3 Simple Easy To Do Dating Tips

Most people make mistakes when going out on the first date. It’s not only teenagers that make these simple errors. Adults who are looking to start dating again seem to forget where they went wrong the first time round and do it all again.

You can find a ton of advice for the first date but you will probably forget it all on the night. In this article I will provide you with the common sense approach, advising how you should act, what you need to be thinking and how you should be feeling. There’s no big secret, but you will feel more confident if you follow these simple dating tips.

Your friend has agreed to meet with you but you’re worried about how you should act. Well, as it’s you they want to meet, the best person you can be is yourself. Trying to act as somebody else is going to lead to failure before the relationship has even started.

Unless of course you’re a brilliant actor and can maintain this new role forever. You will be much more comfortable being yourself and your friend will start to appreciate the real you. They’ve come to find out more about you so give them a hundred per cent.

As you are feeling relaxed because you are comfortable with who you are, try thinking of the date as just a night out. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself. If it doesn’t work out, it was one night out of many that you’ve lost.

Think of your date as some acquaintance from years ago and chat as you would when out with your regular friends. Of course, if you’re a macho male or a catty female you may need to temper this particular aspect of your character.

Dating tips are sometimes not easy to put into practice. However, a little effort may be needed for this last one. Put simply, you should look good. Both men and women consider first impressions as being important so take some time in dressing well. It’s not a formal interview so don’t overdo it but do be smart and clean.

Finally, going over the top with the eau de cologne or aftershave may be a turnoff for some people. But excessive body odor should also be avoided.

Be yourself on a good night out, dressing well and smelling well and these dating tips should ensure you a relaxing and pleasant date. All you have to do now is go out there and enjoy yourself.

Electrical License Requirements – AL Electrician Certification Prerequisites

To acquire your Alabama electrician permit and become a journeyman electrician in the state, you must satisfy a number of requirements:

1. Have four years of work experience

2. Send in the electrical accreditation form

3. Take and successfully pass the electrical certification examination

Obtaining the mandatory experience is not a challenge, and may be carried out with any number of apprenticeship programs. It is important to be aware that the AECB will offer you credit for the electrical certifications that you have from any trade college or tertiary level training course.

For one year of instruction you’ve gotten from an electrician program, you can attain credit for one thousand hours of work experience up to a maximum of 2,000 hours. Simply put, it is possible to do away with one year off the on-the-job experience criteria in the event that you’ve finished an electrician training course which lasted two years or more.

Doing The Alabama Electrician Certificate Assessment

If you want to undergo the journeyman accreditation examination, you need to complete the electrical certification application which can be found on the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board site. You are going to be required to include a Work Affidavit together with your application as confirmation of your on-the-job experience. Needless to say, you cannot sign your own Work Affidavit.

Here are the individuals who are able to fill in your Work Affidavit:

– HR Department


– Qualified Electrician Contractor

– Electrical Engineer

The moment you’ve done the application and also the Work Affidavit, you can mail them in along with a check or money order for $115.00 to the Alabama Electrical Contractors Board (AECB). You will need to submit the application prior to the due date in the quarter which you will be wanting to take the examination in. Once your application is okayed, you are going to be sent an authorization letter informing you the instructions to set up the certification test.

You will have just ninety days from the day you acquire the notification to schedule your exam, which is why it is really vital for you to be all set for the examination before you submit the application. In the event that you fail to schedule your test during the 90 day interval, then you are going to be required to fill out a “re-take form” and pay out a further fee to receive a new authorization notice.

The Alabama electrical certification test is based around the 2011 NEC and also the relevant local and state codes. The examination has 110 questions and it’s five hours long, and you’ll need to achieve no less than 75% on your exam to pass.

Emissions Boost Case for Clean Energy

Two facts make clean energy unbeatable: air pollution and its friend climate change.

Sure there are naysayers. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was quoted as saying, “Scientists are ‘coming forward daily’ to disavow a ‘theory that remains unproven,'” in a tweet by New Hampshire Public Radio.

And James Delingpole on globalclimatescam.com sarcastically says, “It now seems that Mother Gaia may have a deadly new weapon up her sleeve: KILLER MUTANT SHARKS!!!”

Whatever. Delingpole takes issue with a news item that indicates sharks may be adapting to climate change. Good for the sharks.

Acknowledgment dawns

Here’s the situation — continued and accelerated burning of fossil fuels not only taps the supply of easy-to-extract oil but the proof of its effects mounts. And sure, domestic coal is plentiful. But blacken the skies so that even those who live in the countryside can’t see more than a mile or two, and supporters — even those who hail jobs, jobs, jobs — start to go the way of passenger pigeons.

