Lawn Tractor Attachments

A riding lawnmower to be so much more than just a tool to do so much more than just cut your grass. They variety of the lawn tractor attachments available now days is very broad, and more are being bought up every day it looks like. We can go attachments somewhat like seasons that they are used in for example there are different lawn tractor attachments that may be used in the spring as opposed to the winter, while other attachments may be used throughout the year.

Spring and Summer

Let's start with some of the attachments for your small tractor that may be used in the spring and summer. Generally speaking the attachments you will use in the spring and summer might involve landscaping and gardening. For landscaping there are various rakes, blades, and even fertilizer applicators available. As well as something as versatile as a utility cart that can be used for so many things we can not even name them all here.

Among the more specialized spring and summer lawn tractor attachments, you're able to put tillers and cultivators and disks and plows on many garden tractors. It is really amazing to see the ingenuity and creativity of some of these manufacturers and even more so some private individuals and the things that they have created for their garden tractor.


In the fall of the year around your yard and garden there are some specific tasks usually enfolding leaves and brush and debris that need to be cleaned up from the summer, or to get ready for winter or the next spring and summer. In these cases attractor shovel and be very helpful even turning your lawn tractor into a mini construction tool. The utility trailer mentioned earlier of course can come in very handy for hauling leaves and brush to be burned or disposed of.


In many parts of the country, as snow falls, there is more work involved in day-to-day life. I lawn tractor with the proper attachments can make this work much easier. Isolate it might be a simple tools put on the front of your lawn tractor to push snow out of the way. It can be used for your driveway and possibly even for your walkway. For more involved snow removal a snow blower to be a great advantage since you can move much more snow easier with a snow blower. Care should always be taken with any attachments that you put on a lawn tractor but especially with the snow blower. Never attempt to do anything with the snow blower while the one tractor is running.

Nonseasonal Attachments

Here is where the sky is the limit. Of course for many applications some tractor weights may help in using your lawn tractor with attachments. There are commercially available tractor weights are many lawn tractors, or you maybe it's to make some of your own.

There are times when may lose electricity, and wish you had a generator. There are generator attachments available for a for some lawn tractors.

These are just a small sampling of the lawn tractor attachments that may be available. Do not short change how useful your garden tractor may be. If well cared for, your small tractor may be able to serve you all year long and for many years.

As a side note if you have any creativity or mechanical skills or abilities, why not make an attachment and fill in the you may see.

Forklift Safety Training Protects Workplace 'Muscle Machines' and Operators

Forklift safety training teachers employees the differences between operating an automobile and 'driving' powered industrial trucks (PIT) that are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. When used correctly, these 'muscle machines' are an effective and efficient way to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.

Used correctly by operators who have not received forklift safety training and these muscle machines turn into monsters as shown by these statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • There are 94,750 injuries related to forklift accidents are reported each year
  • Every 3 days someone in the US is killed in a forklift-related accident – According to research conducted by the Industrial Truck Association, tip-overs account for 42% of these deaths which are most likely to occur at manufacturing facilities, following by construction sites .

Many employees are injured when vehicles are driven off loading docks or fall between docks and an unsecured trailer. Most accidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, and machinery.

Unfortunately, according to OSHA, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training.

OSHA Compliance

Ongoing professional education, often taught and refreshed with forklift safety training videos, is a vital part of stopping accidents and lower fatalities. It is so important, in fact, that OSHA requires every company that uses PIT devices to train their employees on safe practices and that operators become certified on the individual machines they operate.

Some of the key issues of compliance are

  • Companies must offer both classroom training and hands-on equipment evaluations
  • Companies must insure that all personnel who operate the equipment, even if only rarely, receive safety training
  • Companies must re-evaluate operators every 36 months , regardless of tenure
  • Companies must provide refresher training in the case of near-miss situations or observed unsafe operation
  • Training must cover 100% of the OSHA regulations relating to forklifts and mechanical lift trucks
  • Training must be site- and equipment-specific, meaning that operators must be tested on the actual equipment that they will use in the actual environment in which they will use it

Antidote to Accidents

Forklift safety training can help prevent the injuries that occur to pedestrians and workers who are stuck, employees during the operation of a PIT, employees falling from forklifts or being crushed, and forklifts that overturn.

"Workplace safety training has been proven to be an effective way for business owners to minimizeize risk to their people and their property by ensuring that workplace machinery is used correctly," says Mark Woeppel, President and CEO of Pinnacle Strategies, the company behind Safety- and a leading distributor of electrical safety training videos.

Scenes From An Elevator

There are not many actors around in the world that leave you with a warm feeling inside and a fixed gaze upon the character portrayed. In amidst the Golden Years of Cinema, there was such an actor who was known around the studios, rehearsal rooms and coffee bars alleyways in Los Angeles as Mr Nice Guy.

He once said that 'the worst part about being me is when people want me to make them laugh ..' Well, if he had had any idea as to the dent he left behind in the way comedy was focused upon in films and how his humour melted into a pure second nature to him, then I think he would have shriggged it off in his natural modest fashion, wondering what the fuss was all about.

Born John Uheler Lemmon III on February 1925, he began life in one of the most closed and confined spaces ever created by man. From between floors in a hospital lift, he came into the world and was destined not to follow the flour footsteps of his father, head of a donut company, but to achieve one of the most extensive, award winning careers in the second most defined and closeted spaces know to man. Hollywood.

