10 Ways to Help Your Dog Get Over Their Fear of Being Alone

Being social animals, dogs HATE being left alone. There are always exceptions to the rule, but for the most part a dog wants to be with their pack, be it you, your family, another dog, a cat, or even a bird. There is a sense of insecurity and vulnerability when left alone. Feeling abandoned, some will panic. By relieving himself all over the house, a dog reassures himself this territory is his. His path of destruction is simply a way of reducing boredom and separation anxiety.

Dogs whine, bark and howl intuitively, in hopes that you will hear and return to them. When separated in the wild, it is how they find each other. They have no concept of work, shopping or school. To your dog, each time you leave the house, you have gone out on a hunt without them, and may never return.

A closed door to your dog is tantamount to popping a boulder at the entrance of their den. NEVER put your dog in a room with a closed door. Use a half door (it is less defining) or baby gate, so they can smell, see, hear and sense that they are not completely cut off from their comfort zone and environment.

There are a number of steps you can take, to help your dog feel less anxious while you are gone. First and foremost, dog proof the area, just as you would for a child. Remove anything they can chew or choke on, remove all chemicals, raise wires, unplug anything electrical they have access to. They will get into anything, when bored or feel anxious. Most dogs sleep practically the entire time you are gone, when in a protected restricted area or crate. That's why they are so full of energy, as you walk through the door! Give them a comfy bed, a few safe, tough toys or chew items, a couple of trips, and just enough water to wet their whistle.

10 suggestions for helping your dog feel less anxious when you leave the house are:

1. CRATE / WIRE – A crate is not as cavernous as an empty room or the entire house. Most dogs are quite comfortable and surprisingly to some, feel extremely secure in their crate. Inherently, to them it's a sheltered, secure den.

2. GATE: Certain dogs do not mind being restricted, as long as they can see what's going on on the rest of the house. If that's the case, a high quality baby or dog gate is a great solution to the problem. Your dog will not have the run of the house for a search and destroy mission, yet they will not feel rejected. It is also a great way to keep the dog from being underfoot, yet feel included, when you have a house full of guests. Make sure your dog learners to respect the gate, before leaving them for any extended period of time.

3. COMPANION – Another dog would be terrific, but it does not need to have a dog. Many enjoy the company of any animal, be it a cat, rabbit, or bird. Oddly, while living under the same roof, dogs often bond with these unnatural "pack members."

4. ENTERTAINMENT – Find safe, quality, durable toys or chew items to help keep him employed. Rotate them, so your dog looks forward to something "new".

5. NOISE – White noise works wonders. A radio, in another room, with the volume set low, on a soft music, talk show or even the weather channel, offers your dog a sense of tranquility and human companionship. It also helps filter distracting outside noises.

6. OBEDIENCE TRAINING – Find a local trainer who applies positive reinforcement, punishment-free methods of training. Spend quality time everyday working on obedience skills with your dog, to build up their self-confidence. They appreciate your undivided focus on them, and you get a well-behaved dog. It's a win-win situation.

7. EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE! – Tire your dog out, BEFORE you put them up for the day. A vigilous 20-30 minute walk, or tiring game of "FETCH" before leaving them, will help take the edge off. A tired dog is a good dog!

8. HELLOS & GOOD BYES – Keep the hellos and good-byes low keyed. Do not make your entrance and exit melodramatic. Your dog feeds off your behavior and emotions. If they whimper, whine or bark as you leave, go back, make a firm correction, then ignore them, and walk out the door.

9. CHANGE YOUR ROUTINE – Nearly all of us are creatures of habits. We do not realize it, but unconsciously we follow a pattern routine, before leaving the house. Dogs are very in-tuned to it. Change your routine daily, so your dog does not get anxious, sensing your departure. Get your keys BEFORE your brush your teeth. Put your shoes on, then grab a magazine and act as if you are reading it or pour yourself a cup of coffee and sit. Then get up and walk out the door. No good-byes! When they see you are not going through your regular departure ritual, they will drop their guard, and be less anxious.

10. DOG WALKER / DOGGIE DAYCARE – If your dog must be left alone for 8 or more hours per day, consider using a dog walking service, and / or enrolling them in a doggie daycare at least twice a week. Not only will your dog will appreciate the social interaction with humans and dog playmates; it breaks the monotony of their day, and gives them something to look forward to.

Work at building up your dog's self-confidence and break down their anxiety of being left alone, by short separation exercises. Begin with 5-10 minutes; then slowly lengthen the time. It takes a fervent commitment on your part, but it reassures your dog, you will return to them.

BOTTOM LINE: Ultimately, nearly all dogs adjust to human routines. However, there are a few, who will never adjust to being left behind. To keep them, your house and belongings safe, definitely work on crate / wire kennel training. Your dog will gradually get adjusted to it.

Why Price Action Trading is the Best Way to Make Money in the Forex Market

Forex price action trading can be defined as trade decision making based on chart chart patterns, the patterns being created by traders simultaneous reactions, to news and world events. Price action trading, is then, a study of human emotion described in the Forex price charts and presented to the trader in the form of price patterns, which repeat over and over again across all time frames and all currency pairs.

Before I discuss in detail why trading using price is the way you should trade Forex, I would like to discuss technical indicators. The Forex trader must understand that technical indicators are derived from price itself and as such lag the price action. This means that if you are a technical trader using exclusively indicator based strategies, then unfortunately you are more than likely to fail at your endeavor of trading the markets for profit. Notably, you will be entering the market too late and closing your trades too late when you trade using indicators.

When you draw a technical indicator from price you typically smooth out some of the troughs and peaks of price itself, but more importantly you build inherent awards into the indicator when compared to price, this is vitally important to understand and relates to the point I made above – technical indicators lag and this will cost you money.

If you look on the internet search engines, you will find a plethora of indicator based systems, for sale or for rent, along with volumes of articles, trading robots and other sure fire systems informing you of how can make money using an indicator based system . This is all well and good, however, do these methods and systems really make money?

If we accept that over 90% of traders will ever lose money trading or wipe their accounts clean trading Forex trading and if we accept that the vast majority of those people use indicator based methods to trade the market, I think that tells us something about the indicator based systems themselves.

Indicator systems at best will help you to break even in the markets, whereas price action methods will help you to get nicely profitable.

The study of price is then, the observation of traders activity in the market place, this can be seen and depicted in the market via the price action pattern. The patterns express the traders emotions.

In my next article I will go into some depth concern price and start the discussion and explanation of the various types of price action trading methodology that I look at on a day to day basis. Methods that work well in the Forex markets and which are easily seen on the charts during live trading.

The Importance of Hiring Professional Window Cleaning Services

Have you often marveled how those high-rise commercial buildings, condominiums and even luxury homes retain their perfect appearance through the years? Well, the answer behind this is plain and simple. Most business establishments and even homeowners valued the need to hire people who can maintain the above mentioned properties. They hire reliable individuals who have the necessary skills to make the property looks appealing to the eyes. Entrepreneurs do this to get a good impression from other people who may want to do business with them.

In business, the appearance of the establishment plays a very important role to its success or failure because the appearance of a particular establishment dictates the decision-making of potential customers. There are customers who would prefer to do business with a neat looking commercial establishment than with outdated ones. Customers are one good factor why it is very important to hire the service of a professional window cleaner, to preserve the looks of the property from the inside and out and attract customers at the same time.

