Grilling Planks and the Pleasures of Planking

Cooking on grilling planks, or planking, is becoming a favorite of outdoor cooks everywhere. This "planking" is a fool-proof process of cooking because the plank keeps the meat from drying out, as well as providing a sweet and smoky addition to the meat.

Normal grilled foods can dry out quickly when left on the grill, but a plank is soaked with water before grilling, and there before moisture is constantly moving around the meat. The smoldering plank adds a subtle essence that compliments other flavors without taking over. Every kind of meat from beef to fish benefits from the flavors added by grilling planks.

Plank Wood Choices:

Today, planks for grilling are available in all grilling specialty stores. They come already packed and sized to fit most grills. There are different differences in different wood types for plants, and oftentimes this flavor is masked by heavy grilling sauces and spices.

The two most popular types of woods for grilling planks are alder and cedar, but other woods produce their own delicious flavors.

– Alder produces a very delicious flavor that works best with milder foods. It is a good match for salmon and other fish and seafood.
– Cedar, which is the most aromatic wood of all, produces a deep but gentle flavor perfect for spicy, bolder meats like pork.
– Hickory planks give an intense smoky flavor that works well with chicken and beef.
– Oak gives a moderate flavor that blends well with various meats, including poultry and fish.
– Birch, poplar, pine, and other resinous wood give a bitter flavor to meats, so avoid using them.

Planking Tips:

  • Before grilling, soak planks in water to help keep the meat moist. Grilling planks that have been soaked produce maximum smoky flavor, and the plank is less likely to burn. Soak for at least one hour.
  • Use a soaked grilling plank right away since the wood will start to dry out fairly quickly.
  • Close the grill immediately after placing the plank and meat on the grill. Most of the smoke is generated at the beginning of the grilling process, so you want to capture and use as much of that smoke as possible.
  • Arrange the meat on the plank in a single layer, because meat touching the wood will get the most flavor from the wood.
  • Always use oven mitts to remove the plank after grilling. Place it on a heatproof platter or baking sheet. The edges of the grilling plank might be charred and smoldering for a short while after.

You will soon begin to love the results of using grilling planks and maybe turn this cooking method into your regular grilling routine.

Writing Your Affiliate Home Business Plan

Here's a typical scenario: You are deciding to start a home business and suddenly everyone you know has his nose in your business, literally. What do you tell them? And how do you answer your own questions? What should you expect from the company in terms of stability, longevity, vitality, trust, income, and so forth? First the bad news: there are no guarantees. Then the good news: there is plenty of information from which to draw your own conclusions. The internet is huge, and any good company will offer free marketing tools and training.

But back to the WHY of that business plan. You're going to be starting small, slow and boy! is there a lot to learn. What's the point of actually sitting down and writing a business plan? You're not Bill Gates, this is not Microsoft, just you in your home office a few hours a week, slowly building an online business presence, not really understanding what the heck you'll be doing.

Relax and breathe. Unlike Mt. Rushmore, your plan will not be designed to withstand the weathering of the ages. You can expect it will change and bend with the flow of your real experiences, which will be totally yours, not identical to anyone else's.

What writing your plan will do is cause you to pause, think, dream, study and focus. The written document, whether it is one page or twelve, will give your business a framework to work within. The internet is vast and seemingly endless. It is easy to lose focus and drift away on a different whim or idea every day. Understanding where you are today, what tools you have to work with, what your goals are, and how you can best achieve them and measure your success, will help you stay on target and not waste what few hours you may be investing in your business at start-up.

Whenever you feel lost or confused, you can return to what you have written. When you analyze your situation and decide to make a change, rewrite that part of the plan. Understand that it's a living document, intended to grow with you and your business. Your business plan is your friend.

Getting Started with the Business Plan

First you need to study the company and its management. You need to read and learn about the products, the compensation plan and the network structure. See you next month. Just kidding.

Plan on doing SOME reading each and every work day for the next few months, if not indefinitely. Keep up with the company forum entries every day; read something in the training reports every day. Your education will continue. Plan for it.

When you are ready, open up a Notepad window and answer these questions:

What service / products does your business provide and what needs does it fill?

Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?

How will you reach your potential customers?

Where will you get the financial resources to start your business?

Ok. Maybe your company offers many products and services. What do you want to focus on? I suggest that, at first, you focus on one or two products and / or the affiliate opportunity. In other words, keep is simple. Once you get the hang of what you're doing, you will KNOW when it's time to expand. Do only what you are comfortable with, every step of the way. This is YOUR business, it's your right and privilege to decide on your approach.

Internet marketing hinges on building trust. How will you do this?

Reaching customers means marketing. Your decision, once again. And again, the options should be in your company's training materials.

So we're talking developing a reading / study schedule. Here's a possible list, once you've read enough to make your own decisions to answer the above questions, start writing. Your writing can be lists of words and phrases, free-form brainstorming, outlines, mind maps, whatever works for you. Just write it down, and do not forget to save often. If your home office is affiliated by cats or small children, they have the tendency to press on random keyboard keys. Documents do occasionally just disappear. Saving avoids total disaster.

  1. Study the products.
  2. Read the training materials.
  3. Read about decisions, bonuses, etc.
  4. Study the marketing aids and strategies
  5. Find out what free tools are available.
  6. Visit the forums on a regular basis. Read everything about getting started.
  7. Ask questions.

