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Are you attending the International Builders Show in 2012? Why not see the show on us? Use this link ( www.BuildersShow.com/SolarInnovationsInc ) to register for a free exhibit only pass; includes admittance to the Exhibit Floor from Wednesday February 8 to Saturday, February 11, 2012. See you in Orlando!
Solar Innovations, Inc. understands that a customer may only buy one conservatory in their lifetime. We recognize that a conservatory is a major investment and planning its purchase can become overwhelming. Choosing the right supplier is an important first step in the process. Not knowing what to look for or what questions to ask can leave you with a less than desirable end result. Below is a set of quality questions we suggest posing to conservatory manufacturers you are considering.
Does the company’s manufacturing take place within the United States and do they perform their own manufacturing?Ask where the conservatories are manufactured. Purchasing your conservatory through a domestic manufacturer is an intelligent choice as it will ensure the entire conservatory is manufactured within a serviceable distance, provide realistic shipping costs, and remain accessible for maintenance. Find out if the products are offered in standard models or if the conservatory will be custom manufactured. Does the company employ professional engineers to design each conservatory for local wind and snow loads? Is there an architect on staff who completes drafting services? Who oversees the projects? Do they employ project managers? Can you take a tour of their manufacturing facility? Does the manufacturer have conservatories on display for customers to see? We recommend visiting the manufacturer’s facility and to see how your conservatory will be made. Who installs the conservatory? Ideally a provider will not only manufacture your conservatory, but will also install it, or provide a qualified dealer to do so. Inexperienced installation crews create the potential for expensive mistakes and may inadvertently cause damage during the installation process that will void your warranty. Look for a company that will install the conservatory, through an in-house installation crew or a qualified dealer. Is technical support available?
You do not want to purchase a conservatory and be left to fend for yourself if problems arise. How easy is it to get a real person on the phone, if you have questions? Do they have a technical support department and project managers? Is the support staff knowledgeable? Will you be provided with a call reference number and contact information when taking care of concerns?
Do they have conservatory designers on site?Designing a conservatory is different than designing a traditional construction addition. Having a conservatory specialist is an added bonus when designing your structure. Who designs your conservatory? Is the staff knowledgeable? Are you talking to an architect, engineer, designer, or someone without any experience? How long have they been with the company? How long have the employees been working in this specific industry? How well do they know conservatories? Does the person on the phone know what a Palladian arch is? Do they understand decorative conservatory ornamentation, heating, and cooling? Knowledge of decorative accessories and conservatory function is crucial to a successful design, whether it be for people, plants, or a combination of both. How financially stable is the company? Credit scores are constantly being evaluated; your conservatory manufacturer should not be an exception. Their credit levels will give you insight into their business. A low score is a warning sign. Will the supplier still be in business five years from now, when you may need maintenance work? Research the company thoroughly before deciding on a supplier.
How long have they been manufacturing conservatories and how many have been produced?Is this a new product line? Are they a new business? Find an experienced manufacturer. Years of glazed structure manufacturing experience ensures they are knowledgeable and your conservatory will be designed, manufactured, and installed the right way. If the business has been manufacturing conservatories for twenty years and has only produced fifty conservatories, that is a red flag. A constant flow of conservatory projects shows the business’s strength. Visit local conservatories that they have manufactured. In person, you can touch, see, and feel the conservatory; it is the best way to fully experience the product. You can inquire about the owners experience while working with the conservatory manufacturer .
What is their environmental stance?This is more important to some customers, than others. What do they offer in terms of environmental stewardship? Do they offer FSC certified wood interiors and veneers? Do they recycle at their manufacturing facility? What kind of energy efficiency is offered in your conservatory? Do they belong to reputable affiliations and associations? Belonging to national organizations shows the company meets or exceeds industry standards. Do they belong to NGA (National Glass Association), NSA (National Sunroom Association) or NAHB (National Association of Home Builders)? These organizations promote quality, craftsmanship, and lend credibility to the manufacture as members are screened before being accepted. Do they offer all the desired accessories? Your conservatory should fulfill all of your needs. Do they manufacture doors, windows, or roof vents? It is imperative for all accessories to function within the system and blend seamlessly. Decorative accessories such as grids, finials, and ridge cresting are just as important. Can accessories be custom fit for your conservatory?
