The De Young Museum – Artwork Highlights & Tips for Visiting

The MH de Young Memorial Museum, located in San Francisco, California houses one of the most significant collections of American artwork on the West Coast. The Museum is located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and was opened in 1895 by newspaper icon MH de Young, founder of what is known today as the San Francisco Chronicle. The original Museum collection was complied solely of MH de Young's personal art collection that represented over 300,000 articles that were collected during his 20 years of world travels.

The Museum's permanent collection today includes paintings, sketches, art sculpture, photographs, and decorative art objects. Of this, the De Young displays 25,000 works of art at any given time. The majority of its collection is made up of the American art collection with artwork dating back from the 7th century to present day. Highlights of this collection include Wayne Thiebaud's Three Machines , Frederic Edwin Church's Rainy Season in the Tropics , Grant Wood's Dinner for Threshers , George Bingham's Boatmen on the Missouri , and Chiura Obata's Lake Basin in the High Sierra .

The de Young's permanent collection also includes the Art of Africa, that represents artwork from over 80 cultural and ethnic groups in sub-Sahara Africa. The collection combines a large part of the permanent collection and an covers a quarter of the museum's gallery. Among this collection is a wooden Dogon sculpture used in religious ceremonies and a multi-headed bush spirit from Ijo.

The third major part of the Museum's permanent collection is the Art of Oceana. The highlight of the Oceana exhibit is the The Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art, a special exhibition of over 400 tribal artifacts such as tribal masks and ritualistic objects. The Jolika collection is the largest collection of New Guinea Art in North America and includes over 400 works of art alone.

  • Hours: Daily: 930a-515p; Closed Mondays.
  • Audio Guides are available at the Main Entrance. Cost: $ 7.
  • The de Young Memorial Museum offers free guided tours to all visitors. No reservations required. Check with the Museum for scheduling.
  • If you are visiting San Francisco for a few days, you may consider purchasing a CityPASS Card. It gives discounted admission to tourist attractions and Cable Car. Check their website for details.
  • The first Tuesday of every month is Free admission.
  • Admission tickets to the de Young includes same-day general admission to the Legion of Honor.

Conflict Follows The Emotional Path of Lowest Resistance

Have you ever stopped to think why you respond to conflict like you do? This is not only interesting information, but very valuable information for anyone who finds conflict in their life … oh yes, that is ALL of us! I do not remember where I read this information, or I would give proper recognition, however, this is so good – I just have to share it.

What is conflict?

1. a serious disagreement or argument

2. incompatibility or at a variance; clash

What do we feel when we have conflict? We feel a range of emotions from anger, to fear, to hurt and so on.

The definition of emotion is: energy in motion

To add to that definition, emotional energy follows the path of least resistance. Where it has gone before it will go again!

Picture every emotion you have ever had. It was, indeed, energy in motion. And, we have all experienced the same emotions when we are in the midst of a conflict similar to others we have previously experienced.

Here is the part I find both fascinating and frustrating. Each time we find ourselves in a similar conflict – not only does our emotional energy follow the path of least resistance – but, each time that path is traveled the path becomes 10 times stronger! Picture a path through the grass that one person has walked down. Their may be very little evidence that the grass has even been walked on. But picture the same grass after ten people have walked on it and it is becoming quite compacted down. Picture once more that grass after one hundred people have walked on it. There is an undeniable path worn.

If we compare the grass to each time we have a particular emotional response … after just three times it has already had the equivalent of 100 people walking down that path.

It is not hard to see why, in the midst of conflict, we find ourselves having the same behavior, saying the same words and experiencing the same outcome.

I often respond poorly to conflict, but it is also possible to respond to conflict in better ways. Personally, I desire to turn the cycle around so that each time I experience the same, or similar conflict, the path I follow to ending (or diffusing) conflict becomes ten times easier.

Path # 1

Conflict occurs

Negative emotional arousal / response

Poor result

Emotional unrest

Path # 2

Conflict occurs

Positive (good / neutral) emotional arousal / response

Better result

Emotional rest

As a Christ follower, I am very aware that I am weak in my good intentions. That is why I count on God working in me to do this. I desire to change and He does the changing.

II Corinthians 12: 9 "… for my (God's) power is made perfect in weakness." – ESV

Philippians 2:13 "For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose." – NIV

Thank you God!

Hummingbird Houses – A Shelter For The Birds And A Delight For You

Through the centuries, bird enthusias and other people have been putting up bird houses all over the country and all over the world. These bird houses are designed to attract different kinds of birds, and they are very helpful in enhancing your bird-watching experience.

One of the most intriguing and captivating birds to watch is the hummingbird. Hummingbirds are generally found in South America, and they are the smallest birds in the world. They are the only birds in the world that are able to fly backwards. Because of these characteristics, hummingbirds are among the most watched-after creatures of bird watchers everywhere.

In order to spend hours watching this delightful little bird, you would have to be able to make it stay in the same place for a long time. You can do this by creating a hummingbird house in your own backyard. This is a bird house specifically designed for the unusual hummingbird species.

You do not need to spend a lot to put up hummingbird houses. You can even make them yourself. Hummingbird houses are small, so you can use small boxes or even tin cans for this. When building hummingbird houses, just remember that if your open hand can fit in the box, then it is big enough for the hummingbird.

In order to prevent other birds from crashing your hummingbird house, make sure that the opening is only big enough for a hummingbird.

