Does your home feel too dark and need a serious kick of light or are you more concerned about the huge glare on your television every time you want to watch day time television? The amount of light that comes into your home is something that can be relatively important depending on your daily habits and needs but when it comes to choosing what kind of window coverings will best suit your needs, many people end up not giving it enough thought and consideration. In hopes to help change that even just a little bit, here are the two most important questions you need to ask yourself in order to determine the perfect window coverings for every room of your home.

window coveringsFirst of all, you need to decide on what level of light control you want. Generally the two main options are either black out window treatments or light filtering window treatment. The two are fairly self explanatory I think. Black out window treatments are used in order to completely block out any light that might enter your home. This is particularly useful in the bedroom or any room where you might want to watch a movie in complete darkness. The best kinds of window coverings to obtain this goal is either thick blinds or specifically blackout shades that are both thick and do not have any gaps that would let light in.

If you would rather have the possibility for some light to get in the room you might be happier with light filtering shades. These kinds of window coverings still allow for some natural light but still protect your privacy by making it so that people can not look into your windows. This kind of window covering is best fitted for something like a kitchen or dining room. The kinds of window coverings that are generally used for light filtering are light, thinner blinds that are possibly opaque or transparent or blinds that have thicker gaps between the panels.

The second big question that you can ask yourself to figure out what kind of window coverings will work best for your needs is to figure out if you want operable slats in your window coverings or not. This is really something that most people never consider but it is in fact one of the more important deciding factors in the right choice for window coverings. It is important because if you have something like cellar shades, it allows a full view inside your home while the window covering is raised. If you live on a busy street or are particularly concerned with your privacy this might be something that does not work well for you. While it does not bother a lot of people if someone can see inside their house from the street, other people will feel a lot better with something like wooden blinds that still allow some light in but obstruct the view inside the house. Depending on how much privacy you want there are loads of options along the scale so you can find something that works best for you.


electricalIt may seem like there is an endless list of contractors and other specialist that you need to keep track of, when you own a home or any other building.  Still, you have no choice but to keep up with everything, in terms of maintenance, and there are other times, when you just plain want to change something.  For that reason, it is highly important that you are aware of the right people to call, for each specific type of work you need done.  In the case of electrical work, needless to say, you would need to hire an electrician.  That being said, all electrical service companies are not the same, and you need to be sure you are dealing with one that is reliable.  For residents of Orange County, Mahaffey Electrical Services is the best company to call for electrical help.  They are located in Newport Beach, but they offer service throughout Orange County.

Needless to say, almost everything that goes on in your home, requires electricity, in some way.  For that reason, it is of the utmost importance that you properly maintain all of the electrical equipment in your home or other building.  That being said, there is little you can do yourself, so you need to mainly be vigilant about calling an electrician, when there is a problem.  In fact, even if you suspect that your old wiring or some other electrical component of your home is not functioning quite properly, you should consider replacing or repairing it.  By getting this sort of maintenance out of the way early, you are less likely to have a more serious problem, down the line.  So, whether it is a residential electrician or a commercial one, that you need, you should call them before the problem becomes more serious.

Sometimes electrical service is a necessity, while other times people call them just to have some renovations done.  In either case, Mahaffey Electrical Services truly is the right company to call.  They employ only the most qualified and skilled electricians, and all of their service personnel know what they are doing, when it comes to electrical services.  So, whether you need to install recessed lighting or you need to completely rewire your home, Mahaffey can help.  In terms of aesthetics, their services are unbeatable.  They are especially adept at concealing wires, using a technique called, as you could guess, concealed wiring.

Because of the nature of electricity, insofar as it is both necessary for basic functions and highly dangerous, in some ways, there are times when emergency electrical service is necessary.  If electricity is causing serious issues or there is some other severe problem that is directly related to your electrical wiring or some other electrical aspect of your home, you need to call an emergency electrician, as soon as possible.  They are amiable twenty-four hours a day, and they are trained to respond, in a timely manner.  Hopefully, you will not need the services of an emergency electrician, but it is vital that you know the right number to call.

