Learn How to Truly Build Extraordinary Core Strength With This System of Bodyweight Exercises



This is a superb exercise for conditioning the gut, and adding strength to the whole body.

It will get you the results you desire.

Similar to the Plank exercise in looks, but thats where it ends. This position when performed correctly will really blast the fat from your body, build sensational inner strength, and your energy will go through the roof!

Before we begin, a quick recap of the previous exercises –

1) Deep Breathing/ The Stomach Pump

2)The Superman

3) Power Reverse Crunch

……and now…


To begin, assume the press-up position, except instead of the palms of your hands resting on the floor, you want to close your fists, and bring your elbows and forearms to the floor.

Raise your head and look forward as you aim to hold this position for one minute. This describes the typical Plank posture.

Now comes the key to the infinitely superior Poker. As you breathe in suck your stomach toward your spine, and lock it there. Breathe in deeply and out fully and forcefully through the nostrils, while at the same time contracting your abdominal muscles like crazy. Remember to hold the lock on your abdominals hard.

By performing this exercise regularly, you will develop a core like steel, and muscles like a racehorse.

Aim to hold for 1 minute initially, and build to 2 minutes with practice.

A rock solid core is within your reach, and with this knowledge of this little known exercise is more achievable than ever before.

Vital Information On Reseller Hosting

There are many firms that offer reseller hosting services. In this plan, an individual decides to rent out a portion of his disk pace and bandwidth he already has to other people and makes money out of the deal. The end users enjoy the services although they are not directly linked to the original web hosting company. This means that the account owner acts like a web hosting provider to those end users.

The end users in this kind of plan are expected to operate control panels on their own. Remember that the users do not enjoy the same level of technical support as other users who are directly linked to the original web hosting firm. The reason is because account owners for that matter do not have extensive knowledge on offering support to their users. In most cases, these account owners are just entrepreneurs who want to venture into business and are not experienced webmasters.

The greatest merit of this plan is actually the low price. Most of these plans are cheap and affordable. You will be expected to pay a few dollars per month and keep on enjoying the services.

It is good to choose this plan if you want to save your money. The users will enjoy cheap services although technical support will not be so much effective. You may decide to start with the plan due to financial constraints, but later look for a reliable company to host your business site.

This kind of plan is good for people who want to start their own businesses. This is because it is a low risk investment with a low start up cost. The plan can also suit the users only if they are experienced webmasters. This is because they are expected to fix problems on their own once they arise.

The reseller can actually make a lot of money if at all he does it well. In this plan, an individual will be allowed to host sites whose owners are third parties. This means that the individual has purchased the plan from particular company with an intention of selling it to other people. For that matter, the original company will make money from the person, and the later benefits from the people he sold the plan to.

It is actually easier to purchase a reseller hosting package from a renowned web host company. This is also cheaper and can save you money. For that reason, you need to shop around and find those firms with affordable plans.

Deck Railing Ideas – Updating the Old

There are a million things you can do to bring your design up to par and reinvigorate your love for a construction project that was probably your baby at one time. With some new deck railing ideas, you can add a spark to your old patio. This simple project could have you back in your favorite chair, whistling with the backyard birds in no time. Read on for some of the best.


In your quest for deck railing ideas, do not overlook the obvious. Sometimes, all it takes to bring that luster back out is to give it a good cleaning. This is especially true of metal balusters that have attracted rust over the years or wooden rails that have collected moss and mold. This stuff is not just going to wash off with the rain, no matter how much you might wish it would. In fact, the rain is probably what's causing half of your trouble. Set aside a weekend, grab some appropriate cleaning products, which may consist of nothing more advanced than some bleach and water, and get to work. By the end of your cleaning, you will not even recognize it as the same porch.

Bring In The New

If you built your patio a long time ago or you were at the mercy of an unimaginative contractor, it may be time to consider seriously updating your rails and balusters. This is where you can go nuts with deck railing ideas, a subject many manufacturers have made their stock and trade. You might be surprised at how many options you have. One of the most exciting things you can do is invest in post covers which can completely transform your posts into another architectural style. You may also want to consider looking at custom rails that can fit seamlessly into your overall construction while still giving you something unique and stylish.


While adding in a lot of lighting is not going to change the way your patio looks in the daytime, it can utterly transform the area after dusk. Get creative and look at some of the deck railing ideas out there in regards to lighting. The Internet is filled with pictures for you to browse. That way, you can see what creative homeowners have done with lighting. The best part of using lighting to change your patio is that you do not have to spend a lot of money to make a big difference.

Common Places You Will Find Anti-Ligature Architectural Ironmongery

With the era of development in science and technology, the Anti-ligature ironmongery system on is known as one of the most beneficial and useful invention of science. Ligature means tying, fastening or binding something. It is also known as a device to restrict someone from doing a dangerous act. The Anti-ligature is a [good | merchandise], which unable the Ligature to remain bolt. This term is primarily associated to a door lock, which can be unlocked anytime at risky situation. Thus, the Anti-Ligature Ironmongery focuses on saving the person intending to die or harm himself. By using Anti-ligature Ironmongery, one can be able to reduce the suicide rate in the states. The Door and Hardware Federation established this system for the very first time because of its growing need in all the countries of the world.

