Can You See Me Now?

High Visibility, or High-vis, are not just limited to construction or anyone doing physical labor but other occupations. You may have seen a crossing guard, a construction worker, or even a jogger wearing high-vis. They are bright and visible, especially in the dark, wintry days. Dark environments and unpleasant weather conditions make it hard to see anyone who is outside, creating hazards. Snow in particular, makes it very difficult to navigate through, especially during blizzards.

Jackets are some of the best things you can wear in high-vis. You can wear it any time you are outside, whether you are using it for work or just shoveling snow from your sidewalk. Try a simple bomber jacket for the best in protection and warmth. Some, like the Pyramex Class 3 Weatherproof Fleece Jacket, is brightly colored and has five pockets. Two pockets are good but think about what you can do with five!

However, it’s not just snow that’s a challenge. Rain is also a hassle in some places, especially in places like California that recently had wildfires and are in danger of mudslides. Our raincoats, like our bomber jackets, are brightly colored and best of all, they can be worn by everyone. Wear them on your walk or out running errands! The Occunomix Breathable Rain Coat is ideal because it’s simple and very waterproof. Best of all, it’s ANSI compliant. And don’t forget the rainboots! Our rainboots are some of the best in price in addition to being made of some of the best material. Try the CLC Rubber Rain boot or if you like a little color, the Women’s Knee High Safety Boot.

You can also try our High-Vis accessories like these thermal gloves, our Boonie Hat which is bright orange and has a nice strip of the High-Vis material or even a seatbelt cover, which fits on just about any seat belt.

 

-CD

Hard Hat Hair

msavgft_-06_brown_v-gard-fas-trac-slotted-protective-capWe recently got a question from a reader on how to avoid hardhat hair. There are a few options, and none of them is difficult or expensive, but none of them is going to have  you looking like you just stepped out of a salon. Sorry! Consider it the cost of the job.

You can…

Wrap a bandana around the suspension unit to lessen the marks left behind by them.

Wear a natural-fiber hat under the hat in the winter – synthetic fibers will create static and fly-aways.

Never start with even damp hair. Wet hair will exacerbate the condition!

Style your hair while you wear the hat! If it’s long, wrap your hair into a loose bun or twisty pony shoved under the hat, and let the hat set the curl. If it’s short, carry a volumizing product with you and when you remove the hat, rub just a bit of the product between your hands and fluff your locks.

Don’t wear metal barettes, which can conduct electricity.

If you wear a ponytail down, make it low!

And here’s my personal favorite: if you part your hair on the side, start on the opposite side, and part low. When you take off the hat, flip the part to its typical position and the worst of the dented hair will be under smoother hair.

New Biohazard Gear Kit Now Available from Online Stores, Inc.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New Biohazard Gear Kit Now Available from Online Stores, Inc.

biohazard-kit-subNew Stanton, PA – 28 October 2014 – Responding to widespread concern about proper protection against viral outbreaks, Discount Safety Gear, a subsidiary of Online Stores, has produced a biohazard Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit and public service video on how to put on and remove the gear to avoid contamination. The kit consists of all the pieces for medium-level protection against hazardous materials. It can be purchased here.

This 6-item kit contains a box of nitrile gloves (2 pr), chemical protective hooded coverall, goggles, N95 respirators (box of 20), bionic face shield, and full length heavy gloves. Priced at $55.99, the PPE kit is positioned to be affordable for most, during recent health concerns. The components were carefully chosen to provide maximum benefit for the typical citizen, with consideration given to comfort, flexibility, breathability, and impermeability.

The accompanying video, culled from best practices, is a brief but through walk-through of how to safely suit up and remove the equipment. It can be viewed here.

Online Stores, Inc. (www.OnlineStores.com), is a privately held American e-commerce business and a top 500 retailer, based in New Stanton, PA. The company operates several web sites including Onlinestores.com, EnglishTeaStore.com, SafetyGirl.com, ConstructionGear.com, Toysplash.com, United-States-Flag.com and DiscountsafetyGear.com. Online Stores serves over 500,000 customers every year.

Contact:

Kevin Hickey

kevin@onlinestores.com

1000 Westinghouse Drive, Suite 1

New Stanton, PA 15672

724-925-5627

www.onlinestores.com

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240 words

The Pack Rat

mess100 years in the same house + 3 generations + the flotsam of life = 3 stories + 3 outbuildings gorged with stuff!  Some is treasure – buried to be sure! Much is trash. The buildings are headed for demolition so two cousins are spending hours and days sorting it out. It’s a nasty job but someone has to do it to retrieve the treasure – silver coins and much more!

