Guides Health and Fitness Lifestyle

Super hero latest hearing aid : Affordable and Quality

As we grow older, there is a high tendency that we lose our sense of hearing. It is considered as one of the most common conditions that affect older people and even elderly adults. Based on studies, about 1 in 3 people in the US aged from 65 and 75 have hearing loss or having […]

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Linksys WRT160N Router Review, and Why It’s Terrible!

Linksys has been the number one brand for home routers and wireless networking for quite a few years now. The WRT54G router was probably the best Wireless-G router on the market when it came out, and it stayed on top. Today, I’ll be reviewing the WRT160N, as it is a product I’ve had some time to play around with. Does this product hold up to the trustworthy quality of Linksys?

Unboxing: Upon opening the box, the contents include standard documentation for Netgear c6300 login, setup CD,  power supply, and a very slick looking router. This router is apart of a new generation of wireless routers, and with a new and sleek look comes the removal of external antennas. For those of you who remember wireless routers a few years ago, it had the obnoxious antennas on top, that sometimes needed adjustment to get reception. With the growth of technology, we kiss those clunkers goodbye.

Setup, is it easy? Your first guess might be that it MUST be easy, it comes with a CD, after all! The setup CD is clearly labeled “Run CD First”. So, let’s pop in the CD! Although, the requirement of running a setup CD means that you must have an operating system that the software will run on. In this case, you must have a PC running Windows. If you are a PC user running Linux, the chances are you are a user advanced enough to set up the router without the CD. The software on the CD brings you through a straightforward series of screens to help you name your wireless network and configure encryption. Once completed, you should have access to the internet and be able to connect a wireless client to the router.

Problems? The first thing I had trouble with, during these steps, was that the router was not connecting to the internet. It was doing its job inside my house, internal networking was working great. However, it would not connect to the internet via my cable modem. My first thought was to simply power off the router and power it back on. It tried that, with no luck. I did the same for the cable modem, again with no luck. This type of problem gets more into technical areas, in order to resolve it. I even tried manually trying to renew the WAN IP address via the router’s web-based firmware, and nothing! I ended up having to fully reset the router to factory settings, and try again. This time, I set it up without the CD. Eventually, I got connected to the internet, which would only work with the “Filter Multicast” option enabled on the firewall. However, the internet stopped working just shortly after my success.

I had determined that Linksys firmware, for their product line of Wireless-N routers, is terribly low quality and does not function anywhere near acceptably. In which case, I flashed the router with a free firmware called DD-WRT. It can be used on many different brands and models. Once I did this, the router worked beautifully. The internet ran fast, internal network operations worked nicely as well. The reason I determined that firmware is a problem for all Linksys Wireless-N routers is that I previously owned the WRT150N, and had the same troubles. Once I flashed it with DD-WRT, the troubles disappeared instantly.

The bottom line for this router: If you’re a novice user, looking for something that is easy to set up and use, this is not the router for you. While it’s MEANT to be easy, the router doesn’t function properly out of the box, and requires technical ability to bring it to a functional state. However, if you are an advanced user and know how to flash a new firmware to the router (after checking the supported devices for whichever firmware you use), then this router functions quite good with DD-WRT.


If you decide to use DD-WRT, it most likely voids the warranty. Also, my WRT160N was version 3. If you happen to receive a version 2, you will not be able to use DD-WRT.

As for the fact that it’s refurbished…It appears to be functioning exactly as a brand new one out of the box would function. The problems described above are highly likely to be an issue on brand new models too. The refurbished warranty is 90 days. If you decide to get it, and it does give you trouble, you’re covered for 3 months!

I hope this was helpful!

Scroll Saw- Select the Best and do the Needful

Given the current pandemic worldwide due to the corona virus, people are simply confused about what to do and where to go as they have been confined to their homes due to the rapidly rising death toll everywhere.

Since the virus spreads fast upon contact, everyone is advised to keep social distance from strangers and crowded places as they are quite vulnerable outings to be on, alongwith washing their hands for 20 seconds.

On the positive side, people have found out a way to undermine the grim atmosphere by staying at homes and engaging themselves in numerous indoor activities, apart from games.

Gardening has become a more frequent practice than usual in the past few weeks and the lawns look greener and cleaner than usual, which is a step in the right direction as this practice will make them care for nature more.

