Fence Railings and Iron Railings: For Security and Style Statement

Fence railings offer a unique combination of enhancing security solutions and making a style statement. Property owners can look forward to some inherent benefits, while fabricating and installing them. The options are also limitless as we can see from iron railings, which are used in stairs, balconies and decks.

A few prominent features of these railings are apparent everywhere. As mentioned, the security is unmistakable. They add a certain degree of elegance and value to a property, regardless of its types. The interior of a property opens onto the exterior with a fine line of division with this attractive security solution.

Significantly, most of the fence and iron railings are durable and easy to maintain. It is an effortless task to install them and needs very less maintenance. Above all, these bars and supports are available in countless designs. It is simply impossible that homeowners would not find a style of their choice.

The experts recommend that qualitatively, wrought iron railings are better than aluminum or glass panel railings. After designing the railings, they indicate that there are two main techniques of installing the fence. First, it is done through mounting plates with an anchor. Alternatively, the fence is mounted on a concrete or retainer wall. Second, it is done through cement and concrete. This is mostly carried out when the fence is being installed over grass or asphalt.

Homeowners have the amazing chance to bring out the charms of the interiors to the outside. There would never be a problem as the iron railings are synonymous with safety, as they provide a foolproof fall-prevention solution.

It is convenient for homeowners as many manufacturers provide an all-inclusive fence and iron railing solutions. Many of them have a range of products to match with the requirements and budgets of the property owners. Customers can get the pre-designed work or even order a set of custom-designed solution. Therefore, they are available for a solution offering todesign, create, install and repair. In other words, customers can get a quick solution with pre-designed work. They can as well enjoy the benefits of flexible design options. Obviously, any investment on these railings is worth the money.

To summarize, the features and benefits of the railings are sometimes overwhelming. A couple of the most outstanding features are visible in their safety and aesthetics purposes. Regardless of the types of property, there are also countless options, which exactly match the style and preference of the customers.

Different Types Of Accommodation

Depending on the country you are travelling, the name as well as type of accommodation might change. Today, you have a lot of different choices in terms of choosing your vacation accommodations.

Here are some of these options.

Villa – This is perfect for families, groups, and couples. Although a lot of travelers may think that staying in a villa is somewhat costly, it is actually considered among the best choices, most especially when you are looking for complete privacy and exclusivity. Moreover, staying in a villa will allow you to enjoy all the comforts of a home. Due to the fact that you have a personal maid whenever you need something, you will just have to focus on giving yourself the rest and relaxation it needs.

Hotel – This is usually the first thing that comes into the mind of people when it comes to booking for an accommodation since this has the most things that you will need if you are to travel. Regardless of whether you are travelling for business or perhaps on a holiday, a hotel can be an excellent choice since it is very comfortable and amenities like restaurants and pools are accessible.

Caravan & Tent – Camping & caravanning are still among the best choices even with the plenty of accommodation options today. This is great choice for those wanting to experience real adventure. This is very cost-efficient option and is proven to be quite enjoyable. It actually offers travelers the opportunity to go back to basics as well as spend time with the nature.

Homestay – Though this is not among the most popular choices, this is still a great option. In fact, experts say that this is a good option if you are to stay in a county for a long time or perhaps you have a tight budget. Also, if you choose this option, you will have the opportunity to immerse in the country’s culture. In fact, you can even learn their language. If you choose to stay in the house by yourself, consider opting for a house swap. This is an arrangement wherein you agree with another traveler to stay in his or her house while he or she will stay in yours for some time.

Experts say that regardless of whether it is your first time or not to travel in another location, know that choosing the best accommodation is among the hardest part of planning for a trip. With plenty of options nowadays, it is very challenging to opt for one that suits your needs, preferences and budget best.

Finding And Using Hunting Guides For A More Successful Hunting Trip

There’s nothing worse than a bad hunting trip. Have you ever had high hopes of taking home a trophy, only to end up walking away empty-handed? That’s where the role of hunting guides come in.

Hunting guides will find game for you on your hunt, but their responsibilities don’t just end there; when you hire a hunting guide, you’re paying for the full package: ground transportation, equipment, the scheduling of your hunt, meals and with some guides,   lodging . Hunting guides also make certain that you’re physically and legally protected during your hunt by informing you about the best safety practices and what the local hunting regulations are. In addition, most hunting guides have received basic first aid training and are prepared to assist in a medical emergency. They truly have all the bases covered. Hunting guides make your hunting trip more enjoyable by allowing you to take your mind off the details and just enjoy the thrill of your hunt.

Considering the points above, if hiring a guide interests you, you’re going to need to ask a few good questions to find the guide that can provide the hunting trip that you want to experience. Start off by asking the guide how long he’s been licensed and operating his guide service. Statistics show that guide businesses that have been around for several years are more reputable. Guides that treat their customers with indifference or don’t perform for their customers tend to not last for more than a couple years. In addition to being in business for a while, make sure your guide has been hunting for several years. This is important because, in general, a seasoned guide is going to make better judgments than a guide that doesn’t have the same amount of experience when a critical situation presents itself.

Be sure the hunting guides you’re interviewing are skilled in locating the specific species you want. There would be no sense in hiring a guide that specializes in hunting pheasant for your elk hunt. If you’re pursuing big game, you’ll want to know the size of the animals on their property; ask if they have current trail cam pics. Don’t hesitate to request references; experienced hunting guides should have a reference for you to contact or a written testimonial for you to look at. Sometimes included with the written testimonial, is a picture of the customer’s trophy. Also take into account the guide’s knowledge of the location that you will be hunting. You want to be certain that your guide will be comfortable on that particular location. Hunting guides accustomed with the locale are probably going to know the best spots for the particular game that you want to hunt.

The success ratio of your guide is perhaps the most important quality in your search for a guide. Ask how successful (or unsuccessful) he has been at finding the species you want to hunt. Some of this information you can discover on your own by reading online reviews, but you may want to verify what you’ve read from the guide himself. Of course, the fee the guide charges will determine whether or not you can afford to book the trip. Though, in and of itself, the price shouldn’t dictate whether you choose a specific guide; you’ll want to choose the guide that you think you will deliver the best total value for your money. Lastly, find out if he has a maximum group size per outing. The less hunters on the ground, the more individual attention you will get.

Considering all that hunting guides do to ensure you have a betting hunting experience, they can be well worth the cost. They take the guesswork out of planning the trip, share their knowledge with you, and they can teach you to become a better hunter. Your guide may also furnish some of the equipment and gear on your trip, so you can save a bit of cash just from that. If you do your homework and choose your hunting guides carefully, you can truly have the best hunting trip of your life.

Demography Changes and Crime – Rising Elderly Population


Demography is essentially the study of populations, divided into different sectors mainly; natural change which include births and deaths, net migration, age component and finally marriage, separation/divorce and headship rates. Demographic studies are important when planning future policies and investment decisions regarding schools, hospitals, roads, recreational facilities and power and water supplies. Research on changing population trends are of utmost importance in planning investment.

Planning Authority Topic Paper on Demography Report

Malta is a densely populated country with very limited land resources. Population projections enable the authorities to plan size and structure of future households and other policy making such as on education, health and social services. These projections serve also for traffic management, communications, leisure, recreational needs and urban and environmental planning. Our recent entry into the EU is also to be taken into account in terms of possible migration.

