Handicapped Accessible Shower Design for Veteran Amputees

To veteran amputees, one of the most difficult things to do is to take a bath. Going to the bathroom is already difficult, even if they have someone to guide them or push their wheelchair to reach the bathroom. While in the shower, there is often the danger of them hitting the walls should they slip accidentally. Reaching all their bathing needs is also another challenge that they have to go through each day. For your convenience, the comfort and convenience are provided. This bathroom bathroom shower stall is usually portable and foldable, making it easy to setup and remove.

Handicapped people deserve much care and attention, especially the veterans who had many times in their lives experienced great distress, hardships, and difficulties. They deserve understanding, since it's normal for them to show irritability and bad temper, considering their incapacity to move freely and independently. So to make things lighter for them, one significant way to do that is to install a wheelchair accessible shower design unit near the patient's room. As long as there is a nearby water source, probably a faucet or a sink, it can easily be setup. The good thing for you is that a bathroom doesnt require drilling or hammering to be installed. In fact, some units are already assembled when bought.

Portable shower bathrooms are designed with the handicapped in mind. As mentioned, they are easy to install in any part of the house as long was a nearby water source is available. And when the patient is not using it, it can easily be removed and folded. Those who are in wheelchairs can simply slide the wheelchair inside the shower stalls. Meanwhile, for those who do not want to bath on a wheelchair, they can simply sit, lie down, or place themselves in a comfortable position while inside the shower. A curtain can be used to add some privacy while the disabled is taking a bath.

Showers for the handicapped are essential because they allow the disabled to take a bath without the need of assistance of others. Bathing is a private thing and if the Veteran amputees need another person's help to clean up themselves, this can be very embarrassing on their part. But with handicapped showers, the personal needs of the disabled are taken care of.

Showers for the handicapped are available from various manufacturers, each product comes with special features depending on the needs of the disabled. Before purchasing one, make sure that you get the measures right. There are showers for adults and there are for kids. There are also plenty enough to accommodate those who weigh on the heavy side. Make sure that the unit that you will purchase, besides from addressing the personal needs of the amputee will also make him or her feel comfortable. That is, he or she can freely move while inside the shower without compromising his or her safety.

Found the Perfect House For Sale? Hire an Inspector

Buying a home is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It is often cited as one of the most stressful life experiences, along with having a baby and getting married. Even if a buyer and his real estate agent find the perfect house for sale, there's uncertainty. So what's a homebuyer to do to seek a little peace of mind about this major decision? Hire a professional home inspector.

What Is A Home Inspector?

There used to be a time when buyers did not hire a third party inspector unless the house for sale was old or visibly in need of work. Buyers relied on their own review of the home and the information provided by the real estate agent.

Now inspections are quite common. Most real estate contracts allow buyers to have the home inspected. Even in the case of new home purchases, hiring an inspector is a good idea. An inspector is a trained professional who can identify any problems or potential issues with a house for sale that the buyer or even real estate agent would not be able to discern.

How To Find A Good Inspector

Finding the right inspector is harder than it may seem. There are many to choose from and what they check varies. Your real estate agent should be able to provide a few recommendations. After that, a buyer needs to do his or her research to make the right choice.

The American Society of Home Inspectors is a great resource for finding information about the state requirements for home inspectors. The organization can also refer buyers to local home inspectors who are members. ASHI, and most other professional organizations, provide members with training and certification programs. Be sure to ask about professional memberships and affiliations when interviewing an inspector.

Ask for references of past clients and call them. Make sure at least one of the referred clients have been living in their home for several months or more. Some issues will not show up until months after closing.

It is vital to understand what the inspector will and will not do. Some inspectors check the roof, some will not. What about the swimming pool? Do they check all appliances, or just heating and cooling systems? What about checking for lead and asbestos? Ask for a sample report or checklist. Does it provide standards for each item listed, or is it just a checklist?

Finally, ask about errors and omissions insurance. This insurance essentially covers the inspector if he misses a problem or issue. Not all inspectors carry such insurance and it does not necessarily mean that they're a bad inspector. However, if they do not carry insurance, it's a good idea to get a written explanation of the inspection company's policies when a mistake occurs.

Housing Inspection Costs

The average cost to inspect a house for sale is between $ 300 and $ 400 per inspection. However there can be additional costs. For example, testing for Chinese drywall can cost $ 200. Expect to pay about $ 100 for a radon exam. Asbestos tests can cost $ 50 or more. Make sure the inspector provides a full description of what's covered under the base price, and what tests and inspections are add-ons.

Ultimately, an inspection should save money and headaches. If any issues are found, a buyer should be able to work with his or her real estate agent to renegotiate the price of the house for sale. If the problems are too significant, the buyer may abandon the deal. Even if the inspector finds no issues, a few hundred dollars is worth the confidence that a good inspection can provide.

How Much Should a Logo Design Cost?

How much does it cost to get a logo designed for your business? The correct answer to this question is anywhere from nothing up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

You could generalize and say that you get what you pay for. This statement would be true 70% of the time but there are definitely many cases where people spend a lot of money and get rubbish and cases where people spend only a little and get a real branding jewel that works wonders for their business. So it is worth putting some thought into the process of choosing a designer.

Here are some factors that will affect the price that you pay for a logo.

1) The free model – Do it yourself logo design templates are available online for little of no cost. You can throw something together with some clip-art, customize the name and you're away laughing. The downside is that you will not be able to trademark the design and without schooling in good design practice your results will likely be amateurish. Some cheaper logo companies will put something together for you but they will sell the same logo many times over so you are not getting something original that can be copyrighted. Going for a custom logo design is the best option as you will have a designer put something unique together that is taylor-made to your company branding needs.

