Stair Railings Styles

The stair railing at home is more than a simple way to get from a floor to another. You can create an extension of your personal likes in decoration, with ornamental parts of wood, iron and other material easy to install that will increase the value of your home at the same time. If you think that the stair railing is one of the first tings that people see when they come in, you should think as well that, for building a new staircase or just a new remodelling, ask always for the advice and good service of a qualified person who will give you some good ideas for.

When something never goes out of style is unique. Choose wood stairs.

Nowadays there a wide variety of materials to build a stair railing. Long time ago and still today….houses had stairs wood railings, as wood is a nice material to work with. Especially beautiful are which are made of oak wood… with wonderful red colour and knocks that are unmistakable. The star of the house will be an oak wood balustrade, without any doubt. If we try to match the colour of the stairs with the wood flooring it will give beauty elegance to our homes. Although it can be a difficult task due to the many stair parts that we need to have in account to choose…like balusters, handrails, treads, and ornamental trim pieces.

On a staircase the first part we notice is the railing. It has its important use, one is to provide security for going up and down the stairs, and the other is to hold up the balustrade of the staircase. These elements must be kept in mind when the staircase is going to have a railing design. Unique, are wood railings. They are charm, grace, and soft, the perfect end for your house, improving the look of it and of course increasing the value of it. They are durable and strong. Wood is the choice that never goes out of style.

Oak wood, elegance and charm to your home.

The oak wood is generally used to build the stairs traditional commercial buildings such as libraries, office buildings and houses. It gives charm and elegance to any room whit its unmistakeable smooth and warm colour. If you think that metal railings can improve and give more style to your staircase, use it. They have many decorative options and display themselves beautifully. Lots luxury and high homes are decorated with iron railings. They display grace, elegance and a special luxury. A style that nowadays is being used in most of the modern buildings all around the world. Iron railings are used for many residential and commercial staircases. They offer as which are made of wood, safety and functionality. Iron decorates your home. They have a wide variety of design, assuring that you will find a special one for display at home. The metal stair railing fit in any environment. What you need is just the good advice and work of a qualified person.

Is not an easy task but the results will give you satisfaction.

Making stairs can be very complicated. First priority in this type of project is to make it safe and functional. After it comes style. A few things, the rise between treads, the number of treads and the total run of the steps, the horizontal distance between bottom and the top of the stairs. Following these steps will assist you in creating a successful staircase. Be creative. Your inner spirit will help you on the creation of your stairs. Lots of styles, modern, traditional or contemporary. Spirit and design to have a work of art at home.

Stair Renovation Made Easy

Many homeowners and Do-It-Yourselfers would like to change their plain, carpeted staircase into a beautiful oak stair that would add elegance and style to their home. This could be a very costly endeavor. Or with the right products and a helping hand from your stair expert, it could prove relatively inexpensive.

Changing carpeted treads to red oak or maple is a process that has been simplified by the new RetroTreadâ„¢ from Young Manufacturing. Depending on your existing tread design, these tread caps can be placed over the existing treads with minimal modifications. In most cases, removing the old treads is not necessary, which saves a great deal of time and money.

The unique design of RetroTreadâ„¢ provides strength at the nosing while maintaining the same thickness of the removed carpet for a uniform riser height and code compliance. The riser height is an important safety issue which is why a standard 1″ thick tread can’t be used. Installation is easy. First remove the carpet. Then cut off the nosing of the existing treads. Apply a riser material to cover the rough riser. Cut to length and install the tread cap. No longer is it necessary to replace the entire stair. Now, with RetroTreadâ„¢, in most cases, a new staircase can be achieved easily by the accomplished Do-It-Yourselfer.

The balusters or pickets can be upgraded in much the same way. The outdated square balusters can be replaced with square top balusters with a turned design. Again, this can be accomplished without removing or replacing the handrail. Simply by using the same bottom holes and by replacing the fillet in the plowed rail (or in some applications by using the same holes in the handrail) the balusters can be easily installed, without rail replacement.

For the rich look of wrought iron, a new product from Crown Heritage called the Transformer System works in much the same way as the wood baluster replacement in that removal of the handrail is not required. A demonstration video at http://www.crownheritage.com shows how easy it is to upgrade from wood to iron balusters.

All of these upgrades can be achieved by the DIY or local stair builder. Your stair part supplier can help you with any questions and walk you through the installation process.

Courage in Sport – Part Two. The Marathon Runners

Legend has it that in 490BC a courier named Pheidippides ran the distance of 40 kilometres from Marathon to Athens to bring news of victory over the Persians and dropped dead as he delivered the message.

Whether or not the story is true, there are two marathon runners in particular who displayed that same do or die spirit. At the London Olympics in 1908 an addition of 2,2 kilometres was made to the race and that has remained the distance ever since. The marathon at that Games was run on a particularly hot day and began at 2.30pm.

One of the competitors was a tiny Italian named Dorando Pietri (1.59m) who, late in the race, passed the South African Charles Hefferon to hit the front. Although he reached the stadium far in front, for the past 2 kilometres he had suffered extreme fatigue and dehydration.