Suicide rates by hanging and suffocation are increasing rapidly all over the world. The pace is very high in European states as compared to the world. The countries are trying to use various incentive measures to stop the death rates due to suicides.

The places where this Anti-Ligature device is commonly used are mostly the developed nations of the world like United States of America, United Kingdom (England), Wales, Scotland, Southern and Northern Islands. This good merchandise has been made specially to meet the demand of European countries.

We can use these Anti-ligatures systems in the hospitals in order to prevent the risk of harm or injury. Hospitals are the places where the risk of self-harm is common. The doors of the hospitals' rooms have this unbolting system. Furthermore, this system is commonly used on the doors of hostel rooms for students. According to an estimate, most of the suicide incidents among the youngsters happen due to the tension in studies or pressure from parents and families towards them. Therefore, the hostels' doors and windows should have this useful system. You will find it in the Hospitals, Hostels and Educational institutions of the European countries.

There is another place where you will see this system prevailing. In the rooms, bars and washrooms of the five star hotels, this is the most commonly used system. Especially in the basement area where there is more possibility of having an accident. Nowadays, even in the big ships and crafts, this system is used.

Innovative this anti-ligature door-closing device is designed keeping in by mind places like the Detention Centres and young offender institutes where the risk and chances of suicide is very high. Many countries are using this Anti-ligature system in their old homes and orphanages to prevent the suicides happening with melancholy and depression.

You can find different types of Architectural Ironmongery. It is available with unique design features and high quality performance, along with components available in polished satin steel.

Due to its increasing popularity, and keeping in mind its benefits, people are now even using it in their homes and offices. This hardware system has been tested on fire, and it is indicated that this system has been successful in those tests. It is an intelligent act by governments to promote the Anti-ligature system in their states. Survey showed that the percentage of death rates due to suicides is decreasing by using it.

Christmas Decorating For the Home Filled With Joy

Christmas decorating for the home offers a great deal to excite the imagination and capture the magic of the season, and can be a truly festive and joyous time providing memories for all.

Hang holiday wreaths

  • In the old days a circle of evergreen, a wreath, was hung in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and bringing in eternal good fortune. The wreath then became decorated with ribbons, berries, bows and other embellishments like toys and ornaments. You can even tie on little candies and have scissors handy to cut them off for guests.
  • Start your Christmas decorating for the home by hanging a beautiful Christmas wreath on the front door as a sign of welcome, but don’t stop there. You can hang one on the interior doors, over the mantle, on the windows or loop a mini wreath over the drapery hardware.

Fresh Pines

  • If you are going to be using a live Christmas tree, the fragrance of the fresh evergreen will stir the holiday senses. Trim a few of the branches from the bottom before putting it in the tree stand and place them in vases to make simple arrangements in the dining room or an occasional table.
  • A few sprigs of holiday greens can be tied to the back of dining chairs with ribbon or hanging from the windows.


  • Arrange poinsettias (if you don’t have pets because they are poisonous) in a guest room, a bathroom or on the hearth. Because they are available in so many beautiful color variations, you can place them anywhere you need a splash of holiday color.


  • A garland is a decoration (either real or artificial) made from a variety of materials. It can enhance the home in many ways including highlighting furniture, like on the top of an armoire, over a doorway, or on the mantle. If you have stairs or an indoor balcony drape a garland over the railing and weave ribbon through it, topping it off at the banister with a bow.

Ribbons & Bows

  • Ribbons can be festive and add color and texture. Use ribbon with wire edges so it will retain its shape from one year to the next.
  • Your choice of ribbon can add to your Christmas decorating for the home, from the look of a plaid country style ribbon to an elegant gold.
  • Tie generous bows with the ribbon and use in plants, tucked in a bookcase, at the base of your candlesticks, tie one around a stack of coffee table books, on your wreaths, to the handles of any baskets you may be using for magazines, anywhere you want a touch of holiday whimsy and color.


  • Besides just using lights on the tree, adding white Christmas lights are a great way of creating a warm holiday atmosphere. Tuck them on top of the wall unit or bookcase, along the mantel, on the railing with the garland or concealed among the accessories on a console or buffet.
  • Beautifully displayed candles of different sizes can be another great Christmas decorating for the home idea that creates a festive atmosphere. Using scented candles of cinnamon or pine adds to the aroma of the season.
  • Electric candles in the windows, delight the eye from the inside, and also makes your home inviting from the outside.

Seasonal Fruits

  • Supplement your evergreens with fruits of the season including rose hips, fire thorn berries, rosy apples, tangerines, nuts and grapes.
  • Something as simple as a plate of fruits and nuts or a bowl of green apples in the hall can be welcoming. Leave them natural to eat or spray them with a splatter of gold or silver to highlight the greens as a variation of the horn of plenty.
  • Christmas’ potpourri with dried variations of these fruits can be placed in a glass or other decorative bowl, or simmer the potpourri to gradually distill the fragrance in the air.
  • Pillows help to create a comfortable atmosphere to a room. Place pillows of a holiday motif in unexpected areas for a festive touch.
  • If you have glass bowls or jars, fill them with the old fashion ribbon candy, or other items that are traditionally associated with Christmas.
  • Wrap small packages or display Christmas balls all of one color or mixed.
  • Place Christmas theme books in a basket with a teddy bear on the hearth or stacked on the coffee table.
  • Stack wrapped packages (not real ones) on the floor and tie together with a big bow, decorate with artificial sprays of berries.
  • Fill teapots with greens or holly, use a quilt, or other beautiful fabric for a tree skirt.

