10 Awesome Bodyweight Exercises for Judo

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of exercises out there. But which ones are will improve your performance on the mat. Here is a list of 10 fantastic body-weight exercises that will build strength, power and explosiveness for all Judokas.

Body-weight squats

Body-weight squats will develop strength and stability in the lower body. Strength in the legs is something the Japanese pride themselves on. That is one reason why they develop so much power when they execute a technique. Make sure when you are squatting that you get low enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through your heels, don’t fall backwards and maintain your balance.

Burpees

One of the hardest and best body-weight exercises on the planet. Burpees develop leg power and upper body strength and when done as part of a circuit or in a Tabata interval will dramatically increase your fitness levels. Simply squat down, extend your legs out into a push up position, perform a push up, bring your legs back to a squatting position and proceed to explode upwards jumping as high as you can.

Pushups

Whether it is traditional, close grip, wide grip, box, or scooping pushups the fact of the matter is that push-ups will give your upper body a strength boost. Having a strong upper body will result in you being able to create really good reactions when you fight which can assist in your throwing your opponent.

Chin ups

One of the hardest but most beneficial exercises in not just the bodyweight exercise category, but in strength training as well. The ability to pull your chin above a bar will greatly improve your strength and overall success on the mat. Whether it is close, wide or alternate grip chin ups, if you make chin ups a part of your regular gym programs you will not only get a stronger back but also have a greater strength when it comes to pulling your opponent off balance.

Rope climbs

Similar to chin-ups, the rope climb is one of the most beneficial exercises for judokas. The rope climb is utilized by all top level judo players due to the fact that it not only increase your arm, back and core strength but also increase your lactic acid buffer in your forearms and arms. This is a great attribute to have in the last few minutes of a judo match. If you are constantly climbing the rope week in, week out you will see an increase in your ability to not only grip fight hard, but grip fight for longer.

Elastic band open shuts

Judokas are constantly gripping and flexing the forearm and wrist muscles and as a result most have a muscle imbalance in forearms. This imbalance can lead to injuries such as RSI and tendinitis. Elastic band open shuts will slowly strengthen the opposing muscles (wrist and forearm ex-tensors) creating a muscle balance in the wrists and forearms. Simply wrap an elastic band around your fingers and open and close them for 50 reps a day for the first week and slowly increase week after week.

Core hold

Ab brace, prone hold, plank or bridge. This exercise has so many names and most the time it is performed incorrectly. To perform a Core holds properly assume a push-up position but rest on your elbows instead of your hands. Your hips should be parallel to the floor, do not drop your hips or raise them too high. Concentrate on your abdominal and lower back muscles and slowly bring your shoulder-blades together. Hold for desired time limit. If this becomes too easy slowly raise an arm and leg off the ground. This will make your core have to adjust slightly to compensate for the hips tilting.

Hanging leg raises

This seems like a simple exercise but is actually very difficult. Hang off a chin up bar and let your legs hang slightly off the floor. Contract your core muscles, slightly bend your knees and raise your feet as high as you can towards the bar. Try to avoid any excess swinging. If this is too difficult then raise your knees to your chest instead. Perform 4 sets of 15 repetitions.

Squat jumps

Similar to a bodyweight squat but once you reach the bottom of the squat explode upwards and jump slightly off the ground. Be sure to land on your toes and repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Clapping push-ups

Another exercise that seems easy but after two or three repetitions becomes quite difficult. Perform a push-up and instead of pushing your body back to the starting position explode upwards, getting some airtime long enough to clap your hands. Land and repeat for desired number of repetitions.

I recommend performing 11 seconds on and 9 seconds off for as many rounds as you can handle.

If you add any of these exercises to your strength and conditioning programs you will find that your Judo will improve. All of the above exercises are fantastic for Judo. Remember that Judo players should be training like Judo players so it is vital that the exercises you are performing in the gym are catering specifically for Judo.

How to Write a Business Plan For an Online Business Directory

Writing a business plan for an online business directory is as important as writing a business plan for any type of business. A proper plan is essential to making an online directory a success. This will outline the type of business directory you will be running and how you will make it profitable. Below are a number of tips to writing a business plan for an online business directory.

1. The plan should outline your strategies on how you will make the directory a money generator. It will detail how the directory will work and how you will maintain profitability. It will also help you plan for unexpected obstacles, such as if one method of acquiring business listing does not work, how you will modify the strategy to make it more effective. It is important to regularly update your business plan to maintain competitiveness. Create short and long term goals and establish time frames for achieving specific tasks and set goals, such as the number of businesses that will post their listing in a week, or in a month.

2. The mission statement is a blueprint to having successful directories. It should define your values and objectives to maintaining competitiveness in the marketplace. It is important that you outline how you understand your target audience, including their needs and wants and how your directory will meet them. It must detail how you will attract customers to list their businesses.

3. You must detail your understanding of your competitors and how your directory will be unique and stand apart from your competitors’ directories. For instance, will yours fill a particular niche market? You need to outline your promotion plan and how you will implement your marketing strategies. You need to create a strategy that gives you a competitive edge.

4. You need to detail a comprehensive financial plan. You have to include such information as advertising and promotion costs and the expected revenue you will generate. You should outline all of the methods and programs you will use to effectively monetize your directory. This can include affiliate programs, offering paid listings…etc. You should create an effective budget that is practical and takes hidden or unexpected costs into consideration. You will need to break down your expenses and revenue to make sure you have a plan that generates more revenue that money paid out.

Starting a new online business directory can seem overwhelming as there are so many online directories on the internet. To stand out from the others, you need a strategic plan, clearly defined objectives, clear promotion and marketing plan, and a practical budget. It will help minimize the risks and maximize the benefits. A general guide on writing a business plan for an online business directory is helpful when planning to build a successful online business directory, but it is essential that you do your research and consult with others to make sure your business plan is a blueprint to success.

Cavity Walls Versus Solid Walls – What Should You Build?

In house construction there are only two design styles available, the Traditional Solid wall and the more modern Cavity wall construction.

The traditional solid wall was popular up until the 1920s where it was superseded by the cavity wall. The cavity wall was in its turn used in unchanged form until the 1970s when it underwent a significant design change when insulation was added to the construction.

