30. April 2012 · Comments Off on Green Cleaning Products – Utilizing Three Kitchen Ingredients · Categories: Home Improvement · Tags: , ,

Natural cleaning products can potentially clear all your fears of chemical exposure during cleaning. As it is organic, it is cheaper and far safer. The deepening understanding of the effects of conventional and chemical based cleaning solutions is making it a preferable option.

Instead of keeping your home from being a breeding place of bacteria and germs, chemically produced cleaning products, in a way makes it work in reverse. Its toxic ingredients are making your home a source of illnesses. Its effects extends far beyond your home, posing as a threat to the environment.

To prevent this from happening, it’s time for you to switch on green cleaning products. You can choose to buy or produce your own. Either of these ways will prove to be more cost-effective than toxic-based solutions.

Since buying green cleaning products involves no hard work except from making sure that it is indeed safe and effective, this article focuses more on producing your own natural cleaning solutions.

Most of the ingredients needed for the production of your own natural cleaning products are cheaply and easily acquired. They can always be found on kitchen cupboards. If not, they can sure be bought on your local grocery store.

For a less expensive but still effective cleaning alternatives, here are some of the household ingredients that you can mix and match with some of their corresponding uses.

Baking soda

When combined with water, this powder can be used as an excellent paste for polishing and cleaning. You can best used it on ceramics and it had also been proven to be useful on removing rust stains. Aside from that, you can also use baking soda as a deodorizer.

– Wipe tiles and ceramics with the use of sponge dipped in baking soda.

– Before vacuuming, sprinkle a small amount of baking soda on carpet then let it sit fo 10 minutes to absorb odors.

– Put a box of baking soda on refrigerator once every 3 months to deodorize.

– In a rust-affected surface, make a paste of baking soda with water then spread it on the affected area. Let it sit and then scrub it off.

Vinegar

Vinegar is an all purpose cleaner. The acid can be used to remove tile grout and toilet rings and it can be used to clean stoves, counter tops and furniture too. In some cases, you may need to mix it with water.

– On clogged drains and pipes, boil vinegar and pour it down.

– To remove coffee stains, simply wipe white vinegar on mugs and pots then rinse it clean.

– For toilet rings and stains, pour vinegar on toilet, wait for 10 minutes before flushing it.

Lemon juice

Same with vinegar, lemon juice is an acid too so it can be used in many similar ways. It can be used as an alternative to remove coffee stains and hard water deposits. It is also of great use in cleaning and polishing brass and copper as well as scrubbing off stains. Apart from, it can be also used as a freshener.

– Mix it with vinegar or baking soda to form paste good for cleaning dishes, surfaces and others.

– As a freshener, put lemon peels on garbage disposal.

– For polishing hardwood furniture, mix ? lemon juice with 1 cup of olive oil.

30. April 2012 · Comments Off on Ball Python Sexing · Categories: Pets · Tags: , ,

Determining the sex of your snake is a good thing to do or have done.

There are a couple of reasons for wanting to know the sex of your snake.

First: If you’re a breeder, you need to know the sex to help you determine who you are going to be breeding your snake to. Most breeders look for females that are normal, and males that are a morph.

Normal/Morph: what are you talking about. A normal Ball Pythons typically has light brown splotches all over it’s body with black outlining them, the belly is typically off white with splotches of black. A morph can be extremely different, their whole body can be pearl white, or white with orangish yellow splotches, an Albino. Or black with really bright yellow splotches, a Lemon Pastel. There are too many to even consider listing here.

OK, back to our original subject, determining the sex. There are two ways you can go about this, the first way is probing, used the most by pet stores and owners of older snakes. The second is the popping method. This method is used by experienced breeders and owners of young snakes.

