Mandatory Provident Fund

Ideally, retirement means a person retire from their regular career; enter a new life span to review what they have contributed to their profession throughout their early and middle adulthood. When a person entering retirement, they must enjoy the rest of their life, the fruitful harvest gain from their previous efforts and pursuing a new goal with their spare leisure time.

The beautiful picture of retirement can only be achieved if you are being protected with a good retirement protection, such as provident funds or personal savings. Without these schemes, I am afraid the retirement will only be a start of a nightmare. In fact, before the implementation of the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme, only about one-third of the workforce of 3.4 million people have some form of retirement protection.

Contribution from the advancement of education level, numerous breakthrough in the medical treatment, modern technology to combat the natural disasters and so on, Hong Kong ‘s population are living much larger than before, but also getting older in a fast tempo. Nowadays, already ten percent of our population is aged 65 and above. By 2016 the proportion will be 13 percent and one senior citizen in every 5 people by 2035.

Unless some way is found of funding the welfare and health needs of the growing population of elderly, a massive burden will fall on the shoulders of the taxable working population. Their wages will be heavily taxed to meet the demands. Without sufficient financial resources, the scarce resources will jeopardize the well medical services and welfare we are enjoying now, something must be done to cope with the predicted situation.

The Pathway to Retirement Protection—Mandatory Provident Fund

The World Bank have outlined a framework of the protection for the elderly, so called ‘three pillars of old age protection’. This recommended that old-age programs should protect the old and also promote economic growth. The three pillars recommended by the World Bank are

Mandatory, privately managed, fully funded contribution scheme.

Publicly managed, tax-financed social safety net for the old.

Voluntary personal savings and insurance.

The SAR government is operating a Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, which provides basic social security to the needy, and after much debate it was decided in 1995 that the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme should be introduced, there was considerable argument as to the best system for Hong Kong. With the introduction of MPF, complemented by personal savings, Hong Kong will have in place all the three pillars for old age protection.

Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme Ordinance requires all employees (irrespective of their status as a temporary staff or part time worker) and self-employed persons to join a MPF scheme under which contributions will be saved for retirement. The ideology is to ensure people are adequately provided for upon reaching retirement age.

Employer and employee each pay 5 percent of an employee’s monthly salary into a privately run pension plan. The MPF law gives an employee a range of investment choices under an employer’s MPF scheme. Generally speaking, without other circumstances, the member can only collect the lump sum of the MPF benefits when they attain the retirement age of 65.

Problematic MPF?

Mandatory Provident Fund scheme which starts in December 2000, this scheme represents a starting point for forcing individuals to plan for their retirement. Besides helping to provide for the retirement needs of millions of people, the MPF is likely to radically reshape savings habits and investment attitudes and it will extend the pension umbrella to the remaining two million employed by about 250,000 small and medium sized companies.

Different retirement protection systems have their advantages and disadvantages. After careful consideration, it is generally accepted that MPF best suits Hong Kong’ needs, but as we know, no system is prefect, MPF is no exception, this controversial policy have drawn many criticisms.

Libertarians claim the system run contrary to the Hong Kong spirit, as individuals and firms are coerced into savings decisions they are better placed to make alone.

Other claim many workers with high mobility are able to avoid taxation by frequently changing employment and a lack of information about them would make it difficult to capture them in the MPF network.

Many more criticisms and oppositions have also targeted the MPF, in the following paragraphs; I will divide it into different aspects and analyze these criticisms and oppositions, so that we can get more detailed picture about this far-reaching policy.

Protection for all?

MPF is adding a pillar for our retirement protection; if it is true, it will consolidate the foundation of an enjoyable retiring life and the retired people are no longer worrying live under poverty. In fact, will it really protect all future retired people in Hong Kong? It seems to be the most challenging questions and controversial part of the MPF policy. Will the scheme really protect the elderly, unemployed, housewives and so on? I will divide the question into four parts—high income group, low income group, no income group and young, middle and old aged worker to look for the answer for the above questions.

High income people

Before we consider who will benefit the most from the scheme, we should know what you get out of the scheme depends on what you put in. As a result, low-income workers will enjoy less protection than the higher paid worker.

Many high-income people are working large companies and occupying the middle, high or senior position. Since they are specialized in their relevant profession and they possesses some kind of expertise knowledge in their working field, their bargaining power in the labor market are relatively higher, so their companies and organization will provide them many welfare and special allowances in order to lure them staying in the company. Nearly all of them will enjoy a pleasant retirement even without the implementation of the MPF, since many of them have significant amounts of personal saving, high value property or investment and existing pension fund.

Now the MPF has been implemented, both employers and employees will have to pay a minimum contribution of 5% of relevant income, this group of people seems to be much protected and secured from the policy.

Low-income people

As the points illustrated above, low income workers will enjoy less protection than the higher paid because what you get out of the MPF scheme depends on what you put in.

The greatest untruth of the MPF is that a gross 10 percent deduction from salaries, capped at a maximum income of $20,000 a month can make a meaningful dent in funding old age. This mandatory contribution level of the scheme is a good basis to start with, but it is not enough. People will need to pay more to get a better life in retirement. A simple example will illustrate more about the concept, for example, a young man who starts to pay into an MPF plan at 20 years old with an average income of HK$15000 per month. Assuming the investment grows with 5 percent inflation, after 45 years of contributions, he would receive just HK$771429, that would leave him just HK$4300 per month for the 15 years after retirement, if we assuming he die at age 80 (the average life expectancy in Hong Kong).

We should remember most low-income workers are earning only around $10000 or below per month. After many years of contributions, they would receive just around $2000-3000 a month. Also due to their income would merely cover their monthly expenses, they are without personal savings, their retirement may not be funded in a pleasant way, the effectiveness of the MPF scheme may not create a beautiful picture for this group of people.

The MPF scheme not only can’t provide an effective retirement protection for them, but also create some difficulties and hardships for them. Some unscrupulous employers are avoiding pay extra for the Mandatory Provident Fund scheme by slashing wages and making their staff become self-employed. Many of these problems came from the catering and construction industries.

Since Hong Kong are still recovering from the 1997 Asia financial turmoil, the most hard hit industries (transports, catering, restaurants, construction, manufacturing) are still struggling, most low income workers are working in these sectors (an estimated 500,000 people are working in the construction and catering industries, which account for about 17 percent of the total workforce in the SAR). Some employers were ‘playing tricks’ to avoid their financial responsibility because the MPF is an additional cost for these employers. They only cut staff salaries to save costs rather than taking risks to breach the law.

Some restaurant owners treated part of their staff wages as special allowances instead of basic salaries in an attempt to lower the employers’ contribution. Others effectively cut salaries by imposing an unpaid holiday arrangement on staff. Some construction firms had changed staff into self-employed contractors to avoid responsibility. The affected construction workers would no longer enjoy the benefits of MPF or other staff welfare scheme.

