Keeping Your Car in Tip Top Shape

New car owners have a lot of responsibility when it comes to taking care of their recent purchase. If it’s their first car, they may not be fully aware of just how much effort is needed to maintain a car. If you’ve recently purchased your first car, here are just a few of the things you’ll need to keep your car in top shape:

Don’t let it overheat.

Drivers who regularly make long treks run the risk of an overheated car. Luckily, there’s a gauge that shows how hot the engine is. If you notice that your engine is approaching a high temperature, find a safe place to park and wait for it to cool.

One thing that can be causing the car to overheat is a lack of coolant. Make sure your car has enough coolant before you head out for the day. It’s also a good idea to always keep the coolant in the trunk of your car in case of emergencies.

Get regular oil changes.

Look up the recommended mileage for your car, and when you approach that number, head on over to a car shop and have your oil changed. If you’re more interested in doing it yourself, there’s a ton of online resources that’ll teach you how to perform an oil change.

Purchasing the oil yourself and changing your own oil can save you a lot of money. Just make sure you’re fully confident in your abilities so you don’t damage your car.

Wash your car.

Regularly washing the exterior of your car can help keep it looking brand-new. You can go through a car wash or just buy the proper soap and do it at home. Cars are big purchases, so don’t let your car become dingy!

Clean the inside of your car.

It’s incredibly easy to let the inside of your car become inhabitable. Food wrappers, mail, clothes, and a variety of other stuff can quickly pile up. Once a week, take a few minutes to throw away the trash and clutter inside your car.

In addition, wipe down the surfaces- you’ll be shocked at the stuff that can build up over time! Vacuum the seats and floorboards, and occasionally hose down your mats if you’re looking to deep clean your car. If you notice the trash becoming an issue, invest in a small trash can that can fit in the car. And, of course, don’t forget the air freshener.

Schedule regular maintenance.

There’s a lot you can do for your car, but you still need to go get it checked by professionals every once in a while. They can pinpoint specific issues and advise you on how best to solve them.

Know what to do in the case of an accident. If you’re injured or your car is damaged after a collision with another car, Portner Bond, PLLC advises that you get in touch with a lawyer immediately. You don’t want to be saddled with bills so soon after purchasing a car, so see what compensation you’re entitled to.

An Undeserved Foreclosure

Recently, I was talking with one of my neighbors who had received a foreclosure notice out of the blue despite the fact that they had been paying their mortgage and had not received any notice of deficiency in relation to their payments. They were stressed and frustrated, and they asked me if they needed to hire a lawyer. I had very little knowledge of the subject at the time, so I decided to do a little bit of research to see if I could find an answer for them. While I was doing research, I came across the website for Smith Kendall, PLLC, which provided quite a bit of interesting and helpful information on the subject.

I learned that there are many different ways that lenders unfairly foreclose upon homeowners, all of which are illegal. Banks can fail to provide appropriate notice of foreclosure if they begin the process of foreclosing on a home but do not inform the homeowner that they have missed payments. This is illegal because it does not allow the homeowner to take steps to remedy the situation and prevent losing their home because they are unaware that the process has begun. Second, lenders can be said to have “bad faith” on the loan. This happens when the lender delays or refuses payments on the debt that then leads to foreclosure, which would cause you to lose your home even if you did everything right. Also, lenders might overcharge for late payment fees, which are set at a regulated level, and these excessive charges can create a vicious cycle ending in foreclosure. Finally, lenders can offer loans with unfair terms that result from tricking their client, which makes foreclosure illegal as well.

Experienced lawyers can do several things when they help their clients fight wrongful foreclosure cases. Lawyers can help you stop foreclosure or reverse a wrongful foreclosure if the lender does not follow the strict regulations that banks and lenders must comply with when undergoing the foreclosure process. These guidelines are dense and specific, so it is important for a person who is being wrongfully foreclosed upon to seek legal help to ensure that no violation of compliance is missed by the court. Additionally, lawyers can help their clients recover funds after a foreclosed home is sold. If the bank is able to sell the home for more than is owed to the bank, the bank must pay the homeowner the remaining balance. This almost never happens unless the bank is forced to make this payment by an attorney. Lawyers can also help you file for bankruptcy if the bank is pursuing access to other assets using either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. This can help debtors retain control of unrelated assets that are at risk of seizure by their creditors.

I will definitely recommend that my neighbor consults with a lawyer quickly about the foreclosure notice they received. The legal side of the foreclosure process seems to be complicated enough that it would be extremely difficult to find success if you represent yourself, and even if you represent yourself and win, you might be leaving money on the table that an experienced lawyer would not.

Behind the Party: Be Prepared for the Real Legal Risks to Party Drugs

Partying often comes with some less than ideal behavior. People drink more than they should, put themselves in riskier situations, and often, take party drugs.

While this can often seem like youthful exuberance, there can be real consequences. Unfortunately, those consequences are often brushed aside as the ideal of young people having fun gets the focus. The potential fun is never worth the trouble an individual can get in for being a part of that scene. For the sake of this article, I will avoid the most obvious risks, those related to health and safety, that sometimes get brought up. Instead, I want to talk about the legal risks young people run when they are part of the party scene. The truth is that the party scene can lead to serious legal consequences, even for those who aren’t indulging in these behaviors.

Consider the legal penalties for possessing ecstasy in Massachusetts. James Powderly Cape Cod Criminal Defense Attorney highlights some of the most serious legal issues an individual might face for ecstasy.

