Creative Concrete Stamping

Stamping concrete is a great way for you to imitate the look and fee of authentic stone, brick, or pavement without having to spend as much. There are rubber patterns that create the impression of natural stone for this purpose. There are also ready-made patterns for such materials such as brick and cobblestone, however sometimes they can look artificial. One way to avoid this is to create your own patterns to be used in stamping concrete. If you can learn this you will soon find your inventory stock filled with varied patters that can be used for your various concrete stamping projects.

1. Be Innovative

You may even use design ideas you find around your home. For example, you could use an Indonesian batik design block. As long as it can make an impression on wet cement, and does not stick to the finished product, it will do. In good design, there are no limits to the imagination. So look around your area, you might even find an appealing pattern somewhere in your own home! You could consider looking at your garage, your attic, or even your uncle's vacation gifts for potential stamp impressions.

2. Stamping

Commercial stamping produces great imitations. Sometimes, however, stampers are just overkill. You can bring out the beauty of concrete by being discreet at times with your stamping. You could use stamps that litter around your home, a batik woodblock or even a part of an auto transmission. Anything can be used to stamp the concrete as long it does not stick and ruin the finished surface. It also has to be durable. A commercial stamp is perfect for improving a plain slab on concrete. You could also use this type of stamp if you desire a professional, standard looking concrete stamping.

3. Creative Stamping

Creating your own stamp tool is can be innovative and fun. You could even use a salvaged part from an old ceiling to create decorative stamp! When stamping on concrete, make sure you understand the risks this procedure entails. Commercial concrete stamps are designed to work well, and are engineered to be as easy to use as possible. They often leave a clean impression. If you were to use your own stamps made of everyday stamp-worthy items, remember that there is a risk that the concrete could be ruined. Commercial stamps are designed to consistently pull free from the concrete; this may not be the case with home-made ones.

– Even slabs with a deep-cut pattern must be jointed so that cracking can be controlled

– Divide the stamped concrete by using sawed joints

– Order correctly slumped concrete

– Lay out stamps before the concrete arrives

– Do as little hand tooling as possible

– Order proper amounts of concrete

Concrete stamping is neither for the inexperienced nor the faint of heart. For those who would like to learn this do-it-yourself art, learning concrete stamping is possible. For the hobbyists, masons, and even for those who just wish to make their homes better, this will truly be a worthwhile undertaking.

Painting Plus

I must say that I really enjoy painting, although not quite up to Van Gogh standards yet. You do not require many tools – a good selection of paintbrushes, a paint container (kettle), a sponge or cloth, some cling film, a scraper, abrasive paper, maybe a blowtorch, and a stepladder. A ladder is handy for all sorts of jobs around the house, and I feel that a lightweight aluminium one is the best.

You should have a few brushes to hand, of different sizes for different jobs. A good varied selection would include a 12mm (0.5 in) for windows, skirtings etc; a 75mm (3in) for things like doors; a 100m (4in) or bigger for the walls. You can also get long-handled ones for getting behind stuff such as radiators etc. Paint kettles are cheap, and come in metal or lightweight plastic. You can tie a string or a piece of wire across the top, and scrape off excess paint on it. This is also handy for resting your brush on when you take a break, after wrapping it (the brush) in cling film so that it will stop the paint from drying. I usually just hold the brush by the handle, but I've been told that it's better to hold the thumb behind the handle, with the fingers on the other side, on the metal band. Before starting, give the bristles a flick across your hand, so as to get rid of any loose hairs.

Remember that new plaster has to be left to dry thoroughly before applying paint. Always remove grease and dirt from surfaces before you begin. This is a must-do chore. I find that the best thing to use is sugar soap, which is made into a solution by mixing with water. This ensures that no salt deposits are left, which is the case with some detergents. If you have something like nicotine stains on a wall, it's a good idea to spray it with an aerosol stain-blocking substance. This will make sure that they do not appear again through newly applied paint. Use a cloth with white spirit to get rid of loose particles of dust. Clean out any gaps below skirtings with a blunt knife, watching out for any cables, and vacuum well afterwards. We all get runs in the paint, and those should be brushed out as soon as you notice them. Always try to paint from the top to the bottom, as this will avoid the problem of drips going on to drying paint. Make sure that you work to a wet edge – when you reload the brush with paint, blend your next stroke into the wet area. When working with a ladder, start on the right-hand side of the wall if you're right handed, and of course the opposite if you're left handed. This is so that the ladder will not be leaning against the fresh paint. I mentioned cling film earlier – you can place a piece of it (slightly larger than your container) over the paint and press it to the insides. This will form an airtight seal, and prevent a skin from forming on oil-based paints.

When I was a teenager, and rather green around the gills, I was the butt of jokes for a few days after buying paint which was totally unsuitable for the surface that was to be painted. So that the same kind of thing does not happen to you, here are some kinds of paints for various jobs: –

Exterior woodwork – microporous, exterior gloss or satin

Interior woodwork – eggshell, interior gloss or satin

Newly plastered walls – matt emulsion

Hardwood window frames – stain preservative or varnish

Painted or papered walls – matt or silk emulsion

Radiators – radiator enamel

Fascias – exterior gloss paint

Roughcast – masonry paint

Make sure that you always clean brushes thoroughly immediately after use.

