Easy Removal of Old Boat Lettering and Graphics

I am often asked what is the best way to remove old boat lettering and boat graphics. Perhaps you wish to change the name of the watercraft, or perhaps you just want to upgrade your lettering to a new style with matching boat lettering graphic accents and accessories.

Or perhaps you just want to sell your boat and you wish to save your boat name for a future boat purchase. No matter what the reason, the result is the same, be prepared to scrape that decal and lettering off your boat and come equipped with plenty of elbow grease! Unless of course, you wish to use a little more removal technique and a little less elbow grease. First determine what kind of surface you are working with. Removal from a painted hull is dramatically different than removal from a fiberglass gel coated craft. In either case, you can use a scraping and soapy watery method on any surface. There are several methods to choose from but scraping and soapy water is usually safe for most surfaces and it gives you a chance to stop if you discover you are damaging your boat topcoat. You will need a scratch free plastic scraper (really good ones are very rare) and a solution of 1 cup of water and 5-10 drops of Palmolive dish washing liquid. The dish washing liquid serves two purposes.

First it’s a lubricant to help insure you don’t damage the top surface with thousands of scrape marks caused by any two dry objects being rubbed against each other. Secondly, it prevents the adhesive from re-bonding to the boat once you are able to lift it. A plastic – scratch free – scraper will likely come from your local professional paint retailer. Speak to them about your project and an appropriate scraper. . You might receive an offer for hardened plastic razor blades… -don’t waste your time on these. They do not work well. A good quality suitable scraper will have a very hard sharp edge on it, almost fine enough to cut with. Anything that’s blunt edged or unlike a knife edge is a waste of your time.

The very best scraper I have found is a device called the “Lil Chizzler”. Call your local paint stores and you might find it in stock. These are fairly cheap, around $1.00 each and you will likely need several to complete the job. There are copies of this scraper around but they are not marked “Lil Chizzler” if you find a generic brand of this scraper it is best to avoid it. All of the generics I have tried fail to last for more than a few minutes. Be sure of what you are looking for. Here is a photo of a genuine Lil Chizzler which may help you identify it locally.

Technique 1 Scraping: Spray the decal with your mixture of soapy water. Hold the scraper as close to flat against the boat surface as possible and start slicing across the butt edge of the decal where it meets the boat. Imagine trying to slice roast beef so think you can see through it. This is how you should approach the edge of the decal as you try to lift it off. With a little luck, you might find the decal lifting in such a way you can actually strip it off the boat by hand. If it breaks as you pull it up, then keep trying. The worst case scenario is that you’ll have to remove the whole decal by repeating the slicing action over and over and pulling off small sections with each lift. Just be sure to keep the work area well saturated with the soapy water solution to aid in removal and to help protect the boat surface. In some stubborn cases, application of moderate heat, hot but not to the point of burning skin, will soften the decal and cause a reduction of adhesive bond. Heat can help persuade off a stubborn decal.  

Once you have removed the decal, you will need a solvent to remove the trace adhesive. There are many solvents that work fine, but you should pick your solvent under the advice of your local paint store expert. You need a solvent that dissolves adhesive but does not affect whatever the finish coat is on your boat. Some fiberglass boats can withstand even strong paint removers which allow you to simply wipe on and hose off the decal, but this must be verified before you use any dissolving method chemicals. There is an old story about gasoline being an excellent adhesive remover. Fact is, gasoline will remove most adhesives but it does so at a great risk for your personal safety. Gasoline can poison you or worst yet, explode right in your face causing death or severe burns or both. Don’t use Gasoline. I know it’s tempting but it is just way too dangerous to use as a solvent.

Once I have the decal and adhesive removed, I usually like to hit the whole surface with a nice buffing compound which helps blend the oxidized exposed area to what could be new looking hidden areas under the former decal. You will likely see an imprint where the decal was removed but fortunately this will become less noticeable over time.  Use of a non scratching scraper is important.   There may be other non scratch scrapers available but I’ve only had good results with the Lil Chizzler.   

The Windshield Replacement Survival Guide – Consumer Auto Glass Education

Replacing Your Vehicle’s Windshield? Here is Your Windshield Replacement Survival Guide.

Safety First

A vehicles windshield provides the occupants a barrier from road debris and the outside elements. But most people don’t know a windshield is designed for structural safety in case of an accident, especially a rollover. A windshield is a vehicles third most important safety feature behind the seat belts, and air bags.

Windshields are like basketball backboards for air bags. So if you have a damaged windshield your air bag may not function correctly. It actually may inflate out the windshield cavity, rather than towards you. Or it won’t adsorb any pressure because your windshield simply pushes out.

Most consumers are not aware that when technicians replace your windshield, there is significant scratching to the “pinchweld” where the glass bonds to the car. These scratches must be prepped using paint and rust prevention steps. They should not simply leave exposed scratches where moisture from the exterior side can cause rust to develop.

Here are some questions you should ask your auto glass company:

  • Is the new glass OEM?
  • Did they remove the brand label on the windshield?
  • Does the new glass have a shade band that matches your old glass?
  • Is the new windshield the same color glass? (glass is actually colored, not clear)
  • Does your windshield have a rain sensor?
  • Is your windshield heated? (companies will install non-heated and charge for heated)
  • Does the windshield have the right bracket for your rear view mirror?
  • Does the new windshield have the same third visor as your old glass? (the painted black design which you can see around the rear view mirror on most cars)
  • Are they using a universal trim molding, or the actual trim molding part for your vehicle?
  • Does the company pay to fix paint scratches, if made by the auto glass technician?

Always inspect a piece of glass for scratches and distortion before it’s installed.

Types of Automotive Glass

A windshield is actually two layers of glass with a laminate material between the layers, what is called “laminated glass”. Laminated glass is extremely hard to puncture or break apart. That’s why a large object like a stunt man, can impact the windshield without breaking through. The strength of laminated glass combined with proper adhesion of the windshield to the body of the car provides massive strength against the roof collapsing in a rollover.

All of the other windows in your vehicle are “tempered glass”, which means they break into tiny fragments to reduce injury to the occupants. (a small fraction of vehicles have laminated side and rear windows also)

Windshield Urethane

Today’s vehicles use urethane as the adhesive to bond the windshield to the vehicle, like a glue. Some urethane after complete hardening which can take 2-4 weeks, can hold 500 pounds per square inch of pressure. That’s one reason why you could never simply push your windshield out. Impossible! Some urethane allows you to drive away within one hour after installing the windshield, hardening just enough to withstand vehicle accidents. When your replacement has been completed, make sure to inspect the inside of your vehicle around the edge of the glass. Make sure no urethane has oozed out into view or onto your vehicles interior. This is more common then people realize and needs to be fixed immediately before the glue hardens!

The urethane is normally heated, then applied to the glass or car body at the raised temperature. Depending on where you live or the application, they can use different kinds of urethane, even a cold temperature apply that is not heated. Temperature has a huge impact on the adhesion qualities of the windshield. I would recommend never getting your windshield replaced in temperatures lower than 55 degrees, or higher than 105 for the best results if possible. This is easy if you have the glass replaced inside of a shop or in a shaded area. Direct sunlight can heat the windshield to over 125 degrees!

Urethane does have an expiration date, so make sure you ask about this before a technician begins replacing your vehicle glass. Using expired urethane means minimal bonding power and the windshield has a chance of coming out during an impact. All urethane is made with an expiration date printed on the tubes, and if they don’t call someone else!

Paint Scratches, Rust, and Proper Windshield Installation

Deep vehicle scratches can turn into major problems later. Moisture will enter through a scratch and attack your vehicles body causing rust later. For people who live by the ocean, this can be disastrous for the structural integrity of your vehicle down the road near the windshield. If you are buying a used vehicle, make sure you check around the edge of the glass and under the trim molding for evidence of rust. Rust will spread under your paint, it is amazingly aggressive.

If the rust spreads to the “pinch weld” which is where the urethane is placed, the urethane will not bond and a windshield will leak or can even be pushed out. This can cause thousands of dollars in damage from water leaks or can even can cause death in an accident! If the rust moves into this area the technician must remove it before applying the urethane, or the vehicle must be sent to a body shop for repair.

