How to Lay Wood Flooring

In this article we look at how to lay wood flooring in six steps that you can follow yourself. If you've followed my other article on how to lay laminate flooring, then many of the steps are very similar, but there are a few differences when it comes to laying a hardwood floor. If you're nervous about how to lay wood flooring and about your level of DIY skills in general, do not be afraid to ask a more experienced friend if they can help out. Technological advances with in hardwood flooring have mean that the products are both higher quality, and easier to fit as well.

Before we get started with our how to lay wood flooring guide, you'll need to ensure your wood flooring has been left in the room you plan to install it in for least 48 hours before you start the process of laying. This is an important step since the boards themselves are composed from a natural material, they must be allowed to acclimatise to the new room temperature and humidity levels that they will be exposed to. As the boards adjust to the new environment, they will expand or contract accordingly. You also need to make sure that you clean your sub-floor thoroughly to remove any dirt and small particles that may cause problem when you come to lay the wood flooring.

Let's make a start and begin our guide to how to lay wood flooring:

Step 1 – tools for the job

  • a panel saw or electric saw (eg circular saw)
  • tile spacers
  • safety glasses
  • a hammer
  • a pencil
  • set square
  • knee pads
  • masking tape
  • a sharp craft knife
  • tapping block
  • a pulling bar
  • self-adhesive underlay

Step 2 – how to measure for your wood floor

To calculate the amount of wood flooring you'll need for your project, you will have to measure you space to calculate the total area squared that needs to be covered. Wood flooring comes in various pack sizes depending on the variety you buy, and these packs tell you both the board dimensions, and the overall coverage achievable per pack. In order to calculate how many packs of wood flooring necessary for your project, first measure the width of your room and the length. Multiply these numbers by each other to give you your total area size. Awkward rooms can sometimes be difficult to measure, but the best way to try and maximize this is to try and divide up your area into smaller spaces that you can be square off, and then add the individual area sizes of these squares together. To calculate how many packs of wood flooring you'll need, take your total area size (this needs to be in the same units as the ones used on the wood flooring packaging), and divide this number by the total area covered on one packet of wood boards.

It's highly advisable to acquire at least ten percent extra boards than what you calculated you will need for your project. This is to avoid running out of boards in the middle of your projects in case of mistakes or bad measurements.

Step 3 – marking out your wood floor

Unlike when you lay a tiled floor, there is no need to mark out the position of each wood board that you lay. However, it is recommended that you lay a trial row before you begin installing the self-adhesive underlay. This is to help to determine the direction and position you will begin laying the flooring, and also to help calculate how much of the end-of-row boards you will need to cut when you come to it. A good tip is to start laying your wood flooring in the lightest part of the room. You should try to avoid a layout that will result in you having to cut more than 50% away from the depth of your end-of-row boards, or less than 400mm off the width of your boards.

Step 4 – laying self-adhesive underlay

We will be installing a 'floor floor' through the methods used in this tutorial. This means that technically the new wood flooring is not directly fixed to the old sub-floor. This is a very common, efficient, and perfectly efficient way to install wood flooring. With this in mind, begin laying your underlay with the shiny-side up. This is because the shiny side is the one that features adhesive. Ensure you have your spacers in place, and you are laying the rolls at a 90 degree angle to the way you will lay your laminate boards; This is to prevent the seams between the pieces of underlay ever corresponding to the joins between the piece of wood flooring. As you lay the underlay, make sure there is no gap or overlap between the sections as either of these might cause the wood boards to sink or stand proud. The goal here is a nice consistent surface. Tape down the joins between the sections with a bit of masking tape to hold them in place.

Step 5 – laying wood flooring

Using the layout you previously previously, start by removing a section of the protective film on the underlay by about the half the width of a wood board. Then gently lay your first board in place (making sure your spacers are still in place). If you're happy with the position of the first board, peel back more of the protective film to expose the board to the adhesive completely. In the same way you can continue throughout the room, gradually peeling the adhesive film back as you go.

Most wood flooring features a tongue and groove fitting profile. These boards should fit together easily and, and can be joined together by introducing the new board at a 45 degree angle to the previous one, then sliding it in place as you lower it. You can use your beijing block or pulling bar to further encourage the boards in place if necessary.

End-of-row boards can be cut using the saw you have available, and by marking the board where the cut needs to be made. Take care to cut the board the right way up as different saws may cause damage to either the top side or underside of the wood. Remember to use your safety glasses as you do this.

Step 6 – applying the finishing touches

It's recommended that you wait at least 48 hours before applying any finishing touches to your flooring such as trims or scotias. This will allow the floor to settle in further.

Use a metric box to help with cutting your trims and scotias at an angle. Transition bars can also be used where your new floor meets with a doorway or a different floor surface.

Congratulations! You now know how to lay wood flooring !

Penlac Nail Laquer- Does It Treat Nail Fungus?

