How Does Scotch Guard Work?

When people think of cleaning their carpets and furniture, they often consider whether they should have Scotch Guard applied as well. Stain protection for your furniture and carpets is a wise decision, however most people have a misconception about stain protection products. Let me explain the mechanics of the product for all of those people wondering, “How does Scotch Guard work”?

The most common fallacy about Scotchgard, is the idea that despite relentlessly abusing carpets and furniture, adding fabric protection will keep them brand new looking. This is simply not the case, even with scotchgard, persistent maltreatment of furniture and carpets will show wear and tear. Fabric protection products will protect your furniture and carpets and prolong the showing of deterioration, but it’s not bulletproof. So how does Scotch Guard work?

This technology is intended to prevent stains, dirt, and grime from penetrating the fibres of your carpet or furniture. The chemical is safe and extremely effective when applied correctly with the accurate measurements and techniques. What does that mean? If you buy a can of Scotchgard obviously, the strength of that product is not the same as what they provide to professionals. The reason the concentration is so much lower is simple, the company does not want to pay to replace furniture and carpet for every disgruntled customer who decides to apply more than is recommended because they think their carpets need more protection.

If the product is applied properly, it will create a protective shield that repels liquid, dirt and grime, thus giving you the time you need to clean the spills and prevent stains. If you spill red wine for instance, and the carpet does not have Scotch Guard, you will see the carpet turn a pink color as the wine absorbs into the fibre. If you spill that same glass of wine and your carpet is Scotch Guard protected, you will see the wine bead up and remain on top of the carpet. By repelling the liquid, you can run and grab some paper towel, apply it to the spill and let the liquid absorb into that, rather than your carpet. Let’s say you spill the wine and you have Scotchgard, but you decide to leave the wine and not clean it up because you have stain protection, it could eventually set in. The purpose of Scotchgard is to give you the time you need to prevent a stain. The problem is some people think because they have carpet protection they never have to clean their carpets again. These are usually the people who are disappointed with the results.

The other fantastic benefit of Scotch Guard is the prevention of wear patterns in the carpet. If you have ever looked closely at peoples carpets you can usually see where they walk most often. The carpets in high traffic areas often discolour from wear and tear. The protective shield of the Scotch Guard prolongs the beauty of those areas and prevents the carpet from discolouring as quickly. However, as I have mentioned earlier the product is not bulletproof, even though it prevents the carpet from discolouring the constant rubbing and pressure on the carpet does flatten the fibres in high traffic areas. The high traffic areas with Scotch Guard stay new looking much longer than without, but again don’t expect miracles, although Scotch Guard is a great product it isn’t magic.

The purpose of this article is not to dissuade you from using Scotch Guard, on the contrary, the intention is to educate you about what to expect from Scotch Guard. So many people over exaggerate the benefits of Scotch Guard and the customers are ill prepared for spills. If you want to prolong the splendour of your carpets and furniture, Scotch Guard can accomplish that goal for you. Nevertheless, it’s important for you to understand the limitations of the product so that you will use proper care and love your results, after all you know what they say “well prepared is half there”.

Reindeer Hide Rugs – The Perfect Winter Home Accessory Piece

Reindeer hides come in stunning natural hues of greys and browns. Over the recent years their use as rugs and furniture throws in homes has increased due to their natural beauty and elegance. Most of them are sourced from the Arctic regions of Finland where their skins are a natural by-product of the meat industry.

Due to their wonderful, tactile qualities, texture and colours they are proving a hit in many contemporary and traditional households, and are used as unique rugs and furniture throws.

A reindeer hide looks fabulous draped over the arm of your favourite armchair or sofa, and will also double as a wonderful toe-warmer on those cold Winter nights snuggled up on the sofa watching a movie. They may also be used as the foot of your bed to keep your toes and feet toasty on a cold winter’s night.

You may also use a reindeer hide as a luxurious and elegant floor rug, and the effect which is created when the reindeer hide is placed on wooden or stone flooring is truly spectacular. You must exercise caution when using them as floor rugs as they can be brittle haired, and without the correct care can be prone to excessive hair loss and shedding.

If you intend on using your reindeer hide as a rug, you should keep the hide away from all direct sources of heat such as under floor heating and close to fireplaces. It is also worthwhile keeping your hide away from direct sources of sunlight as placing them near a window could also make your reindeer rug dry out. To maximise the longevity of your reindeer hide you should place it in a low foot traffic area where it will not be constantly trampled on.

Every month you may take your rug outside and give it a good shake-out to remove any loose particles or dust. Providing you have a silicone treated hide you may also spray it with a fine mist water sprayer to lock some of the moisture back into the hide and prevent it from drying out.

We have looked at the possibilities of using a reindeer hide as a furniture throw or rug but they also make wonderful accent pieces and throws outdoor, particularly in the Winter months when it is cold outside. They are wonderful thick hides so using them on your outdoor furniture as a winter throw on a crisp, sunny day will enable you to sit outdoors and keep wrapped up to enjoy a little of the Winter sunshine. For this purpose you could also use them in your conservatory.

Wherever you end up using your reindeer hide, whether it be indoors or out you will quickly fall in love with your new home decor accessory and with a little tlc you will be able to use and cherish your hide through many Winters and Summers to come!

The Best Types of Vehicles to Use For Hauling Carpet

When installing new carpet you can always have it delivered. Most carpet vendors or manufacturers expect you to want to carpet delivered, so they already have some type of service in place for this. This service is usually expensive and will create additional expenses that you might not have budgeted for. If you are doing the job yourself you probably want to cut back on costs, and try to haul it yourself.

Most self installers like to haul the carpet themselves or find it essential to have the ability to haul the carpet themselves. This is especially important if you are doing some sort of side job for friends and family. If you own the correct vehicle and tools, or are able to borrow them for free you will be in a much better place financially. But be careful, CARPET IS HEAVY, and loading and unloading large rolls of carpet is hard work. You might want to get a friend to help you move the carpet around.

