Do Pigs Make Good Pets?

Pigs can be incredibly cute and they are among the most intelligent of animals. Some have successfully kept them as house pets, but if you are thinking of going this route yourself, be warned that they are more demanding than a cat or dog.

Here are some of the pluses and minuses of having a pig as a pet:

Easy to Train

Thanks to their above average intelligence, it is not very difficult to train a pig. You can even potty train them. The rewards system used for dogs works even better for pigs because food is their prime motivator. You can pretty easily train a pig to do what you want, if you offer the right snack in return.

That Intelligence Can Work Against You

Those smarts that make them easy to train can also turn into a nightmare as pigs can teach themselves to open things, such as cupboards, where food lurks. Be prepared to use childproofing-style tactics.

Very Clean Animals

Contrary to their representation in popular culture, pigs are very clean animals that don’t smell. They also don’t shed, which can save you a lot of work.

They Make a Mess

Pigs themselves are clean, but they naturally like to root around looking for food, which can wreak havoc on your rugs and other interior objects. They will also tear up your yard looking for same.

Very Friendly

Pigs share some of the same characteristics that make dogs so appealing. They “laugh” and squeal with pleasure when approached with a treat, and will also “bark” at danger.

Easily Stressed

If you are a highly stressed person looking for a pet that will help you to relax, pigs are not the animal for you. They can be easily stressed, which leaves pigs more susceptible to disease.

They are also not a good choice if you want a pet to exercise with as pigs don’t sweat and can quickly overheat.

Bifocals vs Trifocals vs Progressives

Many of us start to lose our vision as we age and that means glasses or contacts to help bring the world back into focus. For some, that visual assistance is not as simple as a basic lens that makes far objects more visible or near ones clearer. Thanks to optical technology, a lens can include as many as three fields, if needed. That allows the user to see areas of different distance with greater clarity, all with only one pair of glasses. You can accomplish this with bifocals and trifocals (which have both been around for a number of years), or progressives (a comparatively newer option).

Bifocals and trifocals are easy to spot because you will see a line across the lens that clearly delineates the different fields of vision. Some people don’t like this style because it further calls attention to the fact that they are wearing glasses. Progressives perform the same function, but without the line, so that makes them more appealing.

Right or wrong, bifocals and trifocals suggest that the wearer is old. Never mind the fact that such visual assistance can be required by people of almost any age: the stigma is there and some wish to avoid the evidence that they are getting on in years. Progressives offer the suggestion instead that you might just be wearing glasses as part of your overall look.

Progressives do this, while also easily matching the distance/intermediate/near fields offered by trifocals. They also eliminate what is known in the industry as the “image jump.” As your eye moves up and down a bifocal or trifocal lens, the image seems to jump as your vision adjusts from one field to the next; that is the not the case with progressives, which offer a smoother transition experience.

While earlier versions of progressive lenses required large frames to accommodate the technology, they have since been improved and will now fit in a regular sized frame. That has caused their popularity to soar, and they are the first choice for people whose vision correction needs require help with multiple fields.

How to Make Your Car Last Longer

We are at a time in automotive history that is without parallel. Aside from minor changes and improvements, cars have remained more or less the same for decades. However, between electric cars and autonomous vehicles, it is tough to know just how much longer the traditional gas-powered automobile will continue to be the standard.

With your average new vehicle selling for $30,000-40,000, most people hope to get at least ten years out of a car. However, with the changes on the horizon, where will be in ten years? I probably won’t need a new car for another five years or so, but which way to go then? Will it be clear whether autonomous or electric will be the choice, or will that still be a few years out?

Don’t let it come to this!

The best strategy seems to be keeping my current car going for as long as possible. That way, hopefully, the next choice will be clear. If you feel the same way, here are some tips on how to make your car last longer:

Regular Oil Changes

Oil is your car’s lifeblood, so make sure you get an oil and filter change every 5000 miles.

Replace Your Old Spark Plugs

Old plugs make it harder for your engine to get going, hindering its effectiveness and lifespan. Your fuel economy also suffers.

Wheel Alignment

Ask your mechanic to periodically realign your wheels. If they are not aligned properly, your tires can experience uneven degrees of wear, shortening their lifespan.

