8 Tips for Relieving Heel Pain

One of the most common problems I see in the office is heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by many things. Most people think they have a “heel spur” if they have pain in their heel. The truth is they may have a spur, but, a bone spur rarely causes pain. Most commonly heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis. However, keep in mind not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from the ball of the foot into the heel bone. It is the tight band of tissue you can feel in your arch when you pull your toes toward you. This tissue, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed and irritated at its attachment into the heel bone. Every step that is taken causes a straining or pulling of the plantar fascia. This can cause a very painful condition as it makes it hard for the plantar fascia to heal when it is injured.

The three most common descriptions I get from my patients when they have plantar fasciitis are: pain when going from sitting to standing during the day, severe pain in the heel or arch when getting out of bed in the morning- (this may improve with 2-3 minutes of walking and stretching), and pain that gets worse in the bottom of the heel/arch as the day progresses. Remember, foot pain is never normal! Most foot pain can be effectively and easily treated.

Here are the 8 things you must do if you have heel pain.

*Avoid going barefoot. Wear a shoe or slipper around the house. I often recommend Crocs to be worn in the house. Your foot needs support. Walking barefoot in the house, especially if you have hardwood floors or your home is built on a concrete slab foundation, will aggravate an already inflamed plantar fascia.

*Stretch your calf. A tight achilles tendon can cause heel pain. There are several stretching exercises that you can do to decrease tightness and pain.

*Avoid wearing worn out shoes. Often times it is the favorite pair of old shoes that causes plantar fasciitis.

*Try using an insert in the shoe to support your arch. Avoid the flimsy supports you will find at the big box stores or the grocery store. The over the counter supports I recommend are Powersteps or Superfeet. You should not have to pay more than $50 for a good over the counter insert.

*I have never met anyone named Dr. Scholl. It is a big company. They make some great products. Arch supports for plantar fasciitis are not on the great product list. There are fancy machines in Walmart now. Regardless of what they advertise, those machines do NOT give you a “custom orthotic”. Save your money and try a Powerstep or Superfeet device. Avoid being scammed by stores selling “custom orthotics” or special inserts.

*Don’t avoid seeing a podiatrist for foot pain. Would you go to the mall for heart problems? Of course not. Then why do so many people go to a shoe store for foot problems? The clerk there is most likely not a doctor. I hate seeing a patient come in who has spent a lot of money on an insert purchased from a local store. Avoid the advertising scam! Podiatrists have years of training and, in most cases, can quickly diagnose and treat most foot problems.

*Use ice. I recommend my patients use a 16 ounce water bottle. Freeze it. Roll it in the arch. The ice helps decrease inflammation and the motion of the bottle on the arch helps stretch out the plantar fascia. Try this for 5-10 minutes twice a day.

*If you have heel pain, arch pain, or “heel spurs” for longer than 3-4 weeks, go see a podiatrist. Don’t let this become a chronic problem. The sooner heel pain is treated the quicker it will respond. It will go away with the correct treatment.

If you need to see a podiatrist, they may treat you with a cortisone injection, xrays, ultrasound, physical therapy, a night splint, a custom orthotic, other types of braces or supports, shock wave therapy, or even a new procedure called dry needling. Surgery is rarely needed for heel pain. Remember, heel pain is never normal. It can be effectively treated. A podiatrist is the expert when it comes to foot and ankle care.

The Basics of Post Construction Commercial Cleaning

When a new building or addition is constructed, there is an obnoxious and unsafe amount of dust, debris, and material scraps left behind. The construction crew is not paid or appointed to clean this mess up when they are done, so it is up to the property owners to outsource professional cleanup teams if they want their new property to shine and sparkle.

Attempting post-construction cleaning on your own is not only overwhelmingly tedious and tiresome, it can be dangerous without the proper supplies and resources. A professional cleaning company has the training, tools, and equipment to ensure all proper hygienic precautions are taken. Continue reading to learn about the basics of post-construction cleaning services.

Post Construction Clean-Up

Trash Removal

Before all the small cleaning details can be managed, the trash and scrap materials must be removed and thrown away. A construction site cleaning crew safely disposes of hazardous materials, trash, and all other forms of debris left over from construction. Anything that can be recycled is recycled, and all other materials are disposed of safely and properly. This includes leftover wood, scrap metal, nails, soda cans, plastic, paper, organic material, and everything else.

Dust Removal

The most obnoxious part of construction work is the leftover dust. Layers and layers of dust will cover every surface, and even enter registers, vents, and ductwork. This dust is a result of sanding, sawing, demolishing, and more, so it contains a wide range of hazardous particles such as wood, dirt, and metal fragments.

In order to eliminate dust properly, you must use certain supplies, tools, and procedures. Believe it or not, there is a special method to dust removal, and it is more than just wiping it away. A professional commercial cleaning company has the training, tools, and equipment to locate all areas of dust accumulation, including vents, registers, and duct work, and eliminate it entirely.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

Once all the trash and dust is removed, every square-inch of surfaces, nooks, and crannies, including the indoor air environment, is thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. Specialized products and equipment are used to complete this part of the post construction site clean up process.

