Secrets of what’s driving American travelers this season


Now that the warmer weather is arriving, drivers will be hitting the road in earnest to enjoy it. In fact, according to Hankook Tire’s latest Quarterly Gauge Index, 56 percent of Americans are planning to take a road trip that involves driving 50 miles or more. On average, they estimate they will drive 1,025 miles. What is it about summer – besides the obvious pleasurable weather – that has so many people hitting the road?

Family time: The same survey found that one third of Americans will consider taking a road trip for family reunions. Not only is the warmer weather ideal for driving, it is perfect for picnics, barbecues and other fun outdoor activities. 

Music concerts and festivals: The sounds of birds chirping aren’t the only tunes filling the summer skies. From Coachella to the New Orleans Jazz Festival to Bonnaroo, music fans will rack up the miles to jam with their favorite artists.

Sporting events: With America’s favorite pastime in full swing, many people will be traveling to their local ballparks to take in all the action. But why stop there? Avid fans also pack up and follow their teams to opponents’ stadiums.

There is no shortage of reasons for taking a drive this summer, but before cruising away you will want to take care of a few items.

Cleaning – Carry your spring cleaning efforts to your vehicle and make sure it is tidy before heading out. Hankook Tire found out that 49 percent of American drivers polled stated they plan to clean their cars before their closets this summer, compared to 32 percent who said they will first clean their closets. The survey also uncovered that not all Americans share a spring cleaning mindset. Nineteen percent do not intend to clean their cars or their closets.

Check that tire pressure – Drivers should check tire pressure at least once a month to ensure proper inflation. When tires are under-inflated, they wear out faster, are less efficient and waste energy and fuel. Properly inflated tires save you money at the pump. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires

Avoid potholes – Potholes are prevalent in the summer, when temperatures rise and high moisture levels cause sinkholes. Try not to drive directly over potholes to mitigate any damage to your tires.-

Be prepared for any weather – Summer isn’t all sunshine, as rain is often sprinkled into weather forecasts. Tires like the Hankook Ventus S1 noble2 have an advanced silica tread compound for improved traction in both wet and dry conditions. They also offer lower rolling resistance, delivering improved efficiency and fuel savings by minimizing wasted energy.

Read more

Driveway Gates: An ideal way to finish off your drive


When it comes to your home, you want it to be as unique as you are, and first impressions are very important. It makes sense to start with the part of your house that everyone will see first – your gates and railing. Wrought iron driveway gates are an ideal way to finish off your drive and give your home that wow factor.

Driveway gates and fences will enhance the beauty, privacy and security of your home. A driveway gate extends your home security to the boundaries of your property, and in a time where people are increasingly worried about their security, adding an iron gate at the driveway entrance has become popular. Having a secure fence and gate can be a great comfort, particularly if your house lies in an area of heavy traffic. In addition to the security benefits, adding a gate also contains animals, clearly marks property lines and makes a huge aesthetic improvement to your home.

When you choose an iron driveway gate for your home, you can be confident in the knowledge that they are known for their strength and endurance. This makes them less likely to break or bend. With today’s power coating options, wrought iron gates can become just as rust resistant as aluminum. Iron gates can be matched with existing fences, pedestrian gates and access control systems.

It can be very frustrating to finish a long commute only to have to get out of the car, open a gate, drive through it, get out of the car again and close the gate. With this in mind another trendy feature for your iron driveway gates is to install an automatic gate opener. Electric gates provide indispensable convenience, allowing a gate to be opened without ever having to leave your car and therefore eliminating all those cumbersome steps.

When purchasing electric gates you need to consider a few options. The most obvious is deciding whether you want your driveway gate to open by sliding or swinging outwards. Swing gates are more aesthetically pleasing but you must take into account the opening radius depending on the length of the gate. Sliding gates will eliminate this issue as they retract rather than swing out.

You will also need to consider how much power is required to open and close your driveway gate. The amount of power is dependent on the size of your gate, how it opens and how many times it will need to be opened each day.