Deck Swing Buying and Assembling Tips

Putting a swing on your porch or deck will definitely add elegance to it. Not only that, but family and friends will be able to enjoy your porch more when you install a swing, because after all, a porch or deck with a swing in it is a lot more interesting than a bare one. Having a swing, your porch or deck will instantly become a favorite gathering place.

If you think installing a swing in your porch or deck is difficult, think again. Adding a swing to your porch or deck can be a breeze if you follow the step by step instructions below.

1. The right swing must be placed properly in the place.

The first thing you should do before buying a swing set is to measure the height of your porch or the a place in the garden for the chains used for support and the width to ensure crash and bump free swinging.

2. Purchase a hanging kit along with the swing.

Ensure that it has all the necessary galvanized items and chain for heavy-duty purposes that you will need for the particular swing that you bought. Read the directions well when you are buying your hanging kit. Ensure you have all the necessary tools, and if not, prepare a list of items you will need and make a trip to the hardware store.

3. Look for an overhead beam with an 8-foot clearance under it in your porch or deck.

This is where you will install the two hooks for the swing that should be given space the width of the swing to support the chains. To prevent the splitting of the wood upon screwing in the big hooks that are useful in holding the swing safely, drill pilot holes first.

4. Choose a swing set that requires minimal assembly.

First take all the parts out of the box. Find the package of nuts and bolts then set it aside. Look for the instructions booklet and read it carefully. To avoid confusion, lay out all of the parts on the ground the way they will eventually connect in the finished assembly. If there are any ground coverings or mats lay them also on the ground. Get some help holding the pieces as you assemble them or use a small bucket or tupperware container to ensure none of the smaller pieces get lost.

Assembling Your Swing:

1. Look for the long poles that will form the swing's frame. Connect two of the three poles at the end to form an acute angle with the nuts and bolts provided. Connect the second set of two uprights the same way. Also connect any braces included onto the uprights. The braces should attach about halfway along the uprights.

2. There are basically two types of swings, those with holes in the arms and those that come with mounted chains that are attached to the swing's lower frame. The former is easy to hang but the latter can be more comfortable to sit on.

3. Preserve your swing before hanging by using a sanding sealer under a varnish with polyurethane. Annually check for splinters and reseal if needed.

4. Look for the crosspiece which is usually the largest piece of metal or a long wooden beam. Connect this to the apex of each set of uprights making sure that any holes or hooks face the right way so that it will be possible to attach the swing correctly.

5. When everything is in its place tighten the bolts and stand the swing set on its feet. Get the chains or rope for use to hanging the swing. Using a stepladder, attach the chains to the crosspiece. Hooks should be provided with the swing set. The swing seat should be attached to the hanging chain. Measure each side so the swing hangs evenly.

6. You will need four chains to hang the swing from its hooks. The first two chains will descend from each hook, one to the front of the swing and one to the back. The chains must at least be seven feet long because it will hang from a beam that is 8 feet above. The swing must be not more than 17 inches from the ground so it is easy for individuals to get on and off.

7. For safety, all hardware must be screwed securely into the wood and chain connectors must be used. Before hanging the swing, double check that all hardware is installed.

8. Use a frame if you have any doubt that your porch can support your swing. Do not hang swings from masonry or bricks.

9. It is better if you use bolts instead of screws.

10. It is highly suggested that you drill through the support beam to put a long eye bolt through it, then secure it with a large flat washer and locking bolt.

11.Ask a friend for help or use an ironing board for support when you lift the swing and its harness near the beam. After hooking the swing in place, adjust the chains evenly then get on the swing to test it.

Now you are ready to show off your new swing to your friends and family!

Get That Ink Off My Clothes

We oftentimes lose hope in solving problems when it is regarding getting ink stains out of clothes. Even though we hear solutions to such problems, we choose not to try such solutions because we can not get out of our belief that ink stains are permanent and that we will never bring back our stained clothes to how it looked like before. However, we should try some of the techniques on how to get ink out of clothes because, really, there are still solutions that work. Let's look at three different techniques being used, depending on the kind of ink that stained our clothes.

Before we start with the instructions on how to get ink out of clothes, we should first prepare the materials needed including stain sticks, stain spray, stain removers, stain gel, sponges, paper towels, hairspray, fingernail polish remover, denatured alcohol, cotton swabs, baking soda, and acetone.

Assuming that the stain on the clothing is a pen ink stain, it is advisable to clean the clothing as soon as possible because there is a big chance that it can still be removed. It must be remembered that the longer that we leave the clothing untreated, the bigger the chances that the stain will permanently be there. However, we must also take note that despite the fact that pen ink stains may be removed by regular washing, there are some fabrics wherein such rule do not apply. In this regard, we might need the help of professionals.

