Catching Up With Dave Wiens, Hall of Fame Mountain Biker, 6-Time Leadville 100 Champion

David Wiens – Retired Professional Mountain Biker, Mountain Sports Director at Western State Colorado University

Sponsor: Topeak Ergon

As a native of Colorado and have spent countless hours in the Mountains, I know that there are athletes who pass you on a trail at an alarming rate and you are thinking to yourself "who is that guy" and chances are you do not know and either does the majority, except particular circles of enthusiasts. Mountain communities, city or town, are generally like this, sport is a natural type of lifestyle because of the landscape and accessibility and not a workout statute that they feel forced to adhere to or they will not be considered healthy or become overweight.

Gunnison, Co. resident Dave Wiens (married to Susan Wiens, 1996 Olympic Mountain Biking bronze medalist) is a testament to this in the Mountain Biking and Trail community, not only because his friendly personality and support for the sport but his accomplishments on the trail. Wiens is a 6-time consecutive Leadville 100 Champion (beating Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis), 2-time US National Mountain Bike Champion and in 2000 was inducted to the Mountain Biking Hall of Fame. He was recently named the Mountain Sports Director at Western State Colorado University, heading the program that will include cycling and skiing. I wanted to catch up with Dave and see what is in store for him in the upcoming future and learn a few tricks from one of the best in his discipline, thanks Dave!

Q. Sounds like you have joined Lifetime Endurance as a coach to train a few athletes for the 2013 Leadville 100, how did this all come together and is it something that you are looking to expand in the future?

A. I've been working with Lifetime Fitness for the last couple of years and this is just a logical extension of that relationship. While I love to train and plan my own training, I have never actually coached anyone other than my brother, and with him, I'm more of a sounding board than anything. I do not have a background in exercise physiology but I have years of practical experience. We'll see how this year goes but I can see becoming more involved in training and coaching.

Q. Congrats on your new position at Western State Colorado University (WSCU), can you give our readers a glimpse of what the program will include?

A. Currently, WSCU Mountain Sports consists of a collegiate mountain cycling team and a ski team. Our mountain bikers compete in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference (RMCCC) in Division II in gravity (DH and Dual) and endurance (XC and Short Track.) This past October we took third overall at the National Championships in Angel Fire, NM.

Our ski team competes in Big Mountain, Nordic, Park and Pipe and Skier Cross. Last year, the team took 5th overall in the USCSA Collegiate National Championships in the Freestyle combined category (Skier Cross, Slopestyle and Halfpipe.) Traditional alpine racing and endurance skiing, such as Ski Mountaineering, are disciplines for possible future expansion. Emerging sports include snowboarding and trail running and certainly other sports could have been added as the program builds.

Q. When training or working with your students will you utilize fitness technology for monitoring and tracking performance levels and vitals? Or is this something that you would leave to personal preference?

A. Certainly, this will be left to personal preference, but WSCU Mountain Sports athletes have access to our High Altitude Performance Lab so all kinds of training technology and expertise is available for them if they are interested. A brand new 120,000 square foot field field is under construction that will become the new home of the HAP Lab early early in 2014.

Q. If so, what type of fitness gadgets or apps do you find the most effective for both skiing (XC, Alpine) and Mountain Biking?

A. I'm old school so my technology consists of a time piece (AKA a watch), a heart rate monitor and an altimeter. I track hours and vertical feet of climbing, and I monitor my heart rate. I use power in my training but have never used a power meter. I have a power meter built into my brain but I do recognize the value of this device and know that it has great value and has become one of the most relied upon training tools.

Q. What sport do you believe requires the most physical stamina, XC Skiing, Backcountry Skiing / Touring or Mountain Biking?

A. I've got to say the skiing, but it's all hard. Skate skiing is such an all-encompassing workout; your entire body is involved. There is also more drag in skiing so you have to work harder all the time. Bikes have gears and wheels and I feel like less effort is involved in forward movement on a bike. But again, it's all human-powered, all hard.

Q. Beside skiing and mountain biking, do you Incorporate strength training or Yoga into your preparation and is it something you will encourage your students to participate in as a part of their recommended training regime?

