How To Pick The Right Living Room Decorating Themes?

One can do almost anything they want with living room design these days, yet it is still important to consider living room decorating themes when decorating your living room. The most important element that having a decorating theme provides to any designer is the ability to see something as a collective group. Many people will find a piece of furniture that they fall in love with, and have nothing to match it with. Others will find a pattern of wall paper that looks like it came straight from heaven, yet will not be able to find a single piece of furniture to match. When you think of living room design in terms of living
room decorating themes, you will avoid having this problem, and end up with a final product
that is as kind to the eye, as it is collectively matching.

The living room decorating themes that are most common amongst people today often come in several ways, but most likely deal with work, play, or family. Each category shares some similarities when it comes to living room decorating themes, but each is distinctively different in other ways.

A living room decorating theme focused around work should incorporate all that one needs to accomplish their goals for a work at home office. Can a living room really be an office? Absolutely, in fact, the number of people telecommuting to work is higher today, than ever before. When doing a living room decorating theme around this concept, simply make the space a useful one, with sofas that position your body upright, chairs that could be used for conferences and tables that could be used as desks. The more double duty the furniture you choose does, the better your living room decorating theme will be.

Thinking of a living room decorating themes is the realm of play, is as much fun as living in one. There are a many ways to make a living room the ultimate playroom. Everything from home theater elements, to parlor games should have considered when doing this living room decorating theme. You could skip wall paper on a wall, and install a chalkboard, or a white board, for the fun of it. It does not get much more playful than drawing on the wall.

While most think of a family living room decorating theme as one with board games, and fluffy carpet, it can be much more. Family oriented living room decorating themes are common in home decorating circles, and often are similar in looks. In order to accommodate a family you must have a place for everyone to sit. For this theme, you should focus on making the sofa as large as possible, with as much room for the family as needed. Using the sofa as a design anchor, the rest of this living room decorating theme should fall into place.

Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya

Five Reasons Why You Should Work For the Travel and Tourism Industry

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

Food Commodities

Food commodities are traded to international markets across continents and distributed to reach remote places also. The food commodities are ranked based on availability productivity, and demands of the increasing population. Non-processed food items such as whole grains, pulses, spices, cashews, frozen foods, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs and many more are food commodities that are traded to native or internal markets and international markets. Processed food commodities include edible oils, butter, cheese, cedars, fruit juices, sauces and all types of flours. The food industry is a multi-billion dollar business and the world’s largest industry.

Handling food commodities includes many important factors that cannot be ignored such as storage, shelf life and temperature conditions. Storage space requirements should be given careful attention, as the amount of space necessary in a warehouse depends upon the total volume of food stored and on the number of different commodities. Separate stacks require more usable volume than one large stack; hence, each commodity should be stacked separately. Shelf life refers to the average amount of time a product may be stored without nutritional deterioration. A food commodity can deteriorate for several reasons such as aging, microbiological decay, chemical and physical degradation and texture changes. Deterioration of food commodities can be reduced or slowed by careful processing, packaging, handling and storing. Universal guidelines for controlling temperature and humidity conditions to suit the various food commodities are impossible, because these conditions and the operating environment vary from place to place. However, some basic instructions can be followed such as keeping all food commodities in dry conditions, storing wet and dry foods separately, cross-ventilation in the warehouse, sunroofs and covering food commodities during transportation.

Besides food commodities being a profitable trading business, large quantities of food items are donated through food distribution programs as relief measures. The commodities required food programs use inexpensive food staples to provide basic nourishment to populations in extreme food security emergencies, as well as for development activities designed to address food security goals.

Bounce (Floor) Juggling for Beginners

The ideal surface for bouncing is smooth, level and very hard (e.g. a paving slab or wooden floor are ideal).

Two Methods of Bouncing

Non-Forcing (Lift): Throw the ball slightly in the air in a small arc (so that it is likely to land in front of your opposite foot). The ball should land in the upraised palm of your other hand. Lift bouncing is a lot slower and easier to learn than Forced bouncing.

Forcing: Force the ball towards the ground by keeping your palms facing downwards. With the forced bouncing, you throw (force) the ball downward and it goes at least as high as the release point. This method is more likely to be used when learning 4 & 5 ball bouncing and it looks more impressive and faster than the lift method!

