Bar and Nightclub Noise Control

Bars and nightclubs give people across America a place to gather, relax and be merry. Atmosphere is of utmost importance in such establishments, and can make or break a bar or nightclub's ability to attract patrons time and time again. Variety abound in the realm of nighttime entertainment, from high energy dance clubs to casual bars promoting comfortable conversation among guests. Noise levels bleeding from bars and nightclubs can be a major concern for club owners, the communities surrounding them and alas, law enforcement. In July 2007, a new noise code took effect in New York City, imposing limits on the decibel level that may be emitted from nightclubs into neighboring homes and businesses. Whether a club owner is motivated by courtesy, retaining clientele or adhering to regulations, the elimination of excess noise is becoming a forefront concern for many in the bar and nightclub industry.

The goal in soundproofing a bar or nightclub is twofold. The first major objective is controlling the amount of noise generated by loud music and patrons that becomes audible outdoors and within neighboring homes and establishments. Additionally, club owners seek to improve the quality of acoustics experienced within their establishments.

Reducing the amount of noise that escapes a bar or nightclub involves isolating the area to better control sound transmission. Sound transmission refers to the tendency of a portion of a sound wave to pass through when it reaches a new medium, in this instance the walls, doors and ceiling of the club. Ideally, treatments aimed at reducing sound transmission would target all openings as well as each wall, ceiling, door and window of the bar or club, though improvement can be achieved without treating every means through which noise escapes. Several products are on the market for night club owners who seek to minimize sound transmission, and many can be self-installed.

One option in controlling sound transmission is to construct a second wall surface that is separated from the original, giving sound waves a space in which to collapse rather than transmit through the wall. A foundation for the second wall surface should be created through the application of a layer of soundproofing vinyl, such as dB-Bloc, to the entire wall surface. This technique adds density to the wall. The second wall surface can then be constructed by affixing a new drywall layer atop a series of horizontal furring strips. This combination of density and disconnection provides an effective remedy for sound transmission through walls.

Untreated walls are not the only medium through which sound escapes a nightclub. Windows and ceilings also provide means through which sound can escape. The need for window and ceiling treatments is determinant upon the goal of the project as well as the unique characteristics of the bar or club. For instance, specialized panels are available for treating drop grid type ceilings.

In addition to controlling sound transmission out of an establishment, many bar and night club owners wish to improve the quality of acoustics within. With the loud music and multiple conversations characteristic of bars and nightclubs, reverberations reflecting from the numerous surfaces can interfere with intended sound and diminish acoustical quality. Numerous products are available to trap excess reverberations, from foam panels to free hanging baffles to urbane suede panels in multiple colors designed to coordinate with existing décor. The appropriate treatment again depends on the goals of the project as well as the unique characteristics of each establishment, for instance the presence of low bass tones.

Because of the individualized nature of each soundproofing project, it is advised to consult with an experienced soundproofing provider prior to implementing any soundproofing treatments to ensure that all variables are addressed.

Sex Toy Handbook – What’s What in the Bedroom

For men looking to spice things up in their love life, visiting an adult toy store or website may be the way to go. But for the newbie, the overwhelming selection makes it hard to know what goes where and who uses what and how. Enter the sex toy handbook… check out this handy guide to some of the most popular gadgets for tantalizing both men and women, as well as how to maintain penis health for what is sure to be a wild ride experimenting with all the new toys!

Toys for Her

While it’s not to say men can’t derive pleasure from some of these toys – or don’t enjoy being in on the action with their partner – the following toys are designed with a woman’s body in mind.

1. Vibrators: Made famous by the TV show “Sex and the City,” vibrators are probably the most common toy sought out by women. They come in every color, shape and size imaginable – from a tiny one that slips over a finger to very large and in charge – there is sure to be something that intrigues her lady bits. Beginners may prefer an egg or bullet vibrator, which is simply a round shape with no bells and whistles, while an adventurous lover may prefer a rabbit vibrator that boasts simultaneous clitoral and g-spot stimulation.

2. Dildos: Dildo’s are – in the simplest terms – non-vibrating penis-shaped sex toys. They also come in many styles and colors – and unrealistic sizes – but they tend to look very similar to the real thing. Some stores even sell kits where a man can make a mold of his own business to create a dildo in his own image – talk about a personal gift for the wife or girlfriend!

Toys for Him

Some of the more popular purchases made by men are listed below, though this is certainly not a comprehensive list of all the penis gadgets to be had!

1. Cock rings: A cock ring is a stretchy ring that fits snuggly around the base of the penis. It is designed to minimize blood flow out of the penis, therefore allowing for maximum engorgement of the manhood. For most men, it also delays climax, allowing them to last longer. Some cock rings are even outfitted with nubs or vibrators to enhance stimulation for her.

2. Masturbators: Male masturbators come in a variety of designs but are essentially soft, gel filled sleeves that go over the penis. The man – or his partner – then masturbate with the sleeve, which creates more intense sensations than the hand alone – and in some cases are meant to simulate oral sex.