Make sure the technician takes steps to prep and repair scratches to the pichweld. There is primer paints, metal rust prep chemicals, and other ways to cover scratches to reduce the appearance or spread of rust. The most important areas are where water will contact your vehicles body, especially under the exterior trim molding. That trim is not water sealed between the body and glass. The water seal comes from the urethane bead.

It is very important that you watch the installation of your vehicle glass if possible, DO NOT just walk away. If a professional technician can not perform the job while you watch, they shouldn’t be working on your vehicle and call someone else. A technician can cause significant paint scratching to your exterior paint job with improper techniques. Some even use nail polish or paint to hide the damage. Some even rub dirt into the scratch to make it look old! Ensure that the technician is using vehicle protective equipment like seat covers, floor mats, tape on the car body where it’s close to the glass, and a protective mat over your hood.

Make sure the technician removes body parts like windshield wiper arms and the cowling (located beneath the wipers) are removed, if the glass edge is covered by these parts. Most technicians will simply shoot a ton of urethane under the cowling area and “stuff” the glass, sliding it into the glue and under the cowling. This is extremely unsafe! A technician doesn’t even know if the urethane has created a proper seal, or if it is bonded safely. A proper windshield installation requires that the glass be place straight down onto the urethane bead. Also this ensures the urethane is not shot all over parts beneath the cowling like wiper assemblies and wiring.

OEM Windshields and OEM Equivalents

OEM means, original equipment manufacturer. So if your vehicle is a Honda Civic, OEM glass would be purchased from a Honda Vehicle Dealer. Auto glass installers can simply order OEM glass from the dealer. Make sure the glass has the OEM label. The windshield label which is about a square inch in size, normally is located in the lower corners of the glass. Sometimes OEM glass says the actual glass manufacturer rather than the Car Dealer name. Call your local dealer on what to look for.

A lot of auto glass companies will tell you they are installing the “OEM Equivalent” part. Because consumers don’t know what to look for, most times a glass with no label or an aftermarket part is used. Do not buy a glass when the label has been etched or removed. No one knows where it came from! Always check the label.

The only scenario in which you may find an equivalent glass, is purchasing a windshield produced by the same manufacturer which produced the OEM glass. It may even be from the same production line and mold from the OEM manufacturing!

Aftermarket Automotive Windshields

Do not be fooled into thinking an aftermarket windshield is the same as an OEM glass. Aftermarket windshields are made using reverse engineering instead of the original OEM mold and production line.

Aftermarket glass tends to have more visible light distortion when viewing the glass at an angle, and the dimensions are not exactly the same as an OEM. All glass that is bent has some level distortion yes, but it is considerably worse with aftermarket manufacturing. You may even see distortion when looking straight through aftermarket glass.

Aftermarket glass is transported through different processes than OEM glass from a dealer. A lot of OEM glass is transported covered by plastic wrapping and using strict shipping techniques, and the windshield’s edges are protected by foam wrapping. But Aftermarket glass is transported by much different practices. Most auto glass companies use no protection covering all surfaces of the glass for transport. And sometimes pieces of glass have been taken to customers locations and returned to the distributor or shop. So aftermarket glass has been handled many times!

Now I’m not saying aftermarket glass is unsafe or unfit to use at all. I’m simply stating the facts about the truth, for your education and insight. I feel you should be educated about this part of your vehicle which essentially protects your family on a regular basis.

Rain Sensors and Other Accessory Plugs Such as Heated Glass

If your vehicle has a rain sensor it should be located near the rear view mirror. A lot of times it looks like a circle, square or triangle. This option allows the windshield wipers to speed up or slow down depending on the amount of rain automatically. Make sure you get the same designed glass. If the rain sensor involves a gel patch, make sure the technician does not leave lots of air bubbles when installing it. Those air bubbles can cause the sensor to malfunction.

Some vehicles like a Land Rover, have plugs located under the interior a-pillar trim. On some convertibles like a newer Ford Thunderbird, a large portion of the interior may need to be diss-assembled to remove the interior a-pillar trim. On the Honda Ridgeline, the heater plug is located behind the glove box. Some new vehicles also have Lane Departure sensors located near the rear view mirror.

You can always find out what you need by calling your local dealer and giving them your VIN Identification number from your vehicle. If your car is important to you and you want to maintain the investment, always call your local dealer and ask for advice about your specific vehicle.

Windshield Shade Bands and Windshield Color

All auto glass has a shaded color. No windshields are completely clear. Typical shading colors are blue, green, bronze, and grey. Be sure sure to get the same color. You will see that all pieces of glass in your vehicle are the same color, excluding privacy glass and tinting.

A windshield may have a shade band across the top near the roof of the vehicle. This area is preferential. You should decide if you like it or not. It does tend to hide the edge of the interiors headliner when looking at the vehicle from the exterior. Shade bands do come in different colors but not all windshields

Most windshields can be ordered without a shade band at all. But you may find the part is actually more expensive because less people order it. Having a shade band does provide some shading in between your sun visors but it does little to drastically shade the sun. Take note the shade band will be darker at night.

Exterior Trim and Moldings

Your vehicle may have exterior trim or moldings cover the edge of the glass and/or covering the edge the car body. If the trim molding is just rubber, make sure you know what the technician is using to replace it. Some companies are now requiring that technicians use only a universal type aftermarket molding, rather than one that is specifically designed for your car. There should also be an OEM molding part available which is exactly the same as your original molding. Do note that cost for OEM is always more.

You may see plastic and/or metal trim moldings covering the edge of your windshield on the exterior. Normally these have some type of plastic or metal clips that attach them to the glass or vehicles body. Make sure the company replaces any broken clips or parts from removal of these parts. If your vehicle is older than 3 years, these parts become very brittle and damage easy. You may be warned about parts that always break, in which the company may request you also purchase that part ahead of time. You may find a lot of companies simply glue those parts back into place, rather than replacing the broken parts.

Vehicle Windshield Logo and VIN Window

On vehicles like a Ford Mustang and Ford F150, you may have a logo in the third visor above the rear view mirror. These windshields can be ordered with out the logo and are cheaper that way. Make sure you ask about your options.

Most windshields have a small narrow window for viewing of the VIN identification number near the lower drivers side portion of the glass. Make sure this window is in the right location on the glass. When the job is completed, make sure that glue has not covered the VIN, the VIN number plate has not been cut off, or that it has not been badly damaged. Police or the DMV will give you a hard time if the number is not legible or is completely missing from that location.

The Benefits of Fire Hose Reel

Are you confident enough that your workplace is safe from fire? The assets of the business are its office, factory, equipment, its people, and most importantly, the safety of all of these assets combined. Investing on the safety of all of the assets ensures the longevity of the business. This means that the workplace must be sufficiently equipped with indispensable fire safety gadgets- fire extinguishers, fire alarms, smoke detectors, including the fire hose reel. What benefits does your business get from the hose reel? What is its role in fire safety?

Having a hose reel in your workplace allow the employees to easily approach the location of the fire in case of an accident. In case of fire, it is not necessary to set up a very long hose. Also, this reel gives a controlled stream of water to the source of fire. A red round 30-metre long fire hose reel is the most common of its kind in the UK. It has 19mm semi-rigid round tube fixedly attached to a wall. In the whole world, this kind is preferred by firemen. It is more convenient and accessible to them to get into the location of the fire.

The valves can be automatic or manual. The manual hose reels are similar with the one you use in your garden. Before running out the hose, you have to turn on the gate valve to let the water into the system. By doing this, the hose is free from frost and other damages. On the other hand, the automatic valve keeps the water permanently on. However, when the reel is being run out, the automatic valve saves time and effort because just a simple twist of the hose reel nozzle will allow the water flow from the hose. It is then ideal for emergencies.

For fire safety, the old school fire fighting procedures are still trusted to be the most effective. Fire hoses then are still on the list of indispensable modern fire fighting equipment. These hoses are very effective in putting off fires in fabric warehouses, schools, wood stores, and other workplaces where cloth, cardboard, paper, carpet or wood are commonly found. To keep the fire hose neat and convenient, a fire hose reel are necessary. For your offices or buildings, the best reels sizes are 19mm fire hose or 25mm hose. These reels can be on a swinging bracket, which lets the hose pulled in any direction within 180 degrees and it can be mounted on a pedestal.

