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Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness, Part 2: “The Dirty Side of the Storm”

The dirty side of a Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane is where your local meteorologists wish you weren’t going to be.

 

1. What is it?

A. Area behind the hurricane’s eye, or core.

B. Area where the worst after-effects will be felt.

C. Area where the extent of the worst effects are so unpredictable and dangerous.

 

2. What are the qualifications for an area to be named “the dirty side?”

A. Area has wider and longer bands of severe weather elements – eg. reaching far from core.

B. Area has very forceful bands of sustaining severe elements – eg. whipping wind gusts.

C. Area has deeper bands that can cause other severe conditions – eg. return tornado funnels.

 

3. What severe problems will you see?

A. Worst, most viscous winds.

B. Tornado funnels that keep rotating, lifting up, and dropping to the ground again.

C. Torrential, beating rains.

D. No visibility

 

4. How can you avoid these problems?

A. Stay out of the hurricane’s path. Evacuate in time.

B. Heed the warnings. Obey the laws and curfews put into effect.

C. Stay out of the area until emergency operations say it’s safe to return.

D. If you can’t leave, promptly secure the space in which you will be taking cover.

 

5. What if you can’t leave?

A. Find the most secure inside-walled, windowless place to hide – eg. closet, room, hallway.

B. Put only what you need to survive for at least five days in that space.

C. Get into that space way before the core/eye approaches.

D. Do not leave that space until the hurricane has completely left.

E. WARNING: Lulls are common; they don’t mean the hurricane has left, the danger is over.

 

By the way, I heard two national network meteorologists state that, when the cone or eye shrinks, the surrounding bands will trigger the worst effects.

 

CLOSING THOUGHT: The “dirty side” of any natural disaster forces us to act, to prioritize, and to accept that we humans are not who holds the real power.

 

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Respect any natural disaster that comes your way;

it’s there to teach you, and I, something!

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I hope that you, and those you care about, are safe. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

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Painting It: An Author’s Painter – and Movie Sets

An author’s greatest reward can be seeing one of his or her novels reach the big screen.

A handful of novelists have had more than three of their works turned into a full-feature film.
Few of these novelists write the screenplay version of their novels. More of them do, these days, serve as technical consultants during the filming of their stories.

Earlier this year, one of these prolific authors of popular film stories got his house painter and decorator a job as a painter on the set of a movie.

Let’s call him “Joel.” The man mixed and matched the paints. Then he painted the movie set’s exterior buildings, store fronts and related areas; also the interiors of many sets. It was meant to be a very temporary gig.

Three-and-a-half weeks into the project, the construction crew’s lead painter was in an accident, and couldn’t work. “Joel,” the temporary set painter, who was a seasoned commercial painter and decorator, was put into the lead job.

At the end of filming, the author came along. He offered the temporary painter a full-time, steady job as a movie set painter. Particularly the sets of the author’s film projects. And, this author always tends to have one of his novels heading for or already on a movie set somewhere.

“It was a lot of fun,” my old painter friend told me while visiting in Florida in early July. “Being around all that action… some great actors… very talented, skilled craftspersons and artisans. That was great.”

The man’s eyes dropped to the paint color chips in my hand. And the two, 5-gallon buckets of paint at my feet.

“This,” he pointed around the paint store, “is me.” Then, he grabbed one of the heavy paint buckets and walked out to my ‘87 Chevy Blazer. The subject of movie-set painting closed!

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The mark of a real pro is often the little things that he does, and the big decisions he makes, along his way.
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Thanks to all readers and followers – visible and hidden – of “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: Painters and Gardens

The rain drip, dripped, then beat upon my hearty vegetable plants. I hoped that they would make it.

Last year, the torrential rains knocked my tomato, pepper and pole bean plants to the ground. Broken, limp and lifeless.

Miraculously, the repeated rainfalls recently – all of them needed desperately – saturated the earth. And, they bounced off the leaves of every plant. Even the young, more vulnerable ones.

WHY DOES ONE CROP SURVIVE AND THRIVE? Why does the last crop curl up and die?

