Benefits of Using Diffuser Light Panels

Your ceiling is a place where you could install all sorts of tools that can make your house energy-efficient. However, it is also a part of the room where most of the energy is wasted causing you to have a sky-rocketing bill particularly for your energy consumption. If you would like a cost-effective workplace or home, you should take advantage of the benefits of the diffuser light panels.

The light diffuser allows you to create a very inviting ambiance without the need for high-powered lights or tons of lighting fixtures. It helps you to spread the illumination in your room even if you are only using a fluorescent lamp. More often than not, people tend to install too many small lighting fixtures thinking that they could save energy by doing so. Unfortunately, they are doing it the other way around. The more lights that are opened, the higher will be the consumption of energy, thus, the higher will be your utility bill. If you would opt for a diffuser light panel, the brightness of the light from your fluorescent lamp can spread on the room. So even if you only have a couple of fluorescent lamps, you will still have a dazzling and inviting atmosphere without the high cost.

Aside from that, you would also get to add drama to the area especially if you would use the light diffuser in your home. Instead of getting an intense luminosity, what you would have is a soft and a soothing brightness. It can even add that elegance without the need for expensive chandeliers or spotlights in your home. Moreover, by getting the right shape and size, your diffuser light panel will also enhance your furniture at the same time. Add more radiance to the part of the room for a very low cost.

Excitotoxins – The Link Between MSG and Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases

Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, the author of Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills, (Health Press, 1997) continues to draw the link between special amino acids he calls “excitotoxins” (such as Monosodium Glutamate or MSG) and various slow developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases in chapter 5.

Originally, Dr. Blaylock points out, scientists believed that genetic programming of neurons called for a naturally shorter life span of neurons. However, evidence is pointing to extreme variances in the life span of neurons. For example, Parkinson’s disease symptoms don’t manifest until 80 to 90% of the brain nuclei called substantia nigra have died. These neurons couldn’t have died all at the same time.

Another theory was a neuron killing virus but again the scientific research has failed to make the connection. The same is true with the immune system failure theory. Dr. Blaylock points out that the “environmental toxin as the causative factor” theory (namely aluminum) was the most impressive but still wasn’t the answer. He points out that the presence of aluminum in the brain is not the cause of the neurodegenerative diseases but a result of a susceptibility to aluminum absorption already created.

Dr. Blaylock reports on several curious neurodegenerative cases. One which was that of the Chamorro Indians living on the Mariana Islands who were dying at an alarming rate from a disease similar to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). After extensive research it was finally concluded that the safeguards for processing the normally poisonous cycad plant (or False Sago Palm) into flour were slowly abandoned due to food scarcity. This created a long term exposure to a neurotoxin which eventually killed enough neurons to reveal ALS-like symptoms of hand (and then limb) immobility and death. Some of the Chamorro Indians were more sensitive to the toxin than others. Other similar stories were reported with the same symptoms in the Auyu and Jakai people of West New Guinea and people in Kii Peninsula of Honshu Island of Japan.

From these studies Dr. Blaylock concluded that our resistance to these food based neurotoxins depends on several points. First, it depends on the condition of our brain’s protective blood-brain barrier. A compromised blood-brain barrier may allow too many neurotoxins (in the form of glutamates) into the brain causing damage. Second, it depends on the amount of dietary exposure to excitotoxins (such as exposure to MSG and to hydrolyzed vegetable protein). Excessive consumption of glutamates may have a tendency to overwhelm the body’s ability to deal with them. Third, it depends on the metabolic efficiency and the continuous availability of energy for normal cellular pumps to move glutamate from within cells to surrounding glial cells, which encase and supply energy to the neurons. Finally it depends on the presence of free radical scavengers (to remove the free radicals in the brain).

Dr. Blaylock then reports on the research of the effects of amphetamines (also known as “uppers”) on the nervous system, specifically on the similarity of the destruction of the same neurons as with Parkinson’s disease and in the same manner (overworking the neurons to death). He remarks that the ingestion of amphetamines and even the Parkinson’s drug L-DOPA (which is actually a mild excitotoxins and speeds up the disease) shows how the neurons can be chemically forced “on” until they die.

Dr. Blaylock concludes this chapter by presenting replies to a couple major objections presented in regards to the connection of the ingestion of excitotoxins and neurodegenerative diseases. The first objection is that if food toxins and additives were the cause of Parkinson’s disease why wouldn’t all of us eventually develop the disease? Dr. Blaylock’s reply is that first he is not suggesting that food additives are the “primary cause” of Parkinson’s disease or any other neurodegenerative disease. He points out that there is varying sensitivity to any toxin within any species of the same size and sex. He also states that the individual’s ability to pump out the glutamate varies with long term cellular pump condition and consistently available energy. He also points out that rate of Alzheimer’s disease between the ages of 65 and 74 is 3%, between the ages of 75 and 84 it rises to 18.7% and then soars to 47.2% after 85. This shows an age related vulnerability.

The second objection is that if large amounts of glutamate are consumed, the blood-brain barrier will keep the glutamate from entering the brain. His reply is that normally this is true. However, there are numerous conditions in which this barrier may be compromised allowing glutamate to enter such as with head injuries, viral and bacteria infections, hypertension, heavy metal exposure and elevated core body temperature. Dr. Blaylock points out that the most common reason for a breakdown in the barrier is a stroke.

