Help With Installing the Honeywell RTH8500D 7 Day Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat

The installation of the Honeywell RTH8500D 7 Day Touchscreen Programmable Thermostat to a 24 volt standard heating and or cooling system is straight forward if the instructions are followed carefully. Although I’m going to explain in this article how it is done, it cannot be stressed enough that you should read the instruction manual provided with the Honeywell RTH8500D before you begin installation.

Before you begin gather up the tools you will need: a hammer, pencils, 3 triple ‘A’ alkaline batteries, a number 2 Phillips screwdriver, a normal screwdriver, electrical wire, sticky tabs (should be included with the Honeywell RTH8500D), a drill and suitable drill bit (3/16 inch for a dry wall and 7/32 inch for plaster).

Now you are ready to begin. First turn off the HVAC systems at the circuit breaker then remove the old thermostat from its wall plate. Do not remove the wires. It is important to remember to not follow the colors on the wires but instead use the old thermostat to correctly identify the wires.

The first thing to check is the C and or C1 wires. If there are 2 C or C1 wires then do not connect them to the Honeywell RTH8500D. instead wrap electrical wire around the bare wires. If there is only 1 C or C1 wire going to the old thermostat then use a sticky label to mark this wire as C. If there are any unused wires then again cover the ends in electrical wire. These wires will not be used in the installation.

Now you can take a wire at a time and follow it to the terminal on the old thermostat to identity each wire. Once the wire is identified then use a sticky label on the wire so you won’t forget where it is meant to go. Then disconnect from the old thermostat and wrap the wire end around a pencil to stop it falling back into the wall gap.

Here is a guide to wire labeling:

RC or R to RC

R, RH, 4 or V to R

W, W1 or H to W

Y, Y1 or M to Y

G or F to G

C, C1, X or B to C

Y2 to Y2

W2 to W2

Once you have all the wires labeled correctly and disconnected then unscrew the old wall plate and take the Honeywell RTH8500D wall plate and thread the wires through the center. Then take a pencil and mark the drill holes. Next take away the wall plate and drill holes with the correct drill bit (3/16 inches for drywall and 7/32 inches for plaster).

Once done, put wall anchors in the 2 holes and tap them in with a hammer. Then thread the wires through the new wall plate and screw the wall plate to the wall. After, you can use the labeled wires to attach the wires to the correct terminals on the Honeywell RTH8500D.

Now you are nearly finished. Put the 3 triple ‘A’ alkaline batteries into the Honeywell RTH8500D programmable thermostat and find a tab in the lower left corner that says ‘Remove during installation’. Remove the tab and push the thermostat onto the wall plate until the thermostat snaps into place.

Finally, turn the HVAC power back on and set the calendar, time and system type using the large touchscreen interface and you are ready to start putting in your program settings for each day of the week.

If you encounter any problems first consult the instruction manual again and then call the Honeywell helpline.

Sealing and Varnishing Watercolor Paintings Done on Canvas

Sealing and Varnishing Your Work

You have two choices when you paint in watercolors on an alternate support such as clayboard or watercolor canvas: you can frame behind glass as with a traditional watercolor, taking the same precautions that the painting itself does not come into direct contact with the glass and that there is a space between the artwork and the glass or you can seal your work and frame as an oil or acrylic painting. Because paint lifts so easily off of these surfaces, for my part, I feel safest sealing and varnishing.

The later definitely has some advantage. If you paint on large surfaces, a matted painting framed behind glass can be an expensive purchase and a heavy one for hanging. Some artists have remarked that paintings on the larger sized watercolor canvas sealed and varnished sell better because of they are easier to frame and the frames, lighter without the glass. There is a school of thought that also recognizes the fact that oils sell at higher prices than watercolors. Perhaps it’s the long tradition of oil painting that adds a certain mystique to the works. Or perhaps it is the advantage of being able to frame without glass. Victorian watercolorists took great pains using bodycolor and gum arabic to “heighten” a painting to make it look like an oil in order to get higher prices for their work. For me, I looked at framing without glass as a means to transport works easier for shows, to say nothing of it being safer.

I experimented with several different approaches to come up with a sealing method that I use now. Now I must say that I like a glossy finish, so the products I mention are all about accomplishing this goal. For clayboard and canvas paintings, I first begin with the clayboard fixative. I use about three coats, allowing ample time to dry between coats. After this, I use the Krylon Triple-Thick Clear Glaze. The “triple-thick” refers to the fact that one coat of this product equals three coats of other clear acrylic fixatives. I will apply at least two coats until I achieve the finish I’m after. I follow this with a UV resistant varnish, also by Krylon. I typically will spray six thin coats to complete the process. There are a couple of things to bear in mind when doing this: first of all, make sure you have a big space that is covered to do the actual spraying. Make sure nothing is near by that may get a bit of the spray. You will want to take off your glasses, if you wear them. Found that out the hard way. Make sure the room is well-ventilated. There will be lots of spraying going on, so be sure and take that precaution.

Another approach is recommended by Golden for varnishing acrylics. This method requires an isolation layer so that this layer would protect the acrylic should the varnish need to be removed. The isolation layer is the Golden soft gel gloss, mixed two parts gel to one part water and brushed on. I applied this layer onto watercolor canvas. Despite being the glossy finish, it wasn’t as glossy as I liked, but maybe if you’re looking for more of a matte finish, you may appreciate the look. I didn’t like applying this with a brush either. The mix is quite watery and brushes easily, but I preferred spraying. This layer is followed up by the MSA Archival Varnish. For prints, this is up to eight thin layers. I do at least six layers for paintings and prints. It’s an easy precaution to take to protect your work. Since I’ve used the MSA Archival Varnish for prints, I have now taken to use it instead of the Krylon varnish.

