Annual Drain Cleaning Can Help You Avoid Backups

The plumbing in your home is like the arteries of your house. You need it to transport water to complete daily tasks. Sinks, tubs, and showers drain massive quantities of water each day. These systems can easily get clogged by hair, soap, food, and grease. Drain cleaning services can unplug the system so you can use your sink, tub, and shower again. However, preventative maintenance can help keep the clogs from occurring.

The fact is that it doesn’t take much to clog up your pipes. Something as small as a cotton swab can back up your system if you’re not careful. In the kitchen, fats, oils, and grease are the biggest culprits. Draining the grease from hamburger meat, into the sink can cause a buildup. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize that the blockage can actually affect the plumbing beyond your kitchen.

Maintenance vs Emergency

Annual drain cleaning maintenance can catch these blockages before they become an emergency. You can schedule the appointment when it’s most convenient. It also gives you the added benefit of being able to shop around for the best rates.

When you have to call a plumber after hours to come fix a problem, you end up paying double the normal rate. An emergency call also causes you to spend time on the phone looking for someone who can be out there quickly and not necessarily when it is most convenient to you.

Why Not Do It Yourself

In an emergency, it is easy to think you can complete the drain cleaning task yourself. There are many over the counter cleaners out there that advertise they break through tough clogs. The truth is that, especially if you have a tough clog like grease, many of those solutions don’t work.

Over the counter remedies are full of caustic chemicals. You risk splashing onto your skin or getting fumes in your eyes if you aren’t careful, but these solvents are not just dangerous to your health. They also have the potential to damage your plumbing. In fact, studies show that some OTC drain cleaning products don’t help with the actual clog. Instead, they damage the pipes around the blockage.

In fact, many of the newer cleaners are gel. That means instead of being easily flushed from your pipes, the chemicals stick to them. It could take weeks for you to remove chemical residue entirely, during which time the chemicals are eating away at the inside of your pipes.

Yes, there are natural remedies that you can attempt. While baking soda and white vinegar may break up the clog, if caught early enough, it may not. There is simply no guarantee that it will work, no matter how much you use.

When you schedule a plumber to maintain your pipes, they are going to use special tools to go into the system. These tools remove any objects that may block the pipe and remove all build-up inside.

A professional should perform drain cleaning maintenance on an annual basis. It will help keep emergencies from arising. You get the added benefit of a professional looking at your plumbing and catching any other potential problems before they become issues.

Build Your Own Affordable, Eco-Friendly House

What is the best way to build a low-cost home that does not harm the planet? Most materials such as concrete and steel are highly processed and transported long distances, making them unaffordable to millions who are in need of housing. These high-tech materials also cause a great deal of harm to the environment. The answer is to utilize locally available, low-impact natural building materials such as earth, stone, straw and small diameter wood. This article explores several methods of using earth and sustainably harvested wood to cut housing costs to rock-bottom prices. And because the techniques are user-friendly, they are ideal for do-it-yourselfers.

Earthbag building: Like other earth building methods, earthbag building is simple to learn and extremely low cost. It has evolved from the military's use of building durable, blast and bullet resistant structures with sandbags for 100 years. Modern-day builders are using the same basic process of filling and stacking bags to build beautiful houses, offices, shops, schools and orphanages. Earthbag buildings are resistant to mold, fire, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, insects and rodents.

Since the main building material is earth, which is often free or very low cost if delivered, structures can be built literally dirt-cheap. No expensive equipment is needed. Most people already have the basic tools around their home – shovels, buckets, garden hose and ladder. The building process is so simple that unskilled workers can learn each step of construction just by watching for a minute. Earthbag building is extremely adaptable and can be used to build almost any shape imaginable, including domes, vaults, roundhouses, or more typical square or rectangular designs.

Small diameter wood: US forests are currently overcrowded and prone to forest fires. Millions of acres are destroyed each year to fires and disease. Gleaning small trees from the forest in a sustainable manner actually improves the health of the forest and reduces forest fires. With an inexpensive firewood permit ($ about 20), anyone can obtain wood for building their home. Most of this wood usually goes up the chimney to heat homes, but it is much more valuable when turned into useful products with a long life. All the wood for a house can be obtained this way at much lower cost than buying dimension lumber from a building supply center.

