The Best Blues Songs Ever

It is entirely a matter of taste as to which are the best Blues songs. However it is possible to speculate as to the most influential songs.

It can be argued that Blues music bought about a greater awareness of the sight of African Americans, as new audiences became interested in its origins and originators.

I clearly remember as an adoring fan of Muddy Waters; Howlin Wolf and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, feeling outrage at the early 60's news reports that a whole people were subjected to such terrible discrimination. The anti establishment feelings so typical of my generation, and empathy with subjugated Black Americans, would manifest itself in the aggressive British interpretation of their Blues music.

The adoption of Blues music by young British musicians, and their successful introduction of that music to white America, inspired a whole generation of white American musicians to rediscover the music and popularize it. This greeted recognition to the Black musicians that had created it.

It is the ten songs that had the greatest impact on the "discovery" of Blues that I am presenting here.

Blues music was introduced into Britain after the war. Records came in through the sea ports, and well informed successful Jazz band leaders advanced visiting Black artists to visit and play on their shows. Inevitably, their performance influenced the young British musicians who were looking for something different from the pre war dance band scene.

Smokestack Lightening

Written and recorded by Howling Wolf.

Smokestack Lightening is based on a driving riff and has no chord changes. Released in Britain in 1964 by Pye Records, it reached the Top 50. In 1999, the song was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award

Boom Boom

Written and recorded by John Lee Hooker, the first American blues artist to do a club tour of Britain. Boom Boom was released as a single in 1961.
Boom Boom is a classic example of Hookers unique timing and chord structure.

The Animals recorded "Boom Boom" for their 1964 UK debut album "The Animals". Their rendition generally follows John Lee Hooker's version, except it conforms to a 12 bar sequence.

Worried Life Blues

The first song written and recorded by Maceo Merriweather in 1941

Inspired by "Someday Baby Blues," recorded by Sleepy John Estes in 1935, however "Worried Life Blues" has gone on to become a Blues "standard" and has reputedly been covered by more artists than any other blues song.

I Got My Mojo Working

Written by Preston Foster and popularized by Muddy Waters. Possibly the most influential of the Blues artists to visit the UK. Covers of this were made by many artists but of special importance were Alexis Korner, a pioneer and possibly the first British Blues band with Blues Incorporated, & Manfred Mann, a highly successful commercial band. Both versions were released in 1964, in itself a testament to the impact of Waters original.

Baby Please Do not Go

By Big Joe Williams, and covered by "Them" becoming the first "hit" record by Van Morrison in 1964. It became the weekly signature tune for the hugely influential television show "Ready Steady Go." The "B" side of the single featured the now-legendary "Gloria". It became a top ten hit in the UK, and launched "Them" and Van Morrisson to world fame.

Hoochie Coochie Man

Written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Muddy Waters in 1957 but covered by almost every blues artist since! The verse and intro are played over "stops" that were to become a feature of many blues recordings. The first cover version was released in 1962 by Alexis Korner on his album "R & B from the Marquee"

Crossroads Blues

Written and recorded by Robert Johnson in 1937 and greatly unnoticed until Cream released their version in 1968. The song ranked # 10 in the worlds greatest solo's, contributed greatly to the world wide fame of the band and to Eric Clapton in particular.

This success bought Robert Johnson's small but remarkable catalog of songs to the attention of the music world and has earn't him the acclaim he so rich shelves.

Sweet home Chicago

Robert Johnson 1937. This song has become the Blues "anthem".

The list of artists who have covered the song is immense, including Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Freddie King, Status Quo, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Blues Band, and the 1980 Blues Brothers movie.

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Written and recorded by Solomon Burke in 1964, For many years it was the opener for the Rolling Stones live shows. They released a live version of the song on their 1965 EP "Got Live if you want it". The Rolling Stones were to become the most successful Rock band of all time, and they have been fundamental to the wider awareness and appreciation of the early Blues artists. They took there name from a Muddy Waters song "Rolling Stone". The songs riff was "borrowed" for the first "Small Faces" hit single "What You Gonna Do About It" also in 1965. The successful "soul" artist, Wilson Pickett covered the song and it entered the US charts in 1967. This song also features in the 1980 "Blues Brothers movie" The song, as are several of those mentioned, is ranked on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Hound Dog

A twelve-bar blues written by Jerry Leiber and originally recorded by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton in 1952. In 1965 she toured Europe as a part of the American Folk and Blues festival that had become an annual event and had become so influential to the emergence of British Blues. The 1956 remake by Elvis was his second # 1 hit and is possibly the first blues song to become a # 1 hit record.

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc is one of the most famous names in all of history and a name that is recognized by virtually everyone though few people realize that this was not her real name. Jehanne d'Arc was her real name which somehow became Joan of Arc in English. The general lack of understanding about Joan's name is just the beginning when it comes to the information about this famous individual. This is really inconvenient because the life of Joan of Arc is actually the best documented of anyone that is not from modern times and with a little effort the basic facts can be easily learned.

In an attempt to try to counteract the erroneous information that exists about Joan of Arc on the internet, I am posting articles like this that include the basic facts about Joan of Arc and her life. By doing so it is my hope that people will not only learn the basic facts but also be inspired to want to learn more detailed information about her. Joan of Arc is easily one of the most fascinating people in history and advanced study of her life can be a rewarding rewarding experience as I have personally learned.

Quick Facts About Joan of Arc

Jehanne d'Arc was her actual name. Joan of Arc is only the commonly used English title.

Joan of Arc was born about January 6, 1412. The exact date of Joan's birth was not recorded but it has generally been accepted by scholars that she was born on the Epiphany which is January 6.

Joan's greatest military victories were at Orleans and Patay. Patay is significant for the margin of victory by the French. The battle of Orleans is considered one of the great turning point battles in the history of war.

