Forum Posts

xZAIBIIx
Apr 12, 2022
In TV Guide & Settings
I don't know about you but, my first experience in a brick and mortar sex shop was not the most pleasant. With a salesperson watching my every move, I felt no privacy whatsoever. As this was supposed to be something fun and exciting to do with my boyfriend, I can only say that the experience was not at all as arousing as we had hoped. So instead we decided to see if going to a sex shop online would be more our style. Just the fact that we could sit together at the computer screen and look at all that was available was definitely more pleasing. Just fantasising about using this or that, or explaining to each other how we would use this sex toy on each other, in total privacy was a definite turn on. One thing we noticed, were the prices. The toys at the sex shops online were incredibly lower. Even after taking into account the shipping costs the final purchase price is much lower than the street shops. Some of these sex toy shops online even had free shipping if you buy for more than a certain predetermined amount of dollars. Once we had figured out the sex toys that we wanted to purchase, we then had the chance to shop around and find the best prices. There are some great price comparison tools out there if look around. Shopzilla and Google Product Search are some of my favourite. They allow searching for a particular product and seeing the different online sex shops that carry them and compare the prices. So getting the most 'bang for your buck' is indeed possible (pun intended!). So all things considered, here are what we find are the pros and cons of each sex toy shop: Buying from a sex shop online, will save you money if you know how to shop and compare. You will also have a much more private shopping experience. We found that shopping from the comfort of our couch was fun, exciting and just led to more sex talk and teasing. The cons however, are that you cannot actually touch and see the products. So to know if the vibrator you want to buy is big enough, or vibrates enough or just feels like what you want, is not possible when buying online unless the website has live chat. Some sites will offer live help to get answers to those questions that you may have.
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xZAIBIIx
Nov 10, 2021
In TV Guide & Settings
Rope Hammocks Hammocks are fabrics or pieces of cloth used as slings for resting or sleeping while hanging above the ground. It usually consists of two or more fabric panels, cloth panels or thin ropes expanded with wires between four firm points like posts or trees. Hammocks are now famous around the globe for relaxation. In addition, it is popular in camping trips. It is protected against rain, root and mold. Hammocks have many different types according to materials used, like nylon, nylon rope and single nylon hammocks. A nylon hammock is made of quality craftsmanship and durable materials. Nylon ropes are elastic, lustrous and stronger. Single nylon ropes are about 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. Tips on Making Rope Hammocks Materials include polyester ropes for long-lasting hammocks, 2lbs hammock ropes, 1 gauge stick, 1 large netting shuttle, 2 rings about 2 to 3 inches in diameter, 2 hardwood bars (33 inches long and 1.5 by 1.5 inches). Step 1 Measure and cut about 1 or 2 pieces of rope. Tie the ends together into a square knot. Hang the rope on a post, doorknob or tree. Get the netting shuttle and grip it in point end up. Twist the cord a few times around the netting shuttle and tie the end into a loop on the post, doorknob or tree. Step 2 Use the gauge stick to twist the netting shuttle cord around it. Pass the netting shuttle throughout the loop and grip the cord tightly. Create a half hitch and continue creating loops until the gauge stick has about 15 to 20 total loops. Step 3 Take out the gauge stick from the loops and grip it directly underneath. Rotate the ropes such that the netting shuttle is on the left side. Get the netting shuttle cord down to the front portion of gauge stick and bring it at the back, placing it throughout the first loop. Move around the first loop with the netting shuttle cord and create a hitch. Repeat the movement until it is completed on all sides. Step 4 Place more than 10 ropes around the netting shuttle when it runs out. Tighten the free end in the square knot to the first old hammock. Keep repeating step 3, creating rows of loops with a rope. Generally, the length will is approximately 7 feet if there are 50 to 55 rows. Step 5 Cut the first loop and remove it. Change it with dowel to give it stability and maintain the rows smoothness while working on it. Get about 2 pieces of hardwood cut into 33 inches in length and 1.5 by 1.5 inches. Bore or drill each piece with 15 to 20 holes, making sure that it is not closer that 2.5 inches from each other and that it is 1.5 inches apart from each other. Step 6 Gather about 40 pieces from a 50-inch long rope. Get a 2 inch ring and loop the initial cord through it. Run it equally through the ends of the cord via the first bored hole in the hardwood. Tighten an overhand knot and secure each piece of rope from the woven hammock. Hammock Swings Hammock swings are worktables or benches made from a cushion or rope webbing suspended from about two different secure points such as posts or trees. The gentle swinging motion of a hammock is truly enjoyable and relaxing. A hammock swings swiftly, making it a famous addition to numerous homes whether placed outdoors or indoors.
