Projector Ceiling Mounts

In most boardrooms, you'll find the projector permanently mounted, convenient, and ready for use at any time. They are either wall-mounted or ceiling-mounted. However, in a larger room that is routinely used for educational or promotional programs, ceiling-mounted projection is the best possible choice.

When the viewing audience is sizeable, all the space on the floor is needed for seats. Projecting from a roll-around cart has many disadvantages, not the least of which is the power source. On the other hand, with ceiling-mounted projection, it is always ready to use.

Your dealer should tell you whether the projector you're buying can be viewed upside down and whether there is a mount for this particular model. If not, ask. Not all projectors can be ceiling-mounted.

Your projector dealer will have the kind of mount you need for ceiling-mounted projection and will be able to help you with directions for installing it. You may choose to have a professional installer do this work for you; however, many projector owners who are do-it-yourselfers do it themselves.

Physical Alignment

If you are unable to adjust the keystone of a projector, then this is vital. If the projector and screen are not "square" to each other or if there is significant deviation from the recommendations of the manufacturer, you'll have serious and frustrating problems with adjustments and picture quality. You need to preplan. The location of the ceiling-mounted projector with relationship to the screen needs to be as precise as possible. Mark the spot once and then verify by going through all the steps again.

Again, if you're doing this yourself, be sure to get the advice of an experienced technician who has done many ceiling mounted projection installations.

Convert Factory Installation Charts

There should be a chart in the box with your projector. Unfortunately, your equivalents might be different from the one shown so you'll need to do the conversion for ceiling-mounted projection yourself. For example, if the chart shows 4: 3 aspect ratio screens but your screen is 16: 9, you'll need to make that conversion. Your dealer should be able to help you with these calculations.

Attaching the Projector Ceiling Mount

In the first place, please remember that a ceiling-mounted projector must be solidly and securely mounted no matter what kind of ceiling you have. For example, if this is in a typical residence, the ceiling is probably drywall attached to strapping that is attached to joists. If this is true, mount to the joist! Neither drywall nor strapping is adequate to support a ceiling-mounted projector.

Some installers attach a ¾ "plywood support panel securely to the joists and then attach the mount to that. Be sure to use screws that are adequate to the job so your mount will be secure.

Mounting a ceiling-mounted projector to an upstairs floor or an attic floor requires the same steps but with modifications to fit the configuration. On the other hand, if the ceiling is concrete, six ½ "sleeve anchor bolts are recommended.

Almost every projector ceiling mount can be attached through a suspended ceiling and to cathedral ceilings, but they will have special requirements. Ask your dealer or an experienced technician about such an installation.

Caring For A Masonry Floor

Products of the earth, natural masonry materials come in an array of textures, subtle shades of color, and a variety of shapes that can be used to create a striking interior floor. Masonry is made from stone or clay. Whether used in it’s original form – marble or slate, for example – or in manmade versions, like brick or terrazzo, masonry makes an exceptionally tough, durable floor.

Stone masonry flooring- marble, slate, limestone, granite, and flagstone- is usually installed only in entryways, kitchens, and bathrooms, or used as decorative flooring around fireplaces.

Brick, a relatively inexpensive type of masonry, is becoming an increasingly popular choice for interior floors. Its mass and its heat retaining property make it ideal for passive solar home designs.

The porous surface of most masonry flooring must be sealed after the flooring is installed. Special sealers are available for specific types of masonry. Most are penetrating sealers that soak into the porous surface; depending on the flooring material, you may need to apply several coats to produce a hard surface.

Your masonry supplier can recommend the right product for the type of masonry floor you’ve installed. To apply the sealer, follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Once the surface has been sealed, masonry floors are very easy to maintain. The materials are rugged and durable and need only an occasional sweeping and washing with a damp sponge mop and mild detergent.

You may have to apply a light coat of wax now and then to bring out the character and texture of the flooring material. Check the label of the wax container to make sure the wax you’ve selected is compatible with the masonry material. Generally, you’ll be looking for a water-base emulsion wax.

2010 Toyota Avalon Limited – Toyota's Flagship Sedan

When Toyota first launched its luxury brand Lexus, the roles of each nameplate were clearly defined: Toyota offered vehicles for the average consumer, and Lexus catered to the more upscale buyer. Now, almost 20 years later, the lines between Toyota and Lexus have become less clear. Toyota's Avalon, a near-luxury, full-size sedan is a perfect example of that blur.

Base-priced at $ 27,945 for the entry-level Avalon XL and $ 35,285 for the top-end Avalon Limited tested here, Toyota's flagship sedan is so competent, it's more than qualified to cannibalize sales of the ES 350 in the company's upscale Lexus division. The Avalon features a 111-inch wheelbase (1.7 inches longer than cousin Camry), a potent 268-horsepower 3.5-liter dual VVT-i 24-valve V6, and enough electronic advancements to satisfy premium buyers. The only place it misses true bliss is in interior quietness, which is compromised by wind noise at higher cruising speeds and by tire noise over rough surfaces.

The Avalon is impressive design-wise, especially in profile where its arched roofline and high beltline, and wheels pushed toward the corners, suggest Lexus and even Mercedes-Benz sedans. However the interior is distinctly muted in contrast to the rich-appearing finishing touches of luxury cars. Doubtlessly this is to keep the Toyota's price in check, and to keep it from challenging Lexus too strongly.

A primary benefit of the Avalon's stretched wheelbase is expanded rear legroom: At 40.9 inches, it's 2.6 inches more than the Camry and within millimeters of the $ 80,300 BMW 750i. The front seats are quite comfortable and feature eight-way power adjustments with power-adjustable lumbar support, a driver's seat cushion extension, and front-seat ventilation and heating. A couple of minor ergonomic complaints: The driver's knee airbag panel and the corner of the navigation-system door contacted our (admittedly lanky) knees in normal driving.

