Combatives Solo Training Drills

Although training with a partner is the ideal way to train Combatives, quite often we won’t have access to training partners. So rather than not train at all, we can train alone and still get a good session in.

A few pointers to keep in mind when solo training:

  • Don’t try to do too much in one session. Pick just a few techniques or drills to work on throughout the session and stick to them. If you try to cover too much you will scatter your focus and end up learning nothing. Remember that good Combatives training is about repetition. To get good you have to train a select few techniques over and over until you master them. If you try to master too many techniques at one time you will end up mastering none.
  • Train with the street in mind. This means you do not train in a sporting manner. So no shadow boxing or long endurance workouts. Everything you do must be combative, not sporting. Warm up first, then practice your drills and techniques in short bursts. A real street fight is an explosive burst of energy that doesn’t last very long. There are no rounds. Only periods of intense combat lasting only several seconds. Your training must reflect that. So basically, go like fk for no more than ten seconds then stop and repeat.
  • Add emotional content to your training. Whatever you do, you must back it up with the correct mindset. If you hit the bag, do so with full intent and aggression. Really imagine that you are in a situation and you have to put this guy down. Anything less will not do. You are practicing accessing state as much as the physical techniques. Hit the switch, go like fuck and then knock the switch off again, making sure to check state every time. Training in this way, you are making sure the techniques will come out under pressure when you need them. This is the only way to train.
  • Resist the temptation to do long sessions. Long training sessions are for endurance athletes and sport fighters. You will benefit most from shorter sessions of about fifteen to twenty minutes, but train at full intensity during that time. If you feel one session isn’t enough, train twice a day.

1. FENCE AND STRIKE DRILL

What’s good about this drill is that you don’t need any equipment and it can be done anywhere.

Start from a square on stance, then move into a fence position with your arms out front as if controlling your space, then from there throw a pre-emptive strike.

Repeat a number of times.

To make the drill more useful, bring your imagination into play. Pretend there is someone in front of you, giving you grief. Control your space as they try to enter it and then, when you think the moment is right, strike with full intent and see yourself knocking the guy out. Remember, emotional content is what makes these techniques stick.

2. FENCE, STRIKE, BLAST AND FINISH

As above, only after you strike pre-emptively you continue to blast your opponent with multiple strikes, moving forward as you do so (forward drive) before finally finishing your opponent off with knees and elbows or some other technique of your choice.

3. IMAGINARY BRAWL DRILL

For this drill you are going to be playing out a whole attack scenario from start to finish. Think of a scenario first. You could be walking to your car in a dimly lit car park after a particularly tiring day at work or you could be standing outside the chippy on after having had a few drinks with friends. Whatever. Your imagination is the limit here.

Once you have a scenario in mind, really put yourself into it, mentally and emotionally. Begin to act it out the way a real actor would.

Let’s take the car park example. You are walking to your car when you spot two dodgy looking guys loitering near your car. Your spidey sense starts to tingle and you can feel the adrenaline begin to bubble up inside you. Something isn’t right (really feel this!). As you continue to walk to your car, one of the guys (dressed in jeans, black jacket and baseball cap) asks you for a light. You tell him you don’t have one. No sooner have you answered him when the other guy (wearing track suit bottoms and a dark coloured hoodie) suddenly rushes towards you, drawing his fist back in preparation to hit you. The fight is on.

That’s the set up. What way this scenario goes is up to you. The important thing is that you mimic every move as it happens. If you strike one of the guys, then do so for real and really feel the impact. If you get hit or grabbed, react to that for real.

Fall to the floor and grapple. Enact the whole fight. Then when it’s over, walk away.

Done right, with your imagination in full swing, this can end up feeling like a real fight. It’s almost like visualisation practice but you are physically acting out each movement instead of just picturing it in your head.

Try to be alone when doing this drill. If anyone sees you, they will think you’ve lost your mind as you throw yourself around and fight imaginary attackers!

Catapults – Facts You May Not Know

Catapults were used back in the medieval times for launching a siege on a castle and trying to take it over. They were used to take down walls so people could get in and try to push the defenders back into their castle and hopefully take over the castle. But the catapult is just a general idea, there are many different kinds of catapults and they each have different uses in war.

The main type of catapult they use is called a sling catapult, they use this a lot because it can shoot really far and it fires large boulders at the wall for a lot of damage, so basically they can get some heavy damage done on the wall from a safe distance. Those defending the castle could normally not get to catapults because to get to them they had to get through the army in front of the catapults that were defending them, so it was out of the picture to try and take them down.

Another type of catapult (kind of like a catapult it still launched large objects) was the ballista, this catapult I guess you could call it did not launch large boulders but was basically a large bow that shot large arrows but in a catapult form. This was not used too much because of trying to make the arrows that it shot, it was easier to use just a normal catapult because rocks were lying everywhere. But even though they were rare they were still used sometimes because of the accuracy they had, they could almost always hit their target.

Besides those two types of catapults they used another kind of catapult called the trebuchet catapult. This is just like the sling catapult but it was not the most accurate catapult they had. It was very unreliable for trying to hit a specific spot on the castle. So they used it just to throw rocks at the castle to try and injure the people inside the walls. If possible they may get lucky enough to hit a wall and help with trying to take it down to get inside so they can try for the victory. Even with these three kinds of catapults firing at the wall (if they have them all when doing a siege) getting in would still be rare if they won because of the defense of the castle, and people waiting to defend when the people rush through the hole in the walls of the castle.

Fulfilling Your Sexual Potential in the Second Half of Life

Sexual desire and pleasure is our birthright. After all, we were created naked and with different genitals. There must have been a plan in mind. We are sexual beings from the day we’re born until the day we die. Sex is fundamental to our lives and seems to be the area of life that most deeply touches our most personal issues. Our sexuality is a core expression of who we are. We can hide with sex, we can hide from sex, but we cannot be fully ourselves sexually and hide.

Why have sex? Well, it is well known that sex enhances our lives in multiple ways, both psychologically and physically.

Health benefits include lower blood pressure, overall stress reduction, higher levels of antibodies so fewer colds and flews, burns calories, good exercise, improves cardiovascular health, boosts self-esteem, releases endorphins which makes physical pain decline and helps lift depression; reduces risk of prostate cancer; promotes sleep.

Interpersonally, good sex may be only 20% of a good relationship (80% when it’s bad), but it’s a crucial 20%. Orgasm increases the level of oxytocin, a hormone that allows us to nurture and to bond. Hence, sex increases love and connection even on a purely biological basis. Sex is an arena that is particular and special to a couple. We let ourselves be known to our sexual partner in a way that we don’t share with anyone else.

A couple who has a satisfying sex life is more able to create and sustain a long-term loving relationship. It is well known that people in stable relationships are thought to be more productive in their jobs, have better health and live longer.

The most rewarding sexual experiences are much more rich, diverse, and creative than the “get it up, get it in” approach. And sexual responsiveness has absolutely nothing to do with being able to meet the culture’s prototype of sexual attractiveness. Rather, it grows from connections of hearts, minds, and bodies. Truly good sex begins with a willingness to be open and vulnerable and to give and receive pleasure and nurturing freely. The psychological ability to share intimacy, both physical and emotional, is essential for good sex, but being intimate (as we’ll discuss later) is an art that confuses and even terrifies many individuals.