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xZAIBIIx
Nov 08, 2021
In TV Guide & Settings
Organisations today are dealing with complexity and uncertainty on a scale that has never been seen before. The economic and social upheaval is changing the game faster than one can learn it. Setting sensible goals for organizational development and overall process improvement requires an in-depth understanding of maturity levels within an organization. Understanding the Meaning Maturity level is a defined evolutionary plateau for organizational process improvement. Each maturity level matures an important subset of the organization's processes, preparing it to move to the next maturity level. The maturity levels are measured by the achievement of the specific and generic goals associated with each predefined set of process areas. Before moving to different maturity levels let's understand the conceptual differences between mature & immature organizations. Mature Organization A mature organization possesses an organization-wide ability for managing development and maintenance processes. The processes are accurately communicated to both existing staff and new employees, and the work activities are carried out according to the planned processes. The processes mandated are fit for use and are consistent with the way the work actually gets done. These defined processes are updated per need, and improvements are catered through controlled pilot-tests and/or cost benefit analyses. Roles and responsibilities within the defined process are clear throughout the project and across the organization. The managers monitor the quality of their products & services and customer satisfaction as well. There is an objective, quantitative basis for judging product quality and analyzing problems with the product and process. Schedules and budgets are based on historical performance and are realistic; the expected results for cost, schedule, functionality, and quality of the product are usually achieved. By and Large, a disciplined process is consistently followed because all participants understand the value of doing so, and the necessary infrastructure exists to support the process. In other words, a mature organization is one which is constantly evolving and learning from past decisions, which is ready to accept its mistakes & failures, welcomes alternative approaches and ideas and most importantly solicits & values input from its employees, regardless of their rank or title. Immature Organization In an immature organization, processes are generally not planned beforehand and implemented by practitioners along with their management during the course of the project. Even if a process has been specified, it is not rigorously followed or enforced. The immature organization is reactionary, and managers are usually focused on solving immediate crises. Schedules and budgets are routinely exceeded because they are not based on realistic estimates. When hard deadlines are imposed, product functionality and quality are often compromised to meet the schedule. There is no objective basis for judging the product/service quality or for solving product or service problems. Therefore, it becomes difficult to predict the product/service quality. Apart from this, a small or a large organization can be immature if its internal practices are more reactive and crisis-driven than proactive and plan-driven. It also depends on the culture of the organization. Some cultures don't plan the typical "linear" approach and adopt step by step methodology of completing a task or solving a problem and that's why very reasonably an organization gets labelled as immature. Organizational Maturity Levels depend more on the nature of activities in the organization. Relevance of Maturity Levels in Business Organizations Maturity Levels acts a catalyst in improving the following Organizational development areas: Planning and implementing improvement activities Developing individual capability Integrating workforce development with process improvement Building workgroups and establishing a culture of professional excellence Motivating and managing performance Shaping the workforce Characterizing the maturity of workforce practices An organization could be at any of the below listed maturity levels: Oblivious Maturity Level Exploratory Maturity Level Defined Maturity Level Adoptive Maturity Level Adaptive Maturity Level Level 1: Oblivious Maturity Level At this level organizations are simply unaware of what's happening across the organization. Processes are usually not documented and change per need. The organization does not have a stable environment and may not know or understand all the components that constitute the environment. Success in these organizations depends on individual's organisational knowledge, competence, heroics of the people in the organization, and the level of effort expended by the team. Products and services of the organization frequently exceed the budget and schedule. The organization often over commits, abandons processes during a crisis, and is unable to repeat past successes Besides limited process acceptance, oblivious maturity level organization carry the phenomenon of very little planning and executive buy-in for projects. Effort Matrix Pre-Planning Stage The oblivious maturity level of an organization requires enormous planning especially if the organization has aged without any significant thought process in the direction. Planning here refers to all possible methods adopted to bring a stable environment, systems & process in place and awareness on the financial punctuality mapping all potential threats. Almost 35% of the target time must be invested in wholesome planning, which actually gets invested in planning. Implementation Stage At oblivious maturity level, implementation of the plan is critical for people's openness to change, which is actually very low, coupled with sense of insecurity & instability. Seeking help of an OD expert would be a good idea at this juncture. This level of maturity needs more time than any other stage. Investment of time in implementation in upward stages is less because of a certain level of acceptance towards change. 