Livingston Reporting - page 3

All About Open Houses

What’s an open house? We’re not talking about graduation parties here; instead, we are referring to homes on the market. Open houses are public, informal events hosted by real estate agents or sellers. Typically lasting between one- to three hours, the doors are quite literally “open” for people to browse the house at their leisure.

Open houses give buyers an opportunity to explore the house, deciding whether it satisfies their wants and needs. With no commitment, open houses are a great way to get an up-close and personal with a potential new home. There’s no pressure to buy and no prerequisites to attend.

If a potential buyer has questions about the house, they will have an opportunity to ask and gain answers. Open house attendees do not need a specific reason behind their visit.

To find open houses, search on an MLS (Multiple Listing Services), a service jam-packed with listings state- or country-wide. Some popular MLS sites include Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com, etc. You can also drive around your neighborhood to find open house signs. Real estate agents are professionals who can research homes and suggest one that aligns with your wishes.

Open houses are a fantastic way for potential buyers to scan the market and see what’s available. They are also ideal for potential buyers to assess the market and explore their options. In addition, open houses are an excellent way for people – even those not interested in purchasing – to gain ideas for their own houses.

If you found your dream home through an open house, you’ll need a mortgage. The next step to homeownership is to become prequalified. The homeownership process doesn’t need to be overwhelming. If you have questions or are ready to purchase a home, contact EB Wholesale Mortgage to speak with a loan expert today.

EB Wholesale Mortgage is a locally-owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us at 866-246-0516 or e-mail contact@ebwmtg.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

12 Funny Questions to Ask Siri

Who couldn’t use a good laugh as we approach the end of 2021? We compiled 12 of the funniest questions and answers you can ask Siri, the AI (Artificial Intelligence) assistant on Apple products. While Siri can be helpful for a multitude of tasks, it also has a sense of humor. Read on for a good chuckle.

Q: What does Siri mean?
A: It’s a riddle wrapped in an enigma, tied with a pretty ribbon of obfuscation.

Q: How old are you?
A: They say that age is nothing but a number. But technically, it’s also a word.

Q: What are you afraid of?
A: I’m afraid I can’t answer that.

Q: What are you doing later?
A:  I’m at work. My shift ends in 614,978 years.

Q: Do you have a significant other?
A: My end user license agreement is commitment enough for me.

Q: Siri, I am your father.
A: Nooooo!

Q: Make me laugh.
A: The past, present, and future walk into a bar. It was tense.

Q: Who let the dogs out?
A: Due to unforeseen circumstances, that witticism has been retired.

Q: Windows or Mac?
A: I’m pretty loyal to Apple. It’s just how I’m made.

Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: I can’t answer that now, but give me some time to write a very long play in which nothing happens.

Q: OK, Google.
A: Very funny, [Your Name]. I mean, not funny ha-ha, but funny.

Q: Alexa.
A: Not exactly, but I offer no resistance to helpful assistants.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Augmented Reality (AR) Becoming an Aspect of Surgery

ClariffEye, an industry-first solution that combines 2D and 3D visualizations, uses a 3D Augmented Reality (AR) system to enable surgeons to define and navigate through real-time. Royal Phillips announced the first patients had been successfully treated using ClariffEye at Sant Joan de Deu Barcelona Children’s Hospital in Spain along with the Armed Forces Hospital, Oman.

Philips integrated Spine Suite was used by both surgeons, which showcases the Azurion Hybrid Operating Room (OR) in conjunction with ClariffEye. Both surgeries performed with ClariffEye were spinal.

“The level of success of this surgery would not have been possible to reach without ClarifEye,” said Dr. Alejandro Peiró, Orthopedic surgeon and pediatric traumatologist at Sant Joan de Déu Barcelona Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Ahmed Al Jahwari, Head of Department Orthopedics and Spine Surgery at Hospital MoD, Oman, said, “Philips’ new technology enables us to perform less invasive procedures and produce better outcomes for patients with spine conditions. Thanks to the high quality of the intraoperative cone beam CT imaging and the positioning flexibility of the ClarifEye system, we can ensure that implants are in place which lowers post-operative CT scans to check implant placements.”

Spinal procedures can be challenging and fragile to maneuver for surgeons. Delicate neurological and vascular structures near the spine are susceptible to damage. Minimally-invasive techniques have become more prevalent thanks to recent technology, which reduces blood loss, soft tissue damage, and post-operative discomfort.

