Posts by Robin

Do I Have All I Need for the Big Move?

»Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Self Storage Tips | 0 comments

Moving is a pretty big deal. I’ve done it three times in my life (twice just across one town), and I still find myself getting frazzled over the whole process. I always have this feeling that I’m forgetting something like some treasured object is hiding somewhere just out of sight. Did I check that cupboard or did I just assume it was empty? Maybe I’ve left some long forgotten but very dear object there, and I’ll only miss it years from now when it’s too late.

Then there are issues of organization. Should I put the utensils with the pots and pans or with the plates? That may seem silly but when you get down to things like old, important notes or journals, i.e. old documents that were once and may somehow in the future be important, it becomes harder. You want to make sure you take them, and they get packed somewhere where you can find them, but where is the best spot?

I haven’t even gotten started here. I worry about all my breakables. Should I pack them together or wrap them up separately and divvy them up between the other boxes? Together, you can prioritize the box to try to protect it, but together they may also all break at once if something happens.

As you can see, this is a stressful business for me, and this kind of mania really slows down my packing. So, to try to make this a little easier on myself this time, I’m trying to organize everything before I even start moving.

That has meant making a huge list of everything I can think of that I’m taking. I don’t mean I exhaustively cataloged all of my possessions, but I did put everything into categories. I have the dishes category, for instance, and I break that down into breakable and unbreakable. Things like that.

I’m also trying to get a grip on what I need in order to actually pack. I found this list at Your Austin Storage, which has helped me make sure I’ve got all the boxes and tape and such things that I need.

One final thing I’m trying. I’m opening every closet and every cupboard now and searching every shelf to make sure I know everything that is on each one. So far, no family heirlooms I had completely forgotten about but the loss of which would one day haunt me. Here’s hoping, if they exist, I find them in one of the last couple of drawers I haven’t checked yet.

My hope is that with a little more systematic thinking beforehand, I’ll be able to avoid getting too stressed when the time comes to actually pack up and move.

I’d like this move to go smoothly. It’s my first move out of the state, which makes it all the more important I don’t have any nagging feeling that I left something behind.

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Dog Bites and their Unfortunate Bias towards Younger Children

»Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Pets | 0 comments

Any owner who owns a dog doesn’t want to think that their dog would ever bite someone let alone a young child. It is a tragic statistic that a disproportionate amount of dog bites occur to children left alone with the animal. There are a number of reasons for this like children don’t understand what a dog would take as a threat or to not bother an animal when they are eating. However, the paramount problem is that the owners of these dogs are not taking steps to keep them out of the reach of small children.

In 2016 there were 48 dog bite incidents in Detroit alone. Beyond a few campaigns by the USPS and animal control to encourage owners to control their pets better there hasn’t been much change. In May of 2017 local news network, WGN9 reported about a 3-week old infant who was killed by the family dog. Apparently, after leaving the child alone for about five minutes the caretaker in charge of the kid found her bleeding from a serious head injury and one of the family dogs with blood staining its jaws. The real heartbreaking thing about this story is that the dog probably did not mean the child any harm. At that young of an age, the skull has not formed yet so while the dog was trying to play with the child it could have treated the baby as a fellow dog. The takeaway is that the responsibility for these types of attacks isn’t on the dog or baby but on the owner who knows the fragility of the baby and strength of the dogs and still allows the two to be left alone in the same room. According to the personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. around 360,000 children were bitten by dogs between 2010 and 2012. The worst part is that these types of attacks are easily preventable. Some basic tips to avoid these include the aforementioned never leave young children alone with dogs, teach older children not to pet dogs they don’t know, and if you feel threatened by a dog, back away slowly and don’t make any loud noises.

Unfortunately, there are many stories just like this one every year. Dogs and children should always be supervised together until a child is old enough to learn proper safety techniques when interacting with animals. Most dogs are good however even good dogs can have bad days and lash out at those who can’t defend themselves. As humans, we will never fully understand their behavior, but we can take all the necessary precautions to protect our youth. 

Nobody wants to see their family dog injure or in the worst scenarios kill someone. When it comes to dogs, they have very little instinct and learn much of their behavior from their owners and neighborhood dogs. By properly training them and limiting their exposure to dangerous dogs and young children, theses kinds of horrific attacks can be prevented.

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Chinatown Tax Increase: Is a beautiful landscape worth it?

»Posted by on Sep 2, 2017 in Landscaping | 0 comments

Although most of us can agree that having a beautiful community is beneficial, it is a hot topic for debate who should pay for its upkeep and landscaping. Most cities fund their public works through local taxes, but in huge cities, it becomes more difficult to decide who should pay for beautification projects considering that they will only be enjoyed by the people who live in the immediate area. The City of Chicago has recently received pushback against a proposed tax increase to beautify one of its most heavily visited and popular destinations.