An “THIS-GARDEN” ANSWER

This season I pre-treated the soil with a fertilizer spray solution: 1-cup ammonia to 1-gallon water. (TIP: Do not increase the ratio.)

I found the old solution printed in Amish Gardening Secrets by Mardy D. Nicholas. (Copyright 2005, James Direct, Inc., Hartsville, Ohio 64632.)

I did not expect the results that I’ve gotten so far. Many buds on every plant.

Yield estimate: If one half of the buds produce fresh vegetables, the yields will be amazing. More than enough to share with non-gardening neighbors. Plus a few local painters and former co-workers. And, still have enough fresh veggies to freeze or can.

ABOUT GARDEN SIZE

Garden size does not determine plant yield. Nutrients in the soil, quality of vegetable seeds, timely cooperation of the weather (rain, sun, shade, heat, humidity), and, planting and tending DO have everything to do with it.

Since 2013, I’ve cut down the garden size by 50 percent. Fewer tomato, pepper, bean, and pea plants, less lettuce, and only one or two herbs.

In my family, painters and decorators have also gardened. In Indiana: a huge “truck patch.” Hundreds of plants. In South Florida: six-to-eight plants in huge earthen patio pots. In Central Florida: ten-to-twenty-five plants mainly in the ground, also in earthen and plastic pots.

Teammate Tip: If a teammate shows up with a basketful of home-grown vegetables and/or fruit, take some. That’s why he or she brought them. If you’re not interested, please take a few for a neighbor or friend.

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It’s not how you start, but how you finish.
It’s not where you begin, but where you end.
It’s not what you plant, but what you end up with.
It’s not how much you plant, but the quality of your yield.

..Paraphrased quote by Tommy Tu, director, “Grand Hotel”
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Thanks to painters that also grow gardens.

Thanks from “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: On Being a Paint Superintendent, or a Boss

One time, I jumped all over my father for coming down hard on a new painter.

Dad said, “He deserved it.”

I said, “No, he deserved some respect. He deserved a chance to learn, then to get it right.”

Less than fifteen minutes later, my dad took the new crew member aside. He apologized and showed the man the correct way to do the job that he’d been assigned. Then Dad stepped away.

It was the first and last time that I ever heard him yell at a crew member. And, after he died, many painters told me that they had never heard him do that.

Yes, he raised his voice. Yes, he called out the painters when they deserved it. Yes, he corrected them. And yes, he even told them what to do.

But, when a painter was not getting it – or not getting it right, Dad would help him rectify the situation. Often cutting into his own time schedule that was already under tight constraints.

When more than one painter was not getting it at the same time, Dad stopped everything. And he conducted a little, on-site crash course. Whether the problem was a new product, a stubborn piece of equipment, a resistant surface, uncooperative weather conditions, etc., he showed the entire crew that was there what needed to be done. Or not.

During Memorial Day week-end, a retired and former member of our old crew e-mailed me the following…

“Bob, your dad was a commanding force wherever he went. Wherever he stood. I knew him for over forty years. We joined IBPAT (IUPAT) about the same time.

“He was a man to be reckoned with, but never a man that insisted on it. He knew the painting trade backward and forward, inside and out. He was so blamed skilled and experienced in the trade that he could do anything that he tackled. A top rate superintendent or foreman, a ‘take charge’ person that everyone respected…”

Working under my dad was overwhelming at times. His six-foot, 200-pound frame served him well for the job he was given in life. It partnered well with the way that he needed to run a job, paint crew, powerful piece of equipment, or even dealings with a client or architect.

And the nickname “Moose” suited him like a custom pair of whites. His caribou-like walk sort of shook the floorboards when he charged through a job site. More than once, I tensed up waiting for him to bellow.

Some painters and decorators are cut out to be superintendents or bosses. You just look at them, and you know that. You see it. You hear it. You sense it in the way that they approach even basic, mundane tasks. With a unique command of and presence in everything they do.

One more thing: Commanding forces such as my father often attract equally commanding forces. People just like them. In my father’s case, it happened to be very successful entrepreneurs and founders of established enterprises. Men and women whose natural inclination was to take charge… to assume responsibility… to accept accountability for how things turned out.

