The Future of Online Shopping

Online sales will continue to rise. Every webpage designed to sell a product or market a service should understand the future of online shopping.

There are several major variables that make online sales attractive to the worldwide market. These variables include:

1) Value of Products/Services offered

2) Dependability and Reputation of the Seller

3) Ease and Security of payment

4) Ease and Security of shipping.

Younger and wealthier shoppers are driving a wave of online sales. Many of these people – having some web familiarity and disposable income – have learned to shop online for price comparisons and other comparative data. If shoppers find a superior situation, especially regarding the above 4 crucial variables they will usually become online buyers.

Online buyers establish shopping habits. They abandon bricks and mortar stores and malls as value, dependability, security and convenience of online buying improves.

Although the online buyer cannot return an item as quickly in some situations as the buyer who can walk in and out of a Wal-Mart or Sears when the parking lot isn’t crowded or there is no line at the returns

desk, there are many other reasons to buy online.

Sellers of low-mass products – small books, DVDs, lightweight clothing have a marked edge in sales because shipping is relatively low in cost. The seller of these items doesn’t need to pay the overhead of a store, staff, parking lot, utilities, etc. They pay only storage and shipping which is becoming increasingly automated.

Although people are rightfully afraid of bankcard fraud, I believe all card services will continue to improve security and improve buyer dispute processes.

Fraudulent emails sent to credit card holders (and all business accounts for that matter) will continue to be a big problem. As both merchants and shoppers become aware of these fraudulent practices it will be more difficult to exploit people with business accounts at PayPal or Amazon.

There is a probability, partly because of the price of fuel, that delivery services will consolidate to some extent in the future so that you will receive one or two regular deliveries per day of all goods you have purchased – including groceries – along with mail and newspaper, etc.

Each person may also have a receiving station service in the future whereby the shopper picks up everything from one large, secured lockbox. If a delivery is very large or has accumulated over days, a key would be left with directions to a nearby, larger overflow box. Security, insurance, and energy costs would all be cut by these changes.

Grocers have experimented with many forms of advertising, delivery, billing and credit. All of these ideas are improved with online transactions. Shopping from several grocery chains will be easier when you get free delivery and easy to find price comparisons. You will even be able to subscribe to discount announcements of various products.

Online education – especially college level offerings – has been slow to respond to the potential sale of services by internet. Online degrees will become more common, less expensive, and more legitimized with standardized and secured testing procedures of students. The knowledge areas in the cognitive domain can be done completely by internet. Educational offerings in the behavioral and affective domains will be greatly augmented by online offerings and testing as well.

Larger purchases will also be more prevalent on the internet, especially for mass produced items like automobiles. You can test-drive several models locally, then cruise websites regionally for price, color, accessories, delivery costs, taxes or other charges. This is already being done, but with advances in registration and licensing as well as online financing and insurance – you may spend 25 minutes on a website and be legally driving your new car in the time it takes to meet the delivery-person curbside.

Internet download of tickets and coupons is becoming widespread, and this will continue. Insurance policies and other documents can be downloaded as well.

Internet social life is here – even simplifying the dating and matching processes. This computerized internet socializing saves time and money. While it may lack some of the intangibles, it also allows a more fully objectified set of tangibles, as well as leaving time for the intangibles that happen after screening.

The internet will also become easier to use: fewer viruses, popups, host and server problems. This adds up to faster, easier, safer and less expensive shopping.

Cisco Gigabit Switch: Amplified Speed for Networks

One of the most common problems network managers face is a slowed system response time. This is caused by one or more system components taking up too much bandwidth over the domain. It can also be a symptom caused by improper utilization of system resources. Either problem results in a bottleneck which can slow down the entire network causing additional problems. Many businesses are beginning to use gigabit technology as a way to resolve this common complication. Increased speed and performance provided by component manufacturers such as Cisco can eliminate most of these network issues.

The Cisco gigabit  switch , like other gigabit devices, is faster than the more traditional  switches  which have been used for years by businesses. Higher bandwidth reduces multiple performance issues. Speed is doubled due to the increased capacity of the component.  Switches  and server adaptors may be used to better aggregate bandwidth. Equipment includes Quality of Service elements which can be utilized to increase efficiency. Speed is a key factor in how quickly network resources are made available to users as well as how proficient applications run. Devices with increased bandwidth allow for more connections and applications to be active simultaneously.

Low cost of ownership, increased compatibility with devices, and the ability to transfer data over the network faster are also direct benefits of this type of  switch . Gigabit devices enhance file sharing, application convergence, and make work environments more collaborative. Multi-tasking is also more efficient because it can be accomplished while many high bandwidth applications are in use. Gigabit  switches  have many benefits to offer both companies who are experiencing growth and those businesses who have advanced past the typical small system setup. Technologies are constantly evolving to require higher bandwidth support. Take some time to research these components when updating or creating a new network solution to prevent greater costs as needs change.

Cisco  Switches : Avoid Later Upgrade Expenses by Planning Ahead

The deployment of applications which require more bandwidth and devices with elevated power requirements is ever-increasing. System advancements will naturally call for more reliable and speedier network connections. Cisco  switches  are known for their great performance. These components offer dependability, scalability, and can adapt to the future needs of a business. These qualities are important to a business because they increase the value of the entire system. They may be integrated into a current system to improve efficiency or as a way to become prepared for potential growth changes. Easy to upgrade devices provide more flexibility when expansion is necessary.

A Cisco gigabit  switch  or other component may be needed for any company currently experiencing growth. It can also help in evading the future workload of selecting a device with more speed and capabilities. Before selecting equipment for current requirements of a business system, it is recommended to evaluate the development direction of the network. A higher speed component could meet system requirements for many years. This could prevent the typical complications experienced when more powerful equipment is needed. Cisco  switches  can meet the expansion needs of businesses and are worth consideration when wanting to make improvements.

