Travertine Shower Installation

Popular during the Roman Empire, travertine tiles are cut from quarried stone blocks with massive diamond-blade saws. Travertine is a sedimentary rock that is easy to work with. It is a lightweight rock that doesn’t require a lot of support, making it a superior option for walls and showers. This stone is durable, so it is easy to install on the walls and floor of your shower. You will need to maintain your tile regularly with a water and oil repellent sealer so it keeps its color and luster.


1. Remove any tile and grout on the walls and shower floor using a chisel. The area needs to be clean.

2. Have a plumber install all of the piping and drain, including the lower flange, if the shower is not already there.

3. Make sure your shower pan is solid and sturdy. If you are installing a new shower pan, check the plywood subfloor to ensure it is sturdy.

4. Create a slope using latex-modified mortar or concrete. Slope your floor 1/4 inch per foot of shower space. Slope it toward the drain. Use a trowel to install and slope the mortar. Let the mortar dry completely. This layer will be 1/4 to 1 inch deep, depending on the size of the shower.

5. Cut a piece of roofing asphalt paper and place it over the concrete bed.

6. Cut a hole in the flexible waterproof membrane in the area where the drain is located. Cut the hole large enough so that it will not interfere with the draining of the shower, but not too large so the subfloor shows through. Secure the liner to the drain using adhesive silicone caulk on both sides of the liner. Spread the liner out so it runs 6 inches up each wall and over the front of the threshold. Nail the liner about 1/2 inch from the top to the studs. Nail in the perimeter of the liner, and fold the corners over so they do not buckle. Leave enough liner so that it fits properly into the corners of the shower pan.

7. Install the top of the drain.

8. Install cement backing boards to the wall all the way down to the shower pan. Leave a gap of 1 to 2 inches above the bottom of the shower pan. Use the appropriate masonry screws and a drill to install the board. Butt the edges up against each other.

9. Remove all dirt and dust from the shower walls and floor. Start with a clean surface so the tiles stick properly. Also, make sure your tiles are clean.

10. Mix your thinset according to package instructions. Use thinset on all corners in the cement board. Add a second 2-to-3-inch layer of concrete. Insert pea-size gravel around the drain, so the concrete won’t clog the drain. Insert a sheet of chicken wire, half after you have poured 1 to 1 1/2 inches of concrete and then cover with another 1 to 1 1/2 inch of concrete. Now you have a stable base. Add a piece of 2-by-4 board to create a form on the threshold. Wrap the chicken wire over the threshold and pour the concrete.

11. Measure the wall, allowing for a floor tile, one set of wall tiles and the spacers in between. Use your tile and spacers to determine the exact measurement. Make a line around the shower at this level, and make sure the line is level.

12. Install the wall tiles, starting with the second row. Apply the thinset mortar using a notched trowel, and set the tiles in place, squishing them onto the wall so they are secure in the thinset. Insert spacers between each tile. Work your way from the second row up to the top of the shower. Use nippers or a tile saw to cut the tiles around the plumbing.

13. Install the floor tiles and first row of wall tiles next the notched trowel. This prevents you from walking on the tiles you just installed. Go from the outside of the shower pan in and from the back wall out. If you have to use partial tiles, determine how they fit best in your shower install before beginning to tile the floor. Start in the center of the back and install the back floor tiles, followed by the back wall tiles. Then move forward on each side. Then install the remainder of the floor, nipping the tiles to fit around the drain. Let the tiles sit for at least 24 hours.

14. Apply the grout using a rubber float. Make sure all of the joints are full, and sweep the grout at a 45 degree angle from the joints. Remove excess grout with a big sponge and lukewarm water. Let the grout dry for at least 24 hours.

15. Seal the tiles. Wait at least 21 days after the shower has been grouted before you seal it. Apply the sealer with an old cloth and remove any excess. Seal the entire travertine tile to prevent discoloration and maintain the tile’s natural shine.

Tips & Warnings

Wipe dirt, stains and spills from your tiles as soon as possible so they maintain their texture and color. Keep dirt and sand out of your shower to prevent scratching. Polish your travertine tiles to increase sheeting.

Avoid using vinegar or acidic cleaners on travertine because they will discolor the stone.

A Great Painter Resource

One of the easiest ways to spruce up your space is with color. Whether you want to tone down your space and make it a bit more tranquil or mellow for business purposes, a  painter  can help you find the right shades to create the mood you desire. And even if you want to foster a creative or recreational lounge environment, then the bright, inspiring shades are the right choices for your project. You can pick paint, but can you apply it in a way that will create the texture, pattern or focal point that you’ve been wanting? And do you have the time, the team or the energy these days?