Are you tired of keeping your hands or feet covered for fear of people thinking you are unclean? Tired of having spotted, thickened, streaked, discolored, yellow, or cracked nails? If your answer is 'Yes' for these questions- does not worry you're not alone- you are among thousands of people, who lead their life with nail fungus infection.

Ciclopirox, is the potent topical solution available as Penlac nail lacquer in the brick and mortar shops for curing nail fungus infections. This product- Penlac nail lacquer is a solution that is available in a glass bottle with a mini-paint brush, like nail polish. This can be used much a same way as like that of nail polish.

Have an appointment with the physician regularly in spite of your application of this nail lacquer. This product should be applied daily on the affected nail, and the nail may be required to clean with alcohol once in a week. Do remember to file away loose nail material during this day. Take utmost care to avoid contact with skin other than skin immediately around the treated nail.

Most of the clients accredited the penlac nail lacquer as an attractive substitution to Lamisil (terbinafine), the oral drug. But it is having its own limitation of not being used when the fungus has invades the lunula (the crescent-shaped lighter area near the nail base).

Penlac nail lacquer can be called as successful substitution for Lamisil as there is no ossiblity of liver damage or other unpleasant side effects. If you experience any side effect with Phenelac generally only involve the nail area if they occur at all.

If you have the problem of nail fungus- I know how you feel about the condition. Why do not you try Penlac? Penlac not only helps to control fungal infection but also recurrence of the same.

Penlac is not the over-the-counter medicine. Your GP may prescribe you for getting this solution.

If you want to use a product that is available in the over-the-counter medication for your nail fungus, the perfect alternative is Leucatin. The Leucatin is a natural topical and oral application. It is completely free from side effects as it is made up of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.

You may be in little bit confusion to choose between the drugs- Phenlac and Lamisil. If you're bothered about side effects of Lamisil, and you can go for continuous application of Penlac nail lacquer for a quite long period- say 11 months, you can opt for Phenlac than lamisil.

You should consult your physician before opting this nail laquer and also reveal the following points to your physician before getting prescribed with CICLOPIROX NAIL SOLUTION: –

* Breast-feeding

* Pregnant or trying to get pregnant

* Peripheral vascular disease or poor circulation.

* Large areas of burned or damaged skin.

* Immunosuppression or organ transplant

* HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection

* History of seizures

If you forget to apply the medicine at least on single day, use it as soon as you can. Do not use double or extra doses without consulting your physician. It is better to use the same dose.

10 Interesting Facts About the New Transformers Movie

When it comes to action movies, there is nothing better than the movie, Transformers. The high action movie, which was released in 2007, now has a sequel to follow. Yes, it's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, officially announced to be released on June 19, 2009 and June 24, 2009, in the United Kingdom and the United States respectively.

This article has been formulated to outline some of the most interesting facts relating to the sequel of the action movie.

1. First and foremost is the length of the movie which, according to its producer, is longer than the original Transformers movie. A quick look into the DVD library shows that the length of the original movie was 147 minutes. Yes, you read it right! Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is going to be even longer than 147 minutes. Alas!

2. The budget for the movie was set at US $ 200 million, which was US $ 50 million more than the preceding movie. The high budget was set to meet all the expenses that were expected to arise due to expensive animation, which the movie has used.

3. "Dinobots" are not going to be the part of Transformers 2. As the name suggest, dinobots is a name given to robots that can disguise themselves as dinosaurs. It was hard for the writers to justify a robot to pretend to be a dinosaur. A big disappointment for the audiences, but there is nothing that can be done regarding this.

4. Transformers 2 is considered by many to be the result of the largest collaboration between film makers and the military in terms of Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines. The military equipment used for this huge project is anonymous, and includes 2 A-10 Thunderbolt II jets, 6 F-16, 10 armored Humvees, a parachute team, 4 tanks, 2 missile-launcher vehicles, and 2 armored personnel carriers.

The most important military asset was said to be the military men and women, who used their skills of using weapons.

5. The majority of the filming for the movie took place in the United States of America, in spite of the fact that many scenes were said to be set in other countries were actually shot in the United States. After that, shooting was conducted for a very short period of time in foreign countries for some scenes, in order to expand the scope of the movie. The countries that were included in the shooting were Egypt, Jordan, and France.

6. Deceptions are the core of this movie. Deceptions used in this movie include Megatron, Starscream, Blackout, Barricade, Brawl, Bonecrusher, Scorponok, and Frenzy.

7. The language used by Deceptions is mostly Cybertronian, which is a language used by outer-terrestrial animals. This means that their communications would be translated by means of English Subtitles.

9. US $ 8 million has been paid to the three writers of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Two of the writers, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman were also part of the original Transformers. A third writer was added for sequel, a newcomer Ehren Kruger, who was brought in because of his knowledge on transformers etymology, and his friendship with both Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

10. To add to the spice, the movie consists of 12 distinct soundtracks including the one by Linkin Park. Linkin Park is considered as one of the greatest bands ever in the music industry. In addition to all this, the movie has been rated PG-13, which means that it is safe for children to watch the movie, children being among the main target audience.

