How To Install A Suspended Drywall Ceiling

Tools Needed:

Basic hand tools

Measuring tape

Water level

4 foot level

Resilient metal channels

Hanger ties

Screw Gun

Aviation snips

Screws (self-tapping)

1. Install the track. Using a water level, mark the desired elevation where you want the drywall to go, (remember that the drywall will be 1/2 to 5/8 inch below the suspension system, and that most building codes require at least 90 inches of headroom in normal living spaces.) Now mark the line where you will install the track which will support the ceiling framing. Install the track – either channel molding (which is C-shaped) or wall angle (which is L-shaped) – into the studs at the top of the wall using sheet-metal screws.

2. Install the main tees or bars. Main bars generally come in 10 or 12 foot lengths, make this the dimensions across which you will place the main tees. Otherwise, you will have to cut the main tees to fit a shorter dimension or splice two of them together (using hanger wire or specially made splicing clips available where you buy the tees) to fit longer dimensions. Place the main tees on the track every 2 feet. Check the bars for level, and then attach the hanger wires from the main tees to the existing ceiling joists, to provide additional support for the ceiling.

3. Install the cross tees. Install the cross bars perpendicular to the main tees every 16 or 24 inches on center. (Cross tees are manufactured in 2 foot lengths to fit in between the main tees.) This will provide a level surface and sufficient support for drywalling.

Simple Ceilings. Metal suspended ceiling systems require no special equipment to install. Lightweight steel is screwed into a track and tied to existing joists with hanger wire. Suspension systems are usually compatible with acoustical tiles, lighting panels, and drywall.

Curved Soffits. Create curved soffits with metal suspensions systems. Just use the curved main tees spaced 48 in on center, and space the regular cross bars tighter(9 inch on center). Curved cross bars are also available for making S-shape boxes. Just follow the recommendation for installing drywall on curved walls.

Advances in both suspension systems and flexible drywall have permitted designers to be much more adventurous in their use of curves – not just in walls, but in multilevel ceilings and serpentine soffit boxes. It’s something that is most effective when used minimally, but a room can be given a great deal of flair at minimal expense – without having a frame of fancy curves in wood – with the addition of an undulating corner or recessed ceiling panel. Think of them as partial dropped ceilings. Special curved main tees and trim are available, so any shape can be dropped down from the main joistsl circles, serpentine boxes, any kind of shape you can image.

Submersible Well Pump How to Replace

Replacing a submersible well pump is not a complicated task and relatively simple if you understand the basics about a well system – like the placement of the pump, how the submersible pump operates and how it is installed in a well casing. An advanced do it yourselfer with knowledge of electrical wiring and some basic plumbing skills is probably capable of replacing a submersible irrigation pump. This is not a step by step installation guide but rather an overview for a general understanding to evaluate whether to do it yourself or hire a contractor. The savings on the cost of labor, if you do it yourself, will be about 50 – 60% of the total price of a contractor doing the job. The first factor in deciding whether to attempt doing it yourself is how deep the well is and do you have a large enough lay down area to layout the pipe in your yard once you start pulling it out of the casing. If your well is 50′ to 150′ deep, I would recommend doing it yourself if you are physically capable to continuously lift and pull about 40 to 70 pounds of weight and hold it in place for during the complete removal of pump to keep from dropping it back into the well. To do this you will need at least one other person to help you pull out the pump and guide the discharge pipe away from the well as you are lifting it out.

The well casing in made of steel, iron or PVC pipe usually 3″or 4″ inside diameter and this acts as a sleeve in which the pump housing, discharge pipe and wiring go down to reach the water level within this pipe casing. Attached to the submersible pump is the discharge pipe, usually 1″ to 1- ¼” flexible poly pipe and the electrical wiring which also runs into this casing to the depth of submersible pump in the well. The deeper the well, the heavier and more difficult it is to lift out. The weight of the pump assembly may require some rigging above the well casing to help lift and hold the pump assembly in place so it doesn’t slip and drop back down into the well casing as you are pulling it out. Once you start pulling up of the pump you must continue the motion until it is fully out of the casing. If you are doing this manually attach a rope beforehand to the top end of well cap so the other person can easier hold on to it and tie it off to something – a tree or fence, in between lifts if you need to take a break and stop lifting.

If you decide to replace the well pump yourself, here are some tips to remember. Determine that the pump motor is bad by checking circuit breakers, switches and check that power is at the well head. If power is on at well head it is a good sign that the pump is broke. Turn off the power at the breaker panel, tag and lock it out for safety before you start exposing the well head. Clear the area around the well head, approx 6′ to 8′ diameter, of shrubs and plants so you have enough room to expose the pump outlet and electrical connections. Disconnect the discharge pipe and undo the wiring at the junction box near the top of the well. Loosen the bolts on top of the casing cover, this is a squeeze type of cover with a thick rubber ring that expands as tightened and contracts as loosened against the casing interior. Once loose, try to lift the cover, as you lift you will be getting an idea of how heavy the whole assembly is of which you have to lift out of the well.

