Alternative Things To Do in Prague – Visiting Prague’s Historical Towers

There are so many things to do in Prague that it’s easy to fill your time in this splendid city. Even if the weather is poor your list of options can include tours, museums, monuments and cafes just to name a few. But what about alternative things to see and do in this medieval city?

One of our favorite uses of free time is to visit one of the many spire topped towers in Prague. After all, Prague is considered the City of One Hundred Spires and these awesome spires make up one of the more memorable European skylines.

There are numerous reasons to visit at least one of these remarkable towers. Of course, their views are reason enough to visit, but they are also fairly inexpensive with tickets costing just a few dollars and many towers offer discounts for seniors, students and children. You can also save by purchasing family tickets if you have two adults and one or two children. In addition, most towers offer visitors a historical exhibition inside that gives each landmark some added value.

The best and most comprehensive view of Prague is the 360 degree view from atop Old Town Hall tower. Located on the corner of Old Town Square, this Gothic tower has a wraparound walkway at the top and each side has a glorious view. This perspective of Prague will only deepen your idea of the city’s archaic layout and the tight swarm of historical buildings nearby. From here, visitors can take advantage of a viewpoint of Old Town Square that the tourist crowds below will likely miss. Luckily, this tower is one of the few that has an elevator which makes it accessible to all ages.

The two towers that bookend Charles Bridge are also worth visiting. Both towers offer incredible views of the 14th century bridge, Lesser Town and the banks of Old Town. Inside, you’ll see that the towers themselves have changed only slightly from their first days. You can note their interesting stone interiors and splendid rooftop lookouts at the top of each one. If the views weren’t enough, each of these towers include historical exhibitions as well making a visit well worth the small admission fee. Unfortunately, neither of these towers have elevators.

Another tower worth climbing is the Baroque bell tower of St. Nicholas’ Church in Lesser Town. Built in 1755, it stands strong beside the green dome of the church. The tower also has the distinctive feature of once being a small hideout for State Secret Police. The police used the tower to spy on residents below and today there is a small exhibition inside that recreates the spy den that was once here. Of course at the top of the tower you will find magnificent views of Lesser Town, Petrin, Strahov Monastery and many other attractions.

Lastly, one of the most notable towers in Prague is the bell tower at St. Vitus’ Cathedral in the heart of Prague Castle. Admission to this 14th century beauty is included in either general ticket to the castle and is well worth the tight climb to the top. From the peak, visitors can experience a visual treat with an expansive view of the city as well as scenes that reach beyond the city’s edges. Of course, there is no elevator here and the narrow staircase may not be for everyone, but most visitors find the majestic view at the top to be well worth the climb.

These towers are just a few examples of great vantage points in Prague. Visit any of them for picture perfect views. Your camera will thank you.

Baseball Coaching Digest – Young Batter Hits Great in Practice But Struggles at the Plate in Games

One of the most frustrating and often puzzling things to witness in youth baseball coaching is “game time” failure that was totally unexpected.. We have all seen it happen at one time or another. You have a player that absolutely rips the ball in batting practice but looks horrible at the plate whenever he bats.

Before the games started the player was expected to be one of the best hitters on the team. But, when season starts and the games begin he is absolutely terrible at the plate. He looks so bad that it seems like he couldn’t hit a beach ball with a tennis racket. In fact, most of the time, he does not make any contact with the baseball at all and strikes outs, again and again. Many times the swing looks good, but it almost seems like his bat has got a hole in it. It is obvious that the batter is in a slump and his confidence level is sinking faster than lead balloon.

What causes this problem? What can a coach or a parent do to help the player get out of his slump? This is a tough hitting problem to solve because there are many things that could be causing the batter to fail. It is crucial that coaches and parents realize what is happening and attempt to identify the cause of the problem as soon as the batter begins to struggle in games. Sometimes these slumps are caused by a minor flaw that can be easily corrected.

I am assuming that the batter has a swing that is mechanically sound. I am also assuming that the player is able to hit the ball well in practice but only struggles when batting in games. Here are what I consider to be the main 4 causes of this problem and suggestions for correcting each:

1. Batting Practice Pitches Fail to Closely Simulate Pitches He sees in the Games – The coach is doing a poor job of replicating the conditions that the batter faces in games. The batting practice pitches are too easy to hit. The practice pitches are thrown slow and right across the middle of the plate. When the batter gets into the game he finds it difficult to hit the faster pitch speeds. He also has difficulty hitting the pitch locations that are on the outer or inner edges of the plate. The best way to eliminate this problem is to throw batting practice with more speed and to make the batter practice hitting all possible pitch locations during practice. For players to improve and reach their maximum potential, they must be challenged during practice. It is recommended that practice drills and the practice atmosphere be made as game-like as possible. If batting practice should be thrown at or above the maximum speed that the player will face in a game.

2. Batter Gets Nervous and Steps Out; Batter is Pulling His Head Out -The batter tenses up and loses his concentration. He is stepping out of the box on every swing without realizing it. This is a difficult flaw to break. The coach or parent has to break him of this bad habit as soon as it is identified. The “step in and hit” drill is a good remedy to this problem. This drill has the player move back one step farther of the plate than normal. The players will step in first with the back foot. The step is taken straight toward the plate. Then the front foot step is taken at a 45 degree angle toward the plate. The step is almost toward the second baseman. (For a right handed batter). When the front foot lands, the batter will attack the ball. This teaches the batter to step into the ball and prevents him from stepping back. This drill is best done with a hitting stick type training aid.

3. Batter Gets Too Pumped; Too Aggressive: Swings Too Early – This flaw occurs when the batter gets overly aggressive. The batter has trouble waiting on the ball to reach the plate. The batter swings early before the pitch even gets in the contact zone. The best way to correct is this flaw is to constantly tell your player to be more patience. The player should allow the ball to get over the plate or inside the front foot before attacking it.

