Theft on Mount Everest

Mount Everest, the highest mounting on earth is probably the last place that you would think that theft would ever occur, however, sadly it actually does happen.

You may be wondering what could actually be stolen whilst you are climbing on the high slopes of Mount Everest. Well, there are actually a lot of different things. For a start, the climbing equipment that you have there is not going to be cheap rubbish items. This is one of the most likely things to be stolen whilst you are on Everest. As well as this, there will be a lot of specialist equipment that is specifically designed for expeditions like climbing on Mount Everest lying around. Again, this is going to be expensive equipment, so this could be targeted too.

In recent years it has been known for items such as oxygen bottles to go missing, presumably stolen. Stealing items like this or any other important piece of equipment could put another climber’s life in serious danger, but sadly this has happened in the past.

Back in 2007 ‘theft patrol’ was set up. This was set up in order to prevent theft on Mount Everest happening. However, due to the vast amount of space to be covered, it is understandable that things like this are still happening today. That said it has definitely improved a lot over the last couple of years, mainly because climbers are more aware of what has been going on and are now more careful in looking after their personal climbing gear.

How can a thief get away with it? Because of the vast size of Mount Everest it is just impossible to keep an eye on all the equipment that is stowed in different places on the slopes of Everest. This is something to be expected in such a remote area with such expensive equipment lying around where security is definitely not on the top of many peoples list.

There are things you can do to stop your gear becoming a target for the thief. Keep an itemized list of everything that you have taken with you. This list will tell you what you have and what is not there anymore. This is a good idea, because once you realize that something is missing you will be able to notify your expedition leader who will then report it. Another good idea is to make sure that you do not leave any of your equipment lying around when you are sleeping or away from your tent. Wherever possible, you should always make sure that you have packed all of your equipment away properly so that nobody can get to it.

As you can see, theft does happen on Mount Everest and probably on other mountains around the world too. If you do not want to fall victim to a thief then you have to make sure that you take all the necessary precautions to protect your valuable and lifesaving equipment as much as you can when possible.

How to Knock in Your Cricket Bat and Care For it in the Long Run

Ok, so you have bought yourself a nice, brand new cricket bat then, you cant wait to get out into the nets and use it. However, unless you are a professional who gets their bats for free, or you are rich enough to buy a new bat every few weeks, this is the worst thing you can do. Below I will walk you through the technique for knocking in your cricket bat:

Equipment needed: Wooden bat mallet, Linseed or bat oil, a clear protective face for the bat, an old ball, finishing grade sandpaper.

1. The very first step is to get your mallet and to very lightly brush it off the edges of the bat, starting from the top of the edge and working down. You will see some slight denting, but this is normal. What you don’t want to do is to hit the edge hard, as this will start to crack it, you should barely be putting any force into this. This should be done for about 10 times on each edge (a time is going from the top to the bottom of the edge) each time gradually putting a little bit more force into each stroke, in the end you should be hitting the edges with a medium force, so you can feel the bat trying to twist in your hand with the stroke, but you can still control exactly where you want to hit. Ideally your bat will not have a protective face on it, as this makes oiling harder. If it does, no worries but you must take the face off after a season.

2. The same process should be repeated for the face of the bat, working your way this time from the toe of the bat to the shoulder. However, do not hit the splice! (This is the bit where the handle is glued in a ‘V’ to the blade of the bat) Again you should see a little bit of denting on the face of your bat, this is perfectly normal as the wood is very soft, the process of knocking in a bat compresses the fibres of the wood and makes them tougher, and less likely to split.

3. Now, by this time you should have done about an hour or two of knocking in the bat, and are probably thoroughly bored and want to use the thing, sorry, but you still have some work to do! Again, on both the edge and the face of the bat you should work your way 10 times with ever increasing force, by the tenth time, you should be hitting the face of the bat with the same, and sometimes greater force than the bat will normally be used to in a match, however, please do not do this to the shoulder of the bat, it is a weak point and easily split, use the medium force on the shoulder all the time. Also do not neglect the toe of the bat, this is an important bit to knock in and should be done with the same force as is used on the shoulder. N.B When I say the toe, I mean the very base of the face of the bat, do not turn the bat upside down and hit the bottom of it! Later on, another thing you can do is to hold the mallet upside down and the bat in your other hand and to swing the bat towards the mallet as if playing a stroke.

4. Ok, so that is the mallet work out of the way with, and you should have done roughly 3-4 hours of work on the bat. The next stage is the first coat of oil. Get an old rag and soak it in Linseed oil or specialist bat oil. you should then rub this over the whole of the bat, except for the splice and handle. Leave this stored horizontally for 12 hours.

5. When you come back to the bat, you may see little deposits of oil on the surface, no worries, just get the rag and rub these away. The important thing is not to over oil your bat, one more light coat after this will be easily enough for the whole season. Many people put far too much oil onto their bats, causing them to gain quite a bit of weight and in the end deadening them well before they should be.

6. The next step requires you to grab a mate, and an old cricket ball. Get your friend to give you light throw downs on the full (no bounces). Start off by just blocking these back to them and slowly work up to playing strokes, but no full blooded ones yet! This should be done for another hour. Don’t worry if you see some seam marks on the bat, again this is natural.

7. You should now attach a clear bat face to the bat, this will help to reduce cracking in it, and if correctly used, will prolong the life of your bat, try to get no air bubbles when applying this. Newbery’s Hammeredge bat sheets are in my opinion the best for this as they are thin, yet still protect.

