Breaking Psychological Barriers

Before 1954, running a sub four-minute mile was considered to be impossible according to physiologists at that time. It was thought that a four-minute mile was the physical limit of the human body.

When Englands’ Roger Bannister ran a 3:59.4 to break the world record, he not only broke a physical barrier but he also broke a psychological barrier as well.

Australian John Landy, who was considered to be the premier miler of that era, was at a restaurant in Helsinki when news came to him of Bannister’s achievement.

“I had got into this frame (of mind) where I had easily the best performances. Bannister had only run 4:02 once. I’d done it six times. I was staggered. I thought: ‘Wow, what an amazing performance’, but I was pretty positive. I thought if he can run that, maybe I can run it. It certainly raised my sights.”

Six weeks later, Landy, broke Bannisters’ record by running a 3:58.0.

Later that year, in the “Mile of the Century”, in a race to decide who was the fastest miler in the world, Bannister ran a 3:58.8 to Landys’ 3:59.6. It was the first time two men had run sub-four-minutes miles in the same race.

By the end of 1957, sixteen runners had accomplished the feat. Now what was thought impossible has become common, at least among elite runners. John Walker of New Zealand ran at least a hundred sub-four-minute miles in his career but American Steve Scott has the most with 136. The current record in the mile is 3:43.13, held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco.

Another long-standing psychological barrier in the world of sports was Bob Beamons’ incredible long jump of 29′ 4 1/2″ (8.90 m) in the 1968 Olympics. Beamon didn’t just set the world record. He demolished it. In a sport where records are broken by inches and seconds, Beamon shattered the record by nearly two feet. He not only became the first man to jump over 29 feet but he was also the first man to jump over 28 feet.

Oddly enough, Beamons’ coach at the ’68 Olympics was Ralph Boston. In 1960, Boston had broken Jesse Owens long jump record set in 1935. It had held for 25 years. From 1960 to 1967, the record had only advanced by 8 1/2″ inches.

Beamons’ incredible leap was thought to be a freak accident that would never be duplicated. It was an accomplishment that was totally beyond Beamons’ or anyone else’s ability at that time. Beamon never came close to that mark again. It was considered to be the athletic feat of all time.

In the late eighties, Carl Lewis had begun to creep closer to Beamons’ mark. With his world record speed in the 100 meters, Lewis had advanced the long jump record to 28′ 7″.

In the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo, five days after just setting the world record in the 100 meters by running it in 9.86 seconds, Lewis’ 10-year unbeaten streak in the long jump came to an end, even though he put together the greatest series of jumps in history. Lewis had never before reached 29 feet, and this day he did it three times, including 29′ 2″ (wind-aided) and 29′ 1″ (against the wind). But Mike Powell, who had lost 15 consecutive times to Lewis, unleashed the longest jump in history — 29′ 4″ (8.90 m). Powell had stunned Lewis and the world by finally beating the 23 year-old-record.

I’ve used these two stories from the sports world to illustrate that the things that often hold us back, are more psychological than physical. Limiting barriers are more in our minds than actual reality.

Henry Ford

“If you think you can do a thing or you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.”

You are not limited by anything except your own limiting thoughts. Many times, psychological barriers are just arbitrary standards. They could be marks such as earning $100,000 a year, getting straight A’s in school, or setting new sales records. Why is it we establish these marks? We as human beings are goal-seeking organisms. We need something to work towards. A worthy goal gives us something to shoot for.

I’m sure Mike Powell, on his way to breaking Bob Beamons’ record had preliminary goals he had to achieve. He first had to break the 25 foot mark, then the 26 foot mark, and so forth, until, after years of long training, spurred on by stiff competition from Carl Lewis, he put it all together to break one of the greatest records in sports history.

Many times we don’t achieve our goals or objectives because we believe they are beyond our reach. When we see someone obtain some great achievement, we think it looks so easy. We just don’t see the long years of hard work that got them there. Great achievements take time, no matter what field you are in. Working toward your goal requires a lot of faith because you just don’t know whether it will all pay off. Goals are not reached without struggle. Long-range goals require great endurance of faith and persistence.

Breaking down our psychological barriers often comes down to trying one more time, trying a different approach or adjusting your methods just the right way. It’s for sure; you will never get past your roadblocks without trying.

Success comes to those who overcome obstacles, conquers adversity and never gives up.

Network Switch Selection – How to Select a Network Switch

Overview

The network switch is the most common network device implemented with company infrastructure and as such the selection of any new switches or upgrading is a key part of most network design projects. The Cisco network switch components include Switch Chassis, Supervisor Engine, Switching Modules, IOS/CatOS software and Power Supplies. The decision to buy new switches or upgrade equipment will be decided after considering the network assessment and design features specified. Wireless designs, as an example, will have network switches interfacing with access points. That will have an affect on the switch such as increased utilization, assigned switch ports, access control lists, Trunking, Spanning Tree Protocol and increased wattage draw from Power over Ethernet (PoE).