With such a huge variety of facts associated with Transformers 2, it is most likely to achieve favorable results at the box office.

Portable Cooling Guide – Maintaining Your Portable Air Conditioner

When you need supplemental cooling or you cannot install traditional air conditioners because of impracticality or cost, a portable air conditioner is a great solution. Portable air conditioners can be moved from room to room. They do not require permanent installation. All you need to do to make sure the portable air conditioner works properly is vent it through a window or wall.

The maintenance on portable air conditioners is almost as easy as the set up and operation. Of course, to operate a portable air conditioner the initial venting must be done. This means venting the exhaust hose with a venting kit. This usually comes included with the portable air conditioner when it is purchased and can be slid into a window. If venting through a window is not possible, then venting through a wall or drop ceiling is also acceptable. This helps the portable air conditioner with the cooling process.

Water drainage is also an important component of portable air conditioner maintenance. Portable air conditioners cool and remove water from the air. They use some of the water to cool the unit. This makes the entire process of cooling more efficient. Portable air conditioners deal with excess water in various ways. Some of them collect the water into buckets that need to be emptied regularly. The amount of water in the bucket depends on the climate conditioner and the amount of time the portable air conditioner is in operation. Some units use a self-evaporating technology so that most of the excess water is expended with the hot air discharge. Most air conditioners can support a drain hose so that water can be drained continuously. There are also condensate pumps that move the drained water through a hose that is directed outside or to a drain pump located inside.

Another important factor to consider when performing maintenance on your air conditioner is cleaning and/or replacing air filters. There are washable filters that remove particulates from the air. Some portable air conditioners even have built-in air purifiers that include ionizers for particles and carbon filters for odors and gas control. To maintain an allergy-free, healthy, breathable environment and a properly functioning unit, filters need to be cleaned and changed regularly. Depending on use, you will need to change or clean the filters on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. For washable filters simply slide the filter out, immerse it in warm water with mild detergent and rinse thoroughly before putting it back into the unit. Carbon filters will need to be replaced according to the manufacturer’s directions (usually every few months or so.

The housing of your portable air conditioner needs to be cleaned as well. If the air conditioner is clean, the air volume increases. To clean the housing of your unit, wipe the surface with a soft, damp cloth after you have turned the unit off. You should never use abrasive chemicals or detergents because this can result in scratches and damage to the portable air conditioner housing. It is also important to keep the unit out of direct sunlight because this can change the surface color of the unit’s body.

As for off season storage, you need to properly store your portable air conditioner when it is not needed to make sure it works with maximum cooling efficiency when it is needed again. To store properly, you’ll need to turn off and unplug the portable air conditioner. Next, you should drain all of the condensate water from the water container. Then, to dry the interior of the unit, turn it on fan mode for several minutes. You should then clean the filters, wrap the cord around the cord hooks and pack the unit in its original carton if possible. Make sure you store it in a dry location. Some portable air conditioners have built-in heaters and can be used year-round. You should still maintain these like any other units. Maintaining your portable air conditioners keeps your house allergy free and your unit working properly. Start caring about your portable air conditioner today!

Marvelous Musical Pillars in Hindu Temples

If you have time you can find hundreds of wonderful sculptures in all major Hindu temples in India.

One among those wonders is Musical Pillars.

Enter through North gate of Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple. On your left you will find marvelous Musical Pillars. Since all the visitors abused the pillars with granites and hammers, the pillar has been protected by fence.

What is a musical pillar? Around a bigger central column are clustered smaller shafts; each having different thickness and differently fluted, produces different notes when struck with a hard substance like a pebble or hammer or with rubber head.

Sha, Ri, Ka, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni, Sha are the basic seven notes in Karnatic Music. These note could be produced in these wonderful pillars.

A team headed by Dr Kameswaran,an ENT specialist in1983 made a thorough analysis on them at Madurai Meenakshi Temple, South India.

Computer analysis of the sounds produced by the musical pillars shows that the principles of vibration of bodies have been applied in the construction of these pillars. The length and diameter of the pillars have been cleverly varied to obtain different musical sounds. Several musical pillars have been carved in the same stone each producing different sounds. This has been achieved by varying the length, diameter and shape of the musical pillars. A geological analysis of the musical pillars reveal that the rock is a common variety found in what is known as the Archaean formations (oldest formation) of South India. This particular rock is fairly abundant near Hospet. It is a rock rich in Silica. Alumina, Potash and Soda are the other important constituents. Iron content is not high. Ultrasonic instruments were used by the team for rock sampling.

There is an excellent article written by Dr T. Marimuthu in 1994 about these pillars. He has made a thorough research on the pillars and has given full wonderful details.

According to him, these are not found in earlier Chola, Pandya, Chera built temples. The pillars are appearing from the period of Vijayanagar empire.