8. Take your bat to your nets and use there for a couple of weeks, after this, your bat is ready to be used in a match.

9. At the end of the season, remove the bat face and oil the bat again. The reason for removing the bat face is that if you leave it on, the face of the bat will start to dry out and crack due to it not having any oil. To remove the face, pull it off from side to side, minimising the amount of wood that lifts in the process. Once this is done, get some finishing grade sandpaper and rub down the face and edges of the bat before oiling.

10. Apply a new bat face and use the bat for the next season!

Do Not’s when knocking your bat in:

Use a metal hammer/mallet, for obvious reasons!
Hit the back of the bat with the mallet, this will damage it!
Soak your bat in oil, as it will deaden it.
Use a new ball straight away, these are very hard and will damage the bat, they have to be played in with an old ball first.

Those are the stages for knocking in your bat, personally I have knocked in a lot of bats by hand, usually to generate a little bit of money, so I have come up with this technique for knocking in and caring for the bats. I will add that sometimes a bat will break during knocking in, or soon afterwards. This is generally not your fault, but one of the bat- you do get some hidden faults in bats, or just a bad one! Also how hard the wood is does sometimes affect how quickly/slowly you move through the stages, if it is very soft wood, you need to spend a lot more time on the early stages.

Also knocking in helps increase the length of time a bat will perform for, but will not increase its performance, if anything, it will be slightly the opposite, but not enough to notice. Professionals do not knock their bats in as they have several and will just be given a new one if they break it!

Which Paving Tiles Are Suitable for a Fire Pit?

If you are interested in building a fire pit in your backyard, you have to do the necessary research beforehand. The research should include the design, layout, size of the yard, the materials and heat resistant paving tiles.

Ceramic tiles are the most popular when it comes to home renovation. The material is able to manage the different fluctuations in the temperature very well. They are also elegant and stylish.

Porcelain tiles are more durable than the ceramic ones. It is resistant to scratches and it doesn’t need to be maintained as much as ceramic tiles do, because it has been made with denser clay thus ensuring its durability.

Pebble tiles are great to use for fire pits. They are able to withstand any force and don’t get affected by heat too much. They have many tiny spaces between them which allow the air to go through easier. This is an automatic cooling system.

Granite is also a good option for a fire pit but it is a bit costly. The natural stone doesn’t scratch easily and it is resistant to heat. Granite is incredibly strong and it will not crack even when there is hail and icy temperatures.

Slate is another good material to use for a fire pit because of how strong it is. It is water resistant and doesn’t stain easily. Besides it being strong and water resistant, it is also stylish and works well with most d├ęcor around the house and yard.

Flagstones are affordable and suitable for pits. The material lasts long and needs little maintenance. They are durable and can undergo high heat. They are very strong and can be made to look like a natural feature.

Mosaic tiles work well with fire pits. Besides being decorative, they are resistant to staining or being damaged by most chemicals. This makes mosaic easy clean. They are versatile and can be used in any decorative way when making your fire pit.

Limestone tiles or natural stone works well with outdoor features. The stone is durable and relatively strong. Limestone also gives the fire feature a rustic appearance.

Although the concept of fire pits has been around for a long time, you always have to consider the heat resistance of the materials used. The amount of heat that the materials can take is the most important factor, so ensure that you do your homework before you start building the fire pit.

6 Pro Painting Tips That Will Make Your Paint Job Look Professional

Painting is one of those activities that a lot of homeowners like to do themselves, both to cut costs and to have a fun DIY project that the whole family can participate in and enjoy. But if you don’t use the correct methods and good techniques, your home’s interior paint job can look more like an art project gone wrong.

Here’s how to make your DIY paint job look as professional as possible:

1. Tape Floor Edges.

The quickest and easiest way for a paint job to look amateurish is to have paint drippings and splotches on the floor around the walls, especially when it’s so easy to avoid these types of spills and accidents. Always lay plastic or a covering on the floor before starting and tape the edges down. Also, use painter’s tape around the perimeter of the floor to keep from dribbling on the molding or the floor when you get down to the bottom of the wall.

2. Always Prime.

A lot of people will forgo using primer if they’re painting their walls a light color, but primer has more than one function. A good coat of primer will hold paint on your walls for longer and it will help make the paint application even across walls and doors.

3. Use an Extension Roller and Roll from Top to Bottom, Left to Right.

This is key in making sure your walls aren’t left with streaks or weird paint lines. Apply more pressure to the unsupported side of the paint roller, and keep that side tilted slightly to the left. This trick will also help avoid roller tracks.

4. Choose the Right Tools.

Paint trays and small rollers are for the amateurs. To make your paint job look like it was handled by a pro, opt instead for a large (5 gallon or more) bucket and a metal bucket grid. The grid snaps onto the bucket and allows you to easily roll paint onto your roller, without getting excess and helps to avoid spills that happen easily when your paint tray is on the floor.

5. Paint on Dry Days, Rather Than Humid Ones.

Paint dries much quicker in dry weather, while days when there is a lot of moisture in the air hinder drying times. Save yourself the headache and try to paint when the weather is dry so that you can quickly paint a few coats without having to wait so long between applications.

6. Cover Doorknobs with Plastic.

If you’ve ever tried to scrape dried paint off of doorknobs and handles, you know it isn’t an easy job. Avoid this by using plastic sandwich bags to cover your door knobs, and use painter’s tape to secure the edges.

Pros and Cons of Each Type of Outdoor Motion Sensor Light

Outdoor motion sensor lights are a wonderful invention. They have made home safety and security much easier and user friendly for the home owner. There are three different types of outdoor motion sensor lights available electrical, battery operated and solar. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to use and installation which will be detailed further in the paragraphs below.

