Making Your Employees Feel Special

How to Decide What Size Truck to Rent When Moving across the Country

Moving trucks are designed to hold a certain amount of items, typically measured in cubic feet. They come in a variety of sizes, many of which can be driven without a special driver’s license. Larger trucks require more fuel to operate and pose the risk of allowing your belongings to shift around during your move, so it is important to rent a moving truck that isn’t larger than what you need. You also don’t want have the truck halfway loaded and then realize it’s not big enough. Never guess what size moving truck you’ll need for such an important journey. Instead, keep reading to find out how to determine the perfect size of rental truck for your big move.

Look at Truck Measurements

First, you need to consider your truck rental options. You will have a choice of several different-sized trucks, the number of which depends upon the company you are renting from and how many trucks are already reserved on the dates that you need one. The advertised truck size takes into consideration the total amount of open space in the truck’s storage area, from floor to ceiling, in cubic feet. But in reality, the truck will be longer than the advertised size because you also have to account for cabin length. You will need this information to make sure the entire truck can fit into parking spaces and loading areas. Any trucks that are too large for these situations should be eliminated from your consideration. You also need to know the measurements of the cargo doors to make sure your furniture will fit through them.  Any trucks with cargo entries that are too small for your furniture should be excluded.

Unless you are an expert packer, you will not utilize the total space within the truck. You will have holes and pockets where boxes and other items don’t line up perfectly. Because of this, it’s always in your best interest to rent a truck that is a little larger than what you think you’ll need.

Figure Out Household Size

Next, you need to think about the size of your household and all the items that you’ll be taking with you across the country. Since most moving truck rental companies want to make it easier for people to determine what size truck they need, they usually will provide estimates for the number of rooms that can fit in each of their trucks. But these numbers are only approximations for average-sized rooms, like a living room with one couch, one reclining chair, and a loveseat. The rule of thumb is to multiply the number of rooms in your home, excluding bathrooms, by 150 to get the number of cubic feet of moving truck space you’ll need. If your home has rooms filled with furniture and d├ęcor in every nook and cranny, then you’ll need a larger truck to accommodate all your belongings. If your living room consists only of a reclining chair and a TV, then you can rent a smaller truck. It’s helpful to talk to the truck rental company and compare their suggestions with the amount of furniture and other belongings in your home to help you decide which size truck to rent.

Choosing the right-size moving truck isn’t as easy as you may think, but it is essential to having a smooth cross-country moving experience. If you choose a truck that is too large, your belongings might be tossed around until they are damaged beyond repair and you’ll be spending unnecessary money on larger amounts of gas. If you rent a truck that is too small, you will either have to make some tough decisions and leave items behind, rent another truck and double your cost, or unload everything off the truck so you can exchange it for a bigger one.

If you have any questions about renting a truck to move your household across country, contact a local moving truck rental company through a website like http://www.elitetruckrental.com. They are the professionals in the industry and can help you with all your moving needs.

Read More

How To Test And Replace The Thermocouple On Your Home’s Furnace

If the pilot light on your gas-fueled home furnace won’t stay lit, then it is likely the thermocouple has failed. Fortunately, testing the thermocouple is easy, and if it is necessary to replace it, the cost for a new thermocouple is often less than ten dollars. Below is more information on what thermocouples do, how you can test your thermocouple for proper functioning and install a new one, if necessary:

The purpose of the thermocouple on your furnace

A thermocouple is a simple, current-producing device that relies on a physical phenomenon known as the thermoelectric effect. When two dissimilar metals are joined together and heated, a tiny amount of electrical current is produced.

On your gas heating appliance, the thermocouple is used as a safety device to shut off the gas supply should the pilot light be extinguished. The current produced while the thermocouple is being heated by the pilot light flame keeps the gas valve open; if the pilot light quits burning, the thermocouple cools down and stops generating current, thus closing the valve. A faulty thermocouple will prevent the valve from opening and subsequently prevent the furnace from operating, as well.

Testing and replacing thermocouples – tools and materials needed

  • Small adjustable wrench

  • Digital multimeter

  • Screwdriver set

  • Propane torch

Procedure for testing and replacement of thermocouples

1. Turn off the electrical power and gas supply to the furnace – Before you begin performing any work on the furnace, take a moment to disconnect the electrical power and gas supply. Attempting to perform work on the furnace with the electricity or gas still connected could cause a devastating accident. The furnace will be connected via a breaker switch, and flipping this switch to the ‘off’ position will prevent a possible electrical shock. As for the gas supply, look for the shut-off valve that will be located close to the furnace, and turn the handle to the ‘off’ position.

