The New And Approved Gina Curl

Natural Hair Styling

The trend of switching from chemical to natural doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all! But are salons keeping up on their skills in maintaining those clients looking to make the transition? Clients want to try their hand at going natural but some do not realize the care they must take to ensure their hair remains healthy and strong. Some of the issues that come up are breakage, problem scalp and daily styling.

If you’re thinking of going natural, make sure you receive regular moisture treatments and protein treatments for the hair that still has chemical. Natural hair may mean more product to define curls and control frizz. More product usage means more cleansing. Product build up can lead to dry itchy scalps. Getting a thorough hair and scalp cleansing is a must.

All this work can seem daunting, especially for those clients who don’t know how to care for their hair and do not style much on their own. They like the idea of having their curls back but are afraid of being unable to manage it.

Now we have a solution to all the hard work needed in keeping up with natural tightly coiled hair, product costs, dry and sometimes a bad odored scalp cause by a rushed and improper shampoo.

The New and Improved Gina Curl

Easier to Manage Hair

Choose the Curl you are Looking For

The New and Improved Gina Curl is in the chemical family of the Japanese Straightening, but provides more freedom.

It’s a three-step process. The first step “Thioglycolate” softens the bonds of the hair.

The second step “rod set” puts the hair in the set pattern you are looking for and the third step is the “oxidizer” puts the bonds back together. The new and improved Gina Curl restructures the hair molecules to reduce frizzvolume, making the hair softer, smoother, shinier, with a curly that is more manageable and moisture balanced.

The New and Improved Gina Curl is an alternative to formaldehyde smoothing systems, sodium hydroxide relaxers and other harsh chemical services, allowing you to have a soft curl pattern. This is similar to a Thermal Reconditioning but requires a rod set instead of the use of blow dryer or flat iron during a Thermal Recondition process.

Eliminates overlapping when doing a retouch curl.

Helps the stylist to apply the best strength to the areas of the head that have uneven porosity or other chemicals present.

Does not burn.

Stylist can take their time applying the solution.

The shine and manageability is unbelievable.

Less time needed for styling.

Less product needed.

Hair will retain it’s elasticity

Like the Japanese Straightening, The New and Improved Gina Curl does require more time than the previous Gina Curl. It takes anywhere between 3-4 hours, which includes processing, drying time under a dryer and neutralizing.

Your hair will retain its elasticity, giving you more time for stretching out your chemical services. You would more than likely only need to have the roots touched up a maximum of three to four times a year.

Your new hair will grow in with your original texture, but the difference between your new growth and your treated hair will blend in and the good news is there will be no breakage as it’s growing out. It is safe to switch from The New and Improved Gina Curl and the Straight Variation method to a Thermal Reconditioning. Clients with relaxer won’t be able to obtain a full curl. The New and Improved Gina Curl will only be applied to new growth but this process will soften and curl the natural roots.

Health Benefits of Eating Eel

Eels may not appeal to you visually as they do look rather like black snakes, but they are nutritious, healthy, and taste very good – and you don’t have to take my word for that! I love them and I didn’t have to acquire a taste for them. I probably ate quite a few of the plastic cupfuls of jellied eels before I realized what I was eating. My grandfather adored them and that was good enough for me. They are a meaty fishy thing as far as texture goes, but as they were in a jelly, they were also slippery.

London’s East End is famous for its pie, mash and liquor, and its jellies or stewed eels. The working classes were eating them heartily in the 1800s and the tradition continues today. Tourists and locals alike can be found in the pie shops trying out the local ‘delicacies’ if you can call mashed potatoes and a meat pie covered in pea sauce which may have been made with the water leftover from cooking the eels.

Eels are good for you as they contain Omega-6 fatty acids, and so have all the benefits of other oily fish such as mackerel and salmon. They contain the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, selenium (the feel good mineral as I like to think of it), manganese, zinc and iron. As for minerals they are a very good source of vitamins A and B12 and also a very good source of protein. They contain no carbohydrates, but have 18 amino acids and vitamins A, C, E (in the form of Alpha-Tocopherol) k, The B-complex vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, B5, B12 and choline. This means that they are heart healthy, protect the central nervous system, help vision, promote hair growth and help rejuvenate the skin, and of course there’s selenium, good for the brain and a mood enhancer.

This year, the price of eels and elvers (baby eels) has sky-rocketed, partly because the populations in the Thames have decreased, and partly because people have woken up to the fact that eels are healthy and tasty too. In April 2012, American fishermen in Portland, Maine, were saying that a pound of eels could fetch more than $2,000. The season for elvers is short, being from February to May.

I will never forget the first time I saw these small, transparent, wriggling creatures crawling over the prawns and fish in Swansea market. I got over it though and ate them when we got home. You can still buy them there with the fresh cockles and laverbread (cooked seaweed). Jellied eels can be prepared at home, they are boiled in water and spices and the water is allowed to cool and then it becomes jelly as the eel is fatty, as I mentioned above. You can eat them hot or cold, and if you are in the East End of London, they will be served in a bowl, and you will be given them already chopped up as you traditionally eat them with a fork and spoon – no knife.

It seems as though they are not as cheap as they used to be- but they are just as tasty, so forget your prejudices and try them. They are good for you.

Opening Safe With a Combination Number

The latest safes feature many interesting things related to the safety of things that you keep inside. You will find that there are many safes come with electronic locking mechanism that is completed with a key and keypad. But, there are many people that use safe with combination dial. This type of safe has been used for many years. Some combination dial safes are still used nowdays.

If you are about to choose the safe that has combination, you will find that this is a little bit tricky when you want to open it in the first time. To help you opening the combination safe, you can learn it by looking the following tips. You will find that you will be able to access your combination safe in a minute.

The first thing that you have to do is to write the combination that you make if you can not remember it in the first time you read it. You have to put the paper in your reach and make sure that the combination numbers can be read well. In this case, you have to make sure the combination is easy to remember so that you do not have to read the combination when you want to open the safe in the future.

The second thing that you have to do is to turn the combination dial on the safe for three or four times to the left. Then, you have to stop on the first number of the combination on your paper. Make sure that you do not turn the combination dial back to the right.

