Fireproof Safes For Optimal Home Security

If you have a house fire in your home, obviously, the most important thing is that you and all your loved ones get out of harms way quickly and safely. And in order to assure your personal safety, you will want to have at least working and frequently tested smoke detector on each level of your home. However, your fire safety precautions should not end there. Home security does not stop with protecting the lives of the people in your home; there are a lot of other important things that warrant protection from fire, as well.

The loss of such important documents as birth certificates, social security cards, medical records, insurance policy information, diplomas, and contracts, as well as sentimental items like old photographs and home videos, can cause a lot of technical problems and emotional heartache for you and your family long after the ashes have settled. One of the best ways to increase your home security regarding these things is to invest in  fireproof  safes for your home.

 Fireproof  safes are made to withstand a range of different temperatures. Depending on what you are looking to protect, you will need a safe with specific capabilities. Safes are labeled by “grades”-the higher the grade, the higher the temperatures that the safe can withstand. If you are guarding paper, which burns at temperatures of 400 degrees Fahrenheit, you can get a safe with a lower grade than if you are using the safe to protect media items, like DVDs or videotapes, which are more vulnerable than paper to heat.

Regardless of your specific home security needs, your safe should be able to resist temperatures of no less than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour – the best safes can withstand as much as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for as many as four hours. Just as the grade and heat resistance varies from safe to safe, so does the price. A small safe that you buy for residential use can be as inexpensive as 50 dollars, while larger safes used by businesses to store more or bigger materials can cost several thousand dollars.

The size of residential safes is key to home security, not just against fires, but also against burglars. Their compact size allows them to be hidden in inconspicuous places where a burglar might not think to look. If you are storing cash or jewelry in your safe, keeping it in a hard-to-find place is important, since those are some of the first things that burglars look for during a break-in.

Fires are not only dangerous for the people living in a home, but they also pose a serious threat to personal property, valuable possession, and irreplaceable mementos. If you are not prepared, a house fire can destroy in a blink of the eye all of the things you hold dear to your heart. Increase your home security by finding a  fireproof  safe that will fit your specific needs and protect all the things that you feel you can’t live without.

Colourful And Free Butterfly Wallpaper

Free butterfly  wallpaper  brings the butterflies closer to people through still pictures. Butterflies are such beautiful insects that are fascinating to adults as much as to the little children. There are many different species of this lovely creature all over the world. Some people plant gardens to attract these species out of a strong attachment to these creatures.

However what most people may not realise is that they have a fascinating growth cycle. They start out as eggs. The eggs have a variety of colours depending on the butterfly specie. Some are green, others are yellow and brown among other colours. From the egg comes out the larva which is a caterpillar. Caterpillars are not as beautiful as butterflies such that the transformation of the butterfly in its growth cycle is amazing. From the larva stage the butterfly is transformed into a pupa or chrysalis. At this stage the butterfly is wrapped in a cocoon. It is at this stage that the butterfly metamorphoses from a caterpillar into a beautiful, winged butterfly. Some free butterfly  wallpapers  depict the growth cycle of butterflies. These can be a complete science lesson for children and adults alike.

Butterflies have a lifespan ranging from one week to one year. During this time they mate in order to reproduce. Once the female lays its eggs the butterfly growth cycle begins again. They have interesting colourations which have been the subject of much study. Colours may be similar to those of plants as a way of protecting these creatures from predators. With many different species of butterflies, free butterfly  wallpaper  depicts some of the common ones. These show different features and colourations.

Butterfly  wallpaper  is quite colourful since butterflies are found on flowers and plants in gardens or in the forest. Some of the colours are quite dull while others are bright. People can choose from different colour combinations for their  wallpaper .

It may interest you to know that the studies of the design of the wings of these creatures gave rise to the designs of the wings of some aircraft. The interesting colours of the butterflies come from the minute scales which can rub off if touched. The brown and black colours come from the pigments in the scales while the brighter colours such as blue, red and green are created by the microstructure of the scales. Studies of the colours of these insects inspired the development of the light emitting diode.

Some scientists are studying the pigments in these insects so as to develop novel nanosized colour pigments that are non-toxic for various applications. Who knows what having free butterfly  wallpaper  will inspire you to do? Is it not amazing that a small creature like a butterfly has influenced humanity in such tangible ways?

Explore the different species of butterflies by choosing from a selection of still pictures of butterflies in their natural environs. Remember the butterfly has a long story to tell about the ups and downs of life.

Exterior Siding – Hardieplank Vs Vinyl Siding

Are you considering an exterior remodeling project? Specifically, are you debating on whether or not to replace your current vinyl, masonite, wood or stucco siding with fiber cement siding, like Hardieplank? It’s been said your home is your first impression; a reflection of who you are. Your home is a place of protection from the outside world and typically the biggest investment a person will ever make. The exterior of your home not only plays an important role in protecting, but also resale value, energy efficiency and overall curb appeal.

If you have a siding problem, what are your options? You can do nothing, repair and repaint, select an inexpensive product or select a low maintenance, long lasting siding product like Hardieplank installed by a trusted remodeling contractor. Some contractors recommend low-end, cheap replacements like plastic to cover up siding problems. Covering up your existing siding with vinyl siding can hide potentially larger problems like rot, mold and pest damage. Vinyl siding is thin, unnatural and has overlapping seems. Vinyl siding color cannot be changed and is susceptible to fading, making it virtually impossible to match when repairs are needed. Vinyl siding can melt or burn when exposed to significant heat or flame and it can become brittle when cold; making it vulnerable to impact damage. The best, low maintenance exterior siding solution is fiber cement siding, Hardieplank, installed by a professional remodeling contractor.

