Horseshoes – Building Your Own Pits

So you have played a few games of horseshoes and want a more authentic feeling? Tired of horseshoes bouncing all over the grass? Time to make some horseshoes pits!

You can always construct a professional horseshoe pit, but for the purpose of this article I am going to explain how to create a “backyard” pit. First thing you should do is drive the stakes into the ground. Each stake should be 40 feet apart from eachother. You also want to pick out relatively level playing ground for both sides. When you drive the stakes in the ground they should go in at an angle. You do not want to have stakes standing straight up in the air because ringers can bounce off of them easily. Also, from constant contact with the horseshoes, the stakes will begin to slant backwards which makes it extremely difficult to get a ringer. The angle of the stakes should be roughly 12 degrees (about three inches) pointing towards eachother. From a pitcher’s view, the stake should be slanted towards you when throwing.

The stakes are about 36 inches, and you want to drive them into the ground until about 14 inches remains above the earth. One thing that cannot be avoided during play is the slanting of the stakes. After enough horseshoes hit them then will begin to move around. The dirt surrounding the stakes will loosen up a bit and make the stake a little unstable. While other pit material (explained later) helps, the stakes will still become loose after enough play.

To combat the stakes moving around you can dig a hole where the pit is. Dig down about 8 inches. The hole does not have to be huge, but should be large enough to put a piece of 4×4 lumber in there. The piece of lumber should be about 8 to 10 inches long. Once you have the lumber placed in the hole, take a drill and drill a hole in the lumber at a 12 degree angle. The idea is to place the stake through this hole in the wood. Once the stake is through the hole, fill it up with dirt again until it is level with the ground. Now continue to drive the stake in the ground until 14 inches remain. When horseshoes hit the stake, the lumber in the ground will help the stability and prevent some movement.

Another great idea (if you are skilled enough to do so) is to weld a metal plate to the horseshoe at the 14 inch mark. Make sure to weld the plate to the stake at an angle as well. With the metal plate and the lumber in the ground, the stake will be able to take most backyard beatings. Just remember to keep the stakes aligned and pointed towards eachother when doing this. There is nothing worse than making these horseshoe pits and then realizing that the stakes are not aligned correctly.

Now that the stakes are firmly in the ground it is time to create the border that defines the horseshoe pits. Take 3 pieces of 4×4 lumber as this will be the border for one side. The backside of the pit should measure about 36 inches. Then cut the other two pieces of lumber to be about 48 to 60 inches. Drill holes in these pieces of lumber large enough to fit a piece of rebar through it (or some other tough metal spike). Drill 2 holes in the 36 inch piece and at least 3 holes in the 48 to 60 inch pieces. The stake should be roughly 1 foot away from the back of the pit and in the center of the sides. Now lay the lumber down in the correct positions (the open end should face the opposite stake) and drive the rebar through the lumber into the ground. The rebar should be at least 1 to 2 feet long. Now repeat these steps for the other stake.

You are doing great! You now have the stakes placed properly and securely in the ground with sturdy borders surrounding it on three sides. The next step is to dig up the first 2 to 4 inches of dirt. You now have to make a decision as to what type of pit materials you want to use. Popular choices are dirt, sand, and clay. If using dirt, make sure the soil is loose in the entire pit. If you are going to use sand or clay, then pour it in the pit. If you dig up 4 inches of dirt, pour about 2 to 3 inches of sand or clay in the pit.

Time for the finishing touches! Place two markers in front of each of the stakes. One marker should be 3 feet in front of the stake, the second should be 13 feet in front of the stake. Be sure to have the marker be about 3 feet wider than the pits on each side. If you have followed the measurements so far your pit should be 36 inches wide. The markers should be about 9 feet long. Or, you can just have 2 markers each three feet long and place then next to the horseshoe pits on both sides. These are the foul lines. Any child under the age of 18, women, and senior citizens can use the second foul line (13 feet in front of the stake). All other men must use the foul line that is 2 feet in front of the horseshoes stakes.

Now take a step back and look at your brand new horseshoe pits. Grab a few of your friends, your horseshoes, a few cold ones, and game on!

The Secret Vision Board

Do you want to have a big house, big car, a lifestyle that you dream about?

Regardless of your current circumstances, all your dream can become real. What you need is to think and feel positively towards your dream.

Although this may sound easy, many people find it hard to visualize their dreams with vivid feelings.

To have positive energy vibration, you need to start by generating the feeling to make you feel as though you have already achieved your dreams. How can you go about generating such energy vibration?

This article aims to show you how you can generate and sustain positive energy by creating a vision board. Creating your vision board allows you to paint your dreams in advance.

Here are some key points you should use to create a effective vision board.

(1) Connect Your Feelings with The Pictures

Lets start off by getting a large sheet of white paper (6 feet by 6 feet. In Singapore, we call this
mahjong paper).

Next, you need some unwanted magazines. You are going to flip through these magazines and cut out the pictures which catch your attention. If you can not find the appropriate pictures, go to the internet to search for them and print them out with a color printer.

Next, go through these pictures which you have cut.

Ask yourself why do you choose them? How will you feel if you already have all these things in reality? Remember the positive feelings which you have.

(2) Keep Those Pictures Which Give You Positive Feelings

After Step 1, you may realize that you do not want some of the pictures you initially thought you want.
It is absolutely alright to feel in this way. You have just heightened your awareness level to what exactly will make you feel happy.

The key is you should only have the things you want on your vision board. There is no compromise on this. Even if you only end up having one picture, so be it.

A vision board, like your life is a self-discovering journey. Along the way, you may discover other
things you appreciate in your life. You can still cut out those pictures and stick them on your vision

(3) Use Big Pictures

Use big pictures and big words to represent your dreams. You want to be able to see your vision easily.

