How To Prepare For A Job Interview

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For most people being employed is not a luxury, but a necessity. Depression sets in quickly and can leave you a mess. You need to do everything in your power to find the job that you need. This article is very useful in giving advice for anyone looking to land a new job.

While job searching, give it your all in your current job. You will get a bad reputation if you do not stay focused on your current job. Any potential employer might find out about your poor performance. Success depends on your ability to work to your full potential.

Head to school. At times, discovering the job you want requires that you expand your skills. The greater your knowledge, the more opportunities you will have. Lots of self-guided study options exist that can be built around your schedule.

When dealing with employees, especially lots of them, it is important to maximize their productivity. Think about it. If you have ten super productive employees, you can save yourself, hundreds of thousands of dollars on benefits and wages, as compared to hiring twenty or more employees. As such, find ways to maximize productivity.

Don’t get overly friendly with those that you work with. Keep things as professional as possible and always stay on task. Personal relationships can become difficult and lead to conflict in the workplace. You want to steer clear of disaster so you don’t risk your company position.

Try doing a practice interview before you go to interview for a new job. Have a friend or family member play the role of the interviewer. This will help you be prepared when you go to your interview. It will also help you remain calm and collected when you are at your interview because you are better prepared.

Curb your tongue during the first few months of employment. Remember, you are the new person. You may have a lot of great ideas, but if you stir the pot too early, you may never get a chance to set your ideas in motion. Your first job should be to get all those at your new work to like and trust you.

Prepare an “elevator pitch” about yourself. This is a 30 to 60 second statement that could be delivered on an elevator ride, hence the name. Include information about your biography and any pertinent career accomplishments. Use the statement on phone interviews or when asked why you should be hired for the job.

A good resume can get you the job you want. Your resume should be organized in a way to give employers a snapshot of your experience and abilities. Past work experience, skills and educations should be listed on your resume. Highlight any volunteer work that you have done. After writing your resume, look it over to be sure that nothing is missing!

Call your local library to ask what sort of help they could provide you. They may offer free Internet use, allowing you to job search and send resumes online. They may also have seminars on writing resumes or other classes, which could help. Lastly, they may be able to help you print your resumes at an affordable rate.

Set aside money for your job search. People do not realize how pricy it can get to search for a job. If you have a car, you will need money for gas. Also, when you are out job hunting all day, you will want some money to grab a bit to eat.

Call your references. This is important for a few reasons. The first is that they need to be warned that they may be called, plus you should let them know what sort of skills they should be highlighting. Second, their number or email address may have changed, so you need that update.

After an interview, be sure to pick up your phone when the company calls you back. And, if for some reason, you cannot answer, be sure to call them back right away. Waiting too long to return their call will have the company thinking you are not that interested in working for them.

After applying for a few jobs, you should start to get phone calls regarding interviews. How will you answer the phone? You need to make a great first impression on the person that could be hiring you, even if they’re only someone that does the interviews for that company.

Be sure that you are well-groomed before going on your interview. A professional appearance is very important if you want to make a strong, first impression on your interviewer. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the type of job that you are applying for. When you look the part, the hiring manager can visualize how you can fit into his organization.

Be honest on your resume regarding everything. If you have something that you aren’t proud of, don’t mention it on the resume. You have no way of knowing if the truth might be discovered by the potential employer.

Do not make negative comments about past employers. It’s likely that a prospective employer will peruse the social networks to find out more about you. If you don’t post certain things you don’t need to worry.

When starting your job, get some notebooks for taking notes. You’ll probably have a bit of training initially, so there is going to be quite a bit of information thrown your way. Taking notes properly can let you go back and see what you were taught.

Keep an open mind when trying to find a new job. Not only apply for the specific position you are looking for, but jobs that are related to that position as well. You might not end up landing the exact position you were looking for, but it will give you an opportunity to get into a company where you can transfer positions down the road.

The keys to getting a new job are having the proper skills and the right presentation. Combined with a pertinent skill set the job is yours. Keep the information that was shared here with you in mind and make good use of it to land a job. This is obtainable as long as you stay with it and don’t give up. news@urbanmediatoday.com

Helpful Advice On Finding A Good Job

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Whether you just got a pink slip or you’ve been job hunting for months, you may be fed up with the process. Don’t despair; there’s something you can do about it. Read on to learn some of the best ways to approach your job hunt so that you can find a job quickly and easily.