Hummingbird houses are quite tiny, and it is rather hard to see them once they are in position. Typically, hummingbird houses are placed on the trees themselves, very near the tree trunk. However, they can also be put up practically anywhere else in your backyard, such as under the roof of your house, or on other tall plants in the garden. Just make sure that the hummingbird houses are out of reach of cats and other house pets on the ground.

The best way to attract hummingbirds, though, is to place your hummingbird houses near flowering plants. Hummingbirds like hovering near flowers because they feed on the nectar of the flower. These birds are most attracted to colorful flowers like the trumpet vine and honeysuckle.

Your hummingbird house will also be more attractive to the tiny critters if you put hummingbird nectar inside. Make sure you do not offer them sugar water because this may cause fungus on their beaks, and could even be potentially lethal to the little birds.

How to Build a Brick Wall at Home

Firstly I removed all the rubble from the collapsed wall and cleared the site.

Dig a foot deep trench always using a length of string as a straight edge.

Neatly position the string in a line where you want the front of the bricks to line up.

Next tie the string around a brick and lay it down at the exact place that you need to lay your first brick

Neatly stretch the string until the line is straight then weigh down the furthest end of the string with a normal size brick.

Neatly and accurately dig out the foundation.

You now have a trench with a very straight front, and you’re now ready to really start the work.

Mix up concrete using this formula.

3 parts sand, to 2 parts gravel to 1 part cement.

Really mix these items well together in a cement mixer.

Now it is all mixed, add water and create your concrete, with a good consistency.

Fill the trench with your newly made concrete.

Ensure it is just below ground level.

Smooth it out and lay a length of wood or if you have it, timber on the top and level it accurately with a spirit level.

Now you will find you have a truly level surface you can remove the length pf wood/timber and leave the concrete for a day to harden.

This is the base of your brick wall.

The rest of your bricks will sit on this and the concrete will share the weight of the brickwork.

Within twenty four hours you can start to lay the remaining bricks.

Mix up cement but this time without any gravel.

Three parts sand to one part cement is ideal.

Once again place your line of string at the front edge of the wall.

Take your first trowel full of mortar and smooth it over the concrete bed leaving between 1/2 inch ad 3/4 inch of mortar to lay the bricks on.

Make a bed of mortar for about ten bricks.

Lay the first brick on the cement.

Always use the spirit level to get it 100% flat.

Gently tap the brick with the handle of the trowel to firm it into place.

Cover one end of the next brick with mortar and place it next to the first one, pushing gently so that the mortar sticks them together.

Next move the length of string up to the front edge of the very first brick and gently put a weight on it to hold it firmly in.

Go to the far end of the wall and lay a brick there with the same 1/2 inch of mortar under it.

Position the string on the edge of this brick and gently weigh it down.

You now have a nice straight edge to work with.

Now you’re ready to lay your bricks.

Simple yet effective.

Remember if you need to find a suitable builder, always ask for their credentials and even testimonials, prior to employing them.

The internet is an ideal place to find decent builders, but be careful. Ask questions, ask for proof of their abilities.

It’s you they’re working for!

5 Common Timber Materials You Can Use For Your Next Decking Project

Decking materials differ in a number of ways. These include durability, maintenance requirements, color and texture and of course, affordability. If you are looking for a low-maintenance deck, then a wood plastic composite is just right for you. But if want something more authentic looking, durable and can maintain its appeal for many years, then you should opt for timber decking. Because of the durability and classic look of wood, it is still the most popular choice among many homeowners when it comes to decking materials. Here are some of the common materials used for wooden decks.

1. Jarah is classified as a kind of hardwood that is termite and decay resistant. This kind of wood hardens with age in a way that normal woodworking tools would no longer be effective. This is why Jarah is ideal for outdoor applications such as decks and pergola. It can also be used for constructing hot tubs or spas because it is resistant to rot. It has a rich dark reddish-brown color and beautiful grains that does not easily diminish over time.

2. Merbau (ipil or kwila) is a tropical wood which grows in mangrove forests. It is naturally oily and contains high levels of tannin. It is widely used for its durability, strong resistance to extreme weather conditions, decay and termites. It comes in a variety of colors from deep reddish-brown to yellowish and orange brown.

3. Cypress is considered as softwood, but it still has been typically used for various home constructions because of its stability and durability. Cypress trees produce natural oil called 'cypressence' that serves as a preservative and pest repellent. It comes in light yellowish-brown to dark brown color and turns gray with age.

4. Spotted Gum is also called lemon-scented gum.The largest advantage in using spotted gum is that it can withstand extreme weather conditions, making it perfect for outdoor use. Its color varies from dark red to light golden brown. It is also considered as one of the hardest known timbers in the world. This allows you to work even with tiny pieces of wood without breaking them. Its natural oiliness also allows you to machine it well. But it must be glued right after surface preparation.

5. Redwood is another remarkable deck material known for its stability and durability. It is highly resistant to wood eating insects and extreme weathers even without conservative chemicals. It has a rich reddish-brown color. If left unfinished, it will turn black until it becomes silvery gray. It is also less likely to shrink or warp than other types of wood. Plus, it is one of the most fire resistant materials than can be used for decking that can last for about 30 years.

