Boiler Steel Plate For Industrial Boilers – ASTM A516 Grade 60 & Grade 65

Industrial boilers are found in a variety of industries including petrochemical, power generation, and production plants.

Like pressure vessels, industrial boilers are designed to work at above atmospheric pressure with steel being the material of choice due to its workability and durability. The grade of steel used for industrial boilers does not however require the higher yield strength of pressure vessels. The choice of steel grade for use in any pressurized environment is an important one, and the use of steel in industrial boilers is no exception.

Essentially, pressure vessels and boilers the same. The main difference tends to be historical and due to how boilers are used. Historically, industrial boilers are limited in performance by the temperature level at which water boils (steam generation). Pressure vessels work at much greater pressure and the steel used has greater yield strength.

About Boiler Steel Plate

Boiler steel plate is a high quality steel, produced at the steel mill to a very high quality which is designed to withstand the internal pressure in boilers and valves. Boiler steel is a popular material due to its longevity and diversity of use.

Boiler steel supplied to both the ASTM and ASME standard are available are available for supply on a global basis form specialist steel stockholders. The main grades of steel suitable for use in the fabrication of industrial boilers include:

  • ASTM A516 Grade 60
  • ASTM A516 Grade 65
  • ASME SA516 Grade 60
  • ASME SA516 Grade 65

Boiler steel plate can be supplied in a variety of plate widths and thicknesses and can be cut to sizes to suit. Boiler steel can also be tested for susceptibility to the effects of hydrogen induced cracking (HIC) where the build up of hydrogen sulphide can potentially cause the boiler to fail. As the boiler is a stressed tank, such a failure could cause potential injury.

Other testing available may include:

  • Charpy V Notch Impact Test – testing a steel specimen to the point at which it breaks
  • Ultrasonic Testing – testing the steel plate ultrasonically
  • Magnetic particle examination
  • High Temperature Tension Testing – testing of the steel at elevated temperatures

The above test examples in many cases can be transported out by the steel mill itself or a third part testing organization as arranged by the customer. Plates are shipped with test certification and stamping on the plate providing full traceability.

Wood Stove Vs Pellet Stove

The wood stove vs pellet stove deal has been going on ever since pellet stoves started becoming popular. Both traditional wood and pellet stoves have become popular but which one is the best?

There are great advantages to both. Both provide the comfort of wood heat that is not matched by any other heat source. Unlike other heat sources they use a renewable domestic source of fuel that are often made locally and support local communities.

Traditional wood heat has the benefit of burning a fuel that is easy to produce. Anyone with a saw and access to trees, logs or any form of wood can make their own fuel. If you can get the material free all your heating needs can cost you nothing but the effort and expense of processing the wood.

There are disadvantages to firewood, it can be messy and it's a constant job keeping fuel on the fire. Someone needs to be around to keep wood on the fire or it will burn out. This can be a problem at night when people are sleeping or when they are away from home.

Pellets are not as easy and take more expensive equipment to make so most people have to purchase them but wood pellets are still more cost effective than most traditional forms of heat.

With pellets you get the comfort of wood heat and the convenience of traditional sources of heat. Pellets stoves are thermostatically controlled and feed themselves automatically. They will continue to keep your home at your desired temperature even while you are away.

Pellet stoves are clean burning and they do not require a chimney. A simple exhaust vent makes them easier and less expensive to install than a wood stove. They burn more efficiently and produce more heat with less fuel.

A disadvantage of pellet stoves is they require electricity to operate. They do not consume much electric power but this can be a problem in a power failure. This can be solved with a battery backup.

The debate of wood stove vs pellet stove all comes down to what your preference and needs are. If the low cost of producing your own firewood appeals to you then a wood stove may be the best choice. If you have to buy your fuel and appreciate convenience then a pellet stove may be the right choice.

Are Electric Cookers Safer Than Gas Cookers?

There has been a raging debate on whether electric cookers are actually safer than gas cookers. Both are now an integral part of many kitchens in most continents although coal is also used in remote places and in some countries which are considered Third World. Both gas and electric cookers have revolutionized the way we cook and bake and this has contributed to the great variety of modern foods that we enjoy and which could never have been possible if these two were not around. Both gas and electric cookers measure of freestanding stoves and ovens which usually have three, four or six heating surfaces. These surfaces are where the cooking pots or utensils are placed and heated. When it comes to appearance, electric cookers and gas cookers share a lot. They both have surfaces on top and they also have control knobs or buttons which are used to regulate the heat. They also come with in-built ovens which can also be easily regulated to bake.

Gas cookers are actually preferred to electric cookers by culinary professionals who site the flame produced as being more conducive to precision cooking than the electric surfaces. Gas cookers come in many sizes. They even come in small flat portable units which can be easily transported from place to place. In the Third World countries, these portable gas cookers are widely used. The gas comes in the form of a gas cylinder which can be sold separately. There is then a place to attach the gas cylinder to the actual cooker and the burner can be lit with a match or a lighter. This has been the predominant way of cooking for decades.

In the West, gas cookers are larger and more innovative, spotting precision temperature controls and safety valves. The gas is pumped through a network of underground pipes which are maintained by a gas utility company in much the same way as water or electricity is done. The gas utility company can disconnect the gas the same way as the power company can in the event that the customer falls behind on their bill.

Electric cookers on the other hand use primarily electricity. They also contain surfaces where the electricity transmits the heat and the surface increased in heat gradually until it is hot enough to cook or warm something. Electric cookers have been deemed safer than gas cookers. This is because gas is highly flammable and if someone was to accidentally turn on the gas and leave it on it can leak into the atmosphere where it can explode if someone does as little as light a cigarette. This has been the cause of many deaths and property damage in many places.

Electric cookers on the other hand does not pose this threat. If someone was to leave the electric cooker on accident, the only thing that would happen would be a waste of power and the fact that the surface would remain hot to the extent that it would warm the immediate area. But the threat of fire is minimal.

