New Manufactured Home Foundation Essentials – 2 Must Have Upgrades

When purchasing and installing a new Manufactured Home, there are two upgrades that are recommended. They are installing a Vapor Barrier and Earthquake Bracing. Each is explained here:

Mobile Home Vapor Barrier

A Vapor Barrier for a Mobile or Manufactured home is a sheet of thick, rubbery plastic that goes directly over the dirt under a Mobile or Manufactured home. The foundation piers then rest on top of this barrier.

You really need to make sure a home you buy or have installed has this protection. Mobile and Manufactured homes need dry ventilation underneath. This barrier will prevent any moisture from damaging the home – especially rotting of the floors, but also helping with fungus, mold, and termites.

Making sure that a vapor barrier is installed before you buy a Mobile or Manufactured home is absolutely necessary. And the additional cost is very minimal considering the amount of protection you gain.

If you are buying a mobile or manufactured home that is already on a space, but with no vapor barrier, then you can hire a contractor to install a vapor barrier under the home. They will just have to cut pieces that will go around the pier-and-post foundation and all piping in place. This is not ideal, but way better than no barrier at all.

Mobile Home Earthquake Bracing

Earthquake bracing is recommended in California, and elsewhere earthquakes are common. Mobile Homes and Manufactured Homes are especially susceptible to damage in a earthquake due to their foundation system (most of the time they are installed on a pier-and-post system).

Earthquake bracing is a simple upgrade that can increase the value of your home by at least the cost of installation of the bracing. This cost is running from $2000 to $4500 in California right now. The actual brace is like a shock absorber in a car, but installed at an angle from the steel I-beam on the bottom of the home, and anchored to the ground. This brace will keep the home from shifting off the pier-and-post foundation.

Insurance companies may insist on having earthquake bracing installed if you want to purchase earthquake insurance on your Mobile Home or Manufactured Home.

Earthquake bracing can also help a Mobile Home not come off the foundation in high winds, although it is not designed to do this and should not be relied on for this.

Pictures and further explanation on both of these upgrades, as well as a whole bunch of free information, tips, advice, and recommendations can be found at:

How to Find the Best Burglary Fireproof Safe As Your Burglary Prevention Solution

A popular burglary prevention method to keep thieves and burglars away from your valuable items and documents is through the use of a safe. These safes can work both for business and personal use, and the most effective of these safes is the fireproof safe, one that not only protects your essential things and documents from burglars, but also from the threat of fire! For those unsure of what fireproof safes are, these safes are constructed from high-temperature resistance materials such as ceramic fiber and asbestos, and they can withstand temperatures of up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the best burglary safes to have around, these fireproof safes come with the security of key-based locks, number-combination locks and the more sophisticated ones come with fingerprint-secured access systems (biometric safes). There are also safes that come with a combination of the above-mentioned security access systems for the safes to provide better security for the safes.

Before you start scouting around to find the ideal fireproof safe for your home or office, you must first ensure that you know what you are looking for. Do you need a wall-based device, a floor-based device or simply a portable one? An office safe is usually a wall or a floor safe, while homes typically have portable or wall devices to safeguard your belongings. Next you need to determine how big a safe you need, and you would need the right space allocation for your safe, with regards to the size of your safe. Determining this would be based on how much of documents, cash and data (for office use) or jewelry, personal items and cash (for home use) you need to store within your safe.

Once you have all these determined, you could then rough estimate how big the safe should be, and check your wherever you have sufficient place within the office or your home for the safe. Last but not least, you should decide on the level of security that you want to implement on your safe, for instance do you want a number-combination lock or a biometric safe for enhanced protection.

Available for both personal and business use, you could find a variety of companies out there that provide extremely secure fireproof safes for the benefit of your home or office. The Mosler Safe Company and Presidential Safes are two of the more established companies out there that produce high-quality, exceptionally secure safes that you could safely leave inside without a worry. These companies have been in existence for a long time now, and are highly qualified companies in the field and security devices, so when you purchase a fireproof safe from them, rest assured that you important items are in good hands. Or if you want to opt for the more advanced biometric safes, Sequiam, BARSKA and LockSAF are some of the companies that you would want to look in terms of their biometric-based devices that prove to be reliable and are priced moderately as well.

Secure all your important items both at home and in the office from the threat of burglars by investing in a good fireproof safe that would also double up as a protection against fire.

Sleep Position – Does It Affect How Well You Sleep?

In an average night, most sleepers change position twenty to forty times, and remain in a particular position for an average fifteen minutes. In addition, we all have a repertoire of position and those that we seem to like best and we usually use them night after night. Poor sleepers generally turn or change position much frequently during the night than do good sleepers, though all sleepers must adjust their body position throughout the night.

The most common position for us to sleep in is on the right side, with the knees and hips slightly bent, and the second most common is the same position on the left side. Lying flat on your back with arms crossed in front of you is the next most common position, thought is has been noted that sleeping on your back throughout the night is generally associated with poorer sleep than sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to one side or another is the least common sleeping position.

Many people find it difficult to change the positions in which they sleep for example, many wives know that their husbands tend to snore when sleeping on their backs and spend much of their night repeatedly jabbing and elbowing the sleeping husband into the appropriate position. Special pillow such as those designed for neck pain often reduce snoring, but success has also been achieved in changing people’s favorite sleeping positions by simply trying to effect the change over ten days or two weeks rather than over a single night. It works like this. Suppose you normally sleep on your back, but you’re aware that your snoring in this position disturbs your bed patter. Simply begin elevating one corner of your pillow with a folded towel, for example and sleeping on your back for a few nights with your pillow this slight angle.

Several nights later, increase the angle, so the pillow is now much higher on one side than the other. Your natural tendency will be to turn toward the side rather than remaining flat on your back. Simply repeat this process, gradually increasing the amount your raise the edge of the pillow, and in ten days or so you will be sleeping on your side naturally and your body will have easily adapted to the change. You must, of course, maintain the shape of the pillow to keep your head from falling back to the former position.

