Monthly Archives: August 2015


Asian Diversity: Know the Culture before You Book a Flight

TravellingJakarta, many are willing to fly to the other side of the world just to have a taste of the colorful and exotic culture of the continent.

But before you pack your bags for the trip of a lifetime, keep in mind the custom locals practice — so as not to unintentionally offend them.

  1. Learn the local greeting.

There are a lot of ways to greet a person. In Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore and Malaysia, the handshake is acceptable. But don’t be too firm to avoid sending signals that can be seen as aggression.

However, there are some countries, like Thailand, where there’s a different way to greet called “wai.” Locals say their hello with a bow while assuming a praying position.

  1. Watch your manners when eating.

You will be dining out when travelling. In your 48-hour visit in Bangkok or other Asian destinations, you’ll encounter a number of unconventional dishes, as well as eating customs.

Most Asian countries value their respect for elders, so let them seat themselves first. It’s also polite to let them take the first bite. In the Philippines, it’s a sign of respect if you invite other people to dine with you.

You should also be aware of how you use your chopsticks when visiting a country that uses them. For one, you should not use your chopsticks to point to something or someone. Keep in mind as well the custom of tipping in the country you’re in, as there are some that view it as an offensive act.

  1. Visit sacred places with respect.

Asia boasts of a lot of sacred places—shrines, temples, churches, mosques, and others. Most of these  places prohibit noise, and food or drinks inside. Pay attention to the kind of clothes you wear when entering a church.

The same goes with mosques, where people need to take off hats and shoes before they enter. Take note of the protocols of taking photographs as well, since there are some places that don’t allow you to do so. Whatever your religion, show respect by following the rules.

Remember these tips — and research for more! Knowing a country’s custom will not just help you get through your visit, it will also help you gain new friends during your stay.


Drain Maintenance: Proactive and Preventive Sanitation Practices

DrainMicroorganisms grow and multiply wherever conditions are favorable, and some of these are potentially deadly to humans. It’s a chilling thought, but you may already be harboring colonies of harmful bacteria and fungi in your sinks and drains without you even knowing it.

You are technically to blame if there is an outbreak of these deadly microorganisms, especially if you only clean your space once every month. Your home’s drainage system is the most forgotten part of your home, and not maintaining it properly may be the reason why they are proliferating.

Understanding Biofilm

Biofilm is a type of protective structure made from a polysaccharide matrix and has a notorious reputation for being the source of contamination from microbial populations. It manifests physically as a slimy layer on drain surfaces and these serve as the point of attachment of microbial cultures in drain systems.

Unlike free form microbes, biofilm is resistant to traditional chemicals used for sanitary purposes. Most of the biofilm is in areas within the plumbing system that is difficult to reach with regular cleaning alone.

A Preventive Approach

Many commercial drain cleaners advise implementing preventive measures to stop biofilm formation and microbial growth, particularly in areas where you do food preparation. When your drain system houses populations of microorganisms, they may contaminate the food you are preparing and cause diseases.

This usually happens when the biofilm blocks the passageways, which eventually causes the air in the drain to back up, dispersing the microorganisms in the air. The blockage also causes build-ups and floods, which may contact food if they spill.

Aside from regular cleanup and maintenance, it’s also important to check what you wash down the drain. Avoid disposing of solid waste in the drain, particularly foodstuffs, as this is increases the accumulation of biofilm.

A drain system that is functioning optimally is an integral part of a safe and hazard-free food preparation area. To lower the possibility of microbial contamination, implement preventative measures and enlist the aid of professionals when more serious drain problems occur.

Keys to Success in the Flatbed Trucking Business

flatbed truckIn the United States, goods are always being moved from one location to another. This gives trucking companies plenty of opportunities to prosper. But, not everyone who enters the fray comes out victorious.

Certainly, no one in the trucking industry can say that it has been a smooth ride all along. Flatbed ltl trucking companies face greater challenges than ever before. But, despite all the difficulties, it is possible to succeed, leaving the competition in the dust.

Learn the ropes

Before you started the company, you planned for every contingency and conducted thorough research covering relevant aspects of the industry. If you want to keep your edge over the competition, you must continue to study the growing marketplace and determine your place in it.