Transport employees are also affected by the scheme. A survey conducted by the Container Transportation Employees General Union members found 86 percent had experienced some reduction in pay and benefits by employers using the MPF as the reason. The cutbacks include reducing pay and benefits such as bonuses, travel allowances and telephone payments, signing new contracts that waive past years of services without compensations. They were forced to register as a business so they have self employed status. Since it is very difficult to find a job in the current climate, so they have to accept the new arrangement reluctantly in order to survive.

All those unscrupulous employers are not only exploiting these low-income workers they are also undermining the effects of the SAR government to build a provident fund system for Hong Kong.

We can see clearly the long-term benefits are far from the low-income workers, but the immediate negative consequences they should face now, so there is no doubt why the most opposite voice are coming from this sector.

Protection for Young, Middle and Old aged People

The benefits from MPF not only depend on the salary input, but also depend on the choice of funds. The choice of fund may be greatly influenced by the age of employee and what you can collect after retirement. For example, a young worker can afford to invest more in high risk, higher reward funds because if markets tank, they have a long time to recover. By contrast, an employee close to retirement cannot afford to risk short-term volatility taking a chunk out of his capital. Young workers seem to be the most benefit from the MPF scheme, compare with the middle or near retiring aged people. The majority of low income earners in their 40s and 50s have no chance of achieving what pension planners call a minimum replacement rate sufficient to fund a pleasant retirement, for example, a man who works for the next 25 years on the median wage of $10000 a month might get only $1700 a month upon retirement, based on commonly quoted return rate of two percent, less than social security assistance for a single person.

Finally, as workers cannot take any money back before reaching 65, and there are investment risks involved. The private sector rather than the government will manage the funds. The MPF in no way safeguards every citizen’s right to the security of basic provisions in life.

No income group

Many people have criticized the MPF scheme which starts in December 2000, neglects the elderly, unemployed and women particularly housewives, since the MPF requires ’employer’ and ’employee’ contribute to the scheme, so the well being of the no income people will not be guaranteed.

MPF scheme as a compromise package that does not serve the well-being of the most vulnerable. There are now 600,000 people over 65 and in 1996, one quarter of people over 60 were living below the poverty line, with a monthly income of under $2500.

Women will also remain stuck in a dependent role under the MPF scheme, less than half of the labor forces coerced by the scheme are women because many are either causal workers or housewives. When they get old, they can only expect to rely on their husband, if they have one or obtain comprehensive social security assistance.

At present, Hong Kong is operating a Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme, which offers basic social security to the needy. With the introduction of MPF, complemented by personal savings and CSSA, Hong Kong will indeed have in place all the three pillars for old age protection. In fact, it is far from saying that the scheme provides an effective retirement protection for all and easily believes the problem of elderly poverty will be eradicated.

Burden for investors in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong acts as a financial center in the world and playing a significant role in the Asia. The implementation of MPF will definitely affect the investors, no matter the multi-national investors, big business entrepreneur, small and medium sized enterprises.

Investors of big business

Big companies in order to recruit the talents from the labor markets, many of them have been offering various welfares for their employees, these including a well-sound pension system. Before the implementation of the MPF systems, many big companies have start selecting their company’s MPF provider. For example, Swire Pacific said the process of selecting the company’s provider began two years old. As one of the Hong Kong’s biggest companies, Swire are operating companies, such as Cathay Pacific Airways, hotel, trading, marine and properly-development and employing 25000 employees, for this kind of big companies, it is important to have a provider with a sound administration system to deliver pension services to all their employees, since employees are the biggest assets for these big business operators.

Large companies appeared to be concerned about their employees’ opinions when choosing a provider, it can reflect large companies seem to support MPF scheme and it come along with their existing pension policy, it seems not to create financial burdens for this kind of companies compare with small and medium sized companies.

Investors of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Coming at a time when small and medium firms are struggling back into the black after the financial crisis, it is not surprising that the MPF is off to a shaky start. There is no doubt that the MPF presents an extra financial burden for companies that work on narrow profit margins when these kinds of companies were badly hit by the Asia financial turmoil. Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) have protested vociferously over the MPF’s introduction, insisting they cannot afford it with the economy still recovering from recession.

Although MPF will extend the pension umbrella to the two million, employed by about 250,000 small and medium sized companies, the financial burden seems to be unbearable for the investors.

For small business investors, they are reluctance to join the scheme is not just about the financial burden. They also resent the time consumed by MPF decision-making and paper work because many of them were far too busy with the day-to-day business of running the firm to take on extra paper work.

How MPF scheme affects the Hong Kong’ economy?

MPF not only will have far reaching effects on the fund-management industry, service providers, but also the general economy. Since MPF is an investment programs, it will increase the pool of institutional funds invested in the SAR, broadening and deepening the financial markets, promoting their efficiency and thereby economic growth, it will bring positive charges for financial market.

On the other hand, some people criticize the MPF scheme will eventually upset the flexibility of Hong Kong because workers cannot take any money back before reaching 65 and there are investment risks involved. This compulsory saving scheme, unable an employee who leaves a company can get cash in a lump sum or use it to buy property or whatever and invest in other areas.

Conclusion

Although it is far from saying that MPF provides an effective retirement protection for all and elderly poverty will be eradicated, it really encourages people to save for their old age. No schemes are perfect, the MPF is no exception, but it is the scheme most suitable for Hong Kong’ needs. Since Hong Kong has a well-established and sound financial services sector. A privately managed retirement system under prudential regulation and supervision is the most effective and secure way offer retirement protection to the workforce. Also under a free competition environment, it tends to increase efficiency and reduce costs of operating the MPF scheme, which will benefit scheme members ultimately.

Nowadays, a large part of the social welfare expenses are spending on the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), in the long run, MPF scheme may reduce the financial burden of CSSA, spare welfare expenses can be spent on other social welfare areas, every citizens will benefit at large.

The scheme may be viewed with some skepticism at the moment, but after people have a chance to see the plan in action, attitudes towards long term saving and retirement should change. Then retirement could be something to look forward to with pleasure, rather than worry. But one things should be bear in mind, our government should also take care of the most vulnerable people in our society as the paragraphs mentioned above, provide them with appropriate assistance, especially the low income people. Only with that, Hong Kong will be a better, fairer society for everyone to live in.

How to Fill Out the About Me Section on a Dating Site

Online dating, you may have noticed has become a very popular way to people. Although it is a good forum to chat and get to know someone before making a decision of rather you want to meet them or not. It can still be difficult to even get to an initial online introduction. To increase your chances of meeting the right person, I have laid out some simple steps that will help you in getting more responses and more perspective dates. And lead to that right person you are perfectly matched with.

Your success in finding a good match for you is going to start with how you fill out your profile, in fact this is going to be the most important step, so take the time to make it as compelling but truthful as you possibly can. Start with the photo. Pick a good recent picture of yourself to post. This is very crucial, most profiles without a photo are going to be passed over. If you do not have a recent photo of yourself, have one taken. Make sure the photo reflects who you are not what you think your potential date wants to see. If you are a mechanic, don’t try to deceive anyone by wearing doctor scrubs.

