How to Do Grilled Shrimp Recipes So They Wont Keep Falling Through the Grill Grates

How many times have you tried some new grilled shrimp recipes and someone says, “Hey, what are these little curvy things on my plate?” A lot of people have lived entirely sheltered lives, at least when it comes to good food. So many people, I know, my wife included, are used to seeing shrimp fantailed and deep fried. Hogwash on thinking that this is the only way that you can serve shrimp. Today I will share a good recipe for you, one that is a sure fire winner.

Shrimp are great to BBQ. They are one of the fastest things which you can throw on the BBQ. Other than the thirty minutes that it takes to marinate these little things, it is done in no time at all. Shoot, you can make a salad, grill up some veggies and garlic bread and then the shrimp and by the time all this is done it is only less than one hour.

The rising smoke from your barbecue really heightens the taste of the shrimp. And if you need to feed between four and six people, one pound of shrimp will do when you are grilling up some new grilled shrimp recipes. Once you get the hang of grilling shrimp, your guests won’t be asking that question, hey, what are these little curvy things on my plate? It really is easy. And when you skewer them, poke them, or thread them once through the tail and then through the head. This way they will not spin or rotate on you when you pick them up to cook the other side. Hey, I know from experience.


1/4 cup Triple Sec

1/4 cup Tequila

1 teaspoon grated lime rind

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. medium shrimp, deveined (tails on)

Bamboo Skewers, soaked


Mix first 8 ingredients in a shallow dish. Marinade shrimp for up to one hour.

Place on skewers and grill until pink and cooked through.

Now this is a sure fire winner if you are game in trying new grilled shrimp recipes, and if anyone does not consume alcohol you can always put them to rest by announcing that the alcohol burns off and all that is left is the flavor, not the alcohol. So give this a try and let us know of your results. I am always telling you how my things turn out. Let us know how yours turn out. And remember that we have a free newsletter where you constantly receive free tips, hints, and recipes to make you a better griller.

Why Are You Using Reverse Osmosis Water Filters?

Ever wondered how reverse osmosis water filters work? More importantly, might you be curious as to how they perform as opposed to other types of water filtration systems?

After much investigation, my personal choice for a home filtration system was clearly one that incorporated a multi-stage type of setup. This type of water system entailed three types of purity steps: carbon, sub-micron filtering and ion exchange. You might disagree, but hear me out on this. I was also skeptical at first however I really wanted to be sure I was choosing the right type of device for my home. I did some extensive inquiring and consideration before I came to this conclusion.

Reverse osmosis filters require the use of pressure to forcibly push water through a semi-permeable membrane (the filter) that allows the water to become less concentrated in toxins. This is ultimately the goal. The simple pressure of household water flowing through the pipes is enough to accomplish this task. Depending on what type of water your treatment facility produces would determine the type of membrane you should use in it. There are several types. As the water passes through the filter, most toxins and bacteria are removed. Unfortunately, this type of unit is only able to remove approximately 85% of contained solids from the water it filters. Given this fact, many types of toxins and bacteria cannot be removed purely with this type of filter; it usually needs to be paired up with other types of water treatment elements to be wholly effective.

Some of the other drawbacks of this type of system where that these units were so overly effective in drawing minerals from the filtered water, that it rendered it unpleasant tasting and somewhat “aggressive” or corrosive. What actually did this mean? Well, if water like this could destroy the pipes in your house, affecting the actual performance level of the unit itself, can you imagine what it could do to your body aside from perhaps dissolving other healthy minerals it already has in it?

When water has a lack of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, the body is placed in a state of acidosis. Why is this bad? Well, if your body becomes too acidic, it negatively affects the function of heart, blood, brain, nerve, muscle, bone, skin and hair cells. Frankly I was shocked to learn that unless the body is slightly alkaline in nature, this leaves it open to several health concerns. As acids build up in organs, disease infests the body from the inside out by breeding bacteria, parasites and other toxins that feed off tissues and organs.

Additionally, these water filters flush almost 8-10 gallons of water down the drain for every gallon that is filtered. It’s also a relatively expensive unit overall to buy and maintain.

Make no mistake about it. Reverse osmosis filters are far inferior to multi-stage filtration systems in terms of guaranteeing good health and longevity. Now that you are armed with this information, it’s clear what type of filtration system you should be looking into.

