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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

Child Care – When Is It Too Much? – Part I

In this article we’re going to discuss the fine line between too much child care and just the right amount of it.

In today’s economy it is a fact of life that it isn’t always possible to survive on one income. All too often in a family, both parents have to work for a living. When children aren’t involved in the mix this isn’t too big a problem since even if just one of the couple were working they still wouldn’t see each other until the worker came home. But in the case of a child it’s a big difference. With both parents out of the house the child, depending on its age, needs to be cared for. Even a young teenager shouldn’t be left all alone day after day. Teenagers can get into a lot of trouble unsupervised, even for just a couple of hours.

But what about your small child, the one who needs care all day? Certainly finding care isn’t difficult, as there are many daycare centers available. But that isn’t the issue of this article. The issue is the question, “Just how beneficial is constant child care to your child?” This isn’t as easy a question as it appears to answer.

Sure, we can all agree that you can’t leave a 2 year old home alone all day. Yes, the child needs to be cared for if both parents are out of the house working. What needs to be addressed is the pluses and minuses of both parents working, making it necessary for the child to be cared for on a constant basis.

While the psychology of how a child will react to a stranger caring for him as opposed to how that child reacts to his own parent is beyond the scope of this article, it can’t be ignored. Studies show that children that grow up in a home environment with at least one parent caring for them, grow up better adjusted than children who are left to daycare for years on end.

“But we have no choice! We both have to work!” come the screams. Well, actually, you don’t have to both go to work. You choose to both go to work. Big difference. In a democracy like the United States, which is also the worst offender in this case, you are free to work or not work. But that isn’t the issue either. The issue is in doing what’s best for the child.

There are arguments on both ends of the spectrum. There are those who say that if the child is financially provided for and thus has all the “essentials” in life, this will make up for the lack of time that child spends with his parents. Others say that there is no substitute for a mother’s love and children who grow up in daycare centers grow up to be troubled teens.

The arguments will continue. But what the parents can do in order to help insure that their child does grow up to be well adjusted is to spend as much time with the child as possible, even if both have to work.

In the second part of this two part series we’ll discuss several ways that the parent can provide daycare and still give the child the quality time he or she needs to be with at least one of the parents.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

The Need for Modules

It happens to every successful business: you installed a shiny new Avaya Partner Systems network and it worked beautifully. A little too beautifully. Business became so productive and so efficient that more and more employees had to be hired. Soon, there weren’t any available lines or extensions. Chaos reigned. Employees had to share phones, 5 people to a phone. You had to disconnect from the internet so you could plug in your fax machine.

Company heads spent countless hours in meetings, sending memo after memo filled with cries for help. Buying another network was suggested by a lower ranking executive, but he was fired for offering silly, wasteful ideas.

There is an answer though, a solution, a way out from the despair and misery caused by a fundamental lack of lines and extensions. Modules.

Modules are Quick and Easy

Modules are the key that unlocks the door to providing a phone for every employee, a port for every computer and fax machine. So expand quickly and with ease. Sleep soundly knowing you’re picking an efficient, cost effective trunking option.

The T1 module has two benefits: it adds 16 lines of fractional T1 service and better utilization of T1 functionality. But why stop at a single module; more employees equals more lines, and one module only gives you 16 extras.

Purchase multiple modules, and you can create the perfect network, capable of supporting all your employees. Depending on how you configure them, the modules can either add up to 19 lines and 44 extensions, or 31 lines and 8 extensions. It’s your choice, based on your needs.

Modules Have Features

Modules have another benefit: they have features. The features are icing on the network expanding cake. The cake is rich and moist; the flavor is perfectly balanced without being too heavy. On its own, the cake would be just fine. But the icing adds a whole new dimension to the cake. A new characteristic that enhances the overall flavor of the cake. It’s the same way with the modules and features.

They come with advanced telephony capabilities that help increase the productivity and efficiency: caller ID, send all calls, and 5 party conference call. The features also boost mobility; Cell Phone Connect and Remote Call Forwarding work in conjunction allowing you to receive business calls anywhere you go.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

Quick Authentic Feng Shui Advice For Your Home

During a site consultation for a department of the United Nations in Malaysia, one of its employees asked me a question that seems to be asked often: can you give me some quick guidelines for my home without having to go too much into it? And of course, still using classical Feng Shui. House consultations are usually very detailed affairs with many layers of disciplines used and time consuming as each home is unique BUT there still is general advice that can be used without accidentally creating negative effects.