Child Maltreatment – Effects on Brain Development and Behavior

Effects on child development, brain development, psychopathology, and interpersonal relationships

Neglect, physical abuse, and sexual abuse (broadly termed, child maltreatment) have profound and long-term effects on a child’s development. The long-term effects of chronic early maltreatment within a care-giving relationship (also called Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) of a child can be seen in higher rates of psychiatric disorders, increased rates of substance abuse, and a variety of severe relationship difficulties. Child maltreatment is an inter-generational problem. Most frequently the perpetrators of abuse and neglect are profoundly damaged people who have been abused and neglected themselves.

There are clear links between neglect and abuse and later psychological, emotional, behavioral, and interpersonal disorders. The basis for this linkage is the impact that abuse and neglect have on brain development. Daniel Siegel, medical director of the Infant and Preschool Service at the University of California, L.A., has found important links between interpersonal experiences and neurobiological development.

We know that a child uses the parent’s state of mind to regulate the child’s own mental processes. It is through a sensitive, responsive, and caring relationship with a primary care-giver that a child develops self-regulation abilities, emotional control, behavioral regulation, and such cognitive abilities as cause-effect thinking, among others. The child’s developing capacity to regulate emotions and develop a coherent sense of self requires sensitive and responsive parenting. The National Adoption Center found that 52% of adoptable children have attachment disorder symptoms. In another study, by Cicchetti, & Barnett , 80% of abused or maltreated infants exhibited attachment disorder symptoms. The best predictor of a child’s attachment classification is the state of mind with respect to attachment of the birth mother. A birth mother’s attachment classification before the birth of her child can predict with 80% accuracy her child’s attachment classification at six years of age. That is a remarkable finding. Finally, recent research by Mary Dozier, Ph.D. found that the attachment classification of a foster mother has a profound effect on the attachment classification of the child. She found that the child’s attachment classification becomes similar to that of the foster mother after three months in placement. These findings strongly argue for a non-genetic mechanism for the transmission of attachment patterns across generations.

Children who have been sexually abused are at significant risk of developing anxiety disorders (2.0 times the average), major depressive disorders (3.4 times average), alcohol abuse (2.5 times average), drug abuse (3.8 times average), and antisocial behavior (4.3 times average) .

Generally the left hemisphere of the brain is the site of language, motor activity on the right side of the body, and logical thought based on language. The right hemisphere of the brain is responsible for motor activity on the left side of the body, context perceptions, face recognition, interpersonal and emotional processing, and holistic perception. The orbito-frontal cortex (the part of the brain directly behind the eyes) is responsible for integrating emotional responses generated in the limbic system with higher cognitive functions, such as planning and language, in the cerebral cortex’s prefrontal lobes. The left orbito-frontal cortex is responsible for memory creation while the right orbito-frontal cortex is responsible for memory retrieval. Healthy functioning requires an integrated right and left hemisphere. A substantial number of synaptic connections among brain cells develop during the first year of life into the middle of the second year of life. An integrated brain requires connections between the hemispheres by the corpus callosum. Abused and neglected children have smaller corpus callosum than non-abused children. Abused and neglected children have poorly integrated cerebral hemispheres. This poor integration of hemispheres and underdevelopment of the orbitofrontal cortex is the basis for such symptoms as difficulty regulating emotion, lack of cause-effect thinking, inability to accurately recognize emotions in others, inability of the child to articulate the child’s own emotions, an incoherent sense of self and autobiographical history, and a lack of conscience.

The brains of maltreated children are not as well integrated as the brains of non-abused children. This helps explain why maltreated children have significant difficulties with emotional regulation, integrated functioning, and social development. Conscience development and the capacity for empathy are largely functions of the orbito-frontal cortex. When development in this area of the brain is hindered, there are important social and emotional difficulties. It is very interesting that the orbito-frontal cortex is sensitive to face recognition and eye contact. Maltreated children frequently have disorders of attachment because of their birth-parents lack of sensitive responsive interactions with the child.

Early interpersonal experiences have a profound impact on the brain because the brain circuits responsible for social perception are the same as those that integrate such functions as the creation of meaning, the regulation of body states, the regulation of emotion, the organization of memory, and the capacity for interpersonal communication and empathy. Stressful experiences that are overtly traumatizing or chronic cause chronic elevated levels of neuroendocrine hormones. High levels of these hormones can cause permanent damage to the hippocampus, which is critical for memory. Based on this we can assume that psychological trauma can impair a person’s ability to create and retain memory and impede trauma resolution.

Abused and neglected children exhibit a variety of behaviors that can lead to any number of diagnoses. However, the effect of early abuse and neglect on the child can be seen in several critical areas of development. These areas include emotional regulation, behavioral regulation, attachment, biology, response flexibility, a coherent integrated sense of self across time, the ability to engage in affect attunement with significant others (empathy and emotional connectedness), self-concept, cognitive abilities and learning, and conscience development.

The effects of early maltreatment on a child’s development are profound and long lasting. It is the impact of maltreatment on a child’s developing brain that causes effects seen in a wide variety of domains including social, psychological, and cognitive development. The ability to regulate emotions and become emotionally attuned with another depends on early experiences and the development of specific regions of the brain. Early maltreatment causes deficits in the development of these brain regions, primarily the orbito-frontal cortex and corpus callosum, because of the toxic effects of stress hormones on the developing brain.

