Indoor Air Quality
- Maintenance Savings Plan
Springtime is a great opportunity to get out of town for a while. Even for those who live in a mild climate throughout the winter months, the onset of spring is a welcome change of events. The effects of the earliest signs of spring can be invigorating, and that prompts many people to plan a vacation of some sort during this time of the year. For those families with kids in school, spring break is also a great opportunity to get everyone together despite how busy everyone’s schedules have become. Regardless of how you choose to spend your spring break, it is necessary that you take a few steps to ensure the safety and security of your home while you are gone. Here are a few pointers to follow so that you don’t have to worry about your house while you are away.
First of all, let your neighbors know that you are going to be out of town for a while. You don’t have to deputize them and have them put your home under 24–hour surveillance, of course. However, it is a good idea that they understand your home is vacant. Let them know if you have anyone coming by to water plants, care for pets or bring in the mail. That way their suspicions won’t be aroused by the site of unfamiliar faces coming and going.
Another precaution you may want to consider before taking your respite is putting your lights on a timer. Exterior lighting is one of the most effective means of protecting your home from intruders who prefer to work under the cloak of darkness. You may also want to consider the installation of motion detectors on a few flood lights outside. Not only will this help to alert people of a prowler on your property, but it will also be quite convenient when you get home. No point in fumbling around in the dark with an armful of groceries.
Finally, remember to set your heating and air conditioning systems accordingly. You don’t want to waste money keeping your home comfortable for residents that are not at home, after all. You shouldn’t necessarily shut your system down completely. You can certainly adjust your thermostat while taking into account that the house will be unoccupied for a bit, though. If you haven’t already, you may want to invest in a programmable thermostat. Such models allow you to use vacation settings and different programs to control your temperature settings automatically.
You don’t want to spend your spring break worrying about whether you remember to turn down the heat or if you put out enough water for the cats. Take the worry out of the equation by giving some thought to all that must be done before you head out. Preparedness really will help you to put your mind at ease. Follow these tips and enjoy your spring break to the fullest while knowing that your home is safe and sound waiting for your return.
On April 1st all the comedians come out: practical jokes, hoaxes, tricks and other games are played by children and adults alike. Despite the persistence of this tradition, no one seems to know where or why it originated. Like that salt in your sugar, its origins are puzzling. Many have conjectured various histories about this day on which we glorify the fool. Let’s take a look.
One possible explanation involves confusion surrounding the introduction of a new calendar introduced in 16th century France. Until 1564, what’s known as the Julian calendar was largely accepted. This decreed that the New Year began around April. King Charles IX changed the calendar year to the one we use today, which begins on the 1st of January. The 4–month differential caused quite a stir, to say the least. Those who refused the change or remained ignorant of it became the butt of jokes. In our age of rapid global data transfer, we would expect to be informed within hours of such a large–scale change. Back then, the shifting of dates in the rural countryside where literacy was rare may not have been recognized by many folks for months, perhaps years. Thus, the April’s Fool emerged as the unfortunate person who celebrated New Year’s four months late. Or so the story goes. Other histories have drawn on similar holidays in ancient Rome and India. Hilaria, from which we get the word "hilarious," was a day of Roman festivities thrown in glory of the god, Attis. Today, it’s known less subtly as Roman Laughing Day. The Holi festival in India celebrates spring’s arrival, and people often play tricks on one another.
April Fools in the calendar sense is no longer possible, perhaps. But our gullibility may not have declined much. Last April, there were a number of large–scale commercial hoaxes that seemed to trick the public, if only for a day. To name just a few:
- The popular kids’ martial arts characters, The Power Rangers, managed to launch their own line of high–end perfume.
- The popular film and camera manufacturer developed a way for customers to actually print their own live kittens.
- The Canadian airline Westjet introduced a great new feature to keep their cabins quiet: child–free cabins!
- Google’s latest technology development, the self–driving car, headed to Nascar.
- The BBC reported that the Earth had finally exploded.
These are just some of the pranks to look out for this April Fool’s Day.