We put our bags into the Avalon's enormous 15 cubic-foot trunk and headed from Los Angeles to Monterey, Calif. for the annual summer Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and collector-car auctions. Running a bit behind schedule at first, Toyota's navigation system (a $ 2,000 option that also includes a JBL sound system) worked reassuringly behind the scenes to guide us along with the quickest route while providing estimated travel time. At 70 mph the Avalon's engine turns a relaxed 2100 rpm, its VVT-i system adjusting the valve timing for maximum torque and efficiency. And when booting it to squirt around a lumbering truck, the power build was so seamless as to be undetectable, unlike on some other competitors' variable valve-timing systems. In fact, the Avalon's robust performance, low engine NVH, and passable fuel economy (we observed 25.3 mpg) make its powertrain a genuine standout.

Quietly efficient was the Avalon's six-speed automatic transmission. Operating just about as smoothly as a CVT, the transmission truly has a gear for every need, and its shift algorithms are right on target. As well, a Sequential Shift feature allows manual shifting for added control on winding roads, hills – or just for fun.

Additional premium features include a Smart Key system that replaces the traditional ignition key with a transponder that doubles as a remote door lock / unlock fob. As a result, one never needs to physically operate the fob to unlock the car or start the engine – the driver's door unlocks when you approach it, and simply pressing the Start button on the instrument panel (while applying the brakes) gets you going. Additional useful safety and convenience functions include crisp HID headlights with auto-leveling, rain-sensing wipers, and a power rear sunshade.

While these features have been in the industry for some time, the Avalon Limited boasts one newer technology in its dynamic laser cruise control (a $ 600 option), which uses a laser and special computer programming to keep pace with the vehicle ahead. Say you're booking along at 75 in the fast lane on dynamic laser cruise. As you gradually close on a slower vehicle, the system automatically reduces engine output to keep a safe following distance (a very long one at that) then resumes your previous pace when the other vehicle changes lanes or speeds up. So what if someone suddenly cuts in front of you? The system goes into save-your-bacon mode, reducing engine power, applying the brakes, and sounding an attention-grabbing beeper.

Fifty years ago, American cars almost promised us interstellar adventure with their space-age tailfins, V8 power and flashy interiors. The 2010 Avalon Limited has none of these, but with features like GPS navigation and dynamic laser cruise control, it's actually a whole lot closer to delivering just that.

Benefits of Asphalt Sealing

Asphalt is certainly an affordable and practical choice if you’re looking for a material that can be used in paving driveways, parking lots or even sidewalks. Undeniably, there are numerous benefits of asphalt sealing compared to concrete. This black, cement-like substance is mostly derived from crude petroleum and is used extensively in maintaining pavements, but it has significant uses in other industrial areas as well.

Asphalt sealing is almost always used for street paving. Not surprisingly, it is used to surface about 90 percent of paved roads, along with driveways too. After several years, water may get into the surface of the pavement or the driveway and break it apart. Thus seal coat will restore the smooth surface and considerably extending the life of your driveway. One of the great advantages of asphalt is that it lasts for a long time. It may take years at a time before you need to apply another sealer.

Perhaps one of its best benefits is that it’s easy to use to construct a good road surface. If you’re looking into saving some money, then you can definitely pave your own driveway. Applying seal coats is relatively easy and wouldn’t take too much time. And if done properly, you’ll surely be amazed with the results. Materials can be purchased from a home improvement store and you can start repairing that cracked, pitted or rutted driveway in just a matter of time.

Another benefit is that asphalt is probably the best sealing agent as it doesn’t wear off quickly. As it dries, it turns into a hard, shiny surface that is very efficient in sealing the pavement from rain or snow. The sealer is a bonding agent that tends to be stay for years. A lot of people suppose that concrete will do better than asphalt sealing but this is totally wrong. It wont be as cost effective and isn’t easy to apply too.

Without a doubt, there are a lot of things to remember when you want to repair or repave your driveway. Several choices are also available so you have to know which one works best for you. But if you’re intensely concerned with affordability, usability and ease; you can never go wrong if you’ll choose asphalt sealing. Just bear in mind these benefits of asphalt sealing and you can be assured of the best possible result and getting the best value for your money.

Want a Loan From a Commercial Mortgage Bridge Lender? Talk About What's Important to Them

The best piece of advice I can give to commercial property owners and investors trying to convince a private lender (often called a "hard money" lender) to make a loan is to talk more about things the lender cares about and do not talk as much about things you care about.

Private bridge lenders have two primary goals the first is preservation of capital and the second is making money; from a business standpoint those are the primary things they care about. Any borrower who hopes to secure a loan approval and close a deal would do well to remain focused on these areas.

It is of paramount importance that you persuade the lender that they will get their money back, on time and with interest and that the property has the intrinsic value to support the loan.

Private Lenders Care about Current Values

Bridge lenders are short-term lenders. Most firms rarely makes bridge loans for terms of more than eighteen months. Grandiose visions of what a building will be worth after you refurbish it or how much income it will produce after you boost occupancy rates are all-well-and-good but will not be considered when a bridge lender is calculating their maximum loan amount.

Talk about the current value of the building and the current income the building produces and you will be talking the language of the private commercial mortgage lender. Most private lenders have fairly strict loan-to-value (LTV) ratio standards that they are will not violate. Virtually all of them are based on current market value or quick sale value. Loan officers will listen to your plans for value creation and wish you well but they will only lend money against today's value and income.

Private Lenders Care about Protective Equity

Borrowers argue in vain when they argue with private commercial mortgage lenders for higher LTV ratios. Preservation of capital is a primary objective of every bridge lender out there. The people who invested millions of dollars in private commercial mortgage pools and private equity funds that make commercial mortgage bridge loans are very interested in making money but they are even more interested in not losing the money they already have.

Every LTV percentage point is a point of risk to the lender. The managers of commercial mortgage funds thought very carefully about how much risk they were willing to take and they set their maximum LTV ratios based on that assessment. The private investors, pension funds and trusts that placed money with a private lender did so based on the specific investment policy (including LTV rations) that was presented to them.

Do not bother requesting a higher LTV you will not get it. Instead put your efforts into archiving the required LTV. Consider bringing in a cash partner, think about contributing more hard equity (cash) out-of pocket, look into syndicating the deal, or, if you're buying an existing asset, renegotiate the purchase price with the existing owner.