These findings strongly suggest that effective treatment requires a sensitive affectively attuned relationship. Siegel stated, “As parents reflect with their securely attached children on the mental states that create their shared subjective experience, they are joining with them in an important co-constructive process of understanding how the mind functions. The inherent feature of secure attachment – contingent, collaborative communication – is also a fundamental component in how interpersonal relationships facilitate internal integration in a child.” This has implications for the effective treatment of maltreated children. For example, when in a therapeutic relationship the client is able to reflect upon aspects of traumatic memories and experience the affect associated with those memories without becoming dysregulated, the client develops an expanded capacity to tolerate increasing amounts of affect. The client learns to self-regulate. The attuned resonant relationship between client and therapist enables the client to make sense (a left-hemisphere function) out of memories, autobiographical representations, and affect (right hemisphere functions).

Arthur Becker-Weidman, Ph.D.

Center For Family Development

5820 Main Street, suite 406

Williamsville, NY 14221

716-810-0790

Brevard County Florida Real Estate

According to CNN news, two-thirds of Americans ages 25 through 34 are deciding first where they want to live, and then looking for employment in that place. This practice is in direct contrast to the previous generation’s custom of finding a job and then settling wherever was necessary for that job, even if it was less than ideal. Young Americans today seem to care more about quality of life issues, and with so many advances in technology many employees have the flexibility of choosing where they want to live. If you are one of these people, consider Brevard County Florida. Real Estate in the county makes these communities an attractive choice for anyone looking for a great place to settle.

More than seventy-two miles in length, with a   frontage  to the Atlantic Ocean for its entire length, this idealistic county is conveniently located only 35 miles from Orlando. The county includes the communities of Melbourne, Merritt Island, Melbourne Beach, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral, Suntree, Viera, Patrick Air Force base, and some smaller communities, all of which form Brevard County Florida. Real Estate in this area makes Brevard County Florida an even more idyllic community to live. Unbelievably, Brevard County Florida boasts some of the most affordable harbour properties in Florida.

Waterfront condominiums are a growing craze, with a huge selection of high-rises and condominiums available. Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral are popular locations for settling into luxurious ocean view condominiums. Waterside properties offer stunning beachfront views, private beach side patios, and some include private fenced in pools. Whether you want to settle into a condominium for your home, a second vacation home or a rental property, Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral offer inviting and luxurious sea front properties.

Brevard County Florida real estate also features a range of appealing oceanfront townhouses. With the hopes of attracting investors, renters, and homeowners, many professional renovators in the area have refurbished and revamped a number of lavish town homes. Most of these seaside town homes can be found in Melbourne Beach and Cape Canaveral. Many of the homeowners in this area relish the peaceful atmosphere of living on the water, and private entrances to the beach are just one of the many perks these town homes offer homeowners.

There are so many things to do in Brevard County Florida, between the gorgeous beach fronts to relaxing activities like fishing, with some of the best redfish fishing in the world, you can find it all here. Visit the world famous Ron Jons surf shop in Cocoa beach, it spans over 52,000 square feet. It’s a multi-level store, which features its own waterfall, glass elevator, bands, school trips and surf stars dropping in to sign autographs. Explorers will enjoy a trip to NASAs Kennedy Space Center to watch a space shuttle launch or participate in some interesting classes they offer. Whether you are looking for a great place to put down roots, or a great place to buy a vacation property, Brevard County Florida Real Estate offers some of the best and most reasonable waterfront properties in America.

The Library of Hadrian

On the left of Odos Aeolou, at a short distance from the Roman Agora, stands a stretch of wall supported by buttresses. This is part of the east section of the massive walls that formerly enclosed the Stoa and Library of Hadrian, which occupied a vast rectangle measuring 122 m. in length by 82 m. in breadth.

For many years the ruins of these buildings were hidden beneath the sprawling mass of a huge ramshackle bazaar that covered the whole area. It was not until 1885, when a great fire cleansed the area of this agglomeration that the Archaeological Society was able to undertake a partial excavation of the site and to identify the ruins as those of the Stoa and Library of Hadrian.

A large peristyle, consisting of a hundred columns forming four porticoes occupied the central area of the courtyard. On each of the north and south sides of the enclosure were three exedrae (only the central one on the north remains); those in the middle, rectangular, the others near the ends, semi-circular. According to Pausanias’ description of its hundred splendid columns of Phrygian marble (of which nothing remains), its gilded cornices and statues of alabaster, the Library of Hadrian was a sumptuous construction.

In the middle of the peristyle there was originally an ornamental pool rounded at both ends and surrounded by a garden. Later this pool was filled-in and a large square building erected on its eastern half. About the end of the fifth or the beginning of the sixth century a basilica was erected in the interior of the building. This basilica continued in use until late in the eleventh century when it was demolished and replaced by a domed cruciform church consecrated to the Great Panaghia, which survived until the fire of 1885.

The Library proper was built on the east side of the Stoa and was divided into a series of rooms on two storeys. A tetrastyle portico gave access to the large central hall. This was the reading room, round which ran a podium nearly the height of a man. Traces of a large central niche and a double row of four smaller niches on either side, in which the papyrus rolls were kept – a similar arrangement to that found in the Library of Pergamon – can be seen in the east wall of the enclosure. On both sides of the central hall was a vestibule furnished with benches; these vestibules led to two large rooms which were probably used for the custody of archives, as in the contemporary Library of Alexandria. Statues representing personages from the Iliad and the Odyssey, which adorned the reading room, were found during the excavations.

To reach the west facade we re-enter Odos Aeolou, then take the first turning to the left into Odos Pandrosou. This narrow street, which is lined exclusively with small shops displaying a large variety of souvenirs, is in fact a relic of the old Turkish bazaar and was one of the few parts to escape destruction in the conflagration of 1885.

