The Meltdown

This is one of those vulnerable articles. It’s hoped that as I share about my/our weaknesses you too will be encouraged to own and accept your weaknesses, defeating any perfectionistic stride that tends to disrupt and even destroy relationships.Meltdown: think nuclear plant meltdown where the nuclear core is severely overheated and catastrophic damage results.We have a five-year-old, and very recently something happened that often happens at his age-and-stage. He had a meltdown. The process normally goes like this. Creative idea, build something, doesn’t work, frustration sets in, destroy the creation in anger. Not all the time, just occasionally. Dealing with pre-school children all the time, and having had another three children who are now adults, there’s nothing alarming in it. Besides, our five-year-old has witnessed us having meltdowns – and I can speak only for myself here.


There are all sorts of meltdowns, not just the angry ones, but also the teary ones, the anxious ones, the prideful ones, and the panicky ones.I want to share with you the kind of meltdown I’m capable of; this would happen occasionally in 2016 when I was thrust into an occupational world that I did not want any part of, but had to engage in just to support my family.I was very blessed to be offered work – two separate part-time positions – through friends, one of whom was my ex-wife, when pastoral ministry work went belly-up.Meltdowns occurred because of both jobs, but the case in point here centred around my job working with my ex-wife. These meltdowns never had anything to do with her – we, her and her husband and I, had a very good working relationship, always trying to outdo one another in what we gave.But it was the nature of the work that had me positioned like a fish out of water. I was packing chilled meals for home delivery, and so regularly my mind was doing backflips, that at times, my head was saying, ‘I cannot do this… it’s too hard… my brain is wired to work with people, one person at a time, not five or more tasks held in the mind at any one time, with noise, with pressure, with interruptions. (I need to say that since I burned out in 2005 my brain has some kind of permanent disability in managing many tasks simultaneously.) I was always fine when I got out on the road to do the deliveries, other than the times I had meltdowns. And this happened on a half dozen occasions.Here is the nature of that kind of meltdown. I would call my wife and say, panicked and in tears, ‘Darling, I cannot do this anymore… it’s too hard… my mind can’t keep up… I’m useless.’ After 10-minutes of hearing me out she would usually help me accept that I could get through the delivery run. I was usually fine after this. The inner meltdown in the presence of others manifested in an outward meltdown when it was safe with my wife.


There was nothing wrong with the delivery driving job, and in fact it taught me important skills, helped me master a new degree of patience, gave me empathy for those in that kind of work, and it showed me what I’m not good at. And it showed me how, all through my life, I’ve had the capacity for this kind of depressed meltdown that comes straight out of my wounded child state.We all have meltdowns, even those who seem to have perfect lives, and especially those who look like they’ve got their lives under control.I don’t know a single person who hasn’t had a meltdown. So, what do we do with this?We stop feeling ashamed of them whilst we do all we can to limit the kind of damage meltdown can bring.

Will Smart Home Automation Change the Modern Living Forever?

Smart home automation is earning swift recognition among consumers around the world. In today’s day and age, a lot of emphasis is being given to the technologies that make the daily lives comfortable, fast, and easy. Automation is one of such booming technologies witnessing advancements in terms of innovation and applications at a supersonic pace. Home automation or smart home technology involves mechanization of thermostats, security, temperature controls, and home appliances. Introduction of Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionized smart home automation for the better. It offers automatic control of electronic and electric devices in homes. Users access these devices through wireless communication. Home appliance manufacturers from around the world are keen on inventing more effective and affordable devices to impel the sales and ensure customer satisfaction. As a result, the global demand for smart home automation is flooded with groundbreaking home systems.

High Points of Smart Home Automation Technology

Smartphones can be connected to practically anything and everything that is technology-enabled. Be it banking, entertainment, or home settings. The home technology is evolving at a rapid pace. The technology is promising, convenient, and rapidly evolving. The modern world is reaching the tipping point as far as utilization of technology in homes, workplaces, and other spheres of daily human lives are concerned. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another such technology finding its way in daily human lives. Availability of a myriad of automated devices and high-tech concepts at the consumer technology and trade shows like the Consumer Electric Show (CES) only point out the advancement in automation technology. Along with enhancements, smart technology and smart home technology in particular is anticipated to become easily accessible. This could be one of the biggest high points for the consumers across the globe. Along with mechanized home features and security devices, consumers will witness the advent of technologies like lookout cameras for pets and automated shopping. Take a look at some of the imminent trends in home automation:

Cameras for Pets
Closed-circuit television or CCTV has been the original security essential as far as home automation is concerned. With the combination of security cameras and smart home automation, they have become all the more indispensable and sophisticated. Along with the standard usage for security purposes, the cameras installed in households can help pet owners monitor the activities of their pets. These cameras have motion sensors with the ability to self-activate when the pets move. These devices can also soothe pets that are nervous and are prone to damaging furniture and other home articles. For instance, the recently launched Petcube Play Interactive camera, a Wi-Fi enabled indoor pet camera that allows pet owners to check in on their pets through smartphones and other smart devices. It also allows interaction with the help of two-way audio and high definition video camera. The sound alerts added to the cameras notify users in case of major events.