2) Meeting face to face – If you go for a local designer you will benefit from face to face consultations to discuss the project but this comes at a price. Online logo design firms cut costs by avoiding coffee drinking sessions with clients and will still understand your needs from the briefing form that you fill out online. Web based designers also cut overheads by working in back offices instead of fancy design studios.

3) Location of the company – Western designers usually understand how to brand western companies better than foreigners, however there are some great designers in places like the Philippines and India who will work for much cheaper. The problem here is that if you are sued for trademark infringement you will not be able to take legal action against them if they are outside the US. Local designers will always confirm that you will indeed own the rights to your unique logo design.

4) Service level – The more expensive package you go with the more will be included. Take note of how many designers will work on your case, how many unique initial concepts you will be offered and how many chances you will have to request small changes (rounds of revisions).

Ask about the guarantee policy before you go ahead and order. Find out if they will offer a complete redraw if you do not like the concept or if they will refund your money in the case that you do not like what they present to you.

Delivery time can vary between companies and other factors can affect pricing such as the format that you get your files in.

5) Design Quality – Definitely the most important factor in determining how much a logo design should cost. If you are paying top dollar and plan on spending over $ 1000 you should first seek proof that you will end up with value for money. Check out their design portfolio, ask for references from other customers, find out how experienced and qualified the designers really are and even seek evidence that they have won some design awards or competitions.

Think about why you need the logo. If its just for a website or a short term project you should be fine with some of the cheaper service providers. If, although you are building a future fortune 500 mega-corporation then you may want to spend at least $ 300 to $ 400 and possibly a lot more.

Usually you can get a reasonable good custom logo design for between $ 25 and $ 200. The high end operators will tell you that you can only get junk at this price level but in my opinion they are wrong. It is possible to get a great logo online for a low price.

How much should an online logo design cost? As much as you are prepared to pay. But do not kid yourself that price is everything.

The Monastic Life – The Path To Spirituality?

INTRODUCTION

Elijah and John, like other hermits (a monastic way of life) lived in the deserts. Jesus did not. What then is the pathway to spiritual maturity? Is it the life of the monk or otherwise? What we achieve, it must be noted, the monastic life or otherwise, is by the grace of God. God looks at the heart. What was Jesus' first miracle? In which ceremony did he perform it? If Jesus performed a miracle in a wedding fever, so promoting joyful celebration (though, with limitations), is this not a hint that, the monastic, celibate or ascetic life is not godlier than the wedded, celebratory life? Is monasticism the path to spirituality? Although there are good principles in the monastic life, it must be emphasized, echoed and re-echoed that only God can bring us to spirituality. From the foregoing, spirituality is not by works of righteousness but but by His grace alone.

1. DEFINITION OF TERMS

a. Spirituality

The term spirituality is defined as living the Christian life with a consciousness or sensitivity to religious values. Striving or aiming for perfection and making particular use of prayer are therefore very important considerations in many different Christian circles. However, it must be emphasized that spirituality asserts various forms in several Christian traditions, for instance, from the solitude of the Orthodox monks to the activism of the Pentecostals.

b. The monastic life

The monastic life refers to a way of religious life that is usually pursued within the confines of a monastery where the residents take several vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, living by the rule of the order to which they belong. Generally celibate and universally ascetic, the monastic individual separates himself or herself from general society either by living as a hermit or anchorite (religious recluse) or by joining a society of others who profess similar intentions. It is believed that despite St. Anthony is viewed as the founder of monasticism, the founder of the rule of life is St. Louis. Benedict. The goal of the monastic way of life was the achievement of personal salvation with God through a continuous spiritual battle with temptation. It is therefore reasonable to note that "the chief aim of the monk, therefore, is personal sanctification …" (Cross, 1975, 914).

c. Monastic spirituality

Monastic spirituality implies a single-heart solitary seeking of God, an approach to Him in response to His invitation found in Scripture, for instance, "seek ye first the kingdom of God" (Mt. 6:33). It is meant to be transported out in a lifetime and perfected or finalized in eternal life after one's death. It is a "way of life … that requires a certain discipline to dispose oneself to meet the living God" (Monastic Spirituality 2004). It therefore flows from a belief in a God who comes to those who are disposed to listening, who will persevere in seeking God even when it seems pointless boring. The forty-eighth verse of The Rule of St. Benedict states, "Do not be daunted immediately by fear and man away from the road that leads to salvation." It is bound to be narrow at the outside "(The Spirit of Benedictine Life, 2004).

2. TYPES OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

The Encyclopaedia Britannica generally divides monasticism into two, organizational or institutional, and hierarchical and status types. The organizational or institutional type could be further divided into eremitic, quasi-eremitic, cenobitic, quasi-monastic, and mendicant monks. The two subdivisions in the latter group include sacerdotal, and secondary and religious orders.

A common feature of true eremitic institutions is the emphasis on living alone on a strict contemplative life. Quasi-eeremitic institutions had loose organizational structures with no external hierarchies. In cenobitic monasticism, ascetism was to be pursued in community life and in obedience. The quasi-monastic groups are Christian military orders. Strictly defined, mendicant monks are those who live by begging.

3. CAUSES OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

Several reasons could have been attributed to the rise of monasticism. An important influence was the philosophical. The dualistic view of flesh and spirit, with its tendency to consider flesh and evil and spirit good- so characteristic of the Orient- influenced Christianity though the Gnostic and Neoplatonic movements. It was thought that retirement from the world could "help the individual crucify the flesh and to develop the spiritual life by meditation and ascetic acts" (Cairns, 1967, 163).