Good sex, then, is a complex concoction of openness and secrecy, risk and control, personal satisfaction and mutual fulfillment. Good sex requires an ability to be totally immersed in the moment (which is difficult for most people), ever-present to the sensuality of ourselves, our partner and our lives.

Sustaining a healthy, balanced sex life requires mindful attention to our senses, to the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual dimensions of ourselves, as well as our relationship with our partners. We must KNOW OURSELVES (“KNOW THYSELF”) to know what we want and need sexually. Then we need to have the courage and self-assurance to communicate these desires to our partner, even in the face of possible rejection. Also, we need to have relinquished some of the layers of narcissistic self-consciousness that, when young, may have prevented us from being truly attuned to another person’s reality and needs.

What I’m saying is: good sex requires PSYCHOLOGICAL MATURITY (which we all have because we’ve lived for a while now and have learned some things along the way.)

Mature lovers are more likely to experience not just satisfying sex, but are more likely to experience sexual ecstasy. Certain states may occur in sex where the boundaries of self are suspended in merger with the “other”. This kind of, well, self-transcendence, can open the channels to experiencing a sense of a broader, more universal connection.

Let’s see what the dictionary says about “ecstasy”: rapturous delight; intense joy; mental transport or rapture from the contemplation of divine things; displacement; trance; a shared sense of being taken or moved out of one’s self or one’s normal state, and entering a state of intensified feelings so powerful as to produce a trance-like dissociation from all but the single powerful emotion; this trance or rapture is associated with mystical exaltation.

Eastern societies routinely equate sexual ecstasy with spiritual enlightenment. Only in Western civilizations is there a chasm between sex and God.

So, it’s all good, right? Everything from lowering your blood pressure to experiencing mystical exaltation points to the fact that sex is a good thing.

But if it’s such a good thing, why are so many people not having sex?..or are subject to various sexual dysfunctions, compulsions or perversions?

The fact is that few of us will ever seize the opportunity to explore the full range of our sexual possibilities. One writer I read referred to those who achieve the heights of sexual fulfillment as “the blessed few”.

Why so few? According to a recent survey, one in five Americans is not interested in sex. According to recent estimates, more than one-third of the women in the United States have problems with low sexual desire. Even this statistic may be low, as people may be embarrassed to respond to the interviewer honestly. “Diminished sexual desire” in women, considered by some to be an epidemic, is the diagnosis “du jour” for many sex researchers and therapists.

The loss of sexual desire can undermine a person’s perception of herself, her relationship to her body and may cause an irreparable strain in her relationship. Chances are if her excitement for sex is diminished, her excitement for life in general is somehow compromised.

So why are there only the “blessed few”? One in five is “not interested”???? A third to a half of American women has no desire for sex???? What’s wrong with this picture? Why are so few people actually interested in having sex, exploring it, heightening it?

There are many, many reasons that people eschew sexual pleasure.

First, there are societal/cultural/religious influences. We live in a sex-negative culture. For instance, most Western societies do not support sexual education and development. Parents are still battling to eliminate whatever beleaguered sex education courses are offered in the schools (which, by the way, focus on procreation exclusively), stating that educating children about sex is the purview of the home. Yet, in the homes, silence is the order of the day and kids are still left to figure it out for themselves.

When children are left to their own devices, they are subjected to misinformation from peers and their own fantasies about what sex is. If they become fixated at these levels, there’s more of a chance that they’ll grow up with certain sexual problems. (perversions, dysfunctions and compulsions)

Western culture has historically done much to harm sexuality. Vestiges of the Victorian and Puritan eras, with their emphasis on exclusively procreative sex and discomfort with the idea of sexual pleasure, still resonate with many people, at least on an unconscious level. Sex is evil; sex is sin and eternal damnation.

(which has been a big problem in the Christian community throughout history, and still can resonate down from our own parents’ generation).

Today, we have the “free love” of the 70’s behind us, a growing understanding of sexuality in the mental health field, the significance of the women’s movement and the impact of the communications industry which have combined to break down some barriers to sexual understanding. But we STILL live in a sex-negative culture. The sexual terrain of our times, especially after AIDS, is filled with fear, uncertainty and reactivity – for “normal” people, never mind neurotics, homosexuals, alternative sexualities (BDSM), cross-dressers, people who embrace polyamory rather than monogamy,– AND for the baby-boomers who are trying to forge a new paradigm for sexy aging.

We still get mixed messages from the culture about sex. We’re still confused. “Sex is dirty, save it for someone you love.” Does sex have to be illicit for it to be good? Sex belongs as part of a committed relationship, which connotes high values but low passion. Honor and virtue do not seem to combine well with hot, trembling, lusty sex. Men in this culture still suffer from the “Madonna/Whore Complex”. Some men choose both but will have to be dishonest about it, thus making a tear in the fabric of the integrity of their primary relationship.

Then there’s the societal influence of new technology. The permeating influence of cybersex/pornography on men’s ability to attach and bond to a real, vital woman is a significant barrier to sexual intimacy. Divorce attorneys from the American Bar Association report that a whopping 50% of all divorces are the result of the husband’s addiction to cybersex – that is — pornography, chat rooms, webcam sex, ads for prostitutes, dominatrixes, female bondage and humiliation, the fetish of your choice.

Women, for their part, are encouraged to adorn themselves to be sexually desirable, but not to be sexual. In their historical roles as the guardians of morality, they fail as women if they “succumb” to their (base) sexual natures and allow for the experience of sexual pleasure. Religious traditions have, in fact, been part of this split way of understanding sexuality. The idea of sex as sin outside of marriage and sex as duty inside of marriage is still alive in the collective unconscious and has gone far to undermine the acceptance of sexual pleasure as normal and healthy. These antiquated ideas that there is something morally perverse about a woman who enjoys sex are cultural imprints that unconsciously paralyze many women when they try to experience their sexual selves.

It seems to me that the media, as the messenger of cultural values, promotes the image of an anorexic teenager as representing the height of sexual desirability. Can’t be too thin or too young (within legal limits) to have sex appeal. People are then obsessed with living up to this unrealistic standard for physical beauty being piped through the media. Women compare themselves to the unattainable, develop poor body images, and lose interest in sex.

(Ironically, physical beauty and sexual responsiveness are not interrelated. The fact is that superficial variables such as weight, age, height, facial structure OR the size of a penis make very little difference when it comes to a person’s ability to be sexually responsive and experience sexual passion.)

Our society also buys into the notion that good sex always involves intercourse and orgasm by both partners, preferably at the same time. This approach to sexuality is restrictive and unrealistic, especially as we get older. As I’ve mentioned, sexuality is a much broader arena than getting it up, keeping it up and getting it in. An emphasis on intercourse and orgasm strengthens the misconception men have that women need to be desirable and men need to perform. Performance anxiety and sexual dysfunction are the usual results of an exclusively intercourse/orgasm approach to sex. Furthermore, the focus on genital sex exclusively limits the full range of sexual/sensual dimensions that can be experienced in addition to, or instead of, intercourse.

Some people have “intrapsychic” conflicts about sexuality from having grown up with dysfunctional family dynamics. I don’t even want to think about the rampant sexual abuse of young females where the perpetrator is the father or other close family member. It doesn’t get reported, the rest of the family denies it, and the girl suffers in agonizing isolation, thinking it was her fault, until adulthood when she may get some treatment. Certain young boys are covertly incested by their mothers: there may not have been actual sex, but the mother may have been needy, narcissistic, enmeshed, over-involved, controlling and unable to let her son “differentiate” to become the individual that he should become. These boys may grow to be men with sexual problems.

