Foreskin Fissures – What Are Those Cuts on My Foreskin?

An old myth goes that one hundred men were interviewed about whether they masturbated, or not. It is said that eighty five per cent admitted that they did, and the other fifteen were liars. Listen, it’s yours, so you do what you want with it, but take care of it because it’s delicate and it doesn’t take much rough usage to cause cracks or cuts on the foreskin. Men with a foreskin need to pay more attention to their personal hygiene. It should be retracted and the whole area cleaned at least once every day, for health reasons as well as standard personal grooming. Whether you have a sexual partner, masturbate, or neither, you should pay attention to the inside surface of the foreskin. It is possible that even men who do not pursue personal or partnered sexual relief will still experience erection during sleep, so all men with an intact foreskin should examine it.

Making love frequently with a partner, re-establishing sexual contact after a period of abstinence, dry masturbation, using saliva as a lubricant, or simple nocturnal erections can all cause fissures in the internal surface of the foreskin. They usually take the form of purple parallel lines radiating outwards from the head of the penis to the external rim of the inside of the foreskin. They can be actual surface cracks, or sub-dermal splits. You’ll know if they are actual splits as they sting quite severely. The sub-dermal fissures only hurt when the foreskin is retracted when dry. If they are surface cracks, clean it often – but without soap or other wash products as they only make it worse. Just use warm water, and if swelling or infection set in, see a doctor immediately.

They can be caused by fungal growth from thrush, even if you are not in contact with a sexual partner. Heavy or prolonged courses of antibiotics, or excessive use of oral steroids for conditions such as asthma can create oral thrush quite easily, and using saliva as a masturbatory lubricant will often transfer the condition to the penis. You will usually have a persistent itch around the foreskin as a first sign, and the inside of the foreskin where it’s attached to the head of the penis (the Glans) will be bright pink or red even if there are no fissures present. You can confirm the presence of thrush in your system by looking at the inside of your throat in a mirror. If you have white patches on either side of the throat walls, strange patterns in the skin of the surface of the tongue, or what looks like small pieces of chewed white nuts stuck in the folds of the throat lining, you need to see a doctor for an antifungal treatment.

However, you should also address the possibility that this manifestation in both mouth and penis could stem from a systemic Candida infection that started elsewhere in the body and investigate an anti-Candida diet if the problem recurs.

Just using saliva as a lubricant in masturbation, or not washing the whole area with the foreskin drawn back after ejaculation whether saliva has been used or not can also cause irritation, even without a fungal infection. This is due to enzyme action. Enzymes are contained within saliva as a part of your digestive process. They are also present in sperm. The sperm is like a tadpole torpedo carrying a payload of DNA to the egg. On contact, the sperm breaks open its warhead, and releases enzymes to eat a hole in the surface of the egg to allow it to deliver its payload. If saliva or sperm is left around the head of the penis after either masturbation or partner sex, and trapped underneath a foreskin, the enzymes will tend to begin to act on the surface of the Glans, and the internal surface of the foreskin.

The Glans is pretty resilient, as is evident from the way it becomes desensitized after circumcision, but the internal skin of the foreskin is as delicate as any other skin kept moist. The enzyme action can cause it to thin and lose some of its elastic structure. This in turn will cause it to tighten, and can encourage tearing when stretching it back over the Glans without care.

Fissures can appear even without sexual activity. Most men experience erections in their sleep at some point during the night, even if unaware of them. The foreskin and Glans having been rubbed on the sheets with movement during sleep will be absolutely dry. This can cause the foreskin to stretch violently, and the sub-dermal fissures can easily result.

Whether sub-dermal, or open on the surface, a good hygiene routine will ensure that at worst the condition is a mild and temporary affliction. If there is any sign of oozing, severe redness and inflammation or severe pain, don’t mess around, consult a doctor immediately. There’s no need for embarrassment, yours is unlikely to be the first they’ve ever seen.

As I said at the beginning, it’s yours, you only get one, look after it.

LED Architectural Lighting Can Accent Your Best Design Elements

A big part of any major architectural project is drawing the eye both to and away from certain design elements. For example, if you have implemented remarkable wall designs, you may want to draw the eye away from the usual focal point, which is the door, and towards your ornate wall design or other adornments. While some design elements naturally draw the eye, you will find that LED architectural lighting can be a great way to ensure that your focal point receives the emphasis that you desire.

Turning the interior of any structure into an architectural masterpiece can take a lot of work, but lighting can prove to be a solid enhancement. In fact, many design features are implemented to make the most of light fixtures, utilizing them to create shadows or to give the feature an even more distinct look. The interior of any home will determine the comfort level of the people living and visiting it, and ensuring that you have the perfect aesthetic can turn any house into a home. Par lamps are a fantastic form of LED architectural lighting that can provide the illumination and accent that you are looking for.

One benefit to using Par lamps as part of your LED architectural lighting is that they can easily be retrofitted into existing light sockets. This is certainly welcome news for people who are remodeling an existing home or business, and it can be a great way to make use of traditional light fixtures and sockets. LED Par lights are fantastic energy savers, and like all LED bulbs, offer a significantly greater lifespan than traditional lights and bulbs.

