Can I Backfeed My Generator Into My House?

Backfeeding is the deadly practice of wiping your portable generator directly into a household socket. This act will supply electricity to the power lines which will create voltage. When a utility worker comes to check the "dead" lines during an outage, he will be electrocuted. The National Electric Safety Code prohibits returns by law and prosecution may be bought for offenders.

Still, there are many who continue this dangerous act. Often, the clothes dryer outlet is used to backfeed into the house. The belief is that if the main breaker is shut off, it is safe. Unfortunately, during times of crisis, a person may forget to turn off the breaker which could lead to a fatality. In addition, some household circuits may not be able to withstand the direct power of a generator. There have been reported cases of fires and blown out appliances.

As reported by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the fifth cause of occupational deaths is electrocution. In recent years, a lineman from South Carolina went to help with hurricane damage and was killed due to generator backfeeding. The lineman went to cut an electrical line and was shocked to death because the homeowner had plugged the generator directly into the house.

To prevent backfeeding, generators should NEVER be connected into the electrical wiring of a home. The right way to use a generator is to use coded extension cords from the generator to the appliance that the homeowner wants to power; such as a freezer, lamp or stove.

Portable generators can be great assets, but caution is important. Always read the manual for safety.

Tools You Need for Installing Drywall Panels

  • Screw gun

If you have seen a power drill, a screw gun is closely similar to it. However, screw guns are made specifically for screws and are most commonly used in installing drywall panels. There are again two basic types of screw gun. First is the screw gun which is designed solely for drywall installing and the other one is the type which is designed for general construction purposes.

Screw guns used for drywall panels operate at 4000 RPM which runs faster than the second type of screw gun which only uses 2000 RPM. These are made to properly screw your drywall panels using drywall screws and should be considered a worthwhile investment.

  • Drywall saw

A keyhole saw is another small but very important tool in installing drywall panels. It is also called the drywall saw or the pad saw or alligator saw. It is a long slender saw which is very handy as its main purpose is cutting sheets of drywall. There are also two types of drywall saw. The first one is the fixed blade types and the second one is the retractable blade type.

Both retractable blade type and fixed blade drywall saws are commonly used in modern construction.

  • T-square

You will need the T-square when you need to draw a pattern in the drywall panels. T-squares are commonly used as technical drawing instrument by engineers or draftsmen. It is a “letter T” type ruler which is commonly made of aluminum. It comes with different sizes depending on the size of the drawing pattern you need.

  • Stepladder

You will need a stepladder when you install drywall on ceilings or edges of high walls. This will keep you safe while doing the precarious installing process. You must instruct your assistant to carefully hold the stepladder while you are climbing on it to prevent accidents.

  • Drywall flusher

These are made from stainless steel and are recommended tools to use in taping. They are available in different sizes namely 2″, 3″, 3.50″ and 4″. The Direct Flusher is connected to a “mud tube” which contains the mud solution will use to fill the corners before flushing them with the head.

There is a little opening that you will see in the flusher. That opening is the outlet for the mud that is being squeezed from the mud tube which you will then be flushing to the corners.

This tool is used when you are taping the drywall panels. The taping procedure is done after you install the drywall panels.

  • Drywall applicator

Drywall applicators are also tools for the taping procedure. You will be using it after you install all the drywall panels in the ceiling and walls. These are also made from aluminum steel (like a drywall flusher) and are used to evenly distribute the mud to the flat and curved surfaces of your panels.

How to Catch a 10+ Pound Bass

This is for the average Joe who loves to fish but wants to improve his or her game a little.

Some fisherman just love to be on the lake with a pole in one hand and a beer in the other. I spend a lot of time in this mindset myself. Others, well they're looking for that Hawg in the double digits. I've compiled a top 10 list of ways to improve your chances of catching such a fish.

1. It should go without saying that the number one way to catch any fish is to get out on the lake. Too many anglers do not get out enough. If you are serious, you have to get out regularly and perfect your techniques. If you're on the couch you are not catching fish.

2. To catch large fish, you have to go were they live. Plain and simple. Small private ponds and ponds on golf courses can yield great catches because they are seldom if ever fished. The problem is getting permission to use them. You should also check which lakes hold the state record Bass. In Texas it's Lake Fork. If you can, fish the lakes with big Bass records. If you still can not catch the trophy your longing for, it may be time to hire a guide. Go online and research the guides on your favorite lake.

3. Patience. When applying techniques for catching 10 pounds, you are not going to be catching many fish. You will have to decide whether or not you can spend hours on the lake reeling in fishless lures over and over. You have to stay dedicated and be patient. Otherwise, slip on your "go to" lure and be content with 2 and 3 pounds.

4. Persistence. Try, try, and try again. I've known really good bass anglers who have fished for years before catching a 10 pounder. And quite often, they catch em 'when they're just out fishing without any grand expectations. I was out with my oldest son teaching him how to work a Texas rigged worm. I was tossing one myself to demonstrate how to work the rod when low and behold I hooked into my first double digit Bass. It came when I least expected it to. I guess the point is, get out on the lake as much as possible and fish because you love to fish. With patience and persistence, you stand a much better chance of catching the big one.

5. Lure selection. Before you hit your favorite lake, talk to the guys in the tackle shop. Talk to other fisherman. Get online and join a blog or forum for the best lures and spots to fish on your lake. Most Bass fisherman, while protective of their honey holes, still want to talk about their experiences and accomplishments. Ask them what lures work best and under what conditions. When you decide on a lure selection, stick with it and experiment with speeds and pole action. Do not be afraid to go big with a lure either. Think about how big a 10 pound Bass is and go from there. Also, do not be distracted by all the ads for guaranteed bass catching lures that pop up on the web. Use what works for you and have been proven to work through the test of time.

