The Boy With Down Syndrome and How He Inspired Me

I was surfing around the internet the other day when I came across a website that had been made by a boy with Down Syndrome. I went inside, and what I found was amazingly inspiring. This boy had been born with Down Syndrome, but his entire life had been brought to be as normal as possible, and was currently an avid skater, sports player, and mountain climber. There were pictures of him doing absolutely amazing things and of the many medals he had won competitiveness in the Special Olympics. His attitude was astounding – one picture showed the back of his car, where a decal reading "Powered by an Extra Chromosome!" Gleamed in the sunlight.

Here was a person who everyone in the world would consider handicapped doing things that even I could not do. He was a person with natural determination and resolve like I had seen in few people in my life. This kid literally knew how to do nothing but set goals and achieve them, regardless of how much work was involved. He worked hard every day to make sure no one thought he was not capable or handicapped, proving that he could do anything that any other person could do.

Later that week I went in town to the local Wal-mart. I rolled into a parking space, and made my way to the store. On my way past the end of the Handicapped spaces, I saw a woman pull in with her handicapped sticker and tag. I watched as the woman easily got out of the car, closed the door, and walked straight into the entrance of the store. Once inside, she spent a few minutes searching for an electric cart. When she did not find it, she asked the greeter about it, and he had one brought to her. After standing in wait for a few minutes and commenting on a pain she developed if she wa son her legs for too long, she put her purse in the little basket, sat down on the electric cart, and shot on past me and into the rest Of the store.

I have to be honest, something about this did not sit well with me. Before me was a woman who practically commented to the world that she was "disabled" in order to get a closer to the store and a little cart to ride around in her her legs would not hurt her. At the same time, however, there was a boy who was born with a condition that made everything he did more difficult, and he was probably splashing along in a kayak or something, and doing everything in his power to make sure no one thought of Him as handicapped.

There is a massive attitude problem with the people of this world today. Everywhere I look, I notice more and more people acting as if they want to be victims. There are people out there willingly searching to find reasons that life should have made easier upon them just because they feel like they are "owed" it. It seems that more and more people are slapping handicapped stickers on their cars, at younger and younger ages. People want to be pandered to, and treated with a different set of standards because of their claimed "disability". They want to be sympathized and pitied, and this completely blows my mind. I never in my life want to be pitied, and I never want to feel like I need anyone's handouts.

I've come to the conclusion that there are very few truly handicapped people. The only handicap I see is a very poor mindset. That boy with Down Syndrome I believe is one of the very least handicapped people on the planet. There is nothing on this earth that is not available to him because he wants to earn things himself, and wants to prove to the rest of the world that he is an equally capable member of society. There is a lesson here that the rest of the world can learn. All of these people that want things handed to them, who try to find ways that make them less capable than everyone else need to wake up and get some dignity.

I am firmly convinced of the amazing things that people are all capable of. Average people do extraordinary things every day by doing nothing else but their best, pouring their hearts out into their jobs and their lives and trying to be the very best person they can. When people set their sights on goals and decide that nothing is going to stand in their way, really inspiring things happen. One boy out there has inspired me to do my best and live my life with everything I've got. When people look at me, I want them to see my abilities, not my disabilities.

I charge anyone out there to step up to the plate and take a good look at yourself. I challenge you to be like the boy with Down Syndrome, and to make sure you are defined by what you can do, not what others think you can not. Stop working so hard to get other people to pity you can take care of you and put that effort towards doing things yourself. At this very moment there are people out there who have to struggle to maintain a normal life, and they do it with conviction and pride, and anyone who tries to take the easy road by claiming that they are disabled is seriously disrespecting them. Challenge yourself, respect yourself, and you'll be amazed at the things you can accomplish.

Some Sage Advice From Great Grandma

Family stories are amazing to me. You hear of family members long ago and through the retelling of their lives you can get an idea of 鈥嬧媤ho they were. And by hearing about who they were, you can find timeless wisdom that can apply to your own life now. My great grandma was one of those people.

She never said much but through what you heard and what you felt you knew she had lived life and learned from her experiences. I'll never forget the story my mom told me about Great Grandma. Great Grandma cooked for a crew of 24 farmhands so most of her days were taken up cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a bunch of loud, rowdy, complaining men coming in from hunting or farming, depending on the day. She took care of five children as well so her house was a busy little place, but where you would find Grandma Etta the most would be in front of her stove, likely stirring a pot of something.

The kids would run in and she'd give them a hug and some kind of chore to take care of and then she'd go back to stirring. The men would come in and clean up all the biscuits and bacon and then she'd start on the next meal, once again standing and stirring at the stove. They'd tell her how wonderful her food was and then lay all their troubles at her feet as she listened and stirred.

One time, one of the farmhands broke his hand while bending a fence. He finished the fence and then came in to get fixed up. She stepped away from her stirring and cleaned up his hand while Grandpa got the doctor on the phone. Once all was taken care of she went back to stirring. The funny thing was, with as much stirring as Grandma did life seemed to just come to her. She'd make a remark about how wonderful the fabric was in town and how she'd like to make Ruth a dress out of it. That was all she would say and then she'd go back to stirring and somehow, some way, that fabric would appear from a neighbor or maybe the money would just happen to come along right at the right time. It got to where if you wanted something and you convinced Grandma it was worth having then it would somehow magically appear, even through all the hardships they endured.

