Diesel Injectors – How They Work?

Diesel Injectors are used for filling diesel fuel into a diesel engine or compression ignition engine. This fuel is directly injected into the engine with the help of Injectors attached to the cylinders of a diesel machine.

This fuel injecting system basically consists of the following parts – Fuel injection apparatus (nozzle and nozzle holder), fuel supply line, Air-intake valve, and diesel engine exhaust valve.

The function of the parts of diesel injectors is as follows:

An apparatus for fuel injection: Each cylinder of a compression ignition engine is connected to a fuel injector and therefore each cylinder has its own diesel supply line which carries the diesel from the diesel tank to the diesel engine. The fuel injector consists of a nozzle and a nozzle holder.

1. Diesel supply line: Each cylinder of a diesel engine has its own diesel supply line which carries the diesel from the diesel tank to the CI engine.

2. An intake valve: The role of an intake valve is to suck air into the combustion chamber. The air blends with the condensed diesel thus strengthening the combustion.

3. Diesel engine exhaust valve: It plays the important role of eliminating the emissions produced by the diesel combustion chamber.

Once the fuel comes in contact with the injectors, it becomes extremely pressurized. This pressure is created by a little pump that the injector is connected to. This little pump enables air to pass through the injector, consequently pressurizing the fuel. The highly pressurized fuel enters and flows down to the body of the nozzle holder and finally into the nozzle passage. A diesel injector has a needle valve that is closely connected to the spring located in the body of the injector. The compression nut stresses the spring to produce spring pressure and injector opening pressure simultaneously.

Once the needle valve opens, the fuel is sprayed by the diesel injector through the tiny nozzle situated in the combustion chamber of an engine cylinder. The cluster of little holes in the nozzle ensures its equal distribution into the combustion chamber of the cylinder. The tiny holes are specially designed and arranged to break the fuel into tiny drops so that they can burn readily.

Next, the air intake valves carry air into the combustion chamber and gets combined with condensed diesel thus intensifying the combustion. Now the fuel engine exhaust valve gets rid of the emissions generated by the fuel combustion chamber. The return diesel line gets rid of the surplus diesel fuel by bringing it back to the fuel tank from the fuel combustion chamber.

This is how a complex diesel injector functions. Diesel injectors are known as the most intricate elements of a diesel engine. It has the ability to endure high pressure and temperature produced inside the cylinder and circulates equal quantity of fuel to the cylinder thereby ensuring smooth functioning of a powerful diesel engine.

High School Wrestling: Diet and Supplements

The nutritional plan that a wrestler follows can be a factor in his performance. Different foods supply different nutrients to our bodies. Although food is the most important element in your nutritional plan, supplements can also be a beneficial addition. Some wrestlers desire to lose weight. Some wrestlers do not need to lose weight. Regardless of whether or not a wrestler needs to lose weight, all wrestlers want to be strong and have sufficient energy.

Protein (4 calories per gram)

The body uses protein to perform many functions. I believe most of you know that one of protein’s main functions is building and repairing body tissues (e.g. muscle tissue). Proteins are composed of amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that the body cannot make and must be provided by one’s diet. A complete protein supplies all of the essential amino acids. Most complete proteins come from animal sources. We are talking about meat, fish, fowl, milk, cheese, and eggs. Why is protein important for a wrestler? Wrestling is strenuous and can be catabolic (i.e. break down muscle tissue).

How much protein do you need? Some studies have suggested that athletes require more protein than a sedentary person does. Your diet should get about 25% of its calories from protein.

Good Sources of Protein:

  • lean beef
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • lean pork
  • fish without breading
  • turkey
  • milk
  • yogurt
  • cheese
  • cottage cheese
  • eggs

An Interesting Fact about Cottage Cheese:

Cottage cheese contains a large amount of the milk protein called casein. In fact, cottage cheese is almost 100% unadulterated casein. Casein digests slowly in the body. Casein supplies a slow trickle of amino acids after being ingested. Therefore, if you eat some cottage cheese before bed you can receive a slow trickle of amino acids (i.e. protein) into your body throughout the night that could be anti-catabolic (i.e. prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue) while muscle tissue is being repaired during sleep.

Regarding Eggs:

Eggs have a Biological Value (BV) of 100. Our bodies utilize the protein contained in eggs very well. Even egg whites have a BV of 88. I don’t recommend eating only egg whites even if they are lower in fat and calories. I think nature made eggs to be eaten with the yolk and white as a package. A large whole egg contains about six grams of protein. Eggs are nutrient dense. If you’re concerned about calories, you can poach eggs or fry them in a non-stick pan. There are liquid egg white products if you prefer. Remember that it’s probably not a good idea to eat raw eggs like Rocky Balboa.

Regarding Beans:

Beans are interesting because they can be a good source of protein and carbohydrates. Beans also supply fiber that can help you feel full if you are trying to diet. Beans and rice are a popular combination for supplying a meal that includes all or close to all of the essential amino acids. Some experts consider the combination of beans and rice to be a complete protein.

A guy named Tim Ferriss advocates something he calls a “slow-carb” diet for weight loss. Beans and legumes are an important part of this diet plan. For example, one meal might consist of beef, pinto beans, and mixed vegetables. Another meal might consist of eggs, black beans, and mixed vegetables. The diet doesn’t include carbohydrates like breads, cereals, and fruits so it’s not really a good diet for a wrestler. I just thought it was interesting as a weight loss option and because of its reliance on beans and legumes.

Carbohydrates (4 calories per gram)

Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of fuel. In other words, carbohydrates provide you with energy. Wrestling practice and competition obviously require a lot of energy. Therefore, make sure to include plenty of carbohydrates in your diet. Carbohydrates get broken down into glucose and other sugars. Glucose is your brain’s preferred fuel source. Much of this glucose gets stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is then used as a source of energy. Your diet should derive about 60% of its calories from carbohydrates. There are complex carbohydrates like breads and cereals and simple carbohydrates like fruit. Educate yourself.

Good Sources of Carbohydrates:

  • breads
  • bagels
  • muffins
  • pancakes
  • cereals
  • rice
  • pasta
  • potatoes
  • sweet potatoes
  • fruits
  • vegetables

When I wrestled in high school, I ate a lot of carbohydrates. For instance, I actually ate a lot of rice cakes. I figured I could eat five rice cakes for about the same number of calories in one can of soda. I know you probably think they taste like Styrofoam but I became used to them. I also ate many potatoes without butter, salt, or any other condiments. I ate many bowls of plain oatmeal. I became accustomed to eating a simple diet. Of course, I still had a Pop-Tart or candy bar occasionally.

In Regards to Fruits and Vegetables:

Why eat a candy bar when you could eat two large apples for about the same number of calories? That was my thinking back in high school when I was dieting for wrestling. Fruits and vegetables are often fat free, low in calories, high in water content, high in fiber, and rich in nutrients like antioxidants. I ate many servings of green beans back then. I had an apple or two almost every day. I could eat a large amount of food for a small amount of calories.

Fat (9 calories per gram)

Fats provide twice the number of calories per gram as proteins and carbohydrates. Therefore, you don’t want to consume too much fat. However, you should not eliminate fat entirely from your diet. Your diet should derive about 15% of it’s calories from fats. Fats do many important things in our bodies. Fats build healthy cell membranes. Fats help to make hormones like testosterone. Your brain is approximately sixty percent fat. Some fats can help make your skin smooth and healthy. Moreover, fat cushions your body organs.

You’ve probably heard about the many types of fats such as saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, hydrogenated, and trans fats. Dr. Eric Serrano believes that saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated fats are all important. However, he recommends avoiding hydrogenated fats altogether. You may want to research fats and essential fatty acids. You may also want to perform an online search for Dr. Eric Serrano, Udo Erasmus, Dr. Bill Sears, and Dr. Joseph Mercola in regards to healthy fats.

Some Good Sources of Fat to Consider:

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • flax oil
  • fish oil
  • cod liver oil
  • peanut butter
  • nuts
  • virgin coconut oil
  • avocados

Don’t be afraid to eat whole eggs, lean red meat, salmon, tuna, and even a bit of butter occasionally. Coconut oil is a saturated fat. However, if you do some research regarding virgin coconut oil you will find out it that it has many potential health benefits. In addition, remember to limit or avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fats.

I was advised at a wrestling camp to try to eat a diet of about 80% healthy food and 20% unhealthy food during wrestling season. I guess they figured nobody could eat healthy 100% of the time. That may be sound advice.

In the book Blood in the Cage, author L. Jon Wertheim writes about Pat Miletich, a former wrestler and former UFC champion. Pat and most of his fighters follow something called Miletich’s “fighter’s diet” when a competition is drawing near. This diet consists mainly of oatmeal, eggs, and skinless, boneless chicken.

