Fireproof the Movie Review

A flower may wither, but, will it die? That depends on you.

Fireproof the Movie is a story of anticipation that captivates you from the very opening scene as Captain Caleb Holt, played by Kirk Cameron, is reaming out another fireman (Eric Harmon) about leaving his partner at the scene of fire a fire. Since the buddy system is required to save lives, a man alone in a fire may indicate his partner has fallen. At home, Caleb's buddy is his wife Katherine, played by Erin Bethea. There is no friendship there and cinematically, they are ships passing in the night. When they speak, all guns fire on both sides leaving the audience wondering how this will ever work itself out.

Enter mom and dad (John and Cheryl Holt) as Caleb is ready to divorce Katherine. Dad has no words of wisdom except for hope to put his plans on hold for forty days and take the "forty day dare." Day one is rough, but it's going to get better, right?

Christians who come to this movie will not be disappointed, as will non-Christians who see a message of hope with a little grace in the mix. How can two people come together when she is considering another love interest, and his thrills come from the internet? How long can they pass in the night before love is reignited, or will it be?

As a movie, I was glad Fireproof did not use tired themes like putting fireman Caleb in a life and death situation with Katherine sitting by his deathbed replaying their lives until she realizes she loves him. The supporting cast in the fire department (Ken Bevel, Wayne Floyd, and Eric Young) was great demonstrating what it takes to be a man's man. The comic relief of a not-trying-to-be-nosy neighbor added to the fun of this movie. Also inspiring was the not so usual credits, where the volunteers and donors were recognized for helping to bring this moving to the big screen.

This movie is a joy to watch with your spouse, your best friend, or anyone who has struggled with anything in their marriage over their lifetime. I highly recommend it.

Wallpaper Removal Tips 101

So you are thinking of getting rid of the wallpaper your mom have from the 1980s? I am sure you are thinking of peeling that thing off the wall. I am sure you are wishing that you can just peel that wallpaper and rip it apart and get new fresh paint on that wall. Does not that sound all that easy, just peel and remove that ugly out dated wallpaper?

Let me tell you, as easy as it sounds it is not all that simple. Well, it is not "that" simple. There are many factors that come in to play while planning wallpaper removal before you go on about stripping the paper. But once you understand what is really happening below the surface, wallpaper removal becomes quite simple.

First and foremost thing you need to keep in mind is that removing wallpaper is not like peeling a skin off of an orange. It is going to be lot messier then that. And unfortunately, there is no other way around it. Small, large bits and pieces of wet paper, covered in adhesive, will end up on and stuck to everything that is not covered. The good thing is, it cleans up easily with some soap and water.

To begin with, you can minimize or remove the opportunities of creating any kind of mess by taking the time to cover the furniture with inexpensive plastic drop. Move the furniture away from the wall, if possible by at least three feet, to the center of the room. Now that you have prepared the work area, you are ready. Start by finding an edge and attempt to peel the paper off. Heavy vinyl and fabric wall coverings will just peel right off the wall while other types will split, leaving a layer of plain paper on the wall. This is where things get trickier. When you start peeling off the plain paper, it will come off in bits and pieces.

Now if you had one of those heavy vinyl or fabric wall paper, you are done since it just peels right off the wall. But for those of you who have something other then that, you have little bit more work to do before you go out on your deck or sit in your backyard stretching and sipping coolers. What you are going to need now is warm water and a sponge. You can begin by applying little warm water to loosen the bond between the wall, the adhesive and the paper. Once you apply the water using the sponge, start peeling the paper slowly. Be sure not to apply water that could run down the wall and create mess on the flooring.

Now the largest secret to wallpaper removal! All you have got to do is, wait! That is right, wait. Moisten the area again and wait some more. It typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the planned paper to completely soften the adhesive beneath. At this point, you can take a small knife, around 6 inches long, and slide underneath the moist paper. You can then use the knife to remove the paper from the wall. Paper will come off easily and in long strips. You can re-moisten the paper if you feel the paper is dry.

Why Should You Have a Fireproof Safe?

Keeping the valuable processes in a regular locked cabinet may prevent them from theft, but certainly not from fire. However, fireproof safes have proved to protect the valuables from fire opponents and theft.

These are available in different sizes and shapes. While small, compact safes are ideal for house usage; large fireproof safes are used by the businesses. All of them are made of thick steel and they are made fire resistant by lining the interior with insulating material. Depending on the insulation layer, ability of the safe to resist temperature variations.

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is an independent, third-party; product testing and certification organization that provides accepted standards for grading the fireproof safes depending on their resistance to fire. A low UL grade safe is more resistant to high temperature. Fireproof safes that are used to protect the paper documents should have UL grade 350 as paper burns at 400 degree Fahrenheit. These fireproof file cabinets are available in different shapes such as vertical fireproof file cabinet, lateral fireproof cabinet and side tab or end tab file cabinets. Depending on the size of the paper documents and the preferred organization of files, consumers can select suitable safe.

Fireproof safe that can protect paper document can not protect electronic media files like DVDs, CDs and floppies. These fragile media files are more susceptible to heat. Fireproof media safe require UL grade 125 to protect electronic media files. Fireproof media safe also protects their contents from dust, magnetic field and humidity. Due to the high protection they offer, the price of the fireproof media safe is slightly higher than the regular fireproof safes.

Today's safes have a rigid and sleek body that makes the installation varies easy. They can be installed under floor or in the wall; either way they are understood. Under floor safes are very secure and their installation needs to be checked by an engineer to assess the strength of the floor that supports the safe. However, security of wall safe depends on the wall it is fitted in.

Fireproof safe are available in wide range of prices. Their price depends on the resistance they offer to fire, the locking system and the size. While a low end they cost about $ 50, a high end fireproof safe can cost $ 7000. A high end one is usually made water resistant as well. Protection of valuable assets from natural calamities and manmade disasters is possible with a good fireproof safe.

