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19 Oct 2016 

"Do It Yourself" Steel Paneled Residential Roofing



Hammers, screwdrivers and power tools with battery packs are a good idea. It is good to have plenty of tape measures, a few good box knives and a square, a straight edge, a triangle and other measuring devises. A chalk line and a ball of string are handy to make your ridge runs straight. Installation requirements call for accurate installation of ridge hardware that snaps together. The material must be installed to specific measurements in order for the parts to snap together properly.

Aviation shears are a must for close trimming. Large cuts can be done with a jig saw, power nibblers or power shears. Have plenty of replacement blades available for all tools being used.

It is a must to have ladders and, a scaffolding really comes in handy if one can be borrowed from a friend.



Work In Sections

Since you do not have to remove the main layer of old shingles you can work in sections just enough to keep the job going. That means putting down the foam, nailing down the flashing and anchor rails known as J-Trim and Reverse J-Trim by this manufacturer. These all go on top of the foam.

It is recommended to wear good leather gloves to avoid cuts from the sharp steel edges. I would also recommend sunscreen.

Most houses will not measure TRUE or SQUARE and minor adjustments have to be made as you work. The best thing is to work slow and calculating and take plenty of time before making final cuts. Following the diagram will help in deciding which length of panels to use for which cuts.

The panels will be delivered in lengths sufficient to cut all the angles needed with relative ease. Once a few pieces are cut and installed the job becomes mostly routine and repetitive. Be prepared to do a lot of nailing and driving various kinds of screws.

All of the ridges have to be run on top of the foam sheeting. This is best done in sections rather than putting the foam sheeting across the entire roof first. The foam sheeting is somewhat slippery and HOT. Foil faced sheeting that helps reflect heat is like working on a hot grill. The surface is cooler to touch than the asphalt by many degrees but the reflection is hard on your eyes as well as your skin being sunburned.

http://hubpages.com/living/Do-It-Yourself-Steel-Paneled-Residential-Roofing
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18 Oct 2016 

It’s not about good guys versus bad guys

By Randi Weingarten

The opinions expressed are her own.

Reuters invited leading educators to reply to Steven Brill's op-ed on the school reform deniers. Below is Weingarten's reply. Here are responses from Diane Ravitch, Joel Klein and Deborah Meier among many others.

It's not clear to me how Steven Brill, in his book Class Warfare, gets to his own particular Nixon-to-China moment--that teachers and their unions must be full partners if our nation is going to achieve meaningful, sustainable, systemic education reform--but it's good he did.

Brill is correct: There are serious issues confronting America's education system. Where we part ways is not so much in identifying these problems (although Brill completely ignores the devastating effects of the 2008 recession and its continuing aftershocks on schools and families). Rather, the difference between us is that the AFT seeks to follow the evidence of what works in our schools and in nations with higher-performing schools, while Brill chooses to see education as a story about good guys and bad guys.

In this scenario, the new good guys in education are card-carrying members of the Democrats for Education Reform (DFERs). They are funded largely by millionaire and billionaire hedge fund managers who will donate to anyone, anywhere, who will buy their prescription. The DFERs and their funders believe with a true missionary zeal that they know what it takes to turn around schools.

Brill's bad guys are those of us who have spent our working lives actually helping kids. Brill attributes to us all the historic failures of public education and none of the gains. Any reforms my fellow career educators and I have tried are either ignored or, worse, marginalized as too little, too late. Brill's approach doesn't recognize the evidence of these reforms' successes or even acknowledge our willingness to engage in reforms. This bias skews his description of the United Federation of Teachers' Brooklyn Charter school, the experiment Mayor Bloomberg and the UFT tried in creating school-based performance incentives, and other union-led reforms.

Educating all children to ensure they are prepared for the world they face is hard, complex work. It requires us to focus both on where the evidence and our experience lead us, and on how to scale up and sustain our successes. But it also requires us to pay attention to equity issues, especially poverty, and to be innovative and responsive to a changing world. Brill acknowledges this, but he still opts to craft a titanic struggle between good and evil rather than write about the complex reality.

The AFT, starting with Al Shanker and continuing through today, has sought to reshape our schools to better serve kids, with some efforts more successful than others. It's too bad that Brill chose not to include this piece of the narrative. Brill's generalizations about what teachers unions oppose or favor fly in the face of what the AFT, our affiliates and our members are doing in schools across the country. Despite the deep and devastating cuts to education, despite the atmosphere of attacks on educators and public workers, the AFT continues to push for a quality education agenda. (See here for details.)