What can one do to avoid this type of neural damage? Dr. Blaylock says that much of the damage is due to the release of free radicals. The most success comes from antioxidants such as vitamin E. L-leucine has been shown to improve neurological function also. Magnesium and zinc intake have also been shown to slow the progress of neurological diseases. However, the best benefit is gained when one avoids consuming “excitotoxins.” Dr. Blaylock points out in Appendix 1 other common food additives which have hidden sources of MSG. These include: Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydrolyzed Plant Protein, Hydrolyzed Protein, Sodium Caseinate, Calcium Caseinate, Yeast Extract, Textured Protein, Autolyzed Yeast and Hydrolyzed Oat Flour. Some food additives may have MSG include: Malt Extract, Malt Flavoring, Bouillon, Broth, Stock, Flavoring, Natural Flavoring, Natural Beef or Chicken Flavorings and seasoning.

A Generator Maintenance Checklist for Diesel Generators

An industrial generator (a.k.a. genset) can last for decades, but only if it is properly maintained. Although a generator has few moving parts, it contains sensitive components that need regular attention. Complete genset maintenance requires different measures to be performed on different schedules. If you need a schedule for performing these measures, below is a basic checklist for diesel generator maintenance on a daily, monthly, semiannual, and annual basis.

Daily Measures

Diesel generators should receive the following measures on a daily basis:

  • General inspection – Check the genset for loose parts, signs of corrosion on parts, traces of carbon, and dust build up.
  • Coolant heater check – Make sure the coolant heater is securely in place and inspect it for signs of wear.
  • Oil check – check the oil level and add oil as necessary.
  • Fuel check – check the fuel level and add fuel as necessary.
  • Charge-air piping check – be sure the charge-air piping is connected securely to the radiator and inspect it for signs of wear.

Maintenance personnel commonly perform the measures above. Generator technicians can also perform them as part of a scheduled service agreement.

Weekly Measures

Diesel generators should receive the following measures on a weekly basis:

  • Air cleaner check – Check the air cleaner for debris and clean it as necessary.
  • Battery charger check – Check the float voltage reading on the battery charger and adjust the voltage as necessary.
  • Fuel Filter Drain – Drain the water from the bottom of the fuel filter housing.
  • Fuel Tank Drain – Drain the water from the bottom of the fuel tank until the diesel fuel appears.

Many facilities have generator technicians perform the weekly measures on a generator maintenance checklist. If building maintenance personnel perform them, they should have training in generator maintenance.

Monthly Measures

Diesel generators should have the following measures performed on a monthly basis:

  • Coolant concentration check – Take a sample of the coolant with a hydrometer and check its concentration by referring to the service manual from the manufacturer.
  • Drive belt tension check – Check the belt for proper tension and inspect it for signs of wear.
  • Exhaust condensate drain – Drain the condensate from the condensate trap.
  • Battery check – Check the charge on the starting battery and examine the connections for looseness and corrosion.

Because the correct concentration of coolant in an outdoor generator may be influenced by climate, a generator technician that specializes in emergency power equipment in the Carolinas should perform the coolant concentration check.

Semiannual Measures

Diesel generators should have the following measures performed on a semiannual basis:

  • Oil and filter change – Replace the oil and oil filter, regardless of whether the genset has been used in a non-simulated power outage.
  • Coolant filter change – Replace the coolant filter, regardless of whether the genset has been used in a non-simulated power outage.
  • Crankcase breather cleaning – Clean the crankcase breather according to the service manual from the manufacturer.
  • Air cleaner element change – Replace the air cleaner element, regardless of the level of debris accumulation.
  • Radiator hose check – Check the connection of the radiator hoses and inspect them for signs of wear.
  • Fuel filter change – Change the fuel filter, regardless of the level of sediment accumulation.

Generator technicians should perform the measures above.

Annual Measures

The genset should have a thorough annual cleaning of its cooling system.


The measures above are required for a diesel generator to stay in excellent condition. By incorporating them into a generator maintenance checklist, you can prepare the generator in your facility for the next power outage.

Although building maintenance personnel can perform some maintenance measures, many of them deal with components and types of inspection that are specific to diesel generators. Unless maintenance personnel are trained in these measures, they should be performed by a power service that maintains emergency power equipment in the Carolinas.

Things to Do When Your iPhone Is Stuck on the Apple Logo

An iPhone that freezes on the Apple logo can be a puzzling problem. It usually happens when you have just done things like updating your iOS, restoring backups from iDevices, or after installing a new app. To make your device return to its normal condition again, there are several things that you can do. You can either put the phone in the DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode, which completely restores your iPhone, or use ifunbox to detect and delete problem-causing apps.

Using the DFU Mode

This method is applicable to almost all versions of iPhone. First, using the USB cable, you need to connect your troubled Apple iPhone to iTunes. Then turn off your iPhone. Often it is not easy to turn off an iPhone that is locked up showing the Apple logo. The trick to do this is to press both the Home button and Power button for about 10 seconds. If you succeed, you will notice that the screen display goes dark. After the phone is turned off, keep pressing the Home button (while releasing the Power button) for another 10 seconds or more to bring the phone to recovery mode in iTunes. Your iPhone is now in the DFU mode, so click the available OK and Restore options to get your gadget back to normal. It takes time and patience with this method; sometimes you may have to repeat the process two to three times before you manage to obtain the desired result. If you have already tried this method but have not been successful, you will probably need to turn off your antivirus and firewall security measures and repeat the steps again.