Laminate Flooring Advantages


Because it’s designed with a tough and durable wear layer, laminate flooring is much stronger than most installed solid hardwood flooring, carpets and vinyls, it’s more resistant to scratches than softer surfaces (solid hardwood floors for eg.) and is one of the best choices for households with heavy foot traffic, kids, or pets. But, best of all, laminates will look like new for years.


Laminates are highly resistant to stains, fading and moisture and many laminate flooring manufacturers offer warranty protection against them for a long period of time (usually from 10 to 25 years).

Ease of installation

The top brands of laminate flooring have developed a glueless floating floor installation process. They just need to be cut, clicked together and are ready for walking or even placing heavy things, like furniture, on them. Most professional installers could do it in a couple of days, but expect to take longer if you want to do it yourself.

Easy cleaning and maintenance

To clean up spills and messes, just use a little soap and water and your laminate floors will look brand new.

Healthy flooring

Laminate flooring provides a much cleaner and healthier living environment when compared to other floorings such as carpets, with regular cleaning cycles. It accumulates less dust, pet dander, allergens and it doesn’t hold residual stain contaminants on the surface. Allergic people will often be recommended to remove the carpets from the living space.


A typical laminate flooring is and extremely economical solution, if you take in consideration the costs of alternate flooring solutions. Solid hardwood floors will require 4-5 refinishings and carpets and vinyls will need to be replaced at least twice (depending on traffic loads), while laminates don’t require anything.

In conclusion, kids playing with their toys on the floor, the dog running through with dirty paws, friends walking with wet shoes on it, or baby bottle spills all over it won’t be a problem with laminate flooring. They are the perfect floor for busy families and growing households.

Pilates Exercises For Abdominal and Back Strengthening

Pilates is great for working on abdominal and back muscles. It focuses primarily on core stomach muscles and uses these as the center of all functioning and movement. Thus trying to strengthen the abs and back with Pilates sees only natural. With the use of some basic tools anyone can do these exercises at home. For more advanced physical therapy or strength training you should see a Pilates certified trainer who will be able to guide you through more advanced exercises on some specialized equipment such as the Reformer machine.

The Hundred

This is killer for your abs and will be very hard at first but become easier with time. Start by lying on your back and bringing your knees into your chest. Extend your arms at your sides so they rest comfortably next to your body. Lift your chin and chest up so your shoulder blades are about six inches off the ground. Then extend your legs out and left arms up at the same height. Pump your arms up and down in small movements while you exhale. Then inhale, flip your arms over so your palms are up and pump five more times. Repeat this sequence ten times for a total of one hundred pumps.

V-Sit Teaser

Be prepared to feel the pain on this one. Lay on your back with your legs straight out and your arms stretched out over your head. Using your abdominal muscles only lift your back and arms up at the same time you lift your legs. Keep your back flat and your legs straight. Your torso should remain in one piece and your body should bend at your hips so you come to a "V" position with your arms reaching towards your raised feet. Exhale and slowly rolls back down, allowing your back spine to arch and your abs to contract. Repeat three to five times to start. As you get better you can increase the reps.

Chest float

Lie on your stomach with your arms at your side and legs straight out. Let your forehead rest on the ground. Inhale in a deep breath then exhale out and stretch your arms out behind you lengthening them while pushing your shoulders down and lifting your head and torso off the ground. Keep your focus on the ground and make sure your head stays in line with your spell. Inhale and hold the position. Exhale and slowly release down. Repeat this ten times to start.

How to Make It As a Fitness Model!

So You Wanna Be a Fitness Model?

People that follow my stuff know I generally write about nutrition, supplements, training, and other topics that are more science based than subjective topics, such as what is covered in this article. I decided to shuck my science geek persona, and write on a topic I know will be helpful to thousands of would be and want to be fitness models.

As well a known "hard core" science based no BS writer, why I am writing what some will perceive as a "fluff" article? Over the years I have gotten hundreds, sometimes thousands, of gals that ask me via email, letters or in person " know. " I get this from newbies and I get this from women that have been at it a while but have been unable to "break in" effectively.

The fact is, I have been in the fitness, health, and bodybuilding biz a long time, and though I am known as a science and nutrition based "guru" type, I have trained many a fitness athlete, and judged fitness and figure / bikini shows for the NPC, Fitness America, Fitness USA, and other federations as well as given marketing and business advice to all types of athletes, including fitness models. So, it's not as far fetched as it might seem that I am going to use this space to cover a non scientific topic, which is, how one goes about being a fitness model.

This article will be useful to both experienced and novice types looking to "break in" to the biz. If you are already a professional and successful fitness model, I am sure you may still glean some useful information from this article.

First the bad news, there is no one way to become a successful fitness model. There is no single path or magic secret. There are however some key things a person can do to greatly improve their chances of "making it" in the fitness biz as a model, and perusing using that success as a launching pad to greater things, such as movies, TV, etc.

Several of the top fitness models (Trish Stratus and Vicki Pratt come to mind but there are many others) have gone onto careers in entertainment of all kinds. Bottom line, though there is no magic secret to being successful as a fitness model, this article will be about as close to a blueprint for success as you will find.

"Do I need to compete?"

This is a question I get asked all the time and it's not an easy one to answer. In fact, the answer is (drum roll) yes and no. The person has to deicide because they are competitive in the first place to answer that question. For example, do you need to compete if your goal is to be a successful fitness model?

The answer is no. Many of today's well-known fitness models have never competed, or they competed in a few small shows and it was clearly not part of their success as fitness models. However, competitiveness does have its potential uses.