If the stain on our clothing comes from the ink of a ballpoint pen, a wet sponge is needed to be blotted on the stain. The sponge of course has to clean and this procedure must be done as soon as possible. This process should be repeated over and over again until the sponge stops absorbing ink. Afterwards, allow the stain to dry before we spray some hairspray on it. And then, the soiled part of the clothing should be sandwiched using two paper towels and dab them both on the soiled fabric until the stain gets removed. Applying a pretreatment stain remover is the next procedure on how to get ink out of clothes. Once all these are done, the clothing may now be washed with warm water.

If the ink of a felt tip pen stains the clothing, a paper towel must be used to press it on the stained art until most of the ink is removed. A denatured alcohol poured on a cotton swab may be dabbed on the soiled fabric until the stain gets removed. The last procedure on how to get ink out of clothes is to wash it in a regular way.

These are easy steps on how to get ink out of clothes. If there are people who do not believe in any of these procedures, it's alright but there is no harm in trying.

Z-Wave Vs MODBUS / CBUS System – A Design Architecture Perspective

As Smart Home Automation technology is taking the market at large in the UAE and around the world, it becomes imperative to understand the different options in terms of technology architecture as this can save a real estate owner from venturing into an investment that will cost them more to maintain than any form of Return on Investment from the solution.

This document is dedicated to compare the design architecture of Z-Wave against MODBUS or CBUS based systems. Features or detailed specs about the protocols will not be discussed as the difference in design architecture between these protocols and their components may be more than enough in order to make a decision on what technology can give the greatest investment protection.

Design architecture in this document will refer to the interconnections at the level of lighting circuits. In very basic form, and in a normal house that does not have any Smart Home capabilities, a ceiling light would be connected in series with a light switch and the electrical distribution board (DB). The 220V line would start at the electrical DB, enter a standard relay, go to a junction box where a standard light switch is connected, then from the junction box to the ceiling light and back to the Electrical DB's neutral connection.

Z-Wave network architecture is exactly the same as the standard connection described above, and that is why Z-Wave systems can be retro-fit into any existing home. In order to install this system, all what is required is to replace the standard lighting switch in the junction box with a Z-Wave enabled light switch. All other remaining connections to the DB and to the ceiling light remain un-touched.

All the intelligence lies in the wireless switch installed in the junction box. A Smart Home server or controller will then have to send commands wirelessly to that switch to turn "ON", "OFF", or "DIM" the lights.

MODBUS or CBUS based systems on the other hand, use a completely different architecture which is non-standard in comparison with the standard home lighting system (described first in this document). In MODBUS or CBUC systems, the connections between the DB and the ceiling lights, and between the DB and the junction box (wall switch) are completely separate. In addition, there are no connections between the Junction Box and the respective ceiling lights. The Intelligence of a MODBUS or CBUS system lies in a "Channel Dimmer" or "Channel Relay" which is installed in the DB and would replace the traditional standard relay installed in existing homes today. This "Channel Dimmer" would have a 220V Line interconnection directly to the ceiling light and a neutral connection back from the ceiling light to the "Channel Dimmer". The "Channel Dimmer" will control the light directly and will receive its commands either from a rail mounted controller that is connected to its communication port (could be a serial port), or manually from a wall mounted light switch / keypad. This wall mounted light switch would not be connected to any load whatsoever, it would be directly connected with the "Channel Dimmer" by means of a control / signaling cable. The "Channel Dimmers" normally come as 4-channel or 8-channel, this means that they can be connected to 4 or 8 separate lighting circuits at the same time and this din-rail mounted device is also a single point of failure for all these 4 or 8 lighting circuits.

Conclusion

Now that the design architectures have been explained, we jump to comparing their advantages and disadvantages to the real estate owner. It is clear that MODBUS or CBUS based systems do not have standard interconnections between lighting circuits and junction boxes (wall switches), and thus these systems must be installed during construction phase in order to ensure the correct wiring between the Channel Dimmers and Lights, and between the Channel Dimmers and Wall Switches. But this imposes a great risk to any home, that is, in the event that the Channel Dimmer fails, an entire group of lighting circuits would fail (For example: In all bedrooms on the second floor). Further to that, and in the event of failure, no standard electrician will be able to fix the problem and the home owner would be stuck waiting on the company that installed the system to order, deliver, and install the Channel Dimmers; a process which may take weeks. And finally in a worst case scenario, what is the Channel Dimmer fails after 5 years and the technology becomes obsolete, or the company which is providing maintenance closed down? In that case, the home owner would be left with 2 options, either to find a similar technology from a competitor, which will require a complete re-installation of the entire system including the controllers, touchscreens … etc. Or the home owner can revert back to the standard lighting system that is not a "Smart Home", but in order to do that, the entire house would have to be rewired; a project that would take weeks rendering the house in an un-livable condition until competition, not to forget the cost of having to run such a project potentially leading to loss on the Investment made on the Smart Home system to begin with.