It helps to know which directions should be enhanced and those that are not to be stimulated. If you are not sure of your Kua number, you can use our Kua Number Calculator to find out your Auspicious and Inauspicious directions. Inauspicious directions need remedies and more protection while Auspicious directions should be primarily enhanced. Remember, different people have different Kua numbers and directions, meaning a good direction for you to stimulate may be a bad direction for a loved one. In cases where there are multiple occupants whose good/bad directions overlap: use items that are primarily protective items with a secondary role of enhancing. That way, if an item for some reason is placed in the wrong direction, you’re still protected.

The Entrance
Asides from the entrances being entry points for your home, it is also very important in Feng Shui as that’s where a very large amount of chi comes in and sets the overall tone of your home. Wouldn’t you rather allow good flowing chi into your home instead of negative chi entering and pulling everything down? Here, you would want to set up a filter point choosing for auspicious chi coming in or good chi. A protective item would make sure only good chi (sheng chi) comes in, whereas a wealth enhancer would transform the chi coming in to be auspicious chi. Recommendations: All Protectors (Protective), Authentic Wealth Bowl (Auspicious), Kuan Kung on Horse of Progress (Both).

The Backdoor
The backdoor or exit of your house is frequently overlooked because there is usually more importance stressed on the entrance. The importance of this part of the house increases when depending on how often you use it. For some, it is an entrance to their garden or a more convenient form of exit. If you do not use the backdoor often, focusing on protection takes priority. If it is used very often, then you can also treat it similar to an additional entrance. Recommendations: Kuan Kung God of War (Protective), Lucky Wealth Bars (Auspicious), Inscribed Dragon Tortoise (Both).

The Living/Dining Room
This is usually the place where members of the house would spend a large amount of time together. Be it entertaining guests, watching a favorite show together or just winding down after a tough day at work. This is also a place to maximise the usage of Feng Shui for you to reap the benefits it can bring. Recommendations: Fu Lu Shou Set (Protective), Prosperity Buddha (Auspicious), Lord Chung Kwei Guardian of Harmony (Both).

The Bedroom
This is a place where we rest and recuperate and thus open ourselves to negative or positive influences in our immediate surroundings. Most of the times, health related items are recommended in this section and refrain from putting enhancers that are constantly moving like windchimes. This is one of the best places to promote harmony and soak up auspicious chi. Recommendations: 8 Immortals Wu Lou (Protective), Health Wealth Pendant (Auspicious), Kuan Yin on Arowana(Both).

Well, hopefully this list has provided you with some basic knowledge of how you can use classical Feng Shui in your home properly. I’d also like to take the time to wish you and your an prosperous Lunar New Year!

For more information on remedies, don’t forget to visit our website at: www.smilingbamboo.com! 🙂

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

Travel Guide – Chicago

Chicago is one of the great cities of the world and one of my favourite destinations for long weekend getaways. Here you will find some useful information about this city that will enable you to plan your own escape to Chicago.

History

In 1673 French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet passed through what is now Chicago. Chicago’s first European settler was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, a fur trader from Santo Domingo of French-African descent. He built the first settlement in 1779 at the mouth of the Chicago River. The construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal provided a connection between Chicago and the Mississippi and fueled population growth in the area in the 1830s. In 1837 Chicago was incorporated and had a population of 4,170. The city became a transportation hub in 1848 when the Illinois and Michigan Canal was completed and the first locomotive arrived. Chicago was also known for its stockyards which served the nation between 1865 and 1971.

On October 8, 1871 the Great Chicago Fire (supposedly started when a cow kicked over a lantern) started and claimed 300 lives, left 90,000 residents homeless and essentially destroyed the entire city. This turned into one of the greatest opportunities for rebuilding and within just a few years the entire city was reconstructed.

During the second half of the 19th century, the city’s growing industrial worker population campaigned for better working conditions, better wages and an eight-hour work day. There were several clashes between workers and the police, the most well known was the Haymarket Square Riot of 1886.

In 1893 Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition that attracted nearly 26 million visitor during its six-month run. In order to provide transportation to the fair, the Chicago Transit Authority introduced the first elevated trains to Chicago. Today the system’s “L” train encircles the city’s central business area, referred to as the “Loop”. Chicago’s cultural interests can be traced to this era, when its orchestra, library and major museums were established. In 1909 Daniel Burnham’s comprehensive city plan was published which provided an unobstructed lakefront, a citywide system of parks and a green belt of forest preserves.

