Where Should I Mount a Fish Finder on My Boat?

Mounting a fish finder on your boat involves three things: the mounting bracket, the display and the transducer.

Mounting bracket – Transom mounts are usually standard (in-the-box) with most fixed fish finders and come with detailed instructions on how to mount it onto your boat. Although it's reliably easy to do on your own, please read the instructions from front to back so you do not end up damaging your boat or having to reposition it later on. After all, you are drilling holes below the waterline of your boat so you'll want to get it right the first time. If you want to play it safe, you can always try asking your dealer to do the installation for you.

Transom mounted fish finders are ideal for personal watercraft (rowed or paddled), sailboats, outboard, I / O powered boats and jet drives because they're easy to install and generally get the job done quite well.

Tips: A boat's contours (rivets, ribs, dents) will produce distinct turbulence and air pockets which affect a fish finder's performance. Select a nice flat spot that's free from protrusions and ribs. You will also want to keep it away from the prop. Make sure the mounting area for the transducer will remain in contact with the water at all times to avoid cavitation (In other words, do not mount it too high up). Remember to keep everything away from the bumpers so nothing gets damaged when you have to trailer your boat.

Display – The most important consideration when deciding where to install your display is access. You'll want to be able to see the display from where you're actually fishing. Look into manufacturer options for gimbals, flush in-dash, and swivel mounts. You should also look for a display you can easily read even under direct sunlight; otherwise, it will not matter where you position the display since you still will not be able to read it. We'll discuss other considerations for displays like LCD, CRT and LED in another article.

Transducer – Aside from transom mounted transducers, you can also choose between hull or through hull transducers. As the name suggests, through hull transducers require drilling a hole through the boat's hull to mount the transducer while in hulls will basically send a sonar signal without requiring any definitions to the hull. Be sure to do your homework before attempting to install a through hull transducer on your own.

It's important to note that the material used on your boat's hull will determine what kind of housing your through hull transducer should have. Here's a quick look at some considerations to make in choosing a transducer for a fixed fish finder.

Hull material: Wood
Transducer housing material: Bronze
Reason: Wood expansion could damage plastic housing and result in a leak.

Hull material: Metal (steel or aluminum)
Transducer housing material: Stainless steel, plastic
Reason: Bronze housing requires insulating fairing. If your boat has a positive ground system, do not use metal transducer housing.

Hull material: Fiberglass
Transducer housing material: Plastic
Reason: Easier to seal plastic to fiberglass

How to Install Roofing Shingles – Should You Use a Hammer Or Nail Gun?

If you're looking for information on how to install roofing shingles, you've come to the right place. But first, a short story …

22 years ago I made a career change, going from a cushy desk job working in air-conditioned comfort to roofing in the sweltering heat of Southwest Florida in August.

My first job was installing a second layer of shingles on a small house in Cape Coral, Florida. Once the boss was satisfied that I knew how to install roofing shingles properly, he let me do the job by myself.

I'm sure he had no idea that it would take me as long as it did. I had three things going against me …

First off, I was out-of-shape and not used to working outside in the heat. Second, I was too fussy, shooting for perfection instead of excellence.

But my biggest problem was installing thousands of roofing nails with a hammer because I did not have a nail gun. Fast hand nailing is an art and I was no artist!

So each day the boss stopped by to see how I was doing. The quality was fine, but my progress was painfully slow. However, I was on piecework, so it did not really matter much to him how long it took.

But as day after day went by, it became a big joke. Not only did the boss stop by, but other roofers and friends of the boss stopped by. None of them could believe how long it was taking me to install roofing shingles and each of them just had to see it for themselves. I remember them trying to conceive their smirks.

Finally, after nine days the job was complete. As the boss paid me the $ 200 I had coming, he asked if I was sure I wanted to install roofing for a living. When I told him I did, he said he better get me a nail gun … because I was going to starve at that rate!

Since I had a wife, three kids and a big mortgage, I could not have agreed more.

The next job went much faster and easier, thanks to the pneumatic roofing nailer. I found I could install roofing nails six times faster with the nail gun than with my hammer.

If you're going to roof your own home, you stand to save thousands of dollars … but it's a tough job. You should be able to justify getting the tools that will make the job go faster and easier. And no tools will help you install roofing shingles faster and easier than a nail gun and compressor.

