How To Choose The Right Singing Teacher

Every one of us has music in our souls … all it takes is the right coach to get it out of us. A good singing teacher will not admonish you for tiny mistakes or insist on dropping you if you do not have a sweet voice. Rather, a good singing teacher is one who is aware that focused training in a fun and effective manner will help bring out the best vocals in you.

How do you find yourself the right singing teacher? Here are some of the most important factors to help you decide whether the singing teacher you have in mind is indeed, the right one for you.

Find out if the teacher is effective

Referrals and recommendations are the key. If you know someone who recently learnt singing and performs really well, you might want to ask them where they acquired their skills.

Once you meet a teacher, you must look over testimonials, students from the past, teaching credentials of the instructor, and whether the teacher is affiliated to professional music associations.

Check if you are comfortable with the teacher

Research shows that our voice is closely associated with our ego. The less comfortable you are with a person, the lesser you trust them and experiment with your voice. Having a good rapport with your teacher is of critical importance if you want to learn voice modulations.

A good teacher knows and understands this, so he / she must be willing to put you at ease. Relaxed tutoring is important and if you feel stressed and pushed by your teacher, you may want to look elsewhere.

Does the teacher offer a wide variety of lessons?

Although the basics of all music genres are the same, a good teacher must have the necessary skills to guide you towards your singing passion. A good teacher will be able to offer you all the assistance you need, or refer you to another teacher who specializes in your genre of choice.

Know what you are looking for. If you are looking for rock music lessons, your teacher must help you sing with gravel in your voice. If it is metal you are interested in, you should be able to sing without shredding your voice. Talk to your instructor and mention clearly what your goals are.

Do you have a performance opportunity?

Good music teachers know that, in the end, their students are looking to perform. The question is: can they help? Most teachers definitely do. While searching for a singing teacher, look carefully if there have been performances by students in the past. It does not have to be a huge event. Any community gathering, a church event or private party performances are good. If the teacher helps you get solo auditions, that's a huge plus.

Some music teachers are affiliated to associations that conduct singing contests and rate participants. You should check if you would have a chance to compete, if you join a singing programme with someone. If they offer you a chance to do so, take it.

Some other questions you may want to ask yourself:

1. Does the teacher have strict homework practice requirements?

2. I'm also interested in learning about the history and development of music. Will the teacher give me classes on these subjects so I can appreciate what I sing?

3. Will this teacher help me set goals for progress? Will the teacher be available (on phone, email) when I need assistance?

4. I ​​want to learn singing in more than one language. Will this teacher help me do that?

5. Does my teacher record lessons so I can have access to them for future references?

I hope these tips will help you choose the right singing teacher for your needs. However, remember, a teacher is just someone who will guide you to sing well. Ultimately, it is YOU. Your passion, dedication and focus are what's most important for a successful singing lesson.

Tool Rental – Create a Beautiful Garden With Help of Different Tools

Do you have visions of a lush green landscape surrounding your abode? Would you like a garden of flowers and perhaps even your own home grown vegetables from your own plot? When you look out your window, your yard may have a long way to go in order to become your dream landscape. The process may seem daunting without the proper tools. How about renting any and every tool imaginable? What sort of tools would you need?

In order to prepare flower and garden beds, you will need to properly prepare the soil. A rototiller can dig up the dirt in a rapid manner and will allow you to mix in extra nutrients in order to have a rich bed from which to grow healthy blossoms and crops. A wheelbarrow may be needed to haul materials around the yard with ease.

If you have weeds that are overtaking certain areas, a weed whacker can eliminate the eyesores quickly. Rakes and shovels can dig and remove root systems of weeds, as well.

How about the lawn? A good thatching can promote thick new growth and this can be accomplished by renting the appropriate thatching tool. Fertilizer and seed spreaders are available to enhance the greenery, also. When the lawn has grown in, a variety of lawnmower types and sizes are available.

You may prefer a gas or electric mower, depending on your needs. If you have a large expanse of grass, a riding lawnmower may be just the ticket to get it trimmed in a relaxing manner.

Have you thought about putting in fencing? Post-hole diggers will help for digging the appropriate depth hole in which to insert wooden posts for a wood slat fence or metal posts for a wrought iron or chain link fence. If you choose to put up a block wall, you will need the masonry tools which are available at your local rental center.

Do you have heavy branches hanging awkwardly from the overgrown tree in your yard? A chain saw is the right tool for that job. Smaller saws are available for smaller tree trimming jobs, as well. Or perhaps the tree has died and you need to remove it.

A stump grinder can get rid of the debris so that your outside area is free of messy logs. A log splitter can help you to turn the chunks of wood into useable firewood.

Your yard is just waiting to be transformed and autumn is just the season to do it. Why buy tools that you have to store and maintain when you can rent them at your local tool rental store?

Engineering Firms: Becoming An Engineer

So you have just graduated from high school and are wondering what the next step is for you. Are you going to follow in your parent’s footsteps and head to work in large engineering firms or are you thinking you would like to work more with people in social work? It is important when looking into universities that you ask if it is necessary to declare a major upon entering.