Alternate periods of corruption and reform characterized the city’s political history in the early 20th century. In the summer of 1919 race riots erupted throughout the United States, the worst occurring in Chicago on July 27. The riots shocked the nation and prompted many to launch efforts toward racial equality through volunteer organizations and reform legislation. The prohibition era during the 1920s saw a lot of gang activity. Al Capone was the most well-known of gangsters. His illegal activities culminated in the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, a violent shootout to eliminate his competitors. He was convicted of income tax evasion in 1931, sentenced to 11 years in prison and was released on parole in 1939. Crippled by syphillis he spent the rest of his life in a mansion in Miami Beach, Florida.

In 1933 Chicago hosted the the World Fair, dubbed “A Century of Progress”, to show the technological accomplishments of civilization since the city was incorporated. The fair attracted 39 million visitors in a two-year period.

Richard J. Daley was elected Mayor of Chicago for the first of six times in 1955. For 21 years, Daley served “the city that works’. During his time in office, O’Hare International Airport (which became the world’s busiest) began operations, the Sears Tower (one of the world’s tallest buildings) was erected and McCormick Place Convention Center (the largest in North America) opened.

In 1976, Mayor Daley died in office. Since then, Chicago elected its first female mayor (Jane Byrne in 1979) and its first African American mayor (Harold Washington in 1983). In 1989, Mayor Richard M. Daley, son of Richard J. Daley, was elected mayor and still holds the position.

The city of Chicago has increased its exposure as a world-class city by hosting the World Cup Soccer Tournament in 1994, the Democratic National Convention in 1996, the International Pow Wow in 1998 and an International Millennium Celebration in 1999/2000.

Neighbourhoods

Chicago’s multicultural heritage is reflected in its neighbourhoods, which now attract thousands of visitors each year. It is home to nearly three million people from all over the world. People of African, Chinese, German, Greek, Vietnamese, Italian and Scandinavian descent are among those who have made Chicago their home. After Warsaw, Chicago has the second largest population of Polish people in the world.

Architecture

Chicago is the birthplace of modern architecture. From historic landmark buildings to contemporary masterpieces, Chicago is home to unique and innovative designs that have shaped American architecture. Chicago is a living museum of architecture, thanks to geniuses such as Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Helmut Jahn, Frank Gehry and many others.

Museums

Chicago is world-renowned for its diverse collection of museums, which explore a variety of subjects, including Chicago history, art, African American culture, astronomy, natural history and more. The Museum Campus, located in Grant Park, features the John G. Schedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. Other famous Chicago museums include the Chicago Historical Society, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the DuSable Museum of African-American History. Various ethnic groups, including the Mexican, Polish, Lithuanian, Swedish, Greek, Ukrainian and Jewish population, have their own museums, showcasing their history, art and costumes. The Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Museum of Holography will appeal to individuals with an interest in visual arts.

Tours

Chicago can be explored by foot, bus, bike, boat or plane and its famous landmarks can be discovered on land, river, lake or in the sky. The Chicago Architecture Foundation offers guided walking and river tours to explore the city’s unique architecture.

Taste

Chicago has thousands of restaurants serving a variety of culinary delights to suit every taste, every budget and every mood. Taste of Chicago is an annual festival featuring house specialties from dozens of the city’s restaurants. It is held during the last week of June and first week of July and attracts hundreds of thousands of culinary fans.

Shopping

Shopping in Chicago began on State Street, the center of the Loop. The original and flagship Marshall Field’s department store opened in 1852 on State Street. The famed “Magnificent Mile” that runs along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Oak Street offers hundreds of specialty shops and boutiques presenting top-of-the-line goods from around the world. Oak Street features designs from Paris, Milan and Manhattan.

Family Entertainment

Navy Pier offers more than 50 acres of shops, restaurants, gardens and entertainment attractions. It holds a 15-story Ferris wheel, an IMAX theatre as well as the Chicago Children’s Museum. Kids on the Fly is a “satellite” Chicago Children’s Museum located at O’Hare International Airport that entertains and educates children during layovers or waiting times at the airport. The Children’s Zoo at the free admission Lincoln Park Zoo includes live animal presentations, a petting zoom, a zoo nursery and a hands-on learning center for kids.

