Importance Of Hiring Regular Pool Cleaning Services

Property owners when given the chance, they’d most probably be installing a pool in their property. Having one will allow you and your kids to enjoy the summer as well as have your afternoon lounge in your backyard more enjoyable. However, having a private pool is as much a responsibility as it is a source of joy.

For most pool owners, they choose to avoid the time and energy-consuming task of cleaning and maintaining the pool, hence they hire the services of professional pool cleaners. In fact, hiring a good company to take care of your pool is an excellent investment. It can be said that people decide to install swimming pools for them to have fun during their free time swimming and not doing the heavy task of cleaning and inspecting their pool equipment.

So what are the benefits you get from hiring professionals to do regular cleaning and maintenance for your swimming pool?

· Regular cleaning will ensure that you can use your swimming pool all year-round. You never know when the kids want to throw a pool party, so having experts regularly check and maintain your pool will rid you of the worry about not having a clean and safe pool to use.

· It will effectively preserve the component of your private oasis. In pool components, one of the main reasons for damages is dirt buildup. Getting the services of pool cleaning experts will allow you to effectively take care and maintain pool components and avoid clogged pipes and pumps as well as prevent rotating elements from running. This will help you get rid of additional cost from repairs or in worst cases, getting replacement for the equipment.

· With experts handling the cleaning materials as well as chemicals being used for your pool. You won’t have to worry about the protection of your family’s skin and eyes. This will effectively control the amount of bacteria present in the water.

· When hiring the right company, you will not only be provided with just pool cleaners but also experts that can handle state-of-the-art equipment in maintaining the cleanliness of your swimming pool as well as keep it nice-looking.

· The experts can thoroughly inspect the structural integrity of all the parts and accessories of the pool. This will inform you of the different things that may be wearing away and should be replaced, as well as detect sharp, broken tiles that can cause cuts and other injuries.

Building Lean Muscle Needs Exercise, Discipline, Persistence and the Right Diet

Muscle size is increased when you have the right proportions of human growth hormone in the body. It is possible to take supplements to increase HGH, but it always better to depend on the naturally produced hormone that can come from eating the right food. The diet intake must be high enough for the body to want to begin building lean muscle instead of using energy from fat, during any exercise regime. The diet must contain a lot of proteins and fewer fats and carbs. Any need for carbs must come from fruits and vegetables, as they are not easily digestible.

Exercise is very important if you are building lean muscle. The exercise must be intense as this helps the body to produce more hormones and testosterone, both of which are very important to gaining muscle. Workouts must be intense and short, as long and slow workouts may not have the desired effect. Exercises must not concentrate on any particular muscle group, and focusing on the lower body and upper bodies alternatively can be a good tactic for building lean muscle mass.

When you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time, you are well on the way to building a physique that is lean and muscular. It is not easy for the body in all its complexity to build muscle while losing fat. This balance can be achieved and will lead to results that are very pleasing. A workout regime to increase lean muscle mass must constantly increase the workload, while ensuring that it never becomes injurious. This constant increase helps the muscle to adapt and this helps the muscle to grow bigger. Every person has his or her own body structure and any workout regime must be tailored to fit the physique. This also needs to be constantly monitored and changed, to ensure that the process of adaption is constant. You need to be persistent with any exercise routine, so that the effects are never lost through long periods of inactivity, unless they are forced due to injury or illness. This may mean that you may have to start all over again, but when you to do look into the mirror and see your lean and muscular body, you will know that it has been more than worth it.

Constantly changing your exercise routines and rest times do help to develop better muscles. Cardio is a must if you need to have a physique that exhibits lean and rippled muscles. Running before and after workouts can also help the body to cool down after intense exercise, though care needs to be taken to not put too much on pressure on the knees, as any damage there can affect working out. Aerobic exercises are an important part of building lean muscle. There are a number of dietary choices that can help to build lean muscle. They are beef, brown rice, beet, cottage cheese, oranges, eggs and cantaloupe. Supplements can help to build muscle but this is better taken after the right advice.

The RV Awning

The RV awning is one of those have-to-have accessories that at 3 am, with a howling wind, you may wish you did not have!

Who can remember the half-dozen or so steps required to lower the thing under these conditions? Have you ever awakened after that midsummer overnight thunderstorm and your awning is sagging alarmingly? Have you ever tried to empty the hundred or so gallons of water that has collected in that sagging awning? Trust me when I say that you do not need to go through that "joy" of camping.

