Lighting – Final Frontier of Decorating

Once you have all the main pieces of furniture for your home and all the accents and accessories, you can add the final touch to your decor with lighting. Now there are two kinds of lighting that you should be aware of that need to be managed for the right ambience of your decor.

Natural: This is the light from the outside, such as from the sun during the day and the moon / stars during the night. You can control this lighting through your windows, bay windows, and sun-roofs. Awnings can also work as an outside effect to control outdoor light coming into your home.

Artificial: This is the light that is powered by electricity or other energy sources, like a candle for example. You can usually customize this through a table lamp, desk lamp, and mounted / ceiling / track lighting as well as well placed accent lighting and candles. Even your fireplace and the way you decorate it is an artificial light that adds so much to the ambience of your decor.

One key point is how your mood is affected by the light that occurs in your room. Does it make you feel comfortable, soothing, or too alert? Does the sun shining through your bed wake you too early in your bedroom or disturb your nap in your living room. Of course you can just move a window around or block out the sunroof, but I do recommend accent room dividers that help you manage the rays coming into the room. Or even window treatments, blinds, or curtains can add to the look of your decor as well as help you manage this aspect of your decorating final frontier. Stay tuned as we bring more articles on lighting that you should have for each room in your home.

Headache – Barriers to Treatment

My experience in treating a number of headache patients over the years, many successfully but some less so, has turned up a set of barriers or blocks that prevent headache sufferers from successfully managing and controlling their headaches. Some of these headache blocks are personal, that is they lie within the boundaries of the individual headache suffer to deal with. Others are world blocks or ones that lie outside of the individual patient's immediate influence.

Regardless, whether the blocks are personal or world they are real and prevent many patients from getting the upper hand on this debilitating illness. Most of the headache patients I've encountered who get better have effectively dealt with these blocks. And in dealing with world barriers successful patients have received help from family, friends, health care providers and others.

Patients who do not improve are unable or unwilling to deal with these barriers. As I describe these barriers, both personal and world, you may think they are unfair. However, my point is that they are real and have to be confronted if chronic headache patients are to experience any kind of lasting relief. First, chronic headache sufferers usually experience more than one headache type. Notice I'm referring to chronic headache, not to occasional headaches experienced by the majority of individuals.

Occasional headache sufferers are able to take an over the counter pain reliever and deal with the headache successfully. They may need to rest while the medication takes effect but eventually they successfully cope with the invader. In contrast, chronic headache sufferers have multiple things wrong that have to be dealt with. With this group headache is a symptom of underlying multiple problems.

Since multiple things are wrong effective treatment must involve removing or reducing more than one cause of the headache. It is analogous to stones in one's shoe; if only one stone is removed, the walker will still hobble. All of the stones have to be removed in order to walk freely. Similarly, the headache treatment needs to lay out a sequence of actions that will remedy the multiple problems involved.

Multiple headaches require an analysis of multiple types of headache possibilities. Each headache type requires its own individual treatment approach. This takes time, patience, effort and a willingness on the part of the patient to actively participate in the treatment effort. The treatment plan needs to be based on a comprehensive assessment of headache conditions.

Often, the chronic sufferer has analgesic rebound headache among their assortment of headache types. Caused by excessive use of analgesics or pain relievers, no treatment can proceed until the analgesic headache problem is resolved. In some cases analgesic rebound can be a deal breaker, so significant that the patient has to be hospitalized so the underlying situation can be treated.

Additionally, the general well being of chronic sufferers is often of lower quality than non-headache sufferers. Their sleep quality is often poor, accompanied by low energy and often mood disorder. When a patient has chronic headache syndrome, that is pain lasting 2 to 3 or more weeks certain brain chemicals become depleted. These chemicals, one of which is seratonin, must be restored in order to treat the chronic pain.

These factors make diagnosing and treating a chronic headache sufferer a difficult process. And due to other contributing factors such as mood disorders or sleep disturbances the unraveling of the headache complex can be a lengthy effort.

Interconnectivity of Headaches

It is often the case that one kind of headache contributes to the onset of another type of headache. That is why it is important to separate the different pain components. Vascular, tension or neuralgia type headaches are frequently at play. For some, tension headache is a "trigger" that brings on a vascular headache episode. Often, there is a "bi-directionality" of the headache conditions.