The pillars are found in very many temples and each temple has its own mode of design and construction of musical pillars.

A remarkable and thinnest pillar of diameter 4 cm and length 1.6 metre is found in Thanumalaya Perumal Temple at Suchindram near Cape Comorin.

These pillars are found in many temples including Alwarthirunagari Temple, Thirunelveli Nellaiappar temple in Southern Part of India.

It is a pleasure to see these pillars and hear the music produced by them. Recently Musicians, Scientists, Engineers, Sculpturers are all evincing keen interest in musical pillars. According to their profession they are giving wonderful new information which makes us feel proud about these standing monuments for artistic, architectural, scientific, engineering, technical and technological talent of our ancient artisans.

Carpet – How to Get the Best Deal When Buying Carpet?

Studies have found that most people are overwhelmed with the choices and confusued by the conflicting advice on selecting carpeting for their home.

Considered an expert on Carpets and Flooring, I am going to give you some valuable tips to selecting both a carpet and a professional installer.

1. Be sure to only select carpets made of either nylon or wool. My preferennce is nylon. With prices of oil escalating, carpet manufacturers have seen the price of nylon escalate as well. In return, more and more carpet mills are producing carpet from polyester. My advice is to select a carpet constructed of at least 80% nylon.

2. When selecting the carpet, pay close attention to the label on the sample. The label should discard the Manufacture, Fiber (nylon) and it should include both a Style name and a Color name.
Many home centers, have their samples labeled especially for them. This results you from comparison shopping. If you know the store is concealing the name, why would you purchase from them. You need to be able to compare apples to apples.

3. If you a carpet you like, as for a wholesale or cash and carry price, tell them you already have your own installer and that you are simply shopping for the best price. Ask if thiers a discount for cash.

4. Ask your installer if he or she can get a wholesale price. Sometimes installers have discounts that the stores will not offer to you.

5. Get your own installer. Many times finding your own installer can save you a lot of money.
Many stores will greatly discount the price of the carpet if they do not have to be involved with the installation.

"5 Biggest Tips For Hiring A Reliable Contractor" Click here: Finding Reliable Contractors .

Hiring a Residential Cleaning Service – The Main Advantages

Why hire someone to do the dirty work when you can do it yourself? Why put additional strain on the budget by enlisting the help of a residential cleaning service? Then again, maybe the question should be why not? Many people do not quite feel right about hiring these companies to handle their household cleaning tasks. And while there are advantages to saving money and delegating chores among family members to avoid hiring a residential cleaning contractor, the latter option has even more. The most basic of these advantages will be further discussed in this article.

Let's get down to brass tacks. Today's working environment makes it virtually impossible to do everything we would ideally want to do on a daily basis. That's why residential cleaning services are so invaluable to the average family nowdays. It allows us more time to unwind. It allows us more time to bond with our family or spend time with friends. You can literally sit back and relax while the cleaning company's staff members focus on keeping your home neat and tidy.

Assigning chores to the kids is a popular way to avoid the expense of hiring a contractor. But if you have young people, do you think this is really feasible? Let's face it – it is not. Furthermore, those little tykes can undo what has been done faster than you can say "residential cleaning." It's better to have a company clean your house so that way you'll have time to focus on other things (see above), not to mention avoid the fatigue involved in redoing a cleaning job completely, albeit unintentionally ruined by your youngger kids.

Flexibility is another one of the many advantages of leasing residential cleaning contractors. If you have an important get-together, say, a family reunion or baby shower, you do not need to run around like a headless chicken trying to clean up and make a good impression. The best cleaning services are available anytime you need them, and will likely do a better job than you could on your own. They will also ensure no stone is left unturned, unlike the common tension of homeowners to neglect simple tasks due to the comprehensive nature of cleaning a home.

Last, but not the least, residential cleaning companies clean your home AND ensure it remains a healthy environment for everyone in it. These companies make sure they only use the safest chemicals and best cleaning practices. They have your welfare in mind and that of the environment as well.

There are many other advantages of residential cleaning, but again, this article's scope only allows us to stick to the basics. Residential cleaning may cost a little, but think of the time and effort you can save. It's about time you save yourself a break!

House and Window Cleaning

When it's time to tidy up the house, window cleaning is a very important chore. Some housekeeping services state that they "do not wash windows" but they should! Clear and sparkling glass makes a big difference. Smudged, streaked and grimi surfaces are unsightly and obscure the view.

On household surfaces such as the bathroom and kitchen fixtures, there are a multitude of germs that can be hazardous to your health. The solutions that are used for these tasks can range from inexpensive to pricey. They can also range from mild and safe to toxic. Want to tidy up the interior of your home safely and effectively? Here are some things to think about:

– What surface needs to be cleaned? If it is porous or delicate, it would be wise to use an non-abrasive product. Certain chemicals are too harsh for wooden items. Reading the label to discover what a cleanser's recommended use is would be wise.