Fire hoses are still one of the most efficient fire safety equipment. To support the fire hoses, the fire hose reel are made to keep them tidy and still accessible in times of emergencies. The assurance that your workplace is safe from fire accidents lies on the readiness of the people in the workplace to deal with such an unexpected fire accident. The most common hose reels in the UK are preferred worldwide and are ideal for businesses with cloths, papers, and wood.

Choosing Masonry Contractors: What to Look For in a Masonry Company

Choosing the right professional contractors for a masonry project is difficult, particularly if the homeowner is not fully knowledgeable on brickwork. Homeowners should research and find a contractor that will do a good job at a reasonable cost who are well versed in the type of project being proposed. The importance of going with the right masonry contractor lies in the fact that masonry should be used as a compliment to a homes décor because it gives a homeowner a chance to make a house differentiate from the rest within a neighborhood. Because, there are so many choices of size, colors, and textures to choose from to make any décor match the homeowners taste, it’s extremely important to select the right contractor who will successfully help you in the project.

When looking to hire a masonry contractor, one of the first considerations any individual should make is to be sure that the scope of the project matches the scope of the contractors business. For example, some mason projects are very small, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to hire a contractor who works only on big projects. So it is more or less matching the right skills with the right-sized project. First, look at the scope of the project, determine what needs to be done, and then consider the full breath of the potential masonry contractor’s work to determine if they are fully capable of the task.

Also take into consideration the type of project involved. Some masonry companies exclusively do walls and house facades. Other only do chimneys. Make sure the contractor you hire has extensive experience in the type of project you want completed.

Make sure that the contractor picked has references and that they check out. Ask to see past projects that the contractor finished, and get the customer’s opinion on the job performance. Additionally, make sure the contractors are properly insured for worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability. Any company who is unwilling or hesitant to provide this information should throw up red flags. Also, check with consumer ranking groups to ensure their masonry business is a good business to work with.

If the price quoted is adequate, then request a formal bid based on the same plans and specifications discussed. As you often hear, don’t automatically go with the lowest bid because it may mean they do not have enough experience to do the job properly. Instead, go with the bid that makes the most sense between a combination of experience, cost, and time to complete the project.

Hiring a professional masonry contractor is much like hiring any skilled craftsman. One has to be sure of their experience and capability of completing a project. When you do find the perfect masonry company, however, it should become quite evident that they are superior both in terms of their work and relations with you as a customer.

List of Baltimore Apartments That Approve With a Broken Lease, Bad Credit or Felony

Baltimore, a port city on Chesapeake Bay, is the largest city in the state of Maryland. It’s major seaport status means that the city is a busy business hub for numerous multinational companies and financial entities. It therefore continues to attract many who come seeking better career opportunities. Baltimore apartments are therefore in hot demand all year round.

If you are looking to rent an apartment n Baltimore, you must be aware of the general rental requirements. Most apartments will conduct a credit check, rental check and most likely a criminal background check. This can mean denial for applicants who have prior issues. Are there apartments in Baltimore that either do not conduct checks on credit, or broken leases or background or which if they do, are willing to work with the applicant regardless? The answer is yes.

Apartments which are willing to work with applicants who have previous rental problems are called second chance apartments. This is not to mean that they do not abide by the general housing policies, but that they are more lenient than the regular apartments. Here are a few places where one can find such housing units:

  • Arlington
  • Dorchester
  • Grove Park
  • Howard Park
  • Downtown Arlington
  • Arcadia
  • West Baltimore
  • Wilson Park

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many different places which have housing complexes that are willing to grant problem applicants a second chance.

Important

The challenge in finding places to rent in Baltimore if you have tarnished credit or background such as a broken lease, is that such complexes do not readily advertise. This means that it can be a trial and error for the applicant who has to call or visit numerous apartments before being approved. This can be a frustrating and costly ordeal.

It is important also to note that even if you do land a second chance apartment interview, you must satisfy a few key requirements. For instance, even if the apartment is willing to overlook, say, credit issues, they most likely will want you to furnish proof of income. This means a job for at least the last six (6) months and an income that is at least three times the amount of the rent. The apartments will also insist that you not have any felonies involving drugs, violence or molestation of minors.

How to Get a Flat Stomach – 3 Sensational Exercises That Don’t Even Target Your Abs Directly!

Did you know that direct ab exercises are NOT 100% responsible for a beautiful midsection? If you are wondering how to get a flat stomach and can’t understand why thousands of crunches and sit-ups have not achieved this, i will explain why. Although exercises that directly target your abs are great for toning, they will do very little to remove body fat. If you want to know how to get a flat stomach, herein lies your answer. Remove the rolls of fat and blubber that surround your waistline and the your new, sexy and beautiful abs will be revealed.

1) Bastardos – This is a variation of the squat-thrust. However, this action packed exercise will hit just about every major muscle group in the body. Due to the overall exertion involved with bastardos, you should find that you are breathing extremely heavily and sweating after a few minutes. That is how you get a flat stomach!

Stand with your arms by your side and your feet approximately 12 inches apart. Squat down and allow your hands to touch the floor. Thrust your legs out behind you until you are in the press up position. Perform one press up and then pull your legs back in until you are back in the squat position. Finally jump into the air, ensuring your feet leave the ground and with your arms high in the air. That is one repetition. Aim for 20-30 reps per set and 3-5 sets in total.

2) Renegade Dumbbell Rows – Once again this exercise does not directly target the abs, but can help you get a flat stomach. The idea behind this exercise is that you have to stabilize your whole body, which is supported by your feet and one hand at a time.

Assume the press up position with a dumbbell in each hand. Pull the dumbbell in your right hand up to your side chest. If you are new to this exercise, you may experience the shakes while trying to support yourself. As your abs get stronger the exercise should become easier. Return your right hand to the floor and repeat on your left side. Aim for 15 reps each side and again 3-5 sets in total.

3) The Front Squat – There are numerous variations to the squat. You can use both barbells and dumbbells. For this exercise grab a barbell and load with a weight that is approximately 40% – 50% of your heaviest squatting weight.

Now rather than supporting the bar across the back of your shoulders, you will be using your front shoulders. This will incorporate much more use from your abs and obliques in order to stop yourself falling forward. Complete 15-20 reps and 3-5 sets in total.

These 3 exercises performed one after another should take no longer than 20-30 minutes. You will find that you should be breathing and puffing very heavily and possibly sweating a fair amount too. This is more than enough to start the fat burning process and if carried out on a regular basis, you will get a flat stomach!

Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome – Being Different

When I was twelve, our stern, small-town physician diagnosed me with mitral valve prolapse (MVP), though he never explained the disorder. During my teens I had strange symptoms other girls didn’t experience: fainting, fatigue, and eyes burning as though wind blew constantly into them. My mother noticed and trotted me off to that detestable, cursing physician.

In his office he scolded me in his nasal voice, “There’s not a damn thing wrong with you. God Almighty, don’t give your poor mother something more to worry about. Think about her instead of being selfish. What you need is a psychiatrist.” I can see his face redden with anger.

Didn’t he remember? Earlier, after his MVP diagnosis, he had curtailed any sports with the use of my arms, which is not the way MVP is handled now. According to him, in two years I would be fine. Actually I had felt better before the sports restriction. Without sports for two years I had lost muscle strength and tone.

MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE

MVP is the most commonly inherited heart problem in the United States. Yet it is listed with the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) because the disorder is not completely understood or acknowledged by most physicians. While the statistics vary with sources, the estimated percentage who have this problem includes as many as thirty percent in this country. According to a survey in the late 80s, three times more women have MVP than men.

The heart has four valves inside it to pump the blood in and out: the aortic, the mitral, the pulmonary, and the tricuspid. The mitral valve acts like a door between the left atrium and the left ventricle in the heart. When the lower part of a normal heart contracts, the mitral valve closes and prevents any blood leakage into the upper chamber. With MVP, the valve balloons out of shape. A physician hears this through a stethoscope as a click. If the valve shifts enough, it can allow some blood to flow back into the upper chamber, and the physician hears a murmur.

Have you heard your own heart through a stethoscope? Have you heard the click or the murmur? Ask your physician to allow you to do this. It’s important you know what sound your heart makes. Of course, some murmurs and clicks are difficult even for a cardiologist to detect. But give it a try. If you squat, the hardest position on the heart, you will hear it. One woman chose her physician based on whether the physician could hear her murmur.