At the end of this street we turn left into Odos Areos. Here are the ruins of the principal facade of the Library. At the center was the entrance, a propylon which consisted of four fluted Corinthian columns standing forward of two antae, approached by six steps. The entrance was flanked on either side by seven unfluted columns with Corinthian capitals and consoles of Pentelic marble. Of this majestic facade nothing remains save vestiges of that part which stood left of the entrance: a portion of the wall, one column and one anta of the propylon, and seven of the fourteen unfluted columns that framed it.

High Ho Silver

Second only to gold as a precious metal, silver has always been cherished. Shimmering and chic, silver is always an elegant addition to any home. Sterling, Sheffield Plate, silverplate, German Silver, hallmarks – there’s lots to take in. Here’s what you should know.

Sterling Silver

Sterling is the highest quality of silver. Pure silver is too soft for practical use so it has to be mixed – alloyed – with another metal. Sterling silver is 925 parts silver to 75 parts copper for every 1,000 parts. Since it is easy to melt down silver to convert it to coin, a system to test – assay – silver and mark it was implemented. This system is called hallmarking and the English system is the oldest. Hallmarking is a series of symbols and letters that indicates the place of origin, year that an item was made and maker. Most European countries follow hallmark procedures similar to the English system. It was developed to ensure consumers were getting what they paid for. U.S. sterling is stamped “Sterling.”

There are a great many hallmarks and very few people are able to know who made any item simply by looking at a hallmark. Even silver connoisseurs consult their hallmark guides to identify hallmarks. After a 1975 treaty, a new sterling standard was adopted to indicate sterling with the stamp “.925.” It was implemented to eliminate confusion across languages.

Sheffield Plate

Sheffield Plate named after the town of Sheffield, England is less costly than sterling. Sheffield Plate was made by placing copper in between silver and rolling it into thin sheets and fashioned into silverware. In the mid-1880s, electroplating – an even more cost-effective procedure – replaced Sheffield Plate as the low-cost alternative to sterling.

Silverplate

Electroplating is a process whereby a less valuable base metal (copper, nickel) is plated with silver. It’s indicated by “EPNS” – Electroplate on Nickel Silver, “EPC” – Electroplate on Copper, or, you’ll see an item marked “silverplate.”

German and Nickel Silver

Neither is silver, but rather they are a mix of nickel, copper and zinc. The terms nickel and German silver are used interchangeably and will be marked G. Silver or German Silver.

Spotting Fakes

Any candlestick can be used to cast a mould to make an exact replica – hallmarks and all. But seeing two candlesticks that are exactly alike can be the tip off to a fake. Real hallmarks are applied individually, by hand, and it’s impossible to put them on the exact same spot on two pieces. So, be suspicious when a pair of candlesticks has hallmarks in the exact same place.

Forged hallmarks are applied to new pieces so that they can be passed off as antique or to silverplate so that it can be passed off as sterling. Forged marks often have soft outlines.

Watch for transposed hallmarks – when a hallmark from a smaller sterling item is cut out and placed on something that is not sterling. This real hallmark is   soldered  onto the new item. A trick to check for this is to breathe on the piece. Since silver is generally colder than breath, the condensation will reveal the demarcation line of the  soldering . Transposing marks was done in the 18th and 19th centuries to avoid paying taxes.

Prices

The value is determined by the age, rarity and quality.

Buying Tips

  • Look for hallmarks, stamps of “sterling” or “.925.” If it doesn’t have these marks, it’s not sterling. And, it matters because sterling is worth about twice as much as other types of silver.
  • Remember items stamped “.925” were most likely manufactured after 1975.
  • Get a book on silver hallmarks and don’t be shy to pull it out and use it when you’re shopping for silver. A good one to use is Miller’s Silver & Sheffield Plate Marks.
  • Don’t let anyone try to convince you that EPNS or G. Silver is sterling.

How to Repair Your LCD Monitor

Instead of throwing away your broken LCD monitor, you’ve decided to fix it. What do you have too loose by attempting the repair yourself? It’s already heading for the trash can or the e-waste center. By repairing it you will probably save from $100 to $200 or more!

If you have done any reading at all on the web, you have already discovered that bad capacitors account for a large percentage of all LCD monitor failures.

If your monitor flickers when you start it up, the screen is dim, has strange lines on it, clicks, etc., then you are in the right place!

The repair does not require any special knowledge or skill. About the only tools you will need are a putty knife, a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and a Radio Shack soldering iron. We provide the solder!

Without getting into too much technical jargon, there are two main components inside your monitor, the power board which powers the inverter (lights) and video, and the video board.

The power supply circuit board must be removed before you can replace the capacitors. You must open your monitor and examine the capacitors on the power supply board. Each monitor will have a power supply circuit board. Each monitor model will have a slightly different board. They all look about the same. Some have more capacitors, some have less. Most all LCD monitors have a large 400v capacitor. These rarely go bad, therefore they are NOT included in our repair kits.

We have a video at www.youtube.com/watch that shows you how to disassemble a Viewsonic monitor, and install new capacitors.

We have a tutorial that shows how to completely disassemble a Samsung 204T LCD Monitor. It’s a step by step guide, which also includes a “how to solder” video. Although this tutorial is for a Samsung 204T LCD monitor, the information found here can be applied to almost any monitor. Between the YouTube video on the Viewsonic monitor and the tutorial located at www.fixyourmonitor.com you should have no problem installing new capacitors in your LCD monitor.

Should you have any questions regarding repairing your monitor, feel free to send us an email. Our email address can be found on either our YouTube video or in our tutorial.

Good Luck!

How to Change Your Car’s Motor Oil

First, let’s answer the question; Why should you change your own oil? Because you can save time and money. You don’t have to wait in line at the service garage or quick oil change shop. For ten bucks you can get the best oil and a brand new oil filter. And, it’s so easy to do that you could train a monkey to do it.

