Fashion Do’s and Don’ts When House Hunting

Mark Nash author of 1001 Tips for Buying and Selling a Home offers homebuyers fashion home runs and strikeouts when shopping for a home. It might not be obvious that what you wear when house hunting can impact what you pay for a home. Years of showing homes and introducing prospective buyers to home sellers, the way buyers project themselves fashion-wise makes a big impression.

First impressions by real estate agents and home sellers are all they have when assessing potential buyers. If you appear well-groomed, under-stated and wear home price-range-appropriate clothes you could pay less than the tattooed, big-hair, over-jeweled and torn-blue jean buyer your in competition with in multiple-offers for the same home. Buying a home is a business transaction, think business wear when shopping for a home.


-Pants are fine, but make sure they’re not low riders.

-Ditch the tee shirts, tank and tube tops. House hunting is not a vacation.

-Skirts are great. Minis send the wrong message.

-Wear comfortable but presentable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking, climbing up stairs and in and out of transportation.

-Forget high-heels. Spiked heels on shoes can easily dent bamboo and other softer wood floors. Plus if you got into the yard to take a look at the roof you might end up aerating the lawn.

-Leave the animal prints for when you’re out to a nightclub. Busy or fussy fashion looks can be distracting and not on everyone’s top ten fashion list.

-Simple jewelry and limited amounts accent your business perspective. Omit the” bling” otherwise you might end up paying more for a home, because the sellers think you can afford it.

-Simplify make-up, hair and manicure styles to appeal to the majority of people. You’re not going to get a better deal because the sellers love your fabulous acrylic nails.

-No fur coats, ever. It’s a political and extravagant statement that could cost you a home or an additional $10,000.

-No low cut or revealing looks. Very rarely do homebuyers get a discount for sex.


-Verify shoe soles aren’t caked with mud before you enter any open house. Many a homebuyer never made it to the kitchen after walking across freshly cleaned carpet with dirty shoes.

-No jogging, gym-wear, bike shorts or swimsuits. Unless, you’re testing the workout facilities in a condominium building on your second visit.

-Business-casual pants are best, but if you must wear jeans, make sure they’re clean and not ripped.

-Open collar shirts work fine, but realty agents and home sellers don’t need to see your buffed or not so buffed chest or four gold chains.

-Think twice about sporting more than one earring. If we were all the same life would be boring.

-Omit muscle and tee shirts and no underwear elastic waistbands displayed please. You might turn Ms. home seller on, but Mr. home seller might not appreciate it.

-Limit tattoo exposure, they’re the rage, but not for everyone. Ditto the ladies on this one.

-Wear simple patterned shirts with matching plain pants. Remember that red denotes power.

-Don’t over-dress to impress. Leave the cuff links and French cuffed shirts at home.


-Coffee “go-cups” aren’t a fashion accessory. Coffee is easily spilled on carpets when walking up stairs or opening closets and cabinets when touring properties.

-Baseball caps are for bad hair days. Plus they send the wrong negotiating message when purchasing the largest asset you’ll own.

-Wet umbrellas should be parked outside the front door, not on hardwood floors or entry tables and chairs.

-Wear slip on shoes when touring open houses. You might be asked to remove your shoes out of cultural respect to the owner, inclement weather or newly installed floor coverings.

-If you don’t want to take off your shoes buy and carry blue disposable surgical booties-or ask your agent for a pair.

-You must wear socks or stockings. No sandals, period. If you are asked to remove your shoes, owners don’t necessarily want your bare feet on their floors.

-Cell phones. If you need to make or receive a call go to a place where you won’t disturb others at the open house. Never negotiate a home purchase contract on a different property contract while your viewing a home.

-Carry bicycle and motorcycle helmets with you. Ask before your park them on any surface.

-Shorts are okay if they are close to knee length. No torn or overly tight styles.

-Dress for the season. Don’t wear shorts in snow or black wool in August, even if it is your best house-hunting outfit.

-Remove your sunglasses when inside buildings. People expect some eye contact.

-Go easy on the perfume. Many people have allergies to it today and they could be the owners of the house you fell in love with.

-Put cigarettes, cigars and pipes out of view. They’re not exactly a popular fashion or political statement in 2006.


-Tops, pants, shoes and socks required.

-Diapers are not fashion.

Tips to Price Custom Jewelry Orders

Rule of thumb; never give a quote up front. Tell the client that once the custom handmade jewelry design has been approved you will get back to them within a week with the actual cost of fabricating the piece and the work contract. This is n important will give you an opportunity to price the work correctly. The client may want a rough estimate, stay firm and tell them you will give them the correct quote within a week. Make sure to send a written quote along with the contract within the specified time.

Remember to add you time to the final quote. Many times we think that if we charge too much they won’t hire us to complete the piece. Specify that you design time is also included in the final cost. Keep track of the cost of any gemstone and materials that you will be using to complete the order. Don’t forget to include the cost of shipping, particularly when you may be ordering specific part to complete the order. Always calculate the extra time that may take to complete a piece that requires some extra work because of the complexity of the design. Don’t be shy to charge for you work, people know that a custom handmade jewelry piece tends to be more expensive and they are prepared to pay for it.

Preparing a Custom Jewelry Work Agreement

Never work without a contract – A well written contract agreement will save you many headaches and problems when selling your jewelry. This contract has to be well defined and drafted clearly. The contract needs to be detailed enough to save you going into court and dispute and issue.

The contract needs to include the following information:

• You name, company name and information

• Client’s name and date when the order was placed

• Detail information of the jewelry piece you will be completing

• I also attach a copy of the final sketch and a photograph of the stone that will be used

• The contract should also include the amount of materials and their cost

• Include your hourly rate and an estimated amount of time it will take you complete the work. Include your design time and the time spent with the client.

