The Chainsaw – A Formidable Power Tool

The Chainsaw's Many Uses

Chainsaws were initially developed, and are still used today, for the logging industry to cut down giant trees to be used for lumber. As time progressed, chainsaws became lighter, smaller and more efficient. Today's chainsaws come in a variety of sizes and help people from all walks of life accomplish a variety of jobs in a hurry, with minimal effort.

Tree Pruning

Proper pruning of trees and shrubs can increase the beauty of any landscape. Pruning plants, trees and shrubs trains them to grow properly, maintains their healthy growth and enhances the quality of foliage, fruit or flowers that a plant or tree bears, and in some cases is done to purposely restrict their growth. A chainsaw will make this job a lot easier and faster than using other pruning tools.

Firewood

If you own a fireplace or wood burning stove and you live near a source of seasonal logs, you'll save hundreds of dollars per year harvesting your own fire wood instead of purchasing it. Now, you're not only saving money by eliminating the cost of heating oil or gas, but also the cost of wood, the chainsaw will pay for itself in no time.

Carpentry

Due to increasing laws and regulations imposed upon the lumber industry, the price of good quality lumber is at all time highs. If you are a builder or carpenter, you can make your own lumber using a special apparatus, called a "chainsaw lumber maker" attached to the chainsaw bar. This devices allows the user to fashion boards of any length or thickness at a fraction of the cost of purchasing it from a lumber yard.

Fire, Rescue and Emergency Service Work

Rescue workers have to be fast and accurate to ensure success on the job. In some cases, emergency workers must extract victims from tight places or provide additional ventilation for them, this is when a chainsaw comes into play. Specially designed chainsaws have been developed specifically for this purpose. These heavy-duty, compact saws use chains made from particularly hard metal for cutting through a variety of dense substances, they have especially powerful engines as well as other unique features for reducing operator fatigue, etc.

Sculpture

Chainsaw carving is a form of art that started becoming popular in the early 1980's. The sculptor uses a chainsaw as a carving tool to create wood or ice sculptures. Today, there are chainsaw carving contests all around the world. Contestants create amazing works of art with blazing speed compared to using conventional carving tools. Many different types of blades and chains have been developed to facilitate better carving techniques, such as bars with very small "noses" to enable fine detailed carving.

Additional Chainsaw Resources

7 Wonders Board Game Review

There are some games, simple, yet so innovative that the moment they hit the market, become instant hits. 7 Wonders is one of them. With a load of awards already won, let's see what makes this game unique.

Game Overview

7 Wonders is essentially a card game in which each player takes control of one great ancient city: Rhodes. Alexandria, Ephesus, Babylon, Olympia, Halicarnassus or Giza and tries to make it the leading city of the Ancient world. To achieve this goal, players must exploit natural resources, develop commerce relationships with neighbouring cities, advance in technology and raise a powerful army. Moreover players have the opportunity to built a wonder in their city in order to earn more victory points or other bonuses. The wonder is built in 3 stages (except one city which uses 2 stages). The game takes place over 3 Ages through which the relevant card deck is used. In each Age players have the opportunity to develop their cities and build a wonder by playing 6 cards chosen though a drafting system, similar of that used in Magic The Gathering. At the end of the third Age players count their victory points and the player with the most VP is declared the winner.

At the beginning of the game each player is assigned a city randomly (there is also the option of each player choosing the city he / she prefers) as well as the side of the city they will play. Each player board is double-sided (A & B sides) with each side having different requirements and bonuses for each stage of Wonder building. Each city is able to produce a resource, shown in the upper left corner of the board.

At the beginning of each Age, each player receives a hand of 7 cards, dealt randomly, from the corresponding deck. Each Age is made up of 6 game turns. During each turn the players put into play a single card, simultaneously.

A game turn takes place as follows:

1. Choose a card

2. Action

3. Give your hand of cards to the player sitting to your left or right and receive another hand of cards from the player sitting next to you.

All cards represent a specific structure and are of the following type:

  • Brown Cards (Raw Materials). These are resource structures. They supply one of more units of wood, clay, stone or ore
  • Gray Cards (Manufactured goods). These are structures that produce manufactured goods: Loom, papyrus and glass.
  • Yellow cards (Commercial structures). These cards may earn coins, produce resources, change commerce rules and sometimes earn victory points.
  • Red cards (Military structures). They represent military structures which grant military power.
  • Blue cards (Civilian structures). These cards award victory points
  • Green cards (Scientific structures). These cards represent technology advancement and score victory points depending on progress in three different scientific fields.
  • Purple cards (Guilds). They earn victory points depending on the number of same-color cards or stages of wonders built by the player or / and his neighbours.

