• Mold Identification, remediation and removal

    Molds could be found almost everywhere; they can grow on just about any organic material, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that may grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulating material. It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. Nevertheless, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.  It is critical to get advice from a mold removal specialist if you have any doubt about mold in your home as it can cause severe breathing problems for the inhabitants.

    Molds reproduce by making spores that usually can’t be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they’re growing on to be able to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

    Many kinds of molds exist. All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that may trigger allergies or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins or irritants. Possible health concerns are an essential reason to stop mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.

    Since mold requires water to grow, it is necessary to stop moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings are linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. A few of these changes have resulted in buildings which are tightly sealed, but might lack adequate ventilation, possibly leading to moisture build-up. Building materials, including drywall, may not permit moisture to escape easily. Delayed maintenance or inadequate maintenance are also connected with moisture problems in schools and large buildings. Moisture problems in portable classrooms  and other temporary structures have often been related to mold problems.

    When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems might be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they run their cleaning actions. Care ought to be used to stop mold and mold spores from being dispersed through the air at the place where they can be inhaled by building occupants.

    Concealed Mold
    Sometimes, indoor mold growth might not be noticeable. It is possible that mold could be growing on concealed surfaces, such as the rear side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the very top of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Potential locations of hidden mold can include conduit chases and utility tunnels (with leaking or condensing pipes), walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), condensate drain pans inside air handling units, porous thermal or acoustic liners inside ductwork, or roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation).

    Hidden Mold Growth
    Some building materials, including dry wall with vinyl wallpaper over it or wood paneling, may act as vapor barriers,(5) trapping moisture underneath their surfaces and therefore providing a damp environment where mold can grow. You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or should you understand there’s been water damage and building occupants are reporting health problems. Investigating hidden mold problems may be challenging and will require caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growthmake sure to use personal protective equipment (PPE). As an example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores from mold growing on the bottom of the paper. In case you believe that you could have a hidden mold problem, you might want to consider hiring an experienced professional. If you find concealed mold, you should revise your remediation plan to account for the total area impacted by mold growth.

    Mold Prevention Tips

    • Repair leaky plumbing and leaks in the building envelope as soon as possible.
    • Look for condensation and wet areas.
    • Keep moisture due to condensation by increasing surface temperature or reducing the moisture level in air (humidity). To increase surface temperature, insulate or increase air circulation.
    • Vent moisture-generating appliances, for example dryers, to the exterior where possible.
    • Perform regular building/HVAC inspections and maintenance as scheduled.
    • Clean and dry wet or damp spots within 48 hours.
    • Do not let foundations stay wet. Provide drainage and slope the ground away from the base.
  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Bikini fine for the summer time

    Looking good for summer!

    How many of us get ready for summer by denying ourselves meals, running 943 miles each day and counting every single calorie we get within 10 feet of? Ok, not most of us but a few do!

    Getting ready for summer usually involves a lot worrying about what we’ll look like in our bathing suits, and therefore how best to go about losing those pounds.  Some folks go to the extreme and lose a LOT of weight.  By the same token, many women who have had children want their pre-pregnancy bodies back.  Both of these groups of people fall into the category of people who may consider plastic surgery to attain that look quickly.  There are a number of procedures that may help:

    • Liposuction:  Still the number one surgical procedure performed by cosmetic surgeons.  This has been around for a very long time, has benefited from numerous advances in technology and is very safe.
    • Tummy Tuck: As with the above, Tummy Tucks are safe and are performed around the world quite frequently.  Removing extra skin and even repairing the underlying muscles will give you a better body contour and have you ready for the beach.
    • Mommy Makeover:  The Mommy Makeover is a relatively new concept although what it consists of has been around for awhile.  When doing a Mommy Makeover, the patient selects a couple of different procedures to be performed and has them done all at once or within a given timeframe.  Having them done at all once reduces the overall healing timeframes and allows you to get to the beach sooner.

    breast augI make mention of ‘getting to the beach’ and ‘getting ready for summer’, but it must be noted that the above procedures have real, tangible and lasting beneficial health impacts. Overall, most patients that undergo these procedures end up with a healthier lifestyle, incorporating better diet and fitness efforts and resulting in a more positive outlook on life.  So please don’t think these procedures are purely aesthetic – history has shown that they can also greatly enhance the lifestyle and mindset of the patient.tummy tuck

    The costs for these procedures can vary widely depending on where you live so I would advise speaking with a local doctor or two to get the idea.  It’s also a great idea to speak with others that have undergone these procedures to get a better understanding of the costs, recovery periods and other information you’re sure to want to know.