In the older traditional method the walls would be constructed in one single solid wall usually 500mm in thickness. This single wall would perform all the necessary duties of supporting the roof and upper floors, preventing water ingress into the living areas and keeping the inside of the property warm.

All too often while the traditional method had no difficulty in performing the first of these three tasks, the job of keeping moisture out and heat in was outside of the solid wall design parameter especially in the cheaper, smaller properties, where the workmanship was and remains very shoddy.

Older properties (with the exception of the larger more expensive properties that were normally very well constructed) often suffer from ground water penetration problems that result in damp walls or rotted timbers in floors or roof spaces and while in the summer the thick walls offered a cool and inviting interior, in the winter months the lack of insulation in the exterior walls resulted in a drafty and very cold living space, which was costly to keep heated.

As a direct result of these problems the cavity wall was born. The advantages of using cavity wall construction are many. Firstly the cavity prevents water from passing across into the interior of the property, which immediately solves the problem of damp walls. Secondly the addition of damp proofing methods ensures that there are no more issues with water ingress from the ground or roof.

The cavity design also offered another benefit in that insulation could be added to the cavity, (although this did not come into effect until the 1970s) helping to retain the heat in the interior living spaces. In today’s energy conscious society there is now an even greater requirement to super insulate our homes.

One point to note is that while cavity construction has secured a lasting place in our home construction there is not and never has been any legislation that enforces this common design.

The use of solid walls has a few benefits that should not be ignored. The first of these is mass. The greater depth of wall offers its own natural insulation and has the natural property of keeping the property cool in warm weather. The wider spread of the wall loading also makes the property stronger and it less likely that the foundations will fail.

The higher cost of construction and the additional design considerations of foundations, dpc and other waterproofing elements are the main reason that this form of construction is no longer used in everyday house construction.

The solid wall construction can also be combined with timber frame construction or as in the case of straw bale building be built completely in straw. The options are endless.

Escape From Bed Bugs With a Hammock Bed

If you’ve had the unfortunate bad luck of getting bitten by bed begs in the night you’ll likely do anything to get rid of them. And this process can be very expensive. One of the cheapest, easiest things you can do right away, however, is to throw away your current mattress and buy a hammock bed. Here’s what to do in 4 easy steps.

1. Assess The Severity of the Problem

If you only found a couple bugs you may not need to get rid of your bed. If you found several however, they’re likely living in your mattress. Just killing a few on the surface and hoping you’re good is not a great plan as bed bugs can survive up to 550 days without food. If the infestation is minor, you can buy a bug proof mattress cover to trap any current bed bugs inside and prevent others from hiding in the mattress. If it’s bad however, you’ll want to cut your losses and toss out the bed all together.

2. Buy a Hammock Bed

A hammock works as a great bed replacement for an infested household for a few reasons. First, it’s not connected to the ground – so it makes it nearly impossible to get bit as a bug would have to scale the wall and then your support strings to get at you. Second, unless you buy a cotton hammock you can easily wash you hammock to kill off any insects. Or better yet, simply tie the ends together (dry) and throw it in a “high heat” dryer cycle for 10-15 minutes. The sustained heat will kill bed bugs along with any other insect you can think of. A nylon hammock is a great option here as the fibers are more durable and resistant to heat and moisture than a cotton hammock. Lastly, they’re incredibly comfortable. A few nights sleep in a large, woven hammock and you might not ever want to go back to your mattress.

3. Spread Diatomaceous Earth (D.E.) Along Door Entries and Edges of Room

Forget all the poisonous chemicals or “bait” traps. This cheap, safe to eat/ingest (seriously, not that you’d want to) is incredible. D.E. is essentially a chalky white powder that kills bed bugs, cockroaches, and other insects by drying out their exoskeleton until they eventually die. All they have to do is walk over the powder once and within 10 days maximum, often within 2 or 3 days they will die.

4. Caulk Holes and Outlets

Bed bugs are sneaky creatures and love to hide out for long periods in mattresses, walls, and any crevice they can find. So while you’re busy chalking the floors with D.E. prevent their escape by sealing any cracks you might have in the walls, floor or even the tiny space between an outlet cover and the wall. That way they’ll have nowhere to go and will eventually be trapped and die.

Bed bugs suck. But with the right steps and a little hammock escape you can get rid of them and keep your sanity at the same time. Best of luck!

DC Regulated Power Supply – How To Use It To Find Out Shorted Components In Main Board

Quite often whenever electronic equipment don’t function or work, we would immediately suspect a faulty switch mode power supply. But do you know that defective or shorted components in the motherboard or main board could cause the power supply to stop working too?

Switch mode power supply (SMPS) are designed so efficiently that whenever there is any short circuit occur in the main board the power supply would shut itself off and totally stop working. If you have no experience about troubleshooting switch mode power supply, you may think that the power supply have problem where in fact the main board is the real cause of no power problem.

Switch mode power supply have a current sense circuit (if you look at UC3842 PWM IC pin 3, it stated I-sense which mean current sense) and if there is short circuit in the secondary side (either in secondary diodes or main board), the current drawn would be increase and this will lead the PWM IC to stop generating output to the power fet and thus the power supply would shut down. All this happen in a split of seconds and you do not have the chance to know if there are output voltages at the secondary side.

Some older design of SMPS power supply do not use the PWM IC, but it do have the circuit to detect over current drawn and shut itself down whenever it detects a shorted component in the secondary side. One good example was the power supply used in printer. Printers usually have two boards; one was the power supply while the other was main board. If there is any short circuit in the main board, the power supply would not work. In order to isolate at where the problem is, one must remove the connector from the power supply board. Once the supply connector to the main board was removed, you can now switch on the printer and check if there is any voltages present at the power supply connector.

If there are zero voltages measured across all the supply (VCC) pins then we can conclude that the power supply have problem and you can put your whole concentration in this power supply board. What if there are voltages measured across the connector? This means that the main board is causing the no power problem most probably due to some shorted components in the main board.

For your information, dot-matrix printers usually required two voltages to function. One is the 5 Volts (for logic IC, eeprom and CPU) and the other is 30+ volts for the motors. The question now is how do we know if the main board is the main cause that shutting down the power supply? Very simple, just use your analog multimeter set to X 1 Ohm and measure between the supply pin (say 5 volts pin) and the main board ground and then reverse the probes. A good board should not show two similar reading and if you get two similar ohms reading then this means that the 5 volts line had shorted to ground through some faulty components.

