5 Flatshare Rules: Create a Contract With Your Flatmates

Living in a flatshare is a great way to meet new people and save money on living expenses. However, some tenants have had problems with their flatmates such as space invasions, noisy nights, messy situations, and more. You can avoid all of these problems by meeting with your flatmates and laying out some rules on paper. Lay out the rules together and have everyone involved sign the agreement.

1. Security

Safety should be number one on the agreement. It’s vital for everyone. Flatmates must lock the doors when leaving the property, even if it is just down the street. If you open a window make sure it is locked when you close it. Protect your house keys. Don’t let others borrow them. It is way too easy to make copies.

2. Food and Drinks

Everyone buys their own food and drinks and labels them. If it’s not labeled; it’s up for grabs. That will ensure flatmates label their food and drinks. Assign refrigerator shelves, cupboards and drawers in the kitchen for each mate. Yes, you should put this in the agreement too. It’s hard to argue about something you agreed to earlier with your own signature.

3. Noise

Set a noise curfew for everyone in the apartment. Generally, 10 at night is a good time. A noise curfew means that no loud noise will be made after the agreed upon time. This includes loud music, loud guests, etc. Agree upon a time and write it in the agreement.

4. Cleanliness

There are two general types of space in a flatshare: public and private. Public areas are usually the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If you make a mess clean it up right away. Flatmates should not have to clean up after each other. It’s inconvenient and annoying. All public areas need to be kept clean. Private areas should also be kept clean. Filth can lead to pest problems that no one wants. Chores will also need to be outlined in the flatmate agreement. Write down who will do what and when. General chores include dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and washing dishes.

5. Space

Flatmates need to respect each other’s space. Designate the apartment’s space for each flatmate. What is not designated is public space. A flatmate should use her own space and no more.

It would be wise to invest in an attorney to have a professional meeting with you and your flatmates, and to have him write up the contract for you. Your contract will be in writing, signed and written by an attorney so you and your flatmates can enjoy your stay together.

Mold and Your AC Unit

Mold is organic and is an important part of our our world. It is everywhere we go whether indoors or outdoors. It plays a very important part in our world by breaking down dead organic matter such as wood, paper, grass cuttings, leaves, decayed trees, plant cuttings and other things of nature. It does not belong indoors and should be limited. If given a chance, mold likes the drywall in your home also. You ask why, drywall has paper on both sides and is conducive to grow mold when moisture invades during a water leak or flood. It grows in your A/C Unit because there is a wet environment by the A/C Coils. The A/C Coils are a vital part of your air conditioning system. This is the area which takes water out of the air in your home. If it is not kept clean, your system will not work efficiently.

Poor quality filters can cause your A/C System to fail over time. We have seen this in many homes that were inspected and the homeowner didn’t even know it existed. The extra stress placed on your system by blocked airflow due to dirt can cause your system to fail and grow mold on the coils. This stress on the A/C System can cause your blower motor to burn out and not cool the house efficiently.

As the A/C cools your home, it dehumidifies the air. The dehumidified water then drains off of the A/C Coils into the A/C drain pan and then runs out the A/C Drain line. There is always slime mold in your A/C Drain Pan. This is what causes a water backup in the unit. The mold and algae builds up and then finally stops up the A/C drain line. Some individuals put special antimicrobial tablets in the A/C Drain Pan to help suppress this growth. Special care must be used when using these tablets, some people are allergic to their ingredients and must avoid using them. The drain line should be monitored on a regular basis. Minimum checkup time is every 6 months. Look for the exterior location of the A/C drain line to see if it is draining properly.

Maintenance is important regarding your A/C or you can guarantee there will be a water backup or a leak if you do not. Have you A/C Contractor install an auto cutoff switch before the A/C Unit starts to leak. This is a good precaution to prevent a flood from you A/C Unit. If it starts to back up, call a proficient A/C Contractor that understands the importance of Indoor Air Quality. If you are not handy, consult with your A/C Contractor regarding a Maintenance Contract to take care of your A/C Unit. A/C leaks are the number one reason why mold grows in the A/C Closet. Sometimes we see it go undetected for 6 months and cause substantial damage. One of our clients was forced to move out while half of their 1st Floor drywall was removed and remediated for mold. It is not a good picture. Remember, maintain your A/C Unit and it will cool you for a long time.

Keeping the system clean is the filter’s job. The average filter that comes with the unit is not a good quality filter. It is a typical factory filter. Using poor quality filters can cause results like mold growing on the coils. The cost of having a service call to clean or change the coils in your A/C System would pay for the high quality filters of at least 5 years. Using a fiberglass filter gives you minimal protection for your A/C System. The factory filter also gives you minimal protection from the elements in the air.

Our general rule is: Hold the filter up; if you an see through the filter, it only gives minimal protection from allergens, dirt, dander and mold spores. Our minimum recommended filter is a Merv 7 Pleated Filter. Look at the product label and find the MERV rating. They are available in Home Depot, Lowe’s or your local hardware. As always, check with your A/C Units manufacturer to see if it the filter will void their warranty. This can be caused by using some of the too efficient pleated filters which can cause high arrestance of a Merv Rating. This high arrestance will cause dirt to bypass the filter and clog up the coils. We see this all the time. Remember, the filter company’s only want to sell their filters and make money. I personally use Home Depot’s “NaturalAire” Standard which is rated at Merv 8. II’m happy with the results of this filter. The only difference is, I change the filter once a month and recommend everyone to change your filter once a month to minimize exposure to allergens.

The Merv Rating stands for: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It is a test by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers. (ASHRAE) The number is so the consumer can compare filters. The higher the number, the more efficient it is.

Tips on A/C Maintenance

1. Most A/C Systems over 5 years old need to be serviced on an annual basis.

2. Routine maintenance can double the life of your unit and save you money.

3. Health risks can be dramatically reduced by proper system maintenance.

4. Energy costs will be lower by maintaining the A/C Unit.

5. Ducts should be inspected every 3 to 5 years for possible deterioration, contamination and leaks.

The Best Way To Refill Portable Paintball CO2 and Compressed Air Tanks

Without a commercial paintball field, back yard woodsball players are often faced with the dilemma of where to get their air tanks refilled. While paintball guns are powered by portable CO2 or compressed air tanks, these must be refilled often for continued play. Depending on how close you live to the nearest air tank refill station, your ability to play as often as you want may be extremely limited. Caught up with the excitement of the game, most players don’t think to check tank refill availability until after they’ve already bought their equipment – only to find out they won’t be able to use it as much as they want.

