Top 10 Things to Do in Lake Havasu, AZ

It amazes me how many people that I’ve met that live in Arizona, or the surrounding areas that have never been to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The deserts of Southern California and throughout Arizona offer numerous outdoor activities like hiking, off road driving, and beautiful scenery. But in my opinion, Lake Havasu City is one of Arizona’s, America’s hidden treasures.

Located off I-40 on Hwy 93, roughly 2 ½ hours south of Las Vegas Nevada, is where this desert playground is located. Lake Havasu was formed when the Parker Dam, located south of Lake Havasu City, was constructed in the 1930’s, creating the lake now known as Lake Havasu. Robert McCullough, the Godfather of Lake Havasu, bought the London Bridge for 2.5 million dollars, and spent another 7 million dollars to dismantle it, and ship it over from England. What used to be just a peninsula is now an island after a channel was dug out for the bridge. And yes, the song “The London Bridge is falling down” is about the Lake Havasu’s London Bridge.

The below list includes some of the biggest attractions that Lake Havasu has to offer, and that only few insiders know about. So, in order to fully enjoy every minute of your stay, do yourself a favor and make sure that you schedule some time to fit them all in. Lake Havasu can be enjoyed year round, but the best times of the year are during the spring and summer months; especially if you plan on playing in the water. Winter and fall are ideal if you don’t plan on swimming, boating and skiing.

So, don’t let the heat from May through September stop you. Just stock up on 150 SPF plus sunscreen and enjoy yourself.

1. London Bridge – Get the bridge out of the way first. This is a no-brainer. If you go to Lake Havasu and don’t see the bridge, then there’s a chance you already have heat stroke. The English Village surrounds the bridge to give you the feel of London, except surrounded by a desert. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool, but for some reason unknown to me, the English Village doesn’t stack up to its crown jewel, the London Bridge. Some really cool shops and attractions are long gone, but it’s still worth your while to grab an ice cream cone and some souvenirs. Don’t forget to go back at night.

2. Spring Break – College-aged kids love it, and the locals hate it. In my opinion Lake Havasu is the West Coast’s best kept secret when it comes to spring break spots. If you can pull it off, try to make reservations at the Nautical Inn on the island, or the London Bride Resort located in the channel next to the London Bridge. Not to mention Lake Havasu’s hottest nightclub, Kokomo’s, is also located there.

3. Water sports – This is Havasu’s bread and butter. Swimming, boating and jet skiing is what Lake Havasu is all about. You should have no problem finding boat rentals under the London Bridge. If you’re traveling in group, consider renting a houseboat for the day. Be sure to check out the sand bars located north of the city. Just ask the locals, they’ll point you in the right direction. Check out the swimming holes in the area as well. Rotary State Park located at the end of Smoketree Ave, and The State Beach located on the island, are great spots for kids and families. There are numerous swimming holes on the island if you like privacy, but make sure that you wear shoes. Lake Havasu doesn’t have the plush, sandy beaches like southern California, and the rocks will tear your feet apart.

4. Fishing – If you’re an angler, then you’ll have a blast in Lake Havasu. Striper bass, catfish and blue gill populate the region, just to name a few. Lake Havasu is notorious for its countless coves and inlets that are just begging to be fished in. You don’t have to have a boat either. So if you just want to pull up a lawn chair and relax, the island has plenty of fishing holes. Don’t forget to buy a license.

5. The Island at night – Now this is what it is all about. Most of Lake Havasu’s homes can see the lake because of its layout. So when you are down by the lake you can see the entire city. And, at night it’s absolutely beautiful. The clear nights give way to the heavens-you get a clear view of the stars in all of their glory. Make sure to go to the very end of the island near Site Six. Just follow McCullough Blvd over the bridge until you reach the end and pull off anywhere to find a good spot. But be careful, there are a lot of dangerous ravines, and if don’t pay attention it could get ugly. You’ll see what I’m talking about once you are there. You can hear wild donkeys on some nights across the lake in California, or boaters living it up. I can’t even tell you how many nights I spent down there throwing a few cold ones down my throat, and just taking it all in.

6. Copper Canyon – Havasu boating residents have always known about this hot spot, but MTV took this little cove to Hollywood. Made famous by MTV’s 1994 Spring Break visit, Copper Canyon is now a must-see if you have a boat and like to party and jump off cliffs. During Spring Break, packed boats make for a floating walkway. This also goes for Labor Day, 4th of July, and Memorial Day weekend. If a lot of people are not your thing, you might want to experience Copper Canyon during another time of the year.

7. Boat Tours – If you just want to relax and hang out for a couple hours, and take in all of the sites, then maybe a boat tour will interest you. Narrators give you a step-by-step, play-by-play experience that is truly second-to-none. View wildlife, enjoy a dinner or relax; the choice is yours.

8. Bison Blvd – I’m about to upset the neighbors, but the view from the desert off Bison Blvd via Kiowa are too good not to tell you about. Pavement will only take you so far though, a car will do the trick if you drive very slowly; we advise only using a truck if possible. Bison is located at the base of the mountains behind Lake Havasu. See the city from the other side, and like the island, there are amazing views of the cosmos. During the day, the desert is an off road neophyte’s paradise; this is where the desert really opens up.

9. Cliffs – I you like jumping off cliffs, then this is the spot for you. Located north of Lake Havasu City off I-93 in the desert hills are the cliffs ranging from 15-150 feet tall. This is not a park and parking is limited, unless you access this area using an off road vehicle or boat. The water is deep enough, but you should use extreme caution if you plan on jumping off the big boys. Again, just ask the younger locals for exact directions.

10. Off Road – The desert is wide open to the north, south and west for Lake Havasu. There are numerous dune buggy rentals in the area to choose from. But like I said, be prepared by having water, a GPS device, cell phone and a spare tire. Rent a dune buggy and hit the open desert trails. Just be careful, because if you get into trouble out there during the summer months, the Arizona heat is not very forgiving.

How The Right Work Chair Can Prevent Chronic Tension Headaches

If you suffer from chronic tension headaches, back pain or neck pain, you’re probably aware that poor posture was at least partly responsible.

However, did you know the way you sit may have had more to do with your pain than the way you stand?

If you’re like most Americans, you spend much of your day seated. That’s because your work station is probably at a computer terminal, assembly line, or desk.

Consider, too, that much of your time at home is also spent sitting – either watching T.V., surfing the Internet or reading. As a result, of the 16 hours or so you’re awake, you may well spend 12 or more of them sitting down.

Doesn’t it make sense then, that you should concentrate as much on your sitting posture as you do your standing posture?

And while standing properly – shoulders rolled back, head up, chest out – is important, the benefits of a good standing posture will be minimal if you slouch all day at your desk.

You may be one of many unfortunate workers who are forced to slouch because your work chair won’t adjust to accommodate your body, or because you don’t have your chair adjusted properly.

