How to Play at Work and Still Increase Productivity

Have you ever attended an American football game? The excitement of the cheering crowd, the fast action on the field, the coaches and team members showing support from the sidelines, and the cheerleaders keeping the fans engaged are the components that make this event fun. If you take this same scenario and apply it to the workplace, you will find a great deal of similarities. Besides, how pleasurable would your work be if you could imagine yourself going to a football game everyday instead of an ordinary office? Making your experience at work enjoyable is essential for increased productivity.

Like each member of a football team, each coworker has a role to play in order to score points – to complete a project, meet a deadline, or launch a new product or service. The manager, or coach, lays out the game plan and strategies, and each team member carries out the required movement, or play, in order to successfully move the football towards the goal line. While all of this action takes place, the support staff, or the cheerleaders, handles the administrative tasks, which helps to provide efficiency and keeps the exhilaration flowing. Each member of this team and every second of the game are valuable. Having that team mentality is also an effective way of increasing morale, motivating colleagues, and setting the course for the business.

To help build and continue that team camaraderie, words of support, chants and cheers, and “can do” attitudes need to be put into play through the use of motivational tools, for example, free inspirational wallpapers. With the majority of time and effort being spent on moving towards the goal line, having sharp images and heartening words to cheer us on is an extraordinary form of stimulation and encouragement. The “playbook” – or computer desktop – should be chock full of free inspirational wallpapers. Along with individual know-how, training, endurance, and physical abilities, inspiration is key for a winning season.

At football games, there are often signs and banners hung around the stadium to let the home team know that their fans are behind them. Spectators wear team paraphernalia, and the stadium and field are decorated with the team colors, symbols, and mascot. If your office is the playing field, why not populate it with free inspirational wallpapers to keep your spirits high? Your main tool, your personal computer, which helps you get to the goal line, should display free inspirational desktop wallpaper backgrounds for support. Visible inspiration could be just the right thing an individual needs to score the winning touchdown.

Viewing the workplace as a standard office environment can make the workday mundane and less fruitful. Creating enjoyment in your work helps to regenerate new life and energy, and by having a refreshed spirit and boost in drive, a person is much more productive. We cannot always control the type of work that comes our way or the demands and pressures that we face. But, we can make the best of the environment that we find ourselves in, and we can always begin with our workspace. Using a little creativity can bring a whole new dimension to your workplace and add the right amount of motivation to improve the work experience.

Seagull Lighting Island Pendants: Another Reason to Visit the Kitchen

People often say that the kitchen is the heart of a home and so it needs more reason to shine brightly even in the darkest times. Seagull Lighting, a historic lighting company has been in the industry for over 95 years and have constantly featuring many illuminations for all kinds of building and areas. Island pendants are a favorite among homemakers as they can do all the duties with the right kind of lighting. Let us see a few collections below.

West Town:

This royal collection exudes elegance that can ornate a room equally as it brightens it. The sophisticated design comprises of rain-drop shaped crystals at the bottom with its six lights available in both incandescent and energy-star rated bulbs. Created in two finishes- Burnt Sienna with Oatmeal Faux Linen glass and Chrome with White Faux Linen glass, the West town is designed to attract people into the kitchen more. The traditional light fixture would go great with classic and vintage themed houses.

Jourdanton:

This transitional Seagull Lighting island pendant is constructed with perforated metal on the outside that engulfs a faux silk shade on the inside. Only having a single finish option of Brushed Nickel with satin etched glass, this four-light ceiling fixture can be fitted into damp locations as well. With incandescent and fluorescent 60W bulbs fitted, this futuristic light can be very eye-catching in the kitchen.

Dunning:

This style statement does not only attract all the attention but also create a rustic vibe perfect for the kitchen space. It can be clearly seen that it the design is inspired by farmhouses and country homes. The bold design comprises of a wooden rectangular frame in Oak finish that surrounds the four lights that is suspended by two metal chains. Stardust finish with crème parchment glass is the only variant available which can work with either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs that comes with the light fixture when ordered online.

Perryton:

This subtle collection from Seagull Lighting is a minimalistic island pendant that shouts traditional design when you lay your eyes upon it. The Blacksmith finish transports you back in time and gets you nostalgic about previous times. This eight-light pendant that functions with 60W candelabra torpedo bulbs is shaped like candles inside a them framework resembling a house suspended in the air by two straight rods.

There are other styles of island pendants available and one should choose per their requirement and home setting. This is a great way of giving light to the kitchen. These kinds of pendants are usually placed over the island counter in a kitchen helping the family to finish their work. This kind of lighting solution can be fixed above a dining table as well. Another option of installing pendants in your kitchen is to arrange a bunch or a couple of one or two-light pendants in a personal kind of arrangement adding more character to the space.

Ipe Hardwood Floors: Awesome or Not?

If you know anything about Ipe hardwood, it is truly an amazing wood. It has a Janka rating of over 3600, making it one of the densest woods that are currently available on the hardwood flooring market. Ipe has a lot of very positive characteristics, but it also has its issues!

It is so dense that with even a marginal finish applied to the surface, most spills will pool on the top rather than penetrate below. And it survives the abuse from the even a 100 pound sheep dog with limited wear marks.

Ipe Hardwood Flooring is referred to by many names depending on the country of origin and who is making the flooring. Brand names like Ironwood(TM) and Pau Lope(TM) are common as are “consumer names” like Brazilian Walnut. For some reason, North American retailers think referring to it as a walnut will make it more understandable to today’s consumers.

Ipe is really a cluster of many trees from the Bignoniaceae family (Tabebuia, spp) that share a common appearance and physical characteristics. They are all dense and rather straight grained. Some pieces look quite similar to teak. It is very resistant to decay, termite and dry insect attack, although this is not significant (I hope) when choosing ipe as interior flooring. It is VERY fire resistant as well.