Apart from the above mentioned, let me share with you the other valuable reasons why hiring professional window cleaning services are important:

Hire professionals to avoid accident

Why do we need to hire professionals if we can easily clean our own windows? Well, that's absolutely true. Anybody can wipe out dirt and remove unnecessary particles from windows but because we do not have the necessary skills to do the job correctly like what a real professional has; ordinary people like us will be sooner to accident which would cost us time and money, not to mention the suffering and pain we could get out of it.

Hire professionals to get the best possible result

Hiring professional cleaners can provide you the best possible result of having dirt free, spotless windows all-year round. Since these people are experts and because they are fully equipped with the specialized tools used for cleaning windows such as the water- fed pole and ladder, you can feel confident that everything will come out perfectly once they are stepped out of your doorway.

Hire professionals to avoid liability

Lastly, it is advisable to hire professional cleaners to avoid liability. Always keep in mind that as a property owner, you will be held responsible for any damages and injuries that may happen to anyone inside your property. But when you hire professional cleaners, you can be sure that each of them is insured so you will not be held accountable if something happens to them during the duration of their job.

Hiring professionals to clean your windows could be ideal somehow because they have the skills and the technology to do the job correctly. But make sure you choose the most competent window cleaning services so you will not have any regret in the end.

Cooking Vegetables With Waterless Cookware – Part 2

Cooking vegetables correctly does not have to be a guessing situation. By following a few simple directions, you can insure that your fresh or frozen vegetables will turn out tasty, appealing and cooked to perfection every time.

Cooking Fresh Vegetables

To cook fresh vegetables, place the vegetables in a pan that is almost completely full once vegetables are inserted. When cooking with waterless cookware, cooking vegetables in too large a pan for the quantity you are cooking can be a problem. Then rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus the vegetable's own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking the waterless way.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart that follows: Do not peek . Doing so not only lengthens the cooking time but also increases the risk of burning your vegetables because the vapor seal is broken. When finished cooking, test for doneness with a fork. If not done, cover the pan, close the vent and add 2 to 3 Tbsp. of water to the rim to reestablish the vapor seal. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cooking Frozen Vegetables

Do not defrost the vegetables. Again the size of pan used for cooking the vegetables is important. Once the vegetables have been placed in the pan, your pan should be almost completely full. Rinse your vegetables with cold water and pour the excess water off. The water that clings to the vegetables plus its own natural moisture will provide enough moisture for cooking.

Cover the pan, close the vent and cook over medium-low heat. When the cover spins freely on a cushion of water, the vapor seal has formed. Cook according to the time chart. Do not peek. Removing the cover will destroy the vapor seal, lengthen the cooking time, and possibly cause the vegetables to burn.

Cooking Times for Vegetables:

Artichokes (whole) (30 to 45)

Artichoke hearts (10 to 15)

Asparagus (10 to 15)

Beans, green (fresh, cut) (15 to 20)

Beans, green (fresh, French cut) (10 to 15)

Beans, green (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beans, Lima (fresh) (30 to 35)

Beans, Lima (frozen) (10 to 12)

Beets (whole) (35 to 40)

Broccoli (15 to 20)

Brussels Sprouts (15 to 20)

Cabbage, shredded (10 to 15)

Carrots, sliced ​​(15 to 20)

Cauliflower (10 to 15)

Corn (fresh) (15 to 20)

Corn (frozen) (10 to 12)

Eggplant (5 to 8)

Greens (10 to 12)

Leeks (12 to 15)

Mushrooms (5 to 10)

Okra (15 to 20)

Onions (whole) (15 to 20)

Parsnips (sliced) (15 to 20)

Peas (frozen) (5 to 7)

Potatoes (quartered) (20 to 25)

Potatoes (whole) (30 to 35)

Potatoes, sweet (30 to 35)

Spinach (frozen) (8 to 10)

Spinach (fresh) (15 to 20)

Squash, summer (yellow) 15 to 20)

Squash, winter (25 to 30)

Squash, zucchini (20 to 25)

Tomatoes (10 to 15)

Turnips and rutabagas (25 to 30)

* Cooking times reflect the time after the vapor seal is formed, which usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Note: To keep your vegetables hot and ready to serve, keep the cover on and the vent closed. The vegetables will stay hot in the pan for about 20 to 25 minutes.

Do not let the concept of cooking waterless scare you. When you try it, you will soon discover how easy it is to actually use waterless cookware if you follow the above principles. Yes, cooking with waterless cookware is healthy because vegetables cook in their own natural juices, but you will soon discover how tasty and absolutely flavorful your prepared meals actually are. The Gourmets Cookware offers a wide variety of quality waterless stainless steel products along with tips and healthy recipes that can be easily adapted to your waterless cookware.

Mourne Park House

The Four Winds of Heaven

The first time I visited Mourne Park, some 15 years ago, Julie Ann Anley took me on a whistlestop tour. “It’s great!” she laughed. “No one ever bothers us here because the house isn’t architecturally important.” This was no tourist attraction like Belvoir Castle. The country house as time capsule may have become a cliché, coined in the Eighties when Calke Abbey came to the public’s attention, but it certainly applied to MPH.

The last time I visited the house, in April 2003, it was teeming with members of the public prying over the soon-to-be-dispersed contents. The period perfection was starting to unravel. Small white auction labels hung from everything including the kitchen sink. A striped marquee consumed the courtyard and the building itself was looking the worse for wear.

The auction was the result of a long and bitter family feud which erupted following the death of Nicholas Anley in 1992 that dragged through the law courts until the beginning of 2003. On 14th February, without much filial or sibling love, it was finally settled.

“It’s something which all our family very much care about,” Marion Scarlett Russell, Julie Ann’s younger daughter told the BBC’s Northern Ireland rural affairs correspondent Martin Cassidy back in 1994.

“We’ve always known that this house and its land were non negotiable and it was something we would do everything to keep,” agreed her older sister Debonaire Norah Needham Horsman or ‘Bonnie’.

But this harmony of thought abruptly ended following disagreements over how the estate should be managed. Events reached a dramatic climax when Marion removed what she considered to be her fair share of the contents from the house in a midnight flit. Her refusal to reveal the whereabouts of these ‘chattels’ as the courts insisted on archaically calling them, resulted in her spending a week at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

Five years of arduous legal wrangling costing hundreds of thousands of pounds only ended when it was finally agreed that Marion could keep her share and the other two siblings would auction off their two thirds of the contents.

MPH was the seat of the Earls of Kilmorey (pronounced “Kilmurray” – what is it about the upper classes and their delight in nomenclature mispronunciation whether Calke as “Cock”; Belvoir as “Beaver”; or Blakley as “Blakely”?).

The family can trace its roots back to an Elizabethan soldier, Nicholas Bagnel, founder of Newry. The 4th Earl of Kilmorey died in 1962. Just before his death the family inheritance was rearranged because he had no sons, allowing his nephew and heir, Major Patrick Needham, subsequently 5th Earl of Kilmorey, to waive his right of succession to MPH in exchange for assets of equal value. And so the title returned to England where Charles I had created the original viscountcy in 1625.

This compromise allowed the 4th Earl’s widow, Lady Norah, and her two daughters to continue living in the house. Patrick’s son, the 6th Earl, is better known as Richard Needham, former Conservative Northern Ireland Economy Minister. He is now the deputy chairman of a vacuum cleaning company and declines to use his Anglo Irish title. However his son styles himself Viscount Newry and Mourne.

Nicholas, the son of the elder daughter of the 4th Earl, married Julie Ann at the start of the Sixties and moved into the converted stables at Mourne Park. He inherited the house minus the title in 1984.

