Exposed Aggregate Vs Stamped Concrete

Exposed aggregate concrete is a very decorative style of concrete design which also gives a non-skid texture to the structure. The particulate aggregate matter of the concrete is pronouncedly visible on the top layer of the concrete giving an awesome appealing finish to the concrete structure. It is used in various places like driveways, patios and sidewalks.

The exposed aggregate concrete mixture is essentially the same concrete mixture that is used in general purposes. The top concrete surface should be worked right enough to create a nice layer of cream on the top surface. With no water on the top surface and the concrete thick enough to allow ½” depression of thumb, colorful pellets of gravel/pebbles or choice of aggregate should be spread uniformly across the surface. The top cream layer wouldn’t be soft enough hold on to the gravels/pebbles, a wet mixture of sand and cement (3:1/4:1) has to be applied over the spread out pebbles/gravels. The gravels/pebbles need to be pressed into the concrete with a uniform and medium pressure by using a wooden float so that the flat surface of gravels are facing up and complete shape of the gravels are visible. The top surface has to be finely brushed and later cleaned in order to expose the shiny aggregate.

Exposed aggregate concrete is skid-resistant, strong and handles extreme conditions. This surface requires very little maintenance other than re-sealing and water cleaning annually. Adding the coarse aggregates to the top of the concrete mixture and toweling makes wear surface very lean and that is a disadvantage of this design.

Stamped concrete is a decorative style to give concrete structures a unique look. The concrete mixture is stamped with various molded shapes repetitively to give a uniform stamped look. This variety is used in pavements, driveways, patios or sidewalks.

The concrete mixture is poured into the construction area, spread and leveled. The excess bleed water is allowed to evaporate from the surface of the concrete. When the concrete surface is firm enough to allow a depression of ½” thumb, its ready to be stamped. Stamps are available widely in the market as rubber stamps, wooden stamps etc. The first stamps needs to be put on the concrete surface and pressed just enough and not much with hand only. The other stamps are needed to be put snugly fitting the first and consecutive once so that they completely cover the area and hand tampered. Once all the stamps have been laid out the stamps need to taken out from the first laid stamp very carefully by not disturbing the other stamps. Concrete sealers might be added for durability.

It is really cheap to apply stamped concrete as the stamps are readily available and any shape can be used as stamps. It gives a great look to the concrete pavements and patios easily. Single or dual tone colors can be made in this type. This kind of concrete is very susceptible to deicing agents and deteriorates very easily. Also it loses it sheen and luster quickly than other types.

Best Erectile Dysfunction Treatment – The King of Natural Impotence Remedies

When we speak of natural erectile dysfunction treatments, what we are referring to are herbal medicines that have not been manipulated by humans to form a chemically based drug compound.

There are various types of these chemical based prescription drugs available for men suffering from impotence and erectile dysfunction and are available from your local Doctor/General Practitioner at prescription cost and sometimes available online without prescription for extortionate prices per pill.

Of course each of these drugs work great for 60 to 70 percent of men and are used correctly by professional Doctors and GP’s as bridge remedy until the root cause of the erectile dysfunction has been discovered and treated. They each carry a bundle of nasty side effects that inevitably take hold of the patient in some shape or form, hence them being a bridge treatment rather than a long-term healthy solution to ED.

These prescription drugs work by acting as a very strong PDE-5 inhibitor, they are used to block the degradative action of phosphodiesterase type 5 on cyclic GMP in the smooth muscle cells lining the blood vessels supplying the corpus cavernosum of the penis allowing for a strong erection.

Over the past decades however, there has been a vast number of trials and research on traditional natural remedies for erectile dysfunction and general sex drive (libido) deficiencies. The one natural remedy that has gained the most interest is the Epimedium plant species, commonly known as Horny Goat Weed extract in its commercial format. The Epimedium plant family contains within it a special active flavonoid known as ‘icariin’ of which has shown to be the most potent natural (non-enhanced) PDE-5 inhibitor discovered to date.

This natural PDE-5 inhibitor is not over-intensified as that of a prescription impotence drug, but instead it builds up in the body over time (weeks, months) gradually reviving and maintaining healthy blood flow to the body including the penis. Each Epimedium plant is extracted to a particular percentage of icariin content and the range normally varies from the less potent extracts at 10% icariin purity and reaches up to around 60% icariin purity, this being the most potent icariin extract available. The higher the icariin percentage the more effective the extract will be for its purpose of being a PDE-5 inhibitor and so it is quite often known for men who are perfectly fine (sexually speaking) to use a 10% icariin Epimedium extract for general sexual health and to maintain their current healthy sex life. The high purity icariin extracts I.e 50% to 60% are the favored purity of men who do actually suffer from blatant erectile dysfunction and low sex drive. These high purity extracts are unsurprisingly also used for increasing the endurance levels and stamina of performance athletes and endurance athletes, such as bodybuilders who wish to increase there natural nitric oxide levels to allow them to gain more stamina within their workouts.

So, to conclude on this amazing extract, icariin is at present the best natural erectile dysfunction treatment available and so is definitely the better option for those men who are either sick of the side effects of the prescription drugs or simply wish to try a natural alternative to Viagra before having to resort to such a measure. Not only is icariin a safer option to take (not been known to have any bad side effects) but it is also a longterm solution as icariin uniquely teaches the body to maintain it’s sexual health at its peak level, unlike Viagra which requires continuous dosing in order to be continually effective.

Below are some links to an official source of information in regards to icariin, which will show you exactly what to look out for when finding the correct purity and quality of icariin extract for you:

Middle Management and Successful Strategy Execution

‘You want your people to run the business as if it were their own.’ – William Fulmer

Translating strategy into results remains the number one challenge for businesses around the world. A brilliant strategy, a blockbuster product, or a technology breakthrough can put you on the competitive map, but only solid execution can keep you there. The plethora of strategy-related business literature has always put the onus of driving this process on the CEOs and senior executive teams.

However, many studies have also found that, in established organisations, top managers contribute relatively little to the performance of their companies. Nailing it down to a specific number, one study showed that the combined effect of CEOs, CFOs and other top-level executives on Fortune 500 companies explains less than 5% of the variation in the firms’ performance.