Now on to the vehicle of choice…In my opinion, the ideal truck to haul carpet from job site to job site is a 16 foot box truck with a “granny’s attic”. Having a diesel engine box truck is even better as it will cut down on your fuel costs. The “granny’s attic” above the cab is great for storage. It will allow plenty of room for carpet, pad, tools and supplies along with protection from the elements.

For one time jobs you can use a pick-up truck, or trailer, but these are not the most ideal vehicles due to them not having protection from the elements. Although some truck have bed caps that can be added and removed from the vehicle easily. These can be great when hauling carpet in the rain when all you have is a pickup truck.

I’ve also seen dump trucks used, but they aren’t designed for this type of job. It doesn’t look easy to remove the carpet from the bed of the dump truck either (but then again I wouldn’t really know, I haven’t had to go this route, and hopefully will never have to). I assume these vehicles are only used as a last resort.

Another vehicle you can use to haul carpet is a van, one of those big work vans. I see these types of vehicles hauling carpet almost on a weekly basis, so they must be convenient. The only thing I see a problem with is that the carpet sometimes sticks out the back, making it essential to tie the carpet down or use bungee cords to keep the carpet from flying out the back door.

These are the best ways I have seen to haul carpet, so don’t let me see you flying down the highway with a huge roll of carpet tied to the roof of your Honda Prelude!

Removing Eczema – Four Effective Methods

The inflamed, red, crusty, flaky and blistering skin rashes that characterize eczema are the first things one would see with this skin condition. But what is really annoying for those who endure from this is the extreme itching that comes with it. It can become so unbearable that it can even disrupt the sufferers’ sleep. And no matter how much sufferers crave to scratch the itch, it is not recommended as it can result in infection and inflammation. Luckily, there are simple and safe natural home treatments to help reduce the irritation.

Applying an oatmeal paste or taking an oatmeal bath is 1 effective style of easing the discomfort.

Oatmeal is a favorite home curative for all kinds of itchiness. Oatmeal eases your uncomfortableness by assuaging and lessening the inflammation of your skin. Oatmeal is beneficial as while soothing your skin it also cleanses and hydrates it without further irritation.

For itchiness on most parts of the body, the best idea is to submerge your whole body in an oatmeal bath. You can utilize the old-fashioned ground (not instant) oats or the colloidal oatmeal. Put the oats in a cheesecloth and let it immerse it in your bathtub. But adding it straight away to the water also works. Colloidal oatmeal or those known as oat flour comes in powdered form. These are softened when set in the water until it dissolves. For itching on one part of the body, like the hand, put on the oatmeal directly onto the skin by creating a paste. You can also maximize the advantages of hydration while reducing the itchiness by blending your preferred moisturizer with the oatmeal paste.

Comfort skin with baking soda.

There are so many benefits of baking soda – from cleaning to disinfecting. Another use for it is to palliate and soothe itchiness. Taking a baking soda bath cleanses your skin without the need to do any scrubbing which can bring about skin irritation.

As with oatmeal, you can add baking soda directly to your bath water or make a paste with it to apply it directly to the affected part. Let the paste dry on your skin, then take away the excess by brushing it off the skin.

Lemon juice is another natural cure for eczema plagued skin.

The lemon juice’s aromatic matter is comprised of an aesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties that may help lessen itching.

Use lemon juice that’s freshly squeezed rather than those that come out from a bottle. You can dispense the lemon juice by putting it on the skin as is, or soak a wash cloth with it and place it over the skin.

The cold pack as a therapeutic.

Cold packs help dull the nerves on the skin’s surface to avoid that itchy feeling you get. Another use is that it reduces the irritation on the skin.

You can choose a purchased cold pack or go for the cheap home-made one. You can make a your own cold pack by taking a soft cloth and submerging it in water, then freezing it until it becomes cold but not too stiff. Or you can also immerse the cloth in ice-water then put it directly to the area of the skin that itches.

For more material about how to stop eczema, please check out How to Stop Eczema

Frozen Shoulder: Thawing the Sticky Mystery of Adhesive Capsulitis

Frozen Shoulder and Adhesive Capsulitis are both conditions that ultimately involve significant stiffness and restriction in both active and passive motion of the shoulder. The diagnosis is clinical, meaning it is primarily made based on the history and examination, and when there is not a clear initiating factor, idiopathic, it is reached when all other possibilities are excluded. The picture isn’t so simple, however, because there are literally hundreds of disorders or other diagnoses that can contribute or initiate the cascade of events that lead to a frozen shoulder. A frozen shoulder can also coexist with other entities, meaning patients may present with both a rotator cuff tear and frozen shoulder, for example.

It’s perplexing and murky nature was first recognized by Dr. Codman who aptly termed frozen shoulder as “difficult to define, difficult to treat and difficult to explain from the point of view of pathology.” In 1945, Neviaser coined the term adhesive capsulitis and described the pathological lesion of fibrosis, inflammation, and capsular contracture responsible for idiopathic frozen shoulder. Others have supported this description – histological analysis consistently demonstrates chronic nonspecific inflammation with synovial hyperplasia, proliferation of vessels and fibroblasts, and increased amount of extracellular matrix. Some have also highlighted the generally reduced level of synovial fluid, joint lubrication, found at different stages of adhesive capsulitis. To date, despite nearly a century of research, the root cause of frozen shoulder and adhesive capsulitis remain unknown.

Several researchers have suggested the likelihood that there may be an autoimmune and/or genetic component, whereby patients with a predilection or susceptibility to developing a frozen shoulder, only do so when a particular environmental or systemic trigger is encountered-setting in motion a complex cascade of events that ultimately lead to adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). This may help explain why patients with systemic diseases involving the endocrine system (hormones), such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, are at much greater risk for developing frozen shoulder.

