How To Open Your MS Access Form In Full Screen: Discover The 10 Key Properties Required

Once upon a time you loaded your Access database, found the starting form (screen) and navigated between other related objects. Actually, this wasn’t always the case but general Microsoft Access users certainly engaged in this approach when designing a database leaving the end-user disorientated and de-motivated in utilising the firms application.

To help streamline your application making it user-friendly and more conducive to use, real database developers took advantage of the many properties in Access which included the form’s property sheet too.

In this article, I want to cover the 10 key properties required and when synchronised together it forms a smooth start-up screen environment as the Access form loads in a full screen mode removing any tempting and unwanted elements. This approach ends up with a polished and professional look and feel too which is highlighted with some simple but optional automation using Access VBA code and an auto macro.

Design your form adding all the components in the normal manner as if the form was manually called then save your changes before changing the key properties. In addition to the standard controls for your Access form, make sure you have added a ‘Close’ command button and is coded to close the form.

Next, let’s add the 10 key properties:

  1. Auto Resize – This property is set to ‘Yes’ and will automatically shape the form as it loads.
  2. Auto Center – This property is also set to ‘Yes’ and will sit dead centre should the form not fully load in a full screen view which maybe a desired effect should developers wish to change the size of a form. This will sit comfortably with the first property mentioned.
  3. Border Style – Set this property to ideally ‘Dialog’ though it can be also set to ‘None’ since it is going to be in a full screen view. The ‘Dialog’ option just follows the rules about when a screen has the focus user can optionally control moving and sizing of a form.
  4. Control Box – Set this property to ‘No’ to switch of the ability to show the control menu for a window (i.e. top left corner icon in a window).
  5. Min Max Buttons – Also set to ‘None’ to stop users from resizing the window to either a minimized, restore or maximized state.
  6. Close Button – Set this property to ‘No’ to switch off the ‘x’ icon in a window which of course will close the form. This must only be switched off if you have an alternative way to close a form (namely the command button mentioned earlier).
  7. Pop Up – This property is set to ‘Yes’ to make sure this form has the focus and viewed on top of any other previously opened form (if applicable).
  8. Modal – This must be set to ‘Yes’ and will behave as a real dialog box so that users cannot navigate away from this form until they use an alternative way to formally close the form.
  9. Caption – This property is the title bar caption which can be anything you like to display at the top of the form. I tend to use this for database title along with some clever coding to welcome the logged in user (if applicable) or just leave it blank.
  10. Allow Datasheet, PivotTable and Chart Views – All three properties deemed to be one collection here are set to ‘No’ as you only want to show the default view as set to ‘Single Form’.

Now the simple VBA code is to be attached to the loading form’s event (On Load) by adding DoCmd.Maximize in between the sub and end sub signature which will turn your form into a full screen view showing all the clean elements of the form in its full glory.

The final and optional part is to add a macro called ‘AutoExec’ (a specially reserved macro name) that triggers itself when the database file is loaded. In this macro, you add the ‘OpenForm‘ action to call your form.

Hopefully, you have the essentials in place to which you can now add further refinement to taste. Happy ever after!

The Keys to Hitting a Successful Tee Shot in Golf

Most golfers think eighteen holes of golf is one game. Actually, every time you step onto the tee you're playing a new game. You start over with a score of zero. Your first shot, the tee shot, determinates in large how that game will come out. Here's how to give yourself the greatest advantage.

In general, choose the club that gives you the best chance of getting the ball in the fairway and which sets up the hole to hit a reliable shot into the green. At times, that will exclude your driver.

Let's talk about the driver, since it looks to be everyone's favorite club. Figure out what club you want to hit into the green in regulation. Use your driver if you need it to be able to hit that club.

Here's an example. On a 480-yard par 5, most recreational golfers can not reach that in two. A driver and a hybrid iron or fairway wood would leave around 50-80 yards to the green. This is an awkward distance to play from. Try hitting your fairway wood off the tee, and iron down the fairway, and a 9-iron into the green.

Or on a short par 4, a driver might leave you with a pitch into the green rather than a full shot. These holes can be narrower, too, with more hazards, so a shorter club off the tee will do the double duty of keeping the ball in play while leaving the ball a comfortable distance from the green.

The side of the tee box you hit from is important. If you tend to hit the ball from left to right, tee up near the right side tee marker and aim left. That gives you the entire width of the fairway to swing the ball back in play. Similarly, if you're a right to left player, tee up near the left tee marker and aim right.

Many players overlook the place where they want to hit the ball towards off the tee. Getting the ball in the fairway means not only hitting it straight, but also straight at the right place. Walk out on a par 4 to the place where you want to play into the green from. Now look ahead on a line from the tee to this spot to find an aiming mark for the next time you play.

On a par 5, you must find out how far the green is from where your tee shots typically end up. Sprinkler heads are not usually marked that far out, so you'll need to step it off from some landmark to the 200- or 150-yard marker. This distance is important to know because you can choose the club that lets you hit your desired distance for your approach into the green.

On a par 3 hole, add seven yards to the listed yardage and choose your club on that basis. This is because the ball is hit from a tee, and you will get more height than normal. The ball will not go as far.

If you build these ideas into your game, you will not see the strokes being saved, but you will not have to wonder why you scores are going down.

Accessing The Spiritual Healing Powers In You For A Better Life

Try to see that the Holy Spirit is of you, and you are of Him. You are the spirit whose mind He uses, where miracles happen. Your holy instants– living in the now, will bring the stillness needed to help you understand that you are the spirit that abides within the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual practice is the most effective method for alleviating not only emotional and mental problems, but illness and other difficulties in our life. Healing is the work of your whole and real thought system which is of the Holy Spirit– the inner divine Self.

Healing miracles take place wherever the Oneness of Creation works in power.

The Holy Spirit will not overlook one open mind that is ready. He will offer healing everywhere He knows it will be accepted. The Holy Spirit’s Thoughts will increase in healing power each time someone accepts them and uses them as his own thoughts to heal.

Each minute you turn your right-minded optimistic thoughts to the Holy Spirit will be multiplied a thousand-fold more, and will surprise you in strength compared to what you originally gave.

Through consistent, effortless practice of this giving, even if you feel yourself being off course, or off your chosen path, you will still be at-one with the whole, which is never-ending.

Getting back on track

While there are many books on spiritual healing, your feeling of being off course, if this is truly so, is simply the ego–the fearful and doubting Thomas aspect in you, making a fuss a bit.

Simply use your inner luminous light what I call your “spiritual flashlight”–self illumination, if you will, shining it on the fussing face of the ego, and trust that the Holy Spirit will always accept your gifts, increase their power, and give them back to you. Why should this ever exclude you and me?

The Holy Spirit will take your minutes, or instants, of stillness, and carry them around the world, where pain and confusion appear to be running someone’s life. This is evident in the Holy Spirit’s manifestation in Mother Teresa, for example, and so many other givers of the real world, like Jesus, Buddha, and on and on.

Let’s take this a bit further and allow me to share a few words with you from A Course in Miracles.

You can use these words for spiritual healing prayers or meditation in the form that’s best for you. Here’s the words I use as a meditation, whenever I feel off track and need even a simple boost:

A spirit I am, a holy Son of God, free of all limits, safe and healed and whole, free to forgive and free to save the world.

