The Mystery of Furry Animals

Comfort! Everyone wants comfort. Air-conditioning systems have
Was invented for the purpose of providing comfort to the
Residents of buildings. The science of psychiatry was
Developed to understand the properties of the air – the
Temperatures, humidity and the heat values.

However, the human body, a wonderful piece of creation can
Adjust itself to changing climatic conditions to provide comfort
To the owner. It has become quite common knowledge that sweating
And their evaporation cools down the body.

Have you tried wrapping yourself in a plastic sheet? You will
Feel warm because of the air trapped inside the sheet. However,
After a while, you will sweat and you will feel very
Uncomfortable indeed. Why?

It has to do with what air-conditioning people call the comfort
Zone. According to them, most people will feel comfortable
Between 70 to 78 degree Fahrenheit at about 50% relative humidity
Wearing light clothing and when placed or at rest and without
Much wind.

There is also a difference in comfort levels when we do different
Activities. When we feel comfortable wearing woolen jackets to
Keep warm while we are at rest, do not we feel uncomfortable when
Are we running or doing strenuous activities? Clearly just
Wearing a jacket will not automatically make us more comfortable.

On a hot day, you will want to take off everything. Well, society
Dictates that you can not do that, or you will be charged with
Indecent behavior. Anyways, that's the easiest way to become
Comfortable. The body's thermoregulatory action will make your
Comfortable automatically.

In nature, the body has a very good self-temperature regulatory
Action. When we sweat, the latent heat of vaporization takes away
The heat from the body. However, if the sweat were to be
Evaporated, a person with all sweat glands fully opened up
Can even feel a chill. Putting on clothing will hinder that
Process of evaporation.

In cold weather, how would you want to wear just a thin piece of
Clothing, instead of layers after layers of thick clothing? You
Do not want to look like an astronaut with their bulky suit, do
You? You might look a bit too fat and clumsy!

Moreover, some clothing will retain the water, so much so that
Even when the outside is cold, you are actually sweating inside.
That's the condition of condensation. The same thing happens when
A glass of cold water is put in a warm atmosphere. The water
Comes out from the air around the glass and become water droplets.
Your body becomes wet from your perspiration.

You become uncomfortable.

How do furry animals keep warm or cool? They do not wear clothing
Like humans. They seem to be able to adjust their body
Temperatures in their fur to all weather conditions. Can that be

Scientists have been searching for the solution to comfortable
All weather clothing for ages. They were searching for that
Special fiber that can duplicate the thermoregulatory action of
A human body and yet feet comfortable to wear.

They have tried using capillary action of nearly spaced fibers
To draw the liquid from the sweat to the surface and then to
Evaporate. However in order to be effective, the fabric need to
Be worn close to the skin in order to transport the moisture.
Whenever the capillary fabric gaps, the draw is broken and it
Becomes ineffective. The result – heat is lost for the wearer.
Weaving tight clothing can be quite uncomfortable sometimes.
Maybe they are not so fashionable, or just do not fit the many
Different body sizes.

The latest technological breakthrough lies in utilizing
Electrostatic charges in the fibers. Scientists are now able to
Move moisture from the body whenever a wearer perspires in warm
Temperatures using electrostatic charges in the fibers. As the
Wearer's activity decreases, the fabric will reduce the
Evaporative process, leaving a constant water barrier between
The wearer and the fabric.

In cold temperatures, a layer of 100% relative humidity is
Formed between the skin and the fabric, creating an area of ​​moisture
Air that holds more heat during cooler temperatures. By using
Electrostatic charges to pull the moisture away from the skin,
Scientists are able to increase the heat capacity of the trapped
Air next to the skin and the wearer feels warm.

Individual molecules are separated much faster and then favor

These fibers are special.

They actually duplicate and enhance the themoregulatory actions
Of the body! They create a vapor barrier to keep you cool when
The weather is warm and warm when the weather is cold.

Truly a technological breakthrough !

Upper Ab Workout

When we do our upper ab workout at different tempos it will ensure that we have strength through the whole range of movement and it asserts to overburden the muscles, which will make you work a little harder and create a more rapid strength gain.

Upper Ab Workout Number One: The Basic Crunch

  1. Easy: Begin this exercise lying on your back. Keep your knees bent, with your feet about shoulder width apart. Put your hands in the back of your head and pull your navel into your spine while slowly squeezing your abs when your shoulders and head raise up from the deck. Raise straight up toward the ceiling, with your chin pointing up. Lower slowly back down to the floor. Repeat.
  2. Harder: Lie down on your back keeping your knees bent. Pull your knees toward your chest, with your feet hanging next to your buns. Draw your navel to the spine and slowly constrict your ab muscles as your shoulders and head come up off of the deck. Lift straight up towards the ceiling, pointing your chin up.
  3. Hardest: Instead of putting your hands in the back of your head, try to extend your arms like you're going to dive in a swimming pool, while keeping your forearms next to your head. Concentrate on relaxing your shoulders to keep the tenseseness out of the neck. Also, try altering the speed of upper ab workout raising and lowering motion.

More Upper Ab Workout Hints: Try to stay lightly off of the floor when you reach the end of the upper ab workout movement. You should also try to clear the shoulder blades off the floor; Make certain you are not only lifting your head. Try to Really Concentrate on pulling your navel in toward your spell.

Upper Ab Workout Number Two: The Frog Leg

  1. Easy: Start this upper ab workout by lying on your back and with the bottoms of your feet touching. Let your knees drop down to your sides, and put your hands in the back of your head so you support your neck. Draw your navel in toward your spell, slowly contract your abdominals as your shoulders and head raise up from the deck. Slowly lower back to the deck and repeat.
  2. Harder: Begin by lying on your back, bend your knees and draw them in near to your chest. Let your knees drop down to your sides, while crossing your ankles, put your hands in the back of your head in order to support the neck. Draw your navel in towards your back, while slowly contracting your abs when your head and your shoulders raise up from the deck. Elevate straight up toward the ceiling, aiming your chin up. Slowly lower down to the floor. Repeat.
  3. Hardest: Extend your arms like you're diving in a pool, keeping your arms close to your head. Concentrate on relaxing your shoulders to keep tenseseness out of the neck. Also, try changing the speed of the rising and lowering motion.

More Upper Ab Workout Hints: This routine will primarily work the upper area of ​​your rectus abdominis, as well as into your lower segments. Be careful to really draw your belly button up tightly to protect the back and try to not lower completely back down to the deck at the bottom.

Upper Ab Workout Number Three: The Demi Crunch

  1. Easy: Start this upper ab workout by lying on your back while bending your knees, keep your feet on the deck shoulder width apart, and put your hands in back of your head. Draw your navel in toward your spell while lifting your shoulders and head a few inches off of the deck. You should be able to feel your abdominals contracting. Now Raise straight up toward the ceiling, with your chin aiming up and return slowly to the starting position – do not go all of the way back down to the floor.
  2. Harder: Start this upper ab workout by lying on your back while bending your knees and pulling them in next to your chest. Let your feet hang close to your bum. With your head and your shoulders also the deck a few inches while pulling your navel in toward your back. You should be able to feel your abdominal muscles contracting. Now elevate straight up toward the ceiling, with your chin pointing upwards and slowly return back to the starting position – do not go all of the way back to the floor.
  3. Hardest: Start this upper ab workout by lying on your back while bending your knees moving your feet down away from your butt. Keep a very slight bend in your knees. Bring your feet closer in toward your buns if you start to feel any discomfort in the lower back. This leg position will target your lower abs, too.

More Upper Ab Workout Hints: When doing an upper ab workout , it's important to keep your navel drawn in tight in order to protect the back. Stay slightly off the deck in the end of the movement.

Transform Your Old-Looking Hardwood Floors

You might think your old hardwood floor looks really ugly and dingy. Back in the 60's and 70's, many homeowners thought their hardwood floors were so ugly, that they would cover them up with carpet.

In the modern day, that would be a sin, but it happened a lot back when wall-to-wall carpet was the craze. We often find older homes with old worn out carpet that covers seemingly faded and weathered hardwood flooring. Do not be deceived, the resurfacing process of hardwood floors and its potential beauty will have you patting yourself on the back for years.

Restoring hardwood is not easy, but it is definitely worth the trouble. If your floor has been covered with carpet, then be sure to remove all the carpet and tack strips. Then you will need to see if there are any nail holes that need to be filled.

If you are resurfacing your hardwood floors because they are old looking, then you will start out with a heavy duty sander called a drum sander. You will be able to rent this sander at any rental stores or building centers because they are very popular and frequently used. To strip off the finish you will need 24 grit sand paper on the drum sander. A drum sander goes in a straight line so you will need to head toward a wall and go in a straight direction until you come to the wall, then you will need to turn around and head for the opposite wall. Do this until the entire floor is done.

