How To Make Scented Pillar Candles

Scented candles make lovely gift items for family and friends or can make lovely decorations for your own personal home.  There are many places you can acquire this merchandise to include gift item shops, candle shops and online distributors.  These candles can be purchased either as individual pieces or by bulk in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and waxes.  Some popular scented candle models include scented pillar candles, taper candles, floating candles, tea light candles and custom scented candles for those special evening activities or events with your loved ones.

Another alternative to purchasing these candles is to learn how to make them yourself in the privacy of your own home.  Making pillar candles at home, for example, is relatively inexpensive and enables you to choose the exact size, color and scent of the product you desire as you will be making it from scratch.  Not everyone is capable of pursuing this venture on their own, but if you have a gift for arts and crafts, are willing to invest in the materials necessary to develop the skill and have a desire to learn, candle making can become a fun and entertaining hobby.  In addition, once you become more experienced you could consider transforming your hobby into a mini-home business and sell your beautiful products to others as gifts or for personal use to earn extra income for your family.

There are many excellent books, videos and candle making kits that teach the art of how to make beautiful homemade candles.  If you are a novice in this area, you may want to study the process carefully before beginning to become as knowledgeable as you can about the equipment needed to make the product, the materials used in construction, and any other details you feel necessary to make your venture a success.  Some of the basic materials you will need to buy to make handmade pillar candles include:  candle wax (paraffin wax is cheapest but not the best quality; other wax types are beeswax and soy); a metal pot with handle to melt the wax; wax thermometer; candle wick; candle color in either liquid, powder or chip form and candle molds. 

You can find these items in most hobby stores, certain department stores or through online retailers.  To construct scented candles you will need to purchase candle scent which can be found in either liquid form or solid form.  Liquid form scent lasts longer but is more difficult in the beginning to work with.  However, once you begin to make your candle pieces and experiment with the various types of materials involved and equipment, you will develop greater skill as well as preference as to what type of materials to use for your candle productions.

By following the how-to instructions provided in your candle making kit, book or video and diligently practicing your newfound skill you can soon master the art of candle making and be producing a large variety of lovely handmade scented pillar candles, jar candles, tapers and more that will benefit you in more ways than one.

Fiberglass Architectural Columns

Fiberglass architectural columns are a great addition to any commercial project, new home construction or restoration project. Fiberglass columns are the most economical, versatile and among the longest lasting columns on the market. Due to their material construction, fiberglass columns are impervious to the elements as well as insects. They do not need to be vented like wood columns need to be thus eliminating the rotting of the columns and bases over time. Their toughness and durability make them a great choice for high traffic areas. These columns are made of a blend of marble dust, resins and fiberglass.

Fiberglass columns are an excellent exterior grade column and yet, they are equally excellent for indoor use. These columns are great for transition pieces between rooms as well as home theatre rooms, bathrooms, and bedrooms. The exterior columns can be used on the front porch or porte cochere. Wrap around porches with the columns supporting the porch roof and a balustrade system attached between the columns is a fantastic way to show off your dream home. Columns are used abundantly for pool areas as well as gazebos, trellis’, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and gardens.

Choices include round and square columns. The round porch posts are supplied in smooth tapered and non-tapered as well as tapered, fluted columns. They are available in a variety of sizes ranging from 6″ in diameter all the way to 48″ in diameter with height ranging from 5′ in height to 30′ in height. The capital choices vary between the elegant Tuscan and Doric style to the more decorative styles of Scamozzi, Ionic, Temple of Winds and Roman Corinthian. The Tuscan style caps wrap around the shaft and add no height to the column. This makes cutting the column to an exact height easy. The decorative caps can either be supplied in a load bearing resin therefore sitting on the top of the shaft or supplied split in fiberglass to wrap around a structural beam. All fiberglass column heights that need to be adjusted, need to be cut from the bottom of the column.

Square fiberglass columns are available in straight shaft and craftsman style square tapered column posts. Square fiberglass columns can be supplied with a smooth panel, a fluted panel, a recessed panel or a raised panel. Square columns are available with the Tuscan style cap & base or with a craftsman style trim moulding. They are also cut from the bottom of the shaft to offer the flexibility of height variations depending on job site conditions.

Fiberglass columns are easily installed for new construction or remodeling. Determining which size and style you need is often the first step in choosing a column. The column needs to be proportional to the space and its surroundings. It is best to make sure you are getting the right look for the project. Make sure you consult with an architect, builder, designer or column professional in order to make your project a success.

Both round and square fiberglass columns are load bearing, but they can easily be supplied split either for use as pilasters or split for reassembly to surround a structural support.

