How to Light a Woodburning Stove

LET ME STAND NEXT TO YOUR FIRE …

The allure of the crackling fire safely contained in a woodburning stove is appreciated by your family and friends, but who gets all the work of firing it up, and all the abuse if it fails to light? That'll be you …

Better bone up on how to light your stove (and how to keep it lit). No, it's not rocket science; there are basically two ways of approaching it.

But before you put anything in, has something been taken out? Has your beloved cleared out all that messy ash? Big mistake. Wood stoves need a good consistent ash bed of around 1-2 inches / 25-50mm. So by all means empty the ash tray and any clinker (although if it's burning properly you should not have any) and level off the loose ash, but do not clean it all away. Clean the glass, buff up the outside but do not completely empty the firebox floor.

Starting with the raw material, do not even think of putting wood that's not seasoned in there. That's wood that has been cut, stacked and dried – one year: minimum – three years: perfect. Even better if you leave the wood inside to dry out and warm up before use.

The traditional way to set your fire is to screw up balls or knots of newspaper (10 or more) or cheat and use firelighters (never use liquids), then make up a tent-like arrangement of kindling over the paper. The kindling can be dry twigs or offcuts from woodwork or pallets. On top of this you lay 3 or 4 small logs. Do not overload the floorpan – the fuel needs space to breathe.

Open the top and bottom vents of the stove fully. If you have the excellent electric turbo fans fitted to your machine, put them on full and light the paper in three or four places. Leaving the door slightly ajar for a minute or two can help to get the fire alight but never leave it unattended and if you have set the fire well it should not be necessary.

The key to a good stove fire is to maintain a clean flame: once the initial burn has settled down and you have a base of good red embers, there should be little or no smoke. And do not let it settle down so much that there is no flame. Turn off any fans, and now is the time to add some logs – a mixture of sizes is best.

It's big, but it's not clever

A word about logs: it may be lovely to look at a chunky round log but it is likely to be a devil to burn. It's all about surface area; your kindling catches quickly because it has plenty. And your logs will burn most easily if you have invested in a decent log splitter and seasoned the split wood.

As for types of wood, pine and similar softwoods burn easily but are resinous and tend to cause tar build-up in the chimney, so they are best left to kindling duties. The ideal for the main fuel is hardwood, if available Wood pellets and newspaper logs are good, green alternatives to traditional wood.

And in case you are worried about your carbon footprint, then if you follow these simple tips and burn cleanly you can be reassured that wood is a renewable resource that is carbon neutral at the point of use. It is one of the cleanest forms of heat because it gives off less sulfur dioxide or carbon dioxide than burning coal. Modern efficient stoves circulate their heat for the benefit of the room, so unlike an open fire it is not mostly going up the chimney. Many stoves are approved for use in smokeless zones.

Adding the logs will cool things down so make sure you keep the vents open until they get well under way. The most effective vent for allowing in air is the top one, which allows warm air into the firebox, so close the lower one partially or completely when things are going well, and control the fire with the top flap. Open both at any time if the fire has cooled down too much.

So now you have the complete traditional story of how to become a warm and happy wood burner.

But there is another way.

It's totally counter-intuitive, and until you try it you will not believe it, but the really smart way to light your stove and impress your loved ones is to do it upside-down.

That's right: lay 3-4 smallish logs on the ash base, then create a bird's nest of nice dry kindling over them, leaving some air round the structure. Top these off with 10 or more balls or knots of newspaper. Open up the vents, light and watch in amazement as the paper burns down in between the kindling which crackles nicely and creates the layer of heat that allows the logs to catch. It is the vapor around the hot wood that catches fire so this is actually the most efficient way to proceed.

Blowing hot and cold

As a stove owner your biggest maintenance item is your chimney. If you are a daily user then you will become friendly with your local sweep, because you should be calling him in around 3 times a year. If you are an occasional user you can usually get away with one annual preventative clean; do this towards the end of the summer. That way you can lose any birds' nests or other obstructions, clean the tar deposits and probably find your sweep more available than in the winter.

Tar buildings up from wood burning. It will be far worse if you have smoky fires. These are caused by leaving the vents closed or having a poor draft (possibly due to bends in the flue or insufficient chimney length). You can minimize tar by having good clean hot flames that help to burn off the creosote deposits. And to lengthen the time before your next visit from the sweep, use the clever Chimney Cleaning Log, which when burnt helps to loosen the deposits inside the flue.

The last word is that at the end of the day it is not a good idea to keep the fire smouldering. It is nice to wake up and revive it, but in the absence of flames the fire generates more tar and is very wasteful of fuel. Better to let the fire die out by a strong burn in the evening, then start afresh next day.

Story Writing With Children – Planning And Playing With Stories

If you got a dollar for every time you told your kids to plan their writing, you'd be living on a tropical island now, right?

The only trouble is, it's hard to show children HOW to plan.