If you have confirmed that the 5 volts line have problem then how do we find out the culprit since there are so many components connected to this line? TTL IC’s, CPU, EEPROM, transistors, diodes and even small filter capacitors are all connected to the 5 volts line. Either one of these components shorted could cause no power to the printer. You may remove each components lead (5 volt supply) in the main board and hope that the short circuit will be gone. Assuming if you happen to remove one of the filter capacitor pin and the short circuit is gone then we can say that the real culprit is the filter capacitor.

The real problem is what if the board has many components on it and this will consume lots of your time to isolate the problem by removing one pin at a time. It is not easy to identify the supply 5 volts pin to a spider IC that has 100 pins or more. Many spider IC’s have more than one 5 volts supply pin. Some even have 4 and some have 6 to 8 supply pins. Does this mean you have to check one pin at a time until you finally locate the fault? Not only that, to remove the supply pin from the spider IC’s and check for any short circuit between the grounds required a very good skill too. If you messed out the circuit board track, the main board can then be considered beyond repair. Even though you can repair the broken circuit track, this does not mean you have solved the actual fault!

Do you see the extra problem arise when you try to find out the fault? There must be some better way to tackle this kind of problem. Yes it is true that one can use ESR meter to slowly track to the source of the short circuit You can utilize the ESR meter to locate short-circuits on electronic boards by checking the actual track resistance. One probe connects to the ground and the other to the circuit line and if the measurement rises as you probe further along the track, you know that you are heading to the wrong direction! If the ESR value decreases as you move along the track then you are in the right direction. The problem is what if the main board has double layers, 4 or even 8 layers? You may be wasting lots of your precious time trying to track to the actual fault using the ESR meter method! After explaining so much about the problems, now is the time that you are waiting for to get the answer on how to solve this kind of fault fast.

Do you know that the DC regulated power supply besides using it to power up electronic circuit it can also be use to troubleshoot and find out a shorted component in a motherboard? Assuming you have confirmed that the VCC supply lines shorted to ground through some faulty components, you can easily detect it with the use of a variable digital DC regulated power supply. If you don’t have the digital one you can always use one with the analog panel meter which is cheaper.

Now connect the alligator clip from the positive output supply to the 5 volts VCC pin in the main board and the negative output to the main board ground as shown from the picture. Once everything was done, it’s time to switch on the dc regulated power supply. Slowly vary the knob clockwise and see the voltage increase. At the same time the current draw can be seen from the current digital meter readout. From experienced, if there is a short circuit in the main board, whenever the voltage is increase, the current will rise dramatically and if no short circuit there would be less current draw.

Okay back to this problem, if you observe that the current drawn also increase (rapidly) as proportion to the rise in voltage setting, you are now for sure that there is component shorted in the main board. What does this mean? It is a good news to us, because if the current drawn too much we can know the culprit by touching on the hottest components in the main board. Using your finger you can touch on any components that are very hot. Touch on the IC’s, diodes, transistors, capacitors and etc. Once you located that only one component that is extremely hot to touch then that was the culprit! That’s the real cause that you are trying to find! I’ve used this method to solved lots of main board problem and usually the culprit turned out to be a defective gate array and ram IC.

Why don’t I immediately turn the output voltage from the dc regulated power supply to 5 volts since the defective main board is also using 5 volts to run? If I do this and if the faulty components turned hot too fast, I’m afraid this will lead the faulty component to open circuit. If the faulty component open circuit, the current draw will drop and the only clue that you have to identify the culprit has been destroyed! If this thing happens then you may not have a higher rate to repair the board. Of course you still can by replacing one by one the SMD spider IC’s but this will surely eat up lots of your repair time.

The above method I’ve just mentioned is not limited only to printer main board; it can apply to other type of board as well like the computer motherboard, hard disk, dvd, vcd, industrial board and etc. Get a DC regulated power supply and I’m sure you can detect shorted component in the main board in the shortest time possible! By the way the specification of the DC regulated power supply that I’m using was 5A 30 volts (variable type). Have a good day my friend!

Ergonomics: Workstation Set-up Do’s & Don’ts

Many of us spend most of our workday sitting at a desk working on the computer, talking on the phone, sending & receiving fax messages. Poorly designed workstations can lead to debilitating neck, back and shoulder pain. This article discusses the importance of a good ergonomically designed workstation that does not necessarily require a large investment in time or finances.

The term ERGONOMICS comes from two Greek words: ERGON which means work and NOMOI, which means natural laws. Roughly translated, ergonomics is the study of human posture and positioning as it relates to the work environment. Proper posture is the key to a healthy musculoskeletal system. Good posture leads to proper alignment of the joints supporting the system against the forces of gravity. This allows our muscles to be positioned at their mid-range where they are strongest and under minimal tension. When the body has assumed proper postural alignment less demand on the joints and the muscles is required to perform movements, thus the body conserves energy and performs daily functions more efficiently. Decreased wear and tear on the joints and surrounding structures is also reduced which is a large factor for decreasing early onset of arthritis.

Work Station Set Up It is well documented that low back pain is a leading cause of missed work days in the United States. More than $4 billion dollars are spent on low back pain each year. Various research studies have demonstrated the effect on poor posture leading to low back & neck pain. Extrapolating this information, we see a direct correlation with poor workstation set up in the office. Below represents an inexpensive means of improving your workstation to decrease the affects of poor posture.

The Chair A properly fitted chair is essential considering much of your time is spent sitting. The “PERFECT CHAIR” for everyone does not exist. Each of us has different requirements based on our height, body proportions and anatomical structure. It is important that the chair has the ability to move in a vertical direction. The hips should be positioned slightly higher than the knees. This will take pressure off the lower back. A chair that swivels 360° is also very important so you don’t have to twist your back when reaching away from the frontal plane. Arm rests are very important for taking stress off the shoulder girdle. The elbow should be positioned at a 90° angle, resting the forearm on the rest. This position will relieve tension on the muscles of the neck and shoulder. Lumbar support is imperative for preventing the slouched position. Slouching in a chair occurs when the lower back forms a “C” shape and you end up sitting on your tail bone. This position places a lot of stress on the lumbar discs which can lead to bulging and eventually slippage of the disc out from their central location. This bulging can lead to numbness, tingling a weakness down the legs. If not corrected, permanent damage to the nerves can occur. A thin pillow, towel or foam can be used in the back of the chair to fill in the space between the chair and your lower back. This will assist in sitting upright, maintaining good spinal alignment. Your weight should be distributed over your pelvic floor muscles. Envision a string tied to your belly button with a 5lbs weight on the end pulling you slightly forward toward the floor. There should also be some weight through your legs and feet, further reducing pressure on the spine. If you are in the market for a chair, test out as many as you need until you find one that works. The most expensive chair does not always equate to the one that is best for you. When you find a chair you think is right, sit in that chair for twenty minutes and see how you feel. Giving the chair an honest workout is the only way you will know if it is right for you.

