Mixed Marriage: A Life of Bliss and Challenges

Finding love in an international marriage has its own share of challenges. However, according to statistics, the seemingly emerging pattern is that more Asian women are being married to white men. When this happens, a cross culture communication happens. Something that is wonderful and quite scary if you don’t know what you are getting into. You see the meeting of people from north and south is something as magical as this will prove that love really transcends distance and time difference. But you have to remember that aside from distance and time, the meeting of two cultures is the one that sometimes what results to the happiness and challenges of this mixed marriage.

Mixed marriage Challenges

Marriage is not something that you decide on right away and being married to a white man or Asian woman is no different. In fact, you should have weighed everything else when you decide to get into a mixed marriage. There are unavoidable disadvantages in this union that you must be aware of in order to make your marriage work.

1. You both come from ends of the world, where the way of life is totally different. Yours will be a major leap of adjustments. The difference in practices about religion as well as political beliefs may have to result to one acquiescing to the other’s belief just to have a harmonious relationship.

2. Prejudice on social practices, such as sex-selective abortion, often cause early breakup of the marriage as one may not be ready to fully embrace this new-found culture you are bound to live due to marriage.

3. The language barrier often results to miscommunication and misunderstanding that sadly leads to divorce or separation.

Mixed Marriage Bliss

Language barrier to some Asian women is not an issue for failed international marriage. In fact, there are Asian women who are as educated and prominent as white male. Take for example Julie Chen, a noted CBS news anchor and producer is married to Les Moonves, the head of the award-winning CBS TV station. This is a perfect example that this interracial union has its bliss and that anyone with the same situation can make it work.

1. You begin to appreciate cultural diversity since your senses are opened for the new culture you are living in such as places, music, cuisine and smells.

2. You get to experience new things as you keep yourself open for learning international news and current events and not just in your own country or environment.

3. Asian women are naturally good in taking care of families and this is something white men and all men in general are looking for, particularly if white men are beyond 40 or 50 years old.

4. It is true that you will adjust at first to the new culture, but you may look into this as an opportunity for you to develop your interpersonal skills. Your patience, tolerance, willingness, and open-mindedness to a totally different perspective than what you were used to, will make you a stronger person.

International marriage may have its pros and cons but at the end of the day, it is how you accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses that will matter. This is a relationship borne out love despite the differences to start with. You can make it work out if you concentrate more on the good things rather than the bad.

What is an Independent Oil and Gas Company?

The basic definition of an Independent Oil and Gas Company is a non-integrated company which receives nearly all of its revenues from production at the wellhead. They are exclusively in the exploration and production segment of the industry, with no downstream marketing or refining within their operations. The tax definition published by the IRS states that a firm is an Independent if its refining capacity is less than 50,000 barrels per day on any given day or their retail sales are less than $5 million for the year. Independents range in size from large publicly held companies to small proprietorships.

Many independents are privately held small companies with less than 20 employees. The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) recorded in a 1998 survey that “a large percentage of independents are organized as C Corporations and S Corporations at 47.6% and 27.7%, respectively. A total of 91.4% of responding companies are classified as independent (versus integrated) for tax purposes. More than one fifth of responding companies reported their stock is publicly traded.”

Independent producers derive investment capital from a variety of sources. A 1998 IPAA survey reports that 36.2% of capital is generated through internal sources followed by banks 27.8 % and outside investors (oil & gas partners) at 20.3 %.

Supplying Future Energy Needs

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states in their Annual Energy Outlook 2007, “Despite the rapid growth projected for biofuels and other non-hydroelectric renewable energy sources and the expectation that orders will be placed for new nuclear power plants for the first time in more than 25 years, oil, coal, and natural gas still are projected to provide roughly the same 86-percent share of the total U.S. primary energy supply in 2030 that they did in 2005.” In this report the EIA also predicts consistent growth in U.S. energy demand from 100.2 quadrillion Btu in 2005 to 131.2 quadrillion Btu in 2030.

Maturing production areas in the lower 48 states and the need to respond to shareholder expectations have resulted in major integrated petroleum companies shifting their exploration and production focus toward the offshore in the United States and in foreign countries. Independent oil and gas producers increasingly account for a larger percentage of domestic production in the near offshore and lower 48 states. Independent producers’ share of lower 48 states petroleum production increased form 45 percent in the 1980’s to more than 60 percent by 1995. Today the IPAA reports that independent producers develop 90 percent of domestic oil and gas wells, produce 68 percent of domestic oil and produce 82 percent of domestic gas. Clearly, they are vital to meeting our future energy needs.

Exploring The Many Benefits Of Changing Your Desktop Wallpaper

People spend so much time on their computers or laptops these days that they don’t seem to worry about the television anymore. Some stay on the computer a lot because of their work. But others just love to hang around in the cyber world even more than in the real one. They spend hours and hours each day surfing the net, playing games, or just loitering in social networking sites. Of course, there are also those who run businesses online so they have a legitimate excuse for their addiction. The only problem is that spending too much time in front of the computer or laptop can lead to a lot of eye strain. So how do you remedy this?

Apart from the usual medical tips that you should take a few minutes off for every hour you spend in front of the computer, there is also another way to ease your eye strain. This is choosing a soothing desktop wallpaper or background so that you can still sit in front of it without stressing your eyes. There are so many kinds of high-quality desktop wallpapers you can choose from that can soothe and stimulate your visual senses. For example, try nature photos in bold, beautiful colors that will make you feel as if you’re really sitting near a waterfall or lying on the grass. Landscapes are good, too, particularly movie scenes of beautiful places like the city of Paris or cherry blossom festivals in Japan.

Now this is not the only benefit you can get out of a great, high-definition desktop wallpaper. Did you also know that just changing your wallpaper can actually change up the look of your computer or laptop as well? Even if it isn’t really a new unit, you can still make it appear attractive by switching your desktop wallpaper for a more eye-catching one. Anyone wanting to use your laptop will be intrigued at the lovely images. And of course, you also feel better about it yourself! Moreover, changing your background also allows you to explore your creativity. How is this so? Well for one thing, lots of people these days have taken to making their own wallpapers for their desktops. Using simple photoshop programs, it’s pretty easy to blend images to create better ones. Or, you can really make your own from scratch.