THE DANGERS OF IMPROPER SITTING

Three things can happen when you habitually slouch for long periods every day. They’re all bad:

* stiffness and pain in your muscles, connective tissue and joints

* restricted breathing

* postural deformities

STIFFNESS AND PAIN

Problems related to inappropriate seating are cumulative. The first noticeable symptom is usually stiffness and pain in your low back, upper back or neck. These can lead to chronic tension headaches, back aches, and muscle spasms or a restriction of circulation in your legs.

As a result of sitting slouched over all the time, other body segments begin to break down because when one part of the body is out of alignment, it’ll have an effect on the structures above and below it.

For example, if you habitually sit slumped over you’re not only at risk for back and neck pain, but also for repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome.

RESTRICTED BREATHING

When you’re sitting upright, you should have good tone in your lower abdominal muscles so your diaphragm is in its proper, raised position. This is important for optimal breathing.

But when you slump in your seat, your lower abdominal muscles relax and your diaphragm lowers. This forces you to breath from the upper chest instead of from the diaphragm.

As a result of decreased support from a relaxed lower abdominal wall, together with a lowering of your diaphragm, your abdominal organs are forced downward, which restricts your breathing.

POSTURAL DEFORMITIES

If you’re a woman, the resulting pressure in your pelvis from slouching all day for prolonged periods of time can be an overlooked cause of back, pelvic and menstrual pain.

And – particularly if you’re a woman – you risk skeletal deformities if your poor seating posture is not corrected.

Often, when people think of a “round-back” posture, they usually associate it with a post-menapausal woman who’s already had osteoporosis.

However, many pre-menopausal women have rounded backs that are caused by the way they sit all day.

HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOU’RE SEATED PROPERLY

Here’s a checklist you can use that will help you determine if you’re sitting properly:

* your feet are firmly on the floor, or on a foot rest, slightly in front of you

* your seat is adjusted so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, with your knees at about 90 degrees and slightly lower than your hips

* your seat allows your weight to be borne primarily on the upper half of your thighs

* your knees are shoulder width apart or closer

* your chair seat isn’t too deep (you shouldn’t be sinking in your chair)

* you’re able to sit upright, maintaining the natural curves of your back

* your back is adequately supported

* your pelvis is neutral

* your rib cage is elevated

* you can draw a straight line down through your ear, shoulder, rib cage and pelvis (check this by sitting in front of a full-length mirror, or have a co-worker analyze your sitting posture)

ERGONOMIC TIPS FOR COMPUTER USERS

If you sit at a computer terminal all day, there are other factors you need to consider:

* you should be sitting directly in front of your keyboard and computer screen

* your monitor should be between 18 – 24 inches from your eyes, and you should have to look slightly down to see it

* you should use a work surface that allows your elbows to maintain about a 90 degree angle

* you should keep your shoulders relaxed; don’t slump forward

* you should relax your wrists and keep them in a neutral position; don’t flex them up or down

* while typing, keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows loose at your side

* take breaks

When doing extensive computer work, it’s important to take brief breaks to stretch and walk around every 30 minutes or so. Alternate between work activities that utilize different muscle groups.

Make sure to give your eyes a periodic break, too. For example, blink frequently, close them momentarily and gaze at different objects.

THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHAIRS

CASTER WHEELS

In most work environments, and in nearly all offices, chairs are mounted on caster wheels to allow you to move from task to task easily. These wheels are usually mounted on a five-point base.

STATIONARY BASE

In some industrial settings, a chair with a stationary base is more common because of safety issues. Such chairs are often found in laboratories because the floors tend to be hard and smooth, making caster wheel chairs risky.

Stationary chairs are the norm in assembly lines because they’re more stable.

BENCH CHAIR

Bench chairs are often used in small parts assembly areas in manufacturing, as well as for other jobs that require manual dexterity. Bench chairs are higher than typical office chairs and usually offer footrests for stability and comfort.

SIT-TO-STAND CHAIRS

Sit-to-stand chairs are best if you move from a seated to a standing position often during your shift (if you work as a receptionist or assembly line worker, a sit-to-stand chair would be a good choice).

These chairs usually don’t have a backrest. the seat is angled downward, allowing you to lean comfortably in a half-standing position.

OTHER FACTORS THAT AFFECT ERGONOMICS

BACKRESTS

The backrest of your chair should stabilize your pelvis and elevate your rib cage by supporting your lower back.

If it doesn’t support your lower back properly, then it will sink into the backrest. A backrest that’s too soft, inclined, and/or concave causes this to happen.

These faults result in a backrest that supports the wrong areas, which reinforces slumping.

FOOTRESTS

If your work surface is too high to allow you to place your feet on the floor, then you need a footrest. The footrest should be large enough to allow you some movement during the day. It should also be adjustable to accommodate your height and leg length.

FIVE-POINT BASE

A five-point base offers you maximum stability and can usually be found with any type of chair.

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT WORK CHAIR FOR YOUR BODY TYPE

When shopping for a work chair, you must realize that one size doesn’t fit everyone. You must consider what you do at your chair all day, as well as take into account your physical size.

Generally speaking, you want a chair that provides appropriate support to your back, legs, buttocks and arms.

Here are the various components of a work chair and what to look for in them:

THE BASE

You want a chair that has a five-pedistal (point) base, regardless of whether you need casters (wheels). If you choose a chair with less than five pedestals, you’re sacrificing stability and safety (chairs with four casters can tip over more easily).

Make sure the base allows the chair to swivel easily.

ARMRESTS

Keep in mind that armrests should only be used while reading or resting between typing sessions, NOT while actually typing or using your mouse. Depending on how you spend your time in the chair, you might not even need armrests.

If you do get a chair with armrests, make sure they’re adjustable, broad, cushioned and comfortable. While seated, you should be able to independently adjust the height of the armrests and move them closer together or further apart.

THE SEAT PAN

The part of the chair that you sit in (the seat pan) should allow even weight distribution and comfortable support. Pay attention to the width and depth of the seat pan – it should be wide enough to give you at least one inch of unused space on both sides of your thighs and hips.

It should also be deep enough to support your thighs comfortably and not put pressure behind your knees (that’s bad for circulation).

The seat pan should feel comfortable even after sitting for an hour or more. Insufficient cushioning and poor contouring can cause hip and back fatigue, so ensure that the padding is of high enough quality to resist becoming permanently deformed.

CHAIR HEIGHT

You should buy a chair that allows you to adjust its height easily. The best chairs have a device that permits you to adjust the height of the seat pan while you’re seated (a chair with a spinning mechanical height adjustment mechanism is okay, too).

Either way, make sure the adjusters are within easy reach while you’re seated – you shouldn’t have to get up to change the height of your chair.

If more than one person will be using the chair, make sure the range of heights will accommodate all users. You should be able to adjust the height of the seat pan so that the fronts of your knees are level, or slightly below level, with your feet firmly on the ground or on a footrest.

LUMBAR SUPPORT

A good lumbar support (the part of the chair that supports your lower back) is essential. Many chairs have cushioned lumbar supports that can be adjusted up and down and forward or backward. That’s what you want, as these supports will better fit your shape.

The ability to adjust your chair is especially important if more than one person will use the chair.