The Desk and keyboard should be at the height of your arms, maintaining a 90° angle at the elbow. There should be enough room under the desk to slide your legs and chair under the desk. If you are using a computer, the monitor should be high enough so that you are looking straight ahead. If you have to look down, this causes you to come out of a neutral alignment and adds stress to the muscles in the back of the neck. It also increases pressure on the cervical discs.

Telephone If you are on the phone frequently, the best investment you will ever make is a HEADSET One of the most common faulty postures is the phone/neck cradle. This is when you are on the phone cradling the receiver between your ear and shoulder. This causes increased muscle tension throughout the neck and often leads to severe neck pain. A headset will free your hands for typing and allow you head to remain in a neutral position.

Other useful tips Never twist your back to reach for something. If you are sitting in a chair that swivels, use your feet to rotate your body. Twisting the spine may lead to increased stress throughout the back and shoulders. If you are working on a fax machine, telephone, keyboard, etc., try to position the equipment in front of you so there is no twisting required. Finally, try not to sit for a prolonged period of time. You should stand up every half hour just to get the blood flowing through your neck, back & legs. Stand up and stretch by walking around a bit. This will relieve tension from your system and reduce overall stress.

Compliance Vs Surrender

There are five steps to the inner path of enlightenment according to Gurudeva (yogi). These steps are really regions of consciousness each being more refined then the last. As awareness becomes more acute and detached, as it comes under conscious control of the spiritual will, we are able to penetrate the layers of consciousness in succession; until the final goal is reached. Enlightenment. The first of the five steps is attention. It is the ability to hold awareness steady, centralized in the area we choose. I feel like I have been successful at this step and from this point I naturally evolved into the next step, which is concentration. Like a hummingbird over a flower, I begin to concentrate on things, study them, and muse over them. Through the practice of concentration, mediation has very slowly been becoming available. In meditation the goal is to see “the truth” as it is. New knowledge can flood through you when you listen from the inside. From practicing meditation, we next enter contemplation. We plunge deep within, beyond our external forms into the energy of the life within the cells of your SELF. We are absorbed with joy. We become that energy that pervades every atom of existence. Ultimately, the promise of Gurudeva is that contemplation leads to self-realization; to the very deepest part of your soul; where you go within one atom of that pure energy and into the Universal source of all creation. There is nothing you can say about this to describe it because there are no areas of the mind in which the self and truth exist simultaneously, and yet, if it weren’t for the Self the mind would not exist. It is paradoxical and it is the unspeakable truth known only by the knower. Where SELF is, Truth is not. Where TRUTH is, self is not. Truth is so simple, so absolute, so undeviating and utterly uncompromising. It admits no complexity, no turning and no qualification. You cannot possess truth without being rid of Self. Deluded worshippers of their EGO vainly imagine that they can gratify every worldly desire and at the same time possess truth. But the lovers of truth have surrendered to the worship of truth at the expense of self/identity. There is no other way to Truth but to guard against worldliness and self-seeking. I must give up my lusts, my prejudices, and my opinions. Truth can be perceived only when the last vice of self has disappeared. There are no sorrow or disappointments in truth. There is no opposition, and no argument with Truth. How does it go? Once again I begin the search for my Truth with renewed determination. I will get this.

Next Obstacle:

So, much of my life has been about compliance which happens to have the appearance of surrender to outsiders, with a stubborn resistance on the inside. It means agreeing, and going along with the program, but in no way implies enthusiastic, wholehearted assent and approval. There is a present willingness not to argue or resist, but I cooperate grudgingly. I am not entirely happy or comfortable in this “agreement” with compliance. I feel like a liar, not a seeker of truth. Compliance is a word, which portrays mixed feelings, and divided sentiments. There is a willingness to go along but at the same time there remains inner reservations, which make that willingness somewhat thin and wavering. I have found that it doesn’t take much to overthrow this kind of willingness. Not to drink, not to act out, not to abuse myself. The existence of my compliant attitude will probably appear as neither strange nor new to others… I have always been this way. One begins to see how it operates in my unconscious, and disarms me of my ability to authentically grow.

How much of my life had been lived appearing to follow the rules on the outside but resenting their constraints on the inside? Does this explain my paranoia of anything that seemed to threaten my freedom or obligate me? If I have no obligations, I feel I can finally escape the double entendre I lead everyday. I can breathe deeply in these contrived moments. In this state of compliance, I always have always had an inner nagging that something is not true. Not right. I am appearing/appeasing one way on the outside but feel like I am sacrificing what I really want on the inside. I struggle quietly with a smile on my face. I am so accustomed to this struggle, that I don’t know how to act when the struggle disappears. I am noticing a fear to let go of my struggle. One more layer of my identity that I didn’t know existed.

So now I stand here and ask you. Where does the balance lie between surrender and accountability? I want to surrender to NOW, but what about my own decisions and will? How do I know when to surrender and when to assert myself? What is the difference between surrender and resignation?

How do I gain humility without hitting rock bottom? Is it possible to have humility and confidence simultaneously?

