Learning Air Conditioning Repair

Becoming an air conditioning repair professional can be a lucrative career choice but there are steps that must taken to accomplish this goal. The first step is to have a high school diploma or its equivalent. After high school, you should enroll and start taking classes at a trade school or community college. You may be able to secure employment with a company that specializes in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and get on-the-job training from a professional that repairs these systems. This is also called an apprenticeship.

Generally, it can take less than two years of schooling at a vocational school to learn air conditioning repair. In some high schools, you may be able to attend a vocational school for half of the school day to learn this trade. Many of the trade school and community colleges offer job placement services. In addition to learning air conditioning repair, you may also have the opportunity to take classes in auto air conditioning repair and refrigerator repair. All of these systems are very similar in operation. Once you have learned the theory it is just a matter of applying that theory to other types of cooling units. This will give you more options when choosing where you want to work.

Although the theory is basically the same the practical application of that theory may not be similar. This is why it benefits to take classes. Whether it is an auto air conditioner, building or residential air conditioner, or refrigerator, accessing certain parts in the unit may be more difficult. One of the values in taking classes is that you will get practical experience working with the different units in different situations. All of this is done under the supervision of a qualified teacher.

If you join a branch of the military most will teach the soldiers a trade although some may devote almost all of their training to techniques in combat. Learning a trade is one of the benefits of joining the military. After getting out of the military, you may also qualify for additional money to continue your education.

If you want to forgo the classes and just enter the workplace as an air conditioning repair professional you will need to find a HVAC company that is willing to hire someone with no experience. This can be difficult because most companies will have to take their time to train you before they can see a return on their investment, which is you.. If you have any mechanical repair experience stress that to your prospective employer.

There is no best route to establish a career in air conditioning repair. How it is accomplished is up to the individual. If you cannot find an apprenticeship, you may need to take classes.

The Facts About Air Compressors

An air compressor is a device built to compress or consolidate air inside a tank. Air compressors work fairly similarly to the way our lungs work when we hold our breath and, perhaps, blow up a balloon. The air is pulled and compressed in the tank (like air in our lungs) increasing the air’s pressure and decreasing its volume. When using the tool, the compressed air releases through a hose in a steady, powerful stream – like from our lungs and out of our pursed lips in a bursting stream of air. In compressors, the air pressure inside the tank will continue to increase until it reaches a preset pressure limit. The tool’s pressure limit varies from high to low with the type and size of your compressor. Air compressors also feature a regulator that is set to compliment the specific tool’s and application’s required pressure.

Compresses are used for a variety of purposes from powering pneumatic or power tools (like nailers, and staplers) blowing dust and debris off/out of those power tools, or as an inflation device for tires, flotation devices, and etc. Available in a variety of sizes and capacities, air compressors are versatile and surprisingly long-lasting; a good model could certainly last a lifetime if properly cared for. Using compressor powered pneumatic tools offers a number of benefits; pneumatically powered tools tend to be more brawny than those powered with strictly electricity, they offer greater torque and higher RPM for quick work and rapid firing. Pneumatic tools also offer an environmentally friendly alternative to toxic battery waste.

There are two types of air compressor, gas or electric, but each of these types is available with a few variations. Some compressors are small and portable, others are very large and stationary – the amount of power your compressor has generally coincides with its size. These large, stationary compressors are best suited for industrial applications and can be used by more that one person simultaneously. Compressors also vary from single stage to two stages; a two stage motor has the ability to change speeds during more constant and rigorous actions – essentially a two stage motor works harder when you need it to. Lastly, some compressors require oil lubrication while others run entirely without oil. Oil lubricated compressors tend to run more quietly; they do, however, require oil changes, operation on a flat, level surface, and may release an oil mist into the air which is highly ill-suited for applications like painting. Although many craftsmen prefer to use oil-lubed compressors because they tend to last longer and run quieter (as with any other type) they may not be practical for some applications.

Gas powered compressors are optimal on jobsites or construction zones that have not yet been outfitted with electrical power. These compressors provide the power and speed of pneumatic tools without the need for power cords or electricity. Gas compressors must, however, be used in open and well ventilated areas. Electric compressors are generally the best choice for home and shop use. They tend to run more quietly and don’t stink up the joint, if you will, with a gas motor.

Keeping your air compressor well maintained will truly determine how long your compressor will keep on kicking. There are a few simple steps to ensuring your compressor remains in optimal condition, and you certainly won’t regret the time you spend caring for your tool. The compression that occurs in the air tanks of your compressor causes moisture to accumulate inside those tanks. That moisture, in turn, runs the risk of rusting out the tanks, and potentially destroying a paint mixture (if used with a paint sprayer). On the bottom of the compressor there is a moisture release valve; it is crucial to release this valve with every use, this should prevent rust or other water damage. An in-line filter can also be be purchased for any compressor to eliminate water mist in your air lines.

Its important to inspect your compressors; periodically check and tighten any fasteners, make sure your air filters are running clean and replace them when necessary, check your hoses often for breaks, cracks, or leaks and be prepared to replace them when needed as well. Its also important to be certain that the compressors safety valve is functional. The safety valve (either automatically or manually) releases air should the compressor become over-pressurized; a vital feature, so be sure its operational or have it repaired. If you have an oil-lubed compressor, check the oil levels before each use to make sure the tool is properly lubricated. Change the oil as the manufacturer recommends. As far as cleanliness is concerned, its always beneficial to keep all your tools clean as a whistle and especially important to keep the compressor’s intake vents clean and clear. If you have a gas compressor you may also consider periodically cleaning the fuel tank for good measure.

A good compressor is a superior tool, and can truly take the edge off a jobsite or home-repair project. With unmatched speed and power a compressor and their partnering pneumatic tools will change the way you build. Love your compressor, purchase the model that best suits you, keep it well-maintained, and your compressor will work as hard as you do.

5 Advantages Of Jar Candles Compared To Pillar Candles

Even though pillar and taper candles came well before jar or container candles, it is container candles that have been the most popular type of candle for the last decade or so. Whether or not jar candles are better than pillars is obviously a matter of opinion. Below I will make the argument that jar candles are better in five different ways

Five Ways Jar Candles are Better

Safety. Perhaps the best argument to be made in the favor of jars over pillars is that of safety. A jar or container candle, as the name states is wax and wick contained within a container. Unless you put a flammable material directly on top of the container, it is not going to catch fire. Pillar candles are more likely to fall over and in turn accidentally light something on fire.