A fixed-height lumbar support might be okay if you’re the only user of the chair and it feels comfortable when you sit back against it.

When sitting against the lumbar support, make sure there’s sufficient room for your hips and that you aren’t being forced so far forward in the chair that you lose thigh support.

BACK SUPPORT

The back support should recline to allow you to sit back at more than 90 degrees. The best chairs allow your back to move and also track your back as you move back and forth.

Try to avoid locking a back support in one position. Look for a support that’s sufficiently broad and doesn’t put pressure on the side of your back. The support should also be tall enough to provide good support to the middle of your back – at least up to your shoulder blades.

HEADREST

If you like to recline in your chair to read, talk on the phone or relax, look for a chair with a high back and good neck and head rest.

PRICE

Good chairs are coming down in price, but they can still be costly. You can get a good chair for between $300 and $500.

(Remember this – you get what you pay for)

While $300 to $500 (or more) may seem like a lot of money for a chair, if you’re among the millions of people who spend most of their workdays sitting, a high-quality, comfortable chair is a wise investment.

My Pedometer – Best Place to Wear It

Where is the best place to wear my pedometer? This is a question that is asked often. There has been considerable discussion about this topic, but until a study was performed to find the answer to this question, the best place to wear the pedometer was a guess.

The latest pedometers are called “pocket pedometers” and the manufacturers claim that you can drop them in your pants pocket and they will perform very well. They can also be worn on your hip, around your neck, and in your shirt pocket.

A group of researchers designed an experiment to determine the accuracy of these new “pocket” pedometers. The article from the experiment stated, “The purpose of this investigation was to examine the validity of step counts measured with the Omron HJ-112 pedometer and to assess the effect of pedometer placement.”

The results of the experiment were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: April 2009 – Volume 41 – Issue 4 – pp 805-809. The article is entitled Validity of the Omron HJ-112 Pedometer during Treadmill Walking.

The study used ninety-two subjects (44 males and 48 females); 71 with a varying body mass index [BMI].

The placement of the pedometer made a difference as follows:

  • Hip mounting produced the smallest random error (1.2%)
  • Shirt pocket was next (1.7%)
  • Hanging around the neck (2.2%)
  • In the pants pocket (5.8%).

The conclusion of the study was “The Omron HJ-112 pedometer validly assesses steps in different BMI groups during constant- and variable-speed walking; other than that in the pants pocket, placement of the pedometer has little effect on validity.”

So next time you get ready to head out on your walk, remember that your pedometer will record the most accurate results if you have it attached to your waist band or your belt on your hip. The study indicated that a “pocket” pedometer did not measure most accurately in your pocket.

For more information about best pedometers, read the resource information at the end of this article.

Why You Shouldn’t DIY – Basement Underpinning

From the time when prehistoric man first started using stone tools in his daily life doing it yourself was a way of life. Over the centuries, as building techniques developed to become more complex and simple tools have evolved into sophisticated machines, the job of the amateur handyman has become quite difficult. Usually in an effort to cut costs on a home improvement project, the modern do-it-yourself-er has his/her hands full with building codes, user manuals, and building instructions. Having said that, most home improvement projects are not only doable, but can arguably be done better if you are diligent enough and prepared to work. Other projects, however, are much too complicated for the average construction enthusiast and should be left solely to the professionals. Basement underpinning is such a project.

What is it that sets basement underpinning apart from other home improvement projects you ask? To answer that question in a nutshell, pretty much everything. There is no single thing about lowering your basement that is overwhelming. Taken separately, all aspects of the job are manageable and can be handled. However, collectively the process of lowering a basement to get some extra head space can become quite a headache.

Before you can even get started with any manual labor you will need to get a building permit. The nature of the project is such that if done incorrectly you can end up losing your home altogether. This is because when a home is built it is engineered to withstand the forces of nature that act upon it. Beyond your basement walls is not just soil, its pressure. If you go into this project without knowing where to dig, how to dig and how much to dig, soon enough your foundation walls will slide out from beneath your main floor, and your kitchen will be in your basement. To make sure that your basement can even be lowered, you will need to hire an engineer. You can always shop around and find a good deal, or maybe you have a friend who can do the plans for you, however most often than not a basement underpinning contractor will be able to provide engineering services to you at a discounted price.

Once you have your building permit you can get started. Oh wait, you don’t have any of the necessary equipment. Consider this, to dismantle your current concrete floor you will need the following: a conveyor belt system, a waste bin or two or three, a power generator, and jack hammer to connect to it. Although not impossible to obtain, the rental rates for you will be far higher than for a contractor, and chances are the contractor you choose for basement underpinning will already have these tools in their inventory.

Getting the right tools, is very much an issue of patience and organization. Once you have them, however, everything becomes a lot more serious. The tools that you will be working with when lowering your basement are power tools – and yes, they are powerful. Your DIY basement underpinning project may fall apart for the very simple reason that you cannot handle the jack hammer. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt however. After all, if you are even thinking of attempting such an ambitious project on your own means that you are an accomplished handyman with at least some construction know how.

Now that you have everything you need, and you know how to use all the tools take the process into consideration. This is your first time attempting such a project. Your knowledge is likely limited to books and what’s even more likely the internet. If you lowering your basement by following the steps in a “How to” guide book for basement underpinning you are probably better off than if you were following the advice of the internet. Beware of hinging the success of your project on the shaky words found on the internet; just like your foundation with an insufficient angle of repose, it may slide out from beneath you. Professionals who make a living doing basement underpinning know the ins and out of their trade, have come face to face with various difficulties, and have the know-how to get out of them.

Finally, if the above reasons don’t quell your thirst for extraordinary home improvement exploits think of time. Chances are that you work a full time job, and will be attempting to do this project in your spare time. This simple fact will turn a one week project into a one month odyssey filled with rental fees and unexpected hardships. There is nothing wrong with doing it yourself, but like everything in life, it should be approached with moderation.

How to Remove a Wart Naturally

Common warts are skin growths caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus causes a fast growth of cells on the outer layer of your skin. Common warts differ from moles in that they are not cancerous. Warts are usually harmless and often will fade away on their own. But you may find common warts troublesome or embarrassing, and you may want to find a treatment to rid yourself of the offending wart.

Common warts will usually grow on your hands or fingers. To help prevent common warts from spreading to other parts of your body or to other people you can seek various forms of treatments. Unfortunately, common warts may recur after treatment, and they could be a persistent problem.

Below are some types of wart which have been identified. These warts differ in shape and body location affected. These include

  • Common wart – a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands, but can grow anywhere on the body;
  • Flat wart – a small, smooth flattened wart, flesh-coloured, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees;
  • Filiform or digitate wart – a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips;
  • Plantar wart – a hard potentially painful lump, often with multiple black specks in the center; generally only found on pressure points on the soles of the feet;
  • Mosaic wart – a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet;
  • Genital wart – a wart on the genitalia.
  • Periungual wart – a cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails.

Fortunately, there are a number of different methods for removing warts. Removal methods will vary from person to person and case to case. Wart removal methods will change depending on the location of the wart. It is not uncommon to use a different treatment to remove a wart from your face than your hands or feet.