Toys for Couples

Some toys are designed for couples to use together – at their own risk of course!

1. Sex Swing: Perhaps one of the more dangerous toys out there, this definitely takes skill to master, but is certain to spice up any sex life. Sex swings hang from the door jamb and essentially suspend the woman up off the ground in various positions, allowing for exciting and acrobatic sex to enter the repertoire.

2. Anal toys: Anal beads, vibrators, and probes can be enjoyed by both men and women – though couples sharing toys should cover each toy with a condom during use and sanitize it thoroughly before swapping with each other.

3. Bondage: Another sexual craze made famous by the “50 Shades” books, bondage toys encompass everything from fuzzy handcuffs, to whips and blindfolds, to ball gags and restraint systems. Be sure to have a safe word in place before experimenting with these toys – a word that gives a signal to stop the action if anyone gets uncomfortable – to avoid any negative emotional reactions!

Preparing the Penis for Play

Before introducing sex toys into the bedroom, both partners need to be on board and interested in taking it to the next level. It is also wise to stock up on some good lubrication, as extended sessions in the sack can lead to chafing, irritation, and even pain, bringing the fun evening to a close. Prep the penis by using a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil), which contains moisturizing Shea butter and vitamin E. Not only will this keep the skin supple, but it will help repair skin if things get a little too rough in the bedroom!

What To Do While Waiting for Your Plumber?

Emergency plumbing problems can occur at any moment, and when it does, seeking for the services of a professional plumber is not enough. Just like in a medical emergency where you can apply first aid treatment where applicable before the ambulance or a medical professional arrives, you also can do some things that can help your plumbing trouble get fixed faster. So while waiting for your professional plumber to arrive, you can do some things yourself that can prevent your plumbing emergency from getting out of hand.

The following are some of the most common steps you can do by yourself when faced with a plumbing emergency:

1. Turn the Water Off

Depending on the severity of the problem, you will have to turn the water off either at its main source or by using the stopcock which can be under the sink or maybe in the downstairs area of your house or office. Make sure to turn off the stopcock in a way that will immediately stop the water flow. You can do this procedure only for minor plumbing problems like a guzzling faucet and a damaged shower head. For a more severe problem, such as water leaking out of pipes, you have to stop the water flow from its main source. Locate your main water valve immediately and turn it off before the damage caused gets out of control.

2. Check for Risk Coming from Electricity

When faced with the problem of water leaks, you should be alert enough to shut down your electricity when necessary. Water is a good conductor of electricity and just imagine the severity of damage if it gets into contact with your electrical connections. So if you notice that the water flow is getting near or over a source of electricity, immediately shut your main electricity source down. It would be very dangerous to let electricity and water come into contact with each other.

3. Start Removing Excess Water

It would be a practical move to start clearing the affected area of any water before it gets to do any further damage. If you can identify where the water is coming from, then you will have a clear idea on how to remove it. Otherwise, you just have to wait for the plumber to clear it as doing it yourself when you have no idea where it is coming from may cause further aggravate any damage.

While plumbing emergencies can be a real headache, using some common sense while you are waiting for a professional plumber will be of much help.

How to Fix a Tub Leak Like a Pro

Leaks from a bathtub can be frustrating to diagnose. There are several different possible sources for leaks at tubs and most of them are behind drywall. A leak could be from the valve, the shower head, the tub spout or the drain.

Since each of these possible locations are different, it would be nice to isolate the problem. Before you start cutting drywall there are a few things you can do to try to narrow your choices. Then, even if you do have to cut drywall you will usually have to do less damage.

It Might Not Be A Leak

First, make very sure that the water is not just running down the corner of the tub past the shower curtain while your someone is taking a shower. Take a very close look at the wall and floor corners at both ends of the tub immediately after they are finished. Pay special attention to the end the shower head is on. I have seen many "leaks" that wound up being caused by water running over the edge of the tub. Enough people have this problem that you can but special little dams that stick in the corner on the tub to block the water.

If you are sure this is not the problem the next step is to determine whether the leak is from the valve or from the drain.

Water Lines or Drain?

If the leak is constant, even when the tub has not been used, it is a leak on the hot or cold water line. These are under constant pressure and will leak continuously if they are the problem.

If it does not leak all the time, it's not from the hot or cold connections. If it only leaks after use you can rule these two connections out and start elsewhere ..

The Bucket Test

The easiest thing to check first is the drain side. You do not want to run the faucet because that will screw up this test. Fill a bucket up from another bathroom and use this to fill the tub. I know that's a pain in the neck but it's necessary.

Once the tub is full let it sit for 30 minutes or so and see if the leak shows up. If so, it is from the tub drain. Drain the water and fix the drain. It probably just needs to be removed and re puttied. Clear silicone, though harder to clean up, works great instead of putty.