But my preference is a Hitachi NV45AB2 for the nailer and a Porter Cable 150 PSI pancake compressor.

You could rent them, but the prices have come down so much, you will probably be better off buying. That will also allow you to work at your own pace and you could sell the tools after the job, recouping much of their cost.

Some old timers still prefer hand nailing because they say a nail gun promotes putting the nails in the wrong place. But I say you can put the nails in the right place or the wrong place with either tool.

Pool Mosaics

Pools can be beautifully decorated using mosaic art in different patterned pool murals. Most of the time, the mosaic pattern for a swimming pool is in the shape of marine creatures like a whale, starfish, crab or fish. Sometimes, the pattern may also take the shape of the sun or some geometric shape. A pool mural is placed at the center of the swimming pool, while there usually are some mosaic patterns running along the border of the pool.

The installation of the mosaics to the pool is relatively easy and just requires a call to the pool contractor. You will then have to pay the pool contractor a nominal charge for installation. If you are worried about the maintenance of the pool mosaic, do not; there is no maintenance required here at all. Most of the pool mosaic companies guarantee the mosaics for the life of the pool. There will be no peeling or fading of the mosaic, and it is also imperfect to normal pool chemicals.

There is also paint available to paint on the pool mosaic to give the mosaic design a different color altogether; the color of the mural can be changed by contacting the pool mosaic company, where they take custom orders through fax or email. And if there is a need for an identical different custom design, all that has to be done is to send a color image of your design to the pool mosaic company through fax or email, and the rest is their responsibility.

Some pool mosaic companies also have reflective types of pool mosaics that reflect the sunlight along the border of the swimming pool, enhancing the effect of the pool mosaic. So, if you do have a swimming pool, be sure to rush down to the nearest pool mosaic company to have a pool mural and pool mosaic designs made to your order.

The Tools Needed When Working With Bricks and Concrete

This article will discuss a number of the more commonly used tools in the construction business, with specific reference to those tools required when working with bricks and concrete. Building work requires general-purpose tools as well as some specialized ones that are used only with specific materials, namely, concrete, brick, stone, block or tile. Most are widely available at hardware shops and builders merchants, and some rarely used ones, such as a cartridge hammer or a quarry tile cutter can be hired.

The most important general tools to buy are a metre-long spirit level, a steel square, a 10 or 20 metre measuring tape, a cold chisel for chipping mortar and concrete, and a club or lump hammer. Special tools needed for concrete work include a small wood float for levelling, a steel float for smoother finishing, a darby or screed for smoothing large areas and an edging tool, for rounding the sides of a slab. Other tools for laying and finishing a brick or block wall are a brick-layers hammer and a broad-laded chisel. For cutting and laying, a small mortar board called a hawk, to hold mortar close to the job, can be used.

A bricklayers trowel for spreading the mortar is alos required. A number of other items also required include:

  • A joint filler, sometimes called a finger or window trowel for filling extra long joints with mortar
  • A pointing trowel to fill joints and to form weather, struck, flush and extruded joints
  • A rounded jointing tool for concave joints
  • A carbide tipped masonry bit in an electric drill is useful for putting small holes in concrete blocks. For holes larger than 20mm, you can use a star drill, a kind of chisel meant to be struck with a hammer.

When laying bricks on a horizontal surface, like a patio for example, use a V-notched square trowel to score the bed joint. For tile work, you will need a square trowel with rectangular notches to score the bed joint. A pincer like tile nipper can be used to shape the tiles.

Although you require most of these tools to complete any job that requires working with bricks and concrete, it is not necessary to have purchased every single tool before commencement of the job. It is also important to ensure that you understand the size of any job involving concrete, and analyse the amount of cement required by using a cement calculator to measure quantity of materials used.

Is It Bad Luck to Wear Pearls on Your Wedding Day?

Is wearing pearls on your wedding day a bad idea? There are many superstitions and myths associated with getting married that would tell you this will bring bad luck. Is it true or just another old wives' tale?

Many brides choose to wear pearl jewelery on their big day, with the pearls themselves representing perfection, purity and love. It is a long-standing tradition that can be found as far back as at the beginning of Hindu civilization when Krishna is said to have decorated his daughter Pandia with a pearl that was drawn from the sea.