Finally, how will your gate be accessed, and by how many users? Electric gates are operated by a controller which sends a signal to the opening mechanism.

There are several options for your controller:

•Wireless

•Wired keypads

•Keypads with intercoms

•Key card operated controllers

•Controllers operated by remotes or telephones

Each of these features will affect the price and your final decision should be based on your budget and personal preference. Once you have taken all these points into consideration you can narrow down your options and choose the best Driveway Gates for your specific needs.

by: Mehboob Talukdar

Article Source:

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7350.shtml

Read more

Think mobile: marketing tips for local businesses

Thanks to mobile technology, businesses of all sizes and industries – from your local brick and mortar shop to your favorite online retail site – have the opportunity to easily reach people on the go.

Take Accents Style for example. This clothing boutique in Arlington, Texas, creatively reaches mobile customers by hanging incentives in the dressing rooms, including a 10 percent discount on a purchase when customers “check-in,” and a free pair of gold or silver hoop earrings when they “like” Accents Style’s Facebook page. Lucy Huang, owner of the business, says that her mobile efforts are paying off.

“Our posts get great responses. The check-ins via mobile are big incentives for our customers to come into our boutique,” she says.

Mobile is a vital channel for you to reach your customers and will only continue to grow. While mobile is a great vehicle for businesses to market to their customers, many business owners don’t know where to start or think it’s too complicated to do well. Below are answers to some of the most-asked questions from local businesses on how to more effectively reach the right audiences on the go.

1. As a business owner, how do I market on mobile without using a ton of resources? I’m just one person and don’t have the time.

A business’ social presence is a free and easy way to connect with potential customers on mobile. That’s because what you do on your page instantly translates to mobile – and your customers are already there, waiting to hear from you. Of the 1.15 billion people on Facebook, more than 70 percent access the site from their mobile phone.

Furthermore, people on the go are actively looking for businesses in their area: according to a recent Google study, 95 percent of smartphone users search for local information and 59 percent of smartphone users visited in-person after searching for local information. To effectively reach the right customer at the right time, you can tap in to the mobile ad targeting features available across many social platforms. For example, you can target people broadly or narrow down to specifics such as gender and interests. BarkBox, a company that delivers a monthly box of dog goodies (treats, products, toys, etc.) to dog owners, targeted friends of their fans on Facebook who were females and had an interest in dogs. After seeing success, BarkBox deepened their targeting by adding in geographic areas and age ranges and saw even greater results.

2. What are the best ways to create mobile ads?

Given people on their phones usually have limited time and attention spans, it’s important to create compelling and concise content including photos and short videos. For example, North Carolina-based barbecue company Bone Suckin’ Sauce promoted its Facebook photo post on mobile with the hook: “Which is better on the grill? Fish, chicken, vegetables, or steaks?” – to encourage conversation among fans. The company saw an 83 percent increase in online store sales as a result of promoting posts like these.

3. How can I manage my mobile marketing when I’m on the go, too?

Tools like Facebook’s Pages Manager app or Hoot Suite’s Social Media Manager app allow you to manage your pages on the go, whether you post photos, respond to customers via comments, or create ad campaigns.

You need to think mobile to grow your business

Just looking at the growing number of times per day people access the Web on their phones, it’s no secret that mobile marketing needs to become an integral part of your consumer marketing strategy. So don’t wait any longer: Think mobile and you’ll be able to reach new customers and keep current customers returning.

Read more

6 things you should never do when renovating a kitchen

(BPT) – Whether you’ve heard it in the office, a classroom or a soccer field, that old saying about mistakes being valuable learning tools really rings true, doesn’t it? If those mistakes occur during the course of a kitchen renovation, however, it may be difficult to be philosophical about them. Bungle a kitchen redesign, and you’ll either have to live with the consequences for a long time or invest even more money to correct them.

