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Making The Technology And Information Work For You

Recent research has focused on the effects of being constantly “plugged in” to electronic media, email, phones and other sources of information and communications. This New York Times article is food for thought as you reflect on the effects of the never-ending flow of information and stimulation to which we subject ourselves.

The reality is the pace and volume of information is only going to increase. The gadgets used to access news and communications are only going to get slicker, more convenient and more habit-forming, addictive even. Cultural perspectives and news coverage tends to focus on the negative aspects of our at-the-tip-of-your-fingers, instant access, constant contact world.

Often we hear about the distancing and lack of empathy that may develop among people as they often interact remotely and not in-person. Or we see illustrations of individuals who feel they need more hours in the day to look at more screens. However, with a broader lens, the fact that we receive news from around the world instantly, are able to drop a text when we are running late or can Skype with the kiddos over dinner while 2,000 miles away is truly a marvel and a gift.

The challenge doesn’t lie with the technology itself, but, in fact, with how we each choose to integrate it into our lives.

While the research can certainly shed light on our experience, the most important perspective is your own. Examine your own use of gadgets and consumption of media. Some questions for consideration:

Does your use and consumption of media contribute to you feeling informed about the world or overwhelmed?

How much time do you choose to spend in front of a screen? Is that amount of time satisfactory or disruptive?

Do you have a purpose when accessing information or connections or do you have a habit of surfing or browsing?

How often have you experienced a feeling of “wasting time” and neglecting other priorities while in front of a screen?

Have others in your orbit felt distracted by your screen time or phone time?

How has your productivity been affected by the use of gadgets or consumption of information?

The most constructive and productive integration of electronic tools and consumption of information into your day-to-day experience is purposeful and mindful. Only you can decide what amount of time and nature of use helps you feel in balance. The balance that works for you depends on what you do professionally or how online your day-to-day life is. Totaling up hours is not the key. The key is examining if you and those friends and family in your orbit are satisfied with how you currently integrate the gadgets and information into the ebb and flow of life. Find out more about Chicago Life Coach and get help today for yourself or your loved ones.

Purposeful, mindful use and consumption promotes productivity, connectedness and balance. Overuse of screens and gadgets, mindless habits or indiscriminate consumption of any and all information creates a mental hamster wheel that serves no one well. Consider these strategies for promoting healthy, mindful integration:

Limit mindless surfing and browsing.

Choose quality sources of news and information.

Set clear, healthy, safe guidelines for use of technology, such as no gadgets at meals and put them aside while driving.

Prioritize in-person connections when you can.

Have as much completely unplugged time everyday as you can and spend it in ways that feed your soul.

Focusing on the beauties and gifts our technological connections and conveniences give us while also being purposeful, mindful users and consumers can create quality integration and a balance that serves each of us well.

An Introduction to Commercial Landscape Design

If you own or develop commercial property, you will most likely need a professional landscape company and possibly a landscape architect to design as well as maintain the property’s landscaping. A landscape architect, landscape designer or landscape firm will be needed to help you plan your landscape’s design and a commercial landscaping firm will be needed to do ongoing maintenance to keep your landscape healthy and looking great to properly reflect your company’s professional image.

Professional landscape designers can assist you with selecting the landscape elements, offering advice on color, design and other aesthetic considerations and help deal with any permit or zoning issues you might face. The next step is to develop the layout as well as planting plans for your landscapes. Your landscaping plan may also include things like landscape lighting, outdoor furniture, fountains and various other materials like stone and gravel. Another important element to be considered and planned is the irrigation system for your landscape.

Once your landscape has been completely designed and put into place, it will also require maintenance on a regular basis. Most likely you will need to hire a commercial landscaping company to provide you with ongoing maintenance. When selecting a company, you will want want that doesn’t require a great deal of supervision and that is able to work within your time and budget requirements.