All the things you love around the house and everyday items can be used in magical ways to celebrate the joy of Christmas decorating for the home, and it is fun to find new and unexpected homes for your Santas, snowmen, trees and other collections you hold dear. Gather them and display together among garlands with lights, along the mantel, on top of a china or on the shelf of a hutch.

Entertaining friends and family and sharing your home will be a pleasure as your home is transformed from your living space of every day to the magic of Christmas!

Ten Tips On Buying Original Contemporary Art For Investment

Record-setting prices are being paid for art created in the last one hundred years. For a time it seemed as if Van Gogh’s work would remain the most valuable of recently auctioned pieces. But now other artists are bringing in the multi-millions per work as well.

Investing in art for the average person must take on some very different dimensions. Yet, buying, collecting and selling art can be interesting – even profitable. There some things to remember when you are shopping for art – especially as an investor.

First, remember that the odds of finding a De Kooning at a garage sale is infinitesimally small. His works, as are those of many artists, were seen, bought, cataloged and stored almost as a public record. The people who bought De Kooning’s along the way stood to make multi-millions as well, if they held onto the works.

Second, try to find artists whose works interest you, and get to know those artists. Communicate with them about their work, their prices, their career objectives. Try to acquire the best examples of their works that are available.

Third, bargain on price – which is not easily accomplished if you are after their largest or most accomplished pieces. Price can be tricky, but don’t let it cause tension between the artist and yourself. Remember, heart felt appreciation of an artist’s works go a long way to softening negotiations. This doesn’t mean you should be insincere in your flattery, but do be expressive.

More words on prices. Bartering is not out of the question. Smaller and less accomplished pieces should be less expensive. Sometimes buying more than one piece gets a discount, or buying on a regular basis. Buying works after an exhibition, or before an exhibition on the condition that they are not sold during the exhibition, can bring some discounts. Telling the artist his/her work will be shown prominently and giving out the artist’s cards should be a given if you want discount prices.

Fourth, see how well the artist is received by other buyers or the art community generally. Do not expect the best art, art prices, or art investments from the best-known artists or the artist commanding the top prices. By the way, these do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. When galleries “discover” an artist they usually increase the artist’s prices. Your job is to discover the artist before the next big buyer or gallery discovers them.

Fifth, either pick classic, timeless themes in artwork, or be very aware that you are picking niche-interest or local-history themes. Abstract and nonobjective works happily don’t have this problem.

Sixth, try to focus on artists with a recognizable style. This does not mean a generic, academic, or knock-off style. The style should be as original, different, and strong as you and your friends can tolerate. Investments usually have to be cutting edge, by the time they are blue chip it takes big money to get into the game.

Seventh, diversify your collection across one or two axes and buy as many as you can show in your house, office, or apartment. You can buy one from each artist or several from a few different artists.

Eighth, choose artists who are productive and well-grounded in the process of creating. Be careful of artists who are (or act as if they are) “suffering artists” or confounded by life, etc. This does not mean you should turn away a legitimate bargain because the artist really needs money. Artists should be judged on their work, not their profile or personality or their press hype.

Ninth, take good care of your art, it will appreciate rather slowly on average. And, yes, price hikes may not start until the artist dies. This doesn’t mean you should follow only elderly artists, but you might want to make sure your children or friends share some of you interests in your selected artists. They may be the caretakers of your investment one day.

Tenth, don’t sell your art until you get good offers. Check the market for other transactions on art from your artists. Don’t expect to make a quick killing – the stock market only works like that if you are an insider or you are a very wealthy opportunist waiting on a sure thing.

There are a lot of other things you can learn to increase your ability and taste for art buying and investing. I will write some other articles on this topic in the near future.

The Pros And Cons Of Witchcraft Covens

The upside of joining a Coven is that it can give you some discipline when practicing your craft. For example, you will be celebrating every Sabbat, and making sure to do your daily devotions. It can be a rewarding experience to meet with like-minded people – no matter what you do.

Also, the High Priest and High Priestess will always be there to help guide you on your path.

The downsides of joining a Coven are mostly the politics involved. There can be squabbles, and problems within the group (for example, arguments over who should lead, etc). There may also be people who join who have a lot of emotional baggage, and actually bring negative energy into the group. This can corrupt the energy that the Coven is working with – in short, it may bring everyone down. Covens are NOT witchcraft schools, but are a good way to find like-minded people who share your beliefs… it is wonderful when you can work your Magick with others as a group.

The last downside of belonging to a Coven is that it can be a large commitment of time and energy. You will be expected to participate and even donate some money towards expenses and materials.