It’s better by far to avoid making a big mistake when renovating a kitchen. Here are six totally wrong moves that you should never make when improving the most-used room in your home:

1. Give up cabinets.

Maybe you long for a window over the kitchen sink. Perhaps replacing or upgrading all the cabinets in the kitchen will take too big a bite out of your budget. Or maybe you intend to become a minimalist and need storage space for only two plates, two mugs and two wine glasses. Whatever you think your “reason” is for reducing the number of cabinets in your kitchen – don’t do it. Cabinet storage space is a top priority in any kitchen; it can help keep clutter off your countertops, and improve the room’s appeal to potential buyers. Never give up cabinet space unless you have a ridiculous number of cabinets, in which case, see move No. 2 ….

2. Cover every inch of wall with cabinets.

The only thing worse than not enough cabinets is having too many. We’ve all seen kitchens where the cabinets visually overwhelm the space. Sometimes they’re too large for the scale of the room. Other times there are just too many of them. Keep in mind the need for visual balance, and turn to online calculators to help you understand how much cabinetry is appropriate for your kitchen.

3. Cheap out on appliances.

New appliances can be a large part of your kitchen renovation budget, and the temptation to cut costs by buying cheaper quality products can be compelling. Yet kitchen appliances are among the most-used in any home. When you consider how often you’ll use them, how much wear and tear they’ll endure, and how great their impact is on the usability of the room, it makes sense to invest in the best appliances you can afford. What’s more, if you choose cheaper models – or worse yet, keep old, inefficient appliances – you may miss out on the energy savings that new appliances can deliver.

4. Give up even a single ray of sunlight or breath of fresh air.

More than one kitchen renovator has chosen to solve the problem of too little cabinet space by covering up a window. Not a smart move, especially when you consider the value of natural light and fresh air in a kitchen. If you have no wall space to spare for windows, adding Energy Star-qualified no-leak fresh-air skylights, like those from Velux America, can solve the problem.

Modern skylights are as dependable as high quality vertical windows and they admit much more natural light. Solar powered fresh air skylights passively vent humidity and cooking fumes from the kitchen while bringing in light. Pair them with solar-powered designer blinds, and your skylights become not just more energy efficient, but more functional, since both are operated by a programmable remote control. As an added plus, solar powered skylights, blinds and installation costs are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements.

5. Pick materials that are too fragile for life in the kitchen.

Just as you never pick a partner or a vehicle based on their looks alone, choosing kitchen materials based on beauty is doomed to disappoint. For example, recycled glass countertops can chip, scratch or crack more easily than other options, and may not stand up to rigorous use. Limestone has a lovely, luminous look but is vulnerable to stains. Before you choose a material for its looks, find out its durability and weigh that against your tolerance for cleaning and repairs, as well as how brutal you’re likely to be on the surfaces in your kitchen. And in that vein ….

6. Let looks trump practicality.

Choosing an overall design or materials that look great and are fashionable, but that aren’t practical for your lifestyle, is a recipe for regrets. Whether it’s buying a refrigerator that’s too big for the scale of the room, or opting for a countertop color that’s too unusual to be universally appealing, conceding practicality to appearance will make the kitchen harder to work in and harder to sell down the road.

A well-executed kitchen renovation can boost home value and improve your enjoyment of the kitchen, which is the heart of the home. With planning and care, it’s possible to avoid the kind of renovation mistakes that no one wants to live with.

Read more

You can donate your time as well as your money

(BPT) – Nonprofit organizations depend on monetary donations to keep their operations running and support the communities they serve. Many people, however, want to do more than write a check to local organizations they support, so they become volunteers.

When people choose to donate their time, energy and skills to support a community organization, the impact can be immeasurable. Plus, volunteering allows people to be actively involved in their community without feeling the budget crunch at home.

People don’t always realize what they gain personally when they volunteer, however. In addition to feeling a sense of community and accomplishment, people can also improve their networking skills, connections and professional development as they help others.

“Improving leadership, networking and job skills is important in any field, and doing so through community involvement is a rewarding way to give back,” says Elizabeth K. Warn, senior vice president of community relations at TD Bank. “Volunteering provides the best of both worlds – supporting your local community while developing professional skills that may help you in the future.” Many companies encourage their employees to volunteer, whether on their own time or through work. TD Bank, for example, provides several volunteering opportunities for its employees, including TD Tree Days tree planting events. The bank’s year-round Employee Reading Program encourages employees to help children keep their reading skills sharp by reading to them in schools, libraries and at youth organizations.

