Golf Hypnosis – Can You Throw the Hammer? – A Mental Primer For Golfers

It’s no secret to many golfers that the ability to visualize their golf shot in advance of actually hitting the ball is a necessary asset to playing the game to their full potential. The great Jack Nicklaus once said, and I quote “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without Golf Driver having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head”.

But the ability to visualize does not come easy to everyone and for a good percentage of golfers, it is a skill that will take some time and effort to develop. And as the golf swing is a relatively complex physical movement, for those who find visualization challenging, the golf swing may not be the best place to start when it comes to developing this important skill. A better starting point for many is to pick a more simple movement and then work their way up to the golf swing once they’ve improved on their visualization skills.

One of the best movements I’ve found for golfers as a starting point for developing their visualization skills involves a rather obscure sport; the hammer throw. While some of you may not know this sport by name, if you’ve ever watched the Summer Olympics, you’ve likely seen the hammer throw. It’s a rather simple sport, the object of which is to throw a heavy metal ball attached to a wire and handle. The competitor stands in a circle and then spins around several times before releasing the handle and launching the ball in a particular direction. The one who launches the ball the farthest is the winner.

There are a couple reasons why the hammer throw is often a good initial visualization exercise for golfers. First, it’s a rather simple movement and more easy to visualize than a golf swing. Second, it involves holding something in your hands, swinging it in a circular motion and then releasing it; all movements that have some rather basic but still useful similarities to the golf swing. And third, while the hammer throw is a rather simple movement, it is complex enough to allow you to manipulate the movement in your imagination as a way of further developing your visualization skills.

So, let’s take a moment now and give the hammer throw a try.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine yourself performing the spinning movement of the hammer throw. See yourself spinning around in a circle holding on to a handle with both hands that has a wire with a heavy metal ball attached to it; just as the hammer throwers do in the Olympics. The heavy metal ball should be in the air going around in a circle with you as you spin. Don’t release the hammer for now, just see yourself spin around in a circle with it.

And, by the way, don’t take the term “see yourself” too literally. The key here is to see, in your “minds eye”, a person doing this movement. You don’t have to visualize it in such detail that this person looks like you, though it is best to associate the person you see as “being you”.

Alright, so give it a try now.

Okay, were you able to see yourself doing this?

What did it look like?

Are you spinning fast or slow?

Is the speed constant or is it changing?

Is the heavy metal ball spinning parallel to the ground or is the plane of the ball different or constantly changing?

Now, once you find yourself able to visualize this movement, see if you can make yourself spin slower… or faster.

And once you get this down, see if you can get yourself to spin in the opposite direction.

And then you may want to try the full hammer throw. Try to see yourself releasing the hammer at a point so that it flies in a particular direction.

Can you do this?

Can you get it to fly in the direction you want it to go?

If you’ve never tried anything like this before, you may be surprised at what you see. Some people may find it difficult to visualize much of anything at first, and will need to work a while on just seeing themselves spinning with the hammer.

Others will find they can see themselves spinning, but have a difficult time controlling the movement. They may find their imagination running wild with the image and see themselves spinning wildly out of control or in an odd manner or direction.

But if you’re willing to take some time and play with this exercise, it can be a very useful tool in developing the skill necessary to utilize your mental energy to manipulate what you visualize and ultimately to be able to picture and execute your perfect golf swing in your “mind’s eye”.

Have fun with it. Take a few minutes each day while you’re sitting at your desk at work or lying in bed and just play with it. See your self spinning with the hammer. Then try to slow down or speed up the rate of your spin. Or to change the direction of your spin or to throw the hammer in a particular direction. Or try to control the height and/or swing plane of the heavy metal ball as you spin.

And keep in mind that improving your abilities with your mental workouts is a lot like physical workouts. You don’t just go into the gym on day one and start benching serious weight. You work yourself up to it. Same goes with mental workouts. Many of you will need to give this exercise some time before you are able to develop the mental control necessary to manipulate what you are seeing.

But I guarantee that if you can learn to manipulate this image of you throwing the hammer in your “mind’s eye”, you can use the same “mental energy” to learn to visualize a golf swing that is a replica of the swing you want to execute in physical reality.

