INSIDERS (Sponsored Content)
Brought to you by Gregg "Roosevelt" Harris - Roosevelt's Terrariums - TERRARIUM INSIDER -
Whether you believe that life was created by some superintelligence outside of our universe, or that life evolved into existence from inorganic matter, one thing we can normally agree on is that life adapts in order to thrive in even the most extreme and difficult habitats around the world.
As a terrarium shop owner, this is a big part of my life. I work each day with various kinds of live plants, and I never cease to be amazed. From the cool, moist, shady environments of the high equatorial jungles of Central America to the hot, dry, sunny, barren deserts of the American Southwest, there are live plants that not only survive in these places, but actually thrive.
Right here in Oregon and Washington we have nearly every micro environment found on Earth, from our Cascade Mountain range to our high desert volcanic lava beds to our conifer rain forests in the Willamette Valley and the coastal climates of our ocean beaches. Drive less than 100 miles in any direction from Portland and you will be in an entirely different kind of place with an entirely different array of living mosses, grasses, plants, mushrooms and trees.
Now if all of these diverse plants had the ability to notice the circumstances that the other plants naturally inhabit, I think they might feel both horror and pity. The delicate little tropical violet might wonder how the dry desert cactus could ever be happy in its harsh habitat. She might think that the cactuss life could not even be worth living. The dry heat would certainly kill her if she tried for even a few minutes.
Likewise, the spiny barrel cactus could honestly say to the violet, I would just die if I had to live in the 100 percent humidity of your tropical jungle. And he would be right. His roots would rot and his body would collapse into a stinky puddle of green goo.
When we take a tropical plant, or a cactus, or an air plant, or a carnivorous bog plant into our home, we should take into account what that plants natural habitat would normally be and do all we can to meet its survival needs in our living space.
It would be hard for either to believe that the other could really be happy in such extreme conditions. But they are happy. In fact, each one needs those extreme conditions in order to thrive.
This diversity is what presents us with our greatest challenges when growing various kinds of plants in our homes. Though many of the most common houseplants enjoy the same 72 degrees and 60 percent humidity we enjoy, other plants need higher temperatures and much higher or lower humidity. Since most of us do not enjoy the extremes of heat or humidity those plants desire, we have to use a bit of resourcefulness to create the habitat the plants need without having to live in it ourselves.
The terrariums I build and plant in my terrarium shop provide a simple, very attractive and reasonably priced way to enjoy tropical and woodland plants in your home. Our desert scene cactus and succulent bowls, when placed in a sunny window, are a beautiful way to enjoy the rugged environment in your home. We bring even the novice plant enthusiasts love for plants out of the backroom and into the living room as a beautiful piece of furniture.
Add one of our high-efficiency LED grow lights and you can place your new terrarium anywhere in your home, regardless of where the windows may be. (If pot growers can grow weed in their closets, we can grow tropical and woodland terrariums in even the darkest living room.
The challenge is simply to provide what the plants need to thrive and bloom while on display in your home. The good news is that most plants are pretty adaptable to a wide range of home circumstances. Just like new Portlanders, house plants can get used to the lower light of our overcast winter sky and the drizzle of our Northwest winter rains. But also like us Portlanders, plants benefit from turning up the indoor lights and putting on a playlist of our favorite music to help keep our spirits up until spring brings a return of the sunshine.
One More Thing: Now that I think about it, just like the incredulous anthropomorphic plants in my discussion above, we also can wonder how anyone living in extreme circumstances so different from our own could ever be truly happy. Whether it be the disabled person in his wheelchair, or the homeless person sleeping on our sidewalk, or the professional person in their stiff suit and tie, or the big family with lots of kids living in poverty, or the quadriplegic laying there in her medical bed, or the elderly person whose mind is caught in the tight loop of dementia, or the runaway teen living on the kindness of strangers, or the Down syndrome adult with his childlike view of the world, or the street musician who lives on tips, or that conservative neighbor living in devotion of a religion other than your ownthe truth is, life, even in these more extreme conditions, can still be good.
Amazing as it may be to us in our own familiar little worlds, all of these diverse situations can still be places of wisdom, joy and happiness for those who have adapted themselves to live in them. In fact, some of the most beautiful flowers bloom in the most barren and unusual of soils.