Now you are ready to lift the pump. Rubber gloves, protective clothing or coveralls should be worn as the pump piping may have an iron and silt residue on the exterior and can be quite a messy job. Fasten a pull rope around the top of the well head for the other person to hold on and tie off if needed. Some wells may have a leader rope or cable already attached from original installation instead of relying on the discharge hose clamps and connection. The person who will do the actual pulling should stand directly above the well to lift the discharge piping straight out of the casing and the other person should stay with the top end of well cap and guide it to where you lay it down as you pull. Make sure that the person guiding the end has a good grip on the end before you release to get another grip. Continue until pump assembly is fully out of the casing and wash off the entire pump end so you read the specification tag of the pump.

Collect the information from the old pump – brand, model, HP, voltage, phase, 110/220, rpm, 2 or 3 wire configuration, continuous duty and the pumps outlet size and discharge pipe size. Most residential submersible pumps are either 2 wire or 3 wire configuration. The 2 wire type has 2 – 110v wires along with a case ground to pump housing. The 2 wire pump needs no controls. If it is a 3 wire pump you should replace the controls also.

Most submersible pump are two piece units bolted together to be one assembly and consists of the motor and the pump. You can just replace the motor or pump if you choose, but I would highly suggest that you replace the whole assembly. After you have identified what type and size pump you have you may want to decide to upgrade your system with a higher volume pump of keep the same configuration. For upgrading, you should contact a supplier or well contractor for recommendations to be compatible with your needs and piping sizes to which your pump feeds.

Installing the new pump assembly. Make an itemized list of new parts, controls, fittings or wiring as needed. If the existing wiring and flex pipe are in good condition there is no need to replace them. To install the new pump you will have to splice the electric wires together in a waterproof connection. Consult an electrician or well contractor to specify the power wire splice connector type and technique acceptable for well applications. Connect the pipe fittings and pipe clamps as directed in the manufacturer’s instructions. Tape the power wires about every 2′ for the entire length to the flex pipe for ease in reinstallation of pump into casing. Turn the power to the pump on momentarily to check if it is working before inserting assembly into well. Turn the power breaker off and prepare to insert the pump back into the well again using 2 people – one at the well opening lowering and feeding the pump down and the other person at the well head cover feeding the slack to you and to help hold back to prevent the pump from dropping quickly down the casing.

What Does Being "Lean" Actually Mean?

How many times have you heard someone refer to someone else as being lean and not known exactly what it means? Being lean means to take your weight and subtract your fat, and what left from that is known as lean body mass. This includes all muscle, bones, and organs in your body. This is important because the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the better you will burn calories. The more muscle power a person has will make it easier to be more active.

One of the keys to getting lean muscle mass is to exercise different parts of your body in different ways so you will reach all your muscle groups. On of the best exercises you can do that actually does a great job at this is to swim. Swimming is a great all around body workout that is easy on your joints and it will work all sorts of muscles that you didn’t probably even know you had.

When you are trying to drop weight you are trying to exercise to lose fat and retain muscle. If you try to lose weight just by eating less, you will lose weight but you will also destroy muscle mass along with some of the fat. Not a good strategy. When you lose muscle, this destroys your ability to burn calories well.

There are three main reasons that people exercise:

– People exercise to increase endurance. Cardiorespitory endurance allows oxygen and nutrients to be delivered to the cells in your body. Long distance running is a great way to build this up. You also need to build muscular endurance. An easy exercise that helps with this is pushups.
– Exercising will increase your strength. Strength is the measurement of what a muscle can do in a single effort. Examples of this include weight lifting or any other exercise that is weight bearing and uses different muscle groups.
– Exercise to become more flexible. In order to use your muscles in a wide range you must become more flexible. If you are flexible you have a decreased chance of hurting yourself. Increased flexibility leads to better posture and a better exercise performance. There are many sports that emphasize flexibility such as yoga, t’ai chi, Pilates, and many others.

Stack and Tilt Golf Swing – 4 Easy Steps to a Powerful Pro Golf Swing

This is where the stack and tilt golf swing can come in use. The stack and tilt swing differs from a traditional swing since it keeps your weight on top of the ball and allows for greater impact with the club face. The best part is you can be doing the stack and tilt golf swing in 4 easy steps…

Step 1

Address the ball and keep your weight distribution even between both feet and over the ball. Notice how it feels different than a traditional swing set up.

Step 2

As you come up for the back swing, make sure you start straightening your leg, this will allow you to stay on top of the ball.

