The Many Uses For Antifreeze

Antifreeze is used for the purpose of protecting the unit from freezing damage. When the water turns into ice it can be very damaging. Antifreeze is used as a heat transfer fluid. It is used in many things for example it is used in HVAC chillers and also in solar water heaters. There are certain chemical elements that are added to the water to help with reducing the freezing point. So that it can be at the lowest temperature. This temperature is what the unit will be most likely to handle. It is also helpful in protecting the unit from corrosion.

Antifreeze helps the freezing point when you mix it with water. But it also helps with the boiling point as well. So antifreeze can also be called anti-boil. It is used in car engines because it works so well as a heat transfer fluid. When it used in the cars engine people call it engine coolant because that is exactly what it does to the engine.

One of the most commonly used antifreezes is ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is a water-based solution. It works as a great heat transfer fluid. It is used as a heat transfer fluid when the temperature is able to get below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or 0 degrees Celsius. It is used most often when the unit works by a water-cooled engine. For example it is most commonly used in cars and machines.

You should be aware that it is not safe to use this type of cooling and heating agent when you are operating food processing equipment. The reason for that is because if there is any chance of leaking it can be poisonous. When operating food processing equipment it is better to use another agent such as propylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is an organic compound. Not only is it used in cars and machinery. But it is also used in air conditioners and liquid cooled computers. It has a low freezing point because of the low freezing point it is very resistant to freezing.

Ethylene glycol has such a high boiling point and its compatibility with water. It is a useful desiccant. It is also used as a way to inhibit the formation of natural gas clathrates. It is used in long multiphase pipelines that convey natural gas from remote gas fields to an onshore processing facility.

Antifreeze has many different uses and when people hear the word freeze they just thin of cold. But in this case it can be used for cold or hot units.

Choosing The Best Kitchen Colors

The previous couple of decades were focused on very neutral kitchen colors and tones. Seems like just about every kitchen had neutral kitchen appliances, kitchen cabinets as well as wall treatments. Currently, everyone is being a lot more expressive in the kitchen area and that is certainly good news! Typically the kitchen is the place where most of the daily activity happens in your home, therefore make full use of this area.

Here are several different ways to help you choose the best kitchen colors:

  • Fresh Paint & Wall Treatments: There are lots of different paint colors to pick from, so be sure to take your time when making the decision. It will probably be the foundation of making various other selections for your kitchen colors. Wallpaper and borders tend to be used much more often today as well.
  • Kitchen Faucets: They are not just chrome these days. They are available in a wide range of solid colors as well as metallic choices. It truly is remarkable exactly what style and design that a rather simple faucet will add to your kitchen decor.
  • Kitchen Appliances: Be grateful that the avocado green kitchen appliances from the 1970s are gone for good, but yet after that we shifted to the ever so basic whites. Nowadays, you have so many more options, however before you go really bold, understand that the purchase of a kitchen appliance is one thing you will have to be pleased with for quite some time.
  • Kitchen Cabinets: You could paint over out of date kitchen cabinet colors or even purchase totally new ones. If you decide to purchase brand new ones, really devote some time to your final decision. The cost of totally new cabinets isn’t something that should be taken without due consideration.
  • Kitchen Tile: Try to find one of a kind expressions for your kitchen floor, backsplash and also your kitchen countertops. Floor tile is kind of simple to install and is even easier to take care of.

If you aren’t ready for a huge remodeling job, you can add color very easily and also with hardly any extra expense. Actually, if you are working in mostly fairly neutral kitchen colors in other places in your kitchen, you can easily alter your kitchen colors and shades to fit your mood all year long!

The addition of kitchen colors is really as straightforward or as challenging as you want to try to make it.

For the much more complicated kitchen projects, make sure you plan everything out, so that it becomes the perfect kitchen you expected with the exact kitchen colors that you wanted.

Eco-Friendly and Green Cleaning Tips For Terrazzo Tile

Terrazzo is a combination of marble chips and cement, and comes in a variety of different colors and designs. It is a versatile and eco-friendly floor choice for a many different reasons-one of the most important being the green cleaning options available to it. Understanding what is safe, and harmful to your terrazzo floor, as well as what is safe for the environment will help you determine the best eco-friendly cleaning choices for your terrazzo floor.

The first thing to consider when practicing eco-friendly terrazzo floor cleaning is the use of commercial cleaners. The most important tip I could give you is to avoid using these cleaners if at all possible, especially if you are not familiar with the product. There are few terrazzo floor cleaning products out there that are eco-friendly, and many of them can also harm your terrazzo if you are not careful. You don’t want to be another horror story retold by the contractors repairing your discolored or damaged terrazzo flooring. Remember that most chemicals are far from eco-friendly and contain chemicals that are harmful-in both the air of your house, as well as in the water you dump into the drain or yard.

The most eco-friendly option for your terrazzo flooring is to have it cleaned and polished professionally. This has a few different benefits. Even if you do decide to use a commercial cleaner, many times it just doesn’t do too much for your terrazzo floor. It may still appear dull or yellowed. Cleaning and polishing will brighten your terrazzo flooring making it look fresh and new. The best part? It is absolutely eco-friendly. Polishing terrazzo requires no chemicals. A contractor will come in with specialized machinery that will strip a very thin layer off the top of your terrazzo floor, exposing a fresh layer that will be much brighter and lively.

Aside from the actual process, polishing terrazzo is also eco-friendly once finished. A cleaned and polished terrazzo floor will improve lighting efficiency because of it’s smooth and lustrous finish. This is particularly important for large areas of terrazzo flooring-such as in warehouses, showrooms, or factories. The only thing better than eco-friendly cleaning is eco-friendly cleaning that saves you money in the long run. In the same vein, a polished terrazzo floor will require minimal maintenance, and will retain its shine for a lifetime.

Terrazzo flooring is unique, versatile, and sophisticated. You can make sure yours is looking its best, in the most eco-friendly way possible.

Drag Racing Horsepower

When talking about drag racing horsepower, there are two main questions you will be asked. 1. How fast do you want to go? 2. How much money do you have to spend? I was led to believe (as most drag racing beginners are also) that you gotta have lots of money in order to build a fast hot rod. Is this really true?

This is true if you plan on buying every gadget and part out there to increase your horsepower, trying to buy horsepower can literally run into the thousands of dollars; but lucky for some of you, I was born a good ole country po-boy and all my life had to improvise when others could splurge.

