Face Lift For Men – The Few Pros and the Many Cons

Contrary to popular belief, the clientele of the cosmetic surgery industry is not limited to women. Even men like to take control of their own appearances especially when the natural effects of aging or the amount of stress that they go through every day are starting to show. There are in fact procedures that are especially designed for males, or so surgeons would like potential male patients to believe.

The promise of a face lift for men is essentially similar to those promised by procedures done on female patients. The only exception is that there are different approaches or challenges that male patients require. Because of these challenges, there are also different or additional risks and side effects that come with procedures done on male patients.

As with women, face lifts for men should only be an option for patients who are generally healthy. In most cases, the problem areas of male patients are the sagging skin in the cheek area, and around the neck area and the jaws. Men who decide to undergo face lift surgery typically complain about the heaviness of their facial appearance, as a result of all the excess facial skin.

How is a face lift for men different from women? The only difference lies in the fact that male patients simply want to have excess fat and skin removed, while female patients typically have aesthetic ideas in mind that they want to see as part of the results. This means that while men undergo face lift surgery for the sole purpose of improving their appearance, female patients go a step further by demanding that the procedure should also make them more beautiful, according to certain standards that they set. Also, finding the right spot for incision is more challenging for males because they tend to wear their hair shorter, so it’s difficult to find a spot that is hidden.

The litany of the promised benefits of surgery can be tempting for males who are tired of waking up every day, looking tired and old. A younger-looking face, a more handsome appearance, and a higher level of confidence that come with it, along with a positive and fresh attitude towards life-these are the benefits that cosmetic surgeons flaunt to influence male face lift candidates into making a choice. If you see only these, you are not seeing the entire picture.

On the other end, there are also risks that potential male face lift patients should be aware of. Of course there are always the usual risks that come with any surgical procedure, including falling into the hands of a negligent surgeon who will commit medical malpractice. In addition, there are also the common risks that come with the typical face lift surgical procedures like pain in the facial area, swelling, bruising and scarring, which can be permanent. Aside from these, the more serious risks include nerve damage and limited facial paralysis, which can either be temporary or permanent. And because males naturally have more blood cells in the face, they are also at a higher risk of experiencing blood clotting after the surgery. Weighing the benefits against the risks of a face lift for men can help you decided more wisely.

License Plate Lookup

So, you have a license plate number and want to find out who it belongs to? In the movies, it is always a piece of cake to get this kind of information – it’s always a phone call or 5 second web search away.

In reality, I’m sure you will agree that it is not this easy. Firstly, web sites like Google don’t have a license plate lookup facility.

Secondly, there is no free website with all of these details made available on the web for you to search through.

With this in mind, it can seem like your options are rather limited.

You can resort to the solutions that were widely used in the past. These include the use of private eyes, or detectives. However, this is a rather expensive way to gather information, and you can find yourself spending hundreds of dollars on what amounts to a few minutes of work.

If you require additional work, such as incriminating photographs or uncovering illegal conduct the private detective is a good option. But for most people, it is simply a case of overkill.

Luckily, there are web sites that you can use that allow you to access a database of personal details filed against license plate numbers. These are 100% legal, and are gathered from public records.

These websites are not free, but they can be very reasonable. For instance, there are sites where you can make as many searches as you want for the rest of your life in exchange for a small registration fee.

Because the information in these license plate lookup sites are updated daily from public records, they are always up to date and likely to provide you with the correct contact information and personal details for the owner of a car.

The History of the Slow Cooker

The slow cooker’s history is not a long one. Back in the beginning of the 1960s, the electric bean cooker was first made by the “West Bend Corporation”. This cooker was brought out as the Bean Pot. It was basically a crock pot on a tray that heated up. The Beanery was the actually the first true forerunner for slow cookers. “Naxon Utilities Corporation” was responsible for developing that one.

In the year 1970, Rival Industries purchased Naxon, which also gave them the rights for the Beanery. This began Rival’s exploration into the world of slow cookers. The company found that many types of foods cooked wonderfully with this same method. Once this was discovered 25,000 cookers were brought out and sold to the public as the first official Crock-Pot during 1971.

Another innovation in 1974 came with this product when the inside crock could be removed for cleaning. Also people were encouraged to save energy. Through using the low-wattage Crock-Pot this was easy.

With more women holding down jobs, Rival started to show them how easy fixing meals would be with their slow cooker. Rival knew that it would appeal to women that they could cook a meal, while they were away at work. Then by the middle of the 70s other companies jumped aboard making their versions. Most of them no longer are around though.

Rival remains the leader in the market today with its slow cooker. They command a whopping 85 percent of the market. They offer a variety of sizes in many different models. These models have proved over the years to be extremely useful.

Now they come with automatic controls and even timers to help them do their cooking more effectively. Many cookbooks have even been written chocked full of meal recipes specifically for the cookers of today.

Rival is not the only brand of cooker made today, but probably still the best known. You can find deluxe large-size models if you have a large family. You can cook everything from beef stew to chuck roast in them.

They are great for spaghetti sauce, chili, and just about any one-pot meal you can come with. Everyone has such a busy life these days the slow-cooker is used on a daily basis in some homes.

You can find them ranging from a 16-ounce size up to a 7.4-quart size. This is the size of the crock. Most have different heat settings for cooking on high or low, some even have a warming setting. The low setting heats things to a temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit with the high setting heating food to 190 degrees to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

A certain amount of liquid is also needed to cook food correctly. This amount varies depending on what you are cooking. So follow a cookbook’s instructions on this matter or the operating instructions that come with the manual.

