Plantar Fasciitis Secrets to Immediate Relief – Part 1

Plantar Fasciitis Secrets of Getting Immediate Relief – Footwear 1

The secrets to getting immediate relief of your plantar fasciitis pain is that making sure your foot is well supported when you are weight bearing and walking and doing your activities. Support for your feet is important as it requires you to make sure that your foot is supported in a fashion that is going to enable you to walk with freedom and ease yet at the same time help to take the pressure off the plantar fascia… a soft tissue structure that is important to holding the foot in it’s correct alignment.

Most problems that affect the feet, legs, knees and hips tend to relate to either, alignment issues or a direct traumatic injury to the area of concern. With plantar fascia injuries direct trauma’s tend to be either during sports, running, jumping or high impact activities such as boxing, aerobics. Though occupational injuries can cause problems as well. Jumping off the side of a truck and landing on uneven ground, drum players in bands, retail workers who work on their feet all day. Construction workers, landscapers and concrete cutters all can sustain this type of injury from direct trauma. Even the home gardener can sustain injuries such as using the humble old shovel/ spade when using soft shoes that don’t support the bottom of your feet. Support for your feet and plantar fascia can come in many different forms. The first and easiest form is footwear.

Footwear runners… joggers, athletic shoes are ideal as they provide total enclosed support for the feet. Supportive runners should include…a stiff heel counter (heel of the shoe) with soft padding. Flexible through the ball of the shoe (that is the toe section of the shoe should bend where the toes bend) and firm through the midsole of the shoe. They should have laces ideally. Why laces you ask…the important thing is that laces can be adjusted to the size of one’s foot. Foot size and fluid volume of the foot vary from day to day and having laces will enable you to accommodate those changes in volume. Then insole, shoe liner or foot bed should be able to be removed. So that if any other style of foot bed needs to be placed inside this can be done very easily.

Footwear Sandals…Many people wear sandals particularly in the warmer climates. There are sandals that are ideal for supporting the foot with plantar fasciitis and there are sandals that are not. I would highly recommend investing in sandals that have a contoured sole and that the sole of the sandal is made from a cork or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) base. If you go to many of your specialty shoe stores, outdoor, camping or hiking shoe shops there will be numerous style of sandals you can try on that will help support your plantar fascia. Some of the brand include..Naot, Teva, Keen, Homy Ped, are just some brands that will help support your feet.

One of the important plantar fasciitis secrets is using the correct footwear to help support your feet when you have pain and discomfort. If you find you don’t get the success from shoes alone you may need to visit a Podiatrist (foot specialist) or MD to help you.

Written by Ben Sibley

A Review Of The Bruno Stair Lift

Bruno is America’s most popular home stair lift. There’s no denying the quality of its products but how does it compare to other top rated stair lifts like the Stannah? What follows is a quick review.

Bruno Stairlifts was founded over 20 years ago by Michael R. Bruno and his wife Beverly and has grown to become one of America’s leading manufacturers of mobility aids. The company is proud to be ISO-9001 Certified, which is one of the most stringent and widely recognized quality standards in the world.

There are many manufacturers but most only make straight stair lifts. This is because the technology used is simpler and installation is straight forward, which keeps costs down. Bruno makes both straight and curved models for both home and outdoor use. Also, all its units are installed by its factory trained network of dealers. Bruno, like Stannah and others, does not recommend self installation even for straight models.

But how does a Bruno product rate against others on the market? In order to review against others in the industry we will review the Bruno Electra-Ride Elite stair lift. This unit is the company’s premier, and most expensive straight model.

The Seat

The Seat of the Electra-Ride Elite can be adjusted from 19″ to 24 1/2″ as can the height of the footrest. This makes this seat one of the most flexible on the market. The cushions are also deep and comfortable. The armrests can be independently lifted up to allow easy access and the armrests, seat and footrest can be folded up to free up room when not in use. A retractable inertia lap belt is fitted as standard. This seat is very good and is one of the best on the market. If there is one complaint it’s about folding up the armrests, seat and footrest; these have to be done separately requiring, not only 3 operations, but reaching down and folding the footrest can be difficult for someone with mobility problems. The seat offered as standard with the Stannah stair lift (both the Solus and Sofia models) allows the user to fold up all three parts by just moving the armrests; a thoughtful feature that should be implemented by all stair lift manufacturers, including Bruno.

The Electra-Ride Elite can operate at a maximum inclination of 45 degrees, which is the industry norm; Again Stannah out does the Bruno as it can handle an inclination of up to 52 degrees. However, the Electra-Ride wins hands down when it comes to carrying weight: it can handle up to 400 lbs; just about everyone else can handle at most 300 lbs.

The Rail

The rail of the Bruno Electra-Ride Elite fits to a nice snug 5″ from the skirting on the stair case. This is far less than most other brands that typically require about 8-9″. But the Stannah beats the Bruno again, requiring only 95mm (3.7″) clearance.

The rail is made from steel and extruded aluminum and uses a rack and pinion drive system. Rack and pinion is now the industry norm; before cables where used to pull the chair but these gave a less comfortable ride and had the problem of a trailing cable – incidentally, Summit stair lifts still use this system.

Not only does the Bruno give the user a smooth ride, it is also quiet and is as quiet as any other models on the market.

The company offers 3 standard lengths of the rail; 16′, 20′ and 24′. The industry norm is a maximum of 20′, so they are ideal for staircases that are that little bit longer. Buying a long straight rail that is standard will be cheaper than having to have a longer specially made.

The Carriage

This is the part of the stair lift that attaches the seat to the rail. What’s a really nice feature of the Bruno stair lift is that you can adjust the speed of the carriage. This comes as standard and I don’t know of any other manufacturer that gives you this option.

The carriage also comes with all the safety features you need. There are footrest safety switches as well as final end stop bumper at each end of the rail. As an optional extra you can have an overspeed safety brake to prevent the chair from uncontrolled descents. It’s a shame that the brake governor is not fitted as standard as it is with the Stannah.