Length of burn. Usually, since pillar wax is harder because it has to hold its shape, pillar candles tend to burn a bit longer than jar candles. However, if you’ve ever read the bottom of a pillar, you’d know that you’re only supposed to burn pillars for a maximum of 4 hours. With jar candles, this is not the case since there is no risk of dripping or spilling.

Reusable containers. The great thing about container candles is the container itself. If you are creative, the jars can be used for a wide variety of purposes. You could use one for a change jar or a vase. One could even use it for growing plants. The possibilities are unlimited.

Easy production. Even though it actually costs a bit more to make jar candles than pillar candles, it’s a lot less labor intensive and therefore usually significantly cheaper. For the handy person or the hobbyist, jar candles are also very simple to make. It’s as simple as securing a wick and pouring wax into a jar. Of course it takes a bit of practice to create one that is of high quality.

Higher fragrance load. In today’s world, most people like super scented candles. Here is where jars have a clear advantage over pillars. In fact, jar candles, depending on the type of wax that is used, can sometimes hold up to 3 times as much fragrance as pillar candles. Most pillar wax blends hold maybe 4 to 5%. There are some container candle waxes that can hold 12% fragrance per weight. This means you can fill a large room with aroma with only one container candle rather than multiple pillar candles. You only need a few to fill your entire house with fragrance.

When it comes down to it, arguments can be made for both jar candles and pillar candles as to which one is better. But really, it depends on how and where you want to use your pillar candles. If you’re concerned about the five aspects mentioned above, than jar or container candles would be a fine choice. However, many people still love the aesthetic beauty of a free standing candle.

Using VBA To Determine The Page Size And Required Column Width In Excel

Because Excel is primarily an application for data analysis, sometimes its presentation tools suffer by comparison. For example, sometimes your data has text of various length and might exceed the available printing space.

This article will show you how to calculate the correct column width to ensure the text fits within the page. A typical scenario might be 2 standard columns and then a 3rd column displaying comments:

Name, Date, Comment

Although Excel has some tools available, such as the auto-fit feature there’s nothing like being in control of your application to get the outcome you need.

We’re going to write some code which will calculate the width of the available printing space, so we can determine the column widths to ensure efficient printing.

Calculating The Available Printing Space On The Page

One of the problems is that the units of measurement for page size, margins and columns are inconsistent and we need to standardize the units before determining the correct column width.

One way forward is to convert all the units into points, rather than inches or centimeters. The page size is initially returned in inches and is converted, while left and right margins are already in points.

pgWid = Application.InchesToPoints(ActiveSheet.PageSetup.PaperSize)
leftMargin = ActiveSheet.PageSetup.LeftMargin
rightMargin = ActiveSheet.PageSetup.RightMargin

Therefore, some simple maths will give us the available printing space and this is the width we need to fit our third column into.

content = pgWid - leftMargin - rightMargin
col3=content-columns(1).Width - columns(2).Width

Now we’ve got the width required for column three in points and that’s fine, except that column width is not measured in points, but in Excel’s own unit based on font sizes. So, we’ll create a factor to convert the width based on the measurements in cell 1.

' width in points - read only.
pts = Columns(1).Width
' width in Excel's measurement unit
wd = Columns(1).ColumnWidth
factor = pts / wd
col3 = col3 /factor

Finally we have value for the width of column three and we use that in the following code plus setting word wrap to true and the row height to auto fit.

Columns(3).ColumnWidth = col3


While the calculations for page size and columns can be a little confusing, it’s worthwhile persevering. A good knowledge of how the different elements of a spreadsheet are measured enables easier preparation of data for printing.

How To Square Up Picture Frame Mat Board Before Cutting a Window In The Mat

When you are going to cut a picture mat board one of the things most people overlook is the squareness of the matting. Before you start to cut the mat board opening you need to ensure that your mat board is square and sized correctly. Squaring up a mat board is the first step in picture framing when you are framing a photo or framing a picture under glass.

If you can imagine when we’re framing a picture to go into a window mat board, the hole in the mat board needs to be smaller than the size of the picture itself because if you cut the mat board exactly the same size as the picture, the picture is going to fall through the mat or fall through the window in the mat. What we usually do is overlap the picture by 5mm or a quarter of an inch on each side.

If you’re going to use a tape measure to measure your picture, it is unreliable to use the end of the tape measure. I would generally come into the 100mm mark and then take 100mm off my measurement. Now on some of the rulers there is actually accurate measurements where there is a zero. If you’ve got a ruler, like a Logan mat cutter ruler, it has a clear zero mark and so therefore you can use the zero to start measuring your picture.

Squaring the mat board is simple if you follow these steps.

You will need a good aluminium or steel ruler, a good quality utility knife with snap-off blades, some scrap matting for cutting on and a sharp pencil or use a 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

Draw two diagonal lines on the back surface of your mat board. It doesn’t matter whether or not they intersect the corners so long as there are two straight lines that cross somewhere in the middle of the board.

Measure out along one of the diagonals from the centre of the board, where the lines cross, to a point near the corner of the board. The measurement is not important but you should try to measure as far as possible and pick a whole number that is easy to remember. Do this for each side from the centre along each diagonal. Mark the same distance from the centre each time.

Join up these measurements with a straight line. Do this for the perimeter of the board and you should have a squared up mat ready to measure out to the correct size.

Measure out the external size of the mat that you require using the squared up lines as your starting point.

Trim the board to size along the lines drawn using a utility knife. Make sure that you put your straight edge on the side of the board you wish to keep. This helps to protect the board because if you slip it will be into the waste and not into the board you want to keep.

Remember that the utility knife cuts along its flat surface not the tip so you should have a shallow angle between the knife and the board. That way you are presenting the maximum cutting surface of the knife to the mat board.

Another tip is to make sure you are cutting along the back edge of the ruler and not the measuring side. When you do this you will keep your ruler straight over the years rather than becoming worn by repeated trimming with the utility knife.

It is easiest to cut the board in several passes.

Score the board first and then gradually cut deeper with each successive cut. It is not necessary to cut through the board in one go unlike when you cut the bevel mat window.