And if you don’t think that’s important, just ask Jack Nicklaus.

Bruce VanAllen, Clinical Hypnotherapist

The Contractor’s Guide to Quality Concrete Construction, Decorative Concretes

A concrete contractor doesn’t just pour concrete level it and then leave. A concrete contractor can be responsible for the proper grading, leveling , site prep, form work, ordering, placing, finishing, and perhaps decorating and sealing the concrete. A concrete contractor is a valuable asset to have when you are using concrete for your building or structure. Their experience can save you thousands from making a mistake on your own. If you think its easy work and you can do it yourself you have probably never poured, placed and finished concrete. Not only do you need the proper tools including, a wheelbarrow, bull float, extensions, mag trowel, steel trowel, power trowel, rubber boots, rebar ties, screeds, edger trowels, forming equipment, forms, and on and on. Also when the concrete arrives you have better secured your forms and be ready for quick placement and finishing if not you have a big heavy, solid mistake thats not easy to fix. If you have ever had to push multiple wheelbarrows to the pour site you will understand how backbreaking and how hard the work really is.

A concrete contractor understands mix design, how to calculate the amount needed, and how to place the right finish on the concrete depending on its ultimate use.

On the other hand a Decorative Concrete Contractor has a different but equal value when decorating your concrete. They understand cure times, surface finishes, colors, sealers, coatings, surface preparation, color application methods and techniques. They are expert problem solvers and great at troubleshooting because no concrete slab or environment is ever perfect.. They have an arsenal of handy and required specialty tools including, stamp mats, tampers, diamond cutting and grinding wheels, trowels, screed rakes, smoothers, squeegees, rollers, sprayers and spray equipment, extension cods, safety gear, industrial vacuums, polishing tools, spiked rollers and so on.

Although you may find many DIY sites who encourage you to do it yourself, it is important to really understand what you are getting into. We get many a call asking for help with a ruined project. People calculate the cost of the product or material but are extremely unprepared for all the little things that were conveniently not mentioned. Once you calculate the total installed cost of the concrete you might realize that if you had to purchase all the right equipment, tools, and labor it is a great deal to have a professional concrete contractor take care of everything.

Unique Chandeliers – 3 Different Kinds of Chandeliers to Give Character to Your Home

There are many kinds of unique chandeliers out there, made from all sorts of different materials, each giving a room something different, something unique. And with all the different mediums out there to create such things, you pretty much have infinite possibilities. All you have to do is determine the style you want, and make sure that it suits your current theme, even if they can be injected into your home with ease.

Crystal Chandeliers

These kinds of chandeliers can have a multitude of colors, and if the lights are placed at exactly the right place, can cast a rainbow of colors all around you, bathing you in a multitude of lights. This can create some pretty impressive illusions, that can be watched all day, never seeing the same thing twice. The candles, or lights are usually placed in redetermined locations, to get the best lighting effect possible.

Wrought Iron Chandeliers

Can be created into just about any kind of shape, or size. If you can find a superb craftsman who specializes in iron work, then you could easily come back with anything you wanted. You like planes? Well, get a good enough crafter and you could have your very own f-19 fighter jet wrought iron chandelier.

Do you see where I am going with this? You could easily create a house theme, and then have the theme put into every room in your room. Sometimes you just need to have fun and mix it up every once in awhile.

Rustic Chandeliers

Usually created from antlers, branches, and even twigs. These kinds of chandeliers can even considered a trophy chandelier, because of the fact that the most common kind are deer, elk, and moose antlers that make up the bulk of them. If you have enough pieces, and patience, you can create a work of art to be honest, and then add the candles, and melted wax, and you add a certain charge to the room its in.

These are just 3 unique chandeliers out of a possibility of thousands, maybe even tens of thousands. You just need to make the choice of how you want that room to look, and want you even might want to say about yourself, and the way you think.

Just remember, these tend to be the main focal point, and should definitely hold some charm, and give that room its only style, and story.

And Here’s Another – Candle Chandeliers – FREE Information and Prices!

