Flush Wood Blinds Mounting

To Get the perfect fit out of your blinds, you need to make sure all your measurements are done both accurately and according to the manufacturer specifications. Trying to fix improperly sized blinds to a window can be just as costly as buying a whole new set of wood blinds.

Before buying and measuring, you need to decide where to mount your blinds. The ideal situation is inside the window frame, but you may have to do an outside mount on the trim or wall. For recessed mounts inside the window, the frame will hold the head rail and slats. This mount is neat and will not interfere with your trim.

An outside mount for a 2 "wood blind will not look as clean, but you may have to do it depending on your window dimensions. Outside mounts can hide unappealing trim. If you want to maximize both view when the windows are open and privacy when closed, outside mounts cover more area. Inside mullion strips also call for a an outside mount for wood blinds.

For 2 "wood blinds you will need at least an extra quarter inch to allow for the head rail. An attached valance will require more room. Cellular and other types of window coverings may have other kinds of mounting, but but that is not covered in this article.

To maintain measuring accuracy, measure all of your windows, in a sequence, at one time. This is the best way to avoid a mistake that will cost you thousands of dollars. Do not just measure one and assume all the other are the same dimension.

Before you order two inch wood blinds, or anything else, there are a few checks you should make. Remember that some colors clash. A bold color does not necessarily clash but make sure it matches your overall room decor. Like accurate measuring, a color swatch can save you thousands. Consult with your window covering company if you need to order any custom applications like extra long cord shades.

Glass Mosaic Tile Ideas: Gold Fleck Mosaic Tiles

With such a wide choice of mosaic tiles now available, it’s sometimes daunting when you try to choose the right tile to create that perfect look for your kitchen or bathroom. You want something luxurious and a real eye-catching style? You want a large choice of beautiful, rich colours to suit your choice of decor? You want to choose a tile design that is individual, one of a kind and a real talking point because it’s so different? Then look no further than the Gold Fleck Glass Mosaic Tiles collection; a contemporary classic and the ultimate in modern luxury.

These beautiful hand-made glass tiles are completely unique – no two sheets are ever the same! The swashes of colour created by hand-painted brush strokes and the effect created by the flecks of gold are never repeated. Each individual tile is placed in the sheet randomly, thereby creating a totally unique blend of colours and patterns.

This modern range of mosaic glass tiles has a beautiful gold flecking which runs through the glass, giving them a touch of elegance. The most popular in this range is the Jewel Gomeda mosaic tile. The inky darkness of the black swashes of colour in Jewel Gomeda is offset by the brilliant gold flecking and creates an opulent and warm, stylish atmosphere. These would look great in any modern bathroom or kitchen.

You can use these gold fleck glass mosaic tiles on a whole wall or panel to create an amazing effect. They also look good when used in a more subtle way, by creating borders or random areas of colour to highlight your colour scheme. Or why not get even more creative? Try breaking up the sheets and creating your own custom mosaic design. Create wild shapes and bands of colour or graduate from one shade to another. The choices are endless!

The dark Jewel Gomeda mosaic tile design looks stunning when contrasted against the shimmery light Jewel Opal mosaic tile. A personal favorite of mine is the gorgeous purple-blue of the Jewel Amethyst colour. I can just see this on my bathroom walls!

Whichever way you choose to use this lovely glass mosaic tile, you’re sure to create a gorgeous effect. I’m sure they will get all your visitors gazing into the shimmery depths of these tiles and longing to brush their fingers against them!

This collection is available in a wide range of colours and designs. From the lovely neutrals of beige and gold, to the bright shades of red, orange, green and azure; then on to the drama of the black, brown, purple end of the colour spectrum. You can browse this image gallery for colour samples and get inspiration for your next interior design project.

Five Questions to Ask an Exterior House Painting Contractor Before Hiring

1) What type of preparatory work will you do before any paint is applied to the walls?

First, ask if your home needs washing. This is typically done with a power washer. Power washing will knock down any lose paint chips that are on your home, get rid of mold and mildew, and clean the exterior of your house from any webs, dust and other particles. Properly power washing a home is often a critical step as it ensures that the surface the paint will be applied to is clean and conducive to paint adhesion.

