Proper Sump Pump Maintenance is Vital to Keep Your Basement Dry

When do most homeowners find out that their sump pump has failed? When it is too late! It is raining cats and dogs, rain water is contributing to the ground water and the water table is rising quickly. As the ground water level reaches the float activation set point. Regularly the sump pump will kick on and keep the water level below the basement slab, thereby alleviating the hydrostatic pressure below the basement floor.

Sadly, many homeowners find out the hard way that their sump pump is not working properly. The water table rises beyond a controllable level and hydrostatic pressure begins forcing water through floor cracks and floor/wall joints. The outcome is increased moisture levels inside the basement, which can lead to poor indoor air quality conditions, and in severe cases can lead to standing water filling up inside the basement causing havoc and misery.

The most important thing homeowners with basement waterproofing systems (sump pumps, basement drainage, etc.) can do is complete regular factory recommended maintenance procedures included in the manual that came with the sump pump. If a basement waterproofing company or local contractor/plumber installed the system they should have given you the original product manual. Many waterproofing companies offer annual maintenance to assist you in the maintenance of your sump pump(s) and waterproofing systems. It is highly recommended that if you decide to go forward with contracted maintenance that you ask lots of questions about how the company will service the system.

Regular maintenance should include removal of debris and obstructions from the sump liner and any cleaning of filters or screens that are attached to the sump pump. It is recommended that drains and sump pump systems are flushed with hot water regularly. This ensures that any debris or iron bacteria colonies do not build up and become obstructions to the flow of water. Do not run any type of hazardous cleaning chemicals (bleach, ammonia, detergents, etc.) through any drain or sump pump systems.

If your sump pump has a removable screen (usually at the base) most waterproofing professionals should remove them and use a wire brush to clean the impeller of the pump. Proper maintenance should also include testing of the sump pumps operation and the float switch (if applicable). Water discharge lines should also be checked to ensure that the water being pumped out is flowing freely and to an area that will not allow the water to seep back into the basement.

If open drains are part of your basement waterproofing system (bulkhead trenches, garage trenches, etc.) be sure to test them for efficiency frequently. If your basement waterproofing system includes a battery back-up, it should also be tested and maintained. Any open-cell batteries should be filled to factory recommended levels with distilled water.

As mentioned earlier in this posting, always follow the factory recommended maintenance procedures. It is recommended that you have maintenance completed at least twice a year. The most important times to maintain your waterproofing systems are after prolonged dormant times and before typical heavy usage times. Every area is different but experience with Massachusetts weather patterns has proven that February (Winter thaw) and September bring the most sump pump failure complaints.

5 Good Muscle Building Foods – What to Eat to Gain Lean Muscle Mass

The saying “eat big to get big” is almost synonymous with bodybuilding. You will hear it everywhere bodybuilders and muscle building enthusiasts gather. Just what does it mean? Well, let’s talk muscle building foods. 

The most important aspect of your muscle building goals is your calorie intake, meaning the total calories you eat in a day. Different body types, height, weights and yes, even individuals, have different needs. Many formulas have been devised for finding the optimal number but none can be said to be accurate. 

One of the reasons those formulas fall short is that they to a greater extent fail to consider different lifestyles. For example, a person who works in construction is likely to burn more calories than another who works in an office. Also the calories we burn each day will differ each and every day. Add to this genetic heritage and different body metabolisms. 

A simpler way for someone who trains with weights is to eat five to six small meals a day. These meals should contain protein, carbohydrate, fats and micronutrients. Your main focus should be on the quality of the food you eat. 

Without going into details about what food contains what amounts of what nutrients, here’s a list of 5 of the top bodybuilders’ favorite muscle building foods (not in any order): 

Side note: These are mainly protein sources and should be balanced with the other food groups. 

1. Eggs: They have received a bad rap due to the high fat content, but eggs are one of the best muscle building foods out there. Plus, they are perhaps the easiest food to prepare and easy to digest. Eggs contain a good amount of protein, plus vitamins and minerals. Make sure to eat some yolk in order to get the full value of the good old egg. 

2. Fish: Rich in muscle-building protein, fish should be part of your weight training and mass gain diet. Salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and anchovies also contain Omega 3 (essential) fatty acids. 

3. Lean beef: Like eggs, beef has been receiving some bad rap. Beef is not only rich in protein, but also contains creatine and other micronutrients. Long before creatine came into the market some of the notable professional bodybuilders relied on beef for mass gain; as it turned out, they were right on the money. Unless you have other religious or health limitations, lean beef should be part of your diet. 

4. Cottage cheese: Like beef, bodybuilders of yesteryear were right for gobbling down this stuff. Cottage cheese is rich is casein, which now basic ingredient of one of the most highly regarded protein supplements. 

5. Turkey: This bird is a good source of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. And contrary to what you might have heard, eating turkey does not make you sleepy.

