Getting Syndicated

Over the years I’ve spoken to a number of authors who say they aspire to write a syndicated   column . Getting syndicated is a great idea, albeit a challenging one. If you’ve thought of this no doubt most (if not all) of your competition has too. But don’t let this discourage you; while syndication may take a while, it’s still worth pursuing.

There are a number of tried and true ways you can enter this market, there are also a few “back door” methods that might work equally as good. The first thing you’ll need to do however is get to know your competition. For this I recommend that you get a copy of The Editor & Publisher Annual Directory of Syndication. Sometimes you can get this in bookstores but I’d recommend just ordering it online. Explore this book carefully and you’ll find that syndicated  columns  are listed by both the syndicated service that offers them as well as their topic. This will give you a good starting point in your research and since most newspapers now have on-line archives, you’ll be able to explore past articles and see how these topics differ from your own.

Once you’ve explored this, define for yourself how your topic/angle is different from the ones you found during your research. Then once you’ve defined this, you can start targeting papers or syndication services with your query letter and sample articles. This is the traditional way of entering this market. For most it can be long and tedious and you might find that without prior “clippings” to offer them, the process takes even longer. In that vein, I’d recommend that you try offering your  column  locally first or to one paper at a time but not in a “syndication deal” but as a filler; newspapers will be a lot quicker to take filler items than to explore syndication options with you. By offering them consistent filler content (and saving those valuable clippings) you’ll start to grow your level of experience, you’ll build a reputation with the editor or editorial staff and you’ll begin to get a sense of what does and doesn’t work with printed media. An associate of mine did this, not with a local paper but with a paper she’d been offering her articles to, and after about two years of consistent submission she may be in line to fill the shoes of their in-house syndicated columnist who is retiring.

Once you have built some exposure for yourself and gathered clippings of your work, then it’s time to start pitching your topic to syndicated services (some of them are listed below) or regional newspapers. For this you’ll need a great query letter establishing your credentials and explaining why your idea is different from the others they might be considering, you’ll need some sample articles (other than your clippings) and perhaps some letters of reference from some papers you’ve worked for. Submit this packet to newspapers or syndicated services that might be appropriate to your topic and then keep good records and do your follow-up just like you would if you were pitching the media on anything else. The same rules apply really, pitch and follow-up and stay on their radar screen.

So, at the end of the day when you find yourself successfully syndicated will you get paid for all your hard work – absolutely! What you’ll get paid varies depending on how many papers feature you and whether you are working through a syndication service. Syndication services are great but they will typically take 40 to 50 percent of your sales. If you self-syndicate you get all the proceeds. While it’s great to do this, keep in mind that you’ll need to have good tracking systems in place once your  column  takes off.

As an already published author, syndication can be another great way to promote you and your book. Your book will lend you the credibility you need to get that  column  and from this ongoing printed exposure some lucrative publishing deals could follow suit. Syndication may not be an easy road but if tackled correctly, can be a great way to boost your promotion, expand your platform and get the kind of exposure you only ever dreamed of!

Major syndicates – check online for their submission guidelines

Universal Press Syndicate

http://www.amuniversal.com/ups/index.htm

BONUS TIP: If you’re trying to follow the comings and goings of syndicated writers, Editor and Publisher is a great resource for that. Check out the “Departments” tab on their web site for the latest news on  columns  that might be coming available!

All Weather Floor Mats

Varying weather patterns call for the use of  mats  for protecting vehicle interiors from any damage that can be caused due to weather conditions. Cold weather brings in snow, wet weather brings moisture and slush, and dry weather brings extreme heat.

All weather floor  mats  provide an all-in-one solution for all kinds of weather conditions. These  mats  are made of durable rubber that can stand up to gas, oil, mud, snow and extreme temperatures without cracking or stiffening. A positive retention screw on the driver’s  mat  keeps the  mat  in place ensuring proper coverage. The  mats  used in the other parts of the vehicles are provided with anti-skid spikes on both front and rear  mats  to prevent their slipping and allowing your carpet to get damaged.

The use of all-weather-floor-mats allows you to stop worrying about the condition of your vehicle’s interiors. Once these  mats  are in place, you can relax with the knowledge there is nothing seeping through that can damage the carpet lining underneath.

All-weather-floor-mats are very sturdy as they are used in extreme weather conditions. While on one hand they can withstand all the wetness and grime associated with a snowstorm, on the other hand they can handle extreme heat too. In conditions of extreme heat they protect the underlying layers from exposure and damage from excessive sunlight.

The versatility of all-weather-floor-mats has made them very popular with parents of young children. The use of all-weather-floor-mats ensures that children riding in a car do not need to be supervised constantly with regard to whether or not their actions might damage the vehicle’s interiors. As these  mats  can be easily washed it doesn’t matter what gets spilled on them.

Regular washing with cleaning solutions and water followed by an airing out in the sun to remove moisture is sufficient to make all-weather-floor-mats as good as new. Even dry dusting and airing works well as a temporary cleaning measure.

The use of all-weather-floor-mats provides year round protection all kinds of spills and stains. Available in several colors and styles, these  mats  can even be custom designed for customers.

