Photo Sleeve Album – Scrapbook Style

Remember the photo sleeve pages that we used to just slip our photos into? They displayed photos so they were easy to look at, but they weren’t very decorative. It was hard to put any feeling or personality into the pages, and there was little room to write information.

Scrapbooks have become very popular and offer a wide variety of ways to display photos, along with memorabilia and journaling. A huge selection of papers and embellishments allow us to express ourselves.

What if you’re not sure you have the time and creativity to make a scrapbook, but you want something with more personality than a plain photo sleeve album? Have I got some ideas for doing scrapbooking for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways we can compromise between the stark feel of a photo sleeve album and the elaborate designs of a scrapbook. Who says that all the pockets of a photo sleep page have to be filled with pictures? There are no rules against matting a photo or adding some stickers.

If this has piqued your interest, keep reading. We’ll look at some scrapbook page layout ideas to add interest and personality to your album. You’ll be on your way to completed albums before you know it.

  • Titles – If you would like to use a page title, just create one on a 4 X 6 card and slip it into one of the pockets. Use a bold tip pen or stickers.
  • Journaling – Use one of the pockets to include journaling. Just write your journaling on a 4 X 6 card or paper and slip it in. Use pre-made journaling boxes or create your own. For an enhanced look, add a sticker or other embellishment.
  • Mat Photos – Mat some of the photos. You may need to crop the photo down slightly to allow the mat to show around it. You can mat the photo with an even border all the way around. Another fun option is to crop the photo smaller and mat the photo with extra space to one side. This area can be used for journaling or some embellishments. Smaller size photos can be matted to fit into the pockets.
  • Panoramic photos – To fit panoramic photos in, cut the photo into two sections. Place them in to adjacent pockets
  • Memorabilia – Memorabilia such as postcards, recipes, tickets and greeting cards can be placed in pockets as well. If the item is too large, crop it down or scan the item and print a copy in the 4 X 6 size to fit.

And you thought photo sleeve albums had to be boring. Guess again! You are only limited by your imagination. This is a fun alternative for those that want to create simple albums quickly, but don’t want to give up all the fun of scrapbooking. Go ahead give these ideas for doing scrapbooking a try.


There is a special and direct economic relationship in real estate between Time and Value: as land becomes scarcer and appreciates, the improvements on the land are subject to obsolescence and depreciate. Obsolescence is an economic variable used by governments, economists, appraisers and Realtors that reflects the fact that the building sited on a piece of land ages with time, just like me. And, unlike wine, a building that ages with time does not get any better, again just like me. No wonder that I am in real estate – but I digress.

There are two types of depreciation when it comes to real capital assets: physical and functional. And both physical and functional depreciation can be categorized as either curable or incurable.

[ ] Physical Depreciation

Physical depreciation represents the accumulated loss in market value caused by physical wear and tear since the date the building was completed. Physical curable depreciation refers to damage which can be corrected economically, and it includes such items as poor decorative conditions, broken fittings, outdated or worn out carpeting, faded or old paint, appliances not in a proper working order as well as aging roofs. On the other hand physical incurable depreciation includes wear and tear of structural members and foundations where repair or replacement is likely to involve significant cost. These two kinds of depreciation are treated differently. The dollar amount of the deduction required for physical curable depreciation is generally based on the required cost of carrying out the repairs. Conversely, the allowance for physical incurable depreciation is more difficult to estimate, with the principal cause of such difficulty lying in the determination of the remaining life of the building.

There is no precise way to estimate the cost of correcting physical incurable depreciation. Generally speaking the cost of this kind of corrections is so great that in terms of economics the structure should either be left in its present state or totally rebuilt. Governments tend to estimate the economic life of buildings in terms of straight-line depreciation, but this is so merely because it makes the estimate of capital gains and losses, as well as their recapture, a little easier to determine from an accounting point of view. Appraisers and experienced Realtors, on the other hand, will tend to make an educated guess more often than not as to the value of the physical incurable depreciation based upon visual observation while economists will base it upon knowledge of regional comparable market data.

[ ] Functional Depreciation

This type of depreciation describes the loss of value caused by outmoded or inadequate design. Here too it is necessary to distinguish between curable and incurable functional depreciation. Functional curable depreciation includes items such as the cost of replacing old-fashioned fittings, installing an additional bathroom or otherwise making alterations to the existing plan by, for example, creating new doorways and blocking old ones, or by following market trends such as enhancing the visual appearance of rooms with open layouts and light-play. Again, the amount by which market value is reduced is in direct function of the cost involved in carrying out the necessary updates.

And, like before, the amount by which market value is reduced because of functional incurable depreciation is entirely a matter of judgment and cannot be determined with an arithmetical calculation. There are, of course, limits to what can be done to cure functional depreciation. For example, if an architectural style has gone out of fashion, nothing can be done and a higher factor of deduction will be applied. The opposite is true, of course, of plans that never go out of style. For instance, residential ranchers are always high on the list of demand and very much sought after by elderly and younger couples alike but for opposing reasons: a lack of stairways for the first and easy maintenance for the latter.

Luigi Frascati

Home Decorating For the Nursery

When you are expecting a new baby, you may want to re-decorate all the rooms in your home so that they are all suited to the baby but you will be most anxious to decorate your nursery. There are many different nursery themes out there. It is important that you pick out something that you love and that you want to look at for the next few years.