• Always include a return policy in the contract; Custom work that is created as a special order is not returnable. My guarantee is that the piece will match the final design you approved including the dimensions, type of stone(s) and metals (gold or silver). Note that all handmade jewelry will differ slightly due to the nature of the craft and may include minor variations in the overall size of the piece(s) and/or minor

• The specific delivery date:

o Be realistic when setting the completion date. Take into consideration how long it will take for you supplies to arrive, as well as the actual shipping time to send the piece. As you know the unexpected can always happen. If there is an unforeseeable delay, let you client know. Keeping you costumer informed is not only good practice; it is also ethical and will help you keep your professional integrity.

• Terms of payment:

o I highly recommend getting a 50% non-refundable deposit up-front. Make it clear that no work will begin on the piece before the deposit clears. This will protect you in case there is a cancellation. Always wait to purchase any jewelry making supplies until you have received the down payment.

o I recommend including a statement that once the final sketch is approved you do not re-design or modify the piece. Include any measurements in the contract to add clarity to the final specifications. Altering a piece after you complete it is complicated and can be costly.

• Delivery arrangements:

o When a piece has to be shipped out of town, suggest that the client pay for insurance covering the value of the jewelry.

o Always send the item requesting a signature stating that the client received the jewelry. This will protect you in case the client claims that the work never got to them.

o Take a photo of the work before shipping and include the photo along with the packing slip.

o Call your client know that their jewelry is on their way. Follow up with an e-mail giving them the shipping track number. This is always good policy and gives you the paper trail. At the bottom of the contract, include an area for both you and the costumer sign and When this custom jewelry work agreement is ready, present it to your customer. Have two copies ready to be signed and give one to the client. Let your customers know that this agreement protects them as well as you, especially since they will pay you for at least part of the job up front.

Getting more clients to order custom work happens mostly from word of mouth, it is crucial that you build your reputation and make the client happy. Package you jewelry attractively, this enhances your work and the client will remember you. I always follow up with a personal note thanking them for ordering one of my custom handmade jewelry pieces.

In the note I ask if they would mind sending me a picture of them wearing the custom handmade jewelry piece. If they agree to give you a picture, ask if they mind you publishing the photo in your website. This is always helpful to promote and market your custom handmade jewelry and other design work.

Cleaning Your Wax Pot And Tools

Unfortunately some of the most important elements of any treatment can be the most boring. Cleaning is one of them, but it is essential to any professional treatment. This article aims to provide a summary of how best to keep your wax pot, tools and treatment area clean ready for action. The article is split into sections, each dealing with a specific item.

A good practice to get into is to use a Hand Sanitizer Gel / Spray at the start of each treatment in front of your client. This helps demonstrate you commitment to hygiene without having to shout about it. Your actions speak louder than your words.

Wax Heaters

Throughout the day you need to be cleaning and wiping any wax spillages or drips from your heater. At all times when cleaning your heater make sure you use a Wax Equipment Cleaner product. If you use Surgical Spirit or Acetone you will find that this will dry out the plastic and make it brittle, leading to cracks and damage to the heater.

I have a small clearly labelled spray bottle that I pour some equipment cleaner into, and then at the end of a treatment I spray some onto a wax strip and wipe over my heater. This does the job quickly and easily, and done regularly it doesn’t become a big chore. Whenever using any cleaning products you are always advised to wear suitable gloves to protect your skin.

If you pour your wax into a refillable inner container bucket you may wish to change the wax you use some times. And to do this you will need to thoroughly clean the bucket to remove all traces of the previous wax. It is also good practice to do this once every so often even if you don’t change the waxes, just to ensure the bucket and product inside is clean and free from any contaminant.

The way I would normally do this is fairly simple; firstly heat up the bucket – maybe a little warmer than you would normally to make the wax very thin. Then carefully, using suitable protection for your hands (you don’t want to burn yourself), remove the bucket and pour any of the wax in the bottom into a suitable container for disposal – don’t pour it down the drain!

Now leave the bucket in a safe and secure place to completely cool down. Once it has gone cold, pour some equipment cleaner into the bucket, about 0.5 – 1cm depth. Leave this for a few minutes and then swill it around to dissolve as much wax as possible. You may find using a spatula helps to dislodge stubborn bits. Again dispose of into a suitable container and then repeat the process several times until all wax has been removed.

Once all wax has been removed thoroughly wash the bucket in warm water. Then fill it with your tool disinfectant solution, and ensure you leave it for the prescribed time as a minimum. Then again thoroughly rinse out and allow to completely dry before using again.

Tweezers And Other Small Tools

These need to be sanitised between each and every client. The easiest way to do this is to use a suitable tools disinfectant product such as Barbicide, or my personal preference Mundo Power Plus Instrument and Tool Disinfectant. You must pay careful attention to the manufacturer’s instructions, how long do the tools need to sit in the solution, it can be ten or more minutes, and how often must the solution be changed.

Mundo manufacturer a fantastic little tray that you can use to soak your tools in to ensure they are fully cleansed and ready for use.

Treatment Couch / Table & Surfaces

Oils and products can easily seep through towels onto your treatment table. You should always wipe this down with a suitable disinfectant cleanser each time you change the towels. You can even get disposable wipes that you can use to make this job even quicker and easier. Be sure to check that the cleaning product is suitable for use with your tables covering material. Some can dry out vinyl and other coverings eventually making them brittle leading to cracks and tears that can be costly to repair.

You also need to ensure you wipe down your surfaces, such as your trolley or any worktop you may be using with a suitable disinfectant.


These must be clean and fresh for every client. Towels must be washed at a minimum of 60 degrees Celsius. Personally I prefer to use a fabric softener with my towels, some people say you shouldn’t because it can affect the absorbency of them which is fair enough, but my towels are for lying on or under.

How to Get Rid of Collembola (Also Known As Snow Fleas, Springtails and Ectoparasites)

If you’ve never heard of Collembola, you’re not alone. Until recent years, it was thought that these soil borne creatures were essentially harmless. Even doctors vehemently denied that springtails were likely to infest human hair and skin. Folks who suffered from chronic itching, biting and crawling sensations were often considered delusional, but that mindset is slowly changing. Mounting evidence suggests that these micro-tiny pests can be surprisingly invasive.

