My Ideal Dream Home

I’m saving up to buy a new house, and designing my dream home has become a new hobby for me. My wife and I are hoping to move out of our apartment soon, and in the meantime, I’ve taken the liberty to indulge in my wildest home design fantasies. There are plenty of homes around the United States that come with many more features than I could ever imagine. I won’t be able to afford those homes anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean I can’t use my imagination to create the ideal dwelling.

For starters, I want a beautiful lawn with lots of trees, exotic plants, and a healthy, natural vibe. I found a useful website about landscaping that discusses some of the things you need to contemplate. I didn’t even think to consider how landscaping the yard might influence my decision on what type of grass I might plant. My house wouldn’t get a lot of sunshine because of the large trees in the yard, so I’ll need to landscape using a grass that can withstand a lot of shade.

The front of my dream house will have two enormous statues of lions and a horseshoe driveway. I want lots of windows facing the north and south, so I can leave the blinds open all the time without too much sun. My bedroom windows should face the east. I love waking up naturally to sunshine, and it helps me get the day started on a good note. The apartment I’m currently staying in only has one window in the bedroom, and I feel like I’m living in a cave! A word to the wise: never live in an apartment that only has windows facing the north or south.

Another essential feature in my dream house is the kitchen. My wife and I love to cook, and we are always showing off by making amazing meals. I want to have a gas stove that has at least six burners, a high-quality ventilation hood, and two ovens. I’ve found the secret to baking is not overloading the oven with too much food. If there are too many dishes in the oven, the moisture levels will be off, and the food doesn’t turn out as good.

I’d like to have a deep sink with a partition down the middle, made of stainless steel of course. My current sink is white porcelain, and I have to clean it regularly to remove tiny scratches on the surface. It’s a minor issue, but it still bothers me. I plan on having stainless steel for all of my kitchen appliances.

The last thing my dream home needs is a dedicated space that I can call my own. I enjoy reading and playing guitar, and it would be nice to have a creative space where I can escape inside my own home. It might take me a long time to be in a financial position to afford all of these things, but that’s why I’m saving early. One day, I hope to have a house like this that my wife and I can call our own.

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The future of oil is extremely uncertain right now. I don’t mean in general. Oil will continue to power the world for decades, but how much will it cost to do so?

There’s a great deal of uncertainty on that point. Simply look at a few recent headlines:

Reuters reported a rise to $58 a barrel after the Keystone Pipeline spill.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia may permanently cut back on oil thanks to its new de facto ruler, leaving prices high.

However, prices may also drop if Russia refuses to continue with OPEC’s temporary production cut from earlier in the year. Russia is the world’s top producer and exporter of oil.

What does all this mean? It means uncertainty, which is bad for business.

Oil is always a bit uncertain. With so many international players involved, it can be hard to project long term. With a vast global network of countries who produce oil, conflicts are bound to arise between competing interests.

For instance, Venezuela may want production cuts in order to turn a modest profit in a time when it really needs it, but Moscow is content with the amount coming in from greater production (especially since it has such a large network of clients in nearby Europe). Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, is looking to make a slow but steady transition away from oil, and America remains eager to avoid importing any oil from abroad and thus refuses to heed the calls of other countries one way or the other.

All of that makes oil fluctuate quite significantly even in the best of times, and the future may not be the best of times. Anyone who ever watches the news knows the world is growing more unstable and countries are growing more belligerent towards each other. As Saudi Arabia rattles a saber at Qatar and Iran, oil is the obvious business stuck in the middle. Russia’s disagreements with the West and desire to build stronger ties with China means its interests are no longer quite so broad and international, and so it is less likely to be able to be compelled to agree with other nations’ needs.

And when oil becomes that unstable, due to such belligerence, businesses will struggle to keep up. Consider the transportation industry, which relies heavily on oil prices remaining low. Should they fluctuate vastly and quickly, it’ll be hard for business to budget for fuel costs. As TBS Factoring points out, fuel is the number one cost for independent trucking agencies. Being unable to budget for the number one cost of business is sure to cause massive problems going forward.

