Faux Brick – Adding Instant Appeal to Your Home

Applying the beautiful traditional look of brick gives your home a great makeover. However, by choosing a faux alternative, you can have that look without having to break the bank. Traditional bricks can be very expensive and can involve tearing down walls and additional construction to apply, but a thin brick veneer can be applied right on top of your existing walls. Supplying a completely custom experience, however you decide to decorate your house has become way easier and more personal.

The highly adaptable nature of brick veneer walls enable it to be put on almost any surface and fit any sort of specific look you have in mind. Faux brick is accessible in a spectrum of colors, styles, textures, and looks. Whether you want accents in your living room or a complete remodeling of your home’s exterior, a thin brick veneer can take your vision and make it reality. Whether you want the look of a 19th century red brick school house or an ultra-modern white brick facade, the adaptability of faux brick provides a great value. Since no walls have to be torn down, you can avoid additional costs for destruction and construction, saving you even more money.

It’s very easy to become fearful of do-it-yourself projects, but the application of faux brick is surprisingly quick and easy. If you’ve had bad experiences building a tree house for the kids, you will find no trouble in applying your new brick veneer. However, if you’ve become traumatized beyond the point of no return, a qualified professional is just as capable of applying the faux brick. The faux brick is only faux in its size. Made with actual clay and fired in an oven, your thin brick counterpart is made to look and resemble traditional brick in every way. Providing the same classic effect as traditional sized brick, a faux brick is a lighter, more affordable alternative to regular brick. Brick can be brittle and very expensive, but in investing in the cheaper faux alternative, adding a rustic element to your home is very easy.

Doing some research can go a long way in picking out your faux brick veneer. Deciding how and where to apply your faux brick is important, and the opinions of friends and professionals can aid in making your home look as great as possible. Architectural jargon can be pretty intimidating. Learning just a few and applying them to your home not only makes you more knowledgeable in the placement of your brick panels, but also more confident in your choice. Having specific ideas in mind can make the decision making process easier and will end up in your new brick accents looking their best.

PCB Creation – History and Modern Steps of the Printed Circuit Board


A printed circuit board is a fundamental piece of modern day technology. It serves 2 primary functions. First, it holds all of the electrical components of an electronic system. Secondly, it completes the electrical connections between the components. During the PCB creation process, copper sheets are laminated onto a non-conductive board. To transform this “blank canvas” into something useful, the unwanted copper is etched away to form the connections between various electrical components.

History of the Printed Circuit Board

Before PCB creation and mass production was developed as a reliable process, engineers used highly inefficient methods such as point-to-point soldering and wire wrapping. Those prior techniques were very time intensive and error prone.

In 1936, Paul Eisler created the first printed circuit board as part of a radio. Less than 10 years later, this technology found wide spread adoption in electrical systems.

The first generation of printed circuit boards were designed using through-hole (or leaded) components. As the name implies, a hole was drilled in each place on the board that a component lead needed to be inserted. The component lead in each hole was soldered into place. Wave soldering techniques were invented to significantly reduce circuit board assembly time. Modern techniques utilize much smaller components which are called surface mount components. These components have very short leads that do not require holes to be drilled.

Modern PCB Manufacturing Steps

Step#1 Film Generation:

Using computer software, an exact film representation is produced. One film is generated for each layer of the PCB.

Step#2 Shear Raw PCB Material:

Starting with copper clad board stock, the board is cut to appropriate dimensions.

Step#3 Drill Holes for through-hole leaded components:

Automated machines drill all holes using carbide drills.

Step#4 Electroless Copper Plating:

To connect a trace from one side of the board to another, a thin copper deposit is applied in each of the hole barrels.

Step#5 Image application:

Apply photosensitive plate resist to the bare copper board. Use a light source and film to expose the board. The image is a negative image. This will allow only the unwanted copper material to be etched away.

Step#6 Pattern Plate:

This is an electrochemical process which places copper on the traces and in the holes. The surface is then tinned with… tin!

Step#7 Strip & Etch:

Remove dry film from Step #5, then etch the exposed copper. The tin from Step#6 protects the copper signal paths from being etched.

Step#8 Solder mask:

Apply solder mask area to entire board with the exception of solder pads.

Step#9 Apply Solder coat:

Apply a solder coat to the pads by immersing the PCB into tank of solder. Using hot air knives the solder is leveled when the circuit board is removed from the tank.