We've all seen examples of poor planning:

o Movies that have great starts, terrifying characters, fascinating plots – and an ending which is flatly disappointing.

o Books that get bogged down with 57 characters and 49 locations leaving you bewildered and bored.

o And then there's real life. The handyman who pulls apart the lawnmower to fix it, and only when it is in 42 bits around him does he discover he needs specific wrenches (trip to neighbor), an instruction booklet (search 47 files in a cabinet), cleaning fluid (trip to hardware store) and finally – it's all done, all fixed, but oooops, forgot the oil!

Failing to plan is planning to fail .

Good stories (like movies, books, poems and even jokes) all follow a similar structure.

1. Start with a bang – put the main character in an action scene. A fight, a rescue, a sudden danger.

2. Back fill – the who, what and why are filled in WHILE the action unfolds. (Not in big slabs at the beginning.)

3. The main problem is introduced.

4. Complications and more problems. Things get very bad indeed.

5. Tension scene where hero / heroine fights against incredible odds. Surely they must fail ….

6. Climax – incredibly, wonderfully, they win!

So how can you help your kids to plan?

Speaking something aloud is often a test of how well we know the subject. So use this to help kids get a great story plan in their minds BEFORE they write.

Once kids know about the story graph, get them to come to you with a story 'mapped out' in their head.

Now ask them to tell you their idea. However, to keep them specific and to make sure they have all the sections covered, YOU scaffold them all the way through it.

Following the six point outline above, here are some sample questions to ask your kids at each stage.

1. The Action Start.

So what's the start of the story?

You have to start with a bang – what's a great action scene you could use?

What's something exciting your characters could do to show how clever they are?

Your character is really brave – what's something he / she could be doing to show this?

2. The Backfill – often this is done as the starting action is unfolding. We do not need huge slabs of explanation.

Why are they there?

What's a quick way you can tell this?

In one sentence say why they are scared / over confident / angry.

Can you get someone to say the main character's name so we know it without being 'told'?

3. The Main Problem.

Right, now what is your main character's problem?

If your hero is going to help a friend, find a big problem for them to face.

Saving a cat up a tree is sort of a small problem. Can you think of something more powerful?

4. Even More Problems.

We need even MORE problems. What will they be?

Things must be very bad indeed for your hero. What else can go wrong?

Give your hero a really hard time.

What more can happen? What would really make your person scared?

5. The Big Tension Scene

Ready for the tension scene? What happens? Will your character survive?

Give lots of detail of this scene. Picture each step in your mind.

Your reader must think your hero will fail. Make it REALLY hard.

Make your villain or problem even bigger than your hero.

6. The Climax

And now for the big climax. How does it all end?

What's the hero going to do to win?

The hero must solve the problem. How?

It sounds really exciting. How's it going to end?

Often I put in really basic or even silly ideas, just to get the ball rolling. However, do not put in too many ideas or rush to fill the silences. Let your kids do the thinking – that way they're own 'the story.

And remember, kids do not always HAVE to write the story, to practice their planning skills.

Just playing with ideas, brainstorming a story a night, is fun – and terrific training for their planning skills.

Square Tubing Possible For Bar Foot Railing

Many of you may be familiar with the bar foot railing as having the round tubing. You may have seen this at restaurant bars or at the bar of your friend's home. But if you think that the round tubing is the only type available for use in foot rails, you're not totally correct.

There is also the square tubing made of stainless steel that can be used to make a bar foot railing. The tubing refer to the part where you actually put your feet on. Installing this fixture will involve the same steps when using the round tubing. It's up to you, though, to decide whether you will do the installation yourself or hire somebody more knowledgeable about the process.

By using a square type of tubing for your railing, the advantage is its flat surface which may be more comfortable to your feet whether or not you are sitting at the bar or sitting on a high chair. This part is a great add-on to any bar regardless of where it's situated.

If you prefer to get the stainless steel material, there are different types of finish that you can select from. Examples are the polished and satin finish. Stainless steel is a very durable material that requires less maintenance. With this, you can be sure to have your attractive foot railing adorning your home bar for a long time.

If you're planning to add a foot railing to your bar, you can choose to install one either on just one side or the entire structure. If you decide to put it on one side, you will need a shorter tubing than when you're installing it on two or more sides with corners.

Ideally, you will need an eight-foot tubing for a standard bar foot railing. For your square tubing, choose one with a two-inch diameter and a .050 wall thickness.

Before everything else, you will have to measure the part of your bar where the foot rail will be installed. Use a measuring tape and make sure to get the precise measurement. Following this step, you can now order your tubing from your preferred store. In this case, you can choose to go to your local hardware store near your home or you can order online which may be a more convenient option.

You can order tubing in various lengths from a minimum of two feet to as long as eight feet. If you're installing foot railings for two or more sides, you will need to get an elbow so you can connect the two tubing in the corner area. If you need a longer pole for just one side of the bar, you will have to get a splicer or an internal connector. This component is what you inset into the end of each tube.

Do not forget to get the other parts as well because you will not be able to install your bar foot railing without them. These include the brackets, end caps and screws.

So now that you know about the square tubing, you can consider using it to your bar or recommend it to your friends.