I have tried both of these approaches with watercolor works on paper. I mounted the work on matboard before beginning. I can’t say I was happy at all with the results and will just still to using this for alternate supports. The nice thing about varnishing your works is that you get a really nice looking product when you’re done. I find the gloss finish really adds a lot and the painting looks like the watercolor when the paints were first applied, juicy and wet.

Pardon in Brittany by Gaston La Touche

In the galleries of the Art Institute of Chicago is a wonderful painting entitled “Pardon in Brittany” by Gaston La Touche. This painting is lovely in every respect, the figures are gentle and gracefully illuminated by candlelight.

Everything about this painting is masterful from the handling of the figures to the use of lighting from the glowing candles. The scene is solemn showing the priest giving dispensation to the faithful. The painting is crowded with people and yet because of the mood and the excellent handling of figures the scene is serene. The sky in the background is a pale violet tone in various hues showing the evening light, but the there is no atmosphere to the sky, it is almost like the back-drop to a stage set. The simple background is essential in bringing out the intensity of the mood of the painting. The figures on the horse holding a child lead by a horseman are the center of attention and not the priest who is directly below them.

In the space closest to the viewer you can see the laymen more clearly than any others for there are details of their faces and figures. The rest of the figures (aside from the priest and the horse figures) are essential indefinable. It is clear that most of the group are members of the church as can be denoted from the cluster of nun’s hats and veils that are the dominant clothing elements in the painting. The figures closest to the front are the darkest and give the composition the necessary dark tones to accommodate the lighting of the candles.

The real subject of this painting is the light not the priest or the horsemen. The use of light in this painting is extraordinary. There are few works of art from any time period that can match the quality of what lies before us here. The color of the sky is key to complimenting the tones of the various shades of blue that are richly worked all over the lower portion of the canvas. The glowing yellow light is exquisitely placed between the figures but in such a way that it does not increase the yellow hues of the light but rather increases the blue and turquoise tones of the figures. This is a most difficult task because white and yellow are the strongest colors in the spectrum and very difficult to tame. Without doubt this is one of the loveliest pieces in the Art Institute’s World-class collection.

Stephen F. Condren – Artist

Haunted Places in Indiana: Culbertson Mansion

As a writer, I often tap into my local historical sites and since I’m all about the dark and creepy, I never pass up a good ghost story.

One of my favorite places is the Culbertson Mansion of New Albany. The home was built in 1867 for William Culbertson, who was once the richest man in Indiana. The home is three stories with hand painted ceilings and walls, carved rosewood staircase, marble fireplaces, and crystal chandeliers.

The mansion is open to the public for tours, and both visitors and curators have claimed to have seen a ghostly figure in the building. The legend is that the ghost of William Culbertson’s second wife haunts the house to protect her children from her husband’s third wife.

The rumors of the mansion being haunted spread and eventually the mansion’s carriage barn was turned into a haunted house during Halloween and people lined up to tour the building in hopes of seeing a ghost for themselves.

The following is a storyline for the current “Literally, A Haunted House” fundraiser, which raises the majority of the funds for the interior restoration of the mansion.

In 1933, it was sold to a Dr. Harold Webb, who moved in with his family. He set up a practice in the home and began to gain a number of patients. Over time, several patients went missing and his family began to notice strange noises and smells coming from the basement. In 1934, after a patient found the home locked at the time of their appointment and called the police, an investigation took place. Upon entering the home, the police found the entire family dead, each by torturous means of death. After further searching the home, the basement was found to have secret passageways where the doctor had kept the missing patients and performed gruesome experiments on them. After the cleanup, the building was locked up, but finally sold to the American Legion, who restored the building. When it was finally reopened, visitors noted unusual electrical problems, missing items, and other unexplained occurrences. The carriage house now serves as a haunted house during Halloween and the proceeds benefit the restoration and maintenance of the mansion of the estate.

So, how much of the story is true? William Culbertson was married three times, with his first two wives leaving him widowed. He willed the mansion to his third wife who auctioned off the house and its contents in 1899 to a New Albany resident, John McDonald. Upon his death, the American Legion obtained it and made extensive changes.

After several different owners, the mansion was in danger of being torn down in the 1960’s, but it was purchased in 1964 by the Historic New Albany group. The Halloween haunted house tours started in 1985 to raise restoration funds.

There is no mention of Harold Webb or the gruesome experiments, but that’s okay because it still makes for a good scary story.

Landscaping Weed Barrier Fabric – How to Install Landscape Fabric

When using landscaping fabric, preparing the project grounds is just as important as the quality of materials you use. While a lot of people will lay weed barrier directly over existing or barely prepared area, the best performance and longest lasting results are more likely with good preparation.

To Start

Measure and mark the area. Most professionals use inverted marking paint but you can also use string, sticks, rocks, hose, or whatever you have available. Buy or order your landscape fabric to make sure it’s on hand when you start your project.

Remove all vegetation

Once your project areas are measured and marked, remove all vegetation. Depending on the area you’re working on, there are several ways to remove plants and vegetation.

In lawn areas that are to be covered and / or become planting areas, we most always do a double application of a non-selective herbicide such as round up. Make sure the area is actively growing, spray the herbicide as directed, and then let it do its work. In 5 to 7 days after the application, start watering the area to encourage the growth of what may have survived and any seeds that may be viable. Repeat the herbicide application. You may also want to repeat again if necessary.