He did, however, become the president of the Harvard Hasty Pudding Club – make that what you will, but even so, his father was not in the least bit pleased on discovering that his son wanted to become an actor, but agreed to support him as long as he had the drive to do it. Jack never lost his drive. He was quoted to have said, '.. I will not quite until I get run over by a truck, a producer or a critic …' Fortunately, none of these three things ever happened.

One thing that has drawn me to write a brief account of the life of one of my all time favorite comedy actors is it has recently occurred to me that since the days of Lemmon and fellow comic innovators Walter Matthau, Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis, that something has gone dreadfully wrong in the World of comic genius. Okay so we now very heavy on visual humor in the form of Jim Carey because all of the best jokes have been done, but what has happened to the legacy that these great men left behind when we are subjected to another poorly produced piece of film that shows one muddling gag after another in some fended rendition of an eighties teen flick that now comes in the over weight form of Jack Black. I ask, do 'teens' actually find this stuff inspiring and imaginative? I doubt it, and if so, then why are not we educating them in the language and understanding of the definition of the words, 'comic talent?' I guess a generation of movie maniacs over a certain age (me included) will probably never know. Back to the plot …

Climbing his way steadily through the minor movie star rankings, he found no effort in playing shy, naïve young men who fumble their way through life – paranoid, panic stricken characters who believe the world is a bad and uncompromising place, as well as, characters trying to create some good out of a bad situation from via one rollercoaster after another, frantically trying to accommodated him with the world around him. These 'hide behind hand' type roles came instinctively to Lemmon and unwittingly, was one of the first actors, in that sense to be type cast. Either way, he somehow played himself or at least, he became the character in real life, whether he liked it or not. He said that he was '..particularly suspicious to the parts ..' he played. Perhaps on discovering that once he had a drink problem, we started to wonder film and character he played managed to trigger alcoholism off. He admitted, years later that it was his moving portrait of a middle aged man experiencing a break in his 1973 film 'Save The Tiger,' that was his therapy and a crucible turning point in his life. It was this film that won him his first Academy Award for Best Actor.

Despite being a candidate for AA and a first marriage lasting only six years, he accrued more awards and nominations over nearly a thirty year period than any other comedy actor of his generation. Perhaps the nominations that stand above the rest even today where for Best Actor in the 1959 film, 'Some Like It Hot,' starring Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe, where upon after heavy friction during filming where Curtis had compared kissing Monroe to kissing Hitler, it was Lemmon that took the frail Monroe under his wing. This mad cap blast of all girl Jazz band meets two musicians on the run after accidently witnessing the St Valentine's Day Massacre was made more delightfully bubbly through black and white film and Billy Wilder's cheeky, yet sweetly irresistible, subtle humor. It was a film that marked a catapult of Lemmon's career into the great unknown and genius Wilder moments followed in which grew a beautiful relationship of respect and admiralty between actor and director. Another nomination followed in quick pursuit from Lemmon's shy, bachelor appearance along side a unknown bright eyed, Shirley MacLaine in the 1960 film, 'The Apartment.' Again, Lemmon, appearing to play himself, a home loving, boss pleasing, innocent figure in a complicated entwinement of comic foul play.
Both films considered as legendary bench marks in the expansive career of Lemmon and Wilder. No other comedy partnership has there been to stick firm in the mind than Matthau and Lemmon. Within their ten films together, they inspired farcical, genius timing that was second to none. Taking the US comedy hit show by Neil Simon, 'The Odd Couple,' to the movie screens in 1968, it was surprisingly, Tony Randall from the TV series who was set to play Felix Unger. Lemmon took the part and made it his own. A further rendition followed and a somewhat mediocre flop as 'The Odd Couple II' in 1998

Not only has Jack Lemmon's career been a complete full circle of diversity spanning over four decades, his world had consulted of serious moments of equal depth and quality. The already mentioned, 'Save The Tiger,' was a definite performance of the serious, deeper side of Lemmon. Producing again in 1982's 'Missing,' that he was more than just an attractive face with a winning smile, he played the painfully difficult role of a parent fighting for his missing child to be found. Both winning him the Cannes Best Actor award.

Tipping the scales ever so slightly towards the end of his career, he engaged in other talents both fruitful and not so fruitful. He dumbled in a spot of directing in 1971's 'Kotch,' and if only his golfing skills had been the same as his contemporaries; Bing Crosby perhaps to name only one, then he would have set another string to his bow, but after a staggering thirty three years on the course, he failed to make any grade. Thankfully, he did not leave us without hurtling in our direction a few more movies that showed us that the aging Lemmon was just a fine actor and a comedy God to be reckoned with when he pulled out a side splitting short series of 'Grumpy Old Men Films, '(1993, 1995) with fellow aging master and life long friend Walter Matthau. They here have certainly shown that something improve with age, not just wine. 'My Fellow Americans,' was another jails back to the days of sparkling Lemmon when he played one of ex-presidents along with another wonderful name, James Garner in 1996.

