Home Blog Page 3

Finding a Qualified and Licensed HVAC Technician

If you want to be sure that you will be comfortable while staying inside your house, one of the first things that you need to do is to install an HVAC system. This will ensure that the temperature inside your house is properly regulated and that you will be able to feel more comfortable while staying inside your house. The problem is that there are a lot of things that you need to do in order to be successful with the installation of the HVAC inside your house, so it is advisable for everyone to hire a qualified HVAC technician.

There are a lot of things that you can do in order to find a qualified HVAC technician, but one of the surefire ways is by looking for an association of an organization that is dedicated to HVAC. These associations are dedicated in monitoring the quality being served by different HVAC technicians, and if you are going to hire someone who is a member of a particular organization, you can be assured that you will always get the best service from them.

Here are some of the most popular HVAC associations that you can check:

  • ACCA or Air Conditioning Contractors of America
  • AHRI or Air Conditioning, Heating Refrigeration Institute
  • AMCA or Air Movement Control Association

If you are going to check these websites, you will be able to find directories that will show you a list of all the qualified HVAC technicians that you can hire. Aside from qualified technicians, you will also be able to find suppliers and retailers where you are can get all the tools and machines that you need for the HVAC in your house. This will ensure that you will get the best value for the money that you will be spending, and you will also be protected by the association when it comes to the quality that you will be receiving.

If you are going to use this method, you no longer need to spend a lot of time in finding qualified HVAC technicians. You also won’t have to compare the services that they can offer you, since all of them are regulated by the association, and you can be assured that they will always give you the best service possible. So what are you waiting for? Visit any of these websites and you will be able to find an HVAC technician who can provide you with the service that you need.

A Comparison Of Video Editing Software

Hi there! Are you new to video editing? If you are, you’re probably confused by the vast array of video editing software programs out there in the market.

When I started out in video editing, nobody gave me a proper comparison of video editing software programs. So I experimented on my own.

I tried using Microsoft Movie Maker and other free software. Over time, as I gained confidence in the editing process, I moved on to commercial software like Adobe Premiere and Corel VideoStudio.

In this article, I’d like to give you a comparison of the better video editing software programs out there so you can get more creative with your productions.

1. Beginner Level

Let’s start from the basics. If you’re a beginner and have not done much video editing, I recommend you that you start with a free video editing package like Microsoft Movie Maker. This allows you to understand the video timeline, splitting, cutting and how to add basic effects into your production.

Once you’ve some basic knowledge, get a good beginner video editor like MovAVI. I use MovAVI a lot these days to quickly edit and burn / upload my videos to YouTube.

MovAVI automates most of the post-production process for me. I simply import my video, select a default theme and the software does the rest. This saves me a lot of time, especially if I have a ton of say, vacation videos where I’m too lazy to do in-depth editing.

2. Intermediate Level

OK, moving on to the intermediate level software. These programs have basic video editing features for beginners but also contain advanced functionalities for those who want to be more creative.

In this category, my personal preference is Corel VideoStudio. I’ve used its competitor products like Adobe Premiere Elements and Pinnacle Studio before, but I still come back to VideoStudio because of the rich set of templates it has and the intuitive application interface.

Corel VideoStudio lets me do stuff like chroma key (removing green screens from a video so I can overlay another background), add titles, transactions and manipulate audio. I also like that I can export my video in a huge variety of formats, including uploading them online to YouTube seamlessly. This is the software I use most often for editing selected video projects where I need a fast basic workflow but have some room for creative work.

Advanced Level

There are more advanced level video editing software packages like Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas and Final Cut Pro. While I do like their features (and these are industrial-grade features used by movie makers) – I find them overly expensive. Something like the full Adobe Premiere suite will easily set you back by almost $1000. I’m not paying that much money for a video application unless I’m doing this full-time.

For hobbyists, I strongly suggest using intermediate level software. The advanced features in pro-level packages like Adobe Premiere tend to be rarely used. Once you have done many video projects and want to go pro, then these packages make sense.

4. Online Applications

OK, so far we’ve done comparison of desktop video editing software. But you should know there are also other online video editing applications popping up all over the shop.

One that particularly caught my attention is Animoto, which is a great online application.

