3 Reasons To Buy A Treadmill Mat For Under Your Treadmill

Why do you need a treadmill mat for your exercise equipment?

There are 3 reasons to buy a fitness equipment mat:

  1. Protect your equipment;
  2. Protect your floor; and
  3. Reduce the treadmill noise.

Mats are very inexpensive considering how much they protect both your fitness equipment and your floor.

1. Protect your exercise equipment?

Mats are made with PVC which is like a rubber mat. They are essentially a very sturdy exercise-type mat. This means they are spunge-like creating a softer surface than your concrete garage or basement, vinyl, laminate, or hardwood floors. Obviously using a treadmill requires you pounding away on the treadmill (or whatever fitness equipment item you have), which, if on a hard surface, the treadmill machine has no give (carpet is an exception, but what about protecting your carpet?).

The give a mat offers results in less jarring on the frame and components of your equipment which is beneficial in the long run.

2. Protect your floor

Unless you use your exercise equipment on concrete, long-term use could damage your floor. Treadmills (and all fitness equipment) are heavy. They can scratch, dent, and chip – depending on the surface. A mat is an inexpensive way to protect your floor and no inconvenience to placing it down.

Also, fitness equipment are machines with lubricants. In time, an exercise machine may leak lubricant onto your floor which may harm your floor.

3. Reduce noise

The spunge-like mat also helps muffle and cushions the noise an exercise machine makes. Any household appreciates reducing treadmill noise. Hard metal on a hard surface will likely be noisier than the hard metal of a treadmill on a sponge-like material.

Fortunately, quality treadmill mats are inexpensive and well worth the expense. It’s also very likely your online treadmill store sells treadmill mats. Don’t forget to check out the accessories of your fitness equipment store – it could save your floor and prolong your equipment.

Die Cast Truck Collection

An Introduction to Collecting Die-Cast Trucks

Collecting die-cast trucks is a fun and fascinating hobby. Whether you are interested in casual collecting or if you're a die-hard collector, there is something in this hobby for everyone. When starting out collecting, or if you are purchasing a truck for a collector, there is some basic information that all collectors should know about die-cast trucks.

Die-Cast Truck Types

While some people collect strictly one type of die-cast vehicle, there are a wide range of vehicle types available. Some collectors focus on antique trucks, and others like to collect trucks from a single manufacturer. Others may focus strictly on a type of truck, such as 18-wheelers, and others may have an interest in farm vehicles or construction equipment. It's important to decide what sort of truck you are most interested in, so you can focus your research and purchasing.

Die-Cast Truck Manufacturers

There are many different manufacturers of die-cast trucks. Some of these manufacturers include:

· Norscott – Norscott is the primary manufacturer of Caterpillar die-cast construction equipment, as well as other brands such as Peterbilt, Kenworth, Case, Claas, Bell, Liebherr and Yale / Hyster.

· Ertl – Ertl is one of the oldest die-cast truck manufacturers. Ertl's primary focus is on farm equipment, and manufactures John Deere and Case / New Holland farm vehicles.

· Tonkin – Tonkin focuses on road trucks, primarily 18-wheelers, but their collection also includes log trucks and dump trucks.

· New Ray – New Ray Trucks also focus on road trucks, including 18-wheelers and pickup trucks, but their collection also includes specialty trucks such as garbage trucks and tanker trucks.

· Yatming – Yatming is a Hong Kong company that manufactures a wide line of fire trucks and police vehicles, in addition to its automobile lines.

· Corgi – Corgi is a British manufacturer that specializes in branded trucks and limited edition collectable vehicles.

· Tonka – Tonka trucks were manufactured more strictly as toys than many die-cast trucks made today. Tonka is currently owned by Hasbro, and now licenses the Tonka name to Maisto for die-cast vehicles. Today's Tonka trucks include pickup trucks, farm tractors, big rigs and branded trucks.

Die-Cast Truck Scales

A scale reflects to the ratio of the size of the model truck to the size of the actual truck. The primary scales for die-cast vehicles are 1:18, 1:24, 1:43, and 1:64. In a 1:18 scale truck, one inch on the die-cast truck translates to 18 inches on the actual truck. Some collectors prefer one scale of die-cast toy trucks, while other's collect trucks from a variety of scales.

Resources for Die-Cast Truck Collectors

The majority of resources for die-cast truck collectors are web sites created by die-cast truck manufacturers and sites developed by other collectors. While manufacturer web sites can easily be found with a simple search, it is more difficult to locate non-manufacturer resources.

The Best Fixed Gear Bikes On Earth

Among biking groups, the best fixed gear bikes are becoming more and more popular. Bike messengers made this type of bike popular and in many parts of the world, this has caused a cult following to develop. Among biking enthusiasts, fixed wheel bikes, also known as fixies, have become the popular choice. Not only are these bikes more affordable than other bicycle types, they are also lighter in weight. Plus, with less parts to clean than the competition, these low-maintenance bikes have become the favored option.

Vilano Fixed Gear Bike Fixie Single Speed Road Bike

Most bike riders are familiar with the brand Vilano. Entry level bikers love this inexpensive road bike and novices who have never gone biking love the ease of use. There are various colors and sizes to choose from as well as models that are perfect for children, women and men of almost any height. Convenient Flip Switch This fixie single speed fixed gear bike by Vilano is perfect for casual biking on the road or for commuting. Simply by flipping the back wheel, riders can switch from fixed gear to single speed. It comes with a rear flip flop hub you can switch. With three sizes to choose from and seven choices of color, you are bound to find the perfect one for you. Build With its aluminum construction, this bicycle is surprisingly solid in build. Riding on roads and commuting around the city will be a breeze as this bike can take a few standard bumps on the road with no problem at all. Specs and Features The alloy stem and handlebars look great with the urban saddle and included pedals. There are caliper brakes and a flip flop rear hub. The Double-wall wheels consist of 7OOx23C tires and the fork is hi-ten steel measuring 7OOc thread less 1 and 1/8 inch. The frame consists of 12Omm rear spacing welded fixed gear tig with 7OOc.