The people most hit by the virus are the labor workers with wood cutters and merchants topping the list as their business has hit rock bottom and they have no means to fend for themselves.

Pedal Saw

Since we are on the subject of woodcutters, let us focus the topic of discussion on one of the most important tools that a woodcutter of high repute should possess, which is the scroll saw.

Now, most people are familiar with sea saw or electric saws in the field of wood, but scroll saw is one tool that most people have neither seen nor heard, despite it being such a common tool.

To begin with, scroll saws are basically electric saws but of smaller size than the regular ones and is operated with the use of pedal and is used to cut the most intricate and delicate curves in wood, metal and various materials that have been left out by the regular saw.

The blade is so sharp that it cuts faster than an electrical jigsaw and much more easily than a manually operated coping saw. Falling in line with similar tools, they are capable of creating edged curves that are so jagged that a simple brush of the skin would make it bleed profusely.

As the name suggests, the name of the tool comes from scrollwork and ornaments of different culture that contains scroll related designs that are based on antique pieces of the bygone era and that are lost with time with very little remnants.

Size and Shape

It is similar to a sharp bladed electric saw, but as mentioned above, it is mainly for the purpose of clearing of the sharp edges and wood shavings that are left out. These saws have been described as being the size of a human’s throat that covers up the distance from the blade to the backend of the saw.

In this case, the throat is referred to the front side of the saw and is named so for understanding purposes as a man’s throat is visible from the front itself and the size of this throat determines the piece of wood that can be cut, be it large or small.

If you look at it closely, you’ll observe that many scroll saws emanate light if placed in flexible hands which illuminates the entire area right in front of it but at the same time the wood carvings and cuts are clearly visible to the naked eye.

It is an admirable thing that in an era when there was no advanced technology or computer graphics, people used to achieve everything through the hard work of manual labor as it is virtually impossible to think of doing the same now.

The regular saws in old times were used for making bigger objects that were by attaching or hanging the large linkage mechanism to the top of the ceiling and thereby making up a convincing deep throat.


As given in the first paragraph, the corona virus has reached wreaked havoc over the entire world and forced people to go into house arrest due to which they spent most of their time home.

While gardening is a good practice, scroll saw is also an excellent alternative that can be taken up as a practice hobby which will help you to learn some new technique about the same like cutting wood and the different types of saws that can be used.

The first thing that comes to mind is what saw should be purchased as they are quite versatile in nature and a beginner wouldn’t know which one will be useful for the task at hand.

If you want to upgrade the old one then it will take a lot of time to do so and if you want to purchase a completely new model, you need to understand the basics of scroll saw itself.

Important Points

We are going to look at certain tips that have to be taken into consideration while purchasing a scroll saw and they are as follows:

  1. Blade- The most important aspect of the saw is the sharpness of the blade so as to get the job done properly and every model should have a blade of atleast 5 inches. While pinned blades are the most preferred ones, they have limitations like difficulty in cutting off the small splinters that have been stuck
  2. Budget- Quite obvious, budget constraints play spoilsport all the time so take care to buy the one that you can afford but a commendable scroll saw costs a minimum of $300
  3. It is not that you have to buy the best scroll saw in town but take care to maintain its speed is noteworthy because it is determined by the number of strokes it takes per minute and it should be according to the material you have like hard or soft wood while the choice is yours
  4. The size of the throat needs to be ascertained before purchasing the model which only involves the length between the blade’s rear end to the very rear end of the scroll saw as both are different

To conclude, a scroll saw is a hobby that can be taken up currently but it should be done by keeping the above points in mind.

Creep V. Freep: Monster Play in Lord of the Rings Online

I first gave Monster Play a shot way back in the closed beta stage of LOTRO. As soon as I got my little elven hunter to level 10, I hit the fell scrying pool and made myself a Weaver (that being the spider race for those of you not familiar with MP). My husband and myself ran all over the Ettenmoors doing creep quests. It was pretty fun, but nothing too exciting. Of course back then, there weren’t any freeps running around to fight, so it was strictly PvE.