Often time’s students get into school leaning towards a course of study only to learn after the first semester that really working for an engineering firm no longer sounds of interest. If you have already declared a major and the courses that you have taken are specific for that particular degree than you have wasted a semester. It is important to find out ahead of time with the university if this is something that could potentially happen to you.

If possible try to wait to declare a major until you have been in school for a year. In that time take moments to explore career options that exist and focus your course studies on some basic classes that are not major specific. In a recent study that was done on college graduates it was found that fifty percent of them had changed their major course of studies at least once. I did it, I went in for teaching and two years later realized I was far more interested in marketing.

Finding a college that offers the flexibility to change majors is important especially if you are one of the many high school senior graduating with no idea of where you see yourself in the future. Even though many students think it is ideal to follow in the footstep s of older siblings or parents it is important to remember that your career choice will have to make you happy. If in the long run you don’t see yourself working in an office involved in science, technology and math than that engineering firm mom and dad work for is not going to be a perfect for you.

Another thing to contemplate is that many adults graduate with a degree that in actuality is not seeing growth in the career world. What do you do then? It is important that even though you graduate with a degree it does not necessarily limit what you will do in the future. I know many people who have degrees that their current jobs do not even relate to. Employers are looking for a commitment when they hire and train a new employee. The degree you have studied so d for, no matter what it is shows them that commitment.

One way to really find out if something is going to appeal to you is to look in the books that surround that field of study. A good place to do this is at the campus book store. Then take a class that is relevant to the material that sparked your interest. That should give you a look into the field and a taste of careers within it. Talk with professors; they are a wide source of knowledge on career opportunities that follow all different routes of study.

One thing I ask you not to do when looking into a field of study at college is to look at the pay scale for it. It would be awful sad for you to discover even that the three figured salary you are bringing in does not bring you happiness with it because what you are doing is not in your heart. Your career is a large part of your life. It is essentially your first child. You will nurture it, grow it and live with it so you want to make sure that it brings you happiness and fulfillment. You will find that if those qualities lay within you the money won’t be anything but a number.

Flashes and Floaters – Signs of a Retinal Detachment?

The most common symptoms preceding a retinal detachment are flashes and floaters. These symptoms may be a sign of a retinal tear. Retinal tears can lead to retinal detachments. A detachment of the retina is potentially blinding.

Flashes and floaters are the most common symptoms of a tear in the retina. Though usually benign, there is no way of telling if a tear is associated with new onset of symptoms. Only an eye doctor can properly diagnose a retinal tear. They can also be asymptomatic.

Commonly, a posterior vitreous detachment occurs causing the symptoms of flashes and floaters. A posterior vitreous detachment is a normal physiologic event and happens, eventually, to everyone. The incidence of a “PVD” increases with age and nearsightedness, that is, it is more likely to occur as you age and with increasing myopia (nearsightedness).

Rarely, trauma may cause a retinal tear. In my experience as a retinal surgeon, severe blunt trauma, severe enough to cause loss of consciousness, can sometimes cause a retinal tear.

The retina is the light sensitive tissue that lines the inside of your eye. It is analogous to wall paper. A tear in the retina (or a retinal hole) allows vitreous fluid to travel underneath the retina, causing this delicate tissue to “detach.”

If a tear is identified, but before a retinal detachment has developed, laser treatment may possibly “fix” the tear and prevent a retinal detachment. If a retinal detachment has developed, surgery is required. There are various ways to repair a retinal detachment.

Pneumatic retinopexy, vitrectomy and scleral buckles are different methods to repair this potentially blinding problem. Often, they are successfully repaired, but permanent loss of vision is still possible.

It is recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology that new flashes and floaters be examined with 48-72 hours after initial onset. If a posterior vitreous detachment is present, but no tear, re-examination is recommended at 6 weeks. Additional flashes and floaters should be re-examined if they develop.

Retinal surgery can be an emergency. The key is to diagnose a retinal tear before a retinal detachment develops. If a detachment has occurred, operating to preserve the central vision is of utmost importance.

Foam Insulation

Foam insulation sheets versus other systems for basement insulation – which is better to use? My theory is that, the type of system does not matter as much as the R-value and application methods. By understanding the basics, you will be able to make a smart choice in choosing which type, method and the thickness of insulation to use.

A basic theory of insulation, whether it is fiberglass or foam insulation sheets, is that tiny air pockets play a very important part in determining the R-value factor. The thicker the insulation the higher the R-value of the insulation and the less heat transfer to the cooler side. Heat moves from warmer areas to cooler areas. If your basement insulation with foam insulation sheets or batt insulation is properly applied, it will restrict the loss of heat and cool air movement that transfers from warm side to the cool side of the basement insulation. What does this mean? It means that in the winter it restricts the heat transfer, from the living space and to the outdoors and the cold air from the out doors to the living space.

There are two types of building insulation – Bulk Insulation and Reflective Insulation. Some buildings use one type or the other and some buildings use a combination of both types.

If you decide to insulate your basement with foam-paneling/sheeting insulation then you will have to apply this method before you start framing the basement walls. I feel that although this method is more expensive, it is more efficient then some of the other methods. One big reason is that there is no need for 2×4 studs to hold it in place. Omitting the 2×4 studs helps with the restriction of heat loss.