To your spiritual healing powers

Proper Clothing While Exercising

Working out is a necessity for every human being. There are several reasons that may deter you from working out. You may not be much into laboratory labor, or you may not be getting time for it. Even puny reasons such as not having the right clothes for a workout can play their role in making you abandon your workouts. You need to find out and clear out such roadblocks.

The reason why your clothes might be playing the role of a deterrent is the selection of the wrong fabric. Fabric can be cotton, synthetic, Coolmax, Supplex, polypropylene etc. It should allow air to pass through so that you do not become too hot during your workouts. Getting sportswear from a leading brand is no guarantee that the fabric is good for workouts. Remember that the acidic content in your sweat will damage any and all kinds of fabrics you use. It's better to go for a fabric that will last longer.

Cotton is good but absorbs sweat and makes you sweaty quickly. You can use it while playing tennis or ping-pong but you will need several extra shirts if you are going to do a rigorous three-hour workout. But they do not last because the sweat they absorb is acidic in nature which causes them to get tattered. You will certainly love wearing cotton while you workout but the fabric is not suitable to be worn at a sport or workout where you sweat a lot.

There is other plastic and rubber based clothing that is just not suitable for any activity that makes you sweat. They do not let the air pass through and you feel suffocated if you wear them during your workouts. Many people buy them because they are cheap or maybe just because they are too ignorant about the importance of clothing during exercises. Do not even consider these while planning to purchase clothes for workouts.

Materials such as Supplex and Coolmax would be a great choice. They are more expensive as compared to any other type of clothing but they work with any sweating activity you do. It pays to get such clothes for your workouts. Think before you buy clothes for workouts. Cotton is the best clothing you can get but you need clothing that lasts for sometime before it becomes torn and tattered. Use Coolmax or Supplex for longer and intestinal workout regimens and also for the great looks!

Understanding Sealing Material and Food Grade Concrete Sealer

Concrete counter tops are stain prone and need high maintenance. The sealers have come a long way from the simple wax and acrylic sealers to most modern epoxy sealers. With the right sealer, you can have a stain-resistant, heat-resistant, scratch-resistant, Food Grade Concrete Sealer, easy to clean, easy to maintain and smooth counter top.

Bare concrete is porous and vulnerable to staining and chemical attack. Liquids will soak into the surface, carrying stains into the concrete itself. Acidic substances like vinegar and lemon juice will dissolve the cement paste.

Sealing material characteristics that are important to clients are:

• Enhance the appearance of the concrete without degrading the look or feel

• Non-porous

• Completely resist stains from food, oil, and other household substances

• Resist heat from hot pots and pans

• Resist UV degradation and yellowing from sunlight

• Scratch-proof

Food Grade Concrete Sealer

• Easily cleaned using common household cleaning products

• Provide long term protection without the need for frequent maintenance

• Easy to repair& maintain

Sealing Materials: Sealers have two groups namely Penetrating sealers and Topical sealers.

Penetrating sealers come in the form of liquids that are applied to bare concrete, soak in, and then once wiped off and dried, are usually almost invisible.

Densifiers are water-based chemicals that react with the cement paste in the concrete. The reaction generates cementing agents that increase the strength of the surface concrete and fill the pores. The cementing agents that are generated during hardening often serve to provide some color enhancement. Densifiers are often applied before repellents.

Repellents are a concrete treatment that changes the surface tension characteristics of the concrete so that liquids bead up easily. They create a hydrophobic water-shedding effect when applied to the concrete.

Topical sealers make up the most of the sealers on the market as listed below:

Wax is the most basic sealer. Generally, a high-quality floor wax that contains carnauba and beeswax, or just pure beeswax, is used. Automotive paste wax should not be used for sealing because of the additives it contains.

Acrylic is a solvent based or water based, are the next most basic and common concrete sealers. Acrylic sealers are easy to use, available easily and relatively inexpensive. They are widely used for sealing floors and driveways, and provide modest protection. Acrylics generally provide heat resistance but are UV resistant.

Epoxy is a two-component chemical system and you need to mix them to form the coat. The chemical reaction is irreversible, and the end result is a very durable, very hard surface. Epoxies are expensive chemicals and one need to follow a proper process to apply them. There are three basic types of epoxies: solvent based, water based and 100% solids. They are key to a Food Grade Concrete Sealer. They are widely used in industrial kitchens.

Urethane are the type of sealers that has many of the Ideal Sealer characteristics. Some are a single part, and others are two part. Urethane, in general, are stain and heat resistant, provide good UV resistance, very tough and scratch resistant. They provide a glossy finish also.

How a Pool's Filtration System Works

Contaminants enter the pool because of environmental factors like rain and wind or transfer off of swimmers. The purpose of the swimming pool's filter is to keep the pool clean. So, how exactly does your pool's filtration system work?

First of all, there are three main types of swimming pool filters:

Sand filters. These are probably the most common type of filter. Water is pumped through a bed of sand and contaminants are sifted out. After the contaminants build up, the filter must be backwashed.

Cartridge filters. This kind of filter is known for being easy to contain. It uses a typically polyester cartridge to remove particles from the water that lasts a very long time. Rather than having to constantly replace the cartridge, most cartridge filters only require that after the particles build up, you remove the cartridge and wash out the contaminants.

DE filters. Otherwise known as diatomaceous earth filters, or the fossilized residues of diatoms, these filters can remove very small particles but require a bit more maintenance. These filter use a powder made from seashells to trap pollutants and requires that new powder be added each week. The ability to remove smaller particles results in a cleaner, more sparkly swimming pool.

Pool water enters through the skimmer and the pool pump sends the water through the filter, and through one of these three methods, removes particles from the water. The clean water is returned to the pool. If the pump or filtration system gets turned off for a long period of time, the pool water will become cloudy or dirty.

The pump does not have to run all day, but it should run long enough to filter out all the water. This can take around six to eight hours. If you are having particular trouble with green or dirty water, you should run your pump for as long as it takes to become clear. The pump plays a vital role for pool circulation, which is essential for healthy pool sanitation. The pump creates enough pressure to send the water to the filter with enough force to remove particles from the water.

The difference between the skimmer and the filter is that the skimmer pulls at the surface of the pool to remove larger debris while the filter separates water from the smaller ones. Filters vital to a healthy pool, so make check out a pool supply store for the right filters for your pool.

Commercial Loan – Broker Or Bank?

There is an estimated 5.2 million commercial properties within the UK. The commercial property market expanded by over 32 per cent during 1990-2000 (according to the new products started) compared with the previous decade, in itself a decade of exceptional growth. Bank lending for commercial property deals rose by a record £ 7.7 billion in the first quarter of 2005, according to data provided by the Bank of England, and property experts believe the bulk of the new lending was for investment purchases.

There has also been a substantial rise in the number of investors looking to buy commercial properties to put into Self Insted Personal Pension Schemes. Property investment funds received a boost as of late last year after the Government announced plans to allow them to be included in an ISA (Individual Savings Account) wrapper.

Savers will now be able to add investments, such as property funds and funds of funds, that have previously been restricted from being included in ISA's because the asset class did not feature on a European standard of eligible investments and commercial property funds are apparently the largest Beneficiary of the rule change.

With this diversified interest in commercial property by investor, speculator and businesses alike the role of the broker has become a more integral part of the process. Increasing numbers of mortgage brokers have branched out into non-regulated markets such as the commercial loan sector since Mortgage Day in late 2004 and consequential involvement by the Financial Services Authority, interestingly 58 per cent of mortgage brokers claim profits are down since Mortgage Day.