It will depend on your individual landscape design as to what specific types of maintenance will need to be performed on a regular basis. Lawn and grass maintenance includes mowing the lawns, trimming and edging, fertilizing or treating the lawn and any other types of activities that help promote the growth and health of your grass. Trimming bushes, hedges and ground cover may also needed to be done on a regular basis to help keep the plants in your landscapes healthy as well as to maintain their design. If you have any trees on the property they may need to be pruned, fertilized, aerated and watered. The trees may also need to be inspected for insect and disease infestation. Another task that may need to be done on a regular basis is herbicide or insecticide treatments.

Seasonal plantings can really provide your company’s commercial landscape design with a lot of aesthetic interest and added color as well as a professional image for business people and customers visiting your property. Commercial landscaping companies should have a lot of experience and knowledge with different types of colors, textures and plants to help you enhance your landscape design as well as do the work of planting them for you.

Another important aspect of maintaining the landscape on your property is preventative maintenance. This includes inspecting your trees for disease, wounds and decay as well as to make sure that branches are not growing into the building or overhead wires. Dead limbs should also be pruned away to promote the tree’s growth. You should also inspect your irrigation system on a regular basis. This is an important thing to do to prevent having damaged or broken lines resulting in flooding or extensive water damage to your commercial property.

At first it may seem that spending money and time on designing and maintaining your commercial landscape is time consuming and expensive, but an attractive and professionally designed commercial landscape can enhance your company’s professional image and also add value to your property.

Remodeler’s 7 Steps to Redoing Popcorn Ceilings

For remodelers, removing popcorn or acoustic ceiling can be one of the most daunting tasks in a room. Even the shows on HGTV and other networks seldom tackle this task. It rates somewhere south of wall paper removal in most people’s minds.

My wife and I purchased the house we live in now knowing that we would have to tackle this onerous project in all the rooms of our 2 story home.

So we did a little research, talked to some local professionals and got to work.

First off you should know what you’re dealing with. Acoustic or popcorn ceiling is sprayed on during the drywall process and consists of drywall compound and small bits of Styrofoam. If you are fortunate it has not been painted over. If it has the work will be more difficult. You can test a small section in a corner of the room using the techniques listed below, go to step #7 and find out how to test. Do only a square foot or less and remember even this small section will make a considerable mess.

Side Note: If you are looking for a professional Granite Countertops then check out RG stone granite countertops.

Be aware the process is messy, dusty, and time consuming. Yet for all that it is doable by a pair of 50 year olds. With the exception of our living room which is vaulted and has a height of over 17ft, we did all the ceilings in our home. For this we had a drywall professional bring in scaffolding and a helper and do the living room. In addition we used this same person for retexturing and the combination of DIY and professional help worked out great and was inexpensive.

Since we are dealing with the ceiling; it makes since to do it first in a room. Here are the steps and techniques we used to remove the old popcorn ceilings.

1. Remove all furniture, window coverings, rugs, etc.

2. Mask off windows and doors (with the exception of the door used to gain access to the room and any closet doors which you want to take off the hinges and take out of the room. (now’s the time for the clothes to go as well)

3. Take down or mask off ceiling fans, light fixtures and anything else that hangs from the ceiling

4. If you haven’t done it by now get everything removable off the walls, pictures, tapestries, EVERYTHING!

5. If you are not changing out the rug or redoing you’re floors you will need to cover them completely with a good heavy duty plastic tarp sealed tightly at the baseboards.

6. Get your tools together….

7. You have arrived at the point of no return. From here on out you must either finish it, have someone else do it or live with a screwed up ceiling!

All right. Go to the farthest corner from the door and position a ladder a couple of feet back from the corner. Walk up and check out that you can reach into the corner with the drywall knife up against the joint between the ceiling and the wall.

OK, now take your sprayer and wet down a section in the corner about 2 ft by 2ft, no bigger; smaller if you want the first time. Let the water soak the popcorn ceiling a ½ minute or so. Then from the farthest point from the corner towards the corner angle the drywall knife and scrape the popcorn ceiling off onto the floor. It will take you a while to learn the correct angle, pressure and technique, but take heart, you will get it.

My wife did the majority of ours, especially in small rooms like the bathrooms and closets. (Yes, that’s right; if you’re going to do it you have to do the closets too!)