While Par lights are the most common form of architectural lighting due to the fact that they act as the best spotlights, you will find that there are many other LED options available to you as well. Cove lights are a fantastic way to highlight a beautiful ceiling, while under cabinet and low profile lights can bring out the smaller details in a wall or backsplash. Under shelf lighting can also highlight unique shelf designs or even bring out the best in antiques and other d├ęcor that help give the room its unique aesthetic. Taking the time to look at all of your options in terms of LED architectural lighting can go a long way towards helping to inspire the perfect design for your space.

The bottom line is that LED architectural lighting is a great way to showcase the very best design elements in any space. LED lighting also offers the added benefit of being environmentally friendly, helping you to reduce not only your utility expenses, but your carbon footprint. Modern design takes great care to employ the highest lighting quality and to maintain a high level of energy efficiency, and you will discover that there is no option available on the market today that can accomplish this more effectively than top quality LED par and strip lighting.

Outdoor Patio Lighting Lets You Brighten Up Your Backyard Entertainment Area

If there is a multi-functional part of a house, then that will be the patio. Some homeowners spend quite Sunday morning hours reading our favorite novels amidst the cool, natural breeze in the patio. Some take a sip of their favorite afternoon gourmet coffee while chatting with a friend or neighbor.

In the evening, some of us use the patio to hold romantic candle-lit dinners with our loved ones. Some make use of the patio to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions with their relatives. And some homeowners choose the patio to party with their friends all night long.

Regardless of the occasion, one essential thing that you should consider is the lighting in your patio. Of course, if you will celebrate something in the evening, you have got to have the right lights for your patio. For one thing, the right kind of lighting will help set the mood in the patio. It will also help in assuring the safety of your guests-after all, it is very possible that slip and fall accidents will take place in a patio that is not lighted well. You do not want accidents to happen to people you care for while you are celebrating some special occasion. Safety of every guest in your abode is of prime importance. That is why it is very important that you install the right kind of outdoor patio lighting in your house.

In terms of style, string patio lights have been one of the popular choices over the years. Homeowners love string lights because they are very easy to install. Also, they are very portable and can be transferred to any part of the patio.

Umbrella lights are also one of the popular patio lighting that American homeowners prefer. These lights are usually fitted in umbrellas around the patio area. Many people love them because they are really very beautiful to look at.

Some also prefer globe lights for their patio. Usually, homeowners choose to hang these globe lights on their patio awning. Many love globe lights because it is pleasing to watch the varied colors that they emit.

In choosing your outdoor patio lighting, it is very important that you consider your priorities. If you are just after the aesthetic benefit, go for patio lights that use incandescent bulbs. Generally, incandescent bulbs emit subtle lighting that can be used to make your patio appear elegant.

But incandescent lights are notorious for consuming a lot of energy. For homeowners who are looking for reliable yet energy-efficient patio lighting, the best choice would be patio lights that use LED bulbs. LEDs consume 60 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. One thing that you have to deal with LED patio lighting is its initial cost. LEDs are still quite expensive. Nevertheless, the long-term benefits are really worth the initial investment.

The God Complex in Therapy-Counselling

Abstract:

What does your patient (client) expect from you? Their life is in turmoil, problems ascend from the sky and land squarely at their feet and they need answers. The danger here for therapists is to become everything for that person, father figure, sexual object, confessor, adviser and most of all the only person who has ever really listened to them and understood! In this paper we will explore the dangers to both therapists and to clients when both parties start to see the therapist as a God – the know all – see all – understand all, a being who will magically whisk away all those terrible feelings and leave a well-adjusted happy person behind.

Introduction:

From the time therapists began in the early 19th century patients have idolised their doctors as someone special amongst all the people they know, whether that be male or female it does not matter but the relationship structure of the powerless under the spell of the powerful. Freud and others recognised that patients often transfer their needy emotions to the therapist (counsellor) in the form of a love object. Most after some period of therapy actually find their feelings for the therapist actually diminish to one of respect or care but not as intensive as the early sessions. This bell-shaped graph of emotion shows the early mistrust to dependency to eventual co-dependence and finally disengagement from the carer to an independent self supportive state of mind. Of course these same therapists realised that dependency works the other way in counter-transference where the therapist becomes dependent on the patient (client) and finds disengagement fearful and experienced as a loss.

In order for therapists to deal with the problem elaborate rules were devised over the years by societies and expressed as boundaries of behaviour (ethics). In these rules the therapist should be aware of transference in both directions and deal with the situation by gentle rejection and assurance to the client that these feelings are normal and will pass. However for many therapists and clients these intense emotional feelings do not always go away and ethical lines become crossed by the therapist who allows their need for worship and to be treated in a God like manner to blur their judgement for the patient’s well-being and on-going treatment.

God Like Worship

What entices the therapist to slip so easily into the God complex? One definition is that the therapist themselves have a needy personality from childhood. Where maybe from a large family of siblings where parents have to share out the love available – where competing for attention often results in frustration and feelings of being alone even in a house surrounded by others. As adults they often search for people who are giving in nature to satisfy their need for attention that was sadly lacking in childhood. So when confronted with an attentive client the therapist can find themselves feeding off their loving worship, enjoying the attention, the worshipfulness of the client that allows the therapist to feel powerful, loved and above all needed.

