Exploring The Different Types Of Flooring For Your Home

There are many different types of flooring that you can use for your home. You have many choices when it comes to what you want to put on the floors of your home that range from carpeting to tile. Many people today are looking at hardwood flooring for their homes instead of carpeting.

Take a look at the pros and cons of all types of flooring for your home before you make your choice as to what will work best for you.

Tile Flooring Options

Tile flooring is still a favorite when it comes to options for floors. Tiles come in various sizes, although many people like the large, square tiles that are often called quarry tiles in their homes.

Tile is easy to keep clean as long as you seal the grout. It looks attractive in the home as well. The down side to tile is that it is hard and tends to chip easily if you drop something heavy on the floor. It can also be more difficult to install on your own and you are better off to use a professional for this type of business.

Features of Laminate Floors

Laminate floors are another option when it comes to flooring for the home. This is a seal coated floor that is popular with those who are looking for do it yourself projects as it is relatively easy to install. A sub floor must be put under this type of floor and there is also a padding that goes under the laminate floors. This type of floor comes in a variety of different colors and styles.

Characteristics of Hardwood Flooring

Those who want to have the look of wood around their house can choose hardwood flooring for their home. This is a bit more costly than carpeting, but is easy to maintain. You can clean this type of floor with a dust mop as well as with wood cleaner. You should be careful when installing this type of floor in the kitchen and the bath as water tends to make hardwood warp. Many people will use hardwood in most of the house save for the kitchen and bath where they will install tile or laminate.

Carpeting

Carpeting is still one of the easiest and cheapest ways to cover the floors. A great deal of people like carpeting because it is inexpensive as well as soft on the feet. The down side to carpeting is that it has to be cleaned often and will only last a matter of years. When compared to hardwood, which will last the lifetime of the house, it is actually more costly.

Linoleum

Linoleum is another type of floor that is often found in the kitchen. It is one of the cheapest types of flooring when found in tile form that can be easily installed on your own. There is also one piece linoleum that is usually installed by tile installation companies. The down side to this is that it wears down quickly and will not last a long period of time. Most people today prefer tile flooring to linoleum.

Window Cleaning Ladder Basics

If you are afraid of heights, then window cleaning is the job for you! There is no better way to overcome your fear of heights then being up on a ladder every day. Unfortunately window cleaning does demand ladder work, even if you clean windows with a water fed pole. Although it can be worse, you could be a high rise window cleaner scaling down several stories with ropes or cranes. Unless you clean single story only, you will find yourself on a ladder sooner or later.

For your average residential window cleaner there are some basic size ladders to consider and some methods of maneuvering those ladders that can save you time and energy. I clean two story homes and on occasion three story. So I will be directing my comments for window cleaners who plan to go at least two and possibly three stories.

There are a few size ladders out there. I personally own a sixteen foot and a twenty four foot ladder, plus a step ladder. When I first started window cleaning I owned a twenty eight foot ladder, which is as large as I would recommend for a single person. Anything over twenty eight should really be handled by two people. A twenty eight is not light to maneuver with and use, but it will certainly build muscle. The twenty eight is necessary if you are considering three stories and will really be pushing the limits for the third story.

The twenty four foot is perfect if you only plan to clean two stories, and you will rarely find any challenges for reaching second story windows. The twenty four is also about twenty five pounds lighter than the twenty eight. I love how light the twenty four is, but sometimes I wish I still had a twenty eight for those tough windows that are just a little too high, taking me out of my comfort zone to clean them. If you are new to windows I highly recommend getting the twenty eight even though it is heavier. You do not want to have your twenty four fully extended with you standing on the top two rungs reaching for the top of the window trying to clean, squeegee and detail the window on a hot windy day. Talk about scary, it’s scary enough with the right size ladder when you first start out, just reaching for your washing wand and squeegee not wanting to let go of the ladder.

Now the reason I don’t have the twenty four and a twenty eight is my rack only holds two ladders and I also own a sixteen foot ladder. This ladder is so light it’s like heaven when you only have to use it. I wield it around with one arm. The sixteen is the ladder you will take inside the home most of the time for those vaulted ceilings with second story windows. Although, sometimes you have to take in the twenty four, which is better then taking in a twenty eight. Also the sixteen is sometimes just the right size on certain situations on the outside, where the twenty four is to tall.

The last ladder is the step ladder which is three to four feet tall. This is handy if you don’t use the pole a lot. I like to be right up on the window where I can see everything on the window, that way I don’t miss any spots and it’s also a shorter distance for possible dripping inside the home. I believe the pole method is faster however once you have it down.

When it comes to the larger ladders there is something you must have and that is ladder levelers. Ladder levelers allows you to set the ladder up on uneven terrain. They give you about an extra foot or so to work with. You can buy ladder levelers and attach them to the ladder or buy a ladder with them already built in. I don’t think the built in ones are as nice or work as well. I also prefer the ones that have round feet at the bottom as opposed to the square kind. Since we are talking accessories you also want to buy ladder mitts for the tops so you don’t scratch up the walls.

When it come to maneuvering the ladder there is one very important technique that I learned. Once you have your ladder up right, don’t take it back down unless you have too! When you move the ladder to the next window, move it upright. The way to do this is to pull the ladder away from the wall so it’s straight up and down. Then stand up against the side of the ladder with it in front of you. Next place your strong arm straight up without a full extension but close to fully extended and grab the nearest rung. Grab with your other hand the nearest rung that is about waist high. Now with a good grip push straight up in the air so that your strong arm is fully extended and lock your arm. Use your lower arm to help hold and balance the ladder. You can also use your body against the ladder to help balance it. Now simply walk with your ladder to the next window.