One time Ruth watched as the farmhands ate quickly and went back out to work, hearing all of them complaining about their lives. Then one by one each of her children came in to tell Grandma their own woes. She would smile, give them some kind of advice, and keep stirring. Ruth watched sitting at the table and when everyone left she said, "Mother. How can you just sit there and stir? 'Ve had enough and you can not take anything? Do something … Stop stirring! " Grandma looked up at Ruth and smoked … and kept stirring.

"Ruthie do not you know that the stirring is very important? You see, when I'm stirring I'm putting all my thoughts and dreams into that pot. I think about what I want life to be. His broken hand I wished for him to be well and put my thought in my pot and stirred. As everyone comes in and tells me about their life I put the love and positive thoughts into my pot and stir. Have been given a pot full of hope. How do you think everything that comes to us, comes to us? I put all my gratitude for my life into this pot and I stir. If we have any kind of problems and I envision a solution and My stirring is what keeps me focused on what is good in the world. As long as I stir I know it will all be taken care of. So instead of worrying about all that is around me I keep Stirring knowing that all is well. "

Ruth did not say a word. She just watched Grandma keep stirring with a focused stare and a slight hint of a smile. Grandma was working her magic into her life through stirring. So next time your outer world seems to be too much to bear, or you have a problem that you want solved, do what Grandma said. "Keep stirring. Just keep stirring and envisioning what you want. You'll make a pot of hope and dreams that will come true for you as long as you just keep stirring while you wait for it to be done. Taken care of. Just keep stirring. "

Revealed: Why Leather Cleaners Are a Smart Investment

Leather is one of the most sophisticated fabrics available. When used in furniture, it creates a distinct ambiance, instantly dressing up a space with untold class. However, while it is a very appealing fabric to use in decorating, it is also one that requires careful maintenance in order to retain its integrity. In order to keep leather looking pristine and feeling smooth, it is wise to consistently use conditioner and other cleaners.

Leather cleaners include both conditioner as well as protector, both of which can be used to help leather stay new and fresh. These specialized care products are specifically designed to treat leather's unique elements. With conditioner, it is possible to restore leather to its most vibrant state, revitalizing its appearance. By using leather conditioner, it is not only possible to keep new leather looking its best but it is also possible to revamp the appearance of old or damaged leather.

Leather protector works in a similar manner, but is specially geared towards long term care. These care products are carefully produced to not only restore appearance, but also provide prolonged protection from normal wear and tear. By using leather care products such as protector and conditioner, it is possible to not only bring out the best in the leather but to help retain that appearance for a longer period of time.

When considering leather cleaners, it is important to select the best care products for the job. In order to determine the best cleaners, it is a good idea to look at the way the product cleans. Some products are highly heavier on chemical solvents to clean the leather. While these care products may have good results, they can also cause discoloration from time to time. A gentler route includes brands such as Lexol leather cleaning products. With Lexol leather cleaning products, it is possible to get high quality results without risking damage to the leather being cleaned.

Another facet of leather cleaning products to keep in mind is the method of application. Some cleaners are available in convenient spray bottles, which provide quick coverage. It is also possible to buy protector in a normal bottle, which can be poured onto a cloth for more focused cleaning. Some brands may also offer conditioner in a wipe, which provides a fast, all-in-one cleaning experience. Leather cleaners can become costly over the lifetime of the leather product, so it is good to look for deals. Lexol products online are a good place to start, since these Lexol leather cleaning products can often be bought in bulk, saving both time and money.

Overall, investing in leather cleaning products is a great way to retain value in a leather product. Whether choosing Lexol products online or other leather cleaners, taking the time and money to properly care for leather is not only a wise economic decision but a clear choice for appearance as well.

Solar Power Panel – User Friendly And Environmental Friendly

Solar energy, which is a good source of renewable energy, was always there. But we have been able to use it only few years back. However, the solar power panel has gained immense popularity these days and there are many reasons after that. The most important thing is that they are available for people in affordable prices, even in do-it-yourself kits and above all people are becoming more and more conscious about making efforts to save our planet earth.

Though the acceptance of this technology is unmatched, there are still certain misconceptions prevailing in people’s minds. There needs to be spreading of knowledge that is based on this technology and the related facts should be known to people before they start using it. First and foremost people should stop assuming that solar power panel is expensive and out of their reach. There are many do it yourself kits that are available and you will simply require some materials from any hardware shop to make the solar panel on your own.

Solar power can be used to generate electricity and you can save around 80% on your electricity bill if you start using the electricity generated through solar power panel. Do not worry about where to install them because they are available from small to large sizes and can be easily installed on the roof of your house. Just make sure that it gets sunrays for the maximum time of the day. The size of the solar panel can be selected considering the size of your family and house.

Benefits of solar power should be understood because it is the best example of renewable energy and if this can be used to generate electricity for the household purposes, it will save lot of other energies as well. This will happen because to generate any kind of electricity huge quantity of fossil fuels are needed and they emits carbon when burned, which is a great threat to our environment. Solar power is easily available and we can use this as much as we can without polluting the environment too. You will have the satisfaction of cleaning your planet also.

Kids Parties – Make Your Child’s Birthday Special!

Kids parties… are you looking for some good theme ideas? The yearly birthday celebration is a big deal to kids, they look forward to their birthday as much as they do Christmas! So if you need some theme ideas Mom, here are a few creative and popular ideas for you to think about.