However, the vast majority of sexual “shut-downs” comes from interpersonal conflicts between the partners. Anger, resentment guilt, hurt feelings, being shut-down and non-communicative are not the stuff upon which sexual fulfillment is built.

I think relationships go bad (and sex shuts down) (cite divorce rates) because the vast majority of people have misconceptions about love and intimacy. Yet, understanding intimacy is crucial to our understanding of hot and sweaty, yet warm and tender lovemaking. Sex is, by definition, an intimate act that is enhanced by the lovers knowing themselves and the other. If lovers are not able to know and disclose their deepest needs and wants to each other, sex becomes mechanical. This kind of knowing and communicating about wants, needs and fantasies requires a foundation of trust and safety that can be found in a loving relationship.

(A caveat – I have no problem with casual sex, booty calls, friends with benefits, or even “kinky” sex that’s not part of a primary relationship. This kind of sex can be fun and satisfying (depending on whether you respect each other), but it’s something altogether different than sex in a loving, monogamous relationship.)

Many people think of intimacy in terms of sentimentality or romanticism. To do so is to falsify it. “Being in love” is also a falsification of intimacy.

“Being in love” is a really a temporary state of insanity. Each person projects his/her own personal relationship agenda (established in childhood) on the other without having any real, knowledge of the other. Inevitably, the honeymoon is over, or people fall “out of love”, and disillusionment sets in. We do not want to give up our fantasy and grow into the reality of actually loving the person “as is”. At this point, either the relationship breaks off or the couple starts to work on building a relationship based in knowing the reality of each other.

People have all sorts of misconceptions about what “love” means. Love can mean sundry, ambiguous, neurotic and even evil things to some: Caring for, rescuing, infatuation with, dependence on, feeling close to, sacrificing for, being a martyr to, being sexually excited by, having a “trophy partner”, having control over another, being controlled by another, marrying someone who’s somewhat like you’re abusive mother in order to finally get her to change, the need for validation and admiration from the other, or the vilely self-destructive idea that love means pain – either from physical or emotional abuse.

These kinds of ill-conceived notions about love create plastic, destructive relationships in which intimacy cannot exist. These relationships can be used to manipulate others, to get our own narcissistic needs met at the expense of the other, and are in the service of other nefarious, unconscious, neurotic conflicts. Celebratory sex can’t exist in a plastic, alienated relationship because sex at it’s fullest requires us to authentic and connected with our lover.

So what is love? “I love you” means something very concrete. It means that I surround you with a feeling that allows you, even requires you, to be everything you really are as a human being at that moment. When my love is full, you are your fullest self. I experience you not as what I expect, not what I want, not as a mannequin upon which I cloche my unconscious, infantile, needs to have a parent and remain a child. You don’t need to reflect well on me. You are not my status symbol. You are, to me…your authentic self.

We love when we not only allow, but enable, enhance and enjoy the “otherness” of our partner.

Being loved, being moved by another’s acceptance into knowing ourselves as we really are may bring trouble, actually. The result of knowing what issues you have that impair productivity and intimacy may be painful, but it can be worked through. We grow with it. It is in human-to-human relationships that we learn, make mistakes and relearn. And the primary intimate/sexual relationship is where we can relearn most profoundly.

Love shatters roles and facades and is illuminative. The confirmation that you are loved lies in your increasing experience of being who you are. Love is unilateral…self as the one who loves actively, not so much the self who is in need of love passively. Real love requires no particular response from the other, so there is freedom of self expression without fear of disapproval or rejection. It is the fear of being alone (or being abandoned) that makes us dependent on the response of others, keeping us from experiencing authentic, real loving.

Let’s look at the word “intimacy”. Again, from the dictionary: the word is derived from the Latin intima, meaning “inner” or “inner-most.” Here again, it suggests that to be intimate, you need to know your real self. (KNOW THYSELF!!!) This ability to be in touch with our inner core is a requisite to being intimate.

Our intima holds the innermost part of ourselves, our most profound feelings, our enduring motivations, our values, our sense of right and wrong and our most embedded convictions about life. Importantly, our intima also includes that which enables us to express these innermost aspects of our person to “the other”.

So, to be in relationship, and to know yourself/your partner sexually, you need to know and respect your intima. The intima is also the way in which we value and esteem ourselves and determines how we are with being with others. To put it simply, if don’t value yourself, you can’t value another. If you’re not aware of needs and wants, or are shamed by them, then sex becomes no more than a fuck.

I think every person I’ve ever seen in my consulting room for sexual compulsions suffers from estrangement from his intimus. We can survive the disapproval of others. The feeling can be painful, but it’s nothing compared to the disapproval of ourselves. Your personal well being and your ability to love another cannot survive your dislike or disrespect of yourself. If you dislike yourself, you’ll never be comfortable with your sexuality.

It bears repeating… the outstanding quality of intimacy is the sense of being in touch with our real selves. When “the other” also knows and is able to express his real self, intimacy happens. Sexuality is both an expression of that intimacy and a bond that enhances intimacy. With this kind of personal/sexual intimacy, our growth experience as humans is energized, enhanced, and fueled. Intimacy is the most meaningful and courageous of human experiences. It’s why people long for it so.

However, despite this universal longing, the fear and avoidance of intimacy is a reality for many people. People fear and even dread that which they most long for. No wonder there’s such a demand for psychotherapists!

So why would people fear, avoid or sabotage this wonderful thing called intimacy and, in the process, avoid sex.

Our capacity for intimacy is formed in the crucible of the first two years of life. Mothers that are needy, narcissistic, depressed, enmeshed (over-involved), distant, too protective, controlling, chronically angry, addicted to substances, frustrated with their husbands and displace their needs onto their children… raise children who have the psychic imprint of closeness as being dangerous. They also raise children who will carry self-hatred into their adult lives unless they get good treatment.

As children, they developed a rigid defense system (boundaries, walls, turning inward to not need others) in order to psychologically survive. But what worked for them as children doesn’t work for them as adults. For these people, the vulnerability of intimacy harkens back to a time when they were vulnerable as children and they fear re-traumatization in their current relationship.

When a person like this is loved – seen in an affirmative light and encouraged to grow and change – this rigid defensive structure is threatened, so their psychological equilibrium is disrupted. Being loved is not congruent with the negative tapes they run about themselves. They can’t allow the reality of being loved to affect their basic defensive structure. Being vulnerable and open to change feels so threatening that they eschew close relationships and mature sexuality.

Entering into a relationship without having some resolution of childhood wounds results in various kinds of fear of intimacy: fear of being found inadequate, fear of engulfment, fear of the loss of control, fear of losing autonomy, fear of attack, fear of disappointment and betrayal, fear of guilt and fear of rejection and abandonment.

This panoply of fears and anxieties about being close and vulnerable definitely is not sexy. We are most open and vulnerable when we express ourselves sexually and we need to have a secure base in ourselves and our relationship to expose ourselves in this way.

Alright. Now let’s get to the nitty-gritty. Sex and aging.

Some of those “not interested” in sex may very well be the middle-aged and the elderly. They’ve bought into the myth that we’re supposed to stop being sexual after a certain age. The fact is, as we mature emotionally and psychologically throughout the lifespan, we mature sexually as well. We can look forward to the best years of our sexual lives because of that maturity. People under the age of 35 may look hot, but they rarely have the psychological maturity to achieve the kind of self-knowledge, intimacy skills, communication skills and willingness to be vulnerability that underlies intense sexuality.