Let us look at the same scenario from the Z-Wave system's perspective. A Z-Wave system only requires replacement of a wall switch with a Z-Wave enabled wall switch on a standard electrical wiring system. So in the event that a Z-Wave light switch fails, only one lighting circuit (ceiling light) would be affected. Further to that, what would be required is a simple replacement of the light switch. Considering an even worse case scenario, where a Z-Wave light switch fails after 5 years and the company which provides these light switches had closed down and the home owner would be left with no choice but to revert back to the standard none "Smart Home "system or wait a week's time to order a replacement. In such a case, all that is required is to replace the failed Z-Wave light switch with a single standard wall switch, no re-wiring nor complex installation is required and any electrician can do the job. The home owner can probably do it himself / herself! It is important to note that in such a worst case scenario, the situation can be relieved with ease and with the services of any available electrician who does not necessarily know anything about Smart Homes. Whereas MODBUS or CBUS would require a professional trained on those wired systems to handle much more complex work, impacting time, and cost for any kind of maintenance, be it major or minor.

The Components of a Scaffold Tower

The components of a scaffolding tower kit are all critical. A scaffolding tower can be built now in a short amount of time without complex directions and a lot of manpower. The components of the new scaffolding towers have been very well thought through. They are not rigid in use, the cost is low, and the process now is much easier. This has the desirable effect of employees spending more time working on the actual project or painting the wall rather than trying to put together the scaffolding.

All scaffold sets are different, and some companies will even build a custom set for you. Most systems will feature the following components:

Guard Rail

Many companies have further improved the safety aspects of assembling a scaffold tower by introducing cutting edge guardrail systems. This new guardrail system can be inserted quite simply from the level below whilst assembling the tower which significantly reduces the chances of a fall whilst the tower is being assembled.

Toe Board

Sitting around the edge of the top platform the tow board prevents you stepping off the platform by accident. Without needing to look down you will know when you have reached the edge of the platform. Although if the tower has been assemble correctly and the guardrail is in place there should be no chance of you slipping off, the toe board will stop you leg disappearing between the guardrail and platform.

Ladder Frame

The ladder frame is actually part of the 2-rung frame below. With traditional scaffold systems the ladder would have been a separate component that was fixed on to the scaffolding. These newer tower have the ladders built in though which means it’s safer as there is no temporary fixing point, and you are less likely to lose the ladder.

Platform & Trap

At the very top of the tower is the platform, this is where you work from. It should also have a trap in it and this is where you enter on to the platform from below.

2-Rung Frame

Part of the main tower structure – this frame slots together so that if you were looking at the tower from the front you have two giant ladders on the left and right. The horizontal and diagonal braces then join these two ‘giant’ ladders together.

Horizontal Brace

Used to attach the left and right sides of the towers together (see 2-Rung Frame)

Diagonal Brace

Used to attach the left and right sides of the towers together and to prevent the tower from swaying left to right. (see 2-Rung Frame)

Adjustable Leg

To allow for uneven grounds – most scaffold towers have adjustable legs on them.

Castor

On the end of the adjustable legs are castors with brakes. The castors allow a reasonably high tower to be wheeled along the ground, so if for example you are painting a house it is very easy to work along the full length of the house with a relatively narrow platform. With traditional scaffolding a tower would have been made that spanned the entire length of the house as it would have been impossible to move once constructed.

Horse Racing Betting Speed Angle and Tips

Think you can’t use speed handicapping to find a good bet? Think again. There are still some good handicapping angles that involve speed. Of course there’s no substitute for good, thorough handicapping, but scanning the past performances and finding some good angles or spot plays, is one way to find good bets if you don’t have much time or you don’t feel like working for hours to handicap the races.

The simplest angle, of course, is to find a race with a horse that has back speed and is coming back from a layoff. These horses often don’t look good because their first two races after a layoff are for conditioning. They may fade badly or fail to engage the leaders of the races they were just in and therefore, they look like they can’t compete. Don’t be fooled by these types of horses.

There are times when the trainer knows his or her horse isn’t ready to compete. The jockey is instructed to just give the horse some air. That’s trainer speak for exercising the horse without pushing for the win. Most jockeys go along with that because they realize the horse needs the exercise in order to get into shape and a few races just for exercise will produce a horse that is sharp and ready to win. Unlike many handicappers who think only for the day and the present, trainers and jockeys have to think long term and map out a campaign for a horse.

Therefore, if the trainer is competent (I like to see a win average above 15%) and the jockey is a winner (a win average of at least 10%) and the horse has the fastest time at the distance or is one of the top three, then it may be worth a bet unless the competition is too strong. Naturally the larger the field the more chances there are that the horse will be beaten.

A good tip is to look such a horse over in the paddock and in the post parade. If it has a grass belly or seems dull and flat, pass it by. If the jockey doesn’t seem focused and ready it also probably means he isn’t going for the win. Check out the rider’s body language. One of the worst signs is a rider whose feet are out of the stirrups during the walk to the starting gate. The only time the jockey should be riding that way is if the horse is fractious and he or she may have to dismount quickly.

Find a sharp looking speed horse under the above conditions and you may have a good bet.

Decorative Table Lamps

When it comes to choosing the right kind of lamp for decorating the house it is wise to consider some of the things necessary in getting the best kinds that will suit your need. Lamps are not only meant for lighting a room but are also meant for your home interior decoration. Nice looking table lamps give your house a very nice look if well selected and placed in an organized manner inside the house. They are also meant to color a room’s atmosphere. Dull table lamps illustrate a dull room mood while a bright table lamp expresses a bright room atmosphere.