4. Batter is too far off the plate. – It sounds so simple, but it happens. The player moves farther off the plate during games than during batting practice. During batting practice he crowds the plate, but in the games he sets up so far back off the plate that he can not hit anything on the outer third of the plate. In the players mind he feels that he can get closer to the plate because the coach throws safe pitches and the coach is not going to hit him.

He does not have that same feeling of safety or comfort with he faces a pitcher from another team. This fear or feeling of uneasiness makes him move off the plate. It is often a subconscious action that the player is not aware of.

The opposing team sees how far the batter is off the plate and pitches him accordingly. The opposing pitcher can hit his spots on the outer edge of the plate and there is no way the batter can hit that pitch because he is too far off the plate. The best way to correct this is to continually speak to the batter and make sure his elbows are over the inside line of the batter box.

One of the best ways to eliminate this problem is to have batters face pitchers from their own team during practice. They can overcome the fear of facing a kid pitcher if they face them often in practice.

I hope that you found this article to be informative and helpful. Thanks for taking the time to read it. Nick

Prophecy – Prophetic Symbols

Understanding the Pictorial Images of God.

You have experienced dreams, visions and had prophecy spoken over you life. Some of it may have been very clear while other elements were full of mystery. The prophetic language of God can take many forms and be expressed in various images. God is now revealing the meaning of His pictorial language so that His people can understand what He is releasing through the prophetic realm. It would take a complete book to fully cover this subject but in this article I want to lay down a few principles and share some examples that will help you.

Let me recommend first that when you have a dream, a prophetic vision or receive a prophetic word tp always write it down. Otherwise, many details can be completely lost within a short time. If you received a prophetic word from a prophet(tess) then ask them to explain what they saw and the sense of what they felt. If it was a vision or dream, I recommend you make descriptive notes. You then can search your Bible for any of the images or pictorial types to see what that image conveyed in the scriptures. There are many electronic Bibles for free on line that include word searches and study helps so these can be very helpful.

It is important to prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to bring understanding to you. He authored the dream so He has the details. He does however, work with details that will make sense to you. He often uses experiences, memories and settings that are unique to you alone. Someone else would not understand them in the same light as you. For instance, seeing a hot stove may bring a sense of warmth, family, comfort and peace to someone. For another person seeing a hot stove in a dream may create feelings of fear or pain because they were badly burnt when they fell against a stove as a child. In these scenarios God may be leading the first person into comfort, sense of security or relationship. In the second example, God may be inviting that person into freedom from childhood fears. So ask Him to identify areas that may reveal a deeper work of restoration within you.

Let me focus on images. There are so many images in the Bible that God used, so reference these in a concordance. See if they relate to what you received. Jesus often used parables which are illustrations that contain a spiritual truth. A lamp represents light and guidance, whereas a net would represent harvest. Acquaint yourself with these through word searches and note the application, if any to your encounter.

When interpreting a dream it is important to look at the emotional, spiritual and circumstantial content within that dream. Was it frightening, peaceful, encouraging or threatening? Did details provide direction or promise of provision? Was the dream detailing issues to pray about? Was the dream a training module in which the Lord put you through a test or equipping session? Ask questions – why this and not that? Some unresolved issues in dreams are unimportant. If there were details you didn’t notice (like color or size etc.) they probably were unimportant.

Let’s look at some dream symbolism examples:

Prophetic Symbolism

Dress style in clothing:

open collar = open, nothing hidden, relaxed, informal plans,

white shirt = formal, rigid, leadership, management,

suit = formal, rigid, business

plaid shirt = casual, not rigid, working on a project.

Likewise: Ladies apparel would generally represent the same in formal to less formal.

Numbers:

1 – unity, God

2 – double blessing or anointing, or two confirmations.

3 – trinity – divine perfection

4 – earth number, 4 seasons, or four directions.

5 – grace

6 – number of man, 666 represents man in league with the world, flesh and devil or an Unholy Trinity.

7 – perfection

8 – resurrection, new beg, # of Jesus

9 – divine # (3 squared), # of Holy Spirit, also judgement, evangelism

10 – world # (10 horns of beast,10 toes on statue)

11 – incomplete, not yet a government, prophetic anointing

12 – governmental perfection/authority

13 – sin #, speaks of rebellion

Animals

Horse – power, physical issues that are going to come as in Revelation with the four horses of judgement.

White horse – the Lord’s message (Revelation when He sat on a white horse)

Also the highest form of power that is established by God.

Elephant – great power and strength, nothing stops them, never forgets.

Predators – animals that prey on others represent usually represent inner fears of that animal. They can often indicate an attack of the enemy in the form of that animal. A lion can represent Jesus as the “Lion of Judah” or could represent Satan as a roaring lion seeking or someone to attack. The context of the dream would clearly show which Lion is in a dream.

Snakes- serpents, spiders, scorpions, dragons, vampires etc. All represent agents of the occult.

Transportation

Vehicles (bikes, boats, aircraft, trains, buses etc.) usually symbolize ministry of some kind, life journey or destiny. The speed is also important because it defines time of getting from departure (as in right now) to the arrival (when God brings the fulfilment).

Subway – underground, unseen, sometimes it may surface for a bit then go down

again, behind the scenes, hidden

Train – a train sometimes represents training (play on words) but most forms of transportation represent ministry.

Air plane – higher spiritual elevation, rising up higher, higher level ministry OR things you are going to do in the Spirit, although rising on an eagle is a more common image for this.

Old car – older form of ministry, could even be old wine skin.

New car – could be faster, slicker (positive or negative,) cutting edge, more efficient and effective.

Truck – used for hauling things to different locations, bringing supplies back & forth.

Ocean liners – large influences over people, ministry with a large influence. The ocean represents people,nations

Other Prophetic Symbols:

Gates of hell – Satan may have access points in your life. Don’t open them.

7 trumpets of

Revelation. – 7 great messages of the Kingdom.

Balls or spheres – Often means completeness, well rounded plans or well thought out.

Walls – can be protection or walls we put up to protect ourselves from perceived

danger (they can close us in or keep out danger.)

Scene Change – Usually means transition in time, place or responsibilities.

