Old School Auto Body Repair & Leading

Until the 60's most all metal straightening was accomplished with the use of a pick hammer, a body file and a solder box containing the proper elements and tools. The metal used by auto manufactures before the 80's was the cold roll variety with a gauge of 14 to 16 and was very malleable, making it rather soft, easy to shape and straighten with the use of the pick hammer and dolly. A sharp body file was then applied to cut the metal to a smooth finish and to bring out the high and low places.

Where the metal may be a little thin or rough to pick, the body solder (leading) would be applied. This also is where the final finishing will take place with the body file plus more picking to secure a smooth flat surface.

Where soldering is needed the metal must be perfectly clean. All paint must be removed and all rust or other contaminates are removed with the use of a torch for heat and Mauriac acid. (Do not inhale the fumes). An electric drill, air drill or wire brush are also handy to remove contaminants.

The solder must be a 30/70 composition. The 30% tin is needed for tinning the metal and acts as a binding agent so the lead would adhere to the metal surface. Tinning the area where the solder was to be applied was accomplished with the use of a acetylene torch, soldering salts, a stick of solder and a rag.

The area to which the solder is to be added must be perfectly cleaned, solder salts applied then heated hot enough to melt the solder. while keeping the area hot, use a rag to wipe the solder over the entire area to be soldered. Now you are tinned and ready to add more solder to the tinnered area as a filler.

When adding the solder, a wooden paddle is used to spread the solder over the surface. The surface of paddle must be dipped occasionally in heated bees wax to stop the solder from sticking to the paddle.

Soldering is only used when the straightening could not be accomplished with the pick, dolly, and file. Now, what do you think, are you ready to give it a try? You can do it, God did not make any dummies, "Its better to try and fail than to never try at all." I invite you to comments or questions.

Masterbuilt Smoker Parts Make Assembly Easy

When I purchased the Masterbuilt 20070910 30-Inch Electric Smoker, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that there was little assembly required before using the smoker for the first time, and the assembly process that I did have to go through was easy. The only tool that I needed was a Phillips head screwdriver.

The largest and heaviest part of all the Masterbuilt smoker parts is the smoker body, which is black and about the size of a small refrigerator. The smoker door, air damper, leg boots, and adjustable screw legs each come pre-assembled.

In the first step of the assembly process, I adjusted the pre-assembled screw legs on the bottom of the smoker so that the unit was level when it sat upright.

The second step was to connect the digital control panel. This was as easy as connecting the wire on the control panel to the wire on top of the smoker.

The third and fourth steps involved mounting and securing the control panel to the top of the smoker by using a stabilization screw on the front and two pan head screws on the back of the control panel.

For the fifth step, I placed the wood chip holder in its designated place on the inside of the smoker. I decided to go ahead and insert the wood chip loader into its designated slot on the outside of the smoker during this step also.

In the sixth step, the water bowl and drip pan were placed into their designated places inside the smoker.

For the seventh step, I slid the four chrome cooking racks into their designated guides inside of the smoker.

In the final step, I attached the grease tray to the bottom back of the smoker. This was completed by sliding the brackets on the grease tray onto the tabs located on the bottom back of the smoker body.

At this point, the smoker was ready to go through the preseason process that is required prior to the first use.

The Masterbuilt smoker parts listed above can all be replaced. There are also a few other parts that come pre-assembled and are not mentioned above. The parts not included above are the heating element, door latch and door hinges, and they can be replaced too.

While the Masterbuilt smoker is constructed for many years of use, parts naturally wear out over a period of time. With that in mind, it is nice to know that replacement parts are available when you need them.

Older Scaffolding Issues Have Been Fixed by New Innovations

A scaffold assembly is used in construction of the outer walls of a building and is mounted on or under construction building interior, adjoining a proposed outer. An assembly consists of a random frame members later later and each of which consist of a preceding support member which is attached to the building's interior for tracing a couple of stretched plank and a later support member mounted to the first and it extends outward further the proposed wall to brace stretched exterior plank.

One of the present day constructing methods for masonry buildings is to firstly build a reinforced concrete inner frame eliminating the floors and then surrounding the floors with a masonry walls including layers of facing bricked and concrete locks. However the current invention is mainly relevant with above referred generally type but masonry may be constructed in other ways.

Difficulties are faced in building the masonry walls for the lower floors; however the difficulty increases as the height of the building increases. Diverse methods are used and the most general entail the use of scaffolding of the stacked from exterior. A large number of frame sections are needed to reach the higher floors in the stacked scaffolding. Moreover, involvement of risk in working conditions becomes an obstacle on the other side, suspended scaffolding requires substantial set up and changes over time, moreover the masonry contractor must stay for considering completion of the beloved concrete frame before starting the work.

So, providing a new and enhanced scaffold assembly for supporting anyone at exterior and adjoining to a under construction building is the general purpose object of current invention. More specific purpose of it is providing a new and enhanced scaffold assembly which can be mounted on interior of a building under construction while it also supports a brick layer on the exteriors.