I forgot about Monster Play. I went on to play my hunter, enjoying everything that Lord of the Rings Online has to offer and never gave it another thought. Then all of a sudden I was level 45 and realized hey… I can go to the Ettenmoors now. Time to kick some creep arse! So I went to the Rivendell stables and purchased swift travel to the Ettenmoors. Talked to a few people, picked up a few quests, then ventured out past the safe confines of the freep starting city’s gate. I walked around a bit… seeing the sites, checking out the NPCs… generally getting a feel for the place from a freep perspective. All of a sudden, five wargs appeared out of nowhere. Pwned. I decided that it would be more beneficial to me to try out real PvMP as a creep first. I switched over to my Weaver, with the unlikely name of Ilovetosinga, and ventured out past the creep starting camp, Gramsfoot, killed a few slugs for the Mash quest, and started walking around, seeing the world from the opposite side of the map. I saw a freep in the distance, but I was prepared this time, I burrowed into the ground, waited for him to get close, popped out and rooted him, and started firing. It was a level 47 loremaster, petless and alone. He killed me. I was shocked. Here I am, a level 50 creep, getting pwned by a defenseless, squishy loremaster. Granted, I was green… no ranks, no titles, no additional skills other than those you start out with. But a loremaster?! C’mon I should have been able to take him out. With the quenya translator, the watching of the league of rings will be entertaining. The skills and excellence of the person should be enhanced through the information gathered from the translators. 

I couldn’t. The truth is, Monster Play is incredibly lopsided. Freeps have many advantages that make it nearly impossible for a creep to take on a freep, one-on-one, and live. Sure, you’ll run across the occasional idiot who’ll allow you to bait him into some NPC mobs aggressive to him, making it much easier to take him down, but that’s not the norm. And why should I have to prowl around looking for idiots in order to gain infamy and rank up? It’s not fair. Pure out-maneuvering isn’t the only advantage a freep has, either.

Freeps can talk to buddies in the normal game world. MPs can’t. If the freep side of a raid is going down, all it takes is a quick request for help in kinship chat and suddenly the amount of freeps has tripled. Creeps can talk ONLY to other creeps. We have no communication with the world outside the Ettenmoors. Why doesn’t the same apply to freeps? Freeps should only be able to communicate WITHIN the Ettenmoors.

Creeps don’t have kinships. We have to rely solely on OOC and friends lists for help. Why can’t we have kinships too? It would be nice to have that option, to be able to quickly form a raid when a fort needs defending or when there’s been a freep sighting. Let us have kinships too! Sure, we’re evil loathsome creatures… but even we have friends.

Hunters can track stealthed wargs. Stealth is a warg’s biggest defense, and its best weapon as well. Now, the same goes for a burglar. BUT wargs can’t track stealthed freeps. Not fair. Balance it out. Give wargs a similar skill, or take it away from freeps (only while in PvMP of course).

Freeps have horses. This is a huge advantage in Monster Play. Freeps can mount up, making it much harder for creeps to catch them, and can take a certain amount of damage before even getting dismounted. Creeps have no such thing. Wargs have a 100 percent run speed increase skill, but it doesn’t last long and has a recast of 10 minutes. In my opinion, this could be easily balanced: either give the creeps something similar to horses, or set in place a restriction for freeps in regards to horse riding. Make them have to wait 10 minutes before they can mount up again. Make them get dismounted with one hit… something. I’m sure the devs could up with something brilliant.. they did create this game, after all.

Freeps have more skills. By the time freeps come to the Ettenmoors, they are level 40 or higher. They have a wide array of skills at their disposal. But when creeps come into the game they have only a few rudimentary skills, and it doesn’t get much better. It just doesn’t work. Put five creeps up against five freeps and see who wins. The freeps get it every time. Something’s just not right. Creeps need more skills… period.

Freeps have multiple healers. Minstrels, loremasters, and captains can all heal their group. Most, if not all, other freep classes can at least heal themselves. Creeps have a single healing class. ONE. How can we compete with the freeps? Give us more heals!

That’s just the short list. There are many more that are already known, and I’m sure I’ll discover even more as I play. It’s just ridiculous. A freep raid consisting of only 7 people can take Isendeep with no creep resistance. I was recently in a raid of 13 creeps trying to take back Isendeep, also with no resistance, and we failed miserably. That alone should be an alert that something’s wrong. Balance of the classes is more important in Monster Play than it is anywhere else, and I can’t help but feel that it’s been neglected.