Be careful of one thing, you do not want to take up the joint tape from the ceiling or gouge holes in the sheetrock. Any of this you do will have to be repaired and resanded, which is time consuming and more messy than what you’re already into.

So if you’ve got the first bit off you want to make sure you don’t leave any loose drywall on the ceiling. This will fall off when it’s re-textured or painted, ruining the look of all your hard work.

After you complete scraping the room you need to cleanup the mess and vacuum all the stuff up or fold up your tarp and take it out. Whatever works here for you. You’re still going to come back and sand the ceiling with a pole sander and 120 grit or higher sand paper, then wipe down the ceiling with a damp cloth. This should make it ready for patch, re-texture and paint.

In our master suite we did smooth wall which requires the most effort and skill. So we brought in a drywall guy to do the actual texture and we did all the grunt work of sanding and cleaning up. It worked out great. He told us how to prepare and sand, we followed his directions, had the room ready when he showed up and got off with very reasonable charges for his very professional looking work.

On the rest of the house we did something less difficult and less expensive and still had him texture all the ceilings. According to what part of the country you live in there are different styles and textures used and available. If you do as we did and have someone do the texturing he will be able to give you examples and more importantly samples of these texture styles.

After we chose the one we wanted it worked like this. We removed the old popcorn ceilings, but did almost no sanding. We just made sure there was no loose drywall compound left on the ceiling. This eliminated the need for the double cleanup required if you sand. With the room ready, the drywall guy came and did his thing. We let it dry overnight and painted the day after. Worked out great and again the price was very reasonable.

Now if you are skilled or willing to take on the texturing, you can eliminate any outside help at all, just be willing to live with whatever result you create on the finished product.

For us this was long term process, because we were completely redoing each room. In addition we were living in the house while remodeling and that’s always a trial. Never the less we were able to remove those nasty, dirty, dusty, popcorn ceilings and now have freshly painted, clean, up to date ceilings that make this remodeled home fresh and bright.

If we can do it, so can you. Good luck and good remodeling!

In a fickle real estate market, sometimes it makes sense to remodel the home we’ve got instead of moving elsewhere. Remodeling can be as extensive as adding a wing or second story addition, or as simple as turning an unused dining room into a home office.

Budgeting for a home remodeling is quite different than budgeting for, say a new car or a vacation. Hidden hazards, unexpected structural problems, screwy access, and even inflation can bring up the cost of remodeling higher than we budgeted for. If a home remodeling project is in your future, here are 10 ways we discovered to lower the cost of a remodel and keep that budget on track.

1. Shop around for the best terms. For most of us, a home remodel has to be financed. Instead of charging the remodeling on a credit card, talk to your banker about other options. A home equity line of credit is what worked for us; your banker might have other ideas.

2. Expect the unexpected. Hidden asbestos, old wiring, and rotten sub floors are just a few hidden problems that don’t surface until a remodel has begun. To prevent a hidden hazard from throwing your budget off track, scale back the remodeling project by 10% to allow for unexpected costs.

3. Ask about DIY demolition. Whether it’s ripping up the carpet or tearing into the walls, ask your contractor about tackling this part of the project yourself. DIY demolition can knock down the cost of remodeling as much as 20% which can free up cash for other upgrades.

4. Keep the construction site clean. Construction work generates wood scraps, cardboard boxes, and other trash which must be removed from the site regularly. Rather than having the remodeling contractor hire a cleaning crew, tackle this job yourself to save money. The money saved here can help offset higher costs elsewhere.

5. Sell recyclables. Another way to squeeze the budget gap is to sell anything that’s recyclable instead of just hauling it down to the dump. Copper wire, used carpet pads, and aluminum siding are just a few examples of discarded products that could be sold for scrap. Also worth selling (such as on Craigslist) is your old carpet, old cabinets, leftover floor tile, old light fixtures and other used fixtures.

6. DIY painting and wallpaper. Many of us can manage painting a room, and perhaps even a bit of wallpapering too. If your remodeling budget has little wiggle room, hire out the work you can’t do and leave the easier tasks for yourself.