Wildly Popular Luggage for Men

Laptop Case

When you’re looking to buy a laptop bag two important features should come to mind. Does the bag have useful compartments and is the bag sturdy with padding. Having useful compartments is important because it offers you a way to get and stay organized. Complaints can be made that a bag has two few pockets, but if you inspect the bag to make sure that both your laptop will fit within and that other items such as notebooks, pens, papers, keys, cell phone will travel within, than you’re getting there. Most laptop bags are, at this point, are designed to be sturdy to add a layer of protection around your computer as well as being able to handle the weight of a laptop and all the accoutrements that go along with it (i.e. that 10 lb electrical cord).

There was a third concern, not yet mentioned but always assumed, and that’s style. For the man who does care about fashion, having to lug that dorky company laptop bag to work everyday can be too much to bare. Enter Jack Spade. Launched in 1997 by Andy Spade, husband of handbag designer, Kate Spade, Jack Spade bags are casual yet offer fashion as well as function and that’s exactly with you get in the laptop case. One customer wrote that these bags were ‘beautifully lined’ illustrating the quality of construction that goes into this line. Most people like the clean lines and the slimness of these laptop bags.

Metro Pack

A back pack is another must have item but one that fits into an urban setting (and doesn’t make you look like you are about to climb Mt Everest) is getting easier to find. Many men, who found the messenger bag just a bit too painful to carry their daily load of books, electronic gadgets and gym gear are returning to the backpack. Two should straps are preferable to one. The Jack Spade Metro Pack, well priced for the quality of the bag, holds an ample amount of books and even a computer but keeps up on style. Made from weatherproofed soft nylon, this pack features a large opening to the main compartment, a zipper pouch and padded shoulder straps.

Men’s Overnight Bag

Finally, depending upon your sense of style or desire to keep up with the trends, this season, you can buy a Ghurka Cavalier bag and pack up your weekend gear. This weekend bag is made of leather, however, not the stiff kind, but the already worn, broken-in kind. Recently featured in the New York Times Magazine, the Ghurka bag, costing just under runs anywhere from $700 – $1200, and is a must have, for the urban man. Styled after the old doctor-style bags, this bag carries itself with understated statement. Hand made by experience artisans from workshops in Spain, Italy and the US, these bags are hand polished, pre-tested before sale and finally, stamped with the Ghurka crest. This is a bag that is going to last a lifetime (it comes with some detailed care instructions) and that only gets better with age.

Luxury Residential Elevators

A luxury residential elevator adds to the style and comfort of your home, while providing convenient access to all levels of the residence. Luxury residential elevators are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners now because of their excellent utility value, convenience, and safety.

Safe and Efficient Mobility Solutions

These mobility products are a space-efficient solution for aged and disabled people who find it difficult to negotiate stairways. To meet the demand of customers, leading manufacturers offer a wide range of luxury residential elevators in different colors, designs, and styles. Besides the obvious difference in price and performance, these also differ in the technology employed.

Luxury home elevators are distinguished by individual features and specifications. The standard features incorporated in these mobility products include battery backup, emergency light and alarm, hoistway and door interlocks, cable safety devices, slack chain, emergency stop switch, upper landing hatch cover with safety sensors, automatic car lighting, and more. You can purchase elevators that are powered by hydraulic system and one of the most significant features is that these devices are characterized by quiet operation.

Elevators that Combine Quality, Comfort, and Value

Luxury residential elevators can successfully reflect the taste and lifestyle of the users. The interiors of these elevators can be customized according to individual preferences. The leading manufacturers who provide luxurious and feature-rich systems include ThyssenKrupp Access, Savaria Concord, and Federal Elevator. In this category, you can find popular models such as Lev, Signet, Rise, Windsor, Prolift, Infinity, and Panorama. The Infinity, manufactured by Savaria Concord, is a mode of vertical transportation for multilevel homes. It is an outstanding combination of quality, comfort, and value.

As there are so many branded mobility products, it is not hard to find the perfect model that is appropriate for your needs. One can approach retail stores and online stores for purchasing these products. Before you invest money in luxury residential elevators, it is important to understand their features and benefits.