Sorting out various headache types is a time consuming business. Since the patient will still experience headaches during this period there may be a tendency to become disillusioned that any progress is being made and the individual may abandon the treatment that has been prescribed.

Social Stigma

There is a social stigma to being a chronic headache sufferer and taking headache medicine. Medicines for heart disease or diabetes are examples of socially acceptable medicines. Society understands that our body becomes ill and medicine for these types of illness is required. There seems to be considerably less support and understanding for the chronic headache sufferer. Missing work or a major social event for reasons of a headache often fail to pass the social acceptance test. Headache pain is real. And it can be excruciating, denying the sufferer the opportunity to function in a normal manner and perform routine daily activities.

A Key Ingredient: Family Support

Missed social events, days away from work and inability to perform family chores can place a significant burden and strain on a family. For the headache sufferer who is in the midst of a severe headache storm simple acts become unbearably difficult. I have found that successfully treated patients often involve a family member in their diagnosis and treatment process. Involvement of a support person who can assist the a patient in dealing with headache often has a strong positive effect.

Support individuals can:

1. Prompt the patient to take medications

2. Help the patient complete therapeutic exercises

3. Help the patient maintain a schedule

4. Assist the patient in accurately tracking headache episodes

And family members can help reduce the sense of social stigma attached to headache by demonstrating their understanding of what the patient is experiencing and explaining to friends, co-workers and others that headache is a real and debilitating illness.

For many chronic sufferers adhering as close as possible to a fixed schedule, engaging in regular exercise and participating in outside events can be important in maintaining a headache free period. Since many chronic headache sufferers also experience low energy and mood disorder, encouragement from family members can be critical in helping the patient to normalize his or her routine.

I can not over emphasize the importance of maintaining a headache diary. The headache sufferer has a very difficult task in recalling headache episodes with any degree of accuracy. And at the outset is unable to differentiate one type of headache from another. The diary or headache tracker is of enormous value in the diagnosis and treatment processes.

Side Effects

One thing experience has taught me is that among those who do not get better is a failure to adhere to the treatment plan and that includes taking prescribed medication. Many of these individuals believe that because the prescribed medication has side effects they are better off not taking it.

The contraindication list or list of side effects can be lengthy. Given all the possible side effects such patients see it as sensible not to take their headache medications. However, the issue is not the general issue of side effects but the specific question of whether or not potential side effects of a given medication will affect the individual patient or not. Not whether they will affect someone else.

A particular medication may have side effect for another individual but be well tolerated by the patient under consideration. If not, the patient's doctor can usually prescribe an alternative medication that will work toward the same therapeutic goal with fewer or no side effects.

I've also had patients who have stopped taking their medication tell me that the reason was they started to feel better, their headaches were under control. Therefore, they see no reason to continue; who wants to take medication when it is no longer needed. What they fail to understand if that the medication is prophylactic and is preventing the headache episodes from occurring. When returned to their normal state of not experiencing headache they mistakingly believe that the underlying conditions causing their headache distress will not return.

Avoiding Pharmaceutical Treatment

Another assumption is that there should be a natural substance that one can successfully take and thereby avoid pharmaceutical treatment. Some individuals are convinced that medical doctors are suspicious of and not supportive of natural or alternative treatments. Medical doctors are trained to be evidence based. For the most part they are not "anti-natural" if there is strong clinical evidence of the efficacy of the treatment.

The test is not whether a substance is "natural" or "synthetic." The test is whether it is safe and effective. Natural substances have not gone through the same rigorous studies as pharmaceutical medicines. Putting an alternative substance into your body, a substance that has not been well researched and tested places you at risk. The alternative substance may confound other prescribed medications and abort their therapeutic effect. In a follow up article I will discuss the problem of analgesic rebound in more detail along with the cycle of pain that depletes body chemicals necessary to restore the patient to a non headache normalcy.