As a Class B drug, if the individual is charged simply with possession for a small amount of ecstasy, they are looking at a potential $1000 fine and up to a year in prison. Much more seriously, if an individual is charged with possession with intent for a large amount of ecstasy, they are facing up to $10,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison. That’s for a first offense. Offenses after the first have mandatory minimums associated with them, including a mandatory 2 years in prison and a mandatory $2,500 fine that can go up to $25,000.

In other words, the risks associated with ecstasy are very high. Mr. Powderly also points out that sometimes people can get wrapped up in these charges even when they personally were not in possession of the drug. They’ll then have to go to great expense to prove the drugs were not theirs.

There is a strong argument that the country should not prosecute drugs so strenuously, that there shouldn’t be mandatory minimums, and that drugs like ecstasy shouldn’t come with such serious punishments. While, again, there is much to be said for this argument, that isn’t the reality at the moment.

So, it is important to caution the young who are out there enjoying the party scene to be careful. Be aware of the risks to your health, your safety, and to your freedom. Think twice before making any risky choices, and be sure to have a plan if something goes wrong and you find yourself in legal jeopardy.

In that case, it is always best to get the best lawyer you can as soon as you can. While you may believe the use of party drugs shouldn’t involve law enforcement, law enforcement doesn’t agree, and you will need a good legal defense to avoid the consequences the system has in mind.

Are motorcycles better for the environment?

One upshot to riding a motorcycle is the fuel efficiency. Putting aside how cool, how fun, how absolutely thrilling it is to ride, you’re also always getting better mileage than any of the other guys on the road.

That got me thinking, shouldn’t the motorcycle be a symbol of the environmental movement?

I dabble a bit in saving the planet. I recycle. I clean up parks when I have some free time. Around the end of the year, I donate to a few Earth-friendly organizations if I have money left over after buying everything for Christmas. And, when I’m not riding, I take the bus everywhere.

It sure would be nice to be able to pat myself on the back for being even more Earth-friendly than I thought. I might even be able to convince myself that the environmental impact was one of the reasons I started riding in the first place.

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that clear-cut. According to the MythBusters, motorcycles do have better fuel efficiency, and they do have lower carbon dioxide emissions, but they emit far more of some of other pollutants.

According to the LA Times, that includes more than 8,000% more carbon monoxide and 416% more hydrocarbons.

To sum it up best, of course, there’s Adam Savage: “At best, it’s a wash. Motorcycles are just as bad for the environment as cars,” he said on the show. “At worst, they’re far worse.”

This result was apparently not unexpected. According to experts in the article, the problem is the lack of space and the quick rise in cost for motorcycles. There’s simply not the room to attach some of the fancy engine changes that cars all have now to lower their emissions. At the same time, the motorcycle has just been able to slip by without as much attention to that side of its engineering since it isn’t the main vehicle for most people.

Still, it’s a disappointment for me, since I now feel a little more guilty when I go for a long ride. At least, as the article says, it took fewer raw materials to put the bike together. That’s something.

And, I suppose, if I forget about the kind of emissions, there’s something to be said for motorcycles taking up less than one percent of the overall pollution.

In the end, though, guilt or not, I’ll keep riding. The risks of riding never stopped me from it, and the costs are unlikely to do so either. I know bikers have a higher risk of serious accidents. I take the proper precautions. Now, I know bikers also create a lot of pollution, how I’ll take precautions against that, I don’t know.

Perhaps I’ll try to offset somehow. I could donate more, and more often. I could try to eliminate some other kind of environmentally unfriendly behavior. Perhaps I’ll give up plastic bags.

I encourage everyone reading to consider these sorts of steps. I doubt many of us would give up our rides, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something to keep the world a little cleaner.

Dental Treatment Just Became Painless

Let’s face it. Even adults avoid the pain and the discomfort associated with dental treatment. Thus, many never make any appointment with a dentist.

Dental treatments do not have to be uncomfortable or painful. Several years of experience have enabled a number of dentists to learn new tricks that will make dental treatments quick and relatively pain-free – including injections, which are supposed to make a patient numb prior to the actual treatment.

The Babylon Dental Care clinic, for instance, has found the solution to make even routine teeth cleanings a worthwhile experience through the use of a gel called Oraqix®. This gel helps relieve discomfort or sensitivity. Additionally, through the use the Cavitron®, tissue trauma experienced by patients when dentists use hand instruments to clean their teeth, is minimized. With regard to cavities, instead of drilling or use of anesthesia, said clinic rather recommends micro-abrasion, which is a high-pressure baking soda mixture.

Painless dentistry, also called sedation dentistry, is an absolutely safe procedure. In this form of dental treatment, a patient is calmed through the use of mild forms of sedation before a dental treatment is actually performed. To help relieve patient anxiety, the area that needs to be treated it numbed so that the patient will not feel the work of a dentist or hygienist. The procedure would have been completed by the time the sedation wears off.  There are varying levels of sedation in painless dentistry:

  • Minimal Sedation. Though the patient is awake, he/she will feel calm.
  • Moderate Sedation. The patient may be awake, but not fully aware.
  • Deep Sedation. The patient is slightly conscious.
  • General Anesthesia. The patient is completely unconscious

Sedation dentistry has actually been practiced by dentists for many years; new techniques, however, has expanded its application, allowing it to be used even for simple treatments, like teeth cleaning. The calming and numbing effects of sedation have also proven an effective antidote even for people who cannot bear the thought of being in the dentist’s chair.

Administering sedation may be done through the following means:

  • Inhaled – this is done through the use of a breathing mask.
  • Oral – a pill that comes in a variety of strengths is given to a patient. This will make a patient feel groggy so that he/she would be asleep during the procedure.
  • IV Sedation – this is administered through an IV drip and it takes effect almost immediately. The dentist can continually monitor and adjust the dosage if necessary.


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