Step 3

During your swing, make sure your front foot has weight on it the entire time. This s very critical, the reason a stack and tilt golf swing is different than a traditional swing is that, it has weight on the front foot the whole time. By maintaining the weight over the ball, you will obtain a degree of control that is greater than a standard swing.

Step 4

Vary the weighting of your feet as needed. Lets face it, everyone is different, this means that you won’t be able to use the exact same weight distribution in your stack and tilt golf swing as I do. Start with a 50-50 distribution and then try varying it from there.

The stack and tilt golf swing is definitely a powerful technique for a serious golfer. The inventors, Mike Bennett and Andy Plummer have trained several PGA Tour players including Charlie Wi, Steve Elkington, and Tom Scherrer.

Juan De Valdes Leal – A Spanish Creative Figure

Revolutionary Spanish artist Juan de Valdés Leal was a painter, etcher, engraver, and architect. He was born on May 4, 1622 in Sevilla, Spain to a Portuguese father. Valdés received his early education in the city of Cordova, Spain. Antonio del Castillo was his teacher and mentor. Valdés continued his studies under Castillo until 1653. For the next three years, he worked both, in Cordova and in Sevilla. In 1656, he finally returned to his hometown and began his career there. In the year 1660, Valdés co-founded an art academy in Sevilla, along with Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Francisco Herrera the Younger. Murillo was the leading painter in the area and was chosen the President of the academy. After the death of Murillo in 1682, Valdés was established the topmost painter Sevilla. He married painter Isabella Carasquilla and fathered four children.

Valdés hailed from the Baroque era in painting. He was well-known for the religious and reformist overtone in nearly all his works. His style was unique and his subjects were uncanny. Valdés’ predisposition for the macabre led to some vivid imagery in bright color schemes. The grotesque scenes, a violent streak, dramatic light effects, and the covert symbolic meanings, together carried the force of raw nervous energy. Decaying bodies and imposing skeletal figures, often infested with blood, became the defining characteristics of Valdés work. A striking example of this style is ‘Vanitas,’ painted in the year 1660.

Valdés created his magnum opus, ‘Allegories of Death’ between 1670 and 1672. This work is a pair of two large size (220 cm X 216 cm) paintings, designed for a charity hospital known as ‘de la Caridad.’ The first of the two pieces, ‘In the twinkling of an eye’ portrays the frivolousness of material goals and mundane life. It signifies that no matter how different the life paths may appear, each one leads to the grave. The prince and the pauper, all meet the same fate. The other piece ‘The Triumph of Death’ expresses the power of death and its supremacy over life.

Another masterpiece by Valdés was color painting over the great altarpiece created by sculptor Roldan, in Caridad. He was also distinguished for his emotionally charged religious pieces and finely painted portraits. Made for the Hispanic Society of New York, ‘Way to Calvary’ belonged to this genre of his works. Other works by Valdés, included ‘Martyrdom of St. Andrew’ (Church of San Francisco, Córdoba) and ‘History of the Prophet Elias’ (Church of Carmelites). Valdés breathed his last in Sevilla, in 1690.

Duplicate Bridge Scoring

Learning how to score at bridge makes it easier to understand the bridge bidding system. Once you know how to score you will understand why it is better to play in hearts/spades/NT than diamonds or clubs and why players will continue bidding to the 4, 5, 6 or even 7 level instead of stopping at the 3 or 4 level.

Let’s start with the absolute basics.

  • No points are scored for the first 6 tricks. A contract for 1 of a suit (or 1NT) means you think you will make 7 tricks (6 + 1 bid). A contract for 4 of a suit means you think you will make 10 tricks (6 + 4 bid).
  • High Card Points = points score for cards held. Four for each ace, three for each king, two or each queen and one for each jack.
  • A “game” contract is one that would score 100 points if achieved. If you achieve (or exceed) the contract you score a 300 point bonus.
  • A part score contract is one that would score less than 100 points if achieved. If you achieve the contract you score a 50 point bonus.
  • If you bid a part score but actually make enough tricks for game you will ONLY get the part score bonus as that is what you bid for.

Points scored per trick (above 6) = 20 per club/diamond, 30 per heart/spade. In a No Trumps contract score 40 for the FIRST trick and 30 for subsequent tricks

No of tricks needed to make “game” = 11 in clubs/diamonds, 10 in hearts/spades and 9 in No trumps

Minimum contract needed to score game = 5 clubs or diamonds, 4 hearts or spades and 3 No trumps

High Card Points needed for game = 27 for a minor suit, 25 for a major suit contract or NT contract

If you fail to make the contract you bid for, your opponents score 50 points for each trick you failed by. So, if you bid 3 of a suit (bid to make 9 tricks) and only make 7 tricks your opponents score 50 points for each of the two tricks you failed to make (100 points in total)


If you think that your opponents are unlikely to achieve the contract they are bidding for you can “double”. This means that your side will score double the points for each trick the opponents go down by, but also means they will score double the points for each trick if they make the contract. They will also score an extra bonus of 50 points for achieving the contract.

