Transitional Style Interiors – Sophisticated Mogul

Transitional interiors have the best of both worlds: traditional and contemporary.Staying within the familiar realm of tradition but making it perky with fresh new ideas. Traditional architecture and designs carry a beautiful appeal and when freshened up they stand out as even more classic. An updated historic home carries its character yet the contemporary furnishings give it a modern edge.

Taking inspiration from the past, it’s really about the antique architectural design, the veranda arches and vintage doors with beautiful carved authentic detail. Hand crafted in dark woods the patina plays perfectly with neutral walls where you can display contemporary art. Pale blue carved armoires, green floral wardrobe cabinets, muted red chests seep colors into the interiors. Bring tone-on-tone furniture and furnishings like the oxidized wood accent cabinets or the aged white console, playing down the dramatic angle.

Burnished brass with soft, warm undertones accents the wood patinas of the cabinets. A huge floor mirror made from an old architectural door frame gives a focal point to the living room.Crystal chandeliers complement traditional elegance nicely.Symmetry is essential to keep the room balanced and in harmony. The huge TV screen is balanced with 2 arches on either side that have been converted into bookshelves. Damask fabric on the sofa adds punch without making it too contemporary. Extravagant silhouettes, traditional weave fabrics and embellished textiles draw attention to the walls. Carved wall panels of the Tree of Life accented by simple straight drapes that just skim the floor, clean and neat lines, too much fabric gives an untidy effect.

Globally inspired carvings and sculptures collected by you on your travels are displayed on the walls with accent lighting that focuses on their unique artistic detail. Broad leaf ferns and green foliage play beautifully with the dark patina wood and the neutral walls.The vintage whitewashed screen with iron work adds interest to the simply furnished living room. The turquoise blue coffee table adds a pop of color, muted yet brings the room alive. Vivid textures and weaves of handloom cottons throws add interest while keeping the contemporary style.

The bedroom with a simple upholstered bed has a unique hand crafted armoire with beautiful crown molding and muted patina, perfectly in balance with the vintage media console. A few select pieces give a room a feel of refined elegance.Harmony and balancing traditional design with modern style, interiors that are focused on comfort and style, transitional interiors carry a classic ambiance of sophisticated elegance.

Interior Vs Exterior Powder Coated Iron Balusters

Many customers like the combination of wood handrail with iron balusters for their exterior deck or patio installations. So the question is always presented: Can I use off the shelf powder coated balusters outside?

Traditionally powder coated iron and metal balusters are made primarily for interior stair installations. The key is the powder coating, just like paintings are designed for interior or exterior qualities. The problem with iron balusters is not that powder coating peals or chips in exterior weather conditions – nor is rust a factor – but rather the powder coating fades. A satin black baluster, exposed to the sun's UV rays, will, over time, become gray. Color quality is compromised.

Is there a solution? Here are three options to consider:

I've recommended that customers apply a UV clear coat of polyurethane on their balusters prior to installation. I've seen many builders in the Pacific Northwest use this method and it appears to have been effective. For the do it yourselfer a can of an off the shelf polyurethane aerosol can be used.

Matte Primed or raw iron can be purchased and pre-painted on sight with exterior grade paint or sent to a local paint finish house for exterior color and preparation. A lot of stair part suppliers offer "exterior" balusters, but these are usually not powder coated.

One of the best ideas I've heard was a builder in Virginia who purchased 200 copper vein balusters for exterior installation, with the intent of using an auto clear coat paint finish. He said that the product he uses is purchased from an auto detail supply house and offers the "best protection available".

House of Forgings is the first to step up to the plate with the introduction of "Deckscape", a line of exterior ready iron balusters. The Deckscape balusters have a 5 step anti-corrosion phosphate dip with a satin black all-weather powder coating. This is a new product featured on our web sight. The only limitation is style selection and they only come in satin black. Deckscape comes in a hammered plain bar with matching single and double forged balls, or a tuscan-styled single and double diamond. They have also introduced a 5/8 "full round bar with optional single or double knuckles.

Adolphus W Brower House – Sycamore, Illinois – Historic Architecture Abounds

Weary from my recent journey I again return to Sycamore, Illinois suffering from severe case of Republican-icon-overload. Breathe in, sigh, I am back and will be soothed. Soothes by picture perfect Italianate style. At 705 DeKalb Avenue in Sycamore is a high-style example of Italianate in the Adolphus W. Brower House.

The house featured an original scrollwork porch, which was reflected on the enclosed porch of the rectangular bay on the east side of the house. The porch balustrade (wiki) has been altered sometimes since the late 1970s. When the house was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 it was called a postcard perfect example of the style upon its approval, which came on Valentine's Day in 1979.

Adolphus W. Brewer was, in his day, a rather well-known hardware merchant in early Sycamore. I am unsure whether he was any particular relation to the promoter Sycamore attorney Floyd E. Brower, whose home was discussed in another related article I authored. Unfortunately, the National Register documentation for the Adolphus Brower House is not yet available online at the time of writing this article or I would have linked you to it.

Online Resources For Further Information

* Adolphus W. Brower House: Old Photos (NRHP archive) – 1978

Tomorrow we stick around the area and explore Prairie style architecture examples in the county of DeKalb.

Sycamore, Illinois is a city of approximately 15,000 residents, located in DeKalb County, of which it is the county seat. Sycamore was settled in 1835, primarily north of the Kishwaukee River.

Christmas Countdown

The days before Christmas fly by if you are focusing on all the things you have to accomplish before the big day. But they also may crawl if you are a child or a grown-up waiting impatiently for the main event. Either way, a Christmas countdown makes every day special.

Some of us will never outgrow the feeling of Holiday anticipation. If this applies to you, then may be this December you can countdown the days to Christmas, making each one matter by celebrating a daily pre-holiday activity.