Many of the problems with the older art of scaffolding have been listed by the present invention. In particular an equipment and a technique is provided with this innovation for carrying out effecting the construction of masonry closing walls in which the chief scaffold structure is constructed from inner side of the under construction wall and beams lengthening perpendicularly to the outer wall for supporting planking which gives ample space for work for the masons on the outer walls.

Scaffolds available today come in various shapes and sizes in the market. Along with the market, these systems can also be found over the web world. The systems come with both horizontal and vertical diagonal braces. They come with guarded rails of 5 to 7 inches long, gravity pins which are used for locking frames, high quality casters. Some other parts of the scaffoldings are toggle pins for locking casters and guard rail posts. These are not too expensive to buy.

If you order the system from a foreign countries or from the internet then it may take 1 to 2 weeks of time to deliver at your door steps. If cost is not a problem then the interior scaffoldings can be ordered from some foreign countries because some extra charges of duty and delivery are added to the actual cost of the priduct. So if your budget is not large then you can order the scaffoldings from your own native place.

Wood Flooring or Laminate Wood Flooring – This Is the Question

Wood flooring can be a great addition to your home, but it may not be the number one choice of many contractors and building contractor. This article will look at both wood flooring and laminate wood flooring to help you decide.

The main aspects to be considered while installing hardwood floors are the general color tone (dark brown, medium brown, light brown, reddish brown, golden brown, natural or other colors); the wood floor type (solid, engineered or floating); where is the floor going to be installed (above ground level, at ground level or below ground level); what the floor will be placed on (over concrete slab, plywood sub floor, oriented strand board, previous vinyl or wood sub floor) and so on.

There are different styles of wood floorings: parquet, which is a popular series of flooring pieces arranged in a geometric design; plank hardwood flooring, which are linear and wider planks of wood; and strip, which is linear flooring that is not as wide. Engineered wood floors are also categorized as parquet (series of flooring pieces arranged in a geometric design); plank hardwood flooring (linear and wider planks of wood); and strip (linear flooring that is not as wide) styles.

They can also be very stylish in patterns like tile, realistic stones and hardwood visuals. Having originated in Europe, laminate wood floors are becoming a good alternative for hardwood in North America. Compare that to most hardwood trees and you will see the difference.

If you've always longed for hardwood floors, you're in good company. If you only know that you want hardwood floors gracing your home, read this quick and dirty guide so that your head will not spin when you talk with your contractor. If you want a home that is beautiful, if you want a home that stops people in their tracks when they walk in, then you need to put down exotic hardwood flooring.

Installation

Follow the manufacturer's instructions during the installation installation and doing it yourself is possible when installing your wood flooring. This means that you will save a pretty penny on installation fees since you can easily do it yourself. Installation guidelines are different for different kinds of wood flooring: radiant-heated sub floors, glue-down flooring, nail- or staple-down flooring, floating flooring, etc.

Just be sure to ask your floor manufacturer for specific installation instructions before you begin. The installation of hard wood flooring on your own has both pros and cons.

Wood floor installation can be made by the supplier and sometimes by the manufacture. If you are paying to have your wood flooring installed – here are some questions to be considered: how long the installation will take, if the contractor has a license and the warranties and guarantees. The cost of product – you will see cost ranges from $ 4 to $ 8 per square foot, excluding installation costs.

Methods

Nail down, staple down, glue down, and free-float are some of the different installation methods for wood flooring. In case of a plywood sub-floor, any of the installation methods can be chosen but if one has a concrete sub-floor, the nail or staple down method is certainly not recommended.

Laminate Flooring

If you are considering using laminate wood flooring in some or your own home and are wondering about the difference between laminate and wood, you may get a lot of different opinions. Laminate can be installed over virtually any surface, but wood can not be installed over some surfaces. Water-resistant glue is recommended by most laminate flooring brands.

Bamboo

Engineered bamboo-this is much like the laminate flooring. The world's best laminate flooring is available at a number of on-line retailers or your local home improvement stores. One particular choice that is increasing in popularity in North America is laminate flooring.

As with engineered and laminate woods the multi-strip planks are precision cut to make installation easier and faster. These benefits motivate many homeowners to use laminate wood flooring while renovating their homes. Laminate flooring cost less than wood flooring and also involves less installation time as compared to a hardwood floor.

In my opinion, wood flooring is great, but laminate flooring is becoming one of the fastest growing products in the flooring industry. Today's laminate floors are created using a photographic image of wood, marble, or tile that is bonded to fiberboard, backed with melamine plastic and coated with aluminum oxide. You may want to check out some samples before you take on your next wood flooring project.

