Cork Flooring Reviews Can Help You Make an Informed Decision

Cork flooring reviews are a great way to find out about the different properties and advantages of cork floors. These can help you assess your needs and get the right type of flooring for your home or office so that it can look good and last for decades. Cork flooring is a sensible green flooring option that scores over other flooring materials in many important ways.

Used for hundreds of years, cork offers a durable flooring option that absorbs sound and sustains heavy foot traffic. Some of the fantastic features of cork, according to experts are:

*Cork is hypoallergenic

*Easy to install

*Comfortable under your feet in winter

*Fire resistant

*Slip resistant

*Moisture and decay resistant

*Acoustic and thermal Insulation

*Easy to clean and maintain


Today, considering our fast-depleting natural resources, it is vital to be conscious about the environment and the impact we have on it. Cork meets this critical criterion as it is harvested from the bark of the cork tree, letting it grow back again and again after each harvest. There are many reviews online that will provide information about what varieties, options and specifications are available.

You will also find reviews from installers who have worked with specific brands. This can be very helpful when you choose your own flooring from the vast choice available. A review of the material shows that natural cork flooring comes in five durable layers of UV treated acrylic finish that requires very little maintenance. A cork floor can be refinished with a polyurethane layer to restore its shine. When used in kitchens, breakage is minimized as cork flooring has a cushion-like property.

According to cork flooring reviews, it is best to research a variety of cork panels so that you can choose the right design for your décor. It can be finished, colored, painted or inlaid with unique patterns for an unusual look. High-density cork is stronger than low-density cork. The cork tiles are more cost effective compared to tile floors. Moreover you can combine different cork tiles for a distinctive pattern.

Flooring reviews of different manufacturers will tell you what style, range and colors are available. Here are some pointers to get you started:

One of the best known brands in cork flooring is Expanko, whose eco-friendly cork is dependable, comfortable under your feet and easy to look after. This manufacturer uses hand harvested raw materials from cork trees in the Mediterranean part of Europe.

APC Cork floors are considered very good to work with by flooring installers. These floors come with a protective D-wear finish that is extra resistant to spills and stains while offering comfort under feet.

Envirochoice Cork is popular for its high-end stylish floors at affordable prices.

Eurocork floors are available both with glue and click on installation in a large range of patterns and colors.

Nova Cork is a distinctive cork floor finished with water-based polyurethane at the factory and has lo conductivity properties that make it ideal as a sound and thermal insulator.

Westhollow Cork is light, sturdy, hypoallergenic, and preferred by many users.

As you can see, cork flooring reviews can help you become aware of the features, brands, and guidelines for installation and care. Go ahead and install this wonderful environmentally friendly and affordable flooring option that gives you everything you expect from your flooring choice.

Petroleum and Gasoline Service Station Financing

Earlier gasoline station was only a place where people used to fill their cars with gas, but now it is a complete service convenience store with drinks, food, fuel and sundries. You can find ATM centers on many gas stations. All of this means that there is a huge requirement of petroleum and gasoline service station financing plans. Many financing companies, banks and firms provide various types of economic services to the gas stations.

Petroleum and gasoline service station financing provides help to the gas station owners to purchase various facilities for their stations. Pumping equipments and supplies are the most important factors for any gas station. The advanced gas stations and pumps supply various grades of fuels at a time and they provide at pump payment. Therefore, many financing firms provide gas pump financing with other fuel dispenser and pumping equipment financing to the owners. The process of application for economic help is very simple. Most of the companies offer great rates and fast approval facilities to get pumping equipment financing rapidly.

Lube equipment financing is one of the major facilities of petroleum and gasoline services station financing plans. The classic lube oil is the most popular oil among the auto repair services. The lube equipment is the most expensive equipment among various devices of the petroleum service station. Many shops take the help of lube equipment financing to purchase specialized grease guns and pressure based lubricant delivery systems. You can go to any firm that has the lube equipment financing experience to know more about this service. Many firms offer online application facility to help you.

Leak detection equipment is an important part of any petroleum station that involves fuel. Leaks can make a complete shutdown; therefore, there should be leak-finding equipment at every gas station. However, due to the use of the complex sensors in this equipment, it is more expensive. In such conditions, financing leak detector equipment is a feasible option. You can get economic help from many financing firms for this purpose.

All the petroleum and gas stations house underground tanks to store fuel and oil. Underground storage tanks for gasoline and petroleum stations are very important, as they hold flammable and burnable oils. These tanks are made of utilizing special coatings, engineering designs and fittings; therefore, they are more expensive. Every gas station today requires modern storage tanks for fuel. The financing firms know that how essential these tanks are to any petroleum station, therefore, they provide many financing plans for underground storage tanks. You can get underground storage tanks very quickly and easily with the simple online application process.

Petroleum and gasoline service station financing also provides canopy financing to the gas stations. The purpose of gas station canopies is to keep the customers dry while pumping gas. This facility is also helpful to turn traffic to the gas station, as gas station canopies are available in many styles, price points and shapes.

Metabolic Weight Loss – A Woman’s Guide to Naturally Boosting Your Fat-Burning Metabolism!

The key to unlocking metabolic weight loss is something most women desperately need to lose weight and look great without suffering due to our complex hormones and bodies.

Using your body’s own metabolism to burn calories day and night, even when we’re sleeping, is a dream situation for most people looking to drop inches quickly, and it can be frustrating when we feel our own body is working against our weight loss plans by keeping our metabolic weight loss levels ultra-low.

Luckily Asian women have mastered how to get skinny and stay lean even just after having a baby, and you can learn their metabolic weight loss tricks for losing fat and keeping it off even as you eat your favorite foods!

Metabolic Weight Loss – The Skinny Asian Way

You can learn different ways to boost your metabolism from so many sources online, in books, and on the television, that it can be confusing and overwhelming to cut through the nonsense and find the best path. Between the false “before-and-after” pictures and the endless fake “guarantees” it’s easy to get lost when trying to find actual information.