In order to achieve sexual fulfillment as we grow older, we have to nullify – negate – disown and disbelieve — the sex-negative cultural myths about sexuality and aging. Let’s look at some of those myths now.

· The quality of sex declines for both men and women as they age.

· If a woman does not lubricate sufficiently or a man does not become erect immediately, it’s over for them.

· Erection problems are inevitable and incurable without medical intervention

· Female desire declines dramatically after menopause

· Men peek in their teens…then it’s all downhill.

· Women peak in their 30’s and lose interest in sex by 45-50.

· Men and women with heart disease or other medical problems should avoid sexual activity

· Sex has to end in orgasm

· Intercourse is the only kind of sex that counts; everything else isn’t sex

Those are the myths. But here’s what I think: older loves are more sophisticated about their own/their partners needs, have an increased ability to communicate sexual and emotional needs; there is improved sexual responsiveness in women and a corresponding improved ability to control ejaculation in men; a greater willingness to experiment with sexual variations; far greater technical proficiency as lovers with fewer inhibitions and an increased ability to have fun during lovemaking.

Sex need never disappear and orgasm in both men and women has been observed in the 9th decade.

Sex is different as we age and those who are able to retain a sense of sexual vitality are those who are able to integrate their altered and somewhat diminished, but by no means vanished, sexuality comfortably into their lives. Men, especially, tend to leave the sexual arena because these differences create frustration and anxiety. They compare themselves to their adolescent selves and feel defeated. The vast majority of sexual complaints of the elderly are a product of the person’s aversive psychological reaction to the normal age-related biological changes in sexual response.

Men change with age in that the frequency and intensity of orgasm diminishes. It takes a much longer time to up for “round two”. Older men no longer experience simultaneous erection, unlike much younger men who seem to be able to get it up just by…exposure to the air. By contrast, the older man needs to receive effective stimulation by his partner and then is perfectly able to attain erections.

Women, after menopause, may be less able to lubricate as freely as they once did. That doesn’t mean they’re no longer sexually responsive. All that is required is a sexual lubricate (I recommend Astrogel), and they remain capable of multiple orgasmic response throughout life.

Here’s a list of Hot Sex Tips, according to Dorothy.

* Don’t wait to be moved by desire or interest – allow yourself to be aroused and the desire will follow.

* Do consider some systematic way to relax and calm yourself before a sexual encounter. Anxiety is a killer of “in the moment” eroticism.

* Speaking of “in the moment”, do consider taking up some form of meditation that trains the mind to be focused on the present moment. The mind that is continually wandering to mundane life issues during sex will not be able to experience full sexual potential. (cite books) Being fully in the moment also reduces “spectering”, which is watching and evaluating your performance, which reducing the intensity of sexual experience.

* Do continue to cultivate your sexual skills and techniques. (Cite certain readings from the list).

* People, as they age, do experience fewer sexual fantasies, thoughts and interest. So it’s important to experiment with alternative (external) ways to become aroused. Different postures, sexual techniques, erotic films and videos, the use of sex toys, all result in a more imaginative and creative sex life..

* Do eat nutritionally and exercise – feeling vigorous helps your sex life immeasurably.

* Do not smoke or drink alcohol excessively. A minimum amount of booze (no more than two drinks a day) can be an aphrodisiac: too much makes you loose (or placid and soft) and can ruin your erectile functioning. Smoking also effects erectile functioning in later years.

In conclusion, I invite you to meet the challenge of mature sexual intimacy, and to be and remain…the erotic, celebratory, courageous and connected person that you’re meant to be.

Portable Oxygen Concentrator Versus Oxygen Tank – A Users Perspective

A portable oxygen concentrator has become a “must” for the many people with COPD and who have need to receive supplemental oxygen. At the same time this type of machine is also a godsend for those who assist or live with them.

For both the patient and the caretaker, a lack of oxygen saturation is difficult – the patient has to live with either a shortness of breath and all that this entails, or must receive extra oxygen. Those who assist, and this could be a family member or someone from the medical profession, must also provide help and to do so must know their way around the oxygen machine, in this case a portable oxygen concentrator.

There are some basic differences between an oxygen concentrator and an oxygen tank (either liquid or compressed oxygen) that make for a different approach.

  1. A portable oxygen concentrator extracts oxygen from the surrounding air. It then delivers the oxygen in a concentrated form, to the patient. An oxygen tank delivers oxygen to the patient from its reservoir or stored oxygen. The basic difference has to do with storage. A tank holds or stores oxygen while a concentrator does not – it delivers the oxygen as it extracts it.
  2. The difference between a stored and non stored oxygen system has another implication. A tank will deliver the amount of oxygen it stores. The tanks capacity will depend on its size basically and the oxygen will last a limited time – how much exactly will depend on how full the tank is and the delivery rate. For a portable oxygen concentrator, the delivery will last as long as the machine is turned on.
  3. The next difference also follows on from the previous one. A tank or cylinder that holds oxygen, both compressed or liquid, will deliver oxygen at a certain adjustable rate, based on the pressure being released from the tank. In other words it does not require an additional power source to deliver the oxygen. A portable oxygen concentrator on the other hand delivers the oxygen it is extracting from the air around it and this extraction is possible thanks to its power source that makes the extraction mechanism work. Electricity – be it from a battery or as a result of being plugged in. Portable oxygen concentrators use rechargeable batteries which increases dramatically its possibilities for oxygen delivery and by being plugged in, where many models can also be connected to the car lighter socket for example.

These three basic differences may appear small in nature but in reality are the reason why portable oxygen concentrators have not only become so popular but have also increased the amount and type of activities COPD patients are enjoying. From the point of view of caretakers – especially family members – they are experiencing less demands and have therefore less stress.

In short:

  • Longer oxygen supply. Even when not plugged in, the battery option which can go from 2 hours onwards depending on the flow rate and the battery capacity. But with a change of battery the whole cycle begins again.
  • The relationship between weight and amount of oxygen that is stored is no longer an issue.
  • There is no need for a refill – this being one of the logistic problems and limitations that used happen to everyone on supplemental oxygen before the arrival of portable oxygen concentrators.
  • Size and shape make these machines more portable.
  • Travel, short distances, long distances or the equivalent in time intervals is much easier. This ease of travel is due to the durability of the oxygen supply and also because public carriers (airplanes, trains and buses) have less restraints than they do for oxygen containers.

Advanced Sex Positions Guide to Missionary Position and Mutual Masturbation – Enjoy Better Sex Now

Now that you have got the hang of the basic sex positions, it is time to experiment and make sex better for both of you. While amazing sex can come from complicated, gymnastic maneuvers; it can also come from experimenting with the basics to make the position hit just the right spot.

Making the Missionary Position Better

Let’s consider the missionary position… For some reason this position seems to have got an undeserved reputation as being a ‘boring’ sex position, whereas the truth is that it is anything but. As you penetrate her, try bringing her legs together and interlocking them with yours or opening them as wide as you can. Feels pretty different, doesn’t it? These two small changes in position make a huge difference to the feeling for her too.

The legs closed position increases the stimulation on her clitoris, makes her vagina feel tighter for you and many women find it easier to climax in this sex position. On the other hand, opening her legs wider makes you feel bigger in her which can be great for guys with a smaller penis. Your partner will probably prefer one or the other, so you should keep experimenting to find out which position is best for her. A good example is the legs open position, guys who have a larger penis may find that this position is a little too intense for her.