When the cleaning and sanitizing are finished, a good commercial cleaning company will end the project with a test called a “white glove inspection.” They will actually don a clean white glove and walk through the property wiping their fingers on every surface to ensure it is entirely unsoiled.

Building Cohesive Teams With Communication

To build a team, think first of communication and cohesiveness. Think of how communication leads to cohesiveness, and how cohesiveness leads to better team building. In this article, we'll explore those connections, so you can make the most of your team.

Starting with the cohesiveness factor, we know that leaders within the armed forces, in every nation and through history, work hard to build cohesion within their military organizations. Boot camps, for example, use the principle of replacing a recruit's existing value set with a new one that reflects the values ​​of the military unit. It's a cornerstone of that type of team building.

No doubt you've also seen the desire for cohesiveness become an issue in companies and other organizations. It can be anything from birthday parties for members of a department to a top-down, organization-wide initiative to increase morale.

And as you can imagine, cohesion and team building can not take place without communication.

Members of a group can only develop a sense of belonging when someone communicates to them that they are a valued part. In the case of formal communication, that may mean something like an initiation ceremony. Or, it may be informal, as in the sense of allowing new members to participate in group activities.

As part of the team building process, members may be expected to reciprocate. They must signal to other members that they value the membership they received. Expressions of gratitude may be implied, and sometimes that may even be criminal or distasteful, as is sometimes the case with fraternities. Consider the cases of street and outlaw motorcycle gangs that may demand the commission of a crime as a condition of membership.

Leaders intent on team building must be acutely aware of their communicating role, and consistently evoke or invoke the shared values ​​that hold the group together. Speaking of shared visions and experiences are two ways of accomplishing this. In some unfortunate cases, it may involve scapegoating individuals or groups that are unlike them in some way.

Then, we have to consider how the group communicates its cohesiveness to people who do not belong to the group. Members of Little League baseball teams wear team jackets, for example, and members of fraternal orders and service clubs wear vests or badges.

Experts also talk about the negative side of togetherness when discussing cohesiveness. The often cite problem of groupthink, a problem that occurs Groupthink often comes up in this context, when organizations and leaders put group consensus ahead of healthy debts about the advantages and disadvantages of a course of action. Members of the group think it's more important to avoid disagreements than to reach the right decision.

In addition, groupthink means the team may not get important facts and opinions from non-members before making decisions. Most often, the outside information that does get in supports existing beliefs.

In summary, good communication, is always a cornerstone of any team building effort. And, we can see the connections, from communication to cohesiveness, and from cohesiveness to team building.

The Great Game of Floor Hockey

Anyone who has ever participated in an elementary school gym class probably has some memory of playing floor hockey. This sport allowed both boys and girls the chance to play hockey without having to worry about learning how to skate. Today it’s reaching well beyond the confines of school curriculum and there are leagues for this fun and faced paced competitive activity in many cities.

For someone familiar with ice hockey it doesn’t differ much. Not everyone has the chance or the interest to learn how to skate. Many children live in warm climates where ice is a scarcity. For them the closest they get to hockey is watching an NHL game on television. With floor hockey, though they can go through the paces of a game without having to strap on a pair of skates.

When it’s played as part of physical education class the only equipment used is generally a stick and a ball or rubber puck. This is because there are understood and strictly enforced rules of no contact. However, if it’s a league of floor hockey those rules change and in light of that more safety equipment is required.

A helmet is really a must for any child interested in this sport. They may see it as overkill since they are only playing on a floor, but serious injuries can happen when one child is body checked by another. If the league insists on every floor hockey player wearing a helmet, it’s not even a question that a child will raise.

Knee and elbow pads are a great idea as well. Just as with something like rollerblading or traditional skating, kids can fall forward pretty easily when they lose their footing. This is true in sports including soccer and floor hockey as well. A good set of safety pads under the child’s clothing can really reduce the number of bumps and bruises they’ll sustain.

You can’t play without a stick. Some kids who are already playing the game on ice will be inclined to bring in that stick for playing floor hockey. There are actually sticks just made for playing the game in this setting. It’s a good idea to purchase a stick that is a good fit for the child now. Some parents think they can save a few dollars by buying a bit larger stick that their son or daughter will grow into. This isn’t a good idea as it can present a safety problem for both the child using the stick to play floor hockey with and the other players. If it’s too big for them to easily handle it, it’s not the right stick for them.

Soil Vapor Extraction – An Environmental Remediation Technology

Environmental remediation can be a particularly tough subject to pin down. It is an extensive field, and not many people know, or even care to know, about it. Look, how many of your real life friends are familiar with the term "environmental remediation"? Some? A few? None? I'd go with the latter.

Environmental remediation is important because it directly affects our treatment of our natural surroundings. It is the branch of science that deals with the removal of contaminants or pollution from environmental media such as surface water, sediment, groundwater and soil. For what? For the general protection and benefit of human health.

Remediation is a widely practiced principle around the world under various government agencies, each with their own series of regulatory requirements and provisions.