Health Benefits of Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil, the very name may bring horrid memories of your own childhood. Or you may remember pictures of young children holding their noses while being fed by the spoonful. Well, your mother and grandmother knew what they were doing. There really are health benefits to that spoonful of fishy oil. For example:

o It is an excellent source of vitamin A. This vitamin is essential in the mother's diet before and after conceiving for the proper development of the baby's eyes. Vitamin A helps children resist infectious diseases and can help prevent cancer in adults.

o It has vitamin D. Today most people are deficient in vitamin D. Even during summer people in northern climates and those that work indoors are at risk of a deficiency. Vitamin D is essential to assimilate calcium and phosphorus and helps make strong bones and teeth. Current research indicates it is needed to build the immune system against colds and flu.

o Cod liver oil has DHA. This fatty acid feeds the nervous system and the brain, helping in their development in babies. If the mother has adequate DHA in her diet, it advances vision problems and learning disabilities in infants. It is the DHA in fish that is the "brain food" for young and old alike. DHA is very heart friendly by lowering blood pressure and preventing heart disease.

Eating natural whole foods is the best way to get vitamins and minerals your body needs. Cod liver oil has been recognized as a natural food in traditional diets. Today you can find quality cod liver oil with flavors added to help with the strong taste or you can buy it in capsule form.

Affordable Housing Income Limits

The United States began its official foray into public housing in the 1930s. The National Housing Act of 1934 established the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and authorized its Administrator to federally insure a multitude of financing institutions including banks and mortgage companies. The original purpose of the FHA was to facilitate the funding of “alterations, repairs, and improvements” to real property by various financial institutions. Over time, the Federal government’s role expanded, and the United States Housing Act of 1937 established the first rental subsidies, complete with residential income limits. Income limits are used to determine a family’s eligibility for a variety of programs, including Section 8 homes and privately held housing units that were built with state or federal tax credits.

The 1937 legislation defined “low-income” as a family “whose income does not exceed 80 per centum of the median income.” In addition, “very low-income” was defined as income that is below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI) or Median Family Income (MFI). When the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was established in the 1960s, it continued using these standards. By law, HUD is required to set, and re-evaluate, income eligibility thresholds for all of its housing programs annually. As a result, HUD releases income limits to the public each year for its various programs. It most recently released updated income limits for Section 8 housing assistance.

HUDs income limits are based on an the Median Family Income (MFI), which is calculated – according to HUD – “for each metropolitan area, parts of some metropolitan areas, and each non-metropolitan county.” In other words, HUD calculates the median income in pre-determined regions, which are generally based on population. So rural regions tend to include larger geographic areas because populations are more sparse. Income data is collected from the region and an average is calculated. That average is used to determine who falls into the low- and very low-income categories. The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for each area is calculated as well.

This year, HUD updated its methodology and is no longer using year-2000 Census data for its calculations. Instead, it now uses the Bureau of the Census’ American Community Survey, which is conducted annually. Though some 2010 Census Data is available, not all of it has been made public. Even so, ten years is a long time, and though the data would be accurate now, populations and housing markets could change dramatically in the next ten years (or less). By using the American Community Survey, HUD has a more accurate count of an area’s population and income, increasing the accuracy of their MFI and subsequent calculations.

Because HUD calculates income limits by region, it is possible for families to qualify for affordable housing in one region, but not in another. These disparities take into account the cost of living and fair market rates for wages, both of which vary widely from one part of the country to another. For example, in Los Angeles County the low income limit for a family of four is $68,300, while in Clay County, Iowa its just $46,800.

In addition to determining eligibility for various programs, HUD’s income limits serve as an indicator of a region’s, and the nation’s, overall economic condition. If income limits suddenly decrease, it means wages in that region have dropped sharply, too. The opposite is, of course, true as well. Income limits also help regions determine how many families qualify for affordable housing, so they can work to meet their residents’ needs. Unfortunately, few communities are able to provide enough low-income housing, and hundreds – or even thousands – of families are placed on waiting lists until more units can be made available.