So rather than just feel pity for others whose circumstances would be intolerable to us, we would be wiser to pause, draw closer and try to catch a glimpse of what it might be like to live in those other places. Certainly compassion for the suffering of others is a virtue, but let us be careful not to presume that they are suffering and to judge them for not doing what we might do in their situation.
Be grateful for whatever you have that is good. Be grateful for those moments where you get to enjoy life in your particular place. But also be open to the possibility that there is more to life than what you have experienced, or even than what you now prefer. As they say, You dont know what you are missing.
I happen to be a 63-years-old, full of aches and pains, semi-retired and a widower who owns and operates the coolest terrarium shop in the USA. (I checked it out on the web, and its true. Our little shop is becoming a nationally recognized destination for terrarium enthusiasts. My terrarium classes are now the most popular terrarium classes in the county if you count how many classes and students we serve each month.) I live in my shop to keep costs down and I am finishing up raising my 16-year-old son alone.
Its not easy, but in spite of all the challenges that confront me in my unusual situation, my life is still good. Maybe that is because that Superintelligence from outside our universe is good. I believe it is so.
1510 SE 44th Ave, Apt. 101, Portland, OR 97214
Living Works of Art & Craft
Brought to you by Griffin Hampson - Cartridge-Network - PRINTER, INK & TONER INSIDER -
Can third-party laser toner cartridges save your office money? Absolutely. What about quality?
Aftermarket laser toner cartridges quality ranges from garbageto illegalto excellent. How does one know the good from the bad? Use a local vendor who knows the differences. Many very inexpensive cartridges sold via Amazon and certain online sellers (check customer dissatisfaction reviews) are poor quality. We love inexpensive items, laser toner cartridges included. But buying on price alone invites problems. Our quality and savings = value.
OEM (original equipment manufacturer) = name-brand cartridge. This is how printer companies make their profit. Nothing wrong here, but it is significantly higher on a cost- per-page basis.
For aftermarket cartridges, there are two good alternatives. Factory remanufactured and factory new compatibles. Depending on the brand and style of cartridge, either can be very satisfactory in both performance and savings.
Factory remanufactured cartridges are exactly that. An empty original cartridge, recycled and factory remanufactured. Tested, accepted, machine cleaned, new drum (one hopes), new blades and other parts and then filled with the appropriate toner formulation with a new or reset chip.
Factory compatible cartridges are new build cartridges with the appropriate toner and chip. Both styles can perform quite well at considerable savings. The factories we use for these cartridges produce very high-quality cartridges with very high customer satisfaction.
What about refill shops? Its a question of job shop vs. factory quality. Universal laser toner (is garbage) vs. laser toner specifically intended for a specific printer, let alone the correct cartridge chip. We recycle lots of these from unhappy users.
Illegal cartridges on the internet? Yep! There have already been about a dozen seizures this year with the importer named including several for Amazon.
Black-only laser toner cartridges (printers) are the least expensive on a cost-per-page basis. Color laser cartridges (printers) are several times more expensive on a cost-per-page basis. There is a correlation between purchase price of the printer and the cost per page; the lower the price of the printer, the more costly on a cost-per-page basis.
Since businesses usually favor laser printers, we frequently recommend having a beefier all-in-one or multi-function black laser printer for the 70 percent to 80 percent of their printing that is only black and then having a separate color laser printer for when they need color. Since color goes into producing black print and black laser toner goes into making color more colorful, this is a very cost effective way to lower a businesses cost per page and provides redundancy in printing capabilities instead of having a single color all-in-one/multi-function color laser printer that is printing predominantly black.
Let us help you with cost effective high-quality cartridges. As a full-service independent, non-franchise operation located in Raleigh Hills, on the Portland-Beaverton border, Cartridge-Network stocks several thousand different OEM and aftermarket cartridges. Shipping is free! And we sell and services printers and copiers. We stock several dozen different printer models (inkjet and laser) and copiers too. We focus on a customers needs and then explore alternatives to best meet them.
6800 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy, Portland, OR 97225
Brought to you by Janelle Rohrback, MD - The Portland Clinic - MEDICAL INSIDER -
With spring officially here, Portlanders are spending more and more time enjoying our beautiful outdoors. However, all of that outdoor activity carries a risk if youre not mindful of the sun and take steps to protect yourself.
Every year, millions of Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer, making it the most common variety of cancer in the U.S. As part of National Melanoma Skin Cancer Month, doctors and nurses at The Portland Clinic want to share a few basic steps we can all take to help prevent this disease.
