Living Large to Living on Less

After spending well above our means for decades we looked for ways to rectify our spending habits. The remedies or should I say what we thought were remedies would only mask the problem and allow us to dig ourselves in deeper and deeper with each low interest credit offer that came in the mail. Years ago, I remember a family friend warning us of the dangers borrowing from Peter to pay Paul type of behavior could cause. Looking back that advice would have saved us a lot of hard earned money if only had we listened.

We read the books-maybe not the right ones, got the advice but until you are ready to stop the madness with spending then all the books and concerned friends will not do you any good. For us it was allowing ourselves to overspend beyond our means and not creating a budget in the first place. A budget really makes one aware of over spending and allows one to be accountable if you will. Once you start writing down every purchase you tend to think about every purchase. You will start to ask yourself questions such as, is this need or a want?

Once you realize that there is a problem then you can work on a solution. For us we were drowning in debt and decided to cash out on a house to get back on our feet. The plan backfired and we actually got deeper into debt then we could have ever imagined trying to keep up with our new lives. We did the standard living on credit cards to pay other credit cards. This was setting us up for disaster. Some changes had to made, we needed to cut back in everyway. To quote the great Dave Ramsey, "live like nobody else so you can live like nobody else". We started with destroying all credit cards and stopped using them immediately, we groomed our dogs at home, we ate only at home, we downsized to one car and paid off the other so to have only one newer family car along with a commuter car for the breadwinner. We cut the children's dance classes, got basic cable, got rid of the home phone. There are so many ways to cut back on expenses, as individuals we need to scrutinize our budgets to fullest. If in debt, you need to make inquiries in order to pay down the debt in the quickest manner as to not pay even more interest.

I thought this would put the family in a state of shock but it did not, everything worked out fine. In fact it made us all appreciate the small things that much more. It can be done, this society as a whole has gone spending crazy in recent years, using their homes as ATM machines, living on credit and now it all has to stop and we need to become more accountable for our expenses.

Can a Pelvic Tilt Help My Back Pain? Part 2

Again you can vary this by holding the pose for a count of seven and repeating the process. If you feel you are ready to go to the next level then you could try this.

Laying on your back as before with knees bent, feet hip width apart and on the floor, catch hold of your inner thighs, breathe in and as you exhale pull the stomach muscles into the spine as you pull yourself up holding onto the thighs. Let go and bring your arms parallel to the floor. Now GENTLE moves up and down (trying to pull yourself up without holding on to the thighs) these movements are SMALL and every lift count as one. Aim for 20, 30, 60 and ever 100 'sit ups'. It's surprising how quickly results will happen.

These simple exercises can be done anywhere and any time so it's well worth the effort.

The curve of your spell is affected by the position of your pelvis. Any misalignment at the pelvis means you will have an increase of pressure in your spine, the supporting muscles will become overused and the result is … pain!

Your lower back is told by the alignment of your pelvis how much curve to have and also gives direction for your hips as well as your knees and ankles. Whenever there is pain in these areas the pelvis is always involved.

There is a natural inward curve to your lower back. If the curve is excessive it is called Lordosis. With lower back pain this is common cause and there are ways to help rectify this as stated. Your body is good at compensating, as some muscles get weak and others over work, shorten and stiffen the body will try to adjust this imbalance without success. So we end up with Lordosis.

Most back problems are related to some dysfunction in either the soft tissue discs, muscles and ligaments of the vertebrae. The disks which are soft and spongy separate your vertebrae like shock absorbers and this allows the spine movement.

You have 26 vertebrae in your spell, two inches in diameter designed to bear the weight of the body. It is vitally important that your back has strength and resilience with the natural curves of the spelling and with the practice of yoga this will help to keep the spa healthy.

With women who are pregnant, as the baby grows your body will adapt and compensate for the extra weight and with a greater arch in the lower back feeling as if you are leaving back. This is how your body tries to keep everything balanced.

Toyota Lexus GS300: Venerable Luxury with Durable Toyota Parts

High equipment levels and meticulous quality and refinement have been the formula for building and maintaining the Lexus. It icons a fresh design approach, re-engineered from the ground up.

Dominated by a long cabin with steeply angled front and rear glass, the windows allow plenty of light into the well-organized interior. The Rear passengers get plenty of legroom – the wheelbase has been lengthened by 50mm – and large quarter-windows.

The GS300 Sports at $ 95,000 includes climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, auto headlights and wipers, reversing camera and steering wheel audio controls. The Sports Luxury model tested here adds satellite navigation, a sunroof, intelligent cruise control, parking sensors and an excellent Mark Levinson stereo system.