Joan of Arc was captured on May 21, 1430 and was a POW. She was captured by Burgundian troops loyal to the English and held prisoner by them until being transferred to the English in late 1430.

Joan was subjected to a trial by her enemies in the spring of 1431. The trial was conducted under the auspices of the Church however the English paid for and ensured the outcome.

She was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. After being declared a relapsed heretical she was taken to the old square of Rouen where she was executed. She was only nineteen years old when she died.

Her original trial was overturned on July 7, 1456. This is referred to as the trial of Nullification or Rehabilitation and it completely exonerated her and declared her to be a martyr.

Joan of Arc was declared a Saint by the Catholic Church on May 16, 1920. The same Church that had once burned her declared her one of their official Saints.

8 Tricks to Teach Your Dog

Dogs are great friends and are considered to be part of a family. Spending time with dogs is entertaining and brings joy. But at the initial stages, you will find it hard to communicate with your pets. Training can make them understand you more quickly, be more friendly and much more obedient.

Teaching your dogs tricks is helpful in bringing canine obedience and also makes your dogs confident and motivated.

1. Teaching your dog to respond to your command "COME" can even save his life. Treat your dog by giving him some kind of yummy doggy treats when they do what you want them to. Increase the intensity by going to a different room and calling him with the usual command which you use.

2. Try to stand with your dog and give a handshake as we humans do. Say loud "SHAKE" by lifting your dog's paws and do this regularly until they are able to do on their own. This is a very charming trick.

3. Kiss is another trick you can train your dog to do. Dogs hard ever kiss. Tell them loudly "KISS" whenever he licks you. This becomes their habit when you say Kiss at any time, they automatically lick you.

4. Bowing is the posture of your dog to bring his head to the floor. Keep the stick or treat direct to his face and move it gradually to the floor as the dog follows its movement. Say "BOW" slowly, as you move the stick and the dog learns how to bow with respect to the stick's motion.

5. Throw a ball, tell him "FETCH" and run along with your dog. By continuing training him, he runs to fetch the ball or stick and bring it back to you every time you tell him "FETCH". This trick can make your dog more active and bring him much pleasure.

6. Cast the treat in the air and say "CATCH". Since most dogs are capable of automatically catching things thrown in the air, your dog will grasp this trick quickly as soon as you say "CATCH".

7. Treat him by saying "SIT" as soon as he sits down. By continuing doing this, your dog learns to situ at once when you tell him to sit.

8. Teach him to ring a door bell. This will help him to inform you whenever he wants to go out. Each time you go out, let him ring the bell and he will learn how to do this on his own.

By following the above tricks, you can make the bond between you and your dog stronger. There are also dog trainers who are professionally skilled to train your dog. Asking for referrals can help you find a reliable training center in your area.

How to End Sinus Drainage

Drip, drip, drip. When will it end! Have you said that to yourself when post nasal drip – sinus drainage – went on and on? If we were to know the causes we could go right to the root of the problem. So here are some of the causes of sinus drainage:

  • Irritation of the nasal passages, caused by: Allergies, air pollution, smoke, viral infection
  • Air dryness
  • Bacterial infections

Given your particular living environment and lifestyle, try to ascertain the one thing, among those mentioned, that you think could be the cause of the problem. Do a little experimenting. For example: Get your nose close to the carpet, or to some plant in or around the house and sniff profoundly to try to detect whether you are allergic to it. Have you noticed whether the problem begins or is more severe when the air is very dry? Could it be that the drainage started after you have had a nasal or sinus congestion for several days, which then developed into an infection?

The answer to these questions could determine what caused the drainage and how best to end it. For example, if the drainage discharge is very profuse, clear and watery it is most likely an irritation of the nasal passages and in this case you would want to: Drink a lot of pure, simple, room temperature water, at least 5 full glasses a day. If allergies seem to be the culprit then an antihistamine such as loratadine 10mg – Claritin – would stem the drainage. The latter does not cause drowsiness, this is important if you need to drive. Taking extra vitamin C is very helpful in many cases.These three simple remedies should begin to relieve allergy symptoms within 24 hours.

If the cause of the drainage seems to be air dryness, then the use of a cool steam humidifier in your immediate environment should offer substantial help. I use an ultrasonic humidifier and it seems to work very well. It keeps the nasal and sinus membranes properly moist and avoids the extra watery mucus they produce to compensate for the air dryness. Again, drinking abundant plain, pure water can do much good and help prevent a sinus infection.

Bacterial infections are sometimes the cause of the problem. You would know it by the thick, sticky, yellow-green discharge. If the infection has already fully developed the best thing to do is to go see your doctor who would very likely prescribe an antibiotic such as Bactrim DS. If you catch the infection early on, then drinking lots of plain water and taking some botanicals which boost the immune system should stem a full blown infection and dispose of it in a few days.

Reducing significantly mucus producing foods goes a long way to treat and prevent sinus and nasal drainage.

Make the Most From Your Medical Transcription Training Program – Ways to Find a Decent School

The most important thing to get the most from any training program – whatever your chosen professional specialization might be – is to make the wise and well-balanced choice of the school to enroll to. The educational establishment should answer perfectly your talents, inclinations, career objectives, financial and time resources and so on, lots of things have to be considered in order to make a perfect selection of the training program, school or college to apply for admission to. Yes, that is true; the choice should be perfect or as close to perfection as it is possible. What happens if you were not serious and careful enough when making your choice? As the result of such care you will simply flush your personal time and hard-earned money down the drain, and that would be an obvious case of truly stupid and tragic waste!

In the first place you should make up your mind regarding the specialty field you would like to specialize in. For instance, health care and medicine industry offer very attractive possibilities for career growth and success. Of course, there are hundreds of different medical specializations, and you should do some specific research on the Net so you can chose one you feel like specializing in.

