Tips to Help You Hire a Drywall Contractor

Drywall is used in the making of ceilings and interior walls. If the job is done well, the surface will look smooth. Therefore, it’s much better to try the services of a drywall contractor for this type of projects. However, if your room wall is warped, you won’t be satisfied with the results. Given below are a few tips that you can follow to hire the services of a professional. Read on to know more.

1. Look for a Reliable Drywall Contractor

At first, it can be difficult for you to look for a reliable professional. Therefore, you can get started with referrals. It’s better to ask your family members, friends or colleagues for recommendations.

As an alternative, you can search on the Internet. You can check out the sites of different providers and ask for quotes. Once you have created a short list, you can interview potential contractors.

2. Interviewing Different Contractors

During interviews, make sure you ask the right questions. The questions should be about the cost of the job as well as other relevant matters. For instance, you should ask about the company age and history.

If you come to know that the service provider has had a bankruptcy recently, make sure you know that the service provider will do a good job. Apart from this, the service provider must be licensed and insured. You should also be familiar with the dispute resolution process of the provider.

By asking all these questions, you can get a much better idea of the contractor’s legitimacy. Actually, the idea is to weed out all the poor performers so you can go with the right one.

3. Negotiate with the Providers

Once you have chosen a good contractor, your next move is to go ahead and negotiate to get a better deal. Also, it’s important to have a few important things in your contract. First of all, the contract should clearly mention the actual price of the project.

If possible, you may want to get an estimate of the cost at the time of signing the contract. This will allow you to get a clear picture of what you will have to pay for the project. This is better if you want avoid being overcharged at the end.

Also, don’t forget to read through the contract. As far as the advance payments are concerned, make sure the amount is reasonable. Making full payment before the work is done is not recommended at all.

Also, the contract should provide complete description of the services they are going to provide for the price. Besides, there should be a clear description of the terms of termination. It’s better to have all of the details in writing.


An Interview With Ray DICE Man Semko

You might already be aware that I run two podcasts: DoDSecure and Running and Obstacle Race Training. I recently interviewed Ray D*I*C*E Man Semko on my podcast DoDSecure. I hope you are able to get to the podcast as there are many topics covered from security clearances to protecting classified information.

What struck me most was his drive and focus leading him to his branding of D*I*C*E which stands for Defensive Information Countering Everything. This is what he calls the “anchor point” and so much is built around it. He wanted a way for folks to focus on what is important concerning national security. DICE provides more than just a bumper sticker or slogan, but rather a movement that has created more reporting opportunities and has actually led to the capture of a spy.

The DICE concept took a while to develop and catch on. Initially, Ray was scheduled to provide a security awareness briefing and he realized he had to have an anchor or something to build the focus around. At the time, the U.S. Army had a slogan well underway at the time and many may remember Subversion And Espionage Directed Against the Army or SAEDA. This was a hard acronym to remember for many. I remember the difficulty I had applying it as a cold war soldier and whenever asked ended up replying. “Syrup And Eggs Do not Agree (SAEDA)”.

Now Ray had an opportunity to develop something original and jumped at the chance after being commissioned by his employer to do so. “So this is my chance to be original, to think outside the box. And I’m thinking, OK, what am I going to do and this is where anchoring entered my mind,” he says. “If you are prepared for that moment, you don’t know what that moment’s going to be. You don’t know what it what is going to entail, but if you are as prepared as you can be by knowing your job by having confidence in yourself to perform your job, all aspects of it, whatever you’re called upon to do,” he continued.

It took him 14 years to get to that point. Now he had the anchor point or something to remember. One result of that particular anchor point, D*I*C*E is that a DIA employee felt that they needed to report concerns about Ana Montes, a senior Cuban analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency. She turned out to be a high-level, long-term penetration of the US Intelligence Community by the Cuban intelligence service.

“… it’s actually written in the book (sic. True Believer: Inside the Investigation and Capture of Ana Montes, Cuba’s Master Spy). I mean, there have been several people who have reported because people who listen to my briefings and it sticks with them. They see something strange here, suspicious. They reported it to the security people and security people did the right thing and investigated in every aspect.”