Another innovation that has happened with slow cookers is that of the rice cooker. Special rice cookers are no more than an offshoot of the original slow cookers. So the history goes on for the very convenient cooking tool.

Why Consider a Plexiglass Garage Door For Your Next Addition

There are many different reasons to consider a Plexiglas garage door for your next addition. Plexiglas for one is much more durable than standard glass, and holds up better against debris hitting it. It doesn’t shatter like a normal pane of glass does, and is far cheaper to replace. The panels are much easier to handle, cut, and install than glass, and it is more forgiving. They are more widely available, and come in a clear form, opaque, and translucent styles.

You can often find Plexiglas much easier than your standard glass panes, and when they can be cut to fit the window space, while you have to order glass panes in exact sizes. You can even find some manufactures that sell complete doors, with the Plexiglas already in place. If you look around, you will find that some of these doors are also less expensive than other doors with glass in them.

Another reason to consider a Plexiglas door for your next addition is that they are safer and more secure than glass, so you may get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. A lot of insurance companies give discounts for homes that have security and safety features installed, and the Plexiglas door is one of them.

There is a good reason for considering Plexiglas as well. It brings more light into your garage, and at night when the garage light is on, it illuminates to the outside, giving off a pleasant glow. Having light outside the door can make it easier to see if someone is standing there, giving you added peace of mind. Plexiglas is much lighter than conventional glass panes, so this will ease the strain on automatic garage openers. Since a Plexiglas door is lighter, you may have to adjust the tension on your garage door springs.

You should consider a Plexiglas door for your next addition for these and many other reasons. If you have a garage door that doesn’t have windows, you can replace sections with this material. If you already have panes in your door, but are constantly worrying about safety, or some of the panes are already broken then replacing them will be easy to do. Many of your home improvement stores carry a wide range of Plexiglas products, in styles and thicknesses that will fit your needs.

There are many installers as well. More and more companies are finding that using these materials is a better idea than the old glass products, for the same reasons mentioned here. You need to make sure that whoever you hire to install your doors is a professional, and has years of experience installing garage doors, as well as connecting them to your existing opener. They should have a license, be insured, and offer free estimates.

Consider a Plexiglas garage door for your next addition. It will save you time, be safer and more secure, as well as much easier to keep clean.

Planking the Deck of a Model Ship

The first stage to planking the deck is to fit the false deck to the frame. The false deck is usually made from 1mm plywood and will need to be slightly adjusted for the various bulkhead notches if supplied with your kit. Mark the centre line on the deck from bow to stern ensuring that it is lined up squarely with the false keel and that the bulkheads fit through the notches on the false deck. This fit should be neither snug nor loose. The false deck will allow the deck planking to fit easier and lie flatter and more evenly.

The false deck is cambered from the midline to both the starboard and port sides. The amount of camber is usually shown on the waterline drawing that comes with the kit the dimensions of which should be marked by the builder on the bulkheads as a guide. If the plans do not indicate the camber, the general rule is ¼” rise to every foot. Thus in our 1:48 example from the last article where the breadth (beam) is 56 feet, the rise would be 13/32″ or 10mm from the centre line to the edge of either the port side or starboard side. Make sure that the sheer plan (length) matches the body plan (depth) and remember that deck curvatures do not always follow the same curvature of the hull sheer exactly. This is because the stern of the ship sits lower in the water than the bow. The level mid point between the stern and the bow is about ¾ of the length of the ship between the stern and the bow. If the plans do not match make adjustments or else fittings like cannons will not sit properly on the deck (cannons should be pointing slightly down). You should also measure the distance from the waterline to the top of the false deck to ensure accuracy with the hull. If need be you can soak the false deck in warm water or warm water with ammonia in order to get the rough curvature that you need. Remember when soaking wood, you should only use warm water and leave the piece in the water for no more than 15 minutes. This way the cells of the wood will be pliable but not broken down.

Once you are happy with the camber of the false deck, make sure that it fits snuggly up to the false keel adjacent to the sternpost or rudder post. Using wood glue and pins adhere the false deck to the bulkheads. Once the false deck is firmly in place, mark and cut out the openings previously marked for the masts, hatches, gratings and companion ways. It is better to do this after the false deck is in place because of the camber of the deck.

Now you are ready to apply planking to the false deck. The decks were usually light coloured. The width of the plank for our 18th Century model is between 8 inches and 14 inches scaled to on average 5.82mm however not all deck planks on a ship are of equal width so any width between 4.23mm and 7.41mm would be acceptable. The thickness of the planking varied from deck to deck. The lower decks were up to 4″ thick (2.12mm) and the upper decks 3″ thick (1.59mm.) Remember that the length of the board should not exceed 5.5″ (140mm).

The deck strakes (planks) were joggled, especially at the rounded edges close to the bow. The end of the plank equals 1/3 of the plank width and the length of the snipe is equal to not less than twice the width of the plank. As far as plank shift is concerned, there are three, four and for French ship, five, plank shifts. As an example, this means that there would be four planks shifted equally between the first and fifth planks in a four plank shift arrangement. It’s helpful to create a cutting jig to ensure that all of the planks are cut evenly and at the correct length. You can also use this jig for the nail pattern.