Colour range varies from a medium straw with olive green overtones to a reddish brown with darker black streaks common in some boxes of ipe hardwood. Flooring samples can then have a very large range of colours. Make sure that you understand this, and don’t buy, expecting colour uniformity. It is always best, if possible to visit a customer that has had this type of flooring in use for a number of years. You can then judge not only the appeal of the colouring but also the durability of the finish.

For installation it will require a very good quality grade of carbide blade on your miter saw to even attempt any trimming to length. If you have a large expanse of ipe flooring to cover, a second blade made be necessary. All holes, like those that you need to install for the first few rows of flooring will have to be drilled close to the size of the finishing nail you intend to use, otherwise you will split the wood. Experiment first, to save a few pieces of ipe flooring.

The Best Penis Enlargement Method Does Not Include a Pump

The technology behind the penis pump is that it draws blood to the organ through suction, helping it to become engorged. It works well until after the blood goes back to the circulation and the penis also goes back to its natural size. With this idea alone, you can already conclude that this is not the best penis enlargement method. There are other things incorporated to the pump though to make it work better.

A ring is added to the rim of the pump so that when the penis is engorged, the ring can be pushed down from the pump and placed securely at the base. This reduces the blood that goes out of the organ but maintains the flow of blood to the penis. The ring is kept in place for not more than 30 minutes otherwise, complications can occur.

Ann Summers, a leading entrepreneur of sexual pleasure toys, have funded scientists on conducting studies that will prove that using a pump is the best penis enlargement method. What the scientists have found so far is that mild pumping only leads to strengthening of the penis muscles but nothing on the over-all size of the penis.

There has not been any significant increase of length and girth of the genitals of the test subjects after six months of use. Although there had been reports of being satisfied with the use of the pump, the equipment still fails to deliver its promise. Incidents with the use of the pump circle around trauma to the penis.

Too much enthusiasm in suctioning leads to rupture of the vessels and consequently permanent injury. There were cases wherein the testicles were accidentally suctioned into the pump and inevitably causing severe pain. I don’t think any man would want to endanger their family jewels like that.

What men need to consider is the natural way of increasing penis size. No, it does not involve herbal pills because let us face it those are just plain quackery. The natural way is exercising the penis muscles to become stronger and bulkier just like the biceps and triceps.

People may be a bit skeptical on the concept but this is considered as the best penis enlargement method as it makes use of nothing artificial and would not make a huge hole in your pocket. Exercising provides men who think their size are not big enough the best option as it does not put them at risk of pain and permanent organ damage.

Is Lean Manufacturing Dead?

Some people learning how to implement lean manufacturing may be asking themselves this question, especially with so many websites and books promoting alternative solutions to your manufacturing ills such as six sigma, business re-engineering, etc.

The answer is a very firm NO; at the end of the day lean manufacturing is a very simple and clear way of improving your business using a host of long established tools. Lean manufacturing may not be the answer to every problem within your business but then no “off the shelf” philosophy is going to give you the recipe for business success otherwise everyone would be successful!

With lean manufacturing what you need to succeed is a heavy dose of common sense and the will to achieve. It is about making common sense changes to improve your efficiency. There is no need to get into heavy statistical analysis as there can be in six sigma, it can be very simple indeed to implement.

However as I have already said, no “off the shelf” philosophy is going to turn your business into the next success story. Everything in life has it’s limitations. Lean is no different, if your management team is not committed, or not capable of making change then you will need to look at re-organizing and training your team. Many consultancies will focus on this side of your business, saying that the secret to business success is having the right people in the right positions, having the right structure and right management style. However if you don’t then provide them with the tools to actually do the job then the business will not climb to the top of the heap.

Some will say forget lean, look at six sigma. Why do you have to implement one without the other? Just because one set of consultants wants you to buy their services over the competitors does it mean that you can only have one set of methods? Does it mean that you have to sit in one camp and not the other? The two complement each other significantly, hence the drive for some to promote “lean sigma”, you can come up with quick major improvements using lean and then tune them significantly using the six sigma tools to reduce the variability within the processes.

Lean manufacturing is a collection of tools that you use to try to give the customer what they want, when they want it using the minimum amount of resource. Six Sigma is about reducing process variability to ensure that you always provide a quality product or service. They overlap in many areas. But neither really addresses design issues, how to come up with that brand new product or service idea that will take the market by storm. Hence various tools for product innovation and breakthrough technology.

At the end of the day, if you have no clear idea of what you want to do within your business then you will just wander in circles never moving forward. You must have clear direction, then use each and every tool available, picking and choosing what you need to meet the challenges of your business. Adapt each and every tool to meet your business needs, few if any can ever be implemented exactly as written in the manual. Not every tool in the arsenal of each philosophy is relevant to every company, there will never be a step by step guide to improving your business. Every business is different, every management structure has it’s quirks, every leader has his own style despite efforts by HR professionals to define distinctions.

Every method out there has it’s place, depending on the market you operate in, the maturity of your products and processes, what methods you chose to improve your competitiveness will change. It is no good focusing on tools to constantly improve manufacturing efficiencies and the like if you are in a market that demands new innovative products every six months. No point in producing last year’s “must have gadget” cheaper and faster than the competition if the market has moved on!

So lean still has its place, it is still a requirement, whether we call it lean or not if we start to make improvements within our business then you can almost guarantee that we will use some of the basic tools of lean. How many successful businesses do you know that implement some sort of housekeeping process, “a place for everything, and everything in its place”. Most do, some will call it 5s, 5C, just housekeeping or any other title they can think of, but no business can succeed without some sort of basic organization at this level. What organization does not try to standardize work to prevent variation, standardization through procedures, instructions, and training. All of these are significant parts of lean manufacturing.