Check your local building code for approval. You might have to cover the foam insulation sheets with a fire retardant vapor barrier.

Use a drywall saw or a similar tool to cut the foam insulation sheets. You can also use a utility knife, with extendable blades.

Prepare the basement foundation walls by removing any foreign matter and any sharp projections. Make sure that the foundation walls are clean and dry.

Once you have the foundation walls ready, star by measuring the height of the wall you are starting on and cut to fit. Place a sheet of foam insulation in a corner of the wall. Make sure that it is plumb. If the adjacent wall is not plumb, then you need to shave the foam sheet to fit plumb and tight in the corner.

You can follow the steps below to make any kind of sheet fit square and plumb against a corner wall.

Lean the sheet up right in the corner wall as if you were going to attach it in place. Then see which end is not tight to the adjacent wall and take a measurement of that space from the sheet to the adjacent wall. Ex: the top of the sheet is touching but the bottom is one inch away from touching the adjacent wall. Mark one inch at the top left corner from the edge and to the right of the sheet. Now you can use a chalk line from the one-inch marker and the bottom corner Put the chalk line precisely on the other corner of the sheet, snaps the chalk line and shave the sheet accordingly.

Dry fit the first sheet and if you are happy with the results, you can apply a compatible adhesive to the sheet in a zigzag pattern to the sheet and attach it to the wall. Press the sheet to make sure it adheres to the wall. Attaching the rest of the foam insulation sheets to the rest of the foundation walls should be easy. Always make sure that the ends of the sheets are butted together tight.

Chances are that you will end up with an end piece less then the width of a whole sheet. If you end, up with a narrow piece, take a measurement at the top of the wall and a measurement at the bottom and chalk line the marks on the sheet, shave it and attach it in place with a compatible adhesive.

Cutting out the basement window could be done in different ways. These are two ways how to cut the window (1) you can dry fit the Styrofoam sheet (butted against the last sheet that you attached), use a permanent marker to mark the window cut-out on the back of the sheet while pressing it against the wall. Cut where you marked and should end up with the window cut-out.

(2) Another way to mark the basement window cut-out is by measuring from the bottom of the floor joist to the top edge of the window and another measurement from the bottom of the floor joist to the bottom edge of the window.

Next measure from the end of the last attached sheet to the side edge of the window. Transfer and mark the three measurements on to the sheet. Now use a framing square or a drywall “T” square and line up the square with the marks and mark the cut-out of the window. Now you can cut out the window cut-out.

Insulate the rest of the foundation walls in the same manner. After you finish insulating the walls. Go around and check for gaps. If a gap is more then one millimeter fill it with a bead of compatible adhesive. Cover the butt joints with the “red contractor sheeting tape”.

Use friction fit pink insulation wrapped neatly in poly vapor retarder to insulate between the floor joists. Do not shove the insulation all the way; just keep it even with the foam insulation sheets.

I hope that reading this information will help you with your insulation needs.

Comments and questions are welcome and appreciated. You may use the contact form to reach me.

8 Simple Ways To Give Sugar The Boot

The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond weight gain and empty calories.

Sugar causes Type 2 Diabetes and drastically affects blood glucose levels. In addition, sugar also causes inflammation in the body, which is the main role in nearly every chronic disease. Sugar will deplete your immune system and makes you the target of every cold and flu going around.

Sugar is addictive. It’s the modern day crack. It sends our brains and bodies the same signals as cocaine and nicotine. The higher the sugar intake we have, the more our body craves it, and the more dependent we become. This strains your pancreas and in the long term, this kind of habit can cause you to become chronically fatigued, diabetic, develop cancer, and pack on excess weight.

The good news is, sugar addictions can be broken. It will be a challenge, but the rewards are endless.

These are some simple tips on how to give sugar the boot. Taking gradual steps is they key to long term results and success.

  1. Stay away from flavored water, flavored milks, sodas, and juices. Maintain yourself well hydrated with filtered water. You can infuse your water with lime and lemon for added flavor and zest. Herbal teas are a wonderful option as well. Re-hydration promotes digestion, which will help the flow of waste out of your body
  2. Replace packaged foods and snacks with fresh green vegetables, nuts, and berries.
  3. Make wise choices when dining out. Search the menu for the health column. Nowadays most restaurants have a section of the menu designated for health conscious customers.
  4. Eat a well-rounded diet on a daily basis. In order to detox sugar from your system, it will require consistency. Deliberately eat a diet concentrating on protein, fat, and vegetables.
  5. Deal with sugar cravings by supplementing properly. Supplements such as chromium picolinate helps keep blood sugar level stable and eases the cravings for carbs that erupt during blood sugar drops.
  6. Eat small meals throughout the day (every 2-3 hours). Fueling your body on a timed schedule with rev up your metabolism and keep at bay any cravings for sugar.
  7. Never skip breakfast. Breakfast jump-starts your day and metabolism. Have your complex carbs, protein, and fat.
  8. Set realistic expectations. Going cold turkey with a sugar detox may help cravings diminish after a few days but in many cases don’t produce long-term results. The best recommendation is to gradually wean yourself off until your naturally feel no desire.