A professional  painter  is a useful resource when approaching a large project such as a move in or an interior or exterior design overhaul. When it comes to moving in, the model home or the way that they house was presented either had some very taste specific paint applications or just plain beige.

You have your own ideas of how you would like your open concept kitchen, dining and living areas to blend but not in the exact same tone. You also have ideas about the nice relaxing master suite that you’ve been looking forward to for years. You know that furniture and fixtures can only do so much; therefore a nice soothing tone that matches your new tile will help create that ambiance.

But maybe you are simply looking to change a couple of rooms for your interior design changes. A brighter tone, stripes, geometric shapes or a feature wall of color can help to create the look and feel that you believe will brighten and expand the space. A professional  painter  alongside your designer can give you tips on how paint application can help a room see its full potential with making a smaller room look bigger by accenting the ceiling height or carefully selecting the color for just the right accent wall to help catch the light.

They can even help an awkwardly shaped room receive some purpose by breaking up the space for specific purposes such as a den and a dining area in one long room. Or, you may be interested in sprucing up your exterior and because of the heights and awkward shape of the home, you just don’t think your ladder and balance is going to get it done, so you call in the professionals. A  painter  will come equipped with the tools and techniques to create the applications and textures that you desire for any given space and any given look that you envision for your home, whether it’s an office or a recreation room.

World Famous Chandeliers

Traditionally used to explicitly express to visitors wealth and social status, the  chandelier  has long been a feature only found in Palaces and Grand Halls of Mansions of the rich and Famous. More recently  chandeliers  have been re-invented in many different styles and designs to add a touch of elegance and a decorative focal point to the most modest of homes.

The most ancient  chandeliers  were used in medieval times and consisted of a very simple wooden cross design incorporating candles. Some of the most famous  chandeliers  arose in the 15th Century, when they were used purely as a symbol of luxury and status and were far less practical. Primarily based on a crown or ring design, only the wealthiest of the upper class could afford such extravagant lighting systems. As technology improved, so did the  chandelier  encompassing gas in the 19th century and later electricity. The use of crystal became increasingly popular due to its light refracting properties and spurred the creation of some exquisite ornaments.

The world’s largest  chandelier  is believed to be the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Oman. The  chandelier  is made entirely of gold plated metal and is covered in Swarovski crystal and weighs nearly 8.5 tons. It hangs 14 metres from the ceiling and is the focal point of the Minaret. However, the Kocatepe Mosque in Turkey argues they hold the largest  chandelier , which is 5.5 metres in diameter and incorporates 32 side lights and 4 corner lights. It is also made of gold plating and smaller crystal balls connected with chains form the central giant spherical structure.

The  chandelier  housed in the Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, is the most famous addition to the largest collection of Bohemian crystal  chandeliers  in the world. The gift from Queen Victoria in 1800’s to the Ottoman Empire, possesses 750 lamps and weighs 4.5 tons.

Other famous  chandeliers  include the grand  chandelier  in the Blue Room (reception room) of the White House and the one Elvis imported into his Graceland Estate made from Italian cut glass, which still resides in the grand dining room. But almost certainly the most famous  chandelier  in the world is the one from the Phantom of the Opera which, in one historical scene, is crashed by the Phantom.

However more recently, available in almost every material and a variety of styles,  chandeliers  have become quite fashionable. Designs, such as the popular chrome  chandelier , have moved away from its luxurious predecessors to integrate a more contemporary practical style suitable for every home.

Put Down That Spade: Don’t Dig An Inch Till You Know When To Plant Roses

There is no putting it off, if you want to know when to plant roses, then the answer is as soon as possible. Whether you are planting for the first time or transplanting you do not want your roses out of the ground any longer than they have to be. This doesn’t mean plant them right after New Year’s Day, just as early as you can without risking a frost.

If you do plant them and incur a frost you will want to cover your roses, mound soil over the base of the plant; build the soil up at least six inches above the bud union. If it gets really cold you may want to wrap burlap or ‘frost threatens’ around the plant to protect it from freezing winds. It also doesn’t mean just run down the local market and grab any rose to stick in the ground.

With careful planning you shouldn’t run into any situation like the one above where you have to scramble to save the rose bush. So take a little time to do some research and find the rose that is the rose for you. Let me detail a few critical dynamics to be aware of before you begin planting.

Beware of Greenhouse Roses

One thing to consider, if you have a rose that was grown in a greenhouse then it most likely isn’t hardened to weather. Plants that have been thriving will prepare themselves for the cold times by a natural hardening or thickening of cell wall. So just be cautious if your plant may be fragile due to its infancy.