Flame Resistant Uniforms and the Dangers of Heat Stress

It is instinctual to be aware of the dangers of hypothermia and so people bundle up to protect themselves from the cold. However, many people don’t understand the dangers of heat as even a normal high temperature can cause the problem of too much heat, or hyperthermia.


Also called heat stroke, sunstroke, or heat stress, hyperthermia occurs when the body can’t dissipate heat quickly enough. This causes the body temperature to climb to a dangerous level. This life threatening condition requires immediate emergency medical care.

A person’s body lowers high temperatures by perspiring. As perspiration evaporates, the body lowers the high temperature. Hyperthermia occurs when the body’s perspiration system becomes overwhelmed as the internal temperature begins to rise. The body temperature may even rise so high that perspiration can’t lower the temperature quickly enough.

A person can become dehydrated from not drinking enough fluids, which causes the body to eventually stop perspiring. Restrictive clothing can also inhibit the evaporation process. This adds dangers, as evaporation is what provides the cooling.

Fire Retardant Clothing

Older types of flame resistant clothes were uncomfortable and bulky, interfering with airflow and perspiration. Even on cooler days, firefighters or other workers who wore this bulky fire retardant clothing ran the risk of heat stress due to heat being trapped in these restrictive outfits. Limits became imposed on how long a person could wear these suits to protect the wearer from heat stress.

Since this is even a problem at mild temperatures, it is magnified greatly in the high temperatures of an actual fire. Emergency workers could quickly become overwhelmed by heat stress from the fire retardant clothing designed to protect them. It was a balancing act between body heat protection and fire protection.

New Technology

Thanks to new technology, today’s materials used in flame resistant uniforms for industrial workers, firefighters, and others exposed to fire hazards through their jobs are safer. These uniforms are made of breathable fire resistant fabric. This fabric wicks away moisture, allowing for effective evaporation, reducing the body temperature and keeping the wearer more alert.

The lightweight fabrics are as comfortable as regular clothing, offering protection to many workers, including law enforcement officers who can’t wear the bulky flame retardant clothing of the past. They provide a supplemental layer of fire retardant clothing to provide additional protection.

The same fabrics allow the bulky outfits worn by firefighters to provide more efficient heat regulation that greatly reduces the possibility of heat stress. Emergency personnel are safe and comfortable in today’s fire retardant clothing.

Murals, Wallpaper and The Meaning of Colors

Before you paint your walls, put up wallpaper, murals or other decorations in any room in your house, you should take the time to learn the different emotions that every color you may use will project your room. The color of the room alone can influence the feelings that a person in it will have. In fact, psychologists are arguing that certain colors can improve alertness, aid with relaxation and even improve vision and memory. Let’s get started!


Red is frequently associated with passion and strong emotions. It is associated with aggression, sexuality, lust, eroticism and courage. Historically it is associated with war because it is the color of blood. It is also associated with pride encourage, and can be found on the flags of many different nations. Red projects passionate ambition and powerful drive and is best for painting the walls of an office or a study your house.


A close ancestor of red, orange as many of the same characteristics when it comes to eliciting emotions as red though most of these are not as powerful. Orange is an action color, meaning that it gets attention and can be used to emphasize. The brightness of the orange which intend to paint your room can completely change the meaning and emotion behind it, so be careful. Bright orange is associated with action and creativity, while darker shades of orange, as well as brown, remind viewers of autumn and create feelings of calm and tranquility. Furthermore, gold colors associated with prestige as well as antiquity.


The brightest color of all, yellow elicits a feeling of joy and energy in viewers. It is associated with youth, and like the sun can brighten one’s day. Most shades of yellow have been found by psychologists to improve the appetite and increase the brain’s productivity. Conversely, dark shades of yellow cause the opposite emotions in people. Dark shades of yellow are associated with sickness, disease and negativity.


Closely related to nature, green is associated with calm, peace and fertility. Green is a comfortable color, a favorite of many people, and an excellent choice for painting a room, though darker shades of green may be associated with money and greed and should therefore be used carefully. Because green is so soothing it is generally a safe color to use in any room so long as a complements the decor.


Another calming color, blue, is associated with truth, justice and courage. For this reason is also found on many national flags, and is also the most commonly used color or police uniforms. Light blue is associated with the calm of the sky and darker shades of blue are associated with authority and justice. Murals, wallpaper and other wall decor can usually be complemented by this color.


