Accent Lighting

Accent  lighting  is a new trend. It started, as a luxury mean of enhancing the interiors and exteriors of hotels, high-class restaurants or corporate buildings and it is now an affordable home design technique. There are enough  lighting  fixtures you could use for interior design, but the ones that could provide for the most spectacular accents are the LED light sources. These come in different shapes, sizes, viewing angles, effects and colors. You could even ask a manufacturer to create a LED luminary of your design (but take care: development costs are high and any non-standard product is expensive). The LED lights contain no harmful UV rays. Take that and their low power consumption and you’ve got a highly reliable  lighting  fixture to replace other conventional lights and create unexpected  lighting  accents and designs.

Let’s take a look at what LED light sources you could use (and where) to create spectacular accents that will mesmerize your visitors.

LED spots are perfect for bathroom vanities, cupboards and lockers. They make nice accent lights especially when they come in their RGB option. A quality RGB LED spot not only saves energy and can be programmed to create special light and color effects, but emits a uniform, consistent  lighting , with no shadow or glare, far superior to what has up to now been possible with halogen or neon lights. Yes, LEDs can replace traditional halogen and other conventional lamps. So if you have such  lighting  fixtures you might consider buying some MR16 or GU10 LED bulbs that will emanate enough light (for accent and not for illumination purposes).

LED stripes – either flexible or standard – are perfect to create trails on the floors, walls or ceilings. The best part about such  lighting  fixtures is that they are really slim and you could insert them in tiny niches, behind different pieces of furniture for instance, to create “hidden lights”. You could also use these stripes to mark outdoors paths or for edge  lighting . For indoor applications, where you don’t want to make holes in the walls or floors, you could always choose LED stripes with adhesive tapes (these are extremely easy to mount and provide for increased flexibility, as you can always change their place if you look for new accents). If you are looking to replace neon tubes, LEDs are the best alternative. Modern LED tubes or ropes have a viewing angle of 360° (due to a special positioning of the LEDs inside the plastic or Plexiglas composite profile), are flexible and safe.

But the most popular accent  lighting  source so far is the LED tile. You probably know it as “Mood light” a Traxon brand. However, Traxon is not the only manufacturer. If you cannot afford a Traxon product, you could always perform a search for “LED tiles” in Google and you’ll find other manufacturers that will sell you similar products, made of high quality materials, for half the price. With a few LED tiles, you could create a “wellness wall” or place them randomly around the room and control the light effects, color and intensity to create a special atmosphere in your home.

How to Survive a Wildfire

This summer, wildfires have eaten up our country like never before. Nearly 7 million acres across the USA have burned down, a number that breaks 2006’s previous record, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

The situation got out of control, because too many fires were spreading too fast for firemen to stop them. At some point in August, there were 39 fires all burning at the same time. Eight brave firefighters have lost their lives trying to put an end to this disaster.

But they alone can`t fight this battle against nature. Because it`s just begun.

Scientific American warns about future wildfires, more frequent and much more powerful. And if our firefighter teams could not deal with this year`s fires… then what will happen to our lands and our homes next year? Or the year after that?

How many firefighters do you think will join the crew? I`ll give you this answer: not enough. So we`ve got to learn how to protect our own families from these coming disasters. And the first thing you should know is what to do before a wildfire, as safety measures:

Safety Measure #1: Prepare bug-out bags for all your family members.

72-hour kits are a must in every home and you should keep them in a place where you`ve got easy access. They should contain food, water, a change of clothes, basic hygiene items, a lantern, batteries and meds (according to every person`s needs). Unless it`s a child`s bag, you should also include a weapon, like a knife or even a small gun.

Safety Measure #2: Assess your house for fire-hazardous materials

Try to replace them with safer materials or keep the hazardous objects as far from your house as you can (like a wooden storage room).

Also, they promote the usage of “fire-resistant or   noncombustible  materials on the roof and exterior structure of the dwelling”. If you can`t replace the existing ones, you can treat them with fire-retardant chemicals. They won`t stop your house from catching fire, but it will slow the process down until the firefighters arrive.

One more thing: don`t forget to clean the gutters and chimneys twice a year.

Safety Measure #3: Surround your house with fire-resistant materials

Whether it`s a tall, resistant fence or a line of hardwood trees, it`s your choice. The fire won`t stay on the other side forever. But you get more time to save your family and call 911. That extra protection around your house could make a difference between bugging out on time and getting trapped in a burning house.

Safety Measure #4: Install fire alarms in your home

If you`re in a fire-hazardous area, you should invest in the best fire alarms on the market. Don`t be sorry about the money spent. It`s an investment in your family`s future. An alarm near the bedroom is an absolute must. This way, you won`t get any unpleasant surprises when you`re asleep at night.

But even if you`re not threatened by wildfires every summer, you should have fire alarms in your house. You may never know when an accident happens. And prevention never hurt anyone.

Safety Measure #5: Get a fire extinguisher for every room

You don`t have to get them all at once. Just get one at a time, when you`ve saved some money. Learn how to use it, if you don`t know that already. And show the other members of your family how to do it, too. Maybe you won`t be home when it happens, so it`s best if everyone knows basic survival measures.