The Controls

It comes with rocker controls fitted in the armrest, which must be kept, pressed down to operate. There are also two wireless call/send controls. These controls are pretty much the industry norm.


Installation of the Electra-Ride Elite is very straight forward as it is a DC battery powered appliance. No special wiring is required. Note: many companies promote self-installation of straight models; Bruno doesn’t. You should always have one installed by a qualified technician.

In conclusion, the Bruno stair lift compares favorably with other top rated appliances. In fact, the Stannah stair lift is the only one that can really offer a better appliance, but a Stannah is more expensive than a Bruno. Many consumer reviews are favorable, which is what you’d expect from this quality manufacturer.

Commercial Property Terms – Clear Span, Ceiling Height, and Functional Obsolescence

If you currently invest or are considering investing in commercial real estate, here are a just a few more commercial property terms that you should be familiar with.

Clear Span

Clear span means no columns, posts, or anything else that might impede traffic. This relates to more specialized buildings, such as at the airport. Those buildings are not just for airplanes, but more for companies like Emery Air Freight and UPS. They’re interested in how quickly they can get into a building, get the package, and get it out of the building-no matter where it is in the warehouse. That means that they will be looking for greater clear span areas. It’s a more expensive space, because of the trusses. The greater the clear span, the more expensive the truss work, and the more engineering that has to go into the building.


• Some companies require a tremendous amount of clear span

• Unless you understand the industry and marketplace, stay away from it.

If you’re getting into this specialty area of real estate, someone may ask you if you have any buildings with columns every 20 feet and lots of clear span. They may even expect you to be able to clear a couple of columns, which may involve major engineering issues. So, if you’re considering entering into a specialty product or a specialized industry, be careful.

Anytime you’re dealing in the warehouse arena, always consider these elements:

• Column spacing

• Bay depth

• Clear span

Ceiling Height

Today, people favor higher ceiling heights, especially for pure warehouse space-type property usage. It increases cubic capacity, because the cheapest way is stacking and racking. If you can stack 20 feet high instead of 10 feet, it effectively doubles usable area, but does not double cost.

So keep ceiling height in mind as you evaluate warehouses to acquire versus other similar properties you may be considering. The higher the ceilings, the more appeal to certain kinds of storage-oriented tenants (just be sure to point it out to them if you do in fact have much higher ceilings than similar properties available for lease!).

Functional Obsolescence

Some buildings are Class B buildings on the day they open because they don’t measure up to previous Class A buildings. Class A buildings will have no functional obsolescence – in other words, nothing in that building is considered old-fashioned or outdated. Most Class B buildings, and all Class C buildings, have functional obsolescence. Functional obsolescence is not easily determined. For example, if you enter a building and go into the elevator, you’ll notice immediately if the elevator is three feet by three feet – that’s functional obsolescence. It’s claustrophobic and the novelty of the elevator was okay to have 40 years ago, but it’s no longer acceptable.

When that office building was constructed, the functional obsolescence of that elevator was literally cast in steel. You’re not going back and rehab that elevator to make it bigger, because it’s impossible. That elevator shaft was built with poured-in-place concrete, so removing the elevator might cost as much as rebuilding. You can install a new elevator that’s bigger at great expense, but you can’t make an elevator bigger. That’s how you measure a building’s functional obsolescence looking for obvious things like elevators that can’t be changed.

Learning commercial property terms is not difficult. You just need to understand them as they relate to the industry. Taking the time to learn them will help you become more knowledgeable in this real estate industry.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art – How to Break China and Crockery

Using broken pieces of crockery or china in mosaics is typically called “picasiette” or “pique assiette.” The literal French translation is “sponger” or “scrounger.” Therefore, the term pique assiette in mosaics means salvaging pieces of china or crockery. This style often results in lovely mosaics because the pieces retain the colors and images of the original dishware and because of the curved and three dimensional shapes of the resulting broken pieces. Picasiette is a cheap way of using unique shapes in mosaics because you can find old china and crockery at garage sales and flea markets (and probably hidden somewhere in your own china cabinet).

Although it’s not rocket science, there’s a right way and a wrong way to break china and crockery into pieces for your mosaic. Don’t simply throw the plate on the floor or beat it with a claw hammer to shatter into a ga-zillion pieces. As always, safety is your primary concern. Always observe and practice common-sense safety practices when working with mosaics. Wear eye protection when breaking materials for your tesserae. Unless broken properly, shards and bits will fly in multiple directions. Obviously, you don’t want them flying into your eyes.

Materials Needed:
Adequate eye protection (e.g., safety goggles or safety glasses).
Two bath towels.
Rubber mallet (preferred) or standard claw hammer.

Step 1: Fold a bath towel in half and place it on a hard surface, such as your concrete garage floor, driveway, or sidewalk. Avoid using your ceramic tile floor or brick pavers. Don’t risk breaking the ceramic flooring or other hard surface by striking it with a hammer.

Step 2: Place the plate upside down in the center of the towel.

Step 3: Fold the second bath towel in half and place it over the plate. Ensure the plate is completely covered. This will prevent chips and pieces of shattered plate from flying in multiple directions.

Step 4: Using your hand on the towel, feel for the circular ridge on the bottom of the plate. When you strike the plate through the towel, you want to hit the ridge instead of the center or border of the plate. If you hit the center, the plate’s center section may break away cleanly at the ridge line, leaving the plate’s border intact. If you hit the plate’s border, it may shatter into pieces too small to use in your mosaic. Remember to focus your initial hits on the circular ridge on the bottom side of the plate.

Step 5: Put on your safety goggles. Never break china or crockery without wearing adequate eye protection.

Step 6: Hit the plate along the circular ridge multiple times in various locations around the ridge. Don’t haul off and whack it as hard as you can. Instead, hit the plate with just enough force to break it. Don’t expect the plate to break in a nice, even pattern. It will break randomly. Some pieces will be perfectly shaped for your mosaic, while others will end up in the trash can.