The color that occurs least frequently in nature, purple, is associated with wealth, excess and royalty. Also the symbol of romance and sophistication, purple has been used historically by the most wealthy of people to showcase their power.


The color that results from the absence of all light and color, black is associated with formality and sophistication. Other meanings of this color are death, darkness, immorality and sin.


The opposite of the meanings of black white is often associated with perfection, innocence, purity and cleanliness. It is used in icons to depict religious figures and it is used in weddings for these reasons.


A step between black and white, gray goes with just about anything. Various shades of gray can be used to accent almost any other color and create a truly beautiful room. Gray should be used carefully because too much of this color is associated with dullness.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Remember, regardless of whether you want to paint, put up murals, wallpaper or other decorations in your house make sure that you’re projecting the impression you want your rooms to project. Happy decorating!

Cancer Quotes

I like quotes about all kinds of things. I love the way that some people can express what the rest of us are thinking in just a few well-chosen words. The subject of cancer and cancer treatments are no exception. Some of the best advice and the best observations about this dreaded disease are found in quotes.

For one thing, cancer is held up as the ultimate disease – the standard by which all really bad things in life is measured. Maya Angelou was an American poet who said, “Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host,” and Edward Abbey was an American writer and environmentalist who said, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” No matter what “it” is, the worst is always compared to cancer.

Then there are those famous people who say things that echo in our minds forever. Olivia Newton-John said, “My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.” Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist, is quoted as having said, “If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.”

Melissa Bank, an author, wrote, “During chemo, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been. It’s like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you’re out. You don’t know how you’ll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been. You’re clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it’s instantaneous.”

But maybe the most succinct quote of all is the anonymous quote: “Cancer cures smoking!”

Mineral Wool Insulation

CSR Building Materials Rock wool Insulation is an established mineral wool insulation company that is announcing today that their wool insulation products are joining a wide and varied host of other companies in a fight for sustainable and renewable energy. Mineral wool has in the past been notoriously hazardous not only to the environment-especially after deconstruction and the bulldozing of properties with the wool-but for humans as well.

The materials are made with incredible agents, constituents that re composed of fibers and particulates that are well proven, scientifically, to be carcinogens. Like asbestos, the materials can be inhaled, as the cancer causing ingredients in the materials are light enough to be transmitted via airborne methods-unlike other building products, such as cellular glass insulation materials, fireproofing materials, and foam boarding materials.

In metros such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Las Vegas, Miami, Detroit … environment agencies, as well as building inspectors, weigh the inspection of these installations more heavily than roofing, basement, and soundproofing installations. Safety precautions and the documentation of these precautions are highly regulated. Despite the materials natural ingredients and constituents, the material is deemed unsafe to be handled by non professionals.

Mineral wool is widely used however. The materials are employed in order to produce barriers for fires, sound barriers, and insulating barriers. It's useful due to the chemical and fiber construction of the material, which makes it a very convenient material to use, a cost effective solution, and is an extremely easy material to mass produce. This is why the material is so widely used; it's achieved economies of scale that afford the material a great cost effective price point, which makes it very accessible to mass markets.

They're great for fire stops because the material is largely fire retardant and considered non combustible. Fire tests are done on such materials in order to be credentialed as such. During fire tests, wools are burned and the burnings are timed. Depending on the effective smoke debris and the time it takes to burn, grades to those credentials of being fire retardant and / or non combustible are granted by a government agency.

Older mineral wools are found in homes that are known to be very hazardous to humans, and should be avoided if renovations are being done, if you're lacking in particular safety equipment. First and foremost you'll need a breathing filter. This comes in the shape and form of a mask, typically.

Several new sorts of these mineral wools are being manufactured today that do not carry much of these harmful characteristics, but, however, are priced at a premium point. Homeowners that are renovating their properties are encouraged to opt for these premium versions of mineral wools instead.