When filling in your profile be honest. If your not honest about who you are or what you do, your going to attract people that you have nothing in common with, and it all becomes a waste of time for both of you. Be sure to fill in as much information about yourself as you possibly can,avoid leaving blank spaces if you don’t have to. When filling in your interest try not to do as a list, ie; I like swimming, backpacking, camping, etc. There are a million profiles out there that say exactly the same thing. Instead engage in a conversation just as you are actually talking to the person reading your profile. Spice it up a little bit bit don’t over do it. Try something like, I enjoy swimming,and go to the beach every chance I can, I also like backpacking and have hiked miles of trails, Love going camping pitching the tent, roasting the marshmallows,and telling ghost stories. This will make you sound more able to engage in a fun conversation.

Be sure to be specific about the type of person you want to meet, but don’t come off as a snob. For example if you do not smoke and you say sometime like, I can’t stand smokers so don’t even bother trying to connect with me. Even a non smoker who otherwise might be interested in you may be turned off with that type of remark. Try something like; I am not a smoker myself and would prefer not to connect with a smoker, sorry. If physical appearance is important to you, relay that without being arrogant or offending. Something like this is not going to work for you; I am a hot stud and I am looking for a hot blonde bombshell. Try this; I would like to meet someone who shares my interest in fitness, health, and outward appearance.

When you are done with your profile, save it and go back and reveiw it, If there is anything in there that would discourage you if you where reading someone elses profile, it is probably going to discourage someone else also. Edit it until it is a profile that would interest you, if you find it interesting, it’s going to attract the type of person you are looking for if they find it interesting. Once you have your profile just the way you want it, post it, sit back and enjoy all the responses.

The Two Types of Gymnastics Foam Pits: Loose Foam Vs Resi-Pit

Gymnastics safety-pits are a very important training tool. Every gymnastics academy should have at least one foam pit. Gymnastics pits are extremely necessary for optional gymnastics skills and levels. There are two types of gymnastics foam pits, loose foam pits and resi-pits.

A loose foam pit is built into the ground. It is usually 6-8 feet deep. The walls are covered by polyethylene foam that is usually glued to the concrete. The foam that covers the covers the concrete must be over an inch thick to decrease the chance of injuries. The bottom of a pit is lined with thick crash mats or a trampoline bed. Pits with a trampoline bed in it is known as a bungee-pit. A bungee-pit is usually placed a few feet above the pit floor. This allows it room to give without hitting the concrete. If you have a bungee-pit it is still a good idea to have a gymnastics mat in the very bottom in case any bungees snap or someone bottoms out. Once the loose foam-pit is correctly constructed it is filled with foam blocks. Foam blocks are made out of polyurethane and are nonflammable. They come in two different sizes, 6 and 8 inch.

The second type of gymnastics safety-pit is known as a resi-pit. A resi-pit is a pit that is made out of thick polyurethane mats that are covered by polyester vinyl that is extremely heavy duty. The resi-pit is about 32 inches in thickness. The bottom of the resi-pit is made out of denser foam and gets softer as it goes up; this eliminates gymnast from bottoming out. A resi-pit can be used for in-ground or above-ground gymnastics training.

Most gymnastics academies use both types. A loose foam pit is usually used first when introducing a new skill. After the gymnast masters the new skill in the loose foam she will move on to the resi-pit.

Both types of gymnastics safety-pits are a very important part of any gymnastics academy; make sure you know which is best to use in each situation.

Stain Removal in Carpet – Stain Removal Help

Hey guys…It’s been a while since I’ve posted a helpful tip to add to your arsenal of automotive interior repairs I’ve giving here on my blog.

So I thought of giving you a little bit on Stain Removal in Carpet. This is one thing I get a lot of questions for and that is how to get those nasty brown, or black, or even red stains out of the interior carpet of the vehicles I work on on a daily basis.

The trick isn’t to it isn’t really a trick at all, it’s timing and knowledge of what to use where and when. Getting to a spill before it gets a chance to soak in is your best defense against a stain in your carpet. If you spill something wipe it up and soak it up as quickly as possible and then flush with water and soak it up with a towel, or what ever you have at the time. But that’s not always the case and that’s where this little guide will help you, but really if you can wipe spills up a fast as you can and this helps to get the actual stain out later when you have more time.

One of the most common stains I see in vehicles are footprints or skid marks from dirty and greasy shoes. The answer to this is a de-greaser. There are so many different options to use in this situation, but I’m here to make this as simple as possible and effective. Supplies you will need are a couple of white towels, a scrub brush and a mild detergent, like dawn dish soap, a small pail of warm water mixing the soap to 1/4 oz. soap to gallon of water. Dip your brush in the soap and water, scrub the areas lightly with the brush making sure not to soak the carpet then wipe and blot with the towel. Repeat if necessary, wiping and blotting the area with the towel to remove the dirt and grime and the water, you don’t want it to sour later if left wet. If your have a shop vac, use it to suck up the water and to fluff the carpet pile back up to dry better. Place a fan in the vehicle if needed to dry further if you’ve had a bad one.

Now sometimes more then not you will need something a little stronger to get the grease out. I use Castrol Super Clean, the purple stuff. I’ve used Simple Green at times too, and some of the products at some of detail shops I’m at from time to time, so really any good de-greaser will work. Just spray the area with the cleaner, scrub with the brush, then wipe it up with a towel. Now if at all possible flush the area with water, this will help to remove the chemicals from the carpet and will help to preserve the natural look to the carpet. Some of those chemicals are pretty strong and if left can damage the carpet.

Soda pop and coffee stains, are another I run across a lot. Now this one can be booger to get out. A coffee stain if left can do permanent damage to the carpet and at times I have had to just dye the carpet to cover up the stain. If coffee is your problem, here are a few tips, catch the spill as quickly as possible then flush with mild soap and water like before with the grease, but you may have to soak it a little more to get it out. Now if this is an old stain, one thing you can try is hydrogen peroxide. This can be used as a mild bleaching agent. Just pore a little in a cup and with a tooth brush scrub it into the stain let sit for about 20-30 minutes then flush with your soapy water solution. If this doesn’t work, I found a product at my local janitorial supply shop called Perculator, it comes in spray bottle and is primarily a peroxide mix, and works pretty good, but it’s still not a miracle worker. Coffee can be a pain, but with a little luck and timing on this one you can get it out. Now soda pop, if it’s not an orange or red which I’ll talk about in a minute, can usually be taken care of with the warm water and soap.

Food stains can range from greasy french fries smashed in the carpet to dried ketchup, to jelly beans and candy. Most of these can be dealt with with your soap and water. Ammonia can be added to the solution to help cut the greasy foods. Scrape the chunks out with a blunt knife before you get wet this will help to not spread the stain further. Candies might take a little more due to dyes added for color, wash as much as possible to remove the candy, if the stain remains you can try peroxide but like I said there are dyes in some candies that do just that, dye the carpet. Gum is another candy that can be removed with mostly picking it out but the rest might take a little chemical. Goof Off is a good one to keep on hand for a lot of different things, but it works great on gum too. After you pick most of it out just take a little Goof Off on a towel and wipe the rest right out.

