A Good Swing Starts with a Strong Base of Support

A good golf swing starts with a strong base of support (hips, pelvis and lumbar spine). A highly conditioned base of support will provide stability throughout the swing and allow forces to be effectively transferred from the legs through the hips to the upper body to produce optimal power and control. A strong base helps protect the joints and other supporting tissues against the strong compression, shear and torsion forces that occur during the golf swing. Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that predispose the golfer to developing poor postural patterns and muscle imbalance that result in a weak base of support.

For much of our young lives we were stuck sitting in school hunched over our desk. We finish school and begin our careers. Many of us now find ourselves spending excessive time in our cars or sitting in poorly designed chairs hunched in front of a computer. Over time we are conditioned to have tight hip flexors and a lazy posture. Poor posture and muscle imbalance decrease musculoskeletal efficiency and disrupt communication within the neuromuscular system. Short tight muscles display a lower activation threshold, meaning they fire at times when they should be less active or inactive. Over activation of dominant muscles leads to decreased neural control to their opposing muscles. Simply stated, “when one muscle becomes tight and overactive its opposing muscle becomes loose and lazy.” Tight dominant hip flexors create weak and lazy hip extensors (gluteals)and set off a chain reaction of dysfunction.

Tight hip flexors pull the pelvis into a forward tilt leading to an excess curvature of the lumbar spine. As a result the muscles of the abdominal wall lengthen and weaken while the muscles of the lumbar spine get short and tight. This pattern also causes disruption in our body’s lateral stabilization system. The hip abductors (muscles that move the legs away from the center of the body) along with their opposing adductors (muscles that move the legs toward the center of the body) work to stabilize the pelvis during lateral movement. Inefficiency in this lateral stabilization system inhibits coordination and hinders proper weight shift through the golf swing. So what we are left with are weak hip extensors (gluteal muscles) that can’t drive the hips through the swing, dominant hip flexors that won’t allow the hips to open to allow a full turn, tight spinal flexors that are forced to do the work of the weak hip extensors, but are to tight to make a full rotation, and a lack of coordination needed to make consistently good ball contact. To make matters worse most golfers spending hours at the driving range reinforcing and strengthening this dysfunctional pattern. Is it any wonder the average golf score hasn’t dropped in decades?

To break this pattern of dysfunction and build a strong base of support we must first establish coordinated muscle firing among the deep stabilizing abdominal musculature, the hip flexors and extensors, hip abductors and adductors, and spinal flexors, extensors and rotators. This is accomplished through the activation and strengthening of weak and inhibited muscles, and stretching the tight and dominant muscles. Once these muscles are re-educated and coordinated muscle firing is established we can then work to build optimal strength and power.

The first step in this process is the development of the deep abdominal and pelvic musculature. This is done by mastering the abdominal brace. The abdominal brace differs from the traditional abdominal training that encourages “abdominal hollowing” a.k.a. the “draw in” maneuver. With the “draw in” maneuver we are told to pull or draw our belly buttons towards our spines. Research has shown that drawing in actually lessens abdominal activation and decreases lumbar – pelvic- hip stability. The abdominal brace is an isometric contraction of the abdominal muscles meaning the abs are neither pulled in nor pushed out. This maneuver should be the first step of every exercise as it is the foundation of lumbar, pelvic, and hip stabilization. The following exercise will allow you to master this movement and re-educate the lower abdominal wall and allow the deep pelvic stabilizers to fire efficiently.

Abdominal Brace

o Lay in a supine position (on your back) with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.

o Brace your abdominals by tightening abdominals as if you were going to take a punch in the gut.

o Return to a relaxed position and repeat.

Tips

o Control Movement is the key. While performing these exercises pay strict attention to NOT allow the use of the legs (hip flexors and /or gluteals) while contracting the abdominals. The only muscles contracting are the abdominal wall; place your hands on the belly button to feel this isolated contraction

o There should be no tension in your neck or shoulders.

Don’t limit the abdominal brace to exercise. Practicing the brace with all activity (sitting, walking, driving, golfing, etc) will help you develop the endurance your abdominals need to maintain a strong base of support as well as a healthy back.

A study presented by researchers at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 51st annual meeting showed that golfers who possess strong hip muscles have lower handicaps and longer driving distances than those with weak hip muscles. This makes sense since muscles of the hip and pelvis play a major role in stabilizing the trunk and transferring forces from the lower body through the upper body and arms during the golf swing. The ability of the hip extensors (gluteals and hamstrings) and lumbar extensors to fire in concert also allows the body to react to and counteract the rapid rotational forces of the golf swing. The problem here, as we have already discussed, is many golfers have inhibited hip extensors and tight and dominant lumbar flexors. Under the best of circumstances our spines were not designed to swing a golf club. Now we compound the issue repeatedly forcing our spinal muscles to do the job of our hip extensors to power through the swing. Spinal extensor muscles don’t have the size or strength to do this, hence the tremendous incidence of over use injury and lower back pain among golfers. So, what we need to do is quite down our lumbar extensors to allow the hip extensors to do their job.

The Bird Dog exercise progression effectively helps develop stabilization, coordination and strength of the spine. The key to this type of exercise is learning and then maintaining “neutral” spine. Neutral does not mean straight, it means allowing the natural curves to be present. This is imperative to allow the spine to function properly and movement to occur in a stress free manner. The golf club placed the length of the spine is an excellent cue that allows the golfer to feel the proper spinal positions and make necessary corrections. The club shaft should be in contact with only three points; the base of the head, the center of the back and the middle of the pelvis. Concave spaces should be seen at the neck and lower back.

Dog 1

o Position yourelf on your hands and knees with a golf club placed along your spine; make sure the rod contacts 3 points only (head-middle back-pelvis).

o Brace your abdominals and slowly raise one hand and the opposite knee just off the floor ( no more than 1/4 inch). Hold for five to ten seconds.

o Return to the start position and alternate sides.

Tips

o The club must remain in contact with all 3 contact points (head, mid back, pelvis).

Once you have mastered the Dog 1 then you can move to the next progression. Dog 2 adds the components of hip extension and shoulder flexion. This exercise is extremely effective in re-establishing efficiency in extensor chain (hip, lumbar, and cervical extensors).

Dog II

o Position yourelf on your hands and knees with a golf club placed along your spine; make sure the rod contacts 3 points only (head-middle back-pelvis).

o Brace your abdominals, slowly extend one arm (thumb up) straight out in front of you and the opposite leg behind you.

o Hold for five to ten seconds and repeat with opposite side.

Tips

o The club must remain in contact with all 3 contact points (head, mid back, pelvis).

o Do not allow your hips to rotate.

The key with Dog 2 is not to allow the lumbar extensors to fire during this movement. After mastering Dog 2 you can then further challenge the hip extensors by adding the bridge exercise. The bridge adds the resistance of body weight to the hip extension movement and further challenges (and strengthens) the deep stabilizers or the lumbar-pelvic-hip complex.

The Bridge

o Lay on your back with your arms placed at your side.

o Brace your abdominals and squeeze your gluteals (buttocks) then raise your hips into a bridge position. Pause and return to starting position.

Tips

o Your feet should remain flat.

o This movement is initiated with the hips not the spinal extensor muscle; no pressure should be felt in the lower back.

o Maintain abdominal and gluteals muscles contraction throughout the full movement.

It is important to implement a good stretching program to lengthen tight muscles as you strengthen your base of support. Aside from the already mentioned hip flexors and lumbar extensors other areas commonly tight among golfers include the muscles of the hamstrings, neck, scapular elevators (upper trapezius and levator scapulae) and shoulder internal rotators. A qualified strength and conditioning or golf fitness professional can provide you with a postural and biomechanical analysis that can provide a more detailed picture of your specific areas of need. Improving your base of support will add distance and control to your game and help prevent, reduce, and possibly eliminate golf related pain and injury.