I love Monster Play. I think it’s an exciting twist on PvP, and could be a wonderful aspect of the game. I fear, however, that unless they make some serious changes, Monster Play will die a slow death.

4 Secrets of Coffee Franchise Ownership

Coffee is perhaps the most universal drink, aside from water, that is enjoyed by those across the globe. Owning a coffee franchise can be a great opportunity for those looking to invest in a small business. With the right knowledge of the field, one can be sure to have real success in the coffee industry. For those who are ready to take the leap, but are looking for any last advice or information, here are some tips to help make that coffee franchise as successful as possible. Various types of coffee powder will offer different taste to the person. Proper information should be available with the person that from where the beans have been extracted to powder. 

  1. Research is paramount when planning any business, coffee franchises especially. One needs to make sure a location that has a sufficient demand for the services one is looking to offer is vital before choosing to set up shop. Aside from just location, one needs to make certain that they find a coffee franchise that they believe will not only be successful, but also something they will enjoy running. If a potential is not happy with some of the franchise’s rules or uniforms, such issues are not likely to get any better with time.
  2. Having enthusiasm and passion for the life one is about to start is important. If one is not ready to dedicate a lot of time and work into such a project, it is important they being to reconsider even buying into a coffee franchise. Making running a coffee franchise fun is important to the business’ success.
  3. With that in mind, the potential owner should understand that the work does not stop once the employees are hired and the business is open. The owner of a coffee franchise needs to put in a lot of hours to make the business work, and not just when it comes to human resource responsibilities. They can expect to be pumping out lattes or running the register from time to time, which allows for their knowledge to be readily available in case an emergency arises.
  4. Those owners who become and stay involved in the day-to-day operations ensure that they are fully aware of the business’ strong points, as well as its short-comings. Knowing these can help an owner focus on areas a business needs to improve on to become more successful.

By doing all of this, while still maintaining an easygoing work environment where fun is stressed just as much as quality service and products, a coffee franchise owner can be sure that the business will enjoy success. When the employees are happy, the workplace is more efficient, which leads to everyone being happy, owner and customers alike.

Owning a coffee franchise can be a great opportunity for those looking to invest in a small business. Understanding the work that is involved before becoming involved with a coffee franchise is perhaps the most important criterion for a potential owner if they plan on being successful. If after learning what a coffee franchise really involves in its day-to-day operations one does not feel they are up to the challenge, it is best to rethink the whole idea. But for those who feel they have what it takes, there is a lot of room for success in the industry.

Eft And The Law Of Attraction

I’ve been a believer in the Law of Attraction since the first time I saw the movie The Secret and read Manifestation Magic book. I was so inspired. I mean, who could argue that thoughts don’t become reality? If they don’t, then what purpose do thoughts have? It all made perfect sense to me. But, honestly, up until a week ago, I couldn’t see the Law of Attraction forest through the trees. That was until I learned about EFT and how I could use it with the Law of Attraction.

EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques®, is an emotional, needle free version of acupuncture, according to their website, I found their website completely by accident, or by the Law of Attraction, now that I have come to think about it.

While I am a deeply creative person, I find that my mind tends to wander a lot. I am not the kind of person who can sit in silence and just appreciate it. I can’t just sit there and focus on just one particular thing. One thought leads to another and before I know it I end up forgetting what it was that I sat down to focus on.

So, I was pretty excited when I read the free ebook that I downloaded from The first thing I thought was, wow, I can use this with the Law of Attraction. I have found the missing link. EFT and the Law of Attraction have to be a match made in Heaven.

So, I sat down and did the EFT exercises while visualizing the answer to my question concerning a pretty severe health problem I have been living with for most of my life. I married what I learned about EFT and the Law of Attraction about seven times. Then, I stopped and began to write a letter to an old friend.

Well, about halfway through the letter, I had a memory of an event that happened when I was three years old. I had run out into the street and gotten hit by a car. I had been told about the incident from family members and neighborhood friends many times, so I know for sure that it really did happen. However, I had never had any personal memory of it since I was only three years old when it happened.