Where To Find Covens

You can easily find Covens in your area by checking them out online. To start, just go to http://www.witchvox.com and sign up if you aren’t already (it’s free). You can also try to “google” the name of your city along with the word “Coven”. For example your search may be “New York Coven”.

You may have many covens in your area, and may have a choice as to which one you want to join.

Once you have at least once Coven to visit, contact them and find out if you can join. Then go visit and talk to the High Priest/Priestess and find out what the Coven is all about, and if you feel comfortable with it.

Here are some of the questions you can ask on your visit to the Coven:

1. What does your group have to offer me?

2. What is your philosophy of witchcraft?

3. What tradition do you practice?

4. What do you feel that I have to offer your group?

5. What are your requirements for degrees?

6. How long is the dedication period?

7. What are the expectations of members in your group?

8. Are there membership dues?

9. What is your lineage?

10. What is your teaching style?

11. How do you define covenstead?

What Covens Do Together

It would be more accurate to ask what covens do not do together! Make ritual candles one full moon. If you do not practice skyclad, make your robes together. If you do practice skyclad, make robes for when you do visit other covens. Make soap or other Yule gifts together. Buy a case of tomatoes from the Farmers market and can them as a group. Throw parties. Make ritual bath salts, make incense, go visit other covens or Renaissance festivals as a group. Cook a weeks’ worth of meals for somebody mourning a loss or celebrating a baby. Become active in the pagan community. Make ritual jewelry together. Design and build a sacred space in your covenstead. Go to movies. Go out to dinner. Switch off babysitting. Adopt a road and pick up the litter. Hold a group yardsale. Help your fellow coveners move. Practice random acts of kindness. Enjoy!

The Sinusitis Vision Connection

Many people wonder why their vision is impeded when they suffer from sinusitis. Blurred vision, water eyes, dull eye pain are frequent complaints presenting to my office in conjunction with a sinusitis. The sinusitis connection has to do with the spatial relationship between the sinuses and the eye structures. Multiple symptoms can occur depending on which sinus is infected. Most of the severe vision issues also revolve around bacterial sinusitis, which accounts for about 15% of all sinus infections.

The frontal and the ethmoid sinuses are the most common sinuses that produce vision symptoms. Osteomyelitis is an inflammation of the bone. Young males tend to be the most susceptible to this type of sinusitis vision connection. This osteomyelitis occurs most in the frontal sinuses above the eyes and the inflammation can spread to the inner eye socket leading to an orbital infection or inflammation of the surrounding structures. This rarely happens. The most common symptoms of osteomyelitis in the frontal sinuses include severe pain over the eyes causing squinting, excessive watering and photophobia.

If a bacterial infection occurs in the ethmoid sinuses, orbital infection can also occur. This process is more common that the frontal osteomyelitis route. This is a serious complication but occurs rarely. In these cases loss of eye movement, drooping eye lid and vision losses are common. A deep aching pain in the midline of the face can point to an ethmoid sinus infection.

The most dangerous side effect of this orbital infection occurs when the infection moves into the cavernous venous sinuses which are contained next to the pituitary gland; a brain infection. Abscesses, meningitis and other life threatening conditions may result. Very often personality changes, high fever, neck pain, sever visual problems, altered consciousness, seizures, coma and even death can occur.

Both frontal and ethmoid sinus infections can also cause blood clots. These clots can travel to the venous structures surrounding the eye causing stagnation and therefore putting pressure on these structures. A fixed pupil that is dilated is often the first sign of this.

All the above symptoms are rare and constitute the most severe sinusitis vision connections. More often mild symptoms such as water eyes, photophobia, dull achy pain of the eyes predominate. Again this has to do with the spatial connection between the nasal sinus passages and the eyes.

Impeded mucus drainage is the main culprit causing these sinusitis vision symptoms. The eyes have a natural connection to the nose through the nasolacrimal duct. It allows the eyes to secrete a watery liquid that coats the eyes and keeps it moist. This connection is why when you cry your nose runs, the tears can drain through the nasolacrimal duct.

In sinusitis the exit of the nasolacrimal duct is right next to two sinus entries. If the sinuses are inflamed and producing excessive mucus this duct can also become blocked impeding the normal flow of your tears. Thus your eyes become excessively moist and water. This leads to most sinusitis vision problems

The best thing to do is to quickly remove the excessive mucus production through irrigation techniques. Nettie pots are a great way to do this. Make sure to add in a little bit of salt to keep your nasal passages moist or you’ll notice a few minutes after using it, your mucus congestion will be worse.

How to Build a Wood Ground Level Boardwalk Or Patio

There are many occasions after a rain that your yard is not usable since the grass is wet and soggy. Warm overcast summer days are a loss if you and the kids are stuck in the house. You can of course use patio block, poured concrete or stone to make your patio but wood seems to be a softer, warmer material to work with. You can add a ground level wood patio for less than a deck would cost and extend the number of days you can grille or just sit outside and enjoy the summer months.

