History of Volkswagen

Volkswagen is like a household name for vehicles. Many people associate this name to the Beetle which was a popular vehicle in the 1960s and onwards, although production started in the late 1930s. The history of Volkswagen started in May 28, 1937 when Adolf Hitler commissioned the formation of a state-owned automobile company that was to be called Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that same year, the company was renamed to Volkswagenwerk which means “The People’s Car Company.” It was the German Labor Front which ran its operations from its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany.

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Top 5 Reason Why Your Next Car Should Be a Volkswagen

If you are planning to buy your first car or to replace your old one, there are many brands and models that you could choose from today. Popular brands of cars in the US include Ford, Mazda, Subaru, Toyota, Honda, GMC, Bugatti, Volkswagen and others. With the different brands to choose from and different models for each brand, it can be very challenging to choose the right type of car to buy, given your limited budget to afford one. If you are looking for the best value for your money, consider the Volkswagen brand.

Here are top five reasons why you should get a Volkswagen car:

1. Quality Assurance

The key to Volkswagen’s customer loyalty and satisfaction lies in its strong quality assurance. Their quality assurance team covers various aspects of their products including its visual appeal, reliability and service. They see to it that every car that leaves their manufacturing facilities conforms to the highest quality standards that they have set, from the smallest parts to the major parts being used.

2. Favorable reviews and recognitions

Many of the Volkswagen cars have received positive reviews and recognitions from various websites and award-giving entities. In particular, its Golf model was named as the World Car of the Year in 2009. The same recognition was also given to the Volkswagen Polo in 2010, Volkswagen Up in 2012 and Volkswagen Golf again in 2013. The company received these recognitions not for nothing. It means that many customers and renowned groups have recognized the best features and great service of Volkswagen cars.

3. Small diesel engine

Volkswagen is one of the major small engine manufacturers which also partnered with Mercedes to market a clean diesel technology. Volkswagen cars are some of the most fuel efficient cars because of their small engines. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, four of the ten most fuel-efficient cars in the US are powered by a Volkswagen diesel engine.

4. Good looking functional designs

Volkswagen has some of the best looking and functional car designs available in the market today. From its top selling Volkswagen Passat and Golf models, other popular models include the newest Beetle, Eos, Golf series, Jetta, Phaeton, Scirocco, Touareg, Touran and Up. If you are looking for a spacious car, the Golf Plus is the best option for you. If you like a handsome car like the Merc CLS or any of the 5-series models but cannot afford them, your best alternative is the CC model.

5. Affordability

Volkswagen is one of the top-selling brands for upscale passenger cars in North America. And their cars are considered to be among the most affordable brands. In fact, their newest GTI was named by Consumer Reports as a top sporty car which only sells for under $25,000.

Volkswagen is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in existence, dating back to the 1930s. Since its inception, it has established itself as one of the leading brands of automobiles worldwide. The five reasons mentioned should be enough to convince you on why your next car should be a Volkswagen.

Signs of Anxiety

In our club meetings where Volkswagen enthusiasts get together, it is very common to encounter people with extreme personalities. Some are life-of-the-party while others are just quietly sitting down on the side. From time to time, I also get to meet people who are difficult to please and those who are likely to be involved in arguments, causing them to have difficulties in developing friendship and in fitting in among club members.

Among the people who are hard to deal with are people who have a relationship anxiety problem. According to the Anxiety Disorder Association of America (ADAA), people with anxiety issues often have problems with their personal relationships. As their anxiety problem is treated, their relationship problems with others can also improve.

Based on a survey by ADAAA on more than 1,000 respondents with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), romantic relationships are impacted by their anxiety problems on a greater scale. Outside of that, relationships with children, co-workers and friends are also impacted. The same study also shows that as soon as the respondents undergo treatment, their relationship with others also greatly improved. It is important to know the early signs of anxiety so that the person concerned may receive proper treatment.

  • Constant Worrying

A person who constantly has extreme worries may already be suffering from anxiety. This type of worrying is more often unsubstantiated or unreasonable. When worrying comes in a relationship, it could develop into suspicion or jealousy. A person with anxiety can easily become suspicious even if his or her partner is faithful. This in turn can lead to unnecessary questioning and arguments which can be unhealthy in a relationship.

  • Avoidance

Most patients with anxiety try to avoid places or situations that cause these anxiety attacks. It can mean avoiding family, friends, partners, social events or confrontations. This could create a strain in the relationship especially if the people you are trying to avoid don’t have an idea to your anxiety. It would be good to tell them about your problem so that they will understand your actions. And they may also be able to help your treat your anxiety.

  • Financial problems

People with anxiety problems are more likely to have financial problems than their colleagues. They tend to become less productive at work and don’t have healthy relationships with their co-workers. Because of that, they lose their job security, leading them to financial problems.

Additionally, most married couples fight over money problems. In fact, it is one of the major causes of separation or divorce. For people with anxiety, this situation can be unavoidable. But even if finances are not an issue, a person with anxiety still worries about financial problems, causing relationship problems especially in marriage.

  • Lack of communication with others.

Communication is a very important aspect in any type of relationship. Some people with anxiety problems fail in this area because they try to avoid honest and open communication. They have certain fears about communicating with other people. According to the ADAA study mentioned, the respondents showed an improvement in their relationship with others as soon as they were able to communicate and explain their illness to people who matter to them.

If you are suffering from anxiety, it can greatly impact your life if you leave it untreated. It is important that you recognize your anxiety problem and be willing to undergo treatment such as taking supplements for anxiety and undergoing a cognitive behavioral therapy and taking medications.