It would be a good idea to slow down and relish the moment as the days of December dash toward Christmas, so that you do not lose the people and things most important to you in the holiday hoopla. There is one easy way to do this. You can open your notebook or datebook and write down events of the day that made you glad or grateful. This would help you express feelings that reflect the true meaning of Christmas.

Numbered containers filled with surprises, one for each day leading to Christmas, would ease the wait for Santa. The twenty-four containers could be whatever strikes your fantasy: baskets strung along the banister, take-out boxes lined up in the kitchen, or mismatched socks hanging from the mantel. Put a small gift for every person in your household into each container, and make sure you open them together at the same time each day. Or, play Kris Kringle and leave a simple treat, such as fruit, chocolate, or even a coupon for breakfast in bed, on everyone's pillow before bed each night.

A simple Christmas countdown idea would be to arrange twenty-four candles on your dining room table and light one each night beginning with December 1. You can then light all the candles on Christmas Eve.

Christmas countdown idea for a larger family would be to divide twenty-four slips of paper among everyone in the family. Ask each person to write a good deed on each of their slips, sign them, and then fold and toss into a jar. You would then draw a single slip from the jar each night.

If you want to start counting down for Christmas later in the month, create your own version of the twelve days of Christmas with a countdown that starts December 13th. The person who wrote the good deed would be responsible for its fulfillment.

Change Your Mindset to Achieve Success

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful and the rich from the poor has less to do with their knowledge, skills or luck but rather their mindset. A mindset that is geared for success is characterized by a burning desire to succeed and in conquering fear. On the other hand, a mind that limits itself and which is filled with negativity is set up for failure or less than satisfactory results.

In fact, the limitations we experience in life are often the result of our own mental limitations. One good example that inspires us is Roger Bannister when he broke the four-minute mile. Previous to his record, most people considered it impossible to run a mile in less than four minutes. But once Bannister did it, many people quickly followed suit. All it took was a mindset change for people to believe that they could do it.

If you are not as successful as you would like, it is likely that you have some negative beliefs. It may also be that success frigtens you. You may associate success to be doing well in your work but also with having less time for your family or other more favorite pursuits. When you have an internal struggle and feel that you are unable to balance your time between work and family, you will find it hard to be the success that you had dreamed of.

Another form of negative belief is associated with low confidence. Subconsciously, you believe that you can not make it. And that others can do always do it better than you. When you meet with challenges and difficulties, you feel like giving up. Your mind gives you plenty of reasons why you should not fight anymore but instead, take the safe way out. You believe that you do not have the capabilities to become a success. There is plenty of self doubt.

It is important that you deal with your negative beliefs, whatever they are. Get real about your negative emotions instead of condemning them. I have come across many people who prefer to skip this part of the healing process, and instead would prefer to will themselves to be positive. Unfortunately, the hardest way, which is to face the negative beliefs, is sometimes the best way to getting the ultimate results you really deserve.

Certain therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, may help expedite your healing. Subliminal messaging and daily affirmations can also help build inroads into your subconscious mind for positive changes.

You can choose to break your big goals into smaller ones, so that you gain confidence that you are progressing. This helps you to overcome some of your negative beliefs that you can not achieve success.

Consider adopting a millionaire mindset. Open your mind to believe that you can do it and that you can have anything you desire. When you start changing your mindset, things that you view previously as obstacles become opportunities that you can leakage on or life lessons that you need to go through, while you are on the way to success.

Virtual Mobile Phone Number – Your Virtual Presence

With a virtual phone mobile number, you can keep your actual phone number hidden from others. This also serves as a means of saving on roaming charges on your mobile.

Selecting a virtual phone number

You may require a virtual number for setting up a small business or for personal use. Whatever the case, bear in mind a few points before selecting one.

* Customer reviews of service providers serve as an insight into the services offered by the companies. You can either get these on websites or you can talk to your friends. Either way, just make sure you have enough knowledge about the service provider.

* Review the plans being offered by each provider. Not all plans suit everyone. Go for the one that best suits your purpose.

* The services being offered on your mobile matter to you the most. Check the services being offered against your number. They should fit your requirements. Messaging has nowadays taken an important place in the life of every mobile owner.

* Do you have the facility to go for frequent number changes? One day you might be in Boston, while the next day you might be in Florida. You should be able to change your numbers without much hassle and at a minimum fee.

Configuring a Virtual Mobile Phone Number

Getting a virtual phone number is an easily available service. All you need is an existing number, internet access, and an email account.

* Once your mobile connection is activated, you need to make a virtual number request with your service provider.

* Provide the area code for which you need the number.

* It may take one working day for the service and number to get activated. Once activated, you will be informed via email.

* Inform your service provider whether you require an SMS send / receive facility or not.

Advantages of a Virtual Number

Virtual mobile numbers give you a virtual presence at a particular time. Along with the services it carries you also get a host of advantages. Services may vary dependent upon the service provider but the advantages are many.

* Since it is a virtual number, it gives you the advantage of being anonymous at times. The receiver does not get to see your actual number.

* With coverage across countries and with over thousands of area codes, you can be a local in any part of these areas. This gives your callers the advantage of calling you on a local number which saves out charges charges.

* Although a virtual number you also have the facility of text messaging SMS to your contacts.

* When you send SMS from your virtual number, the receiver will receive SMS anonymously as your actual number will not be displayed.

* With the texting API facility, you can reach across a number of recipients with just one SMS. You do not have to pay extra charges for using the SMS gateway.

A virtual mobile phone number gives you unlimited advantages. It is beneficial for you and your caller.

Sinus Anatomy and Histology


External Nose :

the external nose – the part of the nose that you see – is there for more than just to make you or your child beautiful. Those cartilage and bone structures are there to keep the nasal airway open. Think of the boxer with the pulverized nose who can no longer breathe through his nose. Anyone who has ever broken their nose – elbow during basketball, softball to the nose, whatever – knows that having those structures intact helps keep your nose open, helps keep your breathing clear, open and smooth.