Thanks to the tenacity of folks like Dr. Frans Janssens and his colleague, Dr. Kenneth A. Christiansen, the scientific community is beginning to recognize that springtails can pose a very real threat to human comfort when present in large numbers. The two researchers collected scores of reports from homeowners, doctors, and pest control operators in several countries, including many regions of The United States. Within the gray areas between casual testimony, scientific observation and concrete medical documentation, a startling picture emerged. Collembola are everywhere, and it’s not impossible for them to latch onto humans and animals.

As inhabitants of fertile soil, springtails are likely to be found just about anywhere. The more you water the lawn and apply fertilizer, the happier they’ll be. They are considered the most abundant arthropods on earth. Since prehistoric times, they have survived frigid winters and very hot summers, but their numbers decrease exponentially under dry conditions.

Pet owners are particularly vulnerable to collembola infestation. Dogs and cats who trample through moist soil or wet grass can pick up springtails and transport them into the home; however, it’s not likely that springtails will stay attached to pets like fleas unless an animal’s immune system is compromised (for example, if there’s a fungal infection of the skin.) Springtails are easily transferred between humans and animals. Close contact isn’t necessary. These acrobatic creatures can jump three to four feet. You may not always notice them catapulting through the air. They can be smaller than the head of a pin.

If the thought of a few springtails in the house makes you paranoid, relax. Their ability to divide and conquer will largely depend upon environmental factors. Do you enjoy growing potted plants indoors? Does your basement tend to flood after a good rain? Can you smell mold behind the bathroom wall? Are you still waiting on a plumber to fix that leaky pipe under the kitchen sink? Who was president the last time you cleaned your air ducts? A moist, moldy environment is like Disneyland to a springtail.

Getting rid of an advanced collembola infestation can be difficult because springtails aren’t classified as insects. They are defined as hexapods, primitive ancestors to modern day bugs. According to organic scientist David Glassel, chemical pesticides have no effect on the hexapod. Only natural insecticides will do the trick, and the best remedy is cedar oil.

Step By Step Guide to Eliminate Collembola Infestation:

1.) Treat yourself and your pets with a topical cedar oil insecticide approved for use with humans and animals. Avoid cosmetic or aroma therapy grade cedar oil. It’s not purified, and it usually comes from certain forms of cypress trees. Cedar oil that is formulated for home protection will kill ALL TYPES of parasites on contact, including springtails, lice and all forms of mites. If you’re tempted to use an over the counter kit designed for lice control, don’t bother. It won’t work, it’s not enough to cover large areas, and it’s just plain not good for you. Such products contain Lindane, a chemical banned for use with animals by the Environmental Protection Agency.

2.) Spray couches, beds and carpets with a fine cedar oil mist. A proper household formula will be very light and pure. In other words, it won’t stain fabric.

3.) Use a cedar oil fog machine to penetrate unseen cracks and crevices in the home. Normally, fog machines are considered optional, but advanced springtail infestations require aggressive measures. If you believe your infestation is severe, or if you’ve actually SEEN large groups of springtails moving over floors and walls, don’t mess around.

4.) Use the fog machine to treat air ducts or hire a professional air duct cleaning company. Many people are shocked to discover they have mold in their air ducts. It is not uncommon for mold to develop in your heating and cooling system from the condensation of your air conditioner. Springtails feed upon mold and thrive in moist conditions. Mold can also aggravate asthma and allergies. Air duct treatment addresses all of these difficulties.

5.) Purchase the highest quality furnace filters available at your local store. Filters designed for allergen and dust mite removal are best. Change filters frequently.

6.) Hunt for places where moisture accumulates. Patch leaky roofs and pipes. Seal cracks around basement windows. Pay special attention to bathroom walls and cabinets under sinks.

7.) Remove household plants, especially decorative trees sitting in large potted containers filled with soil. Remember that springtails can be transported directly into your home via bags of potted soil.

8.) Take aggressive measures to control animal populations on your property. Double bag garbage, and don’t leave open trash barrels sitting around. Animal foods that are stored outdoors should be kept in airtight containers. Use traps or repellents to control rodents, raccoons and squirrel populations. Resist the urge to pet stray dogs and cats. Report any sightings of feral cats to your local animal control center.

9.) Beware of ultra rich potting soil and wooden landscaping materials. Based on calls placed to our pest control operation from all over the country, springtail populations are often introduced to the home when truckloads of new mulch or soil have been dumped on properties that previously had minimal landscaping. (Mulch traps moisture and promotes the growth of mold.) Seal any cracks around basement windows before distributing natural landscaping materials around the perimeter of the home. If you’re worried about collembolla populations outdoors, there are super strength cedar oil concentrates designed to repel mosquitoes and kill insect populations in the grass and soil. Pet breeders, horse keepers, and livestock farmers use cedar oil concentrates to control all types of parasites in barns, pens and pastures. A generous treatment early in the spring or summer will do a lot to destroy eggs and control multiple insect populations before they explode. Veterinarian bills are EXPENSIVE. Destroy parasites before they destroy you!

10.) Last but not least, avoid chemical pesticides. In February of 2011, USA Today ran an article titled “Exposure to Pesticides in Womb Linked to Learning Disabilities.” The study focused on peremethrin, a chemical commonly used to battle household pests. As disturbing as this sounds, the topic is nothing new. Scores of scientific studies have linked chemical pesticides to neurological disorders, breast cancer and birth defects in children living near farms where chemicals are sprayed. In a nationally televised ABC World News investigation, spot drop flea and tick medicines were found to cause 44,000 severe reactions in a single year, including multiple deaths.

A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Recording Gear

Playing in front of an audience is only part of the fun for some musicians, as many also enjoy recording material from the comfort of their own homes or in a professional studio. But people who are looking to buy their own recording gear must consider a number of issues before making a purchase. First and foremost, what type of recording do you want to do?

