Top Features of Outdoor Kitchens

Cooking at home has been shown to improve health and happiness. While eating out or grabbing fast food can be a convenient occasional solution to busy schedules, the grease and salt in fast food are extremely unhealthy. Additionally, the cost of sit-down restaurants can tighten your belt as well as your budget!

But there are a couple of problems with cooking at home. For many, cooking requires skills and equipment that some simply do not possess or know. However, this problem can be remedied quickly through online searches of cooking tutorials and cheap(er) starter equipment.

For others, the problem of cooking at home is an absence of adequate space to cook comfortably. Smaller kitchens can feel cramped, especially within a small house or living space. A variety of solutions exist, including organization tools to free up space within your kitchen. Additionally, some recipes can be modified to be cooked in only pot or pan, making it much easier to make in a small kitchen.

However, an ingenious solution to cramped quarters is becoming increasingly popular: cooking in an outdoor kitchen! Outdoor kitchens contain all of the necessary tools to create great food. With the right sunset and the perfect recipe, all of the hassles and anxieties around cooking can melt away!

Food Prep Area

Daybreaker Landscapes installs and creates outdoor kitchens (and their awesome features!) for people in the Chicago area. As they describe on their website, it is important for there to be several feet of counter space for people to chop, cut, and prepare food before putting it on the grill. Not having enough preparation area could lead to the same problems that people have with indoor kitchens.

Storage areas in outdoor kitchens may differ from storage areas in regular kitchens, just because it is not common to keep a lot of ingredients in outdoor kitchens — or at least, the same amount of ingredients you would keep in an indoor kitchen. However, there will likely be a need for at least a small refrigerator and some side cabinets.

Cooking/Grilling Areas

Obviously, the most common method of actually cooking food in outdoor kitchens is through grills. Grills are the tool most commonly associated with outdoor cooking in general, especially as it relates to barbeques.

There are several types of grills on the market that can be used in outdoor kitchens professionally installed by businesses like Daybreaker Landscapes. I am not an expert in this field, however, so I just know the brief basics: there are propane or gas grills, charcoal grills, and electric grills.

Electric grills are relatively less popular than gas and charcoal grills and are sometimes shunned by traditionalists. However, all of the different types of grills vary in quality and price. No matter a person’s beliefs, an expensive and high-quality electric grill will cook better than a cheap or barely-functioning charcoal grill.

No matter how much counter space you have at your disposal, or what type of grill you choose to have installed, outdoor kitchens are a unique solution to the problem of cramped indoor cooking. Give it a try!

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Local Lawyers Make Better Lawyers

I sometimes speak to young lawyers starting out. They want to know how they can make themselves better lawyers throughout their career. Some of this is just ambition, but there’s also an honest desire to do the best work they can for their clients. I also often talk to those people who will become their clients who want to know how to know which lawyer is going to be best for them. There’s a lot you can say to both young lawyers and to their future clients. But, here’s a bit of advice that I think really goes far: go local.

Lawyers are far better for their clients and for their community when they settle into a place that feels like home and they stay there. A lawyer that is a part of the community cares more about their cases. They work harder for their clients. They also know the courts, the judges, and the other lawyers they’re going to come up against over and over again.

People always care more when their job affects the place they live. If you move around a lot or settle somewhere far from home, the people who come into your office aren’t your friends and neighbors, they’re strangers. Their problems feel more distant, less urgent, and less important. How can you commit yourself on every level to helping them when they are strangers harmed in a place that feels like business, not home? While it’s certainly possible, it is far more difficult.

If you are suspicious of this, just look at the rate of success for lawyers who remain local versus those who move around or have recently moved into the area. A great example of this is the Adams Law Firm. The lawyers there are 7th generation Texans, born and raised around Houston, where their firm is located.

How important does every case seem to them? Probably very important. An injury after a car accident is an injury their family could have suffered because those are their streets. A medical mistake could have happened to their neighbors or friends because those are their doctors and hospitals. That adds an extra level of passion and commitment, and that has surely made the lawyers at Adams Law Firm better lawyers overall.

As I said at the beginning, there are lots of ways to become a better lawyer when you’re starting out your career. And there are lots of ways to pick out a lawyer who will do a good job for you and your case. However, one simple way to be a good lawyer and to tell that someone is a good lawyer is to simply go local. As a lawyer, you’ll care more, and as a client, you’ll know your lawyer cares. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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My Experience in the Justice System

I’m very proud of myself today because I did my bit for justice in the world. No, I didn’t march in a protest or get signatures for an important issue. I didn’t call my congressperson or vote or even voice an opinion, for that matter. All the same, I did my part, and I’m going to take a victory lap here.