Aside from the new safety features of the new wools, there are also the environmental and eco friendliness factors and features of the new wools as well. Many are composed of recycled materials for example. Some purport to be easier to recycle or even compost-able. When measuring the eco friendliness of the product, it's advised to pay attention to the list of credible credentials brandished on the product's labeling, such as the LEED environmental credential. Other environmental and eco credentials are out there for products to be awarded, but none are more coveted than the LEED designation. Buildings that are awarded this designation proudly display its plaque on the outside of its building, typically close to the main entrance.

Basement Ceiling Finishing Tips and Ideas

The ceiling is one of the important aspects of your basement, we may find it ugly but do not worry because there are a lot of products available that can turn your ceiling into a work of art. The basement is naturally dark, cool and uninviting and people want the exact opposite which is warm and cozy. People can be very creative and achieving this is not a big deal anymore. There are several types of basement ceiling finishings and it's often confusing what works best for you. Basically, basement ceilings can be categorized to either be dry walled or suspended. Decorative touches will be a part of your finishing steps. Do not be afraid to experiment, be creative and think outside the box.

Basement ceiling finishing is not that difficult except if you do not have any experience at all when it comes to this kind of project. You may want to read about the general types of basement ceilings to get you started. The first one is the dry-walled ceiling. The drawback in this is that it requires a lot of labor and some rental equipment. It's harder to install and it can be quite messy than basement ceiling finishing systems. If you're worried about having access to pipes and wires running along your ceiling then you can integrate it in the design or provide an entrance. To emphasize the ceiling, you can use trimmings and attractive tiles.

A dropped or suspended ceiling is another option for your basement. These ceilings have a grid work of metal bars in the shape of an upside-down T, these are suspended on wires from the overhead joists. A dropped ceiling is great because there is no need for you to move wires, pipes or ducts and the joists do not have to be straight for the finished ceiling to look flat. This type of basement ceiling finishing will give you easy access to heating, cooling and electrical systems. Adding some lighting fixtures can be done with ease as well. In addition to that, a dropped ceiling shields unwanted noise from above. However, one of the biggest disadvantages of a dropped or suspended ceiling is that it eats up too much head space so if you already have a very low basement ceiling then you might want to look into this first.

Tile Flooring – Classic, Popular, Long-Lasting

When considering flooring options, many people overlook tile flooring. That shouldn’t be the case, since tile has been around longer than most types of flooring. It is popular, easy to maintain, and can be used in most any room of your home or business.

Tile Flooring Comes in Many Varieties

Tile flooring has been used around the world for centuries. Evidence of this can be found in the remains of Ancient Greece and Rome, where mosaic tile flooring can be seen. To make these mosaic tiles, small pieces of clay, glass, shell, or other materials were placed into unique, colorful patterns.

Throughout Europe, tile flooring has been used for years. Many styles of tile flooring have been used. One of the most notable types is the stone flooring used in castles and other buildings. To make stone flooring, stones of various types (such as slate, granite, and sandstone) and sizes are arranged and grouted together to make a floor. Careful planning must be used to ensure such floors are relatively flat and don’t have abrupt edges people can trip over. However, you can now purchase specially shaped and sanded stones to avoid such problems.

Travertine is a natural stone tile that has increased in popularity. Travertine is a sedimentary rock that began as sandstone and has been used for years. In fact, the exterior of the Colosseum in Rome is built out of travertine. This type of tile comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so it can fit with any decor or design style.

More recently, ceramic and porcelain tiles have been manufactured and used. Such tiles are often used in kitchens and bathrooms and can be used on walls as well as floors. Such tiles are specially designed and glazed to look good and last a long time. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are also easy to clean. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors to meet any need.

Tile flooring comes in many designs and patterns. These range from simple 6 inch by 6 inch squares of a single color to marble tile with natural mixtures of colors to ceramic tiles with ornate designs painted on. Whatever your taste and design style, you are sure to find something that fits your needs. In general, bigger tiles look small spaces look larger, while smaller tiles work better on walls or in larger spaces.

Installation Considerations

If you are thinking about installing tile flooring by yourself, there are several things to consider. First, make sure you have an accurate measurement of your room, so you can purchase adequate tile. A good rule of thumb is to buy about 20% more than you think you’ll need. This will provide extra for breakage as well as tiles that have to be cut to fit the space.