Most recording equipment can produce results that would easily be good enough for professional release, while other options could be better suited to creating multi-tracked demos. And some may want to commit a band rehearsal or live performance to disc, rather than a studio track.

Musicians in all these categories therefore need the capability to record at least in two tracks, either in a standalone digital audio device or through computer-based software. At least one microphone is also an essential requirement, although additional mics can be particularly useful when recording instruments such as drums.

And before recording, a person should ensure they have the proper cables to meet their needs, as many mics for instance contain XLR connections, while guitar amps typically have jack sockets. If the digital audio recording device only contains inputs for one type of connection, adaptors can be purchased to enable both cables to be used. Mic stands can also be useful in ensuring optimum sound for your recording, so accessories such as these are certainly a worthwhile purchase.

Recording equipment needs to have a sufficient number of inputs, particularly if the project involves recording a live band. Microphones, guitars, drums and keyboards all need to be individually input into a recording device at the same time to give producers the chance to mix each instrument in isolation.

This means that at least four tracks of simultaneous recording capability are needed, as well as MIDI inputs and outputs. Separate microphones for each instrument and vocal will also be required, along with headphones and studio monitors for playback and overdubbing.

At this stage, recording artists may benefit from the use of outboard gear such as a mic preamp, a compressor, a channel strip and a mixer that has a sufficient number of channels. Other accessories at this stage could also include direct boxes, pop filters, studio foam, monitor stands, racks and recording furniture.

But what if a project needs to be recorded on a much larger scale? A 12-channel mixer or eight-track recorder may be insufficient to be cope with this, which means more specialised top-end equipment would be needed.

Bigger projects should only be recorded on a device that can deliver at least 16 separate tracks of simultaneous recording, and a selection of headphones and monitors will be required if the producer, engineer or musician wants to listen to the track with a critical ear.

Using different types of microphone may also be useful, as using a combination of dynamic mics such as the Shure SM58, through to ribbon and condenser mics, will make sure that all types of instrument are covered.

People engaged in larger projects could further benefit from incorporating a wide array of signal processors into their recording set-up, such as mic preamps, compressors, limiters, equalisers and effects units.

And finally, a much larger and higher quality mixing desk would be needed to do justice to the music being made. At least 24 separate channels will ensure that all the sounds can be suitably recorded, isolated, manipulated and balanced to produce the optimum result.

Ashley Spencer’s How To Conceive The Gender Of Your Choice – Phony or Real?

How to conceive the gender of your choice book by Ashley Spencer is one of the top books on baby gender selection niche on the net. Another top-of-the shelve one is Alicia Pennington’s “Prince or Princess” and of course”How to Choose the Sex of Your Baby”also known as “The Shettles’ Method” by Dr Shettles. Hereafter is a review of Ashley’s book.

Ashley treats baby gender selection in three major categories as most books on baby gender determination are won’t to do. The three categories being, Getting The Ovulation Right, Diet Control and Sex Positions.

Under each group, Ashley tells you what to do and what not to do to get a baby boy and what to do and what not to do to get a baby girl. I must say the book is not precisely divided into these three sections but it is easily discernible to baby gender writers.

What couples are asked to do are no brainers. In fact, they are things you and I do always but differently. However, Ashley tells us how to do them, when to do them during sex-for-baby, with the objective of determining the sex of our baby.

Ovulation And Pregnancy

Ashley says getting the ovulation day correct is the pillar on which baby prediction method rests. The influence of the 24 hour window on baby gender formation is well covered, just as you have materials on pregnancy and menstrual cycle. For women who do not want to buy ovulation kits, Ashley gives you telltale signs of ovulation. She tells you though that these are not 100% accurate and you will need ovulation kits supported with these signs so as to get close to 100% accuracy.

Diet Control

In Ashley Spencer’s “How to conceive the gender of your choice”, different diets for different body pH conditions are covered. She gives a list of foods that will make the woman’s body alkaline for a baby boy and those that will make the body acidic for a baby girl. Ashley is funny, she has some foods she calls “Electric Foods” and yet some others she labeled ”Trouble Food”. Trouble food? No, they won’t give you stomach cramps which will send you to your medic, but they may scale down your chances of determining the gender of your baby correctly.

Sex-For-Baby Positions

Ashley covers the effect of sex positions, orgasm, and ejaculation on baby gender determination. You have sex positions for a baby boy and how the pull-out system will favor a certain sex. Categorically, you are informed why the usual missionary method will tilt the chance in favor of a girl and why the cowboy and doggy styles will favor a baby boy. Men have a bonus here; Ashley tells you the sex methods that put you in control when you are at it.

Pluses Of The Book.

· They are natural methods.

· Not expensive.

· No visits to medics. No drugs, no Chinese charts etc.

· Methods are no brainer

· No side effects

· Fun to carry out. You enjoy yourself while at it.

A Flawless Book?

Definitely no. There are rooms for improvement especially in using charts to explain the different sex positions. The book could also have been more appropriately titled by having the word “baby” in the title, but having a family picture as the cover is commendable.

What I Dislike In The Book.

Ashley writes with some cynicism. Her reference to Henry the 8th and why pilots have more baby girls than boys, to me, takes away some seriousness from this issue of baby gender determination. For a Mother who was ready to spend $100,000 to have a boy after three girls, Ashley should know that having a baby of choice is a serious business. One would expect her to stick with her natural methods that work. However, if you are the light-minded type, you may not see it the way I do.


Ashley book draws largely from what has been scientifically proven and largely believed. It is not a bad book on baby gender determination and with almost 12,000 couples as satisfied buyers working out at 95% success s rate, you cannot ask for more. Even those high-tech methods costing fortunes cannot do better. To answer the question in the title of this essay, “How to Conceive the Gender of Your Choice” is real and not a scam. It is not phony. With a 60 days iron clad guarantee and the very affordable price, it is a good investment on how to choose the sex of your baby.