This is a solid, intuitive online video editor which allows you to just upload your work and apply a series of automatic edits and effects. Again, very useful stuff for those requiring a quick workflow without a lot of fuss.

5. Mobile Applications

Finally, if you’re on a mobile device like the iPhone or have an Android device, you’ll be aware of a slew of video editing applications appearing in your app store.

I particularly like Game Your Video for the iOS. This little app allows you to import videos from your phone library, then spice them up with effects like slow motion, Charlie Chaplin comic effects, as well as a variety of other cool stuff. Do try it out.

If you do a comparison of mobile video editing software with their desktop competitors, you’ll find them lacking in features. But they make up for that in terms of portability. Just whip out your phone, shoot the video and edit. It’s very quick and simple compared to a desktop approach.

Also, there are, of course, other video editing apps out there. You can try browsing under the “Featured” or “Top Charts” categories on your iPhone or iPad to see which are the best apps at the moment.

Wrapping Up…

I hope the above has given you a good comparison of video editing software packages in the market. Remember, try to select a package that meets your needs. If you’re just beginner, don’t buy something expensive like Adobe Premiere. Get your feet wet first with simple video editors like VideoStudio, then move on to more advanced stuff when you’re ready.

The other point is to just practice. I remember I went through at least 20 projects on Corel VideoStudio before I decided I’d try Adobe Premiere. Once you practice, you’ll start to understand the basic elements of the video editing workflow – and those skills can be applied to any video editing application you own in the future.

Until next time, have fun editing your videos!

Treadmill Parts – How to Repair Your Treadmill

As with any piece of exercise equipment in which there are moving parts, treadmills also occasionally need some maintenance done to them. This is not necessarily because the piece of equipment is flawed but it is because we tend to use them on a regular basis and the impact puts a lot of stress on the parts.

As a matter of fact, people are probably looking for treadmill parts and how to repair a treadmill more often than they are doing research on the treadmill itself. If you find yourself in the position where you are having problems with your piece of exercise equipment, here are some suggestions on how to go about fixing it.

If you are handy, you may be able to take care of the repair yourself. It might be necessary for you to have somebody handle it, however, as some of the repair can get quite difficult. For example, some of the newer treadmills have some very sophisticated electronics which can go bad. If you don’t know what to look for or how to repair it once the problem is found, it is much better if you have somebody that is well trained in this aspect to take care of it for you.

Some of the most common treadmill parts that individuals are looking for include new belts, motors, control boards, and various pieces of electronic circuitry that they have gone bad. Some of these are relatively easy to repair if you are at least a little bit handy. This will include replacing the motor or perhaps the drive belt. There may be times where you also want to change some of these parts in order to beef up your machine a little bit and make it more usable. Regardless, you can purchase upgraded parts from the same place that you can usually purchase the standard parts.

One thing that you should make sure that you look for is if your treadmill is under warranty. Although most of them only come with a one year parts and labor warranty, many of them do have a lifetime warrant these on the frame and the motor. If you are having a difficult time with either of these parts, contact the treadmill manufacturer to see if your particular model might be covered under a lifetime warranty. You may be able to save yourself a lot of time, money and trouble.

Russian Superstitions

Russians are very superstitious people. They will deny this, but it is true. These superstitions affect my life on a daily basis. Most of the time they are harmless and I go along with them to humor my wife. Sometimes I tease her about them.

New superstitions pop up all the time, as new situations arise in our life. I keep telling her that I need a rulebook for them. Perhaps someday I will codify them in a book.

Russians are raised with these superstitions so they have no need to consult a manual.

Here are some of them. It is by no means an exhaustive list:

1) You can’t whistle in the house or car, as they believe that you are whistling away your money.

At a dinner party at our house, a friend of mine started whistling. My wife silenced him immediately. She explained to him, “You can whistle in your own house, but you can’t whistle in mine. In my house, it’s my money you are whistling away.”

When she first came to America, she would see people standing at intersections holding signs. She asked me what they were doing. I told her they were asking for money. She asked me why. I told her that they had done entirely too much whistling in their house for their own good.

2) If you step on your spouse’s shoe by accident, you have to let the other person step on your shoe, or you will have an argument.

I never tested this superstition. It seemed easier to go along with the remedy than pay the price for violating it.