Medical transcription specialization might quite well be the one you would like to go along with. It could have quite a good choice provided your educational background, personality type, and things you like and dislike to do answer the requirements of a successful professional specialization in medical transcription. The key to success is to find the specialization that will combine two essential things – a chance to do something you like to do and a chance to make pretty decent living by doing what you like to do anyway. The successful life-time career should not only be rewarding from the point of view of financial incentives but should open possibilities for self-fulfillment.

The info about responsibilities of a medical transcription specialist you can easily find at corresponding sites. Any specialized site devoted to medical transcription training contains ample information about what keeps a medical transcriptionist busy every working day. There you are sure to find more than enough information about advantages and disadvantages of this particular specialization, the prospects for current employment, employment market predictions and projections for the foreseeable future and the level of financial incentives you are likely to get depending on your hands – on experience and degree of academic excellence (starting level salies and salaries of a well-seasoned professionals could differ quite significantly).

Now, let us assume you have done your homework thoroughly and have considered all possible pros and cons of a medical transcriptionist's career. So, the decision as far as the specialization is concerned, has been done. But it is just the first step. The second important step that waits for you is to make a choice of the training course and the school that would be perfect – well, close to being perfect – for your career aims and objectives. No doubt, such decision can turn to be the most important one. The reasons for this are obvious – you are going to invest your time, energy and financial resources into your future successful and rewarding career, so you should take care to make the end result as perfect as you can!

In order to have the best employment capabilities you should aim for an associate's degree, and that would take two years of training. Also it will not hurt if you manage to get about 250 hours of internship in an actual healthcare facility, such initial hands-on experience should increase your chances to get a more promising position even at the entry-level of the chosen specialization when it comes to actual employment search.

Medical transcript training programs are readily available with different types of colleges, for instance community colleges. But nowadays more and more people, both a young newbie and a busy working professional, make good use of distance learning online programs. The advantages of online distance education are great: flexibility of scheduling, possible to study from any place you find convenient (provided you have online access there – but in our days it is not a problem at all practically anywhere over the nation). The modern online technologies provide for round-the clock access to your virtual campus account, to teaching material and support on the part of instructors. You will be able to communicate with other virtual students, exciting ideas and finding answers to questions. The communication with your virtual class and instructor can be done via e-mails, instant messages, VoIP, streaming video and so on. The teaching materials in text and video formats are available for downloading after you have logged in to your student's account.

Along other significant advantages, online training saves you considering money that you would otherwise spend on commuting and accommodation expenses, textbooks and teaching materials and so on. Online training is also the only feasible option to continue education for people already working as professionals!

Your education background can be a good asset when getting a degree in medial transcription – for instance, excellent grammar and familiarity with medical terminology will help you a lot, no doubt, as well as good listening skills and ability to concentrate on your studies. If you do not study online than it would be recommendable to purchase special training DVDs, they will help you to improve all the skills needed to have a success in medial transcription training, so you will be moving along quite smoothly.

In order to become a successful professional a medical transcriptionist should be well trained in the pertinent subject. Take care to study closely the list of subjects offered by the school in question. Any good-quality training course in medical transcription should contain the following subjects: English grammar and punctuation, anatomy, physiology, terminology, disease processes, pharmacology and laboratory medicine. As for the medical transcription specialization as it is the training course should include (as recommended by the pertinent expert author) transcription technology, medical transcription practice, healthcare records, privacy, ethics and so on.

Make sure the curriculum (teaching program) of the training course you are going to enroll into includes all the subjects mentioned above.

There are also two other important questions to take care about:

1. The qualifications of the teaching personal (instructors).
2. Availability of certification.

Any training program in general and a program in medical transcription in particular is worth its salt on one condition only – it provides effective and experienced instruors. A student should be spoken by qualified professionals who are CMTs – which stands for Certified Medical Transcriptionists. These people should be excellent experts in their field, it goes without saying. On the other hand they should have a talent to instruct and train a newbie to their trade, which is also a special talent to look for.

According to guidelines of ADHI – the final authority as far as transcription training is concerned – any formal training should contain minimum 30 hours of real dictated physician reports.

Availability of certification is also an issue of significant importance. Take care to check if the program in question really offers this option. Surely, what is meant by a certificate is not the design of a Certified Medical Transcriptionist or a Registered Medical Transcriptionist. What we are talking here is just a certificate about the completion of the training program, but it is important that you get. And in connection with this program you have competed should be of so called "accredited" type. The American Health Information Management Association should have approved the quality of the training – in all aspects and respects – offered by this particular program and given it its accreditation with AHIMA. Why is it of such importance? If you get a certificate of completion of an accredited program this document will be recognized by any future employers of yours, and we should not explain how important it is, should we?

Well, the last but not the least! Try to get references from students who actually finished the program. See how successful their professional careers are and how many of them got employed. Such information is readily available at pertinent forums in the Web if you take care to look for it, and it can provide you with some very useful tips. Also look for a medical transcription program that offers a job placement service and continued post-graduate assistance.

Well, that seems to be all of importance to say to you. The rest will be determined by your persistence, talent and devotion to your career objectives in medical transcription area. Good luck!

Timber and Its Use in Commercial Truck Construction

Many types of timber are used in commercial truck bodywork today, and it is used in a variety of different forms ranging from sections for framing, chipboard for partitions, to faced plywood for decorative panels. Manufactured timber panels are also used in conjunction with other materials such as aluminum and plastics to produce panels for special purposes which include heat and sound insulation and to improve resistance to general wear and the weather.

Some timbers are more suitable for vehicle bodywork than others because of their superior strength, resistance to wear, decay and fire, or appearance.

Although timber is used in many forms, it is all obtained from either soft wood trees or temperate or tropical hardwoods.