When you have trimmed the squared up board you can proceed to draw up your window size on the back of the mat by measuring in from the edge of the board.

The Benefits Of Carpet Cleaning

Carpets are a highly popular flooring option for homes because they’re warm and soft and make the whole family feel welcome and at home. Clean carpets are central to this feeling, and vacuuming, even as frequently as once a week, isn’t enough to keep carpets truly clean through the wearing activities of the day. Regular home life demands a lot from carpets, and professional carpet cleaning is the best way to keep them in great condition. There are many benefits of carpet cleaning, not the least of which is that it contributes to the great feeling everyone gets from walking barefoot on freshly cleaned carpets. Call today for your personal, professional carpet cleaning consultation and let the experts show you how your home can seem new again through clean carpets.

There is a thought that professional carpet cleaning uses damaging chemicals, but this isn’t the case. Modern carpet cleaning methods, specifically hot water extraction, uses water heated to more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit to remove dirt and particles and clean the carpets. The pressurized water loosens stains, dirt and other mites, which is all removed through the industrial vacuuming equipment. Hot water extraction is also entirely soap free, safe for all carpets and, most importantly, is safe for kids, pets and the environment. There is no residue left behind and your carpets will feel healthy and pure. In addition, hot water extraction carpet cleaning is safe for all types of carpets, from shag to berber to carpets with decorative patterns. Modern carpet cleaning methods will not upset the delicate fibers of your carpets and will actually help them look new longer.

One of the main benefits of professional carpet cleaning is that it reduces the level of allergens in your home. Carpet attracts bits and pieces that come in from the windows, which fall from shoes or enter the home in any amount of ways. Carpet is almost like a filter because it keeps all those particles snug within its fibers. However, when kids and pets lay on the carpet they’re getting close to those sometimes harmful particles, and vacuuming can even bring them close to the carpet surface without removing them, causing allergy flare ups and irritations. Professional carpet cleaning thoroughly removes all of these particles for a clean and healthy floor you’ll feel good about letting your kids get close to.

The same particles that cause allergies in your family can also cause depreciation to your carpet fibers. Dirt, stains and microscopic materials can get wedged in your carpeting and wear the fibers down, especially in high traffic areas where particles are being stamped in more frequently. Eventually, those particles will cause visible wear in addition to a distinct roughness under bare feet, and in time the carpeting will need to be replaced. Stains have the same adverse effects and are highly visible, even after the application of store bought carpet cleaners. Professional carpet cleaning completely removes stains and dirt from your carpets and will extend the lifespan of your carpeting, keeping it looking new longer and saving you from having to replace it prematurely.

Homeowners today are just as interested in the environmental consequences of their actions as they are about the effects of the products they use, and professional carpet cleaning meets all expectations. The hot water extraction method accepted by professional carpet cleaners is eco friendly because it relies on extremely hot temperatures to loosen particles, remove stains and sanitize carpets. Even the conditioners, stain removers and protectors used in certain carpets are environmentally friendly, and wash away neatly. There is no residue left behind in your carpets and nothing polluting to the environment, so homeowners can relax knowing their clean carpets are not at the expense of the planet. Green carpet cleaning is a celebrated and highly effective home cleaning method that can be used on every carpet type, every home and for every family.

One of the greatest benefits of modern professional carpet cleaning methods is that they practically eliminate the drying period for all types of carpets, reducing it down to just one hour. With hot water extraction cleaning, the water and all of the particles and dirt with it are entirely removed because of the industrial suctioning equipment, so there’s nothing left behind. Not only does this give carpets the truest clean, it means carpets will be ready for furniture and regular life in no time. There’s also no risk of mold or mildew build up because there’s no dampness. Carpets are clean and fresh through and through, and will remain soft and fluffy for many months to come.

The Best Rug Pad For Aubusson Rugs

The reasons for having the correct pad under your aubusson rug are to keep your carpet flat and wrinkle free, prolong its life and hold it to the floor. Many people ask me which is the right rug pad for an aubusson and my answer is simple. Choose a dense and relatively thin, no more than 1/4 of an inch thick, rug pad that grabs both the rug and the floor. This will maintain the beauty of an aubusson’s flatter look on your floor.

There are many thinner rug pads available yet it is important to try to stay away from some of them. To save your time, my experience shows that the best rug pad for aubusson rugs is one that is almost 1/4 of an inch thick and made from recycled jute and solid, natural rubber. It is important for the life of your aubusson as well as for the protection of your floors to choose one that contains recycled jute and a real layer of rubber, not a sprayed on latex that can damage your floor.

This quality pad has a slightly textured jute surface that does well in grabbing your aubusson and keeping it from slipping on the pad. The bottom layer is a real, textured rubber that is sewn on to the jute, hence creating a solid pad. This rubber grips the floor as best as possible and keeps your rug and pad still. The fact that it is real rubber means it is safe for your floor and the recycled jute surface is mold and mildew resistant, odor free and does not shed.

If you opt to save a little money now and choose a different rug pad form your aubusson carpet, what you may experience is a rug that never lies still as well as the possibility of damage to your floor. Your aubusson rug is like a painting on the floor and this look should be maintained with the proper rug pad. It is never a good feeling to look at your aubusson on the floor and feel that you always need to bend down and pull out the wrinkles. Use of this proper pad will prove to eliminate any wrinkles while adding safety for anyone walking on the rug.

Guide to Cleaning Up Spilled Vinegar on the Carpet

Vinegar can be used in a lot of different ways inside your home. It is primarily used as a kitchen ingredient to help make some dishes nice and flavorful. It is also sometimes utilized to remove stains and spots on your clothes or fabric as it can be a really good substitute for commercial cleaning agents.

Sadly, if you spill vinegar on the carpet, it can create a spot and leave behind a strong smell which will be unflattering for your carpet. While vinegar is good when combined with water and some other household items to create a cleaning solution, spilling concentrated vinegar is not something that you want to have on your carpet.

In order to keep your carpet nice and clean, you should know how to clean up this mess right away. Here are some of the steps that you should take to clean up spilled vinegar on your carpet properly.

1. Absorb the excess spilled vinegar on the carpet by using a clean sponge and dabbing the spill. This will help in removing the vinegar so that the only thing that you have to contend with is the spot or stain as well as the strong odor it has left behind on the carpet.