A second area is that of the therapists self -esteem. The therapist may have feelings that they are not fulfilling there own professional standards, that they are failing their clients through lack of knowledge, professionalism and so constantly look for clients to assure them through their God-like worship that they are doing a good job, that they are succeeding in helping them feel better. The therapist is constantly asking the client questions such as, “are you feeling better?”, “have things improved?”, and “are these sessions helping you?” All are genuine questions for any therapist to ask from time to time to check or measure progress but when asked to often can indicate that the therapist is looking for approval or commendation for the work so far. In other words they want to hear they are doing a good job for the client. Here the therapists self-esteem can be boosted and help them to continue to treat clients with a new-found confidence. However this confidence is only temporary as the self-doubts creep back in over time and further reassurance is needed from the client to boost the ego once more to its God-like heights. When one particular client is constantly praising the therapist then in turn the therapist creates a need for that client that makes it imperative they continue in treatment. To achieve this the therapist is constantly searching for new reasons to continue the sessions not for the sake of the client but in fact for their own needs.

A third area is professional snobbery, here the therapist has a reputation to keep, a need for recognition both by the client as an expert but also the adoring public for their outstanding work or achievements. Here the therapist becomes the centre of the counselling process in which they are magnanimous in their Godly status amongst fellow colleagues and the public arena. This dangerous self-importance can lead to recklessness on behalf of patients who believe this person to be that all-knowing God who will answer their need to be treated by the best – the one with the outstanding reputation amongst his peers – that therapist who is hard to see (get an appointment with) as they are so busy and in demand. Of course this same therapist has the largest fees to pay and so the client perceives they are getting the best as they are paying the most.

The Crisis Trap

Every therapist is aware of the trap of transference and counter-transference and despite this knowledge can find themselves sucked into an unhealthy situation even without realising what is happening until a crisis emerges where the patient and therapist meet at the junction of an emotional precipice where decisions have to be considered about the continuance of therapy itself and the disengagement from those emotions that have crept up so silently. Once in this situation the therapist has the difficult task of repairing the relationship either by toning down their own responses to the client or recommending the client see a new therapist. However for the therapist who is addicted to the attention of the client this is a hard decision – to send away the very person who is giving them the need they have become drawn too. For some therapists there are other concerns such as being found out, a professional complaint, an incidental family interference or crisis of confidence about their own skills in counselling. This can lead to a fear response effecting other client’s sessions and outcomes. A therapist in emotional crisis cannot be effective in helping clients when they are more concerned with their own welfare than that of the patient.

Outcomes

Is it so surprising that as therapists we are any less than anyone else in need of love, attention, to have needs met, to feel wanted and appreciated by others. So it is not surprising that given the opportunity to feel worshiped in a God like manner that so many therapists fall from grace and into the trap of hero-worship by the very clients whom they should be looking after for their emotional needs and helping them to grow so as to deal with their own (the clients) real life problems and to move forward being able to cope with life.

There is no easy solution to this phenomenon of transference and to offer a simple guide to avoiding the situation would be futile as every situation brings differing dynamics that each therapist has to confront and deal with as professionally as possible. However it would be unfair not to point out some obvious rules of thumb for therapists who succumb to God Worship, at least to think about.

First once you realise as a therapist that boundaries have been crossed a general discussion with a peer professional may help to reassert their personal perspective about themselves and the client involved. Secondly the therapist should consider breaking with the client and so end the unhealthy situation by recommending another therapist (usually of the same sex as the client). Third if the transference is one-way (from the client only) then to explain to the client the reasons for their feelings towards the therapist and how in counselling a inverted bell like pattern of emotions can be seen as a healthy progression through stages of the sessions towards a healing process in the end. That mutual respect is a far healthy outcome than God-like worship that in fact may colour the outcome of the treatment. To take the I’m OK – Your OK position in that both parties to the transference have needs to be met and acknowledge those needs but within the boundaries of good ethical practice. Fourth is to realise that to be appreciated by the client for doing your job is a worthwhile reward but that there are limits to that praise that have to be tinged with realism about the therapist’s role in counselling as a guide and not a God-head for the client to worship at.

Conclusion:

I started out in this paper warning therapists about the trap of transference and how it can become addictive to have clients worship you and hold you in unnatural high esteem. That it is natural for all humans and not just therapists to seek love have needs met and feel wanted. However therapists are unique to our society in that they must be trusted to keep boundaries and professional standards when offering treatment to vulnerable clients who often desperately need to have answers to their problematic lives with an atmosphere of trust, respect and humanitarianism Magic may be expected from the client but realism and genuine support and understanding is the real magic offered by therapy to the client.

END…

TRUSTe Versus McAfee Secure Versus Trust Guard

Let me help you build customer trust and increase visitors to your website! Security providers have a common goal – to boost your website’s conversion rate. These third party verification service providers each have their own area of expertise and have established their own reputation.  TRUSTe is known for its privacy seals and McAfee is known for security in PCI scanning. On the other hand, Trust Guard specializes in multi packages of trust seals and PCI scanning. However, they’re all different when it comes to requirements, method, service and pricing.

So I have taken a look at all these three trust seal providers and here are the standards I observed to make the comparison:

1. Reputation

2. Service vs. Pricing  

TRUSTe is the leading provider of privacy seals and trust marks since its establishment in 1997. Being in the industry for 12 years, their services has been utilized by companies such as eBay and IBM and has certified more than 2,000 websites.