Commercial lending is now not the reserve of the high street banks who, in the past, have not only appeared to cherry pick but have also had a tender to only lend to their existing business customers. The result was that there are now over 1,200 commercial lenders currently operating within the UK.

The competitive market for commercial lending has also been confirmed by the rates available. There are also many other flexible options such as roled up interest (No interest payments) for the first year to help with cash flow, start up finance, business expansion finance or even for finance on low yield investment properties.

Lenders will typically lend up to 80 per cent loan to value but 100% is achievable with additional security. Three years audited accounts are also now not the normal requirement as self certification of income has also found its way into commercial lending. Adverse credit clients are now considered and in the majority of cases loans approved. However self certification and bad credit applicants can expect a loading of the rate of typically between 1 to 4 per cent.

A cross section of business funding is available to retail businesses such as convenience stores, fast food outlets, specialist shops and supermarkets. Investment properties, professional practices such as accountants, doctors, vets and solicitors. Property development including speculative or pre-let for both commercial and residential. Offices and factories along with the health care sector including nursing homes, residential care and special needs homes. The leisure market has also been seen as the main stay for commercial lending over many years embracing hotels, guest houses, cafés, restaurants, wine bars and pubs.

Although latterly pubs have often bought brewery loans as a traditional way of borrowing money in the trade often referred to as Advance of Discount (AOD) or "Write Off" loans, the interest rates seem favorable at significant discounts over the banks but barrage discount is Affected and the repayment terms are often shorter over 10 years.

Lending on leasehold is also available up to 65 per cent on the security property (often the applicants main residence). With many businesses failing in the first year and business failure rates up 13 per cent in the first quarter of 2006 applicants must carefully consider whether they should be securing their main residence against the lease.

To calculate monthly charges use one of our many built built calculators. Commercial loan applications, for both single and joint applications, are processed on our own dedicated secure server.

Proven Reliability of the Zongshen Cyclone RX3

TheCyclone RX3 distributed by CSC Motorcycles was introduced with an inaugural group ride through Baja Mexico in April 2015. This ride took 15 adventure bikers on a 1,700-mile round trip through the Baja peninsula and back to the CSC offices in Azusa, California. In total, the 15 new Cyclone RX3 motorcycles accumulated 25,500 miles with only a few minor issues.

This first promotional ride was followed by the “Western Adventure Tour” in July 2015. Here 10 riders from Columbia, China, and the U.S. accumulated 50,000 miles total on 10 new bikes. This epic ride inspired the book, 5,000 Miles at 8,000 RPM’s by Joe Berk, the spokesman for CSC. Again, there were no major mechanical issues with the new CSC Cyclone RX3 motorcycles that were ridden hard for 18 days at speeds up to 75 mph, and sometimes over 400 miles per day. The tour riders (and the machines) encountered freezing temps to over 100 degrees, and elevations from sea level to 9,000 feet at the Continental Divide.

These rides proved conclusively the durability of the RX3 adventure bike. But the rides also pointed out some improvements that would be required on subsequent shipments of the CSC Cyclone RX3 including upgrades to the standard 12-volt batteries. The rides further helped to finalize the maintenance schedule recommended for the North American cycle owners.

But the RX3 motorcycle was proven before it was ever available for sale in North America. The bike has been sold in China for several years, and is also sold in many other countries under multiple brand names. For example, the same basic bike is sold in Belarus as the M1nsk TRX300i and in Central America as the AKT Moto TT250. In fact, Zongshen’s single largest motorcycle market is in Columbia. Motorcycle sales exceed 700,000 units per year in Columbia – compared to less than 500,000 total motorcycle sales in the United States.

It is also interesting that the most popular motorcycles in Columbia are only 100cc to 125cc. A 250cc motorcycle is considered huge! The best selling machine is a 100cc motorcycle manufactured in India. The Zongshen/AKT Moto version sold in Columbia is named the TT250 and is considered to be a high-quality upgrade and exudes prestige.

What is a M1nsk?

The M1nsk motorcycle company originated in 1951 when the USSR took control of German DKW Motorcycles as part of WWII reparations. The company relocated to Moscow and built motorcycles under the M1A brand. Eventually, the factory moved to Belarus where they built bikes under the Minsk brand. From the early years the Minsk brand has been actively involved in motorsport, especially in motocross and circuit racing. Minsk-Pamir (1969) and Brest-Vladivostok (1971) rallies became iconic milestones in the Minsk brand history. Based on this reputation, Minsk motorcycles became known for their durability and were exported to other European countries.

In 2007, the company became private and began using the brand name M1nsk. Today the M1nsk company produces snowmobiles, ATV’s, scooters, dirt bikes, and retro styled bikes based on their old 1950’s model designs.

How does the M1nsk TRX300i fit in? M1nsk does not manufacture the TRX300i adventure motorcycle. Instead, the TRX300i is a rebranded Chinese motorcycle, the Zongshen RX3. Zongshen is a modern manufacturer, founded in 1992, that builds over 1,000,000 (yes, that is 1 MILLION) engines and motorcycles per year. Many of these models are now sold worldwide under various brands by master distributors.

The U.S. and North American distributor is CSC Motorcycles, and sells the CSC Cyclone RX3 direct to the public. To connect the past with the present, M1nsk entered three stock TRX300i motorcycles in the 2013 Brest-Dushanbe rally with total length of 6,200 miles (10,000 km.) The rally traveled through the rugged terrain of Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and all three bikes completed the journey. This rally was previously covered in an article by ADVPulse in February 2014.

Note: this “rally” is not the Baja 1000 or the Dakar Rally. Think more along the lines of Ewan and Charley traversing the rough countryside of the same region in Long Way Around. A video of the rally (in Russian) can be seen at the Minsk Motorcycles YouTube channel.

Again, it was an impressive endurance milestone that the three stock motorcycles from Zongshen covered 30,000 km cumulative distance without mechanical issues.

The CSC Cyclone RX3: Proven Reliability

The M1nsk TRX300i is nearly identical to the Cyclone RX3 marketed through CSC Motorcycles. However, another unique attribute of Zongshen is that each national distributor has the ability to make changes in the final specs of the motorcycle to comply with regulations for their continent and the demands of their target buyers. In his book, 5,000 Miles at 8,000 RPM’s, Joe Berk outlines how CSC made changes to the wheel size, alternator capacity, wiring harness, battery and other components before finalizing the model that would become the Cyclone RX3 for sale in North America. In addition, CSC Motorcycles has also assembled a complete catalog of aftermarket parts, accessories, options, and special editions to suit the requirements of adventure riders in the U.S. and Canada.

The net result is that the North American Cyclone RX3 is even BETTER than the original Zongshen model. Remember that tens of thousands of these original models have already been proven in Asia, Central America and Europe. (The INITIAL order of the AKT Moto model by the Columbian distributor was 6,000 motorcycles!) Since 1992, Zongshen has produced tens of MILLIONS of engines in many sizes. The state-of-the-art manufacturing facility tests EACH of these engines before assembly into a complete motorcycle, and then EACH of these complete motorcycles is dyno tested for quality control.

While adventure motorcycles are a growing recreation niche here in North America, Zongshen motorcycles have earned a strong reputation for quality and durability in the rest of the world where motorcycles are the primary means of transportation and integral to commerce. These motorcycle owners demand inexpensive operation and dependability. In some of these countries, the average annual income is less than the cost of a set of the fancy aluminum panniers found on many European “adventure bikes”!

