Pile on the Pasta

Those Chinese did it again. While we think of pasta as a culturally Italian food, it likely originates from ancient Asian noodles. No one knows for sure, but credit is often given to merchant and explorer Marco Polo as responsible for bringing pasta back to Italy during the 13th century. Noodles had been a staple in China for over 2000 years. They likely were made with rice, but once Italians embraced the noodles, they began to use plentiful wheat flour to produce their famous spaghetti.

However, historical references may indeed dispute pasta’s Asian origin, as various pasta-type foods are mentioned in earlier centuries. Enter the Greeks, who originally occupied Naples, a southern region of Italy and are thought to have introduced a pasta- like food to the Neapolitans. Since Italy’s major grain producers and processors were in the south, it’s highly likely that long, thin pasta made its way north to Rome and other cities. Long before Marco Polo, first century Roman poet Horace described thin sheets of dough called lagana and served fried as an everyday food. Several centuries later, this dough was stuffed with meat and perhaps made way for present day lasagna.

By the sixteenth century, the dried version made storage easy, and who knows, perhaps Columbus carried the food on his voyage to discover America, as did many ships who made expeditions into parts unknown. The availability of pasta and its versatility made it a hit throughout Europe, and cooks found it easy to create new dishes. Originally eaten by hand, once sauces were introduced as an accompaniment, utensils took a prominent place on dining tables.

So when did the U.S. get its first taste of pasta? While it originally adorned the tables of the wealthy, in the late 1800’s our modern version of spaghetti caught on, first in the restaurants of Italian immigrants, then across the nation as a filling and economical meal for families. While some cooks did not serve it with tomato sauce, the different forms of pasta could be added to soups or mixed with vegetables.

Believe it or not, Thomas Jefferson is said to have brought back a pasta machine from his European travels, and his daughter, who was the lady of the house, served pasta dishes with Parmesan cheese. (Imagine her horror to learn that mass-produced boxes of mac and cheese would eventually populate grocery store shelves.) Later on, other fans substituted Cheddar, and it became a crowd pleaser and favorite of the American diet. What would childhood be without mac and cheese?

In the mid-twentieth century, packaged dry pastas, canned pasta products and sauces began to adorn the shelves of supermarkets, and pasta became a staple of American life. Chef Boyardee introduced children to pasta and turned off adults to his mushy ravioli and Spaghettios.

Pasta lives on in all its glory, its unending possibilities and its delicious varieties. So while the historians continue to debate, whoever created its humble beginnings, we are thankful. Pile on the pasta, any way you like.

Car Tuning: Understand The Concept Before You Tune Your Car

Having a luxurious car like Jaguar, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari or Lamborghini in itself is the matter of proud for their owners because these vehicles are not just cars but the symbol of power, comfort and luxuriousness mounted in one unit. There would be hardly owner of such cars who will intend to go for any modification in his beloved car, but interestingly in recent years, it is witnessed that the generation next owners of these cars are not satisfied with the features that are packed by their respective car makers in their vehicles.

These generation next car drivers are always in hunt of such techniques that are helpful in deriving much from their powerful giants. Interestingly, going through this craze now day’s trend of car tuning has gained huge popularity across the world, facilitating the car owners to enjoy enhanced performance of their car to its full extent.

What is car tuning: In the simple words car tuning may be defined as the method of modifying certain features of the car depending upon your requirements and preferences. This might surprise to most of the car owners, including both expert and novice drivers, there are various components in a car which can be modified depending upon the choice of the car owner. Some of the common components which can be modified are spoilers, air vents, engine, wheels which can be tuned depending upon the requirements of the car owner.

In other words, it can be said tuning the car facilitates the car owner to personalize the car get more from it by making it compatible to his needs. For instance, if following the trend of buying an expensive luxurious car you bought a car with an engine configuration of 4.0 litre, but after some time you realize that you are not able to cater its fuel requirement on driving it regularly. By tuning the car you can change its engine configuration to 2.0 litre and enjoy not only its regular drive, but also notice the huge savings on fuel investment.

