The Difference Between Acol Bridge And American Standard Bridge

You’ve decided that you want to learn to play bridge. Every year thousands of people take up playing bridge – it’s fun, it’s sociable, it’s a challenge. But there are several different bridge systems. How do you decide which system to learn and what are the obvious differences?

There are two main systems that are played. Acol bridge and American Standard bridge. As a general rule, Acol is the system that is played in the UK, Ireland and Australia, whilst American Standard bridge is widely played around the world.

A wee aside – when I started learning I was convinced that Acol was an acronym and that each letter must mean something. It isn’t and they don’t! It’s named after the road in London where it’s originators used to meet and where they developed the system.

Many people learn to play bridge by attending classes. If you are going to join a class, then you probably won’t have a choice of which system to learn. If you then progress to joining a local bridge club, again you probably won’t have a choice and your club will play whichever system is widely used in your country.

It gets a little more complicated if you want to learn to play bridge online – and if you intend to join an online bridge playing community. Some sites offer a choice of systems. Some don’t. So it might be worth doing a little research and identifying the site where you want to play before signing up for your online lessons.

So what are the main differences?

The most obvious difference, lies in one part of the initial bidding. This makes it easy to decide which system is being played. It’s the point range required for an opening bid of 1NT (one No Trumps). In Acol bridge an opening bid of 1NT means you hold a balanced hand with 12 – 14 points. In American Standard bridge the same opening bid would mean your hands is balanced but contains 15 – 17 points.

The points are worked out in the same way. Before the bidding commences each player adds up the points in their hand. They count 4 points for each ace they hold, 3 points for each king, 2 points for each queen and 1 point for each jack.

The next difference comes if a player wants to make an opening bid of 1 of a major suit. There are four suits in a pack of cards, spades, hearts, diamonds, clubs. They are ranked in that order, with spades and hearts being the major suits and diamonds and clubs being the minor suits.

In Acol bridge a player will make an opening bid of 1 of a major suit if they hold 4 (or more) cards in that suit. So an opening bid of, say, 1 Heart, tells your partner than you hold at least 4 cards in that suit.

In American Standard bridge it is most common to play 5 card majors. In other words, an opening bid of 1 of a major suit tells your partner than you hold at least 5 cards in that suit. If a player only holds 4 cards in either major suit they will commonly make a minor suit opening bid – which just tells their partner that they don’t hold a 5 card major.

In AS bridge it is common to include length points when valuing your hand. This means adding one extra point for each card held above four in a suit. Acol bridge players rarely include length points. Both systems offer the opportunity to add shortage points (additional points for short or void suits) for some bids. AS players would then count shortage points instead of length points.

Creating Necklaces From Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips

Many individuals are starting to go about the process of creating necklaces from Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips! If you are looking for a unique gift to give your poker buddies, this makes a fantastic choice! Now all of your relatives, friends, and other special people in your life can enjoy their very own piece of Las Vegas! In this guide, you will be introduced to the materials that are needed to create these fantastic conversational pieces, as well as the instructions on how to create a unique gift for just about anyone!

Materials Needed:

o A variety of Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips

o An assortment of necklace chains with the clasp design of your choice

o An assortment of pendant loops that match the necklace chains

o Craft jewels that are gold, silver, or red in color

o Clear coat

o Hot glue gun

o Hot glue gun sticks

o Craft drill or standard drill using the smallest drill bit


1. The first thing that you want to do is to obtain a variety of Pro Clay Poker Chips. You may elect to purchase a Poker Chips Set, or simply an assortment of Poker Chips acquired from many different sets.

2. Once you have the Clay Poker Chips that you will use, it is important to take the necklace chains and pendant loops that you have purchased and match them up with the chips. You will want to create each necklace in such a way that chain, chip, and loop colors are complimenting each other.

3. Next, take the clear coat that you have acquired and completely cover one side of the chip. You should allow this side to completely dry and then flip the chip and cover the remaining side. You should allow this side to dry before proceeding to the next step.

4. Now that the Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips that you are using to create your unique necklaces has dried, it is time to drill the hole into the top of the chip with either a craft drill or a standard drill using the smallest drill bit. Once completed, take a soft cloth and brush away any shavings that may be remaining on the chip.

5. Once this is done, decide which side of the Clay Poker Chip will be the face of the necklace. Once you have done this, plug in the hot glue gun and take out the craft jewels that you have purchased for the product. You can elect to put one jewel somewhere on the face or several – the choice is yours.

6. Once the glue gun is ready, place a small amount of glue on the back side of each craft jewel that you want to place on the Poker Chip. Then, carefully place the jewel in place. It is important to do this lightly at first. This way, if the jewel does not fit exactly as you like, you can adjust without messing up the chip.

7. Once the jewel is where you want it, press down and hold for approximately twenty to thirty seconds. This will ensure that the jewel is firmly attached.

8. If you like, you may now place another layer of clear coat on the face of the chip, ensuring that you cover the jewel that you have just placed on the piece.

9. Now, take the pendant loop and push it through the hole that you drilled in the Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips. Once in place, you are ready for the final step.

10. Once the pendant loop is in place, take one of the necklace chains and slide it through the loop. Now, you have a beautiful and unique necklace composed of authentic Clay Poker Chips!

If you have been considering giving a unique gift to someone, or deciding on a unique gift for several, creating necklaces from Las Vegas Clay Poker Chips is a wonderful idea! The receiver of this unique gift is sure to cherish it for many years to come!

What is Inside of a Limousine?

More and more different car models are used to build a limousine. In different countries you can find their locally built cars. Some of these vehicles look exotic , and all of them are stretched. Yes they are really stretched (at least more than twice). Not every turn at every road can this car overcome at first.

So, you probably already have questions. Then we have the answers. How do the passengers feel? What does the driver feels when driving around in this car? What do the owners of these vehicles feel?

We have just learned about this. And have not been able to hide this from you. Bucket of black caviar, golden toilet, a suitcase of dollars. Dimensionless limousines in the Association will look at a number of rare harmony. “Honey, I will send a limousine for you” does not it sound great?

However, a limo can boast its own very few people. it is not even a high price and usefulness of these vehicles. Which vehicle can be called a limo? Extended sedan – the limousine, car with a partition between driver and passengers again a limousine.

Even ordinary six windows sedan – also sometimes called the limousine! In fact, according to generally accepted classification, the limo should be understood as a passenger vehicle with four or six doors with a bulkhead to the front seat row.

Well, turns out, Chevrolet Suburban, which is depicted in our photos in various poses – not a limousine? Formally No. Nevertheless, any passerby noticed this car in the street will comment about the “limo”! Then the game becomes a concept – above a word “stretch”. Make any car “stretch” – and you will get people’s “limo.”