And yet despite this auspicious good luck charm, there is a contrary belief that it is bad luck for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day. In Western countries, pearls can be associated with an ill omen, representing the tears that a bride will later shed in married life. Where does this superstition come from?

There is much historical evidence in most Western cultural histories for pearls to be linked with tears. The Romans thought pearls to be tears of angels or gods and Homer in The Odyssey describes tears being 'reborn as pearls'. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the flood of pearls into Europe following the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the West Indies created a 'pearl rush'. Women of high rank were adorned with extravagant pearl ornaments with matching sets of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and brooches. Queen Elizabeth I of England was told to own over 3,000 pearl embroidered dresses.

But the keeping up with fashion had a cost, possibly leading to the downfall of several small European royal homes. In 1645 Milton wrote in his Epitaph to the Marchioness of Winchester that the 'pearls of dew she lies prove to be presaging tears'. By the middle of the 18th and 19th centuries, pearls began to be reserved for wear during periods of official half-mourning. These took place after the passing of a specific period of time following a funeral and were largely fashion-led. Ladies at the court of Queen Victoria were permitted to wear pearls, diamonds or plain ornaments.

Today's superstitious association of pearls with bad luck simply comes from a rich ancient, medieval and modern cultural history. There's no bad luck in wearing pearls at your wedding. The beauty and simplicity of a white pearl, sometimes worn with diamonds, will complement a bride on her special day.

The History and Science of House Painting

The purpose of house painting and decorating is to make a house, home or building look better or to protect it from damage by severe or ongoing weather, wind, sunshine, water, rust, corrosion, termites and other insects and/or mold. It feels good to have a good looking house, and it increases its value.

History of House Painting

Not much is known about house painting in the United Kingdom before the late 1200’s, when guilds began coming into existence. Two prominent guilds in particular were the Painters Company and the Stainers Company, which eventually merged with the permission of the Lord Mayor of the City of London in the early 16th century, forming the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers.

Tools of the Trade

In our modern era in which we live, paint composition consists mostly of latex formulations used for both exterior and interior use, greatly minimizing painting cleanup, as well as the strong and unhealthy smells normally associated with petroleum and polyester based paints.

Another common, modern house painting invention is the computerized paint scanner that precisely calculates how to get new paint color to match faded paint color on old walls, or to match fabric colors, flowers and other patterns. Paint in our day and age can also be made to smell nice and resist fading, chipping and bacterial growth. Paint can also be made to lay very flat on a surface, resulting in a very smooth look.

When and why should primer be applied? Why not just put paint on and get it over with? Wooden surfaces generally don’t take paint too well, resulting in flaking, due to excessive thickness of the paint. Primer is thinner and so soaks into wood much better, and since it allows the paint to adhere better, it saves you money in allowing for fewer layers of paint and primer to have to be applied.

Many professional house painters offer free consulting services, and additionally save you money by adding 5 to 20-year guarantees of adhesion and water resistance. Professionals are also very good at their use of time when applying tape, sanding surfaces, etc., before the house painting is started.

Another modern house painting tool is the foam brush, which is commonly used for precision work and smoother coats of paint that use less paint and less time to dry. And foam used on a roller can create beautiful patterns in the painted surface. Finally, the spray gun allows for the painting of extremely large surface areas in short amounts of time.

How to Clean and Store Brushes

An older style bristle brush is best to store in a box hanging from a wire within, allowing it to soak in a cleaning solution without being disfigured by having its bristles spread apart.

Paint Surface Preparation

Modern paint-tape prevents damaging the taped surface, having less than half of the adhesive power of masking tape, and thus being able to remain on a surface for up to 30-days without creating damage.

Then versus Now

In times past, a house painter was responsible for mixing his paint and maintaining a ready supply of pigments, oils, thinners and driers, and use his painting experience to determine an optimal combination. Today, he is primarily responsible for the entire house painting process, including cleaning the surface to be painted, scraping, sanding, wallpaper removal, caulking, drywall repair, wood repair, patching, stain removal, filling nail holes with putty, taping off areas not to be painted, drop cloth placement, priming, applying the paint and then finally cleaning up when he’s finished.

A professional house painter also needs to have a thorough knowledge of his tools of the trade, including sanders, scrapers, paint sprayers, brushes (foam, bristle, etc.), paint rollers, ladders, scaffolding, and the many different kinds of paint to choose from.