So when it came to building my first race car, I had to work harder and think harder to compete with the other drag racers who had store bought horsepower.

Over the years, I proved many people wrong when it came to producing horsepower on a budget, and now I am going to share my secrets on where to find hidden horsepower for basically little to no money at all.

You may be surprised to find horsepower hiding in so many unexpected places. Of course, the obvious way to gain horsepower cheaply is to reduce the weight of your car. There are numerous ways to do this which I tell about in my article weight loss for cars.

Now let’s take a look at some less obvious ways to gain free horsepower. First of all, just engage the old grey matter(your brain) and really think about the parts of your car which can be removed or by-passed in order to get more power to the rear wheels.

1. You can reduce drag by putting an electric water pump drive on your car to turn the water pump, but you will need a battery charger on hand if you do this. Note: This will keep the engine cool if you remove the belt completely.

2. Certain parts take lots of energy to run, such as the alternator, power steering pump, A/C unit, water pump and air pump, because they are all driven by the crankshaft, so when you completely remove the serpentine belt and make a pass, you free up some serious horsepower. By doing this, you can transfer about 20-40 hp your rear end.

When I staged up at the light, I would take my belt completely off to rob power from the electrical system and crankshaft, by doing this, you must charge batteries in between rounds so keep a good battery charger on hand, and basically all I had running was the electrical water pump to keep the engine cool. This would free up about 20-30 horsepower.

3. Another trick you can do is instead of using the basic distributor, I would purchase a crank trigger to fire my spark plugs and this would take the drag and load off the camshaft gear.

4. More cheap horsepower is hiding and just waiting to be found when you add a set of underdrive pulleys or swap a short belt at the track. Pulleys will reduce drag on the engine by slowing the pulley speed.

5. Want to produce 10-30 horsepower with a simple change and very little money, then add a windage tray which bolts to the bottom of the engine and serves as a blocker between t he crank and the oil in the pan, and as the engine runs, it keeps oil off the counter weights of the crankshaft and reduces drag.

Even better, you can use a deep sump oil pan, it’s better because it increases the distance from the crankshaft to the oil sump. The best pan is an aftermarket one which will have a mesh screen and prevents oil from splashing on the crankshaft. The very best in oil control is a dry sump which holds the oil in a separate tank, and no oil is left in the oil pan.

6. Your wheels can cause some serious drag which is known as rolling resistance. By running your front tires with as much air in them as possible you will reduce drag and improve your times.

There are several other things you can do to your car to reduce drag. Learn to make horsepower the cheap, easy, simple and sometimes free way. Drag racing horsepower doesn’t have to be expensive for drag racing beginners but just accessible with just a little help from the drag racing tutor.

Root Cause Analysis Tools and Techniques

Root Cause analysis (RCA) is the formal search for an individual or group of interacting true causes of a problem. The difficult part of professional problem solving is to identify the right tool(s) capable of identifying the true root cause(s) of a problem and not just the symptoms. It is common to find more than just one root cause to a problem, so be skeptical if you just find one root cause to any problem. RCA can be pointed at any simple and complex problem but the designated problem solver has to know what technique to use for different types of problems. For example, let’s look at two different issues in need of solutions:

1. Fast food drive-through window customers complain that their orders take too long to get filled.

2. You cannot produce good quality plastic parts made from your new machine that has 25 knobs on it for the control settings.

You would hopefully apply different techniques to find out the root causes for each of the above problems but often, in business, that is not the case. Too often, the same tool is applied to solve every problem. In the worst case scenario, the ever popular “GOFAAT” Problem Solving Method (Guessing One Factor at A Time) is used to attempt resolution for both problems.

Using the GOFAAT method to solve problem #1 would look like this: The restaurant manager would run around after each customer complaint and scold employee Joe one day, then employee Mary or Larry the next day and then scream at the slow cooking french fry machine the day after that. GOFAAT problem solving is a common but ineffective way to attempt problem solving but this fact does not dampen its popularity. It is certainly not called GOFAAT by any of its fans but it needs to be labeled as such to expose some organizations to their shortcomings in their problem solving efforts.

Using the GOFAAT method to solve problem #2 would look like this: mold machine operator Terry would spin dial number 7 (lucky 7) a little to the right when things go wrong in the hope that this will make the quality problem go away. Mold machine operator Jerry would spin dial number 13 a little to the left when things go wrong, hoping for a miracle. The Clever mold machine Operator Tito would spin dial number 3 and 5 far to the right when things go wrong in hopes of solving the problem. By the way, Terry, Jerry and Tito never talk to each other because they work on different shifts and management does not allow this group the time to discuss their issues. Unfortunately, this is a common situation that many professional problem solvers encounter when they investigate certain serious problems in a business.

There are roughly 18 different families of Root Cause Analysis Techniques used today. They are listed below. The lower numbers generally depict simpler and more unsophisticated techniques and the higher numbers generally require more training and experience to apply those methods correctly. There are 3 groups of problem solving techniques: Groups A, B and C. Group A techniques can be used by a small team of would-be problem solvers with little training. Group B and C techniques require more training and even software to solve the problems.

Group A Problem Solving Techniques include Methods #1-5, which include:

1. GOFAAT method (Guessing One factor At A Time)

2. “Whack-A-Mole” Problem Solving method

3. Total Quality Management (TQM) > other Basic Brainstorming Techniques

4. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) > Disciplined Gap Analysis > Closure

5. Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) continuous improvement techniques

Problem Solving Technique #1 listed above is the previously mentioned GOFAAT method (Guessing One factor At A Time). This method requires no training to apply and can be used by an individual or a small team to attempt resolution of a problem. The use of this tool as the primary way of solving problems would be at the bottom of the scale of sophistication when it relates to competency in problem solving. It would be a matter of luck if the GOFAAT problem solving method actually solved any problem anywhere.