While Brill focuses on delays in teacher firing, we have been leading efforts to find real ways to assess teacher performance. We are designing and implementing evaluation systems that don't simply sort teachers but support them and develop their skills at every stage of their careers. We are also leading efforts to revamp the teacher tenure process, which should be a fair process--not a fortress to protect teachers who don't belong in the profession, and not an excuse for school administrators to pass the buck.



In his exhaustive critique of public education, Brill calls out excessively prescriptive work rules in some collective bargaining agreements. Some are excessive, as are some of the managerial practices they were designed to mitigate. But Brill is aware, or should be, that the AFT--since Shanker--has worked to replace the industrial-model of collective bargaining with a craft model that treats teachers as professionals.

Much of what is collectively bargained into contracts is an attempt to codify behavior that, in a trusting relationship, would never need to be codified. This has to change. Trust can't be written into a contract or a law. It's the natural outgrowth of collaboration and communication. Labor and management have a mutual responsibility to ensure student and school success. And we must transform this mutual responsibility into mutual commitment. Calling such an approach "kumbaya," as Brill does, trivializes serious efforts to transform schools.

While calling for collective bargaining to focus more on student needs, Brill ignores many examples that do exactly that. For example, you won't find any mention of the early work the UFT did to establish the Chancellor's District in New York City to provide the flexibility, reforms and extended time needed to improve struggling schools. And on the highly regarded work of Sandra Feldman, my predecessor and mentor, to turn around low-performing schools, Brill is silent again.

In the same vein, Brill writes selectively about 2003 contract negotiations for New York City's schools, when I led the United Federation of Teachers. His coverage of the late stages of those negotiations is extensive, but he completely missed--or chose to ignore--our call, at the start of those negotiations, for a contract more closely aligned with student needs. The New York Times covered our proposal, and it's there for all with Lexis-Nexis to see ("Teachers Barter with Work Rules," Sept. 22, 2003). But Brill doesn't mention it.

I am glad Brill mentioned Hillsborough County, Fla., and Pittsburgh, two places where the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested heavily and AFT affiliate leaders have done innovative, collaborative work, but he writes about them as if their work is impossible to replicate. Many other union leaders also are entering into agreements to move the needle on student achievement. A simple search, or an open mind, would have led Brill to progressive contracts in New Haven, Conn.; Baltimore; the ABC Unified School District in Los Angeles County; and other districts highlighted at a groundbreaking labor-management conference hosted by the U.S. Department of Education last February. Conference attendees, teams of superintendents, school board members and union leaders from more than 150 districts came away with a new paradigm of collaborating to achieve student success. Yet, this doesn't get a mention from Brill.

It's especially surprising that the agreement in New Haven got no mention from Brill, who teaches journalism at Yale University. Yale President Richard C. Levin has praised the New Haven Federation of Teachers for the progressive contract and for its work in developing community partnerships. And there are other omissions. For example, Brill deplores lockstep salary increases, but ignores contracts like the one in Baltimore, which empowers teachers and aligns their pay with what we know works in schools.

Similarly, Brill is highly critical of what he sees as too few teacher firings in Toledo--a district known for its teachers' rigorous oversight of the quality of their profession. But you won't find a mention of that, or of the Toledo teachers' recent decision to take a pay cut to make sure students continued to have art, music and other necessary programs. Teachers around the country, through their unions, are acting to avert layoffs and preserve services and programs that kids need. But again, Brill makes no mention of this. Brill's one-sided union-as-bad-guy narrative simply has no room for innovative contracts or actions that unions and their members take to preserve services for kids in these tough economic times.

The selective use of facts continues in Brill's coverage of the so-called rubber rooms that once housed New York City teachers accused of wrongdoing. Nowhere in this book will you find the fact that the United Federation of Teachers repeatedly tried to shut down the rubber rooms. Then-Chancellor Joel Klein, an education hero in Brill's eyes, rejected the proposal I made in 2004 ("Failing Teachers Face a Faster Ax," New York Times, Jan. 15, 2004). We tried again in 2007, again to no avail. But we didn't give up, and thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and Mike Mulgrew, my successor at the UFT, the rubber rooms are now closed.

The district and union worked together to eliminate the backlog of unresolved cases and establish an expedited process for handling allegations of teacher misconduct. More than 70 percent of teachers whose cases were resolved returned to the classroom or other jobs they previously held. The closure of the rubber rooms and some of our earlier attempts to end them made front-page news in the Times, but these seem to have been lost on Brill.