How did I do my part, I hear you asking, internet person. Well, internet, I testified in a lawsuit. That’s right. I put on my best suit, I bought a new tie, I combed my hair for once, and I testified. I didn’t actually testify in court. It was just in a lawyer’s office, and there wasn’t a judge there to urge me on or a hardened criminal to stare me down, just a lawyer and a table and a couple cups of coffee. They did record my testimony though, so I think it counts, even if it wasn’t quite how they do it in the movies.

I was called upon to do my duty because I witnessed an accident a few months ago, and there’s a lawsuit going forth with one party suing the other party. I don’t know any of the people or the actual circumstances, but they needed me to testify for the record.

I don’t know if I was much help to anyone, I hope I helped the victim at least. I told them I wasn’t even sure what exactly I had seen. I was behind the crash, and I saw an SUV swerve and crash into the car in front of it, but I don’t really know if the SUV caused the crash or something the car ahead did cause it. They didn’t press me too hard on that point, though, they just wanted me to tell what I saw.

I drove by the crash slowly afterward, and I saw the two vehicles were totaled. Otherwise, all I remember is it was misty but not yet raining, so the road was a little wet but not too wet.

They seemed satisfied afterward.

Regardless, they were actually satisfied or not, it did feel good to do something so important. They were quite nice and straightforward in the office, and it went quickly. The coffee was good too.

So, now I have officially done my civic duty for the day, which I think ought to put me in good stead with the civic authorities (or whoever is keeping count) for the foreseeable future.

I hope this doesn’t mean I get more jury duty notices. That’s maybe a little too much participation in the justice system for me.

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Trees Do more than just Add to a Property’s Aesthetics

Finding price tags on live trees, as if these were on sale, is not a familiar sight. In fact, it has never been a familiar sight all. However, in the Portland Parks & Recreation community in Oregon, park employees and volunteers saw if fit to hang price tags on trees to give people a sense of the benefits trees provide.

Whether for your residential home, apartment complex or commercial building, trees will always be an important investment due to the various environmental and economic benefits these green assets provide. This is why arbor care companies are ever busy providing services to general contractors, landscape companies, residential communities, commercial buildings and local governments. Services, such as tree pruning, tree trimming, tree removal, stump removal, tree installation, commercial tree services, tree pest management/insect control, tree fertilization, and tree storm cleanup.

According to the environmental nonprofit organization Tree People, the following are only a few of the top benefits of trees:

  • Trees combat climate change;
  • Trees clean the air;
  • Trees provide oxygen;
  • Trees cool the streets and the city;
  • Trees conserve energy;
  • Trees save water and help prevent water pollution;
  • Trees help prevent soil erosion;
  • Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays;
  • Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife;
  • Trees create economic opportunities;
  • Trees increase property values;
  • Trees increase business traffic; and,
  • Trees help reduce crime.

As pointed out by the U.S. Forest Service, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, trees do more than just add to a property’s aesthetic looks; they help create an outdoor living environment that is beautiful, healthy and safe, and tree protection, through preventative maintenance, will help in protecting the value of your property.

Trees help in protecting the environment too. Aside from producing oxygen, they help reduce smog, intercept airborne particulates, promote greater physical activity, reduce stress, improve the quality of life, and help meet a city’s regulatory clean air requirements.

All these benefits, says the Hamlin Tree Care, are what make landscaping an essential part of any structure because it makes people, communities and environments healthy and businesses, better.

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Criminal Defense for Minors in Possession of Alcohol

Spring break, for young individuals, means time for great fun and great fun can mean skipping out of town to a perfect vacation retreat. A long drive to another state with friends can really be exciting; however, before hitting the road towards your chosen destination, it may be necessary to first get to know the specific laws of that state, especially its laws on driving, DUI, and possession of alcohol or illegal drugs, which young vacationists sometimes use recklessly.

States may differ in treating or in punishing illegal acts, like DUI or minor in possession (MIP) of alcohol but, definitely, what is considered a crime in one state remains to be a crime in another. And, if caught committing an illegal act in the state visited, it is that state’s law to be applied rather than the state where the violator resides.

Living with a criminal record, regardless of how serious the crime is, is a huge hindrance to life’s opportunities and pursuit of one’s dreams. A conviction, especially, will have serious consequences on every aspect of life; it can result to loss of job, denied employment applications, difficulty in finding an apartment to live in, as well as in applying for professional licenses. This is because employers, landlords and license providers always ask about possible criminal convictions.

One serious offense vacationing youths often commit is Possession of Alcohol under the Legal Age (PAULA), or Minor in Possession (MIP). In 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, a federal mandate, was passed. This law strictly prohibits the possession and purchase of alcoholic beverages in public by individuals under the age of 21, except under certain circumstances

Punishment for violators of PAULA or MIP differs from one state to another. For first time offenders fines may range from $100 to $200. Repeat offenders can suffer fines, besides participation in an alcohol education program or ordered by the court to render community service. Other states also apply a suspension on the offender’s driving privileges.