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Single Speed Fixie

For bike enthusiasts and commuters, fixed gear bikes for the road are built by hand by the Critical Cycles company. With the horizontal, tig-welded frame, the components are used best for performing street biking tricks or for riding around town. This bike features a standard single speed and is a road bike that is considered a fixie urban, although it is the farthest thing from standard. Available in over ten colors and in three frame sizes, this brand is one of the most diversified brands available for almost any biker. Design And Specs The specs of this fixie urban bike include 60cm, 57cm, 53cm, 49cm and 43cm. There is a flip-flop hub on this road bike so you can switch the cogs to ride this as a standard single speed or as a fixed gear bike. This bike is made well and can handle rough roads including asphalt and potholes with its optimized Wanda Tires. The specs of this bike include Well-Go pedals, Promax brakes, Sunrun front wheels, KMC chains and Protek cranks. For city riders and commuters, this bike is dependable and reliable for everyday use. Conveniently Lightweight For this category of road bikes, it is below standard weight at just twenty-five pounds. You will love the high quality components that are sturdy yet light in weight, which increases your speed in the process. The tires are size 23 with 700C wheels.

Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike

Whether you are looking for a bike you can use to commute with or for a speedy experience, this fixie bike by Giordano is a great choice. Mostly designed for flat lands, bikers still use this bike for slight slopes with great success. The drop bar and steel frame configuration gives this fixie durability and strength, as well as great looks. The frame is made of lightweight steel so you can enjoy greater speed with less weight. The rear hub features a handle you can flip to switch from the modes of freewheel and single speed. Road Bike Specs The tyres measure 7OOc x 32 with steel forks that dissipate rider shock. This gives riders extra comfort. The road tyres are Black Kenda with alloy hubs and rims. There is a seat post, a crank and a tubular frame with forks, all made of steel. The road tyres are larger too much of the road shock is absorbed. Super Speed The broad tyres plus the combination of the lightweight frame produces a speedier-than-usual fixie bike. In other words, you can go as fast as you can on the streets of the city. Even with all the features and components of this bike, it still makes for a great starter bike. For serious bikers that want a bike they can depend on for a long time, this is the choice to make.

Vilano Rampage Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Road Bike

This fixed gear road bike by Vilano is easy to run, durable, lightweight, a joy to ride and quite affordable. All these features combined make it a great everyday ride. Created to be easy to ride, you can use this bike for a ride of leisure around the country or for everyday use on the city streets. This is a favourite among fixie aficionados mainly because it produces great performance and looks great, to boot. You will love the combination of a great looking fixed gear bike plus performance that’s hard-to-beat. Specs of the Vilano Rampage The front and rear alloy calliper plus the 700cx28 brakes are built perfectly along with the 700c high tensile steel plus urban platform pedals. There is a threadless crank set measuring 700c 1/8 inch and you will no doubt experience the smoothest ride of your life. Final Verdict When it comes to the Best Fixed Gear Bikes, information is king. With this in mind, the Vilano Rampage Fixed Gear Fixie Single Speed Road Bike is the choice to make. The reason behind this is that not only are all the materials top-of-the-line, the bike looks great as well. Vilano is a great brand that does not fail to produce great fixed gear bicycles year after year. With the new popularity surge of fixies, the newer products of this brand does not fail to disappoint. Basically, you get a smooth ride whether you are touring the country or commuting on the streets of the city. With such a reliable bike model as this one by Vilano, it is not really a hard choice to make. After all, you deserve only the very best.

Get Powerful Text Effect With Photoshop

A stylish, enhancing and powerful text can do wonders to your simple text. The text effect can change the look of an ordinary boring written text and makes it more impactful and interesting. In this Photoshop Tutorial, we will learn to create powerful text effect using brushes and layer styles.

Before going further, make sure that you have the resources like Background Gradient and Color Palette, Sparkles Brush and last but not the least Clouds.

So here we go!

First Step:

– Use the Gradient as listed above to create a Radial Gradient for the Background. Then, start creating your text using the color #fcf133. You can use the font like Aller Light, and set the size to 325px.

– After the above step, set the Foreground color to #e89819 and the Background color to #fddd03, and create a new layer on top of the text layer.

– Right click on the text layer and select Create Work Path, then click on the “Layer 1″ once more to make it lively.

Second Step:

Select a soft brush, then open the Brush panel (Window > Brush) to modify the following settings:

– Change the Size to 30px, and the Spacing to 25% in Brush Tip Shape.

– Within Shape Dynamics, change the Size Jitter to 100%.

– In Color Dynamics, fix the Foreground/Background Jitter to 100%.

Lastly, check the Wet Edges box as this will give the brush a more liquid effect.

– After your brush is ready, pick the Direct Selection Tool and right click on the work path to choose Stroke Path.

Select Brush from the Tool drop-down menu, and make sure the Simulate Pressure box is un-checked.

Third Step:

Double click on “Layer 1″ in order to apply the following styles:

– For Outer Glow: Set the Blend Mode to Overlay, the color to #e1e1e0, and the Range to 100%.

– For Inner Glow: Set the Blend Mode to Overlay and the color to #d1a6b4.

– For Bevel and Emboss: Fix the Size to 16, the Gloss Contour to Ring – Double, the Highlight Mode to Vivid Light and the color to #ffbd49, and the Shadow Mode color to #e4cc2d.

– For Contour: Just Select Gaussian – Invert.

Now your text will have a nice glow.

Fourth Step:

Duplicate “Layer 1″, and simultaneously change the copy’s Blend Mode to Color. The text should look brighter!

– By Right clicking on the text layer, choose Rasterize Type.

– Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and fix the Radius value to 2.5 in order to soften the text’s harsh edges and make it blend with the brush stroke.