Understanding the Different End-Uses of Steel

Steel is often referred to as a commodity product. Although recognized as a material with a wide range of uses, the breadth of different end-uses is often not well understood. In the article that follows, the author discusses some typical end-uses of steel that illustrate the breath of different applications for which this material is commonly used.

Flat products

Within flat steel products, a number of different product groups can be identified. These include:

  • Plate, commonly used in shipbuilding, for the production of large diameter pipe (e.g for oil and gas transport) and for military applications such as armoured plate (tanks, personnel carriers).
  • Hot rolled coil and sheet, where important uses can include low pressure tanks, heavy ducts and channels, gas and water pipes, roll-formed sections for use in construction, machine parts, and some auto chassis components.
  • Cold rolled coil and sheet, where typical uses include roofing products, enamel coated kitchen utensils, packaging (including strapping), non-exposed elements of white goods such as fridges and freezers, brackets for construction and machinery.
  • Coated steel products – meaning mainly zinc coated and tin coated steels – where key uses include motorway crash barriers, air conditioning ventilation shafts, lockers, cabinets, metal boxes, non-exposed car body parts, railway wagons, drums, vessels, roofing products, PVC window assemblies – and at the highest end of the quality spectrum for exposed auto body panels, white goods panels, sandwich panels for construction applications; and tinplate for packaging uses (food and beverage).

Long products

Within long products, several different product groups can be identified. These include:

  • Heavy sections, typically used to make bridges, or as construction elements (beams) as load support structures in buildings. Railway rails are also an important end use of heavy steel sections.
  • Light sections, which can include merchant bar products [meaning round, square, hexagonal, rectangular, flat and other shapes used as support structures for building, construction and machinery], reinforcing bar (which is used to reinforce concrete – both horizontally and vertically) as well as engineering steel products (used for the production of crank shafts, gearbox gears, suspension arms, automotive springs and hydraulic components).
  • Wire products, used for tyre cord, mechanical springs (including bedding), steel rope, as well as for fasteners (nuts, bolts, screws) as well as wire mesh, nails and fencing products.

Within tube, further products can be distinguished. These include:

  • Seamless tube, where the thinnest applications include syringe needles and precision tube; and larger diameters find uses in oil and gas exploration as well as in high temperature and pressure applications including uses in highly corrosive environments.
  • Welded tube, which includes small, medium and large pipe, with uses ranging from furniture, gas and water piping, as well as construction elements. The very largest diameter pipes are used for cross-country, sub-sea as well as intercontinental transport of oil and gas.

Whilst often called a commodity product, it is clear that the uses of steel are very varied indeed. Many of the applications of steel are also highly specialised – especially in the case of:

  • high-speed steels, used for metal cutting.
  • tool steels, used for the manufacture of tools (including stamping dies, shear blades, and hand tools such as wrenches and machine tool-bit holders).
  • steel forgings (with very broad industrial applications including components and machinery).

With certain sub-groups of steel (such as stainless steels) themselves having further quite unique sets of applications (jewellery, surgical instruments, kitchen surfaces and tools).

Hardiplank Siding Vs Cedar Or Vinyl Siding

There is plenty of debt in the building and home improvement industries about the topic of Hardiplank Siding vs. Vinyl Siding and Cedar Siding which have been around for a lot longer. Thousands of homeowners have looked to United Home Experts to help them determine the answer to this question. If the solution was so cut and dry, we would not still be installing all 3 clapboard style siding products. The truth is, it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish and what your long term goals are. Although we've constructed a detailed comparison on our website, here are some quick rules of thumb to help you navigate this topic. You may fall into one of these categories.

Homeowner # 1: You prefer the most autentic, natural, and traditional product, and are willing to pay for the initial installation and more frequent maintenance.

We would recommend sticking with CVG Western Red Cedar Clapboard.

Homeowner # 2: You prefer the lowest maintenance product, and are willing to sacrifice a little bit of aesthetic appeal and color choices in order to avoid much upkeep in the future.

Vinyl Clapboard is probably right for you.

Homeowner # 3: You really want the look and character of wood, preferably not to be limited by a narrow color selection, and want a product that is highly impact resistant, and imperfect to insects, woodpeckers, and other indruders.

Hardiplank Siding is probably the way to go.

Hopefully this quick overview sends you well on your way to choosing a siding product or your new or existing home.

Benefits of Starting a Family Fitness Plan

Family fitness makes exercise fun. Often overweight or obese children do not see fitness as something "fun" to do. Instead they look to more passive activities like playing videogames, watching television, reading or just talking with friends. By creating a family fitness plan you are showing your children by example that fitness is fun. Even if you have not had a fitness plan before, your children will pick up quickly on your good example. Families that exercise together get fit together. If you are overweight too, you'll lose weight as well.

There are many activities you can do as family fitness. Try starting out with something simple, like walking or biking. Walking is an ideal activity as you do not have to buy any equipment and everyone can start no matter their level. The key to walking is to create a route ahead of time and know where you are going to walk. Try making it a goal to walk to a specific destination and then back again. Or get in shape to walk a charity walk together.

Family fitness is a social activity for many families. This is a great way to spend time with your children. As you participate in the fitness activity, you are spending time together. You can enjoy being with each other. So it is not just the sport, it is doing the sport together. It is critical to select sports and fitness activities that your family enjoys together.

There are fitness activities you can do to enjoy every season of the year. Families can ski and skate and sled in the winter. You can hike and go apple picking in the fall. You can rollerblade and play baseball in the spring. Your family can swim and surf in the summer.

Family fitness is something your family can do either indoors or outdoors, depending on the activity. There are some activities you can do both indoors or outdoors, like playing basketball or even swimming or ice-skating. Then there are other activities you'll need to be either indoors or outdoors, like surfing is very much an outdoor sport. This is an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors and the seasons.