Specifically, Hardieplank siding delivers the rich, traditional characteristics of wood, without the costly maintenance. Hardieplank is noncombustible, approved for fire-rated construction. Hardieplank siding delivers aesthetic and performance benefits and is engineered specifically for the region it’s being installed in. Hardieplank resists rotting, warping, cracking, hail and high winds up to 150mph. Hardieplank is America’s #1 brand of siding – selling more siding than any other manufacturer in America. James Hardie siding products is on over 4 million homes in North America, is backed by more than 100 years of research and development and has the best warranty in the industry. More importantly, however, is the fact that residing your home with fiber cement siding, like Hardieplank, from James Hardie provides the #1 return on your remodeling investment. So when deciding on exterior siding options, it’s clear that Hardieplank siding stands above the rest. Upgrading to Hardieplank siding is an investment you can count on – accept no imitations! For the very best in Hardieplank siding installation, make sure to consult a professional remodeling contractor.

A Hot Mexican Fiesta

When I was young, all I knew about Mexico was Speedy Gonzales the impish little cartoon mouse who always taught those cats a lesson. Little did I know that there was a whole country beyond the cartoon world of Speedy and those pesky cats! The beauty, the culture the history and particularly for me, the food all go to make Mexico a country of true wonderment.

And all of this really comes to shine at Fiesta. A Mexican fiesta, meaning festival, party or holiday is a riot of colours, sounds and smells as people come together to celebrate whatever is being celebrated or perhaps more simply to celebrate the celebration itself. In part, you can recreate this atmosphere by throwing your own Mexican Fiesta themed fancy dress party. Your choice of location need not be limited you could celebrate your Fiesta at home indoors or outside, in a hall or arrange it for a local Mexican themed restaurant if you wish to have less stress as they will arrange the menu and drinks.

Select your date, select your venue and create your guest list. Now prepare your invitations. These can be pre-printed and purchased from your local party shop or stationery store and these are perfectly ok, but for something more spectacular why not design and make your own. This always allows you to be creative and you can theme the invitation to the character of your guests. Maybe you would want to cut your invitations into the shape of Mexico and colour using the national colours of the Mexican flag. Or use a computer printed Sombrero which you can also cut out. Or for something awesome, you might want to create your invitation in the form of a Tacho with shredded green tissue for lettuce etc with the invitation being either on the Tacho shell or inside on the ‘filling’ – hey, why not go all the way and use real Tacho shells! If you are planning this as a fancy dress party, be sure to include this on your invitations.

Once you have the invitations out it’s time to consider your decoration. You can have a background theme of Mexican flags, Sombreros and Cactus plants. If the thought of live cacti scares you, there are plenty of cheap cardboard cut-outs which can be suspended from the ceiling or fixed to the wall. There are also three dimensional honeycomb paper cacti which make perfect table centres or buffet table decorations. If you are looking for maximum wall coverage at a reasonable price, why not use a large map of Mexico and if you are well travelled, or your guest are, you can mark it with all of the places you have been and for an added personal touch, you could mount some photographs or postcards and draw a line back to the location that they came from.

If your Fiesta is outdoors then flag bunting in multiple colours makes a great addition providing you can get it high enough. This may require special supports but the results are always worth the additional effort. And don’t forget the piñata which are available in all manner of shapes and sizes.

Mariachi is the music of a Mexican Fiesta. If you can afford it, you could hire a Mariachi band otherwise spend some time in the CD library and find something appropriate. For alternative background music try a little light listening with Herb Albert and his Tijuana Brass and any guests dressed as Mariachi musicians can play all of the air instruments that they can imagine!

Ah! the food. Grab our specialist Mexican cookbook gather your ingredients and cook away my friends and I’m savouring the results right now. If you are new to preparing Mexican cuisine, a little practise may be required, especially if you plan to use fiery chillies. Calm the fieriness of the jalapeño with the coolness of the avocado both really invocative of Mexico. And I’m sure you will find plenty of willing volunteers to help you judge your results as everyone loves a Mexican feast. For some quick Mexican snacks, try salsa with tortilla chips, tacos, enchiladas and the list goes on.

The invitations – done. The decoration – done. The music – done. The food – done. And now the costumes, there are plenty of Mexican themed costumes available to rent or buy from your local store or online and these can be vary from the simple to the very elaborate. Take time to look around for the available costumes; Mexican Mariachi musician suits, Mexican ladies, Mexican Bandits, Tequila Shot man and for the more whacky of you, Mexican man on Donkey and Tequila Bottle. Costumes – done.

Tips To Choosing A Qualified Flooring Contractor With Eco-Friendly Experience And Affordable Pricing


If you are looking to install eco-friendly flooring in your home or business, make sure to use a professional with knowledge in the area. There are many companies that advertise in newspapers, magazines, and on the internet. Just because they run an ad doesn’t mean they have experience or the proper license. Just because the have the proper license, doesn’t mean they offer quality workmanship or experience dealing with eco-friendly material either. You should always take time to research companies in your are so that you can find the right flooring contractor for your remodel project. Here are just a few pointers to help guide you in the right direction, and hopefully find the best company for the job.

Use a Professional

Hiring a professional flooring contractor is the 1st step towards installing a custom designed floor in your home or business. Look for professional flooring contractors that specialize in eco-friendly carpet installations for commercial and residential remodel projects and construction projects. Using a flooring installer with no experience or license could lead to problems both during and after the job in completed. To find a quality company, try using the internet, ask friends and family, or stop by construction sites in your neighborhood and ask for recommendations from the general contractor. If you spend a little time searching for a quality company, chances are your new flooring will look great.

Affordable Installation

An experienced flooring contractor should have talented installers that will present the ideal eco-friendly flooring choices that are within your budget. They should explain the differences between lesser expensive material and high-end products, and point you towards a flooring choice that is affordable and with in your budget. Their goal is to install the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or office flooring remodel you covet. There are plenty of flooring choices that are affordable no matter which type or species you go with. Call around and compare the prices just to make sure you are getting a fair estimate.