Operating full time, the GS300's all-wheel-drive system features a planetary gearset and a wet, multidisc clutch to couple the primary drive wheels, at the rear, to the front. The standard torque split is 30/70 front to rear, but the system's electronic brain can vary that to 50/50, making its judgments based on various driver inputs such as throttle angle and steering angle, and vehicle data such as wheel speed and yaw rate

Every GS has three variations of a new close-ratio six-speed automatic transmission, each designed for optimum performance with their respective GS applications. One of the smallest and lightest gearboxes of its type, it includes a sequential manual shift mode, with gear changes made via a lever in the center console.
An outstanding feature of the car is the all-wheel-drive system. The more slippery the road, the more pronounced is its advantage over conventional two-wheel-drive systems.

The car has an all-new 3.0-liter DOHC 24-valve aluminum V-6, which replaces an iron-block straight six of identical displacement. With Toyota's VVT-i variable-valve-timing system operating on cams, plus direct injection, plus a formidable 11.5: 1 compression ratio, the new six generates 245 horsepower and 230 pound-feet of torque, compared with 220 of each for its predecessor . The new V-6 is bolted to an equally new six-speed automatic transmission, featuring manumatic shifting and an electronic brain that does a good job of avoiding excessive hunting, particularly in uphill runs.

Other features include leather-trimmed, heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment; SmartAccess keyless entry and a pushbutton starter; a premium sound system with both CD and DVD capability; Bluetooth wireless telephone technology; and a 7-inch multi-information touch screen for easy access to a wide range of information and commands.

Options include: a steering-sensitive Park Assist system; DVD navigation system and rear backup camera; one-touch open / close moon roof; ventilated front seats; power rear sunshade. It also has an eardrum-pounding, wallet-smashing Mark Levinson audio system, its 11 channels of sonic wash flow through 14 speakers, Rain-Sensing Wiper package that includes adaptive front lighting and headlamp washers (standard on the GS 430); a rear spoiler; and all-season run-flat tires.
Luxurious amenities, exquisite quality, and remarkable technology – these are all the things that make up a Lexus. Partstrain likewise drives to preserve these qualities in delivering only the best Toyota Replacement Parts, Performance Parts, OEM and Aftermarket Parts.

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Saving Energy With Awnings

Materials – There are many different types of awning materials, but for the purposes of this article, we will base our discussion on the two most common categories of awning materials: metal, and fabric. In this article metal can refer to aluminum, or any other metal, and fabric refers to canvas, soft vinyl, or any other typical awning fabric.

Fabric – Fabric awnings are more effective at providing a cooler shade than metal, due to the fabrics resistance to conducting thermal energy. However, the thinner the fabric, the less insulating qualities of the awning. Thicker vinyl awning fabric is a more effective insulator than the thinner canvas awning material, and it will shield against some of the UV rays that will typically penetrate the thinner canvas fabrics. The more threadbare the fabric, the less effective the insulating quality of the awning. This is typically what happens to RV awnings, or trailer awnings over time.

Metal – Metal residential awnings are sturdier, able to withstand stronger winds, and require less maintenance than fabric awnings, but they heat up in the hot sun and radiate that heat into the shade below. You can overcome this problem by acquiring an insulated metal awning, such as an insured patio awning. These awnings usually consist of a slab of Styrofoam-like material that is sandwiched between two pieces of aluminum sheet metal. This is the ideal in durable, low maintenance, efficient energy savings, and cool shade.

Having an insulated metal patio awning (aka porch awning), or patio cover, along with metal window awnings is one of the most cost effective ways of lowering your energy bills by increasing the shade surrounding your house, thereby lowering the temperature inside your home, and minimizing the time that your air conditioner needs to run to cool off your home. This way of passively lowering the inside temperature of your home can be priceless during a power outage, especially if you have elderly family members, or anyone with a compromised ability to cool off effectively, living in the home. In this situation the use of awnings could save lives during prolonged periods of high temperatures.

The cost of the awnings will pay for itself in energy savings. Get a patio cover, along with window awnings, and save power without sacrificing comfort, or health.

Home Assembly Jobs

If you are a person who loves to work with your hands, you may be someone who thinks they could never find a job from home. Then you see those home assembly jobs advertised in the newspaper and online. It sounds tempting, right? Sure. The ads are written to be tempting, but they are almost all scams. Here are some ways to avoid the scams that peak our curiosity:

First you should learn about scams. Know what the common scams out there look like. Home assembly jobs are just one common scam, but so is envelope stuffing or money transfer scams. The reason they are so tempting has to do with our own desire to make money fast using little skill.

Almost all of these work from home scams prey on our desire to make money quickly. The ads are written using language that leads us to believe we can make thousands of dollars doing simple tasks. They usually tell you that there are no skills necessary to make the money. Then they often provide a large dollar amount and a few hours a week.

Some of these scams even create websites that have "testimonials" about how "So-and-So" made thousands of doing just a few hours of work per week. Unfortunately, anyone can make testimonials and buy pictures of people. Testimonials are a common advertising ploy, but with home assembly jobs they should really be asked.

What many of the work at home assembly ads do not tell you is that there will be a fee involved for the "supplies" needed to complete the tasks. You will be sending those supplies, which are never of the quality outlined in the advertisement. They usually come with vague directions about what you need to assemble. Sometimes you will be required to buy some of your own supplies, too.