This charismatic, gentle actor who portrayed the very funniest of characters to the deepest and emotional of roles with equal quantity and feeling and a 'reach out an touch' realism quietly caught the last bus home, hung up his smile and put away his star humor for the last time on the 27 June 2001 at the age of 76. After fighting a silent, private, two year battle against bladder cancer, he will remember for every beautifully delivered line he spoke captured on celluloid. It was reportedly reported that before every take, he would whisper, 'it's magic time,' as if tuning into some magical wavelength. He truly loved his art and this shade through brightly and is still there today and just as fresh as the day it was filmed. With his tombstone reading quite simply, 'Jack Lemmon In ..' it is a perfect, most fitting epitaph to a man who lived a life of a true Hollywood star, dignified and incredibly enviable.

If anything other than a glittering away of classic films, he left us with one legacy of his own, he wrote, 'It's hard enough to write a good drama, it's much harder to write a good comedy, and it's hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is … '

To the only Hollywood star of great wealth and fame to refuse a chauffeur to and from the studio but preferred to take the bus with a paper under his arm, he was, amongst a showcase of humanoid, celluloid figures we call stars, just a regular person, just like the rest of us …

Films to watch;

'Mister Roberts' 1955

'Some Like It Hot' 1959

'The Apartment' 1960

'The Odd Couple' 1968

'Save The Tiger' 1973

'Missing' 1982

'12 Angry Men '1997

© Michelle Hatcher 2006
(sam1942 ciao and dooyoo)

It Only Takes One Or Two Days

It only takes one or two days to get your printing job done …. False. Today everyone wants everything instant. You put something in the microwave and ZAP it is done. You take a photo with your camera, plug it into your computer and ZAP it is done. Even at the grocery store, if there is a line at the check out you can do it yourself and ZAP it is done. Do not forget the internet, if you want to know the answer of anything you do not have to go to the library anymore. You go to search and ZAP there is your answer. The telephone book white pages for everywhere is on the computer just put in the name and ZAP there is their telephone number. Our whole life is nothing but ZAP, ZAP.

The same goes for the printed piece, people think that you put a blank piece of paper in one end of the machine and it comes out the other end printed ZAP done. It does not work like that, ask me I am a printer. When they ask me how long their printing job will take I look at the piece and can pretty much tell what is involved. If I say a week or two I get the look and they can not believe how it would take that long. My print shop has a guarantee that if the job is not done on time the job is FREE.

The reason for that is printers are notorious for taking a long time because they do not want to lose the job so the say "one or two days". That is a ridiculous time. Once they get the customers art work, and quoted the job below all the other printers in the area they think the customer will wait.

I dropped into a competitor shop one day and their was a customer that was there to pick up his printing job. You could hear the presses running in the back room and the counter person went in the back room to check on the job. We could hear laughing in the back room and the counter person told the customer it was half done and he would be called when finished. The customer complained that his job has been there for almost two weeks as he walked out the door. A few minutes later the back room person came out and said "I guess we better start working on his job, he has been in quite a few times." Did this hurt his business? No because no matter what print shop you go to it will take a week or more to produce a job.

My approach after I told them the time it would take I would explain and show them what went into producing their job. If it was a special ink what we call a PMS color match. PMS stands for Panatone Mixing Color. There is a PMS chart which I show them to pick out their color. Some corporations know what their color is and will tell you a number such PMS 465. Their special number has to be mixed on a scale. I show them a printing plate that goes on the press to produce their job and also a negative that is burned on the plate in a burn box. Many times they had a lot of questions but went away saying they found my explanation very interesting and never knew it was so involved.

Today with the new technology there is no negative and the plate is produced on the computer. The way it works is the graphic artist sends a e-mail with the PDF file to our computer. We have what is called a computer to plate right on the press. All the printers that made negatives and burned plates have gone ZAP the way of the high button shoes. It is wonderful all the new technology, but it has put a lot of people out of their trade. And to answer the question can a printer product your job in one or two days ZAP, No.

Go Green With Earth Friendly Soapstone Stoves

The latest trend is going green and for good reason too. Not only do you help the environment by reducing your carbon footprint, you are also saving money in the long run when it comes to using green products in the home. One such example of this is using soapstone to heat your home. With the costs of oil and electricity rising, many savvy homeowners are turning to soapstone stoves to get through those cold nights.

Soapstone stoves are actually quite environmentally friendly. These fireplaces and stoves burns its fuel completely, leaving very little dust and smoke. When there is less smoke produced, the quality of the air inside your home is cleaner to breathe, which is perfect for those with allergies. When there is little ash or soot left, cleaning a soapstone stove is quite easy and not messy at all. The same can not be said about the more traditional fireplaces.

A soapstone stove or fireplace not only reduces any airborne pollution in your home, but it also saves you money on heating costs over the course of the year. Plus, you simply can not beat the way soapstone looks in your home. It greatly gains to overall look and feel of the interior, no matter what the room.

Because of soapstone's natural makeup it stores heat and then slowly radiates it back out. This means the heat produced by your soapstone stove slowly heats the air in the room long after the fire is out. The heat coming from your fireplace can even pass through the walls the interior walls of your home to nearby rooms heating them in the process. You save money on heating costs for all of these rooms thanks to one soapstone stove.

With all of these environmentally friendly benefits of using soapstone, the icing on the cake is the unique beauty of the actual stone. Soapstone is one of the most beautiful stones used for the interior of homes. Soapstone features veining much like marble but it is much softer to the touch.

