Hard Water vs Soft Water – A Professional’s Guide

Posted on April 7, 2016 By

Throughout our daily life, we get to hear the terms ‘Hard water’ and ‘Soft water’ simultaneously. Most of us, don’t even know the exact difference, forget the definition alone. Hard water is basically the water that contains several ingredients like mineral deposits, dissolved in it. Most of the minerals that we find in the Hard water are of Calcium Sodium and Magnesium. On the other hand, Soft water is the conditioned water which only contains sodium as it is a result of water softening procedure, that is done using a water conditioning system.

Hard Water


What is the difference between Hard water and Soft water?

If you observe the water cycle, the first step starts from the raining. As the rainwater falls on the ground, it basically is very soft. However as soon as it touches the ground and passes through the rocks and the earth’s surface, it picks up several minerals like Calcium, Magnesium, Lime and Chalk forming several kinds of mineral residues.

According to this website (link), not all of these mineral deposits are deleterious. Some of them provide strength to the body and therefore, are considered essential for the proper metabolism. As a result, some people prefer hard water for drinking over the processed water. While that is there, the flavor is the second reason standing after the health for people to prefer the Hard water. Does that means the Soft water doesn’t have a flavor?, you might ask. Yes! The soft water is relatively salty and sometimes is not appropriate for drinking purposes. Then why do we exactly soften our water at all?

Boiling the differences down to the simple context, the major variation between soft water and hard water can be seen while performing chores in a household. Hard water is the one which is responsible for all those white spots on your dishes, residues left on the bathtubs and buckets, soap film and scum on the skin and dull looking clothes. Here’s an interesting element! If you’re a girl with a frizzy hair who is envious of the smooth and silky hair that other people flaunt, that’s because you’ve spent washing your hair with hard water for most of the times in your life. Talking about the consequences, the hard water takes a toll on everything coming from the skin, hair to the appliances. Why? You wonder? Of course, because of all the chemical deposits it contains and the weird chemical reactions that are formed, when they are exposed to the exteriors. For example, the soap lather.

Due to this, people started loving soft water and using it for all kind of tasks. How does the soft water change these things? Due to the removal of mineral deposits, the items will appear to be cleaner without any kind of spots. Hair looks lively and healthy. Clothes get softer. In addition, due to the less usage of detergents and soaps, you might also be able to save both money and effort as the soft water usually prolongs the lifetime of household appliances like water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers. Electricity bills will be reduced and as a whole, your household gets better.

While that is there, soft water is not actually suggested as it has its own set of disadvantages. For people who are suffering from blood pressure, or who are subjected to heart problems, low sodium diet is a mandatory. If you’re using soft water that contains sodium residues (As Calcium and Magnesium gets eliminated) in it, you might actually put yourself under the risk of cardiovascular attacks. Therefore, be sure about the softening process before you proceed with it. If you are facing intense water hardness issues at your home and considering to buy a softening equipment, we here at Create a Pro recommend the Fleck Water Softener Systems. Make sure to check them out!

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Balancing Your Creative Double Life

Posted on April 7, 2016 By

Special guest writer, good buddy, and occasional creative partner-in-crime, Charles Soule from ShowBox, has written a fantastic essay about balancing your ‘day job’ with your second, more creative life. So, you’ve got a great day job in a very professional environment. You worked hard to get it and it pays the bills (and more.) You’d hate to lose it. Still, the fact that you consider it your “day” job means that you’re pursuing something else at the same time, probably something creative. But how to balance the two? Can you go after your true calling while not giving your day job bosses the impression that you’re not committed?

I worked for five years as an attorney at a high-pressure law firm in New York City. At the same time, I wrote… a lot, including a novel, and performed regularly with my band. It wasn’t always easy to pull off. The firm paid top dollar, and expected their attorneys to relegate all non-work aspects of their lives to second place. Still, I was serious about working towards a career in music/writing, and I didn’t want to stop. I had to devise a few strategies to make it work, which I’ve outlined below. Anyway, if you’re looking for the latest version of the app that Charles has developed, you can grab the ShowBox Apk from this page.

First and foremost, you’ll notice that I write about working towards a creative career while maintaining a professional day job as if it’s a stigma, something to hide. The sad fact is many bosses do see things that way. Employees are judged on productivity and their impact the company’s bottom line, not how many tickets their one-man show sells. Your “hobbies” compete (even if only indirectly) with the work they pay you to do, and so it’s important that you present them the right way.


Do what you’re paid to do! You may not love your day job, but you still have to do your day job. Even if on occasion it means not taking a gig, or staying up until 4 AM to finish a freelance drawing job. People at the office will resent any slacking that much more if they know you have things going on outside work that you’d rather be doing.

