How to Fix Staircase Handrails

A staircase banister that is loose and moving while you hold onto it is not a safe banister. If you are a do-it-yourselfer you probably want to be able to fix that yourself.

First, the anatomy of a staircase should be clear. Its basic parts are the tread that you step on, the riser, which is the vertical part between treads, and the banister, the part that is on the side offering support when going up and down. The banister has three components: the handrail, which you actually grasp when using the stairs, the   balusters , posts that support the handrail, and a newel post, a larger vertical support at the bottom of the staircase.

A handrail will usually shake if the  balusters  loosen in the mortises where they meet the handrail. A mortise is a hole cut into a piece of material in which another piece, the tenon, will be inserted. For the first solution you should prepare: a hammer, wood shims, carpenter’s glue, a small block of wood and an utility knife. You will coat a shim in glue and hammer it into the joint between the handrail and the  baluster . Use the small wood block to drive the shim in, keeping it between the shim and the hammer. Your purpose is to fill the gap and not to drive the pieces that join apart, so hammer with care. Trim the part of the shim that is left outside of the hole.

A second solution asks for: safety goggles, electric drill, screwdriver matching the screw head, combination bit corresponding to the used screw, flathead wood screws, 220 grit sandpaper, wood putty and wood finish or paint. Drill a pilot hole upwards through the  baluster  and into the handrail using the combination bit. You will drill under a 45 degree angle. Drive the screw in, countersink it and tighten it. Fill the hole that is left with wood putty, allow it to dry and then sand the repair spot and cover it with wood finish or paint for the aesthetics part.

If the  baluster  got loose in its bottom mortise where it meets the tread, you will need the same tools and expendables like in the second solution. You will drill a pilot hole down through the  baluster  into the tread at an angle. Drive in the screw, countersink it and tighten it. Just like in the previous case, you will then fill the hole with wood putty, let it dry, use the sandpaper to sand the area and then finish.

Marble Stone Balustrades for Lavish Lifestyle

Throughout history, beautiful looking granite or marble stone balustrades and elegant fireplaces have punctuated the beauty and exquisite of the grand architectures. These architectural additions are specifically engineered to inject an aura of elegance and radiance to the structure, which is also the status symbol of lavish living. From the figurines of Italian Gods to the carvings of Scottish Cathedrals, class marble stone balustrades have complemented the era legacies and accentuated their overall grandeur.

Elegant and architecturally designed balustrades give an ultra refined, traditional and culturally rich look to the structures. This is the only reason these have penetrated the deepest layers of the society and psyche of the people. People looking to give extra attention to their life style, living standards and preferences, often choose stunning shapes of luxurious stone balustrades. In fact, these reflect the sense of life style and inner desire to live the live fullest, exemplifying the opulence. Even it exhibits attachment with the ageless cultural notions, traditional era and feeling of inspired living.

Understanding the feelings of modern people and flair of modern life style, manufacturers have acquired advanced technologies and have smoothly transformed the thinking towards balustrades and railing systems. Today, with the help of state-of-the-art technology, art, and aesthetics, they produce high-end balustrade designs that provide enriched significance to the structure. With quality and design, they design exclusive marble balustrade to increase any staircase, patio, or even enclosed area. The experienced and skilled craftsman utilizes their skills and advanced technologies to create a desired appearance.

Manufacturers offer completely customized and theme based decorative balustrades and railing systems that support the staircase, patio or enclosed areas. People also prefer marble statues, figurines and elegant fireplaces in order complement their structures. These addition stone structures perfectly balance the beauty and also accessorize the inner beauty. For more exclusive appearance and make the atmosphere more comfortable, people prefer classical, colonial and designer balustrades. They also choose thicker, hand carved and more prominent baluster styles for the rejuvenated feeling of awe.

Manufacturers supply different types of structures from tall, short, round, or square. They offer perfectly ideal balustrade system for your specifically distinctive interior design. People also choose to have natural stone balustrades to have long lasting impression, elegant feeling and above all class appeal. Natural stone products have the extraordinary property of last longer and subdue any type of fungus or mildew generation. It is also heard enough to absorb jerks and resist scratches.

Stainless Steel Balustrading Wire

Stainless steel balustrading wire can help you to make sturdy balustrading that will look great in any home or any business. Balustrades are incredibly classy and great looking and these are something perfect to replace most of your railings and walls. For instance in your garden if you have a patio, why not surround this with balustrading that will create a great first impression and contain the area. Balustrading looks very classic and has been used in architecture for a long time – from being used around Roman and Greek temples to old manor houses and thus you can lend your property an air of that sort of location by having balustrades.

Balustrades are essentially small pillars that are used to hold up a banister or railing. This then adds extra support to your railings as well as extra design. These are usually spaced evenly and are essentially just railings, except with a more classy design – often curving outwards and with ornate detailing on them.

You can create your own balustrades and by doing this you can feel a great sense of pride for your garden and also create a very specific look that you want. Furthermore it will be a great way to learn a skill that you can do for others, and will save you a lot of money on getting installers to do your balustrading for you which is of course the other option.