After choosing a card, comes the action phase of the game, in which players can choose between 3 different actions:

  • build the structure they chose in the previous step. Each card has a cost in resources or coins but some resource cards can be played for free. Moreover building specific structures during an Age allows you to build for free some other structrures in the next Age eg if you build the Scriptorium in Age I, you can build for free the Library in Age II. If you do not have enough resources to build a structure you can always trade with your neighbouring cities as long as they produce the resource you are looking for. You must pay 2 coins to get the resource you want (but by building some commerce (yellow) structures you may reduce this cost to 1 coin).
  • build a stage of the wonder by paying the relevant cost (shown on the player board) and using the chosen card as a construction marker
  • discard the chosen card to get 3 coins

After choosing a card and performing an action with it, players give the remaining cards to the left (for Ages I and III) or to the right (for Age II) and the game continues this way until players receive the last 2 cards, in which point, players must choose one card and discard the other. At this point which is the end of an Age, military conflict begins and players battle with their neighbours by comparing the number of shields on their structures (red cards) with each neighbour and gaining a conflict token (positive or negative) for each battle. The game now progresses to the next Age, until all 3 Ages are completed.

Impressions

I admit that when I first played this game a few months ago, I did not find it too impressive. I had to play it again a few more times to appreciate its depth. And it does really have enough depth to keep you wanting to play more and more as soon as you realize that. There is enough room here for a load of different strategies, depending not only on the city you play with also on what strategy other players implement. And that's because trying to eliminate other players strategies is acore element of the game. Most times you will find yourself struggling with important decisions such as "Should I choose this card that suits my strategy or maybe should I block my opponent by using a card he needs for example to build a stage of my wonder?" It's a game of continuous decision making and luck does not play any role. Many times you will go for a one or two-color strategy, especially if you decide to pick green "science" cards but other times you will try to balance between many colors.

The artwork of the game is just awesome, especilally the player boards depicting each of the seven wonders. Cards are simple but efficient in design and tokens (coins and confllict tokens) just fulfill their role.

Lets go through our usual rating system to talk about the aspects of a game that really matter:

Components:

As I said before, aesthetics of the game are in a high level. The box illustration draws attention immediately with a beautiful mix of wonders depicted in the front. Player boards are colorful and illustrate the wonder of the city in elaborate detail. Cards are adequately designed, simple and solid. Coin and conflict tokens could be better if the were of wood or metal (maybe in a deluxe edition ??). Overall 8/10

Gameplay:

The heart of each game !. 7 Wonders really makes miracles here as it keeps wanting for more each time you finish a game. Mechanics are polished and different cities are perfectly balanced. A whole lot of strategies to choose from: you can focus on resource gathering aiming for heavy cost cards in the last Age, balance between production and commerce or even change the rules of commerce. You can choose to ignore military progress or not to or focus on science. But do not forget to always keep an eye on your opponents moves too. Gameplay is fast and is independent of the number of playes as all actions are done simultaneously. 9/10

Learning Curve:

Although the 12-page manual may seem daunting at first, the game is quite simple at its core and pretty easy to remember for future games. After dedicating some time to read the rules once, all will become clear and after a few games you will have mastered all the details. Last page of the manual is very helpful as it contains all essential information about the cards of the game. 7/10

Theme:

Artwork helps a bit here. Structures are depicted on the cards with beautiful pictures and the wonders are very impressively drawn on players boards. However this is not a game of great immersion. The mind focuses a lot on the best strategy to win rather than the theme of the game. 6/10

Replayability:

7 Wonders is at its best here. As soon as you get the grasp of it, you just keep wanting for more. Every game is a different one and there is much space for different strategies testing. Although game rules are pretty simple in their core, the game is complex enough to keep you interested. 9/10

Fun:

The fun factor in 7 wonders stems from it's strategic depth and replayability. It is not a game that will make you laugh and interaction between players is minimal (only commerce and during the military conflict phase). 6/10

Pros:

  • Each game is different
  • There is not a single strategy that will lead to the win. Strategy will always depend on opponents strategy as well.
  • Beautiful artwork
  • 2-sided player boards allow for even more variety in the game
  • Cons:
  • Not much player interaction
  • Little immersion

Overall: 7.5 / 10

More information about the find 7 Wonders board game here: Http://www.boardgamemaniac.com/Games/By-Genre/Strategy-Games/7-Wonders-l10.html

My Life is Like a Country Song

There is no doubt I am a Country Music Fanatic. I love the concept of a country life, plain and simple. Now, in saying My Life is Like a Country Song (to give credit where credit is due, this is a play on Chris Cagel's My Life's Been a Country Song), I do not mean the country song about how the wife has left him , the dog dies, and he has been drinking to no end. I mean the concept of family, good values ​​and simplicity! The front porch swinging, slow paced living kind of song.

When you live in a busy area (like Orange County, CA) you somewhat feel the need to stay busy like all the others. There is a feeling you are missing something if you do not do it all. Whether you are a stay at home mom, with a crowded activity / volunteer schedule, or the high powered executive who needs to close just one more deal, it seems as if we are wearing ourselves out. Personally, the fast paced life can beat me up. Some days I dream of sitting on a wrap around porch, sipping tea, rocking in a swing and staring out at a field of grass. (Of course I would be listening to some old Kenny Rogers and the sound track to Urban Cowboy). I guess I just wish the world would slow down, at least for a day or two.