Wireless Kitchen
Futuristic, is the buzzword for smart home automation. Manufacturers of modern home appliances and technologies are keen on adopting technologies that can provide customer satisfaction and convenience. For example, URBANEER recently developed the first commercially available wireless kitchen in partnership with the Wireless Power Consortium or WPC. It has automatic kitchen products designed using advanced technology for the utmost customer comfort and optimal use of home space. These customizable products are considered to be ideal for modern homes. After the launch of the game changing furniture line with built-in chargers by Ikea, many other companies have ventured into wireless charging furniture. This type of furniture transmits electricity with the help of electromagnetic fields through a base and a receiver. From lamps to side tables to stand-alone charging pads, companies like Ikea are revolutionizing the industry for home automation. Another company, Curvilux recently launched its nightstand product with attached wireless charging pad.

Breathing Sleep Robot
Enhancing sleep technology is a part of the smart home automation revolution taking place across the world. Companies are launching advanced devices that use technology and data to manage health, sleep, exercise, and other activities of the users. Apart from the fitness trackers, smart beds, and pillows, manufacturers are introducing other ground-breaking products. For example, the Sensorwake 2 Olfactory Alarm Clock. This clock wakes up the users with a pleasant smell of their choice. It uses soft melodies, dynamic light, and a scent that instantly puts the user in good mood. Another pioneering discovery made in the field of home automation is the sleep robot. To put this into perspective, Somnox recently introduced the world’s first ever sleep robot that improves sleep by stimulating breathing. It can also help reduce stress and unwanted thoughts. The sounds like heartbeat and guided meditation can help the users fall asleep faster.

Multi-room Music
Although multi-room music has been around for a few years, the technology is witnessing rapid advancements in terms of innovative applications and devices. The manufacturers in the smart home automation industry are keen on launching high-tech products that can play different kinds of music in different rooms of the house based on the mood of the users. All the multi-room products of today including smart speakers, AV receivers, network streamers, wireless speakers, and stereo amplifiers run using either wireless technology or by creating their own mesh network. Most of these music systems work on the Wi-Fi network of the users’ homes. DTS Play-Fi, AirPlay 2, Sonos One, Amazon Echo, Amazon Alexa, and Google Chromecast Audio, and Bose Soundtouch 10 are some of the examples of multi-room music systems available with customizable user experience. Almost all of these systems have their dedicated smartphone app that allows easy access and trouble-free control of the multiroom.

Overview of the Smart Home Automation Market
The global market for smart home automation is anticipated to witness impressive growth in the forthcoming years. Remote control living and high demand for automation will remain the major baits for the users opting for the advanced products available in the market. Rising disposable income and awareness regarding the innovations taking place in the world of technology can create major business opportunities for the top market players like Honeywell International Inc.; Lutron Electronics Co., Inc.; Legrand SA; Schneider Electric; and others. High demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, smart kitchen, smart security, and energy management can propel the demand for the global market in near future.

Rising penetration of internet of things is one of the major factors responsible for the innovations taking place in smart home automation technology. Arrival of smart thermostat technologies such as Z-Wave, C-Bus, ZigBee, KNX, EnOcean, and others has simplified the adoption and implementation of wireless technology. This technology plays a crucial role in the insanely increasing popularity of home automation. Major companies in the market are keen in investing heavily in research and development along with business collaborations. Growing demand for home entertainment, security, and energy management can be considered as a vital sign of growth for this industry.

In conclusion, a myriad of brand new products are expected to be launched in the market for smart home automation in the next few years. Most of these products will heavily rely on Internet of things, artificial intelligence, and smart sensor technology. The best thing about automated smart home products is the way they allow the users to have total control of the way they prefer for the product to function. Easy accessibility of cutting-edge technology and pioneering products is also anticipated to set the precedence for the companies operating in this market.

What You Can Expect From A Luxury Home

Most people define luxury majorly in terms of price but there is so much more to luxury than just the amount of money you spend. It is very hard to define luxury homes in an exact way because this is something made up of several factors. If you are looking for a posh home to buy, there are some general qualities expected within it and they are what together create the luxury that is the home. Below are some of the features that such homes tend to have in common.