Next time, we`ll talk about what you should do during a wildfire. We`ll cover bugging out, escaping a burning house and assessing injuries. Until then, stay safe!

Finding Quality Flat Screen TV Ceiling Mounts

There are several hundred manufacturers of flat screen TV ceiling mounts all over the world. Some of them are not the best or the safest products to purchase for your TV mounting needs. Anytime you’re looking for something strong enough to hold a very large flat screen LCD television you will want to find a unit that will completely secure such a heavy device suspended in the air. It’s easy enough to do the math, when taking an eighteen hundred-dollar television set and investing fifty bucks into a mount for that product could be slightly catastrophic when the cheap metal gives way and sends your big-screen crashing to the floor.

Ceiling mounts are a system in themselves, and each and every piece needs to be of a quality that will make sure the firm and steady support your flat screen needs to fight gravity by hanging in the air for several years. Spending an extra two to three hundred dollars on a quality mount instead of having to replace the cheap one after an accident is the best insurance you can buy for your peace of mind, and the safety of your family.

There are also optional support brackets that can be purchased and installed in your attic flooring to help spread the weight of the Mount and the display unit to prevent untimely support failures. These machined brackets and accompanying hardware will generally cost about $50-$100, but will give you the added support that your eight pound fifty-five inch flat screen needs. These type of installations will cost a lot less if done when a room renovation is being performed, as the walls will be down an all-new cabling and support devices can be installed without having to tear up and repair the affected areas where it will be mounted.

Even if you buy your flat screen display at a super discounter, you may want to go shopping at one of the higher end home theater retail outlets to find the proper bracket you will need to support the weight in a fashion that will prevent premature failures in the future. Also, ask the salesperson for a quote on having the unit installed by them, especially if you’re not adept at swinging a hammer, and patching drywall. As any other area in your house, you want the installation to look seamless and professional as possible, and quite honestly the average homeowner is not up to the challenge. To summarize, making a sound investment for a quality ceiling mount for such an expensive home entertainment purchase makes much more sense.

Flooring With Precision – A Look at Hand Scraped Hardwood Floors

Several home owners consider it to be a mark of classical elegance in maintaining hand scraped hardwood floors in their houses. It stands out as a reflective symbol of grace and poise, adorning the beauty of the house. The flooring structure has a few distinct advantages of being strong and durable, which can stand the test of time as well as add an aesthetic value to the home. Best of all, it blends completely with the surrounding ambiance, creating a sensation of palatial architecture, which is the dream of every home owner. Such a form of flooring is expensive, but most owners are willing to shell out the money to maintain a sense of exclusivity that makes their home the envy of everyone’s eyes.

The flooring design might be a treat to the eyes, but creating such a perfect structural pattern is a cumbersome job in itself, needing professional expert services. One major problem with hardwood floors is their ability to spoil extremely quickly if the wood is of low quality. Such floors might be affordable in the overall scale, but cracks would soon start to pile up and damage the entire house, ruining the floor with sandy remains and sawdust.

An ominous creaking sound is the first sign of a damaged floor and a major concern for every owner. It is best to always be in touch with a proper hand scraped hardwood flooring service that truly understands the basic floor design of your house and can build or refinish it whenever needed.

The essential requirement of every home owner wanting hardwood flooring in their house is to contact a proper flooring service agency. Such an agency has several options and arrangements based on the architectural patterns of different houses. Most agencies comprise of a compact and technically proficient team who understand the build design of hand scraped wood floors and how it can be implemented to the owner’s satisfaction.

Several floor consultants work with the owner at every stage to take valuable customer feedback and work on floor design based on individual needs. What sets such agencies apart is the high quality of materials used that allow floors to have a spotless finish and remain strong for a lifetime without any maintenance.

One of the strong benefits of home owners is the availability of several local agencies in their places offering special services like the companies who deal with hand scraped wood flooring in Utah. Most of them have great craftsmanship and do their work with a lot of dedication and patience providing a complete flooring solution to match every need.

The latest technology and equipment is used for fast and effective refinishing work while one has the option of several additional services at extremely nominal extensions. Several agencies have extended their services to other areas like Salt Lake City too to help maintain quality hand scraped hardwood floors to home owners there.

How NOT to Use a Penis Pump

Penis pumps. Just type the words into any search engine and you will be swamped with results. There are plenty of how tos, reviews and even a double handful of self help videos all telling, or showing, you the knowledge seeker, exactly how to use vacuum pumping of the genitals to gain the desired enlargement in both length and thickness.But how often do you see a how NOT to article? Is there a demand for this type of knowledge? Take it from this poor, self abused unfortunate. Had I known the pitfalls before I made my purchase, I would have saved myself a little money and a LOT of embarrassment. Tho to be fair to the manufacturer of the model I bought, it was indeed very well made.

