Up on a Housetop

a-plus-new-roof-floridaRoofing experts suggest that homeowners inspect their roofs every spring and fall for damage. The roof is one of the most vulnerable parts of a house since it is exposed to brunt of the weather; wind, hail, rainstorms, fallen branches and leaves, snow, ice, high humidity, and temperature changes put stress on the roof and homeowners should periodically assess their roof to identify potential problems. By regularly inspecting your roof, you can pinpoint issues before they lead to more serious roof problems that would require expensive repairs.

Homeowners need to assess both the interior and exterior of the house when looking for damage; oftentimes, things like windows, gutters, and even mold spots can point to roof damage. When examining the exterior, you should look for missing, curling, blistered, cracked, or buckled shingles. If you have a tile roof, check if any tiles are missing, cracked, broken, or out of place. You should also check the exterior paint (or stucco) of the house for chipping, discoloration, cracking, or splitting—these conditions might be signs of roof damage. Signs of roof problems can also be identified from the interior of the house in the attic. Check for sagging places in the roof and any outside light shining through.  Identify dark spots, leaks, and discoloration on the ceilings—water damage can lead to mold growth and other problems that threaten the integrity of your house.

Roofing experts warn homeowners to avoid walking on the roof when inspecting it, particularly if the roof is damaged. Homeowners can find a trusted roofing contractor to inspect or repair the roof using Real Local Pages (RLP), an online business directory with listings for services and businesses throughout the U.S. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com/, and enter the location you want to search. Choose the “roofing” category on the RLP home page or enter key words into the search box like “roof,” “roofing,” “roofer,” or “roofing contractor” to find the service or business you need. The results pages include the name and contact information of the business for your convenience. Users can also leave a review of the business listing on the website by clicking the “add review” button shown next to the listing. RLP’s directory is useful for finding a range of businesses and services from restaurants to electricians.

Let’s Go to the Movies

popcorn-movie-ticketsThe mouth-watering scent of salty, buttered popcorn is inseparable from the movie theater experience. This light and crunchy snack wasn’t always associated with the movies. During the early days of the movie theater, popcorn was in fact banned. Popcorn had been a popular American snack since the 1840s, the invention of the steam-powered popcorn maker in 1885 only increased the snack’s popularity—vendors could now sell popcorn at sporting events, circuses, and fairs. Movie theater owners however, refused to allow popcorn at their establishments. The first movie theaters were modeled after elegant opera houses and playhouses and a pedestrian food like popcorn had no place in the lavish atmosphere movie theaters sought to cultivate. Additionally, films were silent up to 1927 and snacking in a theater was distracting. The introduction of sound into film opened movies to a wider audience and made snacking more acceptable. But it took the Great Depression to turn popcorn into the movie theater snack.

Inexpensive bags of popcorn sold by vendors outside theaters made popcorn a favored movie snack during the Depression. By the mid 1930s however, theaters were barely surviving, and theater owners began selling snacks like popcorn to make money. WWII only strengthened the relationship between popcorn and movie-going since sugar rationing made candy a rare treat. Movie theaters and the popcorn industry suffered a decline in the ‘50s and ‘60s with advent of television, but the snack made a comeback with the invention of home popcorn makers and the microwave. Popcorn returned as the number one movie time snack, and today, the smell of popcorn is inextricably linked with the movie theater.

Find a local movie theater for a night out by using Real Local Pages (RLP), an online business directory with listings for thousands of businesses across the United States. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and choose your location. Use the search box to enter search terms like “movie theater” or “cinema” to find theater locations. Every listing includes a phone number and address for your convenience. RLP can also be used to find other types of businesses and services in your area, from florists to physicians, Real Local Pages can help you find what you need.

Autumn Allergies

fall_leaves1_hAutumn conjures up cozy images of pumpkins, soft sweaters, and colorful leaves. The cooler weather is a welcome relief from the humid air of summer, but for those suffering from fall allergies, autumn can be miserable. 10% to 30% of the American population suffers from allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Individuals dealing with hay fever experience a range of symptoms: an itchy throat and eyes, sneezing, trouble breathing, congestion, hives, even fatigue and trouble sleeping. During autumn, the most likely culprit for hay fever is pollen from ragweed plant varieties; about 17 different types exist in North America. Pollen is released in late summer and the pollen grains travel easily on the wind, allowing a single ragweed to release up to one billion pollen grains over an entire season.

Molds are another common fall allergy. Mold spores survive into late fall, after ragweed season has ended. Since both indoor and outdoor molds exist, individuals with mold allergies have a particularly difficult time. In the fall, mold grows on fallen leaves, compost piles, and in the soil. The light mold spores rise up during the hotter part of the day and settle down in the evening. Those suffering from mold allergies are advised to keep their yard clear of leaf litter and wear goggles or a mask to protect themselves when raking leaves.

Over-the-counter allergy medications can also minimize allergy symptoms. Talking with a doctor or visiting an allergist to test for possible allergies may also help individuals suffering hay fever-like symptoms in the fall. Search Real Local Pages (RLP) for local pharmacies and trusted physicians to help you deal with fall allergies. RLP is an online directory of businesses that can be used locate stores and services in your area.  Visit the RLP website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your zip code or city. Using the search box, enter keywords such as “pharmacy,” to find nearby pharmacies. Locate doctors by clicking on “physicians” under the popular categories list on the RLP home page. Results will show the contact information and address of each business or doctor. RLP can be used to find a variety of other businesses and services, from hotels and spas, to veterinarians and landscapers.

 

Pedal through the Past

Penny-farthingBicycles are a great way to travel, exercise, and experience the outdoors. With the wide variety of bikes on the market, everyone can find a bicycle to fit their lifestyle. The first “bicycle” however, didn’t even have pedals. The “Draisienne,” forerunner to the modern bicycle,  was composed of two wheels connected to a frame. The rider would straddle the frame and propel forward in a fast, gliding walk. Similar two-wheeled vehicles were known as velocipedes until the 1860s when the term “bicycle” first appeared. Around the same time, French carriage-maker Ernest Michaux attached pedals to the front wheel of a velocipede. Michaux’s velocipedes became known as “boneshakers” since the wooden device with its iron tires made for a bumpy ride over the cobblestone streets of the time.

After the boneshaker, advances in metalworking led to the development of the first all-metal bicycle. The High-wheeler, or “penny-farthing” as it was called in Great Britain, allowed riders to cycle faster but proved dangerous. Pedals were attached to the larger, rubber-made front wheel with the rider seated above it. A sudden stop or obstruction in the road would send the rider crashing to the ground headfirst. The invention of the safety bicycle in the 1880s replaced these high-wheelers; the design featured two wheels of the same size with the rider seated between them. The addition of inflated rubber tires in 1888 also improved the ease and safety of the bicycle. Cycling became enormously popular throughout Europe and the United States. Women, previously barred from riding because of their long dresses, were now able to participate and cyclist clubs in the 1890s pushed for better roads to ride on, paving the way for the automobile.

By the 20th century, the bicycle was a popular means of transportation and recreation. As the cycle SOS magazine constantly reminds us that, in the United States however, the advent of the automobile led to a decline in bicycle popularity. Bicycles were considered toys for children until the 1970s when people recognized the bicycle as an environment-friendly method of travel and recreation.

Search for local bicycle stores and bicycle repair shops through Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses. Visit the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your zip code or city. Using the search box, enter keywords related to the business you seek, for example, “bicycle” “bike” or “bike repair.” You can also choose options from the popular categories list on the main page. The results page shows the contact information and address of each business for your convenience. Users can find a wide range of businesses on the RLP website, from bike repair shops to clothing stores and restaurants.