However, this structural defect is not what usually causes the myriad of symptoms. Most MVP people have healthy hearts.

MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE SYNDROME WITH DYSAUTONOMIA

A syndrome is a collection of symptoms which has more than one cause, whereas a disease has a single cause. MVPS/D has a recognizable pattern of symptoms and signs. As the physicians and researchers understand, the symptoms reflect a failure of control mechanisms, specifically in the nervous system. The more they learn about the disorder, the more likely they will be able to find a single cause and convert MVPS/D to a disease status.

The nervous system is divided into two parts: voluntary and involuntary. The involuntary nervous system, also known as the autonomic nervous system (ANS), is more complex and controls most bodily functions such as body temperature, sweating, blood pressure, heart rate, salivation, pupil dilation and contraction, sleep-wakefulness balance, intestinal functions, digestion, and many others. This system has two major divisions: sympathetic, which speeds up the system, and the parasympathetic, which slows the system.

The physicians connect some MVP symptoms to the ANS, an imbalance known as dysautonomia or an autonomic (which means automatic) nervous system dysfunction. Therefore, when the MVP patient experiences symptoms that involve the ANS, the physicians refer to the disorder as mitral valve prolapse syndrome with dysautonomia, the most common type of dysautonomia.

The central problem of MVPS/D is the body’s excessive response to adrenaline and adrenaline-like hormones. (Hormones and nerves serve as control systems in the body.) Most MVPS/D patients have a bit too much noradrenaline, a related hormone. Most of the symptoms come from various organs’ over-responsiveness to even normal amounts of adrenaline-like hormones.

Thus, you can see it would be best for MVPS/D patients to minimize the release of adrenaline into their blood streams. Of course stimulants of any kind-caffeine, sugar, alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, monosodium glutamate, and some over-the-counter medications, those containing caffeine, epinephrine, ephedrine, and pseudoephedrine-should be eliminated from your diet. Stimulants can include people and activities. Movies, at times, can over-stimulate my system, even talking.

Check with your physician before a therapist uses electricity, which can trigger symptoms. Patients should allow only moderate sun and heat exposure and gradually progress to condition their bodies to exercise. These cautions will sustain a high blood volume. A higher blood volume means an adrenaline increase is less likely. Patients also need to control their responses to stressful emotional situations. Yeah, right! That’s a trick in itself.

Debbie Petersen, who has yet to get her symptoms under control, calls the dysautonomia part an everyday hell to live with. “Right now it’s just trial and error every day.”

‘I was so happy to know there was a name for what is partly wrong with me: dysautonomia,” wrote Rita McNeil. “Most people have never heard of it, let alone know what it means.”

“The disorder takes a significant toll on lifestyle and work capacity,” commented Linda Smith of the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation (NDRF).

Dr. David H. P. Streeten, a research pioneer for orthostatic intolerance (OI), sums the impact of dysautonomia on a person’s life: “While we are not constantly aware of the activity of the autonomic nervous system as we are of unusual sensory and motor events, the normal functioning of the autonomic nervous system day and night, from heart-beat to heart-beat, plays a largely unconscious but vital role in our livelihood. It is not surprising, therefore, that autonomic abnormalities, though they are usually more difficult to recognize than a severe pain, a sensory loss, or paralysis of a limb, may be even more important in impairing the quality and even jeopardizing the continuation of life.”

SPACE SHUTTLE COLUMBIA

The astronauts experience similar problems when they take off from Earth and land from outer space. Dr. Andrew Gaffney, cardiologist and astronaut, served as Payload Specialist on Spacelab Sciences 1 as part of a Space Shuttle Columbia mission in the early 90s to study the astronauts’ problems.

Understanding how our MVPS/D problems work helped him understand why the astronauts experience their symptoms such as dizziness and faintness when they stand. During the early part of the space flight, Dr. Gaffney flew with a catheter inserted into his arm vein to record the blood pressure around his heart. Within a few hours after lift-off, his blood pressure and blood volume dropped remarkably, according to Popular Science Magazine, March, 1993.

“As we sort out that data,” Dr. Gaffney said, “we are learning a lot more about where the blood goes, where it is stored-in terms of the venous system, and the relationship between the adrenalin levels and the blood volume.”

Dr. Gaffney, chief of clinical cardiology at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Memphis, TN, describes what he knows MVPS/D to be: “There is a primary abnormality of autonomic tone so that these people tend to be vascularly constricted.” That constriction leads to shrinkage of blood volume. The lower volume feeds back and causes more constriction and that becomes a vicious cycle.

That cycle contributes to the symptoms such as fatigue. “We all know patients who are anemic have fatigue, and everybody understands that,” Dr. Gaffney said. “Well, it is perhaps a little more difficult to understand (with MVPS/D). You can have the right amount of blood volume but if you don’t have enough red cells in it, then you get tired because you don’t deliver the oxygen. That’s anemia. You can have the right concentration of red blood cells, so you are not anemic, but if you don’t have enough blood, then it is the same problem. Absolute number of red blood cells that carry the oxygen is what determines whether you can exercise more.”

BLOOD VOLUME

“Blood volume is critical to prevent symptoms from starting,” said Susan Elliott, who taught physics before MVPS/D symptoms changed her lifestyle. “When blood volume gets low, it tends to trigger a chain of reactive events that cause things like tachycardia, feeling too hot or too cold.”

Even a slight imbalance in the ANS can cause low blood volume in MVP patients. Up to twenty-five percent lower. The thirst signal fails to turn on, keeping the blood volume low.

It is very important for people with MVPS/D to drink at least 70 ounces of fluids daily, more if the temperature is higher. A good way to remember the amount is if the temperature is higher than 70, drink the equal number of ounces to the degrees in temperature. Such as if it is 86 degrees, drink 86 ounces of fluids. An easy way to achieve this is to keep a water bottle with you and try to drink eight ounces every hour. And to make it really fun, sing the tune to “Pump Up the Volume,” by M/A/R/R/S.

Susan also found the more water, the less her MVPS symptoms such as twisting leg muscles. Also included in her regimen were potassium, zinc, and magnesium, minerals helpful to heart and muscular function and energy metabolism.

Fluids “fake out your body,” Susan says, making it seem to have higher blood volume. She drinks a gallon of water a day, always remembering to salt the water or eat something salty with it. The salt helps retain water and valuable nutrients such as potassium. Another thought is to intake fluids with salt present like sports drinks or soups. However, patients with hypertension (high blood pressure) need to consult their physician first.

VERTICAL VS HORIZONTAL

When a MVPS/D person lies down, she can immediately experience symptoms such as tachycardia or heart pounding. “If you lie flat, that can produce too much blood to your head and heart too fast,” Susan said.

While we are vertical, the blood circulates the entire body with less volume than people without MVP. When our bodies become horizontal, the blood floods the head and the heart chambers, causing the symptoms, until the pumping adjusts.

To offset this, some people sleep on a slight incline such as in a recliner. To create her slant, Susan puts a board beneath her headboard. Pat Conrad sleeps on two pillows. Then her palpitations are “not so extreme.” When the heart pain continues, she elevates her feet. My husband and I use two thick encyclopedia volumes that help me and his gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD).

ORTHOSTATIC INTOLERANCE (OI)

People take their ability to stand for granted. OI patients do not. Daily they struggle with the symptoms brought on by the vertical position. Upon standing, a person with orthostatic hypotension, another word for OI, might experience lightheadedness, dizziness, palpitations (throbbing or heavy beats), tremulousness, visual changes, a stuffed head feeling, ears ringing or buzzing, fainting, and poor concentration because her blood pressure has suddenly fallen. About a half million Americans have OI, according to the National Dysautonomia Research Foundation.

Being upright produces blood pooling in the lower abdomen and limbs, blood which is no longer available to the upper body. With an effective ANS, the body quickly compensates by increasing the heart rate and other cardiac output.

When the OI person stands, her blood volume lowers, her blood vessels lose an excessive amount of plasma, and her kidneys pour out salt.

Some patients experience fatigue, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeats), and shortness of breath, which is termed sympathontonic or hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension because the sympathetic part of the ANS increases.