A. Absolutely. The three pillows for me are specific, or the sport you're training for, strength and flexibility.

Q. Any secret diet or nutrition of a Champion Ultra Endurance Mountain Biker?

A. No. I like to eat and believe in a well-balanced diet. We eat pretty healthy, lots of fruits, veggies and grains; all kinds of meat including fresh-cooked seafood and red meat; carbs are fine, etc. Susan, my wife, and I both have a sweet tooth but we temper it as we can without torturing ourselves. I'm not into supplements, other than I'll use a typical hydration drink and gels but usually only during competition. For training, it's aImost always just water and an old-school PowerBar in my pack or pocket just in case I bonk out there. However, if I'm doing something really long, I might mix up a bottle of energy drink or two and I'll bring a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Everyone is different, though, and everyone needs to experiment with different types of nutrition both in and out of competition. There are no absolutes.

Q. It is known that you are very involved in trail maintenance and development, any new trails you are working on that our audience would love to hear about?

A. We've been working for approval for a backcountry singletrack that would be around 50 miles long and connect Gunnison and Crested Butte for over six years, as well as other trail systems on the BLM public lands close to Gunnison. Trails close to home are what make most of us happy and healthy. You can not put a value on happy, healthy citizens. Nationally, the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and local trail advocacy organizations like Gunnison Trails are vital to the sport of mountain cycling and self-powered trail use. Everyone who uses trains should consider getting involved in some way.

Q. I'm sure you have some personal favorites you like to keep yourself and friends, but any great CB / Gunnison trails you can share?

A. The Hartman Rocks area near Gunnison is not a single trail but a trail system composed of dozens of short trails that have sections varying from fast and flowy to technically challenging. You can put them together in such a variety of ways that you'll never do the same ride twice. 50 minutes or 5 hours, does not matter, if you know your way around, you'll be riding trails the entire time. Doctor Park is our favorite alpine ride in this area and you can not really go wrong with any of the classics around Crested Butte. And this says nothing of the Monarch Crest …

Q. When the going gets tough on the trail …?

A. We've all heard it before but it really holds truth. The trail is a great metaphor for life. You have good days and bad days. There are really challenging sections and easy fun sections. Sometimes getting through seems almost impossible; other times it's nothing more than pure elation. At the end of the day, where there is meaning, there is value. Trails are a very meaningful element in the lives of many.

Q. Any basic tips for those (the general public) who are looking to compete in an ultra endurance Mountain Bike race or enhancing their personal Mountain Biking skills?

A. There is no substitute for putting the time in on the bike. Be well rounded. Be able to climb, descend and ride the flats. Be comfortable riding in a group; be able to push on all alone. Work on leg speed and power the goal being to combine them. Ride a road bike for fitness you just can not get on a mountain bike. If you need to work on descending, try to go to a ski area and rack up the vertical riding the lifts. I could go on and on … Just Ride, a lot!

Carpet Cleaning – Tips, Tricks and Tactics About Carpet Cleaners

Deciding which carpet cleaner to use in today’s market isn’t as simple as you would think. We are flooded with deceptive promotions, conflicting opinions and simply inferior service. It’s especially difficult to find a skilled professional and an experienced carpet cleaner. Finding a carpet cleaner to use should be as simple as looking it up in a phone book but it’s not. In order to make your decision you have to be wise to all of the carpet cleaning tactics that carpet cleaners will use to get your business.

How many of us have heard a story from a friend or family member about someone who had their carpets cleaned and was unsatisfied with their service. In fact, there are some horror stories about carpet cleaners.

One person said that the carpet cleaner that they hired to clean their carpets came into their home, sprinkled a powder on the floor, and then removed the powder with a vacuum cleaner. They felt completely ripped off because the carpet looked the same as before. Here they had spent hundreds of dollars for a service they could have done themselves to get the same results. So, if this is a common problem how do you choose a carpet cleaner?

The answer is simple, by learning the tricks and tactics that carpet cleaner’s use you are better prepared to find out which one is right for you. Some of the most common bait and switch tactics that they’ll use involve the price. One of the biggest complaints from people is that they were quoted a very low price on the phone but when the carpet cleaner arrives they use high pressure tactics to get you to order a bunch of extra services, the next thing you know your under $100.00 carpet cleaning is now over $500.00.

Many carpet cleaners like to price the job by the square foot. The problem is that they quote you by the square foot and this can be very vague. They are not committing to a total price over the phone. When they arrive at your house, things quite often change.