It is not enough that you are a reliable flatbed trucker. You must have good business acumen as well. Do you want to stay where you are? Is there a more promising niche to explore? Do not be satisfied that you are part of the essential service framework that keeps the American economy running. You are in a highly competitive industry, and you need to know what’s going on if you want to stay in the business.

Invest in the right equipment

Trucking equipment is quite expensive. You must be prepared to invest on the best type of flatbed equipment not only when you are starting out, but also as your business takes on new avenues. Be open to financing alternatives so that you are not limited in your equipment options.

Make sure you can make the payments before you decide on an expensive item. The option to lease is available to you, but figure out first if your current business situation warrants a lease or equipment purchase.

Lastly, while you are busy with core business operations such as investing in new equipment and studying industry trends, do not neglect your customer list. Your success is only guaranteed if you have repeat customers.

Best Place to Migrate

Aotearoa: The Best Place to Migrate

Best Place to MigrateEven with Google around, searching for the best place to migrate is no easy task. There are just too many things to consider, not to mention a slew of viable options to check. Lucky for us, Aotearoa just made it a lot easier.

While Australia has certainly held its own as a migrant magnet, it is not the only ideal and highly recommended location. Aotearoa, the original name for the North island of New Zealand, is a contender that many travellers tend to overlook.

Beautiful New Zealand

An island of volcanic soils and abundant rain, New Zealand (NZ) may not be as big as the Land Down Under, but its soil productivity is top. The fact of the matter is, the arid desert dubbed ‘the Outback’ in giant Australia, would be no match in terms of sustainability.

As impressive as that is however, it’s not what NZ has that has amazed the world so much. It’s how  policymakers have made the right decisions to make the land tough to beat, look at Auckland as an example.

After years of hard work and brilliant planning, New Zealand’s most populous city, Auckland has etched its name in stone as the most liveable city in the world. That can only mean that when it comes to jobs, peace, and order, over-all satisfaction is racing through the roof. Demand is so high that builders such as Ultimate Homes are getting calls every day regarding the availability of their services.

A Global Beacon

You will definitely find New Zealand fitting for a new home. The place is so welcoming even the government could help you get in touch with new homebuilders to get you started. Known for the seamless integration between Maori original settlers and European settlers, beautiful New Zealand is multiculturalism at its finest.

The status of the island only needs the input of travellers to give it the boost to become a destination on par with the more famous destinations in Europe, America, and Asia.

Heart Attack

Shot Through the Heart: Early Warning Signs of Heart Attack

Heart AttackYou see people grabbing their chest in pain as one of the most common sign someone is having a heart attack, but it’s not the only obvious sign. Some people may not experience chest pain at all, while others may only experience mild discomfort in other parts of the body.

Whatever your current heart and overall health condition is, it’s always best to know more about heart attacks, particularly what happens when these occur.

Chest Pain or Discomfort

The discomfort is normally felt in the centre or on the left side of the chest, which can feel like pressure, squeezing, pain, or the sensation of someone sitting on top of your chest. It also can feel like heartburn or indigestion. The discomfort usually lasts for more than a few minutes. Chest pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away or doesn’t change from its usual pattern can also be a sign of a heart attack.

Upper Body Pain

Upper body pain is the discomfort that spreads from the chest area to your shoulders, arms, back, neck and other parts of your upper extremities. Signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary from person to person, so do not dismiss the possibility that just because you have upper body pain with no chest discomfort does not mean it is not a heart attack or a heart-related problem.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath that is not caused by physical activities is often a sign of heart failure. While it may be the body’s way of telling you need a rest, the shortness of breath can also be a response to the unusual stress on the heart. Heart problem or not, it’s a sign that something is wrong.

Sweating and Anxiety

This feels like having a panic attack for no reason where you suddenly break into a cold sweat. Other than chest discomfort, you may also feel dizzy or feel like you might pass out. While these are often dismissed as heartburn or some other food-related problem, it could be your heart telling you something is wrong.