You will need a fairly flat area to build your patio pretty much the same as if it was concrete or stone. Some minor hand grading can be done but if you need to use heavy machinery, the area is probably more suited to a raised deck than a patio. You will need to have a builder’s level and tape measure to set some elevations for the tops of the floor joists as you install them. If you are planning a great many yard projects you may want to consider buying a builders level instead of renting. One or two days of extra rental fees because you forgot to return it can pay for the level itself.

Setup the level and make sure it is perfectly level in all directions by adjusting the screws. Make sure the built-in bubble level is level in all directions as you turn the head itself.

Starting in any corner of the patio, take elevation shots in all four corners. For this example we will assume your first shot is 5′-0″ on your tape. Looking through the level glass, the left-to right cross hair is exactly at 5′-0″ or sixty inches. Now read the other three corners. We get readings of 4′-10″, 5′-3″ and 5′-2″. This means the patio area is fairly flat and by adding or deducting the shot measurements from the original 5′-0″ we see there is only a maximum of three inches in height difference to the high point and we may need to fill in two inches or so at the low point. Take a couple more shots in the middle area of the patio to make sure there are no real high points or low spots that will cause major hand work to level.

Our sample wood patio is going to be ten feet by ten feet in size. If at all possible you want to use one piece floor joists as they will result in less framing work and you only need to set the level grade at both ends of the joist. Once the ends are set, you can either fill in the middle to support the joist or dig out a little to allow the joist to sit on the level pads at both ends. Remember we are not digging out the entire patio. You only dig out enough to let the joists sit level with perhaps a three inch wide trench. Once the joists are all set level and the perimeter joists are installed, you will back fill all the loose dirt against the joists themselves. Nothing to haul away! If you were somewhat neat with your work by placing all your excavated material inside the patio area, the only evidence of digging will be the small slit you created around the edges of the patio for the perimeter joists. These areas will fill in with lawn very quickly.

A ground level patio requires that all wood be pressure treated or other type of wood acceptable for ground contact. Most if not all building departments do not require a permit for a patio but you should ask if one is required. Be sure to be very clear that this is a patio and not a deck. There are no footings, no support columns or beams and is not connected to a structure. In areas that have frost and freezing temperatures, the inspector wants to be sure no damage will result from heaving in the freeze–thaw cycles. Since the patio is free standing there will be no damage to structures. There are some areas that due to local Zoning regulations require permits for just about everything you do on your property so it always best to ask first.

A minimum floor joist size should be 2′ x 6″ PT but I prefer 2″ x 8″ PT for the extra rigidity the wider boards provide. If you can get the smaller lumber at a great discount or perhaps used or free it may be worth the extra time to install a series of wood blockings to stiffen the deck. If you are going to place a hot tub on the patio, stay with the larger lumber to prevent future sagging of the joists.

If your patio is going to be for general use for a bar-b-que grille and some chairs and a table, your joist spacing can be sixteen (16) inches on centers. If you expect heavier loads go for twelve inch centers. Layout all the joists in their respective areas including the rim or end joists. It is best to create the exterior box or rim joists first and get them set level. Nail or screw all the perimeter joists together. Screws are preferable as you will not be able to add fasteners after the joists are buried and the decking is applied. Using your two foot framing square, make sure the box is as perfectly square as you can make it. Measure corner to corner to assure these measurements are exactly the same. If they are, the box is square. Now using the level and tape measure, take measurement shots at the four corners and assure they are all exactly the same. You may have to dig a little or add some dirt under the joists but make sure if you are adding material under the joists that the dirt is compacted firmly. You do not want the deck to settle later.

Now that the perimeter box is level and square you may start adding the rest of the floor joists. The use of Teco hangers or other types of joist hangers is not really required as the patio is ground level and the joists will be supported their entire length by the ground below. If you have them and want to use them that is fine. Continue framing and constantly checking that the entire assembly has remained level and square. Once the framing is done, back fill all the joists with as much materials as available that you removed in the beginning. Remove any really large rocks unless you can bury them well below the bottoms of the decking boards.

I know you want to start installing the decking boards now but first we are going to run some landscape wiring under the deck. Figure out where you want to add some low voltage lighting, even if it is in the future, and run the wires now. It will be near impossible later on ot travel under the deck and you will use a lot less wire going from corner to corner under the joists instead of around the outside of the patio. I installed four three foot 4″ x 4″ posts in the corners and ran the wire up the posts for future lights keeping the ends where I planned to place the low voltage transformer.

If you installed your floor joists on sixteen inch centers, you must use 2″ thick (nominal 1 5/8″) materials for the deck boards. If you used twelve inch centers you may also use 5/4″ thick decking boards.

Using twelve inch joist centers also allows you to install your boards on a bias and create interesting designs in the boards themselves. Placing some board areas on diagonals to others can create many different designs. I strongly suggest that you use galvanized deck screws to install the decking boards. Screws will not pull loose over time as will nails. Screws also provide a tighter overall assembly when completed.

When you start your first deck board, have the first board hang over the edge of the perimeter joist approximately one inch. This provides a nice shadow line and any bowing on the joist below will not be noticeable. Make sure you allow enough board on the opposite side of the deck so the last board will also hang over the same amount. Do this on all four sides. Do not cheat on the amount of screws you use. If you are working alone, even with the best quality screw gun, this work can be very tiring. Take a break or two or come back the next day to finish. If you have a helper, pre-drilling holes for the screws saves tons of arm stress and will help prevent splitting of the boards.