But no tools can work on their own, there must be a goal. The goal for most businesses is at the end of the day to make money. Does not matter how flowery their HR and PR statements are regarding how they will develop and involve their employees, how they will protect the environment and help the community, each and every business is there with one aim; to make money. They do this by being efficient, by having products that meet market needs.

So make money you must have what the customer wants and be able to deliver it to him when he wants it at the right price, right level of quality, and support it as necessary. If you can’t then you will not succeed. Lean can help you with ensuring that you can deliver on time, that the quality is right and the price is right.

No philosophy or method is an answer in its own right, but if you want to learn how to implement lean manufacturing then you can not go wrong. The ideas and tools will always be applicable to any manufacturing or service company no matter what industry you are in.

Teknion Contessa Review – One Of The Most Comfortable Ergonomic Chairs On The Market

Beginning in the early 1980s, Teknion has been offering high quality office products for over 20 years. The Teknion Contessa (also called the Okamura Contessa as made by the Japanese company Okamura, it’s sold under the name Teknion in North America) is a top of the line ergonomic task chair that has many unique features that set it apart from the competition.

Seat Material – The Contessa is available with either a mesh seat or a fabric seat (leather is also available). Both the mesh seat and fabric seat options come with a mesh seat back to help keep you cool by promoting air circulation.

Easy To Use Controls – The controls to adjust the height and recline are levers right below the arm rests. This means to adjust the chair you don’t have to bend over and find knobs or levels to twist; they’re right there at hand level for you. The tilt tension adjustment is a knob under the seat, but unlike many other chairs where you have to turn it dozens of times to go from the loosest setting to the tightest, on the Contessa there are four presets that are easy to select.

Innovative Recline Mechanism – The Teknion Contessa has one of the best reclines of any chair on the market. To start, it’s a knee-tilt mechanism which means the pivot point is by the knee rather than in the middle of the chair, so as you recline your feet stay flat on the ground and your knees stay at the same height as well. The Contessa’s knee tilt recline is a 2.8:1 ratio (rather than the standard 2:1 ratio) which means that for every 1 degree the seat tilts, the back reclines 2.8 degrees. This allows you to get a better stretch and recline without the back of the seat lowering so much, so you don’t end up feeling like you’re “sinking” under your desk as you recline.

The recline is also adjustable using the lever under the left arm rest. The Contessa has three recline options:

1) Seat locked upright

2) Seat in free-float mode (no limitations)

3) Seat locked at a specific angle

Option 3 is different from most other chairs which don’t allow them to be locked at a specific angle. This allows you to work from the most comfortable reclined angle without worrying about the chair moving.

Lumbar support – The lumbar support on the Contessa is superb. Not only is it height adjustable, but it is also depth adjustable so you can put it at the correct spot on your back and then adjust how deeply it presses into your back.

The Contessa is one of the most advanced and comfortable ergonomic task chairs on the market and is definitely worth checking out if there is a distributor in your area.

Simplifying the Aluminum Carport Buying and Installation Process

Aluminum carports offer consumers many advantages when it comes to a lack of proper vehicle shelter. Carports are used as a shelter for cars, boats, trucks or other large equipment. If you are currently nervous about leaving your car exposed to elements, an aluminum carport can provide sufficient and effective cover. Carports are easy build, inexpensive, and strong enough to withstand most weather events. The best thing about carports is that they can pretty much go anywhere in your yard and you can even move them to another location if needed. So if you are living in a rental property or if your home is currently lacking shelter for your vehicle, you should definitely consider one of the many carport options that are available today.

It is difficult to compare the cost-effective and ease of installation of carports especially to the construction of a traditional garage. Carports can be assembled and set up easily and quickly. Most carports are sold in kits which are designed to ease the entire process for the consumer and include all of the supplies and directions you will need. It doesn’t matter where you live in the US, most certified carports offer a sufficient and satisfactory shelter for cars. If you live in an area of severe or extreme conditions, a certified steel shelter is recommended and also likely required by your local building laws. Certified stands for shelters that are specifically created to withstand heavy snow loads and strong wind velocities. Steel is required in these areas because it contains the quality and sturdiness that is needed in such areas.

There are many things you might want to consider when shopping for an aluminum carport but even more considerations must be made if you wish to install the shelter by yourself. These shelter kits of today are manufactured in large pieces of materials and are designed to be easily fitted together and fastened at the time of installation. When done with setting up, you need to secure it by fastening to the anchoring the building down to the surface below, make sure you have the appropriate anchors for the type of surface below your carport. Each type of surface requires a specific anchoring process. On the other hand, if you don’t want to deal with all of this by yourself, you should definitely consider paying a little extra to have the entire process handled by a professional crew or contractor.

Explaining Tire Scuff Marks on New Asphalt Pavement

Did you just have your driveway repaved with a brand new asphalt overlay? Or maybe a new layer of sealcoat? Or perhaps you are a company owner that just finished construction on a new commercial parking lot? Either way, you may start to notice tire marks as business or traffic picks up. Tire scuff marks are a common occurrence to newly-paved or seal-coated asphalt, and for many reasons. Before you pick up the phone to have a word with your paving company, it is encouraged to investigate a bit further, and find out why tire marks appear on newly-paved asphalt in the first place. Continue reading to learn what causes asphalt tire scuffing, and gain a better understanding of what to expect from your pavement.