Are their products tested?Learn about the manufacturer’s national testing certifications. Certification will show the level of quality their products have achieved. Inquire about Florida testing for hurricanes. Look at their testing scores and dimension limitations and research air, water, and structural testing. You may not live in a hurricane zone, but how your conservatory will fare against air and water penetration is important. Are Energy Star products offered? Energy efficiency is an important topic in today’s market and Energy Star products display a commitment to the environment and economic savings. What Glazing selections are available? Is their glass insulated or is it just a single pane? Single pane is a poor choice for energy efficiency. Are low-e tints offered? What kind of spacer is used in the windows? Is it an aluminum spacer with a limited warranty or a stainless steel spacer? Look at their warranty. What does the warranty cover? How long is the “seal failure” warranted for? The longest possible warranty time frame should help build confidence in the provider, as they stand by their product.
What materials do they use? Wood, vinyl, and aluminum are the three most prevalent choices. Wood will rot, warp, and require more maintenance when exposed to water and high humidity. Vinyl will degrade, break, and lose its color through prolonged exposure to sunlight. Aluminum retains its finish for years and will not rot, warp, or rust. Ask if they offer a thermal break. Thermal breaks reduce the transfer of heat and cold through the frame of the conservatory.What finish do they offer? Is it certified by AAMA? AAMA is a national certification for finishes that ensures its quality, color retention, and chemical make-up. AAMA 2603 and AAMA 2604 should be the minimum accepted. This will guarantee that the finish is water proof, will retain color uniformity, and is semi-scratch resistant. Ask about standard color options, as many manufacturers only offer white and bronze. Do they anodize (a chemical treatment useful in commercial settings and along the coast
Darla displays her inability to get on a hammock, and the resentment and exhaustion that results.
First of all: Welcome back.
In your absence, I started my own personal blog as well:
I’m leaving Eleanor Rigby’s, this weekend. Bigger, better things on the horizons.
I have a title. “The Assistant Director of Communications of Solar Innovations.” Moving soon.
In response: Panic At the Disco have sucked since their first CD. Jersey Shore rules. Nick Cage sucks. I didn’t sell out, I bought in. But, really, I sold out out. But, I’m correcting it.
Other music you’re missing out on: River City Extension
For those of you who happen to be my friends (or have seen the news in central New Jersey during the month of January), you know what has happened and what I have been going through over the past month. For those of you who don’t, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the almost Relient K-esque realization I have been going through over the course of the past several weeks (that’s a “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” reference, for the musically deprived).
For a variety of reasons, I have had a ton of time for self inventory and reflection lately. At first, I was alone in a room waiting for that girl Max Bemis sang about coming to visit. No offense to his wife, but I decided to picture her as Hayley Williams. It just worked better for me. She never showed, though, so that was a bummer.
However, after a period of continued self pity, a weird thing happened: someone showed up. She wasn’t Hayley Williams, but it didn’t matter. I don’t know what kind of gypsy trick she pulled on me, but I started to talk about things. I told her what I was going through. Pretty soon after that, I told a few other people. Then another really strange thing started happening: I started to feel better. Those gypsies aren’t all evil, after all.
This isn’t a road to recovery story, though. It is more of an awakening. And not one of those religious ones, either. I may ramble because I am pretty much typing nonstop, but I am trying to articulate the transition I have gone through and the subsequent realization.
Because of the person I have been over the past year or so, I have been missing things. Slowly, I am beginning to recognize more and more as my brain gets out of hock. I first started to realize this as I was having a harmless conversation with a new friend about Leo DeCaprio and the only bad movie he ever made, and how it almost sunk his career (raise your hand if you get the joke). Anyway, here is a quick list of things I either missed or have now come to realize:
1.) How long has Panic! At The Disco been bad?