Pull The Plug

If no leak shows up while the tub is full go ahead and drain the tub, again checking for leaks. If you see a leak now the problem is in the drain piping. You will need to cut drywall to find and repair this. You can start at the wet spot, but you may find that the water has run across the top of the drywall and the spot is not directly under the leak.

The Water Piping

If no leak shows up from the first test, that leaves the tub spout piping and the shower head riser and connection. The two most likely places to check for a leak are the shower riser and connection and the tub spout piping and connection.

The first thing to do is to pull the escutcheon (trim ring) at the shower head and see if you can see the connection inside the wall. You may have to open the hole a little, just enough so you can see but it will still be covered by the escutcheon. Now run the shower head while looking at the connection with a flashlight.

The Old Toilet Paper Trick

If you can not see it very good, wrap some toilet paper around the end of a screwdriver and hold it under the connection for a minute. Check and see if the paper is wet. If so, or if you can see a leak, you've found the problem. Take the shower head off, stick the handle of your pliers in the end of the bent pipe coming out of the wall and remove the pipe. Put some new teflon tape on the threads, screw it back in and check for leaks.

If you do not find a leak here check the tub spout. If you have the kind of tub spout with a diverter you have to pull to make the water go to the shower head it could be leaking where it connects to the piping and water could be running back into the wall. This is kind of hard to see but some brands have a small opening on the bottom side of the spout to tighten the spout clamp. You can use the toilet paper trick here too. If there is no opening you can try to unscrew the spout and see if the piping behind it is wet. If none of this works you may need to cut drywall behind the tub to really check it out (if you can get to it).

The Last Resort

If you try all of this and still can not find the leak the next step is to start cutting drywall. However, if you can find the source of the leak this way you may be able to fix it yourself and save some money. Even if you do not feel comfortable doing this, you will at least be able to let the plumber know what you've done and minimize the cost of the repair.

Designer Jeans – From Gold Rush Blue Jeans to Devine Denim

What would Levi Strauss think if he were around today to see the transformation of the blue jeans he supplied during the gold rush in California? Blue jeans have developed from the rugged pants gold miners wore into the denim designer suits of today.

It’s hard to believe that pants created to be functional, rugged, and resistant to tearing with riveted pockets would be a high fashion item today.

Levi Strauss added rivets to his line of jeans when miners complained that their pockets kept ripping. A man named Jacob Davis thought of the idea of brass rivets for holding on the pockets. He was not a rich man, so was unable to patent his idea. He contacted Strauss and sold him the idea of the rivets. The rivets filled the bill when it came to long lasting pockets.

Did you know that’s why your expensive designer jeans have rivets? Who knew? The jeans then became popular in western movies and during WWII; soldiers wore jeans when they were on leave. When the war was over, Levi jeans developed competition from companies like Wrangler and Lee.

During the 1960’s, jeans became very popular with the college crowd and young people. They were no longer only for the working man, but for men and women alike. Jeans became a fashion symbol in the 1980’s, being picked up by famous designers. Designers, such as Devine Denim developed many different styles of jeans, putting their own designer labels on them.

Not only are these designer jeans stylish, they also have different textures and designs like soft stretch suits, denim separates, denim trouser, jeans pants, jeans skirts and jeans sets for both men and women.

The top trends for jean styles today are endless. Some of these jeans include: denim suits, stretch denim, cropped leg, high back jeans, leather wash jeans, super long and skinny jeans, strait leg, boot cut, wide leg, low waist, hip hugger, relaxed, baggy, plus sized, petite, and pear shaped jeans, to name a few. Boy, what a mouthful!

Devine Denim designer suits are today’s contemporary suit for those of us who love jeans. It is a soft stretch suit that is classy enough to wear at a professional function and comfortable enough to wear as casual attire.

These jean sets are the latest in chic, sleek Devine Denim soft stretch suits. You’ll be happy to know that these designer jeans create a slimming look without the sagging effect of most cotton jeans.

The stretch denim provides the extra curves you want for a comfortable, sexy fit.

Levi Strauss could not foresee the improvements that would be made to enhance his basic pattern for jeans, not to mention that career women would be wearing them to work.

Well, Levi thanks for the patent on jeans. Who knows what the world would be wearing today, if you had not moved to San Francisco to sell jeans to the gold miners?

Counteroffensive Fencing Actions Classified

Counteroffensive actions offer the fencer a variety of options against the opponent’s preparation or actual attack. To be able to use these effectively, you must understand where they fit in the tactical opportunities offered by an opponent’s intent to hit you. Czajkowski calls these actions offensive-defensive. I prefer counteroffensive because the action is specifically designed to deny the offense a hit.

Every attack consists of a situation, preparation, and final attacking action. The situation is the combination of the phrase, the distance, and timing that creates the opportunity for attack. Preparation may be mental, the conception by the opponent that an attack is possible, or it may be physical, the footwork, engagement, feints, attacks on the blade, or takings of the blade that advance the final attack. And the final attacking action is the delivery of the final action with intent to score. Into these phases counteroffensive action can be delivered:

The point in line (in the situation). A point in line denies the opponent the opportunity to attack without removing the point, making the preparation of the attack to some degree predictable. In turn it provides the fencer with the point in line the opportunity to debrobe the attempted attack.

