Bench Vice Report – Don’t Buy the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise Until You Read This!

The Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise is an amazing vice for those looking to work on a multitude of projects. It is specifically designed to fit snuggly on just about any work surface and has removeable jaw pads to protect surfaces from scratches.

With its swivel ball design, the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angle Vise can be moved and locked in almost infinite positions, making it one of the most versatile vices on the market. Another cool feature of the Stanley MaxSteel 83-069 Multi-Angel Vice isit’s durable cast aluminium and steel construction, making it sturdy and durable enough for just about any job you can throw at it.

The Good:

  • Can be easily clamped to any table.
  • Table clamp surfaces are rubber coated for surface protection.
  • Can hold objects at any angle.
  • Clamp faces have removeable rubber pads.
  • Vice is small and portable.
  • Great customer service.
  • Well constructed.

The Bad:

  • Does not have teeth in the jaws.
  • Not designed for large heavy duty projects.
  • Hard to find at local retailers.

You should buy this vice because:

  1. Excellent space saving vice for the price.
  2. Is designed to clamp onto any surface.
  3. Will not harm surfaces due to removeable jaw pads.

This vice is perfect for:

  • People who do a lot of woodworking, such as wood carving, cane making, or furniture work.
  • People who do crafts involving small to medium sized objects that need to be held in place.
  • People who need a reliable portable vice to take with them on the go.

Let’s take a look at all of this vice’s features.

  • Infinite lockable positioning with swivel ball design.
  • Easily attaches to most surfaces with integral screw clamp.
  • Durable cast aluminum and steel construction.
  • Removeable jaw pads protect surfaces from damage.
  • 8 inch jaw opening.
  • Weighs 3.6 pounds.
  • Dimensions: 9 inches by 8 inches by 3.5 inches.

Overall, for the price, you won’t find a better deal on a vice grip that offers as much versatility when dealing with small jobs. Sure, there are better vice grips out there, but you’ll be paying a lot more for only a slight increase in performance.



22 Things You Should Do After Installing WordPress

Little tweaks with a big impact first and foremost are those little annoying tweaks, that left undone now, can have repercussions later. These are presented in no particular order since I make sure all are done before I install plugins or start posting.

  1. Update Your User Profile: I say this one is first because some of the other steps below will require you to log back in, and who can remember that crazy randomly generated bit of garbage they call a password?
    Dashboard | Users | Your Profile

    Change the password to something you stand a chance of remembering before you do anything else. Then, when you get kicked off (and you will for some of these settings), you can get back in without referring the email they sent you.

  2. Change Your Blog Tagline:Yes, it true. If you leave it as WordPress creates it, you are branded as a noobie from the word *go*. By default, WordPress inserts *Just another WordPress Blog* as the tagline. Go change it.You should be stating your purpose, provoking thought, asking a question – anything but *Just another WordPress Blog*. Dashboard | Settings | General Be creative, this is one of the first things your visitors see.
  3. Permalink Structure: Right out of the box, WordPress will display a link structure something like this for your posts: YourDomain.com/?p=101 which means absolutely nothing to you, your visitors or Google. Get rid of it.Dashboard | Settings | Permalinks There are five different options there, and while this post isn’t about a best SEO practice, I will mention that using either Day and Name or Month and Name do nothing for you from an SEO standpoint. I hope I don’t have to say that the Numeric option doesn’t either. I use a custom structure that let’s me benefit from the category name (as a part of the URL) and the Post Name. It looks like this: /%category%/%postname%/
  4. Decide on WWW or not: Again, by default, WordPress just includes your blog’s domain name here. If you plan to be giving out your link as MyDomain.com, then you should change it now on your blog. Since this affects your tracking analytics, it’s best to do it up front.Dashboard | Settings | General Please note, doing this will log you out. Just log back in with your handy new password.
  5. Discussion Settings: Boy, we could write a whole book on this topic, but let me just hit the highlights. You want folks to comment on your blog. You just don’t want the pill pushers and porn queens to have the run of the place.I setup comment moderation with 3 or more links (I use CommenLuv which inserts one link, their web URL is a second link, so 3 would be if they included a link in their comment. If you don’t plan to use CommentLuv, change this to 2). You can also include a list of words that are *iffy* in the box below this setting. Any comment with that word would *trigger* moderation. (Moderation just holds the comments until you stop by and approve or trash the comments). The Comment Blacklist box is where I spend my time. I include a list of words that I really don’t want on my site such as viagra, penis, enlarge, and the names of several popular drugs. I have nothing against the 60-something year old man who wants to improve performance, my site is just not the place to promote that. I also include words of a sexual nature, including rape, porn, xxx, sex, virgin, lesbian, gay, etc. Trust me, this helps.
  6. Activate (Turn On) Akismet:This often overlooked step can mean the difference between 384 spam messages a day, or not. Akismet is one of the very best *anti-spam* plugins and comes preinstalled with WordPress.Use it. One note though: WordPress requires an API key, something you can only get by registering on the WordPress.com site (profile only, no blogs required). Once you register, they will send an email with your API key. Insert that in the appropriate place in your Dashboard. (Once you activate Akismet, it will be at the top of every Dashboard page until you activate it).
  7. Turn Off Post Revisions: Post revisions is a great idea that WordPress takes to an extreme (in my mind, you might disagree). The basic premise is this. Every X seconds, WordPress will create a backup of your post.Great, right? Here’s the rub. Each *revision* it saves creates a new record in your database (making it bigger) and WordPress has the annoying habit of displaying a complete list of every revision you ever made in your life, when you go in to edit a post. If you are like me, and blog via a Desktop Client, you already have a backup of your post. So, to turn off this annoying feature, open your wp-config.php file in Notepad or something similar and add this line somewhere near the other define you find in there.
    define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

  8. Setup Categories:At least one. No, you don’t have to know the entire category structure at this point, but it is helpful to have at least an idea of the categories you will use most often. Once you have created your most often used category, change the default category to this.

    Dashboard | Settings | Writing Change the default post category to your newly created category.

    While you are on this page, here’s a Bonus Tweak: Change the Size of the post box from 10 to 20. By default, WordPress will create the “post body” box to be 10 rows high. I don’t know about you, but this feels a little crowded to me.