Music

Chicago is one of the hot beds for jazz and blues. Jazz began to spread from the South between 1910 and 1920 and Chicago became the nation’s jazz center in the 1920s. “Chicago style” jazz also originated in the 1920s and during the 1930s, Benny Goodman, a one time child prodigy from a poor Chicago family, was established as the “King of Swing”. In the 1930s and 1940s blues eventually came north to Chicago and has remained a popular music genre ever since. Today the city features many jazz and blues venues and hosts a variety of music festivals throughout the year, including the the Chicago Jazz Festival, the Chicago Blues Festival, the Chicago Gospel Festival, the Chicago Country Music Festival, the “Viva Chicago” Latin Music Festival and the World Music Festival.

Chicago features 7300 acres of parkland, including 552 parks, 33 beaches, nine museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife gardens. Historic Grant Park and newly created Millennium Park are among the most well-known of Chicago’s green spaces. Chicago also features 6 golf courses, 9 lakefront harbours, and a multitude of tennis courts for outdoor recreation. The waterfront trail along Lake Michigan’s shoreline is a mecca for joggers, bikers and in-line skaters.

Chicago is a big sports town and home to several professional sports teams, including the Chicago Bulls (basketball), the Chicago Bears (football), the Chicago Cubs (baseball), the Chicago White Sox (baseball), the Chicago Blackhawks (hockey) and the Chicago Wolves (semi-pro hockey). It holds historic sports venues such as Wrigley Field, Comisky Park – now known as US. Cellular Field, and Soldier Field.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

The Ironman and Overtraining

This is a statement I read recently. “Remember that when you are not training, someone out there is and you will lose to that person when you meet on raceday.”

This statement was directed towards highly competetive athletes, but just the same, by its very nature, this reasoning can lead to injury.

I really believe that regardless if you are a pro triathlete or first time Ironman hopeful, this is not the best thought process to follow.

To me it makes more sense to worry less about the other person and concentrate on the training regimen that’s best for you. Being afraid to miss a training day because someone else might get a step ahead of you is a recipe for disaster. All athletes have different physical tolerance levels and must progress within their capabilities and not push themselves when they obviously need rest.

Often an olympic athlete — like a swimmer for example — will suffer an injury and be forced to take 4 or 5 weeks off from serious training. Then soon after being back from injury, they enter a competition and have some of the best results of their career. You see it with pro athletes as well. A hockey player misses a week or two of playing and when he returns to the ice he has a career night.

To me the reason for this is simple. They were forced into giving their body a long period of rest that it obviously needed. Chances are they were over-training before their forced lay-off. Their bodies welcomed the rest and responded with amazing results.

Over the years I’ve had times when I’ve pushed my body to the limit just to see what I could do and if it would improve my race results. I was capable of enormous training regimens, but ultimately found that training more didn’t necessarily result in better race results. More often then not it resulted in injury.

For example: Ten years ago I wanted to see if run-training extreme distances would give me my best ever Marathon result. Over a 5 month period I kept increasing my weekly distance. I maxed out at 155 miles a week. Probably more than most olympic marathoners train on a weekly basis. To reach that distance I had to run around 24 hours a week. It also meant doing two-a-day training. In other words, it wasn’t unusual to run 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

The last month of training before I had intended to taper was a monster. The weeks went 140 miles, 145 miles, 150 miles and 155 miles or almost 600 miles in a month plus working a full-time job. It was during the last week and a half that I started to feel soreness in my heels. Like many other odd aches and pains I developed over the years, I just trained right through it assuming it would go away. Well it didn’t. It became so bad that I had to go to a doctor and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. It was an extremely serious case and cost me the marathon I was training for, and even an Ironman race 5 months later.

NOTE***I did mention to two different coaches that my heels hurt and it felt like they were bruised. They had no idea what it was. I told my doctor the same thing and he knew right away what the problem was. He diagnosed plantar fasciitis immediately. Ironically, when I looked it up on the internet later, it said that the first sign of plantar fasciitis is a feeling not unlike having bruised heels. To this day I don’t know how both coaches failed to pick up on it, especially when they were documenting my weekly mileage. They could have saved my year. The lesson here: A coach is not a doctor. If you’re injured go to a doctor.

Despite having my heel injected with an anti-inflammatory before the Ironman months later, I had to drop out 5 miles into the run. It was devastating injury and that was the last time I let myself over-train.

It really messed up an entire year.

