Swingset Assembly Tips

If you’re thinking about building a swing set for your child, or buying a commercial one and assembling it yourself, there are some things to keep in mind. Swingset assembly requires a number of tools and skills. While it’s definitely not impossible for the average person to do, it’s important to ask yourself whether or not it’s worth it. If you’re the sort of person who’s already pretty handy around the house, and you have the right tools on hand, assembling your own is a great idea. If, on the other hand, the idea of putting things together makes you break out in a cold sweat, and your tool shop consists of a hammer and a screwdriver, it’s probably better to pay a pro. If you’ve decided that putting together your own swing set really is for you, here are a few tips to make things go more smoothly.

Organization is Key

Before you get started, make sure that you’ve got everything under control. This means taking a look at the plans or instructions, and making sure you have the right tools and all the swing set parts you’ll need. This prevents you from realizing, mid project, that there’s a piece missing, or something you’ll have to run to the hardware store to purchase. Stopping work in the middle of a project is annoying, plus it increases the chance that your project will be abandoned and forgotten.

Buy Quality to Start With

Plans, raw materials, or swing set kits can all be pretty expensive, and cutting corners is pretty tempting. However, that’s not the best idea. Instead of buying a bargain set of plans or kit, make sure that you have the best one you can afford. Higher quality swingset parts and better made plans are crucial to having an easy time building your own swing set. One important area not to skimp on is swing set anchors. These are the metal pieces that help keep your swing set in the ground if you’re unable to cement it in. They should be strong, and you should buy enough swing set anchors to fight against the stresses that swinging and playing will put on the structure. Otherwise, vigorous play could cause the play set to tip, and your children are at risk of injury. It’s also important to get durable, high quality chains that won’t pinch little fingers, and to make sure that all fasteners are strong and well sunk into the et, so that scrapes and abrasions aren’t a risk.

How to Mount a Rifle Scope

Hunters and sportsmen alike can benefit from a rifle scope. These are magnifying devices that you mount to the top of your gun for better shooting accuracy. If you are new to rifles and scopes here are some general instructions on how to mount a rifle scope.

Scopes

Your first step will be to choose the appropriate scope for your gun. The best rifle scopes will be ones that do not overpower your weapon. Each gun has a maximum distance they can reach and the scope should not magnify beyond that point. You can get specifications for many hunting scopes online.

Mounting Equipment

Scopes are not just slapped on a gun you need the proper mounting equipment in the form of a base plate and rings. Each base plate is specific to specific guns and the rings are specific to your base plate, scope tube diameter and front objective. Make sure you have purchased the best rifle scopes and mounting equipment.

Step by Step Instructions

1. Safety- When mounting your rifle scopes you should always put safety first. Start by ensuring the gun is on safety, keep your fingers away from the trigger and make sure the gun is not loaded. Now you can safely place your weapon in a gun vice to securely hold it while you attach the scope. If you do not have a vice, sand bags are a good alternative.

2. Remove Plug Screws- Most new rifles have plug screws in place and you will need to remove them before placing your scope plates or base. After you remove these screws, you might want to clean the area with a degreaser and then coat with a good rust inhibitor.

3. Instructions- Each scope mount will come with their own specific instructions. You should place your base plate on the rifle according to these instructions. Scope mounts are so varied there are no one size fits all instructions for their installation. For extra security you can add thread locking compound to the base screws, this will keep them from backing out over time. Before you tighten the base down according to specs, it is a good idea to use a specially designed level to ensure your mount is place correctly.

4. Rings- Next attach your front and rear scope rings, again according to manufacturer's instructions. If you are sufficient enough to have alignment bars to properly set your rings you will place the alignment bars into your rings until they almost touch in the middle. When your rings are appropriately aligned, the points on the bars will be aligned vertically and horizontally. If the alignment is not spot on you can adjust the front ring with the windage screw.

5. Tighten- Scope mount kits will come with specific torque specifications, torque each screw for the base plate.

6. Remove the ring caps, keeping them together and do not reverse their order. Place your scope in the rings with the elevation turret on top and the windage turret on the right hand side of the gun.

7. Level- With the scope in place it is a good idea to use a small specially made level. Place the level on the front site and level the gun in the vice. Next place another small level on the top turret of the scope and turn the scope until it is level as well. Your crosshairs should now be perfectly level also.

8. View- Pick your gun up out of the vice to check your field of vision through the scope. You should quickly be able to see the full field of view without moving your head much. You may need to move in or out a bit, but not much. If your field of view is not good, slide the scope back or forward until it is. Tighter your scope rings down by turning each screw slowly then moving to the next. Do not tighten one screw all the way down and then move on as this can damage your scope.

