After Work Drinks, Everyone?

As the days get warmer and beautifully longer, there is always an increase in the amount of alcohol that office workers consume. The allure of a beer garden is just too hard to resist when the sun is beaming down. After all, you never know when it will be this sunny again so of course you must make the most of it.Problem being that a stark increase in drinking inevitably leads to a stark increase in hangovers, carryovers and many other ghastly things from the night before. Whilst prevention is better than the cure there’s not much you can to do to curb your workers drinking habits. In this situation it seems that pre-empting is the only cure.Whilst a few naughty workers will pull a sick day, plenty more will still come into work despite the fact that their productivity and general usefulness is at an all time low. Dig through your office supplies to see what things can help snap your workers out of their alcohol daze.Hydration is paramount to beating a hangover. Water coolers or water filters are ideal ways to make sure workers have as much access to the liquid gold as they need. Do not over look another key refreshment – coffee, the caffeine will surely give them a much needed kick start in the morning. A few emergency packets of biscuits should also be on hand for a sugar boost. Offices can be unbearably hot in the summer, especially when trying to recover from the night before. Invest in some good quality fans and instruct whoever arrives first to turn them all on, thus creating a cooling environment for when the stragglers arrive.The day after a heavy night drinking is probably not the best time for your workers to be on the phone. So use this opportunity to encourage them to catch up with filing and any other tasks that are usually ignored. By the end of summer you could have yourself the most impressive and organised files in the country. The glare from a computer screen can also be unbearable when you’ve got a headache. Treat your office to some anti-glare screens to help employers work to the best of their ability.This may seem like a lot of extra effort to attend to the hangovers of our workers. However when you consider that hangovers cost the economy around 2.8bn each year due to productivity loss, it seems a small price to pay.

Selling Your Home: 5 Deal Killers That Are Lurking In Older Homes

You’ve listed your home for sale, you have a Buyer and now their Inspector is performing an inspection. You think you have a pretty good home, but do you really know for sure? What is he finding? Why is it taking so long? Here are 5 deal killers to watch out for when selling your home.

Deal Killer #1: FPE Breaker Boxes. These breakers and breaker boxes are known to have performance issues. They are no longer made, however they were very popular between the 1950′s and 1980′s. Many homes still have them.

Some of the problems were that the breakers would trip but still allow electricity to pass through the breaker. Another issue was that the breaker would not trip at all causing an over current condition which could lead to fires.

Just because the home is 30 years old and you’ve had no problems, don’t expect any Professional Real Estate Inspector to look past a FPE breaker box. The time theory does not hold water with electrical components. In my market, the cost to replace the box with a new 150 amp breaker box is anywhere from $1000 to $2500 depending upon the company and the extent of the work.

Deal Killer #2: Aluminum Wiring: The problem with aluminum wiring is that it expands and contracts more than copper wiring. So the components meant to be used with Copper wiring did not work well with Aluminum. The Aluminum would work its way loose over time and cause arcing, which lead to excessive heat, which leads to fires.

Even after the alloy was changed in Aluminum wiring, problems still persisted with the wiring.

Special outlets have to be used. These are marked CO/ALR. This means that the outlet is designed to work with either Copper or Aluminum.

“Pigtailing” the Aluminum wiring with Copper so that the Copper wiring can be attached to the outlets (remember, less expansion and contraction” is allowed by the National Electrical Code. No one is sure why. The Consumer Product Safety Commission does not see ‘pigtailing’ as a safe alternative.

Rewiring the home can be costly. The total price depends on to many variables to give you a price range here.

Deal Killer #3: Asbestos: Asbestos was used in many building materials and is still used in a very few even today.

Areas a Seller or Buyer will have to worry about it are in a few places. Pipe insulation on older heating pipes, vermiculite insulation, some paints and to a lesser extent, on roof and siding shakes.

Asbestos causes the most problem when it is in a loose state (friable) where particles can float around. We’re all aware of the health problems concerning Asbestos, so I’m not going to go into them here.

If you have Asbestos siding or roofing shakes/shingles, then there is a lesser worry because these are not friable unless broken.

Asbestos removal can be very, very costly and not likely a cost a new buyer will want to tackle shortly after moving into their new home.

Deal Killer #4: Composition Wood Siding: Some of this type of siding is known by it’s generic terms like Masonite and LP siding (there are other brands). This type of siding was (and some are still) involved in class action lawsuits.

This type of siding is basically constructed from pressed and glued wood particles, some as small as sawdust.

Some of the problems arise from poor installation techniques that allowed this siding to get wet. It would then start rotting and letting more water into the structure.

There have been many homeowners who joined the class action lawsuits, received money to replace the siding, but instead pocketed it and put their homes up for sale.

Composition wood siding companies only pay once for siding on a home. If a claim has been filed and paid out on a home, there’ll be no more money coming down the pipe for siding replacement on that particular home!

Deal Killer #5: Polybutylene (PB) plumbing lines: These are water supply lines that are grayish in color.

The problem was that this type of piping is known to burst, especially at the seams. Many of the class action lawsuits have been closed and it may be difficult, if not impossible, to receive any money for replacement if the home you are buying has PB plumbing.

Replacement cost can be in the thousands of dollars. Any good home inspector will call this out on their inspection report and likely recommend a licensed plumber to investigate. I don’t know of one reputable plumber who will recommend keeping the pipes in your home.

Granted, many of these Deal Killers only exist on older homes. However, especially in rural areas, we’ve seen these components show up on newer homes. How, I don’t know unless someone had a stockpile of these materials.

A pre-listing inspection by a reputable and qualified home inspector will bring these Deal Killers and other potential deal killing threats to you attention before listing your home. Playing ignorant about what is in your home (like some real estate agents recommend) will not save you from having to fork over some greenbacks before you home will sell.

Additive and Subtractive Programs

The terms additive and subtractive bilingual education came into use in the last quarter of the 20th century as it became apparent that substantive differences existed between two major forms of bilingual education. The terms suggested totally different aims and goals. They are commonly attributed to Wallace Lambert, who used them in a 1975 publication. In their simplest definitions, the terms relate to the linguistic objectives of the program: to provide students with an opportunity to add a language to their communicative skill sets or, conversely, to insist that children participating in the program subtract their home language from active use and concentrate all efforts on rapidly learning and refining their English skills.This simple statement of differences between program types masks important attitudes and ideas that underlie the ways in which language diversity is viewed by school people and education policymakers. In this entry, these differences are explored. Other entries in this encyclopedia delve more deeply into related topics mentioned here. Factors affecting the choice: additive or subtractive? The choice of either a policy aimed at fostering and enhancing the child’s home language as part of the goals of bilingual education or one that seeks the opposite-abandoning home language use as quickly as possible-does not occur by chance.Such choices are rooted in underlying assumptions concerning the benefits, risks, utility, and cultural valuing of languages other than English in the wider society. Similarly, whether native speakers of English are included in these programs determines in part what the objectives of the program will be. In the main, children who are native speakers of English would not be involved in programs of subtractive bilingual education.When such children are involved, the programs are often referred to as two-way immersion programs, also known as dual-immersion programs, because the learning of the two languages occurs in both directions. This distinction does not always hold in n in other countries. Hence, the analysis below is limited to what is clearly the case in the United States.