If the opponents are certain that they WILL make their contract they can “redouble”. In this case they will score 4 times the usual point value for each trick made if they achieve the contract, plus a 100 point extra bonus.


To add a little extra “spice” to the scoring one, or both sides become “vulnerable”. This rotates between neither side vulnerable, E-W vulnerable, N-S vulnerable and both side vulnerable. If your side is vulnerable and you fail to make a contract then your opponents score DOUBLE the number of points for each trick you fail by.

If your side is vulnerable and bid for and achieve game, then your game bonus is increased.

No increase for part score – 50 points scored

Game score – bonus increased from 300 to 500 points if vulnerable


There are two types of slams. A small slam (12 tricks) and a grand slam (all 13 tricks). You only score an additional bonus for these if you bid to make them.

So, if you bid a contract of 3 hearts (to win 9 tricks) but actually win all thirteen tricks, you will just score the regular game bonus and won’t score the additional grand slam bonus. You will only score the additional small or grand slam bonus if you bid to win 12/13 tricks (6 or 7 of a suit).

If you bid and make a small slam you will score an additional 500 point bonus (or 750 if vulnerable)

If you bid and make a grand slam you will score an additional 100 point bonus (or 1500 if vulnerable)

Both of these are in addition to the regular game bonus.

Christmas Assembly Ideas

What are your options?

1) Trawl the net. Its hard work and over and over you find things that you have done before or are unsuitable,

2) Ask colleagues. Decide to put some PPA time over to coming up with a few ideas between you.

3) Buy a book!

4) Ask the kids to come up with some ideas.

I want to deal with number (2) in the rest of this article – the art of generating ideas.

Most people seem to get the Christmas assembly freeze when they are faced with coming up with new ideas. It’s that blank sheet of paper problem. The best way of getting around it is to use some simple techniques to get the juices flowing.

1) Find an object in your house. In one minute, and it’s best if you actually act these out because of how it stimulates the brain, come up with as many ways of using that object as you can which is different from it’s intended use. For example a hat could be used as a bowl, hand warmer, Frisbee, fan. You get the idea. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t Christmas-y.

2) Quickly grab a sheet of paper and produce a mind-map of everything you can think of that relates to Christmas. Anything goes here. Trees, presents, short days, Christingles.

3) Just like you did in part 1, generate more ideas off the ideas you came up with in (2), be creative, be ingenious.

4) Now take a second sheet of paper and scribble down a list of ideas that you really want to say about Christmas and get creative again. Just a few ideas could be peace, hope, joy, love, new start, friends, family, value, Jesus life (and death?). Again create a second layer of ideas on your mind-map of everything that you can think of to do with these words.

5) Look at all the material you have come up with so far and start combining the ideas. Just put the words in the two different mind-maps together and consider how might you use those ideas in an assembly.

More than often you will come up with a few brand new ideas that will take you safely through the Christmas period and Christmas assemblies time of year.

How to Measure the VESA Standard For Your LCD Or Plasma TV

If you’re fortunate enough to own a flat panel LCD or Plasma television you might have considered mounting it to the wall, providing the perfect viewing experience, and removing your precious appliance from harm’s way. The majority of LCD wall brackets today are compliant with what’s known as the VESA standard. VESA stands for Video Electronics Standards Association; they’re a group of clever individuals who decided the world would be a far simpler place if all wall mounts and TVs adhered to a certain standard when it comes to wall mounting.

The vast majority of flat panel televisions and LCD wall brackets today are compatible with one of the VESA standards. There’s a simple method to discover if your TV is counted amongst these and how to discover the specific standard suitable for your particular model of television. Keep reading for a step to step guide to measure the VESA standard for your LCD or Plasma TV.

Step 1 – Gather the appropriate tools

All that you will need to measure your television set to discover the appropriate standard is the TV itself, and a tape measure. Just to make you aware at this point that if you are buying a new TV, or still have the box or manual from a recent purchase, it’s possible that the information about it will inform you as to whether the television is VESA compliant and to what standard. If this is the case you can jump straight to step 5.

Step 2 – Lay your TV down

The easiest way to measure your TV for VESA compliance is by laying it down on the floor or another low and flat surface, for example a coffee table. If your television set is heavy make sure you have help to lift it, and be careful not to knock any surfaces. If you are worried about scratches simply put a large towel or piece of material such as a bed sheet down first. Please note that Plasma screens in particular aren’t fond of being laid down, so keep the measuring time to a minimum.