9. Sight In- You are now ready to take your gun out and sight it in on the range. Some people will have their guns professionally bore sight while others prefer to use targets and shooting.

How to Select the Best Hammer for the Job

Have you ever heard the expression that there is a right tool for every job? Well, whoever coined that term must have been talking about hammers, because there is pretty much a different hammer for each and every different job. If you take a trip to your local hardware store and simply stop and gaze at all of the different hammers available, you could look for hours and still not see each and every hammer out there. There are simply far too many hammers to choose from now a days. With luck, this guide will take you through the wonderful world of the hammer and help you learn which hammer to use, how to store it and some of the best benefits of the high tech hammers on the market today. So, feel free to check out our guide and learn about some of the most well known and useful hammers ever made – and how to get the most out of them.

Our world has gone completely high tech. For goodness sake, you will even be hard pressed these days to buy a hammer that is made from the traditional steel head and wood handle. Modern hammers are all made from high tech polymers, space age materials and feature all of these crazy design elements that are supposedly to reduce shock to the user's arm after a long day of hammering on the jobsite. But what if you do not want a fifty dollar reflex hammer that will absorb the shock of hitting a nail all day long and you instead just want a simple hammer that costs around five bucks. Well, those days are long gone, and you can now find a titanium hammer for around the same price as a metal hammer that was made from steel and wood. However, on the plus side, these high tech hammers certainly add to the hammer strength and create a more solid and stable design for long term use. You can now even purchase matching hammer storage options to help you find and locate your prized hammers no matter how dirty and messy your garage or tool shed is.

So now that you know what materials to look for when trying to find your perfect hammer, you need to learn what each of the different hammers is used for on the job. The first hammer, a chipping hammer, is not actually a hammer at all. Since its name, this product is a power tool that is designed to chip away concrete for quick and easy removal. While this used to be done with a hand tool that actually looked like a hammer, it has long been replaced by an easier to use power tool. You can purchase this as a hammer kit with the tool and all of the required extras. Secondly, we have the drywall hammer. If you are not careful, you could almost mistake this tool for a small hatchet or ax, except one of its sides is not particularly sharp. One end of the drywall hammer is shaped like a hammer for pounding nails while the other end is designed for easy drywall installation and removal. Next, there is the hammer tacker which is more like staple gun than a hammer. This used to staple down carpeting and other flooring options with ease. Finally, we have the framing hammer. This is your traditional looking hammer that is simply used to hammer nails into a board or other piece of wood. These come in all shapes and sizes and some of the more expensive models even feature anti-vibration technology to help you stay comfortable while hammering all day long.

Unique Gifts For That Special Person – Photo Mosaics

Photo mosaics have quickly gained popularity because of their unique and interesting visual appeal. So what exactly is a photo mosaic and what makes it unique? A photo mosaic is a larger photo comprised of smaller individual photos. Put another way, a photo mosaic is a photo which is divided into small squares. Each square is actually it’s own individual photo which closely resembles the color of which the actual rectangle once was. So it’s basically a montage of small photos to make one large photo!

Although it is possible to create your own photo mosaics with the help of some specialized software, it is often too hard and too much work to get it right. This is where the online photo mosaic store comes in. It is setup with professional equipment to quickly come up with the optimal design at the highest resolution, and a cost starting at under $20! Since you get to view the final mosaic before it’s actually printed, there is no risk you won’t be happy with the final design. The final mosaic photo is printed with an ultra-high resolution printer, which is almost certainly better than most home printers.

The only thing required to place an order is your digital pictures from your camera or on your computer. If you have a digital camera you almost certainly have digital pictures on your computer. If you cannot find your pictures, they are most likely in your My Pictures directory inside My Documents. You can mail them over on a CD or they can be sent over via Email almost instantly.

So what’s so special about this type of art, and why does it make such a good gift? Well the photo mosaic you end up with is YOUR photos on YOUR mosaic! What could be a more personalized gift than that? You could fit your entire photo album onto a single picture… a single pictures can hold memories of a lifetime!

How much time and effort do you normally spend looking for that unique gift that is just right for your special friend or family member, and how much would you spend? For the little effort in Emailing over some photos, and low cost involved in getting it made, you get the most personalized gift possible!

Home Painting – Why Hire a Professional Painting Contractor

So you have decided to go get your home renovated and painting is on the agenda. You may want to make it DIY project but painting the walls of your home may not be as easy as you think. It is one home makeover project that describes the attention of a professional painter. Murrieta, CA, provides several good contractors for this big job.

You may think hiring a professional could be a hassle but that's not really how it has to be. It can be a good experience if you keep a few things in mind while choosing the contractor. And there are many reasons why you should hand over your home makeover project to experts.