The second most undesirable Problem Solving Technique is what I call the “Whack-A-Mole” method. It is very popular amongst professionals and managers but it is unproductive and it generates a lot of wasteful and useless action. Here is how the Whack-A-Mole method works: A certain manager runs a large factory with 550 people who sew and glue pieces of material together to make purses. The manager of this factory lives a complicated life with several disasters erupting in his/her business every few days; sometimes a few disasters erupt each day. Using the Whack-A-Mole method, this purse factory manager moves his/her best people to fight a problem in one corner in the business where the big problems are creating chaos. Everything else in the factory gets a much lower priority while this “Whacking” goes on. A few days later, the Manager moves these problem fighters to fight another disaster that erupted in another corner of the purse factory. The manager does not have time to worry if the last fire was fully put out, he/she only cares that it was tamed down and off of his/her radar screen of the top 3 issues.

Whack-A-Mole efforts often address the symptoms of a problem and not the true root causes. It is used by frantic, stressed-out, untrained and unenlightened professionals who believe that any intense group of activities will always yield good results. Unfortunately, only logical, efficient and effective actions get results. Professionals need to learn how to work smarter and not harder.

The GOFAAT and Whack-A-Mole methods can lead to chaos and unresolved issues in business.

The rest of the Group A Problem Solving Techniques on the list are more professional types of problem solving techniques that individuals or ad-hoc teams can use after a certain amount of specialty training. The root causes for low complexity problems could be identified with methods #3-5 with the use of friendly debate, team consensus and the democratic process of team voting. Hard statistics and data verification of root causes are usually not used for this group or problem solving techniques. These techniques can be effectively used on simpler problems. They might not always get it right but most of the time their efforts will pay off, if these methods are used correctly in a disciplined way.

Group B Problem Solving Techniques #6-11 include:

6. Lean Manufacturing > Lean Office

7. Time > Motion Studies / Spaghetti Charting

8. Seven Basic Tools of Quality

9. Lean Kaizen Events

10. Process mapping with 10 layers of Analysis

11. Six Sigma and/or Lean > TRIZ

Most of these techniques require very accurate information and/or data to be successful. These tools could be used to address the Not-So-Fast drive-through window customer complaint problem mentioned at the start of this article. A Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, Black Belt, Lean Master or other highly skilled professional has the ability to solve these types of problems by using the right tools at the right time. Specialized training is required to correctly execute these techniques. These Group B problem solving techniques have a higher probability of identifying the correct root causes compared to Group A techniques. Group B techniques should be used for problems that are more difficult to solve. These methods should be applied when simple team brainstorming will not yield the true root causes.

Group C Problem Solving Techniques #12-18 include:

12. 3D > Multi-stratification-level graphing

13. Statistical Hypothesis Testing

14. Simple Regression Analysis

15. Multiple Variable Regression

16. Neural Networks > DOEs

17. Off-The-Chart DOE Optimization

18. Artificial Intelligence

These techniques require a certain amount of accurate data about the problem that will be analyzed with specific software to enable the problem solving technique to be successful. These tools could be utilized to address the bad quality plastic parts story mentioned at the start of this article. The skills required to use these problem solving techniques would be possessed by Lean Six Sigma Black Belts, Master Black Belts and other highly skilled and trained professionals. These techniques are typically applied when all other efforts have failed to get to the root cause and solve the problem.

The Mechanics of Blinds – How They Work

The ancient Egyptians, who originally invented blinds, incorporated the basic function of tilting through the use of pulleys. Because of the then intricate design of the blind, which increased the price of the product, blinds were not widely used. If this story is to be believed, then this article is a must read. It is believed that blinds were invented at a later time as a way to control the sunlight, thus believed to be superior to curtains due to their increased functionality. For this reason, ancient Pharaohs can not be credited with the invention of blinds.

Blinds are a curious machine, however. The basic function of a blind is to block light and provide privacy. To do that, they need to be adjustable. Adjustability is what makes blinds different. Basic blocking of a window can be done with paper, fabric sheets or other permanent or removable coverings. However, if an occupant wishes to adjust the level of privacy or permit some of the light to enter the room, she can use a blind to cause this effect.

Blinds are generally available in horizontal and vertical designs thus accommodating the particular requirements of the window or door to be covered. Controls are built in to perform the opening and tilting functions of the modern day blind and are also available in a multitude of colors and sizes to fit all applications. All blinds, regardless of origin, must perform these functions in order to meet the consumer demand and specific requirements. In summary, similar functions are found in all blinds with disregard to their origin. Only the quality of the components will dictate the smoothness of operation and reliability of the blind.

As previously mentioned, all blinds typically have two functions – tilt and raise. In the case of vertical blinds, the raising function is replaced by the traverse/open function. The end result of these operating functions is to either adjust the incoming light, control privacy or totally exposing the covered opening. All blinds perform similar functions thus giving the consumer the preferred function at a specific time.

In the case of horizontal blinds, metal miniblinds available in horizontal slats in different sizes, wood or fauxwood slats also available in different sizes, the operating components are essentially the same, only the quality and design of said components will increase the reliability and the ease of operation of the blinds.

The same element applies to most vertical blinds. There are a few systems that work a little differently, but in the end, a vertical blind is a vertical blind.

In order to explain the functions of a vertical or a horizontal blind, it is necessary to visualize in our minds the product itself. In the case of a vertical blind, carriers which traverse in a made to measure track will vertically hold the vertical louvers, which can be ordered in either solid PVC or free-hanging fabric with a weight inserted at the bottom of each vertical louver in order to force the fabric vertical louver to hang straight. These carriers are interconnected and operate uniformly whenever rotating open to a desired angle or traversed open, either partially or fully, as desired by the end user. In the case of a horizontal blind, regardless of the material used (real wood or fauxwood), the tilt and raise functions are conducted through the use of cords and/or wands. The most popular systems are operated by the use of cords for two reasons – ease of operation and aesthetics.

The tilting function of a horizontal blind or a vertical blind is performed by the use of a tilter mechanism built into the blind. This tilting mechanism involves the use of a geared actuator which causes the blind to rotate/tilt to the desired position in order to allow the operator to control the amount of light entering a room, adjust the level of desired privacy or control the level of exterior view. The lift function of a horizontal blind is achieved through the use of a cord lock which allows the operator to lock the horizontal blind at a desired position. In the case of a vertical blind, the traverse function is achieved by either a cord which traverses the carriers to a desired point.

Although the basic functions of blinds remain basically the same, in an effort to differentiate their products, certain fabricators offer “enhancements” to their specific products such as monocommand controls, plastic or metal chains, plastic or metal weights, valance and bottom rail designs, etc. However, these enhancements usually increase production and selling costs and have little bearing on the basic operation of either the horizontal blind or vertical blind.