(4) Do not Limit Your Imagination

In one of the interview report, Bob Proctor said that one common mistake people made was they often go after what they think they can achieve rather than what they really want.

Your task is to declare your true intention to the universe. Do not limit your imagination to what you
can ask for based on your perceived value of what you can achieve currently.

You do not need to know how to achieve your dreams. This is Universe's domain knowledge.
When your energy level and thoughts are in alignment, the universe will show you the way.

(5) Pin Your Vision Board At a Convenient Place

Once your vision board is ready, pin it up at a place where you can see it everyday.

Ideally, this place should be somewhere you will see first thing in the morning and last thing before you sleep.

See your vision board twice a day. Remind yourself of the feelings attached to the pictures you have cut out. Carry this feeling with you throughout the day and release it to the universe through your actions.

Now some of you may still doubt if this works. It absolutely does! How do i know? I did the same thing
and in just three weeks, I started to see my vision manifesting into reality.

So do not doubt the power of the secret vision board!

5 Quick Fall Porch Decorating Tips

Who could not use a few quick fall decorating tips when the kids go back to school, football becomes a water cooler topic, and the daylight fades earlier in the evening? When your schedule is full and there is little time to relax, some helpful tips may be just what you need. Try these ideas to create some festive fall curb appeal on your porch.

  • Outdoor doormat – this is an easy way to add fall colors and dress up your front door area at the same time. Choose a doormat that is durable and will collect leaves and dirt easily. If you have trouble color coordinating your porch, use the colors in the door mat as a guide. Pick one or two colors and use them when selecting an outdoor rug, pillows, or amenities.
  • Outdoor rug – an outdoor rug can be enjoyed almost year round. They are made especially for exterior use and add both beauty and functionality. It will warm a seating area or place in front of your porch swing.
  • Wreath – dress up your front door with a colorful autumn wreath. Wreaths come in all price ranges so there is sure to be on to fit any budget. Have kids or grand kids? Help them make a wreath for your front door. You can use natural materials like twigs, corn stalks, and even colorful corn. Use ribbons in fall colors to tie it all together.
  • Chrysanthemums (or mums)- nothing says fall quite like mums. Create curb appeal by choosing all of the same color or mix two or three together. Adorn your porch steps but take care not to cause a tripping hazard. For an added touch paint the pots autumn colors also. Again, you can paint them all the same color or mix and match.
  • Traditional pumpkins – they are always a welcome sight in the fall. This year group them together in strategic locations on your porch for a coordinated look. Not good at carving them? Use stencils to paint decorative faces or scenes on the pumpkins. Kids of all ages have fun doing that and it is safer than carving for the little ones.

These five quick decorating ideas should get you started this year in creating a welcoming and colorful fall porch. Remember, it is all about the color. Choose a main color and add one or two more to create your own unique look.

How to Choose a Reputable Contractor

You have finally decided to build or remodel your home. While picking out the cabinets, counter tops and floor covering can be exciting, choosing the right contractor is the most important decision you will make during the process. Before you break out the phone book and your checkbook, here are a few things to consider when hiring the right man for the job.

– Set a budget and stick to it. You do not want to start picking out your hard wood when your budget only allows for vinyl wood flooring. Set a firm budget that you are comfortable with and avoid deviating from this number once the job begins.

– Do your research. Decide what type of new home or renovation you would like to have and make sure it fits within your budget. Next, make a list of companies in your area that are qualified to take on your build or renovation. Your search for a qualified contractor may start in the phone book but it does not end there.

– Do your homework. Once you narrow down your list of possibilities, start asking your family and friends for their recommendations and past experiences with builders. Keep in mind that customer service is just as important as quality of work. You will ultimately make the decision of which company you would like to work with, but past customer reviews are invaluable in this situation.

– Ask the right questions. As you begin the interviewing process, be sure to ask your potential contractor the important questions. How long has he been in business? Is he licensed and insured? Can he provide references from both past customers and vendors? What work is he directly responsible for and what work will he subcontract to someone else? What new technologies can he bring to the table? What is his timeline for completion? Is he a member of any local or national builders associations?

It is also imperative to find out want types of warranties your contractor offers on his workmanship after the project is finished and if he provides service after the sale for any minor problems or touch ups that may occur.

– Do not sacrifice quality due to price. You may have to make some compromises along the way such as less expensive light fixtures or opting for a little less square footage. However, do not let a good builder get away and choose a less expensive option if it means you are losing quality work.

Finally, get everything is writing and never pay more than 50 percent upfront. Building or renovating your home can be an exciting and joyous experience, provided you have a qualified contractor you can trust.

Asthma, "Hidden" Asthma, And Allergies

During the winter months, colds, flu, sore throats, and respiratory illnesses become more prevalent, outdoor activities decline, family members are in closer contact with one another, and our homes are sealed up against the wintry elements. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) declines as indoor airborne pollutants and indoor allergens increase. The accumulation of built-up antigens (allergens) within a home, typically cause family members to suffer adverse health effects. Recent research confirms the EPA’s claim that indoor air quality can be 100 times, or even in some cases, 500 times worse, than the outdoor air quality. Those persons prone to allergies and asthma suffer severely at this time of the year. Until the general public becomes aware of the dangers of polluted indoor air and then begins to demand the services, Home Indoor Allergen Control services, specializing in improving indoor air quality, will remain limited in numbers. The EPA, utilizing public service announcements, is presently promoting campaigns to educate the public on the dangers to health from poor indoor air quality.