Fiberglass columns are normally sold with a limited lifetime warranty. They are unfinished and need to be primed and painted on the job site.

MAT Degree – Is It Worth It?

Currently, a MAT degree, or Masters of Arts in Teaching, will bump up your prospects as a teacher-increasing your opportunities for leadership positions in your school, and most likely raising your pay at least eleven thousand dollars. Most Education universities offer programs that allow you to earn your teaching license and MAT at the same time so you can kill two birds with one stone and meet state requirements while making yourself more marketable. The MAT degree is meant to broaden and deepen teachers’ knowledge and instructional skills. MAT degree programs are designed to help new or experienced teachers hone their classroom skills, advance their careers, and refine their pedagogues, and bring teachers up-to-date on advancements in technology, theory, and methodology in the field of education.

So what’s the problem?

Studies show no correlation between advanced degrees and student performance. The current conversation about education reform is to link teacher’s pay to performance and not to credentials. Research professor Dan Goldhaber explains that research dating back to 1997 has shown that the students of teachers with master degrees show no better progress than students taught by teachers without advanced degrees.

Arguments are made that the Education colleges do not focus enough on experiential instruction, which makes a difference for the success of beginning teachers. Some argue that it isn’t enough to say “the more education, the better the teacher.”

Patrick Welsh, English teacher at T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va., believes that credentialing has become an “absurd process,” that plagues schools who have to follow rules that don’t improve them. He sites personal examples he has seen of teachers or administrators without credentials that were better at their job than others with them. He calls the system of today, “A charade that confuses taking mind-numbing education courses with being a “highly qualified” teacher and has ended up filling schools with tenured mediocrity the kids don’t deserve.”

Katherine Merseth, the director of teacher education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, has even made the statement that of the nation’s 1,300 graduate teacher education programs, only about 100 were competently doing their job and the rest could “shut down tomorrow.” Historian Diane Ravitch called teachers’ coursework “the contentless curriculum,” and writer Elizabeth Green reports that the programs focus too much on broader teaching theories than on what she and many others consider more important-experiential training.

Even still, teachers and administrators continue to advocate for the MAT and often agree that it is worth the investment because of the incentives and because they believe that it can make a difference. “We are persuaded that university-based preparation is key to acquiring the knowledge and skill we value,” said C. Kent McGuire, dean at Temple University.

“We do look carefully at the institutions from which such degrees were conferred because not all advanced degrees are created equal,” McGuire explained further. One such preference is that MAT graduates have studied at research institutions.

McGuire also points out that it is important to make a distinction between the credentials used in selecting and hiring a teacher, and the information or criteria used to reward performance. “Training and experience factors, by themselves, turn out to be fairly weak predictors of effectiveness,” he said.

In addition, better teacher training has worked in other countries. Finland’s school reforms started in 1963 as an attempt to recover their economy. In 1979, reforms required teachers to earn their masters in theory and practice at one of their eight state universities at state expense. This decision, and the selectiveness of these schools, helped teaching in Finland become a prestigious profession. Now Finland’s Education system is one of the top in the world.

The real question is-what makes a good teacher? Welsh might agree that there is a certain talent some teachers have for communicating and connecting with their students, and connecting their students to the subject they are teaching. Education cannot teach talent; if someone is not born to be a teacher, or does not love teaching, then maybe a MAT is not for them. But if it is their calling, then more education can only improve their performance by increasing their pedagogical knowledge and confidence. A MAT degree doesn’t make a teacher a good teacher, but can aid a good teacher in becoming a great teacher. So is it worth it? The answer depends on your own idea of what the future holds for you, and whether you are willing to put in the effort to make it worth your experience.

Knowledge is an opportunity to expand on creative and innovative thinking and to always work towards improvement. Getting a masters or doctorate in education cannot inherently make a teacher better, but it can give them the opportunity and knowledge to work towards their goals.

Carpets and Health

Carpets have become an important part of our lives whether they are used for decorative purposes or for gaining comfort and warmth. However, despite their advantages carpets and rugs may cause some noteworthy health risks that ought to be discussed before you decide to install carpets in your home. Although high quality carpets do not pose many risks, some low quality fibers as well as backing materials emit by products that could be extremely harmful for the health of an individual. These toxic chemicals are hard to avoid even if you clean and wash your carpets on a daily basis.

Modern carpet manufacturers claim that they have taken care of many of the health risks and the new carpets being manufactured are clean and pure. However, people who are very sensitive to harsh chemicals must not install wall-to-wall carpets in their home. If you are fond of rugs, you can place area rugs on wood flooring instead of going for wall-to-wall carpeting. All-cotton area rugs are much safer than nylon or polyester carpets.