5 Common Scalp Problems and their Remedy

Many people don’t give their scalp much attention because it is one part of the body that is exposed yet least seen because it is covered with hair. However, without much attention, you could develop scalp problems that could be itchy, uncomfortable, irritating and sometimes embarrassing. I am talking based on my past experience because I have encountered some of these problems including dandruff and developing nodular acne in my scalp which is a real pain.

If you have some of these common scalp problems, it would be good to know what their remedies are:


Acne does not only occur on the face but it can also occur on other parts of the body including in the scalp. But scalp acne can be more challenging to treat especially if you have long hair which can get in the way. Although it has the advantage of being less noticeable, acne in the scalp can be really painful and irritating especially when you are grooming your hair. You can treat this type of acne by using acne medication which is applicable for the face with the exception of products containing benzoyl peroxide as they can bleach your skin. One good option is salicylic acid which you could apply using a cotton ball.


Although not painful, dandruff can be itchy and an embarrassing problem especially when it falls off in your dark clothing. Dandruff is caused by shedding excess dead skin flakes and it can be easily managed by frequent shampooing using antidandruff shampoo or medical shampoo. You may have to try different shampoos before you can finally find one that works best for you.


Folliculitis is tiny pus-filled pimples found at the base of the hair that are normally caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Just like acne, it may appear in different parts of your body including the scalp. Folliculitis in the scalp may also be caused by plucking or shaving the hair aside from bacterial infection. Some people also develop folliculitis after bathing in a hot tub. Mild cases of folliculitis easily go away without treatment but more severe cases may need an antibiotic to clear it up.


Although it is more often found in the scalp, psoriasis can also affect other parts of the body such as the elbows and knees. This condition is characterized by excessive production of new skin cells, causing the excess cells to form thick and crusted scales. This condition can be uncomfortable because you may feel soreness or itchiness in your scalp. This condition can be treated by using special shampoos that contain salicylic acid or tar. Your doctor may also recommend using steroid ointments or cream. And in really severe cases, ultraviolet light therapy or injected medication may be recommended.

Lichen Planus

No one knows what really causes lichen planus, but it is a condition that can affect anyone. It is a condition wherein the mouth or the skin forms a flat-topped reddish or purple bump which can be very itchy. If it affects the scalp, it can lead to irritation or redness of the scalp as well as permanent hair loss. Most cases of lichen planus simply go away untreated but for faster treatment, you may be recommended to take steroid medication which may be topically applied or injected. Retinoid medication for acne could also be an effective cure.

All of these scalp problems are not life-threatening but they still deserve your attention to avoid suffering from unnecessary discomfort, pain and itchiness.

Kidney Stones: When to See your Doctor

For drivers like me, they often minimize fluid intake when traveling long distances so they could also minimize toilet stops. But recently, I read an article that this kind of practice among drivers can put a person at risk of developing kidney stones. Drivers should be aware about this fact.

Kidney stones are tiny hard deposits usually made up of acid salts and minerals that form in the kidneys and other parts of the urinary tracts. They often form when the urine becomes very concentrated, allowing the minerals and salts to bond or crystallize, forming the stones. There are kidney stones that are formed because of overactive parathyroid glands which produce more parathyroid hormones. When this happens, the calcium level in the body can also become high and as a result, kidney stones may form.

And what do kidney stones feel like? Passing these stones in the ureter can be very painful. Symptoms include side or back pain, painful abdomen and groin, pain when urinating, foul-smelling and cloudy urine, frequent urge to urinate, nausea or vomiting, and fever or chills. The pain associated with the passing of kidney stones may also fluctuate from time to time and may change from one location to another.

Some kidney stones can be treated with home remedies. Home remedies for kidney stones include more water intake, cranberry juice, distilled vinegar, and lemon juice among others. These remedies can be effective in passing small stones, but not bigger stones. Pain relievers might also help manage the pain.

If you still feel severe pain accompanied by nausea or vomiting despite trying home remedies, or if you are already experiencing a fever and blood is present in your urine, you should see your doctor immediately. Your condition may be a sign of large kidney stones or a urinary tract infection that requires more invasive treatment.

Treatment for large kidney stones includes undergoing a procedure called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (SWL). This procedure involves creating strong vibrations using sound waves to break a large stone into smaller stones so they could easily be passed through the urine. This procedure can last for about 60 minutes and may cause moderate pain. Some patients can tolerate the pain while others are anesthetized or sedated for more comfort.

A surgery called percutaneous nephrolithotomy which involves the removal of large kidney stones using a small telescope is another popular treatment for kidney stones. This procedure is often recommended by doctors if SWL is not successful. A more unique treatment for kidney stones is by way of parathyroid gland surgery.

Passing kidney stones especially the larger ones can be very painful and can cause a patient to manifest other symptoms. If you are a driver like me who tries to reduce liquid intake to minimize toilet stops, better rethink about doing it again in your future trips. However, if you already have kidney stones, your options are home remedies and medical remedies. Although it is not a life-threatening condition in itself, you need to seek medical attention when certain symptoms are present to avoid further complications.


Have you heard about the 16 personality types as defined by Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment? Just recently, I have been hearing about it in the social media. What catches my attention is the INFJ and INFP personalities as I have a number of friends who fall in these categories. I find it useful to know more about these personality types and their differences so I can have an idea what to expect in INFJ relationships and INFP relationships to other people.