Red Wine is sort of a food stain but treated a little different. If it’s fresh flush with cold water and soak it up as much as possible. Try even a little club soda and pore directly onto the stain and soak it up with a towel. This should get most of it. One last trick is an enzyme cleaner, enzymes get right to it when it comes to food stains. They are known for removing food stuff stains, but I haven’t had much luck with red wine though so I’ll talk about it in a minute on getting the red stains out of your carpet.

Now if you have a misfortune and happen to get a blood stain on your carpet then this one needs to be handled with cold water and not warm or you will set the stain. If it’s dried then scrap the dried blood with a blunt knife to get the chunks out, vacuum them up, then scrub the area with cold water and a mild soap. Peroxide can be used to help remove the reddish tint if needed. Then flush again with the soap and water, then vacuum with your shop vac. One other remedy is a blood enzyme, which will eat the blood away. Blood Buster is good one, it’s an enzymatic cleaner designed for bio stains.

One that I deal with upon occasion is pet urine. Talk about nasty…but, hey they have to pee too, just not where we always want them to. This one is one you can go to your kitchen for, vinegar, helps to neutralize the acids in the pee. Supplies for this one are paper towels if still wet, white towels, mild soap and warm water, brush and vinegar. First soak up what you can with if it’s still wet with the paper towels, next take your soapy solution of warm water and soap, 1/4oz. of soap to a gallon of water, dip the brush and scrub the area with the soapy water, blot with the towel and repeat until the stain is gone. After wards pore a little vinegar over the stain and let set for about an hour. Lastly rinse with water and vacuum with a shop vac or dab with towels until mostly dry. If the stain is still there, let it dry, then apply an enzyme. Enzymes work really well for all bio stuffs including urine. The guys over at Petguest have come up with a 100% enzyme concentrate that is made for the elimination of pet stains and odors.

The old melted crayon stain in the carpet….Man what a mess this can be, but believe it or not it’s pretty easy to remove if you have a clothes iron and a brown paper bag. Scrape the majority away with a blunt knife then lay the brown bag over the crayon and with the heated iron, rub it over the bag over the spot. The heat from the iron will melt the crayon into the bag. Just rotate the bag around to keep a clean side down and after a while the crayon will be on the bag not on the carpet. Patience on this one helps, but again if the spot remains try a little chemical like your Goof Off.

Paint is another carpet stain that can give you a bunch of problems. First thing you need to determine what kind of paint it is. If it’s automotive paint then a solvent paint reducer or thinner can be used to remove it. I usually use lacquer thinner, works fast and removes most paint spills. Now if it’s house paint, then scrape off the excess with a blunt knife and pull out the Goof Off, try not to spread it out to much, work small and from the outside in on the stain. I guess nail polish is a paint, but with this one use nail polish remover or straight acetone with a towel, and again work the stain from the outside in so to not spread it out to far.

Now this is probably got to be the worst carpet stain out there. The red stain in the carpet. This is caused by a #40 Red dye that is put in a lot of drinks like Kool Aid and, red and orange sodas. If you run across this one there is only one way to remove it and that’s with a strong chemical. I have found a product that I use on these type of stains and have had really good luck with it, it’s called Red Dye Solution. There are others out there like Red Relief, and Red Out, all work pretty similar. You pore the chemical on the stain, and with a wet white towel and a steam iron you remove the stain. It is a time consuming project and with some luck all of the stain will be removed. Sometimes a little blue hue will be left from the chemical but it sure is a lot better then a bright red stain jumping out at you. But with a little carpet dye over the top and your good as new. You can find these products usually at your local janitorial supply shop or online. I’m working on getting some here on my site, so bare with me.

Stain Removal In Carpetcan be frustrating at times, but there no substitute for a professional. These tips can help and may just save you but if you have any problems or feel that the stain is just a little above your head then don’t hesitate to call an automotive interior repair professional like myself to come in a make your life a little easier. For those of you that are the professionals feel free to post your tips in the comments so we can all benefit from your expertise in carpet stain removal.

A Decorating Poem

Sometimes, you do something, and it makes you want to write about it. Sometimes, the words dance around in your head, forming a poem, or a series of paragraphs. This was one of those times. I re-decorated my living room over the course of a weekend, and the words were just there, waiting to be put on paper. At first, it seemed silly to send this out into the universe, but it made me smile every time I read it, and it, happily, reminded me of that crazy day of decorating. I hope it makes you smile too.

She wants to move the furniture,

On a Sunday afternoon.

It’s always fun to decorate,

But first, she empties the room.

The room looks dull, so she gets some paint,

Decides to tape off a square.

Big and gorgeous, chalkboard black,

Perhaps, she’ll paint a pair?

The paint is drying, furniture is out,

The rug she brings back in.

It’s old, it’s small, but has to do,

Now for the fun to begin.

She pushes the sofa across the room,

Moves the rug at an angle.

Amused, she decides to vacuum the floor,

After finding a fork and a bangle.

Thought she was careful, but not enough,

Looks down at the scratched wooden floor.

No need to fix it, just cover it up,

By moving the rug some more.

The sofa sits on the rug, looking big,

She sits on a chair next to it.

The chair is old, the fabric worn,

And now, she’s gone straight through it!

She picks it up, and throws it out,

With a strength she never knew.

Another chair is quickly found,

Lucky, she has quite a few.

Another chair, another side,

The sofa is moved again.

She stops, and moves it back some more,

some more, then more again!

Decides to have a cup of tea,

To think of lots of things.

Looks at the mess, and dreams of poems,

Of Cabbages and Kings.

Up she gets, and washes her cup,

Determined to finish the room.

She checks the paint, and sees that it’s dry,

Sweeps the floor with a broom.

Brings in a bookshelf, some lamps and a painting.

Pillows, photographs, china and tables.

Arranges flowers and washes the floor,

Straightens the curtains, and opens the door.

The afternoon over, she smiles, at the end.

Her home is now different, but not a penny did she spend…..

Removing Red Stains From Carpet

Probably more people are induced to change their carpet due to unsightly red stains, than those who do so because the carpet is badly worn. This is especially true where there is light colored carpet. In many instances, a homeowner will just try to cover the ugly red stains with an area throw rug instead of having the carpet cleaned. This is sometimes an acceptable or tolerable solution, but perhaps not the best possible one.

Many red stains are difficult to remove. Some may have become permanently fixed and therefore impossible to eliminate, but in most cases, if we understand the source and nature of the problem, we can get rid of the stain.

Red stains are either synthetic or organic. Synthetic stains are usually formed by the color additive FD&C Red #40 which is an azo dye approved by the FDA for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics. Drink manufacturers use it extensively to color various drink mixes especially Kool-Aid, but it is also to be found in numerous other types of food, medicines (like cough syrup), furniture stains, and cosmetics. Organic stains are those derived from naturally occurring substances and products like blood, jams, jellies, tomato and other fruit juices, and condiments.