Using ifunbox Software

The ifunbox software basically functions similarly to Windows File Explorer but is more user-friendly. The software supports iOS 4.0 and has many functions including the ability to control the iPhone/iPod file system, moving movies and music to and from iPhone and iPod, executing file search functions on iPhone, and serving as a hi-speed general purpose storage device. If you have ifunbox software, you can recover from your problem without having to restore the phone. Basically, ifunbox allows you to see the apps that you have installed on your iPhone. You simply connect your iPhone to your computer and hit the Search button to get a list of MY3G files. After the search result is displayed, delete all of the MY3G files you can find and try to restart your gadget. Hopefully, your problem will now be solved. Note that ifunbox is a light program that you don’t even need to install before using it. To prevent the same thing from happening to your iPhone again, only download and install apps from trusted sources.

Everything You Really Need To Know About Fitting A Ceiling Mounted Curtain Track

"Well fitting a ceiling mounted curtain track , most peoples worst
nightmare. It need not give you cold sweats and sleepless nights. "

Like most things in life you just need someone to give you a few
pointers a simple plan of action. Follow my step by step guide and

you should not have to many problems.

So your ceiling mounted curtain track check list is …

What kind of curtain track hardware?

What works and what does not?

Corded or uncorded curtain track?

Bay or straight window?

What's your ceiling made of?

How to fix your ceiling track securely?

What kind of curtain track hardware are you going to use?

You can fit curtain rods / poles to the ceiling, but to my mind they
never look right. I recommend you do not go down this road. Even if
the rod / pole looks great down at the local store. Double this advice
if fitting into a bay window.

So what does work, well the ever faithful curtain track, metal or
plastic. You can bend them to fit most shaped bay windows. The
neatest tracks are the ones that fit flush with your ceiling. Some
curtain track brackets make the track sit 1cm (1/2 inch) from the
ceiling leaving a gap.

So how can you tell the difference when buying a ceiling curtain

Well a good rule of thumb is to look at the curtain track
gliders. If they sit in a groove either under the track or a groove
on the back of the track, then you should be ok.

If the curtain track gliders are the large kind that sit on the front
of the track. Then curl over and under the track to the back then
these are not the best. This is because the glider needs a space
between the the track and your ceiling to move along when opening
and closing your curtains.

Corded curtain tracks "V" uncorded curtain tracks?

Corded tracks are great on straight tracks, but not so good on bay
windows (regardless to what it says on the packaging). Why is that
you say, well when you bend a corded curtain track into a bay. The
cords rub against the bends. The tighter the bend the worse it

On a straight corded track your cords sit loosely in the channel on
the back of your track. When the cord moves it does not create
much friction.

On bays the cord rubs a lot on each bend creating a lot of friction.
The more bends the worse it gets.

So am I saying do not buy a corded bay track?

No what I am saying is be aware and if the still want one then pick
one of the better quality ones, spend a bit more. Another important
point to consider is the weight of your curtains. If you ceiling
mounted curtain track is fixed to a not so great ceiling then be

More for bay windows but also for straight windows. When you pull
the cords to move your curtains it puts a strain on the end
brackets closest to the controls. Before long these brackets will
start to work loose.

The answer for a ceiling mount track is

Have a custom made metal corded track in your bay using roller gliders.
Roller glider roll rather than being dragged as standard curtain
track gliders do. The only draw back these custom tracks can be a bit
pricey. Well worth it if you plan on staying in your home ten
years or more.

I recommend these for bays with 3 or more bends, or for very heavy

What if the budget is a bit tight ?

Then use an uncorded curtain track and open and close your curtains
by means of "draw rods". These are rods that attach to the glider on
the opening edges of your curtains.

What's the point of draw rods. Well twofold really the first is on
tall windows they make opening and closing your curtains easier.
Secondly they keep the leading edges of your curtains clean.
because you do not have to touch them as often.

So that's it for what kind of ceiling mounted curtain track to buy
and why. I have other related articles on my website.

Marble Tile Trivia – Where Does The Best Marble Come From?

For centuries, marble tiles were extensively utilized in rooms, areas and places that were noted for affluence. However, there is another aspect to the use of marble tiles that can be attributed to a more practical aspect. In locations where cleanliness and sanitation is vital, as they should be free of allergens and pathogens, marble has a history of notable use. Tiles like these can be found mostly in hospitals.

In areas where it is generally hot and humid, marble tiles provide for a refreshing and cool walking surface. This adds to the list of benefits that homeowners gain from using these tiles for flooring.

Marble Tiles Are Effective For Decorative Home Use

Like most natural stones, some marble is noted for its muted, earthy appeal, and used a means for creating subtle shading within an interior. Other varieties of marble are vibrant red, green, and other striking colors that serve as bold accents. However, before this decorative potential can be fully used as a tile flooring option, it must be quarried.

Marble varies in color and ranges from blurry, milky-white to gray and black, and some varieties have some shades of red, yellow, pink, green, or buff. The colors, which are generally created by the presence of a number of impurities, are mostly arranged in bands or patches, and adds to the exquisite nature of the stone when it is cut and polished.