Stair Banisters – Protect Your Family

A number of posts known as balusters support the upper rail of the stair banisters. Places like museums, manor houses and public buildings have huge balustrades. These balustrades are often made up of concrete or stone. Balustrades are known to be the oldest form of banisters. As compared to the banisters of yesterday years, banisters of today's era are far lighter in weight.

Often the first thing that a visitor looks at when he / she enters your house is the staircase. Here you need to take that extra bit of care in maintaining your staircase. By making use of the banisters, you can make your staircase look nothing less than stunning. Usually, when we are thinking of improving the house or about renovating the house, we often forget about the staircase. You need to make sure that you give your staircase its due respect.

Having a good looking staircase can add a lot of value to your house. You can yourself be very creative when it comes to designing your staircase. You can choose the right kind of banisters for your house. You can opt for an old, antique looking banister in case your house has a lot of old furniture. On the other hand, you can even go for a new, modern looking banister if your house demands so.

Wood is the material that is commonly used for making banisters. Wood helps in giving the banisters a rich and glowing look. The best thing about a wooden banister is the fact that, banisters made up of wood look good both in the old form as well as in the new contemporary form. Apart from wood, material like maple, oak and beech is also used to make banisters.

Another material that makes the stair banister look elegant is Wrought Iron. Initially, wrought iron was only used in the making of doors. Later on, wrought iron was used for stair banisters. Wrought iron is known to be a highly decorative material. Nowadays, people prefer having wrought iron balusters with wooden banister handrail. The combination of wood and wrought iron gives the stair banister a perfect look.

Staircase is something that is often neglected when it comes to styling. You need to make sure that you invest some time and money to make your staircase look beautiful. A good looking staircase will only increase the charm of your house.

Stair Banisters serve as protective measures for the people who use the stair cases. Stair Banisters are nothing but railings which are located at the side of the stair case. Banisters prevent death and injuries as they prevent a person from falling. You must be meeting stair banisters almost everyday. Stair banisters are available in many different styles. They are available in modern complex structures and at the same time they are also available in simple pipe like structures. You can choose a stair banister according to your taste and the structure of your house.

Stair Railings Styles

The stair railing at home is more than a simple way to get from a floor to another. You can create an extension of your personal likes in decoration, with ornamental parts of wood, iron and other material easy to install that will increase the value of your home at the same time. If you think that the stair railing is one of the first tings that people see when they come in, you should think as well that, for building a new staircase or just a new remodeling, ask always for the advice and good service of a qualified person who will give you some good ideas for.

When something never goes out of style is unique. Choose wood stairs.

Nowadays there is a wide variety of materials to build a stair railing. Long time ago and still today …. houses had stairs wood railings, as wood is a nice material to work with. Especially beautiful are which are made of oak wood … with wonderful red color and knocks that are unmistakable. The star of the house will be an oak wood balustrade, without any doubt. If we try to match the color of the stairs with the wood flooring it will give beauty elegance to our homes. Although it can be a difficult task due to the many stair parts that we need to have in account to choose … like balusters, handrails, treads, and ornamental trim pieces.

On a staircase the first part we notice is the railing. It has its important use, one is to provide security for going up and down the stairs, and the other is to hold up the balustrade of the staircase. These elements must be kept in mind when the staircase is going to have a railing design. Unique, are wood railings. They are charm, grace, and soft, the perfect end for your house, improving the look of it and of course increasing the value of it. They are durable and strong. Wood is the choice that never goes out of style.

Oak wood, elegance and charm to your home.

The oak wood is generally used to build the stairs traditional commercial buildings such as libraries, office buildings and houses. It gives charm and elegance to any room whit its unmistakeable smooth and warm color. If you think that metal railroads can improve and give more style to your staircase, use it. They have many decorative options and display themselves beautifully. Lots of luxury and high homes are decorated with iron railings. They display grace, elegance and a special luxury. A style that nowdays is being used in most of the modern buildings all around the world. Iron railings are used for many residential and commercial staircases. They offer as which are made of wood, safety and functionality. Iron decorates your home. They have a wide variety of design, assuring that you will find a special one for display at home. The metal stair railing fit in any environment. What you need is just the good advice and work of a qualified person.

Is not an easy task but the results will give you satisfaction.

Making stairs can be very complicated. First priority in this type of project is to make it safe and functional. After it comes style. A few things, the rise between treads, the number of treads and the total run of the steps, the horizontal distance between bottom and the top of the stairs. Following these steps will assist you in creating a successful staircase. Be creative. Your inner spirit will help you on the creation of your stairs. Lots of styles, modern, traditional or contemporary. Spirit and design to have a work of art at home.

Lose Belly Fat – Upgrade Your Walking Plan and Lose More Inches

Do you want to accelerate your weight loss results? Yes? Great. To flatten your belly and really pull your waist in then you're going to want and implement this 3-move workout. You'll need no equipment, no floor work and the best thing is you can do this in a brisk 10 minutes.

Here are the moves, implement them anytime during your walks:

-Bench Planks. Place your hand on a bench, banister or low wall, shoulder width apart. Walk feet back and balance on your toes. Your body should form a straight line from heads to the head. Bring right knee in for least 5 seconds and up to 12 seconds. Kick it back and switch legs. Now repeat the same motion, this time pull the right knee towards the left elbow crossing the body. Keep the tummy tight. Alternate a dozen times on each leg. This moves helps firm shoulders, abs, inner and outer thighs and butt.