6. To Boat or not to Boat. As long as you have a line in the water you can catch fish. That being said, if your on the bank you will be limited to few select spots that every other bank fisherman fishes. You can catch the big one this way, but it's less likely. You do not have to go out and spend $ 40,000 on a tournament bass boat either. There are countless ways to boat for less. I started out in a 12 'aluminum john boat with a transom mount trolling motor. In all I spend less than a thousand dollars hook, line and sinker. Even though it takes longer, I could hit any portion of a lake the big bass boats could hit. I could even get into the big boats could not. You can set up a cooler with an aerator as a live well and fish tournaments if you like. Just do not venture too far from the boat ramp or you may miss weigh in.

7. Gear. Use what feels right for you. Bass do not know if your using a spinning, bait cast, or closed face reel. Until you get used to using something new, stick with what you know. You ask 10 people what the best gear to use is and you get 10 different answers for 10 different reasons. Stick with what you know. Learn how to use the new stuff when your out just for fun and relaxation. You do not want to miss a big bass because your respooling a bait cast that keeps nesting on you.

8. Presentation. Bass get used to seeing the same thing over and again. Mix it up. If your "go to" lure is a spinner bait (like many Bass guys including myself) try slipping a gecko lizard on the hook all the way up under the skirt. Something as simple as this can have drastically positive effects on your outing.

9. Practice at home when you can not get on the lake. Throw a weighted line in the back yard and visualize your on the lake. Practice working your pole as if you were working a finesse bait. Set up scenarios and react as you would in real life. Get a buddy involved and have some fun with it.

10. The last tip I have for you on this subject is do not fish just to catch the big one. Fish because you love to fish, and one day the big one will come to you. Share your love of fishing with someone else.

Interior Design – Why Choose LED Lighting

When planning a new design for your home, considerable time is usually spent on decisions relating to the colour scheme, furniture and flooring. What is often over-looked is the lighting, not the light fittings, but where light is being generated and how this will affect the overall look and feel of the interior.

Obtaining natural light through windows or skylights is the most favourable option. Natural light is pure white, so shows other colours without distortion and it also brings natural warmth. Natural light is also free, so making the most of this resource can help to reduce energy costs in the long term. Whilst highly desirable, natural light isn’t always available, especially through winter months when the daylight hours are shorter, so other solutions need to be installed. In general homes on modern housing developments are built in close proximity to each other, so they can cause more shadows and effectively steal natural light sources from each other.

When planning where to position artificial light sources you need to consider the overall effect that will be created. Ceiling lights, wall lights, lamps and spot lights are available in a full range of sizes, styles and colours, each of which will create a specific look. The choice of lighting will influence the mood of the interior, as well as impacting on how other features in the space are viewed.

Light is a functional design consideration, so it needs to be bright in areas where it is important that you can see clearly, such as in the kitchen or study. In areas, such as the living room or bedrooms, a subtle, diffused lighting solution can create a relaxed feeling, with floor or table lamps used to provide additional lighting for activities such as reading. Spot lights can be great for making a statement as it will draw the eye to a particular area, such as where a piece of art is hung on the wall. Most interiors can be enhanced by a combination of clever lighting solutions.

Some light fittings can be incorporated into other furniture and therefore hidden from site. This technique is employed in many contemporary homes, as the light itself is the design feature, rather than the lamp. Whatever lighting you select, most will be suitable for LED light bulbs. Whilst LED lighting has a much higher initial cost, the long term performance makes them a cost effective and environmentally sensitive option.

LED lighting has excellent light emission efficiency, 10W of LED lighting is equivalent to 70-80W in a standard light bulb, so you gain more light using less energy. As energy bills continue to rise at a considerable rate, using less energy every time you switch the light on will soon add up to provide you with a return on your initial investment in LED lighting. Although it’s no match for natural light, LEDs also provide better light than standard light bulbs, as they rate higher on the CRI (colour rendering index).

LED lighting last much longer too, up to 40,000 hours per bulb, which means you are saved the job of regularly replacing bulbs. This efficiency can be especially beneficial for lighting in harder to access areas, such as high ceilings, or those hidden within other interior furniture. Again the significantly reduced need for purchasing replacement bulbs is another reason why LED lighting is cost effective.

When working under a table lamp, for example in a studio or office, the heat generated can be a problem. As LED lighting is free from Ultraviolet rays it generates less heat, which can be safer and offers protection for heat sensitive objects.

The main reason why people are making the move to installing LED lighting is its environmental credentials. They offer energy savings of between 80% and 90% in comparison to standard lighting. As our demands for energy continue to increase, there are real risks of demand exceeding supply and increasing chances of power cuts. Energy production and use is also a key factor influencing global warming and the destruction of natural habitats. To reduce the impact we are having, we all need to take measures to reduce our energy consumption. LED lighting is also free from mercury and other hazardous materials making them safer to dispose of at the end of their working life.

Fidel Castro And the Cuban Revolution – 51 Years of Tyranny

1960s A Pro-Soviet Tyranny

1959-1960: Following Fidel Castro’s overthrow of the dictatorial Batista administration, a host of people, including children and women, welcomed the arrival of guerrillas, but they turned the Island — about the size of Tennessee– into a place of repression. On the other side, Raúl Castro had been hand-picked by his brother, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, as the second leader of the Cuban Revolution. In the meantime, in the early years of the new regime, up to 3,200 Cubans had been slaughtered by Fidel Castro and his family. On the economic side, Castro nationalized all U.S. businesses (without compensation). In fact, these events marked the beginning of one the world’s worst undemocratic governments. Toward the end of 1960, Washington imposed an embargo on Cuba.

1960-1980: As a consequence of the totalitarian policies, over one million Cubans had fled to America (chiefly Florida), Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain and Italy.

