Kitchen Lighting Fixtures – 7 Different Types of Kitchen Lighting Fixtures

Kitchen lighting fixtures also referred to as luminaries, come in a wide variety of styles, colors, shapes, and sizes. This gives the user a wide selection of illumination choices to choose from.

Some of the most common types of light fixtures are:

Ceiling Fixtures

Ceiling fixtures are designed in a way to provide general lighting to the entire kitchen. Typically, they project down from the ceiling and are usually the biggest lighting piece found in the kitchen. These fixtures can also be hung over a breakfast nook or a kitchen table. There are two types of ceiling fixture; flush-mount ceiling fixture with the glass or diffuser touching the ceiling and semi-flush ceiling fixtures where the bowl projecting from the ceiling such that it hangs a couple of inches away, with indirect light reflecting from the ceiling (think of it like an upside down umbrella).

Chandeliers

Chandeliers are also known as suspension or chain-hung fixtures. Like ceiling fixtures, chandeliers are also hung from the ceiling. However, they require more space in addition to adding more pizzazz compared to regular ceiling fixtures. They provide general lighting and have at least two arms with down-lights or up-lights. They are most often used with formal dining rooms or dining tables.

Pendants

Pendant kitchen lighting fixtures are decorative fixtures. They typically suspend from the ceiling and offer general as well as task lighting. Most kitchen designers prefer placing them over counter areas or over islands where dining, conversation, baking as well as food preparation occurs. A good example of pendant lighting fixtures is the mini-pendant, which is usually used for small kitchen spaces and is approximately 12 inches or less. Another example is the island light or multi-light pendant, which works well bigger spaces that require more lighting.

Wall lights

Wall lights are a type of kitchen lighting fixtures that are typically mounted to the wall. They can take the form of scones matching a pendant, ceiling fixture or a chandelier. They can either deliver task, accent or general lighting. Some of the common locations where wall lights are used include on either sides of a piece of art, a decorative back-splash, or used to create a focal point of a hutch.

Track Lighting

Also known as railing lighting systems, this type of kitchen lighting fixture has a wide range of design flexibility. The track can be long or short, curved or straight. Spotlights, pendants, or other kitchen lighting fixtures can be hung from the track at different points, directions and heights to provide accent, task or general lighting.

Recessed Lighting

Also known as can lights, this type of kitchen lighting fixture is located within the ceiling instead of being attached to or hanging from the ceiling. This type of kitchen fixture is a perfect choice for those who prefer unobtrusive to decorative lighting. Recessed lighting can provide task, accent, or general kitchen lighting.

Under Cabinet Fixtures

This type of kitchen light comes in mini track systems, slender strips, surface mounted, or small recessed disks known as pucks. Under cabinet fixtures are typically installed under wall cabinets to supply task lighting by illuminating work surfaces and counters without projecting shadows. They can also be installed inside cabinets that have glass fronts.

With the above common types of kitchen lighting fixtures being available in most stores, all one has to do is assess his or her kitchen to determine the proper lighting type that will create the most desired effect.

What is the Blood-Brain Barrier?

Our bodies are wonderful machines. They do and accomplish literally billions of activities that day and almost all of these activities come off with 100% accuracy almost every single time. Through millions of years of evolution — which is basically nature’s way of engaging in trial and error experimentation on a grand scale — our bodies have learned what works and what does not. Because of this experimentation there are mechanisms within our body that keep us safe from harm, both outside our bodies and from within our bodies.

One such mechanism is what scientists and health professionals refer to as the “blood/brain barrier.” This type of figurative wall acts as a kind of gatekeeper that prevents harmful chemicals or even minor changes in the blood’s chemistry and pH balance from overly affecting the brain through a mechanism that has proven to be highly resistant to certain water-soluble chemicals that could make their way into the brain and the fluid surrounding it and which would lead to ultimate physical harm.

Such chemicals or substances are fairly well known, including heavy metals such as mercury. This kind of exposure to mercury can lead to a wide range of neurological deficit disorders when the metal makes it through the blood/brain barrier due to weakness of the barrier or dysfunction which has created the conditions where heavy metals, chemicals or changes in blood and fluid pH are present. Evolutionary processes work to keep the brain pH levels tightly controlled as possible while also working to prevent any exposure of the brain to toxic agents.

