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04 Sep

Are Your Windows the Weak Link in Your Home?

Posted in Uncategorized on 04.09.13 by Merlyn

These days, people are always trying to find more ways to be energy efficient and save money at the same time. People are adding insulation to their homes, replacing doors, and doing all kinds of other things to keep indoor temperatures regulated without having to spend a lot of money.

If you are in the mode of trying to be a little bit more energy efficient, don’t overlook the importance of having high-quality Grand Rapids windows. In some ways, your windows are kind of like the gatekeepers of your home. 

When kept firmly closed, they should consistently keep everything outside of your house from penetrating to the inside, but you can always open them if you feel like welcoming the cool, fresh air from outside into your home.

The problem is that in many cases, windows are failing at their roles of being gatekeepers. While they may look impressive, the air outside isn’t intimidated as much by looks as it is by strength. It takes some really good windows to keep the air outside from intruding without permission.

After you’ve replaced your doors and added insulation, it would be a shame to discover that those efforts are being wasted by a weak link in your home’s structure. 

If you want to keep the climate in your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, it is absolutely essential that you have windows strong enough to protect your home from the bombardment of the elements outside. 

If you can feel a change in temperature when you are near windows in your home, that is a sure sign that it is time for a change. Moisture in between the panes is also a sign that your windows should be replaced.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great options out there, and many of them provide even more energy efficiency than was ever available before. 

For example, you’ve probably seen plenty of cars that have tinted windows, but have you ever thought about tinting the windows in your home? 

This is a great way to keep the sun’s hot rays outside where they belong. You’ve probably noticed the difference that tinted windows make in a car, and there is nothing stopping you from experiencing that exact same difference in your home.

All it takes is a little bit of time to arrange for someone to install Grand Rapids windows, and you are on your way to saving even more money on energy bills.


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01 Aug

Pet Ownership: Healthcare, Grooming, and Companionship

Posted in Uncategorized on 01.08.13 by Merlyn

Did you know that “pet ownership was shown to significantly reduce triglycerides”? Having a pet is a huge responsibility. Not only are pet owners responsible for keeping animals happy and safe, they are also required to maintain the pet’s health. A Carmel vet can keep your pet healthy, while providing tips to keep them active and groomed. Grooming is a very important aspect of maintaining your pet’s health. Dogs and cats always find something to get into, which means remnants of dirt, grass, and insects may be on their skin.


Longhair breed cats and dogs are usually groomed on a daily basis. Upon adopting a pet, owners are given systematic guidelines to take care of the animal. Some individuals go to the extent of blow-drying the animals’ hair. Although this is commonly done in a pet grooming facility, you should be cautious when using a hairdryer on animal. Pet owners prefer to groom animals often to decrease dander production. Many pet owners are allergic to pet dander and fur. However, the allergic reactions can be minimized by simply grooming your pet often. Longhair breed cats and dogs are not the only pets that must be groomed. Hairless cats must be bathed every day. This particular breed of cats is known to have an increase in oil production, which can cause “cat acne.” If you do not have the time to groom your pet often, you can simply purchase a brush or comb to keep the hair untangled. These items can be purchased at any pet store. You should ask the doctor for grooming references as well. If the veterinary clinic has a grooming facility, it would be beneficial to schedule a grooming and doctor’s appointment the same day.

Pet Ownership and Healing

People usually adopt pets for companionship. Pets can help people develop social skills, and heal from traumatic experiences. There is evidence suggesting that pet owners lead healthier lives. Medical professionals are beginning to adopt policies related to animal-assisted therapy. Animal-assisted therapy can improve a person’s emotional and cognitive functioning. This therapy is not limited to cats and dogs, domestic pets, marine mammals, and farm animals are used as well. Unfortunately, there are health risks associated with pets. Aside from allergies and asthma, pet owners must be careful with the diseases and parasites. These parasites are due to lack of treatment and hygienic issues. Injuries caused by pets are another major concern. The injuries include bites, falling injuries, and attacks. Animals are classified into two categories, which is domestic and wild. In addition to dogs and cats, domestic animals include horses, rabbits, rodents, goats, birds, fish, and alpacas.