Julie Ann may have modestly described the house as being architecturally unimportant and it is no competition for the baronial battlements of Ballyedmond Castle or the symmetrical severity of Seaforde House. But it is a rare example of a substantially Edwardian country house in a county where Victorian or Georgian is the norm.

MPH oozes charm with its long low elevations hewn out of the local granite and its lavish use of green paint on window frames and porches, bargeboards and garden furniture, and the abundance of French doors. Much of the interior decoration dates from the early 20th century which lends the house a nostalgic Edwardian air.

And the setting is second to none. Looming behind the house are the craggy slopes of Knockcree Mountain rising 130m above the oak and beech woodlands that make up the estate.

A Victorian visitor, W E Russell, waxed lyrical on Mourne Park, as archived by Dr Anthony Malcomson. ‘The scene… from the front entrance is indeed very fine. Before you, in the precincts of the mansion, is a lake. Beyond this lake, the demesne stretches away with a gently rising slope, which hides the intervening land, till one can fancy that the sea waves lap the lawns of the park.’

The genesis of the mansion dates from 1818 when the 12th Viscount Kilmorey (1748-1832) employed Thadeus Gallier (later anglicised to Thomas Gallagher) of County Louth to build the central block. It most likely replaced an earlier house on the site.

Gallagher, an architect or ‘journeyman-builder’, had already built Anaverna at Ravensdale a decade earlier. Baron McClelland commissioned this five bay two storey house near Dundalk in 1807. It’s now the home of the Lenox-Conynghams. Too grand for a glebe, too modest for a mansion, this middling size house, tall, light and handsome, stands proud in its sylvan setting overlooking a meadow. The large fanlight over the entrance door in the middle of the three bay breakfront is partially obscured by a glazed porch, but otherwise Gallagher’s design is untouched. Semicircular relieving arches over upstairs windows introduce a motif he was to later employ at MPH. At Anaverna he proved himself to be a designer of considerable sophistication.

Gallagher’s son James, who recorded in his autobiography that his father worked at MPH for nine months in 1818, emigrated to New Orleans where he carried on the dynastic tradition of designing fine buildings. His grandson, James Gallier Junior, was a third generation architect and his 1857 New Orleans townhouse is now the Gallier House Museum.

The first of six incarnations of MPH, Gallagher’s design was a typical late Georgian two storey country house with Wyatt windows on either side of a doorway similar to Anaverna’s with a fanlight over it. Next, a third storey was added was added and then some time after 1859 a new two storey front of the same height was plonked in front of the existing house, so that the rooms in the new block have much higher ceilings than in the older part.

The replacement façade is three bays wide like the original front but in place of Wyatt windows is bipartite fenestration set in shallow recesses rising through both storeys with relieving arches over them. It is the combination of these paired windows and gentle arches, like brows over the eyes of the building, which gives the front such a distinct look.

In the central breakfront the shallow recess starts over the entrance door which is treated as another window, flanked on either side by a window of similar shape and size. A low parapet over a slim cornice partly conceals the hipped roof which wraps around the roof lantern of the Staircase Hall.

Contemporaneous improvements were made to the estate itself. In the 1840s the 2nd Earl (1787-1880) – the Kilmoreys had gone up a rung on the aristocratic ladder when his father, the 12th Viscount, was made an earl for his services to the development of Newry – commissioned a ‘famine wall’. It was a method used at the height of the Irish potato famine by many Big House families to create work to keep locals from starving. The cheaply built granite walls also profited the estate. Kimmitt Dean records that the 2nd Earl built Tullyframe Gate Lodge, the third of four gate lodges, at this time. Whitewater Gate Lodge was built in the 1830s and Ballymaglogh Gate Lodge in the 1850s.

But it was the alterations of the 3rd and 4th Earls which gave MPH its Edwardian flavour. “Not fit for a gentleman to live in!” exclaimed the 3rd Earl (1842-1915) upon his inheritance. His remedial gentrifications began in 1892 when he added rectangular ground floor bay windows onto the front and continued until 1904 when he built a single storey wing perpendicular to the back of the house. This wing contains Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room and the Long Room, the latter completed in time for his son’s 21st birthday celebrations.

Between 1919 and 1921 that son, by now the 4th Earl (1883-1961) built a sprawling flat roofed extension onto the avenue side of the house and relocated the entrance to this elevation. Double doors framed by pairs of squat square pillars formed the new entrance, balanced on either side by the two windows of the Billiard Room and Lord Kilmorey’s Study. The 3rd Earl completed the estate buildings with Green Gate Lodge, a two storey house finished in the same granite as MPH.

A century of each generation making their mark on MPH has resulted in a fascinating building full of surprising changes in floor levels and ceiling heights. The main block is arranged like three parallel slices of a square cake, each different in essence. The oldest three storey slice at the back of the house has low ceilings and small windows, some retaining their Georgian panes. The middle top lit slice contains the Long Corridor which runs parallel with the Hall, the Staircase Hall and the Inner Hall. Finally the newest slice contains the enfilade of reception rooms: the Billiard Room (formerly the Large Drawing Room), the Dining Room, the Ante Room, the Blue Drawing Room and above, the principal bedrooms with their plate glass windows.

The back of the house overlooks a courtyard enclosed by the Long Room on one side, a low two storey nursery wing on the other side and the obligatory row of outbuildings parallel with the house.

All the rooms on the ground and first floors were open during the auction preview weekend. I began the tour that I had gone on a decade earlier, only with a written rather than personal guide and without the troop of 13 Persian cats which had followed us around the first time round.

“Come on, get out of this room!” Julie Ann bellowed to the cats as she shut the door of each room. “Otherwise you could be locked in for a year or two!” I commented to her, “At least you won’t have mice.” She replied,” They just watch the mice race by.”

Now people were talking in hushed murmurs as if at a wake, quietly leafing through issues of The Connoisseur in the Estate Office and thoughtfully gazing at caricature prints in the Rosie Passage.

The Hall, arranged like a long gallery with paintings hung on white panelled walls, is the first in a processional series of spaces which culminates in the Staircase Hall, the most exciting architectural moment MPH has to offer. The staircase was extended between 1919 and 1921 to stretch out in the direction of the new entrance while the original flight of stairs through an archway into the Inner Hall was retained. Above, more archways and openings afford tantalising glimpses of bedroom corridors filled with the shadows of ghosts.

Close to the new entrance, Lord Kilmorey’s Study had an air of formality in contrast to the intimacy of Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room which is tucked away at the back of the house. A 7m long oak bookcase, used as a temporary display cabinet for the preview (sold for £3,000) and a chesterfield sofa (sold for £800) completed the butch mood of the good Lord’s room. On the other hand, the femininity of Lady Kilmorey’s Sitting Room was exaggerated by the delicate double arched overmantle (sold for £1,000) and the 17th century Chinoserie cabinet on a carved giltwood stand (sold for £11,000) similar to those in the State Drawing Room of 11 Downing Street. HOK auction staff were making last minute notes on a pile of books in the middle of the floor. The house no longer felt private.

The three main reception rooms were quintessentially Edwardian. Chintz sofas and family portraits mixed comfortably with period pieces. ‘Shabby chic’, another Eighties cliché, is an apt description. Decades of decadence had descended into decay, where once the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) had whiled away halcyon days.

In the Billiard Room an off-centre timber and brick chimneypiece defiantly declares this room to date from the 1920s. Paint was peeling, curtains were crumbling.