Coinciding with the energy conservation practices initiated in the late 1970’s, including better insulated home-building construction methods, asthma (and asthma related deaths) among children has continued to increase, year after year, since 1980. Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled through;

  • patient/parent education
  • allergy injections
  • medications, and
  • avoidance of “triggers”

Symptoms of Allergies

Symptoms ranging from itchy skin, stuffed up nasal cavities, runny noses, head or sinus aches, bouts of sneezing, sinusitis, irritated, watery and reddish eyes, puffy, swollen or discolored eyelids, wheezing, a “tight” chest, scratchy throats, raspy voices, dry unproductive coughs, feelings of lethargy, mental fatigue and even depression are not uncommon. These symptoms may only result in temporary, or day to day, discomforts for some. Yet these discomforts, even if minimal, can now be controlled, at a low cost and without over-the-counter allergy medications, a huge revenue source for the pharmaceutical companies.

More importantly, without utilizing the benefits of home indoor allergen control, the nearly 50 to 60 million American’s (one in five) who suffer from allergies are at great risk of becoming afflicted with even more permanent, life long, ill-health effects including; asthma, bronchitis, perennial rhinitis (hay fever), eczema, dermatitis, sinus infections and other serious health issues, looming in their future.

Asthma and the Differing Types of Asthma

By overlooking the need for home indoor allergen control, children, the elderly, and persons with weak immune systems (even if just temporary) are at a high risk of developing long term medical afflictions. Although 4 to 5 million children, knowingly suffer asthma attacks yearly, asthma remains one of the more common chronic diseases of childhood and is often undiagnosed amongst children. There are as many types of asthma as there are “triggers” that can cause asthma attacks, but basically asthma is classified as either “intermittent or “persistent” asthma.

What is very important for parents to realize is the possibility of your child having “hidden” asthma a condition that exists before wheezing, coughing and rapid breathing become noticeable. Since infants and toddlers cannot verbalize how, or what, they are feeling, “hidden” asthma may be very hard to diagnose, even by your family physician. Irritability in very young children can mean many different things but, like a guttural cough or rapid breathing, could also be a sign of respiratory difficulties.

So how do you know if your child has signs of developing asthma or “hidden” asthma?

Pay attention! Become knowledgeable of the symptoms and alert to the possible triggers. Although it may be difficult to notice any tell-tale signs with children under the age of 18 or 24 months, there are definitive symptoms to look for in older children. Wheezing, for one you may think…but not necessarily so, is a prime characteristic found in asthmatics, yet it’s not necessarily the most common symptom. Coughing is a particularly prominent indicator and wheezing may not be readily noticeable to parents or the family physician, even through a stethoscope. Children with a history of bronchitis, pneumonia, respiratory infections, numerous and constant bouts of coughing (particularly at night or in cold weather when asthma conditions tend to worsen) should be thoroughly checked for asthma. Coughing immediately after vigorous activities such as running, or even a long-lasting spell of crying, are also signs that should be noted and may require a physician’s evaluation for asthma. Family history, especially a history of allergies or asthma, genetics, the child’s moods and actions, responses to foods and possible allergy triggers, must all be communicated to a physician in assisting to determine whether a child may be susceptibility to asthma.

Infants and toddlers with a past histories that include chest colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic coughing or unusual breathing patterns, either shortness of breath or rapid breathing, should be tested for asthma as well as other respiratory diseases. Keep in mind, as active as toddlers and pre-schooler’s tend to be, it may be very difficult to discern the limitations of physical activities. Pulmonologist’s, performing lung function tests on very young children, still find it difficult to ascertain an asthma diagnosis, but these tests may still reveal airway obstructions. Asthma, brought under control, allows children to live more active lives without frequent asthma attacks.

Common Home Indoor Air Pollutants Resulting in Asthma and Allergies

Through education and knowledge, basic common sense, and recent technological innovations, the removal, reduction, and control of the following worst pollutants and allergens, will greatly improve Home Indoor Air Quality and the health of the home occupants. Of the nearly 50 – 60 million American’s suffering from allergies, 20 million or so, are allergic to household dust and/or the particulates that make up household dust. Guanine, a potent and harmful allergen produced by dust mites and found in their fecal pellets and exoskeletons, is a major contributor. The most common indoor allergens include:

  • Dust and Dust mite allergens
  • Second-hand cigarette smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Cockroaches
  • Molds and mildew

Education will allow homeowners to gain the knowledge of just how these allergens accumulate. By simply changing practices and habits, methods can be easily integrated into the present home lifestyle to minimize the amount of unhealthy allergens and thereby improving the quality of health for the home occupants. To a degree, housekeeping practices have evolved over the past generation or two. Kitchen areas have tested to be the most bacteria ridden parts of a home.

Our bedrooms, especially within the mattresses that we sleep upon one-third of our life, are the dirtiest and nastiest. Mattresses and the micro-climatic ecosystem within them, provide all the creature comforts that allow dust mites to live, thrive and breed while producing the antigen guanine, the worst offender and most harmful of all indoor allergens. Our grandparents can recall the days when mattresses were carried outside to have the “dust” literally beaten out of them and then placed in the sunlight for a naturally cleansing. Nowadays, aside from both parents working full-time jobs, mattress technology has evolved to the point that mattresses are too heavy or too bulky, to tote outside even if there is an area that exists where the mattress can be placed for “cleansing”. Carpeting accumulates many allergens as well, however carpeting does not provide the micro-climatic ecosystem that dust mites require. Regular vacuuming assists in controlling built-up allergens in carpeting, but only if the proper vacuum is used.

Home Indoor Allergen Control Technicians

Mattress cleaning technicians, trained in the removal, reduction, and control of home indoor allergens are in an excellent position to not only offer their much needed services, but to also help educate the general public on methods of improving and sustaining healthier lives by simply improving home indoor air quality.

The above information is not intended as medical advice. If you or your family members experience any of the above symptoms, please see a medical professional. Excellent information is available from either the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) or the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI).

Roy Lichtenstein’s Famous Works

In the early 1961, Roy Lichtenstein was challenged by his young son to “paint as good” as the artists of the Mickey Mouse comics the lad was reading. Thus, a icon of the American pop art scene stumbled upon the format that would make him famous.