As a physical entity, the blood/brain barrier is comprised of a vast array of what are called “end brain capillaries,” each of which benefit from a seamless and of very tightly knitted junctions that are enclosed even more tightly by a type of connective tissue. Working together, these networks form a highly restrictive barrier, for all intents and purposes that act to prevent the brain from being affected by even very minor changes in pH and other agents having what are called “high molecular weight.”

The barrier has been so completely evolved that it is able to allow fat-soluble, lighter weight substances, for the most part, to pass through. Very specific water-soluble amino acids are also allowed to pass through this barrier to facilitate certain other neurochemical reactions and that is about all that is allowed to make the journey when the blood/brain barrier is working in good order. That is also why — unless the exposure to the heavy metal is very large — this barrier can work to shuttle outward any mercury that has managed to make its way up to the barrier itself.

As an adjunct part of the classic blood/brain barrier, another part of the body — called the choroid plexus — works in a similar manner to restrict the flow between blood vessels like capillaries and the body’s cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). This serves a dual purpose of not only protecting precious cerebral spinal fluid from harm but also works in conjunction to add just a bit more protection for the body’s most precious organism, the brain.

For the layman, it might be helpful to think of a series of increasingly robust filters through which contaminated water must pass. At the end of that filtration cycle pure, fresh water emerges. These filters, the openings — or pores — which become increasingly smaller as the filters get closer to the tap or outlet where the final product will emerge would be self repairing and constantly replenished in a system that resembles how the body utilizes its own blood/brain barrier.

Clinicians and physicians have certain tools and tests available to them to assess whether or not the barrier is functioning at optimal levels. They usually employ these tests when a person begins to demonstrate what they call “neurological deficit.” They will examine the presence or non-presence of certain proteins or normally benign chemicals that will give a specialist in idea of how well the blood/brain barrier is working at that particular moment in time.

Fireproof File Cabinets – Providing Financial And Physical Protection To Your Home And Business

Buying fire proof file cabinets is your first step towards providing physical and financial security to your precious home and business in the form of safekeeping your most important documents and data from the rampage of fire. When tragedy strikes, it strikes without warning, and never for a moment think that fires and floods are impossible events, especially when flash floods and hurricanes are on the rise every summer, terrorising almost not only the coastal areas but the central plains as well. Nothing in life is an unlikely event, and the worst is when disaster strikes, you have not made sufficient protection to safeguard your hard earned investments and assets. Surprisingly enough, fireproof file cabinets serve the purpose most effectively.

Often, at this juncture, many of my readers will start to contemplate sceptically what documents they need that could be so critical that might affect your lives in the aftermath of a fire. Now consider a few to the likes of birth certificates, death certificates, citizenship papers, passports, marriage certificates and divorce papers all of which are critical in ensuring our eligibility to claim life insurance monies, apply for government grants, claiming marriage and divorce privileges, just to name a few important financial transactions. Home title deeds, and home loan documents are important financing papers that you will need to refer to at times of refinancing, or when you are considering taking up a mortgage against your home. And while most men do not bother with safekeeping their jewellery, women are key users of safe for jewellery.

Suddenly, finding the right fireproof file cabinets becomes a paramount task that you need to see to almost immediately now. While this is an important task, it need not be a daunting one. There are a wide variety of models and designs to choose from. The cabinets are also designed to protect different types of items, and vary from different levels of fireproof security and protection.

You need to know what you will be using the fire proof file cabinets for, that is, what items you will be keeping in them. This fact will help you narrow down your choice and expedite your purchase with ease. What you intend to keep in the cabinets will define the level of fire proof authenticity, largely known and trusted around the world as the UL ratings, or the Underwriter’s Laboratories ratings which tests and labels all safes and fireproof cabinets. By a UL rating of 1, 2, or 3, this literally means that the safe or cabinet is capable of withstanding external heat from 1700 to 2000 degrees F for 1, 2, 3 hours.

Often, this means that the internal heat will not exceed 350 degrees F for paper items and 125 degrees F for media items like video tapes and digital storage gadgets.