An air of faded grandeur pervaded the Long Room. Triumphal flags now in tatters and coloured wall lamps dulled by the passage of time hinted at past glories and parties long forgotten. A suite of oak bookcases was supplied by John McArevey of Newry to fit between the rows of windows running the length of the Long Room. One pair sold for £3,000.

The kitchen had lost its lived in look which I remembered. It was neater now with rows of copper jelly moulds and tin pots arranged museum-like along the painted pine dressers. High up on the wall above, the clock had stopped.

The principal bedrooms with their straightforward names – the Avenue Bedroom, the Corner Bedroom, Caroline’s Room, the Best Bedroom, His Lordship’s Bedroom and Her Ladyship’s Bedroom – had plain sturdy furniture. A mahogany breakfront wardrobe and matching half tester or four poster bed dominated each room, accompanied by a matching desk and pot cabinet. On average the wardrobes sold for £3,000; the beds for £5,000.

The bedrooms looked slightly sparse. Perhaps they had been fuller in happier times. Minor bedrooms and servants’ rooms had brass beds (the one in the Housekeeper’s Room sold for £70), lower ceilings, less dramatic views, and were full of clutter. Not for much longer.

“People say it’s as if time stopped in the house,” Philip Anley said on the opening day of the auction. “That’s a tribute to mum,” he added, acknowledging Julie Ann’s efforts to maintain MPH.

Sales had taken place at Mourne Park before. Shortly before his death, Nicholas had sold more than half the 800 hectare estate to Mourne Park Golf Club which extended from a nine hole to an 18 hole course. A decade before he had bought out the interest of his aunt, Lady Hyacinth, which meant her family removing various heirlooms in lieu of any stake in the house itself. The inheritance of the title and estate had already split in 1960. However this sale was different. It heralded “the end of an era” according to Philip.

Herbert Jackson Stops’ introduction to the 1920s sale catalogue of Stowe springs to mind. ‘It is with a feeling of profound regret that the auctioneer pens the opening lines of a sale catalogue which may destroy for ever the glories of the house, and disperse to the four winds of heaven its wonderful collections, leaving only memories of the spacious past’. A rare level of honesty compared to recent excuses of selling off the family silver from ‘wanting to share chattels with others’ to ‘streamlining the collection’.

Sara Kenny from HOK Fine Art conducted the auction, raising a total of £1.3m. Prices were high with dealers bidding against collectors against locals. “My dad worked on the estate so I want some sort of keepsake,” I overheard one bidder say. It seemed everyone wanted their piece of MPH’s history.

Auction excitement reached fever pitch on the last day when lot 1391 came up for sale. It was the Red Book of Shavington, in the County of Salop, a seat of The Right Honble [sic] Lord Viscount Kilmorey’. For those who don’t know, Red Books were the creation of Humphrey Repton (1752-1818), a pioneer in the field of landscape architecture. He created or transformed over 200 English estates. His mantra was natural beauty enhanced by art. His practice was to complete a Red Book for each client.

The Shavington Red Book was a slim volume encased in red leather containing his proposals for ‘improvements’ outlined in neat copperplate handwriting and illustrated with maps, plans, drawings and watercolours. Several bidders appreciated its historical importance and exquisite beauty. In the end it went under the hammer for £41,000.

The 3rd Earl of Kilmorey had sold Shavington, the family seat in Shropshire, in 1881 to pay for debts his father had accrued. He crammed much of the furniture into MPH. Shavington items auctioned included two early 19th century pieces by Gillows of Lancaster which both sold for £11,000: the Corner Bedroom wardrobe and the architect’s desk from the Library.

Mourne Park estate may not have benefitted from the romantic touch of Humphrey Repton but its rugged character, derived from the granite face of Knockcree, remains unchanged from faded 19th century landscape photographs. The same can’t be said for the interior of the granite face house.

“I’ll always remember the day you visited Mourne Park,” Julie Ann said. Strolling up the old drive she continued, “As the day the boathouse collapsed.”

And sure enough, the gabled boathouse, which had stood there for centuries, not so much collapsed as gently slipped into the lake like a maiden aunt taking a dip in the water. After a few ripples, it disappeared. Forever.

Fifteen years later, masterpieces and miscellany, a record of Edwardian living in its original setting, are now gone, just like the boathouse. It is a sad ending for the collection that formed the soul of one of Ulster’s Big Houses. Sad for the family and for the people of Newry and Mourne whose toil allowed the family to amass a fortune in antiques.

In the middle of the 320 hectare estate still stands the house itself, stripped of its contents, naked as the classical statues that once graced the lawns around the lake, awaiting its fate.

Since this article was published, Marion Scarlett Russell placed MPH on the market with Knight Frank for £10 million. The asking price has now been reduced to £6.5 million. It is still for sale.

Wilton – American Dream

If you decorate cakes or have ever shopped for cake making supplies, then chances are you are familiar with the Wilton brand. It’s hard to miss their products since Wilton has led sales in baking and cake decorating products for over half a century. Based in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, Illinois, Wilton has grown enormously from its beginnings as a family cake decorating business during the United States’ Great Depression.

Today Wilton Industries sells over 2,000 different bake ware and food-related products, from instructional manuals and cake pans to pastry bags and food colorings. Wilton’s products aren’t just sold in the United States either. Major retailers in over 150 countries carry Wilton products. And business continues to grow with approximately 400 new consumer products being developed annually.

It all started in 1929 when Dewey McKinley Wilton, with the help of his wife, began a small cake decorating business in Chicago. Then came the stock market crash and the nation’s Great Depression. Surrounded by high unemployment rates and bread lines, Wilton carved out a prosperous niche by creating wedding cakes for Chicago’s famous hotels and clubs. The Wilton family business grew throughout the 1930’s.

Decorating cakes for the rich and famous gave the Wiltons’ reputation a nice boost. So when they opened a cake decorating and candy-making school for caterers and chefs, they had no problem with enrollment.

By 1947, the “Wilton Method” had become a household word among cake decorators, and a leading department store chain, JC Penney, was now promoting and selling Wilton products.

Before long the Wilton brand name become synonymous with cake decorating supplies and schools. All of this publicity laid the foundation for the Wilton’s decorating empire that continues to influence wedding cake trends.

Then in 1977, under the leadership of Wilton CEO Vince Naccarato, three diverse companies were united as Wilton Industries: Wilton Enterprises, Copco and the Weston Gallery.

Today, each division is a recognized leader in its market. Wilton Enterprises is the number one preferred brand name in baking and cake decorating products, Copco is the premier designer and marketer of teakettles and quality kitchenware, and the Weston Gallery is a leader in upscale picture frame design and marketing.

Under the continued leadership of Naccarato, the company enjoys strong sales growth and national distribution, which are largely credited to “category management,” that is basing marketing on tracked trends, and through “supply chain management,” which helps retailers lower costs of merchandising.

According to Austin Chronicle report, the Wilton Method was the unquestionable ruler of cake decorating until the 1980’s when Martha Stewart’s methods gained popularity. Her made-from-scratch cakes and stance that taste is just as important as the decorating challenged Wilton’s use of cake mixes and vegetable shortening.

However, Wilton continues to enjoy great success and to lead the industry. According to Hoover’s November, 2006 business report, Wilton Industries employed 650 people and reported $325 million in sales for the 2005 fiscal year, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year.

For three quarters of a century, Wilton has offered cake decorating classes throughout the United States and Canada, including the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in northern Illinois. Wilton is partially credited for bringing the intricate, European cake decorating method to the United States and Canada.

In fact, Wilton’s cake decorating classes enroll nearly 200,000 students every year and from all around the world.