Curved areas can be built with a little extra framing to support the decking and look fantastic when done. If you are creating a walkway to the patio the same framing methods as the patio are used. The framing underneath is straight and square but by cutting the decking on a curve you can create some really eye pleasing effects. My second patio but next to my first is seven inches lower and twice as big. After heavy rains when others are waiting for their lawns to dry out, we can go out and sit or cook and have a dry place to enjoy minutes later.

How to Make Window Boxes For Your House

Window boxes are to a house like jewelry is to a woman’s ensemble, they finish the look. Window boxes fit nearly every type of architecture from Victorian to ranch style to modern. Second story window boxes bring the garden up to the viewer as well as provide interest and color to the facade of the house.

Select a sturdy but light weight container that compliments the style of the house. The container must have drainage holes or drill holes in the bottom.

Place coffee filters over the drainage holes to keep soil inside the box but let excess water escape.

Securely fasten the window box to the ledge of the window or to the walls of the house beneath the window. How it’s fastened depends on the material of the window box, what the ledge is made of and how big the box is.

Fill with potting soil mixed with fertilizer per package directions to within two inches of the top of the box.

Follow the seasons. Plant tall spring flowers in the back of the box such as snapdragons, followed by bulbs such as daffodils and tulips in the middle and flowers that mound such as pansies toward the edge of the box. Summer flowers include tall flowers like zinnias in the back, medium flowers like geraniums in the middle and mounding flowers such as petunias in the front. A fall flower combination would be mums in the back, asters in the middle and flowering kale at the edges. Winter might mean evergreens and a bright ribbon.

Contrast the color of the flowers against the color of the building so they stand out. White petunias would be lost against white stucco walls but red ones would pop.

Keep the plantings and coloring of the boxes consistent if more than one window box, otherwise the look will be spotty.

Consider the light the window box receives when installed. Shady flowers, like begonias will burn if subjected to direct hot sunlight while flowers that demand full sun like marigolds will stop blooming if planted in too much shade.

Water well after planting and during the growing season. Plants in boxes dry out faster than those in the ground. The boxes may be shaded from rain since planted up against the house.

Seeds take up to two weeks to germinate and another four weeks to fill out so use nursery plants instead. The window boxes have a fuller look immediately.

Keep a few extra plants on hand to pop in the box if a plant dies unexpectedly.

Window boxes are heavy when full of soil, plants and water. Make sure the box is fastened to the ledge to avoid accidents.

European Plumbing Secret

Need to do a bit of plumbing around your house? If you called a plumber or two you have probably heard the same things, basically that it is very expensive and it could be several days before he can show up. This is not ideal if water is pouring out of a broken pipe. What the homeowner should know is that basic plumbing repairs are quite simple for even the first time amateur plumber. Best of all, the cost to acquire all the tools and supplies will be cheaper than what you would pay a licensed plumber for just a single hour of work. Keep reading to learn how to make perfect connections every time.

Tools For The Job

For copper pipe repair you need 5 tools:

  1. Pipe Cutter – a small tool that clamps around pipe. You tighten the screw as you turn the clamp around the pipe, this cleanly cuts the pipe
  2. Sand Paper – any grit is fine, it is used to clean the areas two pipes meet.
  3. Flux – an acidic paste that allows the connection to seal together.
  4. Solder – get lead free, flux core. When melted bonds two pipes together.
  5. Propane Torch – used to heat up the connection and melt the solder.

You will also of course need copper pipe and fittings to make your repairs.

Directions To Repair Copper Pipe

  1. Turn off the main water line coming into your house. This is probably in the basement attached to your water meter.
  2. Open every single tap in the house and lets the water drain out. Do not forget bathtubs. This will depressurize the water pipes.
  3. Use the pipe cutter to cut all the pipe and mock up the repair. Put all the pieces in place but DO NOT solder them yet. You are just making sure that all the pieces fit.
  4. Lightly sand the ends of the pipes until they are shiny. Do the same for inside the fittings.
  5. Put a thin coating of flux on the pipe ends and inside the fittings. Do this for all fittings.
  6. Push all your pipes together and solder it up.

How To Solder.

The key to soldering is to heat the pipe and NOT the solder directly. Hold your torch on the bottom of the pipe and press your solder on the top of the pipe. When the pipe heats up the solder will melt and be sucked into the space where the two pipes meet.

The Secret

Now for the ‘secret’. There are new fittings on the market in North America that have been used in Europe for years that make this very easy. They have solder embedded at the contact point. You can identify them by the raised ring at both ends of the fitting. Simply follow steps 1-5 above then hold the flame directly on the fitting and in about 20 seconds you will see a bit of solder ooze out of the joint. You are done. A perfect, water tight connection every time. Wait 20 minutes for all the joints to cool down, close all your taps, and turn your water back on.

Wiring A Model Railway – Shocking Details That Will Keep You From Pulling Your Hair Out!