Corporations are beginning to pay attention, and not just with lip service. Sustainability has taken root in boardrooms across the globe, and investment in practices and technology that prevents destruction of the environment is rocketing upward faster than anybody thought possible.

Cheap oil is great. Canada’s oil sands are amazing. And that Bakken oil shale formation under Parshall, N.D. could be a game changer — if we could somehow export it off-planet and use its rich extracts on recently terra-formed and pristine Earth-like worlds.

But here we’ve got to deal with an environment that’s had more than enough of our rapid technological ascent. If mankind continues to push the devastation thing, not only will the economy collapse, but most of us will get sick and die long before we get old.

Political avoidance

GOP contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sidestep the issue of clean energy on the campaign trail. This, however, contrasts mightily with the mood of many in the private sector, which Newt and Mitt say they support hands-down. Corporations and small businesses are publicly embracing the concept of sustainability, energy efficiency, waste reduction and even green chemistry. It would appear corporate boards and business owners see value in going green.

Romney pokes fun at President Obama’s support of green jobs, saying on his website that the president’s administration “seems to be operating more on faith than on fact-based economic calculation.” Romney says, “‘Green’ technologies are typically far too expensive to compete in the marketplace, and studies have shown that for every ‘green’ job created there are actually more jobs destroyed.”

Gingrich says he would “finance cleaner energy research and projects with new oil and gas royalties,” but then goes on to promote oil shale development and the destruction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Hardly clean or green.

So yeah, lop off another mountain to extract coal, fire up the power plant and dust the neighborhood. “Fire in the hole,” as Boyd Crowder would say on FX’s “Justified.”

Green sneaks in

Sentiment toward clean energy and sustainable practices is maturing. True believers come from both ends of the U.S. political spectrum. Economic practicality will do that. Not only is solar at or near parity with fossil fuels but wind’s getting closer and innovation is increasingly resulting in more sophisticated smart products that can navigate the new reality of variable power sources, maximize energy and reduce waste in every possible metric.

In fact, technological innovation in clean energy is moving forward so rapidly that by the time industry masters one form of energy capture, another is baked up in the test kitchen and ready for a taste test. For instance, solar’s efficiency is pushing 50 percent, while battery technology is getting so versatile that some companies expect batteries to complement home solar systems. And backyard mechanics are figuring out how to extract hydrogen using solar power and operating their cars off the stuff.

End product? Vapor.

Energy independence gains momentum

There’s value to clean air. It makes a good slogan, true. But more than that it’s an awesome goal. To think that in a relatively short time, the United States could become energy independent with clean skies and wealthier boggles the mind. But it’s possible.

Consumers would have to adapt to electric cars, natural gas-powered fleet vehicles and even hydrogen hot rods. The military would lead the world in production of biodiesel, algae fuel and isobutanol. Markets would spend less time worry about crude oil prices and more about increasing international sales in third world countries now able to produce their own clean energy.

Sounds a little crazy, and maybe it is.

Green in strange places

On the other hand, evidence that a cleaner world is not far-fetched is mounting. Corporate Knights, a self-described company for clean capitalism, has unveiled its eighth annual Global 100 list of the most sustainable large corporations in the world. No. 1 is Danish pharmaceutical giant Novo Nordisk, which had sales of $10.5 billion in 2010.

Also on the list are South African mining giant Anglo American, Japan’s Hitachi, Intel, United Kingdom’s AstraZeneca, Brazil’s Petrobras and Norway’s Statoil ASA. The ratings were based on ratios of sales to energy production, carbon creation, water use and waste. Also included is leadership diversity and CEO-to-average-worker pay.

Says Toby Heaps, chief executive of Corporate Knights: “In a year in which Wall Street was occupied and capitalism became a bad word, the Global 100 companies serve as ambassadors for a better, cleaner kind of capitalism which, it also turns out, is more profitable.”

Something is indeed going on. Anglo American’s website’s main page features this directive: “We recognise the challenge posed by climate change and we are taking action to address its causes and to protect our employees and assets, as well as our communities, against its potential impacts.”

Wall Street embraces sustainability

I must be making this up. I still remember the mining companies in   Fairbanks , Alaska dredging anything and everything and the John Birch Society guys in the Golden Days Parade driving their Rocket to Russia truck tossing candy to us kids. My recollection of society is decidedly conservative and resource-driven. So what’s going on?

Evidently the mood is greening. More than two-thirds of companies say sustainability has invaded the boardrooms and a third say the practice is contributing to their profits, according to a study by MIT Sloan Management Review and The Boston Consulting Group.