2. Locate the thermocouple and remove it from the furnace – After safely disconnecting the power and gas to the furnace, find the sheet metal screws that hold the front panel in place and remove them. Carefully pull the panel away from the furnace and set it aside. On some furnaces, the panel is not attached by screws; rather, it simply is lifted up and away from the unit.

Once the panel is out of the way, look for the pilot light and thermocouple assembly. The thermocouple consists of a metallic rod attached to a thin copper tube which is screwed into the gas valve. Next, remove the thermocouple by unscrewing it from the gas valve with an adjustable wrench and removing any clips or screws that hold it in place next to the pilot light. Be careful not to crimp or pinch the thermocouple tubing during removal.

3. Test the thermocouple for proper functioning – After you have removed the thermocouple, position it on a flat surface for easy access. Next, attach a black lead from a digital multimeter to the tip of the electrical contact that was screwed into the gas valve; be sure the lead isn’t touching anything other than the contact. The next step is to attach the red lead to the copper tubing approximately two-to-three inches above the electrical contact.

Set the digital multimeter to its direct current (DC) position, with the voltage range set to millivolts, which are thousandths of a volt. Note the panel should read zero. Next, apply flame from a propane torch to the thermocouple sensor, and monitor the panel reading to see if any readings appear. A functional thermocouple will generate at least 20 millivolts, while defective units will produce less than this or nothing at all.

4. Replace the thermocouple – If the thermocouple test indicate it is defective, then you will need to purchase a new unit from a heating supply store. To install the new thermocouple, simply screw it into the gas valve until it is hand-tight, then turn it one quarter of an inch further. Next, position the thermocouple sensor, so it is next to the pilot light, and reattach any screws or clips that held it in place.

For more information, or to hire a professional, contact a company like Glendale Heating & Air Conditioning

Read More

4 Reasons To Install A Pond Instead Of A Pool

Before you call your local pool company to have a generic cement pool installed in your back yard, stop and think about how much nicer it might be to have a pond instead. Artificial ponds can bear a close resemblance to natural ones, complete with floating plants to help oxygenate the water and regulate the chemical balance. Here are four reasons to give this eco-friendly alternative some serious thought.

1. Natural Landscaping Enhancement

A pond makes a beautiful, completely natural-looking complement to your backyard landscaping. You can make your pond conform to any shape that suits your fancy, thanks to flexible pond liners made of PVC or other plastics that follow the curves, ridges and contours of your design. A raised shelf can host a variety of aquatic plants, while water lilies and other floating plants help to maintain the water’s chemical balance. Pebbles, large rocks or even an attached “waterfall” all add to the sense of a completely natural environment.

The only nod to the modern world you really need to make is the addition of an electric pump to aerate the water. (The addition of oxygen helps keep anaerobic bacteria at the bottom of the pool from growing out of control.) You may also find that you need to add a UV sterilizer (an ultraviolet lamp similar to those used in aquariums) to help control “green water” from algae overgrowth.

2. A Beautiful Way to Keep Fish

If you’ve ever marveled at the image of koi swimming gracefully in a garden pond, you’ll love the fact that you can safely host these elegant creatures in your own backyard creation. The lily pads gracing the top of the pond will give your fish a natural hiding place to keep them safe from predators, but you can also construct a little “cave” underneath the water’s surface if you like. 

While some people believe that koi and plants can’t coexist in a pond, the truth is that they coexist in natural ponds all the time. In fact, the koi will happily feed on your plant life, while the waste they produce contributes nutrients to help the plants grow, maintaining a mutually beneficial ecological relationship. Add some Anacharis (Brazilian waterweed) along the bottom of the pond to provide your koi with extra oxygen and shade. As for interaction between your koi population and your human population — yes, you can swim in your koi pond! You just have to take care to aerate and filter the water effectively enough to keep yourself safe from harmful bacteria.

3. No Chemicals Needed

Wouldn’t going for a swim be a more pleasant experience if it didn’t require you to douse yourself in chlorine? This chemical cleanser not only causes hives, dry skin and eye irritation, but it can also aggravate respiratory allergies. If you’re sensitive to pool chemicals, you’ll be happy to know that an outdoor pond can remain clean all year round with nothing more than proper filtering and ecosystem management — giving you a chlorine-free place to swim, socialize or just relax. 