Three Gorges Dam and Plate Tectonics

In China they have built the World’s Largest dam project to go with their world’s largest Great Wall project of past periods. Still, there is significant risk in building such a huge dam, what about a huge Earthquake? They are known to occur in that region, and putting that amount of water weight (8.2 lbs per gallon times Quadrillions of gallons of water) should be just enough to trigger it too.

There are places in China where the continental shelf over reaches and there is water underneath from the sea too. The potentials of a floating continental shelf collapse from manmade re-distribution of surface water is possible you know. The Chinese do in fact need the water for their ever growing civilization and super power, but if that dam causes everything to come crashing down and floods to occur, who is served?

The Chinese have had horrific floods in their history and it’s been devastating. Will future floods be partially man-made, due to dam construction that did not take into consideration plate tectonics? It’s true that mankind had never built a dam that big over an Earthquake fault so no one knows what might happen.

However, now that humankind has, perhaps we should be talking about it and really look into this reality, at least that way perhaps it can be partially mitigated in the future, otherwise millions could die, and once it occurs it will happen so fast, it will be too late. This article is neither a prophesy, nor a wakeup call, it’s merely a statement of fact, and more questions without answers. Please consider all this.

Slow Cookers – Vintage Cooking Meets Modern Technology

Think of savory soups or stews, cooked long and slow at home. Then casseroles, big pots of baked beans, chili and cabbage rolls. These are often made on the stove top or in the oven. Then in 1971, the Crock Pot by Rival came onto the marketplace and expanded the possibilities in home cooking.

Today, the generic term slow cooker is used alongside the brand name Crock Pot. The various modern models are the busy home cook’s friend. Many classic comfort foods are also slow cooker classics, easy to make and easy to serve in bowls to warm family and friends snowy winter evenings.

The original Crock Pot was an innovation at that time. I remember when these came out, and they were as hot as any modern, small kitchen appliances you see advertised now.

These practical cooking tools have evolved into multi-tasking heavyweights. They have lots of bells and whistles that your mother and grandmother would have wanted. Sizes cover a broad range, from 1 quart to 7 quart, even 8 quart capacity. The newest models include programming features, multiple temperature settings, multiple and removable stoneware inserts, hinged lids, clamp-on lids, and the list goes on.

Slow cookers continue to be popular because they serve the needs of busy moms and home cooks to make easy, delicious meals for their families. You can create a meal, set it cooking, and have dinner underway while doing other tasks. Or, cook the meal overnight, refrigerate it while you are away from home, and reheat it at dinner time in your microwave.

The innovations found in today’s cookers are born directly from customer experience over the years. Stoneware inserts are removable for cleaning. Temperature controls allow for a broad range of cooking methods, and programmable features let you control the settings as your dish cooks. Some even include a probe which is inserted into the meal, to monitor the progress of recipes that require the food to reach a certain temperature.

Consider these things when you shop for the best slow cooker for your household:

  • Choose a size that you will fill at least half but no more than two-thirds full, so that the food gets hot enough, but does not overflow while cooking. Large capacity models are in the 4 to 7 quart range, with small capacity in the 1 to 4 quart range.
  • The locking lids, available on some models, are made to help you transport the unit with food in it. These are handy for carry-in dinners, potlucks and buffets.
  • Models with oval-shape stoneware liners (vs. round) work better for roasts, whole chickens and similar foods. Choose yours based on size and shape of the foods you cook the most.
  • Removable stoneware liners make clean up easier.

You won’t want to save your slow cooker for annual potluck dinners once you discover all the luscious recipes that you can make with your cooker. Everything from a hot breakfast to a hot toddy can be made in a slow cooker.

Unfinished Oak Flooring Installation

Unfinished oak flooring installation is a straightforward process that uses raw hardwood panels to create an attractive floor that is known for durability and strength. It is highly recommended that installation be done by wood plank flooring professionals, unless someone is an experienced do-it-yourself type. Even though it is a straightforward job it is labor intensive and requires skill to achieve successful results.

Each unfinished oak panel has to be precisely fit together to give the floor area stability, so that it can be manually or machine sanded without any problems. After these two steps are completed wood stain will need to be applied. A big reason people prefer unfinished oak flooring is they can customize the color and look of wood plank flooring by choosing a shade that fits their design taste.