How to Understand the Male Body Language! Here Are Some Tricks You Don’t Want to Miss

While some claim that decoding a man is a difficult task, knowing how to read a man’s body language makes the job a whole lot easier. Here is what you should be looking out for if you want to decode a guy’s body language.

Which side is his upper body facing
When a man’s upper body is facing you then you should know that he’s interested in you. It doesn’t matter if he looks elsewhere or if it seems he’s checking out others in the room, if his chest and shoulders are facing you then you are the most meaningful thing to him in that room.

What does his gaze suggest
If it’s a long piercing gaze that he gives you then he is definitely hot for you. But if he looks like he’s entering a staring contest then he is the dominating sort and is simply trying to intimidate you. If he doesn’t look at all it’s either because he’s not interested or is insecure.

What does his smile suggest
A man’s smile can say a lot about him. The crooked half smile indicates that all he wants is a fling and nothing serious. The soft close mouthed grin means that he likes you but doesn’t want to lay all his cards on the table just yet. If his is a tight lipped polite smile then he’s trying to say that while your company is engaging he doesn’t get the romantic angle with you.

The primal instinct
Men, quite unconsciously, succumb to their primal instincts which get reflected in their body language. If he is touching his belt or pants pocket then he is trying to get your attention to his assets. If he stands with his pelvis facing you and his legs apart he has the hots for you.

The head tilt
If he tilts his head on the side slightly so that your eyes meet then he has some feelings for you. Men give out this signal quite unconsciously so if someone has given you the head tilt then it’s time to make a move.

The touch factor
If a man initiates physical contact, touches you on the arm or leg then he definitely likes you. On the other hand is a guy that is very respectful and seems to enjoy your company but doesn’t touch then he’s not stimulated romantically by you.

Where are his toes pointing
If his toes are pointing towards each other when he sits or stands then he’s a little unsure and needs reassurance that his move will not be waved off. So give him an indication that the feeling is mutual and he will make his move.

Weslo Eclipse II Elliptical Trainer

The advancement in technology has paved way for many possibilities. Those that are imaginary in the past are made reality in the present. One of the possibilities expanded came by the name of Weslo Eclipse II elliptical trainer.

Elliptical trainer has been introduced to the market less than a decade ago. Since then, people have been pulled towards it like a magnet. This is because studies have proved that they can provide almost the same overall workout like jogging. The only difference is that it does not make harsh impact on joints. This is also the reason why more and more athletes, health enthusiasts and other amateurs are patronizing them.

Weslo Eclipse II elliptical trainer looks like a stair climber and a stationary bike. It is a newcomer in the field of exercise machines. Nonetheless, it is already making good in reviews. It has the edge of providing the exercisers with a training heart rate ranging from 160 to 175 bpm. This range is ideal for burning fats and calories. Hence, if you are among those individuals who are suffering from obesity, you can use it to burn extra fats and calories to achieve a slimmer you in due time.

If you are worrying about too much exertion, worry no more for Weslo Eclipse II elliptical trainer will not over exert your body. In fact, it can be gentle on the exerciser. This is the reason why experts in exercise and health are recommending this equipment to those who have arthritis of the ankles, knees or hips.

This unit can be easily converted to a stepper. Hence, if you want to use varying methods, you can at any time convert it into the exercise equipment you want. The hand grips of this unit are padded. This is to protect the hands from harsh metals at the same time to make your hands move smoothly with your body. Weslo Eclipse II elliptical trainer is also good in toning the legs, hips, chest, back and arms. It also reduces impact that causes injuries to the body. Moreover, it is safe than running on a pavement because the latter is more prone to injuries.

If you are planning to purchase a unit like this one, be sure to look for upper body motion benefits, forward and backward motions, adjustable pedals, adjustable resistance, clear and easy to read display, quiet operation as well as good warranty and service.

With ample information available to you, you can definitely make a wise decision regarding selection of elliptical trainers. Never miss any detail because that detail might be crucial to the quality and performance of your elliptical trainer.

There are varieties of this fitness equipment available in the market today. One among the good pick that you can have is the Weslo Eclipse II elliptical trainer. It is not only of good manufacturer but it is of good quality as well. Aside from the health benefits that it offers to purchasers, it also offers quality services and warranties. Not only that, it provides safety and easy storage mobility through its padding and wheels.

The most suitable elliptical trainer might be clicks away from you. Why not visit your trusted dealer or manufacturer or perhaps surf the net to acquire the information needed and make a purchase.

Bridge Jewelry – Artisan Jewelry

Jewelry is more than an accessory; it can be a promise, a remembrance, a statement or a frivolous decoration. Fine jewelry, Bridge jewelry and Fashion Jewelry are all types of jewelry that allow you to have a variety of choices to add to your collection and create your look. The terms Bridge jewelry and Artisan jewelry are sometimes used as if they are synonymous. We will explore this assumption and discover that Bridge jewelry and Artisan jewelry can be the same thing, but are not always the same.