This straight arm technique will save you time and energy. Be sure to look at your path above you and in front of you before you lift the ladder and begin walking. You do not want to hit trees, a satellite dish, the house or anything for that matter. This can cause the ladder to fall over and destroy property, thus ruining your day! I recommend practicing with the sixteen first.

How to Use Collections in Home Decorating

Collections are a wonderful window into a person’s personality and are an extension of hospitality. They almost always invite conversation which makes them the perfect way to accessorize a home. We are going to focus on what makes a collection, how to collect, collections for display, and how to arrange collections of smaller items.

A similar element in most great interiors is their collections. Hillwood, the very grand home of Marjorie Merriweather Post in Washington D.C. had its’ interiors designed around the superb collections of Russian porcelain and other objects she acquired during her lifetime. I’m not suggesting that the rest of us have interiors that revolve around museum quality collections, but rather that personal collections belong in anyone’s home.

Collections are what you can decorate a room around. They can provide inspiration in color or theme. In the living room for a seaside retreat in Florida the bowl of seashells on the cocktail table inspired the entire room. There is a comfortable club chair upholstered in a sophisticated seashell motif fabric from which a custom rug got its’ sand dollar inspiration and colors. I then took a piece of this fabric and had a large entrance hall mirror fabricated in real seashells that matched those in the fabric. Interior designers love it when a client has a collection because that is the soul of the home which can provide direction. What a good collection does is make a home real.

In the dictionary, the definition is to gather, assemble and accumulate. Nowhere is there a description to look at a picture from a catalogue and click “purchase”, assembling an entire collection all at once. Take your time to collect what is meaningful to you. This brings life and interest to a collection.

When you are on vacation ignore the touristy trinkets focus on objects that would fit into a collection, bring back a great pair of candlesticks, picture frames, dishes, appropriate artwork, a chair, or some beautiful art glass. This can save you a lot of unnecessary clutter. Collect some shells or stones from a walk along the beach. Look for items that you would display or use in your home. How wonderful is it to have someone ask about the grouping of boxes you have on your table and can tell the tale of stumbling upon a certain in this tiny little shop in Italy, another one was made by your great grandfather, etc.

From early childhood I have collected rocks and seashells. The stones aren’t on display other than a couple of special polished Petoskey stones from where I grew up. The seashell collecting has evolved. It started very small and recently grew to large groups from different locations. I have a large glass vase is filled with shells collected early every morning before work when I was on a design job in Naples, Florida, described above. From there it evolved further in to large groups of certain types of shells from our vacations. I now have a collection of glass jars that house collections of shells. Who knew they would become popular again?

The key to collections is editing. The first is to edit what you are going to collect. Try and steer yourself to items that are attractive and meaningful rather than kitsch or something inherited from a family member that you wouldn’t have selected on your own. Determine what items that you like, have always been drawn to AND would look appropriate in your home. If you live in a very specific period home (Victorian, colonial, mid-century, or other historic property) your collections may revolve around appropriate items for that period. Sometimes the locale such as seaside, tropical, mountains, etc. can inspire you.

Next you edit what you are going to display and where. One particular room or location in your home might be appropriate for a specific collection. A collection of blue and white china would look fabulous arranged and hung on a butter yellow dining room wall. As with any accessorizing in your home remember, a woman never wears every item in her jewelry box at once. Restraint is key. For the collection of blue and white china, what is on the wall only represents a small portion.

One of the most dramatic ways to display a collection is en masse. I once heard a woman describe her beautiful collection of crosses…a few in every room. Yikes, that isn’t a collection it is a statement – one she didn’t want to make. She had seen crosses displayed on a wall in a magazine and that made it “okay” for her to display her collection. Spreading the items throughout her home diminished their importance as a collection and instead displayed her lack of confidence. Group items together. Bold is beautiful. Scattered is whimpy. When the entire collection was hung on a two story entrance stairway wall the effect was stunning.

Wall hung items can make a great collage. Select your wall and measure the dimensions. Mimic this same space on a floor or table top so you can play with your arrangement until you are happy with it. Martha Stewart had a great idea in one of her magazines to lay the items out on a large sheet of paper, trace their shapes and then hang the paper on the wall to check your layout. This allows you to make sure you have the appropriate spacing. Then you can use the paper as a template to hammer or screw in all of your hooks or hangers. Large wall hung collections are a simple way to fix a dull and boring stairway wall. The trick is to limit the amount of space between the items to inches rather than feet and treat the entire group as one large object.

Little cubes or shelves are also a way to hang a small collection of items on a wall. These are available at many mass market retail stores (Target or Ikea) and catalogues (West Elm). In the old days, people used elaborate, often carved wood wall brackets to display valuable china and porcelain pieces or other objects. This traditional approach can be used in either a modern or contemporary interior with new or antique wall brackets. You could use wall brackets for a few special items interspersed into your wall collage of a larger collection. This would work well for a pair of small vases that coordinate with the blue and white china collection mentioned previously.

Tabletop items can be easy. Stones, shells, coral, or other smallish items can be placed in a simple bowl or on a wonderful tray. Larger ones can be placed in a group or on their own depending on size, directly on a table. Groups of small boxes, vases, or candlesticks make a stunning display in the center of a cocktail table. Just remember to think of it as a cityscape or skyline so you allow differing heights of items. Not everything has to line up in terms of size or height but you need to create an order to maintain the balance in the display. Collections of books can also be artfully placed or stacked in groups on a table. The key to modern tabletop displays is simplicity. Create displays that allow for empty spaces too. Do not cover every inch of the tabletop. However, in older homes with period correct interiors this is appropriate.

