Swimming Pool Heaters – Why the Pool Gas Heater Is Most Popular

Start-Up Cost

The initial costs involved with a gas pool heater are surprisingly low. The cost of the unit itself varies a great deal but is determined mainly by the size of your swimming pool. A larger pool will require a larger heater. Naturally, an outdoor pool in Alaska is going to take a little more heating effort than the same pool in Phoenix! A larger heater will raise the pool temperature faster but once you are at your most comfortable temperature it does not take as much effort to maintain it.

The actual purchase cost of a gas pool heater should be somewhere between about $1,000 and $3,000 plus about $150 to $850 for professional installation. Can you install it yourself? Yes, apart from any electrical or gas connections, the rest of the installation should be fairly straightforward for any handyperson with some basic tools. Some PVC pipe modifications are all that is needed to insert the heater between your existing pool filter and the pool. Basic instructions which will give you an idea of the task can be found at the bottom of this article so you can decide if your aptitude is up to it.

Running Cost

There are two options when it comes to the supply of gas for your pool heater. The heater you buy is dependent on the type of gas you will be using so it is quite important. If you have gas piped to your house, this is Natural gas (or town gas) and is the cheaper option. Otherwise you will be using bottled gas which is Propane and more expensive. Propane will be up to double the cost of natural gas. Using a pool cover will cut the heating cost down by about 80% and this applies with ANY heating system. The one point which cannot be stressed enough is INVEST IN A POOL COVER.

A second running cost which is often overlooked is the cost of maintenance. Gas pool heaters are not too bad but there is still going to be some scale build-up and possibly damage from chemical imbalances. Heat exchangers are a lot better than they were as technology improves but an out-of-balance pool can still cause damage. An annual service could be good preventive measure – you will usually find a maintenance schedule in the user manual supplied with the heater. A well-maintained gas pool heater should last 5 to 10 years.


Modern gas pool heaters can run at up to around 95% efficiency. That is to say, for every $100 you spend in gas you get $95 worth of heat into your pool water. Not too long ago most gas pool heaters were around the 50% mark so there have been considerable improvements over the years. This efficiency may seem low compared to the efficiency of a heat pump pool heater at around 400% to 500% but there are other reasons for using gas heaters rather than heat pumps. For example, heat pumps stop working around 45 degrees F and below and have a shorter lifespan. Technological advances in heat exchangers used in gas heaters have made them more efficient and longer lasting.


One of the great things about a gas heater is their simplicity. There is not an awful lot in the way of electronics and other wizardry built into them. Because there is less to go wrong they tend to run for long periods problem-free as opposed to heat pumps which can be prone to faults simply due to there being more to go wrong. In very basic terms, all you have is a gas burner and a heat exchanger with a temperature control to regulate the gas flow – less electronics equals less problems.


Gas heaters are at their most efficient when heating a pool from a low temperature which makes them ideal for people who want to use a pool on an occasional basis. For example, you could raise the temperature of a 30,000 gallon pool by about 20 degrees F within 24 hours using a gas pool heater with an output of around 400,000 BTU. Maintaining a temperature once achieved requires a lot less output – particularly if you use a pool cover.

In summary, gas pool heaters are a very good all-round way to increase the temperature of your swimming pool. They will increase the temperature quickly on demand and will operate at temperatures below freezing. They are simple and have quite a decent life expectancy when properly maintained. They are reasonably cost-effective both to initially purchase and to run when combined with the use of a pool cover. With the right advice on selection, a gas swimming pool heater will give you a long and satisfying swimming season without a major dent in your bank balance.

How To Increase Your Penis Size Fast The Natural Way

A small penis size causes a lot psychological stress in men. For many, it takes a severe toll on their sexual life because a short length causes embarrassment in front of female counterparts. The market is flooded with lotions and creams that claim to increase your length with regular application. But the results are far from satisfactory. Surgery is the next option if you are looking at how to increase penis size fast; however, not many opt for it for the risks and expenses involved.

Are there tips to increase the size of your penis the natural way? Yes, there are. It is a combination of eating healthy, exercising and changing a few lifestyle habits.

How to Increase Penis Size Fast – 4 Tips

1. Clean Your Diet

The first answer on how to increase your penis size is to eat a nutrient dense-diet to regulate body functions, most importantly blood circulation. Here’s how to structure your diet.

· Include a judicious amount of lean protein. Low fat dairy products, soy and lean meats and fish such as tuna and salmon are good sources of protein. In addition to increasing length, it improves sperm production and erection quality.

· Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables to get a regular supply of health essential nutrients and minerals. Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli are vegetables you should eat.

· Avoid foods with high sodium and sugar content.

· Fats are needed but, you need to be picky about the fats. Eat good fats; stay away from the processed, fried and fat foods as they are loaded with the unhealthy variety of fats.

2. Exercise

It is important to exercise your penis too! Exercises work by improving blood circulation helping the muscles grow longer and bigger. Jelqing is the most common exercise performed to increase the size of the penis. You need to hold your penis like you do when masturbating. Gently move your hand from the base to the tip, squeezing as you go, in a light milking action. Do not do it when your penis is erect.

You can simply stretch the penis too. Hold the tip with your thumb and let the other fingers wrap around the shaft. Holding in the position, pull it downwards for about 30 seconds. The stretching exercise can also be done by attaching weights. Kegel exercises also help in strengthening erections.

3. Change Lifestyle Habits

Alcohol and smoking does more damage that you think. They dehydrate the body and interfere with its normal functioning. While you can have an occasional drink, you should quit smoking. Losing weight is equally essential. The excess fat gives the illusion of a smaller penis. So, try to lose weight if you want to look bigger.