Factors to consider before getting your car tuned: Although the fashion of tuning the car is flourishing at jet dynamic speed across the world, especially among the youth. But, it doesn’t mean that following the blind race you also join the team and found yourself cheated after driving it. Therefore, to avoid any such problem in future it would be better to get yourself acquainted with complete knowledge related to the subject. But now the question arises from where you can get your doubts cleared from? For this you can consider the following factors:

1. Forums: As referred above today as the trend of car tuning has gained huge popularity among the car enthusiasts, there are various online forums which are assisting the novice drivers in making them aware about the benefits of car tuning and teaching them about the whole fuss of the process. Joining these forums will help in getting all your doubts cleared by experts and also you will get the feedback from the car owners having the car tuned according to their requirements.

2. Seeking the help of an expert: Consulting an expert will help you in broadening your knowledge about car tuning in a much better way. Contacting an expert will benefit you in having the face to face interaction with him and discussing your doubts in a broader way. Moreover, going through the condition of your car the expert will be able to suggest you necessary modifications that could be implemented on your car.

3. Going through the literature: If you have enough time with you then the best way is to read the available literature on the car tuning and not only broaden your knowledge but also develop yourself as an expert of tuning the car. Although it will be a time-consuming project, but doing this will undoubtedly clear your all doubts. Moreover, after reading the available literature you might even be able to tune your car at your end. As now a days there are various car modifiers that offer do it yourself chip for car tuning which can be activated by connecting with on board diagnostic port.

How to Get a SBA Loan

For our next article we wanted to talk about How to get SBA Loans. Several of our clients purchase SBA ready business plans and are not 100% sure how the process work. We though we should help shed some light on what they are, how they work and the steps in getting the loan.

What is an SBA loan?

SBA loans are term loans from a bank or commercial lending institution of up to 10 years, with the Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteeing as much as 80 percent of the loan principal.

Who are SBA loans for?

SBA loans are for established small businesses capable of repaying a loan from cash flow, but whose principals may be looking for a longer term to reduce payments or may have inadequate corporate or personal assets to collateralize the loan.

How many loans are available?

Vast. The Small Business Administration guarantees some $12 billion per year in loans.

Best Use of Loans

Purchasing equipment, financing the purchase of a business and in certain instances, working capital. The Small Business Administration guarantee can help borrowers overcome the problems of a weak loan application associated with inadequate collateral or limited operating history.

What are the fees or cost?

Comparatively inexpensive when looking at other loan sources. Maximum allowed interest rates range from highs of prime plus 6.5 percentage points to prime plus 2.75 percentage points, though lenders can and often do charge less. These rates may be higher or lower than rates on non-guaranteed loans. What’s more, banks making SBA loans cannot charge “commitment fees” for agreeing to make a loan, or prepayment fees on loans under 15 year (a prepayment penalty kicks in for longer loans), which means the effective rates for these loans may be, in some instances, superior to those for conventional loans.

Ease of Acquisition

Challenging. Although The Small Business Administration has created streamlined approaches to loan applications, conventional SBA guarantee procedures and protocols pose a significant documentation and administrative challenge for most borrowers.

Range of Funds Typically Available

The Small Business Administration guarantees up to $1 million of loan principal.

Steps in Getting an SBA Loan

While most banks, as well as select commercial finance companies, offer SBA loans, there are two specialized categories worth knowing about. These are Certified Lenders and Preferred Lenders, both of which have entered into contractual relationships with the SBA and officially participate in the Certified Lender/Preferred Lender programs (CLP/PLP).

These lender programs were designed to provide better response to borrowers; they accomplish this goal by placing additional responsibilities on the lenders for analysis, structuring, approval, servicing and liquidation of loans, within The Small Business Administration’s guidelines. About 850 lenders qualify for the SBA’s Certified Lender Program, having met certain criteria, the most important of which, from the borrower’s perspective, is extensive experience in SBA loan-guarantee processing. Certified lenders account for about 4 percent of all SBA business-loan guarantees. Since the certified bank does much of the SBA’s work, the agency offers turnaround times of three business days for processing the application.