We want to do all of our planting and transplanting when the rose is dormant and not producing any leaves or buds. All gardeners have a concern when planting, and that is, ‘will my flowers grow’. To best predict the answer to that question we would have to examine how we prepared for planting. Most every plant that is planned and cared for ahead of time is sure to grow and blossom.

The Climate Is In Control

One of the main indicators of how your plant will survive is the length of the days where you live. Naturally this is because the longer the day the more sunlight you are apt to garner. Since roses require up to six hours of daily, unfiltered sunlight then of course the more sun you get the easier it will be to grow your roses.

I know a lady who kept rose bushes galore when she lived in Southern California but when she moved to the Pacific Northwest she found the lack of sunlight increased her workload so much she was unable to continue with her rose hobby. She did say it could be done; it just takes a lot of work. One of the next factors the show longevity of the plant is the amount of radiation in your area.

This does not get talked about enough, I believe, and can be a problem even if you live in a sunny area. Shade, cloudy days or rainy days will reduce the radiation a plant gets significantly. Radiation is measured in nanometers (nm) if your location can bring in 270- 3000 nanometers your roses will do fine.

It’s Not Just About Being Hot

The range of temperature in your locale will have a lot to do with how successful you are in growing roses. There are plants that will continue flower in a wider range of temperature than others, so you will want to know what your local range of temperature is and select your roses accordingly.

If you live in a climate that frosts unpredictably sooner in the fall or later in the spring then you may want to opt for a rose that has a history of being able to handle a bit of a frost. Some plants can adapt to subfreezing weather and for some it is a sudden ending.

On the other side of that weather map is heat, and some are able to handle more heat than others so look at that aspect too. My mother, who loved to garden, would always advise me that if I was hot, so was the flower.

A Couple More Factors Before You Grab Your Spade

Another factor related to the weather is rainfall. If it rains an awful lot make sure there is enough drainage to avoid flooding in the garden. If you live in a dearth of natural water fall then you will be the cloud supplying the rain. Be sure and pour an inch to two around the roots each week.

I like to keep up with the weather and see how much has been averaging in the last week then water accordingly. I did want to mention your pH level in the soil, when you understand that if your soil is too acidic or too alkaline it will affect your plant’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. So while it may look weak and droopy and you are giving fertilizer, nutrition, proper water, sun, heat and you’ve done everything you can think of, it just doesn’t respond.

Check the soils pH, it may be that your plant just isn’t getting the nutrition it needs. You can get kits from a local garden center.

Be Sure To Wear Gloves

So there you go. Plant your roses as soon as you can, but not before you know exactly what you need to be successful. If you take into consideration the previous tips, take time to know the rose you want and be sure it will cultivate you can rest easy that your rose gardening experience will be successful and bountiful.

A Shovel Only Has One Gear

My wife really gets the credit for the title.

Here’s how it happened.

Years ago, she and I were both truck driving instructors for a major national carrier at their Dallas training facility. Every week, we got a new batch of about 30 people to train, most of whom had never driven a truck (that’s a big truck, semi, tractor-trailer). Our trucks had 10 forward gears spread between two ranges, had to be double-clutched (if you don’t know, don’t ask – it takes too long to explain), and all shifting had to be done at specific engine RPM’s. Upshifting was a different technique from downshifting, and we threw in tricks of the trade such as skip-shifting, speed-shifting, and rolling into second (don’t ask, I told you).

Needless to say, many of our students, most of whom were bright and willing to learn, had difficulty learning the shifting techniques. My wife ran a tutor room at night at the motel where the students stayed, and students could come and ask questions about almost anything to do with the course, including shifting. It was a popular place. So popular in fact, that one night she tutored a guy for half an hour before she realized he was training with another company! We’ll save the story about the night the Dallas SWAT team had a shootout there for another time, but just for the record, yes, she did throw a full grown man to the floor.

Anyway, one night a student kept complaining about how hard it was to learn to shift all those gears. She sympathized with him for a while, and gave him some tips and pointers, but he just wouldn’t shut up! She politely responded for a little longer, but finally her patience snapped, and she uttered those fateful words,

“Well! A  shovel  only has ONE gear.”

I said that most of the students were willing to do whatever it took to learn everything we threw at them, because they realized what the rewards would be. Without dwelling on the trucking industry too long, they had the chance to earn over $30,000 in their first year, and after that, they could double or even triple their income if they handled it right. For people with no formal training in other fields, or with only experience in areas where income potential was limited, this was the way up, and my wife and I got to help a lot of these people get their start.

However difficult the training was, the reward was usually worth the effort to most of the people we trained. We saw our share of the others as well. The ones like the guy who was actually asking why the company didn’t buy trucks that were easier to shift, when my wife shot him down.