Before committing to any wood stain shade test a few different colors on extra planks. After drying these samples will accurately show how the finished floor will look when it is done. The most regularly used stains are natural for that bare wood style. Light gently creates a soft tan. Medium adds a darker hue. Dark has very rich and traditional feel to it. Custom staining offers more colors like red and green. It is entirely up to personal taste and style on what to decide on.

After the stain has fully dried the floor will need to be buffed out and cleaned. This allows for the first coat of polyurethane finish to be applied to seal in color and protect the wood. After the first coat dries it will be lightly sanded and cleaned completely with a tack cloth, then the second coat can go on to ensure the floor is protected for years to come.

Installing unfinished hardwood flooring continues to be a popular home improvement choice for many households. Many people comment on its beauty and investment value while being easy to clean daily. Installation can be done by a professional or by an experienced do-it-yourself person.

The Marketing Plan and the Four P’s

The Marketing Plan section of the business plan demonstrates how a company will penetrate the market with its products and services. The Marketing Plan should include “the four P’s” – Product, Promotions, Price, and Place.

Products and/or Services

The first “P” stands for Product, but includes all products and services that the company offers. This section of the business plan should detail all the features of the products and services, how they work, their unique/proprietary attributes, etc. For products that are patented and/or technical in nature, drawings and backup materials should be presented in the Appendix.

Most growing companies offer certain products and services today but expect to offer more in the future. It is important to mention both current and future products/services here, but to focus primarily on the short-to-intermediate term horizon.


Promotions include each of the activities that induce a customer to buy the company’s products and services. Promotional activities could include advertising, public relations (PR), free samples, discounts, direct mail, telemarketing, partnerships, etc.

This section of the business plan discusses which promotions will be used and how they will be used. For instance, if partnerships will be used to secure new customers, the plan must explain which companies are partners, how they will be able to provide new customers, how the partnership will work (from operational/ financial standpoints), etc.

This section must be as specific as possible, particularly as it relates to discussing future promotions. To say that a company is going to generate PR in trade magazines is simply too vague. Rather, the plan must explain the type of article/feature that may be written about the firm and why, which specific trade journals that will be targeted and/or the projected publication dates.

In discussing how the company will promote itself, it is important to discuss how the company will position itself. This positioning statement details the attributes that customers will assign to the company, its products and services. The choice of promotional activities must support this positioning. For example, discounts might not be consistent with a desire to be considered an upscale brand.


This section of the plan should detail the price point(s) at which the company’s products and services will be sold. If the products/ services are sold as bundles, these should be detailed in this section. Rationale for the pricing should be given when applicable (e.g., why the company has chosen an initiation fee plus monthly membership fees versus a one-time lifetime membership fee).


The final “P” refers to “Place” or “Distribution” and explains how a company’s products and/or services will be delivered to customers. This section is crucial because if customers cannot access products and services, they cannot purchase them.

This section is especially critical for high-growth, capital-constrained companies. Attaining profit-effective distribution channels is often the most vexing challenge for these businesses. Examples of distribution methods include retail locations, website, distributors, wholesalers, direct mail catalogs, etc.

Many companies have multiple distribution methods to deliver their products and services to customers and each should be detailed here.

Detailing the “the four P’s” in the marketing plan is critical in proving to investors that your company will be able to efficiently and effectively penetrate its market.

Creating Different Porch Railing Designs

Railings for Your Deck

Porches are a very important part of your home. In fact, they’re the first thing your guests will see when they enter your home so you want it to look nice. For some people porches are just a room to walk through to get to the main part of the home whereas other people use their porch as you would a deck, for relaxation and entertainment purposes. If this is the case with you, you’re going want to have this room as nice as it can possibly be, starting with the porch railings. Many porch railing designs are available, whether you want a modern, classic or country look to your home.