Last but not least, changing your desktop wallpaper has been proven to reduce stress, not just on your eyes. Take for example if you’re feeling really depressed. It won’t help if your old wallpaper sports gloomy colors or scenes of gore and despair. Just by picking a new one that showcases happier and more hopeful images can initiate a difference in your mood. If this doesn’t convince you, why don’t you try it out sometime. For example, if you’re feeling particularly irritated, why not put up a wallpaper of that celebrity crush or lead singer in that band you’ve been drooling over for practically forever. Somehow, you will feel even just the slightest change of mood for the better!

What Causes Trailer Wood Flooring To Become Damaged and How to Protect and Repair It?

Utility trailers wood flooring can over time rot, warp, or become infested with insects causing you to have to repair or replace the wood and once you do that you will want to protect it from happening again. The wood flooring can rot because of a number of reasons, weather, rain or snow being large reasons, another being insect infestations, or overly heavy loads compared to the wood used for the flooring. Maybe it is just plain old and in need of a new floor and with all the rips and tears into it the floor it just gave in to ‘old age’. If it was an enclosed trailer maybe there was a small leak in the trailer you never noticed and over time the leak weakened the wood flooring causing rotting, warping and molding.

Insect infestation is a common cause of deteriorated wood in the flooring, insects such as carpenter bees, carpenter ants and termites are common wood loving insects. Carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they still destroy it as they remove the wood to create tunnels for their homes. Carpenter bees also do not eat the wood, but unlike honey bees who form nests in the ground, carpenter bees build their nests in wood, so they saw away at your wood creating there place to live. But termites do eat the wood, a termite infestation can be a bad one, termites will continue to chip away at all available wood and they will not stop there, they will move onto paper, cloth, and carpets, they will eat just about anything. Another insect infestation can come from powderpost beetles; these are a species of woodboring beetles, they feed on trees, hardwoods and softwood, everything from flooring, toys, books, tool handles, pretty much any wood they find, including trailer wood flooring.

The most important thing to do is to choose the right wood for the projects you plan to do with your trailer and make sure if they are not naturally protected then you take the time out and protect them yourself. Some woods are stronger and more durable than others, some have natural insect and weather repellents in them, others do not, you have to choose the right wood for your job. As for plywood to replace your flooring, think Apitong/Keruing Plywood, this wood has a 30% better strength-to-weight ratio than pine plywood, and if traveling over the ocean this wood also makes a stronger more durable choice. Once you have your new trailer wood floor cover it with a weather resistant stain to seal your wood, this will help protect the wood from rotting or warping.

Apitong is also used for laminated flooring mixed with Malaysian wood this glues wood strips together to create the flooring, this is ideal for vans and truck bodies. Apitong/Keruing has been the hardwood choice used in trailer wood flooring since the 1960s, the only issue with this flooring is that it does not have a natural protection form termites or powderpost beetles, but this can be an easy fix. Your best bet to protect your wood from termites or powderpost beetles is to make your own insecticide to cover your wood with. Mixing borate insecticide and water (2parts water to 1 part borate) mix and cover your entire wood flooring with the liquid using rubber gloves; this should protect your new wood floor from new insect infestations.

Fountains – The Surprising Things You Need to Know Before You Buy a Fountain

As a designer and creator of indoor fountains I am very aware of both the benefits and potential disadvantages of a fountain and I always try to educate my clients on these considerations. I want happy clients but if your fountain doesn’t meet your expectations, you won’t be, and there are a surprising number of factors that will determine this.

The most important consideration is where you intend to place the fountain because this will determine what type you buy. Fountains come in different styles and create different sounds and volumes of sound. There is the type in which water flows into a bowl, types that drip into a bowl and there are types in which the water bubbles up. The best fountains have adjustable pumps so you can control the volume more easily but they all make distinctly different sounds.

A fountain with a constant, regular drip or flow is not a good choice in an area where conversation is frequent. Even the lovely sound of water falling gently into water can become irritating if it is constantly competing for your attention. A fountain with an irregular drip might be fine in such a setting and a bubble-up type that can be turned down so you still see moving water but don’t hear it is probably the best choice for a quite setting in which people regularly come together.

The drip or flowing water type fountain, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for several other locations. Often people like to have one or two of these in their bedroom if they are subject to frequent or constant external noises they don’t want to hear. They can focus on the pleasant sounds of moving water and forget the less pleasant, unsolicited sounds reaching their ears. However, if you are one for whom the sound of running water creates the urge to visit the bathroom, the bedroom is not a good choice for any audible fountain.

Another good location for the drip or flowing water type of fountain is a room adjacent to the room you frequently occupy. I keep a fountain going in my dinning room which I can hear from my office and I find it the perfect background sound. I am not constantly aware of it, but frequently those delicious sounds do reach my ear and I can choose to listen to it at any time.

An entry or passageway that receives frequent traffic but no long-term visits is an excellent location for a dramatic fountain with a very visible, and audible display of moving water. Such a fountain can really dress up such a space and contribute a very inviting, pleasurable dimension.

Bubble-up fountains are equally as pleasing visually and audibly but they make a very different kind of sound from the falling water type. Perhaps a brief explanation on how fountains function is in order here.

All indoor fountains work by means of a submersible recirculating pump (usually electrical but there are battery powered pumps) which resides within the fountain. The larger the pump the more water it can display. This is usually measured in terms of gallons per hour (gph) for a certain distance or height. A pump I frequently use in my falling water type of fountains will give 70 gallons at 4 inches of height and 26 gph at 24 inches of height at maximum.

In this type of fountain water is pumped up some device to a decorative element such as a ‘leaf’ or ‘flower’ from which it spills back into the bowl. In most of my fountains of this type I have what I call a copper ‘WaterFlower’ that is the decorative device through which the water is pumped. This is comprised of several elements.

There is a copper tube which I anneal (heat to cherry red to soften the metal), allowing me to achieve graceful curves with the tube. The copper ‘leaves’ and the ‘flower’ are cut from fairly heavy copper sheet. These I prepare (hammer for shape, grind and file the edges, scrub, scour and pickle) to ready them to receive the enamel.

Enamel is ground glass and enameling is an ancient art form not widely practiced today. I paint a gum solution on the copper pieces and sprinkle the ground glass over the surface. I set these on the little enamel kiln to dry and when ready I place them in the kiln at fifteen hundred degrees. The glass melts and adheres to the copper. To prevent cracking I do this on both sides.