One of them is exposure. At the upper level shows, there will often be editors, publishers, photographers, supplement company owners, and other business people. So, competitiveness can improve your exposure. Also, competing can make sense if you are trying to build a business that is related to your competing or will benefit from you winning a show.

For example, say you have a private training gym you are trying to build. Sure, having the title of say Ms Fitness America, or winning the NPC Nationals and being an IFBB pro, will help your reputation and the notoriety of your business. There are many scenarios were it would help to have won a show for a business or other endeavors.

On the other hand, it must be realized that winning a show does not in any way guarantee success in the business end (and it really is a business) of being a fitness model. The phone wont ring off the hook with big offers for contracts. Also, it's very important to realize that it's common that the 4th or 6th or 8th place finisher in a fitness or figure show will get more press than the winner. Why? Although the winner might have what it took to win that show, it's often other gals the editor, publishers, supplement companies etc, feel is more marketable.

I have seen it many times where the winner was shocked to find she did not get nearly the attention she expected and other girls who placed lower have gotten attention in the form of photos shoots, magazine coverage, etc. Something to keep in mind when you ask yourself the important question "do I need to compete and if so, why am I competing?" Answer that question, and you will know the answer to the heading of this section. Winning a title of some sort can be a stepping stone, but it is not in itself any guarantee of success in the fitness industry. It's like a college degree; it's what you do with it.

Now. If you compete for the fun of it, then by all means go for it, but the above is focusing on competitiveness as it relates to the business aspect of being a fitness model.

Right body, wrong federation?

Ok, so after reading the above you have decided you are going to compete, or will compete again. If you do not plan to compete, you can skip this section. The biggest mistake I see here is so many gals have the right body for the wrong federation. Each federation has its own judging criteria and a competitor will do poorly simply because they did not bother to research which would be best suited for them.

I will give you a perfect real world example of this. Recently I judged a show which criteria for the figure round was the women should be more on the curvy softer side with some tone, vs. being more muscular and athletic with less bodyfat that other federations might allow. At this show one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen came out. She was very proportional, great muscle tone, lean, and athleticically shaped with narrow hips and waist and wider shoulders. How did she do at this show? She did not even place in the top ten!

Why? Because she was not what we were instructed to look for and did not fit the criteria. After the show I informed her that she looked great, but this may not the federation for her. I told her she had much more of an NPC type body, where a little more muscle, athletic build, and less bodyfat is rewarded.

The following week I was judging an NPC fitness, figure, and bodybuilding show and there she was. How did she do? She won the entire show with all judges voting her number one unanimously.

Conversely, if your body type tends to be more rounded and toned, but with a little more bodyfat, wider (but not fat!) Hips, you may be better off competing in saying the Fitness America Pageants. If you are going to compete:

(1) find out exactly what the judging criteria is for that federation and

(2) go see those shows as a spectator for several different federations and see which one your physique, style, etc will fit into best.

(3) You have to decide if you truly have the athletic abilities to compete in a fitness competition (which requires a routine) or a figure / bikini competition.

I often see women who would do well in a figure show but really do not have the athletic abilities do the routines required to be competitive with other athletes in the show. Some shows will allow you to do both competitions and some wont.

Networking 101: dos and don'ts …

In so many respects, this is the area that will make or break you in any business, and yet, people in the fitness industry do an amazingly poor job at it. If you do not network and market yourself properly, you can pretty much forget about having any real success as a fitness model, or a success in virtually any business. For the sake of space, we will stick to fitness.

When I first started out, I was a self marketing machine. I could be found at every show I thought might be an opportunity, walking the isles of trade shows, bodybuilding, shows, fitness show, and others. I gave out a zillion cards and I took a million home with me, and followed up on each and every one. I went to as many industry related meetings, outings, parties, etc. as I could get into. I now have the reputation and experience in the industry that I do not have to go to such a show unless I feel like it, or have meetings, but they were quite helpful in the beginning.

I am always amazed at the number of fitness models who contact me who have never even been to the Arnold Classic Fitness Weekend, or the Mr. Olympia, or the trade shows like the NNFA Expo West and others. If you want to make it in the fitness business you sure as hell had better treat it like a business.

I have seen many a pretty girl who wants to have a fitness model who thinks if they stand there looking pretty long enough, someone is going to offer to put their face on the cover of a magazine. News flash, there are millions of beautiful women out there and to be noticed, you have to hussle to get that business like everyone else by networking your butt off, or having a good agent (who is doing it for you.

Pick a few major industry shows to attend (some of which were mentioned above) and go to them every year. Have a plan of attack of exactly how you plan to market yourself and network. Many fitness models, bodybuilders, etc see a show as one big party. If that's you, then have fun at the party, but do not think you are really marketing yourself as a serous business person or athlete.

Another thing that always amazes me is the number of fitness models who either have no business cards, or have some cards they printed up on their bubble jet printer at home! They ask me to help them or what ever and I say "give me your card" and they look at me like "I am so pretty I should not need a card you fool." This attitude turns off editors, photographers, writers, and industry people faster then if they found out you were really a transvestite. Do not do it. For every pretty girl out there who thinks the world owes them a favor, there are 100 who are ready to act like professionals.

Ever wonder why some fitness model you know is even better than you? That may be why … never ever go to a show to network without good cards, bios, and professionally done head and body shots you can give to told editors, publishers, photographers, industry types, etc. Do not stand around looking pretty assuming they will find you, find them first and introduce yourself. And of course it should go without saying you should be in good condition and have something of a tan to look your best.

You want to go to the shows and party? Fine, but do it in private after the work is done and do not make a fool out of yourself at some industry sponsored get together. Hell, I was actually beloved into a cab at last years Arnold Classic after going to a sushi place with some well know industry types and companies owners (but you know who you are!) But at least no one saw me! We had our own little private get together after the show to let loose.