The most expensive limousines, are usually made of high-class European automobile manufacturers themselves. A typical example – Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman. Such vehicles do not affect the appearance of the imagination, but quite capable stun with the price. And in the armored version of the price just kills to death: half a million dollars is not the limit. By the way, these cars give a ride to presidents of many countries. Other kinds of limousines are often used as a taxi or corporate purposes is based on not the most expensive cars and can have up to six doors. It is easy to meet these cars on the street now days, In Seattle, such cars sometimes occur: these may be a Chrysler, Lincoln, or a Mercedes-Benz.

And more… Stretch, super stretch, ultra stretch, ultra super stretch – the creators of these fantasy vehicles inexhaustible. Sometimes it seems that the limousine is not to perform any task, but only as a means of expression. 10 seats, 20 seats, 30 seats, TV, DVD-players, bar, restaurant, pool, a heliport, a golf course, Aquarium of the current model of the aircraft carrier in full size.Even if you do not think of what would have such a wish, in the limo it will be.

Of course, five axle stretch with a swimming pool instead of luggage – that’s very exotic, demonstration of the company, a kind of Limo-concept. But the four wheels drive SUV in length more than fifteen meters, able to contain a football team, along with spare bench players – it is as you see the reality. Anyone can touch this limousine! And if you want or need, you can become king for a day – from $300 per hour and sometimes even cheaper.

The most Classic limousine, usually based on the Lincoln Town Car. The fundamental point here – the presence of frame: create a stretch of the car with the supporting body – the task much more troublesome and expensive. And it’s simple: the body of serial machines is cut exactly the middle, and between the front and rear doors they need to insert the box with windows – the so-called insertion. The length of insert and defines a class of limousine. Town cars, as a rule, extend to 60-120 in. (1524-3048 mm) and can grow off, and 200 inches, while other times they are longer.

Production of limousines in the United States alone are perplexed about fifty firms. Of those that are well known – Tiffany Coachworks, Dream Coachworks, Crystal Enterprises and others. Together, they create wonderful things. For example, in the model number of a Dream six axle Lincoln Navigator, and Crystal could portray such a wonderful creature, a Hummer H2 with eight doors!

In principle, a standard fillings, which have American cars is enough to stretch: the engine and transmission remain intact. But suspension and braking systems can be enhanced – all the same total weight of the car becomes much heavier. Again, it is necessary to refine the system exhaust, causing it to conform with the new length of the vehicle.

Limousine is considered complete when performing even some procedures. Have you guessed? Right: in the list of electrical equipment is an additional generator and battery, a heating and air conditioning equipment is more productive – as required by a huge passenger compartment.

The interior space and decor – this is what built limousines. All – for the good of man! And no one – but for the whole company! Our GMC is designed for 14 persons, in full possession of which mirrored bar with illumination. At the bar – with crystal decanters, wine glasses for the champagne bucket. Immediately – aquarium with artificial fish: water bubbles and changing colors, animals rollicking and things that please the eye.

At the mirror ceiling shimmers stars – multicolored LEDs depict romantic sky. In the case of enclosures, located in the ends of the cabin, mounted LCD TVs, and two displays located at side racks. The signal to them is either a DVD-player, or VCR – these devices are located at the floor under the seats. Over the most VIP seats located control panel for all devices and next to it the remote control – head unit hi-fi audio system with two 12-inch Subwoofer.

You can arrange a party right in the car, highlighting the intimate semidarkness stroboscope flashes and filled the cabin space of artificial smoke and laser beams. And you can turn off all of the above at once, or to ask about the driver – the same panel is in the cabin. In the same cabin, though, there are a few things. For example, a walkie-talkie to communicate with the controller, or police and many other devices which are essential driver.

Is it difficult to drive a limo? According to limo driver’s words, you can get used to everything. Of course, for stretch limos there are a lot of restrictions. Thus, for example, pre-crosses Route: Stretch Limos cannot make a sharp turn the first time. While it is generally we be able to drive everywhere in the city, in some places is not without problems. Surprisingly, the degrees of rotation – is not the most important characteristic of the street.

What is important is how wide the street is! However, for the professional there is a little or no problems with the maneuver. You can see how skillfully drivers at huge track drive back? by the mirror. In this sense, driving a limousine, even easier: do not exist at all desire.

Do limo drivers violate traffic rules? Only when this is due to extreme industrial necessity. The most common violation – it is right to exit into the oncoming traffic or turn in the wrong place. State Patrol, being enchanted by the greatness of the stretch and the highest professionalism, its driver, refer to some trespasses leniently.

All in all. Everybody respects the limousine. In an attempt to turn in the crowded traffic conditions (for a car length more than hundred feet, almost every turn in the city is fraught with well-known complications) stretch limo may block the street and make a big traffic, but few drivers will start convulsively honking at a slow giant. Who knows who or what may be inside of this car. May be people, who are going to a wedding. No reason to spoil their good mood.

But speed is respected everywhere. Even in rush – the company prohibits a driver to exceed a speed of 60 mph.

Actually, there are no any special problems with the operation of a limousine in the city. But there are interesting features. Take, for example, maintenance and repair. Almost every big limo companies have specially trained people who check technical condition of limo.

They also make some repairs. However, it is certainly not omnipotence: does a modern car require the professional service. Can you imagine how to lift a limousine? No, because there are no lifts, which could perch 200 inches of the limousine. In general, the problem is, but it can be solved. Only the savvy needed.

The Benefits of Floor Lamps

Hundreds of homes around the world take advantage of floor lamps to provide additional lighting in their living rooms, dining room and even bedrooms. Light is an essential element in any home and can create mood, brightness and the perfect finishing touch to the room.

One of the many benefits of this type of lighting is the versatility. These lighting products can easily be moved, should you decide you don’t like where it is placed or want to move your living room around for a change.

A floor lamp can become a masterpiece in any room, creating a focal point which stands out in a darkened corner or to highlight another feature you want to show off.

What is great is the fact that these floor lamps come in so many different shapes, sizes and colours that you can easily enhance the space just by adding one of these lighting devices.

In a room which has a darkened corner or a pair of sofas next to each other, the lighting product can easily be placed, brightening up that space, making it welcoming and capturing the attention of visitors.

It’s important when choosing this type of lighting that it complements the other lighting in the room. If you choose a floor lamp, then you want it to blend in with your overhead lights, working in unison to brighten the room and make it feel warm and welcoming.

The main advantage to this type of lighting is it can also soften the lighting in the room, creating a mood. If you have sat down to watch a film on television, you don’t want a bright light, so you can turn off the main lights, leaving the lamp on to offer a warm glow.

There is a wide selection to choose from when it comes to design and style. There are straight options with a shade above, creating a direct light flow towards the ceiling, while offering a gentle glow in the surrounding area.