The first question to be asked before tackling a red stain problem is: What is the source of the stain? If you know the answer to that question, the task becomes much simpler. In any case, when the stain is fresh, time is of the essence. Blot up as much of the spill as you can, immediately. A clean white cotton towel is preferable, but paper towels will do. Be careful not to rub the stain sideways as this may cause it to spread. If you have a wet vac, flood the area with water and then suck up all the moisture you can. This procedure will be most helpful where the stain is derived from natural substances that are soluble in an aqueous stain removal agent.

Stains caused by synthetic dyes are much more difficult to remove without affecting the coloring agents used to dye the carpet fibers initially. In order to achieve this it is usually necessary to apply a combination of chemical solutions to the carpet fibers, and apply heated water vapor to get the dye in solution and transfer it to an absorbent material like a cotton or paper towel. A clothes iron with the setting at moderate heat is usually used for this. Great care must be used, or the color could be bleached out of the carpet fibers, thereby presenting another, and probably much worse problem.

Perhaps the best solution is to call in a professional cleaner who is familiar with the properties of industrial chemicals, and who has sophisticated equipment to deal with this type of problem.

Effective Head Lice Home Remedies Right From Your Fridge

In the many years long before commercial products and treatments for lice were even heard of, head lice home remedies were the answer to eradicating countless households of these pesky critters. While lice are actually very easy to prevent, they can be rather difficult to treat and get rid of once and for all, especially in homes with young children. ere are some inexpensive yet effective home remedies to try for yourself and you will probably find the needed ingredients right in your refrigerator or kitchen pantry:

Almonds and Lime Juice

Grind about 15 to 20 almonds while mixing with a few tablespoons of lime juice to create a paste and apply the mixture to the scalp and hair. Leave in place for about a half hour before shampooing it away and conditioning the hair.

Beer Mixture

Combine beer, basil leaves and about 10 cloves and grind together into a paste. Apply the thick mixture to the hair and scalp and leave in place for about a half hour before shampooing completely.

Lime Juice and Garlic

Mix equal parts lime juice with garlic until a paste forms and apply to the scalp. Leave the mixture on the head for an hour before shampooing and conditioning the hair.

Mayonnaise

Saturate every strand of hair as well as the scalp with mayonnaise, making sure to apply to the roots of the hair. Leave in place for about an hour before shampooing thoroughly. The mayonnaise works by literally suffocating the lice and although it is definitely one of the messiest head lice home remedies, many people swear by its effectiveness. If you are having a difficult time removing the mayonnaise completely, try sprinkling either baby powder or ordinary baking flour onto the scalp to absorb some of it before shampooing.

Vinegar

Mix equal parts vinegar with baby oil and apply to the scalp and hair until both are fully saturated. Leave the pungent mixture in place for at least once hour while covering the head completely with a shower cap. After an hour, shampoo as normal, although it may take a few times to totally remove the baby oil from the hair.

Always be sure to check everyone thoroughly before assuming that any remedy has done the trick as lice can be difficult to totally remove from a household unless you are diligent. Use a special head lice comb designed to make it easier to find both nits and the adult lice. Also be sure to wash all bedding, including sheets, pillows, pillow cases, and blankets in very hot water to kill any lice eggs that are lurking and waiting to hatch.

In addition to these simple head lice home remedies that you can find in your kitchen, remember to teach your children to practice smart hygiene, which means not sharing any of their personal items like brushes or hats or scarves, and also educating them about these harmless but bothersome bugs.

5 Effective Ways to Make Floors Less Slippery

Here are some suggestions on how to make your floor less slippery namely: add a floor coating, Apply safety floor treatment products, try anti-slip adhesive floor tapes, cover floor with large carpet, and refinish your floor.

Floor accidents are difficult to prevent especially in the presence of slippery floors. However, these can be avoided by simply following the safety measures, which are as follows:

Add a floor coating

Apply an anti-slip coating that is intended for floors made of tiles such as in the hospitals, hotels, and even at your own homes. Simply spray an adequate amount on the floor, wash it after, and then allow it to dry. There are products such as the Floor safe Add-a-Grip that has continuously been providing a guaranteed safe floor for about 20 years now. Another anti-slip coating is the WearMax from Global Safe Company. This product is safe since it does not cause any discoloration or erosion on the surface.

Apply safety floor treatment products

Choose from their variety of treatment products that increase amount of friction on the floor. Since not all floors are of the same type, carefully identifying its type is essential, so that the appropriate type of solution will be applied. You can also make your own homemade floor solution using vinegar diluted in two parts of water. Using a mop, apply it on the floor and leave until it has completely dried up. Repeat the procedure at least thrice a week when necessary, so that heavy grime build up will be removed as this contributes to the slippery condition of the floor.

Try anti-slip adhesive floor tapes

To reduce incidence of slipping, try applying safety tips that come in different colors as well as transparent to match your theme. These are made of water-proof materials that can withstand any weather condition. Although very effective, it is not that visually appealing in the eyes of many. This may partially hide the beauty of their flooring.

Cover floor with large carpet

There are types of flooring that are difficult to manage because of their inherent slippery characteristic such as the ceramics and tiles. Experts suggest covering the entire floor with large carpets. This will not only keep you safe, but it also beautifies your home through its various designs.

Refinish your floor

If you have more extra budget in your pocket, refinishing your home is a great idea. You can choose fine sand to create a unique effect, which are polished and applied. If not, you can also have it replaced by other types of flooring such as wood, vinyl, and the likes. However, the downside of this is the exorbitant cost involved.

Everything You Wanted to Know About Carpet Patching (But Didn’t Know Who to Ask)

A patch is one of the most common types of repairs that we do. We use a carpet patch to solve several types of carpet problems where small to mid-sized portions of wall-to-wall carpet have been damaged. People usually call us to patch their carpet when other methods to restore their carpet won’t work.

Common causes of carpet damage that require this type of carpet repair include carpet burns, carpet stains, carpet tears, carpet holes, pet damage (Bad Kitty!), and remodeling as well as worn traffic paths.

We remove the damaged area, and replace it with an identical piece of carpet. When done correctly, it’s normally, but not always invisible to the eye. Depending on the type of carpet you may be able to see the patch, but it will almost always look far better than what we started with.

Reasons why your carpet patch may not look as good as you’d like

* The patch is a different color due to the original carpet fading.

* The patch is new and the area where it’s going is old and worn.

* The patch has a gap or overlap in the seam.

* The carpet is running the wrong direction.

Start with the essentials: carpet anatomy

The greater the damage, the more complicated the repair, so it helps to understand what exactly your carpet is made of so you can assess how far the damage has gone.

Every carpet has several layers below what we can see with the eye. That top layer, which comes in various colors, weaves, heights, materials, and densities, (and which is the fun part to pick out when you go carpet shopping) is called the pile. The pile is made from many different materials: nylon is the most common encountered in both commercial and residential carpet repair, because it is relatively stain- and heat-resistant and doesn’t crush easily.