They are aligned in helping businesses of all sizes build customer trust through privacy policies with guaranteed assistance in dispute resolution of complaints about the collection of private information from customers.

Services and Pricing:

1. Basic Privacy policy (No seal) – starts from $249 /year

2. TRUSTe privacy policy- starts from $49/month

3. TRUSTe privacy plus (TRUSTe certified web privacy seal) – starts from $949/year

McAfee Secure (formerly hacker safe) protects world class infrastructures like Toshiba, American Red Cross, Shop NBC, etc. They provide daily vulnerability scans and alert McAfee customers for vulnerabilities that could affect their network. They scan your website and make sure that it’s safe from hackers.

Over 80,000 websites have a McAfee Secure trust mark and they guarantee to increase conversion of visitors to buyers. McAfee Secure, as a PCI Scan vendor has been trusted by organizations all over the world to help them in their PCI certification.

Services and Pricing:

1. McAfee Secure trust mark- $859.00 Year + $100.00 Setup Fee

2. Full Service w/ no trust mark (For level 2-4 merchants, quarterly and unlimited manual scans, unlimited telephone support, vulnerability remediation support from certified security specialists and assistance in PCI security policy and online self-assessment questionnaire) – $319.00/year

Trust Guard is a division of Global Marketing Strategies – an ecommerce and SEO company with 11 years of experience in online and sales marketing. Trust Guard  is known to provide 3 kinds of trust seals: security seals, business seals and privacy seals. All of these are aimed in protecting website data, building credibility and increasing sales.

Services and Pricing:

1. Security Verified seal – $197/ year

2. Business Verified seal – $197 / year

3. Privacy Verified seal -$197 / year

4. Multi Seal Package with Daily PCI scanning – $697 / year

5. Multi-Seal Package w/ Quarterly PCI Scanning- $597 / year

6. PCI scanning only $ 297/ year

Do get a form of visible proof that you are trust worthy – more so if you are an online merchant who is just starting to create a reputable name. In choosing which trust seal to get, it would be helpful to first take note of the brand’s reliability. Among the three brands I’ve mentioned, all seem to be the market leaders in their specialty of seal verification, and each having more than a decade of experience. Many websites and organizations can even attest to the quality of services they provide. Therefore I can say that they are all reputable brands in their own right.

However let’s go further to the deal breaker- affordability! TRUSTe offers no less than privacy seals and its costs even more than Trust Guard’s. You can save hundreds of dollars on Trust Guard, plus you can even combine PCI scanning with a Privacy seal- a combination that will also cost less than privacy seal alone by TRUSTe.

When it comes to vulnerability scanning and PCI certification, McAfee costs more than Trust Guard with less than hundred dollars, however if you want to combine PCI scanning with a trust seal- you can definitely save more with Trust Guard at half the cost!

Invest in trust seals but don’t just instantly get one for the sake of it. As a business person, you must ensure the balance between productivity and cost efficiency. My final take on this is to get the brand that promises what it says (look out for money back guarantees too) but at the same time make sure that it is reasonably priced.

Free Air Versus Coin Operated Air at the Gas Station – Why $0 is the Future of Business

If this totally frustrates you then here is my recent experience. It was Saturday morning, the 22nd of May 2010 and I had errands to run. As I was getting into my car, I noticed my front left tire looked as though it needed air. I took out my tire gauge and sure enough, it did. I did not want to drive a long distance in that condition so after my first errand, I pulled into a Shell station and there was a fee to use the air. Can you imagine paying for air? I refuse to unless I am traveling on the highway and have no alternative.

I drove off and pulled into a Sunoco and they also charged a fee. This particular station used to be another name brand station within the last 2-3 years. I cannot recall the name but the air was free at that time. I headed to the Chevron across the street. There is also a fee for using their air. I left and drove about 2 miles approaching another Shell station. I was in the left turning lane and could see the air pump and it looked as though it was a coin operated one. I did not bother to stop.

As I was continuing on to my next destination, I realized that I was near a Wawa station and made a quick left turn before going straight through the traffic signal. I knew that 2 other Wawa locations offered free air and I would have gone to one of them but they both were off my route and I did not want to backtrack. I pulled into the Wawa, used the air pump, and was on my way when done. I wasted a lot of time that morning trying to locate free air.

In this economy, why would they continue to charge us to use their air all the while increasing their gas prices? I am an internet marketer and I need to make a point about offering something for free because that is what we do. Why do you think Wawa offers free air? In my opinion, they offer us something for free in order to get the up sale later. In other words, we will not charge you to fill up your 4 tires and spare, because we will offer you our reasonably priced gasoline and you will come inside our convenience store to purchase breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads, snacks, coffee or a soft drink totaling 3-4 times the amount the air will cost. They do not need to charge us.

I have gone inside to pay cash for my gas and there are almost always a line of people purchasing coffee and breakfast foods in the early morning. Lunch is no different. This business decision is one that will truly pay off for them for years to come. Way to go Wawa. Maybe the others will develop the good business sense to follow suit.

5 Tips to Build Muscle As Fast As Possible

Learning how to build muscle fast is easy, putting it into practice is the hard part. Most people think that if you lift more, you will gain more muscle mass. This simply isn’t the case.

Building muscle has just as much to do with diet as it does with training, if not more.

You can’t build muscle without a calorie surplus, just as you can’t build muscle without resistance training.