Balustrading can be made from various things, but generally you will have something running through the balustrades that you won’t see. This can be glass or timber, but the most effective and easiest material to use is stainless steel wire. Stainless steel wire is very durable and strong and won’t bend, tear or break. It also requires no maintenance and is very easy to work with. They’ll be easier to install initially and subsequently you’ll have to do less to maintain them.

The outside of your balustrading can be made from wood or concrete, but either way this will be hard to work with and subject to wear and tear. It is the stainless steel wire running through the middle that will keep them held in place and this also adds more support to those banisters – very important if you intend to use them for railings on your stairs or in other locations. Find stainless steel balustrading wire online by browsing in your area and make sure that your wire is good quality and will be able to support your banisters for a long time and hold your property up and in place. Likewise make sure that you have enough balustrading that you can use to make as many pillars as you need and this will mean that you need to do some planning first of all.

To do this, you will want to measure the size of the banisters or railings and the size of the balustrades you want. The height of the balustrades will dictate the height of the banisters and the height and number of them will dictate how much wire you need, so be sure to calculate this first and foremost.

The Genius You’re About to Read

Ok the genius you’re about to read, Is not of my own creation.

Yes sadly I admit today I’ll be blatantly robbing and duplicating (ok not REALLY sad about it) however the information is SO POWERFUL I have to do it justice by sharing it with you as I received it.

I had the pleasure of spending an entire day with the co-authors of the book Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. He and his wife are two of the most passionate trainers/speakers I know.

To write this book they interviewed over 3000 entrepreneurs and found they all had some very basic similarities.

Oh and they also happen to be top income earners in my company.

To begin with they floored me with a perspective of the 80/20 rule that I had not thought of before. (This is why you spend your time around those more successful than you)

Here was their perspective:

If we know that 80% of our results come from 20% of our activity then why don’t we focus on and do more of the 20%?

The challenge is most people in network marketing don’t know what the 20% is!


Here is a question that I immediately have plastered all over my home office that will help you understand what a 20% activity is. Get ready, “If I simply did this activity every day for the rest of the year would my bank account grow?”

Yes you should read that Again…and Again…and Again..and AGAIN.

For example if you go to your local business briefing every week is that an 80% activity or a 20% activity? With out a guest it’s an 80% with a guest it’s a 20%. One makes you busy the other makes you money!

Always ask yourself as you’re working on your business through out the day…”If I did this activity every day”…if it doesn’t contribute to your income or lifestyle stop doing it!

We can confuse being on conference calls, going to meetings and trainings, trying to shadow other successful people or doing otherwise called busy work as, contributing to our income.

Don’t get me wrong. These activities support your 20% activity however it’s when people make the 80% supporting activities their 20% activity that they aren’t making any money!

We like to say those people are marinating in the business. They show up to everything but don’t do the actual 20% activities that contribute to their income because they are uncomfortable. I.E. prospecting, handing out tools or making lead calls.

The people who marinate don’t realize that those activities are supposed to be uncomfortable in the beginning because it IS something new and if you want new results you must learn to do new things.

People are under the illusion they are doing their business because they are busy but really they aren’t productive!

Cut out the 80% activities that don’t contribute to your immediate income or lifestyle. The reason you got into a home business is profit and lifestyle! You have an opportunity to feel good about what you do at the same time but you’ll feel even better about completing a full hour or a full day of 20% activity and you get paid!

So by now you realize that you can only focus on the 20% if you know what that is and why you’re doing it! So you must have a goal you want to accomplish. Know where you’re going!

Oh and the other nugget that will support your business exploding is this.

You have heard of paying yourself first right? In the financial sense we all agree that you pay yourself 10% first and out of that you take care of your expenses etc.

Well consider this, contribute to your income by paying yourself with 20% activity in your very 1st hour of the day.

That’s right. If you’re part time or full time in the business consider what you do through out the day relating to your business, (Now that you know what a 20% activity is) and start doing it the 1st hour of your business day.

The start of your business may be at 8 am or 10 pm it doesn’t matter. It’s the 1st hour of your business.

These are the secrets of the highly productive that most people aren’t aware of, simply because they either don’t seek it out or don’t know about it! (They also probably aren’t reading this article so share it with them!)

Think about this as we conclude.

Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile barrier but most people don’t realize he did it practicing only 35 minutes a day. That included the commute back and forth to the track too!

He had a goal, (to break the 4 minute mile record) a burning desire to accomplish it, work out partners to hold him accountable around the track and he focused only on the 20% activity that would get him his result.

He knew where he was going, how he was going to do it and he did it in 35 minutes a day because he focused only on the 20%.

Imagine the records we could set for our personal and financial lives in only one hour a day with this new found knowledge.

I see you itching to get after it already.

Are You Ready For the Digital TV Switch?