Bowling parties are big this year. You can host it in a bowling alley or right in your own home. To play a game of ten pins you can buy a plastic bowling game, or you can learn how to make one yourself. Serve a bowling ball cake and your sure to “bowl a Strike” where the kids are concerned.

Slumber parties are a kids favorite, both boys and girls, and have been since before you were a kid. Do you remember the fun you had with your friends staying up late, playing games and talking? Watching movies all night…or trying to, and of course for girls, there is the make over. It’s a fun time but be warned Mom, there is going to be lots of giggling! For boys, I always use the sleeping bags! It makes them feel like they are camping out.

Princess parties are perfect for little girls, and it’s a theme that a lot of girls never out grow. I know it’s the popular choice for a Quinceañera or Sweet 16 for teenage girls, and some grown women use it as their wedding theme. Did you know you can actually go to the Cinderella Castle in Disney and get married there? Need a cake idea? Castle cakes are easy to make, so if your into home baking, give it a try. Use frosted ice cream cones as your castle turrets and roll them in sparkling sugar so they glitter. Your princess will really love this theme.

Dora is one of the top ten favorites themes of young kids and so is her cousin Diego. Both these characters have their own TV shows, Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go. Play a fun Treasure hunt game so your guests can be explorers too. Buy a Dora or Diego cake topper and make your own birthday cake. There are also Pinatas of Dora and Diego that are a fun party activity for kids. Buy some little boxes of animal crackers as a favor since Dora and Diego both like animals.

Little kids love Elmo! Elmo is a favorite first birthday theme. In fact, a lot of Sesame Street characters are popular themes for kids. There’s Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster or you can use all of the Sesame Street friends as a theme with the Sesame Friends pattern of plates and cups. Play Musical chairs to the theme song…”Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?”

Pirate Parties have been pretty popular lately, for girls and boys alike. And why not, they are lots of fun! You can buy accessories with Swashbuckling Pirates on them or you can get pink Pirate plates and accessories for the girls. There are plenty of fun party games you can use with a pirate theme, like Walk The Plank or Pin the eye patch on the Pirate. Treasure Hunt is another game that is perfect for the Pirate theme, after all, X marks the spot. Aaarrgg Matie, ye can even give each guest a name tag that has their very own special pirate name on it and you can teach them some basic pirate phrases!

Disney has given us plenty of beloved characters to use as a birthday party theme. Mickey Mouse is the most famous, along with his girlfriend, Minnie. A wonderful favor idea is a Mickey Mouse hat with ears and a fun game can be a Mickey Mouse Pinata. But don’t forget Mickey’s friends, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy and Donald Duck because I saw some paper supplies with all of the gang on it. Pin the ears on Mickey is a fun game that you can make yourself.

Then there is Tinkerbell, one of my personal favorites. I never got over my fascination with Tink, that cute little fairy who lives in Never, Never Land with Peter and the Lost Boys. Sprinkle a little fairy dust, buy a Tink cake topper and make your own cake. The kids will think you have some fairy magic of your very own!

Cinderella, Ariel, the Little Mermaid and the rest of the Disney Princesses are all popular themes that young girls will enjoy. The Princess Castle cake is easy to make and perfect for this theme. You can use an Under the Sea decorating ideas for the Little Mermaid. The perfect favors are princess tiaras or one of the favor boxes I’ve seen put together. They have a mirror, a brush, lip gloss and the pearl necklace every princess should have!

Some more fun themes for little boys are Nascar, Monster Jam or Fire Trucks. If it’s cars and vehicles your son loves, these themes are ideal. You can also use Transformers, Hot Wheels or even Speed Racer. Boys love toys with wheels, so for a fun favor idea, give each guest a Match Box car or truck. Make a car track around a room with paper or heavy duty tape and let the boys have a great time racing Match Box cars around your living room. Make a car cake and hang some racing flags. Red Light, Green Light is a fitting game for this theme, don’t you think? There are a lot of really cool pinatas, like a fire truck or a monster truck that will be another fun game to play.

Star Wars The Clone Wars, Bolt and Cars are all movies that have become a popular theme too. Speaking of movies, what about Indiana Jones or even The Wizard of Oz! Imagine the Wizard of Oz being so popular with young kids today, in 2009, when the movie was made in 1939. Dorothy and Toto certainly have staying power, don’t they? I can’t even count the number of great ideas there are to use as a kids birthday theme. But that’s a good thing, it means, we will never run out!

So pick your theme, and go get the invitations and decorations. Bake your cake and decorate with a cake topper and some candles, It’s party time!

Planning the Perfect Family Party

It is so fun when the family gets together. But a lot of family parties fall flat before the even really begin. But it does not need to be that way! A few key tips for planning a family party can make your next party the family talk for the next year – or even decade!

The problem with most family parties is they are either not planned enough or over planned. Both of these things can cause a party to fail. An under planned party tends to fail quickly. You know the type, guests start to arrive and nothing is ready. There are no activities, not enough food and really nothing to do but sit around and visit. Of course there will be family member who will love to visit, but you will lose most of your group if you do not have something else planned!

Just like an under planned party failures because of no activities, an over planned party fails because the host tries to put to many things into a small amount of time. Do not plan enough activities for a weekend family party if you are only planning on an afternoon.