Attack on preparation (in preparation). The attack on preparation is executed on the opponent’s attempt to close the distance without effective blade action or when the attack is incorrectly executed (for example, on the step forward of an advance lunge if the arm is not extending, or the attack by derobement when the opponent attempts to take or beat the blade). In some cases it is simply a question of timing. You instinctively attack into the opponent’s action because you somehow know that it is coming, even though the opponent has not yet started to move. I should note that Tau considers the derobement a separate type of counter-attack, but I believe it is a technique that can be used in both attacks on preparation and in stop hits.

Stop hit (in preparation or final attacking action). The stop hit in foil or sabre is a counterattack that lands before the initiation of the final action with the intent of stopping the attack. However, as a practical matter, a stop hit against an attack that is short or that does not land because of poor aim, is effective because it results in one light. In sabre, the situation is even more complex because the stop hit delivered on the advanced target with a step back may arrive early enough to time out the final attack. In epee it only must land more than 1/25 of a second ahead of the attack.

Intercepting stop hit (in preparation or final attacking action). The intercepting stop hit closes a line through which the opponent’s action must pass, effectively serving as a parry and riposte and preventing its completion. For example, an intercepting stop hit can be executed into 8th against a disengage from 6th to 4th in foil or epee.

Time hit, also called a stop hit with opposition (in final attacking action). This action differs from the intercepting stop hit in that it is delivered closing the final line of the attack so that the attack does not arrive. Like the intercepting stop hit it combines the features of parry and riposte. This requires a neat sense of timing and a high degree of confidence that you have identified the final line.

Although most counteroffensive action belongs to the opponent of the fencer who is attacking, there is one counteroffensive action open to the original attacker. The remise or redoublement is effectively a stop hit against the riposte, and is effective if the defender executes the riposte incorrectly or inaccurately.

This range of actions gives you a variety of ways to interrupt the opponent’s attack. They all require judgment, steady nerves, excellent timing, and a high degree of accuracy. When properly executed they are a thing of beauty, and mark superior technical and tactical skill.

Fencing Officiating – Refereeing Dry Bouts I

The dry bout (a bout fenced without electrical scoring equipment) represents a significant challenge for the referee and judges: how do you both fairly and accurately assess the results of the fencing so that the better fencer in the bout wins? The answer is a mix of several factors, including organization with well defined responsibilities, training, and the ability to recognize fencing actions and hits. This series of articles examines the referee's role in the bout.

In the not so distant past, referees were called Directors or Presidents of the Jury. Both of these titles capture what the referee does in ways different than the modern title of referee. Director implies that the official directs and controls the operation of the contest, an organizational role with clear responsibilities. President of the Jury acknowledges the role of the referee as part of a voting body that recognizes the actions, interprets them, and sees the hits. These two roles are critical to what the referee does and to the efficient, accurate, and fair conduct of the bout.

When we think about the role of the referee, it is vital to understand that the bout is about the fencers, not the officials. The referee and judges create a structure for determining who wins, but that structure should never obscure or diminish the actual combat between two fencers. The officials facilitate, not dominate.

The referee in the dry bout manages a team of 5 people, himself as referee, and four judges. Two judges stationed behind the fencer on the referee's left watch the target of the fencer on the right to observe whether a hit arrives. Two judges stationed behind the fencer on the referee's right watch the target of the fencer on the left to observe whether a hit arrives. The referee watches both fencers' targets for hits, and determines which fencer has the right of way (in foil or sabre) or which fencer arrives first on target (in epee).

To do this effectively the referee must move with the action so that the two fencers remain centered in front of him or her. Ideally the referee should be as far from the strip as practical – 10 feet is a good starting point. This distance allows the referee to easily see movement on the part of both fencers, key to establishing priority of actions. The reality in many clubs and venues is that as many strips as possible are packed into as small a space as possible, with the result that referees work within 3 feet of the strip edge. Not only is this unsafe, but it virtually ensures that the referee's calls often will be influenced by whichever fencer moves in the restricted field of view.

Two other officials complete the set of officials for a strip, although the functions of one or both are often subsumed into the job of the referee. A timekeeper runs the clock of fencing time used between the commands "fence" and "halt." A score keeper maintains the score sheet, recording touches awarded and any warnings or penalties. If at all possible, these two positions should be staffed, as the added burden detracts from the referee's ability to manage the activity on the strip.

The referee thus has a responsible job. A good referee with competent judges creates the conditions that allow good fencing with the fencers being satisfied that they have had a fair chance to win. Bad officiating unfortunately creates the opposite, bad fencing and frustrated fencers. Every referee has a moral obligation to continually work to better understand the job and to give the fencers the bout they deserve.