The basic elements of blinds are the same among various systems. If one needs to repair a blind, usually it is best to try to work with a retailer, who can determine if the blinds are reparable. In many cases, the blinds are so outdated that they may be a safety risk in the homes. However, if you will make repair to your blinds, at least you can understand how they work.

Safety Principles on the Golf Course

Safety principles on the golf course are critical to every golfer. When playing golf in most locations of the country it is vitally important that golfers have protection. What kind of protection? In this brief article we discuss SIX common and not so common occurrences that can effect us while we are on the golf course. They are serious (some could be potentially fatal while on the golf course) and should be thoroughly understood by anyone who intends on spending a considerable amount of time on the golf course either alone, or with friends, family, or golfing buddies.

Sun Protection and Skin Cancer – Sun burn is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays damaging the human skin over a period of time. The stronger the sun’s rays the greater damage is done to the skin. Sun burns can occur in less than an hour and can be of differing degrees depending on the level and type of protection (sun cremes and sun blocks) that is used, the strength of the sun, wind conditions, and kind of clothing or sun shade protection (umbrellas or hats or light clothing used. Doctors say if a person has had five or more sunburns over his or her life, the odds of getting skin cancer have doubled. Even in the spring season golfers should take adequate care to protect their heads and faces, as well as other sun exposed body parts. Sun blocking creams with high SPF ratings (i.e. well over 20) should be amply applied on sunny days to protect golfers from developing pre cancerous skin cancer or exacerbating skin cancer, should it already exist or be developing. Additionally, golf visors or hats should be worn to keep the suns rays off your head, especially if you are bald or balding, and much of your face. Of all the things golfers should do as they leave the putting green before the start of their round these preparatory actions are probably one of the most important practices to be done regularly. What areas of the body should be protected from the sun? The lips, face, ears, forearms, elbows and wrists, calves and knees are all prime targets for skin cancer. Golfers, whether male or female should constantly be checking their skin for moles, actinic keratosis (pre cancer skin eruptions), dysplastic nevi (non-cancerous moles), and basal cell (common skin cancer) conditions which could show up as bumps under the skin.

Tick protection and Lyme Disease – Lyme disease is a tick-carried illness which caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called a spirochete. The disease has been found in most states and many foreign countries. In the United States it is now the most frequently reported disease carried by ticks. It is extremely common and prevalent in the northeast (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey are prime examples) where significant numbers of cases occur each summer. Many cases also occur in Wisconsin and Minnesota. However, Thus far, Lyme disease has not been as common in the southern states. In North Carolina, less than 100 cases are found each year. Rocky Mountain spotted fever,another tick-carried disease, is still more common than Lyme disease in North Carolina.

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of ticks on deer infected with Borrelia burgdorferi. Perhaps the next most important protection procedure before starting the round, and this applies at any time of the season is to put adequate tick repellant on exposed parts of your body. Either cremes or sprays should be used. We would favor a spray as it can also be put it on your pants, socks and other clothing that might harbor ticks if you go into the woods. If a tick bites you and that tick has Lyme disease, failure to remove the tick quickly can lead to the disease which would require a long course of antibiotics. In order to protect yourself on the golf course from tick bites golfers should try to do the following practices before the round begins so follow safety principles on the golf course:

Avoid tick-infested areas, especially in May, June, and July,

Wear light-colored clothing so that ticks can be spotted more easily,

Tuck pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants,

Tape the area where pants and socks meet so that ticks cannot crawl under clothing,

Spray insect repellent containing DEET on clothes and on exposed skin other than the face, or treat clothes (especially pants, socks, and shoes) with permethrin, which kills ticks on contact,

Wear a hat and a long-sleeved shirt for added protection,

Walk in the center of trails, or in the fairway to avoid overhanging grass and brush,

During time outdoors, keep away from tall grass and dense woods. These are two favorite hangouts for ticks. Any time you spend in tall grass or deep woods – whether you are hiking, bicycling, golfing, camping, picnicking etc. – can expose you to ticks,

After being outdoors, inspect for ticks. Check places where ticks might be hard to spot, including your back, scalp, and genitals. Check your pet for ticks. If you find a tick, remove it promptly and carefully. Use tweezers to grasp the tick by its head. Try to remove the whole tick without crushing it. If possible, seal the tick in a plastic bag and take it along if you see your physician or vet. Otherwise flush the tick down the toilet, bury it or destroy it by hitting it with the edge of a sand iron or other club much like a hammer.

Wash your hands after handling ticks.

Snake Bite Protection – Particularly in certain regions of the country such as the West, Southwest, and South, bites from poisonous snakes can be very serious and potentially fatal occurrences if not quickly treated with the proper antidotes and by trained medical persons. It may seem foolish but it is probably worth your while to have some kind of means of reaching the local hospital or clinic, as well as the club house and pro shop in the event you are bitten by a snake. Obviously one can not have serum to counter act the effects of a snake bit because there are so many kinds, but it would be very wise to keep your cell phone available and charged or at least one or two people in your twosome, threesome, or foursome should have their phones in an active state and charged. No one should fool with snake bites. Actions and practices golfers should take to prevent themselves from being bitten from snakes include:

Watching where you put your feet when walking in the woods, rocky areas, or brooks or streams while looking for lost golf balls,

Being alert to snakes when off the fairway and even while in the fairway or sitting on a bench waiting to tee off,

Being extremely careful about waving your golf club in thick grass or overgrowth while looking for a lost ball. Thrashing about in the woods while waving your club to move leaves or help uncover a golf ball under heavy grass or wood may agitate a sleeping snake.

Heart Attack and Stroke – While heart attacks and strokes have a relatively low frequency of occurrence on the golf course golfers should be conscious of how to get medical aid quickly if they or a member of their golf group have chest pains or become unconscious with a probable stroke. In this regard golfers should have their cell phones charged during the round and be ready to call the pro shop, club house and the closest hospital in the event something happens. Having a cell phone with no battery power is BAD so check your phone at the start of the round. Also, the managements of all golf courses should consider or be required to have a defibrillator available to help someone who has had a heart attack. Actions golfers should take during the round to prevent stroke or heart attack include:

Know your own health condition as the round starts and certainly before you step out on the course,

Drink water during the round to prevent exhaustion and dehydration,

On especially hot days when the temperature and/or the humidity go over 90 degrees, golfers should take a towel or towels and keep them wet, and if possible, cold so they can put them around their necks or on their heads while walking the course,

Take an apple, banana, or some fruit, or a food bar or nuts to chew on during the round to keep your energy level reasonably high,

Be sure you have taken all prescription medications before the round starts such as blood pressure medications,

Do not start the round if you do not feel good for whatever reason such as feeling faint, having sweats, having a rapid pulse, and having a fever or headache.