First Trick – Reverse Cascade (lift bounce)

One Ball: Throw from one hand so that it rises a few inches and hits the ground in front of your opposite foot and bounces up into the upraised palm of your other hand. Try lift bouncing one ball in both directions for a while to get used to bounce juggling before moving on to trying two balls.

Two Balls: Start with a ball in each hand. Throw the first ball so that it lands in front of the opposite foot. When it hits the ground, throw the ball from the other hand in exactly the same fashion. Catch the first ball, catch the second ball (Throw, throw, catch, catch)!

Three Balls: Every ball is thrown over the previous ball and they all hit the ground in front of the opposite foot.To do this, take two balls in your favoured hand and one ball in the weaker hand. Start from the favoured hand and throw the first ball, letting it bounce in front of the opposite foot, when this bounce happens, throw the ball which is in the weaker hand, and when it bounces, throw the third ball (the remaining ball in your favoured hand), then just keep going.

Once you have mastered 3 Ball Floor Juggling,try force bouncing using the above method, then you are ready for the following tricks!

Kick Back: You can retrieve a dropped ball by stepping on it as it bounces away from you, pulling your foot in toward you at the same time.

Bounce Columns: Drop one ball in the centre of your pattern, then drop one from each hand on either side. Then catch and drop the one in the centre, then catch and drop the two on the outside! Simple, easy and this trick looks great!

Bounce Two in One Hand: One of my favourite tricks, is to walk around while bouncing two balls in one hand, and letting the balls bounce a little less each time until you are having to bounce very quickly and near to the ground! You can then work your way back up to a taller pattern again.

Under Leg: Put your leg through the bouncing pattern so that one ball goes under your leg. Throw down, raise your knee, the ball bounces under your knee, and you straighten your leg again. Learn this on both sides, then try to perform an under the leg throw with every ball you are bouncing!

High Drop to Cascade: While juggling a cascade, throw the bounce ball extra high, let it bounce and when it comes back up past your hands, treat it as the first throw in your cascade pattern.


For a special bouncing effort, you can put either forward or back spin on the ball to make it behave in a different way when it bounces off any surface.

  • Backspin -Toss the bounce ball with backspin to make the ball bounce back to you. To use backspin, you pull down with your thumb over the top of the ball as you release it.
  • Forward Spin -To add forward spin, pull your hand out from underneath the ball as you throw. Toss over your shoulder with forward spin and the ball might just bounce behind your back and return over your shoulder into your pattern!

When Are Bowing, Buckling Foundation Walls Damaged Beyond Repair?

A damaged foundation can be very alarming to homeowners – particularly when a wall is bowing, buckling, or appears to be in danger of caving in.

Given the appearance of the foundation walls, many homeowners assume that the only safe and effective solution for their home is to remove the damaged wall and have it replaced with a newly constructed one. However, even in extreme cases, a homeowner may have several options for repairing their foundation – including options that do not include foundation replacement.

The Case Against Foundation Replacement

Generally speaking, foundation replacement involves a long, expensive, and invasive process for your home. First, the original foundation will need to be completely excavated to expose the foundation walls. Then, the house will need to be “jacked up” on temporary supports, while the floor slab and foundation walls are removed. The new foundation is built, the floor is poured, and then, finally, an attempt may be made to restore the landscaping.

The worst part about this problem is that with all this time, disruption, and cost, you’ve never really addressed the problem that caused the damage in the first place – that being the soils around your foundation. Without solving this issue, it is very possible that your new foundation will be damaged by the same issues that damaged the first one.

Four Foundation Wall Repair Solutions

The good news is this: if the wall is still standing, there’s an excellent chance that it can be repaired – without the need for wall replacement. Repair options are as follows:

Carbon Fiber Strips: If your foundation walls are bulging in the middle and do not tilting along the top or inwards movement along the bottom, this may be the best solution for your home. These strips of carbon fiber fabric can be epoxied along the foundation wall quickly and easily by a foundation contractor. They’re many times stronger than steel, can be installed year-round, and are ideal for reinforcing bowing foundation walls.

One major advantage to carbon fiber strips is their low-profile design. If you’re planning on painting or finishing your basement after repairing the walls, this is a reliable and inexpensive solution for preparing the walls for wall board and studs.

Foundation Wall Anchors: If you have access to outside of your home and would like the opportunity to straighten your foundation walls to their original, straight position, this is the solution you’re looking for. Wall anchors are a three-piece system, including a wall plate that’s mounted on the visible side of the basement wall, a wall anchor that’s located in the soil, and a steel rod that connects the plate to the anchor. The wall plate grips the foundation wall, and the anchor sits in the soil to hold it in place. Then, each wall plate is tightened on the connecting rod, pressing against the foundation wall to halt all inward movement.