So, what can you do to make sure your next family party is a success? Here are a few ideas to keep your party moving!

Of course food is essential to a great party, but you need to consider your crowd. If you are planning to have children attend make sure you have kid friendly food in addition to the shrimp kabobs you are making for the adults. Hot dogs, chips, ice cream cones and finger foods are usually perfect for kids. You may get a few that will want to sample the adult food so make sure you have enough of that as well.

In addition to planning food for the kids, plan enough food to last through an afternoon of snacking. Even after the main meal, people tend to snack on chips and cookies throughout the day as they visit. Set up a table outside to put snacks on so you can keep the crowd where the action is.

Speaking of action, you need to have some for a great party! Plan some fun group games that will get people interacting with each other. This is especially important if you are going to have people who do not know each other well or do not see each other very often. Some fun outdoor group games are volleyball, croquet, and a few out of the ordinary games like human foosball and water softball. Have fun and think outside the box for your games!

Spark interest in conversation. In addition to having a table for snacks, set one up with scrapbooks and pictures. This is a great way to start conversation and spark a few 'remember when' stories. These can be cherished moments with family, but it can be hard to get people talking. Little things like photos can help.

The most important thing to remember about planning the perfect party is to not plan for perfection. The perfect party will have flaws and mishaps, but that is what makes it a party to remember. Relax and enjoy yourself. If you have enough food and a few fun games your party will be a success!

Solo Fishing

Having grown up in the flat lands of the south all I fished were lakes. My parents had a couple acres on a lake and I spent my formative years fishing for large-mouth bass and blue gill. My methods must have seemed primitive by many people’s standards. I started off with a cane pole fishing with worms then switched to a spinning rod using artificial bait. I’d spend hours each day standing with the lake hoping a fish would take.

When I took up fly fishing, the approach to fishing rivers just seemed to make sense to me, despite never having actually fished a river. One of the advantages of fly fishing that I have found is that I get to spend much of my time on rivers rather than lakes. With rivers, I can look at the surface and surmise what is going on with the structure of the river bottoms. When you combine that with basic understanding of the habits of trout it’s pretty easy to figure out where they hold but catching them is another story. On the other hand, in a lake, the fish could be anywhere. The entire lake is their hideout.

Rivers have another benefit for me in that they give me an opportunity to be more mobile. I get to walk up, down, and through rivers all day long without having to fishing the same section from the same angle twice which for someone with ADD is a huge advantage. I used my freedom liberally to roam and in the less populated areas of Oregon, I grew to love the solitude that was now synonymous with fishing. I never really had to share my beloved river. I could spend all day fishing, have my choice of holes and, rarely would I see another person.

When I moved to Denver, Colorado, it was a different story. As it turns out, there are quite a lot of people there who also enjoy fishing. I would try going during the middle of the week, but that didn’t seem to make a difference in the number of people out there. I also tried going to rivers that were out of the way, but I guess people in CO like to road trip and hike since there always seemed to be people there.

One day I decided to fish the Cheesemen Canyon stretch of the South Platte, one of the most well know rivers in CO. It was a Tuesday, there was a 45 minute hike to the river, and it was a wonderful combination of rain/sleet/snow. Surely this would be my opportunity to have some alone time with the river. Nope.

In a last ditch effort I decided to give high altitude lakes a shot. Maybe this could be my new thing. I’d get up extra early, spend all day hiking, and by the end of the day I was alone with a body of water that was teaming with trout.

So here I’ve come, full circle, back to fishing on lakes… by myself!

Choose The Perfect Jeans For This Spring

Although jeans are a year-round part of our casual wardrobe, nothing beats the feeling of having a new pair as soon as we got rid of winter’s cold. And with a pair of light wash denim jeans, you can never go wrong. Spring is the perfect season to make the transition to more colorful, lighter clothes. If you have a great body to show off, a pair of jeans is the right choice. Read the following article if you do not know exactly what jeans to wear this spring.

If you haven’t read some fashion magazines recently, then you have probably the latest trends and fashion-stylists ‘suggestions for this spring. In nine out of ten cases, the words on every designer and stylist lips are: skinny jeans. Yes, you heard it, ladies, this year is the year of the skinny jeans. When you’re not going to fancy meetings or dinners, where a sophisticated look is desired, skinny jeans should be the alternative. A casual tee and simple slides or sandals, paired with jeans is the right match. It’s a 3 minute outfit that will give you a fresh, playful look. Tuck your tee into your jeans, just to highlight your wasp-waist that you are proud of.

The need for lighter, heat-deflecting clothes is accentuated in spring. Lighter denim jeans, besides being a bit more comfortable, due to their thinner and flexible texture, have the right colors and textures to give you a chill and comfortable feeling. And you can wear them with light-colored blouses and t-shirt to match them.

Skinny jeans are so fashionable and so easy to customize and it leaves room for our imagination. A pair of high-waisted denim jeans, combined with a navy blue blouse or a stripped t-shirt, a French beret and a pair of glasses would give you a really chic look and youthful apparel. Skinny jeans also go well with a pair of high-heels, allowing you to make a bold, but stylish statement.

Men should also opt for denim this spring. Blue slim stretch fit jeans, paired with a motorcycle leather jacket will give anyone a very tough, masculine look. Darker blue denim jeans are also an excellent choice when paired with jackets. Light blue or uniform blue jeans, with rolled up cuffs are more suitable for a casual look. And for a vintage look, jeans with gradual frontal fading are exactly what you need.