For most, to slow down we dream of relaxing vacations. We go on vacations with the idea we are going to relax, but come home more exhausted then we left because we crammed in so much on vacation we never had the opportunity to relax. Not to mention the amount of money we spend on vacations that make us feel we need to work more to pay off what we spent! It is like a vicious cycle that never ends.

I keep myself, home, and family organized so I feel a little less crazed in my daily life. There is rarely a time where we are stressing out looking for something. We are efficient as we can be in a busy life. This allows us to have time to hang out and just be. But for some reason, I still feel the need to do more. My brain can be on overdrive, while my surroundings are not. On my lists: write a book, update my website, send out a mailer, work on my presentations, PDF downloads on my website … the list goes on and on. I want to try and squeeze in so much I do not allow myself to have the down time I need. I am always thinking of the next project.

This summer, I am making a vow to allow myself at least one day to just do nothing. Well, not really, I am a mom and that requires full time work, but to really not work on the house or my business. Just to be with my family and just BE! We have Adirondack chairs on our front porch and this summer I will be planting my bum on those while I watch my kids play. I will read, I will relax, and I will know that my work will still be there when I get back to reality. With my organizational skills, having a systems and procedures in place, I know I can allow myself to have the quite happiness I am looking for! Now if only the asphalt street I look out to on my front porch could turn into a field of wild flowers …

How to Find the Best Roofing Contractor

Finding the best roofing contractor who will be in charge of repairing or replacing your roof can be a daunting task, especially if you do not know how to find them. Today, I will be showing you a step-by-step process that you need to follow when looking for the best roofing contractor. This will help you avoid contractors who are not capable of fixing the roof that protects your property. It will also help you save money in the long run, because professionally installed roofs are proven to last twice longer than normal installation.

The first thing that you need to do is to create a list of all the roofing contractors in your area. This list will help you take note of all the services that they are offering, and the price that they will be charging for fixing your roof. Once you have the list of all the contractors, try to find at least five of the best contractors, depending on the services that they are offering.

Although some people would immediately pick the roofing contractor that offers the cheapest service, there are some cases wherein choosing the more expensive is better. There are contractors who are reducing the number of services that they will be doing for free to make their pricing structure more competitive. The reason why you need to have a list of all the roofing contractors is because it will make the task of comparing the services and prices of each contractor much easier.

The next thing that you need to do is to search the Internet to look for reviews and testimonials regarding the contractor that you have chosen. Keep a list of at least three to five roofing contractors, and choose the one that is receiving impressive testimonials and reviews. Searching for reviews and testimonials will help you determine which among the contractors that you have in your list has the capability to provide the best protection for your property.

These are the very simple things that you need to do to find the best roofing contractor. Keep in mind that they are the ones responsible for protecting the frame and the structure of your house, which is why it is very important that you spend some time to find the best. Failure to do these things can lead you to spending more money in the long run, due to the renovation and changes that your property would need.

King Size Bed Sheets

To spruce up your king size bed and to prevent the mattress from being soiled, you need king size bed sheets. These sheets are available in various materials such as cotton, flannel, silk, polyester etc. Cotton king bed sheets are ideal for every day use, whereas occasionally, you might want to move up to silk sheets. Either way, it is advisable to have different types of bedding to recharge and brighten up your bedroom.

Harlow King Sheet Set: This set is made of beautifully designed flat sheets, fitted sheets and two pillow covers. The sheet is made in pure cotton with 400-thread count. The superior quality cotton and close construction of the sheets ensure that they will provide a comfortable night’s sleep. This set is extra soft and durable but are machine washable. The bed sheet set is priced at $180 and is available in two colors, charcoal grey and blue. The design of the bed sheet is simple yet elegant.

Tempest King Sheet Set: Do you want to know what it feels like to be a king? Select this royal golden shade bedding set by Tempest. The bed sheet is made in pure cotton with solid 400-thread count.

This Tempest set is made of a flat sheet, a fitted sheet and two pillow covers in king size and is available for around $220. They will absolutely enhance the beauty of your room with its golden color. and is an absolute must if you want to live in luxury every single night.

Etoile King Sheet Set: These sheets are for those who have an aura of sophistication about them. The bed sheet set contains fitted sheet, two pillow covers, and a flat sheet in beautiful ivory color. The pillow covers and the flat sheet hem contain detailed pin tucks which makes them look absolutely stunning. They are made with 300 thread count pure cotton thread. The bed sheet is suitable for machine wash; hence, you need not worry about its light color. The light color of the bed sheet brightens the room and matches with the bed. The sheet is available for $110.