There are a large number of softwood trees, which include many varieties of pine, fur, and spruce which make up about 90 per cent of all timbers used generally in the U.S.A and Europe. These trees are normally found in the northern hemisphere; most of them are cone bearing and evergreen, but there are some exceptions. In fact some types of softwoods are harder than hardwoods.

There is a good supply of softwoods and since less time is required to mature and they are easier to work they are generally cheaper than hardwoods. Softwoods are uses for the sides and floors of mineral carrying vehicles, since it is cheaper and easier to replace. It is also used for manufactured panels for other commercial vehicle bodies.


These are obtained from broad leaf trees, and there are over 2000 varieties including such well known types as oak, ash, teak and mahogany. All basal wood, which is much softer than softwoods, is in fact a hardwood, since it is the structure that decides the group not the texture.

Because the hardwoods take much longer to mature, are more difficult to obtain and work, and take much longer to season they are considerably more expensive. However, they are generally much stronger, more durable and have far more uses than softwoods.

Hardwoods are divided into two groups:-

1. Tropical. These are from trees found in Central Africa, India and South America and include the many different types of teak, mahogany and ebony.

2. Temperate. The varieties found in this group are oak, walnut, and ash are some of the temperate hardwoods found in U.S.A, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Hardwoods are used for framing and in some forms of veneer on panels for interior finishing. Also hardwoods such as ash are very suitable for curved framing members.

Manufactured Panels.

Plywood, block-board, chipboard, MDF and hardboard panels are often used instead of solid timber panels, and have many advantages. They can be obtained in larger sizes, are often stronger and are more stable, which means labor costs can be reduced when compared with other methods of covering large areas with equivalent tongue and groove jointed timber.


Plywood is made by gluing layers of veneer together at right angles to each other. This prevents splitting and greatly increases the strength of the panel. Curved members can also be produced by laying the veneers on a suitable mold or form before gluing.

Birch, ash, pine and fir are used in the manufacture of plywood but many other varieties are used for the face side of decorative panels. Plywood is obtainable in several thicknesses and sizes from which vehicle body floors can be made in one piece.

Block board.

There are a number of manufactured boards making use of solid timber core stock. One of these is block board and this consists of softwood glued together and faced with veneers of timber such as birch and mahogany. Large panels up to about 2 inches in thickness are produced and used in flooring and partitions.


Chipboard is made from graded wood chips which are bonded together under pressure with synthetic resins and adhesives to form large strong panels 0.5 inch to 1 inch thick. These can be faced with many different materials to give painted, plastic or veneered surfaces. It has replaced solid timber for many purposes and because of the sizes manufactured it is a useful vehicle building material.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).

MDF is manufactured by bonding wooden fibers together using glue, heat and pressure. It is a very adaptable material, but can only be used for interior bodywork. It must be sealed / painted as it gradually emits urea formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen and eye, throat and lung irritant. Proper safety procedures should always be used when working with this material in any way.


This is another useful material which, because of its smaller thicknesses is very suitable for interior paneling. It is made from compressed timber fibers and usually has a smooth side with the reverse side having a rough or mesh finish.

Identification of timbers.

Since many types of timber are used in vehicle body work, it is possible to identify the more common ones such as oak and teak. Most types have distinct features and properties, and when samples are carefully examined it is often possible to identify a particular type. The following features should be considered:-

1. The general appearance.

  • i) Color – red, brown, yellow, white.
  • ii) Grain – close or open, straight or twisted.
  • iii) Texture – hard or soft, rough or smooth.
  • iv) Figure – shape of grain

2. Weight.

Weighing a sample is not a reliable test since the weight will depend on the moisture content and even the weights of samples may vary.

3. Use a hand lens.

Examination of the surface and end grain may reveal distinctive features.

4. Use a microscope.

The use of a microscope will enable a much closer examination of a thin section.

5. Dissolving a sample.

This will allow a microscopic examination of the shape and size of cells and fibers.

It should be remembered that features and color may be affected by the origin, rate of growth, and treatment since felling and many other factors.

Timber Defects.

One of the main disadvantages with timber is that defects may be present or may develop later. Some of these can be treated satisfactorily but others may require the component to be replaced. Some defects can be avoided completely by careful felling, conversion and seasoning, but a knowledge of the defects will enable you to make the best possible use of the timber that may be somewhat inferior.


These are not always a serious defect since in many cases timber is covered with paint, panels or other disguises and in timbers such as knotty pine they are treated so as to improve the appearance. On the other hand knots should not be present in framing timbers, some decorative panels or other situations where strength or appearance may be affected. Knots are nearly always present and timber is often graded by the distribution and number of knots present. Some timbers have more than others, so careful selection is usually worthwhile.

Splits and shakes.

Shakes appear in various forms and are not always apparent until the tree is felled and sawn into logs. Heart and cup shakes may not present much of a problem but other types such as the ring and star shakes can result in valuable timber being unusable. During the drying out or seasoning the moisture leaves the timber more quickly from the ends than the sides. If this is too rapid other splits may occur.


Many types of timber are affected by various insects, and chemical treatment may be effective. The alternative is to remove and burn the infected part and fit a new piece.

Dry rot.

Timber, which is stored in conditions which are damp or lack ventilation will lose its strength and become soft and spongy. If this happens timbers should be destroyed.


This is a common defect and is caused by uneven shrinkage during seasoning. Softwoods are more prone to this, since softwoods contain more moisture than hardwoods. Warping can be reduced by sawing the logs radially instead of tangently. If you examine the end grain of planks it is possible to decide which way they have been cut from the log.

Causes of timber defects.

  • i) Storm damage.
  • ii) Exposed growing conditions.
  • iii) Inexperienced felling.
  • iv) Incorrect conversion.
  • v) Poor seasoning.
  • vi) Bad storage conditions.
  • vii) Careless selection and use.

