Top 9 Lower Body Strength Exercises For Football Lineman

One thing that confuses and angers me about 90%of the football strength training programs out there is that everyone does the same thing. The Wide Outs go through the same training as the QB’s. The Corners do the same exercises, sets and reps as the Lineman. And Kickers, who knows what the hell they do…

It’s as if we’re weren’t different enough as individuals, now we’re going to take guys who perform extremely different functions on the field and have them all train the same way? Insanity, plain and simple. How can guys who perform duties that are in completely different worlds all do the same strength workouts?

Sure, there are many similarities. There’s a base of movements and exercises that everyone should do…however, how, when, and how much of them is quite different, especially when it comes to the big guys up front!

Some key points to remember about the Lineman are:

They are much bigger than the rest of the team, recovery ability will either be much less or much more than the other guys (more on this later)

Their job is to move another huge, strong and explosive guy using strength from their hips, legs, arms, back…and just about everything else.

Their secondary job is to be able to move quickly through space and keep guys off of their QB’s – this often involves moving laterally and blocking players who are much faster (Corners, Safeties, LB’s)

Lineman are Work-horses, right?

Most lineman need tremendous amounts of work. They’re built big and can handle a ton of work; in fact, some need this high work-load to thrive.

There are, however, some big guys, who, by virtue of being so large, have lessened recovery ability. This is usually tied in to poor eating (we’re talking about High School and College players that are quite large, with high levels of bodyfat). This will sound odd, but if you are this guy, or you coach these guys, the first thing you should do is have them lose some fat. Yes, I know, it’s all about having the biggest lineman on the field. And, most guys will point to the NFL and specifically the Dallas Cowboys from the 90’s who had enormous lineman. Sure, we all watched Madden circle Ol’Nate Newton’s belly, but, the reality is that those guys had tons of muscle and were bull strong. (There’s video of Newton benching 700lbs).

If a lineman is over-fat, he will need to be twice as strong just to move out of his own way. Since this is difficult to do, its best to just drop the excess weight. I’ll have a Fat Loss article specifically for Lineman coming up shortly…until then, stop shoveling in the junk food!

Now, for those that do have a high work capacity, let’s get to work. We’ll look at the top 8 Exercises for Lineman (both offensive and defensive) and how and when to do them. The subtle changes make all the difference in the world.

Top 8 Leg Strength Training Exercises for Lineman

1. Front Squats

Want explosive lineman? Want lineman who can physically dominate their opponents and bulldoze their way down field? Then adding Box Front Squats to your football training program is the first thing you should do.

While lesser known that it’s cousin, the Box Squat, the Box Front Squat is actually more effective for lineman. If you’ve ever seen one done, you’ll notice that the position is almost identical to the blocking/driving position: Chest up, arms out, hips and legs working to go from a static position (your stance) to a dynamic position (driving through the other guy). This is about as close to sports specific as one can get.

Many put the Front Squat down because it has less of an impact on the Posterior Chain, but this is non-sense. The quads can not be ignored! Plus, when doing Front Squats on a box, you involve the glutes and hams to a much greater degree.

These are quite easy to teach. You need a box that is at least parallel…ideally, an adjustable box would be used so that you can vary the depth.

Unrack the weight with the bar resting high on the chest, near the clavicles.

Keep the bar high and stress on the wrists is greatly reduced and the bar is in a more secure position

Now, sit way back and lower yourself under control onto the box. Relax the hip flexors, pause for a beat, then explode up.

Do not rock while on the box!

Performing Box Front Squats will push you hip, glute, ham, ab, and quad power to the absolute maximum and will improve any lineman’s ability to drive block and bulldoze opponents.

Keep the reps under 5, and the sets medium to high. These are a perfect Max Effort movement. They can also be used with Chains or Bands for an excellent speed movement as well.

2. Deadlifts

Deadlifts are the King Maker when it comes to football strength training, especially for lineman. Before I go on, let me say that some of you may have heard that Deadlifting is bad for the back, or some other such douchebagery. This is plain ol’BS. When done properly, the Deadlift and it’s variations may be the single best builder of strength and speed known to man.

If all you could do was Deadlift, you’d be head and shoulders above the guys who bench and curl ad nauseum. It still sickens me when I hear from athletes who tell me their coaches tell them not to Deadlift.

Deadlifts are ultra-important for several reasons:

They build tremendous starting strength. Many lineman are woefully lacking in the ability to get explosive and apply strength quickly. Failure to do this will result in poor performance on the field.

Deads strengthen the Posterior Chain; building power and strength in the hamstrings, glutes, calves, and the entire back

Deadlifts, like Squats, build insane strength in the hips; the seat of power for all sports.

They build slabs of muscle. Nothing will make you grow from your calves to your traps like heavy Deadlifts. For young lineman who need to get bigger, Deads are the way to go!

The Deadlift can be extremely useful for injury prevention. Some believe that the moderate to high hamstring activity elicited during the Deadlift may help to protect the Anterior Cruciate Ligament during rehab.