Then there are the balloon style options, which have increased in popularity and work beautifully in the living or dining room. The balloon options stand on a bent base with a shade that hangs in an upside down “U” shape. This is perfect if you want to use the floor lamp to brighten the dining table, the stand can be placed next to the table with the shade in the center of the table.

The balloon options work wonders in a living room, creating a focal point as the shade can hang over the sofas with the stand being placed in the corner of the room.

The modern options are stylish, almost industrial in design and will enhance any modern room with their straight edges and versatile mechanisms.

With so many to choose from, it’s important that you take your overall room design and space into consideration. A balloon floor lamp will not always work in smaller spaces, where a modern option may turn out to be the better choice.

These lamps come in so many different colours and materials, making it easy to blend in with your interior design. From magnificent brushed chrome to striking white, there are no restrictions when it comes to choice.

Always pay careful attention to the warranty that comes with the item and ensure you only purchase from a reliable and reputable lighting company that has your interests in mind.

Price may be a deciding factor for you and some designs are more expensive than others. Remember don’t go for cheap as you will need to replace it in the near future and will find yourself disappointed with your selection. Rather pay slightly more and get a top quality product that is made to last.

Globalization And Language Barriers

There can be no doubt that the world in which we live is becoming ever more globalised and that the driver for this phenomenon has been the advent of technology such as the internet, IP telephony, fax machines, satellite TV and mobile phones. Although the cause may be apparent, the effects are ongoing and no-one can as yet predict where they will take us, however, the most apparent trend thus far, is globalisation’s highlighting of language barriers.

Globalisation has, perhaps for the first time in history, brought together many disparate cultures, who to date, may never have had any degree of cross cultural interaction. The first and most immediate manifestation of this meeting of cultures has been the sudden increase in the need for bilingual and multilingual personel.

This stage in cultural interaction can be illustrated in microcosm, with the example of the European Union. The European Union has some 20 officially recognized languages and when the European Parliament is in session, it requires the services of some 60 interpreters for it to be able to communicate with all of its members. The whole organization actually employs some 2,000 translators and interpreters in total, to enable it to function at all.

Although we are at the initial stage of the meeting of cultures…that which necessitates translators and language professionals, evolution suggests progression to another stage…that of a common medium of communication… and for its first manifestations we need to look back into the past.

A common second language as a medium of universal communication was first developed by L.L.Zamenhof in 1887 with his publication of Esperanto. It was formulated from all of the common European languages and had a strong revival in the 1950’s and 60’s. It was never to gain universal popularity though, but to this day, it still has a following of up to 2 million speakers.

What failed to happen by design, however, might well be happening by default. Looking at the two most popular internet languages we find that English and Chinese top the league, we also find that both these languages are gaining ground globally. English is of course, arguably, the de facto language for international business and finance and together with German, the language of science and technology.

Chinese, or more exactly the Mandarin dialect, is however, gaining ground. China has become the main engine of world trade and with its expanding global partnerships and trade deals, comes the expansion of Mandarin. The two continents where this is most evident are the southern Americas and Africa, but increasingly, Mandarin is a core requirement for the many global corporates establishing themselves within, or hoping to do business with China.

Whether we will witness the evolution of a common linguistic medium has yet to be seen. That languages can gain such ascendancy is a matter of historical record…I cite the use of Latin throughout the ancient civilized world. Until that time comes though, we will continue to require the skills of bilingual and multilingual professionals who can smooth the path between the present day linguistic diversity and a possible linguistic homogeny.

My Experience of Using the OSIM ISymphony Massage Chair

My wife dragged me along to an ideal home show – I don’t want to sound chauvinistic but I can’t stand window shopping for wallpaper and garden chairs – however, I’m glad I went as I got to try out the iSymphony massage chair from a company called OSIM. I’ve sat in other robotic massage chairs some years ago and never liked them but this chair really did make me want to buy one.

The chair itself looked like something out of Star Trek, with its metal foot rails and the most complicated looking control I’ve ever seen. However, from the moment I sat in it I began to relax, it was so comfortable. But I hadn’t seen anything yet.

The kindly sales lady operated the chair for me and briefly explained some of its key points. Anyhow, before I knew what was happening, the chair first locked my lower legs in its calf massager. It then began to scan my back using, I was told, infrared probes. During this phase the chair automatically moves the internal massage rollers to perfectly fit the contours of your spine – quite incredible.

It then began the massage. The massage I received was one of the 5 Healthcare programs – I can’t remember which one. The massage was wonderful. No, I’ve never been to a real-life, professional massager but the company claims that the iSymphony is a genuine shiatsu massage chair. The lady explained to me what Shiatsu was and, although I’m certainly no expert, it did feel as though fingers, thumbs and palms were being used on my back.

But the best was yet to come. You see the iSymphony gets its name because it plays music during the massage. However, it just doesn’t play the music; the music actually determines the sort of massage you get. If you choose to play rock music you get a very aggressive and intense massage whereas slow classical music will give you a much more gentle massage. It’s incredible; the massage synchronizes with the music and it’s all automatic.

Although not at the show, the sales lady told me that there’s an audio visual model called the iSymphony AV. I’m not sure I’d want this version as I quite like to close my eyes when having a gentle massage.

Also on the stand was the iDesire chair. Apparently this is one of the world’s best. It comes with foot and arm massagers and a whole heap of massage programs, air bags, rollers and so on. I didn’t try it out though; I thought it looked a little too scary for me. And besides, it didn’t come with the music therapy system.

Technology really has moved on since I last tried a robotic massage chair. I was never a fan of them but after trying the OSIM ISymphony chair I’ve become a huge fan. I could well get used to having a daily massage while listening to some Beethoven. Now, if only I could persuade my wife to spend $3,500 on one.

Appalachian Vineyard Flooring – Wine Name But Hardwood Floors

When Anderson Hardwood Floors puts time into making a new product line they think things through. Consumers asked for wider plank flooring with some distressing and a real “vintage” look. Appalachian Vineyard collection was the answer Anderson thought the whole country deserved, and they were right. Then the designers at the Anderson Design Center in Clinton, SC went to work creating the most beautifully hand distressed and hand stained hardwood products. The whole collection is absolutely breathtaking.

The main focus of the Appalachian Vineyard collection is the three maple colors available. The maple planks as well as the whole collection come in 6-1/2″ wide engineered construction. As well as being 6-1/2″ wide the Vineyard collection is distressed for the vintage or worn look that home owners have come to enjoy. In the maple the three colors are Vineyard Maple Chablis, Vineyard Maple Madera, and Vineyard Maple Chateau. All three have colors of wine related products and really appeal to high end consumers.