Besides power washing, other important preparatory steps include scraping, sanding, and caulking. Any lose paint that was not knocked down during the power washing process needs to be manually scraped off. To ensure that the scraped areas do not stand out too much, these regions need to be feather sanded. Feather sanding makes the edges of the scrapped off areas smoother and blends them in. Lastly, to prevent water intrusion, caulk needs to be applied to all joints and cracks in the home.

2) What brand and quality of paint will you be using?

Many times, the use of cheap do-it-yourself exterior paints results in the failure of the finish paint coat as soon as within two years after application. It is thus critical to make sure that the contractor is using only contractor grade paints. These will cost a few dollars more per gallon, but given that, on average, it takes only 15-20 gallons of paint to cover an entire home, the total increase in the price of the materials will not be that significant.

3) How many coats of paint will be applied to my home?

Typically, one coat of primer followed by two coats of paint need to be applied to your home’s walls. However, two coats are not always necessary. If the color scheme of the new paint job is the same as the existing color scheme, one coat with touch-ups where needed may be sufficient for proper coverage. Keeping your existing color scheme is thus the cheapest option since it required the least materials.

4) Are your painters sub-contractors or employees of your company?

It is imperative to ensure that the workers who will be painting your home are actual employees of the company you are hiring. When a contractor hires temporary day labor, he has no control over the quality of these painters and you have almost no recourse options if anything goes wrong. Freelancing sub-contractors are more often than not uninsured and not apprenticed in the house painting trade. When the painters are actual employees for the company you are hiring, the company usually makes sure that they are experienced and skilled. Additionally, the contractor is obligated by law to provide insurance for his employees. So, should anything go wrong on the job site, you would not be personally liable as the employees would be covered under the company’s insurance policy.

5) May I have the names and phone numbers of your recent local references?

The best way to ensure that you are hiring a quality painting contractor is to speak with those who have hired him in the past or to check out some of the work the contractor has recently completed. Past customers can warn you if there are any problems with the house painters you would like to hire. Additionally, taking a look at the contractor’s recently completed projects will point out if there are any quality issues with their work.

Lawn and Garden Tools Basics

Are you just starting a garden and are wondering what type of gardening tools will work best for your lawn and garden? Are you using the correct tools for the lawn and gardening needs? You may want to know how to use these tools and the garden tool names.

You know as time goes by it seems we still need the same gardening tools for tending to our lawn and garden projects. If you choose the right tools now for the maintaining your lawn and garden now you will increase you're the pleasure doing the work. A well-made tool for the garden is better than some expensive info-commercial gadget.

The very first tool you will need is a shovel. Most people start with a pointed shovel which is by far the best tool for just that ordinary digging. It should have a long handled to provide leverage and helps to avoid getting a back ache from bending over. The pointed shovel will make it easier to break in to the ground then a square shovel, plus the round top serves as a scoop to hold sold and other materials.

Your next essential gardening tool: a simple garden or field hoe, one which is made of tempered steel and a long wooden handle, easier on the back. Tempered steel is harden to stay sharp and is very difficult to destroy, this is the type of steel use in agricultural disc blades. Choose wooden handles because they are a natural resource and if you break one they are easy to find and replace, plus the handles do not blister as much as the metal. These types of hoes our best to help break up large chucks of soil, chop up weeds, made plant holes for planting. You will also need a scuffle or weeding hoe to do your weeding after your flowers and garden plants begin to grow. They work great on just under the surface of the soil or your mulch.

You will also need several garden rakes. A landscape rake is best for finishing and level before you plant and can also be use to level gravel and mulch. You will also need a leaf rake to clean up leaves and other debris around you lawn and garden as will as a garden fork or manure fork to haul the debris away. They is a tool which does both, called the Yardfork, designed to be both a rake and a heavy duty lawn and garden fork.

These basic tools will get you started and if you purchase quality tools they should last you for a lifetime. You will also find many of the manufacturers of these lawn and garden tools are still made in America and seem to be some of the best quality tools available. You may have to pay more but you get high quality lawn and garden tools which properly maintain you should never have to replace.

Renting a Stair Lift for a Short Period of Time

You or someone in your household may have a health concern that is going to limit your mobility for a short period of time. It may be a good idea to look into stair lifts for hire. The work will all be done for you and it is an affordable option to getting the help you need. Without it, a person may be confided to the home due to the stairs.