7. Ask for discounts when shopping. Stores that sell to the trades usually will extend the same discounts to homeowners who are remodeling on a large scale. Most paint & wallpaper shops will let you open a “cash account” for discounts of 10-20%. As far as other materials, ask your contractor if you can use his discount for lighting & plumbing fixtures, carpet, and flooring at wholesale prices.

8. Consider bartering. Some subcontractors will consider bartering their services especially if you have a veggie garden, an old car, or antique tools. If remodeling costs look like they could run over budget, ask if bartering is possible.

9. Used second hand material. Salvage yards and the Habitat for Humanity retail stores are great places to find budget friendly building materials. Buying used materials in one part of the house can free up cash for expensive upgrades elsewhere.10. Value Engineering. Even the best money managers find it tough to stay on budget during an extensive remodeling. If it looks like costs may run over, the best strategy is to concentrate the remaining funds into the things that matter for resale, and cut costs in the areas that just aren’t that important.

One of the things about being a best handyman, or someone who is able to fix things on their own, is the sense of satisfaction on doing a good job and the good impression that you can make with your family. One of the cardinal rules with repairing things yourself is to know your limits. If you feel that things are not going as planned, you should be man enough to call in the cavalry. You can hone your home improvement skills by following some of the tips included in this article.

–Try to watch some of those handyman shows on TV which are pretty good. You can record some of the better episodes and go through them at your leisure. You need to grasp the fundamentals before you tackle the interesting stuff.

–If required, hit the library and take out those “for dummies” books to build on your fundamentals and to pick up the jargon. Swallow the macho attitude and read some good books on home improvement. You can save money by borrowing them from the local library or from your friends.

–All that theoretical knowledge will be wasted if it is not accompanied by some practical know-how. Attend workshops that are conducted by stores like home depot, to build on your practical knowledge. Attending a workshop may identify you as a newbie but the advantages far outweighs that dent on your pride, so go for it.

–You need to build up an arsenal of the right tools before you tackle a job. To put your knowledge into use, you need the right instruments and a basic collection of tools is a must for even the simplest job. If the job requires specialized tools, you can rent them for the short term until you are ready to buy them for your own. You should always use the right tool for each activity.

–Helping your friends with their home projects is a nice way to learn some new stuff. You can help him by doing some basic stuff like holding out the tools for him if you are a newbie. But you can learn a lot by observing someone who is competent and by asking the right questions.

–You should approach a job, big or small, only after making a cursory examination of the nature and specifics of the job. A minute’s assessment can end up saving hours in the long run. Plan out your course of action. You need to have a good idea about the number of different steps that are required for a specific job and the tools that are required for each step. You can get stuck on a number of occasions and you can consult a reference book to help you out of such corners. If you are going to do something, do it once and more importantly, do it right.
–Sometimes you need to get back to doing things the good old fashioned way. You can use the experiences of your elders to help you out of tight situations. Sometimes the old fashioned methods have a way of working out when newer and savvier methods fail. And the argument – do the job right with the right tools at the right time – always wins out in the end.

You can find help out there in the local workshops and at the online how-to clinics. They will enable you to be a very handy man with a few simple tools and a good portion of patience.

Medicinal Powers of Acupuncture

Acupuncture needles may be very thin, but they are very powerful. A lot of people hope in the medicinal powers of acupuncture needles, and many people are taking part in this because they are getting a lot of facilities through this. Day by day the popularity of acupuncture are increasing because of its proven track record of medicinal powers.

How Acupuncture Works 
The reason behind acupuncture needles is that the placing of acupuncture needles at these premeditated points gives confidence to the medicinal powers of the body. The body has many remedial controls that will restore and treat. Acupuncture needle mean to help this medicinal and restoration. The expert trainers, who are qualified in acupuncture, must know the premeditated tips in the body that will be helpful, when these needles are placed in. The exporters will place the needles exactly to help the body cure. It is very thin, but has the capacities of curing the disease in as little as a few days and as few as one treatment.