I then solder the leaves and flowers to the stem. This fits into the bowl in any of several ways, a tube from the pump fits over the stem, water is pumped up the stem into the enameled ‘flower’ from which it spills into the bowl.

In the bubble-up type a short tube is placed on the pump which points straight up. The pump is covered in glass beads or rocks and the water bubbles up either as a spout of water or as just a rise of water over the surface depending on what sized pump is used and how the volume is set on the pump.

Generally the bubble-up fountain makes a gentler sound, much like a small stream flowing over smooth stones but because the pumps are all adjustable, this can range from quite a lively display to perfectly silent. This type is excellent just about anywhere. I have a writer friend who keeps one of these at mid-volume on his desk.

Cat fountains are very popular these days but if you intend to buy a fountain for your cat the same considerations apply. If it is going to be placed where you will often encounter it for considerable periods of time, make sure it produces a sound you like. Although cats like the drip kind of fountains and will spend considerable periods of time with water falling onto their tongues many homeowners prefer the bubble-up cat fountains. A lot of cats like to play with water and if they begin batting at it they may dislodge the waterfall so the bubble-up type is a safer choice of cat fountain if your cat is inclined to splash around.

Speaking of splash, be sure the fountain you buy doesn’t have any significant splash. Not only can this damage surfaces, it drains the fountain and this can lead to damaging the pump. This is not a worry for most fountains however, as this has almost always been taken into consideration by the maker.

The final consideration on choosing an indoor fountain has to do with the electrical cord and the location of the pump. Most makers of table-top fountains, as they are often called, have the cord going from the pump, over the top of the bowl. Some have devices for hiding this, others leave them quite visible. In some of these units the pump is not accessible, so not replaceable. Since you are probably buying a fountain as much for the looks as sound, a visible cord is not acceptable.

Fountains can be wonderful additions to a home. The right fountain in the right place can enhance your home décor in a truly lovely fashion and provide you with visual and audible delights quite unlike just about anything else. A well placed (and the right kind of) fountain can give you delicious and soothing sounds, either throughout the day or evening or intermittently, as you prefer. Fountains are rated highly by Feng Shui experts who say moving water is a healthy element to have in your home or office. Personally, I love them and I love making them.

Effective Shift Handover in the Processing Industry

A successful handover between shifts heavily depends on the organizational skills of management and the effective use of the communication tools available. Learn what these tools are and get the most out of your operators.

On numerous occasions, poor handovers between shifts have been responsible for accidents. A prominent example is the Texas City fire involving BP’s isomerization column on March 24, 2005. The nightshift filled the column. The dayshift continued to fill the column; it flooded, and eventually led to an accident killing 15 people.

A successful handover between shifts heavily depends on the organizational skills of management and the effective use of the communication tools available. These tools are:

1. the shift log book;

2. the shift handover meeting;

3. and the shift team meeting.

The shift logbook

Electronic log books that have a predefined plan for data collection seem to work best. They are a nexus, defining the status of the operation, available for all within the organization. Some may be automated and others may be the gathering of an ope ator’s investigations or calculations. Additional information may be harvested from laboratory results, managers, engineers, supervisors, field operators, maintenance personnel, maintenance or business planners, and schedulers. In its best form, the pre-defined sheet of the log book ensures consistent data collected at defined, scheduled times. In its worst form, the “log book” is a collection of disparate data maintained by a manager, or managers – not shared up, and down, the chain of command within the organization.

Managers shouldn’t assume that operators are competent writers. Nor should they assume that operators will produce clear descriptions of events. Operators are not hired for their communication skills. We’ve found that many plants managers do not evaluate candidates for these skills. However, companies are beginning to see the value of communications skills for their operators. Recently, many companies have started testing new recruits for their writing abilities. They are beginning to test existing operators. Much to their chagrin, these managers discovered that some operators have reading and writing skills below those expected for high school graduates. Remedial training can save these operators and make them more useful to their companies.

So, how can companies transform their operations and maintenance from reactive to predictive if their operators can’t read and write? This will be one of the challenges they must grapple with as they begin to build the multiple variant statistical models needed to predict plant conditions. The future of proactive operability depends on operators who can effectively document process events and investigate their causes. Besides content, there is also context – what data should be included in daily reporting? Ideally, clear boundary lines should be drawn between different units within a plant containing several product lines. However, a periodic review should be conducted to assure that no one will be blindsided by an unexpected problem. Obviously, it will sometimes be necessary to report the same measurement in two log books. Whenever possible, avoid sharing of information between remotely separated units – the log book should include values for measurements the unit has control over.

Shift handover meeting

The handover should be formal and consistent; it should be held at specific times. Most of all, it must be valued by those in attendance, not considered a waste of time or a ritual. The interview should be a brief exchange of information encompassing not just immediate problems but identifying threats to production and quality. Side issues such as potential environmental excursions and safety issues should be included, or may be handled in separate meetings. The best handovers follow an established format. Issues are reported in order of importance: safety, environment, quality, production, reliability Meetings should be as short as possible or they develop a life of their own: attendees devote their time to preparing for the meeting instead of solving problems.

Sidebar meetings should be organized for items requiring a more detailed discussion. And, most importantly: the final minutes must be collated and distributed to attendees.

Follow a fixed format

1. Safety

2. Environment

3. Quality

4. Production

5. Reliability

These minutes can be used for identification of potential opportunities, including: increases in production or quality, maintenance possibilities, control system continuous improvements, better control optimization, alarm rationalization, instrumentation fault correction, and development of key performance indicators (KPIs). This work generally occurs further up the chain.

Shift team meeting

This meeting usually takes longer that the handover meeting and requires participation at the tactical and strategic level. It should take place early in the shift. The purpose of the shift team meeting is sharing information between line supervisors, upper managers and staff functions. Sometimes, operators or technicians are included for discussing particular problems. Sometimes, consultants, sales, public relations, or other corporate staff should take part. If the people are located in separate buildings, or travel time is too great for a single meeting, consider networked electronic white boards to allow sharing information and video conferencing. The meeting will have to be adapted for days with managers and engineers and nights for just supervisors.