As many of you know, analog television channels will no longer be available after February 17, 2009. Does this mean that you have to get a new digital TV? Will your analog television set work at all? Is there a converter or something like that available so that you don’t have to buy an expensive new television? To answer these questions, let me first say that this analog to digital change over will not affect most Americans. People who subscribe to cable (Comcast, Time Warner, or Charter) or satellite television (Dish Network or Direct TV) services will not be affected by the analog to digital TV update. If however, you still receive your television signal via an antenna or ‘rabbit ears’, you will not be able to watch your favorite shows with an analog TV after February 17, 2009 without a basic analog-to-digital converter or a new digital television set.

The cost of an analog-to-digital converter can vary greatly, but a basic converter should start at around $60. There is currently federal funding in place to help offset the cost of the analog to digital  switch . You can get up to 2 coupons per household, to help pay for digital converters.

A new digital television can cost as little as 150 dollars or as much as several thousand dollars, depending on features such as High Definition, Plasma, or LCD and the size of the TV screen. All new TVs are required to meet federal guidelines for receiving the latest digital signal. If you have purchased a television after March 2007, it should have a built-in digital tuner.

Many people have decided that it’s time to  switch  to cable TV not only because of the analog to digital change over, but also because they can get high-speed internet service, as well as digital phone from their cable company. Satellite TV is also a nice option for people who can not get cable TV. With satellite, you get many of the same channels as with cable for about the same price. If you are still watching TV via an antenna signal, you will have to make some changes. At the very least, you will have to get a converter. At most a new television, or make the move to subscribe to cable TV or satellite television service.

The Physical Benefits of Meditation

Are there really physical benefits to meditation?

Perhaps you know, or are related to someone that thinks that meditation is just a bunch of hogwash. Or maybe you’re the one wondering if the supposed benefits to meditation are for real or just hype from a Chinese hippies.

If you are looking for hard evidence of the physical benefits of meditation, then read on.

Nuero Scientists Find Proof in the Brain

Nuero scientists (those are the brain scientists) have analyzed the brain and charted that the right   frontal  cortex is the most stress prone. They also know that the left  frontal  cortex is calmer.

After studying the difference between the brain waves of those that meditate versus those that have never meditated, these nuero scientists found that, guess what, non meditators have more activity in the right  frontal  cortex. Since that part of the brain is the most stress prone, that means that this group suffered more stress.

They also found that those who practiced meditation regularly had more activity in the left  frontal  cortex, meaning that they physically felt calmer and more peaceful.

Another unexpected, interesting discovery was that those practicing meditation have less activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain the processes emotions such as fear.

Of course, if the above brain evidence can’t convince your skeptic, then there is always the try it out method of proof.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., from University of Massachusetts Medical School, proved that learning meditation for as little as 8 weeks caused people to have a shift in their brain waves, causing them to feel overall calmer and happier than they felt before the experiment.

So you see, meditation can be the beginning of a brand new, calmer, happier you. And all you need to start feeling these benefits is to start meditating!

How can you get started?

Getting started is easier than you might think. The real trick is making the time commitment to yourself and keeping the commitment. If this is your first try at meditating, I would recommend committing yourself to at least 8 weeks before you decide whether your happy with the results.

There are many books, articles, videos as well as many reputable websites that can get you started on the right path to meditation. All you really need is just one great online meditation guide and you could actually start enjoying meditation within the next 15 minutes!

Thankfully, you really don’t need a ton of help because meditation just isn’t that complicated. After you learn the basics, its pretty easy to find your own style of meditation.

How to Buy a House in Canada

When buying real estate, you do not want to make any mistakes. Being well-informed is key. If you are visiting the country, and want to buy a house in Canada, it is smart to be aware of the financial and legal aspects involved.

Find Yourself a Reputable Agent

You would not go on safari without a guide would you? The same principal applies to the purchase of real estate. Although there are no life-threatening issues at stake, there are extensive financial implications to consider, significant legal matters to examine, and various locations to choose from, all of which require a certain level guidance.

Real estate agents are ideal guides in the purchase of real estate. They prospect for the buyer, act as negotiator between buyer and seller, and advise in the completion of the transaction. They must hold a license issued by their provincial real estate board, assuring you that they are trained agents, well-informed on the subject of how to buy a house in Canada.

When you first meet with a Canadian real estate agent, it is required that he present to you a pamphlet that explains the nature of his relationship with you and the extent of his responsibilities to you. The basic obligations of the agent are to protect and promote your negotiating position at all times, abide by your instructions (providing they are lawful), respect all confidences, and account for all funds placed in their possession while acting on your behalf.


When you are researching how to buy a house in Canada, the security of your transaction is very important. What kind of systems are in place to ensure you do not loose your investment in a fraudulent transaction? Real estate brokers are audited once a year to confirm that they are following regulations enacted by the province. The provincial commission has the right to impose fines, suspend or revoke licenses to those who are not abiding by the rules.

Many provinces require real estate agents to have an insurance policy that protects purchasers in the event of errors and/or omissions with regard to real estate transactions. In such a case, the insurance company would typically compensate the purchaser for the agent’s mistake. Some provinces have a recovery fund to indemnify clients who are victims of fraud, resulting in a financial loss caused by a real estate representative.