These are only a few suggestions. It would be impossible to mention every possibility. People collect all kinds of things. The important thing is to create order and dramatic impact in any collection placement whether it is your husband’s model car collection, a child’s fairy collection or even a teenager’s collection of photographs.

Collections are a point of focus, an area to beckon the viewer’s attention. A pleasant way to direct this focus is to allow the area surrounding the collection to remain quite. Sometimes this means blank or empty and other times depending on your collection it just means uncomplicated. The point is when you display a collection nothing else in the immediate area should complete with it for the viewer’s attention. After all the time and effort you put into this collection you want to be certain it has pleasant impact.

A Guide to Construction Essentials: Gantry

If your business is into planning and organising events or engages in construction activities for companies, not only do you need to have adequate and skilled manpower, but you also need to have the right tools, equipment and a good gantry system. Combined together and executed skilfully, they can ensure success of your events and make your clients happy and satisfied. However, these equipment and gantries can be too expensive to buy and maintain. Good news is that you do not need to buy them. Instead, you can simply hire gantries for your events and construction projects. It will help you save lots of money instead of purchasing it!

What is a Gantry?

A gantry is an overhead assembly and serves multiple uses. It is primarily installed to provide protection to workers, pedestrians and the public against construction debris and falling objects from the building or construction site. However, the use of gantry in many applications other than at construction sites has also become popular. Gantries are versatile. They can easily be adapted, customized, adjusted and used in other applications. It can be used to provide an elevated platform for a variety of events of any sizes such as sporting events (e.g. marathon) and corporate events where the objective is to provide a highly visible presence and also to launch promotional campaigns. Gantries come in different sizes and designs, and they can be put up easily at different heights and widths in any locations.

Types of Gantries

There are many types of gantries you could choose from depending on your needs and purpose. Below are some of the more popular ones:

  • Gantry crane. Gantry crane is ideal for heavy-duty and industrial load needs. It is a special type of crane used for heavy-duty lifting. It is the toughest type of crane capable of lifting heavy loads. The gantry crane is commonly used at shipyards or construction sites to lift heavy stuff.
  • Tower gantry. As the name implies, this is a tower structure usually made of stainless steel at both sides which makes it very solid and sturdy. It is perfect for sporting events such as fun runs, cycling, marathons, etc. It can be erected at different heights and weights depending on the purpose of the event.
  • Lightweight gantry. This type of gantry is very light and easy to set-up. It is also affordable and works well for events that have a limited budget. It can also be set-up at different heights and widths, up to a maximum clearance and width of three meters (3m) and six point four (6.4) meters, respectively.

Wood Flooring or Laminate Wood Flooring – This Is the Question

Wood flooring can be a great addition to your home, but it may not be the number one choice of many contractors and building contractor. This article will look at both wood flooring and laminate wood flooring to help you decide.

The main aspects to be considered while installing hardwood floors are the general color tone (dark brown, medium brown, light brown, reddish brown, golden brown, natural or other colors); the wood floor type (solid, engineered or floating); where is the floor going to be installed (above ground level, at ground level or below ground level); what the floor will be placed on (over concrete slab, plywood sub floor, oriented strand board, previous vinyl or wood sub floor) and so on.

There are different styles of wood floorings: parquet, which is a popular series of flooring pieces arranged in a geometric design; plank hardwood flooring, which are linear and wider planks of wood; and strip, which is linear flooring that is not as wide. Engineered wood floors are also categorized as parquet (series of flooring pieces arranged in a geometric design); plank hardwood flooring (linear and wider planks of wood); and strip (linear flooring that is not as wide) styles.

They can also be very stylish in patterns like tile, realistic stones and hardwood visuals. Having originated in Europe, laminate wood floors are becoming a good alternative for hardwood in North America. Compare that to most hardwood trees and you will see the difference.

If you’ve always longed for hardwood floors, you’re in good company. If you only know that you want hardwood floors gracing your home, read this quick and dirty guide so that your head won’t spin when you talk with your contractor. If you want a home that is beautiful, if you want a home that stops people in their tracks when they walk in, then you need to put down exotic hardwood flooring.

Installation

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions during the entire installation and doing it yourself is possible when installing your wood flooring. This means that you will save a pretty penny on installation fees since you can easily do it yourself. Installation guidelines are different for different kinds of wood flooring: radiant-heated sub floors, glue-down flooring, nail- or staple-down flooring, floating flooring, etc.

Just be sure to ask your floor manufacturer for specific installation instructions before you begin. The installation of hard wood flooring on your own has both pros and cons.

Wood floor installation can be done by the supplier and sometime by the manufacture. If you are paying to have your wood flooring installed – here are some questions to be considered: how long the installation will take, if the contractor has a license and the warranties and guarantees. The cost of product – you will see cost ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot, excluding installation costs.

Methods

Nail down, staple down, glue down, and free-float are some of the different installation methods for wood flooring. In case of a plywood sub-floor, any of the installation methods can be chosen but if one has a concrete sub-floor, the nail or staple down method is certainly not recommended.

Laminate Flooring

If you are considering using laminate wood flooring in some or your entire home and are wondering about the difference between laminate and wood, you may get a lot of different opinions. Laminate can be installed over virtually any surface, but wood cannot be installed over some surfaces. Water-resistant glue is recommended by most laminate flooring brands.