Exterior House Painting Tips

Do you like to save money when you need your house painted? You can do it yourself if you’re careful in your preparation and application, or you can pay a little more and have house painting experts worry for you and get the job done quickly, accurately and beautifully with results that will last a very long time.

Article submitted on behalf of co-author Dave Hofert.

Crystal Chandeliers – Grant Your Home a Royal Touch

Homeowners will always work hard to make their home the best looking home in the world, well, at least in the neighborhood. After all, their home reflects who they are. If they can afford it, they will buy the most magnificent vases, giant grandmother clocks, and probably a host of exotic displays, among others.

One such decorative addition to a house that would certainly add to its beauty is the crystal chandelier. Originally (mostly) just found in the dining halls of the rich and the royal, the crystal chandelier now finds its way to the furniture shops and into the homes of the people who can afford them. Although before, the crystal chandelier also serves as a source of light, today's system of lighting reduces it to just a decorative piece in the ceiling, although some crystal chandeliers in the market can still function as a source of light. And although before a crystal chandelier is commonly seen only on the great session halls, ballrooms, or dining rooms, the modern homeowner goes far to putting this elegant piece of furniture on his living room or sometimes even his bedroom. A crystal chandelier at home certainly adds a certain kind of elegance to the room where it graciously hangs upon.

If you like to add a kind of royal touch to your home, then sure the crystal chandelier is for you. As mentioned before, you can opt to get a chandelier that can still be used as a light source or you can one which is purely decorative only. Either way, the crystals of the chandelier will reflect even the faintest natural light to illuminate the whole room. Therefore, it is preferred at least natural light can freely enter the room even at times when electrical light is being used. The next thing to consider is the size of the chandelier. It would be quite awkward for a large chandelier to hang on a reliably small room, and it is not preferable that a small chandelier be put on a relative large hall. Also consider the height of your ceiling, keep in mind that the crystal chandelier will be hung on the ceiling, so you might consider first which crystal chandelier (check its height) will look good on a high ceiling or which one will be better if you have a low ceiling.

You can check your furniture shops or even shops specializing in chandeliers for selections of crystal chandeliers. If you want to avoid the hassle of going from store to store, you can always check online stores that sell crystal chandelier. More importantly, you can ask experts such as interior designers to have an advice on what crystal chandelier you can get.

Your home (and you) would sure look great with a magnificent crystal chandelier on it-that is really one way of illuminating how cool you are.

Kate Spade Kindle Cases

Kate Spade has carved out a solid presence in the expanse of high-end retailers whose handbags are one of the must-have items in a wardrobe and there is simply no reason why she could not do the same now to every women with a Kindle .

And that is what the Kate Spade Kindle cases do.

Started by the woman with the same name in the early nineties, Kate Spade is no stranger to tech accessories. From iPod, Nook to iPhone cases, the designer has your gadget covered. And come November 25, a new line of chic and iconic Kindle cases for the latest-generation Kindle will hit online retailers including Amazon # 1 Most Trusted Online Retailer.

Features

The new and gorgeous collection of Kindle cases designed exclusively by Kate Spade New York high quality coated outer canvas that protects your Kindle and its screen when not in use.

Each case is made of sturdy coated canvas and are lined with bold complete prints, while your Kindle is held in place and protected by the inside hinge to ensure that it fits securely stowed in the utmost of style.

You'll also find Kate Spade New York signature imprinted at the back of the cover that looks to make a big statement and shout style. Yeah, that's exactly why you're paying for it in the first place.

Design

Kate Spade New York has re-imagined a few of their favorite titles – Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, The Importance of Being Earnest and crafted them into 3 clever designs.

And in keeping with the brand's famously festive spirit, she has also introduced 2 fun and fresh bright patterns – the Jubilee Strip Print and Hello, exclusively made to fit the latest Kindle.

Special design details include 'Kate Spade New York' logo stamped on the back cover and the brand's signature cotton book stripe lining as one of the rich design ensemble that ever make the hearts of Kindle owners simply go for them.

Overall Impression

There are plenty of choices to make when you are considering designer covers for your gadget. Granted, Kindle case choice is far simpler than Apple iPad or iPhone case selection since there are fewer of them on the market.

But one thing is identical with the Kate Spade Kindle cases. These gorgeously designed cases are suited for someone who wants the newest trends and styles kindled in her much-loved reading device, and does not mind paying the price for the styles.