I am now recognizing a marked difference in my life through much introspection and by the detachment from my thoughts that habitually run through my head. Noticing a marked difference between my thoughts and my consciousness was a big epiphany many years ago. Now watching all my thoughts, I realize that the disciplines that resonate are the ones that have evolved past compliance, into acceptance (rather then resignation). This is where knowledge (outside source) crystallizes into wisdom (inside truth.) It is like when I finally quit drugs, or cigarettes, or coffee or alcohol, or overeating, or undereating, trying to get attention from men……I quit again and again doing research through relapse, until my behavior changed from compliance to acceptance of truth. Nothing outside of me has the ability to change how I feel inside. Shoot. How can I apply this in the other areas of my life? How can I change my compliance into acceptance? Where has it already changed and where does it still need to change? The truths that I need to accept. Creation is love. Love is inside and outside of me. I am nothing and everything at once. Hurting myself will never bring a positive result. Alcohol, drugs, food, abuse will never bring me contentment or the feelings of satisfaction I am craving when I turn to them in desperation. Looking for acceptance outside myself will never bring self-acceptance that I need to cultivate inside. Living in the past I realize, is tinted with infantile perceptions, pre-growth, so the constant analysis of past events (such as when I was drinking or using) is pointless. I have grown out of those circumstances. In essence, past circumstances were seen through a less developed eye. I have grown so much in sobriety, it is actually counter productive to regress into past perceptions and views. Furthermore, the future has not occurred so why limit myself. How many times have I imagined the future, from where I am now? It is no wonder I find the future to be better than I could not have ever imagined. Why limit myself? But then again, every action, every accomplishment, and every dream began with my imagination. When I trust that I will continue to grow and change, I realize I cannot imagine my future without imposing my emotional limitations and boundaries that I wrestle with now. So confusing; like a mind f%@# if you know what I mean. I remind myself again and again that I must live now in this moment by surrendering. Meditate to connect, not to be spiritually compliant. I am so sick of compliance, and it pops up in all areas of my life.

I must learn to create my moments to release my energy, my unique essence, not to be socially compliant or acceptable.

In compliance, I was attempting to create a façade of perfection. I had been taught that if I could be perfect on the outside, it would mean I could find the acceptance I craved on the inside. That didn’t work. I feel rebellion and frustration in these moments that I still am not good enough for myself. I give up! I say. But compliance was never the issue; I mastered that in my childhood training and my adult self-imposed standards of perfection. The problem is that I had created a self-imposed standard, to appear one way on the outside, then constantly struggling to make my insides match up. AHHAAA! I had it backwards all this time. What I needed to do was acknowledge and nod to my insides, and then match that up with my outsides. I didn’t know truth was the embodiment of single mindedness.

Truth does not change. To discover my truths with more speed I must abandon compliance, which impedes sincere surrender.

What Is Plugmold? An Introduction to Multioutlet Assembly

Those who are not inclined towards electrical repairs or handyman work do not know what plugmold is. Technically, Plugmold is a product line under the Wiremold Company, which manufactures and designs wire and cable management solution. For handyman or electricians, plugmold is just a strip of outlets.

Many people might have seen a plugmold before but they do not know what is plugmold? and just perceived it as an ordinary outlets. What is plugmold? and the advantages of having one installed on your office or home will be discussed in this article.

What is plugmold? and its uses?

In residential use, plugmold is commonly found on the kitchen where it usually replaced conventional outlets that can disrupt the backsplash. Plugmolds can be mounted on that of the backsplash or just under the cabinets where it is hidden or out of sight. Some electricians install plugmolds on the bottom where the backsplash and the counter meet to hide the dangling cords.

Plugmolds are also known as plug strips or as referred to by the Code, multioutlet assemblies. In school, laboratories, and like locations, plugmolds are commonly installed to ease away from extension cords and to provide convenient plug outlets when it is needed. The set of outlets can be spaced quite close together, in regular intervals, and saves time compared to other installation methods. Computer rooms where several computers must be used at the same time use plugmolds as outlets. Plugmolds allow you to install 6 to 10 outlets in any place that you need them.

What is plugmold? Commercial and industrial use

Plugmolds can be used in electrical or appliance stores where plenty of outlets are needed. For example, a store has lamps that need to be plugged and turned on/off all at once to show to customers. Plugmolds can also be used in industrial applications. An example is a repair shop where several soldering tools are used. Plugmolds allow these tools to be turned on simultaneously without using extension wires or interruption. It saves time and serves as a convenient outlet for the employees.

While you do might not need an electrical permit to install plugmolds, you must still refer to the National Electrical Code or NEC. There you can research about what is plugmold? and what it says about Wiremold and multioutlet assemblies. While the NEC permits surface metal raceways or multioutlet assemblies, there are still limitations on how many appliances you can plugged on plugmolds. The number of appliances are affected by the ampere and voltage rating of the appliances, and the size of wire you used in your plugmolds’ assembly.

If you intend to install plugmolds or multioutlet assemblies on your homes, call a local electrician or refer to the installation guide. Plugmolds can also be bought in two sets: a self contained strip that are easy to install, and a hard wire strip which can be fed with wire mold metal surface raceways. The self-contained strip comes with a protective built-in circuit breaker to avoid overloading the circuit.

Spontaneous Statements – From the Collection of Useful Hearsay Exceptions

Sometimes, one of the key pieces of evidence in your case is a hearsay statement. Maybe it’s an admission from the defendant or from the defendant’s agent. It might be testimony from another trial or hearing that squarely addresses an issue in your case. Whatever the situation, if you need to offer an out-of-court statement into evidence for the truth of the matter asserted in the statement itself, you have a problem on your hands.

But like getting a flat tire in the rain, it might not be in insurmountable problem. It is, however, a problem nonetheless, which means you need to plan your solution early enough to implement it. So when planning your case in chief, consider whether you might benefit from the spontaneous-statements hearsay exception. Let me give you an example.

The first case I ever tried to a jury was actually decided on a spontaneous statement of an unavailable hearsay declarant. I won that trial because I recognized my hearsay problem early enough to successfully implement my solution.

I was prosecuting a misdemeanor domestic-violence case. The defendant was a six foot five inch tall, 275 pound bruiser. The victim was his five foot tall, 90 pound wife. They were camping at the San Elijo Beach campground, and he cold-cocked her with a closed fist right cross straight to her eye socket, producing a conspicuous shiner.

The next morning, a park ranger came up to the couple. When he noticed the wife’s shiner, he asked her: “What happened?” Suddenly, she became visibly upset as though she were re-living the prior night’s events. Tears welled up in her eyes. Then, she pointed to her husband and dramatically blurted out: “He hit me!”