Two of his best-known works are the comic-inspired pieces, Whaam! and Drowning Girl, both produced in 1963. In these paintings, Lichtenstein utilizes a method of outlining figures in thick, black strokes and fills areas of primary color with Benday dots to produce different shades and hues, both practices reminiscent of the printing methods of comic books produced in the ’60s and ’70s.

Whaam! was itself an adaptation of an actual illustration from a 1962 war comic published by DC. The painting is a diptych composed of an Air Force aircraft firing a rocket at an enemy who explodes in a brilliant display of red and yellow. In comic book lettering style, a caption in the first panel reads, “I pressed the fire control…and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky…” The illustration is set off with large, block letters spelling “Whaam!” as the rocket hits its target.

In Torpedo…Los!, the comic-themed panel depicts a close up of a submarine captain peering through a periscope. The scene is punctuated with bold swaths of primary yellow and blue. The painting drew a bid of over $5 million when sold at auction in 1989.

The choice of content of both Torpedo and Whaam! seems heavily influenced by Lichtenstein’s own military service which interrupted his art studies at the Ohio State University.

In the 1970’s and 80’s Lichtenstein began to broaden his focus, including continuing a series of “Artists Studios”. Look Mickey depicts a sparsely furnished studio with the Disney character, Donald Duck, in a painting on the studio wall. Much of the space is depicted in stark black and white, contrasting with the blue, yellow, and hints of red in the art on the wall. Donald Duck is fishing and his word balloon reads, “Look Mickey, I’ve hooked a big one!” A separate word balloon – unattached to any speaker – reads, “See that baldheaded guy over there? That’s “Curly” Grogan. He and his mob run half the rackets in this town!”

Other works in the “Studios” series incorporate the work of other artists as back ground material for Lichtenstein’s paintings. Lichtenstein also dabbled in surrealism and even constructed metal and plastic sculptures such as Lamp in St. Mary’s, Georgia and The Head, in Barcelona.

The Labor Market – Efficiency and Mobility of Labor

Efficiency of Labor is the ability of Labor to increase output without increasing the quantity of Labor. Increase in efficiency is usually expressed in terms of increase in output of Labor within a shorter period of time without any fall in the quality of goods and services produced. If labor is efficient, the quality of goods and services produced will be high.

There are lots of recommendations to consider when trying to improve efficiency of Labor. Such ways are as follows:

Education and training: The level of education and training received by a worker will go a long way towards increasing the efficiency of labor. A well educated or well trained worker is in position to increase efficiency in his work.

Level of technology: High technology will increase the efficiency of labour.

Efficient management: High technology will increase the efficiency of labor.

Personal skill of the worker: If a worker possesses a natural skill of doing a particular job, his work becomes efficient.

Attractive wages: When the salary or wage of a worker is attractive, it will boost or promote the efficiency of the worker.

Weather condition: The physical or weather conditions in a work place can affect the efficiency of labor. Hot weather lowers efficiency of labor, cool weather or environment increases efficiency of labor.

State of health of worker: A healthy worker is more likely to be more efficient than a worker who is sicker.

Efficiency of other factors of production: The efficiency of other factors of production like land, capital and entrepreneur when combined with efficient labor will increase productivity.

Intelligence of the workers: Some workers are highly intelligent, while others are not. Highly intelligent workers rarely make mistakes.

Conditions of service: An improved condition of service like the availability of transport allowance, bonuses, overtime, etc. will help boost efficiency of labor.

Application of division of Labor: The application of division of labor and specialization in any organization can result in the efficiency of labor.

Level of commitment and attitude: The level of commitment and attitude of a worker can affect the efficiency of labor, when a worker can affect the efficiency of labour. When a worker is highly committed to his job, this will result in efficiency of labor.

Security of job: Efficiency of labor can be increased if a worker is sure that his job is secured.

Promotion: frequent promotions of workers in any organization can lead to increase in efficiency of labor.

Mobility of Labor

This is the ease with which labor can move from one geographical area to another; or from one occupation to another. Labor is said to be mobile when workers will find it easy to move from one geographical area to another or to change jobs. There are two main types of mobility of labor.

Geographical mobility of labor

Geographical mobility of labor is the ease with which workers or labor can move from one geographical location to another in pursuing the same occupation or changing occupations. When a worker moves from one town to another, eg, from London to Sheffield, without changing the job he is doing, we say that he has moved geographically. An accountant in London may move to Sheffield to continue to work as an accountant. Take note that it is the movement of labor or worker from one area to another area, this is called geographical mobility of labor. Factors affecting geographical mobility of labor are:

1. Cost of transportation: A worker may be able to move from one location to another if the cost of transportation is low. But when it is high, movement becomes difficult.

2. Accommodation problems: Workers may not be able to move to new location where there’s accommodation problems.

3. Climatic conditions: Members may move from where there are favorable, climactic conditions.

4. Family and cultural ties: Members of a family or culture may find it difficult to move from one location to another of strong family or cultural ties.

5. Government Policies: Certain government policies which can help to deliberately move labor to different states other than their states of origin.

6. Social and economic infrastructures: The availability of social and economic infrastructures eg, electricity, pipe borne water, telecommunication etc, do encourage labor to move to places where these infrastructures are available.

7. Discrimination: Labor may not be able to move if there is the possibility of discrimination against them in their destination.

8. Language barrier: When Labor finds it difficult to speak the language of a particular area, it becomes very difficult for them to move to such area.

Occupational mobility of Labor

This is the ease with which a worker or labor moves from one occupation or job to another. When a musician becomes a footballer, he has changed his occupation. Factors affecting mobility of labor are as follows:

1. Cost and length of training: Some professions are expensive to train in terms of time and money, e.g, the medical profession.