Real Estate Rules for Non Residents

British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick pose no restrictions regarding the extent of real estate a non-resident can buy in Canada; however, some Canadian provinces limit the amount of property to foreign buyers. “On Prince Edward Island, non-resident buyers must apply to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission for land over 5 acres in size, or land with a shore frontage greater than 165 feet. In Manitoba, non-residents are prevented from owning farmland unless they actually plan to move there within 2 years. Non-residents may not own land over 10 acres in size in Saskatchewan, whilst in Alberta they may only own up to 2 plots of land not exceeding 20 acres in total.”

Since the tragedy of 911, a national agency called Fintrak collects data on real estate buyers, requesting their current address, passport identification, and driver’s licence in order to verify their status. The purpose is to ensure that money is not laundered in Canada for terrorist activities or other nefarious endeavors that would threaten the country’s security under the mask of real estate dealings.

Financial Recommendations

Learning how to buy a house in Canada includes knowing how to finance such a purchase. In order to determine the amount you will need to borrow, you must be aware of the purchase price, transfer tax, appraisal fees, inspection fees, insurance costs, and closing fees which constitute legal fees. Keep in mind other potential disbursements.

You should endeavor to put down as much money as you can afford towards a down payment – the larger the down payment, the lower the monthly mortgage payment. If your down payment is less than 25% of the purchase price, your mortgage loan will have to be insured with a mortgage insurance company. Since this involves another outside service, additional legal fees would be required for the loan application, and an insurance premium (a certain percentage of the loan amount) would have to be budgeted.

Canadian citizens are allowed to withdraw up to $20,000 from their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to buy a house, without having to pay taxes, and are permitted 15 years to reimburse this amount without having it become part of their gross annual income. It is possible that non-residents wanting to buy a house in Canada may also be able to withdraw money from their country’s equivalent of the Canadian RRSP program. It might be worthwhile to research the availability of this financial option in your country of origin.

Talking ‘Bout Tabitha

Sometimes I get a glimpse, a glimpse of what ‘normal’ would look like, even feel like. It’s like living someone else’s life just for a second, it’s a moment of clarity amidst the confusion. Now when I say a glimpse, I mean literally a snapshot. It might be a smile, a hug, a short conversation. All the things that many parents take for granted, for me are rare and cherished moments. Two of my children have autism.

I find these times particularly rare with my daughter, Tabitha. She is so strong-willed and determined, she never shows a vulnerable side, a side that says ‘I need you, mum’. She never wants cuddles or to be held, she never needs my help. All she wants, or should I say ‘demands’ from me is ‘stuff’ – a computer game, a rabbit, leggings, a guinea pig, a new top, a dog. If she doesn’t get what she wants there’s trouble. Now that might sound like the behaviour of a spoilt child, but this is about control. Control of an environment that is so alien to her that by having just that little bit of control everything becomes just that bit safer and that bit more manageable. She lives in a heightened state of anxiety, at any moment could be pushed over the edge and into a melt down. By feeding her obsessions she maintains control of all that is around her, creating her own world – Tabby’s world.

What if she doesn’t get her way? Tackling Tabitha can be like taking on a tiger. She can scratch and bite either me or herself. She will refuse to engage in anything that threatens her world – like talking to adults, going somewhere unfamiliar or doing something different. Do we give in? – maybe sometimes! We use various ways of promoting desirable behaviour, the obligatory reward charts and systems – some successful; some not. It is an ongoing battle in socialisation – an attempt to mould her into a socially acceptable adult.

Despite her challenging behaviour she never ceases to amaze me. She is a master of disguise. She can camouflage her difficulties at school so well, that if I mention her ‘crazy’ side, the teachers look at me in disbelief. How does she do it? I have been observing my daughter since the day she was born; there isn’t much that escapes me. She searches the internet for how to apply make-up, pluck eyebrows and even shave her legs. She uses ‘friends’ as her eyes and ears so she always knows what she is supposed to be doing and when. She flies below the radar. I said to her once as she left for school ‘What time do you finish school today?’, ‘I don’t know’ she replied, so I asked ‘Well how do you know when it’s time to go home?’ She looked at me as if I was mad and said ‘I just leave when everyone else leaves.’

A bad day at school equals a tantrum at home. I think that AS girls are experts at putting on a facade to the outside world, an exterior that says ‘I’m coping’. The flip side of this is that the parents can experience extreme behaviour, behaviour that has been bubbling under the surface all day. As they approach the front door the facade begins to crack and the Autism begins to seep out ready to explode at whoever opens the door.

It is due to these things that these glimpses are so important, they keep me sane, they show me how different life would be without the Autism, and just seeing that helps me find the child behind the disorder. Would I change her? Would I take away her Autism if I could? Definitely not! After 16 years of living life on the edge, I would not change a thing. My children have taught me tolerance, compassion and acceptance. Maslow once wrote “… what we call “normal” in psychology is really a psychopathology of the average, so undramatic and so widespread that we don’t even notice it ordinarily.” I prefer a challenge!