This isn’t going to help them with their overall recovery. Going outside for fresh air, sunlight, and to interact with others all influences mental well-being. With stair lifts for hire, the person can get out there even for short periods of time. It is also reasonable to think they will have medical appointments to keep and perhaps even physical therapy to attend.

Getting it in Motion

They need to have the means of getting safely up and down the stairs. With that in mind, stair lifts for hire should be explored as soon as the medical issue it known and those limitations For example, of someone will be going in for surgery then the device can be installed before they get back home. It will be there to aid them through the recovery period.

There are plenty of questions to ask when it comes to stair lifts for hire. The cost is typically going to involve several elements. First, there is the cost of the installation and the device rental fee. The amount of the fee will vary depending on how long you keep it. Most facilities will rent to you on a weekly or monthly schedule.

If you aren’t for sure how long it will be needed, start out with a period of time and then touch back with the provider. If you need to end stair lifts for hire early, they can get you scheduled to take it down and pick it up. If you need to extend that timeframe longer, they can adjust the rental agreement. They realise when it comes to medical issues, flexibility is necessary.

There will be a cost to take down stair lifts for hire once you are done with them and to load them up and take them away. At that time, they will also conduct an inspection of the device. If there are any damages, you may be charged fees for those as well. All of that should be covered with the provider before you agree to the rental.

Selecting a Provider

You want a hassle free experience so pick a provider who is well known and has been in business for quite some time. They should be friendly, efficient, and offer a variety of products for you to choose from. They should have equipment that is well maintained and fully functional. When the device is installed, they should test it and show all household members how to use it.

This is important to reduce the risk of injuries and to reduce the risk of damages to the equipment. They should be available if you have any questions or you need the device to be repaired/replaced before your rental time is over. Don’t settle for a company not willing to discuss options with you or to really help you out.

Compare pricing too because you want to get the best deal possible. Renting such equipment is for the short term is far less expensive than buying it. Just make sure you don’t pay more than you really have to for the rental. Read all of the information and look for hidden fees so there aren’t any surprises.

Dumbwaiters For the Home

A dumbwaiter is a device similar to the elevator and can be used to convey food or other materials from one floor to another. Dumbwaiters are not new in the industry and are used throughout homes around the world. Dumbwaiters can carry clothes, groceries, laundry, firewood, books and other household items. Apart from residential use, dumbwaiters are ideal for commercial use in stores, restaurants, and cafeterias.

Two common models of dumbwaiters available in the market are manual dumbwaiters and electrical dumbwaiters. Manual dumbwaiters are less costly than electrical models and operate by means of a rope which can be pulled by the operator to move items from one floor to another. Electrical models are run by motors with varying load carrying capacities and are easier to operate at the simple push of a button.

Considering the cost factors, dumbwaiters are available at half the cost of a small residential elevator. The major cost factors include installing enclosed shafts and lifting device motor, and installing the rails for the dumbwaiter to ride on the wall. These devices are made of highly durable components which are the same materials used in commercial elevators. Dumbwaiter cabs are available in stainless steel material and also in high quality wood finish. They come with safety features such as magnetic door switches to prevent the system from running with open doors.

The dumbwaiter can be called a small mini-elevator with guide rails, pulley systems, and control systems. Most dumbwaiters are capable of carrying weights ranging from 75 to 150 lbs. These elevators are built to last longer and come with manufacturer warranties that cover free servicing and replacements for damages. As the unit comes with hand ropes, cables and installation fasteners which are easier to handle and assemble, the relocation of the whole unit is quite easy.

Dumbwaiters are not luxury items since they have considerable practical use in both residential and commercial buildings. These products can save your valuable time and reduce the risk of back pain and injuries you may incur by lifting heavy household items. They can also add to the resale value of your home.

Types Of Compaction Equipment

Compaction equipment are tools used to compact or compress different material at a work site. Different tools are used in different construction sites for varied reasons, like the compaction of waste around the work area before disposal or compress the loose soil at the site before commencing actual construction work.

The most common use of compaction equipment is the compression of loose soil at the work site. It is therefore essential to note that the type of soil is the most important consideration when selecting the most effective type of gear to be used. This is because every single soil type has its own different and unique specifications. The different soil types to be compacted are mainly categorized as per their grain size. Therefore, the effectiveness of the tools you use is entirely determined by the soil type.