As your family gets in shape, there are more sports to explore. Your family can start with walking and then advance to hiking or mountain climbing. Or you could even look at rock wall climbing, which is done indoors and can be very challenging but is great exercise! You can participate in many sports no matter your fitness level, but some sports are more suited for the intermediate to the advanced level fitness enthusiast.

Best of all, as your family participates in fitness you'll see your children change. You'll see them get healthier and lose weight. If they have asthma, you'll see it reduce or even disappear completely. They'll find it much easier to go to sleep. They'll have reduced stress and higher levels of concentration. Family fitness can improve every level of their life!

How to Customize Your Composite Deck

Home is where your personality shines through in for guests and onlookers to admire. Taking pride in the appearance of your home is an essential part of maintaining a well-kept outward appearance. Just as important is the quality and design of your deck.

For homeowners who want to create a deck that's unique and personal, composite decking offers a wealth of opportunities for customization. Although basic, cookie-cutter deck packages are readily available and can simplify the process of building a deck, there are also plenty of options for making your deck stand out. Here are some tips for customizing your composite deck to match your home or personality:

Use Color and Pattern

Composite decks come in a variety of colors, but there's no saying you have to pick just one. Some of the most unique and stunning decks are made using an accent color to frame the deck, add dimension or create an eye-catching pattern. The possibilities are automatically limitless and allow for a great array of creativity.

You can also add interest by varying the way your deck boards are laid. Composite deck boards do not always have to be laid out parallel to each other. They can also be arranged into a parcel, diagonal or herringbone design. Combined with judicious color choices, a patterned deck design can become a stunning piece of art in itself.

Vary the Handrails

Instead of opting for the standard composite handrails, choose a railing style that complements both your home and your personal style. These days, handrails come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors and materials, from wrought iron-style aluminum to whimsical glass to industrial and minimalist stainless steel cable. An aluminum handrail, for example, can add contrast and elegance to a deck, while a glass or cable handrail helps showcase the view of your garden or a beautiful vista. As an added bonus, aluminum, glass and cable handrails are all strong, durable and low-maintenance.

Add Lighting

Lighting is an important element that separates a mediocre composite deck from an impressive one. When designing a lighting scheme for your deck, you should first take into account what the deck will primarily be used for. Do you plan to have a lot of social gatherings? Do you want to create multiple areas of use, such as an outdoor kitchen and a space set besides for playing card games? Use a combination of perimeter and accent lighting to provide the necessary lighting for any outdoor activities you'd like to do on your deck.

Other Finishing Touches

When creating a composite deck that is truly unique, there are plenty of other details you can include. For example, you can add a pergola to your deck to add shade and definition to your outdoor living space. You can also top off the posts of your handrails with artistic or decorative post caps.

Armed with this knowledge you will be well on your way to crafting an attractive composite deck, the luxuries of which truly are a constant gift to you, your family and the neighborhood.

~ Ben Anton

Advantages Of Wood Deck Railings

Wooden railing is the first choice for any owner or the builder as the elegance and the style that you get from wooden railroads is nothing compared to other materials. Some time the light reflection from all sources disturbs you. Wood does not reflect light as much as steel does, a kind of sereneness, and tranquility that you get from use of wood, you can not get from any other material.

Advantages Of Wood Railings

There are many advantages of wooden railings particularly indoor railings.

1. The elegance of wood is unmatched by anything else.

2. Contrary to popular belief, wood railings are maintenance free, particularly those used indoors. A nice polishing, a coat of lacquer while installing, is all that is required, and no further maintenance is required.

3. Another advantage of wood is that it massive in construction and will last for several decades if not centuries.

4. With its wide top, children (and some times grown ups too!) Enjoy the wood railing sliding down the railing for coming down instead of coming down by steps. Oh what fun!

Choice Of Wood For Railings

Wooden stock rails, balusters and newel can be made in Burma teak, Cherry, Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Walnut, Mahogany, Poplar, Beech, Yellow Pine, Ash or Cedar. Many manufacturers can give you the top rail design that you desire or dream. Manufacturers use CAD systems, CNC machinery, and hand artist, to give you any rail profile, baluster turnings or newel post.
Care Of Wood In General, Railing In Particular

Wood when properly treated and cared for requires no maintenance. The major enemy of wood is the life forms capable of living and thriving on wood. The microscopic life starts first and then it is like a jungle, where the food chain starts. Therefore if you treat wood with chemicals to stop the growth of micro-organisms and keep water away from it, the possibility of wood rot gets much less. Regular cleaning, annual polishing, waxing when the wood railing looks dull is all that is required for caring for wood articles and railing in general. Out-door railroads may require painting to keep them looking new.

Shwedagon Pagoda, The Golden Wonder Part 2

This main platform that is used by most of the locals for prayers, offers and relaxation as well as by tourists to visit the Shwedagon Pagoda is actually not the top level but the middle level. The upper level is on the main stupa but access is only permitted to locals (men only!) And Buddhist monks with special permission from the Pagoda Security.

In front of us is the gold-covered Shwedagon stupa rising into the sky. The stupa is 295 feet / 90 meters high and has at terrace level a circumference of some 1.421 feet / 433 meters. Let me give you now some explanation concerning the design pattern of the stupa that is actually a standard pattern for all pagoda stupas. I will describe the pattern starting from the bottom and ending at the top.

1. The base of the Shwedagon stupa, a completely solid cone-shaped structure that gradually tapers towards the top, is a flat supporting block called plinth.
2. On top of this follow rectangular terraces (paccayas). What follows are
3. octagonal terraces (shit-mhaungs),
4. the bell (khaung laung pone)
5. The turban band (baung yit),
6. the inverted alms bowl (thabaik mhauk) with lotus petals,
7. Moldings (phaung yits),
8. The Lotus throne (1 row down-turned lotus petals, kya mhauk, and 1 row up-turned lotus petals, kya lan)
9. the banana butt (nga pyaw bu)
10, the umbrella (hti)
11. the cone,
12. the vane and
13. The diamond orb (sein bu) on top of the vane.

