What’s Worse: Band breakups or marriage splits?

“What is it like being in a band?” My friends always ask me. It’s a lot of fun, but there are some drawbacks as well. I’m in my late twenties, and I’ve been playing music my whole life. It’s become the essence of who I am as a person, and music has a role in nearly every aspect of my life.

I first started playing the piano when I was six years old. My parents bought me a cruddy keyboard that had 28 different sounds, and I loved it! When I was old enough, I took trumpet lessons at school and joined the concert band. After a few years, my interests grew, and I joined the jazz band where I learned how to improvise and play in different keys. My favorite part of playing in the school’s band was the dedication from the group of disciplined students. Having a conductor made it a lot easier for everyone to stay focused and motivated, and the conductor was a seemingly unbiased third party that would address issues within the ensemble. I learned very quickly that balance is essential to succeeding in music.

I’ve been in several bands over the years and play drums now. I like playing drums in different bands because it gives me a creative outlet that is both physical and demanding. The challenge also includes a mental component, and as a drummer, I feel like I have the responsibility to keep the band high in energy and keep all of us in tempo. Sometimes, when the band is fighting, there isn’t an unbiased observer that can independently verify critiques, and people take things personally even when it’s not like that at all.

The most recent band I’ve been playing with got into a creative argument, and decided to take a break. I’d like to think that being on hiatus can feel a little like being separated in a marriage, but according to the Kessler & Solomiany, LLC attorneys, divorce is a pretty intense period of time. It doesn’t help that most of my bandmates are a little tight on money, and the shows we have lined up weren’t going to pay much, if anything. I still do it because I love playing music.

Sometimes when I listen to music, it’s hard for me to relax and just enjoy the beat. I get inspired when I hear beats, and it makes me want to get up and play along. Playing different genres of music doesn’t seem to help either, as I am continually judging different rhythms to analyze the new sounds coming together to make a tune. Don’t get me wrong, I love having this problem. But sometimes, I wish I could enjoy music the way other people enjoy it.

The worst is when you open for a band that you are better than. Music is completely subjective, and it’s tough to support another group that is getting more attention with less talent. My band and I are like a family, and even if we aren’t playing together, we still hang out all the time and catch up. I love those guys, and I’ll be playing music forever.

The Dangerous Stereotype of Dog versus Mail Carrier

As seen in practically every cartoon from popular ones like Tom and Jerry to obscure ones like Catdog dogs are often portrayed attacking anybody delivering mail. While this is some go to classic comedy, it can continue the thought that mail carriers are just supposed to put up with attacks from people’s dogs. Despite numerous tips that the United States Postal Service has issued to dog owners the attacks continue to occur. In fact, the number of attacks on mail carriers has actually been increasing in recent years.

A recent article from NPR states that in 2016 there were 6,755 dog attacks on USPS mail carriers. This is also 200 attacks higher than the previous year. According to the personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. there are about 70 million dogs in 36.5 percent of American households. Although not every dog is prone to biting, with such a large number it’s a common problem that most people just don’t think about. There is a list of tips that the postal service had released for dog owners to minimize the prevalence of dog bites on their mail carriers. These tips include moving any dogs into another room whenever receiving mail, to not take mail directly from a mail carrier directly in front of a pet as they may take this a threat, and indicate on the website of the USPS whether or not you have a dog at your household so the mail carrier can know to be extra careful when delivering. Detroit made it on the list of cities with the most dog attacks on mail carriers with 48 dog attacks in 2016. This is out of 225 total attacks across the state of Michigan. This has seen an increase in insurance claims to over 25 percent. Overall Michigan is number eight out of states with the most insurance claims. At this point, the qualifications for becoming a postal worker in Detroit might as well include a section about how well you can fight a wolf.

Owning a dog is something most people just see as an accessory without realizing that it is an animal with its own instincts and thought process. Mail carriers shouldn’t be put on duty when they are just doing their job. And while the USPS can try all they want and post bulletins and tips to dog owners across the nation but it falls under the responsibility of the dog’s owner to really keep their animal in control. Unless major punishments and harsh penalties are put on negligent dog owners, they are unlikely to change their behavior.

If dog owners don’t start taking responsibility for their animals and curb this growing trend of dangerous dog bites, then these number of dog attacks can only rise with population growth. Or else the stereotype of dogs chasing mailmen in cartoon may mutate to dogs mauling mailmen.

What Am I Breathing?

There’s nothing in the world so natural and freeing as taking a long, deep breath. Drawing clear, clean air into your lungs can help you sort out chaotic thoughts and calm physical nerves. It’s a great exercise for mental and for bodily health. Unfortunately, for a lot of people all around the world, simply breathing can be a laborious, painful act for a huge variety of reasons. Industrialization means that many cities across the globe exist in a veritable smog. The particles released by coal plants can lead to severe, hazardous air quality conditions. Studies have linked poor air quality to medical problems such as mouth, lung, and throat cancer. A more mundane issue caused by air quality, allergies, plagues millions of people every year. Seasonal variations can make geographical areas rife with pollen, dust, and irritants. Those irritants can inflame your sinuses, cause runny eyes, and, in general, make people quite miserable.

