Why Should You Go With A Wedding Photographer

Things to Include in Your Wedding Photography Contract

As a new Wedding Photographer, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of booking your first wedding. With all of the details that go into the booking process, it can get confusing when you start to put together your Wedding Photography contract. What do you include? What do you not include? How long should it be? These thoughts are all perfectly normal, and the key to creating a contract that will cover all of your bases, as well as allow your clients to clearly understand their expectations from you and vice versa.

RESCHEDULING CLAUSE FOR CLIENTS

This is such an important piece to cover in your Wedding Photography contract. Many times couples start planning their wedding before confirming all vendors’ availability. If any other of their preferred vendors is unavailable on their requested day, they might want to reschedule the wedding.

RESCHEDULING CLAUSE FOR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

That’s right! Even you, the Wedding Photographer, need a rescheduling clause. It is your responsibility to be at the wedding, no matter what. The couple has paid you a good chunk of change for you to capture their big wedding day. Unless you have a physical impediment, you need to be there.

DELIVERY TIMELINE

Always be sure to have a guaranteed date on your contract! My delivery timeline states that the couple will receive their images within 90 business days from their wedding day. Many couples have specific ideas in mind to do with their images, and having a set time will ensure that their timeline is accurate.

OUTDOOR WEDDING VENUES

As a wedding photographer, you know how important (and expensive) it is to maintain quality equipment. This clause is vital for your sake and the sake of your clients as well. Weather is such a tricky thing to predict in advance. If inclement weather has the potential to ruin your equipment, then it is unfair to both parties.

 

Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring A Wedding Photographer

Some of the first things newly engaged brides do is go dress shopping, reserve a ceremony and reception location, and hire a wedding photographer. Chance are, this is the first time any of them have hired a wedding photographer. It can be an intimidating and overwhelming experience, filled with explanations of packages, prices, albums, contracts, portfolios, and what’s the difference between flush mount and matted albums again? In an effort to give you a few pieces of advice, ISPWP member photographers have provided a few insights into what mistakes you should definitely avoid when hiring a wedding photographer. Many ISPWP photographers have the experience of shooting hundreds of weddings so they’ve seen it all.

Don’t Make the Mistake of Overlooking the Photographer’s Personality

When you are hiring a wedding photographer, don’t hire someone whom you don’t really like on a personal basis! Their photos might be great, but remember that your photographer is going to be a very substantial participant in your wedding day, not only capturing your memories, but becoming a big part of them! So make sure you’re comfortable with their personality. If you find your photographer irritating, abrasive, or if you think their jokes are cheesy, keep looking. You REALLY don’t want to look at your wedding photos, and think “Oh wow, remember the incredibly inappropriate joke the photographer told right before he shot this?” or “That guy got on my nerves – I remember feeling irritated with him as this photo was being taken.” Your day is about your happiness, first and foremost. The most beautiful photo in the world won’t mean as much if your memory of the photography experience sours it!

Don’t Make the Mistake of Prioritizing Products Over the Photography

If you have a limited budget for wedding photography, invest the money in the photographer and not the album. If you look for a less expensive photographer so you can have money left over for an album, you will likely end up with bad photos in a pretty package. You are better off with great photos in a shoe box. You can always get an nice album down the road after you win the lottery or get that big raise, but if your photos are bad you are out of luck

Don’t Make the Mistake of Expecting Pro Results From an Amateur Photographer

I can’t tell you how many brides I’ve had come in to look at my albums, and tell me: “My sister got married last year. They had Uncle take their pictures because he only charged them $200. But she didn’t get a single picture from her wedding that she likes.  Every time she looks at her pictures, she cries.” The biggest mistake a bride can make is to undervalue her wedding photography. Countless brides have tried to save a few dollars by hiring a friend, or having a family member take their wedding photos. And countless brides have little but tears to show for it. Think of professional wedding photography as an investment in your future joy. It will cost a little now (although it will cost less than the food you serve at your wedding), but it will pay off in great dividends, as you enjoy the memories for the rest of your life.

Don’t leave your wedding photography up to chance! “Cheap” doesn’t necessarily mean good, and “good” doesn’t mean cheap! Do you want to risk one of the most important days of your life to an inexperienced photographer

 

Things Your Wedding Photographer Should Be Able To Do

There are a lot of lists out there of “Questions you should ask your Wedding Photographer.” Instead of giving you a list of questions, I thought I might just mention some things that your wedding photographer should be able to do. This isn’t necessarily a comprehensive list but if someone tells me they are a professional wedding photographer

Behave in a Professional Business Manner

Does he return emails and phone calls? Does he deliver in a timely manner?  If your wedding photographer never calls you back and says he’ll need 8 weeks to deliver your images, be afraid. You want a committed professional who is determined to give you good service and great images.

Pose People

Posing people can be very important. I’m not just talking about posing a bridal party or posing a big family group. Posing can be so much more. Sometimes it’s just a little direction for the bride and groom, a little “tweek” that can make all the difference in how the pictures turn out.  Look for both types of posing when you look for a wedding photographer. Make sure they can pose a group or a couple but also look for images that look natural and have a sense of “flow.” Odds are, he posed those pictures too

Use Natural Light

One of the first things that you have to learn as a photographer is how to see light. It can take years to develop the ability to see light the way the camera sees it and then figure out how to use that light to your advantage.  Sometimes it means using natural light to create a great image and other times you are in a situation where the natural light is actually hurting your images… and if you can’t recognize the problem and fix it, you will have bad wedding pictures. Harsh shadows, lens flare, etc have ruined many a picture.

Use Off-Camera Flash

Taking the flash off the camera and putting it on a tri-pod or handing it to an assistant makes a huge difference in the quality of your images. It can be used to create amazing portraits, to light a dark room and even to create a dynamic light source that wouldn’t exist otherwise.  There are still many photographers who refuse to learn how to light their clients but I’ve always felt that you are only hurting yourself by not having that option.

 

WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Apart from choosing that dress, perhaps the most important decision of the whole wedding process is finding the right photographer to capture and record those perfect moments you’re going to be looking back at forever

His images almost seem to lean out and touch you, they’re bursting with life and energy and rarely seem to linger on still moments, and we love him for it. Able to sum up a day in a single image

An artist behind the lens and thoroughly nice guy away from it, is very adept at putting everyone at ease which allows him to shoot his brilliantly candid, documentary-style photos that perfectly sum up the drama, emotions and tenderness of your day. Never posed, always honest, the man’s a lens flashing genius!

certainly not when it comes to wedding photography. It’s perhaps this disregard for the rules (he was once a computer hacker) that lead this photo artist to have his work appear in Brides, The Telegraph, The Times, Elle and even Vogue. The fact that you can have this award-winning photographer’s work on your home is truly exciting for anyone lucky enough to secure his services.

THIS is what a wedding looks like! They’re not posed, should never appear stuffy or uncomfortable, they’re happy, full of crazy/silly/unexpected moments and has that amazing knack of being in the right place at the right time to record those “Yes, that was our day” moments that really do bring those special memories back to life. The fact that he manages to make those images look like something from a high-end fashion magazine is further proof of his talents and why he’s hit

 

things to know before you hire a wedding photographer

Expensive doesn’t always mean good – There are so many wedding planning blogs like wedmegood , sayshaadi , weddingsutra which have a detailed directory of photographers in your area . Do a thorough research when it comes to pricing . The end result might be the same quality wise ( not style wise)  if we compare two photographers but you see a huge difference in the price . Why a certain photographer is charging what he/she is charging? What value is he/she bringing to the table apart from the photographs ? There can be plethora of reasons behind the same – huge inventory of equipment , industry experience , targeting a different set of market altogether or photography being the sole earning for them.

Know your style preference – Do not hire a wedding photographer just because your best friend hired them . Your taste & preferences would be very different from your friends and it might result in utter disappointment if there is a style clash . Trust me no matter how good a photographer is , nothing can be done if their shooting/post-processing style is very different from your expectations

Full wedding sets – Never ever just go by the few pictures you saw on the slideshow of the photographer’s website . If you like a certain photographer’s style , always ask them to send you the full wedding set . Any decent photographer who is in the industry can make 10 wonderful images on your wedding day but you need someone who can make each image look like a masterpiece . That’s what you are paying for ! Try to analyse the quality across the wedding set , how good the photographer has communicated the story , if he or she is good with night photography or they have killed the ambient light by bombarding flash recklessly . Using flash is not a bad thing as many think , as long as your photographer knows how to use it.

Make sure your wedding photographer is not just a “weekend photographer” – you want a professional photographer, someone who is doing this as their sole living as they are better equipped with the gear ( backup equipment , better storage solutions) , more experienced and in my opinion , are far better in their work as they have dedicated their life to create art . They chose to do it because they absolutely love it and not to earn some extra cash over the weekend . This will ensure that you not only receive the best quality but also the most choices of products and services.