Make sure, when you order your carpet cleaning you are sure to get a definite quote, be specific as to which rooms will be included. Ask questions about the service, does it include vacuuming, do they move the furniture, is any sort of stain protection included and will they be spot treating or is that extra. By forcing the company to commit to a price on the phone and being specific about what is included, you remove any chance for them to increase the price later. Some very reputable carpet cleaning companies actually charge by the room, regardless of the size, this is an efficient way to price the service because the only way they can charge you more is if you add on rooms.

Another important concern you should have when choosing who will clean your carpets is the experience of the technician. Aiming to do business with a larger company or one that has been in business a long time isn’t always the answer. The problem is there are a lot of department stores and other recognized businesses that offer carpet cleaning, but they have a very high turnover of staff and they hire technicians with very little training.

Always make sure that you ask who the technician is who will be cleaning your carpet and how much experience do they have. The last thing you want is an inexperienced worker using the wrong chemicals to spot clean. This will not only increase your risk of setting the stains in worse, but also damage the fabric in your carpets permanently.

If you’ve been putting off cleaning your carpets because you were nervous about which company to use, there’s no need to wait any more. If you put off cleaning it too long the carpet will look dirty, and waiting can cause enough damage that the carpets might never look good again. Use the information in this article to find a carpet cleaning company who is skilled, experienced and professional and you will be happy with your choice.

Cable TV Alternatives: Smart Options for TV Viewing

Cable TV alternatives give more choices for your entertainment options and you should take advantage of them. These days cable TV is one of the most well-liked types of television viewing where thousands of subscribers are enjoying more TV channel options. However cable TV subscription is a lot extra expensive as compared before.

If you want to get better options, here are some cable television alternatives available if you are tired of paying expensive cable TV rates while not getting more advantageous features from your cable subscriptions:

1. Go for the video podcast. If you spend some time in the Internet you will discover that there are podcasts available with wide subjects to explore for viewing than you can imagine. Consequently, it is just a matter of time to find that one is interesting to you and stop thinking about using cable TV as most of the largest TV stations offer free broadcast online and the only thing that you will need is a stable Internet connection and a computer. If you opt for this television cable alternative you will enjoy free television viewing which gives you the best alternative to avail. There are many software products that you can use to watch cable TV on your computer.

2. Some TV stations are broadcasting over the air so when you have an antenna for your TV you will be able to watch all your favorite TV shows for free. The downside for this option however, is that your television reception is highly dependent on how well the signal is intercepted by your antenna. Weather can affect the quality of your viewing and with storms and rainy weather you will not get a good reception of the TV broadcast.

3. Satellite TVs. There are various satellite TV providers available these days and you can choose those that offer the most excellent services for you. This option is suitable for people living in most rural areas who do not have access to cable TV.

Some major cable television providers could not provide maximum features on their services no matter how innovative their system can be and their service rate soars high. For practical purposes it is best to opt for these cable TV alternatives as a prudent way of getting viewing entertainment without the additional cost on your end.

Because of the limited cable television providers in some cities and towns residents have limited options in choosing features for television viewing. With all these alternatives, one will realize that they have better liberty to choose for their TV viewing needs.

Mortgage Lending Software

Mortgage lending software is one of the commonly used software in financial lending organizations such as banks, and other financial institutions. The software is an excellent management tool that has been developed from scratch. The process involved working directly with customers in the industry, examining their most common working processes and best practices and then incorporating these factors into the actual software.

The software automates all processes related to mortgage lending such as loan application (form 1003) and loan transmittal (form 1008), underwriting (e mail loan approvals and tracking conditions), loan approvals (closing documents and loan funding), and post closing shipping, trailing docs, insuring and file room documentation). It also automates secondary marketing (lock tracking and investor locks), accounting (payment tracking, form 1098 & 1099, and responsibilities), and quality control (HMDA, LAR Reporting and broker management).

The software has different settings that can be used to customize different types of mortgage lending activities with the help of investor, broker, loan rep, warehouse line, appraiser, and closing services tables. The software generates professionally designed letters, forms, and reports to make a good impression on the customer. It provides wholesale business companies all the necessary tools for broker management such as license tracking and pipeline reports.

The software provides a comprehensive database for all mortgage-lending operations of a company and has more than hundred pre designed report formats for generating different types of mortgage lending reports. The software has built in security features including field level? Audit logging and business rules for maximum data security. The software provides key interfaces with other software products such as HMDA geocoding and reporting, accounting system links, warehouse line, MERS registration, and secondary risk management.