The day started out much the same as any day for two mature, bored and sexually active adults in a relationship. With a trip to a nearby cities rather large and well stocked adult novelty and porn emporium! Exciting to say the least. We wandered the aisles, excitement building as we unearthed more and more treasures. It wasn’t long before I found myself standing before a veritable WALL of penis pumps. I really mean a wall. There were so many different styles and makes that the store had set aside an entire wall for their impressive collection. I worked my way through the smorgasbord of penile pumping devices, finally selecting and paying for my choice. A sleek and simple product made of high tensile space age plastic. Please remember the words space age plastic as they will come to mind later. My partner was unaware as she was in vibrator heaven 2 aisles over so I figured I would surprise her later with a bigger, larger, new improved me.

We went to lunch then returned home. I set aside my purchase while I went about the rest of my day doing whatever needed doing until I found myself with some idle time on my hands. What a perfect chance to improve myself! I quickly unpacked the pump and took a moment to admire the simplistic beauty of the device. A long, clear cylindrical tube with a rubber seal at the large open end and a clear tube running from a nipple at the far end to a hand held pump that closely resembled a bicycle pump in reverse. Placed about midway on the cylinder wall was a small hole. Included with this miracle of modern pumping technology was a rather small and silly looking pamphlet claiming to be the instructions. Instructions? For something as easy as this? We don’t need no stinking instructions! I tossed the instructions carelessly over my shoulder as I disrobed and prepared to pump.

Now, let me backtrack a second here. I make a living working construction trades. Some years ago I was unfortunate enough to have an accident that cost me the thumb and index finger on my left hand (Still a carpenter so go figure). I tell you this now so you may understand what came next and why this doesn’t really apply to most NORMAL people. By normal I mean those in possession of a brain. I slipped the end of the device over my organ then started pumping. Air just whistled through the cylinder. Aha! The hole! Hmm, what to do? Houston, we have a problem. Being as I am digitally challenged I quickly realized I did NOT possess the fingers needed to block the air hole thus enabling the device to pump correctly. Also, I had noticed the rubber seal did not seal as well as it should. That must be what the small tube of lube was for! I generously lubricated the seal, slipped the device back over my organ and slapped a piece of scotch tape over the hole. Now we were in business! I took a few practice pumps and was happy to see and feel an immediate response. So I pumped about 20 times more. WOW did I get big! It looked like it had been slammed in a door, so angry and swollen. Impressive to say the least!

Just as I was starting to enjoy the new me it suddenly dawned on me that I MAY have over pumped just a tad. It started to turn dark purple. It started to HURT. It started to THROB. I quickly reached for the end tab of the scotch tape I had applied and snatched it from the cylinder. To my unspeakable horror I was left looking at a piece of tape dangling from my fingers with a perfect hole in it! The hole was still sealed and now was impossible to get the edge of it started so I could get it off. I calmly told myself no big deal. This is when I realized I MAY have over lubed as my right testicle was SUCKED up into the tube with my already squished organ. Calm just went out the window. It was at about this time that I discovered just how tough space age plastic really is as I began beating the cylinder against the corner of the dresser in an attempt to shatter it. I had a better chance at winning the lottery. The noise from all this must have alerted my diminutive wife, so she came to see what all the noise and screaming was about. She entered the bedroom to find me naked, on all fours, scrambling around frantically searching for the instruction pamphlet while dangling a penis pump that contained what NOW looked like a bloated kielbasa gone bad. She sat on the edge of the bed and LAUGHED until she cried. I was NOT amused. When I finally gritted out a smart remark about how she COULD make herself useful, she responded by walking over to my pants, getting my pocketknife from the pocket and using it to puncture the tape covering the safety hole. She was still laughing as I threw the possessed device across the room and sat there nursing my very swollen genitals.

If you have ever seen a car tire about to blow, when it gets that little lump in the sidewall, this is how my penis looked. Luckily for me the damage wasn’t permanent and the blowout lump was gone 2 days later. Still, this was enough to put me off penis pumps permanently. When I called the store and asked if there had been any documented problems with pumps, I was told not with MY model. It appears they make even MORE powerful pumps than the one I chose. I guess lady luck was just with me that day, otherwise my butt might have been sucking up the bedspread.

For all you would be pumpers out there, read those instructions! Also, whatever you do, Do NOT pump alone!

Lean Six Sigma Success Is Driven By Business Leadership

General Electric has been wildly successful with Lean Six Sigma. While not suggesting you should copy their approach, the implementation of Lean Six Sigma in GE under the leadership of Jack Welch does provide clues from which we can learn.

EXPERIENCING MASSIVE RETURNS

In the first year of the program (1996), GE invested US$200 million with a return of US $170 million. By spring 1999, 800 champions, 700 Master Black Belts and 4,500 Black Belts had been trained. Reports indicate about 3,000 projects were finished and approximately 30,000 employees received some form of Lean Six Sigma training. By 1998, the operating margin stood at a record level of 16.7 percent. During that year GE invested US $450 million in the initiative with a return of US$1.5 billion.

In GE’s 2000 Annual Report, Welch announced an additional goal for the business improvement initiative, that was the reduction of lead times. Their focus had been on defect reduction, yet time in a process offered incredible opportunities for the business. They recognised that most of the tools of Six Sigma focused on reducing defects so additional tools were required and these came by integrating Six Sigma with Lean Manufacturing methodology.

