Lessons From a Snowy Driveway

When I was young my family lived in northern British Columbia, Canada and it was normal to have fourteen feet of snow accumulating every winter. In fact, there were times when we could toboggan off the roof. Now as a youngster it was entertaining; to an adult – not so much.

Lesson # 1: Practice Does Not Always Make Perfect

As a youngster I loved going outside with my dad and "help shovel" It was always fun for me but not necessarily for my dad. As he shoveled snow to the sides of the driveway, I shoveled snow from one pile to another in the middle of the drive. (No sense wasting all of that time walking to the edge.)
Day after day the same scenario took place until ….

Lesson # 2: The Power of Habit

One day dad pointed out that if I was to shovel the snow all the way to the sides he could lift it up onto the big pile and keep things clear in the driveway for the car. Shoveling it to the side would help him tremendously. Well it was a little more work for me, especially in the snow suit that made you look like and have to mobility of a miniature sumo wrestler, but if it would help dad I was more than willing.

Week after week I took the snow over to the sides so my dad could lift it up on to the bank. As I got older, grew taller and my shovel got bigger, I too was able to push more snow to the side and begin lifting it up onto the banks. Pretty soon I was so good at it that I could attempt to do it all by myself. Once it became habit it was just something I did without being asked to do it. (I suspect now that my dad knew more about human psychology than I gave him credit for.)

Lesson # 3: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

As the winters went by I became the vice-president of driveway shoveling, and began to learn lessons in physics. If I simply piled the snow up to the sides and did not put a convex curve on the bank with the shovel, the snow bank would eventually collapse and slide back into the drive. Once I mastered those techniques I could easily create two meter high backs. (Could have been higher but my 4ft 12 1/2 "height was somewhat limiting.) When the snow kept coming I would have to push the snow to the roadway and start piling it up along the front lawn. I would always be impressed by the long straight, perfectly shaped walls of snow. it made me feel good. (Bet it made my dad feel even better.) There is nothing like positive accomplishment to feed the soul.

Valuable Lessons = Valuable Tools

Those three lessons have served me well over the years both in business and in my personal life. I use them constantly day in and day out.

Lesson # 1: Practice Does Not Always Make Perfect

Make small adjustments to skill and attitude until results fall into line with expectation.

Lesson # 2: The Power of Habit

It only takes 21 days to create a habit so make sure they are good habits you are forming. Positive habits are extremely valuable tools.

Lesson # 3: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

If you want perfection then one must concentrate on perfecting one's craft. Practicing a flawed technique will not result in perfection. Learn the correct skills and then practice them and polish them to perfection.

A Look at the Traditional and Endoscopic Brow Lift

As the name implies, a brow lift (or eyebrow lift) lifts the brow to its proper position. It is a plastic surgery procedure that must be performed by a qualified surgeon. During the procedure the operating physician will take away the droopy, sagging tissue and skin that is found in the eyebrow and forehead area. Then he will proceed to tighten up the skin that is left.

Having a brow lift can take years off a person's appearance. As time passes the forehead tends to become wrinkled and to develop folds of skin. This is called lateral hooding. For some people it can get so bad that the sagging skin folds hangs down as low as their eye and can obscure their vision. Some people may also notice that the region between their eyelid and eyebrow has become saggy and loose. This can make the person look either very tired or cranky. All of these problems are addressed when a lift on the brow is performed.

Plastic surgeons have two types of lift procedures to choose from. There is the traditional brow lift and the new and more modern endoscopic lift. These two surgical procedures are similar in nature but also have their differences.

There is more than one type of traditional lift that can be done. The coronal lift is one form. In this case the doctor will take the skin in the scalp area and pull it in an upward direction, thereby getting rid of the excess skin and tissue that is causing the hooding problem. To prevent the formation of wrinkles in this area of ​​the face the surgeon may loosen up the muscles at the same time.

Another kind of traditional lift for the eyebrow is known as the hairline lift. Those who are experiencing a receding hairline prefer this method. The incision that the surgeon makes is made below the hairline. It leaves behind a visible scar. However the scar will fade as time passes.

The endoscopic lift involves the use of a tiny camera that is known as an endoscope. The endoscope allows him to better see what he is doing. During this plastic surgery procedure the doctor will make a variety of small incisions in the scalp and the head. These incisions are required to pull the skin of the forehead into a tighter, firmer position. In some instances small screws will be placed into the bone of the skull with the stitches around them. This is required for some patients to stabilize the incision site.

Both types of brow lifts have their positive and negative points. Most brow treatments are done under general anesthesia as opposed to local. The operation can take anywhere from two to three hours to complete. If there are no complications during or following the surgery then the patient can go home the same day. However if something unfortunate does arise then the individual may have to stay in the hospital overnight to be closely monitored.