While certain events such as birth, mortality and migration can be somewhat predictable, other choices such as contraception are not as easy to predict. All in all, population predictions are not an easy task and are non linear and pretty volatile and need detailed analysis of quantitative data. The 2001 Topic Paper on demography is the third of its kind pepared by the Planning Authority to enable future and effective planning.

The projections in this paper cover the period from 1995 to 2020. Since it covers a period of twenty five years, one cannot expect a high degree of accuracy. The projections are based on the 1995 census of Population and   Housing  data. The Regional Projections are then based on the seven local plans defined by the Planning Authority, which are Central Malta, Gozo and Comino, Grand Harbour, Marsaxlokk Bay, North Harbours, North West and South Malta.

The cohort component method, used in most developed countries, was used for national projection in the Maltese island. This method is based on five year age cohorts and has the advantage of letting population change to be inserted and adjusted. An individual analysis is therefore of benefit as it influences the demographic components that effect the projection results. Age and gender are always included when formulating population projections.

Population projections usually assume that future events will be somewhat similar to past events. The hypothesis of the topic paper is based on mortality, reproductive behaviour and migration to understand the Maltese demographic situation.

Trends in the Maltese Islands

Low birth and mortality rates have been experienced in Malta for quite some time now, demographically we call this late transitional. This means that the population will be moving towards a post- transitional period and increase will be very low or none at all. Further rises in life expectancy, especially for females are to be expected but migration is still a volatile component to be considered. According to the 2001 report Malta is one of the highest in Europe when it comes to life expectancy with an average of 77.5 for both males and females. Postponement of death is mainly due to betterment in health services and a decrease in degenerative diseases. Other factors that increase life expectancy are the improvements in living standards.

Women tend to live more than men. According to the 2001 Planning Authority Demography Topic Paper, women tend to ‘engage less in life threatening lifestyles, such as alcoholism… less exposed to hazardous work environments.’ (Miljanic Brinkworth, Vassallo, Pace Asciak, Formosa, Brigulio and Bhowmick, 2001). Until 2000 the gender gap will continue to widen and after 2005 it is expected to narrow. At 2020 life expectancy will be 78 for males and 83 for females (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001)

During the 1990’s life expectancy increased, with a fluctuation for males. In 2020, females’ life expectancy is expected to stabilize while male life expectancy will continue to rise to about 76.5 (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001). Since the age of the population is going to increase, planners must start to think about the changes in  housing , community care, old people’s homes, pension sustainability, schools and hospitals and so on.

Since 1985 fertility rates have been on the decrease. This is due to a number of reasons; more women are working, studying and therefore postponing marriage and having children to a later stage in their life. Fewer children are also being born due to these factors. Fertility rates have fallen below the replacement level of 2.1 according to the census, 35% of mothers have two children while 18% have 1 child (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001). Since the number of children born are less than ever, this will have repercussions that planners must take into consideration e.g. education, employment,  housing  etc. Is it worth building more schools when there won’t be enough children to use them? Will there be enough people working to sustain the pensions of the larger ageing population in the coming years? Will there be more migration because of better jobs abroad and how will this effect Malta? With the increase of migrants in Malta, how will this affect the population trends?

Migration is a problem for calculating population change since it is very volatile. The post war period in Malta was dominated by three net migration peaks, with a decade apart. 1954 was the year most people left Malta, with a total of 11,447, followed respectively by the years 1950, 1964 and 1965 with over 8000 migrants in each year. From 1976 to 1997 there were a number of migrants that returned to Malta, mainly dominated by males (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001). These movements of people obviously had repercussions on the population structure. Since we have now joined the EU, migration is once again on the agenda. Will there be a migration of men alone or will whole families migrate? One must also note that people will migrate to Malta as a result of our joining the EU. In recent years we have seen an increase of illegal immigrants and refugees on our shores coming from the African continent. Some of these will proceed to other European countries or USA, while others will set up family here. This is an issue planners must keep in mind as this will have a bearing on projections.

The 2001 Planning Authority study based the regional population projections on the seven local plans mentioned before. This was done to chart the internal migration in Malta, with the census data as the authoritative source. Economic prospects, ideal environment,  housing  availability and so on are linked to internal migration. Child bearing has no relevance in this sector since fertility rates do not vary among local plans. The same can be said on mortality rates. Size and structure though have an effect on internal migration. In the Grand Harbour Local Plan, with the current conditions, by the year 2020 the population will have decreased to 6700 from 30700. The urban and social fabric will automatically have severe consequences. Internal migration is estimated at 3% of the total population, and is usually in their own locality of vicinity. An increase in population is expected in all localities except for the Grand Harbour local plan (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001).

For structure plan review purposes household projections are required in order to plan for  housing  provisions, urban services, transport, education and recreation. The projections are based on an analysis of households by age and gender. An increase of households can be expected since female independence has increased and there are a greater number of separations, and single mothers. Co- habitation is also on the increase though not as much as in Europe. This could be because co-habitation is not yet so accepted in Malta and accommodation is not cheap. Renting is not an option for many people. Many do not leave their parents’ home until they are married and this is prolonged more for those who continue their tertiary education. Males marry later than females and therefore stay longer in their parental homes (Decannini, 1999 as cited in Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001).

An increase in household can be also attributed to the government’s help in keeping the elderly in the community. 80% of Maltese elderly prefer to continue living at home (Delia, 1993 as cited in Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001). By 2020, 60 year olds will be more active and therefore will continue to live at home, while those in a home will be of an older age.

The report forecasts that in comparison to 1995 in 2020 there will be; a larger population estimated at 434,260, a higher proportion of males, a higher proportion of people over 60 years of age, a lower birth rate, a higher death rate, a higher fertility rate, higher life expectancy for both males and females, an average international migration of 775, smaller households, more households, more persons in institutions, more people residing in the central Malta local plan, less people residing in Gozo and Comino Local Plan area, lower population in the Grand Harbour area and approximately the same for the other Local Plan areas (Miljanic Brinkworth et al., 2001).

Increasing Elderly Population

In Malta the projected percentage distribution by age and sex for the years 2006, 2015 and 2035 show an increase in the aging population that reaches a 13.8% for females and an 11.5% for males in the 75 and over range in the year 2035. This contrasts greatly with the low 3.7% and 3.8% of those born in this same period. The trend shows an increase in the elderly population and a steady decrease in the birth rate (National Statistics Office, 2006).

In November 2005, the average age of the population stood at 38.5 years, compared to 35.7 years in 1995 and 33.8 in 1985 ( National Statistics Office, 2005). This resulted from a declining fertility rate, 16.1 % less than in 1995 while an increase was noted in the 50 to 64 age group and 65 and over range group, with an increase of 42.5% and 28.6% respectively National Statistics Office, 2006). The dependency ratio[1] in 2005 decreased to 44.7% compared to 50.4% in 1995. This is due to the low fertility rate that in 10 years decreased by 0.4 per mother.

With the increase of the elderly in our societies, crimes against the elderly are bound to rise. ‘… the rejection of the value of the elderly … they become dehumanised… opens the doors to crime…’ (Montague, 2006). The likelihood of being a victim of crime is strongly related to one’s age (Fattah, 1991 as cited in Carrington, 2001). A study in 2003 in the state of Idaho concluded that the poorer the elderly, the more likely they are to become victims. This can be attributed to the unsustainability of the pension schemes present that put elderly in sticky situations. Their choice of  housing  depends on their income, and therefore might have to live in crimogenic areas (Montague, 2006).