Who can you trust? Not to be paranoid, but if you’re working a job that’s truly “professional,” telling your co-workers, and especially your boss, that you’re seriously pursuing a creative career at the same time is one of the fastest ways for them to decide that you’re not serious about working hard in your day job. A few approaches to this issue:

Secret Identity
Be Clark Kent in your day job, and Superman outside it. Frankly, how you spend your personal time isn’t their business, as long as it doesn’t affect your work performance (remember, “Do what you’re paid to do!”) Be careful about blogs, websites and other forms of self-promotion that a co-worker might stumble upon. This is probably the safest path, except that it creates a situation where you’re being false with the people with whom you spend a large chunk of each day, which creates its own stresses. Plus, it cuts you off from a potential fanbase – your co-workers.

Creative Professional

Choose Wisely
Once you’ve been working in a job for a little while, you might feel that you’ve made some pretty good friends, and you’ll want them to hear your demo, come to your art show, whatever. Tell them, but preface the invite by letting them know that you’d prefer that what you do in your free time doesn’t become common knowledge in the office. Chances are that the news will get out eventually, but hopefully it will take long enough that you’ve been able to sufficiently impress your colleagues with your professionalism and it will matter much less than it would if it had come out on day one.

Fly Your Freak Flag High!
Eventually, you might decide to let it all hang out. Invite the whole office to the premiere of your independent film, mail your band’s website around, etc. It’s liberating to be able to speak freely about the things you love, but be prepared for a change in how you are perceived. Your superiors will expect to see lower quality work from you than your colleagues who don’t have the same sort of “distractions” you do, and may see it whether it’s there or not. This can be an incredibly frustrating situation, so be careful. Once the cat’s out of the bag, it’s not going back in.

So about that cat… how do you handle it? Figure out a way to make things work for you. That may be as simple as accepting that your co-workers might get promoted more quickly, or get bonuses you feel you’re equally entitled to. Think of it as a sacrifice you’re making in order to pursue your art. Or, you could do what I did – stick things out for a while, and then transition to a situation where you can use the skills you learned at the day job to continue supporting yourself while you free up time for the creative stuff. I left the law firm, started my own small practice, and now I work as much as I need to pay the bills and spend the rest of my time on writing or music.

The important thing is not to let the man get you down. After all, it’s not like your day job is your career, right? It’s just temporary, until that painting/script/novel/CD sells!


10 Books I can’t Live Without

Posted on April 7, 2016 By

From business to creativity to motivation to reference, I tried to include a little bit in this list for everyone. I read a lot, so I’ll be doing more of these as time goes on.

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines

Learn standard ethical practices, what to charge your clients, how much you should make when working with other companies, how to protect yourself legally, and a whole lot of other extremely useful information. There are even business forms and contracts in the back that you can use.

Graphic Designer’s Guide to Pricing, Estimating & Budgeting by Theo Stephan Williams

This is a fantastic, easy to read book about the business of graphic design. From Amazon: “Whether you’re a start-up business or an experienced owner, The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Pricing, Estimating & Budgeting, Revised Edition, provides a one-stop source of indispensable, innovative methods for achieving productivity and profitability in every area of a graphic design business. This brand-new and completely updated edition offers practical guidelines for setting rates, dealing with clients’ budgets, preparing an estimate, and establishing profitability. Readers will also discover step-by-step strategies for pricing on the Internet, negotiating effective pricing with clients, and developing options to traditional pricing. Plus, the easy-to-read sidebars throughout this valuable guide offer dozens of creative, resourceful success tips for running a top-notch business.”

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers by Tad Crawford

Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers by Tad Crawford

The title says it all. Comes complete with a CD with editable and customizable forms.

The Dictionary of Brand by Marty Neumeier

This fantastic reference contains 221 branding terms that your entire team should know in order to communicate your ideas to each other, and to clients, more effectively.

Creative Whack Pack and Innovative Whack Pack by Roger von Oech

Feeling blocked? Need some inspiration? These card decks are full of creative thinking strategies and ideas designed to give you new ways of solving your creative problems.

Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin

Gain some much needed insight on how to become remarkable in a sea of sameness.

MTIV: Process, Inspiration and Practice for the New Media Designer by Hillman Curtis

In this book, Hillman shares with us his methods behind his remarkably successful new media empire.

Rebel without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player by Robert Rodriguez

Robert Rodriguez tells us his hugely inspiring and informative story about how he got off of his butt and and transformed himself into.. well, Robert Rodriguez.

Font Book from FontShop International

Containing 24,500 type samples from 65 foundries, Font Book is one heck of a monster reference. It’s sold out at the time of this writing, but if you can find this in a used bin somewhere, I highly recommend snatching it up.

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design by Philip Meggs

The New York Times says: “A significant attempt at a comprehensive history of graphic design…it will be an eye-opener not only for general readers, but for designers who have been unaware of their legacy.” This is a pretty pricey book, but worth every penny to design enthusiasts.

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