Like all limestones, it is corroded by water and acid fumes, as such is considered uneconomical for use in exposed places and in large cities. The presence of certain impurities decreases its durability. This stone does not split easily into sheets or blocks of equal size and must be mined with extreme care.

Areas Where Good Marble Can Be Found

Marble is commonly mined in mountainous regions areas, using the quarrying method. This limestone is found in large quantities in Canada, Italy, Germany, Spain, India and China. Aside from these sites, Marble is also quarried, in all parts of the world. In the United States, the best marble stocks come from the state of Vermont, which extracts large quantities. Other states that are regarded as marble producers are Massachusetts, Maryland, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, California, Colorado, and Arizona.

The status and appeal of marble tile has endured for centuries. One of the aspects for which marble is well-renowned is its role in the creation of exquisite, fine art. Overall, these materials are well-loved for their refined, elegant, decorative appeal. These stones are also known for its versatility in the production of works of art, which range from sculptures to monuments, wall tiles and floor tiles.

However, because of the different styles and designs that most people have associated with marble, no matter what application individuals have in mind, the result is often bound to be seen as a perfect artistic statement.

Today, marble tiles are finding wider and more unique applications, ranging from the choice of marble tile in bathrooms to the using marble tiles in hallways and lobbies of commercial buildings. – Tilenet

Medicare Therapy Coverage For Lymphedema

Getting Medicare to recognize lymphedema therapy as essential medical expenditure has been a difficult task. Lymphedema patients have been long trying to get the benefit of Medicare for the expenses that they incur for the therapy that continues throughout their life. The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act states that complications arising due to breast cancer surgery, which includes lymphedema, must be covered by all insurance providers. However, this coverage does not extend to those who suffer from primary or secondary lymphedema. In February 2008, the compression garments considered an essential part of lymphedema therapy were classified as covered items for Medicare.

Lymphedema is a condition that has no medical cure, although it can be managed with therapy which is known as the Complete Decongestive Therapy or CDT. The process involves a lymphatic massage combined with the use of compression bandages and compression garments, a skin care routine and a regular exercise regimen. The most important aspect of the therapy is the manual lymph drainage (MLD) which aims at draining the stagnated lymph to reduce the swelling. Occasionally, the therapist might use the Sequential Gradient Pump to loosen fibrotic tissues before the massage. The therapist performing the lymphatic massage is a specialized professional trained in the technique. Therapy sessions in the early stages may be held frequently, at least five days a week. Those who do not have easy access to the lymphedema therapist may use a sequential gradient pump for the lymphatic drainage process.

Medicare covers the lymphedema pump therapy, but recently the coverage rules have been modified. Previously, although the pneumatic compression devices were included in coverage, the patient had to attempt all other methods of treatment first, a process that took many months. This has changed now. Compression devices have been included under durable medical expenses for both primary and secondary lymphedema. There is a four-week trial period which the doctor must observe. A course of medication, use of compression garments and elevation of the limb is followed by the patient and if no improvement is seen, the doctor prescribes a pneumatic pump. The doctor is required to give a Certificate of Medical Necessity to enable the patient to procure a lymphedema pump from a Medicare authorized supplier. The supplier of the pump must be enrolled with Medicare and possess the Medicare Supplier Number, or you will not be reimbursed the claim.

In case of compression garments, which can be a large recurring expense, lymphedema sufferers have had to deal with legislatures which prevented their inclusion in Medicare coverage lists. A positive judgment in February 2008 has come to the aid of lymphedema patients. Compression garments were classified as items meeting the standards for covered items. Items like compression bandages, compression sleeves and stockings were considered medically essential and would be covered as prosthetic devices under Medicare for lymphedema therapy. The lymphedema patients can take advantage of this edict and claim a compensation for these medically essential items that help them to manage the lymphedema.

Six Week Body Makeover – Body Type D

The 6 Week Body Makeover meal plan is divided up into five different body types. This article will focus on the body type “D” as the meal plan is quite unique for this body. D people are allowed to eat more red meat. The other body types are only allowed to eat lean proteins and seafood. The reason why D bodies can eat beef is because red meat actually helps build muscle for this specific body type.

People who are classified as “D” body types have very sluggish metabolism and a lack of lean muscle. This causes a double whammy when it comes to fat loss. Muscle is what burns fat and the more lean muscle that you have, the more calories you’ll burn throughout the day. This is similar to the Atkin’s approach, however, this meal plan is less restrictive when it comes to what type of carbohydrates you can consume. First off, if you are a D, you shouldn’t eat sweet fruits, sugar and white breads. Complex carbohydrates are good for these body types (in moderation). Some complex carbohydrates that are included within the meal plan are potatoes, squash and low sugar fruits like grapefruit.

A sample dinner meal on the Michael Thurmond diet for a Body Type D is, grilled New York steak, garlic roasted potatoes and a green salad. A sample breakfast would be 4 oz. egg whites & 1 cup of oatmeal or steak & egg whites. The eggs can be scrambled with diced tomatoes and basil. You can use lean sirloin steak and add Maui grilled onions for flavor.

Piccolo Woodwind – Three Ways to Build Beautiful Tone

Background: my reason for writing this article

The piccolo is an interesting member of the family of instruments known as woodwinds. It has the highest pitch of all the instruments in a modern orchestra. Most people will easily recognize the piccolo in band music, such as John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” where the piccolo solo soars above all the other instruments and creates a counter melody almost like a whistle. It is because of this extreme pitch that it is of utmost importance to build beautiful tone.