A great tip for any job is to have perfect attendance. When companies are looking to lay off workers they often times look at attendance. They’d rather not pay benefits to the no-shows, so they will be first to go. By showing up every day you protect your own wallet in the long run.

Maintain a positive attitude whenever you are acting as an employee. Your attitude is one of the biggest determining factors when it comes to getting promoted, which you surely hope to happen. To ensure that you are viewed as a stable, worthy employee you need to keep your emotions to yourself.

Ensure that all of your initial points of contact with potential employers are appropriate. When prompted to leave a voice message, what do callers hear: your name and instructions, or a clip of your favorite pop song? As for your email, do you use a professional address? If not, it’s time to adopt a more grown-up moniker. Avoid usernames containing offensive words, misspellings and unflattering language.

Always do your homework before going to any job interview. Research the company that you are applying to. Know everything you can about the company and the people who work for it. Any job applicant that knows what the company is about and the company history is going to be held in higher regard than an applicant who does not.

When you are applying to companies online and they respond to you, make sure that you get in touch with them immediately to set up an interview. Rarely will a company wait on you, as you will need to take the initiative to get this done. This will help to set yourself up for an interview and potentially your next long term job.

Do not use a personal email address for job hunting. There are a few reasons for this. The first is that some job board sites will sell your email address for spam, so you’ll want to throw it away when done. The second is that you may accidentally send an email to your whole address book which ends up being personal.

Do your best to maintain eye contact during your job interview with the interviewer. Do not try to stare them down, but keep eye contact as much as possible. This shows the interviewer that you are paying attention and that you show interest in what they have to say. Practice with a friend before your interview and keep eye contact in mind.

Make sure that the voicemail on your phone sounds professional if you are giving your number to potential employers. Avoid loud background music and distracting noises. You should be clear about who you are and politely ask the caller to leave a message. Make sure that you return every call you receive promptly.

Google yourself to see what type of information comes up for potential employers when they search. If you see something that looks like it could be damaging to you, do everything you can to have it removed. Whether you believe it or not, many employers use Google searches to weed out people they don’t want to hire.

Get out there and attend many functions. First and foremost, attend any professional association gatherings that are pertinent to your area. This is a great place to find out about openings and make important personal connections. Also attend alumni events for your alma mater and make connections with other alumni that may be able to help you in your search.

Be proactive in your position. It may seem easy to simply sit back and let the job take you where it wants to go, but employers don’t really respond to that. You may find you’re the first to go if/when there needs to be layoffs. Instead, show that you’re essential by proactively looking to fill needs and solve problems related to your position. That will definitely impress those above you.

Eye contact is one of the more important things to focus on as the interview in progress. When you make eye contact with your interviewer, it shows that you are not only paying attention to them but are confident as well. These attributes are important to companies for hiring purposes.

Always review job postings carefully before applying. Pay attention to the desired qualifications, job description and other details in the postings you review. You should avoid applying for jobs you are clearly not qualified for and make sure the documents you submit with your application correspond to the material the employer wants to receive.

Remember that a job interview allows both, you and the interviewer to get to know each other. View the interview as an opportunity to see whether you would like to work for this company instead of worrying about whether the interviewer will want to hire you. This new perspective will help you relax so that you can perform your best during the interview.

Once you’re out there applying for jobs, expect them to call you back later on. Answer your phone professionally. You’ll want to leave a good impression on an employer if they happen to call you.

Even if you are not currently seeking a job, attend local job fairs or career events. You will find opportunities that you might have otherwise never known about.

Focus on what you can do for a company, not on what they will do for you. When answering the question, “why do you want to work here?” think of your answer from the employer’s perspective. You should focus on the skills you have and how you can use them for the benefit of the department and company. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on how working for the company will help you improve your skills and advance your career.

Now that you know how to search for a job, you hopefully have a lot less anxiety about the entire process. Now it”s time to put all your new knowledge to use! Take some of the steps outlined above and you are sure to get the job you want soon. news@urbanmediatoday.com

Steelers News Update

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Steelers Name Four Team Captains

 PITTSBURGH ― The Steelers selected four players to serve as team captains for the 2016 season, the team announced through a vote of their teammates today.

 

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will serve as the offensive captain, cornerback William Gay and defensive end Cameron Heyward will serve as the defensive captains, and safety Robert Golden will serve as the special teams captain.