One alternative to remove warts is over the counter medications. The advantage in using over the counter medications is that there should be no pain or scarring, and the wart basically flakes away in weeks with regular use of the treatment. The over the counter treatments come in various forms such as salicylic acid, which can be purchased in either a paste or a bottle solution. Another option available is to use an inexpensive Freon refrigerant to freeze the wart off. Disadvantages to this treatment, it does not get as cold as the liquid nitrogen that the doctor uses and that the applicator may be too large for small warts.

A popular home remedy that is getting a lot of discussion is to use a duct tape occlusion therapy to remove warts. This method involves putting a piece of duct tape into the warts and leaving it attached to the warts for six days. The patient must then soak the area in water and scrape it off with a pumice stone or an emery board. Some additional home remedies people have successfully used include castor oil, onions and fig juice in treating their warts at home. Although the treatment may take longer, they eliminate the possibility of scarring as well. This is good news for facial warts.

Some people will chose to go to a Doctor. A Doctor will have different alternative available to them for the treatment of the warts. These treatments include:

  • Creams and chemicals, stronger than over the counter
  • Cryotherapy
  • Surgery to remove the wart.
  • Laser treatment

His Most Famous Painting (The Bonaventure Pine in St Tropez) – Paul Signac

French ‘Neo-Impressionist’ painter Paul Signac or Paul Victor Jules Signac (11 November 1863 – 15 August 1935) was born into a bourgeois family in Paris. Paul aimed architecture as his career, until he dropped the idea at the age of eighteen to start a career in painting. He voyaged near the coasts of Europe, painting the scenery he came across. Later on, Paul also painted the landscapes of cities in France. The turning point of Signac’s painting career was in 1884, when he met Georges Seurat and Claude Monet. The disciplined working techniques of Seurat and his ideas of colors impressed Signac. Inspired by Seurat, Paul abandoned the tiny brushstrokes of ‘Impressionism’ to trail with technically juxtaposed minute dots of pure colors, planned to mixed and blend not only on the canvas, but also in the spectator’s eye, the defining trait of ‘Pointillism.’ Paul’s most famous painting “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez (Le pin de Bonaventura a Saint-Tropez)” is a stunner. His other famous works include ‘Port St. Tropez and,’ ‘Saint Tropez,’ and ‘The Papal Palace.’

Created in 1892, “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez” is an oil on canvas ‘Landscape Painting.’ In his painting, Signac captures a huge Umbrella Pine in St. Tropez, on a canvas of 25″ x 32″. The artist painted the bright light shining off the deep surface of pine needles, sea, and the grass covered land. The painting reflects a perfect blend of sky, earth, and sea. The background of “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez” is an abstraction of green, white, blue, yellow, and orange. The landscape behind the Bonaventure Pine tree, the cloudy sky, the mountain, and the boat sailing in the sea, promise the beauty and the passivity of the painting. Paul repeatedly placed consistently shaped dots of pigments stream and swirls, defining lustrous contours.

The best part of “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez” is the usage of many dots of paint like light pixel. Through ‘Pointillism,’ Paul mixes light from far away into the retina of the eye and lets the brain do the mixing of the color instead of him mixing the color on the canvas. “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez” in fact, is a painting of contemporary movement, which departs from the usual ‘Photo-Realism’ of the time.

By 1900, Paul Signac moved away from ‘Pointillism,’ as he never stopped himself to one medium. He experimented with watercolors, oil paintings, pen-and-ink sketches, etchings, and lithographs. Until his death in 1935, Paul was the president of the annual Salon des Independent (Society of Independent Artists). He was a motivation mainly for André Derain, Henri Matisse and to various other amateur painters, as he inspired them towards the work of ‘Fauves’ and the ‘Cubists,’ thereby also leveraging the growth of ‘Fauvism.’ “The Bonaventure Pine in St. Tropez” is presently displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA.

How to Dispose of Light Bulbs

Disposing of light bulbs has become a more complicated process, now that there are so many different types of light bulbs available. In this article, I will go through the various types of light bulbs and discuss how best to dispose of the different types that are available.

Incandescent Light Bulbs: Incandescent bulbs are currently being phased out, and in some places they are no longer available for sale at all anymore. However, many of us still have them in the home, and it is important to know how to properly dispose of them.

Incandescent light bulbs have no toxic materials in them, so they should simply be placed in your trash. However, that does not mean that they are not hazardous. If they were to break when being disposed of, they could easily cut you or perhaps the people who dispose of your waste. In order to do this, put them in a box of approximately the same size as the bulb. This way, the bulb is less likely to break, and if it does, the box may contain the shards.

Halogen Light Bulbs: Halogen bulbs should basically be disposed of in the same way as incandescent light bulbs. However, you should be more cautious with them. They include a small amount of halogen gas inside of them which could escape if the bulb was to break.

Fortunately, halogen light bulbs are less fragile. They also come in packaging designed to protect them. Simply put the halogen bulb back in its original packaging and place it into your trash.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs:

Fluorescent bulbs are highly toxic when broken, and they cannot simply be placed inside of your trash. In fact, in most areas, it is illegal to do so. Inside, they contain mercury, a highly toxic substance.

Fortunately, there are no places in the United States where you cannot recycle your fluorescent bulbs. Instead, what you need to do is to find what the options are in your area and use them. Note that not all areas have year-round recycling, so you should take note of when recycling is possible. All of this information is available at the EPA website.

Travel – The Benefits of Exploring the World

What on earth is happening to the world?

The financial sectors are being brought down to their knees the world over, jobs are on the line, and we feel forced to watch this happen and feel powerless to do anything to stop it. But are we powerless? No. Good enough reason to want to survive this ruin. In fact, the key to surviving this difficult and unprecedented stage in our planet’s history is to take responsibility, alter our thought process altogether and change the way we see the world. Travel and the exploration of our world provides us with the perfect platform for this change to occur.

When approached with openness and humility, the benefits of Travel are endless. But for the sake of simplicity, I have broken them down to 5 points.

1. Travel gives us the opportunity to silence the mind.

2. Travel gives us the opportunity to be touched by beauty.

3. Travel encourages us to grow.

4. Travel fuels our imagination, and awakens a sense of lightness and joy.

5. Travel fulfills our yearning for Unity.

1. Travel gives us the opportunity to silence the mind. Silence, which has been grossly underrated by modern society, creates a nourishing environment for contemplation and the appearance of inspiration. Yet, we find it extremely challenging to silence the mind in the midst of our everyday routine. This is where stepping outside of our comfort zone and exploring unfamiliar lands can play a very important part. It becomes easier for us to focus our undivided attention on a chosen object, such as a sunset, a beautiful landscape or a work of art, when we are outside of our normal environment. We allow ourselves to experience that sense of wonder and rapturous amazement at the harmony of natural laws, and feelings such as exhilaration, joy and peace are triggered. Time seems to stand still. Our intuitive capacity is increased, leading us to reach the Self and contact it fully. This is called an insight or “Illumination”, that “AHA” moment, where we arrive at a new level of awareness. And when an insight or illumination does appear, it sometimes reveals something that may have even been staring at us in the face all along.