Changing your cars motor oil is a very simple three-step process: 1. Drain the old oil. 2. Replace the oil filter. 3. Add the new oil. But before we go through the steps, lets answer a few basic questions.

When should I change my oil?

Look in your cars owners manual. Most auto manufacturers recommend changing the motor oil every 6,000 miles for normal service, or every 3,000 miles for severe service. I change my oil every 6,000 miles, and my engines run like new when I trade my vehicles in with well over 100,000 miles on them. One thing that I do is change a new cars oil after the first 300 mile break-in period. Then, after that, I change the oil every 6,000 miles.

What kind of oil should I use?

You are not going to save money by using an off-brand oil because your engine will wear out sooner. Use oil that meets the American Pertroleum Institute (API) classification SL. I use Valvoline, Quaker State, Pennzoil, or Havoline brand oil. These quality oils contain additives that make them work better and longer.

If you are changing your oil just before winter, use SAE 10W30 weight oil. This number means the oil will have a thin 10 weight viscosity when the engine is cold, helping the engine to start easier, and then the oil will thicken to 30 weight viscosity when the engine warms up, protecting the engine better. If you are changing oil just before summer, use SAE 10W40 weight oil. The extra 40 weight viscosity will protect your engine better when it’s hot.

What’s the First Step?

First let your engine cool off. Modern engines run at close to 300 degrees (F) and hot oil will definitely give you a severe burn. You shouldn’t have to jack your car up unless you have some kind of ground hugging sports car or low rider. Almost all cars have enough space underneath to reach under and change the engine oil.

Step 1: Drain the old oil.

Locate the oil drain plug and place a pan under it to catch the oil. With a box wrench, remove the oil plug.

Note for newbies: To remove the drain plug, turn it counter-clockwise.

– If you have a GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine you may have a difficult time locating the drain plug on all that aluminum.

When the oil stops draining, reinstall the drain plug.

Note for newbies: To replace the drain plug turn it clockwise. Start the plug with your fingers. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads.

Step 2. Replace the oil filter.

Move your oil catch pan under the oil filter. Using an oil filter wrench to get it started, remove the oil filter. (newbies: counter-clockwise, and you will get some oil on your hand.)

– A strap type oil filter wrench is the best kind to use. A   socket  type oil filter tool is used with a ratchet just like a regular  socket . The problem with the  socket  type is that it tends to get stuck on the filter. Use the  socket  type tool if you don’t have enough clearance around the oil filter to use the strap type.

With your finger put a thin coat of oil on the new filter’s gasket to make it seal better.

*! Now pay attention – here’s were you can screw up royal!

With your hand, install the new oil filter. If it seems even slightly hard to turn, back it out! You are crossing the threads. Most filters have an instruction printed on them to give the filter one more turn after the gasket has made contact.

Here’s what I recommend: screw the filter on until its “hand tight”. Then use the oil filter wrench to snug it up another 1/8 to 1/4 turn. This is critical!

When the vehicle is running, the oil pump puts the oil under pressure. If you don’t install the oil filter tight enough, the oil will come gushing out. If that happens shut down the engine immediately! Without oil, an engine will lock up within seconds.

The first time I changed my oil, I used the filter wrench to tighten the filter as tight as I could get it. Wrong! The next time I went to change my oil, I couldn’t get the filter off. Luckily I had plenty of room around the filer, so I hammered a screw driver through the body of the filter and used the handle of the screw driver to turn the filter off.

Warning! Don’t over-tighten the filter. Follow the instructions above carefully!

– The GM dual-overhead-cam EcoTec engine has an unusual oil filter located on top of the engine. Remove the engine air intake hose. That’s the oil filter canister just to the right of, and below, the end of the open air intake tube. Use a proper size wrench to remove the canister lid. This engine uses a special filter cartridge.

Step 3. Add the new oil.

Locate the oil filler cap on the valve cover. I’ve seen newbies pour motor oil in everything from the master brake cylinder to the radiator cap. Make sure you have located the the oil filler cap. Remove the oil filler cap.

When pouring the oil, you would be wise to use a funnel between the oil can and the valve cover oil filler hole.

How much oil should you add? Look in your cars owner manual. Most engines have a capacity of four or five quarts. Don’t overfill the crank case. When you run the engine the extra oil will be blown out through the PCV value, possibly stalling your engine.

Tip: If you don’t know the oil capacity of the engine, add four quarts, then check the oil level, if it’s a quart low add another quart.

Replace the oil filler cap.

Step 4. Start the Engine.

Yes, I know, I said there where only three steps. You’re finished, this is not really a “step”.

Start the engine and make sure the oil warning light goes off. Look under the vehicle to make sure oil is not leaking out. Turn off the engine and let it set for a minute to let the oil drain down to the crank case. Then use the dip stick to check the oil level.

How to check the oil level: Remove the dip stick, wipe it clean with a rag, reinstall the dip stick. Make sure the dip stick is in all the way or you will get a false reading. After a few seconds remove the dip stick and examine how far up the stick is covered with oil. Most dip sticks have a “full” mark printed on them.

Note: I find the best way to dispose of the old oil is to use a funnel to pore it from the collection pan into the bottles from which the new oil came. When I get a big pile of used oil bottles I bring them to the oil recycling center. Be sure to mark the used oil bottles so you don’t accidentally think they are new oil.

Copyright(C)2004 Bucaro TecHelp.

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Opening Yourself Up to the Real World

Kaput, broken or useless, is the current slang summer backpackers to Europe use these days. Do not dread the day your daughter runs off to Europe with just a backpack. Have confidence in the backpacker travel insurance.