Time, price, security, and quality are among the few reasons to hire a painter. Murrieta, CA contractors will handle the whole project in such a manner that you will not be able to ignore the difference.

Here are a few reasons why you need to hire a contractor:

Equipment hassle

If you think you can take the task in your own hands to save the money, think about the all the equipment needed to handle the complete task. Do you have a power paint sprayer, power washer, a paint mixer, rollers, masking materials, brushes and caulking guns? Would you like to invest thousands of dollars just for one time painting project? A contractor already has all these tools and many more that give quality work.

Time

You are certainly going to take much more time and energy to complete the task compared to an expert. Do you have so much time at your disposal? And what if you have a large house?

Safety

Another important thing to consider is safety. While painting you will require climbing tall ladders, scaffolds and working far off the ground which can be pretty dangerous. Would you want to take so much risk for a one time project? Is it worth it? Why not assign the task to a trained person?

Quality

Finally quality is the name of the game. You will not like a job without a good finishing. You will miss that professional touch. Quality also means it has to be durable to be able to bear harsh weather. What has taken years for professional painters to learn can not be accomplished by you in a single day.

So the best thing to do is to select a good painter. Murrieta, CA offers professional painting contractors who will save your time, energy and money and of course you would be saved of unnecessary risk. Go get a good painting contractor today to give your house that lovely finished look. After all you invest only once in a while in such a a renovation project.

History of Crystal Chandeliers

A chandelier is a fixture fixed at the ceiling with two or more arms bearing lights. It was first used in medieval churches and abbeys in order to efficiently illuminate large rooms and halls. During those times, a chandelier typically took the form of a wooden cross that has spikes in order to secure it

From then on, chandeliers took on more elaborate forms. It was not only used for lighting purposes, it took on decorative and aesthetic functions. It was not surprising that chandeliers are found in palaces and home of the rich. Chandeliers, ever, became a symbol of wealth.

One form of chandeliers is the crystal chandelier. According to Jutta-Arnette Page, curator of the European Collection at the Corning Museum of Glass at New York, it varied and evolved through time but its height came during the development of lead glass in England in the 17th century.

The addition of lead galaxy old crystal its clarity and sparkle. The effect of lead is its ability to make glass highly refractive. The refraction of glass defines the quality of the chandelier. As was stated by Donna Wilkinson in her article written for Arts & Antiques Magazine , "tiers of flickering candle flames were reflected in the diamond like drops and pendants, every color of the rainbow was dispersed through the room." She even described the experience as reminiscent of Europe's 18th and 19th century splendor.

The problem of achieving refraction during those times was that rock crystal was rare and very expensive. In addition, cristallo , was very brittle and this poses difficulty in cutting the crystal that could make fraction possible. Attempting to find a substitute, an English glassmaker, George Ravenscroft, developed in 1676 a crystalline glass that would serve as an alternative for rock crystal. He discovered after a series of experimentation that glass becomes soft and easier to cut if lead oxide is added. The ease of cutting made the glass highly refractive and became even more transparent than rock crystal.

Lead glass wave fire and life to glass crystals, according to Jessie McNab, associate curator of decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She claims that "when it was used on chandeliers with candles, it was absolutely brilliant."

The demand for chandeliers increased. Chandeliers became luxury objects and designs soon became even more complex. Chandeliers in the 1750s were greatly influenced by Rococo. Chandeliers bore Touches of cut-glass pendants and such ornaments giving it more sparkle. In 1765, the elegant style of Robert Adam made crystal chandeliers longer. The shafts of the chandeliers used Grecian-um designs. Their arms were strung with chains of pendants and their candle sockets and drip pans became very elaborate. Bells or flowers are examples of these drip pans.

The achievement of the "English Crystal" had undergone a lot of experimentation and obstacle. However, the European continent is still waiting that it would soon be able to catch up. Such attempts can be seen in the works of J. & L. Lobmeyer in Vienna and baccarat in France who were able to achieve exceptional lead crystal chandeliers in the 1820s and 1830s. Artisans, today, have not stopped pushing themselves. Their goal to achieve perfection was certainly made chandeliers a truly one of a kind art work.

10 Things to Say in an Elevator If You Want to Ride Alone

Riding in a crowded elevator can be quite a pain. Sure, everyone needs to get where they are going, but they would also benefit health wise if they used the stairs. Then you could enjoy the airy comfort of an unoccupied lift, and they could all get slim and fit.

But how do you convince a lift-load of miscellaneous, disinterested and grumpy people to go exercise on the stairs? Well, there are ways. Here are 10 sure-fire ways to empty a lift by the next floor.