Online StoresConstruction Gear, Safety Girl, and Discount Safety Gear can help:        

Hours of kneeling pulling from the piles – CHECK!  We’ve got you covered with knee pads

Disp RespiratorDust, dust, dust – breathe in, breathe out! CHECK! We’ve got you covered with disposable face masks.

Danger – hazardous to clothing – CHECK! We’ve got you covered with disposable coveralls to protect your clothes.

coverallsHeads-up – Hard hats must be standard gear! CHECK! We’ve got you covered with our construction grade hard hats! They even come in snazzy colors for fashionistas!

hard hatSorting, trashing, treasuring, saving – It’s all in a day’s work. No, make that MANY days! You’re on your own! We don’t make house calls!

~AH

Big and Tall

20140725_174314Let’s focus on one of my favorite topics: Andy! Andy is many things. He is a superb dad, is nothing short of miraculous in the kitchen, has a naïve innocence that is endearing and yet a hardness that stands up to pretty much anything, and is so unique in his thought process he keeps even me on my toes (!!). And yes, Andy is a wonderfully big man. He’s over 6 feet tall and he’s muscular, and when he engulfs 5’2” me in a bear hug, every single thing in my life clicks into place and I am at peace. Now you know about Andy. But did you know that we carry gear for Big and Tall men like mine?

Most people are aware that we carry larger sizes in pants and shoes and other work clothing. For example, our leather boots are sized up to 18, double-extra wide. Our flame-resistant pants extend to 54 waist and 36 inseam. Shirt sizes are up to 5XL. But when you buy for your man, do you remember your accessories?

To try some of our products out on Andy, I wanted to feature the “extras” you might not consider when shopping for work clothes for your big dog. I picked out Carhartt’s wool socks in Large, Online stores’ budget-friendly reversible belt (choose from a variety of styles regularly priced to $25, for only $5.95 each), and an Ergodyne Core Performance Workwear base layer shirt.

SockAndy educated me, on our first date, that his homemade daisy dukes (settle down, ladies; his are simply jeans cut off at the knee and left to fray) were like summer in your pants. When we spoke of our mutual admiration of brand new socks, I told him they were like a vacation on your feet. So this weekend, right out of the goodie bag, he picked the socks first. He liked the length – they are no-show but with a slight “lip” in back so the heel of your shoe won’t rub that delicate tendon. “Oooh! Carhartt! Wool! Are they winter socks?” he asked. I pointed to the “All season” text on the package. “Will you wear them?” I asked. “Oh yeah!” he said. That man gets excited about socks. “I like how they feel right away. Not scratchy like you’d think wool would be.”

20140828_143237The belt I wasn’t sure on fit, so I was glad that I could return it after he tried it on (see our return policy here). A few months ago, we had gone to a department store to get him a new work belt and it broke the third time he wore it, and me exchanging the belt for him was a true headache. It didn’t stand up to the rigors of his blue-collar management job and the department store’s customer service was bad enough I almost wrote to the company. Almost. Anyway, the Online Stores belt did not fit. It was the same exact length and stated size as one he currently wears, so it was sized properly – except the belt was made of thicker leather, which would add circumference, and it was wider, which would add resistance against his belt loops. If you order this one, I suggest ordering one a size larger. I got two different belts, both thinner; one his size and one a step up. This morning he showed me that they fit great. They looked great, too! 20140904_050310“I love this belt,” he said. At this price, I’ll be buying more. Here’s a photo of Andy in his belt, getting ready for his workday (a little eye candy).

The dry-wick shirt is perfect for this time of year, when we head into cooler weather. It can be worn alone or as a layer. It is cut to fit snugly. CG-6415_Ergodyne_BLACK_Core-Performance-Base-Layer-Long-Sleeve-Shirt“You know this is buff cut,” Andy said. “That means it’s going to be tight.” Yay for me!

Rag Rolling

20140810_093358Now that hockey season has started (if you have kids that seriously engage in the sport, you know it requires about 13 months and billions of dollars a year), I will have some weekends to myself as Andy travels or hosts for hockey showcases, championships, and tournaments. Lucy plays while Gracie values the dad-time. Sometimes I go, but sometimes I need to sit out to allow their full bonding time. This weekend, Andy had two hockey dad house guests for a weekend kickoff to camp. I was hoping to get the walls and floor done with my copious spare time. Ha!