The patient will experience some pain and discomfort following the brow lift, as well as some bruising and swelling. These things are all perfectly normal. No two patients heal at the same rate. However most people should start to feel better and also be able to see the successful results of the procedure they had within three to six weeks after the surgery.

"Stuck in the Elevator" Theory

Do you remember TV shows or movies from the "yesteryear" when two people got stuck in an elevator together pre-cellphone? After an awkward or even nerve wracking first few minutes, they settle down and give each other that uncomfortable smile. Eventually, one of them decides to break the silence by starting a neutral conversation about the weather or the economy.

As they remain stuck for more than a few minutes, one says, "I hope we are not stuck in the elevator too long because my family will start to worry about me."

"Oh, that's nice to have a family who cares about you? I am not sure mine would not miss me if I was gone very long," he said with a smile.

"Well, I am sorry to hear that. My family is expecting me for dinner and they will get concerned if they do not hear from me soon."

"How many kids do you have?"


"Oh, that's nice. Tell me about your family."

Before you know it, and because there was no choice or interruption, they had a meaningful conversation about things that mattered. Imagine that!

As the time passes, each learns more and more about the other. A spark of interest grows in both people. With no place to go, they both listen intently to what the other person has to say. After awhile, they may even start to think it is an interesting and special person they are sharing this frightening event with. Perhaps one even wonders if they were supposed to meet in this way, to bring them together for reasons they are not yet aware of.

Two different worlds came together to have one experience, so rare in this world as we speed along on the Internet Freeway. We are traveling so fast and trying so hard to keep our mind and intellect stimulated or to meet the next person, we discount the very person who is before us at the moment. People looking to the computer for their main source of meeting someone have lost that tactile approach to slowly getting to know someone.

For the last five thousand years, people came together over time. They got to know and admire each other slowly and naturally. Feelings take time to grow. Thoughts about someone change, but feelings about someone such as a first love, rarely change or leave you in an entire lifetime.

I am not suggesting that you should hope to get stuck in an elevator as a good way to meet someone or that you were meant to be with someone because you got stuck in an elevator with them. There are many stories over the years about people who made a romantic connection after living through a difficult situation together. Perhaps because of that special, quality time they spend together, they connected on such a level that even if they were not meant to be romantic partners, they stayed friends for life.

My wife and I were not guaranteed anything when we first met. She did not tell me, "call me when you have your life together." We built our lives together. I suggest people look to do the same if you want to build a firm foundation for love. Focus on each and every person who is presented to you. Even if they are not the "one" for you, let them know how much you value their friendship.

Who does not want to hear they are valued? Not only will it warm their heart to hear something like that, it will warm your heart even more to say it. When this person recalls your personable and warm side to friends, they may think of you when they meet another interesting single person who might be just perfect for you.

Want to Meet Someone Special?

I think all the online dating services are a wonderful way to meet someone. It is rarely the services themselves that result in problems. It is the approach some of the off-balance participants that create difficulties.

I believe that many of the people who have gone off the deep end with the dating services are the ones that have become "addicted" to them. By addicted I mean, they have become dependent upon their smart phone to create social situations for themselves. They do not do it once a week or once a day. They scan the several dating services they belong to for pictures of total strangers they know nothing about on a minute to minute basis, hoping that the next sexually alluring, or financially successful looking person they come across … will be "the one."

That brings up my "Pie Theory." To briefly summarize it, we as humans only have so much energy or soul to offer people when we first meet them. If we had our hearts broken when we were younger, the piece of our pie we offer future mates goes down drastically. If we date several times a week, hoping that the love of our life is just around the corner, we get rejected and disappointed on a regular basis.

When we find out the one we are with this very moment is rarely "the one," we constantly distrust who we are with and look over our shoulder for the next one. Frustration levels increase as it appears that this great system for meeting someone may not save us from our loneliness. They soon some to terms with they feeling that, at well thought out impersonal and wholesale system of meeting does work and will never work.

That is not to say that two people can not meet, make made passionate love and decide because of that great sex, or upon discovering that the person interested in them is wealthy, that they can not get married. Of course they can. The catch is, being married does not mean you are happy or will ever be happy.

The way it has worked for 5000 years and continues to work for fewer and fewer people is, to meet someone and get to know them on a more cautious, slower pace. (More about that in other articles.)

I suggest a good way to meet someone is to spend quality time with them and observe them over a period of time. As a relationship coach and presenter, my goal is to create stimulating opportunities for interesting men and women to come together for more than just a few moments, an hour or even a couple of hours. I am planning "heart-opening" three-day weekend gatherings where relationship minded people can come together and get to know each other over a more intimate, longer period of time.