How Veteran House Relocators May Be of Service to You

HouseRelocating your home to another region of the North Island or even just across town is best left to professional house relocation services. With the right skillset and equipment for short and long distance removal and with optimal results, you need not worry about your entire home’s big move.

But most people overlook that aside from transportation, you can rely on experienced relocators for levelling, house rolling and other tasks that come with home relocation.

Permits and consents

Securing consents and permits is one of the most time-consuming and complex aspects of moving a house. You have to get a permit for uprooting the structure from its current location and a separate permit must be secured to establish the building on its new location legitimately.

Resource and building consents are part of the list of requirements. Building consents cover all the activities involved in uplifting the house and constructing necessary structures to make it stable for transport. The consent for the new site covers all the work needed to build new foundations and repair damages incurred while the house is in transit. Meanwhile, a resource consent is required if the relocation activities are likely to have a significant environmental impact. You have to submit a different set of documents and plans for this. Afterwards, a compliance certificate is issued by the authorities to confirm that you have complied fully.

With professional house transporters, you need not involve yourself in the tedious process of filing for these permits and documents, as they will do it for you.

Floor Planning and Modification

Professional house removal services can help you with the requirements for consent application. It is advisable to make them part of the team that will help you prepare the documents, which usually include the floor plan, site plan, cross section detailing and pile layout, bracing calculations, elevation plans, plumbing layout and modifications, engineering reports, and proposed alterations to the existing structure.

This technical aspect of the move is not easy for a homeowner. However, with the help of these professionals, you will be able to understand and leave the difficult parts to them.

Lastly, if you decide to secure insurance for the house removal in order to cover any damage incurred, then you may inquire with the professional movers if they also provide insurance coverage.

House transporters and relocators are great not just for the moving, but for everything involved in it. Get their services on your next move and reap the benefits of a hassle-free house relocation.


Homeownership without Down Payment: 100% Financing Options

HomeownershipYears after the Great Recession, more and more Salt Lake City residents welcome the idea of finally becoming a homeowner. However, there are still individuals who worry about not being able to make repayments on time, and more importantly, coming up with enough down payment to secure a mortgage.

This is where 100% financing services come into play.

What is a 100 percent financing service?

Also known as “no down payment mortgage,” a 100% financing service enables borrowers to make a home purchase without money down. Mortgage experts from Utah Loan Pros – Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. explain that with this type of program, lenders are responsible for paying the entire purchase price of the property.

When you get qualified for a no down payment mortgage, you don’t have to keep delaying your home buying plans just because you haven’t saved enough money. With this kind of mortgage,  realize your dreams of becoming a homeowner sooner.

What are your no down payment mortgage options?

Potential homebuyers from Salt Lake City who have no means to pay the down payment or who still don’t have enough savings have several options. According to Bankrate, some of the most ideal programs to apply for are:

  • VA loans
  • Navy Federal Credit Union loans
  • USDA Rural Development mortgages

It’s worth noting that there are also certain types of mortgage programs offering homebuyers the chance to pay for a small down payment. You should also check them out if the 100 percent financing services don’t work for you.

The Great Recession is over. Becoming a homeowner in Salt Lake City is easier if you know the mortgage options that work for your finances.


In-Laws Over the Long Haul: To Help or To Hurt?

CoupleSeveral things play a hand at a relationship’s longevity. Apart from the obvious factor of love, compassion and honesty, other non-abstract elements predict the odds of a couple staying together over the long haul.

You’ve heard it all: sex, adultery, finance, education, and even the amount of household work each couple is responsible for. These are all factors to divorce and while it pays to consult with family lawyers, such as Lewis & Matthews, P.C., sometimes, the problem lies exactly within your household.

Quantifying the Power of In-Laws

According Terri Orbuch, a psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, a tight relationship with the in-laws can either increase or decrease a couple’s likelihood for divorce. The study was conducted for 26 years and it calculated the influence of in-laws in a romantic relationship.

Apparently, men with a close relationship with their wife’s parents are 20% less likely to form problems and consider divorcing. Meanwhile, women with a close relationship with their husband’s parents are 20% more likely to find themselves in tight situations, hence more inclined to split.