The recreational vehicle awning is designed as a sunshade, period. If, sometimes, it starts to sprinkle a bit and also kicks up a mild breeze – do not worry – your RV awning can handle that. But if those dark clouds are building on the horizon and the birds are seeking Shelter, then you really should consider rolling up. And you really should consider rolling up, NOW.

Practice rolling up your awning on a calm day until you have the procedure memorized. Then do the same thing while blindfolded, with someone spraying a hose in your face. This will simulate a typical emergency storm take-down. Exception for the wind, of course. For this simulation you will need three fairly burly guys, all yanking the awning in a different direction at once. Once you have gone through the preceding exercise, you will understand why the experienced camper will take down the awning at the first sign of trouble.

After being rolled up and possibly damp for several months your awning will appreciate a good airing out and a bath with warm water and a mild detergent. Use a car wash type brush to scrub the surface of both the top and the underside. A little WD-40 on the moving parts helps to free up and protect these components. Dry it thoroughly before re-rolling it.

Lower one end of your open awning to allow rainwater to drain off. Peg down the awning feet when the awning is free standing so that a gust of wind will not flip over the awning. Also, the awning may be strapped down with the special awning straps available at your local RV store. If you suspect a strong wind or storm is coming the safest thing to do is roll up the awning.

Types of Retractable Awnings

So you want to buy a retractable awning for your outdoor living space? Congratulations, they're a great investment in your home and quality of life that will increase the value of your property and make your outdoor living area pleasant, even during the warmest months of the summer. But before you give anyone the numbers on your credit card, you should inform yourself on the different style, types, and features that can be found on retractable awnings. This piece will give you an overview, so read on.

Retractable awnings come in power-driven or manual versions. Motorized patio awnings operate on regular 110V electricity via a tiny, concealed motor that raises and lowers them. Some come with remote controls that can be used to run them from a distance, and others are toggle operated via a locally-wired control box. Motorized patio awnings have no vertical supports, so the area benefit them is totally open. Instead of vertical supports, they have telescoping arms that slowly unfold as the awning is opened, and retract into their storage area as the awning is closed. While this is nice for the open space it creates underneath, the downside is that they're not as steady in high winds as the manually-operated retractable awnings with vertical baring members. You may want to take the level of wind speed in your area into account before you decide which one is best for you.

Manually operated retractable awnings are engineered to be easy to extend and retract. As mentioned above, manual versions offer numerous advantages that automatic retractable awnings do not. For one (as stated before), they're more stable with vertical support members. For another, they're less expensive and easier to install. You do not need to run electrical wiring to the motor or the toggle, which bypasses one of the potentially more complicated installation problems. Also, the vertical support arms allow certain accessories to be used. When left extended, owners can turn their patio awning into a 2-season space install mesh to keep out bugs, or hang lights. The disadvantage of the manually operated version is, of course, that it must be manually raised and lowered. A minor nuisance at worst.

Both motorized and manual patio awnings can be installed on any outdoor surface with relative simplicity, including brick, vinyl siding, shakes, stucco, or cement board. Both can also remain out-of-doors during the cold months, even if you live in the north where winters are ruthless. They are designed to withstand the worst weather and be ready to operate when the season changes and you endeavor outdoor for another wonderful spring.

Why Asphalt Paving is the Top Choice For Most Property Owners

Whenever construction related topics are discussed, the use of asphalt VS concrete always creates a bit of controversy. This is especially true when the discussion focuses on paving. Even the word paving these days is used to describe mostly asphalt. But the truth is pavement is any material used to created roads or driveways. The most common modern paving methods however are asphalt and concrete.

Both asphalt and concrete have a long history in the building industry because of the variety of ways the materials can be used. However, in regard to paving parking lots and driveways the largest argument has traditionally been about initial cost.

Now comes the inevitable question, "Which is the better material for parking lot and driveway surfaces?" The answer may surprise nearly everyone. And if you are a property or business owner, the results documented by industry experts as well as scientific studies are quite revealing.

According to Wikipedia, and Industry Sources, here are the latest findings. We'll start with Concrete Paving:

The Complete Details About Concrete Paving:

• – Concrete is more prone to cracking and buckling because it's rigid and dense design. Tree Roots, Ground Movements, Freeze Thaw Cycles and soil movement are huge contributors to concretes deterioration.

• – According to the Ohio Highway Commission, concrete costs of $ 70 to $ 100 per cubic yard were more than double the costs of asphalt paving. All Ohio highway paving is now done with asphalt.