Switch Chassis Features

The Switch Chassis features include – chassis dimensions, number of slots, processor slot assignments, switching fabric, engines types supported, power supplies, rack units needed.

Cisco Supervisor Engine (SE) Features

Cisco switches are implemented with an Engine (Switch Processor) for processing packets on a network segment. Routing is accomplished with an on-board Multi Layer Switch Feature Card (MSFC) or Route Processor running IOS code. The switch Engine running IOS code on the MSFC and the switch processor is in native mode, while those running CatOS on the processor are in hybrid mode. Some engines won’t support native and hybrid mode. The engine with no MSFC supports what is called CatOS mode. Select the engine that matches your design specifications. The MSFC module is integrated with the Engine or upgradeable. You must implement a PFC module with any MSFC. Some Engines have no MSFC module – the routing is integrated with the hardware and as such support native mode only.

The Cisco Supervisor Engine features include – supported chassis, uplink speed, processor memory, native IOS, CatOS, PFC, MSFC, slot assignment, failover.

These are some of the popular Cisco engines and their switching features.

720 – Cisco 6500 switches, 400 mpps, MSFC3, IOS, CatOS

32 – Cisco 6500 switches, 15 mpps, MSFC2A, IOS, CatOS

V – Cisco 4500 switches, 72 mpps, Integrated Routing, IOS

IV – Cisco 4500 switches, 48 mpps, Integrated Routing, IOS

Switching Module Features

The Switching Module features include – supported switch chassis, interface speed, number of ports, media, cabling, connectors, throughput (mpps), supervisor engines supported, protocol features, power over ethernet (Cisco prestandard or 802.3af).

– Media: Copper, Fiber

– Cabling: UTP Cat 5, CAT 5e, CAT 6, STP, MMF, SMF

– Connectors: RJ45, RJ21, SC, LC

– Transceivers: GBIC, SFP

Power Supply Features

The Power Supply features include – supported chassis, wattage ratings, failover, input/output amps, power cord type, IOS, CatOS.

IOS/CatOS Software

Cisco network switches can be deployed with IOS, IOS and CatOS or exclusive CatOS software. Design features will determine what mode and IOS or CatOS version is selected. The software running on the Route Processor must be IOS while the Engine Switch Processor will run IOS (native mode) or CatOS (hybrid mode). Some Cisco equipment such as the 4507R deploy the Supervisor Engine IV with no MSFC onboard. The Route Processor is integrated with the engine. With that design, the Engine IV doesn’t support CatOS.

Native IOS – deployed at the network edge where most routing occurs and some switching is needed

Hybrid – deployed at the network core where there is both routing and high speed switching

CatOS – deployed at the network access layer where there is switching and no routing

Switch Selection Process:

The following describes the 5 components of any network switch selection process:

1. Consider the network assessment and design features specified

2. Select switches that include all the design features

3. Select switches with proper scalability

4. Balance cost and equipment features while meeting budget guidelines

5. Select IOS and/or CatOS software version

The Network Assessment and design specifications should be considered before selecting any network switches. The network assessment examines the design, configuration and equipment that is implemented at the office where the selected devices will be deployed. The design specifications will determine performance, availability and scalability features needed. Selecting the IOS and/or CatOS version occur after deciding on the feature set. Companies will specify a budget and that is a key consideration with any equipment selection. It isn’t cost effective to select a Cisco 6509 switch for an office with 50 employees. It is important that you select equipment that meet the design specifications, has the scalability features needed while meeting budget guidelines.

Some typical switch features to consider:

1) Are there enough Chassis slots?

2) What Supervisor Engines are supported?

3) Does the Engine support failover?

4) Is Multi Layer Switching available?

5) What Switching Modules are available?

6) What Uplinks are available?

7) What Power Supply wattage is available?

8) How many Rack Units are needed?

Switch Selection Example:

The Network Assessment discovered the following at the company office.

· The Distribution Office has 300 employees

· Fast Ethernet (100BaseT) is implemented at the Desktop

· 6509 Cisco Switches with Gigabit Ethernet Trunking

· 3800 Cisco Router with dual T1 Circuits

· Power over Ethernet is implemented

· Multiple VLANS defined

· Local Unix and Windows Servers

· Some bandwidth intensive applications

· IP Telephony is implemented at all offices

· Wiring closets are 500 feet apart

· Several Rack Units are available in the Rack Cabinet

The design specifies that an additional 180 people will be employed soon. The company will have those employees working from a third floor where the nearest wiring closet is 500 feet from the Cisco 6509. The company will implement some Wireless, IP Telephony and define VLANS with each specific company department.