You do not need to be worried about sanding completely through your floor because most hardwood floors, especially the older floors are about 3/4 "thick. You should be able to sand your hardwood floor over a dozen times before it wears through.

You will need to do a second sanding to smooth the rough gouges made by the finish-stripping sand paper. This will also remove any of the remaining patches of finish left behind. You can accomplish this with 36 grit sand paper. Go over the floor the same way you did with the heavier sand paper.

You will not be able to get very close to the walls with the drum sander so you will need a smaller sander to sand next to the walls and corners. An orbital hand sander will work really well for this. You will use the same grit of sand paper for the hand sander as you will use for the drum sander at each phase of the sanding process.

The third step of the sanding process will be the smoothing phase where the sand paper will sand out all the rough cuts from the heavier sand paper. You will use 60 grit sand paper for this. This grit of paper will not strip off any remaining finish materials so you will have to make sure that you get it all with the second sanding.

The fourth sanding phase will be where the light grit sand paper brings out the wood grains even without the final finishes. You will use 80 grit sand paper for this step. You will notice how the old hardwood sheds its old appearance for a new vibrant, modern display.

The final sanding phase is very important, yet it is a step often omitted by flooring contractors. You will use 150 grit sand paper with a small hand sander. Be sure to sand with the grain. This will make a huge difference in the deep luster shine and the appearance of the wood grains.

After you have completed the sanding phases, you will then need to sweep the floor clean of all dust and wood particles. This will not be enough enough because, because you want the wood grains to be completely exposed and free of dust so they soak up the finish better and deeper. If you have an air compressor you can spray the floor with air to get the dust free. If however you do not have an air compressor, then you can use a vacuum on the low surface setting to suck the dust out. Be sure to make slow thorough passes with the vacuum.

Next, you will start the first application of the floor finish. There are many finishes to choose from, but most flooring specialists' choose a water-based Urethane because of its characteristics. It dries quickly and the odors will not kill you. The first coat will go on in a copious fashion. You can use a brush or a floor brush on a pole. This will help you get an even coat.

Let the first coat dry for at least 12 hours and then apply the second coat. The third coat should make the final finish appear as a deep finish that makes the wood grains stand out almost as if in 3-D.

Once the floor has discharged, you will notice that it is very hard and durable. The shine and the wood grains are new looking. The floor does not even look anything like the old floor. That is part of the restoration process. Enjoy it. Spread out on the floor and give it a hug. That's how I feel after so much work, yet so much reward.

What Does HyperMiling Mean?

Hypermiling refers to driving to improve your car’s gas mileage. You do this by increasing the efficiency of the engine, reducing aerodynamic drag, using gravity and friction to your advantage, and avoiding energy loss that happens through braking. Hypermiling done right can improve your gas mileage by up to 37 percent. Of course, you need to follow traffic laws and use good common sense regardless of your driving habits.


• Drive smart by accelerating slowly at green lights and coasting to a stop at stop signs or red lights.

• Use cruise control for speeds over 40 mph. It helps you stay off the accelerator.

• Do not use cruise control on hilly roads. The cruise settings make the engine work harder to go up hills.

• Coast as much as possible.

• Choose routes with the fewest number of stops so you have less stop-and-go driving.

On trips with multiple stops go to the furthest destination first. Make the rest of your stops in a logical order on the return trip.

• Go faster down hills and slower up the hills. Use gravity to your advantage.

• Drive at or below the speed limit.

• Park for easy departure from parking lots. Choose the first spot you see, regardless of distance from the entrance. Park facing out so you can use gravity to help move you from the parking space.

• Keep your tires correctly inflated at all times. Align and balance the tires.

• Keep your car well maintained. Use the lowest viscosity of oil recommended by the manufacturer. Use synthetic oil and do oil changes as recommended by the owner’s manual of the car.

• Reduce the amount of weight in the trunk of the car.

• Use high-performance iridium-tipped spark plugs for better burning of gas in the combustion chamber.

• Consider driving with ½ to ¼ a tank of gas. This reduces weight without diminishing the life of the fuel pump.

• Avoid contributing to traffic congestion and traffic jams.

• Carpool whenever possible.

• Keep a mileage journal to track your improvements.

• Use air conditioning only over 45 mph. Try cycling it on and off if you can.

• Avoid extreme hypermiling techniques like tailgating semis. These methods can endanger you and others.


• Don’t stop on a hill heading upwards. Starting from a dead stop on a hill kills gas mileage.

• Don’t race towards red lights or traffic blockages. Start easing up on the accelerator as soon as you know you will have to stop or slow down.

• Don’t idle. Turn off your engine if you are stopped for more than 60 seconds. This alone can improve your gas mileage by up to 19 percent.

• Don’t idle to warm up your car in cold weather. Just drive gently for five to ten minutes.

• Don’t drive on windy days if you can help it.

• Don’t try to hypermile during rain or snow. It is dangerous.

• Don’t tailgate a semi truck. It can kill you. Stay at least two seconds behind the truck.

• Don’t drive under the speed limit in heavy traffic where other cars cannot safely pass. This is very dangerous.

One Young Woman's Adventure With Cataracts

I was 38 when I received the shocking news from my optometrist. "Carine, you have a cataract forming in both eyes, one is not much, but I want you to go see an ophthalmologist."

No pain did I feel. Since I was legally blind (my good eye was 20/850) I really did not see what the big deal was about. At the time, even with my contact lens, I was only able to see 20/150. Barely able to pass the driver's test. So I went. I met with Dr. Coral Smith-a doctor within my HMO who also has ground-breaking surgical procedures for cataracts at University of California, Irvine.

He told me that, indeed, I did have a significant cataract forming on one eye and a very tiny one in the other. I had developed a "sub capsular" type-beginning on the back of my lens due to the amount of prednisone injections and tablets I had to give prior to my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and the ensuing use of the steroid until the disease was under control .

There are two other types: nuclear (naturally formed in the aging process) and cortical (the type many diabetics develop)

A cataract is a clouding of the eyes natural lens, which is right behind the iris (the color part of your eye) and the pupil. Because of this growing "cloud", vision deteriorates. A cataract just does not appear one day; They start out small and go from there. In the beginning there was little to any effect to my already horrible vision. Then somewhere down the line I felt as if I had begun looking through a pair of glasses in desperate need of cleaning. At some point during the growth, light became irritating-whether it was from the sun or a lamp. At this point driving at night became a hazard since the blurred vision and irritation from the lights affected my depth perception. Colors did not seem very, well, colorful.

I noticed a feeling of dread if I had to get behind the wheel of my car at night. I did not feel "safe" -so I took myself off the road for several years once the sun started to set. Fortunately at this time in my life, I worked at home.

What causes cataracts along age, certain diseases and drugs? Even after all the surgical advances-no one really knows why there is such a thing. Some studies suggest it could have the exposure to ultraviolet light. Many, if not most optometrists / ophthalmologists urge their patients to always wear sunglasses and visors. Newer studies have shown that a way to prevent or slow their growth is to eat a diet high in anti-oxidants and lowering salt intake. Other risk factors? Smog, drinking too much alcohol and smoking to name a few.

Once I was diagnosed my treatment was on hold until the cataract is "ripened". Most people usually know when their cataract is "ripe" because it impairs their vision enough that their daily life is affected. For me, besides not being able to drive at night, I found that my ability to read my beloved mysteries and work crossword puzzles became a chore instead of a pleasure.

What comes next, once the coating on your eyes drives you nuts? Surgery. Once you and your doctor decide that you can wait no longer, the date will be set. I had my surgeries done within 4 months of each other. In the nearly 7 years since then, procedures now give you more of a choice-you may have an implant with single vision or a multifocal lens. The later makes it possible to not have to wear reading glasses! When I had mine done, my very deft surgeon wave me the best there was at the time: one far-sighted, one near-sighted. I do not need to wear glasses a good portion of my day. I can read without reading glasses, but prefer to when trying to enjoy a novel or, again, work puzzles. For driving, while I see quite well, to sharpen the image I wear distance lenses. Fortunately, I have all the goodies in one set of gorgeous glasses that are even equipped with transitions so I do not even need a separate pair of sunglasses.