Then, turn the combination dial to the right and stop in the second combination. Repeat the step for some times until all the combination numbers are pressed.

When you have finished with the numbers on combination dial, have to pull the door lever of the safe down and open its door. This will make you able to access the things inside the safe. It is pretty easy, is not it?

Woodworking Hand Tools Needed By A Person Who Wants To Become A Professional Furniture Maker Part2

This month we will be looking at chisels and marking and measuring tools. A few years ago now for another magazine I did a test of all of the brands of chisels available in the cabinet makers bevel edged pattern. The objective was to find the best branded chisel for apprentice cabinet makers. In doing this I found out that despite chisels vary in the quality of their grinding, the shape and the quality of the handles. However most of the manufactures are using a very similar grade of steel so the edge holding capacity of certainly European made chisels were very similar. What we did learn at this time was that if you move away from the European kind of chisel to the Japanese chisel it was possible to gain an edge holding capacity that would outlast the European chisel by 4 or 5 times. The disadvantage of going to Japanese is that they are made from a slightly more brittle steel but if one is careful in the way one uses them this would not seem to be a too great a disadvantage. However a slightly more serious disadvantage is the fact that re-sharpening a Japanese chisel takes a good deal longer than sharpening a European one. This is because the edge was made from a much harder steel and requires much greater care in sharpening.

So you pays your money and you takes your choice. If you get a European type pattern chisel you may well be sharpening the edge 4 or 5 times more frequently than the owner of a Japanese pattern chisel but sharpening tools should not be a big deal, it should be something that should be accomplished as a Natural part of the rhythm of working. You work paring away at that tough bit of Maple for 15 – 20 – 25 minutes then your concentration goes and the natural way to restore it is a gentle walk down to the sharpening bench – strop, strop one side and strop, strop the other side , Change stones, strop strop one side and strop, strop the other and you're back again to work. Sharpening is good for you.

You are going to need a set of chisels that go down less than 1/8 th inch to approximately 11/2 inches. Especially in the small sizes you are going to need all of the chisels in as many variations in width as you can get. This is because one chisel may not fit in that dovetail opening while another one will. This can be best achieved by buying one set of chisels in say imperial measure (fragments of an inch) and then buying chisels that fill in the sizes between these in metric measure. Look at the way the chisel is ground. One of the features of the chisel is the way the back of the chisel is bevelled or cut back to lighten the blade. This really should go right down as close as possible to the flat back of the chisel. Imagine the difficulty of paring into a dovetail socket with a chisel that did not do this (and many of them do not, with many chisels being beveling is just a decorative effect rather than a useful property). Look also at the way the handle is fixed on to the blade and look at the size of handles. Many manufacturers these days are fitting one size of handle onto both small and large blades making the tools unbalanced and unwieldy. My personal preference is for wooden handle chisels that are not covered with a slippery plastic lacquer. Coming down to specific recommendations. I think of the Europeans pattern chisel I would recommend the Sorby 167 series. These are available from 1 / 8th inch up to 1 1/2 inches and cost between £ 18.82 for the smallest up to £ 25.74 for the largest. Of the Japanese I would recommend the "Umeki-Nomi." These are very well beveled chisels in fact they are often called dovetail chisels well made without being too expensive and available in 3mm, 6 mm, 9mm and 12 mm. Axminster power tools stock these at prices from £ 26 these chisels like most Japanese chisels have hollows ground into the flat backs to help with the fettling or preparation process.

Paring chisels are usually ground at a slightly finer angle and never used with a mallet. I have a pair of very beautiful Japanese paring chisels, one of 25 mm in width and a second of 35 mm width. These are extremely beautiful well balanced tools with long red oak handles but sadly I can not find a supplier in the UK who can provide similar chisels for my students but I think they are available from the Garrett Wade catalog. I quit to recommend a European pattern paring chisel because it takes too long to flatten the backs of a wide, long chisel. This is where the Japanese pattern with the hollow back scores so sturdy. Sharpening your chisels you'll need a Japanese waterstone. "King" make a very good 1200 grit stone at about £ 10.50 and I would also recommend buying a "King" finishing stone of 6000 grit. This will cost you £ 17.20. You can get a finer 8000 grit stone but I do not think I would recommend this.

Now I will move on to marking and measuring tools. These are essential bits of equipment. First lets look at rules. This is not an imperious measure workshop and we are going to ask you to convert from feet and inches and start thinking in millimeters. Once you get used to it you'll find it a much easier way of measuring out jobs. Buy rules with clear measurements that are engraved into the surface of the rule. There are lots of rules with metric and imperial measure but the best rule we've found is in metric only and it is produced by Stanley and is their metric 47R Range. These rules are available in 150 mm, 300 mm, 600 mm, and 1 meter and range in price between £ 4.04p and £ 23.01p. Please try to avoid cheap rules and avoid those rules that have metric and imperial and half millimetre graduations. These rules just tend to confuse. I would think to start with I would buy a 1 meter, a 300 mm and a 150 mm and later get a 600 mm. Measuring tapes are also useful for rough measuring out on boards and as long as it's reasonably accurate any type of tape will do the job.

For marking knives we have taken to using Swann Morton Scalpels – there are several different kinds of handles and the blades are easily replaceable. This is after years of using specialist marking knives with the bevel on one side. Perhaps it's my eyesight failing but I find the scalpel gives a cleaner crisper line to work to. You'll need probably two marking gauges and two cutting gauges. "Crown" make quite nice small gauges and the Joseph Marples No.2 gauge is a well made simple gauge. One of the nicest gauges is the Veritas wheel marking gauge. This is quite a cost item at £ 15.08p and I probably would not spend that kind of money myself but it does look a very nice tool. If you did not want to buy the Veritas I may go for the Axminster Superior Marking Gauge at £ 8.64 made in Rosewood with brass fittings.

For mortice gauges you really do need to spend over £ 20 to buy a precision piece of equipment usually in Rosewood with brass fittings. You may find a good one second-hand but if you do not then look at the Crown 154 Mortice Gauge at £ 21 or the Axminster Power Tools Superior Mortice Gauge at £ 28.55.

