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Questions answered by Mr Craig Brownell    (Expert Rank: 8713) Member has an expert rating of 100+


I am a piano player and have been for about 25 years (I'm only 28). When I practice at length, there is a huge knot in my back underneath my right shoulder blade and my left wrist and shoulder begin to hurt. The soreness continues the next day. I warm up before playing by doing stretches and getting the blood flowing in the muscles I use to play. Is there any specific type of warm up I can do to prevent this pain? I play as a part time job and my income depends on my ability to play. I'm classically trained and my technique is proper, however I cannot avoid this pain from playing.


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Question found in Chiropractic & Osteopathy
I would guess that the culprit is either your posture or you are tensing up your neck, shoulders or back and unaware of it.

Warm-ups are a good idea, but they will not prevent tensing or postural causes.

Try to "play relaxed" and the problem should stop. Otherwise, talk with a chiropractor and get a recommendation.

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What are the possible causes for dark coloured stools?

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Question found in Personal Health Issues
Diet, medication, blood and many other possibilities.

If this is a regular occurrence, I would suggest consulting a physician.

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Can a company go into liquidation and the phone number be taken by a new company formed by one or more directors of the company in liquidation?

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Question found in Business & Economy In General
The phone number is as much an asset and subject to assignment as any inventory, office equipment or shop machines.

It is the marketability of the company. That makes it a VALUABLE asset.

If one of the former directors had the foresight to target the phone number, that might explain why s/he was elected to the Board in the first place.

It isn't crooked by any stretch of the imagination.

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I am a college student. I have applied for a student loan. I am single with children. Their father gives me money monthly but we don't have anything legally established. Should I put this money as child support? Is it illegal if I don't put it down?

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Question found in Family Law
If the money you are receiving is (at this point) a "gift", it is not regular income.

In fact, most applications do not require people to note income from spousal maintenance or child support as income, even if court-ordered.

If there is no court order establishing the contributions, they cannot be considered "regular" because he could stop them at any time.

Don't worry about it. There IS a potential ethical problem because you know what is happening, but you would not be lying to say that you have no court-supervised child or spousal support.

It's a LEGAL SYSTEM, not an interview of moral positions.

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Intestate will - a member far removed has come forward demanding 50% of the will. We do not believe he is part of our family. His father, my Uncle always stated it was not his child and in fact divorced his wife - this mans mother - what do I do?

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Question found in Legal Other
You need a probate lawyer NOW!

A small fee ($150?) could save you HUGE headaches if this person wants to challenge the estate.

You can make HIM establish paternity/relationship, provide documentation, etc. In other words, his claim is no claim at all until HE can prove it. The burden is on him. Make it be that way and do not knuckle under to intimidation tactics or threats of "legal action".

Two can play this game. You might be able to use estate funds to challenge him, he will have to write checks from his own funds.

Your goal here is to be as impregnable as possible. Make it expensive for HIM to continue his challenge.

Have you ever noticed how few armed robberies occur in gun shops in the U.S.?

That's because most gun shop employees are armed.

Criminals will go to the local Stop-N-Rob for a fast $20 out of the till before they will even THINK of attempting the armed robbery of a gun shop with four fully-armed employees.

Be the gun shop.

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How much does a 3 KW convector heater cost to run per hour in the home?

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Question found in Electronics and Gadgets In General
It depends on the cost of electricity.

3KW means that the heater "draws" 3,000 Watts of power or 3 kilowatts.

Look at your electric bill for the KWH charge.

Let's assume that it is 8¢ per KWH (Kilowatt Hour). That is one kilowatt for one hour for 8¢.

Three kilowatts at 8¢ per Kilowatt Hour means that it will cost you 24¢ per hour to run that heater at full power. If you ran it at full power all day and night for a month, the cost would be $172.80.

Reasonably, no one operates a small heater at full power 24/7/365. They are more often used for small spaces (e.g.: under a desk) for a few hours per day and many have thermostats that turn them on/off depending on temperature.

If your heater runs 20 minutes every hour during an 8-hour workday five days per week, it will cost less than $5/month to keep your feet warm.

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How do you erase a felony?

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Question found in Legal Other
You don't say, but I'll deal with general U.S. law.

You can not erase a felony, but you might be able to have the record sealed or expunged or obtain a pardon.

Which option would be best in your situation will depend on your purpose, the relative difficulty of the process you wish and how financially prepared you are to pursue that process. In the U.S., you can start at about $2,000 in legal fees and go up from there.

Sealing a record does not necessarily restore any civil rights you might have lost, it merely keeps the record from being viewed by unauthorized persons (i.e.: general public and law enforcement generally, but not for investigative purposes).

