Best Dinosaur Halloween Costumes – Raah!

Dinosaurs make one of the best themes for Halloween costumes. They can be scary or cute and work for all ages: babies, kids, teenagers and adults.

Older children can be scary carnivorous dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex. There are some great T-Rex costumes. Stegosaurus and Triceratops are easily recognizable favorites too. And Pterodactyl costumes are a superb choice – kids love flapping their wings! You can even get ride-on dinosaurs that make it look like a child is riding a dinosaur (we like those).

Babies and toddlers make very cute dinosaurs. Younger siblings of a dinosaur fan can be dressed as a dinosaur egg. Dinosaur egg costumes are great for all ages – green tights, clawed feet and a Triceratops mask and you have a very cool dinosaur hatching from an egg costume.

Dinosaur Train is hugely popular. How about dressing in a Buddy Costume or a Tiny Costume. For Tiny you can add a plush Tiny like the real Tiny’s doll.

Or how about a dinosaur skeleton costume? A T-Rex or Stegosaurus skeleton is a much more exciting version of the Halloween skeleton classic.

A paleontologist or dinosaur hunter is a great theme too. You can take a basic safari outfit and turn it into a paleontologist costume by adding cool accessories like a replica T-Rex tooth and a spade to dig up dino bones.

Then there’s the volcano costume. We like this idea a lot! Volcano costumes can be very effective and you can accessorize with lots of toy dinosaurs.

Dinosaur costumes are great for boys and they’re great for girls too. There were lady dinos too you know!

If you have a sibling group or a group of friends then you can mix and match these ideas. How about a Paleontologist with a Dinosaur Skeleton! Or a T-Rex and a baby T-Rex hatching from an egg. Or Buddy and Tiny from Dinosaur Train. Or a Volcano and a bunch of dinosaurs. You get the idea!


The Many Facets of Hunting for Garnets

While experienced hunters thoroughly enjoy a good day of garnet hunting, you don’t have to be an experienced hunter to find these dazzling little gemstones. In fact, they are probably the best stone for the inexperienced rockhound to begin hunting for. These delightful gemstones are quite common can be found in many US states and countries around the world.. The rock which bears the garnet is very often peppered with the stones, too, so once you find a good garnet bearing area you will easily be able to take a very healthy cache home with you.

Garnets come in many varieties and the type of rocks in your chosen area will determine the type of garnet you will be collecting. The most desirable crystals will be a deep wine red to purplish, pink, or brilliant green. Even smaller crystals are quite distinct in their natural form and you will be able to recognize them when you see them.

Your first step in garnet hunting, as with all gemstones, is to check your maps and guides. When it comes to garnets, I never worry too much about a location being “picked over” as the stones are usually so plentiful in any garnet area. Next you will want to make sure that you pack all of the equipment you need to gather the stones.

You will want to take your rock pick and mallet and a small screwdriver (1/8th of an inch blade is good) or chisel for any stones you find in the matrix rocks. I use these a bit at garnet locations as every once in a while I will see a stone still embedded in the matrix rock that I just can’t pass up. Many times the rock bearing the garnet is soft and the stones can be removed easily with a small flat screwdriver or knife blade. A mallet can be used to break the rocks apart to find the stones. This is actually the hard way to get the garnets, however, and I don’t usually resort to bothering with the rock itself. The tools that I use most frequently hunting for this particular type of gemstone is a spaghetti colander, a screen, and an army issue fold up shovel.

Over time garnets erode from the matrix rock. By scooping the dirt in the area of the gem bearing rock and sifting it in the colander you can easily find handfuls of gems. I use a colander for hunting gem rock as the holes are about the right size to let the stones which are smaller than I am interested in keeping fall through. If you want to spend money at a hardware store for special screens, they do have different sized meshes that will allow you to choose how large the gems must be for them to be trapped by the screen. If an area seems to have been picked over, by digging down deeper you can usually find the stones that fell and were covered before the area became popular to hunters.

After “panning” the rock area, I like to also pan the nearby streams for the gems. Garnets will wash

downstream from their source over time and are not as heavy as some other minerals so you don’t need to dig too deep to find good quality stones. Water currents can erode the natural facets of the stone however, so you may find many of the crystals in water are much smoother than those from the actual rock area, depending on how long they have been there. When I choose a spot in a stream I will use the colander again to check for gem quality and sized stones.

The normal sized screen I use for concentrated gem areas in streams where the stream bed is literally pink with small garnets. You will see this in many garnet areas. Most of these little garnets are not of gem size or quality, but they make great craft supplies. These I scoop up in the screen and just put in a bucket. Later at home I separate the small stones from the rest of the sand while watching television or talking on the phone.

Once you have found a few nice gemstones to use in jewelry, you will want to read up on panning for gold so you can find a nugget that one of your new gemstones will look nice with in a ring or pendant.

Port Stanley Charm

A diverse cluster of settlers poured into Southwestern Ontario by a meandering inlet on the Lake Erie shoreline early in the 1800’s and established a prosperous little community called Port Stanley. This small yet busy harbour was founded in 1804 by John Bostwick, who established and operated both a mill and warehouse. Today, this prosperous artistic fishing village is rich in charm and history offering generous resort living hospitality year round.

King George VI Lift Bridge

There are several very unique attractions in Port Stanley. Most notably, right in the heart of town, the oldest lift bridge in Ontario – King George VI Lift Bridge. The bridge is the essence of elegant simplicity and engineering magnificence.