In some cases we use a sod cutter to remove the top few inches of lawn. Generally, this is after we have killed all the weeds and it is mostly done to recess the area and make room for mulch, rocks, or other ground cover.

I have seen other professionals install landscaping fabric over areas that were only sod cut but not killed with an herbicide. I don’t recommend it. Sod cutters only cut off the top surface of the grass and really do nothing for killing the roots. This could be a future problem if you have deep rooted aggressive weeds or grasses such as Bermuda.

For non-lawn and old flower bed areas, you can use the herbicide method mentioned above. And for all areas including lawn areas, you can use the herbicide method or solorization.

Solarization is basically baking the soil and exposing it to extremely high temperatures that kill weed seeds and vegetation. This process is very simple and works very well but takes the longest to do.

Prepare The Soil

If you plan on planting plants in areas where you install the fabric, you need to work in soil amendments and nutrients before installation. If possible, and I do recommend, use organic slow release nutrients and compost. You should also test the Ph of the soil and add lime or sulfur in the right amounts if needed.

Once the weed barrier is in place, you’ll only be able to add top surface applied chemical fertilizers and you won’t be able to work the soil. Of course, you can add amendments to each plant hole as you plant it. However, it’s time consuming, messy, and doesn’t extend beyond the root zone of the plant.

Use a rotor tiller or spade to turn in the amendments and nutrients 4 to 6 inches into the soil surface. Remove stones, sticks, debris, and break up clods. Rake the surface area smooth.

Install Watering System

If you have an idea of where your plants are going to be and you plan to have an automatic drip sprinkler system, now is the time to place it. Lay out your main feeder hose and run drip tube and emitters to where your plants will be. If you plan on a bubbler system, it should have been installed before the area was manicured.

Installing The Fabric

The easiest way to do this is to lay the barrier out first before you plant your plants. Some folks recommend you use securing pins to hold the material in place. It is an option. However, if you’d rather save the expense, you can hold down the edges with the ground cover you intend to use. We usually just place sacks or piles of mulch, rock, or other ground cover around the edges and spread it out after we’re done planting.

I’ve also seen a few people plant the plants first and then fit it over the tops of the plants. This is usually hard on the vegetation, breaks branches, and is very time consuming.

You can use a sharp knife or utility razor to cut the cloth but the best and easiest way we’ve found to cut long runs is to use a sharp pair of scissors. And instead of working the scissors, hold them half open to where the blades form a “V”. Hold the material where both blades in the “V” meet and push them through the cloth.

Planting

Mark your plant area or set out plants to get a visual. Use a sharp knife, razor, or scissors and cut an “x” in the fabric the size of your pot or root ball. Don’t cut the pot size out. Just cut the “x” and fold the flaps under. Make the hole. Place and plant the plant correctly. Gently place the flaps up next to the plant.

Now place 2 to 4 inches of your chosen ground cover over the area making sure to hold down the cut flaps and keep them in place.

Cut off any excess landscaping fabric around the edges making sure it stays tight around the edges.

5 Best Material Handling Equipment

The material handling equipment sector encompasses a diverse range of tools, vehicles, appliances and accessories that are used at a construction site. We take a look at the five main types…

The economic growth and increased spending on infrastructural and construction activities has played a huge part in providing the necessary boost to the Material Handling Equipment (MHE) sector. As the name suggests, the material handling industry majorly deals with equipment that help in movement, control and protection of materials, goods and products at the construction site and other places. This makes the MHE sector, a critical intermediary in the economy of the country.

Types of material handling equipment

The MHE sector encompasses a diverse range of tools, vehicles, appliances and accessories. However, the 5 main types of material handling equipment that one can spot at any construction site generally include backhoe loaders, cranes, forklifts, dump trucks and front loaders.

• Backhoe loaders: They are excellent engineering and excavation vehicles that consist of a tractor, front shovel and bucket and a small backhoe in the rear end. Backhoe loaders are commonly used for transportation of building materials at any construction site.

• Cranes: They represent another family of material handling equipment that are common on many construction job sites. They are used for lifting and placing things like heavy steel beams, pre-stressed concrete sections for buildings, materials and supplies to the upper stories of a high-rise and a host of other essential jobsite material handling tasks. The various types of cranes include all terrain cranes, rough terrain cranes, truck mounted cranes and lattice boom cranes.

• Forklifts: Often called forklift trucks, they are powerful industrial trucks that are used to lift and transport material by steel forks that are inserted under the load at the construction sites. Generally, forklifts are used to move loads and equipment that is stored on pallets. The most common type of design with forklifts is the counter balance and others include the reach truck and side loader.

• Dump trucks: Commonly known as production trucks, these are used for transporting loose material such as sand, dirt and gravel for construction. The typical dump truck is equipped with a hydraulically operated open-box bed hinged at the rear, with the front being able to be lifted up to allow the contents to fall out on the ground. They are of different types like standard dump truck, transfer dump truck, semi-trailer end dump truck, semi-trailer bottom dump truck, double and triple trailer, side dump trucks and off-road dump trucks and come in different configurations with each one specified to accomplish a specific task in the construction chain.

• Front loaders: Also known as front end loaders, bucket loaders, scoop loaders, the front loaders are kind of tractors that are normally wheeled and use a wide square tilting bucket on the end of movable arms to lift and move material around at the construction site. The loader assembly may be a removable attachment or permanently mounted on the vehicle.

In a nutshell, each different type of MHE has a huge variety of different specifications and as such the whole universe of MHE employed at a construction site is quite big.