Most people are familiar with the fact that padding lies below the carpet, which helps give it its comfortable feel when you walk on it. This is the bottom layer. Common types of padding include foam (cheap), rebond, frothed foam, slab rubber, waffle rubber, fiber (such as jute, recycled textiles, synthetic fibers, etc.), and in some cases special Berber padding.

Between the pile and the padding is the backing, which is made of two layers and holds the fibers together so the carpet doesn’t fall apart. When the carpet is manufactured, needles are used to push the fiber through the primary backing. It’s then sealed against the secondary backing with very strong adhesive to keep everything in place.

Once you’re familiar with how your carpet is constructed, it’s easier to envision how patching works, even if you’ve never done it before. These are the basics of your carpet’s anatomy, and should help you in assessing how far down the damage has gone, which is an important step in carpet repair and carpet patching.

#1 Carpet Patching Requirement: Carpet Patches!

Just as important as removing the damaged carpet is replacing it with well-matched good carpet. There’s a few different ways to find a fresh carpet patch:

· In ideal situations, the new carpet patches come from spare scraps left over from the original installation. Always save the scraps!

· If you don’t have any leftover carpet from the installation we may be able to steal some carpet from a closet, beneath a radiator or from under a piece of furniture that you never move. (Now you’ll never move it for sure.)

· If your carpet is a relatively common style, a nearby retailer may have a perfect or near-perfect match that you can purchase. (The chances of finding a perfect match are somewhere between slim and none.)

· If you need to patch a significant area that matches the rest of the house (such as several steps in a stairway or a hallway, one great carpet patching alternative is to re-appropriate matching carpet from another room, such as a bedroom. Re-carpeting just that one bedroom means the hallway/stairway still matches the rest of the house, and costs a LOT less money than replacing the carpet for whole common area.

Basic Steps of Carpet Patching for the novice.

1. Removing the damaged carpet: Start by using a straight edge and a row finder. An ice pick or a Phillips screwdriver can be used instead of a row finder. Place the straight edge on the carpet with the groove side down. Use the row finder to separate the nap. Do this by dragging the point of the row finder across the carpet up and down and against the edge of the straight edge.

2. Use a slotted blade knife with a fresh blade. You can use a slotted blade knife (butted up against the straight edge to cut through the carpet without cutting through too much of the nap if you used the row finder properly. The more nap you cut off, the worse the carpet patch will look.

3. Choose a scrap of carpet that’s leftover from the original installation for the carpet patch. If you don’t have any leftover scraps of carpet then you’ll need to remove a piece from a closet or from under a piece of furniture. Some people try to find a piece of matching carpet at a carpet store but it’s nearly impossible. On occasion we will have the customer buy some carpet from a carpet store that is very close to matching. We then take carpet from a closet to do the patch with and use the new carpet in the closet.

4. Determine the direction of the nap. Carpet lays down more when you brush your hand in one direction than in other directions. It’s incredibly important for proper carpet patching that all the carpet runs the same direction. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell which way the carpet nap runs. All I can say is to keep brushing your hand in different directions until you really get to know the carpet. If you keep at it, you’ll figure it out.

5. Turn the carpet patch over and use the straight edge to cut a perfect patch from the back. If you are untrained, chances are that you won’t be able to cut a perfect patch. (Tip, use a fresh blade in the slotted blade carpet knife)

6. Now that the carpet patch is cut exactly perfect without any gaps or overlaps at the seams it’s time to seal the edges. You can seal the edges with latex or with a glue gun. Just use the slightest amount of glue along both edges so that there won’t be fraying in the future. Not everyone seals the edges but it is highly recommended.

7. The carpet patch is cut to perfection, the edges are sealed and now you’re ready to adhere the carpet patch to the rest of the carpet. The way we do it is to use a special carpet seam tape with an iron or with a hot glue gun. For the beginner I’d recommend using the glue gun.

Cut the seam tape to the size of the carpet patch. Line up the carpet seam tape so that half of it is under the existing carpet and the other half of it will be under the patch.

Use the glue gun to apply a generous amount of hot glue under the seam of the carpet. Slowly work your way all the way around the carpet until you have glued the carpet patch into place. (hint, have a glass of water right next to you for when you get molten hot glue on your fingers. A quick dip will cool it off right away and prevent you from experiencing nearly as much pain.)

When gluing the carpet patch down using the glue gun, pay special attention to the backing. You want to glue the backing down so that it’s butted up just right. Also be especially careful to avoid getting the nap of the carpet pushed down into the hot glue. It’s a mess when that happens and there’s no recovery.

As you glue the carpet together, push the carpet backing down into the hot glue using a carpet tractor. It’s a good idea to put a flat weight on top of the seam for a few minutes as you work your way around.

If you’re a novice, I wouldn’t recommend that you try to use the carpet seam iron to patch a carpet. It takes a skill that doesn’t come on the first try. You can get a better idea by watching the free videos that you can find on the main website.

How Alternative Medicine Can Help With Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction

The Sphincter of Oddi, named after Ruggero Oddi, an Italian anatomist who described this structure in 1887, is the muscle valve that regulates the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the duodenum (beginning of the small intestine). Regulation of the Sphincter of Oddi is accomplished through the nervous system and the blood by special messengers- digestive hormones.

If there is no food in the intestine, the Sphincter of Oddi valve remains closed. Bile is retained in the gallbladder and pancreatic juice is retained in the pancreas. Spasms or blockage of this valve may cause bile and pancreatic juice to back up.

If a tiny amount of bile gets into the pancreatic duct, serious trouble can ensue. Bile can activate digestive enzymes inside the pancreas and these enzymes start to digest their own pancreatic cells, causing pain, congestion, inflammation and even the death of pancreatic tissue. This is referred to as pancreatitis.

The blockages of the Sphincter of Oddi by tumors, large gallbladder stones, or scars after inflammation, certainly need surgery. The number of individuals with these problems is relatively small, but millions of Americans suffer from occasional transient spasms of the Sphincter of Oddi with pain, nausea and bloating. In most situations, their tests are normal and these individuals get labeled with acid reflux disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), stomach flu, food poisoning or other diseases.

Many of those ppersons have type III Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD). According to statistic information, the prevalence of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction in the general population is 1.5%. It can mean that 4.5 million people in the US suffer from SOD.

A lack of proper treatment of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can later cause serious complications like pancreatitis and gallbladder inflammation.

Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction can affect children, women after age 40, overweight individuals and people after abdominal surgeries. For example, statistics show that almost 20% of individuals with pain after gallbladder removal have the Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction.

Why does the Sphincter of Oddi become spasmodic? The answer depends on many reasons if we put into account the very complicated regulation of this sphincter by the nervous system and special blood messengers – digestive hormones. Here are some examples of what can make the Sphincter of Oddi spasm:

• Stress, depression and anxiety

• Poor eating habits such as “eating on the go”, eating while watching television, irregular diets, dieting, fasting and wrong combinations of foods such as mixing fatty foods with starches and sugars

• Drugs, some medication, alcohol and nicotine

• Harsh, intensive and repetitive “liver cleansing”

• Hormonal imbalance such as lower thyroid function or menopause

• “Aggressive” acidic bile with sand, sludge, gallbladder stones and more

Usually we can see combinations of these factors in predisposed individuals with overweight issues, sedentary lifestyles and stress for long periods of time.