Fine jewelry uses at least 14 kt. Gold or other precious metals along with precious gems like diamonds, sapphires, rubies or emeralds. Fine jewelry can be mass-produced or artisan-made one-of-a-kind pieces or limited-edition. It can be found in fine jewelry stores or in galleries. It commands the highest prices and holds value very well.

Fashion jewelry can also be artisan-made or mass produced. Materials used in the designs are base metals, glass, plastic and other synthetics. This jewelry may also be made of shell, wood and other organic materials. Fashion jewelry is available in craft shows, department stores, discount stores, drug stores and even flea markets. Prices on Fashion jewelry tend to be the most affordable of all jewelry. Its value is in its usability and the addition to your wardrobe.

Bridge jewelry is called that because it is the bridge between Fine jewelry and Fashion jewelry. It may use vermeil, gold filled or silver as the metal and uses semi precious stones such as amethyst, citrine, turquoise, jade, topaz, fresh water pearls, garnet and others. Much Bridge jewelry is artisan-made, but it can also be mass produced. Bridge jewelry is often found in craft shows, galleries and art shows. Prices are in the mid range between Fine jewelry and Fashion jewelry. Depending on the artist and/or materials, this jewelry can be a good investment.

Of course other combinations are found in jewelry. Some designers use precious metals such as 14k gold with amethyst. These pieces are not so easily classified. Price points and materials are the most definitive difference between the categories. Fine jewelry as the most expensive and Fashion jewelry as an inexpensive alternative. Bridge jewelry falls between these two on price.

Bridge jewelry can be a unique and affordable addition to your collection. You may see some familiar names in galleries or fine department stores and begin to recognize them as producers of Bridge jewelry. When you attend an art show, take a special look and you will recognize that much of it is fine artisan-made Bridge jewelry. It can provide you a good value because of the combination of quality materials; creativity and workmanship provided by the designers of these unique one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces.

A Review Of The Silver Ticket HDTV Projector Screen


The Silver Ticket HDTV Projector screen features the following characteristics.

1. Full High-Definition and active 3D

2. Beveled aluminum frame wrapped in light-absorbing black velvet material

3. High-gain silver-gray, front projection material

4. Cinematic quality tensioning rod system

5. Secure, horizontally adjustable top and bottom wall mounting brackets

6. 135 square inches of viewing surface

7. Flame resistance and mildew resistance.


The Silver Ticket screen allows quick and simple cleaning and maintenance. If the screen or parts become soiled you can simply use a cloth with mild soap and water for cleaning.


· Movie Theater Quality

· Spacious Viewing Screen

· Screen Rejects Ambient Glare


· Some Assembly Is Required


The Silver Ticket screen is easy to assemble, especially with its tensioning rod system which provides movie theater quality entertainment. This large, high-definition screen can be assembled quickly. There’s no need to tuck the screen material into the sturdy frame. The Silver Ticket tensioning rod system saved me time and eliminated frustration. A durable pocket is located on each side and you simply slide each rod through its accompanying pocket in order to attach to the frame. This system is a time saver, simple as one, two, three.

Technical Details

· Manufacturer: Silver Ticket Products

· Model: STR 169135 S

· Product dimensions: 122.4 inches by 1.2 inches by 70.9 inches

· Product weight: 36 pounds

· Shipping weight: 40.8 pounds

Additional Qualities

· The heavy-duty, 2 and 3/8 inch, aluminum frame is wrapped in light-absorbing, black velvet material that enhances a clear viewing area. That allows for any user errors of alignment.

· The high-gaining, silver-gray, front projection screen material rejects ambient light in rooms that are not completely dark.

· The Silver Ticket tensioning rod system not only allows quick and easy assembly, but it also ensures a flat, wrinkle-free, pucker-free, viewing surface. Additionally, the rod system holds the material exactly square and remains hidden behind the frame so that the viewer only sees the movie.

· The light-weight framing system is manufactured from extruded aluminum and it contours down to the projected image in order to eliminate any distracting shadow on the viewing area. I’ve noticed that some other similar screens use square tubing and that results in a shadow on the screen.

· The fixed frame screen mounts on the wall just like a picture frame.


With the Silver Ticket HDTV Projector Screen you can be assured that your family and guests will enjoy magnificent pictures, movies and games in full, high-definition viewing. And it’s certainly great for both passive and active 3D applications.

Tilt TV Wall Mount Specifically Designed for the Sharp LC-65D64U

Finally a TV wall mount has been engineered specifically with the Sharp 65″ HDTV in mind. The VESA pattern for the Sharp LC-65D64U is 440mm W x 650mm H. The VESA spacing of the vertical arms distance is far greater than most mounts that are out on the market today. The designers took that vertical arm spacing into consideration as well as the fact that it requires M10 screws to attach them to the back of the TV. This tilting wall mount has a 28″ wide wall plate that can mount to wood studs on 16″ or 24″ centers. Once mounted it can support up to 300 lbs. It can be mounted into concrete as well but, the minimum thickness required is 6″. Concrete anchors for this can be purchased at you local hardware store.