8 Reasons to Build Your Fireplace With Manufactured Stone Veneer

A fireplace is often the centerpiece of a home, where friends and family gather to relax and converse. It seems to epitomize comfort and luxury, warmth and charm. Yet, for many homes a natural stone fireplace is not a practical option. Besides the high cost of the stone itself, the weight of the mantel-piece, the surround, and the hearth usually means building the firebox and chimney in an outside wall above a solid foundation, or – for an interior design – seriously reinforcing the floor.

Fortunately, there is another option. Manufactured product from a quality supplier provides many of the advantages of natural stone without any of the drawbacks.

Artificial product perfectly matches the appearance of natural stone.

Whether it's the rough-hewn look of fieldstone or the gentle contours of streamstone, quality manufactured stone perfectly emulates the look and feel of natural stone it can fool even experienced masons.

This remarkable achievement comes from using a formulation of Portland cement, natural aggregates, and carefully selected pigments in meticulously detailed molds modeled after natural stone. The result is a finished product mainly indistinguishable from the original.

Artificial rock is light weight.

Manufactured product typically weighs much less than natural stone, about two-thirds the weight of natural stone veneer and less than a quarter the weight of full-block natural stone. This provides significant savings in shipping and labor costs, as well as reducing the need for costly structural reinforcing.

Faux stone is easy to install.

Thanks to its light weight and convenient sizes and shapes, with a little planning and attention to detail even weekend handymen can successfully install artificial stone veneer. All that's required is following the vendor's simple instructions and observing basic precutions.

Other than occasional a circular saw with a masonry blade for cutting stones to size, there's no need for many of the heavy-duty power tools often required when working with natural stone. Standard hand masonry tools will do.

Artificial stone can be installed on virtually any wall.

Since its light weight eliminates the need for special feet and foundations, and since it can be applied to any structural sound wall surface, artificial stone veneer is a perfect building material for fireplaces. It simplifies construction of new fireplaces and remodeling of older, plain brick units.

Manufactured stone is durable and maintenance-free.

Reputable manufacturers of artificial stone provide a 50 year warranty on their product, but that's not the limit of the stone's life-expectancy.

Properly applied, quality manufactured product can be expected to last much longer, even on external walls subject to the elements. Inside a home, on a fireplace for example, manufactured stone veneer should provide service for many generations.

Faux Rock is safe for fireplaces.

Obviously, when constructing a wood or gas-burning fireplace, the flammability of the building materials is a concern. By its very nature, manufactured stone is non-combustible. It contributes zero fuel and produces no smoke.

Artificial stone offers wide variety.

Available in dozens of different styles, textures, and colors, artificial stone veneer can emulate any natural stone. This gives you broad flexibility in designing a fireplace that perfectly complements your home and lifestyle, whether traditional or contemporary.

Manufactured Rock is less expensive than natural stone.

Using manufactured stone veneer saves you money in three ways. First, the product itself costs less than natural stone.

Second, because artificial stone veneer weighs so much less than natural stone, the cost to ship the stone to your job site – which can be prohibitive for natural stone – is much less.

Third, labor costs are usually lower, since manufactured stone is lighter and easier to work with. Masons can install the product faster, saving both time and money.

Make the right choice.

Once you've decided on artificial stone veneer for your fireplace, the next question is where to obtain it. Choose a vendor that offers a sound warranty, a wide selection of stone, and that has a reputation for quality as solid as the stone itself.

Top 9 Questions About Screen Projectors

Q) What does an aspect ratio mean?

A) This is the width of your screen divided by its height. An aspect ratio of 16:9 is the same as 1.78:1 and an aspect ratio of 4:3 is the same as 1.33:1.

Q) What aspect ratio projector screen should I choose?

A) Choose an aspect ratio that corresponds to your projector’s application: for NTSC Video choose 4:3 and for HTDV choose 16:9.

Q) What is a 1:1 project screen?

A) This is a square project screen that is typically used with overhead projectors.

Q) What does “Gain” mean?

A) The term Gain is used to measure the reflective quality of the screen surface. Choose a projector screens with higher gain if the brightness of your projector’s lamp isn’t enough for your room.

Q) What size projector screens should I buy?

A) Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to answer this question – the size of your screen should be chosen after taking into consideration the resolution and the brightness of your projector, the ambient light in the room, the dimensions of the room, the number of seats and their arrangement, as well as the distance between the screen and the projector.

Q) Do I need white or gray screen?

A) This depends on your particular circumstances, but if you have a relatively new projector and dark home thither room, white screen is probably the better choice. In the case of abundant ambient light that falls directly on the screen, you might opt in for grey screen.

Q) Will roll-up screens develop waves over time?

A Projector screens that aren’t tab tensioned are likely to develop waves over time, but they are also more affordable.

Q) What screen surface should I choose?

A) This depends on number of different factors like ambient light, the projection method, the arrangement of the seats, the brightness of the projector, and the position of the projector among others. Many screen manufacturers have online calculators that will help you choose the best screen surface for your particular circumstances.

Q) How should I clean my projector screens?

A) Refer to the manufacturer’s manual since this largely depends on the surface material. In most instances dry cloth will remove the dust, but if you have to take care of stains, check the manufacturer’s recommendation about the kind of detergent that you can use.

Do You Work On Concrete Floors? Do You Know The Dangers? Do You Want A Solution?

Being a production worker for many years, I have experienced many pains associated with working on different types of concrete floors. Working on floors ranged from very smooth to extremely rough, the output is the same – painful body parts.

Things to consider while working on concrete floors are the effects that it has on your body parts. Examples will be given for you regarding: Picking the correct shoe / boot, sore feet, back pain, knee pain, hip pain, and tightening of the shoulders and neck area. And I will give you a solution on how to resolve all of these issues.

Picking the Correct Work Shoe – Steel toe boots add an additional stress to your feet. The weight of the boot is more than your shoes, so there before by the end of your first couple of shifts your legs will be sore. Make sure the shoes you choose to work in is the most important purchase you will make. Wear the type of socks that you intend to wear daily at work when trying on your new boot. Walk around in the boot for a few minutes. You will be spending hours a day in this boot / shoe, so look for comfort and width. Do not worry about being stylish. Work shoes do not offer many styles. The saying "you get what you pay for" applies in this area. Do not be cheap!