First, one must consider the room that the lamp is going to be put in. Decide whether it is the bedroom, the living room or any other room in the house. Also, one must clearly understand the function of the room that the lamp is going to be placed in. The colors of the room also matter a lot in choosing the right style. With checking all these factors one has to see that the following steps are followed. The first thing is that you must know where to position the lamp in the house. Certain positions in the house require different lamp styles.

The purpose of lighting the house must be clearly known. Make sure you identify clearly the needs of the lamp because in an example of one for reading you need to get the correct lamp for reading. The brightness and dullness of it matters a lot depending on the purpose that the lamp is intended to meet.

A lamp must also fit the mood of a room and the environment. Each room must have a different from the others depending on the use of the room. A bedroom table lamp cannot be the same as an office table lamp. The colors of the two lamps must differ because one is meant for a cool sleeping mood while the other is meant for a bright office. A bedroom lamp should bear colors that will make a person feel relaxed and hence be able to unwind.

Always remember when buying decorative table lamps that the lamp bases and the shades are proportional. A lamp that fits the furniture of the house is the best, and make sure that when seated you don’t see the light bulb by setting the lamp shade at eye level. Make sure that the lamp is proportional to the table that it is placed on. For a short table a taller table lamp is required thus choosing a short table lamp for a tall table.

The last thing to consider when buying decorative lamps is the durability of it. A long lasting lamp made of high quality raw materials is the best in terms of saving money.

For good table lamps considering the above factors will make a home owner get the best type of a lamp that will make the house look more pleasant to all living in or visiting the home.

Faux Finish Concrete Staining

Are you tired of looking at plain dull concrete around your home? Have you seen beautifully colored concrete and wondered how it’s done? It’s not difficult and can be done by the average do-it-yourselfer.

Concrete staining is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to decorate new and existing concrete surfaces. Staining can transform your concrete surface into a stunning and unique masterpiece with little cost compared to other decorative methods such as stamping. Concrete staining is excellent for patios, porches, driveways and even interior floors like kitchens and basements.

The two common types of concrete stains are acid and acrylic. Acid stains are the popular choice; however, some concrete surfaces have too many cosmetic defects for acid staining. Acid stains will actually highlight any defects and variations on the surface. Also, older concrete looses its ability to react with acid stains because the free lime that is needed for the reaction leeches away over time. Although the natural coloring of acid stains cannot be paralleled with other types of concrete stains, the marbled and multihued appearance can be created with acrylic stains using faux finish staining techniques.

There are benefits to faux finish staining with acrylic stains, the biggest being the wide array of colors to choose from. Using acrylic stains, you can incorporate more vibrant colors with endless options for color schemes and patterns. Acid stains are only available in earth tones of browns, blues, and reds. It is feasible to faux finish with both acid and acrylic stains together. Maybe you have your heart set on acid staining but want to add a little zest with some brightly colored acrylic stains. Your choices are only limited by your imagination.

Another advantage of faux finish staining with acrylic stains is having control over the outcome or final appearance. Because acrylic stains are more like dyes, they will help mask cosmetic defects and you know exactly what shades and colors you’ll end up with.

Faux finish staining with acrylic stains allows you total control over the variations and patterns created. With acid staining, aside from choosing the color, you have no control over the variations created by the reactive coloring process. Even though the surface appears to be consistent before staining, it is in fact quite the opposite and acid stains will highlight any inconsistencies. Also, you can never be sure what shades of the chosen color you’re going to get until it’s finished and sealed.

Because faux finish painting has become popular for enhancing interior walls, why not apply similar methods with concrete stains to jazz up a patio or basement floor. You don’t have to settle for boring gray concrete even if it’s been there for years. The techniques used for staining concrete differ somewhat from painting walls because you’re working on a horizontal surface as opposed to a vertical surface, but the concept behind both remains the same.

Home Heating Boiler: Basic Facts

As a home owner, you should be familiar how a home heating boiler works. The system provides hot water or steam for a hydronic baseboard, radiant heat, steam radiator, convectors or tubes through a series of pipes. Your boiler’s power is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU is needed to raise the temperature of 1 lb. of water one degree Fahrenheit at an atmospheric pressure of one. Creating 1 lb. of steam requires 1200 BTUs.

Steam pressure in a boiler is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Low-pressure boilers have a psi of 15 and below. High-pressure boilers have a psi of 100 or more. Boilers produce more heat when steam pressure is high. Horsepower is used to measure the power of small boilers. One boiler horsepower is equivalent to 42,000 BTUs. Boilers generate either standard steam or superheat. A boiler should be proportionate to the size of your home. If the boiler is too big, it will result in high fuel bills while if it is too small; your boiler will provide insufficient heat.

You can choose a natural gas, propane, oil, electric or wood pellets fired boiler heating system. You have many types of boilers and different ways of distributing heat. System home heating boiler makes use of a built-in circulation pump and expansion vessel eliminating the need for a cold water tank. An outdoor wood boiler produces efficient heat in a water reservoir from the outside. The heated water is transferred through underground pipes into your home’s heat exchanger and then to your furnace and heat circulation begins. A combo system heats both space and water and is designed to save energy by not heating both at full capacity.