Being a superintendent or a big boss was never my thing. Thankfully. For one thing, I don’t know if my father could have taken the strain, or competition. (And my mother? Forget it!)

Early in my painting career, I found my niche: serving as the go-to guy for those superintendents and bosses. Their back up when trouble loomed, and things got tough. Fortunately, every one of them, including my father, has been more than glad to turn things over to me. And to trust me with them.

Being able to fulfill – and to exceed – their expectations and needs on a consistent basis has been so worth all the effort. And the hard knocks.

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Great leaders must have great people to lead.
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Thanks to all visitors to “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Heat Illness: Preparing-for-Prevention Tips for Painters: Part II

As painters and decorators, we are our own best advocates in preventing heat illness on the job. We must play an active role in the protection of our own health. We cannot leave the responsibility to our employers.

 

In fact, both OSHA and EPA limit the employer’s level of responsibility. Employers tend to make these work-related choices, and provide preventive measures at their discretion.

 

Now – the cooler months – is the time to come up with a plan to prevent and treat on-the-job heat illness symptoms.

 

Now is the time to determine how we will handle our workload during the sustaining hot and humid months/season. Especially in climates like Florida has from May through October.

 

NOW is the time to get the facts out about heat illness.

 

  1. Talk about it: types, symptoms, risks and warning signs, safety issues.
  2. Publicize it.
  3. Orient everyone on the team and staff about what to look for.
  4. Train team members and staff what to do, when, and how.
  5. Commit to on-going heat illness awareness and advocacy at the workplace.

 

Heat Illness Prevention Tips for Painters

 
1. Know your body.

A. What is your tolerance level to heat, humidity, and sun exposure (direct/indirect)?

B. What is your exertion limits within that tolerance level?

2. Know your work environment.

A. What is the highest temperatures in which you must work during the hottest, most humid season? How many hours a day? How many days a week?

B. What is the actual temperature felt by your body – with the heat index added?

C. What us the longest period of time during a work day, that you must work continuously in that actual temperature?

D. How many days during a week must you work continuously in those actual conditions?

E. What is the level of clean-air and ventilation within your work area(s) on a continual basis?

3. Know your job’s physical demands.

A. How many hours in a day must you work in hot, humid conditions? Number of days a week?

B. At how fast of a pace must you do your work? Very slow? Slow? Moderate? Fast? Very fast?

C. For how long a period must you keep up that pace? _____ minutes. _____ hours?

D. How many breaks do you get, ordinarily, each of these days?

1) At what times during the work day are the breaks scheduled?

2) How many additional breaks are you allowed during work days in hot, humid conditions?

3) How often can you take a break when heat and humidity conditions meet or exceed your tolerance level. (See 1 and 2 above.)

4. Know your physical limits in meeting the physical demands.

A. How many pounds can you lift, carry or move, ordinarily and at once?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum number of pounds? Without symptoms.

2) With B, do you need to use a cart or other conveyance piece of equipment?

B. How long can you climb and stand on a ladder?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the maximum length of time? Without any symptoms

C. How long and often can you bend, stoop or crouch within one hour?

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest that you can do these? Without symptoms.

D. How long can you stand and how far can you walk without resting? Holding/carrying anything that weighs your maximum poundage? (See 4-A above.)

1) Under hot, humid conditions, what is the longest period and furthest distance that you can do these? Without any symptoms.

5. Know what your first heat illness symptoms may be.

A. What have been your first heat illness symptoms in the past?

B. What, if any, medical conditions that you have could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms?

C. What, if any, medications that you take could cause or trigger heat illness symptoms? Include over-the-counter products – eg. antihistamines, aspirins, nasal sprays.

 

Do you have a low tolerance level to any heat-humidity-ventilation environmental conditions?

  1. Avoid them. Work in cooler, shaded areas when above conditions do exist in other areas.
  2. Do not allow yourself to be placed in any situation that might cause, trigger and/or exacerbate your heat illness susceptibility.