20140715_201112I have heard two schools of thought on stripping wallpaper: those who think it’s a nightmare and those who think it’s relatively easy. My opinion is somewhere in the middle but I will tell you, my mind has been changed about stripping all the wallpaper in the house. I heard about a secret weapon called a paper tiger but I couldn’t find one, so I just peeled, squirted, peeled, wiped, rinse, repeat. Because this job alternated tasks and I am doing this alone, the tool belt from SafetyGirl was really quite essential for keeping my screwdriver (scoring) and cleaning rag right near where I was working.

As I was stripping, one of the wall sconces fell off the wall and nailed me in the forehead. Luckily the wires remained nutted and the bulb didn’t break. “I know Daddy built you, light fixture, but Daddy ain’t here. I have no trouble tossing you in the garbage.” Remember my fear that I would find something amiss under the wall sconces? I kind of did – when the paper was removed last time, that second layer was left on and the new paper applied over it. It was almost impossible to remove.

I have to give credit where it is due: my dad was the king of repurposing and making things work. My mom is the queen of doing things right. I have to assume my dad was the one who left the traces of paper there.

The stripping took about a week of after-work work. Saturday I wiped down the walls, patched the dings, sanded, and primed. I used the half mask respirator when I sanded. If you’ve done drywall work before you know the value in this. So nice not to have to remove dust from my hair, nose, eyes, skin – you name it!

20140816_145517coverallI was going to rag-roll a seafoam glaze coating over white walls but the glaze ended up turning the very pale paint a warm beige. I am ok with that. I experimented and used a wet rag and the additive method, rolling the rag by hand, then scrubbing when almost dry, to smooth the pattern a bit to look more organic. That job was beyond a mess and I was glad to have Discount Safety Gear’s disposable coveralls. I wore one for the entire wall painting job, and I probably could have broken that down into two, the thing was so covered. The disposable rugged blue gloves were also a necessity because I would still have sticky glaze darkening my hands as I write.

An out-of-town friend was to stay with me Saturday night after spending time with her mother, which forced me to cdisp work gloveslean up mid-project. Gail ended up canceling due to a death in the family but I was very glad I was forced to clean for her arrival anyway. Andy invited me over to meet his friends, since I’d be available. Oh, and can I pick up a bottle of tonic water on my way? Mrs. Ford likes vodka and tonics and she may come out. Really?!? Picking up groceries for another woman? He said, “I’ll pay you back.” “Oh, no you don’t!” I said. “I prefer the right to bring this up for years to come, rather than have the dollar.” I arrived, tonic in hand, hyperventilating with all that still had to be done. Lucy, Grace, and what seemed like seven or eight other girls (I think in actuality there were only three) ran to the street fair down the road while the adults visited for a bit.

20140817_190925Sunday morning, I looked at the bathroom with fresh eyes before church. The walls looked unfinished, so I used the same metallic textured paint to paint a border at the ceilings, then I filled it in with chunks of texture smeared on with a small scraper. I think I got the stripe a bit too wide but I like it anyway. Again with the gloves and coveralls. Since I was using found and extra paint and glaze, cost for this phase was only $2.50 for the patch.

Painting the floor still makes me nervous, because while the vinyl tile is a step away from gone, everything I read said painting it can turn out great, or a disaster, and I can’t afford to replace it. I am also toying with the idea of what is called a Chattahoochee floor, or river stone/pebble floor. I am reading conflicting reviews, however, on whether this is best done by epoxy, or mortar and grout. I think if I did this, I would overlay the existing vinyl tile with black landscaping plastic and work that surface. With the weight and stones hugging the toilet it would stay in place, but also be much easier to remove if I don’t like it. I will ponder the floor for another week.

I ended up being glad I stopped for Mrs. Ford’s tonic, even though Mrs. Ford herself didn’t show up. Andy made me the best gin and tonic I have ever tasted. Quality gin, fresh lime juice, lovely garnish. I could happily live in that man’s kitchen.

~BS

Beginning in the Bathroom

I tried to knock out as much as I could on the bathroom while Andy was away on his annual golf weekend. I had high aspirations. It’s a tiny room; how hard can it be!? Ha!