Being up in the air – (in the dream or flying) This is the observation position. Could mean You’re not there yet, or just observing. However notice: .

In 2 Kings 5: 25-27 Elisha describes to his servant that he went with him (in the spirit) and saw that he had taken the gifts from Naaman. The Prophet Ezekiel also describes being taken up by the Spirit and being set down in other places, so He could see or make prophetic declarations for the Lord. Ezekiel 37:1, 2 and Ezekiel chapter 40.

Kitchen – Is the place of preparing food, spiritual nourishment being prepared

Cupboard, pantry – storage for things you are about to use.

Other storage places – attic, where you store things not likely to be used again but you want to keep for sentimental value or perhaps they are valuable. Other storage places are not so hard to get to for things you use, but not so often.

Tree – the cross of Jesus, or trees with fruit on them may refer to your attributes.

Prophetic people – When a prophetic person is in a dream with you it’s because you are in a training

time and he/she is a mentor.

Women – often represent churches.

Ocean – sea – people, nations.

Luggage – represents something valuable that you need. If you left it behind there is something back there unfinished that still needs done. If you’ve taken the luggage with you it’s something you’re going to do. Luggage can be very important.

Faceless people – often represent angels who represent someone or some thing. A messenger bringing a word or doing an act. Could also be the Holy Spirit. Or the nameless, faceless – His kids.

Fountains- streams, rivers – Holy Spirit

Clean water- revelatory truth

The Mt. of the Lord – where God rules from. It’s His will being done from this location. The place it radiates from.

Honey- revelation

Forest- confusion

Trees- leadership

Olive tree- anointed ministry

Almond tree – leadership, also Israel

Blooming almond tree – God’s approval (as when Aaron’s rod budded showing God’ approval of his leadership) When the almond tree is blooming in Israel,it is a time of favor that we as His Body can experience.

2nd floor – 2nd heavens

5 fingers – from thumb to little finger represents apostle,prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, in that order.

stirring up – it’s starting to happen now, not sitting but still waiting.

things coming and going – things coming in (the house for example) are coming in (birds flying into a house or packages being delivered to a house are things coming in.) things going out are leaving (such as a person, family, a ministry etc.)

As you see there are many symbols that come into dreams, visions or prophetic trances. The above are just a few examples. There are many other Prophetic Symbols that can be unique to a culture, as well. Wisdom and understanding is one of the attributes of the Holy Spirit so you can ask Him for clarity in the Prophetic Symbols that may appear in your dream, vision or trance. If you need consultation then contact me.

Horace Benedict De Saussure – The Creator of the First Solar Energy Collector

Not many people think about the origins of harnessing the energy of the sun when the battery in their iPod or cell phone begins to die. They just open the high efficiency solar cell blades on their solar battery charger and draw the free, inexhaustible energy of the sun into their solar powered electronic devices. It’s unlikely that once their electronic device is charged, that they contemplate the sun’s incredible energy; that the energy the sun provides in one minute can supply the world’s energy for one year, or that the sun can provide more energy than the world’s population could consume in 27 years. They don’t realize as they listen to their iPod on the beach, or call for a tow truck with their cell phone, that the sun, which provided the energy to charge their electronic device, has been providing this energy to the earth for the last 4 billion years.

Thankfully, being aware of these facts is not necessary in order to enjoy the benefits of solar battery chargers, or any type of solar powered electronics. Either does knowing that the journey that brought us to today’s solar energy technology began in the year 1767, with the physicist Horace Benedict de Saussure.

Due to the increased use of glass during the eighteenth century, the French-Swiss scientist Horace Benedict de Saussure became aware of the ability of glass to trap solar heat. While many of his contemporaries preferred to work with burning mirrors, which could burn objects at a distance or melt the hardest metal within seconds, de Saussure set out to determine how effectively glass heat traps could collect the energy of the sun by building the Western world’s first solar collector.

When de Saussure created what was to become the first solar oven, he had tried several designs before determining that a well-insulated box with three layers of glass to trap outgoing thermal radiation created the most heat. The highest temperature he reached was 230° F, which he found did not vary significantly when the box was carried from the top of Mt. Cramont in the Swiss Alps down to the Plains of Cournier, 4,852 feet below in altitude and 34° F above in temperature, thereby establishing that the external air temperature played no significant role in this solar heating effect.

Although not many people are aware of Horace Benedict de Suassure and his groundbreaking experiments involving solar energy collection, they certainly have him to thank for pioneering the harnessing of this environmentally friendly source of energy. This along with the development of the earliest version of the solar oven, which is still the most energy efficient, and pollution-reducing oven in use today has demonstrated the benefits of harnessing this benign source of energy. Without the experiments of Horace Benedict de Suassure they may have never been the creation of the photovoltaic cell at Bell Laboratories in 1954, or the development of the solar chargers, solar battery chargers, or solar powered electronics that we use today.

Polaris RZR Performance – Gain 10 Mph For Free

An increasingly popular modification RZR owners are doing is removing the plastic spacer that is on the crank shaft in the drive clutch assembly. This can increase your to RZR’s top speed by as much as 10 mph.

The RZR’s transmission is a pulley based constant velocity transmission (PVT) that consists of 3 major assemblies, the drive clutch, the driven clutch, and the drive belt. The drive clutch and the driven clutch both consist of two conical shaped pulley halves, called sheaves. The transmission operates by sensing centrifugal force that cause shift weights to push against rollers that push the movable sheave closer to the other sheave to pinch the drive belt. The closer the two sheaves are pushed together the further out the belt is pushed.

Removal of this spacer allows the two sheaves to come completely together where the belt would move out to the largest diameter on the sheaves. We have found this will increase your RZR’s top speed anywhere from 5-10 mph. Some will say this is going against the original design of the transmission, but we speculate that it was designed without the spacer and was added on later as an easy way to limit the RZR’s top speed for liability reasons. We have heard some arguments that removal of this spacer will decrease the life of your drive belts, but we have yet to have any issues. A proper break in period at lower speeds for the first 100 miles on a new RZR or after a new belt is installed is highly recommended to ensure a longer belt life.