With the recent ebola virus outbreaks in Western Africa, the world seems to be on an even higher alert than usual.  At least every year there is some sort of pandemic scare across the globe: avian flu, H1N1, SARS, West Nile virus, etc.  Those viruses have definitely created problems and caused a lot of deaths, but public health officials seem to be approaching this most recent outbreak with far more caution and it definitely has the rest of the world rattled. disease surveillance

There is currently no vaccine, effective treatment, or cure for the ebola virus and it can spread rapidly when undetected.  The only thing preventing such a quick spread is that the virus is not contagious through the air; it can only be transferred through bodily fluids.  Yet doctors, nurses, humanitarian workers, aides, and public health reporters are still becoming infected at rapid rates.  If you are concerned with the recent ebola outbreak but feel like you can’t get an accurate account of what’s going on, there are websites that you can view that specialize in disease and virus surveillance in real time.  Resources like Healthmap, an interactive online tool that updates disease occurrence, can give hourly updates on the situations central to outbreaks.  It is updated by a team of health researchers, epidemiologists, field supervisors, and doctors who compile statistics and associated reports from hundreds of sources.  Even on-the-ground interviews with public health officials are taken into account when publishing statistics onto Healthmap.

With disease mapping websites you can feel more informed about the many outbreak situations going on in the world right now.  You can also find information on food borne illnesses due to food contamination, water boiling notices, pine beetle infestations, animal sicknesses, and any other public health issues that could affect you.

Websites such as Healthmap are incredibly useful for travel.  If you are about to enter a country or region that you are unfamiliar with, Healthmap can be used to track local occurrences of diseases and viruses by their specific locations.  With this information you can avoid certain places if you happen to be more susceptible to illness or if you are traveling with children.  You can also use such information for school assignments, work reports, and public reporting if you happen to work at a public health department yourself. The compilation of information that is reported on Healthmap and similar websites is also used for statistical analysis and future projections.  Aside from the interactive map, you can view these reports online as well as download the mobile application that sends alerts if an outbreak is occurring in your area.

We are all concerned with the recent ebola outbreak, and the world seems to be watching while holding their breath.  Projections on treatments and immunizations at this point are at least one year away, so all we can do is protect ourselves and our loved ones with precaution.  If you like to receive hourly updates on the situation in West Africa, Healthmap is the perfect resource.

storage unit

When I first had to move out of my apartment, I was getting nervous about what I was going to do next. Unfortunately for me, my roommates all had to move out, and I couldn’t afford the place on my own. Naturally, I had to look for roommates, but I didn’t have a lot of time to find anyone, so I was in a major time squeeze. Even though I tried to get enough people to move in, I couldn’t find three extra people in time, so I had to move out of the apartment as well. Since I took so much time trying to find new roommates, I wasn’t able to find my next apartment in time! I only had a few days to move out of my current apartment, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to move into a new place on such short notice! Thankfully, I had a great group of friends who were willing to let me crash at their houses for a while, and for that I am eternally grateful. Unfortunately, though, I wasn’t able to store all of my stuff at their houses, so I was out of luck on that front! I had a few loveseats and a lot of dressers for my clothes, not to mention that I had a full queen size bed complete with box springs! I almost got to the point of being too stressed out to move, but my friends reminded me that I could always get a self storage rental! I almost completely forgot about these storage places, and I was very excited to know that they could help me store all of my extra stuff while I was looking for a new place to live.

Thankfully, I was able to borrow a friend’s heavy duty truck to transport all of my material goods, and I was able to safely transport each load to my self storage rental. When I first got to the self storage facility, I was greeted by a friendly customer service representative, and they let me know all of my available options. Since I had a lot of furniture to store, they let me know of all of my options as far as storage unit sizes went. Thankfully, they had some very large storage units, so I would be able to store my loveseats, dressers, and even my bed all in one unit without having things too cramped up, which could cause damage to them! I was also concerned about safety of the materials being stored in my home, but I soon found that their entire facility was proper guarded and maintained with the latest, state of the art security systems, so there was virtually no worry about the safety of my things! In the end, everything was extremely affordable, and their monthly rates didn’t put a dent on my bank account at all. Every service they offered was satisfactory, and the fact that I was able to safely store my home furnishings without any worry was just the cherry on top of the cake!