Watch Your Back When Shoveling Snow!

Watch your back when you shovel snow, you do not want to end up in bed as the cost a clean snow free driveway.

The first winter storm has moved across the northern states. It's only a few inches of snow so you break out your show shovel. Snow shoveling can easily cause muscle strain to your lower back. Many early season snow storms snow that is laden with moisture so 2-4 inches of wet snow is heavier that a late season storm that dumps twice as much snow that contains less moisture. So govern your activity accordingly and use good technique to avoid lower back pain.

If you are out of condition you could be shoveling toward back trouble. Another cause of problems leading to lower back pain is to not use proper technique in handling the snow. Here are some ideas that should keep you from having difficulties with your back after shoveling snow:

To avoid back injuries, start slow. If you have a stationary bike ride a mile or two to get completely warm up before you pick up the snow shovel. Another tip is to wait until later in the day as you are less likely to slip a disk in the afternoon or evening than early in the morning after the body has been at rest all night.

Start by lifting smaller loads of snow. Gradually build up and warm up your muscles before you load up the shovel. Bend with your knees and lift with your legs rather than your back.

When turning move both feet, do not twist your body to move and throw the snow. Do not bend your body forward and bend your back. To reduce fatigue step in the direction you're throwing the snow.

Before you become saturated take frequent breaks. One technique that is effective is to place you hands on the back of your hips and bend backwards slightly for several seconds.

Be sure you have a properly designed snow shovel. If the shovel is too short it will cause your back to bend more and you are more likely to experience back pain. A snow shovel that had too long a handle makes the weight of the snow feel heavier and will also cause fatigue and a possible backache.

The other factor is the size of the scoop of the shovel. To large and you may have a tendency to load it up with snow and the sheer repetitive weight could cause problems with your back.

If you get through the first snow storm with only tired and sore muscles, consider yourself fortunate. Sometimes it's time to start regular workouts to minimize future back problems. Or you could hire a neighborhood teenager to shovel the snow off your driveway and sidewalks.

How To Avoid Your Bathroom Renovation Costs From Blowing Out

The cost of a bathroom renovation can vary enormously. The scope of your project, your selections and any upgrades are just a few factors that can substantially impact on the overall cost of your bathroom renovation. Let’s discuss a few tips on how to keep costs down:

Do It Properly

The term ‘false economy’ applies here- if you have to do it twice, it’s not cheap. Often people think they are saving money by re-using utilities such as the bath, by using “friends” as tradesmen, or by project managing the job themselves. There are no winners in this scenario. Using friends as tradesmen can backfire massively if they incur an error and you feel uncomfortable asking them to rectify it. Not to mention waiting endlessly for them to squeeze you in on a Saturday! As for re-using items such as the bath with a few minor chips in it, yes it will save you the cost of a bath but when you’ve already spent $20,000 on a new bathroom, what’s another thousand? Especially when you are soaking in the old tub in the brand spanking new bathroom!

As for project managing the job yourself, unless you’re a builder, or have successfully renovated properties previously, don’t risk it! Crucial stages such as waterproofing, tiling etc cannot afford to be missed or done incorrectly. Utilizing the services of a builder also ensures the work will be under warranty for seven years- worth every penny if something happens down the track!

If you are going to go the trouble and expense of renovating your bathroom, always do it properly and engage a qualified builder.

Retrofit

Also known as a cosmetic renovation, a retrofit will always be more economical than a full bathroom refit.

As soon as you make changes to the existing layout, your overall costs will increase. In particular, leaving the plumbing where it is will be a huge money saver. Maintaining the placement of your existing toilet, shower and vanity waste locations allows you to achieve a more cost-effective renovation. Within this you can increase the storage, introduce a walk-in shower and a stylish wall faced toilet to achieve a great visual impact at a lower cost.