One option is peeling the bark off and using them in the round for pole frames. Wood in the round is much stronger than sawn lumber and requires less processing. With a portable mill or chainsaw attachment, do-it-yourselfers can also mill their own wood for beams, joists, studs, trusses, purlins, window and door frames, trim, cabinets and furniture. Where I live, builders are culling standing dead trees (sound wood) from the forest so as to avoid the time and effort of seasoning the wood. In addition, using sustainably harvested wood as described here is more aesthetically pleasing than conventional stud walls covered with sheetrock. The beauty of the wood is left exposed, honoring the tree from which it came.

Tamped earth floors: Traditional poured earth floors can last for many centuries, thereby saving a small fortune on wood floor framing and replacement of carpet and linoleum every 15 years. Earth floors look like leather once finished and are extremely beautiful. (They're being used in trendy, custom homes.) However, poured earth floors take a long time to dry, making them impractical in all but hot, dry climates.

Tamped earth floors use less water and dry much faster. These floors can typically be walked on one or two days after installing. The building process involves screening road base or other appropriate soil through 3/8 "mesh. This mix is ​​spread out in 2" layers and tamped level. The process is repeated until the desired height is reached. Material for the top coat is screened again through 1/8 "mesh. The top coat mixture is hand-troweled and burnished, using just enough water to bond well. After the floor has thoroughly dried, seal with several coats of linseed oil thinned with turpentine.

Earthen plaster: The most beautiful wall finish I've ever seen is earth plaster. If you've never seen earth plaster before, you may think of dreary brown walls. Do an Internet search for "earth plaster" and you'll see the amazing results. Because there are many kinds of clay, there's no limit to the range of colors, textures and special effects. One popular method uses mica in the plaster to create sparkling, brilliant walls.

Earthen plaster is the probably the most user-friendly wall finish. In many cultures women, children and the elderly have done the plaster work for centuries using just hands and basic tools. The key to durable earthen plaster is wide roof overhangs of about 36 inches. Keep rain and snow off the walls and it will last a long time, requiring only minor touchup.

These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking about using natural building materials. Thanks to the Internet, now it's very easy to learn about these and other low-cost building methods. Additional articles on the above topics are available for free on the author's websites.

Concrete Coating

Many home improvement projects will require you using a concrete coating. Concrete is used for a wide variety of purposes in building and construction. Concrete is made up of a mixture of different substances such as cement, gravel, sand and other aggregates, mixed with water. Special caution should be taken to prevent the water in the mixture from evaporating because if this happens, gaps and voids may be left behind which can cause the concrete to weaken and create small holes and cracks in the concrete. Further exposure to water and the harsh elements of the weather may erode the concrete, reducing its strength greatly. Concrete coating is beneficial to homeowners and construction workers alike because it protects concrete from such structural problems.

Where should you use concrete coating?

If you have never used a concrete coating before, you may wonder exactly how it works. Concrete coatings are special chemical solutions that create an impenetrable coating, or layer on the concrete preventing the transmission of water molecules while at the same time keeping the structure safe. Concrete coating is typically used in filling the voids left from water drying up in the concrete, strengthening the surface due to a coating effective. Concrete coating is also used on pre-cast concrete used in parking areas, protecting the structural steel body from the effects of water transmission. Salt and other corrosive elements can cause damage to concrete structures, especially in high traffic areas. It can also be used to prevent and reduce damages in such areas.

What are the advantages of using concrete coating?

There are several advantages of using concrete coating. As discussed above, the biggest advantage is providing protection from water transmission. Another advantage is concrete coatings is also an excellent acrylic crack resistant. Concrete coating conveniently adheres to most kinds of construction materials such as block, concrete, polystyrene, SIPs and ICFs. Concrete coatings are available under different brands and two or three coats should be applied depending upon the kind of construction material used and to the extent of which it needs protection.