Step#10 Labels and Identifiers:

Apply white letter markings using a screen printing process.

The bare circuit board is now ready for component soldering. This step is often performed in a different facility using “pick and place” machines. These machines use components that are purchased on a reel to allow for component placement automation.

There are many companies that offer PCB Creation and component assembly services. These companies usually offer free board design software that can be downloaded from their site. Give it a try!

Assemble the Ultimate PC Toolkit

Now, if you’re like me whenever you’re working on computers you just can’t seem to find the right tool for the job, whether it’s a flat head screw driver or a pair of tweezers, it some how magically goes missing in that time of need. Maybe I’m just not treating them right, but I swear all my tools go missing whenever I need them, or maybe the fact that they’re scattered all over the house doesn’t really help. This guide is going to show you how to assemble the ultimate pc toolkit so you won’t have to deal with some of the problems that I do. Your ultimate PC toolkit will be ready to take care of any computer hardware task, and most electrical related task you can throw at it.

Notice: Make sure you get tools that are demagnetized, because they can cause problem with circuit boards and sensitive magnetized parts like hard drives.

Required Tools

  1. A bag to keep all your tools. It doesn’t have to be big, just make sure it isn’t too small and is easy to lug around. You can even use those roll up pocket things that you slide all your tools into and then roll it up and it stores easy, I’m sure that’ll work pretty good provided you don’t have really really fat tools.
  2. Tweezers. This is one of the most important tools you could possibly have, they’re handy for picking small tiny things up in small tiny places. Now you won’t have to swear every time you drop a screw in the bottom of your computer case, just grab your hefty pair of tweezers and get it out, or maybe you set the jumpers on your hard drive, no need to worry about pulling out those jumpers, grab the tweezers and you’ll have the jumpers set correctly in not time.
  3. Screwdrivers. Get a #1 size screwdriver, that should help you out for the most part, but you’ll need various sizes and shapes to keep up with your PCs screws, as a general rule though don’t go too big, because most screws in computers aren’t that big. You’ll definitely need Phillips and flat head shaped screw drivers, make sure you have a few that are extremely small, because sometimes you’ll run into those pain in the ass tiny screws that are impossible to unscrew without a tiny ass screw driver.
  4. Tiny plastic box. This is a really handy thing to keep your unused screws in, unused jumpers, or anything extra and small that you have lying around. Sometimes I end up with extra screws after assembling a case, though I don’t think that’s supposed to happen and I just throw them in a little baggy or a plastic box and keep them for later.
  5. Needle-nosed pliers. You can use these like tweezers for pulling out jumpers and stuff, but they have much better uses when working with wires, or trying pull out that screw that you stripped while putting your motherboard in your case, they’re also a lot more durable than tweezers so use these instead of tweezers if you have a tough task.
  6. Wire Cutter/Stripper. If you have a good pair of needle-nosed pliers chances are they already come with a standard wire cutter/stripper feature, but if you not do yourself a favor and get a dedicated tool. It offers more precision and care than when trying to do it with the pliers. These are handy for uh… cutting and stripping wires.
  7. Anti-static wrist strap. Much needed for fighting off the static electricity demons. You can never be too careful, and if you don’t have an anti-static wrist strap at least make sure you ground yourself on the case before trying any computer work.

Optional Tools

  1. Ratchet driver set. Make sure you get a good ratchet driver set, you’ll never know when you need it, it’s not particular useful when working on computers, because everything typically uses screws, but if you also do other electronic work it’ll be really handy for that.
  2. Hex Keys. Again these won’t be too useful on computers but other electronic parts like video game systems, radios, etc, can use any variety of hex keys. I put them in the optional section, because they’re not too extremely useful on computer parts.
  3. Soldering iron and solder. This is very useful with working with wires, but make sure you know how to solder first, before going out to buy one. Soldering is used for joining wires and connecting circuit boards, so make sure you know what you’re doing, because a soldering iron can get very hot.

These tools will help you accomplish a variety of tasks, so that way you won’t have to go scrounging around the garage for that one socket wrench you know you left somewhere in there.

Motherboard Parts: Motherboard Anatomy 101

The motherboard is the heart of every computer. Without it, a fully functional computer is impossible. All other important components of a computer are connected to it in order to make every part functional. To understanding the components of a motherboard, it is critical to understand first the important parts included in it. Be guided with the following most important motherboard parts that can be found in a typical computer nowadays.

