Get the Job Done With Scaffolding

What type of scaffolding best provides reliable support for the workers is large dependent on the task at hand. There are many different types of scaffolding to choose to choose the type of scaffolding that will help you do the job safely.

Scaffolds provide reliable support for workers while they perform tasks much higher than the ground level. They can be non-moving support structures that remain in place unless they are disassembled for moving and set up in a different location. Other types of scaffolding feature wheels or rollers that allow the scaffold to move in a particular area without the need for workers to dismantle the scaffold, dismantling and moving it to where it is necessary to continue to work from. The cables are used to help scaffold the slide deck from front to rear or raise and lower the scaffolding to move to a new spot, and they also have locking mechanisms to keep the scaffolding safely in place after it has been moved to the desired location.

The scaffolds are made from different types of materials. Aluminum is a very popular material in many scaffolding because it is a solid material that weighs less than most other materials used in construction scaffolding. The lighter weight of aluminum scaffolding makes it easier to transport than scaffolds using heavier materials. Safety is a priority on any job, and sometimes more heavy scaffold is a more appropriate choice for a specific job. If you do not know if a lighter aluminum scaffold is the safest and best choice for the work you do, ask a specialist in scaffolding for their recommendation on the type of scaffolding, they would choose for the task. These experts have warned could also provide much more information on scaffolding, including the best models and suppliers of scaffolding, scaffolding parts and supplies, training scaffolding, scaffold, regulatory, and more.

H-frame, light and versatile are three varieties that scaffold can be found under and most often used to describe the work requires that the scaffolding of a particular type is most appropriate and offers better protection to those who use them. Scaffolding consistors of several parts when securely fastened together creates an area of ​​support for workers to perform tasks safely, even at very high above the ground. Tomb of high scaffolding can cause serious injury and even death, preferring the right kind of scaffolding for the job and provide workers with training on its use, is extremely important. It is also very important that scaffolds are properly maintained and inspected regularly to ensure it still works correctly to keep workers safe.

Employers are required to provide workers a safe environment in which to perform the tasks. This includes the provision of equipment that offers protection against accidents and serious injuries. Tillage creates its own set of risks to workers and care must be taken to reduce these risks as much as possible. Providing workers with the strong support of quality scaffolding for managing the demands of the task, gets the job done and protect the workers at the same time. Internet use and other resources such as talking to experts scaffolding to learn more about the different types of scaffolding that is available will help you in choosing the scaffolding that is most appropriate for the work you and your staff do. For additional security benefits, it is strongly recommended that you and your workers also complete a training course scaffold in the safe and proper use of scaffold.

What is Laminate Flooring?

The standard name of laminate flooring is laminate floor covering.

Laminate flooring is usually made up of four layers: top layer which is named abrasion resistance layer; second layer which is named decorative layer; third layer which is consists of HDF, MDF or flakeboard; bottom layer which is named balance back layer. The four layers are incorporated into one product by heavy pressure and high temperature.

The fist layer mainly consists of even AL2O3. AL2O3 is a main material of manmade diamond. So you can see how tough the surface is. The strength of top layer is determined by the density of AL2O3. If the density is too high, it will affect not only the flexibility and durability, but also transparence and polish of the surface. For domestic purpose, 4000-6000 turns are enough.

The second layer is made up of decorative paper which has been dipped in melamine first.

The third layer, core, is the main part of laminate flooring. Most manufacturers use HDF or MDF for the core because HDF or MDF has many advantages which solid wood does not have such as even density. The core color is green or brown. Green core is a bit more moisture resistant.

The fourth layer is usually made up of polyester material which can resist vapor from the subfloor and balance other 3 layers.

Now there is a new layer for choice: silence layer. The layer consists of cork or foam. It is attached to the back of balance back layer to reduce noise. Laminate is a floating type of flooring. There is some noise when people walk on it. The silence layer can remove most of the noise. It main colors are black, brown and blue. The thickness of the layer is usually 2mm and 3mm.

The main finishes for laminate flooring are large embossed surface, middle embossed surface, little embossed surface, silk surface, crystal surface, mirror surface, V groove, feather grain surface and hand scraped surface. Embossed surface, silk surface and feather grain surface are rough surface. Mirror surface and crystal surface are of smooth. Little embossed surface and crystal surface are the most popular finishes.

The usually dimensions are as follows: length: 807mm and 1214mm; width: 90mm, 126mm, 143mm, 163mm and 193mm; thickness: 7mm, 8.3mm and 12.3mm. The most popular size is 1213 * 193 * 8.3mm or similar one.

Laminate flooring is fitted together with normal tongue and groove before. Now most laminate flooring locks together with locking system. The most popular locking systems are double click, single click and round click.

Bagan’s Legendary Lacquerware

Bagan in central Burma is not only famous for its more than 2,000 ancient temples and pagodas but also for its legendary lacquerware, which is one of Bagan’s main sources of income. For extraordinary beautiful lacquerware of highest quality both old and new, Bagan is the place to buy it because here is where it is produced in a complicated and time-consuming process that requires a very high standard of craftsmanship and artistic skills both of which are handed down from generation to generation in the many lacquerware family businesses in Bagan.

The history of lacquerware can be backtracked to the ‘Shang Dynasty’ who ruled a kingdom centred in the Huang He (Yellow River) valley in China from about 1570 B.C. to about 1045 B.C. They developed the first lacquer and the earliest examples of lacquerware are archaeological fragments from the time the ‘Shang Dynasty’ ruled China from where this art came to Burma.