The easiest type to work with and install is the battery operated and for the most part is also the least expensive. There are dozens of different brands with each brand having several different models. Most run off one of the common sizes of small batteries like AA, C and D. And just about all of them have LED bulbs because of the low amount of energy needed to power them. Now just because these are very basic lights doesn’t mean that there aren’t some really nice battery power motion lights because there is! The biggest disadvantage of using them is the amount of light they give off. Most are only good for lighting small areas like next to your front door so you can see to put the key in. As far as installation goes if you can use a screwdriver you can install these lights.

Solar motion sensor lights are the next easiest style to deal with. The biggest issue with these types of lights is that you must locate your light somewhere that you can place the solar panel in direct sun for an extended period of time. Fortunately the manufactures kept this in mind when designing the lights because most come with long cords, usually ten feet or more, to connect the solar panel to the light. Typically solar motion lights give off much more light than a battery powered light so they have much bigger range of uses. The bigger models can even be alternatives for hard wired security lights. Installation for these lights is about the same as the battery operated normally there are a few screws that mount to a bracket so no special skills are needed.

Last but not least is the standard hard wired motion sensor light. These lights come in a wide range of sizes and models as well and depending on what model you buy there are many features available including but not limited to an adjustable shutoff, manual on/off and built in daylight sensors. There are many advantages to using this style of light like having a much brighter light than battery or solar powered lights and never needing to change a battery or move a solar panel. But there are disadvantages too, like having to have a power source and needing to know something about wiring or hiring an electrician to install which cost money.

In the end it is up to you to choose what type of outdoor motion sensor light to use. Just keep these three things in mind and you should be fine; where do you need lighting, how much lighting will be enough, and do you plan to install the light or hire someone to do it.

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 Boat Review – Boat Buyer’s Guide on Second-Hand Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2

Overview

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 is a luxury cruising sailboat that represents a balance between performance, comfort, and elegance. It has fine entry lines, a responsive and quick hull, and an unencumbered deck layout, together with luxurious 3-cabin accommodation below deck. Teak joinery is blended with white fabric liners to create a bright feeling. A second-hand Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 is a yacht that comes with a well-deserved reputation as a fast luxurious passage-maker.

Who and what was this boat designed for?

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 is 45-foot monohull aft-cockpit fiberglass sloop that a couple can sail anywhere either alone or with family and friends in comfort and style. It has a simple rig that is powerful enough for fast, fun cruising runs or passages, and it’s surprisingly quick and stiff under sail. The boat has a self-furling mainsail that doesn’t need battens and a high-cut, furling Genoa with enough power to speed through an ocean seaway.

What commentators say about this boat

The hull, keel, rudder and rig, are simple, powerful and created to enhance fast, safe and comfortable shorthanded sailing.

On deck, the 45.2 combines Jeanneau’s trademark clean, modern lines with an easy-to-handle, all-furling sailplan controlled from the huge aft cockpit.

The innovative, well-appointed interior makes living aboard for long periods an alluring option.

It has the feel of a hand-crafted yacht in which the care of craftsmen still dictates the structure and finish of every detail.

We coveted the boat’s swim platform aft, marveled at the huge cockpit with a table for six and envied its interior volume.

Model variations

There are two different layouts:

  • An owner’s version, with a single cabin forward and two double cabins aft.
  • A charter edition, with two double cabins forward.

Jeanneau offer two keel versions:

  • A bulbed fin keel with a standard draft of 6 feet, 7 inches and a deep, balanced rudder.
  • The shoal-draft version, which may prove more popular in many sailing areas in the United States, is 5 feet, 3 inches.

Specifications

  • Length overall: 46ft 5in (14.15 m)
  • Beam overall: 14ft 8in (4.48m)
  • Deep keel draft: 6ft 7in (2.0m)
  • Shallow keel draft: 5ft 3in (1.60m)
  • Weight: 10.25 tons (9300kg)
  • Engine: 59-65hp
  • Fuel capacity: 45 gallons/54 US gallons (205 litres)
  • Water capacity: 87 gallons/105 US gallons or 130 gallons/158 US gallons (400 or 600 litres)
  • Mainsail: 375 sq ft (35 m² )
  • Genoa: 623 sq ft (60 m²)
  • Spinnaker: 1395 sq.ft (130 m²)

What’s great about the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2

  • Under sail the boat is very solid and easy to steer.
  • Clean hull lines with a fairly narrow entry.
  • Designed for fast, safe and comfortable shorthanded sailing.
  • Easy-to-handle, all-furling sailplan controlled from the aft cockpit.
  • Good power/prop combination for motoring.
  • Good design and layout for 6 to 8 people.
  • Luxury accommodation
  • Jeanneau has a long pedigree of designing and building large custom yachts and family cruising boats.

What to look out for on a pre-owned Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2

If you’re buying a used Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2, owners have reported some things to watch out for and potential faults that might occur on this boat from time to time.

  • The speed and windward point is compromised some by the extra weight and design of the shoal draft.
  • The 135 Genoa is a little small below 10 knots.
  • Buying an ex charter boat means it has probably been well maintained but heavily used and should be considered a much older boat.
  • Some owners have reported that older Jeanneau yachts fitted with a spade rudder have the potential problems with the top rudder bearing rusting due to the fact it sits in a metal frame which can trap water. To check, remove the emergency tiller cover and shine a torch onto the top bearing and the frame in the space immediately below.

