Pillar To Post Newsletter July 2012

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We all have pessimism ingrained into our persona; and if we let it rule our lives, our accomplishments may be more limited. Not everything in life is great or rosy or always upbeat, but always try and keep your inner belief stoutly positive.

Pessimism, from the Latin word pessimus (worst), denotes a belief that the experienced world is the worst possible.
It describes a general belief that things are bad and tend to become worse.

Pessimism – reacting to setbacks from a presumption of personal helplessness:

Bad events will last a long time
Always my fault
Will undermine everything I do

Optimism is the belief in the goodness and betterment of things. It exemplifies a life view where one looks upon the world as a positive place. Optimists generally believe that people and events are inherently good. They have a so-called “positive” outlook on life, believing that things will work out in the end.

Optimism – reacting to setbacks from a presumption of personal power.

Bad events are temporary setbacks
Isolated to particular circumstances
Can be overcome by my effort and abilities

Optimism is not magic. But, the event-explanations of optimism can be practiced and learned, even by those who have not consistently used them previously.
Optimism has positive benefits:

Inoculates against depression
Improves health
Combines with talent and desire to enable achievement

How do you maintain the optimistic point of view or change from the pessimist you are.
Here are some tips:

1. Build self-confidence.
2. Maintain strong family values.
3. Smile often.
4. Laugh when you can and laugh often.
5. Set short-term, achievable goals as well as long-term goals.
6. Reward yourself for your achievement.
7. Become physically active.
8. Get a pet – a dog or cat or try a turtle or bird.
9. Have the will to try new things.

A favorite quote on optimism comes from Helen Keller, “No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway to the human spirit.”

You can become more optimistic and reach for the stars. Give it a try.


Whether you are renovating or looking to make your home more energy efficient.The toughest decision is determining what type of window to install that is within your budget. So it’s important to educate yourself with options.

One of the key factors that influences price when it comes to windows is what they are made of.

VINYL WINDOWS are the least expensive window on the market. They are most popular for budget-conscious retrofits. While some companies are starting to introduce new colors, color options are generally limited to white, almond or brown. Keep this in mind when considering your interior finishes.

ALUMINIUM WINDOWS should not to be confused with aluminum-clad windows, are low-maintenance, strong and won’t rust. But because aluminum is a good thermal conductor, you will lose heat through the frame. So this is not the best option for cold climates.

WOODEN-CLAD WINDOWS are the most versatile when it comes to size and design – they can receive any finish you want on the interior. Naturally, they are generally expensive. A word of caution: When buying wooden clad-windows do your research and choose a reputable manufacturer. A poorly made clad-window will allow moisture to contact the wood, which causes rot.

Do your research, make the decision that’s right for you and your home, and look forward to enjoying the view.


Can’t get away for the weekend? Bring summer indoors with tricks that will turn your home into a breezy, seaside cottage in minutes.

• Summer-ize your decor with toss pillows in shades of turquoise and seafoam green, glass bowls filled with seashells and woven seagrass floor mats (that shake away the extra dirt that gets tracked in during summer).

• Breathe in the salty air with sea-scented candles, sachets and room sprays – It will transport you to the shore.

• Watch the surf crash by hanging up inexpensive prints of beach scenes. Or, make enlarged copies of beach scenes from a travel book and place them in frames.

• Lighten up with whisper-light sheers that gently billow in the breeze. If privacy is not a concern, leave windows bare and let the sun stream in.

TIP! Bring an outdoor table, sofa or chair inside for a fresh, cottage-y feel.


Eggs, a serious staple for any kitchen come in great packages that can be put to other uses once the cooking is done. Here are a few of them:

START SEEDLINGS. Save up the cartons for the spring and get a headstart on planting a vegetable patch. Place potting soil in sections of a cardboard egg carton until three-quarters full, then add seeds. Put in a sunny spot and water the soil until damp. When seeds sprout, cut out each cup and plant outside – the carton will break down in the ground over time.