Minimum hardware requirements for the software are windows based PCs with 32 MB RAM. It is compatible with all versions of windows operating system (95, 98, 2000, ME, and XP), and provides full Microsoft database support such as Microsoft Visual FoxPro and Microsoft SQL Server.

Why You Should Hire an Interior Designer for Your Next Interior Project

Why Hiring a Professional Designer Makes Sense

You may be contemplating remodeling your entire home or just redesigning a room. You have gathered some information and have a good idea about what you would like to have in your home. A designer can put all of his or her experience and expertise to work for you. Designing spaces is their life’s work, so they have the knowledge to bring your dream to life. They also have the time to find just the right options to give you the look you want at a price you can afford.

The artistic edge that a professional designer brings to your home can help you turn even the most challenging space into a beautiful yet functional area of your home. An interior designer will have a design perspective that allows her or him to see the potential of every space in your home.

Professional Interior Designers Can Get Your Project Done Successfully

With her or his expertise in blending both the practical and creative aspects of design, a designer will be able to create a plan that best meets your needs. A good designer will listen to your ideas, and then choose the best materials and finishes to get the job done well. Your designer will coordinate the plan from start to finish to ensure that your project is a success.

Professional Interior Designers Can Keep Your Project Under Budget

It is a myth that hiring a professional designer will cost you more money. With the connections interior designers have in the building and furnishing trades, they have access to deep discounts on high-quality merchandise and labor that will keep your project from going over budget. Many of these providers, such as upholsterers and general contractors, do not make their services available to the general public.

Gone, too, is the possibility of your making costly mistakes when you go the do-it-yourself route. With a professional interior designer comes a guarantee that your project will be successful.

Professional Interior Designers’ Networks Can Go to Work for Your Family

Your designer has spent years cultivating relationships with craftsmen and women, as well as retail and wholesale furniture companies. Your designer will know which ones of these companies will be just the right fit for your needs.

How to Find a Quality Interior Designer

Word-of-mouth is a great way to get started on your search. Ask your friends and colleagues who have hired interior designers for their recommendations. Next, take a look at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) website. They have a list of designers located near you. Once you have a list, take a look at each designer’s website to see if their work looks like a good match for your needs. Once you have selected your top prospects, ask them for contact information for clients who have written testimonials. Make sure that the ones on your short list are licensed and are qualified to create the type of design you need.

Finally, make an appointment with those interior designers whose work and design philosophy appeals to you. Take a look at some of their work in person. Sit down with them and share your ideas. Of those whose work you like best, hire the designer who best listens to your ideas, who offers suggestions about how best to accomplish your plan, and who has the best grasp of your needs.

Spray Foam Insulation For Existing Homes

Do you have a sneaking suspicion that the fiberglass insulation in your home or office is falling apart and not doing its job? Do you find bits of pink fluff everywhere? It might be time to ditch your tired old fiberglass insulation and replace it with something that will last. Spray foam is not only more resilient than other kinds of barriers, but it comes with numerous other benefits as well.

If you're concerned about the condition of your home or building due to poor insulation, then spray foam can help solve your problems. Spray foam insulation is liquid polyurethane that dries into a tough foam consistency over a surface. Because it's liquid, it can fill in tiny cracks and holes that fiberglass can not protect.

The thick, tightly sealed layer it creates is more more energy efficient than any other kind of material. It controls the indoor climate by keeping in more heat and cool air, depending on the weather. This will save you tons of money on electric bills, and be more comfortable for the occupants.

Polyurethane insulation also does not come with any health risks. Fiberglass is made up of wiry, pink fibers that can make the skin sore and itchy if exposed to it. These fibers come loose and can be inhaled. Breathing in the fibers can cause lesions inside of the mouth and esophagus. Spray foam does not have tiny particles that break off and float into the air. It's also harmless to the touch, but is so durable that it does not crumble off anyways.

Another benefit of spray polyurethane is that it can make your house or building more hygienic. The thick barrier prevents insects and other pests from sneaking inside. If you've had pest control problems in the past, spray foam insulation can be your new exterminator. Not even moisture stands a chance against its tough exterior.

Spray foam keeps water out, which means it also keeps away dangerous mold, which can cost a fortune to repair. If you've been trying everything to get rid of mold, this material is excellent to use in existing homes. Since it can be a messy procedure, and previous insulation will have to be stripped and removed, it is recommended that only professional perform the service.

