Tips for Kids Parties

Parties for kids have come a long way in the last decade with more options, more expense and more expectation placed on an event that runs approximately 2-3 hours. Involved in the children’s party industry for 15 years, I have seen every kind of party from the informal backyard gathering to a virtual carnival with everything imaginable hired.

But don’t be daunted! A kid’s party doesn’t need a big budget or an event planner to be successful. Here are some great pointers to get the party started and the kids really enjoying themselves.

1. Stick with tradition. Children love it when predictable elements appear, and if they are overlooked, it will not go unnoticed! Must-haves are: Food, birthday cake, and the all important Party Bag! If you have at least these three things, you’ve got a party.

2. Things for the kids to do. There are so many options: Party games; hire an entertainer or activity or have the party somewhere that will entertain the kids for you. Rule of thumb: DON’T OVER-DO IT!

One or two entertainment events are more than enough. Remember, the kids are already being commanded to eat now, cut the cake now, watch the gifts being opened now, etc etc.. If you throw in entertainers, activities and games, the kids can quickly become overwhelmed, and the party whizzes by without the children having a chance to actually play with abandonment.

3. Play time: This element should be the top party essential. Time for the kids to play, run around, talk and laugh with one another is golden. It suits children of all ages and capabilities, and -, it’s free!

4. Age-appropriate entertainment. This idea may seem like a no-brainer, however I have attended many parties that result in children being bored or bewildered. For example, hiring a magician-clown for two-year olds left most of the children terrified. Another example is a bowling party for four-year olds. The kids had no interest in being competitive and after several bowls, the novelty had absolutely worn off. Even Pass-the-Parcel can cause distress when played with kiddies who are too young to know they haven’t missed out, they just have to wait their turn. If you are holding a party for mixed ages and genders, there’s a broad range of entertainment that will appeal, such as jumping castles and balloon-twisting.

5. Try to Relax! When planning a party, plan with your child and use your instincts – you know what they will enjoy the most. On the day have a mini run-sheet so you don’t forget anything, like when to get the party pies in the oven or to hand out the party bags.

And most importantly, enjoy YOURSELF too…after all -it’s a party!

All the best!

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How to stop the flood of election junk mail?

Wherever you live in the world, whether it is a State, Federal, Presidential or Local Council election, your mailbox will groan under the weight of materials aimed at winning your vote. It might be the electronic era, but it seems that a piece of paper in your letterbox is still considered the most effective way of getting a message across.

While an informed electorate is important for the democratic process, there appears to be huge over-sending of junk mail for political purposes – and no clear way on how to fix this. What’s worse, the content of most of the political flyers is simply mudslinging about their opponents with no intellectual substance. Is anyone else reminded of children in the playground?

How can you help stop this frivolous waste of resources? Imagine the strain on our environment and the large volume of greenhouse gases generated from all the trees cut down, printing, electricity and transport of the materials. Grab a cup of tea or your water bottle and let’s get down to it.

We know in Australia that material that is deemed to be political, educational, religious and charitable is exempt from “No Junk Mail” signed letterboxes according to standards conducted by the Australian Catalogue Association. So there is no way to stop it being deposited in your postbox along with the other junk mail catalogues enticing you to buy all sorts of things you don’t really need. It is likely the same in other countries.

Step 1. Incorrectly addressed political mail
A lot of of your mail may be addressed to past occupants of the house. You need to “return this to sender” with the note “no longer at this address”.

Step 2. Contact each political party or politician that is mailing you
There is no central database so you will need to call the office of each individual sender and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Remember to be polite! You catch more bees with honey than vinegar.

Step 3. National Standard to stop political junk mail
Write a letter to the Electoral Commission asking them to implement a National Standard to limit the number of pieces each political party is allowed to put in each household’s letterbox.

Step 4. Polling day
Don’t forget to recycle any materials you are given on the day – often the Greens Party has a box at the booths for such materials on polling day!

Written by Tracey Bailey, Director of Biome Eco Stores in Brisbane, specialists in water bottles and eco friendly, reusable choices for your home, body and lifestyle.

Double Glazing Windows

Acoustic double glazing requires the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window, preferably by 100mm. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation – Magnetic Acrylic Double Glazing and Acoustic Aluminium Double Glazing. Article body:

What is Window Double Glazing?
Double glazing depends on the addition of a secondary glazing layer offset from an existing window optimally by 100mm. Add our acoustic double glazing to your existing windows or specify our solutions on new projects. Double glazed windows eliminate noise transfer by up to 70% and remove heating costs by 35%.

Double Glazing System – Magnetic Acrylic Windows
Magnetic Window Soundproofing System works very simply by installing a PVC sub frame on the inside of your window. This double glazing system greatly increases noise reduction. The acrylic window is sealed in place, creating an air space with the existing window, thereby producing an insulating barrier.

Double Glazing System – Acoustic Aluminium Windows
This double glazing system reduces the transfer of noise from outside to inside. These sound proof windows can be specially manufactured to meet specific size requirements. The Soundblock Aluminium Window System is an add on glazing system, creating a double glazed unit to reduce noise transmission through existing windows up to 70%. As well it provides extra safety and security to the property.

How to Soundproof Windows
To successfully soundproof your windows you need to have a sufficient distance between your primary window and the edge of your internal window reveal. Ideally this gap is 100mm. This will allow an acoustic secondary window, either our Soundblock Acrylic Magnetic or Soundblock Aluminium windows, to be installed to effectively provide an overall sound reduction of 40-43db.

