Manifesting Abundance – The Fallacy Behind the Law of Attraction

Let’s face it. You’re pretty pissed off.

You were sold a “tool” for manifesting abundance by the name of “The Law of Attraction” and were told it would solve ALL your problems in life.

You were told that it will bring you vast amounts of wealth, numerous possessions, peace of mind, great relationships, top-notch health, you name it. Anything you want, you were told you can have through this law.

So, you read numerous books, went to seminars, and watched that famous movie, “The Secret”, all in hopes of acquiring the skills needed for manifesting abundance in your life.

Yet, after trying this law over and over again, your life is no different: you’re no richer, healthier or happier. You haven’t attracted your ideal mate, your dream job, or any more money into your life.

As a matter of fact, the insult of the whole thing is, when the Law of Attraction does work for you, it brings to you very “trivial” things, like a hat you’ve been looking for at the department store, or you’re flipping through the cable channels and a movie is on that you wanted to see, etc.

Yet, you can’t seem to attract the BIG things.


Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s not your fault that the Law of Attraction hasn’t worked for you.

Yes, it isn’t your fault.

What if you had to take an exam in school about American History from 1776 – 1945 and your history book that you were told to study from only covered the Revolutionary War?

You would fail miserably because you’d be missing out on other MAJOR events in American History, for one the Civil war, among many, many other pivotal events.

Well, you’ve been sent to create your own reality using the Law of Attraction, but frankly, that’s not enough.

It’s like me sending you to play a basketball game without you knowing the rules, and telling you that all you have to do is get the ball into the basket.

Did you know that there were other laws besides the Law of Attraction that are involved in manifesting abundance in your life? Laws I might add, that MUST be applied if you want to be successful at reality creation.

For one, there’s the Law of Detachment, which dictates the correct mindset one must have when using the Law of Attraction. Not knowing this law has been one of biggest reasons why people fail at manifesting abundance in their lives, and knowing how to properly apply this law can actually speed the rate at which things come to you.

Yes, really, it can.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what has been left out of the equation of the laws and principles that are involved in reality creation.

Don’t get me wrong, the Law of Attraction works, but when it is promoted as the be all and end all of reality creation it becomes a fallacy, causing many disillusioned people who are woefully unprepared to manifest their dreams.

Home Extensions – Top Ten Mistakes Made by Builders

It might look nice but did your builder avoid the most common mistakes whilst creating your home extension?

Mistake 1 – Excavations & Foundations

The first part of the home extension is usually to with the foundations and you will be surprised to learn that at least 25% of the foundations are not positioned directly under the walls on top. Excavating off centre or in the wrong position is quite common and in one particular case I had a builder that excavated for a two room side extension on the wrong side of the line that was set up. His ignorance doubled the cost of the excavations and foundations at the drop of a hat.

Mistake 2 – Damp Proofing Course & DPC Membrane

This part of you home extension is a minor job but of vital importance. If it’s done wrong the damp enters the new walls within a matter of weeks and over a year or causes severe damp problems.

On one site I inspected a few years back the builders had used plastic rubble bags to form a damp proofing course instead of using the correct width dpc roll.

Mistake 3 – Extensions Are Rarely Square

The vast majority of home extensions do not have 1 square corner. At least 98% of builders that I have met in the last 30 years didn’t have a clue as to how to check if the home extension there were building was in fact square to the property.

Mistake 4 – Services in the Floor

Time and time again I have come across copper pipes and electrical cables that are run directly in the concrete floors without any form of sleeving or protection. Copper pipes corrode quickly when encased directly in concrete as the cement practically eats the copper. As for the idea of electrical cables running around live within the concrete without any sleeving well that just make the hair on my neck stand up.

Mistake 5 – Windows & Doors

You might think this is an easy job but once again it is pretty common that the height of windows and doors are often comprised because the height of the floor was laid wrong or the bricklayer made a mistake. Ideally all you should see in a doorway to the garden is the wooden threshold and not a little wall under it. In some cases you don’t even see the threshold because the frame was set in too low and this equally is simply poor workmanship.

Mistake 6 – Floor Heights

New floor heights are amazing in the various ways they can be botched. Probably the worst scenario is when they are too high usually resulting in a step up from the main house all because the builder didn’t drop the ground a bit more when building the extension.

Mistake 7 – Ventilation To The Sub Floor

When you build a side or rear extension to an older property with ventilated sub floors it is essential that you continue to provide ventilation through the new extension floor. It’s a simple task that costs peanuts but eight times out of ten the builder doesn’t bother and the end is result is usually dry rot within a few years.

Mistake 8 – Insulation 8

A few years ago extensions were built with little or no insulation. I’m pleased to say times have changed and that you are now required to have insulation within walls, ceilings and floors. Most local councils now insist on additional dry lining with an insulation backed board to breeze block walls so make sure you builder conforms. Also make sure that they put at least 100mm of insulation into any concrete floors. If you don’t tell them they wont bother and building control may not pick it up.

Mistake 9 – Drainage

This has to be one of the easier tasks that invariably gets done badly or in fact missed out as much as possible.

When you add a full width extension you must always allow for the rainwater from the main roof. Time and time again you see that this water is left to discharge onto the extension roof which it is simply not supposed to happen as it will always lead to premature problems.

The other point of course is that rainwater is not meant to discharge into soil stacks and has to have it own means of going in to the sewer system or soak-away. If your builder gets this wrong its usually a huge problem to put right at a later date.

Mistake 10 – Encroachment

I left encroachment until last mainly because its an unfamiliar word to the builders and to most homeowners but can be a huge nightmare if it occurs on your build project.

Encroachment is where you build over the boundary line. Most people think this relates to the physical ground only but in actual fact time and time again you see pipes, gutters and cappings that clearly encroach on other properties which can be a nightmare to put right.

In most cases the builder carries out the encroachment in pure ignorance but it can leave you with a hefty bill to put right or in fact legal fees should you get sued by your neighbors.


The best way to stay ahead of the game is to be informed.

What Happens To Your Body When You De-Hydrate?

As the summer approaches and everyone is coming out to enjoy the sun.

Dehydration is a heat related illness which occurs when a person does not take in enough fluids. It is associated with summertime because when we get hot, or go on holiday to hotter countries, it is easy to be unaware of just how much essential water and salts we lose through increased sweating. Without replacing these fluids, our bodies begin to dry out.

There are many warning signs to look out for, with infants and older people being the most vulnerable to dehydration. In infections, mild to moderate dehydration is indicated by sleepiness and excess fussiness, a rapid heartbeat and producing fewer than six wet nappies per day. In older children and adults, symptoms of dehydration can be a dry or sticky mouth, extreme thirst, darker colored urine than usual or no urine, headaches, dizziness and feeling light-headed.

Thankfully, in urbanized areas, where access to potable water is commonplace, it is easy to avoid dehydration. Prevention is always better than cure so adults should aim to take in around six to eight glasses of water per day to avoid dehydrating.