Ethanolamine, Ammonia, or Sodium Carbonate in Hair Color

While salon clients only come into contact with ammonia in hair color about once every few weeks, hair colorists work with it on a daily basis. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry categorizes ammonia as a known toxic and carcinogen. It is a common leading cause of respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and many types of cancer. The average salon professional’s career will only last 8 years because it will be cut short by illnesses related to breathing, depression, obesity, or chronic fatigue syndrome; which all have been closely related to chronic exposure to ammonia.

Ammonia is used in hair color to lift the cuticle of the hair allowing the pigments to penetrate into the hair shaft and oxidizes to create a permanent color effect. All permanent hair dye contains such an alkaline agent to allow the hair color to penetrate the cortex of the hair. However, ammonia is a caustic corrosive that irreversibly damages the cuticle during the hair color process. It also damages the hair’s tyrosine protein that is responsible for regulating the production of melanin, which is the hair’s natural color pigment. Damaging the tyrosine protein makes it impossible for hair to “hold” both its natural and any artificial color, which is why the use of ammonia-based color inevitably leads to color fade. Finally, ammonia corrodes both the sebaceous glands and hair follicles in the scalp leading to brittle, thinning hair.

Although many salon professionals have accepted ammonia as a “necessary evil” in permanent hair dye, there are actually very good alternatives. Two such alternatives alkaline agents are ethanolamine and sodium carbonate. These two alternatives, while substantially more expensive as raw ingredients, are options that are far better suited and safer than ammonia in hair color. While many manufacturers have embarked on full-scale campaigns to raise doubt about the safety of these two ingredients, these efforts have been driven entirely by their preference towards the cheaper ingredients that provide them larger profits rather than their honest concern for health or wellbeing.

It is interesting to note that both ethanolamine and sodium carbonate have been used in demi-permanent hair dye for decades. The purity, or grade, of either ethanolamine or sodium carbonate that is needed to sufficiently lift the cuticle is much higher in permanent hair dye than demi-permanent color, making the cost burden greater. However, the health, performance, and pleasantness (neither ethanolamine and sodium carbonate share the same putrid, noxious, smell of ammonia) compare to ammonia cannot be ignored. The following benefits of ethanolamine and sodium carbonate should be considered when selecting a healthier and better performing alternative to ammonia-based hair color:

Ethanolamine: Ethanolamine is by far the safest alkaline agent available for hair dye today. Ethanolamine is an organic compound that is naturally found in coconut oil and is a primary amine and primary alcohol. While some accuse ethanolamine as a “silent substitute” to ammonia because of its lack of odor, this is simply a misinformed categorization. Ethanolamine actually has the same odor of ammonia. However, some innovative hair care companies have developed advanced hair dye technologies that suspend the ethanolamine molecules in a soy oil base. By doing so, they are able to soften the cuticle and prevent ethanolamine from vaporizing as a gas thus eliminating both the odor and any damage to the cuticle. It is ethanolamine’s primary alcohol characteristic that makes it possible to be suspended in a soy oil base as neither sodium carbonate (a primary salt) or ammonia (a primary base) will dilute with oil.

Ethanolamine has a tendency to gently swell the hair cuticle open rather than causing any corrosion associated with ammonia. It will not destroy the hair’s tyrosine protein, disable the hair’s ability to “hold” either natural or permanent pigment, damage hair follicles or the scalp’s sebaceous glands, or otherwise irritate sensitive scalps. Ethanolamine does not pose any health risk, has a molecular weight large enough to be too large to be absorbed through the scalp’s pores and follicles and into the bloodstream, and (when suspended in an organic oil such as soy) will not vaporize and actually have a deep conditioning effect on the cuticle.

Hair dye grade ethanolamine, of the quality necessary to produce a permanent hair dye effect, is cost prohibitive for most hair color manufacturers. As such, the only permanent hair color lines that use ethanolamine as their primary alkaline agent are advanced professional-only hair color lines.

Sodium Carbonate: more commonly known as “soda ash” or “washing soda” is a strong based commonly used in swimming pools to neutralize the acidic effects of chlorine and also used as a water softener. Sodium Carbonate is a sodium salt, so its use in hair dye has been limited to demi-permanents because its damage to the hair cuticle is almost as bad as ammonia. Although sodium carbonate is a much healthier choice than ammonia has enabled several demi-permanent colors to be manufactured and mass-marketed to younger populations. However, because sodium carbonate does not improve the overall performance of hair dye, and the concentrations necessary to lift the cuticle enough to produce a permanent hair color effect, sodium carbonate has not been adopted in any professional grade permanent hair dye today.

Canyoning – 10 Best Locations For Canyoning Around The World

Canyoning is like a triathlon consisting of hiking, climbing, abseiling and swimming. This opens up a lot of possibilities for adventure anywhere in the world. In fact you can make it as easy or as hard as you desire. You can do a half-triathlon or go for broke and design an Ironman of canyoning. Known as ghyll scrambling in Great Britain, kloofing in South Africa and river tracing in the Far East, canyoning is an activity that will take you around the world! Here are 10 of the best locations.

1. Partnachklamm, Austria. This gorge in Austria is perfect for year round canyoning. Spectacular stalactite icicles and water freezes that provide a winter wonderland, and the perfect summer adventure where the ice melts to spectacular waterfalls, and whirlpools with a spectacular canyon background along an 800 meter mountain sprawl.

2. Grand Canyon, USA. Famous for its ancient archaeological value, the Grand Canyon is a gold mine of good to know facts and amazing locations carved thousands of years ago by the Colorado River. This location boasts of challenging incline terrains and majestic rock formations.