I’ve been in and out of network marketing since 1994, and regularly active in internet marketing since about 1999, and I have seen my share of people who wanted the program to be easy…to do the work for them. Just a few weeks ago, in fact, I got an email from a gentleman asking about a business opportunity I was involved with. He wanted to know what kind of income he could expect the business to “earn him”. He even went so far to say that if he couldn’t be told how much to expect to earn and how soon he would begin earning enough to replace his current income, he would consider the business to be a scam.

The earnings anybody can expect to realize from any internet or network marketing endeavor, and quite often the average job, will depend on a lot of things, including how much effort someone is going to put into their new business or position, and how long they intend to expend that effort. As a matter of fact, if I had to pinpoint one major factor of success for most network or internet marketers, I would just have to say such seemingly simple things as, “Stick with it no matter what.” “Don’t give up.” “Try, try again.”

Honestly, if the business, product, or program is good, and if there is a market for it, sustained effort on your part, not only in selling the product or program, but in learning about the benefits of the product or program to the customer as well, will be one of the deciding factors in the success or failure of your venture.

I very often mention two friends of mine who became millionaires simply by handing out a brochure to everyone they met or came in contact with for three years. They never sold anybody anything! Or I can use myself as an example. Even today, although I make a very good living on the internet, I am not a salesman, and have only what I consider to be a basic skill at internet marketing. However, I also have dozens of websites, most of which are simple as simple can be, that I built (after teaching myself html) and promoted regularly for almost three years before I began receiving regular income from the internet. As I have continued to build more and more informational sites, I have made more and more sales of more and more products, and my income has grown.

It’s probably never going to be completely easy, but if you are willing to study, to learn, to practice, and to make the required effort and not give up, someday you will succeed.

Understanding Lift Chairs

Lift chairs look like standard recliners, but they lift and lower to help people sit and rise without strain. There are a number of conditions that making sitting down or standing up painful, difficult or impossible. Lift recliners ease the pain of movement, slow the movement to prevent dizziness, and often make the movement possible when it would otherwise be impossible without help.

Conditions from arthritis to neurological disorders can make it a chore to perform the movements that most of us take for granted every day. There are different types of lift chairs that are best for different disorders or physical problems. Choosing the right one for your needs will make the biggest difference in your comfort and mobility.

Lift Chair Positioning

A liftchair can do much more than just lower and lift you slowly. Choosing one with the proper positioning options will affect how much you enjoy using the chair, because it will offer the most support and comfort, and may even help with certain health issues.

Lift recliners that have what’s known as zero gravity positioning or infinite positioning allow you to raise the footrest and lower the head of the chair independently of each other, so you can achieve almost any position you want. Zero gravity-capable chairs are ideal for people who want to elevate their feet above the level of their heart. This is a position that’s recommended for people with low blood pressure and diabetes to help them avoid edema, or swelling, in the lower legs, ankles and feet. Many other conditions like poor circulation and heart problems can also cause this swelling, which can be relieved by elevating the legs to stimulate blood flow.

These liftchairs also allow a reclined position that’s suitable for sleeping, and let you move the chair how you need to for comfort. These options are ideal for people who will spend a lot of time in their chairs and who need or want the variety of positions, especially the ability to elevate the feet.

Lift chairs that offer either 2 or 3 positions are designed more like standard recliners. In a 2-position chair you can sit upright or move into the second position, where the footrest is up and the back is slightly reclined. A 3-position chair gives you those options plus a slightly more reclined position. These lift chairs are good for people who need the lifting mechanism and want the typical features offered by a standard recliner.

Lift Chair Size

Larger people are more comfortable in bigger chairs. But size matters more with lift chairs because a motor operates the lift, and each motor has a weight limit that it can safely and adequately handle. People who weigh 375 pounds or more will need a chair designed to hold the weight. Heavy-duty lift chairs have dual motors with some able to easily handle 600 pounds or more.

Weight isn’t the only consideration, though. Height and general size matters, too. You can purchase petite lift chairs for people who are up to 5′ 2″ in height, as well as chairs for those over 6′ tall. These sizes matter to make it safer for the person when the chair lifts. Getting the right chair means it won’t lift too high for a petite person, and that it’ll lift far enough for someone tall with much longer legs.

Elevator Networking

What is the Elevator Pitch?

Old school sales personnel were told to get in a lift with your prospective customer and tell him all about your products while they were stuck in the lift with you.

It was also named this because sales people were too good at talking and would go on, and on about themselves before telling the client about the product. This still happens by the way, I experienced a sales manager pitching a $200,000 service to a client and had spent 10 minutes talking about who the company was and nothing about how they were here to help the client fill their need.