The golden stupa around which 64 smaller stupas and 4 larger stupas are placed is the majestic center piece of the Shwedagon Pagoda. Of the 4 large pagodas one is always placed at one of the 4 cardinal points, opposite the entrance to the top landing of the relative staircase. But this is by far not all the pagoda corporations.

The terrace covers a total area of ​​some 14 acres / 7 hectares and on it are additionally to the dominant central stupa complex some 100 other devotional main sites such as the Victory Ground, Bodhi trees and structures such as smaller and larger prayer halls (tazaungs) , smaller and larger prayer pavilions (tazaungs), rest pavilions (zayats), shrines of various sizes, planetary posts, smaller and larger pagodas, the Maha Ganda Bell, the Maha Tissada Bell, the king Dhammazedi stone inscriptions, temples and numerous statues of Buddhas, chinthes, manokthihas, nats, weizzars, queens, kings, ogres, belus, nagas, etc. Almost all structures have tired roofs and are additionally lavishly decorated with golden (gold, gold bronze or brass). In case you are interested in counting all of the shrines including the smaller and smallest ones that exist within the Shwedagon Pagoda complex you will find that there are more than 300 of them.

At first glance everything appears to be scattered wildly here. It is what William Somerset Maugham in his 'The Gentleman In The Parlor' from 1930 describes as "At last we reached the great terrace. All about shrines, and pagodas were jumbled pell-mell with the confusion with which trees grow in the jungle" . I have visited the Shwedagon Pagoda many times and found that this is not true because everything within the main stupa area is very symmetrically designed and there is a definite order even in the ensemble of structures surrounding the stupa. Things have pretty much changed since I was here the first time some 25 years ago. Numerous innovations have been undertaken at the Shwedagon Pagoda during the last 16 years beginning in 1999 with a new hti with a weight of some 5 tons. With respect to the central stupa not so many things have changed but what concerns the other parts of the pagoda such as the stairways, the structures surrounding the main stupa, the gardens, etc. a lot. All of these things are in much better conditions now.

The reason for this is clear. The Shwedagon Pagoda was from about 1965 to 1995 almost exclusively visited by local Buddhists as well as local and foreign Buddhist pongyis (monks). Since 1995 (and especially since 2010) the Shwedagon Pagoda is to an increasing extent also an important attraction for tourists and in so far a very interesting source of income for the Shwedagon Pagoda Trust.

In front of us at the foot of the south side of the main stupa you see the Konagamana Adoration Hall also called Temple of the Konagamana Buddha or Konagamana Shrine. It is one of the pagoda's 4 main shrines. Each shrine is dedicated to one of the last 4 Buddhas. You remember that when I was telling you about the history of the Shwedagon Pagoda I also told you that Konagamana was the 26th Buddha and that as legend has it his water filter is one of the relics enshrined here in the Shwedagon Pagoda. When we walk around the stupa you will see the adoration halls of the other 3 Buddhas who relics are enshrined here. This Adoration Hall was renovated in 1947 and 2007. Let's go over there and see what is inside. As you can see here are many Buddha statues of different sizes and from different eras what you can tell from the different designs. To my best knowledge and belief I can assure you that some of these Buddha statues are among the oldest on the Shwedagon Pagoda.

Konagamana Buddha is sitting on a throne in the Bhumisparsha Mudra (gesture of touching the earth) in an illuminated cave the front of which is covered with a glass window. The statue is made of an alloy containing gold, silver, copper, iron and lead, relatively small and has a neon halo. In front of the cave is to Konagamana's right a Buddha statue in a separated position. This Buddha image is made of white marble. Placed more in front is one large Buddha statue made of brass in separated position on a throne placed on either side of the cave.

When I told you about my grandson, the Burmese horoscope and related things I promised you to tell you more about it after our arrival at the Shwedagon and that is exactly what I am going to do now. Actually, I am not just telling you more but am also demonstrating to you what I would like you to do while we are walking around the stupa.

Do you know at what weekday you were born? No? That is no problem because I have here copies of a 100 year calendar. This calendar enables you to find the dates and days of the week in any year from 1901 to 2000. Please take a copy and find out the exact weekday at which you were born. Ready? OK, is anyone of you born on a Wednesday? Oh, really, 2 of you were born on a Wednesday? Next question: were you born in the morning or evening? In the morning! That's great. I too was born on a Wednesday morning what means that the planet corresponding to our day and time of birth is the Mercury and the animal associated with us is the elephant with tusks.

Now let us move a few steps back from the Konagamana Shrine and see what we will find at the right and left hand side of the shrine in front of the Shwedagon stupa. On the left hand side you see amongst others a post. This post is the Planetary Post for Mercury. This and all of the other planet posts we will see are simply simple yet beautiful wooden posts some 12 feet / 3 meters in height. They are painted dark red and comprise 6 parts, namely (from foot to top) a platform, a pedestal, a sideways protruding vase holder for 2 vases (1 right, 1 left), a pillar, sideways protruding ornaments and a signboard with the gilded name of the day. On the right hand side you see, well, from here mainly praying people standing and sitting in front of a balustrade with 2 glass boxes, candles, joss sticks, flowers, small white paper umbrellas and trays with fruits, other kinds of food and glasses or plastic cups with drinking water on top of it and behind the balustrade the top of the second Planetary post for Mercury. At all 4 Adoration Halls you will see on both sides a planetary post for the same planet / weekday. Let us move closer and look at it from the side so that you can see more of what is going on.