Where to buy concrete coating products?

Concrete coating products are available at most home improvement material suppliers. However, for larger projects, it’s advisable to directly contact dealers to purchase such products. Products suppliers can be easily located through concrete contractors as well as home building associations. The Internet is also a valuable resource, especially with its multiple websites on such products and applications. The Internet is not only a good source of information on the various concrete coating products and brands available, but also a good way to compare prices. Concrete coating projects are best handled by professional contractors because they have the ability to correctly determine the specific kind of pressure withstood by concrete in a particular construction project.

Electrical Oil Filled Radiators

As we move into winter, for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway, it is time to once again ensure that we have the necessary household appliances that will allow us to keep warm. There are a wide variety of heating options that we can turn to, each with their own particular costs and benefits. As fuel prices continue to rise the more economically we can heat our homes the better off we shall be. Of course, central heating is a great option that can keep us warm and comfortable however the one possible drawback is the expense that we will incur if we have our heating system blasting for months to keep the whole house warm.

One option is to use central heating, if we have it, to provide a base level of warming and then use spot heaters also known as space heaters to warm specific areas. These kinds of mobile heaters can be electrical or gas powered. Within these groups they can be further broken down into groups like convection heaters, halogen lamps and oil filled radiators.

Gas powered fan heaters are one of the most economical options to heat larger spaces or rooms that are less well insulated. However a draw back with this kind of heating appliance is that they release potentially harmful fumes limiting the oxygen supply. This means that users must ensure to keep the room where this kind of household appliance is used, ventilated. This lets the fumes but also the heat escape! Halogen lamps provide instant heat as soon as they are turned on. They do not give off any harmful fumes either. However they are a potential fire hazard with their exposed heating elements that can become extremely hot. Electrical convection heaters are a safer option however some people complain of a drying effect on the air which causes nose and throat issues.

This is where oil filled radiator heaters begin to show their potential. They have no exposed heating elements and do not release gasses into the room. They are powered by electricity rather than oil as the name may suggest. They have no fan and their heat is gently transferred from the radiator to the surround air which provides a pleasant warming feeling. Also they are relatively fuel efficient so hopefully will not generate a huge electricity bill. Negative side of One oil filled radiators That is they 're take LONGER : other than the mobile heating solutions to start to warm the surrounding area Hotels .

Oil filled radiators may not be for everyone but are one of many options to keep your house warm this winter.

Pre-Engineered Metal Buildings 101

Avoid being unaware of a number of all necessary aspects that could lead to a direct downfall of your building project. If you’re in the market for a pre-engineered metal building, you may need help determining the best metal building system for your home or business needs. Here is some useful information on the general basics of metal building systems.

Several years ago, Metal Building Systems became commonly referred to as “Pre-engineered Buildings”. The term is still popular in the building trades today, despite efforts by MBMA members to change the culture. In general, a Metal Building System is defined by MBMA as “a complete integrated set of mutually dependent components and assemblies that form a building. It includes the primary and secondary framing, covering, and accessories, all of which are manufactured to authorize inspection on site prior to assembly or erection”. To be more straightforward, it is a steel frame building that typically consists of the following metal components:

  • Columns
  • Connections
  • Endwall Beams and Columns
  • Flange Braces
  • Frames (including side wall columns)
  • Girts
  • Longitudinal Bracing
  • Purlins
  • Roof Sheeting
  • Screws and Bolts
  • Wall Sheeting
  • Other non-structural parts

When all of these components are assembled, a complete structure is created in the form of a shell. On average, all components are designed, fabricated, and furnished by a single manufacturer based on individual requirements. All parts are directly delivered to the job site and assembled by a structural steel erector or general contractor. Production normally uses field-bolted connections with little or no field welding. Meanwhile, primary components, such as columns, beams, and girders, are typically fabricated from plates, are shop welded and optimized for the specified loading conditions. To conserve material in areas of low stress, webs of beams and columns are normally tapered. While Metal Building Systems with tapered rigid frames are the most common, other types of framing are also in common use: single span self-framing (no frame), multiplespan beam and column frames, trussed column and girders, trussed rigid frames, continuous beam frames, columns with tapered girders, etc.

