The Alamillo Bridge by Architect Santiago Calatrava

Santiago Calatrava has always thought of a bridge as an artistic endeavor. His initial attempt to construct a single pylon bridge fell through, but he was afforded the opportunity to try again. This time he met with success, his bridge at Alamillo in Seville, Spain has become the forerunner of a series of similar bridges.

Unlike the Caballeros footbridge, in which the pylon leaned forward in the direction of the bridge, and which was supported by a system of cable stays at the rear of the pylon, Calatrava opted to reverse the direction of the pylon.

It only makes good sense to have the weight of the pylon face in the opposite direction from the load, as that puts the whole assembly into balance. If you will refer to any number of Mr. Calatrava's sculptures, you will note that he has placed very considerable importance on balance. So, why should a bridge be any different?

The pylon for the Alamillo bridge is inclinated at an angle of precisely 58 degrees. Coincidentally, this just happens to be the same angle as that of the great pyramid of Cheops. The height of this pylon is 142 meters. This great height combined with the angle, would need to have a new and different method of construction devised.

The solution was to manufacture the pylon in manageable sections, which were welded up from steel. As one section was lifted onto the next via a crane, reinforced concrete was added to stabilize the assembly as it rose. At the same time the cable places were added as the pylon grown, balancing itself off with the bridge deck.

The 200 meter span length, combined with the angle of the pylon, just happens to make the cable angles identical at both ends.

Join me to look further into the works of Santiago Calatrava, architect extraordinaire, by visiting here

What Are the Benefits of Using a Printed Circuit Board Assembly Service?

The process of creating a printed circuit board for a small business can be a time-consuming process. A great way to simplify the process and get the relevant parts ready for manufacturing is to use a professional service. This can help to not only create the clean and efficient board, but also save time and help to detect manufacturing issues as soon as possible. Let's take a look at a few of the benefits of using a professional service:

High-quality

A major benefit of using this type of service is the ability to create a high-quality board with soldering at an expert level. Many of the professional boards make use of the most impressive silk-screening methods, solder resist and laminates. A professional service is most effective with setups that have a lot of surface mounted components. The ability to use automated placement of the components will lead to a higher degree of accuracy and less risk of producing a defective board. Also, with the tiny components that are located very close together, the latest machines are the most reliable option for the precise solder joints.

Save time

The ability to use a professional service will save a lot of time for any company looking to create a prototype for a new product. If self-building the printed circuit built it will be necessary to get in touch with multiple parts supplies and an assembly house. The extra time-saving from outsourcing can be put to use elsewhere, which is especially helpful in a company with only a few employees.

Detect problems

A professional service will be very effective at detecting any errors that may appear in the process of creating the printed circuit board. The ability to create a prototype is a useful way to know if there will likely by any errors with the product or manufacturing. Any errors detected early can help to save a lot of wasted time, effort and resources. Also, once the defects are discovered, it will be possible to learn from these mistakes and create future projects with better design practices.

Manufacturing costs

The option to use a professional service will help with calculating the costs for the different stages of the manufacturing process. Once the prototype has been built and the design and layout is confirmed for future production, it will be possible to get a quote for a small or high volume production run to match the specific need.

Wireless Glass Break Detector Systems

All plate, laminated, tampered, and wired windowpanes can be monitored with a wireless glass break detector, with an ability to recognize the pattern of glass breaking. A detector unit can monitor a 360-degree zone, and detect an area of ​​20 – 25 feet.

A sensor unit needs to be mounted within direct sight of all low-level window or glass doors. These alerts are not able to monitor through a wall or around a corner, so it is important to position all devises in the appropriate place to ensure that entry points are secured.

The volume of detector units installed on each floor depends on floorplan and layout of a property. A small to medium sized room with open plan design can often get away with a single device, as no doors or wall will disrupt its signal. In a larger room that's L or U shaped an effective set-up can often mean two or three monitors to listen to all angles.

A wall or ceiling mounting detector device can listen for two tolls sign, a strike and a break, known as a dual technology system. In the first instance a strike or thump sound is detected, which is is followed closely by a smash or break of glass. This allows a modern detector to make a distinction between an attempted break-in and common sounds in a household.