SUCCESS LEAVES CLUES

What have we learned about the implementation of Lean Six Sigma from companies such as GE as well as the likes of Motorola and Toyota?

– Business leaders must be committed to the initiative. Commitment is only demonstrated through consistent action and engagement.

– Link Lean Six Sigma to performance measures and rewards.

– Link Lean Six Sigma training and competency to promotion criteria.

– Maintain focus on the initiative. You must prevent it from becoming a ‘flavour of the month’ initiative.

– Treat Lean Six Sigma as an investment, not a cost. It will provide massive returns if you choose to make it so.

– Use it as an important piece of your leadership development program and succession planning.

– Challenge business leaders with customer focused goals as well as efficiency goals.

– Utilise and integrate the components of Lean and Six Sigma and other complimentary initiatives that are applicable to the industry in which you work.

WHAT YOU MUST DO AS A BUSINESS LEADER

(1) Generate a broad understanding of the desired outcome

A common view of what it is you intend creating through the implementation of Lean Six Sigma is vital. A leader who exhibits passion about the future state, and takes the time to articulate that vision in such a way that all stakeholders share it, will be a powerful driving force for successful change. A clear vision of where the organisation is headed plays a significant part in aligning efforts and inspiring action by large numbers of people.

(2) Create a compelling reason for people to change

Knowing the reason why any change is necessary comes before knowing how the change will be achieved. When the reasons to change are compelling enough for those involved you have leverage. However, always remember that if you are going to tell people why change is necessary, you must deliver reasons that are meaningful to the audience, not just you.

(3) Create a Business Improvement Operating System

Any implementation of change has risks, regardless of how well it is planned. Recognise those risks and develop an operating system and infrastructure that helps create a control framework that is proactive as well as reactive.

(4) Build a powerful coalition of key players to guide the change

The right coalition of key senior people must be visibly committed to the change. Excuses for not having time are unacceptable. People choose to use their time in any way they want. Knowing that the change is important to the leadership of the organisation will drive an employee’s behaviour.

(5) Keep Continual Improvement on the agenda

Leaders must focus their attention on a handful of key strategies. Mistakingly many try to juggle ten, twenty, or even more ‘important’ items. One of the most important strategies is business improvement. It must be on the informal discussion agenda as well as the formal reporting agenda.

(6) Involve your best people

The best people in your organisation are the people who must be put to work on business improvement. Not only will you enhance the skills and knowledge of the future leaders of your organisation, you also maximise the chance of success for individual projects and the overall initiative.

(7) Anchor changes firmly in the way your organisation does business

The transformation will only ‘stick’ when the old way of doing things can no longer exist. In essence it becomes ‘the way we do things around here’. The alignment of performance systems and the organisational context around business improvement will ensure the old way is just a memory.

(8) Choose projects carefully

Formally recognised projects must ultimately be selected on the basis of their contribution to business objectives. Benefits of such projects can be reflected in bottom line results and / or the business risk profile.

(9) Appoint full time Improvement Practitioners

In reality, project time frames can be reduced in comparison to part time project work, with returns being realised sooner. A full time commitment during initial training contributes to the learning process through early application of skills learnt. A study conducted by one mining company in Australia during 2002, reported that bottom line returns were significantly greater for full time project team leaders than part time team leaders. In fact, the results showed a tenfold increase in reported benefits.

OTHER PRACTICES TO CONSIDER

Reward, Recognise and Celebrate Short Term Successes – The establishment of short-term goals provides a foundation for achievement, recognition, reward and celebration. Whilst the longer-term aspects of a business are critical, leaders must also think about the short term aspects of their business, and the essence of momentum.

Train Members of the Board – By training board members as you would project champions, Lean Six Sigma can continue beyond the tenure of the current CEO. It reduces the risk of Lean Six Sigma disappearing when new business leaders take over and implement new initiatives as a part of their desire to change the organisation.

Establish a System of Mentoring – The ideal mentor is a full time Lean Six Sigma professional at the Master Black Belt level, who focuses on providing coaching for:

– Project team leaders,

– Project Champions, and

– Business leaders.

Involve Finance People – Finance people can be involved in helping team leaders establish baselines and identify improvement benefits in financial terms. They can also take a significant role in validating claimed financial benefits. The upfront involvement of financial people ensures the credibility of claimed financial benefits, and helps establish the credibility of the initiative.

Link Variable Remuneration with Improvement Results – By tying in the variable component of remuneration with improvement results, a much higher level of motivation exists for middle and senior managers to give continual improvement the focus it deserves. Some organisations have linked as much as 40 percent of variable remuneration to the results of Six Sigma or business improvement. These types of incentives can also exist at the workforce level, again a great source of motivation to continually improve.

What are the Best Men’s Winter Boots?

With the wintry wind whistling around our ankles, it’s time to check out some nice and best pair of winter boots. And if you want to wear the absolute trendiest winter footwear this season, look no further than these below mentioned three top shoes of this season that are having a good craze in the shoe market.

