Solar How-To – Steps For Installing Solar Panels on an RV

Thousands of recreational vehicle owners have joined the movement toward a greener earth. Thanks to solar how-to technology, RV owners have more options when it comes to travel. More of them than ever are harnessing the energy of the sun instead of relying on non-renewable energy sources. Using solar energy to power a camper or fifth-wheel is both environmentally friendly and cost-efficient.

RV solar kits make converting to solar power convenient and economical. Do-it-yourselfers with advanced handyman skills can save even more money installing their own solar panels. It’s important to note that installing solar panels may not be a job for a novice. Incorrect installation could lead to poor performance or damage to the vehicle. Self-installation may sometimes nullify a warranty. Be sure to clarify this before beginning.

The first thing the advanced do-it-yourselfer should do is assess his power needs. This can be considered a “pre-step” in the installation process. Determining power needs will reveal how many solar panels are needed to deliver the correct amount of energy. Those panels must actually be able to fit on top of the vehicle and still meet those needs.

The panels will need to be installed in a place that doesn’t disrupt the function of the vehicle’s roof components. It helps to find a place where wiring can be run easily, such as close to a vent. Solar panels must be approximately six to eight inches from the edges of the roof.

1) Start by disconnecting all power sources in the vehicle. This includes the battery.

2) Cover the solar panels. Simply leave the wrapper on if the panels come wrapped in paper or cardboard. Otherwise, cover them with something non-transparent. The panels will begin to generate a charge prematurely if not covered.

3) Prepare the installation location by marking the perimeters of the panels on the roof. A laser sight can help ensure that the panels line up.

4) Drill holes where needed for the mounting hardware. Make sure to locate and avoid any interior wiring before drilling.

5) Insert the mounting hardware into the holes and secure. Fill extra space around holes with sealant if needed.

6) Place the solar panels into the mounting hardware. Secure or tighten according the directions on the packaging. Different types of panels have different hardware so follow instructions carefully to avoid damage.

7) Install the regulator in the interior of the vehicle. It’s usually best to mount it within a wall.

8) Guide wiring from the panel(s) on the roof to the regulator inside the vehicle and connect. Follow instructions carefully to avoid injury and ensure optimal performance.

9) Connect wires from the regulator to the battery. Again, follow instructions carefully. Polarity must be correct.

10) Reconnect the battery.

11) Uncover the solar panels. Power should begin generating right away if the sun is shining even partially.

The guiding principles behind all types of solar kits are the same. The variations are found in the mounting hardware. Do-it-yourselfers should have a thorough understanding of how the hardware works before beginning. Proper installation is critical to the performance of the system. Human error may result in damage to the system itself or injury to people. Improperly secured panels may loosen during travel or break away altogether, leading to an accident.

Solar kits can be expanded as needs change as long as there is space atop the roof to install another panel. Simply add another when power demands increase. RV solar kits typically cost between one and five thousand dollars. This may sound like a great deal of money at first. However, frequent travelers almost always find that the kit pays for itself within several months to a few years.

Besides saving money, solar-powered RV travel is not reliant upon finding places to camp that have electrical outlet access. Even remote camping becomes a viable possibility for those with the desire for an extreme experience. Solar how-to technology opens up a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to enjoying the environment. It also helps to ensure that the environment is there for long-term appreciation.

Old Hammer Horror Film On YouTube

For the past few weeks I've found myself watching old movies on YouTube. I've been enjoying old horror flicks to be precise. I know. It's a wild life that I've been living!

However, I can honestly say what an unexpected treat its been to stumble across old Hammer horror productions. Has anyone else discovered these little gems? I was watching one the other day. It was called The Revenge of Frankenstein with the late, great Peter Cushing. Its a brilliant movie. I've forgotten how well-written the characters were in some of the old Hammer horror flicks. Not to forget how wonderful Peter Cushing was as an actor. Christopher Lee for that matter too.

The plots in these movies are told at just the right pace. The action is character driven and builds slowly throughout the film. If there is any blood and guts to be spilled it tends to happen in a flash. The camera rarely lingers. Its left to the viewer to imagine the true horror. Good examples of this would be 'The Mummy,' with Boris Karloff and 'In the shadow of the cat.' This film in particular is a very rare old Hammer horror production. I've watched dozens of these old Hammer horror films recently they all tend to follow this proven formula.

I understand that Hammer are making a comeback as a film production company. I hope they stay true to their roots and stick to great plots and steer away from CGI. Blood and guts have their place in horror of course, but never at the expense of a well-crafted, intelligent and character driven story. I hope we'll discover a new breed of English horror icons too. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were friends off-screen and shared a great chemistry on-screen. Its probably too much to expect we'll ever see a pair like them again but one can always hope.