You next need to consider how you will cut the tiles for corners, edges, or other special situations. Many hardware stores have tile cutters that you can use or rent for a day. Make sure you have proper training for safety purposes.

Another consideration is the type of tiles you want to use. Read about the pluses and minuses of each type of material, and bring home samples to see if you like how they look and feel. Think about the size, pattern, and color of the tile(s) you will use. Make sure the tile is easy to maintain and clean and will fit well is the chosen space. With so many options, the hardest part may be narrowing your choices!

Finally, find a suitable grout to glue your tiles to the floor and fill in the spaces between tiles. You want to find something that is sturdy and that won’t crumble or allow your tiles to slide or pop off the floor. Also consider the color of the grout, choosing something that will match the tiles and other items in your room, while looking good and not becoming too dirty or fading over the years.

With a little planning and shopping around, you are likely to find the perfect tile floor. The fact that tile has been used for centuries is a testament to the durability, beauty, and versatility of tile flooring.

Erection Pumps – The Truth You Must Know About Male Erection Pump For Better Sexual Performance

Pump Up the Blood!

Are you still relying on male erection pumps for a better sexual performance in bed? Sexual function is important in one’s overall health and well-being. Even when it is something that is exhibited in private, it should not be brushed aside and taken for granted. Having a satisfying sexual experience can have positive effects in one’s life. On the other hand, having a dismal sexual experience can have negative manifestations in the way a person conducts himself. In most cases, men are the most pressured to perform better in the sexual act in order for the experience to be satisfying. This pressure is one of the reasons that adversely affect their body’s ability to match what is expected of them.

There is great demand for products for penile enhancement such as erection pumps, penile implants, herbal supplements, and other medication. These products cost a lot of money but do not really guarantee permanent results. Erection pump in particular is only effective in pumping blood through pumping. When men who use these sex enhancement pumps try to have an erection without these pumps, they do not often succeed.

A more permanent option to take for erection mastery is to practice exercises and techniques that will train the penile muscles. It is only by achieving erection mastery that a permanent cure to erectile dysfunction could be found. There are exercises and techniques online that you can find to help you in your quest for the biggest and hardest erection you can have. Aside from step-by-step instructions on the exercises, you can also get online support from an erection mastery site. This way, you do not easily get discouraged when you hit a snag in your program and you are more successful in improving your sexual functioning.

LISS Cardio – 3 Tips on LISS Cardio

LISS cardio is the exercise you need to get shredded! I’m sure you all have heard of HIIT cardio: High Intensity Interval Training. Well LISS is the opposite end of the spectrum: Low Intensity Steady State.

You may be asking yourself why you would want to do LISS cardio. The answer is simple! To preserve that lean muscle mass you have worked so hard to develop!! This type of cardio essentially bypasses the body using carbohydrates as fuel and instead uses fat.

1) The key to LISS cardio is to keep your heart rate between 65% and 75% of your maximum and to make sure the session last no longer than one hour. Of course you can do more than one session in a day but do not do them consecutively.

2) Examples of LISS cardio:

a. Take your dog for a walk! Perfect LISS cardio for you and great cardio for your dog! It’s a win-win for both of you!

b. Ride a stationary bike at 65 RPM

3) Do not eat anything before you do your cardio! I personally like to do mine right after I wake up and/or immediately after a resistance training workout. Your body will have already used its glycogen stores and long as the intensity is low it will immediately start using fat as energy!

You don’t always have to be jumping, kicking, punching, sweating buckets in order to burn fat. If we use a little bit of science, have faith and try something new you will be pleasantly surprised at the results. I recall when I started using LISS: it was like doing nothing. Fast forward several weeks and I achieved the best conditioning of my life!

It is little things like LISS cardio that will help you get that lean, ripped look you have been working so hard to achieve.

How to Build an Outdoor Living Room

Sometimes the weather is just too nice to sit inside. So what to do? Sit in an outdoor living room instead. An outdoor living room fits easily anywhere from a garden nook to the deck or patio. It's an affordable fun option that can add style value and cheer to any home.

It is not rocket science either with just a few simple steps you can learn how to build an outdoor living room ambiance!