The next two products offered in the Vineyard collection from Anderson are the distressed hickory products. Hickory is the hardest domestic specie ranging in hardness from 1800 – 2300 psi on the Janka scale. This product on average is 30-50% harder than American oak products. Add that to a wide plank distressed real hickory wood veneer and you have got a dynamite hardwood floor that you and your guests will love discussing over a nice glass of wine and cheese. In the Appalachian Vineyard hickory products the two colors are Vineyard Hickory Cabernet and Vineyard Hickory Tuscany. Both colors are outstanding visually and will add significant value to your home.

Last but certainly not least is my personal favorite, the Vineyard Fumed Birch Pomerol. When you see this hardwood flooring product your bottom lip will actually drop. The fuming process brings out so many colors and marbles the wood grain so well that you will never find another floor that looks that this one. The fuming and distressing process creates a work of art right on your floor with tons of color variation. This floor will definitely be the talk of the cocktail party.

Appalachian Vineyard flooring comes backed by a brand new 50 year finish warranty. This is the longest finish warranty in the hardwood flooring industry to date. Put that together with a trusted name in flooring like Anderson hardwood floors and you could not go wrong. All of the distressing is done by hand as well as hand rubbed staining process. Vineyard hardwood is a classic addition to any home so find a sample today and start living the dream.

Last Longer in Bed Tonight! – 3 Secrets to Avoiding Premature Ejaculation

Have you been avoiding sex because you are embarrassed by how quickly you finish? Can you even imagine how much better your life would be if you could have the stamina of a porn star in bed?

Look man, I know just how you are feeling. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a major problem in the sack…No matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t last more than a few short minutes every time I’d get with a woman. It literally made me feel so little, like less of a man to not be able to please a woman.

But I have a secret that I can’t keep in the bag any longer.

I discovered ways of avoiding premature ejaculation that have permanently worked for me. And I know that if you use them, they will work the same for you! These methods are so effective that I now outlast my partner every single time I have sex. You haven’t experienced joy until she tells you she has to stop first!

Here are the techniques that work fast:

1) Anocutanius reflex training: This phenomenon is caused by the head of your penis overreacting to sensation. It causes your pelvic muscles to get really tense fast and thus cause a quick ejaculation.

You can train your pelvic muscles to relax when your penis is stimulated by focusing your thoughts away from your genital area and onto a relaxing idea. Think of something that is your most relaxing state like lying on a beach.

Another way to relax the pelvic muscles is through proper breathing. Slow down your breathing and focus on deep, repeated breaths.

It will take a few times of practicing for these to become habitual but many men find that this method works very effectively.

2) The passion pump: Developed from Taoist sexual kung fu technique, the passion pump is an amazingly strong way of controlling ejaculation.

The idea is to circulate your sexual energy throughout your body instead of allowing it to remain focused in your genitals only.

To enact this method you will need to do several things at the same time to take your attention away from your arousal. First you have to use the deep breathing and pelvic muscle relaxation discussed in the first tip.

Next you roll your eyes up in your head and touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Finally you visualize the sexual energy flowing throughout your body.

Once you master this technique you will be able to not only control your ejaculation, you will experience more explosive orgasms.

3) Alternate depth thrusting: Many guys with PE problems tend to enter a woman’s vagina and thrust as quick as possible, which leads to premature ejaculation and not much pleasure for the woman.

You can delay your ejaculation and bring more pleasure to your partner by starting with slow, shallow thrusts of only about 1-3 inches inside her vagina. This allows the head of your penis to hit her “g spot” and stimulate the most sensitive part of her vagina.

The shallow thrusting also creates a sexual teasing that will totally arouse her. After about a minute of shallow only thrusts, start adding in deep thrusts and switching between deep and shallow.

While using this technique focus your thoughts on her arousal instead of your own and project your sexual energy onto her.

This technique will allow you to last much longer in bed every time and if used properly, will make her come in just a few minutes!

TPC Analysis

TPC Analysis seeks to identify, label and understand sources of resistance as either Technical (sunk costs, lack of skills, and lack of critical resources), Political (issues of power and authority), or Cultural (norms, mindsets, and habits). Building off the Key Constituents Map Template and Attitude Charting Template, this tool helps the team to more clearly understand the nature of the resistance they will likely face and begin to developed a strategy to eliminate or lessen it.

We often assume that once we have discovered a given population relative to the attitude toward change they currently exhibit, we are ready to develop an effective strategy for winning their support. However, too often our analysis of the reason is shallow or inaccurate. This tool enables the team to thoroughly understand the nature of resistance and the specific strategy to use to influence and gain support.

Steps used in performing TPS Analysis

1. Select one of the groups impacted by the change initiative from the pie chart analysis conducted during Stakeholders Analysis, the Key Constituents Map or the Attitude Charting.

2. Ask team members to list all of the reasons this population is resisting the change initiative and then proceed to contain each in one of the three source areas.

3. Assign a percent to each of the three areas (example: a team might decide that only 20% of the resistance is truly technical and the remaining 80% is split 60% political and 20% cultural). This analysis should help the team strategy, regarding how to apply influence pressure to win support (example: do not spend precious time trying to argue the virtues of the project on technical grounds if 60% of the resistance is stemming from company politics or Cultural norms).

4. At a minimum, the team should be able to agree on the nature of the resistance and what it will take to frame the need for change with this perspective in mind.

5. OPTIONal – Use this tool to understand the nature of the resistance the team is meeting from specific individuals within a population, and help the team develop customized pitches for the need for change identified for each individual based on his/her concerns or issues.

Although usually used early on in the change initiative cycle, this tool can and should be used whenever a new source of resistance is identified. Even during the final stages, resistance should be expected. This tool can save the team valuable time in understanding the nature of the resistance.

Teams sometimes have difficulty distinguishing between the three forms of resistance. It is important that the teams discuss each type of resistance before proceeding with the analysis so that all team members are using the same definition of what each type means. Then, gain a general agreement on which of the three categories of resistance is most likely to be driving the resistance the team is meeting which will help the team aim its resources and energy accordingly.

Flirting Signals Know Right Now If Your Crush Likes You

It is extremely important to recognize flirting signals. If you are oblivious and don’t look for them, then you could lose your chance at happiness. Your crush wont wait forever for you to recognize their signals.

The first thing you need to know about flirting signals is that they are often indirect. The person giving the signal does not even realize that they’re giving it. This presents an excellent opportunity for you to swoop in and sweep your crush off their feet.

Flirting signals are most often communicated through body language. If a girl likes a guy she will primp and touch herself. She will fix her hair and her clothing. Most of the time this is done on a subconscious level. Girls will also tilt their head, exposing their neck. This is a non-threatening maneuver. Men will arch their backs and try to appear larger. They will strut around and try to act like they don’t notice the girl.

Flirting signals don’t have to be through body language. They can also be detected through actions. For instance, guys like to flirt with girls by being aggressive, maybe even rough housing. If a girl fights back she is probably interested. Also, guys will put girls down or make fun of them. They think this will hide their feelings, but a smart girl will pick up on this and realize that he’s actually interested.