 

Roethlisberger has been selected as an offensive captain for the eighth time in his career (2008, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15 and ‘16). This marks Golden’s third consecutive year as a captain, and the second for Gay and Heyward. This is also the second consecutive season the four players have been named as captains together.

Steelers Place Bud Dupree on Reserve/Injured List

 PITTSBURGH – The Steelers placed linebacker Bud Dupree on the team’s Reserve/Injured List, it was announced today.

 

The Steelers signed linebacker Steven Johnson to take Dupree’s spot on the roster. www.pittsburghsteelers.com

RB Conner’s 2 TDs spark Pitt’s 28-7 victory over Villanova

James Conner(24)
James Conner(24)

 

When Pitt took the field for their Season Opener against Villanova at Heinz Field, we knew that it was going to be a special game no matter how you looked at it. Regardless of how they did on the field, the fact that it was the return of RB James Conner made it special. The redshirt senior not only missed the majority of the 2015 season with an injury, but also as a result of being diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a form of cancer.

Seeing Conner on the field with his Panther teammates was an inspiration. But seeing him score 2 TDs in a 28-7 victory over the Villanova Wildcats was epic. Conner rushed for a game-high 53 yards with those 2 TDs plus 16 yards receiving as the Panthers started the season 1-0. The Heinz Field crowd cheered Conner as he joined the huddle, took the opening handoff and they cheered even louder when he scored his first TD in over a year.

Conner on the Hillman staff supporting him at Heinz. “They saved my life.”

After a listless first quarter in which Pitt and Villanova traded several 3-and-outs, the Panthers finally came to life in the second quarter after a 31-yard punt return by Quadree Henderson and an offside penalty that gave them a first and goal, Conner rumbled into the endzone on a 3 yard run to give Pitt a 7-0 lead. The drive 6 plays 31 yards & the Pitt fans gave Conner a huge standing ovation.

Pitt’s defense which had an interception by S Terish Webb earlier in the quarter, shut down Villanova’s defense once again, forcing them to punt with 4:54 left in the first half. But the Panthers couldn’t do much with their opportunity and once again ended up punting the ball to the Villanova 18 with 2:21 left in the first half.

Pitt’s defense struck again as DE Ejuan Price sacked Villanova QB Zach Bednarczyk, once again forcing them to punt. When Pitt took over, Conner struck again when QB Nate Peterman found him for a 9-yard TD pass to give Pitt a 14-0 lead. The drive covered 6 plays 32 yards. The Wildcats recovered the ensuing kick to close out the first half.

In the 3rd quarter, the Panthers took the opening kick-and drove it straight to the endzone as Henderson ran it 96 yards to give the Panthers a 21-0 lead. He also ran one back in the Military Bowl last season. Villanova took over, did nothing and punted the ball back to Pitt who took over at their own 18-yard line.

Quadree Henderson
Quadree Henderson

But it wasn’t a good drive for the Panthers as Peterman was sacked by Drew Wiley who caused a fumble-which was recovered by Villanova’s Rob Rolle who ran it in for a 3-yard TD, giving the Wildcats their first TD of the game. Pitt now led 21-7.

The Panthers then took the next drive and settled for a 47-yard FG attempt by K Chris Blewitt, but his attempt was blocked, his second miss of the day. Villanova took over at their own 32. Once again, Villanova did nothing and punted the ball back to Pitt as the 3rd quarter ended.

In the 4th quarter, Pitt did another 3-and-out and punted the ball back to Villanova who took over at their own 16. The Wildcats did nothing once again and punted the ball back to Pitt who converted a 10 play-49-yard play into another TD when Peterman found WR Jester Weah for 16 yards giving the Panthers a 28-7 lead with 6 minutes’ left in the game. The Wildcats were sacked twice on their final drive of the game as time expired, securing the Panthers 28-7 victory.

Peterman passed for 175 yards, 2 TD and no INTs. In addition to Conner’s 53 yards’ backup Quadree Ollison rushed for 30 yards as the Panthers rushed for 86 yards as a team. TE Scott Orndorff led Pitt with 68 yards receiving and WR Jester Weah scored the team’s only pass TD. On defense, CB Avonte Maddox led with 2 sacks and Price had 1.5. Webb had the team’s first interception of the season.

For the Wildcats (0-1) Bednarczyk passed for 119 yards and the interception. RB Javon White ran for 37 yards and WR Ryan Bell caught 5 passes for 52 yards. The Panthers were masterful in not allowing an offensive TD.