Now when people see dice in a game, hanging from a rear view mirror, or at a flea market in Greece, they think of Ray D*I*C*E Man Semko, and for good reason; he created the anchor point.


Basic for Punjab General Knowledge

Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji was born in 1469 in Talwandi, a village in the Sheikhupura district, 65 kms. west of Lahore. His father was a village official in the local revenue administration. As a boy, Sri Guru Nanak learnt, besides the regional languages, Persian and Arabic. He was married in 1487 and was blessed with two sons, one in 1491 and the second in 1496. In 1485 he took up, at the instance of his brother-in-law, the appointment of an official in charge of the stores of Daulat Khan Lodhi, the Muslim ruler of the area at Sultanpur. It is there that he came into contact with Mardana, a Muslim minstrel (Mirasi) who was senior in age. Gurdwara Nankana Sahib
By all accounts, 1496 was the year of his enlightenment when he started on his mission. His first statement after his prophetic communion with God was “There is no Hindu, nor any Mussalman.” This is an announcement of supreme significance it declared not only the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God, but also his clear and primary interest not in any metaphysical doctrine but only in man and his fate. It means love your neighbour as yourself. Gurdwara nankana sahib In addition, it emphasised, simultaneously the inalienable spirituo-moral combination of his message. Accompanied by Mardana, he began his missionary tours. Apart from conveying his message and rendering help to the weak, he forcefully preached, both by precept and practice, against caste distinctions ritualism, idol worship and the pseudo-religious beliefs that had no spiritual content. He chose to mix with all. He dined and lived with men of the lowest castes and classes Considering the then prevailing cultural practices and traditions, this was something socially and religiously unheard of in those days of rigid Hindu caste system sanctioned by the scriptures and the religiously approved notions of untouchability and pollution. It is a matter of great significance that at the very beginning of his mission, the Guru’s first companion was a low caste Muslim.

The offerings he received during his tours, were distributed among the poor. Any surplus collected was given to his hosts to maintain a common kitchen, where all could sit and eat together without any distinction of caste and status. This institution of common kitchen or langar became a major instrument of helping the poor, and a nucleus for religious gatherings of his society and of establishing the basic equality of all castes, classes and sexes.


6 Benefits of Using Ruby on Rails (RoR) for Your Startup

For startups, Ruby on Rails is one of the best frameworks as it’s user-friendly and flexible. If you do some research, you will come to know that there are a lot of startups that prefer Ruby on Rails for their business sites. As a matter of fact, this coding language is considered an ideal choice for startups. Given below is the description of some of the primary benefits of this language for startups. Read on to find out more.

1. Time-Efficiency

First of all, this framework offers a lot of ready-made modules and plug-ins. Therefore, developers don’t have to spend a lot of time on boilerplate code. According to developers, they take at least 30% less time when building an app or website using RoR. On the other hand, other programming languages require more time.

So, time-efficiency is one of the primary benefits of this frame, which is why you should go for it.

2. Consistency

Another great feature of RoR is that it offers consistency. It allows developers to follow standard programming and file storage conventions in order to keep the project readable and structured. This is the reason the process becomes consistent, which saves a lot of time.

3. Cost-Effectiveness

Since RoR is an open-source framework, you don’t have to spend your hard-earned money to use the framework. Also, developers can add more features to the framework without the need to develop the unit from scratch.

Therefore, developers can save a lot of time. The good news is that you can download Gems from a lot of free sources like GitHub. On this platform, you can find open source code for free of charge.

4. Bug-Free Development

Another benefit of RoR is that it comes with the Minitest tool. This test suite is comprehensive and offers a lot of testing features, such as mocking, test benchmarking, and expectation syntax.

Apart from this, Ruby on Rails helps with Behavior-driven Development and Test Driven Development approaches.

5. Scalability

If you want the application to attract a lot of users, make sure that the app offers a lot of scalability. The good thing about RoR is that it allows you to enjoy scalability as well.