My suggestion to anyone training for the Ironman is to listen to your body. Its true that often you will get numerous aches and pains and twinges that come and go as you put your body through the rigors of training for a distance event. If you quit training every time something ached, you would never train.

The best way I found to approach these nagging aches and pains was to monitor them “very closely.” Say for example your heel begins to hurt like mine did. The first time you notice the pain do one more running workout. If its still there, STOP run training and concentrate on your swimming and biking. That’s the beauty of the Ironman. Often an injury will allow you to do at least one of the other disciplines.

See a professional—a doctor or physiotherapist and tell them the problem. Had I done this it may have saved my entire year. Plantar fasciitis would have been diagnosed right away. A program of stretching 3 times a day and maybe some shoe inserts and I could have avoided the injury becoming chronic. At most I would have lost one or two weeks instead of the entire season.

So I believe this is the key to avoiding serious injury. If its a normal ache or pain it will disappear in a few days. If it persists through several training days, stop and get it diagnosed.

Pushing too hard in your training can have another serious consequense as well. You can just simply run out of energy and every work-out becomes difficult. Its times like this that training is just no fun. If you go out on a training run or bike and just know you have nothing in the tank–stop and go home. Take two or three days off completely and do things that have nothing to do with swim, bike, run. Avoid the mindset that you will lose all you’ve worked for if you take several days off. It just won’t happen.

Give your body a break. When you return to training, you’ll most likely feel re-vitalized and begin to enjoy training once again.

Strange as it may sound, my best competition year was when I decided to take extra days off whenever I felt drained. It was a complete about face from all the years that I just pushed through the fatigue. Training tired all the time often means you will eventually run out of gas somewhere on the Ironman course. Ultimately you will go into the race tired and thats the last thing you want in a major endurance event like the Ironman.

Remember:

-Listen to your body.

-Take a few days extra rest if you feel tired all the time.

-If a pain persists through a few training days, stop, see a doctor and concentrate on the events that don’t aggravate the injured area.

-Don’t worry about how everyone else is training. Do what works for you.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

November NFL Thoughts

Picked up pieces from the sports betting weekend. A pro handicapper told me about an old betting angle started back in the 1970s which relates to the mid-point of the NFL season. According to him, people bet on any team that starts the season 2-6 or worse for the rest of the year, and against any team that starts 6-2 or better. This is not a formula for hitting 80% winners the rest of the way, but for sports betting grinders. I don’t do that, but I can see reasoning behind the angle. You’re going against public perception which means, in theory, you’re getting a few extra points each week, as teams that that 2-6 are likely to be big dogs the rest of the way, while currently strong teams like the Colts and Broncos will be getting respect from oddsmakers. Just thought I’d pass that wagering angle along.

The Terrell Owens saga is ridiculous. A pampered, problem-child superstar continues to backstab teammates and talk about ME, ME, ME, so the coach throws him off the team. A pat on the back for Andy Reid for making that decision. Football is not about ME, it’s about teamwork, working hard and working together. Owens was suspended for Sunday night’s 17-10 loss at Washington, and will remain suspended for three more games without pay. After that, the Eagles plan to deactivate him for the rest of the season. Does anyone recall the TV speech Owens gave early in preseason, trying to explain his actions? It was embarrassing. Let’s hope Owens and his agent aren’t dumb enough to go on TV again to try and plead his case.

Athletes wear out their welcome all the time in sports, and most move on to another team for a few years where they often wear out their welcome again. Lost in the shuffle of the Owens’ saga is a similar thing that happened in the NFL four years ago. Early in the 2001 season, Patriots All-Pro WR Terry Glenn was being a problem child, missing practices and complaining about a variety of topics. Coach Bill Belichick laid down the law and suspended Glenn. At the time it was a surprise, as New England was short on offensive speed. However, the team showed they were better without Glenn, recovering from an 0-2 start and the sideshow antics by winning the Super Bowl, all without Glenn.

In Cleveland, first-year coach Romeo Crennel has the Browns playing hard. A defensive expert, the Cleveland defense is allowing 17 ppg after allowing 24 per game last season. The offense is still short on talent and plays a conservative, grind-it-out style. Notice that the Browns are 7-1 “under” the total.