On a full size ship a gap of 3/8 ” wide (.2mm scaled) was left between the deck planks both lengthwise and at the butt ends to suit the caulking iron. Decks were nailed down next and then caulked with oakum (a mixture of animal hair, sphagnum moss or hemp and tar) and the seam was paid with pitch. There are a number of ways so simulate the tar lines. Depending on the method you use, tar lines should be applied prior to fastening the deck planks onto the false deck.

o Black thread can be glued between the boards.

o Another method is to darken the edges with a marking pen, which you would have to test to be sure the pen does not bleed into the wood and give you a fuzzy line.

o Another method is to use a soft black lead pencil and darken the edges. With the use of a pencil the caulk lines will not be perfectly even and will tend to fade in and out. This does give a realistic appearance.

o By standing the planks on edge and gluing them to a sheet of black paper then cutting them apart will give you a perfectly even caulk seam.

o To produce a subtle appearance simply space the planks ever so slightly apart and allow the glue to ooze up between the planks. You can leave the gap and allow it to fill in with whatever finish (stain, urethane or paint) you intend on using or wipe the seams with a mixture of colored glue, or fill the seams with a graphite paste mixture (used for leak proofing gasket joints). It is a little difficult to maintain an even gap between the planking because as the planks are glued to the hull they require clamping which may cause the planks to shift.

o You can also use black grout as long as your planking material is hardwood.

The nailing or tree nailing pattern depends on the width of the plank The traditional method for adding treenails is to use bamboo strips or hardwood dowels pulled through a draw plate to form the nail. Alternatives would be to use the bristles from paint brushes, whisk brooms, push brooms, wall paper brushes or anything with bristles. Materials composed of copper, brass or silver wire or plastic rods available in many sizes and can be applied by hand or spring loaded nailing tools. Once you form the tree nails, drill holes in the deck planks in the pattern you choose then glue the nails in place. Once complete, give the deck surface a light sanding.

Once you are happy with the deck, it should be sealed either with paint, stain or urethane. If you use urethane, remember to dilute the first two coats by 30% with a thinner (70/30 mix) and apply the third coat full strength.

Plan the Work – Work the Plan

Introduction

Zig Ziglar:

“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”

When I came to real estate sales from the safety net of the public school system where life is routine and income guaranteed, I was in for a rude awakening. I knew I was going to be good in sales but I had no idea I’d have to learn how to plan and manage time. Oh, and then there was goal setting and attitude adjustment.

So when I speak with you about having a plan and working the plan, it comes from my real life experiences. The realization came that I had to learn to plan and manage my time or starve; It was sink or swim time. So I learned and became the top real estate producer for a major company in San Diego County.

Not to blow my own horn, I’m just saying you have to know where you’re going to be successful.

Zig Ziglar says it well:

“If you don’t have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer.”

What is the plan?

Planning is what determines success or failure. You either plan and manage your time or fail.

You must have a master business plan, a yearly plan, a monthly plan, a weekly plan and a daily plan.

The three keys to planning your work and working your plan are:

Time management

Attitude Adjustment

Goal setting and achievement.

The truth is that those who don’t plan run in circles – Those who do plan reach their goals. Success and prosperity come to those who prepare and work for it.

Brian Tracy:

“You must master your time rather than becoming a slave to the constant flow of events and demands on your time.”

Start by finding a quiet place where you will be undisturbed for fifteen to sixty minutes. Sit down and write what it is you’re trying to accomplish. Writing down, “I want to make money.” isn’t definite enough. How much money? By when? What are you going to do to make that money? That’s planning.

Who bothers with that stuff?

Just about everyone who leads a purposeful successful life:

The Housewife

The Mother

The Sales person

The Online entrepreneur

The Executive

When do you plan?

During the time you scheduled for planning time. Do it daily. Either morning or evening. Or morning and evening this is the best.

Donald Trump:

“I’m a busy guy but I set aside quiet time every morning and every evening to keep my equilibrium centered on my own path.”

If it’s good enough for Donald Trump, it should be good enough for you.

Your plan should include activities to do:

1. Daily

2. Weekly

3. Monthly

4. Yearly

You can use a day timer, a week at a glance, or your computer is loaded with calendar and planning programs, the blackberry and numerous hand-held devices also include planning tools.

In the beginning do it the old-fashioned way. Sit down somewhere that is nice and quiet with a note pad and pencil. This is the best way to think and plan.

Once you’ve thought your plan through in rough form than use whatever tools you like to put it on paper.

Your plan must be written. Thoughts are simply wishes. A written plan becomes an achievable goal.

There are a zillion formats for business planning. Find one you like;one that is brief and to the point. Write your overall business plan and then narrow it down to the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly activities. Once you take the time to think it through and put it on paper, the rest is easy.

Summary

Once you have the plan, you must work the plan. In metaphysics it’s called treat and move the feet.

Learn to include in your plan a time for daily Journaling and Meditation

Napoleon Hill:

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”

Plan your work and work your plan

Copyright © Wee Dilts 2009

Keep the Glow of Your Brass Railings

Anything that shines like gold almost always attracts people. Admit it or not, that golden glow is just so irresistible.

The same reaction is shown by people to the brass railings. Having that same gold like color makes brass an attraction. Whether it’s installed on stairs at home or in commercial buildings such as hotels together with the stair railings or in the bathrooms as hand grab rails, brass evokes an elegant and high end feel to any interior space.