According to the news site DNAinfo.com, the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is proposing a new property tax increase that, if it is approved by the City Council, will go towards beautification projects and the promotion of high traffic commercial areas in Chinatown. The city of Chicago already has a number of these “special service areas”, or SSAs. The proposition has received plenty of pushback, however, and there are large banners all around Chinatown that proclaim “No to SSA Tax”. Residents and business in the area claim that they cannot sustain yet another tax increase and that the timing of the proposed increase is poor. However, Chinatown is the only big entertainment area in Chicago that does not yet have an SSA, and the money would go towards landscaping, garbage can placement, and would even provide for a full staff to maintain the area. In addition, this SSA would cost less than any of the other 53 SSAs around the city, so the tax burden would necessarily be less than in other areas. According to the chamber, the property tax increase would come out to about $860 per year for property owners. Other supporters of the increase say that large investments in the area have already been made in the form of a $20 million library that opened in 2015, as well as a 30,000 square foot park house that was opened the year before.

The article states that both sides concede that it is difficult to measure how helpful the special service areas are, but beautification projects and new landscaping have been proven methods of raising nearby property values and attracting more people to the area. Personally, I think the new tax increase would help Chinatown and that local businesses would benefit from increased tourism, but I think the city council ought to reevaluate at a later date since new taxes were already recently imposed.

One way a new tax could be avoided altogether would be to encourage business owners to landscape their own properties, but this may end up being more costly. Landscaping companies such as Ware Landscaping in Chicago provide all sorts of services and can pick out shady trees that can even lower your energy bill. Individual landscaping efforts could certainly increase the appeal of your neighborhood, but it would still be necessary for the government to take care of public land. Tax increases for this purpose are unavoidable, but they will result in monumental gains in the long run.

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Child Drownings in Swimming Pools

»Posted by on Jul 30, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Children have a dangerous combination of attitudes – they are curious and reckless. Also, they are physically and mentally limited to defend or save themselves. These traits make them extremely vulnerable, especially near areas with deep water, like swimming pools.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been hurt in swimming pool accidents may have legal options, and this is particularly true if there is negligence on the part of the property owner.

But at the end of the day, avoiding accidents such as drownings is still the smartest choice, and to avoid them, the first thing you should know is the elements that influence them.

Lack of Supervision

Because of the traits that make children vulnerable, adults such as yourself should give them particular attention. You should always have your eyes on children, because you will never know when they will do something that can put them in danger, especially that swimming pools can be particularly dangerous to them because of drowning.

Lack of Security

The swimming pool or resort owner also has the responsibility of ensuring that no accidents happen, so it is fair to say that they should have the adequate number of competent security personnel to keep an eye not just on children, but on everybody that is in the premises.

Lack of Lifeguards

Even if there is adequate security, you will never know when an accident will occur, so it is best for the swimming pool or resort owner to employ lifeguards. There should be enough lifeguards to reach different parts of the premises immediately, because obviously, a drowning accident doesn’t take long to be fatal, especially for children.

Lack of Barriers

Aside from security, the premises should also have the proper facilities to directly avoid drowning accidents. One of the most basic requirements is a barrier around the swimming pool, so it is not easily accessible for unsupervised children, if there are children who are unsupervised by security in the first place. This is an added measure to deter accidents.

Slippery Spots

There are also instances where children have gone to the water not because they want to, but because they have accidentally slipped from something. The most common culprits are the buildups of mold in a diving board or on the edge of the pool, especially those that are on the deep end of the pool.

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The Problem with Nursing Homes

»Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

You put your loved one in a nursing home because you know it is for the better. In there, your loved one will receive the medical attention he or she needs, and it will be received in a dignified manner. At least, that is what you think.

You should consider the possibility that the nursing home is abusive and neglectful. You loved one may be too limited physically or mentally to effectively say to you that this is the case, so you should be the one obligated to put him or her in a safe environment.

Abuse

Abuse happens when your loved one has received incidental force from another person. Many times, this person is either a nursing home staff or another patient. Either way, the nursing home management should prevent abuses from happening.

Abuse can come in many forms, such as physical, sexual, psychological, and even financial. Here are some of the signs you should look out for:

  • Behavioral changes, particularly in the presence of a specific person
  • Rise of new health complications or worsening of existing ones
  • Rise of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unexplained wounds, especially on areas that are likely to be restrained, such as the wrists

Neglect

You put your loved one in a nursing home so he or she can get care, so if he or she isn’t getting it, what is the point? Like abuse, neglect can come in many forms, such as the failure to give the adequate hygienic, medical, and nutritional needs of the residents. The signs you should look out for include the following:

  • Dryness of skin and lips
  • Hygiene problems in body or clothes
  • Loss of weight
  • Worsening health condition

What You Can Do

It is important to point out that the existence of these signs don’t necessarily mean that your loved one is experiencing abuse, but they can serve as your first clues. According to the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, those who have loved ones that have suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home may have legal options.

But to prevent the hassles of spending time in court and money on legal fees, it is better to observe the nursing home first before putting your loved one there. Look at the place if it has the adequate facilities, competent staff, and clean environment that your loved one deserves.

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