4. Supplements

There are few natural herbal supplements on the market that you can use too. They contain 100% natural ingredients some of which include Saw Palmetto Berry, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf, Asian Red Ginseng, and Cuscuta Seed Extract.There are many products that claim to be 100% natural. However, they add in a few synthetically produced ingredeints to cut costs. Make sure you read the product labels carefully before buying and using any such body enhanching products.

Follow these natural tips and you will notice a visible increase in the length of your dick. No more will you have to shy away from your partner; in fact, you can wow her with your impressive length. When looking for tips and products, what you need to remember is that your penis won’t increase in size overnight. So, don’t fall prey to products or procedures that promise unbelievably fast results.

What Is the Ideal Car for Namibia? 2×4 and 4×4 Car Hire in Namibia, Africa

There is a plethora of car rental companies in Namibia. Some reputable, some that would never be recommended, and others that should do visitors a favor and simply close shop. So how do you decide the right car rental for your Namibia holiday?

1. Match your itinerary with the roads you’ll travel -gravel and/or paved (tarred).
2. Determine number of passengers, height/weight, etc.
3. Determine how many pieces of luggage each passenger is carrying? What is the size of luggage?
4. Determine how much space in the vehicle you would like?
5. Is saving money by renting a standard sedan worth being uncomfortable?

When a large portion of your itinerary is coasting along the paved roads of the Trans-Caprivian and/or Trans-Kalahari Highway’s, a two-by-four (2×4) will be a better option. Why a two-by-four (2×4) and not a standard sedan? In a standard sedan you’re simply too near the gravel when you do venture from the paved roads; Etosha National Park, Waterberg Plateau, and the Cheetah Conservation, are all examples of times you’ll leave the paved road. This causes your travels to be bumpy, uncomfortable, slow, with greater chances of blown out tires. Travel smoothly and with greater reliability by paying the extra costs to rent a four-by-four (4×4).

Travelers to Namibia, time and again, are glad they decided on a four-by-four (4×4) over a sedan or two-by-four (2×4). Although most itineraries never require “real” off-road four-wheeling, the benefits and comforts of a four-by-four (4×4) are numerous. The most obvious, four-by-four (4×4) have plenty of clearance between you and the ground, thus allowing speeds to be maintained and the ride to be smooth. Also, more times than not, they are more spacious.

Every traveler, especially those on a limited time frame pray for a hassle, problem free holiday. The gravel roads in Namibia can be both rough and dangerous. Sharp stones, especially along the C19 road towards Sossusvlei, and thorns in Etosha National Park frequently puncture tires leaving travelers stranded in remote corridors with little option. When renting a four-by-four (4×4) the tires are stronger and more reliable than sedans. Rental companies supplying, or even specializing in four-by-four (4×4) rentals supply their clients with, sometimes, up to two spare tires and an air compressor.

With only 10-12 days to see Namibia, travelers often follow the same route -Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland, Etosha N.P. – traveling between both paved and graveled roads. Is it worth your time to be stranded in the middle of the Namib-Naukluft only because you wanted to save a few dollars?

To a smooth expedition. What are some reputable car hire companies based in Windhoek, Namibia? http://wildsafariafrica.com/about/your-specialist-in-african-safari-planning/

I Want My 400 Pounds! – Trucking, APUs And Weight Allowances

There’s a lot of hubbub about APUs (Auxiliary Power Units- or generators) these days. Yes, the federal government is allowing up to 400 lbs for trucks with APUs- or any device used to reduce fuel use and emissions. It’s part of the idling reduction strategy- to encourage truckers and trucking companies to install APUs. But that doesn’t mean you can always get it.

The wording of the law says that any vehicle with an APU “may be allowed up to an additional 400 lbs total in gross, axle, tandem, or bridge formula weight limits”- a generator installed on the tractor would not allow for bridge law variance.

The problem is that, though the federal government is allowing the weight increase, the states don’t have to allow it. That means in one state you may be allowed to run up to 80,400 lbs. but in the next state, you may be limited to 80,000 lbs. despite the federal government’s ruling. Many states already have weight tolerances above the 400 lb weight exemption, so the ruling really doesn’t affect the enforcement procedures.

It’s great in theory, but in practice, it’s pretty much worthless.

What we’ve run into is that many officers are unaware of the Federal ruling, so, while a state legislature may have adopted the 400 lb allowance, the enforcement officers may not be aware of it. All of the following information is subject to change and, as always, the right hand may not know what the left hand is doing. Be prepared to show as much documentation as possible whenever you run into a road block!

The following is a list of states and the status of their 400 lb weight exemption status. We are contact state officials directly- none of this is second-hand information. All information is subject to change.

States that have adopted the 400 lb weight allowance (officers at the weigh stations may be unaware):


Arkansas will allow an extra 400 lbs on an axle to account for the APU but will not allow more than 80,000 lbs for gross weight.






Michigan DOES allow 400 lbs for an APU. The problem you may run into is that no weigh station officers we spoke with knew about the Federal ruling and the Michigan Center for Truck Safety was under the impression that Michigan had not adopted the ruling, but could not say for sure. According to Lieutenant Dave Ford, Michigan does indeed honor the 400 lb ruling. Drivers are required to have the APU’s weight documented by the manufacturer and have proof that the documented APU has been installed on that unit (as opposed to a different APU).

North Dakota


Oregon Senate bill 223 officially allows trucks with APU (auxiliary power units) an extra 400 lbs in their gross weight limits. Oregon complies with the federal ruling and requires written certification of the APU’s weight. Oregon motor carrier enforcement officers have been allowing the 400 pound weight exemption since February of 2006. The APU must be in working condition.


The 400 lb weight exemption is allowed on interstate highways only. Drivers on state routes are subject to Virginia’s standard gross and axle weight enforcement.