  9. Setup Ping Services:This one isn’t strictly a *do-it-before-you-do-anything-else* kinda tweak, but will go a long way to getting you that coveted traffic.By default, WordPress added one ping server to the list of possible servers you can use. (Just one?) So, I went out and found some of the best servers. I just copy the list into the area for other update services. Rather than include them all within the body of this post, I am attaching a text file you can download and copy from. Dashboard | Settings | Writing Copy the list (or select the ones you want) from the List of Ping Servers that can be found on my blog
  10. Install Google XML Sitemaps Google XML Sitemaps generates a compliant XML-Sitemap for your site, allowing the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN) to easily index your site. Every time you edit or add a post, the sitemap will modify itself unless you tell it differently (see below).This part is optional, but highly recommended! Go to Google Webmaster Central and log in with your Google Account (you do have a Google Account, right?). On the first page, there will be a link to “Verify” your site. Follow the instructions there. Once that’s done, you can then click the *Add Sitemap* link from the first page and put in the URL to your sitemap, which will be something like this (non-working) link: YouDomain.com/sitemap.xml
  11. Install A Database Backup Plugin:WordPress is software that is driven by a database. All your posts, pages and links are stored in the database. If it crashes, your entire *blog* could be lost, so take a minute and install a backup plugin to protect yourself.I have tried three or four, but the one I like best (and make sure is on all my blogs now) is the WP-DBManager Plugin. Once installed and activated, just go to Dashboard | Database (it’s on the bottom) and select DB Options. Select the maximum number of backups to keep on hand (mine is 10) and setup the auto-email feature. This will send a zipped copy of your database backup to your email address. Sweet, huh?
  12. Change Media Settings:WordPress will (somewhat) auto-size your content based on when and where you insert it into a post. If your theme allows 400px for the content width, and your max width for a large picture is 1024, you have a problem.You can manually resize any photo, but taking the time to update these media values before you get started is a real time saver. Dashboard | Settings | MediaAdjust according to *taste*, but make sure your large size is no wider than your post content area as defined by your theme. For example, mine is 580px to fit in this area.
  13. Change Plugin and Theme Location:Okay, don’t be scared, but this is moving a little towards the advanced side. First, the logic behind this…WordPress is open source software. It is maintained by a whole team of community minded folks who are constantly improving it and adding new features. As a result of all this busy activity, from time to time you are going to have to upgrade your WordPress software (and yes, it’s still free). However, the upgrade process (without the proper plugin) can be a little scary and a bit tedious. To prevent accidentally overwriting your plugins, themes or special settings, there is a way you can move your static (unchanging) files to a different location. It can be anywhere on your webserver. All you have to do to implement this strategy is copy the entire directory (wp-content) to another location and then tell WordPress where it can find those files. Like we did to turn off revisions, just edit the wp-config.php file to include the define statement shown below. define(‘WP_CONTENT_DIR’, ‘labnol.org/assets/wp-content’ ); (I had to remove the first part of the domain name that would normally appear in the address base – be sure to put it back). Don’t forget to upload it back to your blog’s root folder.
  14. Prevent Visitors From Browsing Your WordPress Folders:Okay, there are the curiosity seekers, and there are hackers. I don’t want either one accidentally wandering around my WordPress installation. For ANY reason. There are a couple of ways you can prevent this. One is simple, one is not so simple. Select the method you are most comfortable with.

    • Method 1Create an empty text file and save (name) it index.php. Upload this file to wp-content (wherever you placed this), wp-admin, and wp-includes. The empty file will be read when they navigate to that location and display a blank white page, rather than a list of your files.
    • Method 2Add the following line to your.htaccess file that exists in the main WordPress installation directory.
      Options All -Indexes: This will turn off the auto-feature to *list* files that exist in a directory without a default page.

  15. Make It Harder To Hack Your Site:Along those same lines, I want to make it a bit harder for the hackers to find weaknesses in my installation. Knowing my WordPress version can provide them with enough information to attack me, I remove the temptation. (And no, it doesn’t happen often, but yes, it does happen).I remove the little snippet of code that is present in almost every theme out there.

    And while that’s almost enough to discourage most, you can completely remove the feature from WordPress by adding this line to your theme’s function.php file.

  16. Change The Location Of Your Upload Folder:By default, WordPress will put any photo’s you upload to a directory called wp-content/uploads. First and foremost, uncheck the “Organize my uploads into month and year based folders”. It makes absolutely no sense in the real world, and we like working in the real world.Dashboard | Settings | Miscellaneous You can optionally tell WordPress to use any folder on your webserver for the default location, but if you plan to do this, include the *path* to your folder, and the full URL as well. (ie: *path* would be../../images if you want the photo’s to go to MyDomain.com/images/ The../ tells WordPress to move up one directory))
  17. Add Your RSS Feed To Feedburner:Yes, you can use the built in RSS feed that WordPress installs, but Feedburner is such an excellent feed content delivery and tracking system, why would you want to?Burn your feed with Feedburner, and then either install a Feed plugin that will force all your feeds to your Feedburner account URL, or update the theme header.php file to add the following line:

  18. Activate Your Analytics:Keep track of your users and traffic, there’s a lot you can learn from who visits, how they found you and where they go from your place.I recommend Google Analytics, Woopra, Firestats and Psychic Search. Other good analytic services available include Mint and StatCounter. You have a couple options here. The first is plugins (always recommended for the value they add to your blog), or manual theme edits. For example, Google will provide you with a little code snippet. Just open the footer.php file and just above the closing body tag, add the chuck of code. I prefer a good plugin like Ultimate Good Analytics. Both Psychic Search and Firestats are plugins as well. Woopra is a service that also offers a plugin (optional).
  19. Custom 404 Page:It happens, people make mistakes… they type the address wrong, or you move a page. They land from the search engines from a link that no longer exists. Bam! 404 Error. (A fancy-non-geek-way of saying the dang thing is just gone).Now, you can just hope it doesn’t happen (it will), or you can plan on it now, and get the most use out of that page. Do you offer a product? Place a mini-sales letter on your 404 Page Template with a link to the full letter. Add things like your Top Posts, or Most Actively Discussed Items to the 404 page to give them options to consume your content. A 404 page doesn’t have to be a death-sentence. Give the visitor options and she won’t leave your blog just yet.
  20. Help Google Love Your Blog:It’s a sad fact that most bloggers don’t do this step until they have been blogging a while and realize there are things they should be doing to optimize for the search engines. You can be ahead of the game if you install Headspace2 or All In One SEO right away, and start completing the extra fields they give you.I won’t go into detail here (that’s a whole ‘nother post), but each of them offers fields for Title, Description and Keywords on the New Post screen. You should complete all three. Make sure you use your primary keyword for the post at least once in the title and description, and place 1-5 keywords in the keyword field.
  21. Create a Contact Me Page:Do not over look this important step. You want to be accessible. You want them to feel you are a real person they can reach out to. If you don’t provide a way to *connect*, they won’t. And they will wander off, never to be seen or heard from again.
  22. Create a Visitor Site Map:This is different than the one you created for the search engines… this is a page that provides a quick overview of everything on your site.Don’t assume your navigation is working for your visitors (it might not be). The more ways you provide for them to find your valuable content, they more they will. If your theme doesn’t include an archives.php file to allow this, get Dagon Design Sitemap Generator or SRG Clean Archives. Both are plugins and make this process almost painless.

Anything Else? I know, I know… this post was a little longer than I had planned, but these are the things I do to every new WordPress blog I create (40+ and counting). I have found these tweaks to be the absolute minimum required to get a blog that is easy to maintain, and gets found by the search engines. And though I mentioned some very important plugins, there are many more plugins you should consider using. And while this isn’t the sum total of what I do to setup a blog, I would value hearing what YOU do when you setup a blog (if you have already), or come back and comment to tell me if I missed something.



3D Printing From Home

3D Printing has had lots of coverage in the news of late, but do we really still understand the concept of 3D printers and what they do? I think the one thing that is certain is that 3D printing will reach a far wider usage than we understand at the moment and the concept of them and their usage has a bit of a way to go. 3D Printers at the moment are very much on the market and anyone can buy them. They are being used from home as a working from home business for supplying an array of products such as models, drone parts, Star Wars figures, camera parts and that’s just to name a few. There are quite a few websites that will provide the plan of the model or part that you are printing, the files for the object you want to print get uploaded onto your computer, this communicates with the printer and away you go.

The additional equipment you will need as well as the 3D printer is a PC and the ABS plastic, this can purchased easily in reels again from a reputable supplier on the internet, many people are doing this as both a hobby and a small business from home. They are doing incredibly well because suppliers of 3D parts are particularly limited so the market is a good one to get into. Many of the parts can be sold online at sites such as eBay and they are proving incredibly popular.