While many cake decorators enjoy the Wilton classroom experience, others like the customer below, prefer learning at their own pace at home with video instruction, such as the “Cake Decorating Made Easy” series.

Another ingredient in Wilton’s recipe for success is its annual “Your Take on Cake” contest, which attracts thousands of talented cake decorators from across the United States and Canada who compete for $5,000 in cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend The Wilton School’s two-week Master Course for Cake Decorating in Darien, Illinois.

Equine Water Consumption – Ten Ways to Make Your Horse Drink Up

During hot, humid weather, your horse may not drink enough water to keep up with fluid loss. When that happens, dehydration can occur.

Horse dehydration is more common in the summer, but it can happen at other times of the year, too. Intense activity in hot, humid weather is the most common cause, but an active horse in a hot, poorly ventilated stall or without access to sufficient water (think frozen water buckets!) Can become dehydrated, too.

There are some simple things you can do to get your horse to drink more water.

1. Make sure he has enough water. An idle horse needs a minimum of ten gallons of water a day and an active horse in hot weather can suck up 25 gallons.

2. Make sure the water is clean, clean, clean and easy to access. Tipped over, leaky or funky water buckets will not encourage your horse to drink any more than they'd entice you.

3. Soak hay before feeding to increase its hydrating capacity. One wet-down flake of hay can absorb 1-2 gallons of water. If you feed your horse well-soaked hay, you can make a real impact on his fluid consumption.

4. Offer fresh grass, watery bran mash and moisture rich trees such as carrots, apples or watermelon.

5. Allow your horse access to a clean salt block.

6. Combine 1 teaspoon salt with 2 tablespoons of applesauce. Put it in a syringe or de-worming tube and shoot it in her mouth. The salt should stimulate thirst.

7. Try squirting 1 tablespoon of corn syrup into her mouth. It will coat her tongue and compel her to drink.

8. If her water is very cold, try adding some warm water to the bucket.

9. Some horses do not like "different" water. If you're going on the road and can bring enough water from home, do so. If not, try to add a little apple juice, sugar beet water or apple cider vinegar to the water a few days prior to travel. It may help to disguise the "new" flavor.

10. Go for a ride! A 15-minute walk or a light ride will pilot thirst. Check with your vet before exercising if your horse is recovering from dehydration.

Exercising your horse after he consumes water will not make him colic. The horse's stomach empties very quickly in response to a water ingestion.

Moderate dehydration can be reversed by allowing the horse unlimited access to water and electrolyte supplementation

Severe and dangerous dehydration can best be reversed by giving electrolyte fluid intravenously. Contact your vet if your horse is strictly dehydrated.

Tips to Maximize Notebook's Battery Life

Notebook batteries are specifically designed for different notebooks brand as well as models. Today notebooks are powered by lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries are lighter, have a better power-to-weight ratio, can hold a charge longer, have a longer usable life, and do not have the memory effect to fail prematurely.

Lithium ion batteries are also inexpensive to manufacture as compared to the earlier generation of nickel metal hydride batteries. The only shortcoming about lithium ion batteries is as they contain lithium salt dissolved in a highly flammable solvent, there are chances of overhead which can result in short-circuits or even blow up in flames.

It is a common fact that all notebook batteries have provision for limited time of power supply. A good bargain is to check the battery power while buying a notebook. Here is one instant tip to optimize the battery settings in accordance with the energy saving mode of your notebook. These settings will put the hard disk into sleep mode whenever the workload is less and it will reduce the notebook microprocessor performance in order to maximize its battery life.

From the system preferences mode of your notebook, select view menu, then choose energy saver option from view menu. Right click on show details option and choose battery power from the pop-up menu. Finally choose longest battery life from the energy settings pop-up menu.
Tips to optimize your notebook batteries are described in the following:

It is better to keep your notebook on standby mode when not in use for certain amount of time. Standby mode ensures all current info is saved in RAM with minimum consumption of battery power.

It is a good investment to add more memory to your notebook as it saves battery power by reducing Windows' dependence on the virtual memory swap file on your hard disk.

Try to set the screen brightness of the LCD panel of your notebook to the lowest comfortable level as very bright screen tenders to consume more power from your battery.

Charge your notebook battery frequently with a battery charger or AC adapter. It is very important to clean your battery's metal contacts every couple of months to make it dust free. You can use a cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol to clean your notebook battery.
Turn of the unused features and technologies of your notebook which are not frequently usable. For example, it is better to eject the CD or DVD when you are not using them as the optical drive has the tension of reading CD or DVD it finds very often and this process consume extra battery power.

Similarly it is better to get rid of the outer periphers such as printers or digital cameras as they can still draw power from your notebook battery even when they are not used.

Turning off or at least disabling the PC Cards, FireWire devices and USB when not in use also saves battery power. In fact, disabling modem, network cards and USB ports consumes less battery power even when they are on. These devices are easily disabled in device manager.

To save power, it is good idea to turn off the AirPort, Wi-Fi, IR radios and Bluetooth option when it is not required to use. Virus scan should be set only during the time you are usually plugged in as full-disk virus check by the hard drive and CPU consumes additional power from battery.

Opt for the power console applet to customize the power profiles on your notebook. Do not worry in case your notebook does not have a power console applet option for most of the operating systems (starting from windows 98) have Power Options utility in Control Panel.

You can use power saver option of your operating system to adjust the CPU processing power. Optimum CPU processes consume additional battery power and hence should be avoided if not required. Stop the auto start applications on your notebook, so that your notebook`s CPU can be stopped from doing unnecessary work.

With the above mentioned soft tips, you can really increase the battery performance of your notebook.

Part 2 of Swapping a V8 Into a Toyota MR2 2nd Generation

Please note: this is the second article in a series of articles on a V8 MR2 engine swap

In my introduction, I left off at the point where I decided to change from the Audi V8 engine, over to another engine for my V8 MR2 swap. The reason I originally chose the Audi was because there was a very good chance it would fit without cutting the car chassis. The axle clearance issue, unfortunately, could not be known until I removed the oil cooler / filter from the side of the engine. It then became apparent that the engine block itself was in the way. The block could not be cut and re-welded as the oil pump and oil pump drive pulley were also in the way. I had to purchase the engine in order to find these things out. This is the nature of swaps like this, that no one has ever done before. Know anyone that wants a 1997 Audi ABZ 4.2L V8 with 70K miles?

I realized at that point that it might be easier to find a transverse V8 engine, even if it's too long to fit, and go ahead and cut the chassis and weld it back up again. Welding some sheet metal is easier and far cheaper than trying to solve the problems created by using the Audi V8, which may be solvable, but only with a lot of very expensive custom machined parts. Even then, I still feel the axle clearance issue will still cause problems, as it would require a 3rd CV joint to be added to the right axle, and some large permanent angles would be required, which are never a good idea with CV joints. The areas of the MR2 chassis that needed cutting were thin sheet metal. They are structural, but they are not heavy structural, so welding sheet metal back into the cut areas should not pose too much of a problem, plus, I had a plan to reinvigorate those cut areas. More on this later in this article.