-T-Kicks. While standing tall with arms out to your sides at shoulder level (like the letter "T"), place your feet together and make your tummy tight. Lift your right leg forward (knee straight) and form a slight rounding of the back. With a sweeping motion with your arms, bringing them in front of your chest at shoulder level. Return to starting point and repeat with other leg. Do 15 to 20 reps per side.

-Bench In-Outs. While sitting on a short wall or bench put your butt near the edge. Put your hands beside you to help with balance and lean back about 30 degrees. Pull your navel in as your lift both legs and pull them towards your chest. Extend both legs slowly until straight but with a swooping motion as if you're forming a "C" letter with your body. Make sure you keep the tummy engaged through. Do 20-25 reps.

Is Money Killing Sport?

Recent news in the UK has featured two knights of the realm. The death was announced of Sir Roger Bannister, the athlete who ran the first four-minute mile in Oxford in 1954 and was later knighted for his contributions to medicine. Bannister competed in the amateur era and was said to have derived no financial benefit from sport. On the other hand, Sir Bradley Wiggins, performed in the modern era in which all elite sport is professional and richly rewarded. He was in the news because a Parliamentary committee had found that though he had done nothing illegal, he had nevertheless acted unethically in taking prescribed medication not for treating an affliction but purely to enhance his performance in winning the Tour de France cycle race in 2012. This latest in a long series of stories of drug abuse in professional sport raises the question of whether it is still sport in the traditional sense, and whether ethical behaviour can survive in an era ruled by big business.

International cycling competition had gained a bad reputation for drug abuse when a former seven-times winner of the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, was stripped of all his achievements on the revelation of his abuses in 2012. The United States Anti-Doping Agency described him as the ringleader of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” The Sky cycling team, of which Wiggins was a member, was launched on the claim of being a champion of clean sport. It has now been revealed as acting in a way that was technically legal but unethical, behaviour that can be considered as characteristic of much of modern business.

Another interesting reflection on trends in modern sport was provided recently by FIFA’s decision to allow the use of TV monitoring facilities in soccer matches to aid referees’ decisions. Various systems are already in use in cricket and rugby, where spectators are shown replays on a large TV screen. However, replays of action will not be displayed in this way at soccer matches on the grounds that fans would not be prepared to accept marginal decisions that go against their team. This is surely a severe condemnation of a sport by its own ruling body, and shows to what depths sportsmanship and ethics have sunk in this most commercialised of sports.

The lesson from all this would seem to be that the authorities will continue to struggle for legality in sport, as in business, but that little can be done to ensure ethical behaviour, and pure sportsmanship can be expected to survive only in the amateur arena.

Land Development Values ​​- Checklist for Preliminary Due Diligence

The fact-gathering process begins with your first contact with the land parcel and continues through the time you're involved with the property. Although you'll be collecting various types of information at different stages, the primary purpose of due diligence in the context of "developing" a property is to enable you to determine if the land development would be economically feasible.

The specific information that you will need about a parcel will depend on the land development scenario you want to do, the specific property, applicable laws or ordinances, the seller and other facts unique to the situation. However, as discussed in previous articles in this Land Development Values ​​series, key issues include a rough estimate of the site yield, the improvement costs and the potential income you could realize from transforming the property. So those are the issues on which you should focus your efforts when you're starting your evaluation of land parcels.

Location: Utilities & Surrounding Area

You will need to find out if the parcel can be serviced by public utilities (especially sewer and water) because this has a direct impact on the potential yield of the site and the ultimate cost of improvements. In addition, zoning ordinances often require that public water and sewer be available in order for a parcel to be developed into certain uses or specify different densities based on public and private water and sewer. Correspondingly, you'll need to determine the locations of existing or proposed lines by reviewing mapping available at the offices of the municipality, governmental authority or private utility company. The presence of lines at or near the parcel is no guarantee that utility service is available. A moratorium on new connections could prevent the property from accessing existing lines, so you should also find out if utility permits are available and the cost of permit and tap-in fees.

Depending on your intended land development scenario, you might have to discard the parcel if it can not be serviced by public water and sewer. However, if that is not the case, then you will absolutely need to find out (with assistance from your engineer) if the soils and other geologic conditions on the property favor on-site sewage disposal systems and wells. In addition to making site yield more speculative, private utility service may add significantly to improvement costs.

To avoid the "noxious neighbor" trap (discussed in a previous article), you should investigate the properties in the area of ​​the one you're pursuing. This means checking out the current zoning and getting details of any pending subdivision, use or development applications. Use common sense to define the scope of the area you investigate. The "impact zone" can extend beyond properties within walking distance where the existing use or proposed change could have a negative effect from a distance.