Oral Sex Variations

A similar principle applies to oral sex. Women who like to clench their legs together when they orgasm can find that oral sex is tricky to orgasm from. However it is possible to give her oral sex from difference positions. Putting her legs over your shoulder will let you give her cunnilingus while still letting her clench her legs together for a better feeling. It will feel a little different when you first try it out, but giving her oral sex from behind can be great for some woman as the feeling on her clitoris is different for her.

Mutual Masturbation Positions

Generally for squirting orgasms she will find it easier to orgasm if she has her legs open. Mostly this is because her position makes it easier for you to make small adjustments to your finger technique to make it feel great for her. Most other G-spot orgasms follow a similar principle.

Once you have got the hang of this you can use this to your advantage during foreplay. Opening and closing her legs as you stroke her G-spot will give her a range of different stimulation all at once.

Better Sex

Small variations in her leg and body position can make large differences to how she responds during sex. Before you learn the complicated sex positions that you see on movies, practice getting the basics correct. With a little practice you can make her have huge orgasms from any position.

The Nanticoke River – A Popular Largemouth Bass Fishing Destination

The Nanticoke River is certainly one of the best Eastern Shore Rivers for bass fishing. On weekends you will see tournament fisherman from several states because the river fishes “big enough” to accommodate 50-150 boat events. I have found breaking the river down into three basic sections helps new fishermen here avoid being overwhelmed by the river’s size. These are main river/Seaford, Broad creek and finally Marshyhope Creek. Each of these areas has advantages and disadvantages for tournament fishermen and weekend fishermen alike.

Broad Creek

This creek is very popular but has too many “no wake” zones between Phillips Landing and Laurel making it tough to “run and gun” in tournaments. Broad Creek is more sheltered in heavy winds and usually has clearer water the closer to Laurel you go.

Some of the best fishing can be found by markers #4 – 5 and 7 as the creek makes wide bends all the way to Bethel. Just past Bethel Bridge is a small pond to the right that is easily accessed from the river. This is a real hotspot at times and a guaranteed fish spot during the spawn. Further up the creek you will see tons of lay down trees and finally a couple of bridges and a spillway in Laurel. This area is all good but slow going because of boat traffic and obstructions in the narrow channel.

Seaford and Above

The main river and Seaford area makes jumping from spot to spot very easy because the river is wider with very few restrictions. You will have barge traffic and many pleasure boaters and the dreaded jet skis to contend with but the fishing is great. My favorite spots are the boat docks; woodland ferry crossing, pad lines and all the great small feeder creeks. The Seaford area has heavy industry with all the piling clusters for barges, bulkheads, a Railroad bridge and several good backwater areas. Between the railroad bridge and the Blades draw bridge there is a large marina with great fishing in the winter and during the spawn. Above the Blades drawbridge to the left is another backwater area leading to a dam with great fishing at times. Moving on up river past Route 13 Bridge the river splits into two branches. Both of these are fantastic in summer and fall but take time and caution to explore. Look closely and you will notice many new areas with grass. When fishing the Nanticoke remember the tide changes much earlier in Sharptown and Vienna than in Seaford so take full advantage of that “golden hour” when the bite is strong.

Marshyhope Creek

The Marshyhope fishes like a whole separate river and is easy to navigate when the pads are up. In winter or early season several bass boats have hit the mudflats thinking they were in the channel. This creek has always been best for me on falling tide with the last two hours being fantastic. Tournament fishermen have planted brush piles, weighted down wood pallets and even rock piles to enhance certain areas. These are all easy to find by watching your depth finder and slowly cruising pad line drops and creek mouths. There are several old wood boat wrecks on this creek that hold fish and some are visible on low tide so mark them with your GPS. Fish every creek mouth you can find on falling tides. Beaver huts are really bass magnets on this creek and any wood you notice out from the pad line on falling tide will hold bass consistently. Also fish the shallow bridge pilings, docks and all rip rap you see that helps break the current. Moving on up into the narrow wooded section look closely to your left and you will see a small pond called “Peggy’s Hole”. This is such a great spot during the spawn it is often put “off limits” in tournaments to avoid a boat race getting to it. The bass spawn much earlier than most people realize in this pond. Moving on towards Federalsburg you will notice a sandpit on your left that is also a spawn area that can be very good. In Federalsburg at the new ramp there is a small marina that never has boats tied up in it but is a good fishing spot. All the rip rap close by is good also. In fall always continue fishing all the way up past Federalsburg for the fish are there as the water cools. Now for the downside the Marshyhope has really strong current, gets muddy easily after rains or from boat traffic and is a fairly long ride from Phillip’s Landing or Seaford ramps.

Changing Your Headlight Bulbs – A Guide to the Most Commonly Asked Car Bulb Questions

If you are looking to buy, replace or even upgrade your headlight bulbs there seems to be an immense amount of advice available. Typically the amount of information that is passed down through word of mouth can be confusing and so listed below are some of these most commonly asked questions and answers.

Should I buy and replace headlight bulbs in pairs?

Yes. This makes good common sense advice for two reasons. Firstly if one of your bulbs has blown it is very likely that the other one will go fairly soon, so if you have taken the effort of changing one bulb you might as well change the other whilst your at it, and then you will not have to repeat the process for a considerable time.

The other reason for changing car bulbs in pairs is because as a bulb gets towards the end of its life its light performance is not at its optimum level and so installing one brand new headlight bulb whilst leaving the other old bulb in place will cause a light imbalance, meaning you are not getting the best light performance from your headlight bulbs.

Can I touch the glass when changing the headlight bulbs?

No. No matter how clean your hands are, when you touch the glass you will leave a residue of some of your skins natural oils. When the headlight bulb is illuminated this oil creates a hot spot on the glass and can lead to the bulb failing much earlier than expected.

Top car bulb manufacturers now use toughened quartz glass in their bulbs and so this hotspot issue is not such a factor as it used to be. However it is still good practice to wear latex gloves when handling headlight bulbs to ensure you get the best service life from them.

My car has plastic headlight lenses, does it matter which headlight bulbs I buy?

Yes. If you install headlight bulbs that do not have special UV filtered glass it will very quickly, discolour and eventually damage the plastic lenses. Therefore if you do have plastic lenses on your vehicle make sure the headlight bulbs you buy have special UV cut glass, this will normally be labeled clearly on the packaging.

If I want brighter headlights on the road can I fit high wattage headlight bulbs?

No. Whilst high wattage headlight bulbs can be over twice as bright as standard bulbs, they are not legal on public roads. This is because the incredible bright light they produce can easily temporarily blind on coming drivers.

If you are looking to improve your headlights, you should install upgrade headlight xenon bulbs, these are identical to your existing bulbs but are filled with xenon gas and so emit up to 90% more light, and best of all they are completely road legal.

Is the owner’s manual the best way to find out what headlight auto bulbs are fitted to my vehicles?

Yes and No. Normally the owner’s manual will give you accurate information about which type of bulbs you have fitted to your vehicle and their location. However during a production run, vehicle manufacturers do sometimes change the specification, design or parts supplier and so the subsequent bulbs used may differ from the original manual.

Therefore the best way to find out which type of bulbs have been fitted to your vehicle is to remove them and check it visually. Normally the bulb type is printed on the bulbs base.