Here’s what Pitt HC Pat Narduzzi had to say about his team’s first victory: “Obviously we’re 1-0. We played a good Villanova team. A little sloppier on offense and defense than I’d like, but I thought we did pretty good. We didn’t throw as well as we needed to, but that’s fine, we’ll play better next week.”

On Conner Narduzzi said: ‘James is who he is, he scored the first TD and the 2nd..overall he made plays that he needed to. We will block better for him next week.

On playing Penn State: They’re a good football team, it’s an intra-state rivalry, we’ll be ready next week.”

Injuries: LB Elijah Ziese left the game early in the first quarter and did not return. No official word on his status as he was seen on the sideline in a walking boot.

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

Follow him @urbanmediaRay on twitter

Pitt Salutes our Service People

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Steelers Reduce Roster to 53 Players

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PITTSBURGH – The Steelers have trimmed their roster to the league-mandated 53 players prior to today’s deadline, it was announced.

 

The Steelers and Cleveland Browns agreed to a trade. The Steelers acquired cornerback Justin Gilbert, pending a physical, from the Browns in exchange for the Steelers’ sixth-round selection of the 2018 NFL Draft.

 

Pittsburgh released wide receivers Demarcus Ayers, Cobi Hamilton andMarcus Tucker, running backs Brandon Brown-Dukes and Cameron Stingily, offensive linemen Shahbaz Ahmed, Antoine Everett, Matt Feiler and Wade Hansen, cornerbacks Montell Garner, Doran Grant, Al-Hajj Shabazz andDonald Washington, defensive linemen Lavon Hooks, Caushaud Lyons andJohnny Maxey, linebackers Travis Feeney, Steven Johnson and Jermauria Rasco, quarterback Bryn Renner, and safety Ray Vinopal.

 

The Steelers also waived/injured tight end Paul Lang.

 

Running back Le’Veon Bell will be placed on the Reserve/Suspended By Commissioner list at 4 p.m. today.

 

The Steelers can sign up to 10 practice squad players after 1 p.m. ET onSunday, September 4.

25 Top Gas Grills Compared

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by: Harold Wagner

All too often consumers seeking a high end stainless steel gas grill are won over by a manufacturer’s reputation, the look of the grill or other factors such as recommendations from friends or family. Now, this is a fairly large investment, as appliances go, and consulting an expert in the field could help in making an informed decision. A reliable gas grill specialist can help you evaluate the various features found in these high end grills and quide you to the best choice for the features you prefer. The simplest way to compare the manufacturers objectively, of course, is with a chart! Our chart at www.gasgrillsnow.com/mfgcompare.asp compares Fire Magic, Alfresco, Kenmore Elite, Viking, DCS, Dacor, Lynx, Vintage, Weber Summit Gold D, Wolf, Altima, Turbo, ProFire, Phoenix, Tec, Solaire Infrared, Vieluxe, Lazy Man, Jenn Air, Holland, FrontGate, Capitol, Crown Verity, Ducane and Dynasty.

Some of the features on the chart are:

* BTU Output: How many burners, and how many BTUs are standard? You’ll need to do some math to determine the actual heat your food will receive. Ideally, you want to have over 95 BTU’s per square inch of cooking surface. How will you know? Take your total BTU’s and divide it by the primary cooking surface. So…. if your cooking surface is 660 square inches and the total BTU’s are 104,000 then 104,000 BTU’s divided by 660 square inches = 157 BTU’s per square inch. That would be a winner!!!

* Temperature Range: This is a very important characteristic if you like to do a variety of cooking. You’ll be able to do everything from searing steaks to baking pizza with a large temperature range.

* Burner material can consist of cast stainless steel, stainless steel sheet metal, cast iron, infra-red and even cast brass, which is used in commercial settings. Dual burners allow for indirect cooking and better heat control. Cast brass or cast stainless burners are your best bet. They will last longer and are more durable. Grease tends to burn through sheet metal easily.

* Infra-Red Burners are an option for those who demand a well seared steak. Thinking of an infra-red cooking system? Temperatures on an infra-red cooking system can reach up to 1600 degrees on some grills. Infra-red cooking allows for quick, high temperatures, which cuts cooking time and helps seal in juices — perfect for searing a steak. If blackened food or steaks are your taste preference – infra-red cooking is the way to go. If you plan on conventional cooking — go with a hybrid that offers infra-red and standard burners. Tip – make sure you can convert infra-red burners back to standard for large parties.