Probing: To do this you would hold the snakes tail bottom up. You will then lubricate a sexing probe, which can be purchased in most reptile shops or online. You take the rounded tip and insert it into the cloaca towards to snakes tail. You DO NOT need to force it in, this can cause damage. Slowly inserting it into the genitalia. When you feel a slight resistance you stop and and place your finger at the point the probe and body meet. Slowly pull the probe out while holding that spot. This will enable you to count the sub scales on the underside of the snakes belly. Place the probe right next to the body towards the tail and count the amount of scales form cloaca entrance to the tip of the probe, males can range from eight to ten sub scales. There are known cases where the male only measured five to six. Females typically measure from two to four sub scales. Do to the variance this method of sexing is not always accurate.

Popping: This has to be done by someone with experience. When popping you are forcing the hemipenis out of the male and the hemilogs out of the female. This method is best done on newly hatched to young snakes. As they age they can control their body parts better. This is the most accurate method when done correctly. To do this method you should place the snakes head and upper half of the body into a snake bag. You will then grab the tail and flip it upside down, slowly apply pressure from the end of the tail toward the cloaca, please DO NOT APPLY TOO MUCH PRESSURE. This action with force the hemipenis and hemilog out to see. A female has small nubs, while a male has a long narrow tube resembling a penis. Again this method is best practiced by someone with experience.

I hope you have learned a little something today. There are several great books like Ball Pythons, by the Barker’s with photo’s and technique. Visit our site and become a member of the ball python forum. You can post question there and get additional answers.

26. April 2012 · Comments Off on Do Employee Incentive Programs Encourage Teamwork? · Categories: Management · Tags: , ,

Once upon a time, the way you got paid for the job you did was very simple. You worked a set number of hours and you got a commensurate amount of money. Later, when the idea of commission arose, it was more performance-related. If you sold enough, arranged enough meetings, or did enough of whatever else you had to do, you would get paid by the result. This was attractive to the most successful workers, as it provided them with a reward for performance, but it was less attractive to those whose abilities in the job were less measurable by statistics. As a consequence, there has been a kind of uneasy stand-off between assured salaries and commission-based remuneration for some time now.

In the present time, then, there have to be smarter solutions. There are genuinely some people who are excellent at their job in a way which does not fit in neatly to a commission based rewards program. Some people are more useful to a company because they are meticulous with their attention to detail and their fact-checking abilities. Others are worth their weight in gold because they are capable of motivating their co-workers to produce more and more each day. As things stand, however, there is no way of statistically monitoring someone’s motivational, improvisational brilliance. The boss who wants to be fair to their entire workforce needs to think outside the box when it comes to rewards and incentives. One way of doing this is to have a team incentive program.

A team incentive program may initially seem like it would reward the slackers in a team and punish the high achievers. After all, if the team is achieving results but some members are not quite hitting the heights, then it stands to reason that the team’s success is down in large part to the big hitters, and the rewards should go to them. And in many cases this is what happens. However, the fact of the matter is that a manager who knows their team can design a reward and incentive package that will creatively reward the team for their success while also paying tribute to the members of the team who really excelled themselves.

Rewards can be big or small, and can be given on the basis of measured results or on the say-so of other team members. There are several different ways that a person can impact on the positive performance of their team, and it merely starts with the statistical breakdown. By collating the opinions of other team members, as well as monitoring the group dynamic, it is possible for a boss to agree a reward package that will benefit not only the high achievers but also the hard workers, the motivators, the facilitators, and everyone else without whom a team would not function quite as well. It might usually be the running back or the wide receiver that scores a touchdown, but they would not have a chance to get there if the offensive line was not performing. A team is much greater than the sum of its parts, and a boss who realizes that can work wonders.

26. April 2012 · Comments Off on Who Says the Women In LA Are Shallow? · Categories: Self Improvement · Tags: , ,

For too many years I’ve longed to find my tribe in Los Angeles. I would meet other successful and interesting women, but for the most part I didn’t experience a true connect with them.

It was a painful process of trial and error looking for “my” community in this new city I had just moved to. In the past, my big pursuits had been man and career related.