The reference of Metal Building Systems to Pre-engineered Metal Building was an appropriate name because it described the procurement process in place at that time. In the past, building manufacturers would hired structural engineers to design a series of standard building modules for different wind loading. These modules differ in areas, such as: eave height, building width, and roof slope; and could then be joined to create buildings of practically any length. A purchaser would customarily review the company’s catalog, select a building with a footprint and interior height that most closely matched the requirements, and place the order with the supplier. The manufacturer would then engineer the parts based on the standard design drawings on file and directly ship the building to the owner’s site. The erection of the building would be finalized by a general contractor or by an erector that worked with or for the supplier. This past approach is quite different from the modern process. Today, most manufacturers use proprietary computer programs for design and provide a custom designed order for an entire building (frame, wall, and roof covering) or parts (frame and roof). To provide a complete facility, parts can also be combined with other building materials (masonry, precast concrete, light gauge steel framing and siding, windows, overhead doors, etc.).

The principal advantages to using a Metal Building System type structure includes: low cost and speed of fabrication/erection. Manufacturers that specialize in this work have developed design and fabrication techniques that make them very competitive. There has been the perception that these buildings are inferior to other custom designed structures. This is primarily derived from early industry reliance on a separate building code (MBMA Low Rise Building Systems Manual); which, at one time, encouraged the use of wind and live load pressures that were inferior to those traditionally used. However, recent changes in both the MBMA design guidelines and the traditional codes have brought the two closer together with fewer differences.

DIY Laser Alarm System

With crime on the rise and burglaries becoming more and more common, having a security system in your home is essential. This article is going to explain in a few simple steps how to build a laser alarm system.

The following is a list of necessary equipment
-green or infrared laser module
-6 To 10 small mirrors
-battery powered Siren

The laser alarm system should be installed at a security point such as a doorway or hall.

Step One: Attach the laser module to the bottom of doorway or beginning of hall.

Step Two: Using adhesive attach mirrors to the doorway or hall to create a grid of laser beams.

Step Four: Also using adhesive attach the photocell to the end of the grid of laser beams.

Step Five: Connect the battery powered Siren to the photocell

Step Six: Turn on the laser, carefully line up the mirrors and the photocell.

Step Seven: Once the alarm system has been aligned, test it by breaking the beam the way a burglar would. When the beam breaks, the photocell will activate the siren.

A point to note:

-If You want to make a very visible laser alarm system that will create a visual deterrent for burglars, choose a green laser module. Any intruder into your home will then see security points crisscrossed by an impenetrable grid of laser beams. To catch intruders in the act, use an infrared laser. The beam from an infrared laser is not visible to the naked eye and intruders will not know they have stumbled into your security system until they break a beam and activate the siren.

Here for the Click Laser Modules .

Graffiti Removal Tips

Graffiti is defined as any type of public marking that appear in forms of writing or painting. Creating graffiti on public property like buildings, walls, fences or posters is a punishable crime since it is considered to be vandalism. Spray paint and marker pens are most commonly used to create graffiti. Here are some tips that help you with graffiti removal on your property.

The important aspect to keep in mind while trying to remove graffiti is the type of the surface that is affected. Proper care should be taken during graffiti removal to make sure that the surface does not erode or get damaged. Make sure to erase the paint within 24 hours.

Brick Walls
Use extra strength paint or graffiti remover for brick or concrete walls. The paint probably has worked its way into the holes and pores so use a wire brush to reach in and allow it to stay for 15 minutes before washing it off with a high speed stream of water to forcefully remove it. Using eggshell and oil based paints on painted bricks will give a smoother surface and protect it from future damage. Use thinners and acetone to remove paint and marker ink from wood surfaces. Wipe off the solvent with a clean rag.