Wild and Exotic Pets

Wild animals can be kept as pets, but certain jurisdictions often prohibit keeping certain animals as pets. Sheep’s are very docile animals, and are usually kept by farmers. Citizens are allowed to keep iguanas and turtles as lizards. However, crocodiles and snakes are usually prohibited. If you want to adopt an exotic or wild animal, you should speak to a Carmel vet first. The doctor will provide his or her expert opinion to keep you safe.

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24 Jul

Septic Tank Cleaning and Maintenance

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.07.13 by Merlyn

Septic tanks offer a clean and hygienic method of disposing of waste water when your home is not connected to a municipal sewer system. Unlike centuries past, where human and household waste was emptied into open trenches along city streets or into rivers or ponds, a septic tank that is working properly eliminates odor and allows waste water to be cleaned by being filtering through layers of rock and dirt, the water recycling method Mother Nature has used since there was first water on the Earth. Obviously, keeping your septic system in good working order is vastly important. When it comes to maintenance and Raleigh septic tank cleaning, here are some guidelines.

Protect the Physical Structures

Waste water from your house is directed into an inlet pipe that empties into the septic tank. The septic tank is a large, concrete tank buried under your property. Beyond the tank, an outlet valve allows gray water to filter into a drain field, where the water percolates through the earth until it joins underground streams or aquifers. The layers of rock and dirt are very effective at cleaning contaminants out of the gray water. Meanwhile, solids settle to the bottom of the tank, where beneficial bacteria break them down as much as possible.

You need to protect the area where the septic tank is buried as well as the drain field beyond. Never drive heavy machinery over either of these locations, and never construct buildings over them. You also need to make sure that thirsty tree roots cannot find your tank and begin to crack it open; to do this, keep trees planted at least 100 feet away. Willows and other very thirsty trees should be planted even farther away.

What to Put Down the Drain

Everything you put down the drain ends up in the septic tank. Never use your drains or toilets as places to dump solids like kitty litter, paper towels, large chunks of food, or diapers. Be sure to place grease and oil into the trash can instead of flushing it down the kitchen sink. The more solids you flush into the septic tank, the more often you will need to have it pumped out, and the more risk you take that the intake pipe, baffles, or other parts of the system will become clogged. Clogged pipes cause gray and sewage water to back up into the house drains, which is smelly and unhealthy.

Cleaning the Tank

Septic tanks operate at nearly full capacity most of the time. The system is fairly simple: water in, water out. When solids tank up too much space, however, you will need to have the tank pumped. Depending on the amount of people living in the home, you should get Raleigh septic tank cleaning every two to five years. When drain fields need to be expanded or inspected, or when emergencies come up, hiring professionals with septic system expertise can be your best course of action in locating the problem and clearing it up successfully. Septic tanks are marvels of modern technology, and modern designs allow the tanks and systems to work smoothly for decades with proper maintenance.


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15 Jul

Packing and Moving Like a Pro

Posted in Uncategorized on 15.07.13 by Merlyn

The big day has finally arrived. You’re moving! Whether you’re heading across the country for a new job or just down the street to a bigger place, moving can be a major production. By taking the time to prepare for the move, you can save yourself a lot of headaches come moving day. If you live in California, it never hurts to look into residential movers in San Francisco that will do most of the work for you. Here are some tips and tricks to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

Things to Do before Moving Day

Purge, purge, purge! Hold a garage sale, list items for sale online, donate unused items to your local Goodwill. Taking the time to sort through your stuff will make moving day that much easier. The less there is to move, the easier it will go.

Next, you need to schedule your move. If you’re using a professional company, get in touch with them and plan your move. If you’re moving on your own, this is the time to start recruiting friends and family who will be able to come help you pack and get all those boxes and furniture onto the truck. If you can, try to move on a weekday. This will ensure that banks, mechanics, utility providers, and other services are open in case you need them.

Finally, start packing ahead of time. If you try to pack everything in one weekend, you’ll exhaust yourself. Pack things a bit at a time, and you’re much more likely to maintain your sanity. Stock up on packing supplies like clean newsprint, bubble wrap, boxes, and lots and lots of packing tape.

Packing Tips

Successful packing depends on smart planning. Take some time to think through your packing schedule. Go ahead and pack seasonal or seldom-used items early on. Take an inventory of what you will be moving and gather appropriately sized boxes. Using the right kind of boxes–from book boxes to wardrobe boxes for hanging items–makes a big difference come moving day.