Consider Tiling Carefully

Although a beautiful tile will lift your bathroom enormously, if you’re renovating with budget in mind, choosing the wrong tiles will blow your budget instantly. Here are a few guidelines to follow:

  • Extra small tiles add cost. Yes, your marble mosaic tiles will elevate your bathroom or shower wall, but they can be extremely pricey at over $200/m. They also cost more in labour cost to lay, as your tiler will spend much more time per metre laying them. Another cost factor with small-scale tiles is that they need to be laid on a perfectly flat and even surface- any imperfection in the surface will be amplified with small tiles. In a renovation, your tiler and builder will want the walls to be checked for level and straightened which could add more cost to you.
  • Extra large tiles add cost. Although using large tiles will make your bathroom appear larger, choosing an extra large dimension such as 450mm x 900mm or 600mm x 900mm or even larger, their heavy and awkward scale will mean it is a two person job for your tiler, which will incur cost. Sticking to a standard 450mm x 450mm or 600mm x 600mm tile should keep costs down.
  • Another way to quickly add cost to your bathroom is by choosing floor-to-ceiling tiles. This choice requires the ceiling cornice being removed and square set. To save on costs, some people will opt to tile just the floors and wet areas like behind the bath and shower. Yes, this will save you money but the floor to ceiling tiles make your bathroom look bigger.
  • Tile finish will add cost. When you are selecting tiles you will have the choice of selecting between a matt, lapatto or gloss finish. The matt is usually cheaper than the lapatto (semi-gloss) so choose this option when your aim is to keep your budget from blowing out. A matt tile is also generally easier to clean, ideal for a bathroom.

Don’t Overdo it

Less is more when renovating a bathroom. In such a small space, too many items will compete for attention and you will lose your impact. Not only will you save money by refraining from saying yes to every upgrade or accessory, you will create a better outcome for your project.

Instead, find a focal point or main feature in your bathroom you wish to draw attention to (for example, a feature shower tile, or a freestanding bath) and keep everything else to a minimum. Allow one or two accessories like a timber stool, some luxurious towels or an indoor plant to allow your chosen feature to shine. Top tip: choose a great mirror that doubles as a beautiful feature while serving a practical purpose.

Small Commercial Elevators

Small commercial elevators are designed to improve accessibility in a building and to provide economical, safe, smooth and reliable vertical transportation. They can be used both in existing buildings and new ones. They are ideal for commercial buildings with two or three floors, churches, businesses, and so on.

A Variety of Models and Loading Configurations

Small commercial elevators are characterized by several loading configurations to suit a wide variety of construction and budgetary requirements. When compared to the typical commercial elevator, small commercial elevators are so made that they would take up less space, and use fewer overhead clearances and less shaft. They are also less expensive. A customer can opt for one in standard or custom design. Nowadays, a variety of models of such elevators with standard and optional features are available. The models differ from each other in terms of design, speed range, color and cab finishes. Most ADA compliant small commercial elevators offer a smooth start and stop for a comfortable journey.

Noteworthy Safety Features

Small commercial elevators come with safety features such as:

Emergency backup

Programmable logic controllers

Overspeed governor

UL approved safety door interlock

Motor brake

Cab lighting with stop buttons

Lockable control panel

In-use indicator lights on hall stations

Battery emergency lighting and lowering

Slack chain brake system

Anti-creep operation

Standard Specifications

The standard specifications of a small commercial elevator may include:

Fully automatic operation

Hydraulic drive system

Energy efficient variable speed motor drive

Wide stable rail design

Attractive elevator style cab fixtures and call stations

Modular rail sections for quick installation

Automatic cab on/off lighting

Make Better Use of Your Available Space

Small commercial elevators come to the rescue of people who value accessibility but

are faced with limitations of space and distance. Depending on your budget, you can find the right elevator for your commercial establishment from a quality manufacturer.

Personalized Number Plates in South Africa – What Are Your Options

Personalized number plates are slightly different in each country. Regulations as to what combinations of letters and numbers are permitted, and how many of each, vary broadly, and so does the cost of purchasing a personalized registration number. Whether you want one for fun or for business branding purposes, it makes sense to look out wherever your brilliant idea will be allowed in your area.

In South Africa vehicle registration numbers are defined by province, so no matter what personalized number plate you choose it will bear the two letters indicating the province that issued the plates at the end of the number. The plates can have 1-7 numbers and letters in any combination, which gives you loads of space to create a unique, fun or hilarious tag for your car.

Costs vary according to province

When choosing your unique number you do need to check the regulations and costs for your province. Some provinces charge the same wherever you want just one letter or seven, while others are cheaper for 4-7 letters or numbers and charge over the odds for single numbers or letters. The Western Cape is the fiercest in charges when it comes to single characters, so that it really does become a status symbol to show off the number plate 1 – WP. If you only have a limited budget, and live in the Western Cape or Gauteng, you can have fun dreaming up 4-7 letter words that express your personality or sum up your business, as these are the most affordable options in these provinces.