PAULA or MIP may only be a misdemeanor, but if it sticks on one’s records, it will surely affect a violator’s future life. Hoping to be acquitted from the charge, or in the event of a conviction, working to have such conviction expunged from your record, can be possible, but only with the help of a well-seasoned lawyer who will be determined to fight for your defense, as well as care for your future as much as you do.

According to a Destin criminal defense lawyer, “Since the legal drinking age in Florida is 21, anyone who is younger than 21 and deemed to be in possession of alcohol in the Destin area may face a MIP charge. Though only a misdemeanor offense, MIP charges may lead to jail time, heavy fines, and a permanent criminal record if a conviction is achieved against a minor.”

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Truck Collision Cases

Sharing the road with 18 wheelers may, to some, be an everyday reality of the road. These large trucks play an essential role in our economy, especially in states such as Texas where trucks carry millions of gallons of oil per year. The average semi truck and trailer is 70 to 80 feet long – 4 of them end to end make a football field.

One thing people rarely consider is the qualifications of the drivers of these 18 wheelers. It can be extremely difficult to maneuver a 40 ton vehicle, so drivers must past a variety of tests before hitting the road. Attaining a commercial Drivers License is the first step, and requires the driver pass a written test on general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles. Truck driving school and the truck driving skills exam are also required before one can be legally authorized to operate an 18 wheeler.

Despite all this training the Texas Department of Transportation reported that, in 2012, there were 389 fatal crashes involving a semi-trailer throughout the state, as well as 133 fatal crashes involving a truck (distinguished from “pickup truck”). These crashes can leave victims injured and overwhelmed. According to the Dallas personal injury lawyers at the Benton Law Firm, truck drivers are often fatigued while driving multi-state routes and despite all safety precautions, can sometimes cause traumatic accidents.

In a truck collision case, the qualifications of the driver, their training, education, experience, traffic violations, physical attributes and mental status are relevant and extremely important. In the immediate aftermath of the accident details are freshest in the victim’s mind, making this the ideal time to make a truck collision claim. Insurance companies require a huge amount of information to do their job, so drivers should be prepared to give a detailed account of the incident to the insurance adjustor.

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Speeding: A Major Reckless Road Behavior

Every day, millions of cars fill U.S. roads and highways, transporting people from one place to another. The convenience, comfort and speed of travel that a car provides have made this means of transportation a necessity for Americans, but like any other piece of invention, if abused or misused, it will cause bad results.

The sad thing in relation to cars is the fact that many drivers do not know how to use these responsibly. Once behind the wheels, drivers easily forget all the education, advertisements and reminders that speak about road traffic rules and safe driving. As a result, more than five million vehicular accidents are registered every year, with at least 30,000 of these resulting to deaths. The top four causes of car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), are reckless driving, speeding, drunk-driving or driving under the influence (DUI) and driver error. It is totally surprising, however, to know that the many drivers, who are scared of speeding and hate speeders, are guilty of driving over the speed limit too.

Speeding increases the chance of an accident and, thus, compromises the safety of others on the road. As the law firm Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, puts it, this is because speeding:

  • Decreases driver visibility;
  • Decreases a driver’s reaction time to danger;
  • Decreases ability to slow down or stop;
  • Decreases a driver’s control over his/her vehicle;
  • Increases chance of rollovers on turns;and,
  • Increases chances of rear-end accidents.

No matter what reason speeders have for going over the speed limit or for driving too fast for road condition, one fact holds – they make the road dangerous for everyone else. The injuries that may result from car crashes due to speeding can be more severe because speed increases the force of impact. This is why speeding drivers should be held totally responsible for their reckless actions.

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Determining The Cost of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

For people who are suffering from tremendous pain in their shoulders, replacement surgery is a good option to getting relief and comfort. In shoulder replacement surgery, a metal ball replaces the head of the upper arm or the humerus and a polyethylene cup replaces the socket. This implant takes serves as the artificial shoulder and helps restore normal functioning of the shoulder. Due to the side effects that come with it as well as the cost, shoulder replacement surgery is only resorted to as the last option.

Over the years, there has been a rise in the number of shoulder replacement lawsuits. The use of faulty replacement devices has made the cost of surgery more expensive due to the second surgery that may be required by the doctor. Reports of the implant falling soon after the surgery can lead to more expenses. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, the faulty devices manufactured by medical technology companies can cause metal poisoning, bone and tissue damage, and implant failure.

