What Is COBIT? Importance and Framework


COBIT is an IT governance framework and supportive toolset that permits managers to bridge the gap between control requirements, technical challenges and business risks. COBIT empowers clear policy development and good practice for IT control all through firms. COBIT emphasizes regulatory compliance, helps firms to enhance the value acquired from IT, empowers alignment and simplifies application of the enterprises’ IT governance and control framework.

COBIT stances for Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology. It is a standard framework for IT governance and management. It is meant to be a supportive instrument for managers and consents bridging the central breach between technical challenges, business risks and control requirements. Business managers are equipped with a model to deliver value to the firm and practice better risk management practices connected with the IT processes.

As a framework that can be utilized to calculate and monitor IT services and implement preeminent practices for those services, ITIL3 offers an operational mode of service management. The ISO/IEC 27000 series4 contains the preferred standards utilized by IT security specialists.

For individuals who are trying to shift their career to COBIT, COBIT 5 Foundation Certification Training is the ideal training. For most firms, the answers to these queries come from understanding the underlying multiple frameworks utilized across operations. COBIT enables firms to improve IT governance by ensuring that appropriate process, governance and management enablers are utilized to build IT capabilities to attain stakeholder goals.

For firms that compete in structured segments such as banking, insurance, utilities or healthcare, additional industry precise standards, frameworks and recommendations may be in utilization. The COBIT Certification Course Online is becoming a requisite course for professionals working in this space for enhancing their skill sets.

When a business leverages multiple standards, frameworks and strategies, it may end up creating separate controls recommended by each that are managed separately. Consequently, it not only creates duplicate work, as controls may be overlapping, but more significant, it becomes challenging for administrators to get a comprehensive understanding of their firm’s IT risk exposure and governance process.

Current tools that enable firms to create a shared library of common controls across frameworks are burdensome to use and manage. Control libraries often become vast and complex to use for most companywide governance, risk and compliance (GRC) initiatives.

COBIT® 5, the cutting-edge edition of ISACA’s globally accepted structure for governance and management of enterprise IT (GEIT), tackles this issue. It provides an end-to-end business view that integrates other standards, frameworks and strategies, such as ITIL and ISO/IEC 27001, into a complete enterprise governance and management framework.

With a COBIT 5-motivated model, stakeholders such as security professionals, IT operations administrators and IT auditors can see how their work relates to the whole scope of governance and management. COBIT 5 does not substitute these other sources of reference. Instead, it is an all-embracing umbrella framework that helps them all fit together. The COBIT Certification Course Online is a sure thing for working professionals who want to get updated with the newest certification.

How Insurance Customers Can Save on Home, Car and Boat Coverage


Do you know anyone that enjoys dealing with the stream of daily bills? I don’t.

For the average person, home and car expenses are enough of a headache. When insurance policy premiums join the list of associated costs, the payout hassles become even more of a colossal hassle.

You may think there is no alternative. But I’ll let you into a little secret. Think you have no choice in the matter? You bet you do. And it comes in the form of bundled insurance!

Bundled insurance? You ask. What’s that?

Although doing your part in investigating the varying forms of coverage and the attached price tags that come along with them can get you a policy that may be cheaper than others, there is another way to find even more significant discounts. According to most insurance companies, you can save big bucks by combining two different forms of coverage under one plan. If you ‘bundle’ your home insurance, for instance, together with your auto plan, you can take advantage of this phenomenal option.

Why do the insurance providers offer such motivation?

The insurance industry is like others. Competition breeds ideas to get clients to stay with them. By presenting a plan that covers your home and car – as well as your boat if you happen to own one – at a great price, the particular company will be buying your loyalty. To them, the offered savings are worth the price of customer fidelity. Naturally then, everyone becomes a winner. The company by securing your as their customer, and you by locking in a great quote.

But there’s more to the deal that meets the average eye. By signing the dotted line of a bundled home and auto policy, you glean additional bonuses. Not only do you win by saving a bundle of money, but you get the comprehensive coverage needed and the multitude of bills that generally were part of your daily mail is reduced to one simple bill that incorporates the cost of home and auto insurance. Of course, keeping track of renewal dates also is simplified this way. Because you will have combined what technically can be classified as two different forms of protective coverage into one all-inclusive plan, you will have condensed two dates into one renewal date: home and auto are renewed together!

Need further evidence that this is the money-saving way to go?