And since digital and video storage such as CDs and DVDs, photos, flash drives etc, are much more susceptible to fire, they are lowered to 125 degrees F and 80 percent humidity to ensure no physical items and data is lost in the fire.

And one more key aspect you need to note is that all fireproof file cabinets are water resistant in the event of a fire due to the fact that the pressure within cabinet will keep the water out. However, that said, in the absence of fire, there will be no positive pressure from the fire and hence water seepage can occur.

Wallpaper Murals

Among all the different types of wall murals, wallpaper murals are very popular. They are affordable, quick and easy to affix and serve as excellent wall décor. Wallpaper murals are of different types, such as animal wallpaper murals, aquatic, architectural, contemporary and country wallpaper murals.

Wallpaper murals are classic and trendy. They are good decoration options and favorites with interior designers. Wallpaper murals come in different price ranges, depending on the intricacy of the work and the kind of paper used.

The wallpaper murals are available in retail stores or can be bought online. Some of the most artistic and innovative wallpaper murals can be viewed online. These serve as a source of inspiration for new patterns. They are custom made depending on the dimension, image and the size specified by the customer.

They can be trendy, traditional and designer murals. Wallpaper murals are easy to hang and are used to decorate bedrooms, offices, living rooms, lobbies and family rooms. However, there are certain details to be considered before hanging them.

It is advisable to match the pattern and color of the mural with that of the wall. The wall needs to be treated before pasting the mural. Latex paint should be applied in two coats on the wall. Some of the manufacturers provide a paste with the mural.

The paste is first applied on the wall and then on the mural, so that the mural does not become too damp with the adhesive. Excess paste can be removed with the help of a sponge and a brush is used to smoothen out the mural.

This is followed by the installation of the mural. Once the mural dries, trimming is done and the paste is carefully removed from the front of the mural, giving a new look to the wall.

Fireproof File Cabinets – Learn How You Can Determine If You Need a Fireproof File Cabinet Or Not

Honestly, a fireproof file cabinet is quite expensive. It can cost as much as $2,000 depending on the model and brand. This can hurt your pocket and it can hurt you more if you can’t even utilize it at its full extent. So ask yourself first do you really need fire-resistant cabinets or not. This is crucial so take as much time as you can.

How Valuable is Your Document?

Filing cabinets are available in different models. Some are resistant to fires while others are not. Typical filing units also store files the same way as those with fire-resistant. They can also accommodate different sizes of files, depending on the model. However, they do not provide additional security to your files when fires occur. You may need fire-proof cabinets if your documents are simply irreplaceable and priceless.

Do you keep Important Information that is not available in Digital Format?

These days, almost all files have digital formats. However there are instances that the papers are not recorded and entered into a digital format. While these documents or information wait to be encoded, it is important to keep the information safe from any disasters as these information are irreplaceable. Keeping these hard documents safe and well protected for you and your company is very important. So, ensure that they can survive the blaze.

Do You Keep Original Copies of Important Documents?

Some original copies of texts are irreplaceable. If they are not properly protected, you could lose them for a lifetime. These documents include information that is signed by important people that are now difficult to reach or have died. However, some of these documents can still be replaced. The problem is that the process of acquiring new original copies can be a bit of a hassle. And in some cases, signatories can be difficult to acquire.

These are just a few things to ask yourself whether or not you will need fireproof file cabinets.

What Are the Benefits of Steel Conduit?

Steel conduit has always been popular, having been used since the early 1900’s for electrical conductors. The thickness and strength of the steel means that it provides the highest level of mechanical protection to the conductors it houses. Used by NASA, steel conduit has long been the favoured material for conductor protection and can be adapted to almost any environment.

There are three basic types of steel conduit that are in use today. They are: rigid metal conduit, intermediate metal conduit and electrical metal tubing and they all have a wealth of benefits.

Electrical metal tubing (EMT) is the lightest-weight conduit manufactured. Although it is made of lighter-walled steel, it still provides substantial physical protection and can be used in most exposed locations. Rigid metal conduit (RMC) is the heaviest-weight and thickest-wall steel conduit of them all with Intermediate metal conduit (IMC) being developed in the 1970’s as a cost-saving alternative to the rigid conduit. The wall thickness is heavier than EMT but weighs about 1/3 less than RMC.