Step 7: Lift up the top towel to look at how the plate broke. If you want to break the bigger pieces into smaller ones, then replace the top towel, ensure your safety goggles are properly in-place, and break the bigger pieces into smaller ones.

Step 8: When you’re done breaking the plate, be careful to put aside the pieces you want to use for your mosaic and throw away the pieces you don’t. Be careful because there will likely be sharp pieces and shards that can cut you. Ensure the mess and tiny shards are properly disposed of before breaking the next plate.

Heating With Wood For Less

How will you heat your home when the power goes out? Do you have access to cheap or free firewood? Have you considered installing a wood stove and don’t have much money?

First of all, what does it take to heat with wood? Well, to start with you need a good certified wood stove. Why certified? Because they use less than half the wood that the previous generation of wood stoves used, don’t exhaust clouds of unburned soot while smoldering, and also have close clearances to combustibles, some as close as 4″. Virtually all of them have a ceramic window that looks like glass but is impervious to heat, through which you can enjoy the fire and keep up with the need to adjust the wood or to feed in more. I don’t recommend getting a stove with a catalytic combustor as they are more expensive and have a declining efficiency. The efficiency of a non-combustor stove never changes and newer standards have been met without combustors since 1992, when the current EPA standards were established. The fire chamber in certified stoves is engineered to burn wood efficiently without smoldering, even when shut down all the way. This gives you more heat from each piece of wood while exhausting cleaner and hotter, thus almost completely eliminating creosote buildup in the flue. By the way, never connect a certified stove with a 6″ exhaust into a 8″ pipe. Because of the engineered burn, all certified stoves are designed for a 6″ flue, which has a stronger draft than an 8″. Be sure to use listed stovepipe and adhere to the clearances on the pipe and the stove for a safe installation. Your insurance company can deny a claim caused by a stove that is improperly installed or does not meet all clearances. Also, I recommend a wind-directional rotating cap on all wood stove installations. They are the solution to back drafting, caused by a high wind forcing itself down your chimney and filling your house with smoke.

Once installed, a wood stove can give you a lifetime of trouble-free service. So, why don’t more people heat with wood? Probably because it is not convenient, is somewhat messy, takes up room, etc. Though this is true, I would like to say how comforting it is to have my three cords of firewood put up for the winter, knowing that if a storm or blizzard should blow through or the power should go out (sometimes for days), my family and I will be warm and able to cook our food on our trusty stove. Our kids remember those times as special, all of us in the same room not far from the stove while outside the snow is piling up and the wind blowing.There’s nothing like wood heat to sooth the soul and warm the body!

If you can’t afford a new wood stove, keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist or eBay for a good deal on a used stove. Just last week I called on a newer Lopi for $400 but someone offered them $450 and they took it. That was a $1800 stove when sold new 4 years ago and was barely used. I am always on the lookout for used stoves for friends and sometimes I’ll turn one over for a profit. If you buy a used stove manufactured after July 1, 1992, it will comply with the new Phase II standards. Washington is the only state to have it’s own standards, which are now 4.5 grams per hour (gph) of particulates. Most new stoves and some used ones will meet this standard. Check “EPA Certified Stoves” online if you find a used stove you are considering.

It’s true that firewood takes up a lot of space. There’s no way around it. If you live in the city, you may have to get creative to make the space. Perhaps wood can be kept under a second-story deck, against a garage wall, or even in the basement. If you live in the country, a shed roof can be attached to a barn to make a dandy wood shed. On my house, I installed metal roofing under an upper deck and keep a whole cord of oak right outside the door. In the cold of winter I don’t have far to go for more wood. The other two cords are kept under an overhang on the far side of the barn and wheeled up by wheelbarrow when needed. By the way, I have never yet burned 3 whole cords. That is my extra margin of safety!

Inside the house, I keep a weeks worth of firewood near the stove in brick bins built for that purpose. The raised hearth is 3 1/2″ thick concrete and full of rebar, allowing me to split kindling right on the hearth. Under the hearth is a large kindling drawer where I also keep paper. Implements are hanging on hooks nearby. I use a coal hod to carry out the ash and to carry in more kindling.

Starting the fire in the morning is a special ritual for me. After heating with wood for over 25 years, one thing I have down pat is starting a fire. I always start by using at least two pieces of wood, 1 of them large and the other smaller and facing each other. I split kindling into splinters for the initial startup and add bigger pieces until ignition is accomplished. The smaller logs start first with the bigger one igniting shortly after. My favorite wood to burn is oak. It burns longer and smells better than anything else in these parts. My favorite wood stove is a Brass Flame. They are certified, of course, are built like a Sherman Tank, have a double-air opening for quick-starting the fire, look good, and burn efficiently. I have found used ones for several friends and relatives. I am a little prejudiced in this department; my brother developed the Brass Flame and it was the first stove to pass the emission standards without a catalytic combustor. All certified stoves on the market now copy his combustion process, the big secret being lots of secondary and tertiary air. He made 10,000 of them before selling to Earth Stove, who made them for a few years and then sold to a bigger company, who dropped the line. They come in 2 models, the 805 (smaller) and the 1005. If you can find one, you won’t be disappointed! Expect to pay anywhere from $150-$500.

When heating with wood, it is a good idea to keep a pot of water on the stove to replace the moisture removed by the dry heat. An old cast-iron kettle serves well for this purpose. Another addition that is very helpful is a ceiling fan, positioned close to the stove and used to move the heat away from the stove. Without a fan, the heat takes a lot longer to fill the house. Since heat seeks cold, it does eventually warm the place up, but in the dead of winter, who wants to wait? This small addition makes a big difference!

One more thing that makes a big difference in helping to heat your home more efficiently is bringing in outside air directly to the stove. This is required in mobile homes and all new homes, but is a good idea in any home. If you have a crawlspace under your home, a 3″-4″ pipe into the crawlspace is adequate for this purpose. In my case, I put in a 4″ pipe to open air before the slab was poured. Pedestal stoves are designed for outside air but stoves with legs will need to be adapted. Special outside-air adapters can be ordered or made for any stove.