Both INFJ and INFP are introvert and rely on their intuition and feeling. However, INFJ relies on judgment while INFP relies on perception and this causes some differences in their personality description. It would be interesting to know what aspects are INFJ and INFP similar and different.

INFJs are generally caring, serious minded and put much importance to values. They are good listeners and supportive in their general relationship with other people. One of the best things about them is that they have the strong will to do the right thing. They also tend to work patiently to maintain harmony in their relationships. An INFP on the other hand, also puts importance to values and harmony. They always make sure that their actions and beliefs are in sync. That is why it is hard to force them to do something which they don’t believe in. In their general, they are caring, sensitive and empathetic person and are excellent in fulfilling a supporting role.

Here are some comparisons between INFJ and INFP:

Socially – Both INFJ and INFP shun the limelight and don’t like to be the center of attention. However, they would want to know what is going on behind the scene and keep themselves well-informed.

Dealing with emotions – As inherent givers, INFJs are susceptible to emotional overload if they are not able to deal with their emotions properly. As for INFPs, they may be emotional people, but they are usually happy in dealing with the emotions of others.

Openness – INFJs are generally outspoken but they are only emotionally open to a chosen few. They even have the tendency to shut themselves, even among their close friends. INFP on the other hand have an image of being difficult to understand as they tend to hide their feelings.

Values – INFJ puts much emphasis on values while INFP on the synchronization of their actions and beliefs.

Dealing with Conflict – Because of their deep and private personality, INFJs tend to keep their counsel, yet you may be surprised that they can be forthright in defending their values or people who needed their support. On the other hand, INFP’s constant desire for balance and harmony lets them see the goodness in people. They focus more on positive interaction rather than negative interaction.

Anybody can get along with INFJs and INFPs as long as you understand their different personalities when it comes to relationships, conflicts and inherent characteristics. Both personalities have certain similarities and differences which we need to understand especially if we are surrounded by these types of people.

How to Remove Stretch Marks Naturally

I am one of those who thought that stretch marks only affect women who have undergone pregnancy. But I was mistaken because just recently, in one of the club meetings we had, I met a Volkswagen enthusiast, a male, who has a noticeable stretch mark. He shared that that it could be due to his weight loss that he got those marks.

Apart from pregnancy, I have learned that stretch marks on breasts and in other parts of the body can be caused by exercising as well as sudden weight gain or loss. Many women as well as men are looking for ways on how to remove stretch marks. However, there seems to be no effective topical cream or medical procedure that can totally remove those stretch marks. However, there are personal care products and natural ingredients that can help reduce their appearance:

1. Moisturizer or lotion

Moisturizing the skin daily especially after taking a bath reduces the appearance of stretch marks for those who are pregnant and trying to lose or gain weight. This is because moisturizers improve the elasticity of the skin, making it more flexible. Even for newly appeared stretch marks, you can reduce their appearance by applying lotion or moisturizer on them every day.

2. Olive oil

Olive oil is another effective product that you could use to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. You could apply it as is just like you would use a lotion, or you could also mix it with your moisturizer for a better effect. Olive oil is rich in vitamin E which has a nourishing effect to the skin.

3. Egg Whites

An egg white can also do wonders on your stretch marks. It is rich in a special type of protein that has a rejuvenating effect to the skin. You could apply egg whites to your stretch marks at least once a day, but you may also apply them up to three times a day for a better and faster effect.

4. Cocoa butter

To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, you could rub cocoa butter on that area for at least twice a day. Cocoa butter has a moisturizing effect to the skin making it flexible for any changes. You could apply it after taking a bath and before going to sleep.

5. Lemon Juice

If you don’t have any of the above ingredients, try lemon juice. Cut a lemon in two and then rub the exposed inner parts on the stretch marks to make them fade away. Aside from directly rubbing lemon onto your skin, you could also combine equal parts of cucumber juice and lemon juice and then apply the mixture on your stretch marks.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an effective treatment for many skin problems including stretch marks. It has a soothing effect to the skin and it also encourages cell growth. Simply apply aloe vera juice to the affected area every day and you will see the improvement in your skin.

Having stretch marks can leave an ugly appearance on the skin, even among males. So if you are having this kind of skin problem, you could benefit from any of the natural remedies listed here.

Taste Disorder: Basic Information

Have you ever tried eating a chocolate cake that seems to taste salty? How about having a metallic taste in mouth even if you did not eat or drink anything? I experienced having a metallic taste before and it really frustrated me because it has affected my ability to enjoy my food and drink. Good thing my condition ended shortly and did not last for many days. But I know of some people who have borne with this problem for a long time.

Historically, it can be hard to diagnose and treat taste disorders. More often, it is because of the inadequate understanding about the sense of taste and the state of the disorder. Aside from being a primary symptom, any abnormalities in taste such as metal or salty taste in mouth could also be just a result of other underlying diseases.

What complicates the diagnosis of taste disorders is the fact that the sense of taste and smell is also interrelated. Sometimes, a person who thinks he is having a taste disorder may actually be suffering from a smell disorder. The brain normally receives signals or sensations about a particular taste and smell. The brain integrates these signals or sensations so that you could recognize and appreciate the different flavors.

It is not very clear how prevalent a taste disorder is. The latest data available is from a survey in 1994 revealing 1.1 million Americans suffering from a gustatory problem or from something that has to do with their sense of taste. And you may already be one of them without you knowing or recognizing it. Although some cases of taste disorder will just go away after a few days, or until the underlying condition is treated, some could persist for a long time unless it is treated and diagnosed.

Most types of taste disorders are curable. If the problem is beyond treatment, patients normally undergo counselling to adjust to their condition.