50% of the time should ideally be allocated for implementation and monitoring the progress. Post Implementation Stage If everything goes well as planned then the remaining time from the earmarked timeslot will be profitable for the organization & may be utilized for absorbing the learning and reflecting maturity & practice the same rather than moving towards the next stage/level. It is also recommended that on reaching this level, people's efforts should be recognized and celebrated. A robust professional coaching/counselling session may be initiated for personal development, which will further boost their aspirations for achieving growth keeping the organizational goals/objectives in sync. This could reflect a step towards maturity with people's commitment and dedication. Level 2: Exploratory Maturity Level At this stage organizations are spending more time on research and understanding what vitality the emergent collaborations within and amongst teams in the organization carries. The importance of evenly distributed, cross-disciplinary and virtual teams and how it can affect the business is also assessed at this level of maturity. Here organizations begin to see the possibilities of what can be done and also understand how emergent collaborations can solve complex business problems. Formation of teams that will help drive this organizational development initiative within the organization is imperative. To move to the defined stage, there needs to be a very solid understanding of what emergent collaboration means to the organization. To take this leap, a strategic direction and vision formation is a pre-requisite. Effort Matrix Pre-Planning Stage The exploratory maturity level of an organization requires almost the similar amount of planning exercise as required in the oblivious level which is aimed at assessing the importance and means of efficient emergent collaboration. Around 40% of the time could be invested in multifaceted planning before implementation. Implementation Stage The implementation time could ideally be around 50% at this level. This stage is crucial in terms of defining teams and collaboration amongst them. Elimination of personal biases, if any, would certainly bring about greater benefits. Up-grading the organization is the sole motive which might call for some tough decisions. At this stage it is vital to facilitate all new joinees on a continuous basis to ensure complete integration amongst its people, culture, systems and processes along with a two way expectation mapping. Post Implementation Stage If everything goes well as planned, remaining time i.e. 10% will be profitable for the organization could be utilized by people for pursuing the key learning's. Needless to mention, rewarding individuals and teams on accomplishment of each milestone, needs to be an ongoing process. It is quite possible that one can be successful or unsuccessful which needs to be observed / monitored on a progressive basis, but every effort should be made to find out the reasons associated with the failure and deviation for remedial actions. Level 3: Defined Maturity Level Here the organization needs to have a clearly defined strategy and direction for the emergent collaboration efforts. At this stage, the organization is getting ready to communicate and share the direction and vision to the teams with clearly defined roles. At this level more often we see that the standard operating procedures are in place subject to some degree of change over time and measures of success are defined to evaluate the process/people performance. To progress to the adoptive stage, organizations have to communicate their vision behind formation of the emergent collaboration and give direction to the teams and start implementing everything that was outlined and put together in the defined stage. The organization is one step closer to realizing the business value of emergent collaboration. The strategic framework to make this happen is complete, and the organization is ready to begin implementing. Effort Matrix Pre-Planning Stage The defined maturity level is a platform where people management and actual business realization could begin happening. This level would typically require abundant time in planning, close to around 75%. Extensive effort goes in forming and managing teams with all probable combinations worked out that best suits the organizational objectives. Care must be taken to maximize harmony and synchronization amongst the team and its members. From this level onwards, planning would be more time consuming. Planning in this context would imply people management and implementing the business strategies in an ever changing market dynamics. Any strategic business failure would be a de-motivating factor both for people and the organization. It could also negate the achievement in the maturity front (Oblivious and Exploratory Maturity Level).Hence thorough planning which includes an inbuilt mechanism to deal with any exigency that might arise in the further processes. Plain speaking, this could involve wings within wings as in multiple plans in a single plan. Implementation Stage At this stage the implementation requires