Fast Food Tips:

  • Have water or milk instead of pop
  • Have grilled chicken in sandwiches and soft shell tacos
  • Have grilled chicken breast, lean roast beef, and lean ham on sub sandwiches
  • Have a garden salad with minimal dressing
  • Have a baked potato without butter, sour cream, or cheese
  • Have a small hamburger without cheese, bacon, or mayonnaise
  • Avoid deep-fried, breaded, and batter-dipped foods

Keep in mind:

  • One pound equals approximately 3,500 calories
  • If you cut 500 calories a day from your diet you will lose approximately one pound per week
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to lose weight is to take your current bodyweight times 10 (e.g. 150 X 10 = 1,500 calories)
  • A simple way to determine the number of calories you need to eat per day to maintain weight is to take your current bodyweight times 15 (e.g. 130 X 15 = 1,950 calories)
  • A calorie-counting book and a food scale may be helpful; read nutrition labels
  • Try to avoid empty calories like you find in soda pop and candy
  • Keep your pre-competition meal light and carbohydrate based

I don’t recommend cutting weight or starving. You need food to fuel your body. In addition, drink plenty of fluids so that do not become dehydrated. If you choose to lose weight, do it slowly and carefully. You don’t want to lose muscle tissue and strength. In addition, you need energy for hard practices.

If you are Vegetarian or Vegan:

Strength coach Mike Mahler is a vegan (i.e. eats no animal products whatsoever) and yet he is big and strong. Some staples in his diet include nuts, seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, beans, lentils, vegetables, coconut milk, healthy fats like olive oil, and rice protein powder.

Pre-Competition Meal:

As far as your pre-competition meal goes, keep it familiar. That is not a time to try new foods. Keep it light and carbohydrate based so you have energy. A heavier meal with more fat will be slower to digest. On the other hand, your pre-competition meal should be something that you enjoy. I think I read somewhere that boxer Sugar Ray Leonard liked to have a cheeseburger before a big fight. I wouldn’t recommend that, but it seemed to work fine for him. Olympic champion speed skater Bonnie Blair’s pre-race meal was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had a friend in high school that had one of his highest scoring basketball games after a meal of several bowls of chili. Personally, I always liked to have pancakes before a competition. For some people that would probably sit too heavy in their stomach. I liked to have jelly sandwiches and Pop-Tarts at wrestling tournaments if I needed something between matches. Find what works for you.

Supplements to Consider:

  • Multivitamin – to cover anything you might miss in your diet
  • Meal Replacement Products (MRPs) – shakes like Myoplex and Met-Rx provide protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals if you don’t have time to eat a meal
  • Whey protein – whey protein is absorbed quickly by the body and is ideal for a post workout shake
  • Glutamine – may help you maintain muscle if dieting; improves immune function
  • Creatine monohydrate – supplies energy to your muscles; make sure you stay hydrated if you use this supplement
  • Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) – may help with recovery and repair
  • Inosine – may give you greater endurance by supporting the regeneration of ATP
  • HMB – may help slow the breakdown of muscle tissue (i.e. anti-catabolic)
  • Beta-alanine – may help improve your work capacity via it’s ability to buffer lactic acid
  • Caffeine – can increase energy and alertness

You probably don’t need to supplement at all. Eat a healthy diet with a variety of foods and stay hydrated. That will do more for you than any supplement ever can. In addition, supplements can be costly. Moreover, some supplements work for one wrestler and not for another. Therefore, if you choose to use supplements be cautious and be careful. Do some research about the potential benefits and dangers of any supplement before using it.

I am not a nutritionist or dietitian. I am not an expert on dietary supplements. Read articles and books pertaining to nutrition and supplements. I have simply provided a rough guide to help you get started. Remember that you need fuel for your body to function well. That fuel is food. Therefore, make sure that make smart dietary choices on your path to wrestling success.

Playlist To Heal Your Chakras

Sound healing is often overlooked as one of the many ways to heal chakras. One well-known sound healing system attributes the musical notes of a C major scale to each of the chakras. For example, the root chakra is boosted by the musical note C, sacral chakra is D, solar plexus is E, etc. Therefore, listening to or, even better, singing music that is in the key of that musical note will help energize that chakra. Musicians know that when a piece of music is written in a musical key, that musical note is the tonic, or “home” note and appears the most frequently. It is also is often the note that a melody will end on. So when you listen, you are connecting with that note over and over again.

The C major scale system works best on healing the physical body, as opposed to the spiritual or emotional bodies. Also, it is important to note that there is no universal sound healing system. What that means is, a tone that works for me is not necessarily going to be helpful for you. It is the same in any field of medicine. However, according to Stephen Halpern, a pioneer in the field of sound healing, this system is most widely-accepted. Don’t worry; if your body wants to heal, it will bridge the gap. Also, your intention will travel the sound vibrations so if you really want it and allow it to be effective, it will. Give it a try!

Below is a collection of songs that are known for being uplifting and energizing and assigned them to the appropriate chakra based on the musical key. Effort was taken to address a variety of musical tastes and styles. Just find the chakra that you want to boost, find the song, and give it a listen. It’s even more powerful if you sing along!

Root Chakra – C Major

Respect – Aretha Franklin

Let it Be – The Beatles

No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley

Imagine – John Lennon

Fly Me to the Moon – Frank Sinatra

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

Lean on Me – Bill Withers

I Believe I Can Fly – R. Kelly

You Gotta Be – Des’ree

La Bamba – Los Lobos

Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson

It’s My Life – Bon Jovi

True Colors – Cyndi Lauper

Jump – Van Halen

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News

Oh What a Beautiful Morning – Oklahoma (the musical)

Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World – Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

Love Train – The O’Jays

Sacral Chakra – D Major

You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone

I Can See Clearly Now – Jimmy Cliff

My Way – Frank Sinatra

Proud – Heather Small

Angel – Sarah McLachlan

The Best Is Yet To Come – Michael Bublé

A Place in the Sun* – Stevie Wonder

You Get What You Give – The New Radicals

Everything – Michael Buble

I’m Yours – Jason Mraz

Reach – Gloria Estefan

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye

I’ve Got the World on A String – Michael Buble

Solar Plexus Chakra – E Major

Hero – Mariah Carey

Let Me Roll It – Paul McCartney

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Bridge Over Troubled Water* – Simon & Garfunkel

Downtown – Petula Clark

Dreams – The Cranberries

Dancing in the Street – The Mamas and the Papas

Fly** – Hilary Duff

Perfect Day* – Hoku

Soak up the Sun – Sheryl Crow

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

Feeling Good** – Michael Buble

Peaceful Easy Feeling – The Eagles

I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett

The Climb – Miley Cyrus

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry

Things Can Only Get Better* – D:Ream

That’s What Friends Are For – Stevie Wonder

Heart Chakra – F Major

Jump In the Line – Harry Belafonte

What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong

Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? – My Fair Lady (the musical)

Let the Good Times Roll – B.B.King

We Are Young – Fun

Seasons of Love – Rent (the musical)

Put on a Happy Face – Bye Bye Birdie (the musical)

We Are the World – USA for Africa (starts in E major)

Get Down Tonight – KC & The Sunshine Band

Throat Chakra – G Major

American Pie – Dave McClean

Sea of Love – The Honeydrippers

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison

Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters

Daydream Believer – The Monkees

Nightswimming – R.E.M.

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now* – Starship

Accidentally in Love – Counting Crows

When I see You Smile – Bad English

My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music (the musical)

Hey Ya! – OutKast

Feeling Good** – Nina Simone

Brow Chakra – A major

In My Life – The Beatles

Moondance* – Van Morrison

Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum

We Are Family – Sister Sledge

You Get What you Give – New Radicals

I Will Remember You – Sarah McLachlan

Beautiful Day – U2

Fly Like An Eagle – Steve Miller Band

Burning Heart** – Survivor

Spirit In The Sky – Doctor and the Medics

All That Jazz – Chicago (the musical)

Somewhere Over the Rainbow* – Judy Garland

Heal the World – Michael Jackson

Take On Me – A-ha

Crown – B Major

Africa – Toto

Wind beneath my wings* – Bette Midler

On The Sunny Side of the Street* – Frank Sinatra

Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobbby McFerrin

Calling All Angels* – Train

I Hope You Dance* – Lee Ann Womack

Come On Get Happy* – The Partridge Family

The 59th Street Bridge Song* – Simon and Garfunkle

Walking on Sunshine* – Katrina & The Waves

Drift Away – Dobie Gray

Suddenly I See** – KT Tunstall

Blinded by the Light* – Manfred Mann

Sweet Caroline* – Neil Diamond

I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters

Music of My Heart – NSYNC

Circle of Life* – The Lion King

Win* – Brian McKnight

*This song is actually a half-step lower (flat) but should still be effective

**This song is actually in a minor key, but should still be effective

Cross Necklaces – The History and How Wearing Religious Jewelry Can Express Your Christian Devotion

The history of cross necklaces used to display Christian devotion can be traced back at least to the 2nd century. Tertullian, a great Church Father, described the faithful Christian followers as cross devotees. And, it was noted that it was the center of the Christian’s life.

In the 3rd century St. Clement of Alexandria again describes the great devotion of Christians to the cross of Christ and defines it as the symbol of the Lord. St. Paulinus of Nola, at the end of the 4th century noted that it was recognized as both a sacred symbol of the passion of Christ and also a sign for protection and defense.

Archaeologists have found numerous items marked with a cross from many civilizations dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. These articles included: drawings and etchings on walls of burial chambers and catacombs in Rome, paintings in Egypt, coins, earthenware vessels, mosaics, devotional medals and saint medals, necklaces, rings, and liturgical vestments. They were even placed on documents from the 10th century believed to be used as signatures. They have been depicted on Christian Churches and monuments from the 4th century, and of course beautifully decorate our Catholic and Christian churches and Basilicas today.