The 3-5 Raiders have had a tough schedule and some bitter defeats, losing at home to KC by 6 when a late drive stalled, and at Philly by 3. Sunday’s shocking 27-23 loss at Kansas City on the final play was easily the hardest to take. “This is about as bitter a defeat as you could have,” said Oakland quarterback Kerry Collins afterward. It’s the type of loss that could break the back of a team. Watch for any finger-pointing or complaining by Oakland players over the next few weeks, especially Randy Moss, who hasn’t spoken to the press since early September, which is probably a blessing.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

The Ironman and Overtraining

This is a statement I read recently. “Remember that when you are not training, someone out there is and you will lose to that person when you meet on raceday.”

This statement was directed towards highly competetive athletes, but just the same, by its very nature, this reasoning can lead to injury.

I really believe that regardless if you are a pro triathlete or first time Ironman hopeful, this is not the best thought process to follow.

To me it makes more sense to worry less about the other person and concentrate on the training regimen that’s best for you. Being afraid to miss a training day because someone else might get a step ahead of you is a recipe for disaster. All athletes have different physical tolerance levels and must progress within their capabilities and not push themselves when they obviously need rest.

Often an olympic athlete — like a swimmer for example — will suffer an injury and be forced to take 4 or 5 weeks off from serious training. Then soon after being back from injury, they enter a competition and have some of the best results of their career. You see it with pro athletes as well. A hockey player misses a week or two of playing and when he returns to the ice he has a career night.

To me the reason for this is simple. They were forced into giving their body a long period of rest that it obviously needed. Chances are they were over-training before their forced lay-off. Their bodies welcomed the rest and responded with amazing results.

Over the years I’ve had times when I’ve pushed my body to the limit just to see what I could do and if it would improve my race results. I was capable of enormous training regimens, but ultimately found that training more didn’t necessarily result in better race results. More often then not it resulted in injury.

For example: Ten years ago I wanted to see if run-training extreme distances would give me my best ever Marathon result. Over a 5 month period I kept increasing my weekly distance. I maxed out at 155 miles a week. Probably more than most olympic marathoners train on a weekly basis. To reach that distance I had to run around 24 hours a week. It also meant doing two-a-day training. In other words, it wasn’t unusual to run 3 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening.

The last month of training before I had intended to taper was a monster. The weeks went 140 miles, 145 miles, 150 miles and 155 miles or almost 600 miles in a month plus working a full-time job. It was during the last week and a half that I started to feel soreness in my heels. Like many other odd aches and pains I developed over the years, I just trained right through it assuming it would go away. Well it didn’t. It became so bad that I had to go to a doctor and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. It was an extremely serious case and cost me the marathon I was training for, and even an Ironman race 5 months later.

NOTE***I did mention to two different coaches that my heels hurt and it felt like they were bruised. They had no idea what it was. I told my doctor the same thing and he knew right away what the problem was. He diagnosed plantar fasciitis immediately. Ironically, when I looked it up on the internet later, it said that the first sign of plantar fasciitis is a feeling not unlike having bruised heels. To this day I don’t know how both coaches failed to pick up on it, especially when they were documenting my weekly mileage. They could have saved my year. The lesson here: A coach is not a doctor. If you’re injured go to a doctor.

Despite having my heel injected with an anti-inflammatory before the Ironman months later, I had to drop out 5 miles into the run. It was devastating injury and that was the last time I let myself over-train.

It really messed up an entire year.

My suggestion to anyone training for the Ironman is to listen to your body. Its true that often you will get numerous aches and pains and twinges that come and go as you put your body through the rigors of training for a distance event. If you quit training every time something ached, you would never train.

The best way I found to approach these nagging aches and pains was to monitor them “very closely.” Say for example your heel begins to hurt like mine did. The first time you notice the pain do one more running workout. If its still there, STOP run training and concentrate on your swimming and biking. That’s the beauty of the Ironman. Often an injury will allow you to do at least one of the other disciplines.

See a professional—a doctor or physiotherapist and tell them the problem. Had I done this it may have saved my entire year. Plantar fasciitis would have been diagnosed right away. A program of stretching 3 times a day and maybe some shoe inserts and I could have avoided the injury becoming chronic. At most I would have lost one or two weeks instead of the entire season.

So I believe this is the key to avoiding serious injury. If its a normal ache or pain it will disappear in a few days. If it persists through several training days, stop and get it diagnosed.

Pushing too hard in your training can have another serious consequense as well. You can just simply run out of energy and every work-out becomes difficult. Its times like this that training is just no fun. If you go out on a training run or bike and just know you have nothing in the tank–stop and go home. Take two or three days off completely and do things that have nothing to do with swim, bike, run. Avoid the mindset that you will lose all you’ve worked for if you take several days off. It just won’t happen.