The opportunity to silence the mind during my own personal travels has enabled me to find practical solutions to problems, the courage to change direction in my life at pivotal moments, and has provided me with the fertile grounds to think creatively. I have also observed that insights come as “feelings”, and so the insights vanish when the feeling vanishes. I have found that registering the insight on a mental level, like recording it into a diary, journal or workbook, fully assimilates the insights on a mental level. By recording insights, it anchors your thoughts, and thus forms the beginning of a gradual unfolding.

2. Travel gives us the opportunity to be touched by beauty.

Beauty can be described as a certain visual harmony, a spontaneous aesthetic experience. It is elusive, highly personal, it’s impact unpredictable, and yet is as integral to our human survival as Oxygen. Beauty is healing, regenerative, uplifting. Beauty allows us to put our pains and problems aside and helps us succeed in forgetting ourselves. It reveals unknown worlds and nameless possibilities. Beauty lightens our greed. As human beings, we have the choice to increase our aptitude in the art of appreciating beauty by opening ourselves to it and making ourselves available to experience it. Travel and exploring the world provides us with that opportunity in spades. After all, planet Earth is the “paradise planet” of the universe.

3. Travel encourages us to grow.

Growth is understanding what we have not previously been able to conceive. It is feeling what we have never felt, or doing what we have never done before. It obliges us to leave our comfort zone and progress into the unknown. Growth can sometimes be a joy, and sometimes it can be uncomfortable or even downright painful. But one thing is for certain. The personal growth experienced through travel and the exploration of the world results in a far greater sensitivity to the pain of human beings in general. And through this, we begin to see our own life in perspective, which in turn gives us a greater sense of purpose.

4. Travel fuels our imagination, and awakens a sense of lightness and joy.

What has happened to our imagination? Have our life experiences, schooling and conditioning discouraged us so much from using our imagination that we now view it as a frivolous word? Take a look at the eyes of a child. That look reminds us of a time when anything and everything was possible, unobstructed by past experiences and without exclusions. Travel reminds us not to take things quite so seriously in our lives. It awakens a sense of lightness and joy, and the realization that life is a dance. And dance, though powerful, is also a great pleasure.

5. Travel fulfills our yearning for Unity.

It is instinctive for human beings to naturally seek union with larger units, as we wish to share and participate in something that we regard as being greater than our individual selves. It is only natural. Travel encourages a sense of unity with all beings everywhere. Through travel we acquire a sense that we all share in the same destiny. So rather than confining ourselves to our own local communities and remaining in a stagnant mindset about the world, now more than ever, it makes so much sense to explore our wonderful world and travel more. The planet is in dire need for human beings to start resonating with each other, despite our cultural differences. No man is an island, as we have seen from the more recent financial meltdown. What has happened in Wall Street has affected us all on a global scale. We now have the opportunity to raise awareness and reverse the process through the art of travel.

Our outer world is simply a reflection of our own inner process. As without, so within. And as wonderful as the world is, it is no match for the beauty and depths of our imagination and own soul. And yet we can reach those depths via the richness of our world. The colours, languages, peoples, cultures, sounds, smells, taste sensations, art, all are part of a rich tapestry that forms our world heritage, and it’s just waiting for us to discover and enjoy it.

So act now and book that honeymoon travel destination, or that Summer holiday to somewhere that you haven’t been to before. Bring your diary, journal or workbook to record all those great insights and ideas that will come to you along the way, and don’t forget your camera so that you can capture the beauty around you.

Tow Truck Inspection Is A Daily Duty

There is minimal difference in the aspect of maintaining a tow truck fleet; whether it is a one tow truck company or thirty-five large fleet. There is obviously more room for error when there is multiple back up vehicles, but it should be relatively easy to stay on top of either situation with some broad guidelines that will be listed in the aforementioned article.

Every day each at the beginning of each shift, an inspection sheet should be filled out that is titled with the date of the shift, company, truck number and/or description and odometer reading.

This checklist is broken down for each important part to check as well to check off it the item is in working condition or if there is a problem:

• 2- Way Radio

• Back Up Alarm

• Battery

• Boom

• Brake Lock

• Cable Tensioner

• Clearance Lights

• Clutch

• Defrosters

• Dolly

• Dolly Tires & Bearings

• Door Tools

• Drive Line

• Exhaust Muffler

• Fan Belts

• Fire Extinguisher

• First Aid Kit

• Flares/ Triangles/ Flags

• Flashlight

• Forms/ Form Carrier

• Frame

• Fuel

• Fuel Can

• Gloves

• Headlights

• Hitch

• Horn

• Hydraulic Hoses

• Hydraulic Levers

• Hydraulic Valves

• ID signs

• J-Hook Assemblies

• Jack

• Jack Stands

• Jumpstart Equipment

• Latches, Door Checks

• Light Bar

• Load Binders

• Lug Wrench Set

• Mirrors

• Mud Flaps

• Oil Level

• Parking Brake

• Pry Bar

• PTO Cable

• PTO Unit

• Radiator Fluid

• Rain Gear

• Roller Guide

• Safety Chains

• Safety Sticker

• Safety Vest

• Service Brakes

• Sheaves

• Shovel/ Broom

• Sling Straps

• Snatch Blocks

• Snatch blocks

• Speedometer

• Steering

• Steering Wheel Lock

• Stop /Tail / Turn Lights

• Suspension

• T-Hook

• Tachometer

• Throttle Cables

• Tie Down Straps/ Ratchets

• Tire Chains

• Tool Kit

• Tow Bar

• Tow Chains

• Tow Lights

• Tow Sling

• Towing Manual

• Track Can

• Transmission

• U Joints

• V-Assemblies

• Wheel Lift

• Winch

• Windshield Wipers

• Wire Rope

• Work Lights

After this checklist is thoroughly inspected, any issues should be address as soon as possible. The second step prior to getting on the road is to check the body of the towing equipment for any body damage that may cause a safety issue to the driver or the road in general. For towing companies that do not have electronic gauges it is a good habit to add oil as need, keep track of it and keep track of how much fuel is added at the beginning of each shift. In some cases it needed to list random issues that should be brought to the shop managers attention, such as blown fuses, supplies that are used daily or supplies that will be needed in the coming months but have a long lead time.

Following this simple checklist will give the towing industry the best chance of maximizing profit over the life of the towing equipment.

The History of the Hand Pallet Truck

Hand pallet trucks are relatively simple devices that give a single person the ability to transport one or more pallets without the use of complicated heavy equipment, like a forklift. The hand pallet truck, which is also known as a pallet jack or a pallet lifter, does not have a large design, which allows it to slide a set of blades into the open area of a pallet, no matter where it is placed. A truck gently lifts the pallet so it can be transported to a different location by just one person. The original pallet trucks made use of cranks and levers to lift elevate pallets off the ground, but the trucks of today utilize more advanced technology, like hydraulics and small batteries, to give it the power necessary to lift heavy pallets.