Addressing These Dis-Unifying Characters in the Organization

There are some folks who drain the life out of the climate in the office because of their attitudes that destroy a spirit of unity. The first step is identifying them; the second is not getting drawn into their "issues" nor let them hold the workplace hostage. And the third step is to take a few minutes to test yourself on how you would coach each of these folks toward growth. What would that crucial confrontation look like?

o Gossipy Gertrude, who always has a juicy, usually degrading, story about someone, making her "one-up" with her knowledge. Gertrude might be coached with statements like, "It's gotten back to me that you have said some negative words about …" to show that her words are affecting the team negatively.

o Quick-to-take-offense Quentin, who, because of undeal-with personal issues, is a volcano waiting to go off at the sound of any inconvenience. Quentin needs some coaching on his quick temper's effect on the team, but most likely needs a place to be heard and understood-and some prodding on what is behind all that anger.

o Resistant Rachel, who bucks change or simple requests like a stubborn wall because, as a "reagent drag-in", she likes things the way they are. Rachel will need to know that the sky is not falling, but only certain things will be changing-and life will get better on the other side of the change. Give her input on the implementation plan.

o Turf-protecting Ted, who stays in his four walls and does not allow any intrusions to his comfort zone that may resemble him being a team player. Find ways for Ted to have to play in other people's sandboxes, to add value to his teams, and then praise him when he stretches outside of his comfort zone.

o Joyless Jenny, who grumbles through the hallways without a smile, being a professional pessimist, lost that lovin 'feeling of why she chose this job. Call Jenny's bluff by saying, "What is the worst thing that could happen?" and asking her the likelihood of it actually happening. Keep speaking bright-side of things to counteract her negativity. Probe for what would bring joy back into her work life.

o Wear-my-stress Warren, who oozes tension by his mannerisms, snippy words, and quick pace, maxed out by a too-full plate and lack of self-care. Sounds like Warren is in "overload mode" and needs some coaching on tips to avoid burnout and how to set boundaries in his life so that he has more margin for life's stressors. Reflect back to him how he's coming across.

o Passionless Patricia, who no longer likes her career, and demonstrates lifelessness on a daily basis, just going through the motions, off-track on her life mission. Patricia has lost her WHY of her work, and that has lost her WAY. She either needs meaningful work to get back to full engagement or an exit plan to something that would bring her back to life.

Recommendation to get you started with all of these high-maintenance colleges: Do what you can to understand them ("get behind their eyes"), and be a ray of sunshine in their dark worlds, which will, in turn, brighten the workplace environment for everyone. We often judge people we do not understand; thus, relationship-building will lower walls and build bridges to their core needs and motivations.

Quarterbacks – Work on Your Passing Accuracy

It’s been said a million times, by a million people…football is a game of inches. A quarterback must be able to put the ball in the receiver’s hands so that he is the only one that is able to catch the ball. There are several ways for a quarterback to work on his passing accuracy and they all have to do with repeatedly throwing a football at a target.

While football training and drills have become high tech; it is often the most recognizable images that provide the best drills. Almost everyone has seen the age old image of a tire hanging from a rope and a child throwing a football towards it. It is an image that is in almost every movie written about football. Why, because it works.

Not everyone has a tree large enough to hold a tire and let’s face it, most parents don’t want a tire swing in their backyard. So we will explain the set up in such a way that the target can be quickly set up and quickly put away. Get a box, piece of plywood, anything that is approximately 18″x18″ and set it up on a ladder, chair, deck anything that will hold the target when it is hit by the football. This is not completely necessary, but it will make the drill easier because you don’t need to set up the target after every throw.

Stand about 15 yards away from the target at an angle to simulate a certain pass route. Start as if under center or in shotgun and proceed with your drop back turn and fire. Always practicing your footwork and arm mechanics. Then, wait for it, repeat.

This is an excellent, easily set up accuracy drill that can be performed over and over. Set the target to simulate different pass routes, different heights and distances. This will help the young quarterback’s accuracy and mechanics and done over and over will produce results on the field.

How to Boil Peanuts

Does the question how to boil peanuts often trouble you? Boiled peanuts are an excellent snack, and very healthy at that too! Boiling is a simple procedure, but the exact way of boiling peanuts has to be mastered. You can boil peanuts in two possible ways. You can either boil them on the top of the stove or use the crock pot. The first method is little faster however the second method takes lots of time and efforts. Ingredients you would need to boil peanuts include 4 to 5 tablespoons of salt, 1 lbs of raw or green shelled peanuts and sufficient water. Besides that you would also need a large pot, a sealable container and a three quarter crock pan.

First we start with the 2nd method that is by using crock pan. Initially place the raw shelled peanuts in a large crock pot. Later pour sufficient amount of water in the crock pot. Actually you have to constantly fill the pot with water because peanuts absorb lost of water. Soak the peanuts in the pot for 8 hours and the drain it. Next, pick the shells of these peanuts and place then in the pot. Fill water in the pot and add salt to it. You can add salt according to your preference, if you need salty then add more salt. Cook it on a very low heat for 8 hours. Later you can increase the heat and cook for another 90 minutes. Later drain the peanuts and let them cool for about 10 minutes before your serve.