Another great quality of soapstone is its many brilliant colors which perfectly complement or contrast any home's interior decor. When a special mineral oil is applied to the stone, the base color becomes darker in color and its veining more dramatic due to a greater contrast in shades. I've seen soapstone stoves with a dark shade of green for a base highlighted with emerald veining. The look was simply brilliant. This is just one example of many of the different looks available for your new soapstone stove or fireplace.

Healthy Slow Cooker Recipes That Are Easiest To Prepare

There are innumerable healthy slow cooker recipes to try. So, if you do not have a slow cooker, get one immediately, and feel the difference of cooking in a crockpot!

Do you know crockpots are used to add sensuality in dishes? The slow, uniform cooking quality of these pots helps to release the aroma of the food gradually, enveloping every chunk of food. When you lift the lid after the food gets cooked, you get mesmerized by the heavenly aroma that gushes out of the pot. When you take a spoonful, the food tends to sensationalize every corner of your mouth, giving you an enriched experience in eating.

For centuries, it has been the favorite cooking appliance of chefs. It was their tool to seduce their customers with food. Today, crockpots have made a comeback. It’s getting huge acceptance in modern kitchens. People have no time to cook a healthy meal. Healthy slow cooker recipes give you a chance to relish food with all its nutrients, tastes, aromas, and sensations put together.

How To Bake Or Roast Vegetables In A Slow Cooker

When you bake food in the oven, it takes time, and you need to be present. Baking is relatively easier. You can also bake without oil or herbs. When you bake vegetables, water is not needed because vegetables have sufficient water content in them. Because of the slow cooking quality, they do not dry up fast, unlike in the oven. Many of these recipes include baking.

You can easily bake a big yam or potato in about 4 hours at low. If you keep at high, it takes 2 hours. Potatoes and root vegetables, when cut in large chunks, take less time to bake. The flavor of roasted or baked vegetables in a crockpot is tantalizing. Serve them with garlic bread, fresh salad, noodles, or fried tofu for a hearty meal.

To experience the joy of cooking, try this recipe. It is one of the easiest healthy slow cooker recipes.

Spicy Apple Squash Dish

YOU NEED: one butternut squash, 4 apples, half onion diced (the white variety), ¾ cup dried cranberries, 1-1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1 tbsp cinnamon ground.

DO THIS: Peel and seed the squash. Cut into cubes. Peel and core the apples. Slice them. Put together all the above ingredients. Set the cooker at high. Cook for 4 hours or until squash cubes become tender. Stir occasionally.

Feel every bite of the dish as it melts in your mouth. The aroma stimulates all your senses and soothes you like nothing ever did before. Stress-what’s that!

There are more such healthy slow cooker recipes that de-stress you. The good thing about vegetarian slow cooker recipes is that they are easy to prepare. If you love cooking, slow cooking can become one of your biggest stress busters.

Advantages of Using Aluminum Composite Panels

Unlike the usual metal sheets, the Aluminum composite panels are extremely durable as well lightweight. This enables you to use them to develop stronger structures without wasting too much time on installation. Made of a blend of aluminum and plastic, these composite panels are extremely easy to handle even when you are using the machine. Used in commercial as well as residential constructions, the Aluminum composite panels are an affordable solution to many of the new age construction problems.

Easy to fold

Folded structures are one of the most common uses of Aluminum composite panels. Using the correct equipment, these panels can be completely soared and turned at the angle that you desire. Thanks to this flexibility, these composite panels are gradually emerging as a preferred choice for people across domains. What's more is that these panels come with a complete finish from the factory itself. This in turn ensures that you do not have to waste time and money on painting, once you complete the installation. All you need to do is peel off the installation when the site is ready.

Easy to handle

The unique design of the aluminum container panels makes them extremely compact lightweight. Being lightweight ensures that you can conveniently handle these panels on the construction site. Additionally, the compactness makes it easy for you to store these panels on the construction site without blocking too much space.

Hassle free maintenance!

Using aluminum container panels also comes with a hassle-free maintenance routine. You can comfortably wipe off the dust and dirt on the panel on a regular basis with a clean cloth. Also, the hassle free maintenance routine ensures that your panels look like new for a relatively longer duration of time.

More colorful variants

Metal sheets can be boring due to their monotonous shades. Also, there are chances that none of these shades matches the interior decoration of your promises. On the other hand, aluminum composite panels come in various colors. Depending on the existing interiors of the promises or the tentative plan, you can choose a good color combination that best suits your requirements.

Long thinking

When you install metal sheets, there is a constant risk of damage caused due to the moisture present in the external environment. However, the aluminum metal composite panels are a mix of metal and plastic, which automatically increases their ability to resist corrosion. In simple terms, the aluminum container panels come across as a more affordable and long lasting investment.

Barbeque Like a Pro: Plank Grilled Fish

Cedar plank grilled fish- add it to your list of backyard barbecueing recipres to try, for incredible flavor and texture.

Grilling on a wooden plank is fantastic because it allows a good stable surface to hold delicate foods like fish on at the same time giving you that backyard smoked flavor you love.