3D printers are not cheap, but after the initial outlay, the profit margin is quite high so it’s very easy to make back the additional cost allowing you to price your parts competitively. The cost of a good 3D printer that will produce good quality parts is around £1000, if you shop around you may get the price a little lower, but always opt for a good quality one and do our research, look at some reviews and choose wisely because once you have brought your 3D printer, you want it to last the test of time.

The future of 3D Printers is massive, at the moment most of us have heard of 3D printing, but don’t understand their capabilities or what they will actually be able to do. There are 3D printers out there already that can print food, ceramics, clothes and even shoes, although these are not something we have in our own household, in the future it is predicted that we will all have a 3D printer that will print most house hold products. This will mean we will all be able to personalize objects ourselves, if we need to print a replacement soap dish or chicken feeder, cutlery or even a bottle, you will be able do so, although the concept of 3D printers in the home is a long way from actually been useful enough for everyone to have one, it is predicted they certainly will be in the future, the one great concept that derives from 3D printers is how they will allow us to be creative and personalize our own objects, we won’t go and pay someone to do this for us, but will simply get creating and designing.

marcetme.com



Creating a Chart of Accounts for a Small Restaurant

Independent restaurant owners often do their own bookkeeping. Even if they hire a professional accountant at year’s end, they may save considerable money by handling the weekly tasks themselves.

Setting up a chart of accounts to fit the restaurant needs generally requires customizing the default choices of any accounting program. The selection of sales and cost of goods accounts on most systems does not provide for the separation of food and beverage categories that are needed.

Even the leading bookkeeping program for small business, while it has a default selection for restaurants, fails to provide all of the accounts that most restaurant owners require. In addition, many of the expense accounts that are added are rarely used, leading to confusion during data entry, and don’t help with the overview of the business finances.

The National Restaurant Association publishes a book titled Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants. The book provides detailed descriptions of the application of generally accepted accounting principles to the restaurant industry.

That book includes a sample chart of accounts, but notes that “the codes used here are not the only method for classifying the accounts”. It points out that most restaurants will not use all of the categories listed, and it also notably lacks breakdown of inventory and cost categories beyond “food” and “beverage”. Many restaurant owners want further separation of those categories to include sub-categories such as “meat”, “seafood”, and “produce”, and possibly “beer” and “wine” for beverage categories.

While many programs do not require the use of account numbers, the NRA book states that some type of account numbering system must be used. If your program is not showing account numbers, it should have an option on a set up screen to activate that feature.

Any account numbering system is generally grouped so that accounts of a particular type fall within a specific range of numbers. For example, assets may be in the 1000 range, and income accounts in the 4000 range. On systems with many detail accounts, 5 digit numbers may be used to allow more sub-categories, but that is rarely needed for a small restaurant.

Typical number ranges that are used by many accounting systems are as follows:

Asset accounts: 1000-1999

Liability accounts: 2000-2999

Equity accounts: 3000-3999

Revenue accounts: 4000-4999

Cost of goods: 5000-5999

Expenses: 6000-8000

“Other” accounts: 8000-9999

Asset Accounts

Asset accounts include cash, bank accounts, inventory, and everything else that is owned.

It is common to assign the first account number, 1000, to Cash, since they are usually ordered, within each group, by liquidity (ease of converting to cash).

A separate account should be used in the chart of accounts for each bank account maintained for the business. If merchant deposits take a few days to reach the bank, a merchant account can be used. Also, if checks are accepted and not processed electronically, an account should be created for checks to be deposited.

New accounts are normally numbered 10 digits apart, so your first two bank accounts may use 1010 and 1020 as account numbers in the chart of accounts. Leaving gaps between the numbers makes it easy to add another account later and squeeze it in to the sort order in any position.

The asset accounts can be numbered as such:

  • 1000 Cash
  • 1010 Primary Bank Account
  • 1020 Bank Account #2
  • 1060 Merchant Deposit Account
  • 1080 Checks Received
  • 1100 Accounts Receivable
  • 1200 Food Inventory
  • 1210 Meat Inventory
  • 1220 Poultry Inventory
  • 1230 Seafood Inventory
  • 1240 Dairy Inventory
  • 1250 Produce Inventory
  • 1260 Bakery Inventory
  • 1270 Frozen Inventory
  • 1280 Grocery Dry & Canned Inventory
  • 1320 Beverage Inventory
  • 1330 Liquor Inventory
  • 1340 Beer Inventory
  • 1350 Wine Inventory
  • 1360 Merchandise Inventory
  • 1380 Bar & Consumable Inventory
  • 1400 Prepaid Expenses & Advances
  • 1450 Recycle return value

Assets that have a lifespan of several years or more are referred to as Long Term Assets. This also includes any real estate.

  • 1500 Fixed assets
  • 1510 Land & Building
  • 1520 Automobile
  • 1530 Furniture Fixtures & Equipment
  • 1540 Leasehold Improvements
  • 1600 Accumulated Depreciation
  • 1700 Capitalized Start Up Expenses
  • 1800 Security Deposits

Liability Accounts

Liability accounts includes things like credit cards and payables to vendors. It also includes money that has been received for things like tax that is due to the state, tips due to the employees, and gift cards sold but not yet redeemed. Real estate loans and other major financing is sub-categorized as long-term liabilities.

Liability accounts can be numbered as:

  • 2000 Accounts Payable
  • 2110 Credit Card
  • 2120 Credit Card #2
  • 2130 Credit Card #3
  • 2140 Credit Card #4
  • 2210 Sales Tax Payable
  • 2220 Second Tax Payable
  • 2250 Payroll Liabilities
  • 2260 Second Payroll Liability
  • 2280 Tips held
  • 2300 Gift cards & certificates
  • 2350 Customer Credits
  • 2400 Notes Payable
  • 2500 Other debt

Equity Accounts

The owners’ investment in the company is represented in the equity accounts. For a corporation, this includes the shareholders equity. It is effectively the money that the business owes back to the owners. When an accounting period is closed, the balance of the income and expense categories is transferred to Retained Earnings, which is also an equity account.

The most basic equity accounts could be numbered:

  • 3000 Owner Capital
  • 3100 Common Stock
  • 3300 Retained Earnings

Income Accounts

Sales fall into the general category of income accounts. A restaurant will obviously want separate categories for food and beverage sales, and may want further separation of beer, wine, and liquor sales.

Typical income accounts are:

  • 4000 Sales Revenue
  • 4200 Food Sales
  • 4320 Beverage Sales
  • 4330 Liquor Sales
  • 4340 Beer Sales
  • 4350 Wine Sales
  • 4360 Merchandise Sales
  • 4500 Catering & contracts
  • 4700 Other Operating Income
  • 4900 Discounts

One difference between the NRA recommendations and many other lists involves the placement of the “other income” accounts. This can include income from sources such as cover charges, games or vending machines, and banquet room rental. Most lists place these accounts in the 8000 range, above expenses, but the NRA list places them in the 6000 range.

Most smaller locations will only need a single category for other income. Since “cost of goods” is a general sub-category of expenses, it makes sense to avoid placing an income category in the middle of the range from COGS through expenses. A single account has been placed in this list within the 4000 range.

Putting the discounts into the revenue category implies that this will be a “contra” account. Where most of the sales categories will have a credit balance, discounts will normally have a debit balance.

Cost of Goods Accounts

The Cost of Goods accounts, also called Cost of Sales or Cost of Goods Sold, represent the food and beverage purchases to provide the meals. Other expenses directly related to sales may be included, such as merchant fees or consumable cups and napkins.

The numbers used here also provide consistency across all accounts, as the last 3 digits of each COGS category is the same as the last 3 digits on the associated inventory account.