And while you’re not going to learn ALL of the best metabolic weight loss techniques that Asian women use to get trim tummies and lean legs from just a single short article online, you CAN pick up some great tips that will get you started on the right road:

1. BOOST your metabolism to the next level with these foods – Asian women have known for generations that to lose weight quickly requires that certain food be eaten more often than usual.

Skinless chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, soy, meat, and other lean protein foods are ideal because they elevate your metabolism greatly versus bread, pasta, sweets, or other carbohydrates.

Lean protein forces the body to use more energy to process the food through our system, and that energy requires calories…calories that otherwise would be going to your thighs! Just by switching to lean protein food items at each of your 3 major meals will elevate your metabolic weight loss by up to 25%…which is nearly 300 “free” calories per day!

2. This one SIMPLE move will trigger metabolic weight loss for hours – No one wants to spend hours in the gym or watching fitness DVDs trying to lose weight while going hungry and feeling awful.

Instead you can tap into one of the best metabolic weight loss methods simply by doing a set of stretches as soon as you wake up each morning. This is why you often see Asian women in the park doing slow-motion Kung Fu moves (we call it Tai Chi, don’t laugh at us, haha) right after the sun rises, because we know how powerful the fat-burning effect is the rest of the day.

You don’t have to join us in that park, don’t worry. Instead simply get out of bed and begin doing large body stretches like touching your toes with your legs straight, reaching for the sky and trying to touch the ceiling, etc. Add a few basic yoga poses (the easy ones are fine) and you’ll elevate your metabolic rate by up to 20% versus the normal routine of just hopping into the shower or eating breakfast!

3. Believe it or not, how you SLEEP determines your metabolism level – It can’t be any easier than this…sleeping actually stimulates the production of a hormone called “HGH” or “Human Growth Hormone” that regulates our metabolic weight loss levels in a huge way.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, or stress is causing you to miss out on your usual full night’s rest, it’s a good bet your HGH levels have fallen dramatically without you knowing it.

To create an environment that lets you get the most out of your sleep time be sure to shut off the computer, TV, DVD player, or any other distraction at least 30 minutes before bedtime. Spend that time doing a soft meditation where you tell yourself that everything is OK and you’re going to be fine. You WILL achieve your goals.

Meditation is one of the key ways Asian women knock off excess weight, and regulate our metabolic weight loss efforts. It’s extremely powerful and it works, try it tonight!

4. If you just can’t lose weight EVER, try this secret tip – I know it can be depressing, but if you’re upset because nothing has worked you need to learn one of the most powerful secret free methods that Asian women do to force fat off of their belly and thighs in less than a month…WITHOUT starving or doing crazy workouts.

Lose Your Double Chin and Face Fat With Two Simple Facial Exercises

Usually individuals find a double chin very undesirable, but unfortunately many of us have them and we intend to get rid of them as quickly as feasible. There are many reasons for double chins, and not all of them are heaviness associated. In fact, science shows us that they can be inherited, but there is still first-rate news. You can strengthen up this wobbly fat quickly with a face workout.

There are some facial exercises to help get rid of double chin. Getting free of this through working out and diet is probably the finest way to do it. You can get rid of it through a mini facelift, but it is pricey and there are a selection of risks to doing it that way.

Here are some facial exercises with the aim of help reduce fat on face. Getting rid of this via work out and diet is probably the best way to do it. You can get rid of it through plastic surgery, but it is expensive and there are certain issues to doing it that way.

-Initial Step to Reduce Facial Fat

Open your mouth wide and stretch it as much as you can. Don’t be bothered about looking unintelligent, just remember that you are exercising. At that time open and close your mouth several times while stretching those chin muscles. Render your activities sincerely exaggerated. Accomplish the work out several times a day and this will help tighten up those chin muscles.

-Next Step on How To Get Rid of Double Chin

Open your mouth and tilt your head backward and attempt to take place into contact with your nose with your underneath bottom. Then add on this assignment with sticking your tongue out. When you constantly stick your tongue out you are strengthening your chin muscles.

The importance of Diet and Exercise

Let’s face it, your double chin may be caused by a weight trouble. To get rid of a weight problem you need to change your diet. Eat nourishing food, stay away from senseless calories, and unhealthy food, which are bad for you and only cause weight addition. As you start to modify your eating lifestyle you will lose fat fast and it will vanish.

Broad-spectrum all encompassing exercise is a basic ingredient to all over well being. Exercise will use more calories, but it will also help you feel happier and better all through your total life. Plus you will lose body fat all over, and get rid of that double chin.

-Make Use of a Combination of Various Techniques

When you use a combination of facial exercises and diet you double up the likelihood of being able to diminish fat on your face. As soon as you strengthen up those cheekbone muscles you will lose cheek fat, however you will see even better results when you mutate your eating patterns and include facial exercise into your plan.

Desire a double chin reduction or else even a double chin elimination? Respect the double chin exercises we’ve told you about on a daily basis, being positive to also include an simple to follow fat burning agenda and you will lose face fat will help you reduce double chin.

Escape From Bed Bugs With a Hammock Bed

If you’ve had the unfortunate bad luck of getting bitten by bed begs in the night you’ll likely do anything to get rid of them. And this process can be very expensive. One of the cheapest, easiest things you can do right away, however, is to throw away your current mattress and buy a hammock bed. Here’s what to do in 4 easy steps.

1. Assess The Severity of the Problem

If you only found a couple bugs you may not need to get rid of your bed. If you found several however, they’re likely living in your mattress. Just killing a few on the surface and hoping you’re good is not a great plan as bed bugs can survive up to 550 days without food. If the infestation is minor, you can buy a bug proof mattress cover to trap any current bed bugs inside and prevent others from hiding in the mattress. If it’s bad however, you’ll want to cut your losses and toss out the bed all together.