Keeping your Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 in shape

When buying a used Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2, regular scheduled servicing and attention to some minor points will keep your craft in top condition. Jeanneau provides a comprehensive user manual for this boat.

Regular servicing

Carry out regular engine and drive servicing in line with the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.

Maintenance

  • Check all stringers and ribs for delamination or cracks caused by a hard grounding.
  • Rinse the sails with fresh water every so often and dry as soon as possible to prevent mould.
  • Avoid drying the sails in the lee on the mast, as shaking can wear away the seams and the sail could potentially be torn off by the rigging.
  • If you leave the sails on the mast, even for 24 hours, protect with a cover against UV rays that could damage the sail.
  • Inspect the rudder closely.
  • Check the keel/hull joint.
  • Moisture check the deck and regularly brush with a degreasing shampoo and fresh water, but make sure you do not use any solvent or solvent based products.
  • Rinse the plexiglass/fibreglass with fresh water and brighten up with soft rags soaked in paraffin oil.
  • Check the mast from top to bottom before each trip and regularly check the chain plates and stays for condition.
  • Regularly check the jam cleat jaws on the running rigging for condition and inspect the halyards for wear and tear.
  • Rinse the windlass and anchor chain with fresh water after every trip.
  • Protect the interior of your boat from UV rays by simply pulling the blinds down.
  • To keep your varnish pristine occasionally rinse with degreasing shampoo, mixed with fresh water, then polish with a chamois leather.

Laying up

We don’t currently have any specific information on laying up the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2.

If you have ever owned or worked on a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 and would like to share your thoughts, then get in touch and we’ll add your information to the page.

Model-specific repairs

The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 is not known for needing specific repairs more frequently than other boats.

Why buy a pre-owned Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2?

This is an all-round aft-cockpit performance cruiser that exudes class and refinement. The Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2 is an attractive package for a cruising boat. If you are looking for a second-hand fast luxurious cruising yacht, the Sun Odyssey 45.2 makes an excellent choice

Home Mosquito Control – Turning Your Yard Into Hostile Territory For Mosquitoes

Ready to get rid of those mosquitoes around the house? Great. But there’s one thing you should know about home mosquito control right up front.

There’s no silver bullet to mosquito prevention, no one product or tactic guaranteed to clear them out of your yard. And you will never be able to get them all; it’s just not possible. The best you do is thin out their numbers and lessen the odds of getting bitten when you go out of the house.

To accomplish this, you’ll have to use a combination of approaches. That includes ferreting out the possible mosquito breeding sites around your house, making the yard as inhospitable as you can, and attacking the adult swarms with everything from mosquito traps to mosquito spray.

It will take some time, and yes, cost you some money, as well, but when you’re done, you will be able to relax outside your home, confident that you’re as safe from the marauding bloodsuckers as you possibly can be.

Effective mosquito control starts with a thorough inspection of the potential battlefield, so let’s head outside for a look around.

Is your yard a breeding ground for mosquitoes?

On your way out, check all the doors and windows in the house. Every window that opens should have a screen that fits tightly into place – no gaps around the edges – and is in good repair, without cuts or holes.

Same for entrances. You need a good screen door for each. When closed, the screen door should be snug against the door frame, and the screen should not have any damage that would allow mosquitoes to get inside.

Of course, they don’t do any good if you raise the window screens along with the windows, or leave the screen door propped wide when the house door is open. Mosquitoes can and will come into the house any chance they get, so make sure to always keep the screens in place.

Outside, you need to look for standing water, in both the obvious places and the not-so-obvious. The folks at the Alameda County (Cal.) Mosquito Control District put it best on their website:

“The main rule when it comes to breeding grounds for mosquitoes is that they need stagnant water in order to lay their eggs. What most people don’t realize is the surprising number of areas around their own house where mosquitoes can find the stagnant water they need. The main rule: If it can hold water for more than a few days, it can breed mosquitoes.”

Female mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as an inch of water. So look for these likely places where mosquitoes can breed:

  • Tree holes – Some mosquitoes favor laying their eggs in hollowed-out places in trees where rainwater collects. Dealing with these can be tricky because insecticide might harm the tree, as could removing part of it. You may want to consult a landscaping expert or tree service for help.
  • Yard equipment – An upright wheelbarrow, an empty flowerpot, or even an abandoned shovel can hold water long enough to develop mosquito larvae. Store equipment inside, or turn it over so that rain will run off. Drill holes in the bottoms of containers that must remain outside, so they can drain.
  • Tarps – Any kind of plastic or nylon cover, whether it is draped over a stack of firewood or a boat, will eventually begin to sag and develop pockets where water can collect. Tighten them where you can and check them frequently.
  • Toys – Rain will fill toy trucks, teacup sets, or Frisbees left lying in the grass. The same for old-fashioned tire swings, which collect stagnating rainwater, or any old tire left laying in the yard. Make sure the kids pick up after themselves, and get rid of the tires.
  • Puddles – You may have low spots in the yard where water gathers and is slow to drain. If the water stands for more than a week at a time, you’ll get mosquitoes during the warm months. Fill in the spots, install drainage pipes, or change the landscaping to keep the water away.
  • Rain gutters – When the gutters on your house get clogged with debris, water can back up and become stagnant. Check the gutters regularly, especially if you have heavy leaf fall. Also, keep the yard raked. Overturned leaves hold water, and mosquitoes like to breed in them.
  • Birdbaths and wading pools – Take a hose to the birdbath at least once a week during warm weather to keep the water from stagnating. Turn the kids’ pool over and stand it up against a wall when they aren’t using it. If you have a swimming pool, make sure you clean and service it regularly.