Fortunately, with a little ingenuity and creative thought process, the question of how to refill your paintball gun air tanks can be less daunting. If you find there are no filling stations for your portable CO2 or compressed air tanks in your area, you can always buy your own refill equipment, however this is the most expensive route. Before doing this, check a few non-paintball related sources for potential tank refills that may be in your area, just waiting to be discovered.

Whether you bought your paintball equipment from a local establishment or an online store, the paintball gun air tanks come empty and must be filled. The first places to look for filling up your paintball air tanks are established refill stations in/near your community. Walmart used to offer a CO2 tank refill/exchange program and this was very convenient (as it seems nearly everyone lives somewhat close to a Walmart somewhere), however they stopped offering this several years ago.

Other known establishments that fill portable CO2 or compressed air tanks for paintball guns are Dick’s Sporting Goods and large hunting gear stores, such as Cabella’s and Bass Pro Shop. If you live close to a commercial paintball field that rents out guns and supplies, often these establishments have equipment that can refill paintball air tanks as well. Companies such as these charge nominal fees for this service (usually less than $5/tank) and this is the easiest and cheapest way to refill CO2 or compressed air tanks.

If you don’t have a commercial paintball field in your town or live close enough to one of the large hunting or sports gear stores, there are a few other places to check. First look for a paintball supplies store to see if they offer a tank refill service or at least know where to go. Unfortunately, these shops are even harder to find than commercial fields as most paintball equipment is bought online, however it’s worth checking. Sometimes local gun shops will offer portable air tank refills as they may also sell paintball or airsoft equipment. They may also know of where to go if they don’t offer the service.

If these sources are barren, there are other places to look however may require a small investment of your own refill station equipment. Whether you use CO2 or compressed air, you will need a bulk tank and a cylinder refill station kit. Refill station kits include the air line, fittings and valves needed to transfer air from a larger tank to a smaller portable tank. Keep in mind however, CO2 tanks and refill kits are different than compressed air tanks and refill kits and generally cannot be mixed and matched.

Remember, if you’re going to set up your own paintball air tank refill station, you will still have to find refills for your bulk size tanks as well, however this is generally easier than finding refills for the small, portable cylinders used directly on your marker. If you choose bulk size tanks and equipment to refill portable CO2 cylinders, the smallest size bulk CO2 tanks range from 20 lbs. and up to 35 lbs.; these tanks look like scuba tanks and can be bought online at paintball shops that sell equipment for commercial fields.

Another great source of bulk CO2 tanks are companies that sell welding supplies. These groups are also usually the first place to look for refilling bulk size CO2 tanks. Sometimes welding supply companies will also offer bulk CO2 tank rentals and many times this is even cheaper and better than actual ownership. As an owner of a bulk size air tank, you are responsible for its expiration date and subsequent costs for getting it safety hydro-tested and re-stamped. If the tank you own becomes damaged, you can be stuck with a tank that no one will fill; however rental tanks can be exchanged for new ones with updated hydro-testing safety ratings.

Refilling a portable CO2 cylinder from a bulk size tank is fairly easy and requires a refill station kit and a tank scale. Tank scales are small, electronic scales that will weigh your portable CO2 cylinder so you can see when it gets full. These can be bought at most paintball stores however are not specific to paintball and any digital scale can be used; CO2 tank scales are best because you can hang the portable tank from the scale for easier use. A pair of safety goggles should also be worn when transferring air from the bulk tank into the smaller cylinder.

With all nozzles and ASA adaptors in the ‘off’ position, attach the refill station kit lines to both the bulk tank and portable cylinder to be filled. Open the ASA adaptor on the portable CO2 tank and hang it from the tank scale. First record the weight of the empty CO2 tank, then tare the scale to zero. Open the valve on the bulk CO2 tank so you can hear the gas rushing into the portable cylinder; fill until the tank weighs the correct number of ounces (corresponding to the ounce size of the tank; either 9, 12, 16 or 20oz.’s). For best measures, only fill portable CO2 tanks up to 1oz. less than max capacity; this leaves room for gas expansion due to temperature changes in storage or travel, etc.

Setting up your own refill station for compressed air is a similar set up as CO2, however refilling the portable tanks for your paintball gun is even easier. Just like the CO2 refill station equipment, you will need a bulk size high pressure air tank and refill station kit. Scuba tanks make excellent bulk size compressed air tanks and are commonly available from 30 cubic feet up to 100 and 3000psi. You can buy scuba tanks of this size online or at any dive shop for under $300 depending on the size you want. You can also purchase huge, industrial size bulk compressed air tanks however these can cost upwards of $1000 and (just like commercial size CO2 bulk tanks) are probably most cost effective to rent.

Filling bulk size compressed air tanks is often offered at welding supply and commercial air tank companies, however can be done with any commercial size air compressor. Keep in mind however the size air compressor needed to refill bulk size high pressure air tanks are not the $250 model used to pressure wash your house. The size air compressor required to refill air tanks generally cost between $4000 and $13,000; generally cost prohibitive for the recreational user. Commercial size air compressors can sometimes be found with middle to large size construction companies who may also be willing to help refill your air tanks for a nominal fee.

Transferring air from bulk size compressed air tanks to smaller, portable high pressure air tanks that fit on your paintball gun is even easier than the CO2 refill process. Because compressed air tanks have a pressure gauge, you do not need a scale to weigh them to tell when they become full. Simply attaching the refill kit hoses or scuba fill station to both tanks, opening the valves and watching the pressure gauges will suffice. As high pressure air tanks are not subject to pressure changes with temperature, you do not have to make any adjustments to account for this (like you do when refilling portable CO2 tanks).

Before purchasing an expensive allotment of paintball gear, check your location to see how easy (or difficult) it will be to refill your paintball gun air tanks. Depending on availability, make the choice of CO2 or high pressure air based on what you find. Despite the fact that compressed air is generally better for paintball guns, it’s best to choose which air source you use based on your ability to get your tanks refilled for the most consistent play. With the right equipment and information however, it can be very affordable to become your own paintball gun air tank refill station!