I'll be taking a trip to my local cinema to watch the new Hammer offers very soon. I believe The Lady in Black is going to be one of its first productions. I've seen the theater production several times now. I'll keep an open mind and hope to be surprised. I understand Daniel Radcliffe will be playing the lead. Another Cushing in the making? We'll see. Radcliffe is a fine young actor but not on a par with Cushing just yet. I'd like to see a number of classic Hammer films remade. I think The Wolfman would be my favorite.

MOSAIC Method – Online Threat Assessment Tool For Domestic Violence Victims

When I was a police officer, I found an effective tool to combat domestic violence. The threat assessment is used by virtually every governmental entity from The US Marshals to court justices. It was made by Gavin De Becker, security expert and author of The Gift of Fear . De Becker, who says that violent crimes against women are often predictable, preventable, and committed by someone the victim knows, has developed a new threat assessment tool called MOSAIC. MOSAIC helps to determine the level of danger an abused woman has of being killed by her intimate partner. It is free and available to the public. Using the Danger Assessment requires the weighted scoring and interpretation that is provided after completing the training. The Danger Assessment is available in a variety of languages.

The danger assessment is a free, online assessment that, according to the website, works by "breaking a situation down factor-by-factor, like pieces of a puzzle, and then seeing what picture emerges when you put them together. MOSAIC helps the assessor weigh the present situation in light of expert opinion and research, and instantly compare the present situation to past cases where the situations are known. "

There are several types of situations that MOSAIC can assess: Domestic Violence (by a male or female), Workplace Violence, Threat by a Student, Threats to Public Figures, or Threats to Judicial Figures. The Domestic Violence assessment is the only one that is available to the general public; the other assessments have restricted access.

MOSAIC's Domestic Violence assessment is easy to use. You simply log on the site and answer 48 questions, which takes about 30 minutes. Based on the answers, MOSAIC assesses the likelihood that violence will escalate and rates that threat on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the greatest potential for violence. The site is highly secure, with many prompts that suggest ways to keep your information safe and private.

If you or someone you know is in any kind of abusive situation, I highly recommend using this tool to assess the potential for violence. Too many people fall victim to relationship violence because they deny or do not understand the potential for serious harm. MOSAIC can help paint the bigger picture, and that may provide the wake-up call that saves your life or the life of someone you love.

If you or a loved one need help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline ( on ​​the web or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

An Artist's Guide. Analysis of Sir Joshua Reynolds Third Discourse

Sir Joshua Reynolds presented his third of fifteen discourses to the Royal Academy of Art on December the 14th 1770. He opens with a brief synopsis of his previous two lectures by saying that foremost an aspiring painter must master the rudiments of his or her art by learning to draw, compose and color his work. Upon this basis the student is then advised to thoroughly study the, 'work of those who have stood the test of ages,' sometimes the Old Masters of antiquity and in addition the forms of nature. Sir Joshua now explains that the latter study of nature must not become an end in itself, because it would risk producing an art which is unimaginative and mechanical. In Reynolds 'teaching, Nature, can be malformed and subject to' error, therefore he instructs his students to learn how to improve upon nature itself.

How can one achieve this? What follows is a thematic topic and one which it must be remembered is directed at the student of art during the 18th century, and as such the close study of visual objects is expected, much as a scientist would approach his or her study of the world today. Sir Joshua teachings that it is possible to internalize in one's mind the 'ideal' of beauty. This ideal is what enables 'all the arts to receive their perfection, superior to what is to be found in individual nature.' Speaking further on this point Sir Joshua contrasts the limited painters of his day with the favorite artist of antiquity, Phidias, he adds;

"Who takes such forms as Nature produces and confines himself to an exact imitation of them will never attain what is perfectly beautiful, for the works of nature are full of disproportation and fall very short of the true standard of beauty."

The French express the 'ideal' of beauty as the 'beau ideal' where the Italians call it 'gusto grande.' Speaking to his students at the Royal Academy and by extension to the reader some two hundred and forty seven years later, Reynolds empathises with intermediate level painters. He understood 'that divine inspiration' which is so outstanding in the great works of antiquity is very difficult to acquire. For those painters who believe that attaining to such heights is beyond their ability and desire to be taught by any authority Sir Joshua wryly comments, "could we teach taste or genius by rules they would no longer be taste and genius." However he offers solace to his audience with some practical instruction.