Sore Feet – Spending the majority of the day on your feet, day after day, can cause plantar faciitis. Plantar faciitis is a inflamed tissue in the shape of a rubber band that goes along the bottom of your foot. Damage to this area will cause you great pain in the heel. Waking up in the morning, taking that first step is extremely painful. Once you are up and moving the pain will lessen. Each time that you relax and try to walk again you will feel pain. Rest, ice, and ibuprofen was what the doctor ordered.

Back Pain – Standing in stationary positions on concrete floors can cause lower back problems. Concrete floors have no shock absorbency, therefore causing muscle damage that could be permanent. Each impact step taken on concrete floors radiates through the entire leg, causing damage. Relax, ice, and anti-inflammatory medicine. In some cases heat is also used. If your back does not feel better soon. You should consult a physician. Always notify your safety leader at the job-site, to make him / her aware of the situation. Doctors have been doing back surgeries for many years. Back surgeries cost from $ 80,000 to $ 150,000, without insurance.

Knee Pain – Due to lack of shock absorbency, the knee also sufferers damage. With each step your knee is very much involved. The knee is the largest joint in the body. Again with the concrete surface there is no shock absorbency so the knee will feel the total impact of every single step. The way you walk, the speed at which you walk, sudden stops, sudden turns and twist all effect your knees. Notify your safety leader at the job-site, to make him / her aware of the situation. Knee replacement surgery cost between $ 20,000 – $ 35,000, without insurance.

Hip Pain – Hip pain is a horrible dull pain. Remember each step that you take on concrete floor radiates upwards, from the foot to the calf, calf to the knee, knee to the hip. When walking, each step you take the hip is effected. With no shock absorptiness in the floor this causes a jarring effect on the sockets in the hips. This is something that people do not think much about until they have worked for a long time and start feeling the pain. By the time that they realize what has happened, the damage is already beginning. Hip degeneration is in progress, and arthritis aches and pains have started. Again make sure that the safety leader is informed about any pain that you are experiencing. Luckily the doctors are mastering hip replacement, although expensive, this is an option one has available. Hip replacement surgery cost $ 32,000 to $ 44,000, without insurance.

Neck and Shoulder Pain – Believe it or not, the way that you stand and posture yourself at your workstation can cause pain in the neck and shoulders. If you have to look down constantly to do the tasks required for long periods of time, this will cause stress on your neck and shoulders. Make sure that you are doing stretches and warm up before you begin your day at work. Get a good nights rest, drink plenty of water throughout the day. Keep your body hydrated! If you are allowed to rotate to new positions on the production line, request to do so when you notice pains. Work well with your co-workers, so they will be willing to switch positions with you. When you first notice the pain beginning, notify the safety leader.

So as you can see there are many reasons you should not be working on concrete floors. Why do people work in jobs that hurt their bodies?

The only jobs that paid well were production type jobs. So therefore, I worked this job for many years and my body paid the price. It was not purchasing better shoes, it was not a visit to a different doctor, it was not even rotating positions with another co-worker. I had to totally change my life. I would like to share this information with you.

I would like for you to visit my website: http://diannarivera.com

How to Make Your Penis Bigger

Most men are very sensitive about the size of their penis. They are worried that their organ is not big enough. This is perfectly natural and if you want to know how to make your manhood bigger in both length and girth, then this article will show you how you can achieve this. You can do this simply by following a proven and safe method which I will tell you about.

Just about all men feel self-conscious about the size of their member. Having a small male organ can cause you to worry about how you are seen by women and about your sexual performance in the bedroom, having a small male organ can really let you down, especially if a woman laughs at it. It can affect all parts of your life, you may be put off from doing sports or going to the gym because of the thought of getting undressed in the locker room in front of other men who all seem to have much larger penises than you.

This worry and stress can have a negative impact on your self-confidence and spill over into other parts of your life, making you an all-round less confident person. You may even begin to doubt your masculinity and manliness. Low self-esteem caused by having a small penis can negatively affect your work life, leisure pursuits and your personal relationships. It really can be quite devastating, psychologically and damaging to your self-esteem.

It is a problem a lot of men have, and really there is no need at all to have this problem. There is absolutely nothing wrong with desiring a bigger, stronger, longer and thicker manhood. This desire is perfectly natural and what’s more you can easily achieve this if you follow the right plan.

Let me tell you a secret here, it is a myth that the size of your member is determined by your body size, your build, or the size of your hands and feet. This is just plain wrong.

The average length of an erect male organ according to research is between 5.1 to 5.7 inches. But by following a series of penis enlargement exercises you can expect to permanently increase the length of your manhood from 5 inches to 7 inches at least, if you are willing to put in the required work and do the correct enlargement exercises.

How to make your penis bigger?

If you want to make your penis grow longer and thicker and you find yourself day after day, asking yourself the questions: ” how do I make my penis bigger?” and ” how do I make my penis larger without using enlargement pills or surgery?” Then you have found the solution to your problem and the answers to your questions.

This method is safe, cheap, does not involve expensive and dangerous surgery or hanging weights to your manhood. There is no need to use expensive and potentially dangerous drugs, you can make your penis bigger without using pills. Your worry and emotional stress over this has to stop right now, because here is the answer:

The best way to a bigger penis is to dedicate yourself to following a guaranteed and proven system of penis enlargement exercises. Using tried and tested penis enlargement techniques that have been proven over time to work effectively is the most successful method.

Natural penis enlargement exercises will make your penis bigger safely, without using other ways like a pumping device or pills. They will help strengthen your PC muscle and increase the capacity of the spongy areas of soft tissue which fill with blood when you get an erection (these areas are called the corpus cavernosum and the corpus spongiosum). They will increase your ability to have stronger erections and to ejaculate sperm more powerfully.

Because you have increased the strength of your PC muscle, (the proper name for this is the pubococcygeus muscle) you will have much more stamina and self-control and will be able to last much longer in bed when having sexual intercourse.

