Friday, November 30, 2012

My Christmas Shopping is Almost Done!

Nebraska Huskers
And thank goodness. I'm tired of shopping bags and packages already. The second-to-last person on my list was my sister-in-law (who will not be named even though I don't think she would ever come across this blog). My sister-in-law and I are best friends. We go to Husker games together with our husbands whenever we can. She is what you would definitely call a die-hard fan and I’m not taking the phrase lightly. She’s often screaming and cheering louder than our husbands! 

Despite her love for Huskers football, she, unfortunately, doesn’t have much Husker gear. She’s always sporting my brother’s shirts and hats, but doesn’t have any Husker swag of her own. Well, for Christmas, I thought I’d change that. I found the husker planet store online and they had all sorts of items she had on her wish list. Little does she know, they will be all Husker football-oriented! 

First, I picked out some Nebraska pajama pants. She’s the type that likes to get cozy for bed, so I knew she’d dig these flannel, plaid pants. They’re 100% cotton flannel and they’ve got the embroidered “N” on the left front leg. The colors of the plaid are tints of the team colors, so even on her lazy days, her team spirit can still be there! 

Next, I picked her out a Husker t-shirt. This shirt truly has a more feminine appeal to it….and it should, because it’s actually made for women! It features a stylish scoop neck and distressed screen print graphics across the front chest, featuring the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers logo. It’s also 100% cotton and tag less, so it’s stylish and comfortable! It’s also pre-washed, so that makes it super convenient and I know it will fit her after she washes it. 

Then, I picked out a Nebraska shirt….perfect for game day! It’s got the look and style of a jersey, but it’s fitted and designed for a woman. It’s called the “Football Slub Tee”. Its relaxed, vintage clothing with that familiar vintage soft feel because it’s 100% cotton. I know she’ll definitely love what she unwraps from me this year, thanks to the husker planet store!

Monday, November 5, 2012

When Dog Days Are Literal


Halloween was a bit of a disappointment at our house this past year as there were significantly less trick or treaters in years past. While the weather wasn't perfect, I still thought the turnout was low. Maybe I'm just getting old, but when I was a kid Halloween was a race to get your hands on as much candy as possible and you'd go to any extreme to make sure that you did. Regardless, I don't know if it's the general media-induced fear of kids being out at night (even with their parents), but things were slow and that left me with a bunch of leftover candy.

Of course, in the shopping trips I made preceding the candy holocaust that was not to be, I found a lot of good deals on assorted sweets I would never buy under other circumstances. One of which would be jelly beans. I can eat about five of them, and then I'm done. So I figured, why not leave them out in a bowl for guests? Good idea, right?

Well, it is until your schnauzer decides to climb on your furniture in the middle of the night and devour an entire pound of them. The aftermath was not all. We're talking, carpet cleaning time here. Ugh...

Anyhow, note to self: Left unsupervised, even an otherwise well behaved dog will find his way into accessible sweets. If you're willing to do this, be prepared for the very gross aftermath.

Other pooch stories you might relate to:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Homeowners Associations

Homeowners associations are becoming commonplace in many new neighborhoods. If you are looking to buy a new home, make sure you know about HOA benefits and restrictions before you sign all of the paperwork. Make sure you will be able to live in the community before you move.
Homeowners associations are designed to help improve community appearance and value. Still, there are always little things that can cause annoyances to residents. Read all of the rules and regulations before you buy because sometimes you may not be able to live within the parameters. Here are some common restrictions that can become trouble spots:
  • Pontoon boats and RV’s must be stored out of sight.
  • Trash cans cannot be visible, except on trash-pickup day.
  • All cars must be parked in the garage (not on the street, not in the driveway) at all times.
  • Exterior and interior change requests must be approved by the HOA before you make them.
  • Remember, if you enter a neighborhood with an association, you are not able to opt out. You are stuck in the association until you move, so be willing to live within the guidelines.
Being part of a HOA is, by in large, a benefit — despite a few extra rules that improve your neighborhood. Your HOA will probably do regular walk-bys and drive-bys to make sure homes are in compliance. Keep up with regular maintenance and repairs to save a lot of work in the future because problems escalate into major repairs. It is a good idea to set aside about 1% of the purchase price of your home for annual repairs and preventative maintenance. Some trouble spots often include interior and exterior paint, gates, landscaping and roofing tiles. You can even ask them about their recommendations for professional services that ensure you are in compliance. This is particularly important if you are a business or working in a dangerous area. An example of such a service would be property condition assessments from Energy Finance Analytics, which is an external third party service.
If you are not in compliance with your HOA’s rules, you will probably be sent a letter telling you the problem and requesting that you fix it. You will then be given a grace period during which you can fix the problem at your own cost, followed by a re-inspection. If standards are still not met, you will receive a second letter, and the complaint is given to an attorney. The usual punishment is payment for when the HOA corrects the problem itself.