Over time, this option can be used to not only brace the foundation wall, but to gradually straighten the wall back to its original position. They can also be painted over or used in conjunction with basement finishing, as the thin wall plate can easily have studs and wall board installed over them. And, unlike carbon fiber strip installations, wall anchors can be used to brace walls that show signs of tilting along the top or inwards-sliding along the bottom.

I-Beam Systems: If you do not have access to the outside of your home, but you need to repair a wall that’s tilting along the top or sliding inwards at the bottom, this is the system you’re looking for. This system consists of steel “I” shaped beams that are span the distance between the concrete floor and the floor joists along the top of the basement. These steel braces are installed at intervals along the walls, halting all inward movement.

Most I-beam systems will only halt the movement of the walls, although a rare few can be adjusted to straighten the walls as well. Additionally, these systems are the least compatible with a finished basement, as they will take up space along the walls. The best systems are designed with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel, so they do not become an eyesore as the years pass.

Shotcrete Sister Walls: If the wall is crumbling, collapsing, or showing extreme damage, there’s still a good chance that foundation replacement is still not necessary. Instead, a sister wall can be built in front of the original wall, using a spray-on concrete known in the industry as shotcrete. This sister wall works best when combined with a wall anchor system, which will help to ensure that the new wall doesn’t also crumble from the pressure that damaged the original wall.

This system installs year-round and is much faster than a foundation replacement would, with no disruption to landscaping. It’s cheaper, easier, and you can count on a good contractor to provide a warranty with the finished installation.

Hiring A Professional Foundation Contractor In California

If you’re planning on selling your home in the future, being able to tell the prospective buyer that your foundation was repaired by a reputable contractor can be a major selling point for your home. If that contractor is still in business and your installation includes a written, transferable warranty, this will also provide a selling advantage.

Legal Claims in Pennsylvania Involving Stormwater Onto Your Property

In Pennsylvania, there is a law of surface waters found in legal case law. That is, a municipality or another property owner is responsible for harm to an adjoining landowner if that first owner or municipality artificially diverts or channels surface water (including storm water) onto that adjoining property.

Even if there is not additional volume of water, if the storm water is diverted resulting in higher intensity or concentrated flow, then there is liability if damages result.

A municipality has the right to manage storm water and to protect public health and safety. However, it must balance that with the rights of adjoining landowners.

If a storm drain system or runoff pipes are negligently constructed such that they do not adequately control the runoff, then there is liability for harm caused.

This can be found at the Pennsylvania Storm Water Management Act (32 PS Section 680.13 et seq). The Act requires that there be a plan in place to handle water runoff resulting from construction that involves drainage or alteration of storm water runoff.

If the soil disturbance from a construction project is large enough, or if the soil disturbance is close enough to a protected waterway, then a permit and/or a soil erosion control plan must be filed with the PA Department of Environmental Protection.

So, there are two main things to be aware of that may give rise to a legal claim in Pennsylvania regarding storm water. First. if you are doing construction involving a large amount of soil disturbance or you are within proximity to a protected stream or waterway, you should determine whether you need a permit and soil erosion control plan. Second, if you are a homeowner or landowner in which you believe that storm or surface water is being diverted onto your property at a greater flow or intensity, then you may have a claim if you have resulting damages.

In the second instance, if you believe your property is being damaged, or there is a resulting injury to a person, then you should investigate the source of the problem. If there is recent construction of culverts or some drainage system, you should check with both your local government and PA Department of Environmental Protection. Find out what the project was and whether there needed to be a permit and/or erosion and soil control plan. Even if a permit or plan was not required, it still may be a violation of the Storm Water Management Act or Pennsylvania case law if the diversion of the surface water was negligently constructed or otherwise artificially channels water at an increased flow or velocity onto your property.

In such legal claims, there may be legal causes of action for: negligence, trespass, nuisance, or violations of the PA Storm Water Management Act or the PA Clean Streams Law. The Clean Streams Law (35 PS Section 691.1). The Clean Streams Law does allow for private citizen legal claims for pollution runoff into a waterway. It more often applies to PA Department of Environmental Protection or other governmental actions against polluters.