As for the surgery itself-it's strictly outpatient. Upon being brought into the prep room, I had to live through a series of drops and medications to help me to both relax and numb my eye. Having a "state of the art" surgeon meant he did not have to use a needle to do this! Once I was wheeled into the operating room a gizmo was put onto my eye to make sure I that I could not / would not blink. I was up the entire time. Without it's decided that a bit more of the "relaxant" is necessary to make it less stressful for you and the doctor, there is no reason to be given a general anesthetic. I was so nervous during the first surgery I would not fall sleep, but it only rented a grand total of a half hour and I survived. Once the initial first "cut" is made and the lens is removed, you can not see until the implant is secured. After the surgery is complete a protective cup was put over my eye for the first 24 hours. A lot of fluid leaked out during this time. I felt as if I had scratched my corneas severely for the rest of the day.

The attendants sent me home with a big set of sun shades that I was told I had to wear for the next 6 weeks and to stay out of bright light. I also was not allowed to do any strenuous activities, left anything over 25 pounds, bend over or sleep on the side my surgery was done on. There was to be no putting myself in areas that had a lot of dust. Antibiotic drops had to be used several times a day for several weeks.

After 24 hours, I had a post-op appointment. But I could see the difference before I even got out of bed the next morning. Even with the shield on my eye (it had pinoles holes in it), I was able to see! I opened my eyes, looked across the bedroom to the digital clock about 15 feet away and saw the time-CLEARLY AND WITHOUT ANY ASSISTED HELP !!!

I was absolutely amazed. I screamed for my husband and read the clock. Tears started falling. I had not seen that far away without the aid of coke bottle glasses or contact lenses since I was 10 years old-I was 42.

When I saw my doctor, I was so excited-I kept thanking him over and over again. He kept telling me it was his pleasure and to please calm down, he didnt want me to cause any complications! I read the chart-I was seeing 20/40 in the just done eye. Even my husband started to cry. He could not thank the doctor enough.

Four months later, I eagerly anticipated the second surgery. Fortunately, I had the same success with it. According to a Swedish study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology in November 1999 (this was before my surgeries in late 2001 and early 2002) found that the younger the patient was when they had undergone the surgery the happier they were with the arrival.

I can certainly attest to that-I consider my implants to be the best thing, health wise, that has ever happened to me.

A Homeowner's Perspective on Patio Covers

If you've come across this site and you're wondering something like "does this person even know anything about patio covers or how to build one? I can tell you first hand that I do. In fact, this whole article is about my experience building my own cover for my patio – a pergola style patio cover to be more specific. Actually, I laid the brick pavers as well for the patio itself, but that's for another article.

You must be pretty serious about building your cover for your patio or you would not be searching searching information out. I'll tell you one thing, they're not easy to build. Simple, yes. Easy, no. If you have some good skills (and tools) you will be able to handle the job. Just make sure you put in the proper planning and prep time. A few friends would not help either when it comes to the heavy lifting.

Having friends that like to build things like patio covers would not hurt. I dare say, they will make your life much easier. In some respects, you will need some help just to be safe on the job. This part is related mainly to hoisting the beams into place.

I honestly do not recall the site I went to when I searched for "patio covers" or "pergola style patio cover" where I got my basic plans. Once you get your plans (this could be as simple as a picture of the one you would like to build – this is what I did) you can start a materials list. After doing my research, I chose to go with a bit larger dimensions (4×6) posts and 4×8 beams. I chose to use 2x8s for the top slat or lattice pieces used for the shade element. In hind site, these could have even been 2x10s, but I did not want to spend a fortune or have to decide how to mount them.

Out here in the southwest, Arizona, these types of covered patios are common and provide a lot of welcomed shade in the months when sitting outside is even comfortable. The basic notification with a pergola is that those slat pieces (my 2x8s, could also be more beam-like and use 4x4s or 3x3s) provide a lattice shape that blocks the angle of the sun. It can also provide the support for vines or other plants to grow on and over giving more appealing shade and ambiance.

I chose the larger sized lumber over the easily purchased off the rack 4x4s from the local home improvement stores because that larger lumber has a more fundamental and handsome look to it. It is really all about your personal preference when it comes to how you want the finished look of your patio cover.

With my project, I chose to pour footings and set prefabricated brackets purchased from my local home improvement store into this as it cured. The posts of my pergola were then set on these brackets after it was completely cured. The patio deck was made of brick pavers, so I needed a stronger foundation to set my posts on. If you have a slab already beloved or are going to go this route, you can also buy brackets that will mount directly to the slab with anchor bolts drilled into the slab. I had to do it the first way by necessity, but I also read that patio covers built this way would remain level and plumb for longer.

When you are preparing your footings or area for your posts, ensure that you have taken careful measurements as this will allow for true angles and a square structure. I made this mistake with my pergola and I have a little bit of a lean when seen from a certain angle. With the plants and slats on, it is not noticeable, but I see it of course. So, remember to draw all of your measurements from one place in order to keep everything true.

Once I knew that my feet were dug out in the right place, I poured the concrete and set the brackets. This took a little bit of trial and error to figure out how to get the brackets to sit up right. I think my concrete mix might have been a little thin. Well, once they were all scattered, I had a cold beverage. I figured it would save me time and hassle to just do my staining (used a colored water sealant) while all the wood was on the ground. It was a good idea and I recommend it. After that, one more cold beverage and then wait until the next weekend to get started on the rest of my new patio cover construction.

Next step was assembly of the pergola. All my lumber was cut to size for the most part. I left the posts approximate cuts, so I could do some fudge work once I had a dry footing that was not going to change my measurements. Brackets can also be used to connect and anchor the posts to the top header beams. I chose to fabricate my own (happen to know how to weld). Not a necessary step, but it does add some custom appeal over the home improvement store galvanized zinc brackets. You can also paint those if you desire.

After using a lot of energy to get the posts set and plumb (tricky little buggers for the beginner) we put carriage bolts through the brackets and were ready to attach the beams. But first, I made sure the posts were cut to be the same height. After this step, the posts were holding firm and this allowed the rest of the patio cover project to go much easier. Now, all the weight would be resting on the posts. The only heavy lifting next would be the beams.

The custom made brackets then slide over the tops of the posts and I used lag screws to attach them. The beams dropped right into place in the channels I made. Finally, a smooth step in this pergola project! I opted to notch my top beams or slats so that the cover to my patio would appease my height restrictions from the HOA regulations regarding patio covers. I guess I should feel lucky they allowed it at all, right? Argh! In the end, the height measured at about nine feet. Also, the notched slats helped to provide some added stability to the top beams. These were simply screwed to the beams and I am looking forward to the vines and plants to grow over it now and provide that precious shade -not to mention hide all those minor imperfections …. er … character.

Paradise Road

With my mother’s illness came a demonstration of darkness visible at the roots of it all that I couldn’t explain away.

I shifted the sand through my fingers. I counted my toes. I thought about people who lived though awesome, magnificent, terrifying blizzards and tornadoes on the other side of the world that I was just a spectator to. The beach was one of my favourite places to go to. It was a good place to come to and think. When the tide recedes the waves go with it. The dark sea waters are like pulsing, vibrating shadows. The sand is its friend.

Whenever I felt lonely I remembered those days. My mother walking ahead of me, barefoot, her hair blowing in the wind, across her mouth, a pair of her soft shoes in her hand, yet she still looked beautiful and elegant to me. Her glasses perched on the edge of her nose.

My father didn’t take the news very well. He became sadder as each day rose. He never drank in front of me but sometimes he would fall asleep at night in front of the television. My father and I never talked about ‘imminent death’, ‘cancer’, radiation’ and my mother leaving us ‘forever’; they were all just pieces of thought that hung in the air. We still shared the same space on this planet. We were still a family. But our daily routine was becoming more and more disorientated and abnormal by the day.

I told my mother when she lay in her hospital bed in the ward that she had nothing to worry about. My father and I would take care of each other. It wasn’t a lie but I was just making it up as I was going along.

I have sand in my shoes; sticky and sparkling like glitter, golden beads that catches my eye and spins like wheels in the wind.

I have no idea what happened to that dream of us being a ‘happy family’ forever. I wanted to see her again even as a ghost. I wouldn’t be scared I told myself.

Daddy is lonely. He isn’t sleeping. He is getting thin but he says he is happy. I know he is just putting on a brave face for me. It has only been three months since my mother has been gone. I pretend she’s disappeared; vanished without a trace, without a collect phone call, that she left without a sad goodbye. She left some of her clothes behind. It still has her smell. I can’t let go of that. Was it my fault she left? My father can’t explain that away that I feel it’s my fault.

At first she went through a lot of tests before they said the ‘C’ word – cancer. Then there was some kind of finality

I watch the surfers and the swimmers at the water’s edge. Gulls fly overhead while the gentle waves slap against the rocks from dusk till dawn; sunrise to sunset.