Pure Beech® Sateen King Sheet Set: Who said you need to spend lots of money for elegant bedding? This beautiful satin king bed sheet set is available for$100. They are made using strong fiber that is regenerated from the Beachwood trees in Europe and hence the bed sheet is eco friendly too. The beautiful melon color of the bed sheet will spice up the room. The fabric is 100% modal with a thread count of 250. No pesticide or toxic material is used in making of these sheets and they are so soft it is much liking sleeping on a cloud (if you have ever done that).

Don’t just buy your bed sheets willy-nilly. You will be sleeping on them every night for years to come, and you definitely want to make sure that you get sheets that fit and will be comfortable.

One of the first things you need to understand is the thread count and how they affect the quality of the sheet. The thread count is the number of threads per square inch. The thread count works in both directions as the sheets are made by crossing threads vertically and horizontally one on top of the other. Usually sheets with a higher thread count feel much more comfortable, but they are also made of thinner sheets so they tend to wear faster. However, a low thread count generally feels scratchy and rough.

Secondly you should understand the different types of fabrics, and you should definitely choose the best you can afford. The most popular sheet fabric is cotton but cotton tends to wrinkle. Flannel is good for those cold, warmer nights. Satin and silk feel smooth and soft. A good idea when choosing which type of fabric to use it to buy pillowcases in various fabric types and sleep on them for a few nights. You will quickly learn which type of fabric you like the best.

Finally, be sure to buy at least 2 sets of sheets that you like. Otherwise you will find yourself having to wash the same set over and over again with no backup. There is nothing like relaxing in the bed and spilling some wine or juice all over the bed right before you go to sleep. If you only bought one pair of sheets, you will be out of luck that night! This brings up one more point – be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for washing your sheets. You don’t want to ruin the sheets you just bought!

Why Do We Need Scholarships?

Some may ask why we even need scholarships at all. They ask what is the point of rewarding some people over others, and allowing them to get an education at a reduced cost, or possibly even a free ride. Scholarships exist to further society and make us a better species overall. It encourages education and higher learning and rewards the most able students for their effort, as to bring about even more positive results.

Companies like to give out scholarships as a form of PR. Giant corporations like Pepsi and Microsoft give out millions of dollars in scholarship money every year. They do this because when they do, they usually get a write-up in the newspapers and blogosphere. They’ll submit a press release letting everyone know who received the award money, how much, and what great people they are. People like to see bright young minds get free money to go to school and they look kindly on the corporations that provide this money. As a long-term investment these companies also realize that if a student has a great mind and ability, they may consider working for the company that gave them the scholarship, making it a win-win situation.

Some foundations exist for the only reason of giving away free money to deserving students. They are required by law to give away all of the money they receive because that’s why they were created. They will usually seek out students that are following the same path as the foundation’s creator, or students whose vision is in line with their mission statement. To get these foundation scholarships one must usually fill out an application that includes an essay.

Some scholarships go to students that exhibit enough financial need. In this instance we need scholarships in order to ensure that the brightest minds get the most education they can, regardless of their circumstances. If only those that could afford to go to college or grad school went, we’d be missing out on the amazing students that come from humble upbringings. Scholarships help level the playing field of education and make anyone’s dream a possibility.

We need scholarships because it helps each new generation become smarter than the one before it. It’s how we evolve our brains. The smartest and wealthiest among us use their money and ability to create scholarship opportunities to the emerging young minds. It’s a way of passing the intellectual torch to the next generation of great thinkers and doers. A world without scholarships would be one with even more disparity between the rich and the poor, more civil uprisings, and a dumbing-down effect on the general population. We need scholarships to balance out these negative effects and give hope to us all.

Tips to Install Ceramic Floor Tile Over Linoleum the Proper Way

One of the best types of flooring for any room in the home is using ceramic floor tile. Many people are installing it by themselves with some basic DIY knowledge. However there are those that need to call a professional for help as they run into troubles at various stages of the project. Here are some tips that will help you deal with them so you can install your floor tiling the right way on your own.

If you have linoleum flooring, you can easily install ceramic tiles on top to save you a bit of money. However with a wooden sub-floor underneath you might just have to remove completely the linoleum and lay the new flooring on top of the subfloor. In case your tiles will be installed over concrete, you can safely to the installation right on top.

First of all you need to remove any trim from around the edge of your floor including the floorboard. You also need to clean the floor properly so you do not get any bumps or rough edges when installing the top layer. If you find rough spots, try to use a good sealant to block any moisture spots, basically places that moisture can get in within the room.

Also before doing the actual installation, make a mock one by simply laying down all the tiles just to see whether you have bought enough to fill the entire flooring. You do not want to get into a situation where you need just a few tiles and this particular type or design is no longer available at the shop.

Also proper ventilation is quite important. Old linoleum might contain traces of asbestos and this is a very dangerous material that can cause you health problems if inhaled. Asbestos is known to cause lung cancer when inhaled over a longer period of time. Good ventilation is also important due to the fact that the glue or adhesive you will be using might be quite flammable and toxic.