It is known as a bascule bridge – meaning it is so finely counterbalanced that in the event of an emergency it can be raised and lowered manually(1). A parade of high mast sailboats, luxury cruisers, and commercial craft vessels can be seen passing below the bridge during the navigation season. A brass plaque on the east tower capture tourist attention by revealing a 1937 tragedy where during construction, 8 of the13 men working were killed.

The Port Stanley Terminal Railroad

A road linking Port Stanley port to neighbouring towns was constructed in 1822 to accommodate the droves of immigrants landing on the North Shore of Lake Erie. In 1844, there were as many as 148 boats recorded in the busy little harbour. By this time in history, there was a vast rail network spreading across North America and in1856 Port Stanley was linked with a new enterprise – The London and Port Stanley railway (L&PS). The L&PS thrived and brought close to a million vacationers a year to the village. Today, tourist can revisit the past and ride in an authentic completely rebuilt and refurbished L&PS railcar circa 1940. Operated by volunteer crews, after overcoming a barrage of hurdles, a group of railway advocates rescued the abandoned railway following a 1982 washout of the tracks. Today there are over 400 departures per year that take place beginning in March and operate well into December with various special rides; including, Easter Bunny Express, Murder Mystery Train rides, and Santa Workshop Tours.

Port Stanley Festival Theatre

For those who wish to take their Port Stanley experience to a whole other level, the Port Stanley Festival Theatre offers a wide variety of theatrical treats. Rivalling the finest theatres in larger cities, Canadian play productions celebrate the artistry in drama, comedy, musicals and a variety of other events throughout the year. It is located on the main street in the old Town Hall building. The Port Stanley Festival Theatre shares the building with the local library and tourist hotspot, interpretive center. The building also home to many visual artists and craftspeople as well as the Stork Club Museum. The once famous Stork Club was a swing dance club boasting the largest dance floor in the area and attracted several big band names in the early 1950’s. For almost 50 years, the entertainment magnet flourished until a fire destroyed the building entirely. The museum is dedicated to the history of the Stork Club and the display of big band memorabilia.

Exceptional Main Beach

Undoubtedly some of Ontario’s greatest riches are the beaches of Port Stanley. Main Beach is the real star. Fully trained life Guards patrol in the summer months and a treasure trove of activity is available for everyone – young and old alike. This beach has been recognized as the only Lake Erie shoreline to achieve a ‘Blue Flag’ status meaning it meets strict international criteria; including water quality, safety and environmental practices. Stroll along the seemingly endless shores or spend quality time engaging in recreational activities. There is an outfitter in town and on the beach who is able to help you enjoy the spacious freedom of the tepid open waters. The municipality has revamped the eastern shores of the main beach with a boat launch, two pier jetties, a large children’s play-structure, and benches. Countless people have witnessed a spectacular sunrise or sunset in the summer months and often stay to take in the star filled skies on a clear hot summer night. Whether you are relaxing to the soothing waves lapping upon the finest sandy shores of this clean award winning “Blue Flag” beach or enjoying a competitive game of beach volleyball you will love your time here.

Little Beach

Tucked away almost entirely out of sight at the east side of town is ‘Little Beach’. Well protected shallow water with ample parking and can easily accommodate hundreds of sun-seekers. It is best suited for families with small children with its shallow water and buoyed swimming area. There are no life guards here but a first-aid response area with several life saving implements for emergencies.

Erie Rest Beach

Another hidden treasure that is well worth hunting down is ‘Erie Rest Beach’. Suited for those who want a little privacy and relaxation, this beach is situated several hundred meters west of Main Beach. It’s 250 meters wide and has a beautiful sand beach with a gradual decline into the water. There is a portable washroom and no lifeguards here but the benefit is solitude.

Accommodation and Dining Steeped in History

Inns, bed & breakfasts, and fully equipped cottages are some of the exquisite choices for over night accommodations available in Port Stanley. Imagine a lake breeze kissing your cheek from your room as you soak in the ambience of the vibrant nightlife. Top notch service, tranquil contemporary surroundings, and a restful sleep.

On the corner of Bridge and Main Streets is the Kettle Creek Inn. It is situated on two lots of land that was originally owned by Colonel John Bostwick who sold them in 1849 to the Justice of the Peace, Squire Samual Price. In 1918, The Price family sold their home to the Williamsons, who opened “The Garden Inn”. During this time, two frogs were sculpted and placed on the sidewalk out front. Kettle Creek Inn was established in 1985 and is currently open year round. Guests can relax on an outdoor patio with a smorgasbord of delicious menu choices.

The Samuel Shepard House is located at 324 Smith Street on the southwest corner of William and Smith streets in Port Stanley. This beautiful century home was built in 1854 by Samuel Shepard who was an insurance agent and merchant specializing in grain and produce. Samuel Shepard was also a designer of windjammers – they were considered to be the finest boats that ever sailed into the harbour. He began a tradition, known as the “Shepard Hat”, awarding a top hat to the first captain to arrive in Port Stanley, after the spring break up. The Shepard House stayed in the Shepard family until 1947, today it is a bed and breakfast called the Windjammer. It also is a fine restaurant where you can dine under a shielding porch or inside where you will find a great deal of character. There are 21 superb eating establishments within the village hamlet that will tantalize your taste buds. The majority of restaurants feature their special recipes for Fresh Lake Erie perch.