Your final written business plan will have at least four parts:

Introduction / background: history of the company and its founder, internet marketing trends, why THIS company and why NOW, and so on.

Goals: I suggest you think of what you would like to be learning in two years, but mainly focus on goals for your first year. Realistic goals can be planned based on info on the company website, in newsletters, searches on the forums, and focused questions to other affiliates.

Marketing plan: based on your answers to the first 3 questions above and your study of marketing aids and tools.

Action plans: the specifics of what you will do on a monthly, weekly, and / or daily basis for the next year.

I can not tell you what your answers should be, because you have to decide how much money you have to invest. Only you can decide how many hours per day, week or month you can invest in your business. What products you feel most comfortable marketing, and who you decide to target as your customer base, are all decisions only you can make. If you get stuck and do not understand a question, do not know where to find information, or do not know how to ASK a question, contact your sponsor or someone in your upline. If they can not help you, they should be able to send you to someonewho can.

You should NEVER feel alone. Work should be FUN! …

Balustrading Ideas and Designs

A balustrade is the combination of baluster and handrail. It is a row of recurring balusters. Balusters are erect pillows or small posts that perform the function of providing support to the railing. The important thing to consider is that the minimum distance between the pillows of a balustrade should be four inches. It can be made up of different materials like iron, stone, wood, glass, plaster or polystyrene. Balustrades are usually used for stairs, floor openings, balconies / terraces, pools and porches.

Balustrade is a very important part of homes. It not only makes the home attractive but safe as well. Its significance is greater in homes where little kids are present because if the kid goes to the terrace which has no balustrade, he / she can fall down accidentally.

The home looks unique if a balustrade is fitted on stairs behalf of cemented wall. If someone wants to give a new look to his / her home, then changing the balustrade with a more modern design is always a good idea. It also increases the worth of property.

The selection of a specific type of railing depends on the location of the railing; whether it is outdoors or indoors. The most common type of balustrade is made up of wood. The very fine quality of wood is used for making balusters. People living in rural area can use logs as well.

In very modern buildings, glass is often used for balustrade. It is a new idea that has become very popular to make the home striking. Glass balustrade can be suitable for any decoration of the home and does not require time-to-time paint or maintenance. The main difference between the balustrade made up of glass and other materials is that there is no spacing in glass balustrades. The glass is treated with heat to make it more strong and safe to use. The glass balustrade allows sunlight to come in the home easily. In residential buildings or homes, wire balustrades are used which give an elegant look as well as provide safety to the residents.

Aluminum balustrades and stainless steel balustrades are also available in the market in different colors. People have an opportunity to match the color of balustrade with the paint of home to make their home more beautiful.

Selection of balustrade is a crucial task for home owners. There could be many designs available in the market which seem attractive but to make it unique and different from others, people can add some innovative ideas and creativity in the designs. It should be taken into consideration that the choice of balustrade depends on the architectural design of the home. That balustrade should be selected that will be suitable to the building structure.

The designs of balustrades can vary according to the choice of owner. Some people like traditional designs and the retailers also also often customized designs where take the customers ideas on paper in form of drawing and then make the balustrade according to that design.

The Importance Of Stair Banisters

Stair banisters are basically hand railings placed on staircases for the purpose of hand support when going up or down the stairs. Whether you are having a new house made or you just want to remodel your entire house and you have decided to include the staircase, you should focus on the kind of material and design that you want for it. A well-decorated staircase can add that extra something to your home to make it more aesthetically pleasing to the eyes.

Banisters are actually a requirement for buildings, as it serves as an added security measure. For houses, stair banisters are installed for both security and aesthetic reasons. Most stair parts are made of wood, although there are also some made from stone and different kinds of metals. The material you choose should depend entirely on the overall theme of your home. If you have a large area surrounding your staircase, then stone or marble would not be such a bad idea. This kind of material is typically used for mansions and very large houses. However, most people these days prefer to use wood because it is lightweight and it comes in many different options.

You can also choose to use wrought iron for your stair banister. It really all depends on your preferences and the overall interior design theme of your home. Stair handrails are imperative if you have children in your home. You should also make it a point to add balusters, not only to make your staircase look much nicer but to ensure that your children are kept safe. Without adding these safety features, the risk of falling off the stairs straight to the bottom is significantly increased.

If you want your staircase to be the focal point of your home, especially when you have visitors, then you should invest in well-designed and durable stair banisters. Whether you have a grand circular staircase or you just have a straight staircase, you are sure to find banisters that are perfect for it. Aside from choosing the material and the design, you should also pay attention to its thickness. Thin banisters offer better hand grip because it comes in the right size where the thicker variety can be harder to grip. Regardless of the thickness you choose, the important thing is that you have support when going up and down the staircase.

Another aspect that you should pay attention to should be the end of your stair banisters, as this can be a safety hazard if not installed properly. It would be best to add a smooth end, like a round circular support, especially if you have kids. Sharp ends can lead to terrible accidents. The color of your hand railing does not necessarily have to blend with your staircase, as a little contrast is nice. Some homeowners with light-colored staircases choose a darker color for their banisters for aesthetic reasons.