Acupuncture Cures Disease and Chronic Pain 
The curing capacity of acupuncture needle is determined by the correct placement of the needles, but acupuncture is also helpful for further objectives moreover than curative and recovery. Acupuncture has become a treatment of choice for those who have gone through constant ache. A lot of people don’t want a medicine treatment for pain relief. Acupuncture has become popular for an easy cure and can be effective in as little as a few days. 
People that suffer from headache can also be cured from acupuncture. Acupuncture specialists know the right places on the body to reduce pain. While placing these needles into your body, you can feel a little pain, but the pain is negligible. The majority of patients who have underwent acupuncture report that the pain experienced during needle placement is worth the reward of a reduced amount of pain.

Acupuncture for Smokers and Weight Loss? 
New research suggests that acupuncture is very effective in helping individuals quit smoking. Many individuals have tried various methods to quit smoking, the patch, gum, cold turkey, unfortunately they often fail. For these individuals acupuncture is a very viable and recommended treatment. Many individuals who have failed to quit smoking for years are finally free from their addiction after using various acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture for Anxiety 
Acupuncture can be helpful for those are anxious by the pressures in their life. These people can place the needle in the exact place to cure their strain. For individuals who are not interested in taking anxiety medications for whatever reason, acupuncture is a very good option. Acupuncture for anxiety in combination with relaxation techniques has even been shown to be more effective and long lasting than most medications on the market.

Today I Went to Grief Counseling

Today I went to counseling. When someone so close to you dies that is what you are supposed to do, I am told. I am very, very sad and I am in denial. I am very angry and my attitude is not very healthy. You have died and I am supposed to go though the stages of grieving as If it were a schedule I should follow, I paid someone 150 (one hundred fifty dollars), to listen to me. I would have paid any amount to feel different than I am feeling at this moment.

I wanted to have help figuring out how I could drive so far to the hospital and sit with you all day and not cry, not show any emotion at all and be basically fine. Drive all the way back home, not even tired and set my clothes out to do it all again the next day; even when I knew there would be no “next day”.

You know me and you know I don’t accept things without a reason.I was the last person to see you alive and the first to see you when you weren’t. I couldn’t leave your side, not for a moment. I didn’t freak out, I didn’t scream or even cry. It’s not like it is in the movies. Grief counseling said this was normal, I was in shock. I had people to call and things to do, but not really anything to feel. When I did call people, I couldn’t say the words, I did tell everyone to please not ask me questions or I would fall apart. I had to send an email around, the hardest one I ever had to write. I was fine, until I heard someone say that you died. Then I just went into a full panic and needed them to be quiet, to stop saying that. The counselor said that was normal.

I know I said I would let you rest in peace and I’m not, but you told me you would not die, so I guess we are even. This is just so hard now, this part, the living without you here. I am so angry that you didn’t take better care of yourself. I am so angry that I didn’t believe how sick you were and how I pushed you to do more. I am feeling so guilty on top of all this other stuff.

Your doctor said I was a great friend and I should never feel guilty, not for one moment. I had given you four more years of your life than you would not have had if I hadn’t brought you to them. The grief counselor nodded.

I am probably ruining your peaceful time in heaven, but I don’t care right now. We have never been out of touch for more than a day and we were supposed to be little old ladies together and you didn’t keep up your end of the bargain. I’m not sleeping very well and that’s the one thing I was so good at! In time, I will let you rest in peace and I will just be sad, always just sad. I look at the things you have given me over the years. Best friends, Pals forever, but that wasn’t true. The counselor said time would change everything. I wondered if maybe it would bring you back.

I run all day just so I am exhausted and maybe sleep will come. Not today, not yet. Today is 21 days and in all these years we have never been out of touch for more than 24 hours. When I realize that you are gone, I can’t stop crying, I just can’t. I am afraid I will never stop. the grief counselor said I would and had a tight little smile on her face.

We had our thing of never ever saying bye, it was always just nite, never bye. When I left you that last night, I said “I love You, Night”, and you answered the same. I will keep doing this every night. I just can’t say bye. The grief counselor said that was not healthy. The grief counselor was getting me very angry. I told her for 150 (one hundred fifty) dollars I wanted you to come back and then she said I truly did not have a healthy attitude. This much I knew was true.
The grief counselor would never see me again.