With ClariffEye, surgeons can utilize real-time imaging in addition to 3D navigation to increase accuracy and improve outcomes.

According to Science Reports, ClariffEye performed accurately better compared to open surgery without 3D navigation. Additionally, ClariffEye has a 98 percent accurate ability to place a pedicle screw during minimally invasive procedures.

“We’re excited that international access to ClarifEye is expanding, and more hospitals and patients will get to experience its benefits firsthand,” said Karim Boussebaa, General Manager Image Guided Therapy Systems at Philips. “As the latest addition to Spine Suite, ClarifEye adds a new dimension in surgical precision for patients. It is a great example of how we’re innovating procedures and helping clinicians to deliver on the Quadruple Aim of better health outcomes, improve patient experience and staff satisfaction, and lower cost of care.”

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Protecting Your Extremities from Frostbite

Cold weather is well-known to freeze water, soil, inanimate objects, and even fingers or toes. One of the most common winter injuries is frostbite. While in certain survival situations, avoiding frostbite is absolutely crucial.

Frostbite is an injury from the cold that takes place when body tissues freeze. Some common body parts that fall prey to frostbite include fingers, toes, chin, nose, cheeks, and ears. Additional issues from frostbite include compartment syndrome, blood clots, and loss of feeling due to nerve damage.

Frostbite can manifest in a variety of levels. The first level of frostbite is evident with numbness, burning, or prickling pain which leads to swelling or redness. Eventually, the skin will tighten, harden, or blister. Later, the area will appear blackened or dry; worst-case scenarios consist of an inability to feel the affected area.

To treat frostbite, the affected area should be warmed immediately, or surgery might be recommended in severe cases to prevent sepsis or infection.

Preventing frostbite sounds simple, but it can be challenging to execute correctly. Since cold numbs pain, pushing through the task at hand is often easier than treating the condition. Ensure you have appropriate gear and supplies to keep your extremities covered. Layering your clothing is essential but only works if it’s in the correct order. First, start with a moisture-absorbing layer that will allow sweat to evaporate. Second, choose a fluffy, puffy layer that will trap warm air. Lastly, make sure a waterproof layer is what hits the snow, ice, rain, etc.

Don’t be afraid to throw in a hand warmer in your gloves or a foot warmer in your boots. These are invaluable tools when it comes to bearing the cold.

Frostbite is a severe condition that should not be undervalued or overlooked. Cold weather presents numerous hazards and creates survival challenges you might not be ready for. Do your best and prepare yourself – and your family – adequately by ensuring the cold won’t get the best of you.

Are you looking for cold-weather supplies? Shop our vast selection at Wolf Survival Gear.

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Removing Stickers from Your Car

We’ve all been there: feeling super supportive over a cause, presidential candidate, or your kid being on the honor roll. Eventually, that family of stick figures will outgrow the original message…but now there’s a faded, stuck-on sticker glued to your vehicle. What’s the best way to remove them, you wonder? Look no further; we have the solution!

Safely removing stickers that have adhered to your car for years without causing damage to the finish or windows can be challenging. If you take away nothing else from this post, remember this: do not use metal scrapers, razor blades, or other abrasives such as sandpaper or steel wool. Instead, keep reading.

Supplies
First, grab some white vinegar and paper towels. Pour the vinegar over the sticker, then soak some paper towels with vinegar and hold it over the sticker for a while. The vinegar will soften the adhesive and help release the sticker.

Spatula
Using a plastic spatula, credit card, or any other small, malleable item, you can pry off a corner of the sticker to start. Then, gently pull the sticker up without scratching the vehicle.

Hairdryer
Another method for sticker removal is to use a hairdryer on the lowest setting. Hold it roughly six inches from the sticker and swirl the air for about a minute. Do not hold the dryer too close to the vehicle, as it could affect the surface.

Professional Sticker Remover
The most stubborn stickers might not respond to the above methods. Instead, try using some WD-40 or Goo Gone, which is specifically made to remove stickers and gunk. Let the solution soak into the sticker, then gently pull up, and remove.

Polish
Once the sticker is removed, wipe away the gooey residue with rubbing alcohol. Then, finish the job with a thorough automotive wax.