Now, we will try the 1st method which is boiling peanuts on the top of the stove. Initially, put the green shelled peanuts in a large pot and fill it with water till the pot is full. You have to constantly our water since these peanuts absorb lots of water. You can also add salt to the pot depending on your taste and stir a bit. Later, cook it on high heat till the water starts boiling however cover the pot. Once the water starts boiling reduce the heat a bit and add some more water if needed. Continue boiling the peanuts for about 4 hours. Remove the pot from the stove and cool it for some time. Once the water is entirely cooled remove the peanuts from the water.

In spite of knowing how to boil peanuts, to store them is also a useful method. If peanuts are frozen, they can last for a longer period. To freeze these boiled peanuts you have to place them in a fully sealed container. However ensure that this container does not any air inside. Frozen peanuts usually do not get spoilt and can be consumed whenever you desire. These boiled peanuts can even be stored or kept in the refrigerator. For this you have to place the peanuts in an air tight or sealed container. Whichever type of method you like to choose to boil the peanuts you are for sure to enjoy best results because boiled peanuts are delicious snacks which can be enjoyed anytime and anywhere.

Better Pectoral Definition Through Plastic Surgery

Contouring of the chest region by pectoral etching (liposuction) and pectoral implants can help provide better definition of the pectoral muscles and the shape of the chest wall. Borrowing the concept from general liposuction techniques and breast augmentation in women, ithese two plastic surgery treartment options can help enhance and better define muscular edges and contours of the male chest.

By selective removal of fat (liposculpture) from the side and lower borders of the pectoralis major muscle, the muscular appearance of the chest wall can be improved. This virilizes the chest contour while creating few visible scars. By sculpting the borders, and leaving fat over the main body of the muscle, the pectoral muscle bulk appears greater. This pectoral liposuction etching technique provides better shaping than simple gross fat removal in an even unsculpted manner across the chest wall.

Pectoral etching adds visible and palpable pectoral inscriptions to the chest wall. In a recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in December 2007, Dr. Ruiz-Razura and colleagues report treating over 200 patients over the past three years.with only a few minor complications. (small hematoma, irregular contour, too conservative result) Their experience has been that the results have been maintained, even in the face of weight gain and skin loosening with age. When pectoral etching is combined with abdominal etching, a more muscular-appearing torso is achieved. The procedure is becoming very popular in non-athletic males whose physique may not get sculpted even with regular strength training.

Pectoral implants, although less commonly used than pectoral etching, can dramatically enhance the volume and shape of the male chest. Unlike breast implants for women, pectoral implants are made of very soft flexible rubber which is placed through a small incision in the armpit. That come in different sizes and shapes, dependent upon the patient’s aestheic goals. Like breast augmentation, the recovery from pectoral implants is quite rapid and one only has to refrain from chest muscle exercises for three weeks after surgery.

5 Useful Boat and Ship Building Techniques

Each boat building enthusiast has their own way of doing things however if you read on you might just find some methods that you never have thought of or come across yourself.

1. Keeping your battery rechargeable to avoid problems out on the water

No matter how good the quality of your battery is or how new it is there can always be problems regarding the holding of charge. For example I was out on the lake recently and my battery which was only 3 months old and had worked without problems in the past, stopped working completely. After carrying out several test when I got back on land I concluded that the battery was completely discharged and would not be rechargeable via a normal charger but instead required a very powerful manually controlled charger. This situation is of course not ideal since if it were to happen out at sea there would be very little that one could do about it.

After doing a little research I found out that the best solution is to never let your battery go under around half its capacity. This means that no matter what in theory your conventional charging units should be able to always charge your boats battery. The problem here is that you might not know how much charge the battery has left. If no gauge is present then the best method is to work out how much energy you are using, of course these will be approximations but since you are aiming at only using half the charge capacity there is a lot of room for error and you will get better with time.

A second technique to keep a battery healthy is to recharge it for double the amount of time that you are supposed to. For example if your sailing boat battery usually takes 5 hours to be fully charged from 50% capacity then charge it for 10 hours.

2. Making a boarding ladder

For those of you that are building a small boat such as a dinghy constructing a boarding ladder is not necessary. However for bigger sailing boats and yachts a very cheaply created boarding ladder made out of rope and wooden rungs is very practical. Little additions such as these will usually not be included in boat plans therefore you will need to make things up as you go along. For those of you who like to be better prepared then I suggest to check out YouTube videos as there are many other boat building enthusiasts who are willing to share their methods and ship building techniques.