There are also some other things you can do to make sure that you stay hydrated in the heat of summer. Stay indoors during the hottest part of the day (between 12pm to 3pm). Wear loose fitting clothes and avoid doing strenuous activities. Avoid caffeine drinks, and try to replace the sodium and minerals you lose through heavy sweating by re-hydrating with a mineral supplement drink; eating something savory can also help.

Should you experience any of the signs of dehydration, try drinking water immediately. If the dehydration is severe, seek medical attention.

One way to safeguard yourself and the people around you from dehydration is to install a water cooler in your home or office. Cool water re-hydrates the body and also helps lower body temperature, which is especially important during the hot summer months or in a humid climate. Water coolers can be bought or rented and are a welcome addition to any office or home environment.

Calcium Vitamin D Magnesium Supplement

Yes, many calcium-rich supplements available today are blends of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium. Many other minerals like potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins like vitamin K2 and K3 are also used in making high-quality calcium supplements.

For the development of healthy bones, teeth and muscles children as well as adults need adequate quantities of calcium either from food or from nutritional supplements. A calcium vitamin D magnesium supplement is ideal for people of all ages since vitamin D helps in the absorption of calcium and magnesium has its own health benefits.

Women are advised to increase their intake of calcium-rich foods to reduce risk of developing osteoporosis in old age. Many other illnesses like depression and PMS in women are associated with calcium deficiency. Liquid calcium vitamin D and magnesium supplement is also available now and is very effective in overcoming calcium deficiency.

Divide the dosage of calcium-rich supplement in such a way that you receive up to 500 mg of calcium at one time. Read the instructions and ingredients on the bottle carefully before starting the course. Liquid calcium vitamin D and magnesium supplement can be used by taking 1-2 tablespoons daily. You can also have your serum calcium (blood test) performed to measure the level of calcium in blood and then consuming nutritional supplements accordingly.

Normally pregnant and lactating women require up to 1000 mg calcium daily. They are strongly advised to consult their doctor before taking any calcium-rich supplement. In addition to calcium you also need to know that women require 400 – 800 IU of vitamin D everyday. Multi-vitamin pills and calcium – vitamin D tablets can be consumed to fulfill these needs in addition to a healthy, balanced diet.

Doctors suggest exercising on a regular basis for proper absorption of calcium and other minerals in blood. Do not sit idle for long periods of time. Degenerative diseases occur in old age and one of their major causes is calcium deficiency. Calcium also assists in losing weight and controlling blood pressure. People who eat calcium-rich food and drink milk regularly are at reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease, colon cancer and kidney stones.

Do not forget to find high-quality calcium and vitamin D supplements available on the market. They are not only important for your bone health but are also needed by many other systems of the body to function properly.

How to Make Rosogulla or Rasagulla – Trade Secrets Shared Here

Making and enjoying, Rosogulla is such a nostalgic journey to the past and a great tribute to my childhood and growing up in a very special place; Asansol in West Bengal. The smell of the wet earthen pot holding the Rosogulla, straight from the sweat-meat shops is invigorating.

There’s lot of mystery surrounding Rosogulla; regarding it’s place of origin – West Bengal or Orissa. It is widely believed that in 1868, Nobin Chandra Das of Bagbazar, Kolkata, invented, and became instantly famous; who was later supported by his son K.C. Das. Eminent historian, J. Padhi has claimed that “the Rasgulla is more than 600 years old. It is as old as the Rath Yatra in Puri“. Ratha Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June.

Another school of thought: During the Bengal renaissance; between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the upper class Bengalis employed the Brahmin cooks from neighbouring Orissa, famed for there culinary skills. As a result many Oriya delicacies got incorporated into Bengali cuisine. It was this during this time Haradhan Maira, a confectioner of Phulia district, Orissa, transferred this knowledge to Kolkata(Calcutta). NC Das modified the original version to extend it’s shelf life and was thus credited with ‘Sponge Rosogulla’.

VARIATIONS: Ladikenis – Bhim Nag invented this deep-fried syrupy Ledikeni that was created for and named after Lady Canning (wife of the Governor-General of India, Lord Charles John Canning.)when she arrived in Calcutta with her husband in 1856, in the electric days before the Sepoy Mutiny.

Making Festive “Coloured” Rasgulla. The most common colours in use are Pink and Orange. To make coloured Rasgulla, do NOT add food colour to the milk. Add desired food colour while kneading the Cheese. Roshogulla stuffed with Cardamom, Raisins. Adding Rose water and Saffron. Rasagulla is the first cheese based sweet, and is a precursor to many other Bengali Sweets: Rasmalai, Pantua, Cham Cham, Sandesh to name a few.

Things You’ll Need: To Make Chenna/Paneer (Cheese)

  • Organic Full Fat Milk – 1 litre
  • Plain Natural Yoghurt (1) – 200ml or
  • Lime Juice / White Vinegar – 2 tbsp

Yield – 260grams Chenna Divide into 12 equal portions

Sugar Syrup

  • Water – 300ml
  • Sugar – 200grams(add to taste)

Golden Touch Preparation: [Making Cheese – 1 hour 30 mins + 40 mins]

  1. Boil Milk in a deep bottomed, non-stick pan.
  2. Stir regularly with a wooden spatula to prevent Milk sticking to the bottom.
  3. Once boiled, lower heat; add Yogurt. In about 3-5 minutes, curdling starts, separating the Whey (2) from the Chenna/Panner/Cheese (3).
  4. Line a strainer with Cheese Cloth. Leave it there for 1 hour (4).
  5. Knead the Chenna for about 5 minutes, resulting in a smooth, soft dough.
  6. To test the readiness of the Chenna, rub a small amount of Chenna on your palms and make a small ball out of it. If the ball holds together in a smooth ball, it is ready. If not knead for another 5 minutes. If too dry and crumbly add a few drops of water (5).
  7. Just before you are about to make the balls, in a 24cm diameter, deep non-stick stock pot, add Water and Sugar and bring to boil on low flame. Stir occasionally.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Knead each ball tightly in your palm and roll into a smooth balls, without cracks. These small balls end up three times their size after cooking.
  9. Add the balls to the boiling syrup, carefully. Cover. Boil on full flame for 20-25 mins (6).
  10. Remove from flame. Allow to cool.

Golden Touch Service Serve chilled on it’s own in the Sugar syrup or with Misti Doi (Sweetened Yoghurt).


1. Yogurt vs Lime Juice/Vinegar. This is my variation. All other recipes you’ll find adding Lime Juice or White Vinegar to curdle Milk. Benefits of using Yoghurt; it does not leave the after taste of sourness and produces a greater yield of Chenna. Tried and tested method at Chacko’s Kitchen.

2. Whey can be used for kneading Flour for Chappati, Roti, Naan instead of Water; also can be used to cook Lentils.

3. Caution: The Cheese become hard and rubbery if you continue to boil after this stage.

4. This is an important stage, and I would like you to take it seriously. You need NOT leave it for long, or press it down under weight, unlike when you make Paneer. Rosogulla requires moisture in it. In hotter climates, reduce this time to say 45 minutes.