But you have to know that brass railings need regular maintenance to keep their glow. As they’re prone to corrosion and staining, regular polishing is very important. There are techniques to follow, though, to ensure that your brass retains its shine for a long time.

Brass railings installed at bars as foot rails are exposed to the shoes of people and therefore prone to scratches especially if they don’t have that protective coating. Those used as hand rails whether at home or at commercial buildings are not exempted from scratches either especially from the rings of people that come in contact with the brass material.

For your home bar or stairs that use brass railings, it’s best that you learn the ways to properly clean and polish the material. The secret actually is buffering.

Cleaning

The first step to a shiny brass railing is to clean it. Use a soft clean cloth and wipe it on your tubing to remove dust and dirt.

The solution

Next is to apply a solution to your tubing. Depending on your choice, you can purchase the readily available metal polish or brass cleaner. You can buy these from hardware stores and drugstores. Or you can create your own solution using ingredients available at home.

Prepare one-half cup of all purpose flour, one-half cup table salt and one-half cup powdered laundry detergent. Mix these three and then add three-fourth cup white vinegar, one-third cup lemon juice and one-half cup very warm water. Continue stirring until all ingredients are mixed well.

Applying the solution

Now take a small amount of your mixture using a soft and clean cloth and then apply on the brass railing. Be gentle when rubbing and make sure you do a circular motion. Don’t use too much pressure.

Afterward, rinse with cool water and let it dry. Once dry, buff the brass railing using a soft cotton cloth until you achieve your desired shine.

Coating

For coating purposes, the olive oil is ideal if you have been using the home remedies when polishing your brass rails. But if you’re using the commercially available polishes, you may not need to apply additional coating as the solution itself already contains protective oils that coat your brass as you clean it.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. If it is not lacquered, it becomes more prone to oxidizing and tarnishing.

But did you know that it contains anti bacterial properties that help kill germs in places where the brass material is installed? In fact, brass has been used in making surgical instruments and other medical equipment.

Juliette Balconies – 5 ‘Must Knows’

A Juliet balcony (named after the balcony from which Shakespeare’s Juliet who famously courted Romeo from her balcony) is a type of false balcony fast becoming popular for adding increased light and ventilation to any room. This type of balcony first became popular on the continent and has now caught on elsewhere for their combination of practicality and style.

Juliette Balconies are used to stop people and animals from having accidents but is big enough to allow a small amount of room to step out into. The Balcony fixes onto the external masonry and is used in conjunction with a double or French door to prevent falling, offering a safe and secure balustrade system.

1. Standard width balconies are available in 1264mm, 1578mm, 1876mm, 2182mm and 2488mm wide. Bespoke designs are usually possible if necessary.

2. Juliet balconies can be constructed in iron, stainless steel or glass to compliment your home.

3. Stainless steel balconies are limited in the designs that are available, due to the extremely expensive machining required to form intricate shapes. There is little room for design flare when using stainless steel balcony designs.

Aluminum railings allow for much more flexibility in what designs are possible, making unique, eye catching designs a possibility.

4. To prevent rusting and corrosion, some ranges of Juliette Balconies are powder coated in a finish chosen by the customer.

5. Make sure your manufacturer constructs your balcony to meet all appropriate Building Regulations and other applicable requirements including planning permission – it will be the property owners duty to check these.

New Stair Construction Building Codes and Tougher 2009 Code Enforcement Laws – What You Need to Know

The construction industry is entering a time of rapid change. New and existing codes relating to stair construction safety are now being enforced. Since safety will no longer be compromised, deck builders will have to confront the age old problem of making a deck safe when it comes to attaching posts to deck platforms, let alone attaching posts to deck stairs. Important issues such as, Child Safety, the American Disability Act (ADA) requirements and many new building materials are major elements driving new stringent code enforcement. This is why it is so important to protect yourself and your livelihood by making sure you are aware of the latest laws and compliance issues related to stairs. If a safety problem arises due to stair construction or compliance, it’s not enough to say “I wasn’t aware of the new laws.” It’s your responsibility to be aware and know of issues that could involve the safety of your family, friends, employees — and potentially millions of dollars.

The number of deck injuries and fatalities have been increasing at a dramatic rate. Between 2000 – 2008, 30 deaths were reported as a direct result of collapse. This number does not include injuries. Statistics show that when a deck collapses that there is a 75% chance of severe injury and possible fatality. You can be proactive and check your deck for wobbly railings, rotted boards, cracks, missing and loose connections.

Stair Injuries: The most serious stair injuries being documented are the direct result of stair rail collapses. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because until just recently, no product or system has complied with the minimum code requirements for ‘rail post support’ on wood stairs.

Lack of Code Enforcement: There are many reasons one could assume why this important code violation has slipped through the enforcement cracks. Commonly, when stairs are built and ready for inspection, code officials will use the quick ‘tug’ & ‘pull’ test, if minimal amount of deflection is evident, then the stairs, will more than likely, pass. To officially comply with the existing stair rail post support code, all stair rail posts must withstand a 200 lbs. lateral load. It’s a serious challenge to accurately ‘on-site’ determine structural integrity in relation to stair rail post support. However “Tort” protection for the building departments, still places the “liability issues” squarely on the shoulders of business & property owners.