A Guide to Subdivision in Western Australia

Costs Related To Subdividing Property In Western Australia

Please note, the costs and conditions discussed in this article have been written in relation to subdividing property in Western Australia. If you are considering subdividing property in areas outside of WA, II recommend you seek advice from a local town planning / surveying consultant.

The reason for varying costs

There are many different estimates that get thrown around regarding the costs of subdividing land. In saying this, the wide varying estimates are to some valuable valid as every particular subdivision has its own set of unique circumstances.

Below are some indicative costs and discussion as to what it may cost to undertake a typical 2 lot residential subdivision with an existing lodging to be retained. In most circumstances, surveyor's fees will not be too different between a 2, 3 or 4 lot subdivision, however, infrastructure servicing costs will increase.

Sewerage, Drainage & Plumbing

A licensed plumber is usually required to assist with sewerage and drainage plumbing. The discussion below relates to survey strata subdivision where PVC pipes are sufficient. Freehold (green title) subdivisions require a concrete pipe sewer extension to the Water Corporation's sewer mains.

Sewer plumbing costs will vary depending on location and depth of the sewer mains. The position of the sewer connection will dictate how far, if at all, the internal property sewer will need to be extended to service the new lots. If an existing dwelling is to be retained and the existing internal sewer line traverses through the new lot / s, it is likely that the existing sewer line will need to be realigned to within 0.6m of the boundary.

A sewerage connection point will be required for the new survey strata lot / s. In Western Australia, the Water Corporation currently allow this to occur off the existing Inspection Shaft connection.

As the location of sewer infrastructure is site-specific, plumber's fees will vary. In cases where the existing house is to be retained, from my experience, the cost of satisfying sewerage requirements for a 2 lot subdivision is generally upwards from $ 3,000 + GST.

Drainage plumbing costs will again vary depending on site-specific circumstances. The requirement for whether drainage is required is substantially dictated by the property's soil type. Some Local Governments are happy for drainage to be resolved as part of the later building process. It would be unreasonable to provide an estimate for drainage costs as they can vary quite significantly and also significantly depend on the proximate of the Local Government's drainage network.

Water

In Western Australia, the Water Corporation Headworks Contributions is around $ 6,000 (no GST) per additional lot being created. That means 1 x $ 6,000 for a 2 lot subdivision, 2 x $ 6,000 for 3 lot subdivision, and so on.

Power

To install a green power dome (pillar) for a 2 lot subdivision, Western Power charge around $ 1,500 (no GST), around $ 2,000 for a 3 lot subdivision. When creating 4 or more lots, the costs are on a case-by-case basis and can increase quite significantly. This is large due to the fact that the costs are not subsidized like they are for amalgamations and 2-3 lot subdivisions.

Licensed Electrician

If an existing dwelling is to be retained then the power to this dwelling will need to be converted from overhead to underground. An electrician will essentially provide an underground connection between the green dome and the existing dwelling, and also coordinate with Western Power for the removal of the overhead power line. If adjusted properly, the existing dwelling is generally left without power for only a few hours.

Again, the distance from the green pillar to the house and any encumbrances such as hard ground or concrete between the pillar and the house will influence overall costs. In my experience, 2,000 + GST ​​is a sufficient estimate for an underground power conversion for a 2 lot subdivision. For a 3 lot subdivision, a transmission board is required and the costs would generally be around $ 3,500 + GST.

The Battle-ax Driveway

If undertaking a battle-ax subdivision (ie house behind house), then a constructed and drained driveway will need to be provided for access to the rear lot. This may already exist if the driveway for the rear lot will utilize the driveway for the existing lodging.

The majority of Local Governments will allow a battle-ax driveway to be bonded, as they appreciate that it will be damaged by concrete trucks and other heavy vehicles during the construction of the rear lodging. Some Local Governments will 'clear' the battle-ax construction condition if they are provided with 1.5 times the construction amount. If, for example, the cost of the new driveway will be $ 6,000 to construct, then the Local Government will require $ 9,000. This is fair and reasonable as there needs to be an incentive for the landowner to construct the driveway in due course. Upon the construction of the driveway the bond will be released. Alternately, some Local Governments are willing to enter into a legal agreement, which costs in the order of $ 1,500. It should be noted, there is an increasing tendency for Local Governments requiring battle-ax driveways to be brick paved as opposed to concrete / bitumen for aesthetic purposes.

Cash-In-Lieu of Public Open Space

The Planning & Development Act now provides the potential for a subdivision approval condition to impose a monetary contribution in lieu of providing Public Open Space – this is only applicable to subdivisions consisting of 3 or more lots.

This condition has and continues to catch developers out when they least expect it. If a cash-in-lieu of Public Open Space condition is imposed on a subdivision, then to satisfy the condition it will cost 10% of the unimproved valuation of the entire property. For example, on a property with an unimproved value of $ 600,000 the cost to 'clear' the condition would be $ 60,000. It is highly recommended that you research whether such a condition will be applicable for your property prior to embarking on a subdivision for 3 or more lots.

Surveying Related Costs

Surveyor's fees will generally include client liaisons, a site feature and contour survey, the preparation of the subdivision plan, the management of the subdivision approvals process, final pegging, drafting of the Survey Strata Plan and the lodgement of plans with Landgate. As a general indication, $ 8,000 inc GST will be sufficient for a 2-3 lot subdivision including a number of Government related fees which amount to approximately $ 2,500.

Other Miscellaneous Costs

* Tree removal (not a condition of subdivision, but a possible cost if considering selling vacant lot / s)
* Filling in and compact of any water bore on the new vacant lot / s
* Removal of clothesline from vacant lot and erection of new clothesline on house lot
* Fencing is not a condition of subdivision (other property abuts a reserve), but a possible cost if considering selling lot / s
* Removal of redundant crossovers
* Shire contributions such as footpath and / or road upgrading
* Removal of existing garage / carport for existing lodging if located within new lot
* Construction of new garage / carport and associated driveway and crossover for house lot
* For dual coded land (ie R20 / 30), then a cosmetic upgrade may be required for the existing lodging
* Storeroom for existing lodging to be provided
* For dual coded land it is reasonably common that unit designs will need to be prepared and approved by the Local Government prior to subdivision at the higher density code (ie R30 in the case of land coded R20 / R30). In some cases the units need to be built prior to subdivision
* Settlement agent fees for making application for new titles
* Surveyor to assist landowner with managing completion of subdivision conditions
* Demolition of sheds / outbuildings etc – does it contain asbestos?