5. The softness of Rasgulla depends on how well you knead the Paneer. The more you knead, the more spongier the Rasagulla be.

6. Do not add too many at the same time; as they need to expand and become spongy. Commercial Rasgulla is dipped in too thick sugar syrup, therefore when you make at home you can adjust the Sugar to your requirements.

Sports and Hobbies in Portugal

Called The Beautiful Game, the Portuguese are ardent futebol fans. From club matches to the national team, everyone has a favorite player and team that they follow with great devotion.


The game requires speed, dexterity, endurance and strategy. Portugal’s Cristiano Renaldo is arguably the best player in the world and José Marinho is widely recognized as a gifted manager.

For pro players, making the national team is the pinnacle of success. Many professional footballers play internationally for other teams; for example Renaldo plays for Real Madrid. As qualifying for the quadrennial World Cup approaches, players are named for the national team. Below the national team is club play. Premeira Liga, with 14 teams, is the premier league and the Segunda Ligafields 22 teams.

Every town and region has a host of amateur leagues, as well as college and school teams ranging from five-a-side to full teams. Naturally you can find a group of kids (or adults) kicking the ball around wherever there’s a bit of open space.


Futsal, 5-a-side indoor football, is played on a hard surface. There are several leagues divided into divisions. 1a Divisão is the top league.

All the rest

  • Athletics: Portugal has a number of top long-distance runners and has done well at recent Olympic Games in London and Beijing; there are also a number of top cross-country runners from Portugal
  • Canoeing: Portugal has many top Olympians in this sport; kayaking and canoeing are popular sports for tourists and locals alike
  • Cycling: Volta a Portugal is the annual professional long-distance race; cycling tours and mountain bike trails are widely available in all regions
  • Martial arts: Jogo do Pau is a traditional stick fighting martial art dating from the Middle Ages (fencing and judo are also popular)
  • Motorsports: Rallying, motorcycle racing and A1 Grand Prix are popular spectator sports with some races (Rally Madeira and Lisboa-Dakar) receiving international attention
  • Bullfights: Portuguese bullfights differ in style from the Spanish customs, notably the bull is not killed in the ring; running with the bulls, as in Pamplona, Spain, is popular in the Azores
  • Golf: the Algarve has great courses and many of Portugal’s top pros play in the region
  • Airsoft: known as paint ball in the U.S., the game is popular around the country
  • Watersports: surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing and sailing are all popular, especially in the Algarve
  • Portugal is considered to have some of the best waves in Europe, most notably around the central coastal town of Peniche. Recently, the largest wave ever surfed was recorded in Nazaré, about 30 minutes north of Peniche.



Portugal’s traditional needlework and fiber arts began in nunneries and as cottage industries. The fine linens, rugs, lacework provided a livelihood for many families and grew to be celebrated for craftsmanship. Portuguese textiles are well known the world over.

  • Embroidery: Portuguese embroidery is highly sought after with its intricate stiches and rich colors; styles vary by region, with the best known examples coming from Madeira and Castelo Branco; white embroidery (white thread on white cloth) is also popular with modern needle workers
  • Rug making/tapestry: Arraiolos in southern Portugal is famous for its pure wool carpets; designs are similar in motif and style to Persian rugs; Portalegre is well known for its finely detailed tapestry with as many as 25,000 stitches per square meter
  • Knitting: Portuguese knitting is popular with knitters everywhere; also known as continental knitting
  • Crocheting/lacemaking: fine thread crochet lace and bobbin lace making developed as another way to make ends meet in poorer families; well known styles include secret, love secret and Loulé lace
  • Weaving: the region of Serra da Estrela is well known for its thick, dense waterproof blankets (mantas); 100% wool, the blankets are dye and chemical free

Folk dancing

Traditional Portuguese folk dances, typically slower-paced than those of their Spanish neighbors, reflect the courtship and marriage customs of their native regions. Well-known dances include: fandango, vira, corrinhdo, chula and viranda. To dance well, time, practice, stamina and instruction are needed.

Garden Water Fountains and Safety for Kids

Just because you have children or frequent visits from children doesn’t mean you can’t have a lovely garden pool or a water fountain complete with safety for kids. Consider something like a garden fountain surrounded with stones that has no pooling water in which a little one can come to harm.

Safety for Kids is a Valid Concern

One of the biggest concerns about water gardening or a water fountain is the safety of kids. A toddler can drown in just an inch of water or in a partly filled 5-gallon bucket. No wonder that parents, grandparents, and neighbors are fearful around any kind of garden fountain. No garden fountain can be made absolutely childproof, but there are a number of ways you can make yours safer. Shallow pools and garden fountains designed for safety and have strategically placed boulders, and fencing help children and garden fountains to coexist with less worry. Of course, you should never leave children unattended even around shallow water or the most carefully designed water feature.

No Garden Water Fountain is Childproof

Keep in mind that safety for kids is dependent somewhat on age-a garden that is safe for older children may not be safe for toddlers. You may feel confident that a 5-year-old is safe near a half-whiskey-barrel tub garden, but don’t expect an 18-month-old to be.

Even 8-and 9-year-olds should be supervised near garden water fountains that have 3 feet or more of water. It’s a mistake to believe you can create a large pond and train children to stay away from it. The same attractions that draw adults to splashing water, pretty fish, and the joy of dangling a hand in cool water also entice the best-behaved children. And even well trained children have friends or neighbors who will be drawn to your garden fountain.

Although you should make sure your homeowner’s insurance will cover a water garden fountain accident, the best approach is to design the garden water fountain with safety for kids in mind so that tragedy doesn’t happen in the first place.

Fencing Ensures Safety for Kids Around Garden Water Fountains

A fence, as long as it surrounds the pool and has a childproof or locked gate allows you to have peace of mind with any kind of water garden that you want. Pretty picket fencing, 6-foot privacy fencing, and stucco or adobe walls-all can keep young visitors out of harm’s way. However, before building a fence, check your local building codes. Your community may require a certain type of fencing.


By controlling the depth of your garden water fountain, keeping it to an inch or less, you can improve its safety. Fill fountain gardens and tub gardens with attractive stones so a child’s face cannot be submerged.


Fountains can be made relatively safe by building the bottom tiers too high for toddlers to tip into; walls should be at least 2l/i to 3 feet. Similarly, a wall fountain is a less likely threat if its basin is higher than a toddler’s head. Above ground pools will be similarly safe if you build the sides too tall for small children to climb onto.


every garden water pool will have an edge of some material and if it’s made of stone, brick, slate, or concrete, it will get slippery, from water or from algae growth. This is not good for the safety of kid’s around a garden water fountain.

Edging around an in-ground pool creates a path that beckons children to walk around or balance on. It’s better to use turf or edging that blends with surrounding materials to make the contours of the pool less inviting as a play area.