2. Prepare a cleaning solution for the vinegar stain or spot on the carpet. What will work great for this particular kind of stain is a detergent-based cleaning solution that you can create yourself. Just mix a teaspoon of non-bleach laundry detergent with a quart of warm water to make a useful cleaning solution. Then, use this onto the stained portion of the carpet.

3. Use a clean white cloth to blot the vinegar stain that is left behind on the carpet. Do this again and again until the entire stain is gone. It could take some time but what is important is that you keep on blotting until the stain is completely removed.

4. Rinse the carpet area with a cup of warm water to help flush out any residue that could get left behind. If the carpet still smells like vinegar, use some of the cleaning solution again and then blot the area until the odor is no longer there. Dry the area completely with the use of clean rags to finish off the job.

Vinegar spills can be hard for anyone to clean on the carpet but with the guide above you will have an easier time trying to fix this issue. Try it out and see just how quickly you are able to get your carpet looking nice and clean once more.

5 Benefits of Turmeric for Your Skin

I can still remember that my grandmother used to apply turmeric whenever we had cuts or wounds in our childhood. She insisted that no medicine is as effective as turmeric. It is used for generations as an anti-bacterial agent. Not only for medicine, turmeric is an inseparable part of Indian cuisine and an Indian kitchen never falls short of it. The golden-colored ancient spice is used as both food and medicine. Its vibrant color is due to curcumin, which has healing qualities. Curcumin has significant anti-inflammatory qualities.

The best thing about turmeric is that it has no toxic effects on our bodies. The antioxidants in curcumin protect healthy cells. These antioxidants also protect cells in the colon from cancer. They help in destroying mutated cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other areas. Turmeric is also effective in lowering the cholesterol level and preventing heart diseases.

However, above everything turmeric is an essential beauty product in India from many centuries. It is the most inexpensive and natural way to get beautiful, glowing skin. It can be immensely helpful in treating different skin problems and getting a flawless skin.

Treatment of oily skin with Turmeric

Those who have oily skin can mix 1 ½ of sandalwood powder with a pinch of turmeric powder and three tablespoons of orange juice. Mix these ingredients well and apply this paste on your face. Leave it for 15 minutes and rinse well with lukewarm water.

Turmeric for Dry Skin Treatment

Take one egg white, two drops of olive oil, rose water, fresh lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder. Mix everything well and apply on dry areas like face, neck, knees and elbows. Leave the mask for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Reduction of Facial Hair

If turmeric paste is applied daily, it slows down the growth of facial hair. Many Indian mothers apply turmeric paste on their baby girls to make them get rid of unwanted hair.

Turmeric for Treatment of Aging

Turmeric soothes the aging skin. Since ancient times, turmeric paste and powder were used for beauty treatment. Even today would-be brides and grooms have to apply turmeric paste before their wedding. Mix turmeric powder with an equal amount of gram flour and raw milk. Use this pack before bathing and leave till it completely dries off. Rinse it off but do not use any soap or chemicals. This mask is going to exfoliate your skin and you will have an instant glow.

Turmeric Cures Cracked Heels

Mix a pinch of turmeric with castor oil or coconut oil. Apply the mixture on your cracked heels. Do it before going to bed and do not forget to clean your feet before applying the paste. Leave it for overnight. Repeat this for a week and see the difference.

Lace Front Wig – Tape Or Glue? Choosing the Right Adhesive

Positioning a lace front wig requires practice and of course the right adhesive. Luckily there are adhesives in the market just made for applying lace wigs. Adhesives can be categorized in two main categories:

1. Tape adhesives are systems that incorporate a double-sided tape that is sticky on both sides. One sticky side is attached to your skin and the other sticky part is attached on the lace.

2. Glue adhesives work on the same principle, but they are firstly applied then allowed to sit until they are tacky. The main thing you need to remember is that contact glue is set before connecting the lace wig to the scalp.

If you are contemplating on what the best choice is, remember that each type has its pros and cons, as well as its specific uses. Generally, adhesives used for lace wigs are contact style adhesives, meaning that they are not like regular adhesives. They contain ingredients that need to work properly in contact with the human skin, in what concerns durability, dermatologic impact on the skin and ease of application.

1. Soluble types of adhesives can be water- based or solvent-based. The first type is less invasive to the skin and produces no allergic reaction, while the second contains compounds more aggressive to the skin but may last longer.

2. In order to prevent any allergic reaction to the lace wig adhesives, especially glue, you can make a hand test. Apply a small drop of glue on your skin, in any of the sensitive places of your body (meaning the inner side of the forearm, near the hairline or even on your neck). Leave it to dry for about half of hour, than remove it. If within 24 hours the place covered by glue becomes red and itchy, it may be a sign that you are allergic to it. In that case, you can use tape adhesives instead of glues

Take note: for applying a lace front wig correctly, you will need more than just the glue recipient or the tape. You can buy a variety of adhesive kits that include the adhesive, scalp protectors, fray block, conditioners to treat the hair on the lace wig in order to prevent the wear & tear and even products that will help you to remove effectively the adhesive from the lace front wig and the skin.

Nairobi Street Families and Their Love For Glue

Take a walk down the Nairobi streets. Life seems so normal… From sound blazing Public Service Vehicles snaking their way into the heart of the town to Motorcycle riders shoving the pedestrians along the foot paths, everybody seems to care about their own welfare. Most daily papers have described it as a city under the Sun. That is a true statement considering the fact that most of the city dwellers thrive under the sun. But unfortunately some feel its heat the most. Those who are left with no choice but to dwell in its narrow streets. Those who find solace in picking some few cartons spreading them across the street when it’s Isolated deep in the dark. They have been named the street families.

The streets families are awakened from their sleep by loud screeching sounds as the door of the businesses are opened. They stand and stretch. They pick their cartons to face a new harsh reality of life. One item that almost all of them never lack is glue firmly gripped in their hand. At least they always manage to place it safely for it to see another day.