States that have not adopted the 400 lb weight exemption and:

*have weight tolerances (for scale variance)

*have low fee amounts and won’t make you offload for 400 lbs overweight

*and states whose officers are very unlikely to give you a ticket unless you provoke them- officer discretion is a factor (the officers in many of these states did not know about the 400 lb weight exemption but said the 400 lbs is too low for them to bother with):


Officers at the Greenwich weigh station didn’t know about the Federal ruling, but they said the chances of them writing a citation for such a small amount is unlikely. That stretch of I 95 is limited to 80,000 lbs no matter what permits a driver is carrying, so the limit is 80,000 lbs. 80,001 lbs may result in a ticket, but it’s not likely until the truck reaches 81,000 lbs, depending on officer discretion. The official word from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Headquarters is that Connecticut has not adopted the 400 pound weight exemption.






Depends entirely on officer discretion- you are not likely to get a ticket for 400 lbs.



New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

Officers at the North Carolina weigh stations that we called didn’t know about the Federal 400 lb allowance but said that they have a 500 lb tolerance that they’ll allow before they start writing tickets.

South Dakota

Officers would not disclose their tolerance allowance but say their tolerance is greater than 400 lbs, so, even though the legilature may not have adopted the Federal standard yet, their current standards allow for the increased weight.


Officers at the Henefer POE say they will allow up to 500 lbs for an APU. Officers at other POEs were unsure about the law.

West Virginia


Officers at the Cheyenne I 25 nb weigh station say they will allow up to 500 lbs over with no ticket.

States that do not allow 400 lbs for an APU (based on our inquiries- subject to change):

Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey

There are several states missing from this list. We are still contacting states we have not received an answer from and will provide updated information when it becomes available! Feel free to contact us with your input and experiences.

To get the 400 lb. allowance, you’ll need to be able to provide:

* certified weight of the APU in writing (if your APU only weighs 380 lbs, you’ll only be allowed 380 lbs)

* certified proof (or be able to demonstrate) that the APU is functional (working)

You’ll also want to carry a copy of the Federal regulation with you. You can find it in the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations [http://www.gpoaccess.gov/ECFR/] in Title 23 (Highways), part 658.17 (you’ll find it in section n).

Shower-Liner or Bath-Fitter Vs Ceramic Tile Replacement

If you live in an older home, you typically have ceramic or porcelain tiles on the shower walls of your bathroom. While you may not like their present condition or color, the truth is that these ceramic tiles have stood the test of time, often lasting 40-50 years or more. When you consider the typical life expectancy of many materials, that’s a fairly good track record.

In the last decade, bathroom remodeling companies have started offering alternative materials when providing bathroom designs. Sadly, the reason for the shift away from traditional materials is often for the sake of saving money and increasing contractor profit, not in order to enhance the quality and durability of a bathroom remodel. The shower-liner is one such product. It has reduced bathroom improvement costs, but has also had the effect of reducing the quality of many completed bathroom projects.

Quite simply, a shower-liner, or bath-fitter as they are often called, is a molded fiberglass or vinyl sheet which is installed over a homeowner’s existing tiles and bathtub. No plumbing beneath the bathtub or shower is replaced. Many times in an older home the ceramic tiles have mold growth on and underneath the grout lines between tiles. The shower walls themselves may be unstable and dry-rotted. Unfortunately, once the liner is installed over the tiles homeowners don’t see the conditions that exist behind it. While on the surface things look all right, no one can be certain what’s lurking beneath the surface. Of the many bathroom ideas contractors have come up with, the bath-liner is among the worst.

Instead of saving a few dollars and purchasing an inferior product, homeowners would do well to use the services of a qualified bathroom contractor who will completely replace their shower walls and install new ceramic tiles. Whether yours is a small bathroom or a large one, a custom-designed ceramic tile scheme will add beauty to your new bathroom and value to your home. Instead of simply installing a white or almond-colored sheet over the shower walls, we can design an attractive pattern of angled tiles with interesting borders and glass mosaics.

Very often, the cost for the services of a professional bathroom contractor is not much more than taking the cheaper route and installing a bath-liner. That’s especially true when you consider that it’s likely you will ultimately need to rip-out the shower-liner or bath-fitter in order to replace damaged plumbing and eventually install new walls and ceramic tiles anyway.

Build Your Own Gold Rocker Box Or Gold Cradle

First developed in the goldfields of the state of Georgia, the rocker was an important gold mining tool. At the very dawn of the Gold rush to California, the rocker box also known as a cradle was perhaps the most used piece of gold prospecting equipment. For a time it was perhaps even more important that the gold pan. Mostly this was because the miner could make a rocker for himself in the field from rough sawn lumber cut in the forest. They are also easily portable. Rocker boxes were also popular during the Klondike gold rush for working the hillside placers that were far above the creeks.

The ‘rocker’ is a box with a hopper about 3 to 4 ft. long and 1 to 2 ft. wide, sloped like a cradle, and is mounted on semicircular pieces of wood and worked by a, handle to give it a side motion; and it is also inclined so as to carry the material down to the lower end, which is open. At the upper end is a small hopper that may be removed and which has a sheet-iron bottom perforated with 1/2 -in. holes. Under the hopper is a canvas apron or tray inclined toward the head of the box but touching neither end of the hopper-box. Several wooden riffles are placed across the box. The material is fed into the hopper and screened through by water poured on top; the lighter material is carried over the end, while the riffles in the box catch the gold and magnetic sand. This concentrate is cleaned out and panned at the end of the operation. The rocker is used for the same type of work as the gold pan in that it is mainly a prospecting tool. A man is able to wash 3 to 5 times more yardage than with the gold pan, and the use of the rocker eliminates much of the backbreaking strain of continuous panning. On the other hand, the easy mobility of the pan as a prospecting device is lost.