There are three main categories of soil types that are considered when choosing the most appropriate tool, i.e. granular, cohesive and organic soil types. Cohesive soils have the smallest grain size and are more tightly bound hence require minimal force from the equipment. On the other hand, granular soils have larger grain sizes and as a result are more spaced, they therefore require a stronger equipment with a greater force.

The Rammer

This is the first type of these equipment used by many constructors. The rammer is designed to offer a high impact force. It is hence the most effective compaction equipment to employ for cohesive and semi-cohesive soil types in a work area. It has a frequency range of about 500 to 700 blows per minute hence offering maximum condensation. It normally consists of a small diesel or gasoline engine powering a large piston with a set of two springs. Rammers are used for three types of compaction processes that include vibration, impact and kneading.

Forward Plate Compactor

This is a high frequency and low amplitude type of compaction equipment that is designed mainly for the granular soils in a work area. It consists of a diesel or gasoline powered engine driving one or two weights at a relatively high speed hence developing the appropriate force. The machine is fitted with a plate whose size determines the amount of condensation employed. It operates at about 2500 to 6000 vibrations per minute.

Reverse Plate Compactor

The reverse plate compactor has two eccentric plates to allow for the smooth transition between forward and reverse travel. This increases force due to the combined weight of the two eccentric weights. This machine is ideal for semi-cohesive soils due to the weight and force employed. Unlike the forward plate compactor, the reverse plate compactor can be stopped during operation to allow spot compaction.

The Rollers

There are various types of rollers. These are normally employed in road construction soil compression. Some of the common types of rollers are the walk-behind and the ride-on rollers.

For effective compaction, it is highly recommended that you analyze the soil and get the most appropriate equipment for the soil type.

Benefits of Primus Camping Stoves

What do you look for in a camping stove? What kind of camping do you do? Consider these questions as you research for a camp stove that suits your camping outings. Of course, there are several brands to choose from and selecting may be a difficult process.

Have you ever thought about a Primus camping stove? The Primus brand is marketed by the Brunton Outdoor Group, commonly known as North American Gear. This international brand name is comparable to other camp stove brands. Here are a few reasons why you should consider this brand for backpacking or even car camping.

The Backpacker

* Light weight – smallest model made is 2.5 ounces without or with the piezo ignition

* Compact size- that has a carry sack or case to be placed in

* Fast boiling times – around 3 minutes- 5,000-13,000 BTUs on different models

* 50% Fuel efficiency – with built-in wind screens on some models

* Heat exchanger – on some models

* Piezo ignition on some models

* Great stability and durability – low profile on some models

* Three layers of titanium non-stick surface in the cook set – can buy cook sets separate

* Multi- fuel or canister fuel camp stove models

The Car Camper

* Light weight Stainless steel cover

* 12,000 BTUs on burners

* Option for burner and grill stove

* Integrated carrying handle

* Windshields protect and fold easily to store

* Simmer control

* Removable grill for easy cleaning

* Piezo ignition

Moreover, for the backpacker there are many lightweight, or combinations of multi-fuel or canister options to choose from. Once you have decided on the type of camping you will do check out the options available with Primus brands of camp stoves. Also, you will find these stoves to be durable, fuel-efficient, eco-friendly, with options to use the stove with the fair weather camper or extremist.

What to Look for When Shopping for Laminate Flooring

The first thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is if the product offers a warranty. The longer the warranty that a product offers the more durable you can assume the product is. Generally you should be able to find laminate floor warranties that last between 10 and 15 years.

The second thing that you should look at when buying laminate floors is the thickness of the laminate floor product. The thicker the plank the sturdier it will be. You should be able to find the thickness measurement of the plank on its label or in the product description. Laminate flooring planks typically come in 6mm, 7mm and 8mm thicknesses. The price of the laminate floor plank will be related to its thickness. The thicker the plank the more it will generally cost.

The next thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is that it has a good AC wear rating. The AC wear rating is a rating given to laminate flooring that illustrates how durable the product is and what applications the product is appropriate for. An AC1 rating means that the product is fine for moderate traffic in a residential setting. An AC2 rating is a good rating for a product that will be used in the living room. An AC3 rating means that the product will be able to handle just about any residential traffic. AC3 rated products are also great for small offices and moderately business commercial settings. AC4 rated products are great for cafes, retail boutiques and other moderate to busy commercial locations. Finally an AC5 rating is appropriate for heavy traffic commercial settings.