So the elevator pitch was born. Senior managers told all their sales staff to learn how to make a product pitch in less than 20 seconds, the average time taken to ride an elevator, and get all the key points across in this time.

Why the method of elevator pitches still works

If anything managers and customers are even more time pressured so your sales pitch has to be done in less than 10 seconds today so everyone can move onto the next person or topic.

Learn to cut the waffle out of your sales pitch by focusing on only what you can say in 20 seconds. In generally goes like this;

  1. Introduce yourself (your company)
  2. One sentence about what you do
  3. One mention of the key product being promoted this pitch
  4. How the product meets clients needs (similar to their needs)
  5. Then throw over to the prospect to join in and start a sales conversation.

Practice makes perfect

It is still surprising to find managers or business owners that cannot summarise their business within a sentence or two. If you cannot do this, then you dont really understand your business well enough yet.

This was another benefit of the elevator pitch as it forced the sales staff to get to the heart of what their business does.

To practice your pitch write down you answers to the above questions and read them aloud to see how well they flow together. each sentence should lead the prospect into your product pitch.

Then walk across your office to the door (or mirror if you really want to challenge yourself) and say your pitch. Make sure you time yourself.

Where elevator pitches can go wrong

If you are at a conference or business event, you will be making this pitch many times so you will want to have variations to prevent someone stopping your pitch and saying I have heard this already.

The other important part of the elevator pitch is to make it interesting for listeners to remember. After all the entire point of the pitch is so they remember your product and company.

Review your customers and see if you can find any interesting or hard to fix solutions that you can use as examples, without naming or identifying them of course.

Like any pitch, you have thrown the ball to the plate and you need to see what the batter (prospect) does with your ball. This is where the challenge of elevator pitching, like any lead generation strategies, really starts.

Who Gets a Personalised Number Plate?

For those of you watching The Apprentice last week, you’ll have noticed that the winner Tom Pellereau stepped into the vehicle that epitomises Lord Sugar every week – AMS 1.

For the past 12 weeks, I’ve been lovingly looking at the car and the very personalised registration  plate . I got to thinking that while personalised number  plates  are indeed used by the rich and famous, they are also used by many people from many different walks of life.

Personalised number  plates  have grown in popularity as more and more people want to use their vehicles as advertisements for their business or simply want their cars to stand out from the over 31million other cars that are on the road at the moment.

Who exactly gets a personalised number  plate ?

1. Businesses

With marketing costs rising, business owners are looking at innovative ways to market their businesses. Marketers measure adverts using a variety of ways and one of these ways, is to measure eyeballs. Billboard adverts are generally measured in the number of eyeballs – how many people (or eyeballs) will see a particular advert over a particular time-frame.

If you have an advert on your registration  plate , you’ll get eyeballs regardless of whether you’re moving or stuck in traffic. And as you’re a moving target, more people (or eyeballs) will see your advert.

And as it’s on your registration  plate , people will remember it – because it’s different. It’s a sure way to get recognised on the road.

Take Bed & Breakfasts for example – they could use N1 BNB, 500 BNB. Or a marketing company could use MA12 KET when the 12 series is released next year.

The key is deciding on the right combination that suits your market.

2. Tradesmen

Pimlico Plumbers, a plumbers based in London have their own registration  plates  on all their vehicles. Just take a look at some of them: LO02 OLD, RAD 5, B19 TAP, GAS 6, 8 WC, LO02 LOO, WC 55, LAV 1 and FLU 55H

Following along the same lines, you could use GRII MES if you were a cleaning company.

3. Transport companies

As transport companies, such as haulage companies or buses grow their business, they can have a fleet of vehicles with consecutive registrations. For example, DFZ 4670, DFZ 4671, DFZ 4672 and DFZ 4673 all denotes vehicles from the same company.

4. Families

There is an age-old saying that people use around the time of Christmas and birthdays – ‘what do you get the person that has everything?’ Well, it turns out that private marks are now becoming a gift of choice. From the inexpensive to the outrageously expensive, they make the ideal gift.

New Baby

I’ve seen parents buy registration marks for their new babies when the numbers become available.

Victoria and David Beckham could buy the mark HAI2 PER for their new arrival, Harper Seven Beckham.


This is a classic – you can use any combination of numbers and letters. Hint for my next birthday – JH06 JAN (Jayne Henry for me, 06 for my birthday and JAN for the month of January).


People deal with grief in their own way. Sometimes to remember a person or pet, a unique way to commemorate their life is through a personalised number  plate . I’ve seen people name a registration mark after their pet, especially if they loved the car or travelled in the car to a special walking place.