Difference between Sexes

When a man grows close to his wife’s parents, according to the findings of the study, the man is showing how important the woman is to him. However, when a woman grows close to her husband’s family, she is doing so for a greater sense of access and ability to cross boundaries.

While exclusive only to the data the research is anchored on, the study nonetheless speaks of the power of human relationships. Divorce is a complex issue and many factors pull the strings. In this context, in-laws can make or break a relationship.

They can form bridges and help couples deal with the troubles of being two different people while being together and rearing a family; or their role in the dynamics of coupling can backfire, interfere and prevent the husband and wife from forming a strong bond together.


Beyond the Tourist Sites: Things Non-Brisbanites Might Not Know about Brisbane

BrisbaneBrisbane holds a reputation of being incredibly vibrant, modern and cosmopolitan. As one of the most liveable cities in the world, it is home to an extremely diverse culture and countless attractions. From historic buildings to picturesque parks, you will find the city’s wonders at every turn.

Nonetheless, Brisbane goes beyond these attractions. Any property manager in Brisbane will tell you how this city has more to offer.

Here are a few facts that non-Brisbanites might not know about:

Brisbane’s winter can be very dry

If you expect snow in downtown Brisbane, you may end up disappointed. It is incredibly rare for temperatures to fall below 9 degrees in this city. Winter is mild and pleasant, with only the occasional snow and shower. This climate makes it ideal for holidaymakers and locals who want to explore the city during winter.

Summer is cyclone season

Brisbane receives plenty of sunshine all year round, but that does not mean you have many days to enjoy the outdoors during summer. The heat can become unbearable and the skies can easily turn dark with bouts of rain. Thunderstorms and cyclones are common during this season.

The city used to be a penal colony

Looking at Brisbane today, you might find it quite difficult to believe it used to be a penal colony. The second penal colony moved to Moreton Bay, which is only 14 kilometres away from central Brisbane. Some of the most notable attractions that rose from this period include the Queen Street Mall, the Post Office Building, the Supreme Court and the Windmill Tower.

Story Bridge has a twin

If Sydney has the harbor and the opera house, Brisbane has the Story Bridge. Completed in 1940, this steel cantilever bridge crosses the Brisbane River. This iconic bridge actually has a “twin” found hundreds of miles away in Montreal, Canada. How did these two bridges end up being similar? That is because the designer of Story Bridge used Cartier Bridge in Montreal as an inspiration.

Brisbane offers a unique experience that both Brisbanites and non-Brisbanites have come to embrace. The reputation of this city surpasses what any travelogue tells you.

Alfresco Blinds

The Many Beautiful Benefits of Alfresco Blinds

Alfresco BlindsAlfresco blinds, also known as patio or café blinds, are ideal shading materials for your outdoor living space. With these, you can create a shaded area; a place protected from environmental elements and the prying eyes of neighbours, while taking in the beauty of Perth’s outdoor scenery.

Convenience and Flexibility

This type of blinds offers you maximum control over the amount of light, visibility and privacy. You can close it, roll it shut or expand it. Top blinds and awnings provider says you can also combat the harsh sun, the strong gusts of wind, and the cold wet winters, too.

Apart from the convenience it offers, these products are also flexible. You can simply put it up to complete an outdoor living space, or right outside your windows. As window treatments, they can make your home more energy efficient while minimising light penetration and glare.

Extension of Living Space

When it comes to home improvements, a lot of Perth homeowners choose additions over renovations. While home renovations are definitely investment-worthy projects, they take up a lot of time and resources.

So why not utilise what you already have? A deck, porch, patio, veranda, balcony, or any other outdoor area can be transformed into a stylish outdoor living space through the installation of alfresco blinds. The cost is notably lower while the results notably exceptional.

Eyeing the Right Blinds

When shopping for your exterior living area, choose the materials wisely. Blinds are made from a plethora of materials, with some being better performers in terms of blocking UV light and heat, minimising glare, and boosting energy efficiency, so consult an expert before making any purchase.

To ensure that you make the best choice for your outdoor living project, consult with an expert to receive guidance and valuable advice on the type of blinds best suited for your needs and preference.