Core density is the next thing that you will want to take into consideration when you are buying laminate flooring. You will want to look for a high density core. This high density core helps to reduce noise and it also acts as a shock absorber.

The final thing that you may want to look for when shopping for laminate flooring is that it is hand scraped. A hand scraped plank means that each plank is scraped out by hand. This makes each plank unique. This is a great option if you want a really unique floor.

Business Sales Close Plan – Milestones to Close the Deal

Being with my feet on the sales ground for 25 years in IT, I can recommend that many steps in the sales process need to be discussed and agreed internally and with the business customer to come to an agreed and signed contract.

Following this sales process through a so called ‘Sales Close Plan’, describes all the necessary milestones that need to be agreed from a resource perspective, internally from a supplier perspective as well as from the business customer resource perspective. This Sales Close Plan will enable you to set upfront the right expectations during the contract negotiation milestones during an enterprise sales process.

Discuss with your business customer the close plan and have your customer sign/off the Sales Close Plan on timescales and milestones. If each milestone is finalized confirm this in email to your customer so all expectations and potential road blocks keeps transparent and visible to you as supplier and business customer.

1. Identify the Power Sponsors:

Which customer contacts have the power to approve or veto a major contract deal?

Who are the business owners?

2. Identify customer procurement process:

Send Non Disclosure for approval.

Perform Customer due diligence and screening.

Is supplier employee screening process required?

What are customer standard terms & conditions?

What are the expected legal challenges? Intellectual property, Warranty…?

What are the payment terms?

What is the VAT number?

What are the shipping address details?

What are the billing address details?

Discover expense costs cap guidelines.

What is the business identity code?

Will payment be in Dollars/Euro…?

What are the finance contact details?

Which legal resources are required from supplier, internally, externally?

3. Approval process:

Who needs to approve from the IT department?

Who needs to give approval from the business department?

Is budget available? If not when?

Is Board approval required to close the deal? I yes, when is next Board meeting

Which person from the Board supports business case?

Do we need a reference visit and who will attend from the customer?

Which reference do we nominate for site visit or phone interview?

Agree on travel arrangements for reference visit.

4. Feedback 1st round legal/proposal discussions:

Does the commercials/T&C’s in the proposal need to be updated to get a deal?

If yes, which resources from supplier and customer are required?

Do we need internal approval from higher management for this?

Is customer requesting any legal adjustments that need further legal review by supplier?

5. Send new proposal/T&C’s contracts:

Agree date for presentation final proposal to customer.

Is customer verbally accepting new proposal/T&C’s?

6. Contracts:

When will customer sign/off contracts?

When can signed contracts be collected at customer?

Reconfirm resources allocation.

Start of project or delivery.

Types of Buildings and Facilities That Require Handrails

Many of us are familiar about handrails being used primarily for stairs in the homes. But other than being installed in residential properties, handrails are also used in other buildings such as offices, bars, hospitals and facilities such as swimming pools and even parks. The main purpose of these rails is to act as a safety feature especially for people with disabilities and with health conditions that affect their sense of balance.

Handrails are integral part of any structure notably those that have slopes and stairs. They can be used indoor and outdoor to help people with difficulty walking or navigating around the place. Buildings that are friendly to people with physical disabilities and senior citizens provide handrails in specific areas. However, hospitals and nursing homes that accommodate people who walk with difficulty or may not be able to walk on their own will require additional rails in certain areas.

Recreational facilities such as parks and swimming pools normally have handrails installed. At parks, they can be found at the skating area and certain parts that have stairs and upper levels.

Handrails are also a staple at pool areas. They're very important so people using the swimming pools have something to hold on when they go down the water or when they go up and down the slide or diving board.

Contractors are skilled in determining the areas where handrails need to be installed and what types to use. They have to consider several factors as well such as the length, material and special features if appropriate.

Handrails are available in different materials. They can be made from wood or metal.

The wooden type is a cheaper option and can be customized. Most recommended for use indoor, this comes in different shapes such as the round, square and moulded. Decorative wooden handrails are commonly used in homes mostly because of the beauty they provide to staircases. And since they are customizable, they can be designed according to the preference of home owners. Most wooden handrails are sold by the foot.