Nasal Cavities :

where all the action takes place, your nose functions as:

  • air conditioner – humidification, warming or cooling incoming airstream
  • filter the incoming airstream of microorganisms and pollutants
  • immune function – preventing infection by airborne microorganisms
  • olfaction – sense of smell
  • voice quality – affects voice resonance

Nasal Septum : divides the nose into right and left halves. If the nasal septum is deviated (born like that or acquired from trauma), obstruction can result. If severe enough, septal deviation may warrant surgery (septoplasty) to improve nasal airway.

Turbinates :

3 swellings along the side wall of the nasal cavity. Their function:

  • create turbulent airflow – this aides in sense of smell, and helps mucus trap microorganisms and pollutants in the airstream (a good thing)
  • cover the openings to the paranasal sinuses (why, we do not know)
  • alter voice resonance? (we're pretty much speculating here)

Adenoids :

The Adenoids lie in the nasopharynx at the very back of the nose. The adenoid tissue is lymphoid tissue. It looks well, pretty gross. It is involved in killing microorganisms that are captured by the nasal secretions. Those secretions are swept to the back of the lose by cilia motion. This is the area where the nose, sinuses, adenoids and tonsils, and the openings to the Eustachian tubes (to the middle ears), all connect.

Therefore, in a way, the adenoids are sort of a key to keeping everything here (nose, sinuses, eustachian tube and middle ears) healthy. Unhealthy adenoids – acute or chronic adenoiditis – can be a cause of major nose, sinus, and ear problems.

If you look at the picture below, taken through the mouth using an angled endoscope, looking forward toward the front of the nose, the top of the palate is at the bottom, you can see the nasal septum in the middle, the nasal turbines attached to either side of the nose, the Eustachian tube opening on the right side is visible (there is one on the left also), and the adenoids at the top of it all.

If the adenoids are too big, they can block the nose – nasal obstruction. The result is difficult breathing through the nose, and probable rhinitis and sinusitis.

Paranasal Sinuses :

air-filled cavities within the bones of the face, connected to the nasal cavities. There is great variation in sinus shape and size between people. Have uncertain role; some speculate that they help lighten the facial skeleton, sort of like hollow bird bones make them lighter.

The sinuses consist of four paired cavities each of which is named after the bone in which it is located. The four sinus pairs:

  • the Maxillary sinuses – in bones of cheeks, one on each side. May grow to be as large as 15ml (could hold about 3 tablespoons).
  • the Ethmoid sinuses – usually 6 – 10 per side, situated between the orbits (eye sockets), up to the skull base. Responsible for more complications from sinusitis than other sinuses, usually involving the orbits (eye sockets) and tissues around the eyes. The Ethmoid sinuses are small and irregular, sort of like the "nooks and crannies" that you see when you cut open an English muffin.
  • the Sphenoid sinuses – 1 or 2 lie in the very middle of the head, surrounded by the pituitary (part of the brain), optic nerves (from the eyes), internal carotid arteries – all important structures. Rarely a source of sinusitis complications, but due to location, complications can be life-threatening (meningitis, brain abscess).
  • the Frontal sinuses – located in the eyebrow area of ​​forehead bone of the skull. Usually one each side, but one or both are absent in about 5% of us. Due to the fact that the brain is just behind the frontal bones, sinusitis complications in the frontal sinuses can be serious (meningitis, brain abscess); Fortunately this is rare.


The lining of the nose is our first line of defense against airborne microorganisms and pollutants. This task is handled by the epithelium through mucociliary clearance (more detail about this in another post). The nasal epithelium functions to:

  • Acts as a physical barrier to inhaled foreign materials
  • Entraps and clears foreign material by …
  • Mucus secretion (snot) and
  • Cilia activity
  • Is an active part of our immune response – contains enzymes and antibodies
  • Helps condition the air we breathe in: warm it, cool it, moisturize it

Nasal (and sinus) epithelium : is comprised of

  • cells with cilia
  • cells without cilia
  • goblet cells, and
  • basal cells
  • transient immune cells – lymphocytes and mast cells

The ciliated and non-ciliated cells help create most of the physical barrier as they form a tightly-connected sheet that lines the nasal cavity. This "tight junction" that is formed between these cells, effectively keeps foreign substances – pollutants and microorganisms- from getting into our tissues and bloodstreams. A breakdown in this barrier can be dangerous.

The goblet cells produce mucus – snot. Nasal mucus, in the proper viscosity (thickness, stickiness) and amount, is the key to the system of mucociliary clearance working normally. Mucociliary clearance is the holy grail for healthy sinuses. Achieve this, you achieve respiratory health.


The most important feature of the respiratory epithelium, are the cilia.

Cilia of the ciliated epithelial cells work together to sweep out the mucus that contains any adherent foreign material, including microorganisms and pollutants.

In order to work normally, these cilia need a certain level of humidity. They are also VERY sensitive to airborne pollutants. These include toxins that are in cigarette smoke, in common air pollution, and various volatile organic compounds (VOC's). VOC's are all around us in our synthesized, plasticized, man-made world. They come out of our cleaning agents, out of adhesives, and out of all that plastic. These toxins prevent the cilia from working properly.

If mucociliary clearance does not function, we can expect chronic respiratory illness, and life-threatening infections can result. These cilia are on the respiratory epithelial cells that line the upper and lower respiratory tract, including the nose, the sinuses, and the middle ear, as well as the trachea and bronchioles. So, if they do not keep these areas swept clean, the result can be infections in those areas: rhinitis , sinusitis , otitis (ear infections), bronchitis , and pneumonia .