In The Begining


In the beginning was — hydrogen! Nothing else existed within the cosmos for countless eons after everything exploded in motion during the first nanosecond of the Big Bang. In fact — there was no Cosmos as we know it today. The universe was in chaos for an eternity and then, slowly but with irresistible force, gravity sucked the swirling hydrogen clouds together into gigantic glowing globes that grew so dense and so violent that they cooked off as incredibly vast and powerful nuclear furnaces. Stars were born, lived, died and were then reborn in incalculable numbers. We have trouble wrapping our minds around that initial concept alone for there are more stars in our Milky Way galaxy alone than grains of sand on all the beaches of Earth. And there are up to three or four hundred million galaxies across the void. Perhaps you are beginning to understand what I feel when I use the term mind-boggling, with my statement that this is the greatest story ever told, that God the Cosmic Creator, the Seminal Spirit, the Author of Existence can be welcomed as a loving companion in our lives.

The starter stars in each island universe, such as Andromeda or the Milky Way, spewed off immense clouds of radioactive stardust that is still being transmuted through cosmic alchemy into the ninety odd elements needed to form more sophisticated stars and their planets. Much as uranium is changed into plutonium within a nuclear reactor, so simple hydrogen is transmuted into new elements within the blazing nuclear engines. Then, as radioactive stardust spewing away from each star is compressed through gravity into further generations of stars, it is transformed still more into all the matter needed to support life. God’s process of continuous creation continues on this divine scale, for astronomers now have incredible photographs of developing stars popping off like strings of firecrackers along unimaginably long columns of hydrogen based stardust. Every day — yesterday and today and tomorrow, hundreds of trillions of tons of this stardust drift down to earth, growing our planet about an inch in diameter every million years. And if that seems slow, it is because you haven’t seen God’s time frame!

I have often wandered in awe under the stars in the clear, dry nights on the New Mexico desert, trying to picture what the universe is really like out there. Finally, after half a century of study, I only think I understands the Cosmos. I really don’t — no one does fully. There is nothing simple about this god-like alchemy that culminated eventually in the meta-universe in a time frame our flea-bitten, snaggle-toothed ancestors couldn’t possibly understand. Indeed, how do we ourselves describe a worm hole that may open into a parallel reality in an alternate universe? Or a cosmic singularity, a black hole of ultimate density in which time and space cease to exist? Of course, the time span and the distances of the Cosmos are much too vast for our limited human frames of reference to comprehend. As for people watching a movie in which each frozen frame lasts longer than our lives, the universe only appears to be static because we don’t live long enough to see much of the show. This apparent lack of progression confused our ancestors, especially ancient theologians and philosophers who tried to understand the God’s Cosmos without any real knowledge of science to guide their assumptions.

In our development into a sentient or thinking species, we left the less complex creatures behind as we developed a deep sense of mystery or mysticism that both satisfies and confuses us at times. We became so complex intellectually and spiritually that we all need a sense of meaning and purpose in out lives — a spirituality that extends far beyond the routine aspects of existence. This is why Jesus reported; Man does not live by bread alone. We live in our present state of existence with the need to mature beyond secular attitudes, expectations and choices or we starve ourselves in the most meaningful ways. We are first and foremost spiritual beings and any failure to meet our spiritual needs leads to frustration, spiritual bankruptcy, intellectual disaster and emotional despair. .

Unfortunately, many individuals, denominations and bureaucracies have frozen that illusion of rigidity into their traditions and ideologies where it causes considerable harm when circumstances shift and they and their rigid organizations must adapt enthusiastically or perish.


The Newark Museum and Jewelry in Their Collection

The Newark Museum is a quiet and genteel oasis in New Jersey’s largest city. Newark, “The Brick City”, is known for its grit, ports, very large and busy international airport, as well as having a prosperous manufacturing history including leather and the invention of patent leather. At one time Newark was the center of fine jewelry manufacturing, kin to Providence, Rhode Island, where costume jewelry manufacturing was the breadwinner for many families.

In the midst of the city sits a stately brick building with a 19th century mansion, The Ballantine House, as its next door neighbor. Originally a residence, the Ballantine House is a part of the Newark Museum and offers a glimpse into the daily life of the late 19th century in a well-to-do-home.