Secondly, it would appear as if some Scriptures seem to justify the monastic life. I Corinthians 7 is a case in point. Some early Church Pathhers like Origen, Cyprian, Tertullian and Jerome, urged celibacy to support correct interpretation of the Scriptures. Furthermore, it is observed, Antony, probably the first monk, "in response to those words (Matt. 19:21), disposed of his property and wave the procedures to the poor, reserving only a portion for the care of his sister" (Gonzalez 1984, 141). He even disposed of the small reserve fund that he had kept for his sister, placed her under the care of the virgins of the church, and left for the desert when a later verse "Do not be anxious for tomorrow" (Matt 6: 34) moved him. Although we do not really know when the flight to the desert really began, "Antony first embarked on the life of a hermit shortly before the year 270; but it sees that he had predecessors" (Lawrence 1984, 5).

The total spiritual poverty that is demanded of Christians and to which monks respond without hesitation appears to be lovingly gifted through in the Beatitudes. This is the core of the Benedictine Spirit – adhering to His teachings, extremely following Him who has introduced the same path from His baptism in the Jordan through the trials, misunderstandings and humiliations of rejection, to His glowing obedience to His Father and the final unblinking act of sacrifice. Furthermore, thirdly, certain psychological tendencies strengthened the desire for a monastic life. In period of crisis there is always a tendency to retreat from the harsh realities. The late second and third centuries saw the beginning of civil disorder which was to become so prevalent in the later history of the Empire. It is evident there that "many left society for the monarchy as a means of escape from harsh reality and the moral contamination of the times" (Cairns 1967, 164). Historically, there was increasing moral deterioration, especially of the upper classes in Roman society and monasticism became a haven for those in revolted against this growing decadence of the times. Geographically, the warm dry climate and the multitude of caves in the hills along the banks of the Nile were conductive to separation of the individual from society.

4. BENEFITS OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

It is a truism that there is so much evil in the best of us and so much good in the worst of us that we have to critically evaluate and learn to accommodate each other in the Christian faith. No denomination has it all right. There are strengths in the different denominations and the Christian needs to have a receptive spirit to learn from each. The monastic life is not an exception. There are several good points in this way of life worth mentioning. It is observed that monasteries "are necessary because the world is not Christian. Let it be converted, and the need for a monastic life will disappear" (Chrysostom, 1972, 52-53). History has not vined his hope. Monasticism has a unique testonomy to the world. It is firmly believed that "monasteries were the conservators of learning and the centers of missionary and philanthropic work." The monks were the authors, preachers, philosophers and theologians of the age …. "(Vos, 1994, 122). This is why Cross believes that "the monks were the chief teachers of Europe and an important civilizing power" (Cross 1957, 104).

The life of the Church between Constantine and the Reformation reveals that "almost everything in the church that approached the highest, noblest and truest ideals of the Gospel was done either by those who had chosen the monastic way or those who had been inspired in their Christian life by the monks "(Noll, 2000, 85). Douglas, Cairns and Ruark argument that "the monks were prominent in the Origenist controversies, intervened tempestuously in the fifth-century christological disputes, and became Byzantine Church's 'democratic front'" (Douglas, 1978, 671). Leaders of the Reformation such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranner and Menno Simmons used the writings of the monks to draw support for their theology. Luther and Calvin, for instance, reiterated the works of Augustine. In fact, "it should be remembered that Luther, Erasmus, and many other critics of the papacy had monastic backgrounds" (Vos, 1994, 122).
The monastic life was not only limited to manual labor but also extended to copying MSS., Teaching, art, all kinds of scholarly research and translation the Bible. A realistic summary of the influence of monastic life to Christianity could have been summarized thus:

If we read the Scripture in our native languages, we benefit from a tradition of biblical translation inspired by the monk Jerome (ca. 342-420). If we sing the praises of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we follow where the hymn-writing monks Gregory (ca.540-604) and Bernard of Clairvaux … If we pursue theology, we (are) interested to the monks Augustine and Thomas Aquinas (ca.1225-74). If we pray for the success of Christian missions, we ask for blessing upon enterprises pioneered by monks Patrick (ca.390-ca.460), Boniface (680-754), Cyril (826-69) and his brother Methodius (ca. 815-85) and Raymond Lull (ca.1233-ca.1315). If we glow in the goodness that God imparted to the created world, we follow where the friar Francis of Assisi blazed the trail … (Noll, 2000, 85).

5. SPIRITUALITY OF THE MONASTIC LIFE

From the foregoing, a question that readily comes to mind is whether the monastic way of life is really a path to spirituality? Clebsch realistically observes that Antony's retirement from the world is, at the very least, an ambiguous retreat, for though he separates himself from the distractions and nagging presses of ordinary human community, the wilderness to which Antony flees holds more significant challenges and dangers. When Antony finds no relief from an enthusiastic crowd during a rare visit to the city, "he assures those around him that he must contend with equal numbers – of demons – at his cell in the wilderness" (Clebsch 1980, 8).

Monasticism preaches separation from society, which lives according to the elements of this world, and from its economic, political and social problems. This generally led to the flight to the desert and the later autonomous existence of communities that care for the needs of their members. The monastic republic is Mount Athos, for instance, is a striking example of a social, self-governing life, separated from the world and even opposed to it. The thorney issue is that since everyone can not realistically share this vote, the monastic solution remains limited. It is not the solution for the world in its totality.

Even though the researcher is coming from a war torn land (Sierra Leone), he has come to realize that forgiveness and love are ways to demonstrate true spirituality. It must be noted that monks "headed the Inquisition and persuaded multitudes to participate in the crusades" (Noll, 2000, 140). The question is why was this so If the monastic life aimed at personal sanitation? As Christians, we must be honest to admit that "as they unfolded, the Crusades never accomplished as much good as supporters hoped, while evil consequences, unintended and unforeseen by proponents like Urban, proliferated" (Noll, 2000, 140). Even in Christianity, it is not farfetched to say that the Crusades sealed the Schism. It is unimaginable to note that people living the monastic life took part in political warfare.

