Testing a Transformer – How To Accurately Test A Transformer

There is two types of transformers in the market- linear transformer and switch mode power transformer. The transformers design is different. Sometimes it is just referred as ac transformer. Linear transformer mostly used in radio, project kits, VCD and etc while switch mode transformer can be found in Monitor, Tv, Fax and so on.

A transformer consists of two or more coils wound on the same core. For power transformers, the core material is usually iron. For a radio-frequency transformer, the core material is usually ferrite or air. The basic property of a transformer is to change AC voltage. A transformer cannot change direct current voltage. A step down transformer has a lower AC output voltage at its secondary winding than the AC input voltage to its primary winding. Conversely, a step up transformer has a higher secondary than primary voltage. The transformer laminations or coating of shellac, enamel or varnish is to insulate adjacent turns from shorts between winding. I will not go too details about how transformer work and transformer calculation as you can read more details from most electrical and electronic transformers books.

How to test transformers: Transformer failures are relatively rare in most electronic equipment, compared with other components. If too much current goes through a coil or winding, the winding heats up and can either open up completely, or the insulation between turns of wire can break down, causing the coil to be partly or completely shorted.

Just like a coil, you can check continuity of any primary or secondary transformer winding. The actual value of DC resistance you read is rather meaningless, but at least you will know whether a winding is open. Checking linear transformer is quite straight forward. Apply the ac voltage to the primary winding and expect output voltage at the secondary side. No or low output voltage means the transformer winding has open or shorted winding. Look for any evidence of overheating, such as darkened or blackened areas or a burnt smell.

About how to test a power transformer-it is a little bit complicated. You cannot apply ac voltage to the equipment and expect the desire output at the secondary side without connect to load otherwise over voltage will happen (because you have removed all the secondary load) and will blow the power section which consist of power fet, pwm ic and etc. Switch mode power supply are designed to run with load while linear transformer can be test without load.

The best way to test a switch mode power transformer is first remove it from the board. Check only the primary winding as secondary winding failures are exceedingly rare. How do we know which one is the primary winding? Trace from the big filter cap the positive pin to see where the circuit goes. It will go to one of the pin of the transformer. Then look for the power fet middle pin which is the Drain and it will lead to another pin of the transformer. This two pins is the primary winding of the transformer. Checking the resistance of the primary winding only can reveal whether it is open but it cannot check if it has developed a shorted winding. Only by using a ringer test you will know if it shorted or not. A shorted turn in the primary winding can cause the power section to blow.

The cheapest ringer tester that i came across is Dick Smith LOPT METER or flyback tester. Just connect the probes to the primary winding and the result are instantly seen from the Led bar graph. 4-8 bar represent a good winding, 1-2 bar represent partial short and if the led goes off means there is a heavy short in the winding. Besides checking the transformer it can be use to check B+ COIL, horizontal yoke coil and flyback primary winding and ballast (choke).

The expensive ringer tester is from sencore equipment. Sencore LC102 and LC103C besides checking capacitor it also have the capability to check all kind of winding. Whether it is a low voltage transformer, high voltage transformer, current transformer, pulse transformer, electric transformer, custom transformer this equipment will be able to check and test it.

If you do not wish to invest on this tester you may use a light bulb to check it. Remove one of the primary winding pin and connect a 60 watt light bulb. One end to the circuit while the other to the transformer pin. If the bulb light and didn’t goes off suspect a shorted winding and if the light goes off, the winding is ok.

Transformer repair is not easy and it require a good skill to do it. Most of the transformer repairer preferred to rewind bigger winding such as fan, car alternator and starter. Switch mode power transformer is a little bit difficult to rewind because of the small size and low price.

Rogaine Foam Review – Does Rogaine Foam Work?

There are millions of hair loss sufferers in the world and many don’t bother to do anything about it for many reasons. Some reasons might be that they don’t care about going bald, many can’t afford to buy hair loss treatments, and some just don’t believe hair loss treatments really work at all. There are many hair loss treatments on the market today but I wanted to specifically focus on Rogaine Foam as it is the most popular hair loss treatment as well as I have personal experience with the product. I’ve read plenty of Rogaine Foam reviews but many seem to be tailored on promoting the product or just bashing the product altogether from an unhappy customer. As a fellow hair loss sufferer, I felt providing an honest Rogaine Foam review to be needed to really educate the public so hair loss sufferers can hear both sides of the story before considering using the product.

My Hair Loss Story

Everyone loses hair everyday. In fact it is typical to lose up to 100 hairs per day as they are being replaced by new hairs. However, I believed my hair loss was excessive and it was one of the most depressing experiences of my life at the time. Each time I got my hair ready in the morning or whenever I showered I would see tons of hair in the drain. My confidence was down big time as I constantly worried when I would be fully bald or when people would notice that I was going bald. To make matters worse, my father is bald so I just knew it was just a matter of time before I was bald. The overall experience and anticipation made it a very stressful situation as many people in society base people on looks. I didn’t know where to turn to or if there was even anything I can do to make the balding stop. I have always seen the Rogaine commercials but questioned, “Does Rogaine Foam work and what are the Rogaine Foam side effects?” I did some research on Rogaine and then decided to try the product years ago. I will share my experience with the product later in this article.

I have read through many Rogaine Foam reviews from other users and based with my personal experiences here are the positives, negatives, and some possible side effects of Rogaine Foam.

Rogaine Foam Positives

– Obviously the main positive that everyone using Rogaine Foam hopes for is that it may stop male pattern baldness and regrow your hair back.

– Many users claim it made their hair thicker, fuller, and darker.

– Rogaine Foam is very quick, easy and convenient to apply and use. You can work it into your daily regimen quite easily. Many state its the most convenient and easiest hair loss treatment to use.

– The product is only supposed to regrow hair on the top of the scalp but many users said it regrew hair even on the frontal hair line.

– Most had positive results with just using Rogaine Foam, however, many experienced even greater results when combined with other hair loss treatments. Many used Rogaine Foam for hair growth and used it concurrently with Propecia which is used to stop hair loss.

– Rogaine is the only FDA approved hair loss brand.

Rogaine Foam Negatives

– Some claim that the product doesn’t work and that Rogaine Foam didn’t stop their hair loss nor regrow their hair. First, Rogaine only works for pattern baldness so you have to make sure that your hair loss is due to pattern baldness and not occurring because of a disease, stress, or another reason. Secondly, Rogaine themselves has stated that the product doesn’t work for everyone as it claims that in studies it was effective in 85% of the people. There not many health products that work for every person and I know for sure there isn’t one single hair loss treatment that will work for every single person in the entire world. There are going to be some people where the product just doesn’t work for them. You wont know unless you try it and you must use it for at least 3 to 4 months to really gauge to see if the product is working for you.

– There are possible side effects when taking any product as Rogaine Foam also has but the more common side effects are itching and flaking of the scalp. If you do experience this while taking the product, simply stop taking the product and it will go away.

– Another issue is that when you stop taking the product your hair loss will continue. I am not speaking of just simply missing an application and you will wake up bald the next morning. But if you completely stop taking the product I believe it takes about 2 to 3 months for your hair loss to continue. The simple solution to this if the product is working, do not stop using it.

– Others claim they didn’t like the smell of Rogaine Foam, however, their is a newer unscented Rogaine Foam formula so this shouldn’t be a factor any longer.

– Some people end up using more Rogaine Foam than if they were to use the topical solution. For example, in both products you are supposed to apply two times per day. The topical solution comes with a dropper so you can measure the exact amount that you apply. However, with the foam it states to apply half a cap full two times per day. As a user of Rogaine Foam, since it so easy and convenient to apply it becomes quite easy to make it a habit to not put the foam into the cap and to just directly apply it to the scalp. The people that do this might end up using more than they should, thus depleting the bottle faster and end up spending more money. The easy solution to fix this problem is to actually do as the directions say and apply half a capful.