Your staircase can be made of wood and you can still work with wrought iron when it comes to your stair banisters. With the number of options made available to you, you are sure to find banisters with the design, material and color of your choice.

Frontal Baldness – Causes and Solutions

Frontal baldness is one of the most common types of hair loss in men. Many men who suffer from this type of baldness feel self -conscious because it is so visible. Unfortunately this type of baldness is the most noticeable and can be challenging to treat. Still, frontal hair loss can be treated.

Most frontal baldness is caused by a condition known as Male Patter Baldness (MPB). MPB is genetic and developments because of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone aka DHT. This substance is created when the male hormone testosterone comes into contact with a specific enzyme. DHT attacks healthy hair follicles and shortens their growth cycle. This usually happens over time and may not be very noticeable at first.

One of the most effective and proven ways to treat frontal baldness is with hair loss medications like Propecia. These products will have to be used for several months in order to see results though.

Another proven method is a surgical hair transplant. While these operations can be expensive they are very effective and may be well worth it for some. These procedures are usually performed at a specialized clinic. The whole transplantation process can take a while, up to two years on some cases. During a surgical hair transplant hair is taken from the back and sides of the head to the bald spots in the front.

Frontal baldness can be successfully treated, but treatment will take time and money. Still for men (or women) who suffer emotionally because of their hair loss they may be well worth it.

Aluminum Gutters – The Best Choice For Home and Commercial Establishments

Aluminum gutters are available in various types to suit the requirements of commercial and residential properties. It is a channel that runs along the attic or on the roof edges, collecting rainwater and directing it to the downpipe. This in turn helps to protect your property from getting damaged by rainwater. Installing this guttering system is very easy. It does not require soldering or welding of joints, so it can be installed without the help of a professional. It can help you get reliable performance for years to come. It is very durable and does not rust. It is one of the cheapest gutters available in the market.

Cast aluminum gutters come in numerous styles, such as Victorian, Deep flow, ogee and beaded. Victorian gutter comes in three different sizes, so you can easily choose the one that suits your need. It is pre-drilled on the back edge to fix directly to a fascia board. Deep beaded half round gutter is suitable for use in larger roof areas. It gives extra depth and capacity to steeper roofs. It comes with all important fittings, such as corner, outlet, bracket and stop end. Molded ogee is a deep gutter featuring a flat back and bottom. It is the best option for larger sized properties, such as schools and municipal buildings. Beaded half round aluminum gutter is a great alternative to traditional half round system. Once fitted, it looks like cast iron and offers dependable performance for at least 30 years.

The main function of aluminum gutters, irrespective of the type, is to collect rainwater flowing down the roof and channel it through the downpipe to the drainage system, without wetting the walls or splashing the paintwork. Although steel, copper and vinyl gutters are also available in the market, gutters made of aluminum lead the competition due to their durability and functionalities. The gutters come with polyester powder covered finish that offers dependable performance for more years than you expect. The most important benefit of using aluminum gutter is that it looks seamless. This eliminates the problem of sectional gutters setting apart from the joints.

Aluminum gutters are profitable in the long run as well. As they require very little maintenance, you can save a lot of money. They are lightweight, yet durable. They have the ability to withstand any weather conditions. Keeping the gutters clean can help enhance their lifespan. It is extremely easy to clean them.

Aluminum gutters are available in various colors. They can even be painted to match the color of your property and the color places well on aluminum. They can be arranged according to your need very easily. They are stronger than many types of gutters and they come in lengths up to 35 m. Seamless aluminum gutter is also available that reduces the chance of leakage and eliminates unattractive visible joints. It is very easy to install this gutter by using the hidden brackets attached to the inside of the gutter. This offers extra durability and smoother, streamlined appearance.

Lightning Protection for Tanks

Lightning and Static Protection is a wise investment for Production and Salt Water Disposal (SWD) Tank Batteries. An effective Lighting and Static Protection System for tanks can be achieved by Grounding and Bonding, using Streamer Delaying Air Terminals (Dissipators), installing static control inside tanks and at truck load out stations and installing rated surge suppression.

Production, Salt-water separation, distillate, storage, and similar tanks, particularly fiberglass tanks, have a history of susceptibility to catastrophic damage from lightning and static discharges. The protection plan detailed below addresses both problems of lightning strike and static accumulation and discharges in the flammable environment of the tanks.

All protection systems need a path to ground. Streamer delaying air terminals can lower the likelihood of lighting attachment and streamer formation by dissipating rising ground charges during electrical storms, delaying streamer formation and reducing the likelihood of a lightning strike. Should a lightning strike occur, these streamer delaying air terminals still act as traditional lighting rods, that collect the strike and send its energy into earth. Equi-potential bonding through the tank battery helps to ensure that differences in potential do not arise during a lighting event leading to sparks that could ignite the flammable gasses. Installing an inductive neutralizer (Static Lasso®) inside fiberglass and coated steel tanks also helps to collect and ground accumulating static charges to mitigate the risk of igniting vapors inside of tanks.

Static bonding and grounding systems at the load outs create an equi-potential bond between the load out pipe and the truck. This reduces the possibility of a dangerous static discharge during loading or unloading while hydrocarbon vapor is present.

Industrial grade surge suppression protects critical electronic and communication equipment such as VSDs, PLCs, ESPs and RTU's. A surge suppression system helps to protect your equipment from nearby electrical power surges and nearby lightning strikes.