So why might a modern prospector be interested in building his own rocker box? The principal use of a gold rocker is for mining small deposits where water is scarce. It is not really a desert device and it does use some significant water, but not nearly as much as a sluice. In a rocker, gravel requires about three times its own weight of water to wash it. So perhaps the best use is in streams and waterways with very little water – where some water is present, but not enough to run a sluice box. If enough flowing water to run a sluice is present, a sluice is faster and easier to run than a rocker. The rocker is only a primitive machine, having a capacity but one-fifth as great as that of the sluice box, but because it is cheap, requires but little water, and saves a high percentage of coarse gold, the rocker will continue to be used in many districts.

The operation of a rocker consists of shoveling gravel onto a screen or grizzly, pouring water over it from a dipper, and at the same time giving the device a back-and-forth rocking motion. The grizzly retains all the oversized stones, which are removed by hand when they have been washed clean. The operator briefly examines the oversize rock to be sure no large nuggets or gold specimens are being tossed out. The cradle must be placed on an inclination while being worked, and under the influence of the continued side-to-side rocking the dirt is quickly disintegrated, passes down through the hopper grizzly and the water and the undersize fall down onto the canvas apron which saves most of the gold and places the remainder at the head end of the trough. From the apron it is conveyed to the inner end of the cradle floor (the sluice box like section of the rocker), from which it flows over the riffles, or bars, and out at the mouth. Riffles, canvas, blankets, corduroy, burlap, or cocoa matting with expanded metal have been used to cover the bottom of the trough and all have met with varying degrees of success in saving the gold. The combination of cocoa matting covered with expanded metal lath has proven to be quite effective for most gravels. The frequency of cleaning up depends on the richness and character of the gravel, but clean-ups are usually necessary two or three times a day. The hopper is taken off first, then the apron is slid out, and washed in a bucket or tub containing clean water, and finally the gold is collected with a spoon from behind the riffle bars, and panned out.

The rocking motion used should be sufficient to keep the gravel disturbed, allowing the gold to settle out, but a too vigorous movement will cause a gold loss. The gravel bed should be shifted slightly with each motion and should be evenly distributed across the trough. Generally speaking, the rocker is not known for its ability to save fine gold, but with careful and expert manipulation, decent fine gold recoveries can be achieved. Tailings from both rockers and sluice boxes should be occasionally panned to check for gold losses. When gold is found near the lower end of the rocker or sluice box, the potential for losses should be investigated.

Because there is no one “right” design for a rocker box, I am not actually presenting specific plans, but on my website I am giving you the information you need to plan, design and build your own rocker box if that’s what you decide to do. My recommended design for a rocker is to start buy building a sluice box 40 inches long, 16 inches wide on the bottom, sloped like a cradle, and with rockers at each end. The hopper would be 16 inches square and 6 inches deep, with a sheet metal bottom made of perforated steel with 1/2-inch holes. This hopper box needs to be designed so it can be removed for clean up. A light canvas-covered frame is stretched under the hopper, forming a riffle. Square riffles of wood or steel are placed across the bottom of the sluice portion of the rocker. Curved feet are placed underneath the sluice portion of the box to allow it to be rocked back and forth. Historically, rockers are built of wood, as the early prospectors built them. However, there is no reason that a rocker could not be built from sturdy heavy gauge sheet aluminum. It would be much lighter that the wood version. Remember that wood also absorbs water, and water logged wood is much heavier than dry wood.

Why Whiskey and Weightlifting Don’t Mix

Whiskey and weightlifting don’t mix – and that doesn’t just mean don’t have a few drinks before hitting the gym for your next workout… It means weightlifters and bodybuilders aiming to live a healthy lifestyle should avoid alcohol as a general rule.

First, let’s look at why people lift weights. Weightlifters hit the gym regularly to get stronger, more fit and be healthy. Bodybuilders hit the gym to build muscle, burn off bodyfat and be able to present the best physique their genetics will allow.

Now let’s examine just how alcohol impedes both scenarios. First, and most important to both weightlifters and bodybuilders, alcohol suppresses the body’s production of testosterone. Testosterone is a vital hormone produced by your body and is probably the biggest natural activator when trying to gain lean mass and build muscle in both men and women. Natural testosterone levels are much higher in men than women, which is one of the reasons men develop much larger muscles than women do. Would you want to effectively turn off the tap on such a strong muscle-building hormone? Of course not – or you wouldn’t be lifting heavy in the gym a few times every week.

Secondly, drinking alcohol shuts down the fat-burning mechanisms in your body. The sugars in alcoholic beverages are much more readily available for your body to use for energy, so as long as the alcohol is in your system your body has no need to burn off bodyfat. Getting ripped and shredded is hard enough for most bodybuilders without losing potential fat-burning time for a few hours at a time.

Third, liquors, liqueurs and beer all can contribute significant calories to your daily intake with little or no healthy benefits. Liquors like gin, rum, tequila or vodka contain up to 82 calories PER OUNCE, while a regular 12-punce beer has 146 calories. Mixed drinks have even more calories due to the mixer added – for example, Pina Coladas can contain 450 calories each. When you consider that an hour of steady-state cardio, running on a treadmill for example, burns just 500 calories, having 4 or 5 drinks with friends on Saturday night could easily negate the hours you spent on the treadmill or elliptical for the whole week!

This doesn’t mean you can’t be out having a great time when friends hit the bars – offer to always be the designated driver and watch how often you get invited along – often at their expense. And keep your drinks healthy – for example, order a soda water & cranberry juice for a good non-alcoholic carbonated drink or opt for a ‘virgin screwdriver’, also known as a glass of orange juice. Weightlifters and bodybuilders can still party with friends and have a great time, just leave the alcohol out of your personal equation!