A Dust-Free Bedroom

Whether you suffer from asthma, allergies or simply want to ensure the air in your bedroom is as clear as possible, there are several easy measures you can take to limit the amount of dust that collects in one of the most used rooms of your house. We spend more time breathing air in our bedroom than any other room, and shed more skin there too (unpleasant sounding, but true!) as we get changed in and out of work, casual clothes and pyjamas.

The amount of dust in your bedroom can irritate existing allergies and asthma, or even just create an irritation without any prior allergy having existed. Opening the windows to let in the breeze can only clear your room for a short time, so setting up your room to be dust-free from the outset is the best way to go about cutting out that stuffy nose and horrible heavy-headed feeling in the morning.

There are many ways you can reduce the amount of dust in your bedroom, and you can of course use any or all of these methods, depending on how much work you are willing to do. Incidentally, when carrying out any amount of cleaning work in a dusty room, you may find it beneficial to wear a filter mask. They’re very cheap from any DIY or hardware store, and can save you a stuffed nose.

Carpets – The first major storage area of dust mites and their droppings is the carpet. If you can, replace   carpeting  with wooden floors (hardwood, tile or linoleum flooring can be obtained fairly cheaply at DIY stores for easy home-fitting). If this is not an option, you could consider treating your carpets with Tannic Acid, which kills the mites. It’s not as effective as removing the carpet however, can irritate some people’s allergies, and needs constant reapplication.

Furniture & Furnishings – Any flat surface in the bedroom is a perfect place for dust to gather. Try to limit such surfaces (floor to ceiling wardrobes is a good way to get round clothes storage) and get rid of all upholstery. Upholstered furniture simply adds another layer of fabric for mites to make their home, so ensure all surfaces and chairs are metal or wood, which can be scrubbed every now and then, and don’t store dust and mites.

If you have any clothes that cannot as yet be stored in a closed drawer or wardrobe, store them in zippered plastic bags, and make sure shoes are off the floor.

Avoid heavy curtains or Venetian blinds, use light fabrics or, ideally, window shades. The thicker the material the more space for dust mites to live and breed, and for dust to collect. Venetian blinds, obviously, provide multiple flat surfaces for dust to settle, so are not ideal either. When washing bedding, wash the curtains too.

Beds – One of the worst storage areas for dust mites and collected skin cells, mattresses are impossible to clean completely. If possible replace your regular bed with a waterbed, which is easily cleaned and provides no chance for dust mites to hide. Many stores will sell allergy-safe bedding covers and pillowcases, so use those or bedding with a Dacron content. When washing bedding, ensure you are washing at temperatures above 130 Degrees Fahrenheit. It goes without saying that it’s a good idea to avoid wool-blankets or other such comforters on the bed.

Pets – Of course if you already have animals you are not going to want to get rid of them, but just making sure they don’t get into the bedroom can make a world of difference. As mentioned before, you spend more hours in your bedroom than in any other room, so it’s worth excluding any fur-covered pets.

Cleaning – Try to clean the room completely and thoroughly every week, using a damp cloth on all smooth surfaces (including window sills and the tops of any high cupboards) to pick up dust rather than just kicking it into the air. Open windows to air the room while you wash bedding and furnishings, and vacuum any  carpeting  and upholstery you may have in the room.

Air Purifying – Using dehumidifier and air conditioners can help regulate high temperatures and moisture that can increase mite breeding. Only use air conditioners when absolutely necessary however, as they can dry the air so much as to be harsh on nasal passages.

When already firmly settled in a home, you can’t really move, but if you have a choice then it’s a good idea to avoid basement living. You can translate all these practices to the rest of the house too, with the living room being perhaps the next most important room to target.

For mild allergies, just putting some of these measures into practice can lead to quite some relief, and for serious asthma and allergy sufferers you can create a virtually dust-free room by doing everything talked about in this article, leading to better quality of life and often a reduced need for medications.

What’s a Toughbook and Who Needs One?

What is a Toughbook?

Toughbooks are a brand of extremely durable mobile computers (laptops) that are manufactured by Panasonic. Panasonic is a huge name in the electronics industry so I’m sure that you’ve heard of them. They make all kinds of things, from blenders to 3D plasma TVs to Toughbooks, and they’re great at what they do. When they decided to plunge into the rugged laptop market, they did the same as they do with everything else; they provided the best solution possible.

Most people have had their fair share of experience working with a laptop, and as most of you know, they aren’t the most durable pieces of equipment. The screens wobble around, keys pop off the keyboard, the case gets scratched, etc.. Since these problems are easily fixed/repaired, usually for a relatively small price, they are not the main concern. Since your laptop is most likely mobile and travels with you, it is often subjected to being dropped, having things spilled on them, and large amounts of dust are sucked into the computer through its fans.

These common issues might be easy to avoid if you’re able to control the environment that your laptop is subjected to, but what if that is out of your hands? That is the problem that is faced by many working professionals in the EMT, Police, and Fire departments, as well as many others, which I will most likely detail in my next post. I’m sure it is easy for you to imagine situations where the individuals using the laptop need that computer to get their job done but cannot guarantee that their equipment will be treated with the delicateness that you would use when handling your own laptop in your living room. These are the people that need something like a Panasonic Toughbook.