One of the things that everyone learns while they grow up are the things that they appreciate about their parents and the things that their parents do that make you never want to be like them.  The irony is that you ultimately end up a lot like your parents and you get to empathize with them quite a bit.  This goes back to my own childhood and the computer room in which I spent many of my formative years, playing video games and being on the computer.  When you grow up in an age of AOL and all of the software that was coming out to fit the Gateway 95 computer, you tend to spend a good amount of time in that area.  Nevertheless, one of the things that could not be ignored was the fact that the chair mat was depressed into the floor.  It had sunk so far into the floor that the question around its effectiveness was impossible to not raise.  How is that plastic chair mat supposed to stop the deterioration of the carpet with those gigantic indentations in the mat?  It was a pretty ugly sight and my parents were surely aware of the situation, but probably not moved enough to do anything about it.

glass chair matAs a result, as a family, research was done to figure out better solutions.  One that appeared as the glass chair mat.  A glass chair mat differs from its plastic cousins in that as a hard surface, it does a much better job of protecting the floor underneath it.  By allowing the glass chair mat to lay against your carpet or your hard wood floor, there is a much better chance that it would do the job that is was supposed to do in the first place.

With that in mind, it is critical to protect these floors with a chair mat.  Period.  If you do not, little rocks can adhere to the rolling wheels and this would cause the chair to scratch your floor every time that you need to make a move in the chair.  People rely on being able to do this, so if that were to be changed, i.e. if you took that away as a way to say your floor, it would change the course of the future.  Probably not, but there is a good chance that not having a glass chair mat would make you and your colleagues less effective at work.  All you would have to do then is buy a glass chair mat to protect your floors and help your colleagues by suggesting that they do the same for their home offices and the work offices as well. I am sure that a number of local stores have many of these chair mats available and I would hope that more and more people focus on those instead of the cheap plastic ones, which may or may not actually have a beneficial effect.

indoor play centerIt can be difficult to find new and interesting ideas for your child’s birthday party.  At times it can be easier in the summer to find places to go because there are so many outdoor activities going on.  However, during the winter months you and the kids can feel all cooped up with nowhere to go.  There are two things that I absolutely love to do with the kids in the winter time because it lifts our spirits and gets us as excited as we are in the summer every day.  The first is the indoor water park that’s just up the highway from our home.  We definitely love to slap on our bathing suits in the middle of January and ride the slides until we’re exhausted.  My second favorite thing to do in the winter time is take the family to the indoor amusement park, complete with rides, games, prizes, concessions, and more candy than anyone could ever need.  It makes me feel like a kid again and the rest of my family loves it to because we can run around and play as if it were the middle of July.

An indoor children’s amusement park is certainly something that I am glad exists.  When my kids have been pretty good and deserve a reward but the weather outside is forcing us to stay in, we put on our snow boots and brave the winter to get to the place that feels like summer all year long.  You can definitely walk in if you’d like without making a reservation, or you can plan a party months in advance if you know it’s coming.  But indoor amusement parks are not just for birthdays, it’s a perfect spot for a family of four that just wants to have a little bit of fun some evening.  If you do want to book a reservation for a birthday ahead of time, you can usually do that online to make things easier.

The rides that are typically available in most of the indoor amusements that I have seen include carousels, air bounce houses, train rides, swing rides, ferris wheels, fun mirrors, teacup rides, whip rides, and more.  There are also tons of games and prizes to check out.  The whole experience can include food if you want it to, or it can just be a place to ride a few rides after dinner at home.

One perk that I loved about the indoor amusement park closest to us was that they provided free invitations that can be downloaded from their website.  This way you don’t have to worry about writing out your own directions or explaining the details of the party because the park has already done it for you.  They also had printable thank you cards for after the party.

So the next time you’re feeling cramped up and depressed in the middle of winter, take my advice and join our family in an evening or day or fun that makes it feel like summer.

Lollipop Park

6901 South Peoria Street

Centennial, CO 80112

(303) 761-8700

Universities are normally some of the best places for medical research since universities usually get an immensely larger amount of funding than most hospitals or any other medical institution. For decades now it has been universities more than anyone else who is at the forefront of finding new ways to help people feel better for people who are suffering from neurological problems from disorders such as epilepsy, movement disorders, neurosurgery, hearing disorders, multiple sclerosis, headaches or strokes.