Maybe it is because I will forever compare them to their first album, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which doesn’t feature a bad song, but I am just now noticing that they suck. “Nine in the Afternoon” was the beginning of the end. When that song was released, I should have seen that the end was nigh. This new song, “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” is the final straw, though. It’s unoriginal. It’s tacky. It’s lame. It’s awful. Firstly, Mona Lisa is a tired subject. She has been the subject of countless poems, songs, stories, etc. Everything about her has been said, and most of it is uninteresting. Secondly, I never understood the obsession with Mona Lisa. Bottom line: she’s an ugly bitch. Just doesn’t make any sense.
2.) I have been missing some great bands
While I have not had the prototypical religious awakening, I have been constantly discovering music that I love. And while I appreciate all the help that Big J has given me over the past month, music will always bee my first religion. The Limousines, Young The Giant, New Politics, Why?, Mumford & Sons, Cold War Kids, and the list goes on. These are all artists that I have not fully appreciated over the past year because I have been so messed up. I may have lost Panic!, but these bands are, to borrow an SLC Punk line, fuckin’ terrif!
3.) Selling Out & Buying In are still prevalent
I am happy to see that, even while I have been stumbling, the world has not ceased to turn. People will still be people. Bands and artists will still sell their souls. Now, I am not completely anti “selling out.” The term is overused and almost always used incorrectly or unjustifiably. If you are a struggling artist or band and get offered money while getting to keep most of your integrity, just take the fucking money. That is what you are here for, anyway. There is no shame in that.
What I do have a problem with, though, is a band that is already established and successful destroying their image for just a little bit more money. My Chemical Romance recently sold the rights to one of their songs to that soulless American Idol program. What could be more polar opposite to the original My Chemical Romance music and messages than selling a song to American Idol? Their image is irrevocably damaged, and they have themselves to blame. They didn’t need the money. Their last two albums were insanely successful. Fuck them.
4.) People are still giving Nick Cage money
I don’t know who Nick Cage fucked or sucked or caught slaughtering puppies, but there has to be some reason that people keep giving him money to do movies. The man cannot act, and he has never been able to act. Think about how good The Rock could have been if they had ANYONE ELSE play his role? Same goes for Con Air. Every time I see a preview of a new movie he is in I just start hoping that someone kidnaps him, Tyler Perry, Carlos Mencia, and the entire Jersey Shore cast and removes them from the country and bans them for life. There has to be something we can charge them with. Pop Culture Terrorism? Conduct detrimental to the country? We can come up with something. They all need to go, though.
Homosapien. A man. He is alone in the universe. A punker. Still a man. He is alone in the universe, but he connects. How? They hit each other. Ooh! No clearer way to evaluate whether or not you’re alive. Now, complications. A reason to fight. Somebody different. Difference creates dispute. Dispute is a reason to fight. To fight is a reason to feel pain. Life is pain. So to fight with reason is to be alive with reason. Final analysis: To fight, a reason to live. Problems and Contradictions: I am an anarchist. I believe that there should be no rules, only chaos. Fighting appears to be chaos and when we slam in the pit a show it is. But when we fight for a reason, like rednecks, there’s a system. We fight for what we stand for, chaos, but fighting is a structure, to establish power, power is government and government is not anarchy. Government is war and war is fighting. The circle goes like this: our redneck skirmishes are cheap perversions of conventional warfare. War implies extreme government because wars are fought to enforce rules or ideals, even freedom. But other people’s ideals forced on someone else, even if it is something like freedom, is still a rule; not anarchy. This contradiction was becoming clear to me in the fall of ‘85. Even as early as my first party, “Why did I love to fight?” I framed it, but still, I don’t understand it. It goes against my beliefs as a true anarchist. But there it was. Competition, fighting, capitalism, government, THE SYSTEM. That’s what we did. It’s what we always did. Rednecks kicked the shit out of punks, punks kicked the shit out of mods, mods kicked the shit out of skinheads, skinheads took out the heavy metal guys, and the heavy metal guys beat the living shit out of new wavers and the new wavers didn’t do anything. They were the new hippies. So what was the point? Final summation? None.
All of this happened against a backdrop of an increasingly immediate media. Cable news channels became required viewing for many Americans, the people were able to connect and voice their opinions on blogs and Facebook. With Twitter came the ability to experience news instantaneously and for every single person to have a voice and an opinion that was equally valid. When everyone has only 140 characters, no one idea seems more true than another.