In order to transcend the defects of Nature and reach the 'ideal' beauty, which is the province of true genius, he teaches that "one must discover what is deformed in Nature" and then repeatedly compare all objects that display blemishes with those that are considered to be beautiful. In this manner a painter is not beholden to copying nature but following long years of scrutinizing the differences between beautiful and ugly forms, an artist learners to internalize the archetype in common with all beautiful forms. Using this archetype, the artist will be able to portray beautiful forms from imagination and correct ugly forms in nature; a process in some ways similar to how a plastic surgeon can alter the disproportionality of a face to appear more pleasing to the eye. As Sir Joshua puts it;

"It is not every eye that perceives blemishes. It must be an eye long used to the contemplation and comparison of, (beautiful and ugly, forms; and which by a long habit of observing what any set of objects of the same kind have in common, has acquired the power of discerning what each desires in particular … By this means he acquires a just idea of ​​beautiful forms, he corrects nature, her imperfect state by her more perfect. "

As the previous two discourses explain, a painter has by now developed all of the skills and techniques which enable him or her to copy nature, the artist has also thoroughly absorbed the works of the Old Masters and the secrets of composition contained within them. Now the painter is beholden to no authority and seeks his own way to portray the world, his own vision of it.

Caravaggio, Titian or Rembrandt could paint the same theme and feature the same objects, though produce very different works. It is by virtue of their individual vision that they spontaneously create a world resembling our own, but at the same time variously individual. To pick up a pencil or brush and manifest something perfectly beautiful and harmonious, a face, a hand, a group of figures in a landscape, this is the genius that Sir Joshua is trying to help the aspiring student to appreciate and to develop. Not mere slavish copying of the world around them. Sir Joshua adds;

"This idea of ​​the perfect state of nature, which the artist calls the ideal beauty, is the great leading principle by which works of genius are connected … and which seems to have a right to the epithet of divine as it seems to preside … over all the productions of nature. "

If it is a fact and not merely classroom speculation that artists can develop an ability to manifest the 'ideal' beauty, then where is the best evidence of it to be found in Art? To this question Sir Joshua reiterates the works of the ancient sculptors who "being indefatigable" in the school of nature, have left models of that perfect form behind them. "The display of perfect beauty within the sculpture of antiquity is repeatable, as has have been shown in the countless of their works. Therefore this must result from some sort of principle, otherwise such beauty would not be possible to repeat. What principle could this be, Reynolds requests, but from the despite comparison between beautiful and ugly forms? such perfect or 'ideal' beauty is something that Sir Joshua believed is not inborn but is acquainted only from the study of nature; "if felicity is mean anything of chance or something born with a man and not earned, I can not agree." Is this certainly true? Perhaps a more moderate outlook would be to say that some people are born with a greater aptitude for grasping the 'ideal' beauty and that there is such people would require less study of nature to int ernalise the archetype.

Moving on, Sir Joshua has demonstrated that to reach the archetype of beauty one must contrast many beautiful and ugly forms, but he now shows that a further impediment to reaching this archetype is ones own upbringing in society and the fashions of ones day, which can so condition our way of looking at the world that we can no longer see nature purely but mixed with human tastes andventions. Reynolds contradicts the simplicity of nature, which is devoid of contrivance and is to be emulated, with forms adulterated by the fashions of a particular time period, which are to be avoided. He advises the aspiring painter to;

"Disregard all local and temporary ornaments and look only on those general habits which are everywhere and always the same … The prejudices in favor of the fashions and customs that we have been using to and which are justly called second nature, make it too often difficult to distinguish that which is natural from that which is the result of education. "

How then is a painter to separate from the fashions of the day? Sir Joshua explains that it is again by studying the 'Ancents,' because their work is true to the "real simplicity of nature." Simplicity points toward the 'ideal' beauty and together these two measure the mark of a great painter. Sir Joshua explains; "Beauty and simplicity have so great a share in the composition of a great style, that he who has acquainted them has little else to learn." As he approaches the conclusion of his third discourse, Reynolds explains that a painter of greatness is not concerned with merely deceiving the eye by the preciseness of a depiction but is more interested with the grandeur of his or her subject, with its meaning and the power that such a work possesses to move the viewer deeply, in this way ranking art as a sister of poetry.

Having said that, Sir Joshua finishes by advising his students to remember the lessons of the previous two discourses and not to disdain the ability to draw and represent the world realistically, otherwise an artist would risk risk sloppy and therefore become unable to justly represent the beau ideal in a simple way. In conclusion the third discourse advises students of art to not be slaves to what they perceive, but through the study of antiquity and analysis of the distinguishing features which separate beautiful and ugly forms, to internalize beauty's archetype and render it at will due due to maintain simplicity and technical prowess.

Famous Chandeliers From Around The World

Elvis was so moved to bring a chandelier into his Graceland estate that he insisted on an impromptu late-night shopping spree at Memphis' Belvedere Lighting in 1974. While Elvis may have left the building, the breathtaking Italian cut glass chandelier now resides in the dining room.