Not every patient has all these abnormalities. Most OI patients have a mild case which can improve over weeks or months. Most will eventually be free of their symptoms.

However, in patients with severe symptoms or with a sudden ANS alteration such as actor-director Christopher Reeves experienced with his fall, the recovery may never come.

A few other names used for OI are as follows:

orthostatic tachycardia syndrome

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)

hyperadrenergic postural hypotension

partial dysautonomia

sympathotonic orthostatic hypotension

hyperadrenergic orthostatic hypotension

mitral valve prolapse syndrome

SUPPLEMENTAL HELP

CALCIUM

Calcium, the body’s most abundant mineral, is located mostly in the bones and teeth because its function is to build and maintain bones and teeth. It also is essential for healthy blood, regular heart beats, and proper nerve transmission. Calcium is beneficial for cardiovascular disorders. Cases of calcium deficiency have provoked heart palpitations, slow pulse rates, and excessive irritability of nerves and muscles.

The best supplemental source lies in calcium lactate or gluconate because these are natural derivatives and easier to absorb. Foods rich in calcium are milk products, green leafy vegetables, shellfish, and molasses.

MAGNESIUM

This necessary mineral lives within the body cells to activate enzymes for the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids. It helps to regulate the acid-alkaline balance and to promote absorption and metabolism of other minerals and vitamins. With nearly 70 percent of it located in the bones, magnesium aids during bone growth, is vital for proper nerve, muscle, and heart functions, helps regulate body temperature and blood sugar convert to energy. Magnesium is alkaline, so it should not be taken after meals but can be used in place of antacids.

This mineral can help prevent heart attacks and depression. It is beneficial for neuromuscular disorders, nervousness, and sensitivity to noise. Contrary to the old sayings, magnesium helps form the hard tooth enamel that resists decay, not calcium.

Large amounts of magnesium can be toxic if the calcium is low and phosphorus is high. Magnesium loss increases with the use of diuretics and alcohol. Foods rich in this mineral are seafood, whole grains, dark-green vegetables, molasses, and nuts.

POTASSIUM

Elaine Hansen had spells of irregular heartbeats that would last up to twelve hours, often during the night. She felt very tired afterwards. Her family physician said the cause was low potassium.

This essential mineral works with sodium to help normalize the heartbeat. If you’re prone to palpitations, you might feel them when you are in the low-to-normal range for serum potassium. When they come on, try drinking orange juice to help the palpitations go away.

Together, potassium and sodium regulate the body’s water balance, i.e. they distribute the fluids on the cells’ walls. They equalize the acid-alkali factor, help in muscle contraction and expansion and in nerve stimulation. With phosphorus, potassium sends oxygen to the brain and with calcium regulates neuromuscular activity. This is a handy little mineral for our bodies.

However, potassium and sodium must be in balance or excessive salt will deplete potassium. Alcohol and excessive sugar can deplete both potassium and magnesium. Potassium is excreted through urination and perspiration. Foods with potassium are lean meats, whole grains, vegetables, dried fruits, legumes, and sunflower seeds. A high potassium level can be life-threatening and can occur in renal failure.

SODIUM

Half of our body’s sodium is found in the extra-cellular fluids such as the blood vessels, arteries, veins, and capillaries. As I wrote in the last section, sodium works in conjunction with potassium. It keeps other blood minerals soluble so they won’t become deposits in the bloodstream. Foods naturally rich in sodium are seafood, celery, milk products, table salt, and baking powder.

WATER

In elementary school we learned water is two-thirds of our body weight, so we know it’s our body’s most important nutrient. It makes up about 70 percent of our weight. We can live longer without food than we can without water. Water is needed for everything from maintaining body temperature to carrying away our waste. For MVPS/D, water is essential to maintain a level high blood volume.

My young neighbor Ryan had a problem with constipation. His parents used all the usual remedies. Still, Ryan might wait as long as five days without a bowel movement.

Finally his doctor asked how much water he drank daily. When his mother answered, the doctor said that was sufficient for some; however, some people’s colons absorb water at different rates. The faster the absorbency, the firmer the stools. Presumably then (assuming no other variants), the more water one drinks, the softer the stools.

I never considered water as an answer to my irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I had assured myself I drank enough water. Besides, my stools usually change when I’ve overworked and my other symptoms, such as migraine and fatigue, come out of hiding.

When I began drinking my gallon (and that takes discipline!), my stools softened to normal consistency without my other MVPS/D appearing. Since I’ve been on the gallon regimen, my stools have been firm or softened, never irritably hard.

Of course, other elements can be involved such as the foods we eat and much more. Chocolate and red meats harden stools. I discovered . . . for me . . . that water helped my IBS.

Someone commented about drinking too much water. In the May, 2000, issue of Town and Country magazine, Diane Quagliani, a registered dietitian and spokesman for the American Dietetic Association, was quoted, “Everyone loses about ten cups of water daily, so it’s important to drink about eight eight-ounce cups of fluid-the rest is made up by water in foods and the water the body makes in metabolism. The bigger, more active, and more overheated you are, the more fluids you should take in. Taking in too much (water) is not very likely, unless it is gallons a day, and the main danger would be flushing out too many electrolytes. Healthy kidneys can keep up with most consumption.”

Others complained they would have to run to the potty more often. In hot humid weather, the average person should eliminate urine every two hours if the person drinks sufficient water to cover sweating, according to my family physician.

When I tried the gallon experiment, some days I hit the toilet plunger more than the norm. But another day I wouldn’t. What is normal anyway? The question should be “What is best for your body?”

The Town and Country article writer, Ila Stranger, wrote that it “makes sense that drinking enough water is bound to help us avoid dehydration-which can happen as easily in the overheated rooms of midwinter as in the summer sun-and make us look and feel alive and well.”

Each day I grab a gallon jug of spring water or fill a gallon pitcher and set it on the counter to remind me to strive to drink more water. Not only for my IBS but for my blood volume, blood pressure, and the many other tasks my body constantly performs. I’ve found in the winter lukewarm water is swallowed easier. Ice water is a shock to the throat, sometimes even in hot weather.

Some people prefer to drink mineral water rather than tap water. Others use well water. Neither should be relied upon for a person’s source of minerals. Distilled means the water has been boiled water with all harmful or beneficial minerals eliminated. Fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources for chemically pure water, which is 100 percent pure hydrogen and oxygen. The use of these are an individual choice.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s hot line is 1-800-426-4791; its website is http://www.epa.gov/safewater. The Natural Resources Defense Council website (www.nrdc.org) contains in its archives the results of a recent four-year study on bottled waters. The author of the summary results is Dr. Andrew Weil on the website http://www.pathfinder.com/drweil.

ANTIBIOTICS

Before any invasive procedures, MVPS/D patients with valve leakage should take antibiotics to prevent bacterial infection from forming on their valve. Such as dental work, body piercing, tattoo, and surgery. A few years ago the physicians recommended antibiotics for all MVP patients. Now only those with definite regurgitation (leakage) are urged to do this, and the dosage has been cutback to only before the procedure.

For other surgeries and procedures you can consult with your physician or the MVP clinics.

RESEARCH IN MVPS/D

Dr. Al Davies, associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has led the MVPS/D research of chemical reactions between adrenaline and several important proteins.

The proteins are located near the lining membrane of a cell of a body organ. Three proteins of greatest importance are: the receptor on the cell’s surface, a G-protein located inward, and an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase on the inside cell membrane’s surface.

Normally, adrenaline attaches to the receptor protein, which combines with the G-protein. (Full name is stimulatory guanine nucleotide regulatory protein.) Once these are activated, they turn on the enzyme which causes internal actions such as rising blood pressure or increased heart rate.

Dr. Davies and his colleagues have shown that the MVPS/D patient’s abnormally increased sensitivity to adrenaline is due to an overly active, abnormal G-protein.

The possibilities to the question “Why?” are numerous. And there are many steps before a full answer and treatment are developed. The researchers thought this might be due to an abnormal gene since the illness is hereditary. However, their studies show the gene is normal.

To the MVPS/D patient, that finding carries hope because the cause is not something as simple as a bad gene passed down from our grandfather. Something happens to the protein after the gene makes it and before the adrenaline activates it.