The meeting should begin with a review of the previous shift for each product, or department. This is the tactical section of the meeting. It is best to follow the same outline for each meeting. Begin this segment with a summary of each product or department, with topics in order of importance: safety, environment, quality, production, and reliability. Unlike the handover meeting, the shift meeting should address more details of a strategic nature.

The tactical section should cover the threats, limitations and potential opportunities. The meeting should address staffing issues, ongoing maintenance repair, preparation for maintenance, lockout and tagout, test results, special permit preparation and implementation. Shipping and material movement plans may be presented. Shift monitoring requirements should be periodically reviewed for operator coverage.

The strategic element, which follows, should address complex issues. These include: training and education needs, planning and preparation for future work, updating and reviewing procedures, safety and environmental education, research and development, process testing, changes in sampling, vibration monitoring testing, product inventories, interactions within the corporate venue, planned outages, and long-term goals.

As with the handover meetings, items requiring detailed discussions should be held in a later sidebar meeting. If possible, for a complex production facility, it is best to summarize each product, briefly, by subject: safety, environment, quality, production and reliability – leave the details for a separate meeting. It is especially important that minutes be prepared for the shift team meetings. Whenever possible, these minutes should be widely shared within the facility.

Developing a shift monitoring plan

The console operators should have a say in establishing a monitoring plan. They have the best understanding of how the process is operating today and how it has operated in the past. They acquired this knowledge from interactions with the process controls and f llowing laboratory analysis. The console operators should not be an untapped resource. However, they require direction from management.

Today, many of your operators have their own routines, which may have been handed down to them from other operators, or may have been developed through operating experience. A better approach is to provide clear guidance and a strategic approach. Managers should review the performance of their best operators and develop general procedures that address the most critical plant issues. If possible, the best operators should help in developing training. This training can then be passed along to less-skilled and future operators. The most elegant approach would be to include their knowledge in a dynamic simulator or emulator.

Training is often limited because of lack of resources. Sometimes, even operating instructions, the basis for an operating manual, aren’t current. If this is the case, bringing them up-to-date is the first step towards developing a shift monitoring plan and improving training. A poorly organized, or outdated, human-computer interface (HCI) can drastically encumber training. For the best results, the HCI should be hierarchical with an overview of all units under the operator’s scope of control. Next, the HCI should have a unit view and finally the ability to display detailed and diagnostic information, i.e., an alarm page.

If possible, detailed or critical procedures should be imbedded in the controls: before the operator can make a change on the screen, instructions must be acknowledged. Caution is required to ensure that these instructions are read.

The best systems log alarms using an historian for future reference; these systems are available for reference not only by managers but by operators. The monitoring plan depends on the field operators carrying out their assigned duties when they need to be carried out.

Field operators will have an assigned schedule that cover s sampling routines and equipment checks. They will receive assignments from console operators to take manual actions such as starting pumps, opening or closing valves, but they should also conduct more focused inspections.

Field operators will be guided in this preventative maintenance by information received at the shift handover. This work usually keeps them busy during first shift but may be ignored, or brushed aside on the back shifts. Sometimes, operators are borrowed for other duties such as loading and unloading of trucks, which have nothing to do with their responsibilities to the unit. Again values and beliefs need to be aligned with the production goals – management must enforce these values.

Pro-active operability

Some companies have embraced a dynamic strategy of continual improvement. This approach involves autonomous field operators applying predictive and preventative maintenance tools to the restoration of plant equipment and maximum production potential. The strategy also involves console operators who analyze production data to maximize product quality and managers who direct the operators to achieve plant goals.

Today, hand-held computers are available for operators to track and record equipment health conditions. The field operators’ role is changing to more of an equipment specialist and if they are not outside with the equipment, they are monitoring and analyzing data to predict equipment failures or operating costs.

Using this new strategy, console operators are no longer waiting for alarms before they interact with the control system. They are trending processes and setting up monitoring strategies – detecting problems before the alarm initiates. This strategy requires revisiting old methods. Pattern recognition was a technique used by operators in the 1950s to 1980s and with the introduction of digital data the analog charts and trends became less popular.

Today console operators are going back to using this method, and HCI developers are utilizing some new techniques such as polar plot diagrams or linear profile charts with trends to monitor lots more process conditions than previously observed.

A powerful tool

One of the most important tools we have for managing the changes that occur throughout a shift is the shift handover. If the shift handover is managed well, operators will be equipped to deal with dynamic process changes.

They will be able to manage equipment changes confidently, from a more in-depth perspective. Replacing equipment following pre-determined maintenance schedules will be transformed into pro-active, predictive maintenance.

Lastly, having a better understanding of what people do and how they do it will allow better decision-making when people changes are proposed.

5 Exercises to Reduce Waist Size For Men

In this article I want to share 5 exercises to help men reduce their waist size. If you’re a man who wants to have a slimmer waistline, do these exercises and, as long as you also keep a healthy diet, you will see results fast.

Here are the 5 waist exercises

1. Exercise ball side crunch – This is a great exercise that you can easily do at home. All you need is an affordable stability ball. To do this waist exercise just lie on your side on a stability ball with both feet on the ground. Place the tips of your fingers behind your ears and make sure you’re as stable as possible.

The movement is to simply lift your upper body from the ball and crunch your waist. Bend your upper body into your waist. This is a powerful waist reducing exercise for men.

2. Side bends – Stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Place one hand on your waist. The other hand should be straight at your side. Bend to the side of the straight hand with it leading the way down your leg. Don’t tilt your hips or bend your body forward, only to the side. You can hold a dumbbell in the straight hand for extra intensity.

3. Windshield Wipers – Here’s an exercise that works your waist and your abs together. Lie on the floor with both legs straight and up in the air at a 90 degree angle to your body. Make sure that your head and neck are firmly on the floor. To do the exercise, just let both legs fall to one side in a straight line. Make sure that before your legs get to the floor, that you stop them by using your waist muscles. Raise both legs to their starting position and repeat the motion on the other side.

4. Bicycle crunches – This is a formidable abs and waist exercise. You lie on the floor with your hands behind your head. One leg should be straight and one should be bent. Both legs should be a few inches in the air. Bring the opposite elbow to the bent knee. To do the exercise simply rotate sides: straighten the bent leg and bend the other one. Always bring the opposite elbow to the bent knee.