The impressive wrought iron chandelier that hangs above the Grand Staircase in the Vanderbilt family's great Biltmore Estate requires 72 light bulbs.

The Winchester Mystery House in California, built by gun heiress Sarah Winchester to appease ghosts, contains an elegant, imported chandelier that originally contained 12 candles, but was refitted to hold the spirit-friendly number of 13.

The Blue Room, the White House's reception room, boasts a chandelier 79 feet by 36 feet, with 19-foot 10-inch ceilings. It takes one person two days days to clean the monstrous chandelier, but as big as it is, the lighting fixture must also be removed every year to accommodate an even larger Christmas tree.

Outside of private residences, however, one must either go to church or gamble at the card tables to find the largest chandelier. While the title for largest chandelier is not a clear winner, four of the world's top casinos and a Spanish mosque are currently vie for the bragging rights. However, reports say a British shopping center under reconstruction will feature the largest chandelier after remodeling is completed by the beginning of 2007.

Pat Fillman, the owner of Horns a Plenty, made the world's largest antler chandelier. He displayed the chandelier in early 2005 wowing all that saw it. The chandelier is 10 feet in diameter, 12 feet tall, and is fixed with sixty-seven light sources. With a final weight of over 850 pounds, he estimates that it took the antlers of near 600 dear and elk to make the chandelier.

Perhaps the most famous chandelier of all belongs, not in a house, a casino or a church, but in the theater. Andrew Lloyd Webber's well-known chandelier crash scene from Phantom of the Opera strikes desperation in the hearts of lighting buffs everywhere.

REVEALED! Techniques to Blow Her Mind in Bed

Let's face it; some men are hung like horses and some like miniature poodles with some as thick as a summer sausage and others as thin as a hot dog with my point being that we all got what we got. We've all heard the cliches that 'it's not the size but the quality' or 'it's not the size but how you use it' or even 'the potion is in the motion' and when it comes to satisficing your lady in bed the techniques in the cliches are the ones to take note of if you want to blow her mind and keep her in a state of ecstasy.

I am going to give you three basic techniques that are "any size penis" techniques to blow her mind.

Before we move to the meat of the subject I do want to add a thought of conscious, foreplay!

You want your lady squirming for the main course not just putting it out in front of her and hiring she likes it. Women do not arouse like us so we have to put a little work in front of the pleasure. You know what to do; you just sometimes forget to do it so keep the foreplay thing in mind.

The Techniques:

The techniques are basic and easily positioned which makes them smooth maneuvers. Forget all those contortionist positions that have her tied up in some awkward knot because she'll be so uncomfortable she will not feel the pleasure.

1. The Missionary Position

This should be called the missionary plus pillow technique because a pillow will make all the difference in her pleasure. With her obviously on her back, raise her hips and buttocks up onto a pillow. This aligns your penis with her vagina but also your pelvic pad with her clitoris. The "G" spot is within two inches of the vaginal opening so you are as well aligned to massage the "G" spot and clitoris with every motion and blow her mind.

2. Women Top Mount Position

There is little to say here because she's in control and knows just how to move to get what she wants as fast or as slow as she wants it. Of course there are some very erogenous zones with in your reach that will blow her mind in pleasurable ecstasy.

3. Leg Lift Position

This position gives your full groping rights because you come from behind with her on side and lift her leg. Now you're positioned to touch on her clitoris and breasts.

By coming from behind, you lift her leg and thrust deep. This way you can fully satisfy your woman because you can touch her breasts and her clitoris all at the same time. Rock her senses!

The Overlooked Importance of Elevator Surface Protection

During any construction process, numerous surfaces are keyed up and protected so as to keep them clean and damage free. Builders and remodelers often spend thousands of dollars on surface protection to ensure that their client's hardwood floors, windows, cabinetry, and a number of other finishes remain protected from damage. Whilst expensive floors and cabinetry receive the majority of surface protection, extremely costly elevators are often left unprotected and are subjectally damaged. This can incur staggering costs.

Replacing or repairing surface damage to elevators is a burdensome and costly endeavor. At best, the process to fix minor scratches, dings, and dents relies upon hours of polishing, sanding, de-lacquering, and repainting. And while standard stainless steel may only require straight sanding to repair, common non-metal elevator finishes such as glass, woven wire, leather, and custom-made decorative metals often require the work of a professional or whole replacement. For custom-made elevator panels, simple sanding will not work and you're forced to contact an elevator industry professional for examination; as fundamentally altering elevator panels may compromise an elevator's fire rating. With painted doors, it is often difficult to color match, as original paint for older elevator doors may no longer be available.