Fifth Step:

– Make a new layer on top of the Background layer and call it “sparkles”. Fix the Foreground color to #fddd03, and use the Sparkles Brushto draw some sparkles around the text, but do not overdo it.

– Select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and fix the Radius to 0.5 to soften the sparkles.

– Lastly, choose the image of Clouds, and place it on top of the Background layer and under the “sparkles” layer. Resize it to fit the document if you want, then change its Blend Mode to Soft Light, and its Fill value to 75%.

Now the blue colors will blend nicely with the red ones, creating a nice Background for the final effect.

Wow, your text is creating a powerful Impact!

Teaching Tumbling to Tots

The method behind teaching preschool tumbling and school-age tumbling is quite different. When you're working with children under the age of six and getting them to understand where to put their feet, where to place their hands, or where to look in the middle of a skill, you must provide them with visual cues. Visual cues are the secrets to teaching tumbling to tots.

Let's use cartwheels as an example. To begin teaching a cartwheel to a 2-year-old you would start by asking them to do a side bunny hop, therefore creating the needed lateral movement. Bunny hops are done by piking forward from a stand placing both hands on the floor. Have them move their hands and then their feet continuously down the mat. After they have completed this move, go on to the cartwheel. Put a hula-hoop in front of them. Have them touch their front toe to the hoop. Tell them to put their hands in the hoop and to bunny hop their feet around to the other side. By providing them with a visual cue (the hoop) that gives them a place to put their hands and a space to land their feet. If you're undecided as to which foot should go in front for the cartwheel … have them do a horsey kick (like a handstand where the feet are kicking alternately in the air) and not which foot was kicked up first. The other leg is usually the cartwheel leg. Set up as many stations as you can, because repetition also is imperative in a preschooler's learning. Have the stations set up so the children are encouraged to "bunny hop around them". We use what we call our "cartwheel factory". We set up a line of double cones so there's an alley to cartwheel through. Put hoops on the floor everywhere you want the gymnasts to do a cartwheel. Have a row of stacked panel mats with each having a hoop on top. Also use the small trapezoid pieces with a hoop on top. Put stacked panel mats or trapezoid pieces on their side to create a wall to cartwheel between. Then, a row of hoops about 3 'apart for the "cartwheel machine". We also have a 2 'by 5' exercise mat marked with contact paper hand and footprints indicating placement for cartwheels. One side of the mat is marked for "lefties" and one side for "righties". Give your 5-year-olds chalk on their hands and a line for them to cartwheel on enabling them to better understand the principle behind this four-count skill. Also, emphasize a lunge at the beginning and end of the skill. Any visual cue will work. Ethafoam pieces, carpet squares, vinyl or melt cut-put shapes … anything that allows the child the chance to visibly see where to put their hands and feet. This will more easily expedite the learning of the cartwheel.

An article on teaching tumbling to tots would not be complete without the mention of barrels, incline mats, mailboxes, donuts, and trapezoids. These innovative pieces of equipment should be a staple in every gym across America. The amount of decreased spotting and increased learning is tremendous and is not limited to simply preschoolers. Different size bars and inclines are available for all sizes of gymnasts and can be used to teach simple skills such as forward rolls up to back somis and–on–off vaults. Their uses will only be limited to your imagination.

In conclusion, the idea is to provide these young gymnasts with visual cues to allow easier understanding with less effort on the teacher's part as well as the student's. Teaching preschoolers tumbling can be a fun, challenging, and rewarding experience with a small amount of equipment and imagination. Seeing results so fast with these young children can be your greatest teaching joy.

Clearing the Clutter & Organizing Your Real Estate Investing Business

A typical real estate investor’s desk is littered with accumulated paperwork for a variety of projects that are in various stages of completion. Depending on your organizational skills, you may have a haphazard pile of paperwork that you have to dig through any time you need to locate a document or you might utilize file folders, paper trays or – the bane of my existence until recently – neat looking piles. However, as many of you know, I’m embracing the use of technology more and more in my everyday investing activities by outsourcing many tasks to virtual assistants. There’s a new solution that can save you time, money, and clear much of the paper off your desk. Even better, if you’ve bought a new computer recently there’s a good chance the solution to a lot of your organizational problems is on your desk top right now, waiting patiently to be put to work. I’m talking about a little known computer program called Microsoft OneNote.

Computer programs normally talk a good talk, but seldom follow through. They either don’t work properly or the learning curve is so steep you’re tempted to give up before it’s been given a fair chance to prove itself. OneNote is different. Microsoft usually comes up short when it comes to making software applications user friendly, but this time they’ve really knocked one out of the park because OneNote is easy to learn and it’s easily adaptable to real estate investing. You’ll be up and running in no time and within a week you’ll rely on it as heavily as the air you breathe. Here’s how I’ve put OneNote to work. OneNote, billed as a note taking program, can be adapted for use as a real estate investor’s best friend. The first thing you need to know about OneNote is that it’s set up like a notebook. Look at it as a multi-sectioned notebook. You can create tabs for all of the properties you’re currently considering. You can keep all of the details of a specific property on one page for easy reference.

In addition, if you’ve gotten emailed bids from contractors, signed contracts, or even appraisals, you can simply create a new page for your notebook and – using the copy/paste function – can neatly drop the appraisal into your OneNote program. Now instead of endlessly searching for a specific email that contains an attachment you need, it’s available at your fingertips. One of the sexiest aspects of this program that makes it so useful for real estate investing applications is the fact that if you have property photos, audio recordings (for instance if you use a digital tape recorder to note property characteristics or notes about a property to remind yourself, etc.), or digital video tape recordings of prospective properties you may have, you can simply drag and drop the files onto your OneNote page.