Crosses were not only seen in artwork. As early as the 6th century beautiful necklaces were shown to be worn by Christians to demonstrate their devotion to Christ. Large pectoral crosses were worn by Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant clergy as a sign of reverence, devotion, and often to designate the level of the clergy in the church hierarchy. They were made of gold, silver, platinum, and often contained beautiful gemstones.

The use of a cross necklaces to display relics was identified as early as the 6th century. These reliquaries contained relics of the True Cross of Christ or relics of the saints. They were worn by clergy, royalty, and lay persons. One very interesting discovery demonstrates this use among Christians as a demonstration of their faith and devotion. St. Cuthbert was a monk and later a bishop of Lindisfurne, England. He was responsible for many miracles even prior to his death in 687. In 698 when they exhumed his body they found it uncorrupt. During the Danish invasion monks fled in fear of their safety and carried the body of the saint with them, wandering for years to Cumberland and other cities before it was finally taken to Durham, England. Another miracle occurred here. According to tradition it was believed that this miracle was St. Cuthbert indicating his desire to have his burial spot there. The incorrupt body of the saint has his final resting place in a cathedral in Durham. Interestingly, they also found in his tomb a very beautiful jeweled cross necklace.

Tombs of queens and kings were also discovered with fine religious jewelry of gold, silver, and gemstones. Another famous historical account identified both a reliquary and gemstone cross necklace in a tomb of a queen in the middle of the 6th century. Queen Theodelinda of Lombards received a very precious gift of a reliquary containing a relic of the True Cross of Christ from Pope St. Gregory the Great, an early Church Father and Doctor of the Church. Both of these wonderful expressions of Christian faith in jewelry are still preserved today in the treasury of Monza.

What a marvelous tradition we have as Christians in demonstrating our faith and devotion to Christ by proudly wearing cross necklaces whether it is a simple design of silver or gold or elaborate gemstone. We can follow in the footsteps of our early Christian brothers and sisters who were unafraid to display their Christianity daily by wearing this beautiful religious jewelry.

There’s a Warrant For My Arrest For Past Due Child Support – What Should I Do?

To put it simply, you just can not avoid the financial obligation to your children. No matter how you feel about the other parent, you must be a responsible adult and pay your child support. If you’ve receive a notice that a bench warrant has been issued against you – there are a few things that you must know and do:

1. A Bench Warrant is a warrant issued by a judge and it can be done for several reasons. Every state in the country has laws dictating when they will use the warrant option, it can happen if you are held in contempt of court for failing to appear at a hearing and it can also occur when you have failed to pay your child support.

2. This is an active warrant that can and will be executed. In some states, a judge will sign a bench warrant for something as minor as an unpaid parking ticket. Most people feel “safe” with those types of warrants because they aren’t aggressively pursued. Do not get comfortable when a child support warrant has been issued. Failure to pay support warrants are handled by your county Sheriffs department, so they will act on it.

3. These aren’t issued “just because” or after one week of missed payments. In most every state, judge issued warrants are the option of last resort – so if you have one signed against you – it’s because you have established a pattern of non-payment. Do not expect a great deal of leniency. In many states, once a judges warrant is issued – your drivers license is automatically suspended as well.

4. County Sheriffs and the Office of Child Support Enforcement have the jurisdiction to execute the warrant anywhere in the state. They can arrest you at your home, your place of employment, during a routine traffic stop, and anywhere else they see fit. It is very difficult to flee from this type of warrant when you are in the same state. Leaving the state won’t do you much good either. While it can not be executed, it will remain active on your record. With your suspended drivers license and an active warrant, finding a new job and getting a new license will be difficult.

So what do you do now? Surrender yourself to the county’s sheriffs department so the matter can be resolved. Generally speaking, there is no jail time involved when you turn yourself in. You will appear before a judge who will tell you how much money needs to be paid towards your “bail”, or to lift the warrant. This money is typically a percentage of what you owe. This money usually needs to be paid before you can be released.

If you are facing true financial hardship and are genuinely unable to come up with a lump sum of money, a judge has the authority to order a payment plan and stay the warrant.

Buying a Pre-Construction Condo – Choosing the Best Floor Plan

So you’ve made the decision to purchase a pre-construction condominium. Congratulations! Now here comes the hardest, but also more important decision – choosing the right floor plan. It is important to choose a layout that will accommodate your personal needs but will also prove to be attractive to potential buyers in the future. One of the most important features to look for when considering a floor plan is the location of the windows in the unit. It is always more attractive to have windows in all the bedrooms and is a proven fact that natural light increases the resale value of the unit.

Corner units typically have twice the amount of natural light which an extremely attractive feature for future buyers but beware of oddly shaped corner units. One aspect that is often overlooked when choosing your unit is the actual location of the unit within the floor plan. A unit within close proximity to the elevators can prove to be very frustrating as noise levels tend to be high. This brings me to my next little piece of advice. Stay away from the garbage shoot! Many purchasers have been disappointed to learn that once they have moved into their condo they are constantly bothered by the sound of the garbage falling down the shoot. This has proven to be a larger problem for residents on lower floors especially when the garbage shoot runs behind their laundry room, which they typically do.

Always ask your sales representative to show you the unit location within the entire floor plan. When choosing your floor plan don’t forget to take into consideration the closet and storage space. Builders today are building taller condos however actual unit square footage is getting smaller. With smaller square footage, large closets and storage spaces come in handy, especially if owning a locker is not an option.

Being able to make good use of your space is extremely important when choosing your floor plan. This leads me to my next tip on choosing a functional layout. Even though pie shaped units or units with sharp angled walls have a dramatic architectural effect, they are extremely difficult to furnish and create a lot of wasted space. Evenly shaped rooms, such as squares or rectangles do not present this problem as they make furniture placement a lot easier and makes the space more useable. Take into consideration the above mentioned tips when buying a pre-construction condo. The beauty of purchasing pre-construction is that you can choose the floor plan you like so why not choose smart?

A Comparison Of The Hollon PRO Republic Series Gun Safe With Industry Recommendations

When buying a gun safe cabinet experts in this field agree that there are a number of recommended guidelines for purchasers to follow. The reasons for following these recommendations are well documented on the internet and this article is not going to re-hash these reasons. Rather, the purpose of this article is to summarize the guidelines and then compare the recommendations with the specifications for the Hollon Gun Safe Cabinet Republic Series.

Recommendations for buying a gun safe cabinet:

  • Know what the gun safe is to be used for now and what your future requirement might be.
  • Safe doors made of plate steel 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick
  • Safe bodies constructed of 10 gauge steel or thicker
  • Constructed using continuous welds not stitch welds.
  • The gun cabinet should have a digital or biometric lock
  • A minimum of two locking bolts on each of the safes four sides
  • Locking bolts made of hardened steel and 1″ to 1 1/2″ in diameter.
  • The safe should come with a relocker.
  • Preferably external hinges
  • A gun cabinet should have pre-drilled anchor holes
  • Preferable the gun cabinet should be fireproof.
  • A fireproof gun cabinet should have an expandable door seal.

How does the PRO Republic Series compare:

The PRO Republic gun safe cabinet series comes in four sizes holding from sixteen (16) to forty-five (45) rifles plus security for pistols using the pocket door organizer. The PRO series has the range of safes to suit your requirements now and in the future.

The Republic series gun cabinet has doors 5″ thick with 1/4″ (3 gauge) solid steel plate added to the entire door for pry bar resistance and drill/ballistic armored hard plate to protect the lock.

The body of a RG16, RG22 and RG39 gun safe cabinet is constructed of 9 gauge (5/32″) seamless steel and the RG45 gun safe cabinet of 1/8″ steel.

Combination locks come standard with the PRO gun cabinet. While combination locks are slower to open than electronic locks there are a number of people who consider combination locks more durable and trouble free than digital locks and biometric locks.

With the exception of the PDO-RG45 gun safe cabinet, which has eleven (11) active steel locking bolts plus five (5) fixed locking bolts on the hinged side, the other gun safes in the PRO series have seven (7) active steel locking bolts and three (3) on the hinged side. All the locking bolts are 1 to 1 1/2″ diameter chrome plated solid steel.

Each gun cabinet in the series comes with an active spring loaded re-locker to prevent punch attacks.

Hinges are external hinges to allow full 180 degree door opening.

Each gun safe cabinet comes with pre-drilled anchor holes.

The Republic series gun cabinet comes with three layers of fireboard in the door and two layers in the body giving a Torch Resistant Fire Rated protection of one hour at 1250 degrees F.

To further protect valuables the PRO series of safes have a heat activated expandable intumescent door seal designed to protect the safes interior from smoke and water.

Across the twelve recommendations for buying a gun cabinet, the PRO Republic Series gun safes not only meets the recommendations but in many instances exceeds them.

An Authentic Mexican Recipe – Mole Sauce Recreated

Anyone who has ever attempted to make a mole sauce probably gave it up as a bad idea. An authentic mole has around 17 ingredients, and is a long, drawn our process. That explains why it is rarely offered on restaurant menus.