Flooring Selection

A knowledgeable company will help you find the ideal flooring choice you want. The staff should also offer their expert design ideas and eco-friendly product knowledge of the various flooring choices that are available. A flooring contractor will be able to explain functional differences between the types of tile, hardwood, and carpeting you can choose from. You should feel confident in your choice, and their work.

Free Quotes

You should always get at least 3 free quotes for your project, this includes the flooring material and installation price. If eco-friendly material is a priority? Then make sure the flooring contractor giives you details regarding their experience, and offer a free quote.Do you research and find an experienced installer that uses superior quality products.

Helping Breastfeeding Mums Choose the Right Electric Breast Pump

Choosing the right electric breast pump can make a breastfeeding mum’s life so much easier. Knowing that your baby can still get the benefits of your breast milk even when you are away can be comforting. A good electric breast pump which allows you to express milk comfortably, quickly and conveniently is essential.

These are a few key features to look for in a good quality electric breast pump:

  • It should be easy to assemble and disassemble. You will need to take apart the pump every time you use it to clean it. The fewer parts, the better!
  • It should include easy-to-follow instructions.
  • It should be easy to clean: most pumps can be washed in the dishwasher (except the motor). You don’t need to sterilise it every time you use it. In most cases, once a day is sufficient.
  • Single or double? A double electric pump is designed to express breast milk on both sides at the same time. It works twice as fast and it is a good choice for those mothers who return to work, are feeding twins, or are trying to increase their lactation (as with pre-term babies, for example).
  • The double pump can always be used as a single pump if you wish. Expressing on a single side is important for breastfeeding mums who suffer from sore nipples or mastitis or wish to express on one side while feeding the baby on the other side.
  • Although there are some compact models, a double electric breast pump might not be as compact and portable as a single one.
  • Adjustable suction: every mum is different, every breast is different and every lactation is different. Electric breast pump designers try to mimic the baby’s sucking reflex to make expressing breast milk easier, faster and more comfortable. Being able to adjust the suction to what feels the most comfortable for you makes a difference.
  • An electric breast pump can be plugged into an electrical outlet and can also run on batteries to make it more portable. How often you need to replace the batteries depends on the usage. Rechargeable batteries will allow you to cut the running cost of your pump significantly.
  • Not all breast pumps come with a carry case. You can use one of your own bags or order the carry case separately.
  • All parts of the pump that come in contact with the breast milk should be made in 100% Bisphenol-A (BPA) free materials like polypropylene, which is the safest plastic for storing breast milk.
  • When it comes to breast milk storage, you have a choice: the pump can be connected to breast milk storage bottles or bags. You can store the breast milk in the freezer or in the fridge. The breast milk storage bags are convenient if you are having to express lots; for example, if you are returning to work.

A good electric breast pump is a wise purchase for a breastfeeding mum. Buying a high quality pump will save you time and money in the long run.

What Can You Have For Breakfast On Medifast?

I sometimes hear from folks who aren’t sure what you are supposed to eat for breakfast when you are on the Medifast diet. So, in the following article, I will go over some basic options that will hopefully give you some ideas to provide a place to start.

Know That Many Breakfasts Are Provided For You: Please bear with me if you are already aware of this, but when you are on this diet, you’re supposed to eat five of the meals that they provide you with on a daily basis. In addition, you prepare only one main meal yourself, which is called the “lean and green” meal. On top of all of this, you are allowed two small snacks.

So, you have a couple of options at breakfast time. You can go with one of the prepackaged meals. And if you have a busy morning, this can be the easiest option because you don’t need to plan or cook. You can chose from eggs, pancakes, cold cereal, oatmeal, a shake, or a bar, to name just a few options. These are all items that you are provided with which you only need to assemble or basically heat up or add milk or water. It literally should only take a few minutes to assemble your breakfast and be on your way.

Ideas For A Medifast Lean And Green Breakfast: I will admit that many people eat their main “lean and green” meal for dinner. This is generally the time of the day when most of us are home from work and actually have the time to prepare a meal. And many like to share that meal with their family. So, it can make sense to eat a larger meal in the evening.

But some will chose to take this main meal at breakfast. Whatever time you chose this meal, know that it should be made up of a small serving of lean protein and three servings of vegetables. So if you are going to have this meal for breakfast, a no brainer option would be an omelet. The eggs provide the lean protein and you can easily add whichever vegetables appeal to you. Another idea is to have turkey bacon as your protein and add in some vegetables on the side. You can also make a mock egg or turkey bacon breakfast sandwich by wrapping an egg or a slice of turkey bacon or cheese into a piece of lettuce used like bread. Add in two more vegetables that may appeal to you and you have a nice meal.

One other options is to use one of the prepackaged items as a convenience ingredient in order to make your lean and green preparation easier. Remember that omelet I talked about before? Well, you can take one of those prepackaged eggs and add some bagged veggies to it. Another idea that I really love is to take the Medifast eggs and mix them with the chili or sloppy joe and use lettuce to hold it like a southwestern wrap. Since the sloppy joe and chili are vegetarian meals, this complies with that protein and vegetable requirement and you can throw the whole thing together in only a few minutes without needing to mess up your kitchen or stove.

Hyundai Ix35 SUV



Modern & funky exterior PLUS a powerful-yet-frugal Turbo Diesel engine PLUS six-speed automatic gearbox PLUS an improved interior EQUALS strong value for money.