Stroll the streets of Port Stanley and you will find heaps of treasures in the wonderful family owned boutiques and antique shops. Window shopping, souvenir hunting, chic style searching, or home décor accumulation there is something for everyone. Imported gifts, quality clothing, jewellery, home made candies and unique artistic designs are waiting for you.

One of the oldest structures in Port Stanley, the Livery, was a blacksmith shop among other things and is now known as the Darbyshire House. It has also served the community as a confectionary shop, and the Village Hall – temporarily. Today it is a commercial retail store on Main Street where the main level still has it’s original paneled pine doors and large display windows.

Another centric building is The Russell House on Main Street. Built by John Sweeney, shortly after his arrival in the early 1870s, Russell house was constructed with locally made strawberry bricks. It was one of the first hotels to service the early day travellers who arrived by lake, rail and stagecoach to Port Stanley. Over the years it has served as a butcher shop, a plumbing shop, and offices for doctors, lawyers and insurance agents. It was also a bank, the Sterling Bank. Several of the staff members lived in rooms on the second floor, including a young banker named Mitchell Hepburn, who later became Premier of Ontario. Today it is a retail store.

Other Interesting Landmarks

Col. John Bostwick donated one acre of land in 1826 to erect a place of worship. In 1845 Port Stanley’s first place of worship, Christ Church, was constructed using a combination of British Classical and American Colonial styles. It’s most outstanding architectural feature is its tower and spire. Almost ten years after it’s construction, in 1854, a 400 pound bell was acquired and harmonized to where it is today. The church was an important part of religious and social life for the early settlers in the young village. Today, if the church is open, you are welcome to walk in and view the lovely commemorative stained glass windows and stroll the grounds. There are headstones of prominent church members, the grave of Colonel John Bostwick, and a provincial historical plaque detailing his life.

Down Colborne street, heading south, on the right hand side is another church – St. John’s Presbyterian Church built in 1852 by Congregationalists. It is a perfect example of pioneer architecture – featuring a white classical shape, gothic, and Romanesque windows. A Presbyterian congregation was established in 1854 and rented space in the newly constructed church. By 1871 they were able to purchase the building for $420. Today the church still continues to worship and provide community services as well as joint ventures with the Port Stanley United Church across the street. The Port Stanley United Church was originally a Methodist Church, erected in 1889 by a congregation that existed as early as 1836. Complete with a rectory on the north side, and carriage sheds behind, the front vestibule was added after the building became a United Church.

There is a very well preserved single story white home on the Corner of Hetty and Colborne Streets that is basically been unaltered since it was built in 1840. It is known as the Thomson House. Built in a Greek Revival style with cornices and pilasters, this one and a half story white clapboard dwelling was once the home of Eliza Thomson – acting librarian. Around the turn of the century, the south extension of her home served as the Port Stanley library for four decades while the house was her residence. It later served as the office of Dr. Clinton A. Bell.

Port Stanley was and still is, the home of a thriving commercial fishing fleet. In 1910 there were 22 fishing tugs operating from the harbour. An interesting bit of unique architecture is the Cork Kiln, built around 1915 during the boom of the fishing industry in Port Stanley. Located near the end of main street and built into the side of the hill, this design provided a natural dry heat to the cork used for floating fish nets. Just north a few steps is a large gray building located at 194 Main Street. It was once the home of the East Side Fish Company and constructed in about 1917. The unique design had a number of windows that exposed east, south and west symmetrical facades providing natural heat from the sun. It was used as a place where nets could be mended and stored.

Col. John Bostwick’s original residence is also located on Main Street. When disaster struck and his home burned down, Manuel Payne purchased the property and used yellow brick to create an early Victorian style home on the remaining original foundation in 1873. Architectural enthusiasts can still recognize the mixes of Gothic Revival gables, Italianate style quoining, and the bay windows. Manual Payne was a landowner, railway agent, telegraph and telephone operator, a custom’s officer, express agent, issuer of marriage licenses, and the first postmaster of the village.

Everything You Need To Know About Barbie

Skipper. Midge. Ken. Barbie. Everyone knows these names, but do you know the name Ruth Handler? You should, she’s the one who brought Barbie and her friends to life in 1959. Ruth was the wife of Elliot Handler, a co-founder of Mattel toy company. In 1954, Ruth noticed that her daughter, Barbara, often gave her paper dolls adult roles when she played with them. At the time, the doll market was flooded with only baby dolls, such as Chatty Cathy, so Ruth approached her husband and suggested that Mattel release a doll that older girls would enjoy playing with. He rejected the idea, and Mattel’s directors were unenthusiastic as well, to say the least. Fast forward to 1956. On a European vacation with her children, Ruth stumbled upon a German doll called Bild Lilli. This doll was exactly what Ruth had in mind when she had first approached Mattel, so she purchased one for her daughter and two to take to Mattel. Once she returned to the United States, Ruth redesigned the doll and gave her a new name, Barbie, after her daughter. The first Barbie doll was debuted at the American International Toy Fair on March 9, 1959. As they say, the rest was history. When Ruth, a mere housewife and stay at home mom, approached Mattel, I’m sure she had no idea that her idea would spawn a billion dollar franchise, a household name, or a cultural icon. But that’s exactly what happened.