The following is a list of specific switching features needed:

1. 4 Chassis slots with Switching Modules of 48 Port – 10/100BaseT

2. Gigabit Ethernet Trunking between wiring closets

3. Supervisor Engines with failover

4. Multi Layer Switching

5. Power over Ethernet support

6. Dual Power Supplies with at least 2800W for IP Phones

7. Quality of Service for IP Telephony

8. Performance switching for converged telephony network

Selected Switch: Cisco 4507R

The Cisco 4507R switch has 7 slots and is a good selection with the additional 180 employees. The device will have 4 – 48 port modules with a slot available for any additional employees. The dual Engines IV will be assigned 2 slots with failover, Multi Layer Switching between VLANS and Gigabit Ethernet uplinks connecting the 6509 devices. Each of the switching modules are PoE capable with the new 802.3af standard. Dual power supplies provide enough wattage for implementing hundreds of Cisco IP Phones and Wireless Access Points. The engine performance is 75 mpps with wire speed switching. The Cisco 4507R is more cost effective than the nearest Cisco 6509 device. Several Engine models are available with additional performance features.

– 7 slot chassis with 2 Supervisor Engines and 4 Switching Modules with 48 Port – 10/100BaseT

– Engine IV with integrated Multi Layer Switching, failover, dual Gigabit uplinks

– Power over Ethernet (PoE) support with 802.3af standard

– Dual Power Supplies with 2800W or 4200W for Telephony, Wireless, Power over Ethernet

– Quality of Service features for voice traffic

– Fast performance with 75 mpps wire speed switching for converged networking

The 3750 series Cisco switch wasn’t as expensive however there were not enough slots, stacking technology is expensive and switches at 38.7 mpps compared with the 4507R device at 75 mpps. The company would have to buy 5 separate switches with 48 ports for 180 employees. The Cisco 2950 switch doesn’t have power supply failover and scalability. The 6509 switch was much more expensive, had 2 additional slots, more performance than was needed and the switching modules were expensive. Implementation is somewhat difficult with the 6500 Cisco devices.

On the Brain, the Soul, and the Afterlife

Central to all the Abrahamic religions is the doctrine of an afterlife. Adherents of these religions believe that after this earthly life, people will continue to live on in another state – for an eternity. This doctrine has influenced many human activities, as well as inspired many beliefs. The earthly existence is considered a transitional phase – a temporary abode in which individual destiny in the afterlife is determined. Some people will go to heaven and others to hell. Those who go to heaven will never face suffering again.

It is a comforting notion. It is also a notion that has been essentially refuted by recent scientific research.

The notion of an afterlife necessarily postulates the existence of an intangible, immortal part of the human. This part of the human is commonly called the soul. Now this soul supposedly contains all the intangible parts of a human – self awareness, feelings, intelligence, emotions and personality. When the physical body dies, this intangible soul supposedly continues to live on – into eternity. Depending on the person’s activities before death, the soul is cast into either eternal rewards or eternal damnation.

In the past, it was nearly impossible to test the “soul hypothesis”. This is because little was known about the human mind. However, nowadays, through such technologies as CAT (computed axial tomography) scans, PET (positron emission topography) and the more familiar MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), scientists have managed to table out the entire brain, together with all the functions of its various parts. This is because the brain is an electrochemical system, and shows higher electric activities in the areas that are active. Through the brain scans, it has been established that virtually every function of the human has a corresponding part of the brain. Some functions correspond to specific parts of the brain, while others correspond to diffused areas of the brain.

There is no single dimension of the human that lacks a controlling brain part.

Further studies into the brain have shown that when a particular brain part is disabled, the corresponding functions simply cease. For example, when the Broca’s area in the frontal, left lobe of the brain is destroyed, the person stops speaking – a condition called Broca’s aphasia. If, however, the right parietal lobe is stimulated, the right angular gyrus may become excited, and an out-of-body experience results. A massive damage to the left brain hemisphere will result in a person with severe depression. Individual happiness can be enhanced by activating another part called the septum. Surprisingly, religious experiences also have a corresponding brain part: the temporal lobes. Epileptic attacks on these lobes has been known to make people hypereligious. And so on and so forth. Suffice it to say that all human experiences have correspondent parts of the brain.

Now a question arises – since all human experiences are apparently dependent on the physical brain, how can they survive death? After all, in death, the brain disintegrates completely. The parts directly responsible for emotions, personality, consciousness etc get destroyed. Claiming that these human facets survive death hence is like claiming that a person can continue to see even after the eyes have been removed. For just as sight is a function of the eye, consciousness and personality is a function of the brain.

Thus, although the notions of a soul and an afterlife feel comforting, objective research seems to show that the soul is a myth. And if the soul doesn’t exist, neither does the afterlife. We have only one life, and thereafter, complete, utter oblivion – for an eternity.

It is a disturbing thought. It is also the closest thing to the truth.

Riparian Rights and Land Surveying

Riparian rights, also known as littoral rights or riparian water rights, is a system of allocating water when multiple landowners possess land around the source of the water. With origins in English common law, Riparian rights exist in many countries, including Canada and Australia, as well as many states within the United States, particularly in the eastern half of the country.