You'll need a fresh piece of wood about an inch thick, one that has not been chemically tasted. The fish you're going to grill on it should fit completely on the plank- make sure the plank is long and wide enough. Cedar is the most best wood, being packed of smoky flavors, but there are other good ones to try- maple, and alder are used too. You can purchase grill-ready wood planks online or your local gourmet food shop.

Since this is an untreated wood plank, you MUST soak it well before using it, othrwise it will catch on fire and ruin your fish, if not your whole meal. Soak the plank in water for at least an hour and you will get it scheduled to the point of safe usage. If the board does actually catch fire while you are grilling, which happens, spray it with enough water to put out the fire. Try to keep a water spray bottle nearby. Soaking the plank prior to use will also help keep your fish moist and tender.

You will no doubt see the plank smoking and smoldering. Do not panic. That just means the wood is importing it's hint of flavor to the fish.

If you lightly brush the top of the plank with a little cooking oil, it will keep the fish from sticking to it. It's not necessary to flip the fish over in order to cook the other side since it's an indirect heat. Grilling fish on a plank will take about 50% more time than normal because of indirect cooking, so plan ahead. Baste the fish during the cooking time with a little lemon juice or butter.

Once the fish is done, use oven mitts and remove the plank from the grill. Sset it down somewhere safe. A cookie sheet or fireproof serving platter is a good place to let it cool. Serve the fish off the planks onto plates with a spatula and watch the smiles on everyone's faces.

Grilling fish on a plank is the perfect way to get flavorful fish. Once you try it, you'll want it again and again.

Medicare Supplement Plan M and Plan N – Why the New Plans Might Be Right For You

Effective June 1, 2010, the Medicare Supplement marketplace will look completely different. That is the government-appointed date, on which all companies that market and sell Medicare Supplement plans will have to abide by the modernized Medigap chart. Most importantly, this modernization adds two new plans to the mix of available Medicare Supplements, Plan M and Plan N. Both promise to be legitimate choices for new and existing policyholders – are they right for you?

What the Plans Will Cover

Medicare Supplement Pl M will be very similar to current Medigap Plan D. It will still have the core benefits of covering the 20% that Medicare does not cover at the doctor, hospital and skilled nursing (as well as hospitality coverage); however, Plan M will not cover the Medicare Part B deductible (currently $ 135 / year) and it will only cover half of the Medicare Part A deductible (currently $ 1068 / year). It will not have any co-pays, though. Most people project Plan M to have a premium of approximately 85% of current Plan F premiums (Plan F is the most common plan currently).

Medigap Plan N will also be similar to current Medigap Plan D. Instead of covering some or all of the deductibles, though, it will lower premiums by using cost-sharing. There will be a $ 20 co-pay at the doctor's office and a $ 50 co-pay for emergency room visits. Most expect Plan N to be about 70% of current Plan F premium costs.

Why They May Be Right For You

Once you have an understanding of what Plan M and Plan N will cover, you may be able to see why these plans will be right for so many people, possibly including yourself. The largest market of non-Medicare Supplement policyholders is those who have heretofore been unable to afford a supplement plan. Plans M and N offset that problem.

In addition, M and N promise to be a great alternative to Medicare Advantage policyholders at a time when Medicare Advantage programs are changing greatly (most of those changes are negative – reduced benefits, increased premiums). These options will offer premiums that are not that much higher (if any) than Advantage programs and coverage that is, in most cases, much more comprehensive.

Defining Equivalent Gripping Surface For Staircase Handrails

The issue surrounding the design requirements for the hand grip portion of handrails is still a hot issue among many building code agencies. The debt should be "equivalent to gripping surface". However, the focus always shifts to "width." They appeal over which handrails complain and which do not, resulting in what I've referred to as "handrail wars."

Home builders and buyers find themselves in the middle of this conflict which began in California where the restriction on handrail usage in residential construction has become overly regulated. As a result, some of the most common and traditional handrails used since the 1800's have been denied use or eliminated as a design choice.

I found myself in the middle of this when I was sales manager for Hardwood Creations in the 1980's. As an example, the 6210 2-5 / 8 "wide handrail was a common choice in the residential second time move up market. After completing the model homes for a subdivision, the building inspector rejected the hand as" unsafe. "I went in for a meeting with the inspector as well as the city's chief building official.

The denial was not the will of the field inspector, but the department's chief, who expressed that he was simply playing "devils advocate". As a result, whatever petition I made or presented in keeping the existing rails would be denied. Years later that same official was building his own home and had the "dangerous" 6210 installed because it fit the design of his house. Hmmmmm … I guess he did not want to play devil's advocate here.

George Anchales, in 1992, wrote an article in the September-October, 1992 issue of Building Standards magazine entitled, "An Objective Approach to Equivalent Gripping Surfaces." Mr. Anchales, then a member of CBO and chief electrical inspector for San Bernardino, Ca., offered the best approach to the interpretation of the code itself.

Here's the language of the code:

"The hand grip portion of handrails shall not be less than 1-1 / 2 inches or more than 2 inches in cross-sectional dimension or the shape shall provide an equivalent gripping surface. no sharp corner. "

As a result, many building officials ran with a literal interpretation saying, "Your handrail can not be more than 2 inches wide!" Nonsense! This is a dimensional limitation interpretation, not "an equivalent gripping surface consideration.

