Author: Creative Programs and Systems - page 3

Key Criteria for Hiring Home Contractors

When it comes to home renovations, it’s imperative to hire a professional team you trust. Since remodeling is not necessarily within many homeowners’ skill sets, understanding how to hire the right company may seem daunting. 

If your project is extensive, hiring a general contractor will be your best bet, as they will lead a team of electricians, carpenters, plumbers, etc., and ensure that the project runs efficiently and smoothly.

Try to find contractors who are highly recommended by neighbors, friends, and online groups. Make sure you meet with more than one company to find the most competitive bid. Bear in mind the lowest bidder may not necessarily be suitable for your needs; reference their experience, timeline, and the quality of materials used.  

General contractors keep subcontractors on schedule, ensure they meet deadlines, and provide high-quality work. Before hiring a contractor, gain insight by asking them questions about their licensing, past experience, and more. 

Insurance and Licensing
Subcontractors and contractors should both be licensed and insured. Depending on where the property is, there might be clear requirements for contractors. All relevant licensing and insurance documents are subject to approval before work can begin. 

Satisfied customers are typically more than happy to discuss their experiences with potential new clients, especially in the remodeling world. Many contractors can provide a short list of references allowing new clients to familiarize themselves with what to expect. The contractor should also be able to show a portfolio of their previous work.

Labor Capacity
General contractors should be able to hire subcontractors with ease. With recent labor shortages, it is important to ensure your project will be completed in a timely manner. Subcontractor availability is imperative for a successful project. 

Material Access
Supply chain shortages and inflation have severely impacted the availability and cost of many remodeling materials. Experienced contractors will be able to inform clients about which products are behind and how to navigate the budget based on any issues incurred. Lead times are essential for ensuring your project is completed on time. 

Need a home contractor for a remodeling job? Give us a call for prompt, honest, and high-quality craftsmanship.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call or email us to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

12 Signs of a Rodent Infestation

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) suggests homeowners this winter might notice an increase in rodent activity due to the forecasted wet weather conditions this season.  

Cindy Mannes, Vice President of Public Affairs for NPMA said, “Although it may seem like pest activity dies down during the fall and winter, homeowners need to be on the lookout for signs of stealthy rodents like mice and rats, and take preventative measures to avoid encounters. Mice and rats can spread dangerous diseases, contaminate food, trigger allergy symptoms, and even bring fleas, ticks, and lice into homes. Rodents are also known to damage properties by chewing through drywall insulation, electrical wires, and even car wiring. Don’t forget to look under the hood!” 

Be on the lookout for these twelve signs of rodent activity: 

  1. Gnaw Marks: Rodents love to chew…through almost anything. They can seriously damage plastic and lead pipes, wires, wood, cardboard, baseboards, and more. Their constant chewing can spark water leaks, fires, and more. 
  1. Droppings: Easy to identify, and one of the most common signs of an infestation is rodent feces. Small pellets are often left behind where food is stored or where nesting material is tucked away. Look in pantries, cabinets, cardboard boxes, baseboards, and wall beams. When cleaning rodent droppings, always wear gloves and a mask. 
  1. Noises: If you hear scratching, gnawing noises, scampering, or the rolling sound of round objects such as nuts or seeds, these are telltale signs of a rodent within the walls, attic, or ceiling.
  1. Marks: Also known as rub tracks or grease marks, rodents usually leave dark dirt (grease) marks along walls, floorboards, and in and out of small entry or exit holes. This grime is left behind from the rodent’s oily fur. Keep an eye out for tiny rodent footprints in areas with a large amount of dust or surfaces they can easily run across, such as beams. 
  2. Car Alarm: If your car alarm is activated either in the garage while locked or shortly after you drive away from home (while parked), check under your vehicle’s hood for any signs of rodents. These pests like to nest in the fabric protecting the battery or chew wires throughout the hood. 
  1. Nests: House mice really enjoy constructing their nests with shredded paper products, packing materials, insulation, fabrics, cotton, and such. Obvious signs of nesting include small rips of paper appearing seemingly out of nowhere. 
  1. Food storage: Rodents tend to stockpile food for the winter, and anything goes. Food such as dog or cat kibble, nuts, seeds, etc., found in piles in an unusual area, such as an inconspicuous drawer or cabinet, are surefire ways to confirm rodents are in the house. 
  1. Rodent Spotting: If you see a rodent of any kind in your house (or even outside near your home, for that matter), chances are, there are more. Female house mice can give birth to half a dozen babies every three weeks, which adds up to roughly 35 mice per year. 
  1. Allergies: A sudden onslaught of strange allergic reactions might actually be caused by rodent fur, dander, or droppings. A pest-free home can help reduce allergies. 
  1. Holes: Check the perimeter of your house for tiny holes; these are usually the entry and exit points for rodents. Rodents can fit through openings as small as a dime.
  1. Odor: Rodents stink, and the musky odor can linger if not handled properly. Dead rodents are especially pungent, so if you smell something rotting, there is probably more than one.
  1. Strange Pet Behavior: If you have other pets, such as a dog or cat, who are acting unusual in a specific area of the home, it could be due to rodents. 