Sorel Conquest & Full Tilt Boots

For traveling through rough, rocky and slippery places, a pair of Sorel Conquest & Full Tilt Boots is the apt choice for men. They are ideal in providing extreme warmth to your feet and enable excellent traction on the slippery surfaces. This footwear is a good bet for walking in deep snow.

They are the perfect bet in assuring considerable ankle support and are even good in aiding sprained and broken ankles. So have a pair of these winter footwear that keep you stay comfy for a long time even in the worst weather conditions.

Kamik Northfield Suede Winter Boots

When it comes to staying toasty this winter, Kamik Northfield Suede Winter Boots are the apt choice for you. They are the perfect choice for men who don’t like wearing tall boots. Guys who need a place to tuck their textured hose or skinny jeans can go for these ankle length winter boots that will gain you a great appearance.

The waterproof construction of this footwear makes them ideal for walking on the wet and snow covered paths comfortably. They are engineered with EVA mid-soles that highly comfort your feet while the TRIUMPH rubber outsoles attached with self clean lugs enable excellent traction and grip on the surfaces.

Ugg Beacon Boots

These stunning Ugg Beacon will perfectly complement your casual look. These fleecy boots would do just the trick: sensible enough to keep your feet and ankles warm. This footwear is simple and classic in design stealing the hearts of the style conscious men.

This footwear is engineered with genuine sheepskin sockliner and lining that wicks away the moisture from your feet keeping them dry and comfy. The floating rubber technology engineered in this footwear makes them highly durable and lightweight and also enables great traction and increased flexibility. Ugg Beacon is for the men who want to stay in style without losing comfort.

All About Made to Measure Blinds

Made to measure blinds are usually defined by the fact that the blinds have been tailor made to individual requirements and specifications. Aspects that get taken into account when designing bespoke blinds include the size of the windows, the type of material a client has chosen as well as the design of the fabric.

Having made to measure blinds as a window dressing enables you to design a truly personalised image for your home and also helps to ensure that the blind fit perfectly and blend tastefully with your d├ęcor.

What Are Blinds?

Blinds are characterised as a piece of material that hangs at a window with the purpose of blocking out unwanted light. Made to measure blinds are often used at night to stop the contents of your house being highlighted through a window. There are a variety of materials that make for great blinds including metal, fabric and wood and the design and style will depend on the look that you want to create in your home.

As for the benefits of made to measure blinds, there are several. The main advantage, though, is that you can ensure that the blinds will sit snuggly at your windows whatever the shape or size.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds are a more traditional form of window dressing. Vertical made to measure blinds are really easy to use – you simply pull on a cord which is found along the side corner. These are great for controlling light, too, as you can tilt the slats to decrease or increase the amount of light that you would like filtered into your home.

Roman Blinds

This is the ultimate in luxury. These blinds are typically characterised by a thick cascading fabric that can be secured at the top of your window in an ornate bundle of fabric or even released loosely to fill your window frame. Roman blinds are decadent and tend to leave any room they’re placed in, feeling lavish. Furthermore, these blinds allow you to control the level of light that enters a room, via a control cord that hangs at the side of the window frame.

Another great benefit is their ability to block out unwanted sunlight when closed. A relatively thick material is used in the production of Roman blinds so they are similar to blackout blinds. This makes the product a popular choice for bedrooms for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Caring For Your Blinds

Blinds are usually made from the highest quality of materials and that means they will remain looking great for years. Every now and then, though, they may need cleaning. Blinds typically come with product specific cleaning instructions.

Measuring

Once you have chosen a design and style of your blinds, you’ll need to know a bit about the measuring and fitting process. You can find advice and guidance for this when you order your made to measure blinds.

Audiobooks Are Your Ideal Holiday Companion

When you’re going on holiday, don’t forget to take an audio book with you. What is it about audiobooks that makes them such good holiday companions? The thing is, the most modern audiobooks of today have developed to an interesting stage. The current state of the art is audiobooks that are minute and lightweight that come complete with a battery and earpieces. But although they’re small, each one can hold many hours of sound recording.

When you’re sunbathing, the priority is exposing your skin to the sun while protecting it with sufficient sun-block, and your eyes with sunglasses. These priorities actually fight against the requirements for reading, where your eyes need to focus on fine print and your hands need to hold the book, magazine or newspaper so you can read it.

Sometimes sunbathers use the reading material as a kind of sunshade over their face and try and read that way, lying on their back with their sunglasses off, holding the book aloft. Your eyes will be squinting and under strain. Also the sun won’t be getting to your face as it should be if you’re aiming to get an even tan. Your arms will get tired from holding the book, and the sunscreen from your hands will stain the book cover and pages. After a while your arms get so tired that you have to turn over on your stomach. But in this position your eyes will get strained looking at a white page which is reflecting the sun’s rays. And you’ll have to prop yourself up on your elbows to read, which will again tire your arms after a while.

Audiobooks completely eliminate these problems. Listening through light earpieces, there’s nothing to hold and nothing to read. The player itself can lie next to you or tucked under the wristband of your shorts, trunks or bikini bottoms, leaving your hands free.