Slab Leaks – 11 Ways to Tell If You Have One

If you have a slab leak, it can be a disaster for your home. Depending on the type of slab leak you have, you may not even know about it for quite some time!

While you may need a jackhammer or concrete drill to eventually get to the leak, you certainly don’t need to start tearing up your floors just to look for a leak. In fact, slab leaks have tell-tale signs that you can see without using heavy machinery.

 

So, how do you know if you have a slab leak? These 11 tips may help you find the answer you’re looking for:

 

1. If it sounds like there’s water running, but you know that none of your faucets are on, you could have a slab leak. Slab leaks tend to either make a hissing sound or a splashing sound. If you listen carefully, you may be able to hear it.

 

2. If you start to notice that one particular area of your floor is warm, it could be a sign that a hot water line is leaking underneath your slab. Usually, hot water line leaks are discovered sooner, because you can feel them right under your feet!

 

3. If you have started to notice moisture or mildew underneath your carpeting, it could be a sign of a leak. After all, as the water starts to collect, it has nowhere to go but up.

 

4. If you see cracks in your tile floors or bubbles in your linoleum floors, you may have a leak.

 

5. If you see cracks in your baseboards or walls, it could be a sign of a slab leak. Since your slab is one single piece that’s made of concrete and steel, it doesn’t give at all. A leak can cause the entire thing to shift. As your foundation shifts, it will start to impact your entire home – even walls and floors that are nowhere near the leak.

 

6. If it seems like your pool is constantly losing water, you may have a leak.

 

7. If your water pressure has suddenly gotten very low, it could be a sign of a slab leak. Many slab leaks occur in the main water line – or where the water flows into your home from the outside. If there is even a tiny leak in your water line, your water pressure will drop significantly.

 

8. If your water bills have skyrocketed all of a sudden – and you have no idea why – it could be a sign of a leak somewhere. The damage from slab leaks can add up quickly; a pinhole-sized hole in one of your pipes can leak out more than 10,000 gallons of water in just one month!

 

9. See what your water meter is doing. Make sure that all of your faucets are turned off, that the toilet is not running, and that the washing machine or dishwasher is not on, go outside, and take a look at your water meter. The dial should not be moving. If it is, you likely have a leak somewhere.

 

10. Check your leak detectors. Some water meters have leak detectors inside of them that look like a small black or white triangle or wheel. If it is spinning – or moving at all – it means that you have a leak somewhere.

 

11. Check your water meter reading. Make sure there is no water running anywhere in your house, then go outside and read the numbers on your water meter. Leave all the water off for at least half an hour, then check the numbers again. If the number has gone up, you’ll know you have a leak somewhere. And, the higher the number climbs in that half hour, the bigger you’ll know your leak is.

Success Tips From Surviving In The Costa Rican Rain Forest

Recently, Bear Grylls, a survival expert, parachuted into the rain forest of Costa Rica. This is one of the most dangerous jungles in existence. It consists of over 300 square miles described as the most biologically intense place on earth.

Ninety four people had to be rescued there last year by the Red Cross. Bear described the purpose of his visit: “My mission is to show you the skills you need to survive the rain forest and find your way out.”

Part of success is finding your way and visualising the end result of finding your way. Bear Grylls visualised the warm bed which would be available when he reached civilisation.

Most of us already have a warm bed available but do not appreciate it enough! Many of us do not appreciate our computers enough.

To find our way home all we need to do is check out

http://maps.google.com Enter your home address, and then press ‘enter’.

If you would like an aerial view, just click the ‘satellite’ button when the map appears. Of course, Bear lacked both a nice, warm bed and a computer!

He had only a knife and a water bottle. People that get lost in the jungle often have only the clothes on their back. Bear landed in the trees sixty feet up. He abseiled to the ground in style.

He decided to head downhill to find a stream or river to follow out of the jungle. There are many jaguars in this area of the rain forest but snakes and smaller creatures are more of a danger.

The forest undergrowth was really thick. Bear was getting nowhere: “I need another plan.” Successful people are not afraid to change their plans when necessary.

Lacking an aerial photo or computer, he had to climb the highest tree he could find to see a way out. This was risky.

Above the canopy all he could see was miles and miles of jungle in every direction. However he did see a slight depression in the jungle where one side was higher than the other. This suggested a river and gave Bear a possible direction.

Just walking along you need to be careful where you step. If you step over a log or grab a vine without looking you could be bitten. He spotted a fer de lance snake:

“These guys are responsible for more deaths in Central and South America than any other snake. Fer de lance means Lance Head. If that struck and bit me, I could well be dead before nightfall.”

Many snakes are highly dangerous. Two million people report snake bites every year. 60,000 of those who are bitten, die. Most of us fail to appreciate the comparative safety of our own lives and appreciation is a huge part of success. We tend to get more of what we are grateful for.

He spotted a stream and followed it for direction and water. You can survive three weeks without food but you can only survive a couple of days with out water.

If the water is fast flowing and creatures like cray fish are swimming around, it is probably harmless. It tasted good to Bear who drank freely.

The route Bear was following might not be the quickest or safest but: “This route is all I’ve got.” Successful people do not sit around moaning that they do not have all the info they need. They just use what they have.

He next came up against a steep waterfall. To go round it would take a couple of hours and it would be dark by then. He climbed down using some vines.

To make a shelter for the night, Bear needed a sharp knife. He found a quartz like stone which he smashed and ground and smeared on to some wet wood with the bark removed.

He then drew the knife up and down the stick to sharpen it. Skills are the ingredients of both survival and success.

Bear left the stream to find plants to eat. They are the easiest source of food in this jungle. They are plentiful and they don’t run away:

“Avoid bright red berries and, in most cases, plants with a milky sap. Test the juice on your skin to see if you react and try eating a tiny piece but be ready to spit it out.”

He found some black mouth berries which were packed with good natural sugars. Healthy eating and taking care of yourself is a key part of success.

Bear now looked for a place to shelter. The rain forest is a few degrees north of the equator. Days and nights are the same length in this area.

Falling trees and branches are the biggest killers of people in the jungle so you need to find clear ground well away from trees.

He needed a shelter because it was the rainy season and he also needed a fire not to keep warm but to give himself a break from the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are annoying and can carry diseases like dengi fever and malaria.

Clear the ground with a stick and not your hands. There could be snakes or scorpions around. When I was a small boy in a concentration camp in China, I saw my father’s back badly swollen from the sting of a scorpion.

Its venomous sting cannot usually kill a healthy adult but the venom of some types of scorpions can kill the young, sick and elderly.

He used his knife and a branch as a hammer to cut down some small trees to help build his shelter. He used a makeshift bow and three pieces of wood to start a fire and put a termite nest on the fire to help drive off the mosquitoes.

Successful people use whatever they have available to achieve their goals.

Bear had a bad night of diarrhoea and vomiting and hardly slept at all. He felt cold and shivery. He was not sure what he had done wrong. He hoped he was not suffering from dysentery – a severe form of diarrhoea.

“I think I have just picked up a tummy bug perhaps by touching animal crap.”

Maybe it was the water Bear had drunk. Boil water for at least 5 minutes before you drink it.

Diarrhoea drains the body of water and salt and you are then vulnerable to heat stroke. Every year, hikers die because they don’t drink enough water.

Even though the jungle can make you sick it can also help you if you know what to look for. Bear, like all successful people, does not give up even when he is ill.