This time I was pursuing a feminine community. I was so miserable and depressed and isolated. It was hard for me to understand why I was in so much pain because I “had a good life”. I was blessed with an amazing man, an exciting and successful career, but the absence of real women friends was one of the most excruciating pains I’ve endured.

I was comforted when I read someone’s observation of women in America, this man noted, “The terrible quality of life for the women. You’re so busy that there’s no time for yourselves, not enough time to be with other women. You’re so isolated from each other and that’s heartbreaking. Women can’t survive like that, it’s contrary to your nature. And I don’t think your society can survive the decimation of its women.” A Woman’s Journey to God, by Joan Borysenko.

AHHH! There it was…the words for what I had been feeling for so long. I honestly felt heartbroken and it seemed at the time like I was on the brink of survival.
With extreme gratitude to God and the beautiful spiritual teachers that guided me out of isolation, I am proud and relieved to say that my life is much different today.

A perfect example of this exquisite shift is that in my pursuit of attracting gorgeous, savvy, conscious, hip, fun, inspiring and enterpreneurial spirited women into my social and professional circles, I have had the great fortune of being introduced to Marcy Cole, coordinator of FIRST TUESDAY WOMEN’S GROUP where the primary purpose is to create a sense of community among a group of diverse, like-minded conscious women.

Marcy is also the founder and chair of “First Tuesday Circle of Giving” and look at what they did! They chose the Robbs family in Los Angeles to sponsor…

Here’s what Marcy shared with me recently…It is well worth the read when you have the time to sit back and feel the pride and delight over the miracle that was created for this family.

“As you are well aware, we researched and carefully chose a family that was not only needy but very worthy in their willingness to partner with us in improving the quality of their lives. In the 4 1/2 months since we met the Robbs, we’ve gotten to know Laura Robbs as a woman who, despite her enormous daily stressors, has managed to worked diligently each day in an effort to support herself and her 5 children. The 5 of us on the steering committee in LA were initially sickened to witness how they were living, and yet moved at how much love there is between this mother and her children and how precious each one of them really are. Every cent this woman earns goes to rent and food, but these kids still know how to love and be loved.

Thanx to generous financial donations, coupled with the many wonderful donations of goods and services, we pulled it off with zest , love, and style!! The climactic day really felt like it was something out of Oprah/Extreme Makeover episode…but better….because WE able to bear witness to how our community grass roots efforts succeeded in making a major impact on one family consisting of 6 individual lives; its ripple effect surely to be present for years to come.

So needless to say, I have found many, many women and groups and organizations with which I’m totally inspired by. My female connections are more abundant than ever, and as a result I am thriving more than ever in ALL areas of my life.

A little mindless fun can be great on some occasions, but for me the soulful sisterhood is what excites me more.

As you become clearer and clearer as to what is most important to you, reach out and discover where your tribe is and who is just WAITING to meet you!

To find out more about First Tuesdays Women’s Group, email MarcyCole@gmail.com

18. April 2012 · Comments Off on Movie Reviews For Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants · Categories: Arts And Entertainment · Tags: , ,

I wanted to watch this movie as I heard it was close to the book, albeit a few changes, as most adapted books inevitably go through for the big screen. I also wanted to watch it as it starred America Ferrara (from Ugly Betty and Ugly she is not!). It is a story of friendship amongst four lovable girls as they turn 17 on their summer holidays. Carmen (America Ferrara) the writer, Tibby (Amber Tamblyn) the rebel, shy and beautiful Lena (Alexis Bledel), and wild and unstoppable Bridget (Blake Lively).

It surrounds a pair of jeans that fits them all perfectly (hence the name), and the ‘sisterhood’ decide to wear them each in turn during their summer holidays and to make a mention if anything of any note happens whilst they have these ‘magical’ pants on.

As they have never been apart from each other all their lives, the pants immediately represent their angst as they go on separate lives from each other for the first time, a kind of focus point to remember each other by.