The key to the home assembly jobs scams is that once you spend the money to send in your beautifully crafted objects, you will be told that they are not up to par. If you read closely, the company probably has a disclaimer that the crafts have to meet expectations for payment. No matter how simple the craft may be, it is not likely to ever "meet expectations." So now you are out money and time.

That is what these home assembly jobs scams do. They steal your money and your time. If you like to work with your hands you are better off starting your own home based business doing the things you love to do with your hands. Your own business may cost you money to start up, but you will find that you will at least be in control of your money and not handing it off to someone who is planning to steal it.

Mounting Fire Extinguishes and How to Use a Fire Extinguisher Mounting Bracket

An essential part of reviewing your fire extinguisher provision is the consideration of where to site them and how to fix them in place. Some appliances will come with a mounting bracket supplied, but for others you will need to purchase a fire extinguisher mounting bracket separately. It is beyond the scope of this article to get into how many fire extinguishers you should have for your workplace, or which type you need, so let us assume that you have your supply of the correct number and type of appliances and now you need to go about putting them where they need to be.

The first thing to say is that it is not an option to just leave an extinguisher standing on its own somewhere. It is unprotected, could have knocked over and damaged, or moved from its proper place leaving it unable to be found in an emergency. All fire extinguishers should be fixed in place using either a proper fire extinguisher mounting bracket, or a special stand or cabinet (more on all these later). It is a British Standard that all fire appliances are mounted on either a wall or a proper stand.

Fire extinguishers should always be sited on escape routes, in conspicuous places where they can easily be seen by people. If they need to be in a place where they can not be seen directly, then appropriate signs must be used to highlight where they are. To help you decide where the best place to put extinguishers is, try to think through what would happen in the event of a fire. If you were escaping from a fire in your building, where would you want the fire extinguishers to be so that you can see them and get to them without deviating from your escape route. Their position should encourage people towards the exits rather than pull them back into the building.

It is also a useful guideline to site extinguishers next to call points, so that the alarm can be sounded before tackling the fire. For extinguishers which are being provided to cover specific risks, the extinguisher must be located close to the risk. For example, a wet chemical fire extinguisher for a kitchen with a deep fat fryer. Bear in mind, however, that any such extinguisher must still be accessible if the risk happens. So in the above example, you would not put the extinguisher where you might not be able to get at it if the fat fryer did burst into flames.

It is a good rule of thumb to say you should not have to travel more than 30m from anywhere in your workplace to get to an extinguisher. Take care not to mount fire extinguishers in places where they may be exposed to heat. Most extinguishers will be marked with safe operating temperatures on them, so ensure they are kept within that range.

Types of Mounting Bracket

Most fire extinguishers can be mounted against a wall using a fire extinguisher mounting bracket. The bracket should be fixed so as to result in the fire extinguisher handle being about 1m from the ground. An appropriate fire extinguisher identification sign should be mounted immediately above the appliance. These indicate the type of fire extinguisher and highlight its location.

Some fire extinguishers can be very heavy, so you need a solid wall to fix the bracket to, and fixings which are appropriate for something which is going to take a lot of weight. If you are in doubt about the ability of the wall to withstand such a load, it would be better to use a stand instead (see below).

The main types of fire extinguisher mounting brackets available are Lug Brackets, J Brackets and Shoulder Brackets. J brackets get their name from the fact that the letter J describes their shape. They are suitable for most types of fire extinguisher where the extinguisher's bracket is at the back or the side of the appliance. Shoulder Brackets are so called because they are for fire extinguishers where the bracket is attached at the shoulder (the curved bit between the side and the top). Lug Brackets have a small arm coming out from the wall, with a small metal lug sticking up. These are for locating appliances with a corresponding fitting with a hole that fits on top of the lug.

There are other more specialist types of brackets available, such as the transport bracket, which has a retaining strap to hold the appliance in environments that move around, such as goods vehicles.

Cabinets and stands

There are certain situations where an appliance is required, but it can not be fixed to a wall. This may be because the wall is not capable, or even that there is no wall at all in the place where the extinguisher needs to be. In these situations a fire extinguisher cabinet or stand should be used. As mentioned earlier, it is not acceptable just to leave an appliance somewhere without being either attached to a wall or on a stand.

The option of a stand or cabinet may be the solution if the fire extinguisher needs to be located next to cavity walls, plasterboard, glass, etc. Such stands are free standing and require no fixing at all. They simply stand on their own, and provide a secure position for the extinguisher. They are typically available to hold a single extinguisher or two extinguishers. Cabinets are available for environments where greater protection is required. These are often used in places such as workshops and petrol stations.

Mounting sppliances is a reliably straightforward business, provided you understand the main principles. The main points to remember are to select conspicuous locations on escape routes to site the extinguishers, then adopt the most appropriate method for mounting them, based on that particular environment. If brackets are supplied with your appliances then you can not go far wrong, and if not, just ensure you check the type of bracket that each of your extinguishers is going to require.