My advice is to slow down and re-group. Do not speed up as so many are doing. Slow down!
You would like the if to learn more about the quality of value of spending time with new people, contact me at: Luvthecoach@gmail.com . Sign-up for our newsletter and share how you met a loved one and your story may be featured in our newsletter and blog.

3 Reasons to Get a Personalised Number Plate

Personalised number plates are exactly that – a plate that is personal to the owner. Typically when a car is bought, it comes with a registration number. This is specific to the vehicle.

Personalised plates are often called cherished plates or private plates. The terms are relatively inter-changeable. Whatever term you use, practically anyone can get a personalised number plate.

Previously personalised number plates were generally associated with the rich and famous but these days anyone can get one. There are a number of reasons why personalised number plates have grown in popularity over the past several years.

Here are just three:

1. Investment

People invest in all things – property, gold, wine, art, savings and bonds. Another way to invest your hard earned cash is with personalised number plates. Believe it! There are many, many examples of proven return on investments. Take 1 SAJ for example. It was bought in the mid nineties for about £3,300 and it is now valued at around £30,000. That’s not a bad return of investment by anyone’s standards.

It does take knowledge of course to know what to invest in but help is always at hand by a specialist company like our own. Look for exclusive numbers and solo numbers. The number 1 shows scarcity with any combination of letters. It’s a very popular choice – e.g., VIP 1 was first used on the Popemobile when Pope John Paul 2nd visited Ireland. It last sold for around £200,000 back in January 2006, an increase of 135%.

2. Fun

Having a personalised plate is fun. You don’t have to have a registration that makes sense to everyone else. You can have something that makes you smile everytime you get into the car. e.g., you could use something like DO57 COW for your girlfriend perhaps or MS61 TCH for your mother in law.

Personalised private numbers make great fun gifts, instead of the usual perfume or jewellery. I’ve seen marks that read something like this, e.g., JHZ 1. I’ll use my name as an example – JH for Jayne Henry, and 21 for the date of my birthday.

Celebrate an achievement, a wedding anniversary or something you love with a personalised plate. Certain registration plates are not as expensive as one would imagine.

3. Promotion

There are a myriad of ways to market a business. There are flyers, websites, blogs, articles (like this one!), trade shows, newsletters. The list is quite endless – it’s only limited by your mind! A clever way to promote a business is by using personalised mark.

Lets face it, registration plates are viewable by everyone, practically everywhere – when you’re parked and when you’re in traffic.

A plumbing company based in London, Pimlico Plumbers have cherished registration plates on each of their company vehicles. Each plate relates to their business; the following are examples of the registration they own: LO02 OLD… RAD 5…. B19 TAP… GAS 6… 8 WC… 80 G… S11 OWER… 8 WC… X1 EAK… BOG 1… GA51 EAK… LO02 LOO… DRA 1N… WC 55… LAV 1… HA51 EAK… LO02 TAP… G2 LOO… FLU 55H

These are just three reasons to get a personalised plate. There are plenty more but whatever your reason, make sure you get something that means something to you – or your pocket. It will be well worth it.

The Pellet Stove – An Under-Appreciated Heat Source

As temperatures continue to drop and the cost to heat the home continues to increase, we start to scramble for affordable alternatives to gas and oil. While many people drift toward electric space heaters, gas fireplaces, gel fuel fireplaces or other secondary heat sources, the pellet stove is often bi-passed completely. It's time to spotlight this very special, all-too-frequently ignored heat source. Here are the basics.

What Is a Pellet Stove / What are Pellets? Pellet stoves are fuel burning appliances that burn "pellets" rather than oil, gas or coal. Typically running on electricity, pellet stoves have built in thermostats, exhaust blowers and some sort of a venting system that must be installed in the home. The "pellets" themselves are typically made from 100 percent recycled sawdust, wood chips, bark, agricultural crop waste, recycled paper or other organic materials. About the size of a cornel of bran cereal, there are different types of pellet stoves that burn different types of pellets. Corn pellet stoves burn corn pellets, wood pellet stoves burn wood pellets and regular pellet stoves burn a variety of types of pellets – just make sure you read your stove's directions before burning a specific type of pellet.

How Efficient Are Pellet Stoves? They are extremely efficient to operate. Not only that but they are low maintenance and convenient to use. Pellet stoves have a much higher combustion rate and heating efficiency than wood stoves or fireplaces. Combustion efficiencies for pellet stoves tend to range from 75 to 85 percent, which make them exempt from the EPA's smoke-emission testing requirements and heating capacities range from 8,000 to 90,000 BTUs per hour (way more than the 3,000 BTUs put out by most gel fireplaces ), making them suitable for condos, homes and apartments. Pellet stoves produce minimal air pollution and are considered to be the cleanest of all solid fuel-burning residential heating appliances.