One of the social realities of trying domestic-violence cases is that the victims find themselves in a vicious conflict of interests. On the one hand, they want their abusers to be incarcerated so that they are free from the physical abuse. But on the other hand, they may be financially dependent on their abusers, and incarceration would therefore be extremely inconvenient for the household. They also fear retaliation. This leads to a phenomenon commonly known as “the recanting witness” or “the recalcitrant” or “absentee victim.”

Naturally, by the time the trial came around, the wife was “unavailable.” She ducked my subpoenas, slipped into the network of battered women and homeless shelters, and was gone. That meant that my star witness would be the park ranger who had to testify about what she said, which was plainly hearsay.

Enter the spontaneous statement – also known as the exited utterance.

Evidence Code §1240 states that a statement is not inadmissible hearsay if it “purports to narrate, describe, or explain an act, condition, or event perceived” and was made “spontaneously while the declarant was under the stress of excitement caused by such perception.”

Case law states that for the exception to apply, there must be (1) an occurrence sufficiently startling to produce “nervous excitement and render the utterance spontaneous and unreflecting;” (2) the utterance must have been made before there was time to “contrive and misrepresent,” i.e., while the nervous excitement still dominated the reflective powers; and (3) “the utterance must relate to the circumstances of the occurrence causing it.” People v. Poggi (1988) 45 Cal.3d 306, 318. The idea is that statements made in the heat of the moment are less likely to be false.

The admissibility of spontaneous statements is a matter within the discretion of the trial court. People v. Pearch (1991) 229 Cal.App. 3d 1282, 1290. Often, the main issue – as it was in my domestic-violence case – is a lapse in time between the event and the statement. But the key is that the statement must be made under the stress and excitement of the event “while the reflective powers were still in abeyance.” People v. Washington (1969) 71 Cal.2d 1170, 1176.

For example, the statements in Washington were made an hour after the event, but were nevertheless admissible. See also, People v. Raley (1992) 2 Cal.4th 870, 893 (18-hour gap in time); and In re Emilye A. (1992) 9 Cal.App.4th 1695, 1713 (2-day gap in time). However in one case, the court found that 13 hours between the startling event and the statement was too long for the exception to apply. Pearch, supra, 229 Cal.App.3d at 1290.

There is no bright-line rule about the timing of the event and the utterance. The distinction seems to be whether the declarant was still under the stress of the event. In my domestic-violence case, for example, the court was persuaded that the victim was under the stress of the battery because she welled up and seemed to be re-living the attack when she identified her husband as the attacker. He was also standing right behind her when the park ranger asked her “what happened?”

The spontaneous-utterance exception is not limited to verbal testimony. Affidavits or declarations can also contain hearsay made admissible by the exception. Mecchi v. Picchi (1966) 245 Cal.Ap.2d 470.

If you plan to introduce a spontaneous utterance at trial, be sure to have all necessary witnesses to lay your foundation. For example, be sure to call the person who heard the statement. Also, be sure to call the person who can testify as to the declarant’s state of mind, i.e., that the declarant was excited and under the stress of the event.

Finally, be sure to consider all other possible exceptions such as contemporaneous statements (Evid. Code §1241); statements relating to the infliction or threat of physical injury (Evid. Code §1370); statements by an elder or dependent-adult victim of abuse (Evid. Code §1380); admissions (Evid. Code §1220); dying declarations (Evid. Code §1242); statements of state of mind, emotion or physical sensation (Evid. Code §1250); declaration against interest (Evid. Code §1230); or prior inconsistent statements (Evid. Code §1235).

If you know that your case depends on a spontaneous statement – or any hearsay exception for that matter – plan early. Try to obtain your opponent’s stipulation as to admissibility, or else subpoena all foundational witnesses, request an Evidence Code §402 hearing and/or file motions in limine as necessary. Whatever the case, be proactive in getting your evidence admitted, especially if you can foresee an objection.

So You Want to Open a Record Store Franchise

When looking for franchise opportunities, it is important to choose a franchise business that is in an area that interests you. If you love good food, then you may decide to open a franchise restaurant; if you love pets then you may decide to open a pet store franchise; and if you love music, then opening a record store might be the perfect franchise idea for you.

If you want to open a record store, then opening a franchise has its perks. For starters, when you open a franchise you buy in to the brand of the store you are opening. This means that customers will recognize your name, associate it with quality and choose your store over lesser-known competitors. Additionally, franchisees are equipped with signage for the outside and inside of the store, access to the franchise’s catalog of music and oftentimes given assistance with the hiring and training of employees. This takes a lot of the stress out of opening your own record store. If you did it on your own you would have to come up with a catchy name and logo, figure out how to decorate the interior of your store, find a supplier for CDs, records, DVDs, magazines and anything else you’d like to sell and pay for advertising and marketing in order to get your name out to the public.

Before you open your record franchise, do a bit of research in your area. Are there already record stores in the vicinity? If so, are they big record stores that sell movies as well? Do they purchase and sell used music? See what’s out there and then find a franchise that offers something extra – try to fill a niche that has yet to be filled and your franchise will have a leg up over the other record stores in the area.

When it comes time to staff your new record franchise, keep in mind that the more your employees know about music, the better. Try to find employees that know about all kinds of music – a jazz expert, a Top 40 expert, someone who knows all about classic rock, classical, hip hop and R&B, alternative, metal, the works! When your customers can get advice from experts, it will really make their experience and they’ll come back for more.

How to Install a Catch Basin

Installing a catch basin can solve many drainage problems whether in your yard or in a commercial parking lot. Many people have problems with standing water on their properties due to flat terrain that does not drain well or to soils that simply will not absorb the surface water. Low areas in a garden or lawn can ruin the lawn or garden planting soils by capturing rain water and creating a ponding issue. Soggy lawns cannot be mown and wet garden soil turns to mud and can kill your plants. A simple remedy can be the installation of a catch basin to contain or drain way all the excess water. If you can install a drainage pipe to your catch basin that can empty into a drainage ditch elsewhere, that is ideal. If not, there are other solutions to be had.

Catch basins come in all different sizes and types. Concrete, plastic and PVC materials are quite common. If you need a larger catch basin but can not access the area with heavy equipment to carry and set it, you can construct one yourself out of masonry units. Depending on how severe the ponding issue is, that will determine the size catch basin you need. If it occurs only occasionally and you can install a drainage outlet pipe, a small two foot diameter PVC basin may suffice. Easy to hand carry as they are lightweight, and easy to install, they can be driven over by a lawn tractor with no problem. An outlet pipe will help quickly drain away the water form this small basin. If you have a larger water problem, a precast concrete basin may be in order.