Hilltop Lakes – Fine Texas Living

Hilltop Lakes is a beautiful Lake Subdivision. There is a golf course, campgrounds, lakes, even its own private Airport. Life is good in Hilltop Lakes subdivision. Members can choose from an 18-hole golf course, unique swimming pools, restaurants and club houses for just some of the entertainment available in this subdivision. However, besides the amenities and recreation, there is much development going on in this area.

Hilltop Lakes Subdivision has approx. 9,000 lots and 500 houses (in 2006). There have been 20 new houses developed right near the Golf Course. Due to this development and the upcoming new developments, it will bring surrounding properties to a higher value. 95% of the houses in this subdivision are medium to big size. Large businesses and companies are moving within 25-35 miles of Hilltop Lakes. Residents in the area of ​​Leon County and many investors are buying lots and building houses in Hilltop Lakes due to the expected increase in business. Many of these investors are also building houses on their lots so they can live comfortably while tending to their business.

Golf Course

There is an 18-hole golf course. The subdivision keeps it well maintained for all the property owners, as well as the public, to be able to use and enjoy the beautiful landscaping. There are many tournaments held throughout the year. In 2007, the golf course crew worked very hard getting the golf course in better shape than before for all golfers to enjoy.


Since this subdivision is so huge and beautiful, they offer visitors and non-residents a chance to stay and use all the amenities in the subdivision. Hilltop Lakes accommodations include: Mirror Lake Inn (AAA Rated Hotel) and Hillside Villas (excellent views, rooms have kitchens). By staying at any one of these you automatically have direct access to all amenities.


There are two man made lakes named Swan Lake and Tonkawa Lake, providing recreational opportunities for residents. Lakes are available year round. NO fishing license required. Swimming is allowed in Tonkawa Lake only. Only property Owner boats are allowed on the lakes.

Lake Tonkawa, Lake Cherokee, Lake Swan, Kickapoo Lake and Mirror Lake – All are packed with largemouth Bass, Catfish, Perch and more!


The equine facilities include a 30 stall horse barn, horse walker, 4 pastures for turn out with loafing sheds, exercise track, and lighted arena with roping pens. All horses are privately owned and cared for. The Hilltop Lakes Equine Management Corporation (HLEMC) does not provide horses for rent or trail rides. However, they do provide hayrides for family reunions and parties.

Hotel Franchising

Hotel franchising is a very popular concept. Hotel franchising includes the franchising of hotels, motels, inns, and other forms of lodging and boarding. Hotel franchising includes a lot more technicalities compared to restaurant or fast food franchising. Hotel franchising leads to hotel chains appearing in various parts of the world.

Franchising in the hospitality industry requires a lot of research and conscientiousness from the franchisee’s end. The franchisee must be very through and attentive while going through the initial process with the franchiser’s agents.

Hotel franchising is an expensive business. The franchisee must be able to bear all the initial costs that might arise during the setup takes place. The franchiser needs to be checked out thoroughly before entering into any agreement because the hotel’s reputation, both past and the present, needs to be considered.

It is a good practice to check with the hotel’s other franchises regarding the support system offered by the hotel. The hotel’s management must be able to provide documented proof about the experienced way the existing franchises are being handled. If the hotel already has franchises, it would be good practice to ensure a level of expertise on part of the management based on the way these franchises are being run. This will ensure the applicant gets to know the hotel’s policies and quality standards being maintained in the franchises.

The applicant must have a clear idea of the industry and the market to target before opting for franchising. This will help in maintaining a clear perspective on what the hotel wants from the franchiser. Also, this will help the franchise to grow independently with little help from the hotel.

Random Camera Accessories

Combined exposure meter
– Professional exposure meters can measure flash as well as ambient light and accept a range of accessories.

Spot meter
– For the most precise measurement of light a hand-held spot meter is needed.

Simple meter
– A simple exposure meter is excellent for checking camera performance and in teaching you to judge lighting by eye.

3-D tripod head
– For the flexible control of a heavy camera, a tripod head that adjusts in three directions is best.

Ball-and-socket head
– Compact and lightweight, this type of tripod head is ideal for travel photography.

– Although often bulky and heavy, a tripod is simply the best way to ensure that images are free from camera shake. Carbon-fibre models are expensive but lighter than metal types.

Large camera bag
– Traditional-style bags or backpack designs are useful for carrying and organizing your equipment.

Small camera bag
– Smaller bags are useful for compact cameras and also for accessories, such as memory cards, cables, and disks.

Waterproof housing
– Digital cameras are ideal for taking underwater – inexpensive plastic housings let you take your camera snorkeling. Camera housings are also ideal for particularly dusty conditions, such as industrial sites and deserts.

Mobile storage
– When the camera's memory card is full, unload images onto a mobile hard-disk and carry on shooting.

Battery pack
– A digital camera's total reliance on battery power means that it is prudent to have back-up power sources – these can improve flash and camera performance.