To clean the ceramic glass in the morning when the stove is cold, I simply get a piece of newspaper wet with water and emulsify the creosote, scraping it off with a razor. Even the best stoves get buildup on the window.

I hope these tips are helpful. I can’t help but share the primal satisfaction I feel when heating with wood. This is how our ancestors kept warm and cooked their food until the last century and many in the world still do. To me, it seems the way God meant it to be!

How to Say Happy New Year in Spanish and How to Speak Cuban Spanish

Today, you will learn how to say Happy New Year in Spanish and how to speak Cuban Spanish. This is how to say Happy New Year in Spanish: “Prospero Año Nuevo.” But keep in mind that you can say either “Prospero Año Nuevo” or “Feliz Año Nuevo.” Or as they say in Colombia, “Feliz Año.”

After I wrote a recent article where I included a “foto” and a “receta” for pegao, concon or cucayo (delicacy consisting of crunchy rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot), one reader responded with a very interesting email:

“Muchas gracias, Patrick. BTW, in Cuba, the rice crust at the bottom of thepot is called la raspa, and is a delicacy there, too. Gracias por la receta, tambien. Most people these days just forgo the raspa and use a rice cooker, but I hate accumulating more gadgets! I do use my pressure cooker though.

I do a lot of Cuban cooking. I love it.

We will have a traditional Noche Buena on Christmas Eve with the Lechon Asado that I injected and marinated with mojo for at least 24 hours, yuca con mojo, frijoles negros, arroz, (if you cook the rice and beans together it is called Moros y Cristianos), maybe some platanos maduros fritos (yum), salad, and for dessert flan and maybe some Turrones. I’ve never had Turrones, but it’s part of the traditional Christmas foods. Do you still live in Colombia? I tried to make arepas, but did not get them to cook through properly. Plus, I’m not sure we have the proper harina here. I used the one Mexicans use for tamales and tortillas”

That ends her email.

I wanted to talk about her email with you because I thought it was very interesting. I actually came across the word or phrase “la raspa” on last week, for the first time, when I was researching the Net for “fotos” and “recetas” for pegao, concon or cucayo, and saw that it was the word that cubanos use for crispy layer of rice that is scraped from the bottom of the pot. But I didn’t want to include it in my last article unless a cubano or someone familiar with “la cultura de Cuba” confirmed that “la raspa” is the word used in Cuba for crunchy rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot.

The word “raspa” apparently comes from the verb “raspar” which means “to scrape.”

But I also found her email very entertaining because she said that she forgoes the raspa and uses a rice cooker. I have a rice cooker in my “apartamento” in Medellin, and whenever one of my Colombian amigas visits and cooks rice, they also, out of convenience, forgo the “caldero” (cast iron or cast aluminum cooking pot) and the pegao, concon, cucayo, or raspa. Which I am of course unhappy about since I love eating the crunchy rice that sticks to the bottom of the pot.

And another thing that she mentioned which I felt was also typical of my amigas in Medellín is that she cooks with a pressure cooker.

But when I lived in Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, my “novia” never cooked with a pressure cooker. Instead, she would soak the frijoles overnight to make sure they were soft before cooking them the next day.

But the “paisas” or people of Medellín are a bit more “cosmopolita” than the “costeños” (coastal people) of Barranquilla and prefer the convenience of rice cookers and pressure cookers over “calderos” (cast iron or cast aluminum pots) and regular “ollas” (pots).

So that’s what I wanted to share with you that I learned about the Spanish or culture of Cuba and Colombia.

Pros And Cons Of Corrugated Cardboard Displays

Corrugated cardboard displays are a common place as they are used by very many people. The products come with their pros and cons.


Convenience: this is one of the main advantages of the displays. If you buy the products you will have a very easy time assembling them. This is because you don’t need any extra tools or even glue to put the structures in place. The good side is that they come with manuals that show you how to properly assemble them.

Once you have assembled them they become lightweight thus you can easily carry them around and put them in any corner of your store.

In addition to this you can easily customize them by writing messages directly on the cardboard. Some displays come with detachable header panels that you can attach your message on.

Elegant styles: if you do a quick online research you will discover that the displays come in a number of elegant styles that are meant for specific purposes. For example, there are displays for magazines, DVDs, clothing, and birthday cards. There are also great styles for dump bins.

If you are interested in the products you only need to research and identify the products that meet your ideals.

Strength: although, the displays can look weak, they are not. The products are made from three layers of material that makes them very strong. Due their strength the products are able to easily hold their contents without showing any signs of strain.

They are cheap: if you want to elegantly display your products on a tight budget these are the products to go for. This is because they are cheap. For example, if you do your research you will discover that most of the displays cost between $10 and $30. This price is affordable for many people.


Just like anything else in life, corrugated cardboard displays have their fair share of disadvantages.

One disadvantage is that the products offer very little resistance to moisture; therefore, when they are made wet from ambient moisture in the environment or from direct contact, they often soften and become pulpy. They are also highly absorbent thus they easily transfer the moisture to their contents.

To avoid this you should put the products in a dry place that is free of water.

Another disadvantage of the displays is that you can easily damage them especially when cutting the edges. To avoid damaging the products you should always hire the services of a professional.

5 Ways To Get You Motivated About A Healthy Lifestyle

It’s that time of the year when people vow to make changes. Maybe it’s time to quit smoking, learn another language or take that kickboxing class you’ve been putting off all of last year. Regardless of what it is, you want to improve yourself in one way or another. One of the most common resolutions that people make is to get in better shape. It’s no coincidence that January is the month when gyms rack up the most enrollments. How many of these new members will you see still see there in April? If you really want to make changes, do it in a way that will set you up for long term success. Don’t flip a switch and decide that you’re all of a sudden a fitness enthusiast. That’s a recipe for failure. Here are five ways that you can make your new venture a successful one.