5. Individuals

People buying their own registration to celebrate a special interest, nickname or name is growing in popularity. Combinations can be found by using a range of names and numbers: e.g., Sarah as MP54 RAH, Juliet as JUII ETT and Rory as 12 ORY.

No matter what walk of life you come from, personalised number  plates  are a way to make you and your car stand out, to be a little individual. They are not just for the rich and famous.

Stove Safety

How many times has it happened to you, or have you heard of it happening to someone. You’ve got supper on the go and the something happens to distract you, the phone rings, the kids get into something or a surprise visitor pops in. Next thing you know suppers burnt, the pots boiled dry or in extreme circumstances you have a real kitchen fire on your hands.

Now imagine that you are elderly, perhaps even with early onset Alzheimer’s. Becoming distracted and forgetting what you are doing with even the slightest distraction becomes a very real possibility. Ever year preventable kitchen fires are started with thousands of dollars in damage being caused from the smoke alone. There are a few steps you can take to greatly lessen the chances of a disastrous kitchen fire happening to you.

1. This may seem almost to obvious, but it is an incredibly common cause of kitchen fires. DON’T LEAVE THE KITCHEN. If you remain in the kitchen the odds of you forgetting the stove is on are much less than if you are in another room. Also if something does start to go wrong you are right there to stop it immediately. If you have to leave the kitchen make sure to turn the stove and burners off when you do.

2. Oil fires are nasty, there’s no two ways about it. If you are cooking with oil make sure before you even turn the oven that you have the tools to put out an oil fire should one start. Remember, water is the last thing to splash on an oil fire. Either have a properly fitting lid nearby to smother any fire should it start or an appropriate fire extinguisher for grease fires.

3. Purchase a device to monitor your stove and help control it. If you own an electric range style stove the Stove Guard is an incredibly easy system to install. You mount the included motion sensor in the kitchen and plug its power control into the outlet where your stove currently plugs in. Than plug your stove back into the power control box. You simply program the “brain” of the unit to monitor motion in the kitchen, when it does not detect motion for your specified time period it will shut off the power flow through its’ power control box instantly turning off your stove and oven.

4. If a fire has started know your limits, call for help the instant you think it may be beyond a fire you can easily suppress. That is what neighbors and the fire department are there for.

My Favorite Cooker Smoker

Before the Weber cooker smoker, I had a horizontal smoker which had a fire chamber on one side. It was pretty good, except one thing – temperature control problem. If you don’t make BBQ too often then it’s OK. Some of my friends (who had a Weber smoker) advised me to buy it, since it’s much more useful and makes the whole BBQ process much easier. It has a lot of room for several birds and ham, so you don’t have to wait much.

The only thing I didn’t like is it’s weight – too heavy to move around your backyard. On the other hand it is much more stable. So, my cooker smoker helps me to make excellent BBQ parties on our weekends with my friends and neighbours. You can add charcoal any time you need, without having it dismantled. Although it’s a little more expensive than some similar smokers it has a lot of pros, so you won’t regret about spending extra money. Of course, it takes some time to control the whole process, since smoking doesn’t happen fast, but in the end you will be more than happy with the result.

When buying it don’t forget to check that all parts fit correctly, so there will be no problems with temperature control. The previous models had weak legs, but they’ve solved the issue. Even if you don’t have much experience it will be no problem with the Weber 2820 mountain cooker smoker to make good and tasty BBQ with this smoker. The users manual, actually, is not that good, but you can find all the info in the net.

It has two different size models, 18.5 inch diameter and 22.5 inch diameter. You can smoke any type of meat using charcoal and wood. There are three sections in the cooker: a charcoal bowl, where you have to place smoke wood and charcoal, section with water pan and two cooking grates, and the last section is domed lid. The cooking section also has access door that can be open downward or completely removed to provide easy access.

The cooking grates are big enough to cook several birds at the same time. They are triple chrome plated for easy cleanup and durability. The meat in the cooking section and a charcoal bowl are divided by the water pan, so there is no direct heating, which is important when smoking meat. The water in the pan also moderates the cooker temperature and, as a result, we have moist cooking conditions.

The smoker provides good temperature control over cooking process, which is very important when making great barbecue. There are no problems to maintain stable temperature for up to ten hours of cooking. There are three vents that help to control the temperature. Since the temperature control is well regulated you don’t have to spend much time over the process.