The placement of your garden water fountain also will affect its safety. Don’t locate it just outside the back door; small children can slip out easily and unnoticed and into the water. On the other hand, if you position the pool far away from the house or out of sight, you won’t be able to supervise older children.

A garden fountain by the deck is striking (and an increasingly popular addition), but it could be dangerous in homes where small children live or where they will be frequent visitors.

For additional safety, install a floating alarm (designed for swimming pools) in your garden water fountain basin. The alarm will sound if the water surface is disturbed. Consider constructing a shallow reflecting pool, a millstone fountain on a mound of river rock, or a shallow stream. Fill fountains and tub gardens with attractive stones so a child’s face cannot be submerged at any point.

Havana Cuba Hotels – Accommodation in Havana (Part 1)

Accommodation in Havana is plentiful and in most areas you are able to find rooms anywhere from 35 to 200 US dollars. It is highly recommended to book in advance, especially in the high season (between November and April) when Havana becomes overbooked!

Many visitors decide to stay in the traditional hotels in Old Havana, well located near many of the most important monuments and surrounded by bars and restaurants. Many of these properties are colonial, charismatic and full of history that have accommodated guests and celebrities like Ernest Hemingway or Graham Greene.

The district of Vedado is a quitter place to stay in. However you will need transportation to visit Old Havana. Miramar is the favorite area for business men. Slightly apart from the sites of interest to the general public and tourists.

Hotels in Old Havana: Old Havana is the best preserved urban colonial center in the Americas and where you will find the best charms of the city; from narrow roads to ample Plazas full of colonial architecture and the most important museums.

Many of the hotels of Old Havana are located in colonial palaces carefully restored in the last years. The lodging facilities are extremely well located, near the key monuments and surrounded by restaurants and galleries. Hotels in Old Havana are administrated by the Office of the Historian of the City, the Cuban entity responsible for the restoration of the Old City.

Hotels in the Vedado district: Vedado is the cultural and social center of Havana City. Its attraction include art galleries, shows and live concerts to restaurants. Vedado features most of the north-american hotels built in the 1950's. From hotel Habana Libre and the Riviera Hotel you can enjoy a great view of the city and the sea. Hotel Nacional de Cuba, built in the 1930's, is the most emblematic building in the Malecon walk. Most of these hotel have swimming pools and offer large and comfortable rooms. Old Havana is located some 20 walking minutes from this hotel.

Hotels in Miramar District: Miramar was constructed before the revolution for the well accommodated inhabitants in Havana. Its sumptuous mansions, commercial buildings and wide avenues have today turned into the diplomatic and business center of the city of Havana. Miramar is also visited for its fun areas like the Tropicana Cabaret and for its ample gastronomic offer. Most hotels al located in front of the sea, although the area, like the rest of Havana, does not count with any sand beaches. In contrast, this area of ​​the city is far from the other important areas like Old Havana and Vedado. However the 5th avenue make it a fast ride to reach these other parts of the city.

Hotel in Centro Habana: The Malecon seawall was built in 1901 and covers 8 km between the Castillo de La Punta in Old Havana, and the Castillo de La Chorrera. Walking toward Old Havana having always the Castillo del Morro as a reference and enjoying the sea breeze, is always a treat and one of the nicest routes you can take in the City. The Malecon is the rendezvous place of people in Havana which go there by night, when the place crowds with musicians, groups of friends and romantic couples. Along this sea wall are several well known hotels like he Nacional de Cuba, the Riviera and the Melia Cohiba.

Hotels in the East Beaches of Havana: The best beaches of Havana are located to the east of the city, the first one, Bacuranao, at exactly at 18 km. Several sand beaches following including Tarara, Mégano, Santa María del mar and Bocaciega till you reach the town of Guanabo. Guanabo is one of the most popular areas among Cubans where they go on weekends and summer breaks with their families and / or friends. The east Havana beaches allow to enjoy waters of crystalline transparency an fine white sands at only some 15 minutes from the touristic centers of Old Havana and Vedado.

If you are looking for Havana Hotels , we hope this information is helpful to find the hotel and location ideal to you for your vacations in the city.

Birdhouses 101

If you love birds and care about their welfare as much as I do, I think you’ll find this article very useful and informative.

I’ve always been attracted to the idea of birdhouses. They add such a charming element to your garden while also providing a very useful purpose for our feathered friends — a safe haven from predators as well as a place to care for their off-spring. It’s always been very satisfying to me to walk around in my garden and observe the wild birds and new ‘tenants’ my houses have attracted.

There are almost limitless types and interesting designs available today. There are even birdhouses for specific types of birds such as Sparrows and Martins. Many different types of materials are used in their construction. One of the best is durable, natural wood about three-quarter-inch in thickness, but any type of wood will work as long as it has not been treated with preservatives.

Other than adding charm and fun to your garden, the outside of your birdhouses don’t really need to be painted. While it is true that some types of birds seem to prefer natural and weathered wood, I’ve seen birds living in every type of house — even a bird hotel a friend has on a lake! So it’s fine to have both types in your landscape for variety and usefulness. If you make or purchase painted birdhouses, just be sure the paint used is water-based. It’s not necessary to ever paint the inside of the house.

The main purpose of birdhouses is really a safe sanctuary and a place to keep our feathered friends dry and comfortable in severe weather of any type. Good air-flow is important to help maintain an even temperature in your birdhouse in any weather and keep the birds healthy. Be sure the house also has some vent holes near the tops of the walls as well.

The best and most useful design for the roofs of your houses are slanted ones that have an over-hang of three inches or more over the entrance hole. Even that won’t completely eliminate water getting into the house, so make sure to drill some small holes in the floor of the house near the edges for drainage. It is best not to use birdhouses with metal roofs unless the houses are shaded — especially in the hotter climates — to avoid overheating.

Cleanliness of your birdhouse is also extremely important. Parasites such as

red mites and blowfly larvae can get in and breed in a house that isn’t properly cleaned and ventilated. The blowfly larvae is a blood-sucking parasite that can cause death for the little nestlings. A well-designed birdhouse will have either a removable roof or panel on the side or back for easy cleaning.

You’ll have a better chance for full occupancy in your houses if they are clean, well-maintained and ready by the early stages of spring when birds are looking for lodging and suitable nesting sites.

To attract the types of birds you want, choose a nest box and entrance hole size appropriate to the bird. Birds like a cozy, snug fit so they’ll feel safe from predators and have an easier time keeping their eggs and chicks warm. The placement of the house will also have an effect on which birds use it. Place nest boxes in areas that are sheltered and out of all-day sun. It’s also a good idea to keep them away from your feeders.

You should place only one birdhouse per tree, and not too many total houses on your lot. You might want to keep it down to about five maximum for each acre of land and use that for a guideline on smaller lots as well. Tall posts are fine, as long as they meet the guidelines mentioned for the use of houses in trees.

I will be adding much more information to my website about birds and the multitude of garden elements available for your pleasure, great landscape designs using these elements, and most importantly, for the comfort and health of these fun and beautiful creatures.