A trip to the store will reveal some magical philtres such as Abuelita Chocolate and Doña Maria Mole Paste.

Mole is traditionally made with chocolate and cinnamon, in a savory blend of ground seeds and spices and oil. Doña Maria takes much of the work out, and makes a fairly good product, but for some reason, they have left out the chocolate.

A good fix is the addition of some Abuelita Chocolate. Mexican chocolate comes in a pressed block divided into 8 sections. It is infused with cinnamon, and is not overly sweet.

To dress up jarred Mole sauce, first, measure out the amount you need into a saucepan, then to that add chicken broth, four parts broth to one part paste according to the package directions. Add the broth slowly so it does not lump up. Once you have the base of the mole ready, grab a wedge (one section of the disk) of the Abuelita. There may be other brands on the market, but this is the most common. You can recognize it by the octagonal shaped package with a picture of someone’s sweet smiling grandmother on the front. Grate the chocolate into the mole sauce. About a third of a wedge should be enough for two servings of mole.

Heat the sauce over low heat, stirring almost constantly. Once it is on a simmer, give a taste. If you want a more pronounced flavor, you can add another grating of chocolate. A pinch of extra cinnamon or even cardamom may be to your taste. Keep the sauce on a very low heat for at least 15 minutes.

Mole sauce was served for years over sliced turkey, the way Americans use gravy. It also goes very well on grilled chicken breast.

You can also make up the entire jar of sauce (one small jar of Doña Maria’s makes 8 servings) and keep it in the fridge. It will keep a week once it is prepared. In the jar, opened, it can last for up to six months.

One good use for mole sauce is with stuffed chicken breasts. These are easy to prepare on a countertop grill like a George Foreman, or they can be cooked in the oven or on the stove.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts

What You Need:

  • Two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • four ounces fresh goat cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 8 slices of thinly sliced cooked bacon, or 4 pieces of prosciutto
  • lemon pepper seasoning
  • grill spray, like Pam

How to Make It:

Cut the chicken breasts in half. Place one piece between two sheets of plastic wrap or inside a large plastic bag. Pound out with a mallet or the bottom of a pan until they are of uniform thinness, large and flat. Open the plastic. Sprinkle the chicken with lemon pepper seasoning. Put down two pieces of bacon or one of the prosciutto. You may need to trim the pork so it only takes up half of the surface of the chicken. Place one ounce of goat cheese in the center. Fold the pounded chicken in burrito fashion, folding the ends up, and then folding the sides over. Do not fold tightly, but do not leave any gaps if you can help it. Escaping cheese is not pretty.

Heat the grill, and cook the chicken bundles until done. You can check them with an instant read thermometer. 163° F is considered done for chicken. However, if you bring it to that temperature on the grill at one time, it will come out dry and tough. Instead, bring it up to between 145° and 150° F, and then allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Serve with mole sauce and rice.

Drip Coffee Maker Secrets

Drip coffee makers are among the most commonly used coffee appliances in the United States. They’re easy to work with and cheap to own and operate. Available in a wide variety of styles, colors and sizes, there is a drip coffee appliance to suit any home. One study reports that automatic drip coffee makers are by far the most bought small kitchen appliance. Approximately 14 million of these machines are sold each year.

Mr. Coffee is probably the top known automatic coffee makers. Other well-known coffee machine companies include Black and Decker, Braun, Cuisinart, and Proctor-Silex.

Automatic drip coffee machines are used in many homes and companies. They work by dripping water all the way through a filter containing ground coffee. Two kinds of filters can be found for these machines: paper and permanent.

Paper filters may affect coffee taste as might some plastic permanent filters. Plastic filters don’t last as long as metal filters. Metal filters might necessitate that coffee beans be ground a bit coarser than is required for paper filters.

Automatic drip coffee brewers offer many different exclusive features. From fundamental machines to high-end products that do everything from grinding the beans to brewing it in a pre-set time. Basic automatic drip coffee appliances feature a water reservoir, a filter basket, and warming plate to keep the carafe hot. The majority include filter baskets that swing out or lift out and simple on/off control.

Extra features consist of indicator lights, a brew-pause selection, digital display and /or digital control panel, clocks, timers, permanent filters and automatic shut off. High end features include water filtration, flavor settings, and a built in grinder. Single cup machines can be found, as are machines making anywhere from 4 cups to 12 cups.

Drip Coffee Maker Commonly Asked Questions

What’s the perfect temperature for brewing coffee?

Most experts agree that 200 degrees is the best temperature for brewing coffee. Numerous dinning establishments don’t allow the temperature to get that high on account of legal responsibility issues should a consumer spill coffee and get burned.

What impacts the quality of a mug of coffee?

Several things can influence the quality of brewed coffee. The purity within the brewing apparatus, the standard of the coffee beans, how long it could have been since the beans were roasted, how long it has been since the beans were ground and the quality of the water utilised in brewing.

Just how do I clean my coffee brewer?

Coffee making appliances must be cleaned no less than once a week. Some professionals propose utilizing dish detergent and water. Other professionals advocate running one fourth part vinegar and three fourths part water through the brewing cycle a time or two followed by running plain water through the cycle. This removes hard water deposits and other buildup.

Can Espresso beans be utilised in drip coffee makers?

No problem.

Although all drip coffee makers brew coffee in the identical manner, not all drip coffee brewers are created equal! With so many different designs and versions to select from it is essential for you to perform some research before purchasing your next coffee making appliance to make certain that you get the top tasting cup of coffee possible!

My Scooter Won’t Start – Check These Things Out Before Taking It In

Sooner or later, almost every gas scooter driver will have the occasion to ask, “What do I do when my scooter won’t start?” It is that sinking feeling you get when you insert the key into your ignition, twist your handlebar grip or step down on the kickstarter, and — nothing happens. Just a few clicks or dead silence. Now what do you do?

If you are not mechanically inclined, then you might believe your only recourse is to load your scooter into a flatbed truck and haul it to the closest scooter mechanic for evaluation. Luckily, there are a number of things you can do first, most of which will cost you nothing, and one of which is very likely to solve your problem quickly.

Just follow our easy checklist and before you know it, you may have your gas scooter back on the road.

Scooter Start Troubleshooting Checklist

  • Was your kill switch pushed to the on position accidentally? Believe it or not, this happens quite often. Somehow, your hand pushes this rocker switch without you even realizing it. This has to be the easiest and fastest remedy to scooter start problems!
  • Is your battery dead? If you’ve left your battery in your scooter for more than a couple of weeks without starting the scooter, there is every possibility that your scooter drained during the interim. Sometimes it can be recharged, but often it will need to be replaced. Avoid this problem in the future by taking your scooter out of the battery compartment if you don’t plan to drive for a while or by hooking it up to a trickle charger.
  • Have you checked the fuse? You can usually find a scooter fuse in or near the battery compartment, which is usually under the floorboard on the scooter.
  • Is it a choke problem? Try putting your hand over the air filter opening and see if it starts better. If it does, then the choke is probably the issue. At least now, you know where to start.
  • Could the solenoid be bad? To check the solenoid, you have to locate it in your scooter (use your manual or look for help online), then put a screwdriver across the positive and negative terminals. There will be sparks so don’t panic. If the starter spins when you do that, you have to replace the solenoid.
  • Do your valves need adjusting? For new scooters, especially cheaper varieties, after a couple hundred miles, it is likely that your valve clearances need to be adjusted. Check your manual or online to find out the right clearances for your size engine and how to do the adjustment.
  • Did you hold in the brake lever when trying to start? For many gas scooters, there is a built-in safety feature that prevents the scooter from starting unless one of the brake levers is pushed in. Check both brakes when starting. One of them should work. If not, then it could be that your brake switch needs replacing.
  • Did you drop your scoot or lay it down on its side? If so, gas or oil may have gotten into the wrong places. Try taking your gas cap off, changing out the spark plug and/or changing the oil and filter to see if that helps.
  • Could your carburetor be clogged? Take out your spark plug and spray in starter fluid, then put your plug back in and try to start the scooter. If it starts and dies, you have a clogged carburetor and it needs cleaning. You can find carburetor cleaning fluid at your local auto parts store, but do follow the safety precautions.

If you move through this entire scooter start troubleshooting checklist, then you may still need to have it diagnosed and fixed by a professional. But hopefully you discovered why your scooter won’t start and are now back in the driver’s seat, motoring down your favorite road.

Building On A Difficult Terrain

Adjusting the house to the landscape is the first task to be solved when building on difficult terrain. If your block of land has slopes up to 20% – it’s rather regular terrain. The difficulties start to appear on slopes that are steeper than that.

Main problems can be divided into 3 categories:

1) Some additional research to determine the danger of soil slipping down should be done

2) The foundations and plumbing will require some additional work

3) Some additional work to level the soil might be necessary

And of course any of above translates into additional expenses.

If the allotment is in a real danger of soil slip, for example the soil has a steep rocky slope underneath and gets lots of rainfall or has ground water – it makes no sense to build on it.

However, if that’s not the case, then building on steep slope might produce very interesting outcome. History has many examples of people, who had to deal with difficult conditions, created the most magnificent structures, some of which we can still see in these days. They include the Machu Picchu city in Peru, great castles of Europe, Svan’s watchtowers in high mountains of Georgia, and fort Metsada in Israel.