Home-Auto Insurance with a Bundle of Cost-Cutting Savings

Examples:

A home and vehicle owner decided to go with a bundled plan. He was overjoyed to discover this saved him $1,200 for the year!

A condo owner went for a combined condo-auto insurance policy, giving him savings of $500 for the year!

Another homeowner listened to his independent insurance agent and opted for a bundled home-auto plan. He raked in a year’s savings of $900.

Incidentally, you can get a bundled policy for your home and car, as well as your truck, motorcycle, boat or any other vehicle or watercraft, as well as a life or financial plan.

Learn more about bundled insurance from your independent insurance agency.

20 Rainy Season Businesses You Can Start Now


Let’s take advantage of these seasonal needs and offer the appropriate business services. You will find below a list of 20 profitable rainy season business ideas.

  • Cold Weather Apparels and Accessories: Starting a cold-weather apparel store can be a great option for those looking for a seasonal business. You can buy products in large quantities and start selling to retail fashion shops and corporate offices. You can even hire sales canvassers and pay them on a commission basis.
  • Lawn care business: Contrary to popular beliefs, the rainy season is a great time to start a lawn care business. Lots of individuals and large companies seek for services of lawn care maintainers to help them take care and beautify their environment. You will need to advertise your services in local newspapers, or write an introductory letter to the ministry of environment either at local or state level. You can also write to property managers. Who says you can’t go out and knock on doors of commercial businesses and property managements? They have a long list of clients that will need the services of lawn care service providers. You can start with two or three staff.
  • Roadside snacks: In this rainy season, snacks like roasted corn, cooked corn and cooked groundnuts are in demand. Passersby, pedestrians and drivers alike would always want to buy hot snacks to heat up their body and quell their hunger. Your target market should be in densely populated areas of streets with big pot holes that could delay traffic. As drivers slow down, they notice you and buy your snacks. Herbs and Flower Farming/Gardening: Flowers survive better during the rainy season. Plants are the basis for all landscapes, homes, gardens and even for brightening offices. You will pay small amounts for packets of seeds and make way more when selling starter plants. The more space you have, the better you will be at it. If you have the space in your landscape and outdoor garden, you can create gardens where you will grow the plants and dry them out after. This will add much to your inventory and you can make lots of money selling dried flowers to retailers, wholesalers, and even flower shops.
  • Make Mosquito Nets: Mosquito nets are simple to make and easy to use. They eliminate the need for repeated use of dangerous chemicals. Mosquito nets can be institutional and attractive. By using pretty flowing fabric and a few household objects, it is possible to make a beautiful yet functional mosquito net. Things you will for construction of a mosquito net are; stud finger, 4-inch metal “O” ring, cup hook, 2-feet diameter embroidery hoop, 20 yards of tight weave chiffon fabric, 4 feet of stain cord or ribbon, hot melt glue and clear hot melt glue sticks.
  • Tea Café: This market is not likely to be saturated if you decide to start this business. What innovations do you need to do this business? Simply make your tea joint look neat and attractive. Guys will park their cars, jeeps; roll up their sleeves and squat for a cup of steaming tea. You can entertain them with music. Your major target will include bachelors and spinsters, and also from the married groups and workers in general. Most of these people leave their homes early enough for work without having breakfast. Make sure your shop is situated where there is high concentration of people. Also make sure your customers have varieties of beverages to choose from e.g. beverages like bournvita, Milo, ovaltine, top tea etc. Other add-on for your tea café can include bread, canned fish, sardine, noodles, soft drinks and water. As a starter you require fire heating gadgets, tables and chairs, cups, plates, spoons, knives, forks and so on. You may require a small accommodation or a table space in a busy area, which wont be difficult to get if you meet the right authorities. You just need to part with a few cash to get this space. As you start operation, set aside some specified amount that the government may require as levies. Never mind the levies because you can record over 40 clients per day especially when you start very early in the morning and evenings. If you are innovative, entrepreneurial and exceptional, you will discover that there is no limit to what you can earn.