Do Not Fall Off A Ladder

The time where everyone starts considering about tidying up their house are during spring and fall. Regardless of if it is windows washing or gutters cleaning, one of the foremost tools which homeowners think of is a ladder.

Although ladders are handy tools, but if you are not practicing the correct ladder safety tips, you might injure yourself. As a matter of fact, based on statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are over 547,000 people being treated in hospital emergency rooms, doctors' offices, clinics and other medical environments during 2004 due to ladder related injuries. The majority of injuries are bruises, cuts, and fractured bones.

Practice these ladder safety tips and in no time, you would be well on your way to finishing your clean-up chores successfully in a safe manner.

Stabilize your ladder

When your ladder is extended, your ladder top should be positioned securely alongside the area you are doing you work. While working on your house roof, ensure that your ladder extends to a minimum of 3 feet beyond your house roof line. Position your ladder base on a strong, level surface and stand on the first rung to verify stability before climbing your ladder.

Maintain your balance

While on your ladder, rest against it and maintain your hips amid the rails. At all times grip onto your ladder with at least one of your hands.

Inspect your ladder

Before every usage examine your ladder for broken locks or rungs. Check to spot whether it is crooked, damaged or broken.

Keep your ladder slip free

Ladders can deployed for several various projects, so ensure your ladder does not contain any grease, oil, paint or other dangers on its rungs and feet. And constantly maintain your ladder clean and dry.

Safe Baby Gates For Stairs

Stairs are very tricky to handle for just about anyone in any place, even for grow ups. Sure enough we have all somehow tripped and slipped a couple times no matter how careful we've been going up and down a familiar staircase. Having an active baby playing around your home will always test your reflexes and how soon you spot potential harm for your child. This is when a baby gate becomes an important needed to be installed for a home with a staircase and very young kids. However, it may be a little daunting to choose the right baby gate for you with so many to types to choose from.

The market offers a lot of different types such as Pressure Mounted, Hardware Mounted and Retractable Gates. Looking at all that may confuse you just a tad bit if you do not know the difference between all of them and what will work best for your home. Generally, pressure mounted gates are not advisable to be installed on staircases as these lack the strength that hardware mounted gates have to prevent a bad fall. They are great for all other parts of the house but hardware mounted gates provide you with maximum protection on staircases.

There is also the matter of choosing a baby gate with the type of material you want it made out of. Permanent mounted gates can be made out of either wood, plastic, metal and durable mesh fabric. They work well as a pet barrier to keep your dogs and cats from all sorts of mischief.

Do remember that this safety gadget is designed to be easy for you to use but a difficult puzzle for a child to figure out. Consider the height of your baby gate for this particular purpose as it will not serve its purpose if your child can easily climb over it or reach over to unlatch the door. Most baby gates are guaranteed safe for children between 2-3 yrs of age. The door latch and its locking mechanism should be child proof because little kids are most especially persistent.

Installing one on both top and bottom of any staircase is a good deterrent because, you would also want to keep a crawling tot from exploring up your staircase. Definitely, babies will not really know how to go down the stairs. If you are eyeing on those baby gates with lock indicators, it is also well worth that extra dollar. A safety gate with an unlocked door latch can just as easily swing open when your child decides to play near it.

The world of baby products goes non stop with its innovations as retractable baby gates have now taken over the market. There have been some misgivings about the installation of retractable baby gate models on top of staircases because of its strength to hold up a person's weight and keep them from falling off. Leading baby gate manufactures, have innovated their products with extra durable mesh fabric to enable them to withstand 220 lbs of pressure. It is important to always check on how efficient the retracting mechanism is with whatever brand of retractable gate you have purchased.

If you are fond of little gizmos and gadgets, you would probably fancy a built-in light motion sensor on your baby gate. Safety 1st Smartlight Stair Gate has included a motion sensor light in its design. The sensor lights up upon approach provides illumination on stairways and as well as the landing. All you need are 4-D batteries to run the motion sensor. You can also switch the night light on and off as you need it. Baby gates are essential in any home. It is an important safety device to protect your child from any harm. This should always be your priority whenever you shop for any baby product and the end all of your decision when choosing a safe baby gate for your stairs.

Why Do You Want to Use RSS Feed?

RSS feed is one of the most interesting technology popping up at almost every website and web based information distribution system. The name stands for Real Simple Syndication.

The one thing that comes to mind to compare it with is a programmed radio station which gives you the benefit of one click or touch to go to your favorite station without having to search for the station all over again and again.

RSS feed does just that but instead of the radio station it is for your website. It simply allows you to access Newsletter, Article, or any other material you subscribed to display on your desktop and you get to choose which one to read or delete. You only go online to look for new information.

There are feeds for every information source on the internet from Articles to Internet Magazines just about everything imaginable has a feed. The RSS reader will display the heading and maybe one or two lines of information that way you can scan through several pages of information within a short period of time.