Instead, he remembered a milk tree – nature’s milk of magnesia – which he had passed half a mile back. He climbed back up the waterfall.

Nearly half the medicines we use were developed from rain forest plants. The pain killer Ibuprofen was synthesised from a vine called the monkey ladder tree.

Bear found the milk tree and sucked out the milky sap which would settle his stomach. Normally, milky sap is a sign of danger but not in this case.

He headed back down the stream and his appetite started to return. He cut down a palm sapling and ate some heart of palm. The centre is white and sweet and tastes a bit like asparagus.

“You can almost taste the nutrition in this.”

Bear got ready for another night in the jungle. He cut some sap from a camphor tree. Camphor is the stuff moth balls are made from and has the same repelling effect on mosquitoes as it does on moths.

He also used the camphor resin to help create a torch which would help him find shrimp or crayfish. Four crayfish made him a decent meal. His spirits were lifted as he watched the crayfish cook.

In a survival situation, the battles are won or lost in the mind. There is a story about Marcos Martinez, a 17 year old, who was separated from his uncle in this area and spent thirteen days and nights on his own in the jungle living off green bananas and contaminated water from the streams .

After 40 kilometres of walking a sick, dehydrated and disoriented Marcos staggered out of the jungle.

He said that what scared him most was thinking about the animals in the night but his faith in God kept him going. Whatever you use to keep up your spirits will help you survive. Sometimes it is nothing more than camp fire food which keeps you motivated. Successful people find ways to keep their spirits up.

It rained all night and the shelter worked for only about four hours. By morning Bear was drenched and demoralized.

He did not want to spend another sleepless night in the jungle. He wanted to get out of the jungle as fast as he could especially because he no longer had the river to himself.

There were spectacled caymans, close relatives of the crocodile, moving menacingly through the shallows. Further down river there might be American crocodiles which were twice as big and ten times as nasty:

“If I meet them I could be in real trouble. I am keeping the stick with me. You should never get near a crocodile but if you do the advice is to go for its eyes and its nostrils.”

Successful people like to be well prepared for possible trouble. Robert Ringer leaves nearly two hours spare to catch his plane. You never know what hassles may interrupt your best plans in the real world as opposed to the ideal world. The jungle is definitely part of the real world.

The river was now wider. Bear looked forward to completing his mission:

“There is every chance that by tonight I could be in a warm, cosy bed.”

He crossed the river poking with his stick to scare any river snakes away. On the other side, he cut down a balsa tree which could be the base of his raft. He used the bark to strap his logs together.

He headed down river and found the floating to be much faster than walking. He noticed that he was now passing mangroves – salt tolerant plants that grow out of the water. The tide was going out fast and pulling him along at a rate of knots:

“If I am not careful I could be carried straight out into the Pacific.”

Bear tried to find a way out through the mangrove swamp but found it a nightmare. He spent three hours climbing through the swamp but was getting nowhere.

He decided to get back on his raft and take his chances on the river. He reached the mouth of the river just as the tide was going out and was pulled out into the Pacific ocean.

“If you are caught in a current like this don’t fight it. You will just exhaust yourself. Just paddle parallel to the shore and sooner or later you will get out of the current and you can then swim for shore.”

Successful people do not panic. They stay calm, preserve their energy and use their brains.

Bear did all this and soon reached a beautiful beach He had no idea where the beach was but did not care because he saw the blinking of electric lights a couple of miles up the sand. He could relax now because electricity meant people and people meant safety.

The jungle can be intimidating when you are lost and it can quickly sap your strength. But it is an extraordinary world. It is also a world that is getting smaller. Every second, an area the size of a football pitch is gone. One day a rain forest to get lost in might not exist.

Bear commented: “I hope that day never comes because it is such a special place but, for me, it is definitely time to go home.”

Survive or succeed, then, by finding your way with whatever tools you have, by visualizing your goals, by adapting your plans, by learning useful skills, by keeping up your morale, by being well prepared, by appreciating and using what you have and by staying safe and healthy!

Above all, success follows action. Bear Grylls keeps moving and taking action even when he is ill. If we follow his example, we will not go far wrong.

Everything You Need To Know About South Facing House Design

A south facing house plan is believed to make you feel relaxed and be financially strong. When designing this house you should ensure that the door is situated in the south or at the 4th Pada of the south direction. The reason for this is because there is a strong believe that when the door faces south, it’s a sign of good omen.

You should ensure that the master bedroom and the over-head tank are located on south west corner. When designing the master bedroom you should be cautious that you don’t compromise the space for the front elevation design.

You should leave enough open space in the east and north sides. You should avoid leaving a lot of space in the south as it’s a sign of bad things. You should also avoid constructing a septic tank, water sump, garden or porch in the southwest direction.

Some of the best things to construct in the southwest direction is the office or shop. Locating the two in this direction is a sign that you will prosper and improve your financial situation as a proprietor. When designing the shop or office you should ensure that the south wall is much taller than the north wall. This is to bring in better results.

When it comes to the septic tank, you should construct it on the northern side of your house. To avoid contamination you should ensure that the septic tank is 15 feet away from water sump or borehole.

To avoid bad luck, the staircase should face south, west, southeast or northwest corner of your house. It should never be in the northeast corner of the house.

More things you need to do

If you are yet to buy a plot you should buy one that slopes from south to north. If you don’t know the directions of the area you should ask your architect to help you out.

You should locate the kitchen in the south-east or north-west corner. When cooking, you should face towards east or west.

If you like having a garden you should locate it in the southwest corner. You can plant trees in this direction, but you should ensure that they aren’t too tall covering your house.

Conclusion

As you have seen, there are many tips you need to consider when designing a south facing house. To get ideal results you should work with a certified and experienced architect.

Dirty Dancing: The Catskills Connection and Film Locations

There is a very huge connection between the Catskills and the movie, Dirty Dancing. Enjoy the following information about people’s real-life experiences in the Catskills and the actual film locations used to capture the special quality of the Catskills.

Dirty Dancing was actually filmed at two main locations – Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia and Lake Lure Inn in North Carolina – that were seamlessly used together to represent the Catskills. It is said that the movie could not be made in the real Catskills due to budgetary constraints.

Great lengths were taken to make the film appear as though it was made at one location. In reality, here is how the scenes were split up between the two main locations. Mountain Lake is the site where the Houseman family pulled up in their car to the main lodge, Johnny entered the dining room and told the college guy where to put the pickle, Penny crouched down crying on the floor in the corner of the kitchen, Baby and Johnny practiced their lift in the lake, Johnny danced with Vivian in the gazebo, and on and on. Now I must say that both the Virginia people and the N. Carolina people state that the famous lift scene was done on their turf.

At Lake Lure Inn, scenes filmed include the interior dance scenes (of course the grand finale), the scene in which Johnny and Baby practice dancing on a log, Johnny’s cabin scene, Baby on the rock stairway scene, and the employee cottage scenes. Did you know that a third film location, Rumbling Bald Resort in North Carolina was used to shoot the golf course scene? The absolutely fantastic thing about all of this is that fans can still visit each of these three locations and get their Dirty Dancing fix. One can even stay in the very rooms that Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze inhabited during filming at the two main locations.

Getting back to the original desired setting, the Catskills in 1963 is the backdrop for the story line of Dirty Dancing. The Catskills is a resort area less than two hours from New York City. The area has been affectionately nicknamed the “Borsch Belt” as in its heyday (20s through the 80s), there were more than five hundred resorts (plus many boarding houses and bungalow colonies) open where many Jewish families vacationed and many Jewish entertainers got their start and performed on a regular basis there. The vacationing region turned into a cultural entity that became a very special way of life. Many prominent people visited and performed at the resorts. Some of the performers included: Woody Allen, Pearl Bailey, Joey Bishop, Red Buttons, Sid Caesar, Rodney Dangerfield, Buddy Hackett, Mickey Katz – Jennifer Grey’s grandfather, Jackie Mason, Don Rickles, Nipsey Russell, and Henny Youngman. Sadly, there are only about twelve resorts still open.