Let me give you one final real world example of how NOT to market yourself. Last year I was on retainer as a consultant to a mid sized supplement company. The owner of the company asked me if I knew a couple of fitness model types that could work his booth for a trade show. In fact, he requested "unknowns, some new faces people had not seen yet but had real potential to grow with the company." I went and found him two such gals I thought fit the bill.

He offered to pay their flights, room, and food plus a thousand dollars each for the days work. The two girls were told to be at the booth 9am sharp. The night before at the hotel, I saw the two girls getting in a cab at 11pm or so dressed to kill, clearly on their way out to party. The next day they showed up at the booth an hour and a half late and hung over! What was the result of this? (1) it embarrassed me to no end as I had recommended them to the company owner (2) they would never get work from that company again (3) they would never get any work from me again and (4) they would not get a reference from either of us for other jobs.

I see this type of thing all the time in the fitness biz, and it's not limited to fitness models. Amazingly, a few weeks after the show they emailed me and the company owner wanting to know when their next job would be! Amazing …

Who loves you baby?

If there is one universal truth, it's that camera either loves you or it does not. Any professional photographers will tell you this. For some unknown reason, some people are very photogenic and some are not. Truth be known, there are some well known fitness models (who will remain nameless as they would probably smack me the next time they saw me) who are not all that attractive in person. It's just that the camera loves them and they are very photogenic, but not quite pretty in person.

Conversely, I have seen the reverse many times; a girl who is much better looking in person than in photographs. Such is the fate of the person who wants to have a model of any kind, including a fitness model. If you find you are not very photogenic, keep working with different photographers until you find one that really captures you well and pay that photographer handsomely!

Now, to be bluntly honest, there are also some want to be fitness models who are not "unphotogenic", they're just "fugly"! There are some people out there who have no business trying to be fitness models. It does not make them bad people, it just means that they need to snap out of their delusions and find a profession they are better suited for, like radio personality ….

"How do I get in the magazines?"

This section sort of incorporates everything I have covered above, and adds in a few additional strategies. For example, as I mentioned before, competitiveness in fitness shows and or figure / bikini shows can increase your exposure, then getting the attention of some magazine publisher or photographer. Networking Correctly at the various trade shows may also have the same effect, and of course having a good portfolio done by a photographer that really captures your look, a good web site, etc., will all increase your potential for getting into the magazines, or getting ad work, and so on.

However, all of these strategies are still somewhat passive versus active in my opinion. It's still the fitness model waiting to be "discovered." As far as I am concerned, waiting is for bus stops and pregnancy tests. Success waits for no man … or woman as the case me be. So, after all the above advice is taken into consideration as having an added effect to getting you magazine coverage, what else can be done?

For one thing, you should read and be familiar with all the magazines you want to be in so you know who is who and what the style of the different magazines are. I can tell you right now, if say the Editor-in-Chief of a good sized fitness or bodybuilding publications and says "hi, I am the Bob Smith what's your name?" and the fitness model has no idea who Bob Smith is, Bob will not take kindly to that. Why should he? You should know who the major players are in the publications you want to be seen in. He is doing you the favor, not the other way around. You should know who the major players are and actively seek them out, do not wait for them to "discover" you.

If you look at the masthead inside any magazine, it will tell you who the publisher is, who the Editor-in-Chief is and so forth. The mailing address for that magazine, and often the web site and email, can also be found. What is to stop you from looking up those names and mailing them your pictures and resume directly? Nothing, that's what. If you see a photo spread you think is really well done, what is to stop you from finding out who the photographer is and contacting them directly and sending them your pics? Nothing, that's what.

My point being, you want a get a break in the business, make the break, do not sit there thinking it's looking for you, because it's not. Be proactive, not reactive! Luck is the residue of design. Be successful by design. As my older brother used to say to me as a kid when I told him I was too scared to ask out a pretty girl "What's the worst that can happen?" That's the worst that can happen to you also.

Beware of web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids!

This part is sort of self-explanatory but worth mentioning. As with all industries that deal in entertainment based media (eg, television, theater, modeling, etc.), the fitness industry associates its far share of web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids, to name just a few.

There is also the class of person known as the schmoe, but we will leave that for another place and time. Point is you want to meet the right people while not getting involved with that group of worthless types who will only drag you down, delay you, or just flat out screw you up and over.

For example, a guy comes up and says he wants to "shoot you" for the magazines, but what do you really know of this guy? He has a camera and some business cards, so that makes him a photographer right? Wrong! If someone wants to shoot you and they are not a well-known name (and you should know who the well known photographers are because you searched that already!), Find out who they are. Do they have references you can call? Girls you can contact he has shot before and were happy with the work? What magazines has he published in? Does he do professionally or as a hobby? That type of thing.

Another thing I see is the big web scam. I'm amazed how many girls get scammed by these web idiots. Lesson here is you get what you pay for, so when some person wants to build you a web site for free, you are getting what you pay for. Yes, there is good money to be made on the 'net, and the net can be great for marketing yourself and making contacts, but most of it's a scam.

You are better off paying a good web designer and web master who has experience with other fitness model types and has references you can talk to. I can not tell you the number of girls who have been screwed over by some internet thing that went to hell, like the "fan" who volunteers to build a free web site and either runs off with any money made from the site or puts their picks on porn sites and any number of other things that made them regret like hell ever agreeing to the site in the first place.

Obviously, I can not go down the list of all the possible pitfalls of the web idiots, schlubs, morons, perverts, scum bags, and sleazoids out there to be found in the entertainment business, but you get the idea. Be careful!


Well that pretty much concludes my down and dirty guide to the basics of "making it" as a fitness model. Of course there are tons of business related issues I could cover and tricks I could give, but the above is the best advice you are going to find in small space and will do more for you-if properly properly-than you may realize.

Good luck and see you in the magazines!