  • Catch and Sell Snail Meat: Snail meat has been severally affirmed as a safe and nutritious delicacy. If you place a blanched piece of romaine lettuce, zucchini or cucumber into a small tank, in no time snails will gather around it. You have to be patient though, because it will take a while to catch a whole bunch of them. The best period to commence snail farming is the raining season. You can start with about 50 – 60 snails to have a good knowledge of how snail breeding works. Snails are sold in bunches of 20 pieces each and the price depends on the size. The bigger sizes are sold between N2, 500 and N3, 000 per bunch. It is better to buy the big ones so you can expect to produce more after about 35 days on location. As a starter, you can start with as low as N10, 000 in this business. You can sell your products to hotels, restaurants, individuals and market women. You can even export them if you have large quantities in stock.
  • Umbrella Stocks and Sales: Since there is no notable umbrella manufacturer in Nigeria, prospective investors are advised to buy in wholesale and start selling branded umbrellas to corporate organizations. Don’t forget companies will like choose the colors that match their company. Modern rain umbrellas are made with fabrics (commonly nylon) that can withstand a drenching rain and one that can dry quickly and fold easily. They are available in varieties of colors and designs. You can get it in large quantities for retail at Idumota in Lagos and the prices ranges from N150 to N250 depending on the size.
  • Tarpaulin Hire Business: Many people organizing outdoor parties are most likely to hire tarpaulin to shield them from the rain. You can make money by engaging in the tarpaulin hire business. If you don’t have enough money to buy a brand new one, you can lease it from sellers and hire out to those who need it, taking the commission as your gain.
  • Pest Control: A pest control home based business can provide you an healthy income. There are various types of pest controls such as insect or rodent control, or the business can specialize in providing all pest control services. There are also various methods now being used to control pests, such as chemical-based sprays and organic-based sprays. This will also have to be a consideration in terms of the types of methods your business will utilize. Overall, a pest control service can be very profitable business venture during the rainy season and can generate profits of N5million per year. You can write a proposal to big corporate organizations stressing the advantage of pest control and healthy living can have for them.
  • Yam planting and Sales: Turning yam into an exportable product is considered a remarkable achievement in Nigeria. Although the country is rated as the largest producer of yams in the world, it didn’t find the means to take advantage of this huge potential for export until the formal launch of the Nigerian Yam Export to U.K in July 2009. You can take advantage of the rainy season, which is best for yam planting and sales. You can buy yam in large quantities and sell to exporters, and you can also sell to local manufacturers who process yam to pounded yam and flour.
  • Maize Cultivation and Processing: Investors have the opportunity to capitalize on the current high demand for staple foods by investing in the cultivation and processing of maize and corn. Maize is commonly grown in the middle and southern part of the country where heavier rainfall permits two corn crop seasons per year. A well drained loamy soil can be used for maize plantation.
  • Gutter Cleaning: A lot of gutters are blocked during the rainy season preventing the free flow of water. You can start making money by offering the service of Cleaning Gutters. Don’t shy away from this business because it’s a money earner in the rainy season. You can employ two to three people to leverage on. You will need to assemble items such as large wooden spoon, a simple garden trowel, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. You can find work with landlords or landlords associations. Some will prefer you clear it for them weekly while some will want their gutters to be cleared once or twice in a month. You can charge between N5, 000 to N20, 000 depending on the clients and the intensity of the work to be done.
  • Hire Water Pumping Machines: A lot of houses will get flooded during the rainy season. This will create a business opportunity for you to own a water pumping machine and hire out to these houses to clear the flooded area and pour the water to the gutters. Some water pumping machine owners charge as much as N5, 000 per day. During emergencies when there is no entrance to a whole street a water pumping machine owner can charge more. All you need to do is to identify such flooded areas, move in with your pumping machines and charge appropriately.
  • Sell Rain Coats: Modern raincoats are often constructed of breathable, waterproof fabrics such as gore-tex and coated nylons. These fabrics allow some air to pass through, thereby allowing the garment to “breathe” so that sweat vapor can escape. You can commission a tailor to sew in different sizes and designs to meet the demand of different customers; you can also buy in some retail stores and sell directly to individual and corporate organizations. Or you can recruit sales canvassers who can help you get it to the markets, especially when it rains.