Bee Stings and Allergic Reactions – I was once playing golf and my ball came to rest in the rough under a large maple tree which had some branches hanging down to about 7 or 8 feet above the ground. I was so intent on my next shot to the green that I never noticed the wasp nest that had been hanging from one of the branches hanging over the area of where my ball rested. On my follow through my club hit the nest and a number of wasps came out and chased me. Fortunately, and although I was stung four or five times I found refuge in a rest room on the adjacent hole. A close call but one that can happen to anyone. During the summer months wasps and hornets build these large nests that can hang from branches or be in a large bush and be within reach of golf clubs. Also, bees, wasps and hornets can build nests in the ground with only small holes visible to the golfer and it can be very easy to walk over the hole, hit a shot close to the hole and arouse the critters or have your golf cart run over the hole getting them very upset. Don’ tool with these guys or it will ruin your round. The two greatest risks from most insect stings are allergic reaction (which occasionally could be fatal in some individuals) and effects a persons breathing, and infection (more common and less serious). Usually if the bite is from only one, two, or three bees or wasps the most likely result will be skin irritation and minor pain for as long as an hour or so absent any medical attention. Actions golfers should take to avoid brief encounters with bees, wasps, and hornets include:

Being aware of your surroundings and that includes over hanging tree limbs and bushes where you might relieve yourself or accidentally hit with a club,

Have medical treatment ready if you are allergic to their stings and happen to get stung once or multiple times,

Heat or Sun Stroke – Heat or sun stroke is a medical condition that can occur to people who are in the outdoors and exposed to unusually warm or hot conditions. It is a form of hyperthermia where the body temperature becomes too high. Typically the body temperature is approaching or is at or over 104 degrees versus the normal range of 98 degrees. It is typically an emergency situation and can be fatal if not dealt with aggressively and quickly. There are many symptoms to developing heat stroke which include: headache, dizziness, nausea, dry skin, weakness or fainting, vomiting, hallucinations, confusion, disorientation, rapid pulse and a high body temperature. Because golfers are on a golf course for anywhere from two to six hours, sometimes under very hot and oppressive weather conditions, heat stroke, sun stroke, or heat exhaustion can occur particularly to older golfers. Therefore, golfers who spend the better part of half a day under the beating sun can get or develop sun stroke especially if they do not take actions to stay cool and wet and cool such as we have alluded to before. Actions that should be taken during the round to prevent heat stroke include:

Do not allow yourself to become dehydrated when playing in hot conditions (i.e. drink fluids during the round),

Avoid vigorous physical activities in hot and humid weather,

If you are doing something active such as playing golf, take precautions to stay cool such as by drinking plenty of water, and putting wet and cool towels on your head and around your neck,

If you feel yourself getting very hot and sluggish, sick to your stomach, or developing a head ache, stop playing, seek shade, rest, drink some fluids and put cool compresses on your head,

If the weather is real hot and you are planning to play golf, plan on trying to play at a slower pace throughout the round, put a golf umbrella over your head while walking, stay in the shade when possible and above all do not rush.

I hope this article will be of benefit to you and you will have many safe rounds of golf as you practice safety principles on the golf course.

Why You Should Use Fake Stone for Your Landscape Patio

Some people who favor natural stone for patios say that concrete pavers designed to mimic real stone looks fake. When you compare the cost, durability, maintenance and safety factors between natural stone and manmade concrete pavers, your decision may come down to choosing a material that is both affordable and looks great.

It is too easy to have tunnel vision and focus only on the patio surface without factoring in the overall landscape theme or style you are trying to achieve. This is where aesthetics comes into play. So let us now look at material choices from a design perspective.


Aesthetics however is something you and your designer must consider for the overall design. Together with cost, maintenance, durability and safety, you will be prepared to make a confident decision about your next Sedona patio.

Aesthetics is the primary consideration for the style or theme of a paving surface. If your home is reminiscent of an old European villa, you would not want to choose something like concrete Kool Decking which is more appropriate for a more contemporary setting. On the other hand, you may find decorative concrete coatings that are applied in a way to mimic the look of real stone to look fake.

You cannot beat the natural beauty of real stone, but compared to manmade alternatives, real stone cannot only be a more expensive option, but also involve more ongoing maintenance. Many homeowners love the look of old rustic stone, but don’t want to wait 20 years for it to age naturally.

Here are a few design styles or themes to consider:

Contemporary, modern, clean lines, elegant simplicity

Rustic, old world, European, cottage look

Formal, symmetrical, traditional, stately

Asymmetrical, informal, casual chic, eclectic

If what you are trying to achieve or prefer fits into one of these themes, then the choice of patio surface material will be that much easier and you can start to eliminate some of the choices.

Fake vs. the Real Thing

Today we have manufacturers that can do very well to mimic the look and feel of natural stone surfaces. Look at all the buildings that are veneered with “manufactured stone”. These are so realistic because real stone is used to create molds that capture their natural textures. Just like veneers, molds are used to create surface texture on concrete pavers. Though not as realistic, the manufacturers are getting very good at mimicking the look and feel of natural stone paving surfaces.

Stamped concrete and decorative concrete coatings can be applied over a concrete base and crafted into simulated stone. Sometimes called faux flagstone, concrete coatings are applied in a way to mimic the natural grout lines of cut flagstone or slate. Some critics find this technique to be less than desirable since they tend to have a plastic appearance due to the sealers used.

Interlocking concrete pavers that are designed with various sizes and surface textures to mimic the look and feel of natural stone cannot compete with the inherent aesthetic qualities of real stone. The random veins and sparkles you see in slate for instance cannot be reproduced through manufacturing. What gives manmade surfaces credibility is their own inherent beauty. It may look like real stone at a quick glance and that should be as far as the comparison goes.