Entering the stadium, he took a wrong turn and was re-directed. Almost immediately he fell to the ground in front of the huge crowd of 75000. Officials helped him to his feet but four more times he fell and each time received some assistance. Eventually he managed to finish but the final 350 metres took him 10 minutes.

A complaint from the USA team led to his disqualification but there were many who wanted to help and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who had been in attendance, started a fund which raised enough money to buy him a bakery and he became a celebrity. Irving Berlin later dedicated a song to him entitled Dorando.

The Miracle Mile in which Roger Bannister beat John Landy, both men finishing in under 4 minutes, seemed to be the crowning moment of the 1954 Commonwealth Games in Vancouver. However, far greater drama was yet to come in the final event of the Games.

Marathon runner Jim Peters of England had recently become the first to run the distance in under 2 hours 20 minutes and went on to break the world record four times in the fifties. In the Vancouver Games race, Peters entered the stadium an incredible 17 minutes in front but began to totter sideways across the track, his legs buckling beneath him and his arms flailing in spastic, robotic jerks. He fell repeatedly, crawled a few metres, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards, before somehow lurching to his feet to take another handful of steps before his legs crumbled again.

Like a boxer suffering a succession of knockdowns, he struggled again and again to his feet, his face ashen and foam gathering at his lips. This time there was no assistance from officials, despite calls from many in the crowd to stop it. A sportscaster called for order and ‘a respect of sportsmanship’.

After covering 200 metres in 11 minutes, Peters collapsed for the last time and was stretchered away, never to race again. Later, he was unable to recall any of it. The Duke of Edinburgh was moved by his ordeal and presented him with a special medal inscribed with the words, ‘To a Most Gallant Marathon Runner’.

Neither man won his race but Pietri and Peters did more than enough to justify their inclusion on any list of brave sporting heroes.

Electronic Timed Switches

An electronic switch is an electrical component that can stop or break an electrical circuit by diverting or interrupting the flow of electricity from one conductor to another. The most common type of switch is a manually operated device consisting of one or more sets of electrical contacts. These contacts may be either closed or open. If they are in a closed state the contacts are touching, and this allows the flow of electricity to pass through them. If they are open then the flow of electricity is broken and no electricity can pass through them.

A switch is an electromechanical device, and in its simplest form consists of two pieces of metal that will either touch to complete a circuit or separate to break a circuit. Special consideration is taken to choose the correct material or metal for these contacts as any corrosion from the metal contacts could form insulating oxides that could hinder the conductivity between them, and prevent the switch from working properly.

The materials chosen for contacts are based on their:

o    Mechanical strength

o    Hardness

o    Low toxicity

o    Electrical conductivity

One way of keeping these contacts clean is by designing the contacts to brush or wipe together thus helping to clean off any insulating oxides and contamination. Sometimes non-metallic conductors are used made from conductive plastic, and some contacts may even be plated with noble metals.

There are many types of electrical switches, and these are all designed for different uses and applications. Some of the many types of electrical switches can include:

o    Knife switch

o    Mercury tilt switch

o    Biased switch

o    Latching switch

o    Centrifugal switch

o    Timed switch

Electronic timed switches have built in clocks. They are generally placed between the power supply and the electrical device. This allows the connected device to receive power for a set or timed period, and this duration of time can be programmed to switch on and off several times a day. There are two versions available, mechanical and electronic, and both are commonly used for applications such as street lighting, home lighting, washing machines and microwave ovens.

I’m a Woman and My Hair is Thinning in the Front at the Bangs – What Should I Do?

The other day I received an email from someone who said that she had noticed a lot of thinning of the hair in her bang area – so much so that you could see the white of her scalp where her bangs met the top of her head. She asked me what could be causing this and what she should do about it. I’ll tell you what I told her in the following article.

Things That Can Cause Your Hair To Thin In The Front: The first thing that I asked her was if she had noticed any increase in the amount of hair that she had been shedding or losing. As the bangs are often more sparse to begin with, this can be one of the first places that you notice over all thinning or shedding. And, telogen effluvium (TE) is a condition that occurs because of changes in your body. In females, common culprits are changing hormones, stress, pregnancy, giving birth, going off of birth control pills, thyroid issues, and other things. Typically, it takes a couple of months between the stress or change on your body until you start to notice more hair coming out. As I said, the bangs are one place where you will start to see the thinning first since this area has less hair to begin with. If you have this condition, you will often know it because you will shed hair all over – not just in the front. And, you will see more clothes on the floor, on your clothes, and in your brush.

Genetic Hair Thinning In The Front: Men’s genetic thinning will often manifest itself in the temples when we are talking about the front of the scalp. Women though, often notice a thinning in their bang area. This is due to hormones also, but it’s often not a lack of hormones or even an excess or hormones. It is a sensitivity to the normal presence of hormones that increase as we age. It doesn’t’ happen to everyone. Generally speaking, you will have a genetic tendency toward this sensitivity and the front of the scalp (as well as the crown, temples, and part line) are particularly susceptible to this.