A cost of goods list could include:

  • 5000 Cost of Sales
  • 5200 Food Cost
  • 5210 Meat Cost
  • 5220 Poultry Cost
  • 5230 Seafood Cost
  • 5240 Dairy Cost
  • 5250 Produce Cost
  • 5260 Bakery Cost
  • 5270 Frozen Cost
  • 5280 Grocery Dry & Canned Cost
  • 5320 Beverage Cost
  • 5330 Liquor Cost
  • 5340 Beer Cost
  • 5350 Wine Cost
  • 5360 Merchandise Cost
  • 5380 Bar & Consumable Cost
  • 5600 Delivery & direct labor Cost
  • 5700 Merchant Fees

Expense Accounts

This example separates the expense accounts into three primary categories: payroll expenses and other expenses. The payroll expenses are grouped in the 6000 range, with the other operating expenses in the 7000 range. Overhead like rent, taxes, and amortization are bumped into the 8000 range.

While accounts must be broken down at least far enough to separate tax lines, combining rarely used accounts will make the overview much easier to understand. The following list combines several categories that are often separated on other charts.

You should check with your accountant or tax preparer to ensure that anything you combine does, in fact, share the same tax line.

The Inventory Loss/Waste account has been slid in under the 6000 marker, as some may consider it to belong with the Cost of Goods categories.

  • 5800 Inventory Loss/Waste
  • 6000 Labor related expenses
  • 6100 Management Wages
  • 6200 Staff Wages
  • 6300 Contract Labor
  • 6400 Commissions paid
  • 6500 Employee Benefits
  • 6600 Workers Comp Insurance
  • 6700 Employers Payroll Taxes
  • 6800 Payroll processing expense
  • 7100 Direct Operating Expenses
  • 7110 China – Glassware – Flatware
  • 7120 Restaurant & Kitchen Supply
  • 7130 Cleaning Supply & Expense
  • 7140 Decorations & Guest Supply
  • 7150 Laundry – Linen – Uniforms
  • 7160 Fees – Permits – Licenses
  • 7200 Pest – Security – other contract
  • 7250 POS – Tech support – Online serv
  • 7300 Marketing
  • 7310 Media & Print advertising
  • 7320 Promotional events
  • 7400 Automobile & travel
  • 7500 Music and Entertainment
  • 7600 Repairs and Maintenance
  • 7700 Utilities
  • 7750 Telephone & net connection
  • 7800 General and Administrative
  • 7810 Bad Debts – Over/short
  • 7820 Bank fees
  • 7830 Insurance
  • 7840 Interest
  • 7850 Professional fees
  • 7890 Misc. Office expense
  • 8100 Rent and Occupancy costs
  • 8200 Equipment Rental
  • 8600 Sales tax paid on purchases
  • 8700 Amortization
  • 8900 Other expense
  • 9000 Income Tax

Other Accounts

The only remaining items to account for are the sale of major assets, other income from sources besides restaurant operations (such as investments or sub-letting space), and a placeholder account for transactions where the business owner needs their accountant’s assistance.

  • 9500 Gain/Loss on sale of assets
  • 9900 Other Income (not from operation
  • 9999 Ask My Accountant



How To Formulate The Right Gift Certificate Wording

Wording for a gift certificate (also known as gift voucher) is difficult to get right. There are a few mandatory elements and some optional elements you want to include in a gift voucher. In addition to these standard elements, you might consider a few legal mentions to include in order to force certain restrictions on the usage of your gift voucher.

Mandatory elements

When you’re filing a gift certificate template, don’t forget to include the following elements:

  • name of your company
  • recipient’s name
  • voucher value (in dollars or your local currency) or service provided. This is the most sensitive element of the certificate. In particular, you don’t want for the customer to easily change the amount! So it’s better to have it printed rather than manually written.
  • certificate serial number. A serial number is important for multiple reasons, in particular to fight against fraud and to keep track of gift vouchers you’ve issued. By giving every gift voucher a unique number, you can easily verify that it has not been modified when the customer wants to redeem it. For example, you can have a tracking log associating serial number with its value, issuance date and customer name.

A few optional elements

  • purchaser’s name: probably a mandatory element for most vouchers!
  • personal message: this is a very nice way to personalize a certificate, by giving the possibility to the purchaser to add a custom message for the receiver.

Legal mentions

  • restriction for a certain type of service/product: if you want to offer a certificate for a specific service, mention “valid only for service X” or “to be used towards the purchase of X”.
  • no cash value. This will protect you against customers willing to redeem the certificate for cash (people will try to do that!). Mention “no cash value” or “not redeemable for cash” on the certificate.
  • non-transferability: if you want the certificate to be redeemed only by the person whose name is mentioned on the certificate, mention “non-transferrable” on the certificate.
  • certificate expiration: this might not be legal in your state/country. Check your legal regulations or an attorney for this. If it is legal, you might want to include a certificate expiration date, to avoid having certificates out in the open for years. One year from now is a good default. Mention “expiration date: 2012-03-17″.

Now you know what elements are important to come up with for a good gift certificate wording, so work your way through a gift certificate template and mix and match the different elements until you’re satisfied with the result!



Ambassador Hotel

Ambassador Hotel is an extraordinary 4-star hotel located in the heart of St. Petersburg. The hotel is known for its architectural beauty is since the 19th century. The hotel has all classical style. An atrium in the hotel occupies the central part of the complex. The hotel is luxurious and provides to its visitors the comfortable stay.

Rooms

The rooms of the hotel are well furnished and provide you with all modern days amenities like air condition, Cable TV, Hair dryer, Mini bar, Safe, Satellite TV, Shower, Telephone, 24 hour room service etc.

Business facilities

The Hotel also offers you with the facility of keeping the business meetings and conferences. There is a well furnished Conference Room in the hotel which consists of a Computer, Copy machine, Fax, Telex service, Translation and Wireless connection.

Restaurants and Bars

Ambassador: The Ambassador restaurant is situated in the atrium and provides buffet breakfast from 7.00 a.m. to 10.30 a.m.; this is followed by business lunch after 12.00 a.m. The restaurant is not only suitable for banquets and parties but also for business presentations and conferences. There are several menu options offered by the restaurant to tickle your taste buds.

Le Vernissage: Le Vernissage starts offering its services from 12.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. The Haute-cuisine restaurant attracts guests in large number due to its calm n serene atmosphere. From here one can get the panorama view of the city centre and St Isaac’s Cathedral.

Piano-bar:

Here you can enjoy light caviar appetizer & French bisque soup along with live piano music. This opens only in the evening from 6 p.m. till 10 p.m. Piano bar is a perfect place for meeting the friends and business people and enjoy in the soothing music. There is a wide list of spirits of the bar so here the lovers of popular spirits and shakes can have the ultimate time. Relax here to the strains of the live music and enjoy the beautiful evening.

Sport & Jazz bar: Here we welcome you for the active holiday, and the sport enthusiasts can have ultimate time in the new Sport & Jazz bar. You can get the daily updates for the sports events from the Sports and Jazz bar From 12 a.m. till 12.30 p.m. one can also enjoy the live TV reports and live music. People of all age groups come here so you can always find someone of your age group over here. So come and have the best of time with your favorite buddies.



Facts About Gallbladder Disease

Gallbladder disease is one of the leading causes of problems with digestion that result in hospital admissions. Did you know that around 10% of the population (on average) in most Western countries has gallstones? Most of these are “silent” but about 4% of patients with stones develop symptoms each year. For about half of them, the symptoms reoccur within 12 months. More men than women suffer from acute gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), whereas more women than men experience gallstones (men have more kidney stones), and married women with children have more gallstones than unmarried women. The term “gallbladder disease” is in one sense a misnomer, for it is the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder that form the system that enables your body to digest fats and all are likely to participate in gallbladder problems.