A lot of folks depend on air filters to breathe easy when they’re in their homes. There are many different air filters on the market. Different models are built to suit large areas, apartments, and small homes. The Digital Journal reports that developments in the high-efficiency air filters can help people improve their health and avoid pollutant- and allergen-based medical issues. Average, everyday air filters actually allow a lot of particles to remain in the air. It’s important to obtain a high-efficiency product so that you are substantially improving your air quality. Additionally, those high-efficiency filters take less power to run and can save you money comparatively in the long run.

Credible organizations such as the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) measure the effectiveness of air filters using a specific system. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system measures how well filters trap air particles of three distinct sizes. Each of these sizes has a number of sub-ranges, though, so the MERV system actually measures how well air filters work for 12 different sizes of particles.  

Air filters are placed on an efficiency scale of 1 to 16. An air filter with a rating of 1 would fail to trap most particles and would make little to no difference in the quality of the breathable atmosphere in the area. A rating of 16 would mean the air filter works wonderfully, catching most of the available particles. Unfortunately, the MERV standard isn’t that consistent. A rating of 8 doesn’t indicate that a filter would catch 50 percent of the particles.

A new standard, the ISO 16890 standard is much more consumer-friendly. The International Organization for Standardization thinks that buyers need an easier way to judge the effectiveness of air filters. People have a pressing need for air purity, and they need standards that can correctly measure these important products. Everyone deserves to be able to breathe freely.

Important Things You Should Know Before Selling Mineral Rights

Mineral rights are characterized by the right to extract minerals from a property. Minerals are very valuable, because they have various purposes and they are finite resources. For this reason, selling mineral rights can be the very thing that grants financial security not just to yourself, but also your family.

But before you even consider selling your mineral rights, there are various things you need to know.

Know your minerals

Minerals can take on many forms, and they may differ in value depending on their use and abundancy. Minerals can include metallic materials, such as copper, gold, and iron. They can also include earth materials like coal, clay, sand, and stone, and oil and natural gases.

It is important to know the minerals you have in your property so you can check their value and know what kind of companies you have to deal with and what kind of extraction methods you will be exposed to.

Know your rights

They are called “mineral rights,” so the least you can do is to know the “minerals” and know whether you have the “rights” over them or not. A good way to determine your rights is by looking at the deed. If the deed has mentioned that the ownership is a “fee simple,” it means that you own both the surface and the mineral rights. However, the deed may also indicate that you do not own the mineral rights.

Know your financial options

You can sell or lease mineral rights. Either financial option has advantages and disadvantages over the other. For example, selling may result into bigger and faster cash, but may also put you subject to extremely high taxes.

Leasing may result into slower cash, but the money flow is consistent and may even add up as higher compared to the lump sum you can get from selling. But the downside is that you may not be as financially secured, because of fluctuating levels of extracted minerals and fluctuating values because of market factors.

Distracted Driving and Drunk-driving: Two Major Causes of Car Accidents

Whenever you get yourself behind the wheel it does not matter what brand and model of car you drive, what matters rather is your undivided attention on the road and how well you observe road traffic safety rules. Violation of safety laws or directing your attention to something else other than driving and you increase the likelihood of a tragic road accident happening.

Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that distracted driving is one of the top causes of car crashes in U.S. roads and highways. With it are driving over the speed limit, reckless driving and drunk-driving. Besides distracted driving, drunk-driving is another road traffic violation which federal and state authorities are working so hard to significantly reduce. Thus, the conduction of sobriety checkpoints, the implementation of payment of higher fines, imprisonment, community service, mandatory attendance in a DUI school, and/or revocation or suspension of driver’s license. The NHTSA’s strict enforcement of the anti drunk-driving law includes catching and charging drivers with a DUI/DWI offense if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level while driving is determined at 0.08%. Stricter, still, is the limit set for commercial drivers, which is 0.04%, while for drivers under the age of 21, it is zero tolerance, that is, no amount of alcohol should be detected in them.

Alcohol impairs drivers’ judgment and coordination – scientific studies have consistently proven this, but so does distracted driving, though the impairment it causes is of a different kind. While alcohol makes a driver’s reflexes weaker, causing him/her to fail to steer clear out of danger, distracted driving can cause a driver to lose control of the wheel or steer it more than necessary, directing the car, as a result, to where it should never be.

Majority of drivers, even the most careful ones, are guilty of allowing distractions to take their focus from road; many, however, are not aware of this. Think about certain other activities you might have performed simultaneously with driving, like, for example, eating, lighting a cigarette, playing your favorite tunes loudly, reading a map, brushing your hair, putting on makeup, adjusting a navigation system, adjusting a car radio’s volume, watching a movie from a laptop, having your picture taken by a passenger, conversing with a passenger and, worst of all, making or answering a call, or texting.

Driving is a privilege and privileges always require responsibility. Rather than ending up one day in a hospital bed or being legally required to find legal representation from experienced attorneys like the Spiros Champaign Law Firm to compensate someone for an injury your negligence or recklessness has caused, why not just focus on driving and save yourself from any of these? Doing so is one thing you will never regret.