In addition to recognizing their employees’ commitment to volunteer service and the financial needs of community organizations, many companies, such as TD Bank, will also provide financial donations to the charities where their employees volunteer. These donations give an extra boost to the organizations and causes that are personally important to employees, are usually based on the number of hours an employee volunteers, and allows a worker who might not otherwise have the financial resources an opportunity to direct funds to his or her favorite charity or organization.”The benefits of volunteering really are limitless,” adds Warn. “Even a few hours each month can help a neighborhood, a family in need, or an organization attain its goals and make a positive, meaningful impact in the community.”

Read more

Surgery insight: What happens while you’re under anesthesia?



What you should know before surgery

Before you schedule your next surgery, ask the hospital the following questions to help ensure a successful procedure:

* How long does the surgical procedure take?
* What can be expected for recovery?
* Who are all the members of the surgical team? Will a physician anesthesiologist be present?
* What should be done to prepare for surgery? (i.e. eating restrictions)
* What pain medications will be administered before, during and after surgery?
* Who is going to care for me immediately after surgery?
* Who will communicate the status of surgery with the patient’s loved one or caregiver?

Who is providing your medical care?

Regardless of the type of surgery you will undergo, you’ll likely require anesthesia or sedation. It is important for you to know who is administering your anesthesia. As the leader of the Anesthesia Care Team, your physician anesthesiologist will care for you before, during and after surgery. You, like the majority of patients, may be unaware that anesthesiologists are in fact medical doctors.

Physician anesthesiologists have 12,000 hours to 16,000 hours of clinical training and 12-plus years of extensive medical education which covers the entire human body and all of its systems, including evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of a full range of medical conditions and needs. Physician anesthesiologists are able to intervene should complications arise in a routine surgical procedure or in an emergency.

Anesthesia is safer than ever because of the work and research of physician anesthesiologists. However, each patient comes with a unique set of circumstances and health risks that require the medical training of a physician anesthesiologist.

Take for example, the story of a woman who was administered a routine epidural during childbirth. Without warning, the patient experienced cardiac arrest due to an amniotic embolism. If it was not for the split-second diagnosis and action of Patrick Allaire, M.D. (Ames, Iowa), who was able to restart the patient’s heart and ensure a successful Cesarean section, the outcome would have been grave. Despite an 85 percent fatality rate during such procedures, both the mother and her child survived.

What is the role of my physician anesthesiologist?

ASA President-Elect Jane C.K. Fitch, M.D. notes that physician anesthesiologists play three key roles before, during and after any surgery. Here’s what you can expect as a patient who will be undergoing surgery:

1. Before surgery, physician anesthesiologists draw on their advanced education and training to diagnose illnesses, ensure you are in optimal shape for surgery and help fine-tune surgical plans.

2. During surgery, physician anesthesiologists manage any medical conditions you have, as well as anything that arises during the procedure. They help ensure you remain comfortable and manage pain.

3. After surgery, physician anesthesiologists address any complications from your medical condition or from the surgical procedure itself, helping you to heal properly.

Many people are surprised to learn physician anesthesiologists also have active roles outside of the operating room. Dr. Fitch explains, “After some surgeries, patients may have issues that require close care. Some physician anesthesiologists specialize in critical care medicine to take care of those patients. Likewise in terms of pain medicine, physician anesthesiologists are able to provide comprehensive pain medicine care, either acutely right after a surgery or procedure, or on an outpatient basis for chronic medical conditions.”

When seconds count, when a life hangs in the balance, when medical emergencies or other complications occur, you and your family members need to know that there is a physician anesthesiologist responsible for your care. For more information on patient-centered, physician-led anesthesia care, please visit www.asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount.

Read more
Bashore Properties LLC, 9577 Osuna Rd. N.E., Albuquerque, NM | Privacy Policy