Removal of the plastic limiting spacer is a simple process that requires a clutch compression tool that can be purchased through your local Polaris dealer (part # 8700220)

1. Remove driver and passenger seats.

2. Remove panel that is behind the seats to gain access to the outer clutch cover.

3. Remove the push rivets and fasteners holding the rear seat base and remove from vehicle.

4. With a screw driver loosen the clamp that holds the clutch outlet duct to the clutch cover and slide it off.

5. Remove outer clutch cover screws and remove clutch cover.

6. Remove drive clutch assembly by removing the clutch retaining bolt that threads into the crank shaft. (Facing the rear of the vehicle the drive clutch is the clutch assembly on the left) To remove the clutch retaining bolt you will need to secure the drive clutch assembly, aka the spider cage to keep it from spinning. A wooden hammer handle slipped into the spider cage works well for this. The clutch assembly is pressed onto the crank shaft and can be fairly easy to knock loose by tapping on it with a rubber hammer. (This is where the factory service manual would tell you to use a drive clutch puller, which you can order through your local dealer, part # PA-48595)

7. Once the drive clutch assembly is removed take it to a work bench where you can install a spring compression tool. Once it is clamped down you can loosen the 6 3/8″ bolts that hold the clutch cover plate on. Once bolts are removed you can then loosen the spring compression tool unloading the clutch spring and then remove the cover plate. Before removing the cover plate use a sharpie to mark where it is aligned with the drive clutch assembly. They need to be bolted back together the same way because it is the way they were balanced from the factory.

8. After the cover plate has been removed you can slide the main clutch spring off and then remove the plastic spacer that sat inside it.

9. With the plastic spacer now removed slide the clutch spring back on then with the clutch spring tool compress the assembly back together until you can get the 3/8″ bolts started. Tighten them the rest of the way torqued to 20 ft pounds.

10. Reinstall sheave assembly by sliding it back onto the crank shaft, then re install the clutch retaining bolt that threads into the crank shaft. Be sure you have the lock washer, thick washer and the plastic collar on the way they came off making sure the plastic collar centers in the clutch shaft as you tighten. This bolt needs to be torqued to 40 foot pounds.

Moon Salutation and Its Benefits in Yoga

Sun salutations are a key part of yoga that all yogis are aware of and most practice as well. Chandra Namaskara or moon salutation is another sequence of asanas that are practiced under certain types of yoga. This sequence consists of a series of ten different poses, which start with the mountain pose and lead the practitioner through a number of postures to complete a salutation. There are a few variations of the Chandra Namaskara series, but most of them focus on the different phases of the moon for inspiration of the cycle. These vinyasa style yoga sessions are often times supposed to counteract the impact of the Surya Namaskara.

Asanas for Chandra Namaskara:

The most commonly practiced moon salutation sequence consists of a string of the following postures:

Mountain Pose

Raised Arms Pose

Standing Forward bend

Lunge Pose

Downward facing Dog Pose

Plank Pose

A combination of Ashtanga Namaskara and Cobra Pose

Repetition of the first five Asanas in reverse order: beginning with Downward Facing Dog and ending with Mountain Pose.

There are a number of other variations that have evolved based on the gurus that teach them. Each is designed to cater to the different needs of the yogi who practices it.

Benefits of Moon Salutation:

Yoga as a whole leads to numerous benefits for the avid practitioner. When broken down in terms of asana or series advantages, then it becomes apparent that there is no part that is fruitless. There are health as well as fitness gains that can be accomplished from the practice of moon salutation as a standard part of the yoga. A few of these are listed:

  • It is very helpful in channeling the lunar energy and inducing relaxing and creative traits
  • It stretches and relaxes the spine, pelvic area, hips, knees, ankles and the abdominal muscles.
  • The root chakra is opened with these exercises.
  • Toxins are removed and blood circulation is improved along with maximizing the oxygen intake for better blood flow.
  • Improved circulation provides a sense of well being and promotes a healthier self.
  • Relaxes the mind and body and allows centering of the focus on the inner self.

The benefits are not limited to these, in fact as the moon salutations are performed at night, one of its most important advantages is that it proves to be great relaxer and sleep inducer. People suffering from insomnia in particular can reap the benefits of Chandra Namaskara, as it removes the stress and soothes the mind and body for a long night of peace and rest.

Although the benefits are numerous, at the same time caution needs to be taken when practicing moon salutations as well. As the series mostly involves a combination of standing and back bending postures, it is not suitable for people suffering from asthma or other breathing and lung problems. In addition, patients of heart problems should consult their medical practitioners before starting these salutations, or streamline them according to their health limitations. The Chandra Namaskara should entail comfortable and relaxing postures and not in any way be the cause of stress or strain.

Pension Plans and 401ks – What Are Their Pros and Cons?

Although most employees may be unaware of it, there are several different forms of employee compensation that are geared towards retirement. The two most common examples are traditional pension plans and 401ks. Each of these is an example of a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan, respectively. However, each type of plan is different so it pays to know the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Advantages of Defined Contribution Plans (401ks)

1. Employees have more control over investing options as they get to choose which assets to have their plan’s funds invested in.

2. Greater portability with funds in the plan. These funds can easily be transferred into an IRA or another retirement account.

3. Employees can actually make their own contributions out of their salary to the plan allowing for potentially greater funds to be invested.

4. Many plans allow you to make early withdrawals or borrow funds which most defined benefit plans do not allow. In fact, most defined benefit plans will not allow you to get to funds until your retirement age. This is even if you retire early in most cases.

Disadvantages of Defined Contribution Plans (401ks)

1. Trend of reduced investing options for plan. More companies are scaling back the investing options for employees. This can make it more difficultly to diversify funds or invest in the best performing asset classes.

2. Employers can reduce the percentage amount of contributions and other terms. This means you can lose the “free money” contributions if employers decide to change the plans.