The general principle of riparian water rights holds that all landowners with property adjacent to a body of water (such as a lake or river) have the right to make reasonable use of this water. This not only includes water up to the boundaries of a submerged property line, but also additional rights to water beyond the property line. If the amount of water is not enough to satisfy all landowners, allotments of the water are usually made in proportion to the amount of land directly abutting the water’s source, or the shoreline. In general, those owning land adjacent to the waterway are also assumed to own the land up to the center point of the waterway, unless land deeds state otherwise. This, however, may not be true if the waterway is navigable by boat. In this case, the average low water mark is the line used to determine land ownership. In many states, land below this mark belongs to the state government.

Riparian rights may include such activities as swimming, boating, and fishing, the right to build a wharf out to a point of aquatic navigability, the right to erect docks and piers and the right to use the water for household needs. The rights to this water cannot be sold or transferred, unless the adjoining land is also transferred. The water cannot be transported outside of the immediate area.

Although those living adjacent to a waterway have the right to protect property from both flooding and erosion, these activities are often subject to approval by various environmental agencies. Those with property next to a waterway also have the duty to allow the water to pass freely from one property to another, without pollution or diversion affecting the rights of other landholders. Landowners also have the responsibility to maintain the bed and banks of the watercourse, including keeping the area clear of debris or obstructions.

Due to small frontage, some lots receive a very small portion of water allocation, perhaps not enough to make use of the water without conflict with adjoining property owners. The configuration of the shoreline can affect riparian rights. In some cases, the entire waterway is apportioned, while in others, only the water near the shore is apportioned. The method use depends on the size of the lake or width of the waterway, among other factors.

An owner’s riparian rights, along with title to land along the river or lake, is dependent upon accurate knowledge of the property. Because water flows can affect the course of the shoreline over time, land surveys are often required to determine the exact property boundaries. In Public Land Survey System areas, a Meander Corner Monument or MC was set at each point where a section line intersected a river or lake. However, a survey of the coastline or shoreline area may show that there is more or less exposed land than seen on a previous map or survey. Natural phenomena such as storms, particularly hurricanes, can drastically change these boundaries, affecting the applicable riparian rights and often requiring a new survey.

How to Remove Corrosion From Stained Glass

Corrosion on stained glass is commonly referred to as white mold. It appears on the lead or solder lines, leaving the stained glass piece spotted and unattractive. The corrosion or white mold is frequently the result of flux residue that was not thoroughly removed.

One method used to remove the corrosion is to scrub the art glass piece with cleanser. This will remove the corrosion, but it may also cause scratches on the glass.

The best way I have found for removing the corrosion is to use baking soda. Baking soda is not as abrasive as cleanser and will not scratch the glass.

You will need a small scrub brush or very fine steel wool. First dampen the scrub brush or steel wool with water. Then liberally sprinkle baking soda over the piece. Using the dampened scrub brush or steel wool, scrub the glass piece vertically, horizontally and in a circular motion.

Once all the corrosion has been scrubbed off, thoroughly rinse off the baking soda and dry the art glass piece. If the piece had a patina finish, you may have to re-patina the piece. This will depend on how much corrosion had accumulation on the piece.

After the piece is completely dry, use a finishing compound to protect and polish the art glass piece.

This process works very well, though it takes time, work and reapplying finishes. If you have a stained glass piece with corrosion, you really do not have a choice. For future reference, you can avoid corrosion from occurring by properly removing flux when constructing your next piece.

The common cause of corrosion is flux. Never leave flux on a piece for more than a few hours. There are a variety of commercial flux removers that you can use. Be sure to follow manufacturers’ directions.

I have found CJ’s to be a good commercial flux remover. Following manufacturers’ directions, I liberally spray CJ’s on one side of the glass piece. Using a soft scrub brush, I scrub the glass in a circular motion, then, rinse the piece with water. Then, following the same procedure, do the other side.

Using baking soda and dish soap is an alternative for commercial flux removers. First, sprinkle the piece with baking soda, then apply a small amount of dish soap to the piece. With a soft, damp scrub brush use a circular motion to scrub the piece. Rinse with water and then do the other side.

After the piece has been cleaned and rinsed with water, pat the piece dry with a soft clean cloth and let it air dry. Once it is completely dry, patina can be applied. The last step is to apply finishing compound to both sides.

Do not rush the cleaning and finishing. A good cleaning and finishing will save you time, work and expense later.

Making the Picture Necklace Which Is Soldered

The picture necklace which is soldered or the soldered picture necklace can be your choice for the handmade or personalized jewelry or accessories fans. The necklace is made from the slides of the microscope which can fit for your jewelry collection.

Before you start the process to make the necklace, it is better for you to prepare the tools. You will need the tools like the microscope slides (rectangle and square), scissors, flat decorative items, foil tape, glue which has the industrial strength, needle-nose pliers, flux, jump ring, ball chair or the necklace cord, and the soldering iron.

For who still do not know where to get the tools, here are some tips. You may find the microscope slides in the local hobby shop. It is better for you to visit the hardware store to get the other supplies for the soldering process and the foil tape. You may want to find the interesting logo, postage stamps, message, photos, or even pressed flowers to be displayed on the necklace. The important thing for you is finding the things which can be pressed between the microscope slides. You can keep the necklace or give them to other people as the gifts. If you are getting better and can produce more beautiful necklace, you can sell them.