Clearly label each box with the room the items will go in, what items are in the box, and if the contents are fragile. Consider color coding your boxes to make things even easier. Use different colored labels for each room of your new place or invest in some fun patterned packing tape, one pattern for each room.

Once you’re all packed up, it can be handy to make an inventory list of all your boxes and furniture. This takes a bit of time to put together, but having a list of everything you’re moving can help you keep track of items and make sure it all makes it to your new house. You might even want to number each box to make tracking them simple.

What to Do after the Move

Once everything has been moved out, take a walk through your old house. Did you turn off the water? Are all the lights off? Did you lock all the windows and turn off the furnace and air conditioner? Make sure everything is ready for the next occupants.

Moving can be stressful, but taking the time to plan and prepare can help make your big day run more smoothly. Of course, hiring a professional moving company can also take a lot of the burden of moving off your shoulders. If you live in California and don’t feel like doing all the work yourself, get in touch with some residential movers in San Francisco and find out what services they provide.


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24 May

Why You Should Hire a Professional Moving Company

Posted in Uncategorized on 24.05.13 by Merlyn

There are certain life events that can take a real toll on your patience. Moving is one example of such an event. Not only is there a lot of stress involved in the selling of your house, there is also a lot of anxiety that comes when it is time to actually move. Not only can a professional Boston moving company help decrease the amount of stress you feel due to the move, they can also offer you a whole host of other benefits, some of which you may not have even considered before. If you are planning a move any time in the near future, keep the following ideas in mind.

Protect Your Belongings

A big reason why many people turn to professional movers for assistance is because they know how to do two things really well: pack your belongings correctly and then transport them safely. When you boil down moving to its bare essence, this is what it’s all about. And the truth of the matter is that many people don’t know how to do either of these things because they simply don’t have the experience needed in order to perfect the art of packing and transporting sensitive materials. Leave this job to the professionals; they know how to do it right.

Decrease Your Anxiety

Perhaps the biggest benefit that comes with hiring a Boston moving company is the decrease in stress and anxiety that you’ll feel throughout the packing and moving process. When you stop to consider how many items are in your house right now, and that you’ll have to pack each of those items safely and securely before moving, the proposition of simply boxing up your home becomes daunting. When you hire a moving company to take care of that work for you, you are decreasing your stress and turning what could have been a tremendous headache into a much smoother transition.


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16 May

The Different Types of Freight Systems

Posted in Uncategorized on 16.05.13 by Merlyn

Throughout the world, a variety of different items are being transported in every direction. No matter where you live, you more than likely are using and eating things that needed to be transported a very long distance, sometimes even from a different country. There are a variety of different companies and services, such as Blackmon Freight Systems, that specialize in transporting large amounts of different items. These companies will use a variety of different freight systems to transport all of their items, including trucks, ships, and trains. When all of these things are used together in harmony, massive amounts of freight can be shipped a long distance in record breaking speed. Here is a quick look at the three main freight systems and the benefits that they can provide.


The most commonly used freight systems in the world are trucks. These vehicles can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes, though most trucks that are used for freight will be extremely large, sometimes even featuring multiple cargo areas. Trucks possess a huge advantage in that they can go directly to and from the storage location of the freight and the destination. This can sometimes help to eliminate unnecessary complications and delays, which can come from transferring freight from one service to another. While trucks can be convenient, they do have the disadvantage of being slow and not being able to transport an extremely large quantity of goods. This makes trucks great for travelling shorter distances, though other forms of transportation will usually be used for longer distances.


Trains were actually one of the first modern freight systems and they are still heavily used today. Most countries will have an extensive rail system since they are easy to build and maintain. Trains can transport a large quantity of different materials along these tracks, though they can get slowed down when they must carry a large number of cargo cars. Train systems are usually relatively cheap to use, though they are not able to reach most destination areas since they cannot go off their tracks. Because of this, trains must always be used with some other form of transportation.


Ships are able to carry the largest amount of freight and they can travel extremely long distances. Ships are almost always essential when transporting goods between countries. The largest benefit of using ships for transportations is that it is usually extremely cheap and reliable. Freight companies, such as Blackmon Freight Systems, may specialize in one system, though they will more than likely use every form of transportation that is available.