With the rain comes a pale March, an autumn breeze that rushes through me. The ocean is a very magical thing to me. It whispers its secrets to me in the fragments of shells and in the voices of children playing in the water; swimming in the sea.

I remembered when she painted the walls in my room a clean green. Sang me a lullaby to sooth my tears when I was a kid. When she gazed upon my bedroom walls were I hung my works of art that I did in middle school and when she was oh so serious, hip-deep in her work in the kitchen, her knees half-bent in her world.

I remember when my mother and I used to for long walks on the beach.

I remembered how she used to smile at me. When she told me I was her star. I tried to forget about how much pain she was in. The state of mind she was in those last days. I pretended not to care but my father made a better job of it. I cried every night after that for nearly a year and what seemed like six months. It only seemed to remind me of everything I missed about her, my mother, so my father thought it would be a good idea to move.

He thought being in a different country would solve everything but it didn’t. He had a new job even started dating but I had grown into a completely different person. I was growing taller. I always wanted to travel the world but I didn’t want to be uprooted from the only home I had ever known.

I thought that was what we had decided on; that she would slowly get better.

Now she went and gone and done it again. She changed her mind on me without consulting me. Her body gave up on her and she went as she came into this world. We weren’t there when it happened. We were at McDonald’s having lunch; we meaning my father and I, sipping our milkshakes through long straws. My father promised me after we got the news of her passing that I would see the sun again. It was normal to long for her, to long to see her again but I still cried myself to sleep that night.

Do you remember what you said to me, I wanted to tell him when he forgot to pick me up from school and when he forgot to microwave my supper. But I had to forgive him. He was suffering to. It was a long walk to paradise road. Baby steps. You had to count every step

“We had looked for brighter options all that ancient summer”. I was listening to my father as the kettle boiled in the kitchen. We were looking at albums.

My father was very serious in the picture. There was me, in my crisp summer dress with pretty flowers on; huge blooms, bright and cheerful. In the picture next to me was my mother when she was just a slip of a young married girl with a young, married life. She was wearing her hair fashionably, like the models of that time did in all the fashion magazines – dressing fashionably. My father was behaving fashionably, all gentlemanly-like. “Oh wasn’t that a perfect day on the town. Your mother was just a smitten girl then. She was so shy she wouldn’t even let me hold her hand. I called her baby, sometimes sweetheart but she would just blush.”

My head space was caught up with what I had decided to call ‘mind hurdles’. They were insecurity, self-esteem, self-worth, my sense about my body image, sense of abandonment, neglect, mood swings, anger-management, stress, sadness and depression. They were hard for me to take in. These were hard times. I was a teenager. I was growing up but my mother wouldn’t be there to see me walk down the aisle, help me with my hair, braid it or comb it lovingly like she used to do and help me choose my wedding dress.

We wouldn’t talk about boys. She wouldn’t be my best friend any longer. Who would I talk to when I had questions about when it was ‘that time of the month’ for a young lady? I had to create spaces inside my head where I felt safe. I couldn’t I slowly began to realise always rely on my father. He couldn’t always be there in the way I wanted him to be.

It was difficult in the beginning learning how to manage all of our emotions with everything that was going on between visits to the hospital and seeing my mother weak and defenceless. I had to grow up quickly. I had to learn what the words ‘inner strength’ and ’emotional maturity’ meant.

It will ease the strain some of the doctors said if we prepared ourselves fully for the trials that lay ahead of us. My father and I had to learn how to prioritise our time. We had to make ‘to do’ lists and place the errands we had to run in categories ranging from the most important to the least and we had write down any looming deadlines we had.

We were a family in crisis. There was my mother, tired and sad all the time. My father putting on a brave front for the whole world to see and me caught up in the middle of it all. All these brave emotions running through me like an electric current.

My father was wearing his socks and sandals more often now. Sometimes he even forgot about getting my supper ready. I could make breakfast for us in the morning before I got dressed and went to school. I made it special for him. Scrambled eggs, hot, buttered slices of toast with Heinz tomato sauce or Mrs. Ball’s chutney. He would inevitably get stains on his shirt from the sauce and would have to change his shirt. I would eat huge chunks of peanut butter bread when I came home from school to stave off the hunger pangs with coffee.

At night when I waited for my father to come home I would try to make something decent for us to eat even though I wasn’t really very good at it. I would put sweet potatoes in the oven, whole, unpeeled, I just rinsed the dirt off under the tap and baked it until it was soft and oozing the smell of syrupy sweetness out of every side. It left black blobs on the bottom of the oven that I had to use something metal to scratch off. If I didn’t and put in something else to bake like a macaroni and cheese or bread to make toast out of, the oven would begin to smoke and then the whole kitchen would be filled with this lingering smell of something that was burning.

My father often came home and found that smell just as he walked through the door. He wasn’t very pleased with me when he found me in the kitchen putting the oven’s switch off secretly behind his back and presenting him with my supper made in my own special way.

My mother was a very elegant lady as I’ve said before although some people will think she wasn’t the easiest person to get along with. She struggled valiantly but everyone could see the brightness in her eyes was just a façade. Yet we were all pretending in a way. We thought she had much more time but she didn’t. One day she was there, talking animatedly about the food she got served, sitting upright in her hospital bed, talking to us, smiling, laughing while grimacing through the pain of it all.

We watched this silent killer come and take her away. I tried very hard not to cry when I was with her because I knew it wasn’t very easy for her to see me like that; although I knew she would understand most of all, better than all of everyone that came to see her.

It hurt to cry. I could feel it in my chest. I couldn’t breathe. It hurt to breathe. There were knots and butterflies in the pit of my stomach and like butter she slipped through my fingers. She was gone. I was left frozen. The needles of icicles seemed to be stifling me and stabbing me in the heart.

When we said our goodbyes my father said we should just keep it brief because she got tired so quickly. I remembered all the mean, nasty things I said to her when I was angry at her. I remembered the time when she forgot to pick me up from a rehearsal of a school play and left me standing in a cold wind waiting for an hour.

I felt really sad about that. I thought for a long time whether or not I should ask for forgiveness for what I did and said all those times but in the end all I did was kiss her pale, damp face and tell her how much I loved her and how much I was going to miss her.

Then I couldn’t hold it back anymore. It was too much for me to handle but my father somehow he knew that. It was as if he was reading my mind. My father let me go in by myself. Other family members stood around him, shielded him from my demeanour as I came out. I went straight to the bathroom. Luckily there was no one else in there so I quickly washed my face with cold water. I washed my hands and I went out again.

My father couldn’t understand or rather he couldn’t make sense out of the bizarre meals I made for him sometimes. I had to pretend somehow that there was still something of her that still belonged to me even though it was just through food and preparing meals for him.

Sometimes he would work late at the bank. I knew it was only an excuse though when there was no more reason to go to the hospital anymore to visit her. I just missed her so much. I would think about her all the time. Like right in the middle of a test at school or a conversation with my friends I would find my mind wandering. I would find myself in the middle of reverie. It wasn’t unpleasant. I had fond memories of her.

My mother taught me about success and humility. She always said, “It’s not if you win or lose its how you play the game.” My father on the other hand taught me things like how our own society defined success and that was by climbing the ladder of social status and by how much money you earned. He taught me how the different denominations of churches defined success but most importantly how do you define success that would lead you to have both a fulfilling and successful life as well as a career.

After six months I could only make out fragments of her face in my thoughts from memory. We still had pictures of her around the house we had moved to. My father thought it would make things easier. In some ways it was. She was always different in the pictures though. Sometimes smiling, laughing, posing, standing still, caught unawares, dressed in a turquoise floor-length dress with her hair all done. That picture I kept next to my bed. It was my favourite. It was taken in her childhood home. She had never spoken much about her childhood and where and how she had grown up. I had always been unsure and confused by this. What stopped her from speaking about it?

Was she trying to run away from something that had frightened her, scared her half-to-death when she was a child? What was she trying to escape from? Was she blinking back tears in this photograph? Was she sad, was she happy, did she like her parents; or rather more importantly did she love them for who they were? Were they responsible for making her a socially aware and capable citizen of the world always feeling happy and free when she was with her own family?

I never felt alone or lonely because I didn’t have any brothers or sisters around to play with or to keep me company. My mother’s sport; tennis, her infectious humour, zest and energy for life, her enthusiasm for any kind of gardening project that she had in mind over the weekend more than made up for it. Our drives to the beach, swimming long laps in the Olympic-sized local swimming pool, our long walks made me happier than any kid could be. Most of the kids my age had friends in the neighbourhood. They were making mud pies while I was my mother’s confidante.