Bamboo

Engineered bamboo-this is much like the laminate flooring. The world’s best laminate flooring is available at a number of on-line retailers or your local home improvement stores. One particular choice that is increasing in popularity in North America is laminate flooring.

As with engineered and laminate woods the multi-strip planks are precision cut to make installation easier and faster. These benefits motivate many homeowners to use laminate wood flooring while renovating their homes. Laminate flooring cost less than wood flooring and also involves less installation time as compared to a hardwood floor.

In my opinion, wood flooring is great, but laminate flooring is becoming one of the fastest-growing products in the flooring industry. Today’s laminate floors are created using a photographic image of wood, marble, or tile that is bonded to fiberboard, backed with melamine plastic and coated with aluminum oxide. You may want to check out some samples before you take on your next wood flooring project.

Why Purchase Silver Jewelry

Silver is made of a soft white and brilliant metallic luster that has been valued as a precious metal for most of the jewelry enthusiast. Necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings anklets, brooches and watches are mostly made of sterling silver. Silver Jewelries are the perfect jewelry to complement with any occasion.

In purchasing jewelry, silver is the top choice for most people today. Why? Because of it’s brilliant shine that makes a person stand out. Apart from that, silver jewelries are at the same time pocket affordable without compromising the look and quality of material compared to other metal alloy. Versatility is one of the reason why silver jewelry is the common choice for any range of ages today. It is perfect to complement with any type of clothing, unlike with gold that needs a proper combination and relevant occasion to perfectly suit the jewelry. Silver jewelries can also be combined with any type of gem or semi-precious stone. Silver will always be in style and sure to complement whatever you wear.

Even with simple attire, you can even bring out your beauty with a single piece of silver accessory such as earring, necklace and brooch. An ordinary dress can even become elegant with a single brooch. It can enliven your look and make you stand out among the rest. Another top reason why silver jewelries are the best choice is economic range. Women are the most fond of collecting jewelries, with the different available collection of silver jewelry at a reasonable price today, they can change their silver jewelry more often paired with dressing sense they will love to wear and as per occasion they will be attending.

On the other hand, purchasing silver accessory requires quality care, otherwise, it will not live long. Most of the sterling silver jewelry have a lacquer, a black resinous substance that prevents the production of tarnish, but it will fade over time. Any jewelry that has direct contact with skin will most likely to become tarnish. Eventually, the silver jewelry will appear tarnished if not regularly cleaned. We, as human, produce an oily secretion called sweat gland which produces an oily secretion to our skin that can gradually diminish the lacquer coating of a jewelry and leaves a tarnished appearance. A phosphate free solution or detergent is the best choice for cleaning a certain jewelry made of silver. As the name says, it does not contain phosphate that can cause abrasion or scratches.

Thus, silver jewelries today are the top choice for most of the people especially for those who are jewelry enthusiast not limiting to privilege person in the society. Why not consider adding silver jewelry to your collection today. To completely stand out your fine beauty. Think about purchasing set of silver jewelry which includes earring and necklace as well as bracelet. These can also make great affordable gifts that any woman or man would love!

Fixing Leaking Triumph T140 Rockerbox Spindle O-Rings

Triumph T140 Bonneville rockerbox spindles are prone to leakage, especially on high mileage bikes. Simply replacing the tiny rockerbox O-rings often isn’t enough. Many O-rings on the market are sub-standard in terms of quality. Many are quite simply the wrong size.

Unfortunately, you might need to try a number of O-rings before you find a pair that work. But they are cheap to buy and easy to replace. Fixing them just seems more complicated than it is. Here’s how to do it.

With the engine off and cold, loosen and remove the aluminium inspection covers from the front and rear rockerboxes. Each cover will be secured by six Allen screws. Loosen them just a fraction of a turn to take off the initial load. Now undo the Allen screws incrementally. That helps avoid distortion. Once you’ve turned the Allen screws once of twice, you can relax and remove them quickly.

There should be a paper gasket under each inspection cover. Remove this gasket carefully by scraping and peeling gently. Do not use a hard scraper such as steel. Use a plastic or aluminium scraper of some kind. Loosen the valve adjuster nuts on the rockers. This takes the load off the rocker spindles and the valve gear. Do NOT omit this step. You need only ensure that the rockers are loose. Don’t remove the valve adjuster nuts.

If, however, you see that one of the valves is in the fully open position, gently rotate the engine (using the kick starter) to close the valve. This operation also helps take the load off the rocker gear and the rocker spindle. To facilitate closing a valve, you might prefer to remove the spark plugs to relieve cylinder pressure. The engine will turn over much easier this way.

But how will you know if a valve is open? Simple. Look at the ends of all the valves where they meet the rocker adjusters. If one of the valves is pushed all the way down by the rocker adjuster, it’s open. You might want to turn the engine over a few times to familiarise yourself with the valve movement. It will become clear when you look at it for a while.

Next, you will need a special tool available from good classic Triumph dealers. Cheap to buy (usually a few pounds or dollars), this tool is just a tapered tube about one inch (25mm) long designed to fit snugly over the rocker spindle.

To use it, follow these simple steps. First loosen and remove the right hand dome headed nuts that secure the rockerbox oil feed pipes. There will be one for the front rockerbox, and one for the rear. The pipes are joined at a T junction which is in turn connected to a rubber pipe. Remove the copper washer from under each dome nut. Remove the oil feed pipe. Remove the copper washers behind the rocker oil feed pipe. There should be one on each rocker spindle.

Now temporarily replace the dome headed nuts, but not the copper washers. Save the washers for later reassembly. The idea behind this stage is to get the rockerbox oil feeds out of the way. The dome headed nuts do not need to be fitted tightly. They are replaced only to protect the threads on the end of the rocker box spindles. Wind them on just a couple of turns.