Not so Good:

Hyundai ix35 SUV sports a rather heavy design with a petrol engine that gets noisy under hard acceleration. It also gets firm while riding over rough spaces


Design and Engineering


The first to feature the Hyundai brands ‘Fluidic Sculpture’ theme which arrived in February 2010. It makes into the list of the coolest Compact SUV’s one can buy. It is enhanced by the large hexagonal grille up-front which is a typical Hyundai style of spelling its presence. The rear hatch holds a feature that could be called the ‘mini duck tail’ (Porsche 911 lovers get this). Carverdict’s Salute.

Not so good:

Considering the size of the vehicles ‘footprint’ the Hyundai ix35 is no lightweight design – tipping the scales between 1.6 & 1.8 tonnes (compare this to a medium family-sized wagon and you’ll see that on average SUV’s are definitely heavier creatures). The front grille is body coloured on the entry-level ‘Active’ grade and as a result (to our eyes) it doesn’t appear as well integrated as the grey coloured versions on the mid and upper-grades.

Interior and Styling


The steering wheel is a funky four-spoke structure and the driver’s seat features six-way power adjustment (except on the entry-level Active grade). The seat position is relatively high, providing good frontal visibility. The rear seats offer sufficient head room and feature a fold-down centre armrest with favorable sized cupholders. The Hyundai ix35’s cabin storage space is great for a family car and the rear seats fold flat to boost cargo space from almost 600L to over 1,400L! The panoramic glass roof, standard on the Highlander grade, creates a beautiful lightened feel to the interior.

Pre October 2010 the Hyundai ix35’s steering wheel adjusted for tilt (up & down) but not reach (in & out). Not any more, thankfully it now does both. The 2011 ix35 range also gains additional sound deadening materials to reduce road noise levels.

Not so good:

It is disappointing that the dash features more plastic than one would like. The rear legroom provides enough space for the legs to put up with the journey, but not as spacious as expected. The lower window lines are quite above the margin; this means the kids will have to keep bouncing to get a view of the road.



Entry-level Active’s 2.0L Petrol engine produces a respectable 122kW of power (& 197Nm of torque) and whilst noisy under hard acceleration it is by no means forgotten – it’s the sole front-wheel drive variant and subsequently lighter than the AWD ix35’s. The mid-spec 2.4L Petrol benefits from significantly more torque (227Nm); however by far the most impressive engine is the smooth-sounding 2.0L Turbo Diesel which generates a whopping 135kW of power and 392Nm of torque.

Not so good:

With the much hype of the 2.4L Petrol engine, in the real world however the speed doesn’t seems any faster than 2.0L. Yes the sound is less though.

Ride and Handling


Hyundai ix35 affords a fantastic ride displaying the ability of being the only Compact SUV on the road without the fear of being scratched at the corners. Easy to steer through the traffic. Even if the Highlander grade is set on large 18-inch alloy wheels, it gives a comfortable ride.

Not so good:

The steering is on the light side, but considering this isn’t a sports car, it’s hardly worth mentioning. Under hard acceleration the Turbo Diesel grades can suffer from torque steer through the steering wheel (no surprise considering how much pulling power this engine has).

The impressive handling (for a high-riding SUV anyway) does come at the price of ride quality; whilst fine over smooth surfaces the ride is a touch on the firm side over rougher surfaces..

From October 2010 the electronic power steering has been changed to improve steering feel and in order to enhance the ride quality all AWD variants now get ASD suspension as standard. We’ll let you know our thoughts of the changes very soon, once we spend some time driving the updated range.

Buying and Owning


Definitely a best buy with excellent features. ix35’s also features the automatic, a quality six-speed box. This is a significant improvement over the various competitors’ with four-speed gearboxes. The safety feature are impressive with six airbags, ABS brakes, Electronic Brake Distribution, traction & stability control, Downhill Brake Control and Hill Start Assist Control. Also in October 2010 with the introduction of the rear park assist has crossed standards across all grades.

Not so good:

The much talked about two Petrol powered engine offers only on-par fuel economy. Although the Turbo Diesel’s economy is placed best for a Compact SUV, we are still surprised that the official combined fuel economy figure is similar to Hyundai’s larger & heavier seven-seat Diesel powered Santa Fe.

Benefits of Exterior Sun Shades

The sun sometimes comes out with a vengeance bringing with it sweltering heat and a blinding glare. Even when it is not summer, the sun can be damaging. It can reach the soft furnishings in a room and fade them and it can dry out house plants. There is also a rise in utility bills because air conditioners have to be kept on. Exterior sun shades are most useful in combating all of these negative effects.

Block Heat

They act as a blockade to the heat so that it never reaches a window, which keeps it out of a room. A shade is a simple, even panel of fabric. They are available in a myriad of patterns and colors so they are functional as well as protective. As they are attached to a roller, they do not interfere with how a house looks, either.

Different Styles

There is a choice of weaves ranging from narrow to wide which offer differing levels of protection in terms of how much light can pass through. Shades keep out 50 to 80 percent of the sun’s heat and glare. This is while maintaining visibility so that it is still possible to clearly see the outside.

Sun shields are particularly effective in rooms that face the sun directly (east in the morning, west in the evening). In such rooms, the best ones to put up are those made with a dark colored fabric. It will capture more heat making a room cooler and darker. The weave of the screen should also be taken into account. Fabrics that have broad weaves have more space in between them and they offer less shading. They are described as having a “low shade factor”.


Another factor to keep in mind is that shields of different shade factors are more suited to different rooms. For instance, the living room is the most frequently used room in the house so it should be kept as cool as possible. It also has a view so shades have a medium weave would be right. The kitchen is also frequently used but it should have as much light as possible. A shade with a low shade factor would be ideal. In the bedroom, light should be blocked out as much as possible especially in summer months when the sun is out early in the evening.

Light Filtering Shades

Screens have the limitation of allowing the room to be viewed from outside at night. This can easily be countered in one of two ways. One option is to go for a roller shade that also filters light. The other way to go is to combine the shade with additional window dressing. It can be used with drapes with the sun being rolled out of the way at night and the drapes being drawn.