Tire Scuffing

Fortunately, there is no need to panic about tire marks since they will eventually fade after a few months. There are several reasons why freshly-paved or seal-coated asphalt is subject to tire scuffing, but they can all be narrowed down to five specific ones. If you have questions about any of these causes, feel free to contact your paving company afterwards to discuss them in detail. They can give you expert information, answers, and advice regarding asphalt paving, sealcoating, and more. For now, start by reviewing the 5 most common factors that cause asphalt tire marks, below.

1. The Age of Pavement – New pavement, or pavement with a new layer of sealcoat, is more susceptible to tire scuff marks since it is still soft and malleable. As it hardens, tire marks begin to disappear. Asphalt requires flexibility to maintain maximum durability, but as it ages, it loses this attribute.

2. Outdoor Temperatures – The time of year affects the rate at which asphalt hardens after being laid. Hot weather will slow the curing process, keeping pavement soft and flexible a little longer than usual. And we already mentioned that soft pavement allows for tire marks. This is why most paving jobs are carried out in the fall and winter, when temperatures are cooler and pavement cures faster.

3. Vehicle Weight – New asphalt pavement that experiences frequent traffic from heavy vehicles, like trucks, buses, and vans, is more susceptible to tire scuffing. Stationary 180-degree turns, sudden braking, sharp turns, and trucks with power steering are common causes for tire marks..

4. Type of Tires – The type and size of tires play a major role in producing tire scuff marks in new pavement. Most standard tires can and will cause this to happen, but tires with aggressive tread patterns, steel-belted radial tires, and off-road trucks and SUVs will guarantee it.

5. Type of Asphalt – The type of asphalt will also influence the likelihood of tire scuffing on new pavement. Course aggregate is less likely to scuff, whereas, a thin sealcoat will.

Friendship – Bridge Between the Hearts

We all know human beings are gregarious by nature. It is due to this nature of ours, social life has immense infusion to our individual life. Perhaps that is why the great Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, claims man to be a social animal. Now friendship, if we further contemplate, is an indispensable reality of social life. In this brief paper, my aim is to provide a general idea of what true friendship is, along with its importance and benefits.

Denis Diderot, in his encyclopedia, defines friendship as “the commerce (with someone) in which the heart takes an interest because of the pleasure it derives from it.” Diderot further posits that the commerce involving pure mind rather than the heart is an acquaintance, not friendship. I would like to add a point to his claim. According to him, heart captures interest because of the “pleasure” friendship derives. Seeking only pleasure in friendship seems quite self-centered and unoriginal. Moreover, the source of affection and love between people, other than for kinsfolk, cannot simply be based on pleasure only. The truth is, however, when the heart finds interest due to the “virtues of the fellow person”, it is true friendship. Pleasure, namely, is one of the many influential upshots of a faithful relationship.

Many have also questioned the durability of friendships; how long a friendship between individuals is reckoned to last, in relation to diverse circumstances? The time period of a general friendship is considered to depend on multiple factors such as intensity of bond, age, dwelling, etc. In spite of this information, I personally believe a true friendship is never-ending, or more specifically, has timeless memories; both happy and sad. In some cases, friends might not be practically together due to residence remoteness and/or excessive work exertion. Yet, time and time again, a part in their hearts echoes with affection for one another; they are present in each others’ hearts. Now I would invite the readers to attend to the benefits of being under this umbrella of true love and source of ageless memories.

Benefits of Friendship

For quite some time, psychologists and researchers were tempted to discover the benefits of friendship. Though exploration still continues on the subject in an enormous amount, so far, tons of studies and programs have declared friendship “life-enhancing” (1). In contrast, the absence of friendship, or to simply put it; loneliness is deemed damaging to mental and physical health. The question is, what aspects of life and health does friendship influences, in order for, we call it “life-enhancing”? Let us explore the answer.

Conventional intelligence believes; friendships boost the individual’s sense of happiness. Happiness, in turn, has scores of positive biological and psychological impacts. For example, according to the research of Kira M. Newman, a writer and editor, happiness systematically protects the heart, strengthens the immune system, diminishes stress, combats diseases and disability, and enhances longevity. A couple of other potential advantages of friendships, proposed by many researchers, include the opportunity to learn about empathy and problem solving. Moreover, in front of friends, an individual feels at ease with his or her personal identity and innate habits. Such a comfortable zone directs the person towards no pressure; rather, it contributes to self-confidence and social development.

What is more, true friends are selfless and supportive to their fellow friends at difficult times. They can act as a source of motivation for one another, concerning the hardships of life. A report from Mayo Clinic is parallel to the prescription: friendships “increase your sense of belonging and purpose”; furthermore, they “help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one.” Therefore, one can avow, friendships are highly effective for the emotional dimension of human beings as well.

Conflicts in Friendship

In friendships too, like in any other relationship, involved individuals can quarrel, now and then. These disputes are temporary and are melted away by the warmth of mutual affection and understanding between true friends. However, lack of productive efforts or knowledge can exacerbate the situation as well. Hence, it is wise to explore the foundation of these clashes, in order to prevent them in the first place. Sufficient knowledge on the subject can also help the person to distinguish his true friends from the fake ones. Under this section, I underpin (and clarify) the reasons for conflicts in friendships into three chief bases; triviality, external grounds, and communication gaps.

Firstly, disputes may ensue when a trivial approach, intentional or unintentional, is adopted by an involved individual concerning friendship. A trivial approach, technically, refers to expressing insignificance in friendship or not taking the responsibility of being a friend sincerely. This can be due to paucity of knowledge about the role of accountability in friendship by the person (unintentional) or deliberate reasons (intentional), directing to the warning of a fake friend. The unintentional case is usually concerned towards the lower age groups of society. Let us observe the insightful words of Khalil Gibran on this matter, “friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity (2).” It is noteworthy, responsibility in friendship is never onerous, for this reason, Mr. Gibran utilizes the word “sweet” before responsibility to brush aside any sort of misleading interpretation.