UV Gel Nail Polish – What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages

UV gel nail polish has increased in popularity with women who frequent salons and nail bars. Women try to stretch their manicures for as long as possible to get value for their money, but also because of the time constraints in modern day life. Regular nail lacquer takes a while to dry, even with newer brands that claim to dry in 15 seconds or less. A UV gel polish, in contrast requires a nail curing lamp to set, but once that’s done, no additional drying time is required. This makes it preferable to women who have busy lives and don’t have time for regular salon visits.

So, what is UV gel nail polish?

Like traditional nail lacquer sold in stores and used at salons or nail bars, UV gel nail polish comes in different colors and is applied using a brush. The bottles of polish usually come with their own brushes, but some brands sell the polish in little pots which have to be applied using a long handled brush sold separately. While both forms of polish are best applied using thin coats, UV gel polish has to be cured between each coat before a new one is painted over it. A nail curing lamp is required to cure gel polish.

What are the advantages of using a gel nail polish?

Gel polish is favored over regular lacquer because of the benefits it has to offer. The most important being the amount of time it can stay on the nail without chipping, even when regularly exposed to soap water, and hand crèmes. UV gel polish sets in minutes and the client is usually able to use their hands as normal without fear of smudging their polish. It is a practical option for women who don’t have time for regular salon visits as it can last up to two weeks or longer, depending on the brand of polish used and the condition of the underlying nail.

Are there any disadvantages to using a gel nail polish?

The main disadvantage used to be the cost of application. Application required visiting a salon to have a nail technician apply the polish. This has however changed as gel polish is now available to purchase for home use. The cost of buying your own gel polish kit is quite significant, however if you consider the amount you spend on your salon visits, the upfront costs won’t seem as excessive.

Another disadvantage to gel polish is the amount of time it takes to remove it from your nails. Gel polish cannot be removed using regular nail polish remover, instead an acetone based remover has to be used. The acetone is either applied to the nail by soaking it in cotton wool, before placing it on the nail bed and wrapping it with foil, or soaking the fingers in acetone in a nail bowl. The soak off process can take anything from 15 to 20 minutes. Again the soak off process can be done at home, at a time that is suitable or convenient.

The final disadvantage is the gap that appears when your nail grows out. If your nails grow really rapidly, you may have to increase the frequency of your UV gel polish applications.

All these disadvantages can easily be mitigated. Like any other beauty product on the market, improper application or removal of gel polish can damage your nails.

Ceramic Tile Flooring – The Healthy House Choice

Believe it or not, carpeting is one of the biggest contributors to indoor air pollution.

One of the commonest health problems in a house is allergies, and carpets are practically a perfect environment for dust mites, molds and mildew. Not only that, but the modern wall-to wall carpeting in today’s houses are made of synthetic fibers dyed and treated with chemicals (fungicides, soil repellants and pesticides, anyone?) and bonded to synthetic backing with chemical glues. All of these materials release hundreds of Volatile Organic Compounds as they age, in a process called outgassing. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) can be mutagens, irritants and carcinogens. Not the ideal thing to have in your home, to say the least.

Carpet also attracts and retains all that you and your family members track in to the house from the ground outside- dirt, lead dust found in flaking house exterior paint, insects, bacteria, lawn and garden chemicals and other unhealthy debris. Not to mention food crumbs, hair and dead skin particles. Getting a wall-to-wall carpet 100% clean is nearly impossible (ever rented one of those steam-cleaners to clean your carpet and cleaned the same area over and over, each time seeing more dirt come out?) and trying to clean causes its own problems. Vacuuming stirs up airborne dust and mold spores. Shampooing can leave a damp carpet encouraging more mold growth and even the shampoo may have irritating or even toxic chemicals added.

At the other end of the floor covering health spectrum is ceramic tile. It is made from natural clay materials fired in a kiln. A tile sealed with non-leaded glaze is impervious to mold and bacteria and is well tolerated by chemically sensitive people. Ceramic tile is bonded to the base flooring using low-toxicity thin set mortar, and can be grouted with home-made, additive-free grout. 2 parts dry, clean sand mixed with 1 part Portland cement can be prepared and added to water to form a slow, damp curing grout.

Although a ceramic tile floor can be expensive up front, due to the labor-intensive installation, they are very durable and long-lasting if properly maintained, and can be considered as comparatively affordable in the long run.

Learn the Different Putters Made by Odyssey in 2011

Odyssey putters have been around since the early 1990's. They have consistently been one of the most popular and most used putters in the game of golf. Many pro and amateur players use them, and once used players usually do not stop using them. Some of the most innovative and best putter designs have been Odyssey putters. They feature many different putter head inserts and alignment devices, which make them stand out from the rest of the field. Odyssey is always chasing to be the # 1 putter in golf with its new ideas and products.