Glass and Metal Surfaces
A razor blade can be used to scrape off paint from glass. Use solvent on paint for graffiti removal and wipe off immediately with a clean rag and rinse thoroughly. Be careful with lacquer thinner type solvent on Plexiglas as it can potentially make the surface foggy and smeared. On surfaces like fiberglass, use acetone based solvents but be careful and test it on a small area first as it may dissolve the plastic. On unpainted metal surfaces like iron or steel, any type of solvent can be used. But certain aluminum surfaces can oxidize when they come in contact with strong solvents like lacquer.

If the extent of damage on your property is large then it is cheaper to repaint the whole wall. You can use this opportunity to apply paint resistant coat on your walls and keep it safe from future damage as well. Choose a glossy enamel paint to protect your wall from damage and make sure to keep an extra gallon of paint in case you are a victim again. Always thoroughly clean the surface of any dirt or grease as it may damage the paint that you coat freshly. For effective graffiti removal, use a stain blocker to prevent permanent ink from absorbing paint and spoiling the fresh coat of paint. If the graffiti paint is darker than the wall color, use the stain blocker first to prevent it from seeping through.

Surfaces that are scratched or damaged with sharp objects should be first filled to make a uniform surface and then painted. Replace damaged glass surfaces with foggy surfaces to avoid attracting more attention. Be careful while using solvents during graffiti removal as they are highly flammable and release toxic substances.

Indoor Scaffolding Basics

If your needs require indoor scaffolding then this is the perfect article for you. Indoor scaffolding is defined as scaffolding that is held inside a building or form of shelter. And can be transported to any different location. Scaffolding has a wide variety of different types and sizes. But in this explanation of indoor scaffolding we will focus on just that.

Within the realm of indoor scaffolding there are a few points you should keep in mind. Most but not all scaffolds are rolling scaffolds. These types are used so that you can easily roll it around from place to place as you complete tasks. Of course the rolling scaffolding does need to have locks on the wheels so it is safe for whatever the task at hand requires. This portability works as a great aid to many home workers.

Another kind of indoor scaffolding is one that securely sits on the ground with no independent movement at all. However, it can still be physically picked up by a group of persons and transported to a different location. This sort of scaffolding is not so much favored because of this reason. Not the fact that it can be transported but the fact that it is not easily transported without a great amount of effort.

The next piece of vital information is the different types of platforms. The main and most commonly used platform is the regular work platform. This is the security fashioned, non-movable or adjustable lumber. This is used so that you don’t need to worry about any levers contrary to what you would with an adjustable platform. The adjustable ones are useful when needed to be moved. However, there is a little more work in the setting up of this platform but in the end it is worth it. This is because you may be able to adjust it at a faster rate than it would take you to actually construct a full scaffolding setup. And although you want the job done correctly you don’t want it to take you longer than necessary.

On top of all this, an indoor scaffolding is most definitely mobile whether it does have rollers or not. Whether it’s a roller or has an adjustable platform or not, they are known to be more mobile than outdoor scaffolding. After reading this article you now have a better understanding of indoor scaffolding and can apply your knowledge to the better use of your scaffolding in the future.

How to Make Someone Happy

Everybody's lives could be more fulfilling if everybody would just pay more attention to the needs and happiness of all the people around them. Life could be so much happier and better. It is undeniably true that the most fulfilling feeling in the world is to make others happy. Making others happy will automatically make you feel happier.

Here are some ways to make someone happy:

1. Always say thank you – Thanking someone would always mean so much to anyone. Thanking is a form of showing genuine appreciation. If you want to make someone happy, learn to appreciate that person more. Always learn to recognize and acknowledge someone's efforts and endeavors no matter how little or big are those. Thanking them in every little thing they did will absolutely make them happy because their acts and deeds were actually acknowledged.

2. Show some humor – Another way to make someone happy is to show some humor. Having a sense of humor will always give you a plus factor. Everything would seem to be lighter and easier when you are with someone who is jolly and lively. A person who possesses this trait will ease all worries and burden you are feeling because that person makes everything fun. No matter how bad your day was, being with a person who is cheerful and fun will never fail to make you happy in the end.