Your homeowners association is also designed to work for you. If you have any complaints, you can submit them to the office and they will be evaluated and taken care of. If the HOA is not responsible for the repair, like a broken street lamp or potholes, the complaint will be forwarded to the proper city offices. The association is also responsible for maintaining community-owned property such as median landscaping or certain fences and walls. Before you join a community, make sure its HOA does not have any outstanding financial situations you will be forced to help pay for because of major projects, maintenance or repairs.

HOA organizations are created to help you, the homeowner, have a comfortable, beautiful neighborhood to live in. Communities that have HOAs are more likely to increase in value and at a faster rate than those that don’t have homeowners associations because they are well-maintained and respected. If you are looking at a house in a neighborhood that has such an association, make sure you do all the research before you buy a home so you can live more comfortably within the rules and regulations.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Switzerland Takes Top Honors

I just read an interesting article the other day. According to, Switzerland is one of the most frequently traveled countries in all of Europe. That stat to me was a bit surprising to me, as I would have expected the big countries of Great Britian, France and Germany would take top honors, especially with their iconic buildings and historical sites.

However, it's quite hard to argue with the natural beauty of Switzerland, something that in my opinion is unrivaled in all of Europe. The Swiss Alps are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, and are frequented by the outdoorsy type from all over the world. Switzerland is also a relatively inexpensive country to travel across as well. Many hostels like this hostel in Interlaken Switzerland are on the affordable side for travelers looking to get the most value out of their traveling experience. The Swiss franc has also gained 24% against the euro since 2009, giving Switzerland a nice economic boost relative to their European neighbors.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Death Calculator! Woopieee!!

Life expectancy varies greatly from country to...
Life expectancy varies greatly from country to country. It is lowest in Africa and higher in Japan, Australia and Spain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By this point in time, I believe everyone who reads my blog knows just how much I love gadgets, tools, calculators, and little interactive sites that give you instant feedback. Why I love them, I do not know, but I do, so that’s that. Today I found an extremely “different” type of interactive tool, different and a bit morbid.

Today’s tool, is a “Death Calculator” in which you go down the list, and add or subtract years based on certain criteria ranging from diabetes in your family, to how much you exercise, to your living environment. 

The tool starts with the average life expectancy, which is about 79.

Anyhow, go through, honestly answer all of the questions and see how you come out. Remember, the further below 79 you get, the more of a wakeup call it should be that changes need to take place. Changes with healthcare, our way of live, and the environment that surrounds us. Make those changes today, start exercising, daily. You can’t go wrong.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mercedes Benze E320 Makes a Big Splash

Mercedes CLK 350 Cabriolet 2005 C209
Mercedes CLK 350 Cabriolet 2005 C209 (Photo credit: zrozir29)

The 2013 Mercedes-Benz E320 is one of the newest models of Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The current line-Benz E-Class includes three versions: the E320, E350 and E63 AMG. All this makes the use of different engines, the 2013 E320 is powered V6 produces 382 horsepower, the E350 that has a V8 engine, while the E63 AMG has a 6.3-liter V8 engine produces a whooping 518-hp.

A coupe version is complete on all the bells and whistles available, but E320 AMG headquarters and both sedan and station wagon models. In all the classic rear-wheel drive off, while all-wheel drive optional on the E550 sedan and E320. All versions use the seven-speed automatic transmission.

The E320 comes with all the luxury of a new powerful sound system, seats, electric front seats, electric front, dual-zone climate control, sunroof, and a. There are four zones of climate control and adaptive air suspension. AMG models have special exterior and interior design, adaptive sports suspension, upgraded brakes, sport seats, even though they have a higher price. What's quite amazing too, is that Mercedes recently improved their AS/RS systems, allowing them to produce their cars more efficiently. They decided however to not lower their prices, but to make their cars even better. Now there's a company that doesn't sell out.