3) If you leave your house, you cannot go back inside for something you have forgotten, or your trip will result in ‘nothing good,’ as my wife says.

4) If you must go back in to get the forgotten item, you can try to mitigate the bad effects of returning by looking into the mirror at your own reflection for a moment before you leave again.

5) Never demonstrate another’s surgery or wound on your own body with your hand or other means as you are likely to visit that upon yourself.

In the few times I have done this, my wife has tried to remedy this by wiping away the spot where I made the imaginary incision with her hand, blowing on her hand to blow it away to the wind, and covering it with the sign of the cross.

6) Never give a Russian woman an even number of flowers. Even numbers are for the dead. Always give odd numbers. When you order a dozen, or two dozen roses, for her, ask them to throw in an extra one for good luck.

7) Never give yellow flowers to a Russian woman. It signifies infidelity and may mean that your relationship will not last.

8) Never give a watch as a gift to a Russian woman. Time is running out on your relationship.

9) Never give knives or handkerchiefs as gifts. I don’t know the reason for this one.

10) Never celebrate a birthday early. You are pushing your luck.

11) Don’t show your newborn baby to strangers until after forty days. They are waiting for their soul to arrive and they may take on another’s soul or energy during that time.

12) It’s best to cut your hair or nails during a full moon.

13) It’s considered bad luck to shave or cut your hair when a family member is in danger or bad health.

14) Whenever someone praises you or offers a positive comment, you knock on wood or imaginarily spit three times over your left shoulder so that you are not jinxed by the comment.

15) Do not shake hands or kiss over the threshold of a door. It forms a bridge that allows the devil or evil spirits from the outside to enter the house this way. When I have done this by mistake, my wife usually pushes me back outside or pulls me inside before greeting me with a kiss at the front door.

16) Before anyone takes a long trip, the whole family sits together silently for a few minutes before the traveler leaves.

17) The truly superstitious have been known to eat ‘lucky’ bus tickets, when the sum of the left three numbers equals the sum of the three numbers on the right.

18) Recently, while preparing to give my infant daughter a bath, the little tyke peed on me while I was taking her clothes off. My wife laughed and said that it was good news. It meant that I would live to dance at my daughter’s wedding!

This list is not exhaustive by any means. Superstitions vary by country and locale. There is a popular Russian television show that travels around the country exploring the unique superstitions of each particular town or village.

Many of the superstitions came from folk tales or fairy stories, Russian Orthodox tradition, or had peasant or agricultural roots. Most Russians are only one or two generations from the farm or village.

At any rate, be aware of the superstitions and try to show some respect for them whether or not you believe in them. Your Russian friends will appreciate it.

How Do You Know When You Need a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer?

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to an accident involving a motorcycle, you should look into hiring a motorcycle accident lawyer. While a lawyer can’t undo the injuries that you and your family have suffered, they can and will help you find justice.

The Dangers of Motorcycles

Unlike a car, a motorcycle leaves its riders unprotected. There are no airbags, and there’s no metal frame around the passengers to protect them. This lack of protection means that accidents involving a motorcycle are more likely to lead to severe injuries than accidents involving only a car. If you or someone you know was in a collision while riding a motorcycle, chances are that they have suffered some kind of injury. If that injury is severe, then you or your friend should contact a motorcycle accident lawyer.

However, it’s not only motorcycle riders who might need a motorcycle accident lawyer. The 1981 Hurt Report on Motorcycle Safety found that three quarters of all motorcycle accidents involved a 4-wheel vehicle. Cars often collide with motorcycles due to the increased difficulty of seeing the bikes, which are much smaller than cars. Cars turning making left turns most commonly collide with motorcycles. If you or someone you know is suffering an injury due to such a collision, consider hiring a lawyer.

Injuries Major and Minor

The kinds of injuries for which a motorcycle accident lawyer can help you find justice range from the most severe to more subtle injuries. In the worst case scenario, someone you love was killed in the accident. In this case, a lawyer can help you sue the negligent party for wrongful death. The suit will not help with the grief of losing someone close to you, but suits like these ensure that lethal carelessness does not go unpunished.