How To Score With The Hot Girl At Work

Girls at work

For some of us, work is full of hot girls. They’re all over the place. In accounting, sales, administrative… EVERYWHERE. Sometimes you wish you could date them all. Well, you can. If you know how to work the game. Yes, sometimes it’ll feel like you’re walking on eggshells. We all know that dating in the office is sometimes frowned upon. Some HR departments don’t even condone it. Thankfully, they won’t have to know. As long as you know how to separate business and pleasure, you’ll be fine. Now that that’s out of the way, lets talk about tactics. What do girls from work really want? They wants someone who’s normal yet loose. You don’t want to be the Debby downer. Girls don’t want a guy who’s always talking about work. They want someone uplifting and fun. Someone who smiles and has a sense of humor. They also want someone who’s confident and isn’t afraid to take things to the next level. Work girls are like any other girls. They WANT to fall in love. They want someone they can become infatuated with. Someone who will take them to bed and show them what a real man is really like. So how do you sweep her off her feet and show her that YOU’RE that man? Simple. Do all the things that a man who’s interested in a woman would do. Ask her out, hold her hand, kiss her and take her to your place. Not that hard really. Here’s the breakdown of how it happens at work.

Profile that chick

First of all, you want to try and profile the girl you’re after. You don’t want to be a complete stalker but you’ll definitely want to investigate her a bit. How does she get along with her co workers? Does she usually get to work on time? Is she a suck up to her boss? Some of these could be good signs or red flags going into her relationship. If she’s the kind of girl that’s always complaining about her job and doesn’t like most of the people she works with, chances are, you’re going after a bad apple. Stay away from her. Otherwise, if the girl is overall positive at work, full speed ahead. You can simply start with a simple lunch date. Ask her what her favorite food is. Then tell you how much you like _(fill in the black)___. Tell her you’d like to take her there tomorrow. This always works for me.

Escalating in the elevator

The work elevator is where all the action happens. It’s one of the few places at work where you’re timed to make a move. It’s also an exciting place to get some lip action. After a few lunch dates, approach her with a passionate kiss she won’t soon forget. It’s exactly what she wants. She reads about it all the time in her trashy novels and now it’s happening to her. There’s no better feeling than that of being in love and once you kiss her, the moment is official. There’s no turning back. You got her.

Keeping it hot day in and day out

Love is lost when things get boring. Things get boring when they become predictable. Unfortunately, work is way too predictable. So you’ll have to find a way to change things up. Don’t go to lunch with her every single day. Don’t meet her after work every single day either. Keep her guessing. Keep her thinking that you might be losing a little interest. Of course, don’t piss her off. But I always feel it’s probably better to piss her off than to bore her. You can also surprise her with candies or a little card once a month. The point is… don’t get complacent. Just cause you have her, doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to keep her. Give her what she wants… a roller coaster ride of a relationship.

Keep it professional

Your work life comes before your relationship. Your relationship won’t pay the bills or put food in your mouth. Your job will. If things get out of hand, you could be handed a pink slip faster than you can say “It’s over”. So if you’re gonna get involved with someone at work, make sure it’s not one of the crazies.

Adaptive Eating Utensils For Rheumatoid Arthritis

People with advanced rheumatoid arthritis often experience deformities in their upper body joints that make it difficult for them to complete basic daily living tasks. Eating is one of these basic tasks that can be impaired by upper body arthritic deformities. If you are one of these people, meals may already be a frustrating time of day for you. Here are some helpful tips to increase your independence during mealtimes.

First, move your arms and hands and assess what motions you are able to use. Maybe you can’t curl your fingers around a spoon handle anymore, but maybe you can pinch it between your thumb and the side of your hand. Can you move your shoulder? Can you bend your elbow? Can you turn your forearm to make your palm face the ceiling? Move each joint and look at what kind of movement you have or don’t have. This will help you determine how you should adapt your place setting during meals.

Next, eat a meal and pay attention to what the main problems are as you eat. Decide if the problem that is really bothering you is a simple one to fix. Maybe the whole issue is that your food slides off your plate and you are unable to stop it. Maybe you can’t cut meat. Maybe you can get the food on your spoon or fork, but you can’t turn your wrist enough to bring it to your mouth without spilling it. These are just samples of problems that might occur. You might have these or others, or combinations. Try to determine what is causing the problem and how easy that problem is to fix. Having another person help you with this might be a good idea, as another set of eyes may see an issue with a plate, glass, or utensil that you don’t notice.

After assessing the situation, you are ready to decide what adaptations you might need during meals. Some adaptations are simple and some are specialized. Here are some examples of simple problems and adaptations to correct them:

Problem: Your plate slides on the table and you can’t stop it.

Solution: Place a wet washcloth under it or purchase nonskid shelf liner at your local discount store and place a piece of this under your plate.

Problem: You are unable to tip your glass or cup to drink.

Solution: Use a short straw to drink liquids.

Problem: You are able to hang on to your silverware, but it just does not feel secure or you drop it sometimes.

Solution: Purchase plastic handled picnic ware or similar silverware that has slightly larger handles. These utensils are easier to hang on to than traditional silverware, but are not specialized and are readily available at your local discount store.

If your problems at mealtime are more complicated than this, you may need adapted utensils or dishes. Thanks to the internet, these are also readily available. There are many different types of adapted utensils and the selection can be confusing at times. Here are some sample problems and solutions that involve adapted utensils and dishes:

Problem: You are unable to close your fingers around small handled utensils.

Solution: Purchase large handled adapted utensils or purchase foam tubing to place around the handles of the utensils you have. Foam tubing is less expensive, but wears out faster. Large handled utensils cost more, but are more sanitary and last longer.

Problem: You can’t cut your meat.

