Success in Learning

Enhancing Your Lifestyle

How to Choose the Best Residential Roofing Contractor

The roof will determine the safety and the energy-efficiency of your home. The quality of the execution is predominantly dependent on the experience of the roofing contractor. Dedicate some time to finding the right professional for the job and follow these tips to make up your mind.

Find a Certified Specialist
Your first job should be to verify that the contractor has the appropriate business licenses and certification. Reputable contractors usually have such information listed on their corporate website.

Talk to Friends and Relatives
Have friends and relatives recently carried out a roof renovation or a windows Omaha project? Ask questions and use their experience as an opportunity to find the right professional for the job.

Alternatively, you can look at online reviews and testimonials. Many people are willing to write about their experience with a particular contractor, giving you a good idea about the best and the worst aspects.

Get a Written Proposal
Ask your contractor to provide a detailed written proposal that contains information about the time frame of the project, the cost of materials, the labor costs and the planned safety measures.

Remember to sign the contract only after you have seen the contractor’s license and have read and understood the warranty and the insurance information regarding the upcoming project. Keep these documents in a file and don’t throw them away after the completion of the project. You may need the contract and the proposal as a reference in the future.

Compare Options
In order to find the best contractor for your needs, you should compare the offers provided by different professionals. Ask questions and explore different aspects of working together. The price is one of the factors but it’s far from the most crucial one.

The experience and reputation of professionals can tell you a lot about the manner in which they tackle projects. Take your time, do online research and ask questions. If you’re concerned about quality, you will need to put a bit of effort in doing your homework.

Get Perfect Apple Slices with a Spiral Slicer

pie-1-986556-mBaking a delicious apple pie for dessert doesn’t have to be a chore. Are you postponing peeling and slicing the scrumptious apples you bought at the store yesterday? Turn that tedious job into a breeze with a spiral slicer for fruits, such as the one designed by Loopy Apple. This handy gadget is perfect to leave on the counter so it’s always ready for use.

Stability is an important part of using any kitchen tool. The Loopy Apple system has a heavy duty suction cup on the bottom. Simply press the handle down to secure the peeler on the countertop, table, or cutting board. Peel all the apples you need without worrying about the machine sliding around.

The core is removed by the center piece holding the apple while it turns. Remove the apple when the peeling’s done. If you notice any peel left on the apple, use a paring knife to nick it off. Apples aren’t always a perfect round shape, so a bit of trimming is needed. It’s hardly a problem with the resulting process being easier than coring, peeling, and slicing the apples one by one.

Once you’ve peeled enough apples for the pie, cut each apple in half. Thanks to the spiral slicer, you’ll discover the pieces evenly fall away and are all perfectly shaped for munching now or baking. Arrange the pieces in the baking dish. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with your favorite type of crust. Lattice work strips will show off the matched slices to perfection!

Feel free to experiment with other fruits and vegetables. Do the kids love curly fries? You’ll get the same fancy look for your potatoes as the restaurants serve when you use a spiral slicer on the russets from your garden or supermarket! The easy cleanup is an additional bonus for being creative in your kitchen.

Gutters for Your Home in Omaha

Telče_-_rain_gutterYou know how important your roof is and how it protects your home from the elements, but did you know that your gutters play an equally important part, and that without efficient guttering your home could be severely compromised?

In a city like Omaha your exteriors need to be durable and long lasting. The weather extremes we see in the Midwest mean that everything from your downpipes to your collection systems could be pushed to their limit any time a storm strikes.

More than Just Water Collection

Your gutters in Omaha aren’t simply there to catch water. More specifically, they work to take the water away from your roof and direct it away from the structure of your home. Water entry and moisture build up could mean a damaged roof, rotted building frames, mold and mildew, and even foundation damage. Considering this it’s easy to understand how leaky spouting could lead to disaster in your home.

Maintaining your gutters means regular inspection and always installing the best materials. Your gutters don’t have to be an afterthought on the overall design of your home. Gutters can complement the look of your roof, and pipes can also be turned in to features. Just think how a copper downpipe could beautify your home by contrasting against neutrally finished siding.