You can – and should – use many variations of the Deadlift to round out your training and keep yourself working as hard as possible. The Deadlift has many forms, including:

Snatch Grip

Sumo

Rack Pulls

Hack Deadlifts

Trap Bar Deads

This is only a short list of some of the many variations of the Deadlift that should be used.

Deads can be used as ME, DE or moderate rep exercise. The classic 5 x 5 protocol applied to the DL can put more muscle on your frame than most other exercises combined.

3. Sandbag Clean & Push

Sandbags are alive…they move, change positions, and fight you every step of the way. Sounds a lot like a live opponent to me. Live Opponent work ties in closely with the concept of strength leakage.

Weights are fixed – they stay balanced, evenly distributed, and constant. This is good when it comes to building maximum strength. But, it can hinder the transfer of power to taking on a live opponent. Wrestlers, fighters, and martial artists have used sandbags for centuries because of their effect on strength when fighting someone. Football is, for the most part, a 3-hour fight. Every play you line up and fight your opponent. He will not stay in positions that allow you to block or tackle him. No, he wants to make your job as hard as possible.

Power Cleans have come under fire in the last few years because many coaches believe they are difficult to teach and are not as effective at building speed as Dynamic Effort movements are. Both of these points are valid. But, by using a Sandbag in place of a barbell, we get around both problems.

Sandbag cleans are the perfect movement to build the entire upper body and specifically the upper body muscles responsible for controlling your opponent at the point of attack. Adding an explosive push on the last clean is a great way to learn to transfer power from the legs through the upper body.

Load a bag, clean it in any way you see fit; use the various handles, mixed grips or just grab the bag itself. Now, clean it to chest height. When I say clean it, I don’t mean end up in one of those split-the-legs-8ft-apart kind of clean positions. No, I mean finish the clean in the good football position – just as you would be pre- block, tackle, jump, and sprint.

If you are new to using sandbags, check out Josh Henkin’s stuff at Sandbag Training Systems. His Sandbags are the highest quality I’ve every seen!

4. Romanian Deadlifts

Romanian Deadlifts are an excellent assistance exercise for lineman. All lineman need big, strong, explosive hamstrings. RDL’s build muscle and power in the hamstrings and glutes and also hit the lower back quite well.

The RDL is great for any football player because it is performed in the stance very similar to the “ready position” (hips down, knees bent, flat back…think a Linebacker or the position of the body pre-jump).

For many athletes, the RDL is a far superior exercise to the Straight Leg Deadlift. This is especially true of some of the taller lineman. For anyone with a long torso, the SLDL can become a lower-back exercise and damn-near neglect the hamstrings. But, because of the hip position (traveling backwards) and the intense pre-stretch of the hamstrings, the RDL is much better at working the PC.

RDL’s can be done as your Max Effort movement, especially if you do them in the Rack.

5. Snatch Grip Deadlifts

We already talked about the importance of doing Deadlifts, and as far as the DL variations go, none are more perfect for football training than the Snatch Grip Deadlift.

Because of the wide grip, your body is forced into a much lower position than a normal Deadlift. This hits the hamstring and glutes extremely hard which is always a good thing for any lineman.

Begin just as you would in a regular Deadlift, but your hands will be much further apart. Don’t go collar-to-collar unless you are extremely tall. Index fingers on or an inch outside of the outer rings is fine.

Be sure to sit back and pull hard. A nice side benefit is all the extra work your back and traps will get.

6. Dumbbell Incline

I’m often hated for saying this, but I believe the Dumbbell Incline is a much better movement for lineman than the Bench. Obviously, the bench press is a great exercise, but when it comes to athletes, not Powerlifters, the Incline rules.

The DB Incline much more closely mimics the path taken by the arms in many athletic movements such as blocking, punching, and in many wrestling moves. For lineman, this is crucial. Keeping the elbows in, and pressing out and up is exactly what we do on the field.

The incline is also much better at developing the all-important shoulder girdle. It’s a nice compromise between the Overhead Press and the Bench, allowing an athlete to hammer the shoulders, pecs and triceps.

For those with shoulder problems, Incline can be a life-saver. When I had rotator cuff problems, benching even super light weights felt like I was being stabbed in the front delts! But, I was able to continue doing Inclines as heavy as I could handle. When I fixed my shoulder problems, I returned to the bench and lost very little progress.

The DB Incline is also incredibly versatile; you can use it for Timed Sets, High reps, moderate reps, or you can go super heavy and treat it as a Sub-Max movement. If you’d really like a challenge, try doing a 1-Arm DB Incline, now that’s real “core” training! Again, for those young, small lineman, these can be a great way to add quality muscle and weight to your frame.

7. Lateral Lunges

Somehow we all forgot about moving sideways. O-lineman often have to slide block, drop step, or post-and-gather, yet 99.9% of most football training programs only focuses on straight-ahead speed and strength.

Now, I realize that most hate lateral movements because of the ego hit you take when doing them. A simple 135-lbs has left many-a strong squatter sore beyond belief. This should tell you that there’s an awful lot of muscle not being worked with Squats and Deads alone.

Adding Lateral Lunges is easy – plug them in after your Max or Dynamic effort movement for 3 – 4 sets of 8 – 10 and you’ll notice a huge difference in your lateral speed.