The end result is a society of simplicity, where debates are boiled down to opposing sides. You’re with us or against us. In the face of that culture, Jon Stewart dares to say, “No.” His reaction to the Giffords shooting was the single voice of reason in the cacophony of our political system. Don’t reduce political debate to war. Don’t create an antagonism where you confuse your ideological opponent with a mortal enemy. Don’t treat people who don’t agree as evil.
These all sound like simple ideas, but Jon Stewart seems to be the only one around giving them voice. He may be a comedian, but for me and my generation, Stewart is as venerable as Edward R. Murrow. While other pundits claim to know all the answers, Jon Stewart was brave enough to go on TV and admit that he didn’t. He simply said it the way it was.
“Ben Quayle, a U.S. House candidate in Arizona and son of VP Dan Quayle, has made news lately because……..”
(a) He wrote that Obama was an “arrogant potatohead”, but he spelled potato wrong.
(b) He ran a TV ad calling Obama the “worst president in history”.
(c) He was outed for writing the tawdry prose on a sex-themed website called THE DIRTY SCOTTSDALE, but said he’s merely been trying to “drive some traffic” to the site.
(d) He sent out family values pamphlets featuring his wife and two kids, without telling voters that the kids were loaners because he doesn’t have any kids.”
……. Yes, Repuplicans, yes. —- Quayle/Palin ‘12 !
Julian Assange: To some people you’re a free speech hero and an anti-government crusader. To us you’re an arrogant douche who’s real crusade is promoting himself. When you’re not in prison (or playing I’ve Got a Big Secret in My Pants with a pair of Swedish love bunnies), we bet you prance around the house wearing a thong and one of those V for Vendetta Guy Fawkes masks.
Steve Jobs: This year, you really outdid yourself: You waged an all-out war on porn, you sicked the cops on a blogger, you blamed everyone but yourself for your phone’s shitty antenna (no, we won’t “just avoid holding it in that way”), and you told a journalism student to go to hell when she questioned your company’s commie-like approach to media relations. Douchiest of all, though, you used the word “beautiful” approximately 7,492 times, based on our last count. We know you love the adjectives, Steve, but for Christ’s sake, go get a fucking thesaurus. They’re really quite magical.
The TSA: Used to be you had to become a scout master or join the priesthood to fondle strangers and/or see them naked. Now all you need to do is you sign on for a career in airport security. We all feel much safer flying now that an ex-mall cop has touched our junk.
The Lower Merion School Board: That was a brilliant plan. Give teenagers laptops with Web cams you can turn on whenever you feel like — kinda like 1984 meets To Catch a Predator. (We know you’ve got those Lower Merion Pep Squad Gone Wild videos stashed somewhere.) How you all managed to keep your jobs after this story broke is a mystery to us. Remember: If the education thing doesn’t work out, you could always work for the TSA.
Tony Hayward: True, you weren’t at the helm when BP decided to drill two miles down into the ocean floor with no backup plan for when everything went to shit. But you were CEO for three years with no backup plan for when everything went to shit. When you hit an iceberg the captain is supposed to go down with the ship; instead, you went yachting. Open wide, because we’ve got a Junk Shot full of douche for you.
Charlie Sheen: Charlie, Charlie, Charlie. You know we love you like a brother — a brother whose bail bondsman we keep on speed dial. But we think it’s time to dial down the bad boy act. We’re not sure what offends us more: You paying $12,000 for one night with a porn star/hooker, or spending most of that night looking for your watch.
The Tea Party: Smaller government, lower taxes, more personal freedoms — we get all that. But mostly you appear determined to turn stupidity into an art form. No, the US is not secretly planning to merge with Canada and Mexico. No, the BP oil spill wasn’t caused by ‘extreme environmentalism.’ Yes, you are a witch. To Sarah, Christine, Sharron, Rand, Carl, and all the rest, your T-bag is now a D-bag. Go ahead and refudiate that.
Nick Denton: Long before Gawker’s sites got pawned by a band of teenage delinquents out to take you down a few pegs, you were on our list for extreme douchebaggery. Did we really need to read about John Travolta’s gay sauna escapades or Christine O’Donnell’s hairy bush? No, we did not. Is there anything you won’t do in your quest for page views? We all know the answer to that one.
