Painting Plus

I must say that I really enjoy  painting , although not quite up to Van Gogh standards yet. You don’t require many tools–a good selection of paintbrushes, a  paint  container (kettle), a sponge or cloth, some cling film, a scraper, abrasive paper, maybe a blowtorch, and a stepladder. A ladder is handy for all sorts of jobs around the house, and I feel that a lightweight aluminium one is the best.

You should have a few brushes to hand, of different sizes for different jobs. A good varied selection would include a 12mm (0.5 in) for windows, skirtings etc; a 75mm (3in) for things like doors; a 100m(4in) or bigger for the walls. You can also get long-handled ones for getting behind stuff such as radiators etc.  Paint  kettles are cheap, and come in metal or lightweight plastic. You can tie a string or a piece of wire across the top, and scrape off excess  paint  on it. This is also handy for resting your brush on when you take a break, after wrapping it (the brush) in cling film so that it will stop the  paint  from drying. I usually just hold the brush by the handle, but I’ve been told that it’s better to hold the thumb behind the handle, with the fingers on the other side, on the metal band. Before starting, give the bristles a flick across your hand, so as to get rid of any loose hairs.

Remember that new plaster has to be left to dry thoroughly before applying  paint . Always remove grease and dirt from surfaces before you begin. This is a must-do chore. I find that the best thing to use is sugar soap, which is made into a solution by mixing with water. This ensures that no salt deposits are left, which is the case with some detergents. If you have something like nicotine stains on a wall, it’s a good idea to spray it with an aerosol stain-blocking substance. This will make sure that they do not appear again through newly applied  paint . Use a cloth with white spirit to get rid of loose particles of dust. Clean out any gaps below skirtings with a blunt knife, watching out for any cables, and vacuum well afterwards. We all get runs in the  paint , and those should be brushed out as soon as you notice them. Always try to  paint  from the top to the bottom, as this will avoid the problem of drips going on to drying  paint . Make sure that you work to a wet edge–when you reload the brush with  paint , blend your next stroke into the wet area. When working with a ladder, start on the right-hand side of the wall if you’re right handed, and of course the opposite if you’re left handed. This is so that the ladder won’t be leaning against the fresh  paint . I mentioned cling film earlier–you can place a piece of it (slightly larger than your container) over the  paint  and press it to the insides. This will form an airtight seal, and prevent a skin from forming on oil-based  paints .

When I was a teenager, and rather green around the gills, I was the butt of jokes for a few days after buying  paint  which was totally unsuitable for the surface that was to be  painted . So that the same kind of thing doesn’t happen to you, here are some kinds of  paints  for various jobs:–

Exterior woodwork–microporous, exterior gloss or satin

Interior woodwork–eggshell, interior gloss or satin

Newly plastered walls–matt emulsion

Hardwood window frames–stain preservative or varnish

 Painted  or papered walls–matt or silk emulsion

Radiators–radiator enamel

Fascias–exterior gloss  paint 

Roughcast–masonry  paint 

Make sure that you always clean brushes thoroughly immediately after use.

Fujian White Crane: Perfect for the Ladies

The Fujian White  crane  style is a southern Chinese fighting style with roots in the Fujian province. This particular martial art uses deep stances, complex hand movements, and its best used while in close proximity to your opponent. The White  Crane  martial art imitates the movement of a pecking  Crane , and is a style of Shaolin Boxing. It’s based on the  Crane’s  movements, spirit, and fighting skills. In another form, called the Flying  Crane , the art utilizes long-range techniques as well as close hand to hand combat skills that look like a  Crane  flapping its wings. Other styles use traditional weapons, while others have discarded weapons altogether.

The Fujian White  Crane , like other Chinese martial arts, is deeply rooted in legend. And like Wing Chun, the legend claims the art was invented by a woman.

The Legend of Qiniang Fang

The legend says the Fang family resided in Fujian province, and lived among a large population of  cranes . Qiniang Fang’s father taught her the Southern Chinese martial arts. One day, while she was doing chores, a  crane  began to bother her. She tried scaring the  crane  away with a stick, and the martial art skills learned from her father. Regardless of her efforts, the  Crane  countered all her attacks. She attempted to strike the  Crane  on its head, but the bird bobbed, dodged her attack, and blocked her stick with its wings. She then attempted to strike the  Crane’s  wings, but it moved to the side, and blocked her attack with its feet. She tried stabbing its body with the stick, but the  Crane  lunged backwards, and blocked her attack with its beak. Legend says, from that moment on, she meticulously studied the  Crane’s  movements, and joined them with the martial art skills learned from her father. In the end, she’d created the Fujian White  Crane  martial art.

Great for Women’s Self Defense

The main objective of the White  Crane  fighting styles is to give smaller opponents a fighting chance. Instead of focusing on strength, it teaches you how to evade and attack the key openings your opponent offers during the battle. The White  Crane  is rather popular these days. It’s used quite a bit in female self-defense courses, because women are able to imitate the graceful pecking movements of a  Crane  better than large men.