A girl will flirt with a guy by playing hard to get. She wants the guy to chase her, thus she might seem a little cold or distant to the guy she really likes. A keen guy will detect this and provide the chase she is looking for.

The Latest Long Island MacArthur Airport Developments

1. Declining Figures:

Long Island MacArthur Airport, owned by the Town of Islip, has, since its inception, been caught in a vicious cycle. Airlines have long been reluctant to provide service because of a lack of passengers, while passengers have been reluctant to use the airport because airlines failed to provide the service they sought. During the last half decade, this phenomenon has virtually choked it into nonexistence.

Although 1.8 million passengers in its eastern Nassau and Suffolk County catchment area make an average of 3.7 annual trips, these favorable facts end here, since only 25 percent of them use MacArthur for their travel. Increasing to 50 percent if only nonstop service is considered, this statistic emphasizes the benefit to carriers if they would provide it.

Indeed, during the five-year period from 2007 to 2012, the number of annual departures declined from 14,784 to 7,930, the steepest reduction of all US mid-sized airfields, virtually reducing the Long Island facility to its 1999 status, the year Southwest Airlines sparked the latest growth cycle.

Aside from being victim to the recession and escalating fuel costs like these other terminals, it has been historically forced to operate in the shadow of the three major New York airports, thus drawing upon much of the same market base, yet it relies almost exclusively on a single carrier, Southwest, for its service. The increasing trend toward airline consolidation furthermore results in fewer potential air service providers, almost all of which have operated from the airport some time in the past, while current fuel prices have rendered their code share regional jet operations unprofitable, prompting the withdrawal of the carriers that had once provided vital hub feed, such as Atlantic Southeast (ASA) to Atlanta, Comair to Cincinnati, and Continental Express to Cleveland.

Electing to deviate from the philosophy of operating from underserved, overpriced, secondary airports upon which it had been founded, and responding to passenger demand for major market presence, Southwest has progressively rebalanced aircraft assets from smaller to larger cities to maximize revenues, but has dismantled much of the Islip market it itself created cultivated in the process.

Countering this assessment, Southwest indicated that this strategy reflected systemwide industry changes and not those restricted to MacArthur.

The Long Island market involves factors beyond systemwide industry trends, however. Spurred by the additional slots it obtained at La Guardia Airport after its AirTran acquisition, Southwest itself increased frequencies and destinations from the higher-yield and -load factor airport.

Having operated a peak of 34 daily departures from Long Island, it gradually reduced its presence, discontinuing service to two of its focus cities-namely, Nashville and Las Vegas–thus removing the flight connections they represented.

By the time its Chicago-Midway service had been discontinued and shifted to La Guardiia in June of 2012, its number of flights had been almost halved, to 18.

While it had been credited with resurrecting the airport, it had, in many ways, now become the obstacle to its growth. Because of its dominance and low fare structure, it served as a deterrent to other airlines contemplating service there, particularly on routes, such as those to Florida, on which it holds a monopoly. Yet, like walking a tightrope, Town of Islip officials have consistently made considerable efforts to maintain a close relationship with the airline, since the airport’s future hinges upon it.

However, that future depends upon more than flight and passenger figures. It also depends upon financial ones-and these have been anything but optimistic. During the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, for example, the airport has lost almost $4.2 million, forcing it to use funds collected from its $11 million sale of a land parcel to the Long Island Rail Road in 2009 to compensate for the deficit, as well as attract businesses to lease in-terminal storefronts; impose, for the first time, a general aviation landing fee; and reduce staff counts and overtime hours.

But what is needed are far more reaching strategies to turn the tide. Based upon prevailing conditions, are there any?

2. Infrastructure Improvements and Proposals:

As the economic engine of the region, Long Island MacArthur Airport can only be kept running if the Town of Islip seeks innovative ways to attract the airline service that fuels it and it has therefore implemented a series of infrastructure improvements to do so.

On the landside, a $10.6 million terminal roadway realignment, whose construction commenced in September of 2011, was undertaken to redirect and streamline vehicular traffic, and included the introduction of a building-fronted island and 750-foot canopy, to facilitate passenger drop-offs and pickups from both private and public transportation. The project also included lighting, drainage, and a vehicle security checkpoint.

Funded by passenger user fees collected through ticket sales, it was completed two years later, on January 10, and $300,000 under budget.

Another landside project occurred on the airport’s west side, along Smithtown Avenue. Entailing the demolition of 52,000 square feet of antiquated and unsightly wood, steel, and concrete block structures, it was intended to attract businesses and operators deterred by the existing blight.

Of its three fixed base operators, Sheltair agreed to invest $20 million over a seven-year period in exchange for a 40-year lease on 25 of its 36 acres, paving the way for construction of 29,000 square feet of office and 161,000 square feet of hangar space.

ExcelAire also signed a 40-year lease, similarly committing $4.5 million to upgrade its facilities. Recently acquired by Charleston, South Carolina-based Hawthorne Global Aviation, the corporate jet service company demolished an adjacent building and planned to add 32,000 square feet of office and hangar space in order to be able to accommodate the new generation of ultra-large business jets, such as the Bombardier Global Express, the Gulfstream 650, and the Falcon 7X.

Within the airport, Mid-Island Air Service followed suit with its own lease and refurbishment agreement.

Mirroring the landside roadway realignment was an airside taxiway reconfiguration. A $4.5 million grant awarded to the airport, of which 95 percent came from the FAA and the other five percent from the state’s and the town’s Department of Transportation, facilitated the streamlining of aircraft taxiing toward Runway 33L, reducing turns, times, and fuel consumption. The project entailed the extension of Taxiway B, the realignment of Taxiway E, and the installation of airfield signs, lights, and pavement markings.

Bids were awarded to Rosemar Contracting of Patchogue (taxiway construction), JKL Engineering of Maryland (taxiway design), and Savik and Murray of Ronkonkoma (runway obstruction removal and equipment supply).

Other projects, the result of the airport’s short-, medium-, and long-term master plans, included a light rail people-mover to connect the terminal with the Long Island Rail Road station and the extension, to 7,000 feet, of a second runway in order to increase the safety of existing operations and to attract new, longer-range ones.

Even transforming the airport into an international gateway was proposed. Initiating a public campaign toward this end, Senator Charles Schumer, long-time MacArthur advocate, held a press conference on June 10, 2013 to urge US Customs and Border Patrol to establish a single-gate facility so that carriers could begin flights to the Bahamas and Aruba, often-demanded sun-and-sand travel destinations.

The campaign, spurred by letters of interest sent by Interjet, a low-fare Mexican carrier, and FlyA, a similarly priced, but only proposed, long-range European operator, could greatly expand the airport’s realm of operation.