I play the flute. My range starts on concert, or “middle” C, and moves up three octaves. Although both piccolo and flute notes are written in the same place on the treble staff, the piccolo sounds one octave higher than the flute. Therefore it is understood that its range starts on D, one octave above middle C and also moves up three octaves.

One of the first things I learned on the flute was that the most criticism will be directed at my tone. It’s all about tone: good tone, pure tone, polished and controlled tone. Third octave tone is the toughest.

I also write music for the flute. Recently I wrote a piece that really suits the piccolo. So now I want to learn to play piccolo, too. This is what brings me to the study of tone on the piccolo.

Specific techniques for tone development

1. Make use of a mirror to check alignment and tension.

It took me a long time before I was willing to try this. Once I did, and I began to hear improvement in my playing, I decided it was a good technique! As you use the mirror, you will begin to see the shape of your mouth and how it is sitting on the lip plate. It’s so easy to tilt off to one side of the mouth and not feel it!

Next, check arm position, noticing if there is tenseness in your shoulders and neck.

Do not play a note! Just look at your position. Close your eyes and notice how it feels to hold the instrument in a relaxed state.

2. Playing notes with the mirror.

Close your eyes and start to play a nice long note. I like to start with G or A in the first octave. Listen as you play it, then open your eyes to see if you are still in good position and relaxed.

If you are successful on one note, do two or three in a scale or arpeggio. Play the notes first with eyes closed. Then while you continue to play, open your eyes to check your alignment.

3. Find a way to record yourself.

No excuses. Find a way. Buy a digital recorder. Get a microphone for your computer. Do whatever it takes to record and listen to yourself. Save one recording every 1-2 months, so that you will be able to go back and compare your progress.

Record the same song or exercises for at least one month. The song or exercise should be no more than one minute in length. This way you can get a good comparison when you listen to it. You can listen to all of your recordings at the end of the month and either discard them, or set one aside for future comparisons.

Tips for good recording:

1. Always warm up before you record.

2. Place the microphone two to four feet away from you.

3. Announce the date before you play.

4. Keep the music simple enough that you can relax.

5. Focus on slow, smooth notes rather than fast or short ones.

There are many more ways to work on tone, but if you start with these techniques, you will be well on your way to performing beautiful music on the piccolo, woodwind extraordinaire.

How to Keep Your Home Cold Without Air Conditioning

Going on a summer vacation with your family is definitely exciting and thrilling. However, beating the summer heat inside your house is not something that makes summer much more fun for homeowners like you. Using air conditioners to fight excessive heat could only make you energy consumption boom up and leave you with very pricey electric bills.

If you do not want to experience this kind of problem, you should think of ways to cool down your home without needing the help of air conditioners. By doing this, you can stop your electric bills from doubling up and consuming a large chunk of your household budget. You can now fight the heat with these wonderful tips for keeping your home cold without the help of air conditioning.

Wear light and comfortable clothes

The best way to keep yourself from depending too much on your air conditioner is to keep your body temperature in desirable levels. Wear light and breathable clothes that would make you feel less heat during the summer months. You should also take a shower at least twice a day in order to maintain your body temperature within the range of desirable levels.

Use ceiling fans instead of an air conditioner

A good way to keep your home cold during the hot and humid summer is to make the most out of ceiling fans and electric fans. Keep your ceiling fans open in order to allow more air to circulate inside your house. Close all your windows and let the air from your fans flow all throughout your home. The goal here is to keep warm air outside and keep the cold air inside your house.

When the temperature outside starts to cool down during the evening, open your windows and let the cool breeze enter your home. Close your windows again when the sun starts to rise and just keep your fans open in order to let the air circulate freely inside your house.

If you still cannot stand the heat by just turning on your ceiling fans, you could also use your air conditioner as long as you keep it in fan mode. However, you should read its manual before doing this because some manufacturers do not suggest using specific models of air conditioners in fan mode.

Make the most of cold air in your basement

Before summer comes, you can also hire a contractor who could help you install a cold air return in your house. This gadget is perfect for bringing in the cold air from your basement into the ductwork in order to allow it to circulate freely in other parts of your home. This would be a good way to turn the temperature low without using the help of air conditioners.

Keep your home shaded

The hot rays of the blazing sun could penetrate your roof and make it hotter inside your house. You can combat these harsh UV rays by keeping your home shaded by trees or plants, reflective window films and awnings, and venetian blinds or shades.

A house surrounded by greeneries experiences less heat during the summer days. Plants and trees do not only block the sun, but also help in increasing the amount of oxygen inside your property.

These are only some of the most effective ways to fight the summer heat without air conditioning. Once you do these tips, you would never need to worry about expensive electric bills during the hottest days and months of the year.

How to Avoid Block Paving Rogue Traders

If you are cold called by a block paving contractor there is nothing to say whether they are genuine or not. They well could be, but if you want to avoid the cowboy driveway installers then you must first check to see if they re what they say they are. Always make checks to see if the block paving contractors are genuine by following some or preferably all of the advise given below. You should never say yes to any paving work being carried out straight away. If possible sleep on the decision, if they are a genuine business they will know this is fine. Always consult a friend or family member before agreeing to any work to get another opinion on having paving laid and the prices quoted.