Some of the most common and well-known environmental remediation technologies are dredging and excavation, SEAR or surfactant enhanced aquifer remediation, pump and treat, stabilization and solidification, in situ oxidation, and others like bioremediation.

One of the most complex and sophisticated type of environmental remediation is the soil vapor extraction, or SVE.

Soild Vapor Extraction
Soil vapor extraction is a type of remediation technology used for farming contaminated soil, as its name implies. Another similar but different type of remediation technology is the MPE or Multi-Phase Extraction, which is used for farming soil and groundwater but different from SVE in that both utilizes different types of technologies.

Soil vapor extraction is broken up into three different types:

1. Granular activated carbon – Granular activated carbon (or GAC) is a technology used as a filter for water or air. GACs are commonly seen in household sinks used for filtering tap water. It is not effective in filtering heavy metals from the water, though.

2. Thermal oxidation – Thermal oxidation is another kind of technology, yet also effective. But this approach has since proved controversial since it releases dioxins into the atmosphere as exhaust gas.

3. Vapor condensation – Vapor condensation is considered the most effective type of treatment technology around (off-gas) for high concentration vapor streams. This technology is also sometimes called cryogenic cooling and compression.

Soil vapor extraction is one of the more complex type of environmental remediation technologies around, but it also means it's one of the most effective. It is a technology carried out by experts on the field, environmental remediation engineers and scientists, and if you have reason to doubt the contamination level of your soil, it's best to contact your local agency to conduct a test on your property.

Working The Room And How To Do It

Let's cover an area of ​​working the room with which people often struggle … the actual moving around the room. Disengaging with one group and breaking into groups. Finally I will cover the bridge process and explain the importance of the follow up after we have met new people.

Perhaps you have recently had a chance to meet people at a business networking event or social event, a conference, or seminar and have taken the opportunity to go up to someone standing alone. The problem comes when you wish to extricate yourself from this person but do not know how to go about it. Here let me give you some practical ideas. If you are both fellow guests at a function you do not owe it to this person to spend the rest of the evening with them. Think about it for a moment, the chances are that this person wishes to move on as much as you do but like you they simply do not wish to offend or cause any embarrassment.

You can do one of three of things:

After you have finished speaking you can simply say "Well, Jo, it's been great meeting you, enjoy the rest of the evening.

You could say, "I'm going to get another drink, would you like to come?"

The coward's way out is "Please excuse me, I need to go to the loo!" and make sure you move well away from the person.

Whichever you use please do it with respect, integrity and politeness. Good manners is essential when working the room and is good business; bad manners brings no business.

The important aspect here is to move around the room with or without your new found friend. Again can I remind you that if your conversation is dry, they too often want to be off working the room as well. You are doing them a favor by using your superior business networking techniques

Using the second idea of ​​moving to the bar is an opportunity to park the person with someone else or for them to park you. It's rare both of you will be at an event where you do not know anyone so moving to the bar usually has the desired effect. When you do bump into someone you know even though you are a guest at an event act as a host. Do not just say "Hi Lou this is Jo" and leave it there. You have been chatting to Jo for some time and you obviously know Lou … so play host. Say something like this, "Lou let me introduce you to Jo who I've just met this evening. business helping growing exporters raise finance from people who are looking for high-risk high return opportunities ". These introductions are designed to get the two of them to talk quickly and with ease and reassurance. Who knows what may happen. You just might have created some potential for both of them? Business networking is not just about what you can do for yourself, it's about what you can do for others. If you help someone, they will remember you when they hear of someone who needs your services. This of course makes it so much easier for you to move on and meet other people. This exercise is what I call parking. Like your car do it carefully, watch all angles and do not hit anything!

So now you have a park Jo with Lou you have freshened up your drink. You look around the room and you see clusters of people or groups chatting to each other.

"Help … What do I do next?"

It's easy. Work the room! Look for a group of three people and move over to the edge of the circle. As you are moving towards the group, look at the faces of the people and decide who seems to be the most welcoming. Stand opposite that person at the edge of the group and smile. I can assure you the following will happen. The person you have smiled at will smile back and one or both of the other people will turn towards you and both will take one step to the side making a space for you. When you first do this, it's not easy. I'm not pretending it is but it always works. Ask in a gentle voice "Good evening please may I join you"? Again I have to tell you, you will not be returned. The chances are someone will put their hand out and introduce themselves. I often play a game at the start of a business networking seminar or prior to a sit down meal by asking my newfound friend if they would allow me to use them as a Guinea Pig. I get them to go up to people they do not know, try out what I have just said and it always works. I do this simply to ensure that whenever I write about the matter or speak about it at the presentations and seminars I deliver that I feel confident in the advice I give.

Once you have successfully joined a group, do not change the subject matter and wait for them to start asking you questions. Bear in mind again, the chances are these people are from the same business or have known each other for a long time but have not got the self-confidence to break away and meet new people … So you are a big relief for them!

When you are in a group, you will know the time to move on, instinct will tell you. I do not need to. So go to the top of this article and remember the tips about working the room.