Healthy Food Choices For New Moms

You have just had a new baby and you are interested in replenishing your body with healthy, nutritious food. If you are breastfeeding, there are certain foods you will want to eat to ensure that your baby gets proper nutrients. There are many choices, some of which have made their way from your supermarket onto your shelves and into your refrigerator. As you take stock of the these foods, there are many things that need to be taken into consideration. There is no such thing as one perfect food, and that is why new moms need to eat many different foods which contain different nutrients, minerals and vitamins.

Salmon is considered to be a near-perfect food for new moms who are breastfeeding. It contains DHA, which is important in the formation and development of your baby’s neurological system. The omega-3 fatty acids are good for baby’s developing brain and eyesight as well. Omega-3 fatty acids are also good for the heart and circulatory systems. Wild salmon from the north pacific or Alaska is an especially good choice, as it is low in cancer causing contaminants and mercury. You do not need to eat it every day, but three to four times a month is sufficient.

Low-fat dairy products are loaded with calcium, which is important for baby’s bone development. You want to be sure you are getting enough calcium yourself, so eat plenty of yogurt and cheese and drink milk if you can. If you have access to it, organic milk is a very healthy option. These dairy foods also contain vitamins D and B, which are essential, and two to three servings a day are optimal.

Spinach and leafy greens are very nutritious vegetables which contain some essentials for new moms. Spinach contains folic acid and manganese. Folic acid is extremely important, as it helps with the production of new blood cells. Manganese is an important mineral which helps development of bone and cartilage which is important if one has had a C-section. Leafy greens contain vitamin A, vitamin C and iron. Vegetables such as these are healthy antioxidants and do not have high calorie counts. Organic options are the best choice, and leafy greens can be eaten several times a week if you choose.

Legumes or beans, especially the dark-colored ones like black beans and kidney beans are great for breastfeeding moms and especially for vegetarians. They are rich in iron, and are a budget-friendly source of high quality, non-animal protein.

Enriched whole-grain breads and pastas are fortified with folic acid as well as essential fiber. It is recommended that a new mother incorporates whole-grains like brown rice into her diet to help maintain healthy energy levels. Foods like brown rice provide the calories the body needs to produce the best quality milk for your baby. A healthy breakfast of whole-grain cereal or oatmeal is also beneficial. Many cereals are fortified with essential vitamins and nutrients to help you meet your daily requirements.

Fruits which contain vitamin C are a great source of nutrients for new and breastfeeding moms. Oranges, raspberries, kale, tomatoes and natural or organic fruit juices are optimal in that they contain vitamin C, which is important for healing and well-being.

High quality filtered water is essential for good health. Clean water hydrates the body and flushes out toxins. Dehydration can drain your energy and sap your strength, so to keep energy levels and milk production up, new moms should stay well hydrated. Juices and milk are fine to drink as well, but be sure to limit intake of caffeinated coffees and teas as the caffeine may cause baby some irritation and loss of sleep.

Healthy snacking is a must. Hummus with veggies, whole grain crackers or tortilla chips is a satisfying snack. Nuts like walnuts and almonds are great to snack on, as are a handful of sunflower seeds. A piece of fruit with a couple of slices of low-fat cheese is optimal. Peanut, hazelnut or almond butters on apple slices are a yummy and refreshing snack. A cup of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk or almond milk is a great boost as well.

The key for new moms whether you are breastfeeding or not is to get plenty of the proper nutrition, eat a variety of organic and whole foods and drink plenty of fresh water, preferably filtered. Keep a moderate and nutritional balance, stay healthy, and enjoy the new addition to your family!


The element magnesium has atomic number 12 and atomic mass number of 24.3. It is present in the third row and the group IIA of the periodic table. It is a normal element, with a valency of 2 and forms the Mg ++ cation. It is a silvery white tough metal with a melting point of 923 K or 1202 F.

Naturally it is found in minerals such as marble, limestone, dolomite, kieserite, magnesia, etc. It is the eighth-most abundant element on the crust of the earth, occupying about 2% of it. Magnesium readily reacts with acids forming respective salts. Most of these salts may are hydrated in their natural states.

Several useful alloys are made using magnesium. Duralumin and magnalium are both lightweight, sturdy alloys that are used to make bodies of aircraft and vehicles. Magnesium has pyrotechnic properties and so it is used in making incendiary bombs, flares and signals. In photography, it is used in the manufacture of flash bulbs. Magnesium also has lubricating and binding properties. Owing to this property, it is used to make industrial capsules. Magnesium finds a use in metallurgy as a reducing agent.

Magnesium is a macro element required for the metabolism of the human body. It is the fourth-most abundant element in the human body and about 50% of it is present in the bones. About 1% of magnesium is assimilated in the human blood. Even chlorophyll in plants is a magnesium-poyphyrin complex. Magnesium is a cofactor for various enzymes. A proper balance of magnesium is required to ward off bone related ailments such as osteoporosis and arthritis. It is also required for proper cardiovascular and kidney functions.