The basal cells are progenitor cells – baby cells – that will divide and grow to replace the other cell types when they grow old or are lost due to a toxic environment. The immune response of the nasal epithelium helps us fight off attacks from various microorganisms (viruses, bacteria, mold), but if it goes haywire, can contribute to allergic rhinitis .

Immune Function:

Finally, the mucus contains special antibodies and enzymes that:

  • prevent viruses and bacteria from sticking to the epithelial lining
  • help our white blood cells to recognize viruses and bacteria as invaders and kill them

Sorry for the dry, boring anatomy lesson, but it is important to have some idea of ​​how the sins related to the nose and rest of the upper airway, how it all fits together and how it works, if we are to succeed at keeping it all healthy. Thanks for visiting.

Campgrounds in Plymouth

The historic town of Plymouth is located in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, United States. It is a country seat of Plymouth County and is surrounded by Bourne from the southeast, Wareham from the southwest, Carver from the west, and Kingston from the north. This town is situated 40 miles away from Boston in a region of Massachusetts known as the South Shore. This place enjoys humid continental climate.

Camping is an amazing experience in Plymouth. There are many campgrounds located all over the town. Some of the fine campgrounds are listed as under:

1. Pinewood Lodge Campground
Pinewood Lodge Campground is a fun filled family campground which is beautifully nested in 200 acres of white pine forest. This campground boasts over 3000 feet of lake frontage and 6 acre island. There are 300 spacious and well shaded sites. The guests can indulge in various recreational activities such as fishing, swimming and boating. I can assure you that you will definitely enjoy over here.

2. Sandy Pond Campground
Sandy Pond Campground is yet another lovely campground over here which provides excellent amenities to the guests. It is located on Bourne Road near Squirrel Run Golf Club, Southers Marsh Golf Club, Sandwich Glass Museum, Water Wizz Park, Plymouth Plantation, Pilgrim Hall Museum, and Whaling Museum. This campground offers 200 wooded sites and canoe rentals. The guests can indulge in various recreational activities such as swimming, fishing, horseshoeeing and hiking. The campers are provided various amenities such as dumping station, children's playground, recreational hall, store, full hook-ups and 50 – amp electrical service. This campground is ideal for vacations and short breaks.

3. Ellis-Haven Campgrounds
Ellis-Haven Campgrounds is located on Federal Furnace Road in Plymouth. This campground offers 2 room cabins and 400 campsites for all types of campers. All the sites have the facility of water, electricity, sewer and cable TV. Each cabin consist of a sink, stove, refrigerator, coffee maker, cookware, shower, 1 full bed, 1 bunk bed, 1 sleep sofa, TV, deck, and outdoor picnic table.

4. Pinewoods Dance Camp
Pinewoods Dance Camp is a traditional dance and music campground. It is ideally located on 25 acres in a wonderful pine forest between Long Pond and Round Pond. This campground offers custom-built dance pavilions, rustic cabins, and open dinning hall to all the guests. The travelers can spend their time by dancing and swimming. It is a non profit organization that is dedicated to support country dance, folk dance, and folk music.

These are some of the fine campgrounds over here. Do not forget to visit them on your next trip to Plymouth.

Formica Counter Tops

The most inexpensive approach is the post formed high pressure laminate counter tops, frequently referred to as plastic laminate counter tops, though, the facade material is more of a wood product, consists of craft and decorative papers, bonded throughout high heat and pressure. We often refer to the product as Formica counter tops, but that is a trade name of a contrived high pressure laminate.

Formica counter tops are prepared by laminate and Formica is the brand name of the material. The Formica Corporation is located in Cincinnati, Ohio and began in 1913. Home builders, owners, housewives and interior decorators have been always paying attention to Formica countertops for the reason that you can find them in almost any color to match your desires and decor.

In 2006, the Formica Corporation has added various exciting new colors to its line of Formica counter tops. According to a press release from the Formica Corporation, the new Formica counter top color reflects artificial colors. There are some Formica countertops that look like most expensive counter tops, such as concrete or granite.

But let me tell you a truth that Formica counter tops are not as long-lasting as granite or concrete countertops. The laminate facade can be a challenge to spotless. For light stains, Formica countertops can be cleaned with serene soap and water. If it is a tough mark, try baking soda and a domestic cleaner. The disadvantage is if it is a hard-hitting stain, using a rough cleaning solution will scratch the Formica countertop.

Many home owners turn to Formica counter tops not only for its design or color, but merely because they are rationally priced. Formica countertops are available for $7 to $20 per square foot, while granite countertops are just about $70 to $100 per square foot.

Selecting a Formica countertop color for your home is not an easy job. Though, there are Formica samples that you can take home with you also. It is suggested that when you are preparing to replace your countertops with Formica, then you should take home at least 10 Formica samples at a time.

If you are living far from society, or any hardware supplies that may stock Formica samples, keep in mind that you can download many special samples of Formica colors online. Be sure that you are using the innate lighting in your kitchen or bathroom, as that will be the lighting that you see your Formica counter tops in on a daily basis.

Lipo Battery Pack Tutorial

So you want to go lipo?

Well you have made the big choice and now you need to know where to start. Well the first thing to look at is the condition on your gearbox. This is going to be one of those times where you have to be very truthful with yourself. Is this gearbox in the best shape it can be? When was the last time you shimmed the gearbox? When did you last grease the gearbox? If you have not taken the time to make sure you have no noise or play in your gears take that time now. You will pay later when a ankle oscillation turns into a spinning gear of death and takes out your AEG in the middle of sustained fire if you do not.

While you are in the gearbox there are some other things you should look at. What gauge and quality is your wiring? If you are not at 16 or 18 gauge wire then take the time now and change it so that you have a big enough and strong enough pipe to push the new sustained voltage.