Precast concrete basins are extremely heavy and require some type of machinery to move and set in place. You will need to excavate a fairly large hole so a mid sized backhoe can both dig the hole and pick up and set the basin. The smallest catch basin I have seen is twenty-four inches square and thirty inches deep. Not really worth all the effort as a larger three foot square and three feet deep basin will accept a great deal more water if no outlet pipe is possible. You may order your non-outlet basin with a drainage hole cast in the bottom so the basin can accept the rainwater during a storm and then slowly return the water to the ground through the bottom drain hoe. A twenty-four inch diameter grate will allow the fastest passage of water into the basin and are available from most precast suppliers. They will last your lifetime. In a driveway or parking lot, you will need to order what is designated as an H20 loading basin and lid. These type are capable of carrying an automobiles weight.

Installing a basin is a fairly straight forward process. If you are not installing an outlet pipe, then you only care that the finished basin and lid are slightly below the surrounding grade or paved areas. This setup when back filled, will allow the water to find the basin as everything slopes to the basin. If you are installing an outlet pipe, you have to be sure you point the outlet hole in the basin in the correct direction when setting it.

You will want to measure the height of the basin plus the lid plus whatever thickness of stone you wish to place below the basin. Six inches of stone is a minimum to provide a good base for a heavy catch basin. If you are using a bottom drain type basin, a two foot thickness of stone is much better. This will allow additional “storage” space for water until the ground has time to absorb it all. With this total overall measurement in hand you may excavate the hole. You want the top of the lid to ideally be about two inches below the surrounding area to promote drainage.

Take great care when working around a precast basin. Never, ever get under the basin for any reason. If, when you set it and the gravel needs to be re-raked, lift the basin completely out of the hole and to the side before you enter the hole. Chains and cables break or snap, hydraulic lift cylinders on machines fail and any one of these would cause you to be crushed to death. Take no chances. Lift it in and out five times if necessary to make the work area safe.

Once your gravel is level and the basin is set, check the basin’s levelness in two directions with a good four foot hand level. Once done, set your frame and lid in place and cover it with plywood to prevent any earth from falling into the catch basin when you back fill around it. If you can compact the earth as you go, you will get far less settlement later on.

After a good rain, regrade the back fill around the basin to make a nice even slope to the new catch basin lid.

Pete Ackerson

Pros and Cons of Using a Laptop With a Backlit Keyboard

Perhaps one of the most underrated features of high-end laptops today is the LED backlit keyboard. There are some people who wouldn’t buy a laptop without it, and other who doesn’t even know it exists as a feature. We’re going to dig into the pros and cons of owning a laptop with this kind of keyboard so you can make the decision for yourself.

Positives: Reasons In Support Of Using a Laptop with an Illuminated Keyboard

1. The most obvious reason: You can use your laptop in the dark!

Many people aren’t able to type without looking at the keys, and if you often find yourself on your laptop in bed at night (with the lights off), having an illuminated keyboard can be a big help.

2. You’re probably using a better computer when you have a backlit keyboard.

One other good reason for owning a laptop that has a backlit keyboard is you’re probably using a better computer when you have a backlit keyboard. This delivers the additional advantage of having other components that are considered “high-end” or “high performance”, which is certain to protect against making the mistake of buying a computer that runs slowly and doesn’t perform well with games (if you’re into that)..

3. It just looks cool.

And then there’s the fact that having an illuminated keyboard is aesthetically pleasing. This is important since it makes you feel good about your purchase, and perhaps allows you to further enjoy whatever it is you’re doing on the computer. Once you take that into consideration, then it seems sensible to own a laptop that has a backlit keyboard.

But that is the good side of laptops with illuminated keyboards. There is also a negative side. Here’s a discussion of some of the negative aspects.

Cons: Points Against Buying a Laptop with a Backlit Keyboard

1. They’re often more expensive.

If you are shopping for a laptop that runs well and is affordable, you might find that these laptops often more expensive. That’s clearly a bad thing. It could be enough reason for avoiding buying it at all.

2. They use more battery power.

This is fine if you always use your laptop plugged in, but if you travel a lot and expect to use the battery power often, you may find yourself with limited usage time.

3. You simply don’t need it.

A final legitimate reason to avoid buying a laptop that has ones of these keyboards is that you simply don’t need it.. Everyone should consider this point very carefully, considering that it can result in be a reason to steer clear of these computers. You may be better suited spending the money on other features that are more useful to you. owning a laptop that has a backlit keyboard

So that is that. These are the disadvantages and benefits of purchasing a laptop that has a backlit keyboard.. It certainly is not ideal for all of us, yet it definitely is good for some. Hence, think diligently about the reasons mentioned above. Hopefully your final decision process will be aided greatly by the pro and con information brought to you here.

Rely on Floor Lamps to Not Only Add Light, But a Creative Element to Any Space

Anyone that’s looking for some versatile styles in designer floor lamps will be thrilled with the variety of popular styles on the market today. They’re industrial, eclectic and classy.

Single Bulb

The majority of the designer floor lamps on the market today to include pendant lights offer a minimalist and industrial look featuring one single bulb, and then very little features around them. Buyers should consider the popular glass shade look with a steel base. The look is understated, powerful and clean for any space, and is sure to draw plenty of attention.

The cord-and-bulb look is also popular when it comes to pendant lights. Picture your typical pendant light without the shade. Again, this is minimalistic and beautiful. Many are surprised by the finished look an “unfinished” fixture can give. Wood and various types of metal are very chic in 2016 designer floor lamps, and they have very little color if any.

Mixed Materials

Another popular design trend in designer floor lamps is mixed materials. On trend are lamps with two-toned styles such as contrasting black and brass, or even two metal finishes such as steel and brass. Even the shades can be made of metal. One may also see wood, metal, ceramic and glass mixed together in unexpected ways.

The strange combinations are what makes these designer floor lamps eye-catching and fun. Thinking outside the box is a décor theme not only seen in lighting fixtures but also in homes such as in the kitchen, with mixed appliance and drawer hardware finishes; in the bathroom with lighting, sink and shower elements; and various other rooms throughout creating a stylish but functional look that everyone loves.