Well, after using EFT and the Law of Attraction, I saw this flash in my mind. It was just before the impact. I saw the side of a car and felt the terror of knowing what was about to happen to me. The whole memory lasted just a few seconds but that few seconds was all I needed. I finally knew what happened to me and what the suppressed memory had done to my body for all of those years it was locked up inside of me.

For the first time in my life, I was able to link together the individual pieces of the mysterious puzzle that had been causing me so much pain for almost my entire life. And for the first time in my life, I am on the path to true healing that will last me through the rest of my life.

If you are a believer with a problem, then, please use this information immediately. If you’re a skeptic with a problem, now is the time to investigate EFT and the Law of Attraction and discover for yourself the peaceful release you will receive.

Men’s Fall Fashion Style Guide

Hey guys, this is your time to shine, fall provides men the perfect opportunity to show off their fashion sense. Why not make this fall your most fashionable season yet?

We can all agree it’s just not fair that men have to don a coat and tie in August when the ladies get to wear diaphanous dresses and sandals. Good news, fall brings many things that make guys happy: Baseball’s World Series, the beginning of football season, and a break from the sweltering heat. Cooler temperatures mean it’s time to get out the wool sweaters and corduroys. This simple Fall Fashion Guide will help you avoid becoming a fashion victim.

First, let’s get the essential shopping list together:

1.Military Jacket

2.Double-breasted grey suit

3.Vintage inspired sneakers

4.New, crisp white dress shirt


The military jacket is a fun choice for casual dress. Toss it on over your favorite jeans and a cool Henley shirt and you’ve got a perfect relaxed look. You don’t have to spend a bundle on this trend – Old Navy is a perfect place to start your hunt. Theory also makes an excellent jacket. Be wary of Army/Navy surplus stores, as those jackets tend to be a bit boxy and bulky.

Grey is the big color in men’s fashion this fall. Designers like Giorgio Armani, Jil Sander and Marc Jacobs all sent shades of grey down the runway.

The two most practical ways to add grey to your wardrobe:

  • ΓÇóA classic double-breasted suit
  • ΓÇóA sweater

When it comes to suits, Thom Browne and Michael Bastian were the talk of the town during fashion week. More conservative shoppers could look to Canali and Ralph Lauren for the double-breasted suit. Regardless of the designer, this style is relatively timeless and a solid investment for gentlemen required wearing suits to work.

Cashmere is the material of choice for your grey sweater; it’s lush, plush and imminently huggable. If you can’t afford cashmere, look for soft wool or thick cotton. Perhaps, turtlenecks aren’t your thing. No fear you can be equally hip in a zip-neck sweater (try Hugo Boss for this). Zip necks give the same stylish look of a turtleneck and many men find them more cool and comfortable. Also popular, but very trendy, is the zippered cardigan. This is more of a fad than a fashion staple so don’t break the bank on this trend.

Nothing sets off a beautiful suit or sweater like a well-made dress shirt. Look for clean modern lines when searching for a white shirt this fall. Instead of a traditional cotton, look for a pique or a subtle herringbone texture. As far as details, treat yourself to a monogram-but not on the shirtsleeve or pocket (too obvious). Instead monogram the shirt on the lower chest. Also consider buying a French cuffs shirt. Wear it with your favorite cufflinks and your nattiest suit, you’ll feel great and look terrific. Prada, Ted Baker and Paul Smith are excellent places to start your hunt for this wardrobe staple.

Finally, the peacoat, a perennial classic, is a great splurge for your fall wardrobe. Kenneth Cole makes a lovely moderate price coat and Gucci is the way to go if you’ve got an unlimited budget.

What else should you consider this fall? Other colors popping up on the runways included: black, brown and olive. All of these are safe colors to mix into most wardrobes.

When it comes to fabric, think texture. Consider purchasing something corduroy, either a slouchy unconstructed blazer or trim thin-wale trousers. A fitted tweed sport coat is another way to pep up a staid wardrobe.

To accent your clothes, there are a few tempting accessory options to consider:

  • ΓÇóWool felt mariner’s cap
  • ΓÇóOversized Sunglasses
  • ΓÇóVintage Sneakers

You may also opt to buy a modern and stylish wallet to compliment your outfit. You can visit for more options. This website provides wide variety of stylish wallets with different colors and designs. Your choice of wallet also matters.