Usually the symptoms that have been reported by people sensitive to carpets I include nausea, skin allergies, headaches, swelling, and vomiting. These reactions are mostly caused by unregulated factory manufacturing processes which can be overcome by carefully controlling and supervising the production of carpets. Some people claim that there is no connection between carpets and asthma or allergies. However, if you are suffering from asthma and the doctors have not diagnosed any other cause you must consider replacing your carpets with hardwood floor.

Victims of indoor air pollution must check if their carpets are installed on unventilated floors. Carpets and rugs that have been damaged due to water seepage should be removed and replaced with new ones. Vacuum cleaning is also an important step towards healthy living. If not daily, carpets and rugs should be vacuumed every other day to minimize indoor pollution. Use of acaricides to kill dust mites has also proven useful in controlling health risks posed by carpets. In addition to carpets and rugs, furniture and beds can also be cleaned with these acaricides.

If you want to stay away from health hazards posed by carpets and rugs, then look around for zero-VOC adhesives and low-VOC carpet products. Today the carpet industry after recognizing the health risks has started producing safer products with very low emission levels. Further health hazards can be avoided by regularly cleaning and washing the carpets and installing them in low traffic areas.

What’s Wrong With Polypropylene Or Olefin Area Rugs?

As I browsed a popular chain-store not long ago, I noticed that area rugs have made a dramatic shift in composition compared to a few short years ago. Since my livelihood is based on having an intimate knowledge of the flooring products that I suggest to my clients, I always read labels… especially on deals that seem to good to be true. And as I browsed through the offering of area rugs in the chain-store, I noticed that almost all the rugs were made of polypropylene or it’s very close cousin, olefin. I am a firm believer in consumers being well informed and getting a good value for their money. So I seek here to give a fair comparison of this fiber against what is clearly a better fiber for your interior home decor needs.

Let me start out with the good qualities of polypropylene and olefin. This fiber is a fairly strong man-made fiber that is well suited to mats and runners that may be used at entrances or patios or even outdoors, if properly treated for UV protection. In the past you would almost always find this type of fiber in a low profile, very tight loop style rug, and that is what it is best suited for. Many light to medium duty commercial carpets are made of this fiber (always in loop form). This fiber is usually extruded to the color that it will be (not dyed after extrusion), so it tends to hold it’s color well and can be used in intricate designs. This fiber is also resistant to most types of stains, and cleans up well (in tight loop form). Many manufacturers of area rugs choose this fiber because it is cheaper than other fibers and they can pass the savings on to the consumer.

Now let me point out the not so good qualities of this fiber. This fiber is a man-made synthetic fiber that is petroleum based (not very “green” or environmentally friendly. Although it is a good indoor-outdoor type of fiber in tight looped form, it is basically useless in any other form. In a cut-pile or plush rug it has a bad reputation of matting and crushing very quickly, so even though the fiber is not wearing out, it begins to look very ugly pretty fast. Although it holds color well and resists many types of stains, it tends to hang on to stains that are oily or greasy (even the body oils from the bottom of your feet and your pet’s feet). In other words, it does not clean that well in a cut pile or plush style. So basically, if manufactured in anything other than tightly looped form, you end up with a brightly colored, greasy, oily, matted and crushed rug that looks like it has been there for years instead of months. Lastly, since it is the cheapest fiber that manufacturers use, it is not the greatest value. I have also noticed a shift in the major brand name rug and carpet manufacturers, they are also using polypropylene and olefin in their latest generation of area rugs, so just because it may have a good brand name it does not mean you will get a good quality area rug. If you want a cheap, disposable mat or runner that will end up in a landfill sooner than later, then this is the rug to buy. If you are going to buy a synthetic fiber area rug, at least make certain it is nylon or man-made silk. It will wear better and last longer.

If you need a Fine Quality Area Rug for interior design or home decor, the absolute best fibers are silk and wool. Silk costs more and requires professional maintenance, so that leaves us with wool. Wool is a natural fiber that has better resistance to matting, crushing, fading and is a natural for built in stain protection (you can spray a fine mist of stain-protector straight from the can for even greater protection). It does not soil as easily as other fibers, and will not mat and crush for many, many years. Some wool rugs are even passed down from one generation to another; if well maintained. Wool area rugs are not that much more money than a nylon rug (as a machine made product. Hand-made will cost you more). Value per dollar is greatly increased by choosing a timeless pattern with wool fiber.

Carpet Removal – Four Simple Steps for Removing Your Old Carpet

Removing and disposing of old carpet may be part of the deal when

you purchase new carpet. But what if you plan to install a

different type of floor or you plan to install the new floor

yourself? How will you be able to remove that huge carpet by

yourself? How will you dispose of it? And, how will you prepare

your floor for a new floor.