Since 1988 when the Colorado Neurological Institute first opened, they have been giving research support to medical professionals involved in and interested in the field of neuroscience.

neurological therapyColorado Neurological Institute is one of those university programs who is able to do a lot more to help people because of the resources that they are given. The neurological program helps patients every day who suffer from neurological conditions who would probably not have comprehensive medical care without the university, which provides the patients with drugs, surgical treatments, devices and therapies. Many of these benefits that are offered by the Colorado Neurological Institute are not even offered at many other medical facilities.

When people do not have insurance or even the money to cover the co-pay of any neurological work, which, let’s face it, almost none of us do, they go to places like the Colorado Neurological Institute. This is usually the best option for people because even if they are a part of clinical research trials at Colorado Neurological Institute, it is probably the only way that they are going to be able to get any sort of comprehensive care and support.

The twelve-person team at the Colorado Neurological Institute pairs up with distinguished doctors and medical professionals all around Colorado to provide all level of research and practice including research coordination, grant writing and administration, statistical analysis and regulatory compliance. The tools and methods that are found to be particularly useful are then passed on to the corresponding neurological doctors to help them be at the forefront of the best possible medical care that they can give to their patients.

If you are in the Colorado area and have suffered any kind of neurological damage from a stroke, neurointerventional radiology, neurosurgery, a brain or spinal injury, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Hunting’s Disease, hearing, head pain, Parkinson’s Disease, Humanitarian Us Devices or any other movement disorders or restrictions, you can also be a part of the research and treatment programs at the Colorado Neurological Institute. You can find information online or try to sign up by going and talking to any of the staff at the center. They can talk to you about what kind of trials they have going on at the moment and how any of them might be able to help you get back to your normal self again. They have trails going all of the time and so you should be able to find something fairly quickly and easily that will work to fit your needs and get you back to your old self.

Traditional masonry construction has been a popular option for residential and commercial construction since the time it was invented. There are many benefits to traditional masonry construction, including great durability and low maintenance requirements when properly installed. Some people say that properly constructed masonry work can make a building last upwards of five hundred years. Talk about return on investment. Additionally, traditional masonry work is typically designed to eliminate the need for frequent maintenance by eliminating the need for painting, staining, or waterproofing, depending on the materials used. The most common materials used for traditional masonry construction these days are brick and concrete. Their has been a recent spike in the demand for traditional masonry work as the preferred style for homes has shifted back to authentic old world craftsmanship. Unfortunately, traditional masonry work is very expensive and does not fit in to the budget of every home and family. The cost of the materials required for traditional masonry work in addition to the cost of labor can be very overwhelming. Not to mention that if you want the project completed correctly, it is going to require a lot of time. If you are attracted to the look and feel of traditional masonry work but have been scared off by the high expense, not to worry. Fortunately there are companies out there who provide faux stone panels as a more budget friendly alternative to masonry construction.

There are many companies out there these days who produce faux stone panels as an alternative to traditional masonry work. One of the leading companies is Genstone. Genstone’s products allow you to incorporate the look and feel of natural stone siding in a way that is cost effective, time efficient, and environmentally friendly. Using molds cast from actual stone or brick, their products are designed and engineered to give the most authentic natural stone look possible using man made materials. Their products come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and textures in order to meet the style demands of nearly any home or building. Their faux brick veneer and faux stone veneer products not only provide an authentic look, but also exemplify the great durability of traditional masonry work. In addition to being incredible durable, Genstone’s products also require very little maintenance over the years. All of their products are produced with UV-durability so that they will not fade or warp under the pressure of the elements. This means no painting, no staining, and no waterproofing. Genstone is so confident in their products that they offer a twenty five year warranty.

If you still are not convinced about how great Genstone’s products are, check out their website for more information. There you can find pricing information as well as a catalog of all of their products. My personal favorite is the American Brick, which comes in a variety of natural earth tones. On their website you can also find information about installation, shipping, and a photo gallery of successful installations from their past clients.