When you have a very strong PC muscle you should be able to choose when your ejaculation happens and hold it off until you want to, you will be able to control it. This is great to your girlfriend or wife because women prefer a man who can last longer in bed and give them a lot of pleasure before releasing their semen. Using male enhancement products such as pills or surgery will not achieve these effects as well as the method of using free exercise to enlarge your manhood.

How long will it take?

The honest answer to this question is that you will not see results overnight. It will take several weeks to see growth and then several months more before you reach your goals. I would rather give you an honest answer to this question than tell you that immediate results are possible. It is much like going to the gym and lifting weights in order to increase the size of your muscles and build your strength. You have to put in some effort in order to achieve the gains that you desire. These gains are however permanent, and you will have a larger and more impressive manhood to be proud of for the rest of your life.

When you use these methods to make your penis larger you will of course start to feel more confident about your body. You will find it easier to approach women and ask them out on dates, you will feel confident about your member and it size, length and girth. You will probably even look for any excuse to take your clothes off such as at the gym or health club. When you see the results from using these exercises it will make you a more confident person, feel better about yourself and your body and proud of your larger penis size.

In conclusion, if you are one of those people concerned about your penile size and would like it to be much bigger, then the best plan would be for you to start a penis exercise regime as soon as possible. You cannot get a bigger manhood in one day, but you should see some good results in just a few weeks and reach your goal in a few months.

Male organ enlargement is similar to a lot of worthwhile things in life, it takes dedication perseverance and patience to a enlarge your penis and make your penis bigger naturally. But once you have achieved an increase in size, you will have it for life and all the hard work will seem worthwhile. So now that you have a plan of action ready to put in place all you need to do now is get a guide and get started and you will be one step closer to achieving your ultimate goal of having a considerably larger than average penis size.

How to Turn Your Articles Into Lean, Mean, Lead-Generating Machines

If it's one thing I can not stand it's a hassle – something that takes too long or is too hard to put in place. I want results and I want it right now. I'm not some big corporation with years to build a brand. I want sales immediately, not years from now.

That's why writing short articles is so important to making article marketing work for you. May consumers are just like me and they want solutions to their challenges now, now now! That's a good thing. Because if you provide results, they'll buy from you just as fast.

So how long does the article have to be?

Short answer : 500 to 700 words.

Long answer : If you can not say it in under 700 words do you really have a strong command of the subject matter?

The bottom line is writing short, concise articles takes expert status. If you are not got it, baby, then work hard until you've learned the ropes.

3 Ways to Cut the Fat from Your Articles

Since I spent several years editing, proofreading and generally skewering the writing of other journalists I can give you a few points for cutting down long articles into ezine article. My advice: Put your articles on a word-count diet. Instead of counting carbs, count how many words it will take to get your point across. Here are three tips that can help:

Article Weight Loss Tip # 1: Split those articles up.

If you have an article that's 1,200 words long, make it into two 600-word articles.

Article Weight Loss Tip # 2: It's all about the themes, baby.

Stick with one theme for each article you write and just expound on it. Really work to dissect one theme or piece of advice to solve a key problem everyone in your industry is facing. For accountants right now a good theme would be balancing your current rush of clients with cultivating new business relationships, keeping the new leads coming in so that when tax season is over you still have a steady stream of income.

Article Weight Loss Tip # 3: Use subheads, bullet points and numbered lists to break up your content. Scan your article and pull out the pieces of advice you give through the piece. More often than not you're telling people here and there what they should do to solve a problem. Put that information all in one place and you'll be surprised at how much you'll cut from the article.

To keep your articles lean and mean you'll want to focus more on giving the advice to solving a problem more than anything else. Really bring home that fact that you've been where your teams are now and you know the way to "freedom" from those challenges they're facing now.

That's what makes you the expert – and the one who can command top dollar for your products and services.

Shade Structures Can Keep Both Rain and Sun Out

When you stand underneath a shade sail you feel like you are in the open. Commercial grade materials are usually guaranteed for 5- 10 years and properly designed sails last a long time.

A traditional solution, sails have been used in Australia for many years. Natural looking they offer a permanent alternative to parasols, carports and roofed areas. One of the problems with temporary shade solutions like umbrellas is that you have to keep putting them away. If you do not, they can fade and even rot. Shade sails remove this worry and UV stabilized materials combined with non-rusting fixings make them a long term proposition. By far the lowest cost solution is to find existing load bearing points to fix to as only a shade cloth and fixing devices are needed.

For precious garden beds where sun and rain needs regulating. In between sail cloths can be used which let a certain amount of sunlight and water to get through. Garden shade sails offer comfort and style. Because sizes usually start from 3m they're ideal for smaller gardens. Crafted in a triangular shape, they're perfect for those tricky corners too.

Shade materials range from straight shade cloth which offer 80% plus shade cover to solid PVC which is fully waterproof as well as UV proof. Shade only cloths have an open weave which can let heat escape from underneath which can make areas considerably cooler to stand under during the heat of the day. PVC fabrics are fully waterproof and can be supplied in architectural grade quality. Cost typically is 2-3 times more expensive than commercial shade fabrics.UV resistance varies a little by cloth manufacturer and light colors give less shade than dark.

When considering designs, triangular shaped sails can be overlapped to give a sculptural look. Graceful and with strong visual impact, the downside is that triangle sails can cost more to cover the same area. Rectangular shapes give more shade cover and are more cost effective.

Color choice nowdays is huge, from neutral tones that can blend in with a building's facade or leafy environment. For a more impactful statement, bright colors can range from yellow to bold oranges and pink.

Measuring up properly is critical whether it is a professional installation or a DIY job. Point to point measures need to be taken from the fixing areas and allowances made for fixing devices and curvature under tension.

Sails work best when sloped as this gives stability and water shedding. The last thing you want is your sail to have a pool of water left inside. DIY or professionally installed, shade sails are worth comparatively costing to other structures.

Awnings Provide Much Needed Shade to Patio Areas

Summer time can be a great time to enjoy the outside spaces around your home, but the sun can be a brutal companion. In order to get some much needed reply from its powerful gaze you should consider going with a patio awning. These devices can provide some much needed protection from the sun. There are two main reasons that you might want to get protection from the sun, to protect yourself and your patio furniture from harmful UV rays and to provide a cooler environment in which to relax.