What makes a Toughbook Special?

Toughbooks are different because they aren’t built to look stylish and sleek like a laptop that you would want to purchase for personal use, they are built to withstand abuse. These laptops are not branded as a Toughbook unless they pass various tests and examinations that measure the amount of abuse that they are capable of withstanding. There are generally three difference families of Toughbooks, the Fully-Rugged, the Semi-Rugged, and the Business-Rugged, which vary in degrees of “tough” that they must be able to show in order to be a part of the family. The Fully-Rugged usually weigh more but are the most rugged of the bunch, followed by the semi-rugged, and then the business rugged. In the future, my posts will go into each family and the tests that are necessary for these laptops to meet the requirements of a Toughbook.

Who Needs Them?

Now that you are familiar with the “what” of Toughbooks, it is time to learn about the “who.” So you already know that Panasonic sells a very rugged line of laptops that they call “Toughbooks,” which are ready to take any kind of punishment you send their way. In most cases, these Toughbooks cost significantly more money for the same amount of computing power that you would get from your average laptop. Exactly who is it that is willing to spend the extra money to have a ruggedized laptop, and why?

Communications

When a communications network has problems, it is most likely going to have a detrimental effect on every part of their work flow. Making sure that they are reliant on computers that aren’t going to let them down ensures that they will be able to have their network back up and running no time. Because Toughbooks are so durable, they can be brought out into practically any type of climate without having to worry about being damaged.

Police Officers

I’m sure you’ve seen the laptops that police officers have mounted in their vehicles. These laptops are almost certainly Toughbooks. When police officers are patrolling around in their squad cars, they are doing more than looking for people who are speeding; they are typing license plate numbers into their Toughbooks in search of drivers with expired licenses, insurance and registration violations, and other outstanding criminal warrants. This system is much more practical than relying on two-way radio calls to busy dispatchers, it is an almost immediate wave of information. Additionally, this information presents the officer with a better understanding of what type of person he is dealing with when he has to make contact with a suspect, such as whether or not the suspect is believed to be armed or dangerous.

EMT

When emergency medical transport is required, the patient is most likely going to be in a situation where they need emergency medical attention. In an effort to make sure that the care they are provided with is as best as it possible could be, the EMT professional needs to have access to the patient’s medical history. The government is pushing for all medical records to be recorded electronically, and these EMTs need a way of quickly accessing this information while they’re in the field. Using a laptop that is equipped with wireless internet capabilities is one possible solution. Obviously, the environments that they are going to be in when they need this information will not always be satisfactory, which means that they are going to need a very durable laptop that won’t let them down. Since Panasonic’s Toughbooks are the leading rugged mobile computing solution, they are an obvious choice in an environment such as this.

Others

You have been given a small sampling of a few of the different types of people who can benefit from using a Toughbook rather than your average laptop. These fields, however, are not the only areas where using a rugged laptop makes more sense. I’m sure that, after reading some of these examples, you can imagine some other situations that would be improved if a Toughbook were to be involved.

Efflor – What? Efflorescence

Ever get a telephone call from an irate customer telling you that the pavers you just installed are defective or fading because the pavers are turning white? Ever wonder yourself what causes the white appearance on pavers? It’s called EFFLORESCENCE.

What is it?

Efflorescence is a whitish haze that appears on the surface of concrete pavers within a few weeks or months of installation. Efflorescence may also be referred to as calcium hydroxide or free lime. Efflorescence is a completely natural occurrence. It usually occurs in random areas throughout all types of concrete pavers. However, it may appear more pronounced on dark colored pavers. But don’t worry. Despite the fact that it gives pavers the appearance of fading, it does not affect the structural quality of the pavers.

Why does it happen?

All concrete products contain cement. As the cement hydrates, it produces lime or water soluble salts, such as calcium hydroxide. The calcium hydroxide is soluble in water and therefore migrates to the surface of the concrete pavers through capillary action. When the calcium hydroxide reaches the surface of the pavers, a chemical reaction occurs with the carbon dioxide in the air. As it reacts with the carbon dioxide, the calcium hydroxide forms a water insoluble calcium carbonate. The calcium carbonate creates the whitish haze on the surface of the concrete pavers. As the moisture evaporates off the surface of the pavers, the whitish haze becomes more pronounced. And as naturally as the efflorescence appeared, it will fade.

Efflorescence will most likely disappear within the first year of installation. So, what can you do for that irate customer who isn’t willing to wait for the efflorescence to fade? Most concrete paver manufacturers have attempted to control the problem of efflorescence by using an admixture in their products. However, no manufacturer has completely eliminated the problem. Therefore, most contractors resort to the use of commercial efflorescence cleaners. Most cleaners will effectively reduce the whitish haze on the paver caused by efflorescence, but only if used properly.