You may be put off by the initial cost of having your home outfitted with a spray foam insulation kit. However, the money and time you will save in the future more than pays for itself. It will even add more value to the home or building, and you will not have to worry about replacing it.

The best part about polyurethane is that it is environmentally friendly. If you're trying to make your house or building greener, then spray foam is the way to go. It is made from recyclable and renewable materials, and you'll be saving energy. Its versatility allows it to be sprayed almost anywhere, so you can even insulate the floors and ceilings. Spray foam insulation is a great move to make when you're improving your home or building.

Earn Your Degrees Online Fast

Looking to earn an online degree fast and have that successful career? Having a great career is the same as having a good life. Having the so called good life for the most part is everyone's fantasy! To enable that, we need to have an accredited degree from a well respect school – period. And, to help get those lucrative paying jobs we need the right training.

Working towards an online degree allows you to have an easier time as well as the convenience of being allowed to keep your job while you are at it. This in fact is the largest plus factor of all. You study your lessons only when you're ready to learn and not when you're forced too.

We can only say so much about the cost-effectiveness of online degrees. How is it cost effective? Not only will you save money on board and lodging (needed if you move away to school), but you save money on gas and school materials as well. No need to commute daily to "offline" university campuses or moving near the university you will enroll in.

How to evaluate the right online degrees quickly?

First , check out faculty's credentials and qualifications; find out if they are successful in the course that they will coach you in. It is not a problem to be cautious when it's your hard earned money and your valuable time that is the online.

Next, evaluate the online college or university providing the online program. Review the curriculum that they have. Due to the popularity of this education path, top traditional universities are now opening doors by offering online programs, so make sure to visit them online if they have the online degree program you want to take up.

A lot of unaccredited online schools proliferate right now that give out worthless degrees. To avoid this, online universities and colleges are now being monitored by the governing bodies to protect the students from these websites.

Earning degrees online is getting more and more popular as time goes by. Would not you want to join the successful ones and be the one to tell that fantastic story of landing that perfect job? It's up to you!

Want to know more facts on how to earn online courses fast to give you best future available? Take the next step to find out more.

House Extensions – Things You Need To Know

Rather than moving to a new house, every budget conscious homeowner desires to extend or upgrade their existing home to save both time as well as money. Home additions are a perfect choice for increasing your living space and adding property value. A home extension substantially increases the functional space inside your home and undoubtedly increases the property’s resale value to a great extend. However, before you jump into a final decision, here are some important points to consider regarding a home extension procedure.

Is it a wise choice?

Are you looking forward to an extra bedroom, a new living area for the whole family to enjoy or for a home office? The first and foremost step is to verify the viability of a house extension procedure in your property, no matter whether it is a single storey extension or a two (double) storey extension. Always keep in mind that only a well-planned sensible design can be cost-effective and provide you the likely benefits. Before you proceed, it is also necessary to recognise the need of a planning permission and verify whether your property is located in a conservation area. If so, it is highly recommended to seek advice from your nearby building control authority and do a research about the legal procedures related to the extension work.

Next, take time to find an answer for “how much does an extension cost?” For this, your exact requirement has to be analysed in detail. Based on your need, you can either choose a rear extension or a side extension procedure. A single storey extension, either done on the side or rear portion, is comparatively cheaper and it requires only minimal disruption. However, if you need more ventilation, then a double storey extension is considered as more beneficial. An extra investment is often required when you adopt additional painting or interior design services. Also, make sure to implement adequate safety measures, before your home remodelling job, to avoid unexpected costs.

As there are multiple possibilities in a home or kitchen extension project, it is extremely essential to find a reputable professional who utilise highly sophisticated construction methods for a hassle free home improvement job. Such professionals inspect your site and suggest the most suitable design pattern, based on your specific requirements, budget and the building’s pre-existing conditions. Moreover, they adhere to essential quality standards and offer adequate work warranty for the job undertaken to ensure utmost customer satisfaction.

An Overview of Wall Sawing

There are several techniques that you can choose from if you decide to cut through your walls. Wall sawing is the most used method for concrete cutting. The method is mainly used for creating clicks for new doors, windows and other openings.

The advantages of using concrete wall sawing are numerous. The proven experts in this field emphasize the efficiency of the technique in the construction process. The ability to cut heavily-reinforced concrete and the precision in the cutting is considered as the main advantages of wall sawing technique. Also, the noise and dust are reduced too.