The study, “Sustainability Nears a Tipping Point,” found about 67 percent of companies see sustainability as necessary to being competitive, up from 55 percent the previous year. The survey involved more than 2,800 corporate leaders “representing every major industry and region of the world.”

“The attention and investment we see indicate the here-to-stay nature of sustainability for organizations everywhere,” said David Kiron, executive editor at MIT SMR and a coauthor of the report, in a statement.

Investment up in energy efficiency

A study by the U.S. Department of Energy provides some detail. “The 2010 U.S. Lighting Market Characterization” shows that investment in more efficient technologies, higher efficiency standards and public awareness campaigns “helped shift the market toward more energy-efficient lighting technologies across all sectors.”

That means energy savings and more cash in consumers’ pockets. Lighting is the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency, and upgrades pay for themselves in a matter of a few years. Changing out lights, however, is like a gateway drug to sustainability.

After making lighting retrofits, the next question always is: “What more can we do?” People like saving money. I would love to put an end to my PG&E power bills with solar panels and a household battery. Of course, I’m nowhere near close to that. But daydreams are an important part of this going-green exercise.

Battlefield Earth

Yet, this shift has surpassed idle thought. It’s based on the cold hard reality that our planet faces something akin to an alien assault by the Covenant from the Halo video-game series.

Marc Gunther of greenbiz.com writes that many in industry see climate change as inevitable and are preparing plans to adapt. “Utilities, the oil and gas industry, agricultural companies and insurers are building assumptions about rising temperatures and extreme weather events into their scenario planning. This is what’s being called climate adaptation or climate preparedness,” Gunther says.

Longer dry spells, wetter rainy season and more powerful storms are forcing the issue. Industries that don’t plan for the worst may end up suffering. Businesses that don’t plan might not be around to post year-end earnings.

Extreme weather forces change

Christian Parenti, author of “Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence,” writes that extreme weather cost agriculture an estimated $5.2 billion in 2011, while Hurricane Irene slapped New York City with $7 billion in estimated damages. He quotes the World Bank’s estimate of damages in Thailand from flooding there at $45 billion.

The solution is straightforward. Basically, we’ve got to clean up the air and stabilize the climate warming trend or prepare for more upheaval. Parenti says government is best equipped to deal with both scenarios, either with the massive task of clean up or through more nuanced approaches related to support of technological advancement through subsidy, research and development.

“Without constant government planning and subsidies, American capitalism simply could not have developed as it did, making ours the world’s largest economy,” Parenti writes in a post for tomdispatch.com. So there’s precedent.

If we pick clean energy as a proactive response, we’re going to need a little bit of help from our friend Uncle Sam, or Big Brother, depending on where you lean. Not bad thing. But it will take a some political willpower, consensus building and a thaw in the red-blue divide.

Top 4 Extreme Vacations

Sometimes just standing on the beach or going for a nice quiet walk in the mountains is not enough; if your job has you sitting behind a desk 8 or more hours a day on vacation you might want to be doing something else than standing around, no matter how beautiful the surroundings are.

Some people are naturally adventurous, but in case you aren’t maybe an extreme vacation will be the experience of a life time! Let’s see how you can spice up your life the next time you go on vacation:

1. Shark diving – I don’t know about you, but shark diving is as extreme as you could get! Yes, you are in a cage (sometimes, if you prefer) and yes, you get detailed instructions on what to do and what not to do. But let’s face it, it wouldn’t be extreme if those sharks could be controlled and that danger is what is exciting.

And how much are you going to pay to risk life and limb? Well, dig around for a few details and you will probably see packages for around $2500 per person.

2. Cross country bicycle touring – although it may not be as risky as shark diving, cross country touring is not exactly a piece of cake! There are 2 ways to do this: on your own or with a touring company; I recommend the last option.

The touring company will take care of all the details: bikes, overnight accommodation (I suggest avoiding camping), mechanics in the bike team, support staff that takes care of snacks and possible injured team mates and luggage transportation from hotel to hotel.

All you have to do is ride that bike which may sound easy, but when you find out that you’ll be riding 70 or 80 miles per day (or even more) you realize why cross country qualifies as an extreme vacation.

Cross country tours are mostly based in Europe and the United States and the cost starts at around $1500 per person but can go up a lot more depending on the length of the trip and the type of bike you choose.

3. US Special Forces training – if you have always dreamed of being part of a Special Forces team but don’t exactly want to be on the first line of combat this is the vacation for you!

Special Forces veterans and local guides will take you through a series of tests and challenges alternating with classes on wilderness survival.

Of course, at request, there are other options that are available to you such as horse riding, mountain biking, whitewater kayaking, wind surfing and rappelling techniques.

