Spring Maintenance Checklist

Gutters and downspouts: Pull leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts. Reattach gutters that have pelled away from the house. Run a hose on the roof and check for proper drain. If leaks exist, dry the area and use caulking or epoxy to seal the leak.

Siding: Clean siding with a pressure washer to keep mold from growing. Check all wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure. If wood is showing through, sand the immediate area and apply a primer coat before painting. If paint is peeling, scrape loose paint and sand smooth before painting.

Exterior caulking: Inspect caulking and replace if deteriorating. Scrape out all of the eroding caulk and recaulk needed area.

Window sills, door sills, and thresholds: Fill cracks, caulk edges, repaint or replace if necessary.

Window and door screens: Clean screening and check for holes. If holes are bigger than a quarter, that is plenty of room for bugs to climb in. Patch holes or replace the screen. Save bad screen to patch holes next year. Tighten or repair any loose or damaged frames and repaint. Replace broken, worn, or missing hardware. Wind can ruin screens and frames if they are allowed flap and move so make sure they are securely fastened. Tighten and lubricate door hinges and closers.

Drain waste and vent system: Flush out system.

Hot water heater: Lubricate circulating pump and motor

Evaporative air conditioner: Clean unit, check belt tension and adjust if needed. Replace cracked or worn belt.

Heat pump: Lubricate blower motor.

Foundation: Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration. If a significant number of bricks are losing their mortar, call a professional. If you can slide a nickel into a crack in your concrete floor, slab or foundation call a professional immediately.

Roof: Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits. Check flashings around all surface projections and sidewalls.

Deck and porches: Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose members and deterioration. Open decks and wood wings need to be treated every 4-6 years, depending on how much exposure they get to sun and rain. If the stain does not look like it should or water has turned some of the wood a dark gray, hire a professional to treat your deck and fence.

Landscape: This is a natural for spring home maintenance. Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushhes from structures. Limbs and leaves can cut into your home's paint and force you to have that side of the house repaired. A little trimming can save a lot of money and time.

Sprinklers: Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads. If there is an area of ​​your yard that collects too much water or does not get enough, run the sprinklers to figure out the problem. If it's not something you can fix yourself, call a professional before your lawn needs the water.

Information to Gather Before Appointing a Real Estate Attorney

Real estate attorney is basically an authorized legal advisor or representative who can help you sell or purchase a particular property. The property may include any tangible ground, homes, land, furniture or fixtures. Others may include organizations, huge shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and many such properties. Real estate attorney deals in issues including partnership contracts and transactions, economic failure or bankruptcy, licensing agreements, business leases and several other issues of similar nature. Are you facing difficulties in dealing with a specific asset or land? Your difficulties have now come to an end with the growing number of experienced lawyers. You can now appoint a good real estate attorney to deal effectively with your property issues. If you have made a choice of appointing a lawyer to put a full stop to your problems, you have made the right decision. Hiring a real estate attorney will save you from a lot of time consuming things like paperwork.

Once you have made a choice of appointing a real estate attorney, the question that arises as to what to do in order to select the best real estate attorney. This article will bring to your knowledge the answer to this question. With growing economy, realty business is also evolving with time and the need and demand of a real estate attorney is also increasing as he is the only person who can guide you rightly to deal with property related issues. Some people may prefer consulting a professional adviser without realizing the fact that these advisers do not have the legal expertise required like a real estate attorney. A real estate attorney can better deal with property issues as compared to professional advisers.

Best Attorney will not only provide you with legal advices but also support you and guide you with property related problems that you may face in the coming years. Through the process of finding an appropriate lawyer, take advice and assistance of your close links, neighbors and relatives. Refer to people who have personally experienced similar situation and can provide you with useful and valid information. Other possible and easily accessible source is the internet. Everything can easily be found over internet including a good Attorney. Almost, all law companies have an official site. These websites contain all the required data about the attorneys available in their company. You can draw down the names of the lawyers suitable for your case and arrange an appointment via telephone or email. This information can also be obtained from the bar association located in your town. There is some information that is essential to obtain from an attorney before making your final hiring decision.

Some inquiries that are required to be made are discussed as follows:

-Question regarding their past work experience in this field and the kind of issues that they had dealt with in their past cases.
-Verify his education and status.
-Inquire about the work environment in their firm and the resources that he uses to resolve a problem.
-As you will be paying him for his time and expertise, it is important for you to know about his availability. Make sure that he is able to give you sufficient time.
-Last, but not the least, inquire about the fees he charges and evaluate whether the amount he is charging is worth the services that he is offering you.

Obtaining the above information will help you appoint a good and an experienced real estate attorney for all your property or land related problems.

Feature Stories With Heart

Feature stories have heart. Feature stories have warmth. Most of all, feature stories force a writer / reporter to evaluate the human side of a community – beyond the facts, beyond the opinions – to find the spirit of the story.

I have always favored feature stories (or soft news) as a writer because it gives me the chance to get to know people on a higher level than straight news reporting (hard news) does. Beyond that, it also forces me to work as a reporter with feelings – yes, some reporters have actual feelings.

For the past few weeks, I've evaluated a variety of types of college feature stories in preparation for a workshop I'm presenting at the Associated Collegiate Press and College Media Advisers National College Media Convention. After sifting through stacks and stacks of archives of papers, I've come to the conclusion that college newspapers are much more active to seek out the feature elements than mainstream, professional newspapers.