One thing you should also know is about boiler heat. A standard boiler heat is generated by boiling water and capturing steam in a compressed space. The compressed molecular movement creates high heat known as superheat. You can generate it by raising the steam temperature to above 400 degrees Fahrenheit and increasing psi pressure to above 100 levels.

With boiling systems, you have many options to choose from. If you are to consider an electric combination boiler, there is one manufacturer’s model available in the market branded as a Thermaflow Electric Combination Boiler. With an efficiency rating of 99.4%, this electric boiler is suitable for sealed and underfloor heating systems. Its stainless steel vessel is guaranteed for 25 years, while its ancillary components and expansion vessels are guaranteed for 2 years subject to correct installation and annual service by an accredited contractor installer.

Its key features are minimum installation time involved, low running costs through peak avoidance tariffs and no flues, storage tanks or separate hot water storage required. Radiator can be positioned above the boiler and it can reach maximum temperature within 3 minutes. Hot water taps are done within 5-10 seconds. You will not need a booster pump on power showers. It is 100% safe because there is no chance of carbon monoxide or gas leak. This boiler has a price range of around $3,600.

If you would like a gas fired boiler, you should look for a brand model which has outstanding key features such as a cast aluminum heat exchanger and a venturi mixing body providing high efficiency mix of air and gas. It is designed to operate in low temperature condensing applications. You have an outdoor reset and domestic hot water priority standard with a negative regulated gas valve which precisely delivers gas to the boiler. Its U-Control gives you the power for easy set-up and maintenance and modulates with 5 to 1 turn-down ratio capability. It has a variable speed motor that matches combustion output to heating needs. Lastly, its high grade stainless steel burner features quiet operation, high efficiency and cleaner combustion for low NOx application.

Whatever type of home heating boiler system you have, regular maintenance is necessary for top performance and efficiency. You should inspect your boiler system in accordance with the owner’s manual. Make sure that it is operating at its peak performance particularly during the cold months. Keep the unit always clean and dust free specially the boiler and thermostat. Check the electrical components. Look for damaged wires, rusted pipes, scorch marks and blown fuses. Contact a repairman if you encounter any problem you cannot trouble shoot yourself. Ensure yours and your family’s comfort and safety at all times!

Acting Skills For Star Performers

There was a time when actors were taught to pose in a particular way to depict grief, arch an eyebrow to portray doubt, and shift the weight from here to there to express haughtiness. That sort of thing has no place in the technique of today’s enlightened actor.

The emotional scale is not played by moving from one specific pose to another. An actress like Judith Anderson doesn’t portray grief the same way Audrey Hepburn does. Katharine Cornell-or, for that matter, any actress worthy of the name-does not delineate grief exactly the same way in two different characterizations.

Since different people have different ways of expressing emotion, the actor must develop understanding as well as technical acting tools-for flexibility and control-which will enable him to portray emotion in many molds.

These acting skills are the same for everyone. The end result of their use is individual. Through training, your voice, body and mind can become so flexible and so well controlled that they will automatically obey your commands without conscious effort. Bit by bit, the science underlying the actor’s art will become concrete in concept, defined in detail, and clear in purpose to you.

We are all creatures of the habits and characteristics which influence our personality pattern. Our own personalities are made up of habits, fears, gratifications, inhibitions, complexes, personality mannerisms and traits, etc.-most of which are subconscious.

We all know there are two parts to the mind-the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious is your voluntary mind. Your aware mind. The mind that functions when you’re awake. The subconscious is your involuntary mind. It functions without your knowledge and control when you’re asleep, as well as when you’re awake.

You can use your conscious and subconscious mind as skills of acting to develop, heighten and enhance your own personality by making this mental image. Picture yourself in a sailboat at night, floating on a dark, uncharted ocean. On the prow of the boat, put a searchlight.

The person in the boat is you.

The boat is your conscious mind.

The dark ocean is your subconscious mind.

The beam from the searchlight is your aware-beam.

The size of your sailboat can be compared to the size of your measurable, conscious mind-and the unmeasured ocean to your subconscious mind. The subconscious-ocean conceals many things of which you are not aware. But they are there. Anything you can think of is there-and everything you have ever known is there.

A fraction of all this passes through your aware-beam. Good habit-waves and bad habit-waves. Destructive floating mines and beautiful colored-glass fishing floats.

Let’s say you’ve focused your aware-beam on a live, floating mine (which is just our figure of speech to represent a potentially dangerous fear). As soon as the mine is in your aware-beam, you can cope with it. After focusing your aware-beam on the bad habit, you can use what is called:

THE LAW OF SUBSTITUTION

to correct the bad habit You start by constructing a good habit pattern in the conscious mind. By your conscious perseverance the new “good habit” pattern will be absorbed into the subconscious, replacing the old bad habit.

You can also use the law of substitution in dealing with undesirable personality traits. While fears, bad habits, undesirable personality traits, etc., are within your aware-beam, you may know they’re there-and yet refuse to recognize them. Figuratively, you hold your hand up in front of your eyes, like a blinder, to hide from yourself whatever you don’t want to see.