Multiple Bulbs

At times, having more than one bulb is needed to make a decorative statement via designer floor lamp lighting! Globe styles are becoming quite popular, and perfect in contemporary settings. They give a feel of being in the city, perhaps stepping onto the subway in New York City. The combination of metal and glass gives a stylish feel to any space, and can easily create an atmosphere that feels posh and uptown.

Steel is super popular, and adjustable steel shades are great for helping brighten up the features and areas that the homeowner would like to illuminate. Consider a shiny chrome finish to really make a statement!

Whenever several bulbs are displayed within one large structure, the result is sleek and modern. Designer floor lamps with a cast iron base and various types of glass are gorgeous. Frosted glass can diffuse the light and set a mood within a space. If they are dimmable that’s an added bonus!

Acrylic Styles

While many have acrylic furniture within their home, they may have never realized there are acrylic designer floor lamps that use both single, or two or more bulbs. These pair well with fabric shades that have a mesh material.

These are just some of the best styles for designer floor lamps this year, and they’re all a great investment! It’s important to let the décor of one’s home, including the lighting fixtures, show their personal style. This way the home is more enjoyable for them, creating pride.

Tennis Court Surfaces – Bubbles, Blisters, and Drainage Issues

Finding blisters or bubbles on tennis court surfaces is a somewhat common problem, especially on concrete substrates. Many court owners are baffled by the fact that sometimes the blisters are there and other times they are not. The first thing they do is blame the resurfacing contractor, because it was fine before, and now the problem is happening after the new surface was applied.

Acrylic tennis court surfaces are semi-permeable, or breathable, and allow small amounts of moisture vapor to transmit through them from beneath the slab. However, if there are large amounts of moisture trying to get through, it can create this situation. When a tennis or basketball court was not built with a proper perimeter drainage system to divert rain water away, much of the moisture can end up directly beneath the court. When the sun heats up the surface, the water is drawn upwards in a vapor form. This creates hydrostatic pressure, and can break the bond between the coating and the asphalt or concrete surface. The result is multiple bubbles and blisters on the court surface. Concrete surfaces should also have a 10 mil vapor barrier installed when the court is built, to prevent this from happening. Unlike asphalt, concrete is very dense and has a tendency to create higher levels of hydrostatic pressure. This is why the problem happens more often on concrete courts.

Other than, and combined with poor drainage, surface blisters and bubbles can also become an issue when too many coats of surfacing material are applied. This can happen after many years of resurfacing cycles have been performed. When a tennis court is resurfaced, there are anywhere from 3 to 10 coats of surfacing material applied, depending on whether it is a hard court or a cushioned tennis court surface. The standard resurfacing cycle should happen every 4 to 7 years. At some point, around the fourth or fifth resurfacing, the owner may want to think about having the tennis court contractor remove the existing coatings, back down to the pavement. This helps to minimize the potential for bubbles or blisters, and breathability issues. Also, tennis court coatings contain, or are job-mixed with silica sand for filling voids and texturing the playing surface. This creates non-slip safety, and sets the pace of the game. Sand also breaks the surface tension of each coating layer and allows it breathe better. Thus, it is recommended to specify sand into each coat of material.

In some rare cases, occasional bubbles may appear on a sport surface with adequate drainage. This is most likely to happen during extreme weather patterns that bring continuous rains and over burden drainage systems. If the surface it not subjected to this problem long term, the bubbles usually go down and disappear without further problems. The random bubble can also be injected with acrylic latex to re-adhere the coating to the pavement surface, if needed. A sport surfacing professional can take care of this with minimal cost.

When having a sport court built, make sure the tennis court construction company is familiar with the American Sports Builders Association guidelines for proper sport construction. The best way to ensure this is by contacting a manufacturer of tennis court resurfacing products and asking them for qualified tennis court contractors in your area.

A Fact Guide to Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

Well the dry powder fire extinguisher is pretty much the most effective all round model available on the market today. It is the type of extinguisher most often recommended for use in the home or on a vehicle due to its impressive coverage of multiple fire classes. They generally come as ABC or BC variants and are rated for use on those types of fires. As an added bonus they are safe to use on electrical fires too which is an impressive extension to their usage.

It’s simple to recognise a dry powder extinguisher as they are colour coded for easy identification, they are red with a blue panel.

Certain locations are not suitable for powder extinguishers as when set off they produce a cloud which may obscure people’s vision and make it difficult to find the fire exit. The powder can also cause some breathing problems when inhaled. For this reason they are not used in offices, hotels or other areas which are enclosed and filled with the public such as a school or large shop.

This type of extinguisher comes in three main varieties with the most common being ABC and BC.

The models rated as ABC are multi-purpose fire fighting equipment and the powder contains ammonium phosphate as its main agent. The BC extinguisher has potassium bicarbonate in it which is better known as baking powder or soda in the real world. The powder is forced out under pressure by nitrogen gas normally. There is a specialist third type of powder that is rated for class A and D (metals fires). These contain graphite powder and their use requires specialist training also.

A side effect of powder is that the powder is corrosive to soft metals and also attracts moisture, so if used on electrical products they will pretty much be destroyed and useless. This is because ABC dry powder ammonium phosphate can have a chemical reaction with water and form into phosphoric acid which is a corrosive element. They should only be used on sensitive electrical equipment if there is absolutely no other option to tackle the blaze. This is also why you cannot use a powder extinguisher on an aircraft.

Now for the techie part and an explanation of how the powder extinguisher actually works. Well obviously the powder is an extinguishing agent which is forced out of the extinguisher under pressure by a non flammable gas. The powder then smothers the fire and prevents re-ignition by removing one of the fire causing elements such as oxygen. The sodium bicarbonate element of powder is a very clever addition which fully decomposes at 158 degrees F thus releasing CO2 which helps starve the fire of oxygen.

Worth a mention also is Monnex dry powder which was developed by ICI and is one of the most effective fire fighting agents available today.

Another downside of powder is the fact it is extremely messy, but that’s a small price to pay to save your life. The powder should be cleared up fully after any fire and disposed of correctly. This type of powder extinguisher is used a lot within motor racing as its so effective at tackling a petrol fire and is commonly seen at airports also.

So there you have the full details on a powder fire extinguisher.