Sun blinds are an improved version of standard roller shades. The latter did not allow views of the outside including the ones that were to keep out a low amount of heat. In addition to allowing outside glimpses, shades come in a variety of weave sizes, which means a little or a lot of heat can be blocked out.

Indoor and Outdoor TV Enclosures

An indoor and out-of-doors TV cabinet is paramount to give the excellent defense for numerous uses from putting a Telly outside in your patio to protecting outdoor digital signage, let us look at how they are used.

Indoor Monitor enclosures.

An indoor display housing is employed to protect the gadgets from any damage this is their chief design intent, these can be used in jails and psychiatric units to protect the Display from harm as well as the patients. Another use is in a subway or rail station as standard dynamic advertising is easily harmed in these hostile, high risk areas.

When digital signage is rolled out in transportation hubs, such as airports, train and bus terminals, they genuinely need protection from vandals as a damaged panel from a stone wielding thug will cause the signage to be ruined within seconds.

For this application only a steel LCD enclosure is good enough, the ideal solution is one that has anti vandal and high security locks, not standard cam locks that are fitted by the majority of manufacturers, as a cam lock can be opened with a screwdriver.

Outdoor TV cabinet.

This is the only real solution when anyone decides to fit a LCD TV in an outdoor site; this can range from a restaurant who wants to put an out-of-doors digital menu outside the bistro or someone who wants to put a TV in their backyard or on the patio.

The unique way these outdoor TV enclosures are designed, they allow a small computer with sizes 290 mm wide x 300 mm high x 50 mm deep as well as housing the display screen in complete safety.

Dynamic advertising function.

When a company rolls out digital signage out-of-doors they have several possibilities, the first is to put a commercial outdoor Display screen outside or to buy a standard commercial screen (as these are produced to run 24×7 unlike a domestic TV that is designed to run 7 hours per day) and put the television in to an outdoor LCD enclosure, these cases supply the fortification from the weather no matter if the temperature gets to a sizzling 150 Fahrenheit or a sub-zero -20 Fahrenheit.

Yob protection is also an important feature of LCD enclosures because of the cost of the hardware the solution has to provide some protection from thugs throwing objects at the viewing window, as you can imagine if the television gets broken the signage is useless.

Putting a tv out-of-doors in your yard.

With users realising the value of quality time they are investing in outdoor space so that the entire relatives can enjoy some quality time, watching soccer or football games on the TV outside and sharing some food on the deck.

Here the same case that is used by the digital signage industry is utilised, supplying the excellent weather proof protection as well as a hooligans proof solution. So the units have a secure locking front door, cable access is through weather proof wire glands and the viewing window is made from shatterproof material, then inside the encasing the Display is mounted to a frame with special fasteners, so should anyone get into the enclosure they cannot remove the panel.

Jeep Select Trac NP 242 Transfer Case Information

The Select Trac option on the Jeep Cherokee gets you the New Process NP 242 transfer case. This transfer case gives the following operating modes: 2wd, 4wd with the center differential open, 4wd with the center differential locked, neutral, and 4wd low range (center differential locked)

The addition of a center differential is the main difference between the NP 242 and the NP 231 or Command Trac transfer case. Without a differential, the 231 transfer case offers only part time four wheel drive mode.

The NP 242 transfer case Full time mode opens the center differential allowing the front and rear axles to rotate at different speeds while still being linked by the transfer case. The end with the least traction will get the most torque. While this mode may have some disadvantages off road where a wheel may loose contact with the ground, it has the advantage of being usable on all paved surfaces. Part Time mode – with the center differential locks can only be used on loose or slick surfaces with out possible damage to the transfer case.

I use full time mode on wet streets, hard packed gravel or dirt, some snow and ice situations and on dry pavement when full acceleration without wheel spin is desirable. I use part time mode on loose gravel, dirt, grass and any off road situation. I use Part time mode when RallyCross racing as well.

I use low range for more control in off road situations or on rough gravel roads when traveling downhill to avoid excessive use of the brakes. I also often use low range when positioning my trailer or other towed equipment when precision placement is needed.

The NP 242 transfer case can be switched between 2wd and either 4wd mode at any speed simply by moving the lever. The switch to low range must be made at very low speed – the Jeep manual says 3 mph.

One common operating problem with the 242 transfer case is that it will stick in 4wd even if the lever is moved to 2wd. Internally, moving the lever loads a spring which then applies force to move the selector fork. If the gears are loaded with torque, the spring will not have enough energy to move the sleeve off the gears. Once torque is removed from the gears, the spring will then move the fork and slide the sleeve of the gears.

Momentarily lifting your foot off the gas will often unload the gears enough to allow the spring pressure to move the fork. On some high mileage units, a wear groove will form on the sleeve or gear causing it to stick longer and may require a couple of changes from loaded to unloaded to get the sleeve to release form the gear.

The Jeep NP 242 is lubricated with Automatic Transmission fluid. The level is checked by removing the upper of the two large plugs on the back of the case. The fluid should be level with the upper plug.

The NP 242 has a slip yoke on the tail shaft. If the drive shaft is damaged or removed, fluid will be lost out the tail shaft. Also this seal is important to maintain in good condition to prevent fluid loss.

The NP 242 is a very versatile transfer case and is my choice for three of my five Jeeps. The full time selection gets frequent use in all of them.

Soccer Fixture: Chelsea Versus Manchester United

Chelsea versus Manchester United is one of the classic North v South fixtures in the English football calendar.

Chelsea first faced Manchester United on Christmas Day, 1905 – some nine months after the club had been founded by Edwardian businessman, Henry Augustus ‘Gus’ Mears. The match was played at Bank Street in Clayton, Manchester and attracted a crowd of 35,000 who witnessed a 0.0 draw in this Football League Second Division clash.