2. Ability or aptitude: Some jobs require natural ability or talents and those that are not gifted can not fit into such jobs e.g a musician.

3. Employment prospect/age: After a certain age (eg, 45 years) employers will not engage such people. They have poor prospects for an employer as they only have short working Life.

4. Trade union/professional association restrictions: Some professional bodies (e.g accounting, law) require certain qualifications before admission.

5. Personal reasons: Personal preference for a particular job and dislike for available alternatives may discourage movements.

6. Families and friendly ties: Friendly ties at times make it difficult for some people to change jobs. Also, some families are known to be associated with certain profession, and it will become difficult for a family member to pull out of that profession.

7. Political instability/religion: When there is political instability or religious crises, it will be very difficult for labor to move.

8. Wage rate: Labor will move if there is a wide margin in salaries but if it is low, labor may not move.

9. Condition of service: Apart from salary, the conditions of service in a working place eg bonuses, overtime, staff bus, car and housing loan etc. When present, will encourage labor to move.

10. Discrimination: There may be discrimination of sex, color, age, religion etc. This can affect occupational mobility of labor.

Efficiency and mobility of labor are very vital pillars in a nation’s or region’s economy. They can stabilize or decline the rate of development of a region.

Things You Want to Focus On When Considering a Stairlift for Your Home

Stairlifts are growing in popularity, mainly because so many people are choosing to enjoy their independence well into their elder years. Older generations are refusing to go to homes and leave their family home where they have lived for years, they want to stay at home and enjoy their freedom. This can be a serious concern for families, especially when there are stairs involved.

One of the leading accidents with older people is trips and falls, even at home. Stairs are a dangerous obstacle and therefore installing a stairlift can make a significant difference to the persons quality of life, while providing the family with much needed peace of mind at the same time.

The first major thing to focus on when looking at the possibility of a lift for the staircase is to look at the stairlift companies offering this service in your area. You want to choose a company with a good reputation that can provide you with years of experience. They should be able to answer your questions without delay and send out an experienced team member to measure the stairs so that they can custom make the stairlift based on your staircase and particular needs.

The next thing you are gong to want to identify before making any decisions is whether your staircase is straight or curved. A curved staircase can result in you finding it harder to find a stairlift company to provide you with a service. Curved staircases are unique, which means the company needs to custom make your stairlift based on the design. Not all companies offer this service, many will provide straight lifts out of the box.

You will need to determine your budget to see whether buying or renting is the best option for you. When renting you will pay an affordable monthly fee which includes any services and repairs while you own the stairlift. Owning means that once you have purchased the product, it is yours, so there are no payments other than maintenance. If there are any issues in the first year, this should fall under the warranty.

If you choose to purchase from a stairlift company, then you are gong to have to decide whether you want to buy new or reconditioned. Bear in mind that not all companies provide curved stairlifts as reconditioned models. Reconditioned is a used products, it is in good condition, though there may be some minor signs of wear and tear. These have usually been put through a thorough checking process, any essential repairs have been carried out and the lift has been serviced. New is out of the box and costs more to purchase.

Look at the different chair options. Some are a perched seat, others are a proper seat with arm rests. Any seat you choose should come with a safety harness and you will want to speak to your stairlift company to ensure that it is easy for you to use. Consider a simple toggle switch if you suffer with poor fine motor skills, ensuring you can enjoy your independence with confidence moving forward.

Always ensure that the product you choose comes with a good warranty. New stairlifts come with a manufacturers warranty, but any reconditioned models should come with a warranty, so you can buy with complete confidence and peace of mind.

The stairlift company should be able to provide you with a host of services from the custom build of your lift to the delivery and installation. The company should also offer servicing and repairs as needed.

Security Entrance Products That Prevent Tailgating and Piggybacking Into Buildings – A Brief History

In today’s civilized society the art and science of protecting ourselves and our properties from harm has evolved considerably. Just look at the numbers, variety, and types of doors, locks, alarms systems, video monitoring devices, and other technology designed specifically to keep us safe and protect our privacy and personal property/vehicles. The technology and industry that came up around residential and commercial security and entrance control is enormous. In the balance of this article, we want to take a closer look specifically at commercial property security entrance control, a growing and ever-changing business.

The first commercial buildings probably had basic hinged doors and simple deadbolt locks. During the workdays we know that these doors would normally be open and would typically be staffed by a doorman or security person, or maybe not. Until recent time many lobbies and entrances (even the big cities like New York) would have an open access lobby, possibly with a registration/security desk to help direct visitors. Even as recently as the late 1990’s, some of the most secure buildings had very little in terms of security technology, preferring instead to use security officers to check credentials as pedestrians pass by toward the elevators. But the drastic improvements and interest in access control over the past 50 years has allowed more focus on the technology of entrance control.

What is Entrance Control?

Entrance control can be seen as a subset of the larger access control industry. Access Control refers to the concept and business of protecting premises and information from unauthorized persons. It encompasses all the technology and hardware of card readers, door strikes, specially developed software, intelligent video and entrance control equipment. Entrance control includes all the secure doors, turnstiles, optical lanes, and security portals that operate within access control systems. The business of access control has grown considerably over the past 20 years, certainly a business that can be measured in the billions of dollars.

In our definition, entrance control includes all of the products that you think of for security entrances:

  • Security Revolving Doors
  • Security Portals (“man traps”)
  • Waist High and Full Height Turnstiles, and
  • Optical Turnstiles (with/without barrier arms, wings or panels)

All of these products have various uses to stop tailgating and piggybacking and their appropriate applications depending on security level desired, necessary throughput, architectural needs, proximity to staffed location, and architectural/design influences.