* Rotisserie backburners are a popular option. Used to cook large pieces of meat evenly, rotisseries use a lot less heat than normal grilling. BTU ranges generally range in the 13-15,000 category but the best grills offer 18-28,000 BTUs. Meats cooked using a rotisserie are generally juicier, self-basted and slow roasted. Tip – look for a model with a drip tray to make cleanup easier. Be sure to compare available rotisserie space, especially if you want to roast a turkey or two.

* A Triple Gourmet Grill allows you to use gas, infra-red AND charcoal cooking! How versatile can you get!!

* An adjustable smoker box is perfect for those who enjoy the added flavor of hickory, mesquite or other wood to your meats. It makes smoking easy. Adjustable vents allow you to control the amount of smoke flavor to provide just the right taste.

* Warranty is one of the most important features to consider. Only the best grills offer a warranty against a condition called burn through which affects the burners.

* Does the grill you are considering offer a countertop model? These types of gas grills can be dropped into an outdoor kitchen which can be customized with your choice of tile, stucco or other solid surfaces, doors, drawers and other accessories like refrigerators or sinks.

* Cooking Grids: Stainless steel cooking surfaces won’t rust or chip. Porcelain cooking surfaces tend to chip and could flake off into food. No N.S.F. (National Sanitation Federation) affiliates use porcelain cooking grids.

* Cooking Grid Size: How many people do you regularly feed? The size of your crowd will determine how big your grill should be. Tip – make sure you can convert infra-red burners back to standard for large parties.

* Inner Liner: This accessory radiates heat more evenly to grill, directs dripping to tray and separates the valve and manifold from combustion chamber. This will prolong the life of your burners and reduce the chances of a grease fire. The grill hood covers the cooking surface and assists in trapping the heated air inside. Look for a double insulated wall hood. If you’re buying a stainless steel model, with a double insulated wall hood, it won’t turn a brown or blue hue. It will keep it’s shine.

* Stainless Steel Flavor Grids: This heat distribution system should be stainless steel for long life and durability. Flavor grids reflect all the heat up toward the grilling surface and vaporizes drippings. You can add wood chips and other flavor enhancers to your flavor grids to add some zest to your choice of meat.

* Fuel Conversion: Will your grill easily convert from natural gas to propane if you want to move it from the back yard to the street for a block party?

* Side burners provide versatility giving you separate controls for each burner. Side burners offer you additional cooking options and come with single or double burners. You can fry up some french fries or treat the team to sweet corn. The BTUs range from 12-17,000, but be sure to look for cast brass or cast stainless burners.

More Great Options:

* A power/wok burner will give you even more cooking diversity. Saute onions or boil lobsters! Brown butter or deep fry a turkey! Having a party? A power burner can accommodate a 26″ wok! With a range of 3,000 – 60,000 Btu’s, the power burner is a definite advantage for any cook!

* A full sear plate or briquette tray (which can also be filled with lava rocks or wood chips) under the cooking surface protects burners and allows for drippings to smolder which gives foods more flavor. Look for a model that will quickly flash the drippings eliminating flare-ups.

* Adding a warming rack will keep food warm and away from direct heat and also give you extra cooking space.

* Add a griddle to your side burner and enjoy breakfast alfresco!

Armed with this information, you should be able to define your needs and choose a grill that will give you many years of great food and good times. Enjoy!

About The Author

Harold Wagner

Harold Wagner has over 15 years experience in the barbecue grill

industry and regularly attends the annual HPBA shows to keep current

with the latest developments. GasGrillsNow.com is a member of the

Hearth Patio Barbeque Association (HPBA) and has been in business

since 1981 with an internet presence since 1997.

Make Grilling A Healthy Experience

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by: Scott Schirkofsky

Without a doubt there is something very relaxing and pleasurable about cooking and eating grilled food. There are countless ways you can turn your grilling not only into a flavorful and enjoyable way to cook, but there are also many healthy and tasty alternatives. Like anything else in life, what you put on your grill is a choice. Grilling healthy first means that you have decided to eat healthy. Cooking on a grill can be a great way to reduce fats on while adding wonderful flavor however we must also be careful when grilling as there can be certain risks if precautions are not taken. Eating healthy always begins with choosing healthy foods that are low in fat and using marinates to reduce unhealthy caseinogens.