– Lastly some people state that Rogaine Foam made their hair loss actually increase. This is actually a possibility, however, it is normal. It is very important that you understand this so you wont panic and stop taking whatever hair loss product you decide on. Let me explain really briefly;

Hair growth has 3 cycles which consist of the anagen phase which is the growth phase. The second phase is the categen phase which is also called the transitional phase. It lasts 2 to 4 weeks and during this phase the hair actually stops growing but does not fall out. The 3rd phase is the telogen phase which is also known as the resting phase which lasts 2 to 4 months. During this time the hair still does not grow. Approximately 10 to 15% of the hair on your scalp is in the telogen phase at any one time. After the telogen phase the cycle is complete and the hair goes back into the anagen phase. It is at this time where the hair shaft is forming that the old hair is pushed out and lost.

So when you start taking a product like Rogaine Foam you stimulate the hair follicle to start producing hair. What happens is that many hair follicles that are in the telogen phase then go into the growth phase. When the hair follicle starts growing a new hair it first has to get rid of the old hair which is still attached to the hair follicle. So instead of these hairs falling out gradually at different times, they all fall out together giving you the impression that you are losing more hair. The reality is that the hair that fell out had stopped growing and it was due to fall out anyway. So shedding is a positive sign and means that you are responding well to the treatment and new hair is growing in. And when I say hair falls out it doesn’t mean your entire head, it just means the hairs in the telogen phase which is about 10 to 15% of your hair. Many people do not know this and end up stopping the treatment when they should stay on it.

My Personal Experience Using Rogaine Foam

I actually first started taking Rogaine Topical Solution before I used Rogaine Foam. I purchased the product online as I was too embarrassed to buy it in the store. The product started working for me as I noticed less hair falling out and my hair seemed thicker and fuller. However, after about a couple months my scalp actually started to itch and get flaky. I knew it had to be the Rogaine as it was the only new product I was using on my hair. I began to worry as I didn’t want to stop taking the product as my hair loss would continue so I did further research. I read that some people with more sensitive scalps had the same itchy scalp problem that I had, however, when they made the switch to Rogaine Foam the itching and flaking disappeared. So I made the switch to Rogaine Foam and the itchiness and flakiness did exactly that, it disappeared. As far as the hair loss went, I also noticed the same results as the topical solution. My excessive hair loss stopped and my hair was thicker and fuller.

My Recommendation

My experience with the product is a positive one and I still currently use the product. The product has stopped my excessive hair loss which in turn has restored my confidence and ability to just keep on living life without worrying about going bald. I know that with my family history I would have been bald by now if I didn’t use the product. I also feel that Rogaine Foam is really convenient and quick to apply. I just simply added it to my daily regimen of getting ready and it only takes about 20 to 30 seconds to apply.

Based on my personal experience of using the product and reading Rogaine Foam reviews of others I recommend the product to any male experiencing pattern baldness. I hope they have the same positive experience that I am having. The real negative is that it might not work for you, however, if you purchase the 3 or 4 month supply product it is a small price to pay in order to find out if Rogaine Foam will work for you. All you have to do is give it a try and sufficient enough time to see if it is working for you.

The Top 10 Things Every Black Man Wants Every Black Woman To Know

I wish I had the email address of every man that is involved with a woman that misunderstands him. I would email this article to him and tell him to pin it up in a strategic place so the woman in his life would be forced to read it regularly. Hopefully, after being subjected to reading this laminated article in the shower multiple times, she would begin to realize that her man isn’t as boorish as she thinks.

Unfortunately, there is a HUGE understanding-gap between men and women. Without mutual effort, this gap will widen into an impassable chasm. I applaud ANY woman that will take the time to read and react to this article. It means that she is astute enough to realize that she has a lot to learn about the male species, and concerned enough to study.

I’m writing on this topic because I’m passionate about it. I know how it feels to make your best attempt at living honestly, only to have it met with a level of suspicion and skepticism. Eventually, despondency sets in and thwarts any effort to reveal the genuine and authentic you. Please comment on this article. Your feedback could buttress the validity of these points and help an ailing relationship. Thank you!

1. I Need Your Support

Cheerleaders are a quintessential part of any sporting experience. Without the choreographed gyrations of the lovely ladies on the sidelines, watching a live game would be incomplete. Most casual fans don’t realize that cheerleaders actually serve two purposes. Not only do they provide entertainment and eye candy for the crowd, but they also supply moral support to the team. This is critical particularly when the team is playing an away game and they’re facing a hostile crowd. Unfortunately, there are a large number of men that feel like every day they wake up is an away game. Their hostile crowd is made up of bosses, baby mammas, and if they’re black…the majority of society. Home should be their end zone and not simply an extension of the opposing team’s territory. A winning environment for a man MUST include a willing cheerleader that chants when he scores a touchdown and chants louder when he fumbles. Men long to know that when they look to the sidelines, they’ll see a rooting section, even if that rooting section consists of only one remarkable woman.

2. I Don’t Talk Like You Do

The next time you read a newspaper, examine the difference between the headlines and fine print. You’ll quickly discover that headlines are big, bold, and concise while the fine print is smaller, more detailed and extensive. The headlines and fine print in a newspaper offer a great example of how most men and women communicate. Men communicate in headlines, while women communicate in fine print. Men will say: MY DAY WAS GOOD, THE DINNER WAS DELICIOUS, YOUR DRESS IS NICE. Women will go into great detail about the intricacies of the day, dinner, and dress. Neither the man nor the woman is communicating incorrectly, they’re just communicating differently. The argument erupts when the woman interprets the man’s lack of elaboration as a sign that he’s uninterested in her day, dinner, or dress. This scenario is tragic yet common and it causes men to shut down in exasperation. Noted neuropsychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine is an expert on the male and female brain (I will refer to her research again in this article). In her book The Female Brain she cited that women speak 250 words per minute versus the 125 words a minute that are typical for men. She also stated that a woman uses 20,000 words per day, while a man uses only 7,000. This should pretty much sum it up! A woman needs to understand that if she forces her man to communicate like she does, though he may acquiesce, he’ll loathe every conversation they have and look for ways to avoid them.

3. I’m NOT A Sexual Deviant

I am going to disclose a secret about most men that will shock most women. Ready? MEN ARE PREOCCUPIED WITH SEX! Ladies, are you shocked? Hopefully, every woman reading this article is chuckling at the sheer obviousness of that revelation. Women know that men are fixated with sex, but they don’t know to what extent. In studying the male brain, Dr. Louann Brizendine discovered that most men think about sex every 52 seconds! Did you get that? Not even a full minute goes by before men are delving into sexually-charged thinking. Men are forced to subdue this shocking reality because if most women knew how often men contemplated intercourse, they would think all men are perverted sex-addicts. The difference of hormonal influence between men and women has the potential to breed big problems in a relationship. Men tend to view sex as an existential need while women tend to view it as a periodic treat. Women struggle to comprehend why men have such an insatiable appetite for sex and they often label male sexuality as abnormal. Ladies, IT’S NOT ABNORMAL! It’s not abnormal for a man to argue with you all day and attempt to be intimate at night. He can easily separate the emotional from the physical. It’s not abnormal for a man to think your offering of sex every-other-week is ridiculous. It is ridiculous! Rather than maligning your man for being sexually unhealthy, you should appreciate the fact that he’s trying to use his hardware while it’s still operable. Considering that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, there might come a day when the script is flipped and he’s the one turning you down.