All In The Family…

Barbie was a hit! Mattel sold approximately 350,000 Barbies during the first year of production. But that wasn’t enough; Mattel was hungry for more, and apparently so was Barbie. Along came Ken. Ken, named after Ruth’s son, was released in 1961 as an appropriate counterpart for Barbie. Attractive and charming, Ken was Barbie’s knight in shining armor. But Barbie needed some girlfriend’s as well. Mattel introduced a Hispanic doll, Theresa, Barbie’s official “best friend.” Mattel kept up the political correct-ness and introduced an African-American doll as well, Christie. Younger, pre-teen dolls, such as Midge and Skipper were introduced to counteract Barbie’s controversial sex appeal.

Barbie hasn’t always been faithful to Ken though. They split in 2004, and a press release was announced stating, “(Barbie and Ken) feel it’s time to spend some quality time – apart…Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end.” Barbie became friendly with Blaine, an Australian surfer boy who swooped in from out of nowhere and stole her away. Their romance was short lived, however. Barbie left Blaine in 2006 to return to a newly made over Ken. Because, you know, it’s what’s on the outside that counts…

All That Glitters Isn’t Gold

All of the fame and riches didn’t come without a little controversy. And Mattel’s own girl next door was at the center of it all.

Unrealistic Body Image

Parents didn’t like their little girls owning a doll with so much sex appeal. And the way she represented body proportions didn’t help either. According to Mattel’s size scale, if Barbie were a real person, she would be/have:

  • 5’9″ tall
  • 36″ chest
  • 18″ waist
  • 33″ hips
  • 110 pounds
  • BMI of 16.24

A “real-life Barbie” would fit the criteria of an anorexic, and wouldn’t even have enough body fat to menstruate. In 1963, Mattel released a Barbie that came with a book titled “How To Lose Weight,” with the only advice being “Don’t eat!” In another Barbie released in 1965, a scale was included that was permanently set at 110 pounds.

Racism and Prejudice

In 1997, Mattel teamed up with Nabisco and introduced Oreo Fun Barbie. Mattel made both a white and a black version, which had become customary with new releases. Protesters in the African American community voiced the opinion that “oreo” was a derogatory slur used to describe a person who was black on the outside, but white on the inside, much like the popular cookie. The doll failed miserably, and the unsold stock was recalled by Mattel.

Also in 1997, Mattel released “Share a Smile Becky,” a doll in a wheelchair. A high school student in Washington state that was confined to a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy contacted Mattel and informed them that Becky’s wheelchair would not fit in the elevator in Barbie’s dream house. These houses sold for $100 each, so for something such as that to be overlooked was absurd. Mattel issued a statement saying that future productions of the doll house would be altered to accommodate Becky and her wheelchair.

Life is plastic, it’s fantastic

In 2002, Mattel sued MCA Records for the song “Barbie Girl,” performed by Aqua. With lyrics such as ” You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere,” “kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky,” and “I can beg on my knees, come jump in, let us do it again,” it’s not hard to see why Mattel would be offended. Mattel said the MCA violated copyrights and trademarks, tarnished the reputation of Barbie, and infringed on their advertising and marketing strategy. The case was presided over by Judge Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Kozinski eventually ruled in MCA’s favor, stating that the song was a parody, much like those of well known artist Weird Al Yankovic, and it was protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Kozinski ended the proceedings by advising both parties to “chill.”

Whether you love her or hate her, it’s fairly evident that Barbie is here to stay. Her and her friends have been around for the past 50 years, and 50 years from now your grandchildren will probably still be playing with them. Through trial, controversy, and success, Barbie has been the “it girl” of multiple generations. She’s timeless. She’s ageless. She’s Barbie.

Lenox Versailles China – A Pattern That Lives Up To Its Name

What first catches the eye about the Lenox Versailles china pattern is the richness of colors in its design. It is surrounded by multiple bouquets of colorful flowers in hues of blue, green, red and pink. There’s also a heavy gold presence led by the gleaming gold trim. The raised enamel adds a sense of touch that is pleasing as well. The creamy ivory middle is classic Lenox and allows space for the food without detracting from the design.

The Versailles name is taken from the Palace of Versailles, famed site where the Treaty of Versailles gets its name from. The palace is world famous for its sheer opulence, bordering on decadence. Its three hundred and fifty rooms were built in four separate building campaigns and renovated numerous times. It remains today as a symbol of ancient royal might and splendor.

Before the construction of the Palace, there was a small royal hunting lodge. This structure would become the core of the new palace. Louis XIV, king of France had a great interest in the city of Versailles and so commissioned the architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect André Le Nôtre, and painter-decorator Charles Le Brun to expand and renovate the lodge to meet his grand expectations. And so on down the ages it was expanded and enlarged to each kings desires until the end of the monarchy in France, when it was turned into a museum which is how it remains until this day.

It is unknown how this china pattern got its name, whether it is copied from a china service at the palace or maybe from a design of the palace itself. Regardless, it surely lives up to its name with its sense of style, richness and extravagance.