We know that charcoal grilling can produce carcinogenic smoke from the high temperature cooking of foods containing fat and protein. This can produce unhealthy chemical changes in the outer layers of flesh foods. To avoid these dangerous chemical formations we must avoid inhaling the smoke and avoid the black char on the outside of charcoal cooked food caused by high heat and/or overcooking. It is also advised that any lighter fluid or self-lighting packages be avoided as they can also add toxic chemicals directly into your food. Instead, use a starter chimney and newspaper to get your charcoal lit. While this method may initially take a few more minutes, in the long run it’s faster and healthier. The use of marinades can also help greatly lower caseinogens in food. By using a marinade your food will not only take on extra flavor but even a simple marinade consisting of olive oil and a citrus juice can reduce the harmful chemicals by as much as 99%. A marinade will also assist in tenderizing and enhancing your food’s natural flavors.

There has been a lot of talk about grilling and the risk of cancer. While the risk is real and this should be kept in mind, there are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the risk of cancer caused by grilling. The harmful chemicals that can form are created by putting food, primarily meats, under intense heat and flame. These are cancer forming agents however by taking a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce and even eliminate the risks. Grilling isn’t the only cooking method that causes these agents so there is no reason to give up on your grill. If done right, grilling is one of the healthiest methods of cooking.

To reduce the risks follow these basic tips:

• Trim excess fats from all foods. The fats are the main contributors to harmful chemicals so avoid fatty foods as much as possible.

• Using marinades based on olive oils and citrus juices with greatly help reduce the risks.

• Maintain a clean grill. This will also help reduce harmful cancer forming chemicals.

• Avoid letting your grill flare-up. Extreme heat and flame will also increase risk.

• Do not overcook foods. If you do accidentally char your food simply scrape or cut that portion off.

The marinade recipe below is simple, versatile, and tasty and will significantly reduce harmful cancer forming agents. The marinade will work perfectly with poultry, pork, vegetables and seafood and should be combined with your food of choice at least 1 hour prior to grilling.

Simple Marinade

¼ C olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Italian herb blend
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grilling can be a great way to prepare low-fat meals and only takes a little imagination to create healthy foods. Try starting with foods you already enjoy and find ways to make them healthier choices. Trimming fat, substituting skinless chicken, using healthy marinades are a few things you can do to start forming healthy habits.

Grilled Fennel Salad with Nicoise Olives

Ingredients:

2 orange peppers
3 fennel bulbs with tops
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
18 small nicoise olives
2 sprigs of savory
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

Roast the peppers using your gas grill flame or the method of your choice. Place them in a bowl and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Remove the green fronds (top flowery pieces) and set aside for later. Slice the fennel lengthways into roughly five coarsely cut pieces. Place the fennel pieces flat in a dish and coast with 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season the fennel to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the char from the peppers and dice the peppers into small-diced pieces.

Place your grill on medium heat and place the fennel slices and turn frequently for 7-10 minutes. Grill until the fennel is showing grill marks. Be sure to cook them until they are the desired texture but do not char too much. Transfer to side dish.

Combine the vinegar and remaining olive oil and pour evenly over fennel. Lightly combine the pepper mixture with the fennel while adding the olives. Tear the savory and fennel fronds and sprinkle over the fennel.

Grilled Fennel Salad is fantastic as a side or main course. As a side consider serving it with a simply grilled chicken or seafood. Just remember that what you put in your stomach or on your grill is your choice.