4. I Say I Love You Differently

When a woman hears the words, ‘I love you,’ her heart skips a beat. She is automatically translated into a sugarplum and licorice world filled with gushy hearts and hyper-colored rainbows. She floats on cloud nine and never even considers the authenticity of the uttered words. Yes, some men use those meaningful words strategically. They know that in so many cases those words are the keys to unlocking female vulnerability. On the other end of the spectrum, there are men that NEVER say I love you. It’s not that they don’t feel the love; they just don’t effectively express it. Maybe they were raised in environments that exploited any signs of weakness. Maybe no one ever communicated love to them so they have a hard time communicating it to anyone else. In situations like these, women should focus on what a man does rather than what he says. Men communicate love in different ways. Fidelity is the loudest way that men say I love you. If you read point #3, you understand that men are constantly thinking about sex. Sometimes their thoughts lead them to find an outlet in illicit areas. The fact that your man has learned to ignore and/or suppress this urge for you is proof that he’s head over heels. A willingness to provide, lavishing of gifts, a commitment to change the things you hate about him, introducing you to his mother- these are all ways that men show love. Ultimately, women should view love as an action and not simply as an emotion. If he’s consistently proving his love for you, then saying he loves you should be unnecessary.

5. I Need Someone I Can Confide In

A tiny bead of perspiration trickled down Walter’s head. He had been dating Felicia for 11 months and as they sat on the phone, he felt prepared to bare his soul and share his deepest secrets. With hesitation, he told Felicia about the time he ended up in jail on a minor drug charge. He told her about the deep depression he slipped into after the murder of his closest friend. He even told her his deepest and most concealed skeleton; when he was 19 he contracted The Clap from a girlfriend. Felicia praised Walter for his candor and when they hung up, Walter actually felt relieved to get everything off of his chest. The next day Walter accompanied Felicia to a gathering at Felicia’s girlfriend’s house. Gabby and Felicia had been friends for eons so it was only natural for Walter to meet her. Upon their arrival, Gabby approached Walter with both arms extended, “Give me a hug,” she shouted, “I’ve heard so much about you and it’s so glad to finally meet you”. “It’s great to meet you too,” Walter responded warmly. “In honor of meeting you for the first time I actually got you a gift,” Gabby exclaimed anxiously. Gabby reached into her closet and pulled out a perfectly square, well-wrapped box. “Here you go,” she said. Walter was charmed by the gesture and he smiled girlishly as he meticulously removed the gift wrap. Gabby looked in anticipation and after all of the wrapping was removed Walter starred at the gift in stunned silence. Gabby bought Walter The Clapper, the old school clap on – clap off Clapper. The box even had a note attached to it that read: Felicia tells me everything. Hope you’re not mad but I’m a jokester. Walter stormed out the house in disgust and drove off leaving Felicia without a ride home. He considered Felicia’s loose lips an unforgivable violation. It took him everything to open up to her and she trounced on his transparency. “The next girlfriend I get will be mute,” Walter said to himself as he drove away.

6. The Thing That I’m MOST Afraid of is Failure

When two guys meet, they normally engage in casual banter for only moments until they ask the size-up question- What do you do for a living? This loaded question is designed to covertly establish male dominance among the conversing men. Like a guerilla beating his chest in the jungle, the man with the more prestigious career feels validated when he discovers that he’s the higher income-earner. Sadly, the other man quietly feels inferior and unaccomplished. Although most men would publicly deny this scenario, we all secretly know it’s true. Nothing hurts worse than when a man examines the totality of his life and realizes that he’s grossly underachieved. For men, feeling like a failure is a worse sentence than death. Unfortunately ladies, there are times when you contribute to this feeling. How do you make your man feel like a failure? If any of the following statements sound familiar to you, then you’d better be careful and learn how to approach your man more productively:

• “Why can’t you spend more time with the kids?”

• “Are you ever going to come home on time?”

• “Were you born this way or did you develop into being such a jerk?”

• “Why can’t you simply understand what I’m trying to say to you?”

Are you getting the picture of what not to say? The simple truth is that if you come at your man with questions that are more like accusations, then you might be leading him to feel that he’s a failure. Most men will withdrawal from you and end the relationship if you constantly highlight the problems without also offering solutions. Ultimately, a man needs to feel like he’s winning more than he’s losing in order to avoid the failure-zone.

7. “P” Is The Most Comforting Thing In The World

I’m sure you’re wondering what the letter “P” stands for. I promise I will explain after this anecdote. Do you remember what it was like when you learned how to drive? Depending on who taught you, your experience was either highly instructional or highly stressful. A good driver’s training teacher knows that they need to watchfully guide their pupil and avoid yelling profusely when he/she makes a mistake. The bad instructor anxiously looms over their pupil and berates them when they make a false move. The difference between the two instructors boils down to one word…PATIENCE! The good instructor has the patience to gently correct their protégé’s foibles while the bad instructor creates an environment that is not conducive to successful learning and development. The highway of life is replete with potholes and filled with detours at every turn. The ability to carefully maneuver through each pitfall is a skillset that men are honing on a daily basis. Sometimes, men make wrong turns and display the fact that they’ve still got a lot to work on. As the compassionate instructor, your job is to show patience while we blossom into effective road warriors. Give us time to drop the habits. Give us time to develop new ways of thinking. Give us time to evolve into the kings that we know we are. Your patience makes our transition easier and more enjoyable.

8. Your Friends Drive Me Crazy

Quantaneka, LaTremanisha, and all of your other girlfriends with four to five-syllables in their name need to go! Of course I’m only kidding but your man might secretly feel this way. If you are in a committed relationship yet most of your girlfriends are single, chances are your man does feel this way. Because your friends are not with anyone and probably lonely, they attach themselves to you like a leech and presumptuously try to include themselves in all of your affairs. When you get into a spat with your man, it’s your single girlfriend that says, “Girl, if I was you I would leave him alone. That’s why I’m single now.” Actually, if she read my article The Top 10 Reasons Black Women Stay Single, she would discover the real reason why she’s doesn’t have a man. Let me list the things that your girlfriends do that drive men up the wall:

• Engages in open conversations with you about other men in front of your man’s face

• Ask to go on a double-date with you and forces your man to spend hours with some guy he doesn’t even know

• Contradicts everything your man says and tells you to ignore all of it

• Tries to offer relationship advice to you even though she’s been single for ages

Honestly, I could go on for days. A man can respect his woman’s friends if they respect him, but the moment she crosses the line he takes a defensive posture and retreats into battle mode. It’s hard to have a peaceful relationship when your man and your friend are more like Martin and Pam than they are like Gina and Tommy.

9. The Secret Behind “Guy Friends”

I have been waiting the entire article to reach this point so excuse me while I go in! In point #8 I talked about trifling girlfriends. Now, I will shift gears and tell you how men really feel about their girlfriend’s so-called “guy friends”. The 21st Century woman is not afraid to admit that she has more “guy friends” than girlfriends. She explains that she gravitates more to men as friends because they offer a lot less drama. Although there is some validity to this claim, they are naïve if they think the men that they befriend do not have ulterior motives. It’s the oldest trick in the book that nearly every guy has played. Meet a woman, and if she’s not interested romantically just stick around as a “friend”. Over time, she will see how caring and attentive the guy is. She will confide in him when she goes through relationship issues. She will tell him her deepest secrets and eventually, she’ll become putty in his hands. While the woman is totally oblivious, like a cheetah stalking its prey, her “guy friend” moves in for the kill. Men are acutely aware of this façade so they distrust another man that tries to play the “friend” role. Men know that all he’s waiting for is an opportunity. Unfortunately, women are quick to label men as insecure, possessive and/or overbearing when they voice their concern about the friendship. Actually, a man can have total and complete trust in his woman and still disapprove of the friendship because he knows that the “guy friend” is an opportunistic charlatan. Frustrations are aroused even more when the man feels like the woman is naively denying this reality. In this homie-lover-friend age of unattached intimacy, conniving men are all too willing to pose as the confidant while plotting as the con-artist. Ladies, trust your man’s instincts and know that in the constant chess match called dating, game recognizes game.