Lacquer work is the process of applying a varnish to the surfaces of a material as both a decorative and protective device. Lacquer is a mixture of resins (natural and synthetic), a cellulose derivative and other materials. After the lacquer – a fast drying liquid applied to surfaces of objects to provide a stiffening, decorative and protective coating – is applied to a surface the solvents evaporate and the cellulose and resins dry and undergo a chemical reaction that leaves a hard yet flexible coating. Lacquer’s two most notable characteristics are that it creates a surface impervious to high temperatures and moisture and that it blends readily with colour pigments and/or other embellishments.

Since having reached Burma, present-day Myanmar, at some time in the 1st century A.D. through the ‘Nan-Chao Empire’, nowadays Yunnan, it has developed here into an art of refined quality and belongs to the genre of Burma traditional arts and crafts. The Burmese term for lacquerware is ‘Yung Hte’, meaning ‘The Wares of Yunnan’. Pagan/Bagan – where the art of making lacquerware is believed to have been carried to during King Anawrahta’s (1044 to 1077) conquest of Thaton in 1057 – and Prome/Pyay are today’s centres of Myanmar’s lacquerware industry. Other cities with lacquerware tradition are Mandalay, Kyauk Ka and Kyaing Tong.

The different types of Burma’s/Myanmar’s lacquerware are:

a) Kyauk Ka Ware, (plain lacquer ware), b) Yun Ware (incised lacquer ware), c) Shwe Zawa Ware (gild lacquer ware), d) Tha-Yo (relief moulded lacquer ware), e) Hmansi Ware (mosaic and guild lacquer ware), f) Man, Man Paya or Hnee Paya (dry lacquer ware).

The lacquer ware produced in times past was predominantly of extraordinarily fine quality and only one technique was applied: the dry lacquer technique. For instance, lacquerware bowls were produced around bamboo wickerwork and plaited horse hair, often even only horse hair, which to plait into long and thin strings takes lots of patients and time. The result was a degree of flexibility that allowed the pressing together of the bowl’s rim without the lacquer’s peeling off or the bowl’s breaking; such a superior quality does of course wear quite a hefty price tack. Nowadays there are two other techniques of production that prevail. Inferior lacquer ware articles have a wooden base superior articles have usually a core of bamboo wickerwork only, assuming higher durability and elasticity.

a) Kyauk Ka Ware

‘Kyauk Ka lacquerware’ comprises mainly utilitarian goods employed in the household such as trays, cups, flower vases, goblets, and betel boxes. This type of rather simple lacquer ware is black on the outside and red on the inside. No work of artistic value is needed and employed to produce this ware. Its name, Kyauk Ka, it has from the village it is originated. Kyauk Ka ware is sold at very reasonable prices.

b) Yun Ware

‘Yun lacquer ware’ articles are produced mainly for decorative and votive purposes and are objects such as furniture (for example, tables, sideboards, chairs), bowls, flower vases, wall decorations, paravents, jewel boxes, relic caskets, napkin rings, quality chopsticks and bangles. Yun ware objects are highly decorative and the artfully incised areas in the black surface depicting intricate designs of floral ornaments, animal and human figures are filled with red, orange, yellow, blue, green and white.

c) Shwezawa Ware

‘Shwezawa’ or ‘Guild lacquer ware’ comprises basically any kind of article that is meant to be highly decorative and exclusive in appearance. To the artfully with a stylus incised parts of the respective object are gold foils applied after the area in question is coated with lacquer. Because of the use of gold foil and the high degree of artistic work required to produce Shwezawa ware these articles are comparatively expensive.

d) Tha-Yo

‘Tha-Yo’ is relief moulded lacquer ware and any kind of object can be embellished with Tha-Yo. From small boxes and caskets to furniture. As the name implies, ash of animal bones (tha-yo) is mixed with paddy husk, saw dust and/or even cow dunk and lacquer and pugged into a smooth and pliable plaster, which is then rolled into strings of varying thickness These strings of plaster are then used to create reliefs by applying them to the lacquered surface of the relevant object that is to be decorated and forming them into the design chosen with a stylus. Upon completion of the relief that is now sticking firmly to the surface it is dried and coated with several layers of lacquer. In the final stage the reliefs are gilded or coloured what gives the relief design the appearance of being carved out of the material the object is made of or moulded in one piece with the article it embellishes.

e) Hmansi Ware

‘Hmansi lacquerware’ is actually a combination of ‘Shwezawa’ and ‘Tha-Yo’ complemented by glass, mirror, marble and/or mother-of-pearl mosaics. This kind of lacquer ware is used predominantly for articles that serve decorative and votive purposes and for the embellishment of furniture. It is not appropriate for utilitarian goods as reliefs, on the one hand, are of high decorative value but do, on the other hand, limit the employment of the objects for more practical use. Into the lacquered and tha-yo embellished surface of the object variably sized pieces of differently coloured glass, mirror marble and/or mother-of-pearl are lied using as adhesive a special lacquer. In the next stage gold foil is applied to the entire surface and afterwards removed from the materials used for the mosaic surfaces by simply washing it away with water. However, to the lacquered parts of the surface the gold foil remains stuck. Since both material and artistic craftsmanship employed are expensive and the finished products are of highly decorative value, Hmansi lacquerware pieces are quite costly.