In 2011 there was some unique and different design features produced by Odyssey golf. They vary from convetional putters, belly putters, dart series and women's putters, with different alignment and insert design features installed on each. The two conventional odyssey putters from 2011 are the, Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Lined putter, and the Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Blade putter. The 2-ball lined putter is an extended mallet head that features the revolutionary 2-Ball alignment system with a line as an additional alignment aid, a double-bend shaft and full-shaft offset. The 2-ball blade putter is an extended blade-like putter head that has the same alignment system as the mallet 2-ball, a crank-neck hosel and full-shaft offset. Both are outfitted with a weighing system with three different options of weight, so you can adjust the weight of the putter to fit the speed of the greens or what feels more comfortable to you. Both putters feature the white ice insert, which is firmer and stiffer to promote more distance control and more top spin on your roll.

Blade: New- $ 149.00 Pros: Great Feel, Accurate, Looks Great. Cons: None.

Mallet: New- $ 149.00 Pros: Durable, Well Balanced, Accurate. Cons: Did not like grip.

Belly putters are becoming very popular. Odyssey's belly putter for 2011 is the Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly Putter. The dual fangs of this Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly Putter contain 37% of the putter's total weight. This Weigh placement helps you make a more consistent and accurate stroke. The aiming channels on the inside of the outer fangs insure proper alignment. The Sabertooth is constructed of a soft core, which has great feel and promotes a truer roll. A thin firmer outer layer provides responsiveness. The multi-layer insert allows weight to be shifted to the perimeter of the head for better stability. The belly model features a mid-length, double-bend shaft with full-shaft offset.

New: $ 189.00 Pros: Feel and Touch. Cons: Akward in the bag, Expensive.

The Dart Series Putters specialize in providing excellent alignment. There are three different Dart putters for 2011. They are all conventional putters.The Dart Series Putters specialize in providing excellent alignment. There are three different Dart putters for 2011. They are all conventional putters. They are the Odyssey White Ice Dart, The Odyssey Backstryke Dart, and the Odyssey White Ice Dart Blade. The Odyssey White Ice Dart has a mallet head with a double bend shaft, and has the adjustable weighting for different green speeds. The Odyssey Backstryke Dart is unique because the shaft is offset behind the putter, which promotes a hands forward position, which in turn produces an ascending stroke into the ball. The White Ice Dart Blade is a blade putter design, with a crank neck hosel and a full shaft offset and also has the adjustable weighing system. Dart stands for Direction and alignment technology, which basically looks like a dart on the top of the putter which helps you align your putts better for a more consistent strike and better distance control.

White ice mallet: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, durable. Cons: none.

Backstryke: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, easy to align. Cons: small sweet spot, to light

White ice blade: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, the look. Cons: none.

How Brick Stone Can Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Brick Stone Home Energy Efficient

A home that's energy-efficient is actually healthier and and more cost effective. Energy efficiency configurations in your home can eliminate or at least less the poor quality of air that's welcomed in various weather conditions. One way to make your home energy efficient is to pay attention to the building materials and to the house design.

In Australia, bricks have long been recognized as commonly chosen building materials. In fact, nearly 90% of built houses are constructed using bricks. Because of the campaign to decrease energy consumption in its own form, there are building regulations these days that require the newly built homes to be more energy efficient. There are some things you need to know in order to come up with an informed choice.

Think about the amount of energy that's usually consumed in your home. Maybe, you'll be surprised to find out that a large part of the home energy is used up in cooling and heating. Cooking and lighting, even when put together, compose only a few percent. Here, anything which can help less the cooling and heating bills of your home will be a good investment, right? But the question is, do you think it is possible to cut down cooling and heating energy consumption while keeping up a practical thermal comfort inside your home? It is in this case that passive design comes into play.

Passive design handles the energy coming from the sun to improve the house's cooling and heating in a natural way. There are actually four major principals in passive design . These are orientation, ventilation, insulation and thermal mass.

Orientation – The huge glass portion in the north part allows the low winter sun in. And to block the high summer sun, simple shading like eaves is applied.

Ventilation – When the crest of summer time has already passed, air is allowed to get in and go out of the house in order to make it cool in a natural manner. To optimize cross ventilation, either side of the building or the house has generous openings with almost negligible internal limitations.

Insulation – The insulation in the wall and ceiling serves as the obstacle to heat transportation. Insulation efficiency can be calculated by means of its R-value but it does not present the whole issue. Various walls may have the same R-value but may not work the same.

Thermal Mass – Wall materials that are dense and heavy, like bricks, suck up heat and hamper its conveyance through the walls. Through these, temperature changes become moderate and the heat absorption during summer is significantly hampered. Compared to brick walls, the lightweight materials have very low thermal mass. And because of this thermal mass, brick walls turn out to be more capable of moderating home temperature even if they have similar R-values.

Now come to think of thermal mass and consider brick stone. The first two techniques in the passive design, which are orientation and ventilation, need to be set up into the house. And your home material preference has a major effect on the quantity of thermal mass in a house or a building. One of the simplest and most economic ways to put up thermal mass is through bricks. Those bricks that are made from clay contain very high thermal mass. They are available to make your home well ventilated, comfortable and more energy efficient.