Along with gauges, rules, and marking out you need two engineers squares. I recommend an all metal engineers square because there are a large number of wooden handled tri-squares around that are just not quite accurate enough for cabinet making. You are going to be needing a degree of accuracy in your marking out that will just not be achievable if you have a traitorous little instrument like a square that was not quite square in your tool kit. Go for a high quality engineers square with BS939 engraved on the body of the square. This will guarantee that it's been checked to a level of accuracy that you require. If you can check the square in the tool shop before you buy it against a higher grade of engineers square called an "inspectors grade square" or alternatively against a surface plate with a bottle gauge fitted on it. If the shop do not have these instruments to test your squares they should not be selling the squares, go somewhere else. I would suggest that you buy a small 3 inch square which will cost about £ 17 and a larger 6 inch square which will cost about £ 21. You can if you are feeling very wealthy, go for a 9 inch square rather than a 6 inch square but that will cost you £ 45 or so. Another tool you are going to require is a bevelled straight edge. This is a piece of steel typically between 800 mm and 1000 mm in length used for cutting veneers and checking the flatness of timber and tools. It's an important piece of equipment and you should buy the very best one you can afford. We've seen some bevelled straight edges coming from Axminster Power Tools that have been reliably inexpensively of between £ 15- £ 18 but the straightness has been rather dubious and we have had to have one edge re-machined by our local engineer. Checking and re-machining this tool could become an annual event unless you spend considering more money and buy an engineers quality straight edge in the first place. That is if you can find one. My only source at the moment is the Garrett Wade catalog.

You will need two sets of drill bits one set to cover the entire range of holes to be drilled from 1mm to 13mm. This is usually in a boxed set of "Jobbers" type and are available in increments of 0.2mm I think that to start I would be content with 0.5mm size increments. The other type of drills to get are a set of lip and spur pattern bits which are good at cutting clean accurate holes. This is the second of a series of articles published in Good Woodworking magazine by David Savage in August 2000. parts 1 and 3 are also available here, just down load and use them but please credit the author.

Home Lighting – The Changing Trend

In some of the modern homes, lighting trends certainly do emphasize on making more use of fixtures like copper, steel, brass or even wood. The advancement in this technology certainly has managed to add new ideas to your light system. In the present times most people follow personal trends and styles and are very much independent from conventional ones. Most modern homes do focus on area light system that adds a lot of style and little lighting to your room. These new ideas certainly are giving rise to making better use of table lamps, wall scones, chandeliers and floor lamps for illuminating specific areas of your home.

Currently home lighting is also considered as a fashion statement for most people. This is no longer considered as a bare necessity. Making use of decorative lights is increasing in the present time and people choose to provide a more comfortable look to their rooms. You can make use of task lights to change the appearance of your room from ordinary to come thing that is extra ordinary. Over head lights are generally considered as out of fashion and people focus on creating a new atmosphere at their home by using more specific type of light system.

You can try adding romantic moods to your bedroom by using right type of ambience lighting. Using soft and cool colors is surely gaining more popularity and wall scones are the right options available. A crystal chandelier can always help in creating mysterious atmosphere in your living room. You can also make use of reflected lights to highlight artwork. The present market is also flooded with very small table lamps that can be used as a type of accent light. In case you want to keep up with some of the latest home lighting trends then it is important to add light effects to your home décor.

Contemporary Vs Traditional Vs Transitional Lighting

So what style of lighting should I purchase? What name brands should I select my purchases from? These are two very important questions to ask because a consumer must always make sure he or she is purchasing the best lighting for their specific needs. While there are scores of different designs of lights, they general fall into three categories: contemporary, traditional, and transitory. Knowing the difference between which is what allows the consumer to make the best purchasing decision.

As the name implies, contemporary lighting reflects to any lighting design that is modern in appearance. Not all lights are designed the same way and different time periods will play a role in the look of the lights. Access Lighting is a manufacturer of some of the best modern contemporary lighting systems you can imagine. Some of the lights produced by this company embody a futuristic / minimalist design that makes them highly noticeable and attractive. Best of all, the look of these light fixtures detracts in no way from their ability to illuminate a room. You would not be purchasing "looks" at the expense of function when you buy from Access Lighting. Consider this one of its best attributes.

Traditional is also a rather self-explanatory heading. These lights are those that recreate the look of lighting from previous decades. Since lighting has been around for over a hundred years, there are at least as many different traditional designs. Lights that reflect the culture of the United States in the late 1800s can be selected as can styles of 19th century European lighting. There really are a wide array of lights to choose from and World Imports Lighting would be one of the best manufacturers to select from when looking for these types of lights. Looking at the classic Euro-style of World Imports' Dark Sky Collection or the graceful French Garden lights would certainly lead you to conclude this manufacturer is one of the best of the best.

Kenroy Lighting has been in the business for over 50 years and the only way a lighting manufacturer reaches such heights is through producing a quality product. For those seeking transitional styles, this would be the manufacturer to seek out. But, what exactly does transitional lighting entail? Basically, this can be considered a form of blending different lighting styles. Here, you could say it is transitioning from traditional to contemporary and becomes fixed in time. The end result of this concept is a number of brilliant lighting designs. In many ways, transitional lighting is hard to define and that is a good point. It allows the lighting to present a unique appearance. The Abbey Collection of bathroom lighting fixtures would be an excellent example of these types of lights. They mix the old and the new to create an unforgettable design.

Which one of these styles is the best? Well, it all depends on your individual tastes and needs. Ultimately, the best selection is the one the consumer is happy with.

Spring Pest Control – Common Pests That Appear in the Spring Time

Are large black ants showing up in your kitchen or bathroom?

When the temperature waves to approximately 60 degrees, carpenter ants come out of dormancy and will forage and seek for food and nesting places. They can be seen both inside and outside of your home. They may be coming from an outside nest or may have already established a colony in the walls of your home. Carpenter ants will create tunnels in wood, causing the homeowner serious structural damage if left untreated.

Are you seeing bees in your home in early spring?

These are typically a wasp, hornet or yellow jacket queen bee, generally who have overwintered in your wall voids and attics. Once awake, they will look to lay eggs and establish new colonies. If left untreated, the bees will establish colonies and become a bigger problem.

