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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Too Much Soap!

     Using too much soap in today's HD washing machines can lead to repairs!! Many times problems with washing machines are caused by using too much laundry detergent—not a manufacturer defect. 
     According to people who repair washers, a large number of the problems are caused by improper use of laundry soap. Why can too much soap leads to washer problems? 
     Over the last several years Federal regulations have required washing machine manufacturers to reduce the amount of water that is used per load. So, using the same amount of soap in a newer washer as was used in an older machine means the new machine won’t use enough water to break down the soap. The residual soap can cause huge problems in newer high efficiency washing machines. 
     Here are the top signs that you’re using too much laundry soap: 
1) The washer boot feels slimy. 
2) The washer has a nasty odor. 
3) There are dark spots on the door boot. 

     If a washer fails to drain and stops mid-cycle with an error code (SUD or ND) then the problem may be the result of using too much soap. One unit (Whirlpool) actually has a "SUDS LOCK" warning which means it has detected too much detergent. How it works: The motor control unit sensed a suds lock condition by analyzing the current draw on the drive motor. Actually, this could also mean a bad pump, an extra heavy load, excessive detergent, or excessive suds. 
     If the washer is too old to detect an error code, it will likely just turn off. Try running an extra load without soap to clean the machine.
     Too much suds may damage the machine because washers have a water level pressure switch and when you use too much laundry soap, the foam travels up the hose and can come in contact with the switch. When this happens, the wet soap damages the switch which means a washer repair.  Where I live they charge you $65 just to diagnose a problem.  At least the $65 is applied to the repair bill which I assure you will be more than that.
     As a rule of thumb, you should never use more than a tablespoon of soap! Always measure the detergent amount. The measuring cup that sometimes comes with some soap is 10 times the size of the actual amount needed. 
     These HD washers can also develop a foul odor. This can be for a couple of reasons. Using too much liquid fabric softener and soap over an extended period of time can result in odor because some laundry detergents and nearly all fabric softeners contain a small amount of animal fat. When you use too much, the fat congeals (yuck!) and gums up in areas where the customer can't reach it to clean. 
     Also, modern detergents made for these machines are not phosphate based; they are enzyme based. As you know, enzymes are a substance produced by a living organism that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. They can build up in the washer where they die and decay and, like all decaying organisms, they stink. 
     If the machine is leaving dark spots or rust on clothing, it's another telltale sign of using too much laundry soap. In most cases, the dark spots are caused by the mold growing on the washer’s door boot. If this happens, clean or replace the boot. 
     Also, be careful to never, ever, overload a washing machine. Three-quarters full is about right. You should also make sure the load consists of items that are similar in weight. That is, don't mix, say, underwear and blue jeans or shirts and towels.  Doing so is a good way to throw the whole machine out of balance. 
     Most newer washing machines require high efficiency soaps (HE) that are specially formulated with suds suppressors, which prevent the machine from over-sudsing, but if you insist on using a soap that is not HE, always reduce the amount you use by at least 1/3 of the recommended amount. You should also treat the machine regularly (once a month) with a product that is specially formulated to dissolve and remove odor-causing residue. 

12 laundry mistakes you're probably making on CNN

Eat More Flax Seeds!

     The seeds of most plants are rich in nutrients and can provide us with health benefits, but flax seeds are unique and offer health benefits not found within the seeds food group. The nutritional uniqueness of flax seeds features three nutrient aspects, and all three play a key role in the outstanding health benefits of this food: omega-3, lignan, and mucilage content.
     The problem is that finding creative ways to add flax seeds to meals can be a challenge. The ground seeds can be incorporated into muffins, cookies or breads. Recent research studies have shown that ground flax can be also added to baked foods. Most plant foods contain at least small amounts of lignans which are unique in that they provide antioxidant benefits and fiber-like benefits; flax seeds contain about 7 times as many lignans as the closest runner-up, sesame seeds, about 338 times as many as sunflower seeds, 475 times as many as cashew nuts and 3,200 times as many as peanuts. 
     When you think about antioxidant-rich foods the first foods that come to mind are vegetables and fruits, but flax seeds are significantly higher in antioxidants than fruits like blueberries or vegetables like olives. Antioxidant benefits are associated with prevention of cardiovascular diseases and have recently also been tied to decreased insulin resistance. 

Benefits of flax seeds: 

High in Fiber, Low in Carbs 
One of the most extraordinary benefits of flax seeds is that they contain high levels of mucilage gum content. Mucilage is a gel-forming fiber that is water soluble and has incredible benefits on the intestinal tract. Also, flax is extremely high in both soluble and insoluble fiber which can support colon detoxification, fat loss and reduce sugar cravings.

Healthy Skin and Hair 
For healthier skin, hair and nails add 2 tablespoons of flax seeds to a smoothie or 1 tablespoons of flax seed oil to your diet. It can also improve symptoms of acne, rosacea, and eczema and it's also good in helping reduce dry eye syndrome. 

Weight Loss 
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that flax seeds and walnuts may improve obesity and support weight loss. They may also help reduce inflammation. 

Lower Cholesterol 
The journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that adding flax seeds can reduce cholesterol levels. 