The C rating of a lithium polymer battery denotes how much current you can draw out of a pack at a continuous rate. Example:

1600mah 10c battery 1600mah / 10000mah = 1.6ah 1.6ah x 10c = 16 amps

1000mah 20C Pack 1000mah / 1000mah = 1ah, 1ah x 20c = 20 Amps

1500mah 25C Battery 1500mah / 1000mah = 1.5ah, 1.5ah x 25c = 37.5 Amps

So the higher your discharge rate (C Rating) the more amperes you can push out continuously. Resulting in your motor being able to pull as much as it wants / can for a longer time. Most NIMH batteries are 10c.

You may also want to do an AOE (angle of engagement) correction. This involves totally reading the timing on your piston head and should not be if you do not fully feel confident.

First remove the second to last tooth on the piston. Then shim the piston head so that the piston lines up exactly with the first tooth on the sector gear. We have a guide HERE. You may also want to upgrade all the other fun parts that require you to have the gearbox and gun body open.

New stronger spring

New piston

New Piston Head

New air seal nozzle

New bucking

New inner barrel

Now this is no small amount of work.

Taking apart a gearbox and replacing a spring can be a daunting challenge depending on your level of skill but with time and the wonderful world wide web you can find step by step guides to disassemble and reassemble your gearbox. See our guide HERE.

Then we can talk about MOSFET. MOSFET is a electrical switch that (in simple terms) regulates voltage to your gearbox. You can wire one in, but if you go for a 7.4v it is only necessary for ROF regulation, but if you are going for the 11.1 then you really should put one in. Installation and operation are part specific and come with detailed instructions.

Now that you have a new freshly shimmed tricked out gearbox now what? You need to look at your connectors. Deans are one of the most popular connectors because they have a lower resistance that the standard mini tamiya, and they are a soldered connection not a crimped, that is why many people switch to them. They do require sold but with a little time and patience that should be not problem for the average person. You can see a great guide HERE.

So now it comes down to the real deal 7.4 or 11.1. If you are confident in your work switching to a 11.1 is not a big deal but this is a higher voltage and a longer sustained amperage so this is for those who want the highest rate of fire. If you are just looking for a longer play time then 7.4v should get you a rate of fire in between a 8.4 and 9.6 and with the upgraded internals any AEG will handle a 7.4v lipo.

Plus we all know about air discharge. Nickel metal hydride batteries are great if you charge them the night before but you will have to charge them every time. There will always be a little "air discharge" but with Lithium you get almost none.

Different Types Of Ancient Greek Helmets

Ancient Greek war helmets are some of the most recognizable in the historic war machines. The term “Greek helmets” is quite broad. There is really no one helmet that signifies the Greek culture. Trojan helmets, Spartan helmets, and Corinthian helmets are all under the heading of Greek helmets. In the following paragraphs, you will learn a little bit about each.Some of the most popular helmets for collectors and reenactments are the Trojan war helmet.

There are several different designs that are sold in stores, but they are very similar. The biggest difference between them is the color of the helmet and plume itself. For example, you’ll find Trojan helmets in silver, black, brass, and bronze. In fact, one even comes in a war paint camouflage color. The plumes will come in a variety of orange, red, and black.

If you are looking for the most historical Trojan helmet, the black and bronze were the most common in ancient days. That in combination with a black or red plume will finish up your costume nicely.Spartan helmets are also a very popular sort of helmet. Recently made famous in the movie “300”, these helmets come in two basic designs. The first is a plain silver (made of iron and steel) helmet in a basic design. No plume is attached. This was worn by the common Spartan foot soldiers who did the brunt of the fighting.

Some of the elite soldiers or leaders of the Spartans wore a helmet with a red plume. This helmet retained the same design as the foot soldier helmet except that it had a large plume with a tail end. This was to increase the apparent height of the soldier and add to the intimidation factor.Corinthian helmets had a very similar design to Spartan helmets in terms of the “face” of the helmet. Where they differ is that the frontal cheek guards a bit longer than the Spartan helmets. Also, these Greek helmets are usually made of brass or a black metal. These also had a plume often made of horse hair. Today’s replicas will be made with a synthetic hair or more expensive ones will come with real horse hair.

Fix One Way VoIP Audio (SIP, NAT and STUN)

The Problem – When making VoIP calls (particularly with SIP) you can ring phone numbers but once the call is answered there is either no voice or it is only one way.

The Cause – I am pretty sure the cause of this will be the same regardless of what protocol you are going to use for your VoIP solution but I only have experience of SIP. So this will definitely be an issue with SIP but I haven’t confirmed it with the other protocols.

The problem arises because VoIP uses dynamic UDP ports for each call. This causes problems when traversing a NAT device for two reasons; the NAT device changes the source port of outbound packets as part of the NAT process. The second is because UDP by its very nature is designed for one way traffic (broadcasts, video stream etc). Where TCP traffic is bi-directional across the one connection UDP can have 1 connection for inbound and another for outbound meaning they can use different ports. If the inbound connection uses different ports as the outbound connection the inbound traffic will be dropped because the NAT device does not have a mapping for it in its NAT table. If you are confused by now I suggest you read up on NAT first.

What is SIP and why is it important to VoIP Just as TCP/IP is not a protocol by itself but rather a family of protocols like TCP, IP, PPP, PPTP, ARP etc so is VoIP. There are several protocols you can use with VoIP each having their own pros and cons. The one we will focus in this article though is SIP. SIP stands for Session Initiate Protocol. It is responsible for setting up the call, ringing, signalling, engaged tones etc.

In most SIP environments there will be several VoIP calls in use concurrently. Every one of these calls will be managed through the VoIP switch, each one requiring its own voice channel. Each channel (or phone call to look at it another way) must use a unique port. If there are 100 concurrent VoIP calls in use there must be 100 ports available for the VoIP switch to allocate to each call. This is where SIP comes in. It basically controls everything that is needed in setting up the call. For each call SIP will find a spare port, allocate it, send these details to all parties, set the call up and ring the phones. Once the call has finished SIP terminates the session and informs the phone switch that this port can be reassigned to another call.