Your guttering can even be made to work for you. Collection barrels can be installed to recycle water for gardening and exterior cleaning. You could even install a system that further diverts water away from your home to avoid soil erosion.

Premier Exteriors offers gutter installations in Omaha that can be customized to suit any home and budget. Our gutters are manufactured using a constant seal that eliminates the risk of leaks. Being a local company, we’re familiar with the weather extremes in Omaha, so we know how to build and install a system that will withstand anything that your roof can.

Talk to us whether you need a completely new gutter, repairs, or even an after-storm inspection. Ensuring your gutters are working as designed will protect your home and ensure it’s a safe and comfortable place for you and your family.

Martial Arts Styles and Muay Thai

Thais are tribal people and have had to defend their country from many invaders throughout their history. As such, they have developed their own brand of martial art. Muay Thai is the devastating “science of 8 limbs” developed over thousands of years ago. The exact date of the creation of this fighting art is not known but it is widely believed to be over 2000 years old. Muay Thai used to be referred to as Pahuyuth (multi-faceted fighting style) hundred years back, but Muay Thai itself is only part of the whole Thai fighting system that covers weapons and groundwork which is often referred to as Ling-Lom. This most effective of fighting techniques has evolved from the cultural artform of the Siamese warriors of the past. It has also become an International sport with a proud heritage.
From time immemorial, Muay Thai had been practiced in imperial contests. During the early times, this would occur in any location such as jungle clearings, courtyards, a village square or any area of flat ground. There were no time keepers or rounds, and no forbidden moves, the winner being the boxer who remained standing. Boxers would fight with their forearms strapped in rope and their fists bound with strips of raw cotton.

In 1929, the switch was made to the type of gloves worn in International boxing, the contests became standardized and contained in a ring. Today, Muay Thai contests are fought over five, three-minute rounds with two minute breaks between rounds, a referee and three judges awarding points for effective strikes.

According to Kung Fu Temple, experts in martial arts instruction Muay Thai is now one of the most popular martial arts practiced all over the world. Just like any other form of martial arts, Muay Thai will enable the practitioner to develop many skills and attributes. Though most people would list physical fitness as an obvious benefit of studying Muay Thai, few people really understand all the physical benefits. One will realize increased strength and flexibility, stronger bones and joints, increased stamina and energy, better coordination and balance, weight loss, and lean muscle gain. One will also benefit in terms of increased coordination, flexibility, strength, endurance, and stress relief through constant practice of the martial arts.

In addition to physical skills, there are many noticeable spiritual and mental benefits. Some of the more subtle, but equally important benefits of martial arts lessons for kids and adults are; concentration, confidence, courage, awareness, respect, etiquette, self – discipline and humility.

Getting Help for Troubled Teens

When your teenager starts to get out of hand you have to ask yourself some hard questions. The first step is to honestly evaluate how you think you’re doing when communicating with your teen. Do you feel you are sharing valuable information and time? Or do you feel there is a communication gap and he’s hiding something?

Look for these warning signs:

∑ Low self-esteem

∑ Out of touch with reality

∑ sudden personality changes and mood swings

∑ Violent behavior

∑ Drop in grades and school performance

∑ self destructive actions or language (suicide threats or extreme diet & exercise)

∑ reclusive tendencies

∑ debilitating fears

Any of those behaviors done on a frequent basis can indicate a problem. At this point you should seek outside assistance. Donít be too proud to ask for help.

If you feel your efforts aren’t working (or aren’t good enough) first enlist the assistance of your extended circle of friends and family. Get everyone involved to bolster the spirits of your teen. Show him that he has a support system in place that he can count in. Work on building back trust in your relationship. If your child opens up to another family member better than you, keep your resentment inside, the focus should be on helping your teen.

Sometimes you need to bring in professionals. Donít wait too long on this step if your child is getting out of control. A delay can be costly. But where should you turn next? Consider these options:

∑ School guidance counselor – this person deals with teenagers (especially troubled ones) on a daily basis, they are an excellent resource for insight into what might be happening among the social scenes at school. They also have quick easy access to your child during the day.