2. Buy a Hammock Bed

A hammock works as a great bed replacement for an infested household for a few reasons. First, it’s not connected to the ground – so it makes it nearly impossible to get bit as a bug would have to scale the wall and then your support strings to get at you. Second, unless you buy a cotton hammock you can easily wash you hammock to kill off any insects. Or better yet, simply tie the ends together (dry) and throw it in a “high heat” dryer cycle for 10-15 minutes. The sustained heat will kill bed bugs along with any other insect you can think of. A nylon hammock is a great option here as the fibers are more durable and resistant to heat and moisture than a cotton hammock. Lastly, they’re incredibly comfortable. A few nights sleep in a large, woven hammock and you might not ever want to go back to your mattress.

3. Spread Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Along Door Entries and Edges of Room

Forget all the poisonous chemicals or “bait” traps. This cheap, safe to eat/ingest (seriously, not that you’d want to) is incredible. D.E. is essentially a chalky white powder that kills bed bugs, cockroaches, and other insects by drying out their exoskeleton until they eventually die. All they have to do is walk over the powder once and within 10 days maximum, often within 2 or 3 days they will die.

4. Caulk Holes and Outlets

Bed bugs are sneaky creatures and love to hide out for long periods in mattresses, walls, and any crevice they can find. So while you’re busy chalking the floors with D.E. prevent their escape by sealing any cracks you might have in the walls, floor or even the tiny space between an outlet cover and the wall. That way they’ll have nowhere to go and will eventually be trapped and die.

Bed bugs suck. But with the right steps and a little hammock escape you can get rid of them and keep your sanity at the same time. Best of luck!

Top Four Uses for Bluestone

Bluestone can be found everywhere in modern cities, as well as in country gardens and estates, and even in ancient locations – such as Stonehenge – but it is considerably difficult to define. That’s because bluestone is a generic term that is commonly applied to a fairly broad range of minerals including hydrated copper sulphate, dolerite and even lazurite which is the base mineral of lapis lazuli. However, when we talk about the bluestone most often used in contemporary commercial applications, we are mainly referring to basalt which is the blue-grey stone often used in building and paving throughout Australia. While building and paving are the key uses for sandstone in contemporary times, it also enjoys some other uses in commercial and domestic locations. Here are the top four uses for bluestone:

1. Building:

Basalt is used extensively as a building material in Australia, with some buildings such as Victoria’s Pentridge Prison being constructed entirely from bluestone blocks. It is an ideal material for building because it offers a high level of slip and scratch resistance both in its indoor and outdoor use. Since it is hard wearing and attractive, as well as being readily available and affordable, it has enjoyed a long-standing popularity in commercial, civil and residential projects.

2. Paving:

Due to its slip resistance, bluestone is also a top choice for paving stones for gardens, courtyards, steps, driveways and pool surrounds. It has been a popular paving material since the late 1800s so, when used today in pavers, it is guaranteed to evoke a classic vintage mood in gardens and outdoor entertaining areas. Pavers are cut from dense, strong slabs of the stone, which means that they are not only stylish but durable and low-maintenance.

3. Monuments:

Bluestone is commonly used to form large scale monuments and memorial masonry due to its availability, durability and low maintenance requirements. Stonehenge is probably the ultimate monument example, but a quick walk through any town centre or graveyard is guaranteed to reveal many more common instances of the stone’s use in the construction of tombstones, headstones, crypts and grottos.

4. Water features:

As well as being a top choice for paving in gardens, raw bluestone rocks or refined bricks are also used to create tiered fountains and water features in domestic and commercial properties. Due to the stone’s rich colour, unique texture and timeless appeal, it is the obvious choice for water feature walls and stepping stones, as well as pond islands and surrounds.

CNA, LPN, RN, ADN, BSN – Which Nursing Degree Is Right for You?

CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)

Also known as: PCT (Patient Care Tech)


Certified Nursing Assistants take an 8-16 week class to receive a certification. They work under LPNs and RNs and assist patients with day-to-day activities. In layman’s terms, you can think of the CNAs as doing a lot of the “dirty work.”

Being a CNA can be hard work, but if you can brave being one, you’re definitely tough enough to be a nurse (or just about anything, for that matter).

A CNA class is a prerequisite of most nursing programs except some 4-year Universities. Even though you take the class and get your certificate, it doesn’t mean you ever have to work as a CNA. However, many do and it’s good experience.

The class includes the classroom setting, practice lab, and on-site clinical rotations. Think of it as a miniature nursing school. There’s even a State Exam at the end to qualify for certification.


CNA’s make $10-14/hour. Nursing homes are a common starting point for new CNA’s. Hospitals also have many CNAs, but depending on your area, they might be looking for CNAs with experience. Many work at a nursing home then seek a hospital job.

LPN – Licensed Practical Nurse

Also known as: PNC (Practical Nursing Certificate), LVN (Licensed Vocational Nurse)


LPNs go to school for 1-2 years to get their license. If you want to get started and working quickly, this is the fastest and shortest nursing degree out of the three.

Technically, LPNs don’t receive a degree, they receive a license. A lot of people get an LPN, then bridge to getting an RN or BSN afterwards. That way, they can start working earlier.

On the job, the main difference between LPNs and RNs is something called the scope of practice.

The scope of practice means what tasks a health care worker is qualified to do. On the most basic level, the scope of practice means the level of responsibility you are accountable for.

For example, hanging blood, transcribing orders from doctors, and working in specialty units are often outside the LPN scope of practice, but inside an RN scope of practice. Scope of Practice is determined by the state you live in and varies from area to area. In general, though, LPNs have a narrower scope of practice.


A Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that LPNs make a mean (average) hourly wage of $20.21 nationally, making a median yearly salary of $41,150.