There are no guarantees with lighting, but by following best practices, damages are minimized. When a critical Central Tank Battery or SWD is lost to a lighting event, sadly operators realize that they could have protected the whole field for less then the cost of the clean up and rebuild of that single critical site. Wise operators now proactively have lighting and static protection installed at every new site while the AFE is open during site construction.

Learn How to End a Conversation

Many people who want to improve their conversation skills practice their opening lines, but they neglect learning how to end a conversation. It is a mistake to neglect the ending of a conversation because if you handle it badly, you might annoy or hurt the other person you are talking with. You might also miss out on the opportunity to deepen the relationship. If you learn to close a conversation really well, you can move the relationship forward and create an opportunity to meet again in the future.

People bungle the ends of conversations in several different ways:

a) They ignore the signals the other person is giving them that they want the conversation to end. Instead of letting the conversation end, they keep talking and talking. This is one of the most common errors that people make in conversations. By talking on and on, they can irritate and inconvenience the other person, who may really need to leave. A person who makes a habit of dragging conversations on too long can end up getting a reputation as a bore, and people will try to avoid speaking with them.

b) They end the conversation too abruptly without signaling that the conversation is coming to an end. This can confuse and even hurt the other person. There are usually a few social rituals that people follow when a conversation draws to a close. Instead of simply walking away at the end of a conversation, you have to signal in advance that you will be ending it. For example, you can say, "I have to be leaving in a minute; I have an appointment downtown." If you walk away without at least a few closing words, you will be seen as a person with no social skills.

c) They do not tell the other person they appreciated the talk. If you want to end your conversation on a positive note, take a bit of time to tell the other person that you have really enjoyed talking with them. Many people neglect to say something complimentary at the end of a conversation, even though this is a good opportunity to inject some sincere emotion into the conversation. If you appear sincere when you are giving your compliment, you will give a big emotional boost to the other person. If you want to have a real friendship or romantic relationship with a person, you should be sure to tell them how much you liked having the conversation with them.

You can try saying something like, "I'm really glad I ran into you today and we had a chance to talk. Or, "I'm always happy to talk to you." It's been a real pleasure. "

d) They pass up the opportunity to make a future appointment with the person even though they wanted to. Sometimes people neglect to suggest a date in the future because they get nervous, and other times they are too vague. Do not simply say, "We should get together again some time", because this is too vague. You should be more specific, and you should take the initiative to make the call.

If you would like to talk to the other person again in the future without making a specific appointment, you can make some remark such as, "I hope I get another chance to talk to you soon. "

If you really want to be certain that you see the other person again, you can follow this up by asking, "I'd like to meet you for coffee some time. Is it all right if I call you next week?"

If you want your conversations to lead to more friendships and relationships, you need to be good at ending conversations. In fact, it is probably more important to end a conversation well than to have a good opening line. Learning how to end a conversation will successfully result in a better social life for you.

Where Should You Play Poker?

Often overlooked, this fundamental question must be answered before you can pursue your dream of becoming a long-term successful poker player.

A poker players’ decision as to where he/she is going to play poker is perhaps the most important decision affecting the players’ enjoyment of the game and his/her bankroll. Generally speaking, a player has four possible venues to choose from, they are:

1) Online poker sites

2) Casinos/Local Poker Rooms

3) Home games with family & friends

4) Local Charity/Fund-raising tournaments

Each of these four venues has their own unique ‘pros and cons’ to be considered. One venue may be best for Player ‘A’, but not necessarily a good choice for Player ‘B’. The correct venue is relative to your personality, bankroll, and skill level.

Lets’ take a look at each of the four venues more closely, and discuss the characteristics of each. I will be speaking in broad generalities which are consistent wherever where you live, but you should realize geography plays an important role in venue selection. Gambling laws vary from one locale to another, so please research the laws in your area and play within those laws. With that caveat in place, lets’ examine online poker first.

Online Poker

Without a doubt, online pokers’ popularity has exploded in recent years; so much so, the Federal government has placed limits on the ability of US players to move money to and from the poker sites. These restraints pose a real problem for poker players, and several player associations are trying to fight these restrictions. The future of online poker laws is uncertain at this time. A full discussion of the legalities of online poker is beyond the scope of this article, but I encourage all poker players to do their research before you jump into online play.

Pros of Online Poker:

– The best thing about playing poker online is the ability to play from the comfort of your own home any time you wish. Sites such as Poker Stars, Full-Tilt, Ultimate Bet, etc. will literally have tens of thousands of eager players online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Whenever you are ready to play, you will have no problem finding an available game.

– Online play allows the player to play a wide variety of games. If you would like to take a break from Texas Hold’em and have the urge to play Omaha, Stud, Razz, Horse, or virtually any other game you can think of, the online sites will accommodate you.

– Another benefit to playing online is that you can play any stakes you are comfortable with. If you are conservative, or just starting out, you can play for as little as a few pennies a hand. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can play for as much as several thousands of dollars. The sites will offer a wide variety stakes in between these two extremes as well.

– Finally, because the online sites keep the games moving quickly, you can improve your game by playing a high volume of hands in a relatively short period of time. More experienced players may play multiple games at the same time. These players are seeing an extraordinary number of hands per hour.