Typically, the cost of shoulder replacement surgery will vary depending on the kind of implant that was used and where the surgery was performed. If you have health insurance, shoulder replacement surgery is usually shoulder by the insurer. The costs would usually include the initial consultation with the orthopedic surgeon. Shoulder replacement surgery entails not just a single appointment but a series of consultations which may include x-rays, physical examinations, and a review of your medical history.

While these are usual costs associated with shoulder replacement surgery, the patient may incur additional expenses if they are implanted with faulty replacement devices. If this happens, they can seek damages from the manufacturer of the defective implant. All they have to do is prove that there was negligence on the part of the manufacturer. There might be other parties who can be included in your case so do consult an attorney.

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What is Arthritis?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows just how prevalent arthritis is as a medical condition, affecting the lives of over 50 million people all over the United States. According to their findings, almost half of adults aged 65 and older have reported being diagnosed with some kind of arthritis during the years 2010 to 2012.

While arthritis is popularly believed to be a specific disease affecting the joints, it’s actually a group of different types of related conditions differentiated by how they cause joint damaged in the body. The two main kinds of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The first kind causes damage to the joint’s cartilage, while the second refers to arthritis caused by damage to the synovial membrane which protects and encloses the inner surfaces of a joint’s capsules.

Regardless of the specific kind, arthritis can be caused and worsened by several risk factors, the most significant of which is age. The CDC has found that around 62% if adults living with arthritis are 65 years and older. In some cases, arthritis can be caused by genetic predisposition, meaning that people with a family history of the disease are more likely to develop some form of the disease. Other factors that increase a person’s risk to developing arthritis are obesity and any previous joint injuries due to accidents.

Despite its commonality, arthritis can be a difficult condition to deal with. Patients with severe cases of arthritis suffer from extreme pain and difficulty moving. While most patients can experience relief and comfort from medication and physical therapy, some might have joint damage that is so severe it needs to be remedied through surgery. These patients get their damaged joint removed and replaced with implants through a procedure called joint replacement surgery. This surgery is typical for replacing damaged knees and hips, as well as defective shoulder replacement.

Joint replacement surgery has many advantages, but it also comes with certain risks. These risks can be particularly dangerous if the implants used during the procedure are found to be defective due to pharmaceutical errors. These defects can cause metal toxicity and bone and tissue damage. It can also cause the implants to degenerate faster than is typical, as well as cause them to dislodge suddenly. Considering these risks, patients are advised to take active part in their treatment plans and have honest conversations with their physicians regarding their specific concerns.

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Types, Benefits and Life Expectancy of the Single-ply Membrane Roofing System

With the many types and styles of roofing system to choose from today, picking the right roofing system for your home, office or building can be challenging, yet fun. Besides types and styles, there are also more than a handful of materials you can select from – from man-made products, like plastic polymers, sheet metal and asphalt to natural materials, such as wood and slate. Each choice has its own advantages and disadvantages, of course, with each adding a distinctive design too; just make sure it is the fitting crown to your home, office or building.

One type of roofing system that has grown in popularity in the U.S. over the past 30 years is the Single-ply Roofing System. Single-ply is a flat, synthetic or man-made polymer-based roofing material. Besides being safe, fast and easy to install, Single ply roofs have become very popular for refurbishment or new build projects also because of their:

  • Flexibility;
  • Light weight;
  • Cost and energy efficiency, leading to potential HVAC savings;
  • Superior resistance to ultraviolet light (UV) radiation;
  • Resistance to fire, harmful chemicals (like acid rain and other forms of acidic outflow), and potentially harmful micro-organisms;
  • Capability to create a lasting, watertight covering that is guaranteed to protect the roof against leaks; and,
  • Being environmentally-friendly in their production and ability to be recycled.

There are three main types of Single-ply membrane:

PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride). Besides its longevity and durability, PVC is also recognized for its capability to withstand chemical build-up and acidic outflow. This type of Single-ply membrane is also extremely easy to produce, install and repair, and has an estimated life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.

EPDM ( Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer). This versatile and flexible single-ply membrane can be ballasted, mechanically secured or fully adhered. It has excellent weathering qualities and is 100% resistant to Ozone thermal shock, changing weather conditions and UV radiation. EPDM has a life expectancy of between 20 – 30 years, even up to 40 years in some parts of the U.S.

TPO (Thermoplastic Olefin). TPO is also known as Thermoplastic polyolefin or Flexible Polyolefin (FPO). This roofing membrane, which has the potential to last up to 25 years, may not be as flexible as PVC, but it is extremely Eco-friendly and allows for cooler and more consistent temperature control due to its white color composition that reflects heat: this results to reduction in energy costs due to lesser use of electricity and/or gas to run air conditioning systems. In states where the climate is warmer, like in Florida, TPO roofing systems are said to have shown to last longer than almost all of flat roof systems, saving companies money in maintenance and restoration costs.

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