We will refer to this, figuratively, as a hand-inhibition. It’s up to you to overcome and consciously dispense with your hand-inhibitions and look squarely at what is within the focus of your aware-beam. By using the law of substitution, you can transform your liabilities into assets.

To ring true, a character’s “personality” should be made up of habits, fears, gratifications, inhibitions, complexes, personality mannerisms and traits, etc. These should consciously be built into the character’s subconscious by the actor. Use this technique and acting skills to enhance your ability as an actor.

Benzalkonium Chloride – Solution for Dog Skin Problems

Benzalkonium Chloride has a 99.9% efficiency rate in its treatment. A proprietary registered FDA formula created for the medical industry furnished in skin softeners and conditioners.

Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride (benzalkonium chloride) is a mixture of alkylbenzyl dimethylammonium chlorides of various alkyl chain lengths. This product has three main categories of use and is a nitrogenous cationic surface-acting agent belonging to the quaternary ammonium group. It acts as a biocide, a cationic surfactant and phase transfer agent in the chemical industry.

BC is readily soluble in alcohol and acetone. Dissolution in water is slow, and aqueous solutions are preferred. The reason for this is that they are easier to handle. The color ranges from a clear to a pale yellow and solutions are neutral to slightly alkaline. The constituency is foamy when shaken, has a bitter taste and a faint almond-like odour. This odour is detectable in concentrated solutions.

In treatment for dog skin problems, this ingredient is present in antimicrobial solutions which causes healing to be accelerated as a result of keeping the wound bacteria and infection free. This means the body does not use wasted energy fighting off infection, but instead uses the same energy to replace damaged tissue. Unlike iodine and alcohol products which will dry the skin with extended use, conditioners with benzalkonium chloride maintain correct skin moisture through a healthy PH balance.

Although currently used in human pharmaceuticals such as skin antiseptics and wet wipes, it has been proven to be a very effective ingredient in the animal or pet industry, particularly in the treatment of dog skin problems. These type solutions are used prior to withdrawing blood for Blood Alcohol Content tests and also as a preservative for general safety.

Standard concentrates in the treatment of dog skin problems are manufactured as 50% and 80% w/w solutions, and sold under trade names such as BC50 and BC80.

The sum of ingredients on any product purchased for the treatment of dog skin problems should always be read.

French Country Architecture

Stone floors and walls, ceiling beams of distressed raw wood and timbers, irregular walls of plaster, make up the frame work of a French Country home.

The ambiance of reproductions or new rustic furniture is made up of hand carved adornments, raw wood and curved panels. A room with out an armoire to store clothing, pots and pans, tableware, bedding or bath linens could not be considered a room done in the French Country style. A low sheen or dull waxed finish would be found on a large dinning table whether it is round or rectangle. Occasional or dining chairs would be graced with carved and curved fine points. Chairs would most likely have rush seats and have vertical slats or be ladder-back. Flooring would be rustic and be made up of clay stone or brick and occasionally old wooden planks. This is what gives it the old world charm.

Contrasting color and texture make up the pieces of a typical French Country home interior. Provencal colorful printed fabrics are contrasted against natural seating in light tones. Narrow tall windows are held in place by deeply cut sills. The hot summer sun is kept out by the closing of tastefully painted shutters. Vines growing wildly encircle the doorways and windows. The French countryside, with its beautiful colors inspires the fabrics used in the French country style. Basic stripes, plaids and checks combine well to make up the traditional fabrics found in the modern French home. Vivid orange, greens and lavender combine in the Provencal prints.

The motifs of the traditional French home are comprised of products that would include olives, roosters, grapes, sunflowers, beetles, and lavender. Often the designs are positioned at regular intervals, the design of the borders are wide and in different scale. This is very typical in the textile products, such as curtains and table linens. French Country fabrics are traditionally toile. Single colors such as red, green, black or blue contrast against larger motifs, such as yellow, cream or white which complete the traditional toile fabric. Farm animals, Chinese patterns, and monkeys are some of the themes you’ll find in toile. Toile patterns are typically printed on cotton or linen.

Substantial wire or woven baskets, vibrant tiles and ceramics carved pieces of wood, Chinese pottery, and natural plant like grasses are used to accessorize rooms done in the style of French Country. The walls are adorned in old paintings that are colorful or dark.

Verdant flowers can be found every. Flowers are held in old pitchers, copper pots, baskets, or vases made of clear glass, these are used inside and out. The intent is to bring in the striking textures and colors of the French countryside into the home. The vibrant colors of what ever will grow fill the outside widow boxes. The most popular are lavender and geraniums.

Both muted and colorful pottery decorates the French country table. The tableware is adorned with the usual themes of olives, roosters, and vibrant flowers. Wire baskets, iron candle holders, heavy water pitchers made of pottery and lively table linens are wonderful touches that one should not overlook. Your home is bound to have a magnificent French Country interior and ambiance if you incorporate all, or just a few of the elements revealed in this article.