∑ Outside counselors and psychologists – These professionals have degrees in counseling and therapy. Some specialize in therapy while others focus on testing. Its best to find someone who deals with teenagers a lot, they usually relate better to the younger generation.

∑ Social workers – these individuals are often called in to work with families as a group and are quite familiar with emotional problems in a social setting. They can help identify issues related to family dynamics. This can be helpful if there are frequent conflicts at home.

∑ Psychiatrists – these are medical doctors (yes, they went to medical school) who are allowed to prescribe medication and can hospitalize patients. Generally you would reserve this professional for a later step as licensed counselors are often a less expensive and personal approach to teen troubles.

Therapy can become expensive so check with your insurance plan to see which services are covered. Some companies impose limits on the type of services available and/or the frequency of visits. If cost is an issue don’t forget that school counselors are typically free. You could also contact a local university or college, free clinics, counseling training programs, and state run offices. Some offices offer sliding scale pricing for lower income families. It’s important not to let money stop you from seeking help. The well being of your child and your family depend on it. Elk River Treatment Program can help get your teen back on track.

Find Natural Medicine

Why wait for the winter flu to come around? Wouldn’t it be better if we could take some measures to avoid it in the first place? Here are five simple ideas that can keep you flu-free through winter time. They are all very simple to follow. Actually, any one can take these steps towards a healthier winter. The best doctors prevent sickness by keeping your body balanced, this is their real job and as a result you stay healthy.

1. Sleep Well
At winter time our body invests energy in keeping us warm. We need to let it use fresh new energy gained from good sleep. People who lack sleep time will, eventually, be more likely to get sick as their body immunity system will not be functioning normally.

2. Drink hot tea
On wintertime we consume less liquids and it’s important to balance the level of our body liquids. Avoid coffee for it is diuretic, and you end up loosing more liquids than gaining. Drink what ever type of warm tea or simply water with lemon and cinnamon. That will keep you warm and your energy flowing.

3. Heat and Cold
Catching flu can be some times a result of moving from hot places to cold ones and the opposite. You could be sitting next to your hot fireplace and then you out to the cold. Your body is not ready for the cold and essential parts could absorb cold wind. Wait before you move from heated places to cold ones, get dressed warmly and protect areas like your neck and shoulders.

4. Eat but do not overfeed
We need to adjust our eating habits to the current season. On winter time our inner process are slowed down. As a result if you tend to eat too much you are over loading your body and the digesting system is unable to properly perform its task. This leads to a decrease in your energy level and a weak person might weaken his immunity system as well.

5. Stay Active
Staying active is extremely important to normal functioning of your body. Have you wondered why children are always on the move? They behave naturally with their body keeping it in none stopping movement. Well, you do not have to move all the time but try a daily moderate activity such as walking for 30-40 minutes. This will allow proper flow of energy in your body.

These are all very simple ideas I perform every winter and the results are amazing. I don’t suffer more on wintertime than on summertime. And the most important thing is having the time for the important things in life and not being sick all winter long.

For more health tips visit your local SportsMed facility

Becoming a Ballet Dancer

Ballet is a graceful and beautiful dance, some would say, the most beautiful style of dance.

the-dancer-679992-mPerhaps you have been enthralled by performances you’ve seen and desperately want to know what it takes to become a ballerina or you just want to learn how to dance the ballet?

Continue reading for the answers to some of your questions about becoming a ballet dancer and gaining the amazing ability to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

What does it take?

It takes discipline and years of training but eventually, for the best dancers, all the hard work will pay off as they fly effortlessly across the stage to the strains of the most beautiful music.

The thing all ballet dancers have in common though, is the love of the dance with its grace and beauty of movement, whether the goal is becoming an international star or simply staying fit by learning, doing and enjoying ballet.

Ballet can be as simple as doing the moves alone in your bedroom or getting involved with the most complex steps used by the stars in the various ballet companies around the globe. It can be performed and enjoyed by the very young and the not so young.

When to Start?

One often asked question is at what age should children start their ballet training? The physical demands of ballet exercises are often too extreme for the soft bones of children under the age of eight, so age 8+ seems to be about the best time to start formal training, although starting between the ages of 10 and 12 can still enable people to have rich careers in ballet.