On top of this, CSC Motorcycles has made the commitment to continually refine the base bike and the selection of parts and accessories for sale to North American riders. CSC Motorcycles is including a full maintenance manual with each Cyclone RX3 and is also producing a comprehensive catalog of tutorials that cover all aspects of routine maintenance. Finally, CSC is standing behind the Cyclone RX3 with a warranty that covers parts and labor for one year and all parts for two years with UNLIMITED mileage.

Is the Cyclone RX3 the right adventure bike for you? That is a very personal decision since everyone’s requirements are different. However, the dependability of the Cyclone RX3 is without question. Not only has CSC Motorcycles subjected the motorcycle to torture tests in real life touring, but tens of thousands of adventure riders around the world have also proven its reliability. There is a growing and devoted “cult of the Zong” related to this motorcycle because it not only works but it outperforms motorcycles that cost two to five times as much for a comparable fully-equipped touring package. Further evidence of the dependability of the Cyclone RX3 is that two national motorcycle rental and tour companies now offer this model for rent and in tour packages.

Now available: the CSC RX3-P Police motorcycle – a specially-equipped variation of the Cyclone RX3 Adventure model that has been used (and abused) by law enforcement in Asia! Stay tuned to the CSC Blog for more information.


ADVPulse, 02112014

CSC Motorcycles (

Water Coolant System For the Computer

If you are looking to knock your computers raging temperatures, then may be you should be looking into a water cooling kit. These kits come partly assembled all the way to parts and pieces so that you can put them together yourself. So no more relying on those faulty fans that make so much noise. Go with nice cooling water – not only the drink of choice but the leading choice for cooling your computer.

The cheapest kit we found was the Thermaltake ProWater 850i Liquid Cooling System. This water cooling system offers a tremendous variety of features that will greatly increase not only the performance of your computer but will help cool and make that PC a massive, sweet running machine. The Thermaltake ProWater includes such features as cooper water block, all in one mounting design and a 12c Motosports radiator

The 12 c Motosports radiator offers dimple tube technology that consistently moves the coolant within the radiator. This great feature increases thermal transfer. With all these features for $ 139.99 how can you go wrong with this kind of purchasing power?

The ProWater Liquid cooling system also has a massively powerful 500 liters-per-hour pump and a high capacity liquid tank. This tank is so easy to refill that you will have no complaints. The ProWater Liquid cooling system also has iStripe so that your tubes will never become deformed and the iStripe allows a sharp bending radius.

In fact you will be able to follow the flow because of the Flow TX. The FlowX offers a clear view of the movement of the coolant. This kit comes together with the ruggedness of the free-flowing 3/8 "tubing system. This tubing system is designed to prevent wear and tear. All of this is available for the low cost of $ 139.99.

This next cooling system has it all. It features a high performance and the ability to control it specifically to the users environment. It is ultra quiet in addition to all of the other features. It is called the Zalman Generator XT water cooling system and is the kit for those hard to cool environments.

The Zalman Generator XT system has a newly designed digital monitoring device. This device monitors the fluid temperature and fan / pump speed control. It also monitors the mechanical flow indicator which adds a visual look at the coolant flow. It has a cpu water block which incorporates a copper base for supreme heat transfer. This kit is almost as perfect as one can get because of the easy installation, attractive style and the ever so superior materials and workmanship. The Anti-Corrosion Coolant contains the highest quality anti-corrosion agent for almost all materials. This will prevent corrosion for years.

The FND display displays the internal temperature of your computer as well as the water temperature and water level. This kit comes with those ever seen out for analog gages which display the fan speed as well as the pump's flow rate. The internal coolant temperature sensor kicks in automatically for fan speed and coolant flow rate. This water coolant system is so quiet you may hear a pin drop!

In fact this water coolant system is so nice and has so many features, you may not mind paying the hefty price of $ 449.99!

The Thernaltake BigWater 780e liquid cooling system is the system if you are in the market for a liquid cooling system that's easy to install and you are looking for the system that takes the least amount of space.

The Thernaltake BigWater 780e offers an enhanced ventilation system and is oh so easy to refill. It includes a huge assortment of unbelievable features that will make your pc run like a dream machine. This liquid cooling system has a 12cm Motorsports radiator, and a copper water block that features that ever popular dimple tube technology. It has a ever so quiet fan, and a PWM liquid pump that will deliver one of the highest performances that you have ever seen.

Some other features include the led light that indicates when it is cooling your pc, a quick disconnect connector and a water level sensor. All of these great features for only $ 199.99.

The Right Pink Pliers

When it comes to what you will want your tool box to contain, then I am sure you will not want to miss any vital tools that you will need for example, when you will move into a new home. Mot people agree to the fact that the tool that will always need to be in a tool box, is the hammer and yes, I am also agreeing on that one.

But what about the pliers? You should know that the pliers are also one of the most widely used tools in a home and you will certainly need to have one in your toolbox as a permanent “resident” of it, don’t you think? When it comes to what you will be able to use the pliers for, there are many projects that we will be talking about in the following minutes. Here are some of the few reasons that you should always consider having pink pliers in your toolbox.

1. If you have furniture that you need to assemble or toys, you will certainly need pink pliers. Why? Well, when it comes to the generic colors that everyone finds tools it, they would look very much boring and the reasons that people are starting to use brightly colored tools, is because they give them a good mood and make them feel more confident about the task at hand. Furniture also will rarely come assembled these days and if you don’t have pliers that will help you out with the process, you will have a hard time installing it.

2. Craft projects are also another reason for which you should need to consider pliers for. So, if you have a child and he will have wood pieces used in order to have something built and needs to glue them together, you know that you cannot just hold them together with your hands until they will get glued, for you can get glue on your fingers and thus may be exposed to different unpleasant and maybe harmful scenarios. In jewelry making for example, the wire cutter is vital, and so are the needle nose pliers.

3. Broken light bulbs are another situation where you can use some pink equipments. If you were removing a light bulb and it suddenly got broken, well, taking the rest off using your hands can be pretty much dangerous, so that is why a pliers is your safest bet here.

Using pink pliers will not only make you feel better about the task at hand, but maybe your wife will get to take on the task, thus exempting you from further trouble.

The Olympian Ghosts

Books have cogs, wheels (a mix of that). They tasted like berries on her mouth, to her wanderer’s soul. In her dreams her feet must touch land. But tonight all she can see is the river’s unbending wall.

The wuthering heights of the problem with pain, the enduring sameness of illness, and the weight of water against the physical body, cutting a swathe across the shoulder blades. (She was performing secret acts of terrorism in the water, reciting propaganda to beats and electronica, interrogation under the peel of blue that was pulling her under). Ghosts were sinking into the water all around her. They were smiling ghosts. She was still a long way off from recovery, psychological health. There it was.

Who was she? Isn’t that what illness is when you first discover it. It is a secret that can take away years from you life, your movements, what once was so beautiful you just withers away.

I have always felt the roots of grief long before denial and bereavement, loss, sex, the knowledge of having serious relevant sex and to be conservative.