4. An Affordable Alternative

Proper pool upkeep is no small matter. Even the most modest permanent backyard pool requires regular treatment with chlorine and other pool chemicals, while heated pools not only run up your utility bills but also suffer a relatively high rate of evaporation, which forces you to use more water to keep it filled. A pond doesn’t use heating, and because it stays cooler, it also does a better job of hanging onto the water you put into it. You’ll also save up to $500 a year by not stocking up on pool chemicals.

As for the up-front installation costs, you don’t necessarily have to pay more you would for a traditional pool. If you’re planning to maintain separate swimming and biological regeneration zones, then you’ll be spending that much more money on pond liners, water and other materials. But many pool owners actually have much more swimming space than they ever need or use — so unless you’re training for the Olympics or hosting pool parties for the entire neighborhood, you can save a lot of money simply by planning a smaller swimming hole. In fact, you can build a small garden pond all by yourself for only a few hundred dollars.

Talk to your local landscaping service about the various factors that go into installing and maintaining an artificial pond, from pond liners and other essential materials to the right mix of plants to sustain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. Then forego that cement pool for an amazing new piece of Mother Nature in your own back yard! For more information, contact a company like Billboard Tarps

Read More

5 Tips for Creating Retro-themed Diner Menus

Diners have been around for numerous decades and customers love the retro appeal that comes with eating at them. If you own a retro-themed diner, one of the key parts of the classic experience is the menu. This is one of the first things that customers look over and it can really set the mood and tone for the rest of the meal. As you plan your own custom menu printing, there are five design tips you should follow for the best themes and results. You can easily implement one or more of these designs into your official menu.

Fonts

The menu should feature a variety of retro fonts that capture styles of the past. The following fonts can be combined together or mixed with your own signature font to create a nice retro appeal.

  • York Whiteletter: This retro font is great for separating menu sections and showcasing different elements. For example, you can use the built-in banner on the font to showcase sections like “Appetizers,” “Burgers” and “Desserts.” The contrast between the letters and background make it easy to read and stand out.
  • Market Deco: A classic font that features basic lines and easy to read text. The font looks like classic business signs. It can be used to highlight sections of a menu and is also great for listing prices.
  • Hand Shop Typography: Showcase a retro font with some depth and a classic painted style. The font has small features that really makes each letter have a nice appeal. It looks smooth when printed and a variety of color combinations can be used to really make the font stand out.

Food Illustrations

While the menu should feature real images of your meals, you can easily implement some retro cartoons to add some diner appeal. Before photography was easily available to print in color, many diners used colored illustrations to showcase a variety of food options. One of the prime examples are the diners and concession stands from classic drive-in movie theaters. The classic “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” campaign featured dancing hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft drinks among other things.

You can feature similar drawings and creations on your menu to add a retro appeal. Various stock image websites feature these images for purchase and direct download. A graphic printing company may also have access to additional images you can use for your menu printing.

Patterns & Color Schemes

A huge indicator of your retro design will come with the patterns and color schemes that you choose to use. One of the classic patterns used at retro diners is a checkered pattern. Border your menu with black and white checkered patterns to create a nice design and retro features. Bright and vibrant All-American colors should also be used for the theme of the menu. This includes white backgrounds, red edges, and a mix of blue and red whiting. Lighter versions and pastel colors will also work for the retro design. The colors will stand out and make it easy to read various menu items.

Classic Images & Logos

The key to having a truly retro menu is by eliminating any modern designs and logos. For example, if your restaurant serves Coca-Cola, you can feature this aspect by showcasing the retro Coke logo on the menu design. The same type of design should appear on your menu pictures. Showcase meal pictures on a retro plate and drinks served in retro classics. It helps keep up with the theme of the menu and creates great branding for your restaurant brand.

If you want to mix a little new and the old, feature fun menu design elements like hashtags. For example, small text blocks can features themes like “#TBT” for “Throwback Thursday.” The hashtags can appeal to retro elements while still connecting to current customers.

Work with menu printing companies to determine the best menu design layouts and folding options. This will help you select the most effective menu and finishes for your restaurant needs.

Read More

Keep Your Career Counseling Company Safe With Paper Shredding

Career counseling services aren’t typically considered to be financial institutions. After all, they provide career advice — not investment advice. Several career counseling companies are considered financial institutions, though, by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act, and they must meet the act’s requirements to protect client’s information. If you have a business that provides career counseling services, keep both your clients and your company safe by hiring a paper shredding service to destroy sensitive documents.