While the first two ideas could be a challenge for many men, the sneakers are a safe style choice. Look for suede and distressed leather sneakers. Steven Alan Dill and John Varvatos are making the hottest footwear this fall. Their shoes are so cool you may even get away with pairing them with dress pants (bit of advice: skip the suits and sneaker look unless you are a fashion designer).

Whatever you decide to wear this fall, remember to be confident and have fun with your clothes!

Tips for Building an Outdoor Kitchen

To many people, an outdoor kitchen may seem like an unnecessary extravagance, but for those who enjoy spending a lot of time outside, it has become an increasingly popular home addition.

An outdoor kitchen can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $15,000 at an outdoor kitchen depot, so careful consideration of one’s needs is important. The first step in creating an outdoor kitchen is to determine how and when it will be used.

The main purpose of an outdoor kitchen is that it reduces the trips in and out of the house when cooking outdoors. The more time spent outside cooking and eating, and the more complex the preferred menu, the more sense an outdoor kitchen makes. It also is a determining factor in how extensive an outdoor kitchen should be.

Before purchasing any outdoor kitchen equipment, it is essential to decide if it will be permanent or portable. If you need linear slides for your drawers or not? If there is a chance of moving to a new home in the future, it might be wiser to stick to outdoor kitchen furniture that can be taken along to the new home. Building a permanent outdoor kitchen is more expensive, but it also will be more durable and increase the value of the home.

A cement or brick patio makes a good foundation for an outdoor kitchen. Wooden decks may require reinforcement, depending on how elaborate the planned kitchen.

Building close to the house makes trips in and out for supplies more convenient. Once space is chosen, the outdoor kitchen can be simple or as detailed as space, imagination, and budget will allow.

The most common elements of an outdoor kitchen include a grill, work surfaces, and a dining area. A refrigerator, sink, lighting, and small kitchen appliances can be added, including a microwave oven. The more complex an outdoor kitchen, the more attention needs to be paid to the storage, traffic lanes, and sources of electricity and water. Most appliance manufacturers have specialty lines for outdoor use, and precautions should be taken to ensure their proper and safe use.

Weather-resistant materials should be used to construct work surfaces and food preparation areas as well as cabinetry. A stainless steel outdoor kitchen is a good choice. A safe and reliable method of insect control is essential, especially if meals will be eaten outdoors.

The main focal point of any outdoor kitchen is the grill. Choosing the right grill and its placement is key to a successful kitchen. Deciding between a charcoal or gas grill is a matter of personal taste. Plan on a design at least 3 feet of the work surface on either side of the grill and 1.5 to 2 feet on either side of a sink. Plan around the grill, so that important items are handy when cooking. A U-shaped or triangle workspace is ideal.

The products needed to create the kitchen, from simple to state-of-the-art, are readily available, but the most important aspect of an outdoor kitchen is planning. A sensible design will allow for years of outdoor enjoyment.

How to Save Money on Air Conditioning Bills

While the summer heat will be beating down on most of us here in a short month or two many people will see that with the thermometer raising outside the electric bill will be rising in the mail. I know that for some of us we will be trudging off to work and not even consider how to save money during our summer cooling season. However, I have a couple of tips that I use that worked wonders on helping me save money on my electric bill.

The first tip that I have is if you are leaving your home for the day, but do not want to come home to a roasting home because you turned your air conditioning off is to turn the thermostat up. I know that I turn it up about five to ten degrees above what I normally would and the house is a little bit warmer than what I like, but typically the air conditioner doesn’t come on at all during the day while I am gone. So that is a definite plus and saves me quite a bit of money. Please note you can even do this step even when you are going to the grocery store, park, or other area that you are not going to be home.

The grocery store expenses can be cut down to a great extent with only the essentials for a few months so that the bills start coming down at a slow and steady pace and have your AC repaired by hvac repair San Diego.

The second tip is that for me I have found that if I turn the air conditioner down in the morning to about four degrees lower than what I normally want the temperature to be that it works wonders on saving the electric. What I mean is if you want your house to stay around seventy all day then in the morning when it is still cool out and you’re going to be home turn the thermostat down to sixty six. Then once your home reaches that temperature turn the thermostat back up to the temperature you want it set at. What I found is that the air conditioner will not come on as often because the sun has to heat your home past the four degrees that you placed as a buffer. I know that for my house if I turn the air conditioner down about eight o’clock in the morning the air conditioner will not come back on for about four to five hours. Then depending on how much the sun is out it might not even come on at all.