The shade is your friend: Particularly during midday hours when the suns rays are strongest, stay in the shade as much as possible.
Cover up: Clothing can be your strongest defense against harmful rays. A hat with a wide brim and UV-blocking sunglasses are great accessories.
Apply sunscreen: Its not enough to use a high SPF sunscreen. You have to ensure you are using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that can block both UVA and UVB rays. We recommend opting for a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher; reapply every two hours or right after you swim.
Avoid tanning beds: Using an indoor tanning bed dramatically increases your risk for melanoma and other skin cancers.
Keep babies out of the sun: The skin of a newborn is incredibly vulnerable, so they should be kept out of the sun entirely. Babies over the age of six months need regular applications of sunscreen.
The Portland Clinic
800 SW 13th Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Brought to you by Adam East - Alberta Rose Theatre - LIVE SHOWS INSIDER -
For the best in dance, circus, comedy and song, check out these upcoming events at the Alberta Rose!
Friday, April 29
Sepiatonic presents Bridge The Gap: The bellydancers network known for their massive theatrical productions masters both music and muscle in this special performance. Their eclectic band excels across genres. 8 p.m., minors OK when accompanied.
Saturday, April 30
Heart Like A Wheel - Linda Ronstadt Tribute Concert: Join some well-known Portland singers as they cover the songs of a rock-and-roll legend left voiceless by Parkinsons. This charitable event will raise money to fight the disease. 7 p.m., minors OK when accompanied.
May 6, 7 and 8
Mother's Day Circus: Contortionists will writhe and acrobats will fly to the tunes of chamber/folk outfit 3 Leg Torso. Bring your mom! 8 p.m., with a special Mothers Day Matinée Sunday at 3 p.m., minors OK when accompanied.
Monday, May 9
Blake Lewis & Elliott Yamin - The Soul Box Tour: Two of American Idols most successful performing artists join forces for this one-night-only event. 8 p.m., minors OK when accompanied.
Thursday, May 12
Howie Day: The singer-songwriter behind She Says and Collide returns to Portland with a repertoire of new material and old favorites. 8 p.m., minors OK when accompanied.
Alberta Rose Theatre
3000 NE Alberta St, Portland OR 97211
Brought to you by Dave Anchel - Elmer's Flag and Banner, Kites Too! - FLAG, BANNER, KITE INSIDER -
Theres no pleasure like flying Old Glory, but its important to get it right. Proper flag etiquette demonstrates our respect for the American flagand the values that our flag represents. Here are five flag-flying tips:
Light by Night. The American flag should be flown only from sunrise to sunset unless its properly illuminated. Otherwise, raise the flag briskly each morning and lower it ceremoniously at sunset.
Know the Half-Staff. Contrary to popular belief, half-staff doesnt refer to the point halfway between the ground and the top of the flagpole. Instead, the flag should be raised to its usual height and then lowered one flag height.
Canton Left. Theres nothing wrong with displaying our national flag vertically or horizontally, but the union (the 50 white stars on the blue field, also known as the canton) should always be on top and to the observers left.
Dont Add (Or Play Dress Up). Dont add, subtract or alter the design of the American flag. Flags should never be used as a costume or athletic uniform. A flag patch is acceptable on the uniforms of police officers, firefighters, soldiers and other patriotic organizations.
Fly America First. When displayed with other national flags, the American flag must be the same size and in the place of prominence (to the viewers left).
Have a different question about the Stars & Stripes and how best to fly it? Give us a call!
Elmers Flag & Banner, Kites Too!
1332 NE Broadway Portland, OR 97232
Brought to you by Marshall Smith - Parr Lumber - BUILDING MATERIALS INSIDER -
Improving your yard and outdoor living space is an affordable way to increase the value and enjoyment of your home. Homeowners in the Northwest love to be outside, especially in the spring and summer months. Landscaping jobs, gardening projects and creating a beautiful outdoor patio are not only fun but also affordable projects that homeowners can typically accomplish over a long summer weekend.
From wood to concrete, Parr Lumber has the outdoor products and ideas to match the style and function of your home. Some popular projects include using rough-sawn cedar boards and retaining wall blocks to define a spaceor building raised flower and vegetable beds for the garden.