I need to backtrack a bit, as I have not discussed the transaxle yet, which is another major component that needs to fit between the engine. During the initial research into this project, I decided to check out what the Fiero guys were doing. The Fiero, made by GM and Pontiac from 1984 to 1988, was a mid-engine affordable car, which also used a front wheel drive train that was simply transposed to the rear of the car, just like all 3 generations of MR2. The engine sat slightly ahead of the driving axle, so when the front wheel drive train was moved to the rear of the car, it became mid engine. Note that the definition of a mid-engine car is one where the engine sits ahead or on top of the rear axle, just like the MR2. Note that a rear-engine car has the engine behind the rear axle, like a Porsche 911 or the original VW Beetle. The Fiero guys have been doing V8 swaps into the Fiero for many years now, since the early 1990's. The car is wider than the MR2 mk2 (mark 2), so it's easier to fit a V8. I contacted one of the oldest companies that did V8 Fiero conversions and found out that they were using a new GM 6 speed front wheel drive transaxle. This transaxle was the strongest transaxle available to the average person. It had the highest torque rating.

Transmissions and transaxles are rated by torque from the factory. Transmissions and transaxles are not rated by horsepower, as horsepower does not kill transmissions. Too much torque is what can kill a transmission. Think of it like this, when you turn a bolt with a wrench, you are applying torque to the bolt. Apply too much torque to an already tight bolt, and you can snap the head off. Transmissions are similar in that too too torque can break the gear teeth right off of a gear.

The torque rating given is also based on the weight of the intended vehicle. Torque rating means, how much torque from an engine can the transmission or transaxle handle, and still last a long time, usually 100,000 miles. The heavier the car, the lower the torque capacity of the transmission. Use the same transmission in a lighter car, and the torque rating will be higher. A heavier car generates more stress on the transmission components when the car is accelerating at its maximum, when the engine is generating maximum torque. This is always first gear, as that is the maximum torque multiplication given by the transmission to the engine during driving. The 1997 Audi V8 I tried to use was rated for 295 ft-lbs of torque at its maximum. The Northstar has a similar rating.

The new transaxle the Fiero guys were using was a new GM unit rated for almost 300 ft-lbs of torque, in a 3500 lb car. The biggest surprise is that this transaxle could be purchase NEW on eBay for only $ 475 SHIPPED !!! That was in 2007. Nowadays, you can get it for around $ 375. There is a story behind this, but basically, GM surplussed out the 2006 version of this transmission, as they decided to change it in 2007.

This transaxle could take the torque of a healthy V8 engine. If the car were lighter than 3500 lbs (Fieros are around 2700 lbs, and mk2 MR2's are 2700 to 2950 lbs), the torque capacity of this transaxle would be higher than its factory intended application. The 6 speed was also shorter than the stock MR2 transaxles by 1.75 inches, allowing more room for a longer motor and adapter plate (if one was needed).

The icing on the cake, and the part I did not know until 6 months after buying the Audi V8, was that the Cadillac Northstar 4.6L V8 bolted up to this transaxle, with the exception of one bolt, that could easily be accommodated by a fabricated small bracket or welding some additional aluminum to the side of the transmission bell housing flange on the block. No adapter plate needed!

By switching to the Northstar, I could resolve the adapter plate issues, the starter location issue, and most importantly, the axle clearance. This is because the Northstar was used originally in transverse applications from 1992 or 1993 up to 2002. It's still used transversely, but there is a longitudinal version and GM moved the starter location. Checking my notes from November of 2007, I found that I had written that the Northstar was 23.75 inches long at the critical dimension-this is the length of the engine from the crank pulley bolt head to the rear face of the bell housing flange on the block. At the time, I may have accidently included the flex plate in the critical dimension, but it is really not part of the critical dimension. It turns out that the 23.75 inches measurement was INCORRECT!

Back in Nov 2007, I did not use a straightedge on the Northstar I looked at in the wrecking yard, just a tape measure. Also, at the time, I assumed an adapter plate would be needed for the Northstar to mate to the GM 6 speed (which was wrong as I later found out, and discussed above). If you have ever measured an engine for length, you would know that it can be tricky to get an accurate measurement as the engine has a lot of width and parts in the way of measuring. In December of 2008 (a year later), I went back to the wreckers and re-measured the Northstar. This time, I was much more careful. I found that it was actually 23.0 inches long, but remember, no adapter plate was needed (which would add around inch inch to the whole assembly). This puts a different spin on the problem.

OK, so if this is a bit confusing, or hard to picture, I will simplify it here. The stock MR2 turbo motor is the Toyota / Yamaha 3S-GTE, and the stock transaxle is the Toyota E153. The 3S-GTE is 20 inches at the critical dimension. The E153 is 16 inches long. Total length of this drive train is 36 inches. However, there is a notch in the left side of the car that matches the E153 case perfectly, giving it a little additional clearance. It will not match the GM 6 speed. The stock MR2 drive train has about in inches of clearance at the crank pulley, and the same on the transaxle end.

Now, the Northstar is 23 inches, and the 6 speed is 14.25 inches, for a total of 37.25 inches or 1.25 inches more than the MR2 stock drive train. This would not fit, as the MR2 chassis notch at the transmission end does not match the 6 speed. Cutting of the chassis is required, but not very much cutting.

The prior attempts to put do a V8 MR2 swap in the Gen2 attempted to use a Toyota 1UZ-FE V8 which is 26 inches long, and the E153 which is 16 inches, for a total of 42 inches. This is 4 inches more than stock! 4 inches may not sound like much, but it's a lot when you're fitting a drive train. To make things worse, an adapter plate is needed to mate the 1UZ to the E153 transaxle. So, add another inch inch.

This approach required complete removal of the MR2 subframes, which are only 2 or 3 inches wide in those areas on each side of the car. This would weaken the car quite a bit. Also, the right shock tower would probably hit the rear head of the 1UZ V8, so it would have to be cut a lot. I think the guys that did the prior attempts figured this out after they cut their MR2s, and they brave up.

In December of 2008, I went ahead and purchased a low mileage Cadillac Northstar. Fortunately, 1994 to 1999 were all the same, and I found out that they were the easiest to add a stand alone engine management solution to. The later 2000 and up versions are far more difficult. The 1993 version is also the same, except that the intake manifold was cast from metal (aluminum or magnesium), instead of plastic like the 1994-1999 versions.

I was able to mate the Northstar to my 6 speed that I had purchased in December of 2007, a year earlier. Finally! I made some progress! I then did a test fit into my 1991 MR2, and made the cuts to the chassis, so now the Northstar and the 6 speed fit in the car. I just recently mounted an alternator to the Northstar, and found a way to fit it much more tightly to the block, giving the engine additional room around it in the car. I am currently in the process of building the motor and transaxle mounts. Once that is complete, I can send the axles out to be shortened and re-splined.

Getting back to the cutting of the chassis that I promised at the beginning of this article: The areas of the chassis that I had to cut are part of a stamped sheet metal "pseudo" sub frame. It's not really a sub frame as its stamped sheet metal that is spot welded to the body, but they are in the shape of a traditional frame rails (ie rectangular cross section). I notched these "frame rails" on each side of the car to clear the Northstar crank pulley and the case on the GM 6 speed. The metal is thin gage sheet metal. I will re-weld these areas with new sheet metal to cover the holes, and I will probably put additional sheet metal doublers over these cut areas, overlapping the weld joints. This will ensure that the repairs will be stronger than original. This is the standard approach in the aircraft industry, when facing a similar issue.

In addition to the doublers, I am going to create a new rear suspension cross member from scratch, as the original cross member interferees with the GM 6 speed case, and the new axle locations. This new cross member will have extended sections that the original did not have, which will straddle the notched areas of the sub frames, further enhancing strength. I did not need to cut the right shock tower, but that is not completely certain yet. I did have to remove some metal that was attached to the outside of the shock tower. It did not add much in the way of structure, so I felt it was OK to do this.