Editor of the November, 1998, special American Journal of Medical Sciences supplement on OI, Dr. David Robertson entitled the issue “Epidemic of Orthostatic Tachycardia and Orthostatic Intolerance.” Dr. Robinson writes that many centers actively pursue OI research and expect rapid improvements in diagnosis and therapy. The director of the Clinical Research Center at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, he adds, “A healthy appearing 20-year-old woman with dizziness, palpitations, and fatigue is certainly no longer passed over as having a psychosomatic illness!” Well, maybe not in Nashville. Generally the tilt table test is used to diagnose a dysautonomia.

MANY PHYSICIANS’ ATTITUDES

My former country physician may sound old-fashioned and something of the past; however, we with MVPS/D know his attitude remains with most of the physicians we meet today. One of the tough barriers we have to get around is finding a knowledgeable, caring physician.

For most people who have diabetes, cancer, or even strange diseases, they can contact a physician, and within a few visits they have their illnesses diagnosed. They are believed from the time they enter the physician’s office.

We with MVPS/D are not believed. We must research our own disorder, be abreast of the latest drug regimens, carry literature about our illness to give to the physician, and then know the physician probably will not consider our illness legitimate or treat us. It’s just crazy when you think about it! How much proof does a physician need? Why can’t they keep informed about MVPS/D when a fifth of the nation has MVP and might possibly become symptomatic?

Education and research are keys to solving the MVPS/D puzzle in our bodies. With these always lies hope. Miles and miles of hope!

The Story Behind Integrity Toys’ Fashion Royalty Line

Integrity Toys is one of the companies in the market today that produces a wide selection of fashionable dolls. The collections available are reminiscent of haute couture, golden age Hollywood glamour, and other modern-age high fashion themes. The dolls are mostly ball jointed and each has their own exquisite array of wardrobes. Integrity Toys had then hired Jason Wu as a freelance doll clothing designer when he was still sixteen. Jason Wu later created the Integrity Toy’s doll collection called Fashion Royalty and he was later named as the creative director of Integrity Toys a year after.

The story line behind the Fashion Royalty line revolves around the competition between two huge cosmetic companies who are fighting over market shares in the European market and eventually global dominance. Their world had then become ever more challenging with the entrance of a third huge company ready to complicate the competition. Thus, collectors of the Fashion Royalty line will be introduced to the companies “W” (owned by Veronique Perrin), “V” (formed by Baroness Agnes Von Weiss), and Missima Cosmetics (headed by Natalie Fatale).

For doll collectors who are interested in fashion and creative designing, the characters of Fashion Royalty will provide you inspiration. Famous characters of this line are Veronique Perrin, Vanessa Perrin, Adele Makeda, Isha, Luchia Z., Baroness Agnes Von Weiss, Kyori Sato, Natalia Fatale, Eugenia Perrin Frost, Darius Reid, Pierre DeVries, and Francisco Leon. The Fashion Royalty collection of Jason Wu was first unveiled at the International Toy Fair in February 2001 in New York City. Every year there is an exciting new look for almost every character with new wardrobes in line. An accessory that should be part of every collector’s line-up is the story card portfolio which only had 1000 of these produced.

In 2009, the Future Perfect Collection was introduced with a new exciting feature. The dolls’ bodies came with a “handspeak system” wherein the hands can be removed to make wardrobe change easier. They also came with additional hands that are posed to hold with accessories. In 2010, Integrity Toys launched the Foundation Dazzle Collection which showcased haute couture and the fashion of the swinging 60s for W Cosmetics’ new fashion ad campaign. The sophisticated look of this collection reminds collectors of the original inspiration for these dolls which is the Gene Marshall.

Collectors of Jason Wu’s Fashion Royalty dolls will never cease to get excited as new lines and repaints are introduced each year. Every year, there is also a set of limited edition dolls of 180 figures to at most a thousand figures produced for a single character or design. Thus, collectors of the series will surely appreciate the exclusiveness and rarity of some doll models perhaps after a decade or so.

Facts About Cable Television

Years ago, television was a black and white screen that gave its viewers a limited number of programming. However, even though television options were limited back then, the popularity of television never subsided. By the touch of a button, consumers could be exposed to various forms of entertainment, right in their living rooms.

Since the 20th century, the button has been replaced by the remote as the 21st century gives us technology that has become a standard for many Americans. One of them is cable television.

This form of television is delivered by way of a coaxial cable. In order to benefit from this, a viewer must be a subscriber to a provider of this form of television. Legally, it is not a free service, although when it first came onto the scene, theft was a problem. Today, companies have worked hard to provide television services only to those who pay for it.

The United States has the honor of having invented many of today’s top services. Community antenna television, now known as cable television, is a 20th century invention. It was invented in June of 1948 in Mahoney City, Pennsylvania by a man named John Walson.

Mr. Walson, a television salesman, took a transmission line and strung it from an antenna attached to his store to some homes of people who had bought televisions from him. His desire was to improve signal quality due to the poor reception available in his community. Since then, CATV has been perfected and continues to be perfected.

As people contact cable companies to replace their broadcast, they are being treated to constant updates, such as the new interactive television that allows a viewer to interact with the programming on the screen. For example, viewers who watch football games can be treated to special camera angles and other options that they can control.

One major improvement that the industry has incorporated is the conversion from analog TV, which is traditional broadcast television, to high quality digital signals. The availability of interactive television means that access can also be delivered to your computer by way of the Internet.

There are some interesting facts when it comes to cable television. More women than men subscribe, with the median age of a cable subscriber being in the mid-forties. About a fourth of subscribers are college graduates and more than half are married. The median household income of a typical subscriber is around $45.00.

The biggest group of people who watch cable television are families with children. Also, when it comes to children, over 70,000 schools subscribe in the classroom. These programs are funded by the government, by the television companies and by private donations.

Today, cable television viewing can also be enhanced with the best in technology when it comes to hardware. Today’s viewers are treated to flat screen televisions and high definition television. The color and sound of television is better today than ever before. If you subscribe, chances are you will want to enhance your investment with one of the newer television options available.

Top Ten List of Bad Mortgage Lenders

When a person is in bad credit, it depicts to the world that he is not worthy of credit. If he tries to take a personal loan, banks and financial institutions will shut their doors on him. Only sub prime bad credit lenders will give him money but they will charge exorbitant rates of interest. However, he can avoid all these problems if he goes in for a mortgage loan. In this type of loan, the borrower has to give same asset as a security for the loan. If he defaults on the loan, the lender can sell the asset and use that money to realize the loan.

Mortgage lenders charge very reasonable rates of interest as their own risk is very less. Bad mortgage lenders may charge a small premium fee as compared the ordinary mortgage lenders as it is considered a huge risk to lend money to a person in bad credit. Forbes and various other agencies conduct surveys and compile a top ten list of bad mortgage lenders. Based on these data, let us analyze the names that are on the list.

Citigroup: The largest financial services company not only in America but in the entire world-this honor goes to Citigroup, whose assets exceed $1trillion. It has more than 200 million customers in more than 100 countries. It is largest issuer of credit cards in the entire world. It survived the great Depression, innovated itself in the mid-20th century and feel into a series of scandals in the early 2000s. Still, it holds its ground because of its unparalleled service and total solutions. Its major competitors are J. P. Morgan chase & co., Bank of America Corporation and Merrill Lynch & co. Citigroup has a still longer way to go. It has set its aspiration for a 75% increase in dividends. Only time will tell if this dream is to become a reality.

Citigroup tops the Forbes list as the best mortgage company for bad credit. One main reason for this is the unparalleled customer service that this company provides. This corporate giant has a large network of support to ease the application and use of mortgage loans for its borrowers. It has a great reputation that it preserves untarnished. It operates in moose than 54 countries apart from America. In 2006 alone, it had revenue of $108 billion and current assets of $1.3 trillion.

Bank of America: Next in line appears the Bank of America. It ranks second in the Forbes list. This is America’s leading bank. It is a leader in offering mortgage services and small loans to its customers. It is not only the third largest American bank but is also a guru in credit card dealing. The best part in availing a mortgage here is

i) There is no application fee and closing fees here

ii) There is no need for private mortgage insurance

iii) it has close on-time guarantee and the best value guarantee

iv) Bank of America have 24/7 support to check application status and get real time status updates.