There is little doubt that UV rays have been linked to an increase in the occurrence of skin cancer. There is also lots of evidence that it increases the appearance of wrinkles in the skin as well. If you doubt it, just watch some TV and you will see tons of commercials talking about the latest cream to help protect your skin from these two ill effects of its life giving rays.

But you do not need a lotion to protect you from the sun, you need a patio awning. An awning will keep you safe from the sun while also protecting your furniture as well. Just like your skin, the fabric on your furniture does not like to be exposed to the sun either. The sun's rays do two things to most patio furniture: fades its color and breaks down its fabric, making it more prone to suffer from normal wear and tear.

Getting an awning to provide constant shade in the summer months will help keep your skin safe and your furniture looking as good as the day that you bought it.

The second thing that patio awnings can help do for your patio is to make the environment much, much cooler. You see, much of the heat generated on concrete patios is directly related to the direct sunlight shining down from above and then reflective off of the white concrete surface below. Not only can this be extremely hot, it can also be blinding to the eyes as well. By erecting a protective surface between you, your patio floor, and your patio furniture and the sun you will cut out the primary source of heat (direct sunlight) and a secondary source (the reflection off the white concrete) in one fell swoop.

The best thing about patio awnings is that you get all this roled up in one affordable package. You also have a lot of choice as to how you want the awning to look. You have a choice of materials in wood, fabric, or aluminum. You even have a wide array of colors to choose from as well.

With a patio awning you get robust protection from the sun in one very cost effective package.

Nasty Spots on the Pavement?

Lets look at the Engine oil first.

Engine Oil After you had an oil change, a few drops here and there are ok, and do not forget an older engine with older seals may constantly leak a little. If that is the case, you might want to get it checked, have some bolts re tightened or seals replaced at the oil pan and on top around the valve cover. The oil filter might get a little loose or the bolts at the oil pan are loose too, causing it to leak. In this case, just check all the bolts, and turn the oil filter a little bit more. Easy steps to do and cheap!

Antifreeze / Engine Coolant Coolant can be either green, yellow or blue depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Most vehicles have a radiator located just behind the grill. Not enough antifreeze / coolant will cause the engine to overheat. There is usually an "overflow or fill" tank where you can add antifreeze / coolant to your cooling system. If need be add some more fluid to the overflow reservoir, not to the radiator directly, and WARNING; never open any of those caps when the engine is hot … it will splash out like a spewing volcano leaving you with some nasty burns.

Clear Water Most vehicles today are equipped with air conditioning, and what you see dripping even after the engine is shut down, is nothing more than condensation from the air conditioning system. On most vehicles you see this in front of the passenger side on your car, where the air conditioning system is located.

Brake Fluid Brake fluid is clear and oily to the touch with a sweet smell on your hand. The first thing to look at is the cover at the brake cylinder. Many times when you check the fluid in a hurry and do not shut the cap properly, it will leak out. Whenever you depress the brake pedal, you inflict a lot of pressure into the system and there are many points where it could leak. If you have a leak somewhere along the line, it will have to be replaced. If you see something on the inside of the tire that looks like water, most probably, it is break fluid leaking from a caliper on the wheel. That too, needs to be replaced. While leakage of the brake system is rare, you'll probably feel a 'soft or spongy' brake pedal feel when depressing the brakes, which can lead to brake failure. A stop to the mechanic is no option. A faulty break system can be deadly!

Transmission Fluid This fluid is typically red, when old or overheated, brownish or when contaminated or diluted with foreign liquids it will turn to a 'milky-pink' color. Some transmission fluids of certain vehicles may be clear or amber in color. If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is next to the side of your engine underneath the hood. If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is located in the center of your vehicle just under the dash under that 'hump' in the center. Should you have a leak, to refill you need to take the dip stick out, and pour it trough a funnel into the dip stick line.

Power Steering Fluid Some vehicle manufacturers may use a fluid that is almost clear or yellowish / amber. The power steering reservoir is typically mounted at the power steering pump which driven by a belt on the engine. Leaks generally occurs within the power steering lines and sometimes also at the "rack". In that case it will have to be replaced.

Windshield Washer Fluid Pink or blue fluid, sometimes a little foaming, would indicate that your windshield washer reservoir is leaking. For the front windshield, this reservoir is under the hood in the engine compartment. For vehicles with rear wipers, it's usually mounted behind a panel in the rear left or right side of SUV's and Vans.

Gasoline Gasoline is a clear fluid with a strong smell and is highly flammable. Stored in the gas tank usually located at the rear of your vehicle. The tank is made out of metal or depending on vehicle manufacturers, heavy plastic. Leaks are mostly detected by a gasoline smell in the cabin. Fuel lines can burst or rupture. Connection points are another point of leakage, rarely however. If there is continued fuel odor in the car, it should be checked out as soon as possible. A broken line in the engine compartment that is spewing fuel on to the hot engine could spell a disaster.

Diesel Fuel Diesel fuel looks like light oil. While not as flammable as gasoline, it can ignite in the right conditions. Just as with gasoline, a leak should be taken care of as soon as possible.

Gear Oil Gear oil is a light tan or black and is considered 'heavy' or thick oil. Leaks can occur in you manual transmissions, differential (rear-end on rear-wheel-drive vehicles) or axle. Since gear oil is used widely among certain components, a gear oil leak may be present at a number of locations underneath a vehicle. Any leaks should be taken care of early; the longer you wait, the more expensive the repairs are going to be.

Battery Acid Is a clear fluid that contains sulfuric acid and will smell like rotten eggs. When dry, it will show an almost salty white appearance. For a leaky battery, there is only one cure; replace immediately! Battery acid is corrosive and may damage your paint and any contact with skin is harmful. Wash your hands with water as soon as possible, do not touch no facial parts with your fingers while dirty!