Give your body a break. When you return to training, you’ll most likely feel re-vitalized and begin to enjoy training once again.

Strange as it may sound, my best competition year was when I decided to take extra days off whenever I felt drained. It was a complete about face from all the years that I just pushed through the fatigue. Training tired all the time often means you will eventually run out of gas somewhere on the Ironman course. Ultimately you will go into the race tired and thats the last thing you want in a major endurance event like the Ironman.

Remember:

-Listen to your body.

-Take a few days extra rest if you feel tired all the time.

-If a pain persists through a few training days, stop, see a doctor and concentrate on the events that don’t aggravate the injured area.

-Don’t worry about how everyone else is training. Do what works for you.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

Raleigh Mortgage Options

Situated in north central North Carolina, Raleigh is the capital of the Tarheel state and is a booming city that has witnessed many changes over the past several decades. Gone are the days when Raleigh was little more than a sleepy, southern city in a chiefly agricultural state. Today, Raleigh has more than 320,000 residents and is part of a exploding metropolitan area that 1.3 million residents now call “home.” Duke, UNC, and NC State are three highly regarded universities serving the area and the Research Triangle Park is world renowned for its many technological innovations. For good reason, thousands of families are relocating to the Raleigh area every month; you can too and a Raleigh mortgage can give you what you need to successfully make your move.

Purchasing a house in Raleigh is so much like buying a home in any recognized American city: you make a down payment, get in touch with many lenders for competing bids, and you select a lender based on the information given. Your Raleigh mortgage is ready and your move is certain, right? Well, it isn’t always that simple! Let’s examine some web sites that can give you useful and significant information as you shop for a mortgage:

1. Bankrate.com – this site lists mortgage rates from all across the nation. Narrow down your search to Raleigh and local mortgage rates will turn up in your search results. The rate given should be a good point of reference for you as contact lenders.

2. Interest.com – works much the same way as Bankrate; enter your Raleigh mortgage information and the rate will emerge.

Other useful sites of note include:

3. ChaseHomeMortgage.com

4. LendingTree.com

5. Amerisave.com

6. ING Direct.com

While the list isn’t comprehensive, it is a good beginning point. Additionally, you can check your local phone book for a record of Raleigh mortgage companies. Sometimes smaller, local companies are more willing to help out, particularly if your have other circumstances present, including if you are self employed, possess bad credit, have suffered a drop in income, or have experienced other important changes.

Your Raleigh residence is waiting for you – get in touch with a Raleigh mortgage broker right now to learn about your mortgage choices.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

FA Cup Third Round Betting Review

There were not many surprises in the FA Cup third round, but the shock results in the minority were certainly spectacular ones.

Manchester United remain 9/2 second favourites despite whimpering to a goalless draw against non league Burton Albion. This was the second time in as many seasons the Reds have been held by Conference opposition, although it will mean a lucrative payday for Nigel Clough’s side when the two sides replay at Old Trafford.

Middlesbrough were also held to a draw by Conference North side Nuneaton Borough. Former Leicester City apprentice Gez Murphy scored a 90 minute penalty to level matters after Gaizka Mendieta gave Boro the lead after 15 minutes.

Fulham became the first Premiership side to be dumped out of the Cup, going down 2-1 at home to League Two side Leyton Orient on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday proved to be a bad day for Premiership sides with Tottenham Hotspur the next victims. The perennial FA Cup underachievers surrendered a two goal lead at Leicester’s Walkers Stadium with the Foxes winning an entertaining match 3-2. Despite the stunning victory, Championship outfit Leicester remain 200/1 underdogs to win the Cup.

Elsewhere it was business as usual for the Premiership sides. Chelsea, favourites at 11/4 needed an 81 minute winner to see off plucky Huddersfield while 11/2 third favourites Arsenal had a late scare against battling Cardiff but clung on for a 2-1 victory.

Liverpool (13/2) were involved in a remarkable match with Luton Town, in which they found themselves 3-1 down after the break, although three goals in 12 minutes restored the Reds lead to 4-3, with Xabi Alonso scoring from inside his own half at the death for Liverpool’s fifth, a goal which earned one lucky punter over £25,000 after placing a bet on him achieving such a feat.

Blackburn despatched QPR by a convincing 3-0 as did Bolton away at Watford, while struggling Sunderland managed the same against non league Northwich Victoria.