1960-1982: Inspired by the People’s Republic of China, Albania and other Communist tyrannies, Cuba’s undemocratic state had decimated the country’s tourism industry.

1960-2007: In one of Fidel Castro’s many dictatorial reforms, hemade his sister-in-law, Vilma Espín, President of the Federation of Cuban Women –a key organization on Cuba. Espín, Raúl Castro’s wife, was leader of the feminist organization until her abrupt death on June 18, 2007.However in time, she, a former Marxist guerrilla, was known as the “First Lady of the Cuban Revolution”. Over the decades of the Soviet Empire, she had strong links with radical feminist movements from Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

1960-2010: World-famous dancer and choreographer Alicia Alonso Martínez became one of the key women, alongside Haydée Santamaria Cuadrado, Vilma Espín Guillois, Celia Sánchez Manduley and Mireya Luis Hernández, in the Cuban Revolution. Since then, she used her fame and prestige to clean up the Island’s bad image. By the early 60s, Fidel Castro gave Alonso $200,000 to set up the Cuban National Ballet. From then on, the Ballet Nationalbecame an open door for Cuban influence in the Third World and Europe.

1961: The Island’s history took sudden turn in this year as the provisional rule declared the country a Marxist stateand began a close relationship with the Kremlin -the USSR was one of the first states to recognize Cuba’s tyranny–and their allies, including the German Democratic Republic (GDR), North Korea and Czechoslovakia. From then on, Moscow played a key role in the Cuban Revolution. Nonetheless, after Cuba became a pro-Soviet dictatorship, the political relationship between the States and the Island worsened. On January 3, 1961, the tensions between both governments came to a head as America severed diplomatic ties with the rule of Cuba.

1962: The Republic of Cuba was suspended from the Organization of American States (OAS), which was founded on April 30 1948 in Bogotá (Colombia), over its dictatorial rule.

1962- 1990: Unlike many Marxist states in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, including Ethiopia (the world’s poorest nation), Guinea, Laos and Cambodia (Asia’s poorest country), the Island’s human development, from employment and energy to education, culture and public health, was subsidized by the Kremlin (which was supplanted by Venezuela since 2000). For example, most of Cuba’s young people –chiefly members of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC)– attend schools, universities and institutions in Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Moreover, a number of cultural delegations went to Asia, Latin America and Europe. In 1984, the Caribbean team, led by Alicia Alonso, visited five former Soviet republics (Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan). On the other side, around 90% of the military budget was financed from the USSR and other Communist states. These were some of the reasons why Cuba did not have financial problems -different from several Latin societies. During the Cold War, the massive Soviet aid gave Cuba a political influence in the Third World disproportionate to its size and economy.

1964-1990: Castro’s dictatorial rule, headed by its diplomat Isidoro Malmierca (the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations), allowed the USSR to direct its foreign policy. The Kremlin used Fidel Castro to expand its geopolitical influence in the Third World, chiefly in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.

1967: Soviet Union’s Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin went to Cuba.

1970s Fidel Castro & Mengistu Haile Mariam

1970-1975: The totalitarian Communist state had cooperative ties with Peru’s dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado. Over that time, Raúl Castro, the Island’s second most powerful leader, trip to Lima.

1971-1973: After Salvador Allende’s win in the Presidential elections, the Cuban administration had shown a deep interest in cooperation with Chile. Upon the winning the Chilean election, Allende became the world’s only freely elected Marxist Head of State. Later on, in 1971, surprisingly, Fidel Castro embarked on a three-week tour of Chile.

1972-1990: The Republic Socialist of Cuba was home to the largest Soviet community outside Europe and the USSR.

1975-1991: With the help of 50,000 Cuban troops, the African country of Angola, led by José Eduardo dos Santos, moved into the Soviet orbit.

1977: The Cuban dictatorship sent a delegation, led by Sergio del Valle, to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

1978-1989: Under its pro-Soviet policy, Castro’s dictatorial rule sent over 20,000 troops to the Republic Marxist of Ethiopia – an African nation with 90% of the population living under the abject poverty– to support the dictatorship of Mengistu Haile Mariam, who led Ethiopia to one of the worst genocides in history. Over that time, Cuba’s troops carried out repressive measures against the Eritreans and Ethiopians.

1979: With the support of the Soviet bloc (from Bulgaria to East Germany), as well as anti-American states, Havana – the nation’s capital city– hosted the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit. Cuba’s satrap Fidel Castro was elected President. This international event was part of the Communist dictatorship’s strategy to win new allies in the Third World, including terrorist states.

1980s The pro-Castro Lobby

1980: To improve dictatorship’s image abroad, damaged by human rights abuses and pro-Soviet military projects in sub-Saharan Africa, the undemocratic rule sent a person -a Russian-trained astronaut– to space. Along with Alberto Juantorena ( 1976 Olympic champion), Alicia Alonso and Alejo Carpentier (author), Cuba’s cosmonaut Arnaldo Tamayo was one of the “special ambassadors” of the Cuban tyranny.

1981: On the world stage, the Castro regime established strong links with rogue governments such as Libya, Iran and the DPR of Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or North Korea). By contrast, Cuba’s ties with many Latin American democracies worsened, including Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica and Peru.

1982-2008: Under the influence of the “pro- Castro lobby” in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), nine natural and cultural sites on the Island were declared wonders of the world- the Old Havana and its Fortifications (1982), the Trinidad and the Valley de los Ingenios (1988), San Pedro de la Roca Castle (1997), the Desembarco del Granma National Park (1999), the Viñales Valley (1999), the Archaeological Landscape of the First Coffee Plantations in the South East of Cuba (2000), the Alejandro de Humbolt National Park (2001), the Urban Historic Centre of Cienfuegos (2005) and the Historic Centre of Camaguey (2008). Curiously Cuba holds more world heritage sites than Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa.