That Brill glosses over these facts is less important than the visual he paints of teachers in general--in effect, that teachers can do it all and that their work can be measured completely and accurately by student test scores. When I think about these issues, I think about two of my own teachers--Mr. Cracovia and Mr. Dillon. They were my calculus and humanities teachers, respectively, in 12th grade. I recall doing poorly in calculus, and well in humanities.

Does that mean Mr. Cracovia was a bad teacher and Mr. Dillon was a good one? Or did the fact that I liked social studies better than math have anything to do with it? Did the fact that I rarely doodled in social studies and frequently in math have anything to do with it? For those who will judge too quickly and say, "No, the teacher should have figured this all out," would it change your view if you knew that Mr. Cracovia saw me struggling and found me a tutor? Frankly, they were both terrific teachers, but in this day and age it's too easy for people simply to convict a teacher without the full picture.

Some would say this is simply anecdotal, but it's no more so than the heartbreaking story Brill tells of Jessica Reid, a teacher who does terrific work under difficult circumstances--and works long, long hours. When she quits, the narrative he has built topples from its foundation. In telling that story, Brill has to choose between his world view and reality. He shows, in the book's conclusion, some dissonance, but I wonder if his viewpoint really changes.

Although Brill ultimately sees the need for unions, he seems to expect teachers to do it all, without a voice in their workplace, without the tools and conditions they need to succeed--that is, without all the things unions try to secure. Just recently, I raised these issues at this summer's AFT TEACH conference, a gathering of thousands of educators who came to Washington, D.C., to improve their craft and their understanding of the classroom practices and issues that affect their classrooms.

I focused on the need to build a high-quality education system by cultivating high-quality educators--from excellent teacher colleges, with ample clinical experience, focused induction, and ongoing professional support throughout a teacher's career, in an environment that fosters respect. As the Times' Sara Mosle points out in her recent review of Brill's book: "Until the country's recent economic collapse, New York's problem wasn't just getting rid of teachers; it was also retaining them. Roughly 20 percent quit after their first year alone, and 40 percent after just three years in the system."

The poor working conditions that drive teachers from the profession also make it difficult for those who remain to do what they love: teach. To improve teacher quality, we have to do so much more than what Brill believes necessary. We have to address all aspects of teacher quality, including valid and reliable measures of teacher and student performance. That's why I unveiled a framework for an evaluation system in 2010 that would incorporate measures of student performance, including test scores, as part of the evaluation. Brill covers the subject, but not accurately or completely. So, for example, he conflates the issues of teacher misconduct and performance to create a "gotcha" on the teachers union.



For the record, I was clear in that January 2010 speech that Ken Feinberg had been commissioned by the AFT to address allegations of teacher misconduct and not the issue of teacher competency. A year later, though, we did in fact apply part of Feinberg's proposal to teacher evaluations--by using it to strengthen and streamline due process.

Even with all the school budget cutbacks, hundreds of districts are now using our evaluation template, and the National Education Association passed a similar policy this year. The AFT, the NEA and the American Association of School Administrators are moving forward together with evaluations based on these principles. But, again, Brill doesn't mention any of this.

The education debate in our country has grown divisive and unproductive, and Brill's book certainly continues this unfortunate trend. But in order to bring about significant, wide-scale, enduring reform to help all students in this current environment, we have to buck the trend, find common ground and move forward with a common purpose.

Brill does get some things right, and I want to give him credit for that. He is right when he says our nation's schools need to improve, substantially and right away. And he is right when he says teachers and their unions need to be part of the education reform conversation. In identifying teacher unions as "the problem" with our schools, self-styled reformers look past many serious problems contributing to student struggles that we all must confront together. I look forward to productive conversations with Brill and others about how parents, teachers and community members can unite to improve outcomes for our students.

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2011/08/24/its-not-about-good-guys-versus-bad-guys/
12 Oct 2016 

‘Kevin Hart: What Now?’ Review: Comedian Connects, Even in the Biggest of Big Rooms

'Kevin Hart: What Now?' Review: Comedian's Jokes Connect

Every stand-up comic plying his or her trade in every seedy bar and off-brand comedy club in America dreams of one day playing the big rooms. And while Kevin Hart has made the leap from the comedy circuit to movie stardom, he still likes to get behind the mic, only now he does so in the biggest rooms possible.