In traditional industries such as manufacturing, a high level of performance is mostly derived thanks to economies of scale achieved through processes and assembly lines. The service industry and sectors such as software development, consulting or marketing rely more on knowledge and innovation, and ultimately on the abilities and skills of middle managers to drive their performance.

Senior executives set the strategic direction and the overall tone of how the company is run. But, as businesses operate in what is now termed a VUCA world – volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – the ongoing support of middle managers becomes crucial to drive the execution of the strategy and implement change in an agile and aligned manner. As such they play a key role in:-

Cascading the strategy. Once senior executives have successfully communicated the strategy of the company, middle managers take the relay and become its key propagators across the organisation. They ensure that everyone understands the key corporate priorities, the connections between them, and how they fit in terms of the execution.

Selecting strategic opportunities. In a VUCA world, strategy execution consists of being able to seize rapidly the fleeting opportunities that support the strategy. Middle managers play an essential role in screening the opportunities as they arise against the company strategy and then decide which ones are the most promising and should be the focus of the organisation.

Project-managing the strategic initiatives selected and deciding how they are run. Operating with a finite set of resources, middle managers allocate and/ or re-allocate resources across the various initiatives as well as set up implementation deadlines to reinforce focus on performance. They also co-ordinate the work of others on an ongoing basis across functions and units and have to make sure information flows up and down the company.

Fostering innovation. Middle managers’ role of integrating and coordinating the work of others place them in a key position to foster innovative and creative environments. As the best ideas to solve unforeseen problems or unexpected opportunities may come from anywhere in the organisation, they are best placed to funnel those ideas and decide which ones should actually be given resources. They also help turning those ideas into realistic plans, while motivating the teams and facilitating collective creativity.

Building organisational agility. In a VUCA world, the need to adapt rapidly to facts on the ground, surmount unexpected obstacles, and continuously re-allocate resources in response to changes in the market is an imperative. As the closest to the situation, middle managers are best positioned to quickly respond and make those tough calls, as well as resolve any potential conflicts instead of escalating them.

Setting an example of living the organisation’s values. Effective execution in large and complex organisations emerges from countless decisions and actions at all levels as well as coordination across business units. Many of those involve making hard decisions and trade-offs (e.g. synching up with colleagues in another unit) and can slow down a team trying to seize an opportunity. How middle managers handle those difficult decisions and what behaviour they tolerate (including confronting poor performance fairly, consistently and quickly) goes a long way towards supporting or undermining the corporate culture.

Although their impact on performance is also dependent on organisation-related factors such as business strategy, structure, culture, or management systems, middle managers are ultimately the ones who make sure the company achieves its goals and, as such, have a greater impact than any other roles on the successful execution of the strategy.

In a context where as much as three-quarters of large organisations struggle to implement their strategies, they should start playing closer attention to getting the right middle managers in place, and to rewarding and developing them appropriately.

Middle managers have a difficult job. They have to select the projects that fit the company goals and thereby take risks. They often manage a finite set of resources (it being money or people) they often do not have full control over. They must keep the focus on going in a direction – even if it is an unpopular one – that ensures the projects’ success while pushing change and changing directions when necessary.

Key skills might include project and people management, decision-making linked with initiative and ownership of results, as well as an ability to adapt to changing circumstances and a willingness to experiment. They are a must for any organisation trying to succeed.

How To Monetize Your Accounts Receivable

One of the primary reasons that most businesses fail in the first 2 years is cashflow management or more precisely the lack of cashflow. Your business may have a large number of orders on the books but if your clients take 45,60,90 or even 120 days to pay it could put your entire operation in jeopardy.

In the past what a business owner would do is go to their local bank and ask for a line of credit to tide them over until their clients paid. While most banks did provide this funding all of that came to a screeching halt in 2008 when the banking sector collapsed and even Fortune 500 companies had a hard time accessing working capital to fund their operations.

If you have these accounts receivable that are mounting and no cash to work with there is a distinct possibility that your growth could stop entirely. There is hope though in the form of accounts receivables financing.

This type of financing sometimes referred to as “factoring” will let you assign the ownership to an accounts receivable factoring company in exchange for cash upfront. While each of these companies have their own respective niches they offer a similar service.

You should have no issues finding these factoring companies by going online and performing a simple search. What you need to look for is transparency in the company, this is a business relationship you are forming and need to be sure that the finance company is doing everything by the book.

Now that you have created a list of prospective firms you must look at the rates they are charging for their facilities. There will be a range that could be from 2-50% depending on what is being financed. What makes this type of loan different from the ones at your local bank is your credit does not matter at all. The accounts receivable factoring company is going to look at the credit worthiness of the organization that has bought goods or services from you. This is truly appealing since the majority of the businesses who need loans are relatively new and do not have an established track record.

Once the accounts receivable factoring company has completed their due diligence on the credit worthiness of the company that owes money on the invoice they will make an offer to provide a loan. This cash can be deposited within 24 hours if you accept the terms. As mentioned earlier you want to find a firm that is very transparent with their fee structure so you know exactly what you are getting for your money. After you accept the terms the cash is deposited into your account to do whatever you wish and the lender will collect payment discretely from your clients.

Companies need access to this working capital and without this accounts receivables financing a considerable number of businesses would fail.

5 Day Split for Mad Muscle Growth

Hey guys, for the more hardcore amongst you, I thought I’d add a good 5 day split that you can follow. If you’re reasonably experienced in Weightlifting then this will be ideal for you to increase the results that you’re currently getting. I personally used to perform this workout however at the moment I am undertaking Elliot Hulse and Mike Westerdal’s famous Lean Hybrid Muscle system!