OK, you’ve taken care of the standing water in the yard. Now, since mosquitoes like to rest in warm, moist vegetation during the day, make sure you keep the grass cut and the bushes trimmed, and clear all the weeds out of the flower beds regularly. Water the grass and plants enough to keep them healthy, but avoid doing it so much everything stays wet.

Natural mosquito control around the home

Next, you may want to make a few additions to the yard that can help control mosquitoes organically.

You’ve probably heard of the citrosa, called the “mosquito plant,” that’s supposed to miraculously repel mosquitoes just by its presence. Unfortunately, that’s not completely true. Mosquito control studies have shown that an undisturbed citrosa has very little effect on the pesky bloodsuckers.

However, the citrosa leaves do contain citronella oil, which is a mosquito repellent. And there are other plants with oils and fragrances believed to irritate mosquitoes, including citronella grass, lemon thyme, catnip and rosemary.

The trick is that you have to crush the leaves in order to release the mosquito repellents. Not terribly effective as an active measure, but it might be worth planting some around your favorite spots, so you can rub the leaves on your skin when you’re outside, to help keep the mosquitoes away.

This is also a good time to think about a small decorative pond to aid in mosquito control.

If you have one already, it’s a good bet mosquitoes breed in it, unless it gets a constant flow of fresh water. A natural way to treat the pond for mosquitoes is to stock it with gambusia, also known as the mosquito eating fish.

Gambusia feed on mosquito larvae, primarily wigglers at the surface. They grow to about two inches and require no care. About 35 to 100 are enough to keep a small ornamental pond relatively free of mosquitoes, according to Rutgers University entomologists.

Many local mosquito control districts will provide them for free as long as they are kept somewhere that does not connect to other water environments. Gambusia are predatory fish and have been known to feed on the young of other native species.

Meanwhile, if you don’t have a pond, it could be a good idea to get one installed. Designed correctly, a small decorative pond can attract dragonflies, sometimes known as “mosquito hawks” because they feed on both mosquito larvae and adult mosquitoes.

The British Dragonfly Society recommends the pond be at least 130 square feet, but obviously, you can go much smaller. Put it somewhere protected from wind, but where it can receive direct sunlight to keep the dragonflies warm.

The pond needs to be deep at one end, at least two feet, and shallow at the other, so dragonfly larvae, called “nymphs,” can dive when threatened by predators and eventually crawl out of the water once they’ve grown.

Stock the pond with native aquatic plants that rise above the surface, giving the larvae a place to rest and hide in the roots, and the young adults a place to rest out of the water. Also plant shrubs close by to encourage the adults to stick around.

Surround the pond with flat, light-colored rocks. Some dragonflies like to land on flat rocks to sun themselves.

One quick note: You may have heard that bats and purple martins also are handy to have around because they eat mosquitoes. But researchers say those are fallacies. Bats prefer other insects, with mosquitoes making up less than one percent of their diet. Purple martins are partial to dragonflies.

Mosquito spraying and other forms of attack

Now that you’ve turned your yard downright unfriendly toward mosquitoes, it’s time to take a little more aggressive action. Again, you’ll need to use a combination of tactics.

One of those involves insecticide.

You can kill mosquito larvae in standing water with a product like Mosquito Bits, which contains the Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis bacteria, the most effective larvacide, or you can apply a larvacidal oil to the water’s surface to keep the larvae from breathing.

Adults are susceptible to foggers and mosquito spray.

Foggers heat insecticide and release it into the yard in low volumes, killing mosquitoes on contact, but the fog, and its effectiveness, wear off within a few hours. A mosquito spray, such as permethrin or bifenthrin, lasts a little longer and can be used to coat areas where mosquitoes like to rest.

Spray the grass, trees, bushes, wooden fences and walls of the house, then let it dry. The poison, a synthetic version of the insecticide produced by the chrysanthemum plant, kills mosquitoes on contact by attacking their nervous systems.

You can find larvacides, foggers and sprays in most hardware and home improvement stores.

Believe it or not, you are still going to have mosquitoes, even after all of this. Different tricks work with different species, and there could be tens of thousands of mosquitoes from a dozen or more species flying around your neighborhood.

To add the next layer of protection, replace the regular lights bulbs in your outside lights with yellow bulbs, which attract significantly fewer insects. Then, put a mosquito trap in your yard, away from the deck, patio or anywhere you normally spend time.

Mosquito traps mimic the attractants that draw female mosquitoes to feed on human bodies. They release carbon dioxide and Octenol, found in exhaled breath and sweat, and they emit heat and light in ranges designed to stimulate the mosquitoes.

The traps can lure mosquitoes from more than 100 feet away, then sweep them through a fan into a container where they die. While you sit comfortably, the mosquitoes are tricked away from you to another corner of the yard and quietly disposed of by your trap.

Within about two months of running the trap, you can expect to see significant reductions in the local mosquito population, as female after female is drawn in and dies without laying more eggs.

And that’s it. You have implemented a thorough, comprehensive program of home mosquito control. Now put on a little mosquito repellent with DEET – you can’t be too careful – and go enjoy a nice summer evening outdoors.

Get a Bigger Butt With Brazilian Butt Lift Surgery

Through the years, society’s perception on beauty has changed. Back in the old days, women with full or voluptuous figures were seen as beautiful and fertile. In more recent years, the concept of beauty has taken the form of slimmer-bodied belles. Today, with people like Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian featuring in ‘sexiest woman’ polls, we seem to be going back to traditional ideals.