8. The Prowler

The Prowler, which is a crazy looking sled that, because of a set of handles and a set of uprights can be either pushed or pulled, absolutely owns all other forms of conditioning for lineman. The Prowler should be part of any football training program, no question. Sleds are good, but the ability to get into a blocking position and drive a weighted sled is invaluable. Both Offensive and Defensive lineman will see their conditioning levels go through the roof after only a few sessions on the Prowler.

Plus, you can easily pull or push it laterally, which as we already discussed, is very important.

Use the Prowler as a finisher or on a non-lifting day as a way to condition. Because of the lack of eccentric movement, the Prowler will not cause much soreness, which is a huge advantage for athletes. One of the biggest issues when designing a training program for an athlete is how to give strength, speed and conditioning their proper due without compromising any of the elements.

Use the Prowler for sprints, for walking conditioning, for relays, or load it up for strength work.

9. Lateral Sled Pulls

This is simple…we move a lot from side to side as lineman, so, you better train the legs in that motion. Movements like Lateral Lunges are great, but, they have their limitations. By simply pulling a sled while walking laterally in a shuffle motion or as a scissors walk, you can train the abductors and adductors and get much faster moving laterally.

A few sets of 20-yards each direction is plenty. Do this 1 – 2 times per week.

Wrap Up

Start adding these movements to your training and you will become a better lineman. It’s that simple. For coaches who need to get a crew of out of shape or skinny guys and turn them into a cohesive unit of bulldozers, these movements are must-do!

Tightening Neck Skin – 1 Step to a Sexy Neck

Tightening neck skin to get that younger look back is easier than you think. I’m sure you have looked at family members and asked yourself, “Am I going to look like that?” This saggy neck skin can make us look 10 or 15 years older than we really are. Your neck doesn’t have to look this way if you take action now. If you have tried a skin tightening lotion you will have discovered that they don’t lift and tighten neck skin. The underlying problem is the collection of fat under the chin and the saggy neck skin that’s gotten loose with time.

The skin on your neck is different than the skin on your face. The neck doesn’t have the bone structure that the face has and as we age it can get very loose. The tissue under the neck collects fat and stretches giving you that aged look. Your neck can actually age before your face does!

Do facial exercises work? Facial exercises for the neck will actually target this area and you will see results in about 7 days without the high cost of a neck lift or gadgets you have seen on TV.

The following is an easy exercise you can do that will have quick results:

Lie flat on your back on your bed and let your head hang straight down over the edge. Slowing lift your head up until your chin almost touches the chest. Hold this position for 10 seconds and slowly relax your head toward the floor again. Repeat this exercise 10 times every day and you will see results in about 7 days!

Lie flat on your bed, let your head hang down over the edge. Slowly lifting your head towards your torso and keep it there for 10 counts. Relax and lower your head towards the floor again…repeat this 5 to 10 times.

Retirement Speech Examples

When a co-worker retires, it is indeed a special occasion. It is the grand finale of a career.

It is ironically a happy and a sad time. No doubt, the organization will miss the retiree, and the retiree will miss the organization. Customarily, a retirement party is given in honor of the individual who is retiring. Someone from the organization or the industry gets the lucky job of giving a speech for the retiree.

Let’s say it is You! But what do you say? How do you say it? How long do you say it?

First find out how many people will attend. Next, find out who the people are. For example, are they co-workers, or are they clients? It is an unwritten rule (up until now) that retirement speeches are somewhat humorous and lighthearted, but respectful. It is after all, a fine day for the retiree. One they will never forget!

Below are two retirement speech examples. The first one is a sample speech, and the second one is a general outline. This outline could be adapted to fit almost any retirement occasion.

Retirement speech example:

Good afternoon members of the GREAT Industry and welcomed guests. I have been honored to speak on behalf of my dear friend and colleague, Mrs. Boss.

My first memory of Ms. Boss, was some 40 years ago, when she resembled Mary Tyler Moore, and her vision to become a voice for USA residents. And I remember thinking, she’s going to take this town!

When Ms. Boss and myself entered in this business, all those years ago, the GREAT Industry was a completely different world, with a certain stigma. Our products were, in the beginning, quite small and quite common.

In 19XX, Ms. Boss was instrumental in the approval of the mass production, which is commonplace today.

She has had an impact at the State and National level in order to provide a cost-effective production solution for our customers. In fact, she has lobbied for more rigid production standards and licensing requirements, which have allowed our products to become superior.

This is a significant achievement, which allows our products to provide our customers with quality. Which meet or exceed the expectations of State and National goals.

Which means that we have in the excess of 20,000 happy customers.

Use this guide to prepare your own custom speech:

Retirement speech example outline :

1. I remember…think of how the industry was at the beginning of the retiree’s career.

2. Mention Colleagues, other industry members that have had an impact on the industry or organization.

3. Mention major Milestones in the industry or organization.

4. I remember…try to describe an amusing story about the retiree.

5. Look to the future direction of the industry or organization. What will the next generation move toward?

6. What core values have been important to the industry or organization. How have they changed and how have they remained the same?