There is a research providing the idea that Brick stone homes are energy efficient. The said research has revealed that a large part of the heat is bounced back to the outside environment by the brick's exterior panel. Another conclusion that came out is that in summertime, the temperature inside a home that's constructed from bricks retained favorite and comfortable in spite of the changing temperature outside.

The US Department of Energy stated that thermal mass stores up heat by means of converting its temperature. It can be achieved by storing heat coming from a warm room or by means or transforming direct solar radiation into heat. And since brick stone has more thermal mass than other building lightweight materials, it is a very useful element that can be used up in making your home more energy efficient.

To sum up, brick is a very simple and inexpensive technique in putting up thermal mass in your next home. Therefore a brick stone home is more energy efficient than those that made from other materials.

How to Install a Rain Gutter

Many people who live in old homes do not have a rain gutter. Installing rain gutters can be either very difficult or very easy depending on the brand of rain gutter a person buys. It can also depend on whether the company provides installation or not. Usually a brand name company will provide installation of new or replacement gutters and/or downspouts at a price or for free. Some companies make the gutter easy to install, so minimal work is required. This article will explain how to install a new rain gutter in simple terms. It is best to read an instruction manual as well for clearer instructions of how to install a new rain gutter.

The first thing to do in installing a new rain gutter is to measure the slope length of the eaves. After measuring the slope and length, buying a gutter is the next step. You have to determine what material you want the gutter to be made out of. Aluminium is usually the most popular choice because of how inexpensive it is. After choosing the gutter, you then measure out and cut it to length to match the eaves of your house.

After cutting down a gutter to length, the next step is to attach the gutter parts to the eaves. This is typically done with hanging brackets that are placed into the eaves and are attached to the gutter to provide stability. Once the gutter itself is installed, the downspout needs to be placed.

The gutter usually does not have a special place marked for a downspout, so a person will have to cut out a square hole for the spout him or herself. After the hole is cut, the person must then measure and cut down to size the downspout. It is best to do a test fit of the downspout before the final assembly of it. Once it has been determined that the downspout can fit, it is fit into place and secured there with screws.

After the downspout is installed, the final step is to connect all the gutter segments and corners. It is also recommended to install leaf guards wherever trees are located to prevent clogging of your brand new rain gutter. Installing rain gutters is not too hard if you know what you are doing or if you have clear instructions. As said before, sometimes a company will provide free installation of a new gutter. It is much easier to have professionals install a new gutter than to do it yourself.

Fireplace Designs

There are people that would like to have a fireplace in their homes, not because they would like to enjoy a nice warm fire but because they like how it makes the house appear. For whatever reason that an individual would like to have a fireplace designs, the two most important things to consider are; the location and what will be used to power it.

The decision to go ahead and build the fireplace can now be out in order if the correct measurements have been taken. There are various materials used to build; tiles or marble. Tiles act like a mirror and reflect the heat. This is an added advantage because heat is spread evenly throughout the room. You can get ideas from visiting ancient homes or asking companies that specialize in building them to build one for you.

To know what fireplace designs you would like, understand what you want to achieve in the end of it. If you want to have a modern look, then go for the electric fire design which is formed like a cube in the wall. With this design, there need to be wires behind the wall that are connected to the power supply to provide the power required.

The modern fireplace designs save us the trouble of not having to deal with fumes, smoke, ashes or clearing up the mess when the ashes become too much. This makes it so much more convenient and appealing. They do allow us to enjoy the warmth of a sizzling fire even though we can not use them to make sausages.

Attachment and Aversion – The Root Cause of Pain and Suffering

“This business of hozho. The way I understand it… I’ll use an example. Terrible drought, crops dead, sheep dying. Spring dried out. No water. The Hopi, or the Christian, maybe the Moslem, they pray for rain. The Navajo has the proper ceremony done to restore himself to harmony with the drought. You see what I mean. The system is designed to recognize what’s beyond human power to change, and then to change the human’s attitude to be content with the inevitable.” – in ‘Sacred Clowns’ by Tony Hillerman

I want what I don’t have; I don’t want what I have – attachment and aversion

Many spiritual traditions, like Buddhism, tell us pain and suffering – mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and psychological – arise from attachment and aversions.

An attachment is an intense desire, craving, thirst, need, clinging and the like to be something I am not, do something I can’t do or have something I don’t have – related to, for example, health, appearance, finances, personal environment, career, relationships, personality or neediness around elements such as attention, recognition, security, love, control, ideas, beliefs and the like.

An aversion is an intense preoccupation with some aspect or quality about my self That I possess or another possesses that I am resisting and resenting – related to, for example, health, appearance, finances, personal environment, career, relationships, personality or neediness around elements such as attention, recognition, security, love, control, ideas, beliefs and the like.

In both cases, my attention, attention, focus and emotional and physic energy are working overtime to attract or resist. It’s this incessant focus on the object of the attachment or aversion that is the root cause of our pain and suffering.