To make the idea of building on difficult terrain a reality, several things need to fall together:

1) The wish to build on this particular block of land and the ability to finance the process

2) A talented architect and engineer who can fit the house into the relief while making it secure, safe and sound

3) Qualified builders who can implement everything according to the plans

So what are the advantages of building on a slope? First, nothing compares to the panoramic view from your terrace. Also, it is possible to create several levels: the garage on the upper level, the bedrooms and living areas below and the back yard and garden on the lowest level. The best thing about this setting is that the road and the driveway – with all the noise and the dust – are left on top, while the house is located below. More of the house is now exposed to the sun light. The garden can have many picturesque features such as little terraces, steps, miniature walls, cozy spots.

The whole presence of the house is improved, as this unique facade is created. The interior of the house benefit from larger windows and various open staircases, they look “weightless” and mix in harmony with the nature.

Another issue to address is the soundness of the house built on a slope. In many ways it depends on the soil underneath the foundations. If the soil is mostly sand or mud, then it makes sense to create terraced foundations, made of concrete bands and retaining walls, anchored in the soil.

If the foundations are to be built on rocks, concrete piles are better. The necessary diameter of a pile for 2 -3 level house is 35 – 40 cm, the depth is 8 to 10 meters. A reinforcing cage is installed in the borehole, which is later filled with concrete. The maximal load is to be defined by the engineer. All of the above methods are intended for brick and concrete houses. The foundations are much simpler to make for lighter houses.

Steep slopes are not the only kind of difficult terrain. One of the world-famous masterpieces – Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” – is a house built on top of a cliff with a waterfall rushing underneath. Its multilevel terraces are floating above the waterfall in the air filled with freshness of a creek. Buildings that are so much in harmony with the nature around are usually well-planned and well-built ones.

Another example of such building is the famous Sydney Opera house – a caravel with wind-filled sails in the open ocean. However, the story of those sails has no happy ending: the author of the project that won a contest, architect Jorn Utzon, originally intended for the construction to look similar to wind-filled sails. Unfortunately, the calculations and the construction couldn’t be done according his project, which is why the current looks of the Opera House, is very different from the way it meant to be.

Choosing the Right Aftermarket Headlights for Your Car – Halo Projector, Euro, OEM or LED Headlights

There are many different types of custom headlight styles on the market such as projector headlights, LED headlights and euro headlights. No matter what reason you have for replacing your headlights you can’t go wrong with projector head lights as far as functionality and style goes. Projector headlights are designed to illuminate the road better allowing the driver to see more of the road and to drive more safely at night. As a bonus, just about all the aftermarket headlights out there have cool new designs to update the appearance of your vehicle and if paired with the right HID headlight kit your car will definitely turn heads.

A lot of the aftermarket projector headlights come equipped with LED halos but not all of them are made with CCFL halos. The halo can be wired into the parking lights, into a separate switch, or just about anywhere else. The halo or angel eyes originally found on high-end cars such as BMWs became very popular due to their distinctive look and now they are available for just about any make and model out there. The difference between the LED and CCFL halos is fairly simple, the Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lamp is a newer technology and is said to be around three times brighter.

Euro style headlights are one of the other options that is designed to look more like the factory headlights but with an updated, modern look to them. Although the euro head lights do not come equipped with the projector housing they still do a very good job at lighting up the road, combined with the right bulb or HID kit of course. They are also the cheaper option if you’re on a tight budget but still want to improve your car’s lighting.

Another trend starting up in headlight industry driven by the Audi R8 model is what is now being called the R8 style LED strip on the bottom of the headlight. Like the halo or the LED options already available this LED strip comes installed inside the headlight assembly usually with the power and the ground wires coming out from the headlight in order for you to wire the LED strip into the parking lights or any other switch of your choice. This is a great new feature that will definitely turn heads.

Some aftermarket headlights are also compatible with factory HID systems. This is something you should definitely check before purchasing a set of headlights for your car. Typically this is the case with higher end cars such as Audi or Mercedes but there are several others out there.

No matter what style headlight you’re looking for, most sets are available in a black or chrome housing and some even in a titanium or smoke housing. Installation is usually simple enough to the point where just about anyone can do it but some applications may require professional installation.

Treating Anxiety With Nootropics

Nootropics are supplements that are mainly used to help with cognition enhancement, increasing memory and even sometimes repairing damage. The damage can come from either aging and also from neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. A great side effect of these smart drugs is that it can also have a positive effect on your mood. Anxiolytic supplements like these have had great success in helping people with anxiety issues. They help individuals feel more relaxed and can improve their social skills and help eliminate social anxiety. There are many nootropics on the market and in this article I will try to outline the best ones for the treatment of anxiety.

In the brain, there are many neurotransmitters that transmit signals from one part of the brain to another. One of these transmitters is called GABA or (gamma aninobutryic acid) a mouthful I know, so let’s stick with GABA. Anxiety itself has been shown to have many different factors that cause the disorder. One of these is a deficiency of GABA in the brain. GABA is actually produced by a separate chemical called glutamate. This is the main anxiolytic neurotransmitter in the brain which blocks the effects in the central nervous system. So when the levels of GABA in the brain are low, your nerve cells become more active and start firing off signals much quicker than they should. When the case is not too severe, this can exhibit itself as a feeling of nervousness and can induce panic attacks and in extreme cases possibly seizures.

Due to GABA being directly related to anxiety levels, when they are higher than usual or at least normal you generally feel at ease and generally more relaxed. This is exactly why there are many sedatives rely on stimulating these GABA receptor sites. Surprisingly enough, alcohol is actually known as a GABA stimulant. However, as alcohol has so many bad side effects it could not be thought of as a nootropic supplement. There are however, an array of suitable GABA stimulating nootropics that have the benefits of calming that you would be looking for in order to control the feeling of anxiety.

The one issue that you would need to keep in mind however, is that the GABA supplements are not able to cross the blood to brain barrier. This renders them no good for reducing anxiety. What you would need is a nootropic that is precursor to GABA and is capable of crossing the blood to brain barrier. There are many supplements that can penetrate through from the blood stream into the brain tissue where this process occurs. Some of these nootropics are widely available for purchase while others need a prescription from your health professional.

One of the best known supplements to relieve anxiety is called Phenibut. However, daily use of this supplement is not recommended. It can easily extend over the blood to brain barrier and activate the GABA-b receptors which causes a sedative like effect. This causes the person to relax. There are some reports that it is equivalent to drinking little bits of alcohol, which also stimulates the GABA-b receptors. Therefore, phenibut is a good anxiolytic nootropic, but can have negative side effects when used for long periods of time. It is also a prescription medicine in a lot of countries around the world, except for the USA where it is an over the counter drug.

Another great supplement to help control mood is one of the racetam nootropics. Aniracetam is the best out of this family of supplements at treating stress and anxiety. Mainly because it activates the receptors that control the glutamate in the brain. Previously mentioned, glutamate is the precursor for GABA production. This means that ingesting aniracetam actually has an effect on GABA even if it is indirectly. It has been documented from many trials and studies that aniracetam diminishes social anxiety and increases focus and communication.

Finally, noopept is very similar to the racetam nootropics. Although, from the many users the reports on its effectiveness has been met with some mixed reactions. Some rate it as great while others do not believe it has much of an effect for them. Noopept also stimulates the receptors that control the glutamate production. Also, noopept has been proven to make bigger amounts of serotonin and dopamine in the cerebral cortex of the brain. It is also touted as being two hundred times stronger than the previously mentioned aniracetam. The effects of noopept also last longer, meaning that you can take it just once and feel the stress relieving effects for the whole day.

So to sum up, there are many nootropic supplements on the market that will help to reduce anxiety at the source in the brain. Not all nootropics are created equally, and so research should be done before diving in head first. There are many places to buy these supplements but if I were you I would do some research first. Mainly to find the one that would suit your own personal situation best as well as knowing what, if any, side effects there are.

Basics of Supercharging An Internal Combustion Engine

Supercharging by far has the most visual impact of any high performance modification. There are some basic concepts that should be understood in order to achieve the best results for a given application. One of the fundamentals is that you have a defined end result in mind before you start. Do you want a maximum performance that demands special fuels and constant adjustment, or do you want a car that runs on pump gas and can potentially be driven on a daily basis? Either application really is a question of set up. It is possible to have any degree of the two extremes provided the relationships between components are correct. Lets look at more of the details on how a blower works.

Conceptually and internal combustion engine is nothing more than a pump. Most high performance modifications are aimed at increasing flow of this inherently inefficient pump. Under normal atmospheric pressure the displacement of an engine dictates how much fuel/air mixture it can ingest. Camshaft selection special intakes, or pocket porting can make the flow from the carburetor smoother, but the engine still has limitations on its actual physical capacity to suck in a measured amount of the air/fuel mixture. Supercharging certainly will effect airflow, but more importantly it effects air density or how much air actually is trapped in each cylinder on the compression stroke. The blower basically “fools” the engine into thinking that its effective displacement is larger than it actually is by forcing more air in the same small cylinder space. Forcing air by means of a crank driven pair of rotors will push pressurized air in each cylinder creating more fuel mixture resulting in a more forceful explosion. The end result of this is more horsepower, but what you can really feel is the tremendous increase in torque.