Solution: Purchase a rocker knife. This type of knife is specially designed to allow you to use a rocking motion to cut, rather than the traditional sawing motion.

Problem: Your food slides off your plate and you cannot stop it.

Solution: Purchase a plate guard or a plate with a lip on it. Both of these items are designed to stop food from sliding or rolling off of a plate.

Problem: You have severe ulnar drift and you cannot hang on to anything.

Solution: Purchase a universal cuff. This is a simple elastic band that slides over the palm of your hand. The band has a pocket in it that will hold the handle of a spoon or fork, allowing you to hold the utensil yourself.

There are many more examples of adaptive utensils available. Adaptive utensils and dishes have been designed to overcome just about any obstacle to eating. Many of these devices are available on the internet at Arthritis Supplies, so please visit their website at http://www.arthritissupplies.com to browse their selection of adaptive utensils and dishes.

If determining what adaptations you need for eating is too overwhelming for you, an occupational therapist can help you decide. You do not need to see an OT for months to do this. Two or three sessions to assess your eating and determine which adaptive devices will work for you should suffice. Check your insurance plan to see if occupational therapy is covered and where an occupational therapist is located in your area. For more information on occupational therapy, please visit The American Occupational Therapy Association at http://www.aota.org/Consumers.aspx

Eating does not have to be a frustrating, humiliating experience. Adapting your utensils and dishes can help you regain your independence and your dignity during meals, so take a look at your mealtime set up and take control of it today.

Picking the Best Cut of Meat for Your Pot Roast

The piece of meat you purchase to use in your pot roast may be as crucial to the outcome of the dish as the recipe and cook time. Knowing where the different cuts of beef come from and what makes them distinct in quality and flavor will help you choose the best recipe and cook time for your meal. Some factors a good cook will consider with each recipe are whether or not to cook with the bone in or out, and how much fat is on the meat. You will need to understand what makes each cut of beef special to help you create a flavorful and tender roast.

The most common and traditional cut of beef used in roast come from the chuck. This part of the animal contains a good amount of fat, has good texture, and rich flavor. Pot roast made from the chuck stays moist and doesn’t get stringy.

The chuck includes the entire shoulder of the cow and is separated into three areas: the arm, the blade, and neck. Arm roast may include a round bone from the leg, but you can also get them boneless sold as boneless arm shoulder roast. Many muscles make up the blade section and some are tender enough to be used as steak. Blade roast is the most popular for bone-in pot roast often this roast is called 7-bone pot roast because the bone resembles the number 7.

You can find boneless pieces of the chuck being sold as flat chunks of beef or already rolled and tied. These pieces of meat make wonderful pot roast and you can find them under names like Chuck-Eye Roast, Boneless Chuck Roast, Shoulder Roast, Mock tender, Flat-Iron Roast, and Cross Rib Roast. All of these come from the chuck and will make incredible pot roast. Just be sure to pick the right size for your cooking vessel.

You can also you Brisket for a pot roast. This piece of meat comes from below the shoulder and will make an excellent roast if you leave a little fat attached. You can either purchase brisket whole or buy it in sections. The leaner section is known as the Flat or Brisket First Cut. However, the best cut for a roast is the Brisket Front Cut which is a fattier section.

Some cooks love to use bottom round for their pot roast. This cut of meat is a boneless muscle from the back leg. Many cooks claim that this cut of beef does not contain enough fat to make a delicious moist and juicy roast. If you choose to cook a pot roast form the round you should look for a rump roast which contains more fat than the bottom round.

A lot of cooks claim that leaving the bone in the roast give it more flavor, while others claim that it will just slow down the cooking process. However everyone agrees that you can’t rush a good pot roast and you should let it simmer for hours on a low heat. The long, low heat breaks down tough connective tissue and loosens marbled fat which adds flavor and keeps the meat moist.

Plastic Film and Roll Defects

All possible plastic film defects ought to be detected and eliminated by the extruder operator before the roll gets shipped to the customer. But in practice, through oversight and inattention to detail defects can slip by that may be all too easily spotted by the customer or the customer’s customer. I have found a variety of unrelated faults that fit into this category.

First is the appearance and a good looking finished plastic roll of film this aspect can be half of the battle. Keep in mind is that first impression what you see is what you get! A superficially ugly looking roll which may convert on the filling machine or bag machine can have the operator looking at the roll much closer for the entire lot for real or imaginary defects.

A roll that has a machine cylinder look means no scuff marks, damaged edges, and fuzzy ends, protruding or buried core ends, or crushed cores. The solutions to these problems are self evident. There are other finer detailed defects that can be buried in the roll, and may be if the production line is never approached by the operator except during a roll change. There is no excuse for the customer being the first to see these.

I have a couple of areas for helping prevent roll defects:

How to Tackle Blocking of the Plastic Film – a common reason for blocking is too much winding tension. This maybe over looked unless tension is so great as to crush the core as the film is being wound on the roll. This makes it impossible for the operator to remove the roll from the winder shaft. With a case of crushed cores, the rolls may be hard to get off of the shaft, only to have the customer find them impossible to remount on a un-wind stand.

Just as bad of a problem can arise if the winding tension is too light, no blocking but the film may telescope from one end of the roll, making it impossible to convert into finished product.

Hot weather can bring its share of blocking problems. Plastic Film is insufficiently cooled and the inner surface blocks as they pass through the nip rolls. For a cure you must reduce the output, raise the tower height or nip rolls, or use refrigerated air or other means of improving cooling efficiency. It also can be an inefficient air ring.

An entirely different cause of blocking can be using a resin to produce 1 mil film that has a slip and anti-block additive level designed for heavier gauges like 4 mil. There just isn’t enough additive to do the proper job. Over-treatment and or high gloss can aggravate if not cause blocking with any of the above conditions.