Here are a few simple tips for working with efflorescence cleaners:

1). Improper cleaning can result in damage and discoloration of the pavers and/or personal injury so always make sure that the manufacturers’ recommended application procedures are followed;

2). Always test the cleaner in a small inconspicuous area before cleaning the entire paver surface;

3). Most efflorescence cleaners contain acid or detergents, so protective measures must always be taken before handling the cleaner (see manufacturer’s directions);

4). Remember that efflorescence will continue to reappear until the calcium hydroxide has time to exhaust itself, so more than one application of cleaner may be necessary.

So despite how unmanageable your customers may become after efflorescence appears on their pavers, remember that efflorescence, itself, is manageable. Inform your customers of their options for controlling efflorescence and allow them to make the decision as to how to manage it.

Best Key Lime Pie Recipe

Best key lime pie recipe is a world’s favorite of mine which takes me back to when I saw Bobby Flay make one on the food network. It seemed so easy to make in fact if was very easy and took only 15 minutes to 30 minutes to complete. Even though it looked like ice cream it was not for sure. He used some of the most popular ingredients such as key lime juice, sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese, cool whip topping, graham cracker crust, and eggs yolks. The pie crust seems to be the most delicious looking part of the dish. Here is the ingredient to my favorite recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1 package crushed graham crackers
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter
  • 2 tbp melted butter
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1  can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • 1/3 cup finely powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 1 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of powdered sugar

Found in many cookbooks, the pie is an American dessert made of key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk in a pie crust. The pie is made with carnation canned sweetened condensed milk, since fresh milk was not a common commodity in the hot temperature of the Florida Keys before modern refrigerated distribution methods.

The pie is a mixture of a rich, creamy yellow, from the egg yolks that enrich the citrus-kissed custard that makes up the filling. The pie is deep yellow in color. Regular of powered sugar can be used. The pie is a dessert made of key lime juice, egg yolks, and sweetened condensed milk in a pie crust. Sometimes a cracker crust is used so keep this in mind when you go shopping for the ingredients.. The pie is made with canned sweetened condensed milk, since fresh milk was not a common commodity in the Florida Keys before modern refrigerated distribution methods.

The key lime pie is delicious, but obviously it’s not for everybody. It’s great after a seafood dinner and is one of my wife’s favorites. She loves it.

It is not what you think; many people are used to a green pie, which is not the true color of the awesome

Key Lime Pie Recipe History

Recipe note: Fresh juice (some people even use some lemon juice) is far superior to bottled juice. Many early recipes for the pie did not instruct the cook to ever bake the pie, relying on this chemical reaction (called souring) to produce the proper consistency of the filling. The first recipe was written down in the 1930’s, it had been made long before that down in Key West. The list of tales goes on and on in various cookbooks.

I bet even the great Sara Lee or Rachel Ray couldn’t make a better pie for her new husband’s birthday party. Rumor is it’s his favorite.

Olympic Bar Maintenance

Lets face it whether you spent $150 or $1500 on your Olympic bar it probably represents a significant investment on your part. If you are running a gym, especially a CrossFit or Strength and Conditioning gym, bars are definitely one of the most used and abused pieces of equipment you have. Often though nobody takes the time to properly maintain the bars. Let’s face it, the bar gets used and forgotten about, not to mention that often there are a variety of bar brands that are being used and typically the manufacturers do not send out information regarding the care of the bar. In fact I emailed all of our bar vendors asking them for information on how to maintain and care for their bars and one actually emailed me and said, “Here is our warranty information. Don’t overload the bar, don’t drop the bar.” That was it! Nothing else. I have to tell you I was floored. So, the question remains, “How do we maintain and care for our Olympic bars?”

RUST

One thing that should be obvious about bars is that they are steel. Steel rusts when it gets wet. People sweat. Sweat=Wet=Bar Rust. Bar manufacturers try to combat this by putting a coating on the bars. The most common coatings (from least expensive to most expensive) are black oxide, chrome, zinc, and making bars from stainless steel. Even with these coatings you still need to maintain the bar so hear are a few tips on what you can do.

Clean the chalk out of the knurling. If you use chalk and you are the only one using the chalk then please clean the chalk off the bar. If you provide chalk at your gym then you need to clean the chalk off regularly (probably daily). Use a small stiff nylon bristle brush to go over the knurling. Remember that chalk dries sweaty palms. How does it do this? By absorbing moisture. Guess what it does while sitting on the bar. Absorbs moisture! Any humidity in the air any moisture at all and the chalk will absorb and hold it on the steel. So if you want your bars to not rust please clean off the chalk.

Wipe your bars down regularly with a light coat of WD-40 or 3 in 1 oil. Regularly depends on how often the bar is used. If this is in your house then twice a month should be sufficient. If you are in a commercial setting then once a week would be better. If your using them a lot and in a high humidity area then you might need to do it more frequently. WD-40 works well because it is a water displacer and it dries quickly. Spray it on a rag and wipe it down giving a good even coat across the whole bar. If you use 3 in 1 oil again place it on the rag and give a nice thin coating across the entire bar. Let it sit overnight and then wipe it down again. 3 in 1 will work awesome but it will leave your bars feeling a bit more greasy then WD-40.