SYMPTOMS

Gradual onset of pain at the lateral part of the arm (deltoid insertion, rather than at the shoulder joint, is the most common presenting complaint. Typically the pain is achy at rest and much sharper with movement, especially sudden or high-speed movements. Pain at night with sleep disturbance is also a very common complaint. With more advanced stages of adhesive capsulitis, shoulder stiffness or restricted range of motion becomes more apparent-inability to fasten bra behind back, reach back for seatbelt, or tuck in shirt, for example. These are understandably rather nonspecific complaints, meaning many other causes of shoulder pain can also present with these complaints, so the presence of one or more of these doesn’t mean you have a frozen shoulder-there may be other causes or you may have several causes all at once.

DIAGNOSIS

The diagnosis of frozen shoulder is clinical, meaning your doctor will perform a detailed evaluation to provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis. For instance, in our practice, the majority of patients referred with persistent or severe frozen shoulder have other contributing diagnoses, such as a pinched nerve, rotator cuff tear, labrum tear, etc.

TREATMENT

The goals of treatment are ultimately to reverse the inflammation, restore the elasticity, motion, and function of the shoulder, and most importantly remove the pain. Many different treatments have been recommended over the years, with varying levels of success.

Oral anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin, naproxen, etc.) have not been shown to be very effective in helping restore motion, but are commonly used to help with temporary pain relief. The studies looking at NSAIDs for frozen shoulder also report that side effects such as nausea are common with these drugs.

Oral anti-inflammatory steroids such as prednisone or a Medrol Dosepak show a more rapid relief of pain in studies, but unfortunately this effect is short-lived. The potential for systemic side effects, such as aseptic necrosis, and the inconvenience of daily dosing are disadvantages of systemic treatment.

Intra-articular steroid injections have been extensively studied and have been shown to offer a rapid improvement in pain with benefit for motion and function more likely in the early phases of adhesive capsulitis, before severe motion restriction is present.

Physical therapy is commonly prescribed for frozen shoulder, but most studies seem to indicate the best physical therapy involves using low grade mobilization techniques with gentle stretching within the patient’s pain threshold rather than high grade mobilization techniques and strenuous active and passive stretching beyond the pain threshold. This gentle form of physiotherapy has sometimes been called “benign neglect” in that the goal is to promote gradual restoration of active and passive motion and function rather than the more typical “no pain no gain” protocols commonly seen. In our experience, significant muscular spasm and changes in muscle-tendon flexibility are also present in these patients and low-grade mobilization techniques, including newer methods like proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), active stretch, and co-contraction, can help improve proprioception and muscular relaxation more effectively than the strenuous high-grade techniques.

Frozen Shoulder refractory to these conservative measures has historically been treated with manipulation under anesthesia. Complications of this technique have been reported including humeral fracture, rotator cuff rupture, labrum tears, and injury to the biceps tendon.

PREFERRED APPROACH

Our preferred approach for the early stages of adhesive capsulitis is an intra-articular steroid injection combined with a gentle shoulder mobilization program. For patients without concurrent pathology or other mitigating factor, this approach provides a high level of satisfaction and success for both the patient and physician.

Refractory frozen shoulder and adhesive capsulitis are best addressed in our hands with an all-arthroscopic approach. As many of these patients have concurrent or contributing pathology, we prefer the anatomic precision and accuracy of an arthroscopic capsulotomy, which also allows us to evaluate and treat concurrent pathology. After the arthroscopic procedure patients are immediately started on a gentle mobilization program to overcome the significant muscular contraction/spasm that is typically present. This low slow approach to regaining mobility still requires significant patient commitment, but ultimately provides our patients with a predictable path to pain relief and functional restoration.

CONCLUSION

Frozen shoulder and adhesive capsulitis are still without a clear known cause. Research continues on agents, such as hyaluronic acid for example, to short circuit the inflammatory cascade, inhibit scar deposition and enhance capsular remodeling but none have yet been approved for clinical use. Treatment starts with first clearly establishing a comprehensive diagnosis followed by a treatment regimen tailored to each patient. Arthroscopic capsulotomy, in our hands, has become the treatment of choice for patients with refractory severe adhesive capsulitis and frozen shoulder. More information is available at TheShoulderCenter.com

RC Airplane Scratch Building – EPS-Depron Vs EPP

If you are considering the option of building your own foam RC airplane, then you will want to weigh the options of which material to build it from. These two materials, EPS-Depron and EPP, are the most commonly used foams for just such a task.

EPS (expanded polystyrene), comes in several forms, depending on the application, however, Depron is the form used commonly for RC airplane fabrication. Depron is stiff and brittle, yet easily painted if using the correct type of paint. This foam is easy to cut, and moderately easy to sand to the desired contour. Standard Cyanoacrylate glue (CA or superglue) will dissolve this type of foam, as well as some spray adhesives and spray paints. There is no greater disappointment than to spend your valuable time, money, and effort building a beautiful model, bring out the spray paint and watch all your craftsmanship dissolve into nothing but a pile of goo! So, take special care to select a friendly adhesive and paint. Low temperature hot glue works great, and water-based paints are preferred. Experienced modelers are most likely to select EPS-Depron to build an RC airplane from scratch because of its stiffness and ease of contouring.

EPP (expanded polypropylene) is soft and pliable; and because of it’s softness is able to withstand moderate impacts. This foam is difficult to cut and nearly impossible to sand. Contouring can be accomplished, however, with a rasp tool. Cutting can be done with a very sharp knife, box cutter, or a hot wire cutter. Adhesives work fine on EPP including CA, low temperature hot glue, and many others. Painting onto EPP can be accomplished without worry of destruction by dissolving. Beginning RC pilots will be happier with their EPP construction because the RC airplane will be able to withstand crash after crash during the learning curve and still fly.