The most obvious is that steel is incredibly tough. It is strong, doesn’t stretch or tear and is therefore the best shell to protect against any physical damage to the conductors inside. It protects from fire and water, preventing many common accidents in the workplace. Steel conduit will not sag or become brittle over time.

Another positive is that, unlike a non-metallic conduit, when exposed to fire or elevated temperatures steel conduit will not burn, decompose or generate heat, smoke and toxic gas. It will also inhibit the spread of fire because it is non-combustible.

Another benefit of using steel conduit is that it is very green. In other words, it is re-usable and therefore kinder to the environment. If you need to change a circuit, instead of having to remove, discard and replace the material used to hide the circuit, steel allows you to keep the conduit in place and simply install the new conductors, saving you time, energy and money.

Conduits are incredibly durable and long-lasting, with most still in use after 60 years. This will also save you money and materials in the long run.

Steel conduit also reduces electro-magnetic fields (EMF) by up to 95%, essentially shielding all computers and any sensitive electronic equipment from electro-magnetic interference which can be caused by distribution systems. This interference can cause the conductors to operate improperly so it is important to shield them from such currents.

Other benefits of using conduits are:

· It is chemically compatible with concrete

· Gives conductors added protection, giving you peace of mind.

· It is a proven equipment grounding conductor

Steel conduit is relied upon in almost every building where an electrical conduit and wiring is present such as; in commercial buildings, retail construction, residential buildings, manufacturing/industrial facilities, health care and educational institutions along with many other others.

By using steel conduit for your business, you are sure to save money and materials in the long run while protecting and ensuring the safety of your building, equipment and staff.

Jazz Up Your Basement Ceiling – You Can Do That

I helped a friend of mine finish his basement but he was not sure what type of ceiling he wanted to put in. There are several options like traditional drywall, tongue and groove boards, acoustic ceiling tiles and drop ceiling, so we analyzed each option.

A drywall ceiling required that we relocate most pipes and ducts into the joist cavities, or out to the perimeter of the room. Then we would have to place a wood frame to box in around anything that was still hanging below the line of the ceiling joists. Then we would have to place wooden furring strips where extra strength was be needed. It is necessary to use the furring and the framed boxes in order to provide a solid backing for the finished ceiling treatment. Drywall seemed like a good choice because of the low cost of the material but we weren’t to thrilled about taping and sanding it later.

Acoustic ceiling tiles was another option, the tiles are easy to cut and their small size makes them very easy to handle. They are installed by stapling them to the furring strips but again we had to move pipes and ducts in order to provide suitable framing for a nice flat ceiling.

We then entertained the idea of using T1-11 tongue and groove boards, again we would need to move pipes and ducts and the cost was a bit high. After some thought the look of this product just wasn’t what he wanted.

We then looked into the standard drop ceiling, it is one of the easiest solutions to covering basement joists but again the thought of hanging and cutting rails did not appeal to him and again the look of this type of ceiling reminded him of an old office building. It seemed that the cost was a factor as well.

And then one day shopping with his family he saw what a store did with their ceiling and that was basically nothing. He asked the owner what they did and he said they basically cleaned the pipes and duct work, primered them and then used an airless sprayer to paint everything one color. It was perfect, we would not have to move any thing, no framing was necessary and to beat all it allowed for more head room.

The one concern we had was that maybe some electrical or gas lines might not be able to be painted, so if you have doubts call a professional or inspector and ask before you paint. I will say that after the project was complete not only did this industry style ceiling cost less it really looked good. Good luck with your project.

Cork Flooring – Natural Insulating Flooring Material

When installing flooring in your home you’ll want to also consider its insulating properties. No one wants to install a brand new floor just to find out that it’s freezing cold in the winter. However, properly insulating a new floor can really increase the cost of your product. Sometimes you’ll have to buy an expensive underlayment or install a radiant heating system. Well, we would like to introduce you to a flooring product that actually is self insulating. This product is called cork flooring.

Interestingly, while cork flooring insulates it’s also considered a green flooring product. That’s right, this isn’t like other flooring products that require chemicals and man-made materials to achieve certain specifications. Cork flooring is natural and made from the bark of the cork oak tree. The bark of the cork oak tree is actual cork and is harvested by removing a small layer of the bark (cork) from the trunk. This process leaves the tree unharmed and able to be harvested repeatedly in the future throughout its entire lifespan. So, not only do you get a green flooring material you don’t have to worry about any added toxic chemicals that may affect your health.