Is there carpenter bee damage around your home?

Chances are if you had carpenter bees in the past, they have been dormant in the winter and will emerge in the spring to lay their eggs. The newly hatched eggs will emerge in late summer. This new generation will often drill new holes and nest in the same areas. A professional residential barrier is recommended for prevention.

Are small black ants around the counter tops in your kitchen, dog feeding areas, children play areas, and outside your home where mounds of dirt are pushes up from the soil?

These are signs of Pavement Ants. They are nuisance pests. Typically they are found outside in the soil but will seek out food in your home. Their colonies can be quite large and will not decrease unless treated.

Are spider webs creating a nuisance around your home?

Spiders can be found in basements, garages, porches and other sheltered areas. Spiders come out to find food and feed on other pests. Spider infestations are usually the result of other insects being present around your home. Preventative treatments of these insects will help reduce the spider problem.

For the best results dealing with spring pests, we highly recommend an Integrated Pest Management Plan or IPM Plan. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a program designed to prevent infestations and eliminate any pest problems by reversing and eliminating conditions that are conductive to pests. This approach in conjunction with a maintenance plan will keep pests under control effectively.

Professional service is highly recommended for these spring pests. Preventive treatments will give you and your family peace of mind.

Top 5 Home Improvement Flops

It's not really fun to review home design flops because they might have affected more people than we know. Someone comes along with a great idea and then has everyone trying it. That's when issues start to arise. By then, it's too late for those who have already given it a go.

If you knew the problems you would have faced before, you probably would not have put heart and soul into it if you still went that direction at all. So, here are a few tips from years of experience. You just never know when they will come in handy.

Flat Roofs

The first bad idea I wanted to address has been a pet peeve of mine since I was a kid. It was a pet peeve even way back then because my father was in construction and I learned about it. If I had been anyone else's kid, I would have just found flat roofs to be an interesting concept that should never have been tried.

Now, as long as the roof has a slant, of course there is no problem. But, I have seen flush flat roofs in my time and I could not believe a builder or an owner did not think that a flat roof with no place for water to go might be a bad idea. Welcome to water damage and catching rain in buckets in only a few short years.

Wall Mounted Television

Hey, I have a plasma screen mounted on my wall at home too. But, it sits at eye level. It's not up by the ceiling where my entire family could get a crick in their neck for watching on family night.

If you want to mount a television high in the bedroom where you might be reclined most of the time while you watch, that's fine. But, in the living room where most viewers will be seated on chairs and couches is a bad idea. It takes the fun out of viewing when you stand up and your head is stuck facing the ceiling.


Now, flowers are great. I can not say anything bad about having some flowers around the house. But, I have seen it way overdone. Flowers on all the wallpaper. Flowers hanging in every room, in every corner. Flowers standing behind every piece of furniture and then on top of all the furniture too. Stop! It's enough already.

Faux Wall Covering

There are actually some great designs that I have pushed on people in the past. But, recently I walked into someone's basement and found the wall had been ripped. It's an eyesore when you have a plastic brick wall that has a rip in the center of it. Who thought of that? When we have real brick used in thin layers to make an inside wall look like it was built with brick, why would anyone opt for a plastic look that could rip?

Build Around It

There are plenty of you who may not like this last objection, but it only comes from experience. I think that benches and buildings built around trees look great too. But, I would never do it. A few years will show you what I mean after your bench has been split apart by a still growing tree that is much stronger than the screws and nails you used to put it together.

There are many more faux pas I've seen over the years that are not mentioned here. There are too many to count from my experience. One day when I'm ready to write a book on the subject, I'll have more than enough material to fill an encyclopedia.

How To Build the Ultimate Games Room

If you sometimes need to get away from it all and vent a little frustration or want to host your competitive yet not-so-athletic group of friends, then a serious gaming session in your living room probably won’t cut it. Many people with a spare room in their house might shove a mediocre TV, an Xbox and a futon in there but why not go the extra mile, create something that you and a few buddies can shut the doors and emerge at the end of the weekend bloated on junk food and triumphant over your online adversaries.

You will obviously need a room and on the assumption that you don’t have a spare room that isn’t assigned for the non-existent guests, you might want to look at converting a loft space or basement, this is shut off from the world, won’t impose on the rest of the house and if you’re cunning enough, can be built without anyone else knowing.

Clear out the room of any old junk and begin to make it safe, remove damp from the basement and install flooring in a loft. Once set up, decorate your room, white walls are best as they won’t make it feel like a small space and make you feel like a recluse. Flooring should be simple, preferably wood or laminate that is easy to clean and won’t require heaving a vacuum up some stairs.

Decorate the room in a manly fashion, movie posters and old vinyl covers and definitely none of those girly canvasses or black and white photos your other half will undoubtedly have around the house. Make sure you have the most comfortable and unique chair but ensure there is enough space for all your friends. A large L-shaped sofa will be the most efficient but a couple of sofa-beds will also mean that your friends can stay over when their wives are no longer talking to them for spending so much time at yours.

If you want to maintain a 48-hour Halo marathon then you will need a generous supply of food and drink. Beer fridges are cheap and ideal, and snack food can be stored anywhere. If you can, install a toilet to really seal yourself off.

The first rule of a games room is that nobody is left without a game, try and find some old-school pinball machines, possibly a dartboard and even a snooker table if you have the room. This means that whenever people come round, even if they aren’t playing, they don’t just have to crowd around a screen. If you have the space, fit a bar in the corner with a couple of stools, so even when people aren’t playing anything they can be social and enjoy themselves.

Ultimately, you will need to drop a wad of cash on some serious gaming equipment; all traditional games and activities are mere child’s play compared to today’s high tech multimedia. Choose one of the two leading consoles, both have their advantages and whatever you choose you will divide your friends who will have sided one way or the other with their own purchases, if you can afford it, buy both. Enjoy this through the biggest TV you can buy/fit in the room, full HD with all the trimmings or even consider a projector if you are in a windowless room but remember this will require the lights to be off. Get a beefy surround sound too, something that will make the room rumble with the sound of the online battlefield and make the rest of the household wonder what the hell is going on in there. Buy a selection of the latest multiplayer games as these won’t require six grown men watching one person repeatedly attempting to defeat the evil wizard boss on level 23. Remember to occasionally visit the outside world, with all that enjoyment in one room you might forget about the kids, your job or even sunlight.