Porch Railings

Porches are popular rooms in the home today. People today are spending more time outdoors relaxing and enjoying the fresh air and sun. Porches are also a place to entertain guests, cookout or entertain small parties and simply relax after a long day. Whether porches are on the front of the home or the back, this room is going to appeal to everyone at some time or another. Porch railings are important because they add beauty to your home as well as act as a safety feature. Although most porch railings are originally built as a protective boundary in and around the home, they play an important part in the decor of your home. Porch railing designs are made in different styles and may be made of materials such as iron, wood, wrought iron or vinyl, which each of these materials having their own qualities and advantages.

Wooden Railings

Wood has always been popular and known to add beauty to a home. Whether it’s old wood or new wood, it adds beauty and richness to a home. Wood is the most preferred material because it can be carved and shaped into any shape or design. There’s also plenty of wood around in North America. Wood railing parts such as balusters, posts, top and bottom rails are easy to find and inexpensive to buy, making it easy for the homeowner to make their own porch railing designs. Wooden railings add a balanced look and sense of style to the interior and exterior of your home. They are also easy to mix and match with other accessories and require only nails or screws for installation.

Vinyl Railings

Vinyl has been around forever and continues to be popular in many home design projects including porch railing designs. The fact that they’re weatherproof and almost maintenance free make them a popular choice for your deck or porch.

Wrought Iron Porch Railings

As popular as wooden and vinyl are for porch railing designs, many prefer wrought iron railings. They make beautiful additions to your porch. The downside of wrought iron railings is that they tend to rust and need protection against corrosion.

Regardless of which porch railing designs or materials you choose, your home will be warm and welcoming when you’re finished with your porch. In addition to the value it will add to your home, you have a wonderful place to relax and kick back at the beginning or end of your day as well as place to entertain guests.

Which Deck Railing Designs Will You Choose?

When it comes to creating the perfect home deck railings, there are hundreds of designs to choose from. The Railings are generally the most important part of the deck and so you really need to ensure that in order to create that perfect look, you choose the perfect design.

Getting the Design Just Right

When it comes to choosing the design of the railings, it is important to realize that you do not have to match the design of the deck with the railings. For example, you could choose a base which is made of wood due to the fact that it is durable. However, you may wish to have an iron railing. As long as it looks OK it shouldn’t really matter but a lot of the time people feel it looks too odd sot hey do choose a matching design and material.

Generally deck railings go well on the porch and before you install anything you need a porch railing plan. You need to take measurements, figure out which style you would like to achieve. Do you want a particular pattern for example flowers or an animal of some sorts? Try and find something which matches your personality.

Sometimes the best material to go for and a good deck railing design include the stainless steel cable railing. For this type of a railing a stainless steel top is used but instead of using balusters like most railings do, cables are used instead. Glass balusters are also quite commonly used and they tend to add a touch of sophistication to the railings.

If you really want to add something a little more special, flower boxes may be a good idea. They make the railings more welcoming and they also add a touch of elegance too. There are various different accessories to choose from and some can add a classic look to the railings whilst others look a little more modern.

Overall it is always better to create a plan of action beforehand. So, if you are choosing the railings for the porch create a porch railing plan. It is important to write down everything that you need to know before going on a search for the perfect materials and accessories. Include all measurements, what theme you are going for i.e. modern, contemporary, and what material you would prefer.

It might take a little shopping around but you should find something to suit your deck railing needs eventually.

Architectural Ironmongery Products and Materials

The term Ironmongery represents the iron items that are used in buildings and structures. These things are used for a number of different purposes. The most frequent use of these items is in banisters, handles, and railings in buildings. There are an array of different products and materials for ironmongery that are used as fixtures and fittings in buildings.

In Ironmongery, there are lever handles, pull handles, gate latches, bolts, hinges, locks, knobs, holders, restrictors, door openers, and many other different kinds of equipments. High quality iron is used for making lever handles that are meant to be corrosion resistant. These handles are available in different kinds of designs and sizes depending upon the needs and requirements of the buyer.

Latches are available for all kinds of gates and these latches can also be custom made according to the specifications of the buyer. High-grade iron is put to use for making towers and Breton bolts in which the threads of the bolts is paid high attention in terms of precision and quality.

Hinges in different designs and sizes are available for use in doors, cabinets, and windows. Other than door hinges, front hinges are also available at many stores for different uses. Manufacturers specify endurance test for ironmongery products, and the products should confirm to this test to verify that the product is of good quality.