A basic hand pallet is carefully designed so that it that it has a set of blades that align with the pallet’s open area and can lift it off the ground by several inches in a swift and intuitive manner. On the opposite end of the device, a control panel makes it possible to adjust the distance between the two blades, so that the user can lift pallets of different shapes and sizes. A sturdy base supports both the two blades and the control panel, and is mounted on a set of flexible small wheels in order to achieve maximum maneuverability. Most hand pallet have a rear set of wheels that swivel, so that it is easier to tackle corners. Some more advanced trucks have swiveling wheels in the front and the back.

Most historians of the hand pallet truck trace its origins back to the first half of the 1900s. In many manufacturing plants, the need to move raw materials and finished goods with greater efficiency was becoming increasingly important to meeting higher production levels. Early versions of the pallet truck, which resembled more of a forklift than the hand pallets of today, were helpful in transporting a small amount of goods from the warehouse to the production floor, but were still clunky, wasteful, and inefficient.

The hand pallet truck that we know today was “officially” invented in 1939 by George Raymond, Sr and Bill House, when they filed the patent. Although the exact way in which they invented the pallet truck was forgotten, the paperwork for the original patent still exists. With the invention of the hand pallet truck, a single employee could now lift and move an entire pallet loaded with goods. The loaded pallet could be transported with ease, requiring less time or resources to move than carrying the materials by hand or even with the use of a hand truck.

The biggest advantage of a hand pallet truck is that it is relatively small compared to other devices that perform a similar task. This makes it exceedingly easy to utilize the truck in small and tight spaces where even the smallest forklift wouldn’t be able to fit. The smaller size and swivel wheels make it exceedingly simple to navigate winding spaces. For these reasons, manufacturers have stocked up on dozens of trucks so that they can be used in various departments. From the plant floor to the shipping areas, hand pallet trucks are utilized in nearly every department, and will continue to be one of the most useful tools for manufacturers.

Calvin Klein – Calvin Klein’s Success Story

Growing Up

Klein, born November 19, 1942, was taught by his mother to love fashion. He would often accompany her when she went shopping in New York City for affordable clothes. From an early age he knew he wanted to be a fashion designer, and taught himself how to sketch and sew.

Before he turned twenty, he graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He married Jayne Centre and began working as an apprentice sketching European coat designs for his employer Dan Millstein to copy. Klein, however, disdained the idea that the normative American practice was to imitate European fashion and longed to start his own company. He believed that original fashion ideas could come out of the States and he was just the innovator to make it happen. But the realization of his dream seemed a long way away since he was struggling financially and was working part-time at his father’s grocery store in order to make some extra money

Starting The Business

Calvin Klein Ltd. was formed in 1968. Klein took a $10,000 loan from a friend and used $2,000 of his own money to get it started. Rather than hunting out success, it stumbled upon him. His first order came from a coat-buyer for the large department store Bonwit Teller who got off the elevator on the wrong floor and saw Klein’s work. The buyer was impressed and ordered $50,000 worth of coats. In addition, an editorial praising Klein’s designs was written up in Vogue. Klein’s reputation was quickly established.

Five years after starting Calvin Klein Ltd., Klein moved away from solely designing coats and offered women a less-expensive alternative to the ostentatious European fashions with sportswear that could be identified as having “The Calvin Klein Look”. Men also were drawn to Klein’s comfortable outfits and masculine designs.

He was recognized for his accomplishments by being awarded the Coty award by the fashion press in 1973, 1974, and 1975, and his wealth grew as the public continued to buy his subdued clothing. But success troubled his home life and Klein and Centre divorced in 1974. Klein embarked on a period of partying and irresponsibility. By now a prominent public figure, Klein could be found nightly at Studio 54, but his days of unconcerned ease ground to a halt in 1978 when his daughter Marci was kidnapped. Marci returned home safely, but the incident frightened Klein enough to turn away from the publicity he once so doggedly sought.

Building An Empire

It was through a titillating ad campaign in 1980, featuring a 15-year old Brook Shields in a pair of tight-fitting jeans and the line “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins,” that pushed Calvin Klein Ltd. forward once more. This now much-emulated, sexually driven method of advertising was at once condemned by feminists, calling it pornographic. However, through this experience Klein learned that there is no such thing as bad press; in their first week, an astonishing 200,000 pairs of the tight-fitting Calvins were sold. In 1982, Klein was taken to court over an ad campaign featuring men wearing nothing but briefs embossed in the Calvin Klein name. Though some magazines refused to print the ads, the underwear sold incredibly well.

Due to the appearance of AIDS and the affect this had on the promiscuousness of the 1970s, the demand for the sexy, body-hugging jeans declined. The debt Klein had amassed by 1984 nearly toppled his fashion empire. Using $80 million in junk bonds, Klein refinanced the debt, leaving his company at great risk.

Klein married again in 1986. However, addicted to vodka and Valium around this time, Klein was admitted to a rehab centre in the Caribbean. By the time he got out, bankruptcy was imminent, but David Geffen, a friend from Klein’s days partying at Studio 54, helped him out financially and gave him the chance to begin again.

Saved from ruin, Klein went immediately to work churning out a variety of products. The CK brand of more affordable designer clothing, and, like Richard Branson, licencing the Calvin Klein name to sunglasses and other fashion accessories pulled the fledgling Klein back out on top.

Again controversy around one of Klein’s ad campaigns in 1995 prompted the FBI and Justice Department to investigate Klein for violating child pornography laws. Klein stopped the campaign, and eventually the Justice Department’s ruling came down in his favour.

With CK perfume and his CK jeans a success and money pouring in once again, Klein is undoubtedly the picture of a survivor who could have self-destructed, but because of a wealth of good ideas coupled with good fortune and diligence, he has become one of the world’s foremost fashion designers.

The Geology of the Taygetos Mountains

INTRODUCTION

Greece records the highest level of seismic activity in Europe, and is an area where the geology is young and dynamic. Earthquakes are a frequent occurrence, and have shaped the course of Greek civilisation and culture. Titanic, subterranean forces have moulded some fascinating and unique geological features, sculpting rugged mountain ranges and precipitous, tumbling valleys.

THE FORMATION OF GREECE AND THE PELOPONNESE

200 million years ago, the area that would become Greece lay under the Tethys Ocean, trapped between the ancient super-continents of Pangaea and Laurasia. During the Triassic and Cretaceous periods, calciferous marine organisms died and sank to the sea-floor, gradually forming thick sedimentary deposits of dolomite and limestone.

As these two super-continents rotated towards each other, the entire Tethys Ocean was subjected to slow and irresistible pressure. The huge stresses caused by this gradual squeezing deformed the earth’s crust, and led to a steady uplifting and buckling of the sedimentary rocks. Intense heat and pressure metamorphosed the parent limestone and sandstone, into marble and quartzite, respectively.

