5 Decorating Ideas for Small Kitchens

Having a small kitchen can be painful. It seems difficult enough just to function in such a small space, and decorating it nicely can feel like an impossibility. Have hope though, there are several excellent ways to decorate tiny kitchens. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. New cabinet knobs and handles – Changing your cabinet knobs or handles can make a world of difference in how your kitchen looks or feels. There are a variety of themed kitchen cabinet knobs such as those shown here: [http://www.stylishfinds.com/decor/5/cute-kitchen-cabinet-knobs/] – or you can go with traditional shapes, colors and styles instead.

2. Throw rugs – Throw and area rugs don’t have to be large. In fact you’ll find many small ones designed specifically for use in the kitchen or bathroom. Put a nice weaved rug on the floor in front of your kitchen sink or stove for instance, and you’ll create a cozy decorative touch to the kitchen without sacraficing limited space.

3. Towels and hot pads – This may seem obvious to some of you, but many overlook this simple and easy decorative accent. Buy pretty towels with designs, patterns, or just colors to accent and compliment your kitchen decorating theme. Towels can easily hang on cabinet doors, stove or refrigerator handles. Round out the added decorative touch with hot pads, gloves, and divets that compliment or match the towels. Hot pads and divets can be easily hung on the wall, allowing for more decorative flair without getting in the way.

4. Stenciled designs on cabinets – This is a little used yet excellent decorating technique for tiny kitchens. Paint stenciled designs on the front of your cabinet doors. Stenciled designs can be simple little flourishes in the corners, or large budding flowers right in the middle of the cabinet door. They can also be general shapes or other objects that fit in with your personal decorating style.

5. Ceiling fan or small chandelier – A ceiling fan or small kitchen chandelier will do wonders to improve the decor of your kitchen without taking up much needed working space. Since the room is small to begin with though, be sure to go with small chandeliers or fans so the room won’t be overwhelmed. You’ll find hundreds of excellent chandeliers here:

http://lamps.diyhomedecorating.com/Chandeliers/

Want To Build A Twenty Five Foot Boat?

Ever thought about building your own boat but have been frightened off by the thought that you may not have the time , the ability or money? The odds are that you are terrified of the dreaded process of lofting out the plans from the complicated pile of papers and drawings that you normally get when you buy a set of boat plans!

Have you heard about the Eazy-build method of boatbuilding? It is a series of innovative small craft that have been named ‘The Dolphin Series’. They are cheap, robust, simple to build, with minimal plans that importantly, do not involve lofting and have no frames at all! They are simply constructed with the ‘stitch and glue’ methods. The design materials are NZ/Australian standard exterior ply, epoxy resin, glass tape and bi-axial glass cloth that ranges in weight from 200 gms to 600 gms, all materials are easily available everywhere in Australia and worldwide.

For the uninitiated, the stitch and glue methnod is a method of boatbuilding that allows a boatbuilder to build a boat very quickly at minimal expense. Boats up to forty feet long have been built using this method and are in use worldwide today.

The specs range from 12′ dinghy, the 16′ gaff sailing boat, the centre console 16′ for keen anglers. They then progressed progressed to the 19′ sailing yawl and that has two masts and is a camping/day/weekender that is easily trailerable.

The plans, involve a simple X/Y co-ordinate system that does away with the painful process of lofting… a nightmare for first timers and a pain generally for all concerned. The sheets of ply are drawn up into suitable size squares, the co-ordinates supplied with the plan copied to the squares and then the points joined together with a bendy batten.

This patented method is almost a ‘join the dots’ method of cutting out the shapes required from plywood that have been pre-glassed and faired whilst lying flat in the garage or workshop.

The United Nations, interestingly, during the crisis in East Timor, chose the design to be taken for the Timorese Fishermen to use as a blueprint for their new generation of fishing boats that their villages are supplied with. . A typical 16′ Dolphin can be assembled, stitched and glued and finished in approximately 40 hours work, a matter of 3 or 4 weekends. A 16′ Dolphin is cut out in a weekend. The fastest time we know of for a 12′ Dolphin build was in 24 hours by a team of lads from the Wooden Boat Club at a Brisbane ‘Down by the River’ expo some years ago, and it was presented to a lucky draw winner who actually rowed it up the river on Sunday!

The latest in the range , is a larger boat at some twenty five feet and is the first ever ‘stitch and glue’ power boat. It is well under construction in North Queensland and is expected to be completed in a month or two. During the next few months the website will publish progress on the D 25 as it is completed. An interesting aspect of it is that it has been adapted it for completion as either a really large motorised fishing boat (as is the prototype) but it will be equally at home as a yacht!

Technical Discussion on the D 25′

When, many years ago, the original Dolphin 12′ was drawn up to plans the designer did wonder just how large a boat could be manufactured by this method.He thought there was no real limit, and reasoned it’s just that the logistics get more involved. There is no doubt that the production and quality of ply wood has undertaken a quantum leap for the better and many well respected designers are now very happy to turn the clocks back and re-design and build boats from the new generation plywoods that boast new hi-tech glue lines and quality. you’ll be on the right track if you use plywood to ANZ/Australian standard 2270

These new plywoods in conjunction with the incredible adhesive qualities of epoxy and the monster strengths of the new glasses, carbons and aramids now allow inexperienced boatbuilders that were formally hesitant to build, to enjoy the immense pleasures of creating and self satisfaction of building their own boats. . The reasons are diverse. Self satisfaction, confidence building, financial. Don’t forget, a new 25-30 foot yacht today runs as close as dammit to two and a half grand per foot…. The financial incentives are high, certainly but nothing beats the feeling of launching a boat that is equally at home 40 miles out on the reef or sitting quietly in the creek.