Ask to See Their ID.

If they don’t have any ID then don’t trust them. Don’t just accept a business card as ID. The business card could belong to anybody. If you do accept a business card from the contractor then keep it in a safe place. If there is a number on there give it a ring before you agree to any work being done on the driveway or patio.

Look at Their Previous Work.

A good reliable block paving installer should be able to show you block paving work that they have carried out before. If they cannot show you any work they have done why take the chance. If they do show you previous work then go and have a look. Make sure that the block paving work they show you was actually installed by them. Knock on the door and ask the owners for confirmation. Most people will be glad to help when asked. If possible always look at a few different kinds of work they have carried out and not just recent work. If you want to be really sure always look at block paving jobs that were carried out a few years ago. Block paving is designed to last 10 years or more so their work should still be OK after a few years.

Do They Belong to a Trade Body.

There are plenty of trade bodies associated with paving and landscaping contractors that install block paving so it can be easy to check out the paving company before you agree to any work being carried out. If they are a member of a trade body then ring the trade body up and check to see whether they are still a member. For all you know they could have been thrown out yet they are still using the information.

Do They Have a Business Telephone Number.

Almost all good companies will have a fixed line telephone number. Don’t just accept a mobile number as a contact telephone number. Ring up the number and speak to the person that you have spoken to about the block paving installation. If there is any problem with the driveway or patio at a later date then you at least have a phone number that is fixed by an address.

Do They Have a Home or Business Address.

There address should be clearly written on any contact details that they give you. Check to see whether this address is genuine. You can easily check postcodes on line. if it means going to the tradesman’s address that is displayed on the business card or other paperwork that is given to you by the paver to have a look to see if they do live at the address then that may satisfy you that the contractor is genuine.

Can They Give You a Trade Reference.

Many suppliers of block paving bricks and sand, like builders yards and hire centre’s will know the contractors well, so check with them to see if they would recommend them.

Check to See What Guarantee They Offer

Many of the leading manufactures of block paving offer a 10 year guarantee against faults with their paving bricks which will be passed on by good contractors. In addition to the paving manufactures guarantee the paving company should also offer a guarantee on how the paving is laid and how many years guarantee you get against workmanship.


Check Organizations like trading standards, Safe Trader and Help Direct if you are looking for recommendations for driveway companies in your local area. Remember if you are unsure about hiring a block paving contractor to carry out a paving installation then don’t hire them. Never make snap decisions or take an offer that sound to good to be true. Find someone you do trust. Remember one of the best sources of information is word of mouth. If you can get 3 or more estimates for doing the work then this is always recommended. I would always suggest getting three written estimates to carry out block paving work. You don’t necessarily have to choose the cheapest or dearest but choose the one who satisfies most, if not all of the above recommendations.

Remember also, that you have a 7 day cancellation period to any work you agree to under the law. This is called the seven day cooling off period.

Billiard Gloves – To Wear Them Or Not To Wear Them

Billiard gloves are a pretty popular item in the billiard supplies department. I have owned a couple different brands in the 20 plus years of playing pool and billiard games.

I normally do not wear gloves when I play unless I am having a challenge with my bridge hand sticking to the pool cue.

You will find quite a few players wearing billiard gloves in the pool leagues. I have noticed they are more common with new players or beginners. You will even find a few of the pro players wearing gloves if you watch pool on television.

There are 2 main reasons for wearing gloves while playing pool. The first is to eliminate your hand sticking to the cue and dragging down your stroke. The second is to help keep your hand from turning colors from the billiards chalk on the pool table.

There are several types of billiard gloves to choose from. I have included a link where you can find a variety of gloves on sale now. Find Billiard Gloves Here

I have found that wearing the gloves does not feel natural to me and may take away from my concentration a bit. I am very comfortable with my closed tripod bridge and have no problem with the cue being sticky most of the time.

I do however have a problem with my hand being covered with billiards chalk. If you are new to the game and just learning how to use a closed bridge, I would recommend a glove. This will make the cue slide between your fingers with ease.

I encourage your thoughts, comments and questions on this blog and would love to hear from you. Please post a comment if only to say hello.

To Your Run Out Success,


How to Install the Specialty Products 86250 – Ford Cam Nut

This innovative cam nut and sturdy bracket saves time and money. Easily adjust camber and caster on F150s from ’04 and up (including late model) and ’07 & up Expeditions. Save time since you don’t have to remove the OE bolt or stabilizer bar. The sturdy guide bracket allows for live adjustment. This is a must have for every alignment shop’s shelf.

Front Adjustment range: Camber: -1.00 deg. to +1.00 deg.

Caster: -1.50 deg. to +1.50 deg.

Installation time:.3 hr/side

Required: 1 kit per wheel


Ford: 2004 & Up F150

2007 & Up Expedition

Ford F-150 Front Caster/Camber Kit

All products available from Specialty Products Company are intended for use by professional installers only.

1. Before beginning any alignment always check for loose or worn parts, tire pressure, and odd tire wear patterns.

2. Raise and support the front of the vehicle by lifting on the frame rail to unload the front suspension but letting the tires touch the rack.