Eleanor Bergstein, the writer of Dirty Dancing, spent vacation time with her family (father was a physician) in the Catskills. It is very obvious that Ms. Bergstein captured the special time that took place in the Catskills heyday – the charm of a simpler, past time – and that is part of what makes Dirty Dancing so popular. It is interesting to note that Eleanor Bergstein used some of her other life experiences in the story line. For example, she was called Baby until about age twenty-one as she was the younger daughter. Also, she won dance contests as a teen and was an Arthur Murray dance instructor.

Jackie Horner – a legendary dancer/entertainment icon who is still working as a dance/entertainment professional in the Catskills – states she was a story consultant for the movie (see special screen credit to Jackie Horner at end of movie credits). She reports many experiences that she and her Catskills dance partner, Steve Schwartz (known professionally in the Catskills as Steve Sands) lived are in the movie. For example, she reported to me (I was lucky enough to interview her regarding the movie) that the watermelon was spiked and she would take it to parties, and that Shelly Winters had brought up the idea of practicing lifts in the lake. Also, an interesting note is that Steve Schwartz (I was lucky to interview Steve as well) used to spend summers at the Catskills with his family before his father died and then he ended up professionally dancing there. He tells many stories about the “Babies,” “Bungalow Bunnies,” dance activities, and daily life in the Catskills.

In conclusion, the Catskills connection is key to Dirty Dancing. There are a multitude of authentic experiences used from the Catskills heyday that help make this movie so popular and special. Moviegoers experience things as real and are taken back to a time when things were simpler.

Link: The Patrick Swayze Pancreas Cancer Research Fund at Stanford Cancer Center http://med.stanford.edu/cancer/features/research_news/Patrick_Swayze_Pancreas.html.

Why is Toe Nail Fungus So Hard to Treat?

Nail fungus is an unsightly, sometimes painful condition that afflicts millions of Americans. More common in the toe nails than the finger nails, this condition is notoriously difficult to treat. The following article discusses the reason why this is the case, and what physicians use most commonly to eradicate the infection.

Fungus is an organism, much like bacteria, viruses, parasites, plants, or animals. There are numerous species and forms of fungus, some large (like mushrooms), and some microscopic in size. The microscopic species of fungus are the ones that can invade the human body and use it as a scaffold to live off of. Infection of fungus can be seen in the lungs, the skin, and numerous orifices (such as the mouth and genital regions). While usually not life-threatening in reasonably healthy people, fungal infections are an annoyance and can cause numerous problems that prompt people to seek quick relief. Perhaps the most common location of fungal infection is found on the skin, which also includes the nails. Skin fungal infection goes by many common names depending on its location, including ‘ringworm’, ‘jock itch’, and ‘athlete’s foot’. Skin fungus thrives on the body where the environment is warm and moist, and that is why the feet and genital area seem to develop infections more readily. Foot fungus is transmitted, or ‘caught’, in wet areas like showers, locker rooms, and other public places where one is barefoot. Several different species of fungus can invade the feet, including molds and yeasts. However, the most common species of fungus that invades the foot is something called a dermatophyte. It is this species that causes nail infection most often.

Nails become infected when skin fungus takes advantage of a small crack or break in the nail tissue, and invades the skin surface resting underneath the nail. The fungus uses the nail above as a scaffold for living, and thrives on the material of the skin underneath. Eventually, it will cause the nail to become loosened, discolored, thickened, and misshapen as the skin and nail surface become partially destroyed by the infection. The infection creates nail debris that is seen externally as crumbly material exiting the end of the nail.

So, why is this infection difficult to treat? Athlete’s foot infection is easy to treat with topical creams, and the nail fungus is the same organism. Why would it be harder to treat when it is in the nail? The answer lies in the nature of the nail itself. Nails are hard, compressed plates of tissue composed of keratin. This material is generally impervious to water, and the penetration capabilities of medicines applied topically to the nail is generally poor without a special formulation. Even if the medicine could penetrate the nail, because the nail is more dense than skin the end concentration of medication reaching the undersurface of the nail is likely to be quite low, making it much less effective. Since the fungus lives off the skin underneath the nail, the medicine must reach the skin with enough concentration to kill it off in an environment that is most favorable to it- it’s home field so to speak. Most all topical anti-fungal medicines do not have this capability, as there is either poor penetration of the medicine due to their cream or solution-based formula, or the active ingredient is not active or concentrated enough against the more entrenched nail fungus. Many homespun therapies have developed in response to this difficult-to-treat nature. These include tea tree oil, Vicks, Listerine, vinegar soaks, as well as numerous others. Unfortunately, none of these have true demonstratable antifungal properties, and have not been demonstrated scientifically to kill nail fungus. Some of these treatments can flush away debris or clear superficial discoloration, leading many to falsely believe their fungus is cured when the change is only superficial and the fungus persists. Additionally, not all nail discoloration is due to fungus, and these superficial treatments can sometimes clear the nail discoloration, leading to the anecdotal rumor that they work on ‘fungus’.

Medical treatment of nail fungus is possible, but more involved than treatment of other basic non-life threatening skin infections. Clearly, the most effective way to deliver medicine into the skin underneath the nail is to bypass the nail altogether and send the medicine through the blood stream to enter the skin surface from underneath. This is accomplished by taking a pill, which dissolves in the stomach and enters the blood stream. There are two medicines currently available for this purpose, with one being used more commonly due to the medicine interaction issues of the other. Treatment must continue for three months before the infection can be effectively eradicated, and an additional six to nine months must go by before the destroyed nail grows out far enough that the new non-infected nail composes the entire nail length. Unfortunately, this medicine in rare cases can cause liver damage, and should be avoided in those with liver disease, those who are taking certain medications that break down in the liver similarly, or those with other health issues like kidney disease.

A new generation of topical medication has emerged to address the need to replace the internal medication, especially for those who cannot take it. These topical solutions use special oil-based formulations to help send the medicine through the nail plate. A prescription version has been available for quite some time, and a few over-the-counter versions have been developed that are distributed by physicians, primarily podiatrists. The most popular of these brands is called Formula 3. In the opinion of this author, this medication seems to be more effective clinically than the prescription topical medication based on eight years of generally unsuccessful use, and Formula 3 is used in his practice for this reason. All together, these topical medications are far less effective than the internal medicine, but are far safer for use. An extended period of use is required to destroy the fungus, which can take six months to a year depending on the rate of nail growth and severity of infection. Once again, much of this has to do with the ability of the medicine to reach the skin underneath the nail. These topical medications work better than store-bought creams and water-based solutions, which essentially only control fungus on the skin folds surrounding the nail. They do not work as well as internal medication, which still is not one hundred percent effective and still requires three months of treatment. All of this is due to the hardy nature of nail fungus given it’s entrenchment in the skin underneath the nail, and the relative shelter the thick nail plate provides.

Perhaps one day the pharmaceutical industry will develop a more effective medication for use with nail fungus. Unfortunately, in addition to the difficulty that current medication has in killing the fungus causing toe nail infection, the observational theory that some nails may simply be more apt to developing nail fungus infection over others and the general overwhelming presence of fungus in our environment leads to the possibility that toe nail fungus infection can reoccur over and over again. Steps can be made to prevent this infection from taking root in the nail again, but this requires regular vigilance.