Unfortunately, as OPEC loses standing and countries continually pursue their singular national interests, there’s little anyone can do to avoid this problem in the coming years.

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There is a new study that finds that younger Americans aren’t just getting colon-cancer diagnoses earlier. They are dying of colorectal cancer at a slightly higher rate than in the past decades. No one knows why or can guess what lifestyle or what environmental/genetic factors may be the case. Should I be concerned? What do we know about colorectal cancer and what measures can we do to prevent it?

According to The Seattle Times, a new study has found that colorectal cancer has been affecting many younger Americans, but no one knows why. Rebecca Siegel, an epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society and lead author of this study, comments, “This is real.” She published this research letter in The Journal of the American Medical Associated (JAMA). “It is a small increase, and it is a trend that emerged only in the past decade. I don’t think it’s a blip. The burden of disease is shifting toward younger people.” The study finds that even though the risk of dying from colon and rectal cancer has been declining overall, the death rates among adults from age 20 to 54 slightly increased. It went up to 4.3 deaths per 100,000 people in 2014 from 3.9 per 100,000 in 2004. Dr. Thomas Weber, a member of the steering committee of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, comments, “This is not merely a phenomenon of picking up more small cancers. There is something else going on that is truly important.” No doctor or researcher knows what lifestyle or environmental factors are driving the rise in these cases. Cancers in the past recent years have been tied to HPV. Obesity is another viewpoint. A diet that is high in processed meats and lack of physical activity are both tied to increased risk, but research is looking at other causes. One study found that prolonged use of antibiotics during adulthood was associated with a greater risk of developing precancerous polyps. This is because antibiotics can alter the makeup of the gut microbiome. Scientists are trying to see if colorectal cancer emerging in younger adults are different than older people. Can these be detected and treated with the same tools? There is evidence that young people are more likely to have precancerous polyps that are harder to see and remove because of their location in the colon. These findings are important to the research and discovery of a treatment for finding reliable ways to detect colorectal cancer in young people. Most groups recommend routine screening at age 50, if not earlier.  The warning signs of colorectal cancer include rectal bleeding, bloody stools, unexplained weight loss, fatigue and digestive complaints, or irregular bathroom behavior. Anemia is also another sign in men.

It is important to eat a good diet with low amounts of red meat and to get exercise five times a week. Gastroenterologists in the Long Island area also recommend frequent check-ups with a doctor or specialist. This research and study allows doctors to recognize this trend and try to fight this risk.

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According to the website of Kessler & Solomiany, LLC, divorce is never easy and can take an emotional toll on the spouses, especially if they are also parents with children. Yet, there are tangible things that you can do to assist you in getting through this rather difficult time in your life. You may be questioning yourself on a recent interaction with your spouse – wondering if you could have tried harder to make the relationship work or whether you broke the news to the kids in the best way possible. It is always recommended to give yourself a break. It is alright to have different emotions than you normally have. If you are confused, frustrated, exhausted, and sad, accept that these emotions will get better over time. If you are anxious about the future, acknowledge that as well.

Emotions not dealt with can take a toll on anyone going through a divorce. It is better to accept that you are not going to function at optimal level for some time. Recognize that you may get less productive at work or less talkative at social gatherings, but it won’t last forever.  One tangible action that you can do is going out with other friends or family and share experiences with them. If there is a support group in your area where you can talk to others who are going through similar situations as you, join one! It is never better to isolate yourself, especially during or after a divorce. Being along can sometimes only magnify the stress levels and affect your overall health.

Get out there and exercise – your body and your mind. Read a good book or go to an exercise class with friends. Talking care of your health emotionally and physically can go a long way in helping you to recover from a sometimes less than amicable divorce.

Try to also follow your regular routine as much as possible, as this can add some needed structure to your daily life. Have lunch with your friends at the office, and if you like to cook, create something great for dinner. Explore a favorite hobby that you have wanted to pursue.