How does a flower express itself? It does not ask itself where is the exit route is. It is never gripped with the grit of a curious infant when it comes to its first word. Choose people who challenge you. There’s no law against waiting for Mister Right. There were connections that are universal; these universal knowledge systems. Maroon champagne, the spice of lilac wine. Oil on her hands. Oil on her hair. Oil on canvas where every brushstroke there is ample room left behind for roots, stems, leaves, flowers, branches, trees to grow like vintage champagne. I am waiting for wisdom, standing in a Zen line of succession. There’s something poetic about that.

The canvas is propped up like the trees. Even though she feels she is too much, much too much in this world, of this world. All women to her are creatures from another planet. All men are tigers, caretakers and their intellect burns and mock her. She’s the one that belongs locked up in a zoo. With wet eyes piece by piece she tried to salvage materials from her past relationships with men. She shelved them as if she was packing away groceries in the cupboards, the right way up, next to the baked beans, Tasty Wheat, 4-in-1 soup mix, lentils, barley and Milo. Before their history ran out of space, room to grow she pulled them apart at the threads of their flesh, bone, and put them back together again creating a patchwork planet; a ladder to her dream man. What was always absent was chemistry.

She remembered the nights when she had taken every whisper as a sign of intimacy and so she had blundered ferociously on. Patiently she resurrected them all from memory and set them in a budding rhythm like the bloodlines of a phoenix rising out of the ashes. She was miles away today. She went for a run and a swim at the beach. Her warm, sunburnt hands sandy; fingernails covered with golden dust. Later that day she transitioned green plants from pots from Woolworths to fertile ground. In this country it does not snow and there are no acts of terrorism, contagion’s, carrion in the street, talk of secret police spies, holocausts and ethnic cleansing only the tears that came from peeling onions layer by layer and then dicing them up to put in a soup.

This evening she found herself staring at a mosaic of rainbow colour on a plate of food; meat that as once a vulnerable and just as innocent as she was when she was a girl. Now it was nothing more than a sacrificed animal prepared with the detailed ritual part. She moved the food around on her plate. She didn’t have many close friends. There were no women friends that she confided in nor did she meet anyone after work for drinks. She was too quiet and shy. ‘I’m getting older.’ She said to the image staring back at her solemnly in the mirror. ‘And not gracefully either.’ She whispered under her breath.

It came to her in subtle, rushed frames. It was a complete mystery to her why she could not behave like other girls her age. Why she could not be a silly and precocious creature with shiny hair instead of serious with her hair that would not behave. ‘I will not follow in my mother’s footsteps. I will not settle. I won’t, I say, not even if you dared me.’ But as the years gradually began to gain on her and the images of the men she had come into contact with in her twenties and early thirties also began to weigh in on her, her rage gave way. There was an immense feeling of sorrow at night in her childhood bedroom as she tossed and turned trying to find a cool spot on the pillow.

‘You could lose some weight. You could exercise more; it will do you the world of good and work wonders for your self-esteem.’ Everyone began to tell her; her mother, her family doctor, her psychiatrist, family friends, siblings and even strangers. Every night she watched the news. It scared her to death and terrified her. Is that what could happen to her, could she be molested, abused by a violent husband, killed, left for dead at the side of the road, stabbed, raped, mutilated, hijacked, be told to undress and be shot execution style. Perhaps she would die young. Why not her? What was the attraction between them? She knew it was there. He was funny and smart; married and committed to that. He said that on the onset but in her heart of hearts she always knew that there was always someone else. What did marriage mean anyway? It did not mean people were necessarily happy with their circumstances, their spoilt, bratty, conceited children and their job. She had a career. She was more than smart; she was educated. Educated enough to know how girls like her ended up in the workplace; as a lover, a fling, a mistress until everything fell apart, tossed aside for the arrival of a newborn, someone younger, prettier; the one with shiny hair who laughed like a hyena.

‘There’s always something that you have to look out for in the future.’ She told herself. When she packed her bags and left Johannesburg and returned home to Port Elizabeth her prospects was poor. She had no money, no degree, no diploma and no references. So she began to follow her mother’s routine who worked all day in the garden dragging bags of compost, rose bushes from the garage to the yard, weeding, growing every herb imaginable; mint, parsley, coriander, watering it, tending it. She began to focus on something that she loved – her gift; her natural talent and they were still there camping out in the closet. The skeletons of those crooked men.

Was it her sadness that they found so appealing? She found she couldn’t escape them even if she tried. They still wanted to make a stone god of her. They made her feel as if she was some kind of dirty thief. She could feel the dryness in her bones that September. The heat that engulfed her as she jogged slowly dissipated. As she swam she bit back the bitterness of the salt of the seawater as it cut the back of her throat in her mouth; as the waves slapped her in the face, caressed her warm body.

She was a different kind of girl. She had always known this. It had never been a strange feeling, instead it had made her feel special, singled out in a way.

Leaving a Johannesburg filled with hot promise, tears, disgrace, tomfoolery; a woman and returning even younger, even more innocent, a little Lolita. Too much Nabokov and reading poems that were a cauldron had become a young woman’s growing pains in life. Was that how they had seen her, every woman and every man? Of course, she had thought about suicide. She thought secretly to herself that it must have crossed every emotional person’s mind in history. Women were wired to be emotional. It was part of their genetic make-up. (This is not meant to be a tragic story although there are elements within it that are tragic.) She was no longer burnt out with stars in her eyes. Working in the la-la land of television could do that to you. Lying on a bed covered with a sheet with your hand entwined with his, your shoulder, neck engraved with cool fingertips; no longer self-conscious of your nakedness and finding a rare and astonishing beauty in it that wasn’t there before now. Where were the pills? Where were they now? In the medicine cabinet, that’s right. She had left them in there out of reach and for safe-keeping from small hands and tiny, pink open and shutting shells of mouths; from children under three years of age. The pills were in bottles with childproof caps on.

Should he take a chance and conduct a wild celestial affair. Johannesburg was a big city. Should she take a lover? She was old enough and she was tired of waiting. Always waiting for the arrival of a boyfriend she would at first be drawn to, his attention and gifts she would at first find flattering but who would probably be infernal to be around with later. A boyfriend who didn’t know very much of the world. Some dumb guy who didn’t know what life experience meant. Who hadn’t read as widely as she did? Who didn’t walk with a swagger or self-confidence? A guy who thought a date was showing up on her doorstep on a Friday night to take a girl to the movies and buy her popcorn and a fizzy drink and so again and again she came back to this wild affair that she was thinking of embarking on. She knew how to protect herself. She was a big girl. It was Sunday. Her mother was calling to her from outside, while she watched religious programmes to pass the time on television.

Her mother was calling on her to check on the meat for their lunch in the oven. Was it brown enough? Shouldn’t she season it? Now where were those pills? She found an inviting comfort of the odd shapes, colours and forms in the circles of tablets in what she had come to regard of as her beloved medicine cabinet. They were bottled and labelled and entrusted to her by her doctor and pharmacist. In the cabinet there was no space for gauze, for plasters, for razorblades, for hand-held mirrors, brushes and combs, tweezers for splinters. She made it into a ceremony taking her pills conscientiously and gulped down with a glass of water. She never felt better, felt so comfortable in her own skin, so balanced and had this feeling of equilibrium. It’s intimate that’s what madness is. The euphoria; people talk about the gifts that come with it, they forget about the shame, the guilt, the slowness that engulfs and overwhelms your every stirring meditation that you commit yourself to. You try to forget the war inside your mind that fizzes up and tastes as sweet as the childhood flavour of condensed milk in your tea.