Plastic Tubing

Plastic is widely used as a construction material all over the world. It offers a unique range of options to choose from for construction and fabrication.   Plastic  is a synthetic material that is used in homes and offices for fabrications purposes such as concealing electrical wiring, making bathroom doors, applying  panels  along a false ceiling, etc. The list for uses of plastic is an exhaustive one. Plastic has a low melting point. It can therefore be molded into any shape and design to form a strong and sturdy material. Another advantage attributed to plastic is its waterproof qualities. Plastic neither absorbs nor conducts moisture and hence keeping its contents dry and dust free.

This quality of plastic has made it a popular option for tubing. Plastic tubing is used as a medium to store medications such as acne cream, skin cream, polysporin, face wash, toothpaste, liquid gels, and shaving gels. The contents of a plastic tube are secured from exposure to sunlight and dust. Other uses of plastic tubing extend to the concealment of electrical wiring in a home or office. The tube protects and separates the wires from any kind of electrical short circuits and saves human beings from electrical shock. The plastic tubes are usually made under the guidance of local environment protection boards. They have to comply with the regulations laid down while manufacturing the tubes. They are made from non-toxic ingredients conforming to FDA standards, and the tubes meet USP class VI requirements.

When plastic is used as tubing for fast-moving consumer goods, they need to be registered with the National Sanitation Foundation. The tubes used have to be lightweight and should not impart any kind of taste or odor. Plastic tubes have been used for many years now and their popularity has been increasing ever since. The versatility that it offers makes it a preferred choice over steel or metal tubing.

Exercises and Workouts – Plank Variations to Try

As you go about your workout sessions, one core exercise that’s a must have for just about everyone, is the plank. This exercise is great for strengthening all the muscles running up and down your spinal column and will even challenge your shoulders and arms to some degree as well.

Once you are able to perform the standard plank without a problem, then it’s time to take a closer look at what you can do to advance it and see even greater benefits.

The plank exercise is one that will yield excellent results if you constantly strive to keep challenging yourself.

Here’s what to know…

1. One Leg Plank. First, consider a one-leg plank. For this one, you’ll simply get down into the normal plank position and once you’ve maintained your balance, lift one leg directly up off the floor, raising it back behind you.

Hold this position for as long as you can before lowering it back down again.

On the next rep, lift the other leg instead.

This one will also test your balance capabilities, so is a great agility builder.

2. Spiderman Plank. Next, an advanced version of the one leg plank is the spiderman plank. With this one, you’ll lift your leg up off the floor and bring your knee into your shoulder as high up as possible.

Pause briefly and then lower again. Continue repeating until all reps are completed and then switch sides and complete on the other side.

3. Exercise Ball Plank. Finally, the last exercise you’ll want to consider doing is the exercise ball plank. This one can be performed one of two ways.

First you can do it with your feet up on the exercise ball, balancing on your hands. This is a good starter exercise to do as it’s slightly harder than the usual plank movement.

Then, once you’re really ready for a challenge, try the exercise with your hands up on the exercise ball instead. Because you are now placing the instability factor under your upper body, you’re going to get far more core activation while doing this variety, making it an extremely challenging movement.

The exercise ball plank is one that will work your entire body to a much larger degree, so is a great progression movement to be doing.

So there you have some quick and simple ways to adjust the standard plank to make it more challenging. Make sure you can hold the regular plank for 45 to 60 seconds first before progressing to these.

The Importance of a Plan

There are quite a few things you need to do when you want to turn things around in your life, such as, creating more time and making more money, but if you don’t do the first most important thing you will get lost along the way.

Make a  Plan .

Now  plans  can’t always be laid in concrete, their purpose is not to stress you out because something came up and you had to change your  plan  a little. The purpose of a  plan  is to give you a reference point. It’s what you go back to time and again to make sure you are doing the things you need to for a successful outcome. When it comes to increasing your income you must write down your  plan .

Begin with the end in mind, what is your goal, your purpose. Don’t say to make more money, you must be specific. For me it’s always been to own my home, and not in partnership with the bank. You may want an income of $10,000 a month, make a  plan  outlaying, how you will do it, what method will you use, how long will it take. You must have a course to follow, guide posts along the way if you start to wander off. Life can get crazy if you just let it happen to you. Make a  Plan , write it down, then come back to it over and over, revise it enhance it, use it.

If you have decided to start an online business to increase your income, with less time commitment, it’s essential to do a business  plan . Even with only a small investment, without a Business  Plan  businesses fail.

If you want to invest in property you must have a  plan , will you buy and hold, renovate and sell, what kind of property and location. Are all your safety measures in place such as insurance and don’t forget Income Protection. The best laid  plans  encounter the unexpected, ‘Be Prepared”.

The Stock market must have a strategy for all its highs and lows.  Plan  your strategy, it’s OK to take risks but it’s better when its risk you can afford once you have set yourself up with a  plan  that works for you.