  • Start a Car Wash Business: A lot of cars will get dirty in the rainy season because of splashes by mud. You are going to make cool money in the rainy season with this business. There is some equipment you need to start this business. Most importantly you need a pressure washer, if you want a proper washing to make your customer appreciate your service and always come back. The pressure washer brings out the water with pressure. It removes all the dirt and makes the cars to glitter. The pressure washer is also used to wash the car radiators, no matter the amount of dirt that blocks the vent of your radiator, the pressure washer removes all and opens up the vent again. The pressure washer consumes less water. The amount you can charge to wash cars and trucks will vary with location and to how dirty the car or truck is. Normal car wash costs N300, but for interior wash, it can cost up to N800. Washing of engines cost up to N1, 000 which is also the cost for normal washing of Jeep. The cost for washing a truck can be around N3, 000 and a very dirty trucked can be charged N5, 000. If the engine is extremely dirty, you will have to apply chemicals which are a mixture of diesel, detergent, kerosene, petrol and acid, which should be mixed very well. Sprinkle on the engine and leave for about five minutes. Now when you use a pressure washer to rinse, the engine would look as clean as new. You can get to major car parks, negotiate with car owners and get their cars washed before they get back to the car park
  • Repair Pot-holes: You can start a mini-road-construction business repairing pot holes. A lot of pot holes will continue to increase in size during the rainy season. Some products make potholes repair easier than others. Asphalt makes the process significantly easier. No special equipment is needed with asphalt. You can start making money with the local government area in your locality. You can even negotiate with the unit or National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in your area or discuss with the landlords association or the local government chairman. You can charge as much as N20, 000 to N100, 000 or more, depending on the intensity of the project.
  • Own a Warehouse: A lot of retailers have been keeping goods in shops before now but during the rainy season, most of them will be forced to take their goods to warehouses to protect their goods from unexpected rainfall. Prior to opening a warehouse business in your area, it is paramount to find out how many competitors you have. Gain knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the market place and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from others. You can charge daily, weekly or monthly. However, make sure you inform your retailers in your areas that don’t have a shop before now that you can provide them a secured place for their goods in your warehouse. They would be ready to pay for your services
  • Produce Shower Caps for Women: This business can be started with very low capital. Purchase some yards of plastic materials which are clear, opaque or semi-transparent or can have pretty designs on them. Measure the distance around the head where the shower cap is expected to end. Add one inch to this figure for overlapping purposes. This will be the shower cap circumference. Purchase elastic, less than one inch wide, and cut to the shower cap circumference. The elastic can be sewn on the outside or inside of the shower cap edge, or the elastic can be pinned down, sewn, and then one or two folds (or rolls) made, then sewn again to “case in” the elastic inside the edge of the plastic cap. You can sell for N50 or more depending on the quality of the nylon you are using.
  • Set Up an NGO for Climate Change Disaster and Relief Services: This type of NGO is going to be busy in the rainy season, providing supportive services for Nigerians who live in flood prone areas. The NGOs in this sector will be responsible for educating Nigerians in these areas on how to avoid flood disasters and also provide weather report and analysis so that they will prevent flood occurrences in their regions. Such an NGO will receive regular funds from foreign donors. You can make money from this by affiliating with already existing NGOs abroad. They have regular source of funding and they will be happy to have an affiliate agency here in Nigeria or Africa.
  • Make Mosquito Repellant Lotions: Earlier on we talked about Making Mosquito nets for sale. But you can also produce mosquito repellant lotions so repell mosquitoes which are in abundance in the rainy season. There a couple of different formulations you can make for your natural mosquito repellant. In general, what you are doing is diluting an essential oil that the mosquitoes find distasteful or which confuses them so they can’t bite you. The oil doesn’t mix with water, so you need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It is important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. You can sell in a small bottle after production for N100 to N300 depending on the size.
  • Produce Agro Products for Local and Foreign Consumption: Local products like cocoa, kola nut, banana, chili pepper, shea nut, okro, melon are products that you can start selling during this rainy season. All you need to do is to locate the exporters and start earning finders fee. If you have a small farmland, you can sell to retailers and start making money that exceeds your imagination.