5. Side to side lifts – sit on the floor with your legs straight. Hold yourself in position with your abs. Take a dumbbell and place it at your right side. Turn with your upper body only and pick up the dumbbell. Make sure it requires you to really twist to get it. Turn to your left and place the dumbbell there. Then, pick it up again and move it to the right. Repeat until you feel fatigued.

Do these 5 waist exercises for men and reduce your waist size.

Hammocks For Plus Sized People

If you are worried that you may not be able to lie in a hammock, do not fret. Hammocks are for plus sized people and they can hold up to 420-450 pounds. Even if you are tall, you will fit into the hammock as it will comfortably hold a person up to 6’8″. Two people can easily fit into the hammocks for plus sized people.

Many people like to relax in a hammock after work. If you have had a stressful day there is nothing like lying down in a comfortable product that acts like a bed with the gentle breeze flowing through your hair. Maybe you want to read a good book or magazine. Let your mind escape the daily grind and get into another zone. Maybe you want to enjoy a cool beverage while relaxing and looking at all of the scenery that surrounds you. Cloud watching while in a hammock is another favorite way to spend an hour or two. You will feel so comfortable and relaxed that a nap is inevitable.

There are many different colors and styles of hammocks for plus sized people. You can choose a hammock that is perfect for pool side. Take a swim and let the sun dry you off while you lie in the hammock.

You may be interested in one of the quilted hammocks. Some of these elegant hammocks come with a matching pillow. Gorgeous and, oh, so comfortable. The hardest thing to do will be to get up and out of the pillow-like hammock.

Wide weave hammocks are available as well. Or perhaps you want a Dura Cord Rope hammock for all of your relaxation needs outdoors.

Quick dry hammocks are available. These are great if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. These are also great if you like to swim and then lie down in your hammock to dry off. Once you get up from the hammock it will immediately start to dry the water that was on your body.

There are many other styles and material options to choose from.

You also have the option of tying your hammock between two poles or purchasing one of the hammocks with a stand. You will be the envy of all of your neighbors.

For more information on hammocks for plus size people, please visit http://www.relaxinghammocks.com/large-hammocks.html

Trikke Wheel Replacement

Worried about the need to frequently change out your Trikke wheels? Don’t be! Your Trikke scooter is known as a low-maintenance human powered vehicle. It is made up of parts that are durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of free-styling for hundred of miles before replacement of any part is needed. As long as you follow the standard precautions for safety detailed in your Trikke manual, you only need a couple of minutes prior to climbing on for a quick safety check: ensure the tightness of screws with a pair of 5mm allen wrenches; check the effectiveness of your Trikke brakes, and eye the condition of all three of the Trikke wheels. Like any other vehicle, your Trikke wheels carry the weight and do require regular maintenance.

So what is required for your Trikke? Let’s see. First, what type of Trikke wheel do you have on your Trikke scooter? Different tires will require different levels of maintenance. Depending on the model, your Trikke scooter may have either a polyurethane Trikke wheel or an air-filled rubber tire. Each will have its own advantages and disadvantages.

The polyurethane Trikke wheel is a hard plastic wheel that is non-sparking, non-conductive, and impervious to oil, ozone, and grease. Your poly Trikke wheels are designed to turn effortlessly, and they offer almost no resistance when used over flat and smooth surfaces like the pavement of your sidewalks, roads and neighborhood lanes. This makes the poly wheels perfect for Trikke beginners since they provide smooth runs that make it easier for the newbie to get moving.

Furthermore, the poly Trikke wheel is very quiet, doesn’t leave marks on floors, and is very durable, outwearing the rubber Trikke wheel by months in ordinary free-wheeling activities. However, the polyurethane Trikke wheels are of little use on rough surfaces. And their very design makes them slippery enough to skid through water puddles. You could even lose control of your Trikke scooter when road obstacles like bumps or holes are encountered. Avoiding them will ensure a safer ride for you, improved lifespan for your Trikke scooter and many hours of laughter, wild fun and full body workouts for you.

Meanwhile, the air-filled Trikke rubber tires are better at cushioning, provide better traction on rough and uneven surfaces and protect floors. Ultimately they offer more Trikke riding versatility. You won’t be limited to smooth pavement with the air-filled Trikke wheels, and you can travel smoothly with better control when carving over varied terrain and climbing uphill.

The down side is that the pneumatic Trikke wheels require more maintenance. It is imperative that you check the air pressure of your Trikke wheels every 7 to 10 days and add air as needed with a pump possessing a precise gauge to ensure you’re inflating your tires to the recommended pressure. Don’t rely on a test of the firmness of your Trikke wheels by using your hands. Instead use an accurate tire pressure gauge capable of measuring pressure above 80psi. Maintain an air pressure of 80psi in the rear Trikke wheels and 75 in the front to ensure optimum performance of your Trikke scooter. Furthermore, you have to avoid sharp objects on the road that can puncture your rubber Trikke wheels like jagged rocks or broken glass.

Though Trikke polyurethane wheels are expected to last longer than the pneumatic rubber Trikke tire, the overall lifespan of your Trikke wheel actually depends on your riding style and riding surface preference. If you’re a laid back rider who only requires speed and a gradual workout for improved muscle tone over smooth pavement, then you will get a lot more miles out of your Trikke wheels. However, for the energetic and adventurous Trikke riders who love performing tricks on their Trikke scooters and prefer deep carving and very rough terrain, then expect to replace your wheels more frequently.

Once you notice part of your wheel is starting to show signs of wear and tear, you can just rotate the wheels so the less abraded portion will be more exposed to the ground. If you deem your Trikke wheel unusable because of large holes or deeply eroded surfaces, it is time to replace it with a new one. Just order a Trikke scooter wheel replacement by going to the Buy Now button at the website, and then proceed to the Showroom for parts and accessories.

Once your new Trikke wheels arrive, replacement is easy and simple. You just need two 5mm allen wrenches to loosen the screw holding the Trikke wheel in place, and secure the new Trikke wheel by replacing and tightening the screws. Check the air pressure, and then off you go for more adventures, fun and a great workout. Enjoy!

Charles Dickens’ Neurosis – Accidents and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

On first impressions, you might not think there is a link between Victorian author Charles Dickens and compensation claims in the 21st century, but you would be wrong. In fact Charles Dickens experiences in a train crash nearly 150 years ago closely resemble what many sufferers of acute stress and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder go through today.