How Stylish Are Pellet Stoves? If this kind of stove was to lose points anywhere, it would be in the style department. Many pellet stoves are a bit clunky and awkward in appearance, making them more difficult to complement certain decor styles. If your home is leaning in a more modern / contemporary direction, there are some pellet stoves for you to consider! There are also pellet fireplace inserts which can be retro-fit over your existing wood fireplace for a more energy efficient / heat efficient option for your home. These are also more subtle in appearance, simply slipping over your existing fireplace. Whatever your style, there's probably a pellet stove to match your sensibilities, anyway, being energy efficient is always in style, right?

How Much Will It Cost Me? In addition to its physical appearance, another potential downside is how it might drive up your electric bill. If you are considering using a pellet stove as a secondary heat source for a room and gas or oil heating elsewhere in your home, your bills are likely to be higher than you might like. On the other hand, if you opt to use a pellet stove as your home's primary heating source, you're likely to save money. Buying the pellet stove itself is probably going to cost you between $ 1,600 and $ 3,000, depending on what style you decide on.

How Readily Available Are These Pellets Pellets should be available at most hardware stores or outdoor supply stores, though your best bet may be online. Pellet fuel typically is sold in 40 pound bags at around $ 3 to $ 4 dollars each. You can also get pellets for $ 120 to $ 200 per ton. One ton of pellets is about equal to 1.5 cords of firewood, just to give you some kind of comparison. Homeowners that use pellet fuel as their main source of heat typically go through 2 to 3 tons of pellet fuel per year.

Copyright (c) 2009 Randy Heslip

9 Tips When Buying Your Slow Cooker

There are many home appliances in the market nowadays which help to make the food quickly and easily, and slow cooker is one such home appliance. It helps in making the food slowly in order to make the food delicious and relish the food by the family members as well. It is a counter top electrical cooking appliance which maintains a relatively low temperature compared to other cooking methods like baking, boiling or frying for many hours in order to allow uncooked food to get cooked.

But before buying one, you have to look for different features that help in the making the food easier and better. They help in making the food delicious. The 9 tips which would help you in buying the best one are as follows:

  1. Choose the correct size: Always choose a cooker that is according to the usage and the quantity of the food to be prepared on day-to-day basis. The size of a cooker can be range from a small to a bigger cooker. It is always important to notice that large ones cook a small amount of food very quickly but if you think that the food that you cook on daily basis can be cooked in one.
  2. Removable insert: Always go for a slow cooker, which has a removable insert that is essential for easier cleaning of the appliance. With this feature one can just remove the insert and wash it so that other components of the cooker do not get damaged.
  3. Heat settings: Usually slow cookers have a low and high setting but some of the models also have a keep warm setting. In a family there are people of every age group and people prefer eating food according to their specified timings. So some of them even have the feature of warm setting that helps in keeping the food warm until a specified period of time.
  4. Additional features: Slow cookers are now a days far more than a single appliance. They can also be used for baking, cooking rice and even for roasting the dishes.
  5. Removable liner: one should always go for a slow cooker which has a removable liner in it so that it is easier to serve and store the cooked food.
  6. Glass lid: Always opt for a slow cooker, which has a glass lid so that it becomes more durable as plastic lids crack down very easily. A glass lid tends to fit over the cooker very easily and helps in making the food softer and better.
  7. Shape: oval shaped cookers are better for cooking non vegetarian food and deep cookers are great for cooking stews and food, so choose a slow cooker that’s is according to your personal need as they help in making the food delicious and better in taste.
  8. Top rim: Before buying one, it should always have this feature as the cooker should have a top rim which is at least one inch wide and slanted down towards the middle of the cooker so that bubbling juices and steam flow back into the pot.
  9. Warm: Look for the slow cooker models that come with auto setting that turns to a lower “keep warm” temperature after cooking is complete.

DIY Solar Panel

There are DIY guides for most projects that you can get a hold of in order to make any dream a reality. First of all, you need to have the determination to follow through on a particular project. Plenty of people purchase guides and they sit around gathering dust as a "could have been" item. A DIY Solar Panel guide can be a step towards a greener future, reducing your dependency on traditional sources of energy.

A good DIY Solar Panel guide will have the following:

1. A comprehensive list of supplies that you will need to build your panels. This will include where you should look for those supplies, an estimate of what they should cost you, and how to find difficult items that may be required for your project.
2. Instructions that are easy to follow and explained in extensive detail. Pictures are also helpful, and even more useful are videos or DVDs.
3. Installation instructions – how to get a permit for the electrical end of the project, and how to get a good electrician – if you need one.
4. How to pass the electrical inspection.
5. A refund guarantee of at least 60 days in case you examine the product and decide not to follow through with it.