    A great resource for a lot of this is plastisurgery.org but even better, on their website, is a page dedicated to 3d videos of the procedures.  Check it out here.

    Whether your intention is to firm up for summer or to start yourself on a lifelong lifestyle change and get your body back into share, develop better eating habits and get a fitness regimen underway, a cosmetic procedures such as a tummy tuck or a mommy makeover is a good place to start – once you’ve spent the money on it and gone through the surgical procedure and recovery period, you’ll be far less likely to let your health backslide.

    Best wishes!!

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Summertime in Atlanta

    What to do in the summertime in Atlanta?

    I have kids and I hear, a lot, there’s nothing to do.  Are you kidding?  What’s going on in Atlanta?

    • May 1:  Lewis Black is in town for a great comedic turn.
    • May 2:  Some guy named Bill Cosby brings his “Far from finished” tour to Atlanta on May 2nd
    • May 8-10: Rock and Americana festival at Central Park, headlining with The Strokes, Wilco and The Avett Brothers
      • Zac Brown Band will be at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater on May 8th and 9th
      • Sweet Auburn Springfest takes place May 8-10
      • May 10 – call your mom!  (Mother’s day)
    • May 12: Ed Kowalcyzk is unplugged at the Variety Playhouse
    • R Kelly, Eryka Badu, 8ball perform at the Atlanta Funkfest.  Rumors of 2LiveCrew reunion also!
    • May 16: Shaky Boots come to Kennesaw
    • May 18: Monday Night Brewing serving up brews at the Beltline Jamboree
    • May 22 (Memorial Day Weekend): Atlanta Jazz Festival – nothing more needs to be said.  Go!
    • May 28 through 31: The Atlanta Food and Wine Festival brings the South’s best chefs and a large gathering of foodies.
      • Go to the West Side for the Georgia Craft Beer Festival on May 30th from 1-6pm
      • Candler Park Musical Festival runs from May 30-31 with a host of great venues

    In addition to the scheduled events, you should check out the following as well:

    • The King Center – ’nuff said on that, go check it out.
    • Sweetwater brewery – go visit.  Too cool!
    • Renaissance Festival – A full day’s fun
    • Atlanta Dog Parks – take poochy for a fun day
    • Aquarium – if you haven’t yet gone, you should
    • Coca-Cola Museum – again, if you haven’t gone, you should
    • Fernbank Science Museum – too much fun stuff to list.
    • Hard Labor Creed State Park – no, not a prison but rather a very nice place to hang out, have a picnic, rent a canoe, etc.
    • Stone Mountain – lazer show, hiking, running, fishing, swimming, beautiful views, etc.
    • Centennial Olympic Park – worth the visit to enjoy beautiful downtown Atlanta and let the kids play in the water fountains
    • Oakland Cemetery – sounds scary (and it can be at night) but worth a visit to get a taste of how historic this great city really is!

    Barring all of the above, there is always the ability to enjoy the spectacular weather Atlanta offers during the summertime.  Invite your friends (or get an invitation from them) and get in the  pool.  Nothing beats the heat like a nice luxurious dip in the pool and subsequent lounge around the deck with your favorite book, movie on your outdoor home theater system, music or conversation.

    So..yeah…nothing to do.  Get the hell out of the house and explore your city!

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Atlanta Underground

    Atlanta Underground’s future

    Atlanta Underground has been a long time favorite of locals as well as visitors.  Hosting a wide range of restaurants, stores, performers and general Atlanta-esque culture, it’s a fantastic place to visit and to round out the work day

    .underground-atlanta

    I’ve been in Atlanta now for about 15 years, a transplant from (gasp!) California.  I remember going to Underground when I first came out here and was intrigued.  Stories from natives relate that Underground in the 70’s was THE place to go but during the interim a lot has happened to make it less desirable.  Improvements have been made many times over the years and it seems we’re on the cusp of another one now.