The range of ports is usually configurable, Avaya for example allow you to configure this in the VoIP portion of the system config. The default range for Avaya VoIP is 49152 to 53246. This gives us a possibility of 4094 concurrent VoIP calls licensing permitting.

In a LAN environment this is not a problem as firewalls usually permit all traffic on all ports for all devices. Once the internet is involved where the traffic has to traverse a NAT and firewall we start to run into problems. In the Avaya example above it can pick a port anywhere in the range of 49152 to 53246. You can’t just open this port range to the internet. A range of 4000 ports open isn’t very secure.

How SIP is meant to work on the internet As with all network traffic one endpoint must initiate the connection first. This means at least one port must be open using port forwarding to the VoIP switch. SIP usually runs on port 5060. For the two offices to call each other both sites must have this port being forwarded to the phone switch. When you read documentation on SIP most of it will say that this is all you need to do…But in all likelihood this is not the case.

The following happens when you dial a VoIP number:

  • You dial the number and your local VoIP switch matches this up with a site ID which locates the public IP address of the remote location.
  • Your local VoIP will connect to the remote IP on port 5060 using SIP (which is why the port must be open).
  • The two phone switches now negotiate and set up the phone call. Several things are done in the negotiation process but the most important one (for this article) being the ports that they will use to transmit the UDP voice streams.

The problem here is that SIP doesn’t know it is behind a NAT. Let’s say your local switch IP is and the remote IP is Although NAT modifies the SIP packets to the public IPs when traversing the internet it does not change the actual data in the SIP packets themselves (the payload). It is the payload that contains the information about what ports and IP addresses to use for the actual phone call. The local VoIP tells the remote VoIP (via SIP) to send voice data to its local IP of and vice versa. As we all know this is never going to work as internet routers drop packets from and to private IP addresses. Once the call is set up and the UDP voice data actually starts transmitting it will be sent to private IP’s and consequently dropped. So how do we fix this?

STUN Stun stands for Session Traversal Utilities for NAT and as you may have guessed by its name it is a collection of utilities to aid in the traversal of a NAT devices.

STUN (as in our case) helps a program or device learn whether it is behind a NAT and modify packets accordingly. It requires the help of a 3rd party server on the internet known as a STUN server. This now means that our VoIP phones can modify their SIP content to contain the public IP instead of the private one. Some of you may be thinking this same problem also affects ports.

It is common with NAT to also change the source port of an outbound packet to a new randomly generated one. When the remote device responds it does so to this new random port. When packets come back in on this port NAT allows it through because it mapped this port to the internal client. As you might have guessed it this is also an issue for SIP. The STUN server also takes this into account. The STUN client (the VoIP switch) sends a UDP packet outbound on the port it wishes to use for the VoIP call to the STUN server. This will be NATTED to the public IP and a new port number. The STUN server sends this information back allowing the VoIP switch to learn its public IP and mapped (modified) external port for the voice traffic. Now we have all the info we require to modify the SIP data with the correct information to traverse a NAT. The local switch now contacts the remote switch via SIP and tells it to send the UDP voice call to its public IP and public port. Once this data comes back the NAT has a mapping for this in the NAT table and sends it to the internal VoIP switch. This how I thought it should work…Have you found what is wrong with this yet? I was stuck on this for a while…

The reason I was stuck was not through a lack of understanding the technologies (honest ), it was because of the stupid documentation (from Avaya) I had on setting up SIP and my confidence in that it was right. I checked everything again and found I had done everything correctly then it hit me…I thought “Hold on, when the UDP voice packets start coming in ON A RANDOM port how does it get through the NAT device when the only port forwarding I have is 5060 for SIP???”

I mislead you above a bit on purpose to see if you could spot it yourself. I said there was a mapping for the incoming UDP traffic in the NAT table but there isn’t. You, like me may have assumed this because you don’t have to port forward any other ports. The only way traffic can come into your network through a NAT without port forwarding is if it was first requested from an outbound connection. The outbound connection adds the entry in the NAT table to map incoming packets on this port to the internal client. This added to my confusion. The documentation clearly states you only need to port forward 5060 but the voice calls use random UDP ports so how do these get past the NAT? If you are still confused it will be because you don’t understand (or have forgotten) one fundamental difference between UDP and TCP which is very important for us here.

TCP requires that one end point must first establish a connection for data to be sent back. As we know you have inbound and outbound connections. If I am making an outbound connection then it is an inbound connection at the other end. And inbound connection requires port forwarding which we don’t have set up in this scenario. Also for data to be sent back the socket MUST BE ESTABLISHED. This is very important as it is not a requirement of UDP. UDP is connection-less remember (see The Differences Between TCP and UDP for more info). It can send data without ever being aware of the remote location. It is this key difference between TCP and UDP that allows you to traverse a NAT using UDP without port forwarding. The technique is called UDP hole punching.

UDP Hole Punching Let’s add all the technologies so far to get a working solution. The two VoIP switches learn of each others public IP and ports to be used via the STUN server. They then use SIP on port 5060 to send this information to each other then they use UDP hole punching for the delivery of the VoIP packets.