Photobooks are evergreen – I wish I could write this whole paragraph in bold . No amount of technological advancement can take away the feel of a printed photograph . A HUMBLE REQUEST , PLEASE DON’T LET THE DIGITAL FILES ROT ON YOUR COMPUTER HARD DRIVE . As a wedding photographer, I can’t even begin to describe my disappointment when prospective clients tell me that they are very sure they don’t want the photobook . It makes me sad when I think of all the photos that I worked upon for hours would never get printed. Display your wedding pictures proudly because on a crappy day in married life , pictures in print do make things better . Holding an album in hand would take you back in time and going through good memories will definitely relieve some stress .

The Need For Pros For Home Renovation

Cheap Home Improvement Products That Make A Big Impact

A home renovation project may sound like an expensive undertaking on the surface. However, you might be surprised to find that there are many cheap home improvement products on Amazon that’ll make a huge impact on your house’s ambiance (without breaking the bank). Here’s a list of must-have items that could be extremely helpful while sprucing up your house.

We’ve included colorful under-cabinet string lights that could make all the difference in the world when it comes to the look and feel of your kitchen. We even added silicone caulk that can help improve the appearance of your tile and bath area, along with wood repair markers that could mend scratched furniture. There are even sink plungers and universal socket wrenches that can come in handy when something breaks, making home maintenance issues a breeze to handle on your own.

So whether you’re looking to DIY or call in a handy person for help, these products are sure to help you upgrade your living space without having to spending a fortune. Keep scrolling to take a look at cheap home improvement items that you’re going to absolutely love.

Unlike other magnetic screen doors, this one features weights at the bottom so that it doesn’t blow open when it’s windy outside. The magnets running along the center allow you to walk through it without using your hands, and there are zero tools required for installation.

Put these string lights under your cabinets or behind your television for some chic lighting. Each order comes with a remote that you can control them from the couch without having to get up, and there are 16 LED colors to choose from when setting the mood: red, blue, purple, green, and more.

 

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOME RENOVATION

Depending on the size and scale of your home renovation project, you may need to get building permits from the city or county government before you can begin remodeling.

Smaller projects like painting your home or installing new carpet or flooring generally do not require building permits. However, building permits are usually required for more full-scale remodeling projects

Figure out your home renovation budget

Another important aspect of home renovation is figuring out your renovation budget. Take some time to assess your finances, and be honest with yourself about what you can realistically spend.

Once you know your home renovation budget, you can strategize which tasks you can afford to begin now and which remodeling projects you’ll need to save up for. Kitchen and bathroom renovations are some of the most common home projects

When deciding which home renovation projects to prioritize, it’s helpful to consider not only what’s most important to you functionality-wise, but also what will give you the best return on your investment.

 

Should You Remodel or Move?

If you’re asking yourself if you should remodel your home or just move on to a new one, there are probably a few things about your home you don’t love — and that’s no surprise. No home is perfect! But when you’re asking yourself that question, you’re really asking: Can my dislikes be changed with a remodel? Would that make financial sense? Is remodeling worth the hassle?

Determine whether remodeling or moving is more cost-effective

You’ll incur costs no matter which path you decide to take, and what makes sense for you might not make sense for another homeowner. For some homeowners, moving is cheaper. For others, it makes more financial sense to renovate the house they already have. To find out the more affordable option for you, make sure to consider all possible expenses in order to make an accurate side-by-side comparison.

Costs of selling

Most sellers are focused on the profit they’ll make when they sell, and they sometimes overlook all of the expenses related to selling. Keep in mind the following common expenses.

AGENT COMMISSIONS

If you’re selling with a full-service listing agent, and if your buyer is using their own agent, be prepared to pay 6 percent of your sale price in agent commission. You can cut back on some of these expenses by using a discount broker, but you’ll have to do much more of the work yourself.

MOVING COSTS

Whether you’re doing a DIY move (and paying for boxes, storage and a rental truck) or a full-service, cross-country move with a professional moving company, everyone pays moving costs in one way or another.

MINOR REPAIRS

Even if you’re not planning on making any sweeping changes to your home to get it ready for listing, there are always touch-ups and minor repairs that need to be done so your home can attract buyers that will pay your desired asking price

Costs of remodeling

Compared to selling, the costs associated with remodeling are a bit more straightforward. It’s all about how much the renovation is going to cost you when all is said and done. And speaking of costs, you’ll want to make sure you set a budget and avoid overspending on the room you’re remodeling. Here’s an example: If your home is worth $200,000 and your kitchen is 10-15 percent of your square footage, you shouldn’t spend more than $20,000-$30,000 remodeling it.

 

Renovations and additions

Renovations and additions can improve the livability and sustainability of your home with careful planning, thoughtful design and a considered choice of builder.

Renovations

Most local governments have planning policies that allow minor internal and external changes that don’t alter structure or services to be made without council approval, but it is always best to check first. Alterations to services (plumbing, drainage, gas and electrical) do require approval and inspection by the relevant authority but may not require planning or building approval.

Improving thermal comfort

The options below for improving thermal performance while renovating are described in more detail in Passive solar heating and Passive cooling and the specific articles noted.

Windows and glazing

Replace windows or glazing with high performance units appropriate for the climate or consider retrofitting double glazing to serviceable timber windows that you plan to keep (see Design for climate; Glazing).

Improve air seals as you refit sashes (see Sealing your home).

Use polycarbonate films with magnetic attachments to emulate double glazing during winter in cool and cold climates — they can be removed and stored in summer.

Relocate or reduce the size of east and west facing windows and install adjustable shading devices (see Shading).

Shade problem windows (use temporary shade cloth blinds for windows that will eventually be removed, moved or replaced).

Remove trees or plantings that are blocking solar access to north facing glass and ask neighbours to prune or remove such trees.

Install heavy drapes that touch the floor and walls at each side and fix sealed pelmets on top to prevent convective heat loss in cool climates (see Passive solar heating).

Thermal mass

Remove carpet or other insulative coverings on slabs and replace with tiles or polished concrete finishes to expose thermal mass, in locations where exposed thermal mass is desirable. Information from building sustainability assessors indicates that this can increase Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) ratings by up to one star in many climates (see Thermal mass).

Install thermal mass in rooms that have little or none and are exposed to passive heating or cooling, e.g. dark coloured, sealed water containers or phase change materials in solar or breeze exposed positions (see Thermal mass).

 

Things Homeowners Always Forget When Renovating

I’m sure you have heard it from your friends, but as a professional in the business, I can tell you that renovating is extremely stressful. Even if you are prepared, there are always surprises and unexpected expenses that pop up and send your blood pressure through the roof. There are things that you can do to lessen the stress along the way, and hopefully enjoy the process. Your home, after all, is your most prized possession. You should love the process of creating a space for you and your family to enjoy for a long time. Here are some common home renovation mistakes that I’ve seen happen time and time again.

Start With a Design Package

The single biggest mistake that anyone can make when renovating is starting without a design. Saving photos on Pinterest and on Houzz is not going to help you design your home. There is a crazy amount of time and work that goes into crystallizing a design and telling your general contractors that “you know exactly what you want” is not going to help matters.

Understand Your Budget

There are many things to consider when determining how much your renovation will cost. If you have a budget in mind, it will be easier to design and plan your renovation around that number. And even if you have a construction budget, you will still need to establish if your construction budget includes taxes and fees (i.e. permit fees, designer fees, engineer’s fees etc.) Are you going to be living elsewhere during your renovation? And will you have to pay rent or carry the cost of more than one property?  Have you considered that you should carry a contingency budget for surprises along the way (i.e. mold, asbestos, compromised structure, etc.)?

Prepare For the Stress

I could write an entire book on this topic. It doesn’t matter how easy-going you are. It doesn’t matter how cool and collected you are. You will feel the stress that goes hand in hand with renovation projects. If you are reading this article, it will help prepare you for what’s in store. The likelihood of you going temporarily insane at about the 85% completion point of your project is very high. What I mean is, your brain will start functioning in a way that is completely foreign for you. You will develop super acute visual skills that will allow you to focus on the very tiny details that you would have normally never seen. You will notice a slight variation in your grout colours, or the colour of your light bulbs. You will envision the tile or your wood flooring to be different from what you had chosen because your super acute visual skills will see details that you didn’t see before. And all of these things that you are now looking at with your super acute eyesight will stress you out in a way that I can’t really explain.

Quality Over Quantity

When putting together your costs for your project, you will discover very quickly that everything adds up! An extra thousand dollars here and there turns into an extra hundred thousand before you know it. Don’t default to the cheapest products or contractor as a result. Remember that the hardest day to spend a lot of money on a quality product is the actual day you part with your money. Every day after that, you will be so grateful that you spent your money on getting quality products for your renovation. You will never regret going with quality products and a quality contractor. Whereas, you will most likely regret going with the cheapest option and cutting corners in places you’ll later wish you invested in!

Why You Need Small Business Payroll Service

What are the common mistakes happen during payroll process?