    The New York Times recently posted the following:

    The new plan, said Kristi Rooks, a WRS project developer, will focus on attracting residents, now that this city, for so long defined by suburban development, appears to be looking inward.

    In the 1970s, a decade characterized by white flight and suburban sprawl, the city of Atlanta shed roughly 70,000 residents. But recent population estimates suggest that the city is adding thousands of residents per year, with some looking for a more soulful urban experience, or at least a way to avoid a soul-deadening commute.

    The population boom is helping drive other developments in the city, including the BeltLine, an unfinished 22-mile pathway for pedestrians, bikes and possibly public transit that follows old railroad lines; and Ponce City Market, a project that is transforming a historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building into new retail, residential and office space.

    “I don’t think that our idea is revolutionary,” Ms. Rooks said of Underground. “I think that our timing is spot on. People want to be in urban centers, and they want that authenticity, and they want to be on transit. And that wasn’t always the case.”

    Given this writeup and the general need for more (and better) living space downtown, it’ll be very interesting to keep an eye on what’s happening in and around Underground Atlanta.

  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Is Atlanta Leaderless?

    Atlanta’s Social Movement

    From blocking roads such as the Downtown Connector for public protests/rallies to rampant use of Social Media to complain and condemn the current state of political affairs in Atlanta, it’s obvious the current national as well as local events around things like excessive use of force by police, social injustices, the very public teacher cheating scandal and trials and a host of criminal justice problems has the residents of Atlanta in an uproar.  This uproar, however is missing a key ingredient – the right person (or any person) to lead it.

    One person is doing something about it – local activist Rev. Markel Hutchins.  His new advocacy group named “MovementForward” seeks to find a way to address the issues of civil rights violations and police violence.  Huthins’ group intends to bridge the gap from “old school” civil rights leaders to today’s younger and seemingly less interested groups.

    MovementForward intends to draw power and support from the recent massive demonstrations, urging protestors to not just make noise, but to make their actions count towards meaningful results.  The group also plans to better utilize current technology trends to reach out and bridge the gap between protesters, business executives and other groups with influence.

    As with most others, body cameras are a key topic.  It’s pretty much universally agreed that when police are wearing body cameras, both sides are better protected.  It’s an all around win and seems to be common sense.

    Regardless of the intent or success of this group and others, there are a few key issues that must be addressed.

    • Inclusion, instead of exclusion:  Nothing gets done in a vacuum and those that think they have all the answers and don’t need input/validation from others are deluding themselves.
    • Effective activism: Making noise, or a focus on anarchy is not effective and will get us nowhere.  We must have activism with a purpose and that purpose must underscore the intent of the movement.  Activities taken without a purpose are detrimental rather than helpful.
    • Common Sense:  As they say, common sense is not so common.  A lot of what’s happening on both sides is in contrast to basic common sense.

     

     

     

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  • Uncategorized Comments Off on Politics – a Glossary

    -[Reprinted from an article on VoteSmart]-

    Political Glossary

    If you’re like me, it can be difficult to keep it all straight sometimes – the language can almost seem like something other than English.  Here’s a glossary of terms that are commonly used to help you understand political terms used by government officials, and political candidates.