Physical Characteristics

You do not have to be an engineer to collect some basic, preliminary information about the parcel's features, such as existing structures, topography, size, shape, road frontage, and whether it appears to have areas of wetlands and floodplain. Data and mapping relating to soils, wetlands, topography and floodplain are available from several sources on and off the Internet. Aerial photography can be quite useful in getting a sense of the parcel's boundaries and conditions on and off the site. If you get to the point of putting a parcel under contract, your engineer will assemble site-specific information, but your preliminary research should give you a general idea of ​​the site's natural or man-made features that may present challenges to developing it.

Restrictions

In addition to researching the zoning of the parcel, you may want to get a copy of the current deed to see if there are any title title issues, such as easements and restrictive covenants. (You would, of course, have a full title search done during the feasibilities period of your purchase contract.) When you're at the municipal office, be sure to find out if the property has undergone use, subdivision or development proceedings in the past and if so, review the municipal files and plans submitted.

Finished Product Value

After you "develop" the parcel, you'll want to be able to sell it for a profit. Your buyers may be builders who will, in turn, sell the finished product to end users. Therefore, what you can get for the parcel in part depends on the ultimate value of that finished product (ie, building lots, residential new construction packages, or office and retail facilities). Where you contemplate a residential subdivision, you should identify the current and pending residential communities in the area, the builders involved, what the home sites are selling for and the rate at which they are selling. Also critical is the revalue of existing housing in the immediate area because this in a sense sets the bar for the sale prices of the new construction on the site. For office and retail uses, research rent rates obtained for comparable non-residential properties in the area. Where applicable, find out the sale prices of individual office or retail buildings and condo units.

Monuments in Santiago De Compostela

Casa do Cabildo House – is an 18th century noble house and was built in 1758 during the period of Baroque. Its Baroque façade is seen prominently. The architect for this building was Clemente Fernández Sarela and the objective of doing this was more for ornamental purposes. The story 'Mi hermana Antonia' was written by Valle-Inclán after seeing the house.

Rajoy Palace – is an 18th century palace having Neo-classic façade. This was an old seminary for people to confess. This palace is situated opposite to the cathedral located in Plaza del Obradoiro. In 1766, the archbishop inaugurated this palace which the French architect Carlos Lemaur designed. The Neoclassic façade looks elegant and beautiful and is supported by a group of columns with 14 half moon arches. At present this is used as the city hall by the Galician government.

University of Santiago de Compostela – is an 18th century University building and has impressive rooms. It was built in the 18th century but has undergone lots of changes over a period of time with a number of additional buildings. At present Geography and History faculty and the Institute of Galician language are housed here. Some of the elegant buildings at present are – Compostelana University, the Rector-ship and the Libraries.

Mazarelos Arch – is an 11th century arch in the neo-classical period and this medieval wall entrance is the only one remaining in this city. The wine from Orense came to the city through this entrance. The arch is situated between Plaza de Mazarelos and Calle del Cardenal Payá.

San Martín Pinario Monastery – is a religious monument that is the second largest after the Cathedral. A major part of this monastery is built in Baroque style. The main façade is 100 M long and is in the Baroque style. The old church was dated 12th century where the current one is dated 17th century. The façade of the church is Plateresque and belongs to the 16th century. The architects for this building were – Melchor de Velasco, Peña y Toro and Domingo de Andrade.

Santa María la Real de Sar Collegiate Church – is a college church built in the 12th century during Romanesque period and was located in the city's outskirts. The salient features of this building are the façade tower and flying buttresses that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. As per the basilica plan there are three naves that are separated by pills.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral – is an 11th century Cathedral whose construction started in 1075 during Alfonso VI reign. People end their pilgrimage in this Cathedral and they believe that this is well worth it. There are 3 naves and a plan of Latin cross. It is a combination of various architectures – Gothic, Romanesque, Plateresque, Baroque and Neoclassical.

Soldered Pipe Joints – A Quick Guide

When it comes to joining pipes there are several options for the DIYer ranging from screw together plastic, compression and soldered joints. These options have their good and bad points and are all employed by professionals depending on particular circumstances and requirements of any one job. An option often avoided by the amateur, however, is to use soldered joints. Carried out with care and attention a soldered joint will perform well while offering strength and a neater looking – professional finish.

If you recall those metalwork lessons at school, the process of soldering and brazing joints consist of a neat fitting joint free from dirt and grease etc. The best way to clean brass pipes is to scrub the areas to be combined with a little wire wool. Do not forget to also clean the joint, as all surfaces need to be clean. Remember the word flux from your school metalwork days? Flux will help clean the joint by removing oceans from the surfaces of the pipe. Flux should be painted on the appropriate parts of the pipe and fixing. On the subject of flux, it's worth noting there are many types. Much depends upon the type of metal we are joining and the heat involved. Make sure you have flux, which is appropriate for soldering brass pipe. Some joints come ready impregnated with solder, but it's still good to check cleanliness, flux the joint and have extra solder to hand.

Before reaching the point of cleaning and fluxing it's always worth assembling as much pipe-work together as possible. In carrying out a dry fit, it'll be more evident where sections can be modified to simplify or soonen the job.