Once you locate a good DIY solar panel guide, read it from beginning to end. Read every detail about what you are getting involved in and what is required to make your project a reality. Start looking around at local building supply centers and hardware stores to find the best price on the supplies needed to build a DIY solar panel.

Building and installing solar panels may become a source of enjoyment and satisfaction for you, especially once you see the lowered cost of your electrical bill. It may even come to the point where you can continue to build these panels and help your friends and family to install them in their homes. Your cost to build a single panel will likely be around $ 200.00. If you decide to build and install panels as a side business, you can $ charge 2,500.00 per panel and installation and still be cheaper than commercial installers.

There are plenty of really good guides available, just read some good reviews to find out about what is in the guide you plan on purchasing. Of course, if you select a guide that has a money back guarantee, you will be taking the guess work out of purchasing a guide.

What to Look for When Shopping for Laminate Flooring

The first thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is if the product offers a warranty. The longer the warranty that a product offers the more durable you can assume the product is. Generally you should be able to find laminate floor warranties that last between 10 and 15 years.

The second thing that you should look at when buying laminate floors is the thickness of the laminate floor product. The thicker the plank the sturdier it will be. You should be able to find the thickness measurement of the plank on its label or in the product description. Laminate flooring planks typically come in 6mm, 7mm and 8mm thicknesses. The price of the laminate floor plank will be related to its thickness. The thicker the plank the more it will generally cost.

The next thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is that it has a good AC wear rating. The AC wear rating is a rating given to laminate flooring that illustrates how durable the product is and what applications the product is appropriate for. An AC1 rating means that the product is fine for moderate traffic in a residential setting. An AC2 rating is a good rating for a product that will be used in the living room. An AC3 rating means that the product will be able to handle just about any residential traffic. AC3 rated products are also great for small offices and moderately business commercial settings. AC4 rated products are great for cafes, retail boutiques and other moderate to busy commercial locations. Finally an AC5 rating is appropriate for heavy traffic commercial settings.

Core density is the next thing that you will want to take into consideration when you are buying laminate flooring. You will want to look for a high density core. This high density core helps to reduce noise and it also acts as a shock absorber.

The final thing that you may want to look for when shopping for laminate flooring is that it is hand scraped. A hand scraped plank means that each plank is scraped out by hand. This makes each plank unique. This is a great option if you want a really unique floor.

Vision Insurance Plan – How To Choose Eye Insurance Plans

If you are among the estimated 50% of American who wear prescription contact lenses or eye glasses, a vision insurance plan can help you with the costs. A good vision plan can help you pay for your eye exam, contacts and glasses. Some employers offer a benefit package or discount plan to their employees, but you can also find one and pay for it yourself. In the long run, it can be well worth the cost.

What is an Eye Insurance Plan?

An eye insurance plan is not like regular health insurance. It is a wellness benefit that either provides a discounted rate for vision services such as eye exams, contacts and glasses or it helps offset the costs of these services. You can get vision insurance in one of two different types:

  • Vision Benefits Package
  • Vision Discount Plan

A vision benefits package is much like insurance coverage in that is covers vision services. Sometimes you may be required to pay a co-payment at the time of the service or purchase of your contacts or glasses. Your benefits package pays the balance.

A vision discount plan is different from a vision benefits package in that you pay for the full services, but it is at a lower, discounted rate that has been agreed upon by the network provider. Through a discount plan, you are given a list of network providers who have agreed to charge the discounted prices per the plan. Often, there are also specific eye care services that are included in the plan so review prospective plans to make sure that the one you choose meets your needs.

Benefits of a Vision Insurance Plan

Eye insurance plans can be very beneficial, particularly if you have vision problems. You can save money on vision services and even eye glasses and contacts. An eye insurance plan can offset the sometimes substantial costs of vision care. Eye glasses alone can cost more than $ 200, but with a vision plan you can cut that cost by 50% or more.

You can get individual plans or plans that cover the entire family. They can be particularly helpful in saving money if you cover your children as they can sometimes go through several pair of eye glasses in a year.

Choosing the Right Vision Plan

If you think that a vision insurance company could have some benefits to offer, it is important that you find the right plan for your needs. Carefully review the benefits that are offered, what is covered, how often you can get an eye exam and how many pair of eye glasses or contact lenses you can get within a year or a six month period.

You can conduct an online search for vision insurance plans or even find a site that allows you to compare different companies by their benefits. You also want to make sure that you vision plan falls within your budget. It does you no good and you will not save much if you go broke paying for the plan.