Follow the steps below to make the necklace. First, you need to clean your working area from the dust or debris. You can start to work by tracing the slides to the two photos and clippings. Trim them so they can fit. You have to glue the photo’s backsides so they can join together. Smooth the photos with your fingers so you can seal together. You must wait for the photos to dry.

The next step is pressing the two-sided of the decorative material between the two slide. Hold them together by using the foil tape. Mix the flux with some drops of water until you can get the flux paste which then you apply the paste to the tape. Placing the jewelry jump ring on the center’s top and joins it to the frame. Do not forget to heat the soldering iron. It is better for you to heat it and place it in the iron’s holder. It is to avoid the hot tip accidentally touch your hand or the things around your work area.

After the iron is hot enough, you need to solder the area which is covered with the flux. After the slide is dry and has the solid structure, you can put the necklace cord, lace, ball chain, suede cord, and other necklace material.

How to Test Electrical Ring Main Circuits

The UK was the first and is now is probably the only country in the world which still uses the 30 amp ring system for wiring socket outlets in electrical installations. The ring main circuit has long been the subject of many a heated discussion between electrical experts, but as an electrician you’ll no doubt need to test them in the course of your duties. Here is an overview of Ring Main inspection and testing procedures.

Warning- Please note that this is a ‘dead’ test so the distribution board, consumer unit or circuit must be isolated from the electrical supply. To begin with you’ll need to carry out a Safe Isolation Procedure and get permission to turn off the supply.

Here’s the testing procedure:

Insulation Resistance

Disconnect all appliances and accessories from the ring circuit and carry out insulation tests between the Line, Neutral and Earth CPC.

End to End Ring Continuity Test

Set your test meter to low resistance range and ‘zero’ the test leads. Measure the resistance of ring continuity of each of the live, neutral and earth conductor ring loops. Record these end to end readings for future reference and entering onto a test sheet. Note that where the earth conductors are smaller, the resistance will obviously be higher. For example for twin and earth cables 1.5mm will be 1.66 times higher than 2.5mm.

Super Loop Test L&N

Cross connect the live and neutral conductors from opposite ends of the ring and to form a super loop. If at first this sounds confusing, try drawing the live and neutral loops of a ring circuit on a piece of paper with the opposite ends connected. You’ll see that it forms one big super loop.

Test resistance between the ends you have just connected together. The reading taken between the super loop ends should be about half that of your previous continuity reading. You can then verify the ring main wiring and connections by going to each socket outlet and testing between live and neutral. Where the socket is on the ring and the connections are ‘good’, your readings should be within 0.05 of your original super loop reading at the distribution board.

These readings are not normally recorded but will form the basis for your assessment of the ring main circuit connections.

High readings could indicate that the socket is on a spur from the ring, that connections need tightening or that the socket is faulty giving a poor connection to the plug and needs replacing. Where the readings are not consistent this could indicate that there are cross connections and the ring circuit has been bridged.

Super Loop Test L&E

Cross connect the line and earth conductors from opposite ends of the ring and to form a super loop. Test between the two sets of ends you have just connected together. The resistance reading should be about half that of your previous continuity reading. You can then verify the ring main wiring and connections by measuring the resistance at each socket outlet as for Live and Neutral described previously. Testing between live and earth at the sockets also checks for correct polarity.

Opening a Branch Office – Options & Considerations

An obvious and potentially exciting strategy to build your business is to expand interstate, or into another city or town in your region. Many people follow this path very successfully, and build a national network of offices, but others are not so successful. Work though the following checklist before you proceed, in order to determine if you’re ready to take the plunge:

Strategy & Research

Is market expansion the best strategy for my business right now? (Refer article on Strategies for Building Your Business.)

Which market will offer the best opportunities for me?

Where will I find most of my target market – which state/city; which area?

Where are my competitors and how strong are they in each of those areas?

Is there room in the market for another supplier (me)?

Are there any barriers to entering that market?

Will I be taken seriously as a new entrant to the market?

Have any of my competitors followed this path – did they succeed?

Do I have any specific customer opportunities in the new market?

Have I tested the real opportunities that exist by talking to existing and potential customers?

Planning

What will it cost to enter this market?

How long will it take to start making revenue?

How much cash will I burn in setting up the branch?

Is it easy to find appropriate offices?

Could I share an office with a complementary supplier to start with?

Is a serviced office an option?

Where do I need to be located to be able to service my customers?

How will I staff the new office?

Will I send someone from the main office, or relocate there myself for a period of time?

Will staff be easy to recruit? How many people will I need?

How will they know what to do and what I expect from them?

What will it cost?

Will I be able to attract staff to a small branch office?

Do I have guidelines for the branch staff – for goals, performance and other expectations?

How will we launch into the new market?

What are the risks of doing this?

What is the risk if we don’t do it?

What does the cashflow look like for the first year?

When do we start to make money?

How much money will we make over the next 12/24/36 months?