To view it or listen to it you double click the file and it plays. While your file plays you can refer to any page of your notebook. Way cool! If you use a virtual assistant to compile property listings for you, OneNote makes this a breeze as well because file sharing is another feature the program has. Instead of using a clunky spreadsheet for this aspect of your investing, you can jump on the technological bandwagon and really ramp up your productivity. This program is perfect for anyone who wants to get organized or clear some of the excess clutter off of their desk. Once you make a decision to purchase a property, you can easily move a tabbed property to a different notebook or copy and paste everything about that property to a different notebook within OneNote. You’re not limited to just one notebook – you can have an infinite number of notebooks and the ways you can utilize this program are limited only by your imagination.

Two final aspects of OneNote that you’re sure to love: If you’re surfing the web and you see a property, an article, or something else that strikes your fancy, simply right click, copy & paste it into OneNote. The program snags your content and even includes a clickable link back to the original source page. If you’re not sure where to put something, don’t despair. You can temporarily put it in an uncategorized section that you can move later on, so you’ll never have to let a lack of time prevent you from storing information you’ll need later on. And there’s no chance that you’ll forget to save changes, etc. because it’s automatically saved! As you can clearly see, Microsoft is as flexible as you need it to be. Play around with the program and find other ways to put this program to work for you today. Real estate investing has never been easier with all of the great programs and gadgets out there in the marketplace today. The idea is to make more and work less and with programs like this, it makes that possible!

Would Our Web Designer Sell Us A Junk Design?

Junk just gathers dust
Web designers are in the business of selling web designs. That is the first principle of business for a web design firm, as it is for many other types of businesses. There is nothing new here except that the whole purpose of a web site is to create business for the owner, and a site just gathering dust does not do that.

No one says that a web design needs to create direct sales for any business but it must connect with the business owner's market and engage that market. If the site does not connect with the market it is just junk collecting dust. It may be a beautiful piece of work but it's still collecting dust.

Part of this problem is our responsibility as small business owners. We did not go to a web designer and say, "I need a web site designed for my web market."

Instead, most small business owners say, "I need a web site designed for my business."

Our market does not care about us
The difference is about the focus our words create and the intent that gives to a project. And when the focus is on our business it is not on our market. So, we end up with something we are thrilled with even though our market is not impressed and does not care.

What our market cares about is their problem, not the looks of our web site. They are not going to share our web site with others because it looks cool, but they will share when our business web site helps them and educates them about our industry and how to make the best choice for their needs.

Are we being educated on our marketing options?
The chances are that our web designer does not really want to go there. Instead they jump right in to giving us a good look at their portfolio and suggesting how they could customize and come up with something totally original for us.

And our fault is that we go for this – not knowing any better.

But it's not really our fault. We go to experts to get the best information and all too often we are talking to a professional that has a conflict of interest. This is where the web designer is advising us about the very product they sell. We may never get clear information about what all our choices are.

For instance:
If the conversations never touches on the low cost, or no cost, of "Pull Marketing" then we are not getting all of the available choices.

If the conversations never come around to discussing the differences between a demographic market and a virtual market then we are not seeing our real needs.

If the conversations never get around to discussing how to define a marketing profile for our web market (not just guessing about our virtual market) then we are not getting to use the best of what a web site can offer our business.

And there are more if that's the web design industry does not talk about. Web designers do not talk about our market other than ask us to describe them. It is so much easier for them to design something for us. So most small business owners end up with a beautiful site that is headed for the scrap pile from day one.

To design for our web market a design firm would need to know how to discover things about our virtual market that even we do not know. They would need to know about virtual markets and why they are different. Web designers need to know our market's shopping habits, what our market values ​​the most and which values ​​we have in common with our market. But web designers, trendy or not, do not give us any of this.

The solution is in market segmentation
This is just another term for psycho-graphics. Segmentation divides a whole geographic or national market into 7 segments where each has a psychological profile that describes the segments shopping habits, values, likes & dislikes as well as general beliefs. These are better tools to work with on the web.

Reverse engineer
We could also stand back from our own business and ask that business a few questions to discover things about the market it serves.

  • Does not our business provide solutions for a market?
  • Does not our experience include the pain and distress our market feels?
  • Can we name our market's biggest problem?

Once we have put words to the solutions we provide and for those we provide them for then we are well on our way know who our web site should be designed for.

We do not have to accept trendy web designs that have no appeal to our market. These just sit and gather dust. We want a site that engages our market and this means engaging our market.

Read that last line again. It's like saying, "If nothing changes … then nothing changes."

If our web site does not engage our market it's just junk

No matter how beautiful and pleasant it is to our eyes.

And it is our job to make sure that our web designer is going to think about our market and what would be best for our market but we should not really expect this to happen. The reason for this is that there is no one that knows more about our business than we do, but we need to stop listening to the professionals who are only thinking about us.

A professional web designer may not deserve all the blame for junk web site, except that they are the self proclaimed experts and they expect that we will listen to them. Therefore, the first rule of hiring a web professional is to not let them design our web site.

There is, of course, a great deal more to learn about our virtual market and how they think, what their shopping habits are, what their values ​​are and what they believe in. There is not room in one article to cover the web as a virtual marketplace or market segmentation to develop a market's profile. You will find this information in other articles.

How to Seal Your Deck on Your Own

Having a wooden deck requires DIY skills to maintain its beautiful surface and keep it splinter free.

There are several ways to apply a deck sealer. You can do this with a brush, paint roller or a garden sprayer.

A brush gives you a good control, so you end up with even applications. It also forces the deck sealer into the open pores and grain. However, this is a long and tiring process. You can also opt to use a paint roller. Although it is faster, you have little control, so you end up going over some areas again just to make sure that everything is evenly covered. Another method is through the use of a garden sprayer. It’s the fastest and cleanest way to do the job. However, the best way to apply a deck sealer would be the according to the written instructions on the product container. So pay careful attention to it.

Now, let’s go to the step by step application process of the deck sealer.

1. Spray down the floor with water and scrub it to remove dirt, grime, mold, and other debris that has collected on the surface. Screwdrivers and putty knives will be particularly useful at this stage. If you do not do this, you will have an uneven surface and the deck sealer will also trap elements that may cause problems in the future.