3. Remove lower control arm mounting bolt.

4. Install new bolt through new cam so the head of the bolt is in the recess. Mount cam shoulder plate so pin fits in existing small hole in frame and install bolt and cam through plate, frame, and control arm. Fig.#1

Note: Bolt and cam assembly will install in vehicle in the opposite direction of the stock bolt.

5. Install each bolt and cam plate so the bolt head is towards the center of the vehicle. (Most positive camber position of wheel) Install new washer and nut and tighten slightly.

6. Repeat steps 3, 4, & 5 for each lower control arm bolt.

Note: Sway bar will need to be unbolted at the frame and lowered so both rear control arm bolts can be removed.

7. Lower vehicle and adjust camber and caster by rotating hex on cam washer using a 2 1/8″ open end wrench.

Note: If cam bolt and washer start to bind while rotating, it may be necessary to raise vehicle by the frame to unload the suspension and start with the cam bolt positioned for the most positive camber.

8. Torque cam bolt nut to manufacturer’s specification.

9. Adjust toe, recheck alignment and road test vehicle.

Always check for proper clearance between suspension components and other components of the vehicle.

How to Install the Quick-Release Push-Button Lock for Your Window Guard

First of all, let’s examine the contents of your standard Push-Button Release Kit, shall we? Here are the standard contents, along with short descriptions of which is which:

1. Lock Box (2″ x 6″ metal box)

2. Push Rod (11″ long round rod, usually gold)

3. Strike Pin (2″ long x 5/8″ diameter round pin, usually silver, may be inside Cardboard Slip)

4. Cardboard Slip (4″ long round cardboard)

5. Flange (1 1/2″ diameter aluminum cover)

6. Button (3/4″ diameter aluminum button)

7. Mounting screws (usually 4 small screws in a small plastic bag)

8. Plastic Guard (2 1/2″ diameter plastic cover)

The tools and unsupplied parts you’ll need are:

1. Knife

2. Pencil

3. Long 1/2″ Drill Bit (this needs to be long enough to go through your building wall)

4. Drill

5. 1/4″-3/8″ screws for the Lock Box holes, washers if needed.

6. Drill bit for those screws

7. Hammer

8. Ruler

9. Heavy duty Bolt Cutters or a Grinder, which can cut through a 1/4″ metal rod.

So let’s get to it!

1. Attach the Strike Pin to your window guard

The Strike Pin (3) should be permanently mounted on or near the outer metal framing of the window guard -referred to from now on as WG- on the side of the WG’s “door” opposite of the hinge, near the middle (the same place where a doorknob is located on a door). It should extend outward from the WG toward the wall, so that it will later slip into the Lock Box tip-first when closed.

IMPORTANT: The Strike Pin should point straight as possible, ie not pointing slightly up, down, to the left, or to the right. The straighter it is, the smoother its operation later.

The back of the Strike Pin has threads for a 1/4″ bolt, so a common way of affixing the strike pin to your WG is by first attaching a 1/4″ bolt it, then screwing the Strike Pin into that. Still, you don’t want people being able to simply unscrew the bolt from the outside, so it is important that you permanently fix it to the WG. This is most often done by spot welding the attached Strike Pin in place, but if a welder isn’t handy, any way the bolt can be made unturnable will work, such as using one-way bolts.

2. Mount the Window Guard

If it isn’t already, it’s time to mount the WG on your window. Attach the Lock Box (1) to the end of your pin so that it locks in place. If it won’t, make sure it is unlocked first by pushing the end of the Push Rod (2) into the smaller hole of the Lock Box first. This Lock Box will be mounted to the outer wall of your building, so you need to install the WG in a position where the Lock Box can be mounted using the top and bottom screw holes, and cannot be pryed off (such as when it sits off the edge of a window frame).

The other thing to keep in mind here is that there will be an approximately 1/2″ hole drilled through your wall positioned in the middle of the Lock Box, and on the inside of the building, a 1 5/8″ diameter Flange will mount to the wall around that hole. So when you put up the WG, you want the Lock Box to be near the window opening, but far enough to allow for this 1/2″ hole to be drilled through the wall, and hopefully be clear of any inner wall obstructions (like inside framing) for a 1 5/8″ diameter around the hole center.

3. Mark your hole

With the Strike Pin attached to your WG, and the WG attached to your building, the rest is relatively simple!

Now we need to mark where the hole will be drilled through the wall so that it matches the small hole on the back of the Lock Box. First, push the Push Rod (2) into the Lock Box hole so it releases from the Strike Pin, and remove it. Place the Cardboard Slip (4) all the way onto the Strike Pin, and cut off the end with a knife so the cardboard only barely extends beyond the Strike Pin. Close the WG door slowly until the circle of cardboard meets the wall, then use a pencil to draw a circle where it lands.

4. Drill

Technically a 3/8″ drill bit will be big enough for the Push Rod to fit into, but I recommend a 1/2″ bit, which leaves more room for error, and is covered up just fine. Using the circle you just marked, drill a hole straight through your building wall until you breach the other side.

At this point, reattach the Lock Box to the WG and hold it closed. Someone from the inside should be able to put their eye through the newly drilled hole and see the ENTIRE small hole of the Lock Box. If it is partially covered, drill out the hole until there’s a clear path to it.