The White  Crane  is broken down into five styles:

1. Sleeping  Crane  Fist

2. Crying  Crane  Fist

3. Feeding  Crane  Fist

4. Flying  Crane  Fist

5. Shaking  Crane  Fist

The styles all involve powerful and low stances to give stability. This provides you with an explosive spring while maneuvering. Practitioners train you to generate power by using your torso and arms to keep stable. Your arms and shoulders move smoothly, fast, and freely while you switch between offensive and defensive postures. Your hands and wrists are taught to move with graceful, yet lethal skill.

The Bottom Line

Rather woman or man, old or young, the White  Crane  martial art is a great choice for those small in stature. It will allow you to defend yourself with grace and precision, no matter the size of your opponent. All you have to do is look up your local White  Crane  dojo, hit the mat, and learn to fight with graceful elegance like the ancient Chinese  Crane .

The WW1 Machine Gun

The WW1 machine gun was not a very good weapon at first. Although most people think of trench warfare in WW1 to be dominated by machine guns, it didn’t start that way at all.

The trenches of World War I eventually filled up with dead bodies from the power of machine weapons. But at first, these weapons of war were not well built or well designed. They broke down very often. At the start of WW1, the automatic gun was quite primitive and not impressive at all. They jammed up all the time and many soldiers did not even want to use them.

They were also very bulky and weighed a lot. This meant they were not easy to transport. The mobility of these guns was a serious issue for soldiers as you can imagine. They weighed between 30kg and 60kg, which wasn’t too bad for holding a position defensively. But, they were terrible for troops during an advance. They caused more death to the offense in these cases due to the slow movement and exposure.

Of course, these guns were made even more unmanageable due to their supplies. There was a requirement for mountings, packing, carriages and more. They were hardly good weapons at first. The WW1 machine gun was a real dog. Many people don’t know that the 1914 version of the gun was placed on a tripod or stand. It actually required large teams. In some cases, up to 6 men were required per weapon. Bullets were fed into the gun using metal strips and belts of fabric.

There were other problems too. For example, automatic gun engineers simply did not properly calculate the amount of heat given off. So, they would rapidly overheat and become useless metal slags in very little time, without cooler devices and mechanisms. They had to be used only to fire small bursts at first, versus continuous firing. As time went on, engineers learned to cool the barrels using water and air venting.

Another thing people don’t know is that machine gunners would group together in very defensive positions. This would allow gunner teams to protect each other, especially in hot conditions when the gun would more likely overheat.

Many people want to know the rate of fire of these weapons. A well trained group operating a well maintained automatic gun could be “worth” upwards of 60-80 rifles. However, keep in mind the requirements for teams to operate these guns so the actual body replacement was that world war one machine gun could replace about 10-15 soldiers with rifles.

Backhoe Bucket – Different Types

Backhoe bucket is a type of backhoe attachment. Backhoe attachments are important pieces of equipment that can increase the effectiveness and flexibility of your backhoe, and it allows you to complete more jobs in a short period of time. Backhoe bucket is available in many types, sizes, and shapes. The sizes usually range between 12 inches to 60 inches. Although some are smaller than or bigger than these usually sizes. Here are some of the different types of bucket.

General Purpose Buckets

This type of bucket ranges from 5 cubic meters to 34 cubic meters in size. Its design usually include: welded gussets in all stress areas (for structural strength), fully welded seams. It is made of Hi-Tensile steel all throughout. It has side cutters, wear plates, and hardened cutting edges.

Rock Bucket

Rock bucket is designed for toughest jobs such as sorting unwanted objects (such as rocks, caliches) from soil, cleaning up debris, and other general use like lifting concrete, debris, frost, hay bales, etc. This type of bucket is very popular for its versatility. It is made of Hi-strength steel; tines are fully gusseted.

Cemetery Bucket

This is specifically designed for digging graves. It is not to be used for normal trenching or tough digging condition. Cemetery bucket has incorporated extra bucket rotation to enable operator to dig straight vertical walls and flat bottom (cuts 90 degree corners). Its capacity ranges from 1.5 cubic feet to 7.1 cubic feet of different widths. Hi-strength steel is used in critical components. Gussets and wear straps are utilized for extra strength.

High Capacity Sand Bucket

This is designed specifically for moving lighter materials such as sand, gravel, ash, loams, light soils, etc. The advantage of using this is that it increases production by 50 percent and decreases operating cost by 30 percent. High capacity sand bucket is usually made of lightweight Hi-strength alloy steel that allows operator to use the total power of the machine.

Pavement Removal Bucket

This is the only bucket designed to tear down asphalt and concrete. There are special designed pavement removal bucket that enables you to hold and load all uneven sized material.

“V” Ditching Bucket

This bucket cuts ditches in one pass. It weighs 12,000 lbs and is 13 feet wide, 9 feet high. Its V-shape design was built to create a sloped ditch so that workers will not get buried in case the ditch starts to collapse.