Shock and Strut Fluid Shock and strut fluid is typically a heavy dark brown oil. Evidence of leakage is by an external stains on the shock or strut housing. On struts and shocks there is nothing to repair or refill, they must be replaced preferably in pairs, mostly starting with the front pair first.

By taking care of drippings from your car, you may ensure a longer life of your car and preserve your nerves for other events of which you might not have control over!

The Lighter Side of Bridge – Get a Giggle From Your Bridge Game

The Umpire Strikes Back

A scream for the Director frequently disrupted the game for the other players. On one occasion when the stillness of the game was shattered by a raucous shout of 'Di-rek-tor', the Director went to the microphone and softly, oh so softly, said:

'Who called? Please raise your paw. '

In major events, it is common to use 'silent bidding'. Instead of the bids being called out, they are written on a special bidding pad. This has many advantages. It cuts down the noise level, it reduces the chances of overhearing another table, it cuts out the need for a review of the bidding and it eliminates the arguments about the final contract.

Before silent bidding came into vogue, this incident took place at a club in New Zealand:

North: No bid.

East: Double.

The Director was called and East explained that he did not hear North's pass, but heard a bid at the next table. Thinking that was what North bid, East doubled.

North: May I ask East what he thought I bid?

Director: No, you can not.

North: Well, may I go over to the other table and ask for a review of their auction?

You know things may not go well for your side when there's a dispute at the table and you suggest that the Director be called and your sweet young actor raises her hand and calls out: 'Dar-ling' !!

Actually, Directors tend to be tough on their spouses and friends so that there can be no possibility of a charge of bias. Also, many Directors bend over backwards to try to keep everyone happy, an impossible task.

When the Director was called to a table to resolve a dispute, everyone was talking at once, so the Director hollered 'Quiet!' When the fracas abated, he continued:

'Now, let me hear the details from each side in turn.'

North then proceeded to tell his version of what had happened. At the end, the Director said: 'You're right.'

East then wave his version of what had taken place and this was radically different from North's account. At the end of East's tale, the Director said,

'You're right.'

South then remonstrated: 'But that can not be so. First you said North was right. Then you said East was right. They can not both be right. '

'You're right, too,' replied the Director.

The call was loud and clear:

'Di-rek-tor!'

The Director hurried over to the table:

'Yes?'

'My opponent,' said the declarer, 'has made a premature gloat.'

A glove was found on the tournament floor and handed in to the Director who stepped up to the microphone and announced: 'Have I got a hand for you!'

The Director had just completed the scoring and mentioned to the players huddled around the scoring table that it was curious that there had been no slams that evening.

'Oh yes, there was,' piped up one of the players. 'On Board 7.'

The Director flipped over to Board 7, noticed that 12 of the scores were +680 and said, 'Yes, but no one bid it.'

'We did,' said the player. 'See that minus-100?'

In top class tournaments the organizers provide bidding boxes rather than use written bidding. These boxes which often hang from the table contain a card for every possible bid, together with special cards that read Tournament Director and Alert.

In the final of such an event, a player discovered that someone had spilled water over his bidding box. He called for the Director to ask for the box to be replaced.

When the Director arrived, the player's partner explained the position: 'Yeah, his bids are all wet. . . as usual. '

In a game where bidding boxes were in use, the auction had gone: 1 Diamond. . . 2 Spades. . . 2 Diamonds. . .

'Insufficient card,' said one of the opponents.

'Director,' shouted the North player.

When the Director scurried over, North complained: 'East bid before I had a chance to call'.

'Just as well,' said the Director, looking down. 'East is the dealer on this board.'

Sometimes a Director falls a score that is patently wrong. To discover what has happened, the Director can ask the players involved, but if they are in the middle of a hand, the Director does not like to disturb them and instead will often take a look at their personal score card, which may disclose what the correct entry on the traveling scoresheet should be.

On one such occasion, the Director approached a table and seeing that the players were busy playing, spoke softly to the dummy.

'Are you keeping a private score card?'

'Yes, I am.'

'Could I see it, please?'

'Certainly.' (Hands the card to the Director.)

'But it's blank?'

'I do not keep the scores, just the score card.'

A player who had forced never to lead from an ace died. When he awoke he found himself in a bridge game holding:

A 4 2
A 8 7 4
A 7 5 4
K 3

As he was on lead against 3C he did not need the Director to tell him where he was.

When there is a large tournament and there are many sections, it is not uncommon for a pair to wander to the wrong table and frequently into a wrong section. At the excellent Gold Coast Congress, held each February in Surfers Paradise by the Queensland Bridge Association, two pairs were both trying to sit in the East-West seats at the one table. Obviously one of the pairs was at the wrong table. The Director was called and, to sort out the problem, tried to ascertain the table the players had just left.

Director: Where have you come from?

Player, helpfully: Sydney.

During large tournaments, the Directors are assisted by 'caddies', young players or non-players who move the boards, put out the bidding pads, pick up the leftover supplies after a session, and so on. At one tournament, the Director sent out a new caddy near the end of the session to retrieve the excess supplies. Finally she came back, looking pale and exhausted and close to tears, with just seven pencils and a few table numbers.

'They just would not hand over their cards and their system cards,' she explained.

Overheard at a major tournament:

One caddy to another: 'I'm going outside for a couple of minutes. You stay here in case the Directors need someone to yell at. '

HHO Conversion Kit Assembly

HHO conversion kit assembly is far easier than most people think. Like most things, you still need decent instructions. In fact, after thirteen HHO conversions of my own, for friends and family, I still need to periodically refer to one of my manuals. Any kit will work quite adequately, but as technology improves it is worth getting the latest instructions available.

A proper working HHO conversion kit should comprise of an HHO generator, a vaporiser, an electronic control unit, an electrical circuit and a few feet of hose. The vehicle’s battery and ignition system are connected to the electronic control unit and HHO generator. The hose passes via the vaporiser to the carburetor’s intake hose.

Just out of interest, the top US states for HHO conversion, in descending order are Florida, Texas, Minnesota, Idaho and New York. Most kits are fitted to a Ford, GM, Toyota and VW vehicles.