The metal handrails are the more durable type and are ideal for use outdoors. They can be made from wrought iron, stainless steel and copper. The stainless steel tops the rest in terms of durability as it is weather and rust resistant. And while they're more known for their functionality, this type can also be decorative.

Other than the aesthetics, the best handrails to use are those that are not only durable but needs low maintenance. More importantly, contractors and homeowners should be aware of government requirements for installing this safety feature. The current building code specifies that handrails be installed at a height between 34 and 38 inches. For the circular type, the outside diameter should be a minimum of 1-1 / 4 inches and a maximum of two inches. For the non-circular type, the minimum perimeter dimension should be four inches and a maximum of 6-1 / 4 inches.

The existence of handrails only mean one thing – the place is safe for all types of people whether in normal condition or those with physical disabilities.

Guillain Barre Syndrome – When Legs (and More) Turn to Rubber

Looking on helplessly while a wave of weakness climbs one's body from the ankles upward can cause dismay. This is what happens in Guillain Barre (pronounced GHEE-on bah-RAY) syndrome, known more formally as acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy. Occurring in just one or two people per year in a population of 100,000, Guillain Barre syndrome makes up for its rarity by taking people by surprise and quickly disabling them.

Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy is about as bulky and awkward a name as there is, but the terminology has the endearing feature of encoding the disease's essential features. Starting from the back end and working forwards, "-pathy" means illness; "Neuro" says that the peripheral nerves are involved; "Radiculo" means that the spinal nerves emanating from the spinal cord are also affected; "Poly" means it's a widespread process; "Demyelinating" means that the nerve-fibers are stripped of their sheath-like myelin coverings; "Inflammatory" means a local tissue reaction to biochemical or physical irritation; and "acute" means that the disease develops rapidly over a matter of days. Despite the lesson in medical terminology provided by the full name, it's easy to see why the condition often goes by the shorter names of AIDP or Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS).

Georges Guillain and Jean-Alexandre Barre described cases of this condition among French soldiers in the First World War. It is noteworthy that the condition is labeled a "syndrome," rather than a disease, because it is likely that multiple disease-processes can produce the same pattern of clinical illness (syndrome).

Diagnosing GBS involves recognizing the typical pattern of progressing symptoms in which a loss of strength works its way up the legs and often even into the arms and breathing muscles. The symptoms quickly worsen over a matter of days, even hours, and the weakness typically peaks within 2-3 weeks of the onset of symptoms. Although the affected peripheral nerves and spinal nerves also conduct messages concerning bodily sensation, sensory loss in GBS is typically a minor component, while weakness – caused by disruption of nerves carrying messages to muscles – predominates.

The physical exam confirms the muscular weakness and, when present, the associated numbness. Another classic finding on examination is a loss of (rubber-hammer-type) tendon reflexes. Supplemental tests that help confirm the diagnosis – or, depending on their outcome, point in another direction – are nerve conduction studies and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Nerve conduction studies check the electrical characteristics of the peripheral nerves. In GBS the nerve impulses are often slowed or blocked on their way from one part of the nerve to another. Cerebrospinal fluid is the watery liquid bathing the outside of the brain, spinal cord and spinal nerves. It is obtained for analysis by means of a lumbar puncture, also known as spinal tap. In GBS the protein content of the fluid is increased without any corresponding increase in the numbers of red or white blood cells in the fluid.

The cause of GBS is unknown, but because it often follows an infection or other challenge to the body's immune system and also involves inflammation, it seems likely that GBS is the result of an overactive immune system. If so, GBS is one of several so-called autoimmune diseases in which the body's own immune system mistakenly attacks a component of the body, in this case the myelin coverings of individual nerve-fibers. Other examples of autoimmune disease are rheumatoid arthritis, in which the immune system attacks the joints, and psoriasis, in which the immune system attacks the skin.

A case series refers to a collection of consecutive cases sharing agreed-upon features. Analyzing a case series provides insight into how variable the illness can be as well as which features are more constant.

Between 1995 and 2003 researchers at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi, Pakistan, collected a case series of 34 patients with GBS. The ages of the patients ranged from 3 to 70, and 62% were male. In 35% of the cases there was a preceding gastrointestinal infection and in another 26% of the cases there was a preceding respiratory infection. Breathing failed in 56% of the cases, requiring mechanical ventilation. One patient died.