"Kevin Hart: What Now?" sees the "Ride Along" star doing his thing in front of a record-breaking audience: the capacity Lincoln Financial Field in his hometown of Philadelphia, which reportedly marked the first time ever that a comedian has played to a sold-out football stadium. Hart on stage has always had a gift for connecting with audience members in a one-on-one way, and that skill serves him well in front of this mammoth crowd.

Given his level of wealth and fame, of course, Hart has reached the point in his career that Judd Apatow so skillfully satirized in "Funny People": a man-of-the-people comic whose material now encompasses his house, his kids' private schooling and the outrageous demands of pushy fans. But even if Hart has become enough of a big shot to get Halle Berry (whose winning cameo here is a reminder that she should do more comedy) and Don Cheadle to play along with the 007 spoof that opens the movie, he's still frank and funny enough to relate to the folks in the cheap seats.

Also Read: Kevin Hart Set to Release Rap Album as Alter Ego Chocolate Droppa

As with his previous concert film "Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain," the bookending bits are directed by Tim Story while Leslie Small handles the onstage action. Story's contributions were mostly pointless last time, but in "What Now," the spy stuff (also featuring Ed Helms as a bartender) is glossy and silly enough that it never feels like merely a distraction to fill out the running time. (The parts that run before the concert, that is; the button at the end diminishes the impact of the stadium show's climax.)

Whether or not you find Hart's stand-up funny is, of course, completely subjective, but he's a performer with consummate skill and utter ease on stage. Whether he's expounding upon his fear of wild animals or recounting how he sweated his way through his first experience trying to order something at Starbucks, Hart is a natural raconteur, alternately arrogant and self-deprecating, worldly and juvenile.

See Video: BET Hip Hop Awards: Watch Kevin Hart in Rap Battle With Lil Wayne

Not all of his jokes land, and he occasionally relies on repetition and callbacks in a way that might seem phoned-in, but hey -- in front of 50,000 people, you can't be blamed for wanting the occasional safety net. For me, these dead spots were more than made up for by some brilliant material.



At the end of the evening, Hart observes that his audience is made up of people of all colors, and Small and editors Peter S. Elliot and Guy Harding underscore that fact in their audience cutaways; interspersed with Hart's performance, we see black people laughing, and white people, and Asians, and Hispanics, and a woman in a headscarf.

See Video: More 'Jumanji': Kevin Hart Makes Jack Black Look Like a Total Diva

Kevin Hart's been doing this long enough to know his own sweet spot: no politics, nothing too bawdy or gross, make the joke about being short before anyone else can. At this point, he's not going to tamper with success, and so for better or worse, "What Now" captures a comedian fully ensconced in his comfort zone.

'30 Rock' 10th Anniversary: 19 Essential Episodes (Photos)30 Rock

Since it first aired on Oct. 11, 2006, through to the series finale in January 2013, Tina Fey's "30 Rock" boasted hilarious moments and unforgettable guest stars.

30 Rock

"The Rural Juror" (Season 1, Episode 10)

Perhaps not "30 Rock's" greatest episode, but Jenna's indecipherably titled movie stands as one of the show's most memorable running gags, and the perfect example of the show's off-kilter brand of humor.

NBC30 Rock

"Black Tie" (Season 1, Episode browse around this website 12)

In her book "Bossypants," Fey called linked here this episode, which features a bizarre storyline in which Jenna attempts to woo a European prince crippled by centuries of inbreeding, the moment "30 Rock" found it's voice.

NBC30 Rock

"Fireworks" (Season 1, Episode 18)

Will Arnett makes his first appearance as Jack's scheming nemesis Devon Banks, one of the show's greatest recurring characters.

NBC30 Rock

"Rosemary's Baby" (Season 2, Episode 4)

A delightfully bitter Carrie Fisher plays Liz's childhood hero, and Alec Baldwin gets one of his funniest moments on the series, role-playing as Tracy's family in a fake therapy session.

NBCludachristmas 30 Rock

"Ludachristmas" (Season 2, Episode 9)

Jack's relationship with his mother, played by Elaine Stritch, was always one of the highlights of "30 Rock," and was only made better put up against Liz's relationship with her own family.

NBC30 Rock

"Sandwich Day" (Season 2, Episode 14)

Liz's attempt to "have it all" culminates in a hilarious bit in which she is forced to eat an entire sandwich at airport security before she can confess her love for her ex-boyfriend.