The vertical arm can slide laterally on the wall plate for centering if needed. When the TV is set onto the wall mounting plate it can be positioned either flat or tilted downward up to 12 degrees simply by losing a knob. When installing a large TV of this size it is always advisable to have two people to support the TV when attaching it to the wall plate. Once the TV has been placed onto the horizontal rails that support the vertical arm, secure it by tightening two locking screws located on the lower portion of the arms. This will prevent the TV from being accidentally lifted off the rails and falling onto the floor. When parked in the flat position the back of the TV will be 4.75 inches from the wall.

What Qualities Make Up a Good Thrower?

What qualities make up a good thrower? There are several qualities that make up a good thrower, those being; speed, strength, aggression, grace, coordination, hard work and dedication. The last one being one of the more important ones, as being a good thrower, one must have the self-drive and determination to ask questions, as well as have the drive and enthusiasm to learn and study the event on their own.

Speed and strength can go together since they are relative. The more strength that one may have the greater the ability is to develop speed through various exercises (sprints, lifts, and technique). Speed in the throwing events is both horizontal and vertical (through linear, rotational, and vertical forces). For example, in the hammer the stronger the athlete is the more force and speed that can be applied on the hammer. In the linear sense, when the athlete is moving the ball forward through the first winds and turns in the circle, the athlete is accelerating the ball horizontally through both rotational and linear movements. After understanding the horizontal forces one must understand the vertical force in the hammer, and this is shown with the orbit of the ball throughout the circle.

While moving the ball in the orbit a 16 pound hammer may produce a ground reaction force in excess of 700 pounds, which is where the strength comes into play, since the hammer is now exerting a great force on the thrower. A force of 700 pounds that is placed on the ground (ground reaction force) must have an equal force that will be in the opposite direction, thus the greater the speed and force you place on the hammer ball in a downward fashion, the athlete will than generate the same force in the opposite or upward direction (Newton’s Third Law of Motion). In order to benefit from this the release angle of the hammer must be optimal. Thus by accelerating the hammer throughout the circle the athlete is gaining velocity. The shape of the orbit, by having both a high point and low point is creating great force do the accelerating nature that the velocity is placing on the ball as it is moving from high to low. If the athlete can not control both speed and strength in this event, then the attempt is futile.

A second quality that is important to look for while trying to find and develop a good thrower is aggression and the ability to harness it in the right circumstances. In the throwing events you would like to heighten your senses to produce a great amount of reaction to the throw, however, you need to be aware of the anxiety that is also produced and learn how to overcome this. Aggression is also beneficial for a thrower since hopefully the athlete will show an interest and eagerness in getting into the circle and wanting to throw each day. A thrower that has that drive and desire will be an excellent thrower, since the amount that you put into an event, the more you will get out of it. In the first form of aggression which concerned the athlete’s ability to be aggressive during meet situations, it is important to understand how to harness this for the throw.

In the throwing events one must utilize their speed and agility as was previously mentioned, in order to produce better gains in the event. The more speed or velocity that is placed on the implement, the further that it will travel this also has to do with release angle; however, a thrower will not approach the throws in a passive manner if gains would like to be met. The second form of aggression comes into play during a track and field meet; this form of aggression gives the athlete the vision of winning. However, with this aggression comes the need to have control or else the aggressive attitude will get the better of the athlete. Emotional control for the athlete will raise the anxiety level to a positive range in which the athlete can have a positive performance. With envisioning the perfect throw or sequence of throws, the athlete can than perform a track meet in their head and make themselves ready to throw and aggressive into the circle. Envisioning the throw will be talked about in the next paragraph.

The last attribute that makes a track and field athlete a good thrower is the eagerness to learn the event and become a student of the art. By becoming a student of the event, than the athlete chooses to make track and field a way of life. By having this much understanding of the throws than the individual can provide the much needed feedback to the coach that may be missing from an observational standpoint. The athlete becomes a student of the event by learning outside of practice, becoming knowledgeable of the subject through books, videos, magazines, journals, and first hand experiences. The ability to provide such feedback to the coach is an important one as coaches may need to know how a throw felt, so that corrections may take place. Also through studying the event the athlete can have an awareness of how a perfect throw will feel as was previously mentioned, however, this time both in actuality and through visualization which can help with the emotional control. The athlete can be a student by eagerly participating in practices; this is achieved by listening to the coach, watching other athletes perform the task, and asking and challenging the coach in an inquisitive way that may benefit both the athlete and coach.