3. Beach legs to keep the boat upright

Depending on where you keep your boat between sailing or fishing sessions you might need to install some beach legs. These allow the boat to be kept upright when water is drained away usually because of tides. Depending on the size and weight of the boat you need two planks of wood on either side of the boat. These can be fitted using a variety of methods and should be done so with the ability to be removed quickly as it might be a daily process.

The actual legs need to be slightly shorter than the height of the boat as this will allow the boat to be on its side. The other leg is then made redundant, however it is important to have them both since you do not know which side the boat will tilt to when the water is swept away. Ideally they should be about 6cm shorter than the height of the boat. For bigger or longer boats you might need 4 legs if there are any problems, the last thing you want to find is your boat in the morning on its side or even upside down in the water. For attachment of legs to the boat you would ideally be using a nut and bolt system because it will take a small amount of time to install and remove the beach legs, also the level of stability will be more than sufficient.

4. Storing a small dinghy in the water alongside a sailing boat or yacht

Most sailing boats and yachts do not have the space incorporated into their design for storage of a small dinghy boat. Therefore you will need to store a dinghy, should you have one alongside in the water. This would not be a problem if the wind or currents are strong as it would ensure that the dinghy will be pulled a safe distance away from the main boat. However when left to float in calm waters the dinghy can constantly crash into the main boat causing damage to the hull and rudders which can become a very expensive problem.

To solve this problem you need to extend a boom which can be wooden or metallic away from the edge of the main boat. Then tie up the small dinghy to the far end of the boom. Now if you have a boom that is long enough and is tied up correctly to the dinghy then you will never have a situation where contact is made to the side of the sailing boat or yacht.

5. Bending a length of timber

Every boat builder needs to be able to bend wood in order to have a wider selection of methods to choose from. There is a way to do this using clamps, absorbent cloths and boiling water. What you do is get a hog which is basically a curved length of wood and then clamp your straight piece which should have absorbent cloth wrapped around it. Now pour boiling water over the area that is to be curved and move the clamps along the length of wood. The frequency with which you move the clamps depends upon how effectively the bending goes. This method is particularly effective after several trial and error sessions because it needs some practice before it becomes useful.

Main Suppliers of Aluminum in the UK

Aluminum is a pure metal, and an abundant element on earth. The pure metal is unbelievably flexible which makes it the most widely used metal after steel. The properties of it and its tube make it durable, strong and resistant to corrosion with good thermal and electrical conductivity.

Its alloys are composed of lightweight metals. aluminum and magnesium which are widely used in engineering structures and in aerospace manufacturing since they are both lighter than other. Its alloys and less flammable. Aluminum alloys may also be composed of other elements like copper, zinc and silicon along with aluminum. There are a wide range of aluminum alloys that making it the most cost effective solution for many industrial and consumer applications.

It has a wide range of uses from aircraft, boats, and trains, engine cylinder heads and pistons, to window frames and aluminum foil for packaging and insulation. It is easy to drill, cut and machine, and can be welded and soldered with the correct equipment. There are different methods of finishing it, however painting and anodizing are the most popular finishes which make it more attractive and highly durable.

There are several its stocksholders across the UK offering its products, stainless steels, copper alloys and specialist alloys such as titanium and nickel. Some of the larger stockholders offer plain carbon and alloy steels and plastics. Stockholders carry large quantities to match immediate production requirements with just-in-time deliveries. In the UK the majority of the stockholders are a member of the Aluminum Stockholders Association.

The ASA members have to follow a strict Code of Conduct to ensure continuity of supply, high standards and quality systems. About 30,000 tonnes of stock is available at any given time for immediate supply from a warehouse system covering all of the UK. Members are actively trying to find ways to improve individual businesses and to develop the UK aluminum stockholding industry.

Righton is the UK's leading aluminum supplier which was originally established as an aluminum stockholder about 100 years ago. Over the years they have developed products and services including personalized aluminum extrusion, aluminum sheet and aerospace materials. Richard Austin Alloys are the UK's largest independent aluminum and stainless steel stockholders. They have heavily invested in a comprehensive stock range, modern warehouse and processing facilities and a professional sales team with a 24 hour warehouse shift system.