Advantages of Aluminum Patio Covers

When you are on a tight budget but you still want to beautify or improve your patio, covering it up with a nice shade is always a good option. One highly advisable material to use are aluminum patio covers.

It is a very inexpensive means to making sure that you get just the right amount of shade and heat while you are relaxing in your patio. It is also an excellent means to keep all the harmful elements away from your patio and from your whole house as well.

Here are a few advantages of using aluminum patio covers and why it is always the best choice. Keep in mind that no two aluminum covers are made the same. Shop around for a while, not only for you to get the best price for your choice of style, but also for the best service and features that you can get from the sellers.

1. It lasts longer.

Because it is made of a type of metal, which is aluminum, you can be sure that you will be enjoying your patio cover for many years to come. A lot of houses that had aluminum covers installed ten or more years ago are still in ideal condition and still effectively keep the elements away from the patio.

2. Flexibility.

An aluminum cover needed not just be used for patios. You can also have it installed over your carport which will serve as an excellent roof that will protect your car from rain, sun and snow.

3. Ease of installation.

Some aluminum covers, like the Alumawood patio cover is a do it yourself kit. What this means is you do not have to hire a professional installer to have it set up on your patio. As long as you have a sound understanding of home improvement fundamentals, you can easily install such a patio cover in your own house.

4. Attractiveness.

Another good thing about an aluminum metal cover for your patio is that you can have it designed to your specifications to perfectly complement your house's style. There is also the Alumawood, which looks like it is made of wood when it is really made of aluminum or lattice. What this means is that it retains the elegance of wood while having the durability of a metal cover.

5. Simple design.

Such a metal covering need not be too complicated to install, or afterward, need not look too elaborate. Since it does not require much for installation, it will also appear simpler structurally and will not ruin the overall feel and style of your home. There will be less metal posts to worry about that might cover some of the nice features of your place.

Burma’s Most Famous Bridge Soon Irreversibly Lost

The story of the bridge in question begins 10 years prior to its actually being built with a natural disaster of hitherto unseen scale.

Owing to the long period of 10 years between the disaster and the bridge’s being build these two events do at first glance not seem to be directly connected but this is not so; they are. Without the particular event the bridge would not have been build – especially not with the material it was built with – and in so far it is safe to say that the event in 1839 and the beginning of the building of the bridge in 1849 are closely related. That is why I say that it is the year 1839 in which the disaster took place and not the beginning of the construction of the bridge in 1849 that constitutes the very beginning of the history of the bridge. This bridge would later be an important traffic connection between the shores of a lake and for both city and region a very important major tourist attraction and significant source of income with tens of thousands of local and foreign users and visitors per year.

The tragic part of this story is that the bridge is exposed to the very real and serious threat of vanishing. Not as a bridge but as an important piece of historic heritage and unique contemporary witness of Burma’s royal past. Why is this so? This is so because the very purpose this bridge was built for in combination with the facts that it has become a major tourist attraction is both blessing and curse; and currently it seems to be much more curse than blessing.

Viewed from a purely objective point of view the bridge as such is not much to write home about for it is not exactly what can be called beautiful and it is no architectural masterpiece either. It could easily be just another wooden bridge would there not be some very particular features namely its considerable age, its historical value, the very special source of the material it was built with and its remarkable lengths. These especially noteworthy characteristics are those that elevate the bridge from the level of ‘just another ordinary wooden bridge’, which it was to the level of ‘valuable and irretrievable historic heritage’, into what it has developed. The latter i.e. ‘valuable historic heritage’ is, alas, for most of the local population not important. To them it is indeed only the bridge’s function as passageway, the initial and only purpose it was to serve that counts. At the time the bridge was build no one wanted to build ‘the world’s largest teak bridge’, or a ‘cultural heritage’ or a ‘major point of interest’ or an ‘important source of income’.

When looking at and thinking about this bridge we have to take a different approach and look at it from another angle. We have to take the pre-bridge time view and not the current time point of view. In other words we have to be aware that the aspect of ‘point of interest, cultural heritage, etc’ became important only later with the passage of time and the development of tourism. However, there was no tourism at all in 1849, no tourism worth mentioning before 1962 (General Ne Win’s coupe d’etat and the military junta’s taking over the country) and virtually no tourism at all between 1962 and 1996 when the country was practically closed to foreigners. This means for a period of 34 years – almost half of a human’s lifetime there was almost no foreigner in this region and, subsequently, it was for the local population nothing more than what it was meant to be; just a wooden bridge that constituted a convenient way of reaching the other side of the lake.

This point of view is still dominant in those local peoples’ minds that do not need the bridge as a source of income and do not see bridge against its historical backdrop. It takes time to rise particularly among the young people awareness for the historical significance of the bridge. By the by, the lack of appreciation of the historic value of the bridge is also the reason for its not being kept in proper conditions; more to this a few lines further into the article.

Enough of secrecy, now! So, what exactly is it that I am talking about? I am talking about an at the time in question unprecedented natural disaster in 1839 and the from 1849 to 1851 built U Pain Bridge (in the following referred to as U Bein Bridge) that connects the western shore area of the Taung Tha Man Lake with the nearby Maha Gandar Yone Kyaung (monastery) and the Taung Ming Paya (pagoda) at the lake’s narrowest and shallowest part with its eastern shore area with the nearby Kyauktawgyi Temple and Yadanabon University in the former Royal Burmese capital Amarapura.

The Taung Tha Man Lake is in a manner of speaking only a ‘part-time’ lake because only in the period from roughly July to October (rainy season) it is filled with water and serves as source of freshly caught freshwater fish whereas in the period from about November to June the shallow lake is practically dried up and its fertile bottom is used for growing vegetable and turned into a source of garden fresh vegetables and herbs.

In the following I will – briefly putting it in its historical context – write the U Bein Bridge story from what I deem to be its very beginning to the present.