Alternate technologies are being developed to make nail fungus treatment easier, and safer for repeated use if necessary. Laser therapy is becoming popular in many parts of the country. Several factors need to be considered by those seeking this treatment. It is expensive and insurance does not yet cover it. The results of a recent study in a medical journal did seem promising regarding it’s effectiveness. However, in this author’s opinion, the study (which was funded by the laser’s manufacturer) did have some flaws. It did not follow the patients long enough to determine if there was a true long-term ‘cure’, and did not have a large enough number of patients studied to convince him of its overall validity. More study is needed before this treatment should be considered the go-to treatment for nail fungus, especially given its cost. Until then, toe nail fungus remains a difficult to treat infection that affects millions world-wide, and demands a different approach than similar infections in the skin.

The Pros and Cons of Pergo Flooring

It is not hard to get off track when discussing the pros and cons of Pergo flooring. For many years, Pergo flooring was synonymous with laminate flooring; the reason being that it was Pergo that first came up with the idea of laminate flooring. Pergo is still the largest producer of this flooring type, even though the company is now owned by Mohawk, another fine producer of laminate flooring. In any event, any discussion of what is good or bad about Pergo flooring usually degenerates into an argument as to the pros and cons of laminate flooring in general.

Good Things about Pergo

Pergo has been in the laminate flooring business for longer than anyone else. There are many highly competitive brands today, but Pergo remains the top selling brand by a significant margin, which tells you something about the quality of their product line. Another positive indication that Pergo is a brand that can be trusted lies in their warranties, of up to 30 years, and more than reasonable for most types of flooring. Warranties have exceptions however. If you routinely spill liquids on your Pergo floor and don’t wipe up afterward, the floor will eventually begin to deteriorate, and the warranty will cease to be valid.

Pergo laminate flooring is almost ridiculously easy to install. The individual planks simply snap together. Most laminate flooring, including Pergo flooring, require an underlying material between the laminate and the subflooring. The Pergo Allocade product line is an exception, as an underlay material has already been added. Hardwood floors are difficult for non-professionals to install. If you can snap two boards together, you can install Pergo flooring yourself.

Finally, you can purchase Pergo flooring for half of what you might spend for hardwood flooring, and from a distance Pergo is indistinguishable from genuine hardwood. In addition you can install Pergo in rooms where it would be inadvisable to install genuine hardwood floors, such as kitchens, bathrooms, and rooms located below grade.

Not-So-Good Features

There is little to say about Pergo flooring that is really bad, although there are some really bad examples of laminate flooring on the market. If you want to find out what some of those bad examples are, purchase laminate flooring that is selling at clearance prices. Quality flooring products seldom sell for prices that “will never be repeated.”

Do not expect Pergo flooring to last nearly as long as oak, maple, or other hardwood floors. Thirty years is about the maximum, and brand names like Pergo, Mohawk, or Armstrong should give you at least 20 years of good service.

One of the main disadvantages of Pergo flooring is it cannot be refinished. The “wood” is thin veneer; very thin veneer. Scuff it, and the inner core might reveal itself. The inner core is not attractive, and a damaged plank or panel will probably need to be replaced.

No matter how much laminate flooring looks like the real thing, it rarely adds to the resale value of a house. A prospective buyer looking for a house with hardwood floors will usually bypass any house on the market featuring laminate flooring, even if that flooring is top-of-the-line Pergo flooring.

Which Types to Purchase

Color and texture is definitely your choice, and your choice alone. Current best sellers are Oak, Hawaiian Koa, and several styles of Hickory. Wider planks have become more popular in recent years. Pergo comes in widths ranging from 5 inches to 12 inches, and in thicknesses ranging from 8 mm to 12 mm.

Should You Purchase Pergo Flooring?

If you are set on laminate flooring, the answer is definitely yes if you can find a style that suits your taste, which should not be difficult. A good piece of advice would be to “go thick” and opt for 12mm planks as opposed to 8 mm or 10 mm planks. Thicker planks should still be affordable, plus they will have more of a solid feel, absorb warmth better, and be a bit quieter to walk on.

Caring for Your Model Ship

After having spent many hours and in some cases years to create a work of art, you want to protect your ship model the best you can.

Protection starts at the build stage by avoiding chemical deterioration. All metals tend to oxidize to some degree. Typical metals found in a ship model built these days are Britannia (pewter type alloy), brass, copper, steel, stainless steel, tin alloy and aluminum. Prior to assembly, you should wash the metal parts with a mild soap and water, dry thoroughly, assemble then brush them with a lacquer clear coat. The lacquer clear coat can be found in your wife’s medicine cabinet labeled clear nail polish.

To avoid biological deterioration, protect wooden parts with paint, clear varnish, oil or stain. Prepare the wood for staining or painting by sanding and then cleaning the wood. Sanding opens up the wood’s grain so the wood stain or paint can better penetrate the wood’s surface. When sanding is complete, remove all of the dust created by sanding. It’s best to do this with something called a tack cloth-a pad made from treated loose weave fabric. Tack cloth catches almost every molecule of wood dust. When staining remove excess stain, wipe away stain which is sitting on the wood surface then rub the pigment into the wood with a soft cloth using a circular motion. Wipe one last time in the direction of the wood grain; this helps promote uniformity. To deepen the stain color, repeat the process until desired results are achieved. Lastly, choose a polyurethane topcoat with the desired sheen. Oil finishes such as Tung Oil harden when exposed to air. Tung oil soaks into the wood fibers before it begins to harden, thereby forming a protective finish that moves with the wood.

Rigging lines can be preserved by coating them in bees wax. The bees wax not only will prevent fraying but act as a barrier to moisture so that the lines don’t continually stretch and loosen depending on the amount of humidity in the room. If using the cake method, draw the line through the slots in the container, two to three times, giving the line a small turn with each pass. Now, you could now run the line across the surface of a 60 watt light bulb to melt the wax into the line.

To keep sail cloth material from deteriorating, visit your wife’s medicine cabinet again and borrow her hair spray. A light spray will not only protect the sail but will hold the sail in a billowing form if that is how you would like it displayed. The biggest enemy of the sail cloth is the sun.

Where you display the model in your house is important. The model should not be displayed in direct sunlight or near a heat source. If you need to augment the lighting, use low voltage (low temperature) LED’s.

The accumulation of dust, oil and dirt can be avoided by encasing your ship model. A solid case will also keep the cat from playing with your model. Cases can be made with a wood frame and Plexiglas or glass inserts, a Plexiglas case or a glass case similar to an upside down aquarium. There are advantages and disadvantages of both so your selection of the right case depends on your preferences. A good way to protect and display a model ship is under glass; we also sometimes use acrylic covers with beveled edges. Glass is more durable and less susceptible to heat, scratches and sunlight.

Unfortunately, cases are not cheap so if you are able to make your own, you’ll save money. Another thing to keep in mind is that the wood from display cases can lead to acid migration which can slowly corrode fabrics and paper. It’s best to places a small sheet of Mylar underneath your display and to allow for air flow in order to alleviate the build up of acid fumes.

Even a ship model under a case is susceptible to dust, smoke and other airborne contaminates so you’ll need to remove dust from the model every now and again. Either use compressed air in a can usually used for electronics cleaning, or once again go to your wife’s medicine cabinet and borrow her hair dryer, set it on cool and blow away. If the dust sticks to the lines and wood, you’ll have to get in there with a small brush and cloth. After removing the dust, use a small sponge and apply a coat of diluted Murphy Oil to preserve the wood.