Some Career Counseling Companies are Financial Institutions

The GLB Act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which summarizes how the act identifies financial institutions. The FTC’s summary includes several obvious criteria that the GLB Act outlines. According to the summary, and business that engages in one of the following activities meets the act’s definition of a financial institution:

  • settles real estate transactions
  • collects debts
  • services or brokers loans
  • invests, transfers or lends on someone else’s behalf
  • offers financial services

Career counseling companies don’t meet these definitions, but there is one more, less obvious criterion that some career counseling service providers do meet. Any business that places individuals in the financial services industry is considered to be a financial institution, according to the FTC’s summary.

Thus, if your career counseling company helps people find jobs in the financial services sector, your company is also considered a financial institution. If your business helps real estate lawyers, loan agents or investment advisors find jobs, it’s part of the financial services sector. Even if you primarily place teachers and nurses — but you also help people get jobs at a local debt collectors call center — your company meets the GLB Act’s definition of a financial institution.

As a financial institution, your company must adhere to the GLB Act’s requirements.

The GLB Act Protects Clients’ Information

The GLB Act’s primary purpose is to protect consumers’, or clients’ in the financial sector, personal information. As soon as someone gives their information to a company that meets the above criteria, that information is protected by the act. Among other requirements, financial institutions must give clients a privacy notice as soon as they ask for personal information.

The act’s protections extend well beyond the initial collection of information, though. Financial institutions must safeguard clients’ personal information for as long as they are in possession of the information, and then they must dispose of it in a way that no one else can retrieve it. In other words, companies are expected to keep clients’ personal information safe until they destroy it.

Paper Shredding is a Safe Way to Dispose of Personal Information

Unless your company plans on building secure storehouses to keep clients’ information for eternity, you need a safe way to dispose of personal information. Paper shredding is the perfect way to dispose of documents that have personal information, as cross-cut shredders make it impossible to piece papers back together and read them.

In theory, you could use a personal-sized cross-cut shredder and have an employee shred all sensitive documents. This solution, though, is time-consuming and tedious, and you’ll need to pay an employee to shred all of your company’s papers.

A more efficient solution is to hire a paper shredding company. Such a company can send someone to your office and quickly shred all documents that contain client’s’ information. You can even have them come when no one is in the office. The papers that need shredding can be kept in a lockbox that only you and the company have the key to, so they can access the papers without inconveniencing anyone at your company.

If you have a business that provides career counseling advice to anyone in the financial services sector, make sure your company is in line with the GLB Act’s requirements. Contact a paper shredding service in your area to have all documents that contain clients’ personal information efficiently and properly disposed of. Hiring a shredding service will cost a little money, but it will be less than the cost of being caught not properly destroying documents that contain clients’ information. Check out websites like http://www.vitalrecordscontrol.com for more information.

Read More

3 Unique Things You Can Do With A Loved One’s Ashes After Death

The death of a loved one, whether expected or unexpected can leave you reeling. Because of your emotional state of mind, it may be hard trying to figure out what to do. Although cremation may seem like a hard choice, it is becoming just as popular a choice as traditional burial. In 2014, cremation was at a little more than 45% whereas traditional burials were at a little more than 48%. Rather than opting to use a traditional urn, there are a few unique things you can do with the ashes of your loved one.

A Bang of Color

When a loved one dies, it is only natural to mourn. However, celebrating the life your loved one lived is a beneficial way to cope and move through the grieving process. One of the best ways to celebrate the life of your loved one lost is to gather together your friends and family and share memories followed by beautiful fireworks.

Although it is a relatively new concept, there is a company that can use your loved one’s ashes in order to create a massive fireworks display. It is the perfect choice to help memorialize your loved one in a unique way that everyone will remember for years to come. For an added special touch, you can write notes filled with memories and attach them to the fireworks almost as though you are sending them up to the heavens.

Ashes to Ink Tattoos

Have you ever heard the saying, “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust?” How about ashes to ink? In a new and innovative way to memorialize loved ones lost, it is possible to mix the cremated remains of a loved one with tattoo ink. You can use the ink to get an image of your loved one tattooed somewhere on your body or perhaps something small such as a butterfly, angel wings, or even just your loved one’s name.

Although tattoo ink mixed with cremated remains does not pose any health hazards, you will still need to speak with the tattoo artist. Not all tattoo artists may be willing to use the special ink. Your best bet is to discuss your thoughts with the funeral home or crematory that is arranging your loved one’s cremation. In some instances, they can help you track down a tattoo artist that is willing to use the ink.

