Don’t be a fool stay in school

th (25)Hate it or love it our public school systems now have a new guideline that allow for the teachers to be graded and hold to a higher, universal standard. It allows parents, students, and our government to compare and decide if they are getting the best from their school and its school.

Even with this new standard of grading teachers and the supposedly higher standard to hold each teacher up to, our overall graduation rate of high school students are still not that great. Even though the percentage of students graduation has grown a whopping one percent in the past two years in comparison to some other nations it still is not enough.

Only eighty two percent of those people that are classified as high school students graduated last year and should graduate this year. Even to my ears it seem like a lot, but it is only like four fifth of the student population graduation. According to the most recent report, released one in five high school students will graduate this upcoming graduation season. With a goal of at least ninety one percent by two thousand and twenty, we as a community have a lot to do. As of right now, it is not looking so good.

Even so, there is some hope, it is plausible. It seem if we focus on those students in areas where they are substantially behind the rest of the country, such as Washington D.C. . It has been reported to be graduating only sixty-five of its students last year; we can really boost our overall score.

In this current year area that are of a lower income bracket have a lot less graduating students. One would think that this country of ours, which is supposedly filled of so many opportunities, this would no longer be a problem. I mean I had a college roommate that was from a small rural town, where they have been greatly effective by the economy. He said that many of his friends had to drop out to help with their family and their families’ business and farms. On the other hand, they lost the great battle of unwed teen pregnancy.

I am saying to say that he comes from small rather poor town that has struggled to have its students stay in school and graduate. My roommate family is quite wealthy and his mother is a whiz with finances, so they were able to keep their family fortune when the economy took a turn for the worst. After graduating school, he was able to go on to college and pay for it without having any debt by the grace of his grandparents. They had set up a college trust fund for him, his sisters, and cousins.

However, he whole-heartedly believes that if he were not born into such a wealthy and affluent he, almond with his friends and the rest of the county, would not have graduated. If his family needed his help without even a second thought, he would have quit school and taken on a job. With the hopes and intentions to return later to complete his education.

I know that if I did not have the support of my family doubt that I would have finished.

 

 

Know your service providers: it will save you a bundle

thCDXQTZBUMany people do not know this about me but a have a few rental properties scattered across the country. I am not a tycoon or anything but I am working my way to this. The thing about having properties in different localities you have to know who to call and who to deal with something happens to the house or apartment building. If there is a plumbing issue, or something happen to the roof, whatever. You have to have your go to guy, girl, or company wherever you do business. I mean if you are like me you do not want to waste your money on crappy craftsmanship or someone just looking to score a quick buck.

Take this for instance. Just the other day one of my tenants in Virginia gave me a call. Turns out the furnace was not working and it had been cold the last few days. She was hoping I could send someone out to check it and have it fix. I told her of course I would. Not to worry and that I am happy that she brought it to my attention as quickly as she did. I also told her that I would knock a hundred dollars off her rent for next month. For the inconvenience of course.

This means I have to call my HVAC person. If I was not privy to who does the best work, the most honest and reliable I would be in a pickle. My house is nowhere close to where my tenant resides. Therefore, it pays to do a little research whenever you consider purchasing a rental home in any area.

However, of course, I have done my research and I call the HVAC team that I have been dealing with for years. They offer great and reliable service. They are honest and dependable, and I never feel as if I had just been took with I do business with them. I cannot stand soliciting a service to have it done then feel as though I have been bamboozled. You know what I mean. That feeling of being taken advantage of, it is such a horrible feeling. I like to avoid it all cost.

Anyway, they said that they would send someone over there within the next two hours, I told them that was great because I know how cold it has been for them in Virginia. I gave my tenant a call back to let her know to expect a technician there within two hours. Not to worry about the bill they already know to charge me. All she has to do is let them in so they can do their work.

After I finished talking to my tenant, it got me to thinking about my other properties in the area. I own three houses and one apartment building all within the same county. I think I will have every furnace and cooling serviced and condition this week just to be on the safe side. I normally would have done this in the spring but it just slipped my mind.   I gave my HVAC team a call back schedule to have maintenance done to all of my properties within the week.