Ah, now we can see what is behind the balustrade; in the background we see a large statue with a human face dressed in a golden robe and wearing a golden head gear. This is Thagyamin, the king of the celestials (nats). We see in front of him a small marble statue of a sitting Buddha with strands of Sabai (Jasmine) blossoms around the neck and shoulders. In front of the Buddha we see a beautiful with relief tiles decorated round water basin above a larger oval shaped water basin and a golden elephant (with tusks) standing in this larger basin at floor level. And we do also see people standing around this ensemble scooping water out of the upper basin and pouring it over the statues. Do you know what all of this means? No? OK, let me explain. These people are all born on a Wednesday morning and this is their place because here is the elephant with tusks. They are performing a Buddhist literal to gain merits and ask for favors. No important decision such as getting married, naming a child, making a larger purchase, moving to another place, making a business, etc. is done without seeking guidance and support. However, this ritual has nothing to do with Buddhism itself but is the result of mixing Buddhist and animal belief, which has its beginning with King Anawrahta of Pagan (1044 – 1077 AD) who introduced Buddhism (Theravada Buddhism, to be precise) into his Pagan kingdom.

Anawrahta, who was an animist himself prior to his meeting Shin Arahan who converted him to Buddhism, had to make concessions in order to keep his people peaceful during the process of eradicating the very popular animalism that was called the Aris whose followers were the Ari monks. He, therefore, integrated parts of animalistic belief into Buddhism and did, for instance, make 37 nats with their king being being Thagyamin, the naga cult, astrology and astronomy part of the Buddhist religion in his kingdom. Back to our 'wish offering' and 'washing ceremony' or as the Burmese say 'yadayar', to announce ones luck. Important is that you never try to understand things that are about religious belief because the whole point is that this is not a rational matter but completely a matter of feeling and believing.

At the basin there are small aluminum bowls (imitations of Burmese silver bowls with embossed traditional motifs). You take one of the bowls, fill it with water from the basin and pour it in turns over the head and shoulders of the statues. It is important that the number of bow contents you are pouring equals your age plus 1 cup for good luck. I am 56 years old and, subsequently, I will have to pour the contents of 57 bowls over the statues; meaning some bowls of water over Buddha's head and shoulders, some over Thagyamin's shoulders and some over the elephant's head and shoulders. While you are pouring the water you have to make a wish. It might be advisable not to ask for checked lily of the valley but for something you dear wish for and that you belief to be possible. Once you have completed the washing ceremony (pouring water) you make your offering. This means you light your candle (when it is windy you put the candle in one of the glass boxes so that they are not blown out), put some flowers and paper umbrellas in one of the vases, and so on. After that you sit down in front of the balustrade just as the locals do and say a prayer. And that is exactly what I and the other two 'elephants' of our group are now going to do. By the way, the order in which you perform the ceremony is not necessarily binding. Now you know why we have bought the candles, flowers and paper umbrellas. Those of our group who are born at other weekdays then Wednesday will perform this ceremony when they have found the animal corresponding to the day they were born while we are walking around the stupa. This is what I call not just watching TV but being part of the movie. Believe me, this way you will vividly experience how it actually shows to perform this ritual and that is, of course, much better than just watching others do it. And who knows your wishes may come true. Please, do not feel foolish when you perform this Buddhist literal. No one will find it funny what you are doing because there is absolutely nothing funny about this ceremony. Just concentrate seriously on what you are doing and do really hope that your desires will become true. Do not do it just for the sake of doing it because then it will not work. Afterwards you will feel good, believe me. OK, let us join the locals, perform our washing ceremony, make our offerings and wishes and say our prayer.

So, we are ready. How do you feel now? Good? You see, I told you so. Actually, we have cheated a little bit because our elephant would have been the last station of our walk but I wanted to demonstrate to you how it works at the beginning of our walk and, well, the fact is that the elephant is my animal. Let us begin our walk around the stupa. Remember, that planets circle the earth in clockwise direction. For this reason you always walk around the stupa of a pagoda clockwise following the path of the planets.

Before we start our walk a few words about some of the reasons for Buddhists to visit the Shwedagon Pagoda and places they are going to while being here. There are of course several reasons for visiting the pagoda but whatever the reason they have at their core worshiping. One reason is to attend festivals such as the Bo Bo Aung festival or the great Shwedagon Pagoda Festival. Other reasons are to just enjoy the tranquility and peacefulness to put mind and soul at ease, to meditate or to celebrate shin pyu the ordination of young monks in which case the monks-to-be and their families and friends first come to visit the pagoda . Yet another reason is to achieve specific devotional objectives. Correspondingly, the places on the pagoda that are visited and the sequence in which they are visited different. The 4 most typical 'standard tours' are wish offerings at planetary shrines and posts, obeisance to cult images, veneration of one specific Buddha and circumambulation. What we are doing is falling under the 1st and 4th heading although our main reason to be here is not of devotional nature; let's go.

The large pavilion on our left hand side is the Pavilion of the Chinese Community. In this pavilion are exactly 28 Buddha statues. This number was not chosen randomly but because this is the number of Buddhas that according to Buddhist faith have so far exhausted. The present Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, is the 28th Buddha in a line that goes far back in time and begins with the 1st Buddha, Tanhankara Buddha. The next Buddha will be the 29th one. He will come into existence in about 2.500 years and his name will be Maitreya Buddha. Buddhists believe that Maitreya is currently awaiting his re-birth in Tushita Heaven.

Now please turn your eyes to the right towards the south-west corner of the Shwedagon main stupa over there and you see the Planetary Post for Saturn. We move now toward the post and there you see the naga (Serpent) that is associated to the planet Saturn. In case you are born on a Saturday this is the place where you have to perform your 'washing ceremony'. Anyone of you born on a Saturday? Yes? You two ladies are born on a Saturday? Well, then it is your turn now with the 'yadayar'. The rest of us will wait till you are ready before we continue walking towards north along the west side of the pagoda's central stupa on our right hand side. Ah, do not be shy. You have seen how we 3 elephants just did it. Pluck up your courage and go on. And, how did you like it? Oh, I knew that you would find it just great. Let us move on.