More articles like this at:


Improve Your Safety Record With Tilt Tables

Tilt tables, also known as lifting tables, lift tables, scissor lifts and platform lifts are used to raise, tilt or lower a platform safely. They make overhead tasks safer and more efficient and help to improve the proper location of materials which reduces work related injuries.

Lifting tables are designed to reduce injury and worker fatigue. Cumulative trauma disorders are the leading occupational hazard for workers. This trauma results from repetitive movements and injuries caused by working in awkward positions for long periods of time, which can lead to:

  1. Increased medical costs
  2. Increased worker's compensation costs
  3. High absenteeism
  4. Low employee morale

In Ontario the average cost of a lost-time injury claim through WSIB in 2007 was $ 98 000. These high worker injury costs can be reduced by using ergonomically designed equipment such as a tilt table. These tables help workers avoid the risk of injury by reducing musculoskeletal disorders, force, awkward positions and repetitive movements, all of which lead to injuries and wasted time and energy.

Tilt tables provide immediate returns in increased safety, productivity and improved employee morale. Tilt tables can contribute to your organization through their:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Productivity
  3. Profitability
  4. Safety

Lifting tables are used to raise and position materials for workers in a way that will help reduce potential injuries. There are a number of safety options available for these tables, including:

  1. Toe guards
  2. Safety bars
  3. Speed ​​fuses
  4. Protection skirts
  5. Individual fail arrest devices

Lift tables are a popular industrial ergonomic solution and for this reason they are used in a wide variety of industries, including:

  1. Wood working
  2. Metal working
  3. Paper, printing and publishing
  4. Warehousing and distribution
  5. Light assembly
  6. Heavy machinery and transportation
  7. Construction sites

There are a number of different varieties of tilt tables to suit your company's individual needs and these tables come in both standard and custom made models. Although different tables use different mechanisms to operate most share a common design which integrates hydraulic cylinders and an electrical motor to activate the lifting mechanism.

When you focus on safety and choose equipment that will improve the safety of your workers then you will reap the benefits of increased efficiency and employee morale. Tilt tables are an excellent ergonomic solution that will help improve safety and reduce workplace injury.

2010 Acura ZDX – A Category All Its Own

Marketers for Honda's luxury division call their brand-new ZDX a "four-door sports coupe." Serious coupe fans may dispute that design, insisting that true couples have only two doors. Still, several manufacturers introduced the "four-door coupe" theme earlier, including BMW with its X6 and Mercedes-Benz with its CLS sedan.

According to Acura, the ZDX features the world's first continuous glass surface, extending from hood to bumper to bracket the panoramic sunroof. When closed, the power roller sunshade allows only three percent of outside light to reach occupants. With the shade open, 20 percent of light reaches the interior. Acura promises two-passenger comfort inside the ZDX, but with seating capacity for up to five occupants.

Beneath the low hood, a 3.7-liter VTEC V-6 engine develops 300 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, driving a new six-speed automatic transmission. Paddle shifters are mounted at the steering wheel. In Drive mode, a touch on the paddle provides a gear change. S-range gives the driver full control of shifts. When operating automatically, a double-kickdown can occur when necessary.

Front / rear torque distribution from the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system ranges from 90/100 to 30/70, taking place automatically. Left / right, the torque distribution stretches all the way from 100/0 to 0/100: all to none, applied to wheels on either side.

Enhanced intake and exhaust sounds yield "a little bit of exciting flavor in the upper rpm areas," said principal engineer Jason Widmer. Otherwise, Active Noise Cancellation and other engineering features help keep the ZDX pleasantly quiet. All models roll on 255 / 50×19-inch tires, but the ZDX suspension may be set for either Comfort or Sport mode. Fifteen sensors react to road conditions, altering the suspension's effect as needed.

On the whole, the ZDX does not yield a truly car-like experience, because its SUV underpinnings are too evident. Handling is a prime enticement, as the ZDX driver invites appealing steering feel and fine feedback, along with the bonus of Acura's SH-AWD system, in case the weather turns foul.

Delivering a comparatively firm ride overall, the ZDX hits an incidental bump hard. Such accidents are appropriate for an SUV-based vehicle, but less so for what's deemed a sports coupe. Sufficiently supple in suspension capability, this four-door recovers nicely from any excess reaction. Acceleration qualifies as enthusiastically, if not exactly starting, sometimes not quite as dramatic as some sport-coupe enthusiasts might crave.

Getting inside demands a moderate climb? Almost like some actual SUVs. Substantial side bolstering cradles the driver snugly, but these serious yet comfortable seats are unnecessarily cushioned, augmented by superior thigh support. The rear seat is more comfortable and roomy than anticipated, but substantial head-ducking may be needed to twitch one's body into the back. Cargo space totals 26.3 cubic feet with the second-row seats up; 55.8 with those seats folded.

Gauges are readable but dim in darker light conditions. Over-shoulder views are somewhat impaired. Visibility directly astern is split by a thick horizontal bar; almost everything is seen through the upper pane, which is adequate but squat. The driver faces Acura's first hand-stitched leather dashboard.

On sale around mid-December, the Canadian-built ZDX will be priced between the MDX sport-utility vehicle and the RL sedan, which puts it in the mid- $ 40,000 neighborhood. Three versions will be offered, starting with the base model, which includes a standard power tailgate. The Technology Package adds Acura's navigation system, with Real Time Traffic information and a Weather Radar View. Lane Guidance can show which lane to be in, when anticipating a turn. The multi-view backup camera can provide a normal, wide, or top view. In base models, the 8-speaker audio system is rated at 266 watts. ELS Surround Sound is part of the available Technology Package.

How to Build an Awning

Constructing your very own awning will help you save some money. But you should be familiar with the whole process so that you will not waste important resources. You can also consult individuals who are knowledgeable about this project to ensure its success.