But from a young age I was inseparable from my parents. They lavished attention on me and spoiled me but they also taught me important life lessons.

When I was about five my mother decided to cut a tree that was on our property. It was a mulberry tree. I remembered eating the sweet berries off that tree. My mother plucking them one by one testing their ripeness and juiciness between her fingers and then she would hand it to me. The juice would dribble down my chin and leave purple stains on my clothes.

Then one day out of the blue off the tree came in the middle of the garden. This tall grand tree; magnificent and stately. And all traces of sentimental childhood memory with it. I often thought about what that meant. What was my mother trying to say? Was she trying to tell us something or did the tree just represent nothing to her. Was there a history behind her actions? What did the previous owners that left it behind think about when they first planted it? Did they perhaps plant to coincide with the birth of their first child?

I let my imagine run wild. Perhaps my mother just thought it was time for new beginnings.

There were times when it was hard for me to reconstruct my mother from memory. I liked the world better when she was around. She made things brighter and even more beautiful than they really were.

She wore these thick, yellow plastic gloves when she was gardening. She would mow the lawn. She didn’t play tennis anymore. She was the picture of health. She never taught me how to play tennis. Instead she took me for tennis lessons to six different teachers when I was at different phases of my life. It was a sport that I never really took to. First I didn’t really understand rules like ‘foot fault’, ‘ace’ and ‘match point’.

Not that there was much to understand about it. Some people would say the rules of the game were pretty straightforward to understand.

Honestly, I found the game boring to watch and I didn’t have the patience to master the game or learn the rules.

When we came back from our hospital visits in the evening I would make toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches. I would grill it in the oven and hungrily watch the cheese melt. Then I would boil the kettle and make two steaming cups of Milo. My father would sit at one end of the kitchen table and I would sit at the other. We didn’t speak much those days. It was early days yet, we spoke around the illness or so we thought.

My mother taught me how to love and that there were many different variables, solutions and equations and variations that came with it. Her love was warm and kind. It was tolerant and patient during the times that it was called for for her to be tolerant and patient. It was there even when she got angry with me over something I did. I could still feel those intense vibrations in the air. I never had room to question it. I could always recognise it in her voice when she spoke to me or my father.

Just now, I can’t stand him. I want him to pull himself together or snap out of whatever has taken hold of his mind. I want him to be my dad again. I want him to walk around the house whistling and calling out my mother’s name out from the top of his voice. But she won’t answer him back because she’s not here. This is when the reserves I have within me of bitter resentment, anger and negative energy over my mother’s untimely death seem to spill over into the air. I have no control over it. It sweeps all the loveliness and happiness I have inside of me that I have kept away from prying hands and eyes away.

Sometimes I feel my father doesn’t respect my space or my attitude towards certain things that I feel very strongly about. I can’t stand this place now. I can’t stand being around him here and being judged all the time. I can’t stand not being outstanding at doing something which I love; being in the spotlight like it was when I was on the stage shining for my mother. It’s not something I want to do again sometime soon.

It reminds me too much of her and knowing that her seat will always remain empty forever leaves me on edge.

Sometimes my father says I am just like her. My moods, my mannerisms, the things I say, the fact that I like books and reading so much (although I hate romance novels, the endings are too transparent; you know how the book is going to end from the first page already), when I think about something long and hard before I reply and my nose crinkles up and I get these lines on my forehead.

The day stretches on. We fill it up with car pooling, lists, priorities and schedules. He hurts. I hurt. We both have this ache in our heart that can never go away. There will never be another mother’s day in our household unless my father goes and remarries and I get a new stepmother. It’s not something I look forward to; my father getting out there and dating again. I can’t choose who he falls in love with; that’s not my prerogative. I wouldn’t want to anyway.

My father still sees me as a child. He called me ‘you’re just a girl, a smart aleck’ (we were having an argument) the other day but inside after everything the two of us have been through these past months I don’t think that’s fair. I hate the word ‘teenager’ even more. I feel more grown up that’s all. Not a girl, not yet a woman.

We had moved to Johannesburg or Jozi as the locals called it. It was hot. Sweltering heat seemed to melt everything in sight; my ice-cream for one and my pain, the pain that came from my mother’s passing into pieces of thought.

We live in a new house on Paradise Road now. My mother would have liked the garden that is here. Everything smells like dew, fresh and pure in the morning. You feel like turning over a new leaf or if I wake up and have a bad mood in the morning I just have to step outside with my cup of coffee, barefoot, my nightgown trailing on the outside steps and then I feel as if I have been welcomed into a different world. I see the world in different eyes.

It’s winter now. A chill has descended on everything outside even the shrieks of the children at play end long before night time. Dark clouds are gathering in daily as they often do this time of year; winter has come soon; rain closes in, plummets into umbrellas, eyes are shielded by hands. There are slick pavements, congested roads and traffic and the windows filled with cosmopolitan displays, some with mannequins in the expensive shop windows are now in blurred states.

I am left with a blank emotional slate. I cannot escape from the silence that fills my room. Some nights are bittersweet. Is my mother watching over me from heaven? Does it even exist? As I fill in the quiet moments with the beauty that is introspection, I am left an empty shell of a girl or perhaps it is just the weather that is making me feel so blue.

The support that we got from Hospice during my mother’s illness encouraged me so much that I thought about maybe volunteering for a charity, Red Cross, a nursery school or a not for profit organisation. I even thought about becoming a doctor or a psychologist. Working with people who were deeply impacted and affected by a death, untimely or otherwise, in the family and the unconditional love that they had for the person who died and the love they built up over many years struck me deeply. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to teach other people that hope is in the letting go of someone that you love and deeply care about.

The grieving process is not one that is easy. It has not been easy on both my father and me. It slowly gives way to inner strength, human will and emotional maturity. I’m growing up. There’s no turning back now.

Efficacy – Solving The Insoluble Problems

What do you do on the day that your life or your business asks you a question to which you have no answer? What do you do when you come to the end of the road, before you have arrived at your desired destination or you arrive at a safe that contains treasure but you have no keys with which to unlock it? What do you do when you know with absolute certyty what you want to achieve, but you do not know how to achieve it?

Simply put, what do you do on the day that life demands of you a solution and you have none, and you desire to enter into the big league but the door is closed? Efficacy is the ability to make things happen, but what do you do when you want to make things happen but you do not know how?

Sometimes life is like a cryptic puzzle which offers a great prize to the winner. The prize is known, but the solution is no where to be found. No matter how philosophical or complex humanity may become, there comes a time when each one of us faces a problem that defies solution. This is the time in which the loser's dream goes up in smoke, but the winner's star begins to shine ever so bright.

The winner sees problems, including the difficult ones that defy solution, as opportunities. The loser on the other hand sees problems as threats. The winner asks himself the question, what opportunities lie in this challenge and how can I derive maximum benefit from the situation. Faced with identical circumstances the loser asks himself, "How can I avoid this threat?" The winner engages challenges, but the loser disengages from them. The winner is that person who will relentlessly seek for ways to make things happen regardless of the situation. To him set backs are temporary inconveniences. To make things happen it is imperative that we remain located with the desire to find a solution. So how do winners make things happen?

In 1849 the world faced a problem that defied solution. The challenge was how to build a bridge over the Niagara Falls. The engineers knew what needed to be done, but no one knew how to do it? They knew that to build the bridge they first needed to get a line over the canyon from one side to the other. The problem was that it was deemed to be technically impossible at the time. They could not use boats because the boats would fall over the gorge. The plane had not been invented. The commonest method at that time was the bow and arrow method of throwing the line across the bridge. However the distance was too long at the Niagara Falls.

The solution came from one efficacious engineer called Charles Ellet. Charles had seen boys fly kites over long distances. He sponsored a kite flying contest and offered a handsome prize to the first boy who would fly his kite across the gorge and let it go low enough to allow someone on the other side to grab the string. Sure enough one boy dropped off the incredible stunt. Thus the kite was used to pull first the cord, then a rope, and then steel cables. By repeating this process, the foundations upon which the suspension bridge was built were laid. Things had been made to happen. What lessons did Charles bequeath upon us?

Firstly and most importantly, Ellet taught us that things can be made to happen. Anything is achievable to the one who dedicates itself to it. While every engineer was expounding on why it was impossible to build the bridge, he was actively seeking for a way to do it.

Secondly, Ellet's success is a lesson in the value of co-operative effort and synergy. Ellet knew what needed to be done but he did not know how to do it. The kite boy knew how to fly kites, but did not know how to build bridges. By combining their efforts and expertise they together triumphed. This is the great lesson. Achievement is rarely a solo flight. Winners do not just seek for ways to make things happen, they also seek for people who can make things happen. In the face of problems that defy solutions life punishes the lone ranger and favors the team player.
The unwise seek to do all things by themselves, and arrogate all the glory to themselves.