If you have children, and they are being shared between both spouses, it is important to keep routines and stability in their lives. Talk with your ex about such issues as school nights, bedtimes and curfews for the children, and agree in advance on these topics – to avoid the unexpected!

Staying on good terms with your ex can help you recover better. It’s hard to be positive when you are resentful or hurt. If you have children, you’ll need to show them that it is important to get along with and forgive others. It is also best not to involve children in any disagreement that you had with your ex. Children don’t need to take sides or become messengers for each spouse, as it can further aggravate stressful situations, and cause them to blame themselves for their parents’ breakup. Seek mediation or an attorney to work out major differences before they cause you any further distress! Enjoy today, and it will get better!

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A foreclosure occurs when a person has failed to pay his mortgage properly and the lender has seized the property as its own so it can sell it and acquire the proceeds to offset the mortgage payments the person has failed to give.

A wrongful foreclosure happens when this process has been done improperly or undeservedly. According to the website of Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., those who have been victims of wrongful foreclosure may have legal options. But who are these victims, exactly? Below are some of the most common victims of wrongful foreclosure:

·       Homeowners who were foreclosed even if they were not in default

·       Loaners who were foreclosed because of loaning errors, such as getting denied of loan coverage due to lender’s mistakes or being victims of wrong loan modifications

·       Military members who were foreclosed, even though they are protected from foreclosure by federal law

·       Homeowners with legitimate foreclosure cases, but the foreclosure process has been done incorrectly, usually in the aspects of notices, judicial sale procedures, and evictions

Many times, banks are the real culprits behind wrongful foreclosure. After all, they provide financial assistance to homeowners not for the homeowners’ wellbeing, but for the banks’ financial gain, in the form of interests and possibility of reacquiring assets if the homeowners have failed to pay mortgage.

Because of the banks’ hunger to gain money, they have a tendency to foreclose more than what is necessary, resulting into wrongful foreclosure cases. Even if they earn money out of them, they end up destroying the lives of their victims.

Victims lose the comfort and security of having a home – a house for that matter. They may experience emotional and psychological problems because of that. It should also not be overlooked that a foreclosure can damage their credit rating. It is even worse if the foreclosure has been done wrongly, because it means that they do not deserve the credit rating damage they have sustained.

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On the issue of child custody in a divorce proceeding, one of the most important questions is, “Who will have custody of the child?” After naming the custodial parent, the other parent will necessarily be given visitation rights, unless there is evidence that will show and prove that he/she is an unfit parent.

Legal experts agree that it is very important that a child has a strong relationship with both parents. Thus, courts typically award custodial rights to that parent who would very likely be able to cultivate such relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent. There are other relevant factors that courts consider when deciding on the matter of custody but, regardless of what these are, these should be in line with the most important factor: the best interest of the child.

There are times, however, when the chosen custodial parent (or sometimes the parent given visitation rights) is not able to live up to the court’s expectations, failing in his/her obligations to fully recognize and respect the other parent’s rights and personhood. The specific details through which failures are committed are numerous and varied. Generally speaking, all these are considered as visitation and custody interference issues and all call for the same thing: a modification in the original decision pronounced by the court. These interference issues include:

  • Frustration of the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. These are instances wherein a custodial parent, for whatever reasons, eventually resorts to means that will alienate the child/children from the other parent. The most common of these means is denial of visitation rights.
  • Estrangement of the child’s affections for the non-custodial parent. A child’s relationship with his/her non-custodial parent can be severed through false accusations and/or damaging comments by the custodial parent. Unknown to the custodial parent, however, is that this/her ill-talks about his/her former partner also negatively affect the child’s emotional and mental health.
  • Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). PAS occurs when the custodial parent consciously and systematically brainwashes the children, resulting to the children eventually disfavoring the other parent. Since most family courts consider as vital the existence of a strong relationship between a child and his/her parents, courts, therefore, believe that the ill behavior displayed by a custodial parent warrants a change in custody.
  • Change of Residence. Despite the stipulation (in the divorce decree) that a custodial parent will have to inform the non-custodial parent of any plans of him/her and the children moving to another city or state, many custodial parents ignore this requirement and relocate to a distant location secretly. This stipulation is inserted in the divorce decree to give the noncustodial parent the chance to argue against such plans. As this move can affect a child’s relationship with the other parent, many courts believe that it establishes a significant change in circumstances which justifies a change in custody.