Some Of The Reasons True Sports Fans Are Flipping Over HDTV

HDTV is a must have for any sports fan. Having this new technology is just like being at the game in which you are watching and it has made sports history. ESPN has been a leader in making HDTV possible for the sports they broadcast. March 30, 2003 saw to the very first broadcast of a Major League Baseball game to the Anaheim Angels and the Texas Rangers in HDTV. ESPN although to be the leader in worldwide sports, has changed its network to be the world wide company to broadcast in the medium as well.

Picture quality and the way the resolution appears is one reason why they are changing to High Density TV. It makes you feel as if you were on the court or field of which you are seeing. You can view every area of the game as viewed on this new source; you will think that you are really there. With progressive image technology, the whole screen is filled up with picture so it will show you as if you are really there. The picture seen on a TV equipped with the new technology is five times greater than a regular TV would show you. Colors are high and text is very legible. There is no comparison with an HDTV to a regular TV

The sound quality is almost more advanced than the picture is. A lot of programs have surround sound so you can enjoy hearing everything about the game. Every game you watch will give you IMAX quality near perfection. Hear the clapping of the basketball shoes as the players run down the court, hear the swish of the ball as it passes through the net of the basketball hoop. The loudness of the fans will make you start believing that you are at the game.

What do you think the next reason is that fans are changing to the high quality of HDTV? Answer, they want the very best of sports coverage that the TV and ESPN have to offer them. When did my friend get his High Density TV? As soon as “Gears of War” came out and of course the Super Bowl. Digital television service was a go in 1998. As of 2005, digital TV sets were outselling the old TV by millions. The Consumer Electronics Associates said that in 2006, HDTV outnumbered the number of regular TV’s that were sold in this country. How good the picture is and how good the sound is, according to a sports fan are the two reasons why fans and people across the nation are changing to HDTV. Go out and get yours today and enjoy the TV and wait for football season.

Pile Driver History

Pile driving equipment has been assisting construction firms in the development of massive projects in the modern area for over 150 years. Though the concept of driving piles into the ground for the purpose of creating a stable and reinforced foundation has not changed, the evolution of the machinery utilizing different power sources and techniques is a credit to the intelligence of engineers and designers who constantly look to improve processes.

In the rudimentary stages of early pile driving, piles were driven into the ground with the use of blunt force. This can be traced back nearly 5,000 years ago to the development of man-made island in the moors of Scotland. The challenge to the early process was ensuring that the structural integrity of the pile was not compromised when it encountered resistance. Any compromise of the pile would result in the weakening of the pile; therefore making the pile useless in the stabilization of the structure to be built upon it.

Through the development of steam pile drivers in the 19th century, piles were driven into the ground with the use of energy transfer. The hammer portion of the pile driver was evolved into a piston. The use of suddenly pressurized steam inside of the chamber/cylinder above the pile resulted in the creation of energy; which was transferred to the pile, thereby driving it into the ground. Diesel pile drivers improved on the process.

Diesel hammers seized on the concept of pressure to drive the piles, and added the element of burning fuel to create additional force. The piston concept was evolved with the piston creating hot compressed air which was brought to the temperature point where diesel fuel is flammable. By introducing diesel fuel into the chamber at a certain moment, the mixture of air and fuel creates a significant amount of energy. The energy is then transferred down to the pile to drive it into the ground.

Interestingly, with the need to rebuild older structures, the need for a machine that could remove piles that had been previously embedded into the earth came to the market. Attempting to pull previous driven piles out of the earth proved extremely difficult with direct upward force due to the friction that existed. The result is a machine known as a vibratory pile driver/extractor.

A vibratory pile driver/extractor utilizes high amounts of vibration to loosen the pile and reduce the skin friction between the pile and the surrounding soil. The machine’s appearance is much different that of a conventional pile driving equipment. The machine is hoisted above the pile and held in place by a crane. The vibration is created by rotating weights that are powered by hydraulic motors. Interestingly, the motors create vibrations in all directions; however, because the rotating weights are eccentric and are connected in a specific manner with gears to maintain a predetermined synchronization, the horizontal vibration is cancelled. This results in only vertical vibration.

The vertical vibration is then transferred to the pile. The pile absorbs the vibration and then transfers that vibration to the soil around it. Some machines produce as much as 1600 vibrations per minute (over 25 vibrations per second). The process works equally well for both driving of piles and the extraction of piles.

Forearm Forklift – Dude You Dropped What?