Now look to the left. There is a small pavilion with a glass-covered front. The two statues in the Shrine of the Shwedagon Pagoda Guardian Spirit are Bo Bo Gyi, and to his left Thagyamin, the king of nats.

The pavilion diagon behind them is the Rakhine or Arakan Pavilion. It is an open pavilion and there is nothing in it but the few locales that are sitting on the floor to rest. However, the wood carvings on the tired roof, the barriers, screen and curtains are very beautiful. As you will see, almost all pavilions and shrines are multi-tired and lavishly decorated roofs with mostly gold colored or gilded barriers.

The adjacent structure, more precisely that which is in it, is certainly much more interesting.

It is the statue of a reclining Gautama Buddha with his head resting in the palm of his left hand. The statue is some 28 feet / 8.50 meters long. The Gautama Buddha statue is accompanied by other statues depicting his favorite pupil Ananda as well as two of his chief apostles, namely Shin Moggalana and Shin Sariputta. The next building is the Chinese Merchants Pavilion,

Organizing a List of Chores For Your Kids

Chore chart systems can really be quite easy. In this article I'll give you some direction effective chore charts used to teach children important adult life skills and give them self-confidence.

My children have been doing chores since they were toddlers. Back then they worked alongside mommy folding laundry and picking up. Then we progressed to new jobs like organizing silverware and dusting furniture. As they got older, the chores changed based on the child's ability. They got the chance to clean the bathroom sinks, empty garbage cans, dust window sills, and vacuum carpets.

Once they could do these chores, usually by age four or five, then we moved on to a four-year-old chore chart. The four-year-old chart was simple and predictable but also presented new challenges each day. It helped the children learn multiple tasks during each week, and offered bonding time with older siblings and parents during some chore time.

Example of a Four-Year-Old's Chore Chart

  • Monday- Laundry and silverware, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Tuesday- Window Sills, Dinner chore – Help the cook
  • Wednesday- Vacuum Family room, Family yard work assignment, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Thursday- Empty trash cans and wash one, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Friday- Help Mom wash bathroom floors, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Saturday- Wash sink in the Fishy Bathroom, Family yard work assignment, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Sunday- A day of rest, Dinner – Help the cook
  • Say "OK" to all other Instructions too.

At six-year-old, a chore chart, though still very similar to the four-year-old's chart, requires more independence. And, because they are still quite young, there are still instances where six-year-old children should be working alongside older siblings and parents, which allows for bonding and increased skill development.

Example of a Six Year-Old's Chore Chart

  • Monday- Laundry and silverware
  • Tuesday- Window Sills
  • Wednesday- Vacuum Family room, Family yard work assignment, Dinner- cook with mom
  • Thursday- Empty trash cans and wash one
  • Friday- Help mom wash bathroom floors
  • Saturday- Wash sink in the Fishy Bathroom, Family yard work assignment
  • Sunday- A day of rest
  • Say "OK" to all other Instructions

A rotating chore chart system, for children over age eight, could be used. Specific lists of chores rotate each week from one child to the next. The variety of chores taught and the opportunity they give each child for skill development and mastery is the main reason for rotating the chores.

Example of Rotating Chores Lists for Two Children Over 8 Years (switch lists each week)

ROTATING CHORE LIST # 1 (gets to sit in front seat of car)

  • Monday: Cook night & floor, vacuum the upstairs, empty trash cans, laundry
  • Tuesday: Set table & dishes, wash small bathroom, dust banister
  • Wednesday: unload & clear table, wash one window and blind, sweep garage porch, family yard work time
  • Thursday: Cook night & floor, vacuum stairs, wash dust boards
  • Friday: Load dishes & clean sink, organize a cupboard or drawer, wash kitchen chairs
  • Saturday: Unload & Clean Table, dog poop or cat litter, organize toy room (ask mom), Yard Work assignment


  • Monday: Set table & dishes, wash kitchen floor, wash bed sheets, laundry
  • Tuesday: Cook night & floor, wash entry tile, wash cupboard fronts,
  • Wednesday: Load & clean sink, Vacuum basement, wash toy room floor, family yard work time
  • Thursday: Set Table & dishes, wash basin bathroom, dust upstairs
  • Friday: unload / clear table, clean master bathroom, clean mirrors and glass
  • Saturday: set table & load, Dog poop or cat litter, Stove / Sink / Microwave, yard work assignment

The Stewardship System

I first heard about a stewardship system from my good friend Diann Jeppson, who is a leadership and home education guru. But, even though I had heard about a stewardship approach to doing chores, I did not feel my children were really ready for it yet. I knew that teaching certain skills would be the first step, then would come the ownership of the chores needing to be done. A stewardship gives a child a defect understanding of actions, as well as an appreciation for others who perform actions in their behalf.

Stewardships are necessary for teaching someone leadership or self-government. In order to learn self-government, a person has to have a vision of what is possible, and what needs to be done to fix a problem as well as the skills to do the project. Chore stewardships are the perfect mini-projects for developing these skills and problem solving strategies. They are a vital building blocks for healthy, motivated, and confident children and adults.

People who are regularly given stewardships from a young age are usually the people who become great leaders. I have recently made the switch to a stewardship chore system because I want my children to have leadership opportunities.

How to Design Your Chores Stewardship System

For older children who have mastered basic home cleaning, the home can be divided into sections, then list in detail each small job that needs to be done daily and weekly in that section of your home (the lists can get quite long –just think of all that you do in a week to keep a section of the home clean, and write it all down). Once the older children are taught how to properly perform the cleaning tasks that are new to them for their assigned section, they are put in charge of a section. That means they make sure their assigned area's tasks are taken care of on a daily / weekly basis depending on the mini-chores required to keep it clean. (Making sure they take care of their stewardship is a topic for another article, just know that it is possible.) The Stewardships can be rotated as seems appropriate, weekly, monthly, even yearly if that makes sense to you.