In Australia, the population is ageing steadily and like other older people in other countries they are at risk mainly from four main sources. The first and most common is being a victim of family members, friends or acquaintances they trust. These may assault them, abuse them or steal from them. There is also the risk that strangers will victimise the elders and commercial organisations (white collar criminals) who would defraud them (Graycar, 1999). The high level of victimisation can be due to the fact that the elderly have accumulated savings over the years. Inflation can make them feel that they will not cope economically, and so they are prone to fraudulent activities who promise them money for investing their hard earned cash (Miyazawa, 1990).

Losses are occurring in a broad sociological context, since we are experiencing an ever increasing aging society (Rathbone- McCuan, 1986). The increase has given rise to a greater demand for state and private provisions especially since family and kinship models are changing. Even though in Malta, cultural values are still strong, the family is undergoing major changes. The elderly have become a burden on society and institutions are now filling the gap (Agius, 1989). Elderly who are in institutions or receive care at home are at risk of being abused or neglected by their carers (Graycar, 1999). Fraud and abuse in institution settings for elderly are of the financial kind were personal funds are stolen or misused, rights abuse such as privacy and right to information, neglect and physical and psychological abuse (Halamandaris, 1983 & Stathopoulos, 1983 as cited in Rathbone- McCuan, 1986).Victimizing will become even greater in the years to come when the current population will reach very advanced stages of ageing (Rathbone- McCuan, 1986). Therefore the fear of crime in the elderly is not unfounded. Among the aged the risk of crime is of a predatory, economic type and can also result from abuse from those who care for them (Graycar, 1999).

Community and home based care should be provided to help families with elderly in need of care thus avoiding the need to be institutionalized. In 2007, elderly over 80 in Germany were over four million. They are living longer and healthier lives which means that there is a need for a ‘societal infrastructure that accommodates the needs of an ageing population’ (Unknown Author, 2007). Suitable  housing  is to be provided as well as urging public institutions to provide ramps for wheelchairs, companies and shops to provide services such as carrying bags for the elderly and so on. Germany is not prepared to cope with the growing number of health problems that affect the elderly and is still relying on the family to provide care. Most elderly prefer to live at home and one should look to alternatives such as multi family  housing  where several generations of a family live in different apartments but under the same roof (Lenz as cited in Unknown author, 2007). In the United States a concept is growing rapidly called ‘independent living’. This is where elderly who are still relatively healthy live in a community. Meals are provided for them and shops, banks, transport and medical services are accessible. This could be an excellent approach that could be adopted and customised according to local needs. In Malta, we already some services that help the elderly in their home such as Telecare[2], meals on wheels[3] and handy man services. Reliance on the welfare state and government homes for the elderly is unfortunately considerable in Malta, with a large waiting list for St. Vincent De Paule Home for the Elderly (Dunn, 2001).

Migration of elderly people to coastal is being experienced in many countries. People move to other countries such as Spain and Malta that offer mild weather and better living conditions then for example in Britain. In the USA, the elderly populate places like Florida and Long Island, as these areas provide them with an ideal life. Elder people tend to migrate to places which offer ‘the slower more relaxed pace and the natural beauty’ (Spencer, 2000). Others migrate because of the availability of cheaper and better health services. These movements create a number of age related problems such as transport and mobility problems, high demand for health services, less people working and so on. Innovative ways to improve transport and delivery of services should be devised. Communications and information technology can offer solutions to some of these problems. For example, shopping from one’s home will reduce travelling for the elderly as goods are delivered directly to their homes. The same can be said of financial transactions. In 20 years time technology will be more effective and more useful in aiding the elderly in becoming independent (Spencer, 2000).

In Japan, by the beginning of the 21st century 25% of its population will be elderly. It is interesting to note that Miyazawa, 1990 included crime committed by the elderly in his study. 3.9% of the total individuals apprehended by the police were elderly. The offences committed by the elderly were mostly property offences followed closely by embezzlement and fraud. Why do the elderly turn to criminal behaviour? According to Miyazawa, 1990 the reasons are various. He tries to explain them by saying that the elderly are forced to retreat from social life creating a certain amount of resentment resulting from economic and psychological deprivation and this may ultimately lead to deviant behaviour. The loss of work due to retirement can cause the energy and capabilities of the elderly to be diverted to deviant behaviour. Since the elderly population is increasing all over the world, crime by the elderly must be considered too and solutions be found and plans drawn up (Miyazawa, 1990).

Fresco, 2003 wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune about how elderly drivers were involved in most car accidents. In Long island, drivers over 75 had the second highest fatality rate in 2000. Though older drivers aim for the easiest traffic, and drive fewer miles, avoiding rush hours, in bad weather and at nights they still are a risk on the road. This is because many older drivers have slower reflexes, poorer hearing and vision. These issues are likely to multiply as the ageing population increases. Lack of suitable public transportation, suburban  housing  with spread out patterns will create problems. The administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Washington D.C. admitted that this was going to be a huge problem, and people will still have to ‘get around… to the store…to the doctor, the church’ (Fresco, 2003). If the elderly are made to give up their licence, they will face a lot of difficulties in leading an independent life.

The demographic changes of the population will continue and so will the overall crime rate as a result. If an age group, such as the youngsters’ will decline and is replaced by age groups characterized by lower offending rates, the crime rate will automatically decline (Carrington, 2001). Companies and businesses, the community and government must find solutions to the problems that will be encountered by the inevitable increasing ageing population.

[1] Dependency ratio is the sum of people aged less than 15 and over 65 years.

[2] The Telecare Service enables the subscriber to call for assistance when required. It aims to provide peace of mind to older adults, disabled persons and those with special needs, thus encouraging them to continue living in their own home. Telecare is also a source of reassurance for the subscriber’s carers and relatives. http://www.sahha.gov.mt

[3] The scope of the Meals on Wheels is to support elderly persons and others who are still living in their own home but who are unable to prepare a decent meal. The Maltese Cross Corps (a non-governmental organization) in collaboration with the Department for the Elderly and Community Care provide these individuals with a cooked meal. http://www.sahha.gov.mt

Japanese Housing Conditions

In Japan, land price is expensive and housing conditions regarding its rent and size are not good compared to other countries. Accommodation is a very serious problem even for the Japanese particularly in urban areas, which lack spacious and low cost housing.

1. Japanese rental housing

In Japan there is both public housing and private housing. Apartments make up the majority of rental housing.

a) Public housing

Public housing is provided by official organizations such as prefectural, city, and town governments, and housing supply corporations. Any non-Japanese who has an alien registration can apply for this kind of housing regardless of nationality. There are two types of housing: Koei Jutaku (public housing) is for people who have a low income; and Tokutei Yuryo Chintai Jutaku (delux family housing) and Kosha/Kodan Jutaku (Public Corporation housing) for those with a middle-class income.

These apartments provide a certain level of facilities at relatively low rent. It is necessary to pay two to three months’ rent as a deposit (guarantee money) at your tenanc y, but key money which is necessary for private housing is not required.

However, qualifications such as income are precisely determined, and only those who satisfy these qualifications can apply. As there are many applicants, the tenants are determined by lottery. After moving in, the tenants must comply with the regulations for use (i.e. nobody is allowed to live together with the tenants without permission). This type of housing is mainly apartments, which generally include kitchen, bath, and oshiire (closet), with one to four rooms.

b) Private rental housing

Private rental housing is owned by individuals and private companies. The type varies in rent and size.