Seasoning timbers.

Living trees may have a moisture content of between 50% and 100% and since this is too high the trees, when felled have to be seasoned or dried until the moisture content is reduced. Timber for vehicle body work should have a moisture content of 12 %- 15%. If the moisture content is too high the timber will dry out further and shrink after use. If it is too low the timber will absorb moisture from the atmosphere and possibly swell. To find the moisture content a sample of timber is weighed in its normal condition and then weighed again after it has been carefully dried out. The moisture content is then calculated as follows:-

The moisture Content of the timber (M.C. %) is calculated by taking the wet weight, subtracting the dry weight, and dividing the answer by the dry weight and multiplying by one hundred.

The method of drying out a piece of timber to obtain its moisture content is unnecessary in practice, because electrical instruments are used to give instant readings There are a number of reasons why timber should be properly treated (seasoned):-

  • I) It is much stronger than unseasoned timber.
  • II) There is less risk of decay and attack by insects.
  • III) Painting, staining and other finishing processes can be carried out successfully on seasoned timber.

We should remember that the cells in a piece of timber are like wooden buckets. Large amounts of water in the cavities and the walls, so it is essential for timber to be properly seasoned. After the trees have been felled, the logs are taken to the saw mill where they are converted or sawn into planks or other sections. Since this exposes a greater surface area to the atmosphere seasoning time is reduced. The method used to saw or convert the logs will also affect the shrinkage, warping or other timber defects discussed previously.

Air Drying.

The sawn timber is piled in stacks with sticks or wooden strips separating each layer. This allows the air to circulate freely around each piece. The top of the stack should be protected from the sun and the rain, and since moisture will dry out more quickly from the ends of the planks, these are sometimes protected to prevent end splits. The air drying method is cheap and often leads to better quality timber, but it is a slow method, taking up to several years. The timber is liable to staining and insect attack and the moisture content is very rarely less than the surrounding area.

Kiln Drying.

This is a much quicker method, which results in timber with a more closely controlled moisture content. The timber is placed on trolleys and put in a kiln where the temperature and humidity are controlled. Air circulation may be by natural draft or forced by electric fans. Artificially seasoned timbers may be more brittle and other defects may occur, but the reduced time required is big advantage. Some timbers are air dried for a period before being kiln dried.

Timber Storage.

Seasoning timber processes may take several years and the timber may be stored for a further period before it is used. In order to keep it in good condition certain precautions must be observed:-

  • i) To prevent staining the timber should be protected from chemicals and other foreign matter, e.g. soot.
  • ii) Excessive rain and heat should be avoided and if stored indoors sufficient ventilation should be provided.
  • iii) It should be stacked in a proper manner to prevent boards becoming twisted or warped. The supporting blocks should be directly under each other otherwise the timber will begin to bend.

Wood preservatives suitable for use prior to painting.

This type of preservative is usually of a low viscosity and can normally be used prior to the application of coach or decorative enamels and their painting process. It can be applied by brush, spray or dipping and is normally allowed overnight to dry before application of the above mentioned paint systems. This promotes good adhesion and helps to reduce the problems of timber disease and rot.

Before using this type of product it is essential to make sure that it does not contain any waxes or silicone additives.

Priming of timbers.

Before the priming of any timber it is important to check that the timber is clean, dry and free from any oil residues. The timber should be thoroughly flatted with a suitable grade of glass paper and degreased with a ‘lint-free’ cloth which has been dampened with white spirits or a suitable solvent.

Priming should then be carried out using a suitable primer. It is essential when priming that all areas are adequately primed. This includes timber ends and tongue and grooves, where areas are to be covered with metal fitments or body sections. The reason for this is to prevent the ingress of moisture which would result in paint flaking.

Timbers containing knots should be treated in the following manner, prior to priming:-

I) The knots should be burnt with a blowtorch to extract surplus resin.

II) The timber should be thoroughly rubbed down and degreased as above.

III) Each knot should be treated with one or two coats of shellac, and allowed sufficient time to dry.

IV) Prime the timber as above.

Wood finishes.

These are non-pigmented finishes. Among those available are wax polishes, sealer coats, long and short oil varnishes, alkyd varnishes, yacht varnishes, single pack polyurethanes and teak oil. All these are suitable for brush application. For spray application only, use the following – cellulose lacquers, two pack polyurethanes, two pack catalyzed lacquers and single and two pack epoxies. The requirements of a wood finish are:-

  • i) Color flexibility.
  • ii) Build.
  • iii) Life expectancies.
  • iv) Acid or alkali resistance.

Sealers and wax polishes.

Sealers – These are cellulose based.

Waxes – These are petroleum based. One example is chilled wax which is fairly quick drying, gives little discoloration to the wood, and produces a good average finish.

Waxes – Silicone based. These waxes are very quick drying and produce a hard waterproof finish. The wood needs to be sealed before use, and it tends to give it a cloudy appearance.

Waxes – Beeswax. This is a natural product from honeycomb which has been rendered down with white spirits. It can be applied by brush or rag and produces a good finish that can be re-polished.

Long oil varnishes.

These contain more oil than resin in its formulation. The resin used is usually an alkyd or fossil resin. Long oil varnishes are flexible, due to the amount of oil and have good durability, making it ideal for exterior usage. It also has a fairly clear finish. Polyurethanes are used for wood which is left in exposed conditions, but tends to be rather soft for interior use. The life expectancy is two to two and a half years, and a four coat system is recommended, i.e. apply one very thin (diluted) coat followed by three full coats.

Short oil Varnishes.

These varnishes are quick drying but tend to be rather brittle. They dry to a hard finish and are more suitable for interior use, as they do not have the flexibility for exterior use.

Alkyd varnishes.