Secondly, a third-party aims to jeopardize friendship between individuals, owing to hatred or in their own personal interest. Assuming either motive, loyalty and honest communication between friends are the best remedies to thwart any iniquitous intervention.

Lastly, communication gaps occur when the message intended to be delivered by the speaker is not understood by the recipient. The reason behind this, as the name suggests, is poor communication. In friendships, this leads to misapprehension and, thus, towards negative estimations about the fellow friend. Solution to the issue lies in communication itself. Honest and open communication, or technically, effective communicative skills can ultimately bridge the communication gaps, and reduce the likelihood of their proliferation.

To conclude, friendship is an astounding and somewhat special gift of life; one which systematically benefits the friends at social and mental level, and in another sense, psychologically strengthens their willpower to live life confidently and optimistically, regardless of what the circumstances might be. Obviously, true friendship demands certain responsibilities at times, yet one should always remember that such responsibilities are “sweet”, which eventually result in creating pleasant and timeless memories! And once these memories are implanted in the brain, they somehow find a way to sprout the flower of love in the hearts. That’s why I think we can construe friendship as “bridge between the hearts” – don’t you agree?

References

1. Telfer, E., 1970-71, “Friendship”, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 71: 223-41.

2. “Khalil Gibran Quotes”. BrainyQuote. N.p., 2016. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.

How To Assemble A Futon Frame

Most futons are made very similar and use the same parts to assemble them. When shoppers buy their futon they often have a set of instructions that came with the futon frame. Time passes and these instruction disappear or get misplaced and it’s time to move the futon. Not having assembled futons on an everyday basis, it may not be immediately clear how the futon goes together. In this article we’ll examine the parts and assembly of a standard futon frame to hopefully help those who may have lost instructions.

Laying out the parts:

When you purchased your futon you most likely had 6 main wood parts. 2 arms, 2 rails and a seat and back section. The back section looks different than the seat section as it has 3 pre drilled holes on the sides with the wood sides extending down to allow the seat section to be connected to it. Versus 1 or 2 holes on the seat section. Your hardware will consist of 8 bolts, 8 barrel nuts (shaped like a barrel), 4 nylon rollers, 6 metal pins, 6 washers and 6 cotter clips, allen wrench.

Attaching the hardware:

Take the 4 nylon rollers, 4 metal pins and 4 cotter clips and locate the wood backrest of the futon. It will have the three holes drilled into each side. Two of these holes are close together and the 3rd hole is towards the bottom of the side. This hole by itself will connect to the seat section. The nylon rollers have two ends. A small round top and a larger round bottom. The larger round bottom is placed against the wood over the hole and a metal pin is pushed down through the small round top through the roller and out through the hole in the back rack. On the other side slide a washer over the pin use your cotter clip and push it through the small hole in the metal pin to secure it. Repeat this step for the other three nylon rollers.

Next find the wood seat section and locate the hole closest to the end on the side. (Sometimes wood seat sections have two holes. The second hole towards the middle is for attaching what is called a kicker block. Your frame may or may not have this.) After you have located the holes on the ends of the seat section lay the wood seat and back sections face up meaning the slats in these section are facing up or are closest to the top. Now take the 2 remaining metal pins and push them through the remaining holes in the sides back section in through the holes in the seat section. Slide a washer over each pin and secure it with the remaining cotter clips.

Attaching the arms and stretchers.

Locate your two wood arms and two wood stretchers. Look at the arms and notice that one side of the arms has two routed out grooves. During assembly these routed out grooves need to face inward towards each other. Next, locate your two stretcher rails. These rails will have 4 small circular holes drilled out on the one side of the stretcher on the ends. During assembly make sure these holes face in towards the holes of the stretcher across from it. Take your barrel nut and place it inside one of the holes intended for the barrel nut. Barrel nuts usually have a phillips or flat screwdriver point and make sure this is facing out. Also make sure the threaded hole in the barrel nut lines up with the holes in the ends of the rail as your bolt will need to thread into them. Now take the bolt and push it through the outside of the arm and into the rail threading it into the barrel nut and use your allen wrench to wind the screw into the barrel nut. Repeat this step on the other bolts leaving them loose. On the rail that is closest to the routed out grooves in the arms leave two of your bolts out and make sure this area allows you to move the arm outward somewhat. [The reason for this is to make sure we can spread the arms enough to get the seat and back section into the frame without scratching our arms.]

Moving the back/seat section into the frame.

The backrest has 2 nylon rollers on each side. The top roller needs to be lined up with the routed out grooves in the arms that go up and down. If you installed the rollers correctly, the end of the nylon roller will fit into the groove and will push into it. (If it doesn’t, your rollers are installed backwards, take them off and flip them around so that the larger part of the roller is against the wood.) Now take the bottom rollers on each side and line them up into the routed out groove that runs left to right. [This step might require a helper to get the rollers lined up in the grooves.]Important Note: Make sure that the seat and back section slats are facing upwards to where the mattress will rest right on them. If it looks like the mattress will sit down into the back and seat section because the slats are facing the ground, you’ll need stop and flip the decks over and do this step again.

Finishing assembly.

Now finish putting the remaining two bolts and barrel nuts into the back arm and connect them together as discussed in the above step about attaching arms and stretchers. Go ahead and tighten all of the bolts. Tight enough but not too tight. Your futon should now be ready for use.