That is how you do it; see how easy that was handled?   All because I do my homework. After I bought my first house out of town, it really taught me what I should and should not do. Now I have an entire protocol set in place so I will never again have to go through what I went through with the first one. That was such a nightmare to deal with that I just sold the house after six months.

A walk in the woods

th3PM1VJFFI have travel all around the world. Have seen many different sites. Beautiful architecture in the south of Rome. Great gardens in the English countryside. Fountains in the French centers. No matter where I go nothing can compare to the beauty and sense of tranquilly of woods right behind my house. I have no idea what is but when I am outside and all I can see are trees, shrubs, grass, and flowers as far as the eye can see I am at home. Some days I just go out and walk to just sit under a tree and just be. Completely unplugged from the world.

I travel a lot for business although I try to be home every weekend it still is hard on my family and me. However, I have to remember it was worse. For a while, I was away from home for two to three weeks at a time, stay for two weeks then I was gone again. This got old fast. I was missing my children growing up, the comfort of my wife. It was hard, as soon as a position became available that required less travel I took it. Now I get to be home on the weekend.   In addition, a few days doing the week during the slow seasons.

When everything has taken a toll on me and I just need some time to center myself and get back to the basic I like to take long walks or sometimes long naps in the woods. Just to marvel at all that God has blessed me with, at all of His creations. How everything is balanced and works perfectly without any hiccups. Smooth like eggs!

That is probably why I enjoy hunting so much. Not just for the adrenaline rush, every hunter received when you find you target and get your kill. No, that is not it. Even though I love that feeling, I am not going to lie. Nevertheless, a hunter must also love nature because there are many times when a person will take out to the woods, with great hope and adieu, to leave empty handed. Even in that, he would have seen an amazing show. If only he paid attention. Like me, I pay attention. I cannot count the number of times I have let an easy target walk away because I was marveling at something. On the other hand, the scene was so sweet and perfect that the crack from my gun would disturb its perfect serenity. During those moments I let whatever I am hunting pass on by. Maybe next time.

That has not to say that I am a bad hunter or that I do not know what I am doing. Just the opposite. I understand and believe that each kill I make is a sacrifice. One that each animal has made for me to be able to feed my family and myself. I have to think like that so I can appreciate the animal’s life and what it gave up for me to enjoy a great meal.

Some will not understand but those are not the people I am talking to. For those that do, they will read this and find comfort that they are not alone in their thinking. That I encourage and hope they remain as such, and teach their children as well.

Schedule regular appointments for maintenance

thJ8NKOWPKIf you want to make sure that you air conditioning unit last for years and years to come, schedule HVAC technician to come out and service your unit a few times a year. At just the right moment during the year. Ask the pros they will tell you the same thing scheduling the air conditioning mutinous is crucial to maintaining a well running machine. If you are in need I have a few tips that will keep that necessary heating and cooling unit running smooth like eggs.

Keep regular appointments

By keeping regular maintenance, checkup appointments with your HVAC technician he will be able to spot any problems you may be facing at the beginning instead after some time when these type of things tend to ruin and corrode other parts of the unit. It is also great for preventative measures.

Best time of year to schedule

When you are scheduling your appointments consider the seasons and temperature outside. During the summertime without the air conditioning unit working properly, it may become too hot inside of your home to go without the cool temperatures that air conditioning brings. If it is too cold, your household cannot go without its heating unit to keep all those freezing temperatures outside where it belongs.

Many experts suggest that the best time to schedule any type of appointment dealing with the heating and cooling unit is when it is not too warm or too cold. Those times of years where the heating and cooling unit is not in use. Such as spring and fall. Most people around the country have no need to have these units operating. Moderate temperatures outside create moderate temperatures indoors.

What should the technician inspect?

There are many different aspects of the systems that should always be inspected. Always confirm that the air filters are cleaned and if need be have them replaced. If they are too dirty, it will inhibit the system from running efficiently throughout the entire year. Ensure that the compressor housing is cleared and cleaned out. The technician ought to check out the ductwork. Remove any type of blockage or trash that may be in it. Finally yet importantly, the technician should have all loose screws tighten and all stripped screws removed and replace.