The forearm forklift should be within the reach of anyone moving heavy furniture. I remember the incident like it happened yesterday. I'll try not to get teary eyed as I tell you about the day I went against the movers creed of "do not drop anything." It was the second move I had ever performed; therefore, my inexperienced lingered. And then it happened – I dropped a Maple wood dresser.

My moving partner and I decided to lift the dresser by hand. We struggled to lift the dresser, but finally were able to somehow maneuver this heavy, swaying, unforgiving beast. While my face was pressed against it, my back began waving a white flag. Thud! She hit the floor. As a result of my carelessness, damage was done to one leg. This lesson taught me the value of proper moving with the assistance of the forearm forklift.

As some famous person once wrote, "you live and you learn", I did learn something that day. Wear tight fitting weight lifting gloves (my preference); get a feel for the weight of a heavy object first by leaning up against it and pushily slowly upward, grip tight, and to let moving straps be my first choice.

By freeing up my hands, the forearm forklift would have allowed me to grip the top edges of the dresser. A lot of the strain on my lower back region would have been greatly reduced. My vision would not have been blocked, therefore given me much better control.

I'll never forget that lesson; my customer and I came to a fair agreement, and she even tipped me in the end. The forearm forklift is with me at all times.

Roofers DIY Tips – How to Install Shingles

If you are a home owner, there is no need to have to call a professional roofing contractor just to replace some damaged or missing shingles. With a few basic tips under your belt, you will have the damaged or missing shingles replaced in no time. Of course, any action you take to your roof such as cleaning, installing gutters, roof repair or shingle replacement, if you don’t feel like you are capable then by all means call a professional to get the job done right.

First off, you want to clean your roof off of any debris that may be on it like small sticks, leaves or branches. Then we want to install a starter strip which is nothing more than just a backing for the first row of shingles that you see. What the starter strip does is prevent water from going through the gaps in the shingles and then proceeds to go through the roof. These starter strips actually already come ready to go so you can just put them down. If you are cheap like me, you can just take a regular shingle and cut the flaps off and voila, starter strip. Make sure you use the same type of shingle for your starter strip as the rest of your shingles as shingles can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Next, we are basically just going to go through and remove and replace. Loosen the old shingle by lifting up on the shingles above them, work the shingle till it’s loose. You may have to remove the roofing nail holding the shingle in place. Take the old shingle out and put the new shingle in, ensuring it lines up with the current row of shingles. Install a new roofing nail and your shingle is now replaced. Some people like to add a dab of roof cement or roof tar to the back of the shingle. I always, after replacing a shingle, put a small line of roof tar underneath. It helps to hold the shingle in place while it is curing. Now just go through and remove and replace all the damaged or missing shingles you have.

Replacing shingles is not a problem once you do a few. If you happen to have a roof that has some age on it or the home is older and you know that the roof hasn’t been replaced in a while, you may consider just replacing all the shingles or have a roofing professional put you a new roof on. The latter will be cheaper in the long run and may keep you from replacing shingles after every windy day.

E-Procurement of Direct Materials

In today's competitive business world, the corporations are continuously looking for IT solutions to improve the efficiency of their business processes and there by cut cost of operation to improve their margins. The businesses are under constant pressure to improve their bottom line irrespective of the growth in top line. They have no choice but to adopt the new e-procurement solutions, to improve time-to-market, reduce operations cost, avoid costly mistakes to stay on top of competition and avoid risk of extinction

In order to improve the procurement efficiency and realize maximum potential savings, it is necessary that the entire supply chain must be very efficient. The suppliers and the trading partners, such as shipping agents, clearing and forwarding agents and finance agents must be as efficient in order to provide the right materials at the right time at the right place at the right price at the right quality. This is only possible by a collaborative solution between buyers, suppliers and trading partners. It is important that the e-procurement solution must focus on collaborative supply chain practices in order to realize the full savings.

There are various types of procurement activities in an organization based on direct and indirect materials. The direct materials are items that are purchased for the production and the indirect materials (MRO items) are purchased for support of production activities. The features and the specifications of the e-procurement solutions vary for direct and indirect materials, depending on the procurement process of different vertical industries. Due to these varied requirements of e-procurement, different e-procurement providers focus on either different vertical industries or horizontal processes based on their domain knowledge and expertise.

E-procurement solutions come in different flavors and colors to cater to variety of industry requirements.