Boy’s nurseries can be a lot of fun. Many new parents chose to paint their little boy’s walls blue. Blue is a beautiful color for a little boy. It comes in many different shades and hues. It can match a lot of different bedding styles as well. If you want to be more unique with your baby’s nursery you might try using green or yellow of even red for your little boy. These colors can be fun and exciting as well.

There are many different nursery themes available for little boys today. You can choose from, sports, trains, bears and zoo animals. All of these themes are very cute and your baby boy is sure to be delighted with any of them. Some first time parents choose to avoid the cute little patterns and go with something more neutral that the child can grow with. This is a great idea as well. Try sprucing up the room with photographs, a snazzy   rug  and window treatments.

Little girl’s nurseries are traditionally decorated in pink. Pink is a beautiful and delicate color. It can be paired with just about any little girl’s nursery décor. If you are like most parents of little girls, flowers, princesses and fairies are at the top of your list for nursery decorations. It is important that you decorate her room with things that you want to live with until she has outgrown her nursery. Have fun decorating the nursery for your little girl! Make it a space that she will enjoy for years to come.

Neutral nurseries are always nice, especially if you don’t know whether you are having a boy or a girl. Neutral nurseries are also popular with parents who are planning on having more than one child, but want to use the same nursery, for all of their children.

When you are creating a neutral nursery, try using pastel colors. You can use yellows, greens and blues. Wall and window treatments should remain neutral as well. An area  rug  with a cute theme can be a nice touch to neutral nurseries as well.

If you want a theme for your neutral nursery you could go with baby animals, a seaside theme or even an alphabet theme. These types of themes will be sure to delight little girls as well as little boys.

Remember it is important to keep on your budget as well. If you want to save some money try using items that are not market just for babies. You should check out your local discount stores and resale shops as well. You will be sure to find a good bargain!

Brick by Brick

“The great successful men of the world have used their imagination… they think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building, steadily building.” Robert J. Collier (1876-1918), Author

I recently spent most of a week sorting out my children’s collection of Lego™. They are now teenagers, so have lost interest in the delights of putting together, brick by brick, piece by piece, amazing constructions. From a pile of ‘bits’ the most incredible creations emerge. A building, a spaceship, a racing car, a scene from one of their favourite films… There were so many pieces that we decided to sort out as many buildable kits as possible, then divide them up among certain families that we know with youngsters who love Lego™ and would use it. It has brought back many memories, but also made me realize how much we have moved on.

It also made me think about how we achieve the things we have set out to do. We have a goal in mind. Perhaps we want to lose weight, get fitter, build a new business, write a book, pay off our debts or some other aim. So we have the end in mind – as in the picture on the cover of the Lego™ instruction booklet. However, all we have at this starting point is a pile of ‘bits’. How are we going to take those bits and make something out of them? Brick by brick, of course.

For example, you want to lose 14 pounds. The final goal. How can you do this? Firstly, you need to consider how many pounds per week you realistically want to lose. (It is considered healthy to aim at no more than 1-2 pounds per week, although you may find you lose more than this in the first week.) First brick. Then you need to consider how you are going to lose those pounds. Second brick. To lose one pound of weight per week, you need to have a calorie deficit of about 3500 calories per week, or 500 per day. Are you going to cut the amount of calories you eat each day by 500, (do you actually know how many you consume in a day?) or are you going to up your activity levels to burn an extra 500? If you choose to cut calories, you will firstly need to make a pretty accurate assessment of what you are consuming to begin with.

Third brick. This could involve keeping a food diary and weighing and measuring everything. Or it could be more general, by noting down everything you eat and drink and seeing if there are things that you could cut back on, or cut out, by paying attention. The daily chocolate bar, the biscuits at tea time, the after-dinner ice cream. Or if you choose activity, then you need to decide how you will add enough extra to make up the 500 calories. Taking the stairs instead of the lift. Time on the Wii Fit™ or the Xbox Kinect™. Adding more walking whenever you can. Participating in an exercise class. There are many ways that you can up your activity and not all of them involve expensive gym memberships. Fourth brick. Or you could combine cutting calories and moving more as a means to get to your goal.

Once the first layer of foundation bricks are in place, you will be able to build on these until you have achieved your goal. Simple! Well, simple in theory, of course. The steps we need to take to achieve almost any goal are pretty well documented in books, how-to manuals and the Internet. Advice can be found all over the place and much of it is good. The only thing that is required to achieve success is you – taking action, making it work. In the end, it doesn’t matter how many books you read, how much information you have at your fingertips, unless you start building your own dreams, brick by brick, step by step. Without action dreams remain just that, dreams.

So as we accelerate through the year, what are you going to do with the pile of ‘bits’ lying in front of you? Will you sweep them out of the way, to be sorted later, or will you start putting them in order and use them to construct something wonderful? I’d love to know which you choose and how you progress….

© Kate Harper 2011

Apartments 101 – What Is An Apartment Locator?

“Looking for an apartment can be a time-consuming and tiring ordeal. If you use the old fashioned methods of searching for an apartment, such as looking through the newspaper classified ads or relying on word of mouth, you may feel as if you are caught up following endless leads that result in nothing but dead ends. Therefore, to make your search easier, you should take advantage of the help provided by an apartment locator.

The High Tech Apartment Locator

One kind of apartment locator that you might use involves the use of technology. With the Internet growing more and more every day, increasing numbers of landlords are turning toward this technology to get them in touch with potential tenants. As such, numerous apartment locator websites have been launched.

When you visit an apartment locator website, you will be asked to fill out a blank online form. This form won’t ask for personal information such as your social security number and many won’t even ask you for your name. Rather, the form will ask you to provide information regarding the type of apartment you are looking for.