So she began to write about her experiences as a way of self-learning her way across the barriers and borders, as a way of therapy, as a way of expelling those ghosts, long dead to the wild, to the barren wilderness, to the past. She was no longer filled, killed with panic, yet the longing for company remained. The longing for male companionship was always there. She wrote away for a literary grant, was awarded one for manuscript development and instead focused all her energy on that. All the proof was there; it just needed a personal space to grow like her talent and with it came the fog of depression, the ruse of mental illness; her muse, interrupting all her self-portraits. Her body was no longer made for sex but for the dryness of writing. She was no longer a glorified slender, sensual object of youthful beauty, self-conscious, beguiling, caught off balance and bewildered at the sexual appetite of an older man; foxes in a flock of pinstripe suits saying meekly, ‘Look at me. Look at me.’ So she stripped herself off all of them in poetry.

Birds coast through the air. I stare at the fable unfolding in front of me. All of this is food for thought nurturing those little earthquakes inside of me. The room is dark. I’m one of them. I’m one of those tragic creatures, features transmogrified.

In the interpretations of listening to my speaking voice there are spaces that are burned. The framed rhythm of the heart beating with a rush of booze, that magnificent air rush of alcohol in the bloodstream. One-part saint talks to me, talks to me about love in hieroglyphics, code, ancient dust, that sounds like an evangelist thirsting for a pilgrim.

Landscape Painting Tips For Beginners

There is something quite magical about painting outdoors. I feel comfortably secluded with nature having an almost spiritual connection when I paint a landscape. Landscape painting is a passion of mine. I would like to share some tips and techniques that I have become accustomed to using over the years.

My first bit of advice – try not to get overwhelmed by the scene in front of you. I recall when I first began painting landscapes I tried to copy everything exactly as I saw it. I tried to squeeze in every detail, paint every leaf, branch, and blade of grass. You will go crazy approaching a landscape this way. Try and paint your own impression of what you see and not a copy of it. Squint your eyes and see the landscape as a series of shapes, lights and darks, as opposed to seeing every detail. You can accomplish some amazing things that you never thought were inside, if you just relax, and let the painter inside come to the surface.

Painting on location is certainly a beautiful experience, but remember that you have to paint quite fast as the lighting will change quickly. I usually begin my paintings using a larger brush. This follows me from focusing on the details too much and enables me to establish the major components of the painting. I also take a few shots of the scene with a digital camera. In the event that I am unable to capture the scene in one sitting, I now have a reference photo to complete the painting in my studio.

Try toning your canvas with acrylic paint first before applying your oil paint. I find starting a landscape with toned ground makes it easier to judge values. You can also let some of that underpainting show through in some areas of your painting for an interesting effect.

Creating the illusion of depth or distance in your paintings can be accomplished using different techniques. You can adjust your colors by making them cooler and less intense for the distant objects, warmer and more intense for closer objects. Reduce the size of objects as they recede. You can also take away details and sharp edges to make objects appear more distant.

You should have a focal point, otherwise known as "center of interest" in your painting. All other objects in your painting should not compete with your focal point and should serve to draw the viewer to your center of interest.

Instead of jumping right for the paint, use a pencil and paper instead. Drawing is great practice. When I am drawing, I am more relaxed and intimate with the scene. I am training myself to see the various lights and darks of the scene without the use of color.

Bring only those items that you know you will need and use. When you focus too much of your time on lugging around unwanted materials, it takes away from the enjoyment of what you came there to do, paint!

Painting clouds appears to be one of the larger challenges for beginners; I know it was for me. What I mentioned in the beginning about trying not to paint every detail applies to clouds as well. Clouds are three-dimensional objects made up of water and ice particles that reflect light so the color of your clouds will vary depending on the weather and lighting conditions. Remember general perspective rules when painting clouds. Clouds closer to you will generally be more detailed. As they recede into the distance they begin to lose detail and get smaller in size. Pay special attention to the edges of the clouds as sharp edges advance while smooth edges recede.

Make your composition as interesting as possible by balancing positive and negative space in your painting. The negative space surrounding the positive space and is equally important. Do not neglect the negative space, but at the same time, do not let it dominate your composition.

I hope this article on landscape painting tips was helpful. Just relax, let go and most importantly enjoy yourself!

How To Care For Garden Tools

Whether you've got a small container garden on the patio or a large plot filling half your back yard, every gardening chore is easier with the right tools at hand. Collecting all the garden tools you need can be an expensive proposition, but if you care for them the right way they can serve you in your garden for many years. Buy good-quality tools and care for them year-round and you may pass your old hoes and trowels down to the next generation.

Long Handled Tools

Rakes, shovels and other tools with long handles can be awkward to store, falling on the ground or in the gardening shed and posing a danger to anyone who unwittingly may step on them. Create safe and secure storage for long-handled tools by cutting the bottom from metal coffee cans. Nail the cans to a fence post, garage wall or the door of the garden shed. Slip the handle of a tool through the can sleeve and the business end of the tool will rest on top, easily spotted but safely out of the way.

Smaller Hand Tools

Old-time gardeners had the right idea. Find an old basket and use it as a storage container for all your smaller hand tools. The spaces in between the weaving in the basket will allow stray stones and dirt to fall through, leaving the interior a cleaner space. You will always know where your tools are stored, so they will not be in danger of being left out in inclement weather and getting rusted and ruined.

Dull Blades

When your hand trowels, shovels and hoes get dull and you have a hard time cutting through tough weeds with them, sharpen them up to return them to their former edge. Use a knife sharpening stone to hone the edge just as you would a kitchen knife. Draw the stone in one direction down one side of the edge, then do the same thing in one direction on the other side of the edge.

Winter Storage

Winter time can be tough on tools with the temperature changes and ambient moisture in the air. Prepare your tools for winter and they'll come out looking good as new in the spring. Fill a bucket or two with builders sand or playground sand. Use enough buckets to allow all your tools' metal surfaces to be buried in the sand. Mix together enough WD-40 lubricating oil or plain vegetable oil until all the sand is moist with the oil. Use a putty knife and steel wool scrubbing pad to remove all the dirt and mud from all the tool surfaces. Plunge all the metal parts of your tools into the oily sand and bury them up to the hilt. Rub the wooden handles of the tools with linseed oil to keep them from cracking. Store the buckets in a cool, dry spot such as a garage or enclosed shed. When spring comes around, pull the tools from the oily sand and wipe them down with a burlap bag to remove the sand and excess oil from the metal surfaces.

The F4U Corsair

The most capable carrier based fighter of the Second World War proved to be the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. This big, fast and maneuverable Navy and Marine fighter was designed around the Pratt and Whitney XR-2800 Double Wasp engine, which was designed to be the most powerful aircraft engine in the world at that time. This very successful twin row 18-cylinder radial engine initially produced about 1850 HP and extremely produced about 2,450 HP with water injection by the end of the war.

The US Navy requested proposals for new carrier based fighter in February 1938 and Vought came up with a design that extremely became the Corsair. The basic idea for the new fighter was a fairly simple concept: the smallest airframe that would allow use of the proposed 1,850 HP Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp radial engine. The Navy preferred air-cooled radial engines due to their greater reliability and ability to absorb battle damage and still function (compared to liquid-cooled engines).