Here it is:


Monday – chest

Heavy flat bench press – 5×5 reps

Incline dumbbell press – 3×12 reps

decline dumbbell press – 3×12 reps

Cable flys – 3×15 reps

Tuesday – legs

Heavy squats – 5×5 reps

Leg curls – 3×10 – 12 reps

Leg extensions – 3×10 – 12 reps

stiff leg deadlifts – 3×10 reps

Wednesday – arms

close grip bench press – 3×12 reps

barbell curls – 3×12 reps

skull crushers – 3×10 reps

incline dumbbell hammer curls – 3×12 reps

tricep pushdowns – 3×12 reps

dumbbell concentration curl controlled negatives – 3×10 reps

Thursday – shoulders

seated barbell shoulder press – 5×5 reps

front dumbbell raise – 3×10 reps

side lateral dumbbell raise – 3×10 reps

rear raise (reverse pec dec) – 3×10 reps

shrugs – 2×25 reps

Friday – back

Deadlifts – 5×5 reps

pull – downs – chin ups – 3×12 reps

single arm dumbbell rows – 3×10 reps

face pulls – 3×12 reps


Calve raises – Tuesday and Friday

Abs – Monday and Thursday

Cardio – certainly at the weekend, but any other day as well, it’s great

There you have it, a great and easy to follow 5 day split programme! The idea behind it is that you train each and every muscle equally and you train them hard! The structure of the workouts are so that you should not be too exhausted to complete the next workout. You should in theory be able to carry on doing this 5 day split for weeks on end. However some inexperienced bodybuilders and trainees suffer from bad pain after a hard workout. This is nothing to worry about, it just means that your muscles have had to work a lot harder than usual. The normal period for you to be in pain is 3 days after the workout. When you start becoming more regular in your workouts this pain will decrease and decrease until the point where you get no muscular pain after working out, and therefore you can train harder, and experience more growth!

Hopefully from this workout routine you should experience some extreme muscle growth, however everybody is different and we are definitely not promising that every single person that does this will succeed 100%, we are just going on what we thoroughly believe to be true and effective.

The Secrets Of A Traditional Moroccan Hammam Experience

If you ever visit Morocco (or Barcelona for that matter) then enjoying a hammam is an essential tourist experience, but for the newcomer the words hammam, gommage and rhassoul could leave you confused and nervous as you step into the traditional baths.

But even for the experienced visitor, the tkissila, an incredible secret acrobatic massage handed down through families and practised in only a select few places in the world, takes the hammam experience to a new level.

Here, I take you through the different stages of the traditional experience, and divulge the secrets of the tkissila for the more adventurous spa visitors.


I have been confused by this description, as it is usually described as a Turkish steam bath. Our hotel in Barcelona for example was described as having a hammam, which was actually a sauna and a steam room. Don’t get me wrong, they were great, but not what I expected.

In Morocco and Barcelona our hammam was a hot room, with a water source, so it was somewhere between a sauna and a steam room. The hammam in Barcelona also had a very hot steam room, a plunge pool, rain showers and Arabian water bowls and sinks, so that you could relax and refresh yourself.

In the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech you actually lie on the floor to let the heat rise up through the mat into your body.

Hammams are really enjoyable – especially when it’s cold outside – but you do have to remember to drink lots of water – most will give you bottles of water to take in if you like – or bring your own.

Some hammams are mixed, requiring swimwear, and others are single sex where you can go naked – but always check first – some single sex ones still require swimwear.

If in doubt ask exactly what the details are – don’t be embarrassed, they all seem to be different!

Traditional Gommage

Literally an exfoliation (in French), in traditional hammams this means that someone will first wash you, normally with savon noir (black soap) – which is a beautiful ritual and then use a gommage or scrubbing glove to scrub all the dead skin off your body.

When we went to a hammam in Agadir, Morocco, we thought that there would hardly be any dry skin left – after 3 days on the beach. Also we were a little bit worried by some of the stories from people who had tried hammams elsewhere – so we asked for a gommage doucement – a soft scrubbing.

She scrubbed so hard it was actually on the edge of being painful, which I thought a bit unnecessary, until she scrubbed my forearm and I saw rolls of dead skin sloughing off. It grossed me out and I thought how dirty the Moroccans must think we are – they do this once a week!

Although in some places you can keep on your bikini and/or paper knickers, really I say what’s the point? After 2 minutes I wasn’t aware if she was scrubbing my boobs or my back. Speaking of which, it is the best back exfoliation I have ever had. I often get an itchy patch between my shoulder blades – she just scrubbed it right off – leaving it smooth and soft.

For the next few days I couldn’t help running my hands over my skin. And I continued scrubbing at home with a glove I bought in Agadir – seeing the dead skin actually coming off on the glove! Sadly it fell apart – so I am now on the lookout for a serious gommage glove in the UK – but no luck so far!

I have heard that gommage is not suitable for people with sensitive skin – but I have very sensitive skin and I love it and feel it only does my skin good.

A traditional gommage will leave your skin so smooth you won’t be able to stop stroking it.


Rhassoul is a type of therapeutic mud. And a rhassoul treatment is basically when, usually after a gommage, you are smothered in rhassoul mud, left to “bake” for a while in a hammam, and then washed down.

It can be a little hot, and if it is your first time in a hammam I would actually recommend you give this a miss – perhaps build up to it, as a lot of treatments in one go can dehydrate you – if you haven’t drunk enough water or just simply because of the detox effects of the massage.

I’ve enjoyed the treatment but haven’t really noticed much of a specific effect – but it does smell great.


Tkissila (also sometimes written as Teksilla, Teskssila and Tkssila) is an ancient form of Moroccan massage, which I understand is now only practised by two brothers, descendants of a long line of practitioners, in Marrakech.

A cross between a massage and the kind of manipulation you might receive from a physiotherapist, the fact that it is done on a heated floor means that muscles are already relaxed and it is much easier.

I experienced this at the Palais Rhoul in Marrakech. When you enter the actual hammam, you won’t find opulent, colourful mosaics or indeed a steam room or heated benches to sit on.

If you decide to opt for just a massage, as my sister did, then you can go naked, as the masseur is female, but, if you opt for the traditional tkissila (pronounced as in tuxedo – tuxila), then please make sure you wear your bikini (and make sure it’s a sturdy one!)

My masseur and his brother are masters of the art of Tkissila, descendants of a long line of practitioners and this is one of only two places I understand you can have this treatment (his brother works next door at the more expensive spa).

So… first I was lead by the lady in charge to a simple brown cell and asked to sit on what looked like a yoga mat on the floor.