What does attachment look and feel like?

Attachment is like an addiction or hook which triggers a reaction in me: I must be, I must do or I must have (fill in the blank with your attachments) and if I can’t be, do or have, then I experience some degree of pain or suffering, or if I cannot rid myself or another of the object of my aversion, pain and suffering result.

The downside of attachments is that, inevitably, your relationship to them becomes tenuous – producing stress, anger, resistance, resentment, anxiety, fear, and the like. Attachment and aversions cannot “not be” like that. It’s inherent in the nature of attachment – like reaching for something beyond your grasp.

Take a moment and look at your attachments (or aversions) and reflect on how much discomfort you experience in reacting to them. You want your attachments to create a certain positive sense of reality for you and what you often find is just the opposite reality – not feeling loved, supported, smart, beautiful, healthy, wealthy, and on and on.

When you inner happiness and peace depend on your external attachments and aversions, you’ll never experience an authentic inner state of peace. More often, you’ll experience some flavor of consistent frustration. But, you think by increasing the intensity with which pursue the object of your attachments or aversions, you’ll experience a greater degree of happiness or inner peace. How sas that approach to life honestly been working for you up to now? Honestly?

The antidote to attachment – detachment – not unattachment

“He who would be serene and pure needs but one thing, detachment.” – Meister Eckhart

Freedom from pain and suffering comes through our release from attachments and aversions. Detachment means taking conscious control over our attachments so they stop controlling us.

Viewing life from a place of detachment does not mean we are unattached – i.e, cold, uncaring, etc. What detachment means is that we are living “inside” our Self – contained within our Self so as not to be driven by externals.

When we’re detached, it’s impossible for us to get “hooked” by another’s’ 9or our own) wants, needs, emotions or feelings. We’re not upset or manipulated by others, or by our own ego-created obsessions, desires and cravings. Detached, we can feel caring, empathic and compassionate towards others, and our Self, without becoming foggy or confused about how we think, feel or act. We don’t get caught up in others’ (or our own) stories or drama. Nor do we need others to be a certain way.

Curiously, what drives much of our unhappiness, and even insanity, is our addiction to our attachments – which, mistakenly, we feel will bring us happiness and peace. Nothing is further from the truth.

The truth is that surviving handily in this world, with our happiness and sanity intact, demands detachment, letting go from those people, places, things, and ideas (ours and others’) that drain or manipulate our energies.

How do I practice detachment?

Simple, not always easy – by becoming a witness, watcher and observer of your Self. Moving as effortlessly as you can and navigating through life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – without an ego-based agenda. We see what we see, we notice what we notice and we interact with those with whom we interact – but – with curiosity, without efforting or resisting without attachment or aversion. We observe, witness and watch without becoming emotionally involved, without judgment.

Watching your self, for example, becoming emotional around money, or appearance, or possessions, or becoming fearful around another person, or anxious in an uncomfortable or unpleasant circumstance, and being rather than emotionally reactive is the practice of detachment.

The reason watching and observing are so powerful is because when you observe yourself obsessing about the object of your attachment or aversion, your level of consciousness is heightened to the degree that you will begin to stop doing what doesn’t serve you. You cannot observe and react simultaneously – it’s impossible.

Detachment is not a passive state

Detachment is not a dissociative state where one is less conscious or even unconscious, in denial or passive. When detached, you are consciously aware and engaged in your experience but you are not attached to outcomes or obsessed with needing to be in control.

Detachment is not about “caving.” Detachment means you take “right action” as it’s called in Buddhist terms. You can be detached and be a “can-do” person at the same time. But, again, you’re not attached to outcomes. You do what your heart feels is right. You move and you act. You just don’t allow your ego to get caught up in any preconceived outcomes.

Detachment is not about giving up what we want. It’s about not obsessing over the object toward which we direct our desires. When we detach from the object – person, place, thing, idea, etc. – we contain our energy, power and life force (instead of giving them away).

Detachment means accept the fact that life can is challenging and facing our life’s challenges. When we let go of cravings, desires and attachments, we face life (even death) with equanimity – with nobility, integrity, dignity, respect, and openness to life’s lessons that our challenges are presenting.

The tighter you squeeze, the less you have.” – Zen Saying

Letting go of attachments, and aversions, supports our soul to experience a clear mental state where we understand, really understand from a higher/deeper perspective, how to control our energies, with a sense of real self-love and empowerment, so our ego personality is not obsessed with (our or others’) needing to do, to be, or have in a self-destructive way.

One of the ego’s main beliefs is that we are separate from everyone else. The ego lives from a zero-sum, survival-of-the-fittest perspective. So, to survive, our ego is driven to nurture more and more attachments (and aversions) to people, places, things, possessions, ideas, beliefs, relationships and the like. Fearing loss (even loss of a belief, premise, idea or life itself) is a threat to the survival of our ego. From the ego’s perspective, competition, and self-interest are absolutely necessary to maintain survival. And attachments feed our obsession with surviving.