Bridget (Blake Lively) has the most energetic role as she is a soccer star, going to a girls training camp in Mexico or as Libby put it “El campo del futbol”. However Bridget has lost her mother, and although her friends and extra activities have helped her avoid it, she has never come to grips with such a monumental loss, and the movie brings this bad episode as a stark reminder of the void she is missing.

Lena I found was the most lovable of the lot, her shyness, and innocence (and apparently she is really that shy in real life) makes her adorable, and those lovely puppy dog eyes makes her even more so, she is visiting her eccentric Greek grand parents Yaya and Papou played magnificently by Maria Constadadou, and George Touliatos respectively. Bridget visits her separated father in a development, and comes to the shocking knowledge that he is about to be married to another woman with kids of her own, the biggest change has to be for Tibby, whilst “her friends jet off on their little adventures” she is stuck at Walmall (Wal-Mart anyone?) trying to raise enough money for new video equipment, as she is an aspiring documentary director, she meets 12 year old Bailey (played superbly by Jenna Boyd) who really steals every scene she is in, it is impressive such a presence from such a little girl.

This is a nice family movie, and you see their world through their eyes as they are forced to confront some painful issues.

15. April 2012 · Comments Off on Moral Decay · Categories: Ethics · Tags: , ,

I recently went out to dinner with a business friend who owns a medium sized manufacturing company with just over 50 employees.  Over a couple of cocktails he started to express to me his frustration with his people.  He claimed to pay them well, provides a comfortable work environment, and offers a respectable benefits package.  Regardless, he wished his people were more dedicated and professional in their attitude.  He yearned for the old days when there was more pride in workmanship (and you thought I was the last of the whiners).  I’ve known my friend for a long time and know his management style; he works well with people and although he insists on organization and structure, he tends to empower his workers to assume responsibility as opposed to micromanaging them to death.  Frankly, I know a lot of people who would love to work in his environment, yet he still had this problem of employee attitudes and asked me for my thoughts on it.

I told him what he was experiencing was a simple matter of moral decay.  Regardless of the work environment he provided and his interpersonal relations with his employees, there are other forces at work, namely our eroding system of values.  I explained the following to illustrate the point:

*  It used to be a person’s word was his bond.  If he made a verbal commitment, you could count on it.  Today, lying and deceit are commonplace in just about every corner of our society.  Consequently, our expectations to honor a commitment have been lowered and, even worse, we have lost faith and trust in our fellow man.

*  We used to have dedicated workers who cared about their work and doggedly saw a task through to completion.  Now, we no longer associate our reputations with our work products.  This may be because we have laws today making it difficult to reprimand or fire anyone regardless of their performance.  Further, we now suffer from the “99% complete” syndrome whereby we never seem to finish anything with the excuse that, “We’ll get around to it.” In other words, determination and pride have been replaced by indifference which erodes production and opens the door for competition.

*  We used to respect our bosses and were loyal to our companies.  As long as you were employed by someone, you bit your tongue and endeavored to help the company succeed.  For example, I knew a loyal Boeing employee who steadfastly refused to fly on anything but Boeing aircraft.  Today, concepts such as corporate loyalty and respect are a thing of the past as employees no longer trust management, and management doesn’t trust its workers, all of which leads to an inordinate amount of back stabbing and political maneuvering.  It’s no small wonder that today’s employees are regarded more as free agents as opposed to team players.

To me, morality means giving of one’s self, putting aside our self interests for the common good of all.  However, if in fact such things as honor, courtesy, pride, respect, sacrifice, courage, dedication, commitment, loyalty, honesty, perseverance, integrity, and professionalism, are adjectives of the past, then we are indeed witnessing the moral decay of our society.  Actually, it’s rather remarkable we have progressed as far as we have as a species, but it makes you wonder how much farther we would be if we had the moral fortitude to overcome greed, corruption, and other vices.  As Samuel Clemens correctly observed, “Man is the only animal that blushes.  Or needs to.”