3. Wulingyuan, China. It takes more than just a weekend to explore this great location for canyoning in China’s first national park. However the time spent discovering it will be worth your adventurous while. Technology has played a significant part in the exploration of these canyons as the tallest elevator in the world will give you access to a stunning labyrinth of canyons, a diversity of trails and rock formations.

4. Dudh Khosi, Kathmandu, Nepal. Gorges and trenches formed by the melting snowy peaks of the magnificent Mt. Everest brings canyoning to its best in this mountainous region. Be guided by rivers along the gorges and valleys as you end your adventure in one dramatic waterslide into refreshing river waters.

5. Grand Canyon of the Verdon, France. Carefully marked trails make it easy for you novice canyoneers. However for some who want more than a mediocre adrenalin surge, you can follow the trail of the turquoise waters of the famous Verdon River, scaling limestone edifices in different angles and slopes. Then challenge your skills at Styx du Verdon which consists of a tall maze of thin cliffs that lead to an underground river.

6. Agawa Canyon, Canada. Go back in time as you come face to face with Canada’s oldest masterpiece of nature. The Agawa Canyon is part of a protected wilderness site that can only be accessed on foot. Untouched, undisturbed and remarkably beautiful forests and gorges provide that perfect setting for a relaxing day of canyoning.

7. Bruar Falls canyon, UK. An experience fully packed with adrenalin activities for a full day! Choose from a thrilling day of canyoning or opt for a night adventure for that more eerie mysterious aura. Whether you choose day or night, you will still end this great adventure with one big splash as you abseil down a waterfall drop of 120 feet!

8. Copper canyon, Mexico. A remote location where early spring brings out the best that nature has to offer. It is the largest canyon system in North America where rugged terrain and medium to difficult grades of slopes will absolutely give you the adrenalin challenge that you need. Breathtaking views of the Urique River will urge you to keep on trekking through narrow slots leading you through the canyon.

9. Spanish Pyrenees, Spain. It’s the perfect canyoning landscape just by the enthralling rivers of Vero, Marcu Balced and Formaiga. It’s a full production, with the environment, light and climate.

10. Blue Mountains, Australia. Canyoning at its most convenient. The Blue Mountains holds about 400 canyons with different grades and difficulty. Canyons such as the Grand Canyon are perfect for novice canyoneers while the Empress Falls is an abseilers haven spot. To put you up for a challenge you can try the Claustral Canyon or prefer to stay dry and opt for the Tigersnake Canyon. Or if you want to add to your adventure you can enjoy some caving at the Jenolan Caves.

Canyoning is a sport that will take you to great adventures all over the world. It’s not too difficult to find this activity especially when you speak of mountainous locations. And with the fast gain of popularity for its diverse and unique activities, canyoning is becoming the preferred outdoor action by those who want to do it all.

Tilt TV Wall Mount Specifically Designed for the Sharp LC-65D64U

Finally a TV wall mount has been engineered specifically with the Sharp 65″ HDTV in mind. The VESA pattern for the Sharp LC-65D64U is 440mm W x 650mm H. The VESA spacing of the vertical arms distance is far greater than most mounts that are out on the market today. The designers took that vertical arm spacing into consideration as well as the fact that it requires M10 screws to attach them to the back of the TV. This tilting wall mount has a 28″ wide wall plate that can mount to wood studs on 16″ or 24″ centers. Once mounted it can support up to 300 lbs. It can be mounted into concrete as well but, the minimum thickness required is 6″. Concrete anchors for this can be purchased at you local hardware store.

The vertical arm can slide laterally on the wall plate for centering if needed. When the TV is set onto the wall mounting plate it can be positioned either flat or tilted downward up to 12 degrees simply by losing a knob. When installing a large TV of this size it is always advisable to have two people to support the TV when attaching it to the wall plate. Once the TV has been placed onto the horizontal rails that support the vertical arm, secure it by tightening two locking screws located on the lower portion of the arms. This will prevent the TV from being accidentally lifted off the rails and falling onto the floor. When parked in the flat position the back of the TV will be 4.75 inches from the wall.

Build the Imagination in a Child With the Right Doll House

Childhood memories help build the character of a person and also serves as the foundation for the imagination of one’s mind. The toys that children have to play with are a motivator in the personality that is developing as they grow up. Many children have imagination to make toys out of almost nothing. Making houses out of boxes that may have a window and a door or a tent out of a blanket over a couple of chairs is a childhood memory second to none. Wooden forts outside is also a memory for many. A child can make a guitar out of a board by pounding a few small nails at the top and the bottom and then putting rubber bands on these nails for strings. Adults still having the heart of the child within still love to dwell on these memories as they have their own children and grandchildren.

One of my favorite childhood memories was when my dad brought left over lumber scraps home from the construction site he worked at and my mom used these to make furniture for my doll house that she had made out of 2 apple boxes attached side by side. The furniture was so much like the real furniture we had in the house we lived in. This is where she understands her passion for all things miniature. She made a stove and a fridge or from the scrap wood, precision-made items for my doll house, furniture, cloth blankets and pillows for the beds and the crib; and accessories for the doll house. She bought dolls the right size to fit in the doll house to help me with my imagination as I played with them. She helped me have a great memory.

Whether you’re a dedicated collector or a beginner to the craft, one can find everything that is needed to create your own charming doll house. Vintage or contemporary, every wooden style and historical period houses are available. Together with hand-crafted doll furniture, doll house kits, and plans, these kits cater for all needs, tastes and budgets.