– Solvents: A solvent is meant for dissolving oil and greasy debris. Most are designed to be water soluble and should not leave a film or residue.

– Abrasives: Abrasives are designed to smooth surfaces, get rid of rust, and to scrub and polish. Many that are meant to be used in bathtubs or porcelain have a bleaching agent in them, as well.

– Antibacterial: These cleansers are meant to eliminate germs and bacteria upon contact. If a person was trying to keep family members from getting sick or curtail the spread of diseases, these would be the best choice.

– Homemade window cleaners: A person can purchase a product such as Windex or they could make their own solution. A typical homemade recipe for this would be vinegar, something most homes stock in the pantry, and plain old tap water. White or apple cider vinegar will do the trick. Save the balsamic and other fancy types for salads. Mix c cup vinegar to every quart of water. Another variety would use 1 tablespoon of ammonia to the quart of water. It's important to use non-sudsing ammonia if this recipe is selected.

– Squeegee or rag: Some people swear by squeegees while others prefer rags, paper towels or even old newspapers. The newspapers are reportedly great for leaving the glass streak-free.

– Cloudy weather is best: Believe it or not, it's best to wash windows on cloudy days as a sunshiny day will be too quickly drying. Gray skies are beneficial for sparkling up window surfaces. When the sun comes out, it will shine through wonderfully.

– Cleaning direction: If washing both sides of a window, it's smart to go in a vertical direction on one side and a horizontal direction on the other. With this method, it's easier to discover which side streaks are on in order to wipe them away.

Window cleaning and general housecleaning can be done by a homeowner or hired out to a service. There are pros and cons to each. If a household has windows that are difficult to reach and require ladders and scaffolding, it might be better to bring in the professionals.

Mallet Putters – Why the Pro's Are Turning to Mallets Over Blades!

More and more these days the pros are turning their hand away from the traditional Blade style putter in favor of the Mallet Putters which we are starting to see more and more of the golfing world today. The more experienced and professional golfers out of the bunch are still waiting to opt for their trusty Blade style putter simple because they have the skill set to actually use it effectively. But for new or newer golfers putting with accuracy is not that easy and it's something which many golfers often struggle with, hence the Mallet Putter. Mallet Putters assist golfers in many ways when taking their putting swing and they have many benefits over the traditional Blade Putter. It's major benefits include the following:

  1. Popularity – The increasing popularity of the Mallet quite honestly speaks enough for itself, many major brands including Taylormade, Callaway, Ping and many others are now manufacturing and distributing Mallet Putters in their thousands so there is clearly a market for them. The reason there is a market for them is because they are so good at helping golfers to do what they do best – play golf!
  2. New Designs – When Mallet Putters first arrived on the market it was difficult for golfers to like them, they were large, cumbersome and clumsey. But with the increased popularity of the mallet, manufacturers are getting increased feedback and are able to provide a solution to this feedback in the way of product improvements. This is why, today, we are seeing better putters being bought out every month.
  3. Improved Features – There are possibly 3 major features to most Mallet Putters which enable them to react better than their nearest rival, the Blade Putter. These three features are:
    • The size / weight of the Mallet head – The larger than normal weight and size of the head of the Mallet Putter gives it a much better forward control and moment of intertia which prevails the twisting which we quite often see in common Blade Putters. So the person hitting the ball has more opportunity to concentrate on where they are hitting the ball rather than how they are hitting the ball.
    • Improved Alignment – This kind of Putter gives much improved alignment to the put. This is achieved by the size / weight of the Mallet head mentioned above as well as the overall size of the club itself. The club design also has an influence on this by the way the club 'rod' has been attached to the head of the Mallet. The method of attachment offers a pool cue type of alignment assistance, enabling the Putter much great accuracy. Alignment is key in putting and the Mallet gives far more alignment support than the Blade which is why many pros are turning to Mallet Putters.
    • Weight of the Putter – The overall weight of the putter is in fact heavier than most of the Blade putters. This weight enables the pro's to concentrate on the mechanisms of their shot whilst the club does the majority of the work.

It's clear why more and more pro golfers are turning away from Blade Putters and heading for the more popular Mallets, but will this change last or is it just a fad?

Summer Maintenance Checklist

Home maintenance is a year-round job that extends to all outdoor living spaces and property. Decks, porches, patios, terraces and yards deserve the same care and attention that indoor living spaces require. Warm months are the perfect time for outdoor tasks that preserve the value of a home, prevent costly repairs, and create a pleasant environment for summer fun, dining and relaxation.

INDOOR MAINTENANCE

AC Window Units

Take out of storage and place in window, or remove protective winter cover; caulk or install weather stripping where needed; install new filter

Clothes Dryer

Vacuum vent and hose to remove compacted lint.

Furnace

Replace filter.

Safety

Test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors; change batteries.

OUTDOOR MAINTENANCE

AC Compressor

Clean debris and hose down; call serviceman to check coolant level, fan and motor, lubricate if needed.