Painter Interview Questions

Painting is a simple practice of applying paint to a specific surface. A painter is a person who paints on a surface such as: walls, canvas or buildings. The job of a painter looks easy but is very difficult to perform. The field of painting has developed a great deal. More and more people are switching over to this field. To secure a decent job here you need to certainly prove your talent in the interview stage.

So, are you looking to appear for a painter’s job interview? If so, then given below are some excellent interview questions for your help:

1. Why do you want to make your career in this field?

I have a deep interest in painting since I was a child. I am aware of all the basic painting aspects.

2. Why should we hire you?

You should hire me because I have profound experience in this field. I have done a high school diploma and I also have done necessary training required in this field.

3. What are the basic tools of a painter?

A painter works with several tools. The most basic tools of a painter are scrapers and sandpapers. Brushes and rollers are also vital for the job. It is also very important to apply a suitable paint on a particular surface.

4. What is your work experience?

I have worked with a well known company of our city in several projects for about 3 years. I have gained a decent amount of experience in painting. I have even painted some of the most famous office buildings in New York City.

5. What are your skills in regard to this job?

I am an efficient worker who loves to work in a team environment. I always finish my work well before time. I am proficient enough to paint all types of surfaces. In short, I could prove to be very beneficial for your firm.

These are some of the best interview questions that you must prepare for your job interview. This article could really help you crack the painter’s job interview. Read this article at least once.

Crystal Chandeliers – Learning a Thing Or Two About Crystals

Shopping for crystal chandeliers can be likened to the act of purchasing a diamond. For that reason, novice shoppers – such as yourself – need to keep in mind that not all crystals are one and the same. Depending on the preference of the company that produces them, crystals may be molded, hand-cut or machine-cut.

Another important thing to remember is the variable costs of crystal chandeliers. The price tags may drastically fluctuate based on the characteristic of the crystal you pick out. When shopping for such lighting fixtures, you have to bear in mind that the crystals are typically available in four different qualities.

Swarovski Spectra Crystal

A passion for excellence has undeniably made Swarovski & Co. the top producer of cut crystal the world over. In point of fact, they have given rise to a new-fangled choice of quality crystal used today in numerous crystal chandeliers on the market. They have also combined the use of sophisticated technology and old-fashioned wisdom in the production of brilliant-looking crystals with precision cuts and exceptional light reflection.

The Swarovski crystal is absolutely designed for a crystal aficionado who demands quality at a reasonable price. Crystal chandeliers made out of Swarovski crystals unquestionably function as wonderful centerpieces in any room in the house.

Strass Crystal

Strass Crystals are regarded as the world's most excellent crystals. The same company that creates Swarovski crystals manufactures these exquisite sparklers. In essence, a Strass crystal is an optically untainted crystal that could be likened to the clearest spring water. It is utterly free from any blemishes or imperfections. In other words, it is unquestionably unique in its clarity and luster.

Strass crystals naturally feature razor-sharp edges with a lead substance that is greater than 30 percent. State-of-the-art machines that are designed to attain flawless optical transparency meticulously do the cutting and refining. On top of that, the crystals are normally treated with an imperceptible coating that reduces attraction to dust and allows for easier maintenance. Plus, each piece also bears the distinctive laser-etched signature, which identifies it as an authentic Strass crystal.

Italian Crystal

Italian – aka Venetian – crystals are molded rather than cut. More often than not, you will perceive rounded edges that directed from the use of the fire polishing method. Although molded crystals are never as sparkling as cut crystals, they certainly possess a delicate allure and an outstanding value. This variety is, without a doubt, an idyllic budget-priced component for heavily decked crystal chandeliers.

Majestic Wood Polish / Regal Crystal

This type of crystals that are used to adorn crystal chandeliers are hand-cut in two distinct stages. The first cut is transported out with the use of iron, while the second cut is done with a sandstone wheel. Every piece is then buffed up on a wooden wheel with limestone dust. These methods are actually centuries old. Also, if you examine each crystal, you will observe fault residues of the wood-wheel bearing out the resolve effort of the artisan. This is undeniably a sign of authenticity, which makes each piece of crystal a unique work of art.

Tinnitus and Its Relationship With Stress And Depression

Research and studies by approved institutions have shown there is a strong relationship between tinnitus and a whole range of psychological conditions – commonly known by the acronym SPADE.

The presence of one or more of these factors – Stress … Panic disorder … Anxiety … Depression … or, Emotional disorder – have been shown to play a significant role in;

a) whether a person will be affected by tinnitus,

b) how sever their condition will be, and,

c) how effectively they will respond to treatment for it.

And now we have come to understand that most forms of tinnitus actually stem from the brain – rather than the ear – I think this is easier for most of us to accept why this would be.

If you are someone who is more susceptible to stress, anxiety or depression – your brain will process information in a different way – and draw different conclusions – to someone who is not.