Ditching and Leveling Buckets

This is the ideal tool for ditching, reclamation, sloping, and precision leveling jobs. It is commonly 36 inches to 72 inches wide.

Cribbing Buckets

Cribbing buckets is used for narrow trenching jobs like railroad maintenance and digging in narrow quarters (water or sewer lines). The long lip design permits the operator to efficiently clean under the rails. It is typically 8 inches wide and 58 inches long. Pin width is 6 ½ inches; center to center pin is 14 inches.

Frost Bucket

This is ideal tool for frost, shale, rock, and coral. Its’ twin sharp tips is designed for ultimate penetration on hard and frozen ground. It digs flat or v-bottom channels.

Contract Lawyers

A  contract  is a legal form of agreement between two or more people to undertake any legal act.  Contracts  are the basis for all business agreements. A legal  contract  is valid only when all the concerned parties signed it. When any of the  contracting  parties fail to adhere the  contracting  terms, it is known as breach of  contract . As both the parties are bound by the  contract  legally, the party that breaches the  contract  can be sued under civil and criminal charges. As breach of  contracts  may have serious legal implications, it should not be taken lightly.

Some common  contract  terms are Acceptance, Breach of  Contract , Conditions, Liability, Warranty, Mutual Assent, and consideration. Commercial property departments in the city engage many  contract  lawyers mainly for the sudden increase of property related disputes that requires experienced lawyers. Many organizations put impost on recruiting new staff as a cost cutting measure; there more choices to recruit people on  contract  basis rather than permanent commitment. More over, corporations are looking for  contract  lawyers due to increase in legal costs. For them employing temporary or  contract  lawyers is the ideal solution to reduce their legal expenditure.

The work of a  contract  lawyer is defined in the  contract  terms. Their nature of work includes administration of large portfolios, often for some particular clients, financing and re-financing transactions, property aspects of major commercial transactions, landlord and tenant issues and drafting leases and licenses to new tenancy applications.
 Contract  lawyers are known for their dedication and hard work, and they stick to the deadlines and complete the projects in time. It is very important to a  contract  lawyer to update his knowledge with new developments.

Working on a  contract  basis helps them to enhance their experience and provides an opportunity to enable the lawyers to get  contracts  in a number of firms.  Contracts  provide lawyers an ideal introduction to influential employers. New projects surely generate opportunities for them to create impression. In many cases, large volume of  contracts  leads them to permanent employment, or an extension to the original  contract .

Short On Space – Start Growing Container Tomatoes

Growing  container  tomatoes has so many benefits and as well as that it is relatively easy. Also they can yield a large crop with a very limited number of plants. Picking your own tomatoes can be such a satisfying experience, made even more so when you eat them because the flavor is so much better than commercially grown tomatoes. A tomato plant can be grown in a window box, a hanging basket and even in planters, as they are functional as well as decorative for your home. However, there are few basic planning to be done in respect to growing  container  tomatoes.

Some points to consider are:

  • The climate that you will be growing your tomatoes in
  • The variety of tomato that you will grow according to your climate
  • The size of  container  to suit your plant selection
  • Fertilizers and pesticides
  • Watering and feeding
  • Disease and pest elimination

The appropriate climate:

Growing  container  tomatoes needs a specific temperature and climatic conditions that allow it to grow well. You could choose to start with young plants or even seeds from nursery. It is important that you match up your climate to the variety of the tomato you would like to grow. You could also consider the microclimate inside your  container  garden. Most tomato varieties need a warmer night temperature to flower and reap fruits. If you live in a colder climate, choose a variety that can stand up to this temperature.

Generally speaking it is best not to plant seedlings until the night temperate is 65 degrees.

Although tomatoes need 6 – 8 hours of sunlight a day they do not like it if the temperatures get extremely hot, so if you live in a climate with exceptionally hot midday temperatures it would be a good idea to move the  container  or use some shade cloth at this time of day.

 Container  size:

Tomatoes are relatively easy to grow and can be grown in almost any size of  container . Be it a medium-sized hanging basket or a wine barrel; make sure that you match the tomato variety to the size of your  container . If you decide on smaller tomato varieties such as cherry or even grape, you could choose  containers  like hanging baskets or even window boxes. The fruits of such varieties are small and will not break its stem. However, large tomatoes will need bigger  containers  and need to be staked or caged.

Watering and feeding:

Because the roots of tomatoes grow really deep, you need to supply a lot of water. If you have chosen bigger  containers , then watering should be done weekly and remember never to allow your tomatoes to dry completely out. A drip feed system of water can be ideal but if you only have one or two  containers  this is probably not that practical. Constant water supply to these plants without allowing them to dry out will give you a good harvest.

Tomatoes demand heavy feeding once the fruit starts developing and a well-balanced fertilizer should be given every two weeks throughout their growing season. Organic fertilizer is excellent. Tomatoes grown in  containers  are not very prone to pest, yet you must be cautious of insects and other white flys, which may harm the leaves and branches. The hornworm is the most damaging pest for tomatoes. Don’t shy away from growing tomatoes just because you do not have a lavish garden. Whatever be the reason, there is always a way to grow these luscious red tomatoes for your salads and other dishes.