Expungement, in most U.S. jurisdictions, removes all disabilities and, often, the conviction itself. Some disabilities can survive an expungement at the court's discretion. For instance, you could have an armed robbery expunged, but your disability to own a firearm might survive the expungement.

A pardon is VERY unusual and often as dependant on your attorney's political connections as it is legal argument. Normally, by the Governor of a State or the President of the United States. Fairly rare. It may or may not be unconditional.

All of these will require a substantial period (up to ten years, possibly longer depending on the crime) to have elapsed since completion of the probation/sentence with no same or similar offenses or other offenses indicating that the convict has not changed their ways. Rehabilitation steps should have been substantial and demonstrable. Restitution would be helpful, if applicable.

Essentially, you need to satisfy the court or pardoning executive that the sealing/expungement/pardon is not detrimental to the interests of the public when compared to the loss of opportunities to you and that you have mended your ways or were wrongfully convicted. (Note: ALL convicts believe that they were wrongfully convicted. You have to make a convincing argument, not merely say that you were innocent.)

You aren't going to get any pf these simply because you want it. You have to EARN it.

Bear in mind that this process can be MUCH more difficult than not having done the crime.

Good luck!

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How can I hypnotise myself?

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Question found in Alternative In General
Self-hypnosis is incredibly easy. I have been semi-pro for almost 40 years. I can hypnotize myself in a a few seconds and induce a deep state in a few minutes.

I will not, however, provide instructions on an open forum because of the possibility of misuse. Hypnosis should not be attempted unless you are prepared to deal with the potential problems. They are few and far between, but if you are unprepared, they could become serious.

I had one subject become delusional and borderline psychotic. It turned out that she had some deep-seated psychological problems that she withheld during preliminary interview. The session was a "bit tense", but I was equipped to deal with it. An amateur or fairly new "stage" hypnotist would have had their hands full.

Hypnosis is not INHERENTLY dangerous. You have probably been hypnotized dozens of times and simply didn't know that's what it was. For instance, reading a book and becoming mentally sidetracked. You find that you've read a page or two and haven't the foggiest idea what you've just read. That was hypnosis, directed focus.

I would suggest some decent books. Avoid those that deal with stage performances (magic acts, etc.) and lean towards those more seriously involved in therapeutic applications. They will be MUCH more tedious to read, but the information is more usable than simply creating a public scene by making people cluck like a chicken at parties.

Self-hypnosis will be in there as well. Have a goal. Firmly set that goal in mind. Induce with this goal in mind. You can help yourself to lose weight, quit smoking, learn better, etc.

I have done some fantastic experiments with age regression. Taking people back to a time before they were born. Many assume another life and can often provide some unbelieveable detail. One subject, a failing high school student, began describing her life as a Cherokee Indian girl on the "Trail of Tears". At several points, she spoke in her "native language". Again, this was a failing student with ZERO contact with American Indians, speaking in what sounded like Cherokee. I had the session on tape and took the tape to someone familiar with the language. I did NOT tell him the circumstances. He translated it for me. He was astonished to hear anyone speak it as well as did she and asked me where I had met someone in 1979 who could speak a Cherokee dialect of the early 19th Century. When I told him, he was incredulous.

Do I believe that this girl is a reincarnated Cherokee maiden who died on the Trail of Tears? I don't know. The only evidence I have was the tape (on 8-track, long since gone). I have, however, conducted other experiments with similar outcomes. (With one eyebrow raised) Fascinating.

Wonderful tool used in well-controlled conditions.

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My Father just passed away, there is no will. My sister and I live on his property. What should we do?

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Question found in Legal Other
Spend a few bucks on an estate attorney. A one-hour consultation probably won't be terribly expensive and could save you huge headaches and expense down the road.

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I have a friend just divorced and the spouse had financed a house in his name and has won the house in the settlement. She has picked up the deed but does not know who has financed the house. She has to give him 2500.00 before she can take over the house. She does not know who has financed the house. How can she find out? Is it possible to get the financed co name when the lawyers give him 2500.00 or is it necessary for her to know this info in order to refinance the home? she has 45 days to complete this transaction. Can she just refinance home without knowing who has financed it previously or does she have to know the company he has refinanced with? This has been a nasty divorce with a lot of lies so to say. He bought the house and only his name was on it and she has never lived there. Can you help please?

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Question found in Divorce Law
The title paperwork (not deed) should indicate a lien or security interest held by the mortgage lender.

If not, a call or quick trip to the real estate taxing authority should provide the answer. Bring the deed, identification and the court paperwork authorizing the settlement.

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