A host of ties could only muster a single goal in the Premiership sides favour, with 25/1 Newcastle edging past Mansfield, Gareth Barry’s goal being enough for Aston Villa (33/1) to see off Hull and 100/1 outsiders Portsmouth to win at Ipswich.

The third round isn’t over for Everton who drew 1-1 at Millwall, a scoreline repeated by West Brom against Reading and Wigan Athletic against Leeds. Birmingham City could only muster a goalless draw at League Two side Torquay United.

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Posted by yourtip on May 14, 2007

NAHB’s Voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines

The voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines are designed to move environmentally friendly home building concepts further into the mainstream marketplace. Currently, there are approximately thirty communities throughout the U.S. that have green home building programs in place or in development. By developing the set of voluntary national guidelines, NAHB intends to help facilitate the adoption of green home building practices and the formation of additional local programs in the parts of the country not currently served by programs.

In the spring of 2003, NAHB approved a resolution supporting green building. In response to NAHB member’s requests to provide the membership with technical guidance to support the new green building policy, NAHB tasked the NAHB Research Center to manage a project to develop national green home building guidelines.

The NAHB Research Center worked together in an open, public process with over 60 Stakeholder Group members from the home building industry to create those guidelines. The guidelines contain six primary sections:

Lot Preparation and Design – With lot preparation and design, the builder has opportunities to demonstrate environmentally sensible construction practices. Even before the foundation is poured, careful planning can reduce the home’s impact on vegetation, soil, water, plus a home’s long-term performance can be enhanced. Such preparation can provide significant value to the homeowner, the environment, and the community. Included for the end user, especially developers, is a Site Planning Appendix that closely mirrors this section and provides additional guidance.

Resource Efficiency – This section shows how certain framing techniques and home designs can effectively optimize the use of building materials. Construction waste management concepts are also discussed. In addition, information is provided on how a home’s durability and the amount of time and money needed for maintenance are affected by how certain materials are used.

Energy Efficiency – This is the most quantifiable aspect of green building. The information on this section will help a builder create a building envelope and incorporate energy efficient mechanical systems, appliances, and lighting into a home that will yield long-term utility bill cost savings and increased comfort for the homeowner. It contains the only requirements to participate in this voluntary program: compliance with the 2003 International Energy Conservation Code, use of ACCA manuals to size HVAC equipment, and 3rd party plan review to verify compliance with the section.

Water Efficiency/Conservation – Although, the relative importance of water availability and usage varies from region to region, the concern with adequate supply of water is becoming more widespread geographically. Experience also shows that employing the line items from this section of the guidelines for indoor and outdoor water use can decrease a homeowner’s need for water and thus reduce utility bills, regardless of location.

Occupancy Comfort and Indoor Environmental Quality – Details in this part of the guidelines will indicate how to effectively manage moisture, ventilation, and other issues in order to create a comfortable indoor living environment.

Homeowner Education – Given the level of effort a homebuilder goes through to create a well thought out home system, it would be a shame not to give the homeowner some guidance on how to optimally operate and maintain the house. Line items from this section show a builder how best to educate homeowners on a variety of homeownership matters.

Each section contains a set of provisions that explain how a builder can incorporate green building concepts into a project. In addition, local builders and green building program developers may apply points to the provisions to further define green building through a scoring methodology currently being developed. Local homebuilder associations will be given a user guide that will provide additional information and guidance on ways to customize the guidelines to accommodate local conditions.The draft presented at Fall Board in Columbus, OH was a piloting version for dissemination amongst HBAs and builders for accuracy and practicality. A number of HBAs and High Production Builders have expressed an interest in helping NAHB to pilot test the document. The deadline for pilot testing was December 1st and the final version will be rolled out during the 2005 IBS in January in Orlando, FL. Currently, NAHB staff from the Energy and Green Building Dept. are traveling throughout the country presenting the guidelines to builders and HBAs who have expressed an interest in implementing green building in their respective businesses/communities. To date over 20 HBAs have voiced their interest and support, with many more to follow in the new year.

In summary, the voluntary Model Green Home Building Guidelines are for the mainstream home builders, many of whom are already incorporating some green building methods and materials into their construction practices. These voluntary guidelines will help systematize the green design and construction process and assist the builder toward incorporating more green building features into homes. As NAHB Research Center data indicates that there is a growing number of green homes built annually, it is expected that these voluntary guidelines will help builders meet the needs of this growing market.

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