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1. What Should I Know about Tools?
2. What Should I Know about Rigging?
3. What is the Radio Alphabet?
4. What are the Symbols in the Greek Alphabet?
5. Why this Simple Loan Payment Calculator is so helpful?
6. What are Some Great Tricks and Techniques to Defend Myself?
7. Tricks of the Trade & Rules of Thumb for Misc Helpful Info:

What Should I Know about Tools?

An excellent tradesperson prizes his or her tools. Those tools increase the value of the worker. I've rarely seen a skilled tradesman who didn't take care of his tools. BY having the right tool and knowing who to use it, we multiply our ability to get the work done well and quickly.

Lots of detailed information regarding tools and their uses can be obtained from the US Navy's Training Course (Tools and Their Uses, NAVEDTRA 14256, June 1992).

What Should I Know about Rigging?

Every Construction Supervisor should have a basic understanding of rigging (lifting, hoisting and moving things). So much of our daily struggles involve getting people, materials and equipment to inconvenient places, that we should try to get good at it.

More information than you should ever need regarding rigging can be obtained from the US Army's Rigging Techniques, Procedures and Applications (FM-5-125, 2001). Personally, I find this information fascinating...but that's just me.

What is the Radio Alphabet?

Have you ever tried to say a word, perhaps over the phone, and the other person couldn't make out what you meant. With a name like Pelger, I find myself having to spell out individual letters often. If I say, P like Paul, the other person may hear T like Tall. So I end up with plane reservations for Ned Telger. The value of the Radio Alphabet is that each of the words really can't be misunderstood for another letter. So it's a good thing to use in day to day life.

A - Alpha (AL fah) | aiff | wav | snd
B - Bravo (BRAH voh) | aiff | wav | snd
C - Charlie (CHAR lee *or* SHAR lee) | aiff | wav | snd
D - Delta (DELL tah) | aiff | wav | snd
E - Echo (ECK oh) | aiff | wav | snd
F - Foxtrot (FOKS trot) | aiff | wav | snd
G - Golf (GOLF) | aiff | wav | snd
H - Hotel (hoh TELL) | aiff | wav | snd
I - India (IN dee ah) | aiff | wav | snd
J - Juliett (JEW lee ETT) (NOTE SPELLING: 2 T's) | aiff | wav | snd
K - Kilo (KEY loh) | aiff | wav | snd
L - Lima (LEE mah) | aiff | wav | snd
M - Mike (MIKE) | aiff | wav | snd
N - November (no VEM ber) | aiff | wav | snd
O - Oscar (OSS cah) | aiff | wav | snd
P - Papa (pah PAH) (NOTE STRESS IS ON THE 2ND SYLLABLE) | aiff | wav | snd
Q - Quebec (keh BECK) | aiff | wav | snd
R - Romeo (ROW me oh) | aiff | wav | snd
S - Sierra (see AIR rah) | aiff | wav | snd
T - Tango (TANG go) | aiff | wav | snd
U - Uniform (YOU nee form *or* OO nee form) | aiff | wav | snd
V - Victor (VIK tah) | aiff | wav | snd
W - Whiskey (WISS key) | aiff | wav | snd
X - X-ray (ECKS ray) | aiff | wav | snd
Y - Yankee (YANG kee) | aiff | wav | snd
Z - Zulu (ZOO loo) | aiff | wav | snd

What are the Symbols in the Greek Alphabet?

These Greek letters get used in equations for all sorts of reasons. You probably don't need to memorize them, but it's good to know where you can find the names, if you need to.

Upper Case Lower Case English Name Capitol Letter Normal Letter Sound
A α alpha A a a
B β beta B b b
Γ γ gamma G g g
Δ δ delta D d d
Ε ε epsilon E e e
Ζ ζ zeta Z z dz
Η η eta H h
Θ θ theta Q q th
Ι ι iota I i i
Κ κ kappa K k k
Λ λ lambda L l l
Μ μ mu M m m
Ν ν nu N n n
Ξ ξ xi C c ks
Ο ο omicron O o o
Π π pi P p p
Ρ ρ rho R r r
Σ σ sigma S s s
Τ τ tau T t t
Υ υ upsilon U u u
Φ φ phi F f ph/f
Χ χ chi X x kh
Ψ ψ psi Y y ps
Ω ω omega W w

Why this Simple Loan Payment Calculator is so helpful?

I'm surprised how many times I've looked smart (and gotten a reasonably accurate, quick answer) by knowing this easy way to approximate a loan monthly payment. We might be standing, speaking with the Owner on a factory project and he mentions that the change we are discussing will cost about $100,000. Now I know that a 20 year loan at 8% has a monthly payment multiplication factor of 0.8%. So 1% of $100,000 would be $1,000. Therefore, 0.8% would be $800. I say, "Let's see, that's probably about $800 per month, right?" And I am forever more considered real smart by that Owner (at least until I say something really stupid and make him reconsider).

Loan Term            Loan Interest            Monthly Payment Multiplier
(in years)              (in % per year)

30 years                    12% APR            .0102861        say 1.0%
30 years                    10% APR            .0087757        say 0.9%
30 years                     8% APR             .0073376        say 0.7%
30 years                     6 % APR            .0059955        say 0.6%
20 years                    12% APR            .0110109        say 1.1%
20 years                    10% APR            .0096502        say 1.0%
20 years                      8% APR            .0083644        say 0.8%
20 years                      6% APR            .0071643        say 0.7%
15 years                    12% APR            .0120017        say 1.2%
15 years                    10% APR            .0107461        say 1.1%
15 years                      8% APR            .0095565        say 1.0%
15 years                      6% APR            .0084386        say 0.8%

So memorizing a couple of numbers from this table, or remembering to come back here to look for them, may be useful for you. You need to pay attention to the range of interest rates for the projects you work on and can usually assume that banks mostly do 20 year mortgages. So with interest low at this time, I'd probably just remember that 20 year loan at 6% has a multiplication factor of about 0.7%. So if an Owner does a $2,000,000 project, the monthly payment will be $14,000.

Just remember that loans include only the loan amount, the term (years) and the interest rate (annual percentage rate). You can also use the loan calculator at find find more options.


What are some Great Tricks and Techniques to Defend Myself?

I came across this cool free download. Written in 1920 by Captain Smith, a US Army hand to hand combat instructor for WWI, this book illustrates his years of learning self-defense secrets in Japan from the Jujitsu style.

The Secrets of Jujitsu: A Complete Course in Self Defense

He also includes several great submission tricks for bringing a hooligan to his knees with a simple wrist grip or escorting a trouble maker outside with special arm grip.

The writing style of the book makes me smile, this honorable guy teaching valuable information back at the Great War. If you check it out I'm sure you'll learn something useful you didn't know.


Tricks of the Trade & Rules of Thumb for Misc Helpful Info:

  1. Learn the radio alphabet (alpha, beta, charley, delta, etc) to communicate clearly
  2. To find the monthly payment on a 20 year loan at 6%, multiply the loan amount by .007