Unfortunately, they often fail. The wise know that problems that defy solution only persist in the absence of adequate knowledge and effort. Knowledge and effort are the keys to making things happen. All winners like Ellet are smart enough to know that they can not know everything that is potentially knowable. Sometimes the knowledge to unlock your path to glory lies in the expertise that someone else has. Where possible winners do things themselves but often they win by working through people. It is forgivable not to know how to make things happen, but it is a curse not to make an effort to find someone who knows how. When a problem persists often it is because the answer lies beyond your current area of ​​expertise, but not necessarily beyond everyone's expertise. The solution may not even be found in your industry but in methods used in a completely different industry. The link between kites and bridge construction is not obvious and that is where other people like me come in.

Winners look beyond the common boundaries in their pursuit of answers, and they are also willing to look for and pay people who have the skills that they do not have. This week make a catalog of challenges that have been defying solutions and seek not just for ways of making things happen, but also for people who can make them happen. Go ahead and make your success happen.

2014, Return to the Basic Economic Power Industries

Over the last ten years, we have seen some very unusual economic trends; However, current trends are ALL moving in a positive direction and have been for the last two years. Clearly, the economy has made a correction, driven for the most part, by the resurgence to the basic industries which strengthened this county from the beginning of the industrial revolution: the housing industry, the oil and gas sector, and a new love affair with American engineered and built automobiles. That's right; The American economy has justified itself and on the backbone of what made America a great economic powerhouse in the first place.

Ready or not, here is some food for thought!

When you think back in history, what are some of the names that from the beginning of the industrial revolution that come to mind. The pioneers, the inventors, the business leaders and the industries of lore are making a resounding comeback in America. Many people think crude was discovered in Texas, it was actually discovered in western Pennsylvania in 1859 and set off an oil rush similar to the 1849 Gold Rush.

John D. Rockefeller was the driver of the time as he bought up refineries, railroads, pipelines, and oilfields helping build America into a super power in the oil industry. Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile business by inventing the process of using interchangeable parts on an assembly line. Today, Ford enjoys the worldwide recognition as being the world leader in innovation and quality products. Of the top 14 selling models domestic auto models, Ford Motor Company, has 4 of the best selling models, GMC has three. Compare to the imported brands, Toyota has two models in the top fourteen, Honda has three, Chrysler has one, and Nissan has one.

Oil and Gas Industry – The economy will continue to grow in 2014 driven by the domestic strength of the oil and gas industry. Saudi Arabia is quickly running out of crude oil, it is estimated that their exports will decline dramatically in the next few years, and could be out of oil in 10 years. Fortunately, there are substantial North American reserves, and domestic oil production will continue grow by double digits.

WTI (West Texas Intermediate) crude oil prices have been strong for the last three years and will remain strong into the future. WTI, the benchmark for crude oil is well within the anticipated price range and will continue to hover around the $ 85 to $ 105 per barrel. With oil prices at this level, it will promote record levels of domestic oil production. The Permian Basin in West Texas will soon become the largest producing field in North America, not far behind the Bakken Shale along with vast reserves in Alaska, given this 3 punch blow, America has vast un-tapped fossil fuels, including natural gas. Expect companies to continue to prosper in the oil and gas business as domestic drilling continues along with drilling innovation.

Think about this, John D. Rockefeller at one time controlled 90% of the oil in this country leading to the passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act. In this case, of the Standard Oil Company v. United States suit, the Supreme Court ordered Standard Oil to be split up into competitive companies that would have been Exxon, Mobil, and Chevron. That's the power of oil and the way it will shape our future economy.

The Housing industry – We all know that when the housing industry is strong as goes our country. The Housing market is still a long way of where it was before the crash, but guess what? We will never see the levels from 2005 where we built almost 2 million single family and multi-family units that year. Those were unhealthy and fabricated levels. Remember, the total housing starts submitted by the government each month is the total number of combined single-family and multi-family units combined. A healthy economy in America is associated with housing starts somewhere between 1 million and 1.3 million annual units. Mortgage rates will continue to hover around the 4.0 to 4.8 percent and building costs will continue to be affordable. The housing industry (1) drives almost 20% of the [1] GDP in America, one in five jobs are associated with housing, when it is strong, the economy is strong.

You might be asking what "unhealthy and fabricated levels" mean as mentioned above? Remember, the housing boom from 1995 to 2007 was the result of too many sub-prime loans being granted to individuals who could not afford them which artificial inflated the numbers that driving up foreclosures. Foreclosed upon homes have flushed through the economy and builder inventories are at manageable levels. It is predicted that 1.1 million to 1.3 million starts is a nice equilibrium to supply and demand curves. The builders, the bankers, and the finance companies have all learned that when you glut or boost up a market the way we did from 2001 to 2005, you are going to pay in the long-term. Remember, it was Clinton who signed the Community Reinvestment Act into law in 1993 which the driving force behind the sub-prime lending debacle.

Also, while we are on the subject of presidential and economic policies, Obama will have nothing to do with this economic recovery referred to in this article, quite the contrary, he continues to threaten this economic engine which has chosen to ignore his ridiculous economic policy.

Retail Sales and Auto Domestic Auto Sales – You can look for retail sales to accelerate steadily to 5% annual growth and auto sales to 7.5% annual growth. A stronger economy will always have a positive effect on these two important, consumer sentiment driven, super powers. It's a simple formula, when consumers are making more money, they spend more money in stores and on cars.

Here is the intuitive side of Auto Sales that we do not always recognize. As we mentioned earlier, America is re-emerging as a super power in auto making. Who would have thought that Ford Motor Company would have emerged as the world leader in manufacture, in quality, innovation, engineering and design? Ford always had good quality, however, fifteen years ago, their product line was stale and on the verge of extinction. Today, their line is innovative, it is well designed, it is leading edge, and for thirty plus years, they have had the # 1 selling vehicle in the F-Series. GM needs to look across the horizon and take note what Ford has done, they are starting to get it by redesigning their line, and Cadillac has done a fine job of finding a niche. Overall, GM has a way to go, but they are starting to get it. Bottom line, America is now viewed, once again, as the world leader in the automobile industry through innovation and engineering.

Unemployment Rate – The Federal Reserve has predicted that the unemployment rate will drop to as low as 6.3%, more realistically is a 6.4%. First or all, we have a new Fed Chairman taking the reins on February 1, second, this new chairman is hugely qualified to replace Bernacke, and third, this new chairman is not going to threaten the policies that have driven the economy for the instituted By Greenspan who was the Master.

You may be wondering or asking yourself: 1) if all these economic planets are going to align, 2) we are going to see a strong housing market, 3) we are going to see a strong oil and gas sector, 4) retail sales Are going to be slightly ahead of last year and at reliably healthy levels, then why is unemployment only going to modestly improve? First of all, we still have Obama in the White House; He is the master of economic prevention.

Obama and his policies are anti-capitalistic, he has provided this time and again. Our recovery has resolved on the heels and the resilience of the entrepreneur, small business, American ingenuity, he nor the members of his staff will ever take responsibility for economic growth during his presidency. On the flip side will continue to suffer from the hangover and side-effects of Obamacare. We all know that Obamacare will never produce the number of enrollees as was planned, plain and simple. Obamacare will fall far short, with respect to the number of taxpayers needed to make the plan economically feasible. At the end of the day, it will cost more money to fund this plan than is coming in, so driving up the associated costs. This is typical liberal political policy, lets develop a really good policy, lets pass that policy, then later realize, we did not budget for it properly. This will have a lingering effect and will stifle the employment numbers.

Conclusion – The economy will expand in 2014 on the backbone of the housing industry, the oil and gas industry, auto innovation and technology. We have all the reason to believe that this trend will continue well into the future. US gross domestic product (GDP) will most likely be anemic at 1.9%, primarily because we have such poor leaders in Washington. The fiscal drag is over and we are going to see key industries strengthening.

Wall Mount Speakers

Wall speakers are the new hip thing in surround sound systems because it eliminates the wires on the ground that are in the way and it also eliminates the space taken by regular sound systems because they are mounted to the walls.

If you want your surround sound system to look classy and get rid of the wiring problem you should consider buying wall mount speakers for your home entertainment room.

The definition of speaker: speaker is a device which receives commands from the player (CD, DVD, MP3 etc.) via a cable or signal which is then converted so that the speakers play the sound of a song or video that played.