If you suspect you have rodents in your home or business, contact the experts at Northern Pest asap! Don’t hesitate to call; we can help clear your infestation safely, effectively, and professionally.

Our family is serving yours! At Northern Pest, we are licensed and insured to provide insect and wildlife pest control. Our crew has the expertise to track wildlife entry points and remove pests of all kinds, including our licensed builders, who can make any of the necessary repairs caused by wildlife. Northern Pest is a member of the MDAT and the NWCOA. We are certified by the IICRC to offer professional mold mitigation services caused by animal damage. At Northern Pest, we do it all! Call or e-mail us today. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

What is Scapholunate Advanced Collapse?

The bands of connective tissue that join your bones, joints, and organs are called ligaments. There are over 900 ligaments in your body. Some of their purposes include: 

  • Facilitating proper joint movement
  • Preventing twisting joints
  • Ensuring bones stay intact
  • Minimize dislocating bones
  • Creating stabilized muscles and joints
  • Increasing joint strength

Scapholunate Advanced Collapse (SLAC Wrist) affects the wrist and occurs when damage or a tear to the scapholunate ligament results in pain or arthritis. SLAC Wrist can result from overworking or force on the wrist, such as falling onto an outstretched hand. 

The most common symptoms of SLAC Wrist are: 

  • Inability to put weight on your wrist 
  • Painful sensation
  • Weak grip 
  • Low range of motion 
  • Stiffness 
  • Tenderness

If a SLAC Wrist is not immediately treated, arthritis can eventually form in the joint. Symptoms of arthritis might also include swelling, bone spurs, grinding, popping, or cracking. 

Treatments for SLAC Wrist include: 

  • Anti-inflammatory medication 
  • Cortisone injection
  • Identifying and stopping all aggravating activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Surgical options such as SLAC reconstruction or total wrist arthrodesis

SLAC Wrist can be debilitating yet treatable. Physical therapy might be recommended following surgery if required. 

Do you think SLAC Wrist affects you or someone in your family? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to learn how we can help provide relief. 

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Call us at 248-596-0412 for further questions. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

Novel 4D Printing Emerges for Breast Cancer Treatment

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide, affecting approximately 7.8 million women in the past seven years. Current 3D breast cancer treatment focuses on treatment, tissue regeneration, and physical recovery. From prosthetics to drug-loaded implants, challenges persist. With a novel 4D technology, complexity and customization combine to improve breast cancer management. 

Generally, 3D treatments are well-established due to many advantages, such as rapid prototyping, ease of accessibility, structural control, and cost-effectiveness. It also requires low energy, so from an environmental perspective, 3D treatments are eco-friendly, reduce waste production, and do not involve chemicals. There are some hurdles when it comes to 3D treatments, however. Some of these include build size, post-processing, and lack of regulation. 

When it comes to revolutionizing the standard treatment for breast cancer, 3D printing has shown a significant impact when it comes to diagnosis, treatment, and aesthetic outcomes. 

To help surgeons plan and make decisions, breast and tumor prototypes are used for diagnostic tasks, surgery training, preoperative planning, treatment optimization, and drug screening. These prosthetic models mimic patient anatomy. The 3D models, from a practical perspective, were created to localize tumors and provide physical models for resection guidance. 