In summary, children who are taught how to do chores properly and are, over time, given more responsibility to contribute to the family through their efforts, gain self-confidence, increase family bonding, and learn valuable problem solving and leadership skills. The keys are (1) having a system that everyone understands, one that is tailor to the age and ability of the children, and (2) coaching / teaching children in the chore-skills they need to master to successfully complete their chores.

Fitness Center and Gym Sound Systems

If you're looking to renew your Gym or Fitness Center Stereo Sound System why not treat your members with something better than an old echoing PA this time? I understand that the focus is on the fitness, but 'come on' half the time the sounds can be inaudible due to the obstacles and background noise. Choosing a system that will suit the standards required will be no easy task, we're looking at more than a radio on the front desk here.

Here's why:

  1. You are going to need to input and receive several types of media to allow the class to bring in their personal favorites. MP3, DVD, and CD. And you will need a digital radio signal receiver as a minimum.
  2. Output – Speakers, surround sound, TV screens, Sub Woofer, and Tweeters to enable 5.1 to 7.1 Output. The speaker sets designed for Home Theater Systems are often perfectly equipped to Fitness Class needs. The clarity of the sounds are vitally important here, as we do not want the instructor impeded by distortion from inferior systems. There are also specially designed Fitness Center Sound Systems, but they are far from cheap.
  3. The system is going to have to be easy to use, as if members are bringing their own tunes, they will be changing music themselves as and when they finish up the session and leave.
  4. Durability is going to be a major factor, you do not want things breaking off at the slightest bump or bash. Some of these Gym goers are monsters, and do not know their own strength. Your general stereo system from home is just not going to be up to the job, and as for that old growing PA!
  5. After Sales Support will be required, you do not want to spend weeks in silence while the system is constantly down, or being repaired abroad. Online Technical Support may be enough to get you through if you have a working knowledge of Stereo Systems, as long as it is not too high-tech.

After all, the instructor is going to be concentrating on the needs of the class, not working out how to operate technical Sound Equipment The adjustments need to be simple. No graphic equalizers and such like, just the basic controls, or the members will forever be adjusting the settings.

Modern systems can give high definition sounds with minimum control adjustments, stick with the basics.

Choosing the right Stereo System for your Fitness Center or Gym can set a happy and enjoyable leisure and working environment and can have a very positive effect on the members and their results.

Thinking about the needs of the members, and the requirements of the equipment prior to investing in what could turn out to be the wrong or an unsuitable system, could save you a lot of time and money when the time for that new system arrives.

Smart-Phone Or Intelligence?

Children are more absorbed in gadgets and play the games available on the web and entertain themselves. These games have started to weaken the minds of the children and their IQ is going down. They have become dumber and they have no idea what socializing between real people is. Even when they meet real people they are found using gadgets and not mingling. There are many side effects of this smart-phone on the sensitive brains and eyes of children.

Some ill effects are as follows:

=> The kids don’t find the necessity engaging themselves in vocal conversations all they need is a game and some social chats.

=> Not only kids, but even elders are prone not socializing in person and they lose the capacity the talk and they become motionless.

=> Most of the times it’s the gadget addiction, which increases, which may lead to psychological disorders. The individual may go to the extent of hurting themselves too, if they don’t get to use the gadget.

=> These smartphones are mini computers. They have a clear access to the internet and teenagers are as usual curious and they end up seeing things which are adulterated and try to experiment in real life which kills their innocence.

=> These smartphones also emit hazardous radiations which may be carcinogenic and may lead to cancer which is not curable.

=> Smartphones are also the modes of social networking through the internet. This is a serious trouble. This makes the person so addictive that they invest emotions, even without seeing the person and once when the game ends they end up psychologically disturbed.

=> Radiations emitted by smartphones are not only carcinogenic but they are harmful to the sensitive outer layer of the human eye. This may in some cases make the person blind.

=> All these are directly proportional health and the factor called stress. Stress itself is the cause of dangerous diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, acidity, ulcers etc.

=> Smartphones might carry the word “smart” with them, but they lead to more dumbness in reality.

=> Lubricating fluids of the body dry up due to lower body movements and the individual becomes numb and the physical strength decreases.

It’s up to oneself if they decide to balance both gadgets and life. Especially the kids, they have no idea what this leads to and parents are equally held guilty. It’s up to them whether they choose smartphones or intelligence? Take your decision wisely.

Inflammation of the Sinuses

Sinuses are air filled sacs located in your head. You have four pair: frontal, maxillary, ethmoid, and sphenoid. The frontal sinuses are located in the bone just above your eyes. The maxillary sinuses lie beneath your cheeks. Ethmoid sinuses are on either side of your nose but further back in your skull. Sphenoid sinuses are just below the ethmoid sinuses. These sacs are lined with thin membranes that produce mucus. The mucus flushes out bacteria, viruses and dust. It drains out of the sinuses and into the nose through small openings. When these openings become blocked sinusitis occurs. Sinusitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the sinuses.

Sinusitis can be chronic or temporary. Infections or allergies may cause the thin membranes in the sinuses to swell. Then the openings are blocked causing discomfort and a feeling of congestion. Bacteria also infect the sinuses when the mucus builds up and offers a breeding ground. Sinus blockage can also be caused by a viral infection. If the inflammation is caused by bacteria, it is usually accompanied by fever, congestion, a green nasal discharge, pain, a red flush over the sinus and a toothache just below the sinus. In very serious cases, high fevers and shaking chills may occur.

