Vinyl Deck Railing on Your Pool Deck

The Beauty of a Pool Deck

Among many changes going on in the world is the fact that people are spending more and more time outdoors. They work because they have to work to pay the bills. However, in their spare time they’re choosing to spend their time outdoors. The addition of decks to the home gives them the perfect place to spend their time outdoors. Cooking out, reading, laying in the sun, entertaining or just relaxing are some of the many things people do on their decks. Whether your deck has a vinyl deck railing or elaborately designed wood railing, you deck is a place for fun as well as adding beauty and value to your home.

Another choice many homeowners are making is adding a pool and pool deck to their home. This is the perfect way to add some beauty to an otherwise drab backyard. It’s also something your entire family will enjoy. Your backyard will also be the envy of your friends. Although a pool by itself is a great addition to your home, this will enhance the beauty and functionality of the home. A pool deck will change your pool from a place for swimming and sunbathing to a place that is perfect for entertaining.

Types of Pool Decks

The pool deck is the area around the pool, depending on if your pool is below or above the ground. Regardless of which type of pool you have, you can easily install a pool deck to match the pool and enhance the beauty of your home.

If you have an above-the-ground pool, you can choose to install a matching pool deck with vinyl deck railing. This type is usually made of redwood, pressure treated wood, cedar and various other types of wood. This wood is treated with compounds to help prevent rotting and termites. You have your choice of enclosing your entire deck or making a partial deck. Always check with your local officials on building permit laws in your area before you begin your construction.

If you have an in-ground pool deck, you have a few more choices available in the line of pool decks. You can use wood for your decking as well as stones, tiles or concrete all around the deck flooring. With the varieties of stones or tiles, you can choose from many textures and finishes. Make sure the wood in maintained regularly to keep it from rotting.

Traditional pool decks are made with concrete blocks. Although these are strong and durable, they require a lot of digging to get the concrete footings properly installed, unlike floating concrete blocks, which are kept on the ground. Many homeowners are choosing to make a combination pool deck with a raised deck by their above ground pool and a lower attached deck flooring with stones or tiles and attached vinyl deck railing.

The Components of Deck Railings

Making your deck look complete and finished will take some planning and deck components. When making your design plan, you will be able to determine what components that you need to help make your deck look perfect.

A baluster is one of the deck components that you will need. It is the smaller post structure that is place in between the larger posts. They are usually called spindles or pickets. Decks built now usually have two by two balusters made of wood, but some homeowners don’t like this because they prefer a look that is more contemporary. Homeowners are drawn to more contemporary materials, including PVC, glass, iron, aluminum, and other metals. There are many different reasons for this. Glass is gradually becoming more popular because it is transparent, which makes it functional without sacrificing the view. Aluminum is well loved due to the large number of different colors that are available and the fact that it is maintenance free. People enjoy the many different materials and designs that are available, which allow them to find the deck railing components that express their personal preferences and are functional.

Connectors are another one of the deck railing components that are needed. These are used for many different things in deck railing construction. They connect the railings to the stair of the deck, the wall, and to each other. The material choices for connectors are many, including PVC, metal, wood, or iron. You need to carefully consider the connectors, because they are what help to give your railings strength and support. If you do not feel that they will hold up well to the weight and pressure, then you may want to choose another material for your connectors.

The final deck railing component that we are going to learn about is the accessories for your deck. If you want your deck to be full of character, then the accessories that you choose can go a long way. From the more traditional accessories to more interesting accessories, your choice can make a huge different in the look and feel of your deck railings. Post tops are one way to add character and these are usually made to screw directly into your post. Animals, shapes, family crests, and other designs can help give your deck that finishing touch. They come in many different materials as well. All you need to do is find the one that fits the look that you want for your deck and you will be well on your way to creating a deck full of interest and character.

All About Architectural Ironmongery

People are still confused about ironmongery and its implications and importance on the outcome of an architectural landmark. The importance of ironmongery and its significance in beautifying an otherwise dull house is a well-established fact. The ignorance of people and the changing architecture trends have diminished its importance. Ironmongery, in its strictest forms, is still very much present in our houses and construction sites.

By the way, what exactly is ironmongery? In fact, every iron related object used in construction and decoration of a house is considered ironmongery. This includes the iron railings, handles, switches, knobs and boards that are an essential part of any house. We use these iron materials, as they are durable and are best suited for a number of functions in our house. They are also easily available from the market in pre-fabricated shapes. We can pick any size and shape that best suits our home’s architecture.

Ironmongery also includes intricate designs made from iron that are used in our living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Additionally, cabinets are sometimes made from iron and thus constitute a part of ironmongery for home construction. Ironmongery holds a great place in home construction and decoration. People want to turn to ironmongery to lift up the image of their house and give it a nice ambiance.

People are also interested in ironmongery, because it can conceal architectural defaults in a house. Let us give an example in this regard. Just assume that your house is constructed on an opulent scale and apparently without defaults or shortcomings. However, a close examination might reveal some discrepancies like superficial cracks in the doors and cupboards because of a strong hammering during their installation.