The main types of Ironmongery, in terms of sales falls in hinges, door closers, and locks. When buying the hinges, it is important to consider the kind of conditions in which the construction is being done. This means that the coating of the hinges should be able to withstand ambient weather conditions and should not deteriorate. Different kinds of product finishes are available for different kinds of places, for example the seaside.

The locks also need to fulfil certain conditions in order to be good for buying. First is the fact that the door lock should ensure quality security conditions. The finish should also be the right one and resistant to weather. When it comes to door security, the different kinds of products that are available are door viewers, door restrictions, door chains, and many others.

Door handles come mainly in brass and chrome and vary in the design and size. Window security and equipment is also available and falls under the category of architectural ironmongery. Products made from black antique iron are also very popular products, and people often use products made of antique iron in different places of the building.

Draught and rain excluders are other very popular products. There are also Escutcheons, which serve the purpose of not only offering security, but also decorating the door. Fingerplates are also used in homes and offices and serve the purpose of decoration. Knockers and letterboxes are also available with many sellers and they are made in different materials including antique black iron. There are also drawer pulls, doorknockers, and signage made from iron, which are good for conveying important instructions on doors and other places.

My Battle With Sheet Music

Learning to play the piano was an experience that I sort of fell into. My mother was one of the few piano teachers in the small town where I grew up and she instilled in me a passion for music from an early age. I remember being about four years old watching student after student come to our home for a lesson as I peered around the banister of our stair case, eyes wide with amazement.

Naturally, when I got a little older I also wanted to be one of mom’s students and learn how to play all of those memorable songs I’d heard while watching my Saturday morning cartoons.

I remember the first time I laid my fingers on those keys (unable to reach the pedals), I took to it slow at first, but then playing came more and more easily. The problem? Sheet music.

While I had a keen memory and a good sense of timing, I had little interest in learning or understanding the notes of the scale. I remember thinking to myself that if I could play the song from memory, then why bother?

As much as my mom loved me, she couldn’t shake that music teacher instinct and forced me to go over flash cards repeatedly to make sure I knew the scales back to front. I had no idea there would be so much studying involved!

While we often bickered about its importance, over time, it became a little easier and while I shudder to think about how many times I heard ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’, something started to click. Not only could I now READ sheet music, but I was actually ENJOYING it, as if it were some magical, secret language that only I could understand.

With varying degrees of success, I began to write my own short songs to play on the piano and my mother was always there nodding, approvingly (even if it WAS written in crayon).

All in all, growing up with a music teacher definitely had its moments of frustration, but mom knew a thing or two about the piano and made sure that I was learning all of the intricacies of the music along the way.

She approached music teaching the same way she approached teaching me anything; with an emphasis on learning it all the way and appreciating even the elements, I didn’t understand. Mom’s still teaching students around the community to this day and is now looking into starting her own music teacher website or community group for like-minded instructors in the area.

As for me? Well, now I’m all grown up, but I’ll be making sure that my children learn music the way that I did (even if I have to cheat off a website here and there).

Which Sport is the Hardest on Your Body?

My jaw drops every time Roger Federer returns a crushing serve at 130-140 mph to his opponent. For some, matching Bobby Jones’s classic elegant swing is equivalent to reaching the epitome of sporting success. But calling tennis or golf or any other the hardest sport is debatable. I personally believe that running a marathon is the toughest sport out there.

Agreed, all other sports like baseball, rugby or golf require finely-tuned mental and physical co-ordination and each tests you at different levels of strength, stamina and psychological prowess. But none of them push the limit like running 26.2 miles under 3 hours, in a climate that may or may not be conducive to comfort and without a single pit stop. Nor is there any technology to lean on. It’s just you and your body against the elements-from the start to the finish line.

“The Mile Has All The Elements Of A Drama!” said Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister, a former athlete who couldn’t have put it better. Dedication, determination, exhilaration, pain, action and emotion, you name it.

Unlike baseball or golf where the main focus is to match hand-eye movement and complement it with a stroke that is pure brute power, or adapt and change your strategy tactically in tennis and NASCAR racing, a marathon I believe is the hardest sport on the body. There are several reasons why.