The price to be transformed into a “weekend warrior” starts at around $350 per day and depends on the location and trip options you select.

4. Cosmonaut for a day – what kid didn’t wish to be an astronaut? Now you have the chance to experience most of an astronauts life at Star City military facility near Moscow, Russia. This is one of the most exclusive things you can ever do, considering that when the Russian Space Program most Russians didn’t even know that this facility existed.

Unfortunately you won’t get to ride a spaceship to the International Space Station (ISS), but you will get to explore MIR and ISS simulators, learn to navigate by the stars in the navigational simulator and view the Hydrolab from a special observation deck.

There is also a choice between training in the manual docking simulator, training in Sokol-KV (for inflight operations) or Orlan-DMA (for space walks) Space Suits.

These are 4 of the most special and exclusive vacations you could take in your life, and the memories will stay with you forever. What are you waiting for?

How to Write a Personalized Letter From Santa

I was six years young. Christmas morning had arrived, and I woke up to the magical transformation of our living room into a child’s fantasy. Santa Claus had come through again with more toys and presents than one family should ever have.

It was beautiful. Even at a young age when selfishness can overwhelm the moment, my breath was taken away.

The previous night we had stayed up much later than we were comfortable with finishing up a batch of Christmas cookies, four of which would be left out for Santa Claus to enjoy with a creamy glass of eggnog. Naturally, we left carrots and celery for the reindeer. Hopefully, they weren’t all hungry because we only left out a small amount.

I quickly rushed to the small round table set next to the tree where we had left the late night snacks placed in perfect formation on the Snowman platter for our very welcome guest, and there it was: a PERSONAL letter from Santa Claus thanking us for the cookies and eggnog, commenting that the nutmeg was a nice touch. Any child would have been thrilled, but…

The letter was written on stationary that my mom used to write letters to Grandma and the handwriting was unmistakably that of my mom. Why would my mom write a letter, signing Santa’s name if … Wait a minute. She wouldn’t. I didn’t want to believe what my little mind was believing, so I went to the gift tags on each of the packages. To Beth From Santa. And here’s another one. To Beth From … Mom? Same exact handwriting. I was a smart little bugger, and I knew what I knew.

It was a sham. I felt kicked in the gut every time I opened a gift marked from Santa. I knew I should run over and thank my mom, but how could I let her know that I knew? How could I not tell my siblings?

Obviously, a little more thought needs to be put into personal letters from Santa. My mom meant well, but she just didn’t realize the analytical mind that her quiet little girl had. As you can guess, I’m a little bit passionate about making sure that same mistake is never made with Santa Claus letters to my own small children. Here are some things you really should consider:


Go to a printing store, like Kinkos and buy a sheet of holiday-themed paper and a coordinating envelope for each child to receive their letters from Santa Claus.


It would not be too strange for Santa to print his letters on a computer printer. If you prefer handwritten letters, find a close friend or not quite as close family member to hand write your Santa Claus letters for you. Keep in mind that these letters might be saved and compared to next year’s letter, so have the same person write them next year for consistency. If you choose to generate your letter via the computer, use a fun font, and sign “Santa” with ink. Make sure your handwriting is not distinguishable in the signature of Santa.


The message should be personal, but not too creepy with specifics. It is a good idea to take this time to point out a few good things that your child did throughout the year. For example: “I hear that you played with a lonely child in a wheel chair while all of your friends were climbing on the monkey bars. That was very kind and mature of you.” Or “Your mom wrote to me and said that you have done a great job keeping your room clean. That was an extra special gift that you gave to your family.”

Letters from Santa are never a time to point out any bad thing your child may have done. That could cause a lasting complex and serve only as a cruel attack on your child’s self-esteem.


A Santa Claus letter sent with a postmark from your city and state can arouse a bit of unnecessary suspicion in sharp little minds. There are approximately 100 places in the United States with holiday-related names, many of which offer special postmarks just for the Christmas Season. The most popular city is North Pole, Alaska. To take advantage of this free service, simply place all of your stamped and addressed letters in a larger envelope with ATTN: POSTMASTER – CHRISTMAS POSTMARK REMAILING and then the address of the proper post office. The address for North Pole, Alaska is 5400 Mail Trail, Fairbanks, AK 99709-9999. Other cities can be found at christmaslettertips.com/christmas_postmarks.htm. You should send all letters by December 15 to insure delivery before Christmas.