It might not be everyone’s cup of tea to have big buckets of warm water thrown over them, but provided you keep your mouth closed it’s rather like being in a nice warm waterfall.

She grabbed the black soap with eucalyptus efficiently soaped me up and left me lying on the floor.

I was a bit disappointed. No steam, no elegant bench, no funky mosaics, just some subtle, cool lights. It didn’t seem like the best spa in the world. It took me a while to realise that the heat in the room was actually coming up through the floor and lying down, my body was slowly starting to relax.

That’s when my masseur came in. After a few days of covering up from neck to ankle I had been a little aware of my naked legs at lunch. All of a sudden I was in a little brown cell with a Moroccan man in nothing but a pair of bathing shorts (and I was in my bikini!) But it didn’t actually feel weird when he slipped on his Palais Rhoul gommage glove and started to scrub me all over.

Unlike my experience in Agadir a few years ago this scrubbing wasn’t rough at all, but I could see the rolls of dead skin sloughing off. According to my masseur, the cheap gloves (about 20 dh – £1.50) I’d bought in the market were useless, his kind of glove was much better quality (about 50 dh – £4) and exfoliated all the dead, dirty skin without hurting at all. (He presented me with it at the end too.)

After the gommage, he got down to business. It’s funny, last year I saw a physio who had manipulated my spine and there were moments when, even fully clothed, I felt very awkward about having my foot on a guy’s shoulder while he pulled my leg in the other direction. I actually felt quite comfortable with it this time around. Even when I was lying face down and he was pulling my hips in the air. There were clicks, a bit of tightness, but nothing painful or even really uncomfortable, although I think I did sometimes breathe in or out in the wrong places.

Then it got weird.

My masseur lay down on the mat, his knees pointing up and this is when he asked me to sit on his knees.

I’m glad I speak French or this could have been a very different review.

One minute I was balancing on my bottom on his knees, the next I was flying, watching the room go whizzing past, not quite sure anymore which way was up. Suddenly I realised why, as the dramatic shape of the door flew by, this is a very muted room. If there had been lots of colours I’d have probably got dizzy!

When my feet landed on the floor I was giggly. Then he made me do it again – this time backwards. I sat facing his feet and leant backwards. Anyone who has ever done that trust exercise of falling backwards will understand that I felt elated and ridiculous at the same time.

At the end I was giggling and amazed, as much by the fact that I had done it and enjoyed it as by the experience itself.

He sat me down on the floor and washed me all over, including my hair with orange flower blossom products. When we were all done he rough dried my hair, tied my dressing gown up for me and told me I’d sleep like a baby that night.

I sat down for a while on the bench by the pool, until the lady masseur came to find me and give me my final relaxing massage (ditching my wet bikini).

Would I do it again? I’m not sure if it’s a regular one for me, or a once in a lifetime (our taxi driver said it should be twice a week!) and I don’t think it would be for everyone. When she’d finished she left me alone in the room so that I could fully relax – and it was so hard to get up when she did come back!

While my masseur described the usual local hammam, gommage and massage as “for the tourists” there’s something lovely about that experience too, and certainly one I would recommend. But I am so glad that I tried the tkissila too. It was certainly an eye opener and a new level of experience for me.

His Most Famous Painting (The Swing) – Jean-Honore Fragonard

Jean-Honore Fragonard (April 05, 1732-August 22, 1806) was a French painter and printmaker of high repute. His creative ‘Rococo’ style was elaborate and cheerful, with ‘Genre Paintings’ being his forte. Fragonard created over 550 paintings, exclusive of the countless drawings and etchings. Out of this huge lot, only five artworks are dated. Jean Fragonard’s most famous painting “The Swing” or “the Happy Accidents of the Swing (French: Les Hasards Heureux de l’Escarpolette)” (1769) is by far one of the best ‘Rococo’ works globally.

Measuring 81 cm x 64.2 cm, Jean’s “The Swing” is colorful, attractive, oil on canvass painting, brimming with verve. It shows a young woman wearing a candy colored, flowing dress, a touch of fashion completed by a hat. She is enjoying high swings in a garden, with a Bishop, probably her lover, pushing the swing hanging from a large, thick tree. A young man, hidden behind the bushes, is watching the woman. As she goes high on the swing, the backwards reclined man is able to get a sneaky peep up her legs, under the dress, ‘Symbolizing’ the loss of virginity. Themed on carefree enthusiasm, Jean Honore’s “The Swing” shows the woman carelessly letting off one of her shoes in the air. The statues around seem to acknowledging the scene with a sculptural silence.

According to Charles Colle’s autobiography, a young man first asked Gabriel Francois Doyen to make this painting of him and his mistress. Not comfortable with the idea of this casually, perky work, Francois Doyen recommended Jean-Honore for it. “The Swing” was an instant success. It is believed that Jean made several versions of “The Swing,” each unique in its own right though. Grimaldi and Labeyrie Collection gave a smaller version, sized 56 × 46 cm, to the Musee Lambinet in the city of Versailles, where “The Swing” is presently displayed. Virgile Josz has mentioned about the following three replicas of “The Swing” in his book ‘Fragonard: moeurs du XVIIIe siecle,’ written in 1901. Baron Bollioud de Saint-Julien owned the original painting, which was sold to the Duke of Morny, when the baron died in 1788. Sir Richard Wallace then bought it and presently “The Swing” by Jean Fragonard is a part of the ‘Wallace Collection,’ London, United Kingdom. Another version of “The Swing” is slightly different, with the woman’s dress being blue, instead of the original candy. Edmond James de Rothschild owns it. Duc Jules de Polignac owns an even smaller version of “The Swing.”

Undoubtedly, Jean-Honore Fragonard stands as a prominent figure in the world of ‘Rococo Paintings,’ with artworks like “The Swing” vouching for it. He has truly passed a legacy of creative innovation to inspire several generations of existing as well as future artists.