Next, using a hide mallet or rubber mallet, gently tap one of the dome headed nuts. This will drive the rocker spindle across the rocker box from the right side of the engine to the left side. Don’t tap the spindle more than a few millimetres. The idea is to slide it across just enough to expose the O-ring and O-ring groove on the other end of the spindle. Keep tapping gently until you can see the O-ring. Do this on the front and rear rocker boxes. You might have to loosen the dome headed nuts a turn or two to facilitate this. It will be clear when you’re working on it.

Next, take a small tool with a point or hook. Gently lever off the old O-ring from each spindle. They will now be flattened rather than rounded. You can just pull these off and throw them away. Wipe the end of the rocker spindle with a rag and check that nothing is damaged. If the spindle is damaged, it will have to be replaced. If the spindle is in apparently good condition, oil it with some fresh engine oil. Then oil one of the O-rings. Gently roll the O-ring over the end of the spindle and ensure that it’s a snug fit in its groove. Do this with both rocker spindles.

Now you need that special tool mentioned earlier. Oil it on the inside with fresh engine oil and slide it over the O-ring and rocker spindle. Take care not to snag the O-ring. Next, remove the dome headed nut on the end of the spindle and temporarily replace the rocker oil feed. Replace the dome headed nut and gently tighten whilst holding the special tool on the other end of the spindle. The idea is to slowly draw the spindle and the O-ring through the small tapered tube. This helps stop the O-ring from snagging as it’s pulled back into the rocker box.

Do this with both O-rings. Check as best you can that both O-rings are seated. If you cut or damage one, replace and try again. Remember to use plenty of oil. The oil feed pipe is used here purely as a spacer. You’ll see why quickly enough. Some owners try to tap the spindle back through from the left side. You should avoid this. Just use the method above. It’s slower, and more controlled.

Next, anneal the copper washers. There should be four; one to fit behind and one to fit in front of the rocker feed pipe on the right hand side of the engine. To anneal, hold each washer in a naked flame until it’s cherry red, then drop immediately into cold water. Copper can be safely annealed this way. Ferrous metals need to be cooled slowly.

Remove the rocker oil feed pipe and fit a copper washer onto each spindle. Replace the oil feed pipe. Put another copper washer on each feed pipe. Carefully replace the dome headed nuts and tighten. This will pull the rocker spindle even more tightly into the rocker box. Don’t over tighten.

Reset the valve clearances. Eight-thousandths of an inch for the inlet side, and six thousandths of an inch for the exhaust. It’s unusual to have the inlet rocker gap larger than the exhaust, but this is correct for the T140 engine due to its camshaft profiles. Replace the rocker box gaskets. A smear of gasket sealant won’t hurt. Don’t overdo it. Tighten the rocker box inspection covers (incrementally, please).

Check that everything is as it was. Start the engine, ensure that the oil pressure light goes out, inspect for leaks, and ride the bike to warm thoroughly. If, after a period of a few days or weeks, the spindles aren’t leaking, they are probably fixed. But if one or both still leak, you’ll have to try again. It ought to work every time, but it doesn’t. These are old bikes and need a little fussing.

If you have persistent issues here, you can try removing both rocker boxes and stripping completely. Then you might try machining a very small 45-degree bevel (or thereabouts) on the left side of each rocker box where the spindle is drawn in. This bevel can help prevent the O-rings from snagging on reassembly. Just a millimetre or two will suffice.

Always buy the best O-rings you can from a reputable source. Don’t bother trying any form of resin or sealant around the O-rings. It rarely, if ever, works. Remember that the spindles don’t actually spin. Instead, the rockers inside the rockerboxes pivot around the spindle. The object of the exercise is to feed those new O-rings gently into the rocker boxes. Look at the problem in engineering terms. Never force anything in this area. It shouldn’t need it. Just be slow and methodical. If you want to check the spindle housing for wear, start the engine and put a gloved finger against each spindle in turn (left hand side, and then right hand side).

If the spindles are bouncing up and down, or moving at all, they need replacing. Sometimes this movement is clearly visible. If you prefer, you can completely remove each rockerbox and replace the O-rings on the bench. But it isn’t necessary if you first remove the valve/rocker-load and use the special tool with plenty of oil.

The Benefits of Brick Paver Cleaning and Sealing During the Summertime

Now that the Chicago area is well into the summer season, it is a great time to consider applying a brick sealer. Many potential clients ask me why they should consider a paver sealing on their existing brick paver surfaces. Protection is the key word here. For years people have painted the outside of our home for protection. It is equally important to protect your brick pavers with a brick sealer. I have listed the numerous benefits of using a brick paver sealer.

• Brick sealing provides a protective coating over the brick surface. This will help to prevent dirt and stains from penetrating into the paver and make it easier to perform a brick cleaning in the future.

• Paver Sealer provides protection from the suns destructive UV rays. Brick sealing helps to prevent that dull bleached – out look that occurs when pavers have not been protected with a paver sealer.

• Brick Sealing enhances the color of the brick surface. A paver sealer will bring back the bricks beautiful gray, brown, buff and red colors that have dulled over the years.

• Brick paver sealer helps to seal in the joint stabilization sand. This will help to seal out weeds and ants, while also sealing the joint sand in place helping to maintain a more stable walking surface.

Keep in mind that the dog days of summer in Chicago translate to hot dry weather and the best time to apply a brick sealer. It is important for the pavers to be fully dried out before any sealer can be applied. A professionally applied brick sealing will provide long lasting protection from the elements and potential spills while beautifying your existing brick surface for years to come.