The problem: Traditional stair construction using cut out stringers or commonly used stair angles, do not have the rigidity to hold 200 lbs. lateral load (applied to the post) as required by code. Until recently, there has never been an easy or satisfactory solution for building rail post supports that are strong, and meet building code requirements as well.

The Simple Solution: Rail posts can be used with adjustable stair brackets that have been engineered to achieve the required lateral load. This combination has been tested and proven to withstand 200 lbs. lateral load and 500 lbs. ultimate load as required by code- a first in the industry.

The Art of Selective Ignorance – Deleting Barriers to Success

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.” – Confucius

Strange as it may seem, in some cases, ignorance can be a blessing. Most of the world’s greatest achievements came to be because someone simply did not know that it could not be done. That’s when it would be appropriate to invoke the proverb that says, “Ignorance is bliss.”

The extent of what we can accomplish is only limited by the scope of our determination. Most of our limits are self-imposed. For thousands of years, people held the belief that it was impossible for a human being to run the mile in less than four minutes. But in 1954 Roger Bannister broke this imposing belief barrier.

In the whole history of the human race, no one had ever been able to break the four-minute mile, yet within one year of Bannister’s breaking the barrier, 37 other runners also broke it. And the year after that, 300 other runners did the same thing! Today, high school kids run the four minutes mile. All that because Roger did not know that it could not be done.

Most of man’s greatest achievements were thought to be impossible at one point. Someone did not know that it was impossible, went ahead and did it. Now it is seen as self-evident.

If we ever hope to do anything worthwhile with our life, the Art of Selective Ignorance has to be learned and mastered. That is, we have to learn to ignore all the reasons why it’s impossible to do something that has never been done before. We need to learn to ignore limitations, lacks and shortages.

One of the most important words in the vocabulary of great achievers is the adverb: how. They want to know “how” something can be done and they choose to ignore the reasons why it cannot be done. That is the Art of Selective Ignorance at its finest.

Dr. Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania has introduced us to the world of “learned helplessness.” He has demonstrated how one single failed attempt at something that we tried to accomplish can create the belief that it meant that we could never accomplish that objective.

He also showed that this “one attempt” could create the belief that since we’ve failed in this particular project it also meant that we would fail in something that is totally unrelated. And, as if that was not enough, this one failure can also be seen as a personal flaw or personal ineptitude.

In 1895, Albert Einstein sat the entrance examinations to get into the prestigious Federal Polytechnic School (or Academy) in Zurich, Switzerland and failed. What a great mind the world would have lost if Einstein had taken that failure as a sign that he was not intelligent enough to pursue a life of research.

We can always learn from our failures. However, we must be selective on what we choose to learn. Instead of learning that failures are signs of personal ineptitude, we should learn from what went wrong and how it can be changed in future attempts.

The brain is a wonderful tool but it does need someone at the helm to direct it. Allowed to run free, it can create havoc; well guided it can produce wonders. That is why we should learn to master the Art of Selective Ignorance.

Hubs, Switches And Routers – What’s The Difference?

The backbone of a computer network uses 3 types of devices to interconnect computers — hubs, switches and routers. Each is important and serves a different role in facilitating communication between networked computers. From the outside these devices may look similar — small, metal boxes with multiple connectors or ports where ethernet cables are attached (routers may also expose other types of connectors). The terms ‘hub’, ‘switch’, and ‘router’ are often used interchangeably and misused — in fact, the devices are quite different. Hubs are used to simply interconnect individual computers. Switches do the same (but more efficiently). However, routers interconnect different networks (as opposed to individual machines).

Network Hub:

Compared to switches and routers, hubs are the least expensive, simplest device on the network. All data that enters one port of the hub is sent out all the other ports. Hence, all computers connected to the same hub see each other’s network communications. The hub doesn’t pay any attention to the transmitted data, it simply passes it along to its other ports. A hub’s value lies in the fact it is inexpensive and offers a quick and easy way to connect computers in a small network.

Network Switch:

The job of a switch is similar to a hub’s — but it does it more efficiently. Each packet of data (ethernet frame) that is transmitted on the network has a source and destination MAC address. A switch has the ability to remember the address of each computer attached to its ports and will act as a traffic cop — only passing transmitted data to the destination machine and not all the others. This can have a significant positive affect on network performance because it eliminates unnecessary transmissions and frees-up network bandwidth. A switch can be thought of as the central component of a single network. It is used to interconnect devices on the network and to deliver layer 2 (OSI model) frames. A switch differs from a hub in that it does not retransmit frames to all other devices — rather, a switch makes a direct link between the transmitting and receiving devices.

Network Router:

Compared to switches, routers are slow and relatively expensive. A router is an intelligent device that interconnects two or more networks for the purpose of delivering layer 3 (OSI model) packets. Since there may be more than one possible path, a router takes into account multiple criteria when determining which path to send the data packets. The fact that switches and routers operate at different layers of the OSI model indicates they rely on different information (contained in the frames or packets) to send data from a source to a destination.

An important difference between switched and routed networks is switched networks do not block broadcasts. As a result, switches can be overwhelmed by broadcast storms. Routers block LAN broadcasts, so a broadcast storm only affects the broadcast domain from which it originated. Since routers block broadcasts, they also provide a higher level of security than switches.

Analogy

Here’s an analogy to help explain the difference between a router and switch — a corporation’s mail room. When an employee sends a letter it may (a) be delivered to its final destination by the company’s internal mail delivery system or, (b) taken to the local Post Office (if the recipient resides outside the company). A switch represents the corporation’s mail room, and a router the local Post Office.