Cons of Online Poker:

– Online poker can quickly become addictive. Online poker addiction can have severe negative consequences for the players’ physical, emotional, professional, and financial well-being. An addicted player will often start staying up all night playing while ignoring his need for sleep. This may lead to emotional problems and ultimately lead to a strain on the players’ home and professional life. A player must be vigilant to remember poker is not as important as family, friends, or your career away from poker.

– The online player may also become a victim of cheating while playing online. The poker sites try to catch cheaters through the use of sophisticated software that monitors play and looks for irregularities, and I believe they are partially successful in these efforts; however, it cannot be denied some cheating goes on without be caught. The problem for the individual poker player is that he can never be certain he is not being cheated. The poker world was a buzz last year when the media reported the scandal involving Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. Some cheating occurs between the players themselves when two or more players gang up on an unsuspecting player through the use of telephone communication while the hands are being played out. If your opponent has more information about the hole cards than you do, you are at a significant disadvantage.

– Because poker is played quickly online, the less skillful player will likely lose more of his bankroll online than if he played elsewhere. If a losing player plays more, he will naturally lose more over the long run.

Casino Poker

For this discussion, I will consider full service casinos (which you are likely to encounter in Las Vegas or Atlantic City) and local Poker Rooms (commonly found at Kennel Clubs, Horse Racetracks, or other Pari-Mutual facilities) to be one in the same. The size and degree of sophistication may be greater at a full service casino, but Poker Rooms have come far in recent years and can offer similar services to a poker player. Each facility provides the tables, chips, dealers, and pit bosses to manage play, and each provides a comfortable atmosphere for the players to enjoy. In exchange for providing these services, the ‘house’ will rake the pots or charge you an hourly fee to play (more on this later).

Pros of Casino Poker:

– Casinos/Poker Rooms typically do a good job at offering the player a comfortable environment to play. As more and more card rooms spring up, they realize they must compete for your business; therefore, you are likely to be treated well because the casino would like you to become a regular player at their facility.

– A player can be relatively confident the games will be run by professionals. The entire staff from the dealers to drink servers know their jobs (and their tips) depend on providing the players with excellent service.

– Casinos and card rooms are generally conveniently located within a community, and they are open 12 or more hours a day seven days a week. On short notice, a player can head off to the casino and expect to find plenty of action. Texas Hold’em is king at casinos, but other games are offered when enough players are available to fill a table.

Cons of Casino Poker

– Playing at a casino can be an expensive experience. A casino has considerable expenses, and must recoup these expenses through a ‘rake’. Some card rooms charge an hourly fee to play, say $10-12 per hour per seat. Others will take a percentage of each pot, or a percentage of the total tournament entry fees. A house rake of 10-20% is not unusual and must be overcome to be a long-term winner. A player must also be mindful that good etiquette dictates the player should tip the dealers and servers for the service they provide. These tips will add to the cost of playing at a casino.

– Another pitfall to playing at a poker room is that you may be the victim of a couple of ‘regulars’ who team up to soak the new fish that sits down at their table. Players can communicate their holdings through subtle hand signals which puts the unsuspecting player at a disadvantage.

Home Poker Games

Every night in America there are thousands of home poker games underway between families and friends. Poker requires very few supplies to host a game, and these items are readily available through many internet sites. You can start playing at the kitchen table and eventually move up to a true poker table complete with drink holders, padded rails, and a felt playing surface. The next thing you will need is a good case of poker chips, a 500 count set of 11.5 gram (or higher) chips will be adequate for up to 9 players. The final and most important item you need for the home poker game is a setup (two decks) of 100% plastic playing cards. Expect to invest between $15-25 per setup for quality cards.

Pros of Home Poker Games

– The one big advantage home poker has over venues of play is that you can pick and choose the players you play with. Typically, a group of 3 or 4 hard core players will decide to start a home game and they will invite their friends and family to play. This selection process nearly assures a group of players that get along well with each other. Chances of a loud or obnoxious player being invited to the game are minimal. The more harmonious the game is, the more you will enjoy playing there.

– A home game fosters social networking which may lead to new professional relationships as well. You may make a helpful contact with a lawyer, accountant, contractor, etc. through poker.

– Home games are great opportunities for husbands and wives, fathers and sons, etc. to share some quality time while playing poker.

– Generally speaking, little (if any) ‘rake’ is taken from a home game which means the money stays where it belongs, with the players!

Cons of Home Poker Games

– Do not fool yourself, organizing and hosting a home game can be a lot of work. If you are the host, you must be prepared to make calls, provide a place to park and play, provide the snacks and drinks, as well as the cleanup afterwords.

– A potential problem with home game poker is that in some localities, it may be against the law to wager money while playing. You must research and abide by the laws in your community.

– In a worst case scenario, a disagreement make break out in the card game which ultimately leads to a dissolved friendship or hurt feelings. All the players must be respectful of each other and sensitive to each others needs.

Charity/Fund Raising Poker

– In these turbulent economic times, some well known charitable organizations have turned to hosting poker tournaments to bring in much needed funds. Some private schools are even hosting poker games to supplement their scholarship funds. A poker player can give back to his community by supporting these events.

Pros of Charity/Fund Raising Poker

– Charity tournaments can be great social events which bring together large number of poker layers to support the cause. Somehow, it is more palatable to pay an ‘entry fee’ than it is to write a donation check!