Create a Plan

Plan your day from beginning to end. From the time you wake up to the time you plan to retire for the night. Plan the day and times for laundry, grocery shopping and so on. Once you’ve done that, pick three days that you cleared your schedule to exercise for 45 minutes. It can be at home or at a gym so plan commute time accordingly. If waking up early before work is your best option, plan to get to bed earlier so you can wake up ready to go. If you plan to go after work, bring a gym bag to work so that you don’t have to stop home afterwards. Once you consistently go three times a week, try adding a fourth day to the mix.

Make Gradual Changes

Bad habits didn’t develop overnight and they can’t be undone in that manner either. These toxins that we rely on have addictive properties that are hard to shake. The probability of quitting smoking by going from three packs a day to none at all is highly unlikely. Just like with everything else, it takes time and a consistent effort. The same goes with eating sugars, drinking coffee and a sedentary lifestyle. Take small steps in the right direction. Start with reducing the amounts of sugars you eat. Make a goal every week to eat less and less sugar. From drinks to foods, gradually phase them out of your diet. While doing this, try to sneak some exercise into your routine. If three times a week seems extreme, try two times, maybe for thirty minutes to start. Then lengthen your workouts and up your weekly visits as you get more accustomed to that lifestyle.

Set Goals For Yourself

Set goals to eliminate bad foods from your diet, to get to the gym and to improve your current fitness level. Allow yourself 50 grams (if you consume more than that) of sugar for the week and 2 gym visits. Practice pushups until failure. If you can do 6 repetitions at the moment, set a goal for to reach 10 repetitions in three weeks for example. Keep setting new challenges and new goals that will build on your previous results. Not only will it keep you more engaged in your workouts, it will let you track your progress.

Challenge Friends

You held a plank for one minute for your first time. You’re excited, now challenge a friend or coworker to do the same. You did it, now see how long it takes them to do it. Maybe a weight loss challenge, who can do the most pushups or hold the longest plank. The more people engaged, the easier it becomes. You may even find a gym partner, which is the best way to push yourself through those rough days that you probably wouldn’t make it. You can’t let your gym partner go alone, they need you!

Don’t Listen To Bad Advice

If you seek advice or nutrition counseling, go to a professional and disregard what anyone else has to say. Follow their advice and see where it leads you over a three month period. Don’t give up after a week because you aren’t seeing results. Only take advice from one person at a time. If you hired a personal trainer or dietician, take their advice and their advice only. The more people you ask for advice, the more contradictory information you will receive. Everyone has their own opinion or some silly fad diet that worked for them or how to build muscle or lose weight. Don’t look for shortcuts or a quick and easy fix because there aren’t any. Pace yourself throughout the journey and enjoy each step you take.

Design Trends: From Open-Plan to "Broken Plan"

One of the key defining features of many new homes and renovations from the past decade or so would have to be that of the Open-Plan Design. Eliminating walls between kitchen, dining and living areas to create the illusion of more space has been the trend for several years now. Entertaining and living in such an open way has never felt so integrated and seamless.

However, there are some subtle signs that the Open Plan may not be the ideal for much longer. There are a few flaws in its design, after all. For instance, trying to cool or heat a vast living area with air conditioning can be a costly and time-consuming exercise. Watching the sport on television, with appliances like the dishwasher whirring in the background, can be tedious. And, people with children will relate: there is no room to escape the noise, mess and toys!

We are gradually moving away from closed up rooms, with many older-style houses consisting of lots of smaller rooms which can be sealed with internal doors. With heating and cooling options less accessible to many families, this style was a great way to keep warmth in; to separate adults’ formal sitting rooms for entertaining, and to create separate zones within the home. The last fifteen years or so has seen a huge change to such styles, and it has been all about knocking out walls to create one, huge open living expanse.

Along with the rise of technological use, there is a notable shift away from Open-Plan living and towards creating smaller nooks throughout the home for peace and privacy. Mary Duggan, a UK-based Architect and Judge for the RIBA House of the Year award, has recently spoken on the matter:

‘The world of the open-plan family room has changed quite significantly.

‘We’re getting asked more for snugs, rooms with TV’s or a space where people can go and watch something independently, rather than an open plan space.

‘That was the trend but I think it’s waning. The idea of having a much more ‘broken plan’ seems to be the way our buildings are playing out now.”

– Mary Duggan

Looking forward, when planning a renovation or a new build, consider the way technological use has dramatically advanced and will likely continue to be a staple in peoples homes. Home design should consequently reflect this, and be inclusive of smaller nooks, studies or ‘snugs’ designed for using devices such as iPads and tablets. The ‘Broken Plan’ home is the new black!

For further consideration, building inclusions could feature fixtures within these areas such as built-in charger stations, benches and built-in desks to accommodate such devices. Also, consider that many devices will now want to be synced to the nearby television or speaker, and that many high-tech gadgets will now have features which allow the occupant to remotely pull down the blinds, dim the lights etc. It is simply the way of the future, and it makes sense for our home design to reflect such advancements.

Key Telephone Systems Vs VoIP-IP PBX Phone Systems

What is the difference between a Key Telephone System & a PBX Phone System? With the introduction of VoIP or IP Phone Systems, this old-technology question is becoming all the more relevant in your final decision to purchase the right phone system today.

I have cut and pasted the following text from a Google search, just to show you a classic example of a technically correct explanation for this question that would not only be technical jargon to you, but also throw up a bunch of new questions.

A key system has telephones with multiple buttons that permit the user to directly select the telephone company’s central office phone lines. A key telephone system (KTS) is not a switch.

A private branch exchange (PBX) allows several trunks (outside lines) from the central office to be shared and the switching for selecting these lines is within the PBX. A PBX is sometimes referred to as a phone switch.

Key systems are usually found in small companies where few features are required. A PBX is usually found in larger companies that need more capabilities.

Was I right?