The third tip that works out really well is if you shut off rooms that you are not using and take them out of the cooling. Now these rooms will be warm to hot, but the air conditioner will normally not be picking up on this extra heat because the room is closed off so your air conditioner will not have to work as hard which is nice because you save even more money.

While many people will be dreading seeing the electric bills this summer because of air conditioning cost I have found that these tips helped me save money on my electric bill. Now each person’s bill will be different, but these tips worked great for me and the savings that I made were significant and helpful on the wallet come summer months!

Getting into Shape After Hip Replacement Surgery

Running, skiing, and martial arts have kept me physically fit for most of my life. However, when my new desk job took a hectic turn I had little time for exercise. Daily workouts became weekly workouts. As my work hours lengthened, my workouts ceased altogether.

Then, during a visit to my orthopedic surgeon for hip and joint pain I was informed that due to degenerative bone disease I needed to have hip replacement surgery as soon as possible. When asked what “as soon as possible” meant, my doctor said at the earliest available opening…two weeks later. During our subsequent conversation, the doctor commented that my years of athletics had helped prevent my having hip replacement surgery years earlier.

I left his office mulling over my upcoming surgery. I kept thinking, ” Why did I stop working out…because that was when I began feeling pain? Well, what can I do to prepare for this surgery in two weeks?”

I felt extremely foolish that I had stopped exercising because that was what kept going and I did not experience pain for a long time despite sweating it out, which was the main motive for me to work out each day without fail but now with surgery looming around, I looked up hip flexors info online to get a feel of what lay in store. 

I shared my concerns with a friend who had undergone hip replacement surgery. He suggested that I use my treadmill and walk slowly to avoid hip pain. I followed his advice and took it a step further. I purchased an Ab Lounger Ultra and began using that slowly each morning.

Two weeks later I underwent a total hip replacement. The day after my surgery I slowly walked the hospital halls with the aid of a walker. The next day the doctor released me with post-surgery instructions and directions for physical therapy, which began the following week. My doctor also urged me to continue walking inside my home while using the walker until I felt strong enough to use a cane. (The walker lasted two days because I kept bumping into the furniture when maneuvering about the house.)

I religiously followed my doctor’s orders, and those of my physical therapist, who showed me which exercises I could do. Interestingly, some of the exercises were the same ones I performed when coaching track and teaching martial arts. (Please see the exercises listed at the end of this article.)

The therapist started me slowly on exercises that could be completed while lying on the bed and standing on a step. (We used the bottom stair so I could hold onto the banister for support.) After the first week, my daily therapy sessions included walking short distances outdoors with my cane. Happy with the progress I was making the therapist released me two weeks later. She encouraged me to continue my exercises and my walking, but cautioned me about walking outside alone until the doctor felt I was strong enough to pick myself up if I happened to fall.

Complying with doctor and therapist’s requests, I walked faithfully, until I went back to work and fell into the same hectic pace I endured prior to my surgery. I was unaware of my weight inching upward until one day three months later when I tried on my swimsuit. It didn’t fit!

Determined to get the weight off, I sat down and developed a workout plan that fit in with my chaotic schedule. I also decided to document everything that I ate and drank. Then, I checked with my doctor to ensure that my plan would not negatively impact my recent surgery. With his approval I began my goal of losing the weight.

I started with the simple stretching exercises performed in physical therapy. Then, I slowly began (1.5 -2.0 mph, no incline) walking ¼ a mile a day, on my treadmill. After the first week I moved to ½ mile a day, and increased ¼ mile each week thereafter. During this time I also slowly increased my walking speed to no more than 2.4 mph. I found that walking faster than 2.4 mph negatively altered my gait and placed pressure on my hip.

I incorporated the Ab Lounger Ultra and simple weights into my routine. Careful not to damage my hip, I began the beginner’s exercises on the Ab Lounger Ultra. Curls, and other exercises using 2-pound weights followed my Ab Lounger Ultra exercises. Every two weeks I added another Ab Lounger Ultra exercise, and increased my weights by one pound.