Air Conditioner Repair

Most problems that people face with  air   conditioners  can be solved by simple maintenance and cleaning. A regular cleaning of the  air   conditioner  grille and filter helps to increase its longevity and make it more efficient at cooling. Sometimes particle aggregation inside the  air  filter chokes the ducts and makes the  air   conditioner  ineffective. This can be solved by a simple cleaning of the air filter.

The common problems with  air   conditioners  are faulty cooling, collection of water pools below the  air   conditioner , rattling sounds when the unit is shutting down, dysfunctional temperature control, etc. Some of these problems can be repaired by the owners themselves without calling for technical help. The  air   conditioner  manual carries solutions to minor problems which can be easily implemented.

Before attempting  Air   Conditioner  Repairs, it is most important to turn the power off. Removing the grille is an easy task, but care should be taken if the fan is attached to the grille as in some central cooling systems. Also, no wires should come loose while removing the grille and disconnecting the fan. If there are any wires connecting the fan to the main board, their sequence should be remembered so that they can be reconnected later.

Sometimes the  air   conditioner  may not turn on at all due to a tripped or a broken fuse. The fuse is simple enough to be replaced by anyone. Instructions to replace fuses are mentioned in the manual. Hence, before calling a technician, it is advisable to check if there is a fuse problem.

Another common problem is the accumulation of water under the front portion of the  air   conditioner . This may be due to leakage of one of the ducts. Simple replacement solves the problem and instructions are mentioned in the manual.

Problems with thermostats are trickier to solve. Thermostat problems cause the  air   conditioner  to cool the room unexpectedly. Even the heat pump may cause unexpected temperature swings if it is broken down. Thermostats and heat pumps should only be repaired by skilled technicians from the companies themselves.

 Air   Conditioner  Repair is not a very difficult task, but people who are not confident with electrical appliances may contact the company to send their technicians. Technicians from the same company should be preferred over other repairmen.

Air Filters and Your Air Compressor

The air we breathe contains contamination in the form of water vapor and air borne particles. During the compression process an air compressor concentrates these contaminants and depending on the age of the air compressor can even add contamination in the form of oil carryover. Basically, a modern air compressor amplifies the damaging effect of water vapor and airborne particles by virtue of the compression process. If you breathing in some dusty, humid air, your air compressor is feeling it far more than you are. Water vapor can be particularly destructive to the air compressor but it doesn’t end there. Remember the whole reason you have an air compressor is to run your air tools and other accessories. A compressor by itself isn’t very useful. It’s the air tools it powers! An air tool can get some serious damage over time by pumping it full of dirty compressed air and you may find your favorite impact wrench just doesn’t have the same power it used to a few years ago. The problem may not be the impact but the dirty and wet air you are pumping through it.

Modern air compressors have several methods to combat this problem. Some have built in aftercoolers and water separators to remove excess moisture. In some applications this may be all you require. It you are working in much harsher conditions or the tools you are powering require cleaner air, you may need to consider compressed air filters to clean the air further.

Ingersoll Rand has been the leader in air compressors for literally decades and they produce a full line of filters, refrigeration dryers, desicant dryers, and cooling systems for modern air compressors. Their air filters come with a differential pressure indicator to give the operator a quick and easy reminder of how much life is left in the filter element. Also, the Oleophobic filter media actively repels oil and water to reduce pressure drop and keep operating expenses down to a minimum. Typical filter media soaks up oil and water increasing pressure drop. This reduces the efficiency of the air filter and will produce higher operating costs.

One important lesson to remember is that just because you have the lastest air filters on your shop air compressor, the compressed air is not safe to breathe. The compressed air should not be used for breathing air applications unless it is treated with all applicable codes and regulations. An air impact wrench is not as sensitive as your lungs and you don’t want even small amounts of lubricating oil deposited in your lungs.

3 Basic Pillars of Designing Profitable Websites

A well prepared article within a news paper will convey an understandable important message to its readers than a scantily laid out area of text. Also the content of that article should be well decorated, step wise, informative and catchy. If you want to make your article noticeable then you need to keep these things in your mind while scripting that article. The same holds true for a good looking website designing.

A website is designed by the client for fulfilling a particular business goal. Business websites mainly deals with either displaying products or providing services to its clients. The website becomes the gateway for the business owner to interact with its clients. Thus it becomes compulsive for the business owners to design an attractive website which can easily catch the concentration of the web audience.

Designing a website is not a difficult task if you follow the fundamental rules of website design but many websites of recent lack in the designing basics to make an appealing, attractive and eye catching website.

Creative Logo design: Visual appeal is the significant issue of creating first impression into human mind. Nowadays a glowing logo becomes the primary step to creating the first impression of the web traffic. Through web 2 logo designing, giant size innovative logos have the ability to impress your visitor at the very first glance when they came at your website. These types of logo may also generate the brand reputation at the visitors mind within few months.