The designer realised that easily, manageable, attainable stages would be paramount. Nothing must be complicated. and achieved a frameless boat in spite of its size. (although it must be said the 25′ D25 has one or two support frames in the rear section)

It cannot be emphasised too much how a framed boat complicates the process of boatbuilding. They take up much more time, effort, skill and weight and after months of work you still only have a frame. It is enough to seriously deter many would be builders and you cant blame them. The secret of all the Dolphin’s strength is epoxy composite resins and glass and the strength of the bulkheads and the longitudinals that stiffen the boat from end to end. The designer’s own yacht ‘The Nicky J Miller’ is a frameless boat and she is forty two feet long and weighs about seven tons. She performs well in three to four metre seas and 35 knots plus very well.. she is a a strip planker but withhindsight been able to turn back the clock she would have been constructed her from epoxy glass and plywood. The build time would have halved.

More considerations for builders

Eight years as a marine surveyor with the Small Ships Surveyors Association has given the designer of the Dolphins a unique chance to peek into pretty well most of the major makes of today’s yachts, workboats and so on. Many of them are clone like and cramped, a result of trying to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, trying for too much in one boat.

A good example of a few lessons learnt is the designer’s yacht ‘The Nicky J’, almost everyone visiting without exception, is impressed at the size of the galley. it is almost 30 per cent of the bow area and it’s where usually a toilet, sink or shower and two bunks plus storage goes. living onboard, almost without exception the two forward bunks in a boat are normally used for storage of everything that moves! The ‘forward bunks’ instead are found in the main cabin where the lounges slide sideways into a huge sleeping area for guests. It’s nicknamed ‘The Pacific Playpen’. There’s still the rear cabin so it can still sleep 4 to 6!

You can see how the development process can be manipulated at an early stage. Thus it was with the D25, having had the luxury of being able to choose front cabin size right from the start. Plenty of space, full standing headroom in the cabin, double bunks, cooking area, storage, walk in toilet, with a full 10 feet long forward cabin. This works equally for the yacht version and the fishing boat. Visitors to the site will see photos of the build to date.

The cabin has a full height bulkhead that divides the forward section from the rest of the boat in both versions. However, with the yacht version there is heaps of space for yet another cabin extension that combines the steering area if desired. The fishing version has a small cabin/windshield area that supports a full length sun cover and then gives a full open area at the rear for fishing space. The floors in both versions incorporate fully sealed flotation area that the cabin sole (floorboards) are supported on. The important part here was to have no unsealed or unprotected areas of timber to rot away under the floors.

The fishing version will also have an external pod to mount an outboard or two and this allows heaps of extra room and an unrestricted area in which to fish.

On the D25, the unprecedented step of joining the sides of the boat in one piece was taken ( 3 pieces of 8 x 4 ply) together in on one 24′ length and glassing and fairing each side as it was lying supported on the ‘building strongback’.

The ‘strongback’ for this boat is constructed in two separate sections, one 12′ long, the second, 8′ long, both 6′ wide. The idea of the strongbacks, constructed from cheap studding is to provide a support bench on which the components of the boat is constructed. Having 2 sections means that they can be easily moved around to support work both together or if you like, separately. The strongback is an integral part of Dolphin construction methodology.

Admittedly, having one 24′ length side is tricky to handle on your own but it was possibleto be moved around by one but help would be appreciated here! There will be a separate timber frame shown in the plans so that the 25 long sides can be ‘hung up’ next to the boat for easy working. The luxury of having the sides face up allows gravity assisted glassing and fairing. In fact, it takes only one day to scarph and glue one whole side, one day to glass, one day to apply fairing and one morning to fair! ‘The Nicky J’ took over 3 months…

When designing the D25 it was always taken for granted that this boat can be built single handed if needs be. Therefore careful planning about single handed operations were a primary consideration. For example, moving the completed floor section is a doddle with a handybilly, or even a couple of pulleys attached to the rear of the car and the assembly rolls on pieces of PVC pipe.

It’s estimated that the D25 will require 22 pieces of 1220 x 2440 (8 x 4) six mill plywood and a total list of materials for the basic hull, cabin. Floors, sides, deck including bulkheads and bunks will come to around $5000. That includes epoxy, glass glue and all fairing materials. You can begin to see what is meant about the financial bit, it makes sense. The good part about materials is you can buy ’em as you build. As for tools, the most you need is a planer, drill, a bench saw would be nice, a jigsaw, a skilsaw and a hand saw…not much else. There’s not a nail or screw yet in the completed hull and with luck there won’t be either at the finish.

How long to build a d25?

Aha, the million dollar question. So far, it has taken 2 months to complete the hull…it looks like a boat already. A further 8 weeks will see hull, cabin, floors, roof and new pod done. That’s sixteen weeks at about 20 hours per week single handed. ten days lost to real bad rain and humidity, but that’s normal. single handed, twenty hours per week, about six months. Full time, half that. More men (or women) helping, who knows? But, as usual, Dolphins are quick to build. However, whichever way you look at it, a 25′ brand new boat in under six months has to be a fast track method to owning a serious boat.