To build muscle fast, you have to optimize your diet as well as training regimen. Here is how to do it.

1. Avoid Low Carb Diets

While low carb diets are great for cutting fat, they won’t help you with gaining muscle mass. You need carbs for fuel so you can exercise more efficiently.

Carbohydrates are important before training sessions, and immediately after training sessions. Carbs are your muscles primary fuel.

By consuming complex carbs you restore glycogen stores within your muscles[1] for further activity and fullness. This is a major factor in how effective a training session is.

2. Avoid All Alcohol

Alcohol, even in small amounts, can have major effects on sleep, and recovery. In a study conducted in 1980, alcohol in small doses (0.8 g/kg) before bedtime, suppressed plasma growth hormone by 70%-75%[2].

If you add in the effects of dehydration and release of cortisol, it’s nothing but a recipe for disaster.

3. Get More Protein

There is a lot of confusion surrounding protein these days. One article says your not eating enough, the other says your eating way too much.

So what is the key?

For moderately active, and highly active adults, it is reasonable to consume around 2-3 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight.[3]

Studies show that too much protein intake has an extremely low chance of negative side effects. Plus, protein is essential in so many bodily functions.

4. Lift Heavy Weights

Protein alone cannot build muscle. To really add-on size, you must lift heavy weights. Or use your bodyweight to achieve the desired resistance.

In the gym, you could focus on lifting 6 sets of 6 reps with a heavy enough weight to reach failure in the last couple of sets. This should be enough to make some serious gains.

5. Switch-up Your Workouts

This doesn’t necessarily mean changing the exercises. Vary your sets and reps, rest time, and intensity. This will help you break through those dreaded plateaus.

I hope this list helps you in achieving your desired physique. But this can only help you if you continually take daily action. Avoid analysis paralysis, and just get to work.

References:

1. Louise M Burke, Bente Kiens & John L Ivy

Carbohydrates and fat for training and recovery

Pages 15-30 | Accepted 07 Aug 2003, Published online: 18 Feb 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0264041031000140527

2. Prinz, P.N. et al., The effect of alcohol on sleep and nighttime plasma growth hormone and cortisol concentrations, J. Clin. Endocrinal. Metabol., 50(4), 759-764, 1980

3. Paul Hovan Jr., May 10, 2016

https://www.issaonline.edu/blog/index.cfm/2016/how-much-is-too-much-protein-myths-busted

How to Create a Magical Appeal With Contemporary Window Treatments

Traditional draperies have now been successfully replaced by means of contemporary curtains. One of the main reasons is that contemporary draperies are quite light-weighted but the traditional ones are heavier in weight. Heavy curtains cannot be maintained and installed easily rather they are very much hectic to control and this is why maximum house-owners are choosing contemporary options.

Contemporary window treatments have been designed on the basis of advanced technologies and thus they can be managed easily and conveniently. Window treatments should be chosen carefully otherwise your objectives will not get fulfilled. Lighter fabrics have been used for creating contemporary draperies and the designs are simply outstanding. These treatments add special effects to the decor of your room.

Both formal and fashionable styles are available in contemporary draperies. International standards of draperies are being efficiently abided for enforcing guaranteed quality and satisfied designs. A careful and perfect procedure is being followed in these kinds of window treatments. Both comfort and privacy are being managed with efficiency with the maintenance of these treatments. Material strength and colour patterns are versatile in nature.

There are many people who become quite sceptic for choosing contemporary window treatments mainly due to higher expenses. But if you want great quality and texture with higher longevity, then you should not think of the cost. If ideal conditions are not being created then it will be quite difficult to deal with these kinds of window treatments. Less fabrics are required by these draperies and the do not have any lining. These draperies are mainly well-known for their simplicity and outstanding appeal.

What to consider in contemporary draperies?

• Heading styles: Heading styles differ from formal curtains to informal ones. These styles mainly hold-back the attractive features of these draperies. If the display is improper then the beauty of the draperies cannot be thoroughly enjoyed by the viewers. Pleats will decide the heading styles and some of the most prominent options are Goblet, Euro, French and Pinch. You have to choose the most relaxing style that not only cater you the maximum relaxation but also suits the decor of your house.

• Desirable length: Improper lengths of contemporary draperies might hamper the grace and beauty of the walls and windows and thus the accurate lengths need to be chosen. Approximate length should be maintained for getting an absolutely sober and simple look. You can take the assistance of the manufacturer so that correct length can be maintained without any inconveniences. Excessive length can also spoil the overall look and thus be careful about the same.

• Mounting hardware: Mounting accessories are to be looked upon so that hanging curtains can be easily installed without any troubles. Simple mounting rules are to be followed so that perfect installation can be made. Desirable puddling is to be chosen for supporting the mounting procedure. If the windows are larger in size, then you might face a bit of difficulty in making the installation but right mounting materials can make your task easier.

• Hanging above frame: Best hanging procedure should be followed so that the drapery positioning can be maintained. Window casing should be properly marked and measured otherwise the draperies will not get hung perfectly. Additional fabric can be used in this regard for supporting the curtain-hanging. Best mounted-hardware to be used for hanging draperies below molding. Tailored looks are also quite sophisticated. In fact, tailored looks can cater you the best customization effects. If customized draperies are not used then room’s personality will not be boosted-up.