Both natural disaster and the building of the U Bein Bridge took place in a period in which kings used to move their capitals back and forth between Ava/Inwa and Amarapura, a time of rapid changing of rulers and a time of destroying and rebuilding. A period of only 75 years within which 5 kings, namely King Bodawpaya, King Bagyidaw, King Tharrawaddy, King Pagan and King Mindon moved 4 times their capital from Ava to Amarapura and vice versa before king Mindon finally moved his capital to Mandalay and Amarapura – known as the ‘City of Immortality’ – as well as Ava/Inwa – known as ‘Rathapura’, ‘The City of Gems’ – lost their statuses as royal capitals for good and fell more or less into oblivion.

Now it is time to come to the natural disaster that in a manner of speaking got the ‘U Bein Bridge’ ball rolling and the bridge itself, in this order.

It happened in the wee hours of Saturday, the 23rd of March 1839, at about 04:00 am and is in written records described by immediate eye witnesses as something comparable only to doomsday. With a large part of Ava’s population still blissfully sleeping the people were totally unaware of what was about to happen and many of them would never know what had hit them. The ground started to shake heavily and wave-like with everything on it bobbing up and down. Water from the nearby Ayeyawaddy River rose in a massive wave and flow back, like being hit by a giant fist the earth opened up and huge gaps appeared swallowing everything and everyone that happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Buildings toppled, walls tumbled down and massive clouds of dust rose upwards and darkened the sky that was just about to lighten up. What had just happened was the Sagaing Fault – also called Ava or Amarapura – earthquake of a till then unknown magnitude that is described as ‘massive’ and ‘major’. The rumble was heard and the vibrations were felt throughout the entire country. After 2-3 minutes it was all over. The earthquake had reduced most buildings in the entire region including Sagaing, Mingun and Ava to rubble, left very deep and wide fissures in the ground and up to thousand people dead and injured many of them seriously. It was hell on earth. The royal palace did not remain untouched; it too was heavily damaged. When the dust had settled and the enormous damages the earthquake had caused became visible king Tharrawaddy instantly decided to leave and begin to move his capital from Ava back to Amarapura on the opposite, the western side of the Myitnge River.

Ava and its wider surrounding have never been quite the same ever since then and the scars covering the wounds the earthquake has inflicted on the region are still visible today. Only a few historically very valuable buildings such as the Nanmyin Watch Tower, the Maha Aungmye Bonzan Kyaung and the Maha-wei-yan-bon-tha Kyaung (Bargayar Monastery) just to name a few have survived the earthquake some of them heavily damaged and later repaired or rebuilt.

Only 2 years after the earthquake that went down in Burma’s history as one of its heaviest, in 1841, the new capital was ready, the new palace was build and the royal court’s move to Amarapura, which remained Burmese capital till 1861, was completed. King Tharrawaddy ruled till 1846 and was succeeded by his son, the very cruel King Pagan, who remained all the time of his short reign of 8 years from 1846 to 1853, in Amarapura. During his reign the bridge was build.

In connection with the U Bein Bridge it is helpful to know about the small but deciding detail that in all kingdoms that existed in the area of what is nowadays called Burma (since 1989 also called Myanmar), from the first, the Mon, to the second, the Pyu, to the last, the Bamar/Burmans and thereafter during the British colonial time, Muslims have always been well liked and respected and played important roles in high positions at royal courts, in the military and otherwise. This was the same in Amarapura. Muslims, many of whom were soldiers and high ranking court members made up a sizeable portion of Amarapura’s population.

King Pagan had appointed the Sunni Muslim Sri Bai Sab (Burmese name U Shwe Oh) Governor of the new royal capital Amarapura and U Pain, like Bai Sab Muslim, was promoted to the position of Personal Assistant to the Governor. It is often said and written that the U Bein Bridge was built by Amarapura’s Major U Pain (Bein); this is not correct. U Pain was not major but Personal Assistant to the Governor and the so-called major was actually Governor. He was a Muslim with the Burmese name U Shwe Oh and the bridge was not built by him on his order, respectively, but by his assistant U Pain with the approval of King Pagan and Governor U Shwe Oh. U Pain had suggested connecting the western part of Amarapura with the eastern part by a bridge, re-using the teak pillars, beams, planks and other needed wooden pieces from the old and badly damaged royal teak palace in Ava/Innwa. That they did, starting to build the bridge in late 1849 and completing it in early 1851. By then the bridge had reached a total lengths of 3.967 ft/1.209 m and a width of 9 ft/3 m.

Atop the bridge’s platform were 4 pavilions built as shaded resting places of equal size and placed in equal distance from one another. Because the two approach bridge were originally made of bricks the wooden part of the bridge was shorter than today and a total of ‘only’ 984 vertically in equal distance placed and 7 ft/2.3 m deep dug in pillars with conically shaped tops were used to safely support the platform (walkway) with pavilions and to sufficiently stabilise the bridge sideways. The average height of the pillars is 22 ft/7 m. Later the brick-made approach bridges were replaced by wooden bridge approaches what increased the total number of teak pillars used to 1.086.

And this historically valuable relic of bygone times, arguably the world’s largest and oldest teak bridge is now on the verge of being irreversibly destroyed if nothing substantial is done in the immediate future. The bridge will most likely survive as bridge even when parts of it collapse. It will be repaired and put back into operation for it is needed as passageway but it will lose all of its historical value and significance and be downgraded to ‘just another wooden bridge’. That bridge will then have nothing in the way of historic value or cultural importance left. Then the point of interest ‘U Bein Bridge’ will be no more and tourists will have no reason to come here anymore; a huge loss for Amarapura and its economy and equally, if not more important even, a crime in terms of Amarapura’s history.

When I compare the bridge and its environment that I have seen 26 years ago with the current one that is struggling to survive I am plain speechless. Even without taking a second, closer look at the bridge in its present conditions it is immediately obvious how time has unimpeded and slowly but unremittingly and inexorable ravaged this important landmark of Amarapura and highlight of its history. Time did not pass by without leaving clearly visible traces and the U Bein Bridge has already lost much of its original appearance and charm. But what exactly was and is it that has left and is leaving the bridge so badly scarred?