Replace Old Tires

Speaking of those wheels, old worn out tires make your car unsafe to drive, increasing the possibility of accidents. Tires that are past their prime also reduce the effectiveness of your suspension.

Don’t Overload Your Car

Our vehicles are only meant to carry so much weight; piling on too much can cause significant damage. Consult the owner’s manual for the maximum weight your vehicle can safely handle.

Drone Delivery: Boon to Productivity or Traffic-Inducing Headache

Amazon has been promising to add drone delivery to its options for some time now, and the company’s progress suggests that drones could become a common part of their service in the next year or so. This will not apply to all areas right from the start; requirements suggest that it will initially be restricted to heavy population centres. But if the success is there and the costs come down, it is feasible that drone hubs could become commonplace on the landscape.

That, of course, means many more drones in the air, a prospect that will not please anyone who finds them to be an annoyance and/or safety hazard. It is such a new technology that governments are still trying to figure out what rules are needed and which ones can be modified as necessary.

The main question at the heart of it all is, essentially, just how fast do you need your stuff? Amazon’s delivery set-up is already extremely efficient, but drones promise to have products in your hands that same day. Outside of using STAR TREK technology that beams the box directly into your living room, it’s tough to imagine the process being any speedier.

If Amazon finds success with drone delivery, what is to stop other companies from following suit? I can’t imagine having to deal with a small army of drones constantly hovering around my neighborhood, dropping packages on people and traffic when they malfunction, or crashing into buildings. It really sounds like too much of what is already not such a great thing. However, technology marches forward whether we want it to or not. I just hope that as many of the bugs are ironed as possible and solid rules are in place to dictate when drone activity is appropriate. And none of the damn things had better wake me up on a Saturday morning!

Low Cost Repairs That Will Improve Your Home

Home maintenance can cost a pretty penny and problems often seem to strike when we are low on cash. Wouldn’t be great to just prevent such issues from happening in the first place? No one is clairvoyant, but there is one way to help keep your home in good condition, while also minimizing those costly repair bills.

Here are some low cost repair ideas you can implement in your home:

Check Your Drywall

Small leaks can eventually turn into costly disasters. One way you can prevent this is by checking your drywall. If you find sections that are moldy or wet, you have a leak. Remove those sections, repair the leak, and replace the drywall. This will take some time, but cost far, far less than what you might otherwise face.

Examine Your Plumbing

This is another area that could cause significant water damage. If you are not familiar with such work, hire a plumber to come in for an inspection. They will examine all aspects of your plumbing and check for areas that are already producing leaks or might in the near future.

Clean Your Air Conditioner

As with pretty much any machinery, air conditioners are most efficient when there is nothing to impede the air flow. A clogged air conditioner requires an increasing amount of power to produce the degree of cool air you want. Make sure there is no dust or debris inside the unit that is inhibiting its operation. This maintenance step is easy and, better yet, free.

Change Your Furnace Filter

Just like a dirty air conditioner, a furnace with a clogged filter will have to perform twice as hard to heat your home. Luckily, filters are quite inexpensive, so be sure to replace them twice a year. If it’s easier to remember, mark January 1st and July 1st on your calendar.


Cottage Living

Ever wish you could steal away to a country cottage? Why not decorate your home with elements that will remind you of such a getaway? This style has grown in popularity recently, so there’s no shortage of ideas out there. Many who love a cottage look add to their dcor over a span of years. However, you can start your transformation with a little time and imagination.

Begin by browsing through magazines featuring cottage home living. There are several variations on this theme, including beach cottage and shabby chic. Spending time looking at work by professional designers will help guide you as you figure out which type of cottage dcor will best suit your taste and your home.

Once people have stayed in a holiday cottage Edinburgh and have enjoyed a great holiday they’ll often return many times as they know that that cottage meets all their needs. If you want to find holiday cottages in Scotland for rent then the net is a good place to search. Most holiday cottage Edinburgh and Scotland owners now advertise their property online as this is a highly effective way to market their holiday cottage. This way people can see images of the cottage, figure out where it is placed and look for prices and accessibility for the dates they wish to visit.

There are scores of holiday cottages in Scotland to choose from so no matter how many persons are travelling with you, you’ll hopefully find a holiday cottage Edinburgh to accommodate you all. Most holiday cottages in Edinburgh will have central heating or wood burning stoves, full cooking facilities, bathrooms, living room, dining room, a number of bedrooms and things like TV’s and DVD players for relaxing days or nights in.