– What is a switch? What is central office?- I didn’t quite understand why PBX is a phone switch and the KTS is not a switch?

– Why do I care? All I want is one phone on my desk for all my lines.

– It is great to get lots of features, but I still don’t know what I need and what I don’t.

– I am a small business, so do I have to look out for a Key Telephone System?

– Is the PBX Phone system not for me?

– Is the PBX more expensive?

– Well I don”t want to be stuck with something that is having few features, so what do I do?

– What are the features that a Key Telephone System has and the PBX doesn’t?

– I do know somebody who has a business phone system and he says its a PBX… he has a staff of six!! And I am confused! Did he get cheated? or Did he pay too much for something he didn’t need?

– Gosh, I can understand that there are different makes and models, but now I have to deal with different architectures in phone systems?

– Help!

Ok. Here is our version of the explanation…

And this is really the most important thing you will ever need to know in today’s market, where there are hundreds of new phone systems with VoIP technology, IP PBX Systems, IP Phone Systems that are competing with the Panasonic, Nortel, Avaya, NEC, Samsung types.

Just recently during a sales meeting, a prospective client was all in favour of the new VoIP PBX, but it was this KEY difference, (no pun intended!) that made them reject the VoIP PBX and choose the Traditional Key Telephone System from a well established manufacturer.

What was this “key “difference?

Key System Functionality is seen when each business phone or extension connected to your business phone system is able to have a button (called Line or CO Button) dedicated for each Phone Line that you have for calling out i.e. the local telephone company or CO lines.

When you press this Line Button on your phone, you are actually connected to one of the CO Lines from your phone company.

Lets say you have subscribed for 4 business telephone lines from your local phone company then you will have Line 1, Line 2, Line 3 and Line 4 Buttons on your business phone.

You are able to pick and choose what ever line you want to dial out. Also if one of the lines is faulty you will actually hear a crackling or if it is dead then you will hear nothing except a slight hiss. In short you are able to SEE all your lines coming into the office.

You are also able to see the status when someone in the office is using any of the CO Lines, because the corresponding Line Button will be lit up RED or have a Black Triangle against it (this feature is available in all business phone systems with slight variations.) If you press this Lit up Line Button, it will beep at you and if you have a display, it will show you the current status as LINE BUSY.

Based on my experience in the practical world, KEY Telephone Systems HAVE All and more features than PBX phone systems.

In fact this very feature of Having Line Buttons or Line Presence is a HUGE factor for most small businesses who usually have about 3 to 8 CO Lines and about 3 to 25 phones.

And what is a PBX Telephone System?

In fact, the PBX Telephone System, in the practical sense, does not have the Line Presence feature or CO Line Button feature at all!

Which makes the PBX System a bit inferior when compared to a Key Telephone System. Doesn’t it? Well, take my word..this is true. Key Telephone Systems have all the features you will possibly need, whether you are a big business or a small business.

It is true, though, that if you are a very very large business , like Microsoft, or GE or AT&T etc. i.e if you need lots and lots of CO Lines than the number of buttons on your business phone, then you would go for a pure PBX Telephone System.

(That doesn’t mean you cannot use a Key Telephone System for large organizations…Key Telephone Systems can be SETUP as PBX systems, but PBX systems CANNOT be setup as Key Telephone Systems.)

How do you setup a Key Telephone System as a PBX?

Very simple. Just remove all Line Buttons from your Key Telephone, and use “9” on your dial pad to get the first available line to dial out. That’s the exact difference between an IP PBX and the Traditional Phone System. You will not be able to put a line on hold at one phone, and take it on another phone. Simply because you do not have individual line buttons on an IP PBX Phone.

A PBX or Private Branch Exchange, is a business phone system that doesn’t need the ability to have Line Presence on all its business phones or extensions. Now there are technical differences in how they work, as a switch, etc etc. but when it comes to your understanding,that is the KEY feature.

Both phone systems have the ability to handle multiple lines, multiple conversations, auto-attendant, voice mail boxes, for a wide range of office sizes.

The critical point is that most of the IP PBX Systems or IP Phone Systems or VoIP Phone Systems DO NOT have the Line Presence feature.

And if you think that’s important to you, just like our last client did, then please don’t opt for the IP PBX System! VoIP PBX or IP PBX may not be for everybody.

But if you do need some great features, unlimited voicemail ports, voice-mail to email, unlimited extension capability, menu driven web interface for programming, call centre features, off-site remote extension included in the base price, then this is the system for you.

Vincent Van Gogh, Death by Bullying?

Vincent Van Gogh is one of the most famous and celebrated of all artists, with paintings such as ‘The Starry Night’, ‘Café Terrace at Night’ and ‘Sunflowers’ just a small example of the paintings he is known for throughout the world. Vincent Van Gogh paintings are amongst the highest paid for paintings sought after by art lovers and art investors alike. ‘Wheatfield with Cypresses’, ‘Portrait of Dr. Gatchet’, ‘Irises’ and ‘Self-portrait without Beard’ have brought record prices in the late 20th century and his works art expected to continue skyrocketing in price in the already very busy 21st century art market. He is of course also well known for his madness, his bouts of mental illness that led him to famously cutting off his ear and suicide. But was it really suicide or was it murder?

The authors of the latest Dutch-impressionist’s biography “Van Gogh: The Life” knew they would stir controversy by disputing the widely-held belief that the artist committed suicide with a gun while painting in a French wheat field. Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, who have previously won a Pulitzer prize for their biography of American artist Jackson Pollock spent ten years researching their book and proposed the new theory, that Van Gogh was shot not be himself, but by local bullies who were a constant bane in van Gogh’s already tormented life.

Naifeh and Smith uncovered some evidence that point inconclusively, they acknowledge in the direction of manslaughter.

Their first piece of evidence is a candid and self incriminating interview with respectable partisan banker Rene Secretan given in 1956. In the interview he recalled in great detail how he and his brother had tormented the artists during their teenage years in the Auvers. As the target of bullying for much of his life, the red-headed painter – who suffered from frontal lobe epilepsy – was to suffer it as the price for having some companionship.