Most street families have always managed to maintain a cordial relationship between themselves and the cobblers. They supply them with the glue at a relatively cheaper price or even sometimes for free depending on their interaction skills. Glue is their only source of hope. They sniff it first thing in the morning. They can’t stomach their feelings of hopelessness and their slimmer chances of making it into another day. They want to go about their daily activities without clear sense of mind. They cannot just handle the pressure if they are sober. It’s almost impossible. From Police brutality, County Council harassment, being suspected by the general public for any crime committed in the city, going hungry sometimes during the day, sleeping in the colds at night without any form of cover or shelter and to some extent some of them losing their lives after being knocked down by reckless and drunk drivers during the night it is always a mess to dwell in the city.

Most of them have been made to believe that glue sniffing has positive effects to their well beings mostly from their experienced counterparts. More over most of them affirm that sniffing glue makes them satisfied even without taking a meal. Some of them also have no doubt that after taking the substance; the cold vanishes from their bodies and makes them much warmer. Others have even gone to the further extreme by believing that the glue clears out the toxic chemicals from their nervous system and makes them more energized to face the day and also allows them to wear a smile on their faces.

It is very clear that the street families and their love for glue cannot be separated. They literally worship the drug. It’s almost impossible to convince them about the damage the glue can cause to their health system. But the best thing any human can do is to make them feel loved and appreciated and may be in doing so, they can open up and indicate their willingness to change and adapt healthy living styles.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome – Being Different

When I was twelve, our stern, small-town physician diagnosed me with mitral valve prolapse (MVP), though he never explained the disorder. During my teens I had strange symptoms other girls didn’t experience: fainting, fatigue, and eyes burning as though wind blew constantly into them. My mother noticed and trotted me off to that detestable, cursing physician.

In his office he scolded me in his nasal voice, “There’s not a damn thing wrong with you. God Almighty, don’t give your poor mother something more to worry about. Think about her instead of being selfish. What you need is a psychiatrist.” I can see his face redden with anger.

Didn’t he remember? Earlier, after his MVP diagnosis, he had curtailed any sports with the use of my arms, which is not the way MVP is handled now. According to him, in two years I would be fine. Actually I had felt better before the sports restriction. Without sports for two years I had lost muscle strength and tone.


MVP is the most commonly inherited heart problem in the United States. Yet it is listed with the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) because the disorder is not completely understood or acknowledged by most physicians. While the statistics vary with sources, the estimated percentage who have this problem includes as many as thirty percent in this country. According to a survey in the late 80s, three times more women have MVP than men.

The heart has four valves inside it to pump the blood in and out: the aortic, the mitral, the pulmonary, and the tricuspid. The mitral valve acts like a door between the left atrium and the left ventricle in the heart. When the lower part of a normal heart contracts, the mitral valve closes and prevents any blood leakage into the upper chamber. With MVP, the valve balloons out of shape. A physician hears this through a stethoscope as a click. If the valve shifts enough, it can allow some blood to flow back into the upper chamber, and the physician hears a murmur.

Have you heard your own heart through a stethoscope? Have you heard the click or the murmur? Ask your physician to allow you to do this. It’s important you know what sound your heart makes. Of course, some murmurs and clicks are difficult even for a cardiologist to detect. But give it a try. If you squat, the hardest position on the heart, you will hear it. One woman chose her physician based on whether the physician could hear her murmur.

However, this structural defect is not what usually causes the myriad of symptoms. Most MVP people have healthy hearts.


A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which has more than one cause, whereas a disease has a single cause. MVPS/D has a recognizable pattern of symptoms and signs. As the physicians and researchers understand, the symptoms reflect a failure of control mechanisms, specifically in the nervous system. The more they learn about the disorder, the more likely they will be able to find a single cause and convert MVPS/D to a disease status.

The nervous system is divided into two parts: voluntary and involuntary. The involuntary nervous system, also known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS), is more complex and controls most bodily functions such as body temperature, sweating, blood pressure, heart rate, salivation, pupil dilation and contraction, sleep-wakefulness balance, intestinal functions, digestion, and many others. This system has two major divisions: sympathetic, which speeds up the system, and the parasympathetic, which slows the system.

The physicians connect some MVP symptoms to the ANS, an imbalance known as dysautonomia or an autonomic (which means automatic) nervous system dysfunction. Therefore, when the MVP patient experiences symptoms that involve the ANS, the physicians refer to the disorder as mitral valve prolapse syndrome with dysautonomia, the most common type of dysautonomia.

The central problem of MVPS/D is the body’s excessive response to adrenaline and adrenaline-like hormones. (Hormones and nerves serve as control systems in the body.) Most MVPS/D patients have a bit too much noradrenaline, a related hormone. Most of the symptoms come from various organs’ over-responsiveness to even normal amounts of adrenaline-like hormones.

Thus, you can see it would be best for MVPS/D patients to minimize the release of adrenaline into their blood streams. Of course stimulants of any kind-caffeine, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, monosodium glutamate, and some over-the-counter medications, those containing caffeine, epinephrine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine-should be eliminated from your diet. Stimulants can include people and activities. Movies, at times, can over-stimulate my system, even talking.

Check with your physician before a therapist uses electricity, which can trigger symptoms. Patients should allow only moderate sun and heat exposure and gradually progress to condition their bodies to exercise. These cautions will sustain a high blood volume. A higher blood volume means an adrenaline increase is less likely. Patients also need to control their responses to stressful emotional situations. Yeah, right! That’s a trick in itself.

Debbie Petersen, who has yet to get her symptoms under control, calls the dysautonomia part an everyday hell to live with. “Right now it’s just trial and error every day.”

‘I was so happy to know there was a name for what is partly wrong with me: dysautonomia,” wrote Rita McNeil. “Most people have never heard of it, let alone know what it means.”

“The disorder takes a significant toll on lifestyle and work capacity,” commented Linda Smith of the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF).

Dr. David H. P. Streeten, a research pioneer for orthostatic intolerance (OI), sums the impact of dysautonomia on a person’s life: “While we are not constantly aware of the activity of the autonomic nervous system as we are of unusual sensory and motor events, the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system day and night, from heart-beat to heart-beat, plays a largely unconscious but vital role in our livelihood. It is not surprising, therefore, that autonomic abnormalities, though they are usually more difficult to recognize than a severe pain, a sensory loss, or paralysis of a limb, may be even more important in impairing the quality and even jeopardizing the continuation of life.”