There are only a couple things you need for a perfect outdoor living room, chairs, a table, and a place for them to go!

Location is the first step in any home improvement plan. If you already have a screened in patio or deck, great! This makes a perfect location. All you will need is a couple pieces of outdoor furniture. A couple chaise loungers a couple deck chairs and a table or two and you have the perfect place to sit outside and enjoy.

Perhaps you're looking for something tucked away in a secluded garden nook though. Once again you have plenty of choices. A build it yourself gazebo package is a great way to start. It gives you a decorative yard accent piece plus shelter from any bad weather or bugs! All you have to do is prep the foundation, have the pieces delivered and assemble.

If you're more budget conscious though, how about building a basic pergola? All you need are a couple pieces of lumber, lattice, a saw, post hole digger and some nails.

Grab the post hole digger and dig 4 holes in your favorite location. Drop posts into the holes. Nail cross beams at the top and nail in a piece of wood lattice as a roof and you're done in only a couple of hours.

Just put in a table with an umbrella and a couple lawn chairs and you have a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee and bird watch on weekend mornings.

If the umbrella idea is not your taste then there is always the option of a sunshade.

With an outdoor living room this nice though you'll probably want to spend more time there than just mornings and evenings. To ensure your comfort all day and avoid damaging your skin in the hot summer sun how about putting up a sunshade on the pergola.

Sunshades cut up to 70% of the sun's harmful rays. Not only is this safer for your skin but it keeps you cooler too.

Once again it's simple. Grab a roll of sunshade from the hardware store. Cut it to the size of the latticework and staple it up to the pergola. Now you have an outdoor living room you can sit in all day long.

Patio Awnings

If you really want to add value to your property and make your patio a more habitable space, consider looking into Patio Awnings.

The main reason to purchase a Patio Awning is protection from the sun. Patio Awnings minimise glare and UV rays both indoors and outdoors. By providing shade, they also reduce the amount of heat entering your property through open patio doors- meaning you spend less on air conditioning. Furthermore, with sufficient slope, retractable awnings can protect outdoor areas from rain, providing the material is water resistant. This means you can sit outside and enjoy your patio whatever the weather.

There are 2 basic types of Patio Awning- fixed and retractable. Both come in a variety of different designs, colours and materials. However retractable awnings are generally better as you can position them to suit your needs on a day to day basis.

Choosing the right awning for your patio is as much about personal preference as it is about functionality- however it's important to make the right decision, as a poor quality Patio Awning, or one that looks totally out of place on your patio will ultimately spoil the experience. It may even detract from the value of your property- so get it right!

The first thing to look at is the climate you live in- if it's hot and sunny all year round, maybe steer more towards a fixed Patio Awning. If you live in a seasonal climate, go for a retractable Awning. You then need to consider elements like price, size, design / style, and materials / fabrics when chosing your Patio Awning.

Purchase an Awning today and reap the benefits.

Advantages of Asphalt Paving Over Concrete

Today, Asphalt has become a synonym to paving and is a widely installed form of paving. It is preferred both in the commercial as well as industrial sectors for its cost-effective and durability. It is chosen over other forms of paving like concrete by property owners and business owners alike.

A comparative study of the two forms of paving mentioned above gives a better idea about the right kind of material for driveways, parking lots, pavements, walkways and other property peripheries.

Some of the advantages of asphalt paving over its concrete counterpart are mentioned below:


The most important factor that supports Asphalt paving is its time-effective. It is the easiest paying material to prepare and also dries up quicker than concrete. Hence, potholes, damaged parking lots and driveways are mended easily with asphalt in lesser time.

Initial Cost

Although, the long-time cost of concrete is lesser than Asphalt paving, Asphalt paving has less initial cost. It is economical and can easily used to repair and restore damages. Its up front costs are quite less; hence, the long-term maintenance costs of asphalt are overlooked.

Maintenance Cost

The maintenance cost for asphalt is much less than concrete. Over a period of time, the cost ratio for asphalt is definitely more than concrete, but its one-time cost is less than concrete.