Wells Fargo Bank: Wells Fargo is the major American mortgage company. It has more than thousand branches spread across the world. Out of its’ revenue of $33 million in 2005, mortgage lending contributed a major portion. As per the market cap, this bank is the 9th largest in the world and it is the 5th largest bank in America as per its assets. It has more than 23 million customers and nearly 160, 000 employees.

Wachovia: Wachovia is the fourth largest mortgage bank in America. They have a 25% discount offer on the origination fee if you use their online service. Wachovia assists mortgage-takers in every step from buying a new house to moving in. In fact, they have a ‘Move Easy with Wachovia’ program wherein you can avail their moving service at no additional cost plus you can even win a cash reward if you use their network real estate agent to purchase your house.

Golden West Financial Corporation: The third largest savings and loan corporation in America is the Golden West Financial Corporation. It has nearly 450 locations. This is one of the best and largest bad mortgage lenders in America. It focuses mostly on the individual home buyers. One small disadvantage of this company is its traditional nature. It is not quick in taking up and offering the zillions of other little products and services that other companies offer. But, still it has held its ground even in difficult economic environment.

BB & T: BB & T provides total financial solutions for everyone-right from student loan and home loans to loans for raising capital and financing businesses. They offer credit cards, insurance, merchant services and all. It is the nation’s 14th largest financial-holding company and has locations in over 11 states at 1500 places including the Washington D. C. It has nearly 29000 employees to provide a total comprehensive service solution.

Popular: Puerto Rico’s largest bank is Banco Popular and this is a subsidiary of Popular Inc., a bank holding company. It is the largest vehicle-leasing and daily-rental company of Puerto Rico and issues mortgages and other loans. It has seen a rapid growth in US in last few years and now stands as one of the leading provider’s of bad mortgage loans.

After this appear M & T, Marshall and ILSLEY, Amsouth Bancorp and Synovus Financial. They find a prominent place in most of the lists of bad mortgage lenders. This list is neither accurate for all times nor is it comprehensive.

So, always shop around and get quotations from various lenders before choosing the lender who is best suited for your financial situation. Remember the business maxim ‘caveat emptor’ – ‘let the buyer be aware’ applies to mortgage loans too.

An Interior Designers View on Fabrics

Lets start with upholstery weight fabrics, as durability is always in the forefront. The weight of these fabrics is defined as being able to hold up to heavy usage. You can definitely feel the difference between a light weight fabric, usually used for drapery or toss pillows, and a heavy weight fabric used for upholstery, pillows, and cornices. For well used seating such as family room sofas, breakfast chairs, office chairs, and children rooms, a heavy weight fabric such as chenille, micro fibers, leathers (though technically leather is not a “fabric”, but a material used in upholstery), or any other tightly woven fabric is best suited. These materials are generally easy to clean and keep clean. In more formal settings, a backed silk becomes very durable, but usually not cleaned easily, unless professionally cleaned, and then there could still be problems. The above mentioned fabrics are also well suite for upholstered walls and ceilings, even though a light weight fabric could also fit the bill. There are general rules for patterned fabrics and solids. Lets define the difference in there use. For larger upholstered pieces most interior designers use a solid fabric and accent with a patterned toss pillow. There are many fabrics on the market today that appear solid, but have a small dot, a slight slub, a subtle thread running through it, that will make up beautifully on upholstered pieces. They add a new dimension to the furniture piece, add a little excitement, a show a different style. Patterned fabrics are used more as accents since changing them will result in very little expense. To change a few toss pillows to a different color as compared to changing as entire sofa, clearly make sense.

Light weight fabrics have there purposes and needs. These fabrics used properly by an interior designer, will bring the color and excitement to your room. Light weight fabrics are used mainly for drapery and accent or toss pillows. These light weight fabrics flow easily, fold easily on drapery swags, hang beautifully for side panels and tab top drape, and generally cost less. Cost is truly a factor since drapery panels should be “full”, and require a great deal of yardage. Mix and match solids and prints in these light weight fabrics, add tassels and trim in coordinating colors, to get the most out of your drapery applications. Patterned fabrics are also a great way to spark up a sofa in a solid fabric. Using a vibrate pattern for these pillows pulls in and adds to your accent color palette. I would recommend a heavy weight fabric for toss pillows in any room heavily used, even though I would still recommend a patterned fabric.

When consulting with an interior designer, make sure they understand the use of each area. In my experience, adults are usually worse than children when it come to wear and tear on furnishings, so remain diligent when selecting your fabrics no matter who lives in the home. Remember the International Design House philosophy, “Beautifying the world, one room at a time”.

Inside Kenya – The Tribe of the Agikuyu

The history of the Agikuyu people has been passed on from generation to generation. The younger generation of the Agikuyu should be grateful and thankful of the older generation for having passed down the ways of the Agikuyu people from their beginnings and ways of life through word of mouth.

The first parents of the Agikuyu, that is, Gikuyu and Mumbi lived in Mukurwe-ini wa Gathanga (a place that is on the boarder of Murang’a and Nyeri. Gikuyu and Mumbi called God “Mwene -Nyaga” because they believed He used to live up in the Mountain of Kirinyaga. Every time they used to pray they would face in the direction of the mountain Kirinyaga (now Mount Kenya).

One question is whether God created Gikuyu at that same place Mukurwe-ini wa Gathanga or if he was brought there from some other place. This is a hard question because even the old generation knows that Gikuyu and Mumbi lived in Mukurwe-ini wa Gathanga and they did not know if he had ever lived at any other place.

All the story about the origins of the Agikuyu people show that when people started living in this world it’s the same time that Gikuyu was given the Land by God just the way it was and God made Kirinyaga his dwelling place.

Gikuyu was shown where he will be living in Mukurwe-ini was Gathanga and was ordered that every time he was in need of anything, all he needed to do was offer a sacrifice, praising God as he raised his hands towards Kirinyaga and by so doing GIkuyu would be given anything he needed.

History shows that the Agikuyu people are Bantus. In Africa there are other Bantus such as the Ataita, Agiriama, Apokomo, and Abaluhya. In Tanzania we have the Achaga, In Uganda we have the Buganda and in South Africa we have the Zulus.

In the Old Testament in the book of Exodus, the people of Israel prayed to God in Mountains like in Mount Sinai. They also used to offer sacrifices by slaughtering animals such as sheep and use the blood to offer the sacrifices.

The way of life of the people of Israel has similarities with those of the Agikuyu people and that is why we see that all people everywhere in the world were created at the same place and later spread out.

Mukurwe wa Gathanga is a place that is in the boarder of Murang’a and Nyeri. It’s a very popular place because it’s where Gikuyu and Mumbi gave birth to their children.

Gikuyu had ten daughters and nine out of the ten got married except one who got pregnant out of wedlock. All the ten daughters gave birth to their children who today are associated with the name of their mother.

The daughters with one name are Wanjiru, Wambui, Wangari and Wanjiku. Those with two names are Wanjeri or Waceera, Nyambura or Wakiuru, Wangeci or Waithera, Wairimu or Gathigia, Wangui or Waithiegeni and Wamuyu or Warigia.

Using A Plagiarism Checker Online

If you work as a researcher, content writer or running a website, then epidemic of duplication and plagiarism has become a concern for you. Fortunately, there are tools available that help in plagiarism checking and detection. The online plagiarism checker helps to detect plagiarism from the text and highlight the part of the text published or copied to somewhere on the web. Using such plagiarism tools will help you to get rid of the plagiarism and create genuine content for your websites.

How to Choose A Plagiarism Checker

There are a number of reasons, which form the basis to use the plagiarism checker tools online. The plagiarism tools have a great variety ranging from free to paid tools. However, most of the free tools are enough to fulfill the purpose and you don’t need to buy plagiarism checker online. The user testimonials and feedback about a particular product or service plays an important role in choosing the plagiarism tool online. Following points can help to choose the right software for plagiarism:

· One of the factors that users normally determined is ease of access to the tool. If you are able to access the website and use the tool without any complications then you may use the tool again and again. So, ease to access is the most important factor that determines the use of plagiarism tool.

· Look at the popularity of the tool. If too many people are recommending and using the website for plagiarism, then the plagiarism tool has got something special and you should try it as well.

· Check the number of sources that the tool has scanned in the history. The more tools, it has scanned, then the better the software will work for the plagiarism.