Even in early centuries, the male species have been found to be more attracted to females with a bigger and rounder butt. Unfortunately, not everybody has the genetics to meet this particular feature. It’s no wonder that several women have ventured to other procedures to help them achieve a curvier silhouette.

For some women, plastic surgery is an option to achieve what they were not naturally blessed with. A popular method of buttock augmentation surgery is the Brazilian Butt Lift.

What are the perks of this new trend?

The Brazilian butt lift surgery offers a more natural and personal take on achieving a bigger and rounder butt. This procedure focuses mainly on the upper quadrants of the butt, giving its overall shape a higher, fuller contour. To do this, fat grafts are taken from the patient, either by liposuction or micro fat injection technique. These fat grafts are then incorporated into several levels of the butt until the desired contour is achieved.

How does the fat graft work?

The droplets of fat used to shape the butt comes from the patient’s thighs, abdomen, or the butt itself. These are then injected into the butt, especially in places where they can get sufficient blood supply for their nourishment. The fat cells introduced need to survive until they receive blood supply and once that happens, the results are said to last for the patient’s lifetime. It has been found that at least 70% of the fat grafts survive in their new position.

Why is it better than using gluteal implants?

Gluteal implants may present complications years after the surgery because the implants, which are foreign to the patient’s body, may not incorporate well with the butt tissues. The use of silicone implants can look obviously fake – using your own fat gives a more natural look. With the Brazilian butt lift surgery, the fat grafts are long-term. Recovery is short, averaging 5 days, and the side effects are minimal and short-term.

Busting a Musical Myth – Not Everyone Can Learn to Sing or Play Music

Let me begin by saying that these thoughts are my opinion, however, you can judge for yourself my conclusions. My hope is that and at least a discussion can begin to bring out a consensus.

Musical Myth – Only those with musical ability can learn to sing or play music.

This musical myth is perhaps the most obvious; You either have musical ability/aptitude or you don’t. Many people believe they could never play an instrument, because some other relative or stranger was given that gift – not them. “I’m no Paul McCartney,” they say. The sentiment is that the music gene skipped them and went to someone else. This musical myth is pervasive amongst many people who were not raised with musical involvement in their family. The fact remains that everybody has some level of musical aptitude. As human beings we are born with the need to express ourselves musically. From tapping a set of pencils on a desk to singing in the shower, “the music is in you.” For me, it really isn’t that hard to see.

To prove this point, I offer the following scenario. You cannot go very long, perhaps half of an hour, without music finding its way into your mind. Really? Oh yeah, think about it. Try a musical fast if you will. Try to go one day without any form of music in your life. Let’s see, we could go into a sensory deprivation chamber turn out the lights and close the door. The next thing you know, your humming, “Puff the Magic Dragon,” or the theme song from your favorite TV show. In fact, you could go to Walmart or a doctor’s office and what do you hear?… music. Even in the elevator! Music is everywhere and it is even in the deepest depths of your soul. The issue is not that you can’t create music, the problem is that you may need a little help building on your already present natural ability. Just as every human being has music in them, everyone has a certain amount of natural ability to make music. What we perceive as the ability in others to make music, is the level they possess of sheer natural ability, or their natural ability coupled with training and practice to make great music. Either way, all human beings are musical.

Since learning to play an instrument or sing is primarily composed of muscle memory and fine motor skills, applying your level of natural ability (no matter the quantity) results in the ability to make music. Muscle memory and fine motor skills are gained through repetitions – practice. The more repetitions that you do, the easier fine motor skills and muscle memory is gained. Therefore, since everyone has natural musical ability on some level, anyone can achieve the ability to sing or play a musical instrument. If you perform the required repetitions you will gain the level of skill which you are seeking. So, logically the music is already in you. Everyone has some level of natural musical ability, and practice provides the fine motor skills and muscle memory needed to play or sing. So, you see, We are not bound by skill level or the amount of natural ability one may possess. Get out there and explore the possibilities.

How To Collect and Buy Ironstone Plates – A Beginner’s Guide

Collecting ironstone plates is a useful investment of both your time and money. And knowing what to look for can turn you from a hobbyist into an expert. Collectability, pricing, markings and history are vital pieces of information before making any ironstone purchase. People have been collecting ironstone since the eighteen hundreds and finding that perfect piece brings with it an enormous sense of accomplishment!

These antique plates were designed by Englishman Charles Mason in 1813 although Mason was not the only ironstone manufacturer. When they became popular so did the Mason name. Mason’s ironstone earthenware was also used to create tiles for household use. It is said that his success was greatly attributed to the way he sold his goods when in 1818 he started auctioning pieces instead of selling door to door or in catalogs like most others.

Today ironstone pieces are highly collectible, particularly in the United States. There are many ways to purchase these antique plates – including online sales. Internet stores carry a large selection of china.

For example, searching online for ironstone plates, antique plates or antique bone china will deliver a vast number of results as part of your necessary research as ironstone can range in pricing from as low as under thirty dollars to a few hundred dollars.

Of course, rarer pieces of ironstone plates sell for much more and researching prices is a wise investment of time before buying any piece so you know you are paying a fair price.

Ironstone china have markings on the bottom of each piece. These can include words stamped such as CJ Mason & Co., M Mason, Fenton Stone Works, or Lane Delph, use markings of crowns or a coat of arms.

Other companies have stamps such as Turner & Tomkinson, J&G Meakin, T & R Boote, Wood & Sons, Wedgewood, Birks Bros. & Seddon, or Spode.