With 4D treatments, the advantages and disadvantages of 3D technology are present, but 4D can offer a higher level of complexity and customization features. Combined with programmed functionalities, the dynamic abilities of 4D treatments are advantageous for breast cancer treatment. 

Some challenges of 4D treatment include material availability, technical aspects, and the design process. New materials and improved biocompatibility should be the primary focus when it comes to printability. 

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

What is a Panelboard, Switchboard, and Switchgear?

A building’s electrical system is a complex and critical infrastructure few know much about. Most people take advantage of flipping a switch and receiving automated light or functionality from a machine without much consideration of how it occurs. This blog introduces a few major products that make it all possible: panelboards, switchboards, and switchgear.  


Panelboards are usually found in commercial buildings due to their large size and the amount of power they can handle. They are designed for single-phase or three-phase applications, depending on your needs. The primary function of a panelboard is to distribute power from the source to other devices in your building or facility through breakers designed for specific voltages ranging from 120 to 600 volts or higher, depending on your location. They are the most common circuit breaker box type and are always mounted to a wall. They are used to distribute power to an entire building or other areas. Panelboard covers protect these devices from damage by keeping them dry and clean while providing easy access for maintenance and repair.


Switchboards are typically used where a large amount of equipment requires a lot of power to operate. These devices are designed to control the flow of electricity through multiple breakers without manually closing each one after every use. Like panelboards, switchboards are usually rated for up to 600 volts, but they can manage higher currents, up to 5,000 amps. Switchboards are floor mounted and covered with a panel to provide protection and easy access for maintenance and repair.


Switchgears are used on larger projects, such as factories or warehouses, where there is a need for more than one circuit breaker or fuse within a single enclosure due to increased demand for power or space limitations. This type of equipment is also used in residential homes to automatically shut down the electrical system in the event of a short circuit or other malfunction. Switchgear is for individual components and is the largest of the three. It can be rated for up to 38 kV and run a current of up to 6,000 amps.

Overcurrent protective devices (OCPDs) are devices that send power from the source to the end user. These are sometimes simple devices like light bulbs, or sometimes they’re massive systems that run entire buildings. The three main options for organizing, housing, and utilizing OCPDs are panelboards, switchboards, and switchgear. All three allow for easy access to your power needs in one way or another, but each has its pros and cons that you should consider.

At J&P Electric, we specialize in large industrial electrical equipment, from new surplus to hard to find/reconditioned to like new. Not sure we have what you need? Call us and find out!

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical supply company. At J&P, we source contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of heavy industrial electrical equipment such as bus plugs, bus duct, transformers, circuit breakers, fuses, and switchboards. Call us at 877-844-5514 for assistance.  

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems:

Cybersecurity Tactics to Deter Phishing

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly susceptible to viruses and phishing scams. As hackers constantly update and change their tactics, employees fall prey to new schemes, and companies become vulnerable. 

The 2022 Small Business Cybersecurity Report by Comcast Business reported that during the 12-month span between July 2021 to June 2022, 55 percent of Comcast Business customers were victims of botnet attacks, and 50 percent fell victim to malware and phishing attacks. Phishing scams specifically targeted financial brands, which made up 41 percent, and high-tech brands, at 36 percent. 

Shena Seneca Tharnish, VP for cybersecurity products at Comcast Business, said, “Attackers do not just target large enterprises. Recent reporting shows companies with less than 100 employees are three times more likely to be the target of a cyberattack – yet, often lack sufficient cybersecurity measures and resources to manage their risk.”

Small and medium-sized businesses can minimize their risk of falling vulnerable to phishing attacks by implementing anti-virus programs, firewalls, and network security solutions. However, this is not a “cure-all” for every business. 

Ivan Shefrin, executive director at Comcast Business, said, “These attacks are not ransomware and e-mail compromise; they are not things experienced by just large government organizations or corporations with highly valuable secrets to steal. This is really in the face of every business today.” 

Cybercriminals are constantly examining ways to target vulnerable businesses, since they typically lack security resources and professional expertise. E-mail phishing is one of the most popular tools hackers use to breach data, leading to ransomware attacks. 