Maslow A., (1968) Toward a Psychology of Being. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York.

Xbox 360 Repair – 3 Red Lights

Almost every Xbox 360 users will come across a common Xbox 360 problem – 3 red lights. Some called it as “Red Ring of Death” (RRoD). There are different codes that flash on the power switch to let you know what is wrong with your console. “Red Ring of Death” means you have a general hardware error. This problem has been actively discussed everywhere especially in the Xbox 360 related problem. Although 3 red lights is a common issue of Xbox 360 and a lot of complaints & hates everywhere, people still buy Xbox 360 console as it has many awesome game titles.

Although Microsoft did not published the main root cause of the problem, there are a lot of people taking their own risk of breaking the Xbox 360 console to find the root cause. By understanding the possible root causes, we can make the proper correction. Here are the summarized of the reasons as to why the Xbox 360 3 Red Lights happened:

1. Insufficient Air Circulation

Xbox 360 produces hot air when it is on. Therefore it is always recommended to place your console at an open air area to allow the proper airflow. So, if possible, try not to place your console in closed cabinet when you are using it.

2. Power Brick

If you observe the Xbox 360’s power brick, you will find a LED, which indicates the health of the power brick. If the power brick is overheated, the LED will change to red. It is worth getting the power brick on an open air area to allow the proper airflow. This is similar to the 1st root cause. Try to place the power brick at open air area which cannot be reached by children.

3. GPU   Soldering  Joints & The X-clamp

Many people claims that this is the main root cause of 3 red lights problem. When a gamer playing a Xbox 360 game for long hours, heat will slowly melting the GPU  soldering  joints. Due to the X-clamp design, it causes the GPU  soldering  joints becoming loose slowly and this is the time where the screen freeze happened intermittently. Eventually you will get the 3 red lights problem.

If you read the three root causes above carefully, you will notice that all these root cause are under a same category, which is “Overheated”. Therefore, if you are owning a new Xbox 360, which does not have the 3 red lights or any hardware problem, it is advisable to place your console at an open-air area or cool air-conditioned environment. You can also buy an additional external Xbox 360 cooling fan. The cooling fan does not cost much, but it will help to prolong your console’s lifespan. If possible, turn off your console for 30 minutes after playing game for about 1 hour.

How to Fix Your HDTV

Lag is where your HDTV screen takes time to cope with the commands of your wireless devices. This kind of problem usually occurs when using your gaming console. Lag is significant when using wireless gadgets, like; the controllers to your PS3 or XBOX360. Fix this by clicking the ‘Menu’ button and go to the ‘Game Mode’ of your HDTV and adjust it from there. Then try to play with your gaming console again and see whether the lag improves.

Picture Distortion

There are many types of picture distortion that is evident in HDTVs. Some of these common problems are the following:

Mosquito – This is when the picture is filled with dots or noise. The main problem here is not your HDTV but the broadcasting. But if you want to correct this problem, it will cost you a lot. You will need to buy an outboard digital noise processor, like the Algolith Mosquito HDMI.

Unnatural Colors – The tones and shades of colors in the picture is unrealistic. Fix this by choosing the ‘Standard’ or ‘Movie’ mode in your HDTV. Also try to adjust the contrast, brightness, color, etc. for better picture.

Pixilated Picture – This is when the picture is breaking into pixels and turning into these horizontal stripes that continuously goes up. This is caused by low level digital signals that your HDTV is receiving, that are constantly dropping in and out. Ask your cable provider to fix this problem or you can buy an inline amplifier/preamplifier to boost the signal strength.

There are also these types of picture distortion that is considered to be worse than those I’ve listed above. So, if your HDTV has these problems; Crawling Moss, Burnt Edges, etc. where the pictures are unrecognizable. Or the edges of the objects in the picture tend to burst into bright colors. These cases are severe and you need to return your HDTV to the manufacturer and get your money back or let them fix this.

Backlight Problem

If the backlight in your LCD HDTV is too bright it can affect the picture. Therefore to correct this problem, go and click the ‘Menu’ option, then ‘Picture’ then ‘Backlight’ and adjust it from there until you get the desired brightness.

Power Supply

If your newly bought HDTV doesn’t turn on or the power supply isn’t properly working then I suggest that you return it immediately and have the manufacturer figure this out. But if your HDTV is quite old and is already out of warranty, you can actually fix this problem and will save you a lot of money. Here’s how;

First; open the casing, this might be intimidating at first, but taking your TV apart is fairly easy to do. Just don’t forget to remember where the screws go, so you can put it back after you’re done.

Second; the main problem with power supply is the capacitor. Find the capacitors, they are usually ‘blue’ in color and are located at the right side.

Third; spot the bulging capacitor or capacitors and take that out with a soldering iron. Replace it with the same capacitor that you have taken out, but of course with a newer one, make sure they have the same serial number. And your HDTV would be as good as it was.