Private Lenders Care about the Exit Strategy

One of the best ways to get into a loan is to work out how you are going to get out of the loan before you even apply. In-other-words, your exit strategy is more important to a private lender than any other aspect of your business plan. Make sure you have a good one and emphasize it throughout the loan process.

Short-term lenders want to know for sure exactly how and exactly when they will be paid back, in-full, with interest. You will be asked about your exit and your exit will be scrutinized. You will be tempted to talk about getting into a deal. Resist that temptation and talk to your lender about how you will be paying them off and getting them out.

If your exit is the sale of the asset have detailed comparable sales data on hand, have a comprehensive marketing plan already done before you ask for a dime. If you are planning to use a real estate agent, select them ahead of time, use one that specializes in commercial properties and have them draw up a broker price opinion for you.

If your exit plan is to get financed through a conventional lender meet with the loan officer and get as much commitment from them as they are willing to give; a forward commitment is ideal though not easy to get. Print out the banks lending criteria and prove to your private lender that you can and will meet them. Set up a call or meeting between your bank lender and your private lender so everyone can be sure everyone is on the same page.

Your vision will be about getting in and adding value. Your bridge lenders vision will be all about getting paid and getting out. Talk about what is important to them.

Private Lenders Care about Commitment

If a private lender makes a short term commercial bridge loan to fund your project they will be making a huge financial commitment; they will want to see a huge commitment to the deal on your part.

Always talk about what you are willing to do to make a deal work. Never talk about what you refuse to do. When a potential borrower applies for a commercial mortgage and the first thing they mention is something they are not willing to do, it is the kiss of death to their loan application.

Negative statements are taken as a lack of commitment and will be extremely off-putting to lenders.

Declarations like: "I'm putting in X dollars in cash and not a dollar more" or "I will not sign a personal guarantee" say to a lender "I'm not really committed to this deal". If your not 100% behind a deal the lender will walk away.

The kind of borrower private lenders are looking for is the kind who is so convinced that their deal will make them money that they are willing to go all in. If you nickel and dime a hedge fund or private equity shop about things like appraisal fees and legal expenses it will be taken as a sign that your deal is not all-that strong.

A good rule of thumb is until you have a preliminary approval in-hand and you know the bridge lender wants to make a deal do not say anything except that you are willing to do what ever it takes to get it closed. There will be time later to talk about who pays for the survey or the phase one environmental report (it will be the borrower) or to discuss the level of personal versus business recourse to build into the loan.

Never open with your demands. Lenders do not care about what you will not do they want to know what you will do.

Private lenders want to make deals; that's how we make our profits. That-being-said, do not forget that not losing money is at-least as important to bridge lenders as making money is.

When in talks with a private commercial mortgage lender, stick to things that are important to them. This will show that you are professional and have a realistic outlook.

Stress the current value of a property, do not ask lenders to relax LTV standards instead find ways to reach them, have a real exit strategy and be ready to defend it and demonstrate as much commitment to your deal as you are asking for from the lender.

In-short, if you want them to write that big check, talk much more about what concerns them and much less about what concerns you.

Some Interesting Facts About Bolt Fasteners And Their Uses

Bolt fasteners are the most vital element of the hardware family. These are the male hardware part or thread that on combining with their female counterpart i.e. nut fasteners to fix different things. The things that are separate in nature are easily combined with their help. These are widely used in various industries like construction, manufacturing, automobile, machinery, aircraft etc.

The market is flooded with their wide array of sizes, designs & specifications. Manufactures are offering these in various sizes, specifications, designs & shapes in order to meet the requirements of the industries. Varied applications required differed sizes, so it is necessary to offer these as per specification so that necessary fixing can take place.

The most popular types that are available in the market include stainless steel, MS, Hex, Heavy Hex, etc. As per the international guidelines, some of the standard sizes are predefined. But with the fast change technology, varied shapes commodities are being manufactured every day. So for these, customized sizes & specifications are widely required.

Manufacturers of bolts are offering their collection in array of standard sizes & specifications. Apart from these, they are also manufacturing customized sizes & designs so that the buyers get the preferred choice of product. They use advance manufacturing techniques & equipment in order to offer the best quality. In order to meet the international quality standards, the manufacturers also test their products so that the buyers get the best quality & no accident can take place during their application.

Manufacturers are using different material while developing their products in order to cater the varied requirement of the industry. Most popular types of materials include cast iron, aluminium, stainless steel, PVC & various other. But stainless steel bolts are the most preferred choice of material to develop. This is due to the fact that this offers several attributes that are not found in any other material. The most prominent feature of this is it offers high tensile strength. With this it can offer high frictional forces against the vibrations & moments. Another attribute of this is that it is light in weight, thus offering full flexibility during use.

In various cases, these have to get exposed to the environment. We all have studied that when metal or alloy comes in the contact of the water molecules then the process of corrosion starts. So, in order to avoid the phenomenon of corrosion or rust, stainless steel bolts are provided with rust resistant coating. Manufacturers offer their products with PVC coating in order to provide them strength against rust & corrosion.

You can get bolt fasteners of your choice from the leading manufacturers or brands. The best way to get the superb quality products is to buy online.

Apple IMac VESA Mount Adapter Kit For Wall Mount – VESA Bracket For Intel Aluminum IMac 21.5 Inch

If you have been looking for a VESA mount adapter kit to mount your new iMac 20 "or 21.5", but have not been able to find a solution, you are not alone. iMac users were left to figure out how to attach their 17 ", 20", and now, 21.5 "iMac All-In-One computers to VESA-compliant arms and wall mounting systems.

Now, Apple has introduced their new Intel based aluminum iMac all-in-one computers. They have discontinued the 20 "and 24" models and now offer a 21.5 "and 27". I have had the pleasure of seeing the new iMacs and must say that Apple has once again created something spectacular. As with the previous 24 "iMac, the new 27" model does have a VESA mount adapter kit available from Apple. But the more popular 21.5 "model has a stand that was not designed to be removed and any attempt to do so could result in voiding its warranty.