Vertical and Horizontal Exchanges

Public exchanges for various vertical markets

Private exchanges sponsored by corporations

ASP solutions

The above technologies can provide efficient e-procurement solutions, but have limited scope in their effectiveness. Vertical exchanges focus on transacting goods in a single industry, product or material. They typically exist in industries where buyers and sellers are fragmented and inefficient. Horizontal exchanges focus on leveraging expertise in a particular business process across number of industries. Service industries lend themselves well to a horizontal exchange. The most active horizontal changes today are competitiveness in the realm of e-procurement.

There are different market making mechanisms implemented in vertical and horizontal exchanges. They are:

Auctions One Seller, Many Buyers
Reverse auctions One buyer, Many sellers
Bid / Ask exchange Buyers and Sellers interact

However, none of the above market place solutions completely satisfy the requirements e-procurement of direct materials. Following concerns of the businesses must be addressed in the procurement solution of direct materials:

1. Custom and unique procurement and approval processes of direct materials, which have been developed over years of experience
2. Protecting the intellectual property and confidentiality of design, drawings, purchase and contract pricing and supplier details
3. Collaboratively perform procurement functions such as RFQ, Purchase Orders, Shipping and Payments between buyers, suppliers, and trading partners
4. Adopt best procurement practices

Why focus on direct materials:

Research has shown that direct materials present the maximum savings potential in a manufacturing setup. Following table shows the average savings potential for direct and indirect material in a typical manufacturing organization.

Businesses can derive variety of savings by implementing e-procurement solutions.

The direct cost savings are as follows:

a. Lower communication costs – Fax and telephone costs
b. Lower procurement operating costs – By reducing cycle time and improving efficiency of RFQ / PO

c. Lower follow-up costs – By auto reminders and tracking RFQ / PO status
d. Lower inventory costs – By lower supply chain time
e. Lower Product costs – By improving supplier and trading partner's efficiency

The indirect cost savings are:

a. Improved procurement efficiency – By higher levels of collaboration and no-paper transactions
b. Avoid cost mistakes – By checks and balances in e-procurement application
c. Lower obsolescence cost

E-procurement of direct materials:

Manufacturing companies can automate their procurement of direct materials by collaborating with their existing suppliers and trading partners, such as shipping agents, clearing agents and finance agents to improve the operating efficiency and increase the margins. The direct materials that go into the Bill of Materials, account for 70 to 80% of the purchases of companies. Most of the B2B exchanges and procurement solutions address only the MRO purchase, which account for only remaining 20% ​​to 30% of purchases. In order to improve the bottom line of any manufacturing company significantly, it is imperative to improve the procurement efficiency of direct materials.

For direct materials, the companies would already have their approved suppliers and have their business relationship established over the years. Moreover, the prices of direct materials are already pre-negotiated to the wire and only scope of further reduction in prices is possible by improving operating efficiencies. Changing suppliers of direct materials is a long drawn expensive process as it involves extensive part / vendor qualification and often requires elaborate reliability and product testing. The companies are not willing to break-up long standing relationship with existing suppliers and risk with unknown new suppliers, unless it is absolutely essential. E-procurement solutions must automate the procurement of direct materials with existing suppliers and trading partners with out having to change the existing business / procurement processes with suppliers and trading partners, there by reducing the operating costs and improvements time-to-market.

e-procurement solution for direct materials must be based on the Collaborative Private Market Place model. The procurement of direct materials is a very complex collaborative process involving the many departments within the buyer organization (such as R & D, Purchase, Quality, Materials, Accounts, Finance, Legal, Manufacturing etc.), the suppliers and trading partners such as shipping agents , clearing agents, Banks and finance agents. Right information should be available to the right people at the right time to make the right decision in the procurement process. This custom procurement process is evolved in a company over the years of experience The design specifications and drawings that are being replaced in the design / RFQ / PO processes are very proprietary and the intellectual property of the company. The Public Market Place has limited scope for providing customized business processes and may not cater to the security requirements. On the other hand, Private Market Places can lend itself for customization easily due to its limited private membership and security is less of an issue as it is being sponsored and managed by the buyer organization.

To summarize, following are the key advantages of Collaborative Private Market Place solutions for e-procurement of direct materials:

1. Realize the maximum savings potential of direct materials
2. Allows collaboration between buyers, suppliers and trading partners by hosting in corporate intranet / Virtual Private Network (VPN)
3. Protect the intellectual property and confidentiality of design and drawings by the very nature of being a private market place
4. Allows custom procurement and approval processes to be implemented by easy customization to meet the dynamic business needs
5. Helps to improve the efficiency of suppliers and trading partners by means of better vendor tracking and vendor management system