Are You Guilty When It Comes to Road Rage?

As per a national auto club, just about eighty percent of American drivers admit to angry driving tendencies at one time or other. It is particularly shocking to discover this from the report: nearly eight million vehicle operators say they demonstrated certain forms of road rage. This included ramming into another car on purpose and getting out of a vehicle to confront another driver in a menacing manner.

How would you rate yourself in regard to the above?

Go through the list below characterizing aggressive driving and check off any point that defines your own driving habits.

Does any of the following describe your actions while driving a vehicle?

• Have you tailgated another car or truck on purpose?
• Have you driven significantly over the legal speed limit?
• Have you run through a red or amber light?
• Have your Snaked in and out of cars and traffic?
• Have you raised your voice and screamed at another driver?
• Have you slammed on the horn and honked to show your anger at another motorist?
• Have you demonstrated your frustration and rage through hand gestures?
• Have you tried to prevent another driver from changing traffic lanes?
• Have you deliberately cut off another driver?

We all get angry at one point or another. This is because we are all human and humans by design are not perfect. Nonetheless, anger that is unchecked can be a very dangerous emotion, leading to actions that are later regretted.

Of course, when anger is evident in driving, the danger is so much greater. It can lead to hostile actions that intimidate, bully or incite others on the road and result in physical losses and damages as well as injury and the tragic loss of life. For the aggressive driver that thinks auto insurance may bail him out of liability, in general this is far from the truth.

In fact, the insurance providers do not take any responsibility for motorists that deliberately use dangerous or illegal modes of driving.

As one insurance professional so aptly put it, “Don’t expect your auto insurance cover to come to your defense if you drive aggressively. Driving in rage will not only put your at risk, it places anyone else on the road in danger. If you drive in an irresponsible manner, you will be up against all the criminal and fiscal penalties on your own.”

The same auto club that conducted the afore-mentioned study concludes with some sage advice.

1. Don’t ever provoke another motorist to retaliate by compelling him to change speeds or directions.

2. Be tolerant of other drivers’ and don’t allow yourself to get angered by another driver’s actions.

3. If another driver displays anger on the road, do not respond by making eye contact or gestures. Try to stay at a safe distance and if you feel your safety may be compromised, contact police.

Building a Green Home Requires Teamwork

The Traditional Approach

Green home building and remodeling requires a different approach than the traditional, established way of building. Traditionally, the homeowner, you, approaches an architect who designs the home, based on your descriptions, ideas, dreams and wishes. The finished design is then distributed to several general contractors for bid.

The general contractor in turn contacts his/her subcontractors to get bids from them for framing, roofing, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, excavating and foundation work, landscaping, interior finishes.

The bid prices are based on the interpretation of the drawings by each contractor. Rarely do the subcontractors talk to each other during the bid process. Rarely is the architect contacted with questions. Almost never is the homeowner, you, contacted. The contractors’ final bids usually include a list of exceptions and/or a contingency allowance, which might never be used, but is paid for by you anyway.

Homeowners most often accept the lowest bid. Why not? Unless you are familiar with and know the construction business, know the contractor’s quality of work, what other criteria could you apply?

The procedure outlined above often results in considerable construction cost increases, dissatisfied homeowners and sometimes lawsuits.

Huge resources are being neglected and missed when homes are remodeled and built the traditional way: Experience and trade-specific expertise, which could save you time, money and headaches.

The Green Approach To Building A Home

Building a green home must be a systematic approach and done as a team. The project must be looked at as a system, in which each component is connected to and depends on the other components. For example:

Location of the home on the property will determine the amount of soil disturbance, excavation and landscaping
Location, size and types of windows will impact the heating and cooling requirement
Type of heating and cooling equipment will impact space requirements for furnace, heat pump, solar collectors, piping, ductwork, etc
Choice of exterior wall will impact first cost versus installation cost versus insulation values versus appearance
You get the idea

Teamwork is required to make it all come together. The folks who design and build your green home, will be working with you and with each other for weeks or months. These are some important questions to ask when assembling your green building team:

Do all of the team members agree on the importance of building green and are they committed to it?
Do architect and contractors have experience in green home construction and if not, are they willing to learn? The majority if the team should have some experience in designing or building green homes
Do you like and respect them? Can you see yourself interacting with each of them frequently and maybe work through some challenges?
Do they like and respect each other?
Do they take pride in high quality work?
Can they accept input about their trade from other trades?
Don’t underestimate the importance of your team getting along and working well together. There will be times during the construction when tempers flare, tensions are high, pressure is on. And this could be just when the insulator has to do some very meticulous work to seal all leaks, while the electrician is breathing down her neck to hurry up so he can get his work done.