The most distinct feature of the new Vought fighter was its "cranked" or inverted gull wing. It gave the V-166B (as it was known inside the company) a unique look among WW II fighters, a look that is still popular today. Model airplane retailers say that the P-51 Mustang and F4U Corsair are by far the most popular WW II fighter models. The inverted gull wing was designed to raise the nose of the airplane farther from the ground without unduly lengthening the undercarriage. The reason was to allow the use of the largest possible diameter propeller in order to make most efficient use of the engine's high power. The propeller selected was a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard Hydromatic constant speed model.

In October the XF4U-1, as the Navy called it, achieved a speed of 404 MPH in level flight, the first US made aircraft to do so. Armament was a mix of .30 and .50 caliber machine guns mounted in the wings and cowl.

The XF4U-1 also became the first Navy fighter to encounter "shock stall". This insidious problem affected the first generation of US fighters to achieve high mach numbers in a dive and was due to their lack of laminar flow wings. In other words, the F4U, P-38 and P-47 all had wings that were thick in cross section, which provided high lift, but caused the early formation of shock waves as the air flow over them reached supersonic speds in high altitude, High speed dives. These standing shock waves degraded the lift normally provided by the wings, resulting in an incrementally steep and faster dive from which the pilot could not pull out until the plane reached the thicker air of lower altitudes, where drag increased enough to slow the plumeting aircraft and Typically return control to the pilot. Such uncontrolled dives were terrifying and could be fatal if they happened over mountainous terrain where the pilot might run out of altitude before enough speed bled away to permit recovery.

A series of revisions were implemented as problems were identified. These included a more powerful 2,000 HP R-2800-8 engine and a revised fuel system, which required moving the cockpit 3 feet back to maintain a correct center of gravity. This had the unfortunate side effect of reducing the pilot's forward visibility in nose high attitudes, as when landing. The armament was revised and became 6-.50 caliber wing mounted machine guns (3 per wing).

F4U-1's reached the Marines fighting desperately to hold Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, in February of 1943. Just in the nick of time, as the saying goes, as the outcome of that crucible turning-point battle was balanced on a razor's edge . The famous "Black Sheep" squadron of book and TV series fame immortalized the Corsair in the blue South Pacific skies.

The Marines found that the new fighter at last wave them superior over the Zero, as long as they did not try to turn with the lighter Japanese plane. The Corsair was much faster than the Zero, had a better roll rate and could dive away to safety when necessary. Corsair pilots established a very satisfactory kill ratio against Japanese fighters and helped turn the tide in the Solomons (and later battles). The F4U-1 had a top speed of 393 mph at 25,000 ft. Later water injection was added to the radial engine, raising the top speed to 415 mph

Although US Navy and Marine pilots operated the Corsair from a multitude of airfields hewn from Pacific atolls, it was not until April 1944 that the Navy cleared the powerful fighter for shipboard use. This delay was primarily due to the Corsair's high (for the time) landing speed and the pilot's limited forward visibility over the big radar engine when landing. By that time the British Royal Navy had been operating Corsair fighters from aircraft carrier decks for nine months.

The definitive Corsair was the F4U-4. Major improvements evident in the F4U-4 included a four-bladed Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller, a new cockpit layout, a clear view sliding hood, a two phase turbo-supercharged engine and under wing attachment points for 8-5 inch rockets or bombs. The new engine pumped out 2,450 HP with water injection and that plus the four-bladed propeller improved both speed and climb rate. Most F4U-4's retained the standard armament of 6-50. Caliber wing mounted machine guns, but some 297 F4U-4B's were produced with 4-20mm cannons in place of machine guns.

The F4U-4 had a length of 33 ft 8 in., Wingspan of 40ft 11.75 in, with a height of 14 ft 9 in. It had the P & W R-2000-18W which produced 2325 hp at 2800 RPM. This wave it a max speed of 435 mph at 15,000 ft; It could climb to 20,000 from sea level in 5 min. It had a range of 1005 cruising at 214 mph at 15,000 ft. Its service ceiling was 38,400 ft. Empty it weighed in at 9,167 lbs, with a loaded weight of 12, 405 lbs. Its armament was usually 3.50 caliber machine guns in each wing. It could carry 2000 lbs of bombs under the fuselage or eight 5 inch rockets under the wings. A later version, the F4U-5 was produced in fighter, fighter bomber, reconnaissance and night fighter variants.

The final order for 94 Corsair fighter-bombers came from the French Navy and were designated F4U-7. They were similar to the fighter bomber variant of the F4U-5. Many of these aircraft saw combat in Indo-China. The final F4U-7 Corsair was completed on 31 Jan 1953.

Unlike most American piston engine fighters (but like the P-51), the Corsair continued to serve long after the end of WW II. Corsairs served in three major wars, the Second World War, the Korean War and with the French in Indochina (Vietnam). It also served as a carrier based fighter with the British Royal Navy during and after the war and with the navies and air forces of a number of minor powers. In the post WW II years it was employed primarily as a ground attack fighter, a role for which it was well suited.

One Corsair, piloted by the redoubtable Charles Lindbergh, delivered 4,000 pounds of bombs in an attack at Wotje Atoll. Another Corsair received an official citation for flying 100 combat missions and 80,000 miles in service. Interviews conducted after the war revealed that Japanese fighter pilots considered the F4U to be the best all-around American fighter. Altogether, there were 12,571 Corsairs produced. It is believed there may be as many as 28 still flying.

The Corsair was, without a doubt, one of the great fighters of WW II and just about the first carrier based fighter that could hold its own with the best land based fighters. The respect shown by its adversaries and its key role in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, not to mention its later service during the Korean War, are really all the testimonials this great fighter plane needs.

Hello From Montreal: Exploring Montreal’s History With the Old Montreal Walking Tour

Every time I go to a new city, the spirit of adventure and discovery heightens my energy level and 6:10 am I was already awake. I read my guidebook for a while and then doze off again, only to be awakened by a major thunderstorm that drenched the city with a downpour. So I got up and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and by 9:30 or so things had calmed down again, just in time for my explorations of the city. The Old Montreal Ghost Tour last night had already given me a bit of an overview of the old historic centre of Montreal and introduced me to some interesting characters.

Five minutes from my hotel is the Place d’Armes, one of Montreal’s most famous squares. The old part of the city was still quiet, and I enjoyed a peacefull stroll through the cobble-stoned streets. I headed into one of Montreal’s Tourist Information Office, located right at the southwest corner of Rue Notre Dame and Place Jacques Cartier to stock up on maps and ask various questions of the helpful staff.

Old Montreal in the morning has such a European feel to it, with the little cafés just setting up shop and local residents getting ready to walk to work. The calm relaxed atmosphere contrasts quite sharply with the usual frenetic hustle and bustle that we are so used to in our North American metropolitan cities.

After a relaxing walk that allowed me to admire the architecture and the narrow streets and alleyways I returned to Place d’Armes where my Old Montreal Walking Tour, provided by licensed tour guides from Guidatour, would be starting at 11:00 am. The meeting place was just outside the Notre-Dame Cathedral and our two tour leaders were already waiting. Our English-speaking group would be handled by Louis while the French-speaking group was entrusted to another guide, Bruno.

Eleven of us tourists congregated around Louis and in his charming French accented yet perfect English he started to educate us about the history and architecture of Old Montreal, adding a dose of subtle humour. Naturally our tour started with the Basilica of Notre Dame, probably Montreal’s most visited building. Louis took us inside the basilica and we discovered that the C$15 admission ticket for the walking tour actually covers the $4 that the Basilica charges for admission.