With the long list of issues presented above, it becomes clear that the best solution regarding damaged surfaces is prevention. Elevators are easily damaged during construction projects, and during normal use such as tenants moving. Unfortunately, there are only several options currently available that provide elevator protection. Numerous companies sell bespoke padding for elevators, albeit at a fundamental cost of up to $ 3000 each. These pads are used on the interiors of the elevators but they do not protect the vulnerable elevator jambs. Custom elevator protection units made from plastic panels with extra padded protection can be purchased specific to a particular elevator and jamb and are priced from $ 1500-2500 each. These can be customized with a particular colored exterior to match the walls if desired. Until very recently an affordable surface protection for elevators did not exist. A new product to the market is QuikPad, a simple reinforced and wrapped plastic protection that can easily protect both the interior and elevator jambs. The QuikPad can be assembled and installed within minutes using Velcro® attachments.

Surface Protection for elevators has until recently, been a reliably small and sparsely populated industry. Major cities are moving upwards, not outwards, and as a result more people than ever rely on elevators. It is estimated that over 18 billion passengers will travel on elevators in the United States in the coming year. Both multi-family and commercial office construction are experiencing the highest start rates in the construction industry, both of which frequently necessitate elevators. Simply put, the elevator industry is booming. It's growing at a rate far exceeding the rest of the economy. As increasing awareness, demand, and more protection solutions are created, what was once a niche market is set to become an incredibly lucrative industry.

Paper Plate Turtle Craft

Children love turtles. This turtle paper plate craft is a fun, easy preschool craft project. To make this craft, you will need:

Two paper plates
Brown construction paper
Green craft paint
Google eyes
Dried beans (optional)
Felt tip pen

Your child will need two paper plates to make one turtle. Have your child use the green paint to paint the bottom side of both paper plates. Allow to dry.

Next cut out the arms, legs, etc. Using the scissors and brown construction paper, cut out four small rectangles for legs, a small triangle for the tail, and a circle for the head. You can outline them first with a pen if you wish, but it is not necessary. I just cut mine out freehand.

Glue the edges of the arms, legs, tail, and head to the top edge of one of the paper plates.

If you wish you can put some dried beans onto the plate so that when you glue the plates together the turtle will rattle when your child shakes it. This step is optional.

Next glue the second plate to the first plate. The tops of the plates should be glued together so that the painted sides are facing out. The arms, legs, tail, and head should be sticking out between the two plates.

Help your child glue the Google eyes on to the head. Let your child use the felt tip pen to draw on a nose and mouth and to decorate the "shell" of the turtle, if they wish.

Wood Burning Cook Stoves, Really?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live back in the days where people used wood burning cooks stove on a daily basis? It was a simpler time back then and people did not have many options for cooking meals or heating their homes. These days, as we become more aware of our carbon footprint and cost of living, maybe it's time to take another look at the old fashioned wood burning cooks stoves that our grandparents or great-grandsparents may have used. The first thing about wood cook stoves is that they both cook and heat the home, which is a great use of natural resources.

Wood is amongst the cheapest of fuels, especially if you have the ability to cut your own wood. In this case, your only cost would be whatever permit is required by your local government, usually a nominal fee. Even if you buy your wood from a local supplier you can usually get a price that is better than home heating oil, or natural gas, and certainly cheaper than electric heat. Wood burning cook stoves have the added benefit of using a renewable resource, wood. If sourced locally, wood is a very green fuel. There is a reason that you see those cords of wood stacked up outside many a house these days. It just make good financial and environmental sense.

If you need more convincing considering the fact that many companies are still producing wood burning cook stoves. These are often replicas of vintage stoves with efficiency improvements and other modern improvements. That being said, cooking on one of these stoves takes some practice and skill, so it is not for everyone. It is really a lifestyle choice to embrace a wood burning cook stove, one that can be very satisfying. You will not be alone, however, there are many people out there doing the very same thing and they are willing to share their knowledge with you. So, if you think this might be for you, surf around the web and see what people are talking about, from cooking tips to maintenance ideas.

As with any new endeavor, however, the best knowledge is that you gain yourself, from your own trial and error. Who knows, you might become the leading expert on wood burning cooks stoves and people will be reading your blog posts for great ideas.

While new stoves can run around $ 1,500, you can probably find a great deal on a used or antique wood burning stove on craigslist of at local flea markets or yard sales. Make sure you take the time to have the stove properly installed in compliance with any health and safety regulations. Then you will be on your way to saving yourself some money, getting some great exercise cutting wood, and helping the environment all at the same time. Good luck!