Flax seeds are Gluten-Free 
Using flax is a good way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which are inflammatory where flax is anti-inflammatory. 

High in Antioxidants 
Flax seeds are also packed with antioxidants known as lignans are unique fiber-related polyphenols that support the growth of probiotics in the gut and may also help eliminate yeast and candida in the body. Consuming flax regularly may help reduce the number or severity of colds and flus. 

Digestive Health 
Flax seeds promote digestive health. They are beneficial for people suffering from Crohn’s disease or other digestive ailments, as it can help reduce gut inflammation. 

Flax Seeds for Cancer 
Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids These are generally associated with fish oil, but flax seeds are also an excellent source. 

Menopausal Symptoms 
The lignans in the flax have been shown to have benefits for menopausal women. It can be used as an alternative to hormone replacement therapy because lignans have estrogenic properties. These properties may also help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. It can even help women to maintain cycle regularity. 

70 Reasons to Eat More Flax Seeds

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Declawing Cats

     If you have a cat you know they like to claw and having them claw at expensive furniture is frustrating and trying methods to get them to stop can be an exercise in futility. Declawing seems like an easy answer, but it's not. 
     Most mammals walk on the soles of the paws or feet, but cats walk on their toes. Their back, shoulder, paw and leg joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves are designed to support and distribute the cat's weight across its toes as it walks, runs and climbs. A cat's claws are used for balance, for exercising, and for stretching the muscles in their legs, back, shoulders, and paws. They stretch these muscles by digging their claws into a surface and pulling back...sort of like humans do when doing isometric exercises. 
     A cat's toes also help the foot meet the ground at the correct angle to keep the leg, shoulder and back muscles and joints in proper alignment. So, when a cat is declawed it drastically alters their feet and causes them to meet the ground at an unnatural angle. This can actually cause back pain in the cat. 
     Many veterinarians mislead cat owners into believing that declawing removes only the claws and leave the impression that declawing is only minor surgery. It's not! A cat's claw is not a toenail! It's the last bone of its toe and declawing is an amputation of the last joint of the cat's toes. My vet refuses to do it on any but newborn kittens. 
     It is painful for the cat and the recovery period will also be very painful for it. After surgery they have to have to use their feet to walk, jump, and scratch in the litter box regardless of their pain. 
     Besides pain, complications are relatively high and can include damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage, bone chips that prevent healing, painful regrowth of deformed claw inside of the paw which is not visible and chronic back and joint pain as shoulder, leg and back muscles weaken. Other complications include postoperative hemorrhage, lameness due to wound infection or footpad laceration, exposure necrosis of the second phalanx, and abscess associated with retention of portions of the third phalanx. Abnormal growth of severed nerve ends can also occur, causing long-term, painful sensations in the toes.
     Declawing is mostly an American thing. In England it is considered inhumane and unnecessary mutilation and in many European countries it is illegal.  For countries where declawing is illegal see this list.
     Oddly, a cat that has been declawed may not show any signs of pain, but they do. We may not be aware of it because of the cat's instinctive behavior. They instinctively know that they are in a weakened position and are therefore in danger. So, what do they do? They instinctively attempt to hide it their condition. Also, some people have claimed their cat's personality changed after being declawed. 
     For our cat, Millie, repellent sprays don't seem to work and other methods have not produced satisfactory results. The one thing that worked the best is a product called Soft Paws.  These are soft rubber caps that you glue onto the cats front toenails. Sounds stupid, I know, but they work! 
     An important word of warning! The caps come with a small tube of super glue with which to glue them onto the toenails. Extreme care must be made to assure that you do not use too much glue! Too much will cause the glue to ooze out of the cap and glue it to the cat's foot. Or, too much glue will mean that as the nail grows out and the cat attempts to pull off the cap and nail, it will be unable to do so and there is a good possibility that as the nail continues to grow, it will curve backwards into the cat's foot. This is not only painful to the cat, but trying to remove the capped nail will be very, very difficult.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Microsoft Mathematics

     This free program provides a set of mathematical tools that will help students get school work done quickly and easily. With Microsoft Mathematics, students learn to solve equations step-by-step while gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in pre-algebra, algebra, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, and calculus. It's also a handy tool if you do any of this kind of work in the course of your employment.

     It includes a full-featured graphing calculator that’s designed to work just like a handheld calculator plus math tools help evaluate triangles, convert from one system of units to another, and solve systems of equation. 
     One of the unique features is the equation solver tool which helps solve equations with a single click. The formulas and equations tool lets you choose a specific category of equations you want to solve: Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics, Chemistry, Laws of Exponents, Properties of Logarithms, Constants. 
     There is a triangle solver tool which helps to calculate sides and angles of any triangle. The Unit Converter allows you to easily covert units for example in the engineering or physics fields. 
     In addition you can also download and install a free Microsoft Mathematics plugin, that allows you do a lot of the cool Microsoft Mathematics stuff inside your Word documents or OneNote notebooks. Once installed you will find a Mathematics tab in the ribbon of Microsoft Word or Microsoft OneNote. Download direct from Microsoft.