The Processor or CPU Socket

The processor socket is where one or more microprocessors can be installed. There are several types of sockets around, but in general only two are actually used. These two sockets are used by Intel and AMD for PGA and LGA. If PGA is used the CPU will need to have pins for the socket’s holes, but if LGA is used then pins are not needed as it will just rest on the socket. Since the CPU socket is attached to a PCB, it is primarily designed to house the CPU from other parts of the motherboard. Aside from its primary function, the CPU socket also serves other important functions like providing a physical structure for the CPU’s support, facilitating replacement, supporting the heatsink and forming an electrical connection for the PCB and the CPU.

The Memory Slots

The other term for memory slot is memory bank. It is made for RAM modules and each RAM must be compatible with the motherboard used. In average, there are 2 to 4 memory slots and the most common ones include single and dual-channel technologies. The single channel technology uses one to three RAM modules in order to work perfectly. On the other hand, the dual-channel technology must use more than one slot otherwise the module will lose its strength. For this reason, a minimum of two slots with the same type of module, with the same memory capacity and the same manufacturer must be used. For example, if 1 GB memory capacity is desired, two 512 MB modules from the same technology type and manufacturer are needed for fully functional module strength.

The SATA and ATA Interface Connectors

There are lots of interface standards made in the last years but the most important two are the SATA and ATA interfaces. The ATA interface is the same as IDE. It primarily connects hard and optical drives where two drives can be attached to one ribbon in order to support the majority of modern hard drive storage capacities. On the other hand, SATA is the new interface commonly used in most computers nowadays. It is definitely faster than ATA and it only needs one device attachment. Its wires are also thin which helps in a faster cooling process within the computer.

Main Power Connector

The main power connector is important as it is the passageway of the power supply needed for an efficient motherboard performance. There are two types of main power connectors: the 20 pins + 4 pins and the 24 pins. For this reason, incompatibilities are possible as not all power supplies have the two types of main power connectors, so it must be significantly considered.

The Peripherals

The peripherals of the computer are integrated altogether. It generally includes nonvolatile memory chip for the system’s BIOS, a chipset forming the front side bus, peripheral buses and main memory, expanded card slot, power connectors, clock generator, sockets, main memory slot, and sound card. For latest motherboards, more peripherals are included since integrated circuits have cheap costs and sizes that can make efficient and cost-effective computers.

More specific motherboard parts can be learned from detailed manuals of understanding motherboards. Just pay full attention in understanding each part in order to learn everything correctly.

The Power of the Opening Statement

When working with leads, the first 10 seconds will determine the fate of your results. Don’t give the prospect a chance to put up a wall before you have the opportunity to build rapport. The key to doing this is the opening statement. The opening statement should be non-confrontational, engaging and easy for you to move on to the next point.

Too many times, the opening statement can create conflict leading the prospect to say, “No, no, no.” Think about when you enter a store. When the sales clerk asks, “Can I help you?”, most people respond by saying, “No, I’m just looking.” But if the salesperson tries a different opening, such as “Those pants are our best seller,” it can result in a positive response from the customer.

The same applies to approaching your leads. You need to develop a good statement for creating dialogue and establishing rapport. For example, try this statement: “Hi, my name is Ron. I am just getting back to you about a survey you filled out about starting a home-based business. This is just a courtesy call to answer any questions you may have. Is this a good time to chat?”

The key to this opener is its non-aggressive approach. The statement is not a difficult question, and it’s not prompting the prospect to buy anything. An opener like this one will take the prospect past that initial phase, leading them to take part in a three-way call, a conference call or an interview. Using this friendly opening statement will result in the majority of your prospects willing to hear what you have to say. Once you have a willing ear, you’re halfway there to turning that prospect into a recruit.

“Hello, can I speak to _______________, Hi ________I’m calling because you expressed an interest on the internet about working from home, this is a courtesy call, I just wanted to know if you’re still interested.”

Tell me would you take 10 minutes to hear a national conference call that explains how our opportunity is working for people are the country.

Power Words:

– Courtesy Call

– No Obligation

– Free Information

“I understand that (insert question from survey)…”

Here, you want the prospects to tell you more about themselves. Use their responses from the questionnaire to make powerful points about your business. But remember, they don’t want to hear a sales pitch. The key is to become their friend by establishing trust. It’s important to first get to know the prospect and his/her special needs. Then you can explain your product. If you make these two elements fit together, your prospect will quickly turn into a recruit.