There are many places on the web you’ll find beautiful items in both 1:12 and 1:24 scale, from beautiful dolls to resin figures. There are elegantly displayed room and dramatic doll houses that have lighting in them. Whether one wants to browse for inspiration or wants to be specific, the internet makes it easy for one to get all the supplies you need. You’ll also find them out on the web made of wood, wood and plastic, and just plastic that is easy to put together. Children like to play with these doll houses with their friends. There are many brands out on the web to tickle your fancy.

The doll house lover, hobbyist and collectors alike are amazed with what they find out there. The children are delighted to play with their own or one that their friends have or one in the classroom. Be filled with imagination of these miniature dolls and the furniture that is in each room that you may wish that you were that small to live there!

List of Everyday Devices That Use Solar Energy

Solar power is an interesting technology. People have been using products with solar power panels since they were children and don’t even realize it. Remember those tiny little calculators with the black strip. Whenever you held your finger over it, the screen would disappear. That was solar energy.

Those calculators are one of the most popular items that use solar power. But, these days there are so many more products that are using the growing technology. Solar panel works well because it’s a renewable energy, which means it will replenish itself after being used. The sun comes out everyday and people never have to worry about their solar panels not working. Some of the bigger products that use solar energy are steam generators. People use them to heat and light their homes. Companies use them to run machines in their plants. However, there are smaller and practical uses to solar energy as well.

Campers and hikers can benefit from solar energy and people who need emergency items. Companies are producing radios, lights and battery chargers that use just solar power. What is so great about these products is that there are many different types you can buy. There are some radios that come with AM/FM with a built-in flashlight. Others have AM/FM/VHF/TV. Imagine all these products and all they need is a little light to get started.

There are many companies that make solar powered flashlights and lanterns. These work great in emergency situations when you have no batteries or any other resource to light your flashlight. The flashlight will be charged during sunlight hours and then be used at night. In case you need the flashlight at night, there are some lights that have cranks to get them started. If you have a solar powered battery charger, you now have the batteries for your flashlight.

Other products include a solar power cooker. You can cook in the outdoors and never have to worry about propane tanks again. There are small portable backup solar generators as well. Solar power has so many uses that it’s hard to believe there aren’t more tools with it. Some companies are selling solar volt testers and vehicle cigarette lighters. These can also be used in conjunction with the solar battery chargers. The battery chargers usually come in 12-volt or D battery settings. The 12-volt battery can be charged to use coffee makers, stoves, beverage heaters, mini coolers, lanterns, flashlights, hair dryers, electric razors, heating blankets and so much more.

As research companies find new ways to use solar power, start looking for it on more gadgets. Currently, there are people testing solar-powered cars and boats. There have been test models of these made but none for practical use. Right now it takes too many solar panels to get the vehicle moving and getting a person inside of it. Solar power is a path into the future. As new alternative energy is discovered, try to do your part in helping the environment with these great gadgets.

Biaggia Pizza Ovens – Delicious Pizzas Made From Your Home

The Biaggia pizza oven is professionally designed to fit the countertop in your home or office kitchen. You can now experience expertly baked pizzas right in your own kitchen.

Biaggia pizza oven Model 502 comes in polished stainless steel for the outer housing and the front of the food rack. Both rated at 22 gauge brushed 430 stainless steel. The inner case and internal case parts are aluminized steel to protect against corrosion. Its physical dimensions are 19 inches wide by 16 1/2 inches deep (excluding handle) by 7 5/8 inches tall with a cord length of 45 inches and weighs about 19 pounds.

The Dual heating elements at the top and bottom allows you to perfectly bake frozen pizzas in about 15 minutes or less, with no pre-heating required. The front panel has an easy to set 15-minute automatic shut off timer. A removable crumb tray is installed for easy cleaning. Plastic grill handle and crumb tray knob ensure safe handling. The oven is designed to be left on the kitchen counter after use.

The oven cooks at a pre-configured temperature of 450°C and this cannot be adjusted. It operates with a 15-minute dial timer. The baking grill is completely removable for convenient foot transfer and easy cleaning. You can use a baking pan that fits the oven if you want to prevent leaving mess or stains in the baking compartment. It runs on 1,450 watts of electricity and has rounded wire heating elements for faster cooking. The oven is approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and has UL Commercial Type Rating under its belt.

This oven is also well suited for baking other non-greasy snacks including quesadillas, pretzels, egg rolls, chicken fingers and fish sticks just to name a few. Even with a homemade dough, pizza baking yield far better results compared to a conventional oven. The baking quality is very near to commercial pizzas. Aside from baking pizzas, the oven is also good for conventional heating, baking, roasting or toasting non-greasy food that can fit its compartment. Please note that this pizza oven is not intended for baking rising dough crust pizzas or any greasy food.

With this pizza oven, you can cook pizza faster compared to regular kitchen ovens. You will find that most pizzas will cook from about 8 to 9 minutes. If you pre-heat the oven, the baking time after the pizza is placed inside will be shorter. Done properly, your pizzas will come out evenly cooked and perfectly browned from the oven. This oven is recommended for anyone who bakes frozen pizzas or other foods frequently.

An actual consumer revealed that the 2 heating elements are not equally sized and the lower coil may be found smaller than the top. If you were to bake with this arrangement, the pizza toppings may burn before the crust is done cooking. Although not recommended, this owner opened the oven (could void the warranty!) and swapped the larger heating element to the bottom and place the smaller heating coil on top. It was later reported that the oven can now cook homemade dough as good as restaurant pizza ovens.