3. Does not offer guaranteed money at retirement. Offers a greater risk because funds are not protected by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the funds are largely dependent on the positive growth and performance of the stock market. In troubled times like the present, this means you can see drastic drops in the value of people’s 401k plans.

Advantages of Defined Benefit Plans (Pensions)

1. Guaranteed money at retirement. This is the single biggest advantage of these pension plans because this money is promised by the employer and is guaranteed by the Federal Government.

2. No fear of making the wrong investment decisions. The high risk/reward benefit of a 401k plan can also be a disadvantage depending on how much time the employee wants to spend reviewing their account and dealing with the higher level of risk.

3. Do not have to put any of your salary towards the plan. The money is normally only provided by the employer so you keep more take home pay.

Disadvantages of Defined Benefit Plans (Pensions) 

1. Reduced opportunity to score big. By preventing you from selecting investment options, the potential is there that you could miss out on a higher retirement payout.

2. Funds are held till retirement age. It is very difficult to get funds prior to your retirement age. This can be very frustrating if the need arises for funds prior to your retirement. 

3. Limited Availability. It can be harder and harder to find traditional pension plans since more employers do not like having to promise to pay this guaranteed money. 

By looking at the different pros and cons of pension plans and 401ks, you can see that they both offer certain advantages and disadvantages. If you have the option of selecting one or the other, you should review this list to help you decide which plan will be in your best interest. 

Stainless Pipe Clamps Along With an Amazing Tripod Vise

Pipe clamps for fitting and aligning stainless steel pipe and fittings are pretty much all the same. Right?

Wrong. One company offers truly innovative pipe clamps along with the most efficient tripod vise I have ever seen for fitting and welding stainless steel pipe.

The old school Red Tripod Vises we have all used for years are okay for screw pipe but for tack welding fittings on pipe, they are pretty much awkward at best. I mean how exactly are you supposed to hold a 90 elbow with one hand, a tig torch in the other hand, and a filler rod in the other hand?

That’s three hands! Count em Sonny Jim.

Instead of a chain vise with jaws that can dig into polished stainless pipe, This innovative “Tripod Vise” offered by TechSouth Inc. features a clamping tool actually designed for fitting together stainless pipe and fittings with jaw marks and without contamination from iron particles that can cause rust to show up later.

And one person only has two hands. Right? But two hands are more than enough for one person to fit, tack, and weld stainless steel pipe with this unique tripod vise. Its actually called the “Clark Quick Switch – Industrial Folding Platform.”

The term “tripod vise” simply does not do it justice. It is in a class by itself.

Of course this tripod vise will work with any material type but since it is made from materials that won’t contaminate stainless steel pipe and fittings with iron particles.

TechSouth Inc. also offers many other innovative products for welding and fitting and welding of stainless steel tubing and pipe.

Three Ways Mindflex The Game Improves Mind Power

Mindflex the game is not just a fun toy (though it IS fun!). It’s also the most affordable way to boost mind power you can find.

Most people-kids and adults, don’t know the true power of their minds. They watch sci fi and fantasy movies and wish they could bend spoons or move objects, but they don’t think it’s really possible.

Mindflex proves, in a fun, hands-on… or rather mind-on… way that everyone can do amazing things with their minds.

Here are three ways this game can increase mind power:

1. Mindflex is a game that uses the players’ brain waves to increase or decrease and direct a flow of air that in turn moves a ball through a course that the player sets up. In order to get the ball to go where you want it to go, you must develop the ability to focus on one thing and forget anything else. Focus is a powerful form of mind power.

2. In order to play the various aspects of Mindflex, you must bring all your attention into the present. The game increases your ability to be in the NOW, which boosts creative thinking. It also helps with decision making.

3. Practicing the kind of concentration needed for Mindflex increases frontal lobe activity, which has been shown to decrease impulsive behaviors. So Mindflex helps the user have more control over thought and action. Children with ADHD benefit tremendously from developing this type of mind power. So do autistic children. Adults can benefit as well-impulse control helps with addictive behaviors.

People pay hundreds of dollars for biofeedback and spend hundreds of hours learning meditation to get the same benefits you can get from playing the Mindflex game. And for about the cost of a mediocre dinner out for two, it’s the best self improvement AND toy bargain around.

Mindflex the game is appropriate for children eight years old and up. Kids love the game because the ability to move something with their minds feels like magic to them (they don’t even know they’re building their brain power while they’re doing it).

As an adult who has spent lots of money on self development, I’m thrilled to have found a fun way to improve my mind power. I’ll be giving this game as a gift to many of my friends and family for the holidays this year. Shh. Don’t tell.

How And Why Do Most Affairs End?

I often have two different sets of people asking me this question. Sometimes, people whose spouses are having an affair want to know why and how affairs end so that they can attempt to make the affair end sooner. Other times, I hear from the people involved in the affair. They don’t want it to end so they are looking for common pitfalls in the hopes that they can avoid them. Much of the time, one party is hoping that the affair ends (and is looking for a way to help this process happen more quickly) while the other is hoping that it never ends. In the following article, I’ll tell you some of the most common reasons that I see affairs end.

The Affair Will Commonly Fizzle Out As The “Newness” And Excitement Wears Off: There’s no question that, to many, part of the appeal of the affair is the fact that it’s taboo and forbidden. There can be an excitement that comes with a new and secret relationship. But as the early days give way to old ones, this sense of newness quickly wears off and gives way to the familiar. And when this happens, a lot of that excitement goes with it. When this happens, the affair / relationship will often just die a natural death or fizzle out. Because it’s often not real or genuine feelings and emotions that are holding these two together. It’s a facade that fades.

Sometimes, The Guilt Becomes So Overwhelming That One Party Chooses To End The Affair: It’s also not uncommon for one person to end the affair out of guilt. There’s a stereotype that people who have affairs are unfeeling and don’t care about their spouse anymore. This isn’t always the case. Many do feel guilt and some even end the affair because of those same guilt feelings. Although the person on the other side of the affair will often hope or think that the person with whom they are cheating has distanced himself from his family or is no longer as invested as he once was, this sometimes proves to be not the case.