1984: Due to its political and financial dependency with the rule of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics (USSR), the totalitarian Communist state refused to send over 200 Cuban champs and officials to the 23rd Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, CA. Therefore, many champs lost the chance to compete in the Games, which included Javier Sotomayor (track & field) and Mireya Luis (volleyball) as well as Olympic gold medal winners Maria Caridad Colón (athletics) and Teófilo Stevenson (boxing).

1985: In its efforts to improve the country’s economy, tourism became one of government’s top priorities. Nonetheless, poor international image –among the world’s oldest tyrannies, together with the Stalinist state of North Korea– have caused great harm to the Island’s tourism industry.

1986-1992: Although many Socialist governments, from Czechoslovakia and Mongolia to the People’s Republic of China recognized to Seoul, the Cuban tyranny continued to reject South Korea’s sovereignty.

1988: After a year of speculations, the Cuban contingent did not participate in the Summer Games in Seoul, South Korea.

1990s Cuba — The World’s Worst Olympic Country

1991: Upon the ending of the Soviet Empire, the Caribbean Island, with few natural resources, had transformed itself from a middle-income country to one of the poorest countries on the American mainland.

1992: Cuba’s exile Eduardo Díaz Betancourt was executed by tyranny, despite worldwide appeals for clemency.

1992: Jorge Esquivel, the most outstanding dancer and choreographer in the Cuban Revolution, sought political asylum in Italy. This defection was a serious setback to the Cuban National Ballet. At the 1982 International Ballet Competition in Havana, Esquivel, one of the world’s six best dancers, made his choreographer debut. In the 70s and 80s, he was partner of Alicia Alonso.

1993: Despite Cuba annually budgeted over $ 100 million for the promotion of Olympic sport, which represents 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) -one of the highest in the developing world, sport had a big problem: there were massive defections. During the 17th Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, the Island boasted the infamous distinction of being “one of the world’s worst Olympic nations”, alongside Burma and Libya, as a host of Olympian athletes and coaches, including softball players and swimmers, refused to return to their impoverished country.

1993 Against all odds, Alina Fernández Revuelta, Fidel Castro’s daughter, fled to Europe.

1994-2010: The Cuban regime lost four important allies in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola (resource-rich nation), Benin, Equatorial Guinea (oil-rich country) and Namibia (uranium-rich country).

1995: The Island boasted one of the highest suicide rates on the planet.

1995-2010: Unlike the Republic Socialist of Vietnam, the Island, with an economy heavily dependent on tourism, has had one of the worst-performing economies in the developing world. The nation’s economy had long been handicapped by its primitive political system. Since the breakup of the Soviet Empire in the early 1990s, a lot of workers, from nurses to teachers, have been forced by the lack of job opportunities to work in Latin America and Spain. With the exception of Haiti, Cuba’s citizens are the poorest on the Caribbean region. On the other hand, important sporting and economical agreements between Havana and Latin America republics have strengthened ties between the Cuban dictatorship and Latin democracies.

1998: In an attempt to mollify its critics, the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II was allowed to visit the Island for the first time.

1999: At the Pan American Games in Winnipeg (Canada), the country’s Olympic delegation picked up several medals, but unwelcomed publicity came when Cuba’s athlete Javier Sotomayor Sanabria, one of the Island’s most respected icons since 1959, lost his Pan American gold medal in the men’s high jump after testing positive for a drug. Meanwhile, Fidel Castro did not accept the results.

2000s The Hereditary Dictatorship of the Castros

2000: Castro’s regime established close ties with the government of Hugo Chavez, Head of State of Venezuela. Due to his admiration for Fidel Castro, Chavez provided heavy economic aid and became a supplier of oil to Cuba. Meanwhile, Aleksandr Lukashenko, dictator of Belarus, went to Havana.

2003: While Cuba’s tyrant Fidel Castro -perhaps inspired by Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Idi Amin Dada and other satraps of the Third World– expressed his desire to become President for life, the State Security Departament’s increased activity against the opposition groups as it arrested 75 prominent human rights activists, who participated in the Project Varela. They were named “Prisoners of Conscience” by Amnesty International. In response to the rule of Cuba’s human rights abuses, European Union (EU) imposed restrictive measures on Cuba.

2005-2010: In tribute to the “Ladies in White”, the European Union bestowed upon them the 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom. This award was hailed as a victory for the Island’s pro-democratic groups. The pro-democratic organization “Ladies in White” became a world symbol of the struggle against tyranny and repression. They are one the greatest signs of hope for the new Cuba. In beginning 2008, they were threatened and attacked by paramilitaries forces.

2008: Because of its poor health, amid many speculations, Fidel Castro stepped down as Head of State and leader of the Cuban Revolution. Subsequently he was replaced by his younger brother Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz, becoming the seventh Marxist leader of a Latin American country since 1960, after Fidel Castro (1960-2008), Allende (Chile, 1971-1973), Forbes Burnham (Guyana,1970-1980), Michael Manley (Jamaica, 1972-1980), Maurice Bishop (Grenada, 1979-1983) and Daniel Ortega Saavedra (Nicaragua, 1985-1990). Raul’s succession was long-anticipated. Nonetheless, the new President, Prime Minister between 1976 and 2008,did not make major changes to the Island’s political system.

2009-2010: Under the tutelage of the hereditary dictatorship of the Castro family, there were up to 225 prisoners of conscience. Nonetheless, not much was known about the total number of political prisoners.

2010: Aware that several Cuban athletes want to escape from the Island, the country’s new dictator Raúl Castro, through the Cuban Olympic Committee (COC), declined to send Olympian athletes, coaches and officials to the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mayaguez (Puerto Rico). The Island’s sport during the past 20 years has been hit by a host of defections.