I have always said that doctors generally see health problems as conditions with symptoms requiring drugs, whereas surgeons see health problems as conditions requiring the knife, and when a patient is admitted with abdominal discomfort surgeons are often keen to remove the gall bladder as it is believed that it ‘serves very little purpose’ and that the patient can “live comfortably without it”. This is a ridiculous and very untrue notion however, and I want you to think twice about having your gallbladder removed, because over half of people I have seen who had their gallbladder removed still had the same digestive problem they started with in the first place unresolved, yet now without their gallbladder. Once it is out that is it, it does serve a purpose like every organ you were born with and having your gallbladder removed will affect your health to some degree. For some patients, the removal of their gallbladder had a major consequence on their health down the track. For others, it was a minor consequence.

A surgeon I once spoke to many years ago mentioned that the gallbladder operation was one frequently performed in larger hospitals by the younger surgeon to “bring them up to speed” in the operating room. He said that it was a relatively easy operation lasting from thirty to forty minutes enabling them to gain surgical experience before they move onto “bigger and better things” as far as abdominal surgery is concerned. I can’t help wondering if all the gallbladder operations performed are really that necessary, because they are so quick to take it out these days. The apprentice mechanic will first be introduced to the engine by learning to replace the spark plugs before he is allowed to work deeper into the engine. If the plugs were removed, carefully cleaned and then replaced they generally last a long time. But then again, today more than half the stuff we buy is made in China and it is “chucked” as soon as it is even slightly defective!

What is the gallbladder’s function?

Your gall bladder’s main function is to collect and concentrate bile produced by the liver that the body uses to digest fats. Think of bile a bit like you would dishwashing liquid. Have you ever tried to wash dishes with fat or grease on them in water without dishwashing liquid? Not really effective is it? Not at least until you squirt a little dishwashing liquid into the warm water then they are clean in no time. Your gallbladder makes plenty of its own type of “degreasing liquid” called bile. Bile becomes up to twelve times more concentrated in the gallbladder (and hence much more effective) than it was in your liver. Think about this, with your gallbladder gone, your liver now has to produce, store and secrete bile. It can do this but not as effectively as it can without that little purse called the gallbladder hanging by its side.

The liver makes between 600 – 900 mls of bile each day, and what is not sent during meals to the duodenum (beginning of your small bowel) directly via the liver’s main duct to emulsify fat, it is diverted through a smaller duct (branching off the main liver duct) to the gallbladder for storage until required. When fat in a meal reaches the duodenum (where most of the food you eat is digested and absorbed), hormones enter the circulation and along with nerve signals, stimulate the gallbladder to contract. This contraction, assisted by the small intestine’s contractions, induces the gallbladder’s small round muscle and the stored bile is propelled into the duodenum where it mixes with food from your stomach and pancreatic juices from the pancreas by way of the pancreatic duct. If you eat a fairly fatty meal (fish and chips for example) your gallbladder can empty completely within one hour. It is this combination of bile and fats that can make one feel “queasy” at times after a fatty meal.

Bile itself is made up of water, salts, fatty acids, lecithin, cholesterol, bilirubin, and mucus and has two main functions. The first function is to help in the absorption and digestion of fats, and the second to eliminate certain waste products from the body, especially excess cholesterol and the haemoglobin from worn out red blood cells, which have an average lifespan of 3 months.

In particular, the bile

(1) increases the solubility of fat-soluble vitamins, fats and cholesterol to assist in their absorption,

(2) stimulates secretion of water by the colon to help move its contents along,

(3) is a medium for excretion of bilirubin (the chief bile pigment) as a waste product of destroyed red blood cells, other waste products, medical drugs and their degradation products, and other toxins.

Bile salts are in fact re-absorbed into the small intestine, and re-secreted into the bile after extraction by the liver. All bile salts in the body re-circulate some 10 to 12 times a day by means of this so- called enterohepatic circulation. In each circulation small amounts of bile salts enter the colon where bacteria break them down for excretion with the feces.

Who is the greatest at risk of gallstones?

o Female gender: women outnumber men at least 2:1.

o Family history

o Forty or more years of age

o 3 children or more

o Diet: low calorie, low cholesterol, low fat. (especially a diet like this after a diet high in fat)

o Diet: previously high in refined carbs, alcohol, chocolate, chips, etc.

o Smoking

o High cholesterol history

o Constipation history

o Rapid weight loss

o Obesity

o Food allergy history

o Dehydration due to not enough water

o Liver problems like cirrhosis or past hepatitis infection

o Sensitive to penicillin antibiotics

Signs and symptoms of gallbladder problems

I have seen many women in the clinic who have for years on and off never felt quite well in terms of their digestion. Many have experienced a low grade ill feeling, a digestive discomfort which was put down to indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea or even a “grumbling appendix”. They go on for years and years with digestive symptoms and never realise that they may be related to a gallbladder problem. That’s because they are so inter-related with other digestive symptoms and too easy for their doctor to say: “You are fine; there is nothing to worry about”. Constipation is one of the most commonly missed complaints, and so is farting. Don’t be embarrassed here, we all fart, some men (and plenty of smallish children) enjoy boasting about it but women do it too and are generally totally embarrassed. Flatus is most common in bed when you first lie down, during the night or when you get up. This is because your bowel changes its position and gas more easily escapes through the anus with the large intestine in a horizontal rather than in a vertical position. Don’t laugh, but do you sometimes feel fat, frumpy and farty and at times “sicky” after eating a fatty meal like fish and chips or chocolate? Does your partner joke about how much you “let off”? Then you may very well have a gallbladder issue.

The Four F’s

Have you heard about the four f’s? We learn when we study medicine that women who are “fat, fertile, forty and flatulent” are often the gallbladder girls. They are much more prone to having gallstones or a sluggish liver and gallbladder. The following list provided here may be related to gallbladder but please bear in mind that it could also be something else. The first four symptoms mentioned are the most indicative of gallbladder issues. It is not necessary to have all or many symptoms to have gallbladder problems but the more you have from this list, the more confirmation you have that your gallbladder is involved. Please note that it is still advisable to consult your GP for an accurate diagnosis.

Signs and symptoms of impending gallbladder problems (If you answered yes to the first four (with an asterisk) go to your health-care professional for a more accurate diagnosis.)

  • Pain or tenderness under the rib cage on the right side, could be central too*
  • Pain between shoulder blades, central but could be under the shoulder blades*
  • Stools light or chalky colored*
  • Indigestion after eating, especially fatty or greasy foods*
  • History of gallstones or gallbladder removal in your family
  • Weight gain after recent digestive troubles or after gallbladder removal
  • Frequent use of antacids
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Bloating
  • Farting
  • Burping or belching up gas easily after meals
  • Feeling of fullness or food not digesting
  • Diarrhea (or alternating from soft to firm)
  • Constipation (or simply skipping a day here or there)
  • Headache over eyes, especially right
  • Bitter fluid comes up after eating, could be a slight reflux and very subtle
  • Frequent use of laxatives

Being big is actually in itself a big risk factor in gallbladder problems, and women with a BMI (body mass index) of 30 or greater are more than double at risk than women who have a BMI of 25 or less. Although a decrease in weight reduces the risk of gallstone formation, there is a 15 to 25 percent increase in gallstone formation during or immediately following weight loss! I have seen this with several patients over the years; they have lost weight and are proud of if only to experience digestive problems and then a bad bout of pain within twelve to eighteen months after the weight loss. A major heart study in America discovered that women with Type 2 Diabetes were almost twice as likely (41.8 percent versus 23.1 percent) that non diabetics to have gallstones, and the risk was highest amongst the 30 to 59yr old group.