Solder melts at fairly low temperatures (approx 180 degrees C) in comparison to brass (c 750) or silver (c 650) rods. Therefore the pipe and joint should reach the correct temperature quickly. If work is being carried out in restricted areas ensure flammables are well out of the way and protective matting is used to keep heat away from things you'd rather not damage. As the soldering wire is offered up to the joint it should melt from the heat of the pipe rather than direct heat from the blowtorch. Through capillary action the solder should flow in and around the joint. With sold impregnated joints, solder should emerge to the outer edges. The best joints are done quickly and without fuss. A minute or so heating should be enough. Heavy duty joints may take a little longer but if you are applying heat for several minutes or the pipe has been glowing a dull orange for a while, the job should be done. If at this point the solder conjectures into droplets then there's a good chance the joint was not properly clean or has become dirty from prolonged heating. In these cases it's best to start again … possibly replacing the joint without it'll properly clean up.

Once you've mastered the art of soldering you'll appreciate how much more solid the joint is and how much more versatile you can get with your arrangement of pipes, especially in restrictive areas such as under sinks and baths etc.

Human Or Synthetic Hair Extension – Which is Better?

Clip in hair extensions are a great way to totally change your look for an important event, such as a dinner or photo shoot, and can be easily removed for work the next day!

I'm sure at some point you've had something come up that you absolutely have to make, and you have to look your best for. It happens, I know! And, of course, most salons may not have the availability or you may not have the time to drop in for a couple hours of hairstyling after work.

At this point you have two options, as there are only two major types extensions. You can go for human clip in hair, or synthetic clip in hair. This should not be too hard a decision, but if you do not know much about the differences it can be hard. The human type will generally look a little more natural upon close inspection, but the synthetic is much cheaper and stands up longer over time. Whichever you choose depends on your budget and needs.

Personally, I would recommend synthetic clip in hair. It looks and feels close enough to the real thing to not be noticeable unless you have short hair and they're really long- And even then, probably only to the touch.

You can find tons of different colors and textures, and with each package you get over a foot of hair. Plus, it's pretty lightweight too: 3 oz. per clip. With a little practice, you'll be able to volumize or at least totally change your look with just a few minutes. That's a pretty darn good deal.

Human clip in hair has the advantage that you can style it much like you would own, with flat or curling irons. Although you'll run through these expensive items pretty quickly if you do this often, but if you have the budget you should definitely go for it. Also, they're washable! Need a little extra volume and shine, just use shampoo as if you were doing your own hair.

Another advantage of clip in hair is that you can pick up a bunch of different colors to accent your look depending on what you're wearing. And, of course, this can be done without the hassle of paying a stylist or leaving your own home. I would highly recommend it as a solution to any woman wanting to have the 'fashionista' in her circle of friends.

Introduction to Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

What is SSL?

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a tool that is used to encrypt data that is being transmitted to and from a web server. When a user directs the browser to connect to a web server with SSL, the browser is asked by the server to confirm its identity. The confirmation is typically done by a third party vendor that utilizes cryptography.

Most current browsers are preconfigured to accept secure socket layer authentication through vendors that have been established. Verisign SSL is an example of such established corporations that provide data encryption. This technology is popular in businesses that operate on the Internet such as in e-commerce and internet banking.

Who should use SSL?

Any company that accepts personal information including address, telephone number, date of birth, and credit card information should utilize SSL technologies. The use of cryptography products such as Verisign SSL gives the customers a sense of comfort knowing that their data is safe.

E-commerce and internet bank sites should always use a strong form of secure socket layer as individuals financial information is being passed along in the Internet from the customer to the server. A good rule of thumb to use is would you care if any information you request of your customers is broadcasted for the internet to see.

Are all SSL the same?

Not all SSLs are equal. Depending upon a company's needs, there may be different secure socket layers utilized. A self-signed SSL certificate is one that the server signs without a third party vendor. These SSL certificates are essentially useless as any individual can create them. Domain valid certificates are the base line of SSL certificates that checks to ensure that the certification matches the domain and certificate owner.

The most common SSL is a fully authenticated SSL certificate. This certificate is not immediate, as it requires the third party vendor to ensure that the business, ownership of the domain, and user's authority does exist. Code signed certificates and extended validation SSL certificates are higher levels of encryption that enterprises may wish to choose.

What is required to use SSL?

To utilize a secure socket layer it is required to purchase the service from a third party vendor. This company will create a specific socket layer for your web server, and send it to you where you or your webmaster will install on the server. The only difference that the client will ever notice is the use of 'https: //' instead of the standard 'http: //'

The Secret to Beating Premature Ejaculation That Every Man Must Know Or Be Doomed to Failure in Bed

The Secret To Beating Premature Ejaculation and How To Have Sex For As Long As You Want! 

Today begins a rather long but really good segment on the many “ins and outs” (if you will pardon the pun) of premature ejaculation and mastering the art of sexuality. My first series of articles covered the arts of sexual arousal and orgasm — a very important area of study that leads to unholy sexual power over the women in your life.

The next few newsletters will talk about some of the more problematic areas both men and women face in realms of sexuality. Today’s article deals the problem of

How to control my ejaculation and be able to have intercourse for as long as you want.