Mears had contracted a famous architect of the time, Archibald Leitch, to build a huge new stadium – Stamford Bridge – on the Fulham Road, where the new team would play. The first football match to be played there had been a friendly against Liverpool on 4th September, 1905 which Chelsea had won 4.0. That match also saw the appearance of the first 4-page matchday programme in London and reflected the growing interest in football in the South of England, away from its original heartlands in the North and the Midlands.

Manchester United first headed south to play The Pensioners at Stamford Bridge on 13th April, 1906 – this time it was Good Friday but the result was still a draw, in front of a huge holiday crowd of 67,000. Charles Sagar put United ahead early in the second half before Tommy McDermott equalised for Chelsea ten minutes before the end.

It was Sagar’s first season at Manchester United and he had scored on his league debut for them in a 5.1 win against Bristol City. Wayne Rooney is the only other United player in the history of football to have scored a hat-trick on his debut for the club. The Red Devils were second in the league at the time of this Easter clash with Chelsea and, indeed, would finish as runners-up behind Bristol City (the club they had thrashed on the opening day of the season) and so gained promotion to the English First Division. Chelsea finished third in what was their first competitive league season.

Chelsea had to travel to Bank Street again in order to beat Man United for the first time – in League Division now – on 7th November, 1908. The match ended 1.0 to Chelsea with George Hilsdon scoring their winning goal from a penalty. At Stamford Bridge, though, the wait for a win lasted much longer – nearly 12 years in fact; and a World War separated these first two victories.

George Hilsdon began his career at West Ham United, joining Chelsea in 1906. He went two better than Sagar and Rooney, scoring five goals on his Chelsea debut in a 9.2 win over Glossop North End (Glossop is just under fourteen miles from Manchester!). He was the first player to score 100 goals for the club and was known in West London by his nickname of “Gatling Gun.” This label was given to him as he was renowned for hitting unstoppable shots which were so hard that it seemed as though they might have been fired from a gun! After scoring a total of 108 goals for Chelsea he returned to play for West Ham before being conscripted for service in that first World War where he was seriously injured on the Western Front in a mustard gas attack. Only four people attended his funeral when he died, in Leicester, in 1941 and he lay in an unmarked grave for some 74 years until Chelsea fans clubbed together to fund a headstone for this hitherto forgotten hero.

Manchester United first won at Chelsea on 28th September, 1907 – a 4.1 win in the First Division. Hilsdon again got Chelsea’s goal and Billy Meredith scored two for The Reds. United continued to do well in Fulham, winning three and drawing two of their next five league games there. It wasn’t until 17th January 1920 that Chelsea finally secured their first home win over Man United – 1.0 in Division One – in front of a crowd of 40,000. Centre-forward John Cock scored the only goal of the game. This will have been a cause of great celebration – lightening the post-war gloom in that part of the capital – ironically on the same day that Prohibition came into effect in the USA.

Chelsea hit six goals (their highest goals total in home matches between the two sides) past the men from Old Trafford on 6th September, 1930. Alexander Cheyne scored a hat-trick that day and Hughie Gallacher got two more in a 6.2 win in a top tier clash watched by 48,648 at The Bridge.

Alexander ‘Alec’ Cheyne had only signed for Chelsea that year and for a then club record fee of £6000. One year earlier, while playing for his native Scotland against England, Cheyne scored direct from a corner with just a minute of the match remaining. A ‘roar of encouragement’ came up from the 110,000 fans – most of them supporting Scotland who were down to ten men at the time – and continued even after the final whistle. This was the first time such a noise had been noted and it became known as the ‘Hampden Roar,’ with the match being forever labelled the ‘Cheyne International.’

Chelsea’s highest margin of victory against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge came sixty-nine years later on 3rd October, 1999. The Blues won 5.0 in the Premier League in front of a crowd of 34,909. Gus Poyet scored two of Chelsea’s goals that day – his first after just 27 seconds, from which The Reds never seemed to recover. Bearing in mind that United had become the first English football team to complete a treble of League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League victories in the May of that year, and had gone 29 matches unbeaten in the league prior to this match, it was a truly remarkable result, not just in the context of matches between the two sides but in football history in general.

Manchester United have scored four goals in league games at Stamford Bridge on five occasions – the third of these provided them with their best winning margin. They beat Chelsea 4.0 in a First Division game there on 29th November, 1947 with Johnny Morris scoring a hat-trick. Morris scored 35 goals in 93 appearances for United in all competitions and helped them win the FA Cup the following year.

One of the most dramatic league encounters – and highest aggregate score (11) – between these clubs at Stamford Bridge took place on 16th October, 1954 in front of a crowd of 55,966. Chelsea again scored five goals, with Seamus O’Connell marking his Chelsea debut with a hat-trick (he and George Hilsdon are the only two Chelsea players to have scored hat-tricks on their debuts for the club). However, Manchester United fought back with six goals of their own, Dennis Viollet also scoring a hat-trick and Tommy Taylor with two. Sadly, Taylor would die in the Munich Air Crash less than four years later.

The highest scoring draw in this fixture came on 5th February, 2012 with the match finishing 3.3. Chelsea had led 3.0 in the game but two Wayne Rooney penalties and an equaliser six minutes from time by Javier Hernandez completed the comeback by United.

Another dramatic encounter – albeit with less goals – occurred later that same year: on 28th October, 2012 in the Premier League. United prevailed once again, 3.2, but the score tells us only the result rather than the story of the match. This time it was United who were two goals up after just twelve minutes but Chelsea fought back to level with a Juan Mata free-kick and a Ramires header. Chelsea then found themselves down to nine men after Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres were sent off, before Javier Hernandez (again!) scored a controversial winner (deemed to be offside by The Blues) fifteen minutes from the end. Manchester United would go on to win the league that season with Chelsea settling for Europa League success.