Michael gets so anxious about taking his driving test that he is physically sick while waiting at the test center for the examiner to arrive. Frank, who is taking the same test, with the same examiner … immediately after Michael – is totally relaxed about it.

Sue is so stressed because she has just been made redundant from her job – and she worries everyday about what the future will bring. Tracy has also been made redundant from the same factory as Sue, but is confident she will get another job after she has enjoyed an extra couple of months off work – funded by her payout.

These people are in exactly the same position as each other, but their mind interprets the same information – a very different way. Some may see it as a massive difference in our internal "fight or flight" mechanism – which probably evolved as far back as caveman times.

So is stress, anxiety and depression a major cause of tinnitus?

Stress and depression does not directly cause tinnitus – but it has been shown to predispose a large percentage of sufferers to the condition – and also that they are much more likely to be affected more severely by the symptoms ie, higher levels of noise and distress .

It sees clear that the "emotional" part of our brain is critical in the experience, suffering and relief from tinnitus.

The fact that some anti-anxiety drugs and anti-depressants are some of the most effective medications to reduce volume of noise – backs up these findings even further.

It is actually "good news" that Stress, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Depression and Emotional disorders are major contributing factors to many peoples tinnitus – because these are all very treatable conditions. If your tinnitus has been brought on or exaggerated by SPADE – then your recovery may be easier to achieve.

Just as people are able to overcome their addiction to smoking, their phobia of spiders, or their fear of public speaking – you can retrain your brain to reduce or even eliminate the controlling effect that tinnitus has on your life.

Sharpen the Shovel: Spending Time to Save Time

It is snowing heavily again today. It has been snows for five days now. Over the past five days we have seen more snow, less snow, shoveled snow, piled-up snow. How much more snow can we take?!? Well, we can keep taking it as long as Mother Nature keeps dishing it out. And it looks like she will be serving it up to us on platters the size of those Jack found in the giant's castle when he scaled the beanstalk and did a "break and enter", for a few more days to come ( http: // weather.yahoo.co.jp/weather/jp/18/5710/18323.html ).

Let's not talk about snow. Let's talk about taking time to "sharpen the shovel" instead. Stephen Covey, the author of all the "Habit" books (I use only this word because he now has out "The 8th Habit" "The Seven Habits of … books" is always talking about "sharpening the saw" . My interpretation or understanding of this is basically taking the time to hone your abilities to a "razor edge finish" so that you are more productive in the goals you want to accomplish. This means not panicking nor rushing to get the job done.

Like sawing through a tree with a blade that becomes dull, you just waste time and energy if you rush through your tasks and try to get them done as quickly as possible. Instead, if you take the time to put the teeth back on the blade, you can cut through the tree in less time, and with less energy while giving the saw do its job.

Like shoveling through a huge pile of snow, if you try to push the heavy stuff in big piles, try to rush through it, you only succeed in snapping the shovel like I did ([http://pg.photos.yahoo.com /ph/camswitzer/detail?.dir=6034&.dnm=80cf.jpg&.src=ph]). We had to buy a new shovel.

Spend time to save time.

On a production line in business, here in Japan, managers of excellent companies take into consideration the "total running cost" of the system. This may mean that by spending a little more money or time here and there, in the long run they can decrease overall time (= money) and expenses. I have noted that this is not often done in the USA or Europe because "cost right now" is the only thing the managers see. In China, labor looks to be so cheap that nobody cares about "total running cost" because the human element is almost free (this will change as quality-of-product and quality-of-life increases in China).

Not to be waxing philosophically, here is a good real-life example for you to consider:

There is a very special tiny screw that I sell to manufacturers; it is designed in such a way that one simple screw cuts off an amazing amount of processes and time in the product's production line. Even though the screw costs about 4X the amount of a standard screw ($ 0.08 as opposed to $ 0.02) the labor costs are dramatically reduced. The managers that spend time to consider this and not just look at the "bottom line" are the true winners. They are the ones that save the company true costs by knowing when to spend a little more to save a lot more. Take the time to think about how better to do the activities you need to accomplish. It also means spending the time to learn about what you want to do, educate yourself, do due diligence, clear your mind of other things so that you can focus, develop other good habits to assist you in your ventures and so forth.

(Here I take a break in writing to help my wife get out to work by cleaning the path, shoveling out her can and pushing the snow off so she can drive away)

Let me get back to my "sharpen the shovel" theme if I may.

This morning I was out shoveling snow (again) into the street for the front end loader to push away. I do this every morning. I do it every few hours to be more precise. I even shovel the snow down to the concrete in the street in front of my house to reduce the load. By taking the time to do this, the amount of snow that piles up is dramatically reduced so that when the loader pushes the street snow away the boulders left behind blocking the parking area are much smaller than those heaped up in front of all the neighbor's homes . When they get home from work they have one huge backbreaking chore to take care of.