Plans as usual, will be available, when they are completely finalised in every detail. There will be a one off special licence issued for each set of plans. Cost? Not sure at present, but about AUD $250.00 but there will definitely be an introductory limited offer. You can see the progress build of the D25 by visiting the site .

Please remember, any questions regarding the boat can be addressed to the website.

Additional info.

Stitch and glue method is a build method that uses sheets of good quality ply (though not necessarily marine grade) that is stitched together using nylon electrical ties to hold the boat components together whilst they are glued, filleted and glassed.

Glassing and fairing hull sides and floor saves much waste of epoxy fairing material, difficult labour and countless hours of time. The epoxy fairing mixture will not crack when bent into shape.

Analysis of the True Meaning of Magnolia

Warning: This article is an analysis of the movie Magnolia and contains many spoilers.

Everyone who has watched the much-praised film “Magnolia” undoubtedly walked out of the theater with maybe a feeling of awe, but most likely an overwhelming confusion over its ending, especially the scene with the shower of frogs.

A key aspect to interpreting the true meaning of this film lies in its many references of Exodus 8:2 from the bible. The most obvious reference was in the scene right before the start of the Quiz show. A woman is seen holding a sign that clearly has the words “Exodus 8:2” written on it, but is promptly escorted out of the audience by security.

Below are other examples of references to the numbers 8 and 2 in the movie, as listed in the trivia section of imdb.com

o weather forecast: 82% chance of rain

o a gambler needs a 2 in blackjack but gets an 8

o the coil of rope when the boy commits suicide

o the first temperature reading

o the movie poster at the bus stop on Magnolia Blvd

o the placard on the hanged convicts

o Jim Kurring’s box number at the date hotline

o Sydney Barringer’s mother and father’s apartment number is 682

o the forensic science convention starts at 8:20

o Delmer Darion flips over a stack of cards to reveal the 8 through 2 of diamonds

o right after Jim Kurring sees Donnie Smith climbing up the building, you can see a flash of a sign on the side of the road that says “Exodus 8:2″ (it’s visible again when the frogs fall and hit Kurring’s car)

o the number on the firefighter’s plane.

o in Marcy’s mugshots, her criminal record number is 82082082082

o in the bar scene there is a chalkboard with two teams, the frog and the clouds, the score is 8 to 2

o spray painted on the cement as graffiti next to the boy.

o member of the game show crowd holds a placard with Exodus 8:2 written on it

o the kids were two days away from entering their eighth week as champions.

o Quiz Kid Donnie Smith won his 100 000 dollars on 28 April 1968

o The first two numbers of the Seduce and Destroy Hotline (1-877-TAME-HER) are 82.

o one of the hanged men has the 82 on his clothes

o Jim says he gets off work at 8:00, and Claudia suggests they meet 2 hours later for a date

And here is Exodus 8:2 –

And the Lord spake unto Moses, Go unto Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Let my people go, that they may serve me.

And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs.

Another important piece of the puzzle comes from Dixon, the young boy who raps to Jim after his discovery of the murders. The following is an excerpt from Dixon’s rap:

Check that ego, come off it, I’m the Prophet,

You’re living to get older with a chip on your shoulder.

He’s running from the devil, but the debt is always gaining,

When the sunshine don’t work, the good Lord bring the rain in.

Dixon calls himself the “Prophet” but he could be interpreted an extension of god. He takes Jim’s gun after it was lost, yet during the frog shower, the gun falls from the sky along with the frogs – a sign that the boy had some control over the events.

The second and third lines of the rap are warning Jim that he’s living to move higher (“to get older”) yet there is something burdening him. Dixon is telling Jim that what he is doing isn’t right and warning him to stop. However, Jim doesn’t listen to the rapper just like how the Pharaoh of Egypt did not listen to Moses. This message is not only meant for Jim, but it also symbolizes the wrongness in the lives of all the other characters. The last line warns that if God is ignored, he will bring on the rain.

An important key note is that the characters all admit their wrongs but can’t seem to get past them. Claudia, for example, is addicted to cocaine but can do nothing to stop, Linda feels terrible guilt for cheating on Earl and attempts to take her name off his will but can’t, and even Earl uses his final breaths to admit his mistreatment of his son and wife and pleads for forgiveness from Frank but he does not receive one.

The rain of frogs signifies God’s wake-up call to everyone. The rain of frogs – the extremely strange, almost absurd situation – was a way for God to tell everyone that they have done wrong and sinned. However, the shower is his message that he is always watching over the world and can intervene to help when help is needed. After the rain of frogs, the characters appear to either make peace with their problems and have succeeded or, in the example of Jimmy Gator’s death, failed. This shows that although god is there to help, not everything always works out perfectly and there are always the ones who are punished instead of saved.

Please note that this is not an official interpretation and the scene of the frog shower is among the most debated topic in the movie world. Accept my interpretation at your own discretion and form your own opinions on the matter, which is most likely what the writer P. T. Anderson had intended.