About The Author

Scott Schirkofsky is the chef and owner of At Home Gourmet

Ray Jr. on Sports

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  1. The Pittsburgh Steelers made news this week as they restructured the contract of WR Antonio Brown, claimed QB Zach Mettenberger off waivers from San Diego and saw LB James Harrison get cleared from alleged Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) use.
  2. Brown will now make $10.25 for 2016, an increase of $4 million. Kudos to the Steelers for at least moving his salary to match his performance, which has been the best in the NFL the past 3 seasons. Now they need to give him that contract extension-which they promised to do at the end of the season.
  3. I remember Mettenberger when he played for the Tennessee Titans in 2014-15. He played against the Steelers in 2014 and although the Titans lost, he had a decent game which included an 80-yard TD pass to former Steeler Nate Washington. He has more experience than Steelers #2 man Landry Jones, but he does not know the offense, which will keep him at #3-for now.
  4. Mettenberger’s signing means that QB Bruce Gratkowski’s season once again comes to an end due to injury. The Steelers placed the veteran on Injured Reserve (IR) Wednesday. I honestly think the Steelers should move on from this dude. It’s a shame, but he just can’t stay healthy.
  5. As for Harrison, I’m glad he was cleared of PED accusation, and I’m even more glad that he chose to meet with NFL officials. Once again, he and the other accused NFL players had nothing to lose if they were innocent. A suspension’s not worth standing your so-called ground.
  6. It really bugged me to see Steelers DE Cam Heyward on the ground with a high-ankle sprain in their most recent Preseason game. He claims that he’ll be ready for Week 1 against the Washington Redskins, but his foot was in a boot, so he shouldn’t be so overconfident. It would be nice if the Steelers could go an entire season without injuries.
  7. In other NFL news, Minnesota Viking QB Teddy Bridgewater’s 2016 season is also over after he tore his ACL this week. It’s a shame this happened because this young man had a great 2015 season and fans were looking for more. If I was the Vikings, I would sign veteran Mike Vick who has Bridgewater’s skill set. 36-year old veteran Shaun Hill is the Vikings current backup to Bridgewater. Do yourselves a favor Vikings and sign Vick.
  8. And it’s unfortunate that Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo can’t catch a break..but then again, that’s all he’s been catching as he’s now broken a bone in his back almost a season after he broke his collar bone.
  9. Romo’s claiming that he’ll only be out until Week 3, but I’m sure the Cowboys know better. They’ve been this way before after rushing him back last season. They got rookie Dak Prescott as a backup and he’s looked pretty good in the Preseason. Plus, their running game has gotten better with the additions of veteran Albert Morris and rookie Ezekiel Elliott.
  10. Here’s my thoughts on SF 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his refusal for standing for the National Anthem: The man was making a statement, not against the veterans and soldiers who have fought for our country, but because of police brutality over African-Americans and persons of color. Folks are criticizing him (some blindly) but are folks listening to him? No.
  11. The NFL released a statement that players are ‘encouraged, but not obligated’ to stand for the National Anthem. So let that be that. And in 1971, Former Cowboys RB Duane Thomas also sat during the National Anthem as well, so Kaepernick wasn’t the only one.
  12. In MLB news, I honestly think the Pittsburgh Pirates are done. It’s September now, and they’re still trailing the St. Louis Cardinals (70-62) but 2.5 games and the now-hot NY Mets (69-64) by 1.5 games. The Pirates themselves find themselves in 3rd place in the NL Central with a record of 67-64-17.5 games back from the first place Chicago Cubs (85-47)
  13. Speaking of the Cubs, they sure put a beating on the Pirates, sweeping them in 3 games this week. The Pirates know they should’ve at least won the first game after leading 6-3 going into the 8th But they lost 7-6 in 13 innings. Why? Because of pitching.
  14. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: If the Pirates still had closer Mark Melancon, they would’ve won that game, and many more. Tony Watson and Jeff Locke blew Monday’s game-and it was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back.
  15. I also think the Pirates Cheap Front Office probably knew that their postseason chances are all but over because they made zero moves before the August 31st Trade Deadline. And don’t get me started on their acquisition of a minor league player-in exchange for another minor-league player. Give me a break. That’s not a trade-deadline move.
  16. I was sorry to hear that Mets 2B (and former Pirate) Neil Walker is done for the year due to back issues. He matched his career best in HRs with 23 and his back surgery comes at the worst time as the Mets have won 8 of 10. I wish Neil the best and a full recovery.
  17. As for College Football, I’m so glad that the Pitt Panthers are beginning their 2016 season Saturday vs. Villanova. There’s nothing like opening day-especially in football. And there’s lots of excitement over this Pitt team. Let’s hope they live up to it.
  18. As was mentioned before, the Panthers strength is their running game with the return of James Conner and last year’s ACC Offensive Rookie of the Year in Quadree Ollison. I like how they both are very selfless in their approach, maybe we’ll see two 1,000-yard rushers this year? It’s possible, but all they care about are getting wins.
  19. In the NBA, Miami Heat veteran Chris Bosh has increased his basketball workouts in hopes of returning to the court this season. His last two seasons was cut short due to blood clots.
  20. I admit that I am impressed with Bosh’s determination and heart and even Heat owner Mickey Arison tweeted that Bosh has been ‘looking good’. But I’m sure Arison and the Heat are realistic and patient with Bosh and will let time determine when he be cleared to play again.