• Window measurement: If you want the frames to get perfectly matched with the windows then taking the window measurement is a great need and you cannot deny this fact. The frames should be installed as per the marks. If the measurement goes wrong then the whole procedure of drapery hanging will get hampered. This is why you should use a measuring-tape so that both width and height of windows can be measured accurately without any mistakes or flaws. If the draperies are settled properly, then the room-appeal will also look more brightened and attractive. More light will be allowed to enter inside the room and you will get fresh air to breathe.

Exploring a Career in Mold Remediation

It is estimated that millions of Americans are unhappy with their current job. If you are one of those individuals, you may want to examine a career in another field. There are a number of fields to choose from, but, first, you may want to examine a career in mold remediation.

Mold is a growing problem in the United States. A large number of homes and businesses already have a mold problem and, each year, more are developing that problem. Mold is caused by a number of different reasons. One of those reasons is flooding and that is why mold is becoming a growing problem. Each year, a large number of homes and businesses, in the United States, flood. That flooding may, and often does, lead to a mold problem.

To many, mold may seem like an easy problem to fix. The reality is that it is not always. Many times, the problem is too severe for the average homeowner to fix on their own. If they are unable to treat their own mold problem, they will call upon a mold remediation specialist. If you are interested in a career as a mold remediation specialist, it is likely that they would call you.

Since mold can have a negative impact on a person's health and the value of a home or business, many individuals are selective when they choose a mold remediation specialist to do business with. If you want a successful career as a mold remediation specialist, you are encouraged to obtain a mold remediation certification. Mold remediation certification is a fairly new thing. In the past certification was not needed, but it may be now. The requirements will all depend on where you live and where you plan to work.

Mold remediation certification, like the certification needed for many other jobs, can be obtained from a number of different places. These places are most likely non-profit organizations. If you are interested in taking under mold redemption certification, you are encouraged to find these organizations. Depending on where you live, it is possible that you will have a nearby training center. If you are unable to find a local training center, you can easily obtain training and certificates online.

Different mold certification training centers operate different ways. Despite the different ways of operation, a number of things are still the same. The amount of training you are required to receive is often about the same. There are many non-profit training centers that abide by the rules and regulations set in place by state or federal laws. This often means that even if you want to relocate, your mold remediation certification will still be valid in another city or state.

One thing that may differ from training center to training center is the cost of obtaining a mold remediation certification. A number of training centers charge a standard fee. This fee often involves the training, testing, and learning materials. However, it is important to note that additional fees may apply. For instance, there are a number of training centers that offer free training, but only charge you for the testing. When seeking a mold remediation certification, it is advised that you determine ahead of time how much the certification will cost.

After you successfully obtaining a mold remediation certification, you will likely begin to see the benefits right away. This certification may be able to help you find a job or it may be able to help you start your own business. One thing is for sure, hiring companies and customers prefer working with an individual who has undergone the appropriate amount of training.

How to Make Custom Boxes at Home

At Home DIY

The economy is in a downfall right now. If you are like me and not living in the 1% that can afford to throw their money around then you try to save money as best you can. DIYs are “do it yourself”s that help save money yet receive quality results. One DIY that helps young entrepreneurs who are also cost efficient are Homemade Custom product boxes. If you look online, you will see many DIYS with different ideas about how to create your custom product box. On Pinterest alone just typing the words “custom boxes” will get you hundreds to thousands of results. Some of them even have free templates to download just to help you make it easier. But make no mistake, making your custom box is not as easy as it seems unless you have a good background in crafts. Hopefully, this article can help you.

Supplies

– Box cutter

– Decorations

– Measurer

– Cardboard or material to make box

– Packing tape

Steps

– Take the cardboard and box cutter and open up the cardboard so you can shape the cardboard into whatever shape you want

– Take the object you are going to send and use that to measure the dimensions if the box and cut accordingly

– Fold the box, so it fits well around the product.

– Make finishing touches to the box, so it looks nice, and so the item does not fall out or break. Then use the packing tape to seal up the box. If the object is fragile, then I suggest insulating the box with materials such as bubble wrap, tissue paper or packing peanuts, etc.

– Finally, decorate by adding a company logo or just make it pretty, however, you would like.

Alternatives

If you are not the creative type to imagine a particular type of custom box, then do not worry. There is a wide variety of custom box templates to choose from. Some include

– an oven shaped template for baked goods

– Footlocker boxes for shoes

– Premade candy boxes

– Etc.

Question and Answer

One of the questions I hear a lot that revolve DIY Custom boxes are how are they better than just buying premade custom boxes made by professionals. Well in the case of DIYs:

– They are usually cheaper than going through a manufacture

– you get to have a lot more control over how the process is done

– Sometimes manufacturers do not let you add an addition that you want

– Sometimes the manufacturers around your area do not have a particular material that you need or want.

In support of buying it from a store some might say:

– When building, you lose time which can lead to you losing money and nobody wants to lose money

– There isn’t a warranty on homemade products so in the occasion where your box breaks you would have to start over and waste more money

– There is a questionable quality to handmade items such as boxes.

The choice is up to you, as an entrepreneur or just a creative artisans it up to you to make some tough decisions considering your products and the boxes you use.

Food Brings People Together

We all eat; usually 3 times a day (sometimes more). But some people are so busy they don’t even think about it. They just find something really quick and move on through their day. But food is so much more than something we eat. Food brings people together and here are a few of the many ways it does so.