In the main museum building, installed alongside intricate marble statues, stunning American paintings, beautifully crafted American furniture, a Science Wing, and an Asian Tibetan collection so extraordinary even the Dalai Lama paid a visit to see it, is a collection of jewelry and other intricate handwork spanning 500 years. Being a jewelry industry veteran, my visit to the museum was with seeing the jewelry in mind. My intentions were well-rewarded with many lovely pieces on display. A Spanish cross, circa 1650, made of gold and amethysts with an intricate lacy edge captures a time of grandeur and holy ornamentation. The Grand Barbarian’s Trapeze, a fibula brooch made by William Harper in 1998, is a pure fantasy of gold, enamel, pearls, tourmaline, fire opal, topaz, and chalcedony. With this brooch measuring nearly 10 inches tall, a visitor to the museum could easily linger a long while at just this piece and enjoy the unusual design and exquiste workmanship.

An 1875 replica of an Etruscan style necklace and earrings from Rome are souvenirs of the time; the set had been bought for a friend, a daughter of Thomas Edison, in the mid-1870’s. Many Kremmentz pieces are also on display, as is fitting, since the Kremmentz Company was founded in Newark.

The carefully selected and broad-reaching jewelry on display at the museums helps to tell the story of fine jewelry manufacturing in Newark and throughout the world and is well worth a visit.


Start-Up Social Organizations

Technology companies know how to raise money. Start-up nonprofits and social enterprise businesses should take their example as potential way to fundraise. If you know anything about the tech industry, you know they’re great at raising investment capital.

So, my question to you is, do you have to only rely on the old methods and models of raising money for your new social enterprise? Or, can you think out of the box and see how to raise capital, take your foot off the perpetual philanthropic fundraising pedal and then shift to focus on the programmatic goals?

The Mindset

When you’re looking to fund your start-up social sector organization, you have to be clear about a fundraising mindset. The most successful tech companies that raise millions of dollars from the outset seek a specific amount of money. In addition, they are also clear about the goals they’re looking to reach with that money.

Having this type of thinking is critically important and it’s a mental shift from the traditional philanthropic fundraising. You see, most nonprofit executives look at their fundraising as an ongoing piece of their operation. It happens every day and at the same time they’re looking to execute their programs.

In the tech industry a company will raise its initial capital and then focus on doing the work. They devote all of their energy to achieving the goals and proving to their supporters that they have what it takes to make it happen. Then, when they’ve achieved those goals they enter a next stage of fundraising.

Imagine being able to go through a fundraising drive, raise the capital and then put that work to the side and focus exclusively on the programs!

Investment in Talent

Technology companies are not afraid to put money into talent. If you’re looking to establish a non-profit or social enterprise start-up, you shouldn’t fear that investment. Here’s the deal, you want the very best people on your team. For you to succeed you want to hire the absolute best program director. You want the best marketing professional who’ll get your brand to the masses.

But with that, you have to be prepared to explain this to your funders. I’ve written a number of times in the past about the push back nonprofits get from funders and paying their staff. That’s because the social sector has done a terrible job of communicating and explaining why paying for top talent makes sense.


Using Signs to Promote Community Events

Hosting a community event can be a great way to draw in business for your area. From farmer’s markets and craft fairs to festivals and fundraisers, they are all a great way to bring in new people to your community and create awareness for what your town has to offer. But simply creating the event is not enough, advertising and promoting it is a must! Custom signs and banners are a great way to do just that. They can help make community members aware of the events, give directions for those who are new to the area, and just make the overall experience that much more successful.

Farmers Markets

Come summer, my town has a farmers market every Sunday right off the main highway. While that’s a great place to have it to attract last minute drivers riding by, they also have a cute little sign right in front of the property, advertising the time and dates so that people can plan on attending ahead of time, instead of having to turn around and find a parking spot last second. With the variety of products available from fruits and veggies to crafts and homegrown honey, there is a lot to see and signs make it all the more easy for visitors to find what they want.