How will this branch office grow?

Will we need to fly staff between the head office and the branch for training, support and customer service requirements?

How often and what will that cost?

Do I have a clear plan to follow for implementation of this strategy over a specific period of time?

After having worked through this checklist, the last question is: have I worked through the options and considerations objectively, and identified that opening a branch office now is the right strategy for my business?

Hole In One Displays

Hole-in-one displays are instrumental in keeping proud moments alive. Hole-in-one displays are precious to any golfer who has made a hole-in-one. Let’s discuss some of the extremely popular displays.

Golf clubs and balls are one type. The golfers can proudly display them at their offices. They can also opt for replicas. The replicas are less expensive compared to the original items. This way you can enrich your collection with the clubs used by any golf superstar. Autographed photos are another type of hole-in-one display. You can have a collection of photos of your friend who has made a hole-in-one. These will act as an inspiration for you.

You will find various sites offering great hole-in-one displays at affordable prices. All you need to do is browse through the listings and go for your favorite one. Scorecard displays are also becoming extremely popular. This is the best way to keep your hole-in-one scorecard memorable. Scorecard displays are usually made of wood. You can put these hole-in-one displays in your office or your home to show off your proficiency as a pro golfer. People have also accepted desk calendars as viable hole-in-one displays. The desk calendars contain different facts, tips and trivia bits about holes-in-one. The desk calendars are also affordable.

Other hole-in-one displays that are already popular are coffee-table books. The books generally highlight hole-in-one achievements from the past, along with photographs and memorabilia. All the vital aspects regarding holes-in-one will be at your fingertips, thanks to coffee-table books. The hole-in-one displays will surely fuel your ambition to achieve this rare feat. Most golfers have hole-in-one displays at their homes or offices. They symbolize one of the highest golfing achievements.

Radiant Barriers – More Cost Effective Than Ripping Out Drywall to Retrofit Insulation

There are numerous different types and brands of insulation available on the market today for residential and commercial construction. Some of the more popular choices have been fiberglass, cellulose types, polystyrene (blue board) and spray foam. All of these different types of insulation are assigned an R-value which “grades” each in terms of thermal resistance. One type of insulation, which is graded on a different scale and has been receiving increased attention of the media due to its environmentally green benefits, is radiant barriers.

Most insulation works on the same premise of providing a dense barrier between the interior of the building and the exterior. Different types of insulation are more effective than others. As the denseness of the insulative material increases so does its effectiveness. Whether the building envelope is sealed or not, also will affect how well the building is insulated from the heat or cold.

Fiberglass insulation, although relatively inexpensive and the most prolific in its use, allows copious amounts of air to pass through compared to others. Despite attempts to seal the building envelope, fiberglass will not help to achieve this goal. Even though spray foam is more expensive, it has been one of the most effective. The reason for the increase in expense is due in large part to specialized gear for proper installation and its greater effectiveness at sealing small crevices and air seepage.

All of the above mentioned insulation can be excellent choices depending upon the requirements. For those home owners or business owners with existing and completed structures, it would be prohibitively more expensive to retrofit than to have installed in new construction. There is an excellent and cost effective alternative to ripping out drywall, installing additional insulation and dry-walling back over again.

Radiant barriers are the perfect answer to improving the existing insulation of a home or office. Rather than slowing or blocking radiant heat from penetrating through, radiant barriers will actually reflect up to 97% of the heat. Surprisingly, radiant barriers do not have an R-value, but are rated on emissivity and reflectivity.

Common installation points are either in the attic or a crawl space underneath the structure. Much like the other types of insulation, there are a few different types of radiant barriers available. Depending upon the location of the installation, one may serve better than another. The different types are perforated, solid or double-sided radiant barriers. The installer should know which type will provide the most benefit specific to the application. Many building codes will also dictate when to use a specific type.

Another major concern with insulation is with regards to mold and insect infestation. Eliminating the chances of mold or insects is affected by the manner in which the insulation is installed and the proper ventilation of the building envelope. Improper installation of insulation can actually increase the chances of mold and insect intrusion. The professional installer should have the experience to install the insulation properly and explain to the customer the process and reasons.

Adding Wallpaper, Borders, Wainscoting, Or Chair Rails to Complete a Room

With all the available products on the market to change and improve the cosmetics of the home interior it can be a daunting choice. Wallpaper or borders can make it easy to theme out a room. Then there are chair rails or wainscoting. Paneling is another alternative. Is painting the best option? What about stenciling? Which is the most cost effective and least time consuming? What about safety?

The safest and least expensive cosmetic change overall is wallpaper or borders. This method of customizing a room’s appearance can be performed by almost any individual. As long as you have access to a sharp pair of scissors, a good straight 3′ level and/or a plumb bob, tape measure, and a sturdy step stool. The last item will be a long plastic water trough for submerging the wallpaper or border completely. With these few common household tools a typical 8′ tall wall can get a new lease on life. A good amount of open space will be required to allow for a good clutter free work area.