Vegetarian foods have higher contents of magnesium. Magnesium is abundantly found in nuts and green vegetables. It is also abundant in diary products such as tofu, cheese, butter, yoghurt, etc.

Magnesium compounds are sold as therapeutic drugs. Milk of magnesia is the commercial name of magnesium hydroxide. It is used as a laxative and antacid. Magnesium oxide or magnesia is also used for the same. Magnesium sulfate is used to reduce labor pains.

A Kaffir Lime Tree Will Spice Up Your Kitchen

The botanical name for the Kaffir lime is Citrus hystrix. Hystrix means porcupine in Greek and when you see the thorns on an established plant, you’ll understand why it is so named. Fresh Kaffir lime leaves are the building blocks of many classic Thai dishes. That zesty cuisine derives its luscious flavor in large part from the fragrant double-lobed leaves of this unique citrus. The dried-out kaffir lime leaves found on Asian grocery shelves have lost most of their oils, hence most of their flavor. And there are no real substitutes. The only way to have a steady supply of these aromatic leaves is to grow your own.

When you’re ready to use your first leaf, roll it up and slice thinly. The aroma released as you chop is clean and exhilarating, yet it’s only a prelude to the flavor the leaves will impart to whatever you’re cooking.

Here’s a quick version of Tom Kha Gai:

Heat 2 C of chicken stock, add 4 Kaffir lime leaves, chopped as above. Then pound a stalk of lemongrass and chop it into 6 lengths and drop the pieces in. Add thinly sliced 1 TBSP of galangal, 3 TBSP fish sauce, 2 TBSP lime juice. Bring to boil, add a chicken breast cut up, along with about ½ C of coconut milk. Throw in some Thai chile peppers to taste, sliced very thin and seeds removed, anywhere from 1-6 peppers. Cook for a few minutes, until the chicken is done. Serve with chopped cilantro.

The fruit of the Kaffir lime is also used in Thai cooking. You can grate the zest and then pound it with other spices to make an excellent green curry. The juice adds complexity and depth to many dishes.

Traditionally, Kaffir lime juice is also used as a cleansing agent. Add a spoonful of juice to a cup of water, then apply to loads of laundry, hair or mouth.

The Kaffir Lime tree is a forgiving plant. It can take dry winter heat and less than ideal conditions and still generate enough leaves for the most prolific cook. If you want the small bumpy fruit, then you’ll have to provide enough light for flowering. A spot in a sunny window works fine during the winter months. Since Kaffir limes are frost-sensitive, consider indoor placement when planning the care of your tree. You couldn’t ask for a better centerpiece for your kitchen table, and it’s a perfect vantage point for enjoying the glossy sheen of the leaves and the fragrance of the flowers.

For optimum growth of your Kaffir lime tree, make sure its container provides excellent drainage. Terra cotta naturally provides aeration, but larger-sized pots are heavy. Some of the new resin containers are very attractive, have built-in saucers, and are constructed with several drainage holes at the bottom. If you buy a plant in a 4″ x 6″pot, transplant it fairly soon into a larger container with minimum dimensions of 8″ diameter and 10″ depth. Perlite is a helpful addition to most potting soils because it ensures aeration of the plant’s roots, something all citrus need. Once planted, fertilize your tree with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer on a regular basis. It’s always preferable to fertilize weekly, weakly. And don’t forget to crush a leaf when you need a quick pick-me-up. Your beautiful Kaffir lime tree will readily supply more.

What is the Best Olympic Bar?

This is both an easy and tough questions to answer. The easy answer is “Probably an Eleiko or Ivanko bar and it will run you more then a small car.” This, however, typically is not the answer most people are looking for. What we have to really determine is what the person is asking so I have to answer the question with a question. What are you going to do with the bar? We carry a wide range of Olympic bars, each with a specific purpose.

Most of the people who ask that question are looking for a general purpose bar. They want to do mostly static type movements. Static movements are things like the Presses and the Squats and usually the Dead lift falls into this category as well. This trend has been slightly skewed recently with recent surge of sport specific and high intensity styles of training such as CrossFit. This style of training not only does the static lifts but the dynamic lifts also known as the Olympic lifts. These consist of the Clean and Snatch lifts.

For the power lifter the static movements are usually the focus. The weights on these lifts can be extremely high, into the several hundreds of pounds. You want a stiff bar without a great deal of whip (or flex). These bars are typically called power bars, and are sometimes referred to as a Texas Power Bar. They often are rated at 1500 or 2000 lb capacity. Some will have a 28mm grip some will have a 30mm grip and all will have medium to heavy knurling and center knurling. When it comes to power bars we recommend the Troy Texas Power Bar. It really does not have a comparison in the price range. With a great knurling, a 1 1/8″ (29mm) grip, and power markings, if you are looking to do power lifting you can not beat Troy in this department.