What You Can Do About Thinning In The Front: First off, you need to pinpoint why this is happening. If this is run of the mill TE, then generally what you have to give is just time in cases like giving birth or stress. However, if this is due to medical or other condition that you can treat and improve then you should certainty do that. This is important because this condition is not likely to improve if you don’t treat it or don’t treat the correct cause of it.

If it is a genetic issue that we are talking about, then you will have to work on reducing your sensitivity to the androgens which are the cornerstone of this issue. Many people will try to eliminate their presence from the scalp, but this is really impossible. Your scalp will continue to produce them and as long as the sensitivity is there, you will still have the problem. It’s far better to work on both reducing them (if your levels are too high to be healthy) and on reducing the sensitivity.

Also, you will want to take a look at and then reduce any inflammation. Often, the inflammatory process is present in both TE and in androgen driven loss. There are many natural substances that work well for this. (Tea tree oil, emu oil, lavender, etc.) Finally, you will want to really focus on stimulating your scalp to reproduce healthy hair in that area. Once the androgens are being treated, you must pounce on this window of opportunity to stimulate the follicles because the longer that they are not producing adequate regrowth, the harder it becomes to reignite this process.

In the meantime, there are powders that can cover the white of your scalp like topik and couvre. They do help. And, you can try growing out your bangs so that the area where scalp meets bang isn’t so noticeable. But, this things will only take you so far. Eventually, you will need to take the next step and figure out what is causing this and fix it.

Doggin’ Chesapeake Bay: The 10 Best Beaches To Take Your Dog

The Chesapeake Bay is one of our great recreation destinations. More than 1 in every 15 Americans live within a short drive of the nation’s largest estuary and millions come each year for the sailing, the lighthouses, the Atlantic Blue Crabs… What about for your dog? Some of the best Maryland state parks on the Bay don’t allow dogs (Calvert Cliffs, Sandy Point) but there are some fine beaches to take your dog to nonetheless. Here are the ten best –

1. KIPTOPEKE STATE PARK (Virginia, eastern shore).
Features more than a half-mile of wide sandy beaches, backed by dunes. Off-shore nine concrete World War II surplus ships have been sunk as a breakwater, leaving gentle waves for your dog to play in. Also an easy 1.5-mile Baywoods Trail when you want to take a break from the water. Dogs are welcome in the campground.

2. FIRST LANDING STATE PARK (Virginia, south mouth of Bay).
One of the finest state parks you’ll find anywhere features an ocean-type beach at the mouth of the Chesapeake. You can easily hike with your dog for over an hour on the beach with views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and ocean-going vessels in view the entire time.

3. DOWNS MEMORIAL PARK (Maryland, western shore north of Annapolis).

Looking for a dog-friendly park? At Downs Memorial Park there is a “pet parking” stall outside the information center. A dog drinking bowl is chained to a human water fountain. Best of all is Dog Beach, an isolated, scruffy 40-yard stretch of sand where you can let the dog off leash for canine aquatics in the Chesapeake Bay. The wave action is just right for dogs and there is enough sand for digging. Need we say more?

4. TERRAPIN PARK (Maryland, eastern shore at Bay Bridge).

Terrapin Park has over 4,000 feet of beach frontage at the tip of Kent Island. Frisky waves and canine swimming in the north shadow of the Bay Bridge. The trail to the beach takes you across oyster chaff.

5. FLAG PONDS NATURE PARK. (Maryland, western shore – Lusby).

Thick woods and an isolated sandy beach backed by wild grasses but don’t come too early – the park doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m and is only open Memorial Day to labor Day and weekends all year round.

6. MATAPEAKE PARK (Maryland, eastern shore, south of Bay Bridge).

This small park on the Chesapeake Bay features a pleasant one-mile wood-chip trail through a pine forest but the reason to come here is a stretch of sandy beach where your dog is welcome off-leash. The beach is a bit too industrial for sunbathers which makes it the perfect place for dogs to romp. Matapeake Park is just south of the Bay Bridge with splendid views of the bay and bridge.

7. WYE ISLAND NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT AREA (Maryland, eastern shore).

The Ferry Landing Trail was once the only access road to the island, lined with Osage Orange trees imported to serve as a natural fence. Osage orange trees originated in a small region of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, which was home to the Osage Indians, who used its wood for bows. This mile-long path ends at a small, sandy beach.

8. POINT LOOKOUT STATE PARK. (Maryland, southern tip of western shore).

A Civil War prison to hold Confederate soldiers was built here at the mouth of the Potomac River and is the main attraction of the park but dogs aren’t allowed here. Before crossing the causeway to the island, however, is a small, sandy dog beach with excellent wave action.

9. EASTERN NECK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE (Maryland, eastern shore, south of Rock Hall).

Technically the secluded sandy beach at the end of the Boxes Point Trail is on the Chester River but your don’t won’t quibble when she tests these fun waves.

10. NORTH POINT STATE PARK (Maryland, western shore, east of Baltimore).

Although only 20 acres in size, the Bay Shore Park was considered one of the finest amusement parks ever built along the Chesapeake Bay. Opened in 1906, the park featured an Edwardian-style dance hall, bowling alley and restaurant set in among gardens and curving pathways. There were rides such as a water toboggan and Sea Swing. Visitors would travel to the shore from Baltimore on a trolley line. Your dog can explore the remains and dive in the Chesapeake at a small wading beach at the Visitor Center.