Interestingly, American morality seems to change whenever we change presidents from one political party to another.  I can think of no other single event which benchmarks a change in our culture than the passing of the presidential torch.  Consider for example, the social changes incurred in the transition from Eisenhower to Kennedy, from Carter to Reagan, and Bush to Clinton.  A change in Presidential party signals a change in social norms and moral priorities.

So what can be done about deteriorating moral values?  You would think that our religious institutions would have a significant role to play here.  Not necessarily.  There are those who go to church simply to absolve themselves of their sins from the preceding week, not to correct any character flaw.  After being “cleansed” they revert back to their indiscretions.  No, we need to lead by example, reward accomplishments and truly penalize violations as opposed to looking the other way.  There will always be those who are morally handicapped and persist in attempting to undermine our system of values, but we owe it to ourselves and our posterity to persevere.  Our ability to surmount moral corruption defines who we are as a civilization.

Years ago, Arnold Toynbee said succinctly, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder,” meaning our social problems are actually self inflicted.  If we can cause the problems, I would like to believe we are strong enough to solve them, regardless of the price to be paid.  Going back to my friend’s problem, what is needed is a little inspiration, hope, belief in ourselves, a little brother/sisterhood, and a legal system that doesn’t stifle morality, but rather promotes it.  Regardless of the magnitude of the job, from major to menial, workers must believe they are leading an honorable and worthwhile life.  There is nothing wrong with ambition, as long as it doesn’t lead to incessant politics.  There is nothing wrong with personal achievement/recognition, as long as teamwork doesn’t suffer.  There is nothing wrong with criticism, as long as it’s constructive, not destructive.  Basically, we just need some common sense and respect for the human spirit.

So, the question comes down to this; Do we still possess the fortitude to do what is morally right?  That is a question for each of us to answer and for our heirs to judge.

14. April 2012 · Comments Off on Fighting March Madness Fully-Armed · Categories: Home And Family · Tags: , ,

“I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.” Herbert Rappaport

The first official day of spring doesn’t exactly bring with it the same anticipation as does, say, Christmas, or one of my kid’s birthdays. It’s not as though gifts need to arrive on time or one has cultural expectations or deadlines to meet. But a palpable angst about greeting it fully prepared meets me most every year. And this year was no different. I felt an overwhelming need to have all of my little duckies in a row before today. I wanted closets weeded, drawers re-organized, kitchen cabinets swiped. Winter stuff boxed up. And spring’s cheer to pervade each and every one of my living spaces.

I wanted fresh air, literally and metaphorically, to invade my mind, my family and my home. I longed to roll up my sleeves and wipe away cobwebs and crumbs. To donate outgrown clothing to a local charity. To go through my medicines and check expiration dates. Go though my business invoices and put them in chronological order. Clear out my files and discard un-interesting material. Delete months-old emails from my inbox, for crying out loud!

And all that my husband wanted was to see Kentucky beat UConn. He longed to lounge on the sofa in front of the tube—chips and salsa within immediate, easy reach—all weekend long, while I faced the daunting task of cleaning up my entire life.

Add to that the news that my mom was having some health concerns, and I felt particularly guided to drive the 150 mile trek to her home and spend all day Saturday visiting with her.

Motherhood brings with it a near-constant feeling of unsettled-ness. Of never really feeling like you’ve truly got it all together. Because just when you finally make it past one hurdle you’ve got another one staring you in the face. You watch your teen sail successfully through mid-terms only to sit through an unpleasant parent-teacher conference discussing her deficiencies. Or you get your whole family safely through flu season only to deal with each member contracting that dreaded stomach virus. You shovel out from underneath one last snowstorm only to get hit with high winds and hail. Or you finally breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve successfully battled the winter blahs only to find yourself emotionally unprepared for the perpetual cheerfulness of spring.

March madness.