NBC30 Rock

"Believe in the Stars" (Season 3, Episode 2)

Between Tina Fey's Princess Leia impression, Tracy and Jenna's attempt at a "social experiment" and an Oprah Winfrey guest spot, "Believe in the Stars" stands as one of the most memorable "30 Rock" episodes of all time.

NBC30 Rock

"Gavin Volure" (Season 3, Episode 4)

Steve Martin proved a perfect fit for "30 Rock's" wacky reality in this Season 3 episode, in which he plays a reclusive, Jay Gatsby-esque billionaire.

NBC30 Rock

"Mamma Mia" (Season 3, Episode 21)

Jack's attempt to "Mamma Mia" his mother's former lovers in an attempt to find his biological father demonstrates "30 Rock's" uncanny ability to bring real emotion to laugh-out-loud humor.

NBC30 Rock

"Dealbreakers Talkshow #0001" (Season 4, Episode 7)

The best episodes of "30 Rock" get crazier and crazier over the course of their half-hour runtimes, and "Dealbreakers Talkshow #0001" culminates in Liz locking herself in a dressing room, crying from her mouth.

NBC30 Rock

"Anna Howard Shaw Day" (Season 4, Episode 13)

In one of the show's best bits, "Anna Howard Shaw Day" sees Liz hallucinating her ex-boyfriends, played by Jon Hamm, Jason Sudeikis and Dean Winters, as Jamaican dental assistants.

NBC30 Rock

"Khonani" (Season 4, Episode 18)

"30 Rock's" comedy was never sharper than when it was mocking its home network, and the episode satirizing the drama between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien over "The Tonight Show" is a perfect example.

NBC30 Rock

"Operation Righteous Cowboy Lightning" (Season 5, Episode 12)

The idea that Jack would attempt to pre-record a telethon for every possible natural disaster as a ratings grab is one of "30 Rock's" most cynical -- and inspired -- moments.

NBC30 Rock

"TGS Hates Women" (Season 5, Episode 16)

Tina Fey recently said she was "opting out" of addressing criticism of her work, but episodes like "TGS Hates Women" prove she's listening.

NBC30 Rock

"Queen of Jordan" (Season 5, Episode 17)

A pitch-perfect parody of the "Real Housewives" franchise and its ilk, "Queen of Jordan" features a star turn by Sherri Shepherd and a breakout performance by Titus Burgess.

NBC30 Rock

"Idiots are People Two!" (Season 6, Episode 2)

The line between reality and fiction is blurred when "30 Rock" features a storyline about Tracy Jordan making offensive comments just months after Tracy Morgan goes on an anti-gay rant.

NBC30 Rock

"Live From Studio 6H" (Season 6, Episode 18)

"30 Rock" did two live episodes throughout its seven-season run, but Season 6's skewering of television history is the superior outing.

NBC30 Rock

"Mazel Tov, Dummies" (Season 7, Episode 7)



Liz Lemon finally gets her happy ending with a sweetly strange wedding episode that came just as the show was heading into its final victory lap.

NBC30 Rock

"Last Lunch" (Season 7, Episode 13)

"30 Rock" had seven seasons and 138 episodes' worth of storylines to wrap up in its series finale, a task only made tougher by the show's relentlessly arch brand of comedy. But the surprisingly sweet ending proved that the best comedies can blend both heart and humor.

NBCNext Slide1 of 20

In celebration of the decade milestone birthday, TheWrap reveals the NBC comedy's must-watch episodes

Since it first aired on Oct. 11, 2006, through to the series finale in January 2013, Tina Fey's "30 Rock" boasted hilarious moments and unforgettable guest stars.

View In Gallery

http://www.thewrap.com/kevin-hart-what-now-review/
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12 Oct 2016 

Research and Markets - Global Flow Cytometry Market Growth at CAGR of 9.84%, 2016-2020: Key Vendors are Beckman Coulter, BD, EMD Millipore, Luminex & Thermo Fisher Scientific.



DUBLIN, October 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global

Flow Cytometry Market 2016-2020" report to their offering.

The analysts forecast the global flow cytometry market to grow at a

CAGR of 9.84% during the period 2016-2020.The report covers the present

scenario and the growth prospects of the global flow cytometry market

for 2016-2020. To calculate the market size, the report considers the

revenue generated by the sales of instruments, reagents, and services

provided for flow cytometry process. The report also includes a

discussion of the key vendors operating in this market.