United had won by the same margin of 3.2 at Stamford Bridge just over forty-one years earlier on 18th August, 1971 with some famous names on the scoresheet: Tommy Baldwin and Peter Osgood for Chelsea; Willie Morgan, Bobby Charlton and Brian Kidd for United. Another massive domestic crowd of 54,763 turned out to see these two top teams who had also done so well in Europe in recent seasons – Chelsea in the UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup that year, and Manchester United as the first English team to lift the UEFA European Cup three years earlier.

3D Foam Carving and Foam Cutting Using CNC Machines – An Introduction

Ask most folks about the applications of 3D foam carving and you’re likely to get blank stares – but the products of this growing technology and the related CNC equipment are everywhere. You’ll find the results of CNC foam carving and foam cutting in amusement parks, museums, storefronts and any kind of themed environment or building project imaginable. From architectural features and signage to props, sculptures and exhibits, 3D foam carving is behind all sorts of artistic creations. In most cases, you wouldn’t even know that the product is made of foam – which might explain some of the confusion. With so little awareness of the applications of 3D CNC foam carving, it’s no wonder that the related production processes are also little known.

Building larger scale sculptural projects was once a labor of love requiring countless hours of tedious and backbreaking manual labor for results that were not always guaranteed. Now, thanks to advances in 3D foam carving technology, CNC equipment, software and the related processes, production has been automated to the point where much of the tedious work is history, leaving more time to focus on the creative and artistic work that goes into these projects. The resulting work can be jaw-dropping in terms of both detail and scale. How do technology and imagination interact to get these results? Here’s a simplified view of the main steps of the process.

Design and Digital File Creation

When it comes to concept development, the creative process behind coming up with an idea remains untouched, but the process for bringing these ideas to reality is where things have changed substantially. The fundamental difference between the past and present is that today’s design processes bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds. In the past, processes were dominated by manual sculpting methods, but now the process revolves around translating ideas into digital files.

There are a number of ways to get to this digital file. For those that still like to get their hands dirty and have the requisite sculpting skills, scale models can be sculpted by hand as a starting point. These models are then scanned by a 3D laser scanner that captures a perfect digital replica of the object. For those without the sculpting skills (or perhaps the inclination), existing objects can also be scanned. Once scanned, design software can be used to alter or add to the piece as required. The physical world can be pushed aside completely thanks to digital design software that can be used to create 3D digital sculptures. This software is becoming an increasingly popular – and capable – means of sculpting. Whatever the creative medium, the end result is a digital file that forms the foundation for the rest of the process.

CNC Machining

When it comes to process improvements to accuracy, speed and efficiency, this part of the process is really where the rubber hits the road. It’s where the manual work that once slowed the whole production process down is replaced with automation, and where related mistakes and oversights are minimized. With the design complete, the digital file is passed along to a CNC machine that translates the data and uses it to create a perfect foam replica of the object in any size. Various types of foam can be used and the type of CNC machine used depends on the nature of the project. For basic and linear shapes, hotwire foam cutting machines (also known as CNC foam cutters) that use heated wire to cut through the foam are used. For organic and more intricate shapes, 3D CNC routers are used, which are capable of replicating virtually any kind of object. The end result of this part of the process is a perfect replication of the design file in foam – a replication that did not require the backbreaking and time-consuming labor that once characterized the production process.

Assembly and Detailing

In this part of the process, the raw foam piece is taken from the CNC machines and prepared for coating and finishing. For larger projects, this may involve assembly and armatures. With foam being relatively cheap and lightweight, and with the capabilities of 3D CNC foam carving technology, creating monumental sized projects is now much more cost effective. To create these large projects, part of the production process involves breaking large projects down into sizes that the CNC machines can handle and then assembling the pieces afterwards. Advanced software actually has the ability to determine how to cut larger pieces into sizes that make the most sense for efficient CNC machining. Once machined, the individual pieces are put back together, and if required, armatures are used internally to give the final pieces the stability they need. Once assembled, seams are filled, and hand finishing and more detailed carving is completed to prepare the piece for coating.


For those that can’t get their heads wrapped around how foam could possibly be a suitable material in cases where strength and durability are required, here’s the explanation. At this stage of the process, raw foam is sprayed with a plastic-like coating (often polyurethane or polyurea) that protects it from wear and tear. The type of coating used depends largely on where and how the piece will be used, but for most commercial applications, a plural component spray system is used to apply industrial grade hard coating. In addition to providing strength and protection, these coatings can also be textured in different ways to give the final piece the desired look. Once hard coated, the piece can be primed to prepare it for the finishing stage.


This is the stage where the artistry of conventional processes can really shine through. In the finishing stage, skilled artists use a variety of techniques, including painting, air brushing, faux finishing and dry brushing to bring the final piece to life. These finishes are applied over the primer and hardcoating applied in the previous step. Once finished, a clear coat is often applied to the final piece as a protective coating, bringing the production process to a close. Thanks to the process improvements made during the machining and other automated stages, artists tend to have more time to focus on this part of the job, instead of processes like enlargement and hand sculpting. With this shifting focus, end products have grown increasingly imaginative and realistic. Other finishing techniques can duplicate the look of bronze or stone.

While this is a simplified view of the process, it shows that while technology has replaced the more tedious and manual parts of the process, artistry and creativity are still given free reign. Equipment like hot wire foam cutters and 3D CNC equipment are critical pieces of the puzzle, but skilled artists continue to play an important role. It’s this combination of automation and artistry that have lead to such impressive improvements and unbelievable projects. It’s the same combination that has also opened doors for businesses looking to add these kinds of products to their offering. Automated 3D foam carving with CNC machines is now within reach for a growing range of businesses, whether they’re looking to upgrade their current production processes or starting up something new. Businesses can expand their footprint and their bottom lines while creating products that push the limits of creativity.