Installing a wireless or even hard-wired glass break detector in all vulnerable positions is an ideal step in ensuring that an effective security set-up is in place. A wireless unit offers a simple home security project to take on, which is suited to all private homes.

A Really Good Hammer!

I remember my Dad telling a story of when he was a young apprentice carpenter and was taught one of life's valuable lessons. He was busy nailing something together and, as was his habit, was choked up quite a bit on the hammer as this seemed to provide more control of his swing. His boss calmly walked over, grabbed the hammer out of his hand and proceeded to cut the handle in half. Lesson learned.

Had it been a metal-handled tool instead of wood this demonstration would have been more difficult to accomplish but, either way, the point would have made. Fortunately it WAS a wooden handle and was soon replaced, rendering the hammer usable once again. This taught the young carpenter to learn the proper method of holding a framing hammer, which in turn improved his technique, power and speed.

A well-made tool may seem fairly expensive when compared to a low-cost imitation but the difference in use and function is significant. Those who make their living using hand tools will gladly pay the extra to have something that actually works and works well. Good tools should last a lifetime and the best ones will be guaranteed to do just that.

It's nice to know the best hammers are still American made, although the market is flooded with cheap imitations that are produced in volume from all points East (read: China). Estwing Hammers are a sterling example of a quality-made tool. They have made innovations in the technology responsible for producing what may be said to be the most ergonomic hammers available. Their patented, shock resistant grip takes the pain and drudgery out of an often monotonous and painfully repetitive task.

Another top-quality manufacturer producing the best of the best is Stiletto. Stiletto Hammers are 45% lighter than typical tools of the same size and yet, even with this weight difference they still provide an equal striking force. And, because they're constructed of titanium, they produce 10 times less recoil shock than a normal hammer.

Recoil shock is a major concern for those who make a living swinging a hammer and a ninety percent reduction is a pretty big deal. Common complaints from those who use a hammer on a regular basis are tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. These problems are automatically eliminated with the use of an extremely lightweight, shock-absorbing tool.

I like the saying, "Good things is not cheap and cheap things is not good." With hand tools, cheap is not only worse … it's useless. Need a good hammer? Now you know where to go!

Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Tessera Types

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how.

Tesserae are the pieces arranged and adhered to the base material to create your mosaic design. They can be of any material and shape. Do not limit yourself to the common tessera types. Use your imagination. Try buttons and other fun or unusual material. For example, I once saw a family picture collage with a mosaic frame that included one baby tooth from each grandchild. Be creative!

"Tesserae" is the plural of tessera (Latin). In the context of mosaics, tessera means, "a cube; a piece of mosaic paving." "Tesserae" is pronounced TESS-uh-ree, and "tessera" is pronounced TESS-er-uh.

Plan your mosaic before jumping in. Do not go off willy-nilly getting a bunch of tessera material without considering the basics. Where will you display the mosaic (eg, indoors or outdoors, which will determine if you need weatherproof tesserae)? Are you making wall art or a stepping stone (which will determine if you can use sharp or pointy tesserae)? Think about how much tessera material you need to complete the job. Plan your work. Know what you need before buying, collecting, or making your material.

The various types of vitreous glass, stained glass, and smalti are probably the most common tessera materials, especially for mosaic wall art. However, artists have managed to create beautiful mosaic works using just about anything. The following list should give you ideas on what you can use to create your mosaic masterpieces. Have fun and let your imagination run wild. Here are some tessera materials to consider using for your next project: millefiori, ceramic tile (useact or broken pieces), crockery (use broken pieces), marbles and glass gems, buttons, shells (intact or broken pieces), keys, beads , coins, stones and pebbles, plastic doodads, metal shapes, costume jewelry, and hardware (screws, nails, nuts, bolts).

Some of these materials may seem odd, but you never know what a creative artist can do with them. For example, I suspect that someone somewhere can turn a pile of rusty nails into a beautiful mosaic that would be a great gift for a building contractor. Do not let anything inhibit your imagination. Nothing is too crazy. Sometimes the best ideas are the craziest.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!

How to Seal Outdoor Tiles in 10 Simple Steps!

While outdoor tiles are extremely durable, there is one thing you can do in order to extend the life and beauty of your investment. That one thing, is sealing your tiles. Sealing your outdoor tiles will not only help prevent staining and cracking, but also other types of outdoor damage over time as well. So now that you know why you should do it, the question is probably asking is, "How do you do it?"