1. I was stuck in this lift for 12 hours yesterday. When the mountain rescue team got me out I was suffering from real bad dehydration. And they say this lift is a time bomb.

2. Have you seen the steel bars holding up this lift? Talk about frayed! I'm surprised this thing can even get off the ground, let alone go up all these floors!

3. Wow, that baked bean and garlic sausage stew I had just now is really rumbling around in me! I hope I can last to the top floor!

4. I'm going up to see the criminal psychiatrist. He says my killing sprees can be cured! He said there may be relapses for a month or so though …

5. Hey, there must have been a bank heist or something! The other lift is knee deep in 100 dollar bills! I just got a whole lot!

6. I hear Playboy and Playgirl are doing a live combined photoshoot on the next floor!

7. Hi there! I'm collecting funds for the preservation of bat guano association, and I do not take no for an answer! Come on people, empty those wallets.

8. Do you smell gas? I'm sure that I can smell gas. Strong too. Nobody make a spark !!

9. Do you lovely people mind if I practice my yodelling? Thanks! I've got a big audition upstairs today.

10. My brother-in-law is the lift technician here, and he says that if more than (state the present number of occupants) people get into this lift, the stupid thing goes into free fall. Luckily there's a big spring at the bottom of the lift shaft!

This should clear the elevator, apart from the poor guy at the back that you did not notice! Now all you have to hope for is that some other guy did not read this article before you!

Duncan Kelly

How Can You Look Up Reverse License Plate

There are many reasons why you would need a Reverse License Plate lookup. Sometimes when you are driving you can encounter someone who is driving drunk or they may get involved in a hit an run. It is important that a person has the ability to find out who the person who driving dangerously is. If a person wrote down their license plate number they will have a great advantage to be able to search and discover this person's identity. They can use this information to contact the proper permissions.

It is important for a person to be aware of their surroundings as possible, there are a lot of bad drivers out there and you or someone you know may one day need to know how to find them. Anyone can use the Reverse License Plate lookup, it is a great tool to keep a person safe. Remember that there are so many sources online to find a person who has a vehicle registered in their name.

A individual is in the market for a new vehicle and wants to know information about the previous owner of a car, the name, address, and past history can all be found by using a Reverse License Plate lookup. With today's technology online anyone can find out most information on a car's history, who owned it, if it has been in any accidents, etc., It is beneficial that the information is available to anyone online.

The Reverse License plate lookup is not a free service a person using this service will need to sign up for membership, but is well worth it. Not so long ago the method for finding out this information was much more difficult. A person had to hire a private investigator to request an officer to do the search which is very time consuming. This method is still available, but it cost a lot more than using the online version.

Airtight Wood Stoves Have Higher Efficiency Than Other Wood-Burners

When it comes to purchasing a wood stove for your home, there are three basic types you can choose from: box stoves, air-tight stoves, or pellet burners. There are pros and cons to each type, with people having their own personal preferences. Although box stoves do not burn as efficiently, because they are not air-tight, they are the least expensive option. Unfortunately, quality often suffers as a result of the price. Air-tight stoves are recommended for highest efficiency, but their price tags will reflect their high quality. Pellet stoves have recently come into popular use. They give out steady, even heat, but the controls that operate them will not work if the power goes out.

Since there are serious negatives when it comes to box stoves and pellet burners, you may want to concentrate on the purchase of an air-tight wood stove. These models feature a sealed firebox and a door that fits snugly. The air-intake damper is either manually or thermostatically controlled. This allows air to circulate around the firebox and controls the rate at which fuel is being consumed. Air-tight stoves burn for long periods of time without requiring owner attention. Unfortunately, since the stove burns slowly, the chimney and pipes can become heavily covered with creosote which will need to be manually cleaned away with a soot remover or a chimney brush.

You can purchase stoves which are air-tight which have many different finishes. What you need to realize is that the finish of the stove can make it more or less efficient to operate. The best coating is a flat black finish which causes the stove to yield 90 – 98% usable heat. Flat paints and enamels will radiate between 70 and 90% of their heat, while stoves with shiny surfaces will give you efficiencies of less than 60%, with light colored stoves being at the bottom of the charts. This is a fact that many homeowners are unaware of, but it will definitely affect the effectiveness of your wood stove.

An air-tight wood stove is an excellent choice for homeowners who are looking to lower their heating bills significantly. With a stove like this, you will be able to shut down the fire by closing the damper, but the hot gases will stay in the stove much longer and continue to heat the air in your home. This can be a perfect solution for overnight heating.