The Standard American Diet, which is full of processed and acidic foods (meat, sugars, alcohol, animal fats, white flour, etc.) causes acidity in the whole body. The Standard American Diet leads to acidic conditions in the bile and pancreatic juice as well. The bile becomes acidic and the amount of bile acids in the bile increases as well. Bile acids are very aggressive substances; they irritate the wall of the Sphincter of Oddi causing muscle contractions – spasms.

3-4 liters of mixed pancreatic juice and bile travel through the Sphincter of Oddi daily. Acidification of these fluids makes them very “aggressive,” corroding and irritating for surrounding tissues, particularly the Sphincter of Oddi. Putting into account that bile is a vehicle for removing toxic chemicals such as bile pigments, heavy metals, drugs, medications and poisons from the body, and that bile ducts and the gallbladder often harbor parasites, there is no question that the Sphincter of Oddi is an easy target for irritation. Additionally, alcohol, unhealthy foods, irregular eating and improper food combinations cause chaos in the normal functioning of the Sphincter of Oddi as well.

The most common and prominent symptom of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction is upper abdominal pain. This is often experienced as a sharp pain in the middle of the abdomen right below the rib cage. Pain can be severe in nature, bring people to the hospital and require pain medication. But in many cases, pain may be mild and usually does not need painkillers. Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction are divided as biliary pain and pancreatic pain.

Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Biliary Abdominal Pain include:

• Biliary pain felt in the middle or right part of the upper abdomen

• Pain radiating on the back at the lower tip of the scapula or right shoulder

• Pain accompanied often by bloating, nausea and vomiting

• Pain precipitated by fatty food or alcohol intake

• Pain varying in intensity and lasting anywhere from 15 minutes to 4-5 hours

Symptoms of Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction Pancreatic Abdominal Pain include:

• Pain located in the upper abdomen on the left or right side

• Pain radiating directly through the abdomen to the back

• Pain accompanied often by bloating, nausea, and vomiting

• Pain precipitated by incorrect food combinations of protein/fat/starch/sugar food or consumption of alcohol

Non-drug holistic approaches may be helpful. Holistic remedies for healing of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction Type III are widely used in many countries throughout the world.

The healing program of the Sphincter Oddi Dysfunction type III may include some actions:

• Healing Customized Diet

• Drinking healing mineral water prepared from genuine Karlovy Vary spring salt

• European Whole Body Cleansing through the Restoration of Friendly Intestinal Flora and Colon Hydrotherapy

• Anti-Candida Program

• Acupuncture

• Herbal Medicine

• Nutritional Supplementation

• Chiropractic Manipulations

• Visceral Massage

• Relaxation, Meditation, Hypnosis, Custom Hypnosis CDs

Healing courses of alternative and holistic medicine can be used separately or as complementary approaches to traditional medicine.

The information on this article is presented for educational, informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment and advice of a qualified licensed medical professional.

Online Casino – Entertainment at Its Best

The online casino industry is showing no signs of slowing down. It seems more and more people are trying casino games online every day. The reasons for its vast popularity is simple – online casino players get more for their dollar than visiting a brick and mortar casino. The fact is you would never do that, let alone imagine it. The brick and mortar casinos have one golden rule in place – make sure you have REAL money before entering. Sure some of these casinos offer VIP clubs on certain casino games, most will have a huge progressive jackpot situated on the casino floor and some will even offer luxury prizes like cars and trips. However, for all of this you need to drop cash on the tables first – nothing is free in Vegas.

There are several different reasons why online casino games are soaring in popularity; however one stands out from the rest and that is you get to play for FREE first. Some of the best casinos online offer free game play and almost all allow you to download the software for free. Another reason for its popularity is deposit bonuses, or welcome bonuses. The online casino world is highly competitive and many compete for your attention in the best way they know how – by offering players free resources, free play and even free money.

By visiting an online casino, players can expect several perks including VIP programs. The best part of online VIP programs is most will allow you to instantly join the minute you deposit a small fee. These VIP programs also offer incredible prizes including trips and the chance to exchange points for real cash. So, in retrospect the more you play casino online the more money you can make through a VIP program.

When it comes to casino games, you will find all of your favorites including Blackjack, Video Poker, Keno, Scratch Cards and even massive progressive slots. Jackpots for progressive slots have been known to reach the millions online. The online casino even promotes the winners names and/or photos so you can get a look at their happy faces. The next big perk about playing casino online is the bonuses for just signing up. For example, the best casino will offer you in excess of $1000 FREE for just signing up. This way they start your bankroll for you so you can continue to be entertained. Of course there are terms and conditions before withdrawing any monies. If all the online casinos just threw away thousands of dollars it wouldn’t be the billion dollar industry it is today. This doesn’t mean you don’t win – in fact online casinos success is based on the fact that it does produce major winners. Take the Poker pros for example; pros like Phil Ivey have become millionaires by simply playing poker online.

Finding the best casino online however is where the real challenge lies. Like stated above it is a highly competitive industry and new casinos seem to be popping up every day. If you visit a site like Gold Online Casino first, they can give you some important information first before making a real money deposit. It’s always best to review casino sites first and find out what others may be saying. This way you take the necessary steps by playing it safe first. With online casinos comes the fly by nights just trying to steal your money. Caution is always recommended.

How to Rent Apartments in Charlotte Even With Bad Credit

Though most of the apartments in Charlotte will require you to have a good credit history but with the help of the right sources you can easily get a good Charlotte apartment even if you have a bad credit record.

The beautiful city of Charlotte is not only the biggest city in the state of North Carolina but also the seat for the chamber of commerce as well. Over the years this particular city has proven itself to be amongst the most ideal places to live in America. the city is already is home to around 700,000 people yet continuously attracting not only tourists but also other people planning to settle in here. This is so because of the city’s economic growth, employment opportunities, and cultural heritage and last but not the least the city includes some of the safest neighborhoods to live in with a family. But buying apartments in Charlotte can be expensive so the best possible means to live in this city is go for the Charlotte apartments for rent.

There are plenty of good apartments in Charlotte that not only gives you job proximity but also are easy to get on rent with all the amenities to make your living a comfortable one. You can easily get Charlotte apartments for rent but it would be easier if you don’t have a bad credit record or record of any broken lease. The landlords of the Charlotte apartments mainly run this type of background checks before choosing the right tenant only to keep a safe neighborhood and also to follow the housing laws for tenancy as well. So if you have any flaws in your credit record or rental history you may be denied by the apartments leasing managers. You can be approved for tenancy only if you go for the no credit check Charlotte apartments for rent.