10 Reasons Why FRP Is Better Than Steel

FRP, or fibre-reinforced plastic, is becoming a very popular material for construction projects. Its lightweight, strong and non-corrosive properties offer many distinct advantages over traditional materials such as concrete and steel. Some of these advantages are outlined below.

1. Non-corrosive

FRP does not rust or corrode like steel and other metals. FRP is impervious to water (be it submersion or splash), fumes and gases and is resistant to most chemicals. A variety of top surfaces are available, which are capable of withstanding the full range of caustic chemicals.

2. Lightweight

FRP is approximately 60-75% lighter than steel, yet it is pound-for-pound stronger. The lighter weight greatly reduces handling, transport and installation costs. The high glass-to-resin ratio produces a material that is capable of achieving excellent load bearing results.

3. No Maintenance

Thanks to its non-corrosive properties, FRP requires no maintenance aside from cleaning. UV stablisation means no painting or lacquering is required after installation and the lightweight nature of FRP means it can be easily lifted and moved for ease of cleaning.

4. Impact Resistance

Unlike steel, FRP will return to its original shape after deflection, thanks to its advanced elastic properties. Tests have shown FRP stands up to large impacts, without permanent deformation, saving costly repairs.

5. Low Installation Costs

FRP is lightweight, normally allowing for a simple two-man lift. This can save significant costs as cranes and other lifting equipment is not required. Other savings can be made with transport, again thanks to the reduced weight. FRP does not require specialist cutting or welding equipment and can usually be installed with simple hand tools.

6. Non slip

FRP grating, with an integrally bonded gritted top surface, has achieved some of the highest levels of slip resistance ever recorded for a walking surface. FRP is 50% safer than steel grating and 70% safer than chequer plate for slip resistance. This degree of safety is crucial for OH&S conscious workplaces, such as mine sites, oilrigs and factories.

7. Anti Static and Anti Spark

FRP is perfectly suited to sensitive environments, thanks to its ability to dissipate static electricity, as well as its non-sparking properties. Static dissipation is very important in underground and offshore locations, while FRP is ideal in gaseous environments, as it will not spark if tools are accidentally dropped – a hazard on steel flooring.

8. Temperature Performance

FRP is capable of withstanding long periods of intense heat. Standard pultrusions are capable of withstanding continuous temperatures of 60-65°C with full structural integrity maintained, while vinyl ester and phenolic FRP pultrusions can withstand in excess of 100°C and 200°C respectively.

9. Electromagnetic Transparency

FRP is capable of allowing radio waves, microwaves and other electromagnetic frequencies to pass through it, making it a hard wearing, long lasting and strong material for radio masts and radomes.

10. Versatility

As FRP is produced with moulds, it can be manufactured to any shape or design with a huge variety of surface profiles and unlimited colours. New uses for FRP are discovered daily!

Tips on Staying Safe in Your Home

When someone knocks at your door and claims to be an unexpected delivery man or government or meter reader, ask for a name and a badge number so you can call the agency and confirm the persons identity. Do NOT ask them for the phone # of their agency, you may be calling their criminal friend. Look up the agency phone number your self. If you can not verify someones identity at your front door, call 911 immediately.

Keep shrubs and bushes Trimmed and use outdoor lighting to eliminate places where a prowler could hide, especially around doors.

Install peepholes in Doors at a height that everyone in your family can use.

Be wary of anyone offering to do repairs or contract work door-to-door. Ask their name and company name. Verify that a company is legitimate, look up the phone number, call the company, ask if they have sales people in your area and get the salesmans name.

If someone wants to use your phone, offer to make the call for them yourself.

Always Lock Exterior Doors, not only at night, but every time you leave the house, even if it's just for a few minutes. Install and use only keyed dead bolt locks for security. Cheap door handle locks are easily opened.

Keep outdoor lights on in the evening – whether or not someone is home. If you only turn on when no one is home, it could signal more alert burglars when you are not home.

Lock all Windo ws at all times, even when opened a few inches for ventilation. Unlocked windows are an easy way to get into your home.

Use a dowel or pin or other approved way to secure sliding glass doors. Check the security of your sliding doors by trying to lift them off the track or otherwise open them.

Lock gates, garage doors, and shed doors. At the end of the day in the yard, check that all these doors are locked and secure.

Keep sheds and Garages Locked. Store cooking grills, lawn mowers, bicycles, etc. in the garage or shed, or cover them with a tarp and lock them to a stationary object.

Leave spare keys with a trusted neighbor, not under a doormat or planter or other obvious hiding place. You could also hide it under a patio stone or other inconvenient location, you will only need it in an emergence, not daily or even monthly.

Do not leave tool s outside, where they could be stolen or used to break into your home.

Use timers to turns lights and televisions on and off when you are not home. Make it appear someone is at home.

Make and keep a Complete home inventory. Record credit card numbers, appliances serial numbers, phone numbers of credit card companies so you can report stolen cards quickly and easily if they are lost or stolen.