How To Grill Your BBQ Better And Quick

Is your grill just stored dust in a corner? If that's the case, you need to act fast to take it out and put it to work. This is the time to add grilled meat to your flavor game.

So if you've already convinced yourself that you want to grill your meat this time around, we can help you with some of the best BBQ hacks. Professional chefs have their style of doing it. But here's how even you can use some of the best grilling tricks that you might not have known. So get out of your kitchen and have the pleasure of outdoor cooking. Here are the top 10 ways to do it better.

1. Buy an organizing station
Barbecuing need several tools. The labor is a lot easier if you have all the tools and instruments needed, well organized in one place. That's why you need a station. Keep all your utensils, sauces, and uncooked items there. If your station is a roller, you're too smart.

2. Foil clean your grill
You might consider cleaning your grill to be a big task, but here's a simple trick. Have you ever used a scrub on your face? It's a similar procedure. Roll a piece of aluminum foil to make a ball. Now use this ball to scrape off all the things you do not want on the grill.

3. Pizza is better grilled than oven cooked
Grilled pizzas taste much better than oven cooked ones. The level of cooking that the grills provide can never be achieved with ovens. Add to that the delicacy that smoked pizza feeds.

4. Grill taco shells
It will not take much to grill taco shells, and the taste will be even better. So why go shopping for them? Grill your own taco shells at home for the most delicious and crisp tacos.

5. Cloves and lemons as pest repellents
Are insects and pests flying around? There's a natural DIY cure. Take some cut lemons and cloves together and keep them near your grill. That makes sure you do not invite the flies for the meal.

6. Keep clean with a well-lubed grill
Use grease to lubricate your grill before you start to cook. A lubricated grill means nothing's going to stick to it after you've finished cooking. You none loose bits of your food nor you get your grill dirty with scraps.

7. Boil before you grill
Nobody enjoys standing in the heat for an hour or more of grilling during hot days. So to cut down the cooking time of your meat, brine and boil it before you grill it. This will make your BBQ faster.

8. Two skewers to keep it from slipping
This is a critical trick on this barbecue hacks list. If ever you see your food moving on the grill, you have to do this. Put two skewers through your food to keep it stable. Now your food can not rotate, and you can easily cook it on all sides.

9. Have mason jars for a lot of things
There's a reason that these jars are a favorite of so many people. The number of things you can do with these jars is amazing. Fill them with drinks, use them as dispensers, or make them hold utensils and tools. The applications are immense.

10. Brine your fish to keep it together
Fish often falls apart after you grill it. Add a tablespoon of salt to four cups of water and make your fish swim in that for about ten minutes. Pat your fish dry and grill it. Now it will not fall apart.

11. Herb it up
If you are a fanatic, herbs can be an add-on. Herb up your barbecue for that amazing taste to your meal. Another great thing about herbs is that it's going to make your surroundings smell like heaven.

12. Give it a touch of apple juice
Another great flavor booster for your BBQ can be apple juice. Spray about 500 mL of it on your barbecue to make it a bit more yummy. The juice also keeps your meat moist and supple.

13. Smokey lemons are great for your flavor
Cut your lemons and give them a light grill. These smoked lemons will do wonders to your lemonades and juices.

How to Do a Plank: 7 Plank Exercise

Plank exercise is a safe, challenging, and effective method of core conditioning. Variations of planks are used across many fitness disciplines, including Boot Camp Regimens, Yoga, Pilates, Barre, CrossFit, and many more. The benefits of plank exercise are numerous. They not only strengthen the abs but also entire core and many other muscle groups in the upper and lower body.

BENEFITS OF PLANK EXERCISES

STRENGTHEN THE CORE AND WORK UPPER AND LOWER BODY MUSCLES.

When you perform plan exercises, you work all of the muscles that make up your core and gain all of the benefits that come with building a strong core. As if that wasn’t enough, planks also work the following muscles:

UPPER BODY

  • Trapezius.
  • Rhomboid major and minor.
  • Rotator cuff.
  • Anterior, medical and posterior delts.
  • Pectorals.
  • Triceps.
  • Biceps.

LOWER BODY

  • Quadriceps
  • Gastrocnemius (calf muscle).

PREVENT MUSCLE IMBALANCES

It’s easy to develop muscle imbalances when only performing abdominal exercises (such as sit-ups). Most people do not perform spinal and gluteal strengthening exercises to compensate for the abdominal work. Planks condition the front and back of the body simultaneously. When muscles are comparably developed on both sides of the body, the result is better posture, more spinal support, and less lower-back pain.

IMPROVE FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT

One of the best selling points for planks is their relevance when it comes to functional movement, which is essential movement to living life. Things such as squatting, bending, running, lifting, jumping, and throwing are all functional movements initiated in the core.