These are clear quick drying varnishes which are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. They are popular as a varnish for vehicle bodies, and are also applied as a four-coat system.

Teak oil.

This oil is easy to apply, but liberal coatings are required to restore the natural color of the timber.

French polishing.

This is based on shellac and methylated spirits. It is quick drying and causes the timber to darken. It is applied using a pad, made of a packed piece of wool or gauze, covered by a piece of cotton cloth. It is however, brittle and easily damaged by water and white spirits. It is mainly used in antique furniture.

Nitrocellulose lacquers.

These lacquers come in two types, the pre-catalyzed and the nitro-urethanes. These contain amino and polyurethane resins respectively.


There is no doubt of the advantages of using timber in commercial truck bodywork today. Certainly other materials have and will come along to try and replace it, but for its versatility and availability it is still unrivalled and will be for a long time to come.

Knowing your timbers and how to look after them will ensure the maximum life expectancy from your truck or commercial vehicle.

A Guide to Lumber Tarps

There are a wide variety of uses for tarpaulins (tarps). One important use is to secure and protect lumber while it is being transported. It is important for lumber to be secured and protected while it is transported. The best and most cost efficient way to cover and protect lumber is with a tarp.

Lumber tarps usually come in two or three pieces. Most lumber tarps can accommodate truck beds up to 48 feet long. Lumber tarps are different from other types of tarps in that they are shaped to accommodate loads of lumber up to eight feet above the bed of the truck. Lumber tarps generally cost between $300 and $400 per piece, with some discounted 3- piece full sets costing about $850.

Lumber tarps are usually made of mesh or polyethylene. These two materials are as durable as canvas but not as heavy. The weight is an important aspect to consider when choosing a lumber tarp, as the tarp must be applied and tied down manually. A heavy tarp is more difficult and time consuming. Most lumber tarps do not include the supplies needed to tie the tarp down, so they must be also be purchased. Usually they need to be purchased separately.

Lumber tarps must not only secure the lumber in the bed of the truck, but must also protect the lumber from the elements. Rain, ice, and UV rays can all damage lumber. Mesh lumber tarps provide excellent protection from the sun’s UV rays. Waterproof polyethylene lumber tarps provide protection against the rain.

Lumber tarps are a vital part of transporting lumber. They keep the wood safe from the elements and keep the lumber from falling out of the truck bed, a serious safety hazard. The right tarp can protect the valuable cargo as well as protecting other travelers.

Your Personal Board of Directors: How To Boost Your Career Success Part 2

A personal board of directors is an excellent tool for boosting your career success since it assembles a group of trusted individuals who provide support, guidance and advice. If you have decided that you want to take your career to the next level and create your own personal board of directors, here are some things to keep in mind:

How to Create a Personal Board of Directors

1. Your Inner Circle

Think about people whose opinions you value and what you respect. These may be adults whom you have naturally turned to while you were growing up, mentors what you have had the good fortune of meeting through school, summer jobs or internships or close friends who really care about you.

Add in a cheerleader who will champion you. Be sure to include someone who has known you for a long time and has a good perspective on you and your life.

Be sure to go outside your particular area of ​​expertise so that you can take advantage of different points of view and experiences.

2. Areas of Support

Next, think about the areas of your life where you would like to receive outside support from a trusted group of advisors. These could include business skills, finance, marketing, public speaking or fundraising.

If you do not know people with these skills, be on the lookout for them as you network and meet new teachers and collections. Often, if you set an intention around finding such a person, he or she will materialize.

How to Make the Most of Your Personal Board of Directors

Once you have selected these trusted individuals, ask them to serve as a member of your personal board. Explain what the concept is and why you chose that person. Since you already have a close connection to these people, they are likely to be honored to be part of your inner circle!

Your managers are busy people so here are some suggestions on how to make the most of your personal board.

1. Have a goal and communicate that goal to your board members

Have a clear goal in mind when you reach out to your board members. You can approach a particular board member individually or you can have a group meeting. Share that goal and communicate what specifically you are looking for. Send out an agenda in advance so that your board member (s) know (s) what will be covered. Be sure to include attachments, materials, video or music clips or anything else that might be relevant.

2. Remain open to suggestions

Be open to suggestions. You never know what ideas might crop up! In addition, if you are seeking advice, think before you reject an idea. Your advisors are there to support you and they are making suggestions that worked for them. If something resonates, great! If you are not sure, reflect on it. And if something truly does not match up with your values ​​or with who you are at your core, move on and trust your instincts.

3. Follow up with and keep the board member (s) updated on your progress

Follow-up with your directors after your meeting, whether it is a meeting with a single board member or the entire group. Keep your directors informed about your progress. This will show that you are serious about the process and that the advice that you are getting matters to you.

4. Thank your board member for his or her contributions

Your managers are happy to help you. Be sure to acknowledge their input and the time that they have devoted to you. A personal note or email will go a long way to making your board member feel appreciated.

I encourage to put together this brain trust and reach out whenever you need support and extra help. You will be amazed at the results!

Screened Porches

Owning a screened porch on a buggy summer evening is like owning the only castle with a mote when the barbarians attack. The screened porch provides a place to relax outdoors without having to pay attention to the bug population.

In general, the screened porches we design are larger than the average porch. Most of them are designed as outdoor rooms and are furnished with sofas and chairs as well as dining tables and occasionally a fireplace. Screened porches can even be a cool place to sleep on a warm summer night.

New technology has made the screened porch even more attractive by extending the useful season and almost magically allowing us to change an open porch to a screened porch a push of a button.

One of our clients wanted a large porch for entertaining and dining and to take advantage of the stunning view from that side of the house. The problem was that almost like clockwork at 5:00 pm when they were getting ready to greet their guests, swarms of bugs would appear. They also did not want to obstruct their view at times and seasons when the bugs were not present. The solution was an automatic roller screen system which was hidden in the soffit most of the time, but when needed would descend and make the wide open porch into a comfy screened porch.