A switch does not look inside the mail or examine the type of mail being delivered. The only logic behind a switch is a table of MAC addresses (one for each computer on the network) and which port a destination MAC is connected. That is, the switch stores a table of company employees and their office numbers and is responsible for delivering internal mail directly to employees. So, if mail arrives at the switch that is destined for an employee then a switch knows how to deliver it. A router, on the other hand, is responsible for delivering mail destined for individuals outside the company. In addition, routers can look inside the mail and delivery rules can be applied based on the mail’s contents. This feature allows routers to play an important role in network security.

How a Switch Operates:

Switches are essentially multi-port bridges. They were designed to reduce the size of collision domains. In addition to faster CPUs and memory, two other technological advances made switches possible — Content Addressable Memory (CAM) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). CAM is memory that works backward compared to conventional memory — that is, given a data value the memory returns the associated address. This allows a switch to directly find the port associated with a MAC address (the data value). An ASIC is a device that can be programmed to perform functions at logic speeds in hardware. The use of CAM and ASIC technologies greatly reduced the delays caused by software processing and enabled a switch to keep pace with the demands of high data rates in Ethernet networks.

Switches can operate in one of three modes — store-and-forward, cut-through and fragment-free. The trade-offs are performance versus reliability. In store-and-forward switching the switch reads the entire frame and checks for errors. In cut-through switching the switch reads the beginning of the frame up through the destination MAC address. In fragment-free switching the first 64 bytes of a frame are read — enough to determine whether or not it is a collision fragment (which account for the majority of frame errors).

The Layer 2 switch builds its forwarding table using MAC addresses. When a host has data for a non-local IP address, it sends the frame to the closest router (also known as its default gateway). The host uses the MAC address of the router as the destination MAC address.

How a Router Operates:

Just as a switch keeps a table of known MAC addresses, a router keeps a table of IP addresses known as a routing table. An important function of a router is to maintain these tables and make sure other routers are notified of changes in the network topology. This function is performed using routing protocols to communicate with other routers. When packets arrive at a router’s interface it applies various criteria and protocols to determine the best path on which to transmit the packet to its next destination.

A router can be programmed to apply sophisticated rules based on the contents of the data packets that it sees. For example, routers can be programmed to act as hardware firewalls, can implement network address translation (NAT) and provide DHCP services to the network.

Because of their built-in intelligence, routers are generally considered the most complex devices on a network. In addition to directing packet traffic, routers can be configured to monitor network traffic, adapt to changes in the network that they detect dynamically, and protect networks by filtering packets and determining which packets will be blocked or allowed through.

Thinking – How Do Dog’s Do It? Part One

If you are like me, you really do not spend much time wondering about how your dog thinks or if it thinks at all. You are aware that certain things get your dog’s attention and other things make it behave in a certain way, but in all honesty, we rarely give much thought to the “thinking our dogs do.”

During a slow period of thinking on my own, I decided to do some research on dogs and their brainpower and discovered some interesting things that I would like to share with you.

Did you have any idea that a dog’s brain and spinal cord start to develop a few days after the sperm and egg meet? This development continues through the fetal stage and through the first year after birth. In the beginning the brain makes many more cells than it initially needs and will remodel itself during the first year, according to the environment the puppy is involved in.

The brain requires stimulation in order to develop and this is why “puppy socialization” is so important. If a puppy is exposed to people, new environments and other dogs in a positive manner the chances are, it will be smarter, more adaptable and develop a more sociable attitude toward people.

When a puppy is born its brain resembles a smaller version of an adult brain. But, as it is going through that first year of development outside the womb, it continues to change and refine itself according to the puppy’s experiences, and will continue to some extent, throughout the dog’s life.

There are many interesting parts that make up a dog’s brain, which is similar to ours. The cerebral cortex which is comprised of many hills and valleys, acts like the hard drive of a computer. Memories, associations and instincts are stored in the cerebral cortex. The cerebral cortex is divided into five sections or lobes, which are:

  • The olfactory lobe, located near the dog’s nose, this receives the scent and relays it to other parts of the brain.
  • The frontal lobe sits behind the olfactory lobe and controls the dog’s emotions, reasoning, movement and vocalization. The frontal lobe makes the dog’s tail wag and is in charge of most of the things your dog does.
  • The parietal lobe is found sitting behind the frontal lobe and responsible for such senses as touch, pain, taste, pressure and temperature. This particular function reminds your dog to run to the kitchen when it smells dinner cooking and practice looking very hungry.
  • The temporal lobe is on the other side of the cerebral cortex and is in charge of hearing, memory, learning and meaning.
  • The occipital lobe processes vision and allows your dog to recognize things. This lobe allows your dog to see the leash, so it will know it is going out for a walk.

Now this is not enough to get our dog up and running there is more to a dog’s brain, and so we will continue to learn what makes our dog work.

There is a cauliflower-shaped object that lies behind the cerebrum called the cerebellum this coordinates the dog’s movements and balance. A dog with an injured cerebellum will walk with jerky steps and its feet will be far apart in order to keep its balance.

Beneath the cerebrum is the brain’s relay center, this is where the messages from all the other sensory organs and the rest of the body come, before being sent to the appropriate part of the cerebral cortex. The basal ganglia and thalamus are what form this memory center, sort of like the random access memory (RAM) of a computer. A dog’s reaction to a circumstance can be transmitted to these to sites within a few thousandths of a second and be sent to the proper place and result in the correct reaction for the dog.