 

Please e-mail Ray at ray@urbanmediatoday.com

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How To Go Camping While Avoiding Natural Hazards

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Going on vacation is a special time for everyone and camping can be one of the best experiences you have. To help ensure that your camping trip goes off without a hitch, read the following tips. You will find some great tips that can make a difference on your next adventure outdoors!

Try to get to the campsite well before nightfall. This allows you to get a feel for the lay of the land and gives you the opportunity to set up camp while you can still see what you are doing. In addition, it lets your children feel a little more comfortable with their surroundings because they will have time to explore.

Bring a plastic garbage bag and put all of you family’s dirty laundry in it. This keeps the items from mixing in with your clean clothing. It also makes things convenient for you when you return home. You can simply dump out the bag in your washing machine and begin working on it all immediately.

When you decide to go camping you want to make sure that you bring a flashlight with some batteries. You want to be able to see in the middle of the night just in case you have to get up and go to the bathroom, or just to move around.

Camping is definitely a fun time, but there might also be uninvited guests at your campsite. Who are these guests? Bugs! This is their environment and they like camping, too. Make sure you have bugged repellent with you to tell them to stay at their own campsite or to go visit other campers who weren’t quite as prepared as you were.

Make sure you buy a tent that is big enough for your needs. Many people find themselves crowded in a tent for no reason. Tents are lightweight and very compact, so there is no reason not to have enough space when you buy a tent. Make sure you’re buying for comfort.

While camping, cook easy dinners like “hobo stew”. Simply bring potatoes, ground meat, and veggies. Cut the veggies and potatoes at your campsite. Using tinfoil like a bowl, put the ingredients inside and fold the foil over until the food is covered. Place foil on hot rocks or the coals of the campfire, and eventually you will have a tasty “stew”.

Prepare some of the food ahead of time so you will not have to mess around with it at the camp site. Make up some sandwiches, precook the pasta and take along foods that can be eaten as is to make each meal less tedious. Other meals can be enjoyable to prepare in the woods, but some should be ready to go on the days the weather is not perfect.

If the area you are camping in is known for dangerous wildlife, you will need to be doubly careful with food storage. So, you will need to keep things wrapped well, keep them far removed from the tent, and you may need to steer clear of certain foods entirely. This will reduce the chance of an attack.

Be sure to check your first-aid kit before you leave for your trip. You need to be sure it has all the basic necessities. Make sure it includes items like bandages, tweezers, disinfectant, ointment, etc. You never know when something may injure you or another person on your trip, so it’s best to be prepared.

If you have never been camping before, then be sure to bring extra of everything. This is most important for things like food and drinks. Since you are inexperienced you may underestimate how much food you actually need. Remember, you will probably be very active, and therefore need more food than normal.

Make sure not to drain the batteries in your flashlight by accident. You can easily bump the power button on the flashlight while digging for things in a bag. To avoid drained batteries, store your flashlights with the batteries backwards. This will ensure they do not drain if the flashlight is accidentally turned on.

Never park your vehicle under a single tree when you are at a campsite. If there is a storm, it will attract lightning. This also means that you should avoid sleeping under any trees that are in a particular area by themselves. Try to be in an area that is free of trees or one that has many.

Take along a battery operated radio when camping. A radio will keep you up-to-date on any late-breaking news and weather reports. A radio will also give you entertainment during those quiet evenings sitting around the campfire. Or if you prefer, pack a guitar for you and your campers’ enjoyment.

Never force anyone to go camping with you, including family or girlfriends. Some people just don’t enjoy being in nature, and they will be miserable and in turn, make you miserable as well. If your children are simply not interested, find a babysitter for the weekend and relax alone!

Be aware of where your campsite is. You have to figure out a spot that doesn’t have too many insects or problems with any animals. If you must erect your tent near dense areas of vegetation, make sure that you wear tops with long sleeves and full length pants in order to protect your body’s skin from insect bites. You should bring insect repellant along.

You should be sure you have survival and first aid kits. These two items can be the deciding factor in whether you have to end a trip early or care for situations as they arise. Also, you can prevent dire situations and help you to get a sick person some help.

Camping can be much more enjoyable and easier when you have good advice. This article should have given you exactally what you needed. Enjoy whatever time you spend camping by utilizing what you’ve learned here the next time you decide to go camping. Nature has a lot to offer, so don’t miss out on any of it!