1. Aparto (Apartment)

These are mainly two-story buildings constructed from light-weight steel, wood, or mortar, and house 4 to 8 households. Some of them share a toilet and/or have no bath.

2. Mansion (Apartment)

In Japan, housing which is bigger than an Aparto and built with reinforced concrete is called a Mansion. The insulation is better than an Aparto, and privacy is better. Some have a custodian living on the first floor or others have an underground parking lot.

3. Detached house

Detached houses have recently been designed using a mixture of Japanese and Western styles. Some of them have a garden. There are several rental houses designed especially for non-Japanese’ but not many.

2. Typical housing size and floor plan

The area is indicated in square meters (m2) as well as original Japanese units, “jo” and “tsubo.” One jo means one tatami mat, and is roughly 180 cm x 90 cm. (“Tatami” is a unique Japanese floor covering). One tsubo is 182 cm x 182 cm or about 3.3m2 and equals approximately two jo. There are Japanese-style and Western-style rooms. A Japanese-style room has tatami mats and a Western-style room has flooring or a carpeted floor. Below is a typical Japanese housing floor plan.

• K, DK, LDK – K means kitchen, D means dining room and L means living room. K means only a kitchen and DK means a dining room plus kitchen, and LDK means a room which has the function of a living room as well as dining room and kitchen. Therefore, 2DK means a house which has two rooms in addition to a room having the function of kitchen and dining room.

• UB – UB means unit bath (unified formation bathroom), which includes bathtub, toilet and washbowl.

• Oshiire (closet) – This means a storage space in a Japanese-style room.

• PS – This means a pipe space containing drainpipes and wiring conduits.

• MB – This means the meter box for water and gas.

Floor plan for One-room Mansions (one-room apartments)

(Example) Facilities are compact and there is one room which can be used as a living room. The kitchenette is very small, so that elaborate cooking is not possible. Some of them don’t have any space for a washing machine inside the room.

Floor plan for detached houses


• Most detached houses in modern Japan have both Japanese and Western-style rooms.

• Some of them have a garden and a parking space.

3. Customs regarding Japanese housing

a) Shoes In Japanese housing, there is an area for removing shoes before stepping up into the main entrance. Japanese people sit on the floor and sleep on a futon on the tatami, the Japanese traditional floor mats, so stepping on them with shoes on is not allowed. If you enter a room wearing shoes and dirt the mats, you might have to pay repair costs.

b) BathroomIn Japan bathing is not only washing the body but also a chance to relax while soaking in the bathtub. Recently bathrooms consisting of a Western-style bath with toilet have become popular, but the Japanese traditional bathroom is separate from the toilet and has a space to wash the body outside the bathtub. Bathtubs are mainly made of plastic or stainless steel. If you live with a Japanese family, you must keep the water in the bathtub as clean as possible because the rest of the family will take turns to use the water after you. Do not use soap in a Japanese-style bathtub. The water is heated mainly by gas.

c) Tatami matsTatami mats are a traditional floor covering of straw sewn to make a mat about 5.5 cm thick and bound by woven rush. One tatami mat (jo) is also the unit used to indicate the size of a room. New tatami is green and the tatami mats are changed every few years or whenever moving house.

d) Futon (thick bedquilt), bed and oshiire (closet)In a Japanese house, generally the futon is rolled out every night and folded away in the oshiire every morning. During the daytime, the futon is kept inside the oshiire. In this way, a single room can be used for various purposes. If a bed is placed on the tatami mats, they are dented and damaged, so it is recommended to put boards under the legs of the bed.

e) City gas and propane gasElectricity or gas is provided for the stove and bath. There are two types of gas: city gas (coal gas), led to each household from gas company tanks, and propane gas, provided by dealers in the form of cylinders. City gas is managed by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd. and propane gas is managed by individual dealers. Gas cookers etc. should be supplied by tenants.

f) Water supply and drainageAlmost all areas of Kanagawa Prefecture have water supply facilities. You candrink the tap water. In most cases there is a drainage or a water purification tank. The drainage system is not suitable for a disposer.

g) ToiletThe Japanese-style toilet has a cover (dome) at the front. When the toilet is shared with other tenants, separate toilet slippers should be used.

h) Air conditioning / heatingSome housing has air conditioning/heating but in most cases, tenants have to buy their own. Fuel for heating includes electricity, gas, and kerosene. Sometimes the use of kerosene is prohibited.

i) Fusuma and shojiThese are unique Japanese sliding doors to separate rooms. Fusuma is a wooden frame with fusuma paper pasted on both sides. Shoji is a latticed wooden frame with shoji paper windows. It is possible to make a room bigger by removing fusuma to connect the rooms. Fusuma pasting should be done by a specialist but when shoji paper is torn, you can buy shoji paper and repair it yourself.

4. Common problems and how to troubleshoot

a) Remove footwearDo not enter a house with shoes on. Be sure to remove shoes at the entrance.

b) Deposit -Most of the problems related to renting involve the deposit. In Japan when you rent a house, you have to pay a deposit to the house owner. This deposit is given to the house owner and returned without any interest when the lease is cancelled. However, repair costs are deducted, so the deposit is usually not returned in full. As the specific agreement of the rent is contained in the rental housing contract, please check the contract thoroughly and don’t break it. As for the other expenses when making a contract, please refer to page 39.

c) Number of residentsThe number of residents is confirmed when the contract is made. Additional residents are not allowed.

d) NoiseDo not make loud noises late at night. In apartments, the sound echoes more than you think. As the sound of running a large amount of water also bothers neighbors, try not to run a bath or do washing late at night.

e) PetsThere are almost no apartments allowing pets other than small birds and goldfish. If you do find one where you can keep pets, please follow the rules.

f) KitchenIf you cook with a large amount of oil, clean the area soon after by wiping the sink and cooking area. The ventilation fan should also be cleaned regularly.

g) Putting out the garbageGarbage is collected by the municipal government. The collection point, date, and method are determined in each area. There are areas where flammable garbage and nonflammable garbage should be separated. As for large garbage items, there are areas where the collection date is already determined, or you can sometimes arrange to have them picked up. Please consult your neighbors or the municipal government.

h) Long-term absenceWhen you are not at home for a long time, you should notify the house owner. Rent must be paid even when you are away.

i) Remodeling of the roomIf you want to remodel a room, such as by putting a nail into a pole or attaching a hook to the wall for holding clothes, you should first consult owner. It is assumed that you will leave the room in the condition it was in when you rented it. If you remodel the room and it cannot be returned to its original state, your deposit will not be returned, or additional payments may be required.

What is the Best Barbecue Book?

There are a lot of books claiming to be the Best Barbecue Book in the world. But while most books only have recipes and some only have tips on how to make the perfect barbecue, there are a few that combine both plus more additional information packed into one neat volume. The Best Barbecue Book should not only include tips and recipes but it has to also be a comprehensive guide to everything that is related to barbecue.

The following is a list of the top four books that we think deserve to be called, “The Best Barbecue Book.”

1. Peace Love And Barbecue by Mike Mills

Presented in scrapbook form with stories and photographs from travels across America in search of the best barbecue that the country has to offer, this book earns the title, “The Best Barbecue Book.” It is a loving tribute with a multitude of delectable recipes, new techniques and classical styles of cooking, and a cornucopia of stories and photographs that make this a comprehensive guide to everything that there is to know about barbecue. This book is a must-have for foodies and barbecue aficionados.