In the US, this insurance policy is more widespread. A usual scene in European cities is girls who are on their backpacking trip. Those who frequently see these girls around are those also on their backpacking trips or the Italian and Spanish men.

Making a few changes with the backpack is what has been going on in Europe for more than a few years. Since there are many backpackers it is hard to get an exact amount of how many pass by each time. With regards to last year, the number of people, who visited Europe this summer, from the younger generation has increased Verifying how many people carrying their backpacks flock to this city is like making a hunch as to where they are heading. There was a 100 percent raise this year in backpacks sold to people heading for Europe says one major East Coast outlet.

It does not matter what summer’s youth is talking with them as they travel Europe, their only objective is to slow down and take it easy. Let’s pretend your tent took in water in Copenhagen and now your sleeping bag is now sopping wet. Well, just fold it up and let water drip out on your way to Amsterdam.

Specified in a best selling American guidebook, is this attitude of being relaxed. That book talks about the affairs on hitchhiking in each country and offers hints to people like tearing the pages of the book. For backpackers the significant things are the only ones packed since carrying lesser weight it ideal and pages can get kind of heavy.

Relieving their backpacks of 14 pounds of clothes was a Canadian couple who had to send them all back home. Just like other Canadians, they are not without their national flag attached on their bags. It is not acceptable for them to be seen as Americans. Despite having what seem to be American flags irregularly show up, most Americans do not embellish their packs with them.

If the youth of America try to douse nationalism, reminders of the US still follow them. Aside from the backpacks they carry, travelers also wear the same thing and those are jeans. Whatever the occasion there is always a pair of jeans suited for it.

Seldom do we see backpackers in groups, more often they go solo or with a companion. It is a cycle of meeting someone somewhere, separating with them the travel once more or stay longer at a certain place. Backpackers in most cases are not vagabonds. Everywhere they are there will always be a chance for them to mail a letter back home. A piece of advise however, remember that in most cases travel insurance can always help you whenever you take spur of the moment trips.

Repairing Plaster Walls

Details on repairing plaster walls, here are a few steps that can help anyone that needs help in fixing plaster walls. There is a certain technique to it and if these steps are followed through correctly a hole in a plaster wall can be patched successfully.

1. Preparation- With a putty knife chip any loose or crumbling plaster from the edges of the hole until only solid plaster remains. Caution if you find seriously damaged lath underneath, the lath the lath must be repaired before replastering repair generally calls for the skills of a professional.

2. Undercutting all holes in plaster and all cracks wider than 1/8 inch or so must be undercut a procedure in which some of the old-but intact plaster is removed along the inner side of the hole (or crack) so that the patching material that is used as filler will bond securely to the solid plaster around the opening. To undercut use the tip of a beverage can opener or putty knife and scrape away a bit of the plaster under the rim of the hole. Then bevel the scraped area to make a V shaped hollowed under the surface. Vacuum or blow out the plaster dust from the undercut area.

3. Applying the first layer- Mix enough patching plaster to fill the hole almost completely. Moisten the back and edges of the hole with a sponge. Beginning at the undercut surfaces at the edges of the hole, apply the patching plaster is about ΒΌ inch below the surface of the undamaged plaster around the hole. While the patching plaster is still wet score its surface with the tip of the tapping knife. This scored surface will provide a firm grip for a second layer of patching plaster. Let the first layer set for about a half hour.

4. Applying the second layer. Mix a fresh batch of patching plaster. Dampen the scored layer of patching plaster and 2 or 3 inches of the undamaged surface and around the hole. Using a taping knife preferably wider than the hole, fill the hole with plaster to the level of the undamaged area, spreading the plaster onto the surrounding surface for an inch or so. Smooth this layer by drawing the knife blade evenly over the patched area. Let the plaster set

5. Completing the patch. Cover the filled hole with a smooth layer of wallboard joint cement or vinyl spackling compound, using a taping knife. Continue spreading the cement or spackling to an inch or so beyond the edges of the patching plaster. Let the patch area dry. When completely dry it will feel hard and have lost it clammy feel of wet plaster. Sand the dry area smooth with a sanding block and feather the edges of the compound into the surrounding surface. If you first do not succeed keep trying. Trying is the first step on becoming a great person. Thank you for reading.

Sociological Theories

Sociology consists of a huge number of theories that explain different sociological situations. In the following paragraphs, I have briefly explained why sociological theories are developed, and what their benefits are.

Sociologists often develop theories to understand and explain social occurrences. Theories are considered vital in Sociology for many reasons. For example, attempting to understand something as complicated and complex as the influence of industrialization on society will not be possible without the assistance of theories. Accurate research shows how things happen; but sociology does not only concern about collecting facts, regardless of how important and interesting they may be (for example, it is a fact that I bought a cup of coffee this morning, that it cost a certain amount of money, that the coffee beans were originally grown in the Central America, etc.). Also, we must know why things happen, and in order to do so we have to learn to develop explanatory theories. For example, we do know that industrialization has a number of very important influences on the emergence of modern societies, but what are the roots and preconditions of industrialization? Why do we find differences among societies in the industrialization processes? Why is industrialization connected with changes in ways of criminal punishment, or in family and marriage systems? To answer such questions, we must develop theoretical thinking.

Theories encompass developing abstract understandings that can be used to explain a wide variety of empirical circumstances. A theory regarding industrialization, for example, can be concerned with recognizing the key features that processes of industrial development generally share and would attempt to display which of these are most vital in explaining such development. Unquestionably, factual research and theories can never be parted. We can only develop valid theoretical approaches if we are able to examine them out through factual research.

We require sociological theories to assist us to make sense of facts. Contrary to popular assertion, facts do not speak for themselves. Many sociologists work mainly on factual research, but unless they are directed by some knowledge of theory, their work is doubtful to explain the complication of modern societies. This is factual even of research carries out with strictly practical objectives.