Construction of an RC airplane from either EPS-Depron or EPP is basically the same, with the exception of the slight differences in technique because of the material softness or brittleness. In both cases, you can use low temperature hot glue, a hot wire cutter, a jigsaw, and a box cutter. The main construction differences come in the areas of the aircraft that need extra support. The softness of EPP allows it to flex. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you add carbon rods in critical areas by cutting a groove into the material where you want the reinforcement, place the carbon rod in place, and fill in the groove with hot glue. Also, additional reinforcement of large areas can be accomplished using fiberglass mesh and epoxy, or by using duct tape. Control horns should be reinforced locally on both sides of the foam, and engine mounts should be doubly secured so as to not rely solely on just glue by cross pinning the mount through the airplane body. Then the body of the foam plane can be painted, covered with colorized shrink wrap, tape stripes and stickers of your choice. Add electronics, control rods, and an engine, then let the excitement begin!

Mitral Stenosis – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Mitral stenosis is a narrowing of the inlet valve into the left ventricle that prevents proper opening during diastolic filling of the heart. Rheumatic fever is the commonest cause of mitral stenosis. Breathlessness on exertion, cough, wheezing, chest pain, hemoptysis and symptoms of left heart failure are commonly seen in mitral stenosis. Symptoms typically start about 20 to 40 years after the initial episode of rheumatic fever, the incidence of which is not recollected by a majority of the patients.

The Ayurvedic treatment of mitral stenosis is aimed at controlling symptoms, preventing or slowing down disease progression and treating complications. Medicines like Shwas-Kuthar-Ras, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna, Gojivhadi-Qadha, Ras-Sindur, Malla-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Som (Ephedra vulgaris), Kantakari (Solanum Xanthocarpum), Bruhat-Kantakari (Solanum indicum), Karkatashrungi (Pistishia integerima), Kulingan (Alpimia galangal), Dhatura (Dhatura fastuosa), Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Pippali (Piper longum), Kushtha (Saussurea lappa) and Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa) are used to treat breathlessness, cough and wheezing. Chest pain and heart failure can be treated using medicines like Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Shrung-Bhasma, Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Arjunarishta, Drakshasav, Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Lashuna (Allium sativum), Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa). Hemoptysis can be treated using medicines like Kamdudha-Ras, Chandrakala-Ras, Vasa (Adhatoda vasaka) and Naagkeshar (Messua ferrea). Anemia can be treated using medicines like Punarnavadi-Mandur and Lohasav.

To prevent or retard disease progression, medicines are used which act directly on the mitral valve and the heart-muscle tendons attached to it. These medicines include Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Laxadi-Guggulu, Shrung-Bhasma, Ras-Sindur, Asthishrunkhala (Cissus quadrangularis), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Draksha (Vitis vinifera) and Nimba (Azadirachta indica). In addition, medicines like Suvarna-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma and Suvarna-Malini-Vasant are given in minute doses to improve the therapeutic response of other medicines and prevent further damage to the mitral valve.

Another important aspect of treatment is to prevent the complications of mitral stenosis, which include atrial fibrillation, systemic embolism and infective endocarditis. Medicines which can be used for this purpose are: Sukshma-Triphala, Triphala-Guggulu, Amalaki, Trikatu (Three pungent herbs), Kutki, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Praval- Bhasma, Praval-Panchamrut and Laxmi-Vilas-Ras.

Surgical intervention is required for patients with severe mitral stenosis who do not benefit from medications. Pulmonary embolism is one of the potentially serious complications of mitral stenosis. All patients with mitral stenosis should be under the regular care and supervision of a Cardiologist.

Painting HardiPlank Siding: How to Paint HardiPlank Without Voiding Your Warranty

James Hardie build­ing prod­ucts are an excel­lent brand to use for your home sid­ing pur­poses. HardiePlank®, or HardiPlank ® as they’re occa­sion­ally referred to, is durable fiberce­ment board sid­ing that is meant to last through the most extreme weather and tem­per­a­ture conditions.

What many cus­tomers love most about HardiPlank sid­ing is how ver­sa­tile it is. In addi­tion to being strong enough to with­stand the major­ity of the ele­ments, HardiPlank mate­r­ial can mimic the appear­ance and tex­ture of wood, leav­ing a beau­ti­ful fin­ish. HardiPlank sid­ing instal­la­tions can also be per­formed with Hardie board mate­r­ial that comes in a wide vari­ety of nat­ural col­or­ing, as well as pre­s­e­lected Col­or­Plus tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate an array of beau­ti­ful, nat­ural home sid­ing options that sim­ply require instal­la­tion for a gor­geous finish.

How to Paint HardiPlank

Now, while Col­or­Plus tech­nol­ogy already pro­vides home­own­ers and com­mer­cial prop­erty own­ers a beau­ti­ful home sid­ing prod­uct, James Hardie’s fiberce­ment board sid­ing can also be painted by the home­owner if they choose to change or touch up the color. While this makes your options eas­ier, it’s impor­tant to under­stand there are still spe­cial guide­lines which need to be con­sid­ered for best results of HardiePlank paint­ing projects.

Paint HardiePlank® sid­ing within the war­ranty spec­i­fi­ca­tions. Your war­ranty clearly states that primed Hardi sid­ing needs to be painted within 180 days, or roughly 6 months, of instal­la­tion. If your sid­ing is unprimed, then you’re allowed 90 days, or about 3 months, to have the sur­faces painted. Fail­ure to fol­low these guide­lines will can­cel out your warranty.

Use the right paint and mate­ri­als for the job. The com­pany highly rec­om­mends the use of their Prime­Plus prod­uct to prime your home sid­ing. Prime­Plus is spe­cially for­mu­lated to for use on fiberce­ment sid­ing, such as that of your James Hardie sid­ing. After your sur­face is prop­erly primed, it’s best advised that you pur­chase 100 per­cent acrylic exte­rior paint for your home, as acrylic paint is best suited for fiber cement, stone and stucco exte­rior painting.