Also known as concrete track sawing technique – the wall sawing technique uses track mounted saw for cutting vertical and horizontal cuts. If you need to cut through a wall on any angle, diamond wall sawing is what you are looking for. All diamond sawing equipment has to be operated by a highly trained and experienced operator. To ensure safe working environment, the complete process has to be supervised by an operational engineer.

Make sure the diamond blades are in proper condition before you start the concrete cutting process. Do not use them if they are damaged or have missing blade segments. It's important to select the right tool for the material to be cut. We already know that diamond saw blade has to be operated in wet conditions. Do not use it for dry concrete cutting.

The need for cutting exact openings in the concrete requires using the powerful cutting equipment. Usually, tools used for concrete sawing are powered by electrical or hydraulic power sources. A wall saw is a heavy tool that should be used carefully and safely. When cutting, you should pay attention to the size of the blade. Experienced operators know that they need to move the saw slowly if the blade is larger. The first move should not be deep. Nowadays, the blades come in different types and sizes. Obviously, the size of a diamond blade will depend on the depth and size of the cuts that have to be done. They have a cutting depth of up to 90mm. Diamond saws are used for removing concrete structures in demolition projects.

Searching for a professional concrete contractor has to be considered as a careful process. Wall sawing itself is a delicate job and you will need someone who is highly skilled to complete the job correctly and efficiently. Research the Internet for online reviews or ask your friends for recommendations.

Choosing the Right Online Guitar Lessons

Are you learning how to play guitar and looking for online guitar lessons? If you look around at any video sharing site such as YouTube and its ilk, you are able to find any number of videos of guitar players teaching you all kinds of things about playing this wonderful instrument. The thing is, who do you choose over the others? You will no doubt be checking out all kinds of people shredding away without a great deal of actual information in there.

A lot of so called ‘lessons’ that you will find online are more of a showcase for someone’s talents rather than useful exercises for learning how to play guitar. The best internet guitar courses are ones that will take you through every stage of playing the guitar clearly and at a manageable pace.

When you start to learn guitar, you need to make sure that any program that you decide to take covers all of the basic essentials to begin with as well as the embellishments that are so popular with all the various musical styles you will come across.

Online guitar lessons are a great way to really become used to the basic principles of chord formation, different picking techniques, scales and all of the other things that need to be learned if you are to become a great musician. A step by step approach to learning to play guitar is the most effective, and the best guitar programs online will offer easy to understand lessons that you can try at your own pace.

While yes, the best courses may include lessons that have to be paid for, you can be sure that they are legitimate by checking out any customer reviews and comments about the lessons and the services they offer. Good luck with your online guitar lessons, and with your future musical career!

Rain Water Collection – Why Do They Make It So Difficult?

When water supplies in drought areas are scarce, people resort to simple strategies to conserve water. One way is to collect the rain water that hits your house and property and prevent it from getting away. This does not help the creek beds and vegetation or the normal nutrient sediment erosion find its way into the deltas, but it does help those people in urban and suburban areas deal with the drought. It's a catch-22, as you want to help the environment, but you also want to protect water supplies so that you have the water you need during several courses periods.

Collecting rainwater sounds pretty simple does not it? It also makes sense that quite a bit of water runs off your roof down through your rain gutters. Why are not you collecting all of it? Why have not homes been built to collect this water, why do they have drainage systems off the property into this gutters and down the street into storm drains? It's true that during a real big downpour you may not have a large enough collection device to harvest all that rainwater, but maybe you should for future use in subsequent months for summertime or between rainstorms during a long drought periods.

Well, I wish it was that simple, but let me tell you it is not. You see, we make rainwater collection very difficult in this country, mostly at the city and county levels due to building codes and rules.

We have a problem in many counties. It seems they do not want to allow the permitting of rain water collection. I understand why, but with simple protocols homeowners could collect a good amount of that runoff water. Unmaintained rainwater containers become breeding grounds for mosquitoes if not covered and they start growing algae. So there are problems with this if it's not done properly – and leave it to a homeowner to neglect their responsibilities in the rainwater collection device.

In many counties or cities if you wish to go get a permission to collect rainwater, most do not even have the rules set up to allow you to do it, but they want you to submit your own proposal, and they will review it for you, which could take months. That's pretty silly is not it, I mean a smart person reading online and learning about how to do it properly could probably figure it out. Of course we have lots of laws to protect Darwin Award Winners from themselves these days, therefore they simply do not allow it because they have not put forth any rules yet.