The conviction of Protestants (including the researcher of this paper) about the centrality of justification by faith is bound to raise questions about whether the monastic life encouraged harmful notions concerning the possibility of salvation by works. A legitimate question worth asking is whether what the monks owed to do did not obscure the fundamental or foundational reality of God's grace. Paul got it right when he observed that "… it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourself, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast" (Eph 2: 8-9). Obtaining salvation by works is nothing but a legal approach which is consistently condemned by Scripture. The tense of the verb in Ephesians 2: 8 establishes the necessity of faith in Christ as the only means of being made right with God. How central is the teaching of grace? This is a question the person living the monastic life would have to struggle with.

Does the ascetic pration of the body by the monk affect the true seat of sinfulness? In response, it is vehemently argued that "the bent of the heart, rather than the disposal of the body, is the key matter in godliness" (Noll, 2000, 103). In fact, an issue in our recently concluded module was sex and spirituality. Although Catholics believe that sex is only for procreation, the Protestant views sex between husband and wife for pleasure also as true spirituality. Even Bro. Lawrence was honest enough to admit some of the problems of a type of monastic life. It is interesting to note that Brother Lawrence began to doubt the wisdom of his decision to live in the desert, wishing instead to live within a Christian brotherhood … Members of the group could have adjusted and exhort one another, protecting them against the changeableness of their individual whims (Lawrence, 1982, 78).

CONCLUSION

In all fairness to monasticism, the institution "owes its origin to the desire of leading a life of perfection in greater security than is normally possible in the world" (Cross 1975, 914). Monks for more than a thousand years sustained a lot of noble qualities in the Church. It is reasonable to note that the monastic life, "though never perfect, always in need of reform, and occasionally sunk in corruption- remains today, more than seventeen hundred years after Antony went into the desert, a guide and inspiration to large sections of the Church "(Noll, 2000, 104). However, it would be farfetched to state that monasticism is a path to spirituality. It is incontrovertible that there are good principles in the monastic life. This notwithstanding, one must hasten to note that only God can bring us to spirituality. It is not by works of righteousness but but by His grace alone. The environment is really not the issue. I believe that the inside of the man is the real issue. The philosophers believe that if a man is sick, he will still be at the same place if you were to remove him from the gutters to the palace. Why? The answer is that he carries his disease with him. Did Jesus avoid non-Christians? No. What does He mean when he observes that though the Christian is in the world, he is not of it? The researcher observes that these words suggest or recommend a very unique ministry. This ministry looks to show itself above the desert and the city, since it is called to surpass every form in order to express itself everywhere and in all circumstances. How can monks be given birth to or monasteries be populated without the life on the other side of the monastery? It is suggested that there is only one spirituality for all without distinction in its demands, whether of the bishop, monk or layperson. St. Seraphim left the extreme practices of the hermits and returned to the world. He was no longer a monk retired from the world nor a man living among people. He was both, and surpassing both, he was essentially a witness to Biblical spirituality.

WORKS CITED

Beaufort, Lawrence. The Practice of the Presence of God. New Kensington: Whitaker House, 1982.
Cairns, EE Christianity Through the Centuries. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing

House, 1967.
Chrysostom, John. Her Nature and Task, in Bible, Church Tradition: An Eastern Orthodox View,

Collected Works, Vol. 1. Maryland: Norland, 1972.
Clebsch, WA The Life of Antony and the letter of Marcellinus. New York: Paulist Press, 1980.
Cross, FL, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. London: Oxford University Press, 1975.
Douglas, JDEE Cairns and James E. Ruark, The New International Dictionary of the Christian

Church. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1978.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1989 ed. sv Sacred Offices and Orders.
Gonzalez, JL The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. 1

Cambridge: Harper and Row Publishers, 1984.
Lawrence, CH Medieval Monasticism: Forms of Religious Life in Western Europe in the Middle Ages.

London: Longman, 1984.
Monastic Spirituality. Available [online]: http://www.christdesert.org/noframes/

scholar / monastic_spirituality.html. Accessed 20th September 2004.
Noll, Mark A. Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids,

Michigan: Baker Academic, 2000.
The Spirit of Benedictine Life. Available [online]: http://www.christdesert.org/noframes/

scholar / benedict / benedict_spirituality.html. Accessed 20th March 2004.
Vos, HF Introduction to Church History. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1994.

Get Paid to Watch Movies

There is nothing that transports you away from the daily grind than grabbing a bucket of popcorn, a huge soft drink and sitting back to enjoy a blockbuster movie. Movie buffs can turn their passion for watching films into a rewarding spare-time job. Various programs sponsored by the movie industry and independent organizations are always looking for fans of film to help give opinions about the latest movies hitting the big screen.

Theses "get paid to watch movies" programs all differ slightly in the way that they are administrated, depending on the company a person registers with. Many programs require the participant to travel to a cinema at his or her convenience to screen a pre-determined movie and report finds through a paid survey. Participants will be asked questions on a variety of topics such as giving an opinion of the movie content, the film's title, opinions on the movie trailers and advertisements, the other movie-watcher's reactions, and more. Before the movie starts and after the movie ends, there will be a variety of administrative tasks to attend to such as filling out paper or online surveys to report your findings and sometimes even turning in a capacity count of how many people were in the screening room .

Other "get paid to watch movies" programs are done in the comfort and convenience of the participant's home. Movies can either be downloaded over the Internet or are delivered to the home address in DVD format. After previewing the contents, similar type questions will be asked about the movie and ratings will be compiled on paid surveys that are sent back to the client company. Occasionally, there are projects invite you to watch a movie with a group of people which is followed with a modified, focus-group like discussion about the film.

Joining a program that seeks consumer input on the latest movies is a great way to see all the latest, blockbuster hits. The film industry values ​​the opinions of its target audiences submitted through online surveys and also hopes that advance screenings will help create a positive word-of-mouth buzz that will help bring in lots of paying movie-watchers once the film is released to the public . Compensation for these movie programs varies from company to company and project to project.