3. Lend a helping hand – Lending a helping hand is one of the most helpful and effective ways. Helping someone is the most righteous and the most dignified way of bringing happiness into someone else's life. Nothing brings so much happiness than knowing that there is someone willing to help you, especially in your deepest moments of sadness and need.

Sometimes, people tend to overlook the great meaning of happiness. It does not only come from achieving all your personal desires, but it greatly comes from giving happiness to others. Consider these helpful ways and make someone happy today!

Fabric Cutting Table

Quilting is a wonderful hobby, but can be painful if you do not have the correct tools to work with. In addition to a fabric rotary cutter, cutting board and straight edged ruler, the right fabric cutting table can save time, money and most importantly help the muscles and nerves in your lower back to be straight when you are cutting fabric. Lower back pain can stop a quilter in her tracks and throw off the scheduled work on quilts as well as other tasks around the home.

Some quilters are used to using the table in the kitchen or dining area as a work space. This is only a temporary measure and not good for your back because these are not the most optimal height to allow for ease of cutting and they do not allow your back to be kept straight, reducing the chance of fatigue. Cutting tables, similar to those used by fabric shops, are a wonderful lifetime investment for the quilter.

There are many different fabric cutting tables on the market, the best ones measure three feet high by about five feet in length (36 inches tall by 60 inches long). They are made out of different types of materials ranging from pine, particle board to solid wood or even metal. The best ones will fold up when not in use to save space in your home and have casters on the bottom so they can be moved easily. As with any workspace, the layout is important.

Some of the tables have terrific features such as built in lights or storage for cutting tools. The most important part of investing in a fabric cutting table is to find one that you like and to make sure it fits you well and has the features you require to cut fabric easily. At the very least, a cutting table should hold a piece of fabric 45 inches wide and at least five or six feet in length. It is a good idea to invest in the largest table you can afford and that will also fit into the area you are using for quilting.

Fabric cutting boards are not just for cutting fabric, but they make a great workspace when cutting out patterns from material and laying them out, for example when it is time to put the three layers of the quilt together before basting it. A quilt table allows the space to do this and keeps the quilt at a comfortable height for you to baste or pin it before beginning to machine or hand quilt as desired.

Scrap booking, card making and other crafts are also why people invest in this type of tool for their hobbies. A good fabric cutting table will last for years and save your time, money and energy to make more quilts and other crafts for your friends and family.

Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Fence or Deck Contractor

If you are considering hiring a professional fence contractor or deck contractor, there are few questions you’ll want to ask before getting started. Here are the top five questions to ask your contractor:

1) Ask if a deposit is required – Reputable fence builders and deck builders will never ask a customer for a deposit to begin work. A decent contractor should have the financial ability to purchase materials up front, and the confidence to deliver the final project in order to get paid for the job when completed.

2) Ask about insurance and licenses – Hiring a “handyman” to build a fence or deck may cost a little less up front, but there are several risks involved if they don’t have the proper license or insurance. If somebody gets hurt during construction for example, you may be responsible via your homeowners insurance. Fence builders usually don’t need to get building permits, but deck builders often do – so this will often be a problem for unlicensed deck contractors. Professional fence and deck contractors will always carry adequate insurance and the proper local business licenses.

3) Ask about extra charges – Sometimes you will receive an “estimate” from a fence company or a deck company instead of a “quotation”. Often times a contractor will add extra charges along the way that may or may not be confirmed with the homeowner first. If you have already committed to the project with a particular fence company or deck company, it can be harder to contest any extra charges along the way. Fence and deck projects generally have little or no cost changes along the way, so make sure that you are receiving a price “quotation” in writing that will represent the final bill for the project as described.

4) Ask your deck or fence builder if they use screws or nails – Although most wood fence contractors and wood deck contractors these days are only using screws in their construction, some companies are still using nails! Using nails is faster than screwing, but of course it’s pretty common knowledge these days that nails will fail much soon than screws in the same applications. Proper fence builders and deck builder will never consider using nails. You’ll need to ensure that you are hiring a company that is using only outdoor screws that are approved for use in the material being used (usually pressure treated lumber).