The rainy season is an all year round event, so if you have the time and some money to invest in a business idea then check above the one that best describes your dream business or starting point. Discover the money making possibilities of each one and use them as your keys to success.

3 Mysteries Surround Betsy Ross


Do you know what the mysteries are that surround Betsy Ross? How many times was she married? How many children did she have? How many times was she buried? If you have answered yes or no, read on.

What are the mysteries that surround Betsy Ross?

Elizabeth Griscom was born on January 1, 1752. She was born the eighth of seventeen children sixteen girls and one boy. She was called Betsy. Her family were Quakers. Her parents were Samuel and Rebecca Griscom. Her father was a master carpenter.

Betsy went to school at a Quaker School. She learned reading, writing, arithmetic and sewing. After leaving school Betsy undertook an apprenticeship in upholstery, this is where she met and fell in love with John Ross. She learned to repair chairs, curtains, rugs umbrellas and to make flags.

Betsy and John eloped. Her parents did not approve of John since he was not a Quaker and Betsy was, “read out.” This means she was severed from her parents, her large family and the Quaker Community.

The couple returned to Philadelphia to start their own upholstery business in 1774. Betsy and John attended Christ Church and sat next to George Washington’s family. Betsy and John were married three years when John died in 1776 guarding an ammunition site during the Revolutionary War.

Betsy now widowed and alone inherited land. She continued to work at her upholstery business. Business was hard because of the Revolutionary war and material was hard to come by.

In the summer of 1776 Betsy met with the committee of three General, George Washington, George Ross, and Robert Morris. This led to the sewing of the first historical flag. Thirteen stars in a circle and thirteen strips. General, George Washington was very specific. He said, “I want the stars in a circle to represent the thirteen colonies. I do not want any of the colonies names above the others.”

In 1777 Betsy wed a sea captain Joseph Ashborn. They had two daughters one died in youth. Caption Ashborn was captured and died in prison.

In 1777 Betsy’s home was seized by the British Army during the historic winter at Valley Forge. Betsy was a strong supporter of the Militia.

Widowed again Betsy remarried an old friend John Claypoole, They had 5 daughters. John died in 1800 of a stroke.He had been bedridden for 17 years.

94 years later the story of the making of the first flag was told by Betsy’s grandson in 1780 William J. Canby at the meeting of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The speech was printed in the Harper Weekly.

The only fact which was found after extensive research is this The State Navy Board Pennsylvania for May 29, 1777, an order on William Webb to Elizabeth Ross for fourteen pounds twelve shillings, and two pence for making ship’s colors, & c put into Richard’s store. Betsy made ship’s colors for Pennsylvania state ships.

There is not any other documentation available.

Not only does mystery surround Betsy about the making of the first flag – but in her death.

Betsy died in Philadelphia at age 84 completely blind. Her house is located at 239 Arch street, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania it isa popular tourist attraction.

Not only was Betsy married and widowed three times – she was buried three times. Betsy Ross was first buried at the Free Quaker burial ground on South 5th street. 20 years later her remains were exhumed and reburied in the Mt. Moriah Cemetery in Philadelphia in the family gravesite. In the preparation of the United States Bicentennial the city ordered her remains to be moved to the Betsy Ross house in 1975. However, workers did not find any remains under her tombstone. Bones found elsewhere and unidentified were declared hers and re- buried in her grave at the Betsy Ross home.

Whose bones are in Betsy Ross’s grave. Hers, or another family member?

In 1909 a book was written by George Canby and nephew Lloyd Balderson. The book is titled, The Evolution of the American Flag. It gave positive information about Betsy making the first flag as was told to her family by Betsy.

A painting by Charles H. Weisgerber was printed into the book called, Birth Of Our Nations Flag. It showed Betsy and her granddaughters presenting the flag to General George Washington and others. This book became an instant sensation. The picture was printed in all the school text books in the United States.

A fund was started by school children to contribute ten cents each until they reach two million dollars to purchase and renovate the Betsy Ross house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Historians do not believe the house is the Betsy Ross house. But once again records were not available.

Is the house really Betsy Ross’s house?

The question is why did the public believe Betsy Ross did indeed make the first flag?

(1) The Speech her grandson made at the Historical Sociiety of Pennsylvania.

(2) The book, The Evolution of the American Flag.

(3) Married 3 times and widowed two times during the Revolutionary War.

(4) Owned and managed her own land.

(5) Single mother.

(6) Business woman.

(7) Using Betsy’s name in advertising was big business for selling flags and other items.

(8) Managed her own household.

(9) Member of the “Fighting Quakers.”

(10) Made American Flags for 50 years.

(11) The public loved the idea of a woman being a hero.

Does it really matter if Betsy Ross sewed the first flag? She was a gutsy lady. Way before her time. She proved her patriotism many times over and mystery still surrounds her life.

Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to read any of the numerous articles I have written on several different subjects.

Copyright Linda E. Meckler 2008

Indoor Furniture, Outdoor Furniture – What’s the Difference?


In the world of furniture manufacturing, there are companies that specialize in indoor furniture, outdoor furniture and between the two there is a limited amount of crossover. Outdoor furniture is built differently than the indoor variety, and while you can always use outdoor furniture inside, the opposite is not always the case. If you are debating moving some furniture for outside for a party or a much longer period of time, know what should and shouldn’t be used, and what can be made over to better handle the elements.