Apartment Selection Tips

When you decide to move, apartment selection can be a difficult task. Just how does one go about it properly? There are critical points that renters must bear in mind when they start looking. Let's take a look at some of the key factors that will make your apartment selection a far easier task to endure.

First, in the process of choosing your apartment, you will want to predetermine your monthly budget. If you determine your budget before you begin hunting for an apartment, you will be less apt to waste time viewing apartments that you can not possibly afford. Therefore, with a budget set, you can begin scouting for apartments within your selected price range.

Next, while on the look out for various apartments, if you have children, you will want to review the various school districts. You can research almost any school district and see what a it has to offer your child by visiting the school district's website. Using your preferred search engine, simply search for the district you are considering and submit your search. Review the school's curriculum, the extra curricular activities and the like, to get an idea of ​​how the school operates and what the school will expect from your child. There is no sense in renting an apartment you are not happy with unless you are also satisfied with the school district that your child will attend.

Third, when apartment scouting if you are an adult student or you have a child that will soon make plans to attend college, you may also want to consider checking out the nearby universities. You a may want to find out which are the closest to the apartments you are thinking about renting and you may also want to review the costs of tuition.

If you are looking to move into an apartment and you rely on public transportation to get from place to place, you might want to look into the type of that is readily available near any apartment you are considering. Are there buses that go by or near the apartment? Is there taxi service available? This is particularly important if you rely solely on public modes of transportation to get around.

When looking to rent a new apartment, you will also want to have an in depth discussion with the property owner. Advertisements that announce available apartments may not reveal the whole story when it comes to leasing an apartment because sadly, advertisement space is restricted. Will you be required to pay additional fees for trash removal? What about wate r- is there a fee you will have to pay that is separate from the rent for water usage? Are the utilities included? Can you get cable television access? What about high-speed Internet? All of these questions can be addressed by the property owner and are questions you should not hesitate to ask. Ultimately, your happiness with a location will depend upon what the site has to offer you in the way of services and amenities.

Ceramic Flat Irons – Create a Professional Hairstyle From Home

Professional salons have been using ceramic flat irons for some time now to create beautiful hairstyles for their customers. It is just as easy for you to create a professional look right in your own home and enjoy several different hairstyles every day. Here are a few tips on how to create the looks that are just your own using a ceramic flat iron.

The size of the straightening iron does make a difference. Long or thick hair benefits best from using a 1 ½-inch, 1 ¾-inch, or a 2-inch flat iron surface. Short and medium length hairstyles and fine hair will style easily with a ¾-inch or a 1 ¼-inch ceramic flat iron.

The proper heat setting is also important. You'll use higher heat settings for hair that is coarse, thick, ethnic, curly, or typically unruly. For fine, damaged, or bleached hair, a low heat setting will get the best results without damaging the hair.

For optimal results, shampoo, condition and completely dry your hair before using a ceramic flat iron for styling. If hair is wet, the heat from the flat iron has the potential to cause damage to the hair shaft, or literally fry the hair in areas the heat rests too long. Even though ceramic flat irons distribute heat more evenly than a curling iron, it's important to always keep the ceramic flat iron moving over the hair at a consistent pace.

Blow-drying your hair using a round brush to begin the straightening process produces the best results when hair is then smoothed and styled with a ceramic flat iron. Flat irons are amazingly quick and are ideal for creating your desired style in just minutes, as opposed to using other methods.

First, separate your hair into small sections and put the outer layers up on top of your head to keep them out of the way. Beginning with the bottom layers, use the ceramic flat iron to straighten sections at a time. Gradually let more hair down as you go, and you'll quickly have the look you want. It's not necessary to pass the straightening iron over your hair more tan once or twice to get the desired effect. Potential hair damage is lessened with this technique as well.

To create what is called a sleek flip style, straighten your hair first using the ceramic flat iron and then take the ends of your hair and flip them in toward your face, or out toward your shoulders and back to create a stylish look that compliments just about anyone. The casual look is simple and easy to achieve using a straightening iron, but gives you dramatic results. Straighten your hair as outlined above first. Then, pull your hair into a ponytail, leaving a bit around your face. Using the flat iron, style the hair toward your face.

A straightening iron is essential in every woman's beauty kit. These flat irons heat up quickly, usually in less than a minute, and are ideal for creating poker straight hairstyles. What woman can not use more time in her day? Ceramic flat irons give women the ability to look fantastic going out the door without having to spend much time getting that professional look.

What Do You Look for in an Off-Road Helmet?

What to Look for in an Off- Road Helmet

Off-road and Motocross helmets provide unique features usually not found in standard motorcycle helmets. The main advantages being optimized ventilation (nose / mouth / sides / top) and a flip-up visor that also serves as a face shield. The three types of safety helmets are Full-Face, Open-Face, and Off-road / Motocross. To determine which style is best for you, consider the following:

  • Full Faced helmets, safety helmets come with integrated face shields and an extended molding for additional protection for your chin and mouth. These types of safety helmets provide excellent protection.
  • Open-Face helmets provide the least protection and do not have the extended molding to guard the chin and mouth area. They do have a chin strap that basically keeps the helmet on your head.
  • Off-Road / Motocross helmets are recommended for those who ride their ATVs aggressively. These safety helmets cover most of your face and have a solid piece of molding jutting out over your chin and jaw for optimal protection, and a flip-up visor / face-shield. Although Full both-Face and Off-Road safety helmets both provide excellent protection, Off-Road helmets are uniquely designed for rigorous Off-Road riding.