The Importance Of Stairs In A Scaffolding System

Have you seen a scaffolding system? This is a towering structure that is present in construction sites. This helps construction workers to work safely off the ground especially when they are putting-up buildings with several floor levels. In connection to this, workers transfer from one level to another to complete the design of a building from the lowest part moving to the topmost part. Such movement of the workers is made possible by stairs or staircases in the entire system.

The above-mentioned structure comes in different kinds. Needless to say, they are all composed of platforms on which workers stand when working on a certain floor level or area. All throughout the accomplishment of their tasks, these workers would need to climb up and down the scaffolding system. This is a dangerous activity which can claim the lives of the workers. If you are keen to observe, you will see some workers risking their lives by climbing up and down directly on scaffold poles. Some use workers use improvised ladders which are usually made of scrap woods or metals. They are definitely not safe to use as they may not be able to carry heavy loads.

Moving forward, the use of stairs has been advocated in construction sites to ensure not only safety for the workers but also efficiency and speed as the workers need to accomplish lots of tasks. In fact, certain certification or licensing organizations require stairs as one of the essential scaffolding parts. They have to be built into the structure. This means that they have to be inside the structure unlike the improvised ladders which are found outside the structure. Ideally, stairs have to be mobile. This is because they have to be moved from one position to another. In addition to that, mobile stairs suit almost all kinds of scaffolding structure. These stairs have to be made of sturdy materials – preferably metal in nature like steel and aluminum.

Since stairs require quality materials, certain construction projects still make use of ladders to save money. If you have the same concern in mind, think about this scenario. Use of ladders would need the creation of holes in the middle of the platforms. Why is this so? This is because workers climb ladders vertically and they have to transfer their tools and construction materials through the platform holes for convenience. One drawback of having these holes is that workers may fall into them and suffer from grave injuries. Would not this incident make you spend more than save?

A scaffolding system is created to provide convenience and safety to all construction workers. For this purpose to be realized the entire tower has to be complete with all the parts and these include reliable stairs. Although the latter may be an additional expense on your project, just treat them as valuable forms of investment. They can make your workers accomplish tasks fast in a very safe manner. Therefore, you earn more as your team meets deadlines without risking their lives.

Horse Saddle Rigging

Horse saddle rigging is the term used to describe the process of securing the horse’s saddle to the horse by way of a cinch or girth. This article will provide you with some of the basics of saddle rigging, including an explanation of the various rigging types and positions.

Some rigging is attached directly to the saddle tree (also known as conventional rigging) while other rigging is attached to the saddle skirt (in-skirt rigging).

Conventional rigging advantages

  • May be more durable over the long run
  • It can be easily repaired or replaced if necessary

Disadvantages

  • The rigging is bulkier under the rider’s leg

Advantages of in-skirt rigging

  • Allows the rider closer contact with the horse
  • The cinch doesn’t need to be pulled as tight

Disadvantages

  • Repairs require the entire skirt to be repaired or replaced

Flat plate rigging is a variation of in-skirt rigging that offers the best of both worlds. A flat metal plate is wrapped in layers of leather and riveted to the saddle skirt.

Advantages of flat plate rigging

  • There’s less bulk under the rider’s leg
  • Allows the stirrups to swing freely
  • Generally more durable than in-skirt rigging without the plate

Disadvantages

  • Repairs require the entire skirt to be repaired or replaced

Another variation to rigging is the option of attaching a saddle with one strap (single rigging) or two straps (double rigging). Single rigging involves the use of a single cinch strap while double rigging utilizes a cinch strap and a flank strap.

There are also multiple rigging positions that need to be considered. With single rigging, the cinch is placed more towards the center of the saddle to prevent the saddle from tipping forward. Below are the different rigging positions along with placement descriptions:

Full Rigging

  • In line with the horn of the saddle
  • You may want to utilize double rigging for this position by adding a flank strap when riding on hilly terrain.

7/8 Inch Rigging

  • In line with the back of the horn
  • You may want to utilize double rigging for this position by adding a flank strap when riding on hilly terrain.
  • 3/4 Inch Rigging
  • Halfway in between the center of the saddle and the full rigging position

5/8 Inch Rigging

  • Halfway in between the center of the saddle and the 3/4 inch position.
  • Center Fire Rigging
  • Middle of the saddle

Some saddles offer three-way rigging that enables you to choose from a 3/4″, 7/8″ or full rigging position.

How do you know what type of rigging to choose?

The proper rigging is determined by the type of activity you plan to perform. Listed below are some basics:

  • Endurance saddles usually offer a 5/8″ or a center fire rigging position with a wider cinch. The more centered rigging ensure the horse’s movements aren’t inhibited on long rides. The wider cinch provides more comfort for the horse and additional stability for the rider.
  • Rancher saddles are often used for a variety of tasks. I would recommend using a double rigging system for the more strenuous tasks.
  • Reining saddles are generally equipped with double rigging but many riders choose not to utilize the flank cinch.
  • Cutting and Roper Saddles are usually used for a more intense purpose than other types of saddles. I would recommend utilizing a conventional full double rigging to guarantee you have that added security needed.
  • Most trail saddles offer three-way rigging. If the trail is hilly, you should consider adding a flank strap to prevent the saddle from tipping.

Enjoy a safe ride!