2. Sweep away the debris you have managed to scrape off.

3. Protect nearby foliage from chemicals with a plastic sheet.

4. Use deck cleaners on the surfaces for thorough cleaning. These are available in hardware stores. You can also create your solution by mixing equal amounts of high-quality oxygen bleach with warm water. Use deck brighteners to remove molds and mildew stains mainly for redwoods and cedars. Apply the cleaner to the railings and posts from the bottom up to avoid spills and splatters.

5. Let the cleaner sit on the wooden surfaces according to the manufacturer’s directions.

6. Then, spray down and rinse the deck well. For large areas, a pressure washer will get the job done fast.

7. Allow the deck to completely dry for at least 48 hours before moving on to the next step.

8. Put on your protective safety equipment like your goggles and face mask.

9. Sand the entire deck by moving your sander in the same direction as the grains on the wood. If you do the opposite, you will be creating grooves on the wood which are weak spots for pooling of liquid. Just sand the surface to remove the old sealant and expose the bare wood with an even surface. You can also use an 80 grit sandpaper for this.

10. Sweep off or vacuum the sanding dust from the surface to get a smooth and even surface. This will make it ready for the first coat of sealant.

11. If you notice any loose screw or popped nails, now is the perfect time to fix them. If there are boards that need to be replaced, do it now.

12. Use painter’s tape to protect surfaces from the sealant.

13. Get your deck sealer and follow the instructions given on how to apply the sealant. Brush the sealant using even strokes in the direction of the wood grain. Pay careful attention to the nook and crannies and make sure to paint over them as well. Avoid stepping over the wet sealant.

14. Allow the deck sealer to dry for a few hours before applying the second coat.

Now that you are done using the floor sealer grab a cool drink stretch out, and relax while waiting for it to dry completely. In a day or two, you can put back the furniture and lounge in the area again! Wouldn’t that be great?

Air Conditioning

In 1900 there was very little people could do during a hot spell except grumble about the weather orif-they could afford it -go away to the mountains or the seashore. Today air conditioning has changed this. With air conditioning has changed this. With air conditioning you can be comfortable anywhere indoors on even the hottest, stickiest day of the year. You will almost certainly find air conditioning in the movie theaters you attend, in many of the stores where your family shops, and in the restaurants where you eat. It may even be in your own home.

What is air conditioning?
You know that air conditioning makes you feel cool. But air conditioning is more than just cooling. It means keeping the temperature and humidity (moisture content) of air in an enclosed space, whether it is one room or an entire building, at just the right level for the comfort of the people inside. It also means circulating the air and adding moisture if necessary. In summer it means removing by passing the air over cold pipes that collect water from the air, much as drops of water condense on a cold water glass on a hot, damp day. In fact, we might almost say that air conditioning means creating an artificial, comfortable climate. In this article we will discuss only cooling.

In dry climates air can be cooled simply. The cooler may be no more than a large fan that draws hot, dry air to a water soaked fiber mat. The air is cooled as it evaporates the water. It is do dry to begin with that the added moisture will not cause discomfort. (This is not the case in humid climates)

Air conditioning has many uses surrounding keeping us comfortable. Many industries depend on it to keep the air in their plants clean, cool and at the right moisture level. For example, textile fiber such as wool and cotton will stretch or shrink as the moisture content of air changes. This causes variations in the quality of the cloth. Too much moisture in the air -or even on a worker's fingertips- will cause delicate metal parts such as rocket components or precision instruments instrument to corrode. The wrong temperature can spoil a batch of antibiotic culture. Proper air conditioning prevents this mishap.

The deep diamond and gold mines of South Africa use air conditioning to enable miners to work in what would otherwise be suffocating in heat, thousands of feet below the ground. With the air conditioning is involved in every part of the United States space program, from making missiles to tracking them through the atmosphere.

Inventors have tinkered with methods of air conditioning for years. Ancient Egyptians and Romans got some relief from the heat by hanging woven mats soaked with water across to their entrances of their homes, so the air would be by evaporation. In the 15th century AD, the famous artist and inventor built water powered fan.

As men is interest in science grew so did the number of schemes for getting cool. There were hundreds of ideas, but none of them really worked. In fact, many of the schemes made people feel worse because they added large amount of water to the air. Air is like a sponge. It will soak up water and make people feel sticky and uncomfortable, especially in hot weather. When the air is very moist, we say the humidity is high. When the air is dry, the humidity is low and we feel better.

The first machine that kept the humidity low or cooled the air at the same time was developed in 1902 by Willis H. Carrier who built is often called "the father of air conditioning." Carrier built this machine for a printing plant in Brooklyn, New York, that had trouble printing in color. Paper stretches when the air is damp and shrinks when the air is dry. Since each color had to be printed separately, printing of different colors on the same sheet of paper did not line up accurately because the papers change size between printings. Carrier's machine kept the moisture level of the air constant by drawing the air over a row cold pipes that condensed excess moisture. This kept the paper at one size and also made the people in the plant feel cool. Carrier's invention marked the beginning of scientific air conditioning.

Air conditioning was soon being used in many factories, such as plants that made ammunition during World War I. But people generally did nit know about this invention until 1920's, when hundreds of movie theaters, department stores, and restaurants had air conditioners installed. People often came into these places just to get relief from hot, muggy air outside.

As the air conditioning became more popular during the 1930's, central air conditioning systems were developed. These could cool the whole office or apartment building from one centrally located unit, just as buildings were heated from one big furnace in the basement instead of little stoves in each room. During the same period small units that could air condition a single room were developed. After World War II large numbers of small units began to be used in private homes. A later development, used incrementally in public buildings and private homes, combined heating and cooling units in one system.

How does it Work?