How to Apply Concrete Flooring

Concrete, it's practical, sturdy and has been used in the construction of buildings since the early Roman times. However, without a decorative or protective coating most concrete patios, driveways, walkways and garage floors are unattractive. In fact, more than likely, they're stained, drab, dull, possibly even ugly.

Today many homeowners and do-it-yourselfers are discovering, through the use of Top Secret Coatings concrete coatings, those gray, cold outdoor slabs can take on a unique, stylish look that not only reflects homeowners particular tastes but are non skid, add color and texture to a new or older home.

A porch or patio can be one of the most useful exterior areas of your home if covered with an attractive concrete coating, cleared of all excess junk and with a little thought given to landscaping the area. Unfortunately these spaces are all too often covered with bland concrete which as well as looking rather dull and dreary, may have developed cracks or become stained with moss, grease, oil etc over time. Restoring such areas to a place you would be proud to use for entertaining, outdoor dining or just relaxing may seem like a mighty big job. If the concrete is badly cracked and the surface uneven, generally there is no other choice than to rip it up and re-lay it. Here are a few thoughts to consider before moving forward with your plans to apply concrete coatings.

1. If your floor is inside the house, do a little checking before you decide to coat your floor. Is the concrete damp? Is there any ponding water? (If so, then you have a larger problem than an ugly floor!) Let the concrete dry thoroughly before painting (this may take a while during the wet seasons!)

2. Thoroughly clean the concrete with TS 695 Rynolite Etching Cleaner. If there is any grease on the floor you will want to remove it before painting or the paint may not adhere. To remove grease, put down cat litter to absorb the majority of oil, then scrub again with TS 695 Rynolite Etching Cleaner. Rinse well and wait until the floor is thoroughly dry.

3. Sand off any loose or peeling paint or other residue with a sander or 80 grit sandpaper. Vacuum or sweep up the residue. Then go over the floor with a tack cloth (a sticky cheesecloth available at any hardware or home improvement store).

4. Use a paintable cement filler to repair any cracks and holes and allow it to dry completely before moving forward.

5. Now to begin the painting process. You will want to brush the edges and roll the rest of the floor surface. Let each coat dry between 12 and 24 hours before recoating. Repeat the process with the second or third coats as directed.

Now you have applied Top Secret quality concrete coats that are beautiful, colorful and durable!

Ameda Breast Pumps

In Sweden, 1939, a leading gynecologist asked engineer Einar Egnell to create a better breast pump. Pumps in those days were bulky, inefficient, and even painful. He then devoted his life to the development of a pump. After hundreds of trials he finally released the Ameda SMB Breast Pump in 1942. It was the first safe, effective, hospital-grade pump in the world. Since then, Ameda has followed in his footsteps to maintain their firm stand on the cutting edge of pumping technology, always being the first to release the latest innovations to the market. In 1998, they created the Ameda Purely Yours, which was the first personal piston breast pump, and is still a line releasing new models. The Ameda brand has always been known for providing nursing mothers with the best that the industry has to offer. Their reputation reflects itself in their variety of innovative, unique, and consumer-friendly products.

The Ameda Purely Yours Breast Pump is piston-driven, giving mom more comfortable and efficient pumping. It includes the Ameda HygieniKit Milk Collection System, for easy clean-up, as well as individually adjustable cycle and suction controls to make the shopping experience completely personalized to the mother's preferences. It's very well adapted for busy moms, with 3 options for power sources (AC adapter, AA batteries, or car charger) and portability. The whole pump weighs 1 pound, and is compact in size. Taking it to work or on errands is incredibly simple. Just toss the Cool 'N Carry tote over your shoulder and go. The tote has cooling elements as well as six 4-ounce bottles to keep a steady supply of milk ready at all times.

There is also the Ameda One-Hand Breast Pump with the Flexishield Areola Stimulator, which quickly and comfortably stimulates the let down reflex. It comes with a silicone insert, which reduces the shield size for maximum effect for smaller nipples. Use is extremely easy, as there is no power supply to worry about, and mom can save time by nursing on one side and pumping on the other. Another option is to use 2 of the pumps simultaneously, which is entirely possible because the pump only requires one hand for use.

Ameda also makes 100% cotton reusable nursing pads. Their multilayered construction is designed to draw moisture away from the skin, to sooth and increase comfort. They are machine washable, and also available in disposable form. Another handy accessory is the Mother's Milk Freezer Bag. These are completely sterile bags that resist splitting or cracking while freezing, and also keep out odors.

Ameda was the first to make a mother-friendly breast pump, and they continue that excellent reputation today. They are fully committed to mothers and their comfort. Paving the way for other companies, they have transformed breast pumps to be the comfortable, effective, and easy-to-use devices they are today.

Problems And Challenges Of Lean Six Sigma Improvement Teams

Businesses that are unable to provide due consideration to this aspect, often fail to harness the full potential of Lean implementation and consequently starting complaining that 'Lean Six Sigma does not work'. They fail to realize that the problem is not with Lean concepts; their failures are due to the inherent availability of the implementation team to overcome the common problems and challenges.

Identifying Implementation Problems and Challenges

For ensuring the success of Lean projects, the implementation team should first try to identify the common problems and challenges that it might come across during the implementation phase. For this, the team should make use of time-tested Six Sigma tools and techniques such as 'Process Charts' that highlight each and every event, functionality, and sub-processes of the given process selected for improvement.

However, since it is not be feasible to look into each and every aspect of the given business process, the team should focus on only those aspects that are critical to the main process. In effect, the team should concentrate on identifying potential problems in only those sub-processes that might be contributing more than 50 to 60 percent towards the delivery of the final outcome. This is necessary because if problems occur in critical sub-processes during the implementation phase, the business may lose its productive efficiency, something that will make a mockery of 'Lean' aims and objectives that call for improved productive efficiencies.