You can easily hide that ugly thing by using a small piece of ironmongery. This can be either a door knob or a small iron structure that can be installed at that place to conceal the defects. It will also enhance the image of that affected part of the door or cupboard.

Commercial property, on the other hand, may have a high or low percentage of ironmongery depending on the owners’ demand. In some commercial properties, architectural ironmongery is not even considered as an option.

That is particularly true for modern public offices, as the massive inflow of people can damage the delicate iron structures. In other commercial properties, like private offices and hospitals, ironmongery is still a popular option. Even some commercial buildings are now turning to extensive ironmongery, as they are becoming aware of its importance in architecture and design.

Particularly the private housing sector is rethinking about its use of ironmongery. The use of ironmongery saw a decline in the late twentieth century but it has seen resurgence in recent years. The ability of ironmongery to enhance the architecture of a house and concealing minor defects is helping it regain a strong footing. Given these benefits, it is expected that architectural ironmongery will become an integral part of home decoration in the coming years.

Tapering for a Judo Competition

You must taper for a judo competition if you want to perform to the best of your ability. There are a few keys aspects to tapering, these include:

– choosing a competition

– dieting

– judo training

– physical training

– mental preparation

Choosing a competition

Choosing a competition is crucial if you want to perform to the best of your ability. The competition you choose should be one that you really want to do well in and one that you spend every waking moment thinking about. It is a good idea to choose a competition that is going to be pretty tough. There is no point choosing a tournament that will be easy to win or too hard to win. I believe that the competition you taper for must be one that you must dedicate all of your training in order to win. This way you will train hard leading right up until fight day.

Dieting

Make sure that you diet for fight day. When you choose a competition you now know what day weigh in is. Therefore it is crucial that you diet. I have seen so many athletes running weight off and crash dieting to make weight. I ask the same question every time, “didn’t you know you had a competition on?”

Please make sure you watch what you are eating and make weight comfortably.

Training

Your training should also taper towards fight day. There is no point doing one hour of randori one day before the competition day. When the competition is far away you should be doing a lot of randori, but at a lower intensity. Then as the competition gets closer you should shorten the duration and increase the intensity at which you are training.

Physical preparation

Your physical preparation is another very important aspect of your tapering preparation. As a competition gets closer you should be increasing your intensity, shortening the duration and lengthening the rest periods between sets. I usually do a three repetition max on bench press and dead lifts about a week out from competition. I find lifting heavy weights just before a competition gives me a lot of confidence coming in to fight day.

Mental preparation:

Preparing mentally is a huge aspect of tapering. You must be mentally prepared to fight to the hardest and best of your ability level. You should constantly be thinking about the competition and thinking about what you are going to attack with etc. This way when it comes to fight day it feels like you have been there before.

Knowing exactly what to do before every competition takes years of trial and error. When it comes to judo there is always something new to learn.

Thought and Character, Napoleon Hill and James Allen on Hidden Seeds of Thought

What do you believe and why do you believe it? What part of what you believe is true? Have you examined your beliefs?

“Every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought”

Is this why some people, after reading books like Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” do become rich? Is it because new seeds of thought have been planted? Has Hill provided information that the person didn’t know or has Hill unleashed their thinking, allowing them to dream beyond the present conditions? It’s not an either-or proposition is it, clearly Hill provides both conditions to the reader.

Why then doesn’t Think and Grow Rich cause everyone who reads it to become rich? Isn’t life just a crap shoot? Some who Read Think and Grow Rich believe it and to others the words just pass by. What is magical is not the book or the words but the effect those words have on the mind that receives them. And how open that mind is to believe that “thoughts become things” and “anything the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Does the reader have so much junk stored in his mind that he cannot get to the beliefs necessary to move forward? Those seeds of thought can be good seeds and bad. Earl Nightingale talked about seeds of the deadly poison plant, nightshade, being planted and those seeds growing to full pushing out the good crop: this is what James Allen is saying in the classic, “As A Man Thinketh.”

The seeds of thought planted in our minds first by our parents, our families, our friends, the media, what kinds of seeds are those? Even church and religious services of all kinds, what seeds are these really bringing. In the Christian traditions there is the preaching of fire, damnation, and judgment – of a God of retribution — and there is the teaching of a God of love who intends the very best for you. All of these ideas taken from the same book. So it is in life, one person sees life as an endless opportunity while another sees life as a struggle for existence. One sees and participates in an abundant feast while another sees only the scraps that fall to the floor.

Why is this? Allen says, quoting scripture: “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” When a person picks up Think and Grow Rich and begins to read through with what eye is he seeing the book? What beliefs does he have to overcome to accept the ideas that if he changes his thinking then the whole world opens to him. What has gone into that mind before these new ideas? What mental baggage has to be overcome? How much does he “know” that just isn’t true? James Allen discusses many of the same concepts in “As A Man Thinketh.”