Common Auto Repair Ripoffs

According to the California Bureau of Automotive Repair, there are over 25,000 consumer complaints filed concern fraudulent auto repair every year. Car owners lose an estimated $ 20 million annually on unnecessary car repairs. And while most shops are, in fact, honest, it's easy to see how dishonest mechanics can take advantage of customers: most people know little or nothing about car repair. But to avoid falling victim to auto repair rip-offs, it's good to know about the ones that are commonly used.

False Estimates
This scam happens when mechanics give you a low initial repair estimate, only to hike up the costs when you come to pick up your vehicle after repairs have been done. The excuse for the extra costs will usually be that new problems were found during the work and they needed immediate fixing. Most people end up paying the hiked up price because they have no way of verifying the legitimacy of the mechanisms' claims. Get all estimations in writing and signed to avoid falling victim to this scheme.

Shady Highway Shops
Car shops located along the side of the road cater to car owners who automobiles break down in the middle of the highway. They will sometimes charge exaggerated prices and bill you for extra repairs because they know that you'll likely pay the extra money rather than get stranded in the middle of the highway.

Hook Deal Scams
When auto shops advertise ultra low or free deals on oil changes or tire rotations, their plan is to get you in for the low-cost / free service and then convince you to purchase more expensive repair services based on the recommendations they come up with after inspecting your car. Dishonest mechanics will sometimes make up problems or cause them themselves in order to get your money. If a suggested repair does not seem right, get a second opinion before agreeing to the job.

Unnecessary Part Replacements
Some mechanics will try to convince you that a part of your car needs immediate replacement, when in fact the part is not broken and works just fine. To avoid falling victim to this scam, always ask to see the part that supposedly needs replacing. If it does not look broken, get a second opinion. And ask to keep the old part to make sure that a replacement was actually performed.

Installing a Solar Panel Aboard Your Boat

Following a recent five-day trip aboard our trawler where we had to frequently start up the genset to provide electricity to the 115 volt AC freezer to maintain temperatures, I began to mull over options. We put in an excess of ninety hours on the vessel generator in only five days; time for another oil change! I put in an inverter soon thereafter and that improved the run time for the generator drastically, but there was still work to be completed. I nonetheless needed to keep the batteries fully charged to operate the inverter. Then it occurred to me, why not explore solar panels for use aboard our yacht. Solar panels have been successfully utilized since the mid 1950s, originally utilized in manned space exploration. They have been dropping in cost since rough 2004 when their popularity really went up. And now with the Green pressure going on, solar panels are as accepted as ever. So I committed to delve into them and find out how to purchase and mount one; I was in for a big surprise. You can come across many retail vendors over the internet that will sell you a solar panel but now could I locate a detailed description of how to determine what to buy and how to install it; much less on board a yacht. So this piece was written as I made my way through the progress; therefore is a really a learn-as-you-go article.

What Exactly is a Solar Panel and How Do They Work?

Solar panels are basically any panel that makes use of the sun's thermal energy to create electricity. A solar panel can be described as a photovoltaic panel, the name used in the business, for panels intended to create electrical energy from the emission of the sun. Despite the group of solar panel being discussed, almost all solar panels are flat. This is because the surface of the panel needs to be at a 90 degree incline from the sun's rays for the best angle to soak up the sun's rays. Solar panels are able to absorb energy from the sun through a collection of solar cells on their surface. Very similar to how a plant is able to take in energy from the sun for photosynthesis, solar cells function in a comparable way. As the sun's rays hit the solar cells on a photovoltaic panel, the energy is transferred to a silicon semiconductor. The power is then changed into (dc) direct current electrical energy and then passed through connecting wires to extremely enter a storage battery.

Kinds of Solar Panels

Types of panels most commonly used in yachting uses either have multicrystalline or amorphous thin-film cells. Multicrystalline panels are the oldest technology obtainable and in addition the strongest. When sized correctly and paired with suitable batteries, these are the panels to make use of for operating large loads such as refrigeration.

Amorphous thin film solar panels are only about 50% as effective as multicrystalline panels, but can be bought in flexible varieties so they can roll or fold, or change to the shape of a boat cabin top or bimini. They do not often have adequate yield for considerable energy replenishment, but can be used to lightly charge a battery bank.

How Much Power Can Solar Cells Make?

Normally, we measure solar panels by wattage and that is how we buy them. You can get solar panels for boats as small as 10 watts to as great as 200 watts or even larger. But it is simpler to understand when we change watts to amperage. We calculate these values ​​by multiplying the number of hours the panel is in full sun (usually defined as 5 a day in Florida) by the panel's wattage. For a 195 watt solar panel the amount produced would be 195 x 5 hrs = 975 watts / day. We can then figure, 975 watts / 12 volts = 81.25 amps per day.

Power Consumption

Before considering which size panel to purchase for your boat, you will need to complete an energy budget to ascertain what sources of power consumption you have aboard while at anchor. I use the at anchor scenario as this is the place you will use the most energy; under power and your trawler can supply its needs without any issues.