This is why I created the iMac VESA Mount Adapter to retrofit to the stand of the iMac using the cable hole on the back. This way, there is no need to open or modify your iMac computer. It is very simple to use, attaching and detaching quickly so you can easily move your computer to another area, or take it with you on your travels. Also, many customers express that they prefer not to remove the stand because they purchased the iMac as a portable system.

The parts are manufactured in high-grade, aircraft aluminum steel and a durable anodize finish is applied to the adapter bracket. I wanted the adapter kit to be suitable for the elegant iMac, to look like a part of the computer. The kit provides the correct interface to attach the iMac to a VESA-compliant mounting systems having the 100 x 100mm (4 "x 4") hole pattern.

In case you currently have the 17 "or 20" G5, Intel "white" model, or earlier Intel "aluminum" iMac and wish to mount it, but are concerned about having to purchase a new mount adapter in the future. I have designed this iMac VESA Mount Adapter Kit to mount all 17 ", 20" and 21.5 "iMac models offered by Apple. Rest assured that when you decide to upgrade, the mount adapter will be ready for you.

If you are searching for a VESA Adapter Kit to mount your 17 ", 20", or 21.5 "iMac, your search is over! For more information, please visit my website.

Thank you!

Can Shoe Inserts Help Hammertoes?

The recent interest in shoe inserts in the retail community has caused an explosion of store chains and individual businesses that have begun to offer these devices to the general public. Unfortunately, very few of these retail stores or businesses have employees, managers, or even owners who have any clear idea how the foot actually functions, and certainly do not have medical or biomechanical training appropriate to make claims on how an insert is going to affect a foot. As such, this author (a practicing foot and ankle surgeon) has heard numerous and dubious claims as to the effectiveness of insert ‘x’ versus insert ‘y’. One of the more common and dubious misrepresentations seen is that of the effectiveness of a shoe insert to control or cure hammertoe deformity. This article will discuss that deformity, as well as how inserts actually effect the development or progression of hammertoes versus the claims of some shoe insert retailers.

Hammertoes are common in humans, and simply represent an imbalance of the muscles that control the flexing and extending of the toes. There are several conditions that can lead to this deformity, but by far and away the usual cause is one’s genetic foot structure from birth. The most common cause of hammertoes is a flat foot structure, followed by a high arch foot structure as the next most common cause. Although these foot shapes are on the far end of the spectrum from one another, they exert somewhat similar effects on the toes. Essentially, the leg muscle adjustments that have to be made to stabilize a flat foot, or accommodate for a more rigid high arch, causes an imbalance in a complex coordination of moving tissue in the foot. The eventual result over a long period of time is the gradual drawing up or curling of the toes. Although medically the word ‘hammertoe’ describes a specific type of toe joint contracture, it is commonly used in public to describe all types of toe bending (including claw toes and mallet toes). For the sake of simplicity in this article the term hammertoes will likewise represent all these types.

The formation of hammertoes is a long process that occurs over decades, starting with one’s first steps. Some children develop these quickly due to advanced changes in the structural imbalance (or due to neuromuscular birth defects), while others do not see notable changes until well into adulthood. Regardless of the timing, one thing is clear: no pad, brace, taping technique, or shoe insert will alter or change the toe structure once the deformity occurs. Nothing.

Herein lies the problems with the claims of some retail insert stores. An off-the-shelf insert will have no effect whatsoever on one’s hammertoes. In fact, if the device fits poorly in the shoe, it can actually worsen the hammertoe’s symptoms by forcing the toes to become too prominent against the top of the shoe. A hammertoe is already at risk for developing corns due to excessive pressure against the top of shoe, and any excessively bulky or abnormally fitting shoe insert that has an extension to the toes can make this worse. The only way to ‘fix’ a hammertoe is to have a surgical corrective procedure performed upon it. This procedure can be as simple as releasing a tendon in an office setting, or as complex as a bone fusion procedure that reshapes the toe into a straight lever. Most hammertoe corrective surgery falls somewhere in between, with some tissue rebalancing and some bone reshaping to allow the toe to settle into a straight position. Recovery is relatively easy, and has a low complication rate. Other than surgery, no other technique will bring a hammertoe into a permanently straight position. Pads will relieve skin pressure, taping and splints will temporarily hold the toe down while they are applied, and inserts will do….well, nothing. An exception is the use of a prescription insert made of a mold of one’s foot while that foot is held in a very specific anatomic neutral position. This type of medical device is called a functional orthotic (as opposed to store-bought inserts that are accommodative orthotics as they simply accommodate the foot without correcting it). This prescription devise likewise will not correct a hammertoe deformity, as once again only surgery will do. However, a functional orthotic will decrease the potential worsening a hammertoe will undergo over the course of many years by helping to correct the abnormal tissue imbalance seen in those with flat feet. In these individuals, a prescription insert may keep the hammertoe from becoming significantly worse if used regularly for years. This is a benefit that a store-bought insert will not provide, no matter how much they cost, though the benefit is of little help for those with existing hammertoes that are painful.

In summary, it should be clear by this point that shoe inserts will not help ‘cure’ hammertoes or hammertoe pain. Even a prescription insert is of little help, except to change the underlying foot structure to slow down gradual worsening of the deformity. Spending large sums of money on factory-made plastic devices will solve nothing except to lighten the wallet. Hammertoes need an evaluation by a physician foot specialist with years of medical, biomechanical, and surgical training to determine the best treatment course, and not the opinion of a retail sales clerk. One does not go to the department store cosmetics counter for an opinion on skin cancer, and neither should one rely on a shoe or insert retail store for an opinion on a foot deformity.

Choosing the Right Colors For Your House

Finding the perfect colors for your house is a tough job. On the other hand, it can also be an exciting journey of knowing yourself and matching your personality with your home.

Many factors must be considered to come up with colors that will highlight the best features of your house. The moods and emotions that you want to reflect in certain rooms have to match with the colors you choose.