Sometimes The Faithful Spouse Finds Out About The Affair And A Choice Must Be Made: It’s not at all uncommon for the faithful spouse to learn about the affair (and sometimes the unfaithful spouse will confess to this themselves.) When this happens, the faithful spouse will often issue an ultimatum and demand that a choice be made. And it’s not at all uncommon for the cheating spouse to end the affair in a response to that ultimatum because they decide that their spouse is more important to them than the other person.

An Affair Can End Because One Or Both People Involved In It Realize That The Relationship Just Isn’t Working Anymore Or Was Built Upon Misconceptions: It’s also not uncommon for one or both people in the relationship to evaluate it and decide that it isn’t working anymore or just isn’t what they thought or hoped it would be. Often in the beginning, they can build the other person up to be something who he or she is not. After all, if you’re going to risk your marriage and your family to participate in infidelity, that other person must be awful special. But, after a while, it becomes easier to see them for who they really are or aren’t. And when this happens, you can realize that the other person (or the relationship) just isn’t worth the risk or the personal costs.

When Reality Sets In, The Rose Colored Glasses Can Come Off: In the beginning of an affair, both people are usually on their best behavior and are working very hard to make each encounter exciting and memorable. Usually at least one person is investing a lot into the relationship. But this can only last or be maintained for so long. Eventually, she might see or have to pick up his dirty socks. Her lack of character might start to annoy him and the list goes on and on. The point is, eventually, the relationship behind the affair becomes like any other relationship – warts and all. And it can become fairly obvious that if the affair is going to have all of the usual problems of a marriage or other long term relationship, then what’s the point?

The End To An Affair Can Come Very Abruptly Or Quite Gradually: Sometimes when people think of an affair ending, they picture a very dramatic breakdown. I’ve had people tell me that they sat on the phone while their spouse called the other person and instantly ended the affair. I’ve heard of nasty face to face confrontations and threats to never ever have any contact again. But an affair doesn’t always end with a bang. It can also end with a gradual whimper where one person quietly breaks it off or the interactions or meetings just become less and less frequent until they eventually end altogether.

No matter how and why affairs end, most do end eventually. Statistics show that very few relationships that start as an affair end up in marriage – much less a marriage that actually lasts. There’s an exception to every rule, of course. But for the most part, an affair does not have a high chance of working out or ending well. That’s why it can be advisable to never start one in the first place.

Don’t Drink Tap Water – 10 Reasons Why Not to Drink Tap Water

If you and your family drink tap water often, then this article is going to be an eye-opener. Are you aware of all the potential dangers you expose yourself to when drinking municipal tap water? Here’s 10 reasons why you should NEVER drink tap water again:

1. Roughly 10% of all the water we drink has been used before; there’s no such thing as NEW tap water!

2. Municipal water plants use chlorine to disinfect water during the treatment process. And when it eventually gets to your home, it still contains high levels of chlorine and chlorine byproducts (THMs). In fact, EPA guidelines allow up to 4 parts per million (ppm) of chlorine to be used in the disinfection of public water supplies; a standard pool kit states that using more than 3ppm of chlorine is not even safe to swim in!

3. “Cancer risk among people that drink tap water with chlorine is as much as 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine” – U.S. Council of Environmental Quality

4. It’s been determined by the Ralph Nader Research Group that U.S. drinking water contains more than 2,100 toxic chemicals that can cause cancer. Water utilities only test for about 75 of them.

5. Over 90% of all U.S. water systems contain traces of at least 10 synthetic chemicals and lead.

6. “Lead is the #1 environmental health threat to our children.” – U.S. EPA

7. The EPA estimates that over 98% of all homes have fixtures, pipes, or solder joints in household plumbing that can leave trace amounts of lead in tap water. Even low levels of lead can cause reduced IQ levels, learning disabilities, and behavioral problems such as hypertension and attention span disorders in children.

8. When you drink tap water, without using an effective and reliable filtration system, you’re forcing your kidneys and liver to filter out all the iron, chlorine, synthetic chemicals, and other contaminants.

9. Researchers from the U.S. EPA and the National Geological Survey have found antibiotics, birth control drugs, anti-depressants, and even caffeine in many water samples from across the country.

10. Seeing that only about 1% of the water supplied to our homes is used for consumption, it’s not even logical for municipal plants to completely filter all the water that goes through it. The only logical solution is to install point-of-use water filters at home so you can be assured that all the harmful chemicals, lead, chlorine, and other harmful substances are taken out.

Mini Lights – A Pocket Sized Volt-Ohm Meter (Multimeter) Helps to Test and Repair Them

Multimeter. The multimeter needed to do these tests is an inexpensive ($10) handheld analog one having a needle-deflection readout, and run by an AA-battery. Although multimeters can make several electronic measurements, the only two needed here will be the 150-VAC (volts alternating current) and the resistance (ohms) ones. Otherwise, the multimeter is kept in the off setting to save its battery.

For mini-lights, a multimeter can be used to test the following issues.

  1. The circuitry/power voltage (120-VAC) while plugged into an outlet. These two wires work independently from the bulb wire attached to them in a three-wire string.
  2. The continuity of the two 3-amp buss fuses in the male plug if the circuitry was not working when tested while plugged in.
  3. The continuity and possible damage of of each circuitry wire (hot & cold) if the circuitry was not working when tested.
  4. The continuity of individual bulbs (i.e., checking for non-working filaments and bypass shunts, and for slightly corroded lead wires).

Safety. Since 120-volts of electricity pass through most mini-light strings, basic safety and correct procedures are paramount in testing them. Persons who know nothing about electricity, nor how-to-use a multimeter, should at least read-up on these subjects. Better yet, get professional hands-on training on them. Otherwise, the string and multimeter could be damaged, not to mention the tester him or herself.