Unlike subscribing to Newsletter the RSS feed can be turned on and off very easily or simply delete the feed if the quality of the content drops to undesirable level. There is no spam to deal with, no opting out of email list, no reconfirmation of emails, no more deleting tons of emails before you can get to a good one.

It simplifies life cutting down on various information junk that you receive daily. Signing up and dropping the service is relatively easy to do.

Because of this popularity among all internet users the publishers better be on their games with most relevant and worthy news or loose their subscribers to competition. For subscribers this is good news because they will waste less time searching for good and worth while information. The quality of the RSS feeds has greatly improved over the last few years because of the sudden popularity.

All works necessary to get signed up and to start using the feed can be done from the website that is displaying the XML RSS button. Click on the button and follow the instructions they are all very user friendly and simple so anyone can obtain the fees and the reader if desired. But for any reason if you get stuck do not try to figure it out just send an email or call the contact from the contact us

Internet Explorer, Firefox and most other engines offers great help in connection to the feed. For Yahoo subscribers you can easily add the URL of the feed to your “My Yahoo Page”. Firefox have the feed reader build in the bookmark manager, simply click add live feed option in the bookmark. Most other engines offer easy sign up and maintenance including Google, Quikonmex, AOL and the rest.

With all these you can entirely avoid the emailing system and all the good spamming that comes with it. Now that RSS feed is available from broad to tiny relevancy online finding your way is much easier than ever.

Safety Tips for Working on Old Roofs!

Working on roofs is a dangerous job since it involves a significant risk of falling. With old roofs, the risk is several times more serious. The ridge and trusses may have already aged to a point where they are too weak to bear any kind of load, making it a very dangerous place to work. Keep in mind that it is still best to place these kinds of jobs in the hands of a professional roofer. If a repair is really necessary and professional help is not available, the following are some important safety tips to follow.

  • Proper Attire – Proper attire is important when working on an old roof. A hard hat to protect a worker’s head from falling debris and rubber-soled shoes to prevent sipping when walking on steep slopes should be worn. Gloves should also be worn for handling broken shingles.
  • Equip Lightly – A worker should be as light weight as possible so as not to put too much strain on weakened support structures. Working with too much weight could potentially cause the roof to collapse. Only the tools that are necessary for the job should be carried and a worker’s body weight should be considered as well before beginning the job. A worker should never be heavier than what the structure is capable of supporting.
  • Reliable Equipment – Safety greatly depends on the equipment that is being used and any such as ladders, safety lines, or scaffolding should be inspected and tested. Lightweight aluminum equipment should be used to reduce the weight applied to the roof’s support structure. When using apparatus such as ladders and scaffolding, be sure to wear rubber-soled shoes to avoid slipping when at a steep angle. Determine the weight and reach capacity of the equipment before using to ensure that it is appropriate for the job.
  • Support Structures – Before climbing onto the structure, the most important step is to assess the condition of the support structures such as the rafters and the trusses. Old buildings will likely have weak supports that may no longer be able to carry a worker’s weight. In such cases, some type of reinforcement should be installed first before making the climb. If the damage is too extensive and the supports are no longer safe to handle weight, then the job should definitely be left to a professional roofer as the savings from the repair would offset the cost of any medical bills if an accident were to occur.
  • Planks – When climbing, always use a plank or plywood as a platform to equally distribute the weight on the shingles. This will prevent weight from being concentrated in one small spot and reduce the risk of falling in case the roof has already become very weak. This will also prevent further damage to the structure itself.
  • Safety Harness – A very important type of safety equipment that will protect a worker is a safety harness. This harness should be attached to the worker at all times while on the roof performing the repair. The safety harness will stop a fall and prevent serious injury.

Whenever possible, climbing onto an older housetop to make any kind of repairs should be left to professionals, as they are well-equipped and trained for this type of job. These safety tips for working on old roofs should only be used if professional help is not immediately available and immediate action is required. Be careful!

Laminate Flooring Reviews – How to Choose the Right Laminate Flooring For Your Application

Laminate flooring is an attractive and long-wearing alternative to hardwood. Among its many advantages is its durability. When choosing laminate for your home or business, however, the same considerations that apply to carpet, tile or hardwood apply to this type of flooring. You want to make sure that the laminate you choose is appropriate for the space and will stand up to the amount of wear it is expected to get.

      

Laminate Flooring Reviews- Not All Laminate is the Same   

        

When shopping for laminate, there are certain terms and features you should know about. Laminate is rated based on several factors. To determine what kind of laminate will hold up under heavy wear, for example, you need to know its AC rating. This is a measure of its durability. AC stands for Abrasion Class, and is the industry’s standard rating for a laminates floor’s ability to withstand wear.  

      

This will include such factors as stress, impact, burns, heat, stains and scratches. Laminate flooring reviews also consider a product’s water resistance. This indicates how much the inner core swells when exposed to liquids. The resulting rating will help you decide if that particular floor will hold up to heavy use or if it is more appropriate for a low-wear, dry area such as a bedroom.