You Wouldn’t Know by Looking at Me – A Poem

You wouldn’t know by looking at me

what with my quiet countenance

and my calm sincerity

that I follow no God

that I follow no creed

but my own

that I rely on my own

experiences and choices

to guide me

protect me

direct me

to do what is right

and I don’t need

anyone else to tell me

what I can or cannot do

I am my own person

I cannot believe

that there could be

such suffering in this world

if there were

some sort of god

some deity

watching over me

watching us all

I cannot believe

He would let

so many innocents die

without reason

I cannot believe

that He has a plan for all of us

that we all have fates

preordained by Him

predestined by Him

without a choice

for me

or for you

I cannot believe

that such a being could exist

that such a cruel and fickle being

could control my fate

I cannot believe that…

But you wouldn’t know that

not by just looking at me

you couldn’t know that

I bare my soul every day

to this apathetic world

to this cruel world

to this indifferent world

through my pen

and my ink

and my paper

the tools of my trade

my passion

my love

that I lay my heart

on a gilded platter

from which the world feasts

day in

and day out

until I get it back

mangled and ravaged

by the scavengers

by war

by hate

by fear

by suffering

and when my bleeding heart

returns to me

I am left hurt and broken

and sorrowful

but then that thin ray of light

shines

illuminating the darkness

casting back the shadows

bringing back hope

and a promise

that there is something better-

something better…

And you wouldn’t know by looking at me

that terror gripped me

possessed me

controlled me

as I watched my baby sister

that beautiful child

wracked with tremors

as her tiny body

seized,

that such fear

lay so close to my heart

but I had hope

and hope prevailed

and the little girl

has grown so much

into such a lovely child

with that flaxen hair

and those cornflower eyes

and I am so thankful

and so proud of her

because she pulled through

a tiny survivor

but I will never forget

that awesome terror…

You wouldn’t know

couldn’t know by looking at me

that I believe strongly

in the power

of the individual

to exact change

in the nation

in the world

that knowledge is

the key to that magnificent power

so keep on learning

because no one knows everything

and we are never

too full of knowledge

because there always is

always will be

more to learn

more to teach

more to create

more to share

it goes on and on

never ending

forever

in a continuous

and amazing

cycle of knowledge…

I will never stop

trying to be the best

I can be

never stop

writing

because it is my very soul

my very essence

my very being

my very power

it is that through which

I can affect the world

change the world

But you wouldn’t know me

not by looking at me

you wouldn’t really KNOW me

but if you listen really well

and understand my words

perhaps you’ll come to know me

for who I am

as I hope

that you will strive to do

because I think

that everyone’s worth knowing,

don’t you?

Brief on Dual Wall Polyolefin Heat Shrink Tubing

It comes in varied materials and it is essential to choose the right one taking into consideration the requirements of your application.

The materials used range from polyolefin which can be thin walled or dual walled to dual-shrink PTFE / FEP type and the PEEK variety offered by some manufacturers. Each of them offers varying degrees of toughness and come with different performance features and is manufactured to suit the needs of varied applications. Let us discuss the dual wall tubing in brief.

The dual walled heat shrink tubes consist of two layers; the external layer is made of polyolefin which is lined inside with a hot melt adhesive. The two combined together forms a tough and snug fit over the cables, wires, connectors, terminals and other essential components. On heating, the inner adhesive layer melts and converts into a semi-solid or solid form providing a tight fit with a capacity to with stresses of high severity. The outer layer too offers a snug encapsulation over the inserted components. The outer layer is corrosion resistant and endowed with all the required chemical, electrical and mechanical properties to take in stress and environmental impacts. The largest advantage of this product is that it bonds with varied type of materials like plastics, metals and rubbers.

The covered parts are offered a double sealing and it becomes very difficult for the wire to be cut or get snapped during its working in any application. This is all because of the huge mechanical strength offered by its dual wall tubing. If these heat shrink tubes are used for electrical components or terminal connections they ensure a reliable flow of power between providing the required protection. In case of non-availability of traditional terminals or connectors, the dual-wall tubing is the best solution for joining or splicing wires if and when needed. The almost solid inner layer is capable of withstanding rough bending, pulling and stresses of vibrational nature and offers a permanent seal against moisture and other environmental factors.
The supple adhesive liner has the capacity to offer vast shrink ratios to be used for the varied applications.

The tubing is resistant to copper corrosion, chemicals and fungus. It is thus suitable for applications requiring demanding fulfillment criteria like in the military, aeronautical, telecommunications, railways and electronic applications. It is however, always essential to obtain the heat shrink products such as the heat shrink tubes, heat shrink molded shapes and many others from reputable manufacturers who adhere to global standards for the manufacture of their items. Getting good quality products alone help to ensure high performance and smooth running of your industrial or commercial application. So, when you need protection to your wires and cables think of heat shrink products from reputed manufacturers.

History of Plan B Skateboard Decks

Plan B skateboards started in the year 1991 when a guy who was friends with the local pro skaters decided to design boards for them. He talked to the skaters about the designs and got to work on the boards giving reality to a number of hot and unique designs. The skateboard decks designed by this guy were so good that even pro skaters began to use them. Relationship with a group of pro skaters allowed the company to get large endorsement transactions which were of great help for the business.

The quality and designs of these Plan B skateboard decks is quite haute and cool. Their designs are colorful and abstract. The designs that plan b uses on the skateboards for sale are unique and it is said that each and every individual can choose something for themselves from the wide collection of plan b skate decks.