1) Eating Dinner Around the Table: At the end of the day everybody is tired and wants to withdraw to their own rooms. Families should encourage eating dinner around the table if not every night, at least once a week. Gathering around the table with food encourages group communication. Mom can ask how you did on your math test while she passes you the mashed potatoes. Jack can ask Jill if her boss was as mean today as he was yesterday. Getting together for dinner provides a solid 30 minutes of family involvement each day. Additionally, you can recruit the whole family to prepare dinner. This provides a bonding experience along with life skills for the younger family members.

2) Food Crosses Cultural Boundaries: You will always hear people say that the best way to get to know someone is by eating their food. They don’t just mean eat Sarah’s cookies and decide she is a nice person. Sometimes it isn’t the easiest thing for someone who has lived in the US their whole lives to understand someone that has moved from India. Food is a way to introduce yourself and a way to get to know them. Someone can cook you their favorite dish and it’s like you know them better all of a sudden. This applies additionally to travel. Say you’re walking down the streets of Verona, holding your map (probably upside down) and trying to figure out how to ask someone for help. You’re suddenly drawn to the smells coming out of the small bakery to your right. Walking in feels like home to you in that strange neighborhood.

3) Expressing Emotion: People show their love in different ways. Food always works! Parents pack lunches for their children. They cut your PB&J in triangles and remember to take off the crust and might even slip a little note in there too. Even when you’re grown you can tell your mom you had a bad day and she might call you over for cake and wine! It’s the same thought process when people make soup for a sick friend. It may not necessarily speed up their recovery but it nourishes them and shows you care- you took the time out of your day. Traditionally when someone is homebound/recovering from a surgery/a family member passes/etc. people bring them food. Baking that plate of lasagna might take you an hour but to them it’s a relief after a long day at the hospital that they don’t have to cook.

4) The Holidays: Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas have a meaning, but events attach to them. Anytime someone thinks about Thanksgiving they think of turkey! Your uncle spends all day frying it out in the garage with every other male in your family sitting around it. All your aunts spend the day preparing all their designated side dishes. On Christmas Eve and Day, you can almost bet somebody in the house is cooking. Some might be cookie tins being packaged as gifts and somebody might have a ham in the oven. At the end of the day on that 4th Thursday in November and December 25th, the whole family is sitting around the spread featuring everyone’s hard work and love.

Hopefully you’ve all already been aware of some of the ways food plays a part in our lives. If not, I hope now you’ll look at things differently when your neighbor brings that casserole over!

Learn How To Fuse a Wine Bottle

Fused wine bottles or any other type of glass bottle is a great way to recycle and it adds a nice touch to your home decor. If you fuse the bottle flat and add a hanger in the top of the bottle, you can hang it on the wall. You can also put it on your stove to use as a spoon rest or just for decoration. The flat bottle can also be used to serve cheese rolls or butter. Just use your imagination for other uses for the flat bottle.

First thing you need is a bottle, which is easy enough. Find a bottle you want to slip and have fun drinking the contents! If you do not drink wine or alcohol, but know a bottle that you want to slip, check with friends or just go to a local bar and ask them to save one for you. Many places are very happy to save bottles for you.

Wash the bottle very well, inside and out. Remove all labels by heating the label with a heat gun, which melts some glues, but not all. If you can not heat the label off, you'll have to soak the bottle till the label comes off. Sometimes you may even need to use a razor to get the label and glue off. Depending on the glue, some of which can be very stubborn, you may even need something like goo Gone to get the residue completely off. If you have to use a solvent to get it off, be sure to fully wash the bottle again to get the solvent off.

Allow the bottle to completely dry. You may want to put some devitrification solution on your bottle, especially if the bottle is blue or amber in color. This will prevent a scummy layer from forming. Some bottles are more susceptible to this than others, so as an option you can test fire to see which ones really need it. If you want the option of hanging the bottle, this is the time to add a hanger. I use copper wire.

Now you need to prepare your kiln shelf with kiln wash or you can use thin fire shelf paper. Lay the bottle on the kiln shelf. I add two small pieces of fiber paper on each side of the bottom of the bottle to prevent the bottle from rolling. This is important for a couple of reasons. First off, if your shelf is not perfectly level, it can help keep the bottle from rolling off the shelf. As an added precaution, I also place kiln posts on the edge of the shelf to protect the kiln. Second, if you are using a bottle with an enamel label, such as Gray Goose Vodka, it will make sure that the bottle stays in the exact position that you want it during firing, so that the background comes through the clear area in the front .

I fire the kiln to 1150 degrees at 300 degrees / hour and hold for 30 minutes, then heat the kiln to 1250 degrees at a rate of 200 degrees / hour and hold for 30 minutes. The previous steps help prevent bubbles from forming. At this point, I fire the kiln to 1440 degrees at a rate of 600 degrees / hour and hold for 30-45 minutes or until the bottle is as flat as you want it. Cool the kiln to 1030 degrees and hold for 2 hours (this step is called annealing). Cool to 700 degrees at a rate of 60 degrees / hour. Turn off the kiln and let cool until room temperature.