Finding a Safe Dating Site

Seems like everywhere we surf on the Internet nowdays we run across this little advertisement: 'Free online personals'.

They are everywhere, they are dating sites, and more are opening up shop every day.

Welcome to the newest internet gold rush.

More and more people are signing up to these new and "free" dating sites.

What they are really getting is a place on the web where they can post their profile and let strangers contact them.

As more and more dating sites pile up on the web, more people are ending up with very distasteful experiences because of this.

Why? 99% of today's (and tomorrow's) dating sites do not screen their members at all. This means there are sex offenders, predators, scam artists

Mixed in with genuine people who are looking to find a match.

Dating services need to be very discretionary and much safer, until that time comes here are some important things to consider

When thinking about joining a dating site.

1). Examine the site's physical properties. Is it poorly constructed with missing graphics or jagged fonts, mis-aligned sections? If so, this indicates a lack of attention to detail in the construction and layout of the site. It may have been purchased and the owner does not have the skill to alter it correctly. Why would you care? Well, a site in a state like this gives a clue that the back end program probably is also in a state of disarray or disregard. If the webmaster can not construct the face of the site, then it is likely they can not also construct important safety features behind the site. A hacker then could easily penetrate it and get your personal information including your photo. If you ever pay this site, your credit information could be stolen as well! A nicely designed site means careful construction and a better chance of good quality code running the site in the background.

2). Look at some sample profiles on the site before you sign up by running a quick search. Do the profiles look a little bogus? A lot of them are. Many sites (especially new ones that have just started up) pad their membership database with photos of models or random (usually good-looking people) to attract new members. Do the profiles have a lot of jibberish characters or nonsensical phrases in the descriptions? That means the dating site you are at does NOT screen the people who sign up. This welcomes people with ill-intent. You should get out of there immediately and go to one that does.

3). Does the site have a privacy link? Look at the bottom of the site's main page. If they have a privacy link, click it and examine. Make sure they specifically state that they do NOT sell your information to anyone. This is an invitation to a spam and junk-mail nightmare. Also look for some sort of a web site rules page or a terms of use page. Check to see if they screen their profiles or somehow> disallow racial, hate or overly sexual material. If they do not state this than, anything goes for this site, another reason to leave.

4). Does the site have a links page? If so click and examine. See who they are affiliated with. Usually, there will be graphic banners or icons next to the names of their associations. Are they sex-sites? Spam sites? Even a quick glance in this area could tell you what kind of a dating site you are at.

5). What is the copyright date at the bottom? This could indicate the age of the site. If it is very young, this could help you determine if the site has worked out all the kinks (program bugs) and how many members they have accumulated.

6). Be wary of statements like "You are the 4697th member to join today." And "Search through millions of profiles." These statements are usually false. Major sites, which have been running for YEARS usually can support these statements. Look for a "whos online" link. If you are the only person (1 guest online means JUST you are there) then you know these claims are false. A site with millions or even thousands of members will always have a bunch of people currently online. If you detect this in a dating site, it is better to leave than to take a chance with a dishonest site. This is just a short list of ideas to help keep you safe when dating online. Be leary, be safe.

Do You Have A Serpentine Belt? What's That?

Do you have a serpentine belt that drives everything on the front of your engine?

A serpentine belt is the long belt with all the little * notches * on the underside.

It goes around the crankshaft pulley, the power steering pulley, the alternator pulley, the air conditioner pulley, and the water pump pulley.


It will probably have an idler and most definitely has a tensioner.

The tensioner does just what it says.

It is what keeps tension on the belt, to keep it tight.

You do not have to loosen any bolts and pry anything to tighten this belt!

It is a good idea to check this belt often.

It is also a good idea to change it after about two or three years.

After all, if it brakes, or slips and eats all the teeth off, you will be running on the battery.

O The alternator will not work.

O You will not have power steering.

O The air conditioner will stop cooling (if it's winter time, who cares?).

But, worst of all, your water pump will stop working!

The engine will heat up so fast you will not know what's happening!

Check the belt often.

While you are checking the belt, how about taking a look at the pulleys?

Especially the idler and the tensioner pulley.

O The best way to check these pulleys is to remove the belt and rotate them with your finger.

O If you hear a * roaring * noise, replace it.

O If the pulley has a * roughness * about it as you turn it, replace it.

Ok, so you want to take the belt off and inspect it.

How do you get the thing off?

On the tensioner there is a hole, well, not really a hole, but a square hole.

It will either be a 3/8 "or 1/2" slot.

Some have a bolt head from 1/2 "to 3/4".

And then, there are exceptions: as you look at the tensioner you will be able to tell what YOU have.

Put the appropriate tool on the bolt head, or inside the slot, and pull up on the tool.

If that is not the proper way, push down. 馃檪

Either way, you have to get the tensioner to move off the belt so you can take the belt off one of the pulleys.

I usually have better luck removing it from the alternator.

Either way, once you have it off one of the pulleys, you can release the tensioner and then the belt can be removed.

Pay VERY close attention, before you remove the belt, as to the way it is laced around all the pulleys.

It takes less than 5 minutes to remove this belt … but it can take 5 hours to get it back on correctly … make a drawing or study the diagram.

Some, and most, vehicles have a diagram of the belt directions placed somewhere under the hood.