The astronauts experience similar problems when they take off from Earth and land from outer space. Dr. Andrew Gaffney, cardiologist and astronaut, served as Payload Specialist on Spacelab Sciences 1 as part of a Space Shuttle Columbia mission in the early 90s to study the astronauts’ problems.

Understanding how our MVPS/D problems work helped him understand why the astronauts experience their symptoms such as dizziness and faintness when they stand. During the early part of the space flight, Dr. Gaffney flew with a catheter inserted into his arm vein to record the blood pressure around his heart. Within a few hours after lift-off, his blood pressure and blood volume dropped remarkably, according to Popular Science Magazine, March, 1993.

“As we sort out that data,” Dr. Gaffney said, “we are learning a lot more about where the blood goes, where it is stored-in terms of the venous system, and the relationship between the adrenalin levels and the blood volume.”

Dr. Gaffney, chief of clinical cardiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Memphis, TN, describes what he knows MVPS/D to be: “There is a primary abnormality of autonomic tone so that these people tend to be vascularly constricted.” That constriction leads to shrinkage of blood volume. The lower volume feeds back and causes more constriction and that becomes a vicious cycle.

That cycle contributes to the symptoms such as fatigue. “We all know patients who are anemic have fatigue, and everybody understands that,” Dr. Gaffney said. “Well, it is perhaps a little more difficult to understand (with MVPS/D). You can have the right amount of blood volume but if you don’t have enough red cells in it, then you get tired because you don’t deliver the oxygen. That’s anemia. You can have the right concentration of red blood cells, so you are not anemic, but if you don’t have enough blood, then it is the same problem. Absolute number of red blood cells that carry the oxygen is what determines whether you can exercise more.”


“Blood volume is critical to prevent symptoms from starting,” said Susan Elliott, who taught physics before MVPS/D symptoms changed her lifestyle. “When blood volume gets low, it tends to trigger a chain of reactive events that cause things like tachycardia, feeling too hot or too cold.”

Even a slight imbalance in the ANS can cause low blood volume in MVP patients. Up to twenty-five percent lower. The thirst signal fails to turn on, keeping the blood volume low.

It is very important for people with MVPS/D to drink at least 70 ounces of fluids daily, more if the temperature is higher. A good way to remember the amount is if the temperature is higher than 70, drink the equal number of ounces to the degrees in temperature. Such as if it is 86 degrees, drink 86 ounces of fluids. An easy way to achieve this is to keep a water bottle with you and try to drink eight ounces every hour. And to make it really fun, sing the tune to “Pump Up the Volume,” by M/A/R/R/S.

Susan also found the more water, the less her MVPS symptoms such as twisting leg muscles. Also included in her regimen were potassium, zinc, and magnesium, minerals helpful to heart and muscular function and energy metabolism.

Fluids “fake out your body,” Susan says, making it seem to have higher blood volume. She drinks a gallon of water a day, always remembering to salt the water or eat something salty with it. The salt helps retain water and valuable nutrients such as potassium. Another thought is to intake fluids with salt present like sports drinks or soups. However, patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) need to consult their physician first.


When a MVPS/D person lies down, she can immediately experience symptoms such as tachycardia or heart pounding. “If you lie flat, that can produce too much blood to your head and heart too fast,” Susan said.

While we are vertical, the blood circulates the entire body with less volume than people without MVP. When our bodies become horizontal, the blood floods the head and the heart chambers, causing the symptoms, until the pumping adjusts.

To offset this, some people sleep on a slight incline such as in a recliner. To create her slant, Susan puts a board beneath her headboard. Pat Conrad sleeps on two pillows. Then her palpitations are “not so extreme.” When the heart pain continues, she elevates her feet. My husband and I use two thick encyclopedia volumes that help me and his gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD).


People take their ability to stand for granted. OI patients do not. Daily they struggle with the symptoms brought on by the vertical position. Upon standing, a person with orthostatic hypotension, another word for OI, might experience lightheadedness, dizziness, palpitations (throbbing or heavy beats), tremulousness, visual changes, a stuffed head feeling, ears ringing or buzzing, fainting, and poor concentration because her blood pressure has suddenly fallen. About a half million Americans have OI, according to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation.

Being upright produces blood pooling in the lower abdomen and limbs, blood which is no longer available to the upper body. With an effective ANS, the body quickly compensates by increasing the heart rate and other cardiac output.

When the OI person stands, her blood volume lowers, her blood vessels lose an excessive amount of plasma, and her kidneys pour out salt.

Some patients experience fatigue, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeats), and shortness of breath, which is termed sympathontonic or hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension because the sympathetic part of the ANS increases.

Not every patient has all these abnormalities. Most OI patients have a mild case which can improve over weeks or months. Most will eventually be free of their symptoms.

However, in patients with severe symptoms or with a sudden ANS alteration such as actor-director Christopher Reeves experienced with his fall, the recovery may never come.

A few other names used for OI are as follows:

orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

hyperadrenergic postural hypotension

partial dysautonomia

sympathotonic orthostatic hypotension

hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension

mitral valve prolapse syndrome



Calcium, the body’s most abundant mineral, is located mostly in the bones and teeth because its function is to build and maintain bones and teeth. It also is essential for healthy blood, regular heart beats, and proper nerve transmission. Calcium is beneficial for cardiovascular disorders. Cases of calcium deficiency have provoked heart palpitations, slow pulse rates, and excessive irritability of nerves and muscles.

The best supplemental source lies in calcium lactate or gluconate because these are natural derivatives and easier to absorb. Foods rich in calcium are milk products, green leafy vegetables, shellfish, and molasses.


This necessary mineral lives within the body cells to activate enzymes for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. It helps to regulate the acid-alkaline balance and to promote absorption and metabolism of other minerals and vitamins. With nearly 70 percent of it located in the bones, magnesium aids during bone growth, is vital for proper nerve, muscle, and heart functions, helps regulate body temperature and blood sugar convert to energy. Magnesium is alkaline, so it should not be taken after meals but can be used in place of antacids.

This mineral can help prevent heart attacks and depression. It is beneficial for neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, and sensitivity to noise. Contrary to the old sayings, magnesium helps form the hard tooth enamel that resists decay, not calcium.