As stated by Mr Anchales, "This design limits the width of the hand grip portion to 2-1 / 2 inches and requires the finger grip portion to be within 1-1 / 2 inches from the top and be less than or equal to 75 percent of the width of the hand grip portion located above. "

Using this formula, you'll find that all of the handrails offered by Westfire should fly in your favor, as long as the inspector is open minded, has a clear understanding of the code, and is willing to make a decision what cross-sectional shape provides an "equivalent grapping surface". You can always request a handrail sample (we offer rail samples for free) which you can then submit to your local building department for approval.

Stainless Steel Staircases and Balustrades For Self Build – 12 Tips

Looking to make an impact to your visitors by having a beautiful staircase? Confused about stainless steel staircases and their use? Here are some useful pointers for the home builder to consider.

1. Can not decide on your ideal stairway?

Stairway to heaven, or the stuff of nightmares? This is what we want to achieve as you read- to make you to consider your stair project and the finished product.

2. Effective Design

Keep the stair uncomplicated and easy to look at. For example, rather than spindles use glass, and keep overcomplicated detail out of the stair if possible.

3. Legal Aspects

Remember that there are stringent legal requirements for stairs, the boys from Building Control appearing especially interested in the goings and risers. Pay particular attention to where the stair meets the upper or lower floor level here, and also your head room.

4. Make an Impact!

Use your stairway as a statement about your house. The stair is often the first thing that meets the eye of callers to your pad. So why not make an impression and incorporate glass and stainless steel?

5. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel creates the impression in many people of being cold and clinical, used in restaurant kitchens. So how do we use it in a self build situation? Stainless steel staircases, made in a tasteful way, are a fantastic feature in a property. Ensure that the supplier you pick makes a nice product, and request to see their previous work.

6. Glass

Glass is an effective product, especially instead of spindles. The advantage about glass is that it lets light into the hall, and gives a spacious feel.

7. Wood

I would not use a lot of wood in the balustrades of the stair unless you deem it to be really needed. Tasteful use of wood can in certain situations improve the overall staircase, especially in relation to creating a feeling of warmth. Oak is a particularly good wood to use, as it is plain and strong. Other alternatives to use include walnut and beech.

8. Finishing Wood

There are a number of products on sale for finishing wood, many of which are suitable. Varnish has been popular for many years now, but do think about alternative products, such as wax oil which give a beautiful finish.

9. The Tread

In years gone by, the closed tread was the norm in private houses. Open tread stairs are now gaining impetus, though. Again, this gives a more open and spacious feel to the hall.

10. Stepping Up

In relation to the steps themselves, sometimes it is worthwhile to think about use rubber grips on the treads. As well as being aesthetically pleasing, it is a practical means of stopping nasty falls. Run these out to just shy of the outer edge of the tread.

11. When the Stairs Arrive

Check everything's there, if your joiner is fitting the stairs. Also make sure that the glass is polished properly, and no deep marks are visible. In my own house, I had to send back the glass as it was not properly polished: it wasted an entire morning of my joiner's time!

12. So Many Choices!

Open tread, closed tread. Closed string, cut string. Square nosing, round nosing. Wood, steel, glass. Wooden spindles for balustrades, or glass. Hopefully we will have given you some points in the above thoughts, and suggest you keep Stainless steel staircases in mind.

Metaphysical Travel, Higher Knowledge Forcoming 2012 Events

Metaphysical travel-also called sacred travel-is a burgeoning branch of today's tourist industry. Popular destinies tend to be mysterious places, especially those many of us have difficulty believing could have been manufactured by an ordinary human labor force. Egypt's pyramids, Stonehenge, and Machu Picchu all come to mind. "Whoever constructed them, did so on places that were already places of power on the earth – the acupuncture points of mother Earth, that hold strong energies," notes the proprietor of Body and Mind Spirit Journey, a travel outfit based in Sedona, Arizona .

People who sign up for these journeys of recreational self discovery say they do it to connect with the unique spiritual energy or higher knowledge they believe they will find at these universal sacred places. For example, metaphysical travelers seek the accumulated wisdom of the advanced civilization of Atlantis, thought by some to have been secretly deposited on the site of the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

To be effective, metaphysical appointments need to be kept on time-and you must be in the right place. Historians of religion call them hierophanies, or manifestations of the sacred. They can be good, such as the Virgin Mary appearing on the wrinkles of a plate glass window or a weeping statue, or evil, such as the plume of smoke in the shape of a devil that many saw issuing from the destruction of the World Trade Center. Hierophanies can be great crowd pleasers. They invite participation; they evoke a feeling of being connected. Some witnesss feel as if their participation actually helps bring about the event.

One of Mexico's most popular destinations for acquiring a transcendent fix via hierophany is the Maya Pyramid of Kukulcan (the feathered-serpent god), also known as El Castillo, at Chichen Itza in Yucatan. If you are there on the afternoon of the spring equinox, you can witness, as I have, the shadow of the "descending serpent" cast on the northern balustrade by the northwestern corner of the stepped pyramid. A sculpted serpent head at the stairway's base adds to the drama of the imagery. Every year on March 20 crowds numbering in the tens of thousands fills the vast plaza surrounding the pyramid to witness the spectacle, today prescribed over by government officials. There are dancers, musicians, groups of meditators, and hosts of sacro-tourists, many of them North Americans and Europeans.