Although technicians will normally come with a list of items to check and go over, there is nothing wrong being informed and prepared. Knowing what he or she should look for and serviced will benefit you not only during the system servicing but also during the time in between appointments.

After you have had your heating and cooling systems serviced, you will enjoy breathing in nicely filter air by a unit that is working at its optimum levels.

Fair warning if you are considering having your system service for the first time then always do your research before consulting a company.   Ask around and look for online reviews of different HVAC businesses.   One that I have always used and I have been satisfied with each visit is All Star Mechanical in Lansing. One of the top HVAC companies in Lansing. I love them. So will you, trust me.

Deer Camp

thWVLKJXJCI have been waiting all year for this moment. It is like the ultimate holiday, but even better. Unlike most holidays that only, last a day or three this one last 2 whole weeks, an entire fourteen days.

For those that have never been or those folks that are sensitive to this type of thing you may not agree with me. However, for those that know, it is like none other. Something we die hards wait the entire year for, what we plan, and ocher state. A time when men can be men. It separates the boys from men.

Deer camp.

It is the best of times, go out into the wild. Packed and prepared, back to the root of society if you do not kill you do not eat. I love it. I prepare for it all year, literally the day after I get back deer camp I start buying and storing things for the next one. My bags are packed at least two months before November 12. When I prepare to go up north to bring in the deer season I have a few key items that I have to have. No matter what. They allow my stay to productive and comfortable.

Bedding

I know some people will not agree with me on this part. Some may even call me soft but I have to have an air matters. Preferably, a queen size one. I suffer from back issues and have problems with sleeping on the ground. When I leave out I check to make sure that my matters is in great conditions. No leaks or rips. I also make sure my mattress pump is in great working condition. I have a great sleeping back that is workable in below zero degree weather. The past three years I have also have included a blanket my wife quilted for me.

Now that my bedding has been inspected and packed the next item on my checklist.

Shelter

Before I set out I like to make sure my tent is in great condition, by setting it up a few times out of the year if only in my back yard. Throughout the year, I consistently weather proof it for rain and snow. Sleeping outside in northern Michigan during the middle of November, you have to make sure to stay dry and warm. Otherwise, you run the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. As I said before I always open it up a few times during the year for a variety of reasons. To air it out, to check out my weatherproofing, make sure the seams are tight and are not in need of patches, and simply because I like sleeping outside. It is usually some of the most comfortable and undisturbed rest I get.

Guns and Ammunition

How can you expect to harvest a deer if your sights and equipment is raggedy? I always take each gun I plan of packing to the shooting range. If I am unable to go throughout the year like I would like then at least a week before I leave out. Check the sights; clean them out, double check that each one is functionally properly.

Patience

This is the hardest part of getting ready is the wait. Especially those last couple of days, its seems that time moves exceptionally slower than any other time during the year. My excitement makes it difficult for me to wait. However, patience is necessary before and during the hunt.

Just a few of the things I like always have to have, those things that are necessary for me during deer camp.   Right now, I am working on my patience; everything else is set ready to go. It is just a waiting game now and I can only hope that I am the winner at the end of this. Pray for my family and me I know that I am driving them crazy.

Consider using a professional

thYXGUCN8JWhen it comes to taking care of low limbs and branches, anyone with knowledge of trees and plants can take care of this without much problems. Tree pruning does not have to be complicated when it comes to simple maintenance procedures. However, if you are trying to train young trees then license arborists should only do this. When it comes to this type of tree pruning, only use professional services. There are different types of cuts and trims that an arborist will utilized that have been proven for hundreds of years to be beneficial and non-harming to trees, young trees in particular.

Variety Pruning Cuts an Arborist may utilize

Thinning Cut

One type of cut that is necessary in training young trees is called the thinning cut. The thinning cut are used to get rid of all those not so lovely branches. Those that show signs of decay, disease, damage, and weakness. It is a nice and clean sever that ensures that the branch will not grow back. This is cutting method is also used for maintaining a certain height and width the is most pleasing. Sometimes an arborist will prune a tree in this way in an effort to commit the tree growth pattern to a certain shape or structure.