Innovative template decoration: Many a time it has been viewed that may be the story is good but it is the story telling ability makes that story remarkable. The same is true for web template decoration. Web 2 design style gives you the edge for decorating your template according to your wish.

1. You can use glowing boxes for some important announcement or special offers of your website.

2. You can provide transparent images as the back ground of your web page.

3. You can place fluorescent colors for highlighting any important text.

4. You can provide the menu bar according to your wish (i.e. not mandatory in felt panel or in header part) for creating interest for your website in the visitors mind.

5. You can place tiny meaningful icons (known as one of the best features of web 2 design) to impress your web audience.

6. You can provide a long footer section and their your can provide an inquiry form that people can contact you quickly (without going at your contact page).

Organized content: In content section you need be unique from your market competitors. You need to place your content into a different eye catching manner and for that you can separate your content into few boxes, and you may differently color your box to make the difference.

Web 2 design styles enable website designer to place several fonts into single web page content. As well as you can highlight any important texts by providing special fluorescent colors to catch the visitors eye easily.

How to Complete a Blank Family Tree

Completing a blank family tree is a great way to start researching your family history. It provides a way for you to organize your information in a structure that clearly shows your relationship to your ancestors. For this article, I will focus on a 3-generation family tree. I will explain the structure of the family tree, how to fill it in, and how it can be used to organize your family lines going back as many generations as you desire.

Family Tree Structure

A 3-generation family tree can easily fit on a 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. With the paper positioned lengthwise, it will be divided into 3 columns. Moving from left to right, the first column will contain a single box that will be used to hold information about yourself. This box is labeled #1. The second column will contain two boxes stacked vertically. The top box will hold your father’s information and is labeled #2. The bottom box will hold your mother’s information and is labeled #3. The third column will contain four boxes stacked vertically which are labeled #4 through #7. Boxes #4 and #5 will have the information about your paternal grandfather and grandmother, respectively. Boxes #6 and #7 will have the information abut your maternal grandfather and grandmother, respectively. An interesting observation about this type of structure is that, with the possible exception of box #1, odd numbered boxes indicate women and even numbered boxes indicate men.

Filling Out Your Family Tree

Now that you understand the structure of the 3-generation family tree, it is time to begin filling it out. Family research always begins with yourself. Box #1 will be used to collect this information. On the first line, put your full name. Note that women should always be listed by their maiden name. Below your name, you can include additional information such as the dates and locations of your birth and marriage.

Once you’ve completed the first column, you can move on to the second column. This column will contain the information about your father in box #2 and your mother in box #3. As before, start by listing their full name in their respective box. You can then add the dates and locations of their births, marriage, and deaths. If a particular space doesn’t apply, leave it blank. Repeat this process for your grandparents in the third column.

Once you’ve finished listing each person’s information, you should label this page as “Chart No. 1.”

Organizing Your Research

In order to document your family lines further back in time, you will need to fill in additional family tree charts. The ancestry for each of the boxes in column three of Chart No. 1 can be continued on a new chart. For example, let’s trace back your paternal grandfather’s family line. In Chart No. 1, your paternal grandfather’s information is listed in box #4. Next to that box, we will put a “2” to indicate that this family line will continue in Chart No. 2. In Chart No. 2, we note underneath the chart number that box #1 on this chart is the same as box #4 on Chart 1. Using this method, we are able to tie the two charts together. You can then continue to fill in this line of ancestry. Repeat this process as many times as necessary.

Completing a blank family tree is the first step in researching family history. With this information in hand, you are now ready to dig deeper into the life stories hiding behind each name as you uncover your family history.

Revulcanized Vs Bonded Crumb Horse Stall Mats

When making the investment in rubber flooring for your horse stable, be sure that you are purchasing the best product for the job. At first thought, you may assume that a horse mat is a horse mat and it doesn’t matter what one you get, but on closer examination, there are a number of important factors to consider when choosing the best mat for your stalls. Some of these include: revulcanized vs. straight edge vs. interlocking mats?

There are a number of reasons why revulcanized rubber is superior to bonded crumb rubber when it comes to stall flooring. Here are 6 reasons why you should choose revulcanized rubber flooring for most horse flooring applications:

  1. Polyurethane bonded mats can absorb animal fluids while revulcanized mats do not absorb moisture
  2. Animal fluids can cause the polyurethane binder to deteriorate creating wear spots as the crumb flakes away, revulcanized matting does not have this problem
  3. Animal fluids trapped in the bonded crumb mats can cause bacteria and foul odors
  4. Revulcanized rubber flooring is more durable and more resilient than polyurethane bonded rubber flooring
  5. Revulcanized mats will not curl, cold flow or change shape like polyurethane bonded mats can when under the temperatures and pressures of normal use
  6. Revulcanized mats are made by chemically bonding the rubber under extreme pressure and heat to create the most durable and dense mat possible, while polyurethane bonded mats are glued and pressed under moderate pressure.