Drag Chains

Drag Chains are guides which have been specifically designed to surround and protect flexible cables such as pneumatic or hydraulic cables. Because these cables or hoses are generally connected to automated moving machinery, they help guide the chain or cable and greatly reduce wear and tear and the stress on them. They also help prevent entanglement which improves operator safety.

Some cable carriers may be capable of vertical, rotary, horizontal and three dimensional movements.

The cables lie in a rectangular cross section which most carriers have. Along the length of the carrier the cross bars can be opened from the outside and the cable may be easily inserted and the plugs attached. Inside the carrier internal separators separate the cables, and the cables may also be held in place by an integrated strain relief. The ends of the carrier are fixed to the machine by using mounting brackets.

Due to their rigid nature cable carriers will only bend in one plane, and will often only bend in one direction, and when combined with the rigid mounting at the end of the carriers this will completely prevent the enclosed cables from moving around in any undesired direction or becoming crushed or entangled.

Cable carriers also known as energy chains, cable chains or drag chains are available in many different types, sizes and styles to accommodate any performance range desired, and some of these may include;

o Open

o Low noise

o Closed cable carrier

o High load

o Temperature, water and chemical resistant cable carrier

Closed cable carriers offer protection from debris and dirt such as metal shaving/chips, and wood shavings/chips etc.

Cable carriers are commonly used wherever there is automated moving machinery which requires the transferral of energy such as electric, gas, hydraulic and pneumatic or even data. Some examples can include laboratory equipment, car washes, automated warehouse machinery, offshore oil rigs and forklift trucks.

Cable and hose chains may be manufactured from different materials to suit their desired purpose and material such as steel and nylon is used.

The length of many chains can be easily and quickly modified by the addition or subtraction of the chain links, and in some applications no additional special tools are required.

Build A Simple Planter Box

Love flowers, but don’t have the space — or the desire — to plant a garden? You may want to try making your own flower box, which can be just about any size you wish.

This planter box is built with a top and a bottom exterior frame; then you affix cedar panels to the frame and add bottom panels. After that, just add plants for a touch of spring anywhere you want to put it!

Expert tip: Always draw a diagram before you build anything. Remember: If you can’t draw it, you can’t build it! You don’t have to be Leonardo Divinci, just that YOU can read it!! Your diagram will be useful in helping you determine the size of your project and the amount of lumber you’ll need. Simply take the finished diagram with you when you go shopping, and you’ll be sure to get everything your project requires.


Four Lengths of 26 Inch 1×2 Cedar

Four Lengths of 13 Inch 1×2 Cedar

Twelve Side & End Panels 5 ½ Inches x 12 ¼

Two Base Panels 1 Inch x 6 Inches x 24 Inches

Wood glue

Galvanized nails


Stainless-steel or Ceramic Coated Screws

Drill driver and bits

Speed square

Note: All our sections were precut, so they just need assembly. If you can’t or don’t wish to cut your own lumber, home-supply stores will generally cut it for you for a small fee.

Expert tip: Before you begin hammering, use sandpaper to rough up the striking surface of your hammer. Then it’s less likely to slip while you’re working.

Building the Frames

Build the top and bottom frames out of the 1×2 cedar strips. You’ll be butting the ends together, so no mitering will be necessary.

1.Fasten two 26″ strips to two 13″ strips to form each rectangular frame. (You’ll need to ensure that the length remains 26″; to do this, butt the ends of the shorter strip against the longer strips. The thickness of the two longer strips will add an inch to each end of the shorter strips, increasing their length to 16″. Do this at each end of the longer strips to form a rectangular frame 26″ long and 16″ wide.)

2. Apply a bead of wood glue to the junctions of the strips; then nail together with a single nail in each junction in preparation for inserting screws to hold them more securely.

3. Predrill the ends prior to screwing them together; this helps keep the ends from splitting. Then insert a screw in each corner.

Attaching the Side Panels

1. Stand the two frames on their sides and apply a bead of wood glue to the inside face of the bottom side frames (the long sides).

2. Attach four side panels to each long side, smooth sides out, and nail from the inside to hold them in place. Make sure the frames are flush with the panel ends on at least one side, or the bottom panels won’t fit properly. If the panels are jagged on the other side, you can always smooth them with a trim saw later.

Tip: Because you’re nailing from the inside, you may have to drive the nails at a slight angle. The advantage of this is that it conceals the nailheads from the exterior face of the window box.

3. Repeat step 2 on the other side of the box.

Attaching the End Panels

1. Stand the half-completed box on its end and apply a bead of wood glue to the inside face of the bottom end frames.

2. Attach two panels to each end in the same manner that you used to attach the side panels, once again ensuring that the ends are flush on the bottom.

3. Repeat the process on the opposite end.

Attaching the Bottom Panels

1. Check and if necessary adjust your box for square.

2. Attach three bottom panels to form the base of the planter box, using wood glue and screws. The base will reinforce and brace the box.

3. Drill several holes in the panels so that water can escape, or simply leave a gap between the panels.


Lightly sand any rough edges and corners to smooth out splinters. Now it’s time to feel, smell, kiss and hug your new planter box, because it looks so good – and you did it yourself!


If you wish, you can stain, seal or prime and paint your planter to suit your home’s decor. Because you used cedar, however, it can stay unfinished: cedar is one of the best lumbers you can use for exterior applications.

This planter is a good size for potted plants, but you may wish to add a plastic liner and fill it with soil (add a layer of gravel first). If you do, don’t forget to cut holes in the liner to line up with the drainage holes in the bottom of the planter.

Enjoy planting!