However, if children really want to start earlier, between the ages of 4-8 they can take pre-ballet classes. In these classes, children learn to move to the rhythm of various styles of music and may even begin learning the ballet positions and being introduced the importance of posture to the dancer. Introducing creative movement to kids can encourage them to develop their imaginations as well as their physical abilities.

The History of Ballet

Ballet has been danced for centuries. The basics of ballet – positions and techniques – were developed during the Renaissance in the Italian and French courts of the 15th century and later in Russia. Classical ballet was developed under the tutelage of the French king, Louis XIV who had been an avid dancer in his youth. In 1661 he set up the first Royal Academy of Dance. This very technical dance form developed its own vocabulary, largely derived from French terminology.

Women were not considered robust enough to dance the challenging roles, so it was men who danced the primary roles. Women finally did take to the stage in roles created for them by daring choreographers. Choreographers spend considerable time matching the precise movements and techniques with the music, and in the process create emotionally stirring ballet dances.

Folk stories, fairy tales, bible stories and even historical events form the basis for many famous ballets. In the early 1900’s, ballet was redefined, and one might even say, re-invented by the Russian ballet school and Imperial theatres. Ballet has been updated many times since with the introduction of modern music and modern techniques, but it is the classic style of the late Romantic ballet, that highlights the pointe work of the female dancers in their tutus.

Go to Tutu Etoile To learn the movements and techniques, to gain and retain proficiency, ballet dancers must practice and train for years. But thanks to all their hard work, we as the audience, can enjoy this fabulous form of dance with all of its magical stories.

Irish Coffee History and Recipe

coffee-267268-mThe Port of Foyne was a busy air traffic point between Europe and United States in the 1930s and 1940s, carrying a diverse range of people from refugees and Royal members. It was the winter of 1934, the flight from Foyne left to New York in extremely bad weather that eventually caused the flight to return. Chef Joe Sheridan working at the restaurant in the terminal building offered tired passengers the coffee drink mixed with a quality Irish whiskey. One American passenger asked if that’s Brazilian coffee, and the chef answered, “that’s Irish coffee.”

In 1952 Jack Koeppler, owner of Buena Vista in San Fransisco brought the Irish Coffee recipe back to the United States and made it famous. Every year, the Foynes Flying Boat Museum holds an Irish Coffee Festival in August. The festival has the world’s best Irish Coffee making competition.

The Original Irish Coffee
Joe, Sheridan, Foynes Flying Boat Museum

Cream – Rich as an Irish Brogue
Coffee- Strong as Friendly Hand
Sugar – Sweet as the tongue of a Rouge
Irish Whiskey – smooth as the Wit of the Land

In a warm stemmed whiskey goblet, pour one jigger of Jameson Irish whiskey. Add one spoon of brown sugar and fill with strong black coffee within one inch of brim. Stir to dissolve the sugar and top off with whipped cream, slightly aerated by pouring it over the back of a spoon. Do not stir after adding the cream as the true flavor is obtained by drinking the hot coffee and Irish whiskey through the cream.

The Classic Irish Coffee
– 2 oz Jameson Irish Whiskey
– 2 teaspoons brown sugar
– 5 – 6 oz freshly brewed strong black coffee

Stir thoroughly and top off with a layer of heavy whipping cream, poured gently over the back of a spoon.

 

Check out My Cap for some interesting facts about coffee.

Using Wilderness Therapy for Troubled Teens

teens-995273-mAre you the parent of a teenager that is getting into trouble too often, using drugs, defying you, trying to deal with excessive anger and other behavioral problems? A wilderness therapy program may be the answer you are seeking.

These programs can intervene in powerful and effective ways for teenagers, teaching them assertiveness, independence, maturity and self-reliance. The out-of-doors are used to help them develop self-confidence by learning basic survival skills, gaining important hands-on experiences in a natural, but unpredictable environment.

The best programs provide assessment, diagnosis, treatment and education services at a base camp with a professional treatment team and support staff. By combining medication management directed by trained doctors, regular family, group and individual therapy and an ongoing personalized academic program, teens are given the structure for successful growth.