Buying and replacing your headlight bulbs should normally be a straightforward job, however as is the case with most technical items, being armed with the right information will help you make the decision easier. Fitting the right headlight bulbs, correctly will not only save you money in the long run, but also make night driving safer and less stressful.

Cosy Up Your Bedroom During Winter Months

Create The Perfect Focal Point:

Chances are your bed is the biggest piece of furniture in your bedroom and quite possibly the most visually pleasing so focusing your attention on this area first will have a huge impact on your room. A quick fix is to layer up your bedding with throws, blankets and lots of cushions. All the different colours and textures will blend together adding to the warm atmosphere you’re aiming to create.

If your bed is lacking in the wow factor, it may be time to invest in a piece that does. Think solid hardwood frames and luxurious hand finished detailing like our Frank Hudson beds range. Each bed is hand crafted and offers exquisite detailing. Our French Louis XV Frank Hudson bed below offers a decadent and luxurious 1750s style with stunning ornate detailing. This lavish bed will sit proudly in any bedroom with the warm tones of the frame adding to the cosy feel of your bedroom.

Go Dark:

Perhaps it’s just us but when we think of cosy we think of dark! Dark walls, dark accessories, dark lighting all help create a warming environment. A recent design trend has been to paint one or all of your walls in a dark, bold paint and mix it with metallic style accessories such as copper and gold. This trend works perfectly in a bedroom and can help create that all important focal point. Painting the wall behind your bed creates a wonderful backdrop to feature your bed in front of as well as allowing you to hang mirrors, wall art and feature accessories to add warmth.

If you’re not feeling that brave you can always incorporate dark with black framed mirrors, wall art, black cushions and even black bedding. Dark colours are a great way to add the feeling of cosiness whilst also remaining chic and stylish. The touches of dark colours offer a sumptuous feel that is bang on trend!

Make Use Of Mirrors & Lighting:

Lighting and mirrors can make such a huge difference to a space and actually complement each other perfectly. Add some soft low light lighting to your bedroom like table lamps, chandeliers or even fairy lights. A bedside lamp with a low watt bulb with a warm tone can create a soft, warm glow that is charming and delicate. Draping fairy lights around your bed or even around a mirror can also make a stunning visual appearance. Chandeliers are a great option for bringing a touch of glam to your bedroom, opt for a brass, champagne or gold finished chandelier to guarantee a warm glow.

Mirrors work exceptionally well with lighting and can help project the light around your room. Adding a mirror to your space can help add life to your bedroom as well as covering bare walls that can give off a cold impression. There are various ways to incorporate a mirror into your bedroom space. A full length, wall or cheval mirror is great for functionality, you can also feature a mirror directly above your bed or perhaps behind each bedside table to create an eye catching feature. When selecting a mirror opt for an ornate framed design with lavish gold, silver or champagne finish.

Invest In A Bedside Table:

This is a must for any bedroom and it doesn’t have to match your existing furniture. If you have space either side of your bed the addition of a bedside table can actually help to add warmth. Without it your bed would look lonely and the extra space could add a cold, minimalist feel which is the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.

Look for a unique, eclectic style or perhaps a charming, rustic design that is able to add elegance and charm. You can then dress it up with a bedside lamp that can be dimmed and perhaps some candles that can be lit to create a relaxing, calm feel. These wonderful additions either side of you bed can create a comfortable, inviting little nook that exude cosiness and style.

Aluminum Foil’s Role in Sound Insulation

When choosing insulations, one thing that many purchasers don’t think about is how much sound protection is this going to provide? This question, however, is one that every insulation purchaser should ask him or herself, especially if noise is an issue in the structure being insulated. That is because some types of insulators provide better acoustical insulation than others.

One of the best materials when it comes to sound insulation is aluminum foil. Lightweight and easy to install, as an insulation material it is environmentally friendly. Not only can it be recycled, but it is also free of odors and toxins. In addition to heat reflection and isolation, it also provides superior acoustical and vibration shielding.

Reflective aluminum foil is the most commonly used material when it comes to radiant barriers. Wikipedia defines a radiant barrier as a way of reducing the “radiation of heat to or from the surface of a material.” Such barriers “reflect radiant energy.” This reflective capability protects against heat during the hot summer months and corrals heat during the colder winter months.

Some of the qualities that make aluminum foil amenable to this process are: 1) “It has no significant mass to absorb and retain heat”; 2) It has “very low emittance values.” Also known as E-values, this tendency “significantly reduces heat transfer by radiation.”

All of this explains why it is a good form of insulation, but how does it relate to sound insulation in particular? The explanation is that just as aluminum foil absorbs and retains heat, it also absorbs and retains noise, protecting and corralling it so that it becomes almost undetectable. In fact, as an isolator it offers up to 85% noise cancellation.

Insulation.org explains that “there are a variety of methods to control noise in industrial settings,” even those like power generating plants where noisy fans are used that “require both sound and thermal treatments.” The site goes on to explain, “Acoustical insulation and lagging can be applied around the fan to limit the noise radiated from the casing.” It then discusses the benefits of steel versus aluminum.

In what specific situations is aluminum foil a better alternative to steel? “If the noise is mostly at high frequencies (a hissing noise) then a lighter material like aluminum lagging may be used.” Indeed, only in low frequency noise cases is steel called for since steel has a “much heavier surface mass.”

In addition to its lighter weight, aluminum foil is also a more affordable noise insulation material. Typically sold in rolls, such insulation is laminated with aluminum foil. The advantages of using aluminum foil insulation don’t stop with acoustical isolation in commercial and industrial applications, however. They also extend to fireproofing, temperature control, the conservation of energy, and the prevention of condensation.

When compact, lightweight insulation against noise is called for, aluminum foil affords business owners and other individuals all of the protection they are looking for without a huge outlay in cost. At the same time, it also offers added levels of protection against heat, moisture and vapors.

Arguments and Reasons For Using Video Surveillance

According to a recent survey by the Harris Poll, 96 percent of Americans support the use of video surveillance in public places by the government and law enforcement agencies to prevent terrorism. Of course we all know that video surveillance is used for more than just preventing terrorism, but also to keep watch in our homes and businesses, on streets, in parks and in several other places.

So what are some of the arguments for the use of CCTV surveillance systems across the country?

1. Peace of Mind – A security camera system can provide peace of mind for you, your family, employees and customers. Because they always watch, you do not have to worry about your loved ones or property while away. They help people to feel more secure in their surroundings and to know that if something did happen help can arrive quickly.

2. Loss Prevention – CCTV cameras can help keep personal belongings, merchandise and money where it belongs. The systems can monitor employees and customers to make sure nothing is out of place and reduce theft. A huge part of retail theft is due to internal losses, so this is a huge part of the industry.

3. Crime Deterrent – Security cameras can make a target less attractive. If would-be criminals spot a camera, they may reconsider their plans. It can prevent your family, customers and employees from being victims of a crime. Often, dummy cameras are used as such deterrents, but one has to weigh the risks of gambling their assets on a “hoax.”

4. Solving Cases – Number 3 brings us here; if the cameras do not work as a crime deterrent, then the footage video surveillance systems capture can be used as evidence and help ensure that the proper arrests and prosecutions are made in case of a theft, vandalism or assault.

5. Monitoring Productivity – Many companies use multiple security cameras in breakrooms, on sales floors and in hallways to monitor employee productivity. While practical, some people definitely do not agree with this use of CCTV Cameras because they believe it fosters ill will and animosity between the worker and employer.