Large amounts of magnesium can be toxic if the calcium is low and phosphorus is high. Magnesium loss increases with the use of diuretics and alcohol. Foods rich in this mineral are seafood, whole grains, dark-green vegetables, molasses, and nuts.


Elaine Hansen had spells of irregular heartbeats that would last up to twelve hours, often during the night. She felt very tired afterwards. Her family physician said the cause was low potassium.

This essential mineral works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat. If you’re prone to palpitations, you might feel them when you are in the low-to-normal range for serum potassium. When they come on, try drinking orange juice to help the palpitations go away.

Together, potassium and sodium regulate the body’s water balance, i.e. they distribute the fluids on the cells’ walls. They equalize the acid-alkali factor, help in muscle contraction and expansion and in nerve stimulation. With phosphorus, potassium sends oxygen to the brain and with calcium regulates neuromuscular activity. This is a handy little mineral for our bodies.

However, potassium and sodium must be in balance or excessive salt will deplete potassium. Alcohol and excessive sugar can deplete both potassium and magnesium. Potassium is excreted through urination and perspiration. Foods with potassium are lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, dried fruits, legumes, and sunflower seeds. A high potassium level can be life-threatening and can occur in renal failure.


Half of our body’s sodium is found in the extra-cellular fluids such as the blood vessels, arteries, veins, and capillaries. As I wrote in the last section, sodium works in conjunction with potassium. It keeps other blood minerals soluble so they won’t become deposits in the bloodstream. Foods naturally rich in sodium are seafood, celery, milk products, table salt, and baking powder.


In elementary school we learned water is two-thirds of our body weight, so we know it’s our body’s most important nutrient. It makes up about 70 percent of our weight. We can live longer without food than we can without water. Water is needed for everything from maintaining body temperature to carrying away our waste. For MVPS/D, water is essential to maintain a level high blood volume.

My young neighbor Ryan had a problem with constipation. His parents used all the usual remedies. Still, Ryan might wait as long as five days without a bowel movement.

Finally his doctor asked how much water he drank daily. When his mother answered, the doctor said that was sufficient for some; however, some people’s colons absorb water at different rates. The faster the absorbency, the firmer the stools. Presumably then (assuming no other variants), the more water one drinks, the softer the stools.

I never considered water as an answer to my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I had assured myself I drank enough water. Besides, my stools usually change when I’ve overworked and my other symptoms, such as migraine and fatigue, come out of hiding.

When I began drinking my gallon (and that takes discipline!), my stools softened to normal consistency without my other MVPS/D appearing. Since I’ve been on the gallon regimen, my stools have been firm or softened, never irritably hard.

Of course, other elements can be involved such as the foods we eat and much more. Chocolate and red meats harden stools. I discovered . . . for me . . . that water helped my IBS.

Someone commented about drinking too much water. In the May, 2000, issue of Town and Country magazine, Diane Quagliani, a registered dietitian and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, was quoted, “Everyone loses about ten cups of water daily, so it’s important to drink about eight eight-ounce cups of fluid-the rest is made up by water in foods and the water the body makes in metabolism. The bigger, more active, and more overheated you are, the more fluids you should take in. Taking in too much (water) is not very likely, unless it is gallons a day, and the main danger would be flushing out too many electrolytes. Healthy kidneys can keep up with most consumption.”

Others complained they would have to run to the potty more often. In hot humid weather, the average person should eliminate urine every two hours if the person drinks sufficient water to cover sweating, according to my family physician.

When I tried the gallon experiment, some days I hit the toilet plunger more than the norm. But another day I wouldn’t. What is normal anyway? The question should be “What is best for your body?”

The Town and Country article writer, Ila Stranger, wrote that it “makes sense that drinking enough water is bound to help us avoid dehydration-which can happen as easily in the overheated rooms of midwinter as in the summer sun-and make us look and feel alive and well.”

Each day I grab a gallon jug of spring water or fill a gallon pitcher and set it on the counter to remind me to strive to drink more water. Not only for my IBS but for my blood volume, blood pressure, and the many other tasks my body constantly performs. I’ve found in the winter lukewarm water is swallowed easier. Ice water is a shock to the throat, sometimes even in hot weather.

Some people prefer to drink mineral water rather than tap water. Others use well water. Neither should be relied upon for a person’s source of minerals. Distilled means the water has been boiled water with all harmful or beneficial minerals eliminated. Fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources for chemically pure water, which is 100 percent pure hydrogen and oxygen. The use of these are an individual choice.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s hot line is 1-800-426-4791; its website is http://www.epa.gov/safewater. The Natural Resources Defense Council website (www.nrdc.org) contains in its archives the results of a recent four-year study on bottled waters. The author of the summary results is Dr. Andrew Weil on the website http://www.pathfinder.com/drweil.


Before any invasive procedures, MVPS/D patients with valve leakage should take antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection from forming on their valve. Such as dental work, body piercing, tattoo, and surgery. A few years ago the physicians recommended antibiotics for all MVP patients. Now only those with definite regurgitation (leakage) are urged to do this, and the dosage has been cutback to only before the procedure.

For other surgeries and procedures you can consult with your physician or the MVP clinics.


Dr. Al Davies, associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has led the MVPS/D research of chemical reactions between adrenaline and several important proteins.

The proteins are located near the lining membrane of a cell of a body organ. Three proteins of greatest importance are: the receptor on the cell’s surface, a G-protein located inward, and an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase on the inside cell membrane’s surface.

Normally, adrenaline attaches to the receptor protein, which combines with the G-protein. (Full name is stimulatory guanine nucleotide regulatory protein.) Once these are activated, they turn on the enzyme which causes internal actions such as rising blood pressure or increased heart rate.

Dr. Davies and his colleagues have shown that the MVPS/D patient’s abnormally increased sensitivity to adrenaline is due to an overly active, abnormal G-protein.

The possibilities to the question “Why?” are numerous. And there are many steps before a full answer and treatment are developed. The researchers thought this might be due to an abnormal gene since the illness is hereditary. However, their studies show the gene is normal.

To the MVPS/D patient, that finding carries hope because the cause is not something as simple as a bad gene passed down from our grandfather. Something happens to the protein after the gene makes it and before the adrenaline activates it.