2.   Smokestack  Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country by Lolis Eric Elie with photographs by Frank Stewart

This book is the result of a cross-country trip that Lolis Eric Elie and Frank Stewart took towards the wonderful world of barbecue. This isn’t focused on barbecue alone; it is about the people and the places at the heart of it. With excellent recipes and fascinating profiles of the true blue fans of barbecue,  Smokestack  Lightning is the definitive representation of the heart and soul of barbecue.

3. Where There’s Smoke, There’s Flavor: Real Barbecue – The Tastier Alternative To Grilling by Richard W. Langer

This is a detailed guide to the basics of smoke cooking, which, according to author Richard W. Langer, is the secret to cooking a great barbecue. “Low heat, a long time, and lots of smoke – those are the keys to a good barbecue.” This book features plenty of mouthwatering recipes as well as traditional and contemporary approaches to barbecue.

4. Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, The Real Way To Barbecue by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Culinary experts believe that smoke-cooked barbecue is the way to go when it comes to real barbecue. This book is based solely on smoke cooking. It includes easy-to-follow recipes, various cooking techniques, and even information on what equipment to use.

These books do not take the fun away from cooking and instead, allow even first-time cooks to experience the joy and learn the art of cooking barbecue. Any one of these books deserves to be called “The Best Barbecue Book.”

Common PPE Mistakes in Electric Arc Flash Training Programs

After a 15 years of  arc  flash testing, investigations and replications with electric  arcs , a few lessons have emerged as critical in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) programs:

1. PPE has to be worn?

Whether it’s because of a lack of training the importance or a policy saying, “Wear it when it’s needed,” or if the right garment wasn’t picked for the job. PPE is no good if it isn’t worn. Most accidents happen when the worker believes they need no protection. If the employer buys the the least expensive garments they will have poor compliance to their policy. Another reason why PPE isn’t worn is that the company believes more is better and provides heavy, uncomfortable PPE. If it is worn all the time, less can be best. The greatest difference in clothing for the  arc  flash is the difference between non-FR and FR. To be concerned about the difference between a 100 cal/cm² suit and a 40 cal/cm² suit is to miss the point. Many companies will provide 100 cal/cm² suits, which are not worn. It is best to have a worker in an 8 cal/cm² shirt and an  arc  rated jean than in 100% cotton because it  arc  rated clothing will not ignite.

Cheaper suits are often heavier but if workers are wearing them for a short time they are a good value. If workers are working in  arc  flash hoods more than 20 minutes per day consider a lightweight suit, which is at least 40 cal/cm². Some of the 40 cal/cm² suits are one half the weight of others.Adding venting to a hood may add $200 to the cost of the hood but it can make a huge difference in worker comfort. Field trial the options choices to see real world performance.Considering cost and comfort increases compliance.

2. Flame Resistant in the label doesn’t mean anything.

FR Acrylic, nylon and polyester are not really flame resistant for practical purposes. These materials should use another name because “flame resistant” by definition gives the user the wrong impression. They may be fine for a worker who has little or no flame exposure but they are dangerous in electric  arc  and flash fire conditions where these products melt into the skin. Products you choose should meet the right standards.

Here are the standards to specify:

– Clothing — ASTM F1506 or IEC 61482

– Rainwear — ASTM F1891

– Hoods and Face Shields — ASTM F2178

– Fall Protection Exposed to Electric  Arc  — ASTM F887

– Gloves — ASTM D120

– Flash Fire Clothing — NFPA 2112, CGSB 155.20

3. Using FR Rainwear rather than  Arc-Rated  Rainwear.

Make sure you have the right rainwear. Only rainwear that meets ASTM F1891, F2733, or NFPA 2112 will not melt in  arc  or flash fire conditions.  Arc-rated  rainwear is usually built on DuPont’s Nomex® or Kevlar® or a blend. Nylon or polyester, even if labeled “FR” are not acceptable in rainwear exposed to  arc  flash or flash fire.

4. Using non-FR winter wear over FR and thinking you are protected.

An FR shirt under a flammable jacket will not protect. Winterwear that does not meet ASTM F1506 is dangerous in an  arc  flash. In two accidents I have investigated, a non-FR winter jacket burned workers under FR clothing over 50% of their body. Many winter liners are now available which keep workers warm and protected. Try Westex’s Indura(TM) ModaQuilt(TM) or the the new 3M FR Thinsulate or many other options which do not melt and have F1506 testing.

5. No training on undergarments.

In order the meet the NFPA 70E standard, workers are required to wear non-melting natural fiber undergarments or  arc  rated underwear. Flame resistant bras and other undergarments are available. Avoid any wickable material which can melt. These materials should not be worn as underwear in  arc  flash or flash fire exposures. Plain cotton, wool and silk are all good options for winter undergarments or  arc  rated t-shirts made from materials like Indura UltraSoft® Knits, Springfield’s FireWear®, ITI’s EMC(TM), SSM’s ProC FR(TM), DRIFIRE, FR Wickers wool or various Nomex® Knits are acceptable.

Simplifying an  arc  flash PPE program by using daily wear with 8 cal/cm² protection and adding an  arc  flash rainsuit, or an additional coverall or a lightweight flash suit with a flash suit hood makes a well rounded program easier to live with and work in.

Bow Hunting Tips For Beginners

If you are just starting to get involved in bow hunting, then there are a lot of things you must learn. The first thing you will obviously need to do is get a bow. There are certain models out there that are much more popular than others. Mathews, PSE, Diamond, Martin, Bowtech,High Country and Hoyt just to name a few. In my opinion the popularity of the brand is not what you should look at. All of these companies make great compound bows. I recommend shooting many different kinds of bows without looking at what brand it is. Start narrowing down your choices little by little, and at the end you’ll have the bow that fits you the best and not the bow that is just more popular.

Once you have your bow all set up and sighted in the next step is to make sure you can hit your target. One of the best Bow hunting tips you can have is PRACTICE…PRACTICE…PRACTICE. Arrow placement is very important if you want to be a successful bow hunter. It is important to be able to draw your bow back slowly and quietly. Practicing not only helps with your accuracy but will aid in building the appropriate muscles needed for you to draw your bow back slowly, quietly and deadly. Practice shooting standing with your legs together, siting, from a tree stand, your porch or try to simulate various hunting situations. The more prepared you are the better your chances will be for making a successful shot.

Once you have shot your bow and you know you’re shooting great and nothing is wrong with your bow, it is time to head out to the woods. There are some Bow hunting tips that are universal and it doesn’t matter what kind of game you are hunting. One of those tips is to make sure that you are comfortable pulling your bow back in your stand or blind. Make sure there aren’t any branches or other obstacles that will be in your way while pulling your bow back. The last thing you want to have happen is for that big buck or turkey to come by and to not be able to pull your bow back because of some branch or obstacle in your way.

Once you have your bow all set up and your aim is true the next step is making sure your tree stand is ready for you to hunt out of. First thing that needs to be done is to make sure you have good shooting lanes from your stand and you are able to comfortably draw your bow back with out any interference from tree limbs. Also make sure your shooting lanes are open. Even a small branch may deflect your arrow resulting in a miss… or worse… a wounded deer. Knowing the distance of your target is also very important for bow hunters. You will find it beneficial to place a few markers in a radius in front of your stand. I place stones, dead tree branches or use actual trees as marker at 20 and 30 yards. If you have a rangefinder you could use that just keep in mind if you are measuring distance with a range finder when practicing you should also use a range finder when hunting.