6. Analyzing Trends – Perhaps one of the most practical applications, if none of the others are considered so, is the use of Security Cameras for monitoring and analyzing trends in retail situations where one needs to know how many people to schedule during a specific part of the day or where they should place certain merchandise on the sales floor. Monitoring a surveillance system can allow a business owner to make educated decisions on these matters.

These arguments are among the most common ones made for CCTV surveillance. There are sure to be others, and there are most certainly arguments against its use, so feel free to comment and let us know what your thoughts are. We are seeing a growth in the physical security industry, and will likely see an increased use of cameras in public places in the coming years, so it is becoming increasingly important for the public to be aware and knowledgeable regarding what will be out there watching them.

Infractions And Penalties In Soccer

In the game of soccer, there are a number of player infractions that will result in the referee halting game play, and possibly even implementing disciplinary measures according to regulations set by FIFA, which is the primary governing of the sport all over the world. Here, we take a look at the different soccer penalties and the infractions that may bring them about.

Direct free kicks

With the occurrence of certain fouls, referees may award a direct free kick to the disadvantaged team. In the event of such penalties, the free kick is taken from the spot where the infraction occurred, with the team making the kick essentially having a free shot at the opponent’s goal, guarded only by the goalkeeper and a wall formed by the defending team.

Direct free kicks are awarded to the opposing team in the event of any one of the following infractions committed by a player:

  • Kicking or attempting to kick another player
  • Tripping or attempting to trip another player
  • Jumping at an opponent
  • Charging an opponent
  • Striking or attempting to strike an opponent
  • Pushing an opponent
  • Tackling an opponent before making contact with the ball
  • Holding an opponent
  • Spitting at an opponent
  • Handling the ball with the hands

Penalty kicks

When any of the above offences are committed by a player within his team’s penalty area, the opposing team will be awarded a penalty kick which is taken from twelve yards away from the defending team’s goal. Unlike the direct free kick in which players of the defending team may form a wall comprised of two or more players, the penalty kick is guarded only by the goalkeeper of the defending team.

Indirect free kicks

An indirect free kick may be awarded to the opposing team if the goalie commits any one of the following infractions:

  • Taking four steps or more with the ball in his hands
  • Touching the ball after releasing it without it having been touched by another player
  • Touching the ball with the hands after it has passed by a teammate
  • Touching the with his hands after a throw-in

Indirect free kicks are also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any one of the following infractions:

  • Playing in a manner that can endanger other players
  • Preventing an opponent from moving
  • Preventing the goalkeeper from releasing the ball
  • Committing an infraction that results in the player being warned or taken out of the game

Yellow and red cards

In addition to the above penalties, referees may also opt to impose disciplinary actions signified by yellow or red cards. Yellow cards are given to a player for offenses ranging from poor sportsmanship to delays in restarting game play. Red cards are given in the event of more serious infractions, including violent acts, spitting at any player or the referee, or preventing a player from the opposing team from scoring a goal by deliberately touching the ball with the hands. Red cards may also be given to any player that has received two or more cautions in the same game.

New SnapStone Glazed Porcelain Floor Tile Review

If you are thinking about use the new SnapStone Porcelain Floor Tile that is out now, you will want to take the time to read this. I decided to use this tile in my bathroom in a very old house. The results that I got with this tile were much better then I expected that it would be.

When the floor of my old bathroom got so bad that I could no longer take the pain of looking at it, I decides that it was past time to do something new. The problem was that I live in a very old house that was severely neglected for many years and even the piping froze one winter, causing water damage to the floors of the house. The bathroom floor was just covered with cheap stick down linoleum tile that no longer was being held in place by anything other then the weight of the tile. If you had sticky wet feet the tile would stick to your feet and come up as you walked on it. Something definitely had to be done.

As I was looking through the local big box store, I notice the SnapStone porcelain tile. It looked like just the thing that was needed for my situation. I did some research and found no major problems from people. I talked to the salesman in the store and of course they recommended the product highly. So, I decided to take the plunge and purchase the tile. The price of the tile was on the upper end of the scale, but not have to totally rip up the floor and redo the subfloor was going to offset that cost. The flexible grout that is to be used with this tile also was high priced, but if the floor was going to flex, then the grout had better flex too. The other great attraction to this tile system was that I figured that I could start the project and finish it in one night. The bathroom was only about 40 sq. ft. of floor, so it was a small project.

I started the floor in the evening on a Friday night after everyone had their showers. The cutting of the tile went well with my 4″ battery angle grinder and a 4″ diamond cut wheel. The backer on the tile allowed for the imperfections in the existing floor. Snapping the tiles together, took some hammering with my rubber mallet, and the last tiles I forced together using a small pry bar, hooking the bar over the end of the tile and pulling it forcefully in place. I had some problems with the whole floor assembly moving around, being that the bathroom was so small and the tile floats, allowing it to move as the tiles were snapped together. Constant checking was required to make sure the floor was staying where it was supposed to be.

The tile part went real well and a few hours later I was mixing the grout and grouting the seams. The SnapStone system worked great at holding the gaps for the grout joints. The special grout worked well and went in easily. The main thing to watch is that the grout will settle in the joint and refilling of the joint is usually necessary, as the grout settles. The tile washed easily and after the 24 hour time period required, you could walk on it. I did restrict the traffic for a couple more days, to make sure that the grout setup well before heavy traffic was allowed on the floor.

Overall, I have been very satisfied with the product and the way the floor has turned out. The base was very bad and the floor still seems to be holding up well. I you have a problem floor, or are just looking for an easy way to lay a porcelain tile floor, then I would recommend this product.

What Are the 3 Types of Dehumidifiers?

Hot and sultry, muggy and sticky, there’s nothing worse in the summer time than the heaviness of the humidity. In fact, for some states it’s so bad, that you are drenched in moisture just to take a walk to mailbox at the end of your short driveway. And, when that humidity makes its way indoors, the days and nights can seem virtually unbearable. Fortunately, there is a solution. Invented by Willis Haviland Carrier in 1902, dehumidifiers soon became the ideal way to cool one’s home. Over the years the dehumidifier as evolved and today there are 3 main types of dehumidifiers.

All humidifiers work on the same basic principles, though each one varies somewhat based on the type. Like an air conditioner, the dehumidifier uses refrigerant. However, it does not cool the air…it actually warms it slightly which decreases the humidity thus making the room more comfortable. This is done by a fan, hot and cold condenser coils and a water reservoir.

The heat pump dehumidifier is used to pull out water form a building by using a heat pump which works much like an air conditioner pump. A fan is used to move the air across a frigid coil causing the moisture to condense. Then the droplets are collected in a bucket inside the unit. The air is then warmed by a second coil and then released back into the room at a comfortable temperature. The heat pump dehumidifier is considered the best one available.

In large industries, especially those in warmer climates, the most common type is a chemical absorbent dehumidifier. This type uses a chemical drying agent that works with a heat exchange wheel to absorb the water molecules from the air. The process pulls the damp air outside through the vents.

The third type of unit is the dehumidifying ventilator. These work with a sensor controller and an exhaust fan. These are less effective in climates where the humidity is especially high because the ventilators draw outside air into the house. Rather, the dehumidifying ventilator works great in basements but you must pay close attention to how it is working as it can depressurize a room and can cause gas spills…just be sure that if you have a gas furnace that it is properly vented and you will fine.