Plan B respects their customers and they know that even the professional will not want to buy a complete board from them. To cater to this business flow they also sell only the deck and the accessories of the board so that one can build a board at home. Plan b decks are made from high quality wood ply which make people choose them over the other brands in the market. Plan b also gives youngsters ideas for developing their own decks and designing them. The company is on the move each and every single day churning out new design and skate decks, so making them one of the most popular skateboard deck brands in the world.

Evolution of Commercial Interior Design

What is Commercial Interior Design

Commercial design, sometimes known as contract or non-residential interior design, can be described as a challenging and complex process of creating and managing the construction or renovation of the commercial spaces.

Even though some people use the “commercial” interior design term interchangeably with the “office” interior design. However, the work encompasses a much larger variety then the office spaces. The commercial design projects also involves the design and specification of public spaces, such as hotels, restaurants, and similar buildings beyond the “office” space. In other words, designing commercial design involves designing the interior of any facility that serves business purposes.

It usually demands a significant amount of attention to detail and it involves much more than just the decoration of the interior of the spaces. The design projects address much wider issues including:

  • design and maximisation of space,
  • eco friendly build and renovation,
  • ceiling and lighting options,
  • power and plumbing systems,
  • and even commissioning data and voice communications systems to meet demand.

This work requires the experts to have a good grasp of architecture, as well as an artistic sense for creating attractive settings within the space.

In today’s extremely commercialised world, we take a lot of things for granted. Compare today’s TV advertising to that of 50 years ago. Think of the current visual merchandising with the visual merchandising in the early 20th Century.

How about the commercial interior design? As you think cast your mind over the evolution of the commercial public spaces, you will realise the enormous amount of change it has gone through. In the following section, I will take you through a brief history of commercial interior design.

Evolution of Commercial Interiors

Many historians agree that the profession of commercial interior design is said to have its roots in 19th Century. It used to be known as the interior decoration initially. One of the key influences was the development of new techniques and technologies that were born out of the Industrial Revolution. They made the mass produced furnishings and materials much cheaper and accessible for all.

Initially most of the early commercial interior work was carried out by the architects. The start of the 20th Century saw the emergence of decorators and designers that were focusing on the commercial interiors.

In Conclusion

The commercial design work has lots of fascinating aspects; not least due to its variety of the projects. And, it will continue to evolve as the businesses aim to maximise the commercial space while reducing the cost.

Do not Let Your Teeth Wear Out Before You Do!

How Wear and Tear can Ruin Your Smile

Most people think their teeth were built to last forever. The truth, however, is that just like the rest of your body, your teeth can suffer from the effects of everyday wear and tear. This can affect the way they function and the way they look – turning a beautiful smile into one that looks and feels tired and old.

From a technical standpoint, tooth wear is the loss of part of the surface of one or more teeth that is not caused by a disease, like cavities or gum disease, or an injury, like chipping it on a piece of ice. There are three basic categories of tooth wear: called attrition, abrasion and erosion.

Attrition

The term attrition refer to tooth surfaces wearing down due to contact with other teeth. It is a very normal type of tooth wear and is part of the aging process. However, bad habits like grinding or clinging teeth can cause attrition to be more serious, or happen faster. How much teeth are affected depends on how strong they are.

Attrition flattens back teeth and makes front teeth shorter, which can change a person's appearance. If it goes far enough to expose parts of the dentin (the part of teeth under the enamel), it can cause sensitivity to heat and cold.

Abrasion
People who brush their teeth too zealously or use a toothbrush with hard bristles can suffer from abrasion. Although the situation is rare, it can be serious when it occurs in combination with other types of tooth wear, such as when dentin is already exposed from attrition or erosion as dentin erodes much faster than enamel. To avoid this type of tooth wear, be sure to use a soft bristled brush and a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association.

Erosion

Erosion occurs when acids in the mouth eat away at the surface of a tooth. This can be triggered by certain foods and beverages, including

Carbonated beverages
Lemons, limes and other citrus fruits
Fruit juices
Vinegar and salad dressings
Yogurt

Avoiding these foods entirely may not work for everyone, but there are ways to lessen their impact on teeth. They key is to eat or drink them with other foods, and to drink water or even better, brush your teeth afterwards to remove the acid from your mouth.

Stomach acids can also cause tooth erosion. These acids can travel to your mouth because of conditions like heartburn, indigestion or acid reflux, conditions that cause vomiting like bulimia or morning sickness during pregnancy, or even overeating or drinking too much.

Treating Tooth Wear

The good news about tooth wear is that it does not have to be forever. The effects can be easily treated by a trained cosmetic dentist. Solutions include veneers and porcelain crowns designed to restore teeth too their former size, color and strength. Talk to your dentist about the best way to repair your tooth erosion and create your perfect smile.

Masturbation Don'ts: 4 Things to Avoid at All Costs

As just about every man knows, one of the great things about a penis is that it's always there – and one of the other great things about it is that it's almost always ready to play. So whenever a guy is aroused or bored or just in the mood for a little fun, his penis is usually game for a little masturbation. (Hopefully a guy will exercise a modicum of restraint so that too much use does not result in equal attention to penal care, of course.) But over time, a guy can sometimes get a little bored with his regular masturbation routines and want to spice things up a little. Again, nothing wrong with being adventurous, but there are some masturbation activities that it's usually wisest to avoid.