An air conditioning unit does not "add coolness" to the air. It removes heat. An air conditioner works on the same basic principle as a refrigerator-though it is not designed to produce such low temperatures. Heat is taken from the air by the rapid expansion of a refrigerant (cooling substances) as it turns from a liquid at high pressure. An accompanying illustration shows the cycle of operations of a small home-type air conditioner. Here the air is cooled directly by the machine. For the sake of the simplicity, filter and motors are not shown in this diagram. In large, central installations, such as those in office buildings and schools, a machine chills water that is piped to a series of coils. Air from building is drawn over this coils and circulated through the building blowers.

To be practical, an air conditioning unit must be able to maintain a steady temperature. Otherwise people would have to turn their units off and on continuously as the temperature becomes too cold or hot. A steady temperature-regulating device called thermostat. The thermostat is set at desired temperature. It then switches the cooling unit on and off as needed.

The air conditioning systems of the future may work by what is known as thermoelectric. A thermoelectric unit is very small and very quiet. It is made up of tiny "couples," each couple maintaining a pair of semiconductors and connected in parallel current. These couples produce cooling at one end and heating at other when direct flows through them. This is called Peatier effect. When the current is reversed, the cooling and heating effects also reverse. When a way is found to produce this tiny thermoelectric unit cheaply, they may cool and heat your whole house.

Choosing an Air Conditioning Repair Contractor

When your home heating and cooling system needs repair, you might be tempted to jump to the web or the yellow pages and just start dialing Heating and Air Conditioning Repair Contractors, picking the first one that says they can be there TODAY! Unfortunately, this method of choosing a contractor while you are under pressure because your air conditioner or furnace needs repair can be a recipe for disaster for you the homeowner.

When you are picking out a heating and cooling contractor there are far more important questions to have answered than just when can you be here! I am not dismissing the fact that that is an important factor especially when you are hot or cold because your ac or furnace needs to be repaired, but it can end up costing you a ton of money, stress and aggravation in the long run.

So how do you know if you 've chosen a quality Air Conditioning Contractor? It all starts with the initial phone call, but it does not stop there.

Some things to consider:

• Check their ratings, things like the Tucson BBB, Arizona Registrar of Contractors & Angie's List. Google while valuable can be manipulated to show positive reviews and is a less reliable option.

• Is the phone answered professionally and promptly (during normal working hours, if after hours take this with a grain of salt as it is impossible to control the types of employees an after hours answering service hires. be sure to alert the management / owner of the HVAC Business)

• If the call is after hours, how long does it take for someone to contact you to address your concern and provide a time frame for when they can be out to your home.

• Do they give you a clear timeframe for service and also inform you that you will receive a confirmation call prior to the technician heading to your home as a courtesy update and reminder?

Once the call has been scheduled:

• Do you receive a confirmation call? If so is the technician / dispatcher professional in their demeanor?

• Are they on-time? If you do not receive a courtesy call advising you that they are running late before their expected time of arrival?

• Because HVAC repair can be a complicated business, it is sometimes necessary for a technician to take longer on a call than expected. A quality company will respect your time as valuable and give you as much notice as possible so that you are not waiting unnecessarily for someone to show up when you can be doing other more productive things.

When the Technician arrives:

• Is he prompt and on-time? And if not did he or someone at the office call you to inform you that he was running late? Your time is valuable and a quality professional air conditioning professional will respect your time.

• Is his appearance neat, clean and professional? Is he wearing a clean uniform that clearly demonstrates a professional attention to detail?

• Is he polite and professional in his introduction to you? Does he confirm with you the reason for his visit (I'm here to complete your maintenance, repair your air conditioner or furnace etc.)?

• Does he put on shoe covers before entering your home? While a lot of people may not feel this is necessary, it is the correct thing to do for a technician and shows that he has been properly trained to respect and protect your home.

• Does the technician take a few minutes to discuss with you what you are experiencing with your system? Does he ask probing questions regarding your heating and air conditioning system and does he listen to your answers? A well trained heating and cooling technician while being the expert of repairing your cooling or heating system knows the value of listening to a customer. It may not only assist him in making the correct diagnosis, but may also alert him to other issues he can address that may otherwise be missed if he just focuses on the repair of your air conditioner or furnace.

• Once the diagnosis or maintenance is completed, do they offer to demonstrate what the problem / deficiency is, or do they show you a picture showing the necessity of the repair?

• Are they able to speak professionally and intelligently about the problem so that you can understand what needs to be done, but more importantly why? Are they educating you and backing up their findings with visual evidence and or readings from their diagnostic tools, or are they trying to sell you something?

• If you say no to one their recommendations, do they remain professional in demeanor? A quality heating and cooling contractor would never employ technicians who become aggressive or unprofessional when a homeowner chooses to decline a repair.

• Do they seek your approval before performing any work that would be chargeable beyond the diagnostic fee, no work should ever be performed without your permission.

• Do they explain the difference between a Proactive Repair, one that in their professional opinion while the system may still be operational, performing this repair will prevent future more costly breakdowns. These repairs are always a choice to be made by the customer and should never be rated as a have to! That said it is usually a good idea to perform these types of repairs if your budget will allow because they typically will save you money at a future date. A Must Repair / Life Safety Repairs are repairs that either have the system not functioning like a bad compressor, or represent a condition that could cause physical harm to you or your home such as bad wiring or cracked heat exchangers. There are also System Enhancements Upgrades that may be offered, these are always options and should be taken as suggestions and only chosen if you feel it is of value to you and your family.

• Upon completion of any repairs, or maintenance do they offer to show you the defective parts?

• Do they clean up after themselves, is your home left in as good or better condition than when the technician arrived. Did he put all of the screws into the cabinets of the air conditioner and furnace? Are all the covers correctly and left in a weather tight condition.

• Do they provide you with a professional written service ticket explaining the services performed, all charges, and any recommendations made that you have chosen not to have performed at that day.

• Does the technician take the time to make sure you do not have any questions, and if so do they answer them in a professional manner?