Although a Department of Homeland Security bureau regularly reviewed the need for such requests, its own resources were already stretched thin and it was unlikely that it would commit to potential, not actually-needed, facilities, the adequately-equipped New York airports themselves immediately able to accommodate such flights without infrastructure changes.

These ambitious proposals created their own Catch-22 situation, much like the airport’s vicious airline-passenger cycle. While they may have succeeded in attracting new carriers and routes, it was virtually impossible to justify their costs when declining traffic barely required the existing ones.

3. Airlines:

Although these infrastructure upgrades and promising proposals may have improved current carriers’ operational experiences, it was, in the end, the Town of Islip’s ability to attract the airlines that would pump the lifeblood into the Long Island regional airport. It therefore made several significant efforts to do so.

A. Existing Airlines:

Having repositioned its aircraft to La Guardia Airport, Southwest, whose latest presence was only a shadow of its peak one, was unlikely to increase frequencies or inaugurate service to new destinations under prevailing economic conditions.

Nevertheless, it emphasized its continued dedication to the regional airfield. Although a provision in its 25-year contract could theoretically have enabled it to discontinue all service after a decade, it had had no plans to do so.

Despite the considerable retrenchment to the contrary, the 68-percent load factors it had experienced two years ago had been intermittently increased to a present 92 as a result of its service reduction strategy. And, despite the fact that its simultaneous La Guardia and MacArthur presences seemed to dilute the same market, their respective business and leisure orientations dispelled this perception.

Nevertheless, the Town of Islip was successful in negotiating new service-with another existing carrier, US Airways.

As MacArthur’s original tenant-and hence its longest serving one-then-Allegheny, which was subsequently rebranded USAir-re-established nonstop service to Washington Reagan National after the 2001 terrorist attack-imposed flight restrictions forced the cancellation of its original one. The route itself, its second after that to Philadelphia, was facilitated by a slot swap with Delta at La Guardia.

Commemorating the first of two daily, 50-passenger CRJ-200 regional jets operated by Air Wisconsin on March 25, 2012, airport fire trucks christened it with a water curtain after its 12:50 p.m. landing.

According to Newsday, Islip Town Supervisor Tom Croci said, ‘”I look forward to working with our senators and congressmen to ensure the jewel of our town, Long Island MacArthur Airport, gets the resources and attention it requires to live up to its full potential.'”

Providing the vital, downtown link to the nation’s capital, and eliminating the need for the hour train ride from Southwest’s comparable Baltimore service, the aircraft redeparted at 1:28 p.m.

Senator Charles Schumer commented that the new connection only confirmed that Long Island was an untapped market. Although US Airways only carried between six and seven percent of its traffic, it was considered disproportionately important because of the business- and hub-oriented nature of its routes.

B. New Airlines:

Enticing existing carriers to inaugurate service constituted only one side of the town’s strategy coin. Attracting new ones was the other, and, toward this end, the Long Island Association, the largest business and civic organization, expressed interest in potential service by sending a letter to three carriers: the aforementioned US Airways, as well as to JetBlue and Air Canada.

Although the Southwest effect of stimulating demand and expansions at airports it served initially left its imprint on MacArthur for most of the past decade, its retrenchment reversed this trend, and JetBlue, a similar, originally single-aircraft type, low-fare, minimal frills carrier was envisioned as having the same positive influence.

Having already blanketed the New York area with presences at the three major New York airports and its two secondary ones, White Plains’ Westchester County and Newburgh’s Stewart International airports, Islip was one of three new destinations it had recently contemplated serving.

Schumer, instrumental in its original, late-1990s New York service by providing it with 75 slots in exchange for realistically-priced upstate routes, considered the Long Island airfield “the missing piece of the jigsaw” for JetBlue. He, along with previous Islip Town Supervisor, Phil Nolan, emphasized their support in working with the carrier and both state and local authorities to consummate a deal.

Escorted by Schumer himself, JetBlue CEO, Dave Barger, was given a three-hour tour of the airport, an integral part of the carrier’s evaluation process. Walking past some 30 departing passengers, Schumer introduced him and advised them that he was trying to persuade him to inaugurate service, prompting spontaneous applause.

Because of the combined, 2.9 million residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties, Barger considered the region “a decent-sized city,” and because the Caribbean constituted the airline’s targeted growth area, he found the airport’s Caribbean and Latin demographics favorable.

While JetBlue mirrored its Southwest competitor in many ways, those ways, at least relative to the Long Island facility, became the spitting image. Winning an auction for eight slots at La Guardia Airport, it committed aircraft capacity to its New York counterpart instead.

Despite the seemingly disappointing outcome, Barger emphasized that, given the optimum conditions, that service to Islip was not a matter of “if, but when.”

Another airline the town approached, which itself had already expressed interest in Islip service, was Air Canada.

Market studies had indicated that 58 percent of the passengers in the airport’s catchment area had reason to fly to Canada, while more than 30 industrial parks occupying 4,200 acres within the Town of Islip’s control further strengthened the need for such a route. In 2011, New York State’s two-way trade with the country amounted to $34.8 billion.

A Toronto link, specifically, was considered a win-win strategy. As the airline’s 60th transborder connection, it would afford it with an uncongested airport and airspace operation, minimizing fuel costs and delays, while passengers would have access to its principle hub, facilitating Canadian, European, and Asian flight connections. Since pre-clearance immigration and customs facilities were already existent in Canada, no changes were necessary at MacArthur.

But, once again, La Guardia’s dominance only reduced it to a footnote. Because WestJet, its strongest competitor, had just been awarded eight slots at the New York airport, it was more prudent to concentrate its assets there in an attempt to retain its market share than shift them to Long Island.

Alaska-based PenAir, the penultimate carrier with which the town explored new service, bore more fruit.

Achieved with the FAA’s Air Carrier Incentive Plan, which entailed reduced fees for either new entrants or existing ones establishing new routes, the agreement saved it $120,000 in office, rent, operational, and landing costs-or a two-year equivalent-provided it continued the service for two years after that.

Replacing the mulitple-daily Business Express and subsequent American Eagle Saab 340 service to Boston-Logan, but discontinued in 2008, PenAir inaugurated two daily round-trips with the same turboprop equipment on July 25, 2013 in a move it considered a logical extension of its growing northeast route system, which encompassed Bar Harbor, Plattsburgh, and Presque Isle.

Flights departed at 8:40 a.m. and 7:10 p.m. with originations in Boston at 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. One-way introductory fares were set at $119.

The final carrier contacted, Allegiant Air, equally brought its wings to Long Island.

“Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company,” according to its press release, “is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations. The company operates a low-fare, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, while also offering other travel-related products, such as hotel rooms, rental cars, and attraction tickets.”

After market studies indicated the need for air service to Florida’s west coast, the Town of Islip wooed the carrier, which itself found the demographics favorable, announcing its intention on August 20, 2013. It would be its 99th US city that served one of 14 vacation destinations.