Aside from the other factors in choosing a paving surface such as cost, maintenance, durability and safety, if you have an aversion to having something that is not the real thing, you may perceive it as fake and therefore diminish its value. Personal preferences must be taken into account when choosing between real vs. manmade.

Top Advantages of Concrete Pavers Over Natural Stone

  1. Lower cost
  2. Ease of maintenance
  3. Do not require placement on a concrete slab
  4. Durability
  5. Multiple applications (patios, pool decks, steps, driveways, walkways)
  6. Design options (multitude of shapes and colors)

Design Tips

  1. Choose a type of paver based on a design theme or style such as contemporary, old world, rustic or traditional
  2. Cover up existing gray concrete patios to avoid the added on look. Note: some pavers are available in 1 ¾” thickness to minimize the height added to a concrete surface and stay below the main floor of the inside of the house.
  3. Use a strong border to define the edge. Some paver styles are not conducive to using one of the pieces as a border, so don’t be afraid to mix different kinds of pavers in order to create a border that complements the main field of pavers.

Will My Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover My Slab Leak?

Homeowner’s across the United States have different problems with slab leaks. In areas where temperatures freeze, lines are buried more deeply. Will homeowner’s insurance policy cover a slab leak? The short answer is maybe. If they do cover it, there will be some qualifications, and only a claims adjuster for your company can tell you for sure.

Your leak will need to be inside the walls of your foundation. You don’t have yard-owners insurance, you have homeowners insurance so a leak on your service line outside of the foundation will not be covered. Sorry, but on the bright side, if that is your leak problem, it is likely the least expensive kind of hidden underground leak to repair, especially if you live in a part of the country less likely to freeze. If the leak is on the pressure side of your plumbing and the water under the house comes up through the slab and causes damage to your home or belongings, some portion of the work is very likely to be covered.

If you do not have damage to the above slab portions of your home, and the leak is inside the walls of the foundation, you may still be in luck. When you call your adjuster, they may say that they will pay to find the leak, but not to repair the leak. Have no fear! This means that the company will likely pay for the leak detection, pay to remove the slab, and whatever fill stands in the way of repairing the pipe. The company will likely not pay for the actual cutting of the pipe, the pipe and fittings to repair the leak, and the labor to repair the pipe. Then they are likely to cover the cost of fixing your home back to the original shape it was in before the work was started.

So, will your insurance company cover it? A great question, and while I would love to tell you yes, only a claims adjuster can do that. Most companies will cover the cost of leak detection, and accessing the pipe as well as filling in the hole to access the pipe. This coverage is significantly better than no coverage for slab leaks at all.

Cello Facts For You

You have decided that learning a musical instrument could be fun. You have heard the cello on a CD and like the sound of it. However before launching ahead to start learning it, you would like to know some facts about it. Here are some cello facts for you.

A Cello is a bowed string instrument. The word cello is derived from the Italian word Violincello. It used to be spelled with an apostrophe ( ‘cello ) to indicate that there were letters missing. However Cello is the accepted name and spelling used today.

A Cello looks like a violin but is much bigger thus having many parts to it. These include a soundbody with two f shaped soundholes, neck, pegbox with the tuning pegs, scroll, bridge,a fingerboard, tailpiece, four strings and a bow. Due to the large size, a cellist sits whilst playing with the main body of the instrument between the knees and the neck of the cello above the left shoulder. Therefore a cello has an endpin to support it on the ground for playing. So just imagine a person ( cellist ) sitting on a chair holding onto their cello, with soundbody between knees and neck above left shoulder. Starting at the bottom you will see an endpin attached to the main soundbody. Attached to the soundbody at the lower end is the tailpiece to which the four strings are attached. The strings are stretched over a supporting bridge to the top of the cello where they are attached to tuning pegs in the pegbox. As you follow the strings from bottom to top, you will see a fingerboard attached over the top end of the soundbody to the carved neck and pegbox. The cellist will hold and use the bow in the left hand.

A cello is typically made of varying types of wood but can be made of carbon fibre or aluminium. The parts are joined with hide glue. The quality and cost of the cello is determined by the type(s) of wood used. The size of a cello can vary to accommodate the varying sizes of people playing from young children to adult. They are all identical in construction.

The strings are made of sheep or goat gut, metal or synthetic material. The open strings are C G D A which is exactly the same as a viola except one octave lower. The cello is tuned to these four open strings. Tuning is done by turning the tuning pegs tighter or looser to match the sound with an external source such as a piano or tuner.

The bow averages around 73cm long and is made of materials such as wood, carbon-fibre, fibre-glass. The bow hair is traditionally horse hair however sometimes synthetic materials of varying colours are used.

Apart from the main cello and bow there are accessories a cellist can have. These include a cello case for instrument protection, rosin applied to the horse hair to aid in sound production, mutes, endpin stops, metronome, tuner, humidifiers and instrument care kit.

A sound on the cello is produced when a cellist presses down on the string (s) with the left hand and moves the bow horizontally across the strings with the right hand somewhere between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard. The pitch of the note is determined by where on the string the finger is pressed on the fingerboard. Sounds get higher as the string gets pressed closer to the bridge because there is less string to vibrate when the bow moves across. The tone and expression of the note is determined by the weight applied to the string, the speed the bow moves across the string and where the bow hair touches the string eg softer, more mellow sounds are produced nearer the fingerboard and brighter, more metallic sounds are produced nearer the bridge. There are other techniques involved to vary the sounds you can produce on the cello which you find out when learning the cello.

These cello facts for you on its name, looks, materials, accessories and sounds are not complete.

Seat Covers Guide – Deciding Between Universal Fit and Custom Made Seat Covers

Choosing the right seat covers can be a difficult process. There are many things one has to take into account, specifically the style and functions that you want your covers to have. This article will focus specifically on the style and aesthetic aspect of choosing the right covers for your seats. When style is concerned, the first and most important choice is whether to purchase custom fit or universal covers. Choosing incorrectly can result in poorly fit covers that sag, wrinkle and rip resulting in an interior that looks cheap and feels uncomfortable.