Depending on the apartment locator website, you might immediately get results that display all of the available listings that meet your criteria. Others might ask for your email address so the information can be sent to you while others will ask for your phone number so a representative can contact you.

Obviously, those looking for a phone number or an email address are trying to find a way to get in touch with you and to add you to a client list. If you don’t want this to happen, you should avoid these apartment locator websites. Just be aware that this may severely reduce the number of apartment options available to you.

The Personable Apartment Locator

If you are not much of a technology buff or if you simply prefer to work with a human being rather than a blank online form, you can look into getting the help of a human apartment locator. Generally, you can go to a broker or a real estate agent to get help finding an apartment.

Since a realtor deals with property every day, he or she will have a good idea of the current apartment listings. In addition, a real estate agent should be able to provide you with helpful information about the neighborhood and should be able to answer any questions that you may have. This valuable insight can make it easier for you to find the apartment you are looking for.

Whether you go with a high tech apartment locator or a human apartment locator, don’t give out any of your personal financial information. This is particularly true when looking for an apartment online because it isn’t difficult for a scam artist to put up a fake website in order to acquire personal information from innocent people looking for an apartment. Remember, the purpose of using an apartment locator is simply to put you in touch with landlords offering apartments that fit your needs. Leave all other aspects of the deal between you and the landlord, unless the landlord uses a leasing agent to find and finalize deals.

Although finding an apartment is not necessarily as serious as trying to buy a house, you still want to find a place where you will be happy. Take the time to look around and to use an apartment locator and you will be sure to be thrilled with the final results. “

Flat Screen HDTV Buying Tips

Going big seems to be the popular option when it comes to HDTV. Projection HDTVs, are good choices when looking for big screen performance, but don’t really fit into the flat screen category. Although there are many HDTV models, the flat screen HDTV is definitely emerging as a popular favorite. This should come as no surprise. The advantages offered by a flat screen HDTV that produces crystal clear images on a very big screen, yet is light enough and thin enough to be hung on a wall are very appealing. Not only are the aesthetics appealing, but the improved technology and demand have caused prices to drop considerably.

Once you have decided to purchase a flat screen HDTV, your next step is to choose from LCD or Plasma. There are also “LED TV’s”. LED’s are not a separate technology as far as HDTV is concerned. LED models are just LCD TV’s that use LED backlights. Plasma HDTVs work very much like a fluorescent light. A gas is formed by an electrical charge, and this process gives off ultra-violet light that makes phosphors glow. The images of LCD’s are produced by shining bright light (backlights) through moving liquid crystals that either block or transmit light.

If you are looking at screens up to 42 inches, LCD is pretty much your only choice. When considering the bigger flat screen HDTVs, 50 inches and larger, you will need to determine which format or technology suits your needs, and your wallet.

Most flat screen HDTV sets out there are now widescreen. Widescreen models have a ratio of 16:9, which means that for every 16 inches of width the screen will have 9 inches of depth. This is also very close to the ratio of movies that you would see in a theater.

Plasma Flat Screen HDTV

Plasma HDTV sets are usually purchased in the 60 to 65 inch range. You can get them a little smaller and also much bigger. Prices can start at around $600.00 and go up to as much $15000.00 for the over the top models.

Lower priced plasma sets will often have a poorer picture. The budget models quite often do not produce quality blacks and grays, and more often than not have poor contrast that results in less detail and coarser images in the display.

Although you can still get Plasma HDTV in 720p it is not recommended. Stick with the models that have 1080p resolution. This is the preferred option of Dish Network, Blu-ray, and other services, and will soon be the standard.

Because of the use of phosphors, plasma flat screen HDTVs can experience “burn-in”. This is a more frequent problem with older models. Burn-in is usually caused by a static image, much like a logo that is constantly present on the screen. This can be eliminated by proper contrast settings. If you know that you have an older plasma model, avoid keeping sharpness and contrast settings too high. Newer plasma models are equipped with “pixel shifting” to prevent burn in.

Don’t forget the audio. Although most plasma flat screen HDTV sets now come with built in speakers, there are still some that are only video that do not have either speakers or a tuner. It seems ridiculous, but be sure to check the specifications before you buy.

LCD Flat Screen HDTV

Unlike plasmas, an LCD flat screen HDTV can be had in a much larger range of screen sizes. You can find sizes from 15 inches up to 60 inches and bigger. Compared to their CRT (Cathode Ray Tubes) predecessors, the LCD does cost a bit more. However, this is only in the smaller screen sizes, which would be 30 inches and under. In the larger screen sizes, LCD flat screen HDTVs are very competitive with the big screen plasma HDTVs. The good news is that prices have fallen more than 20% in the last year.

The display quality of an LCD flat screen HDTV still comes under fire when compared to the plasma display. The contrast, black and gray color production, and response times do not seem to be quite as good as plasmas. What this means is that sometimes, depending upon how trained the eye of the viewer is, fast action or sports scenes may seem blurred. This has been a problem in the past, but new LCD technology seems to have overcome this in the newer models available.

Compared to plasmas LCD’s can be one to a few inches thicker. They also have less of a viewing angle. This means that if you are off to one side it may be more difficult to view an LCD than a plasma. However an LCD flat screen HDTV does not have any burn in issues, runs cooler, can be viewed easily in brightly lit rooms and has all the features that we have come to expect from conventional television. LCD’s also weigh much less than their plasma counterparts are more portable and can be easily setup wherever you like.