Most bars today have been made to be fairly maintenance free. You typically do not have to oil the sleeves. Most of the sleeves have oil impregnated bearings or bushings. Some of the higher end bars do have small oil holes in the sleeves. For these bars you would drop in some 3 in 1 oil (DO NOT use WD-40 here) and let it work into the sleeve. Again do this after use and check it before using it again for any excess that may have leaked out to wipe it up.

STORAGE

Bars should not be stored with weight on them. PERIOD. If you leave weight on your bar, especially if it is racked, you are just begging for a bent bar. The are designed to withstand the weight not designed to permanently hold the weight. Strip you bars. I know you are tired after a hard workout but please catch your breath and put the plates away. Not only will this protect your bar, but if you are in a gym it will make the next person who uses the bar much happier if they don’t have to strip it for you.

The bars can be stored on the rack unloaded or in a bar stand. If you can store them horizontally it is better the vertically. We highly recommend that you do not store needle bearing bars in a horizontal bar holder. Dropping the bar into the holder can cause damage to the needle bearings. Most gyms that teach the Olympic lifts (that would use a needle bearing bar) do not care about mirrors so it is very easy to make a wall rack that you can store the bars on. Potomac CrossFit did a great job with theirs. Take a look at the photo.

All in all its pretty simple to maintain an Olympic bar. A couple of minutes and you can protect your investment so that it lasts for years and years. If you have any other suggestions on maintaining your Olympic bar we would love to hear them. Leave us a comment.

Male Sex Toys

There are many more male sex toys available in the adult market than you would expect. The traditional favourite of men everywhere, the cock ring, is now successfully being rivalled by anal sex toys, anal beads, dildos, anal douches, vibrators, sex dolls, gay sex toys such as anal plugs and prostate stimulators, male masturbators, penis sleeves, chastity belts, penis pumps and male sex enhancement products.

Cock Rings and Toys

Traditionally worn at the base of the penis, a cock ring can maintain an erection that can be thicker, firmer and longer lasting due to it restricting the blood flow to the penis. This can therefore be beneficial to both partners. Cock rings in the form of sex toys are usually made from silicone or rubber, which have a slight give in them. Some silicone cock rings even have removable vibrating bullets included and some have clitoral stimulating nodules attached for added gratification for the female partner. Cock rings that are made of leather or metal are classified as cock and ball torture devices as they have very little, or in the case of the metal cock rings, no give in them at all and are for men that are more into pleasure and pain than merely pleasure. Male chastity devices also fit into this category. Intended to keep the male under lock and key, an erection is virtually impossible to achieve whilst wearing one.

Anal Sex Toys

Anal sex toys such as anal douches, anal beads and anal plugs (also known as butt plugs) can be used by men and women alike. This can also be said for anal vibrators. As one of the oldest forms of sex aids anal beads are available in a variety of lengths each containing differing numbers of beads. These beads usually get larger the further down the string you go. Anal beads are designed to dramatically increase orgasmic sensations if withdrawn at the point of ecstasy. Anal plugs are often bulbous in design and stimulate the anal passage when thrust in and out. They are usually made of silicone for easier insertion and come in varying sizes, most of which have a suction cup base so they will stick to almost any surface, leaving hands free for other pursuits. Vibrators usually come in the form of vibrating butt plugs and multispeed anal vibrators. Male g-spot vibrators, as the name suggests, are solely designed for the benefit of men, and have a specially curved tip aimed at stimulating this region. Prostrate stimulators are also specifically for the arousal of men.

Penis Pumps

Male sex pumps, also known as penis pumps, aim to enhance not only the girth of the penis but also the length and the hardness. This is achieved by placing the penis in a cylinder which is attached to a hand pump. When the pumping action is applied a vacuum in the cylinder is achieved causing additional blood to rush to the penis. Some pumps also come with multispeed vibrators built in often leading to a more quickly achievable erection. The size augmentation of the penis is only designed to be a temporary measure however some pumps claim that if used regularly this will result in a permanent increase in length and girth.

Male Masturbators and Sex Dolls

For masturbatory pleasures, as well as consisting of penis pumps (which can also be categorised as male masturbators), male sex aids consist of penis sleeves that have patterns and nodules on the inside to provide different sensations and can be either single or open ended, oral sex simulators, realistic feeling replica vaginas and anuses, and penis tubes which also consist of varying inner sleeves, some of which vibrate. Sex dolls, featuring up to three different tight, succulent love holes depending on the model, are becoming increasing popular. They are not just used as male masturbators but are also employed for fun threesome activities with a partner.

Moreover, with male sex enhancement products that are intended to increase the volume of sperm released, pheromones to increase sexual appeal and sprays to heighten the quality and longevity of an erection also commonplace, there are an abundance of sex toys and enhancers available for men nowadays.

Repairing Plaster Walls

Details on repairing plaster walls, here are a few steps that can help anyone that needs help in fixing plaster walls. There is a certain technique to it and if these steps are followed through correctly a hole in a plaster wall can be patched successfully.

1. Preparation- With a putty knife chip any loose or crumbling plaster from the edges of the hole until only solid plaster remains. Caution if you find seriously damaged lath underneath, the lath the lath must be repaired before replastering repair generally calls for the skills of a professional.