General Overview Of Total Cost And Time: The cheapest a 2 lot subdivision can reasonably be amended for approximately $ 20,000 (where the entire property is vacant). For a 2 lot subdivision where an existing dwelling is to be retained, $ 30,000 will generally be sufficient. Due to serving costs, it's approximately $ 10,000 more for every additional lot to be created.

The quickest new titles can probably be created for vacant land subdivision is 4 months. In most cases, the process takes approximately 6-7 months where an existing dwelling is to be retained. The developer plays a major role in the temporary time frames as the quicker contractors and Government agencies are paid, the quicker the necessary paperwork can be sorted out and issue of new titles.

How Is Spider Solitaire Different From Other Solitaire Games?

Spider Solitaire is one of the most popular variations of single-player card games. The game is played with two decks of cards. Like traditional solitaire, the goal is to clear away all cards from the table. However, there are some key differences.

First, let’s define some terms:

Tableau – The tableau refers to the rows and columns of cards where most of the gameplay takes place. In traditional solitaire, the tableau is composed of seven columns. Each column contains a single card placed face up atop a stack of face-down cards. Solitaire is usually played with seven stacks in the tableau, but in Spider Solitaire, there are ten stacks.

Foundation – This is where the cards in the tableau are moved to as you proceed through the game. The goal is to get all cards in the foundation area.

Stock – These are the remaining cards that aren’t dealt when setting up the game. When you can make no more moves with the existing face-up cards in the tableau, you can draw from the stock.

Now let’s look at some more differences between solitaire and Spider Solitaire:

Suits – In normal solitaire, all four suits are used. In Spider Solitaire, this may or may not be the case. Most games offer three difficulty levels: Easy (One Suit), Medium (Two Suits) and Hard (Three Suits.) Make sure you are a master of the single suit game before levelling up to the more difficult games.

Sequencing Cards – In both games, players rearrange the cards in the tableau in descending numerical order. In Spider Solitaire, cards must be of the same suit in order to place them in sequential order. This is in contrast to traditional solitaire, in which the sequenced cards must be of alternating red and black suits.

Stock – In the usual solitaire game, players deal a single card from the stock when stuck. In Spider Solitaire, drawing from the stock means dealing a single card to each column in the tableau. This has both pros and cons. The benefit is that you have more cards to work with. The downside is that the cards dealt will go on top of the sequences you have already established, meaning you will have to move some of them out of the way to continue to building upon established sequences.

Difficulty – Spider Solitaire is often considered one of the most difficult of all solitaire games. Depending on how the cards are dealt, many games are impossible to win. In fact, it has been estimated that the most expert players can only win about half the time. Keep that in mind and don’t focus on your score – just concentrate on playing the game as best you can.

5 Common Soccer Training Mistakes Holding You Back From a Soccer Scholarship

If an athlete is hurt, they cannot play in front of college coaches and will never get seen. If an athlete is wasting their time with the wrong training methods, when they do get their chance they will not perform to their potential or above it. There are many resources out there on soccer training of various kinds. Books and DVD’s galore on soccer skills and tactics training and more than a handful about athleticism for the beautiful game. While there are certainly some good resources out there on the skills and tactics side of things, I cannot say I am very impressed with what is out there for the athletic development side and believe me, I have seen a lot of it! In fact the best athleticism for soccer product I have ever seen was the old Ajax (most popular soccer club in Holland) Speed Training Tape Series. They did a tremendous job differentiating between the different types of speed related to soccer. The footage of former superstars like Patrick Kluivert, Dennis Berkamp, Edgar Davids, Marc Overmars, Nwanko Kanu, and Clarence Seedorf was incredible to watch. The physical speed, technical sharpness, and motivation in each exercise they displayed was incredible. Compared to today’s standards their strength training methods are outdated as they used a lot of isolation and machine training but nonetheless, it was a great video.

Old School Ajax, One of the most athletic teams ever

If you are a soccer player, coach, or trainer looking to improve your individual or team’s performance, you are in the right place. The following are 5 of the most common mistakes I see in a soccer player’s preparation.

1. Soccer players don’t play enough small sided

I know we’ve all heard about how the South Americans play street soccer and there is something to be learned there. When I was 15 I started playing pickup soccer and small sided (1 on 1 included) as much as I could and within no time my performance shot up. Its simple- as your skills continue to improve from so much time on the ball in game situations and you become used to being in certain “soccer dynamics” (shielding the ball, finding a free player under pressure, etc), those improvements will transfer over to games and magically you are all of a sudden a better soccer player.

2. Soccer players don’t work on their specific skills enough

Shooting, passing, dribbling, and individual defense all require time spent perfecting them. Europeans spend hours on passing with the right weight, at the correct angle, and to the correct foot. The outside players spend hours perfecting their serve of the ball into the box. Strikers finish and defenders work on getting their long balls to resemble a lazer beam. On tv in the English Premier League they make it look easy because they put in the time when the cameras are off. Sorry but twice a week at club practice aint gonna cut it. You need reps.

3. Soccer players are weak

There are definitely some soccer players out there who are strong, (usually they are the fastest on the pitch), but for the most part, soccer players are far too weak. How does strength help? Well, strength is the foundation on which all other athletic attributes are built on. Strength is highly related to power since the stronger you are the faster you can move a significant load such as your body.

From famous sports scientist and Powerlifting champion Dr. Fred Hatfield:

Elite athletes develop the ability to generate maximum tension in less than three quarters of a second, perhaps even in as little as a half a second. That’s one of the factors that make them so great. They’re able to reduce the amount of time it takes to generate maximum tension.”

Hopefully you realize the importance of getting strong so that you can generate a lot of force. Then it is a matter of getting good at developing that force in a short amount of time specific to the movements of your sport. But if you never have the strength or force to begin with, you will be pissing in the wind!

Another benefit of strength training is that you will also be improving your body’s resistance to injury and its ability to recover.

4. Messed up ankles, knees and hips

Too many players rely on ankle taping. Unless you are just coming back from an ankle injury, it might be a good idea to toss the ankle brace or tape. Your ankle is designed to be mobile and if you take it away by restricting it there, you will have to compensate by finding mobility at the knee. Last time I checked, your knee is designed to hinge, so not a good thing when you increase the chances of your knee twisting and bending other ways.