The process of explaining why cork flooring is a great insulator is quite simple. You just need to understand the actual cellular make up of cork material. If you took a microscope to the cork material you would find millions upon millions of honeycomb air filled cells. These cells provide many other benefits and we’ll mention them in a bit. These cells actually help keep the air neutral between the top and bottom and prevent rapid temperature differences like concert or hardwood. This cellular structure also makes cork very durable and quite comfortable; if you don’t believe us visit a showroom today and test it out.

Now, some people just won’t be into cork flooring, maybe they want to go with carpet or real hardwood flooring. Well, you’ll be glad to know cork still offers a solution. You can use cork as an underlayment and get the same insulating effects. However, we recommend using the actual flooring product made out of cork. It’s great for the environment and has many other useful benefits for your household. You’ll be surprised to know that cork actually resists mold, mildew, moisture and bacteria. This means you can install this floor in the kitchen, bathroom and basement. This is also a hypoallergenic flooring solution so if you have allergies this can be a godsend during allergy season.

We suggest you learn more about cork flooring by visiting some of the links below. It will help educate you more on this green flooring material and also provide some excellent pictures of this flooring used in different rooms throughout the household. We hope our insulation article on cork based floors was useful and we encourage you to read our other articles on floors made out of cork at the links below.

What Is Lean Manufacturing?

The best way to answer the question:’what is lean manufactuing’ is by giving a ‘lean’ answer. Lean manufacturing is simply the process of eliminating waste. It doesn’t matter if you are examining time or material, waste is waste.

Once you begin the process of looking at waste, it is alarming how much waste there is all around us! In manufacturing, it is critical to reduce waste to the minimum, in order to increase efficiency. Time is money, and so is waste.

Lean manufacturing is a comprehensive approach to eliminating waste from your operation. It is a systematic methodology that uses various tools to achieve the goal of reduced waste.

Several of the more popular tools are:

  • Kaizen

  • 5S

  • Value Stream Mapping

  • Six Sigma

These are more than mere buzzwords, however. Once you make the decision to change the culture of your business, you will discover that it is a lot like changing the course of a river: you can do it, but it takes a tremendous effort and you need a very good reason for doing it.

Fortunately, you have a very good reason, if you are in business: to increase your profits and make your operation better in every way. It is surprising how quickly morale improves when profits increase and working conditions continuously improve.

Lean Manufacturing is a process, not a destination

Because you can always do better, the process never actually ends, though you do reach plateaus where things can hum along very nicely.

A look at the more popular tools

  • Kaizen is a common sense tool that demands continuous improvement of anything it is applied to. A Kaizen event is used to attack an area, such as a manufacturing process or area to discover how to make it better. You stay with it until you get it as good as you reasonably can, then go to the next area.

This process was developed by the Toyota automobile company and has helped make them the most efficient car company in the world.

  • 5S is the very practical lean manufacturing tool that helps you systematically organize and keep organized any work area. It is much more than merely painting tool outlines on a pegboard! Once you get things organized, everyone is more productive and happier.

This is probably the best way to begin your journey, because you get immediate results and it makes sense to anyone involved.

  • Value Stream Mapping helps you to visualize your entire operation or just a portion of it. You make a visual map of where you currently are and a map of where you will be in the future. This is a great tool because it helps you see the true condition of the present, and provides a map of how to get where you want to be. Maybe I should have done this with my life years ago!

  • Six Sigma is a methodology to measure your progress. It is a scientific approach to keeping track of your waste as you strive for perfection. As such, it is an ongoing process because you can never attain perfection, but the closer you get, the less waste you have.

Lean manufacturing is a little bit the opposite of the thinking of many people. Usually people ask, how can I do more, or do what I do better. This approach asks, what effort and time am I wasting, where are my inefficiencies. By reducing waste, you increase productivity!

Tilt Up Wood Garage Doors

Most people choose wood for their garage doors because of the look and the cost that is associated with wood doors. It is also a very durable material for your garage.