If you have a taste disorder, it would be good to see an otolaryngologist, a doctor who specializes in problems relating to smell and taste. They can help identify the root cause of your problem so that treatment could be started. If the disorder is caused by an underlying health condition, you may be referred to a general physician and another specialist for treatment. Once the primary health issue is treated, your disorder may also follow. However, if it is caused by certain medications, you may have to see your physician and discuss your problem. You should not immediately stop taking your medication unless you have approval from the doctor who prescribed it. As to some people with a smell disorder, once it is treated, your sense of taste will also return spontaneously. Also part of the treatment process is to observe proper oral hygiene because more often, it could aggravate your symptoms.

Among my fellow drivers, I have rarely encountered someone who has a problem with his or her taste buds. But this does not really indicate that this condition does not exist among us. You may just not know it but you are already suffering from this problem. If you feel any abnormalities in the way your food tastes or in the way you feel a taste in your mouth even when you are not eating anything, it is best to see an otolaryngologist as soon as possible.

When Back Pain is a Sign of a Serious Health Problem

One common complaint of drivers is back pain especially after long hours of driving. In my case, every time I have a back pain, it gives me discomfort especially when sleeping at night. But I just don’t give too much attention to it since the pain will just go away after a complete rest.

However, there are back pains that could just be masking a potential serious health condition. You may feel lower left back pain or right side back pain, but in reality, it may already be a symptom of kidney, bladder, gallbladder or pancreatic problem and even cancer.

Sometimes, the organs of the body will send pain signals to different parts of the body, most notably the back in a process called referred pain. This is one of the reasons why some patients would complain about a persistent back pain which in reality is a problem with other organs of the body. Most notably, many patients diagnosed with pancreatic problems first experienced persistent back pain. According to Dr. Steve Pereira who is a consultant gastroenterologist from the Royal Free Hospital in London, it is estimated that up to 30 percent of pancreatitis patients see a general physician about back pain before they were properly diagnosed.

Additionally, back pain could also signal other types of cancers including advanced stage colon, lung and ovarian cancer when the tumors become very large that they start to press the nearby organs or nerves.

But how would you know if your back pain is already a symptom of a more serious health condition? I am also curious about the answer to this question.

If your persistent back pain is also accompanied by swelling, fever, heat, redness, neurological problems, or changes in the normal functioning of your body, you should already think about visiting your doctor. A normal back pain normally goes away in an hour or after a couple of days, even if the pain is severe. And the pain normally alleviates with massage, rest, medication and exercise. So if you are still feeling the pain for several weeks despite different treatments, it may already be a symptom of a serious health problem.

Moreover, there are other guidelines on when to see your doctor for back pain:

  • Back pain that you feel after a trauma or as a result of an accident such as falling from a ladder
  • Back pain that remains constant or becoming worse
  • Back pain that goes on for more than one month
  • Back pain that becomes worse at night
  • Back pain accompanied by abdominal pain
  • Back pain accompanied by altered sensation or numbness in the groin area, upper thigh, genital or buttocks
  • Back pain associated with neurological problems that include tingling in the legs or arms and weakness
  • Back pain that is disabling bodily movement

Many people including myself experience back problems from time to time. But we must realize that back pain may also be a referred pain in your body. It could be something serious and you should know when to see your doctor about it.

Arm Pain and What You Can Do About it

Who can concentrate driving when you have a pain in right arm or left arm? It is the same as having uncontrollable itchy armpits when you have to stop driving and then scratch your armpit really hard. I remember having a painful left arm before because of an accident before and I had to let someone drive for me for a few days because of the severe pain. Yet, painful arm is a common problem among many drivers.

Arm pain is pain that affects the part from the shoulder down to the wrist joint. Arms are made up of joints, bones, tendons, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and ligaments, in which injury to any of them can cause mild to severe pain. The pain could last for a few days, weeks, months or remain constant. It can also be felt on a particular area of the arm only or on the entire arm. A person with arm pain may suffer from a piercing or tingly pain and may also experience pain-like sensations such as pins and needles, burning sensation, or prickling. Some pain may just cause discomfort while others may have debilitating pain, limiting your movement.

There is a wide variety of conditions that may cause a painful arm, ranging from trauma to problems in the nerves. Sometimes, the pain is only a referred pain where the pain is originating from other parts of the body; it can be indication of a heart attack. This is especially true if the pain affects the left arm and is coupled with other symptoms such as squeezing pain felt in the middle of the chest, vomiting, nauseas, irregular heart rate, sweating, and difficulty in breathing. In this case, you need to call or visit a doctor for help.

Additionally, even if you do not have the symptoms that are indicative of a heart attack and even if the pain is persistent and recurring, you should still see a doctor.

Other possible causes of arm pain are trauma especially during physical activities, muscle tension, pinched nerves, bicipital tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and cervical disk herniation among others. It would be good to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis of your condition.

But as a patient, there are also basic things that you could do to alleviate the symptoms or prevent further damage to the affected arm. One of them is to remove all jewelries and unnecessary decorations in the arm including your watch, bracelets and other jewelries as soon as you feel the pain. Doing so can also help in preventing these jewelries from getting stuck in case the area becomes inflamed. You should also try your best to always elevate the affected arm above the level of the heart. This is very important to avoid swelling. Additionally, if your doctor recommends any medication, take it unless you are allergic to it.

Arm pain may not be life-threatening, but it does need your attention because serious complications may result from it. If you are in doubt about what causes your pain and on how to treat it, it is best if you consult your doctor.