The Truth Behind the Facade – Men’s Postpartum Depression

New evidence suggests that postpartum depression is no longer just a condition experienced by new mothers. It may also affect new fathers in much the same way. Postpartum depression in new fathers is a relatively new concept, perhaps coming to light thanks to a growing acceptance of the full range of emotional experience that men are capable of.

Society as a whole has traditionally embraced the idea of the strong male figure with a narrow emotional range. Men now have increasing freedom to admit their feelings on a wide range of issues, including those that our own fathers and grandfathers wouldn’t have dared discuss with others, including men’s postpartum depression.

Paternal postnatal depression in not a new phenomenon, although awareness of it is. More light has been shed on this in recent times thanks to increasing social acceptance of men’s emotions. Similar to the feelings that new mothers so often go experience following birth, men’s postpartum depression can strongly affect the entire family. In a recent interview on “The Mommy-Muse Is In: Empowering Your Journey into Motherhood,” men’s health specialist Dr. Will Courtney shared this: “So often, mothers and fathers expect this experience of “baby bliss” that everyone suggests parenting is going to be like. Then, suddenly, this screaming, helpless infant is in their laps and they don’t know what to do to calm this baby or soothe it. Suddenly, things start feeling a lot more difficult than they ever expected.”

Parenthood is a profound event – whether experienced from the male or female point of view. The transition from being a couple to being a family can be an enormous challenge. Although the majority of men report a deep satisfaction with being a father, they do report that the transition from being “just a man” to being a dad is a frustrating, scary, daunting experience that requires massive adjustment. Men’s postpartum depression can become quite severe, requiring mental health counseling from a qualified practitioner who understands the trials of new fatherhood and knows how to help.

Men typically are well-skilled at concealing their postpartum depression. They may, or may not, show any of the traditional signs that a new mother does, such as loss of interest, crying, and general sadness. Although a new father may attempt to “keep up appearances,” the best clue that he might have an underlying problem is found by being alert to things that appear to be “just not right” in regards to his normal behaviors.

According to Dr. Courtney, men may try to avoid parenting and new fatherhood altogether, a sort of “out of sight out of mind” mentality. “I’m hearing a lot from new dads about the experience of not being able to tolerate being around the baby. They can’t stand the baby’s cries, the screaming; they say it makes them crazy. Or, they can’t stand to smell the baby, or to even see it or hold it. Typically, men feel horribly guilty about feeling that way, and also very confused because this is not what they were told to expect with the birth of their child. All they really know to do is to try to get away from the thing that is kind of making them feel all of these things. They end up spending as much time as they can at the office.”

New parents can take steps before the birth of their new baby (or even after the birth if they sense a problem) to better cope with postpartum depression. Here are some steps that you can take: Accept that postpartum depression is real in both men and women. If a man has a history of depression, beginning mental health counseling before the baby’s birth is a great preventive measure. For couples with poor communication or strife in the relationship, couples counseling during and after the pregnancy can help offset depression by opening up the lines of communication between both partners. Economic problems should be faced head-on with the creation of a livable budget to alleviate the financial stress on the couple. Social support for both mom and dad is important. Decide who you can rely on if you need a sitter, etc.

New mothers and fathers must understand that postpartum depression is a completely natural condition that should be treated, not hidden. There is no shame in being depressed after the birth of a baby, especially considering that millions of parents experience some type of postpartum mood disorder each year. Seeking out treatment for the condition is an admission of being a parent who is willing to do whatever it takes to be the best parent and partner possible.

The Soldering Iron for the Craftsman

It is common for the electricians to have the soldering iron. It is because the tool will help them to fix the broken wire in the electronic devices. The main function of the tool is to melt the metal like wire and blend it together. The shape of this iron looks like the pencil or knife. You should hold it to use it.

The tool is used combine with the flux. The flux is the corrosive agent which can clean the surface of the metal. Mix the flux with some of the water drops to get the flux paste. You need to apply the flux paste before you can use the soldering iron. It works effectively to fix the wire. But, actually the iron can also be used to make the jewelry which uses the metal as the basic material.

You can make your own jewelry or fix your jewelry in your home. If you are beginner, it is better for you to start the process with the earring especially the metal jump rings. You need to find the right flux that can work effectively for your metal. The metal jump rings will be the best material to have your practice since they have the cheap price. You will find it is easy to work with. To decorate the jewelry you make, you can use the crystals and gemstones.

With the help of the tool, you may also apply some styles to your jewelry. The popular style of the jewelry is the simple braiding metal wires. You need to choose the metal which has the lighter weight and thinner in the shape. It is because the wire which has the thicker wire will be difficult to be braided.

Another function of the soldering iron is helping you to make the wire baskets. The function of the basket is to keep your item safely. It will add the aesthetic value in your home. You can create the wire baskets which are suitable with your home condition. You can choose the wire with your favorite color to suit your home’s situation.