Pretty as a Picture

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Pictures can memorialize memories for all time, even if the picture is a painted portrait rather than a printed snapshot. Now, you can memorialize your loved one by using their cremated remains to create a painted portrait. The ashes of your loved one are mixed into the paint. The paint is then used to create a portrait of your loved one based on photos you have.

You can hang the picture on your wall, meaning a part of your loved one will always be near and dear to you both spiritually and even physically in a small way. Whenever you look at the portrait of your loved one, it will help bring a smile to your face. Furthermore, capturing your loved one’s ashes in a portrait serves as a far more unique vessel compared to a traditional urn.

No matter what you decide to do with your loved one’s ashes, a professional can help. Make sure you speak to the director of the funeral home or crematorium to find out what other unique things you can do with your loved one’s ashes. A professional is willing to assist you in finding the best ways to memorialize your loved on in a way that best suits your wants, needs, and budget.

Visit a site like http://www.carememorialcremation.com/ for more information. 

Read More

5 Ways Restaurants Can Use Custom Vinyl Graphics For Holiday Decorations

Attracting customers to your restaurant can be done in a variety of ways, including direct advertising on your restaurant window. When using vinyl window stickers, you can easily apply decorations and remove them for different seasonal occasions. As you plan your restaurant decorations for the holidays, there are five different custom designs you can use to help promote your restaurant and celebrate days like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Not only are these vinyl graphics great for the holiday season, but you can reuse a number of the decorations for future years.

Restaurant Logo

Display your restaurant logo in a whole new way by infusing a little holiday design into the letters and features. By using holiday symbols, you can showcase your restaurant name and a little holiday spirit. Browse through the following letters to see how they can be replaced with various symbols. When choosing the design, stick to one or two letter replacements so that the logo is still easy to read. A number of free symbols are available for downloading and using at a restaurant.

  • A: The “A” in your restaurant name can be replaced with symbols like a Christmas tree or Santa hat. Anything that has a point on it can substitute well for this letter.
  • O: Christmas bells, wreaths, turkeys, and ornaments are all round shapes that can easily replace an “O.” If your restaurant sells a lot of desserts, then consider using holiday pies or cookies for the letter replacement.
  • J & L: Long letters like “J” and “L” can be replaced with symbols like a candy cane, Christmas stocking, or holiday candle.

Play around with your logo to see how different symbols can fit inside.

Gift Card Promotions

The holiday season is a great time to promote gift card sales for your restaurant. To showcase the availability of gift cards, you can use vinyl graphics in your window. By mixing gift cards with holiday traditions, it can create an appealing design for customers.

For example, you can feature stocking decals with your restaurant gift card sticking out of the top. Another design idea is an open Christmas present with gift cards sticking out of the top. A third design idea is to feature a large Christmas tree with restaurant gift cards hanging in various places. Instead of overloading your windows, choose one of the designs to keep it as simple as possible.

Holiday Food Specials

Customers love to be enticed by the food offered at your restaurant. Instead of leaving it up to the menu, you can feature holiday specials directly on your windows. With custom-cut vinyl decals, your windows can feature large-sized images of the meal options. For example, if you feature a prime-rib dinner special around the holidays, you can showcase a large decal that features the prime rib, a baked potato, and other sides on a plate.

The same can be done for any Thanksgiving dinner promotions that your restaurant is running.

Corner Window Sides

Add a subtle holiday approach with some corner window designs. If you do not want to obscure the view inside your restaurant, then corner window designs are ideal for adding the holiday touch while drawing views to the center of your restaurant. For the holiday season, you can choose from a number of different holiday designs like snowflakes, flying reindeer, candles, or fake snow that appears to have collected in corners.

Holiday Characters

Add some whimsical fun to your restaurant by using holiday character designs. The holiday characters can draw familiarity with potential customers and create a great tie-in with your restaurant. For example, you can feature Santa Claus doing a number of different things on the window decals. This includes eating a meal, carrying a take-out bag, or promoting one of the delicious desserts.

To help promote any cold or frozen treats, you can feature a holiday snowman holding the snack. Other holiday characters you can use includes elves, reindeer, and cartoon turkeys. Come up with creative ways they can tie into your restaurant.

Work with a vinyl decal company to ensure that the graphics represent your vision. They should be ordered at least a month in advance to ensure they are printed and delivered on time.

Read More
Page 1 of 3123