Antler Art Brings Nature Indoors

Bring the nature of outdoors indoors with antler art. The Michigan artisan creates several antler items that make great nature accessories for your home, lodge, cabin or business. Each antler art piece is unique and special. Many are available for purchase or you can work with the antler artisan to create a one of a kind custom antler piece using your own antler sheds. Chandeliers, finials, lamps, shelves, wall sconces, wine racks and cork-pullers are some of the artisans favorite pieces to create.

A chandelier is an antler light fixture that includes your choice of twelve, ten or eight antler sheds. The light bulbs range from eight to four and they are Leviton sockets that are enclosed by the antler itself. The chandeliers are typically twenty five inches wide, twenty three inches tall and around thirty pounds total weight. All the wiring is internally sealed within the antler shell so that the chandelier makes an amazing light fixture and beautiful display for any home, lodge, cabin or business!

The finials range from angled antlers to burrs and mushrooms. Whitetail deer antlers and Mule deer antlers are used for single and double angular antler sheds. Antlers can also be shaved down to morels, which are tall button mushrooms and act as a finishing touch to a lamp. The finials can also be polished and stained black to give it a sharp and more detailed style. The finials have internal female threads that fit any standard size lamp as they are considered universal size threads. These custom finials make a great accent to rustic decor in any space!!

The artisan has also creates unique antler lamps that are truly amazing. The shade on the antler lamp consists of paper and faux leather that is stitched around the top and wrapped around the bottom. The scene on the lamp shade is rustic and features a moose and a bear with a scattering of some trees and a few birds flying above. The pull chain is an actual tip of an antler and adds to the creativity of the lamp. The lamps typically measure approximately twenty three inches high, however, each piece is unique. In addition, the artisan has utilized wood and paired it with antler sheds to create lamps with a wood base and wood stem. These lamps are great decorative art pieces as they assist to bring nature indoors.

The antler artisan creates shelves made of wood and antler sheds as well. The Michigan Black Poplar wood slabs are cured for a long length of time and then angle cut to prevent any splitting of the wood, as it provides the backdrop to the shelf to bring more nature to your decor. A smaller round wood piece is then used as a single (or double if preferred) shelf with an angled antler shed acting as the pillar(s). These antler shelves make great art pieces for your wall as well as hold picture frames, displays or knickknacks.

Light wall sconces made of antlers and wood are another specialty of the artisan. The artisan designed a matching pair of wall sconces that possess four bulbs and four antler sheds. The Leviton sockets are wrapped within the antler casing for a polished look. In addition to the pair of sconces, the artisan has created a wall sconce that actually resembles a lamp on the wall with a wood background and antlers wrapped around the lamp shade. Both styles of the antler wall sconces make beautiful rustic lighting displays.

For those that enjoy wine, the antler artisan has created an antler wine cork puller and a wine rack for safe wine bottle storage. The wine cork puller is made of Whitetail deer antlers and is a single shed that is attached to a corkscrew. The wine rack is created with Elk, Whitetail Deer and Mule Deer antler sheds. The antlers are designed in a way to hold several wine bottles, some upside down to allow wine to remain within the punt. As a final detail, the artisan added polished Elk burrs to finish the piece.

Each antler piece is unique in size, shape and color due to the nature of antler growth on the animals. Because of this, these antler pieces are considered collectibles and are also viewed as art in addition to the practical purpose that each piece serves to the consumer. Each antler piece is amazing and special because they allow nature’s beauty indoors!

How to Win In Rummy

It is the most difficult task to win in Rummy playing. Though there are many different types of games in cards, the Rummy is one of the most attractive games in the world. there are two types of games in Rummy. One is played with all jokers and the other one is played with opposite jokers. Out of these two types, opposite jokers game is more attractive.

Opposite jokers game is played with double packs without any additional cards. That is in total we have hundred and four cards. A group of six persons would be the best way to play. Each player would be supplied with thireen cards. Before selecting the places, all the six persons should take a card to find the lowest and the highest position. The highest card taker would be the first hand to face the game. The lowest should deal the cards.

The second lowest would cut the joker. The dealer should shuffle the cards properly with burls and after that again shuffle the cards and put them in the table. The cutter should take approximately fifty per cent of the cards into hands and put them separately. He should take out a card from the bunch and put it on the table. This would be the joker for that game. While cutting the joker, there should be atleast thirteen cards below the joker card. The dealer would deal the card by putting one by one for all the six players and after confirming that there are thirteen cards for each player he should put the open card.

If all the other five players are playing the game, the dealer should not play the game.

He has to pay nothing to the winner. He is free from paying any amount to the winner.

There are four jokers in total. If the black 10 is the card, which is on the table as the joker card, all the opposite colour red 10s are jokers. There are four different groups in the cards. They are Spades, Hautins, Diamonds, and Clavers.

Unless you have a deep knowledge of the game, it is not possible for you to win unless luck favours you. It is the most important factor to win the game. It is always better for you to play safe. That is, you must have two jokers or one rummy and one joker. Rummy means, sequence. For example: 2345 or 10JQK or AKQ. While playing with oppostie jokers, you do not need natural rummy. You can use the joker in any place. For example, in 5678, if you have, 568 only, for the place of seven, you can use the joker. So, it is always better to play with a rummy and a joker.

Out of the thirteen cards, there should be at least two sequences. either three and three, or three and four. The rest could be triplets or quarterplets. But if you do not have two rummys, you have to pay full 80 points to the winner.

Since there are five other players playing, the chance of winning the game is just 20%. So, you should be very careful in playing the game. The players who do not follow the natute of the game, loose heavily.

At the beginning, you would be provided with one bank. This means, 200 points. Hundred and twenty points would be given to you and the balance 80 points would be with the owner or with the office. The hundred and twenty points for six games, each 20 points.

Since there are games with different stakes, you have to start with the lower stakes. If you loose two banks amount, then you should try in the next higher stakes. Then only it would be possible for you to recover your loss. So, you have to plan in such a way that you are prepared to play the higher stakes and increase the chance of winning. But if you start to win the lower stakes, you should never try to go for the higher stakes. By the logic of luck, only a few hours you can win, during your complete playing time.

There are many ways to safegurard yourself from losing heavily. There are certain points to be followed while playing the game.