For better results, they should seek input from people such as floor managers, supervisors, process managers, and others who might be having workable knowledge about the given business process. If required, middle and top management can also be requested to provide their valuable input and suggestions.

Overcoming Challenges

The job is said to be 'half done' as soon as the problems are identified, but the implementation team should not lose its focus at this stage because it still has to finish the remaining half, ie overcoming the identified problems and challenges. This is often the toughest part, because not even the most experienced professionals such as Black Belts can guarantee the success of initiatives adopted for overcoming implementation problems and challenges.

The best that the implementation team can do then is to utilize Six Sigma simulation tools, which can make very accurate predictions. Simulations help a lot because they make it possible for the team to use the 'hit and trail' method without worrying about real losses, monetary or physical. Using the 'hit and trail' method, theycan then easily select an initiative that best suits the need of overcoming problems and challenges.

Aside from putting their trust in Six Sigma tools and techniques for overcoming problems and challenges, they should try to encourage creativity and innovation because sometimes only these skills can save a project from certain failure. Constant motivation, guidance, and recognition are good ways of promoting creativity and innovation among the Lean Six Sigma implementation team members.

SunSetter Awnings – Setting the Standard

One of the leaders in the awning industry is a company called
Sunsetter. In fact, the Sunsetter awning is not only known for
quality, durability, and strength, but also innovating designs
and materials. Because of the quality provided with each
Sunsetter awning, consumers receive a five-year guarantee
against fading. Using a trade marked material called "Marine
Duck ", the stain resistant and mildew inhibiting awning always
looks new.

One of the problems with some awnings is that as soon as a heavy
rain or wind comes up, the awning fails. With a Sunsetter
awning, you will enjoy exceptional strength, along with strong
mounting hardware. That way, you have 100% confidence in your
awning even when an unexpected storm arises. With this type of
awning, you would need to do a small amount of assembly work but
it is minimal and easy, simply following the included

One of the unique aspects of a Sunsetter awning is that every
one designed for a window has a 30-inch drop and projection for
the ultimate functionality. In addition to using a Sunsetter
awning on the exterior of the home, it can also be used indoors.

For example, if you have a covered patio, the awning would add
a touch of color and charm, actually becoming a part of the
indoor decorum.

Every Sunsetter awning is made with 100% solution-dyed acrylic
yarn. What that means is that the color is not just on the
exterior but running all the way through, which is why the
awning looks great and resists fading. With some amazing colors
and patterns, you can use a Sunsetter awning with any furnishing
style. For example, if you have a Victorian era home, a Tudor
home, Cape Cod, Ranch, and so on, the awning would look
incredible, coordinating perfectly.

One of the popular choices is the 60-inch Sunbrella Supreme.
Designed with a waterproof acrylic marine fabric, you have your
option of a number of colors. If you need something smaller, a
46-inch solid Sunsetter awning is also a great choice. This
awning fabric is very soft, water repellant, and easy to
maintain and clean. With a special fluorocarbon finish and
backed by the same five-year warranty for strength and color
loss, how can you go wrong. Available in 40 colors to include
gold, red, purple, black, pink, orange, green, blue, and much

If you prefer a Sunsetter awning with a little more pizzazz then
perhaps a striped pattern would be more to your liking. For
this option, the possibilities are fun, elegant, or
sophisticated, depending on what you choose. For instance, if
you wanted an awning to complete the pool, then a two-toned
blue and gray would be perfect. However, if you want something
more on the elegant side, two wide taupe coupled with white, and
gray would be stunning.

HP LaserJet P1102 Printer Review

The HP LaserJet P1102 is a monochrome laser printer. The printer has a monthly duty cycle of 5,000 pages. The printer is suitable for users who print between 250 and 1500 pages per month. The printer is ideal for the home or small offices that are looking for a basic printer. Measuring just 13.7 inches wide, by 7.7 inches high, by 9.4 inches deep, the LaserJet P1102 is compact, and can sit on your desktop or virtually any other small space. The printer also weighs a mere 11.6 pounds, which means you can easily transport it to various locations as the need arises. The P1102 does not have a lot of expandable features, so if you foreseee possible growth in the future, you may want to opt for a printer with more options.

The set-up process for the P1102 is pretty simple. After plugging in the power cord and USB cable, you will be given the option of letting the driver automatically install from the printer or you can follow the step-by-step instructions from the installation software. The printer's sole connectivity option is a Hi-Speed ​​USB 2.0 port.

The HP LaserJet P1102 produces documents with very high quality, thanks to the printer's 600 x 600 dpi resolution. The printer produces monochrome documents at 18 pages per minute, with the first page out in as little as 8.5 seconds. The printer has a paper capacity of 150 sheets and comes with one paper tray. No additional paper trays can be added, so the maximum paper capacity of the printer is also 150 sheets.

The printer comes with an introductory HP LaserJet toner cartridge, a power cord, USB cable, a Getting Started Guide and installation software. The compatible black toner cartridge (CE285A-C) yields approximately 1,600 pages.

The HP P1102 has a 266 MHz processor, and comes standard with 2 MB of installed memory, which can not be expanded. If you require duplexing, you must complete double-sided printing manually, as the driver does not support automatic duplexing. Although the printer is lacking expandability, it performs basic functions well, and it is Energy Star compliant, which will help save you money over the life of the printer. Another version of the HP LaserJet P1102 offers a few more options. The HP LaserJet P1102w features wireless connectivity. Additionally, the HP LaserJet P1102w comes standard with 8 MB of memory, as opposed to 2 MB. The HP LaserJet P1102w also offers a feeder with ten sheets.