Their second evidence is based on rumours heard by the late art historian John Rewald in the 1930s from townspeople in Auvers old enough to remember that Van Gogh had accidentally been shot by two young boys.

Their third piece of evidence is a drawing by Vincent where he depicts a boy in a cowboy hat that the authors suspect is Rene Secretan who attended the Paris World fair in 1890 where Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show from America was a big hit. They theorized that the young Rene duly infatuated with cowboys and guns borrowed a pistol from local innkeeper Arthur Ravoux to shoot birds and small animals, and that this was the weapon that killed Vincent van Gogh. It should be noted that during the 1956 interview Rene Secretan mentioned nothing about any shooting.

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which collaborated with the authors, was quoted as regarding the author’s theory as “interesting” and “spectacular” but has not yet dismissed the long-held suicide theory.

In any case, the mystery of Vincent Van Gogh’s death has begun.

Proper Positioning Will Lead to Successful Negotiation Outcomes

This lesson explores the use of posturing as such a strategy and the implications of its use.

Before you begin to negotiate, you can acquire additional advantages. How, you might ask? The answer is, through posturing. Posturing is the manner in which you project the image you wish to be perceived and your negotiation position, prior to and during the negotiation. Posturing before and during a negotiation will determine, to a great degree, the outcome of the negotiation.

Sometimes, it’s not what you ask, but how you do so that determines the response you get. Sometimes, it’s not what you say but how you say it that determines how you’re perceived.

Through posturing, you can project the persona of a negotiator that’s difficult, easy, or one that doesn’t really care about the outcome of the negotiation; you may wonder why you might project the image of someone that doesn’t care about the outcome of the negotiation. You would do so as a ploy to cast doubt in the mind of your negotiation partner as to what your ‘real’ intent is for the outcome of the negotiation. In so doing, you create a quiet subliminal force to be reckoned with throughout the negotiation. In essence, you keep your negotiation partner mentally off balance.

How do you use posturing to negotiate?

Prior to sitting down to negotiate, posturing occurs in the way you communicate. Thus, the style of communications you adopt will set the tone for the negotiation that follows.

In a face-to-face negotiation, posturing occurs in the manner by which you respond to request for concessions, additional information, and/or insight into the goal you have for the negotiation. In essence, you can use your body language to transmit an image you have in your mind. In addition, you can detect the direction your negotiation partner has for the negotiation by accurately interpreting her body language.

During the negotiation, if you respond in an ‘off handed’ way, you can convey, through your actions, that a particular covenant of the negotiation has little or great importance to you. By doing so, you’ll give the impression of the perceived value that point has. If you wish to send mixed signals (signals that have the potential for multiple meanings, for the purpose of disrupting the mental equilibrium of your negotiation partner) you can verbally agree, while through your body language indicate uneasiness with the point of discussion.

When using posturing as a strategy, be sure to project a consistent image, that’s to say an image that’s aligned with the goals you seek from the negotiation and the way in which you wish to be perceived. If you alter your persona during the negotiation process in a moderate manner, as long as it’s in line with the plans you’ve established for the negotiation, you should still be able to maintain your façade. Be cautious not to alter your persona too drastically. If you alter it too drastically, you run the risk of losing credibility as to what your position may truly be and to what degree you’re ‘faking’ it.

Some people will view the strategy of posturing as an unfair practice that should not be invoked when negotiating. If you possess such a mindset, ask yourself what you are willing to stand for? If you have an aversion to using posturing to enhance your position in the negotiation, you need to question what is of more importance, that which you’re negotiating or the facade you’re attempting to project. In the end, only you can determine what’s best for you. Once you do, you’ll feel comfortable with that which you seek … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

· When you negotiate, consider unusual tactics such as posturing to gain addition leverage before and throughout the negotiation.

· Become skillful at using body language to convey nonverbal thoughts, in order to shape and move a negotiation in a defined direction.

· As you negotiate, in the planning stages, give thought to how posturing can enhance the outcome of the negotiation. By doing so, you’ll create yet another path by which you can influence the behavior of the person with whom you’re negotiating.

Model Railroading Tips To Help Avoid Your Trains From Derailing

One of the most frustrating problems that model railroaders face is the extremely annoying problem of derailments. This can not only cause your model railway trains to go off track, but also your plans to build your dream model railroad too. This can be quite a common problem, but one that can be solved relatively easily if you know what you are doing, so I wanted to share some model railroading tips to help prevent it.

The first thing I would suggest would be to check the wheels of your model train to make sure that these are all turning properly. If the wheels are sticking at any point, then this may be the cause of any derailments you are experiencing. You will also want to make sure that the wheels are correctly aligned, as if they not then this can be another common cause of the problem.

It’s also a good idea to lubricate your wheels if they seem to be sticking to smooth up the motion. Adding a little drop of oil can free up the movement nicely if you are having problems, although be careful to not add too much either, as this can cause the wheels to pick up dust and dirt, which will only add to cause further problems.

Another common cause for your model railway trains to derail is due to problems with the track itself. Therefore, the first thing to check is that the model rail tracks are clean and clear of debris. By cleaning the rails, this will not only remove any dirt that could get stuck in the trains wheels, but also make sure that the electrical conductivity of the rail is in tact too.

You should also check that your track connections are all correctly made and that everything is all smoothly aligned. This is one of the most common problems in causing your model trains to derail. As the trains run over the joints time and time again, this can cause them to move slightly over time and this will inevitably start to cause trains to come of the tracks. Therefore, a handy little tip here, is that if you have built a track in a permanent scene you can solder the joints in the track and then file them down to be perfectly smooth.

When running your fingers across the joints, you want to make sure there is no change in the level of the tracks and that the gap between the two is minimal, if any. It’s also important to make sure that these joints aren’t forced into place when creating your layouts, as this stress on the track will tend to cause more problems, with parts moving about and slipping out of line.