Choose the Right Soldering Tools for Your Pendants

When you are familiar in making the jewelry, you are probably also familiar with the solder. For who still does not know the solder, it is the metal alloy which is used to create the jewelry. One of the popular jewelry which is liked by the people is the pendants. If you like the pendant and you want to make it by yourself, you will need the soldering iron.

The tool is used to melt the solder and join the pendant’s component which is separated to each other. It is better for you to choose the right tool to make the pendant. It is because the iron has many different types which provide you the different heat’s amount to melt your solder.

1. The propane torch: it can be said that this tool is the best tool to help you in pendant making process. The fuel of this tool is the propane which is the gas type. The tool is used to solder the copper but it can also work well with the other metals. The propane torch is also able to reach 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit. It is quite temperature if you want to melt the solder.

2. The butane torch: It is another choice for you to use in the pendant jewelry. The fuel which is used to power this torch is the butane gas. You can use this tool to solder various metals. It can reach 2,500 Fahrenheit degrees which is hot enough to melt the metal effectively.

3. The oxy-acetylene torch which is the combination of acetylene and the oxygen: Another good tool to help you in jewelry making you can use. It produces the hotter heat than the propane or butane. By using this torch, you can produce 6,300 Fahrenheit degrees which let you cut, attach, and melt the solder.

4. The soldering pencils or pens: it is suitable for you who are not yet familiar with the torch. It has the lightweight which makes you are able to hold and move it easily. The fuel which powers this tool is the butane and can produce the 2,300 Fahrenheit degrees temperature heat.

5. The soldering irons: it can be said that the iron is not recommended in pendant jewelry making.

Could Not Open Socket reCAPTCHA Error

After months of receiving spam through my contact forms I decided it was time to add reCAPTCHA to them in the hope of stemming the tide of garbage. This now under the control of Google I thought there wasn’t going to be an issue with this. Having just installed reCAPTCHA on my works websites I knew what to do and all went well on those sites. On the Friday I did 3 forms on my own sites and all worked as expected, on the Saturday I did the last form I had, but that one didn’t work. All I kept getting was a ‘could not open socket’ error.

Initially I thought I must have made some error in the code but after checking the code against that which I had done the day before I could see no error. And more over the 3 forms I did the day before that worked, now no longer worked and displayed the same error message, what the hell?? Most frustrating was the fact that this was all the message said and gave no clue as to what was causing it. I made a number of attempts to find which section of code that was at fault by adding echo’s throughout the php code but none of them showed, only that damned error message. I thought there must be something wrong with the server.

Someone must have had this issue before so I turned my attention to Google for an answer. As I started to type ‘could not open socket’ the autocomplete came up with ‘could not open socket recaptcha’, ah ha! But I couldn’t think why it could have worked yesterday and not today? After reading many unhelpful posts’ I found this: code.google.com/p/recaptcha/issues/detail?id=26 which although didn’t have the exact answer it did help me to realise the answers to my own issues.

After reading through this thread I came to the conclusion that my problem was 2 fold and explained why it had worked yesterday and not today. The main problem was my web host, in their attempt to be helpful they introduced (a long time back) blocking of outgoing connections to remote IPs from within my sites. This is one to be aware of if you are auto blogging using wp-o-matic, any feed you add will most likely be blocked by this until you add the IP to the allowed list from within your control panel.

I assume there is a good reason for them doing this but it can imagine it has caused nightmares for the inexperienced. Obviously it had worked yesterday because it was new, once the server knew the connection was being made it blocked it. It was probably the number of tests I did that made the connection get noticed and was possibly a good job it was noticed so quickly or I might not have noticed it for some time.

So which IP was I to add to the allowed list? The line of code in recaptchalib.php identified as the problem in the above thread was:

define(“RECAPTCHA_VERIFY_SERVER”, google.com );

So what I needed was the IP of google.com. mxtoolbox.com/SuperTool.aspx is a very useful tool I have been using for a long time. A DNS lookup for google.com gave me 5 options for an IP, 74.125.227.48 to 74.125.227.52, so now I have:

define(“RECAPTCHA_VERIFY_SERVER”, “74.125.227.48”);

Adding this IP to the allowed remote IP list from within my control panel sorted the problem on all my forms. Score!

Opening a New Dental Practice

Whether you are venturing out from being an associate or you have just graduated dental school, this could most likely be the most stressful time in your career; if not your life. The mental checklists alone are enough to drive you to the point where you wonder if it is best you stay in a practice as an associate where budgets, staff, and marketing are someone else’s problem. But, you survived dental school, you can survive this as well. While the lucky few can afford the luxury of hiring a consultant to do everything for them, the rest are left to start from scratch on their own. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

Demographic Studies and Surveying

There are many companies, including the American Dental Association that can help you research an area to open your practice. They will provide data that tells you how many dental offices are in an area and what their specialty is. Although the “cluster effect” in retail works well, a method where you may find many retailers grouped together with the mentality “If they don’t have it next door; we will”, does not work so well in dentistry. Find a city where your services are needed or where your practice can stand out and succeed. Many dentists open their practices in a community they live in or grew up in. Just make sure if you do that, the area is not blanketing with too many dental offices. You can also do surveys in the area to determine the community’s dental needs.