Typically a blower will sit on the top of the intake, and be driven by a gilmer toothed belt to eliminate any possible slippage. Surprisingly, even if the blower had no belt the engine vacuum can slowly rotate the rotors allowing the engine to operate. The most common automotive blower design is the “roots” blower, which actually is a pair of rotors that trap air between each other as they rotate, and push this pressurized air through the intake. This is why blower drive ratio, or the relative size of the upper and lower pulley is so important. The more you overdrive, or turning the blower rotors faster than the crankshaft, the more boost you get. Big pulley on top is underdrive and big pulley on bottom is overdrive. If your base compression ratio is low enough, say in the 7:1 or 7.5:1, you can actually overdrive the blower on 93-octane gas. If on the other hand you have a 9:1 or 9.5:1 compression ratio 12% to 15% underdrive can still work. Keep in mind that its not any one modification variable, but rather the combination that’s important.

The enemies of supercharging are heat, lean fuel mixtures, detonation, and backfire. A supercharged engine will produce more heat and tax cooling systems. A supercharger put on an already marginal cooling system can quickly overtake the cooling loop. Additionally, a lean running set of carburetors can cause tremendous rise in cylinder temperatures. The result can cause exhaust to glow red and even melt pistons or other internal components. Too much ignition advance, or too much compression for a given octane rating can cause detonation. The result is premature fuel explosions pounding the tops of the pistons, sometimes even to destruction. Finally, backfire is the condition where the force of the fuel explosion is driven back up through the blower. Backfire can be caused by driver error in throttle operation or incorrect timing. The result can be bent blower rotors or cracked cases. This is why you often see a spring loaded valve on the back of the blower. Often referred to as a “pop off” valve, it gives a pathway for the pressure to be relieved for a backfire condition.

Although the enemies of supercharging may seem imposing, as long as you have your initial plan in mind before you start, these problems can be avoided. Now lets go over just the short list of concerns that need to be kept in mind as you devise your plan.

Blower size A 6-71 blower can be quite tall requiring hood modification, but also the pulley assembly and blower drive belt can add another 8 inches on the front of the engine’s harmonic balancer. Keep in mind clearance problems both on top and in front. Also keep in mind that your HEI ignition will not clear the blower case and a standard distributor will be needed.

Blower drive ratio The pulley combination that you select will be based on the overall compression ratio and engine setup. Whether the blower is overdriven or not, keep in mind that the less turbulence you create the denser the air will be when it gets pumped into the cylinder. There is a law of diminishing returns the faster the blower is turned as all this whipped air is heated and less dense. The idea behind intercoolers is to prevent this expanded air form negating the blower’s more positive effects.

Carburetor setup Blower carburetors will typically have to be jetted according to application, and I highly recommend you find someone that is familiar with blowers to help you with this fine tuning. These blower carburetors will often be mechanical secondaries and jetted quite rich for supercharging with the exception of the smaller B&M style blowers. The B&M 144 blowers are quite nice as they are often just “plug and play” with little adjustment. Another often overlooked problem is the carburetor actuator linkages and fuel lines. These “accessories” are often not included in the blower “kit”, and can lead to considerable additional expense.

Accessory drive belts – Racing applications typically forgo any accessories, so often you are left with quite a aggravating set of circumstances trying to make you alternator or power steering pump turn. Make you plan early on, and stick to it.

Fuel delivery system – Mechanical fuel pumps can cover many blower applications, unless the performance demands start to rise. Everything rises in proportion including the cost so watch your wallet! Electric fuel pumps can not only be expensive, but also a hassle to live with on a daily driver.

Rear axle ratio – The blower’s best work is done at lower RPM, so take advantage of this point. Have a plan and stick to it!

Engine internal components Cam selection should be made with lots of breathing in mind. Blowers will tend to quiet the most radical cam shafts, but there are “blower grind” cams that are better suited to the job. Base compression ratios should be figured according to the type of fuel you intend to run. I always try to be conservative.

Day to day life with a blower Yeah, sure it looks cool, but what about every day? Blowers can make an excessive amount of heat and noise. The blower whine was neat for awhile, but on a long trip it can be mind numbing. Blowers can also be quite messy. Goo will often be found oozing down the side of the blower, requiring constant cleanup. Automatic transmissions will shift prematurely never allowing the motor to wind out. This is because the transmission is seeing a pressure signal instead of a vacuum signal, and gets a little confused as to what to do. Now you have to go to a manual valve body automatic or a four speed and more $$$$, but nothing says “go” more so than a 6-71 climbing out of the hood. I say LETS DO IT!!

Cost – Don’t be fooled! Blowers can be quite expensive. The typical blower “kit” will cost anywhere from $1500.- $2500. and there is still a whole lot of stuff to buy. Figure that you can spend an average of $2500. for a Weiand 144 blower driving down the road, and $4500. for the big 6-71. Swap meet blowers are often incomplete of broken, so buyer beware. There are some deals out there, but know what to look for or bring someone that does.

The conclusion is most certainly this: Is a blower for everyone? Probably not. But for those wanting great performance and looks it’s a great tried and true method. There are many publications written about blowers and their application, so I recommend doing some research for yourself. There is nothing better than the smell of burning tire smoke in the morning!

Training For Your First Bodybuilding Competition at Any Age

Competing in a bodybuilding competition is an exciting, exhilarating and fulfilling experience. It takes determination, dedication and just plain hard work. And, unless you plan on becoming a professional, all you can hope for from all of your effort is a trophy.

Ah, but what a trophy!

When you stand on stage, holding a rigid “relaxed” pose and hear the announcer call your name as Champion in your Class or Winner of the Overall Competition, it’s mighty sweet. You savor the moment and forget all about what it took to get there.

Deciding to Compete

If you are in reasonably good shape and work out regularly, at least four-times-per-week, you can be prepared to enter your first contest within a year. I trained five-days-a-week for 10 months to get ready for my first contest.

You need that much time in order to gain the lean mass your body needs to sustain itself as you enter the fat-burning/cutting phase of your diet, about 13 weeks before your contest. If you want to compete as a Middle Weight, (165 – 185 lbs.), for instance, you might need to be around 195-200 lbs before you begin your cutting phase. The reason is simple. When you go into the cutting phase, your body loses about one pound of muscle for every three pounds of fat. For my first contest, I weighed 154 lbs on January 1st. When I stepped onto the stage on March 19th, I weighed a ripped 136. I was the lightest Bantam Weight. In fact, I was too light. The Bantam Weight limit is 143 lbs. Off season, I will bulk up with lean mass to about 165 lbs and try to come in at around 142.5, near the top of the weight class for next year’s competitions.

So, the first thing you need to do, after deciding to enter a contest, is to pick a contest 10 – 12 months in the future and decide in which weight class you want to compete. Then, see where you are now and where you need to be on contest day. At that point, you can plan your diet.

To make sure this is something you really want to do though, you should attend a bodybuilding competition in your area. It’s the best place to learn about the sport. You can pick out who is really ready to compete and who needs to do more work. Depending on whether you go to a drug-tested show or non-tested show, you will also see how huge some of the men, and even some of the women, who use steroids and other illegal muscle enhancers look. You can decide if that’s the direction you want to go or not.

Competition Diet

Once you decide you want to compete, you must make a complete change in your life style. Bodybuilding is a life-style sport, much like ice skating, marathon running, competitive snowboarding, etc. Bodybuilding takes a lot of time in the gym and a lot of time in the kitchen. Competitive bodybuilders build their lives around their workouts and their meals, which during daylight hours average once every two-and-one-half-hours. It’s also expensive, calling for large amounts of protein each day, at least one gram for each pound of body weight. Here is a typical diet for a bodybuilder who is trying to put on lean mass several months before a competition:

Breakfast: Three egg whites (protein) and one whole egg + one cup of oatmeal

Mid-morning: Protein shake (two scoops) in 8-12 oz of water

Lunch: 8 oz of steak, or chicken, or fish + 8 oz of sweet potato + cup of vegetables

Mid-Afternoon: Protein shake (two scoops) in 8-12 oz of water

Dinner: 8 oz of steak, or chicken, or fish + two cups of vegetables

Throughout the day, you need to drink between 1/2 and one gallon of spring water.

This diet is designed to put on about a pound of lean mass a week. Lots of protein, lots of carbs and little fat.

I’ll talk about how the diet changes as you get closer to your competition later.

Supplements

I said earlier, bodybuilding is an expensive sport. It’s not as expensive as a Bass Boat with all the accessories, but it’s close.

In order to help your body use the fuel you put in (food and drink) and to take advantage of your workouts to build muscle, you need a good supply of supplements. I won’t go into brand names or lead you to any supplier, but, here are some of the supplements you should consider:

Protein Powder: Check the labels. Some are designed as meal replacements, some for lean muscle mass gain, others for general growth, some for fat loss and some for heavy-duty muscle building. One caution, check the labels for additives.

Glutamine: Increases muscular growth, offers a muscle pump while training, helps retain lean muscle tissue, reduces muscle soreness, helps increase fat loss.

Creatine: Allows you to train harder with greater intensity and recover faster. It aids in increasing your weights and number of reps and reduces your rest between sets. Great energy boost.