Despite the frequently devastating nature of GBS, most patients improve, albeit slowly. Compiling a separate case series, investigators at the Centre for Rehabilitation Research in Orebro, Sweden, tracked the progress of 42 patients with this illness. Mechanical ventilation was necessary in just 21% of their cases. At 2 weeks, 1 year and 2 years after the onset of symptoms, 0%, 38% and 45% of patients had completely normal strength. At the same time points, 38%, 90% and 93% were able to walk 30 feet without assistance.

Treatment is available for patients with GBS. Of course, when patients can not breathe on their own, using a mechanical ventilator to support respiration is a form of treatment and is usually life-saving. Two other treatments have been shown by randomized, controlled trials – the gold standard method for evaluating a treatment – to hasten recovery in GBS.

One is plasmapheresis, also known as plasma exchange, in which the liquid portion of the blood (plasma) is separated from the blood cells. The blood cells are then returned to the patient's body, and the body produces more plasma on its own to replace the plasma that was removed. The reason plasmapheresis works is uncertain, but it probably removes damaging antibodies from the bloodstream.

Infusing immunoglobulin into the patient's bloodstream is the other treatment of proven effectiveness. The immunoglobulin preparation contains antibodies pooled from a large number of healthy donors. These healthy antibodies presumably counteract the injurious antibodies produced in the GBS patient.

One might think that two treatments – plasmapheresis and immunoglobulin infusion – administered together or in succession would be better than just one, but that is not the case. A study showed that the two treatments in combination were no better in hastening recovery than one treatment.

(C) 2006 by Gary Cordingley

Turn the Switch

The automotive industry today faces real challenges which cause some to question the future. The talking heads and pundits are claiming that this year could be the worst year in the car business since 1993. Whether it is a case of "Chicken Little" who thought the sky was falling or a case of a tough reality – we do not know yet. But it is safe to say that dealerships that thrive vs. those who just survive in crazy times are savvy enough to recognize that this business is more about process and systems than about circumstances and economy.

We recently met with a Michigan dealer who wanted to make the first step in understanding and implementing this process. He realized that his dealership had to make necessary changes to thrive in today's marketplace. His specific goal is to grow the Subprime business his dealership currently does.

When we met, one of the first things we reviewed was his dealership's sales process. We asked him, as we ask all of our customers, "How are your people doing with the unique tasks of Subprime?"

He responded, "They are doing what we are asking of them and are doing a good job."

We followed up with another question, " What percentage of the time do you have to switch a customer out of a unit they had already selected, in order to get the deal done?"

Without hesitation, he responded that a shocking 75% of his customers are switched. We asked him how he felt about only 25% of his customers leaving his dealership happy as they went home! While it seems like a mean question, does anyone want 75% of their customers leaving the dealership frustrated or disappointed? Of course not!

The second question gave him a reason to take another good hard look at the "good job" he said his sales people are doing. The real story here is that his impression is his people are doing great; however, the reality is a majority of his customers (if they actually bought the switched unit) are going home with their expectations unmet. Switching cars is a common and typical practice that is fine for the dealer but not for the customer.

When your customer leaves with a bad taste in their mouth from the "sales experience" they've been through, your dealership only gets to cash one check. The customer may take a vehicle from your store, but has little reason to recommend your dealership and even less reason to come back. The dollars you miss from service and parts purchases, as well as the opportunity to sell this customer additional vehicles can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.

To create a "win-win" experience for both the dealership and the customer, the finance-appropriate vehicle must being "landed" on the customer. Get them excited about getting a loan, and then find the right vehicle, and this customer becomes a "customer for life"!

A key to subprime success: Make the sales experience a collaboration between the sales person and the customer and both get what they want – the customer gets the loan and the transportation they need. Your sales person makes a sale and earns a commission.

When a customer leaves your dealership without purchasing a vehicle, they may take what they learned from your dealership and go directly to your competitor. How many times have you spent the time to educate a customer on what they can buy, but they purchased it somewhere else? Maybe it's to save face, or maybe it's just the frustration this customer feels when they're told they can not get what the vehicle they want. Either way, you end up doing all the work without making the sale. There is a better way.

Changing the sales process to a "buying experience" that gives the customer compelling reasons to do business with your dealership produces fewer switched units, which in turn leads to higher closing ratios and gross profits!

Getting through these tough times will require you to take an honest, perhaps hard, look at the "sales" experience your dealership provides to your customers. You can have "customers for life" provided you give them the right experience.