FREE PACKING MATERIAL. Foam egg cartons are perfect for protecting fragile objects for shipping or storage. Just pull the carton apart and use as an eco-friendly alternative to packing peanuts.

SORT GOLF BALLS. Keep your golf balls contained and out of sight. Simply nestle each ball in its own compartment and then shut the lid to keep them corralled.

MAKE ICE. Don’t run out of ice at your next party. Wash foam egg cartons, then fill the bottom halves with water and stack them in your freezer for an extra stash of ice.


A staple of the North American backyard, pressure treated wood chemically inhibits, fungus and rot. In 2004 CCA (chromated copper arsenate) was discontinued for use in pressure treated wood because it was toxic to the environment and people.

Government bodies agree that there is no significant health risk from existing CCA pressure treated wood. They believe that there is not a reason to remove or replace CCA treated structures including decks and playground equipment.

This means minimizing exposure which would come from getting arsenic into the mouth, not from only touching CCA treated wood. Children are most at risk since they often put their hands into their mouths. Parents should manage the risk by making sure children always wash hands thoroughly after contact with CCA pressure treated wood. This is especially important with respect to food. Wash hands before eating, make sure no food comes in contact with pressure treated wood, use a table cloth on tables made with CCA treated wood.

New pressure treated wood does not contain arsenic or chromium. The two main preservatives are alkaline copper quat (ACQ) and copper azole (CA). These new preservatives have very low toxicity. To make the preservatives effective, the amount of copper used is much higher, four or five times as much. To the consumer, this means higher prices.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in conjunction with Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) tested the effect of coating existing CCA treated wood to reducing exposure to arsenic. The results were that application of a penetrating sealant can reduce the exposure to one tenth but the protection is short lived. The penetrating sealant should be re-applied every year or two. Oil based, semi transparent stains that soak into the wood are the most effective. Surface coatings such as paint or varnish were not considered to be as effective.

New pressure treated wood is 5X more corrosive to steel than CCA. Stainless steel fasteners and copper flashing must be used. Galvanized steel fasteners can be used but must be of a higher grade, designed for the application. If the wrong fasteners are used they will corrode very quickly and could lead to failure of the structure.

Feel guilty about surfing the Web, watching TV or playing games? Scientists say that these everyday habits are strengthening your brain power. Here are other brain boosting activities:

Chewing gum fires up focus. Pop a piece of gum before a big test or work presentation. It increases blood flow to the brain, improving brain cell communication

Playing Angry Birds helps you multitask. People who play this and other fun games 15 minutes a day are building new neural brain pathways to increase memory and focus.

Texting improves mental sharpness. Your Hand-eye coordination improves by 25%. Since most of us respond right-away to texts, just by texting our brain is trained to think faster in all situations.


Here are some smart ways to keep your electronics in good repair by keeping them clean and ready for efficient use.

Dust your speakers. If your stereo sound isn’t as crisp as you would like, dust is likely the problem.Remove dust by rolling a lint brush over the front of the speakers.

Fix your DVD player. Dust is the biggest culprit that slows down gadgets. Check the back of equipment for dust buildup in the vents. Cover your vacuum’s nozzle attachment with pantyhose and safely suck dust away.

Disinfect your gaming controllers. Germs build up fast on handheld controllers. Use a disinfecting wipe to surface clean and a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove dirt from the crevices around buttons.

Organize wires. Use the plastic tags from bread bags to mark which wires belong to what electronic. Write “TV” or “DVD” on the clip and attach to the cord.


Since the new preservatives are so expensive, wood is pressure treated only to the extent required for the particular application. For example, deck boards do not need as much preservative as wood that will be in contact with the ground.
The three levels of treatment commonly used for pressure treated wood are:

Above ground structural elements
Ground contact.

The treatment level is dictated by the dimensions of the lumber.
4X4s and 6X6 are treated for ground contact. 2X lumber is treated for above ground use, smaller than 2X such as 5/4 deck boards is treated at decking levels.


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