Example, if you have 3 inside lights that pull 2 ​​amps each and you keep them on for 4 hours per night, your consumption would be 3 x 2 x 4 = 24 AH / Day. We are not concerned by running lights and electronics as they will not likely be running while at anchor.

DC Loads – calculate how many amps hours are used by each appliance

House Lighting
Anchor lights
Electric Toilet
Fresh Water Pump
Sanitation System

Inverter Loads

Inverter loads also make use of DC power but they are powering AC appliances and equipment. If you want to change watts to amps use (12watts / 12 volts = 1amp).

Calculate the amp hours used by each appliance

Hair Dryer

Add up your overall daily energy use AH / per day

Solar Energy Creation

Different sources of power similar to solar panels can replace the amp / hrs dropped from the batteries. But similar to the power budget that determined your usage you will also need to compute your re-supply of amp hours. Keep in mind the formula – (12 watts / 12 volts = 1 amp). But be mindful, the formula is only a gauge; complete accuracy can only be where the panel production is constant and a solar panel may at times function ineffectually due to cloudy skies. Compare the day by day power use in AH / Day to the solar power creation. Your solar energy production must be larger than the use. If it is not, pick a larger wattage panel and recalculate. Always purchase more solar panel output than you think you will need; some professionals recommend at least 30% in excess.

Case in point – 100 watt solar panel / 12 volts = 8.3 amp x 5 hours = 41.66 AH / Day production

Installing Your Solar Panel

Now that you have got your solar panel, where do you put it on board your yacht? As we mentioned before, installing the panel ninety degrees to the sun is best. You will get the best power production this way. But on yachts, finding a fitting spot is tricky at best. A number of boaters put them on brackets placed on the rails, others position them on top of the bimini, and I have seen them positioned on the trawler dingy stanchions. But when you decide to mount them, bear in mind that to get the most out of them they bought to be in the open, away from any shading from booms, vessel radar arches, or cabin structures. Bear in mind that while at anchor, the boat will turn to the sun twice daily because of the tides. I opted to mount our panel on the top of the boat back deck hardtop in a horizontal position. Here it will get the greatest view of the sun and be clear from the radar arch shade as the boat swings at anchor. The slope toward the sun is not necessarily at ninety degrees but it will have to do. I selected a 195 watt panel so I get almost a 50% reserve ability in my panel to compensate for the small inefficiency of the sun's angle. We got the panel from Sun Electronics in Miami ,unelec.com as they had the best prices I could find anywhere on the web. But bear in mind, panels must be shipped using freight as they are heavily packed to reduce the chance of damage so be sure to calculate those expenses in your acquisition.

What is the best way to attach the panel to your vessel?

There are a variety of manufacturers of solar panel mounting rails and supports but almost all of them are made for roof or ground mounting. West Marine does carry a product for mounting small panels to the rails. A good number of boaters make their own mounts. I found a mount developed by Sunsei known as a Sunsei Glue Mounting Kit that is attached to the vessel and panel using 3M 5200 Marine Adhesive. The mount allows the panel to be installed with about 2 inches of space benefit the panel for aeration. I did not need to drill any holes in the hardtop either. You can locate these mounts at amazon.com.

Wiring Your Panel

Marine electrical wiring is incredibly specialized and hazardous; If you are not comfortable in performing this part of the task, please check with an experienced marine electrician. Your panel will be prewired for attaching to your vessel but you will need to provide the connecting cables that will also be sold by your panel provider; they are known as MC4 cables. The cables will be made in different lengths appropriate for your needs with a male and female connector affixed; you cut one connector off.

In addition, you will also require a controller. The controller regulates the power stream from the panel to your batteries keeping your batteries charged yet stopping over charging. A number of controllers are easy but others have LED displays indicating the amount of charge etc. The more fancy features the more cost it will be. Your panel dealer will be able to suggest a controller that will satisfy your needs. I chose a controller developed by Specialty Concepts. It is straightforward but does the job. And the people at the company are a big help in helping you to select the best model for your panel. When you get in touch with them, they will want to understand which size panel (wattage) you own and what the voltage is. Check them out at specialtyconcepts.com. I also got my controller from the individuals at Sun Electronics in Miami.

The individuals at Special Concepts have also calculated how heat will have an effect on current flow and suggest that their controllers will not be placed in engine rooms as the heat produced will diminish the controller effectiveness by roughly 25%. I put mine in the electrical panel under the lower helm. And finally, you will require the correctly sized cables to go from the controller to your batteries and a fuse to connect the controller to the battery bank. In deciding on the correct fuse, you need to locate the short circuit current for your panel and rate the breaker at 125% of that number. This will give you the amperage of the breaker you will need. Your controller operating manual will have information on these too.

Owning a solar panel to preserve your batteries would seem like a great plan but you'll want to have a way to keep an eye on your batteries. I opted to also install a Trimetric 2025RV Battery Monitor; bogartengineering.com. This smart device is wired into your battery bank to provide a genuine measurement of voltage going in to the bank, amps being used by your yacht, the percent full charge on the bank, and the amp hours used from the last charge.