Stairs – The Ups and Downs of Staircase Design

Our stairs are generally governed by the type of houses we have. In smaller terraced houses the stairs are often steep and are built between walls, which means the “strings”, the main frames of the stair construction are not seen from the side. These stairs are often carpeted and have a separate handrail attached to the wall.

The usual style of stair found in most houses is -one string visible and a wall enclosing the string on the other side- there may be handrail with spindles, or it could be completely paneled on the open string side. There is also the possibility that the string has detailing rather than just being plain. Contemporary designs on this theme can have treads but no risers so the user can look through the stair, some treads are cantilevered so the stair appears to be anchored to just one wall, and the use of glass, with timber and metal, gives a light and spacious feel.

The third type of stair is one associated with grander houses, and is very much a focal point. The stair can be viewed from different aspects and so must look good from all angles. Many stairs have landings which lead in opposite directions and give a feeling of space. The use of turned spindles and ornate carvings, generally in solid Oak and once the preserve of the rich, are now more accessible to the average man in the street. A little bit of luxury should be afforded to all- who said that- I just did!

There are lots of choices when it comes to constructing your stairs. A simple softwood string with MDF treads and risers is an option, especially if it is an area that won’t be viewed, and the treads/risers can be carpeted.

The use of Oak strings is always popular- and they can be both traditional style or more contemporary depending on the style and finish. Veneered boards with real wood veneer can also be utilised and give the required look without the expense of solid timber.

The spindles or infill area between handrail and string can add or detract from the overall look. The building regulations state that the gap between any spindles or posts (guardings) should not be wide enough to allow a “100mm sphere” to pass through. This also applies to stairs with open “risers”, the same sphere should not be able to pass through the gap. Make sure that your stair supplier knows the regulations!

Spindles can be plain or highly turned and decorative, spindles can be just timber or timber with metal, or even glass balustrading is now popular.

Handrails are available in Oak,Ash,Maple,Hemlock and Walnut- again its personal choice coupled with design requirements. Softwood can also be used especially if the spindles and handrail are to be painted-Hemlock is a good choice.

Treads can also be in Oak or any hardwood- softwood can be used if the stairs are to be carpeted but MDF is just as good and cheaper.

Any good supplier will want to come out and measure the site before fabricating the new stairs. Many stairs are supplied ready built with only minor adjustments on site. Access to your premises will need to be discussed if the delivery of your new stairs is to go without a hitch.

So if you are planning a whole new stair or need some advice, check the link below for good honest answers.



A New Staircase Can Do Wonders For Your Home

If your house is built from house plans with a basement, odds are pretty good that the old rickety staircase leading down to the basement could use an update. If you have lived in your house for many years or simply own an older home, the main staircase for your home could probably use a facelift too. It might seem like a big project to take on, it really is not that difficult. If you feel that you can not do this project on your own, you can call on a professional to make the dramatic change to your home.

Depending on where your stairs are located in your home, they could be the first thing that you see when visitors come in your front door. To get off to a great first impression, an overhaul of your staircase could be just the pick-me-up that your house needs. If you are going to tackle this project by yourself, you will want to get started by simply removing anything attached to the walls and the stairs. This means that you will need to carefully remove the railing and balusters from you luxury homes plans if you are planning to reuse them. Once you have them removed, it is time to take up the carpet. Pliers are a good tool to use here so you have a good grip to pull with. You will also want to take up the little strips of wood with little nails on them if you going to replace the carpet with hardwood floor instead. Just make sure that you do your best to not damage the drywall. If you are going to put in hardwood stairs, you will also need to remove the risers and replace them with a beautifully stained new riser.

Giving your staircase a whole new look can be a whole lot of work, or not too bad, depending on how much demolition you are planning on doing to your ranch homes plans. If you are going to rip out and gut the entire existing staircase, you might be better off calling a professional to make sure they are done right. If you are going to reuse your existing stairs and simply change out the carpet or balusters, the job will not be too bad. You might even find that more demolition than you expected is necessary, so do not worry about having to ask for help if you need it.

The Temple of Athena Nike

This jewel of Attic architecture, better known (though incorrectly so), as the Temple of Apteros Nike, or Wingless Victory, is the work of the celebrated Callicrates. Standing on a 9.50 m. high bastion, it was erected by order of Pericles in the fifth century BC and dedicated by him to the goddess Athena in commemoration of the great Athenian victories over the Persians.

In prehistoric times this rocky pedestal, on which the with Boeotians, allies of the Persians, at the Battle of Plataea.

The entrance to the sanctuary, through the east portico, was formed by two pillars connected with the antae by a balustrade. Here stood the cult statue, a very ancient wooden image (xoanon) representing the goddess Athena holding a pomegranate, symbol of fertility, in her right hand and her helmet in the left.