In conclusion after reading this chapter, one may see that there are many qualities that make up a good thrower. One quality alone is not good enough to make a thrower an exceptional one, however, all of these qualities working together will benefit the athlete, coach and program. As expressed the athlete should not only rely on speed, since strength shall also need to be involved, nor should the athlete solely rely on being a student of the sport as they may over think the throw, and loose out on the aggressive behavior needed in these events. Lastly if the coach can help the athlete sum all of these qualities into their experience than the athlete and coach will be see success. Be honest, set goals (short and long), visualize and hard work, a thrower with these qualities will go a long way.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Store Your Stained Glass Without Paying a Fortune For Racks and Cabinets

If you work with stained glass, you know what I’m talking about. It seems like every room in the house and every table, dresser, bed, and desk has sheets of glass sitting on it collecting dust. Stained glass clutters every open space everywhere. One day, my wife had enough. She said firmly, “Please clean up all this glass, I can’t stand it anymore.” I responded, “Yes, dear.” I thought about how I could store my glass without piling the sheets on top of each other, creating a stack two feet high. That wouldn’t be good for the glass, especially those at the bottom of the pile, and it would be terribly inconvenient every time I needed a piece near the bottom. Ideally, stained glass should be stored on its side, not piled on top of each other. I didn’t want to spend a thousand bucks to buy a fancy rack system, and I don’t have the proper tools to build one myself. So, what is a broke (i.e., no money) mosaic and stained glass artist to do when the wife says clean it up or throw it away?

I sat imagining the rack system at the local hobby store where I buy a lot of my stained glass. It’s a beautiful thing. Nice, neat shelves with the proper spacing to fit 12-inch by 12-inch sheets of glass, and dividers every two or three inches so the glass can rest on its edges lightly leaning to the side. It truly is a thing of beauty. Where can I get something like that without spending a fortune? It suddenly hit me. I dreamed up the perfect solution.

I went to my favorite home improvement store to see what kinds of ready-made cabinets are available. I immediately saw the perfect piece. It’s a slim five-shelf cabinet, about 10 inches wide and about four feet high. The key is that it has adjustable shelves. Two of those cabinets would give me plenty of room to store all my glass and provide lots of room to expand my stock. The problem was that the piece is 10 inches wide. I need each section to be about half that width to fit only a few pieces of glass and allow them to lean at a small angle. How can I divide each 10-inch section into halves? Again, it immediately hit me.

I remembered using thin pieces of metal for one of my many hair-brained house projects. Each piece is about 12 inches long, 2 inches wide, and less than 1/8-inch thick so it easily bends with a little elbow grease. Another good thing is that the metal pieces already had pre-drilled holes at each end. I think the metal pieces are actually used in construction as a type of mending plate, but that didn’t stop me from using them for my latest crazy idea. I figured I could attach two of these metal pieces to the bottom of each shelf to hang down, creating a divider upon which the glass could lean. Perfect! I bought two cabinets and a bunch of the metal strips.

I quickly assembled the first cabinet. I used only two of the five adjustable shelves because I needed at least 13 inches between shelves. With the bottom fixed shelf, these two adjustable shelves gave me a total of three shelves. Remember, the key to this crazy idea is that the shelves must be adjustable. To adjust the shelves on this cabinet, little holes are drilled into the side pieces of the cabinet into which little metal dowels are inserted. Four dowels are inserted for each shelf at the right height, and then the shelf rests loosely on the four dowels.

For each shelf, I used two pieces of metal as a center divider, one piece toward the front and one piece toward the back. I bent one end of the metal piece two inches from the end, creating a 90-degree L-shape. The short 2-inch side is attached with two small screws to the bottom of each shelf so the longer 10-inch side hangs down, thereby creating the divider. The metal pieces are thick enough to hold the glass without bending when the glass leans on the dividers, but thin enough to easily bend to make the L-shape.

Each shelf section now has two of these metal pieces hanging down in alignment as a divider, creating two 5-inch-wide sections on each shelf. I assembled the second cabinet and installed the metal pieces the same way as the first cabinet. The two cabinets rest side-by-side in my studio and neatly hold all my stained glass. There’s enough room to store my glass not only by color, but also by texture. All my glass is in one organized place now. The rest of the house is glass-free, and the wife is very happy. By the way, did I mention that I created this perfect glass storage system for less than $100? Amazing what a little ingenuity can do.

Understanding the Masonic Working Tools

A stonemason has his own set of tools that he uses to complete any form of stonework. But this does not mean that Freemasons do not have tools of their own. Just because they do not lay bricks or work on stone inside their lodges does not mean that they do not need anything else. In fact, aside from the different Mason regalia used in rituals, there are also tools associated with each degree that a Mason lands on.

Entered Apprentice

  • 24-inch Gauge

A gauge (or a ruler) is used to measure the hours of each day. At this degree, Masons are taught to divide their day into three, spending 3 hours on sleep or refreshment, 8 hours on the service of God and others in need, and 8 hours on work and the usual vocations.