The Basilica of Notre Dame is a magnificent Gothic revival church, designed ironically by the Protestant Irish-American architect James O’Donnell who had also designed churches in New York City, and built between 1824 and 1829. In addition to a stunning Gothic revival exterior, Notre Dame features a dramatic interior, with a deep blue ceiling that is decorated with golden stars. It is one of the most unusual churches I have seen and its visual impact is stunning.

Louis explained to us that for about Can$2000 you can get married in this church, but obviously there is a waiting list of at least two years. Celebrities like Quebecois singer Celine Dion and hockey great Mario Lemieux got married here. Notre-Dame Basilica was also the location of former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s funeral, Canada’s most well-known prime minister. Louis then took us through the side chapel out into the wedding chapel, officially called “La Chapelle Notre-Dame du Sacré-Coeur” which unfortunately was seriously damaged in a fire in 1978. Much of the woodwork has been reconstructed in a more modern style, but the chapel is still an impressive space.

After our first introduction to Montreal architecture we walked westwards just a few steps on Rue Notre-Dame and had a look at Montreal’s oldest building: the Old Seminary or “Vieux Séminaire Saint-Sulpice”. Built in 1683 by Sulpician priests, this building used to be a manor from which the priests managed their vast land holdings. During the early years of Montreal’s history, the town’s citizens were exposed to frequent attacks by the Iroquois, and the Old Seminary represented a refuge in a place that was still mostly wilderness. The characteristic public clock was installed in 1701 and is among the oldest such timekeepers in all of North America.

We then stopped to admire Place d’Armes, right in front of the Basilica, so called because it used to be a location for military manoeuvres as well as for religious processions. Place d’Armes is a veritable collection of architectural history. The New York Insurance building, dating back to 1888, was the first building to install the newly invented elevator, at the time making it the highest building in all of Montreal. The Hotel Place d’Armes just north, originally five stories high, actually had three stories added once the building was retrofitted with an elevator.

The Aldred Building is a fine example of Art Deco skyscraper architecture and for many years it was the highest building in Montreal. Louis quite appropriately referred to the stepped back skysraper design as the wedding cake architectural style. The centre of Place d’Armes is watched over by a statue of Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maissoneuve, who founded Montreal in 1642.

The north end of Place d’Armes holds another architectural marvel: the Bank of Montreal building. Founded in 1817 as the first bank in Canada, the Bank of Montreal decided to build an impressive headquarters in 1847 and created a neoclassical exterior modeled after the Roman Pantheon. The interior was completely redesigned in 1904 to 1905 by the famous New York architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White with a magnificent banking hall modeled after a Roman basilica.

Heading west of St. James Street (or rue St-Jacques), Louis explained that this used to be Canada’s business centre during the 19th century. Many Canadian banks had their headquarters here until they were moved into downtown Montreal or later to Toronto. Railway and shipping companies also had their head offices here, many of them founded by immigrants from Scotland.

The architectural mix on rue St-Jacques is impressive and Louis pointed out one example that has recently been renovated and reincarnated as the extremely upscale St. James Hotel. This trendy boutique hotel offers a penthouse suite that can be rented for around $5000 a night (in low season) and it is a favourite hangout of celebrities. To mention just one example, Madonna just stayed at the St. James recently at the end of June during her Montreal concert stop.

Another truly impressive architectural jewel came into view: the former head office of the Royal Bank, whose construction began in 1928 according to designs by famous New York skyscrapers experts York and Sawyer. For a long time this building was the largest in the British Empire. The design is influenced by a Florentine palazzo and the impressive high ceilings of the Great Hall feature the coats of arms of eight of Canada’s ten provinces.

Unfortunately no photography was allowed in either the Bank of Montreal or the Royal Bank buildings, but they are astounding examples of architectural styles of different eras. Louis then took us through the narrow streets of Old Montreal towards the city’s waterfront and the birthplace of the city. As a major port town and shipping centre, many of the buildings in Old Montreal were warehouse buildings featuring large windows to let in a lot of natural daylight. This was to reduce the risk of fire that would have been caused by artificial lighting at the time, putting at risk the precious cargo that these buildings were storing.

I kept asking Louis numerous questions about the architecture and social history of Montreal. His knowledge of architecture was impressive, and to compare architectural styles, he was referencing numerous other well-known buildings in other cities such as New York City, Toronto, Boston and Chicago. He mentioned that a lot of historic buildings were torn down in Montreal during the 1960s as in so many other North American cities, but fortunately the architectural preservation movement gained strength and today all of Old Montreal is protected.

Old Montreal languished for a number of decades since most of the action had moved downtown, but in the last forty years Vieux Montréal has experienced a revival that started with the major international event of Expo 67. Today, many of these former warehouse buildings have been converted into upscale condos and Louis informed me that even a small studio apartment will probably fetch a price tag of at least half a million dollars. Old Montreal has made a successful transition from a former commercial district to a vibrant tourism, entertainment and residential area.

Close to the waterfront we arrived at Place d’Youville, an elongated public space that is located on the former riverbed of the Rivière Saint-Pierre that was canalized in the 1830s and eventually covered over and dried out completely. The History Centre of Montreal is a former fire station and a rare example of Flemish architecture in Quebec.

Just a few steps east is Montreal’s Museum of Archeology and History at Pointe-à-Callière. It is very rare to know exactly where a city was founded, but Montrealers know exactly where their city first came into being: on a narrow strip of land between the St. Lawrence and the Saint-Pierre River. Right there the first settlers built Fort Ville-Marie, using earth and wooden posts. As a matter of fact, on May 17, 1642, Father Vimont held a mass celebrating the founding of Montréal, attended by Sieur de Maisonneuve, Jeanne Mance and some of the other founding colonists.

Today, the museum consists of six buildings and introduces visitors to the city’s history in the most innovative ways. There is even an archeological dig here, unearthing further knowledge about the city’s history. Various festivals including a multicultural festival and a historic market weekend are also held a Pointe-à-Callière.

Our route then took us back up to Notre Dame Street. The former Palais de Justice, built between 1849 and 1856, is a fine example of Canadian neoclassicism. Today the building houses the Quebec Court of Appeal. Across the street is the Ernst Cormier Building, opened in 1926 and named after the famous architect that also designed the main pavillon of the Université de Montreal as well as the doors of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.

Our tour through Old Montreal appropriately came to an end at Place Jacques-Cartier, the gently sloping grandest public space of Old Montreal. Numerous restaurants with outdoor terraces line both sides of the square and the centre holds a variety of wooden stalls selling flowers, artwork and souvenirs. The north end of the square is overlooked by a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson, who curiously faces away from Montreal’s port area. The statue is a testimony to the power of the merchants of British descent who wished to commemorate the British defeat of the French and Spanish fleet in the Battle of Trafalgar.

The northeast end of Place Jacques Cartier is the location of Montreal’s City Hall, built in the Second Empire Style and opened in 1878. A fire destroyed the roof and the interior of the building in 1922 and the roof was reconstructed in 1926 along the lines of the city hall in Tours, France. Today, Montreal’s City Hall is still located in this historic building.

Place Jacques-Cartier was a fitting place to end our tour of Old Montreal and everyone in the crowd thanked Louis profusely for sharing his local insight and knowledge. By this time it was almost 1 pm, and my stomach was telling me what it was time for: lunch at the Café du Chateau.