2. Undercutting all holes in plaster and all cracks wider than 1/8 inch or so must be undercut a procedure in which some of the old-but intact plaster is removed along the inner side of the hole (or crack) so that the patching material that is used as filler will bond securely to the solid plaster around the opening. To undercut use the tip of a beverage can opener or putty knife and scrape away a bit of the plaster under the rim of the hole. Then bevel the scraped area to make a V shaped hollowed under the surface. Vacuum or blow out the plaster dust from the undercut area.

3. Applying the first layer- Mix enough patching plaster to fill the hole almost completely. Moisten the back and edges of the hole with a sponge. Beginning at the undercut surfaces at the edges of the hole, apply the patching plaster is about ΒΌ inch below the surface of the undamaged plaster around the hole. While the patching plaster is still wet score its surface with the tip of the tapping knife. This scored surface will provide a firm grip for a second layer of patching plaster. Let the first layer set for about a half hour.

4. Applying the second layer. Mix a fresh batch of patching plaster. Dampen the scored layer of patching plaster and 2 or 3 inches of the undamaged surface and around the hole. Using a taping knife preferably wider than the hole, fill the hole with plaster to the level of the undamaged area, spreading the plaster onto the surrounding surface for an inch or so. Smooth this layer by drawing the knife blade evenly over the patched area. Let the plaster set

5. Completing the patch. Cover the filled hole with a smooth layer of wallboard joint cement or vinyl spackling compound, using a taping knife. Continue spreading the cement or spackling to an inch or so beyond the edges of the patching plaster. Let the patch area dry. When completely dry it will feel hard and have lost it clammy feel of wet plaster. Sand the dry area smooth with a sanding block and feather the edges of the compound into the surrounding surface. If you first do not succeed keep trying. Trying is the first step on becoming a great person. Thank you for reading.

How To Get Levis 501 on Sale

Looking for Levis 501s on sale? You are definitely not the only one. People everywhere are looking for great prices on Levis and that is why I wrote this article about getting really good deals.

Why are Levis so popular?

In 1873 the very first pair of blue jeans were invented by Levi Strauss, with his unique rivet patent. In 1890 “501” was the very first lot number used to designate a pair of Levi jeans.

Here are 3 major points you will see coming up again and again when you read other people’s reviews of jeans:

  • Comfort — Imagine if your casual clothes weren’t comfortable. Everyone has their “favorite” pair of Levis that they’ve been wearing for years. You put them on and never want to take them off
  • Durability — Originally made for cowboys and miners, Levis are sewn from heavy weight denim for exceptional durability. Double stitching and metal rivets to reinforce the corners. 150 years of experience has made their product “perfect”
  • Style — Levis have that rugged style, that all men love for casual days. “Levis” goes hand in hand with relaxing days. The Levi’s stitched pocket and the little red tag are always a familiar fashion statement.

Every pair is like a “sale” because of their long life. Unlike other clothes, the more you wash your Levis, the better they get.

So How Do you Find Levis 501 On Sale?

You can easily buy Levi’s online. You’re always guaranteed to get the Waist and Length you’re expecting. If you find a sale that seems “too good to be true”, that’s most likely what it is. There are a lot of counterfeit pairs out there, so always make sure to buy from a reliable store.

There are several stores that sell Levis online. Some of them run discounts and coupons and some of them simply have low prices. A few offer free shipping, and if you need to return your jeans — return shipping is free too.

So you need to know how to find these stores among the large number of sites that sell Levis. And you need to know how to pick the one that will give you the best deal. Your best bet is find somebody who knows all about finding coupons and savings and see what they have found.

The Fencing Lesson – The Silent Lesson

It is possible to deliver a complete fencing lesson silently, without oral cues, instruction, or discussion (beyond, perhaps, a brief statement of the lesson objectives). This removes oral cues from the lesson, forcing the student to focus on visual and tactile information. The silent lesson develops the Fencer’s problem-solving and decision-making capabilities without verbal cues. By removing oral instruction from the lesson, the Master forces the fencer to adapt to the conditions presented by the Master and to read cues that signal opportunities for successful actions, much as the fencer would have to in a bout.

The Master conducts the lesson without oral cues or discussion. All actions are presented as physical cues, by blade movement, footwork, and timing, and the student is expected to select an appropriate offensive or defensive action in response to the cue. The sequence of actions should be selected to be consistent with the tactical system used by the Master. For example, in working on the compound attack of feint of straight thrust, disengage, using the Tactical Wheel, the flow of the actions might be:

… (1st sequence) Master comes on guard with 6th open – student executes straight thrust into 6th and hits

… Finally – Master parries and ripostes

… (2nd sequence) Master closes 6th – then presses students blade – student disengages into 4th and hits

… (3rd sequence) Masters opens 6th – student feints straight thrust into 6th – Master starts to parry – student disengages to hit in 4th.

There is no theoretical limit to the length of the silent lesson. However, because this lesson requires a high degree of concentration on the part of the student to read the cues presented and to determine the appropriate action, to avoid excessive student fatigue, it would seem reasonable to restrict the lesson to less than 15 minutes.