A Brief History of Coffee Grinders

Coffee beans were discovered around 900 A.D. and were first used as a beverage in Yeman. It is also where the coffee beans were first ground. Before we talk about the grinding, we need to step back and look at how coffee cherries were first turned into coffee beans. Coffee cherries were first picked from coffee bushes or trees depending on how well they grew. These Arabica coffee cherries were picked when the cherries were a bright color. They were then put in the fire and roasted until the cherries burst open. This process produced two roasted coffee beans from each coffee cherry.

Now, lets talk about how they were ground. People in the Middle East were already grinding grains and spices. They were grinding them by simply pounding between two rocks or using a pestle and mortar. The pestle and mortar were made mainly from stone and wood because they had resistance to absorbing the chemicals that left flavors and scents of various foods. Coffee beans, although much tougher, were also ground by this method. However, even though they were boiled first because they were tougher than grains and spices, they were not ground very fine. The coarsely ground beans were put in a special copper or brass coffee maker called an Ibrik. An Ibrik is somewhat round on the bottom half and then had a straight body the rest of the way up. There was a long fairly wide spout at the top and a metal strap handle in the shape of a large C connected to the pot. Drinkers strained the coffee through their teeth to get the full flavor of the coffee. Today, some still grind the coffee beans with a pestle and mortar. To get the consistency of a drip grind, it takes up to ten hours of grinding with a stone pestle and mortar by hand.

As the coffee beans were exported by traders to different parts of the world, coffee grinders were created using some other kind of apparatus. When coffee reached Europe, spice grinders that were already being used were the first step towards the mechanical coffee grinder. It is believed that the first bean grinder was produced as early as the 14th century in Europe. The first known coffee grinder was mass produced in the early 1800’s in France, but the inventor remains unknown.

By the mid-1800s, various coffee grinders were seen in almost every home in Europe and America. Most of the coffee grinders had a grinding handle on the top of a box that was set inside a bowl shaped holder of roasted coffee beans. The bottom of the box had a drawer that held the coffee beans after being ground. Some grinders were elaborately made and decorated. Today’s household coffee grinders are mainly electric and use ceramic burrs or stainless steel blades to grind coffee. Commercial use grinders however use only ceramic burrs.

How to Use a Grilling Plank

A grilling plank is a piece of wood used to grill food on. They are most commonly used for fish, but some meats can be cooked on them as well.

Grilling planks are made from a variety of woods, and unique unique aromas and flavors to the food. A number of different woods are used to make grilling planks. The most common is cedar, but you can use alder, oak, apple, cherry, hickory, and many others.

You can find grilling planks at grilling and cooking specialty shops, or you can make your own. When making your own, be sure the wood you purchase is untreated. Some wood at the lumber store are treated with chemicals that would have unsafe to cook on. Cut the lumber to be 1 / 2-1 "thick and 12 x 8" wide.

Using Grilling Planks

Soak the grilling plank in water. Place something heavy on the planks to hold them under the water. The planks are soaked so they will not catch fire when on the grill. We only want the plank to smolder, not to burn. The smoldering creates the smoke that adds the aromas and flavors to the food.

– Softwoods such as cedar need to be soaked around 2-4 hours.
– Hardwoods such as maple and oak need to be soaked up to 24 hours.

For an even more unique flavor and aroma, try soaking the planks in wines, juices, or beer.

Heat the Plank

Place the plank on the grill over direct heat. Toast both sides of the grilling plank if it is the first use of that plank. Between 5-10 minutes of toasting should be sufficient. You will hear the plank start to crackle.

Place the Food on the Plank

Lightly brush the plank with a bit of olive or canola oil, this will help prevent any sticking. Place the food on the grilling plank and close the lid. The grill will start smoking. Keep a spray bottle of water close by to spray the plank if it should catch fire. You want the plank to smolder, not to catch fire.

There is no need to flip the food that is on the grilling plank because it is cooking indirectly.

Removing the Food

Remove the food and the plank together and set on a heat resistant surface. You can serve the food straight off the plank for a nice visual appeal or remove and place on plates.

Planks can be Reused

You can use grilling planks several times. Once they start cracking or are too charred they need to be replaced. Clean your grilling planks with warm, soapy water after each use and thoroughly dry them.

Grilling planks are a wonderful way to add the smoky flavors and aromas to your food. You can grill a variety of items on grilling planks from your popular fish to meats and poultry. There are so many different types of wood to experiment with, and with the ease of use, you'll want to try them all.

When Is The Low Card Diet Plan Appropriate For Weight Loss Meal Plans?

In the aftermath of having a lengthy discussion, our editing staff can not figure out the fascination about supposedly ” crash diets that work”? Why is it that consumers want to escape from working hard and implementing diets that work? Seriously, why is it when summer comes around or when someone needs to look good for an event that is around the corner, a lot of people want to resort to crash diets that work! If you stay disciplined and stay consistent, you should probably not be under the pressure of not eating food for three days. Never the less, majority of us have heard of the low carb diet plan. Products such as protein are now being created for the low carb diet plan. Let’s take a look at the meal plan and see the effects of it.