Next we find the parts that have the on/off switch in your dog’s brain the midbrain and the brain stem, these are like a computer’s central processing system. They determine whether or not your dog is awake or asleep and take care of all the bodily functions such as breathing, blood circulation and the beating of the heart.

Now there has to be a way for all this information to travel to all the parts of the brain and to do it quickly and there is. Neurons do the job and there are about 100 billion neurons in a dog’s brain. They are so small that 30,000 of them can fit on a head of a pin.

Neurons are polar, which means they have to ends each with a different function. One end is called the dendrite, this end gathers all the messages from the other neurons. These dendrites are attached to a neuronal body, where the cell’s life functions are taken care of. Protruding from the cell body is a thing called the axon, which transmits the signal to the next cell.

Neuron communicate with each other through neurotransmitters, a small molecule, that is secreted by the axon called a synapse, which in turn binds it to the dendrite of another neuron. Once it binds to the recipient neuron an electrical charge is developed and causes the signal to travel down the axon to cause the secretion of another neurotransmitter.

The nervous system uses a mixture of electrical and chemical signals that makes it incredibly fast, so fast your dog can feel the touch of a nail clipper and withdraw its paw, while you stand there wondering about the action.

Recent studies have shown that the neurons are not staid cells, but can actually shrink and disappear. This is how you can teach an old dog a new trick by reinforcing a new behavior, the old one will eventually disappear and the new behavior will take over.

For instance, if your dog has a bad habit of barking at the mailman, it is possible to teach your dog to go to specific location to get a treat every time the mailman comes. After a few times, the dog will automatically go to the location for a treat, when it sees the mailman. The neuron that saw the mailman and triggered the barking will eventually shrink and disappear.

This is called synaptic plasticity; it is the ability of the connection between two neurons to change in strength. The neurons are constantly signaling each other and through this exchange can remodel themselves, this is how learning occurs. It is the method in which old dogs learn new tricks and/or behaviors.

In case you did not know it, dogs are extremely smart and they have the ability to communicate not only with us, but also with other species. No other species is better at understanding human facial expressions and communicating to us through body language, than our canine friends are.

Scientists are just beginning to understand the extent, in which dogs can understand the human language. Some dogs understand and display knowledge of up to 200 words and have the ability to go directly to a toy or object when directed by a single word even after weeks of not hearing it.

A dog’s brain is a wondrous organ. It is the most active organ in the dog’s body and consumes over 20 percent of the oxygen in the blood. A dog’s brain is so soft you could cut it with a butter knife and yet, it works faster and is more complex, than the world’s most powerful computer.

In another article, I am going to venture into the world of canine emotions, it is said that dog’s do not have emotions, however, I beg to differ, so please join me in part two of “Thinking – How Do Dogs Do it.”

How to Make Money in Self-Storage

Most Americans have more stuff than they know what to do with. As a result, they need extra space to store their stuff in. This basic need is the back-bone of the self-storage industry. But just because the demand is there doesn’t mean that making money filling that void is simple and guaranteed. The self-storage industry is more complicated than it looks, and there are many important issues to understand and address.

The Right Type of Facility

There have been a number of different types of self-storage facilities built over the last four decades. However, the profitable ones are among the first variety – they are called “Generation One” or “Generation Two”. The important component is that they have all rentable units located on the ground floor, and in a manner that a car can drive right up to the roll-up door. Why is this? Studies have found that self-storage tenants want to be able to drive right up to their self-storage unit door, roll it up, throw their stuff into it (or pull it out of the it), close the door and drive off. What’s not in demand are units that are located on a second floor or higher, or that you can only reach on foot. Nobody wants to have to take an elevator to their unit, or walk down a hallway with their stuff in tow. There never really was a demand for these type of facilities – it was more a fabrication by self-storage developers trying to rationalize building facilities on more expensive land, which required a greater number of units on that “footprint”.

Just as multi-story facilities have proven to be a flop, so have “climate controlled” units. It appears that the items that most Americans store are not valuable enough to require heating and air-conditioning. If you go to most facilities today, you will find the bulk of the “climate controlled” space vacant. At the worst end of this spectrum are the California invention of “wine storage” units. I was in a facility recently that had only 20% occupancy in “wine storage”. The cheap wine refrigerator available at Costo and other retailers has replaced this concept for most people. And don’t forget that “climate controlled” areas are extremely expensive to operate.

The Right Kind of Location

It is extremely important in self-storage to have excellent street frontage and visibility. The most successful self-storage facilities in the U.S. all share this common trait. This is because many Americans rent space in facilities that they drive by all the time and have awareness of – kind of a “point of purchase” decision. When you have a self-storage facility with poor visibility and an out-of-the-way location, there is no way that anyone will “think” to rent from you, or even find you if they wanted to.

Don’t forget that self-storage is extremely competitive in most markets. Given this fact, it is important that your facility have the correct basic gifts to compete. We all enjoy the stories of underdogs who go on to victory – like the one-handed baseball player – but it is far easier to win when you don’t have a disadvantage from day one.

The Right Kind of Market

Self-storage requires a high density of potential customers. Not everyone needs it, and there are competitors who are also asking for their business. There is a general rule that there should be a population of at least 50,000 people within a three mile radius of the facility. While this is only a guideline, the key thought is that you need a heavy population density for a facility to be successful.