Having a professional mechanic to fix your damage HDTV can be very expensive and time consuming. You don’t need to be that skillful to fix certain problems; you can even see some tutorials on the internet on how to use a soldering iron if you don’t know how to use one. It’s as easy as this.

10 Uses For Your Impact Driver

Not positive if you will really use a cordless impact driver too much if you get one? Or maybe you have got one already but are not doing work too much with it. Check out these ten ways to use your tool and finish the job fast!

Build a deck

Work smarter not harder next time you build a deck – use a cordless impact driver. You will set the screws in no time, and regardless of the fastener type you won’t strip the heads.

Purchase one with a low weight li-ion battery pack and keep from getting fatigued!

Am I boring you?

There’s nothing like curing boredom than creating something round the house. Like wood chips. Or a hole. A huge hole. Bore some massive holes using some massive torque.

If you need to hog out some huge holes with that spade bit, and you are not close to an outlet for your regular drill, use an impact driver to blast through without killing your battery. Since the power isn’t provided just by the motor, even difficult jobs won’t kill a battery as quick as a regular drill.

Replace those tires

You will probably need a minimum of an 18 volt model; however if the mechanic who put on your wheels wasn’t too aggressive you most likely have enough torque to take off those lug nuts in no time.

If they’re too tight or rusted or otherwise stuck, use a breaker bar to knock em loose, then move over to your powered impact driver to make short work of the rest. Then grease everything up, and screw them right back on.

Another tip: for those of you without a regular floor jack, speed up the tiny scissors-jack that comes with the automobile and use the cordless impact driver rather than the tiny lug wrench.

Rock your socks off

Yes, you can put up wall board with an impact driver. In fact, the low weight and small size make it easy to wield and less tiring, too. Be careful not to become too carried away! Some impact drivers are too hard to regulate with a light press. If you think you would possibly have that issue simply grab a drywall screw adapter and go to town.

Pre-drilled holes

With a chuck-adapter or a set of hex-shafted drill bits, you’ll be able to transform your driver into a drill. Quickly drill out holes near the edges or ends of the workpiece. Although the powered driver has the strength to sink a screw without the assistance, this can prevent splitting and cracking.

Do not lag behind

Driving lag bolts is where these tools show off their strength. A cordless drill simply does not have the power to set long lags while not killing the batteries. You will still want to drill a pilot hole to prevent the wood from cracking, but luckily you already have the tool for that job, too…

Make certain you’ve got an impact-rated socket or you may break it and be looking for a new socket set before you know it.

What’s so screwy?

Driving screws, of course! This is why most people get an impact driver to begin with. Quick speed, high power, no cam out, easy to handle… should we continue? Of course, you will now have to worry about tearing the heads off of some of the weaker screws. It’s a small price to pay!

If you have ever attempted to put a 4″ polymer-coated exterior screw into pressure treated wood, over your head, with a drill, and barely got partially in before it started to strip… you understand what we are talking about.

This is illuminating

Many of the current cordless impact drivers sport a bright LED in the front. This allows you to work in the back of the cabinet beneath the sink easily.

Get one like the Makita with ‘Afterglow’ and you’ll be able to even see for 10 seconds after releasing the trigger switch – that ought to be long enough to get to that mini-fridge within the garage without anyone seeing!


We’ve already written a very little about lug nuts, however there are heaps of nuts out there. And they all need to be tightened. Or loosened.

Anyway, the point is that by using a nut-driver attachment, or with a socket adapter and socket set, you’ll be able to quickly finish any nut-wrenching jobs with minimal effort.

There’s a reverse mode, too!

So you have already engineered a deck, but now you’ve got to disassemble the old deck before you rebuild. There’s not much worse than 15 year old rusty looking screws that are buried in wood. You’ll be able to tell in a glance that they don’t want to turn. And you know from experience that a drill will end up stripping half of them, if you are lucky.

Conversely, impact drivers have the power to loosen them up while not stripping those heads – which you already knew if you were paying attention.

Start off simple if you’re dealing with old fasteners – an excessive amount of power, too quickly, and you will rip the top off while leaving the remainder of the screw buried within the decking. And then you’ve got another kind of problem.

How to Use Good Opening Lines to Break the Ice!

It is a universal truth and a widely-accepted fact that men cannot communicate well. Without generalizing it, this applies to many men. Let alone a full-fledged conversation, some men struggle through good pick lines! Nothing floors women than a man who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. The confidence and the resonance with which a man breaks the ice is very, very important in making a good first impression.

A tip to using good opening lines is not to consult the playboy in your group or you may as well forget about getting the cute girl in the little black dress. Women, as we know, like to communicate or in less glamorous words, they love to talk! Any man who can make them feel that he has zero issues expressing himself gets them going! Breaking a manly stereotype is just as much a turn on as is being macho.