f) Man Paya

This term refers to ‘Dry lacquerware’ and is used in Burma/Myanmar for this kind of (Man Paya) lacquerware because votive articles for pagodas – mainly Buddha images – are dry lacquerware. The name has little to do with the technique in which the article is produced but as said is derived from these articles votive purpose. To apply lacquer to a surface of wood, wickerwork, etc. is called ‘Man’ and ‘Paya’ means pagoda. Subsequently ‘Man Paya’ is lacquer wickerwork for a pagoda. Since the framework of Buddha statues, which is made of bamboo wickerwork – is called ‘Hnee’, this kind of lacquerware is also called ‘Hnee Paya’. But, as stated previously, the proper name is dry lacquerware. To make dry lacquerware is a months-long process – involving twelve or more stages of production – that requires high-quality materials, cool, airy and dust free drying chambers as well as a high standard of artistic craftsmanship. The end result is an extraordinarily fine, high-quality lacquerware product.

The entire production process as outlined in the following starts with the collection of lacquer. True lacquer is made from the purified and dehydrated sap of ‘Rhus vernicifera’, a species of sumac tree found in Southeast Asia. This is the material in which traditional lacquer work is usually done in Asian countries. Shellac, traditionally used in European and American lacquer work and ware is produced from the secretion of the scale insect ‘Laccifer lacca’.

In the first step, raw lacquer is in exactly the same way in which latex is tapped from rubber trees taken from the ‘Thitsi’ tree (Melanorrhoea usitatissima) a tree that is growing wild as well as in manmade plantations (cultivated) in the Shan state. The sticky, grey-coloured extract turns hard and black when getting in contact with oxygen (air).

Next, light bamboo wickerwork combined with horse hair or wickerwork exclusively of horse hair is made. The latter being of highest quality and most expensive, whereas the former is of lower quality (because of the cheaper and less good as well as much easier to handle material) and, subsequently, available at lower prices.

Upon completion, the core material/basic article is properly coated with a layer of a concoction of lacquer and clay. The object is then stored in an airy, dry and dust free drying chamber for three to four days to gradually dry and harden.

In the following production stage the object is coated with a mixture of Thitsi lacquer and ash. Other supporting materials are e.g. paddy-husk, teak wood saw dust or cow dung. The fineness of these supporting materials determines the quality standard of the final product as far as the material part is concerned. The object’s surface is polished smooth after being dry and the process of coating and polishing is repeated several times until even the slightest irregularity is eliminated.

Now the article is black on its outside and inside and the decision on whether it will be embellished by way of engraving, gilding, painting, applying reliefs, mosaics or a combination of two or more of the different forms of decoration is made.

Cheaper but nevertheless very beautiful articles are artfully painted. The value and attractiveness and, subsequently, the price of lacquerware increases with the materials used as well as number of techniques applied and the degree of artistic craftsmanship in which these are executed.

More expensive articles are engraved, painted and polished – the colours usually used being gold, yellow, red, blue and green – or embellished with gilded or coloured reliefs, painted and particularly polished. Some do additionally have inlays of pieces of mirror, glass of different colours, marble and mother-of-pearl.

The production of multi-technique and multi-colour dry lacquerware articles takes between six and twelve months, occasionally even longer. The art and craft of lacquerware making is predominantly hereditary, i.e. is handed down from generation to generation. It is a family and home business even when done on a larger scale in so-called lacquerware factories. But there are also special centres such as the ‘Institute of lacquer ware making’ in Bagan. Here the knowledge and skills required for the art of making lacquerware are conveyed to new generations who will perpetuate this wonderful art and craft.

Heat Function on Portable Air Conditioners

Many people have questions regarding the heat function available on some portable air conditioners. This is not a separate space heater built into the air conditioner. Rather, it is basically a reversal of the cooling function.

The cooling function works using a process similar to a refrigerator. Room air is drawn into the unit from the room. Without getting into technical details, in essence the air drawn into the unit is divided into two components, one in which the heat is concentrated, the other cooled by the removal of this heat. The resultant hot air and associated condensate are exhausted from the unit. Whereas a refrigerator releases it into the room and a drain pan, a portable air conditioner blows the warm air out through the window duct, and most now have a mechanism to remove condensate from the unit, either by a drain tube out the window or evaporating it. (If too much accumulates, it will also collect in a pan which must be periodically emptied). The rest of the indrawn air has been cooled and is blown into the box by a refrigerator, and into the room by an air conditioner.

The heat function reverses this process, blowing the warm air back into the room and the cooled air out the window. Since the majority of the air is cooled, the heat function is generally less efficient than the cooling function, will often have a lower btu rating, and is generally recommended for supplement when room temperatures are above 50 degrees. Since air is exhausted from the room in either function, less air is returned to the room than was drawn into the unit. This accounts for the negative pressure that single hose portable air conditioners can generate in a closed room. Dual hose units use the second hose to offset this, drawing some air from outside as well as inside. Therefore they do not generate negative pressures, meaning doors do not close, etc.

4 Pillars of Protection – Products To Consider In Your 4 Pillars of Protection Insurance Portfolio

With a wide range of insurance products available today it is important to understand the differences and benefits to you and your specific situation. A basic portfolio for any person but more specifically for a self-employed person should encompass the 4 following aspects.