I woke up Sunday morning feeling particularly unsettled. Having just returned home from a long day out-of-state visiting my mother and other family and friends, I looked around at my house and felt an overwhelming need to get my act together. Perhaps it was from dealing so personally with the realities of old age. Perhaps it was the lunchtime banter of aches and pains amongst the seventysomething set. Perhaps it was the long drive home giving me far too much time for introspection. But I returned feeling compelled to infuse a “Lysol moment” into my life. I craved cleanliness and orderliness. Freshness and vitality. Spring cheer.

Perhaps your circumstances are dissimilar to mine but your goal is the same. Perhaps you, too, desire to greet spring with enthusiasm. With a fresh start. With energized focus. Here, then, is my formula for fighting March Madness fully-armed:

Be well-rested.

It’s hard to face organizational and creative challenges, not to mention a whole new season, deprived of sleep. Research tells us we need at least 6-7 hours a night. You should find yourself generally able to conquer the world if you get this one thing right.

Be strong.

Get plenty of aerobic exercise and strength training. Gliding through spring requires you to be in fighting shape. You need to be sure that the endorphins are swirling through your body, so make sure that you’re moving, lifting and sweating. Whether you’re already biking and hiking, or you’re inside swimming or doing Pilates, keep at it. You want to shed those extra seven pounds that winter inevitably brings (I picked them up, too) and get down to your best shape. (And bathing suit season is just around the corner.)

Be disciplined.

Be mindful of what you’re eating, what you’re reading and what you’re watching. Spring brings with it too many chores to allow sloppiness or laziness into your days. That can wait ‘til summer. There are gardens to tend, decorating projects to undertake and end-of-year school events to plan. Leave the self-indulgence for later, after spring’s demands are fully met head-on. Attack closets and cabinets with a vengeance now so that you might enjoy summer’s own rewards later.

Be helpful.

The sure-fire way to settle any feelings of unsettled-ness is to do something nice for someone else. My own quick trip to visit my family this weekend brought me deep-seated feelings of satisfaction. It did my heart good to see my mother looking as well as she did; it calmed any anxieties I faced about possible health concerns for her. The fastest lift out of the doldrums is service to others. So look around and see where you might fit in community service. Or of simply providing a meal to a neighbor or friend in need.

Be optimistic.

No other season spells optimism as does spring. New life bursts through both grass and eggs. The sun shines. Clouds disappear. Allow yourself to be liberated by its uplifting, energizing days. Take a walk around your neighborhood or a quick spin through your nearest mall. Enjoy the visual delights of spring: the yellows, purples, pinks and greens. Pick a flower. Grow wheatgrass for your kids’ Easter baskets. Plant some herbs. Think of ways in which you might introduce new life into this world.

I confess to not having met all of my goals for this first day of spring. There are still a few messy cabinets and sticky floors begging for attention. But I am focused on fighting this madness before the day is over. Fully-armed. And ever so thankful that spring is finally here!

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12. April 2012 · Comments Off on California Desalination Report With More Than a Grain of Subjectivity Part 3 · Categories: Environment · Tags: , ,

How unique is the impact of desalination operations on the environment?

The PI report points out two key areas of desalination project impact on the environment: the effect of their high-salinity discharge on aquatic life and the potential impingement and entrainment of plant intake facilities. Although the report claims that safe disposal of plant concentrate is a challenge, it fails to mention that there are over two decades of experience of safe concentrate disposal from both seawater and brackish water

desalination plants in the US and worldwide. It also ignores that there are no known cases where desalination discharges have actually caused significant environmental alterations of the ambient aquatic environment. In recognition that desalination plant concentrate can be managed without any measurable challenges, after rigorous technical and scientific review and analysis, in the summer of 2006, the San Diego and Santa

Ana Regional Water Quality Control Boards granted waste discharge permits to the 50 mgd Carlsbad and Huntington Beach desalination plants. These permits encompass desalination plant concentrate and the other side-streams (membrane cleaning solutions and pretreatment filter backwash) generated at the desalination plants.