LPNs often work in different settings as well. LPNs are less common in hospitals and more common in rehab settings, nursing homes, home health, and doctor’s offices. LPN’s often take a more central role in rural areas.


  • Takes the shortest amount of time.
  • You can get it for great prices at Community Colleges.
  • Less legal responsibility at work.
  • There are many LPN-RN Bridge Programs for further education.


  • Less Income
  • May cost more time and money for school in the long run if you plan to get your RN or BSN.
  • May limit job opportunities. Most LPN’s work in nursing homes, home health, rural hospitals, and rehab care settings.
  • Less independence: you might work under the supervision of RNs

RN – Registered Nurse

Also known as: ADN (Associate’s Degree in Nursing)

Most RNs go to school for 2-3 years and receive an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). A lot of people use the terms ADN and RN interchangeably.


RNs are the mainstay of the nursing workforce. When you think of a typical nurse you see at the hospitals, they are probably an RN

As an RN, you would have a variety of job opportunities. RNs work in hospitals, nursing homes, home health, and many other settings.

The RN scope of practice is different from the LPN and more focused on critical thinking, assessments, and making nursing judgements. Since you’d be specifically trained to do this, you’ll be allowed to handle more “risky” job situations, such as administering potentially dangerous medications and working with critically ill patients.

There are many paths you can take once you become an RN. Although most work on hospital floors, nurses can be seen doing research, working with healthcare information technology, management, legal nursing, and more. A nursing career can be truly diverse.


A Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows that RNs make a median hourly wage of $31.71, with a median annual salary of $65,950.


  • Takes a reasonable amount of time
  • You can get it for great prices at Community Colleges
  • Very little difference in income between RNs and BSNs (unless in a management/specialty position).
  • There are many RN-BSN Bridge Programs. Often, your workplace helps you pay for them.
  • Many job opportunities.


  • You only get your Associate’s Degree. May need more schooling to continue your education.
  • May limit advancement opportunities. Less qualified for management, education, and specialty nursing positions.
  • May also limit your job opportunities. Hospitals who apply for Magnet Nursing Status have a certain quota of BSN nurses to meet. They will often only hire BSNs.

BSN – Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing Degree

A BSN is a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Bachelor’s degrees usually take 4-5 years of schooling. There is more emphasis on a well-rounded degree with general education and nursing theory.

There are many ways to get your BSN Degree:

There are online schools, technical schools, and universities that bridge from an RN to BSN. They are often called RN-BSN programs. Some bridge from LPN-BSN also.

Universities, on the other hand, are 4-year schools that award you the BSN at the end. You skip your Associate’s Degree and get right to the Bachelor’s.

As a nurse with a BSN, you’d be more eligible to take on management responsibilities. Most areas of specialty nursing require a BSN as well. There is very little concrete change in the BSN’s scope of practice compared to an RN.

There is a trend in some hospitals for hiring more BSN’s, or requiring nurses to get their BSN within a number of years after being hired there. However, RNs with associates degrees are still extremely common and will have no serious disadvantage in the initial job search.

If you are thinking about going to school for an advanced degree, seriously consider getting your BSN right from the start. A BSN opens many opportunities for advanced and specialty nursing. All graduate programs (programs that offer master’s degrees) require a BSN first.


  • You can get your Bachelor’s Degree all at once, or bridge from LPN or RN.
  • Most are at State Universities. Good for high school graduates.
  • Eligible for management, education, and specialty nursing
  • Eligible to enter a Master’s Degree in Nursing Program
  • As many job opportunities as an RN, possibly more.


  • Takes at least a 4-year commitment.
  • Universities can be very expensive.

Wooden Dollhouses Versus Plastic – Which Is Better for You?

When I purchased my first dollhouse it was as a gift for my granddaughter. One of the first things that I discovered was that there are 2 primary materials used for the construction of dollhouses. Then came the question, “Which is better…wooden dollhouses or plastic dollhouses?”

There are those who may disagree with the answer I came up with, but essentially, plastic dollhouses are toys and wooden dollhouses can serve as either toys or as projects for collectors and hobbyists. So, to determine which construction material is right for you the first thing to consider is how the dollhouse will be used.

Surely there are hobbyists who will take exception to my conclusion. In reality for every item on earth there is at least one collector. So, I am speaking in generalities. Wooden dollhouses are the norm for the majority of collectors.

Plastic dollhouses are more likely to come assembled but the wooden variety most often requires assembly. So that, too, may help you make your decision on which is better for you.

Another consideration is accessories and furnishings. Again, plastic dollhouses are more likely to come with at least some extras, if not all. When shopping for a little girl this can be a particularly attractive option.

Wooden dollhouse accessories are remarkably plentiful and come in just about every variety imaginable. You can pretty much replicate anything found in your home even down to the dishes and silverware. Another attractive option is the ability to add electrical features like lamps, chandeliers, and even electrical appliances.

Something else that you may want to look at is the element of style. Certainly, plastic dollhouses come in a myriad of styles but there is less variety than you will find with wooden houses.

A further consideration is the scale of the dollhouses. Here is where a lot of people make a mistake when making their purchase. The most popular doll size is 11 ½ inches but dollhouses come in a variety of sizes. In other words, there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”

Wooden dollhouses, at least those most commonly used by collectors and hobbyists, are either built on a 12 to 1 ratio or a 24 to 1 ratio. That is to say that for every foot dollhouses are scaled to 1 inch per foot or a half inch per foot. Since the average doll is nearly a foot long that means that the doll will appear in giant proportions to the standard scale dollhouses.

In the case of the aforementioned 11 ½ inch doll you will likely find more wooden dollhouses built specifically to accommodate that scale than plastic houses. In this scenario the wooden structure is preferable to plastic for use as a toy.

Even plastic dollhouses are constructed for various size dolls so it is important to do a little research to make certain that the size of the doll works with the scale of the house.