Baseball Hitting Drills – Teaching Plate Discipline

Hitting drills are very important for young players and one of the best hitting drills that a coach can utilize teach plate discipline. It is very important that a hitter learns to have an approach at the plate, rather than simply swinging away at every pitch, so this drill is vital to the hitter’s overall makeup.

This drill starts with the screen close enough to the plate that the batting coach pitcher can have excellent control. Each hitter then gets up to ten pitches, although only three strikes will be permitted. Before the hitter steps up to the plate, he or she will be told how many strikes he or she currently has, as this will directly influence how the hitter handles the pitches.

If the hitter is stepping up to the plate with a fresh count, he or she will begin by showing the pitching coach where he or she likes the ball. If the pitch is in the hitter’s hitting zone and he or she takes a swing, the pitch count is reduced by one. If the pitch is outside of this hitting zone, but the player still swings, the hitter not only loses that pitch, but one additional pitch. If the pitch is outside of this hitting zone and the player does not swing, the pitch does not count at all. If the pitch is outside of the strike zone altogether and the player swings, however, he or she will lose half of his or her swings remaining.

If there is one strike, the penalty for swinging at a pitch outside the strike zone is less strict, as the player will only lose that pitch plus one more. This is because when there is one strike, pitchers will tend to come after the hitter a little more, which makes these pitches a little harder to lay off.

Finally, when there are two strikes, the hitter’s goal is to be as tough an out as possible. If the player swings at a pitch that is in the strike zone, he or she only loses that pitch plus one more. If a pitch that is around the strike zone is taken, it is an additional pitch penalty because umpires tend to call borderline pitches strikes when there are already two strikes. If an obvious strike is taken, that player is done completely because it is never a good idea to take a third strike.

The goal of each hitter turning this drill is to make sure that he or she gets through all ten pitches without striking out. Also make sure that your players know that each strike that you call will be a judgment call, which is exactly how an umpire will make the call. By teaching your players to have an approach at the plate based on the strike count, you can turn them into smarter hitters. You will also be giving them a better idea of where the strike zone is, so they will know which pitches to take and when to take a cut.

Coffee Makers – A Little History On How They Came About

Coffee has been in existence as a beverage for more a few centuries. The initial ways of making coffee had been fairly primitive but nevertheless they have improved tremendously over the years. Before coffee even made its way into cups, people get the stimulated effects by chewing the cherry right off the coffee tree.

The first batch of coffee makers began surfacing in the late 1700s. Even though it made it more convenient to make coffee, it could only be found in the homes of the rich as they were rather expensive to own. Even at its infancy stage, coffee makers back then had its basic design rather similar to the ones we own now – a cup holder at the bottom, an area on top for the coffee beans and a reservoir for the hot water.

Since coffee is such a popular beverage enjoyed by the young and old, improvements have seen the coffee maker in different types ever since. Let’s have a look two types here.

Percolator types

This type of coffee maker has a layout placing the pot over a heat source like a stove, forcing boiling water and of course steam to rise into the upper chamber where the coffee grounds are. Subsequently, the water will drip through the coffee back into the pot again.

Vacuum types

Pretty much similar to percolators, vacuum types look like having two pots one on top, facing neck to neck. Water is heated from the bottom chamber until the point the pressure forces it to rise and mix with the ground coffee at the top. After few minutes of mixing, the maker is removed from the heating element causing a vacuum like effect in the lower pot. Coffee is made when water which is mixed nicely with the ground beans flows back into the bottom pot.

The modern coffee machines in the market come definitely make drinking coffee more enjoyable. Features like hassle-free coffee brewing, built-in auto off features, programmable coffee cup size and so many more. Aesthetic enhancements are also considered to suit the different taste of consumers and their kitchen. It is not uncommon to see bolder colors like red or blue entering the market, in contrast to the traditional black or silver.

Throughout the years, coffee makers have can be seen in more households. Many people prefer to enjoy a cup with the familiar favor and the way they make it at the space of their homes. If you have yet owned one, maybe it is time now.

10 Reasons You Should Learn How to Cook

If you’re been watching some of the many cookery programmes, want to eat healthy food, or want to save money, then perhaps you’ve been inspired enough to start cooking.

Here’s why you should learn to cook.

1. By cooking your own meals, you’ll know exactly what goes into your food. There’ll be no added salt or sugar, unless you put it in, and there’ll be no need for any preservatives or additives.

2. You’ll know that you’re food is healthy food. By watching what you eat, and using fresh ingredients, you’ll start feel better and enjoy your food more. You might even be able to get your children to eat healthily too.

3. Why not ask others for their opinions and suggestions so that you learn a wide variety of dishes? You’ll soon build up a number of meals that you’ll be able to cook from scratch.

4. Once you’ve got the right saucepans and the cookware you need, you’ll find cooking much easier, and that you food tastes better.

5. You’ll get a great sense of achievement when you cook something. Perhaps you’ll want to show off what you can cook to your friends as well as your family.

6. One of the benefits of being able to cook is that you will save an enormous amount of money compared to buying ready meals, takeaways or going out. You’ll be eating healthily and might even start to lose weight.