      

In addition to AC ratings, laminate flooring reviews will include an evaluation of the floor’s quality of construction. If you are installing a laminate floor in the kitchen, for instance, you will want a thick, high-quality laminate that will last over many years of constant foot traffic and scuffing. Some floors even come with the underlayment already attached, making for easier installation. This is an important consideration for do-it-yourselfers. 

      

Laminate Flooring Reviews Help You Find the Right Product For You 

      

Laminate flooring reviews also help you understand how your floor was made. Laminates are constructed in two ways, through direct pressure and high pressure. High pressure floors are more durable because the components have been glued together in a two-step process. They are appropriate for any application, including high wear areas. Also, check for water repellency. Higher quality laminates will have a water-resistant coating to protect the inner core.

      

When it comes to choosing laminate flooring, the bottom line is clear. Finding out which laminate is appropriate for your application will save you time, money and aggravation later on. Laminate flooring reviews help you get the information you need to make an informed decision. Pay attention to the AC rating and type of construction when looking at laminate, and get the flooring that is right for you.

Characteristic Russian Handmade Dolls Known for Their Artistic Style

Handmade dolls are popular for its uniqueness and craft works. Russian handmade dolls reflect the traditions and culture of people living in Russia. These are hand painted and are dressed in the traditional attires of the people of Russia. Russian gifts are known for its artistic look and so are getting popular all over the world. People choose Russian dolls as the traditional gift idea in times of festive occasions. Made of Eco friendly materials, most of the handmade ones originated from Russia. Nesting dolls gained popularity because of its stacked nature. Number of daughter dolls stacked inside each other, the nesting dolls are the symbol of fertility and motherhood.

Every single craft work in the Russian dolls has a meaning with itself. Russians used to gift these in times of weddings as this signifies the continuous family life. Mostly female images are crafted earlier and Russian crafts are finding a considerable change with time and so Russian dolls are crafted with the faces of celebrities and other popular personalities. Russian nesting dolls are made of fine quality wood and the same piece of wood is used for craving the whole set. These dolls also depict the history and tales of ancient Russia and the lifestyle of the Russians. When people look for gifts to present their loved ones, mostly they would choose Russian collections like lacquer boxes, amber jewelry and handmade dolls. Russian lacquer boxes also represent the scenes of historic tales of Russians.

Russian gifts and nesting dolls along with the perfect piece of art work reflecting Russian culture, is an attractive way of home decor. Charming handmade dolls brings the tradition and culture of Russia to your living room. Nesting dolls are also known as Matryoshka dolls as it marks the symbol of motherhood. Handmade dolls are painted with stunning colors and extraordinary designs. The craftsmen create the smallest doll first in such a way that it fits its mother doll. The same way all the other dolls of the whole Matryoshka set is designed. The elegance and the simple nature have brought such fame to Russian nesting dolls around the world.

Earlier Russian handmade dolls are expensive but with years the popularity of Russian gifts made available the dolls at affordable prices. Russian dolls are available in exceptional designs and styles reflecting the traditional Russian art. There are websites which offers Russian handmade dolls for sale online. More than decorative item, Russian dolls are also an excellent gift idea for special occasions. Look for the various stunning designs of handmade dolls to gift your special ones.

Fence Installation For The Home Improvement Challenged

Fences, whether wood, chain-link, plastic or steel are installed for any number of reasons. The primary reason, and most will agree, is for privacy, whereby segregating a section of the yard to keep your business away from public eye. Another reason, but no less important, is to keep children or pets in the confines of your property. Whatever the purpose a well placed fence only enhances the look of your property and adds to the value of the home if you decide to sell at a later date.

Before taking on any major job I've learned to ask myself a few questions. Do I have the confidence to take on the job? Do I have the right tools? Am I physically capable? Do I have to get permission? It's not a knock on yourself to ask for help. I've swallowed my pride a few times, asked for help, and in doing so saved myself a lot of frustration and money.

I suggest you visit or call your local code or permitting office to see whether you have to pull a permit. Once you've determined whether it's okay to build your fence, make sure you're building it on your own property. If you do not know your property measurements, check with the local jurisdiction's department that keeps your tax plat records or hire a surveyor. Mark the corners with flags and show your lines clearly with paint or stakes and string to define your boundaries.

Installing the fence

There are many different material options when it comes to fencing, from wood to metal to plastic. For this example we'll discuss the use of pressure-treated wood since it offers long-term endurance. Do not worry too much about figuring out how much material you'll need. Just take the exact dimensions of your property to the local fencing distributors. They will be able to figure out the cost.

Tools needed:

Air gun nailer (makes the job go quicker unless you're REALLY into swinging a hammer)

Safety glasses

Post hole digger (if you're OK with blisters) or a power auger (Make sure someone instructs you on how to use the tool, and carefully follow all safety precautions. These mechanical beasts do not know the difference between your foot and the ground when they start digging)

Small sledge hammer

Shot line

Type N quick drying cement

Regardless of the type of wood you use, the nails should last as long as the fence, so choose galvanized nails if at all possible.