The materials should cost between $100 and $200, depending on whether you choose platinum or stainless steel for your catalyst. Although a standard household toolbox should contain everything necessary for construction, if you really do need the help of a mechanic, he shouldn’t charge more than about $150 for assembly and fitting. This compares with spending over $6,000 on a pre-built kit which will perform no better than making your own.

Bear in mind that the IRS will give you a tax deduction of $2,000 if you add an HHO system to your vehicle. Look up their site. You will need to retain all your receipts as proof of conversion.

Elements of an HHO Conversion Kit

The generator is the most crucial component. It comprises of a housing and a catalyst. The housing must be capable of coping with very high temperatures. Something like CPVC is ideal for this.

A catalyst, or electrode, is placed within the casing. As an electric current, drawn from the vehicle’s battery, is passed through the water in the casing, the water reacts with the catalyst and HHO is formed. This oxyhydrogen gas rises to the surface and is passed via the vaporiser to the engine. This gas burns four to five times better than gasoline, which is where the savings are made.

Refer to your manual for the best type and design of catalyst. They are quick and easy to make (or simply buy) but opinions vary on the best material and design.

The vaporizer, or bubbler, is positioned between the generator and carburetor hose simply to avoid moisture entering the engine. They can be bought for a few dollars.

The control unit basically controls the electrical circuit and earths the system. They can be bought off the shelf or made yourself. A good unit will allow you to monitor and adjust the amperage passing through the water. If your own design looks fairly crude, you may want to mount it beneath the dashboard or in the glove compartment.

HHO conversion kit assembly really is as simple as that.

Sledgehammer Fitness

One of the more illegally tools in our fitness equipment armoury is the sledgehammer. Surprisingly the manual-labor tool doubles as a superb total body muscular endurance exercise, a great power developer, a very effective weight management method and a way to increase both aerobic and anaerobic endurance. In terms of cost, effectiveness and versatility, sledgehammer training makes a great addition to almost any training program.

Let's look at the reasons why sledgehammer training is so good …

1) Swinging a sledgehammer is a full body activity. Swinging the sledge uses just about every muscle group … the muscles of the forearms are used in gripping, the latisimus dorsi muscles of the back are used in the downward phase of a strike whereas the deltoid muscles around the shoulders are used in the return to the overhead position. The core including the rectus abdominus and obliques work very hard in the downward phase of sledgehammer swings along side the hip flexors. And even the legs get involved as they have to keep you anchored to the floor. You've been hard pressed to find a muscle group not involved in swinging the sledge!

2) Multiple fitness components can be trained with a sledgehammer. By using a variety of rep and set schemes (discussed later) it is possible to target power, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness and anaerobic conditioning. Regardless of your goal, sledgehammer training will probably make a fine addition to your current training routine.

3) Sledgehammer training is very cost effective. Many of you will have a sledgehammer in your basement or garage but even if you have to go and buy one especially for exercise they are very reasonably priced and easy to get hold of. My hammer came from a regular DIY store and cost $ 35 or about £ 16.00 and it's very unlikely it will ever wear out. As a striking surface I like to use and old SUV tire I picked up for free from a local tire dealer. Most tire dealers are only too happy for you to take away an old tire as they have to pay to have them collected.

4) Training with a sledgehammer is fun! You get to hit something as hard as you can, as often as you like with no legal ramifications! It's a great way to work off the frustrations of the day leaving you calm and relaxed after your workout. It's very therapeutic!

5) The techniques are very easy to learn. Swinging the sledgehammer is a natural movement which is quickly mastered. It's a very instant workout which, although simple, can be as demanding as you make it.

6) Sledgehammer training is great for fat loss. Any sledgehammer training will burn plenty of calories but probably the best way to get the most of your hammer workout is to utilize intervals. Interval training is probably the most efficient and effective method for fat loss available and out performances steady state cardio almost every time in calorie expenditure tests. Because of EPOC (what we used to call Oxygen Debt) your body will not only burn lots of energy during a sledgehammer workout but also continue burning energy at an elevated rate long after your workout has finished. It's like getting two workouts for the price of one! Combined with a calorie controlled diet, sledgehammer intervals are a superb way to shed a few pounds while toning and strengthening the whole body.

Equipment …

Obviously, you'll need a sledgehammer. You can pick one up from a regular DIY store for a very fair price. In terms of what weight to buy I suggest from 6lbs for lighter exercisers and those looking to swing at a higher cadence to 15lbs for larger exercisers or for those looking for a lower cadence. I am an experienced and fairly advanced exerciser and I mainly use a 10lb hammer and have only recently started using a 14lb hammer and I have never found my lighter hammer to provide an easy workout.

For striking surfaces you have a couple of choices. As previously mentioned, an old tire is a great target. A tire will absorb some of the shock of the impact, thus reducing noise, impact on the hands / wrists as well as making the hammer bounce slightly to aid in setting a good rhythm. This is my preferred striking surface and the one you will see in the video accompanying this article. Alternately you may choose to use your hammer outside where you may have access to a sand pit, an area of ​​soil, an old log stump or something similar. There is nothing wrong with any of these surfaces so long as they have a "bit of give" which will reduce the shock you'll feel when you use the hammer. I have used my hammer on a deserted beach which and that worked fine except I ended up with a light dusting of sand all over my sweaty head!

Which ever surface you choose for your sledgehammer training, always ensure you have plenty of space around you and clearance above your head and that the surface you are hitting has some "give" to it. Hard surfaces like concrete or cement are not recommended.

If you are using your hammer for high reps, I also suggest a pair of robust gloves. I use basic work gloves which I bought for about $ 10 to avoid any blisters however if I'm doing sets of 20 strikes or less I often do not use my gloves and have had no ill effects.