• – Concrete paving of parking lot and driveway surfaces requires more time and initial cost than asphalt paving. This hold especially true the larger a project gets.

• Repairs to concrete paving surfaces are more to repair than asphalt. They also do not blend as well as asphalt paving does. Especially after asphalt gets freshly sealed coated.

• + Concrete paving last longer than asphalt asphalt surfaces.

• + Concrete paving maintenance cost over time, is far less expensive than asphalt paving.

• + Concrete paving requires far less on-going maintenance to keep its strength.

The Complete Details About Asphalt Paving:

• – Asphalt requires continuous maintenance including sealing coating, striping, crack filling, and many other forgotten costs when deciding what type of pavement to install.

• Asphalt Paving offers more flexibility giving a light advantage over concrete in terms of handling stress and cracking.

• – + Asphalt is the easiest to use and most economic pothole repair product available. It can be applied as a cold patch, hot patch, and become a permanent solution for repairing potholes in a shorter amount of time than concrete and other more expensive hybrid mixtures. Keep in mind that potholes are far less likely in concrete.

• + In addition to pothole repair, asphalt is used to repair parking lots, driveways, and roadways on a larger scale. The preparation for paving with asphalt is reliably easy, depending on the condition of the surface being covered. Asphalt paving can be done directly over the present pavement in many cases.

• + Asphalt is very strong, durable and weather resistant in addition to being resistant to damaging effects from chemicals

• – Only when the maintenance schedules are kept up.

• + Asphalt sets faster than concrete giving it a strong advantage in both cost and convenience for parking lot and driveway paving.

In summary,


An environmentally friendly and recyclable paving product that provides many benefits for driveway, road, and parking area applications. With its upfront cost savings, it is by far the more popular choice for parking situations and driveway paving construction. However, those upfront savings are quickly lost with in the first 5 years of installation through ongoing and costy asphalt construction projects.


Also highly green in its recyclable qualities. Concrete paving is a long lasting, low maintenance cost product which looks great over time. Although typically more difficult and slightly costlier to repair, when that time comes. Over time the cost to maintain a concrete pavement surface is much lower. Over the life span of 20-30 years there will be even a larger saving on concrete constructed projects VS its asphalt counterpart.

Bridge Loan: The Ultimate Financial Solution for Prolonged Problems

What is a Bridge Loan: A bridge Loan is also known as 'gap financing' because as the name suggests, it is more to do with filling or ducting the empty crevices in your financial condition, especially when it is an emergency monetary need or crisis that you are facing, be it in terms of purchase of personal property or be it with respect to business issues. This loan has become very popular among the mob of real estate owners or businessmen despite the high rates of interest that come as a baggage. When in terrible need of monetary support and that too too a restriction of some weeks before you make the down payment or any other necessity, then a loan is the only option because this loan can be available in a shorter period of time comparatively with a minimal number of submission of documents for verification and rechecking before the loan is granted. It is a short-term interim loan as it only lasts up to as long as one year only.

Real life examples where loans can help: Let us take a hypothetical case where you are looking for a new apartment or a two-storied house depending upon your needs, requirements and inevitable requisite. The difficulty is that you need to sell your present home in order to buy the new one and your broker has given up and you alone are unable to find the right buyer. Here in this situation where you are facing time constriction for advance payment and are in dire need of that amount, the bridge loan becomes very useful in spite of exorbitant interest rates. Unless and until you come up with a permanent solution to pay the mortgage as well as make the advance payment for a better deal in the housing complex, bridge loan, or interim financing is the only pathway you can act on with the assurance of proper execution of your plans with minimum official trouble.

Keeping the above example in mind, why it is said that taking a bridge loan is very flexible:

  • The terms of the loan state that in case you are unable to sell the house within six months, then you have to pay the reimbursements of the rate of interest on the loan.
  • If you are able to find a suitable buyer within the time frame of six months, then you will not have to pay back the loan with due rates of interest.
  • Bridging the cleft made by the time struggle between selling and buying, this loan solves all your financial junctures.

What is the eligibility criterion for applying for the bridge loan: The lender will perform a credit check of your history with loans and anything that proves you are not worthy of the loan. You will have to pledge any collateral or real estate asset. Also, bridge loans are often offered by individual lenders and not by any bank.

Stair Chair Lift Self Assembly Dangers

With the cost of everything appearing to spiral ever upwards, while wages never seem to keep pace, it is understandable that more and more people are opting to take on many jobs around the home themselves, where previously they would have hired a professional. In many instances, this can be a good thing, especially if you have a knack for handiwork and can work accurately and do a good job. But there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals for more reasons than just to save some money.