Arts and Craft Shows

These require vendors and your vendors won’t be happy if no one attends the event! Signs are a great way to promote a craft show and can help to direct customers on where to go seeing as they tend to be indoor events. Window decals may also be a great option for events like this as they can easily be removed but still look professional.


If you’re like me growing up in Indiana, you’ve been to a county fair or even the state fair. Months before hand you’ll see plastic  lining the roads giving dates and times. Once the event comes around you’ll see signs for parking and directions to the horse show and other animals. Signs make it easier for those running the festivals in that they need to hire fewer volunteers to give directions or guide traffic because they have the signs there to do just that.



Leading With What Is Important

Not long ago, I had a wisdom tooth and what the surgeon thought was probably an infected cyst removed. Just to be on the safe side, he sent the cyst out for biopsy. My follow up appointment was set for a month later.

Two weeks after the surgery, the dental office called. “You have a follow up appointment with the surgeon in a few weeks,” the nurse said, already putting me on alert. “But the doctor reviewed the biopsy on Saturday… “

At this point, there is a roaring in my ears and I am thinking about what I’ll look like with half my jaw removed and the hair loss from chemo. I’m not really hearing the rest.

“So, OK?” the nurse asked.

“Ahhh, could you repeat that?”

And she said-finally!-that since the biopsy was fine, there really wasn’t any reason for me to come back.

So why not lead with that information? Wouldn’t it have been better to immediately let me know the important stuff?

Not all conversations, of course, are as fraught as this was. But all have the opportunity that the listener will zone out; start thinking in an entirely different direction than you want them to go or hear something you are not saying.

Therefore, be clear about what you want to accomplish and make sure you are saying what needs to be said.

Years ago, I sold insurance and spent many hours cold calling. My agency had this script they suggested we used that talked about wealth conservation and securing the future. It had a lot of words that didn’t seem to mean much, so I shortened it and simply asked if I could come out and talk with them about their life, health and/or disability insurance.

Who knows if I got more (or less) appointments than my colleagues, but I can honestly say that among my “class (the agents who started when I did)” I made more sales. And I think that was because those who chose to meet with me knew what we were going to talk about and it was something they were interested in pursuing.

A different kind of clarity-or lack thereof-was evident in a call I got a few years ago. An acquaintance and I had been talking about getting together for dinner, but emails weren’t making it happen. So I was pleasantly surprised one evening when she called. “I wanted to make sure we got a date on the calendar,” she said, and I felt really good once we got that done.


Using Facebook To Amplify Your Year-End Fundraising

Let’s find out what are the main reasons giving on social media works and how you can use them to your advantage.

Reinventing social image

People who are actively involved in social media have reinvented the notion of social media. Now you can re-create your whole life and persona on Facebook. Supporting a cause is one of the noble acts and people on social media want others to see them getting involved with charities. Especially using Facebook to host/promote your own fundraiser is seen both as positive and trendy.

If you have your audience engaged in social media your promotion will translate at light speed and spread across the internet. People will want to be seen promoting you they want to be part of your story. And they want their family and friends to know about it.

Setting up Example

One of the reasons why Facebook is the best platform to initiate your campaign is that they themselves actively get involved in fundraising and supporting various causes. Facebook has been responsible for paving the path of social fundraising. They promote and host their own fundraising also to make it the most desired environment for fundraising.

A Recent study by Artez Interactive found out that peer-to-peer campaigns which depend heavily on people’s interaction were able to generate quite a huge amount of donation support from Facebook itself.

It is best to understand the advantages of marketing that Facebook can provide. It is cost-effective and impactful at the same time. Research on how other organizations of utilized the social platform to get the best out of it.

Increasing acceptability of online transactions

With secure online transactions provided online people are finding it both comfortable and appealing to donate online. Not only does it provide ease of accessibility but also much less paperwork for the charities. As online commerce is increasing non-profits are gaining a better chance of getting people to donate. From marketing to collecting donation, all can be managed online.

How to use Facebook for your non-profit:


With the realization of the power of peer-to-peer marketing, lots of non-profits understand why Facebook is a great platform for such kind of promotion. Try utilizing Facebook advertising by spending a little amount to boost your post.