The problem that can happen with wood is the expansion and contraction that you will experience during extreme changes in temperature. It will need to be maintained regularly to keep it looking good. Every few years you will have to repaint or refinish the wood garage doors.

One of the easiest types of doors to have for your garage door is a tilt up wood garage door. This type of garage door can usually be built in the driveway for an easy way to get the garage door built and installed. All you will have to do is add an exterior skin of wood to the frame and you will have your garage door built.

You can also choose to have the garage door sided to match the color and style of your home. This is a very strong construction to have on your garage door. This type of door will generally cost you between four hundred and seven hundred dollars to have built and installed.

The types of doors that are roll up and sectional can either have a flush construction or a panel construction. The flush type of construction is done by securing a panel over a frame. When panels are used in the construction the manufacturers of the garage door will place several panels of the door into a frame. The materials that can be used are either fir or another soft material. The panels can be made from any variety of wood.

If the door is going to be painted the panels will be flat or they could be three dimensional panels that are made of a hard wood. When the doors are to be three dimensional, typically a wood look alike will be used on the panels. They can also use cladwood which is made from composites.

The panels that are made from cladwood will come with a twenty-year warranty, unlike other panels that only come with a one-year warranty. You can expect to pay between eight hundred to one thousand dollars for one of these panels.

Woods that are going to be stained instead of painted will need to be of a higher grade of wood. These are usually made of cedar, redwood or any hardwood panel. You should ask if the panels are made from a solid sheet of wood or if there were pieces that were glued together to create the panel. The edges where the panels that are glued could show through if you are staining these panels.

These wood panels will be the most expensive type of panels that you can get for your garage door. You can pay up to fifteen hundred dollars for a cedar panel and up to two thousand dollars for aN oak door.

Beating the Summer Heat!

Summer is full of exciting adventures and milestones for children such as their first visit to the beach, learning to swim at the local pool, and making friends at the mall fountain! However some of these events can be overshadowed by the excessive heat that keeps most of us locked in doors with the air conditioning running full blast! Be ahead of your game this summer with some sun and heat protection that will make battling the summer rays no sweat!

IN THE CAR

It is always best to get a sunshade for your rear windows even if they are tinted, this will help to reduce the light that enters the car and can warm car seats and small metal buckles that children can get burnt on. Additionally, for infant seats we recommend the Uppababy Bubble which is an additional sun shade the covers the infant car seat. This is also ideal for when the seat is attached to the stroller, the mesh helps to eliminate light as well as pollen and dander in the air! (It’s also great for keeping invasive strangers from attempting to touch your baby!) For toddler car seats, the Car Seat Sunshade reflects light and heat from any car seat or booster seat that’s left in the car. This will help reduce the risk of children being burnt by overheated metal on seat buckles.

ON THE STROLLER

If you stroller does not provide sufficient sun protection, you might want to consider adding on a canopy extension. The Compact and Classic Sunshades attach to any stroller, including umbrella strollers, and are an easy way to extend the sun coverage on your stroller. A drink bottle tether can be attached to your stroller to hold a stainless steel sippy cup to help keep your little one hydrated in the warm weather! Thermos even makes children’s sippy cups that are insulated to help keep water, milk, or juice cool.

BABY CARRIERS

Some carrier brands design products specific for use in hotter climates to help make baby wearing more comfortable. The Ergo Sport Carrier has lighter, more breathable fabric to help keep baby and parent cooler. Moby Wrap designed a special UV protected carrier with the Rayosan processed fabric which does not alter the breathability of the fabric but deflects any harmful UVA and UVB rays off of the fabric.

APPAREL

You can help to keep your tot cool just by choosing clothing that are breathable and allow for maximum sun protection. A sun hat is a great way to keep sun off of your child’s face and also add a little accessory to his/her outfit. Summer shoes and sandals will protect your baby’s feet from the hot summer ground but allow for maximum breathability. Quality shoes will withstand exposure to water for playful summer days at the local fountain or front yard sprinkler. Baby Legs also offers a small collection of UV protected legwarmers that will reflect summer rays.