 

SPECIAL LIFE-SAVING HEAT ILLNESS PREVENTION TIPS

 

  1. Schedule exterior painting during the coolest times of your work day. Examples: A. Dawn-to-10 AM. B. 5 PM-to-dusk or dark, or later.
  2. Plan to work on surfaces/areas opposite full-sun exposure. Examples: A. West and north sides of buildings when sun is over east and south sides.
  3. East and south sides of buildings when sun is on west and north sides.
  4. Plan to work in hot, humid areas when an emergency comes up. NOTE: Ordinarily, there are times when exterior painting must be done immediately.
  5. Wear short, white painter’s pants when you must work in outdoor temperatures 90 plus degrees. Regardless of the time period involved. NOTE: Get approval before the hot season arrives to adjust clothing to fit extreme heat/humidity conditions.
  6. Wear a cap or hat with a bill, when working and/or walking in the sun. TIP: Wider is wiser.
  7. Keep a drinking water supply with you at all times.
  8. Carry packs of small snacks in your pocket. Examples: Walnuts/almonds, Peanut M&Ms, raisins, trail mix, granola bars, energy bars.
  9. Carry frozen ice pack in small cooler on your golfcart or pushcart. While you’re at it, stick in a couple small cans of healthy juice. Examples: V-8, orange, apple. TIP: Pack a banana, too. High in potassium. Essential for sodium/hydration leveling.

 

BOTTOM LINE: The painter on duty must get his/her work done. One way or another. So watch out for yourself when the heat and humidity start to climb. And, set the standard for others to do the same.

 

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Learn and Live “Heat Illness” Free. Go to: www.osha.gov/heatillness.

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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015, 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s World: The Physician/Group-Insurance Company Generic Collaboration

I’m about ready to pull my graying  hair out, and go bald.

 

I take a Brand name medication that requires a prescribing MD’s prior-authorization request to access. Suddenly, the M.D. decided to stop completing and submitting a prior-authorization form for the Brand name to the insurance company.

 

“Totally unnecessary. Generic is exactly the same as brand name.”

 

What was that? Try to convince the Major Pharmas of that one!

 

Take note, fellow healthcare consumers:

 

As of the end of 2015, over 3 billion, 874 million* Americans take a generic form of a Brand name prescription drug. The National Prescription Audit’s most recent report** shows that 84.3 percent of prescription sales are the generic compound. Total generic sales topped $1.7 trillion dollars between 2005 and 2014.

 

At least 70 percent of those 3,874,000 are taking the generic, versus Brand compound, because of one or more of the following reasons.

 

  1. Their insurance company – eg. employer group, individual, family, Medicare, HMO – approves and has in its RX formulary only the generic versions of the Brand name prescription.

 

  1. Their healthcare provider will not order the Brand name as – eg. “medically necessary,” “Fill with RX Brand only,” etc. Note: See “Important Note” below.

 

  1. The patients cannot afford the cost of the Brand name pharmaceutical products.

 

  1. The local in-network pharmacies carry, or will order, only the generic version(s) of the Brand name product.

 

  1. The healthcare provider’s group, and its insurance company, will not certify the physicians in the group to write prior-authorization requests for and to prescribe Brand name products, when a generic is available. Note: See “Important Note” below.

 

Important Note: This includes if and when the patient tries and cannot take any of the generic (s) of the Brand name product. This includes if and when the patient has tried and retried, unsuccessfully, to take all of the generic compounds on the market. This can even include when a hospital consulting specialist determines that a patient must go back to taking the Brand name product.

 

One smaller health insurance company has found a solution. Well, it would appear to be one…

 

In its pharmacy formulary, the company includes a “suspension”/liquid form of a particular Brand name product. It is considered a compounded, “Specialty drug. At a Specialty drug tier/level price. This tier or level usually carries the highest price drugs in the insurance company’s pharmacy formulary.

 

A patient is caught in a bind. No choices that really benefit him or her.

 

Five of the Patient’s Options

 

  1. The patient can take and stay on a generic, regardless of adverse reactions, interactions, etc.

 

  1. The patient can self-pay 100 percent of the retail cost of the Brand name prescription drug.

 

  1. The patient can order the Brand name product from a Canadian pharmacy, hopefully one with a good track record for prompt delivery and sound ethical practices.