10. There’s A Reason Why I Act Differently Around The Fellas

Male bravado is a powerful thing. When men get together there is palpable electricity that enlivens any room. This fact was clearly evident when the church I previously worked for held a Super bowl party. In previous years, the church excluded women from attending the annual party. It was a men-only event that drew hundreds of guys out of their house and into the church fellowship hall. This particular year, the church decided to make the party co-ed. They issued an announcement inviting women hoping that their inclusive olive branch would draw more people. Unfortunately, that year’s party was a horrible failure. Men refused to go because they felt betrayed. For most of them, the Super bowl party was the one day in the year that they could hoot and holler without being called juvenile. It was their only annual opportunity to embellish on their high school football stories without being called ostentatious. It was their day and the church took it from them. Women often complain that when men get around their friends they become cocky and aloof. Actually, I would add another word to that description- relaxed. When a man is hanging out with his friends, it’s his opportunity to be genuinely and unashamedly male. There is no better example of black male camaraderie than in Greek fraternities. They stand as a shining example that when black men are on one accord, they have no problem stepping in harmony.

Well, there they are! All 10 things that black men want black women to know. Did I miss anything? Brothers, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if I omitted something important. Hopefully, this article will enlighten women and embolden men. Until next time, LIVE & LOVE LIFE!

Executive Art and Christmas Gifts For The Oil and Gas Well Drilling Field

Have you been trying to find unique oilfield oil and gas Christmas gifts for a loved one or for your loyal employees? In recent years there have been many wonderful executive level oilfield gifts brought onto the market. It is possible to purchase truly unique oil and gas industry gift items from $7.49 all the way up to $3500.

If you are looking for some interesting gifts in the lower price range for the roughneck or oil well industry worker on your list you could possibly consider some of the many different types oil and gas keychains that are on the market. It is possible to find rotary tricone drill bit keychains for under $10 which are cast from fine pewter. If you are willing to spend a few more dollars these pewter tricone pendant keychains can be found gold plated. Also available in this price range are down the hole hammer bit and PDC pewter drill bit keychains. Perhaps you need a gift for somebody in the oil and gas well service industry? Cast pewter keychains can also be found in replicas of workover service rigs, oilfield elevators, BOP blowout preventers, and frac pumps. If you are willing to spend $49 – $90 PDC, hammer bit and tricone drill bit keychains can be purchased which are machined by hand from brass and then nickel and gold plated. The details of these replicas are amazing as they show grease caps, jets, api tapered threads and different tooth patterns on each cone. Hand machined PDC drill bit keychains can be found with exacting details like breakout wrench flats, api tapered threads, jets and even gem stones to represent teeth. If you really want to go all out diamonds can be set to represent the cutting teeth in the PDC drill bit keychain. Specialized laser engraving can even be added to many of these oilfield keychians in order to make a truly one of a kind gift that will be cherished forever. “Dog Tags” can also be printed in full color and added to these keychians making a wonderful promotional opportunity because you have enough space to list telephone numbers and other important company information on the tag.

Perhaps you are looking for a unique oilfield gift in the $189 – $600 price range. Every oil man is certain to want a gold plated desk top working pump jack model. These beautiful animated oilfield pump jack models are powered by a single “AA” battery and are mounted on a beautiful wooden base. Standing approximately 7″ tall they are certain to attract attention in any home or office. This type model can be purchased in the $189 dollar price range. If you are willing to spend $75 more dollars these gold plated oilfield pump jack models can be purchased with an oil derrick mounted beside the oil pump jack on the wooden base. If you want to make the biggest impression, purchase the model which includes a pump jack, oil derrick and even an oil tank battery with two holding tanks, ladder and walkway. This type miniature oilfield scene can be purchased in the $400 price range. Of course we must not forget about a gift for all the oil and gas drilling rig workers and executives who are drilling offshore. For them it is possible to purchase a gold plated working model of an offshore drilling rig platform. This miniature offshore animated drill rig model features a helicopter on a landing pad with blades that rotate. On the other side of the oilfield platform is a crane, which also rotates 360 degrees. Other features include stairways leading up to the working floor and a drilling derrick. All of these miniature gold plated working oil and gas models feature wooden bases which are large enough to have customized engraving plates added for that special touch.

If you are looking for the top of the line executive oilfield gift then maybe you should consider a 100% hand-made oil and gas drilling rig model. These models can be found which stand 33″ tall. They feature substructures and derricks, which fold down and rest on a crown stand. These oilfield drilling rig models are made from metal and every piece is soldered together by hand. These are truly wonderful pieces of oilfield art. Other details include working traveling blocks, detailed blowout preventers, dog houses and draw-works. These miniature oil derrick models can even be equipped with led lights up and down the derrick and come complete with a battery pack. Many bases are offered in order to mount these rigs on a sturdy foundation. Choices include chrome diamond plate, black grand piano wood, or rosewood bases. Custom logos can even be added to the side of the dog house. Finishes for these oil and gas drill rig models include gold plate, chrome, wet mirror black or custom powder coat paint in any color you desire. These working oilfield models can be purchased in the $2500 – $3500 price range. Custom built offshore drilling models are also available in this price range.

What Kind of Netball Equipment Do You Need?

When you start playing a sport like netball you will have to take the time to learn the rules of the game and also how to play. You will take time to study the moves, positions, and list of things you are not allowed to do. You should also think about getting some netball equipment so that you can practice at home or if you are introducing the sport at your school.

Netball is a sport that is similar to basketball and is usually played by women only, although men’s netball is a growing sport.

The differences between netball and basketball are the fact that instead of running with the ball and dribbling, in netball you are not allowed to move when you have the ball. If you are passed the netball you have to stop, keeping the landing foot on the ground at all times whilst you can lift the other foot to pivot in another direction before passing the ball on to another player. Each player is only allowed within certain sections of the court and the netball ring is much higher and smaller than that of a basketball ring and it doesn’t have the backboard to assist players in scoring a goal.

The netball equipment that you need will consist of a regulation size net without a backboard and a netball. A regulation netball post can be free standing so that it can be wheeled away when not in use or it can be socketed, so that it screws into an underground socket. These are available for use on both indoor and outdoor netball courts. The regulation height of the ring is ten feet, but posts will also usually have two lower settings for infant and junior netball. If you don’t have room for a regulation size post in the garden there are garden style sets available with posts which separate into sections and fit into a polythene base, like that used for sun shades or alternatively you can purchase wall mounted netball rings to fix on an existing wall. These are useful for younger players as the wall will act as a backboard to assist them in scoring until their skill and confidence increases.

The netball is not as hard and heavy as a basket ball and is meant to encourage a fast game, even though you are not allowed to run with the ball. Netballs are available for either indoor use, outdoor use or a combination of both. Netballs come in two sizes size 4 is for juniors and size 5 is for senior netball. If buying a netball for home use then a training ball will be sufficient, if buying for a school or club then you will need several training balls and then one or two match quality netballs for use in competitive games.

The netball team is made up of seven players and each player has a position. This is indicated using a netball bib or Velcro patch with the positional letters printed on it. Each position has certain parts of the court which they are allowed to operate within and the rest of the court is out of bounds. Most clubs and schools will have at least two sets of bibs so that they can practice with two teams and also so that they can swap sets if the opponents’ bibs are the same or similar colour when playing away. It is important for both teams to have a set of bibs because the positions and where the players can go are a vital part of the game so the umpire will need to know who is who on the court to rule effectively. It isn’t possible to get away with one team being bibs and one team being non-bibs as it might be in football, they are a vital piece of netball equipment. Bibs are sold in sets of seven for the whole team and some netball dresses come with the positional patches included. Reversible bibs are also available so that teams only need carry one set with them when playing away from home and they can swap the colour they wear if necessary.

Netball uses very specific rules and you have to play within a strict pattern and layout otherwise you get penalised. To practice these positions you will make use of netball training equipment like cones where you will have to stop and start running, weave in and out of them, and practice throwing and catching techniques.