PROVIDE A SAFE AND EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO CRUNCHES AND SIT-UPS

While sit-ips are an important functional movement for daily life (for example, the ability to get out of bed every morning), they are not always the best core conditioning choice for everyone.

Crunches and sit-ups only work the muscles on the front side of the core, so it’s necessary to do back strengthening exercises as well. However, planks work the entire core, as well as many other muscles in the body.

Crunches and sit-ups can place pressure on the spine through the repetitive flexion and extension of the spine, and over time, this can become an issue. If you experience any discomfort with these movements, plank training can be useful substitute.

Furthermore, crunches and sit-ups are counter intuitive for those with ruptured, bulging, or slipped discs or other spinal injuries. Planks are a much safer alternative in those cases.

And finally, crunches and sit-ups can have negative effects on posture by promoting rounded shoulders. Plan exercises promote good posture.

OFFER VERSATILE EXERCISE

The best thing about planks is that there are countless variation of the exercise, ranging from traditional and side plank variations to planks using external weights or unstable surfaces. There is a plank for every body and every fitness level. If one doesn’t work for you because of injury, body type, imbalance, or a lack of requisite strength, there are many other options. Entire workouts can be programmed around the plank.

PLANK VARIATIONS

This part includes the most basic variations of the plank, which serve as the foundation for building core strength. These planks are performed only with your own bodyweight.

The best thing about the planks featured in this part is that they require no special equipment and can be performed anywhere, (at the gym, at home, or as a travel workout).

There are many variations of these four planks, ranging from intermediate to advanced, so you won’t get bored with your core training.

Ready to put these planks into practice and build the strongest core of your life as you change the shape of your body? Get ready to feel the burn with these ten workouts that link together a series of planks. The workout range from beginner to advanced and are all around five minutes in duration.

WORKOUT 1: BEGINNER

The focus of this workout is to build up the amount of time you are able to stay in a full plank. As the 15-second holds get easier, start to increase the amount of time you are in the plank over the course of 1 minute. For example, start 15-seconds in the full plank hold, with five seconds rest and repeated three times, and then increase to 25-seconds in the full plank, with 5-seconds rest and repeated once. Continue to increase the plank hold time until you are able to hold a plank for a full minute.

WORKOUT 2: INTERMEDIATE

These variations are rep-based and add movement to the plank.

VARIATION ONE:

10 knee to chest planks, five on each leg.

10 twisted knee to chest planks.

10 mountain climber planks.

Repeat this set three times.

VARIATION TWO:

10 side plank with foot taps, ten on each leg.

5 side plank hip dips, five on each side.

10 side forearm stability ball planks, ten on each side.

Repeat this set three times.

VARIATION THREE:

10 forearm plank knee taps.

10 forearm plank hip drops, five on each side.

10 plank walks, high plank to forearm plank.

Repeat this set three times.

WORKOUT 3: ADVANCED

This advanced bodyweight workout features movement and single arm/leg balancing.

8 pulsing full planks, eight on each leg.

8 side planks with knee crunches, eight on each leg.

8 table crunch twists, eight on each leg.

8 push-up side planks, four on each side.

30-second rocking forearm plank.

8 dolphin plank push-ups.

Repeat this set three times.

WORKOUT 4: STABILITY BALL

This workout requires your stability ball, get ready for a circuit-based workout that will challenge the core.

30-second stability ball forearm plank.

15-second stability ball balancing plank.

10 stability ball knee tucks.

15-second stability ball side forearm plank, 15-second on each side.

30-seocnd stability ball reserve plank.

Repeat this set three times.

WORKOUT 5: BOSU TRAINER

You’ll work with both sides of the BOSU trainer in this rep-themed workout that will have you moving and twisting.

10 BOSU plank walks.

15-second BOSU side forearm plank.

15-second on each side.

10 knee to chests from flipped BOSU full plank, five on each leg.

10 twisted knee to chest from flipped BOSU full plank, five on each leg.

Repeat this set three times.

WORKOUT 6: MEDICINE BALL

This medicine ball workout features a conbination of static and moving planks.

8 pushing leg lift medicine ball planks, eight on each leg.

30-second medicine ball plank hold.

8 medicine ball cheetah crunches, four on each leg.

8 rolling medicine ball planks, four on each side.

Repeat this set three times.

WORKOUT 7: WEIGHTS

Perform this set of short planks with weights to strengthen the core while also toning the entire body.

12 dumbbell plank rows, twelve on each arm.

12 dumbbell tricep kickbacks, twelve on each arm.

15-seconds weighted side plank, 15-seconds on each side.

12 stability ball chest progress.

12 stability ball overhead extensions.