FAQ About Scalp Folliculitis

Are you curious what scalp folliculitis is? Well, I am, because I have known of several drivers like me who suffer from this condition. And it is unsightly aside from the fact that it causes them discomfort. That is why I researched more about this condition and I thought of sharing with you the answer to some of the frequently asked questions about it.

What is folliculitis on scalp?

This condition is different from scabs on scalp as some other people think. But it is more similar to severe scalp acne, although it only occurs on hair follicles.

What are the symptoms of folliculitis on scalp?

Normally, white pimples appear along the hairline and scalp. It is normally accompanied by rashes, irritation, itchiness and pain. In some cases, the pimples also contain blood or pus.

What causes folliculitis?

Folliculitis in any part of the body is normally caused by bacteria, fungi or yeast infection in the hair follicles. You can get them from bathing in hot tubs, wearing tight clothing, improper shaving, and lack of hygiene. Additionally, people who have wounds, skin infection such as dermatitis or eczema, diabetes, or are using steroids, are also at risk of folliculitis.

Is folliculitis on scalp contagious?

Yes, it is highly contagious. It can spread to other parts of your body and to other people. You can avoid spreading it by always using fresh linens, clean towels and proper hygiene. It is also important to always disinfect your hair accessories and tools and to never share them with others.

What is the home remedy for folliculitis on scalp?

One of the effective home remedies for folliculitis on scalp is a warm and moist compress made from equal parts white vinegar and water. This compress is also effective in relieving the itchiness and discomfort. You can also apply shampoo which contains tea tree oil because it contains antibacterial and germicidal properties. Another option is using a shampoo that contains salicylic acid for reducing oil.

Who can have folliculitis on scalp?

While any age group can be affected by folliculitis, more often, it affects teens and young adults.

When should I see a doctor for folliculitis on scalp?

Mild cases of folliculitis normally clear up after most types of treatments, including home remedies. However, if the infection continues on without improvement after several weeks, you should already see your doctor for treatment. This is also advised if your infection has started to spread to other parts of the body. Additionally, if your symptom is accompanied by fever, swelling, and pain, you should also refer to your doctor for a more aggressive treatment.

What are the complications if folliculitis is not treated?

If not treated folliculitis may lead to cellulitis which is a more serious infection that can spread in the entire body. It may also develop into furunculous which is characterized by painful boils beneath the skin and contain pus. Lastly, it can result to skin pigmentation, scars and hair loss.

Anyone of us can develop folliculitis if we are not too careful. I am posting this FAQ so that others will also be informed about the things we all need to know concerning folliculitis on scalp.

Second Degree Sunburn: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

It is again the start of many summer outings and outdoor activities as soon as the summer sun shines. I especially like summer because it is the time of the year when I can indulge in a wide range of outdoor activities and not just riding on my Volkswagen. Going to the beach is one of my favorite activities. However, I have this fear of getting sunburned as I have a painful experience with it before. That is why you wouldn’t see me sun basking the whole day. I would rather swim for several minutes and then do other water activities.

The sun’s rays have ultraviolet radiation which can burn or damage the skin. The degree of burn depends on how long you are exposed to the sun and what your skin type is. People with freckles and with fairer skin are more prone to sunburns; even a short period of exposure without sun protection can damage their skin. And this skin damage can be a first degree or second degree sunburn. You will be lucky if yours is first degree because it is less painful and less damaging to the skin.

First degree sunburn is less harmful because it is only characterized by the reddening of the skin. It becomes second degree sunburn, however, when the skin becomes extremely red, usually comes with severe pain in the affected area. There may also be blisters with serous fluids as well as swelling. If the damage is very deep, it can also damage the skin and the nerves. Aside from the pain and redness of the skin, the patient may also experience vomiting, dehydration, fever and secondary infection. The damage to the skin may also become permanent. This type of sunburn is a more serious condition which could be avoided or treated.

Taking skin precautions before going to the beach or exposing yourself under the sun can go a long way of protecting your skin against sunburn. If you have fair skin with freckles, use a cream or lotion with the highest SPF or sun protection factor available. You could also use a total sunblock if the sunlight is too harsh. For medium skin complexion, you could apply a mild-range protection cream. If you are of Mediterranean descent or you benefit from year-round tan, you could use a cream or lotion with a lower SPF. But the best way to avoid sunburn is to prevent prolonged sun exposure as much as possible.

However, if you already have sunburn, there are home remedies that you could use to treat the burn and reduce the pain. One is by subjecting the affected area with cool tap water. However, be careful not to use ice-cold water as it can worsen the condition. Vinegar for sunburn is also a known home remedy. You could also apply calamine on the affected area, but never lotion or creams. You must also rehydrate more often to replace the fluid lost as a result of the burn. To treat the pain, you could take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAID.

Come summer and you could already spend as much time outdoors. But remember to always apply sunscreen to avoid sunburn.

Volkswagen and Women

I’ve stumbled upon an article about dogs on the web. It says can dogs eat bananas and can they always eat hypoallergenic dog food. It got me thinking if my cats can eat them as well. I got a ripe banana from my fridge and called my three cats, Loki, Sally and Loops. I let them smell the piece of banana as Loki immediately left while Sally looked on and Loops decided to lick it but she didn’t like it. It’s just a funny and weird experiment to start my day.

