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Simple Tips for Fixing Common Home Repair Problems

Posted By: on September 25, 2014


If you own a home, or even if you rent, you’re bound to run into some problems every now and then that need fixing. The issues you’ll face can range from holes in the drywall to clogged toilets and leaky roofs. Having a few handyman tricks up your sleeve can save the day and save a lot of money. It’s easy to do most of these fixes. All you need is a decent set of tools and a bit of knowledge, and you’ll be known as Mr. or Mrs. Fix-It by all your friends and family.

Know Your Drywall

Drywall, plaster, and sheetrock; people call it different things in different parts of the country. There’s also different ways to spray-finish it, too, with splatter-knockdown, orange peel and flat coatings being popular applications. Drywall is something that can easily get damaged by kids, doors and a myriad of other causes. However, knowing a quick patch technique can save you money and headaches.

  1. Mark and Score – Let’s take a small, fist-sized hole as an example. Get a carpenter’s square or any straight edge and mark with a pencil a square around the hole. Be sure to make the outline larger than the hole and give yourself an inch or two of unbroken drywall. With a razor knife, score the drywall along the pencil line.
  2. Knock Out the Old Drywall – Now, with a chisel and hammer, bust the damaged drywall out of the hole and clean up the edges.
  3. Cut and Attach Wood Strips – Behind the two horizontal sides of the drywall square, attach two strips of two inch by one inch wood backing to the inside of the drywall with at least three, two inch wood screws. A drill will come in handy for this application.
  4. Apply the Patch – Take tight measurements of the hole, and cut out a new piece of drywall. Place the square piece within the hole and attach with a few wood screws. Grab some drywall tape and mud and cover the joints. If the patch is lower than the existing wall-plane, fill it up with mud and sand it flush once it dries.
  5. Spray Your Finish Coat – You can find several different kinds of spray textures in the can at your local hardware store.

Maintain Your Roof

A major problem area, especially on older homes, is the roof and gutter system. Clogs in valleys can lead to leaks and damage. This is because rain water cannot properly drain and backs-up under the metal flashing and shingles, leaking into your home. Keeping your gutters free and clear will prevent most problems. It’s a good idea to regularly clean out your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clear, especially in the fall when a lot of leaves and debris builds-up.

Maintenance is simple. Grab a ladder or gain access to your roof and move down the gutter line removing any clutter. Heavily clogged downspouts can be sprayed out with a pressure washer or use a toilet snake. Following a good maintenance plan will ensure you avoid costly repairs in the future.

It’s good to know a thing or two about fixing the stuff in your home. Most the time solid maintenance will keep everything in working order.

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Microsoft Online Video Training Covers the Waterfront

Posted By: on September 20, 2014


Since the advent of online courses for colleges and professional seminars, the number of students who pursue degrees or certification online has increased substantially. The only real drawback for professionals has been scheduling.

With work and other planned activities, it can be difficult to maintain the commitment to spend quality time in front of a live class … whether online or in person. Fortunately, the curriculum for Microsoft Online Training has developed to the point where it’s possible to offer online training videos in seminar format that supplant a live course, and that allows students to train on their own time.

Is the success rate the same as in a live course?

Surprisingly, the distractions of a live course are not a factor with the training videos. In addition, the videos can be controlled with regard to speed, and you can advance or rewind them to watch a portion again. The net effect is that students have a pure learning experience in which they can re-experience as much as they like, and thereby solidify any areas that that might require extra review to master.

A downside of live courses can be that once they are taken, you have only your notes to fall back on. So it isn’t surprising to see similar success rates.

In addition, a comprehensive study done a few years ago showed that most learners perform better when there’s an online component to their coursework.

Are there other benefits to using a video format?

One very cool feature that’s typically included allows you to take notes while the video is playing and compiles a record of your thoughts on the seminar for later use. Some providers also include related information files as part of the package, and even offer sample exams as an option for learners to hone their skills.

At CBTnuggets.com, clients can make use of a virtual lab that allows them to test what they’ve covered in the video course. So instead of trying to line up all the necessary software and build another server, you can use what the company has online and focus on working within a pre-built environment.

If you’re taking courses under a certain subscription, CBTNuggets also offers the capability to download a video and watch it on your offline device. Finally, because the firm recognizes that it’s important to help students achieve what they set out to on their particular timeline, the company also makes motivation coaches available who can provide extra impetus and keep you on schedule.

What’s the scope of Microsoft Online Video Training?