Carol Bartz: Yahoo’s swirling around the drain, but you’re still trying to convince us all that it’s in great shape. We loved it when you told TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington to go “fuck off,” but when you offered tips to Larry and Sergey while questioning Google’s business model? Guess you really do have brass testicles. We’d send you a Douche of the Year plaque for your office, but we have a sneaking suspicion you won’t have an office much longer.
Mel Gibson: So your gold-digging Ukranian ex recorded all your hate-filled drunken rants and played them back over the InterWebs, destroying any reputation (and financial solvency) you may have had left. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. Turns out your only Lethal Weapon is your mouth.
Judith Griggs: You became famous this year for stealing a blogger’s story for Cooks Source magazine, then chastising the blogger for having the audacity to object. We all know what happened next: The tale went viral, the Internet gave you a virtual ass-pounding, and the magazine ultimately shut down. Last we heard, you were working at a Boston Bojangles and shopping around a new manuscript, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I Wrote This, I Swear).”
Kim Jong Il: We all know you’re batshit crazy, but trying to start World War III is a bit much even for you. We know the real reason why you did it: You just found out Justin Bieber isn’t really planning to tour North Korea after all.
Randall Stephenson: Pop quiz: When you’re the CEO of the most hated company on the planet, what shouldn’t you do? If you said “threaten your customers with legal action when they e-mail you,” you’re on the right track. Though AT&T’s service continues to redefine ‘shitty,’ it was your notorious smackdown of a concerned customer that lands you on this year’s DB list. And yes, your PR team apologized after the deed was done. We also apologized after “accidentally” hitting the wrong hole with our girlfriends the other night. It didn’t make us any less guilty.
Douchebag of the Year: Mark Zuckerberg
It’s been a big year for you, big guy. The idea you stole — err developed — as an undergrad turned into the most successful Web phenomenon of all time. A critically acclaimed movie portrayed you as a socially crippled dickhead who screwed over his only real friends yet still managed to make people feel sorry for you. You’ve given away millions of dollars on Oprah and convinced Time to name you Person of the Year. You even learned how to give an interview without sweating enough to fill a jacuzzi. In short, you hired a very smart PR manager. Bravo. But you’re not fooling us. We know your goal is to suck all the details from our lives and sell them to the highest bidder. And that fish-eyed stare totally creeps us out — it’s like you’re peering into our souls and seeing that time we peed our pants in third-grade gym class. Quit it, will ya?
I really need to start updating this more often. Or at all. For someone who considers himself a writer (and gets paid a measly salary writing), I don’t fill the world with enough of my opinionated banter. Now that I work for a web design company that has its own social media director, I feel like I should at least make an honest attempt at this.
I was talking to a client the other day, and we got to the topic about blogging. We were going over the details of the website I am building for her, and she asks about blogs. I told her it would be a good idea to have one on her site, and that if she updates the blog regularly it can help bring traffic to her site. And then she hit me with it. She says, “Oh, that sounds like a good idea. So, do you blog? What do you write about? What should I write about?”
I thought about the mostly nonsensical posts I make for TRLM, and I decided to be honest with her and tell her that, no, as valuable as I just said blogging can be, I rarely do it.
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, usually because I don’t believe in the people who make them. You shouldn’t need the calendar to change for you to decide to better yourself. You should change because you want to. If you are only changing because it is January again, chances are that next January you are going to be in the same place making the same resolution.
Hanging up the phone with that client, though, I decided that I need to be more proactive, even if it’s just so that I hate myself a little less. Updating my blogs is just part of it. I’m going to freelance more, especially because they pay me and leave me with no excuse not to write more for them. I’m going to finally edit my poems or at least reveal them to the members of the public who will give me constructive criticism for them. Hell, I may even finish some of those stories I started and filed away for rainier days.
The bottom line is, I don’t give a shit what year it is; I just want to feel better about myself and the person I am becoming. If I want to have the balls to call myself a writer, I need to write more. If I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite when talking to people at work, I need to use social media more effectively (and not just to complain about the refs while watching Orlando Magic games, although, let’s be honest, NBA referees are terrible).