Approximately 450 lenders meet preferred lender standards. This group processes approximately 21 percent of loans. Preferred lenders have full lending authority and as a result can offer a one-day turnaround on completed loan applications.

If you are seeking a loan, your best bet is to work with a certified or preferred lender. The SBA-guarantee process is tricky at best, and you want a lender who has been through it more than once

Read This Article if You Want Health Care

Are you one of the 180 million Americans who wants Health Care? Did you know that a recent study showed that the number one concern of those seeking employment was; Health Care Benefits? Health Care benefits are a big concern, especially for families and the costs have skyrocketed for employers. In fact General Motors had considered filing bankruptcy due to the increasing health care costs dragging down its auto manufacturing division. Instead the Union and GM management made a deal to reduce some of the benefits but keep operating as usual and instead shed its under performing finance arm GMAC.

Recently The Boeing Company Aerospace workers went on strike, not over pay so much as the benefits package and a better health care program. If you are concerned about Health Care you are not alone. Small Businesses across America now know that to attract and retain the best workers they need to provide health care benefits and if they don’t many of the top potential employees simply are not interested in working there. It is an extremely important issue to Americans one which employers must address to the satisfaction of the work force, a work force, which demands health care benefits.

One trip to the doctor for a kid’s broken arm could put a family in the poor house and they know this. Drugs are not cheap either for those who have medical conditions. Health Care is something that is on everyone’s minds these days but the costs are going through the roof and many companies and families are nearing a breaking point. Think on this.

The Trouble With Granite

Your granite counter-tops are beautiful, and you were attracted to them because they are a natural product, but now comes all the news coverage of their potential health threat. How do you know if your granite counter-tops are giving off radiation?

The easiest way to find out is to hire someone with a Geiger counter to measure the levels coming off the granite. The truth is, most granite will emit a tiny amount of radioactive energy. What is coming off the granite counters is called radon progeny or radon daughters, and is the result of naturally occurring radioactive elements such as uranium or radium decaying. It can also emanate from basements, or any place the earth is exposed. In an outdoor setting it’s harmless, as the radon becomes diluted with fresh air. But in confined settings such as basements or kitchens, it can build up, posing more of a health risk.

If your counter is emitting just a tiny amount, this isn’t something to worry about. But some counters tested have hot-spots that emit levels of radiation that, with continued exposure, could cause health problems later on in life. And while some reports state that these dangers are more common in exotic colors like reds and purples, they’ve also been detected in the mottled beige to yellow counters that are actually quite common.

As gorgeous as granite is, it might be a good idea to have yours tested. The Environmental Protection Agency states that about 20,000 people die annually from lung cancer related to radon exposure. That’s not something to ignore. If your levels are low, like at or below 2-3 picocuries, it may be enough to install a good air exchange system in your kitchen. But if the level are high, replacing your counter may be the prudent thing to do. But don’t worry. Unless you’ve had these counter tops for decades, and work in the kitchen all day, you’re probably perfectly healthy. However, limiting your exposure to radon is always a good idea. It is probably best to consult a professional to determine whether your radon levels are high enough to be a concern.

If you haven’t bought granite yet, but are considering it, ask the supplier about radon levels. Find a responsible dealer that has invested in a Geiger counter. If the granite or marble dealer simply denies any risk, consider them uninformed. Of course they want to minimize the perception of risk. Their business depends on it. But a responsible business owner will test the product and only sell low to no-risk granite. That’s who you want to buy from.

Education Makes Our Life – Don’t Spoil It

Education! What does it mean? We are thinking education is a base for getting knowledge and values. To develop yourself you require education. Is that true? Yes. But there are numerous things identified with education. It’s not a thing where you are getting just knowledge and values. At the point when a youngster conceived, we began considering his profession and education. Guardians dependably think how to influence our tyke to best in his profession and career. In any case, no one ponders their interest and hobbies.