A smooth payroll process in your organization is like oxygen—when it’s there, you hardly notice it; when it’s missing, you can’t think about anything else. That makes payroll one of the least appreciated yet most important functions within a business. Payroll, when done well, can keep employees satisfied and help your organization stay safe from legal consequences. On the other hand, when payroll mistakes crop up, their impact can ripple across an entire company.

Fortunately, all of the most common payroll errors are easily avoidable with education, proper planning, and the right tools. To learn about these payroll mistakes and how to avoid or fix them, read on.

Most Common Payroll Mistakes

With a process as complex as payroll, there are numerous places where organizations can make mistakes. Here are some of the most common payroll errors to watch for in your company.

Misclassifying Employees

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides benefits and protections, like overtime pay and minimum wage, for most employees under the law. Independent contractors, however, are not afforded these same protections. Likewise, exempt and nonexempt employees also have different legal rights. Some organizations slip up and misclassify their employees as independent contractors or as exempt.

Not only can misclassification deny an employee some important benefits and wages, it may also mean the government misses out on valuable tax dollars. If left unchecked, the resulting underpayment or overpayment can turn into a costly payroll error.

Miscalculating Pay

With overtime, commissions, deductions, PTO, and more, payroll admins have a lot to keep track of when it comes to calculating pay. For overtime wages, the general rule is 1.5 times an employee’s regular wage for any time worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek. However, your state may have different policies regarding overtime; your organization should always comply with the law that is more generous for the employee.

Poor time tracking capabilities can also contribute to miscalculated pay. If your company doesn’t have a reliable way to track employee hours or paid time off, then your chances of making a payroll overpayment or underpayment mistake skyrocket. Mistakes like these will result in a payroll correction.

What is a Payroll Correction?

A payroll correction is required when adjustments need to be made to amounts paid. Poor payroll organization, like forgetting to account for vacation days, can cause the need for money to be added or subtracted from the original amount.

How Long Does a Company Have to Fix a Payroll Error?

While legal time frames differ depending on the state, the short answer is that errors should be paid promptly. Fixing shortages in payroll as soon as possible should help you avoid any penalties. Labor laws require full payment for work completed and most companies will either add the missing pay to the next pay period or cut a check between pay periods.

 

Poor record keeping and data entry.

Mismatching names and Social Security numbers is so common that the Social Security Administration has even established a special verification phone number. Numerous data entry mistakes, including poor records of employee hours, cost companies millions of dollars annually and can result in government penalties.

Not properly handling garnishments, levies, or child support. Employees may owe money by way of a court order to other parties. This means whoever is handling payroll will be responsible for sending the payment to the appropriate recipient.

 

Ignoring the Importance of Mobile Security

Like computer security, mobile security is also vital to protecting your data. Have a clear policy set for mobile access that lets employees know what information and which applications are okay to share and access on their mobile devices.

Putting Off Installing Anti-Virus Software

You can also protect important online data by installing anti-virus software. Common anti-virus software, such as Norton or McAfee, should be installed on all company computers (Quickbooks). Additionally, procedures should be put in place to make sure this software is always up to date.

 

Bad bookkeeping

You have to integrate payroll into your books. After all, it has a direct impact on your cash flow. Knowing how much money you have available at any given time tells you how much you can invest in your business and your employees. Don’t want to deal with it? Get a good bookkeeper or hire an accountant.

We hope this helps you dodge any major payroll problems that might come your way. For state-specific guidance, visit your state labor office’s website.

Falling behind on tax payments and filings

Again, taxes. Depending on the amount of payroll taxes you collect, your tax deposits may be due monthly (most common), biweekly, or even the next day. If your state or city collects income taxes too, check with them to confirm due dates. Late payments may come with penalties and accrue interest, so follow submission guidelines and get your payments in on time!

Also, make sure you plan ahead and register your business well before taxes are due. Get federal, state, and local payroll tax identification numbers, as applicable, so you can pay the government and submit filings on time.

 

Administrative Staff

Many businesses, especially smaller ones, still carry out their payroll process in-house and manually. Often, the payroll staff is overworked. A manual payroll system typically requires a great deal of paperwork and a manual process also creates an administrative burden for your HR staff. Errors in data entry, for example, can create payment issues and the misapplication of rules. Being understaffed leads to mistakes.

Payroll Documents

A common problem is one of simply keeping all of your important payroll and employee records and information organized in an effective and accurate manner. Sometimes it is simply a matter of work flow: not keeping files and documents in a central location or creating uniform filing processes. A typical issue is storing and organizing paper checks, for example.

Criminal Charges Require The Services Of A Criminal Defense Attorney

What are the four categories of criminal defenses?

Exploring the four major criminal law defenses used today

While there are definitely more than four, these four are the most common, and they are some you are most likely familiar with already.

ACTUAL INNOCENCE DEFENSE – YOU DIDN’T DO IT

It sounds simple enough, and it should be. If you didn’t do it, then why not argue that you are innocent. However, it takes more than just taking the witness stand and saying you didn’t do it. Instead, your attorney would build his or her defense around that innocence. They find witnesses, experts to testify, and even find evidence that helps show you didn’t commit the crime or there was no way you could have committed it. Sometimes, that means having a strong alibi witness, while other times it means presenting enough evidence in court that another party should be convicted of the crime instead of the defendant.

The prosecution still has to prove to the court beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty – it is not your job. However, the more evidence you can present to counter anything the prosecutor uses, the easier it will be to show that the prosecution cannot prove their case.

SELF-DEFENSE – YOU DID IT, BUT TO PROTECT YOURSELF OR OTHERS

Self-defense claims are often used in instances of assault, battery, and even murder. In these cases, the defendant claims that he or she harmed or killed the victim to protect themselves from threats of violent action. Self-defense claims, unlike in the movies, are hard to win. Not only must the prosecutor show that the defendant had no reason to use such drastic measures, but the defense often must prove that there was an incredible risk of danger to the defendant and that justified his or her actions.

The defense of others may also apply in these cases. In this instance, the defendant harmed or killed the victim to defend themselves or someone else from violent acts that would have happened against them if they did not intervene. For example, someone pointing a gun at a person’s head, threatening to harm that person.

Usually, the defendant is protecting family and loved ones, but there are instances where the defendant is protecting someone that they do not know.

INSANITY DEFENSE – YOU WERE NOT OF SOUND MIND AT THE TIME

Unfortunately, TV and movies have given a false impression of what it means to be “insane” at the time of a criminal act. This defense does not apply in all situations, and insanity defenses are considered affirmative ones. This means that, instead of poking holes in the prosecutor’s case, the burden falls on you. Now, the defense must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was suffering or suffered at the time a mental illness or defect that caused them to commit the act.

What Makes the Insanity Defense So Difficult?

To claim insanity, the defense must show that the defendant could not determine right from wrong at the time of the crime, or they had an impulse that was irresistible. In that case, they would have been aware that they were doing something wrong but were unable to stop themselves from doing so.

Also, to use the insanity defense, the defendant is basically admitting guilt, but saying that their guilt should be excused because they were insane at the time.  It is a very risky defense strategy to use, and only one a good attorney uses it when it is possible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. If the jury were to doubt a defendant’s mental status at all, it is most likely not worth it for the defense to risk this strategy.

CONSTITUTIONAL VIOLATIONS

Whether you have committed a crime or not, you are entitled to specific protections under the U.S. Constitution. In a criminal trial, constitutional violations come up a lot, especially when it comes to how a defendant was treated, the circumstances of his or her arrest, and even how the evidence was collected to use against them.

Often, a good Constitutional violation can result in the charges being dismissed entirely or force the prosecution to agree to a plea bargain for a much less severe charge. These are the violations attorneys will immediately look for, because they are a powerful, effective defense.

 

Defense – Others or Self

Murder, battery, and assault are legal reasons for defense of self and/or others. In some cases, a violent act may prompt an immediate violent response to defend one’s own or another’s life. For example, if you witness a person trying to harm another person, under the right category of reasonings, you are allowed to defend that other person to a point in which the person inflicting the harm is forced to surrender, but not beyond that point. Once you go beyond the point of defending the innocent person (continuing to harm the person whose surrendered from harming the innocent party), you have crossed into the category of assault and battery. The same rule is applied to self defense. Once the person has relinquished control, you should refrain from continuing bodily harm to that person.

 

Common Criminal Defenses

When a defendant goes on trial for allegedly committing a crime, a prosecutor must establish that the defendant is guilty of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. At the same time, the criminal defendant is entitled to present a defense and may do so through a variety of means. The defendant may attempt to poke holes in the prosecutor’s case, argue that another individual committed the crime, or argue that he or she did commit the crime but had a legal and reasonable defense for doing so. There are numerous criminal defenses available that may allow a defendant to avoid punishment for his or her actions.