Motorcycle Towing Los Angeles – Los Angeles Towing

For a lot of people driving a motorcycle in and around Los Angeles was the best move they ever made for their transportation decisions.

Not only does it never rain in Los Angeles and you don’t have to worry about bad weather, but driving a motorcycle also allows you to weave in and around stand still traffic and never have to wait in line with all the losers who drive cars.

Everyone who’s been on the roads see just how much motorcycles have an advantage, and even if it may be pretty dangerous to skip a bunch of traffic motorcyclists across Los Angeles will always do so, but trouble always happens to everyone out on the roads in Los Angeles.

If you drive a motorcycle and something happens to it and you all of a sudden need a tow you might be wondering who exactly to call, but the answer is and always will be the Los Angeles Towing Company.

By being one of the best towing companies in all of Los Angeles the Los Angeles Towing Company is by far more multifaceted than its competitors and can easily help out people through motorcycle towing.

So the next time you need to have your motorcycle towed don’t be a bonehead and call the Los Angeles Towing Company and have them get to your location and get you and your bike off the road and to a much safer location where you can then get your motorcycle fixed up and get you back on the road with the wind in your hair and your leather jacket to good use.

Next Post : Top Skokie Towing Companies

Acupuncture Canada The Natural Health Domain

Forward Chinese Medicine is an exciting and rapidly growing health discipline. Although it is relatively new to the West, it is, in fact, thousands of years old, and due to its efficacy, it will be around for thousands more. It is exciting to see its emergence in cities small and large across the country, and to be in the midst of it all. As a profession in B.C., and all across Canada, Chinese Medicine has a very strong foothold that is continually growing stronger. We are now recognized by the Ministry of Health and we are self-regulating. Also, many extended health care plans now cover acupuncture, and both I.C.B.C. and W.C.B. accept acupuncture claims. These are all signs of growth that indicate continual wider acceptance by the public and private sectors.

One of the wonderful things about Chinese Medicine is that its focus is on health rather than on disease. Therefore, ideally it is used to preserve health and to prevent disease. This is a simple idea, but one that is very different from the focus of Western Medicine that most of us have grown up with. Most people who enter our clinics do have a disease or concern that has brought them to us, but our focus is still on their health and bringing them back to this state, as well as educating people on how to stay that way.

In the past in China, and indeed in many small villages still, the focus on health was very apparent. In these places, Doctors of Traditional Chinese Medicine were not paid when anyone in their village was ill. Their job was to keep everyone healthy and it was only in so doing that they would make their living. This model would be impossible to apply here in the West, but it is a wonderful illustration of the beauty of Chinese Medicine at its best.

MISSION AND OBJECTIVES Our goal at the West Coast Institute of Oriental Medicine is to provide quality education and training in the discipline of acupuncture and traditional Chinese diagnosis. Upon completion of the program, each graduate will have the skills necessary to write all licensing examinations and will be ready to begin their careers as T.C.M. acupuncturists.


  1. To provide a two and a half year diploma program in T.C.M. based acupuncture.
  2. To provide a strong foundation in the traditional art that is Chinese Medicine.
  3. To meet and surpass all guidelines set by the governing body of acupuncture.
  4. To instill a strong business sense in each student.
  5. To maintain small class sizes in order to better facilitate learning.
  6. To provide students with clinical experience and the public with these services.
  7. To help each student to set up a clinical internship.


The West Coast Institute of Oriental Medicine is located in Nanaimo, B.C.. Nanaimo is located in central Vancouver Island with easy accessibility to Vancouver, Victoria, the Sunshine Coast and the Pacific Rim. Our surroundings include the ocean, the gulf islands as well as mountains and lakes. If you enjoy the outdoors, there is ample opportunity for kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing amongst others. It offers affordable living in comparison to the expenses of big city living. Along with the academic focus, the West Coast Institute of Oriental Medicine is proud to provide the experience of West Coast living.

The college itself is located within walking distance of downtown Nanaimo and is one block off of the water. The clinic has been in this location for three years and is continually expanding its services.

Source: Acupuncture Arlington

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