One of these is the assembly and fitting of a mobility aid called the stair chair lift. This is a very useful device for people with limited mobility, which can be brought about by advancing age, illness, infirmity or for people with disabilities for whatever climbing a staircase is either extremely difficult unaided or otherwise not possible. A correctly installed stair chair lift lift enables people to have complete access to all the rooms in their home where there is more than a single floor in the house.

However, an incorrectly or badly installed stair chair lift can be potentially dangerous or even fatal accident waiting to happen.

While there are many people with disabilities who are on low incomes, it is often the belief that they can save a great deal of money by buying and installing a stair lift by themselves, or getting a family member who is not a professional installer to do it for them. While this may be true in the short term, they could really be playing a game of Russian roulette with their lives and a badly installed stair lift could at some time malfunction. This could result, at the very least in costly repairs to the staircase if damaged, or a similarly costly outlay to hire a professional to come in and re-install the stair lift correctly. Worse, a malfunctioning stair chair lift could cause its user to have an accident on the stairs which could have far more expensive terms of money.

A stark warning has come from the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) that many people with disabilities are placing their lives at great risk by undertaking DIY home stair lift installation.

In the United States these concerns have been expressed strongly by the Accessibility Equipment Manufacturer's Association (AMEA), which states clearly that no individual can really know if they have correctly installed a domestic home stair chair lift unless they have had expert training. In general, consumers may be unaware of the conformance requirements in existence with local and national codes. These should be referenced locally for confirmation although in many locales, codes ASME A17.1, A18.1, and NFPA70 (National Electrical Code) should be adhered to for the consumer to be complying with the law.

It should also be pointed out that there is another hidden cost associated with self installation of a home stair lift, which is the fact that should anything go awry, there is no avenue of recompense. Without the professional insurance cover that qualified fitters are required by law to carry, any accidents during or after the installation are not covered.

Lastly, you should always be wary of salesmen who call at your home trying to sell you a stair chair lift. These people may not have your best interests at heart and often see the elderly or infirm as easy targets. You could end up paying far in excess of the going price for a shoddy product that may be installed by non-professional fitters.

It is always best to relly on reputed or personally recommended companies. While the costs of having a home stair chair lift may be initially expensive, you are paying for a professionally installed product that will bring you many years of trouble free service and peace of mind.

Sony Vs Samsung LED TV: Which Is Better?

Choosing the best LED television depends on many factors, such as budget and special TV features. Smart LED product and Smart HDTVs spawned from the Sony vs. Samsung LED TV struggle for supremacy in terms of LED display. Both Sony and Samsung have developed amazing LED technology with Smart features to achieve better sales and customer satisfaction at the same time. Below is a comparison of the features of both Sony LED and Samsung LED television to relieve you of this Sony vs. Samsung LED TV dilemma.

The Sony LED TV:

Sony LED television uses advanced picture processing to display images with excellent brightness, authentic details, and highest resolution possible. Sony has developed the Triluminos Display Technology for creating the true and natural shades of colors, and for showing images with the widest color spectrum ever offered on television. This new Triluminos Display Technology creates more vivid images of landscapes and seascapes, better faces with natural skin color tones, and images with enhanced sensed of depth. Certain models of Sony LED have built-in Wi-Fi to enable the viewer stream videos and other media content from a variety of digital content providers like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube. The built-in Wi-Fi also has the ability to wirelessly mirror media content from your Iphone or Android Smartphone, enabling the viewer to watch the movies and TV shows on his or her smartphone on a wide TV screen. Sony has also developed the Magnetic Fluid Speaker technology to faithfully reproduce high-fidelity sound using thinner and efficient loudspeakers.

The Samsung LED TV:

The latest LEDs of Samsung are formed with impressive screen size to make an ordinary TV experience into extraordinary personal experience. Images are displayed in stunning detail. Mesmerizing sounds are reproduced with the use of unseen speakers. Furthermore, LED display of Samsung come with timeless and iconic designs. Samsung has developed the Quad-detail enhancement technology for displaying high-resolution images, and precision-black Backlight technology for making TV entertainment more enjoyable. The latest Samsung LEDs are provided with additional Smart Interaction features that include built-in Wi-Fi, built-in camera, face recognition, motion control, voice control, and Samsung TV apps.