“We are pleased to add the beaches of southwest Florida as an affordable, convenient destination option for Long Island residents,” according to the press release. “We are confident the community will appreciate the convenience of flying nonstop to Punta Gorda.”

Offering $69 one-way and $99 round-trip introductory fares, Allegiant inaugurated Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers service four months later, on December 20, with a 166-passenger MD-80 operating as Flight 999 and departing at 7:20 p.m., a date considered the threshold to the traditional holiday and winter Florida season.

Based upon response, additional seasonal and year-round service to Myrtle Beach, St. Petersburg, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Las Vegas would be considered.

4. Current Service:

Before Long Island MacArthur Airport can make an economic impact on the region, it needs sufficient air service to do so. Yet, with 23 departures offered by January of 2014, two of which were not even daily, that goal has hardly been realized.

Southwest, still the dominant airline, offered five flights to Baltimore, three to Orlando, two to Ft. Lauderdale, two to West Palm Beach, and one to Tampa-or a total of 13-operated by 737-700 aircraft. This was only one more than it had offered in 1999, when it had sparked the airport’s latest growth period, having returned it to its origins.

US Airways, a stronghold since the Allegheny service days, offered four daily de Havilland DHC-8 turboprop flights through its Piedmont regional carrier to Philadelphia and two to Washington with Bombardier CRJ-200 regional jet equipment with Air Wisconsin.

PenAir linked Boston with two Saab 340 departures and Allegiant Air connected the Long Island field with two weekly MD-80 services to Ft. Myers/Punta Gorda.

Restoration of its important business connections to Boston and Washington, each with two flights accommodating 50 or fewer passengers, enabled travelers to avoid La Guardia-associated congestion and commute times, and constituted a step in the right direction. But it was only a baby one. If Long Island MacArthur is to once again mature into a regional provider, reaping its own economic sustainability through landing, operational, office, concession, and parking fees, it needs a much greater injection of air service.

Scope of MDS Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge

A branch of dental sciences, Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge includes the study of creation and placement of such artificial dentures of teeth lost due to an injury or disease. This branch of dentistry deals with the replacement and restoration of lost teeth as well as the related structures through a dental prosthesis that restores the optimal function, comfort and aesthetics of a patient.

The services include the replacement of teeth, associated oral as well as maxillofacial tissues through removing and fixing methods like implants. The restorations comprise bridges, crowns, inlays and veneers. When it comes to appropriate restorations, its effectiveness is determined with the materials used, the extent of destruction, tooth orientation and location as well as condition of the adjacent teeth.

Job Opportunities and Scope

There is ample scope for a postgraduate in Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge. Such postgraduates can land up with a job in colleges, universities, teaching hospitals and research institutes. Trained private practitioners can have their own clinic which could fetch them a fortune. Those who have an inclination towards social service can join non-governmental organizations and contribute to the welfare of society. Those who have bigger dreams, can go abroad to countries like the US, Australia and the UK and establish their setup till they gain confidence about a good practice.

Colleges have a set goal behind imparting education in this area which trains and develops such dental health professionals who conform to global standards of quality care in prosthetic treatment. The teaching fulfils the objective of offering options for replacing the missing teeth with artificial substitutes. Another aim is to train the undergraduates and guide the postgraduates to excel in a scientific research approach.

Course Structure

If anyone wants to pursue a special course in Prosthodontics and Crown & Bridge, he or she needs to study for three years in order to get familiar with the installation procedure and implants. This field incorporates a training programme that has been structured to gain skills and knowledge in communication, research, aptitude and practice clinical and theoretical laboratory. This requires a sound understanding of cultural, social, environmental and educational background of society. The postgraduates in this stream are experts in Prosthodontic therapy with a good knowledge of behavioral, medical and clinical science.

Criteria for Selection

The basic requirement to opt for this discipline is a bachelor of dental surgery (BDS) from a reputed educational institution that has gained the recognition of Dental Council of India. The selection for this course at various medical colleges is based on the scores of state or national level centralized entrance tests conducted across the country. Students can complete their MDS successfully to work at a private hospital or for a government establishment or open an independent clinic.

Pillar Drill Jargon For Beginners

When I was starting out with pillar drills, I found all of the terms for the different parts and measurements really confusing. This article is designed to help you if you are trying to choose a drill and need to understand what all the terminology and jargon means.

Parts Found on Pillar Drills

  • Drill head — the assembly that makes up the chuck, spindle, drill bit, motor and pulleys.
  • Base — the heavy “foot” of the machine that is bolted to the floor in the case of a larger pillar drill or the workbench in the case of a smaller bench-mounted drill.
  • Column — this is the vertical pillar that gives the pillar drill one of its names (confusingly, its other common names are “bench drill” and “drill press”).
  • Spindle — the vertical axle that is in line with the drill bit and connects the chuck to the drill head.
  • Chuck — the assembly that fits onto the spindle and holds the drill bit.
  • Table — this is sometimes little more than a ledge in smaller bench drill models. It’s the support for the work piece to be drilled, and is attached to the column some distance below the head and above the base. Tables can be rectangular or round, and some can be tilted to allow angled drilling through a work piece. Pillar drill accessories can be bought to clamp or cradle work pieces in various angles.
  • Depth gauge — a setting that enables the bench drill to drill a hole part-way through a work piece.

The Meaning of Measurements in Drill Specifications

  • Throat distance — this is the measurement from the nearest edge of the pillar to the spindle centre.
  • Swing — this is a common measure of the capacity of pillar drills and is defined as twice the throat distance, or to put it another way, the maximum size of disc in which you can drill a central hole.
  • Spindle taper — this defines the shape of the end of the spindle. There are long, short, female and male types. The chuck needs to be compatible with the spindle taper.
  • Collar Diameter — this is the outer diameter of the collar or chuck assembly that holds the bit.
  • Chuck size — this is the diameter of the inner opening of the chuck assembly, so it defines the maximum size of bit stem that the drill can take. Because of this it is also known simply as the drilling capacity.
  • Spindle travel — this is the amount by which the spindle can be lowered or raised vertically and defines the maximum depth of hole you can drill in one pass.
  • Maximum distance spindle-to-table — this distance defines the deepest work piece that you can get onto the table.
  • Maximum distance spindle-to-base — this is similar to the above and defines the maximum depth of work piece you can drill with the table removed.

Replacing Backboards on Lifetime In Ground Basketball Systems

Lifetime Basketball Backboards Are Replaceable

Over time, all backboards will wear out. When the time comes, a knee-jerk reaction might be to throw out the old system and look to purchase a whole new system. While, in some cases, this might be necessary, many times you can save considerable amounts of money by simply replacing the backboard of the in ground basketball system. Lifetime Products makes many of their systems with component backboards that can be purchased retail, rather than replacing the entire goal. Here is the way to determine if your basketball system has a backboard that can be replaced.