Universal/Generic Seat Covers

There are two main styles of seat covers available on the market today: universal/generic fit and custom fit. Universal seat covers have the advantage of being cheap to purchase, and can be found in a variety of department stores throughout the US. However, as the saying goes, “you get what you pay for.” Universal covers are generic and mass produced for quantity rather than quality, meaning that they are constructed with very cheap fabrics, imprecise designs and poor assembly. By definition, universal covers are created to accommodate a large variety of seat sizes which means that more often than not, they are manufactured a few sizes too large or too small to properly fit your seats. This sizing discrepancy causes all sorts of problems for the driver. In cases where the covers are too large, the extra fabric shifts, folds and wrinkles easily, creating a very uncomfortable sitting experience and a very shoddy looking interior. If the covers are too small it will result in very tight fit that tears easily and wears very quickly as well. Your choices in fabrics are also severely limited with universal covers. Most offshore manufacturers use cheap and low grade materials that are unable to withstand everyday wear, not to mention that they are entirely unsuitable for pets or heavy duty applications such as construction or hunting. Lastly and most importantly, universal covers are not designed to accommodate vehicles with side impact airbags. This can result in obstructed airbag deployment that can seriously risk the safety of you and your passengers.

Custom Made Seat Covers

Custom fit seat covers are created specifically for the make, model and year of your vehicle. Making a custom seat cover is a multi-step process that results in an exceptionally well fitting product. First, the seat cover material is machine cut from a precise computer aided pattern that corresponds to the exact dimensions and design of your vehicle’s seating application – this includes taking every detail, from the placement of airbags and control switches to the position of arm rests, into account. The pattern is then hand assembled ensuring clean and consistent stitching. After the custom seat covers are assembled, they are passed through a quality control inspection to guarantee against any defects. Unlike generic covers, custom made seat covers allow you to select the fabric and design that best suits your needs. This allows for a combination of both style and function, so that you can not only choose a cool fabric design, but the fabric that it is printed on as well. There are a wide range of fabrics to choose from ranging from the very durable and water proof (DuraTough/Cordura), to the soft and stylish (Velour). Each custom fit seat cover is also manufactured to comply with the factory installed safety options of your seats. Side impact airbags are provided with an easy means of deployment via a hidden velcro slit or a cut out on the side(s) of each seat so that you and your passengers remain safe.

Though the generic or universal style covers will be cheaper, their shortcomings include their fit, quality, craftsmanship, and most importantly, safety. On the other hand, custom made seat covers provide quite a few more options in terms of design and function, with a generally higher quality manufacturing process which takes into account the numerous details of your car seats. Custom covers are also much safer as they are manufactured to allow for the easy deployment of side impact airbags.

Building Your Own Mini Bike With a Mini Bike Kit

Mini bike kits are sweet! The main concept behind a mini bike kit is do it yourself, build it yourself. These are excellent for father son projects. If you’re looking for a way to bond with your son, and he’s into go karts or pocket bikes – then this is an excellent choice for you. Building a mini bike yourself can also be less expensive then purchasing one that is fully assembled. It all depends on which kit you buy.

Mini Bike Frames

The kit you purchase may or may not come with a mini bike frame. A frame is the main part of the bike where the seat will be positioned and etc. The frame would be your starting point where you will attach the other parts of the bike. Ensure that the kit you’re purchasing does indeed come with a frame, or you may need to purchase that part separately.

Mini Bike Kit with Engine

Your kit may or may not come with an engine, as well. This will be another important piece. Luckily, an engine is no where near as expensive as a car engine. We do have a page for pocket bike motors & engines that you can check out as well. This will allow you to browse. When you’re mounting your engine into your frame, you’ll need one that fits the frame of the super bike. Best advice – use the same brand to ensure cross compatibility.

Mini Bike Parts – Mix & Match

Yes, you can certainly mix and match the parts that you use when building your mini bike. However, most of the time, it’s best to use the same branded parts when building your bike. Why, you might ask? Well, if you have a motor from one manufacturer, which does not match the frame, it may not fit. Manufacturers test and ensure that the parts they make match each other. However, they are not going to test another manufacturer’s part with their parts. It’d be impossible to test everything this way.

If you do indeed decide to mix and match your parts, you better be using your measuring tape! You’ll need to measure everything to ensure that it’s all going to fit together properly. For example, check the frame to see how big your motor mount is. Will your chosen motor fit onto your frame?

Replacing parts

If you have a part that breaks down, it’ll probably be easier for you to replace it as you built the bike yourself. You know what parts go where, and how to remove and put that part back, as you’ve already done it once before.

CV Axle Replacement and Halfshaft Removal – Replace the CV Or the Entire Half Shaft?

Changing C.V. (Constant Velocity) axles today is almost as common as doing brake jobs. But some CV axles can be pretty stubborn to remove. In this article learn some of the tricks I’ve used over the years as a Master Tech to make changing CVs and 1/2 shafts easier. Automotive specialty tools are sometimes needed to make the job easier, I’ll discuss some of those and if it is better to replace the entire half shaft, the joint or just the CV boot.

Clicking On Turns

Since you’re reading this you may already know that a common sign of a bad CV joint is popping and clicking on turns. A shudder on straight take offs could be a worn inner joint, but this is much less common. Outer joints have the most movement (like on turns), that’s why outer boots usually wear more than the inner ones. CV boots are designed to pump grease throughout the joint during movement. Wear that causes outer joints to make noise can be accelerated if the CV boot breaks from dry rot or wear and the lubricating grease is lost. If the CV boot breaks, grease is thrown out of the joint by centrifugal force while driving. Without grease to keep the joint lubricated and cooler, its life is drastically reduced. Also outside elements like moisture and dirt can enter the joint,  further reducing its life expectancy. Once they wear, they make a clicking noise upon turns while accelerating. If they are noisy, the 1/2 shaft assembly may be the easiest way to go instead of replacing just the joint. CV 1/2 shaft prices have came down in the last decade and are more readily available than they used to be.

Removing the Half Shaft Assembly

The job of removing half shafts on most cars is mostly the same.

  1. Remove the big nut that holds the joint to the wheel hub.
  2. It may be necessary to unbolt or un-clip the brake hose to prevent stretching it when removing the axle.
  3. The steering knuckle (where the brake rotor mounts), must either be loosened at the strut mount or at the lower ball joint to allow the shaft to slip out of the hub. Choose the easiest!
  4. The inner CV will either be held into the transmission by bolts or with a retaining clip (the clip is not visible).
  5. If there are no bolts on the inner joint, in most cases it will need to be pried out with a pry bar.
  6. Alternatively a slide hammer with a C.V. joint puller can be used to remove the inner joint from the transmission. 