Although these days, the conventional man-pursues-woman does not always apply, it still works like a charm. So what if women have taken the initiative to drop a few good opening lines, which does not mean you stop there. Be a man, get your woman! And please, stay away from trash-talk. If you are a self-discovered stand up comedian, you may want to practice with your friends to get their opinion. Or you will probably end up looking like a fool trying to get the girl to laugh at your joke – she’ll be laughing at you! If you want to break the ice with her by making her laugh, try these good opening lines recommended by those on the prowl:

  • “Hi, do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?”
  • “Hi. Darn! You must be the cause of global warming!”
  • “How much does a polar bear weigh? (I don’t know, how much?) Just enough to break the ice. Hi I am…”

These pickup lines are VERY cheesy and are meant to be funny. The difference between the guy who uses these with success and the guy that crashes and burns with these same lines is PLAYFUL CONFIDENCE. If you can laugh at yourself, and laugh at a situation, it will instantly place a girl’s mind at ease allowing you to begin to build rapport. By contrast, if you say these particular opening lines with a total seriousness, its very likely that she’ll think you’re A) the lamest person in the world… or B) a psychopath.

The best way to learn how to improve your approach is with good guidance and lots of practice so I strongly recommend that you visit my website.

Remember those advertisements wherein women ask for a “someone who can make me laugh”. See! Laughing leads to flirting, flirting leads to talking, and that leads to exchange of phone numbers. But don’t sweat if you didn’t get her number because if you made her laugh she will remember you. It is a positive feeling and who does not like to laugh. There is always a good chance that the next time you see this girl, she will come to you!

You can also deliver good opening lines by being simple and straightforward. If you are not too sure about how the girl will respond to your sense of humor, play safe:

  • “Hi. Is this seat taken? (No) Glad I took this seat! I’m…”
  • “Hi. I see you have the same drink as mine. That gives us something to talk about over dinner, say Friday at 8?”
  • “Hi. Wow! In a long, long time someone has actually made me stop and look at them again”

Remember, by using good opening lines you are not trying to take the woman home, you are trying to make a good first impression and trying to come across as an interesting person who the girls will be talking about for days after having met you.

Golf Course Ratings

The Golf Course Gold Standards for Women Golfers

Here we have Golf Magazine’s Top Ten Golf Courses to Watch. It is important to note, however, that out of the 100-judge panel, Golf Magazine only saw fit to invite four women golfers (yes, only four) to participate. Upon this discovery, we thought that their results might be a tad bit skewed, so we have taken it upon ourselves to give you the skinny on whether these courses are under par on our Golf Course Gold Standards for Women Golfers Rating Scale. The following are the five categories against which these golf courses were held as they relate to women golfers:

  • The Beginning Golf Experience
  • Game Options
  • The Pro Shop
  • Forward Tees
  • Equal Accessibility of the Course

Erin Hills Golf Course

4½ Star Golf Course

Located in Erin, Wisconsin, this golf course was designed by Michael Hurdzan, Dana Fry and Ron Whitten. With its spectacular farmland backdrop and four-tee hole layouts, Erin Hills was awarded the 2008 Women’s Amateur Public Links before the golf course was completely built. This is a very good sign.

Sunday River Golf Course

4¾ Star Golf Course

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., this Newry, Maine golf course offers multiple game options, a four-tee hole layout, an impressive practice facility and a wide range of instructional choices for beginner women golfers.

Marquette Golf Club

5 Star Golf Course

Marquette boasts two separate golf courses – the Heritage and Greywalls, from designer Mike DeVries. Greywalls has our optimum 5-tee layout as well as a fantastic pro shop that offers high quality apparel and equipment for both men and women golfers.

Red Tail Golf Club

4¾ Star Golf Course

Located in Devens, Massachusetts, the Red Tail Golf Club offers a four-tee hole layout, extensive beginner instruction and practice facilities for women golfers, not to mention the fact that this golf course has been awarded the 2009 Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship. Another very good sign.

The Tribute Golf Club

4 ½ Star Golf Course

The Tribute Golf Club in The Colony, Texas is exactly that. All 18 holes are designed after British golf courses such as St. Andrews, Muirfield, Turnberry and Carnoustie. However, there is a four-tee layout at every hole as well as an extremely well-equipped pro shop which is much better for women golfers than some of the Tribute’s inspirations.

Coral Canyon Golf Course

5 Star Golf Course

Designer Keith Foster hit a hole in one with this beautiful, five-tee layout golf course. In addition to numerous game options and an extensive collection of apparel for women golfers, Coral Canyon Golf Course has one of the most personalized golf instruction opportunities available.

Circling Raven Golf Club

5 Star Golf Course

If a five-tee hole layout, detailed and individualized instruction and five onsite restaurants are not enough, this Idaho golf course is adjacent to the Coeur D’Alene Casino. Talk about a hole in one!

Apache Stronghold Golf Club

4¾ Star Golf Course

Designed by Tom Doak, this San Carlos, Arizona is just an hour away from Phoenix and certainly well worth the trip! With its onsite golf school that offers every imaginable kind of golf instruction and its four-tee hole layout, Apache Stronghold is a desert oasis for women golfers.