Some prospects will be easier to talk to than others. The longer you talk, the more interested in your opportunity that prospect will become. To help you prolong the conversation, try these extenders:

  • “I understand that…”
  • “Tell me more about…”
  • “What does that mean to you?”
  • “What does that provide?”

Paradigm shift:

When talking with prospects, remember that the opportunity is not the company and its compensation model. The opportunity is providing this individual with a viable home-based business. Your company is simply the vehicle by which this person can obtain their goal. For example, when you go to a restaurant, you don’t get the meal before you look at the menu. In the same way, your prospect needs to form a taste for the business, before the entire company structure is placed before him/her.

Different Types of Post Hole Diggers

A post hole digger is very important when you are building a structure such as a fence or a deck. Although you can manually dig a hole where you wish to place a post, it may take you too long to finish. There are many different types, shapes and sizes of diggers to can choose from. They come in varying price ranges too. Hence it is important to select the best one that will meet your preferences and requirements if you are planning to own one. Discussed below are the different post hole diggers that you can opt for:

Hand held or manual digger

It has a shovel-like blade with hinges and with two handles attached to the steel. You can press the handles together and the blades will be put on the ground. The dirt will be removed when you pull the handles apart. The blades are usually made of steel and you would need to maintain its sharpness so that it can dig effectively. It is painted so that it should not be easily prone to rusting. Ideally it should weigh less so that the user will not have difficulty in controlling it.

Heavy duty post hole digger

If you want to have a long-lasting post hole digger, then you should choose the heavy-duty ones. This digger has a strong blade for effective digging. Its handle is made of fiberglass. Some handles are also made of wood. When choosing the best one, you should make sure that the handles are strong and useful. The blades of these diggers are usually big which really works well.

All metal post hole digger.

They are more durable than the heavy-duty post hole diggers. They are quite similar to the traditional post hole diggers.

Boston Digger.

If you want to dig holes in a ground having stones, then this is the perfect choice. It has lots of moving parts once it is operated. Usually, it is driven down into the ground and the soil is pulled up to make a hole.

These are just some of the types of mini diggers that are available in the market. You should do some research on the best digger that meets all your requirements. It should also fit your budget. If you are not keen on doing this kind of work, then you must consider hiring a professional to come in and do this work for you. You then don’t need to worry about buying such equipment.

Window Blinds Supply a Fanciful Answer to Illumination Issues in Tall Buildings

When considering window treatments for your condominium, you might want to make your first consideration be that of vertical blinds. These types of window treatments are the most popular of choice, particularly for condominiums.

Condominium homeowners associations generally like these great window treatments because they create a uniform, clean look to the building from outside. Another reason why they are also popular with this sect is that they offer privacy and noise reduction to the owners of the unit. The condo unit owners like them to better control lighting while enhancing the decor of the unit.

Most condominiums usually have a large sliding glass door, which leads out onto a balcony or patio. Because of this large window-type door, vertical blinds make the best choice. These blinds can be opened full and pulled out of the way to either both sides or to one side. When entertaining, such as a cocktail party or dinner party, guest can flow freely in and out without the annoyance of other types of window treatments. The mechanism to operate these is located at one end of the vertical blind, thus making it easy to reach and operate. During the day these vertical blinds and be fully closed to block direct sunlight and heat from coming into the unit, or fully opened for maximum light, or anywhere in between.

For the other windows in the unit, vertical blinds are the same great choice. Like the large ones used for the large glass sliding door, vertical window blinds offer the same use and design for the unit owner. The control of light, privacy, and style are all the same. Vertical blinds and vertical window blinds come in a variety of choices including thickness, and design. They can be covered in fabric, faux finishes, or any other decorating features that you can dream up. When choosing vertical blinds be sure to look for quality construction. Nylon or delrin are the features you need to look for in and window blinds. This will ensure that your blinds will last a long time.

Installation of vertical blinds is truly a “do it yourself” project. You will need to decide if you want your window blinds to be outside mounted (which means they attach to the outside of the window box), or inside mount (going inside the window box.) Measure the inside of the window box to see how large of a vertical blind or vertical window you will need. Most any hardware store or your local home improvement store will have a window treatment center with a special vertical blind and vertical window blind section. These vertical blinds and window blinds can be cut to fit right in the store. The blinds come with a complete set of instructions on how to install them quickly and easily.