First, most runners train on hard, concrete ground. The pounding legs and joints feel every time feet touch the pavement and leap back up is at least four times a runner’s body weight. And this continues for the entire distance!

Secondly, there are no 10-minute rest room breaks, fuel recharge pit stops or injury time outs or replacements. Yes, one might engage in a slower pace or walk while entering the midpoint of a race. But pull to a complete stop and recovering lost time is out of the question.

Next comes the long, winding road. A 26-mile run is a daunting task, even for a seasoned marathoner. Putting the body through a test like this for a stretch of three hours entails physical and mental exhaustion to the brink of pain and numbness.

Many tend to simply switch off their brains, distancing themselves from the pain. This may work for some, but most of the best athletes refrain from doing so. Yes, they feel the pain too. But they choose to accept the aches, tune their bodies to adapt to each situation and reach the finish line. This is what makes for an elite runner.

Where’s the strategy involved? In a tennis match, strategy is critical to break the opponent’s game. That strategy needs to be modified every time rivals decide to spring a surprise. So, if Andre Agassi capitalized on his serve and volley tactics, Pete Sampras had to rely on more than his super-smooth aces to stay put in the game.

Similarly, during a marathon it is crucial to strategize the entire route to protect the body from burnout. Some runners make the mistake of going too fast in the beginning to take the lead, they run the risk of losing fuel mid way and lagging off at the finish line.

What makes running the best sport of all is that everyone is a winner. Oh yes, there are the proverbial 1st, 2nd and runner up spots, but the ephemeral experience of a race well run is unexplainable. And for anyone still unconvinced, put on your tennis shoes and hit the streets!

How to Replace the Lid Switch on a Whirlpool Washer

So, you have returned to the laundry room with a washer sitting idle and full of wet clothing. One of the most common causes of a direct drive washer that does not spin is a faulty lid switch. This is a common repair for Whirlpool, Kitchen-aid, Kenmore and Roper top-load washers. Follow these steps and your washer will be back to draining in no time.

To verify if the lid switch is broken, gently lower the lid and you should hear a click when the lid actuator contacts the lid switch. Also, a multi-meter can be used to test a lid switch but you will need to gain access to the interior of the washer.

First, unplug the washer before you begin any repair. Next, you will have to remove the console but there are several ways to do this depending on your model washer. The most common way is to remove the end caps from each side of the console. This is done by firmly pulling forward at the top of the end cap until it snaps free. You will then see one screw on each side of the console that will need to be removed. With screws removed, pull forward and flip up the whole console gently and let it rest backwards. Next, unplug the lid switch connector harness.

Now you can use your multi-meter to check the lid switch for continuity with the lid resting in the closed position. If the switch is faulty, the cabinet can be removed to gain access to it for replacement.

With the console up and using a screwdriver, the spring clips on each side of the top cabinet can be removed. Gently pop the clips out and set them aside. Next, reach in with one hand grabbing the cabinet while the other holds the lid open and pull the cabinet forward.

Lift the cabinet’s lid and you will see that the lid switch is held in place with two screws. Remove these screws with a Phillips-head screwdriver and also remove the ground screw attached to the cabinet. Push the gray tube holding the wires out of the clip that holds it and release the plug from the slot in the top of the cabinet.

Reinstall the new lid switch by securing it to the washer with the two retaining screws. Place the wire assembly back underneath the inside edge of the cabinet and insert the new switch connector into the slot in the top of the cabinet.

The cabinet can be reinstalled by guiding the front lower part of the cabinet under the washer support frame first, and then letting the cabinet set backwards. There are locking tabs on the washer’s bottom frame that the cabinet will fall into. It may take several tries to position the cabinet correctly so be patient. After the cabinet is back in position, reattach the top cabinet clips by pushing them firmly into the cabinet slots. Finally, the wiring harness for the lid switch can be reattached and the console secured with the two retaining screws.

At last, you have finished replacing the lid switch on your clothes washer. Now plug the washer back in and select a spin cycle to make sure it spins OK.

This article is written by Andrew Mandel copyright – August 2010