UDP hole punching is a clever technique. It works by “punching” holes through the NAT device to create the NAT mappings. The local VoIP sends UDP packets to the remote VoIP to the port and public IP it was told to use from the SIP data. When this data hits the NAT device at the remote location it will not be delivered because there is no port forwarding in place and no outbound data has been requested yet. The exact same process happens from the remote VoIP to your local VoIP and packets are dropped as well. The purpose of this though is not to send the packets, it is to “punch” a hole through the NAT and create a mapping of the external port and IP to the internet port and IP consequently allowing incoming traffic on this port. As this happens at both ends we now have NAT mappings for these ports to the internal clients. Because these mappings now exist the NAT device sees these as outbound requests and will accept new packets coming back in on the same port. So in summary the first packet exchange will always fail from both parties but this “punches” holes through the NAT allowing all subsequent traffic to pass through. This is why you don’t need to port forward these ports when using UDP. This technique is exclusive to UDP because UDP doesn’t guarantee or even check as to whether the packets arrive. When the first packet fails it doesn’t matter because the sender doesn’t even know it failed (as UDP does no error checking), it just sends more UDP packets. This won’t work with TCP because it creates a socket before sending data. As the initial packet will always fail TCP will error and keep trying to establish a socket first before sending any data. The socket will never connect so no data will be sent.

So Why Does The Thing Still Fail?? OK, sorry for the long post but I am big believer that the best way to learn is by the teacher (me, ha) leading you down the path so you solve it yourself rather than me. This is the last bit now I promise.

If you never knew about UDP hole punching then you would naturally think that you need to open ports to allow the UDP traffic through. This would explain why you get no voice at all. But what about one way traffic? This means that the port is open at one end and not the other. How is it possible to have UDP hole punching working at one end and not at the other when both NAT devices are configured the same?

In all likelihood you have different types of NAT at each site. To complicate things more NAT isn’t standardised and there are various implementations of it. In an ideal world the documentation I read about setting up SIP would be correct because UDP hole punching would take care of the port forwarding of the UDP traffic. But as we often find out this is never the case…

It gets complicated and I am not going to re-invent the wheel. What you are looking for is what type of NAT device you have. It is probably a symmetric NAT as this is the one that is incompatible with STUN. Yes this is the problem!! STUN doesn’t work with a symmetric NAT, here is why.

All the other types of NATs allow traffic from different IP’s to come back into the network as long as it is on that port regardless of where I sent the packets to. So if I connect to the STUN to learn the external IP and port to use for VoIP this mapping now existing. A DIFFERENT IP can send packets to me as long as they use the same port I sent the UDP packets out on. In other words once a mapping has been created and linked to the internal client it will accept connections from any IP as long as it is on this port. This is not allowed in a symmetric NAT. An outbound packet sent to a specific IP and port will only allow packets coming back from that IP and port. So, we do the same as above and contact the STUN server to get our public IP and port. This info is sent to the remote VoIP via SIP. It now tries to send data back to your local VoIP via this port but because it is a different IP a symmetric NAT blocks it. This NAT mapping is exclusive to the STUN server. To allow data to come in from the remote VoIP which is a different IP a new mapping must be created, which uses a different port… As you can see this is a problem because the port that will be used for the actual UDP voice call is different to the one the STUN server detected. Because the ports are dynamic and STUN won’t work, your local VoIP can never learn what that external port is to be used for the traffic to and from the remote VoIP.

This is why you get one way traffic in some scenarios. If both NAT devices are non symmetric NATs they will get the correct information through STUN and voice flows both ways ok. If one device is symmetric and the other is non symmetric only one of them can get the correct info through STUN and data can pass one way producing the one way audio. If both are symmetric you can’t hear anything at all because traffic can’t get through either NAT device.

So How Do I Fix It!?!? Buy a new NAT device! One that isn’t a symmetric one!!

Replacing your NAT device is one solution but the other is far more simple than the you might think. All you need to do is the following:

  • On your phone switch (Avaya in my case) reduce the dynamic port range. How many VoIP calls do you think you will have going at any one time max? Most of you reading this will be 10 at a guess, maybe 20. In my case the range was 49152 to 53246 so I reduce the max range to 49162 giving me 10 ports.
  • On your NAT device set up port forwarding for the 10 ports to your VoIP switch.

The reason this works is because you are effectively mapping your external port numbers to the same internal port numbers (remember that NAT replaces port numbers with random ones by itself). You now know that your VoIP will only use a range of 10 ports and STUN will fail. This means that the SIP information sent over to the remote VoIP will actually list the internal ports and not the NATted ones. This means your traffic goes out on random ports (because it is NATTED) but the remote VoIP sends back to ports in the range you specified in your local VoIP. There won’t be a NAT mapping for this of course and it should be blocked but this is why you use port forwarding instead. Have Fun!

To read the full article of this go to One Way Audio VoIP.

How to Hook the Big Fish!

Fly Fishing is a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing my tips so that others can learn to catch the Big Fish!

I usually go out from the Boca inlet in Boca Raton, Florida. Then I drift for hours luring the fish. As much as I enjoy catching the fish I truly enjoy the peace and quiet of the ocean. It certainly does clear the mind from the hustle and bustle of life.

When the species of fish I am searching for are not hungry for the flys that I present them then I use conventional tackle.
That may consist of either live or dead bait. Then I go out to the desired depth to where the species of fish congregate. Usually starting with a depth of about 110 feet of water and drifting out to over 200 feet. I use three light tackles rods with 15 lb test on each one. That gives the fish less chance of seeing the line.

I fish each rod at a different depth in the water column. The first rod I fish live bait or dead ballyhoo with a short piece of leader wire. Let the line out until the bait is at least 75 yards from the boat.

The second rod I add a small egg sinker, enough to get the line down about 20 to 30 feet. I let this line out about 50 yards. I use live pilchard, live goggle-eye or sardines that are either live or dead.

The third rod I fish on the bottom depending on how much current there is I use either 4, 6, or 8 oz sinker. Whatever it takes for me to get to the bottom. Using no leader I thread the egg sinker through the line and tie my pre-made rig to the hook. Then I hook a dead sardine or 1/2 a ballyhoo through the mouth with a circle hook and hook the treble hook on the rear part of the bait. Then drop the bait to the bottom and slowly move it up and down off the bottom and that is when I get most of my strikes.