If you’re used to working through Microsoft certifications, the videos that are available form the complete coursework for various certifications. Not only is the Windows Server series available, but programming, database, and e-mail server course series are offered as well.

The overall scope should be quite familiar to people who have taken Microsoft certification exams in the past. In other words, CBTnuggets.com offers a complete set of videos that will qualify you to take the Microsoft certification exams for the MCSA, MCSE, MCTS, and MCITP certifications.

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TopCultured Legends

ATM Hacking For Beginners

Posted By: on February 21, 2011

Watch Dog [Alligator Sunglasses] The Police Are Not Your Friend [Prose Before Hos] The Best Female Celebrity Hair Styles of 2010 [Social Hype] Kinect Hack Lets You Throw Your Own Hadoukens [Walyou] Drunk Celebrities [Izismile] Read On »

Rory MacDonald: 20 Years Old, Fighting In The UFC

Posted By: on March 16, 2010

Way to make me feel pretty pathetic about my life – Canadian Rory MacDonald is a professional MMA fighter with a 9-0 record who just got signed by the UFC and is making his debut Read On »

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Where SEO Has Gone This Year

Posted By: on September 20, 2014


Search engine optimization — or as everyone calls it, SEO — has been evolving since the early days of the Internet, well before a company by the name of Google turned the practice into a science. You can thank Panda, Penguin, and a boatload of black hat marketers for that.

Link farms were the beginning of the end. What we’re left with now, thanks to all the algorithms that the major search engines have installed, is what SEO was meant to be all along … real and honest.

You can’t buy customers anymore

According to Point It, the specialist in Seattle SEO, organic or non-paid search results account for about 80% of the total searches that occur now. In other words, buying your way to targeted traffic is no longer as easy as some would have you think.

And for the most competitive keywords, the cost per click is astronomical, which makes it almost unfeasible to advertise with pay-per-click services. So if you want your website to be seen, you need to play the SEO game. There’s really no way around that.

Part of the game is knowing who the top players are in the search engine wars, because they’re the ones who essentially control how high up the SERPs your site is going to go. According to List Of Search Engines, the top 10 consist of Google at no. 1, followed by Yahoo, Bing, Ask, DuckDuckGo, Yandex, ScrubTheWeb, Entireweb, Blekko, and Gigablast.

If you add up the number of unique monthly visitors for each of these search engines, Google gets 182 million of the roughly 570 million garnered by all the sites, or a little over 30%. This explains why Google pretty much rules the Internet as far as search results and how much traffic any particular site will get.

How people find things

Now, if you return to Seattle SEO’s findings, more than 60% of searchers click on the top three listings, and about 36% of the searchers believe that the top listings are the experts in that field. If they don’t find what they want in the first three pages, about 88% of the searchers will either change their search parameters or go to another search engine.

You can see why getting organic traffic is so difficult if your website isn’t properly set up for SEO. Just how can you make your website “SEO friendly”?

The key to scoring high

In theory that shouldn’t be hard. But black hatters continue to game the system, which forces the search engines to change their algorithms regularly.

Essentially, ranking high in the SERPs is a matter of adding unique content to your site on a regular basis, making navigation around the site easy and its look appealing to visitors, and making sure the content can be easily indexed by the search engine robots.

If this is something you feel hesitant to tackle on your own, you might want to hire an SEO professional to do the work for you. They’ll ensure that your site meets the basic requirements of the search engines and give you your best chance to rank high in the listings.

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How to Plan a Successful Basement Remodel

Posted By: on September 17, 2014

Typically, one of the last places that gets finished or remodeled in a home is the basement. Even if that’s because the basement is usually less visible than other areas of the home, it still adds value and living space to your home and benefits your family.

If you’re preparing to attempt a basement remodel, a few aspects of the project are common to nearly everyone’s remodeling experience. Here are a few items to study before you get started.

First things first

There may be a few homeowners out there who believed their basement was waterproof and went ahead with a full remodel, but they probably had a wet winter pour water into their basement, just like what happened to everybody else.

Weather changes and so does the water table sometimes. So it’s important for you to take measures before you start a remodel to ensure your basement will not flood.

If you live in a region that experiences heavy winter storms or substantial spring rains, then it’s a good idea to have an expert inspect the drainage systems around your basement. If it appears that drainage systems alone won’t do the trick, you may want to consider installing a sump pump that will go on when the water table rises.

That’s an effective way to ensure that your basement will stay dry year-round.

Coordination is key to success

People sometimes say that one of the biggest strains on a marriage is doing a remodel together. That isn’t really all that true, but it does highlight the fact that there will be some inconveniences to your family in terms of living space as the work progresses, with resulting stress.