Additionally, you should give some thought to the durability of the dollhouse. Plastic is a good choice for play because it doesn’t break easily. Conversely, wooden structures, especially those used by hobbyists can be fragile. If you do settle on a wooden dollhouse for a little girl make certain that it has been built to stand up to child’s play.

Then there is the issue of cleaning. Toys that are used by children should be easily cleaned. Again, plastic is the preferred material for ease of cleaning.

Who knows, somewhere along the way, you just might get hooked on wooden dollhouses as a hobbyist and collector. If that does happen you are in for a wonderful experience.

Never Under-Estimate Accident Damage

No matter how careful a driver you are, at some point in your driving life you are likely to be involved in an accident of some sort, whether caused by you or a third party. After the initial shock has worn off you start to assess the damage and decide whether or not to claim on your insurance. Sometimes the other party may suggest a cash payment to sort out the damage. It is never a good idea to accept this as the damage can be worse than you think.

Recently one of our fleet of classic cars was out on hire and the customer had an accident. No other vehicles were involved and the accident was caused by a momentary error of judgement – easily done. Fortunately neither the driver nor his passenger were injured.

There was some obvious damage to the front end of the Austin Healey which didn’t look disastrous. The engine would not restart so the car was pushed into a nearby car park. I was already on the way to collect the Healey so was on the scene in about 15 minutes.

The engine wouldn’t start as the impact had broken a plastic bracket on the engine which held the throttle linkage. The driver and passenger were safely seen on their way and the RAC called. After a short wait an orange van arrived and the RAC man jury rigged up a temporary throttle bracket so I could drive the car back to base. While working under the bonnet we noticed that the radiator fan (engine mounted and not electric) had jammed in the side of the radiator bracket.

During the accident the engine had obviously shifted forwards on its mountings and had hit the radiator. Not surprising really as it is a 3 litre, 6 cylinder, cast iron engine which would have had considerable momentum of its own. The fan pulley had dented the radiator as well as imbedding the fan in the bracket and the end of the crankshaft had hit the chassis cross member before bouncing back. Just as well that the engine hadn’t restarted as it probably would have shredded the radiator.

The RAC man freed up the fan and made sure the blades were clear of the radiator which did not appear to be leaking, before we restarted the engine.

The car ran OK and was driven the 25 miles back to base and seemed OK although the engine sounded noisier than usual, the steering was stiff and the speedo seemed to have stopped working.

The following day it was time to assess the damage in daylight, starting with a complete photo record of the state of the car.

The main damage was to the front panel around the radiator and to the valance under the front bumper. Amazingly the bumper was not bent although the bumper brackets were. These were removed for access. The aluminium front valance was badly bent and the metal had ripped where it was bolted to the chassis members. The Healey had been fitted with a sump guard after a previous customer had holed the sump, so this was removed. The front portion of this had bent around the anti-roll bar, which was itself bent. The steering arm was also bent.

Clearly the front valance would need re-shaping or cutting out and a repair panel welding in. Aluminium isn’t the easiest of metals to weld.

The Austin Healey was then taken into my local garage for a full inspection on the ramps.

Once up in the air, more damage came to light.

• One of the engine mountings had broken, hence the engine moving forwards and the noisier engine on the return trip.

• The engine was rubbing on the steering shaft, hence the stiffened steering.

• The damage to the radiator meant this needed replacing.

• The chrome grille surround was out of shape and any attempt to re-shape it would probably damage it even more, necessitating replacement.

• The steering wheel was bent from the effect of the driver hanging on, on impact.

The labour to fix the front panel alone was about three times my initial guesstimate, to which has to be added the cost of parts

• Front repair panel

• Steering arm

• Grille chrome surround

• Radiator

• Speedo

• Throttle bracket

• Engine mounting

• Bumper brackets

We had a similar situation with hidden damage almost ten years ago when a customer damaged our Triumph Stag. Again this was a front end impact and the front valance and wings were repaired. But after the crash we found there was oil leaking from the rear axle, which had not been the case beforehand. The impact of the accident had travelled down the engine, the gearbox, along the prop shaft and had cracked a plate on the front of the rear axle.

In one respect it is lucky that the Austin Healey is a classic with a heavy steel chassis. OK the front of the body and radiator were damaged but the steel chassis wasn’t. Had this been a modern car built with crumple zones in the structure, the impact would have collapsed the whole front end of the car, crushing the radiator and engine and it would probably have been a complete write off.

The morals of the both the Austin Healey and Stag incidents are as follows:

1) Never guess at repair costs based on an initial superficial examination,

2) Always have the vehicle checked out by a competent garage or crash repair shop.

3) If another vehicle is involved never accept a cash settlement as you can virtually guarantee it will never be enough.

How to Use Scrapbooking Eyelets – The Most Popular of Scrapbooking Embellishments

Scrapbooking Eyelets

Eyelets are the new craze in scrapbooking. See what the fuss is all about.

About Eyelets

Eyelets are embellishments used for scrapbooking and other craft projects such as card making. Eyelets are generally made of aluminum or brass and come in two sizes and three types. The most common size for eyelets is 1/8″, although they also come in 3/16″. 3/16″ eyelets are larger than 1/8″ eyelets and generally cost more.

Types of eyelets include plain, top coat, and anodized. Plain eyelets are not painted so they are the color of the metal they are made out of. This type of eyelets is not very common. Eyelets also come with a top coat color. These eyelets are painted. The last type of eyelet is anodized. Anodized eyelets have a more metallic color than eyelets with a top coat.

Eyelets have a hole through the center that is used to attach them to your paper. Brads are often sold with eyelets. Brads differ because they do not have this characteristic hole. Instead, brads have two metal flaps on the back that can be bent to attach them to paper.

Where to Use Eyelets

Eyelets come in many shapes and colors. They can be used to attach items such as ribbons, paper, pictures, and tags to scrapbooking pages. Eyelets are a simple way to add to the color and theme of your scrapbooking pages.