Other reasons that may warrant a change in custody include:

  • Material and Substantial Changes. These include a custodial parent’s remarriage, inability to provide the required care due to a medical condition, commission of a crime, and criminal conviction.
  • Child’s Preference. Children, who have reached the age of 12, are usually interviewed by a judge in his/her chamber or private office. A change in custody (as well as in visitation rights) may be made if a child asks for it, but on the condition that the court is convinced that such change will be in his/her best interest.
  • Relinquishment of Custody. There are instances when a change in a court’s original decision on custody may be made. One instance is if a custodial parent voluntarily gives up care and custody of the child. The change, however, will only be ruled as temporary if the reason of the custodial parent is due to military deployment or duty.
  • Unfavorable Environment. If the environment where a custodial parent lives can endanger his/her child’s physical health or significantly harm the child’s emotional growth, then the other parent can request the court to alter its original decision.

In their website, Raleigh child custody lawyers attest how reaching a child custody agreement that both spouses will agree on can be very difficult. Because of the importance a child custody agreement has on both the lives of the children and the parents, this is frequently the most contentious issue that arises during a divorce proceeding. However, determining what type of custody you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse (whether Sole Custody, Joint Custody or Primary/Secondary Physical Custody) will have is critical to successfully completing the divorce process. Due to this, it is best that you and your children find a supportive and knowledgeable lawyer who will help you get the outcome which you believe is suitable for your family.

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DUI Charges in South Carolina

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very serious offense, because it puts not only you in danger, but also the others around you. South Carolina takes this seriously, and you may suffer the consequences depending on the gravity of your case.

It is a difficult situation to be in, because it can greatly affect your future, like your employment opportunities. For this reason, it is important to get the help of legal professionals, like the Columbia DUI defense lawyers at Truslow & Truslow.

But what exactly are the different types of DUI charges? You should at least know them so you would have an idea what you are dealing with.

1st Offense DUI Charge

It is important to note that your blood alcohol concentration, also known as BAC, is a very important factor in determining the consequences of your case. In your first offense, if your BAC is 0.08% or above, you are required to pay $400 to $1,000 as fine, go to jail for 48 hours to 90 days, and suspend your license for 6 months.

2nd Offense DUI Charge

For your second offense, you must pay $2,100 to $6,500 as fine, go to jail for 5 days to 3 years, and suspend you license for 2 years, depending again on your BAC, starting from 0.08%.

3rd Offense DUI Charge

A third offense requires a fine of $3,800 to $10,000, jail time of 60 days to 5 years, and license suspension of 2 years. License suspension can go up to 4 years if the third offense has been done within five years since the first offense.

4th Offense DUI Charge

A fourth DUI offense is considered a felony, and you may pay a fine of up to $25,000, jail time of 1 to 7 years, and a permanent driver’s license revocation.

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Having any sort of criminal offense on your record can be a difficult challenge to overcome. It doesn’t matter if you’ve done what you can to follow through with all the legal penalties that come with your offense. It’s likely that you will continue to see some form of prejudice that could hinder your ability to become a helpful and productive member of your community. This is why the process of expunction is an integral part of criminal law.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never actually received a conviction, and were only charged or arrested for a particular offense. All of these will stay on your record and can be accessed by potential employers and the like, hindering your ability to seek out better opportunities. The process of expunction allows you to wipe the slate clean—that is, having your records cleared of any particular event that falls within the criteria set by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

Individuals who are interested in petitioning for expunction in Texas should take note of the different conditions for eligibility. In general, the law awards expungement to those that were charged but never convicted of criminal offenses. Individuals that were wrongfully convicted are also eligible for expunction. For those that have been convicted of a crime, qualifying for expunction largely depends on the particular details of your case. Overall, however, it is made available for juvenile offenders and those convicted only of misdemeanors.