May be on the bottom of the hood, or on one side of the vehicle inner fenders.

Usually it is in a place that makes it almost impossible for you to look at it as you are trying to replace the belt. 馃檪

If either of the pulleys have to be replaced it's no big deal.

Just remove the bolt, or bolts, holding them onto the engine.

Replace them the same way.

Now, on the tensioner, there is a little peg on the back side.

Align it with the hole in the block … it's there so you can get the tensioner back on right.

Replace the belt, and that's it … nothin 'to it!

Oh, was your diagram lable stuck on up-side-down? 馃檨

You did a good job, though; And I knew you could. 馃檪

Myrtle Beach Here We Come

When our family is planning a trip to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, it's like the night before Christmas all through the house. We usually start packing like Baltimore's former football team, the Colts. Under cover of darkness we load the vehicle with fishing gear, coolers, luggage, a few snacks, and some lemonade.

Even though it's only a 7 hour drive from the Baltimore Washington area, we usually do it in about 10. That's right 10 hours. First we have gotten to get through the mixing bowl in Springfield, VA which seems to take forever. Then there are the outlet stores where my lovely wife simply has to stop to reload her collection of every shoe known to woman kind. We also have our favorite dining spots, and of course no trip is complete without stopping for fireworks. Our son will need fireworks from at least two different vendors along I-95 South. Not the kind that sit on the ground, and burnout like a book of matches, but the stuff that takes to the sky, and illuminates our summer nights like the Space Shuttle from Cape Canaveral.

I'm willing to end shopping for the shoes, the fireworks, and a half dozen other stops that make up our 10 hour trek because by days end we'll finally arrive at one of my most favored vacation spots on the eastern eastern seaboard , The amazing Myrtle Beach.

The best way to begin a day on Myrtle Beach is with a sunrise stroll along the coast of the Atlantic. Myrtle Beach is divided into two areas, North Myrtle Beach and South Myrtle Beach, and there is plenty adventure on both sides.

Did I say South side? Well, the South side is the older side of Myrtle Beach, but new development is always taking place. One of the biggest attractions on the south side was the Pavilion Amusement Park which celebrated it's last season in 2006, but all is not lost. Some of the popular rides and artifacts are now part of The Pavilion Nostalgia Park. The Nostalgia Park is located at Broadway at the Beach, which opened in the spring of 2007.

The Herschell-Spillman Carousel, Tea Cup Kiddy Ride and The Caterpillar Ride are all very much alive at the new Nostalgia Park.

If you require more adventure, try the Family Kingdom Water Park.

They're located at 300 South Ocean Blvd. Family Kingdom also has an amusement park. Stop at the ice cream shop and pick up a scoop or two like the locals, or check out South Carolina's largest Garage Sale from 7am until 12noon on September 15, 2007. It will be held at the Myrtle Beach Pavilion Parking Garage.

Three level of shear bargains. Go early to catch the best deals. You'll find just about everything you need for the beach including sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. You'll even find items like luggage, handbags, dollar items, and stuff for the home.

For mall shopping, check out The Coastal Grand. This mall opened in March of 2004. This is Myrtle Beach's newest mall. They have a great food court with plenty of entertainment. There's nothing like shopping a mall, you could almost live there if you like shopping as much as we do.

Looking for oceanfront accommodations? Just take in this extraordinary resort hotel.

Crown Reef Resort Myrtle is embroidered by Par 3 Golf Course on one side, and Whispering Pines Golf Course on the other. The Crown Reef Resort Myrtle will simply take your breath away. This intense resort has a 125 foot ocean front pool which crystal clear blue waters just beckon you to dive in. This enchanted property is almost magical at night, as its brilliant purple illumination lights up the southern night sky.

If you're looking to invest in a timeshare, just walk across the street to the South Beach Resorts owned by one of South Carolinas Premiere developers Burroughs & Chapin. This is one of the newer developments on the south side. Burroughs & Chapin also own The Crown Reef Resort Myrtle. I have actually seen the plans for even more expansion which will include high rise beach front condos right next door to The Crown Reef Resort Myrtle. These developments make the south end of Myrtle Beach's Ocean Blvd. The place to be when you vacation.

There are excellent dining choices throughout the south side or just outside your door.

Remember, the second to last hotel on the left is the Crown Reef Resort Myrtle. It is an awesome spectacle over looking the Atlantic Ocean. To experience this kind of luxury just visit [], and all your boardroom stresses will disappear with just one click.

North Myrtle Beach is littered with some of the finest dining choices you'll find in the state. There are numerous calabash seafood restaurants that feature the freshest seafood you'll find anywhere. Succulent crab legs, jumbo shrimp, garlic butted mussels, steamed clams, and oysters on the half shell just leap off your platter with flavor. As your taste buds dance to the tune of delicious, you'll enjoy a sense of satisfaction as your every seafood craving is quenched.
Now burn off some calories and stroll through some of the many local attractions like Ripley's Aquarium where you'll see sharks swim so close you can count the rows of teeth in their mouths. Check out some antique shops. You'll even find some sweet deals in Myrtle Beach's pawn shops. You'll find them organized and professionally managed.