Flaxseed/Fish Oil: Fat is necessary in your daily diet for the manufacture of hormones, proper brain function and joint lubrication. Eliminate fats completely and your muscles shrink dramatically, and your energy and strength levels go with them. Enter Flaxseed and Fish Oil. Usually in capsule form. They act as solvents to remove hardened fat, support muscle growth and fat metabolism.

Multi-vitamins: Everyone’s vitamin needs are different. Hard-training athletes need more vitamins and minerals. Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is equal in importance to protein and carbohydrates.

There are lots of other supplements on the market today. But, if you use these five, along with good workouts and proper diet, you are going to achieve the growth you desire.

Training

Your competition training regimen will have three phases. The first, while you are adding lean mass for muscle building, you will workout with heavier weights and lower reps. During the second or gradual (13 weeks) fat burning/cutting phase, you will work out with lighter weights and higher reps. And, during your final two weeks of training before a show, you will use light weights and only “pump up” your muscles during your workouts. During your bulking up stage, you do moderate cardio. During your cutting for competition phase, you do max cardio and during the last two weeks, moderate to no cardio. I’ll talk more about the last two weeks later.

During my ten months of training for my first two competitions, I used the following workout plan:

Monday (45 Minutes) – Back & Biceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio

Tuesday (45 Minutes) – Legs & Calves + 20 Minutes of Posing

Wednesday (45 Minutes) – Chest & Triceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio

Thursday (45 Minutes) – Legs & Calves + 20 Minutes of Posing

Friday (45 Minutes) – Shoulders & Biceps + 20 Minutes of Cardio

Saturday (45 Minutes) – Posing (Video Session)

Each week I tried to mix up my workout routine so my muscle groups stayed “surprised” and didn’t let my muscles get used to a fixed routine. I mixed machines with dumbbells and never did the same thing twice in a row.

I had great results with this training regimen. When I started, I weighed about 158 lbs. with about 14% body fat. Ten months later, when I stepped onto the stage at my first competition, I was 136 lbs. with 4.5% body fat. At my second competition, two weeks later, I was about 136 with 4% body fat. One ripped, competitive, dude!

Posing

Posing is one of the more important elements of bodybuilding and one that in many cases is neglected. A competitor with a well-muscled and cut body can lose to a competitor with less muscle who is better able to show the judges what he or she has.

I’m not going to get into individual poses in this article. There are many sources available on the web, in books, magazines and videos that demonstrate the various poses. Rather, I will talk about the “psychology” of posing and the importance of posing practice.

While you will hear the head judge repeatedly call out, “Relax!” between poses, there is no such thing as being “Relaxed” during a competition. From the moment you step onto the stage you are being judged, and every muscle in your body must remain flexed. Every pose is built from the legs up. If you are doing a side chest and your legs are not flexed, your upper body will look great while your legs and calves will look flat. You will lose points. In bodybuilding, the judges are looking for your flaws. As a bodybuilder, you are looking to hide those flaws. It’s a cat-and-mouse game. As a 67 year-old competitor, I have a little extra skin around my midsection. I can’t get rid of it no matter how much I diet or how many hundreds of crunches I do. So, to hide my “extra skin”, I lean back a little during my poses to tighten up the area. And, when doing the last pose of the round, the Most Muscular, I place my hands together, in front of my abs, which shows my upper body cuts while “hiding” part of my midsection.

If you think about it, all the training you do to get ready for a competition is laid out on the table during the 10 minutes you are on stage for your Class. It would be a shame to see all that hard work go to waste because you didn’t pose well. Posing practice must become part of your workout schedule during the entire time you are training. I work out 45 minutes-a-day, five-days a week. I do cardio for at least 20 minutes, three or four-days a week. I pose at least ½ hour a night, two evenings a week, and pose for 45 minutes with a video recorder on Saturday morning. The last week before a contest, I practice posing every evening.

Posing is hard work. If you aren’t exhausted after being on stage for six – 10 minutes going through your “relaxed” round and mandatory round, you haven’t posed hard enough. One helpful hint: some competitors begin taking potassium tablets about a week before your competition. By doing that, you will prevent cramping, which if it occurs on stage, can be a killer.

Every competitor, as part of the competition, must choreograph a 60 or 90 second routine set to you own music. While most of the time, the individual posing routine is not counted in your overall score, it sometimes is used as a tie-breaker or to place a person second or third, if it’s close. Nevertheless, your posing routine should be entertaining, lively and should show off your best body parts to their fullest. Try to pick music that is familiar. Make a CD and have two copies with you at your competition. Never do anything gross or that shows bad taste. Bodybuilding is a family-oriented spectator sport. A vulgar performance can get you disqualified from a competition. During the 60 or 90 seconds, you don’t have to show every pose in the book. Do between eight and 10, with graceful movements between poses. It’s OK to move about the stage while you perform your routine. In some cases, it’s permitted to use props. Check with you organizer.

Posing in a competition is a lot of work and a lot of fun. If you have practiced enough, you will pose well and you will look confident. You might still shake a little and you might get a case of dry-mouth, but if you know your poses and are confident, you can deal with it. The individual posing routine is your chance to have the judges and audiences see you at your best, without any other competitors to distract them from you.

One final tip. SMILE while you pose. Don’t make faces or show strain. You are in control. Have fun.

Tanning

There is an old bodybuilding saying, “If you think your tan is dark enough, put on two more coats.”

Great advice. Tanning for a bodybuilding competition is different than tanning for the prom or before you go to the beach or to a modeling job. While posing on stage during a bodybuilding competition, your cuts and muscularity must show up well against the very bright stage lights. You look your best if you are very, very dark. You look washed out and flat if your tan is not dark enough.

There are lots of ways to tan. Some are inexpensive and some are very expensive. Lets talk first about the least expensive way. The sun. It’s free and easy to use. But there are drawbacks. First, you can’t always depend on the sun being “out” when you need it. Second, it takes longer to tan in the sun than it does to tan using other means. Third, you can burn in the sun and cause peeling, which, on stage would be a disaster. And, finally, unless you know of a nude beach or have access to a private deck, you will develop tan lines that may show up on stage when you wear your posing suit.

The most reliable tan is achieved over time by visiting a good tanning salon. By good, I mean one that changes their bulbs frequently and is clean and well organized. I wouldn’t go to a tanning salon located in the rear of a coin-operated laundry (they do exist). If you want to keep a good healthy tan throughout the year, you should purchase a tanning package of minutes or unlimited sessions and try to go twice a week. By doing that, you won’t have as much “white” to cover up as you make your final preparations for your competition. And, in order to keep you skin healthy and smooth, you should apply a good tanning bed oil before each session and a good moisturizer after tanning. Both of those products are available for sale at the salons.

Once you have a decent base tan, one where people ask you in the middle of the winter, “Where have you been?”, maintain that color until it’s time for your contest.

During the final week, while your body is carb robbed and your brain is a lump of mush, you must think about applying enough tanning color to be “right-on” for the stage.

Again, there are a couple of ways to achieve this impossible task while the rest of your world is in a pre-contest daze. One way to apply self-tanning products and the other is to be professionally sprayed.

The bodybuilding industry has several products that guarantee a competition-quality tan, applied in coats, two to three days before your show. And, they offer several products to enhance the “look,” including competition bronzers, contest finishers, hair removal products (we’ll talk about that later), instant tanners, etc. All of them work, some better than others. One company is ProTan ( http://www.protanusa.com ), another is Dream Tan, featured on many bodybuilding websites. Since they are oil-based, most of the self-application products never really dry on your skin and you wind up leaving a trail whenever you touch or rub up against something.

The most expensive, but most effective way to tan for a contest is to be sprayed professionally two or three times the week of your contest. Most larger tanning salons have a spraying room where you strip down to your posing suit, pulling it up to how you will wear it on stage and let the attendant apply a generous spray-coat of dark color. You will notice instantly that you are darker than you were when you walked in with your base tan. If you are really dark to begin with, you can get away with two coats over two days. Three coats over three days will guarantee you will be dark enough. The sprays dry on your skin and last up to four days before beginning to fade, and they can be washed off in the shower on Saturday night after your competition. But, during the competition, you will not have to worry about being dark enough.

No matter if you decide to do it yourself or have it done professionally, just be aware that your tan will help determine your standing in your competition. Give it the attention it deserves.

Grooming

During a bodybuilding competition, the audience and judges are looking at you while you are standing on stage wearing nothing more than a skimpy posing suit. You are trying to show off your physique and grooming is a very important part of your appearance. If you are not well-groomed, it will take away from your overall look. In the last section, I covered tanning. Here I will cover hair. In short, other than the hair on your head, you have to get rid of it. A male bodybuilder cannot have chest hair, underarm hair or leg hair. Women need to rid themselves of all underarm and leg hair. Unless your hair is very fine, you will also need to get rid of arm hair, toe hair, and hand and finger hair. And, where there is hair under your posing suit, it has to not show, period.

Start you final week of contest preparation by getting a good haircut or styling. You should do this before you begin your final tanning prep, since you will want to tan any area that was covered by hair before it was cut. For a Saturday contest, I recommend you cut your hair by Tuesday.