Step 3 – Measure the horizontal distance

On the back of your LCD or Plasma TV you should see four threaded holes in a square or rectangle. If there are no threaded holes at all your TV cannot be wall mounted. Take your tape measure and measure the distance between the hole at the top left of the rectangle to the hole at the top right in millimetres. This will give you the first half of your VESA standard, for example 400mm.

Step 4 – Measure the vertical distance

Repeat step 3, but this time measure from the top right hand hole to the bottom right hand hole to give the vertical distance of the rectangle, again in millimetres. This, combined with the horizontal distance, will provide your completed VESA standard. For example, if your horizontal measurement was 400mm and your vertical measurement was 200mm, your standard would be 400×200.

Step 5 – Go shopping for the perfect LCD wall bracket

Now that you know your VESA standard you can find an LCD wall bracket that will fit your television set perfectly. All wall mounts will list the suitable VESA standards that they are compatible with, so simply check to see if your particular standard is present. This will ensure the perfect fit when affixing your prized TV to your new bracket.

Hammer Toes and Foot Pain

When the toe of a foot gets bent on the middle of the digit, there arises a condition that is commonly referred to as Hammer toe. This condition targets the second, third and fifth toe of the foot most often. However, it should clearly not be confused with another condition known as “mallet toe”, which is just a condition on the upper joint of a digit.

People, who wear high heels or footwear that ill fits around the toe box, or something similar, are the ones who are affected the most by these conditions. This does not mean that well structured heels don’t cause problems, because the foot is still crammed into the box of the shoe and that’s because of the extreme angle of the foot. The culprit is the toe that gets forced against the shoe, and this causes the hammer toes to rise. Inheritance also plays a role in Hammer toes as do injury to the foot, diabetic neuropathy, or arthritis or strokes.

As a result of the protruding joints rubbing against the shoe, calluses or corns can develop and there is the possibility of deforming as well as pain while walking, which are a direct consequence of Hammer toes. When you indulge in physical activities with weight upon your feet, you can experience pain and difficulty in walking, also, it means that trying out other footwear would pose a hindrance because of the deformity of the foot.

If debilitating occurs, which is your difficulty in walking and regular activities, or if the pain becomes chronic enough, with the toes developing a clenched, claw like appearance, it is highly recommended that you enlist the services of a doctor. Another difficulty with hammer toes is that while initially flexible, the tendons of the toe eventually harden out and this directly makes the treatment of hammer toes all the more difficult.

One of the first steps to treating the hammer toe is changing the footwear, and the use of foot orthotics ensures that the feet are always placed in the most appropriate way to reduce pressure on the awkward areas. The same goes for shoes; they should not restrict the foot and should have at least an inch of spacing between the foot and the shoe wall. Also recommended is the simple fact that feet and toes must be stretched as an exercise so as to make the crooked digits more strong in muscle and tendons, so that they do not stiffen.

There are conservative treatments that do not involve surgery and they do take time, but they are most definitely recommended, but there are severe cases where the toe does not respond to the traditional methods and for them surgery is the only option. Rest assured that you won’t need to stay at the hospital no matter what the severity of the hammer toe and the corresponding surgery may be. You need to stop certain activities after the surgery is done for several weeks, and there might be swelling that pains and stiffness too, with the toe appearing longer or shorter than the original. But that’s about it

You are better off with conservative treatments and other non surgical methods to cure the hammer foot, such as exercises and stretching. Surgery is only recommended in extreme cases where there’s no way out.

Book Review – The Kiss by Sophia Nash

From the very first page you are drawn into The Kiss with Ms. Nash quickly turning things around so that you’re off on adventure you didn’t see coming.

This is the story of Georgiana Wilde and Quinn Fortesque, childhood companions separated for many years until family business brings Quinn back into Georgiana’s life. After a long absence Quinn is called home to set right the family fortune and challenge Georgiana’s new title of marchioness.

Georgiana Wilde is a wonderful heroine with lots of layers. She isn’t perfect, but you love her for her strength, intelligence, wit, and determination – my kind of gal. Quinn, our hero, has past issues that prevent him from having the life he wants. What could have been a typical plot of why the hero and heroine can’t be together, is instead a story of two people who have a past peppered with mysteries and unspoken truths. This is where The Kiss shines. I was never hit over the head repeatedly about the hero’s past, or how it haunted him. Or continually told of the heroine’s difficulties and how they molded her. Instead, through superb dialogue and prose we’re told a wonderful story of love lost and love found.

This is not your add water, shake and stir romance novel. No, this is a multi-layered story with relationships that are created, nurtured and come to life in three dimensions.

I was more than happy to take the journey toward the happily ever after because of the rich layers, the surprising turns and the warmth and depth of all the characters in The Kiss.