According to some basement remodel specialists, there’s a way to minimize the strain of having to coordinate work with multiple vendors: include a project manager on every project. When you have a single point of contact who knows everything about the state of the job and is in charge of all of the subcontractors who are doing the specialized work, it makes your experience a lot easier than it would be if you did all the work yourself.

Don’t hold back on design

A lot of families use their finished basement as an extension of their house during parties. They entertain guests in a movie room or use a rear patio-basement combination as the perfect party area during the summer.

This is reflected in some of the most popular materials that have been chosen for basement remodels over the past few years. From stone facing on columns, to marble fireplace inserts, or granite slab countertops in a common area, homeowners are dressing up their basement so they can enjoy their entire home.

So when it comes to making design choices, remember to choose materials and styles that will last for a very long time. You don’t necessarily have to hold back because “it’s just a basement.”

When you’re ready to get started remodeling your basement space, it can be an exciting time for the family. Just remember that focusing on the right parts of the process during the planning stage can help make the job a truly enjoyable experience.

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4 Ways to Fight the Stress of Job Hunting While Unemployed

Posted By: on September 16, 2014


Gone are the days of life-long careers. Unlike previous generations, the modern workplace thrives on constantly rotating workforces. The flux of hiring, layoffs, and resignations can seem overwhelming to navigate as you seek your next job. The digital era has enabled dozens of competitors to apply electronically, which increase response rate times from hiring departments. These periods can seem excruciatingly long for anxious job seekers. Here are four ways to take your mind off the stress of the job search.

Stay Productive

When you first become unemployed, it might seem like a neat vacation from work. But if you land a gig right away, the inactivity might start driving you crazy. Don’t sit idle waiting for the offers to roll in. Use your spare time wisely by volunteering for causes you’re passionate about. Volunteer work can serve as experience on your resume and give you important talking points during your interviews. Or begin a personal project that you’ve been putting off for a significant amount of time.

Try New Versions of Your Resume

If you’re not getting anywhere with your current resume or cover letter, then test new ones out. Create a variety of drafts with different styles and content. It can be nearly impossible to tell what recruiters are looking for. If your current resume doesn’t resonate with businesses, then perhaps a variation will.

Stay Healthy

Discouragement and anxiety can build during the job seeking process, especially if you don’t receive callbacks right away. You can stave off negative emotions by getting exercise and eating healthy. Use your extra time to reach new fitness goals and explore affordable physical activities in your neighborhood. Visit community centers, such as local libraries, to learn about free events that can be personally enriching.

Follow Up

Recruiters are oftentimes flooded with responses to job postings. Note the dates of your applications, and schedule follow-ups one to two weeks after your application. Check in via email or over the phone. This reminds recruiters of your continued availability and interest in a position.

Searching for work while you’re currently unemployed can be extremely stressful. However, your situation can turn around within moments after you receive a call back or job offer. Don’t let this process get you down. Stay active, practice your interview skills, and learn as much as you can about the industry you’re exploring. Keep a positive attitude while focusing on your goals, and you’ll start seeing results!

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Boom Go the “Tides”

Posted By: on September 9, 2014

Check out the hot new music phenomena Lindsey Stirling’s newest video “Master of Tides”. In the high energy video, she crosses unsuspecting shoppers and swashbuckling adventure, much to the thrill and surprise of the patrons. Even Poseidon and the mighty Kraken make an appearance. With choreography by the world renowned Suze Q and brought to you by UE Boom, it’s a spectacle no one will soon forget. For more info, visit www.MakeMusicSocial.com.

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What Sets You Apart from the Rest?

Posted By: on September 3, 2014

One of the greatest roads to happiness is finding and expressing yourself in a unique and authentic way. Unfortunately, the road to happiness through self-expression is paved with inner fears, worrying what others will think, limiting outlooks about life, negative social conditioning and a lack of knowledge and insight.

How You Speak Can Make a Difference

How you speak can have an impact on how you navigate through life. It’s about learning how to speak the language of your trade or profession. If you’re not presently employed, it might be about how well you fit in with your social group. How you speak will change over a lifetime, but each new way of expressing yourself should be authentically, you. Living up to other people’s expectations won’t always make you feel good about yourself. Find your voice and way of expressing things.