You can close your eyes, really relax your whole body completely, and focus one hundred percent on the story you’re listening to. You can turn over without interrupting the story. Rub more sun-block in, sip a drink, nibble a snack, write a postcard, all while carrying on listening. If you need to get up and walk around, that’s fine too.

When you feel you’d like to take a break from listening, all you have to do is touch a button on the audiobook player and it will stop, marking the exact place where you need to pick up the story again. The current breed of up to date audiobooks incorporate a clever bookmarking function which enables you to go back to the exact place that you left the story.

This will even happen if the battery stops working. This is a huge advantage over reading materials where, if someone talks to you, the chances are that you lose our place and find it quite hard to get back to where you stopped reading. Today’s audiobooks are so small and unobtrusive. One of them can hold dozens of CDs worth of material or what is equal to a very large conventional book.

Soon, audiobooks will be on every holidaymaker’s check-list. A must-have, essential item just like your swimming costume, sunglasses and sun-block, but a whole lot more interesting and entertaining.

How to Keep the Rain Off Your Patio

Rain can cause damage to a freshly poured cement patio. The raindrops cause marks in the wet cement. It also dilutes the cement to a more liquid consistency so it doesn’t set up properly. If the patio is sloped away from the house, which is a necessity, the rain can run off and leave tracks through the wet cement. Rain also can ruin potted plants on a patio by washing out the dirt and damaging the leaves. Furniture that’s gotten wet can mildew before it dries out. Keep your patio protected from heavy rains.

Tarp Protects New Cement

Place bricks or scrap wood on the outside of the patio at each corner. If the patio is more than 8 feet long on any side, stack brick every 4 feet or so. The bricks should be higher at one end than the other so the water runs off the tarp rather than forming a puddle in the middle.

Lay the tarp over the bricks without touching the patio. Have a helper hold one end while you carry the other end to the other side of the patio. Secure the tarp on top of the bricks with an additional brick or piece of scrap wood. Smooth out any creases in the tarp to stop the rain from being trapped under the crease.

Place the excess ends of the tarp on the ground and secure with an additional brick to keep the rain from seeping underneath the tarp.

Temporary Protection From Rain

Position the plastic, or waterproof chairs, around the perimeter of the patio. You’ll need at least one on each corner.

Lay the painters’ plastic drop cloth over the chairs and across the patio. You’ll probably need a helper to do this. The drop cloth should go all the way to the ground on all sides. Drape it over patio furniture and potted plants.

Tie the plastic to the chairs with the rope.

Portable Awning

Place the supports of the awning over the patio but on the ground. The awning should be slightly bigger than the patio.

Raise the awning so it just barely clears the tops of the furniture and any plants rather than to its full height. Most awnings have adjustable heights. Rain can get under the awning if it’s raised to its full height, especially if it’s windy.

Secure the supports with sandbags, or plastic gallon jugs filled with water. Follow the directions on the awning package for exactly how you do it. Some awnings require stakes to be pounded into the ground and secured with ties. If yours does, it should come with the stakes and ties.

The Art of Garden Designing

The difference between a bush, a forest and a garden lies in the layout. That is what separates a garden from a bunch of green trees and plants. Gardens are made to look beautiful and to add to the beauty of the surroundings. The gardens have drawn admiration for years, but a wonderfully inviting garden is the result of careful garden designing.

The entire garden designing procedure should be absolutely functional. Gardens should be designed according the owner of the garden. Do not have racks of a single plant species, just because it is your favorite. It might spoil the entire design of the garden. The available garden space, proper sunlight and effortless cleaning are to be carefully considered. A proper garden layout unfolds some revelation or surprise at every corner.

It could be a fountain, an all way wooden pathway or bunch of bright flowers in contrast to the surroundings. Sometimes walls, trellis or hedges are used as dividers, to lend the designer look. Low walls have minimum maintenance but are a bit expensive to build. The trellis is cheaper and flexible, it is time consuming to maintain. Low hedges in the garden give it a very natural look. It requires regular trimming to keep it neat. The choice of the garden designing expenditure depends on the space and time available at your disposal.

The available shape and size of area are important in garden designing. The flower beds grown on square, rectangular or triangular shapes can be placed at strategic locations, like the corners or the center. It is preferable to enhance an available pond; it works to attract the birds. Garden designing is a personal choice depending on one’s own tastes, so let your creativity flow.

The various styles of garden designing include Asian style, formal, informal, gravel, water garden, cottage style or plain contemporary stylized garden. The effort and time consumed for garden maintenance has to be considered while garden designing. Asian style generally refers to the traditional Japanese or Chinese style of gardening where water bodies were a common feature. The cottage gardens add a pensive touch to the surroundings. It is an informal design, with plants ranging from wild flowers to even vegetables. Contemporary designs have more of a concrete garden than the plants. Formal garden designs are by and large seen in heritage homes. They consist of geometric shapes and patterns, as far as the trees and hedges are concerned.