There are also many severe injuries that leave the victim alive. Collisions often result in damage to the brain or spine, which can lead to paralysis, amnesia, or coma, all very serious conditions that warrant calling a motorcycle accident lawyer. Collisions can also cause broken or fractured bones, injuries which can lead to the victim missing work, or being permanently disabled. If you can no longer do your job because of an injury, you need a lawyer to help you get the compensation you deserve.

However, not all injuries are obvious. Injuries to the brain often have delayed or hard-to-notice symptoms, including depression, confusion, loss of senses such as smell or taste, and changes to one’s personality. As a result, traumatic brain injuries often go undiagnosed, even though they can significantly impact one’s life. Victims of undiagnosed brain injuries might lose interest in the activities they used to enjoy, or behave in erratic ways that damage their interpersonal relationships. If any of these symptoms make you think of someone who was in a motorcycle-related accident, then you should encourage that person to see a doctor-and to call a motorcycle accident lawyer.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Motorcycles are fun and cool, but they are also very dangerous. If you or someone you know has suffered any injury, major or minor, from an accident involving a motorcycle, you should find a motorcycle accident lawyer who can fight on your behalf to get you the compensation you deserve.

Buying a New Car Or Used One For Your Teen – 4 Things to Think About

You know, it’s not a hard clad rule that every teenager has to have a new car or any car for that matter. Sure it is a lot easier to have one. You know your child. Think if he or she really is responsible enough to own a car.

Think about these things before purchasing a new or used car for your teen:

1. As a parent, you know so many responsibilities come with owning a car. Is your child ready to help pay for the car and take care of the fueling, maintenance and having the car insured?

2. Think about if your child needs a car or does it have to do with peer pressure? Think if it makes sense for your child to own a car at his or her age.

3. Choose a good Driving School – Not all teenagers are mature enough to own a car. If you feel that your child does not make a good candidate for car ownership, then just wait a year. Inform your child it is important for him or her to prove to you that a car purchase would be a good decision for them. During that year be determined to ensure your child gets driver training.

4. Once your child passes a driver’s test, don’t rush to let him or her drive alone. Be there to supervise until you feel comfortable with that.

5. Don’t let your teen drive with other teenagers the first year or so. In some states this is actually prohibited and the state requires at least one adult present.

6. Don’t be naive. There is a good chance your teen will not drive the same with you as he or she drives with their friends.

7. Restrict unsupervised nighttime driving.

8. Find a trustworthy dealership who understands cars and teens. When you are ready to purchase a car make sure it is a safe one.

9. Give your teen rules to follow. Make sure he or she understands that they are responsible for any expenses; such as, an accident, a traffic ticket, the difference in the insurance premium. Make it a hard fast rule that drinking is not allowed ever while driving. Alcohol should never even be in the car. Seat belts must be used at all times. The car must be kept clean and filed with gas, oil checked, etc.

Car Leasing – The Process Of Having a Car Through Car Leasing

Car has been used as vehicle to travel from one place to another within the city or outside the city and has also been considered as the symbol of status in some poor countries. It is not easy to purchase the car in some of the poor countries because of its high price and that is why it has only been used by the rich persons of such countries. In the present time it became very easy to have a car by leasing the same from the bank or any other car leasing company. The said procedure of leasing the car has been prevailed in the poor countries as well as some rich countries of the world like United Kingdom.

It is now very easy to have a car even if you did not afford to buy the same from the market and even if you are a salary person having medium salary package. There are many of the cars leasing companies which are financing the money for the purpose of purchase of the car for personal use. The different policies of lease have been designed for leasing the cars to the businessmen and to the salary class.

You can choose to have any of the cars prescribed by the car leasing company of United Kingdom which comes under your criteria of the budget. The Bank or the financial companies have to undertake some procedural steps for the purpose of sanctioning and disbursing the amount of car to any of the borrower.

First of all you have to obtain the application form from the concerned car leasing company for the purpose of applying for the lease finance. Then you have to fill all the column of the application form with the detail of your business or employment. You also have to submit some document to the car leasing company for the purpose of security of the finance as well as to judge the repayment capacity of yours. For the said purpose you have to submit your account statement, if you are a businessman, to ascertain your income by analyzing the cash flow of your company from your account statement.