All along the "Grand Strand" you'll find the finest quality hotels, restaurants, and golf courses. Wait a minute. I have not even mentioned the 60 miles of white, warm, sandy beaches. How could I forget that? I'm not one for swimming in the ocean, but I could not resist wading in the mighty Atlantic at Myrtle Beach. To have this, or an even better experience in South Carolina's finest resort city, let your fingers to the clicking on [] for hotels, event tickets, and car rentals. There's so much to choose from you will not be able to do it all in one trip. So, visit South Carolina's Myrtle Beach for more fun than you've had in a long time.

7 Tips For Renovating On A Tight Budget

You may have big dreams for your home remodel project. And they may need a big budget. However, if you are on a budget, you can shop around. This way you can save a lot of money. Below are our top 7 tips that can help you achieve the purpose.

1. Know Your Limits

If you don’t know your limits, you may end up wasting a lot of money on your DIY project. So, it’s important that you know your limits. For instance, you may want to leave the plumbing, electrical and structural work to professionals. Make sure you get recommendations before hiring professionals.

2. Get a Working Pee

The good news is that you can do a lot of jobs with your family and friends. A package of a BBQ and a few drinks can get a lot of things done. Given below is a list of tasks that you can do with a few helping hands.

路 Tiling jobs

路 Assembling of a flat-pack kitchen

路 Polishing floorboards

路 Landscaping

路 Fencing

路 Painting

3 DIY Lessons

For basic DIY tasks, you have to have a few tools and some practical knowledge. You can get both from a reputable hardware store. You may sign up for a DIY workshop as well.

Moreover, if some of your friends know the trades, you can talk to them and get their help. You may also “bribe” them to get some fundamental tips and lessons to use the tools. If you don’t have the tools, you can borrow or hire some.

4. Buy Online or at auctions

If you shop around, you can save a lot on supplies, labor and other materials. You can use your negotiation skills for discontinued sales. Although shopping around will cost you some time, you will get whatever you want.

5. Long-term Savings

If you are on a tight budget, you may not give much importance to long-term savings through buying materials or technology that uses less energy. Given below are some energy saving ideas for you.

路 Solar panels

路 Quality insulation

路 Rainwater tanks

路 LED lights

6. Be Creative

With “mood” lighting and new paint, you can make a great impact. These things are also affordable. For instance, repainting or resurfacing bathroom basins, baths and tiles, you can beautify your home without spending a great deal of money.

It’s also a good idea to visit good color consultants and showroom staff. The experts will give you a few ideas as to how you can do your remodel the best way.

7. Compromise

While compromising is not easy, you can set your expectations based on your budget. For this, we suggest that you write down your list of things that you absolutely need as well as other nice-to-haves. This will save you a lot of bucks.

So, if you are looking to renovate your house on a tight budget. We suggest that you follow these 7 tips. Hopefully, you will have a great time remodeling your house.

Amazingly Simple Home Office Design

When it comes down to it, we all work from home. Whether it is the place where you earn a living or where you keep your life in order, you need space for the computer, paperwork and a few paper clips. Otherwise it is a constant game of Where did that bill go? Egypt Please do not play with my computer! A clearly defined workspace not only creates an area for all the stuff, but it also creates a private space that gains respect from those around you. From closets, to guest rooms, to an entered dedicated room, here is a simple plan to help you create a beautiful, comfortable and productive atmosphere.

Here you go:

1. Know your needs – Assess what currently works and what does not. Clean out the space and make sure your storage is adequate. Beyond file cabinets, consider baskets, bins and shelving.

2. Develop a floor plan – Do not try to crowd too much furniture in the room and consider pieces that can pull double-duty. Ballard Designs has a cool little Home Office Kit to help you plan your space. Or just get out some graph paper, pencil and ruler and design the space yourself

3. Create the Right Environment – Make it a comfortable and supportive environment for your creativity and concentration. Although I encourage you to go with your gut on color, here are some basic color / mood associations that might give you a boost:

  • Blue – calm, orderly, water
  • Green – nature, health, renewal
  • Orange – balance enthusiasm
  • Purple – spirituality, wisdom
  • Red – energy, strength
  • White – pureness, simplicity
  • Yellow – joy, optimism

4. Architectural Elements – If your budget and time allow, then go for the gold with new flooring, molding and lighting. My friend and trusty web developer, Andrew, is redoing his office so I put together these tips with him in mind.

  • Flooring: I recommend hard surfaces with wood topping the list. Carpeting can get dusty and I like to keep the area around the computer equipment super clean.
  • Molding: Be bold with base and crown moldings. Do not look to the original molding for size. Often they are wimpy and small. If you have 9 foot ceilings then anything up to 9? Each for the crown and the base is fair game. I usually make the base a couple of inches less than the crown. Mixing traditional moldings with modern furniture gives the space a designer touch.
  • Lighting: The best lighting for a workspace is a combination of good general lighting (such as recessed lighting) highlighted with some task lighting (lamps).

5. Personalize – Working from home allows you to personalize your space and really make it your own. There are no rules! Highlight the room with your favorite painting or a lamp with a cool shade. Use a cork-board for special mementos or family photos. Just make sure your office ports an air of professionalism if you meet with clients in your home.

It does not take much to turn a simple space into a home office. And the boost to your efficiency and peace of mind will be priceless.

Top Five Supplements for Bodybuilding

When it comes to bodybuilding or building muscles in general, our body is often limited by our nutrition. And regardless of how hard we train, sometimes we just can’t make any progress as we are lacking important nutrients that help us achieve better results. Therefore, people turn to supplements.