To protect themselves, businesses should update their operating systems regularly. These updates generally include patches that remedy code vulnerabilities. Systems that are unpatched are much more susceptible to hackers. Employees should also undergo cybersecurity training to familiarize themselves with what to expect if a threat is imminent. 

Are you looking to protect your company from cyber threats? Contact the experts at Creative Programs and Systems today for a free consultation. 

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

USPS Prepares for Holiday Season

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is one of the nation’s top shipping companies during the holiday season. During the 2021 season, USPS processed over 13.2 billion cards, letters, postcards, and packages. That number is expected to rise this season. 

Isaac Cronkhite, chief processing and distribution officer said, “We have been preparing for this all year. It’s on the calendar. We know it is coming and what kind of volumes to expect. It’s predictable, and therefore not a surprise when the workload increases.”

Ahead of the busy holiday season, USPS has prepared with a few strategic tactics, including: 

  • Transitioned 100,000 part-time employees to full-time 
  • Employed 28,000 seasonal employees
  • Increased overall processing and capacity to 60 million, up by seven million from 2021
  • Implemented 249 new package processing machines
  • Strategically added eight-and-a-half million square feet across 52 buildings nationwide
  • Leased an extra 1,900 trailers for the season 
  • Readied 222,682 delivery vehicles 
  • Updated operations to ensure trucks leave on time, delivering mail expeditiously
  • Improved technology by adding 6,000 computer tablets to the workroom floors
  • Leased an additional 17 temporary mail processing facilities and 71 delivery annexes 

“We are ensuring we have the right staffing and equipment so that the additional workload can be processed effectively and efficiently,” Cronkhite said. 

With the increases in critical investments in employee and technological realms, USPS has been readying for months. Their 10-year strategic plan, called Delivering for America, was implemented in 2021, aimed at transforming USPS into a self-sustaining, high-performing operation. 

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said, “Successfully delivering for the holidays is a cornerstone of our Delivering for America 10-year plan. Thanks to the 655,000 women and men of the Postal Service, recent investments, and operational precision improvements, we are ready to be the most used delivery provider this holiday season.” 

For cost-efficient, high-quality printing this holiday season, Econo Print has you covered! Contact us today to learn more. 

At Econo Print, we strive to deliver the highest-quality printed products possible. We produce top-rated goods in a timely fashion at a competitive price. Our top priority is listening to our clients and helping them achieve their business goals. We are proud of the strong roots we’ve built in the community and pride ourselves on using cutting-edge technology. Our products, commitment to service, and expertise exceed our client’s expectations. Contact us today or visit to learn how we can help launch your business to the next level. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Tesla Electric Semi Completes 500-Mile Trip

An all-electric class eight commercial truck that Tesla initially presented in 2017 has finally completed its first 500-mile trip with a full load. Slated to be in production in 2019, with 10,000 trucks made by 2022, the Tesla Semi production has been slow at best. Finally manufactured in October of 2022, deliveries are scheduled for early December. Tesla boasts their revolutionary semi can travel between 300 and 500 miles carrying 80,000 pounds. 

Currently being assembled in Reno, Nevada, Tesla plans on creating up to 50,000 units per year starting in 2024, which equates to more than 100 vehicles per day. With that much output, it would make Tesla one of the largest class eight manufacturers throughout North America. 

The Tesla Semi comes standard with Tesla Autopilot, making driving almost effortless on freeways. Several other companies (Volvo, Freightliner, and Nikola) have attempted to beat Tesla to market with other class eight semis, but they came up short in mileage range.

On November 27, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said, “Tesla team just completed a 500-mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs.!” 

Commercial long-haul semi-truckers are required to stop and take a break after eight hours of driving, so the 500-mile capacity is ideal between charges. With such a heavy capacity and a reduced cost of operation per mile compared to diesel trucks, Tesla Semi is anticipated to impact the trucking industry.

The jury is still out in terms of independent tests, but according to Tesla, the energy consumption of their semi is lower than 2 kWh/mile, making their battery consumption lower than 1,000 kWh at 500 miles. 

Pricing varies, but when initially unveiled in 2017, the base price with a 300-mile range was $150,000. For a 500-mile range, $180,000, with a base reservation price of $20,000. For a Founders Series Tesla Semi, it would set back the purchaser $200,000, with the reservation being the same price. 