Another important piece of netball equipment is a good pair of netball shoes. These are designed specifically for the strains of netball focusing on the pivot points and on cushioning and grip. Some are designed for outdoor netball, some for indoor and some for both types of game.

The last thing that you will need is netball clothing. For training you will just need tracksuits and possibly baselayers to keep you comfortable and improve your performance. When playing in matches most schools and teams will have a netball kit. This is usually made up of a skirt and a blouse with lycra pants underneath but now skorts and dresses are becoming more popular. A skort is a skirt with a built in pair of undershorts and the netball dresses are all in one top and skirt combined usually with Velcro style fixings to add positional patch bibs to.

These are the only items of netball equipment you will need. The players are not required to wear any head gear or guards, as it is not a full contact sport. In fact contact is prohibited and you can get fouled for pushing, leaning into or obstructing your mark or another opponent unless it was an accidental collision which is very unlikely.

A full range of netball equipment can be found from online specialist suppliers and some good sports shops.

How to Start a Facial Business at the Comforts of Your Own Home

Having a business related to beauty and wellness could be very lucrative. Year after year, billions of dollars are spent not only in America, but all over the world just on cosmetics, skin care and other beauty products. This is why it is not really surprising to see beauty related ventures sprouting all over town. Makeup artists, stylists, aestheticians, facialists and other professions related to beauty are probably the most in demand professions today. Beauty related professions provide a lot of opportunities for growth and profit which makes it the most sought after profession by both men and women all over the world.

A lot of people get scared to put up their own business related to beauty because of the high capital cost that it entails. Typically, putting up a business does entail a lot of expenses, but don’t let that hinder you from starting your own. If you don’t have enough money to rent a commercial space downtown for your new beauty venture, having a home based facial business is definitely a great way to start. With this, let me share to you some tips on how to start a facial business at the comforts of your own home.

1. Plan it well. You shouldn’t start a business, or any business for that matter without having a solid plan. Formalize your vision by writing a good business plan.

2. Be a licensed aesthetician. Prior to opening your business at home, you have to be armed with a solid knowledge on what you will do – and in this case, doing facial skin treatments. It’s very important that you become a licensed aesthetician first prior to opening your business. Of course, unless you’ll hire a licensed aesthetician to work for you.

3. Acquire all necessary permits. For any business to operate, you’ll need to register and get permits from the city officers.

4. Determine the location of your business in your house. It could be an extra room you have or a small nook in your living area. Once you already have designated a specific area, you can then decorate it accordingly. Invest in dividers, wall treatments and a good massage table which could double as a bed where your clients can lay down. Stock up on aromatherapy candles and essential oils. Make sure that you decorate it in such a way that it evokes peace, serenity and total relaxation. If you must change the paint, then do it.

5. Invest in a good skin care device. A good skin care device is essential in a facial business. There are a lot of devices available in the market today. Just make sure to get the best one, something that’s worth your money and something that really works. Having a good skin care device can actually boost your business’ popularity.

6. Spread the word, market your business well. There are different ways to market your new business. Putting up a website is one way to do so. If you have extra funds, you can also have some ads posted downtown and you could also give out flyers. It may be kind of “old school” but these methods still work especially if you’re promoting a local business. Make sure that you have some business cards printed so that when a client hops in, you can give a card.

Tips on Fire Goby Care

Fire goby or Nemateleotris magnifica belong to the family Gobiidae. There are more than 800 cataloged species of gobies. The fire gobies habitat encompasses the Indian Ocean and vast stretches of the Pacific Ocean. Populations in the Pacific Ocean extend from South African to New Caledonia and northward to the Hawaiian Islands. These shallow to mid-water dwellers can be found in depths ranging from 20-200 feet.

Fire gobies have a thin profile as opposed to the rounder bodies typical of most other gobies. This species has a white anterior with yellow and or purple markings on its head. Posterior coloration varies from yellow, orange, red or pink to a deep violet. Their most prominent features are their thin, elongated anal and secondary dorsal fins. When extended these fins have the characteristics of a feather or the tail end of a dart. This resemblance earned them the nickname, “dartfish.”

The fire goby is marketed by the aquarium trade under various names including firefish, firefish goby, fire dartfish and the magnificent dartfish a derivative of its scientific classification.

This is one of the more timid species among marine life. They are known for their use of bolt-holes. A bolt-hole is exactly what it sounds like. This is a hiding place that a fish most generally remains within close proximity to. When they feel frightened or threatened they bolt into theses holes for sanctuary. Fire gobies are burrowing fish. They will be more inclined to create rather than adopt a bolt-hole. But they should still be provided them with plenty of hiding places they can use when they venture outside of their burrows.

This species is considered reef-safe and will make a wonderful addition to your marine reef aquarium. This is a smaller species. It only reaches a total adult length of around 3.5 inches. You will want their tank-mates to be of similar size and temperament. This species is so timid it will regularly starve itself to death rather than brave the elements of a hostile environment. They will, however, exhibit territorial behavior toward members of their own species. Unless you have a large aquarium you will only want to add a single goby or a couple to your tank to prevent territorial disputes.

A word of caution when it comes to keeping fire gobies; these fish are incredible jumpers. They will often jump out of the water when they are excited or to avoid being eaten. You will want to house them in a lidded aquarium. If you succeed in keeping them in their aquarium you can expect them to live in excess of ten years.

One of the characteristics common to many gobies is the perception of hovering. In nature, this species will often feed by remaining stationary in a water column rather that swimming through it while ingesting zooplankton.

This is a carnivorous species. Getting fire gobies to feed when they are first introduced to an aquarium can be problematic. They are accustomed to eating live food. If you are attempting to feed them dead food turn your water filter capacity up to the point where the food appears to be moving rather than stationary. Offering them live brine shrimp will most likely induce them to start feeding. Once they acclimate to aquarium life fire gobies will often eat meat-based marine flake food. Their diet should be supplemented with live food or chopped fresh sea food to help keep them healthy and to maintain their coloring. Prepared zooplankton is commercially available and should also be a part of their diet. Providing them with plenty of living rock to graze on is highly recommended.

Full Moon Release Ceremony To Cleanse Your Mind, Body and Spirit

The moon’s cycle is 28 days and it has a powerful effect on our energies. While a new moon brings the energies of creation, birth, rebirth, and manifestation, the full moon completes this cycle and brings the energies of completion, ending, change, and release of those things that no longer serve us. The full moon is the ideal time of the month for purging rituals to take place, which is why it is the perfect time to have your release ceremony. The full moon sheds its beautiful light on our lives, illuminating those things that are blocking or inhibiting our spiritual growth, bringing them into our awareness so we can recognize them and let them go. It is a time to release that which is holding us back, allowing us to become better aligned with our divine life purpose moving forward. We may want to release anger, guilt, blame, judgement, fear, addictions, disease, past relationships, and anything else that brings the negative, lower vibration energies into your life.

While I am sharing the release ceremony that my twin flame, Boyd Campbell, and I enjoy together each month, I encourage you to follow your own intuition and guidance and create a release ceremony that resonates with you. If this one I share with you resonates with you, great! If not, change it up until it does.

This ceremony can be performed alone or with others. Boyd and I do this release ceremony every month. It is a monthly cleansing for us, and a very important part of keeping our energies clear, bright and at the highest vibration levels. It also prepares us for our manifestation and creation rituals which fall under the New Moon, I will share more about this in my next article.

What you will need:

  • Sage or Sage Incense
  • One of the following; Sweet Grass Smudge, Cedar Smudge or Incense, Frankincense Incense, Myrrh Incense, Amber Incense
  • Feather
  • Himalayan Salt (in a dish)
  • Water (in a dish)
  • Black Candle
  • Selenite crystals (2)
  • Black Tourmaline crystals (2)
  • Paper with pen or pencil to write
  • Smudge shell or dish
  • Lighter or matches

1. To start, smudge yourself and your ceremony area, including your altar/sacred space with sage. You can use white sage or white sage incense to do this. Smudging with sage clears all negative energies and leaves your aura and your space cleansed – a blank canvas for your release ceremony.