Inspecting and Replacing Boots

You may be able to detect and replace worn boots before damage is done to the C.V. joint. If the boot has dry rot and is about to crack or has just recently split . And the CV joint doesn’t make any noises yet, it has been caught it in time. The CV half shaft assembly can be removed and just the boot can be replaced with new grease of course. The CV boot kit also comes with two clamps and special grease. It is less expensive to re-boot a joint, but it is a little more labor intensive. On cars that I was familiar with, many times I changed the CV boot without taking the shaft completely out of the car. Usually though, the shaft is removed and placed in a vise to be worked on. The old boot is cut away to help reveal what type of retaining clip is holding the joint onto the 1/2 shaft.

When a cleaner is used, like brake clean and the joint is angled it’s easier to see the clip. The joint may need to be turned while kept on an angle to see the clip. Most either require lock ring pliers to spread the lock ring or the joint can be struck sharply with a hammer (care must be taken not to damage the cage). If you have doubt on what type of retainer you are working with, consult a service manual for your specific model. Be aware that the ball bearings can fall out when the joint is off the shaft and the cage is turned sideways depending on the type it is. After cleaning and drying with compressed air, the grease bag can be cut on the corner and the grease is squeezed into the center of the joint. It’s common to force out some of the old grease that was trapped while doing this. Scoop up and discard the old grease that may ooze out. Put the boot and joint back on the shaft by spreading the clip or tapping lightly with a brass hammer. Special CV joint boot clamp tools will be needed to tighten the bands properly. There are two basic types of clamps. There is a type that will be crimped with boot clamp pliers. The other type requires a banding tool, this type is wound and cranked tight using the same motion as you would with a can opener.

A common mistake is damaging the output seal in the transmission when removing or re-installing the axle. If the seal is damaged, transmission fluid will leak. Be careful to center the inner joint when putting it back in. Also a mistake that is made even by professionals is to either break the cir-clip that holds the axle in the transmission or to not install the axle completely IN. It is normal to feel a little movement in and out when pushing and pulling the inner joint when it is properly installed. If the retaining clip is broken or not fully inserted, the shaft can slip out enough that the car will not move! Also if tapping the shaft back into the transmission, be careful not to damage the outer threads. Remember if this is your first axle job, don’t hesitate to have a buddy with experience on call!

What Is Dark Emperador Marble and How to Remove Water Stains From Dark Marbles

From the beginning of civilization, natural stones have found their way into homes for use as pieces of art and elegance. Nowadays, beautiful stones like Dark Emperador marble have become quite popular. These beautiful stones not only signify beauty and elegance but also substance. Emperador marble is available with different features. These include Bursa Turkish Emperador, Light Emperador, Light Turkish Emperador, Dar China Spanish Brown Emperatriz Emperador and Dark Spain Emperador.

This natural stone is quite hard and has a very high density. Even though it is made in fine grain, there are some differences in the darkness and pattern of the stone. This marble can be found in different geographic locations, including parts of Turkey and south-eastern Spain. Dark Emperador is used commonly for a large number of construction purposes including for design uses. The marble tiles made from this stone are popularly used for making floors. The crafted blocks of the marble is used in making countertops and fireplaces.

This marble stone has been in use for many years. It has been extensively exported throughout the world. Due to its global popularity and reach, it is also known by the name ‘reference stone’. For the same reason, this stone helps in recording the international trend in stone trading.

The stone is recognized for its density and rich color. All these factors make it one of the most sought after stones for decoration purpose. This huge demand has let to enhancing the value of this stone tremendously, which has further helped in the economic growth in the locations where it is found.

Even though Dark Marble sinks add as beautiful adorations to kitchen, they start showing water stains pretty soon. Stains are more visible with dark colored stones due to the contrasting difference between the grey or white water marks and the Dark Marble.

There is an easy way to remove these stains from the marble and make them shine like brand new. Sprinkle some baking soda on the stains. This natural disinfectant does not affect marble, but it fights against stains and germs. Using a soft cloth damped with water rub the stains until they wear off. Then, rinse the complete marble sink with water and dry it using a soft cloth. As a matter of precaution do not use acidic cleaners or substances for cleaning marble. These substances can even include juice and lemon. Using these substances can leave etch on the marble surface that will become permanent damage.

Finding a Contractor for Home Painting and Decorating

While many homeowners are compelled to do painting and redecorating jobs on their own, nothing beats the work of a professional. Do-it-yourselfers abound these days, and it isn’t hard to find DIY painting tips and decorating tips. However, not many people are gifted with the skills required to deliver the expected results. Basic skills almost always create basic outcomes. You might be able to achieve really impressive results with what little you know about painting, but then again, it’s highly likely that you might not. If you love your home, you’re not going to leave it to chance, right?

To rid yourself of the possible frustrations, entrust the redecoration of your home to professional and experienced painting contractors. It isn’t hard to find a good contractor these days, what with the help of the Internet. However, the huge number of available contractors also poses a challenge. Which among these contractors should you hire? The first and most obvious factor to consider is qualification. See if the contractor could provide you with qualified workers. Also, ask if they have membership with a renowned organization or federation in their respective industry. Then too, check where the decorators received their apprenticeship or education. Having trained from a reputable institution is a plus factor.

It’s also critical to check out past projects. A good and reliable contractor usually provides a list of past painting and decorating jobs, which showcase their skills and knowhow. It likewise pays to inquire from former clients to know from another standpoint whether the contractor performed well or not. Satisfied clients only have good things to say, and many clients are brutally honest, which is a good thing. However, if it’s difficult to keep in touch with past clients, you might visit the site to check out the work and judge for yourself if the contractor is worth your time.

Painters contractors must have insurance. This is to guarantee quality of service because if something goes wrong and the contractor is at fault, you’re covered and free from liability. However, not all insurance policies provide the right amount of coverage, so it’s worth checking which type of insurance the contractor has. It’s imperative that the contractor remains compliant with industry standards and with applicable laws. It’s a lot of trouble if things aren’t done according to the rules. Also, the contractor must provide you with competitive estimate, and must be open for negotiation. Home painting and decorating do come with a price, but a good contractor works within your budget yet produces great results.