  • Common Gavel

The common gavel, unlike other gavels, has one end that comes to a point. For normal stonemasons, this is used to chip away edges on bricks and stones. But for Freemasons, it symbolizes the art of chipping away the different vices and other superficial desires of the heart.

  • Chisel

In the US, this is often left out. In the UK however, this continues to be an important symbolism in the Entered Apprentice degree. In real life, stonemasons use the chisel to remove flaws from a gem. In this Masonic degree, it symbolizes how the human mind can become more beautiful through the endless journey towards more knowledge.


  • Square

A 90-degree ruler, it asks Masons to make sure that they square their actions through their morals and values.

  • Level

The level has become a symbol of equality among Masonic brothers. It also shows that every Masonic brother shares the same goal and will be judged by the same laws.

  • Plumb

Also called as a plumb line (for stonemasons), it reminds Masons to stay just, honest and upright.

Master Mason

  • Trowel

The trowel symbolizes the need to spread brotherly love, with the theoretical cement it is spreading symbolizing the strong unity or bond among brothers.

  • Pencil

Although the pencil seems to be a common tool in an actual stonemason’s job, in Freemasonry, it symbolizes how God has everything that people do written down. On the judgment day, this list will be consulted and will be the basis for how one will be judged.

  • Skirrit

The skirrit, in stonework, is used to draw a perfect line on the ground. In Freemasonry, it is a reminder to stick to the goal of perfection that the brotherhood has set.

  • Compass

The compasses are among the most popular symbols of Freemasonry, and also proves to be one of the most important tools. It reminds Freemasons to know the limits between good and evil based on the rules of the Great Architect of the Universe.

Seeing how these tools help in every degree of Freemasonry, it is no wonder that they are also among the most common symbols that appear on important Masonic regalia.

Robert Motherwell – An Abstract Expressionism and the Father of Psychic Automatism

Robert Motherwell, born on January 24, 1915 at Aberdeen, Washington, was a renowned American ‘Abstract Expressionist’ painter, who also set records as a printmaker. He completed his B.A. in philosophy from the Stanford University in the year 1937, while completing his Ph.D. in the subject from Harvard. A year later, he made a surprising switch to Art History & Arts at Columbia University, and developed a very keen interest in painting. In the year 1958, Motherwell entered into a matrimonial alliance with another American painter, Helen Frankenthaler.

At the start of his career, Robert Motherwell was inclined towards ‘Surrealism’ and was held in high regard by the other Surrealists in New York. He had adopted a distinct style of painting known as ‘Psychic Automatism,’ reflecting his understanding of philosophy. This fascination for ‘Surrealism’ was more a result of Robert’s association with Roberto Matta from Chile with whom he shared a strong bond of friendship. The artist traveled with Matta to Mexico in 1941 and painted his first famous series, “The Mexican Sketchbook.”

Motherwell became a part of the New York School, as tagged by him, which was an informal association of American artists in various domains in 1950s and 1960s. As a part of this group, he shared space with the likes of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko, rediscovering himself as an ‘Abstract Expressionist’ and adding new dimensions to this style of painting. Robert Motherwell believed in the depiction of the human emotions through delightful strokes of brush and colors, as signified by his words, “You don’t have to paint a figure to express human feelings.” He experimented a lot with the paint, like diluting paint to give the effect of a shadow and ‘Calligraphically’ depicting, the different state of emotion. The unique aspect of his work was the wild brush strokes mingled with the bared strokes of black color, carrying with it the live expression of human sentiments.

Robert Motherwell’s first solo exhibition was held at Raymond Duncan Gallery, Paris in the year 1939. In 1948, Robert Motherwell painted the first “Spanish Elegies” for the famous painting series, “Elegy of Spanish Republic (1948-90).” “Personage (1943),” “Western Air (1947),” “Two Figures (1958),” “The Blue Painting (1973),” “Mexican Night (1979),” and “The Dalton Print (1979),” rank among his most celebrated works. Robert Motherwell also created several collages, of which “Surprise & Inspiration (1943)” was the best known. This magnum opus was displayed in his exhibition at the art gallery, the Art of Century, owned by Peggy Guggenheim, at New York.

During his successful career as a painter, Robert Motherwell briefly took up teaching at Black Mountain College (late 1940s) and at the Hunter College, Manhattan (1950s). He also ventured into editing for several magazines like Possibilities (in 1947-48) and The Dada Painters & Poets (in 1951), followed by his direction of the publication series, “The Documents of Modern Art (1944-52).” In 1948, he founded an art school, the “Subjects of the Artist” with William Baziotes, Barnett Newman, and Mark Rothko.