The Temple of Athena Nike embodies the ethereal beauty and noble austerity that is characteristic of Attic art. It was still standing as late as 1676 but was demolished in 1687 by the Turks, who used the material to strengthen their defenses against the Venetians with whom they were at war. Its reconstruction was carried out between 1834 and 1838 by Ross, Schaubert, and Hansen, largely from fragments built into the Turkish fortifications. Later, in 1936, and recently more accurate reconstructions were carried out.

In antiquity the three sides of the bastion were surmounted by a marble balustrade with a bronze rail, and the outer surfaces of the large marble slabs forming this balustrade were ornamented with bas-reliefs depicting Winged Victories setting up trophies and leading sacrificial animals into the presence of the goddess. The grooves into which the slabs were bedded are still visible on the west and north edges of the platform.

Nikon Remote – ML-L3 – Review

I received this for Christmas this year. What a handy little gadget.
The NB-3L is the infrared remote for Nikon cameras that support remote shutter release. It lets you snap the shutter from a distance.
Why would you need this? Well for a few reasons. Situations where you want everyone to be in the picture (no one has to step out to take the photo) and situations where you do not want to press the shutter yourself because it will cause motion of the camera and "camera shake" in your photos.
The "prevent camera shake" use is as follows. The lighting is dim and you need to be as stable as possible, so you set the camera on a table, banister, rock, or whatever. Unfortunately you still need to press the shutter down and you can accidentally "jar" the camera and cause the image ot blur. If you have the handy little remote you just use it. You can even have your hands just centimeters away if the camera is perched precariously and you think it will fall.

Size Matters

This thing is small. It is incredibly thin and looks like one of those items you will lose in about two seconds. Fortunately, it comes with a little velcro pouch that can attach to your shoulder strap so you have easy access and will always be tempted to put the remote back in the pouch instead of in your pocket.


The remote only has one button which controls the shutter. You need to go into the settings of your camera and set it to be controlled by the remote. For the Nikon D70s, this is the same settings options where you change between "single shot" or "continuous shooting". You can select "remote shooting" as well. One annoying thing I found is that if the camera goes into "power saving" mode after 15 seconds that it defaults back to shutter button mode so the remote does not work anymore. I'm sure you can change this, but I have yet to find it yet. If you know how, please post a comment.
There is also a timer remote option so that you can trigger the timer with the remote. Good for situations where you would be a bit rushed to sneak back into the photo after pressing the shutter.


I'm not sure the exact range. They claim it is 16.4 feet, but I triggered it from 30 feet away no problem when I first got it. Maybe this was because it was a new battery. You just have to point the thing straight at the camera though. I found there was not much forgiveness if you were pointed elsewhere.


It comes with one of those little lithium ion CR2025 batteries. The thin kind that goes in watches and such.

To Get It Working

Basically nothing. Take the plastic battery protector out of the remote. Then set your camera to Remote shooting mode and snap away.

Final Verdict

I would recommend this for anyone. It is more of a gimmick and useful for those odd-ball shots, but for the price (less than $ 25 Canadian) you can not really beat the novelty of it.

You interested are On the if in photography : other articles, please lands check out Www.thoughtsfrommylife.com/category-Photography .

Homemade Wind Generators and the Benefits of Switching to Wind Power

The advantage of a homemade wind generator is multi-fold. Though on one hand, it reduces the dependence on traditional methods of generating power and reduces our monthly bills on the other we can do our part in saving the environment, since it is one of the cleanest and endless sources of power today. Basically, a homemade wind generators consists of DC motor, blades, a hub and a tower. The best part is that if you want to switch to wind power and start living off grid then you do not have to spend thousands of dollars on a brand-new commercial wind turbine when you can simply build your own in your own backyard for no more than $ 200.

The most important part of a wind turbine is the tower. The higher its tower the more amount of energy that is being generated. After all, the height of the tower is constrained by the cost and the look. Thus a higher and more aesthetic tower will cost you slightly more than a shorter tower. Another thing to keep in mind is that the system will not work efficiently if it is not connected to the ground properly. This is mainly because, if it is flexible, its height can be altered to suit the wind patterns of the day. In case of extremely bad weather or lightning, it can be removed and kept safely to avoid damage.

Other primary concerns are the location of the wind tower. It's an absolute waste if it were surrounded by trees or buildings or anything else that blocks the free flow of wind. Finally, the power of the wind towers must be taken into consideration. For a given specification, only a maximum allowed speed of the wind is bearable. If the speed exceeds that, it tends to get damaged. Selecting a proper location for your wind turbine will reflect on its effectiveness. Anyone can build their own homemade wind generator to start saving on their monthly bills, all you need is a solid DIY wind power guide to assist you throughout the project. There are several DIY guides online that you should consider, however it is recommended that you choose one that comes with a customer support in case you run any troubleshooting.