Today is going to be fun because my parents are coming over with their beetles. We decided to stroll over to the countryside with our Volkswagens. We used to do this when I was younger with my brother Dave but he can’t come today because he is busy with work. After riding for an hour or so, my mom usually pick a good spot to have a picnic as she always bring her picnic basket with lots of goodies for us to munch on. I also invited a neighbor of mine, Vanessa who owns a classic 1971 VW Van. Her van is so sleek and smooth, it’s dual colored as the top is black and bottom is silver with the shiny emblem on front. She told me that her grandfather passed away and gave that to her the will. That’s really nice as that van is collection worthy. I can’t wait to driver her van as I won’t bring my car today because it has problems on its wheel alignment which is really unfortunate because I want to drive it with my parents.

I asked my parents and Vanessa to check all their essentials before we get going. I also checked the tires and oil fluids to prevent unnecessary accidents. After a good hour of non-stop driving, we stopped on a gasoline station to fill up the cars. I went to the comfort room with my dad. He told me that Vanessa is really pretty and asked me if we were dating. I laughed and answered that I don’t know. It’s just we hang out a lot lately and she’s really a dear friend of mine. My dad snapped back at me telling me for now as we both heckled.

My dad really is terrible with dating and anything about women. My mom told me that my dad maybe smart and intelligent about life but he has a waterloo. He can’t close down deals when it comes to women. When we were eating, mom told us that he used to be so shy to ask her out so what happened was he asked his friend to ask mom for a date. It really confused her as she didn’t have an idea on who’s asking who. She went beside my dad and asked him is she going to date him or his friend. That was their ice breaker. They both laughed and he said sorry to my mom, that it was him and not his friend. Up until to this day, my dad’s really shy with women and my mom and I don’t know why.

Random Rants and Ideas

I am really sick with television and movie contents these days. Writers just recycle their ideas and add some couple of new ideas to create a new movie or show. Sadly, this has been ongoing for years now. They all need a wakeup call. I don’t know why they can’t create a new show from scratch. They always market these things through commercials saying it’s way better than the old one but to tell you the truth, we don’t need something, we need something new for a change. A typical storyline has a girl and boy breaks up and then the girl meets a new boy. The new boy shows up like a knight in shining armor and takes her mind off her past controlling boyfriend and teaches her how to get over someone by always being there. And what’s more frustrating is people still watches these so called films because they don’t care of the storyline, they care for the popular artists cast.

Anyway, I haven’t watched my TV for 5 months now. I even cancelled my subscription to the cable company since I don’t watch lately. It’s just a waste of time and money. I just spend my downtime at home reading books and tending to my cats whenever I don’t do races and car shows. I’ve been addicted lately with non-fiction books of James Patterson. He has this favorite character to write, his name is Alex Cross. He has many books written as him as the protagonist. I love how Mr. Patterson writes, how he manages to make the readers imagine what he wrote. He always writes in the sense of urgency, that someone’s always following the character. I love that his books are fast-paced, that in every chapter something happens for a reason that connects to the whole story. On the contrary, a number of Mr. Patterson’s books became movies such as First to Die, Kiss the Girls, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas to name a few. I watched them a few years back but I didn’t get it. I mean, it was a good movie because it was a storyline of my favorite author but something was missing, the essence was missing. It was like with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books vs. the movies. Imagine a 5 inch book wide that’s just going to into a two to three hours maximum of a movie. I know and they know that they can’t fit all what the writer wrote inside a whole movie thus they just choose the best scenes where moviegoers would like to watch, the one with the fancy graphics and all. Well, that also happened with Mr. Patterson’s books which is really sad. After watching his book turned into movies, I felt very sad and violated for the author since his name was also at stake here as they publicized it as his book. I wonder what will the people who haven’t read his book yet and saw the movie. Oh well, I have a good idea though for Mr. Patterson. I’m thinking of why not making his book a series where every episode unfolds a mystery and crime. I know people will like it since his books are full of action, suspense and drama.

Bunion Scare

tailors bunion

Bunions have been hounding my family for generations and I am very wary whether I’ll have it or not, so I decided to make drastic and preventative measures to avoid them if possible because I don’t want it to interfere with my life especially with me racing with my car. I have no clue on which of our long lists of family members really started the trend of bunions and tailors bunion, but I know that almost all of my grandfather’s siblings, my mother’s side, had them and on the other hand, I know that my great grandfather, my father’s side, had them. Last week, I observed that my mom has it too, and I thought to myself that there is really a big chance that I’ll get it so I freaked out and search on the web to see more information about it like what causes bunions and how to prevent it.

I read that bunions are bony protrusions on feet that occur when there are misalignments of the bones of the feet. They mostly have inflammations on their surface as they are prominent thus always having contact with shoe wear. Over time, as bunions become worse, other toes also become affected as they are subjected to develop hammertoes, calluses and corns. Besides heredity, there are more common causes of having the condition which includes ill fitting shoes, arthritis, age, over pronation, past injuries and nerve conditions affecting the foot.

Treatments are two things, surgical and non surgical procedures. Surgical are more effective, but very costly compared with just buying foot splints and toe paddings. They basically open the skin above the problem area and they shave off the excess bone to properly align the bones of the foot. The full recovery period lasts up to 5-6 weeks depending on the condition and how the body recuperates. During recovery stage, the patient is needed to always elevate his legs for better blood circulation to heal the wounds faster. If there is pain, one can take occasional pain relief pills. Don’t be wary if you feel that the toe doesn’t have a full range of motion as it is really going to be stiff because of the operation. One just needs to stretch it every day to recover its flexibility.