Make sure it is comfortable. The things that will have the most effect on a safety helmet's comfort are plenty of padding, a good seal around the ears without touching the ears, a neck roll that rests against the back of your head and neck, and no inside protrusions.

Make sure it is DOT and / or Snell certified. Snell certified helmets meet stricter standards. Wearing a helmet that meets the US Department of Transportation (DOT) standards is the law in many states – and for good reason. Helmets save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), helmets have a 35% effectiveness rate in preventing fatalities. In 2003, for example, helmet use was credited with saving 1,158 lives. Had these fortunate riders not used a helmet, the fatality rate would have risen from 3,661 to 4,819, more than a third higher.

The more EPS (Expanded PolyStyrene) liner inside the helmet the better since it absorbs the force of an impact. Some helmets just use the minimum EPS required while others line the entire shell with it. If your safety helmet includes a chin-bar the EPS should extend there also.

Face-shields should meet VESC-8 or ANSI Z-87 standards. The most important face-shield features are:

  • Easy to open
  • It should stay up when raised
  • It should not distort your view (make straight lines appear curvy) or block your peripheral vision

The Pitfalls of Installing a New Roof Over an Old One

Roofing replacement comes at a significant cost. Once you calculate the cost of tear down and waste disposal combined with the labour and materials involved in installation, even the cheapest options is likely to cost several thousand dollars. As a cost saving effort, many home owners choose to have their new roof installed over the existing one rather than pay extra for removal. Indeed, this is a common practice among many roofing contractors, but there are several well-documented problems with this type of installation.

Leaks are not Always Corrected

Areas of your roof that have had leaks may not be fixed properly. For most homeowners, roofing replacement is a last resort necessitated by the fact that their current roof does not provide adequate protection. This often means there are leaks, possibly rotting materials, and other problems. When a new roof is installed over a damaged roof, the source of leaks and other damage may not always be corrected and these problems may continue.

Wood Rot will Worsen

Rotten materials will only continue to rot and may even affect the integrity of your new roof. Especially when wood is rotting under asphalt and other materials, these areas are not easily identified unless the existing roof is removed. A lay-over installation further covers rot without adequately correcting the problem. This may lead to more serious structural problems with your roof.

Overlooking Eaves, Rakes and Valleys

During a new installation, the eaves, rakes, and valleys of your home are subject to damage from inclement weather. For example, eaves may be damaged from ice dams, snow build up, and regular freezing and thawing of materials on your roof. These parts should be properly inspected and replaced if they are damaged, and this kind of damage is not always recognized with a lay-over installation.

Moreover, unless your existing roof is removed, there is no way to ensure that the ice and water barrier around the perimeter of your roof and in roof valleys is functioning properly. In fact, this 3 food wide section of your roof is generally replaced during new installation, though this is not the case with a layover roof. Ultimately, certain elements will be outdated and may not function properly with lay-over installation.

Roof Loads become Unbearable

While many building structures can bear the weight of one or even two lay-over roof installations, eventually the weight of the roof may not be supported – especially in older homes. If you eventually decide that a lay-over roof is your best option, you'll have to be sure to discuss the load capacity of roofing structures with your contractor.

Sacrificing Life Expectancy

Perhaps the most compelling reason not to install a new roof over an old one is the life expectancy. Any honest contractor will tell you that lay-over roofs have a reduced life expectancy by as much as 25%. New installations may be more expensive in the outset, but when you consider the life time of your roof, they may actually save you money over time.

Google Keyword Tool

In this article I am going to take a look at the Google keyword tool, which is one of many keyword tool programs that use to find your keywords.

What Google Keyword Tool does is pick up different keyword phrases that people commonly search for. It will do it on a global basis. There are global monthly searches, local monthly searches, and it also shows the search trends. It shows the number of times people have typed in a specific keyword phrase in Google's Search Engines. It has nothing to do with Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engines. These will provide good guidelines as to what people are looking for.

Remember this tool really is put together for people to use for Google AdWords, which is Google's pay per click service. This is set up to show how much competition there is for particular keyword phrases so you know whether or not if you want to use them and how much you would have to pay to use them.

There are many other features you can use on this page. I do not think that it is necessary for you to know all of these things, but if you want to learn more about these features then you can go over to the help link and you can look at all of the different features. You can read about these things as much as you want and refine what you are doing with keywords. Most of what is going to determine what your keywords is what your business is about. There may not be many people searching for the keyword phrases you choose, but if they focus in and target your business really well then you are going to want to use them. If there are small numbers of people looking for the keyword phrases that you use, then there is a greater chance that they will find you and hopefully be interested in buying your product.

Using Google Keyword Search is just a general guide, but it is very helpful. There are other websites and programs you can use to do similar research. You do not want to be concerned with finding the perfect keywords. You can spend a lot of time doing this and it might not be the best use of your time. Some people and companies take this process to a real extreme but I think that it is more important to make sure that your keywords describe your business accurately, than to get the most popular keywords.

What you are concerned with is turning traffic into business. You can use keywords that are used in a lot of searches, but if they do not focus in on what your business is then you get traffic to your website but they are not people who are interested in your product. By getting a smaller number of people to your website using more targeted keywords you will have a much better chance of converting them into a paying customer since they will probably be more interested in your product.

A Career As An Electronics Engineer

Electronics is a career chosen by many graduates and school leavers as with the growth of high technology industries and the need for constantly updated technology employment opportunities can be more common than in other engineering disciplines and provide challenging and rewarding careers.