The Defendant Did not Understand the Significance of the Criminal Actions

One category of defenses available to a criminal defendant argue that the defendant cannot be found guilty for the crime because he or she did not understand what he or she was doing or that his or her actions were wrong. At its most severe, this includes the defense of insanity. The defense of insanity requires the defendant to prove, depending on the state in which the case is tried, that either he or she had a mental disorder that rendered him or her incapable of understanding right from wrong, or that it prevented him or her from controlling his or her actions and resisting violent impulses. In some states, the defense of insanity will allow a defendant to avoid prison but will require that the defendant be held in a psychiatric facility for treatment.

The Defendant Was Justified in His or Her Actions

Another category of defenses applies when the defendant committed the crime but argues that he or she was justified in doing so. The most commonly recognized of these defenses are self-defense and defense of others. A defendant may argue, for instance, that he did shoot an intruder but did so in self-defense because the intruder was threatening him with a knife. Similarly, under a defense of duress, the criminal defendant argues that he or she only committed the crime because he or she was forced to do so by someone else. For example, a criminal defendant may argue that a co-defendant told him that if he didn’t commit a burglary, the co-defendant would kill him. Finally, under a necessity defense, the criminal defendant may argue that he or she committed the crime in order to prevent a more significant harm. For instance, the defendant may contend that it was necessary for him to steal a car in order to chase down another individual who was threatening to use an explosive device.

No Crime Actually Occurred

Finally, a smaller set of defenses may be used to argue that although it appears there was a crime, the defendant did not actually commit a criminal act. First, the defendant may argue that no crime occurred because of the defense of consent. For instance, the defendant may argue that although sexual intercourse occurred, it was not rape because there was consent. Likewise, he may argue that there was no assault because the victim consented to the harm. Second, a criminal defendant can assert the defense of abandonment/withdrawal if he or she initially intended to commit or participate in a crime but later had a change of heart and withdrew from participation. Third, the defendant may argue entrapment. Entrapment occurs when the government induces an individual to commit the crime and then attempts to punish the person for it. The defendant may argue that no crime would have occurred but for the government’s inducement, and he or she should therefore not be held responsible.

 

WHAT MAKES A GREAT DEFENCE ATTORNEY?

Being charged with a crime and/or convicted of a crime will have serious, long-term consequences on your life. Mainly, it can affect your chances of getting a job or keeping the one you have, getting an education, keeping custody of your child (if applicable), and can even lead to deportation if you are not already a U.S. citizen. It is very unwise to represent yourself in court, even if you think your case if very straightforward and that your defence is obvious. Prosecutors will fight aggressively for you to receive the harshest punishment possible. That’s why you need to hire an experienced, successful attorney to represent you. But you may want to think about the kinds of advantages you’ll have if you hire someone who has experience as a prosecutor, who will be familiar with the types of arguments you will face. Of course, you will also want to schedule your consultation right away.

 

Criminal Offences

Robbery

Physical force or threats of violence to steal property from someone. The penalty is up to life imprisonment.

Assault

Physical force directly or indirectly without permission on another person or attempting or threatening by act or gesture to apply force to another person. The penalty is up to five years imprisonment.

Possession of Drugs

Having illegal or prohibited drugs in your possession. The penalty is up to six months imprisonment and/or a $1000 fine if prosecuted by summary conviction; penalty depends on what substance it is and how much is in possession; if prosecuted as an indictable offence it could be up to seven years.

Trespassing by Night

Being on someone else’s property at night without permission or lawful excuse. The penalty up to six months imprisonment.

Breaking and Entering

Definition gaining entry into someone’s house or commercial premises and committing or intending to commit another offence. The penalty is up to life imprisonment if the property is a house; up to ten years if the property is a commercial property.

Understanding Local Moving Advertising Ideas

Things We’ve Learned From Moving Often

In fact, the longest we’ve ever stayed in one house since 2000 was just over two years. At last count, we’ve moved 12 times over the past 16 years, and that only includes places we’ve lived for six months or longer.

We’ve moved for almost every reason under the sun: for work, for family, for new adventures, to buy a house of our own, to save money, to store our things while we travel, and because the house we were renting was sold (happened twice now). Since 2000, we’ve officially lived in four different cities, plus a cabin by a lake.

On top of all that, we’re also frequent long stay travelers, so if you include all of our one or two month stays it would easily be triple that. As a result, we’ve become pretty good at packing and unpacking. Especially since for nine of those moves, our stuff went into, and then out of, long term storage.

Besides for memorizing the mantra always lift with your legs, we’ve also learnt that sometimes spending a few dollars here and there can pay for itself in peace of mind. For instance, whenever we’ve put our stuff into a storage locker we’ve always looked for temperature controlled, camera monitored indoor lockers for better security. This has cost us a few dollars more than exterior lockers, however the peace of mind that our things are taken care of gave us one less stress while we were on the road. To be honest, the price difference was minimal anyway.

A few other things we’ve also learnt are what to do with our pets while we travel (our cat goes to Grandma’s house) and what to do with our vehicle (RV storage yard). As we quickly found out, leaving the country for extended travel is almost never as simple as locking the door and walking away.

 

Local Moving

Moving and Storage understands the complexities when planning a move. Whether you’re moving your business or your home, you’ll feel like family when working with All Reasons.

offers a full range of moving, packing and storage services such as:

Home and Apartment Moving

Office Moving

Long-Distance Moving

Warehouse Storage Solutions

Packing

Moving & Storage takes pride in providing you with a dedicated and trained team of professional movers. trucks are fully equipped with state-of-the-art tools and equipment needed to make your move effortless

Moving companies are not all created equal, and stands out from the crowd. strive for the best customer service, which is why clients continue to use us for all their moving and storage needs. Many satisfied clients refer us to their friends and family.

diligent moving specialists are here to provide you with a customized moving and storage plan based on your specific needs. To get more information, you can fill out a free estimate

 

Moving company

A moving company, removalist or van line is a company that helps people and businesses move their goods from one place to another. It offers all-inclusive services for relocations like packing, loading, moving, unloading, unpacking, arranging of items to be shifted. Additional services may include cleaning services for houses, offices or warehousing facilities

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 40 million United States citizens have moved annually over the last decade. Of those people who have moved in the United States, 84.5% of them have moved within their own state, 12.5% have moved to another state, and 2.3% have moved to another country

The use of truck rental services, or simply borrowing similar hardware, is referred to as DIY moving. Typically, the parties who are moving borrow or rent a truck or trailer large enough to carry their household goods and, if necessary, obtain moving equipment such as dollies, furniture pads, and cargo belts to protect the furniture or to facilitate the moving process itself.

The moving process also involves finding or buying materials such as boxes, paper, tape, and bubble wrap with which to pack boxable and/or protect fragile household goods and to consolidate the carrying and stacking on moving day. Self-service moving companies offer another viable option: the person moving buys space on one or more trailers or shipping containers. These containers are then driven by professionals to the new location.

The moving industry in the United States was deregulated with the Household Goods Transportation Act of 1980. This act allowed interstate movers to issue binding or fixed estimates for the first time. Doing so opened the door to hundreds of new moving companies to enter the industry. This led to an increase in competition and soon movers were no longer competing on services but on price. As competition drove prices lower and decreased what were already slim profit margins, “rogue” movers began hijacking personal property as part of a new scam. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces Federal consumer protection regulations related to the interstate shipment of household goods (i.e., household moves that cross State lines). FMCSA has held this responsibility since 1999, and the Department of Transportation has held this responsibility since 1995 (the Interstate Commerce Commission held this authority prior to its termination in 1995)

 

Professional Moving Solutions

national mover uniquely focused on helping people move small shipments locally, state-to-state and to international locations around the world.

State-to-State Moving Services

If you are moving out of state, you’ve come to the right place for affordable, reliable, convenient move solutions deliver affordable state-to-state moving services and quality results that are the best in the moving industry.

teams of experienced movers have helped thousands of people complete small moves out of state from their apartment, dormitory, hi-rise condominium, townhouse or home small out of state moving services are perfect if you’re moving just a piece of furniture, or if you’re shipping an apartment full of furnishings. If you are currently packing for a move, we have some packing tips and resources as well.

quick and easy quoting process delivers a binding price quote so you can budget your small out of state move with confidence. You can choose from extensive menu of moving services to make moving out of state easy and affordable.