1. You must have a good knowledge about the game, before playing. 

2.Always play safe,that is, never play with only one rummy or with only one joker.
3.You should not be tempted by the formation of cards. It would look very easy, but if you enter, it would be very difficult to get life and you might be in the position to pay the full amount of 80 points.
4.You can play without life, if it is three cards game or two cards game.
5.Do not play four or more cards game. It would be highly difficult to win these types of games. There is only a remote possibility of winning the game.
6.If you do not get life in three picks, it is better to middle drop the cards and ask the next player to continue. In this way you can save half of the amount, that is 40 points.

There are three stages in playing.

1.Drop 2.Middle drop 3. Full or dick or points.

1. Drop: When the dealer deals, you would be supplied with thirteen cards. You have to decide whether your cards are playable or not. If you have life, it would be better for you to start the game. Otherwise, you can say that you are not playing and simply drop the cards into the table. This is only 20 points. If you are the first player to drop the cards, you can shuffle the cards and put it below the main pack of cards.

2. Middle drop: When you do not have life, but when you are playing three cards game or two cards game, you can try for three or four picks. If you do not get life, you can say that you are not interested in continuing the game and you can middle drop it. For this middle drop, you have to pay 40 points to the winner.

3. Full or Dick or Points: When you feel that you have better opportunity for the dick, you can play the game. When all the cards are arranged according to the rules of the game, you have to close one of the fourteen cards in your hand, show the thirteen cards in the table.

While showing the cards, first you have to place three or four cards in the sequence format and then the trips. But, it is not wrong to show the trips first. When everything is correct, your dick becomes valid. The other five players would pay you according to their points. When you are playing for Rummy and Show, or life and dick, if another player wins, you have to pay 80 points. This is full. If you have life, you have to separate them and show them separately, the rest of the cards are your points and you have to pay the points.

But the logic says that the “most powerful cards” is rummy and show. You should never loose your temperament when you loose. Money comes and goes. But if you stay calm, you can concentrate deep on the next game. You never think of the earlier games, when you play the game. If you are really interested in winning, you should be familiar with the game. There are certain terms. You have to understand them and follow the guidelines. You should be very strong in your discards. You can win the game, only when you are strong with the discards. To startwith, you have to discard joker touchers. For example, when the black ten are jokers, you can start your discard either with black 9 or black Jack. Most of the times,it would not suit to the next hand.Never start with a releaser. What is a releaser? When the black tens are jokers, the black seven and the black kinngs are called releasers.

A player would be having only one joker, that too,in the rummy, as 8,9,10 spades. If you discard spade 7,then it would be a boon for him. Then he would start to play. Your dick chance would be doomed. You should be very careful in discarding dead cards. In fact you should try to avoid or delay, discarding the dead cards. What is a dead card?

A dead card is a card, which has been already discarded. For example, your upper hand deals the cards and the open card, say 5 clubs. You would be the first person to play. For you, it is the open card. If it suits to your cards, you are going to take that card, and you are going to discard. But for the other five players, that particular 5 clubs is dead, because they can not use it, since you are crossing it. But when you discard the same 5 clubs, surely it would suit the other players. You may have to loose that game, because of that dead card. You should also avoid discarding the equal card, that is 2 clubs and 8 clubs.

While you are playing the game, you have to watch the discards of others also, and accrording to that you have to discard. Since this is a very deep and interesting game, this knowledge would not be sufficient to win the game. You need more knowledge of the above points. But logically speaking, the luck would favour you in the beginning. You have to take advantage of it and play wisely.

When you start to loose in the beginning, you can continue to play as long as the trend goes and once it stops, you have to quit the game, if you really want to be a winner. If you loose just one or two banks, never mind it. You can win on the next day. When you do not have the game for that day, if you play for a very long time, you may have to loose a huge amount. Self control is the most important factor in this fatal attraction.

If you have self control, tendency of the game, the path of the game, most of the times you can be a winner.

How is Aquamarine Mined?

Beautifully sparkling aquamarine has the color that resembles the ocean waters. From the name aqua it is commonly misunderstood to be originating from the sea. No it is not. It is an earthly gem found in rocks.

Adorable aquamarine is commonly found in granite and metamorphic rocks. It is obtained from nature by the process of mining.

Surface Mining by hand, the prevalent practice of collecting gemstones from nature, is surface mining using an open-pit. In South Africa, aquamarine gem mining is achieved easily by using just hands with no complex machinery involved.

To make the rocks those contain the aquamarine roughs to split open, fires are set beside giant boulders. Blasting the rocks with dynamite is rarely done. Once the rock, rich in minerals, is split open, manpower is used to collect the invaluable gems. Using hammers, chisels, picks and axes aquamarine is gathered as crystals breaking the rocks.

Aquamarine Mining-The Complete Process Geological site investigation is the first step in the process of gemstone mining. EIA-environmental Impact Assessment is the next step. These two steps are first done in sequence on the mines that are believed to contain these gem stones. Using Geomorphology, a highly advanced technical process, the land form is defined by gently moving the surface and raising it above the sea level. This process diminishes the depth and facilitates the mining process.

The area thus identified above is rich in Precambrian metamorphic rocks. These rocks contain minerals-rich crystals such as quartz, garnet, mica, feldspar, biotite etc, And not to mention the other invaluable and precious gemstones. The light bluish ‘Gem of the Sea’-Aquamarine stone is one among them.

Aquamarines are hosted in pegmatite, the veins present in metamorphic rocks. These veins are generally sheared and vary in thickness from 10m to 40m. The center of the pegmatite is usually massive. So it has to be fractured and banded. By the opencast mining method, the veins are fractured using pneumatic tools.

Some of the tools that are used in mining aquamarine gems are compressor, jack hammer, ladders, shovels etc. Bulldozers are also used to assist the process of mining the these gems. After the gemstones are freed from the rock they are cleaned and washed with water.

Aquamarine Mining- Mining of aquamarine is truly an environmental friendly process. It is devoid of usage of any toxic material like cyanide and mercury that are commonly used in gold and silver mining. So, all hearts that wish a green planet can wear aquamarine jewelry without the guilt of spoiling the mother nature`s purity.