Supplements are an amazing way to add valuable nutrients that help us build muscle, recover faster or train harder. They boost the results and push our limits, allowing us to make a significant progress with each training.

And despite the fact that we all have unique bodies and react differently to some supplements, there are 5 essential supplements that every bodybuilder needs.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a fast-digesting milk protein that helps deliver essential amino acids to the skeletal muscle. It is a foundation for muscle gains and the most frequently used supplement.

Whey is quickly shuttled into the muscles where it exerts its strong anabolic effects. Therefore, it is often used as a pre-workout and post-workout meal to increase protein synthesis and improve muscle restoration and recovery. Whether your goal is to drop body fat or build lean mass, adding a whey protein can speed both the loss and the gain process.

It can help with:

Recovery – After the intense workout your body desperately looks for protein to repair itself. If taken immediately after the workout, whey helps trigger rapid muscle recovery and builds strong and lean muscles.

Appetite Suppressant – Whey protein shake can be even used as a meal replacement or a healthy snack that will increase body’s protein levels and reduce daily calorie intake.

Amino Acids – Whey protein contains essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.

Recommended daily dosage: 20-30g


Creatine is the second most used supplement and for a good reason – it is a naturally occurring substance that promotes increased muscle cell volume, lean body mass, post-workout recovery and increased muscle performance.

Naturally produces in liver, pancreas and kidneys, creatine is primarily found around skeletal muscle tissue (95%), where it is transformed into creatine phosphate from which the energy molecule ATP is produced.

Creatine increases energy and strength, allowing harder workouts and better performance, which cause muscles to become bigger and stronger.

The creatine level naturally found in our body is sufficient for ongoing cellular function and is definitely not enough to cause massive muscle growth. Therefore, people opt for creatine supplementation to reap its full benefits.

Recommended daily dosage: 5-10g

Branched Amino Acid (BCAA)

Branched-Chain Amino Acid, also known as BCAA, is another amazing supplement that bodybuilders use to improve their workout results. Protein consists of 20 amino acids, and only 3 of them are referred to as BCAAs: valine, isoleucine and leucine. They help regulate protein metabolism and stimulate protein synthesis.

BCAAs have a similar function as protein – they drive nutrients into the muscle tissue and help muscles recover faster. They also serve as an energy source during workouts, so taking BCAAs as a supplement can replace the nutrients lost during intense exercises. They also improve metabolic recovery and reduce pain caused by muscle fatigue.

Recommended daily dosage: 3-5 grams upon waking and 3-5 grams before and after the workout


Glutamine is the number one supplement for a speedy recovery and therefore essential for every serious bodybuilder. It slows down muscle-tissue breakdown during intensive workout which elevate endurance and improves strength. It allows bodybuilders to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time and train harder, which cause the production of greater lean muscles.

Glutamine also helps preserve the muscle tissue, which helps burn additional fat, while slowing down the muscle loss. It also improves the immune system by placing stress on the entire body instead of just the muscle and quickly restores the health of the muscle tissue, which ensures rapid recovery of the whole body.

Recommended daily dosage: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams after the workout and 5 grams before bed


Beta-Alanine (BA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that increase intramuscular levels of Carnosine by 60% in less than a month. During high-intensity workout the body accumulates large amounts of hydrogen, which cause our pH to drop and we become more acidic. This lactic acid can decrease muscle performance, cause severe fatigue and shut down the nerve drive (causing muscle failure).

By taking Beta-Alanine supplements, bodybuilders maintain an increased level of Carnosine and delay the accumulation of hydrogen and all its side effects. BA also elevates endurance, delays fatigue, improves force output and repeated sprint ability and works great with creatine.

Recommended daily dosage: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day

How to Negotiate With Your Window and Door Company

While some people can walk into a store and seem to get anything for less than the asking price, others can’t seem to get any company to budge. What it comes down to are the tactics you use to get the best possible price. Here are some great tactics you can use on your window and door company.

The Industry Standard

The first thing you should know is that the window and door industry has room built into it for negotiation. They are expecting you to come in and try to lower the price with your negotiating prowess. If you use some tact and precision, you can easily succeed.

Know Your Price Range

Do some independent research and find out how much you should be paying for your windows. Even if the window and door company is reputable and trustworthy, do not take their word as prophecy. If the price they quote is above your stated budget, then be prepared to walk away and find someone who fits your financial needs.

Wait it Out

Never accept the first offer. When someone gives you the price on a service or product, spend some time thinking about it. The price is not likely to go anywhere, and if you wait, you are more likely to be able to negotiate the price down.

Know Who You’re Talking To and How You Say It

If you storm into a store, waving your arms, screaming, “I demand lowest price satisfaction!” you won’t get very far. The way that you speak has as much to do with what you say. Be polite and patient, but assertive.

Be aware of who you are speaking to, as well. An employee on their first day won’t have the negotiating experience or the authority to give you the price you are asking for. Make sure you are talking to someone who has the ability to provide you with the price you are looking for.

It’s Not Greedy

More people than you might think believe that negotiating is greedy, or that there are non-negotiable items in the windows and doors industry. When purchasing windows, you aren’t being greedy; you are just getting yourself the best possible value. You are allowed to stand up for what you want – without seeming greedy.

Remember, in negotiations, the best ones are when both parties think they’ve gotten the better of half of the whole deal.