Lift weights and get your glutes and hamstrings strong (hip thrusts, glute ham curls, good morning and RDL variations, back extensions done properly, etc.) Do some barefoot work or get the vibram five fingers. Finally, do some dynamic movements to improve on your foot stability, balance, proprioception and quickness simultaneously. Low grade plyos work great where you are hopping around on one leg different directions.

5. No Recovery Work

I am always amazed at how many soccer players don’t know that the positive things that go along with training hard occur when you’re not training. You basically damage your body while training, then rest in order to come back better. Rest is when your body repairs the damage and in an attempt to better handle the stress it knows is coming in the near future, it super compensates.

Foam roll your quads, calfs, groin and adductors, tensor fascia latae, and ITBand. Do mobility exercises before each training session and stretch after training to reduce recovery time and restore tissue length.

Sleeping enough in the right environment, eating well, static or dynamic stretching, icing, foam rolling, massaging, napping and contrast therapy if you have the pain tolerance are all great tools. Don’t pass them off!..they are integral to your complete development!

The History of Egyptian Rugs

Looking for an Egyptian Rug?

Finding an authentic Egyptian rug can be a more complicated task than many consumers expect when rug shopping. In the current market, a majority of Egyptian rugs resemble Persian rugs, and very few designs actually depict the recognizable “Egyptian look” that consumers hope to find.

Each year there are only a few rugs and carpets that make it over to the American Oriental rug market featuring the traditional Egyptian style. For this reason, Egypt is unfortunately not described as a rug and carpet producer.

Despite the low quantity of rugs produced, they are viewed as some of the most intricately designed and highest quality rugs on the market.

Why are Traditional They so Rare?

Ancient Egypt artifact recovery digs have found hand looms that date back to 2400 B.C. However, contemporary Egypt weaving styles stem from a much more recent design era.

The most recent style of Cairo rug weaving actually dates back to the 16th century. The rugs woven in Cairo provide beautiful, entrancing color palettes in addition to their unique, ancient design motifs. However, by the middle of the 17th century, Egyptian carpet production seemed to cease all together, and it was nearly impossible to find traditional them anywhere on the market.

Current Markets

Then, post WWII, authentic rug production started up again in Egypt in 1952 as several companies refocused on creating authentic Egypt styled carpets. These companies currently employ thousands of weavers who want to learn the beautiful art of Egyptian rug and carpet weaving.

Still, only a small percentage of the rugs and carpets produced by them actually make it to America.

The Beauty of Egyptian Rugs

Typically, Egyptian or Merino wool or silk is used in authentic weaving patterns. This material is then dyed using synthetic dyes and machine-spun pile. Although the styles include Persian knot-tying and weaving techniques, the graphic design and layout associated with these styles differs from other Oriental rug styles on the market.

Typically, Egyptian designs and motifs feature geometric patterns and intricate floral designs. These designs are very complex and feature a wide variety of colors that can complement any living space.

Are they Worth It?

Egyptian carpets are difficult to find, and they can be rather expensive. However, a rug of this quality and beauty is a great asset to any living space. Though Egypt is not typically well-known for its rugs, the rugs are beautifully well-crafted and depict the best qualities of rug weaving that every carpet producing country has to offer.

Mexican Clothing – The Baja Pullover

Most people do not have any idea what a baja pullover is, but I assure you that you most likely do and by the end of this article you will understand what they are. They are often called baja hoodies because they are a hooded sweatshirt. They are made in Mexico out of what seems to be Mexican blanket material. They are very big and baggy on people and you can always find hippies wearing them. The hippies call them drug rugs.

They have that pocket in the front and 2 strings on the front up by the hood. They are usually made of a few different colors but you can find them in solid colors as well.

Since they are supposed to fit really loose, they come in very large sizes. You can find xxxl hoodies as well xxl sizes at a very few sites online. They are almost impossible to find in any retail store or in any city. The best place to buy them is online and that will end up saving you money anyway. When you buy online you don’t have to pay extra money like you would if you bought them from a store. They are made of acrylic and some of them also have polyester and or cotton. This is good because it means that they do not shrink when you wash them.

They are the perfect sweater to wear to chill somewhere. They come in every color possible to imagine, so you can find exactly what you need.

Buying Carpets – Safe, Hygienic and Cosy Carpet Care For the Elderly

Carpeting the home is a great way to make it welcoming and cosy for elderly people.

Common sense affirms that it’s much less likely that they will slip on a carpet compared to a smooth floor, particularly if there is any wet spillage.

A soft textured surface will always feel safer to an elderly person allowing them to maintain confidence and ease of movement. A smooth floor can cause an elderly person to be cautious and feel uncomfortable.

But it is important to get the carpet pile height and structure right for them; in some ways a long pile carpet can be just as hazardous as a smooth floor. Carpet that is too soft can cause a loss of balance and contribute to a fall.

Installing a carpet with too thick an underlay can provide too soft a feel underfoot leading to unsteadiness and a possible loss of balance.

It is generally accepted and advised that a dense, tightly tufted carpet with a firm, low profile pile will help to prevent trips. It is less likely that shoe soles, canes or walking frames will get caught in a short carpet pile.

The preferred style is a low level loop in a 1/10″ or 1/8″ gauge tuft.

At the same time, selecting a carpet that has a water resistant, rot-proof, gel type backing will go a long way towards easing maintenance and safety issues.

This type of carpet is also well suited to wheelchair use making it easier to operate with less resistance to the wheels. A better resistance to crushing and flattening means it is less likely to suffer from loss of original appearance.

When installing carpet for the elderly, it is recommended to completely adhere the carpet to the sub-floor with the appropriate adhesive. This will prevent the carpet from stretching, which would otherwise cause unsafe bubbles, ridges or rucks.

The other important issue is one of hygiene.

Nowadays synthetic pile carpets are considered the best for ease of cleaning and long term hygiene control. Polypropylene fibre is the least absorbent of all man made fibres, being stain resistant, fade resistant, bleach based cleaner resistant and scrubbable.

Taking care to select the right type of carpet for the elderly and infirm will ensure that there is less chance of a trip or fall so they continue to live in a safe and hygienic environment.