Garden designing includes the walls and pavements to be colored brightly, instead of bringing them down. It is convenient to grow a garden along the pavement, instead of having to make a pavement along the gardens. Often, it is the carefully nurtured natural, unhindered growth of plants which lends that different look to the garden. Hence, garden designing is not only about getting the design right. It is about applying the right designs for the right homescape.

Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth

I love this poem. It is a Petrarchan sonnet and absolutely awe-inspiring. If you have never been to London, you’re stuck with what I have: book and screen versions. I watched a programme on T.V. once about the River Thames and I was amazed at the visuals of the city.

London lies between the south and east coasts. To the east, there is nothing between London and the sea where the mouth of the River Thames is. A humid and warm Gulf Stream can easily push back the inland air and keep it hanging over the city. When this vapour mixes with the air pollution (smoke) of London, the city becomes dark with fog. This dirty air can remain for days until fresh winds and milder temperatures dissipate the urban pall.

The London Fog is part of London as much as the River Thames is. On the rare occasions when London is without fog, the city’s splendour can be seen from a higher point like Westminster  Bridge . And that’s what this poem is about: standing on Westminster  Bridge  early in the morning on one of those truly rare occasions when a fresh breeze has cleared the air and the city is visible. Thus, the theme of the poem is the beauty of a tranquil morning.

The poet goes out for an early morning walk. While on the  bridge  he sees the sun gilding London as the peaceful city sleeps. The poet starts the poem with hyperbole saying that London is the most beautiful of creation. Through this figure of speech Wordsworth shows his love for London and his delight at experiencing the tranquility. According to him, only an insensitive person could ignore the beautiful scene before him. The poet uses inversion in the second line to emphasize his contempt for such ingratitude. The city, in effect, is dressed in majesty.

The poet looks out over the city and sees the sun shining on the ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples. These objects describe a modern city. Each signify something: ships: travelling and trade; towers: global power; domes: freedom or universal love; theatres: entertainment; and temples: religion. The poet looks out to the farms and fields on the outskirts of the city. The fog gives the city an impression of being self-enclosed, but on this clear morning, the poet realizes that the city lies open and joins harmoniously with nature. Everything he sees in and about this modern city glitters in the sun. The sun in all its brightness shows every detail of nature (something that is never part of a city description): valleys, rocks, hills. He repeats the word “never” to emphasize his feelings. He is in awe of the tranquility. He can see the powerful river gliding along, an integral part of the city, yet free.

The poet uses apostrophe – to address God – as he sees the quiet over the metropolis. This emphasizes disbelief. Such a powerful city and yet it is so quiet that even the houses seem to be asleep. Wordsworth ends the poem with a beautiful metaphor. He says the mighty heart of the city is lying still. The mighty heart is the sleeping population of the mighty metropolis.

One of the many reasons why I like this poem is simply because I have always wanted to visit London. I have a passion for English, English literature and art. I can see myself standing on Westminster  Bridge  and enjoying this beautiful picture that Wordsworth has painted with words. I hope to be able to do this … one day.

Chaos Khorne Berserker Assembly

The Chaos Possessed Model is already been assembled. Its time to assemble another type of model, the Warhammer 40k Chaos Khorne Berserkers. The model may be different from the chaos possessed model including the parts but the assembly maybe the same. So its not confusing anymore if you have already assembled a Chaos Possessed Model. There might be some difference but will not affect on the assembling of the model.

Time to put together some Warhammer 40k Khorne Berserkers. Let’s get started

Materials list:

clippers

plastic glue

file

Step 1 Read through instructions/codex

Just like in everything we are going to do, we should always start by reading and understanding the whole idea of what we are doing. For in reading, we easily know what we are the materials we are going to use and the most efficient and easy we are going to finished the job.

So in assembling your Khorne Berserker’s you must read the whole context, instructions, and the codex to make sure that you are only going to use the right weapons for your Khorne Berserkers. That is the best you must do before assembling the parts so that you will taking them apart later if you do not like or you have mistaken attach a single part on the other parts.

Step 2 Glue legs

After you have read and understand the instructions or codex. Its time to gather all the parts and materials we are going to use. So that we can now start the assembling of the Chaos Khorne Berserkers

the first thing to do is glue the legs together. Once you have glued the legs, you will find out that some parts will come fully intact while others will not. So there is nothing to worry about that.

Step 3 glue torso

When you are finished with the legs, prepare the torso and then glue the torso together.

Step 4 Glue torso to legs

When you have your torso and legs already glued together. The next step is glue the torso to the legs. It is a good idea to slightly turn the torso to give variety to your figures.

Step 5 glue head

Now that the torso and the legs are already glued together. You are almost half way in finishing the figure we now completed the body the only part left is the head. So to completed the job, we have to glue the head to the body. On the first step, you have already pick your choice for the head. So simply glue the head.

Step 6 glue arms

As soon as the head is attached to the body, you have already to prepare the important part of them all the arms. This is also the the most important step. You must glue the correct arms to the figure. Make sure that you know what arms to attach because if you attach an arm that is not perfectly fit to the figure it will look awkward and ugly. You did not want your figure to look funny just because you did not put the right arms. So be sure on what you are doing.