Drainage Problems and Possible Solutions

Dealing with Blocked Drains as a Daily Chore

It stands to reason that chores dealing with plumbing can’t be called very pleasant. And still, plumbing jobs cannot be avoided in any household without exclusion. Drains can get blocked anytime and you are likely to need a help lest you are a professional plumber. It is advisable not to carry it too far, since it may result in overflowing toilet pans, silt as well as sinks and wash basins with slow drainage and a great many of other inconveniences. So, have your drains unblocked without delay in order not to find yourself in a disaster of household scale.

How to get the Drains Unblocked

In case you have found yourself in a similar situation, trained drain unblock engineers will try their hardest to get rid of obstruction and put your drainage system back in use. Those engineers who will come to your place have a high level of knowledge in their field and will deal with your problem easily. As for the technical side of the matter, the engineers have the state-of-the-art equipment in their possession to fulfill their duties as efficiently as it is possible.

Dealing with the Problem on Your Own

In case you have faced the problem of blocked drains you have a few steps to follow. Remember that you should act most quickly in order not to let the situation go worse. Before getting down to the work, make sure that you have ensured your hands protection, say, with PVC gloves. It’s advisable to have some drains rods for such situations. They can make it easier to fulfill this type of work. The next thing you need to do is to remove a manhole cover. For that matter, put in a key, turn, and lift the cover. Provided you have to work under the circumstance where you can’t see distinctly, apply a drain camera to detect the place of blockage in the pipe and get the big picture.

You can’t do without a drain rod when you have to deal with nearby blockages. Drain rod parts need to be put together to clean remote areas of drain blockage. An important aspect of this stage of cleaning pipes is that you need to turn a rod in a clockwise direction, thus, not allowing the rod to unscrew.

Keep on pushing the drain well until you get to the problematic area. After that, push it through the blockage in order to get rid of the dirt that got stuck there. Admittedly, it may require some physical strength to cope with that, for the blockage may be rather serious. However, sometimes you may come to need a manual drain cleaner used in those cases when the pipe has bends or when the blockage is at gulley junctions. As likely as not, sometimes the blockage might be particularly tough. Therefore, a petrol powered jet will be an irreplaceable tool in this case. It makes it possible to clear debris at a distance of up to 90 metres.

Why Do Drains Get Blocked?

It’s clear to everyone that at some point of time drains and pipes need to be cleaned. The reason for such state of matters is that drains appear to accumulate grease, silt, all other stuff while they are being exploited. And, sooner or later, a blockage or the conditions alike will arise due to the limited capacity of the pipes and increasingly appearing obstruction inside the pipe. Thus, the flow slows down leading to a blocked drain.

Each citizen knows that the major problem of the city’s drainage systems is a hard water scale. Though, today many companies tend to introduce special technologies called for solving the problem by clearing pipes of scale and encrustation.

Equipment Used in Order To Unblock Drains

By means of state-of-the-art equipment engineers are in a position to repair damaged drains, and avoid most inconvenient pipe excavation. Using such methods of cleaning drains is beneficial for you, both in terms of money and time. Therefore, relining repairs seems to be the best option. With no need for excavating, your costs won’t be too high.

Preventing the Problem of Blocked Drains

It’s important not only to unblock drains in apartments but also to have a kind of diagnosis of your drainage system made. It must be done in order to detect the weak points of your drains and make sure that they won’t surface sometime. Often times, CCTV may be applied in to detect the cause of the problem. Afterwards, a possible solution to the problem is discussed; either it is drain jetting, in serious cases, or manual unblocking, in minor ones.

Drain blockage might cause some serious problems. It is rather nasty when it happens at your place. You should be familiar with the initial signs of the blocked drain, as it is much alike the situation with disorder or a disease. So, people who happen to come across with drainage problems, traditionally common “symptoms” are: unusual smell, strange gurgling sounds, toilet pans that overflow after you flush. In addition to all that, wash basins and sinks are likely to drain more slowly. If you ignore these signs, next, you might witness more serious dilemmas. And, at this stage, risks of damage to the property and even health are involved.

Types of Drain Clearances

One can distinguish between internal and external drain clearances. In case of blocked internal drains the root of the problem typically has to do with property. It may surface in a form of blocked baths, toilets and sinks. Normally, it is hair, food products, oil and some bigger objects that appear to be the cause of drainage problems. In case of overflowing objects, the cause lies in nappies, sanitary towels or toilet wipes. So, avoid flushing the stuff mentioned above lest drain blockage will arise more frequently. Today, unlike in the past, it won’t be a problem to detect the problem of blockage and settle it without causing a resident much inconvenience. Given you have an external blocked drain; your problem is likely to be in the area between the drain and the sewer. The external drains usually get blocked with tree roots and leaves and the only way to solve such a problem is to call the specialists like the ones that work at http://www.citydrains.co.uk/

To sum it up, let’s recap the main points. As you see, there are a great many reasons why our drainage systems suffer from blockages and obstructions. In fact, no one can avoid confronting problems of blocked drains without changing the place of residence. It’s inevitable, since nothing is everlasting and can operate perfectly all the time. Therefore, allocate some time to have you drainage system examined in order to be on the safe side and get your problems settled in advance.

Drain Cleaning Done Your Way

 Drain  cleaning can be a relatively simple and easy process or it can be extremely stubborn and frustrating – it all depends on how bad of a clog you really have. To help you determine the severity of the issue, and to potentially rectify the situation on your own, there are several different methods to try out.

 Drain  cleaning, like many other projects around the home, is something that has many different approaches and methods that have been developed by various individuals over the years, and not all of them are conventional.

While certain products and approaches have been known to work for many people, others may be things that various people have tried out on a whim and discovered to work, so they have been passed down through generations. These various approaches may be vastly different, and not all of them may work on every clog, but they are certainly worth trying.

In most  drains , especially bathroom and kitchen sinks, the issue is various types of material building up in the pipes just below the sink. This could mean hair or bathroom products, or it might mean foods and cooking ingredients, but no matter what is down there, trying to fish it out is often the best method to try first.

To accomplish this, bending a wire coat hanger into a long, straight wire can allow it to be snaked down to the area of the clog. Once there, it can potentially break it up and force some of it down the pipes, or pull it back up to be removed and discarded. For those who feel this may be the best approach, a plumber’s tool known as a snake can perform this same type of work and also features a claw on one end to help grasp onto whatever may be down there.

Another approach to  drain  cleaning that is more unconventional is to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar to help flush out your pipes. This mixture will cause a fizzing action that can help break up a blockage, and should be left to sit for at least an hour before flushing it out with hot water.

Of course, for relatively minor clogs, boiling water is an effective means of  drain  cleaning itself. Because of its extremely high temperature, it can immediately break down the material in some clogs and help release them on contact.

Finally, if none of these tools or mixtures are effective means of  drain  cleaning, it is worth attempting to use a wet and dry vacuum to attempt to suck out whatever may be down there. When set to vacuum liquids, it potentially has the power to suck up all types of different things that may be in your pipes.

Power Tools Drill

Power tools drill thousands of holes in their lifetime. Take a little time and find the right cordless power drill for your application and make it a happy life for you and the drill.

Everyone has their favorite color drill, yellow blue, red, teal. You know the colors and the brands. But when you consider how many holes power tools drill for you, shouldn’t you look beyond the “color”? I feel there are a few things you should consider before you pick your favorite brand or color off the shelf.