As important as population density, is the density of self-storage space in the market. An over-built market will have low rents and excessive vacancy. The general rule of thumb is that there should not be more than 6 square feet of storage space for every person in that market. For example, a market of 100,000 people should not have more than 600,000 square feet of self-storage capacity.

Demographics are also a key part of a healthy self-storage market. Markets with household income of $50,000+ per year are best. Why? Because the more money you make, the more stuff you buy – and the more stuff you need to store!

The Right Kind of Price and Terms

An essential part of any self-storage acquisition – probably the most important of all – is the price and terms of the deal. Even the best self-storage facility will be a loser if you over-pay for it. You should never buy a self-storage facility at less than around a 10% cap rate (return on the total price). In addition, you should be able to finance the deal with around 20% down, so that your cash-on-cash return is in the mid-teens.

The best buys in self-storage facilities are from “moms & pops” – individuals who own the property free and clear and do not provide very sophisticated management. You can normally buy from these moms & pops at very attractive prices, and they can seller-finance the purchase, avoiding the entire banking application and approval cycle.

Conclusion

Making money investing in self-storage facilities is a very attainable goal. But you need to make sure that you follow some basic guidelines to ensure that your purchase will be a good one.

How to Solder Copper Pipes in 5 Easy Steps

Almost all projects or goals of any size or importance require several steps during a period of time to complete. High-value projects and goals almost invariably require careful planning, several steps during a period of some time and perseverance to keep it going to see the project through to the end. Setting out to solder copper pipes is no exception. To solder copper pipes there just isn’t a single step project either. But here’s the best way to achieve that in 5 easy steps.

Step 1. Make sure to give your work a dry run by fitting the pipes and fitting together first. This will be important because it lessens the chance of a headache when soldering time actually comes around. In the event you skip or ignore this, you may have a leak in your connection leading to other problems depending on the intention of the pipes usage.

Step 2. Use emery or sand cloth to clean the ends of the pipes. This can be a very critical step. It demands concentration along with your full attention. It could be best for those who could do it this way: It is a very good idea to clean out the fitting your going to use also. Why this will be significant is to ensure a clean fit and a leak free hold

Step 3. Use soldering flux on the ends you just cleaned including inside the fitting. The principal reason why, is simply because we want to make sure we have a solid connection Another significant reason is to remove any chance of leaks in the future.

Step 4. Connect pipes and fitting together and apply heat. To go into detail and elaborate on that a little, fit the pipes that you just put flux on snuggly together making sure everything fits well. Heat the pipe and fittings equally for 8 to 10 seconds.

Step 5. Apply the solder to one pipe to fitting connection at a time. One other suggestion, when the solder begins to drip, move on to the next joint to solder together. A general rule of thumb is to use a half inch of lead free solder per half inch in size of pipe.

Finally, if you have followed the above mentioned tips closely, you will succeed and will then enjoy the fruits of this success! Pat yourself on the back, be a little pleased with yourself. You achieved what you set out to try and do! Savor the sweet taste of success! Now enjoy!

If you did not keep to the tips set forth above, well… good luck anyway. You will likely need it…;-)

Repairing A Copper Foiled Stained Glass Panel

If you work in stained glass you must have spent some time repairing, or attempting to repair, a copper foiled panel. Here is an easy way to do it.

Cut the top and bottom off of a soft drink or beer can. Then cut the can into strips,

varying the sizes from 1/4″ to 1″ wide. Cut them the entire length of the can. I have

found kitchen scissors work fine for cutting this thin aluminum.

Starting on either end of a solder seam, run off as much solder as possible.

You can do this by fluxing the seam, then holding the panel upright and slightly tipped

forward. Slowly run the soldering iron along the seam allowing the hot solder to drop onto

a newspaper placed under the panel. Do this on both front and back of the panel. Be very

careful so that hot solder does not drop on you. This is not a time to be wearing sandals

or open toed shoes. (Sometime, I’ll tell you how I know about hot solder and sandals!)

If you are removing an edge piece, lay the panel flat, with the broken glass, you want to

remove, sticking out over the edge of your work bench. While holding the soldering iron on

the seam, slide an aluminum strip between the two pieces. It’s easiest to slide it in just

behind the soldering iron.(Hold the strip with a gloved hand…it gets hot). Slowly move

the soldering iron along the seam and at the same time slide the aluminum strip behind

the iron. It will open up the seam for you, and the glass should be easy to remove.

When the piece is on an edge piece do the same preliminary steps as for an edge piece.

Then, heat the solder at any given point and, using a narrower piece of aluminum, poke

it into the melted solder and wiggle it between the two pieces of glass. It works best

if you hold the soldering iron on the back side while pushing the aluminum in from the

front. Then you can slowly work it around the piece as described above.

Once the piece of glass is out, run the soldering iron around the surrounding edges

to make sure there is no solder left. Cut a new piece of glass, check for a good fit,

foil it, and put it in place.

Since the rest of the panel is already soldered, the new piece will lay lower than

the other glass. To get around this problem, place pennies under the new piece of

glass before you solder it. The pennies will raise it up to the right level.

Now you are ready to, solder, clean and patina your newly repaired panel.

Once in a while this method won’t work, especially if the glass is a really tight fit,

but it is worth trying first, before going to other methods of repair.