French Neoclassical Painter – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

A French ‘Neoclassical’ painter and a vanguard of ‘Modern Art,’ Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was born on August 29, 1780 in Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne. His unsuccessful painter and sculptor father, Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres, though could never carve out a niche for himself, nevertheless, became Jean’s early inspiration for music and drawing. The encouraged artist came up with his first drawing in as early as 1789. From 1786, Jean Auguste began his education from a local school, but had to drop out when it was shut down in 1791, during The French Revolution. The same year, he enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture, Sculpture et Architecture, in Toulouse. Here, sculptor Jean-Pierre Vigan, landscape artist Jean Briant, and painter Joseph Roques, tutored him. At the age of thirteen, the painter learned to play violin from Lejeune.

In 1797, Jean Auguste Ingres moved to Paris and worked as an apprentice for four years under the renowned European painter, Jacques-Louis David. He got admission at École des Beaux-Arts in October 1799, and won the coveted Grand Prix de Rome scholarship in the year 1801, for his painting titled, “Achilles Receiving the Envoys from Agamemnon (1801).” The artist was a firm believer of the fact that drawing was the key to a good artwork. Jean Auguste’s drawings had firm contours, perfected to the minutest of details. His colors were a mix of light and half tones.

After his debut at the Salon of 1802, with his “Portrait of a Woman,” Jean along with four other artists was entrusted with the task of painting the full-length portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1806, the artist got engaged to painter & musician, Marie-Anne-Julie Forestier, and migrated to Rome. The same year, the display of Ingres’ paintings, “Self-Portrait (1804)” and “Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne (1806),” in the Salon attracted mass criticism for being ‘archaic’ and ‘Gothic’. Hurt, Jean decided to keep away from the Salons and Paris, both, which led to the break-up of his engagement. During his fourteen years stay in Rome, the artist mastered the techniques of drawing and paintings to become one of the most venerated draughts men of his times. Most of his nude paintings, such as “Oedipus and the Sphinx (1808),” however, received poor response from the public.

In the year 1813, he married Madeleine Chapelle. To augment his career, Jean along with his wife, moved to Florence in 1820, for four years, on the insistence of his old sculptor friend, Bartolini. Jean Ingres returned to Paris in 1824. It was a grand homecoming for the artist. His painting, “The Vow of Louis XIII (1824),” was highly appreciated at the Salon of 1824 and earned him the much deserved success after years of struggle. His favorite, “Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien,” created in 1834, however, was hugely criticized at the Salon exhibition the same year. Enraged, Ingres accepted his appointment as the Director of the French Academy, Rome, and decided not to paint for public anymore. His “The Stratonice (1840),” restored his honor when he visited Paris in 1841. He was felicitated with the rank of the Commander of the Legion of Honor, in 1845, and with a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris, in the year 1855. The death of his wife in July 1849 left Jean distraught. In 1851, the artist resigned from École des Beaux-Arts and in 1852, married forty-three old, Delphine Ramel.

In 1862, Jean created sensuous portraits of female nudes, including “The Turkish Bath,” his work. Ingres died of pneumonia on January 14, 1867, in Paris, leaving behind a legacy of great works, such as “Marie-Clothilde-Inés de Foucauld (1851),” “Madame Moitessier (1840),” and “Seated (1856),” to name a few.

General Tips for Chandelier in a Dining Room

Mounted fixtures have a dual purpose. They don’t just illuminate a room; they also provide aesthetic appeal to it by bringing beauty and personality into your room. Unlike lamps that one can move around, chandeliers are more permanent. Hence, proper positioning is required for these luminous adornments to work well and look good. The first tip in choosing a chandelier relates to size. One must consider the proportion between the size of the room and the size of the chandelier. A chandelier that is too small for a room will look isolated. On the other hand, one that is too large for a room will appear cluttering. With a rich variety of chandeliers available today, chances are high for finding the perfect one that matches any home. Creativity is very much involved in selecting a chandelier with a wide range of designs, finishes and styles to choose from. Each chandelier adds a touch of elegance to any room and vibrancy into the domestic atmosphere. Chandelier styles can range from elaborate and large to minimalist and aesthetically pleasing. Chandeliers can complement other lighting very easily and will certainly add value to one’s home.

When choosing a dining room chandelier, in particular, attention to proportions becomes magnified. The fixture must neither dominate a table nor look too insignificant. The best thing to do is to measure width and length of the dining table (or the diameter for a round table) and consider these measurements in shopping. As a rule of thumb, the span of the chandelier must be 12 inches shorter than the table’s width (or diameter).