This huge area of uplifting stretches from the Alps through to the mountains of Iran, all of which are, geologically speaking, very young ranges. The boundary regions of these tectonic plates are complex and changeable; Greece occupies the Hellenic plate, which is slowly stretching, in a north-east/south-west direction. This micro-plate is spreading out over the descending African plate to the south-east, and the Turkish plate to the east.

The underlying geology is extremely complex, and the spreading Hellenic plate has created a series of horsts and grabens. These form the backbone of the area, giving rise to the jagged mountains and steep sided valleys. Constant kneading, and squeezing, of the bedrock has caused high levels of tectonic and volcanic activity in the area, influencing the underlying fabric of Greek culture and history.

For example, the volcanic explosion of c1644 BC, at Thera (Santorini), destroyed the cultured Minoan civilization on Crete. Ancient Sparta was levelled, in 464, and the aftermath of this destruction led to the first Peloponnesian war against Athens. More recently, Kalamata suffered serious damage in 1986, necessitating a complete rebuild of the city.

THE FORMATION AND GEOLOGY OF THE TAYGETOS MOUNTAINS

The complex uplifting of the whole Eastern Mediterranean formed the inspiring mountains of the Peloponnese, and the area is crossed by a complex web of inter-connected fault-lines. Gradual deformation of the Hellenic plate has created many localised faults within the peninsula, which constantly slip and shear. The Taygetos and Parnonas Mountains are large horsts, with deep grabens on either side. Thus, the mighty Taygetos range is sandwiched by two faults, causing the large tremors that frequent the area.

ROCK FORMATIONS IN TAYGETOS

Due to its turbulent geological history, the Taygetos Mountains possess some interesting rock formations, consisting mainly of limestone and dolomite, formed when the area was under the Tethys ocean. Veins of quartz are embedded within this matrix, and many quartz based crystals are found in the area, including citrine and amethyst.

The Parnonas mountains, on the other side of the Evrotas Valley, contain Lapis Lacedaemonium, a rare type of serpentine porphyry found only around the village of Krokees. This semi-precious stone was one of the major exports of Ancient Sparta, and was extensively quarried by the Romans, who used it to adorn their villas and public buildings.

THE DIROS CAVERNS

The Diros caverns, near Areopolis, are one of the longest cave systems in Greece, and are popular with casual tourists and speleologists alike. This hidden gem is ranked as the third most important cave system in the world, . The cave system itself was known in ancient times, and was referred to as an entrance to the underworld.

The sheer extent and scale of the caves was first discovered by I. Petrocheilos and his wife, Anna, in 1949. 1971 saw the start of a systematic cave diving and mapping process, and this research is still ongoing. The explored length of the network is 6.2 km, but there is a huge amount still to be uncovered. Scientists believe that the whole Peloponnese peninsula is honeycombed with a huge, and interconnected, network of caves.

The Diros caves are extremely beautiful, containing many interesting rock-formations and a series of awe-inspiring caverns. The Glyfada River runs through the calcium carbonate rocks, carving out a multitude of channels, and sculpting cathedral-like caverns. Steady infiltration by rainwater, when the river level was lower, created many beautiful and interesting stalagmite and stalactite formations.

MOUNT TAYGETOS

It is impossible to visit the Taygetos region without noticing the pyramidal Mount Taygetos. The mountain actually consists of five peaks, known locally as the Pentedaktylos(Five Fingers),and the highest, Prophet Ilias, rises to 2410 metres. The mountain is an imposing sight, and looms ominously over the city of Sparta.

Taygetos was the site where Ancient Sparta executed criminals, cruelly throwing transgressors to their death. Sometimes the peak glistens in the sun, at other times a blanket of clouds caresses the summit. Throughout the winter, it is covered in a layer of pure, white snow, the pyramid standing out starkly against the crisp blue sky.

How to Make Aronia Berry Juice Concentrate

If you have an abundance of fresh Aronia berries, but you don’t know what to do with all of them, you can make some concentrated aronia berry juice and can it or freeze it for future use. Making juice concentrate is easy requiring just a few pieces of equipment and about ½ day of your time,

Instructions

Things you will need for pressing juice

16 lbs. fresh, dark blue aronia berries

8-quart stockpot

4 cups of Fructevia (natural sweetener with no bad after taste)

Apple Cider press and Large plastic container

Method 1 use cider press

  • Rinse the frozen aronia berries in the large metal strainer with cold water to remove any debris, bugs or pesticide. Stir the berries in the strainer while rinsing the berries.
  • Carefully pour 16 lbs of the cleaned aronia berries into the apple cider press.
  • Using the apple cider press on the aronia berries squeeze out the juice. This pressing squeezes out the liquid and separates it from the pulp.
  • Pour the resulting liquid into a container. There should be about 1-gallon of juice. Add 4 cups of Fructevia or sweeten to taste.
  • Pour the resulting liquid into the stockpot, and place the stockpot onto the stove. Bring to a rolling boil, while stirring in the Fructevia, after about two minutes turn off the stove.
  • Can the aronia berry concentrate and store it in a cool dark place for later use. Here are two reasons for processing your juice instead of freezing it: #1 if the electricity goes out you might lose your juice. #2 you have only limited space in the freezer
  • Alternately let the liquid cool and pour the liquid into containers for freezing. You can use this concentrate to make drinks or jelly. For about 1/3 cup of this aronia berry juice concentrate, you can make about one quart of aronia berry drink by adding it to the carbonated water. To make jelly you need to use Low-methoxyl pectin.

Method 2, use a stainless steel steam juicer

  • Wash the aronia berries leave the berries on their stems and submerge the entire bunch in a sink of cold water.
  • Fill the bottom section of the steamer juicer with water and heat to boiling. As you make your juice, watch the water level in this bottom section making sure it doesn’t run dry.
  • Fill the top section of the steamer juicer with clean aronia berries, and put the lid on top.
  • The berries will cook down and shrink as the juice is steamed out of them. Add more berries to the top of the basket as the berries begin to shrink.
  • The heat from the steam will cook the aronia berries. The aronia berry juice will drain into the middle section of the steamer juicer. Drain the juice by unclamping the rubber tube after a couple quarts have collected in the middle section.
  • Keep track of the juice level in middle section. Do not let the juice level get as high as the level of the middle cone or the juice will spill over into the boiling water in the bottom section of the steam juicer.
  • Let the leftover pulp drain overnight before discarding it.
  • Follow simple standard canning instructions to can the juice. Add fructevia to each bottle to sweeten to taste. ( usually about 2 cups per quart)

Tips & Warnings

  • You can freeze the concentrate in ice-cube trays pop them out and store in zip lock bags. By adding two of these cubes to a cold glass of water or carbonated water, makes a delicious and refreshing drink.
  • You can make straight aronia berry juice or get creative in the varieties you create as you learn how to make aronia berry juice. You can for example mix apple juice or grape juice in with your aronia berry juice.
  • Steam juicers do not create uncooked juice. Steam juicers cook the juice. A press does not cook the juice. When the produce is heated in the steam juicer enzymes are lost and destruction of other nutrients in the juice occurs. Pressing the berries to produce juice is best because enzymes are not destroyed.