We have also included radiant heat pipes in the stone floor of some screened porches which allow the owners to comfortably use the porch earlier in the spring and later in the fall. When combined with interchangeable glass panels, the screened porch easily becomes a three or four season room.

These days we have more options than ever when designing the perfect screened porch. Bugs just do not know what they are up against.

The Effects of Deforestation in our World

Many of the earth's most delicate ecosystems have been affected by rampant and irresponsible deforestation. Although the dire effects are well known and documented by researchers around the world, deforestation still persists by those who wish to flout the law. Why are forest ecosystems so valuable and what are the effects of deforestation in our world?

Among the ecosystems that currently exist, forest ecosystem have been widely recognized as one of the most efficient and delicate on earth. Forests are important ecosystems because they hold many important nutrients and help to recycle nutrients too. They are also important because they absorb and hold water so making them a very rich and porous humus topsoil.

Deforestation happens when trees are cut down on a wide scale. This will lead to widespread disruption of a forest ecosystem. When a forest is cleared, the humus rich topsoil is left exposed leading to a number of dire consequences. The rain that falls on the exposed soil thats rich topsoil into a sealed-off soil that is moist and muddy. It causes the soil to be washed easily into waterways. What is left behind is poor subsoil that leaves the land vulnerable to more natural erosion. In other words, deforestation leads to massive soil and land erosion.

When deforestation occurs in tropical rain forests the effects are more devastating. It is because humus topsoil in tropical rain forests is known to be very thin and lacking in nutrients, so when deforestation occurs, the topsoil that is left behind is very vulnerable and will tend to wash away and erode easily. After deforestation in tropical rain forests, the only thing left is very poor nutrient, hard, clay-like subsoil that is not rich enough to sustain most forms of agriculture.

Sediments that are washed away ever enter our drains, streams and rivers. These eroding sediments are often responsible for clogging up water channel leading to the problem of flooding. Soil erosion upsets surrounding ecosystems and has been known to be responsible for killing off the fishes and flooding reservoirs.

However, despite all the ill effects, deforestation still happens around the world at alarming rates, especially in developing countries. A survey carried out by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 33.8 million trees were cleared between 1990 and 1995 in developing countries. That area would be 3 times the size of France! Why? What is happening? It is because forests are ready source of timber and wealth and after the forests are cleared, there's room for agriculture. Most of the agriculture is directed to the planting of cash crops and grass and other crops to support greater beef promotion.

Choose the Best Shower Tiles From a Huge Collection

For any bathroom, there are a few primary conditions. One such condition is the availability of the shower. It is a common phenomenon that while the shower is used the water is spread to all the nearby walls and hence for a premium bathroom it is much necessary to have quality shower tiles that can be easily cleaned. There are various types of tiles that can help the user have a charming bathroom with tiles that are neat and clean even after use. The subway tile is the best option for the users who need such clean shower area as well as the bathroom.

The tiles:

For the shower tiles, there are huge verities available in the market which can be of immense help for the users. The glossy gray tiles with the size of 3×6 can be used with the pattern of cross hatch which not only looks attractive but also offers a new look to the shower area. These tiles are stylish and elegant as well as long-lasting, and hence one does not need to spend much time behind maintenance also. They are the right tiles that can help the users get the unique look of the area.

Gray Glossy Subway tile: This is the tile with latest layouts that can help one offer the contemporary look to the concerned area whether it is used indoor or outdoor. To make a small area look large, this tile can be a perfect choice.

Arabescato Carrara Subway tile: This tile is available in the size of 4×12 which is not that ordinary one. For the bathroom also it is a choice that can help one enjoy the use. It is maintenance free and long lasting that can be relied upon. The makers offer numerous designs and patterns in this tile that can help one choose something unconventional.

Elongated subway tile: Those who have bathrooms that can be used for daytime and does not get enough light at evening or night, this tile can be a perfect option. One can find it in huge varieties as far as the color and pattern, as well as texture, is concerned.

White Subway Tile: It is a tile available with the size of 4 x 16. It can be used to make the bathroom look spacious yet sleek. The right setting of the same can make the bathroom look elegant.

If you need any tips for your new washroom take guidance from experts.

Small Wood Stoves

Wood stoves are used by many people to reduce their increasing heating costs. These stoves are easy to install and use and come at a reliably low price. Wood or other kinds of cheap, environment friendly fuel options are used for these stoves. Wood stoves are also used to heat homes apart from their cooking function

A variety of wood stoves are available in different shapes, sizes and prices to suit the need of a customer. The small wood stove is a popular type of stove available in the market. As the name suggests, it is a small type of wood stove that is very easy to carry around, where the user goes. This is particularly beneficial for picnickers and campers who travel to different places in the forests and other rural locations. By carrying this small wood stove, they can easily cook and prepare their food with the help of abundantly available wood at these locations.

Small wood stoves are also ideal for small homes with only two or three family members. As the number of people remaining is less, these small wood stoves are ideal for their cooking and heating requirements. Some people have small homes and even smaller kitchens. In such conditions, a small wood stove would ideally fit in the kitchen and solve the issue.

These small wood stoves are very efficient even though they are smaller in size. The working mechanism and methodology is just the same as a normal wood stove and hence the results are also the same. It is suitable for heating small family rooms and seasonal cottages in many forest resorts. Customers save a lot on the fuel consumption and thenby conserve precious energy by using small wood stoves.

This multi-function aspect has prompted more and more manufacturers to produce small wood stoves. These stoves are reliably cheaper as compared to traditional larger wood stoves. Customers are advised to analyze their home needs and then purchase a small wood stove as per their preference and budget.

Does Your Crock Pot Work?