To ensure a new light will be securely supported, the ceiling electrical box must be checked before one begins the installation of the chandelier. When hanging over a dining table, the chandelier must be aligned with the center of the dining table with a 30-to 33-inch gap between the tabletop and the bottom of the chandelier. The purpose of the gap is to prevent any bumped heads. Chandeliers for other rooms should be placed generally higher than 8 feet above the floor in the middle of the room or foyer for safety and style. If the electrical connection on the ceiling does not work with the center of the dining table, add a heavy-duty decorative hook on the ceiling above the table center, and then attach a length of chain to carry the wiring from the electrical connection to the hook.

With regards to choosing the right bulbs to buy, one should decrease the watt rating of the bulb larger numbers of bulbs are required. A chandelier with three or more light sockets is probably more suited to 40 watt bulbs. Once correct bulbs are chosen and installed, the chandelier should give off sufficient light coverage without blinding anyone. Dimmer controls are recommended since they allow adjustment of the light intensity according to needs.

It is always a good idea to clean the chandelier at least once a year to maintain its beauty and shine. Before one starts with the cleaning process, the light bulbs must have been off for at least 10 minutes so the bulbs can cool down. For safety reasons, one must never clean the chandelier while the lights are on. It could either lead to a burnt hand, or worse to electrocution. If the pieces have to be dismantled, one must do so in sections or draw up a picture of how the components fit together. This will mitigate any frustration and confusion at the moment the pieces have to be reassembled together. Also place a blanket under the chandelier to catch any pieces of it that may fall. Keep the chandelier in the same place as you clean and do not turn it around as this may strain the power cable.

Earl Juanico

GoldenAge-Crystal Chandeliers

The Pros and Cons of Spade Terminals


‘Should I use spade terminals to connect my speaker cable to my audio equipment?’ That’s the question that a lot of people are asking themselves. Visit any kind of audio-visual forum or website on the internet or pick up any kind of specialist audio magazine or newsletter and you are sure to come across this question being raised time and time again.

It seems that people just aren’t sure about using spades, and one can only assume this uncertainty is caused by the confusing and often contradictory information that is available – of course it doesn’t really help that there’s a huge row raging throughout the audio-visual community about whether it is best to use spades, banana plugs or bare cable.

It seems to have gotten to the stage where all that matters to each ‘side’ is seeing who can shout the loudest, so if a consumer wasn’t confused enough before they now have to wade through all of the half truths and misinformation caused by this dispute.

The simple truth is that deciding whether or not to use these connectors is actually quite an easy task, it’s just that a lot of people out there make it much harder than it needs to be, so with that in mind, let’s quickly talk about the main pros and cons of using them so that you can make an unbiased decision.

The Pros

The main reason for using spade terminals, or any other type of terminal for that matter, is convenience. Wrapping bare speaker cable around a binding post and ensuring a secure connection is a delicate and awkward task at the best of time, but by fitting a spade terminal hooking up a connection is a simple matter of placing the spade lug around the binding post and tightening it down.

Spade terminals also feature a relatively large surface area, meaning that there is more metal coming in to contact with the binding post, therefore helping to maintain the strength and quality of the audio signal being delivered.

Spades are also a popular choice of termination when space is at a premium. Other types of connectors tend to add extra depth to the back of the component, i.e. they stick out a long way, spade terminals on the other hand can be fitting in such a way that they sit almost flush against the back of the component making them idea to use with equipment that is either wall mounted, or housed within a cabinet or stand.

Finally, another bonus is that spade terminals are a great way of protecting the ends of your cables from corrosion. As you know the copper wires inside speaker cables are notoriously vulnerable to corrosion, which can have a detrimental impact on the performance of your system, but seeing as most spade lugs are gold-plated your cable should be fully protected.

The Cons

The main drawback to spade terminals is that they increase costs. The individual spade terminals are relatively cheap, but buying several pairs can soon mount up so consumers with an extremely tight budget may need to think twice before buying.

It can take a fair amount of time and effort to properly install spade terminals on the ends of all your speaker cables, unless of course you buy cable with spade terminals already installed – but again this cable is likely to cost more than ‘naked’ speaker cable.

It’s also worth noting that some people have experienced problems with spade terminals accidentally slipping out of place. If the lug isn’t tightly secured then gravity along with the weight of the cable can cause the lug to work itself loose over time. This shouldn’t be a major issue, but it’s a good idea to always make sure the spade terminal is tightly fastened down and to give the connection a quick check every couple of weeks or so.

I Strained My Neck Shoveling!

Yep, you read that correct. Not a lower back injury but a neck injury. The mechanism is the same but I wanted to address neck pain in this article. The fact of the matter is: you can strain any muscle or joint doing just about any activity.

In this example a patient of ours was shoveling snow and he turned his head while lifting the shovel to toss some snow off to the side. He mentioned he was careful with his back – bending his knees, using his thigh as a fulcrum, not picking up too heavy of a load, etc. But when he turned his head to the right he immediately felt his muscles on the right side of his neck, from the back and side of the head to the upper back, seize up. He said it felt like a major spasm or cramp.