Electronics engineering can cover a broad range of activities and job roles but is primarily involved in the design, development, construction and maintenance of electronic circuits and systems. Electronics engineers can be employed in a wide range of manufacturing companies and also in consultancies and service companies, academic and research organisations.

There are different levels involved in working in electronics and different entry requirements. At the lower end a more 'hands on' role is required such as assembly of circuit boards, testing and repair. Sometimes school leavers will be recruited as apprentices or college leavers with HND, NVQ or City and Guilds. Starting a career at this level can lead to opportunities for employer sponsored further study and opportunities for career progression and training. Many engineers will be graduates, a lot of these will hold Masters degrees or a PhD if they are specialising in a particular field. Graduates will often complete work experience as part of their study and commence their career in a graduate trainee position, often for the first year, while they learn about the company, their products and transferring their skills from an academic to an industrial environment. Many people commencing courses will have a keen interest in electronics gained from personal interests, will enjoy problem solving, will be innovative, inquisitive, able to work to tight and demanding schedules, sometimes working long and unsociable hours and enjoy working as a team member.

Although duties can vary depending on the employer, the products and systems worked on, typically electronics engineers will be working on the development of new or improving existing products. Often working as part of a team, sometimes involving other disciplines of engineers such as electrical, mechanical, software and hardware engineers. Sometimes they will be dealing directly with customers, both internal and external, identifying their requirements and proposing and developing appropriate solutions. Electronics engineers can often be found working on defined projects to strict time scales, this will include the initial brief for a concept, writing specifications, selecting appropriate materials, preparing and testing theories, design and build of prototypes, constantly reviewing and updated designs and processes to meet requirements for costs and functionality, design and development and taking these designs to manufacture and implementation.

Career opportunities for talented and innovative electronics engineers can be far better than in many other areas of engineering. With the ever-increasing pace of technical developments, companies are keen to recruit and retain the best engineers to take their companies forward by developing the best products. Engineers who can prove their ability to lead projects can often move into management roles with opportunities to obtain Chartered Engineer status. Many experienced engineers will work freelance, working on short-term projects and contracts with higher earnings but without job security or setting up their own company to provide either consultancy services or to develop and manufacture their own products.

The Paradoxical World of Spiritual Enlightenment: We Are Nothing But We Are Everything

When we wake up to who we are, something happens. We stop identifying with our egoic selves because we realize they are impermanent and only that which is permanent can be who we are.

We are not our bodies, we are not our memories, we are not our thoughts, we are not our feelings … We are not any of these things, so we stop identifying with them. What happens is that detachment develops. An aloofness or distancing from everything that occurs. We wake up to the fact that life is an extended dream and a relaxation is able to set in. It's a sense of calm or a feeling that 'all is well.'

We lose our identity with our lives, thoughts and feelings, so we witness them but we do not engage with them. We notice them, but we do not create stories with them. Since we do not create the stories that go along with these experiences called life, we become very quiet inside and we are able to merely watch as life occurs.

Now the fear I often hear people express is: "But, Dr. Puff, will not we stop caring for other people? Will not we become so indifferent that we'll stop caring for anyone or anything and do nothing? Will we basically just sit back and be so aloof that we do not do anything for anyone ever? Will a form of intense selfishness set in? "

None of this will happen. Post why? We will also realize that everything we experience and see, from the farthest galaxies to our neighbors next door, are a part of the dream. They are a part of us because without us, nothing would exist. Unless we are, nothing is. So, because we are, everything is. Thus, everything is who we are.

We are everything that is permanent. Out of this permanence, everything can flow. What naturally arises from the sense that we are everything is a deep compassion and love for everything and everyone. Simultaneously, a sense of distance or detachment is also present.

It's paradoxical, yet life is paradoxical in the sense that the only thing that is, is our awareness of what is. Without this awareness, nothing could be. In the same sense, everything is because we are. We are absolutely nothing that we think we are or that we define ourselves according to: we are not our egos or ourselves. Yet, out of that nothingness, everything is. We are nothing. We are everything. Ultimately, we just are.

So we develop a witness to what flows out of that pure beingness. In that pure beingness, what spontaneously flows is an understanding that everything is because we are. There develops spontaneously a deep compassion for everything and everyone. We even witness that compassion which spontaneously flows from our awareness. It just flows. What you'll discover when you do this is that enlightened people are incredibly loving and kind. It's not because they have to be, but just because it spontaneously flows from their awakening, because they realize that everyone is who they are and they are nothing.

They love everything and everyone, but there is no involvement or need to change anything because everything is perfect. There will be great changes that occur, however, and yet everything is perfect. I know it's paradoxical, but life is paradoxical. Even science has proved this about life.

If you ever get a chance to study quantum mechanics, you'll discover that light is a particle and yet it's a wave – this is absolutely paradoxical but it's the truth. Science works in paradoxes because it has discovered that life at its physical level is paradoxical.

At the spiritual level the same holds true. We are absolutely nothing yet we are everything. That is the great understanding. That is the great love. Our lives go back and forth between these two. Love, emptiness, emptiness, love, detachment, compassion, detachment … We are that. When we discover and wake up to who we are, life flows between these two states: Complete utter detachment and complete, utter love.

We wake up to who we are but we understand that we are that which is permanent. The only thing that is permanent is true beingness, without labels. In that pure beingness, there is only witnessing. When that passes and we die, when this dream we call life ends, then we become the non-dual supreme self that we've always been, we always are and we always will be.

Love. Aloofness. Compassion. Detachment. We are that. Totally free yet totally in love. Be that. Wake up to who we are.