Editor of the November, 1998, special American Journal of Medical Sciences supplement on OI, Dr. David Robertson entitled the issue “Epidemic of Orthostatic Tachycardia and Orthostatic Intolerance.” Dr. Robinson writes that many centers actively pursue OI research and expect rapid improvements in diagnosis and therapy. The director of the Clinical Research Center at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, he adds, “A healthy appearing 20-year-old woman with dizziness, palpitations, and fatigue is certainly no longer passed over as having a psychosomatic illness!” Well, maybe not in Nashville. Generally the tilt table test is used to diagnose a dysautonomia.


My former country physician may sound old-fashioned and something of the past; however, we with MVPS/D know his attitude remains with most of the physicians we meet today. One of the tough barriers we have to get around is finding a knowledgeable, caring physician.

For most people who have diabetes, cancer, or even strange diseases, they can contact a physician, and within a few visits they have their illnesses diagnosed. They are believed from the time they enter the physician’s office.

We with MVPS/D are not believed. We must research our own disorder, be abreast of the latest drug regimens, carry literature about our illness to give to the physician, and then know the physician probably will not consider our illness legitimate or treat us. It’s just crazy when you think about it! How much proof does a physician need? Why can’t they keep informed about MVPS/D when a fifth of the nation has MVP and might possibly become symptomatic?

Education and research are keys to solving the MVPS/D puzzle in our bodies. With these always lies hope. Miles and miles of hope!

Choosing a Mini Excavator and Its Advantages

The construction and landscaping industry has taken control of all their projects with the help of heavy equipment machines. However, if you would only want to do a certain construction or landscaping at a small area at home like improving your patio or making a small pond for your garden, you will not need a heavy equipment machine anymore because they can come in small sizes also. Choosing a mini excavator would be a very good idea because it will fit even in a small area just like that of your own home.

The mini excavators have a great advantage especially on its size. Due to its small size they can be used for home improvements. They can work efficiently on a small area. Aside from that, they cannot create traffic because it can only consume a small area in the road when there are some improvements done on pavements. Due to its small size they can even be transported from one place to another especially when it is needed for another small project. It can be towed behind a big truck.

The compact excavators are also considered very versatile machines. Different attachments can be placed to it for different tasks. For instance a bucket is used to help in digging and loading materials. It can also be used for other tasks like collecting logs on the ground by replacing the attachment with a grappler. Moreover, a mallet application is also used when there are objects that need to be broken down into smaller pieces. During the winter season, it can also be used to clear the way from piles of snow by just using another kind of attachment.

Because of its different applications, the mini excavators are considered very flexible and cost effective machines. You do not have to buy another machine for a specific task because all you need to do is avail of its different hydraulic attachments. You can consider it as a reliable machine for how many years that will help you through a lot of construction and landscaping tasks. Your estimate on the costs of machines will be lessened by its versatility. You can just spare the remaining money for other important materials that you will utilize for the whole project.

Lastly, these machines can be easily available for you. You can buy a brand new one from different compact excavator suppliers. If you do not have the budget for it, you can go for the used ones. They may not look like the brand new machines, but they can still be effective for working especially when the engine and all its other parts are still in good shape. Lastly, for smaller projects like that at your own home, you can decide to go for mini excavators that are for rent.

These are the advantages of choosing a mini excavator. Aside from its size, it can be used for different applications and you do not have to worry as to where to get hold of this kind of machine.

How to Board Up Windows in a Brick House

The first thing to learn on how to board up windows on a brick house is that you need to start by counting your windows and then measure the openings. Count on boarding all windows, sky lights, doors and any roof vents or places where wind could cause damage if it got into your house. If this is because you are leaving your home for a time and do not want your windows broken, you do not have to be quite so fussy.

To measure each opening from the inside to the inside horizontally on the exterior trim and vertically starting at the sill go to the bottom of the top trim. Add eight inches to both width and height to make sure the panel will overlap framing.

The plywood needs to be at least 5/8 inches but preferably greater exterior grade. Plywood is usually sold in sheets four foot by eight foot. You might have to use more than one sheet for a large opening. One thing I always emphasize on how to board up windows on a brick house is that you need to wear goggles and gloves.

To make sure you get the right type of fasteners for brick ask for help at the lumberyard, hardware store, or home improvement center where you are buying your supplies unless you are familiar with fastening heavy plywood to brick. The plywood panels have to fit very tightly because if a strong wind gets under them they will be ripped off.

Secure the panels at each corner then install the remainder, space the fasteners six inches apart starting at the center for windows four feet or under and three inches for more than four feet.

Finding Bad Credit, No Credit or Broken Lease Apartments in New Orleans LA

Are you in New Orleans and are looking for an apartment that rents with bad credit, or a broken lease? You are not alone. Recently, the practice of many area apartments to conduct routine credit checks on all prospective applicants has meant that those with problematic credit or rental history. If you have a previous broken lease, or a credit score that is less than optimum, you may be denied an apartment in the city of New Orleans. Many individuals and families whose credit is less than perfect, or who have prior rental problems are on the lookout for apartments which either will be lenient and approve them despite of past issues or those apartments that do no credit check. Let us look at ways to locate these apartments.

One way is off course to drive around. This may be very inefficient especially if you do not know where to start. There are places within New Orleans where these apartments are in hot concentration and there are others where they are in short supply. A lot has changed for the better since Hurricane Katrina rearranged much of the city and residents are coming back to the city in large numbers. In fact New Orleans was labeled one of the fastest growing cities in the US by Monster.com. Areas to start looking include Metairie, Kenner, Chalmette, Meraux, Salvador, Harvey, Belle Chasse, LaPlace, The Pen, Gheens. Close range cities like Baton Rouge are also great places to look for no credit or bad credit apartments.

A great tactic that many have utilized is the Internet. This allows you to look through different apartments and also different areas within New Orleans to see whether there are any areas that you desire to explore. The Net also allows you to call the leasing office and try your chances before you even make the trip and this can be a huge time-saver.

Utilizing apartment locators in New Orleans to locate bad credit apartments can also yield helpful results. This is because they maintain a database of local apartments especially those that were not damaged by Katrina and can also help you locate those that are not very strict when it comes to credit checks and rental history checks.

It is wise to note that even if you locate these apartments, there are certain routine criteria they may ask you to meet. One is off course proof of income. Others may add a criminal background check on top of the proof of employment.