All kilns are different, so you may need to experiment with the firing schedule. If the bottle cracks after coming out of the kiln, then you may need to cool off the kiln at a slower rate. If the bottle cracks while it's in the kiln, then heat and cool the kiln at a slower rate. What I've found is most critical for bottle firing is a slow annaning process.

Enjoy your new bottle!

3 Crock Pot Lunch Recipes Everyone Will Love

Forget about having a microwaveable meal or fast food for your next lunch. If you own a slow cooker, preparing a warm, hearty meal is easier than ever! It’s healthier, too! If the whole family is having lunch together then they deserve a delicious, home-cooked meal. If you’re wondering what to serve, try any of these easy crock pot lunch recipes!

Texas Style Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

What you need:

  • 8 hamburger buns, split
  • 1 pork shoulder roast (about 2 kilograms)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Pour oil in a crock pot then place the pork roast inside. Add the onion, garlic, barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, chicken broth, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder and thyme. Stir to mis ingredients well. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on high. When ready, remove pork from the slow cooker and shred using forks. Return the meat to the pot and stir to mix with the juices. Spread each bun with butter and toast butter side down over medium heat in a skillet. Spoon pulled pork into buns and serve immediately.

Crock Pot Chicken and Rice Soup

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and diced
  • 3 cans chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 3/4 cup converted long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lemon and herb seasoning

Mix together diced chicken, mixed vegetables, white rice, celery, water, dried parsley and lemon and herb seasoning in a slow cooker. Pour chicken broth over the ingredients. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low. Add more water if soup is too thick and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Crock Pot Herbed Potato Salad

What you need:

  • 1 kilogram potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

in a slow cooker, mix together potatoes, onion, celery, green bell pepper, vinegar and cooking oil. Stir to combine ingredients well and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. Garnish with crumbled bacon and parsley before serving.

Lunch will never be this convenient and fulfilling – try these amazing crock pot lunch recipes!

Recycling and Landfill

Production of waste is a global problem that won’t just go away on its own so we constantly have to find convenient and suitable ways of disposing of it. Every area of our lives involves getting rid of something, whether it is household rubbish, plastic, paper, metal, commercial waste or anything else for that matter that we simply don’t want or need and wish to discard.

Unfortunately today, most of our waste tends to end up in landfill sites, which is far from ideal. Landfill has an immediate advantage in that it is convenient, however, there are other more serious issues regarding landfill which are not so advantageous to human or animal health or for the environment despite the protection agencies, legislation and monitoring that is in place.

The introduction and steadily rising cost of The Landfill Tax is designed to reduce the amount of waste deposited in landfill by encouraging waste producers to produce less waste and to reuse or recycle mixed waste rather than to dump it. Landfill sites are heavily regulated and monitored by environmental agencies in an attempt to minimise the risk to health and the environment.

What is landfill?

Simply put, landfills are sites, sometimes old quarry sites, where waste is deposited into the ground in order to rot. As each new load of rubbish arrives for disposal, it is pushed down and compacted into the site and then covered with a layer of soil. In order to prevent leakage of toxic material into the surrounding earth and water, the landfill must first be lined in order to seal in the waste.

Once a landfill site has been filled to capacity, it has to be capped or covered and a new site must be found. Usual ways of covering are with a layer of plastic, more soil, a protective covering, sand, more soil and then something like grass. This helps keeps rodents away and minimises the risk of waste gases and other toxins being released into the surrounding land and waterways.

Problems with Landfill

Currently around 80% of our household rubbish ends up in landfill sites and as the amount of rubbish continues year after year, a major problem is that basically, we are running out of space. It isn’t easy to find a new site for landfill either as no one wants to have it in their “back yard” so to speak. Apart from the risk of explosion, landfill sites also give off unpleasant odours and gases and contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can have a negative impact on health even at low doses.

Greenhouse Gases

As the rubbish rots in a landfill site, Methane gas is given off and as Methane is a greenhouse gas, this is a major cause for concern. The liner in the landfill site helps to prevent the gas escaping. What often happens is that pipes collect the Methane and carry it to the surface where it can be burned off (a process known as Flaring) or it can be extracted and used as fuel elsewhere.

Leachate

Leachate is produced in landfill sites from water and liquid draining from the rotting rubbish and again, the liner helps prevent this substance from contaminating the surrounding land and water systems. Pipes will usually collect Leachate and pump it to the surface where it may be re-circulated but if a lot of Leachate is produced it will often be sent to wastewater treatment plants.

Time

Another major problem with landfill is that some non-biodegradable substances such as plastic bags for example, can take maybe hundreds of years to break down. There is no light or oxygen in landfill so rubbish cannot be broken down very quickly.

Health Risks

Despite all the measures in place, several studies have highlighted health risks in relation to landfill sites and the full impact on human, animal and environmental health is still not clear and is being widely debated.

Recycling – a solution

A large proportion of the rubbish ending up in landfill sites is not really rubbish at all as most of it could serve other more useful purposes with a far less damaging effect or could be recycled to produce new products. So, by far the best way to minimise the amount of waste going to landfill and reduce the impact on health and the environment, is to reuse or recycle as much waste as possible.

Currently, only around 7 or 8 per cent of household waste is recycled but if more people were aware of the risks associated with landfill they might be prepared to make more effort to sort and either reuse their waste or recycle it at one of the growing number of recycling depots. One mans trash is another mans treasure as they say so waste not want not.