Noise reduction and soundproofing solutions
Founded in 1999, Soundblock Solutions is a highly respected, privately-owned Australian provider of soundproofing products and solutions. We can help to create a quieter, more comfortable environment in any environment, whether it’s in the home, office, hotels, industrial, marine or restaurants.

Representing leading Australian manufacturers of acoustic products, Soundblock offers a huge range of double glazing and window sound insulation and noise control products for domestic and commercial use. We will determine your exact noise problems and supply and install the most effective product or combination of products for your specific situation. Talk to us for expert advice and a comprehensive, cost-effective solution for all of your soundproofing, double glazing, noise control and acoustic requirements.

Soundblock are the experts in noise reduction and have found using window double glazing systems, that noise can be reduced by up to 70% or 41dB. Soundblock offer two solutions to double glaze windows for noise and thermal insulation.

Can I really save fuel with a Truck Wheel Alignment?

Most heavy vehicle owners in the transport industry are asking themselves – How can I save money on my running costs? How can I save on fuel consumption? Will a truck wheel alignment help?

Research & studies conducted around the world show that around 80 percent of medium to heavy vehicles are incorrectly aligned, or have a mis-alignment. If your truck, trailer or bus has incorrectly aligned wheels & axles, you have what we call increased rolling resistance when travelling on the road. This means the engine is working harder than required to push the truck along the road, and the end result is an increase in fuel consumption. Given that fuel can account for up to 50% of the operating costs of a truck or fleet, smart operators must explore all avenues to reduce fuel consumption.
Generally speaking, correcting even slight alignment issues have been shown to result in a saving of 3 – 10 percent on fuel.

3% doesn’t sound too significant does it? Lets take a closer look – One truck runs Brisbane to Sydney (return) 3 times a week (6,000 kms). That’s 312,000 kms a year. Fuel consumption average is 1.85 litres/km. That’s 577,200 litres, current local prices are around $1.49 per litre. Fuel cost for the year – $860,028.00. If you reduced fuel consumption by 3%, you would save $25,800.84!!
Your scenario may be different, but you can see that small changes can make a big difference to the bottom line of your business. There are other areas where you can save on running costs, which will be covered in another article.

If you own one truck or one hundred, and you are not having a regular truck wheel alignment performed as part of your maintenance schedule, you really need to contact your local truck wheel alignment specialist for a chat.

Truckologist is a mobile truck wheel alignment business based in Brisbane, Australia.

What are Aluminium Extrusions?

Extrusion is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile, of solid round, square or rectangular shapes, to L shapes and T shapes, tubes and many other different types. Metal is pushed through a die of the desired shape using either a mechanical or hydraulic press, resulting in the finished product. The cavity in which the raw material is pressed is lined with a wear resistant material which can withstand the pressure that is created when the material is pushed through, making extrusion possible without deforming or tearing the metal.

Aluminium extrusion is generally used in the manufacture of windows, doors and balustrades, but is also found in thousands of other items like vehicle parts, truck trays, boats and other marine products and refrigeration, etc to name a few.

Two advantages of this technique over other manufacturing processes are its ability to create very complex cross-sections, plus being able to work materials that are brittle, because the material only encounters compressive and shear stresses. It also forms finished parts with an excellent surface finish. Extrusions often minimise the need for secondary machining. They are not of the same dimensional accuracy or surface finish as machined parts, however, the process produces a wide variety of cross-sections that are hard to produce cost-effectively using other methods.

Extrusion may be continuous (producing indefinitely long material), or semi-continuous (producing many pieces). The minimum thickness of steel is about 3mm, whereas aluminum and magnesium is about 1mm. The extrusion process can be done with the material hot or cold.

Metals that are commonly extruded:

* Aluminium is the most commonly extruded material and can be hot or cold extruded
* Brass is used to extrude corrosion free rods, automobile parts, pipe fittings, engineering parts
* Copper pipe, wire, rods, bars, tubes, and welding electrodes
* Lead and tin pipes, wire, tubes, and cable sheathing
* Magnesium is used in aircraft parts and nuclear industry parts, and is about as extrudable as aluminum
* Zinc rods, bars, tubes, hardware components, fittings and handrails
* Steel rods and tracks -Usually plain carbon steel is extruded, but alloy steel and stainless steel can also be extruded
* Titanium is often used in aircraft components including seat tracks, engine rings, and other structural parts.

Clean Metals for Recycling

The cleaner that a metal is when it’s taken into a scrap metal yard to sell, the better price it will fetch per kilo, as foreign matter is costly to clean off, so this product will always be penalised accordingly in terms of the price. By this we mean no concrete, screws, glass, paper or any other foreign material attached.

All the metal we buy is processed by cleaning any non-metallic off it as required, cutting it into smaller pieces, and then it is put through a baling press to maximise the weights for export to South East Asia, where it will be melted down and manufactured into new products.

The Extrusion Process

The process begins by heating the material (for hot or warm extrusion). It is then loaded into the container for pressing. A dummy block is placed behind it where the ram then presses the material to push it out of the die. Afterward, the extrusion is stretched in order to straighten it. If higher quality properties are required then it may be heat treated or cold worked.

Cold extrusion is done at or near room temperature. Advantages of this over hot extrusion are the lack of oxidation, higher strength due to cold working, closer tolerances, good surface finish, and fast extrusion speeds if the material is subject to heat for a short period.

If you are looking for aluminium extrustion recyclers in Brisbane, make sure you visit Frog Metals.