Before the great runner Roger Bannister everyone knew it was impossible to break the four minute mile. Yet within weeks of Bannister’s record other runners had beaten it. Since then the record has even been broken in high school events. Many point to this as a psychological barrier that runners couldn’t cross. Then after the idea was out, after the belief was in the minds of the runners then their training, their work was able to attain new levels of performance.

“We become what we think about all day long,” as Earl Nightingale put it. We generally think about things that have been put there by family, friends, teachers, media — have we examined those thoughts and the artificial limitations that have been installed in our minds?

People shook with and were paralyzed by fear in their homes after hearing Orson Well’s 1938 broadcast of “War of The Worlds.” Many truly believed that Martians were actually invading the world. What might you believe about your business that isn’t true? Do you believe in a bad economy that your business can’t grow? If so why would you get up and try? The fact is plenty of people are going to get rich in bad times while others will loose out. What do you believe about the challenges of the economy, about the challenges of life?

Are challenges supposed to destroy us or are they a way to make us stronger? “As A Man Thinketh” says:

The act is the blossom of thought and joy and suffering are it’s fruits – thus does a man enjoy the sweet and bitter fruitage of his own husbandry.

What will your act be in response to a challenge? Will you hunker down in your house in fear? Or will you go out to discover what the truth about it is? Allen quotes scripture when he says:

He that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

That’s a promise of a way, of an answer if you are looking for a way to meet the challenges. But if you shiver in your home, if the covers are pulled up over your head as you wait for – what is it you are waiting for? If you are waiting then you are not looking, you are not seeking, and nothing good can come of it. Your mind will take on the mantra of the world, of the media.

“As A Man Thinketh” is a challenge to all to examine your thoughts, they are probably not even your thoughts. You will be controlled by those thoughts, by that message, you will act in accordance:

the act is the blossom of thought…

If you are not happy with your life, with circumstance, put some new thoughts in.

Do you believe that change is bad or is it opportunity? Is a crisis bad or is it an opportunity? Shakespeare said, “there is nothing either good or bad, but only thinking makes it so.” Do you want to go back to the good old days, or are these the good old days?

Change and crisis are forces in the world that beckon us to look again at what we believe. To look at the habitual thoughts that cycle through our consciousness, drive our actions, and produce our results in the world.

What to Look For in an HDMI Switcher

Being able to purchase yourself an HDMI switcher is a wonderful thing to do. The problem that a person could run into though is that they do not know what features they should be looking for. Since they might not know what to look for they could find that they waste some money before they find the proper one to suit the needs that they have.

Before a person starts looking for these they need to consider having a price range in mind. By having a price range in mind a person is going to be able to find the proper one for them to enjoy without breaking the budget that they have in place.

One thing that a person should look for is going to be if the item has a remote control or not. This item could allow a person to hide the unit away and out of normal vision range. So a person can have friends over and not have to worry about them seeing this item.

Something else that a person needs to keep an eye out for is going to be if the item contains the cable or not. The cable can be rather expensive at times, but a person could find that if it is already included that they will not need to hunt one down or spend even more money.

Another thing to keep an eye open for is if the switch is powered or not. If the switch is powered by a separate cord it will have a better performance, but it is powered by the items that are plugged into it a person could see that it might be a little bit on the sluggish side.

A person needs to consider how many inputs and outputs are present on the switch. Since a person is already in a pinch on the number of inputs they need to find one of these that has more than the available ones on the television. However, a person could find that the number that are available still are not enough for the items they need to plug in.

When person wants to get the most out of the television that they purchased they may need to get an HDMI switcher. When they get one of those they could see that they can finally enjoy getting multiple items plugged into the television that they want to watch knowing that it is going to be in the high definition that they have.

Why Activity Is Picking Up In Florida’s Property Auction Markets

In a depressed housing market, which is still reeling from the devastating mortgage meltdown, a lot of investors and brokers view auctions as a vital portfolio management tool, and like any other tool, it works wonders when used correctly for the right task.

The one thing all auction sellers in Florida, and probably elsewhere have in common is a desire or the need to sell within a shorter time frame than ordinary marketing methods or techniques would usually take.

Why The Auction Markets Are Good For Selling Homes These Days

Because of the slow activity in the housing market, here are among the most common reasons we hear about the perks of undertaking an auction. First, many view that these activities free up cash for alternative opportunities, and also eliminate “carrying” costs like interest, maintenance, utilities and taxes on property that is selling more slowly than anticipated in a business plan. Second, auctions enable home sellers and brokers to draw more attention to the property and set it apart in a crowded marketplace.

Third, auctions help cast a much wider net by drawing prospective buyers from a wider geographical area. And in addition, property auctions allow to establish the fair market value of a property that is difficult to appraise due to a lack of comparables. In reality, there are almost as many reasons as there are sellers. For those who are thinking of undertaking a property or home auction event, first ask yourselves, is the property suitable for an auction?

For instance, if you’re selling commercial land, the auction method is generally well-suited for locations near major cities, preferably with frontage on major roads and high visibility. For residential or commercial buildings, the auction method would most probably be best-suited to those that are high-quality, non-distressed, and in the growth market.