Overall Specs:

  • Print Speed : Monochrome – 18 ppm
  • Memory : 2 MB
  • Resolution : 600 dpi x 600 dpi
  • Duty Cycle : 5,000 pages per month
  • Paper Capacity : Input – 150 sheets, Output – 100 sheets
  • Connectivity : Hi-Speed ​​USB 2.0, wireless
  • Dimensions (wxhxd): 13.7 in. x 7.7 in. x 9.4 in.

Benefits of Using a Professional Painter and Decorator

The first and most obvious benefit of hiring a professional painter and decorator is ease of use. Whilst it’s true that most people can decorate to an okay standard, a lot of the time people do not take into account just how time-consuming the whole process can be. For example, if there are any coverings on the walls or ceilings that need removal, they will need to be stripped using a steamer, water and sponge, wallpaper stripper or maybe even a combination of all three. More often than not the surfaces underneath the wall coverings will need quite a lot of preparation work to bring them up to a level that is suitable for painting or the application of more wall coverings. A professional painter and decorator will have stripped wall coverings off numerous areas though out his career and will be able to remove it in a fraction of the time it takes a novice. A professional painter and decorator will also know exactly how much preparation is needed to any particular space, to make sure the required finish.

Another benefit of using a professional painter and decorator is the finish that they can produce. As I have said before, most people can decorate to an OK standard but if you want the space to look as good as it possibly can, there is no substitute for a professional decorator. among other things a professional decorator will have all the tools required for pretty much every eventuality and will also have the knowledge and know how that’s required to produce a finish that not only looks great but can also produce a finish that will last.

Price can also be a major reason when deciding whether to enlist the services of a trained professional painter and decorator. Although it can seem tempting to do your own decorating work yourself, there are a few things that should be kept in mind when considering cost. For example, the paint that is available to buy at a DIY store, is more often than not of inferior quality to the materials a professional painter and decorator will use. A lot of the time a professional decorator will have a heavy discount with the paint manufactures which can bring the cost of using professional quality products nearer to that of the none trade paints available to the general public. It is also worth noting that if you do decide to do the your own decorating, you will have to purchase all the tools required to complete the job, where as a professional decorator should already have all the tools he needs, thus bringing the cost down even more.

How Often Should You Clean Your Chandelier?

Chandeliers serve as effective centerpieces for small and medium-sized homes. They are known to add an elegant and radiant glow to the rooms where you wish to hang them.

However, at some point, your lighting fixtures can lose their shine and allure, because of many factors. Layers of dust that accumulate on the crystals, and grime from other airborne pollutants may significantly reduce its shine.

When this happens, it tells you it's time to clean them. The frequency of cleaning a chandelier depends on the fixture's type, location, and the shape of the crystal. However, many chandeliers suffer from neglect, and because of their intricate designs, many individuals often resist cleaning them until it's absolutely, positively necessary.

How To Safely Remove Dust From Your Chandelier

If your chandelier is soaked with dust and other stuff like cobwebs, you need to clean it before a special occasion comes, because when you might be in a hurry, it could cause you to drop some crystals or totally damage the fixture. Clean your chandelier before the big event and it will be ready when you are.

There are two methods to doing this. The choice pertains to the way you clean the fixture, and you decide whether to wet clean or dry clean it. If you have an ornate chandelier or one that's too high too clean, you may end up having to wet clean the fixture.

Steps To Take Before Cleaning A Chandelier

Before beginning to clean your ornate lighting fixture, follow standard safety practices. First, you need to turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker box, to prevent electrocution. Second, set up a light that's plugged at another outlet on another breaker switch, and move the table away.

Third, bring in a ladder that is tall enough so that you do not stand on the last two steps. Fourth, place a piece of plastic on the floor to catch any drips. Lastly, put a washable, soft, double-folded blanket on the floor just in case any crystals fall.

How To Wet Clean a Chandelier

In effectively wet cleaning your lighting piece, preparation is the key here. Take the time to do all the steps properly:

– Cover all bulbs with small plastic sandwich bags and secure with a rubber band.

– Following the instructions on an ammonia bottle, make a cleaning spray of ammonia and distilled water; it is advisable to use distilled water over tap, as this will not leave a residue on crystals. Follow up by spraying the chandelier with plain distilled water to rinse. Or, you can purchase a special chandelier cleaner.

– Spray the chandelier thoroughly to clean off dust and dirt and allow cleaner to drip off, or follow the directions on the product.

– Some crystals will have to be wiped by hand.

– Let The lighting fixture dry for one to two days before turning the light on again.

Follow the manufacturer's recommendations

If you have a particularly fine chandelier, you should contact your favorite lighting center or where the fixture was purchased to inquire about how to clean it properly. Or if you're not sure, always ask a lighting professional. However, many will recommend a spray cleaner or individual hand cleaning. If you have any concerns at all, hand or dry, cleaning is always the best choice. – Golden Age USA

How Do I Get Spilled Coffee Out of My Mattress?

Isn’t it nice to sip steaming hot coffee on your bed on a lazy morning? It is indeed nice until you spilled it on your mattress. This calls to mind an emergency situation.

Unlike clothes, when you spill coffee over it, you can just dump it in your washer. You cannot just do that with your mattress. Also, you cannot just wash the mattress under running water as it is imperative to keep it as dry as possible. Getting it wet can cause mold formation and you do not want that additional mattress problem.

First things first, you should wipe the excess liquid. Use a paper towel or a clean cloth to absorb the moisture inside the bed. Chances are, ants will find its way to your mattress too if you do not clean it immediately.

After that, get put a few teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of white vinegar and mix this with 4 cups of water. This will serve as your cleaning solution. The next thing you should do is to get a clean towel. Soak the towel in this solution and wring out the drippy moisture. It should just be damp enough to wipe on the surface of the stained mattress.

Use the towel and blot out the stained part of the mattress. You can also place it on top of the stained area, give it a bit of rub to help the solution penetrate and clean out the stain. Leave it on top of the mattress for an hour. This should be enough to get rid of the stains.