Avoid the temp­ta­tion to stray from using proper paint­ing mate­ri­als to get the job done. For exam­ple, do not use oil based paint in order to paint your build­ing. Oil based paints on unprimed fiber cement will result in unde­sir­able effects. These effects include:

  • increased sur­face roughness
  • loss of adhesion
  • crack­ing
  • exces­sive chalking.

James Hardie does not sug­gest the use of oil based paints over unprimed fiber cement sid­ing. Stains con­tain­ing lin­seed oil are specif­i­cally designed for wood and are not con­sid­ered suit­able for fiber cement sid­ing prod­ucts, whether primed or unprimed.

More Tips for Paint­ing HardiePlank Material

Make sure all of your caulk­ing is com­pleted, and that all of your rough, and cut ends are primed when pos­si­ble. A good Hardi installer will prime every cut where it is pos­si­ble before installing. Addi­tion­ally, make sure that you com­plete a com­plete wash­ing of the HardiPlank exte­rior prior to paint­ing. This increases the dura­bil­ity of the paint job and helps to main­tain the fin­ish by pre­vent­ing pre­ma­ture peel­ing and chipping.

You have a choice of var­i­ous fin­ishes to use for your home exte­rior paint­ing. Many users say Satin fin­ish, while very shiny at first, is best because it will main­tain a new a fresh look as the shine wears down. With time, it will con­tinue to look new with min­i­mal main­te­nance, even more so than sim­ply using a Flat fin­ish, which will look bet­ter ini­tially but appear duller over time.

Renting an Apartment in Dallas With a Broken Lease and Bad Credit

Dallas is one of the largest cities in Texas and draws thousands of people looking to move here largely in search of economic and academic opportunities. These are afforded due to the fact that Dallas is one of the financial centers of the South being home to the Federal Reserve itself. Dallas also has a very hospitable weather. This makes it an ideal place to live. Dallas and its environs has a great deal of attractive apartments to meet any housing need from temporary to permanent. The apartments also do conduct checks to qualify applicants. Applicants are approved or disapproved once they pass this initial screening.

Can you find an apartment in Dallas if you have a broken lease and bad credit?

Many apartments in Dallas and its environs which includes neighborhoods such as Oak Cliff, Oak Lawn, Northwest, Kessler, and Red Bird, conduct credit checks and rental history checks on potential tenants. The credit checks access information from any of the three major bureaus to determine eligibility.

The other check that they conduct is a review of rental history. It is during this check that any broken leases in an applicant’s past are unearthed. Broken leases are considered very serious by Dallas apartments; as serious as, say, a bankruptcy.

Ways to rent with broken lease and poor credit

Many people wanting to rent an apartment in Dallas and they have a prior broken lease or less-than-flattering credit can find themselves denied. Sometimes they may be approved but will be forced to either get a co-signer, pay a hefty deposit or pay higher rent. They may also find themselves living in parts of the city that are uninviting. So does one go about renting an apartment in Dallas if this is their situation?

The first thing to do is obvious; know your credit report. Many people attempt to rent an apartment and they know nothing about what is contained in their credit report. This is the first thing to get.

A second step is to peruse the report very carefully to see whether there are any anomalies. If there are mistakes or doubtful entries then these can be disputed. The removal of these transactions can raise your score.

Know where the apartments are

There are apartments in Dallas that are not very strict when it comes to renting to people with credit or prior lease blemishes. The challenge is finding where they are because these do not usually advertise. Many apartment rental publications and classifieds do not reveal this info.

How to Improve the Sound From Your Flat Screen TV

Recent advances in electronics has provided us with flat panel TV’s with fantastic pictures. Great improvements over the old CRT (Cathode ray tube) versions. When we watch TV, we like to have good picture and good sound to match. Picture and sound “hand in hand.”

Now we got great picture… but how about the sound?… have we heard (seen) same improvement here? Sorry to say, we have not! Actually, the sound was better in the old TV’s. Why?

The simple reason is that there is no space for the good old speakers any more in the new flat TV’s. It is that simple!

Is there anything we can do about it? The answer is Yes! There are some options available to us:

Most of the new TVs are furnished with an optical digital output plug (Toslink plug) on the back. Furnished as the TV manufacturer are well aware of the sound setback of their new TV sets.

First option – accept it as is

This is the option which most of us go for. We simply accept the new situation – consciously or not. Excellent picture with “so… so” sound. The reason is that most of us simply are so impressed with our new TV that we do not pay that much attention to the sound. Or, we do not want to spend extra money on improving the sound. The TV is new, and it must be good.

Second optioninstall a soundbar

Now, if we plug in an optical (toslink) cable and rout the cable to a soundbar in front of the TV – we can get just as good sound – or even better – as compared with the old TVs.

3rd optionconnect with a sound system

If you have a music system located close to your TV – a system with speakers with an amplifier with an optical input plug, then you may run the optical cable from your TV to this amplifier. With this setup you may achieve fantastic sound! Now, if you do not have this type of music system already – this music system may cost you as much as the new TV – or even much more!

4th optionconnect with a wired headset

You may connect a good wired headset to the “line output” (3,5 mm plug) of your TV. This way you may get fantastic sound in stereo. The drawback is the cable across the floor.

5th optionconnect with a wireless headset

For this option you use a headset as well. The difference is that the headset is wireless – such as a Bluetooth headset. To take advantage of this option you need to install a transmitter on the TV which connects to the optical output – or the “line output” – of your TV.

With this option you may obtain excellent sound – in stereo. Also, this option is wireless – so there will be no cable across the floor to stumble into.

Understanding the Communication Process – The Key to Organisational Success

The process by which one person or a group of persons receive an increment of information which has some value for either sender or receiver either by way of knowledge addition or entertainment or acquisition of energy to act or persuasion to buy or act as required by the sender is the process of communication.