Auction Activity For The Condo Market

As most would expect in a tough residential condo market, auction activity is on the rise as developers and individual owners seek to quickly dispose of units that otherwise might sit idle and empty for longer periods. According to CEO of Pompano Beach-based Fisher Auction, inquiries have risen by 30% to 40% from a year or two ago, mostly from developers or bankruptcy courts.

While at this point, sellers have been end-users who bought on speculation, or were developers who needed their money back, the inquiries are now coming mostly from financial institutions. Most buyers are investors who are looking for deals and are not worried about staying in the market, while some auction buyers are individuals, but most activity is coming from domestic investor groups, and foreign buyers are also coming in to the auction market as well.

Activity Is Peaking In The Auction Markets Despite Some Problems

According to the chairman of Sheldon Good & Company in Chicago, one problem with condo sales at auction is depth of market, which he views greatly varies across the state of Florida. According to the housing market analyst, leverage is everybody’s enemy, as in some markets, prospective buyers worry about a further drop in pricing.

In other property markets where the oversupply isn’t as severe, buyers perceive less value from the auction, however, there’s plenty of business right now in the auction markets, notes the head of Sheldon Good & Co., as they are negotiating as well with other companies in the eastern and western sides of Florida, and the total amount of real estate under consideration exceeds $100 million.

http://commercial-realestate-florida.xon.us – Florida Commercial Real Estate

Silversmithing – The Basics of Working With Silver, What You Need and How to Do It

When you see a stunning piece of worked silver jewellery in a shop, have you ever wondered at the skill which goes into making it? How do silversmiths create those fabulous items we all covet? What techniques are involved, and what tools do they use?

Silversmithing is a craft which takes years to learn, either as an apprentice to a silversmith, or these days in one of the college and university courses which are run in the major jewellery centers of Sheffield, Edinburgh, Birmingham, London and Dublin. Practise is essential to mastery of this wondrous craft, but the basics are achievable by anyone with patience, and the right tools!

There are many techniques which are used by silversmiths, some of which follow:

Piercing – This is the cutting of metal using a piercing saw. Cutting can be functional, to create a basic shape, or decorative, to create a pattern in the metal. If creating a pattern within a sheet of metal, a small hole is drilled in the sheet to allow the blade of the saw to be positioned. The blade is then connected to the piercing saw, which looks like a hacksaw, under tension. Several grades of blade are available, from coarse which allows speed of cutting, to very fine for detailed work. All the blades are delicate and easily snapped, so work must be done slowly. The blade is held vertically, and the metal is moved slowly to make curves or corners. Blades are lubricated by passing them through beeswax to make the cutting smoother. The work is supported on a bench peg which is screwed to a workbench, and has a V cut into it so the area either side of the cut is supported. Small shavings of metal called lemel are collected from under the piercing in a leather or paper cloth, and then recycled into new silver.

Soldering – Soldering silver and other precious metals is somewhat different to soldering for electronics or plumbing purposes. Silver solder (also gold and platinum) melt at a far higher temperature than lead solder, and so a blow torch is necessary. This has safety implications, and creates difficulties for the silversmith, as the temperature needed to melt silver solder is very close to the temperature at which the piece being worked would itself melt. In order to manage the temperatures of the soldering process, soldering and other torch work is usually carried out in darkness, so that the colour of the metal as it heats can be used to gauge the temperature of the piece.

Silver is soldered using silver solder, which contains mainly silver. It comes in various alloy mixes, which alter its melting temperature and its usage. The softest solder, called EASY, has a lower melting point, and is therefore less likely to result in damage to the piece being soldered. MEDIUM has a higher melting point, and HARD has the highest. Pieces where multiple solderings are required use hard solder initially, and work down the grades with subsequent solderings so that each addition does not melt or distort the previous one.

Lead solder is NEVER used with any precious metal or jewellery piece, as the high temperatures involved would cause the solder to run all over the silver, contaminating it and rendering it useless.

Annealing – Annealing is the technique used to soften silver and other precious metals to make then more malleable and easier to work. Malleable metal bends easily without damage to its molecular structure which weakens the piece. The more a piece is worked, the harder and more brittle it becomes, so repeat annealings are used to keep it malleable. Annealing is done with a torch, again in darkness. The work is heated until it glows a soft pinkish red, which is the point just before melting. The piece is then quenched rapidly in a tub of cold water, which freezes the molecules into the alignment they were in when almost molten, and thus makes it easier to work. However, any work with a torch leaves a fire stain on the silver which must be removed before further work is done, so the piece must be pickled.

Pickling – Pickling is the process of placing a fire stained piece of work in an acid bath to remove any oxidisation before working it. Sulphuric acid is most commonly used, although pickling salts which are safer solutions can be bought for the smaller silversmith. The pickling solution is kept warm to speed to process, and once a satisfactory result is obtained the piece is rinsed in running water, then cleaned with pumice powder to remove any last traces.