It’s a complex matter that goes beyond one single reason. The main reason is – never mind the repeatedly given contrary statements, assertions and promises on the part of those authorities from top down that have been responsible for the proper maintenance of the bridge – an almost unsurpassable measure of ignorance, indifference, insensitivity and inaptness with respect to the correct handling of the cultural heritage ‘U Bein Bridge’.

The total lack of respect for the historical value of this teak bridge reaches its climax when modern metal nails and screws, concrete (yes, concrete pillars to replace teak wood pillars of an historic wooden bridge, come to think of that!!), wood of lesser quality as well as modern tools and techniques are used for the purpose of repairing (mind you, repairing, not restoring!!) this historical heritage as it happened in the past, still happens and I am afraid will also happen in the future. As if this would not be bad enough we will also have to add political passivity and unwillingness to spend money for a thorough restoration of the bridge; it’s a shame.

Other reasons that reveal a severe lack of awareness or indifference combined with self-interest on part of Amarapura’s administration, commoners and business people are – among other – decade long traffic with bicycles, pushcarts and even motorbikes (the latter was forbidden in September 2012 but practically no one is despite the presence of police abiding by it), throwing trash into hollow teak pillars what speeds up rotting of the wood, throwing burning cigarettes into hollow teak pillars what has several times set parts of the bridge on fire, wilful shaking of the bridge by larger groups of drunken people (especially during Thingyan, the Burmese New Year/Water Festival) what has caused serious damage to the teak pillars (some are actually broken at their base), the breading and farming of fish during rainy season in consequence of which the water becomes stagnant what causes underwater erosion of the teak pillars’ bases (actually, the base of a large number of pillars has already rotten away so that the pillars cannot longer support the bridge. On the contrary, what keeps these pillars from simply toppling and falling into the water or to the bottom of the lake (depending on whether it is rainy or dry season) is that they are with their upper parts connected to other parts of the structure as well as massive daily pedestrian traffic. All of these combined with the existence of voracious termites leave their traces, as does the ravage of time.

What has so far been done in terms of maintenance and repair of the bridge has been very sporadic, limited to the absolute necessary and rather sloppy. It can – against the backdrop of its age of 165 years, the extreme wear and tear it was and is exposed to and the subsequent continuous maintenance it would have needed – be called almost negligible what has, finally, led to the extremely deplorable state of advanced decay the U Bein Bridge is currently in.

I have tried to find out about what has been done in the past in order to keep the bridge in good conditions and protect it from greater damage and found out that proactive measures have never been taken. Showing a total lack of respect for the historical value of this cultural heritage repairs (and not professional maintenance!) took place only when it had become really unavoidable and in ‘patchwork style’. Also, there is no complete and/or detailed list of records of maintenance and/or repairs that have been performed in pre-2004 times although it is known that there have been 11 repairs at the bridge between 1946 and 2004. As far as repairs during British colonial times and pre-British colonial times are concerned I did also not find anything at all. The following list shows what meagre information my research has so far yielded with respect to bridge repairs and cost (MMK=Myanmar Kyat) in:

2004 35 million MMK, USD?

2005 17 million MMK, USD?

2008 4.8 million MMK, USD?

2013 13 million MMK, (1 USD = 925 MMK = total USD 14.054)

2014 13 million MMK, (1 USD = 1.000 MMK = total USD 13.000)

2015 227 million MMK, (1 USD = 1.137 MMK = total USD 199.648)

2016 240 million MMK, (1 USD = 1.187 MMK = total USD 202.190)

In view of these modest – to say the least – sums it is obvious that the U Bein Bride is doomed to collapse for these sums do by far not meet what is needed to not only restore the bridge true to its original but also to keep it that way in the future.

The measures that do now need to urgently be taken are to have a complete restoration of the U Bein Bridge approved by all authorities on City Development Committee level, Divisional Government level and State Government level concerned, to ensure that the needed funds will be available as and when required, to make a proper planning including timetable based on thorough survey and research and to execute the restoration and conversation measures under the supervision of a team of qualified historians and archaeologists within the framework of coordinated measures. These need to be based on an overarching holistic restoration plan using contemporary materials, tools and techniques to restore and keep the bridge as authentic as possible. If need be advice and practical support of foreign restaurateurs should be requested not only in order to take an active part in the conservation work but also to provide proper vocational training in conservation work to local artisans.

Additionally to the work that needs to be done on the bridge it is advisable to create an environment that is conducive to the preservation of the bridge (e.g. no water pollution) and pleasant to the visitors eye.

People have to understand that the ordinary, less expensive carpenters that are usually hired to keep the cost low do not have the special skills needed to preserve this cultural heritage. Restoring this historic bridge is not like knocking together a wooden house or repairing it or making wooden door blades and window frames. This lack of preservation-oriented professional expertise is another major obstacle to the restoration and conservation of the bridge. The task of preserving the U Bein Bridge requires experienced and highly skilled carpenters with firsthand experience in performing restoration work. The authorities concerned who have so far badly failed to do what was and is their duty (restoring and preserving the bridge) and the people using the bridge as source of income will have to chose between the loss of maybe one annual income from the bridge or all of the potential future income from it because the cultural heritage will if nothing is done now not exist anymore; it’s that easy.

By the way, in order to get a continuous inflow of money that can be used to finance a part of repair maintenance measures it is certainly possible to commercialise the bridge in that tourists are charged a fair entry fee of, say, 2.000 MMK or 2 USD; just a thought.

Let’s wait and see what will happen. I am not very optimistic but hope that the future will prove me wrong.

Digital Signage in Sports Stadiums

There is one location where digital advertising has been used to its full potential and that is in sports stadiums. Football arenas, baseball grounds and athletics stadiums are all places where the true potential of digital signage has been realized.

There are various reasons why digital screens are used by businesses and industry such as information, advertising and raising brand awareness. And in sports stadiums digital signage is being successfully used for all of these applications.

Digital signage for pitchside sponsorship

Pitch side sponsorship is a huge money maker for football teams and sports clubs. Not only is sponsorship and advertising along the pitch visible to the ground's attendees but also as many sporting events are televised these adverts can reach an audience of millions.