On the plus side for polyurethane bonded crumb mats, they typically do not have as much of the rubber odor as the revulcanized rubber mats do.

It is important to remember that companies that are selling bonded crumb mats will not advertise them as such. Remember to ask if the mats are revulcanized when getting a price. Some companies will respond to this by saying, “Yes, these are recycled rubber mats”, however this is not the same thing. Visually you can tell the difference between the two by the surface. When you look closely at a bonded crumb mat, you can see that it looks like bits of crumb rubber glued together. Revulcanized rubber mats have a smooth, non-porous surface.

When comparing pricing, be sure to consider the product life, the shipping cost (this can be high for these heavy products), and the health of your horse and workers.

When making the investment in stall flooring, be sure to choose a product that will give you years of life with no headaches. We stand behind our quality matting products with a solid warranty. Join the many happy customers that have made Treadall their choice for heavy duty rubber mats.

Oak Flooring – Adding a Touch of Class to Any Home

There is no mistaking the elegance that oak flooring can add to a home. While all hardwood floors are attractive, oak flooring holds a certain degree of respect with people that is hard to describe. If you really want to set your floor apart, use wide plank oak flooring and watch people’s jaws drop when they walk into your home.

When you go back in time a bit, hardwood flooring was the standard that all homes were built with. For most people growing up, it was just normal to have hardwood floors. Over the years, different flooring became much more popular and then of course, it seemed like everyone switched over to   carpeting  in their homes.

Today, it seems as though we are going back in time as the latest fad seems to be hardwood flooring. While the youngsters of this world think that they have discovered something new, the old timers are shaking their heads and thinking that this is nothing special. When they were growing up, hardwood floors were the norm and it was a home that had  carpeting  that was all the rave.

It is very funny how history always seems to repeat itself and how homeowners now are all looking to add oak flooring to their houses to create a rich look. Not only that, but the oldest of hardwood floors, plank flooring is really stealing the headlines. When you combine this with oak, it becomes one of the most attractive options in flooring that is available.

Oak flooring comes in a couple of different options. If you have the skill to do it yourself or are going to hire a contractor, you should use solid wood flooring. This is especially true if you are doing the upper levels of your home where moisture is not a problem. While it will be a little more work, it is much more authentic looking and will have a look that will truly set your home apart from others.

If you still want real hardwood floors but are a little worried about the installation, you may want to think about using engineered oak flooring. While it will still be real oak, it will already be finished for you and all you have to do is install it. Even that is easier as the thicker boards can actually be glued down instead of nailed down. This type of flooring will also hold up better to moisture so that may be a consideration as well as to what you are going to use.

As we said, history often repeats itself and home remodeling and design is no different. For years people have tried to cover up their hardwood floors with  carpeting  and at one time,  carpeting  was considered to be a sign of wealth. Now the most sought after homes on the market have thrown carpet out the windows and hardwood floors are considered to be an elegant and rich look. If our parents could only tell the future, they would have saved themselves a lot of time and money by keeping their floors up and avoiding the whole “carpet thing” . . .

Talking Rugged Notebook

A rugged notebook offers mobile professionals the ability to work in any environment and in any location. Versatile and powerful, rugged notebook computers are designed specifically for both in-plant and outdoor industrial (and military) applications. Built to handle the toughest environments, fully ruggedized notebooks should have IP54 environmental protection, meet MIL-STD 810F and have heavy duty – generally magnesium alloy – cases. Rugged notebook computers enable professionals to work smoothly in adverse environments and are adequately equipped to face almost any tough situation with ease. Naturally, these rugged notebook computers are heavier than non-rugged models but offer substantially more protection than standard laptops. offer a variety of semi-rugged and rugged notebooks, wireless tablets and even rugged PDAs in their Recon series. They also offer custom solutions.

Arguably the most rugged and heavy-duty notebook available is the Rough Rider III from Meeting IEC and MIL-STD 810F, temperature, humidity, altitude, shock, vibration and drop standards, the case also conforms to IEC 529 and Ingress IP 54 requirements. It has extensive configuration options and a second bay available with internal PCI connector that supports a wide variety of options including two additional COM ports (RS232, RS422, or RS 485), two additional PCMCIA slots, a SCSI-2 port, DGPS or wireless modules, an auxiliary battery, or fixed floppy drive. It can be configured with 1.4 or 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium M processor, up to 2GB of DDR RAM, a 60GB HDD, and up to a 14.1 inch screen. It also provides extended wireless communications with 802.11b Wi-Fi, GSM/GPRS and DataTAC connectivity. As you might expect, all this ruggedness comes with a penalty and with the primary battery installed, the Rough Rider III rugged notebook weighs 12.7 pounds, definitely not a light-weight. offers a variety of semi-rugged and rugged notebooks, wireless tablets and even rugged PDAs in their Recon series. They also offer custom solutions. As one of the premier providers of notebook computers that meet and exceed military (810F and 461E) and industry standards (IP54), anyone interested in a high quality semi- or rugged notebook should make it a point to check them out.