If you are away for an extended time , stop mail and newspaper deliveries, ask a neighbor to remove any newspapers, mail or fliers that might indicate you are not at home.

Using Dowels In Recycling Projects

Dowels are a very versatile woodworking supply. They can be used for many purposes. Sometimes they are quite central to a project, and at other times, their purposes in a project are rather simplistic. How impressive to use a dowel in its simplest form for a project which is as important as it, too, is simple! Use dowel with recycled clothing to create storage and carrying bags for other recyclable items and projects.

Start with an old, unwanted T-shirt. Although working with shirts that do not have holes is most time-effective, those with them may still be used. Certainly, they will require patching in order to properly contain the items placed in the bag. However, think of using cloth that requires patching, instead of discarding it, as recycling in its truest sense.

Depending on the desired size of the storage or carrying bag, you may choose to cut the T-shirt at the seam of the collar and down either sleeve, or to cut straight across the shirt starting at the underside of each sleeve. This will become the top of the bag.

If you choose to cut the shirt at the seam of the collar, you will need to either remove the sleeves and stitch the cloth together at the site, or leave the sleeves in place, but fold them inward and stitch the cloth. Obviously, cutting the shirt at the seam of the collar provides slightly more space for the bag, while cutting the shirt just below the seam of the arms will provide slightly less space.

For efficiency’s sake, stitch the bottom of the shirt together while stitching the area of the sleeves.

Next, using a wood dowel sized to preference in both length and diameter, sufficiently able to withstand the weight of the items that will be stored or carried, and based on the overall size of the shirt used, wrap the top portion of the bag on either side around the dowel to determine how much cloth will be needed to encircle it. Lightly mark the material at this point, and then stitch it widthwise. Be certain to consider enough grip so that the dowels stay relatively stationary, making carrying items much easier, but also enough release to allow for easy replacement of the dowels should they require it. Then, insert the dowel sections through on either side.

Use the bag to store books, magazines, or knitting supplies. (Go one step farther in your efforts and craft your own knitting needles using a hardwood dowel!) If curbside pickup is unavailable in your area, use the bag to cart your recycling to the nearest recycling center. Make separate storage bags for recyclable items made of aluminum, steel, and paper. By allowing for the removal of the dowel as described above, the bags can be washed should they become soiled or wet and then used again and again. Or, use the bag to store plastic department store bags and for carrying them to return to the store during your next visit there.

Capital Stack

The capital stack represents the totality of all the different financial components that are a part of and support the capital structure of a project. It has all the financial variables that provide the wherewithal, e.g. acquire a tract of land for development, finance the horizontal and vertical development of a planned unit development (PUD), recapitalizing the structure to accommodate partners buyout, etc. The various capital components occupy different levels of the risk/reward spectrum and require commensurate compensation for their at risk place in the structure as a going concern, in the event of default or projected unrealized returns. The availability of capital is critical to the viability of financing commercial real estate projects. It represents the lifeblood of organic and inorganic growth of property portfolio, ability to capture deal flow and the myriad of financial maneuvers to strengthen a principal’s balance sheet. Capital in its various forms is essential to CRE operation and it is imperative to the robustness of the property’s financial structure. Typically, most real estate transactions are financed with a combination of debt and equity in various permutations.

Senior Debt – is the first debt instrument encumbering a property that has a priority lien senior to subsequent liens in order of recordation. If foreclosure becomes imminent depending on the value of the underlying collateral other liens junior in status can be wiped out if there is not enough equity in the capital structure after the first lien holder is compensated. First mortgages could be considered the foundational capital in the finance structure upon which other capital is added to the mix as required to complete the stack. This capital can comprise the majority of the capital needed to conduct transactions with the addition of sponsor’s equity to fulfill the total amount needed.

Junior Debt – is the second, third or other junior debt instrument encumbering a property junior in lien status, recordation sequence or effected through subordination. Junior liens are considered riskier debt on a property from a lender’s perspective due to the priority of lien and in the event of foreclosure there possibly being inadequate equity remaining in the property which can satisfy debt beyond the first lien holder extinguishing all junior lien holders’ rights. Junior lien holders customarily require a risk premium quantified through higher interest rate and shorter term to justify accepting the inherent higher risk of the loan; the return on investment (ROI) required by junior lien holders has to be higher commensurate with the riskier lien position in the capital structure. Junior debt instruments can possibly raise the Loan To Value (LTV) leveraged on a property through the additional lien applied to the property.

Mezzanine Capital – is a hybrid financial instrument which can function as equity or debt filling a gap in the capital structure of commercial realty occupying a position above senior and sometimes junior debt instruments. Sometimes if there is a deficiency in the cumulative debt financing or a disparity between the equity position of property investors and the collective debt instruments mezzanine capital is used to bridge the gap. This funding is arranged to provide its provider with correspondent risk premium to compensate for level of risk associated with return of principal and unrealized returns. Mezzanine debt unlike senior and junior debt instruments usually is not collateralized against the underlying realty used in the financing when structure as preferred equity and is collateralized against the property when issued as debt and used to raise the Loan To Value (LTV) on the debt financing as junior liens.