Organs of Speech

Almost all of us have studied about the role of nose and lungs in the respiratory system and the function of mouth in the digestive system, most of us do not know much about the role of these very organs in speech. Although numerous complex effects are produced by the human voice, the inner system that makes the sounds (which make up the speech) is extremely simple in its nature. This system can be compared to an organ pipe, a comparison that enables us to explain what happens inside.

An organ pipe is a tube in which a current of air passing over the edge of a piece of metal causes it to vibrate. This puts into motion the column of air in the pipe which then produces a note. The operating air is forced across the sounding piece of metal from a bellows. The tube, in which the thin sounding plate and the column of air vibrate, acts as a resonator. The resulting sound depends upon various sizes of the producing parts. If the tube is long, the sound will have a low pitch. If the tube is short, the sound will be high. You can alter the pitch by stopping the end of the pipe or by leaving it open. A stopped pipe gives a note an octave lower than an open pipe of the same length. The amount of the vibrating plate which is allowed to move also determines the pitch of a note. If the air is under great pressure, you will hear a louder note. If the air is under little pressure, a soft note will be heard.

Now let's compare this with our inner system, the system in our body which produces voices. The bellows can be compared to our lungs, from which the expelled air is stepped up through the windpipe. The lungs are able to expel air regularly and gently, with no more expense of energy than required during ordinary breathing. However, our lungs can also force air out with tremendous power that is sufficient to carry a sound over hundreds of yards. In ordinary repose, the outward-moving breath does not produce any sound, because it does not meet any obstructions in its passage.

At the upper end of the windpipe is a triangular chamber, the front angle of which forms the Adam's apple where the vocal cords are located. These cords are two tapes of membrane which can be brought together together, and by muscular tension stretched until moving air causes them to vibrate. As a result, they cause vibration in the air above them, like the air in an organ pipe vibrates. Here, a tone is produced.

What Is the Difference Between a Standard Battery and a VRLA Battery?

Valve regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries are commonly referred to as sealed lead acid batteries, and are lead-acid based rechargeable batteries that require little to no maintenance. A common feature to this type of battery is as the name implies, they are always manufactured to be a sealed battery with a built in safety pressure relief valve. If the sealed lead acid battery were to ever be inverted or in any other position than upright, the battery is incapable of leaking and cannot spill its electrolyte (battery acid). Also, when the typical lead-acid based battery is recharged at a mild to high voltage, it will emit gases which can be considered dangerous if emitted in large quantities. Since the VRLA battery is sealed, when the battery is put on charge it relies on its built in pressure release valve to alleviate the pressure from the gases which build up inside the battery. The release valve emits small trace amounts of these gases and has enabled any VRLA battery to be placed in small units (such as battery backup systems) inside buildings or offices without worrying about harmful gasses being emitted. These batteries are further divided into two sub groups know as absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries and the gel battery.

The AGM battery differs from other lead-acid batteries because it uses a glass mat separator to hold its electrolytes in place. These mats allow for the AGM battery to accumulate the highest frequency of acid available and never spill a drop. It was developed in the 1980’s by Concorde Aircraft battery, their intention was to create a warm weather, vibration resistant chemical alternative to the current expensive batteries being used in their fighter air-craft technology. Today the AGM is applied in motorcycles as well as many automobiles. They are also frequently used in remote sensors and cold environments due to their lack of free electrolyte they will never corrode or crack.

Pros to the AGM Battery:

  • They have low internal resistance allowing then to be charged and discharged rapidly
  • They are maintenance free
  • Will not corrode their surroundings because the acid is trapped in the matting
  • Handle vibration very well

Cons of the AGM battery:

  • A tad expensive being nearly double the price of a flooded cell battery
  • They don’t accept overcharging as it burns the electrolyte which is irreplaceable in the AGM model

Finally the Gel battery, sometimes called the gel cell, is unique due to its untilization of gelified electrolyte. The gel is created by sulfuric acid mixed with silica fume, causing it to become an immobile gel mass. The gel cells are almost extensively used in power wheelchairs because of their extensive deep-cycle capabilities and low acid output. Both types of VRLA batteries are widely used in aerobatic aircraft due to their knack for withstanding various flight altitudes and their large ambient temperature range.

Three Steps To Killing Fleas – Or Be Eaten Alive

Do you have pets in your home? Are you being eaten alive by fleas? These usually show up as red itchy welts on your skin. Do you know how to stop this?

The weather has changed and in Southern California it is Hot. Now is the time for those tiny critters called fleas to start making a pest of themselves. The fleas do not stay in one room of your home. They live and breed in every room of your home.

If you have a dog or cat or many dogs and cats you are a feast for these tiny critters.

The best way to get the jump on them is to fight them with a



(1) You can buy at just about any store aerosol cans that will spray flea killer in an upward manner.

(2) Purchase one for every room of your house including the hallways and kitchen.

Note: Put away in cupboards all food or anything you do not want to be sprayed with flea spray.

(3) Close all the outside doors and windows tightly.

(4) Walk through your home and set all the cans of flea killer spray off starting in the back and finishing by the outside door.

(5) Try not to breathe until you are safely outside or wear a mask.

(6) After the spray is finished leave the house closed up for a good three hours or whatever the directions say on the can.

(7) Then vacuum up the dead eggs so vacuum all of the carpeting, furniture and the curtains.

(8) Wash all your bedding it was sprayed on and has flea eggs on it.


(1)Spray your yard while the house is locked up and becoming free of live fleas.

(2) There are many kinds of flea killer sprays to choose from. Some you can attach to your hose and spray.

(3) Another choice is by having a pest control company come out weekly or twice a month to spray your yard.

Note: Your pets should not be in the house or in the yard during the spraying.

(4) When you return to your home leave the doors open and immediately open all the windows.

(5) Throw away all the used cans of flea spray.