Set a Budget and Stick to It!

It is easy to get carried away. You have in your mind what your dream office will be. You can always expand as you grow. If you fill every operatory and buy every new piece of technology out there, you will be buried in debt. Dental supply companies offer refurbished equipment that is usually less than five years old and looks brand new. A reputable company will also offer warranties with this equipment as they would a brand new unit. If your office has four operatories, do you really need to have them ready to use immediately if you are brand new? Chances are, no. The point is to make sure you have the necessities to house a dental hygienist and yourself while you build your patient base.

Hire a Dental Team

The biggest mistake some dentists make is thinking that they can get away with the bare minimum when it comes to staff. In order for you to look professional and be ready to build your client base, you at least need a hygienist, dental assistant, and front office administrator: You also do not want to wait until you are about to open or are open to fill these positions. Your new dental team will be essential in helping you set up the office and marketing. As you begin marketing, it will be important to have someone answering your phones and making appointments prior to the office being open for business.

Insurance

A great way to build your cliental is to become a part of some dental insurance programs. There are different types of dental programs: HMO, PPO, traditional, dental fee plans, and government assisted programs. In order to be a part of these programs, you must begin the process of credentialing which can be a long process depending on the insurance company and type of insurance it is. Becoming an in network provider will get your name on lists for dental offices that they refer the insured to. This could be a huge marketing tool for you.

Education

If you have not already, it is a great idea to enroll in a dental practice management program for yourself. This type of program will help you see the administrative side of dentistry so that you can better oversee your business. As a dentist, it will only benefit you to know about insurance, reports, scheduling, and creating an office manual for your team to follow. Your name is on the door; always be aware of what is going on, especially with accounts and insurance. The investment in a continuing education program in dental management will pay for itself.

Marketing and Social Media

Would you believe that a lot of marketing can be free marketing? Social media outlets such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter are huge resources for marketing your dental practice. These are great places to start. Next you should set up a website. In this day and age when people hear about a business, new or old, the first thing they do is check out the website. Have this in place before you begin advertising in local magazine and papers. Join your local Chamber of Commerce, there you will meet local business owners and network with them at events. Do not be shy and timid when it comes to marketing your business. Invite local newspapers to see your office and do an article, send your team out to other dental practices to introduce your practice to the dental community, and hand out your business cards at every opportunity you get.

Last, but not least, do not forget to breathe and utilize your resources when possible. Talk to other dentists who have opened up practices, like former classmates or people in a study club. Contact your local dental association and network with other dentists. Remember you are not the first person to take this huge step and never forget the outcome, a dental practice you can be proud of. These stressful days will one day be a distant memory.

Pothole Damage and Your Wheel Alignment

Potholes are just one of the many regular hazards people deal with as they drive their daily routes. Most will try to avoid potholes as much as possible, but will eventually end up hitting a large hole that is simply unavoidable. While some only try to avoid potholes because of the jarring bump that occurs, others realize the serious issues that can come from hitting a pothole. It is important to understand pothole damage and your wheel alignment, as potholes can cause serious problems that will require repairs.

The Problem with Potholes

Potholes are an incredible nuisance and annoyance, but can actually do some serious damage to your vehicle. The problems are all caused by the way the pothole forces your vehicle to move, as only one of the four tires of your vehicle is going to dip into the pothole at any given time. While your car wants to completely shift to the side that the pothole has been hit, the front (or back) tire that is not in the pothole stops it from doing so. This means that the parts that focus on the alignment of the tire that goes into the pothole will bend and shift to compensate.

This shift and bend can cause a myriad of problems for your vehicle, all of them stemming from the wheel alignment of your vehicle. When your tires and the various parts that keep them aligned move, they become off and misaligned. A small wheel alignment issue may not be noticeable for a long time; save for the shaking that you will feel as you drive. Eventually, serious issues will rise from that initial misalignment.

Pulling

If the pothole damage that your vehicle sustains manages to damage or shift the caster, your wheel alignment will be off in terms of steering. If you feel your vehicle pull from one side to the other as you drive, the casters are off. This can make driving and steering somewhat difficult, as you must constantly correct for the way that your vehicle shifts on the road.

Tires

Issues with wheel alignment can cause uneven wear and tear on your tires, as the jolt of a pothole can mess with the cambers of the alignment system. When the camber is damaged, the wheel will tilt to one side or the other. The uneven wearing of the tires results, and the suspension of your vehicle will suffer.

Toeing

The toe is the third part of the wheel alignment system of your vehicle. When you hit a pothole, the toe of your vehicle can turned in (positive toe) or turned out (negative toe). This can cause the same uneven tire wear as camber issues, and can also cause the steering issues caused when the caster is off.

The initial issues caused by pothole damage and your wheel alignments are small – you’ll notice a shift in driving and steering and may notice some shaking. The tire wear and the suspension wear take time to surface, but will result in the need for part replacement.

How to Incorporate Landscape Lighting For Night Time Illumination

When they say, “let the sun shine in,” during the day, what exactly do they say at night? “Let the landscape lighting illuminate?”