Awnings

Spray with hose, clean with mild soap.

Crawl Spaces

Check with flashlight for moisture and termites.

Driveway / Walks

Check for damage and repair cracks or loose bricks.

Deck

Remove debris between boards, scrub with soap and water; scrub mildew and fungus with bleach; check for any exposed wood surfaces, which should be re-stained or painted; use deck brightener (oxalic acid) to lighten dingy, gray wood; check for wobbly nails and replace with galvanized screws; replace splintered or warped boards; if water no longer beads on surface, waterproof using sealer with UV protector.

Furniture

Take out of storage or remove weatherproof tarps; scrub with mild soap and water; inspect for mildew and treat with oxygenated bleach.

Garage Door

Test and lubricate hinges, rollers and track.

Gutters

Inspect after April Showers for sagging and loose downspout connections and make necessary repairs; remove any spring seedlings or debris.

Patio / Porch

Check for cracks and loose bricks, repair; sweep cobwebs and debris from walls and ceilings and wash with soap and water; refresh wooden floors and steps with specially formulated paint.

Railings

Check screws, remove rust and paint where needed.

Screens / Storms

Remove storm windows and store; check screens for holes, repair where needed; scrub both mesh and frame with soap and water, and install.

Siding / Trim

Clean with hose, scrub any mildew or grime with oxygen bleach; check for peeling paint and repair.

Swimming Pool

Tighten diving board and slide bolts, secure bases to concrete; tighten all screws on grates, drains and handrails; check for sharp edges; repair holes in fencing, lubricate locks; check pool cover for damage, properly anchor, remove standing water regularly; keep rescue equipment near pool, repaint depth markings if needed.

Windows & Doors

Inspect weather-stripping; replace if needed to reduce AC costs; wash windows; spray silicone on patio door tracks and window sashes.

GARDEN MAINTENANCE

Bird Feeders / Bath

Keep filled and maintained, clean periodically to remove stale water, seed husks.

Flowers / Lawn

Weed, deadhead, and water regularly; apply summer fertilizer and bug control.

Trees / Shrubs

Trim broken branches, cut back from house to reduce damage from wind and summer storms.

Vines

Remove any growing on the house, siding, brick or mortar.

Leather In Our Modern Culture

Leather And Our Modern Society

Leather, due to its excellent ability to resist abrasion, found a use in different social occupations. The thoughts and images of cowboys in leather chaps historically wave way to men wearing leather jackets on motorcycles, to protect them from road rash and wind-blast, and aviators wearing leather helmets. Some motorcycle riders also wear chaps or full leather pants to protect the lower body. So many sports today still use leather to help in playing the game or protecting players (ie baseball, football, soccer, etc.). Due to the flexible nature of leather, it can be formed and flexed for whatever the occasion may be. As leather can also be used as a term for things made from it, the term leathering is also used in the same sense as tanning in the term "physical punishment" (such as a navy spanking) applied with a leather strap. Certain rock groups (ie, such as Scorpions and Judas Priest) are well known for wearing leather clothing. In our world today, many cars and trucks have the option of 'leather' seating. This ranges from cheap vinyl material, on low cost vehicles, to luxurious Napa leather, found in expensive cars.

Concern For Animals And The Alternative

Animal rights groups such as PETA have issued fact sheets calling for boycotts and encouraging the use of alternative materials, such as synthetic leathers. Some animal rights activists have boycotted the use of all leather items, believing the practice of wearing skins unnecessary in today's society. Many pseudo-leather materials have been developed. This allows those who wish to wear leather-like garments to do so without actually wearing leather. Examples of these would be vinyl materials, pleather, Durabuck, NuSuede, Hydrolite, and other alternatives. All of which provide some features similar to leather.

Synthetic leathers are generally made from oil and the ethical stage of using oil-based products seems to be ignored by most, even though it is well-known that the ecological damage and business practices associated with the oil industry are being questioned on a daily basis .

Leather is an inexpensive product that, when cared for properly, will last a long time and has a multitude of uses. Society will always move away from synthetics (oil-based) when it becomes apparent that it is no longer an inexpensive and viable source.

What’s Eavesdropping?

If we refer to Dictionary.com, the meaning of eavesdrop was defined as follow:

-verb (used without object)

1. To listen secretly to a private conversation.

-verb (used with object)

2.Archaic. To eavesdrop on.

-noun

3. Water that drips from the eaves.

4. The ground on which such water falls.

Make yourself familiar with this topic by learning some basic knowledge of eavesdropping.

The most common and simplest solution to eavesdropping is to install spy equipment which we call it a bug. A bug is a device that receives audio information and broadcasts it through the air, usually via radio waves. Some bugs have tiny microphones that pick up sound waves directly.

Just as in any microphone, this sound is represented by an electrical current. In a bug, the current runs to a radio transmitter, which transmits a signal that varies with the current.