The Inside Job

Choosing interior paint colors requires you to be creative and imaginative. You have to visualize what you want for your house. This is important to be able to match the colors to your future decorating plans.

Fill your mind with bright and inspiring ideas before deciding what colors to use. Browse into different home decorating books and magazines. Take note and find samples of the colors that attracted you most.

Visualizing the future look of your house does not mean overlooking what you have at present. Choose colors to complement a favorite sofa that will probably be in the living room for a long time.

There are current features in your house that need to be studied carefully to come up with perfect color combinations. House space is a key factor to consider in choosing the right colors.

Choose light colors to make a room visually bigger. Dark colors contribute to a compressed and tight look. You can depend on colors to solve spatial problems.

Certain rooms seek to project distinct moods. Bright colors are definitely out in bedrooms. Cool and relaxing colors like blue and green are what you need to create that cozy and sleepy feeling. Warm colors such as red and orange are considered in dining or living rooms because they make rooms more inviting and energetic.

Exterior Painting

Painting the exterior of your house makes you deal with your environment. You are working not only inside the room of your house but also with neighbors' houses as well. Colors will greatly depend on your decision to blend or stand out from the crowd.

Trees in the surroundings also matter in choosing colors. Do not use dark colors on your house if you have large trees nearby. They will make your place darker.

Remember that there are also existing colors in your house. You can opt for a shade that will match with the color of your roof. You may decide to just retouch the paint of the window sills or the house outlines and maintain their existing colors.

Once you have decided what main color to use for the exterior, have an eye on the parts you want to emphasize. Accent colors are usually done on doors and windows. You can use a darker or lighter shade to accentuate these parts and add character to your house.

Your True Colors

In painting the interior and exterior of your house, you need to achieve balance and harmony. Use your creative mind. Explore and do not be afraid to experiment. Just mix, match and you'll finally get the best and true colors you really like and are perfect for your house as well.

Choosing Your Colors For Faux Painting

Choosing colors for the faux finish on your walls can be one of the most difficult decisions to make when embarking on a faux painting project. What colors should I use? Nine times out of ten, the clients I have faux painted for in the last ten years left that answer up to me.

A great place to start in choosing colors is to match any colors that appear in the existing decor of the room, whether those colors are found in the tile, curtains, bedspreads or even bathroom accessories. Using at least two colors is preferable. For instance, in one bathroom I faux painted, the tile, tub and toilet were all different colors. By incorporating the 3 colors on the wall, it brought unity and sense to the existing features.

Another suggestion is to go with a contrasting color. This works great, especially when you have solid color fixtures or furniture. In other words, if you have a solid brown sofa with solid brown curtains, you don’t want to faux paint a brown color on the wall. Rather, you should choose a contrasting green or golden color. Don’t be afraid of adding dramatic colors to your walls. Besides, it’s just paint and you can always paint over.

Visiting model homes or scanning through some Home Decorating Magazines can give you ideas, also. There are some neat programs online where you can actually view a variety of color choices using an existing room.

Many years ago, I made up my own faux painting color swatches so matching colors to the decor in a room was made easier. Choosing faux painting colors for any job after that was never a guessing game, thank God. Although I used to make up my own colors with acrylic paint, I decided to help others by picking the most popular colors I used and matching them to existing latex paint colors. This way, picking colors for their projects will save them time and lots of leg work. These color swatches have an actual paint chip that can be matched with any computer system at most paint stores and are now available for a low cost. At Murals and Faux Painting, our slogan is “Faux Finishing just Got Easier!” We hope you agree.

Getting Your Girlfriend Back When She Just Wants to Be Friends

One of the worst things about becoming friends with a girl you really like is watching her date other guys. As you sit back and pretend to be happy for her, inside your stomach is just turning over and over. And if this girl was once your girlfriend? It’s ten times worse. As she’s kissing this new guy and going out with him, all you can think of is the great times you had with her… and how much you want those times again.

There is good news and bad news about being friends with your ex girlfriend. Let’s start with the bad news first.

Staying friendly with your ex after a break up might seem like a great way to stay close to her, but what you’re really doing is burying yourself deeper and deeper into the friendship hole. When your girlfriend broke up with you and asked to stay friends, she effectively handed you a shovel. The longer you stay her buddy, the deeper you’re making that hole. Eventually, you’ve dug yourself so deep that you can’t climb out of it – your ex now sees you as a friend, and only a friend. She’ll call you up when she needs a shoulder to cry on, when her car breaks down, when she needs you to help reboot her computer… the list of platonic chores goes on and on.

And what’s worse, the further you get from when you actually dated this girl? The more into the “Friend Zone” you fall. Very quickly you’ll find that you have no shot of getting your ex back.

Instead, what if you refused that shovel? What if your ex suggested you stay in touch as friends, and you said “No thanks, I don’t think it’s a good idea”. How would your ex girlfriend react to not seeing you anymore? Not hearing from you, either through phone calls, emails, Facebook, or anything else? Would your ex miss you? Would she want you back? These are things you’ll never find out if you’re busy staying friends with your ex. Because by accepting such a lame role, you’re giving your ex girlfriend all of the emotional comfort and companionship she’d get from a relationship with you, but without any commitment. She gets to date other guys, you get to watch.

But there’s good news about your ex wanting to be friends with you after the breakup: it usually means she’s not completely over the relationship yet.

Any girl who dumped you and no longer has feelings for you isn’t going to bother with you anymore. But by keeping you in a friendship type role, she gets to keep you ‘around’ while she decides whether or not to make the break up permanent. What she wants is for you to be there in that role, but keep your hands off.

What you need to do is effectively say “screw that”, and wave goodbye. Do your own thing, and drop out of sight for a while. This forces your ex to make a choice: does she want to date you again? If not, she risks losing you as a friend as well as a boyfriend, and she might not be willing to take that chance.

Stand up for yourself by refusing to be demoted to mere “friends with your ex”. If you want to get back together with your girlfriend, work toward that goal. There are techniques you can use to get your ex back, and paths you can take that will lead back to her heart. And guess what? None of those paths lead through friendship.