It seems like a silly question and you probably already answered ‘yes’. But unless your crock pot physically falls apart (like one of mine just did), how do you know it’s working properly? Most of us can figure out when we need a new coffeemaker or our toaster has run amuck, but what about your crock pot; how do you know if you’re crock pot is too old? If there are 1970s style flowers painted all over the heating element that may be a clue (I have one of those too – mine’s dark green with purple flowers). But I’m actually talking about it not cooking properly. Slow cooking is a wonderful thing, but not if your slow cooker is cooking too slowly.

Obviously, knowing whether or not you’re crock pot is too old and failing is important. If it cooks too slowly bacteria can form, and no one wants to put their family at risk. Crock pots should heat the food within to a temperature upwards of 140 degrees Fahrenheit within four hours. If yours doesn’t, perhaps it’s time to look at buying a new crock pot.

Try this simple test:

Fill your crock pot half full with water.

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove the lid and immediately take the water temperature. This must be done quickly as the temperature of the water can drop as much as 10-15 degrees each minute.

The water temperature should be 185 degrees Fahrenheit (or 85 degrees Celsius).

If the water temperature is more, you may have to reduce the cooking time in some recipes or look into purchasing a programmable module that will switch your crock pot to a “keep warm” setting once the allotted cooking time is completed. If the temperature is less, you should seriously consider purchasing a new one, because your crock pot is spending too much time in the “bacteria growth zone” of 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Please, test your crock pot. Encourage friends and family to do the same. If it’s broken, replace it; your family will thank you for it.

Structure of Plastics

Plastics are composed of polymer molecules and various additives, polymers are long-chain molecules (also called giant molecules or macromolecules), which are formed by polymerization; that is, linking and cross-linking of different monomers.

A monomer is the basic building block of polymer. The word mer (from the Greek Meros, meaning part) indicates the smallest repetitive unit, similar to the term unit cell in crystal structures. Thus, polymer means many mers or units. Monomers are organic materials. They include carbon atoms joined in covalent bonds (electron sharing) with other atoms such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, chlorine, silicon, and sulfur.

A typical monomer is the ethylene molecule as these molecules can be made to attach themselves to other ethylene molecules by a chemical reaction involving heat, pressure, and a catalyst. In this reaction, the double bonds between the carbon atoms open and he molecules arrange them in a long line.

The polymer is called a linear polymer because of its linear structure. The number of molecules in this chain (length of chain) is known as the molecular weight. A linear molecule does not mean that it is straight. These molecules (chain) are of different lengths and their arrangement is amorphous (without any long-range order). This arrangement is often described as a bowl of spaghetti, or worms in a bucket, all intertwined with each other. Because of the differences in the length of the chains, the molecular weight of a polymer is determined on a statistical basis.

Although within each long-chain molecule there is covalent bonding (primary bonds), no such intermolecular bonding exists between different chains. The bonds between different chains (intramolecular), and between the overlapping portions of the same chain, are known as secondary bonds. Secondary bonds are van der waals bonds, hydrogen bonds, and ionic bonds, Secondary bonds are all much weaker than the covalent bonds within the chain.

The difference in strength between the two bonds is on the order of one to two orders of magnitude. This difference is important, because it is the weaker secondary bonds that determine the overall strength of the polymer. (Thus, for instance, an object is only as strong as its weakest part.)

If the repeating units in a chain are all of the same type, the macromolecule is known as a homopolymer. However, in order to obtain certain special properties, two or three different types of monomers can be combined in a polymer. These are known as copolymers and terpolymers, respectively.

Branching and linking
The properties of a copolymer depend not only on the two monomers, but also on their arrangement in the molecular structure. Branching, for instance, interferees with the relative movement of the molecules and affects the resistance to deformation. Another kind of chain is cross-linking, which is spatial (three-dimensional) network structure with adjacent chains together. Cross-linking has great influence on the properties of the polymer, such as in the vulcanization of rubber.

Thermoplastics, such as acrylic, nylons, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride, are linear-chain molecules. Thermosetting plastics, such as epoxies, phenolics, and silicones, have cross-linked chains. An example of cross-linking is the vulcanization of rubber for automobile tires, each tire being one giant molecule.

Plastics mode of linear chain structures are called thermoplastics, and those made of cross-linked chain are called thermosetting plastics, or simply, thermosets.

Unfinished Oak Flooring Installation

Unfinished oak flooring installation is a straightforward process that uses raw hardwood panels to create an attractive floor that is known for durability and strength. It is highly recommended that installation be done by wood plank flooring professionals, unless someone is an experienced do-it-yourself type. Even though it is a straightforward job it is labor intensive and requires skill to achieve successful results.

Each unfinished oak panel has to be precisely fit together to give the floor area stability, so that it can be manually or machine sanded without any problems. After these two steps are completed wood stain will need to be applied. A big reason people prefer unfinished oak flooring is they can customize the color and look of wood plank flooring by choosing a shade that fits their design taste.

Before committing to any wood stain shade test a few different colors on extra planks. After drying these samples will accurately show how the finished floor will look when it is done. The most regularly used stains are natural for that bare wood style. Light gently creates a soft tan. Medium adds a darker hue. Dark has very rich and traditional feel to it. Custom staining offers more colors like red and green. It is entirely up to personal taste and style on what to decide on.

After the stain has fully discharged the floor will need to be buffed out and cleaned. This allows for the first coat of polyurethane finish to be applied to seal in color and protect the wood. After the first coat dries it will be lightly sanded and cleaned completely with a tack cloth, then the second coat can go on to ensure the floor is protected for years to come.

Installing unfinished hardwood flooring continues to be a popular home improvement choice for many households. Many people comment on its beauty and investment value while being easy to clean daily. Installation can be done by a professional or by an experienced do-it-yourself person.