If you utilize this as a guide for how to pick a quality heating and cooling contractor, you should not be disappointed. While a professional contractor will perform along these guidelines without any prodding from you the homeowner, it will quickly identify areas of concern for you if they do not. It will give you a chance to seek a second opinion prior to being committed to working with an unprofessional or lackadaisical contractor.

A word of caution, price is not an indicator of professionalism of heating and cooling contractors. I've seen many high priced contractors provide very poor service to their customers and have also seen small lower priced contractors provide exemplary service for their customers. Price is not a good indicator of quality, and no matter what the price of the repair if the diagnosis is not correct or if the repair is not done approbably, it will not matter. Look for professionals that stand behind their work and who instill confidence in you that they know what they are doing, but also are willing to stand behind their work with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!

Pork Stir Fry Recipe – Southwest Pork and Black Bean Stir Fry

Here's a nice way to use pork tenderloin to make a Mexican style meal in a short time. Here's a tip: You can thaw out the corn quickly by putting it in a colander and running warm water over the corn.

To make this dish you'll need:
olive or vegetable oil,
3/4 pound of pork tenderloin – cut into 2-inch strips,
1 medium onion – cut into thin wedges,
1 small red bell pepper – cut into strips,
2 garlic cloves – minced,
2 cups frozen corn – thawed,
1 can black beans – drained and rinsed,
1 small zucchini – chopped and
1/2 cup chunky salsa.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat until hot. Add in the pork strips, onion, bell pepper and minced garlic. Cook and stir for 6 to 8 minutes or until the pork is no longer pink.

Stir in the corn, black beans, chopped zucchini and salsa. Cover and cook on simmer for 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is crisp and tender. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Bonus Recipe: Pork with Onions and Pea Pods

For this recipe you'll need: vegetable oil, 1/2 pound of pork tenderloin – cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips, orange marmalade, chili sauce, fresh snow pea pods – trimmed and 1 small onion – cut into rings and separated.

In a skillet, heat up 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium high heat until hot.

Add in pork strips and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes until pork is no longer pink in color. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.

Reduce heat to medium and combine in the same skillet, 1/4 cup of orange marmalade, 1 tablespoon of chili sauce, 1 cup of fresh snow pea pods and onion rings. Cook and stir for 3 to 5 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp and tender. Return the pork to the pan and continue cooking and stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until completely heated.

Makes 2 servings.

Crown Molding – Decorative Genius For The Home

Home is where the heart is and the heart always wants the home to look and feel beautiful. Crown molding is the perfect way to convert an ordinary looking home into one that vibrates with elegance and grace. It could have said that crown molding had its humble beginning somewhere in Europe when the early Italians started using wooden molds to decorate their walls and pillows. It soon spread to other parts of the world and is now extensively used all over the world to give homes a more colonial and elegant look.

These moldings were originally made exclusively from wood. But now different kinds of materials like polyurethane, plastic, fiber, foam, and other new synthetic materials are used to create the moldings. Although a variety of materials are used, wood and polyurethane are the most common materials. They give a better finish and last longer. The material used for creating the molding depends a lot on the budget the homeowner has to work with.

Crown molding includes not only wall pieces, but also ceiling medallions and decorative columns. Rose and petal motifs, vines and leaf motifs are the most common design seen in decorative moldings. There are also moldings with elegant and simple lines. The creation of the molding is an art as well as a science and requires precision. Many craftsmen use certain formula to get the curve of the mouldings.

The expertise of the craftsmen and the material used to create the mold all affects the final look of the feature. Other than the making, the fitting of the molding also plays an important part in making the room or home look good. If not done properly, the molding would look totally out of place and would have more of a negative effect.

Therefore, the contractor fitting the molding must also be well experienced in that sort of works. If executed well, there is nothing better that can enhance a home's facade.

There are many companies who come out with readymade crown mouldings, with general specifications, which can be purchased and attached to the walls. Most of them also custom-make moldings and send it to the customers as per their specifications and design. Many of them install the molding in the house with the help of their own staff, whereas many send it to the builders who then do the installation.

It is a good idea to have the builders and the mold makers to be in touch as the specifications can be given and understood more clearly then. These companies have state-of-the-art machines and technicians to carry out the building of the molding. Therefore, the possibility of error is only the bare minimum.

Crown moldings are a quick way that many decorators use to spruce up the home and increase its overall impact. If the property is put up for sale, many real estate agents get carpenters to put in moldings to enhance the property's aesthetic appeal and increase its worth. It is one of the most inexpensive ways of home improvement available.

Work From Home And Make Money With Your Own Online Business

Start Your Own Online Business- Top Reasons Why You Should

It isn’t easy to start an online business. Some people may lie to you and say it is the easiest thing they have ever done, but they are being at best unrealistic. Running an online business is as the name implies, “a business that is online”. So there are certain rules you must follow in order to earn cash online (and do it the right way).

Even though there are challenges to running a business online there are benefits to it as well. In my view it is better to start a business online. Below I have listed some of the top reasons I believe this to be true.

The Traditional Way To Get Cash Is Becoming Outdated

There are a lot of people who have great ideas, but can never seem to the get them off of the ground. Many times this is due to lack of resources or the ability to properly fund their business. With the traditional business model there is normally a substantial investment. An internet business does not require this major investment (though there could be a small one).

Using the example of a brick and mortar store an owner must invest in their business only to have their money at times locked in the business itself for years. Many times it takes years for the store owner to recuperate their entire investment. With an online business model you would have less overhead and other means to store your inventory (such as drop shipping or as an affiliate). This means that inventory is not a requirement allowing you to ship product upon demand versus investing in the goods upfront.

Each Industry Dictates It’s Threshold To Make Money

Certain industries require you to invest money to make money. Depending upon the industry itself starting small may be out of the question. The reason? In order to compete you must be competitive. To be competitive in the traditional sense may require a significant investment of funds from the beginning. This is not even mentioning physical location(s), staff and security issues.