With the Biaggia Professional Pizzeria Pizza and Snack Oven, it would no longer be practical to order pizza or have them delivered when you can make better ones right in your own kitchen. This full-featured and commercial-grade pizza oven can bake full-sized pizzas similar to the ones your order from restaurants or phone deliveries. Aside from making mouth-watering pizzas, you can also bake or cook anything that fits the tray. With the Biaggia Pizza and Snack Oven around, you can now throw the hottest pizza parties in town.

The Deluxe edition features an adjustable temperature control between 150°C-450°C and has a 30-minute automatic timer and a non-stick removable crumb tray.

Grilling Tips – What to Know Before Grilling Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi is becoming more and more popular as a trophy fish sought after and caught by sports fisherman all over. This particular fish is often found in the warmer waters of the Gulf Coast, Hawaii and along the cost lines of South America. With it’s increase in popularity, it can often be found served in many restaurants or in the fresh seafood cases of many grocery stores.

Sometimes called “Dolphin Fish” (although not related to the mammal dolphin in any way), Mahi Mahi when filleted properly produces thick, dense pinkish white fillets that are well suited to cooking on a charcoal or gas grill. Served with roasted potatoes, grilled corn on the cob and asparagus spears, it’s a meal you or your guests won’t soon forget!

There are many ways to grill Mahi Mahi and we will discuss a few here. Some of these methods include:

  • Direct heat
  • Indirect heat
  • Cedar Planks
  • Foil Packets

First let’s start with Direct Vs. Indirect heat.

In a direct heat method, the food item being cooked is placed directly over the hot coals or lit burner on a gas grill. This method produces a searing heat that often blackens the outside of the meat and although is very good for a steak, it’s not really the preferred method for Mahi Mahi.

When using an indirect heat method, the grill (charcoal or gas) is pre-heated and the coals banked to one side for charcoal grills or with gas grills, one side of the grill is turned off. The item being cooked, in this case fish, is placed on the side of the grill opposite of the hot burner or coals, thus allowing for a slower, more even cooking. With either of these methods, it is important to make sure that your grill grates are clean of any previous food or carbon build up and that they are well coated in olive oil or specially formulated cooking spray for the grill to prevent the fish from sticking.

Cedar Plank Method

This is one of our favorite methods for cooking most any dense fish fillet like Salmon, Red Drum or Mahi Mahi. Cedar grill planks can be found in most grocery stores or even in major retail chains like WalMart and Home Depot. These thin raw cedar planks add an exceptional Smokey sweet flavor to any fish that is cooked on them. Just be sure to soak the planks in water for at least 4 hours prior to use. When ready to grill your fish, place the plank on a preheated grill (Medium to medium high heat is best) and lay your prepared fish fillet directly on the plank. Usually there is no need to turn the fish but you can if desired. With this method of cooking a simple seasoning of the fillets with a spice mix like Old Bay and a small squeeze of lemon juice is all that is needed to prepare the fish for grilling.

Foil Packet Method

In this method the Mahi Mahi is seasoned and wrapped in aluminum foil then placed over indirect or moderate direct heat. Quite often the fish is topped with lemon slices, diced tomatoes, onions and chopped olives prior to sealing the foil packet. This method helps to hold the juices in and produces a very tasty meal!

SHAME: The Forgotten Emotion – A Treatment Plan

Shame, more than any other emotion, can be seen as the enemy within. It is for many the forgotten emotion. Indeed in research for this article, I was starkly reminded of the of the little that is written in the literature on the consequences of shame or even what shame is as an emotion. Freud, for example, concentrated on the subject of guilt rather than shame and from my own discipline it is only in recent times that Transactional Analysts have written on shame in any real depth. In some ways this is a strange phenomena, that so little has been written on the subject.

Perhaps though, the major reason for the ignoring of shame in this sense is that most often a person’s response to shame is to hide and withdraw, to retreat and remain isolated. The last thing a shamed person wants to do is to open up and be ‘seen’ by people.

“Shame is an internal, excruciating experience of unexpected exposure, it is a deep wound felt primarily from the inside, it divides us from ourselves and others” (Erskine 1993)

Or, in T.A. terms we can see shame as an: “internal expression of an interpsychic conflict between a reactive child ago state and an influencing parent ego state”. (Erskine 1993)

Shame is the consequence of a rupture in early relationships, it is one of the most painful of emotions and for most people who feel shame, they want so desperately to ‘not be seen’, to many it is the very focus of attention that is so crippling for them in their everyday lives. Indeed the moment attention is solely focused on them, they fight so desperately to withdraw and will do ‘anything’ to not feel the feelings that are around by ‘being seen’. The defences to the above may include freezing, trying to be perfect, intellectualising, smiling or creating another self to deal with the world.

The major script belief for dealing with shame is “something is wrong with me”. This decision that something is basically wrong with their very being was made by the person early in their life in response to being traumatized by the ‘other’ in the significant relationship. It is the internalisation of the ‘shamer’s’ message “something is wrong with you” which is changed significantly by the shamed person/child to “something is wrong with me”. This process usually begins early in childhood and it may take the shamed child numerous traumatic experiences before the “something is wrong with you” message becomes the “something is wrong with me” decision.

The parent in this process, by placing the total responsibility for the rupture of the relationship on the child, will by definition set up a process where the child will be faced with great internal/external pressure to decide that there is something wrong with them. The alternative to voice or even feel that it could be the parent that was wrong would be so overwhelming, especially as they were dependent on their early survival from the significant other.