There is no need to worry, just follow these four simple steps

and in no time you will have removed and disposed of your old

carpet and will be ready to move on to installing your new floor.

Step #1 Cut the Carpet Into Manageable Strips

The carpet does not have to leave your house in one piece as it

came in. The simplest method to cut your carpet into strips is to

use a knife. Avoid scissors — they require much more work on

your part.

Lift the carpet along an edge or doorway and using the knife,

begin cutting the carpet into two to three foot wide strips that

are about six to ten feet long. Roll each strip as you go and you

will find that each section can easily be deposited into a large

garage can , dumpster, or the back of a truck.

Continue cutting the carpet into strips and removing each section

until you have removed the entire carpet.

Step #2 Remove the Carpet Pad

Removing the carpet pad will be even easier than removing the

carpet. Simply cut the pad into strips as you did with the carpet

and remove.

Step #3 Remove Carpet Tack Strips

You will want to remove the tack strips as soon as possible as

they are very painful to step on. A hammer and a flat screwdriver

are all you will need to remove the carpet tack strips around the

edge of the room. Use the flat screwdriver to pry up the tack

strips. The prongs of the hammer also work well for this if you

have room between the wall and the tack strip. Once the wood tack

strips are removed, use the hammer to pull up any nails that held

the strips in place.

Step #4 Clean Up

Now that the main mess is gone, make sure all carpet glue and

pieces of carpet pad are removed. Using the flat screwdriver or a

spackle knife, scrape up the glue and other debris. Sweep the

floor. A shop vacuum works well for the final clean up.

Now your old carpet is gone, your room is clean, and your floor

is a blank canvas ready for you to create a brand new look.

What is Karaya? Origins and Uses of Karaya Gum in Ostomy Supplies

Karaya is a material used in Ostomy supplies such as skin barriers and powders, but what exactly is it, and why is it used?

Karaya, or “Karaya gum” is a vegetable-based all natural product derived from the soft Sterculia urens tree native to India and Pakistan. The karaya gum is produced by collecting the gum by removing bark or drilling holes into the trunk of the tree.

Recognized as safe and non-toxic, Karaya is used in many products ranging from food emulsifiers, adhesives, laxitives, dentures, lotions, and of course, ostomy supplies.

The best, purest medical grade Karaya gum is clear to white in color and can also come in powder form. From a chemistry standpoint, Karaya will absorb water quickly and forms a “gum”. It can absorb as much as 100 times its weight in water. With higher concentrations of water, Karaya forms a gel or paste that can be used to comfortably and safely smooth out rough or uneven skin.

Why is Karaya used in ostomy supplies?

Typically, you’ll find Karaya either as a powder or applied to skin barriers/wafers.

Helps Prevent Bacterial Infections: – Karaya has chemical qualities to help reduce bacterial adhesion, the same reasons that make it great for denture adhesion.

Helps Irritated and Sensitive Skin: – Irritated skin is a common affliction to the skin around a colostomy or illeostomy stoma, and Karaya’s unique chemical properties allow it to create a protective gel over the affected skin and absorb excess moisture. This ensures the skin is protected prior to attaching a barrier and ostomy appliance to the skin. This is also good for patients who may have sensitive or fragile skin that does not accept synthetic skin barriers.

What kind of Karaya ostomy supplies are available?

Karaya Powder – Powder is applied prior to using a skin barrier, commonly for irritated skin to serve as an extra layer of protection against bacteria infections and to keep the skin from further irritation due to the adhesion of the new barrier. When using the powder, it will absorb moisture from the skin to create a sticky and mildly adhesive “gel”. Powder is sold in small puff bottles that make it easy to apply evenly.

Karaya Paste – A karaya paste is applied to the skin to help prevent irritation as well as help smooth out irregular skin surfaces when an Ostomy appliance is applied. The skin is protected from leaks by the natural hydrocolloid Karaya gum. The pastes are commonly sold in squeeze tubes.

Karaya Skin Barriers – Skin barriers with natural Karaya serve many of the same benefits; it helps prevent skin damaging organisms from growing on the skin and offers some flexibility and convexity in the barrier, allowing it to conform to irregular stomas, flush stomas, or skin folds. Also, keep in mind Karaya skin barriers are only mildly adhesive so it’s likely that a tape border is necessary for a strong adhesion.

The Many Uses of Adhesive Tape

Most of us use adhesive tape for one thing; wrapping presents. But little do we realize that our need for tape goes much further than wrapping up a bath set for mum.