How sinusitis is treated depends on the cause. Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Other infections may be treated with decongestant pills, nasal sprays, antihistamine pills, or nasal corticosteroid sprays. There are also some home remedies that are effective to prevent and treat sinusitis. It is recommended that the person drink lots of fluids, at least sixty-four ounces a day. This will keep the mucus thin and flowing. Apply warm packs over the infected sinuses or inhaling steam is also effective. If you believe that your sinusitis is due to seasonal allergies, try to determine the cause of the allergy and then avoid the allergen.

There are also some lifestyle changes that may be required. Scuba divers are advised to avoid diving until their sinusitis is completely cured. Anyone planning to travel by air needs to avoid flying if congestion is still present. The changes in air pressure that occurs during flights can force more mucus into the sinuses. If people persist in flying, they are advised to use a decongestant an hour before taking off and use a decongestant nasal spray about a half hour before the plane embarks upon its descent. They should also consume lots of fluids during the flight, preferably water and juices.

When all the various treatments are not effective and sinusitis still recurs, your doctor may consider surgery as an option. The surgery is designed to enlarge the narrow sinus openings. During the surgery tiny endoscopes are inserted through the nose and into the sinus passages. Endoscopes are thin flexible tubes with a camera mounted on the tips. Most of them have a light, a viewer to reflect the image to the scope and a lens to enlarge the image. The surgery will widen the openings and then improve drainage. No incisions are ever made on the facial skin.

Some Tips in Purchasing Snowboard Or Ski Helmets

Helmets are being used by more snowboarders and skiers. They significantly lessen head trauma if experiencing a plunge. Wearing this may be a legitimate life saver especially when undertaking a forested or rocky terrain. Buying a helmet is really a necessity, you will observe that in reality cool and good riders wear helmets. Helmets are the most essential protection of the head in the occurrence of accidents. Snowboarding or skiing accidents are not being asked for, but in order to avoid such accidents snowboard riders and skier must ensure their safety by using proper helmets.

Snowboarding and skiing safety standards for helmet:

Ski helmets must carry CE, ASTM or Snell RS-98 certification. Standards of ASTM have been determined by series of tests on models of helmets, including the test on the strength of the retention system of the helmet under simulated cold, hot and wet situations. This safety gear go through tests of numerous impacts as well as speed forces against several sections of the head covering in order to determine the capacity of the helmet in skiing accidents.


Producers of helmets notice the increase in the utilization of helmets by snowboarders and skiers and they are appearing with modern types and designs with each season. The focal point is primarily in creating lighter, tougher and more stylish helmets in order to lessen the resistance from initial buyers. In addition to, helmet producers are trying to make helmets that can be utilized for numerous actions like climbing, cycling and skating away from wake board riding.

Essential steps in fitting:

The most vital thing in purchasing helmet is the fact that it should properly fit your head. It must be comfortable and must offer the rider the most excellent protection.

a) Measuring tape – The size of the helmet can be determined by the boundaries of the head and measured by enclosing your head with tape measure.
b) Putting on the helmet – Put the frontage of the head cover over your brows and then hold the two straps until it fits well.
c) Check for breakage. Ensure that there will be no holes or break between lining the helmet and your rear. Make sure also, that the rear of the helmet is not touching the back of your neckline.
d) Snugness – it must fit comfortably and properly and if shaking, ones head must not move.
e) Test for goggles – Try your favorite pair of snowboard or ski goggles and ensure that they properly fit in your helmet.

Please take note that the manufacturers of helmets have diverse ideas in the shapes of human head. Even though the dimension may be accurate, the form of the may not fit a specific shape of the skull. Ultimately, be sure to purchase appropriate helmet to be used during snowboarding or skiing.

Child Witnesses in Family Law: Using Child Witnesses in Snohomish County, Washington Divorce Cases

Jane Doe is a fictional divorcée whose match will sound familiar to most divorce attorneys. Her husband, John Doe, had repeatedly and flatly lied in obtaining primary residential care of Jane's young daughters. He claimed to cook the majority of their daughters' meals, wash their clothes, read to them … the fabricated list went on and on. Few witnesses could oppose him because he maintained a convincing façade for family and friends. The only third-party witnesses who knew the truth were the parties 'daughters, and Jane Doe's attorney declined to offer the young girls' testimony. Her attorney said testimony from "kids is usually inadmissible."

Jane Doe, like many divorcing parents, may have lost custody because her attorney was unaware of recent legal developments opening the door for child testimony. In 2010 the Washington Supreme Court's opinion in State v. SJW, 170 Wn.2d 92 clarified that children are presumptively competent to testify. As the Court wrote: "A six-year-old child … may be more competent to testify than an adult in a given case; no court should presume a child is incompetent to testify based upon age alone … [W] e hold that courts should presume all witnesses are competent to testify regardless of their age. " The Court buttered its opinion with comparable federal law.

At a 2011 Family Law Evidence Continuing Legal Education Seminar in Snohomish County, commentator Karl Tegland stated witnesses over the age of four tend to survive competency challenges in Washington. An audience member responsibly chortled that no Snohomish County family law "commissioner would leave an attorney with a shred of dignity" if the attorney tried to submit a declaration from a child that age. Other attendees shared the vocal audience member's reservations about child testimony. Clear practical and public policy concerns have given local courts and practitioners a good reason to avoid child testimony, especially in family law hearings where parties submit evidence by declaration.

However, the SJW case, federal law, and Tegland's comment suggest the perceived value of child testimony is overcoming many of those concerns in other terms and jurisprudence. Eric Johnson, a Utah attorney, wrote the following in defense of the child deposits he conducts: "The real reason people do not want children deposited … is because children, by their virtue of being young, and then inexperienced and naïve, have a lot harder time being clever and evasive. People who do not want children deposited object because a child's testimony quite often has real evidentiary value that is damaging to the case of those who object to the child's deposition. "

For better or worse, attempts to offer the testimony of youngger children are coming. Divorce attorneys in Snohomish County and through Washington State should be prepared.