Disability

By far one of the most important products for anyone, specifically self-employed people is disability insurance. We all work to handle our weekly and monthly expenses in addition to providing the “little extras” if we have anything left over. Employees of a company for the most part will have benefits provided to them however, being self-employed our livelihood depends on our ability to go to work and earn an income. In the event your ability to work is suddenly removed, disability insurance could be the key to your survival. Your income is the fuel for everything. Remove that and over time all else will fall apart.

Life Insurance

Life insurance has so many uses that it could essentially apply to everyone. However, the general consensus of life insurance is that it is suitable only for people with a family. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Life insurance can be used to protect a debt over a period of time, provide for your survivors after final expenses, or give to a charity upon your death. For people who would like the idea of having a benefit as well as a savings or investment vehicle, life insurance could also be an option for you. Life insurance must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it is structured properly based on your specific situation.

Critical Illness

In my experience I have seen this product misunderstood the most. The important thing to understand about CI is that it will pay a lump sum benefit in the event you’re diagnosed with a “specific” covered illness. Most CI products will protect against heart attack, cancer, and stroke however, each policy will differ between companies for other covered illnesses beyond these. Do not make the mistake like most do in thinking that this operates like disability insurance. Yes, they are both living benefits but they provide protection in varying ways.

Investments

Within financial circles it is encouraged to have a minimum of 6 months of disposable “liquid” income saved. For most people this is a tremendous feat and some people often throw their hands up in the air and forfeit the idea that they too can have investments. Life insurance can be designed in such a way that not only do you have protection but also an accumulating asset. Outside of life insurance there are many ways to protect and grow your money. The concern for most people is having a large sum of money lying around to be able to invest. If you don’t have a large capital to start with always remember that it is better to start somewhere, even small if needed than to not start at all.

Guide to Wall-To-Wall Carpeting

Thinking of doing wall-to-wall carpeting for your home? Here are some tips that you should read before starting:

1. Density is one of the keys to durability in a carpet. The closer the tufts, the better the wear. Use the "grin test" to determine closeness: Bend a corner of the carpet over your finger and see how much of the backing shows. In a high quality carpet the visible backing or "grin" will be minimal.

2. To conserve energy and also deaden sound, choose wall-to-wall carpeting with very dense, deep pile and thick padding that incorporates many pockets of air.

3. If floors are in bad condition, it may be cheaper to carpet them wall-to-wall than to refurbish them. Mask any unevenness with padding.

4. For easy turning to distribute wear and cleaning, have carpeting cut to your room's exact dimensions (minus 2 to 3 inches) and bound on the edges. It will look like wall-to-wall carpeting, but you will be able to clean it better and more cheaply. For security, place padding benefit it or anchor corners with special carpet tape.

5. When buying carpeting, remember than a medium color will look better longer; a dark color will not show the dirt but will show the lint; a light shade, on the other hand, will appear dirty sooner, but you will not be able to see the lint.

6. Patterned carpets are extremely practical because they do not show dirt as readily as plain carpets. Abstract patterns are especially useful for disguising irregularly shaped rooms.

Looking For the Best Home Decor? Get Screen Room Dividers!

If you wish to have the perfect decor for your home, screen room dividers are all you need. These timeless furnishings come in exotic designs and styles, providing you with every reason to make them a part of your life. You can find tradition, modern as well as antique designs in these room dividers which are extremely popular for their chic and utility. For smaller homes, these help you to create illusion of more space by dividing the rooms elegantly. On the other hand, for bigger homes, you can use them to divide spacious rooms in a chic way.

One of the best things about them is that you can find them in wonderful designs and styles. The options are endless which implies that you will be able to find the perfect piece for your interior. The options include floral designs in wood, steel, fabric etc. you can also find beautiful abstract designs in different materials. Some of them are also available in antique designs. For who like to go for classic look, traditional room dividers are a great choice for them. On the other hand, the ones who are into modern home decor, they can certainly find wonderful designs in steel or fabric.

The choices of screens are also ceaseless with regard to sizes and prices as well. For the low end purchases, these are great assortments of screen room dividers which can be obtained at discount rates. For those who look for high end pieces, there are many chic and elegant options. Whichever room divider you wish to get, always bear in mind the space you wish to use in. This will help you to buy the right size of furnishing which will benefit your home.

Cluttered Garages: Organization Tips

The garage is often the largest open space in a house. Unfortunately, since guests do not often come into the garage, it also becomes the catchall for household items that can not seem to find a home in the house. This typically results in a cluttered, frustrating and embarrassing garage. Also, in a four-season climate, seasonal items are usually stored there, and in the way. Here are a few tips for obtaining a garage you can be proud of!

Step One: Go Through All of Your Things

This may be a daunting task, but it's a necessary one. Carefully investigate everything and consider if you really need it (when was the last time you used it, and for what?). If you have not used it for a very long time, and can not imagine needing to use it again in the foreseeable future, you'll want to consider getting rid of it. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but use your best judgment. If you do not think you need it, get rid of it. You can donate items that are still in good shape. Finally, do not forget to toss anything that is broken or that has missing parts.

Step Two: Categorize

Take out everything-leave no item untouched! Separate them into categories such as: toys, seasonal, garden / lawn equipment, decorations, etc. Whatever system you think will work best for you. Then, separate those categories into degrees of utilization. Items that you use most often will need to be the most easily accessible. Items that are only needed a few times a year or less can be stored in a more out of the way place.

Step Three: Organize

Garages can be organized in a mind-boggling amount of ways, and because of this, you may want to consider hiring a professional at this stage. Professionals have experience with maximizing garage space through organization, so they know what works and what does not, especially for those with common garage problems, like flooding or insurance issues. Working with a professional garage organizing company will keep you from losing your garage items, and your mind.