For prevention, one should always be careful about buying shoe wear. It is imperative to always fit your shoes properly and try to walk on it for minutes before buying. It is not a good practice to buy shoe wear without fitting even if you already know the shoe size because shoe brands have different designers and styles. Bear in mind that low heeled shoes with plenty of space for the toes are the best shoes to have to prevent the condition.

I’ve already got rid of all my ill fitting shoes as I want to avoid bunions. I asked my mom about hers and told me that it often hurts when she walks for a long period of time. I told her about my concerns and suggested she see a foot doctor or a podiatrist to get proper treatment.



Pet Shopping

Vanessa and I had been exclusively dating for over 6 months now and it’s been a great experience. She’s really different with the past girls that I’ve dated because she’s mature and very understanding and that’s what I love about her. Next week is going to be our 7th month and I wanted to give her something that she’ll love. There are only two things that I can think of that she loves, Volkswagens and pets. Well, I don’t have the money to buy her a car so I think I’ll just stick with pets. She already has a dog so I can’t give her a cat so I thought, I’ll just give her something in a cage or aquarium like a hamster or some kind of fish. I decided to take a day to the pet shops around town to find her something good. I told her I was out doing errands for my mom so she won’t suspect a thing about my surprise.

First stop was a shop that specialized on fish tanks but I didn’t find a thing which she’ll find cute so off I go to a shop next door. It was a better experience as I saw different bunny breeds like lionhead bunnies, mini rex and the English lop. I really find the lionhead interesting as it has manes. I thought that Vanessa would really like that. I asked the salesman about the bunny to have more idea on what I’ll get her because I want it to be special.

lionhead bunniesThe salesman was kind enough to tell me bunch of things about it. He told me that those kind of bunnies have two types, the single maned and the double maned. Their name was coined because they have manes reminiscent of the king of the jungle, the lion. He shared that they originally came from Belgium and I was surprised that it wasn’t pure because it was a cross between a miniature Swiss Fox and a Netherland dwarf. They are typically docile, sweet, active and playful although it still depends on how the owner plans to nurture it. He also pitched that bunnies aren’t hard to care for as they just need the basics like water, food and a little bit of exercise. He reminded me to avoid overfeeding as it can cause weight problems for the rabbit. They also need grooming from time to time to avoid tangling of their manes. Bunnies also don’t need as much bathing as they clean up after themselves like cats do.

I finally have decided to get him a bunny of such breed. I got her a dark blue bunny which consequently also has dark blue eyes which matches Vanessa’s. I know she’s going to like my present. I also got her a cage, a water feeding bottle and lots of food. Now, it’s her turn on how she’ll care for it. My phone is now ringing and it’s Vanessa. I answered it and told me that she’s with my mom and mom told her that I wasn’t doing any errands for her. Now, I’m busted.

Accidents Happen

I have been racing with my trusty old, souped up 1980 Volkswagen Caravelle every weekend with my buddies on the tracks. Lately, I’ve been hooked on racing in wet and muddy conditions because I love the challenge of taking control of my car even though it is slippery.  Last week when I was at the track, I had a freak accident when I was turning on the sharp curve, I suddenly lost control on the wheel and my brakes suddenly won’t function. I’m fortunate that there were many rubber tires there when I landed. My buddies were so worried that they ran across the track to see me if I was okay. I heard firetruck sirens closing in on me as they were expecting a fire due to a gas leak but luckily there was none. I couldn’t move at first because I was shaken up with the crash, but I can talk as I kept telling them that I’m okay. They rushed me to the hospital to have me looked up. I specifically instructed my buddies to tell my mom first and she’ll know how to handle my dad because he has hypertension and I don’t want anything to happen to him especially with his age. I also asked them to tell my mom on what hospital that they’re bringing me to and that I’m okay.

We arrived at the hospital in just minutes. The doctor checked my eyes for trauma and tapped my bones and muscles for soreness. I got a number of scratches and bruises, but there were no superficial bleeding. They have yet to check I have an internal bleeding. I also had pain between shoulder blades that the doctor told me to have it x-rayed to see if there are bone fractures because it was too tender and has some swelling. I also didn’t have a full range of motion on my shoulders so he was thinking that I have a fracture. After an hour, I got the results and he told me that I have shoulder subluxation. It is a condition wherein there is a partial dislocation of the shoulder due to a heavy blow on the shoulder, for instance, my car crash accident. The doctor asked me 1-10, 10 highest, on how much is the pain. I told him 6-7 so he just gave me a pill for pain relief. He told me that if it was 10, I’d be given a shot, but he feels that there was no need to do that.

I was advised to rest my shoulders for a couple of weeks with a sling. I was also instructed to ice the sore area within 24 hours of injury to reduce the swelling and to counter the pain. The doctor told me that I was so fortunate that I’m okay because usually, people die in a car crash. He also told me that I’d need the services of a good physical therapist to rehabilitate my shoulder to achieve full range of motion gradually. Minutes later, I saw my parents rushing in my room thanking God that I’m alright. They were so relieved that I was okay. They made me promise that I’ll never race on wet tracks again, but I just kept silent for no arguments. I’m just happy that I’m alive.

Lessons from an Old Timer

It was really a sigh of relief when my sprained foot and tingling feet wore off after a few months of resting. Now, I can fully concentrate on practicing for my races. This is my first time to enter a race and it’s fast coming up this September and I really need to focus. I’ve been down on the tracks almost every day since the symptoms came off and I feel good. I can shift gears without feeling tingling and pain.

Entering a race was also my father’s dream. He told me that he is so excited for me and told me to always practice and to never worry about my competition and just focus on myself. He explained that in every competition, you must focus and believe on yourself first and then the winning the competition will come right to you. My father is really great with giving pep talks and advices on about all sorts of things.