Shaping – most work will need to be shaped into its finished form. This is done in a variety of ways, dependent on the he shape desired. Tubular shapes such as rings and bangles are shaped on mandrels which are held in a vice, while the annealed metal is hammered with a mallet of wood or hide. Bowls and other curved pieces are domed on leather sandbags and wooden or metal doming blocks, using wooden or shaped metal hammers. Many repeat annealings will be necessary when shaping work.

Polishing – polishing is the last technique used by any silversmith on their piece once the forming work is completed. It is a long process, where a piece is rubbed with progressively finer wet and dry papers to remove any tool marks from working, and then remove marks left by the previous paper used. Once completed it can then be wheel polished, (for larger pieces like bowls) polished with a fine polishing mop on a pendant drill (like a hobby drill), or barrel polished, where it is immersed in a soap solution with steel shot and rotated for 10 minutes or so. The finished result should be smooth and shiny and free of all tool marks.

These are the basic techniques of a silversmith. When learning the art of silversmithing, it is wise to work in a base metal such as brass or copper until you have accomplished a level of proficiency, as its much cheaper when you make mistakes! Design a simple piece on paper, at full finished size. This template is then cut out and glued onto the metal to be worked as a guide. Piercing is done before shaping, which must be done very carefully on a pierced piece as it will have stress points where it will fracture easily. Once you have a pierced and shaped design, either polish it for a glossy finish, or brush it for a matte finish, then wear it with pride.

Different Kinds of Stained Glass Tools

There are various tools associated in working with stained glasses. These tools ease the work associated with the glass especially soldering, cutting, marking and smothering the glass. Some of the stained glass tools used are as highlighted below.

In the workshop, glass needs to be cut. The most commonly used tools are glass cutters which are made of a wheel held up by bearings. The wheels can be made of any hard materials carbide, steel or rather tungsten. Although all glass cutters are unique, only the handles tend to make them different from one another.

Other stained glass tools include the soldering iron and grinder. A soldering iron is a tool with a temperature control knob which usually regulates the temperature while using it. A grinder is an electric tool used in glassware industry to make the edges of the glass smooth. Apart from the grinder, other essential tools required for the work of smoothing the edges of glass are worktable or board and the brushes.

Another key stained glass tool required for the job is the grozing pliers. Its look likes the ordinary pliers though its main purpose is to cut the lead. The grozing pliers is preferred to the ordinary pliers since the pressure it applies to the glass is much less than that applied by ordinary pliers. If the pressure is too much, it leads to the glass cracking. Grozing pliers are somewhat unaffordable, so a special standard knife known as putty knife may be used in its place. Before using the standard knife, one needs to modify the blade to look thin and sharp.

Another major tool used for glass working is the Pattern Shear which is used to make paper patterns. Although those are the major items to use, one may need several minor tools required for any workshop work.

Are You Digging Yourself Into a Hole?

In the areas of developmental psychology, spiritual psychology and related fields, there’s a given understanding that most of us, simply by nature of being born and raised in this world is “hurt” or “wounded” in the process. Even though our parents or primary caregivers are doing their utmost to raise us well, nurture us and socialize us, the fact is most everyone’s care giving comes up short – even in those homes where folks say their childhood was “the best”, or completely stable. “Wounding” is a fact of life of the human condition for most of us. This wounding can be mental, emotional, psychological, physical and/or spiritual.

One reason we come into this journey on the planet, and especially in our journey in our various relationships, is to “heal” this hurt so we can grow emotionally and spiritually into mature and competent adults and, as mature adults, show up in our life at work, at home, at play and in relationship authentically and emotionally conscious, healthy, alert and alive – i.e., whole.

One manifestation of this hurt or wounding is that, if asked and answered honestly, every human being will admit to feeling some degree of “deficiency”, or “lack”, in some way at some time.

Individuals who have done or are doing “personal work” or “spiritual developmental work” will most readily admit to experiencing this feeling of deficiency. Those who are on the other end of the spectrum may engage in denial, resistance, or just out-and-out- rejection of the notion they are somehow not “all that I can be”, right here and right now, and say they never feel lacking or deficient – a defensive, reactive response for many.

One of the feelings associated with this “hurt” is that often folks may feel “empty”, “worthless” or “valueless” in some way – perhaps in some aspect of their work life, play life, home life or relationship life. They don’t feel they are all they can be and often experience feelings of confusion, frustration, fear, resentment, guilt or shame about who they are and how they feel about themselves.

This feeling of being “less than”, or “not enough” is often referred to as a “hole” and so when in a state where they may be experiencing their hole, people might feel a wave or cloud coming over them where they feel they lack value, or worth, or feel “empty”. Often folks fail to show up authentically as they consciously or unconsciously allow their feelings of “deficiency” to drive who they are and show up as phonies, frauds, fakes, bullies, or fearful, quiet, submissive, deferential, etc. on some level. The “hole” is a natural and necessary state and can promote conscious and healthy emotional and spiritual growth if dealt with consciously and honestly.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that the hole of deficiency can be filled. The question is how one chooses to fill the hole. The degree to which one experiences true and real inner peace, happiness, harmony and relaxation in their life (at work, at home, at play and in relationship) is a function of how one chooses to fill their hole.