Step 1: Gather your supplies. The first thing you need to do is take a trip to the hardware store to get your supplies. You'll need: a sponge, paint brush, broom, trowel, grout float, as well as tile and grout sealer.

Step 2: Clean the tile. Sweep the tiles and make sure they are totally free of dust, dirt, and debris. This is very easy, but also very important. If you do not do a good thorough job, or forget this step completely, that dust and debris will be stuck in place under the layer of sealant for as long as the sealant lasts.

Step 3: Seal the tile. This is a two part process. Using a paint brush apply the sealant to the tiles as evenly as possible and allow them to dry. However, you must be careful to not let the sealant drip off the body of the tile, and into the space between the tiles, as this is where the grout will be. This is important, because grout will not adhere well to the sealant.

Step 4: Let it dry. Once you have finished this application, let the sealant dry overnight. This drying is necessary because it will ensure that when you apply the grout, you will already have a dry coating of sealant protecting the tile from discoloration when it comes into contact with the grout.

Step 5: Apply the grout. Once the first layer of sealant is dry it's time to apply the grout. Using a trowel, apply the grout between the tiles. Then, take your grout float and smooth over the grout. About 15-20 minutes after finishing, use a damp sponge to wipe the grout. Let it sit another 2 hours, and then using a clean damp cloth, wipe away all of the excess grout. Your grout should be dry in 2-3 days, so wait that long before you move to the next step.

Step 6: Sweep up. You're not done yet, next you're going to sweep the tiles, to get rid of any dust or debris that has accumulated while the grout was drying.

Step 7: Apply the sealant. Apply the sealant evenly over the tiles and grout. Let this dry overnight.

Step 8: Sweep up again. Sweep up again to clear the tile of any dust or debris that has accumulated while it was drying.

Step 9: Apply one final layer of sealant. This final layer will serve to further protect your tiles even more. It's worth the added protection.

Step 10: Admire your work! Your finally finished and now's the time to look down and admire your work. This is by far is the step most people enjoy the most.

While it may have taken a few days, not only is sealing tiles easy, but it's a job that all DIY homeowners can complete. It's also a project that will allow you to enjoy your newly waterproof and stain resistant outdoor tiles for years to come!

Make Money Through Paintings

Making money through painting is not an option for all but it is applicable for people who are very good at painting and art forms. The following are some of the key facts relating to money and how to make money through paintings.

1. To get into painting, one has to have great painting skills and a flair for details and minute observations.

2. With the painting business, one can be his or her own boss and would not need to work under someone else.

3. Paintings can be of different forms. They could be painting on cars, painting on a face, wall painting, etc. All these painting jobs have different levels of difficulties and pay accordingly. All those who want to make good money with painting must get into something which is rare and a difficult art form.

4. One can make money through painting on their convenience. As there is no need to work under a particular person or in an office environment, one can set their own timings for work and can work from any place they want to. They can either be painting from their home or can even be painting when one is on a holiday or a vacation.

5. If you are really a good painter, then you can also become part of different exhibitions and place your paintings over there. One can make huge amounts of money at these exhibitions because these places are basically flown with painting lovers and they are willing to spend any amount of money to buy the paintings they love.

6. These painters need not rely on these painting jobs for all their financial requirements. They can do this painting work on a part-time basis and still work on a regular job and earn some money from that source.

7. One can even make paintings and make money by selling them online. This is probably the most preferred way of making money for most of these painters. They do not have to go through the trouble of carrying their paintings and placing them in a store or exhibition. They can very well place them on certain websites, which are into selling paintings online, and can make money. These websites are visited by painting lovers and then they browse through the different paintings which are put on display by these website owners. After going through the paintings, if the visitor likes any of the paintings or is impressed by any of the paintings, they can go contact the website owner who in turn would contact the actual owner of the painting. Once the painter gives the details of the painting along with the price, there is a sale being made if the buyer is okay with the conditions of the buyer. For having made this sale done, the painter makes a small commission payment to the website owner who displayed the painter's creations. If the painter wants to eliminate this commission payment, then he can create a website of his own. But this is not generally preferred by the painters as they are no able to generate the kind of traffic they want to create to their sites, the way these professionals do.