First and foremost, what will be its job? If most of your work is drilling small holes and driving small screws, you don’t need a 24 volt monster to get the job done. Sure they have massive power but they can actually slow you down by adding fatigue after an hour or two of work. Many times a 12 volt or 14 volt unit will cover most jobs you may come across. If you need to drill large hole saw holes or deep holes or even use in a hammer drill mode, you may be better off with a big dog, but still the current 18 volt power tools drill with plenty of power for most jobs. If all you do is assembly type work, consider one of the small pocket drivers, especially the light weight lithium.

Battery type. You have 3 choices to choose from. Nicad, Nimh and Lithium batteries. Nicads have been around for years and are a great choice and all the major brands have them. Nimh offers more run time in the same size package although your choices are a lot slimmer. Panasonic is the main one for the Nimh although you will find others. The premier choice, in my opinion is the Lithium battery tools. It’s hard to believe the run time you can get from such a small battery. Don’t worry about the power from such a light battery, remember, 18 volts of Nicad, Nimh or Lithium batteries will give you the same power.

How much will it be used. Remember we said power tools drill thousands of tools? Well not always. My 14 volt Bosch sees about 15 minutes of use every couple of weeks. My 12 volt Bosch saw about the same use for many years before the batteries finally go weak. If you are a homeowner, a lesser priced tool may be adequate for most of you applications. If you are a contractor, don’t skimp. A cordless drill is your right hand and makes you a good living. Buy a contractor grade tool and check the warranty. Some tools warranties are void if used in commercial application.

What do you have now. Okay. You have a favorite color tool and you have the radio, the vacuum the hat and everything. Well their is a lot to be said about loyalty. If you already have a whole shop full of Makita, why would you change and have to mix and match chargers and batteries? Valid point.

In conclusion, try to be color blind next time you pick out a cordless tool. Weight the above points and you’ll find that both you and your power tools will live happily ever after.

Timber Rustling Makes Us All Victims

Those who employ financial planning are a diverse bunch, with a long list of far-ranging challenges and problems between them. But I suspect few outsiders would guess that list would include “rustlers.”

No need to call John Wayne. They aren’t losing cattle; they’re losing trees. Whether you call them rustlers or just thieves, though, the problem is real, and it is not trifling.

 Timber  rustling is on the rise. By  timber  rustling, I mean thieves who go to isolated woodland parcels, often late at night (presumably after scouting their targets in daylight), to cut and make off with the most valuable trees.

In upstate New York and other parts of the Northeast, the typical targets for such rustlers are black cherry, red oak and sugar maple. Landowners can easily lose $20,000 of  timber  in a single night.

New York has tough penalties for  timber  theft, but enforcement and prosecution is spotty. The state’s Department of Environmental Conservation warns that “Prosecuting  timber  thieves is expensive and convictions are often very difficult to obtain,” even under New York’s relatively robust laws. (1) Other places are much more lax. (For  timber  owners who find themselves the victims of scams in which loggers either claim they thought wood was part of a neighbor’s property or take much more  timber  than the owner agreed to sell, legal recourse may be even harder, since accepting any money changes the nature of the crime and generally renders it a civil, rather than criminal, matter.) To complicate matters, the nature of the crime means that, frequently, the theft will not be discovered for weeks – sometimes even longer – making it hard to track the stolen lumber.

A relatively high-profile case in Genesee County, N.Y., two years ago demonstrates the difficulty of proper restitution, even when the culprits are apprehended. Six landowners in the county, which lies between Buffalo and Rochester, collectively received $72,361 in restitution for stolen  timber . Some claimed to have been defrauded, others that their  timber  had simply been stolen outright. While restitution for the trees’ value is better than nothing, the aesthetic damage to property and the setbacks to future years’ yields are not so easily restored. And initial reports indicated that the damage extended far beyond those six landowners, too.

 Timber  rustling is not a problem restricted to New York, nor is it new. Oregon timberland owners suffered a spate of such thefts, especially of old-growth cedar, that spiked in the late 1970s; the problem was severe enough to attract the attention of the FBI. The housing boom in the 1990s fueled  timber  thefts in the Southeast, especially eastern Texas and western Louisiana. The thieves hoped to cash in on increased demand for building materials. The problem persists in the region, as a recent conviction in Mississippi demonstrates. The state reported that  timber  rustlers were responsible for over $3 million in losses over the past five years in Mississippi alone. The New York Times reported that Arkansas investigators recovered more than $1.4 million from  timber  theft cases between 2002 and 2008. (2)

Though the problem is not new, some solutions may be, based in new technologies. Modern solar power and cellphones may offer new defenses to  timber  owners. It should now be possible, though not easy, for owners to monitor travel on forest trails, and to photograph people and vehicles who cross their land. (The practice should produce some interesting wildlife shots, too.) Even absentee owners may be able to take a direct hand in monitoring their land with the right surveillance equipment, though many of them may still find it wise to hire a human overseer close at hand or to cultivate a strong relationship with the owners of neighboring properties. RFID chips may also make it possible to trace stolen wood before it can be processed.

Penalties for trafficking in stolen wood ought to be increased, too. Sawmills that purchase raw logs should have some responsibility for knowing the source and provenance of their raw  timber . So should furniture makers, including the small artisans in wooded parts of the country who use expensive logs to turn out high-value and often finely made products. It wouldn’t be too hard, and it would make it more challenging for  timber  rustlers to profit from their ill-gotten materials.

 Timber  theft is just as much a problem on state and federal forest lands. In that case, since we all own the trees, we all are victims. The Forest Service has long taken such thieves very seriously, but damage to national treasures such as California’s Redwood National Parks cannot be undone.

In the meantime, when you drive past wooded hills in whatever part of the country you happen to pass through, think of the responsibility that landowners undertake to create forests that are healthy, productive and valuable. Stealing a tree in the dead of the night is not a victimless crime.


1) New York State Department of Natural Conservation, “ Timber  Theft on Private Land”

2) The New York Times, “ Timber  Thieves Strike at Heart of Lands Held Dear”

Plans For Building a Homemade Deer Feeder

Feeding wild deer has become a very popular hobby and over the years my company has literally provided tens of thousands of these feeders. It is not uncommon for us to receive requests from woodworkers and others who wish to build their own feeders. Unlike most companies, we are glad to help anyone wishing to make their own homemade feeder since often times we receive replies from these same people with ideas for improvements, or more than likely new product ideas.

To build your own 36″ trough style deer feeder in the Hurley-Byrd fashion you first need to gather some materials. You will need lumber of course and all Hurley-Byrd Deer Feeders are crafted from western red cedar. You are welcome to use pine but only expect it to last a few years. Purchase one 1×8 piece of lumber that is eight feet long and a 2×4 with a minimum length of three feet. Keep in mind each piece of lumber will need to be ripped to narrow widths. Some lumber yards will be glad to assist if you do not have the tools capable of performing this task. While at the lumber store, also purchase 14-#8×1 ½” wood screws. We use brass screws in our feeders but any good wood screw will be fine for a short term feeder. Also buy four ¼” x 20 x 3″ carriage bolts, matching wing nuts and washers. These are used to attach the legs to the trough.