Every man whether they consciously realize it or not wants to be the “ULTIMATE ” male figure in his woman’s world, and of course part of being “THE” Man is the ability to last long enough to sexually satisfy your woman.

Parallel to the desire of lasting longer during sex,  of course is the rabid need most men have to give women the best orgasms possible, a worthy endeavor, and one I highly support. As a result many guys ask me about how to stimulate a woman’s G-Spot during actual intercourse.

The Ever Elusive G-Spot, for those of you who are not familiar with the G-spot. This particular sexual hot spot was named after the man who first brought it to public attention many years ago – Ernst Graphenburg. The Graphenburg spot or “G-spot” as it is commonly known is a small area just inside the vaginal opening on the roof of the vagina. This highly enervated ( meaning densely packed with nerve endings) is a major source of erotic pleasure when stimulated properly.

The key word here is “properly.”

When it comes to the G-spot, most guys have no clue how to find the thing much less how to use it.

We can fix that

While it it definitely possible to stimulate a woman’s G-spot during intercourse; I highly recommend you use other methods of sexual stimulation first, and especially if you want to do it during penetration, i.e. intercourse.

As I have said in the past one of the reasons I love my job so much is because I actually get to sit around all day thinking about sex, researching sex and field testing… well…lots and lots of Sex!

Easily one of the most often asked questions I get is about how to conquer the problem of pre-mature ejaculation, or simply last longer with a woman.

I get this question so often that I really feel the need to discuss this issue in a public forum because many guys have a huge misconception and are often confused about what pre-mature ejaculation really is and what it is not.

Pre-mature ejaculation is an abnormally short amount of time between the insertion of the penis and actual ejaculation. Note the key word here is ‘abnormal” so before we can deal with the concept of abnormally short we first need to define what is actually normal.

You see most guys think that any time they ejaculate before their woman does that they are suffering from premature ejaculation or lack of ejaculation control…

Boy is this ever a huge misconception for a number of reasons.

In most true cases of premature-mature ejaculation as defined by the medical profession – a man may not even achieve a full erection before ejaculating. Interestingly according to the medical profession Premature Ejaculation is actually considered a form of impotence.

The plain truth is most men who claim they are suffering from premature ejaculation are usually suffering from a form of sexual hyper-arousal, or a lack of sexual arousal on the part of the woman!

Now you may be asking “What the heck does a lack of sexual arousal on the part of my woman have to do with my ability to keep from ejaculating too quickly during intercourse?

Well to be honest… just about everything.

Answer this question. Isn’t the primary reason you want to last longer in the sack so that you can get your woman to climax i.e. achieve sexual orgasm?

C’mon be honest.

Most men just do not feel like they have done their job unless they can get their woman to have an orgasm first and let’s face fact, unless you have been living under a rock, and completely missed the sexual revolution, you grew up being fed the idea that a real man can easily give any woman an orgasm and if you can’t then your simply NOT a real man…

Right?

Wow!

Talk about pressure!

But wait it gets worse…

You see most normal men are in fact incapable of lasting long enough to bring their woman to orgasm during vaginal intercourse for reasons we will discuss later.

But they don’t know that.

If you were to ask most men they would tell you that they want to have their orgasm as soon as possible. But if a man climaxes/ejaculates before he can bring his woman to orgasm then of course he hasn’t lived up to his (or her) expectations as a man.

But if what I said is true and the average man is actually incapable of lasting long enough to satisfy the average woman during vaginal intercourse (and of course these men are NOT suffering from a pathological form of premature-mature ejaculation)… what is the real problem?

A. Too much sexual arousal on the part of the man

B. Not enough sexual arousal on the part of the woman

So what is the cause of too much sexual arousal in men?

Well there are several really, but I am only going to talk about one basic type due to space constraints and it can be summed up in one basic sentence…

Most men do not get enough sex!

Men who have sex on a regular basis tend to last much longer than men who don’t.

Why?

Well you can sum it up in one word… desensitization.

You see guys who have more sex aren’t usually operating from a physical or mental state of sexual starvation.

Think about it this way, if you were starving for days or even weeks in some barren wilderness with miles to go without food and you met someone who offered you a hamburger would you daintily pluck little tiny pieces from the bun or would you more than likely gulp it down in just a few hunger crazed seconds?

I think we both know the answer… don’t we?

You would devour that food like a hyperactive vacuum cleaner sucking dust bunnies off the carpet!

Why?

Because your body has dire need something and the prospect of having that need satisfied completely takes over your mind and body causing you to wolf down that burger like there is no tomorrow …

We could call that intense overriding hunger a form of hyper-arousal.

Now suppose that same guy who just gave you the first hamburger now offered you a second hamburger … how long would it take you to eat it?

Would you still take just a few seconds to eat the food?

Probably not, you would more than likely eat this burger much slower than the first one by comparison but because you are still hungry you would still tend to eat it faster than someone who gets fed on a regular basis would you not?

Why?

Well the answer is pretty obvious you’re simply not as hungry. Your body isn’t as starved for nourishment and the overriding genetically programmed biological necessity to fill that void isn’t nearly as overpowering.

Now does that mean you aren’t hungry any more?