Diluted isopropyl alcohol can be used to remove nicotine and oily spots. It’s important to clean the ship model in a thorough and methodical fashion. Visually divide the model into 6 parts, port and starboard side bow, port and starboard side mid ship and port and starboard side stern. Start at the top and work your way down through the spars, lines and sails to the deck. Don’t forget to clean and protect the base of the model.

Ship models need continuous monitoring and attention, thus proper conservation is imperative to ensure that the models are kept in the best possible condition.

Alcoholic Blackout – Types of Alcohol Blackouts, How They Work, and the Consequences

The occurrence of an alcohol blackout is unpredictable both in severity and in timing.

When an individual experiences an alcohol induced blackout, his consciousness remains throughout the period but will be unable to have complete recollection of what happened during that time. It is as if events are never imprinted on the brain for recall. It’s amnesia in a way, but it’s caused by alcohol abuse and not a traumatic event or physical injury.

There are two types of alcohol induced blackouts commonly studied:

1. Fragmentary or partial blackouts.

These tend to occur when lower levels of alcohol are taken. You might forget names or what you were talking about in the middle of a conversation. These partially interfere with memory formation during intoxication. People can sometimes remember the missing pieces if they are prompted or reminded of the context of conversation or situation.

2. Complete or en bloc, blackouts

When a person has a complete alcohol blackout, he is still physically and mentally able to perform actions although he may seem not like his usual self. In this type of blackout, an individual is still conscious – but will be unable to retain any memory of what happened during his blackout, what so ever. Prompting or reminders will not lead to recall the events. It appears that the ability to transfer and imprint memory from the present and short term to long term storage is blocked.

How alcohols and drugs can cause blackouts:

In most cases, blackouts are a result of binge drinking, that is, consuming an excessive quantity of liquor in a brief period of time. This has been confirmed by a research conducted for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism which reports how large and especially rapid consumption of alcohol (such as ‘doing shots’), can produce partial or complete blackouts. One researcher states “If recreational drugs were tools, alcohol would be a sledgehammer …alcohol produces detectable memory impairments beginning after just one or two drinks. As the dose increases, so does the magnitude of the memory impairments.”

Other things you should know about blackouts:

Age is a determining factor in how much alcohol you can safely consume, and women are more susceptible. A womans’ tendency to black out more easily probably results from differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol. Females also may be more susceptible than males to milder forms of alcohol-induced memory impairments, even when men and women consume comparable amounts of alcohol.

The dangers of experiencing blackouts:

Surveys have discovered that college students who had experienced blackouts found out later on they had participated in various high-risk activities like engaging in sex without protection, driving under the influence of alcohol, or committing vandalism and other similar offenses.

People who experience blackouts may at that time have an impaired ability to decide and judge and possess minimal or no control at all over their impulses.

Tips for safe drinking and preventing and managing blackouts:

The only sure-fire method for not having a blackout or memory problems is to not drink. One puzzling aspect of blackouts is that the occurrence and consequences cannot be predicted.

Drop Coating Metallic Auto Body Paint

Drop coating is an important skill that every auto body paint sprayer should aspire to master. Drop coats are administered during the last phase of the spraying process when metallic paints are used. When applied to an auto body panel correctly, drop coats offer full color coverage, perfect metallic content distribution and a better paint base that can accept lacquers with ease.

Applying Metallic Paint

Drop coating should be used with all metallic auto paints. Many paint sprayers apply metallic base coats using the same methods with which they apply solid colors, and this is a common error that compromises an otherwise perfect job. While horizontal arm movements are perfect for most solid color spray jobs, metallic auto body paint should be dropped onto the panel as soon as basic coverage has been achieved, and it is equally as important to cross coat the final application in horizontal and vertical directions.

Ensuring Uniform Paint Coverage

Before drop coats can be applied, the prepared car panel must be adequately covered with metallic auto body paint to help avoid primer transparency. Once the color is activated, a full wet coat of paint should be sprayed to the surface of the panel. It is essential that each horizontal spraying movement blends into the previous one to guarantee uniform coverage and distribution (overlaps of 30% to 40% are perfect). As soon as a single we coat has been applied, the auto body paint must be left to dry for around 10 minutes. Never spray a second coat until the first one has achieved a matte appearance.

Applying a Second Coat of Metallic Paint

Personally, I like to spray the next coat of paint in a different direction to the first, especially when the panel has been taken off the car. Sometimes, this isn’t possible on vertical panels, such as fenders and doors, if they are still fitted to the vehicle so don’t be too concerned if you are happier using a typical horizontal spraying pattern. The second application must be sprayed in a similar manner to the first coat, but try to achieve 80% wetness in comparison to the earlier application. Once more, the auto body paint must be left to dry for around 10 minutes until matte.

Applying the Drop Coat

If the metallic paint is still transparent, an additional coat may be required but this won’t be necessary in most cases. To spray the actual drop coat, position the spray gun 18 to 24 inches away from the surface of the panel and reduce gun pressure by 20% to 30%. Spray the auto body paint horizontally, moving the arm slowly across the panel so the metallic color drops (or falls) onto the surface. Maintain uniform coverage until the spraying process is complete. Recoat the panel from a similar distance straight away, but swap the horizontal movements for a vertical direction so the subsequent coat crosses the first. As well as guaranteeing even paint coverage, crossing the drop coat offers uniform metal distribution and a superior surface that will accept lacquer correctly.

Tacking the Drop Coat

Allow the drop coat to dry before visually inspecting the metallic auto body paint. Check for patches where coverage might be inconsistent and spray a further drop coat if necessary. With solvent-based auto body paint, it is always a good idea to run a tack rag over the vehicle panel as soon as the drop coat has dried. Specialist tack rags can be purchased for water-based auto body paint, but it is preferable to waive the tacking process as high paint build-up can peel back the color and this can lead to frustrating rework.

Benefits of Hiring Tower Cranes

Every construction site is surrounded by a wide array of equipments. If a tall structure is being built at the construction site then you would definitely need tower cranes. Such cranes are generally fixed to the foundation but at times they can also be attached to the side of a structure for easy maneuverability. Any sort of crane is utilized in lifting heavy weights but with tower cranes you get the extra advantage of lifting weights to or from extremely high places. For all your construction purposes you definitely need a crane, which you can either buy or hire.

Construction sites and industrial sites definitely need tower cranes but since they are hugely expensive the other best option is to hire them. Big companies may even buy cranes as it would tremendously help them in their business but for small companies it is simply impossible to buy cranes. Hiring tower cranes eases your work and transporting such cranes from one location to another will not be too expensive. Such cranes are locally available for hire at several places and small companies can avail the hiring benefits of such cranes at very affordable prices. Sometimes even big companies opt for hiring cranes as they are much more convenient and easy to get when their work sites are located at considerable distances.

Renting companies of tower cranes are professionals who take full responsibility for transferring or shipping and assembling of the cranes. Later, when the job is done, the shipping company will also dismantle the cranes and take it away with them. Hire charges include this assembling and dismantling charges but you don’t have to worry about paying anything more.

The working mechanism of the tower cranes includes a central mast, attached to which is the slewing unit of the machine that acts as the motor of the unit. The slewing unit of the machine helps in movement of the arm part of the crane and lifts up objects by moving a full 360 degrees and lifting objects from one place and putting in down at another. The operation of cranes is quite easy but the movement of cranes is tedious and requires a lot of time. The mammoth weight of the cranes makes it next to impossible to shift cranes from one place to another; this is another reason why big companies prefer to hire tower cranes rather than to buy them.