Proper model railway wiring will ensure your model train to run smoothly, safely and correctly. Even if you have never worked with wiring railway models before, it is surprisingly easy to learn. Wiring model railways is an exciting part of the hobby. It allows you to control starting the locomotive’s engine to stopping it and everything in between its route; a model railway wired correctly is a stress free railway.

The beauty of electricity is that it’s consistent, meaning it will do exactly the same thing over and over. So when a wiring problem occurs all you have to do is break the situation down into small pieces until you isolate where the problem is. And Bingo, once the problem is found then it’s easily fixable.

9 Model Railroad Wiring Tools You’ll Need

  1. Wire Cutters
  2. Wire Strippers
  3. Crimping Tool
  4. Wire Tester
  5. Assortment of Wire Nuts, Crimping Connectors, and Splice Connectors
  6. Small Soldering Iron with stand
  7. Small diameter Heat Shrink Wire Wrap
  8. Rolls of proper different colored wires
  9. Roll of Self-adhesive Copper Tape (used under smaller track layout board bus bars).

The two most used model railroad wires are solid and strand wires. The solid wire is just that, a solid wire. With solid wires there is no chance of ‘wire strands’ that can touch anything close and cause a short circuit. The disadvantage is that it is not very flexible. While strand wire is flexible and can easily bend and maneuver around things.

Wire comes in several different gauges. The gauge size you will use will depend on the job you want to accomplish. As the number of the gauge goes higher the wire becomes smaller. Therefore, a gauge size 18 is bigger than the gauge 22 size.

USING THE RIGHT GAUGE CAN BE CRITICAL! For example; using too small of a gauge can cause the wire to have too much resistance and this will either cause your equipment NOT to work properly OR worse the wire can get too hot and cause a fire.

Recommended Wire Gauge Usage

  • 14-16 gauge for track power bus
  • 18-20 gauge excellent for track feeders
  • 22 gauge for remote turnouts
  • 22-24 gauge for lights and sounds

12 Wiring Tips

  1. Test each piece as you put your train layout together. That includes every connection, electrical circuit, track, turnouts (anything that is electrical).
  2. All wires should be properly connected and tight.
  3. Your tracks should be connected to the DC terminal and not the AC terminal as this may damage your train’s engine.
  4. Debris and dust will build up after a while and can cause electricity not to flow correctly. So clean the track with a soft, clean cloth along with a track cleaner. You’ll want to also avoid dust getting inside the engine and causing a short.
  5. Make the track level and secure it down tight as this will help support your wirings continuity.
  6. After the wiring has been done use a polarity tester to confirm that there are no short circuits.
  7. Use different colored wires to help keep unity. I use red wire for positive current usage and white wire for negative current.
  8. Put coding on all of your wires as you install them, this will let you know what each wire is used for; this way there will be no confusions. Use white adhesive tape and wrap it around the wire, then take a black marker pen and write on the tape what that wire is used for. Simple and very effective!
  9. When you use multiple connecting wires, keep the splices staggered, this will help avoid causing any short circuits.
  10. After soldering connections, always file any soldering edges or wire left sticking out, as they can also cause electrical shorts.
  11. A successful track layout will run to your right in a counterclockwise direction. This means when you wire your railroad you will make the inside rail (-) negative and the outside rail (+) positive. Thus making your system wiring constant.
  12. To help avoid doubling up wires in a power pack I recommend using an 8 place terminal block as this is an excellent way to help keep track of your wires.

Important Reminder! Always turn off all power to your model train (including the soldering iron) when you are done working on it. I have a barn by my exit door that can be easily seen when I am leaving the room. If the light in the barn is still on, then I know the horses are eating hay and the power is still on.

Bose(R) Solo TV Sound System – The Cool Alternative For Your Stereos

The Bose® Solo TV Sound System presents you with the new sleek sound solutions. It is so slick that it just fits below your HDTV, making the quality of your TV programs dramatically better. Frustrated that you cannot hear the dialogues of your favorite TV programs with utmost clarity? Does your flat panel TVs speaker cannot meet up with your requirements? Why not try our new product. All that you need to do is to connect our sound system to your TV and the other end to the wall, and sit back relax and enjoy your program. You do not even need a separate equipment to make our product work.

Want an even but wider sound throughout the room? The Bose® Solo TV Sound System provides you with the latest array technology making the sound heard wider and more even throughout the room. The Bose speaker comes up with the cutting-edge proprietary digital signal processing making the music and dialogues reach you more clearly and naturally, with added effects.

The compact alternative

Almost all TVs sized up to 37″ and sometimes even up to 42″ can be mounted on this audio system. This makes it very simple that you don’t need to roam around for a separate stand for your sound system. You can place the Bose® Solo TV Sound System under a wall mounted TV, or a cabinet or a shelf. You can have it in your living room or your bedroom or anywhere you want. All that is needed is a plug-in to the socket on one side and the TV on the other and forget the whole world around with one finger touch on the remote.

High level performance

The Bose sound system comes to you with the proprietary digital signal processing that makes the sound more even and it detects every variation signal and hence you do not need to alter the volume with that tweak you hear with a sudden rise in volume. Even if your room is a very compact enclosure, the audio system makes the sound distributed evenly throughout, through the array technology.