Because vertical blinds and vertical window blinds hang vertically, cleaning is a snap. Dirt and debris falls off them and so just a quick wipe with a damp cloth or using a vacuum cleaner with attachments makes up-keep very easy.

One of the most important features of vertical blinds and vertical window blinds is that should you ever decide to change your decor or need replacement blinds, the blinds themselves can be purchased separately. Holding each blind is a “clip” if you will, which allows the owner to snap the blinds out to replace the new ones. Having this sort of convenience and versatility makes vertical blinds and vertical window blinds one of the best, inexpensive ways to make your condominium a home for years of enjoyment.

Garage Lighting Ideas

It is probably not something most people think about, but garage lighting is important. Most garages do not have windows, so it is the lights that are installed that provide the ability to see. Here are some great garage lighting ideas for assuring that your area is well equipped for both function and safety.

A garage is a very functional part of the home. It is the place for parking our cars and performing car maintenance, and many people use it as a workshop area as well. These various tasks have different lighting requirements.

For working on a car, garage lighting needs to be bright for safety and convenience. Overhead fluorescent lights are among the best option for the main light fixtures in a garage. Very bright and illuminating by nature, large overhead fluorescent fixtures by far are capable of providing the most light to a garage area to fill even the darkest corners with bright light.

For the workshop area, garage lighting may need to be more focused. Moveable task lights such as drop down and clip on styles are a great idea because they are versatile. Drop lights come in a variety of styles and sizes to match not only the homeowners and shop owners needs but also their budgets.

Another more expensive option for daytime light is to install skylights. This will provide your garage with an atmosphere that has plenty of natural light during the day.

Hopefully this will give you some garage lighting ideas for your home. The choice of fixtures is important even though most of us do not put much consideration into it.

Why Use Hand Barrier Cream?

Barrier creams must always be applied wherever your occupation is at extreme risk of irritant contact dermatitis, and this feature will consider three crucial points why to use it. Firstly we will take a look at what possible risks are involved to your health, i.e. the health issues that you can be affected by. Also we will look at the more common occupations that can be at risk of infection, and lastly how utilizing a barrier cream can help look after your health.

OK the 1st major issue of concern we will run over is to take into consideration the risks involved when not using enough skin care, and that’s – Irritant Contact Dermatitis. Whenever you’re employed in conditions that can be affected by irritants, along the likes of chemicals, then its possible you can be at significant danger with irritant contact dermatitis.

Irritant contact dermatitis can sometimes be a pressingly distressing ordeal, plus in the United kingdom alone, some 100,000 people may lose time away from business every year, because of this type of dermatitis. One of the 1st conditions to be evident is a red rash on the hand, and can generally appear within a few hours from coming into contact with the irritant. This can result into red patches forming that could become extremely itchy, followed by puffiness, and in the worst case scenario blisters can develop which can bleed while only drying the hands using a towel. The use of barrier creams may considerably decrease the possibility from contamination.

So now we can discuss a few jobs which are possibly at greatest risk of irritant contact dermatitis. Hair stylist can be at high risk, and the catering trade, cleaners, bar staff and the nursing profession, due to the amount of contact they have with water.

Additional occupations at extreme risk is engineering machinists who work in an environment with metal cutting fluids; which include surfactants which could cause a problem with infection. Plus people occupied within the construction trade are at risk specifically those occupied in concrete. Irritant contact dermatitis accounts for approximately eighty per cent of contact dermatitis cases, in any case, irritant contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Even the horticulture trade may be at risk taking into account the various chemicals etc. which they employ. Within all of the above cases a good non soluble barrier cream is appropriate.

OK to what degree does using barrier cream help look after you? Well, the principal use of hand barrier creams is protecting whats known as the corneal layer and that is the external element of the skin. Then on top of the corneal layer sits a hydro lipid film, and this forms an important protection for our skin.

The corneal layer comprises many layers of dead skin cells; and are consistently being replaced by fresh skin cells from within the deeper layers. Your corneal layer almost measures 0.1 of a millimeter, and this is thinner than a standard piece of paper. And these skin cells are gripped together by a greasy, fatty substance referred to as as lipids; this holds all of the cells together as bricks are held together by building mortar.