I wrote this text version of futon assembly instructions as a guide to help those who are missing assembly instructions. Often you can contact the futon company you purchased your futon from for a set of replacement instructions. However, if that isn’t an option, I hope this guide will get you through the process of re-assembling your futon so you can start using and enjoying it once again. Many websites also include picture instructions you can use and this page futon assembly instructions might also be of help to you.

How to Pick the Perfect Wall Mounted Fan

These days just about every home contains some type of air conditioning; it can be central air running throughout your house or individual air conditioning units in predetermined windows in various rooms. If you are overly selective in which area of your home you are cooling off, it can become very costly. Good solutions to this sticky situation are wall mounted fans.

Prices can vary from just under $50 to well close to $2,500 for the more complex and unique wall fans. They can be osculating or non-osculating depending upon preference.

A TPI wall mounted fan can be mounted in any room of your choice that necessitates a smidgen more when it attempting to cool it off. This twenty inch fan will certainly be able to assist in that while trimming down both energy consumption and electric costs. With this three bladed, ball bearing motor it promises a high longevity with optimal operation. And, although this particular wall fan is non-oscillating it does have a swing-action arm for easy angle positioning and operates with a two speed pull chain.

Most wall mounted fans are fairly simple to install and this one is no different. With tools at bare minimum and a step stool if mounting beyond your reach, it should take no time at all. Hint: power screwdrivers and power drills, for that matter power anything – make a chore go faster! It is always important to read manufacturer’s direction before installing your wall fan. For less or no vibration be sure to find a stud you can mount it on.

Another example would be the Punkah Wall Mount. This is a tropical-African style fan with wide oval palm leaf blades that can be found in such places as hotels, resorts and restaurants…but that does not mean it can not grace the wall of your dinning room. When mounted, this one-of-a-kind fan will leisurely sway from one side to the other circulating a cool breeze to all sections of your room, keeping you comfortable while providing a touch of sophistication.

You will need to purchase it in single segments and then attach them together. Obviously the first segment should include the motor and then depending upon the size and design of your wall you can add anywhere up to five individual sections. It holds a five star quality rating with a quiet, smooth motor and is available in antique brass, polished brass and pewter.

We all know that air conditioning, central or not cause your electric bill to rise. With a wall fan a little of this cost can be deferred. There are times that it can be less expensive to buy a wall mounted fan than to replace that broken-down window air conditioner.

Wilson Hammer 6 Racket Review

The Wilson H6 has been one of Wilson’s most popular tennis rackets, from anyone just beginning to a few years into play to people who are very experienced. Every club is familiar with the Wilson H6, it has become one of the most popular rackets out there fitting a variety of playing styles. As I was shopping around for a tennis racket for my own personal use, I quickly found that the H6 had nothing but positive feedback.

I have played tennis for eight years now and throughout my career I have always loved playing with the Wilson Hammer (H6). I think it is a great racket to hit with and I own both the mid size and oversize. In match playing I use my mid size racket because I feel that I have more control and it’s a manageable weight for hitting consistently. When I use the Wilson H6 in practice, coaching kids, and matches, I have found that when doing ground strokes it offers decent pop. This means that when the ball is flying at you, you don’t have to kill the ball when you return it to the opponent. The racket gives that extra little push so you can still get the shot, speed, and spin you want. Stronger and more advanced players might take this into advantage because they will be playing longer points out and when moving side to side on the court the racket becomes your friend to step in with that extra little push for a great put away shot.

I usually don’t hit a lot of my shots as backhand slices but when I do, I found that the Wilson H6 will get the job done effectively. Any racket takes time getting used to but once I got the handle on how to slice a hard shot verses a soft shot, I was putting down some very effective shots. When you have the chance to smash the ball from a lob or a great angle put away shot, the mid plus racket gives off amazing topspin.

When I first started playing tennis my serves were my weakness. I used to get frustrated with myself because I felt that something wasn’t going right when I tried to serve. After thousands of serves and serve returns I found that little adjustments with the Wilson H6 can make a big difference in your serving. Being that my serve is one of my weaknesses in the game, this racket is great for a slower swing while serving and giving off the spin and placement you still want. I also love the grip of the racket. It is very comfortable to handle and doesn’t slide out of your hand, even well into play.

Overall I would say that this racket is by far my favorite and I will continue playing with it throughout my career. It is a very good racket to start out with and as I improved my game the racket supplemented me perfectly. The better I got from lessons and playing matches I could see the benefits of have the Wilson H6. The popularity of this racket is not just hype. Overall it is an extremely solid racket that will put good spin on the ball and also give you that extra power for the big smash point. The Wilson Hammer H6 is a solid and effective racket that I would recommend to all!

10 Best Tomatoes To Grow In All Climates

The variety of tomatoes available to grow in Melbourne is multiplying by leaps and bounds year after year. While it will take pages and pages to list and describe each and every one, I will use this article to describe 10 of the best tomatoes available to grow in Melbourne. Other tomato types I will give a quick mention.

As mentioned, the types of tomatoes now available around Melbourne has grown to enormous proportions. Names like, Bragger Tomato, Money Maker Tomato, Cherry Ripe, Humpty, Top Dog, Mellow Yellow, Moonshot and Tickled Pink are fast making a name for themselves in the world of tomatoes.

Following is a list of ten fantastic tomato varieties in order of their current popularity:

Grosse Lisse Tomato: An old fashioned tomato and favourite of die-hard tomato growers. The tomato is large, globe shaped and very fleshy. It fruits mid to late in the season and does require staking. The variety has recently been imp[roved to a hybrid which resists Verticillium, Fusarium and Bacterial wilt.

Beefsteak Tomato: Large round, very meaty variety with a sweet and juicy flavour. It is a tall plant that will require staking. Fruits appear early to mid season. Is resistant to some fungal diseases but can require preventative measures.