7. Being able to cook is good skill to have, and will stay with you forever. If you’re going to university, or have just moved into your first home, you’ll definitely be glad you can cook. Perhaps you’re now living on your own, and want to be able to remain independent, if you can cook, you won’t have to rely on others, or go out to eat.

8. There are lots of cooking resources available, both online and offline, as well as cookery classes, so even if you get stuck, help is at hand.

9. Cooking should be fun, and you’ll enjoy learning which foods go together, and what does and doesn’t work, as well as creating your own dishes.

10. No matter whether you’re following a recipe from a celebrity chef’s cookbook, or throwing something together from what you’ve got in your cupboards, you’ll love cooking!

Now you know why you should learn to cook, what’s stopping you from going into the kitchen?

Horizontal Blinds Vs Plantation Shutters: How to Choose the Right Window Treatments for Your Home

Horizontal blinds and plantation shutters may look similar, but they each offer different benefits to homeowners. When searching for the perfect window treatments for your home, weigh the pros and cons of each style.

If you prefer modern, clean lines over soft draping, chances are that you gravitate toward blinds rather than drapes as your go-to window treatment. But even once you’ve made that design decision, you have a variety of specific blind and shutter options from which to choose. In addition to tackling details such as material and color, you have to pick a basic window treatment structure. Horizontal blinds and plantation shutters will both give you a clean, sleek look that you can customize to fit your design scheme.

Structure

Horizontal blinds generally mount at the top of the window frame and hang down. You can open and close, raise and lower the blinds using an attached cord, and can leave the blinds hanging part of the way down the window, if desired. Plantation shutters, on the other hand, are mounted completely into the window frame, and do not move up and down. They often open and close via a rod that manipulates the entire shutter’s louvers at once, or the whole shutter can be opened into the room like a door.

Aesthetic Options

Both horizontal blinds and plantation shutters are available in an array of colors and materials, though the selection is greater for traditional blinds. Most plantation shutters are made from wood or faux wood with small slats, although vinyl is also an option; blinds can feature wider slats and come in plastic, aluminum, and other materials. When picking between the two, in addition to considering your preferred colors, slat sizes, and materials, think about the character of the room in question and whether the style of blinds or shutters would best complement that decor.

Energy Efficiency

Because plantation shutters fill the window frame completely, they can increase your home’s energy efficiency. Closing plantation shutters can reduce heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer, in addition to blocking out summer sun that can heat a house. Although wooden horizontal blinds can also act as natural insulation, the fact that they hang away from the window decreases their effectiveness on this front.

Cost

There’s no getting around it: Plantation shutters are generally more expensive than horizontal blinds. The construction is more specialized, and you’ll have fewer inexpensive material options. Additionally, whereas many homeowners can mount horizontal blinds on their own, you may wish to call a professional to install interior window shutters, which will increase the overall cost. However, properly installed plantation shutters should last for years, whereas blinds might need to be replaced if they break, if the cord gets tangled, or if they deteriorate from constant use.

Your windows frame your view of the world, and they shape how others see your home, inside and out. Choose window treatments that reflect your decorating style and personality, and don’t be afraid to put down more money up front for a set of blinds or shutters that will last for years. Weighing aesthetic and practical issues side by side will help ensure you make the right decision for your space.

Tiling Onto A Wooden Floor

When most people think of tiling, what comes to mind is usually basic information that’s not particularly interesting or beneficial. But there’s a lot more to tiling than just the basics.

The best time to learn about tiling is before you’re in the thick of things. Wise readers will keep reading to earn some valuable tiling experience while it’s still free.

When tiling onto a wooden floor you need to bear in mind it’s different than tiling onto a concrete floor.

There are many different things you can do and make sure you do before laying ceramic or porcelain tiles onto a wooden floor.

1. When tiling onto floor boards, you will firstly need to lay down 18mm thick floor grade plywood which needs to be screwed down every 30cm centres. You can use a single part flexible adhesive but I use a two part flexible tile adhesive. This is the belt and braces way of doing it.

2. When tiling onto chipboard you will need to do the same as above if you follow a strict adhesives guidelines – but you can use thinner plywood going down to 12mm if the chipboard floor is already solid and screwed down at 30cm centres. Then screw the plywood down in the same way.

3. When putting Under Floor Heating onto a wooden floor, you would firstly need to put down an insulation board. You can fix this down to your existing floor with a 2 part flexible adhesive and then screw it down at 30cm. Now you can lay the under floor heating mat or cable on top of your insulation board. It’s best to use a flexible self-level compound to cover the cables, then you can tile on top using a two part flexible adhesive.

4. If you have a situation were raising the floor might be a problem then you can use a product like Schluter-DITRA. This is a polyethylene membrane with a grid structure of square cavities each cut back in a dovetail construction, and an anchoring fleece laminated to its underside. Designed for tile and natural stone installations and under floor heating Schluter-DITRA not only serves as a waterproofing membrane but also a vapour pressure equalisation layer to accommodate moisture occurring at the underside of the substrate. It’s also an uncoupling layer for problematic substrates such as wooden floors, etc.