In 1961, he published the limited edition of all his work, which was the first time ever that an ‘Abstract Expressionist’ published his art in the form of prints. Robert Motherwell breathed his last at the age of 76, on July 16, 1991 at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Different Types of Christmas Lights

There are a huge number of different types of Christmas lights to choose from that can used to decorate the home and garden during the festive season. At Christmas time, nothing brings more Christmas spirit into the home than fairy lights so it is important to get it just right. That means you should get lights for the tree, around the home and, if possible, across the garden too. There are many inventive ways you can use Christmas lights to decorate your home at Christmas time. This article provides more information about the types of Christmas lights available and what you can do with them to create a beautiful display at home. You won’t want to take the lights down in January!

Outdoor Christmas Lights
There are huge selections of outdoor Christmas lanterns available of all different shapes and sizes. It is possible to purchase white, coloured, battery operated, LED lights and plenty more besides. You can choose to have your bulbs on green wire, black wire, white wire or a clear wire too to help keep it carefully hidden, and even different light shapes. Nothing says Christmas is here more than icicle lights displayed outside. These look sensational when displayed up against the house. Warm, white bulbs give a very elegant look, but if you want a more fun display then coloured bulbs work extremely well. If you choose LED lights for displaying outside then you can enjoy a multitude of different effects. They can flash on and off, fade and perform other effects too. These brighten up a house very well and provide an outdoor Christmas centrepiece.

Indoor Christmas Lights
Displaying lights inside the house is another great way to celebrate Christmas. You can choose to wrap fairy strings around the banisters or line mirrors or large pictures with them too. LED multi effect lights include a twinkle effect, flash effect, wave effect, slow glow, slow fade and sequential pattern too. Displayed in the window your home will truly stand out from the crowd. If no power sockets are available then you can use battery operated lights. Battery operated Christmas lights mean they can be displayed anywhere you want around the house, regardless of whether there is a power socket available or not. Indoor starlights look particularly festive. These are available in clear, blue, multi-coloured or red. They can even be used on the Christmas tree if you so choose. Net and rope lights also provide beautiful Christmas lighting effects.

Christmas Tree Lights
Christmas just isn’t complete without a Christmas tree. How you light the tree is an important decision to make too. It is possible to choose a coloured effect, plain white or something extremely bright and multi-coloured. A good way to use lights on a Christmas tree is to have strings with slightly larger bulbs on the bottom with smaller bulbs at the top. A tree that is decorated with white or clear bulbs can look very stylish and elegant. This is especially true if you use all white decorations to match. If you want something fun and bright then you could use multi coloured lights with different colour baubles and tree decorations. Sometimes it can be nice to have one large tree displayed in the main sitting room of the house with a smaller tree placed somewhere else. That way you can enjoy two different styles of lighting.

There are so many ways you can brighten up your home and garden at Christmas time. Rope lights, net lights, curtain lights or icicle lights are just some of the different lighting displays available. It is nice to light up both the inside and outside of the home at Christmas time to get the most out of this festive time of year. With so much to choose from, the hardest decision is knowing what to use. The great thing about lanterns is that they last for many years and so can be reused for years to come.

When it comes to Christmas lights, there is a very large variety available, from sets for the Christmas tree to ropelights, festoon lights and more. All Xmas lanterns in the home look great, as do any displayed outside too.

3 Tips To Stay Up To Date With the Latest Fashion Trends

Fashion trends constantly change and can be difficult and time-consuming to follow. Each season, a new color or style will become the must-have look. Luckily there are several ways to stay in touch with the latest fashion trends, including:

Read the fashion magazines on a regular basis

Lifestyle and fashion magazines offer a perfect opportunity to get the latest news on what is taking place in the fashion world. Magazines keep up-to-date with the latest seasonal hits to ensure you are always mindful of the most popular styles. Whether you are reading the fashion magazine or lifestyle magazine with a dedicated fashion section, you will have a simple, yet effective option to see the latest and upcoming fashion options. Also, these magazines often highlight the best fashion stores or brands to make sure you are able to get the best prices in the market.

Visit the local retail and department stores

A further great option for checking out the latest fashions is visiting the local retail and department stores to see what is on display. A favorite high street store is certain to highlight the latest and upcoming fashions for the current season. For instance, many of the large stores start to advertise the clothing lines for the spring and summer well before the season starts to arrive. This makes it possible to get prepared for the warmer weather and save up enough money to buy the seasonal clothes. Also, by visiting in store, it is possible to try on a variety of clothing lines in different colors and styles. This gives the option to try garments that you don’t often wear and appreciate the feel and fit of these unique articles of clothing.

Go online and search the fashion websites

The internet offer endless opportunities to enjoy the latest fashion designs and styles. Many of the major retailers, style experts, and designers have well established web sites highlighting the latest fashion trends. If you have a preferred fashion label, you can always search for their fashion blog to get information on the upcoming and current clothing lines. Favorite designers like Gucci, Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren have sites dedicated to highlighting their take on the latest styles in the industry. You can easily visiting a varied mixture of website and blogs to get a complete idea of what styles are most relevant for the present season and what may be available in the future.