Girls, we’ve all had it at one point or another; you’re wearing a strapless dress that keeps slipping down or a backless top that gapes open giving everyone a lovely profile of your chest region. Cue your mates making fun of you for the months to come and you getting a deep rooted fear of all things backless. That’s precisely why they invented Tit-Tape! You simply place it along the edge of the area of clothing you want to stay in place, put the outfit on and there you have it; your clothes will stay in place all night, leaving you with the opportunity to dance your socks off.

In the construction industry adhesive tape is a staple; we might all think No More Nails does the trick, after all in the advert a man is stuck to chair glued to a wall- why would you need an adhesive stronger than that? But tape manages to cover areas that glue has often neglected. For example, you don’t need to hold something in place for 20 minutes while the glue slowly but surely dries. When making conservatories, for example, a tape is placed along the edge of the conservatory roofing sheets; this tape prevents dust from entering but allows moisture to escape.

There are many uses for adhesive tape around the home, for instance if you have wooden or linoleum flooring then you can stick a piece of tape to the feet of chairs’ to prevent scratching the floor if the chair is dragged. Similarly, there is an adhesive tape that has been tailored specifically for stiffening blinds so they won’t sag.

Then there’s one of the most obvious, but often neglected, use of adhesive tape; crafts. Children love making things and are often required to do so at school. Possibly the best tape for craft work for school is masking tape; it’s strong enough to hold together projects but won’t cause anything to rip should you need to remove it. Also, when helping older children with revision techniques, you can use brightly colored tape to indicate pages in books that are significant.

It seems that the need for adhesive tape stretches much further than simply wrapping presents whether you’re trying to prevent your new floor from being scratched or attempting to build Mount Vesuvius, adhesive tape is required.

How to Remove Glue

There are many types of glue and a few different ways to remove them.

How to remove super glue:

This category contains products with a base called a cyanoacrylate. That’s the stuff that makes up super glue, Krazy Glue, Rhino Glue, Mister Glue, most Loctite products, Miracle Glue, Max One and numerous others – it is what makes it sticky.

First off, one needs to know how to get this stuff off the skin. More people stick their fingers together with cyanoacrylates at some point or another and it can tear the skin if you are not careful. If you get your fingers stuck together most of the time you can gently peel them back. Do not try and just pull them directly away from each other. Acetone will work very well. You can get this in a hardware store or often some pharmacies will carry it. Most nail polish remover is made of this if you want to purchase a smaller amount. I don’t like using acetone

too much on my skin if I don’t have to so will use soap and water. The skin oils will gradually slough off the super glue but putting your fingers in a sink of warm, soapy water will certainly speed up the process.

Getting these instant glues off clothing or fabric is a little trickier. Acetone will damage many fabrics so is not the best thing to use. One trick which will work for many types of instant glue is to freeze it. It becomes brittle and then you can break it off. A piece of clothing can be put in the freezer. On furniture or a carpet try some ice cubes in a plastic sandwich bag. Hold it against the spot. Even once off the fabric may continue to remain stained.

The best thing with glue is prevention. That is tricky to do with hands but as noted above it is not that difficult to get off.

If you get any sort of instant glue or super glue type product in the eyes, seek medical attention. Petroleum Jelly or K-Y jelly can help to open the eye that has been stuck together.

How to remove Carpenter’s Glue or White Glue:

For White Glue on clothing or upholstery use a mixture of water, vinegar and mild dish soap. Let it soak in then mop it up with a sponge. Any stains can be left over can usually be removed with a bit of rubbing alcohol. The same would be done for Yellow Glue and other water based glues. As this removal application is very mild it can be used for almost any surface including clothing and skin.

How to Remove Adhesive Tape Glue:

Tape is used on many surfaces and often leaves a sticky mess. One cannot always use acetone as it will damage many materials. Always test with acetone and commercial adhesive removers. Find a spot that is not terribly exposed and make sure it will not damage or alter the material. In many cases where you cannot uses acetone try oils or petroleum jelly. Whatever you use you may have to allow the ‘solvent’ to soak in then scrape it off with a metal scraper.

How to remove wallpaper glue:

The same steamer that you use to take the paper off the wall should be able to remove the glue. Liquid fabric softer in a spray bottle can also work. Spray it on, let it soak in and then gently scrape it off.

How to remove glue from marble and other porous stone:

As you don’t want to make it worse do not try and wipe the glue. This will just spread it. Use a clean cloth (not tissue) to dab it. Use some mild soap and water to start. This should remove at least some of it. Other things you can try are talcum powder – sprinkle it on and let absorb the glue.