When it comes to adding those finishing touches that really set a home apart, consider paver stones. Basalite Concrete Products offers a complete line, everything from engineered wall systems to decorative block, pavers and stepping stones. Parr has Basalite pavers to fit the needs of any home improvement project.
Outdoor improvements are easy to create, dont require experience and add beauty, functionality, enjoyment and value to your home. Paved walkways and patios create scenic splendor without sacrificing utility, while stepping stones suggest rustic exploration and play.
What are you waiting for? Come visit the pros at Parr Lumber, they can show you all the options, help you with the selection process, walk you through the project and deliver all the materials right to your driveway.
We have 10 locations in the Portland area.
Visit our website to find one near you.
Brought to you by Ken Mitchell-Phillips - The Law Offices of Ken Mitchell-Phillips - LEGAL INSIDER -
A comprehensive business plan is the single most important document you can create before founding a new business.
Whether its a full-scale commercial enterprise or a business run out of your garage, a business plan outlines the goals and strategies of your companyeverything from marketing and financing to revenue projections and competitor analysis.
The best thing about a business plan is that it forces you, the budding entrepreneur, to face facts and answer the hard questions in an always-changing business environment. But a business transactional lawyer can help you answer the questions you didnt even think to ask.
For instance, federal and state law enforces restrictions on advertising content for almost every industry. A business lawyer can help you ensure compliance with existing codes while also preventing your liability from charges of misleading marketing.
A business transactional lawyer can provide legal advice pertaining to your financial situation, ensuring you get the best deal from shareholders, co-partners and lenders.
Depending on whether youre planning on hiring full, part-time or contractor employees, a business transactional lawyer can pinpoint the relevant laws and regulations that will affect employee compensation, retention and benefits.
Business and law are inextricably intertwined. Personally, I have decades of experience drafting business documents, minimizing corporate liability and ensuring compliance, working with Fortune 500 companies and small start-ups. Visit The Law Offices of Ken Mitchell-Phillips for a professional consultation today!
The Law Offices of Ken Mitchell-Phillips, P.C.
1217 NE Burnside Rd, Suite 801, Gresham, OR 97080
Brought to you by Jennifer Cook-Buman - Living Right Senior Placement - SENIOR PLACEMENT INSIDER -
Senior living communities have changed a lot, but placement professionals still hear the same complaints. Read on for some senior living myth busting.
It costs too much. Dont be so sure. Senior living isnt free, but when you factor in the savings on food, utilities, transportation and upkeep, they often cost less than regular rent or homeownership. Many of the benefits are priceless.
Ill be lonely. Well, thats up to you. Retirement centers dont make your friends for you, but they are central locations where people of the same age, demographics and interests tend to gather, with plenty of icebreaking opportunities.
Ill be bored. Unlikely. Retirement is a time to rekindle long-dormant hobbies, which is why most senior centers have thriving gardening, game, craft and sewing clubs. Most plan regular trips to cultural and entertainment centers too.
Theres no privacy. Shared spaces and dining halls certainly put the emphasis on community, but senior living centers arent designed for mandatory participation. Renters control access to their own apartments, and can take their meals there.
I dont want to. That may be true, but kicking the can down the road isnt a long-term solution. Making a choice yourselfrather than leaving it up to your family during a time of crisisis the greatest gift you can give them.
Still not convinced? Schedule a visit with Jennifer Cook-Buman of Living Right Senior Placement. Shell locate your concernsand their solutions.
Living Right Senior Placement
P.O. Box 534, West Linn, Oregon 97068
Brought to you by J. Baron - Northwest Women's Clinic - WOMEN'S HEALTH INSIDER -
Pregnant women are subject to the advice of friends, family and even strangers. Most book stores have entire sections devoted to childbirth. Online, there are over 7 million hits for the word epidural. How does one sift through the mounds of information?
In todays busy OB-GYN offices, providers only have about 15 minutes for most OB appointments.
Prenatal classes teach the couple about pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum time as well. It would be difficult to fit everything a couple needs to know into a monthly 15-minute time frame says J. Baron, one of the certified nurse midwives at NWWC and a prenatal class educator at their Barnes road location.
Labor can be a fearful time for some couples and prenatal education can help alleviate some of that fear, making for a calmer birth experience for parents and baby alike. It also helps to know what to expect when you get to the hospital.