It is difficult to determine what every persons taste or needs are. You know what it is that you want from your flat screen HDTV. Both plasma HDTV and LCD HDTV have their good and bad points, and the technology of the newer models of both types has worked out most of them.

The next question would be, how much do you want to spend? Basically, LCD would be the obvious choice. LCD flat screen HDTVs are available in more screen sizes, and are easier to use in more situations, and cost less than plasmas. Although the display may be somewhat better with a plasma HDTV, you have to ask if it is worth the difference in price.

When faced with this same decision I went with the LCD, and am very satisfied with my choice. I also went from store to store checking out models and prices. Most of the clerks in these bigger electronic stores were not very knowledgeable or very helpful at all. I found out more online and ultimately purchased my two flat screen HDTVs online. My online buying experience went very smoothly, and my TV’s arrived at my door within a week.

Horseback Riding Helmet Do’s & Don’ts

Riding Helmet Do’s & Don’ts!

A riding safety helmet only works if it fits and you wear it correctly. Here’s the info on safety helmets, from choosing a helmet to avoiding common helmet mistakes.

It’s a beautiful day for a ride. You tack up, pull on your boots, and head out of the barn. The thought of a head injury doesn’t even cross your mind – but it should. If you are riding without a safety helmet, you’re taking a chance that may cost you your life.

Why wear a safety helmet?

It’s simple. If you fall from your horse, the helmet takes the force of the blow – instead of your head. When you’re riding, wearing a safety helmet is the most effective way to prevent a life-threatening head injury.

Selecting a safety helmet

Horseback Riding helmets are cooler, lighter, and more comfortable than ever before. There are plenty of choices for riders of all ages and abilities. Just remember some ground rules:

  • Make sure the helmet is safe and “approved”. Look for a seal of approval from the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or combination approval from ASTM/SEI.
  • Make sure it fits properly. It is important to be correctly measured and fitted for a riding helmet. Not every helmet fits every rider, and there are sizing differences between brands. The helmet should feel comfortably snug. Sizing pads are included with most helmets and can help make the fit more secure. If you have long hair, consider a helmet with a ponytail port. You don’t want to try to fit all of your hair up inside the helmet. That would make the helmet too big to properly protect you in case of a fall.

Wearing a Riding helmet

“A helmet can’t protect what it doesn’t cover!” The rules for wearing a safety helmet are the same for everyone. Wear the helmet flat on the top of your head. The helmet should sit right above your eyebrows, covering your forehead. There should be no tiliting forward or backward, or side to side.

The chin strap needs to be fastened, just below your chin. Just like your horse’s noseband, you should be able to fit a finger or two between the strap and below your chin. More than that, and it is too loose. Less than that, and it is too tight and will be uncomfortable.

Avoid common helmet mistakes

If the helmet is tilted forward, the back of your head is vulnerable to the force of a fall or kick from a hoof. A helmet that tips backward is just as problematic. When this happens, the front and side of your head are vulnerable to the force of a fall.

Other factors to consider:

Teach yourself and your kids to carefully store a helmet when done riding. Helmets should not be dropped or kicked. Also, do not keep your helmet in a hot trunk on a summer day! If you’re in a riding accident, do not continue to use that helmet. Replace it with a new one. Even if the helmet looks undamaged, it may not be able to withstand the force of another blow.

Most helmet manufacturers have a replacement policy. This replacement information usually can be found on the tags of your new helmet, or on the box it came in. Return the damaged helmet to the manufacturer, and get a new one! Manufacturers can then collect data about riding accidents and how the helmets are reacting to falls. This information can help make future helmets even safer!

We do not recommend wearing a used helmet. You may not know if the helmet has been in a fall, and it may not be safe. Many times, you cannot see damage just by looking at a helmet. Visible damage usually only happens with a serious trauma, like a direct kick or a hard fall on a rock, etc. Many times, only x-ray technology will be able to determine where damage is on a safety riding helmet.

Don’t skimp on safety!

There are many inexpensive helmets that would be a safer alternative, and can be fitted to you!

Play it safe

Let’s say that you haven’t fallen off in about 6 years. Your helmet is perfectly fine, right? No. Even with proper care, the average lifespan of a safety helmet is about 4 years before the lining materials begin to deteriorate. Also, in that time, manufacturers may have improved fit and comfort of their helmets!

Now that you know the helmet basics, put them to good use. Wear your helmet every time you ride!

Specialist Soffit and Eaves Lighting

With the economy the way it is, staying put rather than moving up in terms of house buying, is the reality for most people in this day and age. With this in mind, improving your home with small projects that enhance your house and its appeal, make life a little safer and easier for you and your family and maybe improving security as a bonus, is all worthwhile. One such project might be installing quality lighting in your soffits/eaves to create a superb wall-washing effect at night.

Very few companies offer such specialist fittings but with a little diligence they can be found in the form of IP44-rated downlights, specially designed for the job. These are small and unobtrusive using either powerful 50W tungsten halogen lamps for use on mains (240V) or 12V low voltage connected to the mains via a transformer. There’s also an ultra-eco-friendly option that uses a 4W LED (light emitting diode) lamp that is very cheap to run and will last up to 50,000 hours!

The ‘IP44’ rating demonstrates that the fitting is protected against spraying water from all directions and is thus suitable for use outside in this type of application. It also means that these downlights are equally suited for use in bathrooms in Zones 1 & 2 and in outer areas so can provide modern and effective lighting in one of the rooms where good visibility is essential.