Mining of this particular gem is a simple and harmless process in which the metamorphic rocks that contain aquamarine are first split into pieces by inserting air/gas pressure into the rocks.

Moreover, even after exhausting, the mines are not left barren. A 2m to 4m thick soil layer is placed over the filled and closed mine pits. So grass and trees can always be grown on that surface and the area gets its natural look back.

This precious bluish aquamarine gemstone is mined incorporating a harmless and environmental friendly simple process.

Buying a Lift Chair? Two Considerations Before You Hit the Buy Button

When you are decided that you just must get a lift chair right away, I know your situation is nothing to be envious about. Regardless whether your pain or just sheer difficulty in accomplishing such a mundane task as sitting in and getting out of a chair is driving you towards the purchase, just stop for a second and read this article through. It will give you a couple of considerations to do before you select your model, brand, color, and finish of your chair recliner. These all-important considerations are The weight capacity of the chair and The reclining capacity. Let’s look at both right now.

The weight capacity of your lift chair

The weight capacity of your lift chair will be given in lbs. Bear in mind a couple of things about this. First, the lift chair has a sensitive electric motor in its base, and a sensitive mechanism of lifting or tilting the base. So it is not as sturdy as your metal frame, or wood frame chair. It has a capacity, or force that it can withstand. Second, the capacity quoted in the brochure or online, is the capacity it will hold in a static situation, meaning just sitting, or just laying down. Dynamic situations, such as getting on the chair, or, someone else getting on the chair in a hurried fashion, add additional stress, or dynamical stress over and beyond the weight to the forces that your lift chair must withstand. So in order to withstand such forces, especially unpredictable dynamical forces, I suggest to always over-design on a side of caution. Do not just get a weight capacity that matches your weight. Account for the dynamical extra force, and go much higher in the chair capacity. That way you will fend off any unpleasant and expensive surprises and repairs in the future.

What kind of a recliner is best?

All lift chairs offer an easy and painless way to get in and out of the chair, from the sitting position to the standing up position. But, chances are, if you are experiencing pain and difficulty getting out of a chair, that, regardless, you will end up spending a lot of time in that chair. So, in anticipation, most of today’s lift chairs include a reclining capacity to a certain degree. Some chairs will offer one straight up and one reclined position. Some will offer two reclining positions, and some will offer more. Just go by your imagination. Would you just like to comfortably watch TV or read a book. Then maybe one reclined position is enough. Is the circulation in your legs impaired? Then, give yourself a treat, and find a chair recliner that offers the “zero gravity” position to aid your blood circulation. Would you sometimes just want to sleep in the chair? Then the stretched-out recline is for you.

So now that you know what to look for before you make the purchasing decision for your new lift chair, it is time to go ahead and look for the models, brands, and fabrics and colors that you like and that match the furniture in your house. Be sure not to overlook the weight capacity information, as well as the reclining capacity before you make your final decision.

Learning to Do a Self Hypnosis Instant Induction

If you already know how to get into a trance using self-hypnosis you may want to learn how to do an instant induction. This is a guide on working your way up to instant self-hypnosis inductions. After you have practised these techniques you should be able to get into a trance any time you want – instantly. If you’ve been using self-hypnosis for a while I’m sure you’ll know the benefits of that!

What you want to do is use self-hypnosis as a tool to help you achieve instant inductions. Use any induction you know and get yourself into a trance. Try make the trance as deep as you possibly can. If for example you use the staircase induction, go further down the stairs than you have ever gone before. Now implant a suggestion in your mind. The suggestion is this, “the next time I do self-hypnosis, all I will need to do is count backwards from 10 and I will instantly go this deep into the trance.” Repeat the suggestion a few times until it feels like it’s going to stick, then say it again a different way to let it stick “Each time I hypnotize myself I will go deeper and deeper into the trance and all it will take is counting backwards from 10.” Then instantly wake yourself from the trance, I use a rapid count and just say “1,2,3 awake!” and it wakes me up.

As soon as you awake from that self-hypnosis session give the new technique a try. When you count there is no need to do it slowly, just count backwards at a normal pace. When you reach 0 relax your body, let it go limp and feel yourself entering a deep trance. There is a moment as you hit 0 and relax your body that you can literally feel yourself passing into a trance. Practice the countdown from 10 induction over and over until you really start to get a handle of that feeling. See if you can anchor the feeling to simply relaxing your whole body.

You should be able to master this induction quite quickly. The best way to master it is to reinforce the hypnotic suggestion every time you use self hypnosis. Make sure you really embed the idea that each time you enter a trance you will be deeper and deeper in the trance.

Once you’ve mastered this back from 10 technique it’s time to learn the instant induction. Hypnotize yourself and get into a really deep trance. Use a self-hypnosis technique like the staircase or elevator technique to deepen the trance. Rather than using it to get into a trance just use it to get deeper. Once you are really deep in your hypnotic trance it’s time to create an instant induction suggestion. Say to yourself “the next time I want to hypnotize myself all I have to do is close my eyes and just will myself into a trance”. As you say it think about the feeling that you had each time you reached the end of your countdown from 10. Repeat the suggestion a few times, making sure that each time you say it, it is more powerful. Now use the following suggestion “all I have to do is will myself into a trance and I will be even deeper under hypnosis than I am right now” and again think about that sensation of entering a trance each time you reached the end of your countdown from 10.

When you are done just count yourself awake and give it a go straight away. All you have to do is close your eyes and want to be in a trance and you will instantly go under. It really is that simple.

Key Differences Between Softball and Baseball

Many would compare softball and baseball as extremely similar sports. While that is true, there are a few key differences. First, the actual balls are different sizes; a softball is much larger than a baseball. A softball is eleven to twelve inches in circumference and is less dense than the baseball, which is typically nine inches in circumference. Another key difference is the length of the bats used; baseball bats are often longer than their softball counterparts. A softball bat measures no longer than thirty four inches, where as a baseball bat must be no longer than 42 inches, and made of wood at the professional level (in softball, aluminum bats are used at every level).