– The skill level of the players that show up to these events is poor. Playing good poker is secondary in the minds of many players to having a good time while supporting a good cause. This mentality presents an opportunity for the skillful player to “clean up’ at the expense of the social players. Depending on the size of the tournaments, the payouts can be significant. You may be able to parlay a $60 entry fee into a $1,000 pay day for winning.

Cons of Charity/Fund raising Poker

– The biggest problem with these type of poker games is the lack of professional management by the event organizers. A serious player can quickly become irritated when a tournament starts a half hour late, or he gets seated at a table with an inexperienced dealer, etc. Violations of the rules and etiquette of the game are commonplace at fund raisers.

– The ‘rake’ can be quite high at these events. Remember, the primary reason the charity organization hosting the game in the first place is their desire to raise money. A rake of 25-40% is not unusual at these games which is unacceptably high to a player trying to boost his bankroll.

– A word of caution regarding the legality of these games, the charities often believe they are immune from compliance with local laws regarding gambling, but the sheriff does not always agree! Do your homework before deciding to play in fund raisers so you can make an informed decision.

Summary

Let me restate my original premise that deciding where to play poker is perhaps the most critical decision a player must make and will have the greatest impact on the players’ bankroll. There is no right or wrong answer to this question, you must decide which venue is best for your situation. In my opinion, the player that plays only occasionally and just wants to have a good time should probably head over to a casino and enjoy the atmosphere and service. However, if you want to build your bankroll, I recommend finding a few good home games with little or no rake. These games will provide you with the best opportunities to make money in the long run.

Now go play some poker!

Energy Efficient Buildings With Glazed Aluminum Windows and Doors

Energy efficient buildings have been seen as a luxury rather than a necessity in some countries. With many countries worldwide introducing new legislation to improve on the total building energy-efficiency footprint, it has prompted for an essential holistic look at building processes. Leading aluminum extrusion manufacturers have taken this environmental requirement to heart and have introduced thermally efficient window systems which, along with their other products, comply with national standards.

Conservation of energy is of serious concern in building design as a large amount of energy is expended in the heating or cooling of interior spaces. One of the priorities is to cut down on the internal illumination by increasing glazing to allow for increases in ambient light. This however increases the heat loss or gain to these spaces as windows and doors can notoriously be bad insulators.

Energy-efficiency in building and in particular glazing systems has been reserved mainly for cold climate zones and this has been the obvious costs involved in heating buildings. Now, the costs involved in cooling buildings are becoming just as apparent. As important as it has been to keep heat from going out of a building, it is becoming as important to ensure that heat coming into a building is limited.

The U-Value Measurement is used to evaluate the thermal performance of building material. Simply put: U-Value is the measure of the rate of heat loss through a material. Thus in all aspects of home design, the lowest U-Values ​​should be aimed for where possible because the lower the U-value, the less heat that is unnecessarily escaping or entering.

Energy (temperature) flows through glazed windows and doors through a combination of four main factors namely: air leakage, conduction, convection and radiation.

• Air Leakage
The flow of temperature through (in or out) the product through unsealed opening frames. Some windows do not have any seals, making them non-compliant to building regulation and extremely inefficient altogether.

• Conduction
The process by which heat is directly transmitted through a substance where there is a difference of temperature.

• Convection
The movement caused within a fluid or air by the tension of hotter and therefore less dense material to rise, and colder, denser material to sink under the influence of gravity, which consequentially results in the transfer of heat.

• Radiation
Heat transferred in the form of light energy through glass (including non-visible spectra).

Both clear float glass and aluminum are reliably poor insulators of heat. In buildings, they equate to a large portion of the energy required to maintain optimal environmental conditions. Designing an Aluminum Glazed System to overcome all four heat transfer conditions is paramount to enhancing the saving of energy which can be achieved all year around.

Aluminum: Aluminum being non-transparent is affected by radiant energy by absorbing it and converting it into both conductive and convectional heat. Aluminum is one of the best heat conductors and because of these properties it is used as a heat sink in computer thermal applications. Controlling the conductive and convection properties is important and possible when designing thermally efficient systems.

Glass: Glass being transparent is not greatly affected by radiant heat as it allows heat in the form of infrared radiation to pass directly through it, heating a room directly. It is also a poor insulator from both conductive and convection properties.

Glazed systems are a major building cost. Thermally-efficient glazed aluminum systems have the benefit of paying for itself. As energy costs increase, the energy saved though efficient building practices actually put money back in your pocket in the long-term, effectively paying for themselves.

Building designs in certain countries are starting to feel the effect of inefficient building energy design due to increases in energy costs. By changing the design configurations of both aluminum and glass and adding insulating weather seals, it is possible to substantially modify and convert these materials into an effective energy-efficient system. On their own they remain inefficient, but in a system designed to isolate and modify the energy flows, they become highly energy-efficient fenestration systems.

Things to Remember When You Choose LED Lights

LED lights come in various types and features. A basic knowledge about them will help you to choose the right type of bulb for your specific need. The various types vary in shades, brightness level, energy consumption and viewing angles. Considering all the aspects you will have to select your LED light to make it really useful.