Some individuals are battling with their professions. What we realize in our childhood that is essential since that preparation and information are more useful for us when we contend in this period. You will learn things yet it will require investment to accomplish. Whatever you have learned in school that is most critical to pick up your position.

In school sometimes student do not take their education seriously. They will be focusing on alternate things like TV, video games, mobile. These days, guardians have given full opportunity to their kid for everything. The outcome turned out as they don’t know about things which are most critical for them. As a parent, we should show them how imperative instruction is? What will we get in the wake of finishing our education? What will be future advantages?

To solve this problem, it is mandatory to have a superior training. Presently, what will you decide for your better future? Where will you make your profession? The appropriate response is your advantage. You should know in which stream you can accomplish or satisfy your desire. When you associate with your objective then you can accomplish anything in your life.

Once a student decides his aim and goal, he can reach to any level. Training ought to be great from school level. Subsequent to finishing school students go to the distinctive instructing classes and preparing focus. At the season of preparing, you ought to know about things. To start with the thing is from where you are taking preparing is that pertinent to your training. What have courses you experienced will increase the value of your education? When making a career it’s imperative to have essential learning of your education. Fundamental originates from your preparation, your schools and so forth. Before picking any profession simply make certain you are occupied with that or not. Learning and skill are essential for making life and for self understanding, self realization, self knowing. To build up a solitary individual and to develop his ability. It’s fundamental to have enough knowledge.

In our life, we have experienced numerous things, however, can’t accomplish anything. For that, pick the best training center which will give you the best future and knowledge. When you pick your ideal education partner you can accomplish numerous things as quickly as time permits.

Fundamentally, education is about knowledge, values, behavior and learning things in an unexpected way. Develop yourself as much as you can. Education teaches, “think before taking any major choice”.

How Does Automatic Transmission Change Gears

As drivers, we know how the transmission works: we push the clutch in, change the gear and then continue driving normally. Manual transmission also teaches us how to perform clutch control without stalling or rolling on an incline. So how does an automatic car change gears?

There are more parts in this system that makes it a more complicated system. An automatic car has something called a torque converter. For the car to move forward, whether manual or automatic, torque is needed for the initial momentum.

The torque converter is a fluid link where its job is to connect the engine to the transmission and the transmission to the driven wheels (Front Wheel Drive or Rear Wheel Drive).

The engine is connected to the transmission in a bell housing. This is where the torque converter is. The transmission also contains something called planetary gear sets which provide different gear ratios.

The engine’s flex plate is also connected to this torque converter. So the torque converter basically takes the place of a clutch in an automatic car. When the crankshaft rotates it also rotates the converter. This is how the torque converter will disconnect and connect the engine’s power to the load being driven.

The torque converter has main components that make automatic transmission successful. These include:

  • The impeller – connected to the engine which is responsible for driving the turbine using viscous forces on the transmission fluid.
  • The turbine – connected to the transmission input shaft that sends the torque force to the transmission.
  • The stator – which sits between the impeller and the turbine. It lessens churning losses.
    The lock up clutch.

During the compression of the fluid it returns from the turbine that works against the impeller and its rotating movement that also acts on the engine.

The stator redirects the fluid so that the majority of the velocity gets driven towards the impeller which then adds to the torque produced by the motor. It can only rotate in one direction if the impeller and turbine are moving at the same speed. Stators do not apply torque when on a highway, only when coming to a stop or accelerating.

A planetary gear set consists of a sun gear and planet gears which rotate around the central sun gear, like our solar system. A planet carrier gear connects the planet gears with a ring gear that meshes them. The planetary gear set prevents certain components from moving when using clutches and brakes. This alters the input and the output of the system that changes the overall gear ratio.

Depending on which component is fixed it will determine the final gear ratio. If a ring gear is stationery or fixed, the ratio will be shorter than if the sun gear is fixed or stationery.