But you need not to worry even if you have a bad credit history as you will surely get plenty of good Charlotte North Carolina apartments for rent where you will get a chance to explain your situation to the leasing managers or the landlord even after running a background check over you as it is a standard procedure before leasing apartments in Charlotte city. But it can tricky as well and apartments like these or apartments with no credit check can be difficult to find too. But there are certainly a few places where you can look for if you are looking for a good apartment. They are:

• Cotswold

• The Aboretum,

• Parkdale

• Sedgefield

Usually apartments with no credit checks are a bit difficult to find only for one reason and that is they are not advertised properly in order to avoid drawing the attention of the wrong kind of people. So the best way to find suitable apartments in Charlotte is to seek help of your trusted sources such as family, friends or co-workers. You can also go for the good apartment finders or real estate agents in your area as well.

Another way is to go online to search for apartments in Charlotte that match up your criteria. Though the apartments that you find over the internet may also require you to provide credit records and pass the standard criteria as well. The only way to secure a tenancy is to show your landlord that you not only have a secured source of income but also you are able to pay your rents and bills on time. So if you convince your landlord the validity of your claim and also get out clean of your background checks for criminal records then you can easily get a suitable Charlotte North Carolina apartment for rent.

Top 7 Belly Fat Burning Foods to Lose Tummy Fat and Get Flat Abs

In this article, I want to share 7 top belly fat burning foods to help you get flat abs. I believe that if you incorporate these foods in your diet that you will find it much easier to lose weight. If you don’t you may get less than optimal results.

It is simply a fact that what you eat is the most importan factor in how fast and efficiently you lose fat and weight. This should be your main focus.

Here are the 7 belly fat burning foods you should include in your diet:

1. Eggs – This superfood is a top source of protein and a host of other goodies. Protein helps to build muscle tissue and boost metabolism and can also help to make you feel full for longer and so is a good appetites suppressant. Whole eggs are fine as the yolk has many nutrients you can use.

2. Oatmeal – Rich in fiber this often underrated food helps to keep you full, improve your digestive process, provides a source of good energy and helps you to maintain the necessary calorie deficit to lose weight.

3. Broccoli – This is a nutrient packed vegatable and actually helps to burn off belly fat because it contains phytonutrients. These are elements that help to fight xenoestrogens, chemicals which are common in our food supply that induce more abdominal fat storage. By eating broccoli, you reduce the effect of xenoestrogens on your body.

4. Almonds and nuts – These are sources of protein and lots of healthy fats. You need healthy fats to function properly and to lose belly fat, so these foods are an essential and excellent addition to your regular meals.

5. Low fat dairy – While these foods do not actually induce more fat burning (although they are rich in protein), research shows that a greater consumption of dairy helps your body to get rid of fat through its secretions. This can amount to a few pounds a year so it’s worth noting.

6. Garlic – While this food may not be the best food to eat before a big date, it is considered very healthy. Garlic contains allicin, an element with multiple health benefits which is also said to fight off fats in your body.

7. Tuna – Another rich source of protein and healthy fats for greater metabolism and more rapid fat burning.

Eat these belly fat burning foods regularly and you will see faster results.

Scooters – What Are the Features of a Scooter?

Scooters are quickly becoming a popular choice for cost conscious consumers looking for an economical way to get around town. Scooters have many benefits from low costs to above average fuel efficiency. However, when looking to purchase a scooter there are many features that you’ll either get standard or can upgrade. Here are some of those features:

Front Hydraulic ABS Disc Brakes Scooters can come with hydraulic anti-lock braking system (ABS) disc brakes on the front wheel. Hydraulic ABS disc brakes is a safety system on motor vehicles which prevents the wheels from locking while braking. Providing the best possible brakes to have because they provide the best stopping power.

100 MPG Scooters can get up to 100 miles to the gallon. While this may occur with the newer and higher end models, this kind of gas mileage makes this scooter very fuel efficient and economical. This vehicle is the perfect alternative to cars and motorcycles to save on gas and keep extra money in your pocket!

Electric Start / Kick Start Most scooters come equipped with an electric start. The electric start starting system makes starting simple for anyone. They can also come equipped with a kick start. The kick start can also be used at any time.

4-Stroke Engine Gas motor scooters come equipped with up to a 250cc 4-stroke engine. These engines typically have the ability to go up to 55 miles per hour (MPH). With an engine this size, there is enough power for two people to ride.

Fully Automatic Transmission Scooters also have installed a fully automatic transmission. Operated by the simple to use ‘twist & go’ throttle acceleration in other words with a fully automatic transmission there is no clutch or gear shifting at all.

Storage Most scooters come equipped with a large storage compartment located underneath the seat. This extra storage can be used to put all your items that you would normally put in a car glove compartment. Other storage may include a detachable rear storage trunk to put bigger items such as a briefcase, laptop, or luggage.

Scooters come equipped with many features including front hydraulic abs disc brakes, fuel efficiency of up to 100 mpg, electric start / kick start, a 4-stroke engine, fully automatic transmission, and storage space.

The Pros and Cons of Fluorocarbon Line – Ultralight Fishing

When it comes to ultra light fishing, one of the most important pieces of tackle is the fishing line. It can make the difference in catching your limit or going home empty handed. I think that Fluorocarbon Fishing Line has many great benefits but you need to consider the Pros and the Cons. Below I compare fluorocarbon line to the more popular nylon monofilament line.

The PROS of fluorocarbon fishing line:

1) Invisibility – The refractive index of fluorocarbon is close to that of water, making it just about invisible in the water. This, of course, is very important, especially in clear water. Nylon monofilament, on the other hand, is more visible underwater.

2) Abrasion resistance – Fluorocarbon line has superior abrasion resistance when compared to nylon mono. Abrasion resistance is the capacity of the line to withstand wear due to friction, rubbing, or scraping.

3) It sinks – Fluorocarbon is denser than water, making it sink (unlike nylon). This is great when fishing deep. It reduces (or eliminates) the bow/arch of the line which is caused by it floating.

4) Doesn’t absorb water – Fluorocarbon has a closed cell structure that does not absorb water. Nylon monofilament absorbs water which weakens it.

5) Low Stretch – Fluorocarbon is stiffer than nylon making it have lower stretch and higher sensitivity to fish bites. With low stretch line you can feel every little thing that is going on at the end of your line.

The CONS of fluorocarbon fishing line:

1) Manageability – Fluorocarbon line is a little harder to manage that nylon line due to the stiffness and higher memory. This makes it tougher to use on spinning reels. Since fluorocarbon manufacturers are constantly improving their lines, I don’t think this will be an issue for too long. There are already fluorocarbon lines that are softer and have lower memory.

2) Knot strength – Fluorocarbon is *supposedly* not as good with knot strength as nylon monofilaments. You have to take the extra care to tie your knots well (as with nylon). Some of the higher end fluorocarbons actually have a better knot strength than nylon monofilaments, so those lines do not belong in the “cons” section.

I personally think that the benefits of fluorocarbon fishing line outweighs the negatives. The higher quality premium fluorocarbon lines almost completely fixed the negative problems associated with it. I know that I will definitely consider fluorocarbon lines for ultralight fishing.