Wattage and brightness are related with traditional bulbs. The more wattage the bulb has you will get more light in your room was the idea we had till now. However, with these lights it’s very different. The interesting fact about these lights is they are significantly more competent, use less energy and provides you the same lighting traditional bulbs do. The wattage ratings of LED bulbs which range from 1 to 5 watts, seems unbelievable to users of first time. Whatever may be the type of LED light you select, you need not doubt a second about your gain in its operation cost.

Another notable feature of LED lights is that they focus the light on a specific area instead of spreading them in the entire room, unlike traditional bulbs. In truth, we do not need the light to be spread out in certain places like reading desks, kitchens and bathrooms. LED bulbs produce an advanced intensity of brightness also known as lumens, for less power. LED’s with a wider focal area too are available but they are generally designed to focus on a small area.

The focusing angle of the LED is very important. If you need an LED to display items in a shelf you should opt for an LED bulb with tight focal beam. At the same time, a reading desk may require a little more spread out beam. The benefit of the LED bulbs is that the full amount of light you get is concentrated on the area you want instead of being scattered and wasted.

Another aspect you should look for is the connection requirements. When you have checked the connection and have decided the location for your LED light you can shop for the most suitable one for your requirement.

Traits of a Rainy Day Tent

Rainflys & Tub Style Floors

A tent with a rainfly is like a tent within a tent. The rainfly acts as an outer waterproof/ water resistant barrier to help keep the rain away from the actual tent. Ideally it should be kept out of direct contact with the tent material, as contact will promote the transfer of water to your belongings on the interior. Anyone ever been startled awake by a 4 year old scream crying because they just woke up in a soggy wet sleeping bag? I shudder just thinking about it. A good rainfly is worth its weight in gold, and beats trying to hastily rig up tarps or retreating to the car for the next 14 hours straight. A tub, or bathtub, style floor will also go the extra mile to keep the water off of your belongings. This floor style carries the waterproof floor material partially up the tent wall, usually 8 -12 inches, and keeps much of the rain dripping off of the roof from mixing with the mud and soaking through the tent sidewall.

Adequate Ventilation

With 4, or more, people stuck inside a tent on a rainy day, the humidity inside the tent is going to shoot up rather quickly. You’ll be trying to play cards only to have one suddenly disappear… to be found an hour later stuck to the side of little Trent’s clammy leg. You won’t be able to stop the rainstorm, or your breathing for that matter either, but you can choose a tent that has at least 2 screened windows on opposite walls. Or equally effective, a vented dome top with a ground vent that’s shielded by the rainfly or a vestibule. Any combination that allows for the movement of air will be a great benefit.

Vestibule & Screened Porch

Many tents are now available with a vestibule… a semi-sheltered area over the door opening that is formed by an extension of the rainfly. These work quite well to shield the door from direct exposure to the rain. A Vestibule is also very handy to take off and leave wet and muddy shoes, soaked clothing, and to stash anything else that is waterproof to free up room for the stir-crazy occupants trapped inside the tent. Some of the larger, “cabin” style, family camping tents now come with a screened porch. If the rain isn’t too torrential, these screened porches are awesome for allowing the family to spread out a bit till the rain lets up. Not only does it let your family physically spread out, it may go a long way to promoting mom and dads emotional well-being as it allows them a few minutes of relative peace while the kids occupy their own time at play nearby, safely out of the weather.

Creature Comforts

Alright, some of these are not on the Old School “roughing it” list, but lets face it, few of us set out on this rainy weekend adventure to be Davy Crockett or Lewis & Clark. There are tents currently on the market that have built-in LED lights and fans, powered by readily available, rechargeable DC sources. No more kicking over the lantern or attempting to hold the flashlight in your mouth while you shuffle the cards and help your daughter into her hoodie at the same time! Most tents have some form of pockets for interior storage, but did you know that there are now tents with closets? Yep, you read that correctly. These specially designed, “bump out” closet areas free up valuable floor space on a rain-filled day, giving you more room to maneuver around the sea of humanity stuck in the tent with you.

Ceiling Height

Seems that many of the 12 year olds are almost 6′ tall these days? If you’re stuck inside of a tent all day, or worse, ALL weekend due to rain, the ceiling height of the tent is going to become extra important. Your body is going to naturally want to stand up at some point, and it’s rather uncomfortable if you’re 6′ tall and the tent is only 5′ 8″! Selection used to be somewhat limited for tall tent campers, but has recently blossomed with quite a large number of tents with ceiling heights at 5′ 10″ or greater. I would also suggest looking into a cabin style camping tent rather than a dome, as the former will offer more room to move about at the taller head room.

So if you’re new to tent camping, looking to retire or upgrade your existing tent, or busy compiling your Christmas camping wish list, consider these traits in a new tent. Doing so, before you’re trapped inside with the whole family during an extended downpour, might go a long way to a more enjoyable weekend outing… and to maintaining your ongoing sense of sanity.

Fireproof Your Marriage

Life today is full of stress. Dwindling job security, increasing bills, decreasing income, health problems, misbehaving children, needy children, even perfect children: all of these factors contribute to giving marriage a tough time at being successful.