Heading Cut

The next type of pruning cut as the heading cut. This cut is only use for those trees or plants that have flowers.   Such as a rose bush. This type of cut nurtures regrowth of the flower bud and retards it from becoming overgrown. If you notices your arborist using this type of cut to the top of the tree then he is doing it wrong and should be stop. Heading cuts encourages new growth and flowering bud repopulation. That may not otherwise develop in a particular way if it is not done.

Stub Cut

This cut, the stub cut, has been often confuse with the previously mention heading cut. However, whereas the heading cut is used for flowering buds regrowth and growth pattern, the stub cut is used to take off the top of a tree. At the point where it is not developing any, more buds. Trees that have this cut are going through the process of being removed.

Conclusion

Each of these cuts have their place in the world of tree pruning and landscaping. However, if they are not implemented during the right situation or if they are done incorrectly it can result in the death of a great tree. Just like that, a few too close, too deep, and too many cuts can be the end of any tree. This shows us all the importance of using a professional tree service preferably one with at least one certified arborist on their team.

The next time that you are tree needs to be prune or trim consider how serious the situation is, and what you are trying to achieve. If you are not a professional than anything other than a little trim around the edges is all that you should be doing. For anything more complex, stop and call a tree service professional. That is what they are here for.

My first hunt

I love hunting. The one thing that I can do both relaxes and exhilarates me at the same time. If you have never been then you may not understand, but for those hunting purist will know exactly what I’m talking about.

th (9)It is even the kill. Most people it is the kill that makes it so great, but for me that is not the only reason why I wake up before most people even know there is such a time. Now, don’t get me wrong, the kill is something special too. But it’s everything. It’s the being out in nature. Feeling connected to my food source, the stillness of the woods. How without even trying everything in nature know exactly what their job is, and they execute each day without much incident.

It’s one place in this world where I can get away with not answering my phone. I just love it.

A beautiful crisp morning, one where the fog is still lulling around. The grass has the light sheen of fresh dew. The birds chirping with life and it is not quite cold but just a bit crisp. Everything is still like after a reviving summer rain. It was on an autumn morning such as that I harvested my first buck.

I remember like it was yesterday…

It was the day after my fourteenth birthday, my older brother and his best friend had finally succumb to my begging. I was so excited when he told me to be ready to hunt early the next morning.

I don’t think I slept no more than five minutes that night. I kept tossing and turning, going over everything I needed. My mental checklist.   I kept checking my equipment making sure that my gun is clean, I had enough bullets, my camouflage gear, in my head I kept checking and re-checking my gear.

Then before I could literally explode with excitement, my alarm goes off. Its three am and I’m ready. I even beat my brother to the kitchen; I ate my cereal and waited for him. Any other time he speeds through everything but that morning it seems as if he was operating in quicksand. That boy was slow as molasses.

Finally, we get in his pickup truck and head to his best friend’s house. Scoop him up then headed off into the woods. My grandparents live on an old farmhouse. It’s situated on hundred acres of woods; they have always encourage us to use it to hunt or whatever.

As I sit in my tree stand waiting for my opportunity, I get to enjoy the best show on earth. To watch everything wake up, as the sun continue to rise it’s like God’s alarm clock for His earthling creatures.

It was beautiful. Even at fourteen, I could appreciate how majestic it is to see life become awake. The variety of wildflowers open their petals in a search for that first morning sunlight. The birds start chirping and squawking like their life depended on it, it’s like everything is saying good morning to each other.

As im marveling at this sight before me, about forty yards to my left I see the most regal looking buck. He was strong, tall, with a huge rack. He seem to stand their defiantly waiting for anyone to come and challenge his position.

As I draw my gun to my shoulder, he turns his head. I think he sees me, in fact I’m one hundred percent positive he sees me. As he looks into my eyes, he nods his head, turns so his broadside is facing me, and then he pauses. He just stands there. Like he waiting for me to take him.