    • Absentee Voting:  A way people can vote when they can’t get to their polling place. They vote on a special form and mail it in.
    • Appropriation:  An act of Congress that enables Federal agencies to spend money for specific purposes.
    • Assistant Minority Leader:  Assists the minority leader in the Senate, rounds up votes.
    • Baiting:  Tormenting or teasing by saying annoying or cruel things.
    • Balanced Budget:  A balanced budget occurs when total revenues equal total outlays for a fiscal year.
    • Bias:  A leaning in favor of or against something or someone; partiality or prejudice.
    • Bills:  A legislative proposal that if passed by both the House and the Senate and approved by the President becomes law. Each bill is assigned a bill number. HR denotes bills that originate in the House and S denotes bills that originate in the Senate.
    • Calendar Wednesday:  A procedure in the House of Representatives during which each standing committees may bring up for consideration any bill that has been reported on the floor on or before the previous day. The procedure also limits debate for each subject matter to two hours.
    • Campaign:  A series of planned actions for getting someone elected.
    • Candidate:  A person who seeks, or who has been suggested for an office or award.
    • Citizen:  A person who is a member of a country or state; citizens have certain duties and rights.
    • Cloture:  A motion generally used in the Senate to end a filibuster. Invoking cloture requires a vote by 3/5 of the full Senate. If cloture is invoked further debate is limited to 30 hours, it is not a vote on the passage of the piece of legislation.
    • Committee of the Whole:  A committee including all members of the House. It allows bills and resolutions to be considered without adhering to all the formal rules of a House session, such as needing a quorum of 218. All measures on the Union Calendar must be considered first by the Committee of the Whole.
    • Congressional Districts (CD):  The 435 areas in which the nation is divided for the purpose of electing members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Each district is to be as proportional in population size as practicable within a given state.
    • Constituency:  All of the voters in a particular district.
    • Constituent:  Having the right to vote or elect; any of the voters represented by a particular official.
    • Concurrent Resolutions:  A type of legislation designated by H Con Res or S Con Res that is often used to express the sense of both chambers, to set annual budget or to fix adjournment dates. Concurrent resolutions are not signed by the President and therefore do not hold the weight of law.
    • Co-Sponsor:  A member or members that add his or her name formally in support of another members bill. In the House a member can become a co-sponsor of a bill at any point up to the time the last authorized committee considers it. In the Senate a member can become a co-sponsor of a bill anytime before the vote takes place on the bill.
    • The Corrections Calendar:  A list of bills selected by the Speaker of the House in consultation with the Minority leader that will be considered in the House and debated for one hour. Generally, bills are selected because they focus on changing laws, rules or regulations that are judged to be outdated or unnecessary. A 3/5 majority of those present and voting is required to pass bills on the Corrections Calendar.
    • Debate:  Face-to-face discussion of candidates’ views on issues.
    • Democracy:  Government by the people, through free and frequent elections.
    • Discharge Petition:  A petition that if signed by a majority of the House, 218 members, requires a bill to come out of a committee and be moved to the floor of the House.
    • Discharge Resolution:  In the Senate, a special motion that any Senator may introduce to relieve a committee of consideration of a bill before it.
    • Editorial:  Expressed opinions intended to persuade viewers and listeners by taking a side.
    • Election:  The process whereby eligible persons vote to determine who will hold a political office.
    • Election Day:  The day reserved for people to vote. In general elections, it is by tradition the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Primary elections are also usually held on Tuesdays.
    • Electoral College:  The voters, or electors, of each state that formally elect the United States President and Vice President. Each state has as many electoral college votes as it does U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators in Congress.
    • Federal:  Of or describing a union of states having a central government or pertaining to that government.
    • Filibuster:  An informal term for extended debate or other procedures used to prevent a vote on a bill in the Senate.
    • Franchise:  The constitutional right to vote.
    • Germane:  Relevant to the bill or business either chamber is addressing. The House requires an amendment to meet a standard of relevance, being germane, unless a special rule has been passed.
    • G.O.P.:  Letters that stand for Grand Old Party, the nickname of the Republican party.
    • Grassroots:  The involvement of common citizens.
    • Gubernatorial Election:  The selection of a governor by a state’s voters.
    • Hopper:  Box on House Clerk’s desk where members deposit bills and resolution to introduce them.
    • The House Calendar:  A list of all the public bills that do not address money and may be considered by the House of Representatives.
    • Hype:  Slang for political ads. e.g. slick short TV commercials.
    • Incumbent:  A person now holding an office.
    • Independent:  A candidate not belonging to one of the major political parties.
    • Issues:  Problems, ideas to be talked about, questions, decided upon and voted on.
    • Joint Resolutions:  A type of legislation designated by H J Res or S J Res that is treated the same as a bill unless it proposes an amendment to the Constitution. In this case, 2/3 majority of those present and voting in both the House and the Senate and 3/4 ratification of the states are required for the Constitutional amendment to be adopted.