Step Four: Upkeep

It's no use going through all this work if, in a year or two, everything will be jumbled together in the garage again. Make sure you always put things back where they go. Try to organize your garage in such a way that seasonal items, such as lawn mowers and snow blowers, can be rotated. Make the kids' items easy to obtain and just as easy to put back, so they'll have no excuse for leaving their things out. Put that hammer back on the slat board, and sweep the floor every now and then. The best garage organizers offer a follow-up to make sure your organization system is easy to maintain. If it's not, call the professional you worked with, and ask them to help you with some organization tips.

It may seem impossible, but having a garage where you can park your car without worrying about bumping into things is quite attainable. With sufficient determination and the right garage organization company, your garage may very soon become your favorite spot in the whole house!

How to Knock in Your Cricket Bat and Care For it in the Long Run

Ok, so you have bought yourself a nice, brand new cricket bat then, you cant wait to get out into the nets and use it. However, unless you are a professional who gets their bats for free, or you are rich enough to buy a new bat every few weeks, this is the worst thing you can do. Below I will walk you through the technique for knocking in your cricket bat:

Equipment needed: Wooden bat mallet, Linseed or bat oil, a clear protective face for the bat, an old ball, finishing grade sandpaper.

1. The very first step is to get your mallet and to very lightly brush it off the edges of the bat, starting from the top of the edge and working down. You will see some slight denting, but this is normal. What you do not want to do is to hit the edge hard, as this will start to crack it, you should hardly be putting any force into this. This should be done for about 10 times on each edge (a time is going from the top to the bottom of the edge) each time gradually putting a little bit more force into each stroke, in the end you should be hitting the edges with a medium force, so you can feel the bat trying to twist in your hand with the stroke, but you can still control exactly where you want to hit. Ideally your bat will not have a protective face on it, as this makes oiling harder. If it does, no worries but you must take the face off after a season.

2. The same process should be repeated for the face of the bat, working your way this time from the toe of the bat to the shoulder. However, do not hit the splice! (This is the bit where the handle is glued in a 'V' to the blade of the bat) Again you should see a little bit of denting on the face of your bat, this is perfectly normal as the wood is very soft, the process of knocking in a bat compresses the fibers of the wood and makes them tougher, and less likely to split.

3. Now, by this time you should have done about an hour or two of knocking in the bat, and are probably boredly bored and want to use the thing, sorry, but you still have some work to do! Again, on both the edge and the face of the bat you should work your way 10 times with ever increasing force, by the tenth time, you should be hitting the face of the bat with the same, and sometimes greater force than the bat will usually be used to in a match, however, please do not do this to the shoulder of the bat, it is a weak point and easily split, use the medium force on the shoulder all the time. Also do not neglect the toe of the bat, this is an important bit to knock in and should be done with the same force as is used on the shoulder. NB When I say the toe, I mean the very base of the face of the bat, do not turn the bat upside down and hit the bottom of it! Later on, another thing you can do is to hold the mallet upside down and the bat in your other hand and to swing the bat towards the mallet as if playing a stroke.

4. Ok, so that is the mallet work out of the way with, and you should have done rough 3-4 hours of work on the bat. The next stage is the first coat of oil. Get an old rag and soak it in Linseed oil or specialist bat oil. you should then rub this over the whole of the bat, except for the splice and handle. Leave this stored horizontally for 12 hours.

5. When you come back to the bat, you may see little deposits of oil on the surface, no worries, just get the rag and rub these away. The important thing is not to over oil your bat, one more light coat after this will be easily enough for the whole season. Many people put far too much oil onto their bats, causing them to gain quite a bit of weight and in the end deadening them well before they should be.

6. The next step requires you to grab a mate, and an old cricket ball. Get your friend to give you light throw downs on the full (no bounces). Start off by just blocking these back to them and slowly work up to playing strokes, but no full blooded ones yet! This should be done for another hour. Do not worry if you see some seam marks on the bat, again this is natural.

7. You should now attach a clear bat face to the bat, this will help to reduce cracking in it, and if correctly used, will prolong the life of your bat, try to get no air bubbles when applying this. Newbery's Hammeredge bat sheets are in my opinion the best for this as they are thin, yet still protect.

8. Take your bat to your nets and use there for a couple of weeks, after this, your bat is ready to be used in a match.

9. At the end of the season, remove the bat face and oil the bat again. The reason for removing the bat face is that if you leave it on, the face of the bat will start to dry out and crack due to it not having any oil. To remove the face, pull it off from side to side, minimizing the amount of wood that lifts in the process. Once this is done, get some finishing grade sandpaper and rub down the face and edges of the bat before oiling.

10. Apply a new bat face and use the bat for the next season!

Do Not's when knocking your bat in:

Use a metal hammer / mallet, for obvious reasons!
Hit the back of the bat with the mallet, this will damage it!
Soak your bat in oil, as it will deaden it.
Use a new ball straight away, these are very hard and will damage the bat, they have to be played in with an old ball first.

Those are the stages for knocking in your bat, personally I have knocked in a lot of bats by hand, usually to generate a little bit of money, so I have come up with this technique for knocking in and caring for the bats. I will add that sometimes a bat will break during knocking in, or soon afterwards. This is generally not your fault, but one of the bat- you do get some hidden faults in bats, or just a bad one! Also how hard the wood it does sometimes affect how quickly / slowly you move through the stages, if it is very soft wood, you need to spend a lot more time on the early stages.