Relevant Trends

Some of the trends that have influenced the interest and growth of entrance control in recent years include; Employers’ increasing concerns to provide a safe workplace for their staff, terrorism threat, and the possibility domestic disputes carrying over to the workplace. In addition, technology has changed to the point where integrating a good entrance control system with the building’s access control environment is much simpler and seamless. The events of September 11, 2001 increased the interest and urgency of entrance control as responsible building owners and corporate leaders realized the need to know “who is getting in.”

History & Types

It seems that the earliest use of entrance control equipment dates back to the late 19th century. The first entrance control devices were likely the simple “ballpark-type” mechanical turnstiles. They evolved from the agriculture industry, where “stiles” were used to allow humans to pass while keeping sheep or other livestock penned in. Turnstiles use ratchet mechanisms to allow the rotation of the stile in one direction, or to allow just one person at a time. They were some of the earliest security entrance control devices, and modern versions are still used extensively today.

Optical turnstiles operate much like regular mechanical turnstiles, except that they rely primarily on electronic ( infrared ) beams, and audible/visual interfaces to control entry. Rather than physically restraining a person, the optical turnstile uses sounds and lights to alert others to attempted entry by unauthorized individuals. They are also suitable for the handicapped in that they are barrier free. Some reports credit the first “optical turnstiles” to Omega Corporate Security of Walnut Creek, California, where they were developed for Charles Schwab Co. in San Francisco.

Security revolving doors sprung from the revolving door industry. Revolving doors came into use in around the start of the 20th century. Some reports say that the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia may have had the very first revolving door (or “revolving storm door” as it was originally named). Others claim the original revolver was at a restaurant in Manhattan’s Times Square in 1899. Security revolving doors require security authorization (by card or other credential) prior to allowing passage.

The roots of security portals go back to “man traps’ that were used is the early 1800’s to catch poachers and trespassers. Today’s security portals are based on a 2-door design which requires strict credentialing and single person authorizing before a person can gain access to the secure area.

Using it Today

Practically every commercial office building has installed some form of entrance control, particularly if an access control system is in place. Entrance control systems help protect the building occupants, provide a secure and safe workplace, probably also improve the desirability of an employer’s workplace. Today’s products are aesthetically pleasing, provide various levels of security, and are easily integrated with all forms of access control and authentication methods (access card, biometrics, PIN code, etc.).

There are a variety of experienced manufacturers of entrance control equipment to complement your access control system. Choose from a selection of quality products in an appropriate style and configuration to help you know “who is getting in?”

Contact your local integrated security provider for recommendations.

Sheet Music

Modern sheet music comes in many different formats including the recent invention of digital sheet music (often downloadable in the .PDF Portable Digital Format) and it can be argued that at least in the Western world what was known as printed music is now moving away from the paper format. Sheet music is different to Tablature (aka Tab or Tabulature) is a form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play.

If a piece is composed for just one instrument / voice (such as a piano or an a cappella song), the whole work may be written or printed as a piece of sheet music. If an instrumental piece is intended to be performed by more than one person, each performer will usually have a separate piece of sheet music, called a part, to play from. This is especially the case in the publication of works requiring more than four or so performers, though invariably a full score is published as well. The sung parts in a vocal work are not usually issued separately today, although this was historically the case, especially before music printing made sheet music widely available.

Sheet music can be issued as individual pieces or works (eg a popular song or a Mozart sonata), in collections (eg example works by one or several composers), as pieces performed by a certain artist etc.

When the separate instrumental and vocal parts of a musical work are printed together, the resulting sheet music is called a score. Conventionally, a score consists of musical notation with each instrumental or vocal part in vertical alignment (meaning that concurrent events in the notation for each part are orthographically arranged). The term score has also been used to refer to sheet music written for only one performer. The distinction between score and part applies when there is more than one part needed for performance.

Scores come in various formats:

o A full score is a book showing the music of all instruments and voices in a composition lined up in a fixed order. It is large enough for a conductor to be able to read it while conducting rehearsals and performances.

o A miniature score is like a full score but reduced in size. It is too small for practical use but handy for studying a piece of music, whether for a large ensemble or a solo performer. A miniature score may contain some introductory remarks.

o A study score is sometimes the same size as (and often indistinguishable from) a miniature score, except in name. Some study scores are octavo size and are thus somewhere between full and miniature score sizes. A study score, especially when part of an anthology for academic study, may include extra comments about the music and markings for learning purposes.

o A piano score (aka piano reduction) is a more or less literal transcription for piano of a piece intended for many performing parts, especially orchestral works; this can include purely instrumental sections within large vocal works (see vocal score below). Such arrangements are made for either piano solo (two hands) or piano duet (one or two pianos, four hands). Extra small staves are sometimes added at certain points in piano scores for two hands in order to make the presentation more complete, though it is usually impractical or impossible to include them while playing. As with vocal score s (below), it takes considerable skill to reduce an orchestral score to such smaller forces because the reduction needs to be not only playable on the keyboard but also thorough enough in its presentation of the intended harmonies, textures, figurations, etc. Sometimes markings are included to show which instruments are playing at given points.