We need a set of rules nationwide, or at least regionally to get this done. Let me tell you little story; I worked with an architect in San Antonio on a rain water collection for airport hangars – that's a lot of surface area – lots of water collection potential – he had a hell of a time convincing planners that it could be done safely and the planners had no basis to judge if his concept was done diligently, by the way it was, I personally worked on the project

So, this is a real problem, WE need to work on simple instructions and distribute this through the nation of BMPs for rain water collection and then make city planning departments, and County planning departments more aware. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think about it in 2015.

Recycled Furniture – Giving New Life To Old Wood

When I originally heard that environmentalists were touting recycled furniture as an environmentally friendly alternative for the home, I wondered about how it might look. I mean, these individuals are talking reclaimed wood from old barns and recycled pallets. I believed this stuff would end up leaving my home looking like a warehouse.

So, I went on the Internet and started looking around at websites offering recycled furniture. I have to declare that I was pleasantly surprised with what I came across. I discovered companies using superior standard reclaimed lumber, which it turns out, is highly maintained by scores of homebuilders, and methods of refinishing that are health aware and environmentally thoughtful.

I discovered that many of the business owners are high-caliber designers who took their passion for the planet to the next resourceful level, creating the stuff and decorations that they love in a green, sustainable way. Recycled furniture is not like recycled aluminum cans. You do not start out with refuse, and wind up with something that is only practical. You start out with quality reclaimed lumber that had been used as part of something else. You take the best of that reclaimed object and transform it into a good quality piece of furniture. It's that simple and, like all simple things, it can be quite magnificent. Some recycled furniture manufacturers using reclaimed wood consciously seek to preserve some of the wood's imperfections such as warps, cracks, nail holes, and worm holes in the furniture so as to capture and accentuate the wood wood's allure, warmth, and patina.

Recycled furniture comes in all sorts of shapes, designs and sizes, just like brand new furniture. In truth, it is brand new furniture; it's just that it was part of something else, before. The point is that the act of shopping for recycled furniture is going to pretty much mimic the act of searching for any furniture. You will stumble on pieces you fancy and pieces you do not care for. Some styles will appeal to you, and some styles will not appeal to you. If you initially set eyes on furniture that you do not care for, it is not because it's recycled furniture. It's just because you have not found what you like so far.

Just keep searching and you'll find what you want. I do not know about you, but I'm finicky about the furniture in my abode. Maybe that's why I did not give recycled furniture much of a chance at the outside. I was under the impression that recycled signified low quality and this just is not true. When you locate the genuinely great manufacturers, you realize why this stuff is indeed preferred above brand new furniture.

Recycled furniture has a character that just can not be duplicated in the factory. For example, one manufacturer makes tables by using the heads from genuine Kentucky Bourbon barrels. Some use reclaimed wood from old barns and covered bridges. Additional sources of recycled wood and reclaimed lumber include old barns that have been condemned or are destined to be torn down, homes and vintage buildings or plans marked for tear down, waste or scrap from construction sites or torn down and demolished sites … you can even come across wood in rivers that once displaced old-growth logs dating from way back. The history of the furniture is part of the fun of owning it.

Examples of some of the kinds of woods that have been reclaimed for use include American Chestnut, White Oak, Heart Pine and Red Oak. Some of this lumber might be hundreds of years old, and harvested from virgin forests containing species that are now scarce or even protected. I have also discovered through the course of my research that some hardwood logs have not only been reclaimed from the bottom of old logging waterways, but remain exclusively preserved after having spent more than a century sunken in water. These woods can be used for flooring, paneling, art or custom furniture.

So, what I suppose I most wanted to tell you is exactly what the title of this little piece says. Recycled furniture looks great and gives new life to old wood. Beyond that, it can be robust, functional and fashionable. It just depends upon who designs it. So, do not dismiss recycled furniture as an alternative for your home, because you could have been pleasantly surprised by how much enjoyment it can bring you.

Caring For Your Wooden Cutting Board

Researchers have found that bacteria have a tougher time surviving on wood cutting boards. However, plastic cutting boards are less porous than wood, making it less likely to harbor bacteria over a long period of time, but only if it is immediately cleaned. Here are a few tips to caring for your cutting board.