This internal early belief system “something is wrong with me” then becomes the basis or core of the script system. It becomes the base from which the child then builds on in their development. It is based on the myth to which the shamed child has bought into and becomes pervasive throughout their life. Indeed the myth becomes, for the person, as powerful as any existential decisions about themselves. This is how they see and feel themselves to be, this is what they are and how they exist. They fundamentally believe that: “something is wrong with me”.

The question then, for any therapist/counsellor in dealing with a person who feels so shamed and so fundamentally believes the above, is how we facilitate the person to realise that something is right with them, not essentially wrong, and how we do this in a way that is not reinforcing the shame or replicating the early ruptured relationship?

The answer lies in the relationship between the therapist and the client, it is through this relationship that the person can tell their story. It is through the relationship with the therapist that the person can, maybe for the first time, feel that they are validated for being them – that they are normal and that there is not anything wrong with them and never has been. It means the therapist attuning with the client, validating even their smallest hurts and anxieties, it means for the therapist to somehow get themselves ‘into the skin of the client’. Most of all it means that the therapist stays alongside the clients in a respectful contact oriented manner.

It may also mean that the therapist actively takes the responsibility for any break in the therapeutic relationship. Most therapeutic breaks occur when the therapist fails to attune to the client’s affective or non-verbal communication. Thus it may be necessary for the therapist to take full responsibility for not understanding the client’s phenomenological experiences, for not validating or valuing the person in front of them.

The methodology then for therapy with a person who feels existentially and irrevocably shamed is through Contact, Inquiry, Attunement and Involvement, the four basic tenets of any relationship contact oriented therapy. It is through the above, with respectfulness, that the antidote to shame will be found.

Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

When the warm summer months are coming to a close and you start to see the leaves turn and drift to the ground, it is time to start preparing your patio furniture for winter storage. While it is always difficult to close up that umbrella and acknowledge that it is your last dinner on the patio for the season, a little planning can make sure you will be able to enjoy your patio furniture set for many years to come.

Most patio furniture is designed to withstand years of exposure to heat, rain, a little wind, and the sun. However, the harsh ice, snow, and wind that generally arrive during the winter months can dramatically shorten the life of your patio furniture. The following tips involve a little elbow grease and possibly some minimal purchases that will effectively minimize the wear and tear on your patio furniture during the winter months.

Preparing Your Patio Furniture for Storage

The type of furniture that you have on your patio can determine the process you should use for winterizing preparations. A variety of Patio Furniture Sets are available on the market, with materials ranging from aluminum to wicker. For the purpose of this article, the most common patio furniture types have been included in the tips in order to get you started.

If any of your patio furniture pieces or accessories are in need of replacing, autumn is the time to find great deals! You can add to your current set or consider new cushions, pillows, or other complimentary items.

Cleaning

Ensuring that your furniture set is clean before it is stored can help prevent staining and corrosion while making it possible to pull out your furniture to enjoy those first warm days once spring arrives.

Cleaning Wicker Sets: Wicker sets can be made of true rattan or synthetic rattan. Often, the wicker is sealed with some sort of finish to protect the material. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Metal Sets: Most metal sets are sealed with a powder coat finish to ensure a longer life.Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that need repair or repainting while the set is clean and dry.

Cleaning Wood Sets: Wood sets can vary, from a classic picnic table to a set of Adirondack Chairs. Using a mild soap with warm water and gentle scrub brush or sponge, clean the surface of your furniture. Allow the furniture to air dry completely, or use a towel to dry. Address any areas that require sanding, painting, or staining. If the wood has a natural finish, consider rubbing a furniture oil or mineral oil into the surface to keep the wood from splitting or becoming brittle during dry winter months.

Cleaning Cushions & Umbrellas: Many Deep Seating Patio Furniture Sets include substantial cushioning, while other sets are accented with optional cushions or pillows.Brush off any debris on cushions and umbrellas. If cushions and pillows have removable covers, wash and dry them according to manufacturer instructions. If cushion covers cannot be removed, use mild soapy water and a sponge to wipe off any dirt on cushions. The same technique can be used on the umbrella. Let the cushions, pillows, and umbrella dry completely before storing.

Covering/Wrapping Your Patio Furniture

There are a number of options available for the covering or wrapping of your patio furniture sets. Ideally, it would be nice to move your furniture into a garage, shed, or basement where it is dry and sheltered. However, there are very few people that have the extra space available to store bulky items like patio furniture. If this is the case for you, there are still great methods for protecting your furniture if it must stay outdoors during the winter months.

Once you have cleaned and dried your furniture and accessories, try to consolidate the pieces to minimize the space that will be required for storing everything. Stack chairs, remove cushions, and dismantle any components that might be susceptible to damage. Select a storage location that is as sheltered from the elements as possible. If feasible, bring your fabric items inside for the winter, or consider putting them in a sealed tote or plastic bag for dry storage. There are a number of commercial patio furniture covers available on the market for a variety of patio furniture types. These covers are usually made from heavy duty canvas that is sealed to keep out moisture and protect from damage. Other options could include having your set professionally wrapped in plastic film or simply using a large tarp that can be secured with rope or bungee cords.

Successful Storage Throughout the Winter

If you have followed the cleaning and covering steps outlined previously, you can probably feel comfortable knowing that your patio furniture will be safely cocooned for the winter months to come. On occasion, it can be helpful to brush any accumulated ice or snow from your furniture coverings to prevent any leaking or shifting that could allow moisture to infiltrate and damage the furniture. It might also be a good idea to check every once in a while for any critters that might have decided that your securely covered furniture set would be a perfect home for the winter.

While it may be time to trade your flip flops and sunscreen for wool socks and hot cocoa, you can look forward to a successful transition into summer next year with patio furniture that has been carefully stored.