You may even find that your local college or art festival has some reasonable yet unique materials. These could be perfect for your space. Maybe you will even get lucky and end up with a collector’s piece if the artist becomes well known in the future.

Look out for antique needlepoint, lamps and old architectural pieces as these all add appeal. Finishing touches can be added by the growing of herbs in a container on your windowsill.

There are no hard and fast rules about what does and doesn’t go in a room with a cottage theme. Again, there are many variations on this theme and how best to find the style that best fits you is to browse through photos of what others have done.

You can create the cottage look that is perfect for you and your home. Take your time, find the perfect pieces and before long you will have created your own personal retreat.

Appliances In Your College Years

Moving away from home for the first time is certainly rife with a variety of challenges, including being responsible for attending all your college classes. Picking out a place to live can be a struggle if you do not have the luxury of staying in the dorm. Regardless, however, picking out great appliances that will fit in your apartment can seem like a tough task.

The good news?


There are quite a few options when it comes to the kind of appliances you can fit into your new, smaller lifestyle. A popular choice for the vast majority of college students is, of course, the microwave. Not only is it easy to fit in your apartment, even if it’s a bachelor style one, but it also makes cooking extremely convenient.

However, the key to any great student apartment is a quality refrigerator. While many of them are large and could cramp your dorm room, there are a number of smaller options available, from the compact variety to refrigerators specifically made to be apartment-sized.

So what is the best small fridge for students? This depends in large part on the size you have available in your place to put the fridge in, as well as how many people will need to store food and drinks in there. A good rule when choosing the best fridge, is to get one with at least a small freezer section. This can allow you to store a tray of ice for drinks or even one or two frozen meals for when your student life gets too busy to cook anything.

So when you are looking for a great fridge or other appliance to fit in your apartment, consider this: What functions do you need these appliances to perform? Can any of them do more than one thing for you? How much space do you have available? Are there mini versions of appliances other than refrigerators? Evaluate your requirements and you will certainly find the best appliances to fit in your apartment.


Maintaining Your Quality Of Heating And Home


One of the best parts of advice I learned as a Furnace repairman is the overall importance of working as a furnace guy predominately is that a clean furnace is a happy furnace. We don’t want to see your house and life burn up in flames in some horrible emergence of fiery inferno. What I should suggest now are the following steps:

  1. When looking for a new home it is important to consider where the furnace is located. A poorly located furnace is going to cause you significant consternation, as well as possibly be quite expensive when it comes to repairing or replacing a furnace. A good furnace is important. A GREAT furnace is really valueless. It is important to make sure your furnace repairs are safe and happy. I mean, its very easy to see a disappointing furnace. What is important is that as we learn, we know how to keep good care of our furnaces.
  2. Ensuring nobody has access to your furnace. It is evidently very clear that a strong furnace is a valued item in this competitive market. Recently, I had a neighbor be a victim of a terrible terrible furnace theft. You would think that furnace theft would not be a huge problem this day in age, but in fact its the most commonly stolen item from homes that are broken in to, followed by coffee makers.
  3. Brands. There are a lot of brands of furnaces, and they are not all created equal. I have seen nice furnaces, bad furnaces. I would say the best attribute to look for in a good furnace would be reliability and efficiency. A low powered furnace would cost you a lot of money and in the end probably break and need to be replaced. I would say overall that Preventive furnace maintenance saves you money without a doubt. Don’t let yourself get stuck with a huge bill because you went with an off-brand SORNY furnace!

How Heating Can Affect The Sound

The temperature of your house may have some affects on the sound coming from a musical instrument. Depending on if your house is warm or cold, the sound may come out different. Besides affecting the sound, the temperature may have more of an impact on the performer or player.

When the temperature is warmer, the instruments usually expands. In the case of a piano, if the temperature is hot and humid, the sound may come out sounding sluggish.

This is why it is extremely important if you are playing an instrument, that it is stored and played at the same temperature every day. Store it in a room that’s not too warm or too cool. Don’t place your instrument near a vent where air conditioning or a heater could affect it.

If however, the instrument cannot be placed in a consistent temperature, some fine tuning of the strings may be enough to ensure that the sound is consistent and in tune.