Used as soffit lighting you could wire them via a simple switch which gives you control of when to use them or a time switch that can be pre-programmed for automatic use. As a courtesy to visitors, an alternative could be to wire them through a separate PIR (passive infra red) detector and switch which would switch them on when someone approached the house after dark.

They need not be expensive to run as the period that they are switched on is likely to be quite a short part of the day. However, if you are concerned about the running costs, choose the version with the LED 4W lamp which will be very economic to run.

There are few companies who make light fittings especially for this application so do choose carefully and ensure that the ones that you choose are fully weatherproof and the they are deisgned for a wall-washing role.

There is a growing trend to light the outside of the home and features in the garden to enhance your property and soffit lighting is among the many things you can do to achieve this. We will look at other solutions at another time.

How To Buy A Power Tool

Power tools are very expensive and when said and done all the tools can add up to a big expense. So when buying a power tool you want to not only make sure you are getting the most for your dollar, but you also want to make sure you are buying the right power tool. You don’t want to buy a tool that is pure overkill on power or even worst, underpowered. That’s why when you buy a power tool you want to look at the important aspects of the tools and sometimes this can be confusing. One important question to ask yourself is, “What kind of user am I?” Once you find this out choosing the right brand is a lot easier. After you decided what kind of user you are you need to look at some important aspects such as corded vs. cordless, amps and horsepower, return policies and more.

Kind of User

A power tool is an extension of your hands, like Edward Scissor Hands. If you have the right tool and a quality tool, you can create or fix just about anything. One important questions you need to ask yourself is, “What kind of user am I ?” If you are a light homeowner user, you can get away with a less expensive brand such as Black and Decker. A light homeowner user probably will not put a lot of use and abuse on the tools and power is not a big deal. Remember more power usually means more weight in the tool. Black and Decker designs their tools for the light homeowner use. They are quality built and inexpensive.

If you are not a light home owner use, but aren’t a serious user, Craftsman makes an exceptional tool. Craftsman actually has other companies make these tools for them; you can see their manufactures through the source code. Craftsman makes a good quality tool that has a lot of features and good power. Plus they have a great return policy if something happens or you are dissatisfied with the tool.

If you are a serious home user or contractor, go with a good brand name such as Milwaukee, Dewalt, Bosch, Porter Cable or Makita. These manufactures pride themselves on making the best tool. They are constantly putting money into their research and development process to make these tools even better. These professional power tools cost more, but they are made with better technology and materials. They also have a better design that causes less fatigue on the user. Not to mention that these tools are made to last a life time.

Quality Tool

The tools mentioned above are good quality tools. I would suggest staying with one of the manufactures above for a couple different reasons, but the main reason is efficiency. These power tools will last you a lifetime. They are designed by companies who have been in the business for along time and they understand power tools. They understand quality, safety and what makes a good tool. These are more efficient meaning they can actually transfer more power from the input or batter to the output. This means less work for the user and less frustration. If you would like to learn more about the difference between cheap power tools and professional power tools, please see this article.

Corded Vs. Cordless

Corded power tools tend to have a little more power, while the cordless has the versatility. At least this is the case now. Milwaukee just came out with a new battery technology that might change everything. Cordless power tools are becoming more and more common as they are increasing their power, while lowering their overall weight of the tool. I would suggest going with a cordless tool because of versatility. The only reason to go with a corded tool is if you will be using the tool for long periods of time or the tool you are looking for has a substantial more power capability in the corded version.

Return policy

Power tools are expensive and I don’t care how carefully any company watches for defect, they will always get one or two pass them by. You never know what will happen. These companies do a very good job and have very low returns on their products, but as a consumer you always want to be prepared. I would suggest going with a store that has an exceptional return policy, such as Amazon. They have been voted year after year as one of the most return friendly stores around. Amazon is also a good place to go because they have user ratings from real people who have used the tools. Just make sure you know your return policy from what ever store you buy from.

Engineering Jobs – Mechanical Engineer

The basic definition of the work an engineer is to apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Since the array of work possibly done by engineer is quiet large, engineers have to specialize in one of several fields. Mechanical engineers are specialized in the research, development, design, manufacturing, and testing of electrical tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineers will work mainly on power-producing machines including electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. But they can also work on other power-using machines including refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing.

As a mechanical engineers, you can also be in charge of the design of tools which will be used by other engineers in their work. Among all the engineering specialization, mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Indeed mechanical engineers are not restrained to one particular position in companies or to any sector possibly working in production operations in manufacturing or agriculture, maintenance, or technical sales. Many mechanical engineers even work as administrators or managers.

How to become a mechanical engineer? For most entry-level engineering worker, you will be required to have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Those who graduate from college graduates in a physical science or mathematics may also qualify for some engineering jobs, especially in specialties in high demand. But most potential candidates must have graduate from faculties such as electrical, electronics, mechanical, or civil engineering. Studying mechanical engineering is quiet easy in the country counting over 360 colleges and universities offering bachelor’s degree programs in engineering which are even accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), Inc., and 230 colleges, or so, offering also accredited programs in engineering technology.

In the U.S., the job prospects for mechanical engineers will be good with an overall rate of employment growing at an average rate through 2014. However many changes are expected to overhaul the sector with a massive decline of the employment of mechanical engineers in manufacturing industries. However civil engineering and jobs in high-growth technologies including biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology will likely compensate this decline for mechanical engineers.