– Keep it to yourself. There are some situations where openly masturbating in front of other people is perfectly fine – such as when one goes to a masturbation club or attends a circle jerk. But these situations are rare, and even though public masturbation may seem exciting and may fulfill a person's exhibitionistic streak, it's best to refuse from doing so unless it's a setting where it is explicitly allowed and / or encouraged – especially as in most cases public masturbation is illegal.

– Avoid vacuum cleaner hoses. Often when a man has an appreciation, he really, really wants to find an object into which he can insert it. Sometimes this is fine – a pumpkin with a hole hollowed out in it, for example, or a sex toy that provide the simulation of a female organ. Sometimes it is not – as in when a guy looks at his vacuum cleaner and wonders what it would be like to penetrate the hose – especially if the hose is turned on. Guys who try this are asking for trouble – and a lot of pain, as the hose will at minimum create pain and soreness. In some instances it can cause more serious damage, so it's best to avoid the temptation alike.

– Do not use the tenderizer. Although masturbation often euphemistically is referred to as "beating off," it would be more accurate to say that most of the time men tend to strike or rub their penis rather than beat it. However, sometimes men do bat the penis around with their hand while masturbating. Within bounds, this is fine – but do not move on to using other objects, such as a mallet or an actual meat tenderizer. The damage that can be done to the penis can be sever and lasting.

– Be careful at work. Lots of men masturbate at work (and indeed some people find that they are much more productive and less stressed if they self-stimulate at the office), so this tip is not saying DO NOT DO IT – just be careful. When indulging, make sure that the space is appropriately safe. For instance, if a guy has his own office, he should be absolutely certain that the door is locked. If he does not have his own office, he should be sure to use the men's room and to make sure the door door is fully closed. And in either case, he needs to keep his moans and sighs down to avoid an embarrassing situation.

If a guy can avoid stumbling blocks like those above, masturbation can be a fun and enjoyable way to pass the time and to get in touch with his body. It's even better if the penis is kept in good shape by regular application of a top drawer penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) . The best crème will contain both L-arginine and L-carnitine. The former is an amino acid which helps the body produce nitric oxide; this in turn keeps penile blood vessels open when increased blood flow is needed for erections. The latter has neuroprotective properties to counteract rough use of the penis that can otherwise lead to diminishment of penis sensation.

A History of Glass Blowing and Hand Blown Glass Vases

Glass blowing is an art form that has been around for a long time, but interest in it died down until the 1960s, when it underwent a renewal. There are lots of quality artisans blowing glass objects of all kinds. From hand blown glass vases to ornaments and other items, there are lots of options available for decorating your home. There's a real difference between hand blown and machine made art glass, so make sure you know what you're getting. Let's take a look at where these beautiful objects came from.

Blowing glass has been around for a long time – probably since about the first century BCE. Evidence has been found in a waste heap from Syria that suggests that people were blowing glass. However, it did not get a lot of attention until the craft was mastered in Venice during the late medieval era. Workers on the Island of Murano learned how to make high quality hand blown glass vases, goblets, globes and other items. Many incredible fine glass pieces came from this era and location, and the Venetian government actually forbade the workers to leave the island, rewarding them instead with titles of nobility.

Holland and Germany were also working with glass during this period, but they were not focusing much on blowing it. Instead, these countries became masters of glass engraving. The world of glass blowing varies relatively little between the seventeenth century and the twenty, strangely enough. However, by the 1960s, interest in glass blowing as an art, rather than a mechanical process, was renewed. It started with professors at the Toledo Museum of Art, who held workshops to experiment with the art form, and only a few years later Dale Chihuly, world renounced artist, came onto the scene.

With all these new artists coming into glass blowing and creating abstract sculptures, hand blown glass vases and more, this became one of the fastest growing art forms in North America. All kinds of glass blowers are producing beautiful work in all sorts of sizes and shapes, and there's a good chance that someone is working in your area. Whether you prefer deep blue cobalt glass, green glasses, or swirled and painted glass, there are pieces you'll love.

Antique hand blown glass is also popular with collectors. This glass can come in all sorts of decorative shapes, sizes and patterns, and is extremely valuable to the right person, making it a good investment for some. Glass objects are like having jewels of your own, whether large or small, cylinder shaped, rectangular, round or square. So, no matter who you are, you should check out your options in hand blown glass vases and other decorative objects. Art glass items are hot right now, and you'll need to get them while they're still available.

How to Select the Best Garage Floor Coatings

When you are ready to do something about your garage floors then you should look into garage floor coatings. You will have many choices and options to treating your garage surface. To find the best garage coating you will have take into account several things. You will need to find out how your garage will be used, how much material you will need, and how long it will last. Once you have figured the answers to these questions then you can make an informed decision.

How you use your garage surface will play a vital role on which type of garage floor coatings you will need. Do you just use it to park your car, are you going to setup any sort of workshop, or game room? These are questions that need to be addressed so that you decide on the right garage floor coating to choose.

Cost is also something to consider when looking at concrete floor coatings. Not all floor paints are applicable to every surface. Two of the most popular types are epoxy and latex floor paint.