While piano scores are usually not meant for performance outside of study and pleasure (Liszt's concert transcriptions of Beethoven's symphonies being a notable exception), ballets get the most benefit most from piano scores because with one or two pianists they allow unlimited rehearsal before the orchestra is absolutely needed. They can be used also to train conductors. Piano scores of operas do not include separate staves for the vocal parts, but they may add the lyrics and stage directions above the music.

o A vocal score (aka piano-vocal score) is a reduction of the full score of a vocal work (eg opera, musical, oratorio, cantata etc.) to show the vocal parts (solo and choral) on their staves and the orchestral parts in a piano reduction (usually for two hands) underneath the vocal parts; the purely orchestral sections of the score are also reduced for piano. If a portion of the work is a cappella, a piano reduction of the vocal parts is often added to aid in rehearsal (this often is the case with a cappella religious sheet music). While not meant for performance, vocal scores serve as a convenient way for vocal soloists and choristers to learn the music and rehearse separately from the instrumental ensemble. The vocal score of a musical typically does not include the spoken dialogue, except for cues.

o The related (but less common) choral score contains the choral parts with no accompaniment.

o The comparable organ score exists as well, usually in association with church music for voices and orchestra, such as arrangements of Handel's Messiah. It is like the piano-vocal score in that it includes staves for the vocal parts and reduces the orchestral parts to be performed by one person. Unlike the vocal score, the organ score is sometimes intended by the arranger to substitute for the orchestra in performance if necessary.

o A collection of songs from a given musical is usually printed under the label vocal selections. This is different from the vocal score from the same show in that it does not present the complete music, and the piano accompaniment usually is simplified and includes the melody line.

o A short score is a reduction of a work for many instruments to just a few staves. Rather than composing directly in full score, many composers work out some type of short score while they are composing and later expand the complete orchestration. (For example, an opera may be written first in a short score, then in full score, and then reduced to a vocal score for rehearsal.) Short scores are often not published; they may be more common for some performance venues (eg by bands) than in others.

o A lead sheet details only the melody, lyrics and harmony, using one staff with chord symbols placed above and lyrics below. It is commonly used in pop music to capture the essential elements of song without specifying how the song should be arranged or performed.

o A chord chart or "chart" contains little or no melodic information at all but provides detailed harmonic and rhythmic information. This is the most common kind of written music used by professional session musicians playing jazz or other forms of popular music and is intended primarily for the rhythm section (usually containing the piano, guitar, bass and drums).

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Sheet Music".

Keep Yourself Current – Tips For First Time Teachers

As a first year teacher you might be fresh out of college and ready to start teaching right away. You’re probably with the times as far as computers go and what is the current trend of technology. You’ll have a leg up when you start teaching because you can keep things “cool” by involving the latest trends into your lessons and examples. If you’re entering the teaching scene a little later in life, you’ll want to take a crash course on what’s hot right now, so you’ll be able to connect with your students and you won’t seem like such a dinosaur to them. If your students think you’re behind the times, they will lose some respect for you and think you can’t relate. Here’s a few tips to keep you current.

Keep up with the latest computer and technology trends. If your students are buzzing about the latest gadget from Apple, or the most popular website of the month, you’ll want to already have heard about it. This way if they try to include you in the conversation you will look like you live on the same planet as they do. You can still be the adult, by taking an adult stance on issues like cyber-bullying, but you should already know about things like that and be able to opine on them.

Keep up with the latest celebrity gossip. It may sound frivolous and you may not think it’s worth the time to keep yourself updated, but you’ll seem like you live under a rock if you don’t know what latest scandals the top celebrities are involved in. Really this information doesn’t matter, and doesn’t have any bearing on you as a teacher. But if the scandal is really juicy your students will be talking about it, and you should be aware of what it involves and be ready to offer your opinion on the matter. If the scandal is of a serious nature, you’ll want to provide an adult’s point of view and show them that what the celebrity did was wrong.

Keep up with local and national sporting events. Sports rule in many communities and even though you might be of the nerd variety when it comes to athletics, you’ll still want to be in the know of any games that are coming up. If other faculty or students approach you and ask if you’re going to a game, and you claim ignorance, they will wonder what your place is in the community, and view you as outside of their circle. In your first year you don’t want to be outside of too many circles. It’s a great idea to carve your own path out of life, but you won’t win any good graces by not knowing about the homecoming game.

Best Linoleum Floor Cleaner For Cleaning Linoleum

Maintaining linoleum based floor is not really a hectic job to do. As such linoleum is quite a stable product and is durable so you need not fear or worry your head too much with its maintenance. But then there are some specific products that can lead to damage of linoleum based floors actually. You must make it a point and avoid those things. Like, you must keep away all those products which are by nature alkaline. Linoleum is quite vulnerable to these.

There are solvents that can also cause a significant damage to the linoleum based floors actually. These solvents can render your linoleum quite soft and this is a condition which is really not easy for you to overcome. So avoid these types of solvents. Again at the same time you have to keep in mind that you are not using real hot water in order to scrub the linoleum floor. There would be scratch marks and abrasion marks that you will not be in a position to get rid off.

For best results it is a good idea to use an all purpose cleaner for your linoleum flooring. You can dissolve this cleaner in warm or luke warm water and then you can choose to scrub your linoleum with that. Two coats of self polishing solution can be really ideal for you as well. It would also give a very shiny look to your floor. Two coats is just the right amount that I can suggest you, but if you are in real hurry and want to see the results of quick action then perhaps one coat would do you justice. That would give you enough time as well to render the floor a fresh and good look.

Well it is completely upon you to decide on what is the degree of cleaning that your linoleum would require. If you think its high time that you need to give it a heavy duty cleaning session then you need to strip it off the wax surface first actually. For this you need a very effective wax stripper and are very careful to make note of the specifications that are required for this. In a bucket of water you can make a solution containing vinegar that is the food grade one and water of course. The solution should contain 50% of vinegar and rest 50% water. So with this solution you can choose to clean up the things properly.

However if you have no wish of cleaning your floor but want the shine to come back for a temporary period then you better get hold of vinegar solution. It is really effective in providing you with that shine actually for at least some time.

To get rid of spots over the floor you should get hold of steel wool, which would solve your purpose greatly. Damp clothes are also good so you can jolly well go for that and let it dry after some time.

Why Are Ladder Accessories Necessary?

There are many different ladder accessories that can make your job safer and easier. “Shoes” can make using your ladder worry free because they eliminate the possibility of the ladder losing traction from being on an unstable surface and slipping. Ladder levelers ensure stability on uneven ground or stairs so that you will not be trying to balance on a difficult surface and risking an accident. Stand-offs are a useful accessory for working on your roof and gutters. They are easily attached to the gutter or roof so that you can easily stand and clean or step off safely.