1. It is best to apply the oil slightly warm and with a soft cloth in the direction on the grain. Warming the oil allows it to penetrate deeper into the wood. “Season” your board by applying mineral or butcher block oil and letting it soak into the wood for 15-30 minutes. Apply 4-6 coats before using the board.

2. Oil your cutting board when it looks dry, sometimes as frequently as once a week. If you allow your board to become dry it may begin to crack.

3. Scrub and wash your cutting board with soap and water but don’t immerse it completely in water. In addition, don’t put your wooden cutting board in the dishwasher because it will warp the wood.

4. Spraying vinegar on your cutting board with a spray bottle is a good way to sanitize it. Using bleach on a wood cutting board isn’t a good idea because it is not as effective because the organic composition of wood neutralizes the disinfectant quality of bleach.

Decluttering – Your Desk

Taking the time out to declutter is a long term and short term beneficial move! If your desk is an absolute horror it is hopefully fairly obvious that by hanging work to get it sorted once and for all would most likely be the better decision.

Your work following a good declutter will be faster, more streamlined and focussed. The time to get started is yesterday! Failing that, do it today!

The concern about where to start should not get in the way of simply starting, but an efficient structure to get the job done will be endlessly useful.

Things you will need:

a) Four medium to large boxes or cartons or enough floor space to house four piles of paperwork, stationary and odds and ends.
b) A timer or a clock.
c) A concertina file with labeled compartments.
d) a paper shredder

So lets think of things in terms of four distinct piles or boxes.

1. Things that you want or need and must keep.
2. Things that you need to work on in the immediate future ie right after the clear up is finished – or even will need to continue with during it.
3. Things you do not want or need and want to ditch.
4. Things you can not decide about.

Next start on the left or on the right side of your desk and go through the pile for the next fifteen minutes deciding with sufficient speed (to keep it fun and interesting), which item or paperwork goes where.

Then set your alarm for fifteen minutes and start sorting. Do not drift across the desk aimlessly because you only have fifteen minutes to make a noticeable and satisfying dent in the mess and chaos so keep it streamlined and focussed.

You will find that everything now has a potential home so there is no need to over-think where things will go. Scan paperwork quickly and either put it into one of the four boxes or file it in the concertina file straight away.

When the alarm goes, take a break. Check out how much you achieved. Repeat and rinse!

Remedies for Breach of Contract in Business

Imagine the ideal business world – where every business follows every term of a contract diligently and there is no problem. However, the real world is not such an easy place. Unexpected results, not carrying out the terms properly or not carrying out these at all are frequent. This could spell trouble for the other party involved in the contract.

In such a situation, the most important thing to do is get in touch with a commercial litigation lawyer proficient in Florida laws. Any breach of contract may mean financial losses and unnecessary trouble for your business. You need a legal advisor to assess whenever you have adequate grounds to claim damages for this breach.

Challenging a break at court requires it to have a 'material' purpose. Suppose the failure to timely certain tools, from a business with which you have a contract, prevent your business from manufacturing a bulk order. If your lawyer is capable to establish that you suffered losses because of this breach, there are material grounds for filing a suit.

When there are adequate grounds for you to recover damages because of the breach, your lawyer is best suited to tell you which method to opt for. If the case involves less than $ 5,000 worth in damages, you may seek dispute resolution at a Florida small claims court. You may also choose alternative dispute resolution methods –

Mediation – having a mediator review the case
Arbitration – having a binding arbitrator work out a resolution

If all these attempts fail, you need to ask your Miami commercial litigation lawyer to file a suit. Choose a qualified and experienced litigation expert for proper presentation of your case at court. If you can establish that the break had an adverse effect on your business, you may be able to get a legal remedy.

Specific Performance: this involves the court ordering the breaking party to perform the duty as the terms of the contract specify. This is, however, available if the subject matter of the contract is rare or unique.

Damages: the objective is to compensate for the damages the non-breaking party sufferers or to punish the breaching party. The different types are as follows:

Compensatory damages – the monetary loss for the breach, or its consequential action
Liquidated damages – as specified as a term in the contract
Punitive damages – to punish the breaching party

Cancellation and Restitution: your commercial litigation lawyer may ask for cancellation of the contract, where all parties obtain relief from all obligations and later sue for restitution, ie the breaking party needs to pay for the work or do it themselves.