Purchasing from another province

It is possible to purchase plates from another province, if for example your chosen name or number is already taken in your province, but your vehicle would have to be registered to an address in that province and the license fee paid there annually.

Annual license fees

Bear in mind that the annual license fee for personalized number plates can be significantly higher than the standard license fees, so check out what this cost is likely to be in your province before purchasing the plates themselves. You do not want to commit yourself to an annual fee that you can not afford and have to abandon the plates after only a year. The annual license fee may be higher for single character plates and more affordable for longer plates, so this would also be an important factor in determining your choice of personalized number plates.

Special registration numbers

The cheapest option of all is to go for special number plates. These have three numbers followed by three letters or vice versa but are only available in Gauteng.

The History of Popcorn Balls and How to Make Them

The winter holidays always bring images of popcorn to mind. Whether you are stringing it up on the tree or eating it out of a festive popcorn tin at Grandma’s, it is definitely an American comfort food that is a warm treat during cold weather. One of the most popular forms of popcorn eaten during the holiday season is the popcorn ball– some people would even say that they are a popular holiday food because you can eat them or use them as a Christmas ornament. Although for most Americans popcorn balls are associated with winter, according to legend they got their start during the summer.

Where did the idea for popcorn balls come from?
If you believe Nebraskan myth, popcorn balls just happened naturally. On a hot and rainy summer day, legend has it that two Nebraska fields were experiencing different extremes in weather. In a field where sugar cane was growing, the crop was being treated to a deluge of warm rain. Next door, a corn field was in direct sunlight being scorched by the summer sun. The rain washed the sugar cane downhill toward the neighboring cornfield, where the heat was so blistering that the corn was popping off the stalks! The syrupy sugar cane washed over the exploding corn kernels, rolling it into balls as it went. But then, grasshoppers ate all of the balls, so the farmers were forced to try to recreate the phenomenon– making the snack we know now!

Obviously, this is myth is pretty far fetched. But no matter how these treats got started, Americans sure do love to eat them. Luckily, they are readily available for purchase but are also fairly easy to make at home.

How do you make popcorn balls?
There are many different ways to create the sticky treat. You can make them with simple syrup for a kettle corn-like popcorn ball or with caramel for an even stickier treat. Here’s the easiest and quickest way to whip up some popcorn balls on short notice.

1. Pop a bowl of popcorn in the microwave or on the stove.
2. Melt 26 caramel candies with 2 teaspoons of water in the microwave or on a double-boiler.
3. Pour the candy over your popcorn.
4. Mix gently and form into balls.
5. Place the balls on a cookie sheet or wax paper to cool and harden.

You can also decorate the treats with sprinkles, add food coloring for assorted colors of balls, or form them around popsicle sticks to provide a convenient way to eat the sticky suckers. You can also add nuts, chocolate or candy to the mix, for variety.

No matter how you choose to prepare your popcorn balls, have fun preparing them! They are an American holiday tradition that has been in families for generations and is sure to stick around.

Top 3 Cracker Barrel Recipes

Cracker Barrel Chicken And Dumplings Recipe

Chicken and Broth

3 quarts water

1 3-4 pound chicken cut up

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 small onion sliced

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and quartered

1 bay leaf

4-6 whole parsley leaves

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Dumplings

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoons of salt

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk

1. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the chicken, 1 teaspoon of salt, onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and parsley to the pot. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. The liquid will reduce by about one third.

2. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables and floating scum. You only want the stock and the chicken, so toss everything else out.

3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) of the stock back into the pot (keep the leftover stock, if any, for another recipe-it can be frozen). You may also want to use a smaller pot or a large saucepan for this. Add coarsely ground pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

4. For dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and milk in a medium bowl. Stir well until smooth, then let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thickness.

5. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.

6. While the stock is thickening, the chicken will have become cool enough to handle. Tear all the meat from the bones and remove the skin. Cut the chicken meat into bite-size or a little bigger than bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Discard the skin and bones. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes, but don’t stir too vigorously or the chicken will shred and fall apart. You want big chunks of chicken in the end.

7. When the gravy has reached the desired consistency, ladle four portions onto plates and serve hot. Serve with your choice of steamed vegetables, if desired.