So now it’s easy to understand that our skin can be seen as fragile, requiring an acceptable amount of care which could be provided by employing a quality hand barrier cream.

In conclusion let’s summarize what we have observed in this article, first of all we covered the risks associated with inadequate care. This could be irritant contact dermatitis; this problem isn’t contagious, just the same it can occur in only a few hrs of contact with contaminants.

Then we discussed some jobs at risk to irritant contact dermatitis, also lastly we looked at how utilizing hand barrier cream may help further look after your hands from irritants or chemicals, and therefore maintain it’s health and in excellent appearance.

How to Find the Best Burglary Fireproof Safe As Your Burglary Prevention Solution

A popular burglary prevention method to keep thieves and burglars away from your valuable items and documents is through the use of a safe. These safes can work both for business and personal use, and the most effective of these safes is the fireproof safe, one that not only protects your essential things and documents from burglars, but also from the threat of fire! For those unsure of what fireproof safes are, these safes are constructed from high-temperature resistance materials such as ceramic fiber and asbestos, and they can withstand temperatures of up to 1700 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the best burglary safes to have around, these fireproof safes come with the security of key-based locks, number-combination locks and the more sophisticated ones come with fingerprint-secured access systems (biometric safes). There are also safes that come with a combination of the above-mentioned security access systems for the safes to provide better security for the safes.

Before you start scouting around to find the ideal fireproof safe for your home or office, you must first ensure that you know what you are looking for. Do you need a wall-based device, a floor-based device or simply a portable one? An office safe is usually a wall or a floor safe, while homes normally have portable or wall devices to safeguard your belongings. Next you need to determine how big a safe you need, and you would need the right space allocation for your safe, with regards to the size of your safe. Determining this would be based on how much of documents, cash and data (for office use) or jewelry, personal items and cash (for home use) you need to store within your safe.

Once you have all these determined, you could then roughly estimate how big the safe should be, and check your whether you have sufficient place within the office or your home for the safe. Last but not least, you should decide on the level of security that you want to implement on your safe, for instance do you want a number-combination lock or a biometric safe for enhanced protection.

Available for both personal and business use, you could find a variety of companies out there that provide extremely secure fireproof safes for the benefit of your home or office. The Mosler Safe Company and Presidential Safes are two of the more established companies out there that produce high-quality, exceptionally secure safes that you could leave your things securely within without a worry. These companies have been in existence for a long time now, and are highly accomplished companies in the field and security devices, thus when you purchase a fireproof safe from them, rest assured that you important items are in good hands. Or if you want to opt for the more advanced biometric safes, Sequiam, BARSKA and LockSAF are some of the companies that you would want to look in terms of their biometric-based devices that prove to be reliable and are priced moderately as well.

Secure all your important items both at home and in the office from the threat of burglars by investing in a good fireproof safe that would also double up as a protection against fire.

Make a Room Look Larger With Wallpaper Designs

When you are designing a room, most times you do not have the option of making the room physically larger, but what you can do is add visual space and make the room appear larger than it actually is. Using wallpaper to affect the look of your room’s size is an effective way to use this decorating medium.

Light Colored Wallpaper

Many of the rules that apply to paint and how it affects the appearance of a room also apply to wallpaper. Light colors will make a room seem larger than it is while dark colors will make a room feel smaller. If you paint a room in light color and keep your furnishings light, the walls will actually appear to recede and the space opens up visually. The same applies to wallpaper. Choose light pastels or neutral colors to visually expand the size of a room.

Take Care with Patterns

When you are trying to increase the size of a room visually, using wallpaper devoid of pattern is usually the best way to go, because patterns can visually shrink a room. If your wallpaper has a very large pattern in it, you can overpower a space with the pattern and actually make the room feel much smaller than it is. If you are going to include pattern on your wallpaper, a good option is to use a medium to small pattern that has little color contrast; this will keep the visual space open. Either a tone on tone pattern or a pastel on cream background will work.

Where pattern works particularly well is when your room is out of proportion. For example, if you have a narrow room, you can add horizontal stripes to the wall to make it feel wider than it is or vertical stripes to make a room seem taller. If you do not need to change the shape of your walls and you are considering a pattern to simply add interest to the walls, you may want to use textured wallpaper.

Add a Little Shine

You can also make a room look larger by reflecting light around the room, and one really effective way to do this is with wallpaper that has a little shimmer in its finish. By coupling shimmer with texture, you can add interest to the walls while still visually expanding the size of the space.