5) Ask about a warranty – A reputable builder should offer a warranty on the workmanship of the finished project. The material warranty, if applicable should also be passed along to the homeowner and will vary in terms and length. The labour warranty should be at least two years to allow for full exposure to all four seasons a couple of times – this will expose any workmanship problems that would need to be addressed. Also consider that a warranty for work performed is only valuable if the company remains in business – a warranty from a very small company is usually worth much less than a warranty from a reputable larger company.

The Basics of Sheet Music

Many of today's young music lovers may not even know what sheet music is, and that's a shame because band music is still one of the most beautiful forms of art available to us. And many of the ones that do know what concert band music or band music is, think that it is some magical pieces of writing that can only be read by accomplished musicians. Nothing further from the truth, sheet music is just a form of transcribing music using musical notes.

First, it was transcribed on parchments, later on paper, and recently by employing the use of computers and computer programs, it is finding its way to those interested in the form of .pdf files. The meaning of the term sheet in sheet music, is so that we can differentiate between this type of writings and standard writings which are considered to be presentations.

Sheet music is also referred to as score. Band music scores or sheet music scores have a wide variety of uses. The most basic definition of sheet music pieces are simply a form of helping musicians to reproduce a specific tune with the greatest accuracy possible, or just a way of recording in writing a tune using musical notes. It is not, as many may think, a way of replacing the performance of a tune.

Some consider these sheet music scores to be a genuine hand from God, as music lovers are able to study various sketches of great works of art, thus having the possibility to follow the creative process that some of the greatest music composers have gone through. And by making such sketches public, musicians can also get feedback from their audience, before putting their final touch on a tune.

Reading these sheet music pieces, requires people to become acquainted with a technique called musical notation. Some of us just can not do it, while others are gifted with an innate ability to virtually read and record music as they hear it, thus creating sheet music pieces in their mind. This is the initial definition for the expression "to play by ear". Like any special abilities, they are rare, only few people being able to do this.

Concert band music normally employs the use of music sheets for playing vast tunes. Because a difficult tune has a lot of information, normal people can not possibly remember all the notes to a tee. They are not only used by classical concert bands, but also by piano players, and even jazz orchestras. However, jazz orchestras only use sheet music pieces that are general, thus leaving space for improvisation.

Taxi Etiquette – The Do’s and Don’ts Guide

First, remember not to run across the street trying to grab a taxi first when you are well aware that there has been someone waiting for that same taxi before you. This calls to mind the scene from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles where both main characters race down the street for the one available cab. You should wait your turn. If the weather is bad, you might want to share with a stranger one of the scarce taxis. When this occurs each of you will pay their own separate share of the fare.

When you are sharing a cab with a friend and are going in identical directions, the first person to get out of the taxi should chip in half of what the full fare will likely be including a tip. They shouldn’t try to play the part of the big spender by whipping out a $5 bill for a $2 ride. The person that is remaining for the rest of the trip should accept the cash. Trying to turn away the money at the last minute, although it seems like it’s a nice thing to do, it creates a feeling that the person is obliged to return the favor at some later date. Since you made an agreement to share the taxi you should both honor it by paying for your fair portion. This recognizes that you were both responsible for the cab and neither one of you was treating the other. If you want to take care of the full fare as a treat for your friend then you should do so before you get into the taxi and before the other person thinks that you will be sharing it. You can simply say “Can I drop you?” This means that regardless of whose location is closer, the other person will be dropped off first and you will be dropped off last and will take care of the full fare at your destination.

If there is a man and a woman taking a taxi together and the man gets to the door before the woman he should open the door for her. Though it is proper courtesy for a woman to get into the taxi or the back of a car first, this can be bent if the woman is wearing a skirt that is long or clothes that are hard to move around in she should get in last so she won’t have to slide all the way across the back seat. As far as directions go the man is usually the one to give them, but if a woman is the one who knows where both are going then she should simply tell the driver directly.