Often participants will be "paid" with free admission to see movies and complementary vouchers for concession stand reviews – a great way to beat the exorbitant theater prices! Some longer and more complex projects may also may you a cash stipend or reward you with bonus points that can be redeemed in the future for movie-going perks and merchandise. These programs can be found by querying "get paid to watch movies" in an online search tool, visiting a reputable database of survey sites , and sometimes visiting a corporate cinema or movie production website.

You Should Read the Dictionary – I Know it Sounds Crazy, But You Will Be Glad You Did

Who on Earth would bother to read the dictionary? Well, you are reading an article about someone who did and has read several dictionaries from cover to cover, and I must say has learned a lot along the way. And just in case you think I am crazy, did you know Bill Gates read the entire encyclopaedia? Do you think Bill Gates is crazy? What is it that people who read reference books gain? Hmm, well, I think you bought to find out that answer to yourself.

In fact, I am going to recommend that you read the dictionary, no, not the unabridged Oxford version that is one foot square and ten inches high, yes, I have one of those. It does have just about every word you'll ever read except for the create-a-word blogging bandits vocabulary. Rather, I am going to recommend that you read a smaller version with adequate print. My choice is the;

"Webster's Dictionary" with over 50,000 entries for home, school, and office. Edited by John Gage Allee, Ph.D. 1978.

Why do I recommend an older version? Well it does not have all the new buzz words or recent words that you already know, so you do not have any silly distractions. It's only 446 pages and that is not much bigger than a long novel. Yes the print is smaller than a novel, so maybe its equivalent to a 892 page book, but you can handle that, you are a grown up now. And even if you read only one letter per day you will finish in a month without breaking a sweat and your mind will have more time to soak it up too. Go for it.

Quality Plantation Shutters – How to Tell the Good From the Bad – Part 1 of 3

Plantation shutters can be purchased at almost every price imaginable. If you’re not a professional in the shutter industry, how do you distinguish between high-quality and low-quality products? There are a number of factors you can use to compare plantation shutters before making a commitment. In this article, we will explain how to tell the good from the bad.

Only wood plantation shutters will be discussed, since shutters made from MDF, composite, and polymer materials are different enough from wood plantation shutters in design and construction as to make fair comparisons impossible.

Telling High Quality From Low Quality

Let’s compare two typical plantation shutter panels to illustrate the differences between higher and lower quality shutters.

Visualize this: both panels are 12″ wide by 21″ tall. They’re made from the same Basswood, and have 3-1/2″ louvers. Even with these elements being identical, you will see some surprising differences in the design, construction, and components of the imported and the custom-made shutter.

Good Design Means A Better Fit With Your Window

The first difference between these two shutter panels is in the number of louvers they have and the overall louver area. The higher-quality shutter has 5 louvers, while the lower-quality shutter has only 4. The reason has nothing to do with aesthetics, but with how the shutters were designed. One is a true custom-made shutter that was designed and manufactured for a specific window; the other is known as “cut-to-fit.”

This design difference is the single most important factor in understanding a shutter’s quality. Here’s why:

The factory that makes the lower-quality shutters makes them to predetermined sizes; in this case, the heights of the shutters are made in 3-inch increments. So the factory makes shutters that are 18″, 21″, and 24″ tall. If none of these dimensions fits your window’s measurements exactly, the U.S. distributor takes a shutter the next size up and cuts it down to fit your window. This means the shutters have to be designed with taller rails and wider stiles so these pieces are large enough to cut down. For most customers, the result is a shutter with a larger area proportionally of stiles and rails, and a smaller area for the louvers. Fewer louvers mean less light and a more restricted view.

In contrast, the higher-quality shutter is customized to fit the window right from the start. Each shutter is designed to fit the measurements of a specific window in your home. In this sense, it’s like a suit that’s been tailor-made for its owner from the cutting of the fabric to the final fitting. The result is a more balanced shutter and a brighter and airier window.

While the cut-to-fit technique is less expensive, the overall lower quality is obvious even to the casual observer.

The Right Hinge Makes A Stronger Shutter

Two basic types of hinges are used on shutters: butt and non-mortise. When you unfold a butt hinge, it can resemble a butterfly, with the left flap the same size as the right one. With butt hinges, the two flaps fold together (or “butt up”) against each other.

In contrast, the left and right pieces of an open non-mortise hinge aren’t the same. Flaps on a non-mortise hinge fold one-above-the-other or one-inside-the-other. With non-mortise hinges, the two flaps are each only half the height of the hinge.

For butt hinges to fit properly, the edge of the shutter has to be mortised, or chiseled out, so that the hinge is counter-sunk into the shutter and its surface is flush with the surface of the shutter. In contrast, non-mortised hinges (as their name implies) do not require this sort of modification to the shutter.

It’s less expensive for manufacturers to use non-mortised hinges, since they don’t require mortising. However, non-mortise hinges are weaker than butt hinges, since each hinge flap is only half the size of a butt hinge flap. Weaker hinges may hold up well for a few years, but quality plantation shutters are made to last for decades.

Two Layers Are Better Than One

When plantation shutters are finished with paint or clear topcoats, some manufacturers try to save money by applying just one layer of topcoat over a stain, or only one layer of paint over primer. High-quality shutters have at least two coats of each.

A painted plantation shutter with only one coat of paint will have a rougher feel than one with two or more coats. And stained shutter will have a richer luster if a second layer of clear coat is applied.

Buy A Quality Shutter…But Don’t Buy More Than You Need

There are literally thousands of shutters on the market today. Most of them display a mix of high-quality and lesser-quality characteristics. Buying quality is important; but buying more shutter than you need is a waste of money. Hopefully you are now armed with the information to shop knowledgeably for the quality shutters you need and want for your home and lifestyle.