STATE-TO-STATE MOVING SERVICES INCLUDE:

Professional, experienced out of state movers

Disassembly of your bed with placement and set up in your new home

Cloth moving pads covering your furniture providing the highest protection

Detailed inventory of the items we move including checking-off every item at delivery

Scheduled arrival time on the day of your interstate move

No minimum weight charge so you only pay for the items you move

Inside delivery at your new home, furniture arranged in the room you choose

Convenient, dependable dates for loading, transportation and delivery of your move

 

Best Movers / Moving Companies

Let’s face it, moving residences or office space can be among the most stressful of experiences. has notoriously high rents, expensive parking tickets, and tall, narrow houses which can exacerbate an already difficult time. Boxing up your belongings, carefully wrapping fragile memorabilia, and labeling each set of items might not be your idea of a good time, but this begs the question: Why not hire some of the best movers

They can handle moves of virtually any size, including 1 bedroom apartments, large houses, and commercial moving services. Dependable Movers also offers white glove moving service upon request. Working with Dependable Movers makes your move easier and less stressful, as you will know that your items are being moved carefully and by one of the best.

these movers have flexible options based on your needs. Whether you have heavy items that need to travel up flights of stairs and to another city or you need to move the contents of your studio apartment across the hall, you can pick a job-appropriate team to ensure you don’t overpay for the work you need done. This team also helps with commercial moves, as well as storage & packing services.

Whether you only need a moving crew to haul your precious items from your old apartment to your new home or you are seeking a professional packing crew to carefully wrap each item, Sierra has an amazing record with happy clients throughout the City.

professionally store your furniture, boxes, equipment and anything else that you’ve collected over the years through their dust-free and highly-rated storage services

Choosing A Residential Painting

Things to Consider When Hiring a Painter

If you have owned a home for any length of time, you have probably need to hire a painter in the past.

If this is the first time getting you are house painted or your last experience with a painting contractors wasn’t the best of experience, we will discuss 7 things you should consider prior to hiring a painter for your next project.

Here are the top things to consider when hiring a painter:

Check References and Past Work

One of the most important things to consider when hiring a painter is what other people are saying about what it is like to work with them. Online is a great place to start, but you should also call a few of their previous clients so you can see what it’s like working the painting company. Also ask if the painter can provide examples of recent projects to decide if their style matches the look you are going for. Once you’ve found the right painting contractor, move on to the next step: reviewing the house painting contract details.

 

Does the Contractor Have Insurance?

It might feel a bit strange, but put those feelings aside and confirm that your contractor has insurance before doing business with them. Remember that the contractor is working at your house or property. While you may have insurance to cover accidents that happen on your property, it is the contractor’s responsibility to have adequate insurance as well. Don’t hire a contractor unless they have comprehensive business liability with a minimum of a million dollar limit. This protects your property from damage by the contractor. Likewise, check that your contractor is also carrying workmen’s compensation to protect the workers while they’re on your property. This protects you from having liability for any accidents. Don’t rely on your homeowner’s insurance. Ask for proof of both insurances before agreeing to hire the contractor.

Is the Contractor Properly Licensed?

Some licenses are for only residential or only commercial properties. Others are for small jobs, but not big. Make sure your contractor carries the proper licensing for your property and the scope of your job. You can search for this online, and while you’re at it, check to see if the contractor has any unresolved complaints.

 

The Prep is Time Consuming

You may have considered how much time it would take you to paint your home, but have you taken into account all the work that must be done before you start the job? Professionals state that at least 30% of the total project time is dedicated to proper prep. Taking the time to do this step right will save you long term, from ensuring your exterior paint sticks to not having to deal with the messy clean up when it ends up where you don’t want it.

Being Ready Can be Cost-Effective

tIf you are hiring a professional for your house painting, don’t leave all of the prep work to them. Ensuring your home is ready to be painted can save your painter time and your money. If you have landscaping or hardscaping that is going to make it awkward to get to the house, clear it away. Ensure that the ground is clear for ladders and supplies, think at least 18 inches of space. Also, take this time to ensure that your gutters and downspouts are appropriately cleaned and attached.

Don’t Be Scared to Negotiate

Sometimes you love the expensive painters work way more than his competitor who is cheaper. Do not be afraid to tell the painter that! He may price match, or at least work with you to ensure that you get a quality home improvement for a price that wont make you struggle to afford your improved home. This is best done when you have two or three bids done, so you know what is reasonable when asking for discounts. The worst he can say is no.

 

Did they provide a formal estimate?

When getting an estimate did they provide you with a written or typed formal proposal? Before signing onto any project, there should be a clear understanding with the contractor as to exactly what services they will be providing (including the specific areas of your home they will be working on, agreed upon products, specific repairs to be done, etc.) and exactly what you, the customer, will be expected to pay.

Does the painter use employees or subcontractors?

In general, it is best to find a company that uses their own employees – these are men and women on their payroll who the employer knows well, trusts, and who operate in line with the company’s values.

 

Things Your House Painter Wishes You Knew

Take a deep breath. You have hired a professional house painter! Here are 13 things we want you to know and how you can help us do the best job possible.

House Painting Is Skilled Artwork

House painting is more than just brushing, rolling or spraying paint on a surface. Think of house painting as not just a skill, but also an art form practiced daily over years by your professional house painter. While this form of artistry will not turn your bathroom walls and ceilings into one of the world’s premiere masterpieces, like the Sistine Chapel, it is important to understand your house painter is a skilled artist.

Find a Painter You Like

Always go out for multiple bids for your painting project, not only does this give you an idea on what the average cost for your painting project will be, it also allows you to meet with the painting contractors to get a feel for them and their business. While price is important, it is very import to find a company you are comfortable working with, and if at first you don’t find a good fit, by all means ask for other painting companies to walk through your planned house painting project and give you a bid. Repeat until you find the RIGHT House Painter, at a fair price for the job

Compare the Specifics of Each Bid

It’s tough to over-emphasize the importance of hiring house painters that provide detailed bids. Deciding between two, three or more painting contractors is hard enough, and it is made more difficult if you’re relying on pure guesswork when it comes to the differences between the bids. For instance, a bid that is “scribbled down on a napkin” or that is generic with no details is not even comparable to a complete and detailed bid.

Estimate Flexibility

If you’re comparing two bids and you really do want the more expensive painter, but your budget just won’t allow it, ask the painting contractor if they can work with you to get the paint project in line with your budget. This could include changing some of the parameters of the painting project or asking for a discount to reduce the cost based.

Possums Are Unbearably Noisy And Scandalous

Living with Possums

Living with possums isn’t always easy, but there are a few things we can all do to live in harmony with possums in our shared urban spaces. Let’s face it… we are never going to get rid of them all together, and why should we? They were here long before we were, and it is our destruction of their habitat that has forced them into our houses, our gardens, and lives. So, what steps can we take to make sure we can all get along together?

Possums in the roof?

There is one reason that possums will shift in to our roof spaces… lack of hollows in their habitat. You see, Common Brushtail possums utilise tree hollows for resting and nesting during the day, and are pretty happy to do so. But, the removal of remnant trees in urban areas has severely diminished the number of hollows available, and thus, we end up sharing our houses with them

So, what can we do to help them… and us? If you currently have possums in the roof, here are a couple of tips that should encourage them back into the wild:

  1. Make or buy a suitable nest box for the Common Brushtail possum, and install it in your garden to act as an alternate den site for our furry friends. For more info on nest boxes, check out websites such as this for more info.
  2. Locate the nest the possum has built in your roof, remove it (when the possum is out and foraging) and place this inside the nest box. This will encourage the possum to move to its new location.
  3. Place a piece of fruit inside the nest box. Apple or bananas seem to work best. This will entice the possum to investigate the nest box, and hopefully decide to stay. It should be stressed that feeding of possums is not recommended (except as a one off during relocation).
  4. Block of access to your roof. This can be done by loping any overhanging branches, and placing collars around the trunks of trees that possums utilise to access the roof. Collars can be made from a number of products, but 60cm wide sheet iron seems to work pretty well.
  5. Place camphor blocks OR mothballs in the roof space, particularly around the area where the nest site was. DON”T place both! Possums really dislike these smells, and will be reluctant to return.
  6. If possible, pop a light up in the roof space, and leave it there for a few days (on of course!). The combination of alternate nesting site, bad smells and light should be sufficient to discourage them.
  7. Once you are satisfied that the possum has left the building, block any known entrance points. Wiping around the entrance points with household bleach will remove possum scent, and make re-entry pretty unappealing!

Possums eating your plants?

Even the most patient and wildlife friendly gardeners tear their hair out over this one, but, after significant research, I can tell you that there are solutions to stop your precious plants being gobbled by hungry possums! Possum repellents work by two methods: taste and smell! Research conducted has shown that smell deterrents are somewhat more effective than taste, but also suggests that a starving possum will eat just about anything! So, here is a list of some tried and true methods of deterring possums.