That is why it's beneficial for couples nowdays to watch the movie Fireproof. Fireproof the movie is about a young, married couple that just can not get along with each other. They constantly bicker, refuse to help each other out, and in time even beginning to form love interests outside of the home. When the big D word starts looming over their head, Caleb, the husband, consults his father for advice. His father encourages him to embark on a 40 day journey that entails doing one loving act per day for his spouse, stacking the love acts as he goes along. While doing this, Caleb encounters so many conflicts and rejections from his wife, but his love grows for her and he has tried to save the marriage, no matter how resistant she is.

This movie motivates any couple in any kind of situation to be more considerate of one another. To stop the constant negativity, rolling of the eyes, and selfishness. It reminds women and men that just because they are married, the romance does not have to be gone. There can be that feeling of butterflies and passion reinstated in a marriage, even after many years. All it takes are some acts of kindness. Just a little extra love for a man and woman to fireproof their marriage.

The Impact of Vinyl Stickers on Printing

Stickers are best tools of expressiveness and are known as the friendliest means of communication. They are the most popular advertising and marketing products. People make use of stickers for many different purposes. They are printed by making use of either standard sticker paper stock or premium vinyl stock; although the use of sticker paper stock has become almost obsoleset after the advent of vinyl which is far more reliable than paper stock. Vinyl comes in two main types; clear vinyl and white (solid) vinyl. The stickers which are printed on clear vinyl are the stickers with transparent background. They are recommended for pasting on surfaces with light colored background for a more predominant appearance.

The stickers printed on white vinyl are solid stickers which are not transparent. They are printed with backgrounds of solid colors. Vinyl has a lot of unmatchable features that are second to none. It is highly durable and long lasting material having the ability to withstand the effects of extreme hot or cold weather conditions. Vinyl has the tendency to be exposed to direct sunlight and rain. In spite of being exposed to such conditions, vinyl does not fade off or peel. Aside from other exceptional qualities, vinyl is easy to install and remove. It does not leave any kind of residual on the surface from where it is removed. For all these exceptional features and qualities, vinyl is highly recommended by the printing companies for outdoor applications.

The uses of vinyl are countless especially in the modern era when advertising and marketing is at its best and there is an environment of cut throat competition. The businesses make use of vinyl stickers for printing many different types of stickers that include auto stickers, wall and window decals, advertisement stickers, label stickers, decorative stickers and many more. The use of decorative wall and window decals made out of vinyl stock has almost completely replaced the wallpapers. The reason is the durability of decals and its countless benefits. They are durable, long lasting, attractive, removable, washable and most of all cost efficient means of interior decoration. They are not only utilized at homes but also at offices, stores, shopping malls and all other commercial places.

Aside from home and office décor, vinyl stickers are used as advertisement tools. They are printed on clear or white vinyl in regular or die cut shapes and are distributed among public. Everyone loves pasting stickers therefore this advertisement never goes wasted. Vinyl stickers are also used on vehicles as auto stickers. The most popular type of auto stickers is car bumper stickers. They are compact in size and easy to install and remove. They are cost efficient and least expensive. Auto stickers give the quickest and cheapest transformation to your car. They are removable and do not leave any kind of residual on the surface. Printingblue is one of the leading online printing companies. They specialize in the printing of all sorts of stickers. They print your stickers by making use of CMYK / PMS (Pantone Matching System) printing process.

Fireproof – Christian Movie Reviews

The movie Fireproof, staring Kirk Cameron (Caleb) and Erin Bethea (Catherine), portals a typical couple that experience the degradation of their marriage in a scenario where many of us can relate, whether in part or in whole. There are points in a relationship where it appears doomed to fail, where there just does not seem to be any way out of the turmoil which somehow crept in without notice. At this point, most of us seem all too willing to throw in the towel and call it quits. Divorce then becomes the only way out. Fortunately, our two characters were blessed with a wise mentor, Caleb's father, who had at one time experienced a decline in his marriage as well and proposals a possible solution to his son.

A little bit about the movie: Caleb is a dedicated fireman who gives more attention to his job than he does his wife Catherine. His irritation, whether from the demands of his job or of his working wife's supposedly "delinquent" domestic duties, escalates into several arguments and fits of rage with Catherine. Furthermore, Caleb unknowingly adds to his troubles by surfing for porn on the internet. His success at work really does not carry over evenly to home life.

Catherine, who appears to be a somewhat frigid individual and who does not seem to give her husband the attention he needs (you can speculate why this is so), works at a hospital where she has addressed the attention of a flirtatious doctor. Because of her problems at home, the doctor begins to woo her over as she begrudgingly succumbs to the only solution she feet plausible.

Divorce appears to be the only solution. However, with the help of Caleb's father and the "Love Dare", a 40-day guide representing a more spiritual approach to building relationships, Caleb learns how to properly treat his wife and become a stand up husband. The couple ever learns to return their attention to one another and regain their love, but not without some soul searching and a willingness to look past prior hurts.

I wholeheartedly recommended this film for new and existing couples wanting a glimpse at the realities of marriage. Other reviews have noted the shaky beginning and less than stellar acting abilities. Considering these are volunteers, I would say they did an excellent job. But as the storyline unfolds, it ends on a very strong note. If you are looking for a wonderful message and a recipe for a stronger relationship, you will be glad you saw this one.

Fireproof was written and directed by Alex Kendrick. Other films which Alex Kendrick directed were movies such as Flywheel (his first movie) and Facing the Giants.