‘Practical individuals’ have a habit of being suspicious of theorists and may like to see themselves as too ‘down to earth’ to need to take note of more abstract ideas, yet all practical decisions require some theoretical expectations lying behind them. A manager of a business, for example, might have limited regard for ‘theory’. However, every approach to business activity contains theoretical expectations, even if those often keep on unstated. Therefore, the manager might assume that employees are motivated to work hard mainly by money – the level of salaries they get. This is not only a theoretical understanding of human behavior; it is also an incorrect one, as research in industrial sociology tends to validate.

Without a theoretical approach, we would not recognize what to look for in beginning a study or in understanding the outcomes of research. Nonetheless, the illumination of truthful evidence is not the only aim for the major position of theory in sociology. Theoretical thinking must respond to common issues posed by the study of human social life, together with issues that are philosophical in nature. Determining the level to which sociology should be modeled on the natural sciences and how we should nest conceptualize human consciousness, action and institutions are issues that do not have easy answers. They have been handled in different ways in the numerous theoretical methods that have sprung up in the discipline.

Because of the reasons explained above, sociologists have developed sociological theories concerning almost every field in sociology to understand and explain social phenomena.

A Smart Look at Landscape Lighting Kits

If you’ve seen pictures or visited a beautifully lit garden, you may have considered bringing landscape  lighting  into your own garden design. You may even have gone so far as to call a professional for a price quote. That quote might have been shocking. Many ambitious do-it-yourselfers out there have rejoiced at the alternative option of purchasing and installing their own outdoor  lighting  in an effort to save costs. Enter the alluringly priced landscape  lighting  kit.

Before you do any online research and find yourself drooling at the remarkably low prices on some landscape  lighting  kits, you should know that there are good reasons for those low numbers. The saying goes, “you get what you pay for” and, to some extent, that’s true here. That isn’t to say that kits are bad ideas. Just that you should know what you’re getting before you buy. Let’s break down the good and the bad.

The do-it-yourself nature of landscape  lighting  kits can be seen in a positive or negative light. It really just depends on how handy you are. Installation of kits requires very little in the way of tools or skills, but if you are deathly afraid of the outdoors or have never held a screwdriver in your life, you may find yourself challenged.

A big upside, as already mentioned, is price. In my searching, I’ve found landscape  lighting  kits with up to 14 lights, a transformer and 100 feet of cable for as little as $50 USD. Seeing that price and the number of included lights really gets most folks excited when, in fact, it should prompt you to ask one question – why is the price so low?

Kit manufacturers can swing these low prices thanks, in part, to mass production. There’s not a great deal of diversity in the models they offer, for example. But the fact that their lights are made of plastic plays the biggest part in that bargain basement price offering. That might not concern you much, but plastic has a down side. It has a much lower melting point than metal.

If you consider that these lights contain potentially hot bulbs and that they are made of a material that is prone to melting, you might have already concluded what I’m about to tell you. Low-cost, plastic landscaping lights contain low wattage bulbs so as not to melt the housings in which they are contained. Your average low is a 10 watt bulb for border  lighting . Your average high for accent/spot lights runs about 20 watts. Is that enough?

Commercially purchased single units run 20+ watt bulbs for border and path lights and 35+ watts for accent and spot lights, you may get the picture that, for some applications, the lights included in some kits are simply too dim.

Uplighting a large tree or spotlighting a large specimen plant may simply place too high a demand on the strength of the bulbs included in light kits. And, no, you can’t simply stick in a higher wattage bulb unless you want your light to end up looking like a melted mushroom.

So does that make landscape  lighting  kits pointless? Not at all. There are plenty of applications that actually benefit from dimmer  lighting . Border and path  lighting  meant strictly to outline a perimeter for safety doesn’t require all that much illumination. Likewise, smaller plants (particularly in newly planted gardens) do really well with less intense  lighting . Over doing it is a very common beginner mistake so a landscaping kit may just save you from your own excessive ambition!

An upside to that plastic construction is that the stuff is surprisingly durable. Even should one of the lights be damaged by an errant lawn mower or a clumsy guest, replacing one of the units is painless and inexpensive. Not so should they inadvertently destroy one of your custom designed metal units.

Speaking of custom designs, another downside to  lighting  kits is that they limit your creativity. Styles aren’t that diverse, nor is functionality. There are no such limitations if you buy individual lights which will allow you to choose from an almost infinite number of beautifully styled lights and a fair number of practical functions. Good luck finding recessed  lighting  or lights for in-tree mounting included in kits, for example.

So landscape  lighting  kits are bad? Not at all. What I hope you’ve learned is that there is an appropriate application for which kits are ideally suited. They cost savings you’ll realize with a kit in marking out a path or border with safety in mind or illuminating small plants or architectural features is simply unbeatable. Just know the limitations and, if they don’t suit your needs, prepare to shell out a little extra cash. Better to get great results at a higher price than to spend money and not accomplish your goals.

When To Use Radiant Barrier

If you’re a homeowner, be it a condo, duplex, or stand-alone 4Bed/2Bath, the second best time to install radiant barrier is today. The best time, of course, was when the building was constructed.

If you were to place a dollar figure on the amount of money creating a more energy-efficient home would save, and multiply that number times each month of the year times the number of years you’ve owned the home, you’d probably end up very depressed. That money – in the thousands – isn’t sitting in your 401(k) earning interest, nor is it even part of a distant yet happy memory of a trip to Belize for your anniversary. It’s just money that went out into the atmosphere.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can stop the laws of physics from getting its sticky hands on your slender wallet. You need to do this now.