According to opinion on the 2013 Mercedes-Benz E320, its performance is very gratifying, therefore, was widely acclaimed by our customers as well. This luxury sedan to 60 miles per hour reached in less than seven seconds. The handling unit and convince customers balance the suspension of the nucleus of the AMG.
Overall, the E320 popularity in all aspects is a luxury, prestige, security and performance with the arrival of the 2013 Mercedes Benz E320 is growing in the automotive industry.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Environmental Friendly Businesses

Traditional Agriculture Supply Chain Model in ...
Traditional Agriculture Supply Chain Model in India (Photo credit:
While working in the environmental consulting industry for quite some time, I started developing a keen interest in companies that do what they can to be eco-friendly. These companies lead the way with developing greener technologies that reduce our environmental footprint as well as saving us consumers some serious cash. Thanks to several sources, I put together a list of some of the greenest companies we can give thanks to:

1. Dell - They do a lot to try and reduce their total waste, and they can back up what they promise.
2. Hewlett Packard - HP began reporting greenhouse gases associated with its supply chain long before any other major tech companies were doing so.
3. Johnson & Johnson - In their broad industry representation, they stand out from their competitors for taking substantial efforts to reduce waste and energy.
4. Adobe - The buildings Adobe uses certainly are not cheap, but they are extremely energy efficient.
5. Nike - Having strong green roots from their very start, the sports giant has not lost sight of its core environmental foundation and continues to raise awareness for many environmental issues.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steel Bridge Clubs

Steel Bridge
Steel Bridge (Photo credit: GrigorPDX)
A world without engineers is quite unimaginable. There would be no roads, bridges, electricity, computers; basically there would be no society. One of the great organized activities that trains and tests the minds of future engineers are steel bridge clubs. Run through colleges and universities across the world, and sponsored by the ASCE/AISC, steel bridge clubs and concrete canoe clubs compete on a yearly basis to see who can build the best steel bridge or concrete canoe. Using materials like cold drawn steel materials supplied from Capital Steel and Wire and basic concrete, students must work together to build a lightweight and sturdy canoe or bridge that could work well large scale. What's more difficult is that the students have a limited time window to complete the tasks.

Although it is a competition, it is a great opportunity for students to meet similar students from across the world and to network with potential employers that help sponsor and put on the event. This year the event will be held at Clemson University in just a few weeks. If you're looking for other steel bridge clubs to get in touch with, take a look at this steel bridge club directory, which also has a custom Google search bar to search for activities that other related clubs are involved in.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butterfly - The best insect

beautiful butterfly
beautiful butterfly (Photo credit: Amy Berry)
Sometimes I forget that Butterflies are insects. Their bright and beautiful colors fluttering around the  sky is a classic depiction of a bright summer day. The Egyptians admired butterflies and included them in their hieroglyphs over 3,500 years ago, and the Aztecs associated butterflies with fire and war. Today they're more than just a bug, they're considered one of the most fragile and delicate creatures on our planet, and they describe a state of nervousness when you have "butterflies in your stomach". 

Many businesses and products are named after butterflies, including Butterfly, a restaurant in San Francisco, and the Valtorc butterfly valve that looks quite similar to a butterfly, but has absolutely no connection to the insect. What do you think about butterflies? Can you think of a better insect? Post your opinions in the comments section!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fastest Growing Countries

Now that 2011 is all wrapped up and we are full swing into 2012, we can accurately look at things that happened in 2011 and event start to compare them to 2012. That got me wondering what the fastest growing economies in the world currently are. I did some research and found an article by Business Insider. What really surprised me was how not a single North American country was on the list. Here are the countries broken down in order:

  1. Zambia
  2. Qatar
  3. Lebanon
  4. Jordan
  5. China
  6. Argentina
  7. Estonia
  8. Turkey
  9. Sri Lanka
  10. India
  11. Nigeria
  12. Egypt
  13. Kazakhstan
  14. Indonesia
  15. Lithuania
Quite a large part of their expansion is due to improvements in transportation systems, healthcare improvements, and a larger percentage of educated individuals staying in their home countries. With all this growth requires a huge amount of construction, and these countries demand more tractors, trench shoring equipment and scaffolding systems to keep up with their growth. All of the growth is quite amazing, and it's all taking place out of view!

Monday, April 9, 2012


Welcome (Image via
Hello, and welcome to my Journal blog! I hope you enjoy long rants and my thoughts and reflections about the world we live in, cause I'm just full of them! I love to hear feedback, and I love sharing thoughts and ideas with interested readers. If you have a topic, product or idea you would like me to reflect on, just let me know! Thanks for visiting!