We’ve seen this many times before, this same thing can happen in the lower back, or leg as well. People sometimes may describe it as a “Charlie horse” sensation. So why can this happen doing an activity you wouldn’t think would cause it?

The answer is this: Sometimes a muscle or a joint is on the verge of getting irritated. Let’s say for example the night before the snow storm you were on the computer for hours; your neck was tight after but it seemed to go away. Then you went to bed and got up early to shovel. Half asleep, while everyone was still in bed, you put your jacket and hat and gloves on, braved the cold, and started shoveling.

From the above example you can see how the shoveler’s neck was probably still irritated from the night before (it may have gotten worse while sleeping too), then without getting the muscles warmed up a bit (taking a shower, or stretching a bit would have made a huge difference), or even drinking some water (this helps hydrate the body obviously, in this case muscles and joints, helping to prevent injury). In this case the individual probably shocks the body a bit, going out in the cold and starts to do a good amount of physical activity.

Now I’m not saying doing this nor something similar will cause a neck or back injury, and I know that most of us have been guilty of it in the past. However if one makes a habit of doing these kinds of things often you can and will eventually hurt yourself. I’m going to give you some tips you can use to heal the neck once you do strain it, but keep in mind the real goal is to prevent it from happening. Believe me, I’ve seen people that have strained it so bad or have strained and restrained over and over, that their neck is to the point where it doesn’t heal so easy or fast. So as you can probably guess my first step to healing a strained neck is to prevent it in the first place.

Healing a neck sprain/strain:

1. Try to avoid and prevent it from happening. This especially goes for those of us who have injured their neck before and have an idea of what causes it.

2. Improve or correct spinal alignment. To do this, see a chiropractor, osteopath, or someone that does this professionally. A massage often helps because a good massage can help relax the muscles and ligaments, allowing the spine to shift back in place.

3. Use natural therapies first. Heat and Ice are easy to do, don’t cost a thing, and you can use them anytime. It’s actually rare that a prescription muscle relaxer is needed.

4. Start doing gentle neck stretches once you start feeling better. This will help elongate the muscles, breaking up muscle adhesions and preventing future strains. The most commonly needed stretch is the lateral head tilt. Slowly bring one ear toward your shoulder until a stretch is felt; hold for 10-20 seconds, relax and repeat.

5. Home muscle massage. Use you finger tips to find those tight spots to massage out. You’ll find it’s often a “good hurt” type sensation. Once you get a massage or spinal alignment you’ll have a better idea of what it feels like.

6. Use a cervical pillow for sleeping. This also helps relax the muscles by helping to align the spine. It can and should be used a one of your neck pain prevention methods also.

There you have it! Next time you strain your neck or feel a neck spasm about to start, use the tips above. My best recommendation is to use the above list above for prevention or neck spine maintenance if you will. We’ve all heard it before but I’ll say it again: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth A Pound of Cure!

Stair Lift Reviews – 7 Points to Consider

Here are seven quick tips that will help you when you are shopping for the best home stair lift for your family. Use this information to help you better understand the industry and how the lifts are made.

  1. AC units are the most dependable available. Most offer both AC and DC (battery) but you’ll be changing batteries every 18-24 months and they only carry a 6 month warranty. Don’t consider a battery operated chair unless you live in an area with frequent brown-outs.
  2. Mark your calendar every 18 months to remind you to automatically replace the batteries if you choose to buy a battery operated lift. Batteries don’t last forever.
  3. Look for lifts that have a swiveling seat at 45 and 90 degrees both at the top and bottom. And make sure you install a vertically mounted bar at the top and bottom of the run in case the rider becomes unstable when getting up.
  4. Be mindful to buy a lift that uses only a rocker switch to operate and not a toggle or joy switch which could get snagged in clothing. Remotes tend to get lost.
  5. Stair lifts shouldn’t contain circuit boards. They don’t hold up when the lift is being used and moved up and down. Repair can be a very expensive service call.
  6. Make sure your home lift has at least a 5 year warranty on everything. If a company can’t stand behind their product why would you want to buy it? Think about it. Stair lifts don’t see that much action. All a warranty is really doing is covering the motor and moving parts. But make sure everything is covered, even the rail on your residential stair lift.
  7. Finally, your stair lift needs to have what is called a call-send unit. This is something that can send the chair up or down stairs when you need it there, without you on it. This will help you get the chair out of sight when you have visitors and will free up space when not in use. It’s a good feature that shouldn’t be extra.

In addition to the above, I would do what I could to get a lifetime warranty. Most quality vendors offer free shipping on a product of this cost. There are plenty of online vendors, but make sure that you work with someone who can walk you through what it takes to install this unit in your home, and a local representative that will be able to service and support your stair lift should the need arise.