  1. Net affected plants with shade cloth or white bird netting at night time. Quick, cheap, and darn effective! This is absolutely the best way to protect young plants and seedlings from possum attack. Why not supplement this with a hanging cat scare face or two? Available from nurseries, these scare faces look like cats and have reflective eyes, pretty scary if you are a possum!
  2. Sprinkling blood and bone fertiliser around the base of ornamental plants and fruit trees can act as a significant possum deterrent. They hate the smell, and will be less inclined to munch on treated plants!
  3. A home made garlic spray of 2 tablespoons of crushed garlic in one litre of hot water, left to stand over night, strained and sprayed onto foliage, fruits and tasty growing tips is an old favourite of mine, and it seems to work. Subsequently, try chillies or Indonesian fish sauce. Just remember to wash your produce before eating!
  4. A spray made from Quassia chips (chips of bark from a South American tree). Add 100 g chips to 2 litres water and heat for one hour before straining. Add one tablespoon detergent. Dilute at rate of 1 part of solution to four parts water and apply as a spray. Quassia chips are available at many nurseries, and are pretty affective, forming the base ingredient of many commercially available possum repellents (e.g.: Poss-Off).
  5. My grandmothers’ personal favourite, and one she swears by, is the tea-based deterrent. Boil two litres of water; add 4 heaped teaspoons of Lapsang Souchong tea and leave to cool. Strain of liquid and apply from a plastic spray bottle directly onto affected plants. Reapply every two weeks and always after rain. Make a fresh brew every time.
  6. Wack a bit of undiluted Tabasco sauce on affected plants……a sure solution unless your possum likes it hot!
  7. A watered down solution of a little detergent and some English mustard sprayed directly onto the foliage and fruits of tasty plants.
  8. Commercially available possum deterrents such as Poss-Off or Scat, work by emitting an unpleasant odour, so, when used according to the instructions on the products, claim to deter the little blighters!

 

Possums

Of all the animals people bring us to assist at our intake center, the one that most seem to be afraid of or dislike most is the opossum.  Often that fear or dislike is based on misinformation.  In this article, we’d like to convert a few more of our readers to become fans of opossums

They happen to be special because they are the only marsupial animal native to North America.  Marsupial animals (or non-placental animals) raise their babies in a pouch, just like kangaroos do.  Hmmm, maybe if opossums could hop they’d be more popular!  When the baby opossums are born, they are furless, blind, and about the size of a honeybee.  They have to crawl up the mother opossum’s fur and into her pouch, where they grab on to one of her thirteen nipples.  Once they are attached, the nipple swells and the baby becomes attached.  They don’t suckle to drink, but rather the mother’s milk slowly leaches out (that is why very young opossums if found abandoned or orphaned have to be tube fed; they have no natural sucking reflex as other baby mammals do).  As with other pouch-raised babies, the baby opossums remain in the pouch as they continue to grow and mature.  They first venture outside of the pouch when they are between two to two and a half months old (their eyes open and they have fur at about two months of age, at which point they are about the size of a mouse).

Opossums are very good mothers and they are very protective of their young.  Once the babies emerge from her pouch, they often ride along on her back while she forages for food, and they begin to eat solid food at this point (about three months old).  Once the babies are weaned, about six inches long (without their tail), and their ears are almost solid black, they are old enough to fend for themselves.  At this point, it is “tough love” opossum style; mama opossum will simply brush against something to knock the babies off her back and away she goes.  She’s dedicated for as long as she needs to be, but when she’s done, she’s done.

Opossums are scavengers.  They move from place to place in search of good food sources and a comfy place to sleep. They are attracted to carrion and can often be spotted near roadkill, which is helpful to us to keep diseases at bay.  As omnivores, opossums also eat grass, nuts, fruit, and they will also mice, insects (including roaches), worms, slugs, and snakes (including venomous ones).  They are beneficial for helping to control the overpopulation of snakes, rodents, and insects.

Speaking of venomous snakes, opossums are immune to snake venom!  In lab experiments, it has been discovered that a particular molecule, called a peptide, in the opossum’s blood can neutralize snake venom.  The peptide works against several venomous snake species, including America’s western diamond back rattlesnake.  Experiments are being done to see if scientists could mass produce the substance and use it as an inexpensive and universal anti-venom for human snake-bite victims.

Opossums are fastidiously clean, similar to cats in their grooming routine.  If they find a tick in their fur, they lick it off and swallow it.  It is estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill and consume about 5,000 ticks.  More than 90 percent of ticks on an opossum end up being groomed away and eaten.  This could have implications in preventing certain tick-borne diseases (including Lyme disease) in domestic pets and humans.  In areas with a healthy opossum population, they can help to control the overpopulation of ticks, thereby keeping the ticks off of us and our pets!  The opossums do not seem to be affected by these tick-borne illnesses.

 

Hidden housemates: when possums go bump in the night

You’re drifting off to sleep when, suddenly, there’s a bump and a thump and an unearthly shriek. But never fear, if your home is making these noises you probably don’t have ghosts, but a family of common brushtail possums.

Researchers have documented 18 different brushtail possum sounds. These include “grunting, growling, hissing, screeching, clicking and teeth-chattering calls, many of which would not be out of place on a horror movie soundtrack”.

The biggest hidden housemate?

Despite being the same size as a domestic cat, these lively, nocturnal marsupials frequently make their dens in the ceiling and wall cavities of homes. In fact, one study of possums in urban Tasmania found that 87% of their visits to dens were associated with buildings (mostly older houses), while 45% of den visits were to roof cavities.

These hidden animals make themselves known to their human housemates as they run across the ceiling. A study found that as many as 67% of people whose properties were visited by possums heard possum activity on or in roof cavities, while 58% reported possums living in these spaces

Possums in the city

At the time of European arrival, common brushtail possums were abundant across mainland. However, intensive hunting for a burgeoning fur trade in the 19th and early 20th centuries led to a drastic decline in possum numbers. Since the end of hunting, habitat degradation and fragmentation, fires and fox predation have put further pressure on possum populations. In contrast, they appear to be flourishing in our cities.

 

Opossum vs. Possum

Both animals are marsupials, but possums are more closely related to kangaroos. But here’s where it gets confusing: in North America, people often shorten opossum to possum when talking about the creatures prowling around the backyard at night. One news source described an animal that you might see “wobbling across your yard at night” or “scurrying down the pavement with a batch of babies clutching onto its back.” What is the name of this beast? Without hesitation, you might exclaim “An opossum!” However, another person might call it a possum. Is there a difference between an opossum and a possum? Yes, there is. They are entirely different animals.

Possum vs. Opossum

In North America, the animal officially called an opossum is a white and gray marsupial of the order Didelphimorphia. colonists living in Jamestown derived the word from its equivalent in Powhatan, a language spoken by the Virginia Algonquian tribe. Literally, the word means “white dog or beast” in Powhatan. John Smith spelled it “opassum,” but William Strachey spelled it “aposoum.”

So, in general, you can use opossum when referring to the American marsupial. Notice how some authors capitalized on the traits of this interesting creature in the following quotes. The first one is from Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

How Do You Spell and Pronounce Possum

Garner’s Modern American Usage points out that possum, pronounced poss-uhm, is actually the more common of the two spellings for North Americans.

 

Possums

What do they look like?

  • The possum is a mammal about the same size as a cat and males are larger and heavier than females.
  • Possums have a long bushy tail, which is around a third of the total length.
  • Possums have big ears, large, dark eyes, and long claws.
  • Possum fur is soft and thick but the colour varies widely from brownish grey to almost black. The belly fur can range from white to ginger.

Have you ever wondered….?

Why some possums have very dark fur while others have very light fur? Most of the possums introduced were known as Tasmanian blacks because of their darker fur.

It’s a fact

When possums were first released into some areas, such as the Wairarapa, school children were given the day off school to mark the historic event!

Did you know?

Possums belong to a special group of mammals called marsupials. This means that the baby possum is born when it is still very tiny and continues growing in a special pouch on its mother’s stomach instead of inside its mother’s tummy.

What do they eat?

  • Possums are active at night and generally emerge from their dens about 30 minutes after sunset. They return just before dawn in the summer, but often earlier in the winter.
  • Possums are omnivores, which means that they eat both meat and veges, although plants tend to be their main food source.
  • Possums have favourite foods and will selectively feed on these until they have been destroyed. This is often why you will see single dead trees in otherwise healthy looking forests.
  • On farmland possums are partial to clover. They will also eat crops grown for stock food such as barley and rye, particularly if the paddock is between two areas of forest.
  • Possums regularly eat invertebrates such as weta and snails, and are known to eat the chicks and eggs of native birds (e.g. kokako, kereru, fantail, and muttonbird).
  • They may also feed on the carcasses of deer, rodents and other possums.

Tips on Choosing A Good Chiropractor

Questions to Ask About Chiropractic Techniques

are many different chiropractic techniques. Some doctors of chiropractic perform joint manipulation with their hands only, while others use various instruments. Additionally, some chiropractors treat using quick but firm manipulation while others have a lighter touch.

Common hands-on techniques include the following:

Spinal manipulation

This treatment is most typically associated with chiropractic care. A chiropractor uses their hands to perform a quick high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustment of a spinal joint. This adjustment involves enough force to release the joint out of its restricted motion (but within the joint’s anatomical limits) in an effort to improve mobility and reduce pain. This quick manipulation is technically referred to as a “high velocity, low amplitude” thrust (HVLA) and typically causes a popping or cracking sound, called cavitation. Some people enjoy the HVLA form of manipulation and find it therapeutic, whereas other people may find this sound disturbing. Although the procedure itself is not painful, in the presence of inflammation where simply touching the area causes tenderness, some brief discomfort is common.