Straight ladders have statistically the most accidents. This is because it is easy to lose traction or tip them over while working. Uneven ground and weather can make working outside on a ladder a dangerous task. With ladder shoes you can have added traction for more safety with very little extra expense. Steel shoes are best for use outside but for extra safety with indoor use, you can easily change to rubber shoes so that you do not accidentally damage any flooring. In addition to shoes, ladder levelers are also a great way to make sure that you are eliminating the risks of using a straight ladder. If you have stairs in your home, you know that it is almost impossible to sturdy a ladder on them. A leveler will give you the boost on either side that you need to be level and safe.

A stand-off is a great way to clean your gutters or climb onto the roof safely. You can also work in corners without putting yourself in danger. Using a ladder usually means that someone else will be present to hold the it steady while you climb or work. This accessory keeps your ladder up to two feet away from the wall so that you are no longer relying on your gutter or roof to prevent the top of the ladder form sliding and causing you to fall.

Ladder accessories are a great way to add extra safety to the work that you are doing. Accidents caused by un-sturdy or un-level ground have fewer chances of occurring with the correct use of various accessories. You can find these products and many others at your local hardware store. The price of safety accessories will vary, but to anyone who puts them to use, they are well worth any expense.

Stairs – The Ups and Downs of Staircase Design

Our stairs are generally governed by the type of houses we have. In smaller terraced houses the stairs are often steep and are built between walls, which means the “strings”, the main frames of the stair construction are not seen from the side. These stairs are often carpeted and have a separate handrail attached to the wall.

The usual style of stair found in most houses is -one string visible and a wall enclosing the string on the other side- there may be handrail with spindles, or it could be completely paneled on the open string side. There is also the possibility that the string has detailing rather than just being plain. Contemporary designs on this theme can have treads but no risers so the user can look through the stair, some treads are cantilevered so the stair appears to be anchored to just one wall, and the use of glass, with timber and metal, gives a light and spacious feel.

The third type of stair is one associated with grander houses, and is very much a focal point. The stair can be viewed from different aspects and so must look good from all angles. Many stairs have landings which lead in opposite directions and give a feeling of space. The use of turned spindles and ornate carvings, generally in solid Oak and once the preserve of the rich, are now more accessible to the average man in the street. A little bit of luxury should be afforded to all- who said that- I just did!

There are lots of choices when it comes to constructing your stairs. A simple softwood string with MDF treads and risers is an option, especially if it is an area that won’t be viewed, and the treads/risers can be carpeted.

The use of Oak strings is always popular- and they can be both traditional style or more contemporary depending on the style and finish. Veneered boards with real wood veneer can also be utilised and give the required look without the expense of solid timber.

The spindles or infill area between handrail and string can add or detract from the overall look. The building regulations state that the gap between any spindles or posts (guardings) should not be wide enough to allow a “100mm sphere” to pass through. This also applies to stairs with open “risers”, the same sphere should not be able to pass through the gap. Make sure that your stair supplier knows the regulations!

Spindles can be plain or highly turned and decorative, spindles can be just timber or timber with metal, or even glass balustrading is now popular.

Handrails are available in Oak,Ash,Maple,Hemlock and Walnut- again its personal choice coupled with design requirements. Softwood can also be used especially if the spindles and handrail are to be painted-Hemlock is a good choice.

Treads can also be in Oak or any hardwood- softwood can be used if the stairs are to be carpeted but MDF is just as good and cheaper.

Any good supplier will want to come out and measure the site before fabricating the new stairs. Many stairs are supplied ready built with only minor adjustments on site. Access to your premises will need to be discussed if the delivery of your new stairs is to go without a hitch.

So if you are planning a whole new stair or need some advice, check the link below for good honest answers.



The 3 Best English Classic Rock Songs of All Time

There were many songs my bands would have liked to play but were too complex for our part time efforts. I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is; which are the 3 best English classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list.

I suggest that the top 3 are:

· Stairway to Heaven

Led Zepplin, originally formed as The Yardbirds, became one of the greatest of all English rock bands and “Stairway to Heaven” was their crowning achievement. The song anchored their 4th album which was one of the greatest selling albums in rock history. Never released as a single, “Stairway to Heaven” is still one of the most heavily requested of all rock FM stations in the world. Jimmy Page eclipsed every other solo he had performed as a member of The Yardbirds or led Zeppelin with the brilliant guitar work in this song. The song is over 8 minutes long, thus no AM radio release, begins as a slow acoustic style folk ballad and climaxes as a driving, electric, uptempo, rock classic. It would be difficult to find another rock song as intricately woven and musically complex as this one. It rises above them all!

· Comfortably Numb

David Gilmour and Roger Waters agonized over the chord progression for this song. Waters wanted the (Bm) (A) (G) (Em) progression and Gilmour wanted the (D) (A) (C) (G) progression. The result is one of the greatest compromises of rock history co-writing. The verses are in the (Bm) progression and chechorus is in the (D) progression. “Comfortably Numb” is the anchor of the epic “The Wall” album, the crowning achievement for Pink Floyd. The guitar solos of David Gilmour on this song are the best ever delivered by the band and makes it the most memorable of dozens of great Pink Floyd songs.

· Imagine

John Lennon wrote or co-wrote many songs with Paul McCartney as a member of The Beatles. This song, at the epitamy of his solo career, is without doubt, the best of his illustrious career as a songwriter and performer. It was the best selling single of his solo career. The song challenged the listener to imagine a world without organized religion, without a focus on possessions, without war, with a brotherhood of man, living for today. Lennon’s humanism and view of a utopian world was all revealed at its best in this classic song. It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of “500 Hundred Songs That Shaped rock and Roll.”