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28 Nov

Random 44-Year-Old Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on 28.11.12 by Merlyn

1. I turned 44 today.

2. I also ate…a LOT. Like 3,200 calories-lot.

3. But I worked out too so that makes it all better, right? (NOT).

4. The Boy is out of school all week due to the pig flu…never mind that nobody in his school has it.

5. They’re calling it “Swine Break”.

6. And they won’t have to make up the days.

7. I’ve had this weird creeping poison ivy-esque rash thing for like two and a half weeks.

8. It’s gone away in some places and popped up in others. In fact – I think it’s spread to my face.

9. Clearly I must go somewhere amongst the unwell to get a cortizone shot or some special salve or something.

10. If you knew me, you would know that I am a border-line Monk – what with all the opeing doors with t-shirt hems and hand washing and refusing to use public pens and all.

11. No, I’m not wearing a mask and gloves when I go out and I don’t plan to.

12. But for God’s sake people..cover your damn faces and wash your damn hands after you cough and sneeze and STOP wiping your noses with your palms and then grabbing door handles. Yuck.

13. My forearm is on fire and my face is hot and they both itch…even with cortizone 10+.

14. So tomorrow I will share space with the unwell. But I damn sure will not use public pens, touch door handles or even put my hands on public counters.

15. Because I can’t afford to catch anything else or bring something back to the house.

16. Shut up, I am NOT Monk.

17. Am not.

18. That is all.

P.S. 44 wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have this creeping rash crud.

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28 Nov

Random Thoughts

Posted in Uncategorized on 28.11.12 by Merlyn

1. The Boy is back from debate camp. Two weeks in a college dorm just north of us. We got to see him half way through for lunch. He says he had fun and placed respectably in the tournament.

2. I really don’t know what to think of Sarah Palin resigning. Other than to say I wonder why it’s okay to make viscious attacks against her kids, but kids of other elected officials are stricly off-limits. Funny, that…

3. On the world stage. Believe me, I thought I would NEVER in a million years say this…I would feel much safer if Hillary were president. I just get the feeling that Obama may be just making it up as he goes along and does not have a clue. But time will tell.

4. How much longer until we admit that Obama has worsened the economic situation he “inherited” instead of looking back and blaming all the money-spending on Bush. Bush is no longer in charge…at least I thought he wasn’t. Maybe I’m wrong….

5. I find it funny that the vast majority of cars which qualify for purchase under the “clunkers for cash” program are foreign, while the government bought GM. Does this make sense to you? It’s like they’re just giving our money away to our new competition, since we all (well, all of us that actually pay taxes) now own a piece of GM.

6. Our garden got hammered by the tornado a few weeks ago. But the cucumbers survived and are producing, and we have a couple tomatoes. The peppers keep having blooms which fall off and never amount to anything. Maybe it was all too much for them…that, or all the weeding I do around them. Can’t stand weeds. Hate ‘em.

7. I had the house to myself for almost five days last week while The Boy was at camp and the spouse was flying. Very peaceful, those few days alone. But also (surprisingly) busy. Lots of weeds to pull, don’tcha know.

8. The Boy turns 15 this week, and he also starts driving this week (being parent-taught by The Spouse). One more year and he’ll be able to drive himself to and from tournaments!

9. I’ve been counting calories. Each and every one I eat or drink. This is a tedious, time intensive process at times. But….I’ve lost about 12 pounds give or take in the last three months. Slow and steady wins the race!

10. The best part about counting calories is I don’t have to totally deny myself anything…including fast food and alcohol…I just have to plan for it.

11. It’s surprising how burning many calories working out each week will allow you to eat more calories and still lose weight.

12. I know 4,200 calories sounds like a lot to have to burn, but did you know if you clean your house all in one day you will burn many, many, many calories? And then…you will get to have wine after cleaning!

13. Did I say I was worried about international events and the economy?

14. Did I mention that I don’t want to be forced to put mercury-laden “green” light bulbs in my house?

15. Well I am and I don’t.

16. Did anyone notice that unemployment is higher than it’s been in more than two decades? I’m just sayin’….does it make sense to throw good money after bad vs. letting the economy correct itself like it’s supposed to?

That is all.

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