Wallpapering a Single Wall

Another really lively way to use wallpaper in a smaller room is to use wallpaper on a single wall in the room and paint the remaining walls a pale, coordinating tone. Adding wallpaper to a single wall will make that wall a focal point in your room, so if you add it to the wall at the far end of the room, it will pull your eye through the space and make it seem longer.

Are You "Fireproof?" Techniques For Job Security

It has been said that less is more. Well, sometimes more is more, especially in the workplace. More knowledge, more skills, more contacts; we must take advantage of any and all opportunities to increase job security. As unemployment rates continue to rise, we should all be prepared to reinvent ourselves in order to adapt in a volatile job market. The following tips offer ’employment insurance’, by utilizing techniques based on your temperament.


– Advertise fears about layoffs and downsizing

– Come across as an ‘old fogey’, who is resistant to change.


– Evaluate abilities and determine which additional skills could make you more valuable to the company.

– Talk positively about solutions you can bring to company challenges.

– Actively network with colleagues about potential opportunities.


Guardians are the most likely of all types to be tied to the past and resist change. In today’s job market, resistance to change can spell career suicide. If you are a Guardian, you’re not keen on workplace surprises. Be sure to keep up with advances in your field, so that changes don’t catch you unawares. It is a good idea to regularly observe additional skills needed by the company, and consider other positions where you might be a fit. Commit to learning at least one new skill every year to stay relevant and employable.


Artisans are often the most adaptable, but like to control their own destiny. If you are an Artisan, you may have trouble accepting helpful advice. Be careful not to move into anger or emotionalism; strive to maintain a sense of humor. Bosses appreciate the employee who can stay positive when times are tough. “If you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” As with Guardians, it is always important to keep adding to your skill set.


Idealists often absorb not only their own pain, but that of co-workers who are facing a shrinking job market. If you are an Idealist, you might concentrate on helping others, while you neglect #1. Take time to pat yourself on the back now and then. It can be helpful to write down positive contributions to the company’s bottom line. An Idealist typically communicates via global descriptions; bosses are usually looking for specific facts. Keeping a list of accomplishments will help you to maximize ‘face time’ with the boss – and gives you a confidence boost!


Rationals, who comprise only 5-10% of the population, can come across as arrogant or too intellectual. Like Idealists, a Rational needs to translate abstract visions into concrete facts. This makes the information understandable for the more numerous (though less cerebral) Guardians and Artisans. Since Rationals seek expert status, you sometimes have trouble moving into a new area where you are a novice. Get over it. Sticking with an outdated skill set will ensure a prominent spot on the lay-off list. Ever the pragmatist, the Rational mind will benefit from doing a risk analysis of different options and potential actions.

Establish a Good Reputation

In the current job market, making a good impression is more important than ever. New employees should prove dedication to the company by working hard, turning out quality work and staying away from gossip and complaints. Earning a reputation as a hard worker goes a long way in contributing to job security.

Avoid Complacency

Experienced employees should take advantage of a network of contacts within the organization. Hard work and a positive attitude will give you a competitive edge. A deep knowledge of the organization and understanding of its current situation will strengthen your advantage.

All employees must learn the art of self-promotion. Speak positively about past efforts and current plans to keep the company functioning, even thriving. Regardless of your temperament, you must be seen as part of the solution in order to persevere.

5 Creative Basement Ceiling Ideas to Liven Up Your Area

Although the ceiling of your basement will not be the main focal point, it can still add some glamour to the room while not being over the top. There are many basement ceiling ideas that can add hints of style while not taking away from the room itself!

Finishing the basement ceiling can pull together an entire room. Here are five creative basement ceiling ideas that you should consider for your home:

1. Drywall

2. Suspended Ceiling

3. Mirrors

4. Artwork

5. Paint


Hanging drywall is a common concept for a basement ceiling. Although it is a basic element, it is not so easy to install. This decently priced material is a bit tricky to install unless you have previously installed it before. If you have never hung drywall, it is recommended that you hire a professional to assist you or do it completely. If that is not an option, there are more DIY options you can try.