I always ask a person these standard questions when they come in with a (suspected) gallbladder dysfunction – “Did you loose weight recently, say in the past two years?” “Have you been on a fat free diet lately?” “What kind of foods/drinks do you like to habitually have?” By asking the right questions, you would be surprised how many will actually tell you what is wrong with them, and their answers can point right to the heart of the problem. In my observation, the main factors leading to gallbladder attacks and dysfunction are obesity (and rapid weight loss (for example1 pound a week); “fat-free” diets are especially bad.

Poor dietary habits – especially too many fatty and fried foods, alcohol, too much dairy food like cheeses and full cream milk, refined sugars and starches, high protein foods (in excess), food allergies, parasites, long-term use of birth control pills, and a sedentary (couch potato) lifestyle. The Atkins diet craze caused a lot of gallbladder problems, for example. Once these factors are operating, bile produced in the liver and flowing through the biliary ducts into the gallbladder becomes too thick, the bile ducts may then become obstructed, gravel and stones may form (90% of all gallstones are cholesterol), and the whole biliary system may become clogged. Other causative factors include insufficient water consumption, a weak immune system (increases likelihood of infection in the gallbladder), as well as diabetes and various liver diseases.

Prevention of gallbladder problems lies in controlling obesity, diet and adequate intake of consuming water, and the use of appropriate physical exercise. Louise Hay, an interesting lady who wrote the famous book “Heal Your Life” way back in 1976 with regard to how emotions can trigger physical problems, mentions that anger, aggressiveness, and bitterness can result in gallbladder problems. Keeping the immune system strong and the liver and small intestine healthy is very important too. Let’s look now at some non-medical alternatives once gallbladder problems are evident, and also how to prevent this problem in the first instance.

Food allergies

Often finding and eliminating food allergies can stop frequent attacks of gallbladder pain and prevent unnecessary surgical removal. In one study, avoidance of allergens relieved symptoms in 100% of 69 patients with symptomatic gallstones or post-cholecystectomy (after the operation) syndrome (uncontrolled trial commented on by Dr. Alan Gaby, USA). I’m not convinced just testing for antibodies in terms of food allergies is the way to go, try also: muscle testing, you may know somebody who does do electro-dermal testing. Either way, try going on an elimination or allergy diet, it may be the answer to your problems.

For recurring gallbladder pain – suspect food allergies in just about 100% of patients. On average I find that they are reactive to 4 or 5 foods, and according to Dr. Jonathon Wright, one of America’s most experienced natural medicine doctors, egg is generally always one of the prime food allergens involved. There are over 800,000 cholecystectomies (gallbladder operations) performed in USA per annum, they cost $5,000 US to perform. If you do the math here, effective preventative natural medicine treatment could spare 4 billion US dollars with gallbladder conditions alone. I can imagine how many of the operations are performed needlessly in NZ each year, and it is truely amazing how many people I have seen who have their gallbladder out only to find that it did not fix up the problem they originally went to the doctor for in the first place.

Other medical methods of handling gallstones in the gallbladder include attempts to fragment them with sonic shock waves (lithotripsy). Of course there are other times when surgery may become necessary, such as in perforation of the gallbladder (often from gangrene) or where for example non-benign tumours and cancers are present. All this is what I call “crisis medicine,” so common in the orthodox medical procedures used in the hospital system. Does it not make sense to prevent a gallbladder condition in the first place rather than waiting for disaster to strike and then to take action?

How is your back?

See your Chiropractor; you may have mid-thoracic vertebral subluxations. If you have back issues, your fourth thoracic vertebrae may a bit “dodgey”, you could be looking at a subluxations which means a slight dislocation (misalignment) or biomechanical malfunctioning of the vertebrae (the bones of the spine). These disturbances may irritate nerve roots and the blood vessels which branch off from the spinal cord between each of the vertebrae, and if this is what is happening around the middle of your back it could be affecting your gallbladder.

Gallbladder removed? – take bile salts

I always recommend that a patient who has had their gallbladder removed take bile salts (digestive enzymes) because fats & oils are not properly digested and absorbed by these folk. I always give bile salts when I give them fish-oil, or Vitamin A. Digestive enzymes are essential for those who have had their gallbladder removed, they will feel a lot better for taking them regularly. Their digestion will improve, their bowels will work better and they will feel less full and bloated. For patients who do not improve their diet following surgical removal of the gallbladder the removal leaves the person with an increased risk of colon cancer. Although fast relief of some symptoms can follow this surgery, the relief is often short-lived and the basic causes are still present. If you have lost your gallbladder, the regular use of bile salts at the start of meals can help substantially, including better processing of the fat-soluble essential nutrients such as essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K. Probably the best way to tell if you are using enough bile salts is to monitor the colour of the stool. If the colour is lighter than the normal brown colour, or is even a light beige or yellow, this implies insufficient bile flow; with it’s under absorption of essential nutrients, and a need for more bile salts. Such a need for more bile salts will be greater after a meal with greater amounts of fats and oils. Talk to your Naturopath more here, he or she can recommend a product which should work well. I generally find that the digestive enzymes prescribed by your Naturopath to be stronger and much more effective than the retail (health-food shop) products. That is why they are classified as “practitioner-only” products. My website (see resource box) explains more about “practitioner-only” products.

Useful herbal supplements with liver & gallbladder complaints: Swedish bitters, milk thistle, chamomile, peppermint, greater celandine, gymnema, gravel root, dandelion leaf & root, chicory, rhubarb, burdock, cramp bark, ginger root, fennel, and turmeric.

Homeopathic medicine: one of the most specific homeopathic medicines is Chelidonium 30C, and I recommend this remedy for patients who complain of right-sided pains radiating through the back, pains radiating to the right shoulder blade region. It is mainly thought of as a liver remedy, but I find it fantastic for gallbladder disorders as well.

Diet

Eliminate refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates, because it is these foods which in particular increases the cholesterol saturation of bile. Gallbladder problems don’t generally happen in under developed countries, they are a phenomenon of the Western developed world. We call these sorts of health problems the “diseases of modern civilisation”. You will find that our Western diet is the highly refined one, most people eat foods from the supermarket and our diets are the ones high in the refined sugars, starches and flours. Foods and drinks to strictly avoid One of the worst beverages to drink with gallbladder issues is coffee whether decaffeinated or not, it aggravates symptoms by causing the gallbladder to contract along with sugar. So, sugar and coffee is not a good idea! I also tell patients to avoid chocolate, deep fried foods and saturated animal fats in general. Most tell me that they cannot tolerate these foods anyway, so listen to your body and avoid what makes you feel unwell or sick.

Gallbladder foods which have a particular favourable effect include beetroot, Brussels sprouts, fennel, sauerkraut, parsley, artichokes, pears, granny smith apples and the bitter foods such as rocket, endive, chicory, and capers.

Consume a little olive oil daily One way to prevent build-up of gallstones is to eat some oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, daily; this encourages the gallbladder to contract and to daily “sand dump” its contents into the small intestine, preventing sludge from accumulating and forming gallstones.