The materials needed are eight to ten inches tarp, 3 "/ 16" a nylon rope (the length of the nylon rope should be fifty inches), a pair of big washers, steel rod (eight inches diction in inches), a pair of extendable tent poles and a pair of rubber tipped small clamps. A rubber clamp will help you ensure that the paint of the set-up will not be damaged. You can also use a three inches clamp.

Some individuals do not like using eight inches steel rods. But a smaller one will allow the tarp to cover the end of the rod. It also keeps the paint from being unnecessarily damaged.


Remember to remove the grommets off the end of the eight inches tarp. The grommet-free ends should be carefully folded and then closed. Leave a small space between both ends. The total width of the space should permit a '' rod to go in easily. Divide the rope into two parts. Place washers to each portion of the rope. Tie each side of the rope with slipknots which will allow you to utilize it as stakes. Remove any uneven edges in the washer to protect the rope of any damage.


You can also place an awning on your car or coaster which will be useful when you take a vacation. Place a "" rod in the tube that can be found inside the tarp. Remember to place an eight inches space on the door space that slides.
It needs five minutes and two people to install the pair of poles and routes and 2 pairs of stakes for the tent on the vehicle. You can now use the whole set-up to enjoy your vacation.


It is vital that you know how to correctly store the awning, like in the vehicle while you are traveling. It should be place inside a container under the seat. Poles can be simply scaled down to fit into compartments. The "" rod should place in the tarp's space or in the gutter. But you should make sure that it is properly in place if you will leave in the space in the tarp.

Mini Lights – Understanding the Design and Assembly of the Three Wire Strings of Them

Single strings of twisted 3-wire mini-lights help to decorate parties, special events, and holidays. Trying to understand their 3-wire 120-volt-alternating-current (VAC) assemblages can be difficult without foreknowledge. Actually, it is fairly simple. Here is how they are designed and put together.

Mini-light strings manufactured today .

Several lengths of mini-light strings (from 15-to-150-feet) are available to consumers today, each one holding a different number of clear or colored mini-bulbs. However, recent attempts to standardize the manufacture of these light strings has focused on the making of 50-bulb sets that can either be used alone as one string, or can be pre-assembled into longer 2-to-3-set, 100- to-150-bulb strings. Each completed string whatever its length will have an electrical plug at each end like an extension cord. This standardization appears to be true both for the older tubular incandescent lights (with their filaments sealed within their 3-mm-diameter bulbs) and the newer LED types (having light emitting diodes encased within the bulbs).

Currently, the newer LED strings are more expensive than the incandescent ones, but they use less electricity than the filament types. Still, the manufacturing of the shorter light strings of either kind having less than 50-bulbs is still done, and they can be found in the stores. But, they are not a major part of the current mass production of mini-lights.

Thus, each full-length string of any bulb-number will have a male plug at one end and a female plug at the other end. Also, these plugs are made so the individual strings can be stacked (two or three them plugged piggyback into each other at each end to make the total string longer) without causing electrical failure. The male plug of each string also has two small 3-amp buss fuses within it, one for each of its two main 120-volt wires. Yet these fuses will blow if the stacked strings get too lengthy (beyond 5 strings) or if too much wattage is drawn by them for other reasons.

To illustrate the description of a 3-wire single-string of mini-lights, this article uses a common 100-bulb string, which contains two 50-bulb sets pre-manufactured as one string. Each bulb in the two sets is rated at about 2.5-volts; ie, 120-volts / 50-bulbs = 2.4-volts / bulb. Short sections at each end of this string and at its middle between the two 50-bulb sets will show two wires only, the two power wires. The third wires are for the bulbs themselves.

Mini-light-string design and assemblage .

Basically, two of the wires on any three-wire mini-light string carries the household 120-volts of electricity from one end of the string to the other end similar to the way any extension cord does. The so-called third wire of this string holds all of the mini-bulbs and their sockets in succession (series) a few inches apart. Although the bulbs themselves are in series, this so-called third wire holding the bulbs is connected at each of its ends to each of the two 120-volt wires in parallel.

That is, one end of this bulb wire is connected to the first of the two 120-volt wires at one end of the whole string. The other end is connected to the second 120-volt wire at the other end of the set further down the same string. For a 100-bulb string, a second set of 50-bulbs is connected to the two 120-volt wires The same way further down the string from the first set, where it functions independently from the first set. The finished string can be from 20-to-50-feet long, depending on the spacing between the bulbs.

These connections are hard to see by looking at the finished product because all three wires are twisted to form a tight rope-like string, leaving only the bulbs exposed. Yet, each of these two bulb sets is connected parallel to the 120-voltage wires, which allows them to work independently of each other.

Another advantage of these parallel connections is the electricity itself continues to flow through the main two wires from one-end plug to the other end-plug if one or both bulb-sets fail for any reason. As a result, when a 100-bulb light string begins to show unlit bulbs, these failed bulbs could appear in either one or both sets. For example, one 50-bulb set could have all or only a few of its lights not working, while the second set could show all of its bulbs lit okay because each set operates separately from the other one. Since the electricity is still flowing through the two power wires in the latter example (ie, several lights are still working), then some of the bulbs in the failing set need to be replaced.

To see the diagrams and photos of these mini-light strings, see this site.

2 Thrusting Techniques That Drive Her Wild in Bed

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but almost no guys take the time to think about the thrusting techniques they use during sex.

I remember when I was having sex, before I learned all the “cool tricks” and ways to give women multiple orgasms, I never used to think about my thrusting techniques.

And if I did somehow think about how I was thrusting I just assumed “it probably doesn’t matter how i’m thrusting anyway”…

How wrong I was.

One of the things I discovered on my “journey” to becoming a great lover is that the thrusting techniques you use during sex can make the difference between her orgasming 3+ times or her feeling nothing.