Working Hard to Be Authentic

Just saying to yourself that you are who you are, that there’s nothing more to work on and that the job is finished isn’t a recipe for finding your authentic self. To really find out who you are and what your contribution to the world will be takes hard work. Keep in mind that true authenticity is a byproduct of eliminating the limitations that have held you back. Authenticity requires that you know what you believe in. At their earliest stages, children are like sponges who easily take on the belief systems of those they look up to. Some belief systems will serve them well while others will not.

Hints of Who Your Authentic Self Might Be

Believe it or not, children have a vision of who they could be at a very young age. The secret is in their dreams and in their play time. An alert parent can tap into this energy and help guide their child along the right path. Thinking back, what made you laugh as a child? Laughter is a good feeling and is a true indication of the things we feel good about. Identify with that inner happiness and apply it to life. Go back in time and observe yourself.

Do You Feel Comfortable with How You Dress?

Whether you prefer wearing suits or dressing casual, wearing shoes or strolling barefoot, you should wear what makes you comfortable. Obviously, there will be limitations and restrictions based on the type of work you do. Your free time is time to express your own authenticity. Express yourself in how you dress. People are visual, and what you wear can speak volumes about you.

Finding Your Flow

Your life is an experience of extremes that are filled with anxiety and periods of rest. It’s easy to allow boredom to take over during passive moments. One way to combat this is to fill our moments with tasks that require a high degree of commitment or skills. Instead of watching television, practice playing an instrument, study a language or get involved in a sports activity.

Complete engagement is an excellent way to discover your authenticity.

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An “Especial” Collaboration

Posted By: on September 2, 2014

As part of a video series showcasing craftsmen and their skills, Modelo Especial focuses on collaboration between artisans. Metalworkers, tattoo artists and street artists have come together to discuss their definition of craftsmanship. Garry Alderman of Method Bicycle, tattoo artist Big Sleeps, and famed street artists Daniel Lahoda, Zimad, Sego, and Joe Ficalora, founder of The
Bushwick Collective all share their insight into what makes a craftsman great. Check it out:

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Passion for Life

Posted By: on September 1, 2014

Is your life lived outside the lines? Do you have dreams and ideas outside of the norm? Then you’re living the spirit of Sailor Jerry. Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins dedicated his life to the pursuit of his dream. Sailor Jerry rum is a direct result of that dedication. Be a visionary and live an extraordinary life. Check out the video and visit the site for more information.

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Get The Right Lawyer For Your Case

Posted By: on August 30, 2014

When it comes to having your day in court and winning, you don’t want just any lawyer. You want a lawyer who has won your type of case. Complex cases such as ERISA and SSA disability claims are only mastered by a few lawyers, and even fewer of them have high rates of winning their client’s cases. You want to make sure you find a lawyer with extensive knowledge on both of the above topics. Settling on a lawyer who has won a vast amount of cases, gives you a greater chance of a positive outcome.

Identify Great References

You will find that satisfied clients don’t hesitate to recommend the firm that helped them win their case to their closest friends and family. A law firm, which has a huge archive of testimonials is also an indication of just how much it has helped people.

ERISA and SSA Claims

ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and it is often used when referring to the laws about benefit plans for employees. Whether you want to file for a long or short term ERISA or SSA disability claim, remember that a firm can manage your case best if you consult them before filing. Law firms, which specialize in these subjects also handle cases of related topics such as disability insurance claims, long term care claims and retirement claims specific to the state in which you reside. They will sit down with you and carry out the consultation absolutely free of charge. In fact, you don’t have to pay them at all unless they win your case.

A Good Firm Will Make Your Life Easier

You may already be battling the effects of old age, the injury that has caused your disability or financial problems due to your predicament. The added burden of worrying about whether your lawyer can get the job done is one you won’t have to concern yourself with if you start out by choosing a good firm. One trait of a good firm is that it shows its clients genuine care and attentiveness. They will keep you up-to-date every step of the way, so you always know how your case is progressing.

Don’t Worry About Your Location

With many of these types of law firms, your location is not an issue. Some firms, though they are based in a single state, have won thousands of Social Security cases all over the US. There are also those, which have won cases concerning every major disability carrier in the nation and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. Today, more than ever, winning these types of claims is becoming more rare. Companies and firms often don’t want to pay out because finances are tight, but the bottom line is, you deserve compensation.

So if you are in a situation where it seems like you won’t get the compensation you deserve or there is no one suitable to handle your case, then look for a firm with the attributes mentioned above. It doesn’t matter if you have tried your case and you have been denied because a good firm knows all the angles to work to get a better outcome for you. You can begin by visiting the firm’s website, and filling out a form so you can get a free consultation.

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