How many times have you arrived at a home at night only to discover that you could not find your way to the front door? Scary, unsafe, and so unappealing. Now there are companies that do nothing but handle landscape lighting design.

Landscape lighting design is really not that difficult for the DIY homeowner – especially if your landscape lighting ideas focus on solar power. With no electrical writing concerns, you have an open playing field in which to build your nighttime world.

Your plan should center around two things: safety and enhancement.

First, where do you need lighting for safety? Generally, all walkways, secondary paths, and anywhere else someone might be wandering. This becomes a visitor’s compass to your home and around your yard. When you install landscape lighting for safety, the general rule of thumb is to place the light so (a) it does not shine in someone’s eyes, and (b) that it illuminates at least 75% of the path from side to side. (Nothing like having someone blinded by the light or walking off the side of the path into a flower bed.)

Next, consider the spacing. This is best done at night when you can see what kind of coverage you need to have. This is the one area in which you do not want to skimp! If you are particular about the spacing between each light – i.e., that it has to be exact – then lean towards the “more is better” approach.

For enhancement, some great landscape lighting ideas include up lighting trees, accenting a fountain, illuminating an architectural feature, outlining a fence, or brightening a darkened area. In this case, the installation of the landscape lighting is all about where you place the light versus how much lightening you need.

When it comes to how to install your landscape lighting, that is going to depend on the type of lighting you will be using: solar or electrical. If you have an external outdoor receptacle, then doing walkway lighting is fairly easy for the do-it-yourselfer. If you do not have an outdoor receptacle, you may want to hire an electrician to install one. When it comes to solar, go for it. Simply make sure that your lights are positioned where they will receive enough sun to charge the solar cells and that they will generate enough lighting for the planned use.

Your landscape lighting design plan should be something you have to do only once with minor tweaks into the future. Do it right the first time, and you are on your way to having a home that is a beacon in a dark, nighttime world.

Proper Lighting For a Jewelry Store

Proper store lighting can attract more customers to any establishment, help sell more product, and strengthen a store’s image. Many designers argue that the most important element of a store’s design may be its lighting. Unfortunately, lighting is often the most neglected component of store design.

When choosing the lighting for any store or display cases, here are a few ideas to keep in mind.

Ceiling Height: The height of a store’s ceiling is one of the most important factors that goes into a plan for lighting a jewelry store in such a way that the merchandise looks spectacular. As the source of light moves farther away from the merchandise the power and intensity of the light diminishes. Stores with higher ceilings (over 9′) face some challenges with lighting. Stores with ceiling that are taller either have to use more lights that are spaced closer together to illuminate a showcase or bring the light source closer by dropping down a track or using a pendant.

Color: The color of light is measure in Kelvin (temperature). The higher the temperature (Kelvin) reading the cooler the color of light and the lower the temperature the warmer the color. For example a light that is 3000K would be a warmer color and a light that is 4000K would be a cooler light. As the temperature of light gets too high (over 4200K) the color of the light begins to take on a blue quality. Lights that are in the 5500K to 6500K will look “blue” to the eye.

Bulb Life/Quality: How long a bulb is expected to last is based upon its “rated life”. The better bulbs have a rated life in excess of 10,000 hours. The quality of a bulb can also be measured by its CRI (Color Rendition Index). The higher the CRI of a bulb the better the quality of the light that it projects will be. CRI numbers over 80 signify a very high quality of light. CRI numbers over 90 signify an exemplary quality of light.

Power of Light: The power of a bulb is measured in lumens. The amount of light that is generated is measured in Lux or, more commonly, in foot-candles (“fc”). The higher the lumens the higher the amount of foot-candles that will be generated by the bulb.

Different Light Sources: There are three main sources of light that are used in Jewelry stores. They are (1) Ceramic Metal Halide (2) Halogen (3) Fluorescent. LED technology is being used more and more but is still far behind the main three. The best source of lighting for jewelry is still Ceramic Metal Halide. This is due to its qualities. They are energy efficient, powerful (lumens over 6000), come in warm and cool colors (3000K to 4200K) has excellent CRI (over 80 and in most cases over 90 CRI) and can provide foot-candles that can exceed 400. Halogens are hot, have lower CRI’s, do not maintain their color over the life of the bulb and are about a quarter to a third of power of a ceramic metal halide. Fluorescents are energy efficient but do not project enough power to be useful in a jewelry store when it comes to illuminating merchandise.

LED’s are the “buzz” but they have limitations and problems. LED technology is constantly changing. An LED fixture you buy today is (as in the case of a personal computer) will be outdated within a year. Keeping a consistent color of the LED over time can be problematic due to the changes in LED technology. LED’s can make jewelry look great inside of the showcase but are not powerful enough to be placed over the case where the sale is actually made. Due to this limitation, a different source of light is required above the showcase such as ceramic metal halide or halogen. This is where the problems occur. What happens is that there are two different sources of light each making a piece of jewelry look different. As an example … a customer see’s a piece of jewelry inside of a showcase being lit by an LED strip. They ask to have the salesperson take it out for them to see it. It is taken out and is now over the glass being illuminated by a DIFFERENT light source which makes the piece look different. The customer begins to wonder if the lighting inside the case is there to “trick” them into thinking the jewelry looks good. As sales are finalized on the “glass” having a light source that makes the jewelry look the same inside the case as it does above the case is crucial to closing a sale.