(1) The third step is bathing all your pets either in the bathtub or outside.

(2)Another option is take them to the animal beauty parlor.


The main idea is to do all three steps in the same day. This way your home will be flea free for approximately seven days.


After the seventh day all the flea eggs will have hatched and you will have to start the 3 step process all over again.

There are wonderful flea collars and other products on the market for your pets now that work terrific in keeping the fleas off.

When you own a pet and you do not want to become a flea dinner this is the 3 step program that will work.

Repeat the 3 steps as often as necessary.

Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to read all of my articles.

Copyright 2006 Linda Meckler

Carpet Cleaning 101: So You Spilled Lasagna on Your Carpet

Lasagna is a very delicious dish which I personally love. It is a big favorite of mine and surely countless people have it on their list of foods they enjoy. Lasagna is really tasty and creamy which is why I wouldn’t mind eating it often.

If you are having lasagna at home, one thing that you need to be wary of is to avoid spilling or dropping it on your carpet. Sadly, this is one problem that a lot of homeowners face. Spilling lasagna can be really problematic since it will cause a very nasty stain that is very challenging to remove.

Dealing with this kind of mess and not knowing what to do can be very frustrating for any homeowner. To help you with this situation, check out the useful guide below that you can follow in cleaning the spilled lasagna on your carpet effectively.

1. Use a dull knife to slowly scoop up and extract the spilled lasagna on your carpet. Immediately doing this is going to help you isolate the problem to a smaller area of the carpet as well as prevent the sauce from getting deeper into the carpet fibers.

2. Dilute the lasagna stain on your carpet with a few drops of water. This is going to help make the stain become lighter as well as stop it from setting on the carpet right away.

3. Make a cleaning agent that you will be using on the carpet to help remove the ugly stain. Try to combine one part of dish washing liquid with five parts of warm water to make a very inexpensive yet effective cleaning solution. Get an empty spray bottle and then put the cleaning solution inside before moving on to the next step.

4. Spray the stained area of your carpet a couple of times using the cleaning solution. Allow three minutes to pass before using a clean white cloth to blot the area continuously. Do this step until the entire stain is gone. This may take some time but after a while your carpet will be clean and spotless once again.

5. Rinse the carpet with a cup of water to help eliminate any residue that could stay behind on the carpet fibers. Afterwards, use a clean towel to dry everything before using your carpet again.

Lasagna spills can be very problematic but hopefully the guide above will help you in getting your carpet clean and tidy once more.

How to Get Rid of Pickle Smell

Cucumber pickling remained widespread across the Levant and Maghreb regions, where it is still very popular today. Pickled cucumbers became popular in the United States due to the influence of the cuisine of Eastern European immigrants.

In any case, as beloved as pickles are, the stench that these brine-preserved vegetables can cause to your jars, cupboards, fridges, cars and your entire home is almost enough for many to wish that this so-called treat had vanished along with Ancient Rome and Greece.

How can you get rid of the odor of the pickle juice spilled on your sofa or eliminate the odor from that empty pickle jar? Here are some tips to help you out.

Pickle Smell Removing Products

* Febreze uses a chemical compound called cyclodextrin that has been used in household and custodial cleaning products for quite some time now. The sugar-like substance doesn’t necessarily “clean” the pickle odors out, but acts as an absorbent – like baking soda or crumpled newspaper – to help soak the odor out.

* An Ozone Generator will get rid of any odor you can think of if it’s left on long enough in a closed house or apartment. The specifics of this procedure are a bit unclear, but if you’re getting desperate enough, it might be worth a shot.

You will have to take full responsibility for what this might do to your home or your health. Just be sure to air out the home thoroughly after doing this because ozone is bad for your lungs.

* Get a Prozone Air Purifier. They’re good for keeping your whole house smelling fresh, not just eliminating those pickle odors. Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive.

* If you want something a little cheaper, you can try Ozium Air Freshener. It’s a small bottle, but just a little goes a long way. You can get this product at most Wal-Mart branches and some car part dealerships.

* A few deodorizing products that you can also use include Nature’s Miracle, Bane-Clene (which is great for allergies), and a well-recommended mattress cleaner used by the hotel industry called ProKlean.

* Try Renuzit on any scent. You pull it up, and the product’s gel-shaped cone absorbs the smells. It takes about 24 hours, but it works. The first day, the smell of the gel is very strong, but soon it fades along with the odor you want to get rid of.

* You can also buy home oil fragrances and burners from various candle shops. With fruity flavors like mango and all the benefits of aromatherapy, it may be the way to go. The selection of aromas available is quite extensive, and would suit most any aromatherapy fan’s taste.

They make useful burners for the oils too. The best part is that even though the bottles are small, all you need is about five or six drops each time, so the bottles last forever. You can even find a little fragrance burner you can plug into the lighter in your car, which is a lot more effective than those cheap little air fresheners you hang from the rear view mirror.

* Natural cleaners and odor-removing products are a good idea. If you want to get rid of that smoke odor in an eco-friendly manner, how about using some of the cleaning products found in the organic and natural foods section of your local grocery store? Often, these products work just as well as the brand name chemicals. Examples of these so-called natural cleaners are good old borax, hydrogen peroxide, enzymatic cleaners, and oxygen bleach.

Pickle Smell Removal

First of all, it should be fairly obvious to you that it isn’t the pickles themselves that are causing the funky smell in your house/car/cupboard/jar; it’s actually the smell of the pickling agents (vinegar or brine) that’s clinging onto your valued properties and possessions. If you want to get rid of this foul odor, try one of these tips.

* First, wash the jars well in hot, soapy water and rinse completely. Then pour in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water. Let it stand overnight with the lids off. Rinse, dry, store with the lids off, and the smell should be gone.

* You can also fill the jars with crumpled-up newspaper and let them stand overnight to remove odors.

* Use your pickle jar only for pickles, nothing more. If you can’t use it for pickles, throw it out or recycle it.