The following is a list of many of the pieces created in the Lenox Versailles china pattern during it’s fifteen year run:

12″ Chop Plate (Round Platter)

All Purpose/Cereal Bowl

Bread and Butter Plate

Coffee Pot and Lid

Coupe Cereal Bowl

Coupe Soup Bowl

Cream Soup and Dessert Saucer Set


Cup and Saucer Set (Footed)

Demitasse Cup and Saucer Set (Footed)

Dessert Plate/Cream Soup Stand

Dinner Plate

Fruit Dessert Bowl

Fruit/Dessert (Sauce) Bowl

Gravy Boat and Underplate

Gravy Boat with Attached Underplate

Luncheon Plate


Oval Serving Platter

Oval Vegetable Bowl

Round Covered Vegetable Bowl

Round Vegetable Bowl

Salad Plate

Salt Mill and Pepper Mill Set

Sugar Bowl and Lid

Why Camping Trips Go Wrong

Having spoken to many people who regularly go on camping trips, I find that a number of issues are frequently mentioned when they start focusing on why such trips sometimes go badly. Even though many people love camping holidays, the same problems appear to arise again and again.

Common complaints include trips being ruined by the weather, campsite toilet facilities and a lack of things to do. Less experienced campers also tend to mention problems with their camping equipment and kit. This may range from issues with putting up the tent to problems with cooking on a typical stove.

When you look at each of these problems in turn, you come to realise that many of them can easily be avoided. It’s all about doing some planning well in advance. There are a number of areas that you might want to focus on when planning your camping trips.

The choice of campsite is likely to be particularly important. You’ll want to choose somewhere that will provide a good base for your holiday. With this in mind, you’ll need to think carefully about the location of the site and about the facilities that are provided there. Fortunately, you can use the Internet to find out information about most campsites.

What if you really like the location of the site that are worried about the lack of amenities? In this case, you might want to consider taking more camping equipment along with you on the trip. You might, that instance, invest in a solar camping shower or a good quality portable toilet.

When planning your camping trip, don’t forget to concentrate on the things that you like to do as a family. Ideally, your camping holiday should allow you to enjoy many of these activities. Don’t forget that it is also important to make plans in the case of bad weather.

It’s always disappointing to hear people having their holidays ruined by poor weather conditions. Always have a backup plan. Never rely on having warm, sunny days. There are always alternative activities that are not weather dependent.

By being aware of the problems that many people encounter on camping trips, you can put yourself in a better position to avoid these same issues.

Most Probable Symptoms and Causes of Your Refrigerator Breakdown

Most Probable Symptoms and Causes of Your Refrigerator Breakdown

There could be a number of reasons for the breakdown of your refrigerator system. Sometimes a refrigerator would just stop functioning and sometimes it may give some apparent warning signs before breaking down, here are some pointers which may come as a warning that you would be needing refrigerator repair in the near future.

The compressor does not stop running

All modern refrigerators come with a built in system that stops the compressor motor to run once the certain level of cooling has been attained as set on the thermostat (an adjustable setting of refrigerators to cool at pre-set levels). If you notice that the compressor is constantly running, which you can ascertain from the humming sound it makes, you can safely assume that something is wrong with the automatic cooling control system.

Not enough cooling in spite of thermostat set to the max

Another sure sign that your refrigerator might need some repair is when your food goes bad even when you have set the thermostat at the maximum. In case you have still a level or two short of the maximum setting you can try setting it to the maximum before opting for refrigerator repair.

Excessive Noise

If you notice that your refrigerator is making more noise than usual there could be multiple reasons to this issue. It could be a faulty freezer fan or a faulty condenser fan or may be an uneven placement of your refrigeration unit causing additional vibration and sound. In case if it is the leveling of your unit that is making the abnormal excessive noise, make adjustments for balancing it evenly. However in the other instances you may have to get a professional refrigerator repair service to have a look at your unit.

Condenser Issues

One of the most probable caused for your refrigeration to stop cooling is the condenser not working properly. The proper function of the condenser coil is to convert the refrigerant liquid into gas and condense it back to liquid. This process enables the internal heat of the refrigerator to be extracted and replaced with cooling. Sometimes due to the overheating of the condenser, (mostly caused by a faulty condenser fan) the condenser does not work properly and as a result your refrigerator stops cooling.


If you notice any leakage or any fluid accumulation inside or around your refrigerator unit (other than a spill) it means there may be some issue with the unit. All modern refrigerators are built to stop moisture accumulation and are sealed for protection against leakages

4 Different Types of Steel

Steel is a catch-all phrase use to describe a group of iron alloys. These alloys all have one thing in common: malleability. Steels can all be melted down and used in the injection moulding process to create everyday items. Steels can be cast directly into moulds, or can be made into other forms which allow them to be heat-treated and worked on at a later stage. Here are four different types of steel:

  • Standard Steels.
    • Carbon steel. A carbon steel only requires carbon to create a successful alloy. Other alloys will have minimum requirements for materials such as chromium, nickel, tungsten and a handful of other elements. Carbon steel can range from low-carbon to ultra-high carbon (1.0-2.0%) content. Generally, the greater the carbon content, the more the alloy can be hardened, increasing strength, wear and impact resistance.
    • Alloy steel. Steel is alloyed with other elements in order to improve its mechanical properties. The mixture of other elements can be anywhere from 1% to 50%, dividing alloys into two camps: low alloy steels and high alloy steels. The most common alloy steel is low alloy steel. Alloy steels are used to improve harden-ability and corrosion resistance. Often a low-alloy steel will have less carbon in it, as the low non-carbon alloy materials in combination with high carbon content can make it difficult to weld.
    • Stainless steel. This is the stuff kitchen benches are made out of. Also known as inox steel or corrosion-resistant steel (usually in the aviation industry), it is an alloy containing a large amount of chromium by mass (a minimum of 10.5%-11%). Stainless steel does not stain, rust or corrode as easily as ordinary steel (it is a myth that it will not corrode at all). The main difference between stainless steel and other types of steel alloy is the amount of chromium present. The chromium in the alloy acts as a film against the rust which usually plagues steel by forming a film of chromium oxide, which acts as a barrier, not allowing corrosion to spread from the surface inwards. Its resistance to corrosion and staining make it an ideal candidate for commercial applications, and there are over 150 different varieties in use, each with specific and differing properties.
  • Tool steels. These are a collection of steels and alloys, collectively grouped because their particular properties make them ideal for use in making tools. They are commonly resistant to abrasion or corrosion, are hard, impact resistant and are able to hold a cutting edge. There are a number of different grades of tool steel, each with one or more of its properties enhanced for use in its industry. Tool steels are used in the creation of moulds for injection moulding, as they are able to withstand the production of thousands of parts without showing signs of abrasion.