The Olympic lifts require a bar with more whip and collars that spin very freely and the good bars have needle bearings in the collar. The whip is to help absorb some of the weight as it is slung rapidly from the ground to the rack position or to the overhead position. It also will act somewhat like a spring in the pull part of the movement helping to get the weight moving rapidly upward. While this is important in the O-lift movements, you can see why this might be bad if you are doing dead lifts. You are pulling slow and hard with a great deal of weight, a whippy bar will sort of pull in the middle and then the weight will follow. You want whip for speed you want stiffness for slow. Typically a good O-lifting bar will have needle bearing or very free collars. This is important so you do not hurt your wrist as the bar turns under the weight to get in the rack or overhead position. If the collars do not spin free the person will not only be moving the weight up but around, but when the collars turn free it allows the bar to turn when pulling the wrist around and the weight stays stationary. York makes 3 great bars for Olympic lifting. On the inexpensive end is the Standard Needle Bearing Olympic Training bars. Really for the price you can not beat them. For serious training though we would recommend the USA Made Olympic Training Bars or the USA Made Elite Competition Olympic Bars.

The real issue comes when you have to combine the movements into one bar. Lets face it most people do not have $2000.00 to spend on two really good bars, one for the power lifts and one for the O-lifts. In fact most people do not want to spend $300.00 on one good bar! We always try to convince people that the money should be spent on the bar and buy inexpensive weight (note I did not say cheap weights). The bar is the connector and should be purchased well.

We feel that we carry two good all purpose bars that are affordable. While we carry two we only will sell one. Unfortunately in this department the one company had some issues with this style bar and while we sell all kinds of their products we just can not stand behind a bar that we felt had flaws and would not be covered by the companies warranty. So we recommend the Cap OB-86B bar.

The OB-86B is a 1200 lb capacity bar. It has enough whip and spin in the collars that you can do the O-lifts but is stiff enough to do the power lifts without noticeable lag. There are two other reasons we like this bar for mixed lifting. The first is that the bar itself if 28mm. There is another excellent bar that is on the market today that is specifically marketed as a mixed lifting bar that has a 30mm grip. While 30mm is OK for power lifts it is not good for doing a hook grip which is important for safe O-lifts. In fact women Olympic lifting bars are typically 25mm and weigh 15k (33lbs) for this very reason. The second is that it has no center knurling. There is nothing worse then catching center knurling on your throat or nose when trying to do an Olympic lift.

The CAP OB-86B is the bar that we regularly use ourselves and we have hundreds and hundreds of these bars being used across the country. While they are not the perfect bar, we feel that for the price you are getting more then what you have paid for.

So if you are looking for the best Olympic bar the answer is: “We have several. How are you planning on using it?”

Crossbow Shooting – Tips For Accuracy

Crossbow hunting is the fastest growing archery hunting style in the United States. In the last several years many states have changed their game laws to either allow all archers to hunt with a crossbow or have made it easier for an archer to obtain a crossbow hunting permit. Many of these new crossbow shooters purchase equipment online or from box stores and do not receive hands on training or instructions in proper crossbow shooting techniques. Here are three simple tips all crossbow hunters should follow to achieve the best possible accuracy with their crossbow.

1. Cock your crossbow properly – If you want repeatable accuracy it is vital that your crossbow string is latched at the exact same place for every shot, preferably the center. If you are cocking by hand it is easy to vary the latching point. Most people have a "strong" arm which over-pulls compared to their other arm and places the string off center. Cocking aids can also place the string off center if they are not centered at the start of the pull cycle. Off center cocking can vary the impact point as much as 12 inches at 20 yards. To prevent this problem center the string with your hands or the claw of the cocking aid and keep it centered throughout the draw cycle. The string can be marked with a permanent marker on either side of the barrel at rest. These marks are then used as visual aids for determining center when cocked. If you have cocked the crossbow and your string appears off center, pull up on the string as if cocking and carefully work it sideways until it is back to center.

2. Use a rest – Rifle hunters are taught to use a rest whenever possible when shooting for best accuracy. It is even more important that the crossbow hunter do the same. Even the fastest crossbows shoot at only 1/10 the speed of a hunting rifle. This means that the bolt will be effected 10 times as much by movement of the crossbow during the shot as would a bullet. Most of the accessories used by rifle hunters for rests such as bipods and shooting sticks can be used equally well by the crossbow hunter. Every crossbow hunter will increase their accuracy immediately by using these accessories.

3. Keep it close – Many new crossbow hunters imagine they will be able to take game animals easily at 50, 60, 70, or even more yards. While a bolt fired by a modern crossbow does have the energy to kill at these distances it lacks the flat trajectory needed to guarantee kill zone hits every time. A crossbow bolt traveling at 350 feet per second (only achieved by modern, high performance crossbows) will drop a full 12 inches by the time it travels 30 yards and over 48 inches by the time it travels 60 yards. This means that beyond 30 yards underestimating or overestimating target range by just a few yards can result in a complete miss. Since few hunters can judge range with the precision needed at distances past 30 yards crossbow hunters should limit themselves to shooting under that distance.

By following these three simple rules hunters will maximize their success with a crossbow.

Keeping Winter at Bay Around the House

Winter. In the UK some people love this season, but a lot of us find it depressing. This is not only due to the fact that it gets cold and miserable outside (much like the British summer!) But also because if something around the house packs up you could be left huddling round an electric heater trying to keep warm or cooking your sausages on an open fire. Joking aside, home protection is an important way of maintaining your home and it is a good idea to plan ahead for winter. This article outlines the key things for you to do to keep your house and home in check so you are not left with your teeth chattering in the dark in the middle of the cold season.