· Check the percentage of plagiarism the software detects from the text. If it works 100%, then you must prefer the tool over the others.

· Does this plagiarism checker tool offer any detailed report about the plagiarism checks? If it provides a detailed report about the plagiarism, then you should pick this tool to find plagiarism.

· How long does it give free access to the users? If the tool is offered for the limited period of time, then it’s better to find out some other tool for checking plagiarism online.

· Does this tool need any software to download and install to use the application? It is quite annoying for most of the users and normally users prefer to use such software without any hassles.

However, every person has a different need and requirements to use the application. It might be important for you to consider the accuracy and cost, so consider all such points before finally using any software for checking plagiarism.

Copier Technician Basics

What is a copier technician?

A copier technician is a technician that repairs the copier. That sounds easy enough. A technician that repairs the copier. This sounds like a very simple trite little saying but it contains so much. Lets unpack or truly define the term copier technician. Wikipedia has an interesting definition. A technician is a worker in a field of technology who is proficient in the relevant skills and techniques, with a relatively practical understanding of the theoretical principles. Experienced technicians in a specific tool domain typically have intermediate understanding of theory and expert proficiency in technique. As such, technicians are generally much better versed in technique compared to average layman and even general professionals in that field of technology.”

Copier Technicians are also often referred to as field engineers. Here is a good working definition of that term. A field engineer is a professional who works at job sites other than the main company office or headquarters. This person often services clients at their homes or businesses. He or she may work in a variety of fields, and can be responsible for installing hardware, servicing a machine, or the maintenance and repair of already-installed products.

Expertise in the area of service, including a strong familiarity with the product, creativity, and problem-solving abilities are all good skills for a field engineer to develop. Since field engineers typically work directly with clients, it can be beneficial to have strong communication skills as well. Good fine motor skills and dexterity are often required. Now what does that mean? It means this. The average copier technician can be considered as one having a practical knowledge of theoretical principles. This means that where as an average person can say there is a problem with the copier. A copier technician can define the problem. This also means that if an engineer can define the location of the problem then the copier technician can fix it.

What skills are required to be a copier technician?

If you are in high school and reading this then lets deal with the starting point of what will help you as a technician. Copier technicians are great puzzle solvers. This means any toys or games that involve solving puzzles is great help in developing the mental processes necessary to solve copier problems. Puzzles such as sudoku, jig saw puzzles, rubics puzzles and the like are good training for copier techs. Video games are also good training. If its an rts… this teaches you process… if it’s an srpg… this teaches management of resources. if its a sim… this teaches you relationships… Its also good to be mechanically inclined. that means you are the individual who would rather fix a computer problem than pay to have it done or cook a meal instead of buying it.

Now what kind of degree is required. To be honest none really but most companies are looking for an A+. An A+ means that you understand how computers work and you are familiar enough with them that you have taken an industry standard test that proves it. There is also the comptia pdi+ This is a straight out basic copier training that says you know the basics. Its also good if you have network background. A comptia n+ certification would also be something good to have. Concerning in service certifications and trainings from the manufacturer, these are generally provided by the dealer who employs you. If you get enough of these then you are generally very proficient at what you do and can really coast around from job to job but as with anything else your mileage will vary.

Learning basic copier theory.

If you have an old fax machine then you have enough to learn basic copier and printer theory and troubleshooting. Why? Well most fax comes with basic copying and printing capabilities and its a cheap way to learn.

  • 1st. lets deal with paper path.
  • Paper is fed from the trays or the input section
  • it then travels by the drum where it receives an image and then it goes to the fuser where that image is burned in. the paper then exits the copier and is picked up by the end user.
  • lets say there is a paper jam.
  • your fist step is to find out where the paper is stopping.
  • once you know that then you have to see if its being blocked by a paperclip… a lose part or poor roller contact or a a broken gear.
  • next lets deal with image problems
  • in general the fax takes a picture of the image and then turns that image into electronic signals and then shoots them over to the drum where it is changes from a set of electronic signals into a text and images on paper.

Lets start with lines on copies…

  • do an internal print like meter report or a status report. then do a copy job. if you see lines on the copies but not the prints then the part that takes the picture is bad or possibly dirty. if there are lines on the prints but not the copies then the issue is with the original or there is an internal memory problem. if there are lines on both then you might have a dirty camera or laser or fuser.
  • if the fax is making grinding noises there is a cracked or broken gear. if the fax is not turning on then check the switch the outlet it is plugged into… if fax still not turning on then test the power cable with a continuity test. if still not turning on then test the power supply… if still not turning on then go to the service manual
  • if service manual not useful then check the manufacturer service line
  • if manufacturer service line not helpful then check the tech forums
  • if tech forums not helpful then Google the problem.
  • if parts are broken check the parts manual and order.
  • if unable to find parts then Google the part and order.

Getting Your Ex Back When They Don’t Seem Interested

If there’s anything that hurts more than getting dumped, it’s the feeling of total detachment or disinterest from your ex boyfriend or girlfriend. One minute you’re dating and seeing each other every day, and the next minute your ex seems cold, distant, and totally uninterested in hearing from you. So what gives?

What Goes On In Your Ex’s Mind After They Break Up With You

Before you can go about getting your ex back, you need to understand the basics of breakup mechanics. This means you need to stop feeling sorry for yourself and start looking at things from your ex’s perspective, with a level head and a clear mind. Right now, things aren’t exactly as they seem. Although your ex can seem wholly uninterested in contact right now, it certainly doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t still have feelings for you.

Breaking up is tough on the both of you. Your exboyfriend or exgirlfriend might seem carefree and callous right now, but this is usually a wall put forth to cover some very deep-seeded emotions. The bonds you formed while dating didn’t happen overnight… they took months or even years to develop. By the same token, your ex’s feelings for you aren’t going to disappear at the drop of a hat, despite what it may outwardly look like at the moment.

To sum it up? Your ex still has feelings for you after the breakup. But the easiest way to keep the breakup going is for them to bury or ignore these feelings, and to detach from you as quickly and completely as possible. This is why your ex won’t return your phone calls, answer your emails, or otherwise engage you in any form of contact right now. At the moment, they’re too busy trying to keep you at arm’s length so they can fully process the breakup.

Getting Your Ex To Want You Back – First Moves

An important thing most people don’t realize is that getting back together is a two-way street. It’s not enough to want your boyfriend or girlfriend back with every part of your heart and soul… you need to make your ex want YOU as well. Until that happens, reversing your breakup just won’t be possible. Focusing on what your ex wants is a lot more important than focusing only on what you’re trying to achieve.

To make your ex want you, the first thing you need to do is withdraw. The reason for this is simple: your ex needs to miss you before they can start wanting you back. Ever since the breakup, there’s already a void in your exboyfriend or exgirlfriend’s life where you used to be. There are things you used to do, places you used to go, and daily routines that no longer exist since he or she broke up with you.

Playing upon that, you can get your ex to miss you very quickly, even when they don’t seem interested. The only problem with this is you can screw it up very easily through unwanted contact. Calling, texting, emailing, or even showing up to see your ex boyfriend or girlfriend are all counterproductive to the process of getting them back. Your ex won’t ever start missing you if you’re still always around, which is why going away and becoming a complete mystery to them is so important right now.

Essentially, you want your ex to think that you’ve moved on without them, as if the breakup hasn’t affected you one bit. You want your ex worried about losing you, both as a friend or a potential fallback just in case they made a mistake by breaking things off. The less your ex knows about your post-breakup life, the more they’ll be interested in hearing from you again. And the longer you can go without making any form of contact, the more you’re piquing your ex boyfriend or girlfriend’s interest.

Other Ways To Get Your Ex To Call You

Making your ex come back to you is far, far better than running back to them. The less needy and desperate you seem, the greater your chances for successfully fixing your breakup. And best of all? When your ex comes looking for you, the new relationship you forge will be ten times stronger than if you were the one who chased after them. This is why it’s always better to get your ex to call you, contact you, or seek you out… rather than the other way around.

So what does it mean when your ex is ignoring you? Not as much as you think it does. There are some very fast methods and techniques for turning the tide of your breakup, and for getting your ex to chase YOU. Learning what these are can make the difference between losing your ex for good or getting back in their arms again.