Home Automation is from the future: Like the Jetsons!

I remember watching the Jetson’s when I was a kid.  They were from the future and had robots and flying cars.  If you missed that- you missed out.  We are now in the time they were supposed to be from and the reality is that some of what they predicted actually came true.  Home Automation allows people to control anything electrical with their phone or tablet from anywhere in the world that they have internet access.  How cool is that?

Want to change the temperature of your home automatically to adjust up during the day when no one is home so that you can save money?  You can.  Want your garage door to open automatically as you pull into the driveway?  You can.  Want to see who is at the front door even when you are at the office?  You can.  Why would that be useful? Imagine a delivery many trying to deliver a product you ordered from amazon- you can see when he comes up and even give him verbal instructions on where to leave it right from your phone.  Amazing.

In the past these types of smart home features were only available to electricians and people who lived in million dollar homes.  Today they are within reach of nearly every home owner and you can even buy basic systems and install them yourself from home depot and menards.

While you can do it yourself if you are handy both mechanically and with technology, you can also call an electrician that specializes in it, and that is what I did.  Thank you to the Electrician in Brooklyn Park that I called and all of the great information that you gave me about all of the options and the approximate costs to install.  It was a great learning experience and we are planning to add some of the features to our home this summer.  Thanks!!

Moving To Assisted Living

We recently had to move a relative into assisted living.  She was no longer able to live on her own and was experiencing memory issues due to Alzheimer symptoms.  It is one of the most difficult decisions to make and a tough transition for someone who is moving from being on their own to not being able to handle basic life tasks they have done for 70 plus years on their own.

Because this process is so difficult it was nice to meet Jason Geschwind recently.  He is involved with some assisted living facilities and it was great to get a feel for what goes on behind the scenes in an assisted living facility to help the residents make a smooth transition and to help them keep their dignity intact while keeping them safe and as independent as possible.

Until you have had to move a relative into a nursing home or assisted living home you would not realize the stress that it causes but if you think about what it would be like for you to move from your relatively free movement through out your day and suddenly having to adjust to schedules and locals that are totally foreign to you.  This is something that many families are attempting to forego opting for their relative to move in with them but the reality is that sometimes your relative requires more care than you are qualified or able to give.  While many try and in fact there is a national trend with homebuilders to offer designs that have separate but attached living areas for older relatives with their own garage entrance, kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and living area while allowing them to be connected with the rest of the family.  3 generations or more under 1 roof.  It can be very difficult though especially if you do not have enough space for another adult to live in your home.

Anyway, it was great to see how seriously the Jason and his staff and management of these facilities take their job of helping this transition and helping them keep as much of their freedom as possible.

Until next time.

Occasionally You Just Need to Get Rid of Something

Occasionally you just need to get rid of something.  That something for me is an old car that I have had since college. The car doesn’t run anymore and I had planned to fix it up a little and sell it.  Then I got married, had 3 kids and got immersed in my career.  Needless to say it sat in the shed out back for years never getting touched.  I finally realized that I have a junk car and need to get rid of it, but where do you get rid of Junk Cars in Minneapolis?

I figured I would have to hire a tow truck to pull it over to a junk yard and might even need to pay them to take it.  I was wrong.  After some digging online I was able to find a local company here that would not only come and pick it up but would also pay me to take it.  How does that work you may ask?  Well the company actually works with a scrap yard that takes in totaled or old vehicles and recycles them. Being that I was totally unaware of the process there are probably more people who are also, so I asked lots of questions and learned quite a bit, and am now going to pass the information on to you.

Once the company picks up your car they bring it to the recycling company that drains all of the fluid from the car and removes the parts that are still valuable. Some of those parts may be the wheels and tires, the alternator and some of the other easily replaceable parts.  Once that is complete they crush the car into small and very heavy metal boxes.  They then shred it.  Once it is shredded it goes through a process to separate the different types of materials and then is melted down and used to create new metal products.

It really is a very cool process and one worth looking into for your vehicles if you have driven them into the ground or are not running and cost too much to fix.  I hope that this was useful information.  I just found it to be very interesting and something I had no idea that it existed.


Here is a picture of part of the process.

crushed cars

Sunil Ramlall Ph.d Human Resources Consulting

It has been years since my last college course on human resources development and while I did well in college and think that I learned and internalized quite a lot of it, a short conversation with Sunil Ramlall brings to light just how much one needs to know and sadly, how little I learned about the topic and even worse, how much I retained.

As a long time small business owner there are things we do differently than larger businesses.  I have the benefit of having worked for some of these companies in corporate America but the reality is I didn’t appreciate a lot of the rules and procedures that were put into place as I saw them as being time wasters.  I was right for the most part.  Most of them wasted time until that 1 in 1000 chance that something happens and now those procedures save the company tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars or more.  Now they make complete sense.

These are some of the things that came up in just a short time conversing with Professor Sunil Ramlall about his HR Consulting company http://www.sunilramlall.com. While many larger companies have internal HR management many small and medium sized companies have not developed this portion of the company and can use the services of someone like Dr. Sunil Ramlall to help design aspects of their training, manuals, pay structures and even hiring and firing procedures.

From manufacturing companies to sales organizations people are an integral part of your business and many companies believe they are the MOST important part.  Reach out to an HR professional for more information.

April Showers Bring May Showers

Usually the saying goes April showers bring May flowers.  This year however we have had so much rain in both April – which was almost 3 weeks worth AND May.  In fact local lakes are at historical high water marks and creeks are coming over their banks and into the homes of residents.

When 7-10 inches of rain fall in a 5-6 hour period the systems get overloaded and many homeowners find that their water removal systems or sump pumps are either overloaded or go out.  When this happens you should definitely get in touch with a Plumber,  I recommend Jake The Plumber because of his fair pricing and the experience he brings to the table.  Whether you need your sump pump fixed or a water heater installed he and his team is definitely capable of handling it right the first time. No one likes when you have to call a plumber back to fix work.  I have not had to do that with Jake.

So what should you do after you get the sump pump fixed and get the water pumped out?  Call your insurance agent and get the process started to repair and replace the damage.  You may need to have carpets replaced as well as furniture and sheet rock replaced as well.

For this type of work you will want to work with a water and or fire restoration company because they are very used to working in these types of environments as well as with insurance companies to make sure that your home gets back to normal.

I hope you didn’t have to go through this but if you did, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


Lost original data

It looks like there are a lot of people out there trying to take down WordPress websites.  While I don’t have all of the data from the previous installation I intend to continue to do things like I did before- bringing you new things from around the web to discover.

So how have my chiropractic appointments been going?  Pretty awesome actually.  Since I have been going regularly again I have seen a sharp decrease in the amount of pains and aches that I experience.  I am glad to have hooked up with a Chiropractor in Savage, MN which is just right down the street from my Prior Lake office.

The staff is friendly and easy to work with and it turns out they are growing.  I have also been intrigued by the use of acupuncture and their office has an acupuncturist at their Savage location.

Here is a picture of part of their office.

Chiropractic Office

All in all this has turned out to be a pretty good life choice.


Once I get back to being able to get more content and cool discoveries out to you I will.

Until next time…