* For entire spaces that smell of pickles, try leaving an open box of sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda, in the contaminated region (like the fridge or your cupboard). It can work there for a few months and it tremendously helps eat up pickle odors and other smells. Buy two boxes and sprinkle one of them on your carpets to help deodorize as well.

* You can either go to your local hardware store and rent a carpet steam cleaner to shampoo the carpets yourself, or you can hire a professional to bring in a big truck and do the dirty work for you. If you want to save money, the choice is obvious, and the guarantees some businesses will make these days smell funnier than the pickle odor you want them to remove.

* Check all corners and closets for any pickle residues in the apartment, then air out the place for a few days with as much cross-ventilation as possible.

* Potpourri or air fresheners are just going to mask the smell, but for a short time, they’ll do if you just need to get through one more day of pickle smell hell. You can also burn some incense, if you’d like; it basically uses the same idea.

* The key is to disinfect. A bottle of bleach or ammonia and a heavy-duty pair of rubber gloves should help a lot in sanitizing every little nook and cranny of your pad. Yes, elbow grease is the way to go when getting rid of pickle funk.

Cleaning Services

* Hire professional cleaners as a last resort; however, for many people the cleaners are the first choice because of the sheer ordeal of pickle smell removal. Indeed, if all else fails, commercial cleaning does exist to help you out.

Whatever the situation of the hirer, a professional cleaning service can cost a lot less money than most people would expect. The cleaners provide all the equipment and detergents. Above all, they have the experience of having cleaned rooms that would probably make your pickle-stinking room smell like roses in comparison.

Another point to consider is that if you tried to do the job yourself, you would no doubt spend more time than a professional cleaner would, and time is money! Get yourself out of that pickle and let somebody else do the job for you.

Excel Tip – How To Insert Blanks Into Every Other Row In Your Excel Data

This is a regular question or issue that seems to arise with Excel users, (well it does for me anyway).

How to insert a blank line in every other row of your data set?. Lots of the solutions that are available require the user to write some code or macro, which is all good, but some users are not comfortable with VBA. There is an easy way to achieve the same result in Excel without the requirement to write VBA. But I can give you some code to do the same thing as well… if you want it.

OK let’s get some blank rows inserted into our data set. Our data set is set up as the below extract.

Date: Week: Day: WeekDay: User

01/06/15 1 1 11 AmyH

02/06/15 1 2 12 JoeP

03/06/15 1 3 13 PeterH

05/05/15 1 5 15 SuseM

First we need to insert a new column to the left of the existing Column A. (we are assuming our existing data begins in A1), so our data now is contained in column B by inserting a new column A.

The next step is to enter the number one 1 in cell A1 and highlight Column A all the way to the last row of your data set.

You can hit CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN arrow once to quickly do this. ( Dow this twice to select the whole column including cells with no data. You are welcome for the extra Excel shortcut tip!.

  • Select the Home Tab – go to the Edit Group select Fill Series
  • On the Fill Series Hit OK.
  • Column A should now be populated with numbers from 1 to the total number of rows to the end of your data set.
  • CTRL+C to copy the inserted values
  • Go to the next free cell under your data series
  • Hit CTRL+V to paste the values
  • Highlight the entire data area, including the new rows with just a number appearing in Column A
  • Home Tab – Sort and Filter- Smallest To Largest on Column A

Your blank lines will be inserted- in a Flash!

You can then just delete the helper Column A created in the first steps of the process and your job is done. Excel has used the numbering of rows to enable blank rows to be inserted into the work sheet all without any VBA programming.

How to Replace Your Pontoon’s Vinyl Seats and Save Money, Too

When my husband and I purchased a 1998 Fisher pontoon boat for what we thought was a steal, the first thing we needed to do is replace the dry-rotted vinyl on all the seats. The pontoon had been sitting in the sun for eight years and every seat had vinyl that was cracked and split with the foam rubber padding exposed, rotting, and disintegrating each time it was touched. It did not provide for a comfortable seating arrangement; after all, the reason you purchase a pontoon is to be able to take all your friends along with you on the river. When we visited the nearby marine upholstery shop we were shocked to discover that it was going to cost upwards of $1200 to have someone else reupholster our boat. As a mediocre seamstress I decided that I would look into doing the job myself.

Materials needed for this project: sharpened heavy duty scissors, marine vinyl, heavy duty leather needles for your sewing machine, heavy duty thread, sheets of foam rubber (1″ thick), foam adhesive, stainless steel pins, a durable seam ripper, staple gun, stainless steel staples, long handled screw driver, pliers, power screwdriver, ziploc bags, a marker,

Step 1

First I visited my near-by cloth shop to see what they had available. After checking the Internet for marine vinyl I was surprised to find a wide variety of colors at Hancock Fabrics and the cost was reasonable, better than the online prices. If your cloth shop does not have marine vinyl, ask them if they could order it for you. With that stated let me remind you that dark colors attract and hold the heat. They also fade quickly so I would suggest for your comfort and for the wear choose a light color like cream or white. While there I also purchased heavy duty leather needles for my Singer sewing machine. That’s right, I used my old sewing machine to do all the work, but buy at least two packages of the needles for leather. I would also purchase the longest pins the store carries. Look for the foam rubber in the store. Purchase several sheets of the flat 1″ thick foam that can be placed over the worn, disintegrating foam that has been exposed to the sun.

Step 2

Remove the seats from the boat and disassemble the seats, such as the seat cushion, backrests and any other covered pieces. Begin by first removing all of the hardware that attached each seat to the boat. Thank goodness for power screwdrivers! Once the hardware is removed from the seat, place them in one of the zip lock bags and label it for each seat. This way you will not lose anything and it will make it easier to put the seats back and ensure a good fit.

Step 3

When the seats are disassembled, the next step is to remove the covers from the seating frame. Turn the seats upside down and remove the fabric by lifting the staples from underneath. In my case my frame was plastic, still in very good shape, and it was relatively easy to remove the staples. Using the pliers and screwdriver, remove the covers by inserting a long-handled screwdriver under the seam and simply lifting the staples out of the frame.