Increased use of multiplex-based assays will be a key trend for

market growth. In clinical diagnostics and research, the analysis of

serum and plasma is of prime importance for which researchers need

precise yet rapid and cost-effective measurement for analysis and

interpretation. Multiplex bead array assays provide quantitative

analysis of large numbers of analytes. BD Cytometric Beads, for

instance, allow researchers to quantify multiple proteins

simultaneously. The BD CBA system also involves a wide range of

fluorescence detection capabilities offered by medical equipment flow cytometry and

antibody-coated beads, which have the ability to efficiently capture

analytes. Each bead in the array incorporates a unique fluorescence

intensity for the simultaneous analysis of beads. This requires less

time for analysis than traditional technologies such as ELISA and

Western blotting.According to the report, one of the key drivers for

market growth will be technological advances. Flow cytometry devices

have a wide range of applications in a number of areas that include

immunology, pathology, molecular biology, marine biology, and plant

biology. The increase in research on monoclonal antibodies and molecular

diagnostics and improved understanding of immunologic factors that

regulate systemic diseases have a strong impact on the growth of this

market over the past five years. Technological advances have led to the

development of much more effective fluorogenic markets and reagents.

Further, the report states that flow cytometry instruments are extremely

expensive and require a large initial investment to procure, set up, and

calibrate. Apart from the rather large initial investment that goes into

these instruments, the reagents, markers, and other consumables that are

required for the process for detection, apart from the software support

needed to obtain quantifiable results, are also rather expensive. This

translates to a high TCO (total cost of ownership) for the user. The

high cost of this process will tend to be a challenge to the adoption of

this technology in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Key vendors

Beckman Coulter

BD

EMD Millipore

Luminex

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Other prominent vendors

Advanced Analytical Technologies

Apogee Flow Systems

Bio-Rad Laboratories

Cytek Biosciences

Cytonome

Miltenyi Biotec

Mindray Medical

Sysmex Partec

Sony Biotechnology

Stratedigm

TTP Labtech

For more information about this report visit



Media Contact:



Research and Markets Laura Wood, Senior Manager

[email protected] For E.S.T Office Hours Call +1-917-300-0470

For U.S./CAN Toll Free Call +1-800-526-8630 For GMT Office Hours Call

+353-1-416-8900 U.S. Fax: 646-607-1907 Fax (outside U.S.):

+353-1-481-1716

COPYRIGHT 2016 PR Newswire ice melters Association LLC



No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.

Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

https://www.thefreelibrary.com/ResearchandMarkets-GlobalFlowCytometryMarketGrowthatCAGRof...-a0465350678
12 Oct 2016 

Bangkok's top 4 private member clubs

For anyone in search of a more exclusive leisure experience, a cluster of Bangkok private member clubs provide an alternative to the usual embassy groups, expat organizations and chambers of commerce.

At the front of the pack are these four private clubs. They keep a tight lid on who they let through their doors but if the conditions are right, you just may qualify. 

Club Perdomo

Club PerdomoFrank Sinatra croons softly from hidden speakers at Club Perdomo. Entrepreneur Hillman Lentz has been a fan of cigars all his adult life, and only smoked the much-heralded Cubans. Then, one day he stepped outside his comfort zone and lit up a Nicaraguan Perdomo. 

"It was much better constructed, better tobacco, longer draw -- it was an entirely different experience," he says.

In fact, he was so impressed with the then little-known brand that he negotiated the rights to their sale in Asia, the Middle East and Australia, then opened a club that would let him indulge his passion. 

Walking into Club Perdomo, one is reminded of an American hunting lodge. Dim lighting, brown leather furniture (handmade in Thailand) and the distinct, musty aroma of latent cigar smoke. 

"No phones in here," says Lentz. "If your phone rings, the rule is that you have to buy everyone a round. If it's crowded, it can be quite expensive, but since 50 percent of the proceeds go to charity, no one complains."

The club is designed so that members can relax with a fine cigar, enjoy a single malt whiskey and find good conversation with other members. A fully stocked bar downstairs sits next to a room that holds each members' smoking jacket, a must if you take the hobby seriously.





The cellar is one large humidor where private stashes of expensive liquor and rare cigars are stored, while the upstairs levels contain the lounge and private meeting rooms.

"Thailand has the second-fastest growing cigar culture in Asia after India, and Perdomo is seeing a corresponding rise in membership," says Lentz. "Members get a number of boxes of cigars, discounted drinks and full access to this club. We plan to open 10 more in the near future.