DITRA mat is only 3mm thick and you can use a two part flexible tile adhesive to stick it down. You can lay the matting straight down onto your floorboards if they have no movement up or down. Make sure the floorboards are flat and are screwed down to the joists – any natural movement will be taken up with the DITRA mat.

Laying onto chipboard will be the same way as onto floorboards. You can tile on top of the DITRA mat with a two part flexible adhesive. Again a single part adhesive can be used but a two-part adhesive is better.

I hope this is of some help.

That’s the latest from the tiling authorities. Once you’re familiar with these ideas, you’ll be ready to move to the next level.

Goal Setting Formula – 5 Tips For Your Action Plan For Goal Setting

Developing an action plan in the process of goal setting is one of the most crucial steps. If you cannot develop a proper plan, you will never follow through and achieve your goals. Therefore, you must create a workable and achievable plan for goal setting. Below are 5 tips that can help you in doing so…

1. Make sure your action plan includes daily, weekly and monthly tasks. Many people underestimate the power of doing so. If you do not have a daily, weekly and monthly plan, it is hard for you to stay focused.

2. Your action plan for goal setting must be clear and specific. It is just like goal setting itself, the more specific of what you need to do, the easier you can get it done.

3. Right after you have set your goals, take at least 3 action steps that will bring you toward your goals within 72 hours. This will help to develop your momentum and keep you going along the way.

4. Always review and refine your action plan if necessary. It is the best to evaluate your plan every month so that you know where you are and you will know whether you are heading toward your goals. If you found that your action plan does not help much, change the strategies of it.

5. Last but not least, take action and follow through your action plan for goal setting. If you are not following through, you will never achieve your goals. Action is the only factor that produces results, without taking any action, you will never achieve anything.

These are the 5 tips for your action plan for goal setting. If you follow through these tips, you will be able to achieve your goals; it is just a matter of time for your goal setting success.

Reverse Cell Phone Number Lookup – Revenge Against Telemarketing Abuse!

“Ring Ring Ring” – You’ve been interrupted by another “unknown call”. You are tired of having your time wasted and feeling frustrated, so you type the number into an Internet based phone book to see who dares disturb you. But wait, whats this? The information you find consists only of provider: and type: – and its probably wrong! Its also not enough to help you identify the caller, thus your daily interruption and annoyance continues unabated.

Or does it? Seeking vengeance on those annoying telemarketing calls and rude “private callers” is possible, but you must know and use the right tools. A proper reverse phone directory gives you the full name, street address, phone company, service status, and more of the person or business calling you. Finally an end to your wasted time! No more endlessly checking caller ID to see “private caller”, “unknown call”, “Illinois (or insert other state name here) call”, “toll free call”, “inbound call”, or other frustrating interruptions. Armed with this information, you can contact their carrier or relevant regulating authorities to have them permanently shut down.

More and more people switch from land lines to cell phones or VOIP phones every day. Using a proper directory will not only help you find regular telemarketing calls, it will also trace cellphone numbers and their providers. They can even find prepaid cellphones when the owner information is available. This becomes increasingly important as more harassing callers make the cellular switch to use its privacy as a shield from the consequences of their activity.

Modern technology lets these special reverse directories keep up with the many telemarketing numbers which are created and destroyed daily. Although most cell phone companies currently follow industry standards in keeping their records private from the general public, these directories have special access to their databases and can search 98% of all cellular numbers in seconds.

RJ45 Pinout Basics – Know Each Pin and Its Function

The RJ45 is one of the most commonly-used jacks in the world today. Look at your computer, your modem, or your router-all of those use RJ45 connectors. This is because the RJ45 has long been the standard connector for networking; so wherever there’s internet access, there’s an RJ45 jack. Of course for Wi-Fi, before the signal becomes wireless, it must pass through network cables and connectors.

The RJ45 is an 8P8C modular connector. 8P8C means 8 position, 8 contact (or conductor). Simply put, there are 8 pins in each RJ45 jack, and each is connected to a small wire. If you are familiar with network cables-flat or twisted pair-the insides of those are made up of 8 small color-coded wires. The network cable is also known as the Category 5 or Cat-5 cable.

The pinout position discussed in this article adheres to the standard used in all computer networking-the TIA/EIA-569-B. TIA is the Telecommunications Industry Association; it was once called the Electronics Industries Alliance, hence TIA/EIA.

Numbering the pins

To avoid confusion, each one will be numbered. Take a look at a male RJ45 connector (female is the one on laptops and network cards). Face the connector towards you, right side up. To make sure you have it right side up, the locking mechanism should be on top. While directly looking at the connector, count 1 to eight from left to right. Those are each pin’s numerical name.

Now that we have named each pin, let’s look at what each does and the wire (color) associated with it.

Pin 1

The first transmits data. It is also known as the positive transmit pin (there are two). It is connected to the white with orange stripe wire (majority white).

Pin 2

The second is a negative transmit pin. It is connected to the solid orange wire. The orange wire is also sometimes colored (majority) orange with a white stripe.

Pin 3

The third is the positive receive pin. It is connected to the majority white with green stripe wire.