Suspended Ceiling

A suspended ceiling is one of the most commonly known basement ceiling ideas. It is frequently used and easily installed. When compared to other types of basement ceiling materials, suspended ceilings are cost efficient. Because it is easily installed, you can also save money by doing it yourself and not having to hire a contractor. You can cover up unattractive piping and previous ceiling issues with a suspended ceiling, which is a far more attractive option. Suspended ceilings seem quite plain and boring, but you can choose from many colors, styles, and patterns to provide the look and feel you desire.


Adding mirrors to basement ceilings creates a very modern feel. The lighting in most basements is poor or minimal. Adding some mirrors can help reflect some of the light while also creating the illusion of more space. Mirrors are not extremely difficult to place on the ceiling, making this another easy do it yourself project.


Hanging or creating artwork to the ceiling of your basement ceiling can be very creative and reflect your personality while also giving the room a brightened feel. You can use many different mediums to do so, either painting directly onto the ceiling or hanging already made pieces. There are also cling-ons available at most home improvement stores that adhere onto the surface. There are many different sizes and designs that are easily placed on the ceiling. Most of these are able to be removed and re-adhered to other areas if you are not satisfied.


Paint comes in almost any color you can imagine and it easy to do yourself. This is a low skill level solution that is moderately inexpensive. You can add a sense of style to your ceiling by painting different patterns or by using more than one color. You may not be able to paint your ceiling, however, depending on what materials it is made of. Be sure to check with a contractor before applying your first coat.

Basement ceiling ideas can help you to finish your space while also adding a unique twist to the room.

Why Would You Use Submersible Sump Pumps in Your Home?

There are two basic types of sump pumps and it really is a matter of personal preference as far as which one you’re going to use. The pedestal pump is one of the more common that is used and with this particular type of sump pump, the motor is above the water level which makes it easy to access. Submersible sump pumps, however, reside entirely below the surface of the water. This makes them less less conspicuous and at times, a better choice for use in your sump hole.

Whenever you are choosing submersible sump pumps for your home, it is important to make sure that you get one which is rated high enough to take care of the job. For example, if your home only rarely gets water in and your pump only runs once every couple of weeks at the most, you will not have to pump much water per minute. If, on the other hand, you find that your sump pump is running constantly, you should get one which pumps a lot of water per minute so that it can stay ahead of the demand.

Even though submersible sump pumps tend to be a little bit more expensive than the pedestal variety, you’re going to get several benefits in return. First of all, they are much quieter whenever they are running which is very important if you tend to spend a lot of time in the area where it is installed. They are also going to last longer because they tend to be better sealed than the pedestal variety.

Lean Six Sigma Applications in Healthcare

Lean Six Sigma provides a lot of insight and benefits to the healthcare industry, one of many industries that doesn’t have the extended time to embark on extensive Six Sigma Projects. Because of these time constraints, healthcare has found itself a great combination in using the principles of speed and waste elimination that drive Lean processes with the traditional Six Sigma training. The combination of these two elements can improve many areas of patient care and overall practices so that healthcare services can operate at their best.

Keeping customers happy within a business or organization is one thing, but keeping patients in a state of wellbeing and a safe environment is essential to the healthcare field. Without Lean Six Sigma, many solutions might still be out there waiting to be found and employed by healthcare facilities around the world that have turned to Lean Six Sigma to help their business. The goal of Lean Six Sigma is to eliminate wastes and speed up processes so that a company can quickly have better performance in one area or another.

There are many tools that you learn of in Lean Six Sigma Training that can easily add benefits to the healthcare setting. Value Stream Mapping, the 5 S’s, Visual Process Management, and Setup Time/Changeover Reduction are all popular tools to use in the healthcare industry when it comes to setting up Lean Six Sigma projects. There are myriad of hospitals and medical facilities that you can find case studies on to see how Lean Six Sigma affected their organization, and thereby how it can affect yours when properly employed. The important thing to note with healthcare and Six Sigma is that traditional processes can be too time consuming or involved for such a fast-paced field where customer satisfaction is ultimately patient safety and wellbeing.

When it comes to the healthcare industry, a balanced strategy that involves Lean, Six Sigma, and other useful tools for change and improvement can provide the best results for any organization in need of process improvements and quality control assessments. It might not be fun to point out the flaws of your own organization, but it is now that the pride needs to be set aside in the sake of improving the organization. Focus on doing what is best for the company and for the people involved. Do not live in denial that your healthcare organization cannot benefit from Lean Six Sigma Training, because in doing so you can often create much bigger problems than you might have had to begin with.