So if you take nothing away from reading this but one thing then let it be this.

Experiment with different thrusting techniques every time you have sex.

As soon as you start consistently experimenting, suddenly you’ll be shocked when you come across a few different thrusting techniques that drive her wild.

And as you keep experimenting you’ll discover more and more great thrusting techniques, and eventually you’ll have a nice collection of thrusting techniques you can pick from every time you have sex that you know will get her to orgasm.

Now let me get a bit clearer about what exactly I mean by “thrusting techniques that drive her wild”.

Thrusting techniques are how you thrust your penis in and out during sex.

Most men opt for the fast, all in and all out approach with no change of rhythm, speed, depth or timing.

Here’s where you can be different.

Start mixing up the rhythm, speed, depth and timing of your thrusting.

Go fast for a bit, then go slow for a bit.

Go deep for a bit, then shallow for a bit.

You get the idea.

But you can also get a bit more advanced than this…

So here are two examples of some slightly more advanced thrusting techniques you can try out or get ideas from…

1 – slowly increasing depth and speed

women love build-up, teasing and anticipation.

You sticking your “thing” in full depth as soon as you start sex is not any woman’s idea of a good time (unless you’ve already got a history of raw physical attraction and exceptional pleasure giving, in which case you can break the rules now and again).

Like I said, women like to be teased.

So one great thrusting technique for this is to start off sex by entering your penis into her vagina at an absolute minimal depth and very slowly.

Then take it out again.

Then next time enter very slightly deeper and very slightly faster.

Then take it out again.

And repeat the process getting gradually deeper and faster.

Overall it’s a fairly slow process and it should take several minutes until you’re in full depth.

And because of all the teasing and anticipation you created, she’ll appreciate your deep thrusting 10x more than if you started full depth straight away.

2 – slow and shallow with the occasional slow deep thrust

this is another great thrusting technique for getting her to appreciate your deep thrust.

If you do this right you can experience her gasp when you go in deep.

How this one works is pretty simple.

Most of the time you’ll be thrusting very shallow, roughly an inch or two in depth.

Then every now and again, like once for every 10 shallow thrusts, perform a very slow thrust to full depth.

Because of the contrast to all the shallow thrusts she’s just experienced she will love the feeling of you going in all the way.

It works great.

And remember to just go in deep once and then return to doing 10 or so shallow thrusts before going deep again.

So there you have it.

Two examples of different thrusting techniques.

There’s an endless amount of ways you can vary your rhythm, speed, depth and timing while thrusting to create an incredible experience for her.

So get experimenting now.

Hiring a Contracted Painter

When it comes to hiring a contractor to do one's home improvement work, many homeowners feel lost. They do not know how to tell a good contractor from a bad one, unless they have been directly recommended by a friend or relative or neighbor. Deciding to paint one's home can be a lofty task and hiring the right person for the job can make the burden of the project seem much lighter.

A contracted painter can be invaluable to a homeowner's remodel or home improvement movement. The skill they bring to the table is unparallel among most homeowners and their experience can be helpful planning and designing the color scheme or style of the painting. Choosing the best contracted painter from a list of up to a dozen is the challenging part. Find the painter who you believe will be 'gung-ho' in a sense and take an interest in your vision and project. Success being a motivating factor for these contractors, they will usually pour the very best of themselves into the job is done right and in a timely manner. Not every contractor is like this, however, and weeding through them to find those who will increase to the hassle of remodeling is important.

Those contractors who just do not seem to care about the project or the vision and ideas of the homeowner is probably one you look to avoid. Unfortunately for some, this is overlooked in favor of advancing skill and the homeowner is often left with quite a mess. The best way to avoid this is to simply determine who will cause problems and who will not.

Living Large With Crystal Chandeliers

Over the years the crystal chandelier have been getting sort of mixed emotions to the masses, having of course different take and divided thoughts on them. I think that one of the main things that we all have to consider is that crystal chandelier can always be one of the biggest factors in considering a crystal chandelier to a home is that you know where to hard decision to make because you have to think of the best place to have your crystal chandelier. Actually there are obvious places in which you place them; the dining room is the initial suspect, living room and also the hallway. Knowing what you want on them can really be big factors remember that when you are looking for the best place to place your crystal chandeliers, you should think that it should blend that room's motif or better yet blend the room into the crystal chandelier's theme. It's all up to you.

Lighting fixture such as the crystal chandelier sometimes asks more and further gives you the necessary needs to further fill your room up with style. Although we all know that crystal chandelier sometimes are too much to have, so in times you have to dig more on what you know or what you understand on it to be able to at least extract something that will further be a great touch to the latter . Home's that demands a lot can always use a crystal chandelier to make it a great addition or sometimes a great find. Looking to a more convenient way to own and have crystal chandelier, you must first now the basics like measurements, sizes, etc. so that when you are trying to build it in your home, you'll know more and you'll have the benefit of having it in your room in style.

Sometimes, it demands big things to own one but with its command demand, there are shops that actually sells crystal chandelier in a reasonable price that even an average household can afford. It is something that we always have to keep in mind, in further knowing about the lighting fixtures that can be gold to our home. It has a sense of style that can be a great big addition to our home; it has everything that can spell prestige to your home, so I think that owning one can be a good idea, because in retrospect you'll have a great home that boasts greatness.

Jron Magcale

10 Ways to Turn a Gazebo Into a Backyard Getaway

If you're the proud owner of a backyard gazebo, you know that they are an extremely convenient and fun addition to the home. Whether you use your gazebo for entertaining, some quiet nights outdoors with family and friends, or as shade from the sun during the summer months – you know that the various uses for your gazebo can seem quite endless. If you like to try and find every excuse you can to use your gazebo, investing in some "upgrades" for your backyard beauty may be something that you should consider. Right now, you may be dealing with a pretty standard, open air gazebo – but by making some minor changes, you can use your gazebo like never before.