2. Now light one of either Sweet Grass Smudge, Cedar Smudge Stick or Cedar Incense, Frankincense Incense, Myrrh Incense, or Amber Incense and leave it burn throughout your ceremony. Select which ever one resonates for your specific ceremony.

Sweet Grass: The essence of the feminine, known as the breath of Mother Earth. It’s sweet vanilla-like scent brings the blessing of Mother Earth’s love. It reminds us that the earth provides everything we need.

Cedar: A protection medicine. Cedar is used to protect a place, person or object from unwanted influences. Cedar brings with it the essence and energy of the tree itself which is very old and wise. Cedars have very powerful spirits.

Frankincense: a tree resin that is used to cleanse and protect the soul. Frankincense is considered to ease depression and promote clairvoyance.

Myrrh: it is said that this tree resin helps one to maintain a state of enlightenment. It is also said to clear the path of debris that stands in the way of one’s truth and it connects one to the spirit of youth.

Amber: is said to bring love, comfort, happiness and healing.

3. Now you will set up your alter/sacred space. Boyd and I usually use our table. You want to have each of the four elements; water, earth, air and fire represented. You can do this by setting up your dish of water (water), your dish of himalayan salt (earth), your feather (air) and light your black candle (fire). The black candle symbolizes protection and it also helps to absorb any negative or low vibration energies you are releasing. Lastly set up your smudge shell or dish on your alter/sacred space.

4. Black Tourmaline and Selenite – both a must have for a release ceremony. Place your crystals on your alter/sacred space. You can arrange them however you feel is right. Boyd and I usually place them in a square pattern representing the four directions. The Black Tourmaline is a grounding protective stone that absorbs negativity, cleanses, purifies and transforms dense energy into a higher vibration. It also balances and harmonizes the chakras. Selenite is a high vibration crystal that opens your Crown and higher chakras which makes it excellent for spiritual work, it brings calm and peace. It is also a protective stone that shields a person or space from outside influences. It invokes protection from the angelic realm and dispels negative energy. The Black Tourmaline and the beautiful white Selenite also symbolize the balance of the Yin and Yang energies.

5. Now take a few moments to become quiet and meditate. You can invite your guides, angels, ascended masters, or whoever else you would like to be there with you. When you are ready, write down on a piece of paper what it is that you want to release. You can use several pieces of paper if necessary. When you have finished, roll the paper up and light it on fire from the candle flame, placing it in the smudge shell or dish to burn to ashes. Set your intention that when the paper is finished burning, what you have written down is released. Say out loud or in your mind “So Be It”.

6. That’s it. You may become emotional as you release what you have been carrying around for a long time, that’s fine. Go with it. Allow yourself to feel whatever comes through. Accept it, send it compassion and love and let it go. You will feel significantly lighter, as though a large weight has been lifted from your shoulders!

Important Factors to Note:

– Use small pieces of paper so they will be contained in your smudge shell or bowl when you light them on fire.

– For those of you who are attuned to Reiki, use your Reiki throughout the ceremony and if you have been attuned to Reiki Symbols, draw them on your papers.

History and Use of Rustic Ceiling Fans

Rustic ceiling fans are a wonderful way to add lots of interest and rustic/cabin style to your room. Here is a brief history of rustic style fans and the many options available.

Fans have come a long way in the last 30 years. From the basic utility models that came in three colors, ceiling fans are not works of art in a dizzying array of styles, colors and options. To simplify the article, we will not discuss “rustic” fans that are considered rustic if they come in a rust or dark bronze color. You could write an entire book about ceiling fans, but this article deals only with true rustic styled fans. Rustic, lodge or cabin style fans are a fairly new development in the history of fans. The first really rustic fan was created by Monte Carlo fans in 1996 and looked like a hand carved tree truck with chipped, thick blades. Called the Great lodge, It was a creative ground breaker and created an entirely new market that soon expanded with all sorts of new models; though most can be broken down into two broad categories; Fake wood and Figures.

The fake wood models generally look like pine or birch logs. Several companies now make this style of fan including Montecarlo Fans, Copper Canyon Lighting and Vaxcel of which the first two generally are of much higher quality and construction. These fans are all made of a cast resin ( plastic) that is then hand painted a variety of colors to look like wood. The blades vary from very fancy to simple and come in a variety of sizes from 66″ diameters to 44″. Most are for indoor use, though there is one model for outdoor wet locations that just came out.. Outdoor models use specially waterproofed housings, acrylic blades and other features. These wood fans are very “cute” and add a pleasing presence to rustic rooms, especially in cabins, without being to overwhelming or stylized. The wood colors work beautifully with all types of log or natural wood paneling and look so much nicer than a traditional brass or white fan..

The second major style category are the rustic and cabin themed fans. These are made both resin and/or metal and feature various animal designs, trees and other natural motifs. Most of these also have internal lights that illuminate the designs for a greater effect. This style of rustic ceiling fan is made by Vaxcel, Copper Canyon, Minka Lavery and Craftmade. The Wilderness by Casablanca was just discontinued after becoming too expensive for the general market. All come in just one design except for Copper Canyon which are fully customizable with over 40 different designs. These fans have many more options in designs with the popular ones being moose, deer, bear and elk.. These fans are also a nice accent to more rustic homes or cabins and often include pine trees and a bark look in the styling. Prices on the fans and range from $270 to $470 based on the manufacturer, motor size and how detailed they are. Name brand fans tend to be more expensive though they are made in the same factories as the other brands. There are only 4 or 5 major fan manufacturers in China that build all the fans. Fans have been rapidly increasing in price for the last 3 years due to the rising cost of labor in China, an overall increase in materials cost and a falling dollar value. I expect further price increase of easily 10% next year.

When choosing a rustic style fan, there are several major decisions: 1. Style, 2. Size, 3. Colors 4. Location 5. Controls 6. Lighting

1. The style obviously needs to match the room’s decor, furniture, floor and wall coloring and more.

2. The sizes vary from 44″ to 66″ and again should be matched to the room size and height of the fan. Large rooms or rooms with taller ceilings need at least an 52″ or 56″ and even larger 66″ models do not look that big when 15 ‘ in the air. 44″ sizes should only be used in small bedrooms or kitchen areas and look quite small.

3. The color of the fan and especially the blades should match or contrast with the ceiling and wall colors to stay harmonious with the room. Most of theses rustic style fans other than the Craftmade or Copper Canyon brands come with only 1 set of blades, so this can be an issue.

4. The fans should ideally be in the center of the room and mounted far enough off the ceiling to work properly and still provide air flow. A fan 20′ up in the air will provide essentially no air flow at the floor level, but will move the hot air trapped at the top of the room. For best visibility the fans should be no more than 12′ off the ground, or all the attractive details on the fan will be lost in the height.

5. I recommend using simple wall controls to adjust the fan speed and lighting. Many remote controls have the ability to reverse the fan and they can be convenient such as in bedrooms, but the electronics often burn out after 5 years or so and replacing them is not easy. The drawback to wall switches is that they cannot reverse the fan and it has to be done manually with the switch on the motor housing. This can be major difficulty on very tall ceilings. Some rustic fans only come with remote style controls.

6. Lighting is a major decision. With recent government regulations that limit the size and quantity of bulbs you can use in ceiling fans, the choices are far less than before. In general, the average light kit now uses the equivalent of 2-75W bulbs which will illuminate a smaller room well enough to see fine, but not to read or work in. Compounding the problem is that the fancier rustic style lights also tend to block more light. When the fan is mounted high such as in a tall living room, the light kit becomes almost worthless. There are a few, older style light kits on the market that can use up to 4-60W bulbs, but even that is barely adequate for a decent sized bedroom. In conclusion, fan lighting does work in providing a nice quality background lighting, but additional room lighting is always recommended. These would include lamps, wall lights and recessed lighting.