According to J., the immensity of what a womans body is doing on a physical, emotional and spiritual level during pregnancy and birth is only matched by the immensity of what the baby has to do to successfully maneuver the birth as well. Understanding, supporting and respecting that goes a long way toward a healthy birthing experience.
NWWC offers their patients childbirth education classes nearly every month. They also offer classes specifically geared toward unmediated labor/birth as well as water birth.
Northwest Womens Clinic
11750 SW Barnes Road, Suite 300
2222 NW Lovejoy St., Suite 619
Brought to you by Tilo Arreguin - Black Tie Detail - AUTO DETAILING INSIDER -
As Im sure you know, many car washing companies offer so-called auto detailing services alongside their more standard options.
Car wash employees will tell you that their service is exactly the same as the job done by professional auto detailers. But by some unexplained miracle, these car wash details never cost more than those done by the pros.
The reality, however, is that these auto details are likely causing more damage to your vehicles paint and finish than simply doing nothing at all.
The problem is that car wash companies only use soap and a sponge to clean your car exterior, and frequently reuse their cleaning supplies over and over.
The bits of dirt and sand you want removed from your vehicle exterior also turn the cleaning implement into a literal piece of sandpaper. Using a dirty sponge or wash mitt will abrade the finish of your car, stripping it of paint and leading to uneven wear.
Thankfully, theres a different way. At Black Tie Detail, we use a clay bar system to remove particulates without damaging your vehicles finish. We take the time to buff and polish your car, two steps most car washes skip. Unlike the other guys, we take pride in our work and spend extra time making sure everything is right.
Next time, make the investment your car truly deserves. Theres no replacement for a good auto detailing from Black Tie Detail!
Black Tie Detail
9398 SW Tigard St, Tigard, OR 97223
Brought to you by Jan Kuhnhausen - Kuhnhausen's Furniture Showcase - FURNITURE INSIDER -
Kuhnhausens Furniture Showcase has been selling traditional and modern, authentically Portland furniture for generations. But high-quality construction at a great price cant compensate for bad vibesor bad interior design.
The pros use these five decorating and design laws every day. How many does your home layout break?
Let your seats communicate. If the seating in your house doesnt communicate, your friends and family wont be able to either. Try arranging your seating so every armchair, loveseat and couch has its own conversation partner.
Float your furniture. Squaring every piece of furniture flush against the wall wont magically double your houses floor space. In fact, floating the furniture (with space in between objects and walls) actually increases the appearance of space.
Find a focal point. Every room needs a centerpiece, and were not just talking about the flatscreen. A focal point should draw everyones attention, like a fireplace or picture window. Consider purchasing new, clean-lined furniture in neutral colors. This will make your space more open and inviting.
Cut the clutter. Not sure where to focus a room? You probably have too much furniture already. If it doesnt fit your theme or your floor plan, ditch it.
Take a photo. Taking a digital image can reveal a rooms hidden promise, or force you to confront an unpleasant truth. A photo will help you appraise the room from an outsiders perspectivejust like your guests will.
Kuhnhausens Furniture Showcase
2640 East Burnside, Portland, Oregon 97214
Brought to you by Stan Robinson and Brian Jarvis - Pacific West Roofing - ROOFING INSIDER -
For over 35 years, Pacific West Roofing has been providing only the highest quality residential and commercial roofing service. We approach each project the sameby understanding your needs, determining the best solution, informing you about the process and standing by our work.
Ventilation, or air movement, is essential to insuring roof longevity. An efficient ventilation system provides a steady, high volume of air movement. This means that the system components must be sized and positioned to provide a constant flow of air, moving in a constant direction. This can be achieved two ways, either using natural ventilation or mechanical ventilation.
Air movement is most effective when intake vents are positioned along the underside of the roof sheathing. During summer, airflow along the sheathing removes heat before it can radiate to the attic floor. During winter, airflow along the sheathing removes moisture before it can condense into droplets or frost. Intake vents must be located so there is little possibility of rain or snow infiltration. Conventional intake products require installation in the soffit, or bird blocks (the area underneath the eave of the house) for maximum weather protection.
Today, more roofing professionals understand the importance of proper ventilation, and more products are being introduced to improve the process. One example is The Edge Vent intake vent system, which allows rooftop installation and maximum weather protection. It is one of several modern technologies used by Pacific West Roofing to deliver superior roofing solutions.
Pacific West Roofing
9360 SW Tualatin-Sherwood Rd, Tualatin, OR 97062
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