Be a material girl:

You don’t have to be Madonna to figure out that some materials are better suited for the outdoors than others, depending on type of furniture. Outdoor materials need to be sturdy enough to withstand variant temperatures, a certain amount of moisture from rain, dew, etc. and humidity.

Common sense dictates that there are certain materials that should never be taken outside, unless you’re absolutely sure that the weather will be perfect. For instance, carpeting is a disaster when it gets wet. It takes forever to dry, and can mold, and it also gets really stiff when it’s cold. That’s why rugs not meant for the outside should stay inside. Likewise, materials like suede, fleece, and dry-only materials should also not be taken outside. Companies manufacture cushion and deep seating fabrics that mimic the feel of more luxurious materials, but are fully waterproof.

Then there are certain pieces that can go outdoors for limited periods of time before you have to worry. Wicker, for instance, though technically considered patio furniture, is not that strong and holds up much better in sunrooms and away from prolonged exposure to sun and rain. Then there are things like thin pottery, ceramic and plastic pieces that are waterproof but not suitable as furniture, outdoor or in. They aren’t strong enough to withstand extreme temperature changes or strong, inclement weather. Untreated metal is also okay to get wet for short periods, but for much longer than that and you risk it rusting.

Then there are those materials intended for use as outdoor furniture. Outdoor materials are especially hearty but still look visually pleasing. Examples of tables, chairs, planters, and more can be seen made out of the following: treated wood and hardwoods, galvanized metal, powder-coated metal (aluminum, wrought iron, zinc hardware), stone and cement (as tables, benches and umbrella stands), marbles, clay and reinforced ceramics (as planter pots), poly resin plastics and waterproof nylon (used in canopies and as cushion covers).

This list only begins to scratch the surface of the multitude of materials that make up our lives. In all, use your best judgment about whether something can go outdoors. Take into account weather patterns. If it’s really nice out, you can be more lenient about what you take outside as furniture. Outdoor conditions can change rapidly, though, so keep an eye out.

Treating Wood

The best thing you can repurpose for use as indoor furniture/outdoor furniture is wood. It’s no more difficult than adding some varnish and it might save you from unnecessarily buying all new furniture. To begin with, take a look at the wood you’re working with. Stay away from old wood that’s in bad condition, as it will deteriorate at an even more rapid pace once taken outside. Next, check what species of wood you have. Some of the naturally stronger woods, like teak, pine, cedar and cypress, are great for the outside. These woods are already strong and durable on their own and require little extra protection. More delicate woods will require extra sealant and even then they probably won’t last as long outside as hardwoods.

To begin the weatherproofing process, you will need to cover wood with a fade-proof, UV-resistant finish. Sand away any lacquer that may already exist on your furniture. Whatever finish is on there is most likely intended for inside, and while it will give furniture a high gloss shine, it’s not the right kind of varnish that will protect it from moisture and the outdoor elements. After the surface is smooth, even and clean you can apply a sealant, usually an oil-based varnish, unless you’re working with a wood that produces its own oils, like teak and cedar furniture. Outdoor atmospheric elements will dry out wood more quickly than furniture that’s kept indoors, so it’s important to protect the surface and heartwood against cracking, rotting and warping. Once that’s complete, you’re good to go. From then on, simply oil and clean your wood furniture once to twice a year to keep it healthy.

The Umbrella Cockatoo – 5 Characteristics That Make the Cockatoo a Charming Companion Bird


The Umbrella Cockatoo is a large Parrot with a big personality to match. Here are 5 traits that keep it in constant demand as a pet bird.

Beauty-Their snowy white plumage makes a wonderful and striking contrast to their dark beaks and eyes, and gray or black feet. In flight they are like sunshine as they show the under side of their feathers that are yellow in color. But probably their most amazing feature is their crest. Usually it is kept flat on the head, but when extended, forms a half circle of beautiful feathers above their head, similar to an umbrella. They are truly elegant creatures whether they are flying or perched on your finger.

Affectionate Personality-Known for their great affection for and ability to bond with their humans, they are often accurately described as cuddly. They love physical contact with their humans and need this several hours each day to remain emotionally healthy. They are perfect companions for someone who has a lot of daily time and energy to devote. If your life style does not permit you to spend at least 2 hours a day with your Cockatoo, consider another bird that is less demanding of your time, attention, and affection.