It has been a slow process, but several months later I have altered my eating habits, increased my walking to several miles a day, and shed my post surgery weight. I feel much healthier than I did prior to my hip replacement surgery. Although I have an artificial hip, and am no longer able to run or perform high martial arts kicks, I have found that walking and using the Ab Lounger Ultra have increased my energy level and helped me shed unwanted pounds.

I am more determined than ever to maintain the healthy lifestyle that I had prior to my hip surgery. Now, if only my artificial hip didn’t set metal detectors off when I go through the airport!

Ankle Flexors:

  • Sitting in a chair or lying in bed.
  • Bend ankle up toward body as far as possible.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Point toe away from your body.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Do 15 repetitions and switch to other leg.
  • Do 2-3 times per day.

Heel Slides:

  • Lie on your back in bed.
  • Bend your knee and slide heel up toward your body toward knee. Keep heel touching bed as you slide it.
  • Hold for 0 seconds and slowly relax.
  • Repeat 15 times and then switch to other leg.
  • Do 2-3 times per day.

Hip Abductors:

  • Lie on your back in bed.
  • Spread one leg out as far as you can.
  • Hold it for 0 seconds and slowly relax.
  • Repeat 15 times and then switch to other leg.
  • Do 2-3 times per day.

Hamstring Curls:

  • Face table and hold onto it for support.
  • Stand with legs straight.
  • Slowly bend your knee.
  • Hold for 5 seconds and slowly lower leg.
  • Repeat 15 times and then switch to other leg.
  • Do 2-3 times per day.

Standing Heel Lifts:

  • Face table and hold onto it for support.
  • Stand with legs straight.
  • Rise up slowly on your toes, so heels are off the ground.
  • Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 15 times, 2-3 times a day.

Eco-Friendly Shipping Container Homes

All across the globe, we use shipping containers to move large quantities of goods from one country to the next. Now, what happens to these containers once they have served their purpose? Do they get tossed to the bottom of the ocean? Are the bits and pieces shot into outer space? Actually, they’re being converted into luxury homes, beach homes, camping cottages and more. That’s right, today, designers and architects everywhere are making good use of these shipping behemoths. Have you ever heard of a shipping container home? If you haven’t, you will – these babies are on the rise when it comes to eco-friendly living.

In European countries, the use of the shipping container home has been around for a few decades. They’ve certainly increased and ‘container cities’ have been popping up all across the continent. They’re even used as dorm rooms for universities – saving the students, and the schools, some nice pocket change. However, converting a shipping container into an actual livable space is not easy. Surely, there is a need for real hard work. Also, there are some factors that need to be considered. It needs creativity so it can actually be an awesome house.

But that’s not all these large steel containers can be used for. With the right modifications, they can be re-fabricated into a variety of uses. A single shipping container can be broken down and used for a variety of steel objects to fit into the eco-friendliest of homes. You can also convert them into swimming pools or a luxurious yacht, as long as you’re willing to use a little imagination.

Most importantly, however, the shipping container home is proving to be a great home in states of emergency. Many homes can be ordered for fairly cheap and built within a few days. So, when another catastrophic storm hits; there will be a lot more relief when it comes to house, much quicker, and for a lot cheaper.

It doesn’t stop there. Shipping containers have also easily been converted into beach homes, vacation homes, luxury homes, and simple cottages in the woods. They’re especially great if you’re planning an extended camping trip. Of course, they don’t have to be strictly vacation homes.

When it comes to reusing and recycling, the container home is making a splash. Those who are looking for an eco-friendly option for constructing a new home are sure to be pleased. Plus, each container home can be customized with solar panels, composting toilets, filtering systems, and more. They can be converted to be entirely self-sufficient.


Of course, the homes are occasionally lacking in size and some only have space for the essentials. However, if you’re willing to spend a little extra green, to save that extra green, you can purchase larger versions up to several thousand square feet. Luxury container homes are popping up in high end communities all across the globe.

Keep an eye out. The container home goes by many names: container cities, ‘eco-pods,’ ‘portabach’ (a design by a New Zealand man,) and so forth. You never know when one of these homes might pop up in your neighborhood.

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