The last of the model railroading tips I want to share with you in trying to help you avoid derailments is a relatively simply trick to help with keep your model railway trains on the track. This is to add a little extra weight to your wagons. Many newer models are lighter than the old trains and this can cause them to jump free of the tracks easier. Therefore, the extra weight will help prevent this. However, if you do choose to try this method, be careful not to add too much as this will only cause extra wearing on your trains and other problems may arise.

I hope that by using some of the model railroading tips I have shared with you today, you can solve you model railway trains from derailing and by learning how to avoid this frustrating problem, keep your model railroad dreams on track. For more tips and information, visit my website by clicking the links below.

Pain Relief – The Psoas Muscle Can Be the Key

What if I told you that this muscle you’ve probably never heard of could be the key to releasing your knee pain, your ankle pain, your shoulder pain and your neck pain? It may be hard to believe, but by the end of this article you will understand why releasing this muscle can relieve pain and tightness from our feet to our heads. Releasing the psoas can be the key to opening up the body and allowing it to expand and relax.

You have two psoas muscles, one on each side. The psoas is your hip flexor. It is attached to every vertebrae of your lumbar (low) spine. It descends into the pelvis and joins with the iliacus muscle in your hip socket and then dives down to attach to your femur in the back, near your sits-bone. It is the muscle that lifts your leg when you walk, run, and bike. It also does a little bit of rotation of the leg and can bring the low back closer to the pelvis and legs. If tight it will pull the legs up and into the hip sockets at a slight rotation. It will also pull the back down and forward, compressing the joints and tilting the pelvis. This pull can cause repercussions in the knees, feet, shoulders and neck. If I compared you body to a bicycle wheel, the psoas would be the center, and if the center gets warped the outside will get warped too.

When the psoas is tight it will rotate the femur. Of course we walk with our feet straight which puts a twist where? That’s right…the joint that really doesn’t like to twist. The knee. It has been my experience that knee problems that aren’t caused by blunt force (i.e. a ski accident), are often a result of a chronically tight psoas muscle. And even when there is a traumatic reason for a knee injury, releasing the psoas can ease extra strain on the knee and result in faster healing and decreased pain. I have a regular massage client who is in his 50’s, in good shape, plays basketball and golf, but was plagued by pain in his left knee. He even thought about quitting basketball, but after releasing his psoas and maintaining that release, (I see him every six weeks or so), he really has no knee pain and has been able to continue and even increase his exercise regime.

The psoas can also pull the whole upper body down toward the center. Our body is all interconnected. One thing pulls another thing, which pulls another thing. A tight psoas can pull the shoulders down and in, which can cause everything from sore upper back muscles, to arthritis, bursitis, bone spurs, and torn rotator cuff muscles. This shoulder pull will also affect the neck, pulling it down and forward.

The psoas muscle is the muscle that pulls us into a fetal position. We tend to hold a lot of trauma there, and in our bellies in general. This is one reason we often have trouble with this muscle. Of course sitting all the time doesn’t help either. We spend much more time in flexion, (at our computers, in our cars) than we do in extension. When our psoas gets stuck in flexion it will tilt our whole pelvis and puts extra stress on our spine which we tend to feel in our neck and low back. This cronic pelvis tilt can also cause tight hamstrings, which you can never seem to stretch. You can’t stretch them because they’re already stretched do to the pelvic tilt.

There is hope! There are many wonderful ways to release your psoas muscle. You could see a massage therapist that is comfortable working on the psoas (just ask them before you make the appointment). There are great stretches to be done and something called creative rest where you lie on your back with your feet up on a chair and allow your low back to fall on the floor and your hip sockets to release. Yoga and Pilates can be effective ways to work on the psoas.

Being successful in decreasing our pain and stiffness lies in treating the cause, not just the symptoms. Once you release the pull (which is often the psoas) everything else can release. Now that you know what the problem might be you will be much more successful at finding solutions.

Microsoft Excel Event-Driven Programming – How to Attach a Macro to the Event of Opening a Workbook

Suppose that you’ve written a workbook for a client, friend or relation of yours, and you want to ensure that when said client, relation or friend opens the workbook, Excel selects the correct cell and displays a nice cuddly welcoming message. How to do this?


All the time that you use Excel, hidden events are firing (that’s the technical term for happening, by the way). Events can happen at two levels – either at the workbook level, or at the worksheet level.

Some examples of workbook-level events are: opening a workbook, closing it, printing it and activating a workbook.

Some examples of worksheet-level events are: selecting a cell and activating the worksheet.

Viewing the Code Editor

To attach code to a workbook, the first thing that you need to do is to view the VBA code editor. One way to do this is to press ALT + F11.

You will then see all of the files that you have open in Project Explorer on the left-hand side of the VBA code window (if you can’t see this, press CTRL + R). Each file open is shown in bold type. Find the file that you’re working with (if you only have one file open, this will be easy!).

Beneath the file will be listed the worksheets within it, followed by the workbook itself. These will typically have the following names:

– Sheet1 (Sheet1)

– Sheet2 (Sheet2)

– Sheet3 (Sheet3)

– ThisWorkbook

Attaching Code to the Open Event

To attach code to the worksheet-level event, double-click on one of the worksheets. However, for our case we want to attach code to run when someone opens the workbook, so just double-click on the ThisWorkbook object.

At the top left of the code window which appears is a drop down arrow, displaying the word General. Click on this arrow, and choose Workbook (it’s the only other option shown). You will now see:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()

End Sub

This is the event-handling stub for the open event for the workbook. All that you need to do is type in here valid VBA commands – for example:

MsgBox “Welcome to this workbook!”

When you save, close and reopen the file, you will see the message.

Other Things to Try

When you chose to attach code to the workbook, another drop arrow at the top right of the screen displayed the word Open. Try clicking on the arrow, and you’ll see all the other events in a workbook’s life to which you can attach macros.