In case if you are a salary person then you have to submit your salary slips for the latest following three months for the purpose of calculation of the debt burden of yours, on the basis of which a car leasing company decides whether you have been given the car through lease finance or not. Moreover, for the purpose of security of the funds that are being invested by the leasing company on your car, the registration of the car has been executed with joint names of yours and leasing company to avoid any future complications.

So You Think You Are Prepared Financially?

What happens when you are sued for more than your basic homeowners or auto insurance policy covers and are found liable? Well, for most people, it would mean liquidating unprotected assets in order to satisfy the judgment. This may mean garnished wages, selling property, and possibly losing some of your investments. This is certainly a situation that could ruin your life, but there are ways to protect yourself.

A personal umbrella policy is additional coverage that goes above and beyond what your homeowners and auto insurance policies cover. Think of it as a protective umbrella that will pick up the damages once you have exhausted your coverage of those policies.

Your home is likely your most valuable asset-make sure it is properly protected. While insurance agents will help determine the kind of coverage you can buy, it is ultimately your responsibility to know what the policy covers. And remember, insurance agents are salesmen and typically work on commission. This isn’t a bad thing, but be aware of what type of coverage you actually need so that you can spot it when you’re being sold something you don’t truly need.

This is one of the most important things to remember when planning for the “Golden Years” Protect your assets. Also, start thinking of ways to supplement your retirement income.

Lately, I’ve been looking at sources of passive income in order to bolster (and hopefully eventually replace) my current income. It is a fond dream that at some point in the future, I could largely step back from doing active day-to-day work and instead use these sources as my primary income stream. In that eventuality, I could devote my time to volunteer causes and charities I’m passionate about (and maybe have time to sit back and read a book for pleasure on a lazy afternoon every once in a while).

The mere act of owning many investments can be considered a source of passive income. You merely hold the investment and regular dividends are paid out to you. Many people tend to focus on investments in terms of the increase in resale value, but many others quietly hold stocks and bonds that pay large dividends, lining their pockets with capital gains. Look for individual stocks and bonds or index funds that pay good dividends, then sit back and watch the money roll in.

The internet, magazines, and books on personal finance are chock full of calculators and projections to help you figure out “your number” – the usually astronomical sum of money that it is allegedly going to take for you to live off your portfolio of securities, not work, and still maintain some semblance of the same lifestyle you had while you were working.

The exercise seems reasonable – necessary even – but the problem is that the results are almost entirely arbitrary, especially if you are more than 10 years away from retirement.

Any shift in any one of the variables can drastically alter the final figure that pops up, telling you how much you need to have saved in order to retire at X age or how much each year you need to be putting away.

If you have a portfolio you might want to rebalance it every so often. Rebalancing is the act of sitting down once per year and adjusting your portfolio toward your target asset allocation. Let’s say you hold two funds because you want a 50% US stock exposure and 50% International stock exposure. During the last year, it is unlikely the funds have gained and lost exactly the same. So you end the year and US stocks have been up more than International stocks. Your current portfolio weight is 53% US and 47% International.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal, right? Just 3%. Well, over time that gap can get larger and larger until one day you find yourself with a 75/25 allocation-way out of whack.

What You Should Know About How To Let Go Of Road Rage

This article provides readers with achievable and effective methods to help them let go of road rage. Ways of remaining peaceful in difficult driving situations are discussed, as well as how to make a car interior a positive and calming influence.

Whether you experience anger while driving or are on the receiving end of someone else aggression road rage can be a big problem. Not only does driving while in a fury make people upset, but it can also cause accidents. Understanding how to curb road rage can make driving enjoyable, instead of a nightmare.

The Right Frame Of Mind

Studies show that people often experience what they think they will. Therefore, if you get into your car expecting to undergo a fraught journey in which you encounter bad drivers who make you mad, that is exactly what is likely to happen. Change your expectations however, and you leave yourself open to the possibility of seeing things differently. Instead of looking for troublesome experiences, you can focus more on enjoying driving.

The Calming Exercises

While it is probably not a good idea to practice deep relaxation when driving, as you need to remain alert to drive safely, arming yourself with methods of achieving calm can still be useful. There are many ways to achieve a sense of peace when driving.