Also knocking in assists increase the length of time a bat will perform for, but will not increase its performance, if anything, it will be slightly the opposite, but not enough to notice. Professionals do not knock their bats in as they have several and will just be given a new one if they break it!

My Wanderlust Began in Pskov Russia

Wanderlust: A Very Strong Desire and Irresistible Impulse to Travel the World.

My Wanderlust began in a small snowy town in Russia.

A beautiful little girl with sad brown eyes and a resilient spirit was waiting for me. The last 18 months had focused on the long, excruciating yet exciting process of international adoption. At the time, all I could think about was bringing my daughter home.

She needed me. I needed her. It was time to board a plane and travel half way around the world. I wanted this over. It was 2009.

I had not done much travel up to this point. I really had no idea that I even wanted to. But this trip changed that. It's funny how we have our stereotypes. I had never been to Russia but I've watched the news and the movies about the Russians. I knew everything that I needed to know. At least that's what I thought. I was wrong.

My journey began in Pskov, one of the oldest cities in Russia. It is located 12 miles from the Estonian border on the Velikaya River. The orphanage where my daughter had spent the first two years of her life was just on the edge of town. I traveled to Pskov twice that year. Once to meet the shy, quiet, brown-eyed girl and a second time to bring her home.

During the first trip, snow blanketed the city. The women winter warm winter coats and fur hats. I donned my ski hat which had not been worn since trips to Minnesota to visit family. The road to the orphanage snaked through the forest, consisting of tall birch trees. It was quiet and serene except for the occasional log trucks or beeping horns.

The trip ended at a two-story brick building which was home to some of the most precious children I had ever met. They flocked around with curiosity and hugs. Their mismatched clothes and runny noses could not hide their playful spirit.

I had the opportunity to stay with an amazing host family. They graciously opened their home and their hearts to me. My preconceived opinions were being challenged. They were kind, warm, and generous. They treated me like part of their family. We ate meals together and explored the countryside together. I learned of the traditions and way of life for Russian families. I looked forward to afternoon tea. It was a time to relax and share experiences, ask questions, and learn of everyday life.

I learned of the banya. A hot sauna followed by "beats" with dried branches of birch, oak or eucalyptus. These branches are moistened with very hot water and used to improve circulation. After the first good sweat, it is customary to cool off in the snow or splash around in cold water. This is repeated several times with short breaks for tea or vodka.

A few miles from Pskov is the Pechory Monastory (Pskov-Caves). The monastary was founded in the middle of the 15th century when the first hermit monks came to live in the caves. Surrounded by stone walls and towers with beautiful gardens, the colors and details are magnificent. I felt like I stepped into a fairytale. The snow-covered buildings, candle lit churches, and quiet beauty was an unforgetable experience.

My adventure continued as we traveled twelve hours from Pskov to Moscow by train. The next week contracted of doctor's appointments, embassy visits and paperwork. We stayed in an apartment near Arabat street with a view of the bustling city below. My mother, who came along to share the journey and help me navigate the process, eased my transition. The beautiful little girl, who was finally my daughter, was learning a new way of life and how to be loved.

Arabat street was buzzing and full of energy. "The Arbat" is a pedestrian street in the historical center of Moscow. Russian music fills the air and numerous artists live and work on the street.

Small shops with vendors selling Matryoshka dolls and fur hats lined the sidewalks. "For MaMa, For Babushka" was the merchants way to entice us. Many beautiful hand painted matryoshka dolls fill my shelves today.

I was slightly relieved, after several weeks in Russia, to stumble across Ruby Tuesday, The Hard Rock Cafe, and Starbucks. A reminder of home and a change from Oladis (Russian sour cream pancakes) and borscht (soup made of beetroot).

My daughter was fascinated by this exciting new world. The bright fragrant flowers, the up beat music, the bright lights. Her sheltered, boring life behind the doors of the orphanage was over.
Three generations experienced the joy of discovery together.

We visited Red Square for the traditional picture taken in front of St. Basil's Cathedral. Adoptive parents and their children pose in front of this beautiful building. Commonly, the parent is being with joy and their child, somber and uncertain of what all the chaos is about, looks terrified.

Red Square is a city square in Moscow. The buildings surrounding the square are each significant. Lenin's Mausolem contains the body of Vladmir llyich Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union. Across the street are the palaces and cathedrals of The Kremlin. At the center stands the bright elite domes of St. Basil's Cathedral.

t has been six years since this amazing trip to Russia. It was the end of a long, difficult journey of adoption but the beginning of something new.

A curiosity and fascination with different cultures. An appreciation of how similar we really all are, despite the different languages ​​and traditions. Most importantly, I discovered that in order to understand a place, the people, and the culture, you have to experience it for yourself. The preconceived ideas instilled in us, often from our culture and media, may be warped or just plain wrong. Leaving what we have been told behind and discovering with new eyes and an unbiased mind allows the opportunity to experience a new and fascinating place.

I returned home from this unforgettable trip exhausted yet inspired. My daughter and my new-found wanderlust accompanied me home.

How To KiteSurf

You have been bitten by the KiteSurfing bug, you can not wait to hit the first current to propel your body screaming 40-feet into the air and crashing into the water. With each gains of wind your elevated high off the surface and breaking each wave as you land. The thrill associated with the sport of KiteSurfing has many able-bodied thrill seekers flocking to the beaches across the world to set sail and fly across the top of the ocean.