The key to your ironstone china collection is knowledge without it you may be looking at a rare ironstone plate and never know it. Knowledge is the key. Collecting ironstone plates is an enjoyable and important hobby, and soon, you will have a collection that will increase in worth, value and pleasure for all who look at it.

Proper Care and Storage of Your Camping Equipment

After you have invested in the right camping tent, sleeping bags, and the other gear you and your family need for an enjoyable and relaxing camping vacation, it is important to properly care for your camping equipment so that it gives you plenty of years of use.

You should take the time to clean and inspect all of your camping gear after each trip before putting it away for your next adventure, but it is especially important to pack things away the right way at the end of the camping season to avoid damaged, useless equipment next camping season.

Caring for Your Camping Tent

Roll out your tent, wash down the inside and out with a mild soap and inspect the seams and fabric for weaknesses and tears. Use the Coleman Seam Seal & Outdoor Repair kit to reinforce any troublesome areas. Allow your tent to air dry completely before packing it again. Gather all the stakes and replace any that have been lost or damaged through the season. Pack the stakes in their own bag to prevent the sharp edges from tearing your tent and place the stake bag inside your tent bag. Store your tent in a dry place that is not prone to insects or rodents.

Cleaning and Storing Camping Stoves, Grills, and Lanterns

Thoroughly clean your camping stoves, grills, and lanterns before putting them away for the season. Use warm water and a mild dish soap. Disassemble the items as needed to clean away all grease and food debris in your stove or insects and other debris that may be trapped in your camping lantern. If necessary, you can clean the inside of your stove with a high pressure hose like those found at carwashes.

Dry your camping gear completely. Turn the stove upside down if you have rinsed it with a hose to empty out any water inside. Replace bulbs, mantles, seals, and other parts that are damaged or worn and empty liquid fuel tanks to prevent buildup while the equipment is not in use. If your camping gear doesn’t have a protective case for storage, place it inside a plastic bag and seal it tightly to keep spiders and other insects out.

Proper Care of Sleeping Bags

Most sleeping bags are machine washable and can be tumble dried on low. Wash your sleeping bag in warm water with a mild detergent in a commercial washer with a drum, using the gentle cycle. Rinse cold and add a liquid fabric softener. You can also hand wash your sleeping bag in the bath tub using a mild detergent. Tumble dry the sleeping bag on low or let it air dry. Make sure the sleeping bag is completely dry before rolling it up. Avoid storing your sleeping bag in a stuff sack or other constrictive pack for long periods. Roll it and store it in a dry place away from mice and insects, like your tent.

Cleaning Your Cooler

Coleman coolers are popular because they are so easy to care for. Before putting away your cooler until next camping season, give it a good cleaning with soap and warm water. Wash the inside and outside of the cooler, using baking soda to remove stains. To get rid of odors, wash the cooler using a mixture of bleach and water. You can also wipe the inside of the cooler with vanilla or peppermint extract, leaving saturated cotton balls inside the cooler overnight. Before storing your cooler, let it air dry completely with the lid off. Remember to wash drains and faucets thoroughly as well.

Kamado BBQ Smoker Lies

Over Christmas I bought a Big Green Egg. I read all the marketing blurb in the brochure and it captured my imagination, I’ve already written about how good it is and published some kamado barbecue recipes but I was still intrigued to find out more about the origins of such a versatile piece of cooking equipment. I wrote an article about it but since publishing it, I’ve done more research and found that some of my original findings may have already been creative in their origins.

My preliminary research on the internet determined that it’s origins lay in clay cooking pots from China that were later adapted by the Japanese a few hundred years ago. The end result was the Mushikamado and looking at photographs on the internet it’s pretty clear that this part of the story is clear cut.

Where things become a little less clear is in the 1960’s when the kamado as we know it today arrived in the USA. There’s a lot of published work that refers back to Richard Johnson, a man who founded the Kamado company that it was he who brought the kamado to the USA and also it was he that first called it a kamado and patented the name. Further research leads me to believe that some of these points are not true.

The first point is that kamado is in fact a real Japanese word and not one made up by Johnson. The word kamado actually is part of the Japanese language and means stove, and to further the point there are also many derivations of the word in the Japanese language:-

Yukikamado – A pot with a stove attached that could be carried around

Tsukikamado – Another word for the stove, constructed with stones, tiles, and clay.

Magatamagata kamado – A large range with polished black tops, a base, and a stoke hole in a curved or horseshoe plan with as many as eleven cooking holes.

Ishikamado – a steel rice cooker that is inserted into a stone frame.

Niwakamado – A temporary cooking range set up in the earth floored area of houses from the first to the third of January as part of the New Year festivities.

Kamadodono – A building with a hearth or cooking stove.

Koujinsan-no-kamado – In some districts, such as Saga prefecture, a large cooking range mainly used for special occasions.

Kamado matsuri – Cooker and Well Festival

Mushikamado – rice cooker

The second claim made by Johnson is that he trademarked the word kamado, but careful investigation at the US patents and trademarks office has proved this claim to be untrue as well.

So who should we believe and do we really care? Looking around at how many businesses use the word kamado and the evidence above about how well utilized the word is in the Japanese language it would appear that some of the claims made by Richard Johnson may well be considered good marketing rather than a statement of fact. Having said that, I’m thoroughly enjoying cooking on my kamado all year round, I’m excited about the results that I get when using it either as a barbecue grill or a meat smoker and all the smoker grill recipes I use are contributing to the factual proliferation of the internet.