Carbohydrates- Let’s Dig In To The Truth

Let’s break down the main objective of carbohydrates. The greater part of carbohydrates that we eat comes with glucose. The use of glucose is to supply our body with energy. With that statement alone, you never want to NOT eat carbs. Having said that, the key to learning the low carb diet plan is recognizing where you need to get your carbs from. If your generating your carbs from candy, soda pop, french fries, chocolate, cereal, and pastries, then I imagine it is very clear that these foods will have a severe impact on your weight loss. Many of these foods are high on the glycemic index. Sure, they will give you a spike in energy, but you will surely add to your weight gain. I’m pretty sure that these foods are not recommended for crash diets that work.

Foods that you want to get your carbs from are the following: One cup of Hummus, One cup of Oatmeal, Twelve Crackers, One Bran Muffin (2.5oz), One cup of Baked Beans, One cup of Wheat Berries, One cup of Wild Rice, or One cup of Black Beans. Each serving of food listed in the previous sentence equal 200 calories. Primarily speaking, you only need one serving of carbs per day. Also, some fruits and vegetables contain a nice serving of carbs and we are sure that you understand that fruits and vegetables are key to any diet viewed as to be healthy. This is immensely important for diets that work for weight loss. Even so, different individuals need different levels of carbs based on their lifestyle and level of activity with their fitness routines.

So, the consensus on the low carb diet plan is that it should be applied based on your goals. If your on the lookout for crash diets that work, this should be on your list. However, it should not be recommended for a professional athlete. The key to this diet is making sure that you are acquiring your carbs from the correct place. Supplements work as well. A lot of protein shakes will carry carbs that are in a desirable amount. Make sure you stay tune for new crash diets that work!

Why Handrail Brackets Are Essential

When using rails of various type from the hand, foot and stair rails, brackets are a must. These brackets function as support to the tubing so it will not fall and could serve its purpose well.

Handrails can be used in different places such as the stairs, bathrooms notably at the tub area and at home as well as commercial bars. These fixtures are meant to provide comfort and support to people who may need something to hold on to in order to keep their balance while standing, ascending or descending a staircase.

To keep it sturdy, this wall fixture makes use of screws. This is to enable them to handle the weight of people as they hold on to it for support. It will not serve its purpose unless it is attached to the wall through the wall studs if possible.

Ideally, a handrail should be strong enough to support 250 pounds of weight. Did you know that every year, about one in three older adults fall mostly in their homes? For older folks, a fall can have an adverse effect on their mobility or worse, can cause their death.

It used to be that handrail brackets were just the plain type. Today, though, apart from the traditional types, there are a wide range of decorative ones to choose from that suit every personal style. Materials have also advanced and now near wood, there's the stainless, aluminum, wrought iron and brass available on the market. And other than the materials and styles, they also come in different textures and finish such as the polished brass and chrome, satin, satin nickel, satin chrome, antique nickel and oil rubbed bronze.

Brackets usually come with screws and when used in handrails, they are installed differently. For instance, the decorative types featuring animal heads designed with a ring can be installed to the wall by securing the screws located in the head part while the tubing can just be inserted into the ring part.

The plain and simple type, on the other hand, uses at least three screws. The three are secured to the wall while the other two are secured to the tubing to keep it in place.

Experts recommend using round tubing for handrails. Compared to other designs, a round type with just the right diameter is more comfortable to hold on to and will fit anyone's hand better.

As far as height is concerned, handrails should be installed at least 34 inches from the floor. This is the ideal height for adults but for children, a lower height is necessary.

Keep in mind that when installing handrails especially on stairways, you need to follow the building codes specific in your area. There are rules to follow concerning height for kids and adults, distance from the wall, the number of brackets to use and the distance of each bracket.

If you're after using decorative brackets, make sure that they match the material of your tubing. Installing them can be a do-it-yourself project or you can get the assistance of a professional carpenter if you wish.

Tips on Choosing New Staircase Parts

Stairs are a dominant feature of most homes, so getting the design right is important. A beautiful staircase can make a fantastic centrepiece to impress your guests, as well as serving a practical purpose.

But looks are only part of the story – safety is another vital issue. Many older staircases fall short of modern standards, so replacing your stair banisters can help bring your home up to scratch. Here are a few decisions you will need to make:

Which materials?

Most household staircases are manufactured from wood, but metal and glass are becoming more popular. Timber will probably still be part of your stairs, at least as far as the treads and supporting structure are concerned, but you may decide to combine wooden staircase components with glass panels or steel spindles (also known as balusters) for a more contemporary look.