Kukulcan was the Maya god of rejuvenation and his effigy symbolizes the renewal of life. Mircea Eliade, the historian of religion who invented the term hierophany, once wrote that spring is a resurrection of all life. In that cosmic act, all the forces of creation return to their first vigor. Life is wholly reconstituted; everything begins afresh; in short, the primeval act of the creation of the cosmos is repeated, for every regeneration is a new birth, a return to that mythical moment when for the first time a form appeared that was destined to be constantly regenerated.

Long a part of Western history, Gnosticism embraces the idea that higher knowledge, not faith, is the key to salvation and that it can be acquainted by ordinary mortals. Between the first and sixth centuries AD, for example, Gnosticism served as a middle ground between paganism and newly emergent Christianity. The Gnostics were a class of sects who believed, unlike their mainstream Christian counterparts, that it was ignorance rather than sin that cut us off from union with the creator. They devoted themselves to what they termed the "search for true knowledge." Immediately revealed truth, they said, could be found among all civilizations and every faith contained a germ of truth that culminated in Christ.

Contemporary Gnosticism straddles the boundary between science and religion. Often laced with scientific language, this new brand of Gnosticism is built around the basic idea that all existences originate in a higher power that manifests itself by successful emotions that take the form of temporal turning points, or turnovers, of eons. Ecstasy or catastrophe ? The prognosis for these stressful times is usually doom, hopefully accompanied by salvation or selfrealization, provided we do the right thing, be in the right place at the right time-connect.

Do It Yourself – Repair Of Wrought Iron Railings

The railings made from wrought iron present a traditional look to the porch and the staircases of your house. The look gets tarnished if there is a break in any of the railing and you may have to buy a new set of staircase railing. However if you can spend sometime yourself and follow the points mentioned below, you may carry out repairs yourself.

Upkeep of Hand Railings in Wrought Iron

Use of railings made from wrought iron has been known since the 17th century. During that time, the concept of extracting metals had just started. Only a very few artists could work with wrought iron railings, hence these were considered to be a special art which could be handled by artists only. The railings made from wrought iron are resistant to rust, but these are not resistant to shock. If anything drops on the railings, these will definitely break.

Any crack in any of the railings would tarnish the appearance of complete staircase and as well as the railing of the hand of the porch. If however, you want to handle the repairs yourself, you could be in a position to restore the original condition of your railroads.

Tools required for repair of Wrought Iron Railings

Repairing of railroads of wrought iron can be done by yourself provided you carry out this cautiously. After the repairs, railroads will regain its original form. You can buy the tools required for repairs from a store dealing in DIY tools.

The following tools are needed:

1.Drill bits of sizes 3/8 "and 1/4"

2.Machine for Drilling

3.Hack saw

4.Riveting set

5.Tools for woodwork

6.Glue Cement


8.Metal Cement

Repair of Railing Pipes

It is quite a tedious task to do welding of railroads made of wrought iron and even when welding has been done, you can not be very confident that the mold where welding has been done would remain intact. A pipe, if not welded properly, can result in a dangerous accident. It is not advisable to weld the pipes, if these have broken.

However should you decide to repair pipe, it should be repaired by
reinforcement method internally. Your should take out the pipe out of
the railroads and take it to a workshop of DIY. In the workshop, they insert a pipe of steel or a twisted pole made of wood of the inner diameter of pipe inside the pipe.

The inner edges of the pipe made of wrought iron should be smooth, otherwise the pole made of wood will be required to be further twisted to make the pipe get fitted without any force or use of hammer on the wood. If you attempt to push the pipe, the pipe made of wrought iron may not repairable.

By inserting the wooden pole or pipe inside the wrought pipe, the same gains strength. After this, the ends may be connected with metal cement or glue.

It is to be noted that main strength of wrought iron railings depends on the pipe or wooden pole inserted inside it. The glue also gives it a look to some extent, and not much strength. If the railing made from wrought iron has been set with more pieces than two, you need to have very careful while applying riveting or glue. Just ensure that all the pieces are joined properly and the internal pipe or wooden pole are not noticeable from outside.

Mounting Poles or Base of Wrought Iron Railings

If there is a crack in the base of railings, or the eyelet of railing pipe demands repairs, one of the methods is stitch welding. There are many companies which provide this kind of repair service and also provide warranty. It is not very frequent that eyelets or the base cracks, however if it cracks, it needs to be repaired by experts only.

Running Advice – The Importance of Tapering

Tapering 'is a term used in endurance sports and basically means to reduce an athlete's training load before a major race. Personal experience and scientific research have both come to the conclusion that a period of enforced rest before racing significantly increases the athletic level of fitness and boosts its performance by an average of 3%. For marathon runners three per cent boils down to being about 5-10 minutes faster over their racing distance.

When asked about the secret to her successes, triple Olympic speed skating champion Yvonne Van Gennep remarked, "There is no secret. It just comes down to training hard and then putting on the handbrake." Van Gennep could not have given a better or clearer explanation, for this allegorical 'handbrake' is rather what tapering is all about. The term 'tapering' was coined in 1947 by Australian Olympic swimming coach Forbes Carlile and physiology professor Frank Cotton, who discovered that their swimmers performed much better when they eased their training in the last three weeks before competition. It was only much later that this discovery was also used in other endurance sports like running.