Contemporary Glass Chandeliers

Glass chandeliers: A Touch of Style and Sparkle

They add such a brilliance of gleaming color in your bedrooms, living rooms, foyers, or even over your grand piano, that are actually unsurpassed by any kind of painting or abstract pictures. Until a few years back, the word "chandelier" invoked the lavish images of large crystal and glass objects hanging in the ballroom of some 18th century manor. Typically, people had an impression that these chandeliers are too fancy and bold and of course too expensive for them to buy. This is partly right about some of the higher end chandelier designs. However, considering its demand, some of the architectural lighting design manufacturers have introduced a number of contemporary chandeliers. Moreover, they provide an ideal source of overhead lighting and use much smaller halogen based bulbs that give enough light from within smaller shades.

Why choose a glass chandelier?

One of the main reasons that attract you towards a contemporary chandelier is that it provides an additional focal point to your modern interior without even being over-the-top. Although a crystal chandelier is definitely a gorgeous piece in a spacious living room, most of us live in more slipshod and casual settings where they will hardly fit. Hereby, these glass chandeliers are more appropriate and provide an amazing symmetry of colors in order to give life to any room. However, the contemporary glass chandeliers are a bit more expensive than their metal counterparts. They offer a large number of designs, shapes and functions. In fact, most of them come in various color schemes and patterns and add a distinct warm glow to your every room. They offer unique patterns of holders, shades as well as of the lights. Most of them use offer porcelain lighting that offers a more bowl ambiance than candles. Furthermore, they feature as many lights as you desire depending upon your personal taste of style.

Tips for buying glass chandeliers:

Make sure that you spend some time for your glass chandeliers as they need a lot of maintenance.
Clean them regularly and thoroughly as glass tend to gather dust very quickly.

Hot Tubs For Use In Physical Therapy

Many doctors recommend some type of hot tub related physical therapy, to their patients who are suffering from a wide variety of ailments and injuries.

This type of therapy is not new, by any means. Ancient cultures such as Greece, Rome, Japan and China have practiced hot water therapy, for centuries. As the saying goes … 'if it is not broken, do not fix it'.

There are multiple towns which have been built around naturally occurring hot springs. Two of these towns are Hot Springs Arkansas and Bath England.

Hydrotherapy, as it is more commonly referred to, provides a great deal of relief to countless individuals. It is also a tremendous stress reliever, as well. Most patients agree that hydrotherapy is the most enjoyable form of therapy they have ever experienced.

Individuals who are suffering from more than common aches and pains should consult their physician before starting a physical therapy regimen, on their own. There are certain cases in which hydrotherapy could actually do more harm than good. As always, it's better to be safe than sorry … especially when one's health is concerned.

As a rule, hot tub related physical therapy should not be utilized by individuals who suffer from high blood pressure, but again it is best to speak with a physician and follow his or her recommendation. Every case is different.

Individuals who have been injured in a job-related or automobile accident have been pleased with the pain relieving results of hot tub therapy. Although it does not provide complete relief, favorable results are often realized.

Pain, as a result of other ailments and conditions such as back injury, joint problems, spinal disease, tennis elbow and hip and knee replacement, can be reduced or sometimes even almost completely eliminated with this type of therapy.

These sessions do not have to be lengthy. If scheduled on a regular basis, sessions lasting only 15 to 20 minutes produce positive results. However, these sessions are usually so relaxing that even 20 minutes, is just not enough.

Many patients, who can afford the added expense, purchase their own hot tub after just a few sessions. Hot tubs are available in a wide variety of price ranges and are more affordable than ever before. These patients enjoy the convenience and flexibility of fitting their physical therapy with hot tub sessions, into their schedule without ever having to leave home.

(In these cases, friends and family members can enjoy the benefits of hot tubbing, as well.)

Make Fast Money Shoveling Snow

If you live in an area where the winters are filled with beautiful, but sometimes dangerous, mounds of white snow, then you have probably shoveled your fair share of steps, sidewalks and driveways. Imagine if you were elderly, handicapped, or extremely busy and could not physically shovel your own snow. Would not it be convenient to have a friend or neighbor offer to shovel it for you? You would probably offer to pay them for their hard work, since it will make your daily trips into your house much more convenient. Maybe you could be the one doing the shoveling? This is a great way to make money fast, while also giving your body a great workout.