Put education into your  plan , the world has become so complex we are affected by things that are so far away and so out of our control, education in your chosen method is vital. If you want to start a small business in this country you do a business course you learn how to make a business  plan . If you want to increase your income through property investing, internet business or the stock market, learn all you can and Make a  Plan .

Beautiful and Functional Handrails for Stairs

A staircase is the centerpiece of the home. It serves a function, to be sure, and furthermore, as a large architectural feature, it also contributes significantly to the home’s overall style. Therefore, the choice of stair components can be a good way to give your home or commercial property a whole new look, or to further enhance the style that’s already there.

A staircase is comprised, most simply, of the steps and the balustrade. The balustrade is made up of the handrail, or banister; the newels, which are the larger supports at the beginning, end, and turns of the staircase; and the balusters, which are the more slender posts between the newels. Each of these elements should be chosen so as to work well together in a cohesive design.

Wooden handrails are the most popular and, some would say, most attractive option. The hardwoods used to construct them are very durable for long life, and the wear that develops from use tends to simply add to the attractiveness of the rail. Wood can be restained or painted to change its look without expensive, time-consuming replacement.

Oak handrails are a very frequent choice, but other hardwoods are used as well, including poplar, hard maple, cherry, walnut, mahogany, birch, and more. Design profiles range from the round hardwood handrail to square, and highly detailed architectural wood railing.

Handrails, including round wood rails, are available with or without a plow, a groove on the underside which fits over the top of the balustrade. Round hardwood handrails are required to meet ADA hadicap codes in many commercial staircases. Plows increase strength and are also attractive. In addition to the standard railings available for sale, custom handrails can be designed to suit any need or desire.

Curved and circular stairways require that the handrail be built in a specific manner. Once the core has been built in this way, then any profile can be incorporated over it. There are just as many style choices for curved staircases as there are for their more angled cousins.

The design of the hand rail should be chosen so that it fits well with the rest of the design of the staircase, whether the entire staircase is being remodeled or if just the railing or balustrade is being replaced. Consider also the overall style and d├ęcor of the rooms which open onto the stairs and of the entire house in general. Do your family or company a favor and resist the temptation to build a staircase that you love, but which simply doesn’t fit your home or commercial space.

With a wood railing for stairs, wood newels and iron balusters complete the most popular current look. This is a very elegant design which can be modified, through the choice of the various components, to match any style from Victorian to Contemporary, and everything in between. Different stains and finishes can be chosen to personalize the design.

Stair remodeling brings a fresh, new look to the home while increasing its value. When you choose the finest standard and custom interior hardwood handrails for stairs, you show your pride in your living space. With so many options available, including custom designs, you can create the perfect staircase.

Deck Balusters: Making Your Measurements

Deck balusters are essential for two reasons: they fill the role of both functionality and form. No one builds a big structure onto the back of their house without at least partially hoping it looks nice. What makes it looks nice is a series of small decisions, each of which blends with the others in seamless (and sometimes not-so-seamless) ways. This is why you’ll always read a great deal of advice pertaining to hiring a professional for a project of this size. You get experience, knowledge, and an artistic eye. But there’s no law against doing it yourself. If you are, here’s how you make your balustrade measurements.

Step One

Take a tape measure and figure out the distance from the bottom of the hand railing to the bottom of the rim joist. If the deck balusters you’re intending to use are going to fit flush against the decking surface itself, you’ll want to use that as your bottom measurement instead. With these measurements recorded, you’ll know how long you’ll want your decorative posts to be. This is important if you’re purchasing them prefabricated, of course, but it can also save you a lot of frustration if you’re carving them yourself.

Step Two

You’re not done measuring yet. Take that tape measure and find the midpoint between two of the railing posts. Use a pencil and make a small mark where the center point is found. From there, make a small pencil mark every five inches leading away from this center point. Continue doing this until you reach the end posts. You’ll need these marks in place when you begin putting the deck balusters in to ensure symmetry. Some amateur builders disregard this important step, assuming they can just eyeball it while the project is in progress. This is a mistake. Don’t overestimate your abilities.

Step Three

Finally, you’ll want to measure the distance between where the final pencil mark is and the last railing post. A good rule of thumb is this: if that distance is less than approximately two inches, you should move all of your deck balusters inwards two inches. It’s a small concern and it can be skipped if you aren’t detail oriented, but having a mini-gap at the end of your railing can take away from the overall aesthetic.

It’s worth mentioning that you should put a call into your local building regulators to ensure that your railings meet code. Remember also that even the smallest carpentry projects can be dangerous without the proper safety equipment, so don’t forget to put caution first.