Farm Neck Golf Club

3 ½ Star Golf Course

This Geoffrey S. Cornish designed golf course in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts has a driving range, individual and group lessons available and four sets of tees. However, Farm Neck is known for its difficult bunkers and massive pond that follows the golfer for nine holes. This might not be a good golf course for women golfers.

Atlantic City Country Club

3 Star Golf Course

We’re not terribly impressed with Harrah’s golf course. With only three tees at each hole, the Atlantic City Country Club is quite proud of its century of history. Unfortunately, that history precedes the whole men-and-women-are-equal thing. Women golfers may want to get married here for the beautiful surroundings and the fabulous catering, but we’re quite sure this is not a women-friendly golf course.

Gold Standards for Women Golfers!

Coleman Flashlights 101

What is the one thing that an outfitter can never leave their house without? A pocket knife? A complete set of tools perhaps? Although a few people might consider the two items that were just mentioned, a good number will have one thing in mind, a flashlight.

How important is a flashlight anyway? Apart from providing an immediate source of light in a campsite, it is a convenient tool that should always be kept handy. Flashlights in all shapes and sizes are available everywhere. We can find them in hardwares, groceries and even in department stores. There is a reason why they are so visible. It is because flashlights are not only for campers, dads, housekeepers and moms, they are also made for kids, just like they are made for executives, workers, nurses and everybody in almost any profession.

Coleman has produced flashlights for camping since time immemorial. In its entire 50 years of existence, the company may have made a flashlight conceivable for every trip, purpose or occasion. Thus brings us to Coleman Flashlights 101.

First of, did you know that a flashlight derived its name because the prototypes of this handy electrical lamp cannot produce a steady light until the late 1800’s to early 1900’s? Today, the more advanced versions of the primitive hand held lamp proved to be a vital addition to every American household.

This brings us back to our main topic, what exactly can a flashlight do? How important is it to us?

Flashlights for camping are specifically designed for immediate   illumination  of a camping site. Then again, it is wrong to think that they are made for that sole purpose. For example, Coleman flashlights can be a help to somebody whose car just broke down in the middle of the night. It can be a perfect scuba diving companion. It can be a guide for our little boys and girls who loves to explore the nature a jogging companion for those who love to jog at night and a handy tool to help us search for the earring that we may have dropped. It uses are countless!

So how exactly do you find that one Coleman flashlight that is perfect for you? Simple, determine what you are going to use it for. If you are up for night jogging, something small that can be tied around your neck will be practical. Picking one with a radio may also be wise. Although these things are generally cheap, we do not want to end up buying the biggest and the most expensive one in the display. Know exactly what you need and base your decision from there. After all, a Coleman flashlight is not our basic cylinder with two batteries and a small light bulb anymore. It can have a radio, a clock, a thermometer, a Morse code button and at some, a compass for ease of navigation. It’s design and make can also vary. From aluminum to colorful plastic, from LED lights to wide beams, from smaller sized key fobs to the bigger barrels and from battery powered flashlights to dynamos, Coleman has them all. Coleman flashlights can be your “light” amidst the “dark”.

Why Test Emergency Lighting?

The reason for testing emergency lighting is to ensure that they remain fully functional (for a specified duration) during a mains electrical failure and that all lighting and exit signs are up to date with current legislation and are adequate for the purpose intended, to allow staff and others to vacate the premises safely.

BS5266 recommends that emergency lighting systems be regularly serviced by a ‘competent’ person, who has the necessary knowledge, skills and training to undertake the correct servicing procedures.

By Implementing a system of periodic inspection and testing, this will ensure that emergency lighting systems remain reliable at all times and that in the event of an emergency or power failure, the emergency lighting operates, correctly, and remains effective for a certain period of time, depending on the lighting type.

Routine Testing should be carried out:

• Daily – visual check to ensure that emergency systems are operating correctly and that indicators are working. This should be carried out by the ‘responsible person’ delegated to the task by the organisation/business. Any faults should be logged and corrected asap in the emergeny lighting log book.

• Monthly – Check all luminaires for signs of damage or disrepair. Briefly test all emergency luminaires to ensure that they operate in the event of mains electricity supply failure. This will usually be carried out by the ‘responsible person’. Any faults should be logged and corrected asap.

• Annually – A full system inspection and duration test of the emergency lights should be performed by a ‘competent person’, this being a person with the necessary skills, training and knowledge to perform the correct maintenance and servicing.This will involve cutting the power to the emergency system and monitoring the light levels etc, to ensure that they function correctly. Compliance with BS5266 should be considered and produced in the certification report. Any faults should be rectified.

Emergency lighting is required generally when:

• Emergency luminaires are required where artificial lighting is installed

• On escape routes

• Open areas greater than 60 square metres

• Areas of special risk

• Near to stairs and adequate to shine direct light on all treads

• At any change of direction

• At any changes in floor level

• Near to corridors and intersections

• Near to fire fighting equipment

• Near to first aid points

• Outside each final exit point