The man running the front end loader this morning appeared in a hurry. He sped through the narrow street pushing snow. When he was done I looked down and noted that the road had not been cleanly cleared, but that there was a lot of rutted snow, hard packed left over. Also, the amount of snow boulders piled up at each driveway was quite substantial. He did his job, moved the snow and moved on to the next street. The other three days a different driver took more time, went more slowly and cleared the snow much more professionally. After he had been through three times the concrete was visible, the ruts were gone, the street was wider than that one-pass only would offer and the hard-packed snow chunks in front of people's entries were dramatically less.

He took the time to do the job slowly, efficiently and effectively. He "sharpened the shovel". In so doing, he dramatically reduced the work for everyone in the street when they came home in the evening from a long drive through the snowstorm.

The snow on the roof is near 2m now (over six feet). It is very heavy due to the warm temperatures we have (just above 0C / 32F). I have a lot of work to do today but I know that if I do not take the time to "sharpen the shovel", get up on the roof and push the snow off today the house could be damaged from the weight.

In life and business, like in winter, things (like snow) pile up. If you do not take the time to "sharpen the shovel" you could get snowed under, or worse, your entire surroundings could come crashing down upon you.

Taking the time to set your priorities, to do the right things, to do things right, is essential in life. And what is business if not one aspect of life itself?

When you have finished reading this article, take a break. Go outside and breathe in the fresh air. Look around. Enjoy life. It will clear your head and you can come back and focus even better on your work at hand.

Sharpen the Shovel

Cam Switzer

Kamishii-mura, Japan 2005/12/16

PS No matter whether it is business, or household, or family, or friendship never forget to say "thank you" to people that are doing a job which somehow affects you. Even if it is "atarimae" or expected of them, a simple heartfelt "you did a great job. Thank you" goes a very long way. In a company everyone has duties. They perform them. If you want them to excel beyond what they would do naturally take the time to tell them that you appreciate their work. It may seem strange to them at first because that is the reason they were hired, and the company is paying them to do the job. But by doing that extra little thing like showing appreciation for a job well-done, you are helping them to "sharpen their shovel." This will go a very long way. It also applies to family, especially family. Tell your husband, wife, kids that they did a fantastic job shoveling off the driveway, or cooking dinner, or putting their toys away, or doing the laundry, or even walking the dog. Everyone describes praise. Everyone describes a "sharp shovel".

I thanked the drivers of the front-end loader this morning by reaching up and giving them two cans of hot coffee. I did not tell you this earlier, but they came back later for a second run at my street and helped me clean the boulders out of the entry to the parking pad. It works.

Hip Flexors – the Most Underdeveloped Muscle Group in Strength Training

Despite their importance to a wide range of athletic and sporting activities, the hip flexors are the most neglected major muscle group in strength training. It is very rare to find training programs that include hip flexor exercises. By contrast there is usually a great deal of emphasis on exercises for the leg extensors.

There are some obvious reasons for this comparative neglect. The principal muscles involved in hip flexion are the psoas and the iliacus, collectively known as the iliopsoas. Because they are relatively deep-seated rather than surface muscles they may have been overlooked by bodybuilders who have traditionally been the major innovators in strength training. Secondly, there are no obvious ways to adequately exercise them with free weights. Finally, these muscles do not have the obvious functional importance of their extensor counterparts. Yet, as antagonists, both hip and knee flexors perform a vital role in controlling the rate of descent and ascent in leg extension exercises such as the squat.

There is no corresponding problem of underdevelopment with the muscles responsible for knee joint flexion, the hamstring group. Because they cross two joints they are active in both leg extension and leg flexion. They act to flex the knee joint and also to extend the hip joint. Therefore they tend to be strengthened by complex leg extension exercises. Also hamstrings can be developed and strengthened through the use of the leg curl apparatus.

Strong hip flexors provide an advantage in a wide range of sports and athletic activities. In sprinting high knee lift is associated with increased stride length and therefore considerable attention is given to exercising the hip flexors. However, they are usually not exercised against resistance and consequently there is unlikely to be any appreciable strength increase.

Hip flexor strength is directly relevant to a range of activities in football. Kicking a ball is a complex coordinated action involving simultaneous knee extension and hip flexion, so developing a more powerful kick requires exercises applicable to these muscle groups. Strong hip flexors can also be very advantageous in the tackle situation in American football and both rugby union and rugby league where a player is attempting to take further steps forward with an opposing player clinging to his legs.

In addition those players in American football and rugby who have massively developed quadriceps and gluteus muscles are often unable to generate rapid knee lift and hence tend to shuffle around the field. Having stronger flexors would significantly improve their mobility.

It is commonly asserted that marked strength disparity between hip extensors and hip flexors may be a contributing factor in hamstring injuries in footballers. It is interesting to speculate on whether hip extensor/flexor imbalance might also be associated with the relatively high incidence of groin injuries.

Other sports where increased iliopsoas strength would appear to offer benefits include cycling, rowing and mountain climbing, in particular when scaling rock faces.