The Spy sets up a nearby radio receiver that picks up this signal and sends it to a speaker or encodes it on a tape.

A bug with a microphone can pick up any sound in a room, whether the person is talking on the phone or not. But a distinctive wiretapping bug doesn’t need its own microphone, since the phone already has one. If the Spy hooks this bug anywhere along the phone line, it receives the electrical current directly.

Often, the Spy will hook the bug up to the wires that are actually inside the phone. Since people very rarely look inside their phones, this can be a superb hiding spot. Of course, if someone is searching for a wiretap, both the Spy and his / her bug will be exposed.

This is the best sort of wiretap for most Spies. Bugs are so small that the subject is unlikely to notice them, and once they are installed, the Spy doesn’t have to return to the scene of the crime to keep them running.

All of the complex recording equipment can be kept away from the phone lines, in a hidden location. But since the radio receiver has to be within range of the transmitter, the Spy must find a hidden spot near the wiretap. The traditional receiving spot is to use any suitable vehicle parked outside the subject’s home.

Lastly, if you are not a legal Spy, don’t install any spy equipment such as electronic listening, or recording device to someone’s phone, or you will be breaking Federal Laws.Unless you can somehow manage to obtain a legal warrant to do so from a judge.

You may or may not be breaking the law by eavesdropping by any other means, but you certainly will be morally bankrupt if you do. Try to be a good citizen and mind your own business.

6 Reasons Why You Should Buy Paintings Directly From Artists

When you decorate the walls in your home, there are a number of facts, that support you should buy paintings directly from an artist, instead of buying reproductions in online shops or physical shops.

  • You get an original, unique painting that no one else has
  • The painting is carefully created, down to the smallest detail
  • You get a quality product, made of excellent materials
  • You get the most bang for your buck – no commission to online or physical galleries
  • The selling price is higher when you want to make changes in your collection
  • You get a better service, the artist will answer any questions you have

You get an original unique painting

When you buy an original, unique painting from an artist, you get a unique piece of art, there is only one of one-of-a-kind.

And you can use the art to design the decor in your home with your own special touch, without any fear that your family, friends or neighbors already have the same painting or can imitate your decor.

If we look at the definition of the word "original", the Danish Dictionary says it is an "object or phenomenon that is the basis for a copy."

Be aware that many online and physical stores that advertise with "original" paintings, actually sell reproductions where the artistic value is practically non-existent.

Copies are typically made at art factories in China and other Eastern countries. The workers there does not always have the best working conditions. Employees work many hours a day without any breaks, and the production is made in buildings, that lack basic needs such as glass in window and heating during winter.

There is also a couple of Danish mass producing art factories, which employ Danish artists who produce copies under pseudonyms.

It may be difficult to spot whether it's a real or fictitious artist and if it's an original painting or a copy – here are a few tips you can use, factors that indicate it is a real artist:

Start by Googling the artist and see what information comes up. Does the artist's contact information appear, is having his own website, does the search show earlier exhibitions?

  • If there is an artist profile on the store's website, and it shows a photo and a biography of the artist.
  • If an artist profile with biography is attached to the painting, and there is shown a photograph of the artist.
  • Things that indicate it is an original unique painting:
  • If there is a real artist behind and not only a pseudonym.
  • If the painting is signed with the full name, title and year on the back of the canvas.

The painting is created with great care

Unique paintings, made by real life artists, are characterized by the artist using hours and hours of work on composition, texture, color composition and color blending. The result is an artwork with endless small details, beautiful colors and great depth, which means you will continuously discover new details, textures, and details.

Initially the artist plan the composition, style, subject, and medium. After that, the process of creating the painting consists of a series of different steps: priming of the canvas, applying texture pulse (1-3 operations), painting the subject (1-5 operations), top finish and at last, a topcoat .

It varies a lot, how many times an artist must work on a painting before it is ready for the public, but typically it's worked over 5-10 times. Especially when the creation requires many thin translucent layers and transparent colors, it has to be worked over many times.

Characteristic for the production of reproductions is, that there is very little time for producing each painting, usually there are only 15-20 minutes available.

This means, that it is only possible to make a painting with a maximum of three layers before it is ready. Often the painting will be manufactured in one process, and the employee is parallel working on up to 50 copies of identical paintings. Therefore, reproductions are often missing details and depth.

You get a quality product

Many artists take pride in using paint, materials and tools in a very high quality.

Basically, a distinction is made between three different qualities within artist paint: School quality, student quality, and artist quality.

What factors do determine the quality of the painting? It's a question of the pigments being used, the proportion pigments have relative to the fillers, and the bindings.

The highest quality paint is using the most expensive pigments, the largest share of pigments and contains little or no fillers.

School quality is the cheapest and is used for training in school classes. It's not suitable for a real painting, used to decorate your home with, since the poor quality means difficulties in mixing with other colors, the paint can not maintain the texture and dries to a flat shape, and lack colors fade resistance, opacity, tinting strength and transparency.