The field used also differs in size; a baseball diamond has base paths that are ninety feet long, and softball diamonds have base paths that are thirty feet shorter at sixty feet. In softball there is what is called a “double first base” where the runner can run to in foul territory, baseball has no such base. The distance from home pate to the outfield walls also is different; in baseball, the distances vary, but in softball the distances must be constant and be no more than two hundred and fifty feet from home plate to the outfield wall.

The pitchers have different distances to work with as well; in baseball the distance from the rubber on the pitcher mound to home plate is sixty feet and 6 inches; in softball it is varied by level with amateur being forty feet, forty three feet for high school college and international, and forty six feet for men. In baseball, the mound is raised, however in softball the mound is flat, and is marked with white chalk to designate it. The pitching method is also different; in baseball an overhand motion is used, while in softball, an underhand method is generally used.

There are some similarities in the two sports, however. One of the similarities is the rules for bunting with two strikes, striking out, getting hit by a pitch, and the number of players on the field. Another very important similarity is the type of uniform, particularly the types of socks used.

A baseball sock and softball sock are very similar, and a sock that is worn in one sport can be worn while playing the other, however there is much more variety available to a consumer looking to purchase softball socks.

How To Make Hungarian Croissant (Kifli)

Legend has it that during the 150 year Turkish occupation of Hungary the Ottomans (Turks) stormed a Hungarian city and the local bakers, who began their work early in the day, were able to raise the alarm and thus helped to defeat the enemy invasion. To symbolize their victory, the bakers formed the emblem of the Turkish Empire, the crescent moon, out of pastry and ate the enemy’s power… and the tradition of “kifli” or croissant was born.

Kifli could be roughly translated as croissant although it has nothing to do with the croissant in the traditional sense. Although its shape is similar to it, it is actually made of a yeast dough cut into triangular wedges, rolled up and baked as a bread.

“Kifli” is still one of the most popular snack breads of Hungary. There are many varieties. Some are sprinkled with salt, caraway seeds, sesame seeds and even cheese. My daughter loves it when I knead dried cranberry raisins into the dough and sprinkle the top with rough raw sugar. However the most popular recipe is the so- called “butter kifli” (vajas kifli)


500 grams of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of sugar

1 pack of fast rising dry yeast

1 cup of warm milk ( not hot)

100 grams of melted, unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds to sprinkle on top

Warm up milk (do not make hot that would kill the yeast), pour in dry yeast, and a tiny pinch of sugar, cover and let stand for about 5 minutes. Melt butter, let cool to room temperature.

Mix together all the ingredients, except caraway seeds. Form a round dough, place in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour. I like to place the bowl on top of the stove and turn on the oven to about 250F to help it along. Cut into four and form four round balls. Place back into bowl, cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Roll out each ball and cut each into two wedges. Roll up each, starting with the wide end. Let rise another 30 minutes.

Bring to boil 6 cups of lightly salted water with 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Dip each “kifli” into water with a spoon for 5 seconds. Remove, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Whisk together an egg white and 1 tablespoon of water. Brush “kifli” and sprinkle with caraway seeds. You may also use rough salt to sprinkle on top. Bake in a 375F preheated oven until golden.

This is wonderful for breakfast; at a picnic with your favourite pate; or just on tis own with milk. You can also use it as a base for a sophisticated deli sandwich.

Add dry cranberries to the dough, or dates and serve them for breakfast with tea, cafe or cocoa. Of course leave off the caraway seeds and salt. Sprinkle with sugar instead.

My daughter loves to make her favourite arugula sandwich with “kifli”. She cuts it in half, spreads a teaspoon of blue cheese dressing on it and cover the dressing with baby arugula. As much as you can fit into it. It is healthy and delicious.

Try this lovely easy to prepare snack by adding your favourite touches to it. Enjoy…

The Importance of Having a Rice Cooker

If you have at any time eaten in some sort of Asian eaterie in the U.S., you’ve probably wondered how particular meals can taste so different in spite of the fact that the cooks are probably carrying out their grocery store shopping in the exact same area you do. And how can Asian chefs effectively produce meals that taste so authentic when the original recipe and ingredients are hundreds and hundreds of kilometers away?

Of course, the conveniences of transport permit restaurants to receive particular ingredients quickly in order for them to be fresh and flavorsome, but that still leaves the problems of preparation. Fundamentally, it does not make a difference how fresh the food is if you don’t prepare it the proper way or if you lack the suitable cooking resources or appliances. In fact, some ingredients can sit on the shelf for years without sacrificing level of quality. Even if these elements were kept in storage for many months at a time, you would not have to get worried because their shelf life is much more long-lasting than the common cooking ingredient. Rice is the sort of ingredient whose sustainability has relieved food-preparers from worrying about whether it has gone bad or not. It lasts a long time.

With that fact in your head, it is not shocking that white rice, still edible and unruined by rot, has been found in the recently unsealed tombs of historic Asian aristocrats. As long as you keep it sealed and dry, you can take comfort in bearing in mind that your white rice can last you for years. Of course, there are some small exceptions, but generally speaking, the good quality of your rice depends more on the machine you use to make it rather than the time frame elapsed since it was harvested.

That said, the use of a rice steamer makes a world of difference when it comes to cooking great-tasting rice. Utilizing a rice cooker opens up fresh, new elements in the taste and texture of rice that commonplace pots and pans cannot. Make space on your counter top because the rice cooker is going to revolutionize your dishes. Rice cookers are a must-have for any individual who eats rice more than once or twice a month. Once you own one, you will not believe that it was possible to make meals with out one. Rice cookers make rice taste wonderful, they’re easy to utilize, and if employed correctly, they’ll enable you to live forever. (Just joking about that previous one.)

Making use of your rice cooker will open up a lot of health benefits as well. High in nutrients, rice is a great source of insoluble fiber, which is also found in foods like whole wheat, brand, and nuts. Insoluble fiber decreases the risk of bowel disorders and fights bowel obstruction. Rice is also heavy in carbs, very low in fat, and it is chock-full of B-vitamins. Furthermore, eating brown rice helps lower your risk of different forms of cancer, it relieves constipation, and it is an extremely good source of protein. Furthermore, brown rice is high in carbs and has a reduced glycemic index, making it a good choice for people with Type II diabetes.