Steel has thousands of applications, and each application has its own particular makeup of compounds. Steel’s amazing properties mean that its makeup can be specifically targeted for the needs of the designer or engineer.

Differences Between A Gazebo, Pergola And Pavilion

Make your backyard unique by building a gazebo, pavilion or pergola. Some of these outdoor structures are better known than others. For this reason, it’s a good idea to learn the differences before deciding which one is best suited for your property.

Differences Between A Gazebo, Pergola, And Pavilion

Gazebo: A gazebo is freestanding garden structure. They are relatively common, and it is likely that you have seen one! They are usually hexagonal or octagonal in shape and have a dome roof. Some gazebos offer a place to sit inside, and they all provide shelter from the sun. In addition, they are usually made out of wood. They are often placed in or near a garden, and they are quite popular for garden weddings and photo sessions.

Pavilion: This outdoor structure is usually rectangular in shape and has a roof similar to a house. The main difference between a gazebo and pavilion is size. A pavilion is meant to accommodate more people. In general they can accommodate five to 15 people, maybe even more. These architectural structures have been quite popular since the 19th century and serve to host outdoor events like family reunions, picnics, and even weddings.

Pergola: This structure has four legs and is rectangular in shape, but its defining characteristic is its roof, which is usually open and consists of horizontal planks of wood. You can set your pergola in your backyard or even adjoin it to your home. They create a shaded area, and can provide support for plants.

Building Options

If you want to build a more complex outdoor structure and attach it to your house, you might need a designer, an architect and a good builder. Some home improvement companies offer a wide range of services, which include excellent designs, quality materials, and timely construction for every budget. Look online and see what kind of work and service they can offer you.

You also have the option of building the structure yourself. However, before you embark on this adventure, consider whether you have the time and patience for a project of this magnitude. Building a backyard structure by yourself may seem like the cheapest option in the beginning; however, in the end it could cost you even more, especially if you don’t have the necessary knowledge or construction skills.

No matter how you choose to construct it, an outdoor structure can add value to your property and enrich your backyard.

A Draw-Down Schedule Is Vital For Every Business Plan

Every business concept has brilliant ideas or elements in them. Unfortunately, great ideas are not enough to produce a great business. I have seen hundreds of great ideas, but few of those great ideas end up creating a new business because so many ‘would-be’ business owners lack either the experience or the expertise to successfully manage their great concepts into cash-rich businesses.

Go ahead and develop your business concept. Identify and consult all the professionals essential to the project [accountants, lawyers, engineers, designers, architects, builders, and trades ]. Now you will have a clear understanding of what is involved in completing the implementation of your project.

You have sourced competitive quotations on the costs each profession needs to charge for their professional work, the input of the various trades and the materials for each task and stage of the complete job. So eventually, you have brought all this information together with the scheduling plan of your project manager. Now you can place every task, stage and the corresponding cost into a timeline format.

So, the draw-down schedule brings together each task, the cost of that task or stage, and the time in which the work is to be completed. These are the 3 elements of a draw-down schedule.

When all this is completed you may now quantify the draw-down schedule, where you need to pay each contractor or professional as they complete their stages of your project.

How to do this? Create a timeline with markers at regular intervals, indicate each month of the project implementation phase. [Tip: Number the first month of project implementation as Month 1 etc. Therefore, if there are delays in starting, you don’t have to re-write the spreadsheet.]

Now locate each component of your project on that timeline, show when each piece of the task needs to begin, and when it should be ended. You may find that this is quite complex. If you’re doing this on paper it may take a few tries to finalise. This will depend upon the complexity of the project implementation.

If you’re recording the timeline on a computer you may need to re-sort the information a few times to get it all ordered. Now plot on this timeline axis a place for the expenditure for each component of the work. When this is done for every piece of the project you shall have a $$$ value for the amount of capital needed to pay for all the work. Make sure that you include the costs of accessing the investment funding, any commissions payable etc.

When you identify the amount of capital you and your fellow shareholders have in hand at the start, you shall be able to identify the point in time when you shall need to have access to an investor’s funds to continue the development program.

Now your ‘draw-down schedule’ is complete. This is a vital piece of information you need to bring to us, as we prepare your winning business plan. Your detailed work demonstrates to the investor that you understand the complexity of all the dimensions of the project, and have thoroughly prepared for the implementation phases of your new business venture.

For a quality business plan not only sells your investment opportunity to an investor, it also demonstrates your competence. The investor shall place a high value on your capability and preparedness, as they will on the profitability, or the impact of the project.