5. Mount the Lock Box

If it isn’t already, reattach the Lock Box to the WG and hold it closed. Mark the upper and lower holes of the Lock Box with your trusty pencil, then open the WG and drill them with the drill bit (NOT the huge one!) that matches the screws you’re going to use to mount the Lock Box, which don’t come with the kit. These screws should be between 1/4″ and 3/8″, and should be about 2″ to 3″ long.

With your 2 holes drilled above and below your BIG one, remove the Lock Box from the WG (you know how by now, right?), place it on the wall, and mount it with your screws. Screw them in until they’re snug, but do not completely tighten just yet.

6. Align the Lock Box

Slowly close the WG towards your mounted Lock Box, being careful NOT to lock it in place. What’s that? You say the Strike Pin isn’t lining up? Take a chill pill, I’m getting there.

With your hammer, smack the Lock Box just enough to move it in the direction it needs to go. If it won’t budge, you screwed it in a bit too tight and will need to loosen it. When it is lined up properly, you may lock it in place to ensure it works. It can be unlocked, of course, by sticking the Push Rod (2) through the hole in the wall until it releases. Note that you may need to “fish” around for the smaller hole in the Lock Box to push it in all the way.

When everything is lined up, tighten the Lock Box screws all the way. If everything is well aligned, the Push Rod should easily open the WG and the WG should easily lock in place. Even after the screws are tightened, you may be able to use the hammer for final adjustments.

7. Cut the Push Rod

Alright, now to the inside of the building! Close the WG until locked, then stick the Push Rod (2) THREADS FIRST all the way into the hole, and then all the way into the Lock Box’s hole (which you’ll probably have to “fish” for) until it cannot go any further, WITHOUT unlocking it.

IMPORTANT: You MUST be sure the Push Rod is all the way inside the Lock Box, even though it is sometimes hard to tell. To be sure, try unlocking and re-locking the WG a few times, so you know the Push Rod is at the end.

Once the Push Rod is in as far as it can go, mark the Push Rod with a pencil or marker at 5/8″ beyond the inside wall face. That is, we want to cut the Push Rod so that only 5/8″ of it extends out of your wall.

Once you have your mark, use a pair of bolt cutters or a grinder to cut the Push Rod at your mark. If you inserted it correctly, the excess you’re cutting off should NOT be the threaded end.

8. Install the Button

Flip the Push Rod so the threads are facing you again, and screw the Button (6) onto the end of it. Then insert the Push Rod back into the wall and inside the Lock Box hole as before. If it doesn’t extend far enough, you probably cut the Push Rod too short and will need to try again with another one. Place the Flange (5) around the Button and push the Flange (not the Button) all the way against the wall, as if it were screwed in. If the WG unlocks, the Push Rod is slightly too long, and you’ll need to cut it a little more. If not, a simple push of the Button should do the trick!

Just screw in the Flange to the wall using the Screws (7) provided, and you’re finished!

Optionally, the Plastic Guard (8) may be installed over the Button and Flange using the other 2 screws provided.

And that’s about it!

Pros And Cons Of The Mares Icon HD Dive Computer

The Mares Icon HD dive computer may not be the cheapest dive computer on the market, but the true HD color display makes it one of the only dive computer models on the market to feature this advanced viewing screen, offering full-color maps that are visible, even under water! Besides the obvious benefits of the HD-LCD display with thin film transistor, also known as TFT, what are the other pros and cons you can expect to discover with this dive computer watch?


The features are probably the biggest pros of this product, besides the fact it is made by Mares, which is a leading manufacturer for the diving community. You get easy to read large icons, a 3 ½ inch screen and innovative software, which offers a map and picture function, besides the double diving mode options for extended or profile. Besides storing your images and dive site maps, you can take advantage of more than 100 hours of dive logging and with the rechargeable lithium batteries, its low maintenance cost and manufacturer’s warranty allow you to just enjoy the vivid color display.

Actual User Reviews:

If you consider what actual customers have to say about the Mares Icon HD dive computer, the pros outweigh the cons. It’s hard not to love the large colorful display that allows you to review your dive while underwater or you can take advantage of the compass and see the depth measurements clearly. Users report that functions that allow you to log your multiple daily logs, also allow you to download the log book from the Icon, giving you a record of your dives.


This dive computer features a sporty black watch band, besides the sporty wide framed display that is truly like wearing a personal high-def computer screen on your wrist. The multiple-colored readings, graphics and numbers make it easy to read the device above the water’s surfaces and offers ease of use for when you are in the murky depths.

Are There Any Cons?

The Mares Icon HD Dive Computer isn’t for amateurs that aren’t serious about their diving electronics. Like many other dive computers, you can expect to pay around $1,000, making it too expensive for those that are occasional partakers in scuba diving adventures. On the other hand, it is not any more expensive than comparable models, although it is the only one of the market with the HD display. There can be a glitch with logging your dives, but it doesn’t seem to be a serious problem because it might be user errors, encountered when first utilizing the various functions. With the manufacturer’s warranty and a little exposure to the function buttons, this isn’t a con that can’t be overcome. It offers plenty of useful features, but not so many that it can’t be figured out by the average user.


This model of dive computer has taken “display” to the next level and it is an easy-to-use device, once you learn the basic four-button functionality. For the more serious and frequent scuba diving community, the Mares Icon HD Dive Computer will offer a helpful accounting of your dives and offer colorful maps and compass or depth functions underwater, which is when you need them the most!