Bragger Tomato: As the name suggests, a tomato that makes tongues wag. Extra large, very tasty and great to use in soups, sandwiches, salads, barbeques and other hot dishes and for preserving. Is resistant to tomato mosaic virus, nematodes and fusarium and verticillium wilt. Tall plant requires staking. Can fruit early to late season.

Roma & San Marzano: I have placed these two tomato varieties together because of their similarities. They are basically the same tomato named after two different regions of Italy. While these medium, oval shaped tomatoes have great many uses, they are favoured more for their ability to produce tomato sauces and pastes. They may be only a small to medium sized tomato, but they are packed with juice and that wonderful true tomato flavour. Usually resistant to many fungal diseases, they give growers an easy run for their money. Fruits early in the season.

Apollo Tomato: Like the Gosse Lisse tomato, Apollo is a tried and true all time favourite. It’s a large fleshy tomato and is ideal for sandwiches, salads soups and sauces. Its popularity is due to its ability to set fruit in cooler climates and earlier than most other tomato types. It fruits from veru early in the season to late, making it one of the most prolific producers of all. Staking required.

Rouge de Marmande: Along with Allans Early, this tomato is one of the earliest fruiting varieties around. Also known as, Adelaide Tomato, Burkes Backyard Tomato and Italian Tomato, this variety can endure cooler temperatures and is absolutely ideal for Melbourne Spring. It can be planted as early as September. Tomato is rose coloured, large and somewhat ugly, but with a great for taste. Flesh is firm, nearly crisp. Fruits very early in the season. Staking required.

Cherry Tomato: Only tiny but full of taste. Perhaps the sweetest of all tomatoes and a definite favourite with kids of all ages. Melbourne loves this tomato and backyards nearly everywhere have at least one of these sprawling, rather unsightly plants growing. Can fruit up until mid winter and only extreme cold knocks them out. Resistant to most diseases. Fruits early and late in season. Does require staking.

First Prize/Patio Prize: These two tomato varieties are also known as bush tomatoes because they require no staking. They grow to about half a metre on strong stalks and produce great tasting, medium sized tomatoes in several crops. Plant mid to late in the season. No staking needed.

Black Russian Tomato: Purple to black in colour, medium firm tomato. This heirloom variety has a taste all of its own and that taste is fantastic. Fruits mid to late in season and requires staking.

Mellow Yellow: This tomato is a favourite for those with tummy problems caused by acid in every day tomatoes. While rich in taste it is mild on acid. A large, bright yellow tomato, it can be used as any other tomato. Can be planted early in the season and will need staking.

While there are perhaps thousands of more tomato types out there, these are just a popular few. The rest is up to you with a little experimentation, you may even come up with your very own variety!

Bob Ross Oil Painting Technique – Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the BOB ROSS Oil Painting Technique and some instruction about the use and care of the materials.

BLENDING:

This technique refers to the softening of hard edges and most visible brush strokes by blending the wet oil paint on the canvas with a clean, dry brush. In blending, an already painted area is brushed very lightly with criss-cross strokes or by gently tapping with the corner of the brush. This gives colors a soft and natural appearance. Not all oil paints are suitable for this technique – most are too soft and tend to smear. Only a thick, firm paint is suitable for this technique.

MARBLING:

To mix paints to a marbled effect, place the different colored paints on the mixing area of your palette and use your palette knife to pick up and fold the paints together, then pull flat. Streaks of each color should be visible in the mixture. Do not over mix.

THINNING PAINTS FOR ADDING HIGHLIGHTS:

When mixing paints for application over thicker paints already on the canvas, especially when adding highlight colors, thin the paint with LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR or ODORLESS THINNER. The rule to remember here is that a thin paint will stick to a thicker paint.

CLEANING AND DRYING THE BRUSHES:

Painting with the wet on wet technique requires frequent and thorough cleaning of your brushes with paint thinner. An empty one pound coffee can is ideal to hold the thinner, or use any container approximately 5″ in diameter and at-least 6″ deep. Place a Bob Ross Screen in the bottom of the can and fill with odorless thinner approximately 1″ above the screen. Scrub the brushes bristles against the screen to remove paint sediments which will settle on the bottom of the can.

Dry your larger brushes by carefully squeezing them against the inside of the coffee can, then slapping the bristles against a brush beater rack mounted inside of a tall kitchen trash basket to remove the remainder of the thinner. Smaller brushes can be cleaned by wiping them with paper towel or a rag (I highly recommend using Viva paper towels because they are very absorbent). Do not return the brushes to their plastic bags after use, this will cause the bristles to become limp. Never clean your Bob Ross brushes with soap and water or detergent as this will destroy the natural strength of the bristles. Store your brushes with bristles up or lying flat.

APPLYING LIQUID WHITE:

Use the 2″ brush with long, firm vertical and horizontal strokes across the canvas. The coat of Liquid WHITE should be very, very thin and even. Apply just before you begin to paint. Do not allow the paint to dry before you begin.

PLACEMENT OF OIL COLORS ON THE PALETTE:

I suggest using a palette at least 16″x20″ in size. Try arranging the colors around the outer edge of your palette from light to dark. Leave the center of the palette for mixing your paints.

LOADING YOUR BRUSH:

To fully load the inside bristles of your brush first hold it perpendicular to the palette and work the bristles into the pile of paint. Then holding the brush at a 45 degree angle, drag the brush across your palette and away from the pile of paint. Flipping your brush from side to side will insure both sides will be loaded evenly.

(NOTE: When the bristles come to a chiseled or sharp flat edge, the brush is loaded correctly.)