Student quality is a basic paint, which is used for priming of paintings and opaque surfaces. It is a sound quality, that has some good characteristics so the colors can be mixed, and they keep the texture to an acceptable degree. The only problem is, that these colors have trouble showing transparency without the use of mediums.

Artist quality is top of the line with high lightfastness, high opacity, strong color tinting and high transparency. All in all, it gives the possibility of making paintings with very fine details, brilliant colors, and great depth. And the high proportion of pigments secures that the paintings will have a long shelf life, without the colors starting to fade away or paint flaking off.

The professional artist uses canvas in good quality, made of cotton and / or linen.

The vast majority of artists always finish the process with a layer of protection in the form of varnish or gel. It secures a painting that will last for many years, and also makes it easier to clean.

Reproductions usually use artist paint in school quality and student quality – the outstanding artist quality will not be used because of a high price. And copies do not get the topcoat that protects against UV rays and sunlight and provides durability for many years to come.

The canvas they use are often made of 100% polyester, providing a rigid surface, that is unable to stretch with the paint under various humidity conditions.

You get the most bang for your buck

If artists are selling through online or physical galleries, they often have to pay up to 50% of the sales amount to gallery owners.

Obviously when you are dealing directly with the artist, there is no paid commission, and there is though no cost intermediaries to monetize on the artworks.

The selling price is higher

When you want to sell a painting you initially bought from a professional artist, the prices keep a higher level, compared to copy paintings you buy online and in physical stores.

Generally, you can get approximately the same amount as your buying price for paintings purchased from an artist, whereas reproductions fall drastically in price, so you only get about 25% of the amount you originally paid.

And if you spot a talented artist, you can make money when you sell again.

It requires a lot of practice, and that you know what to look for when buying art.

You get a better service

When you deal directly with a professional artist, he or she will answer any questions you have. Whether it comes to design, materials, maintenance or otherwise.

And you have of course also the possibility of letting the artist creating a unique piece with your own colors and designs.

Many artists also offer to help with transportation.

How to Use Violin Rosin

Using violin rosin is simple and to the point. The key is to find quality rosin and to apply it correctly so that the bow places attached to the string at all times while playing. If you do not apply enough rosin or if your rosin is of low quality, chances are you will end up playing with a weak, flimsy sound that will bounce off the string without creating any real definition. To use violin rosin properly and apply it well enough that your sound lasts firm, here are some basic pointers you need to follow.

First off, keep to dark violin rosin. Dark rosin is a lot more effective when it comes to keeping the bow on the string than light rosin. Light rosin will often not stick very well and will have to be reapplied very often. With light violin rosin, you also have to scratch the rosin in order to get enough rosin out of it, which can shorten the lifespan of the rosin by causing it to wear and crack. For this reason, keep to cloth wrapped dark rosin and you will get a lot more out of your rosin. Just remember, rosin doesnt cost much, but a single piece of rosin will probably last a few years, so do not go for the cheap stuff!

Next, to apply the violin rosin, run the bow up and down the rosin like you are playing the rosin itself. This light friction will break apart the delicate rosin particles and cause them to be dispersed onto the bow. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute at a time to insure that you have enough rosin on the bow for it to stick well to the string.

And be sure you are applying a little bit too much violin rosin when you first start! When applying violin rosin, the bow will typically have a tendency to lose whatever rosin it can not naturally carry with it while playing. In other words, if you have too much violin rosin on your bow and start playing, your bow will shed it in the form of dust and only retain as much as it needs to stick to the string.

The opposite obviously will not happen with rosin if you do not apply enough! Keep a little bit too much violin rosin on the bow and it will keep your bow flowing smoothly and definitely across the string for every note.

One final word of advice more important than rosin, if you are serious about playing violin, you need more than just good rosin! Get yourself a good teacher! Having a teacher who knows more than you makes all the difference in the world and I highly recommend it.

Fireplace Surround

A fireplace surround is a casing put on the outside walls of your fireplace. The best place to find it is in stores that deal with fireplace equipment. It comes in different shapes; each made to suite an individuals needs. Some are ready made, while others are manufactured according to your specifications. The interesting this is that some of them are a little too similar to mantels.

The two most important factors to consider before getting one is the mass and position of your fireplace. Each fireplace surround is compatible with a fireplace of a kind, so understand what kind yours is before buying one. The companies that build them have very many ideas that you can choose from if you do not happen to have any in mind.

The best part is that the material used to make it the clients' choice. Try and find as much information about each of the many different types of materials available. Take as much time as you need to make your decision, the amount of information available is overwhelming. Keep in mind that because most of them are customized, you will need to know the period of time needed to construct what you choose.

Choose a company that has been in the business for making this fireplace surrounding for a while. This is the one sure way of knowing that the end result will be exactly what you asked for. You can not only tell the character a client from the choice they make but you can also tell their level of creativity.