Top 3 Natural Impetigo Home Remedies

One of the best ways to get rid of this contagious skin infection is through the use of natural Impetigo home remedies. The benefits of home remedies is that they are inexpensive and easy to use, since you will be able to find most of the stuff in your kitchen. There are also no side effects with the use of home remedies.

In this article, I will cover the top 3 natural Impetigo home remedies that have been proven to work time and time again. If you don’t have one of these remedies mentioned, then you can easily purchase them at your local health foods store.

1) Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is one of the most popular natural Impetigo home remedies, simply because you can use it to treat the skin infection in two ways. First, you can add Tea Tree Oil to a lukewarm bath and use it to help with any itchiness, burning and heal the rash that way. When mixed with water, it absorbs easily into the skin. Second, you can apply Tea Tree Oil as a paste on the infected area, which also helps heal the skin infection rapidly.

2) Calamine Lotion

You can purchase Calamine Lotion at your local drug store or health foods store. It has been known to help with other skin infections, such as Chicken Pox and Shingles, but it will especially help with Impetigo. You want to make sure that the rash is as clean as possible before applying this lotion. Use an antibacterial soap and make sure your hands are clean. Once the skin is dry, apply the lotion to the skin. You can do this several times per day. This helps with itchiness and will alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.

3) Oatmeal Bath

Another one of the best natural Impetigo home remedies that has been used on various other skin infections is Oatmeal. You can blend up colloidal Oatmeal in your blender or food processor, and then add it to a lukewarm bath. You want to make sure that you soak into the bathtub for at least 20 minutes, with the rash being saturated in the Oatmeal water. Or, if you prefer, you can use a sponge and apply it on the rash that way as well.

If you apply any of these natural Impetigo home remedies, you should notice immediate relief of this skin condition within 24 hours.

The Various Binding Methods for Book Productions

There are several ways of binding books. However, there are two major types of binding, namely the mechanical or loose-leaf binding method and the conventional or permanent binding method. Graphic artists who would want to specialize in book publishing must know these traditional methods of book production.

1. Mechanical or loose-leaf binding method

In this binding method, loose sheets of papers together with the covers are held together by the use of plastic grip spine, plastic comb, post or ring binder etc. Holes are punched at the spine of the collated sheets together with the covers and the plastic or metallic rings are inserted through the created holes to hold the sheets and covers together. The binding processes in this category allow sheets to be removed or added without affecting the remaining sheets. Another characteristic of this binding type is that it opens flat. Examples of binding techniques under this type include Spiral wire, Ring, Comb, Post etc. The process is the same in all the techniques mentioned under it. However, the type of coil that is inserted at the spine edge points out the differences. The general process has been explained below:

Tools and materials: loose sheets of paper, hardboard (covers), trimming knife, bodkin, hammer, universal pliers.

Process:

1. Collate or arrange the loose sheets and covers together.

2. Trim all the four edges of the collated sheets for them to have equal width and height.

3. Punch or create holes of even spacing at the spine edge of the collated sheets.

4. Insert the spiral wire, plastic ring, comb or post binder through the holes and clip it at the back.

5. The book is ready for use.

2. Conventional or Permanent binding method

In this binding method, the loose sheets and the covers are held together by the use of adhesives, staples or thread. Unlike the mechanical type of binding, sheets cannot be removed or added after the binding has been done. Removal of a sheet after the binding would affect the remaining sheets. Examples of binding techniques under this category include Saddle or Single-section stitching, Side stitching, perfect binding and the edition or multi-section binding.

i. Saddle or Single-section stitching

This binding technique employs stitching to hold the loose sheets together with the cover which are folded into folios. The stitching is done in the middle section of the book after holes have been created. It is the simplest and inexpensive technique of binding. It is used for the production of exercise books, catalogues, bulletins, booklets, pamphlets, jotters etc. It ensures easy reading since the sheets open flat but the disadvantage is that when one sheet is torn, it affects the remaining sheets. Saddle or single-section binding requires the use of a number of stitches. For instance, a two stitch saddle stitching involves the holding of the collated sheets and cover using two stitches. Other types include three stitch saddle stitching, four stitch saddle stitching etc.

Tools and materials: Papers folded into folios, bone folder, trimming knife, metal ruler, thread, bodkin, needle, pencil, paper board (cover).

Process:

1. Fold the loose sheets into folios and insert it into each other to form a section.

2. The section is placed or inserted into the paperboard to be used as cover.

3. At the middle part of the section, create a number of equally spaced marks where the holes will be created. (It must be noted that three holes are marked and created for a two stitch, four holes for three stitch, five holes for four stitches etc.)

4. Pierce or create holes through the marked points with the help of a bodkin.

5. For a two stitch saddle stitching, insert the threaded needle in the middle hole from the inside of the section. Pull it outside and then through the first hole from the inside. Pass the threaded needle then at the third hole and bring it back to the middle hole where the stitching was started. Pull the two ends together and tie them together tightly to secure the ends.

6. The fore edge, head, and tail of the sewn book are marked and trimmed with a trimming knife.

7. The saddle-stitched book is ready for use.

ii. Side stitching

This binding technique involves the use of single sheets of papers and two paper covers. It is called a side stitching because the stitching or holding of the sheets of paper is done at the side of the book. An advantage of this binding technique is that when one sheet is torn, it does not affect the remaining pages. However, its disadvantage is that a side-stitched book does not open flat.

Tools and materials: Single sheets, bodkin, pencil, needle, paper clips, stapler, paper boards (covers), trimming knife.

Process:

1. Collate the single sheets of paper together with the covers.

2. Hold the collated sheets in position at the head and tail with paper clips.

3. Create a parallel line to the spine one centimeter away from the spine.

4. `Create equally spaced holes with a bodkin at the side.

5. Use a threaded needle to stitch the side of the book to hold the leaves together. Staple pins can also be used to hold the sheets at the side of the book.

6. The fore-edge, head, and tail of the book is trimmed nicely with a trimming knife.

7. The side stitched book is ready for use.

It should be noted that sometimes, a strip of brown paper and glue are used to cover the sewn areas or staple pins at the side of the book.

iii. Perfect binding

This method does not employ stitching. It uses adhesive or glue to hold the sheets and covers together. When one sheet is torn, it does not affect the remaining sheets. They are used for producing writing pads, memo pads, sketch pads, telephone directory etc.