1 – If you use your gazebo in the evenings, you know that bugs are always an issue. Even though you're under the cover, the large open air windows allow giant breezeways for the pesky pests to get in. Instead of buying citronella candle after citronella candle, investing in some screens for your gazebo's large open windows will help you solve the problem. With all of the money you'll spend on bug spray and candles, you can spend it on a one time investment that will continue to benefit you.

2 – If you have the space in your gazebo, adding a table to the center is a great idea. If you find yourself constantly lugging small tables from inside the house to play a game or use to set food on inside the gazebo, having a table inside the gazebo at all times will make your life much easier. You can easily permanently attach the table to the gazebo floor and even add fun, seasonal centerpieces for a little extra décor inside the gazebo.

3 – Many homeowners use their gazebos as an entertainment feature for nighttime gatherings, so installing a light fixture in the gazebo itself will help you to keep the party going even after the sun goes down. There are many safe, outdoor lighting fixtures available at any hardware store that you can easily install and maintain. Instead of dragging everyone inside to play a game of cards, you can stay right where you are and just flick on the lights.

4 – If your gazebo has become a play shelter on sunny days for the kids, it's a good idea to keep a small toy chest in the gazebo for them. By keeping outdoor friendly toys there & limiting which toys can be used in the gazebo (stay away from things with a lot of small parts or paper that can be blown away by the wind), you can be sure that toys and game pieces won ' t be lost outdoors.

5 – Although it looks simple, creating a walkway with stepping stones leading through your yard to your gazebo is a great way to make it feel even more like a true "extension of the home". It will also help the grass that is normally walked on to access the gazebo from getting too "trampled" looking, ruining an otherwise perfect landscape.

6 – If you often use your gazebo for entertaining, some simple landscaping can make all the difference in the impact that Shelter has on your guests. A gazebo alone is beautiful, but adding some small shrubs and flowers along the base and entryway of the unit will help to truly set it apart as a feature of the backyard. Coordinating flower colors to the shades of your home (and your gazebo if it's painted) will help tie together the theme of your backyard just like a professionally designed room.

7 – If your gazebo is currently not painted, you can add some color and coordination to it by painting it in the same colors as your house. Just as you would coordinate items in your living room, your gazebo is an accessory to your home. By having it match its surroundings, you can give it an entirely new look and feel.

8 – If you do not want to install screens in your gazebo, but you're still looking for something to fill those big open windows – hanging baskets of flowers or greenery, as you would on a front porch, will help to fill up these gaps and give your gazebo some beautiful accent pieces. You can switch out the flowers depending on the season, and the baskets are easily removable for the winter months.

9 – If you use your gazebo for a food buffet during entertaining, it might be a good idea to place some picnic tables or benches around it so guests do not have far to walk after they get their food. You'll also be able to use the tables for other things during the year like outdoor dinners at home or even an outdoor activity place for the kids during the summer.

10 – Finally, a gazebo is really an extension of the home and a beautiful asset to any backyard. By keeping it maintained and ensuring that the landscaping around it is always properly cared for, your backyard will definitely look like a getaway. As a homeowner, it's your responsibility to keep your backyard looking it's best – and paying some extra attention to your gazebo will help you accomplish just that. By getting the most out of your backyard shelter, you'll be getting the most out of your backyard.

Commercial Snow Removal Equipment

Some winter seasons are pleasant and mild while others can be cold, harsh and overall difficult to deal with, especially when having to shovel snow from a property. Most people choose to hire commercial snow removal professionals to take care of the work since they are experts in the field, offer a guarantee of good service and are equipped with all of the things needed to get the job done well.

Whether it's for residential properties, businesses or more industrial areas, commercial snow removal companies have a wide range of equipment to handle any level of snow and ice. This can be a great relief from having to do the job manually since most people only have the basic things needed for clearing out snow, and sometimes a simple shovel and salt just will not do.

Snow plows

One of the most widely used machines that many commercial snow removal companies have for fairly large areas, parking lots, driveways and roads is a high grade snow plow. They are able to quickly and effectively remove snow in straight rows and are generally the ones mostly seen working up and down residential roads.

The snow plows come in a variety of sizes depending on a customer's needs, which is why it's recommended to ask businesses which sizes they have since some companies will only have the very large ones and others will only have the smaller trucks that may not suit particular jobs.

Snow Sweepers

Snow sweepers are other effective machines that are used to sweep away snow in a clean and less abrasive manner, which is ideal on uneven surfaces like stone roads or pathways. While not all commercial snow removal companies, the majority of them will have them available upon request.


Bigger commercial snow removal businesses will have loaders to take care of those big removing jobs. They are able to handle large areas with immense depths of snow piled high. They are ideal for big parking lots, industrial lots, wide roads or anywhere that may require very heavy snow removal.


When larger machinery simply will not work well for particular snow removal, there will always be a team of shovellers ready on hand. They will work on sidewalks, small roads, paths or hard to reach areas that machines will not be able to fit in or may potentially damage property. While most people are able to shovel these small areas, sometimes time is not on their side, so why not choose a team of shovellers? They are simple, effective and quick.

Salt Spreaders

Once a job is done, many commercial snow removal companies will finish a surface off by spreading salt to prevent ice from forming. Depending on the type of surface being worked on, or the regulations within particular districts, sand may also be used to do the same job.

The salt spreaders vary in size to facilitate the work for each job size. Whether it's small spreaders for sidewalks and small roads or commercial spreaders that are needed for large lots, any area can be done.

Each snow removal company will vary in services, prices and requirements prior to any job. It's recommended to talk to several names in the business for detailed information about their services. Some will only be willing to work big jobs and others may need advanced notice for work. To avoid delays or miscommunication for specific needs, asking a lot of questions and getting quotes will certainly help in the end.