GenStone Products

1075 South Yukon Street

Lakewood, CO

(720) 962-6655


I love what I do for a living, and I try not to take it for granted. I know there are a lot of people out there who hate their jobs, despise going into work everyday and lose sleep over dreading another day in the futile, rat race of life. I think that’s a terrible way to live, I think that everyone needs to follow their passion and do something that makes them happy, whether it’s profitable or not. Stress is the biggest killer in the world and working jobs that suck, can literally suck the life out of you over the course of a long, boring career. But, you don’t have to let that happen, I personally found at a young age that I loved motorcycles, but it took me a while to learn that I could make a living selling and servicing them instead of the dead-end stuff I’d eventually grown accustomed to. I think about the days I wasted away in a call center, regurgitating the same, disingenuous, stupid apologies to customers on behalf of a company that didn’t care about me. Now, regardless I was  learning valuable skills and I was able to make some commission on an occasional sale or two. My father-in-law actually hooked me up with this job, I told him I was handy with a wrench and I had a serious interest in Harley Davidson and Honda motorcycles, the next thing I knew I was telling my boss I was through and was working on and selling bikes the next day.Honda motorcycle

Sometimes it’s hard to get out of the funk that we’re in, it’s obviously nice to have a helping hand. For me, loading up the dirt bike onto the trailer and hitching it to my truck and going to the mountains is the easiest way for me to snap out of it. It’s hard finding friends at this age who like to ride, maybe it’s a young man’s game but I love hitting the jumps. I’ve stayed in pretty good shape so I’m able to keep up with the youngsters pretty well. We all look the same when we have our helmets on anyway so I don’t think anyone’s taking it too easy on me either way. I knew I had to work tomorrow but I didn’t feel upset about it, I’d honestly rather be out here, but I at least got to deal with motorcycles if I wasn’t able to be out riding them. I wound around the track for the last time as the sun set and took a moment to appreciate my new, happy and inspired direction in life. I wouldn’t ever again allow myself to live life feeling anything other than the way I feel when I’m on my Harley, cruising at 60 miles an hour down the highway on a hot, summer night, loving every breath I take. I wake up everyday feeling good, and not because I know I have Lucky Charms and a fresh gallon of milk in the fridge, but because I have a job that I love and a rewarding career.

Taking on any construction project, big or small, can seem stressful and overwhelming. I am sure that we have all heard those nightmare stories about contractors going way over budget and way over schedule. When working on a tight budget and or schedule, you can not be dealing with lazy or untrustworthy contractors. That is why it is so important to do your research before embarking on a big construction project. When it comes to steel and metal buildings, look no further than Capital Steel. Capital Steel is one of the leading steel and metal building contractors in the country. They have earned a great reputation for professional quality and service all across the country. The greatest thing about Capital Steel is that they give you options to choose how you want to complete your construction project. You have the choice to work directly with Capital Steel Corporate, or you can deal locally with one of their many authorized contractors across the country. Capital Steel sets the standard for the rest of the steel and metal industry and they guarantee satisfaction for all of their clients. They want to work with you to make all of your steel and metal building projects a great success. There are many benefits to choosing Capital Steel for your building needs, whether you choose to go corporate or work with one of over one thousand local authorized contractors across the country.

There are many different types of steel and metal buildings that are provided by Capital Steel. Below is a list of some of the main types of buildings that they produce, although it is no where near comprehensive. If you have a special project or custom building that you have been dreaming of, Capital Steel can work with you to meet your specific needs.

Common Steel Buildings from Capital Steel

1. Aircraft Hangars

Protect your aircraft with one of Capital Steels pre-engineered steel aircraft hangars.

2. Commercial buildings

Capital steel can provide you with a structure for any of your business’ needs. From self-storage to manufacturing to office space, Capital Steel has what your business needs.

3. Government buildings

Capital Steel has been a trusted contractor for government buildings such as firehouses, police stations, and libraries, for many years.

4. Schools

As student populations continue to grow with each passing year, school buildings must be able to accommodate the influx of people. Capital Steel can help with all of your school expansion needs.

Common Metal Buildings from Capital Steel

1. Farming and Agricultural buildings

Capital Steel is a great option for many farming and agricultural needs, such as warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and storage facilities.

2. Gymnasium buildings

Get a sturdy and durable structure with lots of space and room for expansion.

3. Strip-mall

Capital Steel provides excellent products and services for all of your strip-mall needs.

4. Warehouse

There are many different applications and options for warehouse use. Whatever it is that you need, Capital Steel can meet your standards.

For any of your metal and steel building needs, call Capital Steel today.