TIPS:

(1) Most designers who understand the proper way to light a jewelry store will tell you that you light “for diamonds” and the rest of your merchandise will survive do just fine AND that if you light for gold your diamonds will die. Diamonds require a bright white light that provides enough power to make them sparkle. Diamonds should be shown under lights that are in the 4000 -4200K range. This provides a beautiful white color that stops short of taking on blue color qualities. Gold and warmer colored stones look the best under warmer colored lights 3000K to 3500K. However, if a store is going to use a single color of light throughout its showcases then the adage of “lighting for diamonds” is the way to proceed.

(2) Make certain that lighting is powerful enough to produce a minimum of 200fc. Having light that is less than 200fc is universally agreed to be lower than the minimum amount of light to properly light jewelry, especially diamonds. Readings of between 200 and 400fc is the optimum amount of light power over a showcase depending on the store owner’s personal preference as to the amount of light that they think looks best.

(3) Have ambient or general lighting be warmer and less powerful than the lighting over the showcases. The human eye is attracted to brighter light. If the general lighting in a store is the same color and power as that over the showcases then there will be nothing to attract the customers to the showcases and the store will have a cold non-inviting feel to it. By having the general (ambient) lighting less powerful (about 75fc) and of a warmer color (between 2500 and 300K) the lighting over the merchandise will stand out and attract the customer to the cases.

(4) When lighting a window display that has natural sunlight shining into it use twice the amount of light that would be commonly used over a showcase in order to combat the power of the sun.

When upgrading lighting the trend is commonly a change from Halogen technology. Customers who are using Halogen and who switch to ceramic metal halide will notice an immediate difference in the quality and power of the light, the decrease in heat and the remarkable change that it makes to their merchandise.

Things to consider when choosing the type of lighting:

Track: This provides the most versatility as fixtures can be moved and repositioned with ease. If merchandise is moved from case to case or showcases are moved track lighting provides the store owner with the most options.

Recessed: This provides the sleekest look. The limitations are that the store owner will be limited in their ability to add or decrease light as well as limitations with moving merchandise and showcases around inside of the store. Once a recessed light is installed the cost to add or take away lighting becomes a large expense as electricians are required to remove/move lighting as well as the issues involved with repairing the holes in the ceiling where the recessed fixture was installed.

Pendants: Pendants are a great way to bring a light source closer to the showcases where the ceilings are high and the store owners do not want to spend the money required to add additional lights to compensate for high ceilings.

Inside of Showcase Lighting: Having lighting inside of a showcase can really add sparkle and glitter to your jewelry. The best lighting for inside a case is LED. Be careful though when choosing the LED to make sure that the color of the light is not blue (5500K = color range). Having one color shining on your merchandise inside the case and a different color shining on your merchandise above the case has the real potential to lose a sale. Stores do not want their customers to be attracted to how jewelry and diamonds looks inside only to have it look different on top of the glass where the sale is actually closed. Customers will think that stores are trying to trick them through the use of fancy lighting.

Installing Roof Leak Barriers – Sealing in Chimneys

When working on sealing in chimneys, it can be a tough job, especially when you are dealing with a notorious leak source, one that is around a chimney on a home. The roof protection decking can settle and move separately from chimneys, making it even more difficult. Install leak barriers to accommodate this movement. Install Shingle-Mate or Deck Armor roof underlayment flush to the leaking chimney wall; install a full 36″ of Weather Watch or Storm Guard leak barrier over the roof deck underlayment.

Run up the chimney sides 5″, the leak barrier should run up the chimney in question up the sides a minimum of 5″. Then, seal firmly into place by pressing the membrane, sealing in the chimney wall area, and seal to the Shingle-Mate or Deck Armor roof protection along the deck of the home. Completely cover crickets, the chimney crickets should also be completely covered with leak barriers as well. Install the shingles and the step-flashing over the leak barriers that were just installed on the roof.

To divert any leak water back out over the roof shingles at chimney front. Install Single-Mate or the Deck Armor roof decking underlayment, making sure it is flush to the chimney wall around the entire chimney. Then, install the shingles, making sure to trim them flush to the chimney front. Install the leak barrier of your choice 5″ minimum up to the chimney front; install this over the non-exposed area of the shingles at chimney front at a 5″ minimum.

Be certain to leave the shingle sealant exposed at this area under the chosen leak barrier protection that is being used on the area under also the roof deck protection above the chimney. Go up the chimney side’s 5″ minimum again and seal to all the areas by firmly pressing the membrane to the surface. This method will divert any water that enters past the flashing and shingles back out of the roof system itself over the shingles that are installed.

There are two instances where you would install either Weather Watch or Storm Guard leak barrier at the chimneys. Over the crickets of a home on the roof, making sure to abide by the chimney details that are set forth by code, and over the shingle method of sealing in a chimney. Making sure to go by these procedures will ensure your chimney on your home will be well protected against the weather elements.