In this place, contentment, cooperation, collaboration and compassion, first with our Self, and then with others, replace fear – the driver of attachment and aversion. When we let go of our attachments we enter a state of soul-filled equanimity – a state of harmony, balance and connection with our Higher Self – where we know that everything is unfolding according to a Universal or Divine plan.

So, some questions for self-reflection are:

  • What are you attached to that causes you suffering in some way? What don’t you have that you crave or what do you have that you resist?
  • When you sense a deep desire, craving, or attachment, do you ever consider what you may be trying to escape from?
  • Have you ever watched or observed yourself from “outside” yourself? What was that like? What did you see or discover about yourself?
  • Whom or what are you holding on to?
  • What do you feel you are lacking – that you need to get it from someone or something?
  • Attachment equals selfishness. What does that mean to you?
  • Holding on reflects a lack of love of self love. Would you agree? Why, why not?
  • Can you remember your earliest attachments or aversions when you were growing up? How did those attachments or aversions affect your experience of love, support or comfort?

Radiant Barrier Insulation

Radiant barrier insulation is similar to foil insulation in that the primary objective of this sort of insulation is to reflect sun heat away from the targeted insulated area. Radiant barrier insulation is typically lightweight, and anything weighing more than say 5 times the weight of aluminum should be considered heavy.

The radiant barrier should be installed on the outside of an insulating stack, in order to prevent reflecting heat back through other layers of insulation, which then would only serve to trap the heat inside the targeted insulated area.

They are different from fireproof barriers by their fundamental objectives. They, again, reflect heat away from the insulated area, whereas fireproof barriers try to stop a fire from spreading across the protected barrier-typically a wall.

Although radiant barriers are typically fire retardant, they do not necessarily qualify as so called fireproofing or fireproof materials. It is for this reason that you should explicitely fireproof an area, on top of kindly adding fire retardant materials such as radiant Stopper materials.

Same goes for sound proofing. ESPecially in close urban quarters such as New York City, San Francisco (California), or even down Seattle, although radiant barriers carry similar soundproofing characteristics to its materials, it is not a proper soundproofing material, when used solely and exclusively for that purpose.

When shopping for radiant barrier materials, expect to pay about $ 20.00 to $ 80 per 4- by 6 foot areas. This price is typical, as are the dimensions. Like aluminum foils, the radian barrier materials come in rolls, and are very easy to pick up in small cars, if that's all you have to use to pick up your home improvement supplies.

A popular brand is Ultra Touch; it's a lightweight aluminum, and is said to reflect up to 97% of radiant heat. This is often advertised and in fact standard. What must be realized about this percentage is that it is actually a range; and the typical range is 30 to 97%, 97 being the absolute highest and most heat that can be reflected by the material.

Several theories exist about whether reflect sort of materials it should be placed anywhere other than the so called membrane of the insulated area-the perimeter where the heat is to enter or attack the insulated area. Some say it's redundant and indeed useless to install radiant barriers between, say, an attack floor and a top floor ceiling. The idea is that whatever heat is going to make it to the attic floor should not be made to reflect back into the attic to keep the lower floor cooler, as this will work to just heat the attic unnecessarily, by trapping that heat in between two -a top and bottom-radiant barrier.

An opposing idea is that this is effective and effective, it just needs to be done about a space that is large enough to warrant a so called sandwich. The idea is that if the attic has large windows that lets significant sun light in, then radiant barriers across the top floor ceiling just underneath the attic floor would be warranted. The radiant barrier would not be warranted in such situations where the floors were open, as they are in loft style buildings and units. In this situation, the solutions are available, but are less effective, since the insulating space is fundamentally and essentially shared by each room.

The Basics of Woodcarving

There is nothing quite like creating something with your own hands. Woodcarving is a great way to express yourself. You can create ornaments, figurines, decorations, toys, puzzles, and sculptures from a piece of wood, using your own personal interpretation of how the finished product should look. Many people love this hobby because they love to work with their hands. Most woodcarvers use only a piece of wood and a few hand tools. Hand rubbed finishes help to bring out the wood grain and detail of the piece.

The wood that you choose can have a bearing on what you are able to carve. Wood is stronger when you work with the grain. Working across the grain will result in a more brittle piece. Many woodworkers plan their most intricate pieces before deciding where to start carving. Whichever piece will be the thinnest or most delicate should be carved with the grain.

For very detailed or fine pieces, consider hardwoods that are sturdy when taken down to a tiny degree. Sycamore, maple, plum, apple, pear, and Italian walnut are common. For all other work, choose the hardwood that is easiest to work with for you. Basswood, Tupelo, mahogany, teak, chestnut, and American walnut are most popular. Softwoods are easier to carve, but they do not have the longevity that hardwoods do. In general, you want a tight grain for detail work and a fuller grain for larger tasks.