Once the lumber is home, it’s time to build the vee shaped trough. Cut your 1×8 into 2-36″ lengths. Leave one piece its full 7¼” width and rip the other to 6 ½”. Take the remaining two feet of the 1×8 and rip it to 3 ¾” in width. This piece of lumber must be cut into two triangles with a miter saw. Since these four pieces of lumber get attached to one another at their edges, screw holes must be drilled first or the lumber will soon split. On the 1×7 1/4″x 36, drill two holes at each end 3/8″ from the end and 1 1/2″ from the sides. Along one long edge, drill six equally spaced holes 3/8″ from the edge. On the 1×6 ½”x 36, drill two holes in each end 3/8″ from the end and 1 ½” from the sides. Take the two triangles and drill two 5/8″ diameter holes perpendicular to the short point that are located 1″ and 2 ¼” from the long flat edge.

Now that the lumber has its screw holes in place, it is time for assembly. Lay the 1×6 ½” board on a flat work bench so that one edge is close to the bench’s end. Stand the 1 x 7 ¼” on its edge next to the 1×6 ¼ so the screw holes are closest to the bench and aligned with the 1×6 1/4. Secure the larger piece of lumber to the smaller one using the wood screws making sure the ends of each board align with one another. Once all the screws are in place, turn the trough over and set it on one the triangles so that the triangle sets flush with the trough’s end. It’s a good practice to predrill the screw holes for the triangle using the holes you previously drilled in the long length lumber. This will keep your triangles from splitting or breaking prematurely. Attach each triangle to the trough. Drill out four 5/8″ drain holes in the trough’s vee bottom. Your trough is now complete and can be sanded if desired or left rough but we suggest a little sanding to remove any sharp edges.

Now it’s time for the legs. Gather up your 2×4 and cut it to 36″ in length and rip it into two equal halves. Using the triangles as your guide, drill two 5/8″ holes in one end of the leg on its center line. Each hole will be 1″ and 2 ¼” from the top of the leg respectively. Once you have done this, you can apply an exterior grade finish to the whole feeder or leave the lumber raw. We use a high grade penetrating oil finish to enhance the feeder’s beauty and add longevity to the feeder. If you apply a finish, allow it to dry appropriately and you are now ready to set out the new feeder.

To set the feeder outside, you will need to attach the legs to the trough using the carriage bolts, washers and wing nuts. Once it is assembled, it is time to set it up. Find the location you desire for the feeder. See my eZineArticle “Deer Feeders and Feeding Tips – A Guide to a Safe and Enjoyable Home Hobby” for setting the feeder in a safe and proper location. For this type of feeder, you will need to dig two holes 12″ deep and 36″ apart. Once complete, stand the feeder in the holes and backfill the holes enough to hold the feeder. Stand back, look at the feeder and level it in all directions. Once level, completely backfill the holes and tamp down the fresh dirt. Fill your feeder and within a few days you will start enjoying the deer on a regular basis. Read my previously mentioned article regarding safe feeding locations and proper feeds for your deer. Enjoy and contact us with your success stories.

The author, The Hurley-Byrd Bird Feeder Co. and EzineArticles.com is not liable in any way for any person(s) who builds or uses this product. By building and using this item you are accepting all liabilities regarding your own personal safety in building said item and that of all other persons and property and are fully responsible in regards to all federal, state and or local laws regarding the use of this item in any way.

Three Options for Non-Profit Board Governance

Types of Non-Profit Boards – Options for Governance Models

Although the literature in this area is extensive, in essence there are three different types of boards or models of governance. They are:

1. An Operational (or Administrative) Board

2. A Policy-Governance (or Carver) Board

3. A Policy Board

Operational boards are useful when:

  • The organization is grassroots and has few or no employees.
  • The organization is experiencing a major crisis and the board must step in to manage the organization until it is stabilized.
  • The organization is newly formed and not yet ready or able to hire people to operate services or programs.

The increasing sophistication of non-profit organizations has made operational boards less common. As a result (and unfortunately) very little information exists on how to be an effective board of this type. It is often assumed that an operational board will be transitional – meaning it will become a policy board once the foundation work of the new organization is complete. In fact, many smaller non-profits choose to have operational boards for many years. The board and a core group of service volunteers do all the work with little or no need for paid employees. An excellent web radio link (not associated with the author of this ezine article) for grassroots non-profits is provided in the resource section below.

Policy-Governance or Carver boards are often used by larger organizations that provide high-level professionally delivered services and programs. This type of board:

  • Is the least involved in operations of the three types of boards.
  • Focuses on creating end statements (the results or outcomes to be achieved), rather than on means or how or what will be done to achieve the outcomes.
  • Focuses exclusively on creating and monitoring policies that require and limit the executive director to do or not do certain things. Given these limits, the executive director and staff may manage the organization as they deem appropriate and necessary.

This model is intended to simplify the board-staff roles and relationships. In practice, most boards and senior managers find the model complex to implement in the early stages. The “Carver Model” is very well regarded by some organizations that use it, while others have modified the strict expectations of the model and found this works better for them. Still others have attempted a policy governance approach and abandoned it. Anecdotally, if this model is to be effective, it would appear that a certain sophistication and perseverance is necessary-both by the board and by the senior manager.

A policy board is the most common model of governance among non-profits today. A policy board:

  • Delegates (in writing) responsibility for day-to-day managing and operating of the organization.
  • Creates, reviews and then approves governance policies (how will the board conduct its own work and business of the board) and framework policies such as vision, mission, purpose and core values).
  • Defines how the executive director will be held accountable for use of financial resources, program/service outcomes, and human resource practices.
  • Supports the executive director and appraises his/her performance annually.
  • Ensures the organization has the financial resources necessary to fulfill its mission and mandate.

It is important for your board to declare itself (via a board motion) to be one of the three types of boards. The activities of the board, directors’ job descriptions and relationships with the executive director all hinge on the governance model the board chooses.

Benefits of a Screen Porch

Making the decision to add a screen porch to your home can provide you with a number of exciting benefits. Homeowners contemplating the idea of building a screen porch to their home should simply ask someone who already has made the decision and are currently enjoying their new space. The feedback from these homeowners will sound consistent, each providing a little insight into why building a screen porch is a good decision. Below are a number of reasons why adding a screened in porch to your home is beneficial.

Brings the Outdoors In

Imagine enjoying the beauty of the outside without having to endure direct sunlight or pesky mosquitos. A screen porch gives you and your family the opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature from the comfort of a soft couch, chair or swing. From enjoying a morning coffee to taking in an afternoon nap while a summer shower falls down around you, a screen porch protects you while giving you the ability to enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Added Square Footage

A porch can add much needed living space to any home. Not only that, but your newly created space can serve as an area you feel is most appropriate. Many believe a screen porch should be designed with entertainment in mind; while other simply want to construct a smaller space, maybe off the master bedroom, for privacy. No matter how you want to use your newly created space, the added living space does wonders for a home.

Improved Home Value

There is nothing more beautiful than an outdoor living space constructed with the existing architecture of the home in mind. Adding this space not only provides added square footage and visual appeal, it boosts the overall home value. Buyers want flexible space in their home, and a new porch is an excellent way to provide this flexibility.

Augments Creative Detail

Not every home has a screen porch. This can be used to your advantage. Once you make the decision to build a porch, you can design the space specific to your family’s needs and make it unique to any home around you. You can be creative in your approach to designing the space for your family too. Taking design liberties like adding rustic ceiling beams, painting your ceiling an accent color or even incorporating a skylight is a great way to show off your design capabilities in a very flexible space. Many benefits of having a porch can be realized by simply being creative in your design approach.

There are many benefits associated with having an outdoor living space like a screen porch. When constructed properly, it will quickly become one of the most visited spaces in your home.