Do some research into the marvels of radiant barrier. Kick the tires, ask HVAC specialists and general contractors for their two cents. Don’t be surprised if they don’t have a lot to offer, as insulation regulations haven’t changed much since the 1960’s. If the contractor doesn’t have a personal interest in technology advancements, he or she may not know much about radiant barrier. But lots can be found online.

Once you decide that radiant barrier is going to be your energy efficiency stop gap, go ahead and buy plenty. You’ll want to install it along your attic floor joists as well as along the roof rafters. The floor application assist during the winter, and the rafter application will help during the summer. The remainder of the product can be used along your ductwork and even your hot water heater, although the bubble radiant barrier may be the most effective product for that kind of application.

Why a Fireproof Safe is Important

Protecting your valuables from fire is something that not too many people concern themselves with. It is however, something we should all think about. Every year hundreds of thousands of fires break out in homes across the country, leaving families with great loss and devastation. While almost all items can be replaced after a fire has caused damage to or destroyed a home, some things simply cannot be.

There are also a number of items that can take a lot of time and trouble to replace. Of course, the hope is that we will never have to face such devastation. To be on the safe side however, a fire proof safe is something that every household should own. Keeping in the safe irreplaceable and hard to replace documents such as birth certificates, property deeds, social security cards, passports and more is a simple way to be prepared for an unfortunate event.

Fire proof safes can be found with a variety of protection levels. No safe can actually be labeled fire proof, but instead safes are labeled at different levels of fire resistant protection. Fire resistant safes come labeled with the length of protection they provide. Fireproof safes can provide 30 minutes of protection through a few hours of protection, depending on how they are built.

Fire resistant safes also provide protection to the items inside the safe, keeping the temperature levels at 350 degrees or less. Underwriters Laboratories is an independent company that tests and classifies fire resistant safes. They look at two different things when testing fire resistant safes. First, they look at the highest temperature the inside of the safe reaches during a fire. Second, they look at how long the safe will withstand a fire. They label fire resistant safes as either a 350 or a 125. The 350 label lets you know that the inside of the safe will not go beyond 350 degrees when exposed to a direct flame. These safes are great for protecting paper documents. The 125 label lets you know the inside of the safe will not go beyond 125 degrees when exposed to the direct flame of a fire. These safes are meant to protect electronic equipment like computer CD’s and flash drives.

Underwriter laboratories also classifies safes on the length of time they can withstand the fire. Fireproof safes made for the home usually are made to withstand fire for 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2 hours. Fire proof safes also come in a variety of shapes and sizes to suit just about everyone’s space needs. Small ones are available for those just needing space for a few paper documents, while larger ones are available for those wishing to keep larger items protected. Finally, if you need to protect large amounts of paper files from fire you can also find fire resistant file cabinets. These are especially great for people who run a business out of their home and need the extra space for business papers and documents.

House Wallpaper Preparation

A tremendous variety of beautiful house  wallpaper  is now available in stores across the country. If you’re in the midst of a remodeling project you’ve probably been accumulating swatches and samples. Here is the procedure for papering once you’ve selected a pattern.

As your first step, size the wall. Buy ready prepared sizings of house  wallpaper  at your local paint store. It usually comes as a powder and 1 lb. of the stuff will do an average room. Following the instructions on the label, mix the sizing with water to form a thin liquid. Apply the material to the wall with a large sponge. It’s not necessary to get fancy with this stage of the operation. Just get the sizing on the wall. Start at the top and work down.

When you buy your house  wallpaper , pick up an inexpensive kit of the special tools needed for the job. Admittedly these will be on the cheap and shoddy side but they will do the work without costing you more than two or three dollars. Included in the flimsy cardboard box will be a paste brush and a long, flat smoothing brush, a plumb bob, a roller knife and probably a few other odds and ends.

Measure the wall area of the room. Also measure and count windows, doors, etc. Dump all this information into the lap of the guy behind the counter. Let him figure out approximately how many rolls of house  wallpaper  you need. If at all possible select a paper that is in open stock.

Should the storekeeper goof in his calculations you’ll still be able to pick up an additional roll of house  wallpaper  or two. If the rolls are not ready trimmed, have the store do this job for you. They have a special machine that cuts off the waste selvage edge in a matter of seconds. Otherwise you’ll have to do this job with a straightedge and a razor blade. It’s a miserable, time consuming process.

Buy ready-mixed house  wallpaper  paste. (It’s ready-mixed except that it has to be mixed with water.) There’s a method to getting it ready to use. The whole trick is to add paste to water, sifting it through your fingers while you mush it around with a wire pastry whisk. The paste should have the consistency of condensed milk. If you run into any trouble with lumps forming in the adhesive, allow it to sit overnight. A little fast work with the wire whisk will then make the mixture creamy smooth.

To start house  wallpaper  papering, measure the distance between the wall and ceiling and tear off some strips of paper about 8 in. longer. No need to cut the paper precisely, just hold a straightedge in place and tear. If you’re using a paper that has no pattern, all the strips can be torn one right after the other from the same roll.

If the house  wallpaper  does have a pattern, tear the first strip from one roll. Unroll a section from the second roll, adjust the pattern to match and tear off a strip. From here on you can just tear strips from alternate rolls and they will match. Stack the strips one on top of the other and, if necessary, scrape them over a table edge to remove the curl.

Spread a batch of newspapers on the large table that will be your pasting surface. Place the first strip face down on the newspapers. Brush paste onto two thirds of the strip. Always apply adhesive working from the center of the strip toward the two edges. This keeps the paste from oozing under the edges of the  wallpaper . Fold this section in two, paste to paste, but don’t press the crease down. Finish applying paste to the rest of the strip and fold this closed, paste to paste. You are now ready to apply the house  wallpaper .