A mild oil like vegetable oil can be used to soak into the glue then dabbed up. If you try a commercial glue remover make sure that you test it on an unexposed area first to make sure that it is not going to damage the surface of the marble or stone.

How to remove flooring glue:

This is usually best done with a heat gun and some muscle. Warm it up with a heat gun then scrape it off with a good solid scraper.

Care when using glue removers:

When you are using some of the more ‘toxic’ remedies such as acetone and some of the commercial glue removers make sure that you are using these products in a well ventilated area.

1997-2001 Toyota Camry P0401 Diagnosis

One of the more common codes that I typically see on a 1997-2001 Toyota 2.2L 4-cylinder Camry is a P0401. It is a code that indicates that there is a problem with the EGR System, not necessarily a problem the EGR valve itself. I hear stories of people pulling getting this code and replacing the EGR Valve without doing any testing because they don’t know what to test. They spend needless money and still haven’t fixed the problem.

There are three parts that will generally make this code appear on your car. Yes the EGR Valve is one of them, but you also have the EGR VSV, and the EGR Modulator. The first parts of inspection will be to check the function of the EGR Valve by pulling a vacuum on it with a vacuum pump. You can get a vacuum pump at and auto parts store for around $20 and even rent one at some stores.

Hook up the pump to the only vacuum port on your EGR valve. There will be a small hose attached, that you will need to disconnect and install your pump onto the same port. With the engine running at an idle you should be able to pump the vacuum pump to create vacuum on the EGR valve. The diaphragm inside the EGR Valve should raise and cause the car to die. If your car does die then your EGR Valve and it’s ports are fine. If your car stumbles or doesn’t have any change in the way it runs when you’re pulling vacuum then you probably have a bad EGR Valve or a clogged port in your intake.

If you think you have a bad valve then you should take it off the engine and test it with the same vacuum pump. You should be able to see the diaphragm inside the valve move as you are applying vacuum. If the diaphragm does move then you may have clogged ports in your intake and may need to have the intake cleaned. If it doesn’t move then you should replace the EGR Valve.

However, if your Camry stopped running when you applied that first vacuum then you should start looking to the EGR VSV. I know VS what? It’s a small blue solenoid located on the back of the engine block. It will have a couple of vacuum hoses, and a small plug attached all be held up there with one 10-mm bolt. Remove the VSV and test it by applying power and ground from your cars battery (VSV should not be plugged into harness when testing.) If you hear the VSV click when you apply power then you should replace the EGR Modulator.

The EGR Modulator is located to the right of the EGR Valve above your intake. It will have several vacuum hoses coming off of it and slides into a holder. The EGR Modulator can be purchased relatively cheap at your dealer. There is no easy testing for the modulator. If you replace the modulator and still have a problem and the light comes back on, you should then replace the EGR VSV also known as the Vacuum Switching Valve. Sometimes the VSV can have an internal break and still click when you put power and ground to the terminals, but still be bad.

So you could be wasting your money by just throwing on a valve. Remember the only way to fix something right is to know the proper testing procedure so you can come to a correct fix.

Mallet Toe – Causes and Treatment Options

Mallet toe is form of such a foot-related abnormality where the joint close to the toe is bent in such a way that it cause unusual arch. The research revealed several causes of this irregularity. The causes include genetically greater tendency towards developing this issues, acquiring bad habit of wearing uncomfortable and fashionable shoes, and weaker nerves, bones and muscle co-ordination. In case of such shoes, the toe region is constricted and curled which make you inconvenient while walking and standing.

According to severity the symptoms of a Mallet toe may vary. You can get rid of the problematic shoes in order to regain the actual position from bent toe. But, if care is not taken then the muscle tendons would start losing their elasticity and the toe stuck in this position. The treatment of such issues might be tricky, so wherever such symptoms are visible, you should immediately seek advice from podiatrist or a physician. Timely diagnosis for appropriate treatment is better and save you from many problems.

The most recommended option that doctors offer to their Mallet toe patient is to use comfortable shoes and avoid those shoes which are narrow at toe region. Because your toe may overlap or excessively rub against the shoe from inside, if there is not sufficient space available for toe. This is an easy cure for patients with initial stages of illness. Other suggested alternates by doctors are shoe-inserts, stress-relieving pads, etc.

Some time doctors use surgical methods when the tendons are relaxed and the pressure on bones is improved through making a small incision. Such surgical corrections are decided by the doctors depending on the age, cause and nature of Mallet toe.

Majorly the cause of this problem is negligence in wearing appropriate footwear. However, the remedy for this toe distortion is by choosing comfortable shoes. Also, do check your feet regularly for any symptoms. If you find any unusually bent toe then consult a professional as early as possible.