    • Landslide:  An election in which one candidate defeats the other by a very large margin.
    • Law:  An act of Congress that has been signed by the President or passed over his veto by Congress. The two digits before the hyphen correspond to the Congress, and the one or more digits after the hyphen refer to the numerical sequence in which the bills were signed by the President during that Congress.
    • Majority/Minority Leader:  Leads the majority party in Congress. There is a majority and minority leader for each house of Congress.
    • Majority Whip:  Assists the leader, rounds up votes for the majority party, heads group of deputy whips. There is one in each house of Congress.
    • Minority Whip:  In the House, assists the minority leader, rounds up votes, heads large forum of deputy and assistant whips.
    • Motion to Recommit:  A motion that requests a bill be send back to committee for further consideration. Normally, the motion is accompanied by instructions concerning what the committee should change in the legislation or general instructions such as that the committee should hold further hearings.
    • Motion to Table:  A motion that is not debatable and that can be made by any Senator or Representative on any pending question. Agreement to the motion is equivalent to defeating the question tabled.
    • Mudslinging:  Negative, often personal, frequently inaccurate or exaggerated attacks of the opposition.
    • Nominee:  The person that a political party chooses to represent it in a general election. This is called nomination.
    • Non-partisan:  Not supporting or controlled by a group or a cause.
    • Partisan:  A strong, often emotional supporter of a person or cause; can apply to a group as well as individuals.
    • Party:  A group of people who join together because they share many ideas about what the government should do.
    • Platform:  A public statement of the principles, objectives, and policy of a political party, a plan.
    • Political Action Committee (PAC):  An organization created to raise money in support or opposition of a particular candidate or candidates. A PAC must be registered with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and may be formed by any group, including businesses, labor unions, and special interest groups.
    • Private Bill:  A bill that is introduced on behalf of a specific individual and that if enacted into law only applies to the specific person or organization the bill concerns. Often, private bills address immigration or naturalization issues.
    • The Private Calendar:  A list of all the private bills that are to be considered by the House. It is called on the first and third Tuesday of every month.
    • Public Bill:  A bill that applies to the general public, if enacted into law.
    • Override a Veto:  If the President disapproves a bill and sends it back to Congress with his objections, Congress may try to override his veto and enact the bill into law. Neither house is required to attempt to override a veto. The override of a veto requires a recorded vote with a two-thirds majority in each chamber. The question put to each house is: “Shall the bill pass, the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding?”
    • Poll:  A place where votes are cast; also refers to a survey to assess public opinion or to forecast an election.
    • Pollster:  A person or company that researches public opinion.
    • Precinct:  An administrative division of voters by neighborhood; smallest political unit in U.S. politics. Cities and counties are divided into precinct polling districts that have varying numbers of registered voters based on State law.
    • Public:  Of or having to do with the people as a whole.
    • Quorum:  The number of Representatives or Senators that must be present before business can begin. In the House 218 members must be present for a quorum. In the Senate 51 members must be present however, Senate can conduct daily business without a quorum unless it is challenged by a point of order.
    • Ratified:  Formal approval by voters or other persons.
    • Referendum:  The legal process of submitting to the voters for their approval or rejection of proposed state or rejection of proposed state of local laws or constitutional amendments.
    • Resolution:  A type of legislation (H Res or S Res) that is adopted only by the house that introduces it, and deals with issues concerning the operation of that house only.
    • Rhetoric:  The ability to use language effectively. The undue use of exaggeration or display. The art of influencing others through the use of words.
    • Rider:  An informal term for an amendment or provision that is not relevant to the legislation where it is attached.
    • Simple Resolutions:  A type of legislation designated by H Res or S Res that is used primarily to express the sense of the chamber where it is introduced or passed. It only has the force of the chamber passing the resolution. A simple resolution is not signed by the President and cannot become Public Law.
    • Sponsor:  The original member who introduces a bill.
    • Substitute Amendment:  An amendment that would replace existing language of a bill or another amendment with its own.
    • Suspension of the Rules:  A procedure in the House that limits debate on a bill to 40 minutes, bars amendments to the legislation and requires a 2/3 majority of those present and voting for the measure to be passed.
    • Unbiased:  Without favor or blame, objective.
    • The Union Calendar:  A list of all bills that address money and may be considered by the House of Representatives. Generally, bills contained in the Union Calendar can be categorized as appropriations bills or bills raising revenue.
    • Veto:  A power that allows the President, a governor or a mayor to refuse approval of a piece of legislation. Federally, a President returns a vetoed bill to the Congress, generally with a message. Congress can accept the veto or attempt to override the veto by a 2/3 majority of those present and voting in both the House and the Senate.

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