Back in June 1865 Mr Dickens was returning from France, accompanied by his mistress and her mother. He was travelling by train to London when the train and nearly all the carriages left the track whilst crossing a river bridge. The accident was caused by engineers working on the line who had removed some of the rails on the bridge whilst they were carrying out repairs. Due to a lack of communication between the engineers and the train staff, the rails had not been put back by the time the train came to cross the bridge.

10 people died in the accident and a further 49 were injured. Fortunately Mr Dickens was in one of the carriages to remain on the track and was uninjured. According to accounts of the accident he played an important part rescuing some of his fellow passengers and providing comfort to the injured. Despite suffering no physical injuries, it is clear from his writing after the accident that the event had a profound affect on him and that he was deeply shaken by what he had seen.

Writing to an old school friend a few days after the accident, Dickens said, “I am a little shaken, not by the beating and dragging of the carriage in which I was, but by the hard work afterwards in getting out the dying and the dead, which was most horrible…” and that “In writing these scanty words of recollection, I feel the shake and am obliged to stop.” It was not just his letters that reflected the impact the near-death experience had had on him, in his later years Dickens returned on several occasions to describe and allude to scenes of disaster and catastrophe.

Had Charles Dickens been assessed for psychological symptoms today, it is quite likely that he would have been provisionally diagnosed as suffering from acute stress disorder. Depending on the progression of his symptoms he may later have been diagnosed as suffering from full blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. If he had been alive today, then he may have been able to make a claim for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder compensation against either the train company, or the engineers working on the line at the time of the accident.

Looking at the Judicial Studies Board guidelines for personal injury compensation, it is possible to come up with an estimate for the amount of compensation that would be paid out today for someone suffering the same types of psychological injuries that affected Charles Dickens. Although Dicken’s symptoms seem to have affected him profoundly in the last 5 years of his life, they did not prevent him from continuing his writing and he was still able to lead a normal life. Therefore it is likely he would have been suffering from moderate or moderately severe Post Traumatic Stress. A psychological injury at this level would attract compensation somewhere between £5,000 and £25,000.

Installing Tabor and Apex Bathroom Furniture

Essentially a vanity unit and WC unit combined, as its name might suggest, a bathroom furniture combination unit is a space saving piece of furniture. Nevertheless, if you’ve bought one of these and are thinking about installing it yourself,you’ll find that as a large, single piece of bathroom furniture, it the potential to be really heavy. Not as much of a problem if you have a floor standing piece such as an Apex or Tabor, but if you’ve bought a wall mounted combination unit you’ll need a helper when it comes to fixing the item to the wall!

Before you begin your installation, check that you have all the parts and tools that you need. It may sound obvious, but if you cut off your bathroom water supply and dismantle your old basin and toilet only to find that you don’t have all the parts you neede to complete the installation of your bathroom furniture, you won’t be best pleased.

Once you’ve assembled your combination unit from its flat-pack delivery state, your water supply to your basin and toilet has been shut off, and your old sanitaryware has been removed, you can begin your installation.

Look around the bathroom: you’ll see that your water supply pipes and waste pipes will come either out from a wall or up from the floor. You’ll need to spot where these pipes enter and exit the room, then cut access holes as appropriate in your new bathroom furniture. Items don’t generally come pre-cut in this way, so wherever you bought your bathroom furniture, this will be one of your first tasks. When cutting your bathroom furniture, measure carefully first of all, and then double check each of your measurements. It’s better to spend some time making sure that you’re cutting in the right place from the outset, than to cut first – and then have to repair an unsightly mistake.

Use common sense when measuring for fixing holes on your walls, and make sure you drill carefully too – especially into tiled surfaces, which can be easy to crack. Plumb in your basin taps and waste and your WC waste and water supply securely, using good quality tools and materials that have been designed for the task in hand.

Always be sure, whether you’re fitting furniture to the wall, or plumbing in your sanitaryware, that you carefully follow any specific fitting instructions that have been provided along with your new bathroom furniture, as the manufacturer may pass on some important item-specific details.

Installation for a Cabinet Cooling Fan Is Easy for Any DIY Pro

Dealing with things like a router, cable box, gaming console, and Blu Ray player all in one cabinet makes for a hot box, and produces a lot of dust. So much that most realize the minimal air circulation will the equipment in less time than one would think.

Many resort to removing the doors to their cabinet, but for anyone concerned about how their living, media or bedroom looks the best bet is to install a fan using a cabinet cooling fan kit.

If a DIY expert, one can follow the step-by-step guide to professionally install a temperature-controlling, quiet fan that keeps any electronics cabinet cool and helps components last long and function properly.

Needed Materials

· A cabinet cooling fan kit. Most experts recommend a single or dual thermal-controlled fan. Take into account the side of the cabinet the fan will be installed on.

· Leveling tool

· Drill and proper bit

· Masking tape

· Jigsaw

· Screwdriver

· Measuring device

Step 1: Figure out where the fan will go, then mark its placement

Placing of the fan will vary depending on the owner’s needs. Think wisely, if most of the equipment is housed on the first shelf of the cabinet, it makes sense to place the fan parallel to that shelf.

As soon as the place for the fan is set, simply mark the middle point with a writing utensil. Then take the masking tape, and make an outline of the fan that came with the cabinet cooling fan kit. Next, center the fan unit over the marked middle point and the tape. Use a leveling tool to level the fan, and do to trace the outline of the fan on top of the tape.

The reason for using tape is to keep the cabinet from being damaged. While it’s not a needed step it’s a smart one.

Step 2: Cut the hole

At this point the DIY expert can get their drill. It’s recommended to use a ½ inch bit. Make two holes in opposite corners of the square that was traced for the fan to saw it out more easily. With the saw, saw right on the traced line carefully and use the drilled holes as the perfect place to begin. Take the square that was cut out and make sure the cabinet cooling fan of the kit, fits.

Step 3: Put together the fan and install it!

While this process differs depending on the cabinet cooling fan kit that was bought, it’s pretty universal. Still, many prefer to check the manual that came with their kit first. Typically, one would hook the fan to the grill first, and making sure that the right side is facing out. Then that entire assembly is attached to the mounting plate. At that point the entire unit can be inserted into the hole.