What’s It Take To Be Happy?

I’m not into completing surveys and questionnaires. When they appear on my screen, I usually bin-them. For some reason, however, I decided to respond to one from the World Values Survey. Now, I know that there is debate about the methodologies of international surveys of happiness, but given that this seemed like a reputable research project and all I was being asked was to identify the world’s happiest country, I oped to give it a go.

Amazing! Even allowing for the fact that the data being used was from 2010, my selection was way-off. According to World Values Survey, the country that came in first was Nigeria. I had to double-check, Nigeria was considered to be the world’s happiest country.

I don’t consider myself a sore-loser, but I decided to check-out further this selection. I found that approximately 92% of the population of Nigeria live on less than $2-a-day. I also learned that, according to mental health researchers, anxiety disorders and depression are far less common in so-called poorer countries, for which Nigeria would certainly qualify.

Enough, already! How could this finding in relation to Nigeria be justified?

Perhaps the people’s expectations are lower? Or maybe happiness is relative: when people aren’t surrounded by examples of more pleasant lifestyles, they don’t rank their own situation so poorly? The problem with questions like these is that they seem to imply that people doing it tough don’t know any better. There are many examples that show this interpretation is definitely not the case.

I remember one of the realisations made by Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl when he claimed that you can only comment on something, in his case motivation, when you are stripped of everything, including life itself (death might have been a better alternative to eking out an existence in a death camp). Whether it’s forced interment, poverty, hunger, or whatever, facing the reality of one’s own vulnerability can have unexpected benefits.

I don’t know if increased feelings of vulnerability necessarily leads to happiness. We do know, however, that ageing is usually involves a shift from feeling bulletproof to being aware of one’s own vulnerability. And this shift seems to happen in the blink of an eye. There’s also an increasing amount of data to show that feelings of happiness increases with ageing. As people age, there is generally a decrease in importance of ‘badges’ such as wearing the right brands, job titles, and other status symbols. It seems that, when there’s less to latch onto, there are choices you don’t have to make, and this changes things whether you’re living in Nigeria or New York.

Back in the fifth and sixth centuries BCE, Heraclitus assured us that the only thing that is constant is change. No doubt that applies to our views on happiness, too.

Residential Elevators Deliver Exceptional Performance

Residential elevators deliver exceptional performance utilizing minimal space and overhead drive space. These devices are provided with stable arrival and departure systems that ensure maximum safety. Residential elevators allow convenient access to all levels of your home. More than being a luxury item, residential elevators are now regarded as high utility value products and a great help to the physically challenged.

Utilizing Sophisticated Technology for Life Long Comfort

Residential elevators can be customized to meet individual requirements. The features incorporated include variable frequency AC technology that helps in saving energy. Further, residential elevators do not contain any oil products, so you don’t have to worry about eventual leaks and fixing them. Residential elevators are a great addition in multi-storied buildings. Residential elevators are safe, durable and almost maintenance free. As we age, it becomes increasingly difficult to walk up and down the stairs. In such a situation, residential elevators are of great use.

Key Features of a Residential Elevator

o Stainless steel car and hall stations

o Battery lowering in case of power failure

o Fully automatic operation

o Energy efficient variable speed motor drive

o Automatic cab on/off lighting

o Recessed (hide-away) gate pocket

o Digital display in car operating panel

o White ceiling with four incandescent spot lights

Plan Well before Picking an Elevator

If you want to install a residential elevator in your home you must first decide on a proper place. Once you finalize the location, you will be ready to have your elevator installed. There are lots of different sizes of residential elevators and you need to determine which is right for you. Consider how often you will use the elevator, how many people it should accommodate, its speed, functions, and price.

Where Can I Drive My Go Kart? Seems Illegal in Most Places

Most people get glassy eyed when they see a go kart (people who love go karts that is) and tend to forget about where in the world they are going to drive their go-cart.

Sometimes the images in your mind go to race tracks and passing Ferraris, but “Really now! Are you going to be driving this thing on a race track?”

I received this email from a reader about go karts (and sadly it is a common question)

Hi, I got stopped by a police officer for operating my go kart on the sidewalk, and he said I could be charged with: Operating a vehicle without being licensed, driving to endanger, driving a non-certified vehicle, and told me I had to be over 18 to operate any gas powered anything. I understand now that I can’t drive a go kart anywhere pretty much but where should I go?

Because the question “Where Am I Going To Ride This Go Kart?” was not asked at the outset, now you have a very depressed individual, considering getting rid of the gokart all together.

One issue is about “Where” the other about “Age.”

I am not legal authority, but I can tell you some basics: Un=Liscensed motorized vehicles cannot drive on roads.

About the age, that varies from state to state.

You need to look into your state statutes and codes to get verification on legal data. Consult a local attorney for that informaton…

But that aside, it is a good idea to know where you will be driving this go kart.

In your driveway?

On your uncles farm?

(Obviously not on the street because that is against the law)

In cornfields?

In your yard?

Do you have a big enough yard to ride a go kart?

Are their laws against go karts in your neighborhood?

Have you permission to ride it in the parking lot across the street?

Riding a go kart involve more than just you on a gokart.

It affects people around you in the following ways:

– A go kart is a driving projectile.

– A “unknown talent” is setting its course.

– The coarse is not set, but can change from moment to moment.

In short a go kart coupled with a driver is like running with the bulls in Spain.

Those around the go kart have no clue as to whether it is going to strike them or not.

So before you get upset that you cannot drive it “anywhere” realize that people around you have to take on a burden. A burden of concern and care. Will they, or you get hurt?

There are Legalities

Additionally, the Go Kart is not legal on the roads for various reasons, primarily because of its low profile (people can’t see you) and its lack of many other essential road handling and accident preventitive components.

This set of questions is probably the most difficult to acknowledge, because there are so many obstacles. And I don’t mean trees and cars, I mean regulations about motor vehicles. You cannot just blast down the road with your go kart. Sounds like a fun idea, but in reality it is dangerous and against the law.

If you end up buying this go kart, or even making it, you may end up with a very depressing set of conclusions:

I can’t ride it anywhere!