careful placement as it involves team dynamics and guided support to the underperforming teams. Effort should be made in right earnest to bring all individuals/team on a common platform, thus paving the way towards seamless progression across the organization. At this level, the OD factor and its acceptance become part and parcel of the culture, instead of the DNA of the organization. Both planners and executors are ready to move in organization's common direction & hence 20% of the benchmarked time is sufficient at this phase. Individuals and teams must be given some amount of liberty to develop a sense of ownership & belongingness, under close monitoring. Post Implementation Stage If everything goes well as planned, remaining time i.e. 5% shall be profitable for the organization. At this juncture, an organization may choose to introduce itself to the next level of maturity or may pursue the key learning's as reflected in the previous levels.. Level 4: Adoptive Maturity Level At this stage the organization is in the process of complete implementation. Everything has been explored, teams have been established, the vision has been communicated, measures of success have been established, risks have been evaluated, and the road map and strategy have been developed. This is the stage of greatest learning for the organization as progress is evaluated per the success bench-mark and feedback is continuously collected. Employee resistance here is least as they try to embrace new strategies and technologies at work. The remainder of the emergent collaboration life cycle is spent in the adaptive stage. Teams are more easily formed, and employees start to open up and trust each other. Organization's morale begins to soar as employees begin to understand and appreciate their roles better and so the roles of their colleagues. Senior-level leaders gain greater insight into the way the organization operates. The organization now sees opportunities to engage and inspire employees, retain and attract new talent by being perceived as innovative and employee friendly. Effort Matrix Pre-Planning Stage The adoptive maturity level of an organization requires 88% of the targeted time in planning. An organization could gain tremendous business excellence at this stage if it thrives of capturing a sizable chunk of the market share or launching a new product/service etc. This is the stage wherein brand equity, imbibing employee's self worth or becoming a preferred employer can be seen. The planning has to be done in a manner which reflect greater employee engagement, encourage loyalty, lessened attrition greater sense of pride & ownership. Implementation Stage At this stage, the organization can see heightened morale and engaged employees. The implementation require lesser time (around 10% of the timeslot would suffice the purpose). Post Implementation Stage If everything goes well as planned, balance time from the targeted time is a gain for the organization in totality. Level 5: Adaptive Maturity Level This adaptive stage isn't an end state; it's a continuous cycle of improvement and evolution. The adaptive organization has a very solid understanding of what works and what doesn't and is capable of making the right decisions. Organizations can easily regress into previous stages if, for example, they stop listening to and incorporating employee feedback into their efforts, which in turn can cause employees to abandon platforms. If employees don't feel supported and listened to, then chances are that adoption rates will never rise. The important thing here is that there are always going to be improvements, updates, changes to technologies, new best practices, new team members, new leaders, and evolved strategies. An adaptive organization is one that continuously learns and is able to improve/change accordingly. This is where the organization sees the greatest business value from emergent collaboration as inefficiencies are eliminated, problems are solved and successes are repeated. The organization is now able to adapt to new changes, behaviours, or feedback from employees. Company morale increases as employees see that they have a voice and their feedback is being implemented. All necessary components for emergent collaboration are integrated and because of which sharing, finding, and collaborating on information are at their peak. The organization can now quickly create efficient and objective solutions. Productivity increases, opportunities are identified continuously and efficiently which further result in cost-saving or revenue-generating opportunities. Effort Matrix Pre-Planning Stage The adaptive maturity level of an organization is the vision of every organization. A 360 degree approach could be adopted reflecting 95% time invested in planning to cater to the internal and external customers. This is the stage wherein organization must focus in absolute terms on preparing systems and processes wherein success could be predicted with minuscule deviation within a combination time, effort and strategy. Implementation Stage The implementation at this stage only requires a push and the desired results could be achieved by investing only 5% of the remaining time. Post Implementation Stage Reaching this level requires strengthening of the systems & processes and their continuous monitoring. People need to be treated as greatest assets who bring along with them an inherent vast talent & potential energy. Moving Through Maturity Levels The expected course of development for an organization is a sequential progress through the Maturity levels. The organization needs to stabilize at a given maturity level before advancing. Because each level