The Process of Communication

The critical part of communication is the information, which is being transferred. Information may be in any form- ranging from hand signals to public speech, from email to detailed contract, from one word greeting to a lengthy letter, from a message on a notice board of a school to a full page advertisement on a daily, from a hint with raised eyebrows to five-minute hug, from a memo from a superior or subordinate to a HR manual and so on. For the transfer of the information or the message, certain vehicle or medium is employed, which loads itself with it and passes it on to the intended receivers. Paper, phone, one-to-one meeting, public meeting, conversation, hoarding, newspaper, words written or spoken, body gestures, smile, books etc are the vehicles or media. The way the vehicles take and transport the information in such a way that the receiver understands it as it should be is the communication process. The medium or the sender or the receiver characteristically distorts the information, which in one way or other contributes fully or partly to the failure of the communication in accomplishing the purpose intended.

Two important stages of communication are a) encoding and b) decoding. The process involved in these two stages is a potential source of communication failure. Encoding is translation or conversion of the idea or intention or message into words or signals so that receiver would reconvert the same as intended by the sender. Decoding is what the receiver does to reconvert the received words or signals into the idea or intention or message as originally intended by the sender. The problems associated with encoding or decoding are due to the fact that words or signals have multiple meanings and thus there is a possibility of either use of wrong words or wrong signals or understanding them in a way different from what is originally intended.

Understanding of the process of communication would facilitate transactions. Else, the there would be no action at all or delayed action if at all there is some action or wrong action or relationships turning bad and so on. For instance, a boss tells his secretary that a meeting with contractors is urgent. But he finds to his surprise that a meeting has been convened quickly the next day morning, but it clashed with another program, which the secretary is not aware. The boss, in this case, while being busy with office routine overlooked the process involved in passing messages and the attendant chances of communication going wrong in many of the stages. He failed to specify the time. But the secretary understood it as next day morning. This illustrates how the process involved in encoding and decoding goes wrong and thus it springs surprises.

All the elements involved in communication which constitute the communication process are a) sender b) receiver c) message c) encoding d) decoding e) channel f) noise g) feedback.

The following brief discussion explains the process of communication.

Sender: The point from where the message originated, here the boss, is the sender. The action intended to happen out of this message is convening of a meeting urgently, but definitely not the next day morning.

Message: Message is the essential content of communication or information intended to be passed. The request for convening of meeting is the message.

Receiver: The person who has to take delivery of message is the receiver. Here the secretary is the receiver whose job is to understand exactly and act on it as intended by the sender.

Encoding: The idea of convening a meeting, in this instance, has been converted into words, probably with facial expressions signaling the urgency of meeting. Such process of converting an idea is words or expressions is encoding.

Channel: The encoded message needs a vehicle or a medium to be transported from sender to receiver. The vehicle may be a paper or a telephone or Internet or meeting or conversation. In the present example, oral communication made by the boss to secretary is the channel.

Decoding: The process of understanding by receiver of the message given by the sender. In this example, the secretary while decoding understood the message given by the sender.

Noise: Noise is the causative factor for the message being miscommunicated or misunderstood due to the problem either in the medium chosen or encoding or decoding or in some stages of the process. In this instance, the message was not properly constructed and hence the secretary did not understand it as intended by the sender. The noise in communication is analogous to the external noise generated by cable or transmission equipment of land line telecommunication while the subscribers talk on land line phones and hence they don’t listen or understand the words exchanged.

Feedback: The sender would be communicating back to the sender his or her evaluation or how he or she understood about each part of the message or word before the sender goes further in acting on the message. Here in the present example the secretary did not give her feedback about what she understood and thus the intended message failed.

While what was described in the preceding paragraphs is a general understanding of the concept of communication process, a brief study of various theories propounded till date would facilitate a fairly in-depth understanding of the communication process. The same has been attempted in the following paragraphs.

Aristotle Theory of One Way Communication: Aristotle proposed that communication has three components- sender, receiver and message. It is a simple and basic model, which, nevertheless, laid base for the rest of the theories to come up. Aristotle, at such an early period of evolution of social science, posited that communication is a one way process. It connotes that sender is responsible for good persuasive communication to happen. Neither the concept of noise nor the necessity of feedback in communication crossed his mind.

Lasswell Model of Communication: Lasswell extended the communication theory of Aristotle to include another element, channel. Three important elements or components in this theory are a) Sender b) Message c) Channel. His theory posits that it is the responsibility of the sender to see that receiver understands the message, by choosing a proper channel. It is also a one-way direction of communication as that of Aristotle.

Shannon-Weaver Model: CE Shannon and W Weaver, the engineers’ duo, proposed this theory in 1949. This theory was based on a mechanistic view of communication. This is the first theory, which recognizes that the message received is not the same as the message sent. This distortion is due to the noise present in the system.

They introduced feedback as a corrective measure for noise. But, they did not integrate the feedback into the model. They proposed that feedback would start another cycle of communication process. The theory essentially posits that real communication takes place only when the message received and message sent are one and the same without any difference, which may be true for an engineering model. But the communication that takes place between individuals, which mostly happens without any machines, cannot be as perfect as assumed in the theory, since the filters in the individuals operate while both listening and sending. Filters are the attitudes, perceptions, experiences and evaluations that operate much before the actual communication starts. The action that takes place as intended is the proof of success of communication.

The elements in this model are a) Information source b) Encoding c) Channel d) Decoding e) Destination f) Noise g) Feedback.

Schramm Model of Communication: Wilburn Schramm proposed this model in 1955, which was considered to be the best of all the theories since it is evolved and comprehensive. It was proposed in three stages with some improvement in each successive stage over the previous one. These stages are also referred to as three distinct models.

In the first stage, it emphasized on encoding process and source like that of Aristotle without any recognition for noise. It too was a one-way direction of communication flow.

In the second stage, the emphasis shifted to the shared domain of experience of sender and receiver. The sender has to take into consideration, according to this theory, the needs and abilities of the receiver, which he must be aware of due to shared experience, and thus the selects the right channel and at the same time encodes the message in the way that can be understood by the receiver. Here the communication process is understood to be a two-way flow.