A Sony LED TV costs more than a Samsung. Samsung LED TV may offer a lot more features than Sony, but these features may include features that are not really required to achieve a thrilling and exciting TV experience. In reality, the choice between Sony vs. Samsung LED TV will depend on your budget and features you actually need and will use to have the best TV adventure with the whole family.

Hammertoe Surgery – Can I Avoid It?

What are Hammertoes?

Hammertoes occurs when crops are curled as a result of a bend in the middle joint of the toe. It usually happens at the second, third or fourth toes and is sometimes referred to as contracted toe or rotated toe, or misnamed as claw toe, which is a different condition. It usually happens as the tendons at the top and bottom of the toes become imbalanced and pull the toe (s) into the hammer position. When the toes are bent in this way, the result resembles a hammer shape, giving the name hammertoe. A variety of biomechanical issues in the feet can cause tendon imbalance.

People with hammertoes may have corn and calluses form on the top of the middle joint of the toe, or on the tip of the toe. There can be swelling and redness around the toes and stiffness can make it difficult to walk. Individuals with hammertoe may feel persistent pain when on their feet. Hammertoe surgery may be required to treat this pain.

Hammertoes can be flexible or rigid. Flexible hammertoe can be manually corrected and may respond to conservative treatment like foot orthotics to correct biomechanical insufficiencies. Rigid deformity would require hammertoe surgery for correction. However, accommodation of the deformity may be possible using appropriate footwear or foot orthotics.

Hammertoe Surgery: What is the Process?

There are several types of surgeries used to correct hammertoes. Some surgeries may require general anesthesia while others are completed safely under local anesthesia. In most cases, hammertoe surgery can be done during the day and you will not have to stay overnight at the hospital. The foot and prepared and a small incision is made. Your surgeon will be using small tools to work in this delicate area of ​​the foot.

Types of Hammertoe Surgery

The most common types are:

  • Tendon transfer
  • Arthrodesis
  • Arthroplasty

Tendon transfer involves re-routing the tendon from under your toe to the top of the toe to correct the position. This surgery is often chosen if the toe is mobile. Otherwise, it can be used in combination with the following procedures.

Digital arthrodesis involves straightening the toe and fusing the joint completely. The surgeon inserts a wire into the toe that extends past the end of the toe to hold it in place for around 3-6 weeks.

Implant arthroplasty , or joint replacement is the third option. Here an implant made of silicon, rubber or metal is inserted in the toe to act as a replacement for the removed bone.

What to Expect After Hammmerte Surgery

After having hammertoe surgery, you can expect to have some swelling, stiffness and limited mobility. For some it can take as long as 8-12 weeks to be walking normally again while others can walk immediately after surgery. According to the surgeon, which surgery they performed and the way they did it, instructions after hammertoe surgery will differ … so follow the surgeon's instructions to the letter. A typical recommendation could involve restriction of weight bearing for 24 hours after surgery, a splint for 2-4 weeks, and continued wear of appropriate footwear. Exercises to increase the strength in the foot and toe muscles may also be suggested.

What Are The Risks Of Hammertoe Surgery?

There is a risk of infection with any surgery. Your toes may swell for long periods following hammertoe surgery. Nerve injury, numbness, limited range of motion, or extended periods of pain may occur. There is also no guarantee that the procedure will work in every case and the deformity could return.

Options to Avoid Hammertoe Surgery

There are more conservative approaches to relieving pain from hammertoes. Using splints to realign the affected toe may take away your need for hammertoe surgery. Protective padding on corn and calluses can alleviate pain as well. Perhaps the most important is choosing the correct footwear by selecting shoes that have proper support and a wide toe box so they do not rub and irritate the toe at the problem area.

Wearing foot orthotics designed to relieve the pressure on your toe deformity and increase your biomechanical efficiency can also be effective. If the hammertoe deformity occurred because of improper positioning of your foot, orthotics can be important to control foot position after your surgery so the hammertoe deformity does not return.

Your physician will take many things into consideration before suggesting hammertoe surgery. If your toe is very painful, your condition interferees with your daily activities, and more conservative treatments have not proven successful, hammertoe surgery may be necessary. It will also be suggested more readily if you have a strict rather than flexible deformity.

Useful Information About Mosaics

Mosaic is a form of tiling that is usually used in showers and on floors to add a lot of color and style to the room. Mosaics can be found in a large number of textures, colors, layouts and shapes so that if required, you could customize every room in the house. Not only are they are a form of tiling, they are sometimes even considered works of art, called mosaic art.