Swinging Techniques …

Swinging the hammer is not technically demanding but it does require some coordination. It's important to have sound technique before going crazy with your hammer otherwise there is a possibility of serious self-inflated injury. There are a few "schools of thought" when it comes to hammer swinging – all of which work well and it's really a matter of personal preference as to which one you select. In the accompanying video you'll see the following swing techniques … left hand lead, right hand lead, alternating hands and "no choke" where both hands are kept near the end of the hammer handle. In addition you'll also see me stand on the ground and also on top of the tire which provides a unique challenge for more advanced exercisers …

Routines …

Here are a few suggested methods for getting the most out of your hammer training. Be prepared to scale the workouts listed to suit your individual needs and goals. Make sure you warm up thoroughly before your workout and also start slowly, building up volume and intensity gradually so as to avoid any unnecessary soreness or possible injuries.

Timed intervals Decide on a work to rest ratio (eg 2 minutes of work, 1 minute of rest) and repeat for the desired number of sets. One of my favorite interval schemes is 3 minutes of striking (left hand on top) rest 1 minute, 3 minutes of striking (right hand on top) rest one minute, 3 minutes of alternating hand on top. This scheme provides a great finish to a regular workout or is a nice stand-alone mini session when time is short. No matter what set / rep scheme you select just make sure you work really hard during the "on" periods and you'll find interval training a very effective, time efficient training method.

The duration of your work / rest intervals is very much goal dependent …

  • Shorter sets eg less than 20 seconds are excellent for developing maximum force and therefore increasing muscle power
  • Medium length sets are ideal eg 45 – 90 seconds are ideal for improving muscular endurance and anaerobic conditioning
  • Longer sets eg 2 minutes and above are best suited to the development of aerobic fitness and muscular endurance.

Tabata intervals The Tabata Method is named after Dr. Izumi Tabata – a sports scientist from the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo, Japan and is a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) protocol which has been successfully used by the Japanese Olympic speed skating team among others to improve aerobic and anaerobic conditioning usage very brief workouts.

During his 1997 study Dr Tabata compared the effects of longer, lower intensity exercise with bouts of short very high intensity exercise. Using a unique interval training method the athletes participating in the study increased their aerobic fitness by 14% and anaerobic fitness by 28% in just 8 weeks! It's worth noting that the subjects Dr Tabata used for testing were already completed sportsmen and not just beginners which make this study even more astounding. Even more incredible is the fact that the total actual training time per week was an unbelievable 30 minutes.

The Tabata method involves performing 8 – 10 sets of 20 seconds very high intensity exercise separated with 10 second recovery periods giving a total training time = 4 – 5 minutes. The caveat of the Tabata Method is that all the puzzles have to be done at 100% intensity – an absolute flat out effort. You have to strive to perform as much work in each 20 second interval as possible and try to maintain that work rate for the 8 – 10 sets. The old adage that you can train long and easy, or short and hard has never been truer than when describing the Tabata Method! As with any type of exercise, Tabata Method should be preceded by an appropriate warm up of 5 – 10 minutes and followed by a cool down of similar duration. All in all the session could take as little as 15 minutes … perfect for anyone who is short on time but still wants great results from their training.

Repetition interviews With this system, instead of using time as our measure of work, you'll be using repetitions instead. For example you may do 20 strikes and then rest 30 seconds and repeat for as many sets as desired. Another one of my favorite sessions involves doing 20 strikes every minute for 10 – 15 minutes. Each set takes between 35 – 45 seconds leaving 15 – 25 seconds to rest before I start the next set. The beauty of sets starting on the minute is that you just need to be able to see the sweep hand of a clock so there is no need to push buttons or program intervals into a stop watch.

Timed density blocks Allocate a time block eg 5 or 10 minutes and aim to perform as many strikes as possible in the allotted time. Whenever this workout is repeated you should strive to do more reps than the last time

Timed repetitions Simply set your self a repetition goal and try to complete it as short a time as possible eg 300 swings, 500 swings or even 1000 swings. Whenever you repeat this workout you should strive to do it quicker than before.

Hammer & callisthenic combinations Alternate hammer swings with free-standing bodyweight exercises such as squats or lunges as seen in the later part of the video. This ensures the lower body gets a good workout along with the upper body and is a great way of getting a lot done in a short time.

As I'm sure you can see, sledgehammer training is a very versatile training method that can suit a large number of training goals so why not give it a go – I'm sure you'll find it both fun and an effective workout.

Safety Precautions for Painters

When painting your home yourself –you should adhere to some safety precautions. It is important to remember that all paintings have chemicals in them that will vary in consistency. If you or anyone else else inhales these chemical fumes, it could pose a health hazards. Read all the information that is printed on the cans of any paint, solvents, and paint strippers you are using.

Health risk precautions

• Do not paint for long periods and take short breaks to get some fresh air.
• If you start to feel dizzy, have watery eyes, or nauseous, stop, and go outside to get some fresh air.
• Make sure that the room you are painting has good ventilation

General safety precautions

• It is crucial that you choose the right type of paint as there are two different types: latex / water-based or oil based / alkyd, which is a type of resin paint. Most of the oil-based paints contain thinners. These thinners emit fumes that are poisonous because they are made of volatile organic compounds (VOC) so look for paintings that are marked 0 VOC, which means that they are environment-friendly. This type of paint does dry quickly. It is advisable that when painting indoors that you use latex paint.
• If you have to use paint stripper to remove the old paint try to never get it into your nose or eyes so wear a face mask. Also, make sure that the room is well ventilated and wear chemical resistant gloves. Before you use it, make sure that you carefully read the instructions on the can. You should use the one that has solvents that quickly evaporate.
• Even if the paintings do not appear to have an odor they can contain toxic vapors that if inhaled can be dangerous. This is why it is important that you have the windows open to get a cross breeze or even use fans. You should wear fitted painter's gloves and masks or the disposable nose masks. They will effectively keep out the odors and dust while painting.
• Painters should also use drop cloths to protect the floors from paint spills or drops from the brushes or rollers. It is best if you use the canvas drop cloths because the plastic drop cloths are slippery. You can use the plastic ones to cover the furniture and other things in the room if you paint the ceiling.
• When using a ladder to reach the higher parts of the room or ceiling make sure that it is placed firmly on an even surface. Do not stand on the very top to reach the ceiling.
• Wash your hands thoroughly when done to make sure that the toxic chemicals are not absorbed into the skin.