The silent lesson also requires a high degree of concentration on the part of the Master. Because your cues are now blade or footwork cues, you must be careful to ensure that you are selecting the right cues and delivering them in the right way for the action you desire. To an even higher degree than that required for regular lessons, you must ensure that threats are clearly communicated and are realistic.

With this comes the requirement that student actions must receive corrective feedback. Normally feedback involves some level of oral communications. However, in this lesson, your actions become the feedback. A student feint that is wide and non-threatening either does not draw a reaction or draws an immediate counterattack, a parry incorrectly executed earns a hit by your attacking cue, etc. The student must be able to self-correct for this lesson to work well.

The silent lesson can be the whole lesson or part of the main body of the lesson. This approach is best suited to a training, bouting, or warm-up lesson. The requirement for technical perfection of actions, with the resultant demonstrations and corrections, makes this difficult as a lesson format for technical lessons.

The silent lesson can be used with students at any stage of development as long as they have been taught to identify and act on patterns of movement by opponents. With beginning or intermediate students it may be necessary to provide an objective at the beginning of the lesson that will ensure the student understands the focus of the lesson. Not all lessons should be silent lessons. But every fencer can benefit from the incorporation of silent lessons in the training program.

Being a Good Fencing Training Partner – Dry Bouts

Fencing bouts is part of any program to teach fencing or to prepare athletes for competition. Fencing a variety of partners of varying levels of ability provides opportunities to develop and carry out tactical plans, use time wisely, and apply specific techniques under realistic conditions. In many clubs bouts are fenced using electrical scoring systems. However, if your club fences a significant percentage of practice bouts dry (without electrical scoring), there are specific ways in which you can improve bouting as a training tool.

The biggest step is for fencers to realize that training bouts in the club are not their personal Olympics. Unlike competition, where winning each point is critical, practice bouts are fenced to improve performance. This requires a different mindset. Yes, you want to beat your opponent and maximize your training value, but you also want the opponent, your teammate, to maximize his training.

First, any hit should be immediately acknowledged. A dry hit that you feel may not cause the scoring machine to register a hit in competition. And a hit that feels like a slap may result in a hit. Although experienced fencers can tell most of the time, it is not an exact science. Either one means that a potential hit got through the defense. Let the fencer whose point arrived decline the hit if she feels it was too light, a slap, etc.

Second, don’t argue about right of way in foil or sabre. Have a team member referee. Even if all the referee does is call who makes the attack, your fencing now has to convince a third party, just like it does in the competitive bout. This steps up the speed of the bout and moves its rhythm closer to that of competition. Now you have to practice your drill for your use of the period between “halt” and “fence.”

You will find that steps 1 and 2 take you from 15 minutes to fight a bout down to 3 to 5, so you can fence more bouts during your practice time.

There are two important side benefits. Developing the ability to interpret the action from the referee’s position will help you understand what the opponent is doing when you are fencing. And some of those who serve as practice referees will develop as competent referees for competitions.

Third, if you are the stronger fencer, fencing weaker fencers is not a waste of time. You are serving as a training partner, so fence at a level that will stretch, but not overwhelm, your opponent. Use the bout to perform your actions more slowly with a greater concentration on perfect technique. Another alternative is to use the bout to practice a certain combination of technique, distance, and timing, making all of your attacks with a specific movement. If you are the weaker fencer, fencing against a stronger fencer will result in a loss, but it will also force you to speed up and focus your game to come as close as you can to the challenge presented by a more experienced fencer.

Fourth, fence, don’t socialize or rest or… The average pool of 6 fencers takes somewhere around 90 minutes to fence in foil or epee (shorter in sabre). During that pool you fence 5 bouts. If you work you can fence 12 to 20 dry bouts in the same time period (in one 2 hour period in my salle’s annual Fence ‘Til You Drop New Year’s Day event, the winner fenced 42 bouts). More repetitions and increased physical training are the result.

We fence in competition exactly the way we train in the lesson. So be a good training partner – maximize your training and your partner’s training by eliminating quibbling about who hit whom, using the bout to stretch your skills and those of your opponent, and fencing, fencing as much as you can. In the heyday of German international success their fencers were reported to be fighting 200 bouts a week. For the average fencer that is an impossible goal. But the more you fence, and the better you use the experience, the better fencer you will be.

Different Kinds of Hotels and Their Services

Hotels are of different types and classes. There are cheap hotels, 2 star hotels to 5 star and 7 star hotels. Accordingly, the service quality, the hospitality, privacy, food and other amenities vary. However, every class of these rest rooms has their respective advantages and disadvantages. Let us scan through the pros and cons of some of them.