If you'd like to find out more about changing your process, email me, and I send you the "Two Minute Audit".

Frontal Hair Loss – Causes and Treatment

While losing hair is very common among men, the sad truth is that frontal type loss is probably the most difficult type that a man is going to need to deal with. Not only can it be difficult to prevent and treat, but it is the most noticeable type of baldness because it is right in front of every one. If you are going through frontal receding, you are probably wondering whether or not it is even treatable, and what your treatment options are. Here, you will learn more about the most common causes of thinning hair as well as your available treatment options.

What causes it?

Male Pattern Baldness, or MPB, is a genetic condition, which is caused by a male sex hormone called DiHydroTestosterone, otherwise known as DHT. It is produced when testosterone combines with a certain type of enzyme. DHT then attacks the hair follicles and shrinks them, shortening their growth phase cycle. This happens slowly, and majority of the time, you will not even notice it taking place. In fact, some men may even lose up to fifty percent of their frontal hair before they even begin to notice that any type of hair loss is taking place.

So, what are the treatment options of frontal hair loss?

There are a number of different treatment options that you can decide to choose from a number of different available choices. One of these options is Propecia. Although Propecia is proven to work for majority of people who lose hair, there is no accurate evidence that shows that it works for people who have receding hair lines at the temples. However, it does help in preventing and treating hair loss that occurs in the frontal and mid scalp anterior regions. Of course, if you are looking for the best option for you cost wise, Propecia can be expensive, as it costs between sixty and one hundred fifty dollars per month.

Rogaine is another replacement option that you have for frontal hair loss. Although it will cause new hair growth throughout most of the head, including frontal regions, it will not grow new hair in the temple region of the head. When it is taken twice daily for at least four hours for a duration of four months, however, you will no longer anymore hair loss, even at times in the temple region.

Another option that you have for treating hair fall in the frontal region. You must visit a clinic that specializes in hairloss. Cost wise, hair restoration is probably the most expensive option for you to treat your hair loss. Although prescription drugs and topical creams may seem as though they are the best option, the amount of money that you will pay each month is going to add up in the end.

Make a Fortune Investing in Land

You can make a fortune in land. Having said that, I will not sugarcoat what is probably one of the most difficult types of real estate investing. The reason you can double, triple (or more) your money in land is because it is one of the least understood real estate investments. This provides incredible upside if you know what to look for and what to do because very few people understand land. This is no different than any business however. Think about used cars, for instance. If you know cars inside and out, you will be able to buy a car cheaply from a person selling their car who doesn’t know its value. You can then turn around and sell it at a profit. You have capitalized on your knowledge. Additionally, you can fix the fender, buff and shine and even make more money by creating more value. The same thing applies to land. You buy from someone who doesn’t understand what can be done with it and you capitalize on it.

The key elements in making money land are the following:

1. Know your market. Don’t even think of buying land outside of the market area you know intimately. Little things can trip you up even if it looks like nothing can go wrong. Start looking at every land parcel in your market.

2. Dream team. You can’t do it alone. You will need to have close relationships with a civil engineer, land attorney, Zoning official, site contractor, real estate agent and lender.

3. Understand what sells. You have to know what type of land is selling in your market and at what price. You will need to have better quality at a lower price. Land is the hardest asset class to sell and has no cash flow. This is very important.

4. Know your zoning. Almost every town has zoning regulations which describe in a table, usually, the basic requirements to have a legal lot (frontage, acreage, setbacks, etc.). In areas without public water & sewer, you will also need to know health codes, soils, and wetland issues. Essential to know.

and finally…

5. Create value. This is what its all about. You can buy land at a discount and flip it or you can really make money by improving it, then selling. The types of improvements include, zone changes, approvals for a building lot, subdividing, land enhancements (access drives, viewscapes, & beautification), free cuts, merging of title and conservation tax easements, to name a few.

Once you have a land parcel targeted, there is another major step involved which is the Purchase Agreement or Option. How you structure this can make the difference between making money and making A LOT of money. But that is left for another article.

Don’t think you are going to go out and make a fortune in land without first having a lot of knowledge. You will get hurt. On the other hand, study and learn and you will profit handsomely.

Go to my website http://www.realty-capital.us and read my course under education if you like. I give specific examples of land deals I have done. Thanks!