Building in Toolbox Features With a Lumber Rack

Making sure that you are fully equipped with your pickup truck not only include a basic toolbox, but should also add in a lumber rack. This can help you to carry the larger items and can provide you with a different set of options for your tools. Knowing the different types of lumber racks for easier hauling on your pickup up truck and adding in the specific components that can help you to get a custom fit for carrying can then lead you to different options for hauling, carrying and enjoying the most out of a mobile toolbox.

The first set of characteristics to look for in a lumber rack is based on specific builds that are divided according to where you want to place your toolbox. For instance, a top mounted option is available for those that want to have the placement in the back carrying area. With this, you will be able to carry larger tools and can combine this with larger areas that are able to provide compartments for different tools. You can also mount a lumber rack on the side or as a crossover. The side option will usually be smaller for your tools and the crossover is used specifically for pickup trucks that come with a cover, meaning you will not have to bolt or screw in the rack to the side of the truck.

Along with these components of a lumber rack are different materials that are used for the best use. Plastic is one of the most popular options, especially with thicker and more durable options. You can also find aluminum, which can provide more durability and a stronger option for carrying devices. You can also look into steel, which will provide options for heavy use for your tools and are often available specifically for professionals.

Wedding Etiquette for the Father of the Bride

So your little girl is getting married – congratulations! Being the father of the bride is a joyful occasion, although it can also be a little hard to get used to the idea of ​​your daughter growing up and becoming a wife. Learn everything you need to know about your role with this primer on wedding etiquette for the father of the bride.

The first thing that the father of the bride should do when his daughter becomes engaged is to extend an invitation to the parents of the groom. If the bride's parents are still married, they would do this together, but if they are not, the father of the bride should make the effort to reach out to the groom's family on his own. A dinner or brunch is the usual way to spend a little time getting to know the other family. Be sure to tell the groom's parents how happy you are that your daughter will be marrying their son. By the way, this initial meeting is definitely not the time to bring up potentially controversial topics, such as how much everyone intends to chip in for the wedding or differences of religion.

Another very important piece of etiquette advice for the father of the bride is that he should publicly support his daughter's choice of spouse, no matter what his private reservations about the match may be. Of course, any dad would talk to his daughter directly if he fears that her fiance is violent or unstable, but other than that, it is not his choice to make. In many cases, the bride's father simply needs to take the time to get to know better his future son-in-law, and will come to appreciate his fine qualities just as the bride does. When that day comes, you do not want to have previous negative comments floating out there, waiting for the day when someone indiscreet repeats them to your daughter or her husband.

Traditional wedding etiquette states that the father of the bride pays for all of the ceremony and reception expenses, with the exception of the wedding rings and the bride's bouquet. These days, however, it is more common for the wedding costs to be spread around between both the bride's parents, the groom's parents, and the couple themselves. The bride's father should be clear with his daughter from the start of the wedding planning process what he can afford to contribute, whether it is paying for the entire wedding, paying for certain expenses, or giving the couple a set sum of money towards the wedding which they can add into their total wedding budget.

Another piece of etiquette the bride's father should know is that it is custom for him to give a wedding gift to the bride and groom. Again, if the bride's parents are still together, it would be a joint gift, but if they are divorced, the bride's dad would give a gift on his own (or with his new spouse if he has remarried). The wedding gift can be anything from the deed to a house to a cash for the honeymoon to a silver picture frame engraved with the wedding date. The size of the wedding present depends on the father's budget and it need not be extravagant; what really matters is that that it is from the heart. Many fathers also choose to give their daughters a special piece of wedding jewelry such as a pearl necklace. A classic present like a pearl necklace is ideal, because it will be cherished as a sentimental gift from father to daughter for a lifetime.

What other etiquette does the father of the bride need to know? He should plan to walk his daughter down the aisle, do a spotlight dance with her at the reception, and give a toast to the couple at the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception. Beyond that, the bride's dad pretty much just needs to dress as his daughter requests and show up to the wedding on time with a smile on his face.

Can I Save the Planet?

Ideas to save the planet include grand schemes that only Governments could attempt, down to the small but incrementally effective actions of individuals.

The 'every little helps' approach has a lot to commend it. Everyone can take a unique part, guided by his or her own preference, yet collectively there is great effect. And there are so many options.

We could save water by putting a bucket in the shower, fixing leaky taps, only running the washing machine when it is full, and taking shorter showers.

We could conserve energy by switching off the lights, installing energy saving globes, lagging the roof or only opening the fridge door when we have to.

We could travel less. Between us we made 2.5 billion aircraft journeys in 2009, the result of an ongoing surge in wandering the globe helped by growing affluence and a 60% drop in ticket prices over the last 40 years. Projections are for 3.3 billion journeys by 2014, but we could choose to move around less often.

We could eat less meat. The 'mean American diet' (often referred to by the killer acronym MAD) requires 71% more land and 340% more active nitrogen (the key nutrient for plant growth) to produce than an average vegetarian diet. Being a vegetarian massively reduces your environmental footprint.

All these personal choices are mitigation actions. Ideas for changes to behavior that reduce demand on energy and natural resources and also reduce pollution. Even if only half of us acted on these suggestions we would lower global energy demand, reduce water use and ease the pressure on a host of natural resources. If we all did it, then we might save the planet.

And this is where these articles usually finish. Yes we can! Go turn off the light or even run for office and get some big schemes cooking.

What if the planet does not need saving? Suppose that the trajectory of human exploitation and appropriation of resources is just part of the rich journey of life on earth. Then, by definition, I can not save it.

Convention says that a catastrophic meteorite strike killed off the dinosaurs. What if they had already become so numerous as to have ate themselves out of all available cycads and the dark clouds from all the dust simply tipped a balance that was already teetering?