Step 1. Test the circuitry. Plug the non-working string into a working outlet. Set the multimeter to150-VAC. Insert each one of the two multimeter probes into one each female-plug sockets. (Most mini-light plugs are two prong.) The readout should be about 120-VAC, which means the circuitry and its fuses are okay. If no reading occurs, double-check the probe contacts in the female plug. If still no reading, unplug the string, and do the next step.

Step 2. Test the fuses for continuity (unplugged). Slide open the panel door on the male plug. Set the multimeter to a moderate resistance setting (inexpensive multimeters will have only one setting). Touch its probes together. The reading should go to zero, i.e., the needle will defect to zero.

Then, touch each multimeter probe to each end of one fuse simultaneously. If the deflection reading is zero for each fuse, they are okay. If not, replace the ones not having continuity; they can be found in hardware stores. It might be easier to do this test by removing the fuses first, and then testing each one outside the male plug.

Step 3. Test the two circuitry wires for continuity (unplugged). If the fuses are okay at this point, insert one multimeter probe (still set to resistance) into one of the female plug sockets while the string is still unplugged. Touch the other probe to one of the male plug-in leads at the other end of the string. If no reading occurs, touch the other male lead instead. One of these two male leads should yield a zero reading for a good (continuous, unbroken) wire at this time. Perform the same test from the second female-plug socket for the second circuitry wire.

If both wires do not give a zero continuity reading, something is wrong with both circuit/power wires. Visually check these wires for damage. Repair any damage, if found, and retest them. If the circuit wires now show continuity, and the bulbs are still out, move to the next step.

Step 4. Test the individual bulbs for continuity (unplugged). Because the bulbs and their base attachments must be removed from their sockets for this test, this process is much slower than by examining them with a magnifier and background light. Still, surprisingly, a few bulbs that look okay with the magnifier might not test okay with the multimeter.

Thus, the multimeter’s probes must make good contact with each of the bulb’s lead wires for a successful test. This kind of contact can be assured by scratching the bulb’s wire leads with a sharp-edged tool until shiny before testing them. Replace any bulbs testing bad (no continuity).

Conclusion. Experts indicate the lifetime of the incandescent mini-light bulb is 3-to-5 years, depending on its amount of usage. After maintaining these light strings for that length of time, it is time to get new strings. If the same kind are purchased, the old ones can be used for spare parts and bulbs. Yet, the LED (light-emitting diode) strings might be a good option to consider at this point. They last longer than the incandescent ones, and they use up to 10-times less electricity.

To learn more about multimeters and how to use them, see the following sites.

Free Restaurant Forms and Checklists – Facts That Will Help You

Free restaurant forms and checklists play a very important role in a restaurant’s business.You need to keep in mind that we are living in an era where there is so much of information overload. However, it is important to use our discretion to differentiate between the useful and useless, satisfactory and unsatisfactory, required and not required information. These important documents help us achieve this with ease. These contain most of the information that is required for the smooth running of a restaurant business – be it opening and closing procedures, responsibilities of the crew members, inventory levels to be maintained during the peak and non-peak hours, attendance and salary details of staff and the like.

Apart from covering the daily operating procedures, these forms and checklists also contain information that outlines the rules to be followed by the management on an overall level. These documents need to be prepared, keeping in mind three basic things – information presented in those, the overall quality of the forms and the conceptual idea behind the same.

The differences between free restaurant forms and checklists

There is also a significant difference between these two. While forms largely perform the role of informing the management on the do’s and don’ts to be followed, employee hiring and termination policies, salary details, opening and closing procedures, checklists are more targeted towards the employees. These checklists have a list of tasks that people need to do, largely on a daily basis. For example, a checklist would contain details on the restaurant opening and closing, stocks to be maintained, specific responsibilities of the shift workers, what the cleaners need to do during the shift etc.

Free does not mean less quality

There is a misnomer that free forms do not actually serve the purpose that they are intended for. The truth of the matter however is that these important documents are valuable for those who deem it necessary, while it may be just a piece of junk for the ones that don’t. It also boils down to the fact if these forms whether they are free or not, will help you. You also need to consider the reputation and the professionalism of the company or website from where you are getting these from.

In conclusion, it is a calculated decision whether to use a free restaurant forms and checklists that are readily available or to go with one that needs to be customized to your business.

How to Put an Army Promotion Packet Together

Your unit will announce when they’re considering promotion board packets. They’ll send correspondence to their subordinate units. This correspondence will outline what they expect the packet to look like. In many cases, they’ll ask for the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” on the folder’s left. They’ll ask for Tab’s A through E on the folder’s right.

What you’ll need:

Before you start, make sure that you have the following: Two-hole-punch; a manila folder, two sheets, tabbed, with metal clasps centered at the top on each side; cut-out single manila folder sheets to separate the different tabs; tab labels; and your promotion packet parts.

Your unit should have the manila folder with clasps centered on the top. All you need is one that opens up, two sheets only. You could purchase the plastic tabs at a store that sells office supplies. These usually come with instructions on how to produce the labels on Microsoft Word. You’ll have to access a website to download the template.

Make copies of your packet items, both hardcopy and digital.

Make sure that you make copies of your packet, both hard copy and electronic. Scan every item in your promotion packet. Save these in a folder on your computer, then save that folder to multiple computers, multiple saving devices, and personal storage accounts on the Internet.

Here’s how it’s supposed to work.

Before moving on, here’s a breakdown of the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” tab system.

Your Army promotion packet will have the items from Section B of the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” form. You’ll see three columns titled; Initials, Tab, and Description/Instructions. The first two blank spaces under the “Tab” column are for items that will be at the top of the right side of your packet. They don’t have their own tab label.

When the reviewer opens your packet, he or she will see the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” form on the left side. They’ll see your promotion point computation worksheet (SGT/SSG promotion) on the right. This is the DA Form 3355. If you’re writing a letter to the President of the Board, this’ll be under your promotion points computation sheet.

Under your promotion points worksheet, the reviewer will see a bunch of “tabs” to the side. These tabs are named after the tab number, or letter, that you’ll find under the tab column. Each tab will be labeled as follows: A, B, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, B-6, B-7, C, D, and E.