Panel Functionality

So we have now installed a 195 watt solar panel in addition to an 1800 watt inverter and a battery bank with 443 amp hours. We ran our tests this week on the hook with clear skies. I concluded that our energy consumption is 112.5 amp hours per day. The freezer is the major draw using 60 of the amp hours followed by the refrigerator. Did you know that a standard anchor light pulls 18 amp hours each night? I think I'll check out LED bulbs now.

The battery monitor indicated that our actual draw from the battery bank was merely 65 amp hours which indicates we received the remaining from the sunlight, an entire 42% was from the sun. Now we will turn on the genset for around an hour to bring the battery bank up to complete charge.

House Painting With Natural Paints

If you are truly dedicated to the eco movement, you might consider using natural mineral-based paints for your next house painting project. In addition to being the most environmentally friendly option, these paints have particular characteristics that affect how you use them and when they are practical. Natural paints are those that are manufactured from only natural substances: pigments are often made from minerals and clay; solvents and fillers are also derived from organic sources, such as plant resins. House painting with natural paints, as we will see, is actually quite easy and delivers great results.

Natural milk paints are an excellent choice for interior walls, cabinets and furniture, although they have a different look than standard paints. They give a grainy look with very little shine, and are not particularly washable on their own, so it is often a good idea to seal with a clear coat. Milk paint actually comes in powder form, and you must mix it with water, usually 1 part water to 1 part powder, or according to the manufacturers instructions. They are fairly expensive: priced at $30 (Can.) or more for enough product to cover 150 square feet of surface. But you get both a green product, and a unique finish that is sure to impress.

Milk paint and other natural paints can be applied using conventional brushes and rollers, but the steps to the coating system are a little different. First of all, milk paint requires a porous substrate to bond well. It is excellent over bare wood, for example. If you want to use milk paint on a previously-painted or varnished surface, you’ll need to use a special milk paint bond coat. As you work on the project, you want to stir the paint every ten minutes or so, because the solids settle at the bottom over time. Milk paint also dries quickly, so you want to work efficiently to keep a “wet edge”; in other words, don’t let the paint dry too much from one area to the next. You will want to apply 2 coats of the paint, and then 1 coat of clear sealer for best results. Milk paint leaves a very even and desirable finish, and the clear coat adds to the color depth and gives a gentle shine.

Other natural paints come pre-mixed, and are used much the same, though they do not require a clear sealer as with milk paint. They also tend to dry fairly quickly. These paints have almost no odor, and no VOCs. Natural paints are great for bedrooms, ceilings, and even areas exposed to heavy wear, but you must realize that they wear differently than ordinary paints; the natural ingredients create a finish that wears gradually, creating an interesting patina and distressed look. They are also moisture and mildew resistant, and allow the material to breath, so they can actually perform well in a bathroom or kitchen. Milk paint should be sealed for improved washability, however. Clean up is very easy, and only requires water to clean tools. Overall, natural paints can make house painting a safe task, and give a very interesting look to your home.

Paint by Number Wall Murals For Kids Rooms

Wall murals are a rising trend in kids wall decor. And for good reason! They look great in nurseries, play rooms, bedrooms or even school rooms. There's a sense of timelessness that goes along with well done murals. In many ways they can grow with your children! Problem is, most of us do not posses the artistic talent to create a stunning, timeless wall mural. And most of us do not have the extra money sitting around to pay a professional artist to do the job for us. Do not despair! I have the answer to your problem; paint by number wall murals.

Do you remember as a child, how you used to get those paint by number projects. You've got a row of paintings, all numbered, and a picture that had correlating numbered areas to paint in. I thought these were great! Well, paint by number wall murals are very similar. The amazing part is, these kits are simple enough that even children can get involved in the fun of creating a mural!

Paint by number wall murals are available in many different themes and sizes, from eloquent silhouettes for boys or girls, beach themes, jungles, pirates, princesses, woodlands … you name it, it's available. Most of these murals are big enough to cover a good portion of the wall. You can also use sections of the mural in other areas of the room, like as door huggers or bed framers. Either way, they all serve to create a beautiful focal point to a child's room or living space.

In this article I will remember the simple three step process of creating a stunning chilren's mural by using paint by number wall murals. As well, I will share some helpful hints so you are sure to succeed.

When you buy paint by number wall murals, you'll receive panels of paper that have the printed image of the mural on it. You'll also carbon paper for tracing and a list of paint colors to purchase at your local craft store.

The process of painting this mural is done in three steps. First: Taping. Tape the carbon paper to the back of your panels of paper. Then tape the panels of paper onto the desired area of ​​your wall that you want to paint the mural. Its best to do some measuring first, so you do not end up with a mural that's off center.

Second: Tracing. Using a ball point pen, trace over the lines of the printed mural. This will transfer the image to your wall through the carbon paper.

Third: Painting. Each area of ​​the mural is numbered, and the numbers correlate with a specific paint color. Your last step is to use the appropriate color to paint in your mural. You can use sponge brushes or art brushes. It's that simple!

