanding of who you wish to reach out to and what your main marketing message is going to be. If you are launching a YouTube channel for your new e-commerce business that sells jewelry, the first question you need to ask yourself is who your target audience will be. This will help you further decide how you want your channel to look and what content you want it to feature. For example, if your target audience is females aged between 25 and 40 years and you want to focus on brand engagement, you can use your YouTube channel to post behind-the-scenes videos of your product creation process. Alternatively, if you want to use your channel as a sales and marketing tool, you can create tutorial videos that showcase the various ways your products can be used and even provide suggestions on how to pair them with other accessories.

What do you want to achieve through your channel?

Now that you have identified your target audience, the next thing you need to ask yourself is what your main purpose is for having a YouTube channel in the first place. Is your channel meant to attract new customers, build brand awareness, or increase your sales? Whatever your channel’s main goal is, it is important to convey this to your audience through your channel name. For instance, if your channel is meant to increase your sales, you can use a name that suggests discounts or offers. On the other hand, if you wish to build brand awareness through your channel, you can go with a name that clearly communicates this message.

What words and phrases do you want to be associated with?

Before you even begin thinking about a YouTube channel name, you need to have a clear understanding of words and phrases that you want your channel to be associated with. For example, if you wish for your channel to be associated with creativity and originality, you can go with something along the lines of “Creative Jewelry” or “Jewelry Box”. On the other hand, if you wish to be associated with fashion and style, a good name would be “Fashion Jewels”. A good idea would be to jot down all the words and phrases that you wish your channel to be associated with, and then start brainstorming for possible channel names. This can be done by listing out all the words and phrases that are relevant to your business, crossing off the ones that don’t make sense, and then combining two or three words to create a new and memorable name.

Be Short and Catchy!

The average human attention span is now 8 seconds – that’s how long it takes for your prospective customers to decide whether or not they wish to continue reading or watching your content. This means that you have about 8 seconds to grab their attention and make a lasting impression. And since you only have a few seconds to make a good first impression, it is important to make the most of it and create a name that is short, catchy, and easy to remember. For example, the YouTube channel “Daily Jewelry” is way too long and cumbersome which makes it hard to remember and even harder to type when creating the channel URL. However, the channel name “Jewelry Box” is short, easy to remember, and will definitely make people curious enough to click on your channel. It is even better if you can use an emoji or a GIF in your channel name as they are presented more visually.

Choosing the right words for your brand name.

When choosing the right channel name, it is important to remember that the words you pick out will not only be used to create your channel name but will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO. This means that you have to make sure that the words you pick are relevant to your content and that they make sense when put together. For example, if you wish to create a channel that features jewelry tutorials and designs, “Jewelry Box” is a perfect name as it suggests creativity, originality, and even organization. On the other hand, if you decide to go with a name like “Daily Jewelry”, the words “daily” and “jewelry” don’t really make any sense when put together, and the name isn’t very original either.

Summing up

All in all, the name you choose for your YouTube channel is extremely important because it will be the first thing your prospective customers will see and read. Your channel name will also be used as keywords for your YouTube SEO, so it is important to make sure that it is short, catchy, and grammatically correct. While coming up with a brand name is never an easy task, there are a few things you can do to make the process a little bit easier. The best thing to do is to make a list of all the words and phrases that you wish to be associated with your channel and then start brainstorming for possible names.

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Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7

Shoe Repairs And Several Other Things When I Was 7
My Dad repaired most of our shoes believe it or not, I can hardly believe it myself now. With 7 pairs of shoes always needing repairs I think he was quite clever to learn how to “Keep us in shoe Leather” to coin a phrase!

He bought several different sizes of cast iron cobbler’s “lasts”. Last, the old English “Laest” meaning footprint. Lasts were holding devices shaped like a human foot. I have no idea where he would have bought the shoe leather. Only that it was a beautiful creamy, shiny colour and the smell was lovely.

But I do remember our shoes turned upside down on and fitted into these lasts, my Dad cutting the leather around the shape of the shoe, and then hammering nails, into the leather shape. Sometimes we’d feel one or 2 of those nails poking through the insides of our shoes, but our dad always fixed it.

Hiking and Swimming Galas
Dad was a very outdoorsy type, unlike my mother, who was probably too busy indoors. She also enjoyed the peace and quiet when he took us off for the day!

Anyway, he often took us hiking in the mountains where we’d have a picnic of sandwiches and flasks of tea. And more often than not we went by steam train.

We loved poking our heads out of the window until our eyes hurt like mad from a blast of soot blowing back from the engine. But sore, bloodshot eyes never dampened our enthusiasm.

Dad was an avid swimmer and water polo player, and he used to take us to swimming galas, as they were called back then. He often took part in these galas. And again we always travelled by steam train.

Rowing Over To Ireland’s Eye
That’s what we did back then, we had to go by rowboat, the only way to get to Ireland’s eye, which is 15 minutes from mainland Howth. From there we could see Malahide, Lambay Island and Howth Head of course. These days you can take a Round Trip Cruise on a small cruise ship!

But we thoroughly enjoyed rowing and once there we couldn’t wait to climb the rocks, and have a swim. We picnicked and watched the friendly seals doing their thing and showing off.

Not to mention all kinds of birdlife including the Puffin.The Martello Tower was also interesting but a bit dangerous to attempt entering. I’m getting lost in the past as I write, and have to drag myself back to the present.

Fun Outings with The camera Club
Dad was also a very keen amateur photographer, and was a member of a camera Club. There were many Sunday photography outings and along with us came other kids of the members of the club.

And we always had great fun while the adults busied themselves taking photos of everything and anything, it seemed to us. Dad was so serious about his photography that he set up a dark room where he developed and printed his photographs.

All black and white at the time. He and his camera club entered many of their favourites in exhibitions throughout Europe. I’m quite proud to say that many cups and medals were won by Dad. They have been shared amongst all his grandchildren which I find quite special.

He liked taking portraits of us kids too, mostly when we were in a state of untidiness, usually during play. Dad always preferred the natural look of messy hair and clothes in the photos of his children.

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What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

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