Counting to ten when you feel your temper rising can give you time to calm down and whatever is bothering you to end. Most things that send you into a rage are likely to pass in a matter of seconds If, however, a longer period of feeling agitated is on the cards, consider making counting to ten last longer by adding a peaceful word after each number. For example, “one, gentle, two, relax”.

How to Change Your Car’s Flat Tire

This article also tells about how to change their car’s flat tire. Included are the tools required to safely change a tire on the side of a road. Also touched on is what to do when the tire becomes flat while driving and the proper way to loosen and tighten lug nuts.

Place the jack on the spot reserved for tire jacks. This spot is shown in your car care and maintenance guide and in the owner’s manual. The exact spots are stamped on the undercarriage of your car, slightly ahead of the rear tires and behind the front tires, less than an inch from the outside of the car. Before jacking the car up, remove the hub caps and then loosen the lug nuts using the crow bar until they can be loosened by hand. Starting with the lug nut on the top of the flat tire, loosen the lug nuts located at 12 o’clock and then 6 o’clock, 3 o’clock and then 9 o’clock and so on, until all of the lug nuts have been loosened. Place the tire block in front of and behind one of the good tires at the opposite end of the car from the flat tire (if your flat is in the rear of the car, place the tire blocks around one of the front tires).

Jack the car up until the flat tire starts to leave the ground, and then remove the lug nuts from the tire. Remove the flat tire from the car and place it in the trunk. Take the spare tire and place it on the bolts that hold the tire in place and then hand screw the lug nuts back onto the tire. Once all the lug nuts are fairly tight, use the alternating method again to tighten them with the crowbar. Lower the jack until it comes loose from under the car and stow the jack in the trunk.

Tips To Asphalt Shingle Roof Cleaning

Asphalt shingle roof needs cleaning. Many have started to enter this line of business as the services are in great demand. Slowly it is finding a niche for itself in the market and many opportunities in this field are opening up.

The problem and solution is not too difficult provided one understands from the start the dynamics of shingle roofs – how they are set up, what the problems are relating to the types of stains that need attention. It is not any and everybody who can operate a pressure washing company because although the matter is simple nevertheless the fundamentals have to be grasped. The next step is experience leading to technical expertise.

If the contractor does not understand the basics of roof installation then thousands of dollars may go down the drain. The pressure applied must be minimal and low so that the shingles are not affected. Before starting the job the roof must be thoroughly inspected and checked. Most of the pressure wash machines used for cleaning the roof use 4 GPM and even go up to 10 GPM. One must know when to use what. It depends on specific conditions and the discretionary powers of the contractor.

In most cases of roof construction, a layer of felt is first laid out and on top of this other roofing materials are applied. The first shingle layer is known as the starter-course and is installed at the lowest tip of the roof in reverse position. This forms a solid base over which water can run out without sneaking and leaking into the rafters. These are laid between the shingles key ways. A second layer of shingle is installed directly on top of it and the rest of the roofing is laid in the same way going up the line of the roof. This allows the water to run from one level of shingle to another before draining into the gutter. This is the first basic step about roof installation.

Having studied the anatomy of the roof now is the time to think about the remedy – that is cleaning of the roof. The most common roof ailment of the roof is the formation of a fungus growth called Gloeocapsa Magma. It is carried by wind and air and will anchor on any type of roof. It is a silent killer and escapes the casual notice of the owner of the house until already considerable damage has been done and large chunks of the roof space have been taken over. This algae initially looks like dark brown or black marks. It multiplies in humid climate.

The method of roof cleaning is very effective in cleaning this dangerous ugly blemish. Some contractors use a mixture of TSP and bleach that instantly destroys fungus. Others recommend the use of a cleaner that has sodium hydroxide as its base. No matter what solution is used the guidelines of the manufacturer of that specific solution must be followed. Companies will guarantee their own products but not that of others. All however are in one voice and warn that high pressure should under no circumstances be used while roofs are being cleaned. Some contractors use pressure ranging up to 600 PSI. The general rule is using the least amount of pressure and the softest chemical to get the desired result.

There is a great demand for roof cleaning contractors but if anyone wants to seriously opt for this as a livelihood the best is to take a course on the subject conducted by The Power Washers of North America (PWNA). Its itinerary is extremely informative and of practical use. Knowledge will be gained about the different chemicals being used as well as the techniques of application.