There is always an alternative explanation to convention. One alternative to saving the planet is that it's not up for being saved. Sure it is changing, and much of that change is a result of human activity from land clearing to pollution. But the earth has changed before and will again.

Perhaps a better question is 'can I save myself?' Not in the selfish sense of pushing to be the first into the lifeboat of a sinking ship, but to save a sense of self and a personal relationship with the earth. This has more depth than conserving electricity and, in time, answers all the questions.

Get Killer Six Pack Abs With These Muscle Building Workouts

If you are looking for a killer six pack abs workout without crunches then are you in luck.

Let's face it, no one likes doing crunches and no matter how many you do never seem to improve the mid-section one iota. People seem to be under the misunderstanding that crunches will some how give them ripped abdominal muscles and burn through fat as if it were butter. This of course is not the case and if you are looking for a workout which does not include them, then you are already aware of this fact.

To get killer six pack abs, you need a combination of weight training, high intensity intervals as well as the proper nutrition and only a little bit of abdominal exercises. It is possible to get those sexy abs without even doing a single abdominal routine.

As far as your weight training goes, try some of the following and do not forget to switch them around from time to time. The barbell squats are an obvious choice as well as dead lifts, chin ups, dips, lunges and even barbell presses.

What you do not realize is that your sexy six pack is already there waiting for the world to see them. They are just hiding under layers of fat and through the proper nutrition and plenty of high intensity workouts, you can burn through that layer of fat to reveal the muscles hidden underneath. Of course they may not be all that sexy if they are never used so you might have to work them out a bit just to get them to tighten up; but that still does not mean doing crunches.

If you work on increasing the muscle mass of your lower body through performing squats, those larger muscle groups will be able to burn through that layer of fat much faster then the abdominal muscles would ever be capable of.

Advantages of a Holiday House Exchange

Many people have never even heard of holiday house exchange. There are many benefits to this new and exciting vacation style. When you do a holiday house exchange you are basically exchanging lives with another family. You and the family discuss the details of the amount of time that the two families will be relocating homes. Sometimes there can be a third person that deals with the details but most often it is the families themselves that work out the details.

Usually when you swap homes with a family you swap everything except your clothes. You leave your cars, bikes, boats, or anything of that nature behind. Of course there can be rules worked out where certain things are off limits. That is up to the two families swapping homes. Usually people that want to swap homes for a vacation want to do it with some one in another country. Of course this is not always the case.

A lot of people can not afford to visit other countries unless they do a house swap. When you house swap with someone you get to live in their home and live like one of the locals. You can even ask the home owner to leave you a list of all the great places to visit during your stay such as restaurants and attractions.

There are several benefits of swapping homes with a family. You do not have to worry about how you will fit your entire family into one hotel room. You do not have to worry about the youngger children being awakened by the noise the older children are making. When you swap homes with someone your children can have their own beds.

You and your spouse can have your own room. You have plenty of space to put your beloveds away so that you do not have to live out of a suitcase for the entire stay. You can also do your laundry before returning home so that you do not have to spend days catching up on laundry. This is always a good thing because usually usually coming home from a vacation can be very tiring.

Vacations are usually not very relaxing but when you swap homes they can be. You can actually have a vacation while feeling right at home. You will actually be living in a home instead of one room for weeks at a time. Another benefit to avoiding hotels and doing the house relocating is that you do not have to spend a fortune on room service.

You will have your own kitchen to cook your meals in. This will also save you lots of money on having to dine out every night. You can even choose to stay in and order pizza and have a movie night just like you would at your own home because because always long your vacation is the house will be your home.

A holiday house exchange is great for everyone involved. If you are not sure whether this is something that is right for you then you may want to try doing some research online first. There are accounts of people that have done this and you can decide if it is something that you want to do.

How to Make a Glass Fan Light in a Timber Door Frame

Fan lights are found on top of a long door frame. They are usually made of glass with a vent of one inch above the glass. They allow light and air movement in and out of a room. They are normally fitted on door ways of all rooms except wash rooms and lavatories. In rooms where the corridor has no adequate light, they assist by allowing it into the passage. This light is from windows in the rooms. The glass is fixed into a rebate using timber beading’s nailed to the door frame.

The fan light can be of made of clear sheet or frosted glass. This will depend on the amount of light intended on the passage and the door location. The vent above the glass can be covered with a gauze wire. This will stop the insects and flies from crossing from the open lobbies into the rooms. The fan light can be introduced on door frame existing in a house. Where door frame heights are greater than ten feet, a fan light can be used. This will also give good door frame aesthetics.

The fixing of the glass fan light starts with measuring the size of the opening above the door. The glass is then cut, leaving a one inch gap at the top. The glass should be cut leaving space at the bottom and side of the frame. This will allow it to slide into the rebate of the frame without getting stuck. The beading’s to be used should also be measured and cut at forty five degrees at the ends. This will allow a smooth joint at the corners. The wire nails to be used should not break the beading when being hammered in.

When the glass is slid into the rebate, panel pins are hammered into three spots round. This are for ensuring the glass does not rattle when the door is closed. Also in the case of wind gushing into the room when windows are opened. The beading is then hammered onto the rebate also using the panel pins. The beading should fit flush with the rebate. After it is fixed, painting of this timber is then carried out. This should match the door frame paint. After apply three coats and it dries, the glass is cleaned to remove any paint marks.

Learn the Different Putters Made by Odyssey in 2011

Odyssey putters have been around since the early 1990's. They have consistently been one of the most popular and most used putters in the game of golf. Many pro and amateur players use them, and once used players usually do not stop using them. Some of the most innovative and best putter designs have been Odyssey putters. They feature many different putter head inserts and alignment devices, which make them stand out from the rest of the field. Odyssey is always chasing to be the # 1 putter in golf with its new ideas and products.