A few tips before you start your wall mural. The mural shows up best on light colored walls; white, cream, pastels. I suggest using an eggshell, satin or semi gloss finish. It's also best NOT to trace the numbers, they may be difficult to cover up with the paint. If you want to protect your mural from fingerprints and dirt, you can apply a coat of Clear Coat for Indoor use. Apply this with a roller to the whole mural. If you skip an area, you'll know it, because the clear coat gives the mural a darker, glossy finish. So, be careful to not make any skippers.

In order to get the biggest bang out of your buck, you can reverse the pattern to create a bigger mural. Simply put the carbon paper on the backside of the pattern, trace the outline. Then turn over your pattern and you will have a reversed copy on that side. Now proceed with the normal 3 step process. This can work great for creating door huggers or bed framers.

"So, how long does this sort of project take?" you might be thinking. This adventure is best saved for a weekend-warrior project! Depending on the size of the mural you choose, it could take you the better part of a weekend or a full day to finish it. However, the saying still remains, "Many hands make light work!" Get your kids and friends involved and you will not only end up with a great mural but a really fun memory to last a lifetime!

I hope this article has served to open your eyes to the possibilities and inspired you to create a timeless, beautiful mural for your child! In just three simple steps you can create paint by number wall murals that will thrill your child's heart and create an environment that will inspire them to greatness!

Diet Rules for Weight Control

Americans spend thirty billion dollars on weight loss aids and products annually. Despite this, long term weight loss remains elusive for the most number of people. Research reveals that only five to twenty percent of people were able to maintain permanent results. Two thirds regained lost weight after a year and the rest restored it with five years. How do these successful losers do it? Here are some rules they'd like to share with you.

There are five behaviors that have been identified to help you reach your weight management goals. These are eating breakfast, monitoring weight, limiting television, daily exercise and having a strong support network. You may notice that now can you find any statement of diet restriction. It simply shows that a positive lifestyle change not only promote good health but weight reduction as well.

A daily breakfast is in everyone's list of fat loss tips. Seventy eight percent of successful weight loss research participants eat breakfast everyday. Eating breakfast sets a positive tone for the remaining meals of the day. Hunger is a powerful biological need. Assuaging it first thing in the morning makes sure that you do not overeat later in the day. One more thing that you should do at least once a week is weigh yourself. Weighing yourself provides you with the means to evaluate your fat loss measures. Getting positive results inspire you to keep on reaching for your goals.

Sixty five percent of weight loss participants watched less than ten hours of television. This means more time for them to engage in activities that require them to move more and then, burn calories. Ninety percent of participants rely on exercise to maintain their weight. Do at least an hour of daily exercise. It increases the probability of maintaining their weight over the long term. The support of family and friends are essential if you want to stay slim and healthy. They cheer you on and provide you with much needed moral support.

Weight loss products and aids is big business. That proves that people would really like to lose weight. Eating breakfast, watching less television, weighing yourself and exercising are behavioral changes that support good health. Inevitably, they also promote weight loss. The significant people in your life should support your aspirations. You'll be able to count on them when you a little morale boost to keep you going.

Trading Soft Commodities

Soft commodities include sugar, cocoa, coffee, orange juice and cotton.


People have been using sugar for over two thousand years, when it was originally reserved for the very rich. Today, sugar is one of the most heavily traded commodities globally.

Sugar commodity contracts expire in March, May, July and October and a one point movement on a commodity CFD contract is worth USD5.60. So if a trader chose to go long on a single sugar contract, and its value rose by 25 points, he would make a profit of USD140 (USD5.60 per point x 25).


Cocoa was discovered by the natives of Central America over three thousand years ago, where it was a luxury for the rich. Today, most of the world's cocoa is grown in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Brazil, Ecuador and Nigeria. This means that when there is turmoil in those regions, the price of cocoa increases due to the expected disruption of supply.

Cocoa contracts expire in March, May, July, September and December. A one point move in a commodity CFD contract is worth USD5.


Coffee was originally discovered over two thousand years ago in Ethiopia. From Africa, coffee made its way to the Middle East and into coffee houses, where it was introduced to travelers who spread its use beyond the region.

Coffee contracts expire in March, May, July, September and December. Coffee commodity trading contracts are worth USD1.88 per single point movement.

Orange Juice

Orange juice is a new commodity on the markets – as orange juice was traditionally consumed as a fresh juice, it had a short shelf-life and was, consequently, susceptible to price shocks due to supply disruptions.

Freezing orange juice began in the 1940s and then became the industry standard, the longer shelf-life turning it into a tradeable instrument.


Cotton was discovered over five thousand years ago and was one of America's first cash crops. Cotton is a very influential commodity due to its wide range of uses and contributions to a large volume of commodity trading.

Cotton contracts expire in March, May, July, October and December and a one point contract movement is worth USD2.50.

How to trade commodities

Commodity trading is usually performed with futures contracts, which are agreements that the commodity will be delivered at a certain time in the future at an agreed-upon price. The quantity, quality, time and place of delivery are all standardized aspects of the contract; the only variable is the price.