Spinal mobilization

This technique involves slow and steady movement of the spinal joints through their range of motion—either by using the hands or a device, or stimulation of the spinal joints using an instrument. While this treatment shares the same goals as spinal manipulation, some people may prefer spinal mobilization because it is gentler and does not involve audible popping or cracking sounds. Though gentler in approach, in some cases mobilization may result in a slower recovery and hence, a longer course of care than manipulation.

 

What three things should you be looking for when you are trying to choose a chiropractor?

  1. Choose a chiropractor who you feel comfortable with. Meet with several chiropractors and talk with them at length. You might have to provide a lot of medical history about yourself and ensure that your chiropractor knows about any past injuries. If you do not feel comfortable providing personal information to a certain chiropractor, then meet with a different one. Don’t be afraid to confirm a chiropractor’s qualifications and contact several references.
  2. Location and hours. If you are going to receive regular chiropractic treatments, you may have to attend several times weekly. The times that you attend should be convenient to you, whether you will be going to your appointments before or after work (on the way home or to work) or during a lunch break. Be sure that the office you go with is located such that you can attend at that office conveniently. If you cannot get away from work maybe you can find an office that has some weekend hours that are convenient to you.
  3. Your chiropractor should have some type of treatment plan for your particular issue. Ask them to review the plan with you and discuss your progress as you receive treatments. A good chiropractor will work with your medical doctor if you have a specific issue to ensure that the treatment plan is going to address your specific problems. Your doctor will probably want you to sign some type of legal release before they can speak to your chiropractor, but it is definitely in your best interest to provide that release. Your doctor will be able to provide your chiropractor with any information they need regarding your injury(ies) including x-rays, scan results and any testing that has been done.

 

Chiropractors often give advice on how to avoid future problems by evaluating:

  • Home exercise program. Patient-specific exercises and stretches are often started early in care, usually within the first 3 visits as multiple studies support spinal manipulation with exercise produces the best outcomes or results.3-5
  • Altering detrimental or asymmetric lifestyle habits or implementing various back supports, belts, or pillows to better support the spine may be recommended. Instruction may also be given for ergonomically correct ways to bend, lift, pull, and push.
  • May include analysis of gait, sitting posture, or standing posture. Performing stretches and massages with a foam roller, and exercises with elastic bands may be recommended for home use to help improve posture.
  • The use of specialized shoe insoles and/or a heel lift may help reduce postural imbalance.
  • Tips for eating a healthier diet may reduce pain from chronic inflammation, improve overall wellbeing and boost energy levels.

 

Indications for X-rays in Chiropractic Care

As a general guideline, x-rays are recommended in the chiropractic healthcare setting to3:

  • Diagnose a recent trauma which may have resulted in a fracture at any age; minor trauma in people between ages 50 and 70 years old; and those over age 70 due to the risk of osteoporosis-related fracture.
  • Diagnose spondyloarthritis that may be causing spinal degeneration.
  • Monitor a spinal deformity that might be progressing, such as kyphosis or scoliosis.

An x-ray is indicated if it is likely to help guide the type of treatment recommended for the patient. In any of the above cases, an x-ray would likely provide critical information that will direct treatment protocols and/or referral options for the patient.

 

Contraindications for an X-ray

X-rays are not medically necessary for most chiropractic patients. Specifically, an x-ray should not be performed for any of the following reasons:

  • To identify problems with soft tissues (muscles, tendons, or ligaments) or within the spinal disc itself. X-rays are only effective in identifying pathology with bones and joints, not with soft tissues. An MRI is usually needed to identify soft-tissue problems (for example, a disc or nerve pathology).
  • Purely for exploratory purposes. A qualified health practitioner will typically have a good idea of the cause of the patient’s pain before ordering the x-ray and will use the result to confirm their findings. Similarly, most chiropractors will have a good idea of the specific pathology they are trying to rule out with an x-ray.
  • If there is a possibility that the patient could be pregnant.
  • To monitor how a patient’s spine is responding to treatment.4
  • To evaluate recent onset of back pain (less than 6 weeks duration) without a clear clinical reason.4

How To Reset Tripped Circuit Breakers

Life after the circuit breaker

Life as we know it will soon change for Singapore once the Covid-19 circuit breaker is lifted as we enter into three different reopening phases, which will be rolled out progressively after 1 June. Things won’t go back to ‘normal’ anytime soon, though. Even now, as we adjust to working from home, donning face masks to step out of the house, and connecting with our loved ones virtually, we can’t help but yearn to return to our pre-coronavirus routine.

So to keep us going, we’ve put together a wish list of sorts – something to look forward to once we reach a new normal. In the process, we found ourselves reminiscing about things we might have taken for granted. We’re not talking about partying in clubs or being sandwiched in a crowded train or bus; but rather, reconnecting with our loved ones and friends. If you’re feeling anxious or down in the dumps, putting together a list of things to do in a post-pandemic world can actually be beneficial!

Keep in mind these safety guidelines to avoid the spread of Covid-19.

It might have felt like an eternity but can you believe we’ve made it to July and now we’re in the midst of Phase 2? As the government eases the circuit breaker measures, it’s vital that we stay on guard and follow all safety measures and protocol. In case you need a breather, the virus can transfer via close contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. The infected water droplets can also spread when you touch your mouth, nose or eyes after touching infected surfaces or objects.

Yes, most establishments have enforced the SafeEntry check in system, strict safety measures and SG Clean certifications, but remember that we can all do our part to avoid the risk of transmission. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of safety guidelines to note. The key is to practise safe distancing, avoid crowded areas and minimise time spent outside.

 

Where Is The Circuit Breaker In My RV? Common RV Electrical Issues and How to Fix Them

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the lights in your travel trailer dim unexpectedly. Maybe your air conditioner doesn’t sound right, or the food in your refrigerator isn’t staying cold. These and many more issues may point to an electrical problem. It’ll likely have you asking, where is the circuit breaker in my RV? Fortunately, you can identify—and fix—many issues quickly and cheaply.

A Lesson in Power

Class A motorhomes and smaller campers typically run on both AC and DC power. The former is your electrical hookup at the campground. It runs the energy-demanding thing like your air conditioner, refrigerator, and other appliances. The latter takes care of lighting, your thermostat, and other components through a 12-volt battery. Your travel trailer may also have propane.

The next thing you need to understand is how to calculate the power needs and usage of your rig. The number of watts describes that figure. Volts is a measure of the electrical force. Amp is the flow. The equation to determine power equals volts times amps. You can get that information from the back of your appliances or in the owner’s manual.

Determining your maximum wattage allows you to stay within the correct range to avoid losing power. Most sites have either a 30- or 50-amp hookup for 120-volt electricity, sometimes, both. Knowing which you’re using is an essential step to avoiding power issues. All it takes is some simple math and knowledge of what you have in our RV.

What Triggers Electrical Problems?

When you see issues crop up, it’s often a symptom of something else that’s going on that you need to fix. Sometimes, the cause and effect are evident, like running the microwave while someone is drying their hair. Other times, it’s a mystery that requires some detective work. The things you need to determine are whether it’s in the rig or outside of your control.

 

developing a new generation of digital circuit breakers

Mechanical circuit breakers have been the gatekeepers of household electricity supply for around 150 years, but disruptive forces may be on the verge of upsetting this long-established technology.

technology start-up has developed a digital alternative to traditional circuit breakers, which threatens to displace its analogue ancestor by offering higher standards of control and insight into electricity monitoring.

The solid state circuit breaker is a response to emerging trends in global energy markets and aims to satisfy growing demand for “grid-edge intelligence” from both consumers and power network infrastructure.

“Software is appearing in all aspects of every industry today, and it just doesn’t make sense to have an analogue, mechanical device in something so central as the entry point for electricity in a home,”

“No-one has solved that challenge before now. Very little has been done in this area of the market when it comes to the digitisation or software control of electricity.”

 

Electrical safety

Electricity can be hazardous. Insulation, earthing, fuses and circuit breakers help to protect us from electrical injury. Electrical energy is current multiplied by voltage and time.

Fuses

The fuse breaks the circuit if a fault in an appliance causes too much current to flow. This protects the wiring and the appliance if something goes wrong. The fuse contains a piece of wire that melts easily. If the current going through the fuse is too great, the wire heats up until it melts and breaks the circuit.

Fuses in plugs are made in standard ratings. The most common are 3 A, 5 A and 13 A. The fuse should be rated at a slightly higher current than the device needs:

if the device works at 3 A, use a 5 A fuse

if the device works at 10 A, use a 13 A fuse

Circuit breakers

These are automatically operated electrical switches that protect electrical circuits from overloading or short circuiting. They detect faults and then stop the flow of electricity. Small circuit breakers protect individual household appliances, whereas larger ones can protect high voltage circuits supplying electricity to entire cities.