How the Foreclosure Cleanup Industry Has Changed: A New Property Preservation Model

The field services industry, which is commonly referred to as the “property preservation”, “foreclosure cleanup” or “REO trashout” industry, has changed considerably over the years.

When the mortgage crisis and eventual housing fiasco first seized the real estate industry, a great number of smaller foreclosure contractors entered the market. Many of these micro companies performed assorted mortgage field services tasks for lenders, banks, financial institutions, REO conglomerates and asset management companies in hamlets and diverse regions across the United States of America.

A ton of larger, national entities were also part of the landscape that was fast becoming a burgeoning property preservation industry.

A great many of the larger entities such as those of Pemco, Sentinel, Cyprexx, Safeguard, Chronos Solutions (previously known as Matt Martin Real Estate Management), and a great number of similar companies, were direct, first hand components of HUD (“The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development”).

These larger companies hired smaller debris removal, cleaning and trash out services as subcontractors to handle duties such as lawn maintenance, property securing (boarding doors/windows), property inspecting, trash/debris removal, winterization and de-winterization jobs, repairs, lock changes, home maintenance, painting, carpet removal, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, tree removal and many similar property upkeep and maintenance duties.

Services were often performed on vacant houses, many of which mortgagees had walked away from after getting foreclosure letters from their mortgage companies.

Multiple Subbing Opportunities, Jobs and Contracts for REO Service Vendors

Contracts and work order requests were received in numbers, and many small companies had to rush to hire subcontractors to assist with the overflow.

As a result, these smaller contractors made a ton of money in the property preservation and foreclosure cleaning industry at the height of the mortgage crisis.

A Changing Property Preservation Industry

However, fast-forward five to seven years, and its evident the industry has changed, exponentially.

The New Trashout Business, Foreclosure Cleaning Services and REO Property Preservation Model

In recent years, foreclosure cleanup and trash-out services have not only begun to target new key customers and client bases, but they have also added a number of new very profitable mortgage and field services and inked new necessary policies and procedures that work specifically for their own services and businesses — regardless of who their companies may be aligned with or who they may be servicing as vendors and subcontractors and working for, whether it be on a local, national or regional level.

The Main Techniques to Analyze Surveys and The Main Advantages And Disadvantages

Four of the main techniques used to analyze surveys are frequencies, crosstabs, means, and graphs. The techniques and their advantages and disadvantages can be described as follows.

Frequencies involve making a count of the number of instances of the categories for each variable and finding the percentages for each category selected based on the total number of people in the survey or of those answering that question, if the missing responses are eliminated. Frequencies can be used for individual or multiple variables and for both descriptive and evaluative research. For example, in looking at gender, one might look at the percentage of the sample that are males and the percentage that are females; in looking at age, one might look at the percentage of people in each of the age groups. Another example of using frequencies is determining the percentage of people choosing an action in a forced choice question.

The advantages of using frequencies is that this is a simple way to provide an overview of responses to a questionnaire. Also, the frequencies for the categories for a variable can be combined to create a cumulative per cent for certain types of variables, where the categories can be grouped together, such as age or the amount someone has spent on something.

A disadvantage of this approach is that if there are multiple choices for different categories for a variable, the percentages will add up to more than 100% which might make it difficult to compare responses to that variable across samples. Another disadvantage is when there are multiple questions since there will be multiple frequency and percentage and cumulative percentage charts, which can be unwieldy for presenting the data. Also, the frequency procedure doesn’t work well when there are numerous categories for ordinal or Likert-type variables.

Crosstabs, involves conducting a cross-tabulation of two or more variables to look at the relationship between those variables. These are used in explanatory and evaluative research. For example, one might do a cross-tabulation between a demographic variable, like age or gender, and the response to a question to see if there is any difference between the groups in their response to that question, such as whether different movies appeal more to younger or older age groups or to men or women.

The choice of which total to use as a row or column percentage depends on the data, based on which comparison one wants to make (i.e. whether one wants to compare the demographics for a particular movie, or whether one wants to compare the movie preferences for members of a demographic group). Besides two-way cross-tabulations, one can use a three-way cross-tabulation or more, if the sample size is large enough. For example, one can look at the sex and age breakdown for different movies.

The advantage of using crosstabs is that one can compare differences between different groups, and the results can be used to help explain these differences. Crosstabs can also be used to compare different user and customer groups in evaluative research.

The disadvantage of crosstabs is that it can lead to a very large number of tables when there are multiple responses, because of the many different ways the variables can be cross-tabulated with each other. Also, not all of the crosstabs may be meaningful, although it may not be clear which ones are meaningful or not until one has done the cross-tabulations. Another disadvantage is the number of items that can be cross-tabulated with each other can be limited if there is a small sample size.

Means, involves finding the means or averages for certain types of variables, and this method of analysis is used for all types of research – descriptive, explanatory, and evaluative. However, means can only be used if there are scales or ordinal data. It is not meaningful to use means if one has used numerical codes for nominal variables.

The advantage of using a mean is that it can provide a single statistic that can be used in comparing different responses, rather than trying to look at a frequency table showing the percentage of responses for different categories in ranking or rating something.

However, a disadvantage of using means could occur if the mean has resulted from widely different responses, such as when a large percentage of the respondents strongly agree with something and a large percentage of the respondents strongly disagree. This would be a bimodal distribution, and the average of the two results would make it seem like there is little opinion, because it averages the very different results. A mean is also a disadvantage when there are a few extreme cases, such as in a few people with a very high income which skews the whole distribution, so the average income is much higher for everyone. In such cases, a median might be a more accurate statistic to use since it more accurately reflects the middle point of the data.

Graphs are a way to present the results of an analysis in graphic form, such as a bar graph, stacked bar graph, pie chart, line graph, or scatterplot. The bar graph, which is also called a histogram, is the most common form used in leisure and tourism research, and it shows the number or percent of cases on one axis of the graph and the category measured on the other.

If two variables are cross-tabulated with each other, these results can be shown on a stacked bar graph, in which one variable is shown in one color or pattern and the other variable is shown in the other, so together they make up the total stack for each of the categories into which a variable is divided. An additional variable might be shown by one stack next to each other, such as for a study conducted in two cities or in two different years.

The advantage of using a graph is that it shows visually the count or percentage differences in the results for different variables, rather than just looking at the count or percentages in a table. A disadvantage in using a graph is that the graph could be misleading based on how it is drawn to shown the differences between groups. For example, if there is a great difference between groups, but the percentage categories on the side are close together, this might underplay the differences; or conversely, if there are only small differences, spacing the percentages categories far apart could make it seem like the differences are greater than they are. Then, too, it might be hard to know what the actual percentages are unless they are written in or on top of the bars.

Pie charts are a type of graph which divide up the number or percentages of categories or responses for a variable into the sections of a pie. The advantage of a pie chart is that it is helpful to show the relative size of the different responses when there is a meaningful total, such as 100%. However, a pie chart doesn’t work well when there are multiple responses, so that the total is greater than 100%.