Traditionally these adverts, branding and sponsorship messages have been based on traditional print media, however, outdoor digital signage can generate far more revenue from the same space.

By using TV screens to provide the branding and sponsorship around the pitch not only can moving images be introduced as part of the messages making the adverts more attractive but also multiple adverts can be relayed on each screen and swapped at regular intervals (such as every ten Seconds) meaning far more revenue can be collected from the same space.

Sponsors around pitch – replacing static signs – multiple advertisements same space for TV exposure.

Providing the Scores

Giant LED screens are a common sight in many sports grounds. They are extremely useful for providing scoreboard information and other key facts such as substitutions that can aid the fans in the audience. Now, thanks to the growth of large scale outdoor digital signage screens, this type of information can now be relayed in a far more attractive and useful manner. The scoreboards too can be interlaced with advertisements and other information increasing revenue streams.

Information around the ground

And digital screen are used throughout sports stadiums in the concourses; Providing seating information and even score updates for latecomers; And even parking areas with outdoor digital signage helping ensure regular parking as well as providing important information about the ground.

Say Please!

How do you get your children’s respect? How do you know that they respect you? Is it that they obey? That’s a big part of it when they are young.

When parents of young children come to me for Parent Coaching, they often ask for help with compliance. Their children don’t “listen.” I think that most parents have this problem at one time or another. I know that I did. Parents find themselves telling a child over and over to do the same thing. Often they report, “He doesn’t do it until I yell. I don’t want to yell all the time, but that’s the only way he’ll listen.”

I begin by talking to parents about how they tell children what to do. We talk about the importance of getting your child’s attention, perhaps with a light touch on the shoulder. I also advise parents to tell a child very clearly what do to. “Pick up your room” is not specific enough for many young children. They need to hear, “Put the toys in the bin and put your clothes in the drawer.” In fact, some need to be told only one thing at a time, but that’s for another week.

This all goes fairly well, but some parents, especially Dads, are surprised when I advise them to say “please” and to use a firm but kind tone of voice. I am sure that these people are telling me how they were raised. Somehow it hurts their own sense of authority to say “please” to a child. I hear that children should just do it. Why do we need to be so polite to kids?

One reason is that you want them to treat you politely. Children learn best from the behavior we demonstrate. This produces a wince from many of us. All parents have their moments.

Another reason is that harsh commands tend to make people (even young children) angry. Nevermind that you are the parent and you are in charge, if you rely on requests like “Get in here and pick up this room,” your children are quite capable of demonstrating that “you aren’t the boss of me.” We’ve all been there.

The third reason is that it works. Be clear. Ask for a specific behavior. Be calm and take the edge out of your voice. And yes, say please. See how it works. And let me know.

Best Outdoor Basketball

How do you find the Best Basketball Ball? What makes a good outdoor basketball good? What features and questions should you ask before buying an outdoor basketball? Choosing a good quality basketball is important, especially if you find yourself playing the game of basketball outdoors. Most courts are made of concrete or just tarmac, and if you’re really lucky, you may find yourself on long lasting linoleum. But the rough surface of the tarmac or concrete requires an outdoor basketball to be tougher and made of a stronger rubber compound than the more fragile leather indoor balls.

The best rubber basketball should consist of an inner tubing or bladder which is wrapped in synthetic fibers to give it its elasticity. Without these fibers (and some of the cheap balls are without them) your ball will be much lighter and won’t last as long. You want an outdoor basketball to be made of rubber or a durable synthetic composite. This will offer the best grip, even on dusty or wet surfaces. You want a basketball which sticks and offers optimum grip to your hand, while you dribble it. Of course you have to be able to adjust the pressure within the ball to ensure full inflation and optimum bounce balance. A well balanced basketball can ensure many hours of playing fun.

A well balanced ball also ensures that the playability and traction on the court is optimized. With a balanced ball passing and shooting of the basketball around the court is much easier. This will make tricks and dunks easier too. Make sure you invest in a quality basketball pump to be able to “fine tune” your basketballs air pressure and bounce. The best street balls are good for different weather and all outdoor basketball surfaces, offering materials which are more durable and offer versatility. As the best outdoor basketballs are more versatile, they can of course be used on indoor courts as well, providing decent performance. If an outdoor ball has been used outdoors, and then indoors, ensure to wipe it with a wet cloth before, to remove any dirt or dust it may have attracted. The best rubber basketball will be much cheaper than any indoor leather ball you’ll find. And most shops will offer a wide range of the best basketball ball brands, such as Spalding, Molten, Fiba and more, to ensure you’ll find the best basketball for every budget.

Cleaning Copper Ceiling Tiles

When you have a copper ceiling you need to remember that it is going to need to be cleaned from time to time. No matter what you were told when you purchased the copper ceiling tiles, they are going to collect dust over time and you are going to need to take care of them. So, you may want to know what steps you need to take in order to keep your tiles looking just like they did the day that you installed them.

Purchase a ladder that is going to allow you to reach the tiles without stretching. Just because you want to clean your tiles does not meant that you need to harm yourself in the process. You can very easily fall off of a ladder or pull a muscle if you are not able to reach the tiles and you are stretching to get them clean. Always make sure that your ladder is long enough and if it is not, you will want to purchase a broom or some type of an extender so that you can reach without harming yourself.

Next, always make sure that you are purchasing a product to clean with that can be used on copper. If you are simply wiping away dust then you might want to use water and possibly a little bit of soap. But, if you have noticed that the copper ceiling tiles are beginning to tarnish then will want to purchase a cleaner that can be used to get rid of the tarnish. You may need to put a little elbow grease into this so you will really want to make sure that you are able to reach the tiles.

Always take the time to move your ladder when you are finished in one area rather than stretching to reach the rest of the ceiling. Yes, it might be a pain to keep moving from one area to the next but it is completely necessary for your safety. Also, make sure that you are willing to clean the entire ceiling before you begin. This is because the copper ceiling tiles are going to look really bad if you do not clean all of them. Therefore, you will either want to hire someone to help you or you will want to give yourself a few days to accomplish this task. This will help you do a great job so your ceiling will always look great.