The end results of these modifications will probably add weight to the car, and I will weigh the new parts to get an idea of ​​how much added weight there will be, but I estimate it will be less than 20 lbs more than stock. The V8 should easily handle an extra 20 lbs of car!

Please stay tuned for the next in this series of articles.

Update: It turns out that the custom cross member is NOT needed! I found a way to use the stock MR2 cross member (with seme minorl modifications). This is great, and is a HUGE time / money saver. The MR2 crossmember is extremely important because the rear suspension and rear toe control rods attach to it, so trying to duplicate it accurately, and with enough strength is extremely difficult and time consuming. Now that I found a way to re-use the original cross member, I have save huge time and money.

Building a Gunite or Shotcrete Pond? Important Things You Need to Know About Gunite and Shotcrete

You’re probably planning a Shotcrete or Gunite pond, but I bet you do not know what Shotcrete and Gunite are. Come on. Take a guess. If you answered, a sprayed concrete, that would be incorrect. In reality, Shotcrete is an all-inclusive term used for describing the process of spraying concrete or mortar through either a wet or dry application technique.

Gunite, on the other hand refers only to the dry-mix process in which the dry cementitious mixture is blown through a hose to the nozzle, where the water is injected immediately prior to application. So in essence, what you end up with is still concrete. The only real difference is how it was just applied.

When people think of concrete, they think of concrete that is poured into forms that have steel rebar and mesh reinforcement, which is then allowed to set up and cure. The Shotcrete or Gunite process allows the concrete to be sprayed in place instead.

Shotcrete is a wet spray application, meaning that the concrete mixture is blended with water and pushed through the application hose pneumatically where it is applied to the job site. Gunite consists of a dry mixture that is pushed through the hose pneumatically until it gets to the gun nozzle, at which point water is injected into the mixture where it is mixed as it hits the job site.

In the end, one could say that besides a few minor differences, Shotcrete and Gunite work the same. Small differences such as how each material might be applied to a vertical or overhang area are about all you’ll find.

Now you may have also been thinking that Shotcrete or Gunite were actually waterproof after they have been sprayed and cured. This is a misconception. Remember when I said that you’re still spraying concrete? Concrete is not waterproof either. This is why, when building a pond, you need to seal the inside of the concrete shell.

The positive side of this is that because it is concrete, using the right waterproofing coating means you’ll not have to use a primer in order to get it to stick. Just prepare the surface as you would any concrete and you’ll be in business.

Keep in mind though, that because it is normal concrete, it will have to cure for a minimum of 28 days just like any other concrete. During the hydration process, the typical precautions of keeping the concrete moist are very important in order to minimize shrinkage.

One of the things you’ll find that is a plus for Shotcrete or Gunite is that because it is sprayed, a lot more of the air is removed from the over-all product. This means that the concrete is stronger than a typical poured type of concrete. Poured concrete might have a compressive strength of 2500 psi where Shotcrete or Gunite average out at near 4000+ psi.

The draw back with that is minor, only being air entrainment within the concrete. Air entrainment in the concrete is good for freeze/thaw cycles. During a freeze for instance, water is pushed into the concrete and can literally expand within the air pockets meaning the concrete will have a better chance at withstanding cracking.

A good spray contractor will know this and attempt to entrain at the proper percentage so as to accommodate for freeze/thaw when the scenario calls for it. This is referred to as the spacing factor.

One other thing you might ask your contractor about is whether or not your application could benefit from the Shotcrete or Gunite being partly composed of silica fume. Silica fume makes the Shotcrete or Gunite stickier and aids in the application process where a quicker build up is needed.

Finally, you should take care when deciding upon a contractor to apply your Shotcrete or Gunite. Here are some questions to ask both yourself and the contractor.

  • Does the contractor have a good track record of shooting ponds with the wet method? Dry method?
  • How many ponds have they completed with the wet method? Dry method?
  • Can you provide a list of past completed jobs?
  • How do they plan to incorporate the trimmed concrete into the shell? (The rebound and the trimmed concrete play a key role in the final quality of the pond shell.)
  • What concrete mix design do they plan to use?

Excuses to Not Have Insurance

Have you ever wondered what goes through the minds of individuals who have a car but no car insurance? Do you ever let someone else drive your car? Have you ever wondered while driving if the person next to you has car Insurance? I think about it all the time. The truth is that there's no real way to ever know who has insurance and who does not have insurance until something drastic happens. I want to talk about some of the myths that I have heard either in person, on the radio driving or in court. Yes, I said court. You would be surprised of the responses someone gives a judge regarding not having car insurance.

One of the top excuses to not have car insurance is the mindset of not getting caught. If you have been in the car with someone without insurance you can usually tell by the way they're driving. They are constantly looking in the mirrors, slowing down to avoid attention when they see a police car. As a car owner you should know that most states require drivers to have the states minimums for bodily injury and liability coverage to drive legally.

Another excuse is that their car is a piece of junk so no insurance is needed. Well, rather you think your car is junk or not they realize it or not the car gets you from one place to another. So, protecting your car is worth it. After all, working hard to purchase the car should give you the desire to reserve it? Just imagine your life without it. At the same time all vehicles require insurance no matter the condition.

You may hear someone say I have my own medical insurance and that should be enough to protect me if I get hurt. Personal insurance and car insurance are separate entities. If you think about it most people take out the bare amount of coverage on their jobs due to price. Do you realize when you're in a car accident there are other cost involved? Will your work insurance pay for the ambulance expenses? These expenses can add up if there's more than one car involved in the collision and it's your fault. If you know you have the bare amount of coverage go ahead and get a quote for insurance that offers medical. That will give you one less thing to worry about.

I will never get sued is another saying people think is a reason to not have coverage for their cars. We live in a lawsuit happy society. People will sue you over the smallest of things and win because the either know the law or have a great lawyer. I learned from a popular movie that with the legal system that it's not about what the crime is but rather what you can prove.

I got luck on my side. I can tell you right now that luck has nothing to do with someone wanting to steal, vandalized, or damaged your car. What happens if a storm comes and damages the car? Who pays for it? Can you afford to pay out-of-pocket expenses? Do not risk the losses.

At the end of the day having a piece of mind is what comes when you're covered. Great auto car insurance with a quality policy protects you against whatever may happen to you on the road.

Model Train Tables – How to Build One You Will Love

Many people design and build a table to place their model railway on top of. This can be difficult. Some people use a piece of plywood or a table top, but they have limits.

Many model railroad designers want to use many landscapes and track designs. Plywood and table top tracks impede, since you can only run the track on a flat surface. For this reason, many model railroad designers decide to build their own model train table.

The first step to building your own table is deciding what size it will be, how much each section will weigh, and what your track layout will be. Sections of your train tracks that feature lots of scenery may need additional support. Using an L-girder has become the standard way to support specific sections of your track since it is adaptable to your needs and provides more than enough reinforcement and strength.

Building your bench with L-girder supports is a good choice because it is very strong, inexpensive, and easy to configure. Such a structure is made of a platform that utilizes girders, joists, and cross braces. These pieces work together to support your model train design. Joists do not have to be spaced at equal distances, but they tend to be separated by eighteen inches each.

You should be careful when choosing what lumber you will use to build your structure. For both the support piece and the tabletop itself, you need flat pieces that will not interfere with your train's move. Since some of the lower priced lumber that you can buy will actually warp, it would be in your best interests to purchase a better grade of wood.