Of the two options epoxy floor coating is the better option since it will resist water and is simple to apply. It will also adhere better to your garage surface compared to latex. It also gives a clean look and will be easy to maintain on a daily basis. Once applied you do not need to do any sort of additional treatments. Your surface will be sealed and will last you for a very long time.

How to Eat and Prepare for the 4 Seasons in TCM

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees eating locally and according to seasonal influence as not something new or trendy, but rather something essential to good health. Essentially, when in doubt try to eat what is plentiful and grown locally because this is essentially what nature intends for your body at that time. Also, in general try not to eat cold or raw foods without having something warm first (even a cup of hot water), as this is good for your Spleen and Stomach, the organs responsible for digestion in your body (note that terms capitalized are done so to differentiate from their scientific definitions).

The following will give you some more specific ideas about how to act and what to eat, as well as what to avoid during the four seasons according to TCM theory.

Spring (not surprising) is the season of re-birth and re-growth, and your Yang energy should now be nourished while you begin to protect your Yin energy. And according to TCM, spring is associated with your Liver, which is affected mostly by sour flavors. Since it is advisable to reduce the amount of sour food you eat and increase the sweet and pungent flavors, as this will help your liver do its job to regulate and smooth the flow of Qi in your body. So fruits and other natural sugars are recommended, although in moderation because raw fruit is cold in nature and in spring your body is still cool from the not-so-long-passed winter. Pungent foods such as garlic and chili peppers should start to be used as well.

After the coldness of winter, you may have developed residual heat signs if your Yin was not properly nourished (see 'Winter' below). Such heat signs may include a dry throat, bad breath, or constipation. Foods like bananas (ripened), pears, celery, and cucumber can help.

In general, spring foods that you should try to consume include asparagus, broccoli, peas, leafy green vegetables, spinach, mushrooms (especially morels), fiddleheads, and ramps.

Like plants which grow quickly in summertime, people act more energetically and our bodies' Qi and Blood become relatively more proud compared to the other seasons. Therefore Yang energy should be nourished, and as summer is associated with your heart you should reduce the amount of bitter flavors you consume while seeking out more pungent, sour and salty foods. So it is advisable in the summer to avoid foods such as coffee, tea, walnuts, dark leafy greens, and grapefruit. You should instead try to consume foods such as watermelon, berries, tomatoes, cucumber, apricots, peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, summer squash, beans, okra, zucchini, fermented foods, garlic, and chili peppers.

In nature, autumn is the time when things begin to slow down and prepare for winter. So should you also begin to participate in less activity and start to reserve your Yang energy while nourishing your Yin. Autumn also correlates with your Lung system in TCM, which is affected most easily by dryness. So you want to start nourishing your Yin energy now, promoting the production of body fluids and Blood. Dry weather can bring sore throats, thirst, chapped lips, dry skin, and other signs and symptoms of Dryness in your body.

You can help mitigate potential issues while also preparing for winter by eating such seasonal foods as: root vegetables, squash, apples, pears, cruciferous vegetables (eg brussels sprouts or broccoli), pomegranates, dates, kiwis, grapefruits, and tangerines.

In order to further nourish your Yin in the autumn, try to steer towards sour, astringent flavors and eat more foods such as lemons, pineapples, and foods preserved in vinegar. Try to avoid foods that will open your pores and / or encourage perspiration such as garlic, ginger, hot peppers and other foods that are aromatic and / or spicy.

Reducing your activity and even the number of hot showers you have at this time of year will also help you to reserve your Yang energy.

By wintertime, you should be well-used to the foods and practices you started in the fall, and are now sticking religiously to the above-mentioned foods and are near hibernating in terms of physical activity, almost never inducing perspiration. This will help to ensure that your Yin continues to be nourished for this coming harsh season, and your Yang will be preserved for the afternoon spring season.

Since TCM believes that in winter our diet should be adapted to focus on enriching Yin and subduing Yang, we should add to our diet foods that are higher in calories, especially those high in proteins. It is not advisable to lose much weight (if any) over the winter, but you do not have to gain any if you are careful. Just add in a bit more red meat, duck and eggs, or foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and coconut if you are vegetarian.

The winter is the season of the Kidney energy system in TCM, which does not like salty foods and prefers foods that are bitter. Foods with bitter flavors include: apricot, asparagus, celery, coffee, tea, grapefruit, hops, kohlrabi, lettuce, radish leaves, kale, vinegar and wine.

6 Useful Benefits of an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are a great home appliance to help clean the air by removing different contaminants from the local environment. A few of the common contaminants that can build up in the home include pet dander, second-hand smoke, pollen, mold and dust. Many of the latest air purifiers have the ability to capture up to 95% of airborne contaminants which leads to healthier air for the family to breathe.

Let’s take a look at six of the most pleasing benefits of using this type of home appliance:

Clean air

One of the most basic reasons to invest in the air purifiers is to improve the quality of air in the home. Many homes have air quality that holds five times more contaminants compared to outdoor air.

Healthy air

Most of the air purifiers have the ability to eliminate germs from the local environment. They are specially built with a germicidal capability that is effective at protecting the family against a variety of pathogens, such as those related to measles, avian flu and the common cold.

Odor control

A natural side-effect of capturing the airborne contaminants is the ability to significantly improve on the all-round quality of the air and remove odors. They can be particularly effective at controlling odors like tobacco smoke and food smells from the kitchen.