In conclusion, there is a wide range of rustic styled fans on the market now to choose from. It is important to take the time to study the choices and make sure the fans fit your home.

Where You Sit Speaks Volumes

Most people are not aware of the “sitting” language. You can create the illusion of power or equality in your relationship-building efforts by where you sit and where you seat others at meetings, conferences and after-hours events.

Power Position

The power position in a meeting being held at a rectangular table is always in the center facing the door, where the person can see who is coming and going. On television clips, you’ll notice it’s where the president of the United States sits. The second most important position is to the person’s right, the third to his/her left.


Let’s assume in our illustration that person A is calling the meeting. The most cooperative position is next to him/her (B) because there are no barriers between them. People who already know each other frequently assume this position in business and social situations. While it is acceptable and recommended, business people meeting each other for the first time rarely use this position.

The next most cooperative position is C. Business people often use this arrangement at a first meeting or until they get better acquainted. It is recommended for a job interview. It allows two people to be close while still having the corner of the table as a safety zone.


The most competitive position to A is D. The table is a barrier between them, and people may become competitive and defensive when seated across from each other. If you have a choice, like in a restaurant, sit in the corner position or ask for a booth. Don’t set up a competitive situation unnecessarily. It can hamper an otherwise potentially positive relationship-building situation. When seated in the competitive position, a person also becomes defensive about his/her personal territory (or half of the table). Don’t accidentally push items into someone else’s space, as it is as much an invasion at dinner as if you had reached into their space and touched them.


A fourth position (E) is autonomous. It’s across the table, and in the position next to competitive. It is where you sit when you need to share a table, and you do not want to be involved with the other person. You might choose it at a library or in a self-serve restaurant. You may have to share space, but not necessarily conversation.


You can direct or control responses in a meeting through seating arrangements. Putting chairs in a circle encourages equal contributions. A horseshoe or “T” will recognize and emphasize people at the head of the table. Theater seating or side-by-side says, “You are here to listen, not to talk.”

In a training situation, you can use circles for small group discussions, a horseshoe for workshops led by internal or external experts and theater seating for a keynote presentation. When you add a raised speaking platform, you are giving special status to the speaker, as well as setting up more of a barrier between him/her and the audience. Interaction is reduced; in fact, people usually wait to be called upon.

The Benefits of Using a Lathe Machine

The lathe machine tool shapes an object by cutting, sanding, drilling or formation with tool by rotating the object on its axis. Generally a lathe machine is used to give shape to workpieces and has many parts. Most of them are feed service lever, back gear level, head stock, face plate, tool post, compound rest, saddle, clutch knob and half nut lever. Each and every part of the machine is very important and performs very complicated functions. The person who operates the machine is called turner. It fully depends on the experienced turner to do a great job which demands huge level of attention.

There are different types of lathe machines which are used for wood working, metal working, glass working, metal spinning, ornamental turning, shaping, rotary & watchmaking. Every type of lathe is used for specific function. For example, a steel workshop uses metal working lathes & a carpentry workshop uses wood working ones. A Lathe machine can be used to shape different objects. Besides, a solid round bar can be shaped to a bolt by making specific thread. It can be used for complicated drilling where it’s hard in the general drilling machine and can drill at specific angles by setting degrees.

Boring is the another function of lathe machine which is used to make holes inside an object. It can cut 6 inches of hole easily by using sharp tools. There are two types of tools mostly used for cutting solid material like M.S. cutting tool & diamond cutting tool. These two kinds of tools are used for fine tuning an object. The lathe object is used to sharpen is an alloy which is formed by adding some materials to harden it. Lathing concept has been formed since 1300(B.C) to the present. During this time it had evolved for different functions especially in mechanical works, carpentry works, glass works and steel fabrication where it’s contribution has been very essential.

Collecting and History of Blue Willow China List of Companies That Produce


I have seen credit given for the willow china pattern given to at least two different people. One would be Thomas Turner who is said to have introduced the famous design in about 1780. The original copper plate for his design was engraved by Thomas Minton and is still preserved at Coalport China. The most reported story says that the willow design was the creation of Josiah Spode, a derivation of an original Chinese pattern called Mandarin. Spode developed his willow pattern sometime around 1790.

The traditional willow design always features a large beautiful Chinese home with a willow tree, small bridge with 3 figures, a humble servants house at the foot of the bridge, a small Chinese boat & of course the famous love birds above the willow tree. The romantic lore of the design could have added to it’s popularity over the years.

The story goes something like this…….

Long ago, in the days when China was ruled by emperors, a Chinese mandarin, Tso Ling, lived in the magnificent pagoda under the branches of the apple tree on the right of the bridge, over which droops the famous willow tree, and in front of which is seen the graceful lines of the fence. Tso Ling was the father of a beautiful girl, Kwang-se, who was the promised bride of an old but wealthy merchant. The girl, however, fell in love with Chang, her father’s clerk. The lovers eloped across the sea to the cottage on the island. The mandarin pursued and caught the lovers and was about to have them killed when the gods transformed them into a pair of turtle doves. These are seen gazing into each other’s eyes at the top of the design. A lengthy and old Staffordshire poem of the pattern concludes with the verse: “In the oft quoted plate two birds are perceived, High in the heaven above: These are the spirits of Chang and Kwang-se, A twin pair of ever in love”.

Companies That Produce Willow China Due to Spode’s obvious success with the Blue Willow design, many, many pottery & china companies went on to produce some version of it. Here is a list of manufacturers that I am familiar with that produced or still do produce Blue Willow.

Adams Adderly Alfred Meakin Allerton Barratt Booths Buffalo (restaurantware & hotelware) Burslem Churchill Coalport Cuthbertson Homer Laughlin John Maddox & Sons Johnson Brothers McCoy Pottery Myott Made in China Made in Holland Made in Japan Maruta Moriyama Pottery (Japan) Norcrest Ridgeway Royal China Royal Doulton Royal Wessex Scio Pottery (Ohio) Spode Staffordshire Syracuse China(Restaurantware & Hotelware) Wedgewood Wood & Sons

VARIETY OF WILLOW ITEMS As the popularity of Blue Willow grew & grew over the years many companies begin to make a variety of merchandise to coordinate with the customer’s china pieces. You can find just about anything in Blue Willow including but not limited to: glassware, wallpaper, linens , tablecloths & towels, flatware & cutlery, picture frames, piggy banks, cookware, enamelware, fabric, tins, needlepoint pillows & kits, planters, candles, switchplates, items for bed & bath, soap dishes, even paper products including paper plated & napkins!

Besides numerous price guides written to aid collectors, there is a child’s story book entitled BLUE WILLOW by Doris Gates. You might enjoy recipes from The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking.

In 2005 there was even an animated short movie made in New Zealand that tells Blue Willow’s story of love & family betrayal.

The willow design is also made in red (sometimes called red transferware, or pink willow), green, brown & multicolored.

There are many Blue Willow pieces now being made in China. These are nice pieces to fill in your collection with & much more reasonable than antique or vintage pieces. There are sellers however that try to pass these newly produced items off as vintage or antique. Be sure you are buying from a reputable sellers.Also be sure what you are buying is actually blue willow. I have seen Flow Blue, Blue Onion, Blue Calico & other Blue Transferware advertised as Blue Willow.

The most valuable Blue Willow items are the early English, Staffordshire & Spode pieces. The Mid Century Made in Japan pieces are growing in popularity as well & can command a good price on unusual styles. There are quite a few restaurantware collectors out there too, so the heavy restaurant weight china usually does well.

I hope this has given you a little insight into collecting Blue Willow China ~ Have Fun!


What Causes a Floor Tile to Loosen?