Winter Chills and Draughts

In winter, the cold wind of the north will always find a way into your home and give you the shivers. Here's some advice to help keep you warm and also save you money on your heating bills by making sure your home is draft free and insulated.

Insulation is Key – In the winter, pipes are susceptible to bursting due to high amounts of pressure being built up due to the frozen liquid in the pipe. Avoid the calamity of having your pipe burst and insulate all your pipes and water tanks before it's too late.

Draughty Decisions – Instigate an investigation upon your own house. Find where the draughts are sneaking into your house. Check loft hatches, windows, doors and pipes which lead outside.

Bleed your Radiators – Bleeding your radiators is one of the best ways to get the best out of your radiators and heat up your home. Once you bleed your radiators any trapped air will be released, allowing hot water to circulate more efficiently – keeping your home nice and cosy.

Plan for the Worst

As I've already mentioned, winter always has ways of surprising us. To keep your house maintained and nice and warm this winter, follow this handy advice for complete home protection!

Invest in Boiler Service – Make sure your boiler is serviced every year. This will help keep your boiler working efficiently. This will save you money on your heating bills and repair bills and also reduce the risk of your boiler breaking when you turn it on at the start of winter.

Be Stopcock Smart – If you have ever been a victim of a broken pipe you'll know that knowing where your stopcock is essential in such an emergency. Check out where yours is today!

A Priceless Power-cut Kit – Whatever the time of year, but especially in the winter, a power-cut kit is a useful addition to any household. These could contain useful items such as a battery powered torch, matches and candles, bottled water and non-perishable food that needs little or no cooking.

In conclusion, if you follow these top tips on how to protect your house and home over this cold season you will be helping to protect yourself from costly repair bills and the hassle of home emergencies and boiler breakdowns. Do not let these incidents spoil your winter, and especially Christmas – Santa does not like coming down a chimney into a freezing cold lounge! Invest in Perhaps home emergency cover color : as well, by just to be extra safe!

How to Check File Permissions in Joomla

Checking file permissions in Joomla is rather easy, below I will show you how check and change file permissions in Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 1.6

Note that changing the file owner to Apache will let you edit files via the admin panel without changing file permissions to 777. You can do this by applying the “chown -R owner:user filename” command in the bash console. replace “owner:user” with the id of apache and the “filename” to the root folder of your website.

Joomla 1.5

Log in to your Joomla 1.5 admin panel then hover your mouse over the “Help” button which is located at the end of the main tool bar on the top of the page. To further buttons will appear, click on the system info button.

The information page will appear, click the directory permission link and directory permissions can be seens as writable or unwriteable.

Joomla 1.6

Log in to your Joomla 1.5 admin panel then hover your mouse over the site button which is located at the begin of the main menu bar on the top of the page. Click on the “system information” link which will open the System Information Site. Now click on the directory permission link and directory permissions can be seens as writable or unwriteable.

An easy way to change file permissions during the installation and the installation of modules and plug-ins

Before we begin you will need a little program called Putty a link to the download page for putty can be found in the at the bottom of this article. Once you have downloaded putty ( I recommend the windows installer) run the program and add the IP address of your server in the “Host Name (or IP address)” Field. As the name of the field suggests you can use either your URL or your servers IP address. Leave the port set to 22 since this is the SSH port used by most linux servers and click open. If this is the first time you have connected to this server Putty will prompt you about a Key, just click ok.

If everything is correct then a black box should appear also known as the “BASH” console which will ask your for a login and password. Here you must enter your Linux Username and password. If you are on a shared hosting subscription chances are you will not have administrator rights on the server. In this situation you can use the su – command. Simply type “su – ” without the apostrophes in the bash console you will then be prompted for your password. Once you have entered the password you will have administrative rights on the server.

Next you will need to navigate to the Joomla main folder. you can navigate in linux via the “cd /” command. For example: If your joomla installation is in the public_html folder and then the Joomla sub folder you can navigate there by typing “cd /public_html/joomla/ “. Once you are in your Joomla main folder copy paste the following commands in to the bash console, note that you can not use the ctrl+c and ctrl+v shortcut’s to copy paste in the console. Simply copy the text with ctrl+v or right mouse click/copy in windows and then a single right click in the bash console will paste the text.

Commands for Joomla 1.5 note that the folder needs to be changed to your folder name

Note you have to add “chmod -R 777 ” before each of the lines






























Commands for Joomla 1.6 note that the folder needs to be changed to your folder name

Note you have to add “chmod -R 777 ” before each of the lines























Once you have finished your installations you need to change the file permission back to 755. Simply replace the 777 with 755 in the text above and execute the command again.

Note that leaving the file permission set to 777 will make your site vulnerable to hacker attacks.

Save the above scripts in a text file and use them each time you want to install or un-install a module or plug-in.