Most mosaic tiles come with ridges on the backside so that glue can bond more securely to the tile. Almost all types of glass, stone and ceramic material can be considered as a mosaic tile. The vitreous-glass mosaic tile is a glassy stone-like material that is opaque, not clear, and is not as sharp as regular glass when cut. It is better to use mosaic supplies like mosaic glass cutters for cutting glass mosaic tiles; regular tile nippers may cut the tile but not as predictably as with a mosaic glass cutter. Ceramic mosaic tiles are often used for architectural applications, as they are quite inexpensive and can be easily cut using regular tile nippers. Sometimes, broken pieces of china and other types of dinnerware are used as mosaics, but as this ceramic dinnerware is engineered to be unbreakable, the plates produce razor edges when broken. Some of the mosaic tiles come attached to fiberglass mesh that keeps the tiles arranged in a grid. This mesh is then glued directly to the floor to be tiled. If you need to remove the mesh to get loose tile, the tile has to be soaked in warm water and the tiles fall off the mesh.

Mosaic tiles are not only used for flooring; they are also used to produce pieces of mosaic art that can be used for display. Mosaic tables make a great piece of furniture, with a tabletop made of mosaic tiles. Pools are the greatest source of use of mosaic art, with mosaic used in different mosaic patterns on the bottom and edges of the pool.

A Beginner's Guide to Masonry Trowels

If you are interested in learning the basics of masonry, the first tool you'll need is a good trowel.

Types of Trowels
There are all different kinds of trowels out there for various types of work. A good masonry trowel should have made of forged steel, providing an increased level of durability. Blade length will be a significant consideration, as larger tools are harder to maneuver in small spaces for more specific work. If you are repairing an existing wall or column, then shorter blade length will be better suited for that type of work. Smaller versions are also handy for removing excess mortar. Smaller blades vary in length from around four to seven inches. Larger options can be anywhere from nine to twelve inches long, not including the handle. Finally, many shapes have been developed over the years. The London and the Philadelphia are the two most popular options now, but the choice will also depend on the type of work you intend to complete.

Holding the Trowel
Depending on the type of tool you have chosen, the handle may be made of wood or plastic. The material of the handle is immaterial to how it performances, especially when compared to details like the blade length and shape. Still, some people have a personal preference for one of the two main types of handles. When comparing the feel of different options in the hardware store, it's important to hold the instrument correctly. The work will go by much more smoothly with a proper grip. Some amateurs grip the handle like a baseball bat, but the most common grip among professionals is different. Instead, place your thumb on top of the metal band, and use only the four fingers around the handle itself.

Loading the Trowel
Working with mortar is one of the greatest challenges when practicing and art of masonry. Experienced professionals slap the mortar around with deceptive ease, but it's a finely tuned process that takes decades to master. When loading the trowel with mortar, you may cut from the top, side, or front. You'll then snap your wrist to cause the mortar to settle on the tool. This motion keeps the material from slipping off the edge of the blade. This step is especially important at the times when a mason is "buttering" vertical surfaces like the head joints. Head joints are the vertical edges of individual bricks.

Buttering Joints
As you move along the horizontal line of bricks, this horizontal line along the top of the bricks is the bed joint. Professional masons will prepare the bed joint for a few bricks at a time. It is best to start small while learning this new trade, only trying one or two at a time. When applying the mortar along the surface of a brick, the trowel blade should lightly scrape along its length. This repeated contact is a major reason why durable, forged steel is preferred.

Ultimately, masonry is a very complicated skill that takes long years of training. Learning the tools of the trade can make the job a lot easier.

Vincent Van Gogh – The Man, the Painter, the Master!

Vincent Willem van Gogh or Vincent van Gogh or Van Gogh or Vincent Gogh, was one of the finest Dutch artists, who is also called as the father of Expressionism. Most of Van Gogh's works were heavily influenced by colors that described the divine spirit of man and nature, in dramatic and powerful ways. The range of colors he used, moving from very dark or morbid color palette to brighter colors, provided an oversight into his troubled life and his struggle against his unbalanced mental state, which had historically taken his life at an early age of 37.