Tools and materials: Sheets of paper, adhesive, strawboards (covers), brush.

Process:

1. Collate the sheets of paper and jog to align them together.

2. Apply the adhesive or glue to the spine together with the backing board.

3. Glue the front cover to the backing board and allow it to dry.

4. Trim the fore-edge, head, and tail with a trimming knife or guillotine.

5. The perfect bound book is ready for use.

iv. Edition/Case-bound or multi-section binding

This binding method employs both sewing and gluing techniques. Owing to this, it is the binding technique that ensures the most durability and protection of books. Though it opens flat, when one sheet is torn it affects the remaining sheets. It is used for the production of notebooks, dictionaries, diaries, albums, project reports, thesis etc.

1. Body- This is the main sheets that contain the contents of the book.

2. Gummed tape- This is a strong reinforcement tape that is glued at the edges of the endpapers to hold them together with the body of the book.

3. Headband- It is a colourful band of thread placed at the top and sometimes the bottom of the backbone of a book as a form of decoration and as a reference aid in books.

4. Lining- This is a heavy paper or synthetic leather material glued to the backbone to give it a smooth and even surface.

5. Backing paper- This is a stiff but flexible paper strip placed between two binder’s boards. It gives the book cloth stability.

6. Case- This refers to the covers of a hardbound book.

7. Binder’s board- This is a thick, grey, rigid paperboard used to make the case.

8. Book cloth- This is a material made from either natural or man-made fibres used to cover the binder’s boards that form the case.

9. Backbone- This is the spine or the back of a bound book.

10. Super- This is a gauze-like fabric glued to the backbone and the case of a book. It provides a firm link between them.

11. End sheets- These are the blank sheets of paper placed at first and last sections of the book thus, before the first sheet and after the last page of the body of the book.

a. Producing a multi-section bound book

Tools and materials: Paper, strawboard, needle, thread, metal ruler, trimming knife, cutting plate, bone folder, brush, glue, press boards, hammer, binding cloth, binding tape.

Process:

1. Collate the required number of sections or signatures for the book. It must be noted that eight folios constitute one section or signature.

2. Create six to eight marks at the spine of the book depending on the height of the book. Use the bodkin to pierce holes at the marked areas.

3. The threaded needle is used to sewn the various sections together beginning from the first section to the last section. At equally spaced sections, the binding tape is inserted and the sewing is done over it.

4. Two folios of the same size as that of the book are pasted at the spines at the first and last sections of the book to serve as end papers.

5. Round the spine of the book with a backing hammer into a convex shape.

6. Glue the spine and paste the muslin over the glued area.

7. Place the book under a weight to dry thoroughly.

8. Mark the fore-edge, tail and head of the book and trim.

b. Production of the case

1. Cut two backing boards which are a bit larger in size than the size of the book.

2. Measure and cut the spine with a relatively lighter paper when compared to the backing boards for the covers.

3. Cut a piece of binding cloth larger and longer than the spine of the case.

4. Apply an adhesive and paste the two backing boards with the spine at the middle of the binding cloth at the middle of the case.

5. The excess binding cloth is turned over and pasted in the inner parts of the backing boards.

6. Apply an adhesive at the middle section of the case as well as the backbone of the book.

7. Fix the book into the prepared case. This process is termed as Casing-in.

8. Place a weight on the book and allow it to dry. The case-bound book is ready for use.

Repairing Damaged Indian Wooden Furniture

Indian wooden furniture, like any other furniture, is prone to damages. In general, wooden furniture often suffers from gouges, splits, minor cracks and broken or chipped sections. Many a times, porous wood like maple can become cracked and dry. Maple, however, isn’t much used in the making of Indian furniture. In southern India, where the climate is tropical and the temperature humid, wooden furniture can warp easily. Besides, cosmetic flaws can also damage Indian furniture. These include peeling of the paint and melting of the varnish. It’s not impossible to repair your damaged Indian wooden furniture and restore it to good condition. It only requires a bit of care.

Before commencing the actual restoration process, transport the furniture to a dry outdoor section if weather permits. Open up all the windows to ensure ventilation if you find that the piece of furniture is too big to be moved outside. Place some old newspapers on the floor for protecting it from wooden dust and chemical spills. Ahead of starting your work, put on disposable rubber gloves and wear a safety mask.

To begin the restoration work on your damaged Indian wooden furniture, use any of the available chemical stripping agents for stripping away the old varnish or paint. Take a clean brush, dip it into the stripping agent and then spread the agent on the Indian wooden furniture. Wait for at least seven minutes for the agent to get oxidized. Then, begin scraping off the top layers of the paint or varnish with a putty knife or a scraping tool.

Now, put on a new pair of gloves for protecting your hands from the splinters. First, rub the surface of your Indian furniture by using electrical sanding equipment for smoothing it evenly and bringing out the grain. Use sandpaper to delicately rub the remote sections of the furniture by hand. After that, remove all the dust by using a clean paintbrush.

Use some wood-glue for re-gluing any of the raised pieces of wood. Now, look at the furniture and carefully examine the joints. Re-glue any loose table or chair legs. As usual, first rub off the surface with the sandpaper inside the joints for removing old residues of glue. Then, apply glue on the inside surface of the joints and re-attach the legs. Apply clamps for securing the parts in place. Remove the clamps only after six to eight hours when the glue dries up.

Apply a wood sealant on any hairline splits or cracks. Allow the sealant to dry. When both the glue and the sealant dry up, re-rub the surface gently. Then, wipe away the wooden dust from your Indian furniture.

Having done all the above, stain your Indian wooden furniture. You can use a water-based staining agent for your wooden furniture in a humid or dry environment. You can also choose latex enamel-based paint if you want to paint your furniture. A couple of coats would be enough. Finally, apply some waterproof and insect-proof glossy finish on the wood.

How to Stop a Leak Until the Plumber Arrives

A leak in the plumbing is a common home problem. Leaks can be the result of a burst pipe, cracked pipe, leaking faucet or shower head, and more. When you have a leak that requires the services of a plumber, it is essential that you stop it right away before the water causes damage to the home or causes a drastic increase to your water bill. The following is a guide on stopping a leak until the plumber arrives to fix it:

Once you detect a water leak, the first thing you should do is turn off the main water valve. This will stop the water from continuing to leak and causing more of a mess. The main water valve is located near the water meter. Once you have turned off the main water valve, open the faucet to allow the pressure to decrease. The remaining water in the pipes will flow through and once there is no more water pressure, there will be no pressure to push any remaining water through the damaged pipe or damaged plumbing fixture.