It is important to include as many of the trades as possible during the design phase. Decisions about choices in materials or heating system can then be done by all involved parties from a fully informed perspective. For example:

Someone mentioned to you the advantages of using structurally insulated panels (SIP), and that is what you would like to use for your green home. Preliminary investigations show that these panels would have to be shipped from hundreds of miles away. The general contractor suggests using insulated concrete forms (ICF). The factory is only 50 miles away, his team is very experienced with this system and he knows that he can do it cheaper than with SIP. The architect supports this idea, because she also knows that homeowner insurance rates are sometimes lower for homes built with ICFs, due to their resistance to termites, wind and fire.

Or

General contractor, architect and HVAC contractor work closely together to determine if your green home should use solar collectors or a geothermal heat pump system for hot water and heat. They contact the wood truss manufacturer to help determine the impact of the heavy solar collectors on the roof frame. A call to the local geothermal heat pump specialists reveals that your future neighbors down the street installed a geothermal heat pump system two years ago and are very satisfied with it. With all this information, you can now make an informed decision.

When the time comes to put the final cost for your green home construction project together, you can be assured that unexpected costs will be minimal. You will know that you and your green building team are all pulling in the same direction.

Addressing and optimizing key factors up front with the whole team will result in a smoother construction process, lower costs and a much better green home for you and your family.

Weight Loss – Recording Your Weight Loss Progress

Measuring and recording your weight loss progress is a useful trick to boost your efforts…

it gives you the motivation to stick to your plan.
it is a form of feedback and provides motivation, which is vital for long-term success.
it is also a handy way to keep yourself accountable.
If you weigh yourself frequently, you will be more inclined to stick to your diet or habits you have developed to encourage weight loss. Nobody wants to see negative results, so if you make it a habit of stepping on the scale often, you will be more likely to discipline yourself during the more difficult times.
Now, there are many ways to approach how you will record your progress. You can be religious about it, or somewhat relaxed. Ideally, you will find a balance, because leaning towards one way or the other could do more harm than good. Being too meticulous about your means of recording is likely to cause frustration, mental fatigue, and potential burnout. Whereas not paying any attention to detail and being lackadaisical would be counterintuitive to the purpose in the first place.

The two methods you ought to use when recording your progress is…

measuring your body weight, and
counting your calorie intake.
Measuring your body weight is the most common way to check your progress, as it is a reliable (although not perfect) manner of measuring the results of your efforts. While counting your calories is not directly a way of recording your progress, it positively contributes. What we mean is it is the caloric deficit you create through your food choices that allows weight loss to occur, and will almost certainly require fine adjustments as you proceed to ensure you continue to lose weight.
Primarily, you might as well record your caloric intake as you record your progress because it will facilitate how much weight your lose.

Remember, you do not have to be overly meticulous. What does this mean? It means you do not need to step on the scale every day, or count every calorie (nor should you). But weighing yourself weekly (first thing in the morning on the same day each week) and counting your calories with reasonable accuracy is going to provide essential feedback.

If you are not making any or enough progress from week to week on the scales, then take a look at your calories. If your estimation is reasonably accurate, you will have to decrease your total intake a bit further. Subtracting 200 from your daily calorie intake is sustainable and enough to cause change.

Regarding your weight, make sure you are recording your weekly numbers in a notebook or document. It is crucial to have a log so you can see the progress you are making and eventually, how far you have come. Nothing is more motivating than seeing your efforts are paying off.

Although managing your disease can be very challenging, Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can make simple changes to your daily routine and lower both your weight and your blood sugar levels. Hang in there, the longer you do it, the easier it gets.