Source: Cooking Cache.com

Cracker Barrel Biscuits

8 servings

2 c Bisquick

2/3 c Real buttermilk

1. Work together Bisquick and buttermilk to smooth dough. Dip hand in just enough Bisquick to kneed dough in bowl until smooth and elastic.

2. Shape dough into 16 thin patties, placing 1 atop another forming 8 biscuits in greased 93 round baking pan. Bake at 450 16 to 18 minutes or until golden. Wipe tops at once in

butter. They split easily because of the way you formed them with the 2 pieces.

3. To make BONANZA Copycats, add 4 ts sugar. Shape into 6 patties, 13 thick, 33 round. Place close together in greased round baking pan. Wipe tops in soft butter. Bake 450 18 minutes or until brown.

4. Cool 10 minutes before serving. Split with thumbs instead of cutting with knife. These do not keep well. Right out of oven wipe tops again with dabs more butter to keep

surface soft and tender.

Source: Gloria Pitzer’s Secret Recipes

Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

8 servings

2 pounds Frozen Hashbrown Potatoes — thaw

1/2 cup Margarine — melt

1 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

1/2 cup Onion — chop fine

1 can Cream of chicken soup

2 cups Colby Cheese – grate

1. Preheat oven at 350 F. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Gently mix in the potatoes and pour into prepared pan or dish.

3. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 35 minutes.

Source: cdkitchen.com

Hotwifing and the Four Stages of Cuckolding

An important distinction we need to be clear about before we look at the four stages your relationship will pass through in your journey to a true cuckolding lifestyle is the difference between hotwifing and cuckolding, and infidelity and affairs.

The simple distinction is with hotwifing and cuckolding a man’s wife has other sexual partners with his knowledge, consent and approval. In most cases it’s even driven by the man, at least in the beginning, because it’s a deep seated fantasy he has.

Now we understand that we can explore the four stages I mentioned above. Almost every marriage where cuckolding becomes the norm passes through these stages, and it’s important to realise they are entirely natural and normal. The only thing I’ll warn you of is once you each the final stage, then it’s all really out of your hands.

You will be a cuckold, just like you wanted to be, and there will be no way of going back, even if you want to. We’ll see why this is shortly.

Stage 1: Ignorance.

This is where the man has the fantasy, but his wife knows nothing of it. She doesn’t even know she doesn’t know. If you asked her about having extra-marital sex, she’d immediately think of infidelity and affairs, and, assuming your marriage is strong, would likely be repelled by the idea.

Stage 2: Awareness.

Once you’ve broached the subject with her and explained the difference between hotwifing and cuckolding, and having an affair she’s aware of it and, unless she’s dead-set against it to the extent she won’t even talk about it, she’ll be looking for information on the topic and asking you lots of questions about it.

This stage can last a long time and it’s important not to rush things — because once she’s actually had sex with another man, then while she can stop and never do it again, it’s impossible to put back the clock and unfuck the guy.

Stage 3: Exploration.

This is where she’s done it and she’s liked it… and she’s willing to do more of it.

But there’s still some part of her that’s unsure and she’s telling herself the reason she’s doing it is for you. She’d stop any time you asked, and she’s constantly checking with you that it’s still OK.

Stage 4: Lifestyle.

After a while, your beloved undergoes a deep and profound change.

At this point, without her even realising it, she has grown into her role as a sexually liberated hotwife. She’s free from the constraints of society which, if she was a single woman, would likely judge her harshly.

Instead, she is a respectable married woman who has the benefit of unlimited outlets for her sexual energy.

At this point she is doing it for herself… and if you asked her to stop the wouldn’t.

It’s not that she’s cruel or unloving, it’s more that the deep and profound change has made her so she could see no reason for stopping.

Men whose wives progress to this stage are in a bed of their own making. They have asked, and even begged for this, and while they can stop it by leaving the marriage, if they wish to remain in it, then they have to understand she has lovers and that’s final.

She will likely involve you in her sexual exploits, allowing you to watch and listen, but it’s now no longer about you. It’s about her.

In the extreme, she may have a live-in lover, and while you are still No. 1 in terms of her love and loyalty, in terms of sex you may be relegated to a slave, serving both of them at their whim.

The thing to remember is this: be very, very, careful what you wish for.