When using light tackle on the bottom it is very important to have the rod tip next to the water and the line tight so when you setup to hook the fish you can bring the fish up off the bottom quicker. Otherwise the fish will go into a rock hole and break you off.

I have learned many techniques over the years and one of the most important things is what is the most effective rig.
These rigs are most effective for catching any fish but especially those that live on the bottom, especially Grouper and Snapper.

If you look at the first photo you will see me holding two pieces of titanium wire that is flexible. You can bend the wire without being concerned that it will break.
The rig is made with a 5/0 circle hook and titanium wire attached to a treble hook. I catch 90% of my fish on the treble hook.

The length of the wire is determined by the bait that you are attaching it to. Shorter wire for shorter baits and of course longer wire for longer baits. The photos show rough how far to place the treble hook from the tail of the bait.
After you cut the wire to length to install the hooks you must use a barrel sleeve and crimp it onto the wire to secure the hooks.

Once I have my catch of the day I then prepare dinner. One of my other passions is preparing the fish. Fresh fish is delicious and of course healthy. Hopefully you will have a successful day of fishing and enjoy some of my recipes. []

Radiant Barriers and Reflective Foil Insulation – Where to Use?

As energy costs continue to climb and we more faithfully commit to demand less energy, the use of alternative insulation products continue to grow.

For years, fiberglass was the most widely used form of insulation. Fiberglass insulation is excellent at slowing the transfer of convective heat. Its performance is measured in an r-value number. Generally the thicker the insulation is, the greater the r-value. Fiberglass insulation is reliably inexpensive, installs quickly, and is readily available.

Although fiberglass is ideal in many applications, it does have drawbacks. It is sooner to insect and rodent infiltration. Fiberglass also can not handle excessive moisture. The r-value of fiberglass insulation drops is sharply when any level of moisture is added to the material. This eliminates its use in crawlspace applications and many areas around concrete slabs. This also limits its ability in attic applications.

In the limitations of fiberglass is where radiant barriers and reflective foil insulation products excel. Radiant barriers and reflective foil insulation are imperfect to moisture, and insect and rodent infiltration. They are designed to be used in the following applications:

House-wraps: Radiant barriers replace existing house-wraps. Standard house-wraps are a strong weave of perforated vapor barrier. Radiant barrier house-wraps offer this same characteristic but also with a reflective layer allowing it to also block the transfer of radiant heat.

Attics: Radiant Barriers also excel in attic applications. In attics, moisture levels constantly change and most of a home's heat is either lost or gained here. Fiberglass insulation is not enough to stop the transfer of radiant heat. The use of a radiant barrier that reflects radiant heat is now imperative in attics.

Under-Slabs and Basements: Basements are infinite heat sinks due to their contact with the earth. Their high moisture level severely limits the use of fiberglass insulation. Reflective foil insulation is not affected by moisture and its radiant heat blocking properties are also ideal in these applications.

Crawlspaces and Duct-Wraps: In these areas reflective foil insulation is the only product to use. Fiberglass insulation is not appropriate. Its ability to handle moisture and insect and rodent infestation make its use impractical.

To prevent any confusion, radiant barrier and reflective foil insulation products are designed to stop the transfer of radiant heat. Fiberglass insulation is designed to stop the transfer of convective heat. It is unfair to judge the two types of insurance against each other. They are designed to stop two different types of heat transfer. Stopping both convective and radiant heat transfer has to be done in order to have an efficient insulation system. To do this, radiant barrier reflective foil insulation technology and fiberglass insulation, or another product designed to stop convective heat gain should be used together whenever possible.

Fireproof File Cabinet – Choosing One That Suits Your Needs

I still remember it. The flames, the smoke, my neighbor's wife sobbing, tears streaming down her face. Fortunately this family got out safe, they had good insurance to pay for their losses, and close friends to help them recover. However, they lost several irreplaceable photos and difficult to replace documents. Richard, my neighbor, later lamented about the hassles he and Eleanor experienced getting official copies of birth certificates, a new drivers' license, passports and the title to one of his vehicles. He stated that having one form of ID would have helped him immensely.

One of the saddest parts of Richards' experience is that if he would have invested in a fireproof file cabinet, he probably would have had a storage place for those documents, photos and other digital media. I had the opportunity to learn from his oversight and chose to do so.

Fireproof storage does not have to be inconvenient or expensive. Not everybody needs a $ 1,500, 4 drawer lateral file cabinet rated at 6 hours to protect their documents and small valuables. Here are a few economic and practical options that will fit most people's needs and budget.

The most basic is the fireproof file box. This system is ideal for those who only have a handy of documents and sometimes a little jewelry that they want to protect. The file boxes that range in price from $ 50 up to $ 200 are rated up to a half hour at 1550 degrees F, which is sufficient in most house fires. The advantage of these is that they are easily stored and moved. Amazon is a good place to look for these, or if you prefer the retail shopping experience, you can pick one up at Office Depot or Office Max.

The next step up will be the 1 or 2 drawer file cabinet. These are a good choice and may be the answer for those that work from home and need to store several files, or if tax documents are extensive. Unfortunately, there are some low quality products made by some big names. Sentry in particular makes a 1 drawer fireproof cabinet with a poor slide mechanism for the drawer. However, Sentry's 2 drawer 1 hour rated cabinet gets great reviews, including the smooth operation of the drawers. A 1 drawer model will set you back somewhere between $ 150 and $ 300 while 2 drawer models run $ 400 to $ 600.

FireKing is one of the leading names in fireproof document storage and produces UL listed, high quality products. The smallest cabinet they offer is a 2 drawer model. Those interested in enterprise level safe document storage should seriously consider the FireKing line.

While the vast majority of us will not personally experience our place of residence burning down, it is still a possibility. The cost of a fireproof file cabinet is a bargain compared to the loss of those documents that can help you get your life back in order after experiencing such a devastating event.