However, a home based business that exists on the internet can grow as you grow. We all want to grow. With a smaller investment you can leverage your advantage for greater profits. If staff is required, the positions are minimal and physical security becomes one less thing for you to worry about (especially if you are an affiliate or you don’t house your products in-house).

The Internet Is Becoming The Standard For Communicating A Business

The day is coming where if you’re not online you don’t exist. Even traditional brick and mortar organizations are now vying for a presence on the web.

The level of innovation new technologies are providing the entrepreneur online are endless. You are limited by your imagination and ambition.

With the internet you can make as much or as little as you want. This is determined by your willingness and effort to take your business to the next level. Will you press forward the wheel of innovation a success and become the next internet millionaire (or billionaire)? Or maybe you’re not as ambitious and are only looking to take care of your needs (and maybe your families too)? An online business can provide you with this ability.

Motorcycle Helmet Lock and Gear Lock

You've sent a great deal of money on all those accessories including your helmet. But now you need to keep it safe while you are away from it. You can accomplish that with a motorcycle helmet lock or gear lock. Here are just a few to check out.

Using the factory helmet lock is tough enough but if you have two helmets then it's impossible. There are several systems available on the market that will accommodate two helmets and secure your helmets much better than the factory systems.

1. Kewl Metal Chrome Helmet Lock

This fits the Kuryakyn ISO grips and it only takes a couple of minutes to bolt on. Works with the throttle boss too. It's also reasonably priced which makes it a great pick.

2. OnGuard Beast Pad Lock With Chain

This is one of the strongest on the market with the dual lock deadbolt that has the best holding power on the market. The M cylinder means it can not be picked and it can not be drilled. Each lock comes with 4 laser keys. This lock will not let you down and for what you get it's priced very reasonable.

3. Aeromach Saddlebag Locks

These locks have recently been modified to make them even more secure than they've been in the past. They are made from carved billet aluminum and they are easy to install. A simple solution to a problem.

4. Kuryakyn Universal Helmet Lock

The chrome lock mounts to 7/8 "to 1" "bar with a flexible coil cable gives you plenty of flexibility. Designed to use daily and last longer than many of the competitions.

5. Kryptonite Disc Lock

This will prevent your disk lock from being engaged. It's flexible and coiled cable will keep things nice and secure. And to make sure you do not try to ride off yourself with the lock in place a flashing LED will remind you the lock is in place. It's a slick system that works well to keep your bike safe and sound.

6. Kryptonite New York 3000

This model is even stronger than the last with the ultimate in U locks. It's designed for high traffic and high theft areas. Made from kryptonite with a steel shackle that will resist even the most serious molt cutter pro. This is the perfect motorcycle lock and you will not be disappointed with its performance. In fact you'll be glad you invested in it the first time it does its job.

Whether you are looking to lock your helmet, your gear, or the motorcycle itself there are plenty of different lock choices on the market. In fact there are so many that it can become a bit overwhelming.

Start by deciding what locks it is you need. Then do your research online and do your price comparisons too. You can save a great deal of money by shopping online and the selection is endless.

Whether you are looking for a motorcycle helmet lock or a lock for other gear it's time to shop online.

Home Improvements – Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer is a great time to take care of some of those home maintenance items that can sneak up on you when you're not looking. Here's a handy list of things to add to your job jar:

Maintain your lawn and garden tools:

Sharpen the blades, change the oil, and replace the filters on your lawn mower. Make sure your weed trimmers are in good condition. Oil garden tools and sharpen blades.

Inspect the locks on your doors and windows:

Make sure your home is safe and secure. Oil any sticky locks and consider a home security system. Outdoor lighting adds appealing to your home and can increase security.

Inspect Exposed Plumbing:

Check under your sinks and anywhere you can get access to exposed plumbing. Make sure there is not any dampness that could indicate a small leak in the plumbing.

Inspect for termites and other pests:

Inspect the basement or crawl space, eaves, and attic for termites, carpenter ants, and other wood pests. If you see signs of wood damage, call a professional exterminator. Look under the eaves for wasp or hornet nests. Handle wasp or hornet nests with care and call in a professional if necessary.

Patios and porches:

Clean the barbecue and hose down brick or concrete patio surfaces. Replace any broken bricks and patch concrete cracks. Wash outdoor or screened-in porch floors. Plant annuals in pots, or replant existing planters. Lubricate patio doors. Bring out and clean up your patio or porch furniture.

Complete painting projects:

If you're painting your house yourself, wash your house first using a home cleaning formula. Scrape off crumbling paint, smooth rough areas with wallpaper, and fill in damaged areas with a best-quality filler. Choose the best paint you can afford. Prime any bare patches with a quality exterior alkyd primer before completing the job with an acrylic latex paint.

You might consider schedule interior painting projects too because warm temperatures allow for better ventilation and quick drying times.

Build or repair fines:

Repair any damaged areas of existing fencing and refinish as necessary. If you're building a new fence, look carefully at the increasing variety of fencing materials. Make sure your fence complies with local codes and does not encroach on city or neighboring properties. Be sure to call your local natural gas utility or Call before You Dig agency to make sure you do not have an accident and hit an underground gas line or other buried utility.

Inspect siding:

Check siding and trim around windows and doors for holes, dents, and gaps. Repair with wood filler or according to manufacturer's instructions. If your home's siding needs to be replaced entirely, summer is the best time for this one- to two-week project. Make sure you are aware of all the new choices in siding materials.

Garage Doors:

Now's a great time to lubricate the tracks on your garage doors.

Replace your roof:

If you need a new roof, have it installed during summer's warm, dry weather. Consider fire-resistant roof material if you live in an area prone to wildfire and if your current roof is not fireproof. Look for a reputable company that offers a good warranty.

Repair and seal driveways:

Renew the surface of asphalt driveways with sealer. Repair damage to concrete driveways as soon as possible (this project may require a professional).