Brick Siding As a Viable Alternative to Full Brick Houses

Brick siding is the perfect way to save some money and get that great look. Building a home entirely of brick is probably one of the most expensive ways to build a home. The reality is most people simply can not afford to build their entire home out of it. They want that brick look, but building a home from the ground up from it may be just way out of reach.

Well take heart you can still have the same great look, without breaking the bank to do it. You can use brick siding on your home to add the look without having to build the entire house out of the material.

This siding is widely available, comes in a host of different colors, and is very easy to install.

There are a couple of options, the first option is the solid brick, and this type is not quite as practical or easy to use as the slice of brick type of siding. Using solid brick you are basically building the bricks up on the outside of a stick built home. This is a fine option but does sort of defeat the purpose of using brick siding.

The other option is more like a siding option. The brick is more of a veneer. The brick is very thin and comes in pre fabricated sheets. This is far easier to install than the other option. The sheets of brick siding are put in place the same way any siding would be.

The obvious benefit is the aesthetics. You get to have a brick like home without the expense of building your entire home out of bricks. This siding can be used on any type of home. It can be used on a pre fabricated or modular home, it can be used on a stick built home, and it can be used to dress up virtually any type of home.

The fact that you can save some money on this energy efficient siding is also a huge plus. It will also increase the value of your home.

Most any home improvement store will carry brick siding. If you shop around a bit you are much more likely to get a better deal. Typically this type of siding is in line with the cost of vinyl siding.

This type of siding is the perfect choice to dress up the exterior of any home.

Two of the Best Snowmobile Helmets That You Can Choose

One of the key concerns every rider should be worried about is to select the best snowmobile helmets possible, since they’ll need clear visibility. You’ll also need to eliminate moister, developed by the accumulate of the water particles due to the humidity caused by warm breathing, inside the shield. To help anyone who is interested in participating in a snowmobile event, I have listed two best snowmobile helmets below.

1. G-Max GM46 Helmet: This helmet comes under one of the best designer series manufactured by G-Max exclusively for snowmobile riding. The GM46 Helmet is equipped with a vented roost deflector to maximize the protection from snow storms and also a fully flexible, vented visor that can be adjusted with its large eye port and maximum visibility. The helmet also features the industry leading 19 vents technology known for maximum in-flow of air through its vents that are distributed all over the styro/shell and help provide a more comfortable ride.

2. HJC IS-Max BT: The name of the brand has it all. As most of us know, HJC is one of the superior helmet brands around the word, especially in the motor sports world, where it’s been producing reliable and high safety riding gear. The company has also managed to hold the number one position in safety for sixteen consecutive years starting from 1992 until 2008 and holds the reputation of receiving endorsements through 2006 to 2008 from American Motorcyclist Association champion, Ben Spies, as well. As for the IS-Max BT helmet itself, it comes with an Electric Shield for condensation of fog inside the visors, as well as a Double Lens with twin electrode formed lenses that forms an air-pocket for maximum visibility. Oh, and did I mention the IS-Max is Bluetooth compatible too? It is equipped with a “Ready for Bluetooth connectivity” feature powered by ChatterBox XBi2-H using the built in recesses and speakers, inspired by the XBi2, making communication while riding easily possible.

Along with the above features, both helmets are DOT (federal Department of Transportation) tested and approved to meet best safety standards.

How to Fix PVC Eaves Boarding

Eaves are the part of the roof that overhangs from the building wall line average five hundred millimeters wide. This area is covered by a boarding of timber or PVC tongue and groove, gypsum or weather proof materials. If this part of the building is not covered or is damaged due to weather, it could lead to rodents or birds nesting in the open ceiling. Its important to cover since rodents are a health hazard and birds droppings could damage the ceiling space.

When a developer intends to fix the PVC eaves boarding, measure the area to be worked on. Cut the pieces of timber to form the mesh like supports called brandering. This is done by nailing timber battens along the fascia boards and wall lengths. After nailing the battens lengthwise, cut smaller pieces and nail along the width of the eaves. This timber battens should be fixed at intervals of six hundred millimeters center to center distances.

Prepare the area to fix PVC eaves boarding by positioning a gauze wire to stop crawling insects from entering the ceiling. Again cut the PVC to be fitted the size of the eaves width. This are fixed by inserting into each groove provided on the strips. Nail the first piece on the brandering and then insert the next into the groove and nail the edges to keep, firm. Continue this process until the whole length of the eaves is finished. Clean off any dirt marks.