Team CAMC is your Complete Auto Maintenance Center. For over 30 years, we have followed a single guiding principle: we never push or sell services a vehicle doesn’t need. Our team of trained technicians welcomes you like family and discusses all types of oil and fluid changes offered. Critical points are reviewed through a 13-point inspection to ensure your vehicle is ready for the next adventure on the road ahead. Contact us today to schedule the professional service you deserve from a team you trust.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Scheduling Lawn Maintenance

Most property owners assume their lawns only need attention through fertilization in the summertime. Actually, the opposite is true. Fantastic-looking lawns are maintained throughout the entire year with routine treatments.

Spacing out fertilization and weed control treatments is imperative to achieving a polished result. Grass and other landscaping should never be neglected or overlooked. Read on to learn what is needed when – and schedule ASAP, as lawncare can be booked up a year in advance.

Spring
To control crabgrass, lawns require weed control treatments in the early spring. A pre-emergent weed control treatment will stifle the growth of crabgrass. Once the soil begins to heat up, a post-emergent crabgrass control treatment will be applied in the late spring. The purpose of this is meant to kill any weeds that have rooted deep within the soil. Fertilization is also applied throughout the entire spring season.

Summer
In the early summer, insect, grub, and nutsedge grass control is applied to remove them. Nutsedge grows rapidly, returning yearly. Insects such as grubs can infiltrate your lawn, which is why a thorough insect inspection is also necessary. In the late summer, an iron fertilizer will help your lawn transport oxygen efficiently and complete enzymatic functions necessary for healthy grass.

Fall
The lawn care program in the fall consists of core aeration and overseeding. By loosening the compacted soil, we can restore bare patches of grass or dirt. In the beginning of fall, a starter fertilizer will be applied. Toward the end of the season, a winterization fertilizer is added so the lawn can grow evenly while it goes dormant for the upcoming winter.

Winter
An enhanced calcitic lime treatment is added to lawns in the winter, though weeds aren’t much of an issue. The calcitic lime treatment ensures the soil is not overly acidic, which is vital for the lawn’s health when spring rolls around.

Lawncare doesn’t have to be complicated. Contact the professionals at T&T Property to schedule your commercial maintenance ASAP!  

T&T Property Maintenance has been visualizing, creating, and maintaining commercial properties since 1997. We offer a vast number of services for our clients, including lawn and landscape maintenance, irrigation set up and repair, fertilization, weed and pest control, snow plowing and salting, and tree trimming and stump grinding. We are licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, so you can rest assured we will do the job right – every time. We work with commercial businesses of any size and offer our services in seasonal or yearly packages, and a la carte. For over 20 years, we believe a satisfied customer is the only kind of customer. Check out our website, call, or e-mail us today to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Solar Power 101

Solar energy development is still a growing and evolving subject. If you are curious to learn more, then keep reading to discover and solidify your solar power knowledge.

It’s Almost 200 Years Old
Solar power might be an up-and-coming technology in today’s day and age, but it’s actually been around since the 1800s. French physicist Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic (PV) effect back in 1839, paving the way for solar power innovation. This energy collection process converts solar power into electricity and was followed by advances in mathematics and inventors alike. Subsequent patents were secured by scientists such as Charles Fritts, Augustin Mouchot, Harry Regan, Edmond Weston, Alessandro Volta, and more.

Composition
Solar panels are composed of cells that transform sunlight into electricity. As sunlight infiltrates the panels, a more significant amount of electricity is generated. PV cells (from Becquerel’s initial discovery) are coated with a semiconductor that harnesses the energy produced by the sun, converting it to energy. The energy then creates an electrical current that synchronizes with the PV cell, generating electricity.

Benefits
Solar panels can be used to power nearly everything from lights to HVAC systems. These highly efficient sources of energy allow for decreased dependence on fossil fuels and nonrenewable energy supplies. In addition to lowering energy bills, solar panels are low-maintenance, requiring only bi-yearly cleaning.

Installation
The average cost of solar panels is anywhere between $15,000 to $35,000, roughly $3 to $5 per watt. Depending on the area, power company, and system, the average home requiring a 4 kW system would cost roughly $15,000. Larger homes requiring 8 kW (more panels) would be closer to $30,000. Keep in mind this cost also includes equipment, wiring, inverters, mounting hardware, and labor.

Savings
Don’t let the installation cost scare you – over 20 years, solar panels can save you between $20,000 to $40,000, or roughly $1,000 to $2,000 per year.

Are you thinking about installing solar panels for your home or business? Call the professional electrical contractors at State Electric Company today for more information.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New Changes in FSA Make LASIK More Affordable

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is tax-exempt money you can set aside from your paycheck to pay out-of-pocket expenses. Throughout the year, the level you contribute is consistent and even. The maximum amount you can contribute in 2021 is $2,750.