When the reviewer holds the tab-label holding “B” and lifts the attached single manila folder sheet that it’s attached to, he’ll see your DA Forms 2A and 2-1. When he lifts the B-1 tab, and attached folder, he’ll see your PT card. This concept applies throughout the Army promotion packet. Use the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” sheet as a guide.

How to put the packet together:

Place the “Promotion Packet Composition, Elections and Preferences” on the left side. Apply the two-hole punch, then put it on the clasps on the left.

Have several single sheets of manila folder sides ready. Start at “E,” this is your “Tab E.” As of this writing, it includes military awards, decorations, and letters/certificates of commendation appreciation or achievement.

Align the two-hole punch to the metal tabs, then adjust the metal measuring device. You don’t want your copies to fold when you close your promotion folder. After placing copies of your awards documentation, take the first manila folder sheet. Use the same two-hole-punch principles that you did before. Place that manila sheet over your awards documentation.

Turn to the items that go into section “D,” your “Tab D.” As of this writing, this tab contains your military reports, like DA Form 1059, and other evidence of military education. Make sure you include the DA 1059 from your latest NCOES course. Include all of your DA Form 1059s in this section. Apply the two-hole punch using the same principles that you applied when working with section E (Tab E). When you get all the documents in, apply the two-hole punch on the single manila folder sheet. Put that on top of your section “D” items.

Repeat this process for the remainder of the packet. Each tab gets its own section. When you’re done, the tabs, on the right, will be in the order they show up under the “tab” column.

Attach the tab-labels, to the single manila folder sheets, after you put the packet together.

You could either type, or hand print, the tab-labels. Since you want your work to stand out, you want to type those labels. Read the directions for the size of the tabs that you purchase. They’ll provide you with instructions on how you could download a ready made tab sheet. Type the above tab labels into the blocks, then save. Print these tab labels out. Cut them out and slide them into their respective tabs… one by one.

Once you get done, do a final look through. Go through every item in every section of the promotion packet. Make sure that you signed everything that you’re supposed to sign. Once you’re complete, submit it to your first line leader. Make sure you’re available to make corrections.

Some helpful tips.

1. Take your professional counseling sessions, formal and informal, seriously. Promotions are earned. Even if you’re in the primary zone for promotion, your leadership doesn’t have to recommend you. If you’re not ready for promotion, they’ll provide you with a counseling statement explaining why.

2. Strive to perform at the capacity expected at the next higher rank. Never stop learning your MOS. Always build on the MOS knowledge that you already have.

3. Start building your promotion packet early, before you’re eligible for promotion. Update it as soon as you gain more promotion points. Sometimes, promotion boards are announced at times where you wouldn’t have enough time to put a promotion packet together.

4. Max out on your APFT and your weapon qualification scores. Do additional PT in addition to morning PT. Civilian gun ranges offer opportunities to improve your marksmanship between Army range visits.

5. Army correspondence courses are the easiest points to get. If you’re not doing Army correspondence courses, you’re denying yourself easy promotion points.

6. Obtain a copy of the “Course Promotion Point Eligibility” document. This document lists courses that qualify for promotion points. Try to get registered for the courses that offer promotion points.

7. Take on-line college courses if your training schedule allows you enough time.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Drinking Tulsi Tea

Tulsi tea is a kind of Indian herb. For some people, it is known as Holy Basil. In Hindi, the word “tulsi” means nothing is comparable to it. This is because of its credible panacea reputation or its ability to remedy almost all kinds of illnesses. Hindus also believed that it is a sacred plant due to its ability to relieve stress and give a certain feeling of enlightenment or illumination. Tulsi comes in two varieties, red and green. Both the red and green tulsi give off a warm and aromatic effect. It is not only popular for medicinal purposes but also for cooking as well. Tulsi tea is also a famous seasoning in Indian and Thai cuisine. Today, tulsi is becoming more and more popular especially in the west because of its many health benefits.

Advantages

1.Stress Reliever – Tulsi tea is used as an adaptogen or a metabolic regulator which enhances the body’s ability to adapt to different environmental factors and prevent damage caused from such factors. These include external factors like injury or aging and internal factors such as anxiety or stress. For instance, tulsi is believed to help regulate high blood pressure caused by the adrenaline response related to noise stress. Furthermore, it also curbs the central nervous system which in effect alleviates depression and other nervous related disorders.

2.Remedy to Diabetes – In a study done in 1996 by Dr. Pragya Agarwal, tulsi tea lowers blood sugar. This research had shown that compared to the placebo population, the participants who were administered with tulsi tea dropped more than 18 percent of their blood glucose levels.

3.Modulates the Immune System – Tulsi tea has been proven to strengthen the immune system which improves its ability to fight many disease-causing agents like viruses, bacteria and allergens. By so doing, your over all health is well-maintainedand protected from almost all types of diseases.

4.Rich Source of Antioxidants – Antioxidants help slow down your body’s excess oxidation process and guard the cells from free radicals. In addition, studies show that the anti-oxidants found in tulsi tea enhance memory function, promote heart health, slow down signs of aging and promote a healthy vision.

Disadvantages

Although tulsi tea has numerous benefits, it also has some side effects. It is advisable to become aware of these side-effects before you drink up a cup of tulsi tea. Here are some of its few disadvantages.

1.Anticoagulant/Blood Thinner – For some people this effect may be desirable but for others it is not. For people who suffer from blood vessel or heart disease and inadequate brain blood flow, doctors recommend taking blood thinners. Taking tulsitea while under a blood thinning medication may induce cumulative effects which can cause more harm than good.

2. Chromium Contamination – Tulsi herbs have high chromium tolerance and can reach a certain concentration which is toxic to humans.

3. Possible Risks During Pregnancy – There is confusing information regarding the safety of tulsi intake during pregnancy. There are some people who claim that it is safe while others advice pregnant women to be more cautious. Furthermore, the anticoagulant properties of tulsi should be considered after pregnancy.