The wall mount speakers have audio enchantments that is associated with the master speaker of the system, this audio enchantment advances a few features of this system like; The bass, treble, small and soft sound details so that you can feel at ease when you have a wall mount system in your entertainment room.

There are a big variety of wall mounts to choose from which will be compatible with most of the brands in the market and you can also place them on speaker stands.

By adjusting your wall speakers to the right angles and levels you can improve your sound quality of your entertainment system to your likes.

One of the key reasons why we buy sound systems for our homes is to get the satisfaction of the movie experience in our homes that is why we sometimes even buy the high brand name Sound systems to get the best surround sound out of the system.

When buying wall mount speakers just make sure you do not buy cheap products because you will sooner or later pay extra to either fix your current system or buy a new one, so pay a little extra to make sure you do not buy a cheap system To satisfy your needs and a long lasting system.

If you want to know anything more on wall mount speakers, surround sound systems, where to buy the products and reviews on these sound products, please visit the following sites.

GPS Tracking in the 21st Century

Most people are familiar with GPS (Global Positioning System) units to help them find their way while in an unfamiliar location. Television commercials have elevated GPS units like the Tom Tom nearly to a household name. In recent months the onset of mobile phones with GPS capabilities has allowed for a new aspect of marketing to take place as well as a new niche for social networking. Applications like Foursquare and other geo-location applications have gained widespread popularity by both consumers and retailers. Technological advances like this are to be expected in the 21st century. But GPS has gone a whole lot further than most people realize. In some cases it might even shock ardent sci-fi fans to see how far this technology has gone and to what extent it can be used in our everyday lives.

Everyone knows that you can use a GPS unit to find your location on a handheld device or to help you find your way to a specific location. GPS units have been used for years by campers to set way points on their hikes so they can find their way back to their base camp or revisit a really awesome location with a friend at a later date. But what many people don’t realize is that GPS units are now used to track vehicles and even individual people.

Fleet tracking has come of age and allows owners of fleets of vehicles to know exactly where their vehicles are at all times. This is a great help for business owners who require timely information on deliveries and work orders. It also allows the supervisors and managers to know the locations of technicians in the field in order to coordinate a logical route when changes occur. In some cases, insurance companies will offer discounts to companies that track their fleets via GPS. The managers can be notified by a computer when a certain vehicle is exceeding the speed limit or when there is a drastic change in the engine’s rpm’s that might indicate reckless driving. If the employer makes a disciplinary policy covering such abuses, the GPS tracking will help keep the roads safer and reduce the risk for a claim on the insurance.

GPS units can do even more than this. In many cases, convicted criminals that have been placed on work release or house arrest are required to wear an ankle cuff that includes a GPS tracker. This will notify local law enforcement to the exact location of the wearer. This can help if the convicted person doesn’t appear to scheduled parole meetings or required classes and in the case of attempted escape.

In the same line of thought, children have become the next logical target for GPS trackers. Many parents today, just as in years past, are concerned with their children’s safety. However, today’s parents have the ability to track their children’s whereabouts via GPS tracking devices. These GPS Personal Tracking devices allow parents to monitor the speed and location of their children and even can be programmed to notify them if the child goes to a pre-programmed ‘off limit’ location. This technology will make sneaking out a thing of the past. To take this tech just a bit further and we have biometric GPS. Simply explained, biometric GPS not only monitors location, but also vital signs of the wearer. For a person with disabilities, severe allergies, or other medical conditions this bracelet stays in contact with the skin of the wearer and monitors vital statistics as well as location. All of the information can be accessed remotely and an alarm can be sent if necessary.

There is even work being done that will allow a GPS tracker in the form of a micro chip to be implanted under the skin of humans in order to accomplish many of the above tasks.

Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe – A Review

Before we begin to crack open Faustus with venerate instruments tipped with the blood of morality, we need to make our peace with what the definition of 'morality', as a word, as an expression, as a universal truth is. Then, we need to cartwheel toward what the mechanisms of the discrepant channels of 'morality' could be. So, let us pick up that scalpel, polish it out until it blinks blindly, and begin to dissever with an unmatched callousness and a precision conversant only to unfailing flagrant egos.

Notions of Morality and Morality Plays

Morality is without definition, it is based more on structure but that's so vastly variant that it can not be called structure, but instead we can ideally define it as a highly malleable sort of conviction within oneself, 'subjectivity' is perhaps the word I am chasing To mine out. Morality is subjective. And this subjectivity again does not belong to one man or a set or a fact or a universe of them; This sort of subjectivity is impressive and it is dependable entirely on the solidity of its conception. Weak minded men bear a marginal sense of morality; Resolute men carry morality as their firmest assets. So, morality is subjective and subjectivity is the height of resolution, but, take note, both morality and subjectivity are parallels, even if they share the same source of origin and search the same habits for cultivation.

The intent of anything that surprises the knowledge of the prevalence of morality in men is or has to be handled by the same and set form of subjectivity. Something of this nature is what a Morality play is all about. Morality plays were not critical, seditious or subversive, but still, in a dearth of these attributes they were, most consequentially, didactic. That is, that they wave direction and motive to having an inbreed impulsiveness of morality, that could not be employed by perception or deceived in perspective, ie, that could not be impressed upon subjectivity, and necessitated succoring it with the goal of its Preservation. In matters of morality, all or any subjectivity is at a loss and without foundation. And sometimes, men commit the very endemic error of misconstruing morality, instead of subjectivity, as the basis of action. This is perhaps the reason why the very first form of plays, or theater at its infancy, discussed an issue that although presented levity but enforced the fickle formula of man's favorite fallacy – his morality.

Morality Plays, as is rampant in popular knowledge, resuscitated the oldest hypothesis of Good and Evil, to what man must owe his predilections and what aims he must defend, what he must uphold and what he must scorn. They were didactic in teaching something exclusive, but conveying the rigidity and grandiose, august austerity of something as non-exclusive as one's own moral preference. They magnified what men must commit themselves to, what men have committed themselves to and what these commitments must aspire to at most and what they must at least encompass; That conduct when bad made for untoward endings and when good, was a sanctioning passport to the pearly gates; That the Bible was as chaste and correcteous in its each syllable as the breath of God in Bethlehem; And they helped the oldest notions foster, sometimes the means varied and often the content, but rarely did the intent waver. If you must ask why, recall that this was for the likes and sakes of a headline spectrum of subjectivity that belonged not to the composite nature of one man but the dull individuation of multitudes, and commit multitudes to their common fallacy, and they'll Delightfully lap it up, for what wrong can men find in a place wherefrom they derive the promises of what's right.

What authors like Marlowe himself, did was to make such stalwartly puissant and fanatical subjects as endurable and cause to rejoice, they either corrected their protagonists beyond all reprieve and expiation, or cast them so unsullied, so unblemished by the execrable that all and any of Their attributes were extremities and what more, they coded it impeccably (quite judiciously too) with the marveling combo of epithet and noun – the Common Man. That, it is to be reckoned, is what bolstered the edifying, didactic element in these plays. As an old song goes, 'a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down', the masses swallowed up the interfering nature of the play disguised as insouciant, when writers like Marlowe used sartorial writing styles to dress these insinuations up, and tone the commandment -like mandate allusions to moral-preening down, and bedeck them in raiment, idyllic, literary and most crucially … passable.

'Doctor Faustus' – Christopher Marlowe gets down with the boogie

Ghosts in attics do not exist in cardinal corporeal form. Neither does morality. However, we bear a feeling for them, like we bear a feeling for the anticipation of finding a newspaper on the porch, receiving a call in the afternoon, and getting laid in a brothel. Morality is ghost-like, we bear only a present towards it; It is not something tactile, tangible and talking from personal experience, infallible and in that case, not in the least bit reliable. (Ha, ha, would not that be convenient? Imagine, a guiltyless rapist, a superhuman politician and a saintly strumpet!)
Christopher Marlowe divorces out his own share of the large palette of morality, and takes up the murkiest nuance and wets the tip of the sable-hair brush sharpened with fatigue, dips in an ion's worth of resolution and poses in a majestic stance for a coup De grace. 'Doctor Faustus' is a Morality play by the same standards and grounds that any Morality play is a Morality play – it confirms morality as a necessity, almost an ideal, and the course of the consequences when its not.

Can you not just imagine Marlowe all dressed up with that very pliable Malacca cane breathing down the nape of you neck and sighing hoarsely, intoning syllables like a foreigner intent on butchering dialect, 'Moral is Good. Amoral is Bad. Everything else is secondary. '?