Hygienic Practices In The Handling And Preparation Of Food

The hygienic handling and preparation of food are of great importance in the prevention of food contamination and food poisoning. In home, it is necessary to handle your food to ensure that food is prepared as hygienically as possible. This can be achieved by following a few basic rules.

1. Personal hygiene

· Before preparing food, tie hair back, wash hands, and scrub nails clean.

· Always wash the hands after visiting the toilet.

· Never cough, sneeze, spit, or smoke over the food.

· Cover up skin infections, cuts, and grazes.

· Wear a clean apron.

· Do not lick fingers or spoons and then touch the food with them.

2. Food purchase

· Buy food from clean, reputable shops, where the assistants handle the food hygienically, and the food is stored properly.

· Check that there are no animals in food shops.

· Check the date stamps on fresh foods.

· Choose fresh foods wisely (see individual foods for factors affecting choice).

· Be wary of fresh foods sold on market stalls – they should be covered to protect them from dust and flies.

3. Food storage at home

· Store fresh foods in a cool place. Use them up fairly rapidly and certainly within the time recommended on the label or pack.

· Use up old stocks of dried and canned foods before new ones.

· Cool left-over foods rapidly and eat within 24 hours.

· Keep food protected from flies, pests, and rodents, by the use muslin cloth, plastic film, or a food net.

4. Kitchen hygiene

· Regularly wash and clean work surfaces, the cooker, and the floor.

· Keep utensils clean and well stored when not in use.

· Wipe up spills as they occur.

· Do not allow pets to sit on work surfaces or to eat from utensils and dishes that will be used for humans; some animals carry viruses and bacteria which can be passed on to humans, especially young children whose resistance is not well developed.

· Rinse out the dishcloth after use and leave to air so that it does not become stagnant. Immerse in diluted bleach or disinfectant regularly.

· Do not use the dishcloth to wash the floor.

· Use very hot water and a good detergent for washing dishes, so that all food traces are removed. Nylon brushes are useful for washing intricate pieces of equipment, e.g. cheese graters, bottle necks.

· Sterilize infant feeding bottles carefully.

· Make sure that frozen poultry pork, cream, and fish are completely thawed before cooking, and then thoroughly cooked to destroy salmonella bacteria which may be present. Incomplete thawing and cooking will provide a suitable temperature for the growth and multiplication of such bacteria, and lead to food poisoning.

Waste disposal

· I Keep dustbins well away from the kitchen, in a cool, shaded position. Protect from flies, cats, and vermin by ensuring that food wastes are wrapped and the lid fits tightly.

· Disinfect the dustbin regularly, especially in summer. Use a bin liner if possible.

· Empty kitchen pedal bins every day, and wash out.

· Keep nappy pails out of the kitchen; leave them in the bathroom. Wrap disposable nappies hygienically in plastic bags before disposal.

· Do not allow the sink waste pipe to become clogged. Disinfect the sink regularly, to kill germs and prevent stagnation.

Never Under-Estimate Accident Damage

No matter how careful a driver you are, at some point in your driving life you are likely to be involved in an accident of some sort, whether caused by you or a third party. After the initial shock has worn off you start to assess the damage and decide whether or not to claim on your insurance. Sometimes the other party may suggest a cash payment to sort out the damage. It is never a good idea to accept this as the damage can be worse than you think.

Recently one of our fleet of classic cars was out on hire and the customer had an accident. No other vehicles were involved and the accident was caused by a momentary error of judgement – easily done. Fortunately neither the driver nor his passenger were injured.

There was some obvious damage to the front end of the Austin Healey which didn’t look disastrous. The engine would not restart so the car was pushed into a nearby car park. I was already on the way to collect the Healey so was on the scene in about 15 minutes.

The engine wouldn’t start as the impact had broken a plastic bracket on the engine which held the throttle linkage. The driver and passenger were safely seen on their way and the RAC called. After a short wait an orange van arrived and the RAC man jury rigged up a temporary throttle bracket so I could drive the car back to base. While working under the bonnet we noticed that the radiator fan (engine mounted and not electric) had jammed in the side of the radiator bracket.

During the accident the engine had obviously shifted forwards on its mountings and had hit the radiator. Not surprising really as it is a 3 litre, 6 cylinder, cast iron engine which would have had considerable momentum of its own. The fan pulley had dented the radiator as well as imbedding the fan in the bracket and the end of the crankshaft had hit the chassis cross member before bouncing back. Just as well that the engine hadn’t restarted as it probably would have shredded the radiator.

The RAC man freed up the fan and made sure the blades were clear of the radiator which did not appear to be leaking, before we restarted the engine.

The car ran OK and was driven the 25 miles back to base and seemed OK although the engine sounded noisier than usual, the steering was stiff and the speedo seemed to have stopped working.

The following day it was time to assess the damage in daylight, starting with a complete photo record of the state of the car.

The main damage was to the front panel around the radiator and to the valance under the front bumper. Amazingly the bumper was not bent although the bumper brackets were. These were removed for access. The aluminium front valance was badly bent and the metal had ripped where it was bolted to the chassis members. The Healey had been fitted with a sump guard after a previous customer had holed the sump, so this was removed. The front portion of this had bent around the anti-roll bar, which was itself bent. The steering arm was also bent.

Clearly the front valance would need re-shaping or cutting out and a repair panel welding in. Aluminium isn’t the easiest of metals to weld.

The Austin Healey was then taken into my local garage for a full inspection on the ramps.

Once up in the air, more damage came to light.

• One of the engine mountings had broken, hence the engine moving forwards and the noisier engine on the return trip.

• The engine was rubbing on the steering shaft, hence the stiffened steering.

• The damage to the radiator meant this needed replacing.

• The chrome grille surround was out of shape and any attempt to re-shape it would probably damage it even more, necessitating replacement.

• The steering wheel was bent from the effect of the driver hanging on, on impact.

The labour to fix the front panel alone was about three times my initial guesstimate, to which has to be added the cost of parts

• Front repair panel

• Steering arm

• Grille chrome surround

• Radiator

• Speedo

• Throttle bracket

• Engine mounting

• Bumper brackets

We had a similar situation with hidden damage almost ten years ago when a customer damaged our Triumph Stag. Again this was a front end impact and the front valance and wings were repaired. But after the crash we found there was oil leaking from the rear axle, which had not been the case beforehand. The impact of the accident had travelled down the engine, the gearbox, along the prop shaft and had cracked a plate on the front of the rear axle.

In one respect it is lucky that the Austin Healey is a classic with a heavy steel chassis. OK the front of the body and radiator were damaged but the steel chassis wasn’t. Had this been a modern car built with crumple zones in the structure, the impact would have collapsed the whole front end of the car, crushing the radiator and engine and it would probably have been a complete write off.

The morals of the both the Austin Healey and Stag incidents are as follows:

1) Never guess at repair costs based on an initial superficial examination,

2) Always have the vehicle checked out by a competent garage or crash repair shop.

3) If another vehicle is involved never accept a cash settlement as you can virtually guarantee it will never be enough.