Here are 15 ideas for using your eyelets.

  1. Embellishments on a paper piecing picture such as buttons on a snowman or dots on a lady bug
  2. Attach vellum paper
  3. To hange tags or frames from
  4. Create movable parts on your paper piecing
  5. Create a page theme such as shells for a beach page or fish for a fishing trip page
  6. Corners of picture mats
  7. In the hole of a tag
  8. As bullets for a list
  9. Journaling accents
  10. Eyes of animals such as owls
  11. The center of flowers
  12. Create your own bugs, butterflies,or bees from eyelet shapes
  13. As the dot on an i or the center of a letter
  14. To make a string of Christmas lights or as the ornaments on a christmas tree
  15. The M&Ms in M&M cookies
  16. String ribbon or craft fibbers through a line of eyelets

The list could go on and on. You can use eyelets to add dimension that will spice up any page.

How to Use Eyelets

It is time to roll up those sleeves and break out your handy tools. You will need a hammer, hole setter, and a resilient work surface such as a rubber craft mat to get started using eyelets.

  1. Place your scrapbooking page face up on your work surface.
  2. Put the hole setter on your page where you want to insert the eyelet.
  3. Lightly tap the end of the hole setter a few times until a hole is created.
  4. Place your eyelet upside down on your work surface and put your scrapbooking page over the eyelet so that the back of the eyelet sticks throught the hole you just created.
  5. Place the setter with the flat end over the back of the eyelet and lightly tap the end of the setter with your hammer until the back of the eyelet begins to bend outward.
  6. Hammer the back of the eyelet directly until the eyelet flattens down into place.
  7. Turn your scrapbooking page over and be proud of your work.

Where to Buy Eyelets

You can purchase eyelets from me! My eBay Scrapbooking Store has hundreds of mixes of eyelets. Just look for my seller id: scrapsandcrafts has a search engine for finding scrapbooking eyelets, brads, and other supplies. Try it out.

Glass Painting – Mixing Paints To Make The Most Of Colors In A Reverse Glass Painting

Having done reverse glass painting for eight years, I still find that there are some things to learn. The one very best thing that can be learned about is colors, and how they affect each other. One of the most important aspects of any painting, is how the colors play on each other. Sometimes, it can really be a process getting the right ones! If you just want to stick with the basics, that will make things so much easier until you have enough experience to feel your way through it. So, here are the basics.

Glass painting, and mixing colors are something you want to know about.

If you are going to do some glass painting, it helps a lot to know something about colors to make the most of it. Why spend hours painting every spot on a cheetah if you may not even be able to see it if the background ends up too dark? Make your colors work for you! There are only three primary colors. Red, Blue and Green are the only colors that can not be mixed from any other colors. Likewise, there are only three secondary colors. If two primary colors are mixed together in equal proportions, the end result will be a secondary color. Orange is made from red and yellow, two of the primaries. Green is made from blue and yellow, and violet is made from red and blue. There is a multitude of intermediate colors. These are also called tertiary colors, but I said we would keep it simple, so let us just call them intermediate. This would be a primary color mixed with a secondary color. A few examples of this would be blue green, peach, and mauve. Red , orange and yellow are called warm, or aggressive colors. The cool, or receding colors are blues, greens and violets. A tint is a color plus white. A tone is a color plus grey. A shade is a color plus black. The value is the lightness or darkness of a color. All right! If you can get that part down you are half way there! The second part of this journey is putting this in action!

For the main subject of the painting, try, as much as possible, to use primary and intermediate colors. Keep these colors as strong as you can! Even though blue is usually thought of as a receding color, it is also primary. You can use it for up close and personal type things! If later on in the painting, you want the blues to recede, you are going to need to mix the blue paint to make a tone, a plus grey color. The warm colors, the color that is pure, and demands to be seen, will be used only in minimal amounts as the back ground recedes. Only where it is really needed!

For the less important things in the painting, the background, let it do just that. Let it recede. Dull the colors down. Let it recede with the tones. My plan is to write more on the tones later, but for now we are going to keep it simple. As the back ground of the painting recedes, the colors will become lighter, hence, only tints of the colors that you started with. If you will allow the background to be behind the main topic of the painting, the human eye will see it as being so much more natural! Now you will have a painting that you really want to look at!

How To Ship And Frame Watercolor Paintings (And Art Prints)

What is the Best way to ship and store watercolour paintings? I always ship my watercolour paintings flat, never rolled. To roll a painting, especially if it is on thick watercolour paper can easily damage it and make it difficult to frame properly. It does not matter how long a painting is rolled up for either – First class post may only take a day but what if you are out when it arrives and it gets taken back to the depot and stored for a week before you can pick it up? Changes in temperature as the painting is shipped can cause the painting to shrink and expand. Shipping a painting flat may take slightly more effort and cost a bit more in both packing and postage but it is worth it to make sure a buyer received their new artwork in the best possible condition. If you are a buyer always request that an artist ships a watercolour flat. If you do buy a painting or print that is shipped rolled in a tube unroll and lay it out to flatten it as soon as you receive it.

Framing your painting

Never store your paining rolled in a tube. After only a little while stored like this it will be impossible to flatten correctly. Standard size paintings and prints can be slipped in to a standard frame and hung straight away, this is an excellent temporary measure but the best thing to do is to take your new art to a framer and have it professionally mounted and framed. It may cost a bit more but the effect and the use of archival acid free materials will preserve your painting the best possible way and be worth it in the long run. For watercolour paintings you should also ask about framing using special Perspex or Glass that cuts out UV rays. This will stop your painting from fading and also help it to stay it tip top condition for as long as possible. A professional framer should also seal the back of the frame so that bugs, dust and moisture cannot get to the picture.

When your painting is framed make sure you hang it somewhere where the conditions will not damage the painting. Do not hang it over a radiator or other source of heat, and it is best not to hang original works in bathrooms or places with high moisture.