Uses of Steel Fabrication in Everyday Life

Steel is used in a wide variety of ways on a daily basis. It may not be realized by some what life would be like if we did not have it. Steel is a combination of many metals and the process of smelting steel was invented by Henry Bessemer in 1856.

There are 3000 varieties of steels. China is one of the largest steel producers. It is fabricated in two main ways. They are electric arc furnace (EAF) and the more popular integrated route. The integrated route involves recycled steel.

There are 5 primary steps in the steel making process. They respectively are making iron, making steel, casting, rough rolling and product rolling. The first step involves converting ore to liquid iron. The next step is the process of converting iron to steel. In casting, the steel is solidified. In rough rolling, also known as billet rolling, the sizes of the blocks are reduced. Lastly, the blocks are shaped, which is referred to as product rolling.

Steel is a specialized industry and requires specific skills. A local steel fabricator can offer custom projects and have access to the necessary steel supplies to complete the job. Their projects cover a variety of areas for both home and commercial needs. Below are a few of many areas where their services come handy.

Without steel, construction of our everyday buildings and homes would be very different. Steel supplies us with wires, nails and steel pipes.

In our offices, it is the very reason we have rulers, USB drives, paper clips, pens, and pencil sharpeners.

The medical devices that are likely taken for granted would not be possible without the equipment that steel fabrication has allowed us to enjoy. Microscopes to aid in medical and scientific discoveries, various types of needles, and dental equipment would be impossible without steel.

What would kitchens be like without steel? What would eating be like? What would our homes be like? The steel industry provides wire whisks, spoons and forks, and corkscrews just to name a few. Without steel, there would be no irons.

Could you begin to image still having to walk everywhere or having menial transportation? This is where we would be without cars, trains, bridges and planes. The luxury types of transportation we enjoy are in large due to the production of steel.

Of course the Y generation would just pull their hair outs without cell phones and cameras.

Steel has allowed for very different lifestyles than from ancient eras. Its strength, flexibility and great environmental value continues to be an asset in new technology.

Step By Step Directions for Milking the Prostate

The prostate is a gland of the male reproductive system. It is not found in women. Its primary function is the production of seminal fluid, and it also stimulates orgasm in males. The prostate gland can be affected by disease, including infectious inflammation or prostatitis, and prostate cancer, the second most deadly cancer among American males. Many people recommend milking the prostate regularly as a preventative treatment against prostate cancer and prostatitis.

Prostate milking is also referred to as prostate massage. It is a fairly simple procedure and you can do it yourself if you want to. Here are the steps to take in milking the prostate on your own:

1. Perform urination or a bowel movement in order to maximize the relaxation of the area.

2. Make sure that your fingernails are trimmed and have no jagged edges jutting out.

3. Clean your body and your hands thoroughly. Then put on a sterile latex glove on your hand. Dab a little water-based lubricant on your fingers.

4. Carefully insert your finger or fingers into your anus. Move them gradually upwards and to the back, along the area of the rectum towards the front of your body. Your fingers should be moving in roughly the direction of your navel.

5. You will feel the prostate gland, which is like a small, round bulb about the size of a large walnut. Gently massage it with a light waving motion along its sides, taking care not to press hard on the central area, where the sensitive nerves are located. Avoid touching the prostate gland with your fingernails.

6. You may experience a disconcerting sensation that makes you feel like going to the bathroom although you do not have to. Try not to let it affect you, and continue with the procedure.

7. After a few minutes, the prostate gland may be stimulated enough for ejaculation to occur. You are also likely to experience sexual pleasure or orgasm. However, the procedure does not always successfully bring about ejaculation.

Prostate milking when used as a preventative treatment may carry a few risks. It is a technique that is not recommended for men who have a disease of the prostate or acute prostatitis, an acute inflammation of the glandular tissue. The problem in such cases is that the act of milking the prostate may cause the infection to spread to other areas of the body.

How to Deal With a Wet Basement

Every day, we find ourselves in situations where we say "oh if I could only have done that differently". Well this could be your opportunity! When you start to research a basement problem, you will find many companies claiming to offer the latest and greatest in basement waterproofing or claiming to have all the answers and the best systems. Often, they will throw every slick line at you that they can think of to convince you they're the best! However upon closer inspection, once you get to the heart of the matter, you will find that they use the same out-of-date damproofing methods and interior drain systems everyone else does. What's worse they employ slick sales techniques that you would find on any used car lot! It's all a bunch of double-speak, flat out lies, and misdirection, which is designed to con even an Eskimo into buying ice cubes!

Now I know at this point that you are going to ask me how it is that you can trust me, well the reason is simple I am not trying to sell you anything !. I promise, if you listen to all that I have to say, and finish reading this letter, you will end up with more knowledge than you had before, and you will be ready for those "slick" salesmen that will come in the future! I want you to be better informed, better prepared, and better equipped than you are right now; and I also want to let you in on a few TRADE SECRETS that other companies do not want you to know. Before we go into all of the systems, I'd like to introduce myself, and a little bit about my background that makes me uniquely qualified to help you understand how to solve your water water or your mold problem!

I started building basements over twenty years ago when I was still in high school. I got a job working for what has become the single largest base company in Ohio. I worked on both the footer and the wall crew so I became well versed early on, in all phases of new home foundation construction and basement waterproofing. Shortly after high school I was hired by a company that performed environmental services, specifically we removed asbestos from schools and public buildings (this was in the mid eighties when the government passed the legislation to require the asbestos to be removed from all government building). I learned all there was to know about negative air flow containments air scrubbers manometers and the basics of ENVIRONMENTAL CLEAN UP. I finally quit when I had saved enough money for college. I swore I would never wear a tyvec suit or a respirator again (those are the HOT non-breathable suits that we wear in mold and asbestos clean ups, its funny the way Murphy will get you when you swear not to do something). During these years I began actively pursuing one of my many hobbies and I became an amateur mycologist. I built a lab in my basement … and built myself a glove box and began to perform sterile culture techniques for the growing of all sorts of fungi and mold and mushrooms. I used Petri dishes Autoclaves and learned many of the processes used at modern laboratories today. I did spore streaking and culture analysis. I believe I grie myself the equivalent of an associates degree in mycology. When I got to college I needed a job, and I found one working for the third largest basement waterproofing company in Ohio. I was hired to service their basement waterproofing jobs that were already installed but STILL LEAKED.

I quickly began to learn that there was something drastically WRONG with essentially EVERY single basement waterproofing company in Ohio …

They all install systems with fatal flaws. They have SERVICE DEPARTMENTS to handle the "problem " jobs. I became adept at solving these problem basements "issues". I then began waterproofing basements on my own. I realized from the very beginning that if I did not want to service my basement customers and charge every year for their warranty I wood have to "fix" the systems themselves used to treat basements. I read every single book there was available on the subject. I did a TONS of experimentation in those first couple of years and began to "fix" each and every one of the problems that I had discovered associated with all the various available waterproofing systems.