There are two methods for “hole filling” – from “without” or from “within. The former results in digging a deeper hole; the latter results in reducing the size of the hole, perhaps eliminating it altogether.

From without

When folks attempt to fill their hole, their feelings of deficiency, of not being “enough” from “without” they tend to look outside themselves for a “quick-fix” that will bring a short-term feeling of OK-ness. Some of these folks will effort to inflate who they are in order to fill their hole of emptiness while others deal with the emptiness most often by filling it with stuff, stuff and more stuff.

Many of these folks who don’t feel safe or comfortable in their own skins continually live life seeking recognition, approval, and emotional and psychological security through vain actions and activities – wanting and needing others to give them a sense of OK-ness.

The downside of filling the hole from “without” is the hole never is filled but the intensity and degree of the activities they engage in to fill their hole become more and more progressive (like needing more and more of a drug to gain the same “numbing” effect). Living a life filling a hole from the “outside” results in a life characterized by an insidious sense of toxicity, intensity, agitation, and feelings of envy, jealousy, anger, shame, guilt, sadness, depression, despair, etc. on some level. Hole-filling for them is a never-ending battle, exhausting on every level – mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, social – as their hole grows deeper and deeper and their need for approval grows.

The narcissist is one example of an individual who tends to fill their hole from the outside – with their incessant need for admiration, approval, acknowledgment and recognition.

The narcissist lives from a perspective of needing to always “stand out”, to be seen and be “somebody” (as “inside” they feel deficient). So, in their life at work, at home, at play and in relationship, filling their hole of deficiency drives them to be the center of the Universe, living a life characterized by vanity, arrogance, lack of humility and egocentricity. The result, however, is digging one’s self into an ever deepening hole that requires more and more filling.

The tools and practices for filling the hole from without are those that anaesthetize one to their feelings – numbing out, denying and withdrawing – through TV, entertainment, sports, sex, alcohol, chemical and non-chemical medications, exercise, shopping, eating, and gathering stuff, or activities that require always being “on”, e.g., the life of the party, the know-it-all, the expert, always being “out there” in an effort to be seen, heard and acknowledged and “doing, doing, doing”, i.e., keeping busy.

From within

Filling the hole from within requires pursuing a conscious and honest exploration of one’s sense of deficiency, knowing that their feelings of lack and deficiency are not “their fault”. In the process, they move to an inner place of peace, understanding, strength, will, courage and compassion which support one to take the necessary actions to allow their hole, to be OK with it and in that very process – allowing me to be me just as I am – experience the hole reduce and resolve.

Exploring from this inner place, one acquires insights, and awareness of the tools and practices that support one to understand the nature of “holes” and to forward the action of their life by doing the “quiet”, deep developmental work that supports their growth process. As part of this process, these folks are guided, internally and insightfully, to master the knowledge, tools and skills that support their self-actualization in their life at work, at home, at play and in relationship, a life they live with authenticity, sincerity, self-trust, honesty and self-responsibility. From this place of acceptance of the hole, understanding how the hole supports us to grow and mature, the hole begins to fill itself. The work of filling the hole from within is quiet, deep, personal, inward directed and outwardly manifested.

The tools and practices used to fill the hole from “within” are journaling, self-reflection, meditation, silence, inquiry or deep questioning about “Who am I” and “What am I?”, listening for an inner voice to inform us and often working in dialogue with a support person (e.g., a spiritual coach, counselor, clergy person, a capable and trusted friend, partner, etc.) who can guide them on their inner journey. From within, the more one’s hole is reduced, the more one’s heart-felt inner strength, trust and courage arise to allow one to “be myself” – without needing any false or phony packaging or shoring up.

In the process of filling the hole from within, folks are able to acknowledge, observe and be curious about (without judgment!) their feelings of inadequacy and deficiency, accept them, learn from them and then move to a place of inner fortitude and steadfastness where they gain an inner, deeper, true sense of their value and worth and the capacity to show up more authentically – not needing to put on the cloak of a “false self” in order to be “somebody” other than who they really are.

What we resist, persists. When we resist the hole and look to fill it from the outside, the hole will persist, and grow deeper.

When we do deeper inner work and allow the feelings connected to the hole, and work with these feelings, the hole will begin to dissipate and dissolve.

The bottom-line question is, “How do I choose to show up in my life at work, at home, at play and in relationship?” Authentically, or not? Life is choices.

This choice will result in reducing and eliminating the hole – or digging a deeper one.

So, some questions for self-reflection are:

· In what ways do I often feel I am “not enough”, deficient or lacking or “empty”? Why do I think I feel the way I do? How do I feel about feeling the way I do?

· Do I engage in “outside” activities to an extreme to feel secure, engaged and have some sense of OK-ness with my life? If so, what does all this activity get me?

· Do I feel and show up authentically at work, at home, at play, in my relationships? Really, authentic? Do I ever feel like a fake or a phony? Do I ever consciously choose to be a fake or phony? If so, why?