In the third stage, the feedback was thought to be an essential element of communication system. In this stage of Schramm’s theory, the communication process encompasses sender, receiver, good channel, proper encoding, proper decoding, and feedback. The flow which ends with feedback starts immediately again to make a circular process.

The Inferential Model of Communication: Prof.Mathukutty Monippally proposes a new theory called ‘Inferential Model of Communication’ emphasizing on symbols displayed and the construction of meaning inadequately from such symbols. The model assumes that there is no adequate and proper way to send a message, and nevertheless we send message through some chosen symbols, which again are not properly understood.

Prof. Mathukutty (2001) explains, ” The inferential model assumes that we cannot communicate, that we cannot communicate, that we cannot share our message with anyone, that we cannot it in the minds of and hearts of others. And yet we want to communicate. There is no code that can capture our message faithfully and then be cracked clean by others. So we resort to displaying symbols….This procedure is generally satisfactory. Of course, we can go wrong; and occasionally we go terribly wrong. But this is the only means available.” ( Mathukutty M Monippally, Business Communication Strategies,2001, New Delhi, Tata Mcgrawhill Publishing Company Limited, pp 6-9)

An Overview of Some More Models of Communication

Another model of Katz -Lazarfeld is the one related to mass communication, which states that the sender has to encode the message and transmit the same through mass media to an opinion leader. The opinion leader in turn transmits the same to the target audience, the public. This is also constructed as a one-way direction of information flow.

Another model, which has taken a different path, is that of Westley – Maclean. It emphasizes on interpersonal communication. In this, the carefully encoded message is sent to the receiver who in turn sends it to either the sender or other individual with some changes. The model lays stress on sender, receiver and feedback, which make this model a circular one.

One more one- way model is that of Berlo, which recognizes perception as an important element of communication. According to this model, any discrepancy in the reception of message due to influence of perceptions of intermediaries would lead to miscommunication. The important building blocks of this model are the source, the receiver, the meaning intended and the process of sending and receiving the message.

Watlaw- Beavin-Jackobson, proposed a model of two-way communication with emphasis on the behavior of participants and the relationships existing among them to achieve communication success.

Rogers-Kincaid proposed that for the communication to be successful, the individuals should be connected through social networks and sharing of information.

Conclusion

Understanding communication process is very critical to the managers of the organization. They should understand that communication is rarely understood as it should be. The distortion of the message can happen at any of the stages in communication process-sender, receiver, encoding, decoding, channel, message and feedback.

What’s That Ridge on My Scrotum? How a Line Can Define Your Gender and Sexuality

As a woman, I’m naturally very appreciative, as well as curious, about the male anatomical design and I’ve always been fascinated by the slightly raised line that seems to be the join of the scrotum.

Known as the perineal raphe, it extends from the anus, through the mid-line of the scrotum (where it becomes the scrotal raphe) and upwards through the posterior mid-line aspect of the penis (to form the penile raphe).

This noticeable line is due to a phenomenon of foetal development where the scrotum (the equivalent of the labia in females) and penis close toward the midline and fuse, causing a ridge of tissue.

This ridge of tissue is formed when the genetic coding decides that the foetus is going to be a boy. If things had gone the other way, then the tissue would have become the lips of the female labia and the tip of the penis would have been her clitoris.

If you look at the upward V formed by the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes and then correspond them to the upside down V of the penis and testicles you can see how it all works.

In cases where the genetic signals become confused, you get babies that have genitals which are neither one thing nor the other and none of it works properly.

Thinking about it in this way, the whole miracle of the formation and gestation of a foetus is quite extraordinary.

But, as a friend who has studied this genetic question explained to me, it goes much deeper than this.

There are homophobic arguments about people being “unnaturally” or “pervertedly” gay, or suffering what’s known as ‘body dysmorphia’ – where they have all the characteristics of one gender, but are mentally the other. People also think of Hermaphrodites (from a fusion of Hermes and Aphrodite) as being genetic mutations outside the norm.

The point is that we are all hermaphrodite until a certain point in our development, when the X or Y chromosomes should fulfill their potential towards one gender specific development.

Sometimes, for some reason, either the body develops one way and the mind the other (Body Dysmorphia) or the genes get confused or crossed allowing both sets of genitalia to begin to develop (Hermaphrodite), or everything seems to be OK in the complete gender specific arena, but the sexual interest is towards one’s own gender, which could possibly be viewed as very mild body dysmorphia.

The evidence for the completely natural, though incorrectly developed issues above are obvious in the evidential similarities, shown not least in the perineal raphe, but also the similarity between the internal and external genitalia as below:

The G-spot in the female and prostate in the male giving deeper and more convulsive pelvic floor orgasms.

The fact that men still have ‘totally useless’ nipples for no apparent reason.

The fact that, given heavy doses of steroids which directly trigger hormonal responses, transgender mutations can still be engineered in a person’s hirsuteness, voice tone, and both organ and bone shape.

The type of superficial intensity of the clitoral/glans-penile orgasm.

The appearance of the clitoris (which tumesces – ie: swells under stimulation, out from under a hood) and the penis with its foreskin.

The similarity between the testes, vas diferens (tubes) and the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

In short, we are all more alike than we think, and only genetic irregularity makes any of us stray from the male/female norm…and being gay, or a man/woman trapped in the other gender’s body is not a perverted choice. It’s just the unfortunate way it is for that being who developed in that way, and has to live in an ignorant society.

Choosing the Right Electrical Cable

Electrical cables have many different uses and they are each ideal for a specific application. From low voltage cables to overhead line conductors; there are certainly a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing the best cable product.