How Much Will Building a New Home Cost Me?

Quoting a price for construction of a new home is one of the hardest things to do because every home is unique and truly there are no two houses exactly alike, even if it is only the lot that makes them different.

Perhaps one of the most significant factors to cost of new home construction is the local region. Local building codes and labor play a major role in the cost of new home construction. Local building codes vary widely by region. For example, in warm climates building codes often do not require high-performance windows, higher insulation values or advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Strict building codes or lack thereof makes a significant impact on the cost of constructing a new home.

Local labor in certain parts of the country is also higher than in other portions of the country. In places that unions are prominent in residential new construction, prices will generally be higher too. Strong unions tend to set the upper price point for skilled labor and it seems non-union wages are higher in areas with stronger union representation. As a general rule, places that have excess labor will have lower labor rates. Because of the recession and the real estate new construction depression, the price of labor has been generally falling around the country the last few years. This trend will continue until the supply and demand of labor reverses itself.

Although not included in the cost of building directly, land prices are easily the biggest factor in home and lot package. The cost of a lot in a city like Los Angeles, New York or Chicago could easily cost more than a home with a lot located in Indianapolis or Minneapolis. Also, lot improvements can be a hidden cost if the lot is not previously engineered by a land developer. Soil corrections, raising or lower lot elevations, sourcing utilities not on the edge of the property, drilling a well or installing a septic can all add large costs to the budget. If the lot is not pre-engineered by a land developer, obtaining at least one soil boring (four is best) where the house will be located is a very smart idea before you close on the purchase of the lot.

Finishes are another big contributor to the cost of construction. I have heard some rich and famous have built houses exceeding $5,000 per square foot with the major difference being extremely high-end finishes. Gold plating things can add up quickly. For us regular everyday type folks, even things like kitchen appliances (stove, dishwasher, microwave/hood, and refrigerator/freezer) can cost as little as $2,000, but can easily cost $25,000 for appliances that basically do the same things, like cool and cook food. Lighting fixtures can be much the same story. You can purchase lighting fixtures at your local Home Improvement store for as little as $500-600. Conversely, you can purchase a single dining room chandelier for a few thousand dollars or ten of thousands. In the case of the rich and famous, the sky is the limit on this stuff.

Having a green building background, I also know that green building can cost you your green (cash). There are a lot of builders selling “green bling”. “Green bling” are things that consumers have heard about and want added to their home and either have a slow payback or no payback at all. Unscrupulous builders can take advantage of a buyers desire to be environmentally conscience by selling a bunch of upgrades that are not only expensive, but are not really that green.

For the average American, building a new home will vary depending on the factors above and more, but in general the higher the square footage, the lower the cost per square foot and vice versa. The majority of houses I have seen around the country range from a low of about $80 per square foot to a high of $300 per square foot. In the Midwest, a good guideline is to budget for $150 per square foot on the main floor, $100 per square foot for the second story and $50 per square foot for finished square footage in the lower level. To these budget numbers you add the lot cost and lot improvements and you should be in the ballpark. For example, a 2,400 square foot two story home with 1,2000 square feet on each floor would cost approximately $380,000.000 with a $80,000 lot. In a down economy the pricing will be lower and higher in an up economy. There are wide differences in the quality of construction at the same price point between various builders.

As you can see, there are many factors that go into the cost of a new construction home and therefore it can be very hard to compare pricing between builders. Sending out a set of plans for bid does not mean you are comparing apples to apples. Builders are smart and know how to cut costs to win a build, but that does not mean you are receiving the best value.

Larger builders tend to deliver the most square footage for the least amount of money, but have cost reduced the product to make that happen. Cost reduction usually means materials are on the lower end of the price spectrum. You will see things like hollow-core pre-painted doors, plastic or pre-finished trim, vinyl floors, shower inserts, vinyl siding and the list goes on and on and on. While lower cost materials does not necessarily mean lower quality, there is a definite difference between homes built with higher quality versus lower quality materials. Square footage, house floor plan and granite counter-tops shouldn’t be the only considerations if you are planning on living in that home more than 5-10 years.

On the other hand, smaller builders tend to provide custom type construction with higher building materials, but can come with their own set of challenges. Smaller builders may not have adequate staff to provide the customer service you may be looking for or may not even be in business in five years. Many smaller builders fail to run a very tight ship financially and the cost of your project could easily be over budget. Also, using a smaller builder does not guarantee a quality built home. It is best to do your homework on any of the builders you are considering.

As a builder myself, we use an open book methodology. This means the consumer sees all actual costs and the actual builder’s profit. I am not advocating our system over another, but I find in today’s’ world of educated consumers, consumers understand a builder needs to make a profit and seem to be more comfortable when that number is fully disclosed. To that end, I have never had a customer come to us and ask us to cut our profit.

I am not sure I adequately answered the question “How much will building a new home cost me”, but hopefully you have a better understanding of the things that attract cost and some ideas about how to go about selecting a builder.

Health Benefits of Desert Living

Not only is desert living a leisured and less expensive alternative to city life, it has some amazing health benefits too. Here is just a few examples of what desert life can do for you.

Air Quality

According to an environmental analysis of the Anza Borrego State Park and it’s surrounding area, “due to its remoteness” the “air quality in the Park is often good and is not necessarily characteristic of the air quality in the San Diego Basin.” Pollution has been linked with a slew of pulmonary diseases and is known to increase the risk of asthma attack and respiratory allergies. High air pollution also increases the development of asthma and respiratory diseases in children. Yes, there really is nothing like taking a breath of fresh air.


Probably one of the greatest benefits of sunshine is the production of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for maintaining skeletal calcium and immune system health. It is thought that the high rates of cold and flu viruses in the winter months stems from a lack of Vitamin D production. Vitamin D deficiency is also attributed to depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), often called the ‘winter blues,’ caused by a lack of sunshine. It is suggested that in regions with little sunshine for long stretches of time, that citizens invest in expensive UV lamps to simulate sunlight.