Allergy control

Many families will have a member that suffers with a seasonal allergy, such as a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, ear congestion and itchy eyes. In a situation like this, it is very important to create the safe, clean and comfortable environment. Most of the air purifiers can be effective at controlling the different types of mold and pollen that can act as an allergy trigger.

Pet dirt and odors

Cats and dogs can leave a lot of dirt and hair around the home on a daily basis. This can be very annoying for the family members that suffer with allergies. Also, the air purifiers can simply be used to help control the pet dander in the home and cut down on day-to-day housework.

Control dust

Keeping the home free of dust is a constant battle that needs daily action. Dust typically consists of bits of human skin, tracked-in soil, fibers from bedding or clothes, food debris, and decomposing insects, so it makes sense to put in the effort to control the dust. Air purifiers can be a very effective tool to slow the general buildup of dust and make sure the home is kept clean for longer.

8 Benefits of Using LED Panel Lights

Modernizing the home or office with LED panel lights in place of old fluorescent ceiling lights is an easy and fast way to save on energy. Plus, the larger panels will provide a brighter environment and cut back on the time needed for regular maintenance. Here are eight of the practical benefits of installing this light option:

Great flexibility in design

LED panels lights make it possible to benefit from a point-like light source. This makes it possible for designers to create a kitchen or office layout that takes full adventure of the effects and shapes produced by the lights.

High brightness

One of the major plus points of the LED panel lights is the sealed design and high-quality reflective panels which result in a high level of brightness. Plus, the panels made with aluminum materials and photoconductive plates are the preferred choice.

Less heat dissipation

LEDs are known for their ability to dissipate a lot less heat which means power consumption is at a much lower level. With proper heat-dissipation little heat is noticed by those standing in small rooms in the home or office.

Long life usability

In theory these lights have the potential to last up to 100,000 hours. This means these light fittings have the potential to last up to 27 years if the lights are switched on for 7-8 hours per day.

Light Adjustment

Most of the LED panel lights give the option to adjust the strength of the light which means it is possible to benefit from the soft, eye-friendly light and avoid the harsh, unpleasant light.

Shock-resistant

These ceiling lights are built to be shock-resistant and quite difficult to damage. Most of the lights are manufactured in a hard resin and not the less superior tungsten glass. Plus, this design also helps to control temperature issues.

Easy control

The ability to control the ceiling lights is possible using an external controller, which can accept multiple commands. Control options include changing the level of brightness and color temperature.

Eco friendly operation

The low consumption of the LED panel lights means they are an eco-friendly technology and can result in a significant saving in energy. This type of light causes minimal pollution throughout the manufacturing process. Also, there is no mercury contained in the product. A single panel is similar to having to use six fluorescent bulbs. A benefit of using fewer bulbs to light the home or office is the ability to lower the high-voltage requirements.

How the IT Manager Can Benefit by Partnering With a Managed Service Provider

Many small to medium sized businesses maintain their own IT infrastructure. When doing so they will hire an IT Manager to handle the day to day operations. While some may consider this a viable and economically sound solution, experience has shown that it may benefit the IT Manager, and the business, more to partner with a Managed Service Provider.

You may find your team understaffed at times resulting in an inability to stay on top of situations and procedures. Does this result in your need to hire temp help?

The break/fix model of many teams limits them to putting out one fire and moving on to the next. Conversely, paying staff to sit idly by while waiting for the next crisis hardly seems the best use of their skillset, and the business’ capital.

Managing multiple vendors, employees, contracts, budgets, temps, etc. can also become cumbersome, if not overwhelming, at times. Consider the following benefits when partnering with a Managed Service Provider.

Your MSP Is the Only Vendor You Will Need to Manage.

Management of all vendor/supplier contracts are handled by your MSP, thereby providing you more time to manage your day to day operations. They can handle all pricing/budgeting aspects and support issues regarding your IT needs all while providing a single point of contact.

The Need for Business Continuity

A quality Managed Service Provider will always take a proactive approach to minimizing downtime. The implementation of disaster prevention measures provide peace of mind and consistent day-to-day operations. However, in the event of any network failure or catastrophic event, predetermined disaster recovery plans immediately become operational. Data is restored from backups, networks are reinstated and your business services become operational in short order.

Trained, Certified and Experienced IT Staff Available 24/7

Throughout the business day, most MSPs provide you with access to experienced and trained IT staff to handle any situation. Your IT Support calls should be answered by a live person and not a canned answering system. But what about after hours or EOD? We all know, from experience, that situations do not always surface during normal business hours. A quality MSP offers you 24/7 access to qualified IT personnel, regardless of the time or situation. Does your in-house solution provide this benefit?

One Source for a Collective Perspective

Overseeing and monitoring all of your IT Services from one source allows for a collective perspective. One that provides an unbiased and consolidated point of view. The information we gather and report on, in real time, allows you and your business to make educated and informed decisions. An increase in overall performance of your business is our objective and is an obvious benefit to our partnership.

Helping the Bottom Line

The economical benefits of partnering with a Managed Service Provider are many. From alleviating the need for full time staff, temp help and disaster recovery, to less down time, more economical vendor pricing and more streamlined and efficient operational procedures.

If you are an IT Manager and are ready to discuss your IT Solutions with us, we invite you to contact us at any time.