Some of the most popular electrical cables used include low voltage and optical fiber cables. Low voltage usually made from high conduct bunched plain flexible copper conductors and they are insulated, and colored. The cores are twisted together and sheathed with a flexible grade PVC. They are used for many everyday appliances and products, including lawnmowers, power tools, kitchen appliances, extension leads, and small industrial machinery.

You can also buy optical fiber electrical cables, as they are ideal for networks that carry and distribute data. They provide flexible access to networks and they are very reliable too. They are used in many data centers around the world and have been thoroughly tested for efficiency and durability. You will likely see these cables in your own home or office, especially if you are connected to the internet or an internal network. It's fairly easy to install these products on your own, and you've probably already worked with them if you have recently installed a television set or a similar device.

Coaxial cable has an inner conductor and this is surrounded by a layer of insulation, with a tubular conducting shield. This cable is often used by television companies to connect a television set to antennae. It is common in data applications as data is transmitted through the center wire, while the outer layers serve as a line to the ground. Both conductors run in parallel and they have the same axis, which is why this is called coaxial cable. It's commonly found in many households and commercial properties.

When it comes to choosing the best electrical cable, make sure you work with a reliable supplier so that you can choose the right type of cable for your specific need while benefiting from affordable prices. This is especially important if you are buying in bulk. You can also benefit from their expertise and guidance, which is ideal if you are new to cable installations and want to undertake a DIY project.

In addition to electrical cables you can also buy a variety of accessories, including markers, tapes, saddles, cable ties, terminals and connectors, strapping, heat and cold shrink terminals as well as conduits. This will make your installation easier as these accessories are ideal to use with a variety of electrical cable types.

Obama’s Home Refinance Stimulus Package Can Help Pay Off Your Mortgage

Factory closings, unpaid furloughs, companies going bankrupt, layoffs-even if you still have a job, it’s likely that your company is striving to cut costs by limiting overtime and deleting benefits. The current financial crisis has hit everyone hard, especially homeowners. Due to the housing bubble, many people owe more money on their homes than they are currently worth. Others are simply having trouble meeting their monthly mortgage payments. President Obama’s home refinance stimulus package offers two different solutions for homeowners.

The “Home Affordable Refinance” plan is the right pick for you if you are still current on your payments, but need to refinance with a lower interest rate. This will allow you to make lower monthly payments, but still increase the equity you have in your property. The principle amount you owe will be the same, only the interest rate will change. The home must be your primary residence, and you only have until June 10, 2010 to arrange for this refinance plan.

The “Home Affordable Modification” plan is for you if the monthly housing expenses for your primary residence are more than 31% of your gross income and you can no longer afford your mortgage payments. Whether it’s because of a job loss or medical expenses, this part of the home refinance stimulus package will allow you to work with your bank to modify the terms of your mortgage. And in some cases, for every month you makes your payment on time, the Treasury Department will actually make a payment toward the principle of your loan-as much as $5,000 over 5 years! This mortgage modification plan is available until December 31, 2012.

Yes, the federal government is trying to help you pay off your mortgage; but in order to claim your own home refinance stimulus package, you need to find out more about it.

Adirondack Chairs: Incorporating Them in Your Interior Design

Upon hearing the words “Adirondack chairs,” most individuals probably think about relaxing times at coastal locations. Certainly, Adirondack furniture was initially designed for such exterior spaces, but that’s no reason to limit yourself to this application. More and more designers are bringing Adirondack chairs and other furniture indoors, for these reasons:

1. It is strong and sturdy. Adirondack chairs are low to the ground and nearly impossible to knock over – meaning that they’re the perfect seat for all ages. And this furniture is so strong that it can last for generations, assuming it receives the correct maintenance.

2. It isn’t too pricey, especially compared to traditional indoor furniture. It’s rare to find an entire living room set for under than a thousand bucks. On the other hand, you can find an entire set of Adirondack furniture for less than you would otherwise pay for a single couch. (Keep your eyes peeled for end-of-season sales in late summer and early fall.)

Bonus: with this furniture you may not have to buy as many pieces, since you can use the wide armrests on these chairs rather than buying separate side tables.

3. It can stand up to pets and kids, and it cleans up fast. Adirondack furniture can seem like a godsend for those with children, pets and generally messy family members. Kitty’s clawing and Fido’s chewing are no match for the sturdy construction of Adirondack chairs. And even the messiest kids can’t do much permanent damage to a set of this furniture – just get out the soap and water, or sand down and re-stain spots with stubborn stains.

4. Most interior design styles are complimented by this furniture. These chairs feature smooth, simple lines that flatter most décor styles. If you have a modern theme going in your living room, a set of simple white Adirondack chairs would suit your space well. Throw in some pale yellow paint, a flowery stencil pattern, and a couple of wide-brimmed straw hats and the same set of Adirondack furniture would look great in a French country-style setting. Because this furniture can be endlessly customized with paint and stains, it’s a snap to adapt to any style.

Interior Design Tips for Adirondack Furniture

1. Positioning tips: Repetition and Symmetry. The simple, understated style of these chairs is complimented by symmetry and repetition. One excellent way to arrange Adirondack furniture indoors is to place four chairs in two pairs, facing each other. This organization scheme will encourage conversation while elevating the style of any room.

2. Seek out fire-resistant materials. Fire-retardant Adirondack chairs and tables will help protect your family.

3. Add comfortable accessories. Fluffy pillows, blankets, seat covers, and other accessories can make your Adirondack chairs feel luxuriously comfortable.

4. Liberally apply felt pads. Adirondack chairs will scratch wood floors unless you place felt pads on the bottom of each chair leg.

5. Consider recycled plastic chairs. Adirondack furniture is no longer limited to wood. Today’s manufacturers also offer Adirondack furniture made out of recycled plastic products, such as Polywood. Recycled plastic Adirondack furniture is low-maintenance and lightweight.

Clearly, there are many of advantages to bringing this furniture into your interior design schema. You may be surprised how much your family prefers Adirondack chairs to other styles of furniture.