The number and placement of the posts you use will be determined by the distance of your fence. A good rule of thumb is to space them between 6 to 8 feet apart. Once you've determined post placement, you're ready to dig your holes. The general guideline for setting posts is to place at least one-third of the length of each pole in the ground.

What I like to do is put in my corner posts first and use them as a guide to get all the subsequent posts to line up staright. Set the corner posts where you want them, securing the posts by adding a bag of fast-setting concrete to each hole. Simply add a gallon of water and allow the mixture to set up; it will generally harden in less than an hour. Once a post is placed in the hole, check to see if it's plumb and adjust as necessary. Hold in place by nailing scrap wood to the post to stake it. Once the cement has set tie a piece of shot line between the corner posts as tightly as possible. This is your plumb line for setting up the rest of the posts in straight line.

When placing the top rail, keep in mind that a good typical height is between 58 and 66 inches from the ground. The middle and lower rails should be spaced evenly below. The rail length is determined by measuring from the center of one post to the center point of the next. Use two 10-penny nails to fasten the end of each rail to each post, making sure that all the rails are on the same horizontal plane and the same distance from the ground.

To speed up the building process, make sure all the rails are in position before starting to attach the pickets. Place a picket on the first post, with the bottom approximately 1 inch above the ground. Make sure it's plumb, then nail it in place.

Repeat the process with aa picket on the next post, but only nail it in place with one or two nails. Then add a nail to the top of each picket and run a string between them, placing it a half-inch above the top of the picket. The top of each picket should then be positioned a half-inch below the string. This allows the pickets to gradually follow the contour of the yard.
Tip: To ensure a uniform space between your pickets, cut a small piece of one picket to use as a spacer as you work your way along the rails. (Be sure to keep placing pickets with the tops a half-inch below the string line.)

While holding each picket in place next to the spacer, secure it with a single nail right in the center. This will allow some leeway for aligning it later. Work your way around the perimter until each picket is secured with a single center nail.

Now it's time to plumb the pickets. Hold your level alongside and on top of each one to check that it's plumb. Once it's perfectly postioned, get the nail gun and add two nails to the top end (for a total of three, since the first one was put in earlier to hold the piece in place), then secure it with three at the bottom end. Repeat the process all the way down the line, then go to the other side and repeat again.

If you follow all the steps correctly you should end up with a fence that runs straight on all sides, and best all adds to the curb appeal of your home.

Roof Vent Turbines

Ventilation devices can be active or passive. Turbine vents are passive ventilation devices. Other examples of passive ventilation devices are the traditional metal pot vents and the popular ridge and soffit ventilation systems. Passive ventilation devices do not need electricity to work. Whereas, an active ventilation device could be an electric powered whole house fan or a powered roof ventilator.

Turbine vents consists of a turbine mounted on a sheet metal cylinder. They are normally installed like roof line vents along the face of the roof. When the wind blows, the turbine spins which draws air up out of the attic. Passive turbine vents need wind to be effective, but active turbine vents are not dependent on wind. Turbine vents are round metal vents with fins in them. They normally stick up from the roof surface to about 18 to 20 inches. The fins are actually located in a dome shaped structure that spins when the wind blows across it. The faster the wind, the faster the turbine will rotate. Turbine vents are effective in replacing the hot air in your attic within minutes. Wind blows across the fins in the roof turbine and it exhausts the heat build up.

The mechanics involved in the air movement is very simple. During warm weather, the air present inside the attic heats up and since warm air rises, it tends to rise up. When the turbines rotate, they suck the warm air out through the vent thereby bringing out a drop in temperature in the attic. Turbine vents have been vastly used for many years in residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial buildings. They are cheap and easy to install and can pump out vast amounts of air from the attic.

Let us consider a small 12 inch diameter turbine vent. When a constant wind speed of 5 miles per hour is blowing across its face, it can remove almost 350 cubic fee of air per minute. Even with the lack of any wind, the vents would still allow warm air to drift up and out of the attic. But the volume of air removed would be considerably lower. Though the statistics might not impress you much, it is proved that for a moderately sized home it will do just fine.

It is quite natural for people to think that the vents would leak during a rainstorm. Every rainstorm or even a rain shower is accompanied with wind, which will make the turbines spin, so that should blow off the raindrops off the vent. The same applies for snow too.

Roof turbine vents are cheap. The average cost of a high quality roof turbine would be about $50. Also the time taken to install one is just about 15 minutes. Good quality roof turbines will be hassle free for years as they will have permanently sealed ball bearings. If you want the turbine vent to be secured better to your roof, you can always opt for the one with metal braces. The metal braces extend out beyond the turbine and do a good job of stabilizing the turbine even at high wind speeds.