Treatments

Warm castor oil packs. All you need is 200ml castor oil (try the chemist or supermarket), and old saucepan, an old cloth, and an old towel. Just warm the old cloth in the pot of oil until it is quite warm, squeeze it out and apply it over the region of the gallbladder – central a little to the right just near where your ribcage finishes. Cover with the old towel, place a hot water bottle on top for added warmth and lie down for fifteen to twenty minutes, then rub the area for 2 minutes with an ice cube in a cloth-repeat 3 times once daily for a week can sometimes dislodge gallstones, and is especially a powerful treatment if used in conjunction with the flush and dietary approach. Careful with castor oil, it can stain.

Liver and gallbladder flush

there are many different gallbladder and liver flushes that will work if you have had recurrent gallbladder problems and your diet has been typically Kiwi. You really need to work in with your health-care professional like your naturopath here. I have guided many patients through this procedure the past twenty years and have never experienced a problem, and to be honest have very rarely found somebody with a “gallstone too big to pass” as some may fear.

For a gallbladder “attack” try these recipes Here are a couple of tips to try with acute pain, if the pain doesn’t subside, seek medical opinion.

o Drink 1 tbsp of apple cider in a glass of apple juice (warmed). This should relieve the pain quickly.

o In a small glass add ¼ tsp turmeric, ¼ tsp cumin, and ½ tsp Manuka honey – top with boiling water, stir to dissolve and mix together, drink when warm. Take: 3 times a day.

o Citrus tea: have 3 glasses daily of tea made by boiling for 20 minutes in water the rind of a grapefruit.

Recommendations stopping future gallbladder attacks

1. Each morning, drink a “gallbladder attack flush”; 300mls Apple juice (or dilute with water), 3 cloves of raw finely chopped garlic, 1-2 inches of raw finely chopped ginger root, mix well in blender. This drink helps soften sludge and helps prepare your gallbladder to dump rubbish.

2. Liver & gallbladder flush. One simple flush is to drink 3 Tbs of extra-virgin olive oil with the juice of a lemon before retiring and on awakening for at least 3 days, or until no more stones pass. I have other flushes but tend to use them in a consultation with the patient only. This is one procedure in my opinion you are best not to do yourself at home without any guidance, but get the advice from a qualified Naturopath, preferably one with experience in this area.

3. Eat a well balanced diet of 50% raw or partially steamed foods and fresh juices, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts/seeds. This low saturated fat, high fiber diet is a must for healing gallbladder disorders. Flaxseed and olive oil are great additions to your diet for repair and prevention of gallstones. Bitter foods (see below) are a great addition, and will help prevent a build up in future. The two top foods to consume? – Lemon juice and olive oil.

4. Increased your intake of Vitamin C can help with gallbladder ailments. Replenish your vitamin C stores by eating plenty of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Good sources include capsicums (red/green/yellow), berries, lemons, and broccoli/green leafy veg. I recommend a high grade Vitamin C powder daily for the prevention and maintenance of many conditions in the body.

5. Herbal detoxification products may be helpful in stopping and reversing a gallbladder attack. I suggest using formulas that use organic, whole herbs. There are some excellent products available, just ask your herbalist or naturopath.

3 tips for after the gallstones have passed

o Dr. Dick Versendaal, a Chiropractor from America recommends his “carotid-umbilicus technique”. For the best results, it is to used every 15 minutes for 1-3 hours as follows (it’s easier if someone else does it on you than you try to do it yourself ): using the index finger, apply a steady pressure into the belly button for 5 minutes, such as to depress the belly button 1-1 ½ inches (but avoiding pain). Do this once a day for up to 12 weeks after the stones are passed, it will help your gallbladder a lot.

o Firm rubbing for at least 30 seconds1-2 times a day of the neuro-lymphatic reflexes (these points may feel quite tender if you have gallbladder issues) between ribs 3 and 4, and ribs 4 and 5, just to each side of the breastbone, and between ribs 5 and 6 just under the nipple of the right breast can be quite helpful.

o Also softly holding (not pressing or rubbing) for at least one minute the neurovascular reflexes at the anterior fontanel (front of head the baby’s soft spot near crown of head- locate at tip of middle finger when the wrist crease of either hand is placed on the eye brows and the middle finger extended onto the midline of the skull) and at the hairline on the forehead directly above the outer corner of each eye. Look for the “tender spots”, you will find them.



Why Is There A Burning Smell From My Laptop Charger?

A burning smell from the adapter is a warning sign. It indicates that it either needs to be replaced or monitored from a closer angle. The smell of burning plastic from laptop chargers can be very dangerous and must be looked into immediately. When you smell something like that, you must disconnect the laptop power supply right away. If you fail to do so, you may just end up damaging your laptop. Unplug the charger from the AC/DC jack of a laptop before you go any further.

The smell of burning plastic can be due to the charger itself. You should pay special attention to the plastic insulation of the cables on laptop chargers. If you find any bare wires, you have found the spot where sparking took place and burnt the plastic around the wire. If you find nothing damaged along the plastic insulation of the cable, take a look at the tip. If you see melted plastic at the tip of the charger, it is a sure sign that something has really gone wrong. Such things usually take place when there is a short circuit connection between the tip of the charger and the socket of the laptop.

It is very important not to take any of these signs lightly. Ignoring these signs at an early stage can lead to potential risks later on. A laptop charger is an extremely important accessory that should work well at all times. If not, you shouldn’t hesitate to shell out some money to get it replaced by your laptop manufacturer or purchase the same model online.

A short circuit usually occurs when the power from the laptop adapter is obstructed on its way to the laptop. In other words, the electrical power does not flow smoothly all the way from the socket to the motherboard of the laptop. During this time, a lot of heat is generated. Overheating can quickly melt the insulation around a laptop charger cable or other plastic components near the tip of the charger. When this problem surfaces, you should immediately take your laptop adapter to a professional and get it checked.

While a professional can try to fix your laptop chargers for a small fee, you shouldn’t really rely on something that has failed you in the past. If anything goes wrong with the product again, it can cost you dearly. Safety should always be the number one priority for everyone. It is important not to keep using the same malfunctioning charger once again simply because it seems to be working fine at the moment.

Such a charger may continue to recharge your battery for a while, but can cause something really nasty like a fire or other accident after you use it continuously for a few hours. Instead of allowing such undesirable events to take place, just buy an original laptop charger from a reputed online seller of laptop chargers.



Haitian Vodoun Perspectives on Death and Dying

I chose to explore the culture of Haitians who practice Vodou, a religion also known as Voodoo, Vodun, Vodoun, Voudun, and Yoruba Orisha.  I have just returned from a vacation in the Caribbean (Punta Cana, Dominican Republic), which shares an island with Haiti. While there, I met a man from Haiti and was reminded of a bizarre experience I had in 1998 when I was ridden by an orisha (loa) during an inner-city Christian church service. Thus, I thought this would make an interesting subject for this assignment. To make things simpler in this essay, I will refer to this group simply as Vodou or Vodoun.

Introducing Vodou and Haitian Culture

Vodou is a Caribbean religion blended from African religions and Catholic Christianity. Long stereotyped by the outside world as “black magic,” Vodoun priests and priestesses are also diviners, healers, and religious leaders, who derive most of their income from healing the sick rather than from attacking targeted victims.

Vodou comes from an African word for “spirit” and can be directly traced to the West African Yoruba people who lived in 18th and 19th century Dahomey. However, its African roots may go back 6,000 years. Today, Vodou is practiced most commonly in the country of Haiti and in the United States around New Orleans, New York, and in Florida. Today over 60 million people practice Vodou throughout the Caribbean and West Indies islands, as well as in North and South America, Africa, and Britain.