Removing the rest of your body hair can be tedious. There are several ways to remove hair. The most expensive and most permanent is laser hair removal. It can take several sessions and cost hundreds of dollars but it very effective if you want your hair removed permanently. More temporary and far less expensive is using hair removal products. Usually found in the women’s products section of drug stores, the most popular are Nair and Sally Hansen. A bottle of lotion costs around $4.50 and is usually enough to take care of your contest needs. It takes about five minutes to apply, four minutes of waiting and then a shower to remove the lotion and hair. After drying, you should apply a light coating of moisturizing cream over the area where you removed the hair. Hair removal products usually keep the hair away for a week, plenty of time for your contest.

If you don’t want to use a hair removal product, another way to remove hair is to shave it off. Use a fresh razor and plenty of soap or cream and go slowly to prevent nicks and cuts. Sometimes, shaving will leave a rash or stubs of hair that could show up under the bright lights on stage. If I am going to shave, I do it on Wednesday morning before my Saturday contest and on the other days, while I’m tanning, I go over the areas with an electric shaver to prevent cuts. I also use an electric shaver the morning of the contest, never a razor.

One of the best ways to remove hair is to apply tape-like strips to the desired area and then quickly rip off the strips, removing the hair with the tape. I have never tried this method and I don’t think I will. It does work though and seems to last longer than lotions or shaving. But, man, it really hurts!

You always want to look your best on Saturday morning at the prejudging. If you take care of the little things early on in your preparation, you will be confident, look confident and show well.

The Final Two Weeks Of Contest Prep

The plan during the final two weeks is to lose any remaining fat and water and to bring out the cuts and definition in your muscles.

First, you will act a little goofy. Expect it. This is due to a blend of a high protein and low carb diet. The body needs carbs. When you take them away or cut them back, you tend to lose a little of your thought processes. Not enough to be dangerous to yourself or others. It’s OK to drive, etc., but you might become a little forgetful.

Week one of the two weeks is loaded with ground turkey and fish! After a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean ground turkey, the rest of your solid meals consist of fish. Fish and salad for lunch, fish and green vegetables for dinner. The other two meals are protein shakes. On Monday and Thursday, add a sixth meal, a carb load, consisting of a cup of oatmeal, a banana, a cup of broccoli and ½ of a sweet potato. This meal is designed to fill you out a little so you don’t wind up looking flat on stage. You want to look like Bluto, not Popeye. Or if you are a girl, Betty Boop, not Olive Oyl. The other part of this week’s diet is water. Lots of water. One to two gallons a day. It seems like a lot, but if you keep a jug nearby, drinking from it and filling it when it’s empty, you can easily take in the water you need. Try drinking filtered water or spring water. Don’t be surprised if you visit the bathroom a lot. You are flushing out your system and removing subcutaneous fluids while drinking this much liquid. Stay away from too much coffee (one cup a day is OK) and stay away from alcohol during this training period. Don’t snack. You will have cravings. Just focus on your contest. Wouldn’t you hate to blame a loss in your contest on a slice of chocolate cake?

Your workouts this week should be moderate. Use lighter weights with 8-10 reps per set. Don’t go heavy. You are weak due to the diet and doing heavy lifting could cause injuries. Be careful in the gym. Go slowly. Watch what you are doing. Stay focused. Don’t get angry or impatient with others. Do no more than 20 minutes of easy cardio per day.

Week two is loaded with ground turkey, fish, lean ground beef and grapefruit. On Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, after a breakfast of three egg whites and 4 ounces of 98% lean ground turkey, like week one, the rest of your solid meals consist of fish. Fish and salad for lunch and fish and green vegetables for dinner. Again, the other two meals are protein shakes. On Wednesday, eliminate the salad and vegetables and substitute grapefruit. Fish and ½ a grapefruit works well. Also on Wednesday add a sixth carb meal. Same schedule on Thursday. On Friday, the final cutting day, all five meals consist of 6 – 8 ounces of lean ground beef and ½ a grapefruit.

Your workouts this week should consist of pumping up in the weight room and then practice posing. No heavy lifting. You should have done your last leg workout no later than last Saturday. Last Friday is even better. Don’t do any cardio after Tuesday.

On Saturday morning, before pre-judging, have a steak and two whole eggs. Eat the toast and hash browns. Have a cup of coffee. Just sip water as needed. About 45 minutes before your contest, have a Snickers bar. It will fill you out a bit and give you the boost of energy you need for pre-judging. Be sure to spend about 20 minutes back stage pumping up everything except legs. Then, have fun on stage.

Choosing A Contest And Submitting Your Application

Once you decide to train for a competition, before you begin, you should give a lot of thought to the type, size, location, and sanctioning authority of your event. The largest amateur bodybuilding and fitness organization in the world is the National Physique Committee (NPC). They run contests throughout the U.S. and abroad and offer opportunities to compete in the Pro ranks (IFBB). The only drawback to the NPC is their reputation for tolerating steroid use among their contestants. All of their contests are non-tested events and you can expect many of the competitors to be “juiced” and massive as a result, giving them an unfair advantage.

Given the climate of negative publicity surrounding steroid use today, many bodybuilders are turning to tested events, where competitors are screened for illegal muscle enhancing drugs, such as andros, steroids, prescription diuretics, testosterone boost and growth hormones. These types of events give the athlete a level playing field in which to train and compete. There are several national and regional organizations that offer drug-free programs. One of the largest is the National Gym Association (NGA). Another is International Natural Bodybuilding and Fitness (INBF) and Supernatural Bodybuilding and Fitness (SNBF). The former requires seven years of drug free training and competition, the latter requires five years. A large international organization of drug-free competition is the World Natural Sports Organization (WNSO) which includes regional competitions that lead to the annual FAME World Championships in Toronto, Canada in June. All of the natural federations offer opportunities for natural bodybuilders and fitness competitors to turn Pro. All of these organizations have web sites that list contest locations and requirements. Most allow you to download contest information and applications.

If you have competed using steroids or other illegal drugs but haven’t for at least five years, there is a place for you in the natural arena. You will have to pass a polygraph examination before your competition and be tested upon demand at any contest you enter.

If you are just beginning and are looking to enter a contest, the first thing you should do is to attend one of these events in your area to see what they are all about. It’s important for you to attend both the early morning pre-judging and the evening entertainment and awards event to get the entire flavor.

You should then check the websites for contests in your area that are listed well in advance, choose one, look for your age, weight, height and experience categories, see if there is a fit for you and download an application. Read it carefully, make sure you have enough time to prepare (from six to 12 months, depending upon your conditioning and physical development). If you are under 18 years-of-age, a parent must co-sign your application.

One final consideration is cost. Since these are amateur competitions there are no cash prizes, only trophies and medals. A contest can be expensive. You must pay an entrance fee and the required drug test, transportation, hotel, food and miscellaneous expenses, such as ordering contest photos or DVDs. You can expect to spend around $200 for a local contest and double that if you have to travel and stay in a hotel and rent a car. If you can find a training partner to enter a contest with you, you can half your expenses.

After all is said and done, you can enter a contest and, win or lose, have the time of your life. There is nothing like standing on stage, knowing you are as prepared as you can be, and pitting yourself against other like minded athletes. It’s really cool.

Family Considerations

I saved this section for last because if your family is not behind you and supportive of your efforts, you may as well forget about competitive bodybuilding.

“Scott was so dedicated to his exercise, and I said, ‘Gee, you’ve put so much time into this, maybe you ought to compete. His eyes lit up, like Mama had just said, ‘OK’ and now he could do what he really wanted.'” Vivian Hults

This exact quote, which appeared in a story about me recently in The Birmingham News, our local paper, was what my wife told the reporter who interviewed her about my competitive bodybuilding. Without her “interest” in my sport, “we” could have never managed it.

As I said near the beginning of this article, bodybuilding is a lifestyle, plain and simple. Preparing for a contest is time-consuming and all-inclusive in your daily life. You have to consider diet, which means shopping for and preparing special food required to reach your contest diet goals. Sometimes it’s lean mass gain. Other times it’s fat burning/cutting. You spend a lot of time in the kitchen in front of the stove and oven. Your family usually doesn’t eat what you eat, so while your family enjoys pasta and meat sauce, you may be “enjoying” fish and vegetables. That’s the way it is. You have to eat five or six times a day while your family usually has three-squares. Your food and supplements take up room in the kitchen and refrigerator. And, above all, bodybuilding food and supplements are expensive.

A competitive bodybuilder spends at least an hour-and-a-half, five or six days-a-week, in the gym. He or she will also spend 20 or 30 minutes each evening in front of a mirror, posing. This, maybe while drinking a shake. And, during the final two-weeks of carb depletion, sometimes a bodybuilder will become moody and irritable. It’s part of the “game” and the bodybuilder’s family needs to be “understanding.” Sometimes, being a family member of a bodybuilder is not fun. And, your children might be embarrassed that their father or mother participates in this sport.

Bodybuilding is a vanity sport. It’s one of the few sports where the human body is the star of the show. It’s all about the body. Hair removal, tanning, grooming, posing suits, and muscles, muscles, muscles. That’s all there is. Pretty simple, while very complex.

Now, go out and win your Trophy!

By Scott “Old Navy” Hults