Repeat this set three times.

You are only as strong as your core. As a personal trainer, I make core training a foundation for all my clients. You can’t get stronger or faster or better at anything without a strong core, and the planks is my go-to move because it’s so challenging and versatile. Don’t forget to share this article about Plank Exercise!

Michael Jackson & Farrah Fawcett – Estate Plan Wake Up Call

In the wake of the sad and tragic deaths of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, we are all reminded how fragile our lives can be and how quickly things can change. The death of these two iconic figures should be a call to many to put their estate plan in order. It should be noted that the reality is that most people die without wills in our country. Some really smart and famous people, Abraham Lincoln, Howard Hughes, and Pablo Picasso, die without taking the time to draft a will.

Many of us procrastinate, minimize our personal need or the legal importance of drafting wills, trusts, living wills, and durable powers of attorney. The complexities of combining and coordinating miscellaneous assets such as individual assets, jointly held assets, retirement plans, life insurance, annuities and business interests seem just too daunting for some. For others, they do not realize the importance of looking at all of their assets from an overall perspective; once, when all is said and done who ends up with what. Is the division of assets fair and equivalent to all concerned after the payment of taxes, debts and estate administration costs?

For many, Michael Jackson's untimely death has raised these and many other estate planning issues. At this point, no one knows whether he had a will and / or trust for his kids, or whether his estate plan was up to date. But by looking at its situation (and speculating a bit), some important estate planning considerations for the rest of us can be explored:

Guardianship: It is unclear what provisions Mr. Jackson had in his will (assuming there is a valid will) for his children. The early word from the media is that this will be a messy battle in the courts over the issue of guardianship of his children, even if his will declared his preference for guardian. Even if challenged, the design of guardian in a will will still be a very significant factor in any court challenge and laying out your wishes is always a prudent thing to do in any event. The object lesson is clear: Parents with young children will clearly see the need for a will that indicates their choice of guardian for their children.

Trusts: No one knows whether Mr. Jackson had set up trusts for his children. Although it appears that his estate is now insolvent, this situation will probably change with post-mortem sales of his music someday providing assets and wealth for his children (think after-death income of the Elvis Presley estate). Hopefully, he set up trusts that will protect and manage his assets. To increase the possibilities of becoming competent adults, perhaps he drafted provisions in his trust in a way that develops their sense of personal initiative and responsibility yet still provides for their basic needs. Experienced estate planning attorneys explore this type of forward looking planning when it comes to dealing with children and their anticipated needs if parents die prematurely.

Specific Bequests: The media has speculated that a very large asset of his estate (his Beatles song rights) was gifted to Paul McCartney. This generosity may be commendable, but from an estate planning perspective this bequest may raise problems. First, if his estate is in fact insolvent, this bequeathed asset would not be available to his estate to be sold and the proceeds used to pay down estate debts and / or benefit his children. Secondly, generally, bequests like these are often times given in a way that they bear no estate taxes. This could distort how the assets are divided between beneficiaries. The point here is that this request may have made sense when the will was originally drafted when Mr. Jackson was wealthy, but this request could have been quite problematic in the current situation. The lesson here is that an estate plan needs to be looked at periodically as the family needs and financial situations change over time.

Special Needs Trusts: Farrah Fawcett died leaving a son who is in jail with addiction problems. The issues for people with children with special needs is often minimized, overlooked or not fully considered. As her only child, did she leave all of her wealth to her son? Did her will provide that he was to get his inheritance at her death or did she provide for a trust for his benefit? If she established a trust, what kind of provisions and conditions did she make in providing benefits to him? These tough questions are not only for children with addiction issues, but for children with cognitive impairments, physical disabilities and emotional issues. In addition, special needs trusts may be required where children are receiving public assistance from state and local governments.

The Bottom Line: Protect your family and protect your hard earned wealth. Spend the time to plan your affairs with an experienced estate planning attorney. Remember, if you die without a will and trust, your state intestacy laws will control who will get your assets and how they get your assets. When young children are involved, courts generally place the children's inheritances in trust in accordance with what a judge deems appropriate. In addition, the judge will determine who will be the trustee of any trust that imposes on your children and they will determine who should be the guardian of your children. These and other important considerations should be determined by you and not by a court of law, so do it and do it now so you do not leave problems like the ones Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett may have left behind.

© Steven J. Fromm, 2009

Bronze Railings

If you're looking to improve the look of your home, then all you have to do is add some bronze railings to the staircase or the deck. These railings are certainly an eye opener inside or outside your home and can be used at both. Bronze is absolutely an amazing metal and has been used for many centuries for many things. Today you can see it in people's homes where it adds both beauty and value. Before you buy bronze make sure it will match the décor of your home. There are many uses for bronze metal in today's world and one of these uses is railroads.