Tendency to Split – Plastic Film with splits tendencies can also be overlooked unless samples are taken to examine, or actually tested. Insufficient cooling, a high frost line or to low of a blow up ratio, separately or a combination can accentuate the machine direction or orientation of the film causing the film to become splits. Also your nips in the tower maybe to tight particularly with an old and hardening nip roll which can deform the plastic film in the edge crease and make it splits. Die lines or another name is weld lines from the extrusion die make splits film as can scratches from the collapsing frame in the extrusion tower or a bur that has developed if using wooden collapsing frames. But not so readily detected are the fine weld lines caused by degraded particles of resin or dirt lodged under or in the die lips that make the film extremely split at the weld.

Good operator observations to equipment maintenance, quality testing of roll samples and putting the proper procedures in place will help in building customer loyalty.



Types Of Farm Gates

Farm gates are popular in the countryside. If you own a ranch or if you grew up in a farm or ranch you are probably familiar with these types of gates. Ranch and farm owners have several reasons why they install these gates. One of the most common reasons is to keep livestock out of the premises. This will prevent one ranch owner from accusing his neighbour of stealing his cattle or shop. Another reason is to set a boundary between two neighboring properties.

Farm gates do not really cost a fortune and if you are a wise buyer, you can probably save on the materials as well. You can choose from the various types of gates. To help you with that decision here are some examples of farm gates.

Five Bar Field Farm Gate

This is the more traditional one. This type has been around for years. In fact, most farms in the countryside use this type. The five bar field gate is made from tanalised timber because this is more durable and lasts longer than regular timber. This gate has five horizontal planks of wood. Moreover, the five bar field gate is available in various sizes. It is available in 3ft up to 12 feet. Choose the size that fits your needs best.

Decorative Timber Field Gate

This type of gate is also known as decorative estate gates. The difference lies on how gate frame is constructed. If you look closely, in the decorative timber field gate you will notice that there is more flourish more intricacy in the construction while maintaining stability with several bracings. You can have the choice to use hardwood or softwood in the construction of these. However, you must remember that hardwood does not come cheap but is more durable than softwood.

Galvanised Metal Gates

This type of gate does not use timber but instead uses tubular steel. To construct this, seven tubular bars are used. However, despite the use of steel this gate is light and durable because it is coated with zinc. Galvanised metal gates are also available in different sizes with 4 feet as the smallest size and 12 feet as the longest.

5 Steps to a Winning Social Media Marketing Plan

What is the single most important action you can take to improve your chances of success in implementing a social media campaign? Create a well-researched and carefully thought out social media marketing plan, which lays the foundation for executing a winning social media campaign. Although there is no concrete roadmap to crafting an effective social media marketing plan, there are guideposts that can direct you along the way. The following 5 Steps provide the guidance you will need to develop a successful social media marketing plan.

Step 1: Establish Definitive and Measurable Goals. Social media marketing goals include, improving brand awareness, search engine rankings, relevant site traffic, and conversions performance (e.g., sales for a product or service), as well as reputation management and engaging with consumers.

The challenge for some of these goals, such as engaging with consumers, is to make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely (SMART). In addition, objectives must be established for each type of social media platform in order to maximize results. The following are examples of SMART goals for four popular social media platforms: blogs, microblogs (Twitter), social networking sites, as well as image and video sharing sites:


  • 20% improvement in the ratio of posts to comments (i.e., visitor’s comments/posts=conversions) within six months
  • 30% increase in total number of unique visitors within six months
  • 20% increase in average number of unique visitors within six months
  • 40% growth in total number of views within six months
  • 10% growth of RSS subscribers within six months
  • 5% growth of RSS feed requests within six months

Microblogs (Twitter):

  • 20% growth in number of followers within 30 days
  • 30% growth in the number of retweets (message amplification) within 30 days
  • 10% increase in click-through-rate (CTR) of the links posted in tweets within 30 days (Hint: Observing which types of links garner the highest CTRs can help you tune your tweets to provide what your consumers with links they are interested in and, hence, further improve your CTR.)
  • 15% increase in visits to Web site from tweet links within 30 days
  • 10% growth in time on Web site from tweet links within 30 days
  • 5% increase in Web site conversions (e.g., sales) from tweet links within 30 days

Social Networking Sites:

  • 20% growth in the number of friends within five months
  • 30% growth in the number of comments within five months
  • 40% growth in the number of posts and comments in discussion groups within five months
  • 20% increase in the ratio of comments on uploaded videos to number of videos uploaded within five months
  • 20% increase in the ratio of comments on photos uploaded to number of photos uploaded within five months
  • 30% growth in the number of comments left on profiles within five months
  • 50% growth in the number of questions answered or asked within five months

Image and Video Sharing Sites:

  • 30% growth in the number of images or videos viewed within four months
  • 20% growth in the number of unique visitors within four months
  • 10% increase in the number of subscribers to your channel or stream within four months
  • 30% increase in the ratio of comments on images or videos to the number of images or videos uploaded within four months
  • 15% growth in the number of embedded links to your images or videos (i.e., links from other sites to your images or videos) within four months
  • 30% increase in average rankings of images or videos by viewers within four months

Step 2: Identify Your Target Market Who is your intended audience (target market)? Where do they hangout on the social Web? How do they participating on these social media platforms? Forrester Research’s “Social Technographics Profile” enables you to use age, location, and gender to identify the type of activity people are engaged in on the social Web, such as create content, critique, collect, spectate, and so on. Depending on what they do, you can determine which social media platform they are likely to frequent. As an example, spectators are not likely to participate in social network like Facebook or LinkedIn, while they might watch YouTube videos and read blogs, but not comment on the posts.