But before you could set your feet in the water you will need to know how to KiteSurf, if you have surfed or have sail surfed you have an immediate advantage to understand how to maneuver your board, however when KiteSurfing your feet will move a little and your arms and hands are the only thing holding you to the kite, your feet are attached to the board.

Most rookie KiteSurfers have accidents because they have trouble calculating distance and variable levels of speed that the kites can create by a gust of wind. Learning to KiteSurf through instruction and practice is by far the best way to learn and experience the heart-pounding action and gravity-defying jumps.

As with any sport there are safety precautions you should adhere to.

You must be a good swimmer. Swimming entails that if your kite flies away from you, you may have to swim after the handles or swim back to shore. Depending how far out you have gone on your board this may not be such an easy task.

You can be carded or rated by a professional instructor. This will help you understand the risks as well as the conditions that are appropriate for your time out on the water. Your instructor should be certified by the IKO, International KiteSurfing Organization. Never go out with a friend, it could prove disastrous.

You should always wear a helmet. Like bicycle laws they are encouraged in some countries and mandatory in others. Your head is the most delicate part of your body, if you crash into the sea at a high-rate of speed or run into rockets your chances of suffering head trauma can be disabling.

Watch the weather conditions. It is important to understand the weather and the effects of strong wind and how it can play havoc on avid KiteSurfers.

Other guidelines you will learn along the way will be important and somehow common knowledge but it is good to go over the basics to make sure you and the people around you remain safe as you launch.

· Never launch kites in crowded swimming areas
· Do not lay your lines out along the beach
· Whenever possible try not to launch kite from the sand
· Be willing to help KiteSurfers as they re-enter the beach
· When making jumps in the water, measure the downwind zone
· If you can not swim far distances avoid going deep into the ocean
· Use your self-rescue signals when killing power to the kite
· Always wear a life-jacket or a buoyancy jacket.

By following the simple rules you can keep yourself as well as those around you safe during launch and re-entry to the beach.

Employee Privacy and Eavesdropping in the Workplace

Many SMB (small to mid-range businesses) are not aware of the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”). ECPA addresses the interception and monitoring of electronic communications: telephone conversations, voice mail, email, instant messaging chats, and other online interactions fall into ECPA’s perview. Violations of ECPA are punishable by fines or imprisonment for up to five years; any persons harmed by an ECPA violation are permitted to file for equitable relief covering damages and attorney fees of up to $10,000. Since many SMB’s monitor and intercept the electronic communications of their employees, understanding ECPA business use exceptions can reduce the risk of legal exposure to ECPA claims filed by employees.

ECPA extends federal protection over employee communication in the workplace but this protection is limited. Presumably, employers would want to monitor electronic communications to guarantee quality control and to protect intellectual property, investigate incidents of wrong-doing, and so on, and ECPA provides “business use exceptions” to allow the employer to do these things.

A couple of rules as it relates to intercepting transmissions and monitoring employees in the workplace:

One-Party Consent. Interception and monitoring are allowed if either the sender or recipient consents before it occurs.

Ordinary Course. Business use exceptions under ECPA dictate that interception or monitoring be conducted within the regular course of employer’s business and the subject matter be one in which the employer has a vested interest. Employers should be aware that, if a voice conversation turns personal, the employer may lose its exemption because it is no longer authorized to monitor such conversations.

Equipment Restriction. Employers can monitor and tap only the equipment that they own and which is used in the employer’s regular course of business.

Email. Employers have the right to monitor and access email communications of employees stored on their assets (client workstations and servers). This is tricky because employers do not have the right to monitor or access email hosted by a 3rd party (like AOL or MSN), even though such communication might transverse the company’s network.

Suggestions for the SMB to remain in ECPA compliance revolve around the creation of good Administrative Controls (policies) to govern employee expectations. Example:

1. Employees should be offered some form of notification is required either through a statement, a written policy signed at the time of employment, or a recording over the phone system.

2. Employers should present a policy to prohibit personal use of communications assets (phones, cell phones, computers, private email systems, and instant messaging) which would set acceptable use practices to restrict employee’s use to strictly business communications.

3. An acceptable use policy that prohibits the use of personal communications and storage equipment – MP3 players, digital cameras or recorders, cell phones, thumb-drives – to conduct company business.

4. A privacy policy should be crafted to identify the personal private information (PPI) collected on employees that defines how that PPI is used and maintained.

ECPA compliance in the SMB is more relevant today than it has ever been: personal employee devices, software, and protected communications are constantly interacting on company assets, wirelessly and effortlessly. The commingling of protected communications and devices can both expose a company’s assets to harm and restrict what legal forms of corrective action to can take to protect them.

ECPA compliance is generally policy-driven: so long as the employer sets good Administrative Policies into motion that define expectations ahead of time, and, they understand what is and is not permissible under the business use exceptions of ECPA, then compliance is fairly straight forward. It begins with management’s intent to create good acceptable use policy.

Lost Wax & Lost Foam Casting Processes.

Investment or lost wax casting is a versatile but ancient process, it is used to manufacture a huge variety of parts ranging from turbocharger wheels to golf club heads, from electronic boxes to hip replacement implants.

The industry, though heavily dependent on aerospace and defence outlets, has expanded to meet a widening range of applications.