Once the PVC eaves boarding is fixed by joining the pieces, nail timber quadrants on the edges. This is done by nailing them along the fascia boards and wall line to hide the joints. Ensure that they are nailed straight and apply under coat. Apply three coats of gloss paint on the timber quadrants and fascia boards to protect from extreme weather. Again use some thinner to clean off any paint marks appearing on the PVC eaves to give a good finish.

Porcelain Veneers Vs Resin Veneers: Which Veneers Are Best?

About Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are custom tooth shells that conceal physical dental flaws, like those stains incurred by your teeth from years of sipping grande macchiatos.

Porcelain veneers are shaped from a mold of your mouth. You might also hear them called dental porcelain laminates. Veneers are thin, tooth-like slips that are secured to the outsides of your teeth with a strong, light activated gel.

Once they’re attached to the fronts of your natural teeth, these porcelain shells can do more than shield yellow marks and gray tints. They also hide teeth with malformations like chips, cracks, and rough edges by altering the shape of each tooth they cover.

These veneers (or any veneers for that matter) won’t straighten teeth, but they will improve the appearance of damaged or discolored teeth. They can also close small gaps between teeth.

Recommended age range: Porcelain veneers should be placed on adult teeth only. When gums recede with age, teeth can look dark along the gum line as un-veneered tooth enamel is revealed.

When will I see results?: Veneers take up to two weeks to manufacture, so don’t pop in to see the dentist and expect to get porcelain veneers the same day as your appointment.

Who shouldn’t use it: Crowded teeth may be topped with porcelain veneers – to a point. Ask your dentist how much enamel must be removed to successfully apply the veneers. If you have gum disease, you may be steered away from the procedure until your gums are treated. If you grind your teeth, you can shorten the life of your veneers.

Drawbacks: The procedure is permanent. If you are a commitment-phobe, don’t get porcelain veneers.

The veneers will bond to teeth instantly. Your affected teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold temperatures for a few days to a week.

Aftercare. Brush, floss, and schedule regular dentist’s appointments to prolong the life of your porcelain veneers. Because veneers tend to trap plaque, get at least three professional dental cleanings every year. Trapped plaque can lead to gum disease and subsequent root canals. Teeth can turn dark and brittle after root canals.

About Resin Veneers

Resin, or composite, veneers are crafted out of a putty-like material and are then bonded to teeth. They can reshape, resize, and re-color teeth. Applying resin veneers to teeth requires the permanent removal of part of the outer layer of dental enamel, so the procedure is irreversible.

Resin is considered an outdated material by many dentists Its main advantage is price (resin veneers are cheaper) and speed (they can be made and applied faster).

What It’s Good For

Composite resin veneers hide imperfections that mar your teeth. They can hide discolorations and repair gaps, chips, and general age-related issues. Slightly overlapping or crooked teeth may be fixed with resin veneers.

Who it works for: If you have stained teeth that don’t respond well to bleaching or laser treatments, then resin veneers may be an option. Resin veneers are more affordable than porcelain veneers, though less durable. Resin veneers also tend to look less lustrous than porcelain veneers.

When will I see results?: Composite veneers can be attached to teeth as soon as they harden, which takes less than an hour.

How long it lasts: Though cheaper, resin veneers are less durable than porcelain veneers. They last about five years on average, about half as long as porcelain veneers.

Key benefits of resin veneers: Unlike porcelain veneers, resin veneers can be crafted during a single visit to the dentist. They can also be repaired if they break or crack.

Resin veneers can be manufactured and applied in a single visit to the dentist. Resin veneers have a putty-like consistency that can be sculpted, after which a mild chemical is applied to the tooth and a bright light or laser is

used to harden the material and secure it to the tooth.

Before the resin material can be applied, about 0.5 mm of enamel is first removed from your natural tooth. Scraping off tooth enamel may increase sensitivity for a week or two after the procedure.

Who should do it: Resin veneers can be molded and bonded by cosmetic dentists, but you’ll want to make sure that yours is familiar with composite material as opposed to porcelain veneers. The more skilled the dentist, the more natural the appearance of the composite veneer and the closer the fit to the gum. Poorly fitted resin veneers can cause gum damage when bacteria is trapped between the veneer and the gum.

Duration: A single tooth may be replaced in under an hour, but as you can imagine, the more veneers you get, the longer you’ll be in the company of your dentist. The speed of your appointment will ultimately depend on the number of resin veneers you’re attaching and your individual dentist’s skill.

There is no downtime after getting the veneers, though you may experience an temporary increase in sensitivity to hot and cold food and drinks after the procedure.

Aftercare Follow your typical oral hygiene regimen by brushing and flossing your resin veneers as you would your natural teeth. Schedule three professional cleanings a year to remove any plaque that gets trapped underneath veneers.