Vincent was born in a village of Southern Netherlands, Groot-Zundert. He was the son of Anna Cornelia Carbentus and Theodorus van Gogh, a minister with the Dutch Reformed Church. At an early age of fifteen, in July 1869, he obtained a position with an art dealer, Goupil & Cie at The Hague Gallery. By the age of twenty, Van Gogh was pulling in more greenbacks than his father did. This was also the same time where his first rejection in love happened. This phase marked a series of step down in his life, which can be felt and seen later in his drawings. For the second time again he felt love had failed him, was when his recently widowed cousin Kee, who was seven years older than Vincent, the daughter of his mother's elder sister, refracted his proposal. The girl's father also made it clear to Vincent that his daughter could not marry him, as he was not financially sound & strong enough to support and start a family. The rejection affected him deeply and he left for Hague, where his painter cousin-in-law encouraged him towards painting. Another unsuccessful relationship with an alcoholic prostitute drve him further to loneliness and isolation.

Later in Nuenen in 1880, Van Gogh immersed himself in drawing and painting. One of his major works, The Potato Eaters (Dutch De Aardappeleters) (spring, 1885), was recognized after his father's death at which he grieved deeply. In the same year, he moved to Paris. It was the same time he moved from dark tones to a bright color palette when Theodorus (or The Theo), his brother suggested to him to use bright colors to make his paintings more saleable. This is where Vincent discovered Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism styles of painting. In 1888, he moved to Arles, France, where he created another famous piece, Flowering Orchards, while his unsettled mental state deteriorated further. During the last few years of his life, he did not paint much because of his deepening depression. He was getting depressed with every passing hour and with every new painting. Around December 1888, there was a major shift in his mental state, which resulted in his self-destruction and suicide.

The life of Vincent van Gogh has been the subject of inspiration for the generation of painters, filmmakers, musicians etc. In 1971, Don McLean dedicated a song, "Vincent," to Van Gogh's painting, which is named after his masterpiece, "The Starry Night." Most modern art forms and abstract art movements have gained from Gogh's probes into gestural marks. Van Gogh has immortalized himself with his work and still lives on in the hearts of the present generation of art enthusiasts.

Selecting a Chandelier

Chandeliers are special lights that have been in use for a long time. The word chandelier comes from the French word 'chandelle', which means candle. In the earlier period, these lights were made of animal fat and were attached to wooden spikes. They used to get support from the ceiling.

There was no electricity during that time, so the substitutes that were available were small sputtering tallow wall sconces, or the glow of a fireplace. Thus, chandeliers provided better lighting. They were generally used in medieval churches and abbeys in the 15th century.

Earlier, these chandeliers used to be designed for the use of the wealthy and powerful, as only they could afford them. However, it can be said that the journey of the chandelier started from homes in between the 16th and 17th centuries.

Chandeliers are considered as a symbol of status, wealth, and beauty, and have been widely used in movies to show the status of any wealthy family. It is believed that to build an impressive and complete home structure, these chandeliers are capable to develop a unique and elegant beauty.

Selecting a chandelier can be a little bit difficult. It may create confusion for you to decide on the right chandelier for your entry hall or dining room. These chandeliers come in many different varieties and sizes. Mostly, people go for shiny brass multi-arms with faux candle socket and flame-shaped bulbs.

If you are looking for an adjustable chandelier for your home and you can not decide on the width of the chandelier, then first of all you should calculate the dimensions of the room. You just need to add the width and length of the room in feet, and then convert this figure to inches. The number you get in inches is the near about diameter of the chandelier that you need to purchase. Some people prefer oversized chandeliers for their room; they can be used design wise, but an undersized chandelier must be avoided except in the case where you are using multiples.

Secondly, the placement of the chandelier is very important, so that it shines properly. In the dining room, the chandelier should be placed exactly over the center of the table. However, the rough estimated gap between the table and the chandelier must be about 30 inches to avoid accidents.

In order to save wall art from being positioned in the dark, you can use recessed lights. You can also use a dimmer to create a preset level while dining and for special occasions.

You can use two to three low-voltage pendants in the place of a chandelier for light distribution for long and narrow tables.

A proper choice of chandelier can develop a style and enhance the beauty of your room. Always remember that while choosing a chandelier, you must keep in mind the place where it will be installed, and its size.

The Rule Of 14

The Rule Of 14 is a bridge bidding convention used in Acol bridge. It is used by the responder when they are replying to their partner’s opening bid.

When the opener has opened with a bid of one of a suit and the responder has a weakish hand with a suit that can be also be bid at the one level it is usually right to do so rather than making a bid of 1NT. However, if a change of suit response would take us to the two level and we have fewer than 9 points that is when we would usually bid 1NT. It doesn’t mean that we have a balanced hand, it just means that there are no other bids available to us and we have 6+ points and therefore shouldn’t just pass.