Preferred Equity – is equity contribution in which the source receives priority return on their money at an agreed coupon rate before the sponsor gets a promote; a percentage of the profits. This is reflective of the position the preferred equity occupies in the capital structure, associated risks of that position and the correspondent compensation required for occupying that position. This capital fills the gap between sponsors’ equity and other financing, reducing the at risk sponsor’s equity in the project. Using preferred equity in concert with the other components of the capital stack increases leverage and when structured prudently can also increase the Return On Investment (ROI); it represents a viable means of using outside equity in real estate transactions for risk mitigation of capital while giving up some of the upside in the deal.

Sponsor Equity – is the cash contribution, accumulated market value above the other capital structure components for a property or the value in other properties owned by sponsor eligible for cross collateralization, etc. In its simplest form, it is the customary down payment required by lenders from borrowers above the loan amount provided to execute a purchase. Sponsor equity can be built up equity resulting from property appreciate and/or loan principal reduction. This creates equitable value in the property which the sponsor can leverage for portfolio pyramiding, capital improvements, etc. This equity represents the at risk sponsor’s capital that in the event of property depreciation, foreclosure, etc is prone to contraction. Sponsors try to reduce their risk exposure by using the other financial instruments available in the capital structure reducing their cash outlay or equity at stake while simultaneously using leverage to increase the cash on cash yield.

When financing commercial real estate, not all the components of the capital stack are necessarily used. However, they are possible options that may assist the principals in reaching their goals. How the deal is structured depends on the parties involved and their objectives, the financial market and the property. However, maintaining flexibility and being cognizant of the available variables that can be used increases the investors’ tools kit and propensity to be effective in getting deals done.

Tips for Choosing a Chiminea for Your Backyard or Patio

Imagine that you want to stay warm in your backyard on a cool, starry night. One of the ways you can do so is to invest in a clay or cast iron chiminea. A chiminea is nothing more than the modern version of a traditional Mexican outdoor fireplace. This type of outdoor fireplace was used for hundreds of years as a source of warmth and a place to cook. Nowadays you see them in many backyards as sources of warmth and as accent pieces adding charm to a patio or garden.

You can find chimineas made of clay, aluminum and cast iron. Which one you choose depends on what style fits your patio or backyard and how much money you are willing to invest. (Note: There are several accepted spellings for a Mexican fireplace. The common spellings are: chiminea, chimenea, chiminia, chimenia.)

Choosing a Clay Chiminea

When choosing a clay chiminea, you should look to see if the fireplace was air-dried or kiln-dried. In general, an air-dried fireplace is usually "untreated." This means you would need to paint it and seal it before use. Kiln-dried versions are typically prepainted and sealed.

Clay chimineas are constructed in two pieces. The bottom piece, called the "bowl" is the largest piece, and looks like a potbelly stove. The smokestack, or "neck" is attached separately on top of the bowl. The joint where the two pieces come together is usually rather weak, so you should never lift a clay chiminea from the neck.

In general, clay chimineas are not designed to handle large fires for extended periods of time. They are also more likely to crack and break than a cast iron or aluminum model.

Finally, remember that a clay chiminea is nothing but a combination of water and dirt. If you let it sit in water long enough, it will turn back into mud. Therefore, cover it during rainstorms and never let your clay fireplace sit in a pool of water!

Cast Iron and Aluminum Chimineas

In general, a cast iron or aluminum chiminea is more durable and sturdy than a clay version. Although they tend to be heavier than clay models, they will not crack or break as easily. However, they will need occasional maintenance.

For example, if you leave a cast iron chiminea outside long enough, it will rust. Rust is a normal occurrence, so if you sand out the rust spots and paint them as they appear, your fireplace should give you many years of enjoyment.

Cast aluminum models are relatively low maintenance, lighter in weight than cast iron, and also rust-resistant. Therefore, painting and sanding is not necessary.

What to Look for in All Chimineas

As you shop for a Mexican fireplace, pay close attention to the size of the fire bowl area. This is where you will be placing the wood to burn, so be sure it is large enough to accommodate adequately large pieces of wood. The size of the fire bowl is more important than the height of the neck.

You might also consider purchasing a spark arrestor for your chiminea. A spark arrestor is a mesh screen that you place over the chimney hole to prevent sparks from escaping. You might also consider a spark arrestor for the front of the fire bowl, too.

A modern Mexican chiminea is a great addition to any backyard, both as a source of heat and as a decorating accent piece. Make your choice between clay, cast iron, and cast aluminum models. With a little yearly care, you will have a wonderful conversation piece for your patio or backyard. Plus, you will have a romantic and charming way to stay warm as you gaze into the sky on a cool and starry night.