Wood is a beautifully warm, versatile material that will suit any setting. It is ideal for a wide range of designs, including curved stairs, turned newels and different styles of handrail. Wooden stair spindles, in particular, can be readily worked into all sorts of decorative shapes – or left plain for a minimalist look.

Which timber is best? Pine, hemlock and sapele are worth considering if you're on a tight budget, especially if you are intending to paint or stain the staircase. At the other end of the scale, ash, walnut, southern yellow pine and oak stair parts offer premium looks and durability, but come at prices to match.

Metal stair balusters shaped to resemble wrought iron are extremely popular nowdays, with a wide choice of both traditional and contemporary designs on the market. Durable and decorative, they can easily be painted to match the rest of the decor if required. You can also get chrome or brushed nickel effect stair spindles for an ultra-modern feel.

Glass panels can look stunning on a banister rail, and are ideal for poorly lit spaces as they allow light to flow freely around the room. They can be combined with wood or metal handrails and newels – and even glass treads, for anyone keen to add a touch of contemporary glamor.

Which handrail design?

There are two main types of handrail system: post-to-post and over-the-post . The strongest, most popular and economic design is post-to-post. In this system, the handrail runs between the newels and is fitted into the sides of the newel posts with traditional mortise and tenon joints.

In an over-the-post configuration, also known as a continuous handrail system, the rail runs over the top of the newel posts, often ending in a decorative swirl called a volute. This design is more eye-catching and elaborate, but a little less sturdy than the post-to-post system. However, it can look stunning and is considered as a sign of quality by home buyers.

Staircase safety

When revamping your stairs, you can take the opportunity to bring them up to date in terms of safety as well as style. The most important modern regulation, brought in to prevent small children becoming trapped, is that no gap anywhere on a staircase should be large enough for a 100mm sphere to pass through. This applies to every stair part, but the main thing to look out for when replacing the banisters is the amount of space between spindles. In order to comply with the 100mm rule, the distance between the spindles (or glass panels if applicable) must not exceed 99mm.

The measurement is taken from the smallest part of the baluster, so if you buy turned balusters you will probably need to order more of these than the square or stop-chamfered varieties. Staircase manufacturers will be able to help you calculate the number required to meet the regulations (usually two spindles per tread).

The rule also applies to the space between steps on open-tread stairs. If it is greater than 99mm, you'll need to install riser bars at the rear of each tread to reduce the size of the opening.


Choosing new stair banisters, or indeed a whole new staircase, can present an array of challenges, with potentially tricky decisions to be made about design, materials and costs. However, the process will also give you the opportunity to improve a key part of your home – and, of course, increase its overall value.

A Maintenance Guide For A Stainless Steel Balustrade

With a desire for more modern staircases on the rise, it should come as no surprise that many homeowners are opting to top their heads off with a stainless steel balustrade that really ties the contemporary look they're aiming for together. On top of its aesthetic appeal, however, stainless steel actually has a number of favorable benefits (including a resistance to corrosion and amazing strength) that make it quite the material of choice.

Another reason that homeowners tend to favor this type of balustrade over others is that it is extremely easy to maintain, as shown by the below tips and instructions:

• General cleaning – You should regularly clean your balustrade by using a cloth that you have dipped into a bowl of warm water. Once you have wiped the metal down, use a clean cloth or towel to dry the rails, as this will prevent water stains from forming.

• Deep cleaning – If you notice that your stainless steel balustrade has developed areas of contamination or corrosion, you can clean this up using a cloth that you have dipped into a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water solution. Make sure that you rinse the rails with a cloth dipped in clean water, then dry with a clean cloth or towel to prevent water stains from forming.

• Fingerprint removal – One of the biggest complaints surrounding stainless steel is that it shows up fingerprints quite clearly. To remove these marks, simply spray the balustrade with a household glass cleaner, wipe with a cloth that has been dipped in clean water and give the metal a dry using a clean cloth or towel.

• Scratches and stains – If you notice that your balustrades have sustained some scratches or stains, you will be able to polish these out using a specialized cleaner. Make sure that you read the directions before using the cleaner and test it in a small inconspicuous area to make sure that it will not affect the metal. Once you've finished polishing, rinse the cleaner away with a clean cloth dipped in water and towel dry.

If your home has been fitted with the attractive feature of stainless steel balustrades, you might be wondering the best way to clean and maintain them to ensure that they always look good as new. Providing that you regularly follow the general cleaning tip outlined above, you should find that you very rarely have to make use of the deep cleaning, fingerprint removal, and scratches and stains tips that follow it.