After an hour, lift the towel off the mattress. If it is still damp, sprinkle baking soda to help dry up excess moisture. Leave it there for 15 minutes. Afterwards, get a vacuum cleaner and clean the area. Leave it in a sunny place to dry completely or direct your electric fan to the moist area.

This should help remove the stains from your mattress. Coffee stain is not too difficult to get rid of if you are using white vinegar. You can even use this cleaning solution to clean your coffee maker if you want. This helps a lot in removing discoloration and other what-nots.

The next time you have a coffee emergency cleaning situation, try this method in cleaning your mattress. It is a no mess and a no fuss way of cleaning. It beats having to stop by at the convenience store to buy cleaning products.

Tungsten Rings For Holiday Gifts

With the Holiday season rapidly approaching, many companies are beginning to restock their popular items to ensure there will be no customers receiving the out of stock notice. Most of these companies consist of electronic, toy and clothing retailers however jewelry retailers are also a popular seasonal item. Along with the approaching holidays also comes the harsh fact that the economy and retail sales are down in comparison to subsequent years making retailers keep low prices to ensure an affordable sale. With Platinum, glad and diamond prices being at an all-time high regardless of the economy many couples, married and not, purchasing alternative metals as their fashion pieces. Out of these alternative metals Tungsten Carbide makes a wide choice for those that want a durable metal while having a wide diversity of ring style to choose from. With Christmas being a time to purchase something for someone who wouldn’t normally purchase a ring themselves, a unique ring style is usually the way to go. A few fashionable categories below will briefly describe what a customer can find this holiday season.

Tungsten Ring Wood Inlays: Tungsten wedding rings with redwood inlays are a unique fashion piece where a genuine wood inlay circles the ring. The wood is protected with a liquid crystal and is completely flush with the ring. Wood inlays can be found on both a flat a dome shaped ring and as always purchase with a comfort fit.

Tungsten Carbide with Genuine Shell Inlays: Shell Inlay tungsten rings are a beautiful eye-catching ring with a colorful shell circling the ring. The genuine shells can come in a multitude of colors ranging from white to black, most commonly found in shades consisting of blues and greens. The shell inlay is ideal for both men and women and can commonly be found in widths ranging from 5mm to 11mm.

Tungsten Celtic Wedding Bands: Celtic tungsten rings, always a popular choice, for both men and women, come in endless design possibilities. From the classic Claddagh ring to Celtic knot work rings, many styles will exist in affordable prices. Many people choose Celtic for the symbolic reference the rings represent.

Black Tungsten Rings: Black tungsten ring is a unique ring that is commonly worn for fashion purposes. The black coloring is a plating on top of a tungsten ring that if worn daily can slowly wear down or scratch. Many people like black tungsten due to the jet black color with a high gloss appearance. Black tungsten can come in many different design possibilities.

Whichever style a customer decides to choose, tungsten carbide will prove to be the right choice for both men and women. Remember to ship with confidence online and look for the secure seal of approval on websites.

Road Trip Partners – Friend Or Foe?

Unless you're going on a road trip with your family – in which case you do not have a choice – the selection of your road trip partner (s) is one of the most important choices you make when planning your vacation.

Road trip partners who seem obvious, like your best friend or your boyfriend / girlfriend, may not be the perfect choices you think they are. Road trips are the litmus test of relationships – you'll find out your true compatibility as your trip progresses. As Mark Twain wisely said, "I have found that there is not any sure way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."

So what do you do? Where to start?

The Right Stuff
Start by choosing someone that you generally get along with in most situations. If you and your best friend tend to have a lot of blowsups and fights (even though you love each other), maybe your best friend is not the right person. My ex-best friend and I went on a road trip together to Block Island that naturally ended our friendship because we bought so much!

Also, make sure the person you're traveling with has the same travel mind-set. If you're all about must-see checklists and running from sight to sight and they're all about chilling out and exploring in a relaxed way, you're probably going to run into trouble.

Your Destination
Whether you're traveling with family or friends, selecting a destination that you're all excited about can make a huge difference. It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people neglect taking the time to sit down and make a group decision either because they're too busy so they just pick whatever destination comes to mind or because they do not feel like dealing with the whole process of meeting and figuring it out (and possibly dealing with some disagreement).

The best way to do this is to make a little party out of it – get some pizza (or something else that appeals) and great drinks (alcoholic or not) and invite your fellow road-trippers over to your place. You'll all be in a relaxed state of mind and this will really help you work out something in an enjoyable way. Be open and listen, but do not settle for anything less than complete and enthusiastic agreement on your destination.

Good Vibrations
Once you've selected the perfect partner (s) and destination for your road trip, make sure to take care of one last and very important piece of housekeeping. If you and your road trip partners have anything that's been bubbling under the surface of your relationship – something that one of you is mad about or there's an irritating quirk that you've been ignoring – now is the time to bring it up.

Why not just blow it off – it's been this long, right? Well, a road trip is a lot like a pressure cooker and a problem with your relationship is like a break in the seal of that pressure cooker. All that time together with very little personal space in the car, driving for hours and getting tired, and occasionally getting lost and upset are all realities of road tripping (along with all the fun, laughter and bonding you'll be having on your vacation ) You put that problem (break) inside the intensity of a road trip (pressure cooker) and something's going to blow!

Sit down and gently talk it out. Never talk about the problem with anyone other than the person with what you have the problem as this will drag the other person into it and make the whole thing worse. Talk from an "I" standpoint – "I do not like country music that much, and I know you love it. not "Your country music drives me crazy.

Taking the time before you go to select the right person, pick a destination you're all excited about, and address these potential issues with your traveling partners can make a huge difference in the quality of your road trip.