Wear and Tear

Concrete is more prone to cracks and require a lot of seals and maintenance in the long run. They develop cracks and fissures easily than in asphalt paving. Hence, asphalt is comparatively less prone to wear and tear in quick time.


Asphalt is an extremely flexible paving material and can be mould and used for any kind of paving and construction work. It is widely used in both commercial and residential sectors for construction and restoration work.

Weather Resistance

Another important factor favoring the installation of asphalt paving is its long durability and weather resistance. It is resistant to easy wear and tear due to climatic change.

The Best Bridge Players in the World

It is difficult to determine who the best bridge players of the world are, since there is no reliable ranking such as in tennis, chess, and other competitive sports.

Some claim that relying on tournament results is not a good way to identify the best bridge players either. The reasoning is that tournament results are affected not only by luck, but also by the partner's skills, as well as the team's in case of a team event. Therefore, many players prefer to rely on "soft" factors such as reputation, and subjective opinion of players who claim to pertain to the experts group.

Others claim that subjective information is not a reliable source to rank the world's best bridge players. For example, in the beginning of the century, arguably the most famous bridge player in the world was Alan Truscott, who invented the Truscott convention after 1NT opening. However, these days, it is commonly believed that he was not as good as people used to think, and that others were the best bridge players at the time.

Judging by reputation, the player who would probably win the biggest number of votes as the world's best bridge player is the 69 years old Robert Hamman from the USA. Playing with his partner Bobby wolf he has won numerous tournaments, among which the prestigious Bermuda Bowl.

An analysis of the results of the leading tournaments in the world of bridge over a long time, may reveal who the best bridge players are. There are clear serial winners both in the team events – Bermuda Bowl, Cavendish, Spingold, Reisinger, Vanderbilt, Grand National Teams, and the pairs events – Blue Ribbon, and Life Master pairs.

These are:

USA: Robert Hamman, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Paul Soloway
Italy: Norberto Bocchi, Giorgio Doboin, Fulvio Fantoni, Lorenzo Lauria, Claudio Nunes, Alfredo Versace
Poland: Cezary Balicky, Adam Zmudinski, Marcin Lesniewski, Krystof Martens
Norway: Boye Brogeland, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness
Brazil: Gabriel Chagas, Marcelo Bronco
France: Paul Chemla, Alain Levy, Christian Mari, Herve Mouiel, Michel Perron
Israel: Eldad Ginossar, Ron Pachtman, David Birman, Amir Levin

Hope you are on your way to becoming one of the world's best bridge players!

How To Assemble Prefabricated Garage Kits

The market is flooded with a wide variety of prefabricated garage kits that are available in a range of colors, designs and sizes. Given their highly economical pricing and structural strength, they are fast becoming a popular alternative to building a garage from level zero.

To top it all, getting a prefabricated garage kit is not only cost saving but time saving as well as it can be assembled within a day's time once you are thorough with all the instructions that these kits come with. Though most of these kits include all the pre manufactured parts that you will need to build a garage, these do not come with doors and windows that you may need to buy separately.

Prefabricated garage kits are extremely easy to install and come with a building plan that has been approved by an architectural expert and is easy to follow. All you need to do is study the blueprints that come with the shipped part thoroughly and follow the assembling instructions to the tee. It is advisable not to rush things as once you are aware of which piece goes where, you will be in a better position to assemble the prefabricated garage kits. Simply follow the under mentioned tips so that you can put together your garage in no time at all.

Once you have poured over the details of the prefabricated garage blue print and the assembling instructions, select a good day to put together the same. As you will need a few helping hands, simply request a few friends to aid you. Begin by laying out the pieces of the kit in your backyard and conduct a few test fits first. This will help you ascertain that you have got all the correct pieces. Select a flat cement slab as the foundation for the garage. This will not only add to its structural strength but even aid in the assembling process.

Next, get all the screws, beams, drills and other necessary assembling tools in place. Keep a track of all the construction supplies that you get with the kit. It is advisable to assemble individual parts of the garage prior to assembling the entire construction. Most prefabricated garage kits assembling instructions stress on putting together all the components of the garage and then slotting them at the proper points to complete the entire structure. The main door assembling is best left for the last.