Since you may have to transport your model train set and its accompanying display table to another location, a layout that is greater in size than one 4 x 8 piece of plywood should still use the parts that are not any larger than that. You can do this by placing joints in between the bench work cross members. Also, leave access to the wood screws and support risers from underneath your table.

Building your model train table in this manner will keep your scenery from getting damaged when you are trying to hunt down a lost screw. Be especially careful to not make the wood split where you place your supports. That means not using screws that are too large or placing them in the wrong location.

If you want to be able to get to your scenery easily, you can make cuts in the wood, but these need to be carefully planned out and taken into consideration when designing your supports. Some people cut holes in the wood before setting up the track, while others choose to do so afterwards.

Making a model train table that you will truly love requires a great deal of planning, but if you take the time to do so you will be extremely happy with your finished product.

Advantages of Growing Tomatoes on a Trellis

Tomato planting has been one of the greatest passions of home gardening. And as you indulge yourself in growing healthy and tasty tomatoes you also long to grow bigger and bigger tomatoes. Anyhow, you wondered what could be the best way to growing tomatoes – trellis or ground gardening.

Here are some tomato trellis ideas:

1. When making a tomato trellis, you may put a support beam or a pipe overhead wherein your tomato plant can stretch out as they grow.

2. You may use PVC tomato trellis as an overhead because they are light in weight.

3. From the support beam, you may hang another knot or twine or stick where the plant can cling and grow upwards. This is what you call vertical gardening.

4. You can use as many vertical knots from the top to allow the spread of its growth. Just make sure to place the hangers not to close to each other. Keep a distance of at least 24 to 36 inches apart.

Homemade tomato trellis is highly recommended because you can easily adjust the size and style just as the way you like it. You can design the trellis according to your needs and comfort.

Growing tomatoes up on trellis are notably great with tomato varieties that grow very tall. Some of the varieties you can try planting on your trellis are Celebrity, Mountain Delight, Fantastic, Better Boy, Burpee’s Big Girl and the like. You may also want to try on the extra-large type of tomato variety.

The good things about growing your tomato plant on trellis are the advantages you can draw from it. Take note of the following benefits you can get in growing tomatoes up on trellis.

1. Tomatoes grown on trellis evades from being affected with fungal bacteria coming from an infected soil. Your fruits and foliage are safe from touching the infected soil thus making them safe and sound above the ground.

2. Fruit rotting can also be avoided when your tomato plants are hanged above the ground.

3. Tomatoes grow perfectly on trellis, ensuring blemish free produce.

4. Trellis can give your plant tremendous support as they grow, and consequently give you an easy access to your plant for weeding, watering and even on foreseeing your plant bear fruits.

5. Homemade tomato trellis also gives you the benefit of a carefree way in reaching your tomato produce especially when harvest time comes.

6. Tomatoes grown on trellis gains a free flow of air supply and sunlight penetration thus ensuring healthy tomatoes.

7. Tomato plant on trellis gives you the ease and convenience of pruning suckers that may affect other branches as well as remove any unwanted excess leaves that may block sunlight penetration.

8. Another good reason for using trellis is that you can easily keep them and reuse them when you decide to plant again.

9. What’s more is that you can eliminate constant bending and kneeling when taking care of your tomato plant trellis hence, minimizing messy hands and dirty shirts.

See, growing tomato on trellis is really a piece of cake as much as it is pleasurable and relaxing. So much more, you may relish luscious, full-tomato-taste fruit crops during harvest season.

Best Way to Write Architect Resume Objectives

An architect is a highly skilled and well trained professional who is responsible for planning and designing buildings. He or she participates in supervising the construction of a building. They also create new designs and plans for buildings based on the information provided by the clients.

The people who have strong interest in arts and architecture can make careers in this field. Nowadays architect jobs are in huge demand with each and every industry. Here is a sample job description for this job.

1. People at this position have to create construction drawing and design documents. He or she is liable for coordinating the activities of in-house trades, construction staff and outside contractors along with overseeing the necessary testing activities.

2. They are responsible for creating new designs and plans for buildings, based on the information provided by the clients. They put projects to tender on behalf of their clients, give advice to a general contractor, and review the progress of the work during construction.

3. He or she deals with devising the map, preparing pre-design documents, zoning and planning issues, estimating cost, preparing budget, and tracking project performance, analyzing and monitoring construction activities.

4. They are also responsible for obtaining building codes and working closely with developers or construction supervisors to ensure that everything is completed according to plan.

5. People at this position have to use IT in design and project management, specifically software packages such as Auto Cad and Sketch Up.

6. They even negotiate with contractors and other professionals and keep everything within the financial budget and deadlines.

It is very essential to craft an effective and eye catching resume objective. It is the first statement which expresses an employment ambition in one or two short phrases and tells the employer what your target job is or what you want to do. So never take it lightly. Frame it in such a manner that it grabs the attention of the employer at the very first instance. A sample architect objective is provided below for your help.

I am looking for a respectable position where I can contribute my experience as an architect. I have very good customer service skills. I am a detailed and organized worker. I have always been punctual in my work and relied upon by my employer to guide other staff members. I work well independently or with other staff members.

Well, these are some helpful tips for writing an effective curriculum vitae objective.

Five Tips For Improving Rounded Shoulders Based on the Alexander Technique

People often complain about rounded shoulders. There are many fitness exercises for correcting this problem but the Alexander Technique perspective is a little different. Exercise is important, but no matter how many corrective strengthening exercises you do, posture is mostly the result of postural habits and how you perceive your body. The following tips can help you make better choices about your shoulders whether or not you exercise.

1 Rounded shoulders?

While everyone can benefit from these tips, your shoulders may not be as rounded as you think. People often want straight lines in their bodies but there are no straight lines in the body. The body is made of curves, every bone is curved, and a gentle curve across the upper back is normal. I like to think of the body as an arch made of arches or a spring made of springs. By thinking about these tips you might find greater openness and strength within the arch across your upper back.

2 Your shoulders are behind you .

Your shoulders support your arms and their structure comes mostly from the back of your torso, not the front. You may think that your shoulders are in front of you, but it helps to think of them as behind you. Take a moment to feel both of your shoulder blades with your hands and also feel where your arms attach to your shoulders. After that, feel your shoulder blades again and try to be a little more aware of the back of your upper torso.

3 Where are your shoulders going?

Whether or not your shoulders are overly rounded, most people do tend to narrow the upper back at least to some extent. This same habit of drawing parts of the body inward is probably not limited to your shoulders, but is repeated through the body.

4 Do not pull your shoulders back.

Pulling your shoulders backward narrows the back of your torso and continues the habit of drawing the body inward (back and inward instead of forward and inward). Pulling your shoulders back is also tiring, makes moving your arms almost impossible (you can not move your arms freely while pulling your shoulders back) and it imposes breathing because the bones of the shoulders have to move in response to your breath.

5 Allow your shoulders to drift away from each other.

People ask me what they should do with their shoulders and where they should put them. The answer requires some imagination. If the upper back is a springy kind of arch, then the end of the shoulders would tend to go away from each other like the ends of an archer's bow. Instead of actively drawing the shoulders forward or back, or doing anything with them, imagine that they are drifting away from each other. You can also think of that in several other ways:

  • Gently point your shoulders away from each other as if you are pointing your fingers.
  • Place each thumb on the end of its corresponding shoulder and imagine a very great distance from one thumb to the other.
  • Imagine your shoulders filling up the space on either side of you.

Conclusion

One of the goals of the Alexander Technique is to help you improve your idea about how your body works and how the parts of your body relate to each other. Sometimes just a new conception of your body can foster improvement in how it looks and functions.