Many homeowners have asked me, “Why do floor tiles loosen?” It’s amazing to me, with the advances in floor preparation and modified mastics, that tiles can still come loose. It is possible to understand why floor tiles come loose without employing the help of a flooring professional or general contractor. Allow me to tell you why this happens.

First, it is important to understand what holds the tile to the floor. Tiles, whether made of ceramic, porcelain, slate, granite, or marble, are all held in place by a substance called thin set. Thin set is a Portland cement based material containing a special blend of additives which give the mixture the ability to gently flex under strain and return to its original position. This strain, also known as load, can be the result of climatic changes, such as the passing of the seasons, or from a physical nature, such as the weight of a person or item placed on the tile.

Sometimes the strain or load can be too much for the thin set. If a heavy object is placed on the tile floor, such as a piano, it is very possible to overload an individual tile. If this happens, the bond between the tile and the thin set can be broken and the tile can sheer away. Once sheered, the tile will never re-bond with the thin set. The result is a loose tile only held in place by the grout surrounding its four sides.

Next, the structure of the floor needs to be considered. Before installing any type of tile floor, the contractor or flooring professional should survey the sub floor. The sub floor must be built rigid enough to support its own weight, the weight of the tile, and the weight of the items placed on it. Most local codes state that if the floor is framed with 2×8 floor joists, 16″ on center, and sheeted with a 5/8″ plywood material, it can be tiled. Remember, before starting any construction project, check with your local building code officials. Better safe than sorry.

In many homes, the floor just isn’t built or framed strong enough to support its own weight and the weight of a tile floor. When floors are not framed sufficiently they tend to move perpendicular to the plane of the earth. This up and down motion stresses the bond between the tile and the thin by as applying too much weight or load in one area.

The bond between the tile and the thin set may very well be strong enough to accept an overload a few times. The number of times is directly related to the quality of the thin set. Inevitably, even the most expensive thin sets will fail if subjected to continual overloading.

Last, the most common reason why a tile will loosen from its thin set is improper installation. Careless contractors tend to tile weak floors. The thin set needs to be mixed according to manufacturer specification. If mixed too wet or too dry, the thin set will not properly cure. This improper curing results in a weak floor.

Over time, most tiled floors will have a tile pop loose. This is to be expected and can be repaired. If over the life of a floor, many tiles pop loose, a more serious problem is the cause. In my experience, human error is the cause.

The Essentials For a Self-Sustaining Backyard Fish Pond – Build an Ecosystem

Do you like the sound of moving water? Do you find the sound relaxing? Well, you can easily create the sound of moving water in your own garden. You can put in a fish pond or a water garden. So, if you think that your garden requires landscaping, it might be a good idea to consider a fish pond or water garden.

People believe that a fish pond takes lot of looking after, but that is not inevitably the case. The truth is that the larger the fish pond, the less work you have to put into it. This is because a big pond can create its own ecosystem, whereas a small fish pond requires help.

The ways that you can help a small fish pond be a good environment for your fish are as follows:

Pond Filters – use a pond filter with a good pump. Do not forget that you could get a solar powered pump. It will save on the environment and on your wallet. You should use a pond filter on a small pond, because the ecosystem cannot cope with all the plant waste of a small ornamental pond on its own. A pond pump will feed the filtration system and a waterfall or fountain if you want.

Your pond filtration system should be left running twenty-four hours a day, but you can not just set it and forget it. Make sure that the pump is running daily and keep the filter as clean as necessary for it to do its job. You may find that you have to clean it two or three times a week in the summer and autumn but only once a week in the winter and spring.

Leaf Netting: stop leaves from clogging up your pond in the autumn. The net should be suspended a foot or so above the pond to stop autumn leaves falling into the water and decaying.

Feeding: all fish should be given fish food, not bread or scraps. Some fish ought to have specialized fish food in order to maintain their colour. When you buy your fish, the salesperson should inform you what they eat. In general, the larger the pond the less trouble feeding becomes as they will eat natural food like insects, grubs, larvae and flies.

Fish need less food in the winter when they become semi-dormant and live off the fat stores that they built up in the warmer months, so give food often in the summer and autumn, but less often in the winter. You must check to see if excess food is left floating on the surface.

Winter: make sure that there is a hole in the ice so that the water can take in oxygen and the fish can feed if they wish to. You can buy a floating de-icer or some people float a round football in a hoola-hoop, which seems to work unless the temperature gets very low.

In fact, the hoola-hoop is a good idea all year round actually. If you place the food in the hoop, it stays in one place and you can see if you have given too much. It also makes a nice site to see all the fish feeding in a group.

3 Methods For Calculating Total Daily Energy Expenditure and Why it is Important For Weight Loss

Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) is a measure of how much energy you use up during the day. It is composed of your Basal Metabolic rate (BMR), which is the energy you use up just staying alive and the energy you use doing everything else (walking, talking eating and exercising).

BMR varies from person to person and between the sexes. Men tend to have a higher BMR than women of equal weight and height. This is because men carry less fat than women do. Other factors that can affect BMR include:

· Height,

· weight,

· age, (BMR decreases by about 2% per decade after the age of 20)

· how your thyroid behaves (Thyroxin is a BMR regulator),

· diet (starvation diets reduce your BMR)

· internal temperature,

· external temperature,

· Physical exercise.

There are lots of ways to estimate TDEE but the most commonly used are:

· Quick and Dirty ( based on bodyweight )

· The Harris – Bededict formula

· The Katch – McArdle formula (where your lean body Mass hs been estimated)

We shall use the following example for the calculations:

· She is a 40 year old woman

· 5ft 4in = 1.63m tall

· 150lb = 68kg weight

· Body fat % = 32%

· She wishes to lose weight.

The Quick and dirty method:

· To lose weight = 12 – 13 calories per pound of bodyweight

· Maintenance = 15 – 16

· To gain weight = 18 – 19

In our example our lady should be eating between 1800 and 1950 calories a day to lose weight.

The Harris – Benedict (HB) formula (when you do not know your lean body mass)

As this method does not contain a variable for lean body mass it will underestimate the caloric needs of the extremely muscular and overestimate the needs of the extremely obese. First you must calculate the BMR and then add in your activity factor to determine TDEE

Men: BMR = 66 + (13.7 x wt in kg) + (5 X ht in cm) – (6.8 x age in years)

Women: BMR = 655 + (9.6 x wt in kg) + (1.8 x ht in cm) – (4.7 x age in years)

For our example BMR = 655 + (9.6 x 68) + (1.8 x 163) – (6.8 x 40) = 1343 calories/day

The activity multiplier is estimated as follows:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)

Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)

Mod. active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)

Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)

Extremely active = BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job or 2X day training, i.e. marathon, contest etc.)

Our lady estimates she is Lightly Active and so her TDEE can be estimated as 1.375 x 1343 = 1846 calories/day.

The Katch – McArdle (KM) formula (when lean body mass is known)

Men and Women BMR = 370 + (21.6 x lean mass in kg)

Our lady has had her body fat % measured at her local gym at 32% so her lean body mass would be 68 x (100 – 32)/100 = 46.24kg

So her BMR = 370 + (21.6 x 46.24) = 1369

Her TDEE using this formula would be 1.375 x 1369 = 1882 calories/day

You can see that both KM and HB formulas produce very similar results of 1846 and 1882 calories/day, but this is just TDEE and needs to be adjusted because our lady wishes to lose body fat. So how much could she reasonably reduce her caloric intake to lose fat? Well that’s like asking how long is a piece of string and would easily fill another article (hmm, I might write that one someday!) However, as a rule of thumb she could consider reducing her calories by 15 – 20% and increasing her exercise to include moderate workouts 3 – 4 times a week. She decides to reduce her calories by 15% and so her total calories using all three methods are:

· Q&D = 1800

· HB = 1569

· KM = 1600

I can’t say for sure if she lost weight on any of these diets but I’d like to bet her results would be better with the last two methods than the first. If you are trying to lose body fat; Good Luck.