© 2007 ElectricJob

Conscious Detachment

Do you want peace in your life? Do you want to feel respected and loved? Learning how to consciously detach can dramatically improve your relationships with your loved ones so they will also feel respected and loved.

Conscious Detachment is emotionally separating from a person. It’s the freedom to own what’s yours and allow other’s to own what’s theirs. When you detach, you let go of your obsession with another person’s behavior and begin to lead happier and more manageable lives, lives with dignity and rights, lives guided by a power greater than yourself.

There are behaviors that can give you clues that you need to detach which include, but are not limited to; obsessing about another person, feeling like a victim, making excuses for another person, worrying, depression, not sleeping, overeating, blaming others, nagging, trying to manipulate, feeling out of control, feelings of urgency that you need to do something or fix someone, feeling guilty that it’s your fault.

Detachment is difficult because of your need to control. You may fear that if you let go of control, something bad will happen. Control is an illusion. You may not trust that the person you need to detach from will make the right decision on their own and that they need your advice. People are often unaware that they have a need to control and are surprised when someone tells them that they are controlling.

Refusing to feel is a sign that you may be controlling. Controlling behavior requires denying, ignoring your own needs and feeling resentful when your needs are not met. When you try to control others and that includes adult children, you don’t give them choices and that’s not loving or respectful.

Examples of controlling behavior may be quiet anger, disapproval, being nice, silence, apologizing, guilt, reminders, suggestions, lectures, complaining, pouting, being hurt and refusing to ask for what you need.


It’s getting the focus off changing another person no matter how much you love them. You begin to focus on yourself and what needs to be changed in you. This is where the power is. It’s getting the focus off the past – what you’ve done, not done, what someone has done to you or not done.

It’s not focusing on the future with all the “what if’s.” It’s allowing yourself to feel your feelings, letting them go and being in the present moment.


1. Get honest with your feelings.

2. Talk to people you trust and understand you.

3. Get in touch with a Higher Power, ask for help and pray.

4. Let go of all anger and resentment.

The first step in detaching with love is to begin taking responsibility for your own behavior. This means that you can no longer blame your loved ones for the way you feel. No one makes you feel anything. It’s your reaction to the behavior that causes you pain, anger, resentment and disappointment. You lose yourself when you become so involved in another’s behavior. Regaining your self-respect and self-esteem is a big benefit of detaching with love.

The next step in detaching with love is acceptance. Acceptance is the key. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you necessarily feel OK about current or past situations. It means that you stop trying to change what you have no power over. Acceptance brings PEACE. Acceptance is letting go of control and accepting what is.

Insulation – What Types Are Out There?

 Insulation  is the phenomenon of slowing down the flow of heat, electricity or sound.  Insulation  can be used both to prevent heat gain and heat loss from the surrounding. Most electrical appliances use  insulation  technology like Refrigerators, freezers and Heaters.  Insulation  should be installed in the areas between heated and non heated space.

One of the main applications of  insulation  is house  insulation . An insulated home is more energy efficient, requires less maintenance and is more comfortable as the temperature remains uniform over weather changes.  Insulation  at home helps in saving energy and reducing utility bills. It makes the house more comfortable.  Insulation  at home not only helps in keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winter but it also prevents damage from leaking water and provides a good thermal resistance.  Insulation  is very useful to keep the temperature of the house independent from outdoor temperature.

 Insulation  at home helps in saving energy and reducing utility bills. It makes the house more comfortable.  Insulation  at home not only helps in keeping the house cool in summer and warm in winters but it also prevents damage from leaking water and provides a good thermal resistance.  Insulation  is very useful to keep the temperature of the house independent from outdoor temperature.

There are many types of home  insulation  available. All the different types of  insulation  have their pros and cons. They are mainly differentiated based on the material used for the  insulation . They can be separated into Plastic foam, rigid board, reflective, loose fill, batts and blankets and blown in  insulation  etc.

Foam  insulation  is performed by pouring the liquid foam from a container. Foam  insulation  is a bit more expensive than batt and blanket  insulation . Foam  insulation  is convenient to install while constructing the house rather than going into already built structures. As the foam  insulation  used to be air tight , it is not generally recommended for attic  insulation .

Spray foam  insulation  is used to insulate the walls and ceilings do keep the house warmer during cold weather and to keep it cool in summer. Spray Foam  insulation  is a bit more expensive than Fiber glass  insulation . This type of  insulation  can reduce utility and repair bills as your house is naturally warmer and free from bugs due to the  insulation . Spray form  insulation  lasts longer than other types.

Ductwork  Insulation  is used to insulate ducts and hot and cold water supply pipes, water heaters and air conditioners etc. to control the temperature of air and water. It is not that expensive but can help in high energy and cost saving.

Attic  insulation  is a must in any house to have comfortable room temperature. A house should have an attic that has a room temperature close to the outdoor temperature. Attic  insulation  would not be adequate if there is not a sufficient amount of it or it has gotten wet or has become less effective due to gaps or damage in  insulation . The houses that have a warm surroundings and environment can have R38  insulation  while a house in a cold climate can have R49  insulation .

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Our bodies contain a large amount of water, in fact about two thirds of our body weight is water. However, we need it all – losing just one percent of our body weight due to fluid loss can cause dehydration and any more than that can lead to serious medical complications.

We are constantly losing water, by sweating or urinating, so by drinking water were keeping our supplies topped up.

How can I tell if I am dehydrated?

The easiest way is to look at the color of your urine. If it is pale, you’re probably ok. If it’s any darker than the color of straw, you’re probably not drinking enough.

Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, loss of concentration and tiredness, dry skin and eyes. Ongoing dehydration can cause problems with, among other things, your kidneys, liver, joints and muscles. Many people are unaware that they are dehydrated, they simply become used to not feeling 100%. You should drink throughout the day, rather than when your body cries out for liquid.

From a vanity point of view – hydrated skin looks younger as its plumper, dehydrated skin looks sallow and older. Just by drinking more water could make you look years younger.

How much do we need?

The Food Standards Agency and The British Diabetic Association recommend that people living in the UK (or a country of similar climate) drink six to eight glasses of water every day. That’s about one and a half to two liters, or a big bottle of water. Children will not need as much water as adults.

This is based on an average day in Britain, when the weather heats up, or you have done a lot of exercise, you will need to drink more. Remember to stick to the daily recommended limit, as drinking too much water can be just as damaging. Too much water could lead to water intoxication, which could be fatal.

To find out a more accurate water intake, try Water Aid’s online hydration calculator. It calculates the amount of water you need to drink, based on your weight and amount of exercise you do each day.

What if I don’t like water?

The most effective way to drink enough and stay hydrated is to drink plain water, a fizzy drink only contains about 65% water.

If you really don’t like water, try diluting it with a little pure fruit juice. The Food Standards Agency also recommends drinking semi skimmed milk.

If you’re also drinking tea and coffee, it’s worth remembering that the caffeine in them acts as a diuretic, which means you will want to urinate more, so drink a little more to compensate. As for alcohol, this does not count, as it dehydrates you. So if you like your booze, you will need to top up your water intake.

How can I drink more?

Start each day with a glass of water, adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to give your digestive system a boost. Keep a bottle of water with you, in your bag / briefcase. Keep a bottle of water on your desk and drink as you work. Eat more fruit and vegetables; they have a higher water content, than most other foods. Drink a glass of water at set points during the day, one before lunch, one before you leave work, one as you get home etc… Have a glass of water every time you have a cup of tea or coffee and every time you eat.

Plumbed in water cooler, Bottled or tap water?

Plumbed in water coolers and bottled coolers, is big business these days. Many of us find that the water that comes from the taps does not taste very nice, so using a water cooler or buying bottles, seems like a logical solution. So a good option is to invest in a water filter. The filtering process lowers the lime-scale content of the water, plus it reduces other substances that can effect the smell and taste of water, such as chlorine.

Impaction in Leopard Geckos – Four Things to Watch Out For!

Impaction in Leopard geckos is very common.  What this means is something is blocking your Leo’s intestine.  This is usually some kind of material that is very difficult to digest or not digestible at all. This is very serious and should be prevented at all costs.  If left untreated, an impacted gecko will eventually die from starvation or other complications.

What are some of the causes of impaction and is their any way to treat this without having to take my Leo to the veterinarian?  In most cases, the number one cause of impaction is loose substrate. Other causes are food, temperature, and hydration.  Any number of these things can lead to a gecko that is sick and is having a hard time passing its stool.

Loose Substrate:

This is an area of raising a gecko that gets a lot of attention. The biggest question is whether or not to use a loose or solid substrate in your Leo’s cage.  The biggest problem with using a loose substrate is the possibility of impaction in leopard geckos.  Loose substrates such as sand, gravel, or coconut husks are inviting little chews for your pet.  They swallow a few pieces of sand and since many of these substances cannot be digested, the can cause your reptile to become impacted.  It is better to error on the side of caution and not use a loose substrate because of the problems it might cause.


The mouth of a gecko isn’t very big.  When deciding what to feed you gecko, the size of the food should definitely be taken into consideration.  One rule of thumb is the prey should be no larger than 1/2 the length of the gecko’s head.  If you feed you Leo something that is too big, it may have eaten it but that doesn’t mean it will have digested it all.  This also goes for smaller foods also. They might eat a bunch of meal worms, but the amount the have consumed might cause a blockage due to the high numbers. The inability to digest certain things will eventually lead to the possibility of impaction in leopard geckos.


Just like in humans, hydration is very important to having successful and healthy bowel movements.  A lack of water or improper hydration causes the body to draw necessary fluids from other parts of the body and in this cases the digestive system.  When water or fluids are taken from the digestive system, a gecko’s stool becomes hard and much more difficult to pass. Make sure you have plenty of water available for your pet.


How would have ever thought that temperature would be a cause of impaction in Leopard geckos?  Your pet is cold blooded and needs constant heat to stay alive.  This is usually through an Under tank Heater or etc. The body temperature of a gecko is has direct effect on its metabolism.  Cooler temperatures lead to a lower metabolic rate. This slower metabolic rate has causes the gecko to improperly digest its food.  The ideal temperatures for proper digestion are 92 degrees to 95 degrees on the hot side of the tank.  This way the can use the heat absorbed through their belly to increase their metabolism to better digest their food.


How do you treat impaction in Leopard geckos? The most obvious treatment is to take your pet to the veterinarian. They will know exactly how to treat this problem. If you are not sure if your Leo is impacted, there are a few thing you can do at home before visiting the vet’s office.

The first thing would be to raise the temperature on the warm side of the cage to about 97 degrees. Hopefully, this change in temperature will increase its metabolism. Another way to treat impaction in Leopard geckos is to give them a bath in luke-warm water about twice a day. This will generally help soften the stool in their belly. The last thing you can do is to place 1 – 2 drops of Olive Oil on it’s nose and let them lick it off. This will provide a natural lubrication work as a laxative also.