· Do I often find myself rationalizing my behaviors?

· Do I often feel a need to be “out there” – the life of the party, the “know-it-all”, the expert, etc?

· Do I play “small”, feel unseen and invisible much of the time? Do I often feel I am “not enough” in some way? If so, do I know why?

· Do I have a “spiritual” (here, not theological, or religious) life? Do I meditate, write poetry, walk in nature, sing, dance, paint, journal, self-reflect…as a way to experience quiet, silence, inner peace, and personal discovery?

· Who in my life pushes my buttons? What do I see about my reactivity (not about them) that points to an area or areas in me where I might be in denial or have possible blind spots where I need to do some deeper exploration?

· What one or two baby steps can I take in the next week or two to move toward exploring my feelings around lack or deficiency?

The Fundamentals Of Bathroom Ceiling Lighting

Every day, before we head off to the outside world, we spend some time in the bathroom first, taking care of ourselves. The bathroom is also a place where most of us spend time relaxing after a long day at work, maybe by soaking in the bath tub. Homeowners may not put too much attention to it but one of the most important amenities in a bathroom is the lights, especially bathroom ceiling lighting.

Yes, lighting plays a significant role in both the functionality and aesthetics of a bathroom. With the proper lighting, your bathroom can crossover from simply adequate to truly sophisticated. Proper illumination is necessary in every bathroom especially if it is used mainly for grooming and hygiene. Of course, activities such as shaving or putting on make up needs sufficient lighting in order to be done properly. To achieve this, you can install bathroom ceiling lighting fixtures that will provide the needed illumination. You can install a decorative lighting fixture and suspend it from the ceiling. This will not only provide enough light throughout the entire room but will also introduce an elegant style in your bathroom. In the shower, you can also install overhead lighting that will cast enough light into the area without producing too much glare. Ceiling lights will also brighten enclosed corners in your bathroom.

Bath tub areas need a more subtle lighting to create a more relaxed atmosphere and subdued ambiance. This can be achieved by using recessed lighting fixtures that gently diffuse the light but still provide sufficient illumination. A good technique is to focus the light towards the edge of the tub. This will help avoid dull lights in your bath area. Meanwhile, if you are fond of reading while on the toilet, you can install reading lamps either on the ceiling or the wall.

The most important area of the bathroom that should be given proper illumination is the vanity area or the mirror. You can install bathroom ceiling lighting that is positioned in a way that will eliminate shadows and dark circles on your face. This way, the clear and sufficient illumination will aid your grooming and help you look your best. Aside from overhead lighting, you can also use sconces that will provide just enough light without casting hard shadows on your face. If you want to feel like a movie star, you can also install fluorescent light bulbs, either bare or ensconced, along the sides of your vanity mirror.

To create a relaxing atmosphere throughout your bathroom and still provide the enough illumination, you can opt for rope lights embedded in recessed moldings along the outer edges of your ceiling. This will create a more cozy and comfortable ambiance in your bathroom. To save up on electricity, you can use LED (light-emitting diodes). Other bathroom ceiling lighting is also available to suit you individual taste.

What Is Explosion Proof Lighting?

You might work in an atmosphere that is often filled with volatile gases or combustible dust and you know all it takes is one tiny spark that can lead to a fire or even an explosion resulting in serious injury. It’s very important that you or your company has safety measures in place to protect when working in these types of environments. These conditions are often created as a part of the normal operations of industry and cannot be totally negated; the next obvious solution is to remove all possible sources of ignition. Everything from light switches to fans are possible sources of ignition, and they simply cannot be entirely removed the workspace.

To control these ignition sources you should implement intrinsically safe electrical equipment or explosion proof equipment. Intrinsically safe equipment is basically any equipment that is incapable of producing sufficient energy to cause ignition. Explosion proof refers to equipment that can contain and isolate possible sources of ignition, preventing them from making contact with the open air. Intrinsically safe equipment has the highest safety but is not always the best choice. There are limitations created by its higher costs and generally low power characteristics. Explosion proof equipment on the other hand is not as constrained by these limitations and can be operated at lower cost. One example is this type of equipment is lighting.

Explosion Proof Lighting is created for use in places where the danger of fires or explosions is present. There many types of these lights ranging from LED lights, flashlights, and fluorescent lights. These types of lights come in several different classes and ratings. These classes and ratings determine the conditions the light is intended to be operated in. OSHA defines explosion proof lighting as “An apparatus enclosed in a case that is capable of withstanding an explosion of a specified gas or vapor that may occur within it and of preventing the ignition of a specified gas or vapor surrounding the enclosure by sparks, flashes, or explosion of the gas or vapor within, and that operates at such an external temperature that a surrounding flammable atmosphere will not be ignited thereby.”

With this type of lighting it will help to prevent accidents and injuries in these types of hazardous work areas and provide that type of safety your work areas need. Companies like Larson Electronics provide a wide variety of this type of lighting.