Make sure that you utilise great professionals to ensure that your great idea, becomes a successful new venture in every way!

How to Care for a Flagstone Patio

Adding a flagstone patio to your home will provide your household with a whole new living area and come in very handy when you want to entertain your friends or family. This type of backyard accent will boost the value of your home and at the same time provide an area for you and your family to enjoy.

Patios are normally built with pavers, concrete, or flagstone. Patios constructed with flagstone offer up a product that will hold for decades as long as the stones are well taken care of. Because flagstone is porous, it’s susceptible to staining and breakage. Fortunately, flagstone is very easy to care for and maintain.

If you are going to invest in a patio, then there are certain maintenance steps you should take to protect your investment and help your patio hold up as the years go on. Without any type of protection, flagstone can begin to shed and the surface can stain and discolor giving it a dull and dingy look.

Flagstone is usually made from layers of sandstone that have bonded together to form rock. Over time, a shedding process begins. Spalling is the name given to this shedding process. The higher quality flagstones shed slower because the stone is harder and denser. The shedding is worse when the stone changes levels. Water can then work its way below the top layer. Then in the colder months, the water freezes and can cause pieces of stone to fall off.


You can add a sealer that is specifically made for any natural stone to help prevent the water from getting under the stone surface. If your patio has already started to shed, you should remove any weak pieces that are already beginning to break off. Remove the damaged stone first. If you need to, replace broken stone before adding the sealant.

Be sure the surface is clean and free of loose debris. Similar to waxing a floor, you always want to add the protective sealant to a clean floor.


You’ll need a flagstone cleaner, an outdoor broom made with synthetic bristles, a bucket and a pressure washer.

It is recommended that you clean your flagstone patio twice a year but most people just give their patio an annual spring cleaning. Your local hardware store will sell cleaners specifically made for cleaning flagstone. You’ll use the bucket for mixing the solution.

Using the bristle push broom, apply the cleaning mixture making sure you cover and brush the solution onto every stone surface and all of the connecting mortar. You may need to apply an extra amount to any areas that are stained. Then let the solution soak in for 5-10 minutes. If there are still some stubborn stains remaining, give them a second application.

Finally, use your garden hose or pressure washer to rinse off the cleaner. Once the area is dry, you are ready to put your furniture back.

Once you’ve invested in a flagstone patio, it’s a good idea to take these easy steps to keep it looking like new.

How Truckers Shift an 18 Speed – 3 Steps To Shifting – What Truck Driving Schools Don’t Teach You

As a trucker, shifting gears becomes second nature next to breathing. In this article these 3 tips will teach you how to shift an 18 speed transmission. Whether an 18 speed to an 8 speed, these simple techniques will teach you how to shift.

1st Tip 3 Points on a Transmission

First let’s talk about the mechanics of the transmission shifting levers. So you are sitting up in a big truck looking at the shifting lever on the stick. You notice that there are 2 red switches on it. You have one on the left and one in the middle.

So what do these switches do? The selector switch in the front is for your high and low side on the gear box. The selector switch on the left is also a high and low side to shift a gear. Next I’m going to tell you about the hard rail.

The hard rail is an invisible line in the transmission which will let you know where you are in the gear box. When you move the shifting stick from side to side you will feel a little resistance on the left. When you break into that and push up on the gear shifter that is reverse. When You pull down that 1st gear.

2nd Tip Floating Gears

This term is used a lot by trucker. This means you are shifting without a clutch. I have been driving truck for over 10 years now and never used to clutch to shift. The only time you need to use the clutch is put it into first gear or reverse.

3rd Tip Double Clutching

This method is for some reason taught at a lot of truck driving schools. When I first tried it my leg got sore. I quickly learned to float the gears. The way to double clutch is you push in the clutch and put it in 1st gear. You clutch to take it out. Then you clutch to put it in 2nd gear… and so on. Floating is so much easier.

Test Drive

Now you are in the driver’s seat and we are going for a drive. Go ahead and push in the clutch and grab the shifter. With the middle selector down which is in low pull the gear lever into 1st gear. Ease up on the clutch and we are pulling away. Good job.

Now slide the gear shifter into second gear without clutching. You should ease it in gear with just your figure. Now shift to 3rd the same. Note… when floating gears you are matching the engine RPM with the transmission and road speed. Like if you were rolling down the road you wouldn’t try to get it into 1st gear. Some times you might scratch a gear so also just rev up the engine and it should drop into gear. See you are doing fine, good job. You are on your way to be a truck driver.

Vibration Therapy – Neuromuscular Re-Education

Although Neuromuscular Re-Education has no universally accepted definition, it generally refers to a treatment technique or exercise performed by an individual with the purpose of improving, via the nervous system, the level of communication between the body and the brain.

Because of the fact that vibration training and vibration therapy exercises rely on the involuntary stretch reflex, there is a significant amount of communication occurring between the brain and the contracting muscles with each individual exercise.

This serves to “jump start” the muscle through the severely high frequency of muscle contractions thereby enhancing the patient’s ability to efficiently recruit the muscle fibers, coordinate movement being performed by the joint, and muscle tissue, and reduce the typical post-injury mechanical dysfunction in a much more rapid fashion than traditional exercise; exercise that relies on voluntary movement.