Thursday evening I mapped out my plan. Ceiling first, then cabinetry. I assembled my supplies and equipment, and Andy called.
“Why are you whispering?” I asked.
“Because if the guys know I am calling you, they will be merciless. They think I’m in the shower. You know Tom and Brad are bragging you up.”
“Tell the guys that if I am all that, you gotta maintain it.” I don’t understand how men miss that logic. “How was your day?”
“Incredible. I am having the time of my life.” [tons of noise in the background] “The guys just came in and busted me talking to you. I gotta go.” {click}

disp work glovesSaturday morning while Andy was having a three-aspirin cup of coffee, my first priority was the ceiling. I found a can of usable ceiling paint in the basement, so my only cost was an $8 roller kit on sale at a local big box store. I have heard many people say, “I didn’t think it needed it, but after doing it, what a difference!” Not so much for me. The ceilings in the house are generally good. My advice: if it looks like it was painted in the last year or so, a good washing is sufficient.

coverallThe SafetyGirl pink toolbelt was really handy for the overhead work. I stood on a small step stool to reach the fixture and with the belt, my cleaning supplies as well as screw driver were all there. No need to get up and down off the stool to retrieve items. The belt fit over the disposable 3M coveralls, which again were a huge help. I didn’t ruin any clothes with white paint drops. While these are meant to be tossed at the end of each day, they were so durable that I was able to use them for the entire two-phase project.

20140810_093800I decided to refurbish the cabinetry with a restoration kit that was left over from my prior home. The vanity was a dark wood and the kit was espresso – not much difference that I didn’t need to be immaculate with the procedure. I cleaned it, deglossed it, and then applied two coats of the espresso bond coat. I added a horrible textured silver patina and while I like the look better than if I had not used the metallic product, I was not entirely pleased with the texture and spreadability. For the deglossing, I wore the disposable gloves because the liquid was supposed to be pretty caustic. The thing I like best about the gloves is that they are breathable, yet offer great grip with the coated palms.

I purchased new hardware for the vanity from Big Box, and was hugely disappointed. Apparently the ceiling painting was just one time waster over the weekend. Some of the drawer pulls required a silicone lubricant to remove, which was another half hour. Then the new brushed silver drawer pulls fit only some of the drawers because the sink base is so old. The two sets of different sized screws that came with, were either too long or too short. I tried to use the old-hardware screws, which were the mama bear size, but they also did not work because of the mechanics of the old pulls. After much frustration, I painted the old tarnished hardware with the metallic textured finish and reinstalled them. They look better than they did, but are definitely dated. Now I have another trip to Big Box to return the new hardware. I am deciding whether I should try again on different handles and ask if Big Box will give me additional screws in the proper size. Let me know what you think!

Again I wore the disposable coveralls, which was a good thing. The glaze was very sticky and the silver paint was dark. Any miscalculation would have ruined my clothes. The cost for this task was $3, for the metallic paint, thanks to the leftover cabinet kit and the return of the hardware.
While Andy was hitting golf balls and drinking Patron, I cleaned and put away best I could. Time to start stripping wallpaper.

Saturday evening I got a text: “Call me on the hotel number. Reception here is bad.” I called and again, a whispered hello.
“Were the guys merciless last night?” I wanted to know.
“Oh yeah. They think I’m talking to Lucy. I actually did call her first.”
“Tell me about your day?” [noise again]
“Yeah, dad, tell mom I miss her too,” he said in a loud voice.
“Seriously?!” [shuffling and phone changing hands]
Tom: “Who is this?” [me trying to sound like Dad and ending up laughing instead] “Dude, you gave her the ROOM phone number!?”
Andy: “I gotta go.” {click}

20140810_093358I removed the over-toilet cabinet and shelving so the wallpaper stripping would go easier. I also removed the large homemade sconce lighting to see what I’d be up against in the wiring of new fixtures. To my great relief, my dad just had small junction box holes and the wiring capped nicely. I expected the lights may be covering huge defects of some sort.

Sunday after church, while still in my dress, I started pulling wallpaper while I waited to hear from Andy. A relatively clean job. The vinyl layer came off pretty easily and I sprayed the paper layer to soften the glue. The bathroom was quickly littered with shreds of old paper.

True to form, I got a text that Andy would be home earlier than expected because he needed to pick up Lucy from work, for me to be at the house at 1:30. As it was 1 and I had a hamper in the tub and hadn’t eaten lunch yet, I told him that time frame would not work (go, me!). My first time with a counter offer on together time. He told me to do what I needed to do to have peace about the upcoming week, and stop by when I was ready. I had had enough of that bathroom and was there by 2. I stayed until supper time so he could finish his day with father-daughter time.

And you know, he brought the girls back new sunglasses, and me five little “his and hers” Patron XO sets.

XO

~BS