 

  1. The patient can change from the prescribing physician to one that will submit that prior authorization request for Brand name only.

 

  1. The patient can switch to a similar Brand name product that is in the insurance company’s pharmacy formulary, and does not require a prior authorization.

          Cautions: A.Most Brand name products listed in the formulary will require prior-authorization.                 B. Also, many newer Brand options come with much higher price tags.

 

What about simply changing your medication?

TIP: It may be wise to change from a medication that’s working only if you have to do so.

 

Real World Scenario. It’s very interesting to see and hear the reaction of another, leading healthcare provider, when told that a prescribing physician refuses to support an established patient’s need to stay on a Brand name prescription medication.

 

M.D.: “Did he/she say why?”

PATIENT: “I won’t do it…It’s totally unnecessary. Generic is exactly the same as Brand.”

M.D.: Tilt of his head…His eyes lower…He shakes his head left-to-right. “Hummmm.”

 

Guess what! A few poignant letters, including to the company’s president/ceo and group medical director may have gotten them all talking again, and rethinking their prior authorization policies. We’ll let you know. Keep your patient/healthcare consumer fingers crossed.

 

SOURCES

* “Statista Report on (Generic) Pharmaceutical Products and Markets, for 2015.”

* Also, The Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

** National Prescription Audit (for Generics), Report May, 2016.

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Responsible healthcare boils down to responsive treatment of the patient.

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Many thanks for trying to do your best in your world.

And, thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

“Painting with Bob’s Hassle-Free, Health-Conscious Dutch Apple Pie”

Dutch Apple Pie has been a favorite of mine since childhood. Thanks to grandmothers, great aunts, and other women in the kitchen at holiday time that were experts at baking Grand Prize winner pies. Usually from scratch, by the way.

 

So, the boy grows up. He still loves Dutch Apple Pie. He can’t find a ready-made version that comes anywhere close to those family-made pies. So, he learns to bake it himself.

 

The recipe below is my on-the-go-to-work-on-Thanksgiving-Day-version.

 

PWB DUTCH APPLE PIE INGREDIENTS – All purchased from a Wal-Mart Super Store. All packaged and canned products: Great Value label, actually name brand products packaged en quantity for Wal-Mart.

Pie shells: 2 deep dish pie shells, ready to fill.

Filling: 1 14-18 ounce can Apple Pie filling, no sugar added; 2 large apples, pared and sliced; 1 teaspoon corn starch, 1 can water.

Topping: 2 whole graham crackers, crushed; ½ cup bran flakes or Cheerios, crushed; 2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 stick butter, unsalted; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1 egg yolk, beaten. NOTE: Set aside unbeaten egg white.

 

PWB DUTCH APPLE PIE INSTRUCTIONS

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

FILLING

1.Into small saucepan, pour ¾ cup water. Add sliced apple pieces. Simmer on LOW for 5 minutes maximum. Drain water.

2. Into medium mixing bowl, spoon prepared Apple Pie filling. Add cooked apple slices. Set heat at MEDIUM.

3. Add corn starch and water. Stir till blended with filling from can. Cook on MEDIUM till mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

4. TIP: Brush egg white onto pie shell to keep pie filling from soaking through.

5. Pour entire mixture into one pie shell. Use spatula to get all of the filling from pan into shell. Spread mixture evenly so it touches shell’s sides.

6. Turn second pie shell upside down. Carefully, flip onto the filled pie shell. Use spatula to gently work shell down. With thumb and fingers, go around shell’s edges and push them together.

 

CRUMB TOPPING

1.In small bowl, combine topping ingredients. Mix well, till all crumbs are slightly moist. Mixture should look a little lumpy.

2. Spoon fine mixture onto top of pie. Spread evenly.

3. With fork (long prongs preferred), puncture small holes through topping, and into top pie shell.

 

BAKE pie for 45-50 minutes, or until bits of filling glaze bubble up through those small holes.

SERVE warm, or cooled.

 

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A blessed Thanksgiving to everyone.

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Thank you for sharing your experiences, ideas and thoughts – and for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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