The Taxi Driver: Sometimes you will have a taxi driver that wants to chat with you when you don’t want to. Simply say “I’d rather not talk now.” If they keep rattling on about whatever it is they just have to talk about you can follow up in a more persuasive tone with a “I’m taking this taxi so that I can have some quiet time and relax.” A taxi driver that has his radio on at an uncomfortable level can be asked to turn it quieter, just not off completely. This is basically his place of business and if he likes to here music at his business, so be it. Tip the taxi driver 15-20% unless he doesn’t follow the route you asked. At this point leaving no tip is your only recourse as their is no one to complain to in the moment.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Green Home

Due to the increased levels of global warming it's wise to think of buying a green home. Other than saving the environment, a green home also saves you a lot of money by cutting down on the need of many resources. When buying the home you should consider a number of factors such as:

Flooring materials

As rule of thumb you should buy a home with a floor made from renewable or recycled products. These products should be safe to the environment and people. They should also be installed in an eco-friendly manner without causing harmful gas emissions. Some of the best flooring materials that you should go with are:

Cork: cork is made from stripped tree barks thus leaving trees intact. The good side with it is that it's warm and inviting. To ensure that it lasts for a long time, you should prevent it from coming into contact with water.

Bamboo: bamboo is grass; it's not wood. The good side with it is that it can be easily nailed, stapled, and glued. It can also be made in different patterns. For the floor to last for a long time, you should ensure that the bamboo is premium and it's made from adhesives that do not contain formaldehyde.

Linoleum: linoleum is made from natural raw materials such as renewable wood products, jute, ground limestone, and pine trees. Linoleum floors are stain resistant, biodegradable, and do not absorb water. The floors are also long lasting as can last for up to 40 years.

Building material

It's also important to consider the materials used in constructing the house. The best material to go with is salvaged lumber. This is lumber that has been obtained from older homes that are on the verge of collapsing. Salvaged lumber is great because it's aged to a density and has hardness that you can not find in new lumber.

Solar energy

You should not buy a home that does not have solar energy. In addition to conserving the environment, solar energy also saves you electricity costs.

Energy-efficient products

If you are buying a fully furnished house, you should consider the energy-efficiency of the electronic devices in the house. You should ensure that the microwaves, dryers, washers, refrigerators, iron boxes, and any other appliances are energy efficient. If they are not, you should not buy the house.


Flooring materials, building materials, solar energy, and energy-efficient products are the factors that you should consider when buying a green home. To ensure that you buy a high quality home you should buy it from a legitimate real estate company.

The Danger of Ladders

One of the most used tools is a ladder. Pretty much every home has one. Did you know that more than 20,000 people are killed through ladder related accidents? They can come in different sizes and styles. There is the extension ladder, step ladder, rope ladder, and so on. Although these are common tools to have around the home, what many people don't know is how dangerous these things can be if you aren't careful. This article will talk about some of the safety issues that you should keep in mind whenever you use any type of ladder.

The first thing you need to know is how to use a ladder properly. The proper use of a ladder will depend on the particular ladder that you have. The higher the ladder, the more dangerous it will be since the harder you will fall if something happens to cause you to lose your grip or balance. The most important thing you need to check is the footing of the ladder. It should be placed on a level surface and be stable. Many times people will have their ladder a little bit off balance and think that it will not matter. Just know that a small off balance at the base can cause a huge off balance at the top of the ladder.

The next thing you need to check before using a ladder is that it's leaning against something that is stable. Many people will lean it against things like tree branches or other weak supports. This is dangerous and if you're going to do that, at the very least have someone there to hold the ladder. Another thing that people do wrong is stepping past the "don't step on" rung of the ladder. You can avoid this simply by buying a ladder that is high enough for you to reach what you need to reach.

When in doubt, have someone hold the ladder for you. If you are going to use a ladder by yourself, at the very least have a cell phone near by so you can call for emergency if you happen to fall. Keep these tips in mind the next time you step on a ladder and you will avoid being one of the 20,000 people who die every year.