Pin 4

Although not used, number 4 is still connected to the solid blue wire. The solid blue wire is sometimes majority blue with a white stripe.

Pin 5

Again, this pin is not used. It is connected to the majority white with blue stripe wire.

Pin 6

The sixth is the negative receive pin. It is connected to the majority green with white stripe wire, which sometimes is just solid green.

Pin 7

The second to the last is not used. It is connected to the majority white with brown stripe wire.

Pin 8

The last is also not used. It is connected to the majority brown with white stripe wire. Sometimes the wire is solid brown in color.

To sum up, only 4 of the 8 pins are used. Pins 1 and 2 are transmit pins, and pins 3 and 6 are receive pins. Pins 4, 5, 7, and 8 are connected but not used.

How To Spot Fake Porcelain Signs

Collecting antique porcelain signs can be rewarding, profitable, and in some cases costly. While there are large collections which change hands from time to time, most signs are bought and sold through established and trusted networks of buyers, collectors and sellers. These folks know and trust each other as resources for product as we as reliable and trustworthy business practices.

Unfortunately, due to the high value of many of these signs, many unscrupulous sellers move to deceive the buyers with new reproductions of the original signs. While this is nothing new, often times a seller will take a brand new sign and “age” it in such a way as to create a look of authenticity when in fact the sign is not old at all. For collectors, its important to understand some of the features of authentic signs as well as techniques used to age new signs.

Some examples of aging techniques include chipping and rusting. While many signs were hung outside, some of the chipping and rusting done by counterfeit producers goes a bit over the top. In some cases, they target specific areas and damage and rust those areas. For instance, grommet areas are often damaged on original signs and therefore become an area of interest for the counterfeiters. However, they often overlook the fact that the holes themselves are not in the proper location or the number of holes is not accurate. They also target the edges and the infamous “bird shot” and “bullet hole” techniques. Edges of a sign are usually only badly damaged and rusted if the sign was originally in a metal frame which would cause the porcelain to chip. The “bird shot” and “bullet hole” technique gives the sign a possible road side history. If the seller claims its been inside his Grandfathers barn for 75 years, how did it get the bullet holes? Grandpa doesn’t do target practice in the barn does he?

Another distinguishing characteristic of antique porcelain signs is called shelving. Shelving is actually the layers of porcelain and enamel on the steel sheet. The first layer is usually white porcelain. Each layer of color used in the manufacturing is then laid over the white layer. The end result is a layering texture of the image. If you run your hand over the image, can you feel the different layers? Is it smooth? Some manufacturers used a lithographing technique as well as the layering technique so this is not a guarantee of authenticity but should still be part of your examination of the sign.

Selecting your seller is often the most critical decision when buying antique porcelain signs. Do you know the seller? Do you have any reservations about doing business with them? If you do, its best to hold on to your cash. A legitimate seller will often not only sell you the sign, he wants to stay connected with you. His goal is to sell you the sign and at a later date, possibly purchase it back to sell to another collector. Since authentic signs usually increase in value, a good relationship with you means potential future profit for him.

Today there are many companies which produce new reproduction porcelain signs, ours included. Most of us produce a quality product at an affordable price for decorative use only. We permanently label and date them. However, sometimes less than honest resellers acquire those signs, implement some of the techniques mentioned above and try to sell them at outrageous prices.

Maintaining Your Jet Ski Trailer

You spend a lot of time making sure your personal watercraft is in tiptop shape. When it is, you reap the benefits of an enjoyable day on the water. Are you giving the same care to the trailer that carries your jet ski around?

It’s just as important to maintain your jet ski trailer as it is your PWC, jet ski, or sea doo. Proper and safe transport of your personal watercraft is dependent on a proper and safe trailer. Any malfunction with your transport apparatus can cause severe damage to your expensive watercraft. It can also cause damage to those near a wayward jet ski that’s unloosed itself from a faulty trailer.

Cleanliness is a simple but prime factor in jet ski and jet ski trailer maintenance. It’s advisable to wash down your jet ski or any other PWC after use, before placement on a trailer. The trailer requires hosing down after each launch, and before each reloading of your watercraft. Any dirt, grime, and salt will run-off from your sea doo and trailer with these washings. This prevents corrosive effects on the paint and parts of this equipment.

The best preventative maintenance for a wave runner or other personal watercraft trailer is a walk-a-round check. Before you begin your trek to the water, inspect your trailer thoroughly. An organized check doesn’t take a lot of time. It could save you money and grief. It’s best to find small problems before they become expensive big problems.

Here are some things to look for when checking your jet ski trailer:

* Check your hazard lights and brake lights to make sure they’re illuminating properly. It’s wise to disconnect your trailer lights during pre-launch of your personal watercraft. This prevents shorting out of the electrical system and burning out of light bulbs. Keep some spare bulbs in your glove compartment.

* Check to make sure there are no openings around the sealed light system. Also, check that the light lens coverings are not cracked; make sure they’re clean as well.

* Is the wiring housed within the frame and free from exposure to the elements? You don’t want any electrical problems due to water exposure.