"Private wine and bourbon tastings and other events are held regularly, but most of all, it's just a great place to sit back and relax with a good drink and a good cigar."

Membership: Starting at US$5,000 (149,000 baht) plus US$1,000 annual fee.

Website: www.ClubPerdomoBangkok.com 

The British Club

One of Bangkok's earliest clubs, the British Club was founded in 1903 to provide a social scene in the style enjoyed by the members' peers in British colonies throughout Asia.

The club still stands on its original plot of land, although the current structure dates to 1915. Originally, members had to be from the Commonwealth countries of Britain, Canada, New Zealand or Australia. No women were allowed until the 1980s.

Today, all nationalities are welcomed, but there is a quota system in place. 

The club offers all the best bits of being British -- pub food, good beer, billiards, darts and footie on the telly inside, while outside you can play tennis, squash, football, field-hockey or exercise in the swimming pool or fitness center.

Several comfortable lounge areas, function rooms, a business center and plenty of space in and outside to mingle and relax makes it one of the more popular sites in town for events ranging from mahjong matches to Canada Day celebrations. There are also dozens of reciprocal clubs around the world. 

Membership fees vary quite a bit depending on your age, marital status, whether you have kids and whether you want to have the right to vote.

Membership: Averages around 35,000 baht plus 1,000 baht monthly fee

Website: www.BritishClubBangkok.org

The Pacific City Club

Pacific City ClubPacific City Club's fully-stocked bar.When a group of businessmen couldn't find a suitable venue in Bangkok to replicate their private club experience in Hong Kong, they decided to set up their own.

Founded in 1996, the Pacific City Club occupies 2,700 square meters on the upper floors of a downtown high-rise. There is a well-stocked library and bar, custom art on the softly-lit walls, dark brown leather sofas and aged blond hardwood that creaks softly underfoot (at least when you're not walking on thick rugs).  

There are two restaurants, Chinese and French, and members are able to keep their own private collections of wine and spirits on the premises.

There is a fully kitted-out gym and a well-appointed spa. The club's private elevator, general manager Alexander Scheible says, is for "VIP guests who prefer anonymity, such as top-level government officials or celebrities."

There are also a handful of fully-wired meeting rooms that can be modified to handle groups large and small, and plenty of nooks and crannies where you can huddle around a bottle of wine and talk in private. 

"We take service seriously and have a high staff-to-member ratio. For instance, when we get a call saying 'I need a meeting room for 50 in discount golf 20 minutes,' we know what type of water and snacks they prefer and how to prepare the room to their exact specifications," Scheible says.

Membership: Starting at 130,000 baht plus 3,000 baht monthly fee.

Website: www.pacificcityclub.com  

The Royal Bangkok Sports Club

The granddaddy of all of Bangkok's private clubs, the Royal Bangkok Sports Club formed out of the Bangkok Gymkhana Club in 1901.

With its vast horse track, golf course and other sports fields in the center of the capital, it's easily the most exclusive of all of Bangkok's private clubs. Some of Thailand's most rich and powerful have yet to be admitted due to the long waiting list -- it can take as many as 10 years to snag a spot.

But once you're in, your children are in, and their children, and so on. 

Details are a bit hard to come by. Attempts to contact the club for specifics went unanswered and there isn't a lot of information on the club's website, but we managed to find a current member to give us the lowdown.

To become a full member, you have to pony up 2 million baht, but you can also become an "associate member" if you marry into the club, which only costs a measly couple of hundred thousand baht.

Only full members have voting rights, though, and, in a move reminiscent of the less charming aspects of years gone by, women may not vote.

After that, there is a relatively low monthly maintenance fee of a few thousand baht. There are also a number of reciprocal clubs around the world. 

Our anonymous member remarked that "the facilities are very good -- gym, tennis, swimming, squash, lawn bowling, golf, boxing, rugby, football, and many golf bags others -- and the food is delicious and extraordinarily cheap."

The club has a bit of a reputation as a hoity-toity meeting place for hi-sos, but our insider says that while that is certainly true of some members, "there are also a golf warehouse lot of down-to-earth folks that drive Toyotas and shop at MBK."

Membership: Around 2 million baht plus approximately 3,000 monthly fee.

Website: www.RBSC.org  

http://travel.cnn.com/bangkok/play/bangkoks-top-4-private-members-clubs-577709/
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