Trainability-Cockatoos are extremely intelligent birds that are capable of learning and performing a wide variety of tricks. Short, daily training sessions yield the best results. Your consistency and patience will pay off not only in the tricks that your Cockatoo will eagerly perform for family and friends, but also in the trust and loving bond that this daily attention will create between you. They are so trainable that they are often featured in their own shows at the circus and zoo! So there you have it, the sky is truly the limit for what they can achieve.

Enthusiastic Eaters-They love to eat, and are not particularly fussy about what they eat. They still depend on you to provide a well balanced diet to help them stay strong, healthy, and happy. A healthy diet should include a constant supply of clean water, a high quality pellet diet as a base supplemented by fresh organic vegetables, sprouted seeds, and a smaller amount of fruits and nuts. Some fruit seeds are toxic to Cockatoos so check with your vet before feeding. Round out their diets with occasional table foods such as small pieces of boiled or thoroughly cooked scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and small pieces of cooked meat, pasta, and crackers. Provide a varied menu within these guidelines to keep your bird’s interest high at meal time.

Long Life Span-If you are looking for a life long companion, the Cockatoo has one of the longest life spans of any Parrot. With proper care they can live 80 years or more. Now that’s a friend for life!

Offset And Cantilever Umbrellas – What’s Up With Them?


One of the hottest (and coolest) new umbrella products is what is known as an offset or cantilever umbrella. Instead of having a pole in the center, the cantilever umbrella is held up by a sturdy pole to the side and a rotating arm that connects to the “skin” of the umbrella. This means you can use and enjoy the entire shade area of the umbrella. It also means you can easily rotate the umbrella as the sun moves to keep providing shade without having to move a heavy base.

Some models are equipped with a tilt and lock feature, meaning the capabilities for providing shade are almost limitless.

A cantilever umbrella makes a great choice for poolside where, in some situations, you can position the umbrella to provide protection from the sun while you’re in the water.

Another advantage to a cantilever or offset umbrella is that it can be used to shade a patio table without the need for a hole in the center of the table. Then everyone seated at the table has an unobstructed view of everyone else.

There are three important factors to consider though, before you buy an offset umbrella. First, manufacturers do not recommend these large umbrellas (10 ft. – 11ft. diameter) for use where conditions tend to be windy. Although they are usually well built, their design makes them vulnerable to instability in high wind.

Secondly, cantilever umbrellas require heavy bases for sufficient stability. The recommended weight is 100 lbs., although heavier is better. Special cantilever umbrella bases are available in 110 lb. resin models and also in hollow style. Hollow bases are less expensive, but you must fill them with sand or concrete.

The third consideration is price. Cantilever umbrellas must be well made or they can be more trouble than they are worth. A good 11ft. cantilever umbrella can cost three times what a comparable size crank and tilt market umbrella costs.

The growing popularity of cantilever umbrellas means you will certainly notice them more and more. Their distinctive look and adaptability make them the right choice for anyone wanting a premium shade product with maximum usefulness.

The Umbrella Cockatoo – 5 Characteristics That Make the Cockatoo a Charming Companion Bird


The Umbrella Cockatoo is a large Parrot with a big personality to match. Here are 5 traits that keep it in constant demand as a pet bird.

Beauty-Their snowy white plumage makes a wonderful and striking contrast to their dark beaks and eyes, and gray or black feet. In flight they are like sunshine as they show the under side of their feathers that are yellow in color. But probably their most amazing feature is their crest. Usually it is kept flat on the head, but when extended, forms a half circle of beautiful feathers above their head, similar to an umbrella. They are truly elegant creatures whether they are flying or perched on your finger.

Affectionate Personality-Known for their great affection for and ability to bond with their humans, they are often accurately described as cuddly. They love physical contact with their humans and need this several hours each day to remain emotionally healthy. They are perfect companions for someone who has a lot of daily time and energy to devote. If your life style does not permit you to spend at least 2 hours a day with your Cockatoo, consider another bird that is less demanding of your time, attention, and affection.

Trainability-Cockatoos are extremely intelligent birds that are capable of learning and performing a wide variety of tricks. Short, daily training sessions yield the best results. Your consistency and patience will pay off not only in the tricks that your Cockatoo will eagerly perform for family and friends, but also in the trust and loving bond that this daily attention will create between you. They are so trainable that they are often featured in their own shows at the circus and zoo! So there you have it, the sky is truly the limit for what they can achieve.