Painting is probably the most common method of altering a room’s appearance, but often comes with trade offs. Instead of a simple affordable step stool, a ladder will be required to reach the top edged of the wall where it meets the ceiling. Much of the necessary painting supplies such as brushes, rollers, and paint trays will quickly increase the cost. The advantage of painting is a truly customized color to reflect your décor and tastes.

Additional materials needed are drop cloths and either a dust mask or respirator. The last items necessary for proper safety are often overlooked. Safety should always be of prime importance. The majority of paints on the market can have adverse health risks. Most paints give off volatile organic compounds or V.O.C.s even after the paint has completely dried. Volatile organic compounds have been linked to head aches and nausea as well as more serious potential health risks. There are a growing number of low or no V.O.C. paints on the market as health awareness heightens.

Installing a chair rail or wainscoting will give any room a distinctive charm and flair, however, special attention, skills, and tools need to be used with this type of cosmetic customizing. A good miter saw and/or circular saw, tape measure, and safety instruments are just a few of the tools that are key in order to produce professional results. The majority of households do not have these tools necessary for installing this type of room accenting so is often the most expensive alternative to change a room’s appearance. If expense is of no concern, then safety and skill level with these tools is the next topic that needs to be addressed.

Make sure to have a good pair of safety glasses and hearing protectors. The power tools used for this project are often quite dangerous in the hands of an unskilled worker and special attention is required to use these tools in a safe and responsible manner.

Other safety issues are regarding the type of material from which the chair rail and/or wainscoting is made. Many composite materials such as MDF or other wood products have been manufactured using a formaldehyde based resin to glue the wood particle board together. This type of glue, commonly used in kitchen counter tops, has been proven to be carcinogenic. Many wood products, such as preassembled or ready-to-assemble furniture, that use particle board materials can produce off gases that may affect an individual’s health.

Further exploration of a room’s decorative options can be found throughout books, television, online, or even a hardware store. The imagination is the only limit to revitalizing that boring old room and showing off your accomplishments to friends and family.

Why Should You Have a Fireproof Safe?

Keeping the valuable processions in a regular locked cabinet may prevent them from theft, but definitely not from fire. However, fireproof safes have proved to protect the valuables from fire disasters and theft.

These are available in different sizes and shapes. While small, compact safes are ideal for house usage; large fireproof safes are used by the businesses. All of them are made of thick steel and they are made fire resistant by lining the interior with insulating material. Depending on the insulation layer, ability of the safe to resist temperature varies.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent, third-party; product testing and certification organization that provides accepted standards for grading the fireproof safes depending on their resistance to fire. A low UL grade safe is more resistant to high temperature. Fireproof safes that are used to protect the paper documents should have UL grade 350 as paper burns at 400 degree Fahrenheit. These fireproof file cabinets are available in different shapes such as vertical fireproof file cabinet, lateral fireproof cabinet and side tab or end tab file cabinets. Depending on the size of the paper documents and the preferred organization of files, consumers can select suitable safe.

Fireproof safe that can protect paper document cannot protect electronic media files like DVDs, CDs and floppies. These fragile media files are more susceptible to heat. Fireproof media safe require UL grade 125 to protect electronic media files. Fireproof media safe also protects their contents from dust, magnetic field and humidity. Due to the high protection they offer, the price of the fireproof media safe is slightly higher than the regular fireproof safes.

Today’s safes have a rigid and sleek body that makes the installation vary easy. They can be installed under floor or in the wall; either way they are concealed. Under floor safes are very secure and their installation needs to be checked by an engineer to assess the strength of the floor that supports the safe. However, security of wall safe depends on the wall it is fitted in.

Fireproof safe are available in wide range of prices. Their price depends on the resistance they offer to fire, the locking system and the size. While a low end they cost about $50, a high end fireproof safe can cost $7000. A high end one is usually made water resistant as well. Protection of valuable assets from natural calamities and manmade disasters is possible with a good fireproof safe.

How to Properly Install a Wood Stove

Always wanted to add a fireplace or wood stove into your home but didn’t know how to go about it? Before you actually have it installed, you have to be aware that there is a lot of maintenance involved so that the fire stays within the wood stove and does not make its surroundings catch fire.

If you have a place that can accommodate the wooden stove in your home then you should look over the safety guidelines that come with the house.

The first rule that should be observed when you want to install the wooden stove in your home is to never attempt it by yourself. Always seek help for the task is no easy feat. Sometimes you might overlook a safety aspect and turn a fire loose in the house. You must exercise extreme caution for the wooden stove is an old style device and may be vulnerable to many things.

Insurance may not cover fires caused by a wooden stove so it is advisable to check wit them on this. Another is to check the manufacturers warranty for it may not be valid if the stove was not professionally installed.

It’s a good idea to follow several safely regulations to help prevent and problems from popping up:

If the wood stove is installed on a wooden or combustible surface, you should build a non-combustible support. The coverage of the area should be enough to cover the stove underneath and also some feet in front of it.