Dry Weather

Not only does a humid afternoon leave us feeling awful, it also can breed dangerous molds and mildews in the wet winter months. Drier weather can also decrease the occurrence of lung infections and arthritis aches and pains. Not to mention that hot dry environments promote sweat production, allowing the body to release unwanted toxins and bacteria.

Quiet, Peaceful Environment

Perhaps one of the best things of all is the tranquility of living in nature. Being relatively isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city helps to bring a peace of mind to the body and soul and works wonders for reducing stress. Since chronic stress has been known to cause health issues such as heart disease, sleeping disorders, depression, digestive problems, obesity and autoimmune diseases, it stands to show that we could all use a little peace and quiet.


Ok, so hiking it’s something unique to the desert environment, but it is something that it has in spades. Being an aerobic exercise, it is important and helpful for cardiovascular health, maintaining bone density, reducing stress, and weight maintenance. Not to mention, it has entertainment value along with health value. There is always something new and different to see and experience on the trail. Don’t forget about our great places to hike at Butterfield Ranch Resort.

Beginners Free Forex Money Secret

Your 2012 Money Secret

Actually what I am giving you is a free smart money secret. If you follow me through to the end of this paper I will show you a method that anyone can use to make money.

Years back while serving in the U.S. Navy submarine service I stumbled across this money multiplying method.

You see when you are a sailor you pull into many different foreign ports, like Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. All of these countries have different kinds of money, different currencies.

When you pull into a foreign port it is very difficult to go ashore with U.S. dollars and spend them in a local souvenir shop or bar. You need the currency of the country you are in if you want to enjoy your time there.

As a sailor there are basically three ways to do this:

1. You can buy the currency of the country you are going to from some U.S. banks and take it with you.

2. You can go to a bank in the country you are going to and some of them will exchange U.S. dollars for the local currency. You will need to be able to speak the language of the country you are in or find someone in the bank who speaks English, so it can be a little more tricky.

3. Money ex-changers come on board your ship or boat and will broker the money for you for a fee.

Now here is the most important part of this article, and the part you must understand if you are going to make money with this method.

When an American sailor receives a foreign currency, whether it is a Philippines peso, the Japanese yen, or the Hong Kong dollar it is immediately referred to as “funny money”.

Most times when in a foreign port, the first day one part of the crew goes ashore, and the second day another part of the crew gets its turn. It is not at all uncommon to hear a sailor who went on shore on day one ask a sailor who is going on shore the next day, “Hey, do you want to buy some funny money?” In other words, “Do you want to buy the currency of the country we are in for exchange for some U.S. dollars?”

Now here is something else you need to know. the first three letters of the word “funny” are “fun” and once a sailor, or even a tourist, trades in there own country’s cash for the local cash it kind of becomes like Monopoly money.

It seems to have lost its true value. It is something to be played with or to have fun with. In essence it is not considered as “real”money any more. It is most often spent to the last peso, yen or dollar. It is expendable.

I don’t know why this is true, but it often seems to be so. I guess this is so because another word for “funny” is “peculiar”. And, things that are odd or peculiar or different, many people – perhaps most people – don’t like and tend to avoid. It just seems to be human nature to revert to that which you are more accustomed to.

Seldom were large amounts of money brought back to the United States. Oh, somebody might have a dollar or two left to take home to the wife or kids as souvenirs, but that was usually the extent of it.

There was an exception I want you to know about.

His name was Sammy. Sammy’s dad was a banker. A banker in the United States and sometimes after we had been gone from the states for a month or more, Sammy would get a letter or letters form his dad with large sums of money in the form of traveler’s checks.

Sammy would call home and let his dad know he had the checks so in case they were lost or stolen in the mail they could be canceled.

Then before we left the port we were in he would exchange the traveler’s checks for “funny money”. Often Sammy would also take a hundred or couple hundred of his own money and exchange it for the foreign currency also.

One day I asked him why he and his dad wanted money you couldn’t spend back state side?

Sammy explained to me his dad was a speculator. He followed world economic trends that caused the currency of one country in relation to another to either gain or lose its value.

Usually when Sammy’s dad sent $1000 to invest in pesos or yen or Hong Kong dollars when we got back to the states the $1000 in “funny money” could be exchanged for U.S. dollars for $1100, $1200, or sometimes more. Not a bad investment for a month or two return.

One word of caution. After I was transferred to another submarine, I tried this money exchanging method on my own in a country where I had previously made money with Sammy and his dad and when I returned to the states the “funny money” had devalued in relation to the U.S. dollar. I lost money.

The reason for this was I had lost the expertise of Sammy’s dad. I had lost the tool which enabled me to make money. It would be like a farmer raising corn with a tractor and making a profit and the next year his tractor broke and he tried to do the same thing with a tiller or worse yet with a shovel and hoe.

Alright, so why am I telling you this? Most probably you are not going to join the navy, go overseas, buy foreign currency, return to the U.S. and hopefully exchange it for a profit.

Good news, now you don’t have to do it that way. You can sit right at home in the U.S. or any other country for that matter and you can even sit in your own home and exchange currencies for profit.

‘Great”, you say, “But how do I get hold of Sammy’s dad?”

Well, here is where the news gets even better. Now-a-days, thanks to the computer and software programs, you can stay at home and make money without Sammy’s dad.

This is all done with a process know as “Forex” ( which stands for foreign exchange ) trading, and is basically a 2 step process if you are new to exchanging currencies.

1. Find a good basics forex course and learn the vocabulary and the basics of exchanging currencies. Many courses will let you practice for free.

2. Take the plunge and try a trade or, and I highly recommend this, invest in a good forex software (Sammy’s dad), and let the robot do the speculating for you.