I urge you that whatever course you take, consistency is the key to keeping the magic alive with Santa Claus traditions. MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Derrickman Salary

Derrickman Salaries

In the drilling industry it is common knowledge that Derrickmen have a challenging job. On the rig, Derrickmen handle drill pipe and Mud while leading the crew that works below them. Not only do Derrickmen need to be physically fit to keep up with work in the field, but they also must be able to take direction from the Driller and Mud Engineer. So, what do they get for all of this effort? To answer, the following article will detail average Derrickman salaries by state and by region.

Salaries by State

Derrickman salaries in the U.S. average almost $47,000 per year. Since areas that are in need often pay higher salaries, we will take a look at some locations that expect to have an increasing demand.

Southern Alaska

The average salary for Derrickmen in Alaska is $44,000 per year which is a bit lower than the national average that has been previously stated above. For those that still feel adventurous, there is a new play in Southern Alaska which is estimated to contain 600 million barrels of oil and 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. With so much oil available for immediate production, several companies are moving into the area which should cause a sharp increase in regional demand. Look for future Derrickman salaries in Alaska to climb steadily over the next few years.

Eastern Texas and Western Louisiana

Texas currently reports an average salary of $43,000 while Louisiana reports a lower average of $35,000 per year. Although these are both less than the national average described above, recent trends are indicating that this will soon change. With development of the Haynesville Shale stretching from East Texas through West Louisiana, future Derrickman salaries in the area are sure to be on the rise. This single formation is the fourth largest natural gas find in the world and it has been projected to hold up to 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in reserve.

Eastern Louisiana and Southern Mississippi

Louisiana’s average Derrickman salary is lower than the national average at $35,000 but Mississippi reports an amazing $56,000 per year. This could be because of the recent increase in demand caused by the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale formation which was once estimated to have only 7 billion barrels of oil in reserve. Due to recent improvements in fracking technology, the area has experienced a sudden surge of investment as major oil companies in the region realize that more oil is readily accessible.

Job Requirements

Every Derrickman must satisfy the same critical requirements to get hired by a major drilling company. Above all else, a Derrickman must be physically fit to climb up and down the rig, handle drill pipe on top of the Derrick, and lift heavy loads throughout the day. Other skills needed are a knowledge of common tools and an ability to closely follow safety regulations that are set forth by employers. Last but not least, one of the most important and often implied requirements is a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Ten Tips for Photographing Wildlife Like a Pro

Tip 1: Miss the eyes and you’ve missed the shot. Getting the eyes in focus is key to capturing a photo of an animal. It’s human nature to look at the eyes. It’s how we determine emotion and how we connect. When I was in Homer, Alaska, I came across a moose on the move. Given it was early morning and the light was low I knew getting a fast shutter speed to freeze his movement would be tough, so I quickly adjusted my camera to lock the focus on his eyes, and took the shot. The majority of the picture was a bit blurry, but because the eyes are in focus, the shot was saved.  Tip 2: Use a telephoto lens. Getting closer to the action, yet staying a safe distance, is the key to photographing wildlife. By keeping your distance you allow the animal to be in their comfort zone and are more likely to get natural behavior. Safety is also a factor when photographing in the wild. Always keep at least 100 yards distance from wildlife, for your safety and for the well being of the animals. Another good use for a telephoto lens is a trick not many people know, which comes in very handy when photographing animals in the zoo that are behind fencing. If you move close to the fence (keep a safe distance) and use at least 100mm of your telephoto lens, focusing beyond the fence, with a wide aperture, you can “focus out” the fencing and take a photo of the subject with no wires! Now, there are some exceptions, such as, if the fencing is black you’ll have a much better chance of pulling this off. Regular chain link fence is gray and semi-reflective, which in the sunlight can cause a glare and is often too bright to focus out. I’ve also had some successes at trying different angles, so experiment for your best results. I often shoot with a Canon 100-400mm IS USM and a Canon 28-300mm IS USM. If you’re new to telephoto lenses, on a budget and not sure what to get, I suggest the Tamron 28-300mm or a Sigma 70-300mm. I’ve also had great results with the Sigma 50-500 which, as of this writing, I consider to be the best bang for the buck. These lenses all work with teleconverters of 1.4x and 2.0x so you can easily extend your reach even further, often while keeping auto-focus (with Canon L lenses, a minimum aperture of 4.0 or less will support auto-focus. Above that a manual focus is your only option.)  Tip 3: Use a wide aperture. Learning the effects of adjusting your camera’s aperture will go a long way toward improving your photographs, especially in portrait style shooting. In a photo of a grazing elk I shot in Yellowstone, I chose a very wide aperture to blur out a potentially busy background and bring attention to the subject instead. As you learn to control your camera you’ll also find that adjusting your aperture will have a direct effect on your shutter speed. This will prove especially helpful when shooting in the early mornings and late evenings, when animals are typically most active and the light is warm and muted.  Tip 4: Adjust your shutter speed to stop/show the action. When animals are on the move you need to decide quickly on the type of shot you want to take. If you want to freeze the action, you’ll need to shoot at 1/500 or faster and depending on light, that can be tricky. One option, if you’re shooting digital, is to adjust up your ISO, which will make your sensor more sensitive to light and give you that needed boost in shutter speed. Now, if you want to give a sense of motion to your image, try shooting with a shutter speed of 1/4 to 1/8 and pan your camera with the animal. Pan steady and remember, keep the eye in focus if you can! For best results, pick backgrounds that are uncluttered and simple, as this will make the subject standout in the image.  Tip 5: Use a flash to fill in shadows. It may sound odd, but using a flash outside on a bright sunny day actually makes a lot of sense. In this situation, you’re not using the flash to illuminate the subject, as you would in a dark setting, but rather to fill in the shadows and provide detail where harsh shadows would otherwise be heavy and dark. It’s important to use flash wisely and here are a couple of other suggestions:

  1. Be conscious of the animal and whether flash will scare them and,
  2. There are times where your only shoot is through glass — using a flash behind glass will ruin your shot. The glass will reflect the light back at the camera and you shouldn’t be surprised if all you get is a big white picture!

Tip 6: Plan for the best light.
There’s nothing like a cloudy day to provide soft, even light for wildlife photography. Clouds act like a giant diffuser to the sun, spreading the light out evenly and taking away harsh shadows that are created by a bright, sunny day. Of course, a cloudy day has its challenges as well, such as lower light, which will force you to adjust ISO and shutter speed settings for stopping action and getting sharp, in focus images.  Tip 7: Composition – Framing your shots. Some simple framing advise can go a long way toward improving an image, and for those who are computer savvy, a little trick called cropping (software technique to cut a photo) can help improve composition that wasn’t quite right at the time the photo was taken. The best way to think about composition is to picture a tic-tac-toe grid in the view finder of your camera (I’ve seen some new cameras that come with this as a feature you can turn on!) and use that grid to organize your shots. There is no hard rule, but the general theory behind good composition is that your subject lies in one of the crosshairs of the grid. Setting up your shot to lead the eye is also a good example of composition.  Tip 8: Shoot with two eyes. This is a tip I’m sharing here, but often have a hard time remembering myself. I can’t tell you how many shots I’ve missed because I didn’t see the action coming. By keeping both eyes open you’ll see the subject in the viewfinder and you’ll also see what’s going to happen next.  Tip 9: Anticipate behavior. This tip goes well with Tip 8, shoot with both eyes, because anticipating behavior is often key to capturing a rare moment, action and unique situations. Panning the camera to follow an animal can be a tiring process, so often I’ll study the animal’s behaviors watching for a pattern and then use some anticipatory shooting, and a little luck, to hopefully capture that perfect moment.  Tip 10: Use a tripod. Using a tripod is one of the best things you can do to improve your photography, and wildlife is no different. By mounting your camera to a tripod you reduce camera shake, which is usually the cause of blurry photos. To take this a step further, I use a shutter release cable, which eliminates the need to touch the camera while snapping shots and thus removes almost all potential for camera shake.  Bonus Tip: Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. This tip is a no-brainer for those of us who shoot digital. Shooting digital is cheap — technology is advancing so quickly that, as of this writing, a 4 gigabyte memory card is selling for less than $100 and you can get A LOT of photos on a 4 gig memory card. The bottom line of this tip is take photos….a lot of photos. Don’t be shy. I often take multiple photos of the same scene or subject and then later choose the best from the group. This is also a great way to learn; by adjusting your camera between shots you can experiment and see the results of different settings of your camera. And, don’t sweat the details of trying to remember which photo had which settings…another great thing about shooting digital is something called EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format). EXIF data is written to every photo so that later, upon review, you can see every setting your camera used to take that image. = = =

Home Decor With Alaskan Theme

When we hear the name Alaska, what first comes into our minds are lots and lots of snow because it is located in the North Pole region. Indeed, this is one cold places that is loved by many people because of its many unique features. If you want to have a house that has a cool atmosphere, you can get home decors that are inspired by the coolness of Alaska.

If you are living in a humid country and you want to have a home incorporating the Alaskan theme, it is just an easy thing to do due to the great home decors and accessories that you can decorate it with. Since snow must be the theme of your house, you need to make use of the coolest hues and pastels.