The problem in developing hip flexor strength has been the lack of appropriate exercises. Two that have traditionally been used for this muscle group are incline sit-ups and hanging leg raises, but in both cases the resistance is basically provided by the exerciser’s own body weight. As a consequence these exercises can make only a very limited contribution to actually strengthening the flexors.

Until now the only weighted resistance equipment employed for this purpose has been the multi-hip type machine. When using this multi-function apparatus for hip flexion the exerciser pushes with the lower thigh against a padded roller which swings in an arc. One difficulty with this apparatus is that the position of the hip joint is not fixed and thus it is difficult to maintain correct form when using heavy weights or lifting the thigh above the horizontal.

With the release of the MyoQuip HipneeFlex there is now a machine specifically designed to develop and strengthen the leg flexors. It exercises both hip and knee flexors simultaneously from full extension to full flexion. Because the biomechanical efficiency of these joints decreases in moving from extension to flexion, the mechanism is configured to provide decreasing resistance throughout the exercise movement and thus appropriate loading to both sets of flexors.

The absence until now of effective techniques for developing the hip flexors means that we do not really know what benefits would flow from their full development. However, given that in elite sport comparatively minor performance improvements can translate into contest supremacy, it is an area that offers great potential.

The Elevator Pitch – A Small Home Business Idea

What floor of success are you on. Are you ready to ride the elevator to success? What you are about to read will change the way you deal with the elevator. You are about to learn about a business technique that can help your business grow. Never has there been a better time to become a business networker.

Abound, there are plenty of industry gatherings, trade shows, card exchanges and Chamber of Commerce meetings. "What do you do" is the most frequently asked question at these events. What is the answer you will give? If you are serious about increasing your business, that moment is not the time to go blank. Having an answer that is well thought out, timely and easy to understand is vital for your business survival and prosperity. You have a 15-30 second window to dazzle and describe how your business will benefit them.

Have you ever stuck up a conversation with someone in the elevator? If you have, you are more than half way to understanding and using your elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is business jargon for a quick and powerful description of your business that can be given to someone before they get off of the elevator. The elevator pitch is not just a small home business idea. It is a powerful tool than can transform your business.

An effective elevator pitch is absolutely, positively necessary for your business promotion. It needs to become a major part of your business success arsenal. Once you develop it, you will use your elevator pitch time and time again. It will not be used exclusively at networking events. You will use it whenever someone wants to know "what do you do". It will become of your advertising, website description, letterhead and other promotional items.

As you begin to develop your elevator pitch something amazing happens. You begin to focus on the core theme of what your business is about. This thought process will naturally allow you to ground your business model. It allows you to figure out what makes your business unique and what makes it stand out from your competition.

Try it soon. People want to hear your story! Every day millions wake up looking for solutions to their problems. Head to the local office building, (one with more than one floor of course) and start having some fun. Try doing this: Ask the person riding with you, "oh, did you ask me what I do?" Of course they will be a little startled. Just smile and tell them I am working on my elevator pitch for a big business meeting. Then just spring it on them! 99% of the time, you will get a smile. Do not forget to ask the magic question, what do you think? What they think is not as important as what you just accomplished. You promoted your business to a perfect stranger who now knows you have something to offer. You never know, that practice session may lead to a million dollar sale! Just keep practicing.

After all, it takes pondering and practicing to make your business crystal clear and enticing to others. Here is an important key. Your pitch must be short and some parts of the services you provide will be left out. That is why it is so important to focus on your companies core value proposition.

Another key element is that your pitch must be very clear. Your neighbor or brother in-law must be able to understand what you do. After all, brother in-law will be needed to promote your business too. He wants his god-children, (niece and nephew) fed properly!

"Hi, I help people turn their ideas into income using the internet. Everyone has one or two special talents and we help them profit from those talents. can call us. " Your elevator pitch should talk a little about what makes you different from your competition.

Make sure your elevator pitch gives them something to remember you for. As business networking becomes more and more important, we all need to spend time telling others what makes us someone they want to do business with. Your elevator pitch will provide that brief window into your business and what you have to offer. So, is the elevator pitch a great small home business idea? Without a doubt it is. Create your elevator pitch today and start sharing "what do you do" to everyone who has time between the 1st and 15th floor! Here's all the success you are willing to work for.

What is a Toy Hauler?

Put simply, Toy Haulers are Recreational Vehicles, which have all the comforts of home and an enclosed rear cargo space for your toys. They can be as simple a utility trailer with a fold down bed and stove or a luxurious 5th wheel trailer. In future articles I'll cover each of the types available.

Let's look inside these versatile RV's. The forward section of a toy hauler has all of the creature comforts. There is a place to sleep, kitchen, bath, and lots of storage. You will also find; air conditioning, a furnace, refrigerator, stove, shower / tub, and toilet.

The cargo area is typically 10-14 feet in length and is served by a ramp door those folds down from the RV. The ramp is spring loaded for easy operation. Most have a load capacity of 2000-4000 pounds. Just drive your toys in, tie them down, and close the ramp. And away you GO!