For some strokes you may want the end of your brush to be rounded. To do this, stand the brush vertically on the palette. Firmly pull toward you working the brush in one direction. Lift off the palette with each stroke. This will tend to round off the end of the brush, paint with the rounded end up.

MIXING FOR HIGHLIGHTS:

Place the tip of your brush into the can of LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR or ODORLESS THINNER allow only a small amount of medium to remain on the bristles. Load your brush by gently dragging it through the highlight colors, repeat as needed. Gently tap the bristles against the palette just enough to open up the bristles and loosen the paint.

LOADING THE PALETTE KNIFE:

With your palette knife, pull the mixture of paint in a thin layer down across the palette. Holding your knife in a straight upward position, pull the long working edge of your knife diagonally across the paint. This will create a roll of paint on your knife.

WHAT IF I HAVE NEVER PAINTED BEFORE?

There are no great mysteries to painting. You need only the desire, a few basic techniques and a little practice. lf you are new to this technique, I strongly suggest that you read the entire section on “TIPS AND TECHNIQUES” prior to starting your first painting. Consider each painting you create as a learning experience. Add your own special touch and ideas to each painting you do and your confidence as well as your ability will increase at an unbelievable rate.

WHAT PAINT SHOULD I USE?

The BOB ROSS technique of painting is dependent upon a special firm oil paint for the base colors. Colors that are used primarily for highlights (Yellows) are manufactured to a thinner consistency for easier mixing and application. The use of proper equipment helps assure the best possible results.

Liquid Clear is a particularly exciting ingredient for wet-on-wet painting. Like Liquid White/Black, it creates the necessary smooth and slippery surface. Additionally, Liquid Clear has the advantage of not diluting the intensity of other colors especially the darks which are so important in painting seascapes. Remember to apply Liquid Clear very sparingly! The tendency is to apply larger amounts than necessary because it is so difficult to see.

13 colors we use are listed below:

*Alizarin Crimson

*Sap Green, Bright Red

*Dark Sienna

*Pthalo Green

Cadmium Yellow

Titanium White,

*Pthalo Blue,

*Indian Yellow

*Van Dyke

Brown

*Midnight Black

Yellow Ochre

*Prussian Blue
(*indicates colors that are transparent or semi-transparent and which may be used as under paints where transparency is required.)

HOW DO I MIX COLORS?

The mixing of colors can be one of the most rewarding and fun parts of painting, but may also be one of the most feared procedures. Devote some time to mixing various color combinations and become familiar with the basic color mixtures. Study the colors in nature and practice duplicating the colors you see around you each day. Within a very short time you will be so comfortable mixing colors that you will look forward to each painting as a new challenge.

SHOULD YOU USE JUST ANY ART PRODUCT FOR THIS METHOD OF PAINTING?

Possibly the #1 problem experienced by individuals when first attempting this technique and the major cause for disappointment revolves around the use of products designed for other styles of painting or materials not designed for artwork at all (i.e. house painting brushes, thin soupy paints, etc.).

All of the paintings for this technique were created using Bob Ross paints, brushes and palette knives. To achieve the best results from your efforts, I strongly recommend that you use only products designed specifically for use with the Bob Ross wet-on-wet technique.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY PAINTING TO DRY?

Drying time will vary depending on numerous factors such as heat, humidity, thickness of paint, painting surface, brand of paint used, mediums used with the paint, etc. Another factor is the individual colors used. Different colors have different drying times (i.e., normally Blue will dry very fast while colors like Red, White and Yellow are very slow drying). A good average time for an oil painting to dry, when painted in this technique, is approximately one week.

SHOULD I VARNISH MY PAINTINGS?

Varnishing a painting will protect it from the elements. It will also help to keep the colors more vibrant. lf you decide to varnish your painting, I suggested that you wait at least six months. It takes this long for an oil painting to be completely cured. Use a good quality, non-yellowing picture varnish spray. I personally spray my paintings after about 4 weeks and have not had any problems.

How To Keep Wrought Iron Crystal Chandeliers Sparkling

If you have adorned your home with wrought iron crystal chandeliers then you will want to take good care of them in order to ensure that they keep their sparkle for a long time. You will have to take special care when dusting or cleaning the crystals as they are the most fragile part of your chandelier and also the area where fingerprints and dust are most likely to show.

If your wrought iron crystal chandeliers are not in a high traffic area or in an area where they get dirty very often then you can just dust them periodically and save the heavy cleaning for once or twice a year. Most people just use a feather duster from time to time but it helps if you use one that will repel dust. Whatever you do, don’t twist your light fixture as this can loosen the installation or potentially damage your chandelier. If you can’t reach the fixture then it might be worth it to invest in a duster with an extension handle. If you don’t want to do that, then you may just need to use a step ladder in order to properly clean your chandelier.

If you will be handling the crystals at all then you will want to wear white cotton gloves so as not to leave fingerprints on the crystals. If you’ve ever noticed a chandelier sparkling from across the room then you probably realize that you can also see fingerprints from across the room so it is important not to handle the crystals with your bare hands. In fact, some people actually clean the crystals using just the gloves and a mild solution of one part rubbing alcohol to three parts water. With the solution on one gloved hand and the other gloved hand dry, you can easily wipe the crystals clean and dry them at the same time.

Few, if any, crystals on wrought iron crystal chandeliers are dishwasher safe, although there are some high end crystals that are. Unless the manufacturer clearly indicates that your crystals are dishwasher safe you must assume that they are not. If they are very dirty you can remove them from the light fixture and wash them with a mild detergent, although this is a big job. Finally, be sure the crystals are totally dry before you reattach them to wrought iron crystal chandeliers or you run the risk of damaging the frame.