And even if I could, I can’t put it in the car to get it where I want to ride (its too big)!

So ask the question first. Get an answer.

The answer maybe as simple as networking with some people to find a place to ride: ie your uncles farm! (but there is even more than just your uncle at stake there too… remember there are 10 questions, not six)

There are various go karting clubs out there and you can join them. You do not have to be a go kart racer to join these clubs, it is just place where you can enjoy the go kart. Be sure to get in contact with them in your area before investing in the go kart and all that goes with it (ie helmuts, gloves, suits, etc..)

And finally, I did some digging of my own on riding gokarts on trails. There are usually stipulations on what type of go kart you can ride on a trail. For example in the state I live in, the trails require that the go kart have suspension and a full roll cage by a reputable manufacturer. You will also need to get a permit. The age of the drivers is also limited.

So look into ATV trails and see what you come up with.

100 Great Romantic Ideas

1. Bury a “Time Capsule” together with trinkets, love letters or other romantic sentimental items. Then, draw up a simple map and store it in your safe deposit box. Date the map and decide together when you’ll dig up your romantic treasure.

2. Create a special music disk together of love or fun songs. Have them ready for those special times together.

3. Plant a romantic note in a book your love is reading. It can be as simple as: “I love you,” “I want you” or just XOXOXOXO.

4. Next time you’re at the mall together, jump into a photo booth and take some fun pictures. Keep in your car or in your desk for a quick pick-me-up during the day.

5. Plant a tree together and plan to carve your names in it when it grows big. This can be a fun place to have a picnic or just hang out together; watching the clouds or stars.

6. Stop at a local coffee shop and spend some “two-gether” time there, or take a long walk or scenic drive in the county.

7. Send your love a letter at work. You can disguise it in a regular business envelope and it can be funny or/and romantic. Or even a little naughty if you’re planning a special evening together.

8. Use heart-shaped sticky notes, one or a bunch to post little messages throughout the house or garage to add a little thrill to your love’s life.

9. Pick up some dipping chocolate and fresh strawberries, cherries or bananas and make tonight’s dessert incredibly romantic.

10. Take a long drive and stop at a new restaurant, or a deli to pick up a picnic lunch. Spend this time really listening to each other.

11. Name a star together and when you’re apart; you can look at it and know that your love is waiting for your safe return.

12. Use glow-in-the-dark stars and black lights to create a romantic night sky inside.

13. Create a spa atmosphere at home with candles, essential oils, incense burners, mood music, massagers or other relaxation products.

14. Chocolate, the flavor of romance! Serve chocolate liquor in small glassware as dessert to vamp up a romantic dinner.

15. On a special night, dim the lights and put on some soft music. Then undress leaving a trail of your clothes from the front door to the bedroom.

16. Spend a quiet evening by the fire together. Roast marshmallows or have drinks available.

17. While your love is showering, sneak in and write, “I love you” on the steamed mirror.

18. Take a love letter or romantic vacation brochure and cut it into a puzzle. Mail a piece of the puzzle to your love every day or place each puzzle piece on table or dresser.

19. Make a romantic tape recording asking your love to meet you somewhere. You’ll need confirmation that they can make it so be sure to leave a return number.

20. Next time you’re walking together, grab your love’s hand or walk arm-and-arm.

21. Make a “Prescription for Love” form on the computer. Then hand write each prescription using words like…take two doses of love and come see me now, make it more creative and intimate. Re-label an empty prescription bottle with heart stickers and set the blank prescriptions next to the bottle with a pen so you can both play doctor.

22. Create a romantic slideshow using old photos of you and your love. Sort pictures by years and events starting from when you first met until present. Add some romantic music then set a date for both of you to enjoy.

23. Don’t put those photos away just yet! Pick out the best ones and frame as many as you want to display on the mantel, coffee table or dresser. This grouping will bring back wonderful memories every day.

24. Email greetings. They can surprise, create fun, show affection or entice your love. Send a free greeting anytime; why not send one right now!

25. Purchase an inexpensive romance calendar. Keep track of upcoming romantic dates and events; don’t use it as your everyday calendar. You can, however, mark a black “x” on days that there’s a family or other event so you don’t overbook days. Likewise mark your regular calendar with a red “x” for romance days. Keep this calendar as a special keepsake when the year is done.

26. Sometimes changing your normal routine can spark romance. Like using candles or mood lighting or bringing home a bouquet of flowers to set the stage for romance.

27. Date night is a must! Maybe a picnic for two or tickets to a ballgame, movie or play. Consider mutual interests so you both have fun or take turns picking the entertainment. Remember, a date doesn’t have to be expensive; get creative. The idea is to have fun and talk. Schedule a month in advance and don’t cancel, as it’s the most important appointment of the month.

28. Each one makes a list of romantic fantasies to share during a upcoming romantic evening.

29. Happy Birthday Banner. You don’t have to buy one; it’ll be better when you’ve created it.

30. A candlelight dinner for two is very romantic.

31. Splurge on some new, sexy lingerie which could be just the thing to give your love the urge.

32. You’re the star. Have a personalized romance novel created where you star and he’s the hero.

33. Alone away from home. Send a small gift or flowers to your love’s destination to be received upon arrival.

34. For a personalized keepsake, consign a local artist to sketch you and your love doing something fun or romantic together.

35. Keep some coins handy so when you pass a fountain, you can both make an impromptu wish.

36. Slip a love note in your love’s pants or coat pocket.

37. Acknowledge your love’s interests. Get tickets to an event, i.e., game, opera or concert, you know your love is interested in. Keep the location a secret, however, mark your romance calendar so you both keep this date open.

38. Be extra understanding when you’re love has a down-in-the-dumps day.

39. Cut small, heart shapes from colored paper and jot down a romantic message on each. Then, take them to a party store and ask the clerk to put one in each balloon before it’s inflated. Tell your love to pop them as they deflate to find a surprise.

40. Buy a box of Lucky Charms and remove all the marshmallows except the heart-shaped ones.

41. At the mall, split $20 and plan a time and place to meet later. Then split to find secret romantic or seductive items for a special evening.