Post and Panel Sign Installation Methods and Techniques – How to Install a Freestanding Sign

You have purchased a new Post and Panel Sign and now need instructions on how to properly install it into the ground. Whether it be metal. plastic, or wood, the type of Freestanding Sign does not really change the installation technique. This article will explain the Direct Burial Installation Method for signs up to 4′ H x 8′ L in size.

Before you start, you need to assemble the proper tools and materials. Here is a list:

1. Post Hole Digger

2. Metal Digging Bar or Spud Bar

3. Two Ground Stakes

4. Measuring Tape

5. 24″ or Longer Level

6. Sakrete or similar product. Usually 40 lbs Per Hole.

7. Five Gallon Bucket or Wheelbarrow

8. Shovel

9. Water

The first step is to assemble your sign and measure the distance from the center of the left post to the center of the right post. This will give you the centerpoints for the two holes that you will dig later.

Second, select the proper location for you sign and mark the centerpoint for each hole with a ground stake. If your sign is to be parallel to a sidewalk or street, you will also want to measure from the street or sidewalk to the center of your holes to insure proper orientation. If your sign is to be perpendicular to the sidewalk or street, mark the center of your holes with ground stakes and then use your line of sight to see if your holes are oriented properly. Adjust as necessary. Note that most cities and towns have sign ordinances that specify the setback distance for signs from the right-of-way, so be sure to check on this beforehand.

Third, use your digging bar and post hole digger to dig your holes to a depth of 24″ to 36″. Smaller signs up to 2′ x 3′ in size will usually only require a 24″ depth hole since they don’t take much of a wind load. Larger signs up to 4′ H x 8″ L should have deeper holes of 30″ to 36″ in depth depending on soil conditions. Softer ground requires a deeper hole to keep your sign from moving in the future. If you are on an incline, the hole further up the hill will need to be dug deeper to keep the sign level.

Fourth, insert your sign into your holes and place your level across the top or bottom of your sign panel. If your sign is not level, lift one post and add a little dirt below it and check with your level again. Add more dirt if necessary. If you are having to add too much dirt, you may want to dig the opposite hole a little deeper to correct the problem.

Fifth, mix your concrete with water in your bucket or wheelbarrow to the proper consistancy. You may want to mix just 20 lbs at a time to make your job a little easier. If you are not close to a water supply, you might consider a collapsible water jug, like those used for camping, and fill it beforehand to take with you to the job site. Once your concrete is ready, have someone place the level vertically on the front or back of one post and tilt the post forward or backwards until the level indicates that it is perpendicular with the ground. Now add your concrete to the hole making sure that the post does not move and stays perpendicular. Repeat this process with the other hole.

Last, fill the rest of each hole with dirt and pack it down with the round end of your metal digging bar. Then load up the excess dirt in your bucket or wheelbarrow, clean up your sign, and admire your finished sign project!

Workout Routines for Women – Lift Heavy, Look Fit!

There is a huge misconception in the fitness world that only men should lift heavy weights, and that women should stick to light, “toning” routines. Many women fear they will get big or bulky if they lift heavy. Nonsense! Do you realize how hard it is for MEN to gain muscle mass, even with their testosterone and larger calorie consumption? Nobody, man or woman, will ever get “too big” for their liking on accident.

The truth about workout routines for women is that they should contain mostly heavy lifting! Lifting heavy weights has a variety of benefits for women. First, it helps stimulate the growth of lean muscle tissue. This extra muscle helps create a slim, fit body contour. In other words, it makes you “toned.” You can’t actually “tone” your muscles with high reps on those little pink dumbbells – you’ve got to actually build that firm muscle tissue with heavy weights.

The second benefit of lifting heavy weights it that gaining a few extra pounds of muscle can help burn fat. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means it’s constantly burning calories. Gain some more muscle, and you’ll be able to lose fat more quickly or just eat a little more of the foods you like without consequence!

Third, heavy lifting is a type of exercise that “stays with you” all day. Whereas walking, jogging, and other moderate-paced cardio exercises only burn fat while you’re doing them, a hard weights workout will keep your metabolism raised and revving at high speed for the rest of the day.

Finally, workout routines for women should contain plenty of heavy lifting because it’s fun! Many people complain about going to the gym not because they’re lazy, but because it can be so boring. Given the average workout routine, they’re right! Hours of treadmill walking and stair stepping combined with long, high-rep sets of light lifting gets old quick.

Lifting heavy provides a new, fun challenge every time you’re in the gym! It may seem weird to think about now, but you’ll start to get excited about setting a new personal record on the squat or pushing more weight than you ever have on the bench press. Besides, these workouts take much less time, anyway. Get in, have fun, get your work done quickly, and get on with the rest of your day!

Hopefully you can see that workout routines for women should actually be all about lifting heavy weights and getting stronger. Leave the boring cardio routines for people who can’t handle some harder exercise! If you get stronger and eat right, you will develop a slim, lean physique.