Step 3: Conduct a Competitive Analysis. What are the trends in social media (i.e., which platforms are growing, which are declining?). What needs are not being meet by your competitors? Who will be your main competitors? What are the best practices in social media marketing? Conduct a SWOT Analysis, identifying your company’s strengths, weaknesses, along with the opportunities and threats in the marketplace and economy.

Step 4: Design innovative strategies. Select the optimal social media platforms to reach your target market. Then, construct a specialized strategy for each social media platform to achieve the tailored goals for each platform. Each social media medium has distinctive features and means of communication. For example, a corporate blog strategy will differ markedly from the strategy you use to achieve your goals on social network like LinkedIn. In other words, a one-sized strategy doesn’t fit all.

Hence, you must adjust the following 8 C’s of the Social Media Marketing Mix for each social media platform. Here are some suggestions on how to accomplish this feat:

  • Categorize social media platforms by target market relevancy(i.e., the ones where your target audience resides)
  • Comprehend the “rules of the road” on the platform by listening and learning how to behave, successfully spark conversation, and engage and energize the participants
  • Converse by acknowledging and responding to other users of the platform, always remembering to be a contributor, not a promoter
  • Collaborate with platform members as a means of establishing a mutually beneficial relationships with the platform participants
  • Contribute contentto build your reputation and become a valued member, helping to build the community
  • Connect with the influencers, so you can enlist them to help shape opinions about your product or service
  • Community creation enables you to build discussion forums where consumers suggest ideas and receive customer support.
  • Conversion of strategy execution into desired outcomes (e.g., increased brand awareness, website traffic, sales, etc.)

Step 5: Monitor, Measure, and Tune. Accessing your progress, then tune your marketing plan based on the feedback to optimize goal achievement. Reevaluate and adjust your social media marketing plan to account for the ever changing nature of consumer tastes and the social Web. For example, if the number of viewers and subscribers to your blog are declining, you can adjust your content to more closely match your target market’s interests. If the number of comments on your blog posts is declining, you can adjust your strategy by asking a question at the end of each post that inspires people to respond. In short, planning and executing a social media marketing campaign is a never ending cycle. You should constantly monitor and tune your strategies to maximize the impact of your campaign.

For more information and resources on planning social media marketing campaigns, be sure to visit my blog at www.SocialMediaMarketingResources.info.

Roll Laminators, Some Common Repair Issues for All Manufacturers

Many of today’s roll laminators share the same type of electronic technology and the basic concept of laminating is the same but unfortunately that is where the similarities end.

Although most laminators share the same types of problems, the replacement parts are not interchangeable, even within the same manufacturer family.

One of the most commonly replaced parts is the power switch. There are so many versions to this one single part I could write an entire article on just power switches. There are lighted and non lighted, snap in, screw in type, single throw, double throw and so many more. Why is this part so prone to failure. From my experience here in our repair shop we feel that the switches are under rated for the amount of amps they pull. This causes the switches to fail early and frequently.

Rollers are the second most commonly replaced item on our list of common failures. In order to have smooth even laminations your rollers must be free of debris and any imperfections. Rollers will dry out and become brittle over time due to the constant heat they are subjected to, but in many cases roller failure is due to negligence by the end user. When the laminating film is loaded incorrectly on to the laminator and the film ends up rolling and glueing itself to the rollers, most end users run for the utility knife to remove the film. In most cases when a knife of any type is used to remove the film the roller is also cut or nicked. Once this occurs there is no fix other than to replace the rollers.

Control Boards are the next on our list of commonly replaced parts. The Control Boards are the brains of today’s Roll Laminators. They control almost every function of the machine from warm up time, to temperature settings. What makes this type of failure so expensive to repair is that there is no way to repair these boards from a component level. Information on components is not shared by the manufacturers, which makes it virtually impossible to repair these boards. Schematics that are provided for laminators only provide wiring diagrams they show no schematics for circuit design or function. Heat is by far the worst enemy of the control boards and because there is no proper ventilation to these vital components over a period of time they fail.

So which laminator is the most reliable. I can’t really say for sure as there are too many variables involved. But from a prospective of repair costs, GBC Roll Laminators are by far the most expensive to repair, where the USI models are much more economical to repair.

Self Cleaning Windows? Just Too Good to Be True!

What is self cleaning glass?

Self cleaning glass is glass which has been thinly coated with titanium dioxide, an inorganic pigment that is used in a variety of products including sunscreen (reflects UV rays), toothpaste and as a whitener in white paint.

To put it simply, it uses a dual-action process in which organic dirt is broken down by daylight and is then washed away by rain, thus making it easier to keep clean.

More about how it works

Self cleaning glass works by two processes:

  1. Photo-catalysis – the action of sunlight onto the surface of the glass eats away dirt. It does this by absorbing the UV component of sunlight which then breaks down any organic material on the surface of the glass.
  2. Hydrophilicity – instead of forming droplets that run down the window in rivulets leaving streaks, the rainwater spreads out as a continuous sheet washing the glass clean.

Does it always work?

Jeff Howell, exploring the pros and cons of self cleaning glass in The Telegraph (June 27th 2005) concluded that self cleaning glass is “self-cleaning as long as it doesn’t get dirty.”

He contends that reality is often somewhat different to theory. Whilst self cleaning glass surely performed well in laboratory tests the same conditions seldom apply in real life. How often do upstairs windows, sheltered by lintels, arches and eaves get really soaked by rain? If rain is lashing against one side of the house, the other will surely remain relatively dry and therefore unwashed.

Jeff interviewed one manufacturer of self cleaning glass who admitted that their product is only “self-cleaning” as long as it is regularly hosed down with water, and even then it works best when the water flows slowly down an incline – such as on a conservatory roof – rather than straight down, as on normal vertical windows.

So…. no easy answer to your window cleaning problems I’m afraid! Best stick with the professionals.