Enthusiastic Eaters-They love to eat, and are not particularly fussy about what they eat. They still depend on you to provide a well balanced diet to help them stay strong, healthy, and happy. A healthy diet should include a constant supply of clean water, a high quality pellet diet as a base supplemented by fresh organic vegetables, sprouted seeds, and a smaller amount of fruits and nuts. Some fruit seeds are toxic to Cockatoos so check with your vet before feeding. Round out their diets with occasional table foods such as small pieces of boiled or thoroughly cooked scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and small pieces of cooked meat, pasta, and crackers. Provide a varied menu within these guidelines to keep your bird’s interest high at meal time.

Long Life Span-If you are looking for a life long companion, the Cockatoo has one of the longest life spans of any Parrot. With proper care they can live 80 years or more. Now that’s a friend for life!

Offset And Cantilever Umbrellas – What’s Up With Them?


One of the hottest (and coolest) new umbrella products is what is known as an offset or cantilever umbrella. Instead of having a pole in the center, the cantilever umbrella is held up by a sturdy pole to the side and a rotating arm that connects to the “skin” of the umbrella. This means you can use and enjoy the entire shade area of the umbrella. It also means you can easily rotate the umbrella as the sun moves to keep providing shade without having to move a heavy base.

Some models are equipped with a tilt and lock feature, meaning the capabilities for providing shade are almost limitless.

A cantilever umbrella makes a great choice for poolside where, in some situations, you can position the umbrella to provide protection from the sun while you’re in the water.

Another advantage to a cantilever or offset umbrella is that it can be used to shade a patio table without the need for a hole in the center of the table. Then everyone seated at the table has an unobstructed view of everyone else.

There are three important factors to consider though, before you buy an offset umbrella. First, manufacturers do not recommend these large umbrellas (10 ft. – 11ft. diameter) for use where conditions tend to be windy. Although they are usually well built, their design makes them vulnerable to instability in high wind.

Secondly, cantilever umbrellas require heavy bases for sufficient stability. The recommended weight is 100 lbs., although heavier is better. Special cantilever umbrella bases are available in 110 lb. resin models and also in hollow style. Hollow bases are less expensive, but you must fill them with sand or concrete.

The third consideration is price. Cantilever umbrellas must be well made or they can be more trouble than they are worth. A good 11ft. cantilever umbrella can cost three times what a comparable size crank and tilt market umbrella costs.

The growing popularity of cantilever umbrellas means you will certainly notice them more and more. Their distinctive look and adaptability make them the right choice for anyone wanting a premium shade product with maximum usefulness.

How Long Will a Market Patio Umbrella Last?


How long will a patio umbrella last? This wonderful question is a very common question from our loyal customers over the years. Depending on the type of construction, and usage of your patio umbrella will change how long it will last. Using a patio umbrella protective cover to protect your umbrella from the weather elements or even if you store your umbrella in a protective shed, having a protective cover over it will increase the life span of the material allowing for more use, saving you money! Shades are available in many different fabric and pole options. The less expensive garden umbrellas will generally use olefin or polyester fabric. These fabrics are great for the everyday user to protect them against the suns harmful rays. Keeping the fabric away from the weather elements while it is not in use is the best method to preventing premature fading and deterioration. Occasionally using a mild detergent and water to clean the fabric is recommended to keep the canopy looking bright and new! These budget friendly units are also available with a wood, aluminum or fiberglass pole. The wood poles are light weight and have a wonderful visual appeal that is a great option for any buyer. Available in a light wood, dark wood and even a Marenti hardwood! These wood poles generally use a pulley system or manual pushup to raise or lower the canopy.

Also available with an aluminum center pole, these umbrellas are available with a pulley system or crank mechanism. Umbrellas must be closed and opened as described in the manufactures directions. Patio umbrellas without any moving mechanisms will last the longest because there are less moving parts that could stop functioning over time. The manual pushup umbrella should be the longest lasting out of the previously stated options. Making sure your unit is closed and secured with the included straps is vital for improving the life span of the unit preventing any damage caused by the wind of any other variables. The commercial patio umbrellas upgrade fabric is “Sunbrella” fabric. This fabric is absolutely the best quality fabric available, with a wide range of colors to choose from, the Sunbrella fabric is the ultimate choice. The Sunbrella fabric comes with an industry leading 5 Year Warranty! The fabric is made in the U.S.A. and is a great quality fabric. The more expensive umbrellas generally are available with the Sunbrella fabric. These patio umbrellas also have heavier duty hardware and thicker poles making them more durable which will last longer. They are still susceptible to damage caused by wind and other weather elements, so it is still recommended to close and secure the umbrellas when not in use.