The PI report claims that “impingement and entrainment of marine organisms are among the most significant environmental threats associated with seawater desalination”. This claim, however, is not supported by any data nor by any full-scale studies of existing seawater desalination intakes; neither is it substantiated by the observations and/ or monitoring of aquatic life in the vicinity of plants operating along coastal Spain, Israel or Australia—countries which have stringent regulations and elaborate legal and monitoring frameworks for protecting marine environments, comparable to that of California. The report also remains silent on the fact that existing state water project’s open intakes along the Sacramento Bay-San Joaquin Delta collect source water from aquatic environments that are much richer in life and more fragile in ecological

balance than the bare ocean bottom areas in the vicinity of most of the proposed open-intake seawater desalination intakes and the fact that these fresh water intakes collect an order-of-magnitude larger volume of water than the proposed desalination projects. This subjective review

of environmental impacts of the desalination plants underrates the authors’ ‘genuine’ concerns regarding the impact of various water supply practices on California’s environment and the fair comparison of this impact.

How does desalinated water quality fare against other alternatives?

The PI report states that use of desalinated water can be acause of health concerns and may result in water distribution system corrosion. Using outdated information regarding boron rejection of seawater membranes, the report claims that desalinated seawater can contain boron at levels exceeding the applicable safe drinking water requirements. The report states that “RO membranes can remove only between 50 and 70 percent

(of the 4.5 mg/L of boron contained in the ocean water) and therefore may exceed the California Department of Health Services Action Level for boron of one mg/L.”

Practitioners of seawater desalination know well that the quoted boron removal levels refer to membranes that are two generations old. Currently available seawater desalination membranes can reject over 90 percent of the boron contained in the seawater and according to

the September/October 2006 issue of the International Desalination Association’s Water News, “research is underway to achieve 93 to 95 percent boron removal.”

Similarly, using outdated information or misinterpreting existing studies or data, the report raises unfounded concerns regarding other water quality parameters such as disinfection byproducts (DPBs), algal toxins and mineral content of the desalinated water. The report fails

to acknowledge that over two dozen large, existing brackish water desalination plants in Florida have been successfully supplying drinking water (of quality and corrosion potential similar to that of the proposed California desalination plants) for over 15 years without health or distribution system related problems. Similarly, the hundreds of seawater desalination plants worldwide have been providing safe potable water of reliable and consistent quality for over two decades without causing problems such as the 1993 Cryptosporidium outbreak in Milwaukee, Wis. or the recent corrosion-related lead water quality challenges in Washington, D.C.

Although desalinated water from the numerous existing brackish water desalination plants in California have been distributed to the public water supply for decades, the report makes the erroneous statement that the, “overall effects of desalinated water on California water distribution systems are not yet known.” Obviously, they are—but apparently not to the writers of the PI report.

Summary and conclusions

The recently published Pacific Institute report offers a subjective opinion of the viability of desalination in California that self-servingly renders most of the ongoing desalination initiatives immature. What is immature, however, is the knowledge and understanding of the report’s authors of the current status of desalination technology and their understanding of the critical importance of the development of a diversified water portfolio

that includes a well balanced mix of conventional water supply sources, water reclamation, conservation and desalination for the long-term sustainability of the California water supply and socioeconomic development of the state.

PI report’s opinion is not shared by the people of California, who in 2002 voted in support of Proposition 50, opening the opportunity for exploring brackish and seawater desalination as a new and reliable source of water supply for the state. Nor it is endorsed by the California

Department of Water Resources, which incorporated the development of 450 to 500 mgd of new desalination projects into their 2005 California Water Plan.