Step 7 Glue shoulder pads

When you have already finished attaching all the body parts of your Chaos Khorne Berserker its time to attach the shoulder pads. Just simply glue the shoulder pads.

And there you have it…. You have now your Chaos Khorne Berserker.

How To Zero A Rifle Scope

You’ve just got yourself a new rifle scope, fitted it and let me guess…for some reason your shots are landing nowhere near the crosshairs?

Sadly there’s more to rifle scope sharp shooting than just plonking the scope on the rifle and forever after shooting like an SAS sniper! You have to “zero” it.

Think about it. It’s like a bike wheel. If you tighten the bolts wrong, too much on one side for example, it spins wrong and rubs the brake pads. It’s the same with a Rifle scope. If it’s not set up correctly it will be offline and even at short air rifle, airsoft and paintball ranges this is going to throw your accuracy right off. At longer ranges you’ll miss by a mile (well figuratively anyway!)

What Does “Zero a scope” mean?

Zeroing a sight or scope means getting the crosshair in position so that when you shoot. Ground zero if you like. The point of impact.There’s a lot of discussion amongst shooters on the best way to zero a scope or sight. What I’ve written below is what I’ve been sending out to my eBay scope buyers for the last year or so and received a lot of good comments back about it so I know it’s OK!

How to Zero a Rifle Scope

First of all you need to set a firm foundation by fitting the scope mounts well.

  1. Put the scope mounts on the rifle first with the top brackets removed.
  2. Tighten them into place using 1/2 turns at the time so that they sit solid and level as best as is possible, i.e., the downward pressure is as equal as possible. At this stage don’t tighten them fully as you might want to slide them up and down a little.
  3. Now take scope and place it on top of the open rifle mounts.
    • Make sure the windage and elevation turrets are one up and one to the right (these are the “turrets” on the sight. You use them later to make micro adjustments and in the field adjustments for wind)
  4. Then put the top mount brackets on and tighten – Again use partial turns to tighten up.
    • Don’t tighten fully at this stage, you may yet need to adjust a little.

Zero the scope

  1. Lie in your normal shooting position and check that you can see through the scope well…
    • The distance between your eye and the rear scope lens is called Eye Relief.
    • Unlike cartoons you do not use a scope by pressing your eye up against the scope lens!
  2. Once comfortable complete the screwing down of all mounts so that your set up is solid –
    • take care at this stage to keep the final turns partial and one by one to ensure pressure is equal.

Now it’s time to zero the scope for shooting:

  1. Load the rifle
  2. Adopt your standard prone/lie down shooting position.
    • Prone is the best way as if you test shoot from standing or kneeling positions you waver more and it’s harder to do a “true test”.
  3. Put some sort of target in place at say 20 yards – or whatever you think your “standard” range will be.
  4. Using cross hair on target centre – Take 2-3 shots – Where do do they fall in relation to where you want them to? Right, left, up, down – dead on (lucky you!)
  • 2-3 shots is best as it will average out shooter inaccuracy and give you a more “significant” feel for how far or close you are from true zero.

Now it’s time to use the windage and elevation turrets to get it zeroed dead on. These are the 2 turrets on the top and right side of the scope. See my website for pictures.

  1. Models vary, you’ll probably screw a cap off and expose either a coin twist or finger knurled type of dial.
  2. The top turret adjusts up and down. The right one left and right.
  3. If you have your scopes instructions they should have a table with figures to tell you what each click adjustment means in terms of cross hair movement at “x” distance, e.g., 1/8 inch at 100 metres.

Use single click turns and each time take a new shot to gauge where the shot now falls – the dials basically adjust the cross hair position up-down and left-right.

It’s trial and error basically but with testing you’ll get to where you need to be and be able to trust that your shots will go where it says they will! This may take some time and a lot of shots. Be patient!

Controlling A Water Hammer in Hydraulics

At times hydraulic machine pose the problem of high vibration in pumps, lines and tanks. This problem of constant vibration is termed as water hammer. The concept of water hammer is discussed in detail below:

Water Hammer: The Term

As the term itself suggests, water hammer refers to the banging sound of fluid through the pipe which is created due to the pressure wave, a by product of varying fluid velocity, within the pipe. When the banging effect heightens, it almost sounds as if the pipe is being hammered, thus, the term water hammer was coined to refer the problem.

The common traits of this problem are high noise levels, broken pipes and vibrations.

Technical Cause of Water Hammering

Technically, when a moving column of hydraulic fluid hits a solid boundary, its velocity drops down to zero and the fluid column looses its strength to absorb the (kinetic) energy affiliated with its motion. Though as the fluid is incompressible, the deformation henceforth is smaller making the fluid accumulate energy like a spring. The level of pressure rise can be calculated as: Pr = P + u p c, where “P” refers to initial pressure, “u” and “p” refer to initial fluid velocity and density while “c” represents the speed of sound within the fluid.

Solution

Certain damping devices like accumulators can be used to curb down the noise problem. However, as per the above equation, fluid velocity is the only variable which can be manipulated to address the main problem. The lower the fluid column velocity would be, the lower the subsequent pressure rise would be, hence consequently, lower sound effect.