Take the drill and a 1/16-inch twist-style drill bit. Use it to drill four holes in the corners of the mounting plate; keep them shallow. This step is completed to make it easier to put the screws into the cabinet. Last, take a screwdriver, use it to insert the screws inside the previously drilled holes. This is all it takes to mount the fan into the cabinet!

Of course, there’s a good chance the installation expert will have questions. IN that case, it’s smart to consult the product manual. It will also state what to do to power up the fan and get busy cooling that expensive equipment!

Craftsman NEXTEC Cordless Tools: Real Power Tools or Just Toys?

In this article I am going to give you my quick review of all the NEXTEC tools available now. Craftsman just announced that they are greatly expanding the Craftsman NEXTEC 12 volt Cordless power tools in May 2011 so this is a good time to go over the entire line. The Craftsman NEXTEC QuickBoost Charger will hit shelves in May 2011 and will be followed shortly by a NEXTEC 12-volt 3-in-1 garden tool, string trimmer, hedge trimmer, vacuum, digital inflater, work light and second generation “Hammerhead” Auto Hammer.

I like tools. I like “Tim the Toolman Taylor” Tools. Bigger is better! More Power! Oo-OoO! So when Craftsman sent me the NEXTEC Cordless 12 volt Power Tools last spring I used them, wrote a couple of articles on these cute little tools and then promptly put them down in my basement workshop. They were nice, lightweight tools. They had plenty of power, but I still went back to my “big” tools. I basically forgot about them.

Then, I went into my local Sears around Thanksgiving and I saw customers literally buying the NEXTEC Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver as fast as the store personnel could put them out. What was really strange to me is these NEXTEC 12 volt drills were flying off the shelves, but no one was buying the DeWalt DCD710 12V MAX lithium drill from the display right along side the NEXTEC’s. I knew is was a nice little drill, but I didn’t think everyone else liked it that much. The same thing was happening with the Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 Volt Right Angle Impact Driver was selling well but no one was buying the Dewalt DCF815 12V MAX 1/4 impact driver right next to it.

During the winter I move into a room in the basement. It’s small, only 10 X 10 ft so I don’t have room for a lot of stuff. My router, a workbench with a wood vise, a few hand tools and a set-up table. There is no room for my table saw, miter saw, jointer and drill press. I end up cutting my wood out in the unheated garage, bringing it downstairs, fitting it up, going back out in the garage to drill the holes or joint an edge, back down stairs……you get the picture.

Well, while I was getting the room ready for the winter I found the NEXTEC tools and decided to take a good hard look at them again.

I decided that I would use these tools exclusively in my downstairs workshop this winter.

What I like:

Weight. The NEXTEC tools weigh only half of even my lightest cordless drill.

Size. Easy to handle even for small hands. Don’t feel too small like the little cordless screwdrivers for big hands

Power. Have as much power as the old 15.6 tools and I think a lot more power than the old 7.2, 9.6, 10.8 and 14.4 tools. More power than the C3 19.2 volt Model 17191

In the rest of this article I will give quick review of each tool:

Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Drill/Driver Model 17586 What I like: It costs less than half of DeWalt DCD710 12V MAX Drill. It weighs less at only 2.2 lbs. with the 12.0 Volt Lithium-Ion battery. It will fit in your hand and easily slip into the pocket of your work apron. This is the most powerful drill on the market for the weight. It has 195 in.-lbs. of Torque which is plenty for most of the tasks around your home. It has a 2-Speed Gearbox and a 3/8-Inch Single Sleeve Keyless Chuck. A lot of guys thin they need a 1/2 inch chuck, but if you look at the wall at your nearest hardware store 95% of the drill bits and screwdriving bits will fit in this drill. 18 Position Adjustable Torque Clutch. Integrated LED Work Light. 30-Minute Quick Charger What I don’t like: I really like this drill and about the only thing I would put on it would be a battery charge indicator. It would be nice to know when the battery is about to run out.

Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0 Volt Right Angle Impact Driver Model 17562 What I like: Even though Sears states this has only 700 in lbs of torque a bunch of us feel it has as much power as the Dewalt DCF815 12V MAX 1/4 impact driver for a lot less money. We also liked the right angle drive. It will get into places the other drills can’t. What I don’t like: The right angle takes a little practice to get used to. When you first use it…use both hands until you get the feel for the impact driver. After that you will enjoy using it.

Craftsman 17428 Nextec 12-volt Cordless Compact 1/4” Impact Driver Model 17428 What I like: Same weight and feel as the Model 17586 Drill/Driver. What I don’t like: Could use a battery meter.

12-volt NEXTEC Multi-Tool Model 17438 What I like: Multi-tools are quickly becoming the go-to tool for cutting, sanding, grout removal and scraping. This lightweight tool can easily do the work of a trim saw, jamb saw, drywall saw, detail sander, rotary grout tool, carbide cutter and paint scraper. The Craftsman NEXTEC is one of the lightest of the bunch and it will accept the Fein attachments. This gives it the most versatility of all the mulit-tools out there. It has plenty of power to do all these tasks around the home. The batteries last about 20 minutes during continuous use, charge in 30 minutes and you can get a second battery if you need one for less than $25. What I don’t like: Eventually I would like to see quick release blade changing. It only takes 30 seconds to change the tool now, but I want to do it faster!

NEXTEC 12-volt Lithium-Ion Hammerhead Auto Hammer Model 11818 What I like: I don’t use nails very often anymore. I use screws for most of my woodworking tasks, but the other day I put a few more lights in the basement and the Hammerhead was the right tools to nail the outlet boxes into the rafters. It only took 30 seconds to nail the box into the beam and NO BENT NAILS! What I don’t like: Craftsman is coming out with a new version of this about May 2011. I will wait to give you my viewpoint then.

Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion True Finish™ Sander Model 61326 What I like: This is a “Mouse” size sander but it has two big advantages over all the other sanders like it on the market. One, it is cordless! The battery lasts a long, long time. Two, It doesn’t make your hand go numb! The built in counter balancer cancels out the hand numbing vibration you are used to. What I don’t like: NO ONE knows about this sander! It comes in one kit and you can get the “bare” tool online but very few people realize how nice this sander is.