Having an Alaskan theme in your home will surely be one great thing to do for your home décor project. By simply using your imaginative trick and a little cash, your home space can already be upgraded into the cool feeling of Alaska. Here are some practical yet incredibly punchy ideas for your rooms to be brightened.

If your mattress rests on a typical metal frame, give it a newer look with a faux headboard. Stencils as well as paint will surely do the job. Just a good tip, pouncing or the drabbing motion when applying stencil paint will help in preventing smears below edges.

You can also use a bold artwork that will surely look perfect in any modern museum. You can also wrap a large canvas with a fabric remnant or patterned that will catch the eyes of any onlookers. You only have to pull it tight and then staple it to the frame’s rear.

You can keep the versatility of things by covering all of the major pieces such as the armchair or couch with plain white or just a neutral shade. With this, you can add more verve and color by changing the accessories and pillows instead of an overall overhaul.

You can also visit tag and surplus sales and flea markets as well to look for chic and unique pieces of home décor. Your cabinet door or a portion of the wall can also be painted using chalkboard paint in order to make a unique center of family message. Give a fresher and newer look to your aged pressboard bookshelves by covering them with self-stick paper.

By having a home with an Alaskan theme, you can always feel the coolness atmosphere that you have always desired. So, buy the needed home decor accessories now inspired by Alaskan theme.

Top 7 Reasons New Hires Resign

You spent time combing through hundreds of resumes. You selected the three best candidates and had a team of people interview them. After collecting their opinions and performing background checks and references, the employee started. One month later they quit.

Unfortunately this scenarios happens far too often, costing organizations anywhere from $25,000 to an amount equal to the annual salary plus benefits of the position now vacated. Instead of working on employee development, the HR Department must shift to the task of finding a replacement.

In 2004, there were 7 predominant reasons for this quick turnaround, according to a survey conducted by Amacon. Here are the reasons they found:

1. The job or workplace was not as expected.

2. There was a mismatch between the job and the employee.

3. The employee was receiving too little feedback or coaching.

4. The employee discovered too few growth opportunities.

5. The employee felt devalued and unrecognized.

6. The employee was stressed by overtime.

7. The employee loses trust in senior leadership.

Each one of these reasons is a result of false impressions on the part of the applicant and / or the employer, the corporate culture, or the candidate’s personality.

Oddly, the first six reasons are easily detectable and redictable with the use of online assessments such as the Step One Survey and Profiles XT. These assessments measure the applicant’s integrity, reliability, work ethic, personality, job fit, culture fit, and other key factors to ensure they are a match to the job, their co-workers and supervisors, and the work environment.

If the employer is honest with themselves about the true advancement opportunities (#4 above), they can compare that to the ambition and drive of the candidate. If the candidate will be overly aggressive and competitive for growth, yet promotions will be sparse, the candidate may not be the best for the position. Likewise, if the employee has high initiative entering an environment where supervisors are too busy to give individual feedback, the candidate’s success is better.

Of course a key element in the success of the assessments is the recruiter’s ability to take an honest look at the position and it’s requirements. Assessment organizations, such as Max Impact, work with employers to get an accurate, fact-based gauge of the employer’s culture and the job requirements. Top performers can also be bench-marked for the best results.

Assessments have been extremely helpful in reducing turnover and the subsequent costs associated with recruiting and training.

If you would like to speak to an assessment professional, call 248-802-6138 or send an email to info@getmaximpact.com.

Requirements for Becoming a Bartender

Many people want to know how to become a bartender and what skills you need to possess before deciding to look for a bartending job. In addition, one of the most asked questions is whether you should go to a bartending school or follow an online course.

The truth is that many online resources, even the ones designed to help aspiring bartenders, are often providing incorrect information. As a result, many myths are circulating the internet regarding the correct procedure to become a bartender.

I will focus on the requirements of becoming a bartender and demonstrate that it may not be as hard as you think.

Minimum age requirements

In order to bartend, you need to meet the minimum age requirements. In certain states you need to be at least 18 years old to bartend, while many states require you to be at least 21 years old in order to serve, pour, mix and sell alcoholic beverages.

The age requirements per state (including District of Columbia) are:

Alabama: 21, Alaska: 21, Arizona: 19, Arkansas: 18, California: 21, Colorado: 18, Connecticut: 18, Delaware: 21, District of Columbia: 21, Florida: 18, Georgia: 18, Hawaii: 18, Idaho: 19, Illinois: 18 (some cities 21), Indiana: 21, Iowa: 18, Kansas: 21, Kentucky: 20, Louisiana: 18, Maine: 18, Maryland: 18 (some cities 21), Massachusetts: 18, Michigan: 18, Minnesota: 18, Mississippi: 18, Missouri: 21, Montana: 21, Nebraska: 19, Nevada: 21, New Hampshire: 18, New Jersey: 18, New Mexico: 21, New York: 18, North Carolina: 21, North Dakota: 21, Ohio: 21, Oklahoma: 21, Oregon: 21, Pennsylvania: 18, Rhode Island: 18, South Carolina: 21, South Dakota: 18, Tennessee: 18, Texas: 18, Utah: 21, Vermont: 18, Virginia: 21, Washington: 21, West Virginia: 18, Wisconsin: 18, Wyoming: 21.