Hear your can`t-miss-it dialogues with the utmost clarity and hear even the subtle sound that may go without noticed otherwise, through the Bose® Solo TV Sound System. Try it once and you will become such an addict to your TV that you will turn up eventually into a couch potato. The task is made easier with the remote. It comes with just a four button remote that is extremely user- friendly and a universal remote that allows you to access the other components of your TV. Own your Bose® Solo TV Sound System and become your neighbor`s envy.

The components of the box

The whole box consists of the Bose® Solo TV Sound System, the Remote Control, the Power Cord, Optical digital audio cable and an analogue cable. The box comes along with a user manual with step by step instructions making your audio system extremely user friendly. You can approach the online product support center for any further technical assistance.

Purchase this product for just 399$ and you will just feel it worth every dime. The sound effect provided by the Bose® Solo TV Sound System is spectacular and the clarity is just amazing. The Bose® Solo TV Sound System makes it sure that it makes a big difference with your HDTV alluring you into a world of ecstasy. Why settle for something less, when you just deserve the best!

A Step By Step Guide To Opening Your Swimming Pool

When warm weather is approaching, it's time to start thinking about opening the swimming pool for the summer. Actually, opening the pool is just simply closing the pool in reverse, so let's take you through it step by step.

The first place to start is to check your pool supplies. Very often, you'll find that they may be old and out of date. So before you get started on the pool itself, make sure that the chemicals that you will be using to open the pool are up to date and usable. There's nothing more frustrating than getting the pool all ready to go and then realizing that your supplies are no good.

When you know that your chemicals are all set, it's time to uncover the pool. There is no real mystery to this part of the process as you just simply remove any excess water on the top of the cover, usually with a water pump. If you do not have a water pump of your own, you can usually rent one very inexpensively. After the water is removed, take the cover off and clean it thoroughly before putting it away for the year. Be sure to allow it to dry before storing it too, as you do not want any mildew to start growing on it while in storage.

If you disassembled the pump and filter, now is the time to put them back together again and reinstall them. At the same time, you can also put your ladders, diving board, and other deck fittings back in their respective places.

Usually, some sort of plugs are installed in the pool over the wintertime, so now is the time to remove them and to go around and check all of the fittings for both the intake and outtake holes in the pool. Make sure that all is in working order.

At this point you can begin to start filling the pool back up to its correct water level. That should not take all that long to do as usually only about a foot or so of water is drained out of the top of the pool when it was closed.

While the pool is refilling, check all the electrical switches, circuit breakers, and timers to make sure that they are in good working condition. If any need to be replaced, now is the time to do it.

Now you can begin to restart the circulation equipment and begin the cleaning of the pool. Of course, you'll need to put in the necessary pool chemicals to restore the proper water chemistry and get it back into operating condition as recommended by your pool chemical company. With some pools this may go very quickly, and others it may take a longer period of time to accomplish. Generally speaking though, you should expect to run your circulation system round-the-clock for approximately three days on average to get your pool in good working order.

As you can see, opening the pool is just a simple step-by-step process that is repeated each year. Once you open a pool the first time, you should have all the experience you need to successfully open it year after year from there on.

Drywall Hole Repair Made Easy!

For small holes up to approximately ½ "you can simply use spackling compound and a putty knife. Apply the spackle, wait until it dries then sand smooth. Spackling compound will shrink a bit so sometimes you will need to apply a second coat after the first coat dries, you will then need to sand it again before touching up the paint.

For medium holes 1/2 "to 3" you will need to get a drywall patch (there are various other methods to repair a hole this size but a drywall patch kit is the simplest). Most of these kits come with a patch that is self adhesive. Simply cut the patch so that it is larger than the size of the hole by about 1 "and stick it over the hole (some kits actually enable you to stick the patch through the hole then pull it tight behind the back of the hole enabling you to fill in just the hole).

Then you will need drywall compound (which can be found in smaller containers than a gallon) or spackling compound. Using a wide blade putty knife (3 "or wider), apply the compound over the patch and a couple of inches surrounding the hole, then after it dries, sand it smooth. You will need to repeat this step a couple of times until you can no longer see where the patch is, sanding after each coat dries. Finally, touch up the paint.

For larger holes 3 "and larger it is typically best to replace a section of the drywall. Find where the closest stud is, then cut out a rectangle around the hole including half of the width of the stud. Then, using the cut out piece as a template cut a fresh piece of drywall to fit the hole. Place the drywall in the hole and use drywall screws to attach it to the stud. (it is even better if you cut out a piece that is large enough to expose half of two studs so that the drywall is even firmer in place. Studs are usually positioned 18 "apart but could be anywhere between 12" to 24 "apart.)

Using you "mudding knife" (or large putty knife), apply a thin layer of drywall mud to cover the entire joint. Next, apply paper drywall tape over the mud and using your blade, embed the paper firmly into the mud, scraping off any excess mud. After this dries apply another 2 to 3 coats of drywall mud over the joint tape extending approximately 6 "on either side of the joint, sanding between each coat. Once the repair job is smooth you can touch up the paint.