The Sacred Bird

As the Phoenix nears the end of its life it builds a nest of aromatic branches and spices – cinnamon twigs and myrrh were the most popular materials. It then ignites the nest and is consumed in the flames. Some Arabic legends claim the Phoenix rose from the ashes three days later, while others state the Phoenix was reborn and emerged from the still burning flames. The Phoenix features in mythology from several Middle Eastern countries.

The traditional Phoenix lived near a cool well, and every morning would appear to sing a song to greet the new day. So enchanting was the song the Greek sun god Apollo would stop to listen. It was thought only one Phoenix existed at any one time. The young Phoenix would gather the ashes of its predecessor into an egg made from myrrh and deposit them upon the sun god's altar at Heliopolis, the city of the sun. The Phoenix lives on the morning dew, and nobody has ever seen one eat. It kills nothing and crushes nothing it touches. When injured the Phoenix can regenerate itself, so it is immortal and invincible and a mystical symbol of divinity. A Phoenix is ​​also a healer, because its tears can heal wounds. Jewish folklore claims the Phoenix was the only animal not banished from the Garden of Eden with Adam.

The Ancient Egyptians' fascination with the Phoenix arose from their own yearning for immortality and eternal life. They named the bird Benu (or Bennu), and it was depicted in the shape of a heron, with long legs and two long white feathers on either side of its head. The Benu wears either the god Osiris' crown of Atef (white with ostrich feathers rising up from the sides) or the disc of the sun god Ra. The sacred bird of Heliopolis, the Benu is associated with the sun, and its image has come to represent Ra. The Egyptian Phoenix is ​​credited with the creation of the Nile river, and was the first life form that appeared on the isolated rocks and islands after the floods that wave birth to the river. Its call is the cry that marked the beginning of time, and it is the god of time – and that of the hours, days, nights, weeks and years.

In Chinese Mythology the Phoenix is ​​known as Feng Huang (or Fung), and is the second most respected creature after the dragon. It is a symbol of high merit and grace, of power and prosperity, representing the union of ying and yang. It is described as having the beak of a rooster, the face of a swallow, the neck of a snake, the breast of a goose, the back of a tortoise, the hindquarters of a stag and the tail of a fish – certainly an unusual looking bird! The Feng Huang's feathers are colored in the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, green and yellow, representing the Confucian virtues of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice.

The Japanese Phoenix is ​​named according to gender: Hou-Ou or Hoo-Oo – Hou is male and Ou is female. It resembles its Chinese counterpart in looks, and is often depicted nesting in the paulownia tree. It only appears at the birth of a virtuous ruler, and marks the new era by flying down from the heavens to perform good deeds for people before returning home to await the birth of a new era. Some traditions claim the Hou-Ou only appears during times of peace and prosperity – in other words very rarely!

Persian mythology tells of the Huma, also known as the "Bird of Paradise". "Huma" is Persian for "fabulous bird". Considered an extremely compassionate bird, the Huma's shadow brings great fortune to anyone it touches. And if it alights upon an individual's head, even for just a moment, that person will become king. The Huma has the power to free the mind, breaking all limits so the person will be a wise and considerate king. It does not kill for food, choosing instead to feed upon carrion. Both genders are contained in the Huma's body, with each sharing a wing and a leg.

Another Arabian mythological bird is the Cinomolgus or "cinnamon bird", which builds its cinnamon nest at the top of the cinnamon tree. Aeons ago cinnamon was a very rare spice, and muchought after. People would throw rocks or shoot arrows at the Cinomolgus' nest in an effort to dislodged the cinnamon sticks when the poor bird took flight. Another tale claims the Arabians would scatter pieces of oxen or other beasts of burden at the bottom of the nest. The Cinomolgus, unable to resist such a tasty treat, would swoop down and carry the meat back to the nest. The weight of the meat would break the nest, leaving the joyful Arabs to gather the cinnamon sticks from the ground. This is why the Cinomolgus began to nest in cinnamon trees far from Human settlements, and sightings became extremely rare.

The Avalerion is an extremely rare bird from Indian mythology – there is only ever one pair of these birds. Every sixty years they produce two eggs. When the eggs hatch the parent birds drown themselves. An interest myth … unfortunately I've not been able to find much more information on these birds.

Russian folklore's Zhar-Ptitsa is a magical, glowing bird from a faraway kingdom. Better known as the Firebird, its name means "heat bird", and it is both a blessing and a curse to any captor. A large bird with a fiery crest and glowing eyes, the Firebird's plumage glows red, orange and yellow plumage, giving the illusion of firelight. When removed the feathers continue to glow, and one feather has the power to illuminate a large room. The Firebird has been a staple of many fairy tales, usually based upon a quest to find the bird or one of its tail feathers. The hero finds the feather, and sets out to capture the bird – usually after a request from a parent or his king. The hero begins his quest with noble thoughts about the Firebird, but as his search becomes more difficult he begins to blame the bird for his problems. Many fairy tales use this quest to introduce a myriad of fantasy characters, many of which are willing to help the hero capture the bird and return with him to his home.

There are other stories about the Firebird. One of the most popular beliefs is that the Firebird flies around giving hope to the hopeless. Legends say during flight the Firebird's eyes sparkle and he drops pearls fall from his beak. Peasants gather the pearls which are traded. Some claim the mystical Firebird spends its days flying around the king's castle, swooping down at night to eat the king's golden apples. The most popular legend tells of a tsar who, fed up with the Firebird stealing his golden apples, his missions three sons with capturing the bird. The tsar's apples were very special, empowering all those eating them with youth and strength. The sons tried really hard, but were unable to capture the elusive Firebird. However, they did come close, and located a few tail feathers. Sadly they bought the feather back to their father, which disappointment turned to joy when he saw how the feathers lit up the palace rooms.

They also have another sacred bird called the phoenix which I myself have never seen, except in pictures. Indeed it is a great rarity, even in Egypt, only coming there (according to the accounts of the people of Heliopolis) once in five hundred years, when the old phoenix dies. Its size and appearance, if it is like the pictures, are as follow: – The plumage is partly red, partly golden while the general make and size are almost exactly that of the eagle. They tell a story of what this bird does: he comes all the way from Arabia, and brings the parent bird, all plastered over with myrrh, to the temple of the Sun, and there buries the body. In order to bring him, they say, he first forms a ball of myrrh as big as he finds that he can carry; then he hollows out the ball, and puts his parent inside, after which he covers over the opening with fresh myrrh, and the ball is then of exactly the same weight as at first; so he brings it to Egypt, plastered over as I have said, and deposits it in the temple of the Sun. Such is the story they tell of the doings of this bird.
from – Herodotus, History of Herodotus

Fireplace Mantels and Surrounds

Before you start shopping for fireplace mantels and surroundings, you need to know the measurements of your hearth, fireplace facing, and a few other key elements. With those figures in hand, you can find a fireplace mantel or mantel and surround that will suit the scale of your fireplace and the look of your room. Determine What to Measure. If you're replacing your current mantel and / or surround, then you should measure that. If you are installing a new mantel or surround around a fireplace that has none, then you will need to make different measurements.

Measuring an Existing Mantel and Surround

Shelf Width – Measure the total width of the top of the mantel at the widest part.

Shelf Depth – Measure the depth of the mantel from the front edge to the wall.

Total Height – Measure the height of the mantel from the top of the hearth to the top of the shelf.

Total Width – Measure the entire width of the fireplace surround from end to end (if you have a surround). If you do not have a surround, measure the total width of the facing.

Projection Depth – Measure the depth of the side of the surround from the outer edge to the wall.

Opening Width – Measure the width of the fireplace opening.

Opening Height – Measure the height of the fireplace opening from the floor or the top of the heart surface to the top of the opening.

Side Distances – Measure from the edge of the heart or surrounding to the nearest light fixture, window, corner, or door on each side.

Measuring for a New Mantel and Surround

If you have a fireplace without a shelf or surround, then you would follow these measurements. These measurements assume you have a facing, which is a decorative material like brick or stone surrounding the fireplace opening. If you do not have a facing, skip those measurements. If you do not have a heart, which is a raised decorative surface on the floor beneeth the fireplace opening, then measure from the floor and skip the hearth measurements.

Facing Height – Measure the height of the facing from the top of the heart to the top of the facing.

Total Facing Width – Measure the total width of the facing from end to end.

Facing Width – Measure the width of the facing on one side of the fireplace opening.

Facing Depth – If the facing projects out from the wall, measure the distance from the outer edge to the wall.

Opening Width – Measure the width of the fireplace opening.

Opening Height – Measure the height of the opening from the floor of the fireplace, which is at the same level as the hearth, or the floor of the room if you have no hearth.

Hearth Height – Measure the height of the hearth from the floor to the top of the surface.

Hearth Depth – Measure the depth of the hearth from the front edge to the wall.

Hearth Width – Measure the width of the hearth from end to end.

Side Distances – Measure from the edge of the facing to the nearest light fixture, door, corner, or window on each side.

If you do not currently have a fireplace mantel and surround, please check your local building codes or fire safety department for the minimum distance from the fireplace opening to the mantel and surround.

Fix Modern Warfare 2 Black Screen

Many PCs running Modern Warfare 2 have encountered a problem of black screen during the game play. This short article will help MW2 lovers to fix the problems and enjoy game without any glitches.

Follow the instructions mentioned below to fix MW2:

Change Desktop Resolutions
Close Background Applications
Configure Sound Acceleration
Fix Modern Warfare 2 Registry Entries
Re-Install Modern Warfare 2

Change Desktop Resolutions

Modern Warfare 2 black screen appears due to improper resolution configuration. To set proper resolution follow the steps below:

Right click on empty area of ​​your desktop
Click on Personalize
Click on Display Settings
Change resolutions to 1024X768
Set colors to 32-bit High
Click OK

Close Background Applications

To avoid MW2 black screen make sure that before launching the game you have close unnecessary background applications. Sometimes running other programs along with game may prevent you from playing the game smoothly.

Follow the instructions below to close all the background applications:

Hold Windows key and press R
Type msconfig command in Run search box and press Enter
Click on Startup tab
Click on Disable All button
Now click on Services tab
Check Hide All Microsoft Services box and click on Disable All button
Click OK
Restart your computer

Configure Sound Acceleration

Improper sound configuration for Modern Warfare 2 may result in game crashing, freezing and black screen. For proper configuration of sound acceleration follow the steps below:

Click Start and open Control Panel
Click on Sounds and Audio Devices icon
Click on Volume tab
Click on Advanced under Speaker Settings
Now click on Performance tab
From here reduce the hardware acceleration to basic
Click Apply and OK

Note: Bring the sound acceleration settings to normal after playing the game.

Fix Game Registry Entries

If the registry entry of Modern Warfare 2 gets corrupt this may result in a black screen problem. In order to resolve the problem you need to install a registry clean program to fix the MW2 registry entries. It can be done manually by opening registry editor. But any wrong step may result in crashing of Windows. Therefore you should install a Registry Cleaner program as it automatically repairs corrupt registry entries.

Re-Install Game

MW2 black screen issue may appear if the installation files are corrupt. Installing MW2 again may resolve the problem. Follow the steps below:

Open Control Panel
Click Programs and Features
Select game and uninstall
Follow the instructions
Before restarting the PC delete the MW2 folder from C:
Restart your PC
Install the Modern Warfare 2 again

Bahama Shutters – The Distinct Advantages of Bahama (Bermuda) Shutters

Shutters are a reliably inexpensive way to add style and charm to any home. They come in two main types: indoor and outdoor shutters. The latter type has historically been used to protect homes and buildings from weather; and to provide residents with both privacy and a means of adjusting the amount of light entering a room. Certain shutter types can be beneficial for homeowners living in turbulent or extreme climates. For example, Bahama shutters provide storm protection, while louvered shutters are an excellent way to block large windows from various temperature shifts.

Exterior shutters, especially distinct or carefully crafted wood pieces, can also add panache to many architectural styles. For example, Bahama shutters give the historical flavor of British colonialism to architecture, while brightly colored board-and-batten shutters lend a touch of the Old American West to homes and other structures. Homeowners today have a wide variety of shutter materials from which to choose, including wood, vinyl, and fiberglass.

Bahama shutters: A unique, top-hinged option

The design and functionality of outdoor shutters vary by model. Bahama shutters (also known as Bermuda shutters) have top hinges, so they stand in stark contrast to other side-hinged styles. The top-hinged design enables a homeowner to push his or her Bahama shutters out and away from the house. Most other shutter styles have side hinges, enabling the homeowner to open them from the center seam and push them away from the house.

Some common types of side-hinged shutters include:

-Board and batten shutters, which consist of large, shapely slabs of shutter material. The rough-hewn designs are crafted to mimic the shutter styles found on American frontier homes.

-Loured shutters, which consist of wooden slats surrounded by a wood frame. Today, louvered shutters are often made of vinyl or fiberglass, as well. They are good choices for blocking off large panel windows or multiple windows in a series, and they can be customized to complement multiple building styles.

-Panel shutters, which are a European style of shutter and can be be customized to fit period architecture or décor. They are usually square, with one or more recessed rectangular panels set inside the shutter frames. Panel shutters also often come in fiberglass or vinyl models.

When people think of outdoor shutters, they are often imagining one or more of these side-hinged styles. However, the less-common Bahama shutter has some distinct advantages for homeowners. This style is worth considering as a quality, high-performing window covering option.

What are the advantages of Bahama shutters?

Bahama shutters are specifically designed to act as storm shutters. Because the hinges of these shutters run along the top of the window rather than down both sides, the shutters can be swung out quickly, and can be quickly closed in preparation for inclement weather. The quick-close, storm-protective nature of Bahama shutters make them an excellent choice for homeowners living in storm belts.

The New Orleans, LA and Biloxi, MI regions of the United States were devastated by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, rebuilding is rapid and ongoing. More importantly, architects and contractors have learned from past mistakes and are creating homes designed to withstand hurricane winds, rain, and flooding. Bahama shutters make highly functional window covering options in this Southeastern American hurricane belt. When coupled with intuitive architecture, such as housing establishments that are raised off the ground to allow for flooding, Bahama shutters can be useful assets during storm season.

Bahama shutters also aid in natural climate control. The top-set hinges are designed so that a homeowner can choose the angle at which he or she wishes to keep the shutters open. This enables the homeowner to control the amount of air entering a room, and allows him or her to set the shutters at angles that facilitate natural cooling by air circulation. Bahama shutters are smart picks for homeowners living in warm climates; the natural cooling properties allow homeowners to conserve energy while saving money on utility bills.

The Bahama shutter style benefits a variety of climates. In fact, homeowners staying in temperate climates can enjoy the advantages of Bahama shutters over different seasons. Many major American cities, such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York experience rainy spring and hot, humid summer weather. Homeowners in these cities can reap the benefits of quick-close shutters during periods of rainy weather, and can enjoy the natural cooling properties of the shutter design during periods of summer heat and humidity. Furthermore, homeowners in all climates can enjoy the privacy protection and noise dampening properties of Bahama shutters.

Like other shutter styles, Bahama shutters are customizable. Reputable shutter companies have design staff members on hand to render the shutter style or shape that each customer desires. Talented shutter designers can often re-create shutter styles from customer sketches or AutoCAD files. Like most other shutter styles, Bahama shutters can be constructed of aluminum, fiberglass, or wood. Many wood styles and designs are elegant and sophisticated, and those made from Spanish cedar or mahogany are typically the longest lasting.

Homeowners who desire privacy, quiet, storm protection, and climate control can benefit very by choosing durable Bahama shutters.

Gel Fireplaces Vs Wood Burning Fireplaces

Traditionally, when people consider the available options for real burning fireplaces, they consider either a wood burning or gas fueled fireplace. I'd like to explore the third option; gel fireplaces. To highlight the characteristics of gel fueled fireplaces, I'll compare them to their wood burning counterpart. Most gas fueled fireplaces are used with the addition of wooden logs, so indirect comparisons could also be made in the following text. To make the comparison, I'll examine the topics of maintenance, versatility and style.

Maintenance and cleanliness are very important to homeowners. Gel fireplaces create either smoke nor ash, which are the primary concerns of ordinary fireplaces. This makes maintenance and cleaning very easy. Depending on the type of gel fireplace, you may only have to clean glass and wood components, like any other piece of furniture. Consult the manufacturer's literature or the many how-to sites available online for tips on caring for these materials. Gel fireplaces have fuel that comes in metallic cans, which are easy to replace. Wood burning fireplaces require the log to fully burn into ash, which can occasionally extend to the area immediately surrounding the fireplace. Ash usually spreads when logs are added and repositioned, or when fireplace tools are inserted and withdrawn from the fireplace. This leads to additional sweeping and vacuuming. Also, chimneys may require cleaning, as they become a fire hazard if a blockage occurs.

Wood burning fireplaces require ventilation, usually a chimney, and surrounding masonry. The masonry insulated the rest of the structure from the fire and provides a safe area for embers to fall and smoke to rise. Unfortunately, this requires them to be fixed in one spot of the home. Gel fuel is a very popular choice for both fixed and portable fireplaces. Portable fireplaces can be used indoors and outdoors. Also, they are virtual installation free. This makes gel fireplaces ideal for apartment residents looking to have the warmth of a real flame without going through any construction.

Personally, I love the look of a traditional red brick or darkly stained wooden mantel around a roaring flame. No one could claim that traditional fireplaces lack style or charm. Gel fireplaces have even been designed to imitate the look of regular fireplaces. This includes artificial logs and beautifully crafted mantles. However, gel fireplaces do allow for modern, even futuristic styles, to be implemented. Without a log and the resulting ash, the space inside the fireplace can be used in new ways to produce surprisingly new looks in home heating. This includes using more glass and less bulky fixtures, which creates a clean, minimalist look.

Plantar Fasciitis Syndrome – What Exactly Is Plantar Fasciitis?

All About Plantar Fasciitis

A plantar fasciitis problem is a state that affects the foot's surface and is mostly seen among overweight people, runners, and people having high arches or flat feet or may be those who rest on the feet for much longer hours while doing their job. This problem is an irritation of tough plantar fascia, which runs from the heel bones to the bottom of the toes.

It mainly results from developing a tear in the fibrous tissue bands (plantar fascia), which leads to inflammation and pain. It is characterized as excruciating pain in the heel specifically in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is caused by the stress that is placed on the ligaments of plantar fascia while it is irregularly stretched.

During the rest moments, plantar fascia usually tightens up creating the pain diminishing. Although, the time pressure is placed on fascia, plantar fasciitis stretches firmly and the pain is experienced again.

The major symptoms of the plantar fasciitis are feeling the severe pain in the heel's inner side. If a severe pain is being noticed by an individual in the foot on taking initial steps in morning then an individual is suffering from the problem of plantar fasciitis. Because of the feet's warming up through the day, the pain relieves and plantar fasciitis stretches gradually. Also, people suffering from this problem may find it difficult in climbing the stairs because of pain in the foot.

In most of the cases, the treatments of non-surgical can assist an individual to completely eliminate the problem. The nature and duration of whole treatment varies depending on the severity. Plantar fasciitis treatment should be immediately initiated the very moment the problem occurs. It assists in eradicating the problem of plantar fasciitis in a short span of time.

The initial stage of treatment includes loads of rest, after the routine activities of applying ice in the regions of pain, some moderate stretching and anti-inflammatory remedies in order to relief their heel from the pain. It is recommended to wear night splints, as this would maintain the tissues to get stretched gently through the night with the intention to relate the sufferer from pain.

To less the pain caused due to plantar fasciitis Orthotics, shoe inserts are the best options available. If the pain is very severe and the people experiencing this problem of plantar fasciitis are not responding to the treatments that are mentioned above then the doctors make use of cortisone injections in order to ease of the pain.

Another treatment to relieve from the foot pain is exercises, which are necessary to be done in the early morning as soon as the patient of plantar fasciitis wakes up. Some of the exercises include belt-stretch exercises that involve reverse arch stretching of foot by making use of wide belt located over the foot's ball.

Strengthening and stretching exercises make ligaments very flexible as well as strengnthens the muscles that support the arch and this in turn will reduce the amount of stress on ligaments. Stretching plantar fasciitis exercises are also suggested to the patients facing the problem of foot pain.

For more information, check out the internet's # 1 resource for plantar fasciitis treatment.

The Best Way to Reinstall Windows Without Losing Data

At some point during the course of your computer's use, you will find yourself in the unenviable position of having to reinstall Windows. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes important system files got corrupted or disk errors or viruses caused your system to become unstable.

This is all a result of wear and tear on your PC. When that time comes, you will have to not only know how to reinstall windows, but how to reinstall windows without losing data. Here we refer to a fresh install of Windows and not simply an attempt to repair a few files.

1. Your Vendor's Restore CD

The first step in knowing how to reinstall windows is to locate your vendor's restore CD-otherwise known appropriately enough as a rescue or boot disk. Windows comes with its own rescue CD as well. If that's the only one you have at your disposal then locate your operating system's instructions below.

Rescue CDs are not all alike. Some give you rescue functions as well as important software drivers for your computer. Others are more basic, only allowing you the ability to reformat your hard drive. Do not reformat your hard drive without backing up your personal files to another medium first! Your personal files are those located under 'My Documents' in Windows. The exact location of your personal files and folders varies from one operating system to another.

In Windows XP, for example, you will backup everything in C: Documents and Settings. In Windows 98 and ME, you will backup C: My Documents. More instructions follow below for your particular system. If you have any other folders where you've stored personal stuff back those up as well.

2. Windows 98 and ME CDs

With Windows 98 and ME you do not want to just reinstall windows without backing up important system information. This information can be found in your Windows folders.

First create a new folder on your C: drive and name it oldWindows. Then use Windows explorer to navigate to your Windows folder. Once there, locate the following subfolders: All Users, Application Data, Desktop, Favorites, Local Settings, Profiles, SendTo, and Start Menu. Copy these folders to the oldWindows folder you created.

Now it's time to reboot. Restart Windows with your boot disk Upon startup select Start computer with CD-ROM support. Drivers will begin loading so go ahead and insert your Windows CD-ROM.

To reinstall windows properly you will need to delete your directory tree so type c: windowscommanddeltree / yc: windows and press the Enter key. After that you need to invoke the Windows setup installation procedure located on your Windows CD. Type your CD drive letter and then type setup.

Next get into the DOS prompt from Windows and type

xcopy c: oldWindows *. * c: windows / s / h / r / c.

This will restore all important system information.

3. Windows 2000 and XP CDs

If you have Windows 2000 and XP you need to know how to reinstall windows properly as well. Insert your Windows CD and boot your computer. Upon startup you will see Press any key to boot from CD.

After clicking you will come to the welcome screen. Press Enter, then press Escape to start a restore. From the menu options select C as your current partition and then l to delete the Windows folder. Enter temp as your user name when prompted. Reboot and you will be logged in as temp.

Next you will restore your personal files. Windows 2000 users should login as temp, then Administrator and then back to temp again. Then navigate to C: Documents and Settings and you will see an Administrator folder and one with Administrator: computername.

From DOS type cd documents and settings and then press Enter. Type xcopy administrator *. * Administrator.computername / s / h / r / c, substituting for computername your folder that was appended to Administrator earlier. Your personal files will be restored.

4. For Both Windows XP and 2000

Windows XP and 2000 users need one extra step to know how to reinstall windows correctly. Create a new folder on your C: drive and label it oldData. Then go to My Documents and Settings and copy all of the folders for each username to oldData.

In Control Panel go to User Accounts and create a new account for each of these users – use their names as spelled out under their Documents and Settings folders. If you're using XP ensure that at least one account has Administrator privileges.

For each user on your computer, log off and log in with that user's name. Then login as Temp and drop down into the DOS command prompt interpreter. Now type

xcopy c: oldData *. * "c: documents and settings" / s / h / r / c

Then press Enter. Go ahead and confirm that you want to overwrite files. When you're done, log off and then login as each user. Each user's Documents and Settings should be restored.

5. Finishing Up

After you install windows you need to install other software too, like drivers and Windows Updates from Microsoft's web site. Check for any graphics drivers that you may need to install from a vendor CD.

Look for all of your old personal files and make sure that they are all there. If not, check the C: oldData folder and move the files to the correct location. Once you are absolutely sure that you have everything you can delete both the oldData folder and the Administrator folder.

Conclusion

It may have come as a surprise to you to learn that you can reinstall windows without having to wipe out your hard drive. With a fresh install of Windows you can restore to your computer the speed and efficiency which it had when you first bought it.

A fresh install will do wonders for your computer's performance and will be better for your system than a simple repair. In order to save your personal files you simply need to create temporary folders as we resulted in this new installation.

Auto Body Repair – Does Bumper Repair Have to Be So Expensive?

There's a very good chance that you have damaged the bumper on your car at some point in your driving career. Your bumpers are the most exposed parts of your car. They're the most likely to be damaged. And … they're designed to be repaired quickly and easily.

There's also a very good chance that something much worse than having your bumpers damaged has happened to you: you almost certainly have overpaid by as much as double to have those bumpers repaired.

Body shops have two solutions to bumper repair: repaint the whole bumper (if the paint is damaged but it is not misshapen) or replace it (if the bumper has been cut, dented, or misshapen). There's one option that they almost never consider: repair and repaint just the area that has been damaged.

When I owned a body shop I was shocked at how many healthy bumpers with minor damage (bumper rash on the corners, a dent with no paint damage, scratches across the face) were removed and discarded by body shops. The body shops were more than happy to toss bumpers that were 90% brand new because they could mark up the cost of the new bumper to the customer. And they were just as happy to paint the entire bumper for small scratches and scrapes covering just 10 – 20% of its surface area because the paint, primer, labor were all marked up as well. In sum, the tactic of body shops is to make jobs as large as possible because bigger jobs yield bigger profits, and it's not the customer that's paying … it's the insurance company (do not fall for that – you pay and then some over time when they increase your rates slowly). The average bumper repaint is about $ 450. A replacement is usually $ 800.

There is a sub-industry that car dealers use but the public is mostly ignorant of: the spot repair business. Spot repair techs specialize in bumper repairs. They can reshape, refill, recolor, and re-clear almost any bumper that does not have damage done to the tabs that attach it to the car (that's 80% of bumper damage, by the way). Contrary to what body shops will tell you, bumpers can be fixed, and just the area that has been damaged can be painted. This does require some skill. The painter must know how to properly scuff beyond the damaged area, blend in the paint, and apply the clearcoat so that the repair is undetectable.

What's the average charge for a corner scuff, the most common of all bumper repairs? About $ 250. And here's a HUGE bonus: most spot repair techs are mobile. That means they come to your home or office. A bumper corner can be sanded, primed, painted, and cured within 90 – 120 minutes. Ask your local car dealers for their "bumper repair guy." There's many in your area doing work you just did not know indicated for prices and convenience that you would be silly to ignore.

Cognitive and Behavioral Learning Theories

Here's a short primer on Cognitive and Behavioral Learning Theories

Behavioral learning theories suggest that learning results from pleasant or unpleasant experiences in life while cognitive theories of learning suggest that learning is based upon mental processes. However, in an admonishment against being too closely guided by any one set of pedagogical principles, Johnson (2003) suggests that a fixation with process oriented educational theories among those in the politics of education has not served the education community well by aligning practitioners into separate camps.

A behavioral view in psychology has held that exploratory analysis of cognition must begin with an examination of human behavior (William & Beyers, 2001). Behavioral theory has benefited from the work of early researchers such as Pavlov, Thorndike, and later on the work of BF Skinner. Work relating to the development of behavioral theories in educational psychology has allowed theorists to explore ways in which human action could be controlled through manipulation of stimuli and patterns of reinforcement.

Cognitive theory as it relates to epistemological processes within the individual is based upon the idea that learning comes about as a result of processes related to experience, perception, memory, as well as overtly verbal thinking. Since the 1970s, information processing theory has been a dominant focus of study for cognitive theorists. Although the list of theories associated with cognitive theory is an expansive one to say the least, for the purposes of this paper, it is appropriate to mention several contemporary theories on cognition including: information processing theory, schema theory, and situated cognition theory.

Informational processing is based on a theory of learning that describes the processing of, storage, and retrieval of knowledge in the mind. Factors such as sensory register, attention, working memory, and long term memory play a significant part in this theory of cognition. Schema theory offers that human beings interpret the world around them based on categorical rules or scripts; information is processed according to how it fits into these rules or schemes. As an epistemology, schema theory focuses on meaningful learning and the construction of and modification of conceptual networks. Signed cognition theory postulates a social nature of learning located within a community of practice in which knowledge is socially constructed.

An important component of this type learning, apprenticeship, is informed by social learning theory. Situational cognition as a theory posits that the individual is not a passive vessel, but rather, is an active self-reflective entity; as such, cognitive processes develop as a result of interaction between the self and others.

Another loosely related concept linked to social cognition is the construct of reciprocal determinism. This is a behavioral theory under which it is theorized that the environment causes behavior and at the same time, behavior causes the environment. Under this theory, personal factors in the form of (a) cognition, affect, and biological events, (b) behavior, and (c) environmental impacts, create interactions that result in a triadic reciprocality (Pajares, 2002).

References

Johnson, B. (2003). Those nagging headaches: perennial issues and tensions in the politics of education field. Education Administration Quarterly, 39 (1), p. 41-67.

Pajares, F. (2002). Overview of social cognitive theory and of self-efficiency.

Williams, R. & Beyers, M. (2001). Personalism, social constructionalism, and the foundation of the ethical. Theory and Psychology, 11 (1), p. 119-134.

Timber Frame Horse Barns

Prior to the 1900s, most barns were built with timber frames (also known as post and beam) forming very strong structures built to withstanding harsh storms and heavy loads of animal feed. Timber framing is the method of creating framed structures of heavy timber joined together with various joints. A timber frame barn is built to last a lifetime if not longer, but there are many things to consider when designing a barn.

Horse barns and stables often work on a 10×12 or 12×12 grid for interior stalls, tack rooms and wash stalls. Storing hay in the loft provides its own set of challenges. Years ago, people would just put up summer beams and timber joists and throw as much hay up in the loft as they could. Today, as with most everything that technology touches, hay bales are packed more compact and weigh much more than they did years ago as well as all the changes in building codes. It is now common practice to design a hay loft so that it can support a live load of 100 pounds per square foot. The intermediate posts that are next to the stall doors are increased in size as well as the trusses to help improve load carrying ability.

Authentic timber framing is an art that can be traced back many generations. Today, much of the work is still completed by hand, using traditional tools like chisels, mallets, and beetles. The timber girts, purlins, plates, and posts are joined with inadvertently cut interlocking joints crafted with tenons (tabs), mortises (slots) and wooden pegs called trunnels. There are several different types of joints used during the construction process. Most commonly used are the mortise and tenon joints, but there are many more like a double through mortise and tenon, brace mortise and tenon, dovetail, shouldered mortise and tenon and tongue and fork. Each type of joint has its own design purpose. Today, most timber frame structures are designed to use new CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, this actually helps them design for and spread the load properly. Most rustic framed horse barns are constructed with Hemlock for country barns; and elegant stable frames out of smooth and highly finished Douglas Fir beams. Hemlock and Douglas Fir are the best types of wood species to use in your barn as they are less prone to rotting and because the horses do not like to curb on them (horses enjoy eating white pine like chocolate).

There is better way to celebrate the beauty of wood than to showcase it through the structure of your house or barn. The beauty and elegance of Timber Frame Construction methods have been in use for more than 2,000 years with some of the earliest examples dating back to ancient Roman and Egyptian civilizations. It is and elegant timeless classic style that has lived the ages.