There are many more complicated details that go into determining whether a petitioner could have their records expunged. To help you with this process, it would be best to approach a qualified criminal law attorney to receive proper advice and counseling. Contact a Dallas record clearing attorney or a qualified lawyer working in your area of residence to find out more about expunction.

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In May of 2015, an accident involving a crane occurred somewhere in Midtown Manhattan. The accident was specifically about a crane accidentally dropping the heating and air-conditioning unit which it was supposed to lift to the roof of an office tower. The equipment, which was several tons in weight, fell from about 30 stories down to the ground, scraping the building as it fell and causing glass, metal and concrete to rain down to ground, causing minor injuries to two construction workers and five passersby.

In November of the same year, another accident, this time involving a small crane, known as a knuckle boom, occurred. While lifting materials to the second or third floor of a building using the crane on his truck, Trevor, a construction safety coordinator, went to check a mechanical malfunction with the crane. The crane, however, suddenly caused its boom to collapse; the boom fell on him and pinned him on his truck’s flatbed. Trevor died in the accident.

Cranes are a common presence on construction sites due to the very important part that these play in the construction of various types of structures, including lifting of heavy equipment on top of buildings. Though totally important, their substantial size and complexity render them sources of risks against the safety of all those inside or near a construction site. If a crane is if not properly assembled, operated or maintained, or if the load it carries is not properly secured, then it can possibly cause an accident which can result to serious injuries or death.

Though workers who sustain job-related injuries can apply for financial benefits with their state-run Workers’ Compensation Insurance program, they can otherwise waive their claim on this benefit and pursue legal action against their employer instead. Help from a highly-qualified construction lawyer or personal injury lawyer, who can explain to them the pros and cons of applying for benefits or filing a civil lawsuit and help them evaluate what action would be best for them to take.

According to Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, the devastating amounts of injuries and damage associated with construction site accidents, especially with a crane collapse accident, make it is imperative for individuals adversely affected to seek legal help as soon as possible.

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Due to its versatility, strength and fire resistant properties, asbestos mineral became a staple of many products today including plastic products. When mixed with asbestos, plastic products are reinforced and withstand excessive heat. However, the mineral is highly linked to mesothelioma, a cancer that affects some of the linings in the body cavity.

Asbestos was first used in synthetic polymer-based plastics in early 1900s when Leo Hendrik Baekeland was looking for a way to insulate electrical wirings used in motors and generators. Plastic material is widely used in many products mainly because it is light, versatile, durable, and it may come in many colors. Electrical products like wires, electrical switches, casings, and terminal boards contain asbestos. In the automobile industry, plastic vehicle parts like steering wheel and buttons contain asbestos. Some plastic components of telephones are also believed to contain asbestos.

Studies later revealed that products containing asbestos are toxic and can cause respiratory illnesses. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1980s, restricted the use of asbestos in plastic products. People are at risk of mesothelioma cancer when they accidentally inhale or ingest tiny dust of asbestos. The asbestos mixed in plastic products may get into the air due to wear and tear in everyday use. Asbestos particles may become airborne if plastic products breaks. Though other companies refrained from using asbestos in their products, many plastic products containing asbestos are still manufactured today. Workers who used to work in plastic manufacturing facilities are at risk of asbestos exposure, according to the Williams Kherkher webpage. Asbestos may easily contaminate the air inside factories during drilling or grinding operations.

Factory workers may no longer continue their job if they developed mesothelioma. While experts are still studying how to cure mesothelioma cancer, patients who have this condition may undergo surgeries and therapies similar to cancer patients. The aim of the treatments that are often expensive is to prevent the disease from spreading and to improve the patient’s condition.

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