Drive the Jaguar XJ and Get Swaddled In the Lap of Luxury

Luxury doesn’t always mean expensive cars with uninspiring performance, it is more about comfort and unmatchable performance in its segment.

Beauty like a Unicorn

Mainstream automakers like Jaguar are always focused on customer satisfaction, not only for the buyers but also for the viewers or the guests on board. The compact luxury Jaguar XJ model is designed to grab eyeballs, the sleek looks with hand-crafted interiors and ambient lightings are epitome of status and class.

The XJ offers sheer driving pleasure without sacrificing on the luxury, the car sails through the imperfections in the road. The traditional British designs add zinc to its classy leather based interiors with heated and cooled massaging seats, making the XJ an automotive version of The Taj Mahal.

Herculean Power

As the name suggests, Jaguar is all about strength and adaptability, it has plenty of robust power in its segment. The Jaguar XJ has steroids running through its veins with a 5.0-liter V8 supercharged engine that cranks out 470 horsepower along with 424 pound feet of torque. The car breathtakingly shoots up to almost 60 miles an hour within 4.2 seconds. Even if you are the most aggressive of the drivers, before you stop admiring the interiors and properly steady the wheels, XJ will reach almost 100mph, of course with maximum safety!

Technological Advancements

As an automaker, Jaguar has always been on the cutting edge of the automobile technology. It’s easy to get captured by the luxury of the XJ, with features you never thought you are going to need, until you actually experience them. For instance, the seats are designed to pamper your body and adapt as per your comfort, it’s more like being hugged by a seat.

Jaguar XJ is a well connected luxury car, its state-of-the-art connectivity environment takes luxury to another level. The customizable touch screen located at the central console provides user-friendly interface with mind-blowing features. The navigation system is capable to recognize voices and learn your regular journeys, the inbuilt hard drive in the system can also store your personal data.

With so many features, Jaguar makes sure to keep the driving pleasure alive by letting you be the boss instead of allowing the technology to have all the fun. XJ has successfully balanced its technological aspects with modern day enhancements in automobile industry, where you get a room to explore what’s in the store for you every time you open the door.

How to Disconnect During Your Next Vacation

You’re lying on the beach. You’re basking in the hot sun while the cool breeze sweeps across your skin as you’re surrounded by the breathtakingly beautiful paradise… And your face is nose deep in your phone checking emails. Sound at all familiar? We’ve all been there. The reality is that it is hard to disconnect from your daily life, especially from work. However, a vacation’s purpose is just for that. We all need a little rest and relaxation so we can perform at our best in our daily lives. Here are a few ideas to help you get away from the earlier scenario and toward having a true vacation disconnected from work.

1. Give ample notice – Let co-workers, business partners, clients and customers know of your vacation well in advance. Informing pertinent personnel of the dates you will be away at least two weeks ahead of time will also help them prepare for your absence. This way, important projects and tasks can be assigned and completed before your departure, or it will be known they will be taken care of when you return. Chances are, they won’t want to intrude on your vacation time so letting them know can help keep those emails from constantly coming in while you are away as well.

2. Take care of your to-do list – About two weeks prior to your vacation, plan your days out so that you can take care of all your outstanding tasks before your departure. Leaving for a trip with a long list of unresolved projects can take focus away from your vacation. The anxiety of having all the unfinished tasks you already have to do plus all the new tasks when you return on your mind will overcome the relaxation you’re supposed to be having. It’s better to leave a clean slate and return after your trip with a new to-do list.

3. Nominate a backup – In case of emergency, request a trusted co-worker to be your backup while you are away. Make sure to ask for their assistance at least two weeks prior to your trip so they have enough time to prepare as well. It is a good idea to give your contact information in case of any extreme cases. However, choose a backup that you trust can handle most situations without your help.

4. Set an away message – This is a good way to let anyone trying to contact while you’re away that you are on vacation and will respond after you return. This way, you won’t be getting multiple emails with the same requests and having people ask where you are. It will give you peace of mind and you won’t feel rushed to get back to them until after your trip.