Once you've chosen your wood and picked out the best areas for your details, you can start shaping your wood. If the wood is very hard and you have a lot to take away, you may want to use a chisel and a mallet to start. If it's not too hard, you can start with a gouge and smooth peel away layer after layer. Knives can be used on smaller projects while saws and power tools can be used on larger projects. Never cut or gouge against the grain. Always go with the grain or against it.

Tools used for finishing vary broadly. Your artistic impression of what the should look like will have a bearing on what you end up using. Some like the sharp lines left by chisels and gouges. Smoothing can be performed with a rasp, which is like a rough version of a file. Smaller rasps and files can be used to smooth out fine details.

You can carve from a solid block of wood, a board, a dowel , a stump, or an an entree tree. For small projects, like chess pieces, are easily carved from dowels. You can purchase dowel rods in varying diameters and types of wood. Some people will combine different types of wood to create unique pieces. No matter what you make, you will surely enjoy the process of woodcarving.

Matchbox Stinky the Garbage Truck Does not Stink

If you have a three-year old boy, one of the top toys for Christmas is none other than Matchbox Stinky the Garbage Truck . It's been placed on many top toy lists this year and is expected to sell out for Christmas. You're probably saying a garbage truck. What's so good about that? But, this is no ordinary truck.

Meet Stinky The Transforming Truck

In fact, you'd be surprised to see that this truck transforms into a fully interactive friend with a larger than life personality. When you first see this you will actually be amazed. The movement is so realistic that it makes the transformer toys look pale in comparison. Matchbox Stinky The Garbage Truck talks, sings, eats, dances, and dumps. Stinky is anything but garbage.

A Fun and Amusing Interactive Toy

With over 90 entertaining phrases and sounds, boys who love interactive toys will never get bored of Stinky's mannerisms. You can use Matchbox Stinky The Garbage Truck like a regular truck but the fun really only emerges when Stinky transforms. In no time, he will become your child's best friend.

Bring Stinky To Life

To bring Stinky to life there are several different locations where the toy can be pressed or pushed. You can push his smokestack, lift the rear door, or press his belly. Each trigger point will perform a different action. In what's to be every mom's nightmare, Stinky even jokes and makes farting noises.

This is a toy that has been developed with young boys in mind. But if your little girl finds that amusing she can play too. You can even feed Matchbox Stinky The truck small items and he will dump them back out. It's great for parents who are training their sons to use the potty. And get this, this truck can even sing and dance. Your child will not be able to control his laughter.

How's It Powered?

The toy is powered by 4 C batteries. These are included in the box but are to be used only for demo purposes. It is recommended to be able to get the most out of Stinky that you replace the batteries.

How Much Does It Cost?

The toy retails for $ 59.99 but for Christmas you can probably expect it to go on sale.

Who's It For?

Matchbox Stinky the Garbage Truck Is recommended for kids 3 and up. Due to some of the more humorous elements, the toy is designed for young boys.

Bottom Line – Bring the Trash Home For Christmas

We love Stinky and we're sure your kids will too. This Christmas does not throw out the garbage bring it home. Here's a garbage truck that does not stink.

It is a Log Home? A Timber Frame Home? Hybrid Log & Timber Homes – The New Industry Trend

Over the past few years, the log and timber home industry has taken a new turn. Today the industry sees more and more homes combining log elements with timber frame components and conventional framing.

Employing a combination of materials and building styles is referred to as "hybrid" and is often done to achieve a particular design look. Many clients enjoy the flexibility in design that a hybrid style home allows. Below are a few examples illustrating how a combination of different materials can come together to create a truly amazing home:

Crested Butte – A hybrid log home design of large stone, milled log walls, and customized timber frame trusses.

Eagle's Nest – A hybrid log & timber home; square milled log walls with dovetail corners and custom timber frame trusses.

Upland Retreat – A handcrafted log & timber hybrid home; handcrafted wall logs and timber frame trusses, posts & roof.

Many designers will use timber and log elements in combination with conventional framing. Of course, the log & timber home purist prefers a more authentic log and timber style construction. But, decorative log and timber elements added to conventional framing can achieve a mountain flavor and sometimes save costs. This hybrid method is seen regularly in multi-unit condominiums and resort townhouses. Framing side wings in combination with a timber frame or log great room makes sense and can save in construction costs.

Log construction, however, can be very difficult to combine with other types of construction if the log home company does not utilize a non-settling system. If your goal is to decrease the cost to build your log home by mixing logs with framing or post & beam construction, remember to check out the company's non-settling system.

With any home design, the creativity of the designer will dictate the materials to be used. Find a company that is flexible in their manufacturing so as to accommodate the creativity of your design. Providing your designer with a broad palette of materials including log, timber, framing, glass, stone, steel and other materials creates more opportunity for a unique and creative custom home. The design must come first and the materials must then be able to accommodate.

Get more log home information by visiting PrecisionCraft Log Homes or learn more about the log home industry at The Log Home Blog .