Once you have successfully stopped the water leak, contact the plumber. If the pipe leak is small enough, there are measures you can take to temporary stop the leak until the plumber arrives to fix it. The following is a guide on temporary fixing leaky pipes:

Epoxy: You can use epoxy to stop a leaky pipe. It is effective for sealing leaks at pipe fittings and joint fittings. Make sure the water has drained and the area is dry before sealing the leak. Also, you should clean it with steel wool. Use plenty of epoxy and then wait for it to cure.

Duct Tape or Electrical Tape: You can temporarily stop a pipe leak by wrapping electrical tape and duct tape around the crack in the pipe. Make sure the pipe is drained and dry and then wrap it tight around the pipe until the leak is completely covered. Make sure that you start wrapping a few inches away from the leak and then continue down the pipe until you are 2 inches past the leak to ensure you have adequately covered the leak. It should be wrapped a few times and make sure that each wrap is completely tight.

Pipe Clamp: To fix a big crack, get a pipe clamp and a piece of bicycle tire tubing. First, cut the tube so that it is big enough to fit around the crack causing the leak. Take a pipe clamp and secure the tube around the leak. The tube will contain the leak until the plumber arrives.

C-Clamp and Blocks: First, place a rubber pad over the leak area. Then, place a small wooden strip on top of it. Use the c-clamp to hold it all in place. The wooden strip will protect the pipe from the pressure of the c-clamp.

These repairs might stop a leak for a few days, but it is essential that you contact a professional plumber who will be able to permanently fix the leak.

Top 3 Non Ab Exercises For a Flat Stomach

Most women who want a flat stomach automatically begin performing crunches and leg raises, basically the traditional ab exercises. Although it makes sense in the mind, the truth is neither of these movements will give you the best results for the energy you put into them. Why? Simply because they focus only on your abs and no other muscle groups. Since the target is isolated it does not burn calories and results in very little fat burning.

The best thing to do is perform an exercise that will train your abdominal muscles while working on the entire physique, simultaniously. These particular exercises will not only speed up your metabolism but also carve out six pack abs and a flat stomach. Increasing how fast your body metabolizes results in higher percent of fat loss, and that's the most critical thing when you want that flat stomach to show.

Now I'm sure you want to know exactly which exercises I'm talking about. There are a wide variety that would fall under this umbrella, but these three are the best:

1. Med Ball Slams
2. Tuck Jumps
3. Renegade Rows

Med Ball Slams
Stand with your feet apart, at a width wider than your shoulders. Take the medicine ball and quickly raise it behind your head and then launch it to the ground with full force. Think of it like swinging a mallet in one of those games a ta carnival. Bend forward and grab the ball once it bounces. Then repeat.

Tuck Jumps
Position your feet hips width apart. At a fast pace, bend down about 8 inches, like you're sitting in a chair. Now rebound and jump as high as you can while curling your knees into your chest and forming a tuck. Keep your upper body straight and keep your head upwards, as well as your chest. Repeat these in a rapid succession.

Renegade Rows
Get into push up position while holding on to a pair of weights or kettle-balls. Keep your body steady and engage your abs; do not let your hips drop. Level your weight onto one arm and slide the opposite weight towards your hip on the same side. Now do the same on the other side of the body.

There you go, three full body exercises that put an emphasis on your stomach, and they're also more effective than regular ab workouts. Learn more about how to execute these moves properly, as well as other work outs and diet tips needed to carve out a slim and sexy stomach.

Insulating a Slipform Stone House

There can be no question that insulation should be of primary importance when considering new house construction. Slipform stone houses are no exception to this rule. Helen and Scott Nearing, early proponents of this stone building technique, claimed that their New England homes were comfortable year-round without much thought given to insulation – indeed, their first slipform home was built right into a Vermont cliff-face, and made use of bare ledge as one wall. While the thermal mass of the earth itself surely served to maintain house temperatures above freezing, by modern standards, there can be no doubt that this uninsulated stone house would make for a chilly winter. Insulation is key to efficiency, and there are a number of ways to insulate a slipform stone structure.

Stud Wall and fiberglass batting

One common approach to the question of insulation in stone and concrete structures is the construction of a standard framed stud wall against the interior wall. This framed wall is then insulated in the traditional manner, using fiberglass batting insulation between the studs. While this approach works fine, and brings the comfort of familiarity to many builders, the construction of the stud wall is wasteful, and the studs themselves present the opportunity for thermal bridging, significantly reducing the overall insulation of the house.

Rigid Insulation

Rigid insulation offers a number of opportunities when it comes to insulating slipform stone homes. Rigid insulation, correctly installed, allows for no thermal bridging and creates a tight envelope inside the house. There are a number of techniques for building this type of insulation right into the walls themselves, either by laying the insulation inside the forms as you build, or replacing the interior forms entirely with nailbase – rigid insulation mated with OSB, plywood, or even sheetrock on one side.

Adding rigid insulation after the walls are standing can present a challenge to the typical owner/builder. The biggest hurdle here is figuring out how to secure the insulation to the stone/concrete wall. One of the best ways to do this is using furring strips – narrow boards attached to the wall, into which screws can be driven. A powder-actuated nail gun, or ramset can be used to attach the furring strips to the wall. Another approach is to embed the furring strips into the concrete itself as you build the walls. The downside to this approach is that the furring strips will degrade and rot away over the decades, leaving gaps in the wall and weakening the overall structure. Fully removing the furring strips and replacing them could be a challenge.

Spray-on Insulation

This nifty product could be used to spray a seamless layer of insulating foam directly onto the interior of the slipform wall. The insulation would then be cut, sanded, or squashed flat before a finish layer of sheetrock is applied. Both of the above approaches present difficulties when it comes to hanging anything on the walls, as there are no interior studs for screwing or nailing into. Strategically placed furring strips could be used for this purpose.

There are any number of other conventional and unconventional approaches that you might pursue in insulating your slipform stone masonry structure, but these three options are both simple to implement and proven in many homes over a number of years. Whatever you decide, it’s very important to ensure that your slipform stone house is snug and well insulated.