The list for bronze uses just goes on and on. Some people have their gates made out of bronze. A garden gate done in bronze adds a regal air to your home. Some people use it for fencing, plant stands and many other things, such as your patio furniture. Bronze is a metal that last over the years and stands up well against weather and the elements.

Bronze can change your home from simplicity to elegance inside or out. Use it on your spiral staircase inside your home and see how it gives the impression of castle like feeling. Other people just use bronze on their front door while other will do as much as they can in their home with bronze and this sometimes includes their patio furniture. The beauty that it adds to your home is unbelievable until you see it.

If you have a flower garden, then surround it in bronze and let the railroads make your garden that much more special. Place it on your front door and give your home a lift by having it there. This wonderful material knows no boundaries from large gates to the small planter it can be anything you want.

Improve Your Deck With Metal Balusters

As important as it is for you to remember to pick the best railings for your deck, you may want to add some additional depth and uniqueness by adding some metal balusters. You can not build a structurally sound deck without making sure that you have installed hand rails for the safety of your family and friends. That is why it is very important that before you start building your deck, you take some time to learn what the building codes are for your location. If you already have some of your materials, make sure you check to make sure that everything is also in compliance with the manufacturer's recommendations as well. Even if you have many years of construction experience, it is always best for you to follow the manufacturer's guidelines for their products, or else you could end up voiding any warranties and putting everyone's safety at risk.

Keep in mind that when you are choosing your metal balusters, you want to envision what the final picture will be in your head. Sometimes it helps if you look at some other completed decks until you find one or a few that fit your goals.

Remember, if you are using metal balusters you need to pay special attention to the spacing requirements that are set forth in your local building codes. If you space them incorrectly, you are putting any child that comes onto your patio at risk for serious injury. There should be no more than 4 inches between your railroads and their attachments. Anything less than 4 inches is perfectly acceptable. There are several ways you can mount your metal balusters to your deck. Some come already assembled to the railroads, others come with mount kits. Even if you are not mechanically inclined, installation is often the easiest task when it comes to constructing a deck.

When you choose a particular style of railing, try to go with what is most appealing to you. If you are concerned about whether or not you and your guests will have trouble seeing the landscape; pick railroads, and attachments that offer more transparency for you to see past them. Take pictures so you can visualize how well a certain type of design will compliment you home's exterior. If you are not comfortable with adding color or are having a hard time choosing a complimentary color, you can always resort to traditional blacks, whites or some other neutral colors. Experiment and see what kind of interesting and unique combinations you can come up with. You do not have to match your railroads and balusters with each other. Sometimes mixing and matching colors can create very impressive combinations that work well with the vision you are trying to create.

Keep in mind that depending on the type of railroads and metal balusters you choose, you may need to do some maintenance on them a few times throughout the year to help keep them clean and in good condition.

Interior Railings For Stairs

Around the world there are more than 10 billion homes. In the western hemisphere alone it's estimated that there are over 5 billion homes with stairs.

In the home accidents happen all the time and stairs are no exception. In the United Kingdom 1000 people die each year from stair falls. It is a shocking statistic that something that we all take for granted could actually responsible for killing 1000 people a year.

Staircases inside homes come in many different lengths, widths, and configurations. Some have split landings plus they have curved shaped stairs. Normally stairs have hand rails they are either elegant balustrades or functional in appearance.

With these statistics and the type of stairs in the home what we can do to make our stairs safer to use.

All stair cases must have a rail or balustrade fitted to them this is an essential safety feature. By installing extra or new interior railings you can greatly reduce the risk of an accident.

The first thing to think about is where the rail will be. An assessment is the best way to do this. Talk to the people who regularly use the stairs. Find out what problems they come up against when negotiating the stairs. By doing this you can find out the most unsafe areas.

The installation is by anyone with basic DIY skills. The rails purchased from any good store. Rails come with the fixings necessary to attach them to the wall. The tools you will need will be a drill for wood or masonry a screw driver, spirit level and measure. Start by measuring from the base of the stairs to the waist of the stairs user. Mark this on the wall so the user will be able to use the rail easily.

The key things to make sure you do when fixing rails is to make sure the fixings secured to the wall securely. The last thing you want is a safety handrail coming from the wall because it was not fixed properly. Fixings come in different types depending on what type of material there on.

Before installing the rail you need to find out the wall material. The best way to do this is to take a look at what's been installed in the house already and the type of fixes used. Whatever type of fixing you choose it's very important to make sure you use the correct length of fixing. This is critical for any installations success.