Examining the Wusthof Catalog

Wusthof has been one of the biggest names in knives since 1814. Operating from Solingen, Germany, the "Cutlery Capital" of the world, they continue to produce knives that are used by top chefs and four-star kitchens the world over. These knives are the favorites of many prominent chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and James Martin. This high quality is the result of a rigorous system of forty separate processes that go into the forging of each and every blade.

Wusthof offers many different series of knives, from those aimed at culinary aficionados looking to improve their kitchen to those tailored for top restaurants. Read on for an overview of the current product catalog, set by set. You're sure to find a knife or knife set that is exactly what you're looking for.

The Emerilware collection of knives bears the mark of star chef Emeril Legassi, who has used Wusthof knives throughout his career and on his popular show, Emeril Live! Emeril himself handpicked the knives in this set. These blades are designed with ergonomic handles for comfortable cutting. The handles have a pebble grain, slip-resistant finish to reduce kitchen accidents. The blades are made of a stain resistant steel alloy that should last a long time. Easily sharpened, these knives are super sharp and hold their edge well.

Emerilware knives are some of the most modestly priced in the catalog. Priced at prices that all of his fans can afford, these knives still live up the standards of Wusthof quality. A full 18-piece Emerilware set goes for around $ 150, while individual knives are generally around $ 20 each. Other knives in this price range include the Silverpoint collection, the design on which many Emerilware knives are based.

For someone looking for a mid-range option, the Le Cordon Bleu collection is an excellent choice. These lightweight knives feature a seamless triple-riveted handle, with the Wusthof logo prominently displayed. With their reduced weight and superior balance, these knives are great for reducing fatigue from lengthy cutting jobs. Precision forged, the blades are some of the sharpest in the catalog.

Knives in the Wustof Le Cordon Bleu collection run about $ 50 each individually, while you can acquire a 14 piece set for $ 400. These knives are a great investment – they are all full tang knives, meaning that the metal that anchors the blade to the handle goes all the way into the handle, which makes the blade very stable and sturdy. Other knives in this price range include the Gourmet and Grand Prix collections, which features a different type of handle.

If price is no object, a high-end option from Wusthof is the Ikon set. Ikon knives feature a unique new triple-riveted handle design optimized for the perfect feel in your hand. The handle is constructed of Grenadill, or Mozambique Ebony, one of the toughest woods available. These knives are precision forged, giving them incredible sharpness and durability. The edges of these blades are laser tested to ensure maximum sharpness. Most of the blades feature full tangs, which increases balance and durability.

The Ikon set features some of the highest quality knives on the market today, so you can expect to pay accordingly. Individual knives from this collection cost $ 100 each, and a full set of 18 knives costs around $ 1,400! Clearly, these blades are meant for professionals, and are likely out of the price range of most casual buyers. Other options in this price range include the Ikon Classic in black or white, and the Culinar collection, which is a pure stainless steel set.

No matter your needs or culinary skill, there's a high quality Wusthof knife with your name on it. Do not waste your money on cheap knives that go dull in days – make an investment that will last with super sharp, long lasting blades.

The Advantages of Electric Fencing

Farmers concerned about their livestock and residents concerned about the security of their homes and families often consider electric fencing as an option. Electric fencing offers several advantages, particularly in comparison with traditional types of fencing. It is cheap to construct and maintain, portable, safe, easy to use, long lasting and has minimal impact on the landscape.

Firstly, it is less expensive to build, install and maintain than other kinds of fencing. You need only posts and wire, tape or netting to put it together, so you save money by avoiding the costly purchase of the bulky material needed to build and repair solid barriers.

This also means that electric fencing is light in weight and easy to carry around. If you need to move your livestock on a regular basis, or at short notice, this is definitely a bonus! Plus, your land remains unobstructed by large permanent structures, which can be an eyesore and block the view. Who really wants to see green pastures and rolling hills interrupted by chunky pieces of metal and wood?

Electric fencing enables you to keep your view intact without compromising on security. Large animals sometimes possess the strength and power to knock down and / or damage conventional fencing, which usually means extra expense, inconvenience and sometimes injuries as well.

Furthermore, livestock can become tangled in barbed wire easily. This can cause serious injury as well as prolonged pain and suffering and, in some cases, fatality. On the other hand, when animals touch it, they receive a quick shock. This shock needs to be a minimum of two thousand volts so that they can feel it through their thick skin and hair, but it is not intended to cause pain and does not expose them to the risk of injury or death. On both psychological and physical levels, the shock teaches your livestock to avoid contact with their surrounding fencing, but does not cause hurt.

The heavily reduced likelihood of contact between animals and electric fencing means that it also cuts down costs because of its longevity. Less susceptible to damage through accidents, high tensile, electrical fencing lasts around twenty years on average. In contrast, barbed wire can generally be expected to last for up to twelve years.

Apart from keeping and protecting livestock, it can also be considered as an option for maintaining the security of your home, family and household contents. It is certainly much less expensive than hiring permanent security staff! Psychologically, it presents potential intruders with a pretty powerful deterrent and, physically, it sends a shock that should more or less guarantee they precede no further. You can also attach an alarm to your fence, which alerts you or the company that watches over your property when an intruder is approaching.