As you can see there are things you can do as an owner to keep your Leo from becoming impacted. If you gecko does become impacted you can try a few of the things mentioned above to help the impaction go away.

pH Balance: Easy Tips On How To Balance pH Naturally

What is pH?

pH stands for potential hydrogen. The pH of the body is one aspect of health that is often overlooked and yet it holds a great amount of influence on our overall health.

What is the role of pH?

  • pH ensures uptake of minerals which are vital to survival.

The pH scale goes from 0 – 14 with 7 being neutral. The body has different pH ranges throughout.

For example:

  • The range for the pH of the blood in the body 7.35 – 7.45.
  • The range of urine pH is between 4.8 – 8.5.
  • The range of pH in the stomach is between 2 – 3.

There are myths out there that suggest than an alkaline pH is where the body is balanced, however, when the urine and saliva pH are at 6.4 this is where the body is most balanced and has the least amount of symptoms.

How To Test pH:

  • One can test the pH of the body by using pH test strips or test paper that can be found at any natural health store.
  • Urine and saliva are best for testing the pH of the body. Check the pH of your urine and saliva at the same time of the day on separate pH test strips or test paper. Match the color immediately – don’t wait 15 or 30 seconds.
  • Do not use the first void of the morning.

When testing pH the saliva pH # represents the ability of the liver to create enzymes to break down food.

The urine pH # represents how the digestion in the small and large intestine are working.

If you are acidic the bodily functions are moving too fast and the body can’t absorb all the nutrients it needs, can’t eliminate toxins properly and steals calcium from your bones.

If you are too alkaline the bodily functions are moving too slowly and the digestive and elimination systems slow down. The body is so backed up and filled with toxins that it can absorb little to no vitamins or minerals.

There are five different patterns of pH:

Pattern ONE: Both urine and saliva are at 6.4. Here the body is balanced and has the least amount of symptoms.

Pattern TWO: Double Alkaline

  • Here the pH of both urine and saliva are over 6.4 (also known as Torpid – Toxic Condition)
  • Here the body is too alkaline and therefore the bodily functions are working too slowly.

Expect to see these symptoms:

  • Colon – Constipation and a very toxic colon. Parasites, microbial organisms such as yeast and bacteria growth. The bowel is reabsorbing its waste and there is an overload of toxins in the system. Expect congestion in the sinus and upper respiratory infections.
  • Digestion – The higher the pH is above 6.4 the more digestive issues will occur.
  • Female – Expect PMS and heavy menses and cramping because the uterus is receiving toxins from other parts of the body.
  • Skin – Expect to see complexion problems and body odor along with bad breath.
  • Structure – Expect back problems with a curvature of the spine to the left. The body will tend to be overweight.

Pattern THREE: Low – High Ratio

  • Here the pH of urine is below 6.4 and the pH of saliva is above 6.4. The further the numbers are apart the greater the energy loss.

Expect to see these symptoms:

  • Digestion – Expect bloating, gas and digestive discomfort.
  • Skin – Expect skin rashes and dry skin problems.
  • Structure – Expect a large gut.

Pattern FOUR: High – Low Ratio

  • Here the pH of urine is above 6.4 and the pH of saliva is below 6.4.

Expect to see these symptoms:

  • Blood – Expect anemia and a deficiency in iron and/or a deficiency in vitamin B – 12.
  • Circulation – This pattern leads to strokes, high blood pressure and vascular problems with vessel fragility.
  • Digestion – If the acid number is very low expect diarrhea.
  • Muscles – Expect leg cramps because calcium is not being utilized properly
  • Structure – Expect muscular discomfort in the lower extremities and aching bones.

Pattern FIVE: Low – Low Ratio

  • Here the pH of urine and saliva are below 6.4.

Expect to see these symptoms:

  • Digestion – The digestion is inadequate since the food is moving too fast through the digestive tract. This results in indigestion and heartburn. Malnourishment may occur due to the overly rapid digestion and mineral deficiencies.
  • Emotion – This pattern suggests emotional stress such as depression, anxiety, nervousness and mood swings.
  • Organs – Look for damage to kidneys, bladder and heart tissue.

Two Additional Notes To Consider:

  1. If urine is acidic look for reproductive problems, adrenal problems, calcium deficiency and muscle cramping.
  2. If saliva is acidic look for liver or lung problems and could stem from exposure to chemicals and B12 anemias.

Consider the following diet suggestions for ACIDIC pH to help RAISE the body’s pH:

  • Distilled Water with Lemon – Lemon is the most alkalizing substance known!
  • Calcium Gluconate – this is a bone builder that does not require any other minerals to work
  •   Calcium   Hydroxide  or Citrate
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Vitamin D
  • Onion Soup (high in Vitamin C)
  • Lime Water (hard water)
  • May need to eliminate meat/animal flesh since meats produce uric acid
  • Add Manganese rich foods like Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
  • Digestive Enzymes with each meal
  • Baking soda bath will pull acid out of the body and help to make the body more alkaline

Consider the following diet suggestions for ALKALINE pH to help LOWER the body’s pH:

  • Calcium Gluconate – this is a bone builder that does not require any other minerals to work
  • Calcium Lactate
  • Colon cleanse which helps to speed up your digestion and clean up the digestive tract
  • Flaxseed oil or olive oil which can be a lubrication for constipation
  • Distilled water
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
  • Exercise as the muscles will produce lactic acid
  • NO nuts, NO cheese, NO peanut butter
  • Digestive Enzymes with each meal