If you already have a dehumidifier, but it does not seen to be working correctly, there are a few things you can do. First you will want to make sure that it is the right size unit for the space it is cooling; then after you have turned the unit off, check the following:

  • Remove the cover clean the condenser and the evaporator coils.
  • Lubricate the fan motor bearings, if the motor has oil ports.
  • Make sure the humidistat is working properly by testing it with a volt-ohm. Rotate the humidistat’s knob as far as it will turn in either direction. If it reads 0 throughout the process then it is time to replace the unit.

How Often Do You Eat on the Medifast Diet?

I’m asked this question quite a bit. People will often do a little bit of research and learn that they will need to eat five of the Medifast meals each day as well as one of the larger “lean and green meals” (which most folks will often prepare for themselves.) They wonder what this means for their daily schedule.

Yes, in total, you’ll be eating six times per day. Although there’s no set requirements about the times of the meals that you will consume to accomplish this, many people eat every couple of hours or so. But, many people worry about this schedule before they actually attempt it. But, it’s not as hard as it sounds and there are good reasons for this. Eating often ensures that you’re not all that hungry, sustains energy and blood sugar levels, and supports your body as it goes into ketosis (or fat burning mode.) In the following article, I’ll give you an example of what I eat and when in an attempt to give you an idea of what life might be like on Medifast.

I often eat breakfast before work at about 7:30. Typically, I will have oatmeal or the eggs. If I’m in a hurry, I’ll wrap the eggs in a fat free tortilla so that I can eat them on the run. My work dictates that I’m really busy in the morning and things really don’t slow down until about 10:30. This is when I usually have my morning snack. Because the morning is my busiest time, I’ll typically have a bar because this is so convenient and fast.

Lunch is usually one of the soups and I most favor the chili. I like it because I can put it in a wrap (like the eggs) and be on my way. I take lunch at about 1:00. I often walk with coworkers a little to put a little extra calorie burning into my day. Then I don’t think about this diet again until around 3:00 when I have my afternoon snack. If I’m in a hurry, I will typically have one of the ready to drink shakes. If I have time to actually sit down and enjoy my snack, then I might chose the brownies or the pudding.

I do have access to a refrigerator and small kitchen at my job. But you can make your Medifast meals ahead of time and just take them with you if you are limited at work at school. I usually have my “lean and green meal” for dinner. I just find this to be easier as dinner is the only time of the day that I have the time to make a meal. Plus, I’m cooking for my family any way at this time. But, I feel that I need to mention that you could have your lean and green anytime that would work out to be the best for you. If I’m having a breakfast or lunch meeting for work and need to eat at a restaurant, I will sometimes switch it around so that I’m eating my main meal at those times.

So up until now, I’ve eaten four Medifast meals and my lean and green meal. This means that I only have one more to go. What I have for my night time snack (usually at around 7:00 or so) just depends on my mood. If I have a nice work out that evening, I’ll sometimes put the Medifast fruit drinks over shaved ice for a snow cone to cool me down. If I’m just watching TV and relaxing, I might just have the chips. If I know I’m not going to be home in the late evening, then sometimes I’ve have this sixth meal in the early morning.

In this case, I might have the cappuccino or latte as soon as I get up in the morning. Then I’ll proceed on with breakfast a few hours later. There’s no hard and fast rules here. Doing what works best for you is fine as long as you eat relatively regularly for fuel and eat all five of your meals plus your lean and green meal.

When Are Bowing, Buckling Foundation Walls Damaged Beyond Repair?

A damaged foundation can be very alarming to homeowners – particularly when a wall is bowing, buckling, or appears to be in danger of caving in.

Given the appearance of the foundation walls, many homeowners assume that the only safe and effective solution for their home is to remove the damaged wall and have it replaced with a newly constructed one. However, even in extreme cases, a homeowner may have several options for repairing their foundation – including options that do not include foundation replacement.

The Case Against Foundation Replacement

Generally speaking, foundation replacement involves a long, expensive, and invasive process for your home. First, the original foundation will need to be completely excavated to expose the foundation walls. Then, the house will need to be “jacked up” on temporary supports, while the floor slab and foundation walls are removed. The new foundation is built, the floor is poured, and then, finally, an attempt may be made to restore the landscaping.

The worst part about this problem is that with all this time, disruption, and cost, you’ve never really addressed the problem that caused the damage in the first place – that being the soils around your foundation. Without solving this issue, it is very possible that your new foundation will be damaged by the same issues that damaged the first one.

Four Foundation Wall Repair Solutions

The good news is this: if the wall is still standing, there’s an excellent chance that it can be repaired – without the need for wall replacement. Repair options are as follows:

Carbon Fiber Strips: If your foundation walls are bulging in the middle and do not tilting along the top or inwards movement along the bottom, this may be the best solution for your home. These strips of carbon fiber fabric can be epoxied along the foundation wall quickly and easily by a foundation contractor. They’re many times stronger than steel, can be installed year-round, and are ideal for reinforcing bowing foundation walls.

One major advantage to carbon fiber strips is their low-profile design. If you’re planning on painting or finishing your basement after repairing the walls, this is a reliable and inexpensive solution for preparing the walls for wall board and studs.

Foundation Wall Anchors: If you have access to outside of your home and would like the opportunity to straighten your foundation walls to their original, straight position, this is the solution you’re looking for. Wall anchors are a three-piece system, including a wall plate that’s mounted on the visible side of the basement wall, a wall anchor that’s located in the soil, and a steel rod that connects the plate to the anchor. The wall plate grips the foundation wall, and the anchor sits in the soil to hold it in place. Then, each wall plate is tightened on the connecting rod, pressing against the foundation wall to halt all inward movement.

Over time, this option can be used to not only brace the foundation wall, but to gradually straighten the wall back to its original position. They can also be painted over or used in conjunction with basement finishing, as the thin wall plate can easily have studs and wall board installed over them. And, unlike carbon fiber strip installations, wall anchors can be used to brace walls that show signs of tilting along the top or inwards-sliding along the bottom.

I-Beam Systems: If you do not have access to the outside of your home, but you need to repair a wall that’s tilting along the top or sliding inwards at the bottom, this is the system you’re looking for. This system consists of steel “I” shaped beams that are span the distance between the concrete floor and the floor joists along the top of the basement. These steel braces are installed at intervals along the walls, halting all inward movement.

Most I-beam systems will only halt the movement of the walls, although a rare few can be adjusted to straighten the walls as well. Additionally, these systems are the least compatible with a finished basement, as they will take up space along the walls. The best systems are designed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, so they do not become an eyesore as the years pass.

Shotcrete Sister Walls: If the wall is crumbling, collapsing, or showing extreme damage, there’s still a good chance that foundation replacement is still not necessary. Instead, a sister wall can be built in front of the original wall, using a spray-on concrete known in the industry as shotcrete. This sister wall works best when combined with a wall anchor system, which will help to ensure that the new wall doesn’t also crumble from the pressure that damaged the original wall.

This system installs year-round and is much faster than a foundation replacement would, with no disruption to landscaping. It’s cheaper, easier, and you can count on a good contractor to provide a warranty with the finished installation.

Hiring A Professional Foundation Contractor In California

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, being able to tell the prospective buyer that your foundation was repaired by a reputable contractor can be a major selling point for your home. If that contractor is still in business and your installation includes a written, transferable warranty, this will also provide a selling advantage.