Tips to stay cool without breaking the bank

-Visit the local fountain to play in the water and meet other local children

-Get out of the house during the mid-day heat peak and walk around the air conditioned mall

-Get a summer pass to the local swimming pool and/or sign your kids up for swimming lessons

-Purchase black out curtains to put on windows, this not only reduces the light and heat that enters your home but also blocks many outside noises!

-Open windows at night to allow for the cool breeze to cool down your home naturally. Just be sure to close them up in the morning!

-Set up a sprinkler in the front yard for kids to run in and cool down

-Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help keep your body cool

Bridge Game Stories to Make You Laugh

‘Would you care for a friendly game of cards?’

‘No, let’s play bridge.’

‘Are you going to play in the Individual Championship?’

‘No, of course not. Do you think I want twenty-seven different partners mad at me?’

The late Keith McNeil was one of the best-known and best-liked characters on the Australian bridge scene. He acquired international fame through his often hilarious, invariably witty Bidding Forum, a regular feature of Australian Bridge magazine. While he was the regular bridge columnist for the Adelaide Daily Mail he recited, tongue-in-cheek, his methods for dealing with players with whom he was not on the best of terms.

1. If you dislike someone, do not write up their good hands.

2. If you really dislike someone, write up their bad hands.

3. If you dislike someone intensely, write up someone else’s bad hands but attribute them to the player you dislike.

4. If you absolutely and utterly detest someone, write up their good hands but attribute their fine play to their partner.

‘When did you learn to play bridge? I know it was this morning but what time this morning?’

Definition of a bridge expert : a player who is so knowledgeable about bridge that he can criticise his partner’s game without exposing his own vast ignorance.

‘How should I have played that hand?’

‘Under an assumed name.’

‘Why are you so glum?’

‘The doctor told me I can’t play bridge.’

‘Aha. So he’s played with you, too?’

‘I have this terrible inferiority complex about my bridge.’

‘Don’t concern yourself.’

‘No?’

‘No. Your bridge really is inferior.’

Question : What do you have when you have four players arguing with each other, all shouting at the same time, all objecting to a ruling made by the Director?

Answer : A din of inequity.

Sam Goldwyn, the famous motion picture producer, once scolded his bridge partner for overbidding her hand.

‘But how could I know you had nothing?’ she asked.

‘Didn’t you hear me keeping still?’ was the reply.

The term ‘plotch’ is bridge slang for a dreadful mistake, a blunder. After two serious errors, declarer contrived to make yet another mistake. Canberra’s Bill Gray, who can spin bridge yarns all day long, was defending and announced : ‘Aha. The plotch thickens.’

At a regional championship in Ottowa, a local player opened with 1 Diamond and the partner of the visiting expert made a jump overcall of 2 Spades. The third player doubled.

The expert waited for some clarification of the double but none was forthcoming. After stewing for some time, he turned to the opener and complained testily : ‘At the clubs where I play, we alert our negative doubles.’

The opener turned to the expert and replied demurely : ‘At the clubs where I play, we don’t play negative doubles.’

Expert and his partner went -800 in 2 Spades doubled.

WEST : ‘Oh dear, partner. North is declarer again. Now you’re going to have to find another bad lead.’

South, writing in the score : ‘5 Diamonds doubled – by East – down four vulnerable – minus 1100.’

North, to East : ‘You got yourselves in a knot there.’

East : We certainly did. Our path was paved with nothing but good conventions.’

School Assemblies Build With Character

What better way to teach students about character values than by using a school assembly? These activities are an entertaining and informative way to present students with a positive message about how to deal with peer-pressure, stay away from drugs and alcohol, and learn positive character traits that will last a lifetime.

School assemblies are easy to set up and can be presented at any location no matter where, nor what size the student body. Assembly performances use audio and visual equipment so that all of the students can enjoy a day outside of the classroom and still lean valuable lessons. Character building is vital for students of all ages so they can grow up with the responsibility and citizenship needed for a successful life.

There are six pillars of character including:

o Respect

o Responsibility

o Trustworthiness

o Fairness

o Caring

o Citizenship

Since students at this level are impressionable, it’s up to the school to provide them with positive messages that enhance their growth and life development skills. Learning such traits such as citizenship enables students of all ages understand how important it is to make their environment a better place. Students who use positive citizenship take pride in their school and community, learn how to give back to those in need, and realize how important it is to follow rules so that the world is a better place.