Craftsman NEXTEC 12.0V Lithium-Ion Circular Saw Model 61325 What I like: This is the one tool in the NEXTEC line that I really don’t like. It has enough power to cut even hard maple, but the design is all wrong. The base plate “shoe” is too big for the saw, The saw mark on the shoe is too far away from the blade. It doesn’t have a laser guide, the light is in the wrong place, the blades are too thick and there is not enough of a selection of blade styles. What I don’t like: Oops, I already told you what I don’t like.

Craftsman 14299 Nextec 12-volt Cordless Multi-Saw Model 14299 What I like: I use this saw a lot for the size, power, and versatility. It has a lot of power for the size and is really handy for those quick cuts. It uses standard jig saw blades which come in all sizes and styles. What I don’t like: It doesn’t have a “blower” to keep the sawdust away from your cut line.

Craftsman NEXTEC 12 volt LED Worklight Model 14298 What I like: This is a great work light and flashlight for the house. It will run continuously for hours on one battery and the battery stays charged for over a year if you don’t use it. The head swivels for under the sink work and it stands up all by itself. What I don’t like: My wife saw it, and immediately stole it to put on her nightstand! Now if it only came in decorator colors!

Craftsman 12 Volt Nextec Compact Lithium-Ion battery Model 11221 What I like: You can buy additional batteries for less than $25. A lot of power for the size. (as much as your old 14.4 batteries) Will hold a charge for up to a year. With the new charger Craftsman just announced will recharge to 25% in less than 3 minutes. What I don’t like: I would like a little clip so I can hang a spare on my belt.

Summary: The Craftsman NEXTEC 12 volt Cordless power tools are great for homeowners. They are lightweight, strong and easy on the wallet to buy. They work surprisingly well for the size and cost a lot less than other brands. I highly recommend these tools.

Sphere Fountain – 5 Easy Steps to Design a Rolling Sphere Tabletop Fountain in Less Than 30 Minutes

Rolling sphere fountains are absolutely marvelous in their appeal and design. They are one of the most difficult fountains to design at home. However, with this easy-to-implement design guide, it should be a piece of cake for you to design a rolling sphere tabletop fountain.

Material You Would Need:

o Submersible pump that circulates about 80 to120 gallons of water per hour.

o Narrow flexible pipe tubing to fit the pump spout opening

o A small light-weight rolling ball made from marble.

o A rock or stone base with drilled hole in middle.

o A proportionally sized bowl

o River stone or pebbles.

Here’s the Easy-To-Implement Step-by-Step Design Guide

Step 1: Setup Clean your bowl and the rock base. Make sure that the base is drilled thoroughly and that there are no blockages. Place the submersible water pump in the bowl. Make sure your pump has the water flow set to high. Add sufficient water in the bowl to cover the pump and test its operation. Once you verify that the pump fits within the bowl and it’s operational, turn it off.

Step 2: Base Integration Place the rock base on top of the pump spout. If the spout of pump is too wide, use the flexible pipe tubing to pass through the drilled base. Cut the pipe tubing on the other end of the drilled base so that it stays invisible. Turn on the pump and see if the water flows through the drilled base.

Step 3: Add The Marble Sphere Turn on the pump and verify if the water flows through the drilled base to turn the marble sphere. If the marble sphere does not turn, you have two options: either choose a pump with higher gph capacity (Gallons per Hour capacity) or choose a marble sphere with lighter weight.

Step 4: Test Everything & Decorate Now that you have placed the sphere on top of the drilled base, your fountain is almost ready. Add decorative features like river stones, pebbles, moss, or mosaic to your bowl if you want to add some flare to your water fountain!

Step 5: Maintenance Maintenance of this fountain is fairly easy. Just check the water level regularly and observe the evaporation rate of the water. Make sure you keep the bowl clean of debris and other external material or it might stop working because of pump issues.

Applying these easy-to-implement steps would help you design a beautiful rolling sphere fountain to refresh your mind, rejuvenate your senses, and unleash your creativity this Christmas season!

Paintings of Modern Art – "The Scream"

If any single painting exemplified the concepts of modernism, and how the philosophy influenced art, it’s “The Scream” by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The painting, which depicts an agonized figure against a blood red sky. There are those that say that the painting depicts the hopelessness inherent in modernism. Others call “The Scream” a symbol of modern man overtaken by an attack of existential angst, the moment in which the existential crisis occurs.

As a matter of fact, some people believe that the painting depicts some kind of mental illness, supported by the fact that Munch’s own sister was hospitalized with what was probably manic depression at the time. Others insist that the painting depicts some kind of dissociative disorder, in which there’s a feeling of distortion of the environment and one’s self.

There have been all kinds of attempts to explain different aspects of the painting. The red sky, for example, could’ve been inspired by the weather conditions in Oslo during the time that Munch created it. There was a powerful volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, and the ash that was ejected from the volcano left the sky tinted red in much of the eastern United States and most of Europe and Asia from the end of November 1883 to February 1884. Some scholars dispute this theory, however, stating that Munch wasn’t a descriptive painter and tended to not depict things literally.

Another theory that advances the depiction of mental illness in this painting is the setting of the painting itself. The landscape in the background of “The Scream” is Osloford, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg, near what’s now Oslo, Norway. The bridge the subject is standing on happens to be nearby both a slaughterhouse and a mental institution. Munch very well could’ve gotten some existential vibes from both buildings.

At any rate, “The Scream” seems to be one of those modernist paintings that have captured the public, to the point that by the late twentieth century, it held almost iconic stature. In 1983 and 1984, pop artist Andy Warhol created a series of silk prints of Munch’s works, including “The Scream,” making it into a mass-reproducible object. It’s now one of the most recognizable pieces of art, and has been used in cartoons, movies, and advertisement.

Munch created at least four versions of “The Scream,” held by various individuals and museums all over the world. Two of them have been stolen. The first was in 1994, from the National Gallery in Oslo, the same day as the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. The four thieves left a note to replace the painting they stole: “Thanks for the poor security.” It was recovered in 1994 in a sting operation. Another version, along with another of Munch’s paintings (“Madonna”), was stolen in 2004, from the Munch Museum in Oslo. It was damaged, but was able to be restored after the police recovered it after a huge investigation.

“The Scream” by Edvard Munch, is an important piece of modern art. Many believe that it has garnered so much attention because it depicts not only the spirit of modernism, both as a philosophy and an art movement, but the angst and detachment of the modern world.