During days of slave trade, this religion fused with Catholic Christianity. Therefore, in this current century, children born into rural Haitian families are generally baptized into the Vodou religion as well as in the Catholic church.

Those who practice Vodou believe in a pantheon of gods who control and represent the laws and forces of the universe. In this pantheon, there is a Supreme Deity and the Loa-a large group of lesser deities equivalent to the saints of the Catholic Church. These gods protect people and give special favors through their representatives on earth which are the hougans (priests) and mambos (priestesses).

The Loa (also Lwa or L’wha) are spirits somewhat like saints or angels in Christianity. They are intermediaries between the Creator and humanity. Unlike saints or angels, they are not simply prayed to; they are served. They are each distinct beings with their own personal likes and dislikes, distinct sacred rhythms, songs, dances, ritual symbols, and special modes of service.

Rituals, Behaviors, and Practices Associated with Death and Dying

Haitians who adhere to Vodou do not consider death to be the end of life. They do believe in an afterlife. Followers of Vodoun believe that each person has a soul that has both a gros bon ange (large soul or universal life force), and a ti bon ange (little soul or the individual soul or essence.)

When one dies, the soul essence hovers near the corpse for seven to nine days. During this period, the ti bon ange is vulnerable and can be captured and made into a “spiritual zombie” by a sorcerer. Provided the soul is not captured, the priest or priestess performs a ritual called Nine Night to sever the soul from the body so the soul may live in the dark waters for a year and a day. If this is not done, the ti bon ange may wander the earth and bring misfortune on others.

After a year and a day, relatives of the deceased perform the Rite of Reclamation to raise the deceased person’s soul essence and put it in a clay jar known as a govi. The belief that each person’s life experiences can be passed on to the family or community compels Haitians to implore the spirit of the decease to temporarily possess a family member, priest (houngan), or priestess (mambo) to impart any final words of wisdom.

The clay jar may be placed in the houngan’s or mambo’s temple where the family may come to feed the spirit and treat it like a divine being.  At other times, the houngan burns the jar in a ritual called boule zen. This releases the spirit to the land of the dead, where it should properly reside. Another way to elevate the ti-bon-ange is to break the jar and drop the pieces at a crossroad.

The ultimate purpose of death rituals in the Vodoun culture is to send the gros-bon-ange to Ginen, the cosmic community of ancestral spirits, where it will be worshipped by family members as a loa itself. Once the final ritual is done, the spirit is free to abide among the rocks and trees until rebirth. Sixteen incarnations later, spirits merge into the cosmic energy.

Here are some other common behaviors associated with death in the Haitian culture:

·        When death is impending, the entire family will gather, pray, cry, and use religious medallions or other spiritual artifacts. Relatives and friends expend considerable effort to be present when death is near.

·        Haitians prefer to die at home, but the hospital is also an acceptable choice.

·        The moment of death is marked by ritual wailing among family members, friends, and neighbors.

·        When a person dies, the oldest family member makes all the arrangements and notifies the family. The body is kept until the entire family can gather.

·        The last bath is usually given by a family member.

·        Funerals are important social events and involve several days of social interaction, including feasting and the consumption of rum.

·        Family members come from far away to sleep at the house, and friends and neighbors congregate in the yard.

·        Burial monuments and other mortuary rituals are often costly and elaborate. People are increasingly reluctant to be buried underground. They prefer to be interred above ground in an elaborate multi-chambered tomb that may cost more than the house in which the individual lived while alive.

·        Since the body is thought to be necessary for resurrection, organ donation and cremation are not allowed. Autopsy is allowed only if the death occurred as a result of wrong doing or to confirm that the body is actually dead and not a zombie.

Like many Western Christian religions that use a figurative sacrifice to symbolize the consumption of flesh and blood, some Vodoun ceremonies include a literal sacrifice in which chickens, goats, doves, pigeons, and turtles are sacrificed to celebrate births, marriages, and deaths.

Vodou Beliefs about Afterlife

Practitioners of Vodou assume that the souls of all the deceased go to an abode beneath the waters. Concepts of reward and punishment in the afterlife are alien to Vodou.

In Vodou, the soul continues to live on earth and may be used in magic or it may be incarnated in a member of the dead person’s family.

Communion with a god or goddess occurs in the context of possession. The gods sometimes work through a govi, and sometimes take over a living person. This activity is referred to as “mounting a horse” during which the person loses consciousness and the body becomes temporarily possessed by a loa. A special priest (houngan) or priestess (mambo) assists both in summoning the divinities and in helping them to leave at the termination of the possession.

The gros-bon-ange returns to the high solar regions from which its cosmic energy was first drawn; there, it joins the other loa and becomes a loa itself.

Variations

Each group of worshipers is independent and there is no central organization, religious leader, or set of dogmatic beliefs. Rituals and ceremonies vary depending upon family traditions, regional differences, and exposure to the practices of other cultures such as Catholicism, which is the official religion of Haiti.

Some Haitians believe that the dead live in close proximity to the loa, in a place called “Under the Water.” Others hold that the dead have no special place after death.

Burial ceremonies vary according to local tradition and the status of the person. Some families do not express grief aloud until most of the deceased’s possessions have been removed from the home. Persons who are knowledgeable in the funeral customs wash, dress, and place the body in a coffin. Mourners wear white clothing which represents death. A priest may be summoned to conduct the burial service. The burial usually takes place within 24 hours.

Conclusion

Westerners, or so-called logical people, might find Vodoun a strange and exotic mixture of spells, possessions, and rituals. Like any other religion, its purpose is to comfort people by giving them a common bond. Vodoun meshes surprisingly well with Catholicism, the official religion of Haiti. With a supreme being, saint-like spirits, belief in the afterlife and invisible spirits, along with the protection of patron saints, Voodoo isn’t that different from traditional religions. 



What Does DVDRip, DVDSCR, CAM, R5, TS and TC Mean

To everyone who once wonder what DVDRip, DVDSCR, CAM, TS, TC, and R5 mean. Those are Video Quality names. When you are going to download a movie is important to know what does mean all this words in the name of the archive, because you dont want to spend time downloading a movie and find out the quality of the movie is not as expected.

DVDRip: Is a copy of a original DVD. The quality is excellent (DVD Quality). DVDRip Quality is ready to download when Original DVD is in the market. DVDrips are released in SVCD and DivX/XviD.

Worth to Download? YES

DVDScr: Or DVD Screener, usually is a copy of a PROMO Dvd. The DVDScr is out before the original DVD is in the market. Video usually comes with water marks in the video, clock counters and legends. Sometimes in some parts of the Movie video turns in black and white.

Quality is good.

Worth to Download? YES

R5: Refers to a specific format of DVD released in DVD Region 5, the former Soviet Union, and bootlegged copies of these releases that are distributed on the Internet. In an effort to compete with movie piracy, the movie industry chose to create a new format for DVD releases that could be produced more quickly and less expensively than traditional DVD releases. Quality is good because video is ripped directly from a DVD.

Worth to Download? YES

CAM: A cam is a theater rip usually done with a digital video camera. A mini tripod is sometimes used, but a lot of the time this wont be possible, so the camera make shake. Also seating placement isn’t always idle, and it might be filmed from an angle. Quality is awful.

Worth to Download? NO

TS: Or Telesync, is the same spec as a CAM except it uses an external audio source. A direct audio source does not ensure a good quality audio source, as a lot of background noise can interfere. Quality is awful.

Worth to Download? NO

TC: A telecine machine copies the film digitally from the reels. Sound and picture should be very good, but due to the equipment involved and cost telecines are fairly uncommon. Quality is regular.

Worth to Download? NO