School assemblies are great for sharing a positive message in an entertaining and causal manner. An assembly can be used for a variety of reasons, whether it is to show the students something new and exciting, or simply providing an illustrated message as to why students should abstain from drugs, alcohol, peer-pressure or lack of character. Students also identify with the message of an assembly since they often use contemporary issues and people close in age to spread the message.

To Mount Or Not to Mount – TV Stand Vs Wall Mounting

So, you just bought that new Plasma TV.  Now you are forced to make a decision – do I go for glamour and mount this thing on my living room wall or go the traditional route with a TV stand.  Each option has its risks and its rewards, so here we will examine the pros and cons of each.

The Vain Glory of Wall Mounting

Doesn’t it just make sense if your TV is only a few inches deep to mount that sucker right above the fireplace for all to see?  Maybe, but consider what it takes to wall mount a flat screen.

1.  Purchase a wall mounting kit from a Plasma Dealer.

2.  Make sure said kit fits your TV.  If you don’t do this, it will either cost you time or plaster.

3.  Locate the studs behind the wall.  Again, if you miss this, you will be the proud owner of a smashed TV set.  The screws must go into studs, not just sheet rock.

4.  Make sure that you measure and level everything BEFORE you screw any holes.  This will be very hard to change later.  In fact, I dare say you won’t do it a second time, but rather you will live with a slightly-croocked mounted Plasma or you will just give up and buy a TV stand.

5.  Now, actually screw the mount into the wall.

6.  Cut a hole behind the TV to run wires through and another hole wherever the wires need to come out.  Fish the wires through the holes using either a snake tool or a stretched wire hanger.  Yes, I’m serious about this step.  If you’re going to mount it, mainly for looks, don’t leave wiring showing.  It just won’t be worth it.

7.  Attach the pieces of the mounting system that affix to the TV.  Then, gently set the television into the mount bracket.  You may want another person there with you for this.

8.  Test everything.  Make sure the TV works, the mount is secure, and the television is secure in the mount.

The Blessed Simplicity of the TV Stand

Well, that was interesting.  Now, let’s review the steps involved in setting up a TV stand.

1.  Purchase a TV stand that best fits the location at which you wish to display your TV.  Make sure you take into account the weight and depth of the television, as well as any accessories you might attach to it.

2.  Have it delivered and setup.  Sure, you could drive it home yourself and put it together, but you have better things to do in life – like watch your huge Plasma-screen TV.

3.  Place your television on the stand.  Drop wires behind it and attach them to the sockets or external units as needed.

4.  Go get some wings.  It’s time for the game.

Hammer Classifications

A hammer is used by home owners a lot in their premises so they must have one in their possession. Maybe you are not somebody who usually does carpentry, but this should not hinder you from owning one because it is a very useful tool in the home. It is used in simple repairs around the house, to sink sticking nails to stay down in place.

Many people have never stopped to consider how many types of hammers there are but these are just some of them.

1. Claw – It is the most popular of all hammers since it is to be found in almost all the households and is used for various tasks, majorly to grip the head of a nail while work is going on. Its name is derived from the shape of its head that looks like a claw but is actually V-shaped. The handle is made of wood or fiberglass but can also be rubber.

2. Sledge – The heaviest of hammers and is also very large with a long handle. All construction sites have this kind for their heavy work. It is used to drive wedges, doing the posts, and breaking down tough walls. This hammer is so heavy that it must be supported by both hands when using it.

3. Mallets – This is for light use like for tapping chisels or for wood joints, not to mention other types of easier jobs. It is usually used instead of the metal hammer when you do not want to put pressure that would end up damaging the surface of the item you are working on.

4. Ball Pein – This kind is used by engineers for shaping metal and closing of rivets. The name is obtained from the way its head is shaped, round on one side but flat on the other.

5. Nailers – They are able to drive the nails automatically by electric function without the person using it exerting any effort at all. It is the reason you are likely to find it being used on construction jobs involving decks or where large planks of wood have to be nailed down.

Several types of hammers exist but most people would recall having seen some of the ones mentioned here being used at one point or another. Know that if you need to buy at least one hammer that can do most jobs around the home, the one to go for is the claw hammer.