The beauty of a job like this is that it requires virtually no start up costs. You only need warm clothes and a shovel. The best way to advertise is by simply going door to door and inquiring if people would like for you to shovel their walks or driveways for a small fee. Charge a fair price, and base it on the amount of snow you will be shoveling and how long it will take you. Remember, these people are your neighbors and you do not want to overcharge them.

In the long run, you will make more money if you do a great job for a fair price because you will gain repeat clients. Your clients will also spread the word that you do a great job and you might get more business. The only drawback in shoveling snow for fast money is that in many places, you can only do it for one season!

Lean Muscle Mass Bodybuilding Routine For You To Follow

After a few years of fruitless weight training and diet I suddenly discovered the secret to building a powerful and muscular body without a lot of gain gain or taking steroids.

You see, once you reach your genetic limit in muscular bodyweight that's it – no more, and that's NOT a bad thing. For me personally a bodyweight of 185 pounds in lean condition was and is my limit. I am about 5 '10 1/2 "tall. Sure, I once took my bodyweight past 200 pounds but why? I thought it would make me bigger for a contest. Most people never even reach their genetic limit of muscular size and weight.

The reason other guys in the gym would gain 20 to 40 pounds was the use of anabolic steroids. Guess what, I still defeated many of come contest time. Why, because they were preoccupied with size and weight when they should have been thinking about muscularity and balance. The ancient Greeks knew this. A balanced and muscular physique is much more appealing to the eye than a bloated and out-of-proportion physique. Beside that most of the steroid users burn out and eventually quit training all together. They never understand the science behind building muscle and health, proper weight training and diet.

Want visual proof? Just look at the retired bodybuilding and power-lifting champions of today. Most look like they never lived a weight in their live, on top of that they have bad joints, tendon's, weak hearts and are very unhealthy.

Bodybuilding Champions from the 40's 50's and early 60's looked like physique champions well into their 60's and 70's and were still training till they passed away, most in their 80's or 90's. Can not say that about today's so called champions.

So …

Is it possible to build muscular size, muscular strength AND muscular balance all at the same time so you can look and feel like a Champion Bodybuilder ??? YES !!!

Here's how!

You have to combine a program of powerlifting training with good bodybuilding movements that have been selected to compliment the lifts, and sculpt the developing muscle mass at the same time.

You should expect to have a bit tired and worn out form the following program if you're giving it all you've got. If you're serious about building a lean, balanced and muscular physique then you'll need to get serious about your diet, sleep and keeping a positive mental attitude.

Get Started With This 6-Week Program

Monday

Light stiff-leg deadlifts – 3 sets X 12 reps

Squat – 1 X 8, 1 X7, 1 X 6, 2 X 5 (Increase weight with each set)

Lying Laterals – 2 X 8, 2 X 6 (Increase weight for last two sets)

Light-medium bent-arm pullovers – 3 X 10 reps

Bench press – 1 X 10, 1 X 8, 1 X 5, 3 X 3-4 (weight increase after each set)

Situps – 3 sets of 50 reps

Note to you – You MUST work to using HEAVY weights in the squat and bench press or you're just wasting time and energy.

Wednesday

Regular-grip chins (no weight) – 3 X as many as you can do

Single arm rowing with heavy dumbbell – 3 X 10 each side

Prone hyper-extensions – 20 X 20 (no weight)

Deadlifts – 2 X 6, 2 X 4, 3 X 3-4, 1 X 1-2 (weight increase after each set)

Barbell curls – heavy – 4 X 6-8 (try and reach a new maximum weight for the last set without your energy is low that day)

Leg raises – 3 sets of 20 no weight

Friday

SAME AS MONDAY WORKOUT, but add: barbell curls (same as Wednesday schedule)

I can hear you asking the questions right now !! "Dan, what about calf, triceps, and all the other exercises you did not put in the routine?"

To build the ideal, most muscular body you need to adapt, change and grow.

The body adapts to everything, that's why people who do heavy manual labor only get so big, then stop growing. The workout I just brave you will keep you growing for 4 to 6 weeks. Then it's time to advance to a more customized Muscle Building Course.

