What Are Halotron Fire Extinguishes?

As halo carbon-based clean agent, halotron fire extinguishers are ideal for handling fires in the corporate and industrial settings. They inhibit the chemical reaction of fire but do not leave any unsightly solid residue when used, so preventing damage to documents and other valuable sensitive electronics like computers, monitors and other office peripherals.

Halotron fire extinguishers were first introduced into the market in 1992 to replace the use of Halon-1211 or bromochlorodifluoro-methane (BCF), which was found to have ozone-depleting properties. The Montreal Protocol in 1987 restricted the use of both Halon-1211 and Halon-1301 because of the perceived environmental damage they caused. Although Halon continues to be used in the US, Middle East and Asia to date, using or even owning it is deemed illegal in Australia.

There are a number of replacements for Halon fire extinguishers available today like Halotron I, Halotron II, FE-36, and FM-200. These gaseous agents are dispensed in the form of quickly evaporating liquid, and also have no solid passages. These halocarbon-based alternatives have no ozone-depleting properties, and their atmospheric lifetimes have been significantly reduced. These can be used where Halon was specified and used before, although they may not be as effective.

The Halotron I is a chemical blend based on the raw material HCFC-123 and has a higher throw length compared to the other clean agents, owed to its reliably high boiling point. In comparison, this makes it more effective and easier to dispense even for the inexperienced user, as it can reach up to 45feet.

The Halotron-I has been approved for use in aircraft in Australia, replacing Halon-1121. And there's the FE-36, which is based on HFC-236fa. Like the Halotron-I, this is also an alternative to Halon-1121 fire extinguishers . And as it uses a clean agent, this is also ideal for office settings.

To replace Halon 1301 is Halotron II, which is a three-component total flooding agent based primarily on HFC-134a. This agent, however, discharges in gas form.

Another one that also discharges in gas form is the FM-200. The main advantage perceived for this is that the gas can reach all areas of the facility protected, and allows for minimal disruption in an office setting. Also an alternative to Halon 1301, these types of fire extinguishers poses no breathing problems for those exposed and does not block vision, allowing people to get to safety in cases of fire emergency. This type would usually require periodic servicing and maintenance. Monitoring is usually done electronically or by qualified installers / companies.

How to Fix PS3 Problems On Your Own

A PS3 is a rather cool yet delicate gaming console. Once it gets messed up, there is no other way but to fix your PS3 in one way or another. Now, many people ask how they can fix PS3 problems when they strike. Honestly, there are some PS3 issues that can be fixed by gamer's hand, but some issues should be given close attention by more technically inclined experts. But, we all know that gamers tend to be really impatient at some times and prefer most issues be fixed as soon as possible and be back to gaming.

So, what to do to fix PS3 problems by your own?

Power Cycle Your Console:

This may be a new word for most people but power cycling is basically turning off the console and turning it back on. This is usually the first thing to do when the console tends to freeze during gameplay. There is always a time when freezing can not be avoided. Actually, it has become a normal issue when it comes to gaming consoles not just the PS3. So, when the console looks to be stalling up a bit, you can always turn it off and turn it back on.

Check for Cable Issues and Settings:

Cables are usually the first parts of a console to get really worn out especially if not kept properly. For audio and video issues, turning off the console and checking out if there are loose cables or connections would be an important thing. This is actually a good start in determining the exact problem when you fix PS3 issues. Audio and video settings should also be kept it mind. Setting up the video is quite easy. Press and hold the power button until you hear two little beeps. It automatically sets the video configuration.

Clean Your PS3:

We all know that different kinds of dirt can easily break down any electronic gadget or device and this includes the PS3. Dust, in particular, can hinder the PS3's fan which can lead to overheating and system malfunction. Blowing the console with a hair dryer quite helps to clean of any dirt and dust in and on the console. This may even help fix PS3 issues such as freezing.

Let Your Console Breath:

Do not keep the console in a closed place especially when being used. This will cause the console to heat up which can lead to freezing and sudden shutdowns. It is better to put the console in open space when being used.

Use a Repair Guide:

For PS3 issues beyond the skill of a typical console owner, using a repair guide would provide a more detailed way to fix PS3 issues such as hardware failure. There are repair guides available on the internet which may be an option for people who wants to do the repairs on their own. Most of them are not for free though.

However, for people who do not have the confidence of doing the repairs by themselves, taking the console to repair companies is always an option. What's great about these repair companies is that owners will not need to worry about messing up their consoles anymore since the consoles are handled by experts. Consoles under warranty can, of course, be taken for repair or even replacement. Electronic devices are different to various issues that are inevitable. However, these issues can be preceded with proper console handling and care. Some issues may even be fixed through the simplest of ways like cleaning the console. There you go. Here are some of the ways on how you can fix PS3 problems on your own.

5 Things to Consider When Designing an Office Layout

Moving into a new office space can be a daunting experience if you have never done it before. There are many factors to consider (both internally and externally to the office environment) which will impact on the suitability of the space and the most optimum use of it for your business. This article provides information on the 5 most important factors to consider once you have confirmed your new office location.

1. Segment the office space using office plans to scale

Before moving into the office space, ensure that you have correctly analyzed the space for existing staff and furniture as well as any anticipated growth over the occupancy period. Once you have understood your space requirements for the entire occupancy period, you can then create office plans which accommodate for your immediate and long term needs.

2. Install office partitions within open plan spaces

If you are going to create segmented areas within an open plan office, install glass partitions. Glass partitions help to increase natural light within partitioned spaces and are also cost effective to install and remove as you require. Glass partitions also provide a higher level of professionalism to an open plan office, making the office look more accommodating to staff and visitors. Office partitioning requires some advanced planning but with external advisors the implementation can be simple and cost effective.

3. Do not compromise on value add areas such as staff break out areas

The biggest downfall with open plan offices is an underestimation of a business’s growth. Ensure that the space you are committing to is viable to accommodate your business regardless of changes in operational size. Compromising on break out space for extra desk space will be detrimental to the morale of the staff.

4. Ensure sufficient lighting is available in all areas

Having natural light within an office space is a crucial element to keep staff motivated and productive at all times. Ensure that your office layout takes lighting into consideration and that any office partitions or storage furniture does not block natural light out.

5. Invest in the advice of office refurbishment specialists

If you have a large open plan office that needs to accommodate a large number of staff, invest in specialists for office refurbishment. London based refurbishment specialists can advise, design and build office layouts to suit the requirements of businesses of any size.

Importance of T-Shirt Designing in the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has accepted T-shirts designing as important and it has gained popularity and growth since a couple of years ago as compared to other clothing styles. The trend in wearing tees will be changing fast because people want to wear something which is different and unique. This is the reason why they have lifted their focus from wearing conventional clothes to designer t-shirts. They find it quite exciting to display their feelings on personalities on T shirts. With the advances in technology; This has become possible and faster process to come up with unique designs and creativity for t-shirts. People are given option to design their own t-shirts and get what they want. T-shirts have become popular along people of almost every age including young, old, children, men and women.

Many good and skilled designers have bright opportunities to make presence in fashion industry and grab the opportunities to explore fashion industry. T-shirts designing can be one of the platform as graphic designers are able to design the t-shirts of various styles such as pet shop, hip-hop and sports t-shirts. There are numerous websites which are providing facilities to people to design Tees online and submit their designs to some of the brand companies. This opportunity can be beneficial for those who want to make place in fashion industry for t-shirt designing. T-shirt designing has opened the doors for many aspirants as this has emerged as new and growing segment in the fashion industry for recent years.

You have wider spectrum opened in front of you as people are considering various options for fashion and styles. With some nice designs and creativity; you will be able to get good customers for your clothing styles. There are a number of companies which are giving opportunities to new people as graphic designers for t-shirts. People have preferred t-shirts because of their comfort and styles and they consider it cool to design their own t-shirts. You can get in touch with people to invite their ideas and opinions for t-shirt designing. T-shirt designing is considered as money making profession in fashion industry because of its popularity and growth.

T-shirts designing requires constant efforts and innovative ideas so that designers are able to give people what they want. If you want to earn more in fashion industry; you have to work towards customer's satisfaction and you can achieve this only if you have given what they want.

It is highly recommended to do a market research so that t-shirts can be made more impressive than ever. You can invite people to take part in the contest and get their feedbacks so that you get the suggestions directly from your buyers. T-shirt designing will be gaining more popularity as people now prefer tees as clothing options and looking for something which is completely stylish and display their thoughts. Fashion industry has accepted t-shirt designing to great extent and this is the reason why people are becoming more aware of importance of t-shirts designing in fashion industry.

Laminate Wood Flooring-Choosing Between Laminate and Wood Flooring

If you are considering using laminate wood flooring in some or all of your home and are wondering about the difference between laminate and wood, you may get a lot of different opinions. Laminate wood flooring has been used in Europe for decades and only in the last 20 years or so has it become more popular in the United States. But, it is not for everyone and every situation. Before you choose laminate wood flooring for your home, you should compare the qualities of both wood and laminate.

1. Installation: In the last few years both laminate wood flooring and real wood floors have become easier to install. They often use some kind of interlocking system, where you fit strips together without the use of glue, nails or staples. But, although most laminate wood flooring is made this way now, a lot of real wood flooring is not. If you plan on installing the floor yourself, with real wood or laminate, you should consider using the interlocking system. Laminate can be installed over virtually any surface, but wood can not be installed over some surfaces.

2. Durability: Real wood floors are durable for the long term, but they require a lot of care. If they are not specially treated with aluminum oxide they will scratch and stain fairly easily. Unlike laminate, it is also late to fading if it is exposed to direct sunlight. Laminate wood flooring on the other hand, is resistant to both scratches and stains. Both types of floors can be damaged by excessive moisture, so care should be taken if they are used in a bathroom or kitchen.

3. Care: A damp mop is all that is required to clean laminate wood floors. Real wood floors will require polishing and refinishing occasionally. Wet spills should be cleaned up quickly on either type of floor to avoid it getting underneath the boards and damaging the floor.

4. Longevity: A real wood floor can last 25 years or more with proper care. Laminate will not last more than 20.

5. Cost: Real wood is generally more expensive than laminate.

Retirement: How Positive Affirmations Can Change a Senior's Life

As a senior you have the opportunity to see the world with new eyes. Look at the great themes of life and you can have them or renew them. Love, creativity, immersion in nature, deep friendships, spirituality, sharing your knowledge and wisdom with others, continuing to offer your children and grandchildren guidance and understanding.

What are the ways to accomplish what you seek? Even if one idea resonates with you take it, absorb it and use it. Change is fragile but if believed it can be lasting and bring you a renewal of life itself.

There are many things you can do. Education, self-direction, exploring new avenues and joining groups that will help you find what you are looking for. If you have to choose one way to approach changing your life then use positive affirmations, a very simple but powerful method to enhance your ability to make your retirement vital and fulfilling. It is simply a way to change negative thoughts into positive ones, to experience a different life and give yourself new beliefs.

Affirmations have been used for centuries of years as a valuable form of positive thinking to foster optimism, constructive living and a more creative lifestyle. Norman Vincent Peale is perhaps the best known advocate for using affirmations as part of your daily living. More recently Deepak Chopra has spoken and written of their value to gain well-being.

Belief in your ability to succeed and eliminating negative thoughts and feelings are vital in your continuing path to successful aging. The ability to repeat various affirmations daily whenever the thought occurs to you helps maintain your positive framework. Many authors have left very meaningful sayings to inspire and spur people to lead positive lives. We are usually stimulated by such thoughts, whether from Shakespeare, Einstein, Yogi Berra, Warren Buffet or many others. Reading such affirmations can prove fruitful and meaningful. There are many books with thousands of popular and famous sayings. The Oxford Book of Quotations, The Macmillan Book of Proverbs, Distilled Wisdom and many others. And Google can be a mine of information for affirmations.

However, creating your own affirmations is not only fun but mentally stimulating and because they are your own creations they will have special meaning and greater impact on your life. It does not mean that you can not use others but your own will be especially gratifying and helpful.

The subjects are legion. Health, well-being, romance, sex, peace, love, creativity, overcoming illness, self-esteem, dieting, bonding, not judging, giving up envy and jealousy, trust, wisdom, understanding. etc.

And there are many ways of expressing an affirmation. A simple illustration is all that's needed to get started.

Let's take the subject of health. Health can mean many things. It means being free of illness, an ability to run a marathon, losing weight, eating healthfully and exercising faithfully.

An affirmation can be one or more of the following:

• I will always do everything possible to remain healthy.
• I will not overeat or eat unhealthy foods. I will stop eating junk food.
• I will always eat breakfast.
• I will walk for 30 minutes or 1 hour five times a week.

As you can see these affirmations merely point out in a few words things you want to do to remain healthy. Repeating them daily reinforces your resolve to remain healthy. Belief in your ability to change, reiterating the affirmation frequently during the day and implementing the changes expected will lead to a more positive, healthy and happier life.

Mold – A Very Dangerous Carpet Problem

Mold is a very serious and sometimes misunderstood contaminant in houses and other buildings. There are guidelines regarding inspection and treatment of mold in Orange County for all sales, purchases and rentals of any type of property and there is good reason for this. Mold can cause severe health problems and even death to certain individuals as some form of mold are pathogenic and extremely toxic.

Carpeting is a part of almost every home and office and helps to make it a nicer appearance although carpeting applied to concrete floors can trap mold more than other type of material. Mold can also grow under tiles on concrete floors, as well as area rugs. Moisture is the number one cause of mold and you want to be certain that if any large amounts of moisture by way of humidity, spills or flooding occurs that you consult with a local Orange County carpet cleaning specialist that can help you to determine if you do in fact have mold and how to treat it.

In order to stave off any mold from appearing one of the best methods of attacking it would be to pull back all of the carpeting to expose the wet or moist areas and let a fan run continuously in order to dry them completely. If mold has been discovered growing on or underneath the carpeting and padding both will have to be removed for cleaning or possibly replaced, so time is certainly of the essence. If the padding has mildew in it, it will most likely need to be discarded and replaced as it can be almost impossible to remove all of it. Padding is rather low cost in comparison to carpeting, so again, the sooner this is remedied the better!

You value your Orange County home and office and you value the people in them. When thinking about something such as carpeting, which most do not normally give a lot of thought to in their day, you would have hard pressed to come up with safety issues as any type of concern for something that is, in essence, an accessory to make a place look nicer when in fact it most certainly can cause harm if not treated properly. In most cases it would be best if you do not attempt to clean or remove the mold yourself as it can be extremely dangerous to you, your family and anyone entering if not properly attended to.

If you find you want to do the mold removal yourself be sure to pull back all the carpeting and padding to help you ascertain that the entire area is dry and use a chemical such as bleach to clean with. Use gloves and a mask and make sure the area is well ventilated and take numerous breaks outdoors for your benefit. Make sure to water the bleach down so as to not cause damage to any surface areas, as well.

Be sure to consult with a specialized carpet cleaning company for any concern and desires you may have regarding mold to keep yourself, your family and friends and co-workers as comfortable and healthy as you can!

Do not Build Your Party Boat Without Pontoon Boat Plans

Pontoon boats are great for going out on the water to have fun with friends and family. If you're looking to build your vessel, you should have quality pontoon boat plans. Pontoons are an attractive option because they are reliably easy to build. In most instances, they are cheaper to insure due the less risk of submerging due to the shallow draft.

Pontoons are easy to build because they only require materials that you may have around the house or are easy to obtain. You can get creative and use different types of materials for your boat. The material should be lightweight but unbreakable. You material should be able to float. Items that fit this description are PVC pipes, water drums, or military drops.

When choosing your pontoon boat plans, you should consider how you are going to use the boat. Pontoons have many uses such as leisure out on the water and fishing. You would want to design a fishing boat to accommodate your fishing activities. Therefore you should select the appropriate plan. If you are using your boat for leisure, your design should accommodate more people.

You pontoon boat plans should address safety. Pontoons are generally safe boats because there is less risk of sinking. However, these boats should be used in lakes and rivers. Due to the low board, these boats should not be taken out in rough waters.

Following a good set of pontoon boat plans are a great way of building your own boat. There are many ways to design your pontoon. You need to determine how the boat is to be used then choose the plan that will fit your needs. Building you own boat will cost you the price of materials, tools, and your time.

Application for Rapid Product Development

Rapid product development can be explained as inventing new product and services to the global market cost effectively and quickly than its major competitors by having a strategic and competitive advantage. The key aspect of the rapid product development process is that the application of rapid advanced manufacturing technology and applications to the product manufacturing processes takes place at ease. The parametric growth of rapid product development techniques in web based applications has become a multitasking approach in SEO environments.

Rapid product development (RPD) and multitasking approaches have become centrally fused and marginally integrated to such an extent that both processes and applications have an extra dimension in intrinsically and extrinsically dynamic RPD related SEO environments. For instance Amazon and Accenture Management Consultancy, the world's largest management consultancy firm, have adopted RPD techniques that share an identical growth trajectory in both target marketing and SEO related concept development.

Amazon's Kindle and Wal-Mart's customer relations management (CRM) software has been developed on the same line as that of Microsoft's super brand related customer value creations dynamics. Ever since Wal-Mart launched its RPD applications on a newer SEO platform, its sales volume has been rising faster. In fact Wal-Mart's RPD applications have become a threat to Amazon. In this instance rapid application development, product design and development require SEO processes to be highly articulated in terms of CRM and CMS (Content Management Systems). In such situation SEO architecture can be both costs inefficient and less dynamic depending on the availability of flexible and variable design and development techniques.

Rapid product development and rapid application developments are synonymous. However, the latter concept has been used by industry experts to make reference to applications related to SEO environments that are highly characterized by modally segregated applications and systems. For instance Amazon's RAD process on its globally famous Kindle platform has all the advanced characteristics of a modern SEO architecture. Its applications have often been criticized for both non-conformity and non-integrity in keeping with facilitating function based environments. The process of bringing the products in to the global market and developing them according to the international standards cost effectively is the largest problems in the modern world.

Many advanced tools have been developed in the global market with the latest technology. Thus the applications can be both dynamic and static. For example dynamic applications can be seen in satellite communications and related applications. By adopting rapid product development strategies, companies can gain the strategic advantage and a better position in the global market place sooner than their competitors. For instance effective execution of the process allows the company to develop their products to be marketed within a few days ahead of the competitors. The key aspect of effective rapid product development is that the effective application of prototyping and advanced manufacturing technologies.

Thus the multitasking environment of the SEO enables to attract customers' attraction to the specific products that have been launched in the global market. One of the best web based applications to be used for the product development is the BugTracker.Net which is an efficient tracker used by thousands of development and support teams around the world. This enables the user to maintain and manage sound customer relations in order to facilitate the product development and increase the profitability of the corporation. This specifically determinates the product design and development, process where innovative product needs have been met in keeping with the multitudinal concepts and reliable theories in the differentiation of the market and the leadership. A particular design team with vast industrial experience can adopt CRM strategies in order to find the ultimate solutions to the complex problems.

A House in California Walkthrough

Grandma, it's too dark outside, whatever we do? Look over to the right, it's the fireflies we use to use to light up our lamp post. I wonder if we catch enough of them, if we would be able to light up the house like we once did many years ago. I think I'm going to have to wander around a little ways to see if I can find anything else that may help us.

A House in California is a poetic point and click puzzle game about four characters: Lois, Beulah, Connie and Ann. Together the four individuals must discover new elements, meet new friends and collect new objects to help bring back memories of what is now the little house in California.

We first start off with our main character Lois, his goal is to find all the fireflies to light up the lamp post, we will have to explore some of his memories, make a few repairs here and there and finally collect all the fireflies. Once we collect enough we will be able to return back to our main screen and light up the lamp post.

Second we play as our character Beulah, his job is to search for singing birds, but it's a bit more challenging than that, it definitely could require a walkthrough in order to round them all up. Our character Beulah will have to read, write and do some cooking, you can of course find out more about each of the characters by clicking on them.

Third we play as Connie, she must gather all the colorful butterflies to make the house shine brightly. She will have to catch the butterflies in the right order, orange, green and blue. The butterflies make a peaceful addition to the house, now we have lit up the streets, added a nice harmony and some color to our peaceful residency.

Finally, grandma asks if everything can be put back to the way it was. Ann's job is to undo everything we just did, remember and forget everything, then when the night comes to an end we can enter the house and know that everything we did was nothing more than just our imagination.

Do Cross Skull Tattoos Symbolize Fear, Danger, and Death?

The real meaning of cross skull tattoos have been misunderstood for a long time. Depending on how these tattoos are used, they have a wide variety of symbolic meanings. Skull designs are a universal symbol and can mean anything from a religious, political, or simply just an artistic expression.

If you want to stand out then a skull tattoo is a design you should go for because it represents a certain degree of individuality. A skull tattoo which is highly decorated with an original blend of color are popular among women. These colorful tattoos are meant to honor someone who died and represent a celebration of that person’s life. This is one of the few instances that a skull tattoo is seen as a positive image.

Frequently skull tattoos are seen as dark and threatening tattoo images. To many people these images represent fear, death, and danger, but rarely do these people know the true meaning behind these tattoos. These tattoos were not originally designed to represent these negative things. Instead they were originally used to represent a symbol of change. Traditionally the skull tattoo was related to a great change but over time these tattoos were eventually used to express person’s dark side.

Either way, skull tattoos have become increasingly popular and none more popular than the cross skull tattoo design. These tattoos are also known as crossbones tattoos. These are one of the best known skull designs and its image usually has a black flag as the background. These tattoos can be modified to adapt many different characteristics. Other cross skull tattoos include the flaming skull or the skull with crossbones and a pirate’s flag.

Flat Roof Insulation – Is it Really Worth the Cost?

Flat roof insulation may seem like a nuisance. After all, why would a flat roof need insulation? There is only a small level of space involved. Just how much heat and dampness can possibly be trapped in such a small area. Furthermore, is it really necessary to insulate a flat roof? Well, you might like to know that the spaces inside a flat roof are just as important as the spaces between any other roof area, including sloped roofs. Anadequate amount of insulation can do a large amount of long-term damage, just like any other structure that requires insulation.

Why is insulation actually needed for a flat?

In fact, the need for proper FRI far outweighs the need for insulation for sloped roofs. Why? Because flat roofs have an extreme exposure to the elements of extreme heat and cold. And they are FLAT. Unlike shingled roofs, water, ice, and heat seriously play havoc. There is no release of pressure or run-off.

Look out for the damage!

Because of the design, the no-slope, the flatness of it all, damage is more likely to occur. And because many homes and commercial buildings have large amounts of square footage benefit the flat it can easily become a serious trap for major (and often unseen) damage. All the moisture from the kitchens and bathrooms and laundry rooms usually get stuck. Unless the insulation is really up to par and the ventilation is also where it bought to be, the odds of reckless flat roof damage is almost inevitable.

Bottom line – Is flat roof insulation worth your time?

Most professional insulators agree that is most definitely worth the time. But it needs to be done right. Insulation goes hand-in-hand with ventilation. Both insulation and ventilation need to work in unison. Think of this as a symbiotic relationship both working together as one. It is actually a very beautiful working relationship. The insulation protectors and shields while the ventilation releases and provides much needed new air for the flat roof to breath. When this relationship is designed to work at a 50% by 50% ratio the conditions can become extremely optimized for amazing results.

The results show in the form of longering roof materials, big savings in energy cost during the summer and winter months, and much better conditions for you as a human while existing and living your life in your house or building. And over the years this added comfort and energy cost savings is certainly worth the investment and time of properly acquiring good FRI and ventilation.

In conclusion, insulation (and proper ventilation) can make the difference between a happy, comfortable living space or a very unhealthy, uncontrollable atmosphere that will always results in constant damage and ongoing repair and maintenance costs, years after year. Do yourself a huge good turn by hiring a professional to thoroughly check the conditions of your flat roof. It will pay big dividends for you and your peace of mind.

Bricklaying Tips

Almost all brick structures have a charming old-world feel about them. This charm is probably the reason why so many people fancy brick structures, and why many want to build with bricks or learn how building with bricks is done. In fact, bricklaying is increasingly gaining popularity among the do-it-yourself crowd.

Being one of the oldest crafts in the world, bricklaying requires a good amount of skill and know-how in order to do it correctly. Many do-it-yourselfers start out with a vision of what their end structure will look like, only to be left with a faulty wall that is badly joined, making it susceptible to the elements, which will eventually cause it to tumble.

If you’ve never built anything before, you are better off starting with something much simpler than a project which requires bricklaying. However, if you have been building for a while and have succeeded in building many successful structures, then bricklaying may be the next step in your do-it-yourself repertoire. Just keep the following tips in mind:

Space Out Your Bricks

Bricks have to be laid with even spaces in between. This promotes the strength of the structure. A basic brick wall, for example, should have about 10mm of space between each brick. This 10mm is filled with mortar, which holds bricks (and the entire structure) together. To make sure you get the spacing correct, try laying all your bricks out without mortar just so you can see if 10mm between each brick will leave you with even spaces. If it doesn’t, say your last bricks will have 2 inches of space between them, then increase the space between each brick, but do so by evenly dividing the extra space.

Tap Them Straight

When you start laying bricks, you want to make sure they are laid evenly and straight. Again this is important for the structure’s strength. A structure that has slanting (evenly slightly slanted) bricks may not last or hold for long. It is advised that you have a spirit level on hand at all times, and check to see if your bricks are even frequently throughout the bricklaying process. Checking after every two bricks lain is a good practice. If your bricks are not even, simply tap them down (needs to be done while mortar is still soft) so that they even out. Just remember to scrape away excess mortar.

Know Your Bricks

Before you even start on your project, it is important to know the bricks you are working with. Bricks can be made from several different materials and these can act differently in different climates. Study your climate and do some research on what type of brick will do best considering where you live. Also, know the sides of your bricks. Most bricks have a face, an indented side (sometimes called a frog side), the top, and the end. Some manuals on bricklaying may simply use this type of jargon without explaining each one, so be sure you are familiar with the terms.

Calculate Your Mortar Correctly

When mortar is mixed, you only have about two hours before you have to use it up. If you don’t, it will harden and will no longer be of any use. It is therefore important that you calculate your mortar correctly. This saves you time and money.

So, to calculate for mortar, determine how many bricks you need. A simple brick wall will need about 65 bricks per square meter. Get your total number of bricks and divide this by 135, this equals the number of bags of cement you need. Multiply the number of bags by three, this equals the cubic feet of sand you need. Divide the sand by 27 (which is the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard.) You need to know the cubic yards for sand because this is how sand is sold. Finally, you will need four to six gallons of water per batch of mortar.

Mathematically:

65bricks/135 = 0.4814815 (number of bags of cement needed to build 1 square meter of brick)

0.4814815 x 3 = 1.4444444 (cubic feet of sand)

1.4444444/27 = 0.0534979 (cubic yards of sand)

Keep these tips in mind when bricklaying, and you should be able to construct a simple brick structure, like a wall at the end of your garden. If you would like to create more complex structures, such as corners, arches, etc., then you’re best off calling an experienced Mansfield bricklayer.

Eco-Friendly Insulation

It’s always economical to have good insulation throughout your house. Unfortunately, many times your house either wasn’t insulated well enough or it’s insulated with things that aren’t eco-friendly, and that could cause other issues. But there are many green ways to insulate your home without using dangerous products.

One way to have your home insulated is by using recycled newspaper. The way that works is instead of single sheets of insulation, installers will blow it between your walls with a big hose. The more they can get in there, the better your walls will be insulated. You might have to deal with some newspaper dust for a couple of days, but once that’s settled it makes a fine way to protect your home.

Something else that can be used that’s relatively new is, believe it or not, mushrooms. Although this is very new technology that’s not widely available yet, what it will offer is a natural way to protect your home. It’s being developed to resemble packing material more than either sheet insulation or balls of insulation, which means it would work best being installed at the time a house is being built. Supposedly because of the density of mushrooms, the insulation wouldn’t have to be that thick and yet would still be very effective.

Another nice alternative to fiber glass insulation is insulation made out of cotton. There are some manufacturers who have been making insulation made out of cotton for years, which is a more dense type of material than what most of us are used to seeing. It costs a little bit more to produce, but it fills a house just as well as any other type of insulation, and is much safer for people overall.

Finally, something you probably wouldn’t have thought of is using insulation products that are soy based. It’s mixed in with a foam that’s sprayed into the walls, and can expand up to 100 times its normal size. That means you don’t have to use as much of it to insulate your home, and it will make a very tight seal between your walls. It also turns out to be water resistant and animal resistant, as it’s been found that the little nasty things that like to invade your home don’t like to eat it. If you go this route however, you might want to check with the people using it to ask them what percentage of soy is actually contained within the product.

Pros And Cons Of Sewing Machines

From budget basic to modern marvels, the hunt for the most indispensable of sewing tools.

Sewing is so different from what it used to be, and so are the machines on the market today. With so many different sewing machines, shopping for one can be daunting.

The following list of machines are worth a test drive, dividing them by the sewing skill level, the kind of sewing they are suited to for, and the pros and cons of each category. Use it as a starting point in you search, then head to your local dealer to try them out in person. The only way you’ll know which machine is the one for you.

STARTER SEWING MACHINES; They are no-frills, sewing-only machines. Most will include automatic buttonhole features and a basic selection of utility stitches. Some are electronic rather than computerized, with dials or buttons for machine settings rather than touch screens. These machines are basically for the beginning sewers, kids and anyone who plans to do only basic garment construction, mending, or home decorating and craft projects.

PROS; easy to use, affordable and capable of turning out quality clothing and decorating projects.

CONS; decorative stitches are limited or non-existent. Tension may not be set automatically. Buttonholes may require manual manipulations.

SUGGESTED MACHINES ARE; Singer Feather weight 11; Brother NX-200; Elna’s Debut 2110 or 2130; Euro-Pro’s Intelli-Sew; Bernetta from Bernina; Husqvarna Viking’s Scandenavia 100

MID TO HIGH-END SEWING MACHINES; These machines are performance oriented machines geared to garment and home decorating sewing. They handle a wide variety of projects and fabrics with ease. Some are electronic, but some are computerized. They feature a wide variety of utility stitches, automatic tension settings, self-threading and multiple automatic buttonhole settings. Some have built-in decorative stitches for embellishment. These machines are for serious sewers focused on dressmaking, tailoring and home decorating projects.

PROS; touch screens or electric settings take care of tension setting and indicate the correct stitch length and presser foot. Multiple automatic buttonhole settings and styles, precision sewing speed control, better handling of fabrics and hundreds of built-in utility and decorative stitches. Instruction manuals are stored in the machines memory and can be accessed from the LCD screen.

CONS; pricier than basic models. The wide variety of features and options may intimidate those not comfortable with computerized functions. These can be rectified with practice and lessons from the dealer.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Singers Quantum 9940; Brother’s NX-600 Janome’s Memory craft 6500; Elna Quilters Dream Ultra 6003 QT

COMBINATION SEWING/EMBROIDERY MACHINES; these high-tech machines offer the best of both worlds. You can stitch up garments, home decor, and accessorize to your hearts content. They have a switch presser feet and snap on the embroidery attachment to decorate y our designs with professional embroidery. The designs are built into the machines memory, supplied on flash cards or similar devices. Some models you can download designs directly from the internet to the machine by way of a USB port.

PROS;Offer almost unlimited creative embellishment potential.

CONS; These machines are expensive, but as the technologies advance manufacturers are introducing lower-priced models that offer many of the same functions as higher-end machines.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Singer Quantum Futura; Brother’s Innov-is 4000D; Janome’s Memory Craft 10001; Bernina’s Artista 200E; Artista 185 Quilters Embroidery Edition

EMBROIDERY-ONLY MACHINES; These machines are dedicated to machine embroidery. These machines are for mostly for someone starting a custom embroidery business, crafters interested in embellishing read-made items.

PROS; Since embroidery is their sole function, these machines turn out designs more efficiently. Higher speeds than combination sewing embroidery machines.

CONS; You can’t sew on these machines.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Brother’s PR-600; Babylock’s Embroidery Professional; Bernina’s Deco330.

Now you are ready to head out to your local dealer and try out some of the machines before you buy.