What is the backboard material is used on your in ground basketball system?

Lifetime in ground basketball systems can have several different backboard materials. Of those, backboards that are made of polycarbonate, acrylic, and polyethylene plastic are replaceable. If your backboard is made with tempered glass, the only way to replace the item is calling in directly to Lifetime Products and order the specific part of your system. Please note that if your system has a polycarbonate, acrylic, and polyethylene backboard you cannot change these materials to tempered glass. Tempered glass backboards weigh much more than similarly-sized acrylic, polycarbonate, and plastic backboards. The mounting arms for glass backboards are much larger.

What is the shape of your pole?

Now, assuming you have a backboard with the correct backboard material, the next thing we will look at is the shape of your pole. Lifetime makes in ground basketball systems with both round and square poles. The pole shape matters because the mounting bracket that attaches the backboard to the main pole of the system will differ between these two shapes of pole. If your systems has a square pole, the mounting bracket for your backboard will not fit retailed Lifetime backboards; you will have to contact Lifetime Products customer service to replace it. If your pole is round, than we are still on the right track.

What size of pole?

Lifetime in ground basketball systems have several different pole-size options. For their round-shaped poles, options of 2.75-inches, 3-inches, and 3.5-inches are available. To replace your backboard for an in ground basketball goal, you will need a pole size of 3.5 inches. Smaller poles will have smaller brackets that will keep you from fitting retailed replacement backboards. If your pole is smaller in size, you will need to contact Lifetime customer service to replace the backboard. Otherwise, continue forward to the next step.

Do you see a Y-bracket that attaches to the backboard?

The mounting bracket contains several components. One of these mounting brackets that is found on basketball systems with a round pole measuring 3.5-inches in diameter has 4 mounting arms that attach directly to the frame of the backboard. The other design for the same size and shape of pole has 4 mounting arms that come off from the pole of the system and then attach to a Y shaped bracket. The Y-bracket is the last part of the mounting bracket that actually attaches to the backboard. If you see this Y-bracket (it is very obvious, it simply looks like a large capital letter Y), then you can continue to the last step.

How old is your system?

Are you still reading? Good. That means we can be about 90% certain that you have a system that has a replaceable backboard. The last thing to confirm is the age of your system. The mounting brackets have actually changed sizes in the past 10 years. If your in ground basketball system is older than that, you can still purchase a retailed backboard, but you will also need to purchase a new Y-bracket. The Y-bracket consists of two parts and can be purchased from Lifetime Products customer service. If your in ground basketball system is younger than 10 years old, then literally any retailed Lifetime backboard, including ones that are larger or smaller than your current backboard, are going to be compatible with your current system. Please note that even if you have to purchase a new Y-bracket you will still be saving money compared to replacing the entire system.

Spitting Tacks and Staple Guns: Upholstery Then and Now

Spitting tacks is a learned skill – using staple guns is not. Both can be dangerous. You don’t want to swallow upholstery tacks, but a 60 lb staple gun can do a lot of damage to a finger! Which is best? I have my own ideas about that, but upholstery has changed a lot over recent years, and not for the better.

When I was younger, my dad taught me how to spit tacks. Not too much younger, because you need a magnetic upholstery hammer for tack spitting. Prior to the development of these hammers you had to hold the tacks in your fingers and hit them (the tacks preferably, but sometimes both!) Magnetic hammers were followed swiftly by the skill of spitting tacks!

The Art of Spitting Tacks

With the advent of the magnetic hammer, upholsterers found that it was quicker if they held a mouthful of tacks, and spit them out onto the magnetic head of the hammer one at a time. They would then hammer the tack into the furniture, fixing the webbing, burlap, canvas or top cover as they did so.

It was important that the number of tacks entering the mouth equaled the number that came back out. Master upholsterers quickly became good counters.

A master upholsterer such as my dad could spit and hammer tacks just as fast as somebody using a staple gun. We shall discuss staple guns shortly. We would use 3/8 or 1/2-inch blue tacks for most uses and 3/4-inch for heavier work such as the webbing and twine used to fix steel coil springs. The large one-inch tacks were used only for floor carpets.

These were the days when upholstery was carried out the traditional way, and upholstered furniture lasted 20 or 30 years. My dad would boast he never had to spring the same seat twice, because his work would last a lifetime.

Staple Guns

Eventually, staple guns took over from upholstery tacks. Some craftsmen still use tacks, but staples are much more common today. They are OK, but I doubt they will last a lifetime! They don’t have the same holding power as tacks, and are not as strong. They are also a devil to strip out when reupholstering a chair or sofa.

Rather than strip them out with an old screwdriver or chisel and a mallet, you have to prize them out and then pull them out with pliers. That takes longer. That’s a paradox – staples are weaker than tacks, but take longer to remove! As with all upholstery, of course, it’s technique that matters, not how strong or weak a particular fixing is.

Spitting Tacks Today

I still spit tacks when I reupholster my own furniture at home. I prefer the traditional ways to the new ways. Modern upholstery involves pre-manufactured box constructions. Much of today’s upholstered furniture is manufactured by machines. Spring units are constructed as a complete unit that is simply slipped into the frame of a chair and sofa. Padding is pre-formed foam or even just cushions that may or may not include springs.

The domed seats of yesteryear are now flat, and tend to sag in the middle after a few years of use. This is in contrast to properly constructed seats using individual coil springs that are manually tied to provide the correct shape of the seat. They are then padded and covered to produce a beautifully constructed seat that is superbly comfortable – and will last a lifetime.

The Old Upholstery Skills Are Not Lost

However, the old upholstery skills are not completely lost. Craftsmen and women are still spitting tacks in the depths of Illinois and many other states. The Amish and other traditional communities of America’s Midwest use the old methods to craft beautiful furniture.

Their joints are traditional strong wood joints, and their upholstery is carried out manually by master upholsterers. I bet a fair bit of tack spitting is still carried out in America’s old Midwest! Such furniture is of the highest quality, yet it looks simply made. It’s funny how the highest quality hand-crafted items appear plain and simple, and much of the fancy-looking stuff is mass-produced and weak.

Traditional Upholstery Vs. Mass-Produced

Traditional upholstery is more comfortable, stronger and longer-lasting than mass produced items. If you feel like a change of color, or think the seating could do with a bit of strengthening up, then that can be done with traditionally crafted pieces. The mass-produced stuff with their box construction and synthetic materials frequently cannot be reupholstered. If you want a change you will have to purchase a whole new sofa or chair.

Spitting tacks is a noble skill, although staple guns are more modern. Each is better than mass produced boxes, in that the standard of upholstery produced is far superior to anything a machine can offer. The Amish and others have got it right by continuing to craft furniture manually, and we should support them by using it.