Over the years I have continued to refine and improve the systems so they remain "CUTTING EDGE". About ten years ago I began to study "black mold" and the various health effects related to it. We actually developed the first completely NON-TOXIC (to humans) approach to raising mold problems.

The first thing that you have to understand is that there are only three basic solutions to ANY basements water leakage problems.

Most companies install only one of the three systems but will claim to offer all three, in reality it is not true. Most companies offer one basic system either the inside system or the outside system.

The systems: Most companies rely on an interior drain system and a sump pump to control the water. They may call it something different, but a pump placed under the floor is a sump pump, and drains placed under the floor are interior drains. This is just flat out not a good idea, unless it is the only option. I recommend that you do not rely on electricity in any situation where it can be avoided. Some companies in order to confuse the customer and gain a competitive advantage claim that only by combining the interior system with something else, usually some sort of outside work (often digging down only 12 inches) is it possible to really solve a problem (like the Big Chuck and Little John guys). The outside work generally benefits the customer very little, and allows the company to DRIVE UP THEIR PRICE and appear different from the rest of the inside system competition. Some companies, in order to eliminate the competition, actually price different methods as if they do them (even though they do not). They will price exterior waterproofing ridiculously high, the interior drain method extremely low, and their system somewhere in the middle. If you ask for one of the two methods they do not offer, you will be told they will not install that for you because it just will not work for you. Other inside system companies have come up with different interior methods, on top the footer or above the floor products. Although marketed very well, these systems fail in comparison to traditional under slab or exterior drainage systems. The reason is simple they completely fail to drain water under the slab either from the water table or from the exterior of the wall.

In order to help you wade through this mess, below, you will find a brief description of the basic systems offered nationally and what is WRONG with them.

The first solution is to actually excavate the foundation, meaning the foundation is dug up; This is generally referred to as waterproofing (but I can insure you that in most contractors' cases, IT IS NOT). Most of the guys that do this are small 1-4 men outfits. They learn to do what they do from someone who learned it from someone etc. What these "so-called waterproofers" do is actually to re-apply the EXACT SAME SEALANTS and utilize the exact same techniques that already FAILED in the first place! This usually means re-parging the wall and smearing some tar on it like a monkey!

Have you ever known anyone that had an asphalt driveway? How often did they Have-To Re- Seal it?

I can tell you I have. When I was a kid growing up two of my neighbors had an ongoing questioning about their driveways. The first swore you needed to seal it every single year, and he did. The second one swore every two years was enough. I can still hear them arguing now in my mind's eye … LOL. The sad truth is that according to the US Bureau of Standards asphalt sealants begin to break down in only 18 months, YIKES! You see the sad truth is; they were both right! And these so called waterproofers charge an average of ten to fifteen grand just to dig up the basement and seal it again using what FAILED already.

… You See Tar Has Never Been Rated as Waterproof

Did you know that in the building codes there are actually two separate definitions for damp-proofing (tar) and waterproofing. Damp proofing by definition means "something that helps to slow the penetration of water into the substrate". HHMMM "helps to slow" sounds quite different from the definition of waterproofing "something that prevails the penetration of water" and further must pass a bending test where the membrane must be able to be bent around a cylinder.

Water proof sealants are almost all exclusively used and installed COMMERCIALLY … (that's because they are more expensive).

The extra costs are what stop the average contractor from offering you, the homeowner, a product that is effective and will last and "stand the test of time". We have developed and recommend if you plan to re-seal your foundation; that you use a MULTI-STEP EXTERIOR WATERPROOFING SYSTEM which, uses a cement-based fiber re-enforced wall resurfacing system and NO LESS than two waterproof rated sealants. This is by no means the cheapest of methods, however, and it may or may not be the BEST system to put into place. Which system you should use depends entirely on the specific nature of your problem. There are NO miracle systems than can solve ALL underlying problems. The thing I can guarantee is if you use a multistep outside waterproof system it will actively drain water away from the foundation, and the water leak will be a thing of the past, not only that, but the sealants will outlast the wood on your house GUARANTEED!

The second solution is an Interior solution which I call the sub-floor water re-directional system. This involves trenching around the interior of the basement wall and installing a drainage system around the perimeter of the inside of the basement. Many companies never explain that the system only works by completely draining the walls and any water under the slab during periods of extended rain or no melt when the water table rises. This system will allow water to be "drained" from the inside of the walls by drilling weep holes into every core of every single block then drained under the floor into a drain pipe and generally to a pump pump to then be pumped out. Other companies will often "explain" that the pipe under the floor takes all the ground water and the outside trench will take away surface water. This outside trench is shallow and worthless. They never even Mention the drainage holes drilled into the core face of the bottom row of block in the basement, under the level of the floor slab. And folks, this is THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. It is also the step most often "screwed up" by other contractors. You see there are two variables that must be deal with with ensuring the effectiveness of the "weep holes". First is that when the mason was laying the blocks different masons "slough off" different amounts of mortar into the bottom course which affects the level of the "bottom" inside the blocks themselves. This means it is important to make sure that you are above the mortar bed and yet remain in the lowest part of the block.

Secondly it is ESSENTIAL to make sure that your men are educated as to the history of the development of concrete blocks, as well as all of the different core patterns that have been incorporated into them over time. You see this work is done by YOUNG men. In their short lifetime concrete blocks have only been made with Two cores. If they drill into the block where they imagine the core is today, in one of the many variations in block design that have occurred over the years, it is entirely possible, no probable that they are drilling into the web rather than the core or pocket of the block. Only by drilling into every single core of every single block does it become possible to drain the entire wall and make the system work effectively. It is entirely possible to install the drain tiles perfectly and … still leave ALL of the water dammed up inside the walls, wasting all that money and still leaving the problem UNSOLVED. In fact many times I get called after the homeowners have spent thousands of dollars to "waterproof" their basement and even THOUSANDS Moreto turn it into finished space. Only to find mold growing on newly installed drywall. This happened to one of my customers named Bonnie Rembowski. She had hired a big local company and they installed an inside system. She then hired a contractor to remodel her basement. They hung new dry wall and framed new walls. She had new carpeting installed and everything seemed perfect until … Bonnie kept getting sick.

She was treated for repeating bronchitis many times over a period of about six months. Finally one day Bonnie's doctor suggested to her that she has her house checked for mold. Bonnie called me. I began inspecting the basement and I immediately began to notice mold growing along the bottom several feet on all the newly dry-walled walls that had just been "waterproofed". I began inspecting the inside system and I discovered that even though a permit was dropped … Even though the drainage pipes were inspected and installed properly … even though there was no puddling or physical seepage the system was not working. The reason why became apparent after we broke open the floor and inspected the weep holes- JUST AS I SUSPECTED. The walls were not draining do to improper weep hole placement. Poor Bonnie.