Another advantage of hiring tower cranes is that it offers versatility to the business. Often at construction sites different types of cranes are required and because crane hire companies carry a wide variety of cranes it is always advisable to contact them for you are the specific type of crane that you need for your job. It saves costs of buying different types of cranes and it also means that you do not need to keep trained personnel for operating all these different types of cranes.

There are several companies who hire out tower cranes and you can easily search online to contact them for your construction needs. Lastly, these companies also provide safety measures and gear for using such cranes and also provide maximum protection to your construction workers.

Mt. Kenya – The Gikuyu Invoked Powers Of The Ark Of The Covenant To Bring Down The British Empire

In an interesting revelation, the seer’s messenger who hold in trust the shrines on Mt Kenya, has made public how the British rule came tumbling down not just in Kenya but all over the world. In a paid up article in the PEOPLE DAILY, dated Nov 7, the messenger revealed among other things what sparked off the interesting story.

In 1948, when the Agikuyu, Aembu and Ameru communities realized that the British would never allow Africans self determination in Kenya, their military wing the Mau Mau ascended Mount Kenya with their crude weapons namely home-made guns, spears, machetes and other nondescript assortment. They laid down their weapons in prayer. Raising their hands facing Kigongona Kia Mai(the shrine where the Ark is concealed) the chief seer Mugo wa Kibiru, led them in reciting their solemn prayer.

Ngai mbara ino turathii nawe.

Nigikorwo turi aku na uri witu.

Twahoto niwe wahotwo

Twahotana niwe wahotana

Twahota nitugacoka haha tukurutire igongona ria ngatho.

God you are our ally in this war

For we are your people and you are our God

Our defeat is your defeat

Our victory is your victory

If we win we shall assemble here and offer thanks giving offering.

Like Gideon of the Old Testament, they wanted assurance from God that they would defeat the British Army. The Chief Seer left the scene. After some hours, he came with the message from God. He made a trench from where the Mau Mau were standing and said thus. “The day King George’s Army crosses this trench, count ten years, and the British Government will not only loose the war in Kenya but would loose the whole empire.”

The Mau Mau spokesman sort clarification which year that will be. The Chief Seer said the British rule will come to an end in the year the Mugumo (fig) tree in Thika falls down. That prophesy somehow reached the colonial Government. The Mugumo tree in Thika was reinforced with rails and sheets.

To fulfil the seer’s prophesy, on 1st June 1953, the Mau Mau fighters enticed the British soldiers to cross the marked trench, by encamping near the trench. The Mau Mau crossed the trench with the British army following in hot pursuit. The Mau Mau celebrated in camp that night. Exactly ten years later, on 1st June 1963, the mugumo tree in Thika fell down despite all the reinforcements. The day remains a public holiday in Kenya todate.

Interestingly, as the communities set to return to the mountain to seek God’s intervention again, the British Government could feature in bad books once more. The seer’s have made public three major reasons for seeking God’s hand.

1} Diplomatic missions engagement in local politics. Four foreign diplomatic missions in Nairobi do not observe code of diplomatic etiquette and procedure. These Embassies have changed to ‘governorships’.

2) Errant Church founders who masquerade as ‘saints’ have entered the world of politics with intent of making fortunes.

3) Leftist politicians who are imbuing electorates with revolutionary doctrines in the so called ‘majimbo'(federalism) are reminiscence of Yugoslavia – majimbo that abetted ethnic cleansing.

Although the diplomatic missions referred to above have not been named, it is unlikely that the US and UK who have been consistent with their comments on local politics could be left out. Only yesterday, Nov 14 a bishop was cleared to vie for the country’s presidency.

In a terse observation, the seers have warned that the country is destined to fall in a big civil war. That is why they have requested the community members to join them on the 20th, 21st and 23rd Nov 2007 in prayers for the Nation.

We shall watch keenly as the events unfold.

Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report

Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake and is also the second largest body of freshwater in the continental united states. Okeechobee is a Seminole Indian name and is derived from the Seminole word “Oki” meaning water. Lake Okeechobee is a shallow lake that averages only 9ft. The lake is part of the Florida everglade region which is a vast region of fantastic freshwater fishing for multiple species of fish. The lake supports commercial and sport fishing and is worldly renowned as a excellent fishing lake.

Lake Okeechobee is nationally recognized for its large mouth bass and black crappie fishing. If your looking to catfishing this lake is also the place to go. Largemouth bass fisherman should try spoons and spinnerbaits in the grass flats, and plastic worms and flipping jigs in the heavier cover. Use Golden shiners for live bait for bass. The best areas will around the rim canals.

When Fishing for Black Crappie , or as the locals call them specs. Fish the deeper water near edges of the canal shoreline. Also fish the pilings under the Highway 78 bridge. Only fish the Kissimmee river when the river is flowing steady. Use Jigs ,or fish live shiners near vegetation stands. The best time to fish is early in the morning or late in the day. Standard jigging techniques work well , but to locate schools suspend minnows at various depths to locate the schools. You will have to move often to locate the crappie schools. Once you find the schools fish until they no longer bite then move on and fins another school.

The best areas for bream is the rim of the canals around lake Okeechobee that lead to the Kissimmee river. Use Beetle spins and crickets for bait.

We will list 12 Area’s on or around the lake that have been known to hold largemouth. Bass, black crappie, or specs, and othe panfish and catfish. You can also visit the Florida Fish and wildlife conservation commission webpage and click on Interactive maps to get more detail information.

Area #1 South Henry Creek Flats Florida Lake Okeechobee Fishing Report The flats stretching from the boat lock at Henry Creek south to Chancey Bay has plenty of vegetation and bass. Bulrush, grass and hydrilla grow on a shoal surrounded by sand, about 3/4 mile southwest of the levee. The shoal tapers to a small reef, where bass like to spawn. Fish the outside edges of vegetation with live shiners, topwater plugs and plastic worms. Toss weedless spoons behind the weedline. During summer, cast vibrating plugs and shallow-running crankbaits over the reef for schooling bass. .

Area #2 Nubbin Slough Bass are caught year-round at Nubblin Slough. At the mouth of the slough look for the small islands and rock piles that are surrounded by maidencane. Toss a spinnerbait, Jerkin’ Sam or Rat-L-Trap around these structures during fall. In spring, position the boat on the inside of the vegetation along the boat run that has a sand/shell bottom. Cast a plastic worm, Lunker Lure or spinnerbait. During summer, fish plastic worms in the bulrushes and pencil reeds..

Area #3 Behind Eagle Bay Island Okeechobee Lake Fishing Reports This area behind Eagle Bay Island near the Government Cut provides great action for all species of panfish. Tannic stained water makes it difficult to see bluegill beds, so drift until fish are located..

Area #4 Eagle Bay Eagle Bay is a prime largemouth area from January through April when the lake is at its fullest. It’s good year-round because the water is about two feet deeper than the surrounding area. Summer bass hold here because of the depth and vast hydrilla growth. Try plastic worms and lizards in spring, and switch to topwater plugs, buzzbaits and spoons in summer. Bass move to the outside edge in fall, and topwater lures, vibrating plugs and spinnerbaits are effective.

Area #5 Cast plastic worms and spinnerbaits for spring largemouth holding on the peppergrass in this shallow area. Throw topwater plugs early and late in the day during summer..

Area #6 North Of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) The rocky area north of North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) provides excellent bluegill fishing in the bulrushes and cattails. The panfish bed on scattered rocky patches within the vegetation and are easily caught on worms and crickets. Move east about one mile and drift the open water for winter crappie.

Area #7 North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) North Lake Shoal (Kings Bar) is a large weedy island with a variety of vegetation, including lily pads, hydrilla, eel grass, maidencane and bulrush. Bass are caught year-round on spinnerbaits and plastic worms. This is a great area for flippin’. Trophy bass often lurk in the maidencane growing inside scattered bulrushes.