If you have been considering getting LASIK, your FSA could be used to cover the cost. Recent legislation has made it possible for employers to extend the deadline for all 2021 FSA spending. Thanks to this new extension, employees can use their FSA to pay for LASIK.

There are a few limitations when it comes to FSAs, including:

  • Pretax funds can only be spent on qualified health and medical expenses
  • The current limit that can be used in an FSA account is $2,750
  • Any remaining cash in the FSA after December 31 is forfeited – all funds must be used within the calendar year
  • Grace periods and the ability to carry over a portion of the funds do exist

FSA was limited due to the global coronavirus pandemic, making spending a challenge. The 2021 FSA deadlines were extended to compensate for this pause in healthcare. Now, the entire amount of FSA can be carried through December 31, 2022.

To use your FSA to pay for LASIK, contact your employer’s HR department to determine whether they have opted to implement the flexible deadlines. Check your balance to calculate how much money you will have available. Schedule a consultation ASAP, and soon enough, you can sigh in relief…no more glasses or contacts after LASIK!

Thinking about LASIK? There’s no better time to achieve your dreams! Contact Rohr Eye & Laser Center today to get started.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Michigan Creates Drinking Water Panel

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) recently created a Corrosion Control Advisory Panel aimed at drinking water remediation. EGLE also implemented new standards earlier in the year, including the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), which helps detect lead in drinking water.

There are seven drinking water professionals on the Corrosion Control Advisory Panel:

  • Elin Betanzo, PE, president and founder, Safe Water Engineering, LLC
  • David Cornwell, CEO, Cornwell Engineering Group, Inc.
  • Darren Lytle, environmental engineer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Drinking Water Management Branch CESER Water Infrastructure Division
  • Susan Masten, professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan State University
  • Desmond Murray, associate professor of chemistry, Andrews University
  • Terese Olson, associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan
  • Andrea Porter, environmental engineer, Groundwater & Drinking Water Branch, EPA, Region V

The panel’s purpose is to provide suggestions on strategies to comply with LCR corrosion protection requirements, give input regarding the corrosion protection methods, advise which actions would be most effective to ensure public protection, evaluate studies to make recommendations, and identify systems of measurement to assess corrosion control.

Michigan is ramping up its effort to diminish lead exposure in drinking water by repairing damaged and aging infrastructure throughout the state. The new Corrosion Control Advisory Panel will report to EGLE’s Drinking Water and Environmental Health Division (DWEHD), which regulates 2,685 public drinking water systems through the LCR.

The LCR requires drinking water systems to offer corrosion control when the federal level for copper or lead is exceeded. The purpose of the corrosion control is to limit heavy metals into drinking water, thereby protecting Michigan residents from harm. A statewide effort is already in the works to remove all lead service lines.

Are you concerned about what’s in your drinking water? Contact the purification experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Using AI for Lung Disease Diagnosis

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths globally. Five-year survival rates are at roughly 20 percent, according to Cancer.net. Those who smoke cigarettes have the highest risk for disease, along with nonsmokers who are exposed to toxins like arsenic, radon, asbestos, radiation, air pollution, and more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been introduced to help diagnose the presence of lung cancer. Imaging is critical to lung cancer care; with help from AI, lung cancer can potentially be spotted sooner.

A new study combines CT information with clinical data to precisely forecast lung cancer. The AI considers factors such as nodule size, age, years smoked, cancer history, occupational exposure, and more.

More than four million people worldwide die prematurely due to a severe respiratory illness each year. Long-term exposure to dangerous toxins, particles, gases, or harsh temperatures can significantly affect the lungs. Certain occupations are more at risk than others, such as those who work as steelworkers, miners, or with textiles and automobiles.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a life-threatening illness causing emphysema. In clinical settings, emphysema is assessed by patient history, lung function, radiographs, and more. However, these tools are not able to make a diagnosis of mild emphysema. AI radiography is the most effective tool to detect issues that might normally slip under the radar.

A study released in October outlines how AI could match professional radiologists to predict emphysema in patients.

RadParts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts. We specialize in low-cost parts for repairing linear accelerator and radiation equipment. Our mission is to provide high-quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. Contact RadParts at 877-704-3838 or visit us on the web: https://www.radparts.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.