This is often best demonstrated by having the patient perform a multi-planar exercise (an exercise that combines movements along several planes of motion. For example, raising a weight from the floor, in front of your left leg, to overhead using the right arm. This movement requires that the weight be raised up (sagittal plane), moved left to right (frontal / coronal plane) and rotated from in front to behind during the motion (transverse plane).

Proprioceptive Training

Also built in to the neuromuscular re-education process of this phase is something referred to as proprioceptive training. Proprioception is defined as the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body. The proprioceptive system provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other (thank you Wikipedia!).

In my practice it is joint position that is of primary concern to my patients. Much like in Phase 1 mentioned above, proprioceptive information is sent to the brain by certain receptors in the joints so while performing an exercise on the platform, this positional information “battles” the vibratory information already being overwhelmingly supplied to the brain. With careful consideration to the position being held during an exercise on the platform, certain case-specific movements can be performed in adjacent regions with the intention of actively enhancing the proprioceptive information being sent to the brain by those regions.

Successful enhancement of this proprioceptive communication is best measured by having the patient perform a simple region-specific proprioceptive exercise before and after exercising on the platform.

What is even more exciting about this phenomenon is that, in some cases, the proprioceptive benefits are seen in regions located far from those being stimulated. In the articles to follow, I will discuss the 3rd and 4th phases of treatment as well as other areas that have peaked my interest and that of my patients as well.

You Realize That You’re Your Own Brand Manager, Don’t You?

As the grand leader one of the brand called YOU Inc, there come many responsibilities. And an even larger amount of opportunities.

You, my friend are your own brand manager. You call the shots and you must stand by them day in and day out.

With that in mind, what type of brand do you aspire to be? One that seeks to make a quick buck and care little who gets caught in your way? Or the brand that understands that it is by giving of yourself FIRST to solving other people’s needs where the REAL riches lie?

Doing business on the internet, it’s very easy to operate a faceless facade. Redirects and stealing affiliate codes and making over exaggerations is common in here.

But that’s ugly, short term thinking.

On the other side of all those coins lies a completely different opportunity. One where you extend yourself to others knowing that by doing so, you will turn a buyer into a customer. And customers stay with you for a long, profitable time.

As brand manager, you have options as to which way you can choose to go.

Internet marketing experts who’ve been around for years have been around for years because they chose to act correctly.

You don’t ever go back into a pharmacy where the pharmacist takes your money without making sure that you have the right meds and the right dosage, do you?

No. You and me, and everyone we know appreciate and reward those “brand managers” who take their responsibilities seriously.

And, in terms of direct marketing, we NEED that attention to detail more than ever.

My personal brand management style DEMANDS that when writing autoresponder sequences for clients, over-delivering is the ONLY way I can do business.

And it certainly doesn’t hurt to hear the phone ringing for more when I do.

Extend yourself. And your wallet will be extended.

Introduction to SAE Flanges

What are SAE Flanges? If this question confounds you, this is the right place to get answers.


SAE Flanges is a range of hydraulic flange which is made in accordance to SAE J518 standards. The acronym SAE stands for Society of Automotive Engineers. These flanges are used on oil hydraulic systems in many fields (shipbuilding, mobile hydraulic equipment, machine tools, earth moving machines, etc… ) and where there is passage of oil under pressure.


Flanges are made from normalized forgings and are usually of two kinds of material, steel ST52.3 and stainless steel AISI SS316L.


SAE Flanges come in two series, code 61 (3000 series) and code 62 (6000 series). For code 61 (3000# series), they are available in all nominal sizes between DN10 (3/8″) and DN125 (5″). For code 62 (6000# series), they are available in all nominal sizes between DN10 (3/8″) and DN80 (3″)

Working Pressure:

The standard pressure ranges from 34 to 345 bar for code 61 (3000 series) and 200 to 414 bar for code 62 (6000 series). Please take note that the pressure information of the flange and connected equipment combinations may vary from each other. For example: if a pipe connected to the flange has a lower working pressure, it will result in an overall lower working pressure of the system. Therefore, please consider the lowest pressure as the maximum working pressure of this combination.

How SAE Flanges work:

A complete set comprises of a flat side flange and an o-ring side flange. The o-ring side flange contains a groove seat to place a rubber o-ring (normally made of NBR material). The complete set forms a seal between a flat surface and o-ring held in a recessed circular groove in the other half. Tightening the bolts draws the two halves together and compresses the O-ring.

Due to this usage of the o-ring, flanges with o-rings has an advantage over metal to metal flanges as all-metal flanges are more prone to leakage because they must be tightened to a higher, yet narrower torque range. This makes metal to metal flanges more prone to strip threads or crack.

A complete set of flange is tightened using socket head cap screws & spring washers according to recommended torque. The screw lengths are usually shorter than the overall SAE flanges length but this is normal in accordance to SAE J518 standard. Also, as per SAE J518, there are no requirements for hex nuts for securing the flanges.

Configurations of SAE Flanges:

Commonly used connection types consist of: Weld In/ Socket Weld, Weld On/ Butt Weld, NPT Threaded, BSP Threaded, Blind Flanges, Split Flanges.

Upon request, flanges can be supplied complete with screws, washers and NBR/Viton o-rings.

Brands of Flanges:

A highly recommended brand for SAE Flanges is Oleo Tecnica. Oleo Tecnica is an Italian manufacturer specializing in SAE Flanges. Oleo Tecnica was established in 1976 and has more than 36 years of specialized experience manufacturing flanges. Other well established brands include Parker Hannifin and Stauff.