The biochemical explanation for tapering is that by resting the body it can recover from the shock of weeks and months of hard training and then stand the best chance for a peak racing performance. The heavy training undertaken by the athlete prior to the race has assailed and greatly depleted his body's enzyme, glycogen and hormone stores plus impaired natural resilience or 'spring' in his legs by causing muscle muscle damage. Tapering allows the body to replenish all these reserves and repair its muscle tissues so it can toe the starting line fully recovered and in optimum shape.

For runners a period of tapering can last anywhere from 10 to 21 days, often depending on the length of the ensuing race – the longer the race, the longer the taper. During this period the runner should decline his weekly mileage by anywhere from 30% to 85%. Although some suggest a gradual decrease in training volume, a scientific study undertaken in 1999 showed that during a 14 day taper a rapid mileage decrease of 50% during the first three days, followed by 75% in the next three days and continued by a steady decrease over the last eight days directed in the best racing performance. It was also shown that, contrary to popular belief, running during the tapering period should be done at high intensities. Intervals at 5K race pace and fast paced tempo runs are advised.

Runners often shun the tapering period because they are afraid of losing fitness. That this is an unfounded and baseless fear is shown by the myriad examples of great athletic success following a period of non-training. Often these periods of rest were not voluntarily chosen but rather forced upon by circumstances from outside. One such example is the case of Carlos Lopes who won the 1984 Olympic marathon after an accident pretended him from doing any running during the last 10 days before the event. Joan Benoit won the US Olympic Marathon Trial in 1984 after knee surgery forced her to reduce her training just before the race. She attributed her victory primarily to the fact that the surgery had forced her to train less. Later she went on to grab the gold medal in the first ever women's Olympic marathon. Another proof of the tapering formula is the story of how the immortal Czech runner Emil Zatopek became the 1950 European champion in the 5000 and 10,000 meters. Just two days before the event he was discharged from hospital after an illness had forced him to spend two full weeks there, preventing him from doing any training at all. And Roger Bannister only succeeded in breaking the elusive four minute barrier in the mile and setting the World Record for that distance after he had spent a week of rock climbing in Scotland in which he had not done any running.

The obvious conclusion is that resting before racing is a must for any athlete wanting to perform to his or her max. It seems strange that this so often proven, tested and tested strategy is still overlooked by a large number of athletes. Yet less is more – in life as well as in sports.

Tracking Changes in Microsoft Visio

When working on a project within a team, or just collaborating with others on a Visio document it is easy to track and review changes using the Reviewing task pane and the Reviewing toolbar. Visio gives each reviewer separate color overlay so that they can add comments, shapes, or use FreeHand markup to a Visio diagram. Any changes made its way can be incorporated or rejected by the person in charge of the project.

Tracking Changes

In order to see any changes made to a document the Track Markup mode needs to be turned on. This can be achieved by going to the Tools menu and clicking Track Markup. A colored band appears around the drawing workspace and both the Reviewing task pane and toolbar appear together with a message box that states the project is ready for review.

If you wish to edit the original drawing Track Markup mode must be switched off. To turn Track Markup mode off simply click the Track Markup button at the bottom of the Reviewing task pane, or use the Tools menu as before.

Any revisions made to the drawing win the track markup mode is turned on on actually made to the overlay that Visio has assigned. This will not affect the original drawing until a shape is copied or moved to it from the overlay.

Adding Comments

Comments may be added by clicking Insert Comment from the Reviewing task pane and typing in the bubble that appears. If a Visio drawing has many pages and your comment indicating to a specific page, that's page should be selected before the comment is made. When you have finished typing click away to deselect text mode and leave the comment in place.

To add a new shape to a drawing simply drag it off the appropriate stencil. The shape will appear identified with your markup color and the words shape added in the reviewing task pane. You can only change or remove your own markup – although other reviewers' markup can be seen, it can only be changed by the author.

Adding Freehand Notation

FreeHand markup can be added to a Visio drawing by using an annotation method referred to as "Ink". This allows handwritten notes and shapes to be added to a drawing; they can even be added to a custom stencil if you plan to reuse them. To use FreeHand markup choose the Ink tool from the reviewing toolbar. A small Ink toolbar appears, containing different link colors, a line width tool and an eraser. Choose the tool you wish to use and use the mouse to draw or write whatever you want, and then select the pointer tool from the Standard toolbar when you are finished.

The reviewing task pane can be used to display the reviewers' overlays by selecting the appropriate tab. To see all the reviewers mark-ups overlayed the original drawing, click on the Original tab and hide it click Hide All.

Accepting Changes from a Reviewer

To update the drawing when comments and markup changes have been added the Track Markup mode must first be turned off. Use the Track Markup on the Reviewing task pane to do this, then click the tab for the reviewer which changes you want to add. Visio will select all the shapes on the tab by default, but if you do not want to add them all you can select the appropriate shapes with the mouse.

When you have selected the shapes you need click Copy, select the Original tab and choose Paste to paste the shapes into the center of the drawing. They can simply be dragged into the appropriate position using the markup overlay as a reference point if required.

To quickly move from one markup to the next Next Markup tool can be used; this can be found on both the reviewing task pane and toolbar. Mark up can be deleted by using the delete button on the same toolbar.