Likewise the hearth extension fronting the wooden stove should be made of a non-combustible material and must extend at least 16 inches in front and 10 inches on each side and back of the stove.

Make sure that the stoves have an ash guard and spark resistant screen. Using additional metal or glass doors is okay.

Plan the location of the stove. Will it be placed in a place that has many items nearby that could catch fire? Is it near any gas outlets or gas tanks?

Never under any circumstances directly back up the stove against the wall. There should be a minimum distance of 16 inches of unprotected space in any case. The walls should also not become very hot for it means the stove is too close to it. If the distance is a problem, you should install a ventilator mechanism above to vent the air and heat away.

Decide how you want the smoke from the stove to be funneled out. Never have an open funnel stove for it can ruin your walls with soot and probably cause fires. You may want to invest in a single or double funnel system to vent out the excess heat.

Clearly, installing a wood stove is more tedious and tricky due to its antique-ness and old fashioned use. Always practice safety and caution.

Preparing a Popcorn Ceiling for Ceiling Tiles

There are two options for putting ceiling tiles onto a popcorn ceiling. The simplest option is to install polystyrene or Styrofoam tiles over the top of the existing popcorn ceiling.

Preparing for Styrofoam Tiles

If you are taking this approach, then you must be sure that the ceiling is both solid and stable. If the surface is not suitable, then the additional weight of the tile and adhesives may cause the popcorn to separate from the ceiling. If the surface is not smooth, then the Styrofoam tiles will form an uneven layer and poor finish.

If the surface is suitable, then clear the room and put down protective coverings over the floor. Remove any light fittings from the ceiling, and clean the popcorn ceiling to remove dust and dirt. Fill any significant cracks to make sure that the adhesive will stick well. Any flaking paint should be removed carefully so as not to damage the popcorn. The ceiling can be cleaned with a brush or vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and cobwebs, with any stains removed with a damp cloth.

Now that the ceiling is ready, the Styrofoam tiles can be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Installing a Drop Ceiling

A second option is to install a drop ceiling. The grid system for the drop ceiling can be installed straight onto the popcorn ceiling using the manufacturer’s instructions, saving time and money in preparation. As the popcorn ceiling is entirely hidden, no further preparation work is required.

Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

The final option is to remove the popcorn coating entirely, and replace with new tiles attached to the ceiling. This is a messy job, which should not be undertaken lightly! You will need a number of tools for this, such as:

  • Scraper
  • Putty knife
  • Waterproof drop cloths

The first step is to determine how old the popcorn is. If it was installed prior to 1980, there is a chance that contains asbestos. Should this be the case, it is recommended that you seek professional assistance to test and / or remove the popcorn.

Assuming that it is safe to proceed, ensure that the room is wholly covered – both the floor and the walls. As the popcorn ceiling removal will use water, ensure that the floor covering is waterproof.

The first step to removal is to wet the ceiling using a sprayer to soften the popcorn texturing. Do not wet the whole ceiling at once, as you will be working smaller areas at a time. Do not use too much water, as this risks getting the drywall underneath wet, which may risk the integrity of the structure.

Once the water has been absorbed, work with the scraper to remove the popcorn coating. If there are any hard spots left, these can be softened with a wet cloth, and removed with a putty knife. The putty knife can also be used to clear awkward areas such as mouldings and corners.

Armstrong Vinyl Flooring

One of the best-known types of flooring is Armstrong vinyl flooring. They are well known due to the quality, resiliency and durability of their product. They offer a wide range of different floor patterns that are popular throughout North America. Some of the patterns of their flooring include:

  • Marble
  • Wood
  • Stone
  • Tile

These products look very similar to the actual natural ones. Besides these patterns, they also have flooring in floral, geometrical and diamond shapes as well. The construction of Armstrong vinyl flooring consists of a core that is made resistant to tearing, ripping or gouging that is caused to its structure. You can also get it with either a high or low gloss finish to it.

Some styles of Armstrong vinyl flooring come with a coating known as Cleansweep Plus that makes it resistant to scratching and abrasions. This coating contains aluminum oxide. Pricing varies when it comes to the various styles. Their discount flooring is the Initiator brand. The styles are of the more traditional variety. The warranty is for five years, which is less than some other styles. The more you pay the better the product when it comes to their flooring styles.

The most popular style of Armstrong vinyl flooring is the Destinations brand. There is a variety of patterns in this style. The pricing is more mid range. This brand of their flooring comes with a fifteen-year warranty. A newer style of flooring that they make is considered one of the thickest on the market and is called the Natural Fusion collection.

Many homeowners take to installing Armstrong vinyl flooring on their own, which is fine but you just have to take your time. Of course, you can always hire a professional to install it for you. If you are going to do it yourself, go slow. Cut pieces too big rather than too small or too close. You can always trim it if it is too long. Any time you are measuring something it is best to measure twice and cut once as they say. The floor you are working on must be clean and level before the application of the adhesive. To avoid air pockets, roll it out evenly. If at anytime, you are unsure of what to do, call a professional for assistance. You do not want to do a poor job.