Sterling Computer Sales in Landenberg, PA, offers a series of rugged notebooks meeting MIL STD 810E (which primarily involves small drops and rough transport). Their RB1500 has a rubber mounted HDD, spill-proof keyboard and magnesium alloy case. It comes with a 15.1 inch TFT boasting sXGA+ resolution (1400X1050) and a Pentium 4 Mobile 1.6Ghz processor. You can stuff it with up to 2GB of DDR ram and a 100GB HD. For communications this rugged notebook includes modem, Ethernet and 802.11b/g Wireless. This might be better considered a semi-rugged, but the price with default options starts at only $1,595.

The Durabook N15RI is a rugged notebook that has a magnesium alloy top and bottom case – which is 20 times stronger than plastic. This rugged notebook has anti-shock mounting and spill-resistant keyboard, scroll buttons and touch-pad. While it meets some (modified) 810F military specifications for ruggedness it doesn’t appear to be IP54 compliant and is probably best viewed as a more rugged than usual semi-rugged notebook. It still provides the mobile professional with a tough, durable notebook at a more reasonable price than a fully rugged notebook.

HP also has a rugged notebook series – the HP nr3610 Rugged Notebook. This model meets MIL STD for ruggedness in the areas of ESD (Electrostatic Discharge), low pressure, humidity, sealing, temperature and vibration – and the Ingress IP-54 Protection rating for dust and water. However, it is very pricey for a notebook with a 12.1 LCD (over $4000) and nearly impossible to find currently.

Another rugged notebook, offering the choice of 14.1″ and 15″ Tflex displays – which work very well both outdoors and indoors, is the Argonaut Ranger. The hard drive and LCD are both shock mounted and the case is constructed of magnesium alloy. Both models of this rugged notebook – Argonaut Ranger – meet military specifications for ruggedness. The keyboard is spill-proof and the circuitry of this rugged notebook makes use of anti-corrosive technology for extra protection. Designed particularly for marine use the TFlex display works extremely well under any lighting conditions – from full darkness to direct sunlight.

Panasonic has its ToughBook line of semi-rugged and rugged notebook computers which are also worth looking into. The semi-rugged notebooks have a variety of features from the T2 with touchscreen weighing in at only 2.7 pounds to the Toughbook 51, available with a 2GHz Intel Pentium M 760, a shock-mounted 80 GB HDD and up to 2 GB of DDR2 SDRAM, with a 15 inch TFT Active Matrix Color LCD and a standard Combo Drive of a DVD multi-drive, weighing in at about 6.7 pounds. Base pricing for the T51 seems to start around $1600.

The Panasonic Toughbook-29 is a fully rugged notebook tested to MIL STD 810F. The vibration and drop-shock resistant design has Intel Centrino Mobile Tech and integrated 802.11 a/b/g wireless LAN. It has a 13.3 inch outdoor-readable TFT Active Matrix Color LCD (optional touchscreen), a shock-mounted removable HDD in a stainless steel case, sealed port and connector covers and a full magnesium alloy case with handle. With battery and floppy drive it weighs 7.9 pounds. Base version pricing seems to be around $3500 currently.

One thing you need to be aware of about rugged notebooks – particularly full MIL-STD ruggedized models – they can be a little hard to find at your local computer store – or even on some of the big internet sites. The substantial added costs of manufacture and testing – and sometimes, the performance compromises that are made, make them a questionable option for the usual notebook user. If you will be working under harsh conditions, then they may be your only rational choice. However, for a user who will simply be doing a lot of traveling, day in and day out, and wants a notebook computer that can better tolerate the inevitable shocks and bumps, a semi-rugged notebook could be a much more affordable option, providing reasonable protection and better performance at a lower price.

Copyright 2005 Richard Keir

Betting On Cock Fighting

The Legend of Cockfighting

Cockfights are considered to be blood sports. Two roosters are made to fight against each other in a ring called a cockpit. Cockfighting was first seen in the Indus valley civilization in 2000 BC. The game was popular in India, China, Persia, and was later introduced to Greece in 524- 460 BC. In India in the Tamil regions, it was acknowledged as one of the 64 arts, and the fighting was done using jungle fowls. The Romans also adopted it. Many Romans are said to have spent most of their time beside the cockpit.

Cocks Reared for Fighting

The gamecocks were well conditioned and of a special breed, and given good care until the age of two. The wagers were laid. The fighting was of two kinds: one with a small knife tied like a bracelet to the ankle of the cock, where the spurs are, and the other, with the spurs alone.

The Two Types of Fights

The fighting is unto death in some cases while in others, it is fought with naked heels. The death fights, each of twenty-minute durations, have three rounds, with a gap of twenty minutes in between. The normal fights will be four rounds of 15 minutes each with a break of fifteen minutes.

Banned in Europe and the USA

Cock fighting is thought to be a monstrous sport by animal welfare and animal rights activists and others; this is because the birds are put to a lot of physical torture that they inflict on each other. Nowadays, cock fighting is banned in Europe and the USA.