5. Focus on those you’re traveling with – Give importance to yourself, your spouse, your family, your friends, or whomever else you’re traveling with. Yes, work is important. But we also have to dedicate time and energy on the other wonderful aspects of our lives. There’s no better way to do that than to spend a vacation with loved ones.

6. Remind yourself why you’re on vacation – Vacations are the time to take a break from work, which is truly imperative to our continued work productivity and overall well-being. Taking time to recuperate and regenerate will leave you feeling refreshed and at the top of your game when you return. It’s also very important for the mind and body to decompress and give yourself breaks from your daily stress. Constant tension can take a toll on you over time so make sure to sit back and relax when you have the opportunity to.

7. Literally disconnect – Don’t pack your laptop. Put your phone on airplane mode. Shut off email and notifications on your phone/tablet. These ideas may be provoke anxiety, but there are no better ways to actually disconnect from work than to literally disconnect from it all. You have the rest of the year to work. Why not use the vacation time how it’s supposed to be used and stay away from work?

8. Set boundaries – If you know you will need to check emails, texts, messages, etc. while you are on vacation, give yourself limits and stick to them. A good idea would be to allow a few minutes before bedtime to check in on the day and resolve any pressing issues. It’s understandable that not knowing what’s going on with work for a week or more may cause the stress that you’re trying to avoid while on vacation. In this case, make it a little easier on yourself, but don’t let it start to take over your days. Set a certain amount of time at a certain time of day to check, and that’s it.

Think you could implement any of these ideas for your next vacation? Even if you’re not planning a trip for a while, it may be good to consider them now so you have some tactics to utilize when a trip does come up. Again, it is important to remember that it is beneficial to your overall health to take a true vacation away from work and the stress it can produce. Making sure to take care of yourself is key. By utilizing some, if not all, of the above strategies, you can be well on your way to having the vacation you need and deserve.

Handyman and Home Repair Services

As a homeowner you are aware that something always needs fixing around the house. You may need a wall painted, a new appliance installed, or the roof fixed. If you don’t have the time or capability to do this on your own, you may need the home repair services of a handyman.

The home repair service business is now a major industry. That’s because many people prefer to call a handyman or skilled tradesman to do minor home repairs. Older or retired people living alone often require the services of a handyman. Of course, there are do-it-yourself who are perfectly capable of doing repair and maintenance work at home. However, even DIY enthusiasts may need the skills of a plumber or electrician for more complicated tasks.

Handyman vs. Home Improvement Specialists

A handyman and a home improvement specialist can both operate their own businesses but the home improvement specialist is required to have a contractor’s license. This is why hiring a contractor to do the same thing will cost more than if a handyman were to do the job. This is also why licensed professionals sometimes turn down smaller home repair jobs. If you need someone to paint a room, install new shelves or repair a dry wall, call a handyman. To build a new addition to your home or repair a staircase, you will need the home repair services of a licensed carpenter or contractor.

Home Repair Jobs for a Handyman

A handyman is a more affordable and convenient option for small household repairs. He is a jack-of-all-trades who can perform small maintenance and repair jobs that a carpenter, plumber or electrician would normally do, but at a lower cost. A handyman is good with his hands. He is usually self-taught, having gained his experience and know-how at his own home and by reading home improvement manuals.
Replacing your entire plumbing system or more complicated electrical wiring should be done by a licensed professional.

However, you can hire a handyman to perform simple tasks such as emptying storm drains, fixing a leaky faucet or putting up shelves. A handyman can also handle more complicated tasks such as installing a water heater or replacing roof shingles.

Where to Find a Handyman

Many handymen work on their own, setting up “office” in their own homes. People you know may be able to recommend a good handyman for home repair services. You can also search online for a handyman in your area. There are many businesses and franchises for handyman services. You can call on them if you need any repair or maintenance services at home.