Why Individuals Invest In Number Plates

As of now, there are numerous car owners who are looking for ways to help them make their vehicles appealing. And, the most common option is to invest in accessories and parts. However, there are some individuals who are opting for other options like investing in special number plates.

Special number plates are registrations that are unique. These plates are offered by authorities to allow individuals make cars better and appealing. Apart from that, some individuals also invest in these plates due to the following reasons below.

Accomplish registration tasks easily

One of the main reasons why individuals invest in number plates is to accomplish registration tasks easily. Of course, registering cars are important to ensure that your cars abide by road and traffic rules. Not to mention, car registration also helps individuals secure their investments. Sadly, when using typical number plates, there are cases where individuals may experience issues due to violations caused by vehicles with almost the same plate numbers. With the use of special number plates, you can easily avoid such issue.

Make cars unique

Another reason why individuals invest in number plates is to make cars unique. Of course, when it comes to uniqueness, individuals have different options. This is possible since there are numerous car items and accessories individuals can purchase. However, even if you have the best accessories and parts for your vehicle, using a typical car plate can easily make cars unsightly. By making use of special plates, individuals can easily make their cars unique and appealing.

Hide the age of cars

There are also some individuals who invest in number plates to help them hide the age of cars. One of the drawbacks of using typical plate numbers is individuals can easily check the age of your vehicles. So, when you are planning to sell your vehicle, buyers can easily use this into their advantage which can affect your profits. By using special plates for your vehicles, you can easily hide its age.

Better resale price

With regard to car value, making use of special plates can also help you increase their price. This can be achieved since special plates are more expensive than traditional plates. Not to mention, not everyone can purchase such plates for their cars. Because of this, individuals can immediately increase the value of their vehicles.

These are only some of the wonderful reasons why getting a special number plate is worth it.

Coleman Camping Stoves – Short Review of Their Popular Liquid and Propane Camping Stoves

One of the most popular camping stoves company is Coleman Company. They offer several different Coleman camping stoves including both propane and liquid fuel .. Liquid fuel is starting to make a come back these days. The pricing for liquid fuel has dropped significantly and they are also very reliable now. In this article we will discuss a few of their more popular Coleman camping stoves.

The PerfectFlow InstaStart 2-Burner Stove (Model 5466-750) allows you to make any meal you want while camping. Both Coleman camping stove burners can be adjusted to fully supply up to 10,000 BTU. Coleman's "InstaStart" technology allows easy and safe burner light ups. . Another Coleman's camping stove feature is the "PerfectFlow" system which allows consistent even fuel supply no matter what the temperature or altitude is. The ever needed "Wind Block" feature is also a critical feature that keeps rain and wind from the side of the stove. The side panels can simply fold into shelves for convenient placement of ketchup and mustard.

The Coleman 2 Burner Electronic Ignition Propane Camping Stove Grill is both a stove and grill in one nice portable case. You can leave the matches at home because this stove features the "InstaStart" feature also. One click of a button and you have instant flame burning. This propane Coleman camping stove grill is built with durable enamel painted steel. The stove has an aluminum cooking surface, chrome cooking grate, and a non-stick cast aluminum grill. These two cooking surfaces allows for easy clean because of the grease collection system that can easily be removed. Both Coleman camping stove burners has very large knots that are fully adjustable and can burn as high as 10,000 BTU each. At the highest settings one propane fuel can burn up to a full hour when both burners are at the highest settings. This Coleman camping stove and grill also has the popular Perfect Flow and Wind Block feature as stated on the previous product.

Coleman 2 Burner Dual Fuel Premium Compact Liquid Fuel Stove is a reliable liquid fuel Coleman camping stove. The Coleman 424-700G Two-burner Compact Dual-fuel Stove will be perfect for your next camping adventure. You can easily and quickly get a very good meal with the 11,000 BTU burners. It's compatible with the clean burning Coleman Fuel or you can even use unleaded gas for fuel. One tank of liquid fuel will give you about 2 hours of cooking. This Liquid Coleman camping stoves can be a little cumbersome, but you will find that the extra trouble of dealing with it well worth it. Not only is it good but much more environmentally friendly.