When fully loaded, the Tesla Semi acceleration is expected to be 0 – 60 mph in 20 seconds and have an estimated battery charge of up to 70 percent range in 30 minutes. 

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge of renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Essential Tips for Subsistence Hunting

Survival hunting, also known as subsistence hunting, is, simply put, hunting to live. Though it is dwindling as a lifestyle, subsistence hunting is an essential skill for survival. Animal fats and proteins must be eaten regularly in extreme conditions to avoid energy draining during inclement weather or increased metabolism. 

The most abundant and easily huntable wild animals in the wilderness include small game, fish, reptiles, and the like. While all mammals and birds can be eaten, they should be cooked thoroughly to kill any microorganisms in the meat. It’s also important to eat – not avoid – fat; otherwise, your body cannot process the protein. A tasty source of fat is skin and fatty internal organs such as the liver or brain. 

To trap small animals, it’s imperative to understand their daily and seasonal movements, diet, and size. Traps are only helpful if you know their habits, and snares can scare them away if not used with precision. 

Fish are a fantastic option for subsistence hunting since they can be harvested in many ways and prepared in various methods. Traps, spears, nets, bows, and primitive rods can catch fish. Some options are more passive than others, allowing you to do other activities while the fish are caught. 

Reptiles and amphibians need to be skinned before being eaten since many amphibians have toxins in their outer layer. Harvesting can be accomplished with a spear, bow, hook and feather, or smashed. Reptiles and amphibians are most active at night.

Invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks are also food options, though they don’t always come to the top of mind when we think about food options. High in protein, many can be gathered in nets or scooped off the ground by hand. Worms and grubs can be found under rotten wood. Crayfish can be easily trapped or pulled out from under rocks. All should be thoroughly cooked, as they can transmit deadly parasites and diseases. 

Wild meat is abundant outdoors and can be a delicious and sustainable fuel source. In survival situations, small mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates are an excellent way to gain subsistence.

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for your prepping and survival needs. We are your trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you need it later. 

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: 

Novel Femtosecond Laser Cataracts Surgery Can Restore Vision

If you live long enough, chances are cataracts will affect you at some point later in life. Most people develop cataracts in one or both eyes, as it is a prevalent condition. 

Vincent Diaz, MD, MBA, a Yale Medicine ophthalmologist, said, “As long as there have been humans, there have been cataracts. For thousands of years, the goal was to get the cataract out without blinding the person. Literally, that was the goal.” 

Cataracts are formed when a structure inside your eye that focuses light onto the retina (that usually provides a clear image) becomes cloudy and blocks light from passing through. This effect is caused by the degrading of lens proteins. Since the consistency changes, clarity becomes more challenging, and blurry vision is one of the earliest signs of cataracts. 

Other symptoms of cataracts can include glare and sensitivity around lights (especially while driving at night), seeing halos, or trouble reading in a dimly lit area. 

Through the years, cataract surgery has made vast improvements, and now, thanks to field advances, patients have many options, such as laser-assisted surgery and synthetic replacement lenses. 

Yvonne Wang, MD, a Yale Medicine ophthalmologist, said, “What’s great about cataract surgery now is that we not only remove the cataract, but we can restore patients’ vision. They may have been wearing prescription contacts or glasses for many years. We can now put a prescription inside their new lens and give them better vision than they ever had before.” 

Two surgical options are available to replace the intraocular lens (IOL) with a synthetic lens. They are: 

  1. Basic cataract surgery: One of the most common forms of surgery worldwide, an incision is made in the eye, an ultrasonic device breaks up cataracts, and the pieces are removed. Then, an IOL is placed into the lens. 
  2. Laser cataract surgery: A femtosecond laser quickly pulsates and creates incisions to soften the cataract for easier removal. The laser allows more precise incisions to take place in a shorter time frame and can allow for more accurate vision correction than the first option. 

Cataract surgery is safe and performed in an outpatient setting. After a few weeks, patients return for a second treatment on the other eye. 

Are you considering surgery for your cataracts? Contact the experts at Zen Eye Institute today to learn more.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center is now Zen Eye Institute! We offer the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: