Cooking Vegetables With Waterless Cookware – Part 2

Cooking vegetables correctly does not have to be a guessing situation. By following a few simple directions, you can insure that your fresh or frozen vegetables will turn out tasty, appealing and cooked to perfection every time.

Cooking Fresh Vegetables

To cook fresh vegetables, place the vegetables in a pan that is almost completely full once vegetables are inserted. When cooking with waterless cookware, cooking vegetables in too large a pan for the quantity you are cooking can be a problem. Then rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus the vegetable's own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking the waterless way.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart that follows: Do not peek . Doing so not only lengthens the cooking time but also increases the risk of burning your vegetables because the vapor seal is broken. When finished cooking, test for doneness with a fork. If not done, cover the pan, close the vent and add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of water to the rim to reestablish the vapor seal. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cooking Frozen Vegetables

Do not defrost the vegetables. Again the size of pan used for cooking the vegetables is important. Once the vegetables have been placed in the pan, your pan should be almost completely full. Rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus its own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart. Do not peek. Removing the cover will destroy the vapor seal, lengthen the cooking time, and possibly cause the vegetables to burn.

Cooking Times for Vegetables:

Artichokes (whole) (30 to 45)

Artichoke hearts (10 to 15)

Asparagus (10 to 15)

Beans, green (fresh, cut) (15 to 20)

Beans, green (fresh, French cut) (10 to 15)

Beans, green (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beans, Lima (fresh) (30 to 35)

Beans, Lima (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beets (whole) (35 to 40)

Broccoli (15 to 20)

Brussels Sprouts (15 to 20)

Cabbage, shredded (10 to 15)

Carrots, sliced ​​(15 to 20)

Cauliflower (10 to 15)

Corn (fresh) (15 to 20)

Corn (frozen) (10 to 12)

Eggplant (5 to 8)

Greens (10 to 12)

Leeks (12 to 15)

Mushrooms (5 to 10)

Okra (15 to 20)

Onions (whole) (15 to 20)

Parsnips (sliced) (15 to 20)

Peas (frozen) (5 to 7)

Potatoes (quartered) (20 to 25)

Potatoes (whole) (30 to 35)

Potatoes, sweet (30 to 35)

Spinach (frozen) (8 to 10)

Spinach (fresh) (15 to 20)

Squash, summer (yellow) 15 to 20)

Squash, winter (25 to 30)

Squash, zucchini (20 to 25)

Tomatoes (10 to 15)

Turnips and rutabagas (25 to 30)

* Cooking times reflect the time after the vapor seal is formed, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Note: To keep your vegetables hot and ready to serve, keep the cover on and the vent closed. The vegetables will stay hot in the pan for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Do not let the concept of cooking waterless scare you. When you try it, you will soon discover how easy it is to actually use waterless cookware if you follow the above principles. Yes, cooking with waterless cookware is healthy because vegetables cook in their own natural juices, but you will soon discover how tasty and absolutely flavorful your prepared meals actually are. The Gourmets Cookware offers a wide variety of quality waterless stainless steel products along with tips and healthy recipes that can be easily adapted to your waterless cookware.

Make-Up Tips For the African-American Woman

Hello and welcome. This is an article that is GREATLY needed. At least I think it is. I started wearing make-up around the age of 14 and when I started, it was the WRONG shade for my skin tone. So! I am trying to speak out for all the Beautiful, Brown-Skinned Black Women that have as hard a time finding make-up as I do. So, let me give you a little background on me.

First of all, Black is beautiful, and the darker the berry the sweeter the juice! That being said, at 14 I was a little blackberry without a clue. When I first started wearing make-up it was just lipstick and it started out being my mom's Fashion Fair. My mother who is light-skinned and has a daughter who is dark-skinned. Needless to say her lipstick did not match at all. I was even referred to as a dark-skinned Ronald McDonald by a previous ex-boyfriend!

So, I believe that us brown-skinned and dark-skinned women need a little extra help because it is more difficult for us to find make-up that matches in drugstores, or make-up that is affordable. Plus Cosmo and Glamor and all of them always be talking about great make-up for spring, but uh, hello did you forget black girls like make-up for spring too? So, I feel your pain. I am a self-appointed make-up aficionado, and would like to offer my experiences as well as some products that are FABO and not so much fabo. So … without further ado, let's get started!

JUST AN FYI: These are all make-ups that I have had to use through trial and error so I am sharing from EXPERIENCE!

FACE: I find it hard to find a good foundation, and full-coverage make-up that is affordable so here are some wonderful finds that I have found that are both.

1-Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Liquid Foundation- Spicy Brown

PROS- it is good at matching skin tones that have yellow or red undertones, spreads easily and if you only need moderate coverage gives you a good bang for your buck. It is affordable ranging about 6-8 bucks, and you can find it in most drugstores, and grocery stores.

CONS- If you have dark spots and blemishes, this will NOT offer you the coverage you need! Not even close, okay? It also wears off quickly so you would need to reapply often. The bottle is upside down with a little spout, so if you pour out too much, you can not put it back in the bottle and in these times of economic crisis er 'little bit counts am I right ladies ?!

Also, if you have problems matching your skin tone because you have BOTH yellow and red, or maybe blue and red undertones, this collection may not be for you because there is not a vast selection to choose from, so you might need to move on . Other shades that are good for brown-skinned to dark-skinned gals, and some of you fellas! Rich Mink, Sheer Espresso, and True Ebony.

2. Cover Girl Queen Collection Natural Hue Compact Foundation

PROS-It will give you more coverage than the Liquid Foundation. That's it. That's about all I can think of.

CONS-Unfortunately, it rubs off QUITE quickly. It is also tinted slightly differently from the liquid foundation so I found it harder to match my skin tone. Also, when it was warm outside it wipes RIGHT off, and revealed every blemish on my face! LOL, it also wipes off on your clothes, stains your hands, the whole bit. It's moderately priced as well, so if you want to look nice for a date at night, going somewhere cool, it's a quick fix, but I would not wear it to the club, or a carnival, anywhere that will be warm, or sweaty. It also comes in the same.

3. Black Opal True Color Liquid Foundation – Black Walnut

PROS-Awesome Coverage. There is quite a bit in the bottle so it will last you quite a while. It is an upright standing bottle with a generous opening, so if you pour out too much, it will not be too difficult to get back into the bottle, so you can SAVE, SAVE, SAVE! I wear foundation every day, sometimes wash my face and re-apply if going out that night, and this bottle lasts me about a good two months or so. You will find that it ranges from about 8-12 bucks … depending on where you live. So it is a great buy.

CONS- If you have combination to oily skin, WEAR POWDER, and keep it with you! During these upcoming warm to hot days, you may look really greasy in the face. But if you keep Blotters with you, or powders, you should be okay. Also, it might just be that MY skin tone changes, so if that is the case disregarded, but I find that when I go to buy a new one, the shade might not match like the previous one, so be mindful of that.

Another con is that Black Opal Products may be a little harder to find in stores than other products that I mention. I do not know if it's that they're not that popular, or what, but whenever I look I always find them either either Rite-Aid, or CVS. So, happy hunting. Other colors good for brown-skinned girls … Carob, Suede Mocha, and Ebony Brown ….. And for you borderline caramel to brown-skin girls, Hazelnut!

4-Maybelline Pure Make-Up (Shine Free Foundation with H2O) – Cocoa (Dark 3)

PROS- Very affordable, easy to find. Located in Most drugstores, supermarkets, Wal-Mart. Costs range about 5.99-10 bucks, depending on your region. Full coverage, does not clog your pores, spreads easily.

CONS-Upside down tube, so you will have to be exact about how much is needed for your face, cause if you use too much … it will go to waste. Limited colors for darker skin tones. They only have THREE shades for women of OUR color. Dark 1- Tan, Dark 2- Caramel, and Dark 3-Cocoa. I have used the Cocoa. It is way too dark for my skin-tone.

However, the Caramel Dark 2 is too light. So, if you are pressed for money and do not have the money to experiment, I would not waste my time on this product. They have FIVE shades dedicated to light, FOUR for medium and only three for us darkies ?? !!! Leave this product alone, unless you happen to match EXACTLY. Good luck evading the lady who tries to watch you when you try to sample the products in the store!

5. Black Radiance Color Perfect Oil Free Liquid Make-Up- Cocoa Bean

PROS-Very affordable! VERY! Somewhat accessible. Costs about 5.99-10 bucks, and you can find it in a lot of Beauty Supply stores, CVS carries it. Spreads evenly, good coverage, get quite a bit for your buck. Also, comes in a jar with an open spout, so if you have too much, you can put it back in there. Gives you a nice matte finish.

CONS- Cocoa Bean does NOT match my skin tone! But I also have strange undertones going on with my skin, so that could be why it is so difficult to match. When you apply this make-up it dries a different color, it's crazy. There's this … weird … applicator thingy, not sure what to do with it, but it just got in my way basically. Says it is good for all skin types, but I have very sensitive skin on my face, and I found that within thirty minutes my face was suffocating and I needed to wash it off. Other shades to try are Brownie and Mocha Honey.

6. L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Make-Up- Nut Brown

PROS-Oh my goodness you guys this make-up was awesome! Spread really, really great! Matches wonderfully for a yellow undertone. Really does a brown-skinned girl justice. Light, so your skin can breathe. Good coverage for girls with blemishes. Pretty easy to find, and I say that with hesitance, because 7 times out of 10 they will carry all the shades for brown-skinned. Um, I find them at Wal-Mart, Walgreens..and that's pretty much it.

CONS- This product has SPF and I am VERY allergic to sun block so it broke me out something terrible. Kind of hard to find. It's a little more expensive than the previous products mentioned. MMM, I would say about 10.99 and up. You may be able to find it on sale. Also, there is not a whole lot in the bottle, so use sparingly if you can. Other shades to try …. Soft Sable and Cocoa.

7. Revlon Color Stay Make-Up with Soft Flex – Mahogany

PROS- Pretty easy to find in most drugstores. Colors are good for brown-skinned girls. Kind of affordable. A little on the higher end but about 9.99-12.99 for this product. The coverage is okay … Not the best, but if you are looking for light to moderate coverage this is a good product.

CONS- Now, I found that Mahogany did not match my undertones that great. I know …. Again with the undertones. It dried and made my skin look a little grayish and chalky. There is not really a good selection to choose from for darker skin tones. Has SPF6, bad for me, but good for anyone who is not allergic. Also, again, if you do not have the undertone problem …. Other shades to try … Cappuccino and Mocha.

And lastly but CERTAINLY not least …

8. Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse – Cocoa (Dark 3)

PROS- OH MY GOSH …… loving this product !! (sing song voice) this is the current make up I am using now! It def does what the commercial says. It covers your pores, and gives you a great finish! Maximum coverage! Need NO concealer, well … maybe a little bit, but I do not use any. It is very affordable, anywhere from about 7-10 bucks. I found it right at the Kroger grocery store, so it should be available at most drug stores. It has a nifty little nozzle that squirts out and it's really convenient. It is also whipped feeling, and I apply with my fingers.

It just glides right on, and begins covering all my pores and dark spots, and its not too heavy, I do not have to put on a bunch. The top also comes off, so if I over-squirt, I can put it right back in the bottle. There's lots in the bottle, and you do not have to use a lot for coverage. I think I bought this bottle a month ago and I still have a little more than half a bottle left. It's great! I love it. Hopefully this will be the end of the road for me, but usually it is not!

CONS-Again, it's Maybelline, and you know they do not cater to the brownies, so there are only three shades of this color which is outlined Dark 1, Dark 2, Dark 3. Dark 3 of this particular make-up works really well for me. Weird the other Maybelline product Dark 3 did not work, but oh well. That's the only con I can come up with this product so far.

So, in closing, I know a lot of people are saying well what about MAC? MAC, well first, MAC is not exactly what I would call easy or easily accessible. MAC is usually found at a counter in a store store, or MAC store in the mall, and both close around 9 pm. I am a girl on a budget, and I can not afford to pay 15-25 bucks for make up that does not seem to last very long, actually. And also, with my sensitive skin, MAC gives me a rash. I have tried the Studio Tech Compact in NW50. If you do not mind paying a little bit more then here are some other shades to try … NW45, NW47, NC50, NC55, and NW55.

PS, I have tried Clinique, the shade was not worth mentioning because it made me look gray and brave me a rash. Fashion Fair is good too if you can find it, but again, a little out of my budget right now, and usually can only be found in a store store or the mall. I have not worn it in years, so I do not remember the shade. But Fashion Fair offers a BUNCH of shades for us chocolates!

I hope this article helped a lot. I will continue to discuss blushes, concealers, lipsticks, and glosses, mineral powders, bronzers, eye shadows …. ahh! Most DEF eye shadows, my favorite, and beauty tricks … some ghetto …. Hope you enjoy! Happy hunting ladies.

Types of Scaffolding, Structures and Construction

Scaffolding is aa temporary framework Around or even inside a building to support construction and repair of buildings and structures. Scaffolding is one of the major requirements in any construction field. May it be large structures or smaller homes, Scaffolding is an essential part. In Britain and most of the European nations, Scaffolding is done with Pipes whereas in Asian countries Bamboo is used still.

Scaffolding consistors of 3 main parts, Tubes, Couplers for joining the tubes and Boards, to create a supporting area for human access. Scaffoldings are seldom alone, they are always attached to the building with ties. Independent scaffoldings are seldom seen and are usually not as stable as the ones attached to a structure.

Rules are regulations vary in every part of the world when it comes to construction. In certain parts of the world there exists rules for building scaffolding and norms and standards are practiced strictly. Britain has a strict code of conduct too and all scaffoldings are expected to meet certain standards based on Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. Scaffolds in the UK have to meet the standards according to the BS 5973 Regulations and strictly meet its requirements.

Tubes are made of Steel or Aluminum. Steel is usually galvanized. The aluminum Tubes render more durable as its light and Flexible. Boards are made of seasoned wood and should be 50 mm-63 mm to meet the standards.

Scaffolds come in various Sizes and shapes but some of the most common scaffolds include:

  1. Independent or Bird Cage Scaffold: The Birdcage scaffold consistors of 2 or more rows of vertical poles supported by horizontal Pieces of Pipes. This is a one level Scaffold. They are mostly used in work with the ceilings
  2. Single Fold Scaffold: this is a single row of pipes supported against the structure. This is used for painting or plastering a wall.
  3. Suspended or Swing Stage Scaffolds: This is the Window washer. A tall structure could use this kind of Scaffold which can be suspended, increased or decreased in heights.
  4. Cantilever Scaffold: this scaffold is supported only on one end.

There are variations on each types of Scaffolds. Its important to decide the type of scaffold for each job as a life will depend on it.

It's also essential that anyone who will work on a scaffold over 12 feet take prior training and hold a competency certificate.

Keeping and Handling Japanese Inro

Antique lacquer has always been highly valued for its lasting qualities and strength, as not only could a very high gloss be achieved, but it also proved to be impervious to alcohol, acids and hot liquids. It appealed to the Zen Buddhism ideals of ‘Yin and Yang’, as lacquer appears to be so delicately beautiful and light in weight, yet it is hard, impermeable and enduring.

However, great care still needs to be taken when handling any antique Japanese lacquer, especially inro (when complete with the ojime and a netsuke, or manju), as the inro can so easily be damaged by knocks caused by a swinging netsuke. The most common cause of damage occurs when an inro is first picked up, for if the netsuke, or manju, is allowed to swing and bump into the inro, the lacquer will certainly dent and worse still a piece might actually break off.

The best and correct way to pick up an inro, is to firstly pick up the netsuke, or manju, then to also hold and use the silk cord to turn the inro around to look at the other side, rather than to finger the lacquer, as there is something in our perspiration that dulls the shine in time. As an alternative some people only handle lacquer whilst wearing very soft gloves.

All lacquer is best kept in a reasonably humid atmosphere, avoiding any sudden changes of temperature. In some climates this is difficult to arrange, without having good air-conditioning. It is also a good idea to keep a bowl, or two, of water where ever the inro are stored, but even more important to completely avoid the use of any hot spot lights within the same cabinet.

Antique Japanese lacquer Inro and boxes are such incredibly beautiful works of art, that I consider many of them to rate very highly, amongst the finest treasures of the World! So it is well worthwhile taking good care of them.

Goldfish Care – 5 Dos and 5 Don’ts

Goldfish care: 5 things you must do to keep them happy

1. Do set up their aquarium before you buy any goldfish

Don’t buy goldfish and their home in the pet store on the same day. Instead, set up the tank with gravel, decorations and a filter in good spot (one that is quiet, away from a window or radiator, and near a power supply) and fill it with water, then switch on any pumps you’re using. It takes time for chlorine and other chemicals in tap water that can harm your fish to be expelled.

2. Do consider maturing your tank in advance

A new aquarium takes time to ‘mature’; this odd word basically means that the tank filters and gravel are capable of breaking down waste before it pollutes the water. You can buy products to start this process off from the fish store. Such ‘cycling’ usually takes about two weeks, and prevents your new fish being exposed to pollution.

3. Do stock your goldfish tank slowly

Get just two fish at first (goldfish are sociable animals) and give them a week or two in the tank before buying any more fish. This gives your tank more time to mature to deal with the increase in waste products.

The very best thing you can do to keep your goldfish healthy is to regularly change some of the water. Using a siphon tube, remove about a fifth of the water once a week and replace it with new water, preferably water that you’ve left stand overnight. Changing water like this dilutes down the pollution, and adds fresh minerals to the tank.

5. Do consider buying a filter

Many people keep goldfish in tanks without filters or even air pumps. But adding a filter will greatly improve the quality and stability of the water conditions in your tank. Even an air pump will help – the bubbling improve the oxygen levels in the water, which goldfish really appreciate.

5 things you must never do when caring for goldfish

1. Don’t keep goldfish in a bowl

Yes, some people keep their pets alive for years in a bowl, but many more lead short, unhappy lives. Goldfish are inquisitive fish that like to swim about and explore. Give them a tank at least two-foot long. Also, goldfish bowls pollute easily and the design hinders the transfer of fresh oxygen into the water.

2. Don’t overfeed your goldfish

Your fish should eat all the food you add within five to ten minutes. If there is food lying about on the floor of the aquarium, you’re overfeeding. This excess food will rot down and pollute the tank.

3. Don’t overstock your tank

An aquarium can only hold so many fish before it starts to get polluted too quickly, or before the oxygen level in the water drops. A three-foot long aquarium will hold about four fully-grown goldfish happily – you can add a couple more if you must, especially if you’ve got an air pump, but it’s not advised.

4. Don’t keep standard goldfish with fancy goldfish

Fancy goldfish, such as bubble-eyes and twin-tails, are much more delicate and slower moving than standard goldfish. You’ll have fewer problems if you keep one or the other kind in the same aquarium.

5. Don’t add a heater

Some people use heaters meant for tropical fish tanks in their goldfish tanks. This isn’t just unnecessary – it can harm the fish. They will be quite happy at normal living room temperature, and in fact would probably prefer it a bit on the chillier side!

Carpet Cleaning Professionals

Carpet cleaning professionals will of course clean your carpeting. However, most of them can also clean your air ducts, your upholstered furniture, the grout around your tile, and your draperies. The exact services will depend on each individual firm and the methods and equipment it employs.

The two most popular methods are currently steam cleaning and dry cleaning. With steam cleaning, a carpet cleaning professional will apply hot water and a cleaning solution with a machine. The machine's brushes will work the solution into the pile of your carpeting. Then a wand is used to extract the water, which is why this method is also called extraction clean. Hopefully, when the water is removed, it will carry the dirt with it, leaving you with clean, albeit damp, carpeting. Actual drying times vary, depending on how much water the carpet cleaning professional had to use and how well he was able to extract the moisture. As a rule, it is best to allow at least 6-8 hours of drying time before walking on the carpet.

Dry cleaning is not moisture free, but it does use very little water. Special chemicals are applied with a machine and the rapid evaporation means that carpets are ready for traffic almost immediately.

Encapsulation has been increasing in popularity with carpet cleaning professionals and homeowners alike. This relatively new method involves the application of crystals that encapsulate the dirt, allowing it to be vacuumed up immediately. Drying time is eliminated, and the entire process is usually much faster than the other methods.

Duct cleaning involves the use of a high powered vacuum hose to suction out the duct work. Make sure that the company you engage has the equipment that will provide enough power and enough hose to reach through your ducting. Some companies sincerely vacum around the vents, which provides little benefit and which you can easily do with your household vacuum and extension wand.

Most carpet cleaning professionals who perform upholstery and drapery cleaning use steam cleaning to accomplish the task, although a few use the dry cleaning method. A wand is attached to the same machine as is used for cleaning the carpets, and the wand is moved over the surfaces to be cleaned. Drapes can be cleaned while hanging, although they naturally can not be pressed.

Few carpet cleaning professionals today use the shampoo method, which was the most popular for decades. Shampooing involves using a machine to work a detergent into the pile of the carpet, rinsing it, and then extracting it to various degrees of dryness. The shampoos tend to leave a sticky residue that attracted dirt, and dirt from the padding and carpet back often worked its way into the pile, making the carpets look soiled again very quickly.

You can often save money on your clearing needs by "bundling" them and then getting quotes from several carpet cleaning professionals for providing all the services. Since the company will be there anyway, you can usually save the amount that would have been charged for transit time if nothing else.

12 Amazing Uses for Pepper You Didn’t Know About

Various forms of pepper have long been used to satisfy our culinary experience but as it turns out, there is a lot more to pepper than meets the eye.

Let’s have a look at some of the things pepper can be used for other than to spice foods:

1. If your old clunker is starting to get a slow leak in the radiator, pour some black pepper into it plug up small holes. This will buy you time to get it fixed properly.

2. Are you having trouble with biting ants in your yard? You don’t need to use harsh chemicals for this. All you need is about a half cup of black or cayenne pepper poured down the hole and voila, no more ant problem.

3. This also holds true for hungry ants looking for something sweet in your kitchen. You can put white pepper in their path and they will disappear thinking there are no meals here.

4. No sooner have you planted your vegetable garden than those pesky hungry bugs arrive ready to undermine all your hard work. Here is a recipe that not only keeps insects away but also animals.

– 2 tbsp cayenne pepper

– 2 large cloves of garlic

– 4 medium sized onions

– 4 cups water

– In a blender or food processor, blend until completely smooth. Then add about a gallon of water and you are ready to spray your plants.

5. Want to keep your colors bright when you do laundry? A tsp of pepper in your wash will keep your colors bright a lot longer. It can also keep your colors from bleeding. There are not many products that can do that.

6. Do you have problems with your sinuses? Do you have a cold? Cayenne pepper in your favorite food can unclog you and get you cleared up in no time. Or, mix liquid pepper with eucalyptus and put it in your steamer to sooth and unclog your sinuses . (Your health food store should carry these drops. If they don’t, ask them to.)

7. Help your liver detoxify with this early morning drink;

– 1 lemon squeezed,

– ¼ tsp cayenne pepper,

– 1 cup filtered water,

– 1 tsp maple syrup

When you drink this every morning you begin to look forward to it.

8. For arthritis pain you can make your own homemade warming massage to sooth where it hurts.

Recipe: Mix together

1 dropper of almond oil (Always use a carrier oil such as almond, jojoba or olive oil)

2 drops of pepper

1 drop ginger

2 drops lavender

Massage on the affected area and feel the warmth working.

9. If you feel the beginning of a migraine headache coming on then immediately put about 4 to 5 droppers full of pepper in water and drink. If you don’t have the pepper tincture then you can use about a ¼ to ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a half glass of water. Repeat after a half hour if you have any remaining pain.

10. According to Dr. Richard Schulze, M.H., N.D., if someone is having a heart attack, you can revive them by putting 4 to 5 droppers full of cayenne pepper tincture directly to the mouth. If you don’t have the tincture, use a tsp. of cayenne pepper and some water and continue to give it every five minutes until the person has recovered. They may sputter and choke a bit but according to Dr. Schulze, he has seen many miracles of people recovering completely.

11. Do you have a problem with squirrels eating the feed in your bird feeder? Cayenne pepper yet saves the day again. Sprinkling it in the feed does not affect the birds. They apparently have a high tolerance for the pepper and the vitamin A in it improves their plumage.

12. If you have problems with rodent chewing on cables then you can rub pepper tincture on them and they won’t go anywhere near it.

So there you have it. I’m sure we will discover more wonderful uses for this versatile spice.

Interesting Facts: Recycled Plastic Lumber

What is recycled plastic? This is usually used to make shampoo bottles, teachers are bottles, water bottles and juice bottles. It may also be used to make milk containers. It does not have any wood filler and it’s because wood filler usually just letters, blisters, peels or rots. It consists of around 90 percent of used plastic material. It can be created from high-density polyethylene plastic. Generally, it comes in the form of a solid foamed product that has been recycled. Paragraphs below we’re going to give you interesting facts on this plastic lumber that has been cycle.

The colorants that this lumber uses have been stabilized through ultra violet rays. This will not fade, therefore it will last long time. There will be no need to paint, seal or stain it. Of course, if you want special colours, this is an option however; it generally comes in the standard colours. The standard colours consist of redwood, green, black, dove gray, white, ivory and dark gray.

The textures of this plastic lumber have been created so that it looks like it has wood grain this is nice, because it is easy to take care of and clean. When it is wet, it is as slippery as painted deck.

There will be an invisible film which will remain on the surface after you buy it. However, it is going to burn off as the direct sunlight hits it for a couple of weeks. If you want it to be slip resistant, then you’ll have to request the knurled finish.

Recycled plastic lumber has been tested and has went through some tough weather. As of now, the complete lifespan of this lumber has yet to be seen. This product has been placed on boats and has lasted as long as 35 years and is still going with no signs of damage.

Many like this product, because you do not have to put much work into it. As we mentioned above, there is no need to paint, seal or stain it. Generally, all you will need to do in order to care for would be to mop it and wash it with a garden hose.

If you come across a stain that you have a hard time getting off, then just makes bleach and water together with a 1:10 ratio and place it on the surface. By doing this, you will not be harming the recycled lumber at all. Remember, bleach comes in plastic bottles itself. If it were harmful, then it would not come in plastic bottles.

Low Cost Concrete Floor Staining

This is not an article for those looking how to acid wash concrete. This is about getting the same look, for less than half the cost of acid staining!

First off you need to gather your supplies. You can find them at any local home improvement store such as Home Depot, Lowes, Ace Hardware, etc. You will need solid concrete stain; I recommend two colors that complement each other ie a tan and a dark brown. Concrete sealer which comes in different sheens so decide if you want a flat look to your floor or a slightly shiny look, and get enough to seal your floors 6-8 times. You will also need a cheap gallon spray, just make sure it has an adjustable nozzle. A long handled roller with a semi-smooth nap and paint tray. And of course you will need plastic and painters tape to protect your other surfaces. And a large piece of cardboard or test space that you will not mind messing up.

Second, remove all furniture from the room and make sure you prep your surface and surrounding surfaces well. I recommend covering 4-6 feet up the wall so you avoid over-spray and having to touch up paint. Make sure you vacuum or sweep really well because whatever is on your floor will be on your floor forever once you start the process.

Now, you are ready to begin! Mix up concrete stain because just like paint, it separates and needs to be mixed. Carefully, off your surface, pour stain in your sprayer. Replace cap and if needed pump spray to prepare for spraying. Test your pattern on some cardboard or some other space you do not mind messing up; I tried it on my garage floor. Make sure to keep the spray a few feet away from the floor, otherwise you will get puddles of stain when you are looking for splatters of stain. When you are comfortable with the look you are creating, go to work on your prepped floor. Keep in mind, you are not trying to completely cover the floor, you are trying for a natural stone look. When doing the edges I recommend aiming a couple feet up off the floor to get all the way to the edge and not puddle, but still get the splatter look you are going for. Make sure you work yourself out the door instead of into a corner … you do not want to stand around waiting for it to dry for 4 or so hours! Pour any left over stain back into it's original container, and clean out the spray so it's ready for your next color! The whole process should not take very long, my 130 square foot room only took me about 45 minutes to put one coat on.

Then, wait the recommended time before you start the second coat. After the first coat is dry, repeat the process from the first coat, filling in the areas you had less splatter in and covering the areas you had too much of the other color on. Again wait for the second coat to dry. If you are happy with the way your pattern turned out, continue on to sealing your floor. If you are not completely happy with your stain pattern, keep layering the different colors until you are happy with the pattern. The sealer will not change the look, unless you got a semi-shiny sealer, it will simply seal it so it does not scratch. I did three coats and for the third coat I used a hand spray so I could get a finer mist and a smaller area to worry about, because the bleach spray has a wider area it covers.

When you are ready, pour your sealer in a roller tray, get a good amount on your roller, just like you would paint, and start rolling the floor. Again, do not forget to roll yourself out of the room instead of into a corner! Then, wait the recommended time for the sealant to dry, then proceed with the rest of the coats waiting in between for coat to dry.

You're done! Remove your plastic and coverings, move the furniture back into the room and enjoy your space!

Global Warming – Causes That Contribute

Increasing temperature, rising sea level and increasing the number of diseases are some of the effects of global warming. But do you know the causes that are leading towards these situations? Here we are going to discuss some of the causes that lead to these situations.

Emission of greenhouse gases is considered to be the main reason of climate warming. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and some engineered chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons are the greenhouse gases. Most of these gases occur in the atmosphere naturally, but due to the widespread burning of fossil fuels by growing human populations, the level of greenhouse gases emission has increased a lot. In order to reduce the effects of global warming, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has become a primary focus of environmental programs around the world.

Smog and poor air quality is a burning environmental problem, especially in large metropolitan cities. The primary constituent of Smog is the ground level ozone which is formed by a chemical reaction of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and heat from sunlight. Pollutants that contribute to smog come from a lot of sources, such as smoke emissions, vehicle emissions, paints, and solvents. The reaction to create smog needs heat and smog problems are the worst in the summer.

Moreover, the pollutant releases from the industrial sector and electric utilities contribute greatly to environmental problems and lead to many environmental issues. Emissions from vehicles also contribute to smog, low visibility, and various greenhouse gas emissions in the environmental atmosphere and thus, contributing towards the global warming.

Boat Detailing – Diagnosing Gel Coat Surfaces

Determining Oxidation Levels on Your Yacht and how to deal with them:

Gel coat is an extremely tough porous surface applied to boats. It is best to preserve the original surface as much as possible just like cars, trucks, etc. You will come across boats that have been improperly sanded, washed, buffed, boats that have been neglected for years, and boats that will require intensive reconditioning because of these flaws. Without question for most boats to look good requires the touch of a professional. To make them look great it is definitely required. First, you must diagnose the level of, if any, oxidation. Do not be intimidated if there is absolutely no gloss, and a chalky stayue appears on your hand if you touch the surface. Even this can be redone. Gel coat is tougher than automotive paint and 15 to 20 times thicker. More often than not, you will be able to machine buff out most oxidation and other blemishes. These cloudy surfaces can be remedied and repaired.

Levels of Oxidation

Level 1 or light oxidation: You will see patchy cloudiness in the finish. Remainder is good to very good. You can use a new special product called; Aussie Gold DuraGleem to remove the oxidation and any swirl marks without abrasive action. Or you can do it the hard way, the old fashioned way. In this case you will need to use Meguiar's # 44, Production's Bristol # 9, Monster Aqua Blue or an appropriate light compound. Machine buff with a non-abrasive wool or foam pad and apply the sealant by hand or orbital polisher. A wool pad may be easier than a foam pad to use to keep from sticking or bouncing, especially as the friction heats up the surface. Usually a. High grade Carnauba will suffice. Starbrite has a liquid wax which is very easy to use as well. Most automotive detailing products will suffice at level one oxidation.

Level 2 oxidation or medium oxidation: The surface will have obvious degradation on the deck and the hull. The best product we have found is Aussie Gold's DuraGleem Extra Cut. It is a little tougher than Aussie Gold DuraGleem Original, but with level 2 oxidation you are going to need it. This may not work on all level two oxidation, but it better to try the easy way first. If this does not work, then you will need to proceed with the Meguiar's product # 49, you'll need to follow with # 45 polish and their # 55 sealant. Monster Aqua Blue also has a similar product. Many Marine Industry Detailers prefer Starbrite Products up to level two oxidation. Polish with a polishing pad, orbital buffer or by hand.

Level 3 would result in severe oxidation: You'll see no reflectivity. The surface is chalky to the touch and to sight. We do not always recommend a foam pad on severe oxidation gel-coat surfaces because it heats up and may slip. Gel coat conditions such as these will usually require a very thorough washing, uni-grit sanding of a minimum of 1500 sandpaper grit, machine buffing with Meguiar's # 49, polishing with Meguiar's # 45 and a finishing with Meguiar's # 55 sealant. If this does not work to your complete statisfaction, you should probably paint the vessel. If you are still intent on saving it then this will require many, many hours of labor and due to environmental concerns, may usually only be performed on land in a controlled setting. If you use Monster Agua-Blue 100, it contains no petroleum products or silicone and is 100% water based and water soluble. This may avoid the hassle of wet sanding.

First try using Monster Agua-Blue 100 and 200 buffing compounds with a wool pad. They are like wet sanding with 1000 grit and 2000 grit sand paper. Then follow with Blue Magnum 80% Carnauba wax or sealant to prolong the finish. There will be pricing guidelines in the manual or you may e-mail the home office for bid price assistance as each project can vary. Here is where we get the stuff.



Meguiar's Unigrit

(for safest results)

3M Products

If you can not find a competent marine canvas person in your area we suggest this phone number to owners who realize that it is far too late for cleaning after holes have occurred. If it is time for a new cover call 1-800-362-9154 Walk-Winn Covers.

Vented and Ventless Gas Fireplaces

A vented gas log fireplace offers instant warmth and freedom from the cold. In addition, they treat people of the duties that come with using a fireplace. This includes no longer having to clean ashes and haul wood. In addition they offer a safer and cleaner option in comparison to burning wood. Increasingly more manufacturers have increased the number of options available and now offer a large range of choices in regards to size and styles.

Product Description

Using a vented gas log fireplace requires the use of a flue or chimney. This allows the release of any dangerous gases produced to the outside. The vented logs tend to have the closest resemblance to a real fire. Gas log fireplace sets come in lengths as small as 12 inches and larger than 60 inches.

Pros and Cons of the Different Burning Options

There are many different options available for using a fireplace for heat and ambience. Some of the different choices are vent free, b-vent, and wood burning. Each option variates and has different positive and negative points depending on the fireplace use and placement.

Ventless gas fireplaces do not require a chimney or flue in the wall for venting. The BTU limit that makes ventless gas fireplaces safe indoors also makes vent free gas logs energy efficient using less gas for maximum flame pattern. Log placement with ventless gas logs are designed to minimize carbon output so unwanted gas fireplaces burn "clean" with little discoloration or harmful outputs from burning gas. Ventless gas log fireplaces all contain an oxygen depletion sensor as a back-up safety alarm against gas fumes and breathable oxygen. Optimally ventless gas log fireplaces are very simple to install with one single gas connection because they come with the valve and safety features installed from the factory.

Vent free gas fireplace logs must be arranged to minimizeize between the gas flame and the ceramic log and logs can not be adjusted to get different flame patterns. For many years vent free gas fireplace logs had limited option but as more consumers realized the simplicity and savings of building a fireplace without building a chimney through every floor of the home to reach the roof fireplace log shape choices have multiplied. Most types of "wood" are now available with detailed hand-painted designs and alternative gas fireplaces with crushed glass, geo-metric shapes and river rocks are becoming more popular.

Wood burning fireplaces contain all the smells and sounds associated with burning wood and depending on the area of ​​the country wood can be burnt for free and be made to lower heating bills. Wood-burning fireplaces are not fun to clean as soot is extremely light and often able to spread right through the rear filter and into the house when vacuumed. A water-spray will effectively weigh down soot for slow shoveling with minimal mess. The fire in a wood burning fireplace must also be properly stacked to light a fire every time. Improperly stacked firewood without enough kindling will burn out so the fireplace must be watched and wood added to the fire as it is used. Burning wood does create dangerous fumes and smoke and a proper flue with a strong pull requiring a minimal height is necessary for safe home heating.

Vented Gas Logs: Ventilation Options

Vented gas fireplaces do require venting as burning gas produces carbon monoxide however the size of the flue can be small enough to run through the existing wall of a house. Gas logs do not have to be on a wall sharing outdoors and can be placed anywhere a vent and a gas line are installed. There are a remarkable number of divergent "wood" designs and gas logs that can be mixed, rearranged and decorated any number of ways to accentuate either logs, flames or embers as the mood strikes the audience. With the higher popularity generally comes thermostatic controls, temperature controlled blowers and multitudinous accessories to decorate the gas log fireplace. Vented gas log fireplaces do require professional installation to check gas pressure, thermocouple safety and check ventilation. Vented gas logs provide a better flame pattern than any other type of fireplace coupled with the convenience of on-off controls to vary flame height.

A Vented Gas Fireplace in Comparison to the Rest

Wood burning tend to give one of the nicest aesthetics including not only random changing log and flame patterns as wood burns and changes, crackling noise and the smell of burning wood but wood-burning fires carry the most risk of smoke and fumes. In general, they are not simple to turn on and off or to clean; wood burning fireplaces require constant supervision to stay burning and need chimney sweeping to keep the flue clean of hazardous, flammable creosote build-up.

A b-vent is one way to upgrade a current fireplace into one for use with vented gas logs. This is achieved through running a pipe in and up and out design. However, the b-vent may not work for everyone and have the potential for a backdraft of combustion gases when the indoor pressure is too high. On the other hand, the direct venting option offers a more efficient option with the vented gas logs.

With a b-vent, a two-layer pipe runs through a hole either behind or slightly above the unit. The pipe leading to the outside brings in air in order to create the combustion needed for burning the gas. As for the inner pipe, this is where the emissions produced go to the outside. Generally, these types are considered safer since they reduce the risk of carbon monoxide. Additionally, people have the option to install them anywhere a gas lines present or may be installed. The benefit of a b-vent fireplace is that the flue vent does not have to move upward to generate a pull of fumes to outdoors. The flue can move horizontally through walls for easier and less-costly installation. However, because heat rises the fumes created by burning gas and propane is more likely to flow from the opening of the fireplace than make its way to the small flue behind the fireplace. A requisite plate of glass must cover the fireplace opening for the b-vent to function safely.

The vented gas log fireplace offers the most realistic looking fire, realistic log design flame patterns and offer the easiest installation comparatively. Other fireplace designs have limitations regarding safety, installation and ease of use. Vented gas logs can be used in a fireplace built to burn wood if a gas line is added and vented gas fireplaces are available in stand-alone fireboxes and mantles. Vented gas fires are also available in all the alternative designs that do not use realistically painted ceramic logs.

Gas logs reduce the amount of emissions into the air, are easy to control and do not carry the same safety concerns as wood- burning fireplaces. Gas logs are not always less expensive than a wood burning fireplace but they are convenient, easy to use controls, easy to change designs and do not require the use of electricity.

Designer Grillz – Full Frontal Bling

If you buy your jewelry at the big box variety store, chances are that you're not looking for designer jewelry. And you're also not looking for dental jewelry.

Grillz, fronts, removable grills, gold caps or slugs, whatever you want to call them are not something you will find at your local super center. If you want a nice front you will need to either buy it online or go to one of the designer shops found in select cities.

Here is the question: Is it worth the money to go designer with your grill?

Paul Wall is famous for his music and for his designer grillz. At his website you will find fronts costing more than $ 5000. Of course the majority of his grillz cost a lot less and you can find a deal at the "Specials" link.

So what do you get if your front is a wall creation, or another reputable designer? For one you get bragging rights. Another thing you get is the confidence that you are getting what you pay for. Any time you purchase jewelry, dental or not, you should buy from a reputable dealer. There are a lot of unscrupulous merchants out there and many of them are not above using substandard or even fake jewels.

If you buy a designer front that is made of a precious metal and decorated with precious stones you also get a piece of jewelry that has intrinsic value. The gold or sliver and the stones can be sold at a later date if you desire and you can recoup part or all of your investment. If the price of the metal and stones go up enough over time you may even profit from the sale of your jewelry.

Anytime you buy a diamond you should remember the four C's: cut, color, clarity and carats (weight).

If a diamond is cut too shallow light will be lost out of the bottom of the stone and the brilliance will be reduced. If it is too deep light will escape out of the sides and make the diamond appear darker than it should.

Most diamonds have some color, and except for the fancy colored diamonds, the absence of color is the most desirable trait in diamonds. A truly clear diamond is rare.

Clarity is the absence of blemishes on or in the stone.

Carats are the measure of weight of the stone. You can usually get more carats for your money by buying several smaller stones rather than one larger one.

Last, when you buy your designer grillz, take them to an independent appraiser and have them appraised. That way you can be sure you got what you paid for – truly fine pieces of jewelry.

The Benefits of Safe Driving

Some of the benefits of driving safely are obvious (you are less likely to die). But some are a little less evident. Have you ever thought about the gas that you save by driving the speed limit? Or the incredible amount of money you will save on your car insurance? These things will save you a ton of money over your lifetime. Being a good driver is much more than just staying out of accidents.

Speed ​​limits have a couple of functions. They limit the speed on a freeway to a safe amount (theoretically), and they are optimized to improve fuel efficiency in cars. Driving the speed limit, which is slower than most people drive, will lower the amount of drag that is put on your car by the air. This allows your car to move freer through the air and get better gas mileage through better aerodynamics. If you couple this with properly inflating your tires to the recommended PSI and not running the air conditioner you are going to squeeze every MPG you can out of your car.

Safe driving can help prevent accidents. Obviously, not all accidents can be claimed, but you are going to reduce the chance that you are the cause of the accident. This is going to keep your insurance premiums dramatically lower. If you have already been in a car accident that you were at fault for you have seen what happens to your monthly payment. Safe driving also lowers the risk that you are doing something dumb and getting a ticket. Tickets will also increase your insurance premiums.

Drive smart, drive safe, and save a ton of money!

Roofing Terminology

Knowing common roofing terminology will enable you as a homeowner to make an informed decision about roofing materials that are good matches for your home's style and the region in which you live. It will also help you understand the contract with your roofing professional and the project updates.
Some key roofing terms are listed below:

Asphalt: A waterproofing agent applied to roofing materials during manufacturing.

Asphalt plastic roofing cement: An asphalt-based sealant used to bond roofing materials. Also known as flashing cement, roof tar, bull or mastic.

Back surfacing: Granular material applied to the back side of shingles to keep them from sticking during delivery and storage.

Base flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to or resting on the deck to direct the flow of water onto the roof.

Built-up roof: Multiple layers of asphalt and ply sheets bonded together.

Butt edge: The bottom edge of the shingle tabs.

Caulk: To fill a joint to prevent leaks.

Closed valley: The valley flashing is covered by shingles.

Coating: A layer of viscous asphalt applied to the outer roof surface to protect the roof membrane.

Collar: Pre-formed flange placed over a vent pipe to seal the roof around the vent pipe opening. Also called a vent sleeve.

Conceived nail method: Application of roll roofing in which all nails are covered by a cemented, overlapping course.

Counter flashing: That portion of the flashing attached to a vertical surface above the plane of the roof to prevent water from migrating behind the base flashing.

Course: Row of shingles that can run Horizontally, diagonally or vertically.

Cricket: A peaked water diverter installed at the back of a chimney to prevent accumulation of snow and ice and to deflect water.

Deck: The top surface of which a roof system is applied, surface installed over the supporting framing members.

Double coverage: Asphalt roofing which lapped portion is at least two inches wider than the exposed portion, resulting in two layers of roofing material over the deck.

Downspout: A pipe for draining water from roof gutters to drain. Also called a leader.

Drip edge: L-shaped flashing used along the eaves and rakes to allow water run-off into the gutters and to drip clear of under construction construction.

Eave: The part of the roof that overhangs or extends outward and is not directly over the exterior walls or the buildings interior.

Exposed nail method: Application of roll roofing where nails are driven into the overlapping course of roofing. Nails are exposed to the elements.

Fascia: A wood trim board used to hide the cut ends of the roof's rafters and sheathing.

Felt: Fibrous material used as an underlayment or sheathing paper, describes roll roofing materials.

Flashing: Pieces of metal or roll roofing used to form water seal around vent pipes, chimneys, adjoining walls, dormers and valleys.

Gable: The end of an exterior wall that comes to a triangular point at the ridge of a sloping roof.

Granules: Ceramic-coated and fired crushed rock that is applied as the top surface of asphalt roofing products.

Gutter: The trough that channels water from the eaves to the downspouts. Usually attached to the fascia.

Head lap: An overlapping of shingles or roofing felt at their upper edge.

Hip: The fold or vertical ridge formed by the intersection of two sloping roof planes. Runs from the ridge to the eaves.

Ice dam: Condition forming water back-up at the eave areas by the thawing and re-freezing of melted snow on the overhang. Can force water under shingles, causing leaks.

Interlocking shingles: Individual shingles that mechanically fasten to each other to provide wind resistance.

Laminated shingle: Strip shingle made of two separate pieces laminated together to create extra thickness. Also called three-dimensional and architectural shingles.

Lap: Surface where one shingle or roll overlaps with another during the application process.

Mansard roof: A design with a near vertical roof plane connected to a roof plane of less slope at its peak. Contains no gables.

Mineral stabilizers: Finely ground limestone, slate, traprock or other inert materials added to asphalt coatings for durability and increased resistance to fire and weathering.

Nesting: A method of reroofing, installing a second layer of new asphalt shingle, in which the top edge of the new shingle is butted against the bottom edge of the existing shingle tab.

Pitch: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in feet, to the span, in feet.

Low Slope – Roof pitches that are less than 30 degrees.

Normal Slope – Roof pitches that are between 30 and 45 degrees.

Steep Slope – Roof pitches that are more than 45 degrees.

Rafter: The supporting framing that makes up the roof structure; immediately beneath the deck; the roof sheathing is delivered to the rafters.

Rake: The inclined edge of a sloped roof over a wall from the eave to the ridge. They can be close or extended.

Ridge: The horizontal external angle formed by the intersection of two sloping sides of a roof at the highest point of the roof, hip or dormer.

Run: The horizontal distance between the eaves and a point directly under the ridge; Egypt one half the span.

Selvage: That portion of roll roofing overlapped by the application of the roof covering to obtain double coverage.

Sheathing: Exterior grade boards used as a roof deck material.

Shed roof: A single roof plane with no hips, ridges, valleys or gables, not connected to any other roofs.

Slope: The degree of roof incline expressed as the ratio of the rise, in inches, to the run, in feet.

Smooth-surfaced roofing: Roll roofing that is covered with ground talc or mica instead of granules (coated).

Soffit: The finished underside of the eaves that extends from the fascia to the siding and hides the bottom of an overhang.

Soil stack: A vent pipe that penetrates the roof.

Span: The horizontal distance from eaves to eaves.

Special eaves flashing membrane: A self-adhering, waterproofing shingle underlayment designed to protect against water infiltration due to ice dams or wind driven rain.

Starter strip: Asphalt roofing applied at the eaves as the first course of hinges installed.

Tab: The weather exposed surface of strip shingles between the cutouts.

Telegraphing: Shingles installed over an uneven surface that show distortion.

Truss – A combination of beams, bars and ties, usually in triangular units to form a framework for support in wide span roof construction.

UL label: Label displayed on packaging to indicate the level of fire and / or wind resistance of asphalt roofing.

Underlayment: A layer of asphalt based roled materials installed under main roofing material before shingles are installed to provide additional protection for the deck.

Valley: The inner angle formed by the intersection of two inclined roof surfaces to provide water runoff.

Vapor barrier / retarder: Any material that precedes the passage of water or water vapor through it.

Vent: Any device installed on the roof as an outlet for air to ventilate the underside of the roof deck.