The key fatal flaw of the report is that it fails to recognize the wealth of international and domestic desalination experience and to understand the applicability of this experience to the site-specific conditions of California. Rather than pointing to proven solutions and state-of-the art knowledge associated with the use of desalination technology, the report tries to paint a picture of a water supply technology

of enigmatic problems and effects unknowable and “not yet seen” in California. Proving the century-old Will Rogers line that “common sense is not that common”, the Pacific Institute desalination report contributes little practical value or constructive input toward solving California water challenges and provides no useful, up-to-date information for readers interested in gaining an accurate and objective understanding of

the challenges and solutions associated with the use of desalination today.

Recognizing the value and importance of desalination for the state over the next five to 10 years, many California communities plan to make desalination a permanent part of their water portfolio. Approximately 20 medium and large desalination plants supplying up to 5.7 percent of California’s total urban water demand are projected to be built by the year 2015. Although existing fresh water sources, conservation and reuse will continue to play a central role in the state’s long-term water supply strategy, seawater desalination has unique appeal to many coastal communities because it allows access to a reliable and droughtproof source of drinking water that can be developed and controlled locally at

costs competitive to incremental expenses associated with the development of other water supply alternatives.

02. April 2012 · Comments Off on What You Can Learn From President Obama’s Mother-in-Law · Categories: Relationships · Tags: , ,

Now that Michelle Obama’s mother is living in the White House, will the cruel jokes and snide remarks about mothers-in-law finally stop? Will Marian Robinson, as first mother-in-law, be able to pave the way for acceptance, even respect, for this much-maligned branch of the family tree? Only time, and the nightly comedians, will tell.

If you have a new son-in-law yourself, you can use Mrs. Robinson and other successful in-laws as your guides. Let them teach you how to adjust to your new role. It’s not easy. Once you’ve made the final payment for your daughter’s dream wedding, you may find yourself relegated to the back burner.

Instead of you, your daughter’s new husband is now the one who shares her confidences. After spending the past couple of decades as an active and involved mom, do you now feel like a Lame Duck? Even more important, how can you learn to relate to the guy who is now the center of your daughter’s universe? Here are a few tips to get you started with your own son-in-law:

1. Move slowly into the role of mother-in-law, remembering that your daughter’s spouse arrives with his own issues, unique temperament and family rituals. Learn more about him and his family rather than expecting him to blend into yours. Remember that family loyalty goes both ways.

2. Imagine the situation from your son-in-law’s perspective. Recognize that he wants to build and strengthen his new family unit. Doris is trying to let go of her need to continue such a tight relationship with her daughter. “I know she is bonding with her husband, so I don’t snoop or ask too many questions. As an only child I don’t like to go halves with anything, so it’s hard for me to share my precious daughter. But I know that her husband has to be the focus for her now.”

3. Respect your daughter’s choice and learn to love her life partner. By focusing on how happy your daughter is and on your son-in-law’s positive qualities, you’ll be building on the mutual good feelings. This can serve as an emotional savings account you can draw on later when other situations lead to tension between you.

4. Hold back on your opinions, advice and constructive criticism, at least until there is more trust in the relationship. This can be a challenge, as Nancy found: “I’m very careful about what I say, so I don’t think my son-in-law knows that I’m holding back. We get along fine on the surface but I hope that some day we can deal with deeper issues.”

5. Avoid hot button issues like finances, religious observances, and work/home responsibilities. By taking sides, you make it harder for the newlyweds to sort out these issues for themselves. When you have expectations that are not shared by them, recognize that now it’s their turn to make this type of decision.

6. Be available to help when asked but don’t intrude. As the new couple settles into their routine and lifestyle, they may ask for your help or support. Pitch in and be responsive to their needs when you can, but don’t overstep the boundaries.

7. Find support from your spouse and friends. When you’re frustrated, share with others who will understand what you’re going through and use them as a sounding board. When all else fails, laugh together as inductees in the sisterhood of mothers-in-law.

These tips can help you build the kind of relationship with your son-in-law that Marian Robinson has with President Obama. He and Michelle respect her and trust her to help with their children. Embrace your new role of mother-in-law. You, too, have the power to make this an enriching chapter for everyone in the family.

© 2009, HerMentorCenter.com