If, after reading this article, you feel this is something that could help your troubled teen, find out more by contacting Elk River Treatment Program.

Wilderness Therapy – What Exactly Is It?

Developed as an alternative to residential or inpatient care, wilderness therapy has two meanings:
the use of the wilderness as “the therapist”, or
activities that are therapeutic carried out in the wilderness.

Teens are not simply thrown into the hardships of living in the wilderness, however the purpose of these programs is to removed them from their usual negative influences and put them into a safe place, one in which they can actually learn and grow.

Through well-planned, reasonable and necessary activities in the wilderness, they will be challenged and encouraged to succeed. The adversity the teens encounter will help form bonds and teach them to work as a team to overcome the challenges set for them. Wilderness therapy is based on action methods, is experiential and includes both individual and group therapy sessions.

Activities

Since behavior changes involve both social and environmental reinforcement, becoming leaders and/or part of a team, in often difficult terrain and adverse weather conditions, will provide opportunities to make choices and have to deal with the consequences. Members of staff are trained to provide authority figures but without any kind of authoritarianism. Therapists provide the assessment and monitoring of problems and progress as well as provide reinforcement for growth and development.

Among the activities most programs offer are:
living in primitive conditions
skills training for living outdoors
leadership training and team building
daily structured activities
courses and expeditions to challenge participants
having to deal with the consequences of one’s choices and actions
academic education classes.

There are major differences among the various treatment programs available so the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has developed a list of questions that parents can ask to help them ascertain if a particular program is right for their teenager. Not every program is are right for every teenager, choose carefully.

Subaru Concept Cars

Have you ever looked at the super showy cars at a motor show and wondered how you’d feel driving a particular beauty? You might be surprised to learn that often these concept cars aren’t even road worthy! They look great but aren’t usually ready to go into production.

Concept cars are actually prototypes (but not the sort that you see at LeMans) built to show off their new styling or some new technology.
They often have some sort of radical design, they may use some exotic or non-traditional materials such as refined alloys, carbon fiber or even paper.
They may have unique design features such as an odd number of wheels or special doors.
Many of the features are impractical, they many not be profitable and may not even get past the computer design or scale model stages.
And they certainly wouldn’t get through the safety or regulatory compliance testing. They may be made of clay, wax, fiberglass, plastic or metal.

Basically, they don’t represent a final production model that can be driven away. They would have to undergo quite a few changes. But they are ‘pretty’ to look at!

When a concept car comes to the end of its useful life, they are usually destroyed, although some survive and wind up in company museums or in storage with perhaps an unknown future use.

Concept Cars That Are All Grown Up

On the other hand, some concept cars do go onto to becoming production cars. Subaru has several innovative designs that really stand apart from the crowd. Some of the currant concept vehicles that have come straight from the world’s motor shows are being readied to be driven.

The Levorg Concept is currently under development and should be ready for launch in 2014, in Japan. The concept of this car is to blend the design, style and feel of a sports car with the robust practicality of a touring vehicle.

The Subaru Viziv 2 Concept was inspired to express Subaru’s “Vision for Innovation”, offering their customers the essential value of enjoyment together with peace of mind.

The Subaru Cross Sport Design Concept combines the utility of a SUV with its comfortable interior, seat access and great luggage space with sporty handling.

EyeSight® – Subaru is Looking Out for Drivers

An innovative solution for avoiding collisions, EyeSight® warns and assists drivers when it ‘sees’ potential problems that could lead to a collision. This system has been praised in Japan for its affordability and user-friendly functioning.

Using the technology of stereo cameras, EyeSight® monitors traffic and detects vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, then takes action to avoid trouble. EyeSight® is designed to alert the driver with sound and a flashing signal when a collision is imminent and applies the brake should the driver fail to do so.

It reduces engine power if the driver is accelerating at the wrong time, thereby helping to avoid a collision. It will also warn if the driver strays out of their lane and optimizes cruise control.

Look to the folks at Landers McLarty Subaru in Huntsville, AL. for the lowdown on all the up and coming concepts coming from the innovative people at Subaru.