Area #8 Tin House Cove For Lake OkeechobeeLake Okeechobee Fishing Report Plastic worms and lizards take spawning spring bass in Tin House Cove. In summer, the largemouth move out to deeper water. The peppergrass holds bass year-round, and schooling largemouth also chase threadfin shad on the outside weed edge. Cast vibrating plugs, spinnerbaits and topwater lures for these active fish.

Area #9 From Indian Prairie Canal North To The South End Of Tin House Co. For Lake Okeechobee The wide area on the backside of the emergent vegetation, from Indian Prairie Canal north to the south end of Tin House Cove, yields numerous bass. During spawning season, if water is high, a secondary area behind the cattails in the grassy flats offers good fishing all the way to the levee.

Area #10 Indian Prairie Canal South To Horse Island Okeechobee Lake Fishing Report Fishing Report A mixture of peppergrass and reeds extends from Indian Prairie Canal south to Horse Island. Live shiners fished on the points of dense vegetation are recommended for bass. Toss surface plugs and weedless spoons in the sparser cover. The bottom is about three feet deep, and consists of sand and scattered flat-top rock. Behind this area, throw spoons and top water lures for spring bass in the mixture of maidencane and bulrushes. A boat trail behind it can be worked in windy conditions. Horse Island and Worm Cove are also good places to fish plastic worms.

Area #11 From Dyess Ditch To The Southern Point Of Horse Island For Lake Okeechobee This sandy area from Dyess Ditch to the southern point of Horse Island is one of the top spring bass spots on the lake. This area, known as North Shore, has a peppergrass flat more than 1/2 mile wide. Trophy bass hold along the outside edge of grass on the west side of the bay. Live bait, plastic worms, surface lures, vibrating plugs and spoons produce year-round. Sparse hydrilla patches mixed with maidencane, reeds and pads are used by spawning bass between December and March. This protected area is particularly good when the lake is rough. In summer, bass stay near open water and will move into the shallows as the water cools.

Area #12 Dyess Ditch to the Harney Pond Canal For Lake OkeechobeeThe sandy bottom from Dyess Ditch to the Harney Pond Canal between the two beacon lights holds largemouth year-round. The stained water from Fisheating Creek is filtered by dense vegetation, resulting in relatively clear water. Spring bass will spawn where there are holes in the hydrilla. Spinnerbaits, topwater plugs and weedless spoons take bass around the hydrilla and peppergrass beds.

Well I hope the 12 areas identified in this Florida lake Okeechobee Fishing Report will help on you plan your next freshwater fishing trip to Florida. Lets Go Fish’in!

Design and Build Contracts, Advantages and Disadvantages

Anyone who has spent time working in the UK construction industry is likely to have strong opinions about Design and Build contracts. In the immediate future, it’s likely that activity within the sector is going to increase, and whilst the exact political flavour of the Conservative government has yet to be confirmed they have at least promised to invest heavily in house building. With that in mind, the following points highlight some of the thorny issues associated with design and build contracts.

UK House Building

200,000 appears to be the magic number; in March 2015, David Cameron promised to double the target of 100,000 homes aimed at first time buyers, and with his position now confirmed in No.10 Downing Street we wait with bated breath to see if this commitment will reach fruition. Across the UK, firms are experiencing a modest rise in construction projects and reporting a certain amount of confidence. Besides the always-nebulous claims of politicians a range of measures including a loosening of planning laws and assistance for first time buyers is buoying up the industry after last year’s lack of growth. For many developers, however the fact that an increased demand for labour and materials is likely to push up prices can make design and build contracts more attractive.

Design and Build Advantages

Design and Build [D&B] is a useful procurement route for developers in that it allows a certain amount of control over costs. In general, lump sum contracts result in a contractor agreeing to take on the responsibility for both the design and construction of a project for an agreed price. The contractor may have their own team of designers or may engage an outside firm. They will agree a design initially with the developer, but after the contract is signed the contractor will have full responsibility.

If the agreed-on design remains unchanged throughout the project, the developer can be reasonably sure that the overall cost of construction will remain unchanged. Of course, it’s possible that the developer will require some design changes during the project, but it should then be possible for the contractor to provide an illustration of exactly how any such changes will affect overall costs.

Another of the advantages of design and build contracts is the possibility of reduced construction time. If the contractor is entirely responsible for design a great deal of time can potentially be saved as the design and building elements will run concurrently. For developers the main benefit is that, once the contract is agreed the contractor takes on much of the financial risk inherent in a project; that’s increasingly attractive when prices of both labour and materials are looking likely to rise. When various political parties claim that an upswing in construction is just around the corner, it’s worth remembering that it’s not just the taxpayer who will be expected to contribute. The Conservative government will also need to rely on private investment.

Design and Build Disadvantages

Not everyone in the industry is a fan of design and build contracts and it’s therefore worth taking a look at their disadvantages. Those who dislike the system point out that if a builder is given a free hand to design a building based on a pre-agreed price, even if costs don’t rise during the project they will be likely to work to the lowest possible specifications [if the contract allows them to alter the specifications].

Secondly, there’s an inherent problem in that builders are not architects. An architect, as well as having years of training and a very specific set of skills not least aesthetic ones, will be up to date with both the legal and design requirements. There are also requirements that may not be written into law but will be at the cutting edge of what makes a building fit for purpose now, and years into the future. Giving a builder a set amount of money and most, if not all the responsibility for design is a recipe for a shoddy result, say some people.

Making generalisations about the merits of D&B versus traditional construction methods is dangerous. In the real world, both can and do result in some buildings that are successful and some that are a disaster. For developers, architects and contractors perhaps the most important point is to ensure that the contract whatever form it takes is fully understood by all sides, covers all legal requirements and has the flexibility built into it to allow a satisfactory result.

Construction Management

Recently there has been something of a trend towards construction management rather than design and build contracts. Here, an intermediary in the form of a construction manager is appointed and the developer takes more responsibility for the overall costs of a project. It’s possible, however that if private investors are effectively forced into taking more financial risk the supply of money for the promised housebuilding boom could begin to dry up.

Functions For Plastic Storage Containers

Plastic storage containers are available in a lot of sizes and heights for keeping almost any item you can imagine. Here I am going to try and let you know about the types of different plastic containers and where they may be best utilized.

Personal storage containers

Whenever keeping items inside self storage containers, you always would like something pretty big and readily portable. Big plastic storage containers with the covers and the capability to add up on top of one another tend to be perfect in this instance.

Containers combined with trolley wheels will also be helpful as a big box which is loaded is fairly heavy. Make sure to tag the exterior of the container so that you know very well what is actually inside, unless you are utilizing crystal clear plastic-type storage units.

Storage units for workshop safe-keeping

Durable plastic material storage boxes and bins are perfect for use within an environment along with large items, natural oils and chemicals. Many manufacturers focus on plastic-type storage containers which may be put up from louvered panels or piled on top of one another.

The design permits you to gain access to every bin even if they are piled on top of one another. Plastic storage units also come in quite a number of measurements for various sized components.

Room and wardrobe organizers

Garments thrown across the floor, footwear dropping from the current wardrobe, absolutely no top area of any home furniture uncovered. Does this seem like your own master bedroom? Setting up a few open up shelves inside your wardrobe and then putting smaller plastic-type storeroom containers and plastic bins on them is actually a sensible way to maintain your room neat.

Little plastic footwear storage cardboard boxes may also be bought and piled nicely or put alongside on the floor of your room. In case you have place beneath your bed, lower profile storage bins could be wheeled under there nicely out of eyesight.