No.

Does it mean you will never get hungry again?

No.

It simply means that the overriding sense of urgency that makes you lose control and compels you to feed yourself to the exclusion of all else, isn’t nearly as overpowering anymore, and the more times you “eat” the less power the man with the hamburger has to control you through your hunger and the more control you have over your own mind and body.

Well a very similar process occurs with men who suffer from a lack of regular sexual contact with a woman. When the average man is presented with the opportunity to have sex with a woman the overriding sexual starvation and need for sexual contact they experience is so overpowering that our hapless, well-meaning, good- intentioned hero simply climaxes at the very first opportunity, or in many cases after an extremely short amount of sexual stimulation.

So what is a poor fella to do?

Well the obvious answer is… Have more sex!

But of course that more often then not is the biggest problem for guys isn’t it?

It’s a sort of catch 22 because the only way most guys can keep having sex on an ongoing basis is to make sure to please his woman to the point where she always wants sex with him, which of course, ideally, means giving her lots of orgasms during intercourse.

But of course when the average sexually starved man tries to use his penis to pleasure his fair lady… well… sadly…

“Pop goes the weasel!” would be a gross understatement, because invariably most men will reach sexual climax long before his woman does… Which of course leads us to the second biggest problem with perceived lack of ejaculatory control and/or premature ejaculation in men. But this isn’t really because of a physical or physiological abnormality in the man himself but rather a lack of understanding, knowledge and skill.

That’s it for today, I always welcome your questions and comments. You are cordially invited to visit my blogs by clicking on the links below.

Until Next Time!

All the Best.

David Van Arrick 

The Basics of Computer Network Security

When you first think about computer network security you might picture two security guards watching your computer. Actually computer network security is the line of defense that stops intruders from accessing your computer or network. Detection provides information when someone tries to access your systems, whether or not they were successful and understanding what they could have done. Information stored on your computers include banking details, credit card credentials and communication logs either chat or email. You can live with someone reading you personal conversations but not when they steal your bank or credit card information.

Intruders often use other computers as a way to launch attacks and disguise themselves as the intruded computer. Custom Malware is one of the largest network security problems facing the internet. Targeted attacks, designed to be used against a single target, can avoid signature detection. Since the Malware is custom designed to avoid any known signatures and has never been publicly released, a signature for it will not exist and no signature detection mechanism will find it, either in anti-virus software, intrusion detection software, or any other form. Malware can also be disguised from signature detection by using polymorphic tools that change the code constantly, creating a unique version with a unique signature each time the program is created. Polymorphic toolkits such as: ADMutate, PHATBOT, Jujuskins, TAPioN and CLET put this kind of functionality within the reach of the average skilled malware creator, if not the novice In another separate, but real-life example of stealthy malware, the Gozi trojan exists in the wild for over fifty days in the beginning of 2007, and it has been estimated that the first variant of it infected more than 5,000 hosts and place account information for over 10,000 users. Gozi's primary function was to steal credentials being sent over SSL connections before they were encrypted and add them to a database server that would dispense them on demand in exchange for payment. Had the malware author made a better choice of the packing utility used, the trojan may have gone much longer before being detected.

Intruders are discovering new vulnerabilities or loop holes every day. Developers or computer vendors often provide patches that cover up previous loop holes. A "zero-day" attack is an attack that targets a vulnerability for which there is no solution easily available. Once the vendor releases a patch, the zero-day exposure has ended. A recent example of a critical zero-day vulnerability was the Windows Animated Cursor Remote Execution Vulnerability that was patched by MS07-01719 (Microsoft Security Bulletin 925902). This was considered a critical hole because it could allow remote code of the attackers' choosing to be executed. A security research company called Determina notified Microsoft of the problem on December 20, 2006. The vulnerability was publicly announced on March 28 2007. On April 2nd, Determina released a video demonstration of Metasploit using exploit code against Vista. Microsoft then released the patch on April 3, 2007 ending at least six days of zero-day exposure. Exploit code that targeted this vulnerability was active in the wild for at least several days, if not several weeks before the patch was released Even after patch is released, many organizations take several days to get around to updating systems with the patch. Most of the time it is your job to download and install these patches. It is a good idea to check for updates at least once a day or use an enterprise tool to manage updates on your network.

How can an intruder infiltrate my system? Well intruders have numerous tools available that provide them access to your system. Tools such as:

  • Paros Proxy
  • Metasploit Framework
  • Aircrack
  • Sysinternals
  • Scapy
  • BackTrack
  • P0f
  • Google
  • WebScarab
  • WebInspect
  • Core Impact
  • IDA Pro
  • Rainbow Crack

If your organization has an Internet connection or one or two disgruntled employees (and who does not!), Your computer systems will get attacked. From the five, ten, or even one hundred daily probes against your Internet infrastructure to the malicious insider slowly creeping through your most vital information assets, attackers are targeting your systems with increasing viciousness and stealth. You need to understand attackers' tactics and strategies in detail so you can find vulnerabilities and discovering intrusions.Equipping yourself with a comprehensive incident handling plan is vital in protecting your organization against attackers.