My students (and former students) from The Montage, have compiled heartwarming stories of life and death, fun and frolics, and service and sacrifice. Here are a few examples:

"A Day in the Life of Mary Davis:" As a regular series, my students write personality profiles, covering students, faculty, staff, locals, etc. This particular story highlights an 86-year old student still eager to learn.

"Turning Lead into Gold:" This profile provides an in-depth look at a faculty member's passions.

"Inauguration Road:" Following a road trip to the White House for Barack Obama's engagement, two of my students compiled a piece about a 1st person account of the journey itself.

"What's Brewing in St. Louis:" Beer is a priority for many college students. Recognizing this, my students compiled an in-depth centerspread on St. Louis. Louis' beer culture, including a list of "things" to do with beer.

"The Vertical Expression of a Horizontal Desire:" Fun and frolics come in all shapes and sizes as detailed in this feature about the art of tango music.

This list of stories (found at http://www.meramecmontage.com ) includes a variety of subjects, topics, and angles. Primarily, though, these stories offer readers something "different," something soft – a much-needed break from the heart-wrenching news of reductions, murders, and swine flu statistics. Even more so, they offer reporters (whether student or professional) a chance to explore more than just the facts but rather the fun-loving spirit of life.

I could spend all day listing compelling, heart-warming and entertaining features that have been written by both students and professionals, but I'd rather open my eyes and seek the next big story that could possibly touch someone else's life and in return, touch mine.

Advice On Sports Nutrition Supplements

Have you wondered how your favorite athletes do their workout? Or what kind of exercises they perform, what kind of food they eat or how do they manage to relax under pressure situations? Probably you don’t care about all this because what matters for you is their performance in the sport. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t take care of themselves like we do.

In fact, athletes need to monitor their lifestyle very closely and keep their health conditions at par with their competitors; not just by eating right food items but also by consuming supplements.

Supplements are an integral part of athletes’ diet. It is required to have an enhancement of their endurance, and also to increase or, if not increase, at least maintain the appropriate muscle mass to be able to improve size and strength.

One of the most important parts of any sports nutrition is protein supplements. Without these supplements, athletes would not be the way they are at present. However, contrary to what most people think, diets jam-packed with protein do not necessarily build up muscle strength.

Building up muscle strength would be the job of regular physical activity. So if you want those big muscles you have to do exercises, not necessarily at gyms but could be also at your residences, daily. The key factor here is regularity. What you can achieve with steady and regular exercises may not be possible with a high profile but an irregular one.

Sports nutrition supplements need high levels of protein, which you can get from protein-rich foods. Enumerating all those food item will be a total waste of space in this article.

But to make you aware of the basics, here are a few of the foods that are rich in protein. There is fish, poultry and dairy products, and these are the foods you usually get your protein from because some sources of protein are high in fat and also in calories. So basically, you must take note of which sources are high in fat and which are not.

Even though nutrition supplements are useful, there are many reasons because of which sports nutrition experts discourage use of such supplements. One of the reasons is that these supplements can put a strain on your liver and kidneys.

Other reasons include high amounts of nitrogen in the nutrition supplement, which will only be excreted from your body as urea. But it is not as easy nor is as safe as it sounds because this said excretion often causes fluid imbalance, which leads to dehydration.

Another problem with sports nutrition supplements that have high amounts of protein from animal sources is that there are higher risks of heart diseases due to the high fat intake associated with such nutrition.

One more disadvantage of sports nutrition supplements is that there is a huge tendency that you will ingest amino acids that are capable of interfering with other amino acids, which results in a metabolic imbalance.

Beware of sports nutrition supplements that have high amounts of amino aids because it can cause gout; diarrhea and stomach cramping that can rank from mild to severe pain.

Even though sports nutrition supplements are being discouraged by sports nutrition experts, Bricker Labs, a sports nutrition supplement manufacturer, still does a lot of research, developments and marketing in this area.

Bricker Labs has over thirty years to blame for their success in their provision of sports nutrition supplements. They do not apply to sports nutrition only too, but also to weight loss, diet, health and other nutritional aspects.

It’s because of their experience in the field of sports nutrition and also because of their choice of perfectly safer ingredients in developing the nutrition that you would not like to consider any other manufacturer for your sports nutrition supplements. So what are the ingredients they use and how are they safer than those that other manufacturers use?

They make us of the L-Carnitine, which is mainly used for weight loss, energy and also for having a healthy heart function; Colostrums, which gives your body a healthy immune system function and also gives your body an improved stamina and also for an easier recovery in almost all cases; Vandayl Sulfate, which is capable of growing your muscles and also has the ability to define your muscles; Protein, everyone knows what protein is for and that is for sports nutrition, and also for health and muscle growth.

Another component is called Creatine, which is used for sports nutrition and muscle growth but it also involves bodybuilding at this time; HCA or Garcinia Cambogia, are for losing weight and suppressing your appetite; and last but certainly not the least, Vitamin B-12, is for overall health and nutrition.

All these ingredients mixed proportionately make the right sports nutrition. And an adequate dose of such nutrition gives the athlete required energy and muscle strength. Now you know what keeps an athlete going!