Besides meeting the age requirement, aspiring bartenders should have a clean criminal record. In other words, you should have no prior felony convictions.

Social skills

Working behind a bar means that you’ll be dealing with people. Fun people, less fun people and intoxicated people. A bartender is able to communicate with ease, understands how to interact with many types of people, make small talk about any topic and relate to his or her customers. Bartenders are often seen as social creatures with many friends, a big network of acquaintances and connections throughout their community.

While these qualities can be improved through experience, it will definitely prove to be helpful if you’re comfortable around people, love to interact and to entertain, and be in the center of everyone’s attention. Being shy, introvert or uncomfortable in engaging in conversations with others will prove to be a disadvantage in this profession.

Great manners

A bartender’s income relies heavily on tips received from customers. Needless to say, a good bartender will treat each and every customer with a huge amount of respect and demonstrate great manners while interacting with customers. This can either make or break your income, as satisfied customers show their gratitude by tipping the bartender.

Being polite while serving customers and staying polite even when a customer isn’t, is a quality every well-trained bartender needs to develop. At the same time, knowing when to demand respect from others is just as important as treating them with respect.

Keep in mind that there will be days when things aren’t going your way. You may have a bad day, feel down, be tired, or have something bad happen at home. Good bartenders understand that these things shouldn’t affect their performance or the way they treat their guests. Being able to leave negative things aside is what will make or break your career as a bartender.


Serving alcoholic beverages to customers includes having to deal with customers who are too intoxicated. Many times, the bartender will need to stop serving those customers who are getting too drunk. And do not expect that they will take it lightly. Far too many times, you will have to explain your decision to someone who can barely stand.

These types of customers will test your patience on more than one occasion. It is your job as a bartender to understand that their judgment is impaired and remain patient at all times.

Good condition

The bartending profession is not for you, if you’re looking for a job where you get to sit down and relax. Working a busy shift means standing on your feet for several hours and running back and forth to re-stock your bar. It’s quite common that beginning bartenders experience a numb feeling in their legs after working a busy shift.

There are some amazing advantages of working as a bartender. You get to sleep in and wake up whenever you like. At the same time, working night shifts does have a few disadvantages which may or may not affect you. The risks include insomnia, problems with digestive system, depression and even heart attack.

Anyone working as a bartender should take care of their body and mind. Understand the risks of your profession, eat healthy, take enough rest and exercise on a regular basis. Only by doing so, will you be able to enjoy your career in the long run.

Great sense of humor

Everyone knows bartenders have a great sense of humor. They are fun and outgoing people who are there to entertain the crowd. Having a positive attitude, smiling, sharing laughs with people and being optimistic is what’s expected of any bartender.

Keep in mind that having a great sense of humor means you should also be able to laugh at your own expense. During your career as a bartender, situations will arise where you’ll be the clown. You might slip on a wet floor and land on your behind, you may break glasses in a clumsy way or say something stupid. Having a great attitude about it and using these situations to entertain your guests would be the best way to go about it.


Bartenders are handling a lot of money, as most customers pay with cash while at the bar. This means you’ll need to have a great deal of responsibility towards your boss and the establishment you work at. Handling yourself professionally and being honest are just basic requirements expected from any bartender.

One known dishonest practice is to pour drinks, charge the customers, but never ring the drinks up. Bartenders who trust in this type of short-term tactics to gain more income can count on immediate termination of their employment. Not to mention that they display a total lack of integrity, which can prove to be disastrous in this profession.

Bartender skills

One of the biggest myths about becoming a bartender has to do with education. Many resources state that you need to go to a bartending school or follow an online course in order to become a bartender. This is not true.

In order to start working as a bartender, you will need to meet the age requirement and be able to land yourself a bartending job. There are no certifications or licenses you need to acquire. You will need a basic understanding of bartending terms and methods, and a basic knowledge of most popular drink recipes.

Going to a bartender school or following an online bartending course can help you out, for sure. However, this isn’t mandatory. You are free to develop these skills on your own, which means you could learn and practice at home. In this case, internet will be your best friend, as any information you need is already online.