Prime location

Luxury homes tend to in coveted locations like on the beach or overlooking a sea for that matter. Others are in secluded mountainous areas or atop one while others may be overlooking a beautiful city. It all depends on whether you wish to have your home in the city or the country but generally they will be prime located attracting high end buyers for that reason.

High price

Like mentioned earlier price does interpret luxury and most homes under this category will be highly priced. Different areas attract different prices but you cannot expect to pay anything lower than half a million when looking for a luxurious home to and the prices can go way up into tens of millions depending on the magnitude of the property.

Exquisite amenities

Luxury home carry the most exquisite amenities in that you can conduct your life right from your home without needing other services out of it. Most will have a gym, spa, swimming pool, Jacuzzis, arcade rooms, movie theaters and even decontamination rooms. Some luxury homes come with outrageous amenities and they are what attract the buyers because they make the property unique, self-sufficient and convenient in every sense. They are some of the factors commanding prices apart from location.

Premier quality

Luxury homes have everything selected with care from the appliances, finishes, design and even materials used for construction and décor. They are all cut above standards so you the buyer can have something to pride yourself in. Hardwoods, marbles, crystals and Venetian plasters among others are common components in the homes.

Exclusivity

High end buyers including high profile individuals and celebrities treat their homes as serene refuges hence privacy is given center stage in luxury homes. If the home is not located in a secluded land large in size, then privacy will be achieved using foliage covers, high walls and tightly gated entrances sometimes complete with guards to keep the peace.

Luxury homes without doubt have so much to offer to buyers; as long as you can buy it, you can enjoy it. Some buyers actually look for homes that have interesting stories or histories behind them to give them that edge that everyone yearns for. Whatever the choice you make, you can definitely expect much more from a luxury property than a standard normal home. The choices are numerous so finding your ideal luxury home should not be too much of a task.

How IoT & Smart Home Automation Will Change the Way We Live

The smart home

The concept behind the smart home is that an automation system will be able to operate systems around the house. The variety of potential options are considerable and includes environmental systems (lighting, heating, climate control etc.), entertainment systems, individual appliances, and home security systems. While the idea is that many operations can be automated – thus saving the home owner time and effort – these systems can also be user controlled. An example would be being able to set the heating to come on later if you were going to get home later or telling the entertainment system to find you some suitable music for working to.

There is significant potential for IoT smart home solutions to change the way that we live. The main ways include:

  • Saving time. Many of the IoT smart home products are intended to take out of our hands the various nugatory activities that we have to do on a daily basis, leaving more of our time for important or enjoyable activities.
  • Improving quality of life. By making the home an easier, healthier and less stressful place to be in, smart home automation using IoT can help improve the quality of life.
  • Saving money. Fully utilizing IoT can save money on house operating costs, for example by reducing unnecessary heating or lighting bills and integrating with smart grids to give the user greater visibility on the electricity they are using.

The health and security benefits

One of the main areas that has been explored for smart homes is that related to improving health. Several IoT smart home products have been developed that aim to monitor the status of the environment in the house. This includes, for example, monitoring the condition of the air across a number of categories – humidity, temperature, dust, CO2 etc. This information is then transmitted to a control interface where the user (the home owner or house occupier) can examine it and take appropriate action. Alternatively, this can be linked into other systems whereby automatic action can be taken to bring conditions back to the desired level, such as automatically turning air cooling or filtering systems on.

Other appliance-based solutions that are on the market include fridges that can monitor the status of food, checking for spoilage or similar, while automated cleaning can help reduce dust and dirt in the house.

Meanwhile, linking in security systems into IoT has made homes more secure. One of the most popular way this has been done is through using IoT enabled cameras in or around a house that enable a picture or video feed to be sent so that the home owner-occupier is able to check on the situation when they are away or when they are in another part of the property. Often these types of devices have multiple features integrated into them, such as automated motion sensors, sound detection, event-triggered video recording and so on.

Future developments

It’s generally accepted that there are three generations of home automation development so far:

  • First generation: wireless technology with proxy server, e.g. Zigbee automation;
  • Second generation: artificial intelligence controls electrical devices, e.g. Amazon Echo;
  • Third generation: robot buddy who interacts with humans, e.g. Robot Rovio, Roomba.

While the cutting edge of technology often gets the headlines, in many homes there is still substantial progress to be made with the first and second generation of systems. It is often entertainment-linked systems that generate the most media coverage, with the various personal home assistants – such as Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, Sonos One, Apple HomePod and others – having been particularly popular. With the growing and accelerating roll out and uptake by customers of IoT smart home tools and solutions, demand for additional services or tools is likely to increase. The sheer range of potential within the smart home will ensure that IoT within the house will continue to develop in the years ahead.

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