It was the attitude of an age, and writers are nothing but mediums of attitudes, and if not that, then they're assumed rebels; Marlowe was not a rebel. 'Doctor Faustus' parades most perceptibly even to the most unprofessional eye that it lugs all the paraphernalia of a Morality Play. It is like a transcendent cricket match: Good versus Evil, nine wickets down, Faustus on batting, last over, and the last sextet of balls, and the bloke's pretty much cutting the cropper on each one. You've got Satan leading the host team and Mr. Almighty heading the adversaries, got Good Angel and Bad Angel in the line up, Mephistopheles to boot and a right wing non-diplomatic, uncompromising demeanor to hack the hole in the floor. Faustus caves in for itching temptations that need the balm of self-indulgent gluttony, and now he must face the repercussions of his blighted, insubordinate-to-moral-values ​​outcast nature. At the end of it, for his deeds and for yielding, he raises up the wrath of a nice boot up his privates, metaphor intended.

What's all Morality-play-ish about it? It is goddam exacting. It intimates that a pregnant cessation on one's voracity is imperative, that overkill breeds evil and dissatisfaction imports it, that only stern principles of morality can engineer and engender true satiation and no pleasure can aim to compare the one of rigidity in uprightness, that no Man must readily or otherwise acquiesce to the demands that men often make of themselves, the one of surpassing and over-reaching. Too bad, that Marlowe and his chums never saw a Bollywood flick, I can wager my wits that they would've loved the picture perfect ending, bad pun also intended.

Who Is a Poet? Hundreds of Definitions, All Are Beautiful!

Who is a Poet? If you want to know, there are hundreds of definitions. Also you may find a number of explanations regarding their works, attitudes and poetic imaginations.

The great Tamil poet Kamban says a poem must have three qualities. First it must have brightness. Brightness to drive away the darkness from the heart of the reader and he must be enlightened. Second it must have a lucid style with beautiful words attracting the reciter. And by its contents and meaning it must take the reader to a new height. He must float in the seventh heaven!

Another Tamil Poet Desikavinayakam Pillai says, any poem should come from the heart. It should take a pleasurable form. And in a lucid style it must have beautiful Tamil words. G. Bottomly agrees with this view saying that poetry is founded on the hearts of man.

The great poet Subramanya Bharathiyar says his profession is ‘Poem’. And he wants to flood the nation with his poems without wasting even a second to elevate all the blind who are, sleeping closing their eyes, mind and heart, not able to love their Motherland.

According the Emerson, The poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right. He also says there was never poet who had not the heart in the right place.

Whatever comes from their heart that is very valuable. Plato gives the reason for this. Plato says that Poets utter great and wise things which they do not themselves understand.

Shelley declares that the Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

Dillon says that True poets are the guardians of the state.

Thomas Carlyle opines that Poet is a heroic figure belonging to all ages. J.E. Flecker says that the poet’s business is not to save the soul of man but to make it worth saving.

Emerson gives a glorious tribute to all the poets saying that Poets are liberating Gods and the poets who have lives in cities have been hermits still.

When Isaak says that a poet is the painter of the soul, E.H. Charpin declares that the true poet is very near the oracle.

Great poets inspired their people by their songs. Bankim Chandra Chattobadyaya’s poem ‘Vandematharam’ echoed every nook and corner of India. All the thirty crore Indians united together opposed British rule singing this song. They got their freedom also.

Wordsworth did not know at first what would the poem ‘Daffodils’ bring to him. But later on he realized that ‘For oft when on my couch I lie, In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye, Which is the bliss of solitude, And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the Daffodils’.

Oh! The pleasure a poem brings to us is incomparable and could not be even equated to the pleasures of heaven!

CLARIDGE’s Hotel London


Claridge’s is a five star hotel located in London’s prestigious Mayfair district, and is a short walk away from Hyde Park, Mable Arch and shopping on Bond Street. Renowned for its exquisite Art Deco characteristics and modern finishes, the foyer of the hotel is furnished with a Chihuly glass sculpture and engraved glass screens from the 1920’s. Designed by David Collins, the onsite bar at the hotel is complete with a green glass chandelier and a silver leafed ceiling.

The 203 guestrooms at Claridge’s are appointed with modern amenities to include satellite channels and pay movies, refrigerators, mini-bars, marble bathrooms, televisions, premium bedding, newspapers, wireless internet access among others. Dogs are permitted in guestrooms and turndown services and cribs are available upon request.

The hotel also offers a gym, which has hardwood floors, glass columns, a juice bar and even serves breakfast at additional costs. The spa at Claridge’s offers a plethora of beauty services and massage treatments. This 5 star property provides a host of business services and event facilities and can accommodate 2-800 guests. Shuttle bus services are available at a surcharge. Other services offered by the hotel include laundry/dry cleaning services, tour assistance, wedding services and currency exchange.


Claridge’s has a history that spans over 200 years and was first known as the Milvert’s Hotel in 1812. A few years after its inception, it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Claridge, who owned a smaller hotel next door. The two hotels combined were referred to as “Milverts of Claridge’s”, until they decided on the current name. The hotel was sold to the founder of the Savoy Hotel Richard D’Oyly Carte in 1894, who then transformed the buildings into what they are today. Claridge’s was redesigned by George Trolloppe & Sons in 1898, and featured en suite bathrooms, lifts as well as a host of modern amenities.

Acclaimed actors, directors and celebrities have stayed at Claridge’s to include Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Mick Jagger, Brad Pitt, Mariah Carey and U2 among others. The hotel has attracted undue attention for its Christmas tree displays during the festive season. Some of these trees were designed by Kally Ellis (McQueens), and John Galliano.

Rooms and Suites

The 203 guestrooms (including 67 suites) and two penthouse suites at Claridge’s are individually designed by famed designers including Linley and Diane von Furstenberg. Theses accommodations are divided into several categories, which include superior queen, twin and deluxe king rooms. The suite options offered are Deluxe Studio, Deluxe Junior Suite, Mayfair Suite, Deluxe Mayfair Suite, Mivart Suite and the Claridge’s Suite. Signature suites include the Prince Alexander Suite, Grand Piano Suite, Davies Penthouse, Brook Penthouse and the Royal Suite. All the accommodations at Claridge’s are equipped with state of the art entertainment systems and tons of luxurious amenities. Rooms are spaced in the range of 32 sq. m / 344 sq. ft and 50 sq. m/538 sq. ft, while the suites measure in between 56 sq. m / 602 sq. ft and 267 sq.m / 2874 sq. ft.

Dining and Bars

Claridge’s has two restaurants and two bars, which serve tantalizing cuisine and are set in a stunning ambience. Dominated by tea connoisseur Henrietta Lovell, Afternoon Tea is an award winning restaurant at the hotel and is open for sweet pastries, warm scones and of course tea. It is inspired by décor dating back to the early 1930’s and is located in the foyer of the hotel.

The Foyer & Reading Room is the other dining option at Claridge’s, and has been frequented by several prominent faces over the years. The interior of the restaurant features breathtaking grandeur, and is open for cocktails, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Showcasing an interior designed by David Collins, Claridge’s Bar offers a rare collection of rare spirits and wines, which include vintage champagnes. Steeped in history, Fumoir at Claridge’s serves a wide range of cocktails and is located behind a 1930s Lalique panel fitter door. The main restaurant at Claridge’s is run by award winning chef Gordon Ramsay along with signature chef Steve Allen.

Health Club and Spa

The health club and spa is located at the top of the hotel, and offers excellent beauty treatments, which are rendered with class leading beauty products. The health club offers unobstructed views of London’s skyline and offers personal fitness and training.

Business Services and Events

Claridge’s caters to a wide range of business meetings and private events such as parties, banquets and conferences. The function rooms at the hotel can accommodate anywhere between 4 and 800 guests and there are 9 stylish configurations to choose from. For business and corporate events, the hotel provides an extensive range of equipment to ensure every event is a success.


Claridge’s is located in one of the most prestigious slices of London, on the corner of Davies and Brooke Street in Mayfair. It is 50 minutes by car away from London’s Heathrow Airport and 1.5 hours away from Gatwick International Airport. The London Underground, National Rail and International Rail Stations are located 5-15 minutes away from the hotel.


Claridge’s offers bespoke concierge services that are geared towards couples and families alike. Designed by acclaimed British design workshop Linley, the Map Room at Claridge’s is the perfect setting for global business travelers. It features everything to stimulate the mind including a library of books and elegant furnishings. The hotel also offers airport transfers to and from all London Airports. For families, Claridge’s offers myriad activities to keep kids entertained, which include arts and crafts and computer games. Other facilities of the hotel include doctors on call, 24 hour room service and an exclusive children’s menu in the restaurants.