Hyundai Ix35 SUV



Modern & funky exterior PLUS a powerful-yet-frugal Turbo Diesel engine PLUS six-speed automatic gearbox PLUS an improved interior EQUALS strong value for money.

Not so Good:

Hyundai ix35 SUV sports a rather heavy design with a petrol engine that gets noisy under hard acceleration. It also gets firm while riding over rough spaces


Design and Engineering


The first to feature the Hyundai brands ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ theme which arrived in February 2010. It makes into the list of the coolest Compact SUV’s one can buy. It is enhanced by the large hexagonal grille up-front which is a typical Hyundai style of spelling its presence. The rear hatch holds a feature that could be called the ‘mini duck tail’ (Porsche 911 lovers get this). Carverdict’s Salute.

Not so good:

Considering the size of the vehicles ‘footprint’ the Hyundai ix35 is no lightweight design – tipping the scales between 1.6 & 1.8 tonnes (compare this to a medium family-sized wagon and you’ll see that on average SUV’s are definitely heavier creatures). The front grille is body coloured on the entry-level ‘Active’ grade and as a result (to our eyes) it doesn’t appear as well integrated as the grey coloured versions on the mid and upper-grades.

Interior and Styling


The steering wheel is a funky four-spoke structure and the driver’s seat features six-way power adjustment (except on the entry-level Active grade). The seat position is relatively high, providing good frontal visibility. The rear seats offer sufficient head room and feature a fold-down centre armrest with favorable sized cupholders. The Hyundai ix35’s cabin storage space is great for a family car and the rear seats fold flat to boost cargo space from almost 600L to over 1,400L! The panoramic glass roof, standard on the Highlander grade, creates a beautiful lightened feel to the interior.

Pre October 2010 the Hyundai ix35’s steering wheel adjusted for tilt (up & down) but not reach (in & out). Not any more, thankfully it now does both. The 2011 ix35 range also gains additional sound deadening materials to reduce road noise levels.

Not so good:

It is disappointing that the dash features more plastic than one would like. The rear legroom provides enough space for the legs to put up with the journey, but not as spacious as expected. The lower window lines are quite above the margin; this means the kids will have to keep bouncing to get a view of the road.



Entry-level Active’s 2.0L Petrol engine produces a respectable 122kW of power (& 197Nm of torque) and whilst noisy under hard acceleration it is by no means forgotten – it’s the sole front-wheel drive variant and subsequently lighter than the AWD ix35’s. The mid-spec 2.4L Petrol benefits from significantly more torque (227Nm); however by far the most impressive engine is the smooth-sounding 2.0L Turbo Diesel which generates a whopping 135kW of power and 392Nm of torque.

Not so good:

With the much hype of the 2.4L Petrol engine, in the real world however the speed doesn’t seems any faster than 2.0L. Yes the sound is less though.

Ride and Handling


Hyundai ix35 affords a fantastic ride displaying the ability of being the only Compact SUV on the road without the fear of being scratched at the corners. Easy to steer through the traffic. Even if the Highlander grade is set on large 18-inch alloy wheels, it gives a comfortable ride.

Not so good:

The steering is on the light side, but considering this isn’t a sports car, it’s hardly worth mentioning. Under hard acceleration the Turbo Diesel grades can suffer from torque steer through the steering wheel (no surprise considering how much pulling power this engine has).

The impressive handling (for a high-riding SUV anyway) does come at the price of ride quality; whilst fine over smooth surfaces the ride is a touch on the firm side over rougher surfaces..

From October 2010 the electronic power steering has been changed to improve steering feel and in order to enhance the ride quality all AWD variants now get ASD suspension as standard. We’ll let you know our thoughts of the changes very soon, once we spend some time driving the updated range.

Buying and Owning


Definitely a best buy with excellent features. ix35’s also features the automatic, a quality six-speed box. This is a significant improvement over the various competitors’ with four-speed gearboxes. The safety feature are impressive with six airbags, ABS brakes, Electronic Brake Distribution, traction & stability control, Downhill Brake Control and Hill Start Assist Control. Also in October 2010 with the introduction of the rear park assist has crossed standards across all grades.

Not so good:

The much talked about two Petrol powered engine offers only on-par fuel economy. Although the Turbo Diesel’s economy is placed best for a Compact SUV, we are still surprised that the official combined fuel economy figure is similar to Hyundai’s larger & heavier seven-seat Diesel powered Santa Fe.