42. Fill a scrapbook with souvenirs and special mementos of your times together, such as concert ticket stubs, a napkin from a restaurant where you had a special evening together, romantic photos, etc.

43. Take your camera or use the picture option of your cell phone to record your special dates. Lots of people will take your picture if you ask and many times, they are looking for someone to take their picture.

44. Get a hammock, make some lemonade and spend a warm sunny date being lazy together.

45. Design and install a small sitting area at home where you can both enjoy the day and each other.

46. Take a trip to a winery. Don’t forget to take the tour and buy a bottle for reminiscing at a later date.

47. Buy two disposable cameras and take pictures of each other being silly, loving and romantic. Have them developed in an hour and then talk about them over iced tea, wine or dessert.

48. Rent a funny movie.

49. Create a romantic bedroom. Spare no expense and splurge on a new romantic-style bed, soft fluffy pillows, sheets, bedspread and curtains that ooze romance. Soft, sensual throw rugs and mood lighting will complete the transformation from dull to soothing and sexy.

50. Pamper your love by warming bath towels in the dryer for a few minutes.

51. Move those candles into the bathroom for a candlelit shower.

52. Put a note on the remote. “Come, turn me on,” may be the start of a special evening.

53. Pamper her and go to a chick flick; hold hands and let her cry if she wants to.

54. Plan a romantic trip and you’ll find that half the fun is in the planning.

55. Spend a day at the beach….at home. Decorate an area with a beach or Hawaiian theme. Get some coconuts, lounge chairs, beach towels and maybe even some sand. Don’t forget the tropical drinks and food.

56. Spray a heart shape in the grass so your love knows you care. Or use your lawn mower to cut one out.

57. Stargazing is fun, so buy an easy-to-follow book so you can both enjoy the sparkling sky.

58. Buy a smoothie maker and make a couple Pina Coladas or Daiquiris (alcohol or non), then pick a spot in the yard, throw down a blanket and enjoy your very own deserted island.

59. Drive to a nearby town and walk hand-in-hand to enjoy the sights, shops, restaurants or nightlife.

60. A moonlight picnic for two might be just what you need to set the stage for romance.

61. Plant some favorite flowers and when they bloom, you can pick them for your love.

62. Plan a midnight rendezvous on a hot summer night. Don’t forget the blanket and cold drinks.

63. Sidewalk chalk is handy for creating a special message to your love.

64. Spend time just spending time together. Activities such as croquet, horseshoes, golf and cards are fun.

65. Stock up on hot cocoa, tea and popcorn for the cooler months when you just want to snuggle up together.

66. Instead of springing for a fancy dinner, have dinner at home and go out for the dessert.

67. Gently blindfold your love and lead into the bedroom for some soft, sensual pleasure.

68. Resolve to become more romantic and you will.

69. Get a small box and decorate with hearts and flowers. Then start throwing in your small bills and change so you will have lots of “fun money” to spend when the mood is right.

70. Jot down those romantic ideas as you think of them for future reference.

71. Light up the fire pit or patio stove for a cuddly evening.

72. Spend an evening together making up love coupons and then have fun redeeming them.

73. For the gals – Dress in layers of lingerie and ask him if he wants to play strip poker.

74. Take a nature walk together. Breath in the fresh air, feel the sunshine and enjoy the walk.

75. When you notice your love is looking your way, smile.

76. Write a love note and place in plastic bottle to slip into her bubble bath.

77. Spice up your notes and love letters by referencing a Thesaurus. For example, other words for “love” could be devotion, passion and affection.

78. Mail a postcard to your love with a hand-drawn “I Love You” heart.

79. On those cold nights when you want to cuddle, warm your hands under water before hopping into bed.

80. Assemble a pizza, putting the toppings in a “heart-shaped” design.

81. No matter how bad your day was, always give a smile or kiss to your love.

82. Have some fun at Halloween and dress up to complement each other’s costume, i.e., Sonny & Cher, Biker Dude and Biker Babe, Cowboy and Cowgirl, etc.

83. Give your love a compliment when you can. Some example; that was a great dinner, you’re really good at balancing the checkbook, I couldn’t have done it without you or you look good in that outfit.

84. If you aren’t, get healthy together. Take that evening walk together, find out what healthy foods you both like and plan some healthy meals together.

85. Spend some time in the kitchen together preparing a meal or cleaning up.

86. When your love talks, listen.

87. Surprise your love with a kiss when least expected. Say, “I Love You.”

88. When using massage oil, pour on hands and rub them together to warm up the oil before applying.

89. If you’re not sure of what romantic things your love would like to do, start off with some things you would find romantic.

90. Take your love dancing and ask the DJ to dedicate a slow romantic song to your love from you. Then dance the night away. Or, call in to the radio station to dedicate a special love song to your love.

91. Leave a love note in your love’s car where it will be readily seen.

92. If you have a “Honey Do List,” add some “special” things you would like your honey to do with you.

93. If possible, offer to help your love when it comes to home repairs or general fix-it projects that might have been a one-person job before. This is quality time spent together and will reduce the time it takes to get the job done.

94. Make a “Why I Love You” list of your love’s best qualities and jot down in a simple, handmade birthday, anniversary or other card.

95. Spend a few minutes daydreaming about your love and the romantic things you want to do together.

96. Invite your love to join you for a drink and talk about a romantic vacation that you would both like to take if money was no objective. Be as detailed as possible and maybe you will find that you could enjoy some of those dreamy plans without spending big bucks.

97. Don’t forget to say, “Thank You” when your love does those little things for you.

98. Start each day by thinking about all the good things in your life. Then keep that positive feeling flowing throughout the day by staying upbeat and helpful.

99. Always be considerate of your love when at a social or other type of event. Plan to spend some time together during the event.

100. When your love is sick, take some extra time to make things as comfortable as possible. If a doctor appointment is made, offer to drive and to stop at the pharmacy if a drug is required. Make sure there are plenty of liquids available and offer to put together a simple meal, like toast and soup.