The Pros of Branded Hotels –

1. Extravagant square foot rooms

2. The rooms have a separate living and a bedroom. Besides, there is also a glass enclosed bathroom.

3. LCD TV, DVD, Music player

4. Jaw dropping views

5. Complimentary breakfast, High-speed Wi-Fi, Pick up and drop from the airport in Luxurious cars

6. Exotic Spa and beauty salon

The Cons of Branded Hotels –

1. Very expensive for day-to-day travel for an ordinary middle class person

2. Lack of Privacy is a big drawback and the staff behaves too formally

3. Hidden video and closed circuit cameras might be there

4. Unexpected or sudden room checks

5. Stringent and Rigid Amenities, often not worth the price

You will need a good amount of money to spend one night in a hotel of this stature. Let us take a look at what will the scenario be if you are staying in 2 star hotels:

Pros:

1. Reasonably priced

2. Great hospitality

3. Special tourist Packages

4. Personalized service

5. The rooms are not as opulent as a 5 star hotel but are considerably comfortable

6. Located near the airport and railway station

Cons:

1. Usually you won’t get any exotic spa or salon

2. Privacy is a concern

3. No separate lounge is there

4. Few 2 star hotels are there that do not offer pick and drop facilities

5. All the rooms do not have a splendid view

There are many affordable hotels that give top-class services yet their charges are reasonably less than a branded resort. You need to remember that, when on a business trip or vacation, people are more concerned about either their work or sight-seeing. In recent times, nonetheless, people do look forward to high-speed Wi-fi facilities for work purpose. Overall, surveys have proved that hardly do people like to waste money over the place they put up. It is only applicable for foreign tourists. In many cases, if you are only travelling to enjoy peace and solitude, then you can opt for a better quality hotel. Therefore, you must always look out for quality things at a fair price.

Bandon Dunes Golf – A Golfer’s Dream!

Introduction

Bandon Dunes Golf course is a beautifully scenic, true links course that offers the absolute best of the golf experience at one resort. From the amazing scenery, year-round availability, the great lodging options, restaurants, and the huge practice center and putting course, Bandon Dunes is a complete experience for a golfing vacation that will not be soon forgotten or easily topped. After spending a week in the area – on and off the course – there are three things that clearly stood out which made Bandon Dunes Golf the golfer’s dream.

The Golf

Bandon Dunes comes complete with five complete courses, all of which combine the natural beauty of the Oregon coastline and rugged hills in order to make for rounds that are a truly enjoyable experience. Beyond the game itself, which can range from the easier, to the most challenging style of play, one of the greatest difficulties is keeping your eye on the ball rather than the breathtaking scenery. Ocean vistas, pristine dunes, natural canyons and vegetation add a new level of enjoyment not available in more than a handful of courses around the world.

The Lodging

While staying in Bandon, Oregon, there are a variety of restful and natural places available to stay at. The local establishments are situated for golf groups, providing privacy, luxury and a comfortable atmospheres specifically designed with the golfer in mind. At many of the establishments, the rooms reflect the natural beauty of the Oregon coast and nearby golf courses. Everything there seems perfectly crafted to accent and cap off a day at the Bandon Dunes.

The Town

As a golfer, the Bandon Dunes Resort is the primary draw, but once the 18th hole is settled, and the phenomenal sunset has been observed, you can relax with your friends and a drink around the fire pit at one of the local inns or hotels, or visit the seaside town. Bandon, Oregon is a charming and quaint place located about 90 miles away from Interstate 5. Birding, crabbing, surfing, and other activities are available if you still have strength left after your swing, but there are plenty of evening spots for enjoying dinner, drinks, or even dancing to while away the nighttime hours.

In conclusion, the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort is a dream spot because it is in a dream spot! The beautiful town, the wonderful accommodations, and the stunning scenery of the golf courses made me have to stop and pinch myself every so often to be sure it was real.

Houses For Sale in Fredericton New Brunswick

Houses for sale in Fredericton have struck an all-time peak, and there appears to be no letting up in the distant future. With the ease of listing, selling and turning a profit from a house sale, it seems that many have chose to do just this, with success. Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and has experienced substantial economic maturation over the past 10 – 15 years. That, coupled with a substantial   housing  market, has fueled a big residential construction upsurge. The southside of the city is the more populated side of the river, and just recently there is less and less areas to develop. The larger commercialized and residential developments are now occurring on the “northside” of Fredericton New Brunswick.

If you resolve that flipping over a house might be for you, then your first task will be to talk to a real estate agent. Agents in Fredericton are really well versed in marketing homes for sale and have a very powerful rapport with the community and possible buyers or customers. Selling in private is always an alternative, but taking advantage of a real estate’s portfolio and selling skills is by and large the better decision. After a brief conversation with a real estate agent you will get a good sense of comparable households for sale in your price range, and you will be better able to place yourself in the  housing  market. Fredericton extends many differing regions and houses for sale within them, so adding your uniqueness to the mix is essential to gain leverage in a good  housing  market.

After deciding on what price you will ask for your house, you must resolve on what offer you would or could go for to close a deal. Potential buyers rarely, if ever, give full price for the house they are about to buy. They tend to make an “offer”. A general guideline is to be willing to swallow anywhere from 5-10% less of what you are expecting. Fredericton New Brunswick has some of the most choosy buyers, so be prepared for the offer, some counter offerings as well as some rejections. This is a part of the business of selling your home in Fredericton.

If you get an offer that is near to your asking price, then it is time to consider your next purchase. It’s more then likely a good idea to stay with the identical agent that sold your household in Fredericton New Brunswick to purchase your next house. You are now going from the seller to the purchaser, and have a lot of insight into how the system works. Use all the insight you gained from selling your previous household, when you go to purchase your new house.