Modern investment casting has its roots in the heavy demands of the Second World War, but it was the adoption of jet propulsion for military and then for civilian aircraft that stimulated the transformation of the ancient craft of lost wax casting into one of the foremost techniques of modern industry.

Investment casting expanded greatly worldwide during the 1980s, in particular to meet growing demands for aircraft engine and airframe parts. Today, investment casting is a leading part of the foundry industry, with investment castings now accounting for 15% by value of all cast metal production in the UK.

It really is the modernisation of an ancient art.

Lost wax casting has been used for at least six millennia for sculpture and jewellery. About one hundred years ago, dental inlays and, later, surgical implants were made using the technique. World War two accelerated the demand for new technology and then with the introduction of gas turbines for military aircraft propulsion transformed the ancient craft into a modern metal-forming process.

Turbine blades and vanes had to withstand higher temperatures as designers increased engine efficiency by raising inlet gas temperatures. Modern technology has certainly benefited from a very old and ancient metal casting process. The lost wax casting technique eventually led to the development of the process

known as Lost Foam Casting. What is Lost Foam Casting?

Lost foam casting or (LFC) is a type of metal casting process that uses expendable foam patterns to produce castings. Lost foam casting utilises a foam pattern which remains in the mould during metal pouring. The foam pattern is replaced by molten metal,

producing the casting.

The use of foam patterns for metal casting was patented by H.F. Shroyer during then year of 1958. In Shroyer’s patent, a pattern was machined from a block of expanded polystyrene (EPS) and supported by bonded sand during pouring. This process is known as the full mould process.

With the full mould process, the pattern is usually machined from an EPS block and is used to make large, one-of-a kind castings. The full mould process was originally known as the lost foam process. However, current patents have required that the generic term for the process is known as full mould.

It wasn’t until 1964 when, M.C. Fleming’s used unbonded dry silica sand with the process. This is known today as lost foam casting (LFC). With LFC, the foam pattern is moulded from polystyrene beads. LFC is differentiated from the full mould method by the use of unbonded sand (LFC) as opposed to

bonded sand (full mould process).

Foam casting techniques have been referred to by a variety of generic and proprietary names. Among these are lost foam, evaporative pattern casting, evaporative foam casting, full mould, Styrocast, Foamcast, Styrocast, and foam vaporization casting.

All these terms have led to much confusion about the process for the design engineer, casting user and casting producer. The lost foam process has even been adopted by people who practice the art of home hobby foundry work, it provides a relatively simple & inexpensive method of producing metal castings in the backyard foundry.

Col Croucher.

How to Rosin a Violin Bow

Rosin is a resin collected from pine trees all around the world. It is drawn from the trees in a tapping process in the same way that maple syrup is collected. A small area of ​​the tree's bark is removed and a drip channel and collection container is fitted, the tree is cut with V-shaped grooves which allow the resin to run out of the tree into the container. The resin is mixed with other tree saps and purified. It is then heated and melted and poured into molds. After the mixture is set it is smoothed and polished and packed into containers.

The purpose of rosin is to make the hair grip the strings of the violin and cause them to vibrate. Without out rosin the hair would glide smoothly over the strings and no sound would be produced.

Before you can successfully rosin your violin bow you must know about the two kinds of rosin. The first kind is called dark rosin this is also known as winter rosin. Dark rosin is a softer stickier rosin and is suited to dry cool climates. Light rosin is harder than and not as sticky as dark rosin. Both will work fine on any violin you must experiment with different kinds until you find the type that is right for you.

Applying the rosin is very easy. Simply take the rosin and glide it several times up and down the bow. Remember to use the rosin sparingly most people use far too much this will cause the rosin to drip down the strings and stain the violin.

You do not need to apply rosin everyday once every four or five times is enough after you have been playing a while you will develop a feel for how much rosin you need.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are a sensible and smart alternative for those who want to enjoy the cozy warmth of a fireplace, without the chores of storing and burning wood and cleaning ashes. Gas fireplaces are environmental friendly and have several advantages over the conventional wood burning fireplaces. They are much easier to operate and are more energy-efficient. Unlike the wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces do not allow for the accumulation of creosote, which is a highly explosive substance produced by the burning of wood.

Usually fueled with propane or natural gas, natural gas is more widely used as it has lower emissions of carbon monoxide, toxic pollutants, and particulate emission. The natural gas fireplaces use ceramic or other imitation logs mounted on a metal rack, similar to that in wood burning fireplaces.

Natural vent, direct vent, and vent-free are the venting options. Natural vented gas fireplaces are vented through the roof using special B-vent gas pipes. They must also be installed near a gas line. Direct vent gas fireplaces operate without electricity and are directly vented to the outside through a hole in the exterior wall. They are sealed combustion units that prevent the spreading of toxic combustion gases into the room in which they are installed. In vent-free gas fireplaces, as the name indicates, venting to the outside is not required. The sleek shape of vent-free gas fireplaces makes them easier to install almost anywhere in the house.

Gas fireplace insert is the perfect choice in case an existing wood fireplace is to be converted to a gas fireplace. Gas fireplace inserts perfectly fit into the wood fireplace and are vented to the outside atmosphere either through the chimney or a special vent pipe.

Both indoor and outdoor gas fireplaces are available. A wall thermostat controls most of the indoor models. Some are coupled with automatic controls and handheld remotes. Easy push button ignition, variable speed fans, and glass faces are also available in gas fireplaces.