In 2011 there was some unique and different design features produced by Odyssey golf. They vary from convetional putters, belly putters, dart series and women's putters, with different alignment and insert design features installed on each. The two conventional odyssey putters from 2011 are the, Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Lined putter, and the Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball Blade putter. The 2-ball lined putter is an extended mallet head that features the revolutionary 2-Ball alignment system with a line as an additional alignment aid, a double-bend shaft and full-shaft offset. The 2-ball blade putter is an extended blade-like putter head that has the same alignment system as the mallet 2-ball, a crank-neck hosel and full-shaft offset. Both are outfitted with a weighing system with three different options of weight, so you can adjust the weight of the putter to fit the speed of the greens or what feels more comfortable to you. Both putters feature the white ice insert, which is firmer and stiffer to promote more distance control and more top spin on your roll.

Blade: New- $ 149.00 Pros: Great Feel, Accurate, Looks Great. Cons: None.

Mallet: New- $ 149.00 Pros: Durable, Well Balanced, Accurate. Cons: Did not like grip.

Belly putters are becoming very popular. Odyssey's belly putter for 2011 is the Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly Putter. The dual fangs of this Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth Belly Putter contain 37% of the putter's total weight. This Weigh placement helps you make a more consistent and accurate stroke. The aiming channels on the inside of the outer fangs insure proper alignment. The Sabertooth is constructed of a soft core, which has great feel and promotes a truer roll. A thin firmer outer layer provides responsiveness. The multi-layer insert allows weight to be shifted to the perimeter of the head for better stability. The belly model features a mid-length, double-bend shaft with full-shaft offset.

New: $ 189.00 Pros: Feel and Touch. Cons: Akward in the bag, Expensive.

The Dart Series Putters specialize in providing excellent alignment. There are three different Dart putters for 2011. They are all conventional putters.The Dart Series Putters specialize in providing excellent alignment. There are three different Dart putters for 2011. They are all conventional putters. They are the Odyssey White Ice Dart, The Odyssey Backstryke Dart, and the Odyssey White Ice Dart Blade. The Odyssey White Ice Dart has a mallet head with a double bend shaft, and has the adjustable weighting for different green speeds. The Odyssey Backstryke Dart is unique because the shaft is offset behind the putter, which promotes a hands forward position, which in turn produces an ascending stroke into the ball. The White Ice Dart Blade is a blade putter design, with a crank neck hosel and a full shaft offset and also has the adjustable weighing system. Dart stands for Direction and alignment technology, which basically looks like a dart on the top of the putter which helps you align your putts better for a more consistent strike and better distance control.

White ice mallet: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, durable. Cons: none.

Backstryke: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, easy to align. Cons: small sweet spot, to light

White ice blade: New $ 149.00 Pros: accurate, great feel, the look. Cons: none.

Design Your Own Tattoo – Tips to Create a Great Tattoo Design

Tattoos are art, plain and simple. The problem is coming up with the master piece that is worthy of being displayed on your body for the rest of your life. A tattoo is a statement about who you are and is the ultimate in self expression – so you've got to get it right!

So where do you start?

Looking at tattoo design pictures, that's where. Its simple, but effective. Its like doing research for anything. The more research you do, the better the end result.

The next question is where do you get good quality pictures of tattoo designs to start your research. Well, Im glad you asked …. There are many sources, but some provide better quality tattoo designs than others, as I will show you.

Online Designs

The lowest quality tattoo design pictures are the free pictures that abound on the internet. Do not get me wrong, some of the tattoo designs are great, but everyone has access to these pictures, so you can bet your bottom dollar there are a number of people around with the exact same tattoo design. Just imagine seeing someone else with your tattoo on them! That is why they are low on the quality ladder.

Flash at the Tattoo Parlor

Next is flipping through tattoo deigns at the tattoo parlor just before you get your masterpiece inked on you. Now, that is pressure! Again, the designs may be great, but you want to enjoy the process of choosing a tat, and come up with something unique, so never put yourself in that situation. If in doubt, do not do it. Keep looking.

Online Tattoo Galleries

Then there are tattoo designs that you can purchase over the internet. These are the most exclusive designs you can get straight off the rack. These days, due to the power of the internet, it is possible to download massive numbers of unique tattoo design pictures right to your computer to help you decide which design is for you. Also, there are some tattoo design products on sale that continue to update the tat designs even after you have made the purchase. You can even take the design of your choice to the tattoo parlor and get it modified to your own taste. Now no one will have your tat design!

Tattoo Artists

The ultimate source of a quality tattoo design, though, is to take an idea to the tattoo artist and get them to draw something up for you. Tattoo artists are experts at what they do, and they can guide you to a design that you are happy with. However, depending on how much of a design you take to the tattoo parlor, this is by far the most expensive.

Conclusion

Well, there are some sources to get you going on your search for that elusive (and hopefully exclusive) masterpiece. It all boils down to cost. How much are you prepared to pay to find your dream tattoo? Just remember that this is an investment in yourself and you will live with the design you choose for the rest of your life.

I spent ages searching free and pay galleries to find my tattoo. By far the best were three galleries I downloaded from the net, each with thousands of tattoos in each – they got me so much to choose from, and I was able to find exactly what I was looking for. To help you find your dream tattoo, I have reviewed the best three packages. I have listed the tattoo categories in each package, so you know what you are getting. I am in the process of reviewing each package for specific tattoo designs. So far I have reviewed the Japanese Dragon, Chinese Dragon, Heart, Angel, Butterfly, Harley, Lower Back and Tribal Tattoo designs. I review the top galleries for each design listed, provide details of the type of designs and what to expect. Finally I rank each gallery, so you know which is the best for the type of design you are after. I know how hard it is to find the dream tattoo. I hope this review helps you in your search.