I remember when I was young and struggling with my grades. He didn’t become mad at me and made me study right away. He first tried to understand on why I am failing school. He wanted to know the root cause of it so he can suggest a solution to it. I told him that I was failing because I felt that school has nothing to do with getting successful. Because I’ve heard on the interview and write ups of many big Forbes businessmen that they became successful and they’ve never finished school. I thought to myself then that why should I study if I can become successful. My dad smiled and told me that maybe, school had nothing to do with them because they have the means and the talent or maybe the resources, not that he was telling me that I don’t have the capabilities of being successful, but it’s much better that I have the proper education, the knowledge to bolster my desire to be successful.

It is best to know what you are doing now and the things that you’re going to do in the future backed up with proper motivation and the proper education and it always come hand in hand. A person cannot be successful without the two. He made me think of a person with potential and lots of education without the willingness to do hard work comparing it with a person who works very hard but doesn’t have any proper education and knowledge to deal with his dilemmas and lastly, a person with so much potential and knowledge coupled with a good work ethic and hard work. And then he asked me of all the three people mentioned, on what type of person I want myself to be associated with. I smiled and told him the latter. He also added that it will help me a lot since I am a very driven young man. I was so enlightened on the things that he said. He inspired me to do a lot better not only in school but I also applied his teachings in my everyday life until now. Thank you dad!

My Other Hobby

Aside from being a Volkswagen enthusiast, I also love cats as pets. I have a number of cats in my home. I like cats better than dogs because they are independent, smart, intelligent and has character. I have three of them. First one is Loki, he is an American short hair or ASH. He’s a tri color of grey, cream and black. I got his name after the villain half brother of Thor because I used to real comic books when I was young. I still have some of the books because I treasure them because it was from my favourite grandma. Second is a Himalayan Persian cat named Loops as he was named by my nephew whose favourite cereal is Fruit Loops. A friend of mine gave him to me as a birthday gift two years ago. He is very calm and affectionate. And lastly, my recent addition is Sally. She is also an American shorthair as I’m planning to breed her and Loki. She has a sterling silver coat with black markings. She really look elegant and sophisticated as she wanders off and leaping around my home. I wonder what Sally and Loki’s offspring will look like because I’m really excited.

I’m really fond of them as I even often share a ride with them in my Volkswagen. It’s nice that they’re not like dogs that put their head outside the windows and hang their tongues the whole ride. Loki and Loops just sat on the car seat and then Sally just slumped on the dashboard. She looks like a stuffed toy.

It’s nice that a veterinarian lives next door my home so it’s easy to have my cats get checked up. I don’t even have to go into his clinic as he told me. I was just in my backyard playing and feeding my cats as he approached me. He was lean and tall. He also has a long beard to go with his mustache. He told me that he is a veterinarian and I can always come to his home if something came up about my pets. He is Dr. Wilson and he also loves cats. He is very generous as he often offers my pets free check ups from time to time and I return the favour by referring him to my cat loving friends. My friends also love stopping by his clinic because he really knows that he was doing. I brought my new cat Sally to his home to see if she’s healthy. He told me that she’s perfectly fine but as always, we needed to take precautions about roundworms in cats as they are most common lately. He also reminded me about the symptoms in pancreatitis in cats, like the article here, as my other cats might develop them in time. I also asked him on how to breed American Shorthairs as I am planning to breed Loki and Sally. He told me that he would gladly help me through it, step by step.

The Beetle

If there is one word that I can use to faithfully describe what Volkswagen beetle cars really are, then it would definitely be durable. In fact I can still name a couple more adjectives like hard, and elegant, and probably many more, if I just put my mind into it. That is how I love my Volkswagen.

Do you want to know about what happened to my first ever car, which was of course, a Volkswagen? Well apparently it is still with me today and is none the worse for wear. I use it every chance I get, especially on weekends when I get to go out with friends.

It is really very cool having one in this day and age, as it sure attracts much attention, especially on all the younger generations who are not very much familiar with it. I do take care of the car and maintain it religiously, so maybe they think it’s a new design or something. Never do they know that this car is way much older than they are.

This car is very durable and very hard. Now why do I say that? Well if you really know your cars then you will know what I am saying. It was not called a marvel of German engineering for nothing. It was touted as a people’s car when it was first made and boy did it lived up and even surpassed all the expectations on it.

Its frame is made up of metals that are so thick that its thickness is probably three or four times the thickness of the metals in the bodies and frames of cars today. If you punch it directly, you probably will not even dent the damn thing, and it will probably damage your hands much more extensively than you to it. That’s a lesson I learned the hard way back when I was young and I have had the sprained fingers to show for it.

You really would not want to be in a car accident with it, even a minor one. Your car will be crushed if you happen to be in the receiving end of a collision with one of these cars, and you can trust me on that. Your car will be mangled if that ever happened and the Volkswagen would just have several scrapes on its body paint, just like what you experience when you have peeling fingernails, like what is describe at http://www.healmyfinger.com.

It could also serve as a great topic of conversation with other people that are not really familiar with it. Just open your front hood and see the people’s bewilderment of what ever happened to your engine, which they obviously expect to be there in the front of the car.

Well that’s my buggy and I love it. I was thinking of making it my everyday car but I have to fix its interiors first, as it has no air conditioning to speak of and the seats are as hard as the exterior of the car. I imagine using it regularly till I am old, or at least until I have my own family, that is.