Unlike trading shares, which can only be bought in the hope that the share price will rise and the trader will make a profit by selling the shares at a higher price, commodity futures can be short sold, meaning that a trader can make a profit in a falling market by selling a futures contract and buying it back at a lower price.

If a trader chose to go short on coffee and the price fell by 50 points, he would make a profit of USD94 (USD1.88 x 50 points).

VCI Packaging: The Best Solution to Protect Metal Products in Transit

Corrosion is never good. It is the nonstop, "always on" destruction of materials. What did the materials do to deserve this? Nothing. Simply by existing and coming into contact with oxygen, water, and other elements – corrosion affects naturally everything. However, while the materials we rely on for all kinds of products can not do much (apart from what they already do) to avoid corrosion, a number of technologies have emerged to combat it. Chief among those technologies are VCI's, or "volatile corrosion inhibitors".

Volatile Corrosion Inhibiwhat? Volatile corrosion inhibitors are a type of corrosion inhibitor frequently used to protect ferrous materials from corrosion. More specifically, "ferrous" materials typically include those that are composed of iron. They are frequently used on copper, cast iron, aluminum, galvanized steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, brass, and more.

Volatile corrosion inhibitors work by creating a neutral environment inside of a packaging. By working on the principle of difference in vapor pressure, VCI's slowly release their compounds within a sealed area to prevent corrosion on a variety of surfaces. The corrosive elements VCI's work to protect metal from include humidity, water, oxygen, extreme temperatures, acids, friction, salt, chemicals and other materials. By shielding materials from these elements with volatile corrosion inhibitors the end user does not have to contend with rust removal, cleaning, repairs, and more. Additionally, VCI's ensure RoHS compliance, meet Mil-spec PRF-22019E and are 100% recyclable.

One of the primary benefits of VCI's is that when a container is open and then subsequently reclosed, the levels of VCI present will recover. This makes VCI's an invaluable prevention prevention tool for everything from tool boxes to mailing and shipping containers.

Fortunately, volatile corrosion inhibitors are a flexible way to prevent corrosion and can be provided inside a package, as a film, in a pouch, or can be added to overwrap and special VCI paper. Today VCI packaging is frequently used to protect and extend the life of all kinds of metal surfaces, no matter where they're or where they're going. Whether a material is being stores, shipped, or simply handled in a corrosive environment – VCI's ensure the product is protected, no matter how small or large. In many cases, VCI's can reliably protect enclosed materials for up to two years.

Given that shipping products properly can mean the difference between a successful product and expensive delays, VCI packaging is important to businesses and consumers in every industry. With just a little bit of science and a fraction of time, it's possible to protect metal products of all sizes from one of the most ubiquitous destructive forces in the world.

Craft Boxes Make Great Gift Boxes

Craft boxes are specialized boxes of arts and craft. They have been used all away through history as containers for every item you can think about. From tea caddies to food containers and cigarette boxes storage containers for your home, writing boxes with different containing, craft boxes are of good use for everyone.

Very often, craft boxes are needed to contain presents for some celebration, birthdays, Christmas, wedding etc.

The most important thing when decorating your box is, first of all the quality of the boxes, and secondly, that you take care to make it appropriate for the celebration.

Here are some ideas for decorating your craft boxes when you want to give your loved one a present:

Pick what colors you want. Red and white will work well for Valentines day, black and orange for Halloween, red and green for Christmas, etc. It’s your box. You can be as creative or weird as you like. A simple brownish or white paper used for wrapping and a reddish ribbon can be a highly beautiful decoration that looks extremely sophisticated.

Cut out your paper, and arrange it how you want it. It doesn’t have to be a solid color. You can cut lots of shapes to overlap. Choose origami paper, wrapping paper, magazine pages or even greeting cards to decorate it. Cut the paper to cover each side of the box or cut out small pictures or shapes to attach to the painted surface of the box.

Just make sure that you don’t leave any cardboard showing. Ribbons and bows are good too. If the present is for an adult then a different approach is required.

Add writing to your box. Stencils make awesome pictures, or even add a sweet message. For a natural look get a few leaves and pick one or two of them to draw around them and carefully cut a stencil. Sprinkle some glitter to an adhesive on to give it a cool touch.

Birthdays and celebrations need some colors to individualize the person. For a child, primary and secondary colors are the best choice. You can accessorize boxes to your particular interest, such as drawing, crochet, painting, jewelry making and beading or you can create a general craft box that has a variety of crafting supplies.

You can also use images such as planes, trains, boats, fairies, princesses, castles, dinosaurs or images from their favorite books to decorate the craft boxes.

Keep in mind that you can use have to use good craft boxes to make a good personalization. The craft boxes that you buy also have to be the best quality, in order not to break.

We would all like many special gifts for that special someone. But oh my god, that plain cardboard box is so ugly and boring! Now you can choose to who it some light with your own ideas and decorations. Now your loved one will for sure be amazed by your gift in beautiful craft boxes of the best quality. Why not get the best ones on the market to surprise your beloved? After all, he/she does deserve the best there is…