* Check the tires of your PWC trailer. Are they in good shape or do you need a wheel upgrade? Check for proper inflation of tires, and the spare trailer tire, if you have one. Ensure that trailer wheel lug nuts are tight enough. See that wheel bearings are maintained and greased, and that tire rims are not warped.

* Perform an axle inspection for signs of metal fatigue, rust, and general wear and tear. You can get a galvanized axle upgrade as an extra level of protection if your budget allows.

* During off-season storage, prevent your tires from going flat or from corroding by taking them off the trailer. Store them inside somewhere. You can use cement blocks or a jack to hold your trailer in a secure position. Just make sure you park it on a level spot.

* Check the suspension on your jet ski trailer. You don’t want your PWC rocking and rolling down the highway due to an inadequate suspension system.

* Check the alignment of your jet ski trailer. This ensures smooth, safe transport of your sea doo, or jet ski. It also ensures less wear and tear on your tires.

* Check for cracks in the welds of the metal. Check for cracks in plastic parts of the trailer such as the fenders.

* Remove rust from any parts as soon as possible. Prime, and paint any areas that are victims of corrosion.

* Ensure that the load the personal watercraft trailer is carrying is under the maximum load carrying capacity. Excessive weight, beyond the trailers capacity, is harmful and dangerous.

* Check the winch mechanism after each use. This piece takes a lot of stress and it must be in proper working condition every time.

* Do not perform any PWC trailer alterations if it’s still under warranty. You risk losing your warranty coverage if you perform modification work on your trailer.

Preventative maintenance of your PWC trailer will save you money and headaches. It will get you to the beach on time so you can enjoy sun, sand, and spray, as you ride the surf.

Where Can You See the Northern Lights? Ruka Lapland

Ruka Kuusamo, the premier winter holiday destination in Lapland, is the perfect place to watch the northern lights, one of the most amazing natural sights in the world.

What Are The Northern Lights?

The northern lights, or aurora Borealis, are natural a phenomenon; undulating stripes or shafts of light over the clear dark sky. They can be purple, red, green or yellow but primarily, in Ruka and this area of Lapland, they are green and yellow, an eerie and awe striking sight, as they dance across the dark sky.

What Causes Them?

They are caused by gas emissions from the sun that are pulled into the Earth’s gravity. There, they react with the Earth’s magnetic field, causing the unusual colours of light. Ordinarily the gas takes around 3 days to travel to us from the sun, making it possible for scientists and aurora gazers to predict the next sighting.

When Can You See Them?

In Ruka and Kuusamo, Lapland, you can see them frequently between October and March, with the best months being January and February. Unless they are particularly strong occurrences you will need to move away from areas of electric light which can mean simply turning your cabin light off and going outside or moving to a dark area away from street lights.

The Right Conditions

They can occur at any time of the day or night but in order to see them the conditions need to be right. The sky must be dark and clear, and, for some reason, they are seen more often when the temperature is very cold, -20C and colder. The official thoughts on the best time of day are between 11pm to 2am, however I often see them on my farm near Ruka in the early evening around 7 or 8pm.

Northern Lights Forecast

The best website I have found for forecasting the northern lights is the Geographical Institute of Alaska which will show you both long and short term forecasts as well as the expected strength and times of the aurora.

Northern Light Excursions in Ruka and Kuusamo

There are several excursion companies in Ruka and Kuusamo that run northern lights trips. Usually setting off around 6pm, these trips take you by snowmobile and sled, through the frozen forests to open areas or the tops of hills to witness the awe inspiring sight that is the Aurora Borealis. Undulating shafts of green light dancing through the star covered sky.

Of course, aurora gazing is just one of many things to do in Ruka and Kuusamo during the winter months which offer everything from skiing and snowboarding, to go-cart racing on ice and husky dog sledding.

Ruka and Kuusamo really is nature’s playground.

Various Types of Security Barriers

Security barriers are devices that are used to protect an area or direct traffic. They can be used at home or on the streets. There are many types of safety barriers and some of them are:

Crime barriers

These are security steel doors and bars which are installed for utmost protection. These doors are available for your house, business premise, learning institutions and hospitals. In homes they are usually installed on windows, balconies, front and back doors. In commercial premises they are usually installed at the reception area, shop fronts and service rooms.

Roll way barrier systems

This are more commercial security barriers as they are used mostly in malls and shopping centers, parking lots and loading zones. These are made from galvanized steel and have a width of sixteen meters and a height of three meters.

Barrier gates

This is one of the most common security barriers that can be found. There are usually used at places where there is an intersection of a road and railway, to prevent accidents at parking spaces so that every car that is passing can pay their parking fees before they enter, offices and in gates where many people pass for security purposes. Most of them are manual but with the advanced technology there are some which are digitalized automatic.

The barriers can also be used at crime scenes and accident scenes so as to keep away crowds of people from interfering with police and rescue operations. The barriers are usually very strong and durable and cannot be broken or cut easily. This is because they have a wire mesh that is put between the pieces of aluminum where this acts as a grinder. After the mesh and aluminum are placed they are secured with stainless steel. This shows that the barriers are strong and one can use them without fear.