Step 4

The easiest way to reupholster a boat seat is to use the old fabric as a pattern for your new fabric. Using a seam ripper, carefully separate the cover into the pattern pieces. Lay the fabric down on a large flat surface and lay the old fabric face down on top. I then used a marker to trace an outline of the pattern on to the vinyl, but if you feel confident go ahead and cut the new fabric by tracing around the edges of the pattern. I gave myself an additional ½ inch allowance around the outside of each pattern piece. I would also suggest that you make each seat one at a time so that you don’t get your pieces mixed up. Pin the pieces together like they came apart and sew the pieces together. The first seat will be the hardest and with each additional seat you will get better with experience. With that in mind, decide which of your seats you want to look the best and do those last.

Step 5

Once you have completed the cover it is time to check the foam. If the underlying foam is in good condition then you are ready to re-cover it. If not, cut away the rotting foam and using foam adhesive glue the old and new foam together trying to maintain the original shape.

Step 6

At this point you are going to need a partner to pull the cover over the foam and pull it tightly back into position. Pull tightly to remove the wrinkles. The vinyl can take a great deal of pulling. Once it is in position, staple with the stainless steel staples. Stainless steel staples are more expensive but they will not rust and ruin your vinyl once you are back on the water. Place a staple at four equal points on the frame, then pull and staple the fabric all around the seat.

Step 7

Replace the seats back into the boat. Step back and admire your handiwork. You have just saved yourself a ton of money. In my case I was able to save approximately $950 by doing it myself.

Step 8

Now it is time to protect your almost new pontoon with the purchase of a low cost, 4 or 5 year warranty pontoon cover. This should eliminate the extra cleaning needed due to the pelican’s last fly-over or the rapid deterioration and fading of the vinyl that has been left out in the sun for long periods of time.

Pretty Woman! Learning to Live With Facial Disfigurement

Recently a Facebook friend asked me how I learned to live with disfigurement. She is due to have extensive surgery and knows it will change her face forever. I had to pause and look back over the past 21 years. Now, I forget that my face is different and only remember if someone asks me what happened. It has become my face.

I was thirty-three years old when I lost my left eye, orbit and part of my face to cancer. The diagnosis was adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lacrimal gland. The prognosis was very poor. Losing my eye was my only chance to survive the cancer. The choice was my face or my life.

Accepting the changes in my face was a long-term project. Friends and total strangers would give me unsolicited, but heartfelt advice such as: a new development they saw on medical channel or read about in the paper that could fix me. This seemed to imply that I was broken. I struggled with the embarrassment of my face and kept it hidden behind patches and glasses.

I tried to fix the problem by hiring a company that specialized in special effects for movies to make me a prosthetic eye. I had to glue the eye on. Then I put on a lot of make up to hide the edges. As I would go through my day the make up and glue would start to melt and slip down my face. My active lifestyle did not go with the latex eye.

I went to counseling and started to take small risks. I would expose my face when I was participating in water sports to gauge the reaction of other people around me. They mostly ignored my face and continued to talk about the fun we were having. In some ways it was a little disappointing. I expected some kind of reaction. Maybe I wasn’t as broken as I thought I was.

The turning point was when I was counseling a 12-year-old boy who had been severely abused and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In one of our sessions he said to me, “You tell me not to be ashamed of my scars, why are you ashamed of yours?” That day I took the patch off. I have walked with my head held high ever since.

My husband and I are hooked on Dancing with the Stars. We rooted for J.R. Martinez from week 1. He has done a wonderful service for those who have facial disfigurements or who are facing disfiguring surgery. He has shown us how to let the light from within shine and stand proud. Remember you are not just your face. You are so much more. Stand proud and allow your inner light to shine.

How Pipeline Alignment Sheets Are Important

The transporting of crude oil and gasses are an integral part of their manufacturing. They must be mined and then somehow moved to the factory for refining. Pipelines were reportedly first made around the late nineteenth century, but pipeline alignment sheets were not developed until much later on.

The lines are generally constructed out of tubes made up of either steel or plastic. The majority are buried underground at depths of up to 48 feet. Pump stations throughout the lines are what keep the oil moving. They usually run twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty five days a year. Line operators are there to monitor the entire route. Safety inspections are done at regular intervals to look for leaking, rupturing, and other inconsistencies. These operators and inspectors are trained to be prepared for any emergency. They can easily shut down a line or section of it if the need arises.

Many other materials can be transported this way as well, not just oil. Such materials as water, hydrogen, bio fuels, sewage, and even in some particular cases beers on a smaller scale can be moved down these lines. Some are designed to transport two different products at the same time. Normally the products are not separated in the line itself. Needless to say the possibilities are endless!

There are several components that make up each line system. At the beginning you will find the injection station, where the material is actually pumped in. Then there are the compression valves throughout the entire line that are what keep the gasses moving. Liquids are moved by pumps.

Lines are protected by valve stop stations. Sections of the line can be blocked off for maintenance. This is especially important when a leak or rupture needs to be fixed. The entire line doesn’t have to be shut down and flushed out. Engineers can now just work on that one particular area by blocking off the flow.

Regulators are used to release pressure off gas lines. These are important and are operated via valve stations. Then there is the final section, which is the outlet station. Here is where the materials will be distributed into different lines and moved to the final destination.

Several companies are offering their services to generate sheets that show the engineering data in relation to the line itself. These maps show you the entire route of the line and identifies the land masses associated with its placement. Many have different designs that are customizable using the template they provide.

Pipeline alignment sheets or maps are critical in that they provide the engineer as well as the corporate base a bird’s eye view of the line itself and all of its components. In emergency situations one would consult the sheet and be able to quickly devise a plan for cordoning off the right area and how to locate it as fast as possible. Companies can create the sheets for you, or the software is available to do your own.