WE HAD TO COMPLETELY GUT THE BRAND NEW BASEMENT … and disinfect everything to stop the mold and help her STOP GETTING SICK. She contacted the waterproofing company who did the job WRONG. They told her there was nothing they could do under the warranty since technically the foundation had not leaked (it was just DONE WRONG in the first place). Poor Bonnie then had to hire us to fix the basement problem TOO! Unfortunately this is not the first time this has happened to me and sadly I'm afraid it will NOT be the last.

This inside system however is ideal for situations where water is coming up from under the slab itself; in fact it is the only solution for under-slab water issues. No matter which contractor you call the same basic system is used. There are however many problems with this system as is employed by "competition" nationwide. The GOOD NEWS however is that we have modified the system to eliminate all of the potential problems and WE EDUCATE OUR WORKERS as to the history of concrete blocks. This education guarantees that this kind of a problem will not happen to you. We also INSIST on installing CLEAN OUTS which are access points set in the floor. These clean outs means that down the road you can maintain your system and "flush it out" every few years with a garden hose. It also means, heaven forbid, you have a problem with the drainage pipes clogging, that you WONT have to JACKHAMMER your floor you can have them snaked or jetted clean! Contrary to what you might have been told PROPERLY INSTALLED inside drainage systems can be the BEST solution when figuring all factors especially the Return On Investment. A PROPERLY INSTALLED inside system is also the preferred method for keeping concrete block walls from disintegrating, due to the fact that it allows for water drainage and reserves soil acid buildup to a minimum.

The last two systems are what we call "beaver" or dam systems that are installed either on top of the floor or just under the floor but on the top of the footer that channels water from the walls to either a sump pump or to a floor drain . These systems are marketed to installers typically under the Basement Systems (TM), Beaver Technology and Squid gee Dri labels, and in my opinion, offer the least protection to your basement.

The Baseboard systems that sit on top of the slab or on top of the footer have some basic flaws.

FLAW ONE: the slab is scattered several inches up the bottom block, this means that when the installer drills the weep holes above the floor level the system allows water to keep sitting in the block up multiple inches which makes humidity which leads to mold and keeps disintegrating the bottom block from the inside out. The bottom block hold the entire weight of the entire house! The LAST thing that you want is that block to crumble -DISASTER!

FLAW TWO: when the cement finisher was troweling your cement floor X number of years ago the last thing on his mind was sloping the perimeter around the basement so 50 years later some guy could glue a gutter around the edge of the basement! What that means is since the gutter is basically level it allows for pooling along the bottom of the walls and is usually just glued into place without any type of pitch added. When the water lays in it in the low sections over time it will DISINTEGRATE or break down the bond between the floor slab and the wall. Sometimes LEAKING again into the living space.

FLAW THREE: This system is still prone to the same weep hole placement errors as described above due to variations in the number of cores used in blocks over time.

FLAW FOUR: This system does nothing to drain water from underneath the slab or hydrostatic water from the exterior forced under the footing- it only partially drains the walls which is not good enough to stop MOLD from developing. The second hybrid system is the system offered by distributors of the Basement Systems (TM) called Water Guard this system is installed by breaking out approximately 6 inches of the basement perimeter concrete but digging no trench along the footing. The system has a flat drain pipe that sets absolutely level on the TOP of the footing. The level drain tile will always allow water to sit in it and can contribute to the overall humidity in the room, creating the conditions that let MOLD thrive. This means that the lowest part of the pipe is the TOP of the footer completely failing to drain or eliminate any water under-slab water from the water table or from the exterior of the wall being forced under the slab. In other words it only drains the wall and NOTHING ELSE! This system is used because it drastically limits the amount of labor used by the contractor saving him tons of money! In fact in many cases these contractors make more from this system than any other which is the reason so many of them will offer you a basically WORTHLESS system! It has been proven that the most effective inside de-watering system is one that is installed below the floor slab, and has been given an artificial pitch. It is just as important that when using one of these true under slab systems to correct the items commonly mistaken in the industry that are mentioned above, it is best to have a thorough knowledge of all of the systems at ones disposal !!!

Good luck!

Goalies Learn To Play Better Angles

Have you ever heard a coach or parent yell "cover that angle"? This article is dedicated to exploring what that all too often used statement really means.

Anyone who has ever uttered those words, needs to do the following. Go out onto the ice and have a goalie stand in the middle of the net, at the top of the crease, perfectly in line with a puck about 10 feet away in the slot. Now take a good look at the positioning and the open net the goalie is giving up. There should only be a few inches of room in all four corners. Once you have satisfied yourself that the goaltender is in the correct position, take a walk over to the players bench and stand where the coach stands during the game. Take a good look at the goalie remembering that he / she is in perfect position. What you will see will astound you! The entire net will be wide open, your first thought will be that anyone should be able to beat your goalie in their current position. Then the light bulb will go on! It is impossible to tell if the goalie is properly lined up with the puck from any place in the arena, except directly behind the net. This will be obvious because as you already knew, the goalie IS IN THE CORRECT POSITION. (This is becomes even more magnified from the fan's points of view, or an elevated perspective.)

To properly teach your goalie how to play an angle, we have found the rope drill to be very effective. Following is an explanation of this drill: get a 30 to 40 foot length of rope and tie the ends to the top of each post (two routes may also be used and tied to the top and base of each post.) Have a goalie get into position, starting at the goal line. The rope should be dropped to form a "V" and a puck should be placed at this point. Always instruct your goals to keep the puck straight in front of themselves and that if in correct angle coverage position, the puck, their belly button and the center post in the net should all line up (another rope may be used to further demonstrate this. )

With the goalie in correct angle to the puck, but still on the goal line, make note of the open net that is visible. This will convince those goals that like to play deep in their net that they are giving up a whole lot of scoring space. Now gradually have the goalie move out toward the puck, stopping every couple of feet. Be sure to point out how the open net is diminishing with each move forward. When the goalie reaches the point where only six inches remain open at each lower corner, they have reached the correct location to play an oncoming shot. This location will almost always be right at the top of the round crease. If the goalie comes out any further than this point they are risking the possibility of a deke or making it impossible to recover / react to a pass across. With the goaltender in correct position reinforce the importance of "lining up with the puck" by having each player (forwards too – then they will know what to look for) get down to ice level and look at the goalie from exactly where the puck is , the scoring locations will be few. Then have someone stand where a player would be if carrying the same puck, the results are not as dramatic as the coach's view on the bench, but they are similar. Now it's time to prove just how important correctly lining up with the puck is. Have the goalie (still in correct position) move six inches to either side. Repeat the looking process. What will be noticeable is that for every inch a goalie is out of position to his / her left or right, two inches will open up. Meaning if the goalie is twelve inches too far to his left, twenty four inches would be open on the right. Take this one step further by having the goalie line up with the shooter and repeat the looking process. BIG MISTAKE !! But common.

Have fun with this drill and involve the whole team. Move the puck location around and continue to use the rope. You will notice that the deer the puck is into the corner, the deeper the goalie should be. Teach them to envision the routes at all times.