Cockfights and Betting in South America

Many South American countries still have cockfights. The cockfights are carried out in areas that have seats for the viewers that are placed around the ring. Betting takes place on these cockfights. Cockfighting is ranked along with sports like baseball and American football.

The Cockfights in Bali

In Bali the cockfights are known as tajens, and though it has been banned since 1981, it is still carried out, but only for religious reasons. There is an ancient ritual in Bali that requires blood to be spilt, and so they use a cock fight to spill the blood. The spilt blood is then offered to evil spirits. Women are not even allowed to watch the fights. The cocks fight with a sharp knife that is called taji.

The Fast Development of Cockfights in the Philippines

In the Philippines, cockfighting is known as Sabong. Legal cockfights are held every week in cockpits. You will also find illegal cockfights in open areas. Cockfights are held with knives. There are also derbies held. In these derbies, the owner fields a fixed number of cocks and the one with the most number of wins get the jackpot. The Philippines have hosted many a World Slasher Derby. New cockpits are now being built in the Philippines. Cockfighting is still very famous all over the world excluding some European countries and the USA. Now it has also gone online and the betting is high.

Great Potential for Future Gambling

Cockfighting has been a sport of the ancient times and even now it attracts huge crowds. It is also considered to be a sport, which is associated with religious rites. Cockfighting is developing into a great arena for gambling.

Bianca Castafiore – The Opera Diva from Tintin

Bianca Castafiore first appears in the King Ottokar’s Sceptre and was to make an appearance in several of the Adventures of Tintin albums written and illustrated by Herge. Bianca Castafiore character is a Milanese opera singer and her disposition is definitely one of an opera diva.

Herge the creator of Tintin was not a big fan of opera and the creation of Bianca Castafiore was considered by many to be an acknowledgment of that fact. Castafiore is presented as being one of the leading lights in of opera of her generation but in all her appearances in the albums is only heard to sing a couple of lines form The Jewel Song (l’ air des bijoux) from Faust and then only at deafening volumes “Ah my beauty past compare, these jewels bright I wear!…Was I ever Margarita? Is it I? Come reply…Mirror mirror tell me truly!” It was fair to say that Castafiore was not universally liked by all of the Tintin gang.

Captain Haddock in particular isn’t a big Castafiore fan and at one point she even calls him a “scruffy little school boy”. She shows a maternal instinct for Haddock which he truly hates and when he is later linked romantically to Bianca Castafiore by a newspaper reporter he is revealed by Herge as a very unhappy character indeed. Captain Haddock’s is further annoyed by the fact that the signora can never get his name right (see the end of the post for details) and when she ever shows signs of affection for Captain through gifts the results are always calamitous.

Bianca Castafiore (her name means “chaste flower”) ends up captured along with her entourage (her maid Irma, her musician Igor Wagner and the detectives Thompson and Thompson) in the album Tintin and the Picaros by General Tapioca on the advice of Colonel Sponsz. The general and colonel’s aim being to lure Captain Haddock, Tintin and Professor Calculus to San Theodoros where they are then accused of conspiring with Castafiore to assassinate and overthrow General Tapioca. Then however through an unseen chain of events General Tapioca is overthrown with the help of the accused. This doesn’t help Castafiore as she is unfortunately still imprisoned and is seen to complain of over cooked pasta.

The Names for Captain Haddock Incorrectly used by Bianca Castafiore

1. “Mr. Paddock” – pg. 12, The Calculus Affair.

Actually, the first time Captain and Bianca met even Captain said his

own name wrong, introducing himself as “Hoddack”.

2. “Padlock” – pg. 40, The Red Sea Sharks

3. “Harrock” – pg. 40, The Red Sea Sharks.

Instead of correcting Castafiore Captain said, “…’n roll, Signora

Castoroili, Harrock ‘n roll!”

4. “Captain Bartok” – pg. 6, The Castafiore Emerald.

Usually when she says his name wrong Captain will say her name

wrong back on purpose calling her “Castoroili”.

5. “Captain Fatstock” – pg. 8, Castafiore Emerald

6. “Captain Drydock” – pg. 9, Castafiore Emerald

Um, aren’t all docks dry?

7. “Captain   Stopcock ” – pg. 10, Castafiore Emerald

8. “Halibut” – pg. 17, Castafiore Emerald

Bianca never actually called Haddock that, but she obviously gave the

delivery man that name instead of Haddock when he was

delivering her piano.

9. “Captain Hammock” – pg. 21, Castafiore Emerald

10. “Captain Paddock” – pg. 22, Castafiore Emerald

Hey, she’s called him this in the past!

11. “Captain Hassock” – pg. 22, Castafiore Emerald

12. “Captain Bedsock” – pg. 34, Castafiore Emerald

13. “Captain Padlock” – pg. 55, Castafiore Emerald

She’s also used this name before!

14. “Captain Hatbox” – pg. 56, Castafiore Emerald

15. “Captain Hemlock” – pg. 61, Tintin and the Picaros