Earthing

Many electrical appliances – including cookers, washing machines and refrigerators – have metal cases.

 

Circuit Breakers Keep Tripping in My House

A circuit breaker “trips” (shuts off the electrical flow) in order to protect the circuit from overheating. It’s a safeguard that helps prevent damage and electrical fires. If it happens often, there’s a root cause that you need to address.

Overloaded Circuit

This is the most common cause of a tripped breaker. It usually happens when you’re running too many power-consuming devices on the same circuit at the same time. The demand, or load, on the circuit is too high, and presto! The breaker trips to prevent overheating.

With a little detective work, you can often find the device that’s causing the issue. Before you flip the circuit back on, take note of what was running when the breaker tripped.

Can you isolate the appliance that you turned on just before the breaker tripped?

Have you recently added a new appliance or device to the circuit?

Did you start using a space heater or other seasonal device that you haven’t used in awhile?

Have you noticed that any of your appliances have been running hot, making any strange new noises, having trouble starting, or not working as efficiently? A failing or faulty appliance will draw in more amps than usual, which can cause the circuit to overload.

Know The Facts About Your Sewer Inspection

Upper Darby, faced with failing sewers, adds pipe inspections before home sales

Upper Darby Township will require homeowners in the most populous municipality in the region outside of Philadelphia to have their sewer lines inspected before selling their property, a move Realtors called ineffective at solving the township’s problems with an aging sewer system and untimely given real estate challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic

Sewer pipe inspections cost a few hundred dollars and repairs can cost thousands, which would put a strain on sellers and could make selling homes more expensive and difficult, especially as the pandemic disrupts the housing market

Township officials said they were looking out for the interest of buyers, making sure that what is likely one of the biggest purchases of their lives does not include surprise sewer problems. A growing number of municipalities are passing or considering similar laws

So far this year, the township has spent about $75,000 on overtime pay for sewer maintenance workers, he said. The township’s director of licenses and inspections said several sewer backups occur each week due to the old and overwhelmed system, sometimes spewing wastewater onto streets and sidewalks. Sometimes the sewer main is the problem, and sometimes it’s the laterals.

The Suburban Realtors Alliance, based in Chester County, calls Upper Darby’s ordinance a Band-Aid, estimating that the approach means the township will inspect 1% to 2% of sewer laterals each year.

 

Most Important Manhole Inspection Items

Often times, I’m asked “When is it important to complete manhole inspections?” Manhole inspections should be performed during wet weather, or when the groundwater level is at its peak.  Ideally, November to May is the best time to perform manhole inspections to detect inflow & infiltration (I/I). With the snow/ice melt in February and March compounded with heavy rains, Cities and Towns will notice flows spike at lift stations and wastewater treatment facilities.

The Manhole Chimney During Heavy Rain

One of the most important manhole components to observe during a manhole inspection is the manhole chimney. As you can see below, this manhole was constructed of precast concrete, with the exception of the manhole chimney which was constructed of brick. During dry weather the chimney may appear to be in good shape; but when the groundwater rises or heavy rains occur, you may see a different story entirely. It is often hard to believe you are looking at the same manhole, under slightly different conditions. For reference, the inflow that was observed to the right was entering at a rate of approximately seven gallons per minute.

Struck During Final Grading

It is always a good idea to have a construction inspector on site during sanitary manhole installation. Additionally, a trained Construction Inspector should complete a final inspection and sign off prior to the Muncipality or Utility taking over responsibility of the sewer system. After construction, there is typically a three-year maintanace bond and inspection that should take place, but this is often times forgotton. I have frequently seen frame and covers offset due to being struck during final grading, or as a result of not being properly marked in fields that are worked by farm machinery. If these manholes are located in low-lying areas, the amount of inflow could be catastropic to your sewer system. Below are three photos of manholes that were struck during the final grading and never corrected by the utility.

Properly Stacked Out

Far too often, I come across sanitary sewer manholes that were not properly stacked out during construction. Most utilities and municipalities have a set of plans, specifications, and details that contractors are to follow during construction. Contractors are to supply the muncipality shop drawings to indicate what product they are installing. In many cases, for whatever reason the details and/or specifications are not adhered to, which will result in a poor final product, resulting in I/I entering the system.The photo to the left is an example of the use of brick, stone, etc. for grade adjustment, in lieu of the proper concrete adjusting ring.The photo in the center is of an O-Ring gasket that was not secure during manhole installation. The O-Ring is designed to help maintain a water tight seal at the joint. The photo to the right is an active joint leak due to  an inadequate amount of Kent Seal and/or failure to apply the proper amount of butyl rubber/plastic wrap on the exterior joint. All of these deficiencies can result in infiltration entering the sanitary system.

Rubber Boot

One of the most common observations is a leaking pipe penetration. When a new manhole is constructed, a rubber boot should be installed on the precast manhole to facilitate installation of the sewer pipe. This boot is tightened with stainless steel bands to maintain a water tight seal. Many times, concrete is placed around the pipe in lieu of the rubber boot and the result is active infiltration at the pipe penetration as shown in the photo to the left and right. The photo in the center shows a rubber boot installed, but not tightened adequately, causing continuous active infiltration at the pipe penetration.

 

Camera Sewer Inspection

When your pipes are clogged, broken, cracked or otherwise damaged, it can be difficult to find the cause of the issue and the location of the problem area. Leaving your pipes damaged can not only be dangerous for your home; it can also be hazardous to your health. Pipes that are leaking can disrupt the soil around your home, making the foundation shift and causing structural damage, and pipes that are clogged can become breeding grounds for harmful bacteria that can contaminate your water.

The Solution: Detection

No matter what the problem is, camera inspection can help to find the cause and location of the problem. We do this by lowering a camera down the pipe to see exactly what has affected it. There are a number of things that can damage your pipe including tree roots, leaks, clogs and broken pipes. Once we have identified the cause, we can watch a live video of the problem and determine the best way of dealing with it.

We can also use the camera to determine the exact location of the problem, as the camera is equipped with locators that can help us to pinpoint the area precisely. After we have successfully found the problem and the location of it, we can get started on hydrojetting or mechanical cleaning to get rid of it for good so that it won’t cause any more problems in the future.

 

Things to Look For in an Inspection Crawler

Even in uncertain times, essential sewer services have to be maintained. When capital budgets at the municipal and state levels are under threat, cities increasingly turn to contractors to inspect and maintain wastewater infrastructure. The challenge for contractors is getting equipped to seize the opportunity.

Crawler inspection is a core service for any sewer contractor. Cities need to know the condition of wastewater infrastructure, and inspections reveal where cleaning and rehab work is needed — potentially offering additional opportunities for service revenue. An inspection crawler is a major investment, and the system chosen will ultimately have a significant impact on long-term productivity and profitability.

To make the process easier, Envirosight compiled guidance from contractors on the top 10 factors they consider when making a crawler purchase decision.

Agility. To complete more inspections, a contractor needs the ability to maneuver past obstacles. Choose a steerable design that can navigate around obstructions like rocks and protruding taps, and insist on all-wheel drive to power through sediment and grease. A compact wheelbase (with three or more axles) will assist in climbing over offsets and debris

Versatility. Contractors encounter a wide range of pipe sizes, materials and conditions. A modular crawler design can adapt to these challenges. Look for a complete selection of wheels and plug-and-play accessories — preferably ones that can be changed rapidly without tools

 

SEWER LINE REPAIR

When it comes to the sewer line repair in your home, you want to make sure that everything is working the way that it should. A lot of people have issues with their sewer lines or toilets clogging and find that they need additional plumbing services. When they do, they contact our experts at Petri Plumbing to get the job done. We will be able to repair and even replace sewer lines if there is an issue with them. By doing this, your home will be more sanitary and comfortable for you and your loved ones.

WHAT IS A VIDEO SEWER INSPECTION?

A video sewer inspection is when our team of experts uses a very thin and flexible camera that is put throughout the length of the drain that you have at home. This camera will be able to pinpoint the source of your piping issues without having to conduct any invasive excavations. The sewer inspection, when done with a video camera, can inform the technician of basically anything that is going on inside of the line itself

WHAT ARE SIGNS OF SEWER SYSTEM ISSUES?

When it comes to the sewer for your home, there are a variety of things to look out for. One thing to look for is if you are having a lot of backflow, issues flushing the toilet, or clogged drains, all of these situations are signs of possible sewer problems. Also, if you notice a lot of pooling water in the yard, or if you notice a burst pipe or a sewer line in the basement is leaking, the line will probably need to either be repaired or replaced

WHAT IS A SEWER CLEANOUT?

A sewer cleanout can be a great thing for you to have done at home because it takes care of any drain clogging problems that you happen to be dealing with. Cleaning out the sewer involves both the septic tank and the sewer line itself. At Petri Plumbing, will be able to clean out the lines of any build-up or serious clogs.