Of course you can customize them with accessories. Popular upgrade items; include a generator, TV, better yet satellite TV. Might as well go for broke with a complete stereo and computer system. For the ultimate 'do not leave home without it' accessory, have satellite Internet installed, and you'll never be out of touch.

The cargo area of ​​your RV needs a few goodies, too. Tie downs are usually standard. So let's add some nice diamond plate pieces to set off your toy hauler? There are lots of items to choose from, shelves, cabinets, racks, helmet hooks, and the like. Since the cargo space tends to be cavernness, what you choose to install is nearly limitless.

What more could you ask for? AHHHH! A built-in gas station complete with pump for your toys! And, how could you forget an awning to keep everything cool on those hot playground days. Of course there is lots of outside lighting to get the toys ready for the next days adventure under. Now we're talking!

Grab the Toys and go Play!

Choosing a Backpacking Stove

A stove can be a useful item to have on your backpacking trip, but many people simply can not figure out what type of stove to choose. You want to choose a stove that meets your needs. You also need a stove that is easy to use. The bottom line is you want a stove that is easy and safe to use.

The following list explains the different things you should consider and should help you figure out what stove you should choose for your next backpacking trip.

– You do not want too big of a stove or too small of a stove.

– It needs to be sturdy. A sturdy stove is a safe stove. You may not always have a flat smooth area to set your stove so you also need to make sure it has strong legs and will be stable enough to stir a post without the pot or stove tipping over.

– It should be easy to fold up and set up.

– It should be easy to hook up the fuel and unhook the fuel.

– Adjusting the heat should be simple.

– It should fold up to be very compact so it does not take up too much space in your backpack.

– Look for a built in wind screen. This helps in windy conditions to keep the stove lit and allow you to continue to cook.

The whole idea of ​​a stove is to help save time when cooking. If the stove is difficult to operate, cumbersome or simply just does not meet your needs, then it is not the right stove for you. What is good for you may not necessarily be what is good for someone else. So, you can listen to recommendations, but you also have to focus on what you need. Look at a variety of stoves and choose the one that will work for you.

Can a Pressure Cooker Really Explode? A Guide for Safe Pressure Cooking

Perhaps you heard some legends about housewives who pressure cooker exploded and all the heating contents of the pot spread out on the kitchen's walls, or even worse, on the housewife. Fortunately, this kind of stories is a thing of the past. Today's pressure cookers are equipped with many safety features that make pressure cooking one of the most pleasant and safe way of preparing dinner for your loved ones.

The early pressure cookers needed to be put in the sink and only by running cold water over them will the lid come off. Carrying the hot pot around the kitchen seemed scary enough for cooks to dismiss pressure cookers. On top of that, the lid could have been accidently opened while still under pressure.

This is no longer the case nowdays. New generation pressure cookers release pressure just by removing them from the heat source. Some have automatic pressure release valves, so you do not have to bother. The lid can not be opened before all the pressure has been released from the cooker. All the cookers have indicators that show you when it is safe to open the lid. Some pressure cooker models have three safety valves that release pressure in case it builds dangerously high.

The pressure cookers you can find on the market today are safe, so you have very little to worry about. Once you use the cooker right, and follow all the instructions, there is absolutely no chance for things to go wrong.

Here are some basic things you should know in order to cook safely and delicately, like a real chef would:

1. Always check the pressure cooker before using it

Before pressure cooking, you have to check the cooker and see if it is in excellent condition. Is the rubber gasket cracked, ripped or dried? If so, you should replace it immediately. It is advisable to replace theasket annually, because it can deteriorate with time and use. It is always wise to order extra rubbers, just in case there is a need to replace it. Also, check if the cooker is properly cleaned. Old food that got stuck in the machine could prevent normal functioning. Once you found your cooker to be in the right shape, you can start putting the ingredients inside.

2. Use the exact amounts of ingredients and water proposed in the recipes

You should not overfill the cooker with ingredients. One third of the pot, for most foods, or a half, for foods that swell, is enough. Check your recipes and see exactly the amount suggested. Make sure you use enough liquid for steam to build up. Typically, you can find out what the necessary amount of water is from recipes.

It is better to avoid frothing foods, because the foam created can affect the machine. In case you have to use foods that froth, put only a very small amount in the cooker, and follow all the instructions in the recipe.

3. Do not fry foods in the pressure cooker

Never put more than a drop of oil in the cooker. Frying food in pressure cookers is extremely dangerous!

4. Safely release pressure

Before opening the lid, you have to release all the pressure inside. You can do it ether naturally, by turning off the heat and letting the cooker cool off, or by using the steam release valve of the cooker. It is extremely important to protect your hands when handling the pressure cooker. Release steam away from your face and body, because the high temperatures could burn your skin.

5. Clean your cooker

After use, always clean the cooker properly. Make sure the valves are not stuck and the rubber gasket is clean, so preparing the pressure cooker for the next meal.