builds upon the foundation of the previous level, skipping levels can be counterproductive. Organizations with mismatched levels in different process areas in a single product/service can put improvements at risk. For example, a maturity level 3, product engineering process is more likely to fail if maturity level 2 management practices make for poorly planned schedules or a lack of change control. Possible Implementation Issues Here are few implementation issues which may occur during the organization's movement towards maturity: If an organization's internal practices are reactive and crisis-driven then taking organization towards maturity is an endless task/prone to all probable failures. Primitive business & product/service development approach of top business heads towards organizational development and resistance to change will not let the organization mature. In absence of clear process objectives and directions by management which are linked to business objectives, confusion may mislead people from reaching the desired change. Without proper training on the new processes, approach and means to achieve laid down objectives; the onset of anxiety amongst the organization's staff is likely to slow down the process of organization's maturity. In absence of any direct or indirect payout associated with the change, some employees may not get ready for adoption of changes. In case resources are not estimated and provided, frustration may put an end to the organization's willingness to mature. Conclusion The organizations having the highest maturity levels are basically learning organizations & such learning organizations: Understand why they are doing, what they are doing Know "what to do" when problems are encountered (don't overreact to special causes - concentrate on finding common causes) Error-proof their processes to allow for human fallibility Convert "blame" into "opportunity" Balance "empowerment" and "ownership" with CONTROL Measure and predict how much further they have to go to achieve their goals One of the major challenges for any organization is to deal with organizational restructuring -Mergers, acquisitions, re-organizations, and rapid growth. Each merger or re-organization can dramatically change the culture of the "original" organization. Although Maturity process can help an organization going through such changes however it is still a rocky road which could only be encompassed with a systematic approach and gradual developments.
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xZAIBIIx
Nov 06, 2021
In TV Guide & Settings
Accordions probably conjure up images of a street player in Paris, his fingers wandering through a wistful waltz on some street corner, working the bellows of his accordion expertly while the music wafts out a romantic atmosphere. Sorry, but Roland digital accordions have changed all that. Accordions have finally come of age. The new Roland digital accordions have Physical Behaviour Modeling at the heart of the system. It's what makes a digital accordion sound so good. The idea is to accurately model the sound produced by a standard acoustic accordion. It does this through a series of complicated algorithms, instead of using sampled sound. The result? You probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Roland digital accordions are lightweight. No musician enjoys having to lug around a deadweight instrument and this one is certainly not in that category. The weight of the accordion comes from different components than a traditional accordion, however. Digital accordions have a rechargeable battery pack as it is driven by electronics and not purely bellows power. The bellows do of course play an important part, just as they do with a traditional accordion. The movements of air made by the bellows are detected by the digital accordion and used to reproduce sounds that are entirely in keeping with what would be expected if the bellows were pushing air through a set of reeds. The Roland digital accordion is not just one accordion though. It's a single instrument, but it can faithfully simulate some 30 different accordion sounds. With each one you get a wide range of treble registers, bass and chord registers and free bass registers. It's one instrument all right, but a whole orchestra of accordions in a single package. And talking of orchestras, Roland digital accordions have that covered too. An impressive range of orchestra sounds can be created at the touch of a button. The traditional accordion is a fairly simple instrument. The bellows can be controlled at will and can pass air gently over the reeds, or it can be used robustly to increase volume and power, blowing the air strongly over the reeds. Roland digital accordions have managed to replicate this effect. Anyone who can play an accordion will be impressed by the realism of playing compared to a traditional acoustic accordion. Roland digital accordions do not offer exactly the same playing experience as an acoustic accordion, however. An accordion player who has played for many years will notice how it feels somehow different. This is because the things that determine the sounds produced in a traditional acoustic accordion no longer apply to a digital accordion. The bellows movement of Roland digital accordions offer more stability and consistency. To put it in simpler terms, you don't have to work so hard to produce subtle sounds. This will probably feel strange at first to the accomplished player, but it doesn't take long to get used to. It allows a much greater control of playing skill, a positive thing that traditional acoustic accordions simply don't have.
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