Here is an example:

(Our hand) South

Spades: 5 2

Hearts: K 9 8 6 3

Diamonds: J 10 5 3

Clubs: Q 6

Partner opened with a bid of one spade. We only hold 6 points and don’t have enough spades to support partner’s spade bid. Ideally we would like to bid our hearts at the one level, but we can’t. We don’t have enough points to bid at the two level, so we are forced to make a 1NT bid. This doesn’t show a balanced hand, it just tells partner we have a weak hand and not enough spades to support.

How can we decide if our hand is strong enough for a response at the two level? This is where the Rule of 14 comes in.

Using the Rule of 14

Start by adding up the number of high card points held. Then add to that the number of cards in the longest suit. If the total is 14 or more than the hand satisfied the Rule of 14 and we can make a bid at the two level. If the total is less than fourteen then we should make a 1NT bid.

Here are some more examples:

Example 1


S: 10 7 2

H: 8 5

D: A 9 5

C: K J 9 7 3

Partner has opened with a bid of 1 heart. We can’t bid our clubs without raising to the two level. Using the Rule of 14 we have 8 high card point and 5 cards in our longest suit. This gives us a total of 13, so we should respond with a bid of 1NT.

Example 2


S: 8 7 6

H: 8

D: Q 9 2

C: A Q 10 6 5 2

Partner has opened 1H. As with the previous hand, we want to bid clubs, but this would mean raising to the two level. We have 8 high card points, but this time we have 6 cards in our longest suit. Adding these two gives us a total of 14, so we can bid 2 Clubs.

Avoid Back Injury While Shoveling Snow

There's a greater chance of injuring your back while shoveling snow than there is while raking leaves. There are several reasons for this – one of which is the weight of the snow that you are trying to move. Fresh snow is always lighter than snow that has been sitting on the ground where it compacts and becomes more dense. One shovelful can weigh as much as 20 pounds, possibly more. In areas that are famous for 'champagne powder' snow, like Colorado, the first day after a snowfall usually finds the fluffy stuff still light and easy to push – rather than shovel. A shovel designed for pushing this lighter snow makes the job much easier.

If you lift an average shovel, loaded with 16 pounds of snow, about 12 times a minute, you will have moved 192 pounds of snow! If you keep this up, in about 10 minutes, you will have lived almost 2000 pounds of snow! Is it any wonder shoveling snow can lead to back strains and sprains?

According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission in 2006, more than 31,000 people were treated in hospital emergency rooms or doctor's offices and clinics for injuries that occurred while shoveling snow or removing ice manually. In a study published by Brad Coffiner of Cornell University, the ergonomic department said "when handling heavy snow with a shovel, the L5 / S1 disc has been identified as the weakest link in the body segment chain. to occur in the back region. "

When you bend forward to scoop the snow onto the shovel, your center of gravity changes and it is easy to strain the low back muscles, especially the quadratus lumborum, a muscle which helps hold the body upright. This lumbar muscle can become very sore and painful after periods of bending at the waist and lifting. This muscle can be strengthened and trained for lifting by regular exercise but, unless that has been already done, get a shovel that does not make you bend down.

When you lift snow and then rotate to dump it, you place a strain on the disks which are between the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers, cushioning them. Lifting and twisting can cause the vertebrae to slip out of position, possible herniate, which causes pressure on the nearby nerve roots or spinal cord. This injury can be avoided by turning your entire body and facing the spot where you want to dump the snow.

Another less common injury, known as a clay shoveler's fracture, occurs when the snow is wet and sticks to the shovel when you try to throw it up and back over your head or shoulder. The shear force of the muscles can actually break the tip off a vertebra causing severe burning pain, usually between the shoulder blades. This injury can be avoided by carrying the snow to the dumping place and avoiding twisting your body as you drop it. Remember, when carrying snow, do not hold the shovel out from your body because this puts too much weight on your spine.

When selecting a shovel, go for the lighter weight, plastic model instead of a heavier metal one. When using the old fashioned, flatter shovel, you have to bend down, scoop up the snow, lift it, and throw it out of the way. Doing this puts your lower back into several positions just to injury. An ergonomically correct shovel has a curve in the handle and is designed to reduce or eliminate bending and decrease lifting.

Before Starting To Shovel, Warm Up By:

  • Running in place while inside
  • Go up and down stairs several times.
  • Stretching the muscles of your arms and back.

While Shoveling :

  • Maintain good posture
  • Do not twist and rotate your back
  • Bend at the knees when lifting

Snow shoveling is a heavy task that can be handled if you maintain good posture and practice the basics of back safety.