Cable Assemblies Vs Wire Harnesses – What’s Different?

On the outside, it may seem that there are no major differences between cable assemblies and wire harnesses. Oftentimes you will hear the two terms used interchangeably by experts and professionals alike, which can lead to confusion, not to mention the potential for wasted time and money. Some of the main differences are highlighted here so that you will have a clear idea of what exactly makes cable assemblies and wire harnesses so distinct.

Wire Harnesses

As the name suggests, in order to assemble this you will need a wire, which is also referred to as a conductor. The wire can be an individual strand or a group of strands which is then covered by sheathing, which is usually a type of thermoplastic or thermoset. These groupings of wires need to be bound together and held in place with either a cable tie, tubing or woven braiding. One of the slight drawbacks of wire harnesses is since the wires only have one layer of sheathing, protection from natural elements such as rain is limited.

A major upside is that it is much smaller in size and weight than a cable assembly. This means that you will save money on both material and labor costs. If you are not concerned about environmental vulnerability and exposure, or your installation is minimal, then this may be the preferred choice for you. More often than not, a wire harness will be found inside items such as vehicles, computers, control cabinets and electronic assemblies.

Cable Assemblies

These are found in various places and more often than not they are exposed, unlike wire harnesses. You can found cable assemblies in medical devices, military electronics, industrial controls and security products, just to name a few. One of the advantages of a cable assembly is that, unlike a wire harness, there are extra layers of plastic sheathing which will provide more protection against the elements. This is especially important if you are working in volatile environments. Having all of your conductors in one neat bundle also makes it easier to work around and transport.

With assemblies, you also have the bonus of being able to allow connectors on the ends of the cables to be over molded. This essentially seals the entire cable off and further protects against wear and tear and potential damages. The main drawback to a cable assembly is due to all the extra layers of sheathing, the size and weight will be considerably increased. In certain situations this will make transportation and assembly more difficult and the cost for materials and labor will increase. However, the money you will save from environmental damages far outweighs these initial investments in security.

While there are many differences between cable assemblies and wire harnesses, they are both extremely useful and necessary in today’s world. No matter what profession you find yourself in, more than likely you are using both of these items both in the workplace and at home.

The History of Water Sports

Swimming is noted in many of the classics as relating to heroism and religion. Nicolas Wynman’s Dialogue Concerning the Art of Swimming (1538) is the first recorded written document on swimming methods. Swimming first appeared in the Olympics in 1896, paralleled to the development of the swimming pool. Swimming the English Channel is the most publicized non-Olympic event. It proves excellence in strength and endurance. Matthew Webb from England was the first man to cross the English Channel in 1875, and later Gertrude Ederle of the Unites States of America became the first woman to cross in 1926.

Snorkeling to view exotic fish and aquamarine life is a much-loved vacation adventure. In ancient times snorkels were crafted from hollow reeds found in lakes and marshes. Pliny the Elder, a first century A.D. Roman makes reference to the snorkel, so the activity holds rank as one of the oldest recorded water sports. Loenardo da Vinci created a more modern snorkel when the Venetian senate summonsed him to do so. Divers attached this hollow tube to leather helmets

The present-day diver’s snorkel is typically a J-shaped tube that is open at the top and has a mouthpiece at the other end, usually no more than 2 ft (61 cm) long.

American West-coasters go wild riding the waves on a wooden plank known as a surfboard. Originally, surfing developed in Hawaii in the nineteenth century. It became popular in California in the 1920s, and became a hit youth sport in the 1960s.

Surfers originally used long, cumbersome wooden boards but now ride lightweight synthetic boards that allow a greater degree of maneuverability. Hawaii holds annual international surfing championships.

Water polo originated in England in 1870, and American joined the bandwagon in the early 1900s. Many club and college teams exist for this rigorous sport. Americans gave the game a twist by using a softer rubber ball in a larger pool, a game known as softball water polo. Violence and rough play ended this faction of the sport, and today only the hardball version continues to be played worldwide. Men began Olympic level water polo in 1900, and women first played in the Olympics in 2000.

Diving, another favorite Olympic sport, initiated competition in 1871 off the London Bridge. Diving is now a popular sport at the high school and collegiate level, and is an amazing display of strength, control and agility.

The Importance of a Floor Plan

Before beginning any decorating job, you must think about the available space you have to decorate in. You’ll want to measure out the space and write it down. Then you will want to create a basic floor plan on a sheet of paper with the measurements on there. That way you know what fits where before you move it.

It is important to have a floor plan since it provides you with something concrete to look at and work with. It also offers you a way to experiment and try different things without having to move all the furniture around or waste money on purchases you don’t need or won’t fit.

Having an accurate plan will also help you buy the right amount of carpet, paint and other materials so you won’t waste money on too much or have to go back for more.

It’s also wise to have a floor plan so the decorating goes smoothly and looks good in the end. Many people who don’t do a plan end up with sloppy, uncoordinated results.

Measurements you want to include in the plan are each side of the floor, where the windows are located, height of the room and where the doors are located. These measurements will be especially helpful in purchasing flooring and paint.

You will also want to include the measurements of any furniture you will or want to include in the room. This will help you when you go to buy the rest of the furnishings for this room.

Once you have the floor plan done you are ready to go out and shop for the materials. If you are looking to save money then most people will tell you to go to Walmart. However, I have found local hardware stores to be the same price and offer a wider selection and that’s where I go for materials. Where ever you go just make sure you don’t forget to take your floor plan with you.