Secure Your Parking Lot by Installing a Barrier Gate

From a real state developer standpoint, parking lots are non productive areas. With that stated, several of the building planners and architects, following the real state developer (aka building owner) wishes design parking lots with faulty security measurements or just non existent. In my years as a contractor I’ve seen countless times improper illumination to lower electricity bills; non sufficient security guards and or total lack of them and no CCTV cameras on the parking areas. Security for parking lots seems to be getting a lot of press lately. If you look at the statistics, around 80% of the crimes at shopping centers, strip malls and business offices occur in the parking lot.

A cost efficient perimeter security start with access control systems; a barrier gate in specifics. This device allow the control of cars going in or getting out of the parking lot by controlling the traffic of a single lane.

Integrated with the overall access control and backed up with surveillance cameras, CCTV and motion detectors as well as proper illumination on the parking lot, the perimeter security is almost invulnerable. If your perimeter security is as tight as it could be, it will be almost impossible that some burglar penetrates the inner business, condos or offices.

But having these security measurements does not means crime will not occur on your property. Lawyers are very busy making a good living off liability cases based on a lack of sufficient security measures or not taking “reasonable care” in the protection of employees and customers against threats. The lawsuits often revolve around lack of sufficient lighting, surveillance or response; so by improving these tree aspects we can avoid expensive lawsuits and raise the overall feeling of security.

Tips For Buying Safes

When you buy safes you should consider many things to be sure you get the best one possible. You want protection against fire damage and from a burglar. You also want to be sure the safe works properly for you and never have a malfunction.

When you look at safes you want to be sure you find one with a proper lock. There is nothing like installing a heavy duty safe in your home and finding the combination lock malfunctions shortly after. This could cost you quite a bit of money in having the safe removed and broken into in order to get your belongings. Locks that are U.L. Group 2 or better are the only types you want on your safe. The three most dependable manufacturers of these locks are Sargent & Greenleaf, LaGard, and Kaba Mas.

Safes need to have at least half-inch thick solid steel doors. Many manufacturers save money by making many safes with thin sheet metal. The problem is that any thief or burglar could easy break into a safe this thin. The thicker the door, the harder it will be to break into.

Safes should contain relockers which will help ensure the safe remains locked. A relocker is a mechanism intended to keep a safe locked in the event of a burglary attempt. In case there is a burglary, a trigger will set off the relocker which will lock the safe and make it impossible to open without hours of drilling. Not all safes have the same number of relockers on them. The number of relockers usually depends on the size of the safe.

When you are looking at safes you might not be satisfied with a standard safe. You can find custom safes to fit your need with the size, finish, and interior. One thing to keep in mind is that if you plan on placing your safe above the ground floor be sure it weighs less than 1000 pounds.

Safes are the best thing you can use to ensure your documentation and expensive jewelry is safe from burglary and fire. When you are looking for the right safe you want to be sure you choose one with thick enough metal and not sheet metal. Also, find a safe with relockers. The lock on the safe should be from a dependable manufacturer and you should consider a lightweight safe if it is going to be an above ground installation. You can hire professionals to help you hide a safe in your home if you want to put one in the floor or in the wall of your home.

Wallpaper Better Than Paint – 200,000 Reasons Why

The most dramatic way to enhance the decor of a home is

through wallpaper supplemented by border for accent and fabric

for coordination. Paint may give a change especially when

textured or contrasted with patterns of some sort. But that

results in a more permanent effect. Modern wallpaper is

strippable. That means that what is today’s “new look” becomes

tomorrow’s “same old same old”. With wallpaper, it is a reasonably

simple task to redo everything.

Your limits are your imagination. Today go for the bold

colors of a large floral. Maybe next time you’ll want a more

muted effect. Everything is totally changeable with wallpaper.

It is the home decorator’s dream come true.

When you go

through the effort of doing a room with wallpaper, why not get

that extra effect of using the matching fabric.

Of course you

could do drapes and re-cover all the furniture. That would be a

really major project with a real big budget. But

consider a low-cost alternative. You could go with a pillow or

two. No matter how expensive a fabric is you would only need a

few yards at most. You can even use one yard to go on the table

with perhaps a flower on it.

The fabric that goes with the

wallpaper goes with your furniture and carpet. If that was not

true you would not want that wallpaper. So why not do the total

package?

What if the budget really approaches zero? Why not

paint the room and use border as the accent? You get the

personality of the border with the low-cost of a plain paint

color. You could also use the border to separate different

colors in a room.

You could use the border as a chair rail in the dining room

with the top being painted different from the bottom. This idea

can be expanded to maybe wallpaper either top or the bottom.

You may want to paint the baby’s room and put the border

around the top. This could cover the beginners paint skill by

keeping the paint away from the ceiling. You got about five

inches which the border will cover. Certainly that is enough

space for you to keep the paint roller from hitting the ceiling.

You can get the best value with Norwall Wallpaper at:

http://www.norwall.net

But maybe things are better for you now than when you first

decorated. You can really upgrade with Thibaut Wallpaper and Fabric at:

http://www.thibautdesign.com

And there are many supplier in between.