The Christmas Pressure Cooker

A friend of mine once told me that her favorite Christmas was one when she had the flu, so they stayed home and did absolutely nothing. But what about the turkey dinner, I asked? What about the family get-together? Do not you miss the gifts? Nope, she said. None of that turned her crank. And then I realized that I did not always relish all that chaos, either.

Why is it that Christmas elicits such feelings? We look forward to the holiday with great anticipation, but we also dread all the work, and the visiting, and the noise. My mother-in-law, who once was the proud owner of over thousand Christmas decorations, is now the fed up owner of over a thousand Christmas decorations. Christmas, I think, has simply become too big.

Sometimes I dream of a small holiday, with just the four of us sipping hot chocolate around the tree. Then I realize how much we would miss all the ornery relatives-and the nice ones-if they were absent. But add four extra kids and four times as many adults to the picture, let alone negotiating which side of the family we spend which day with, and Christmas becomes a huge production.

This aspect of the season has a whiff of an austere aunt telling us to write our thank you notes: you just have to do it, and your feelings do not matter. So we entertain, buy multitudes of presents and rush to parties, even if we're tired and cranky. And this rushing deprives of us of something we want desperately at Christmas that we do not need unnecessarily at other times of year: quality time with our own families.

And Christmas is the only time of year that truly is about family. There are no swimming lessons or hockey games or play practices or exams. There's only family. So this year is going to be different, we vow. We're going to build memories, forge bonds, and show the affection that is sometimes lacking as we pass each other at the refrigerator. We have images of families huddled around the fire as we read the Christmas story, sing carols, and throw snowballs if only the weather would cooperate. When our kids would rather watch the latest DVD or play with their new presents, we get really annoyed. We demand too much of Christmas because we do not have it at other times of year. That's a lot of pressure to put on December 25.

Can Christmas live up to all the hype? Perhaps, but only if we come at it not with unrealistic expectations, but instead with a quiet and firm commitment to put first things first once more. Christmas can not make up for a whole year of busyness, but it can ground us once again so that we can ensure the chaos does not last all year. During the holidays, when we breathe that sigh of relief because there is no hockey, or gymnastics, or skating, or jobs, it begs the question why we make ourselves so busy in the first place. Maybe, if weave yourself ourselves more time during the year, Christmas could once again be a time to relax and laugh together. It's an extension of what you do, rather than the exception to the rule.

Christmas is about family, faith and love. But Let those things not be gifts that we unwrap at Christmas, only to tuck away again until next year. Let's build them into our lives, today, and reap the benefits of the holidays all through the year.

Poster Printing – Getting Your Point Across

Poster printing has come a long way in the past decade, with a huge variety of formats and styles available. Poster printing is also more affordable than ever before, thanks to improved technology. You can now take advantage of big, bold, eye catching posters to advertise your products, services or promotions. Larger formats can fit lots of information and photographs, and can be effective visuals for your customers. Placed in your shop or office windows they can summarize or highlight anything you want. Create posters listing the benefits of your services, your best selling products, or any other information that you want to convey quickly and creatively.

There are an almost unlimited number of uses for posters. They can display key information about your business from any location, such as your telephone number, opening hours, map and main products or services offered. Or you can have posters printed for each new promotion. Use seasonal graphics and colors to create a visually appealing shop window with fresh and new information displayed on a regular basis. Posters are also great for events and exhibitions, adding color and information to any space.

When it comes to poster printing, quality counts. You want the images to be a sharp as possible, the colors vibrant, and the paper strong enough to last as long as needed. This is why choosing a high quality printing service is important. Posters printed on heavy weight paper with a protective coating will not only look better but will last longer too. High quality photo papers can be water resistant, weather proof, and fade resistant. High spec poster printers will produce vivid, true colors with a glossy sheen. Not only do posters look better and cost less than in previous years, but they are now more easy to display. Poster printing services can provide your artwork mounted on foamex panel, for easy handling and durability, or you can choose to have your poster printed with a low tack adhesive backing to easily attach it to a wall or other surface. When you are finished with the poster or want to replace it with a new design you can remove it easily without damage.

Poster printing services can vary in prices, customer service, minimum print runs, and quality, and you should always look for a poster printing service that can offer you the best service possible to meet your specific needs.