Usually, a legal claim involving an argument that there was a negligently constructed storm water drain or system or artificially channeled water runoff, requires use of an engineer. That engineer would need to inspect and possibly do a study to compile engineering findings to support the claims.

10 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Septic System Running Smoothly

Correct Maintenance of your on-site Septic is the key to keeping your system running smoothly. Although Septic Systems should last between 20-30 years, neglecting regular maintenance on your system could result in early deterioration of your septic and drainfield systems, and lead to expensive repair or replacement costs much earlier in your Septic System’s lifetime.

Think of your septic system as a vehicle. With regular maintenance, fluid changes and system checks on your car, it could have a lifetime of 20-30 years. The same can be said about your septic system. Regular Maintenance and Inspections will catch problems early in their stages, and allow you to fix those problems before they lead to a system failure, potentially saving you thousands of dollars in replacement cost. Here are ten maintenance tips to keep your OSS running smoothly for years to come.

1. Have your Septic System pumped regularly.

The average home will need to have the septic tank pumped out every three to five years. Without regular system pumping, solids could overload the Septic tank(s) and sludge could leach into the drainfield. Drainfield effluent should be clear of these solids to keep the system running cleanly.

2. Divert all access runoff away from your septic tank.

All gutters and drainpipes should be directed away from your Septic Tank(s) and Drain Fields. By diverting all access runoff away from your system, you are allowing the septic to treat the waste and greywater it was meant to treat effectively. If you allow this runoff to enter the system, your septic could become hydronically overloaded, allowing the drainfield to become oversaturated and not do it’s job properly.

3. Make sure all access lids and ports are sealed tight.

Quite often, water can penetrate poorly sealed lids and ports and cause problems in your septic system. When water gets into these cracks and crevaces it can hydrolically overload your septic system and cause the drainfield to become oversaturated. This is often more of a problem with pressure type systems. It causes pumps to run constantly, overworking the pump and wasting energy and money.

4. Have your Septic System inspected routinely.

The State of Washington currently requires all homeowners to have their Septic System tested every year for all types of systems, except for Gravity feed systems, which need to be inspected every three years. By having your system inspected regularly you will be able to diagnose and fix problems early before they become failures.

5. Have the proper drawings and sitemaps for your system.

When your septic system is installed, there should be a site map, or plot map drawing showing all of the components of your septic system. By having this handy you can eliminate having to guess where your septic tank, pump tanks, transport lines, or Drainfields are located in case of an emergency that needs immediate attention. If you don’t have a site map or there is not one on record with your health department, it would be wise to have Septic Designer/Architect create one for you.

6. Do not cover or obstruct the System in any way.

Do not cover or obstruct the Septic System components or Drainfield with any Asphalt, Concrete, Decks, Framing or Structures that would impede you from accessing these areas. Keep vehicles off your septic system. Their pressure can yield damage to the pipes and tank, and your system may not drain properly under compacted soil. If you need to replace any of these components in the future it will be difficult to access them with any of the before mentioned items obstructing them.

7. Don’t introduce Septic tank additives or “rejuvenators” in your septic tank.

Whether they claim to break up sludge or scum or to unclog drain fields, or biologically-based septic additives like septic tank yeast cultures, septic tank bacteria, starter bacteria, or septic tank enzymes. These can actually damage your system, causing frothing and excessive activity and thus preventing normal settling of solid wastes. Check with your local health department or authority if you are considering introducing additives.

8. Do not flush any items other than septage or toilet tissues.

By using your toilet as a trash receptacle you are introducing unacceptable items, some which will never decompose or chock inlets/outlets, and will require constant pumping of the septic tank. Limit the use of toilet bowl and drain cleaners because they are harmful to the friendly bacteria that aid in the decomposition of the solids in the septic tank. Do not use a sink disposal unit if you are on a septic system. While those units grind up waste foods, most septic systems are not designed or capable of dealing with such undigested solids.

9. Refrain from using heavy oils or cleaners.

Never dump cooking oil or grease or such oily substances in sinks or toilets. As these substances float on water, they pose a threat of clogging the inlet pipes by filling up upper part of septic tank. This oil can also transfer into the transport pipes, solidify, and cause excessive buildup that can cause blockage of the drainfield.

10. Do not plant large vegetation over your Drainfield.

Do not plant any trees or large shrubs over the septic area, drainpipes or drainfield/leachfields. The roots from these plants will eventually grow into the drain lines and obstruct or damage them. Grasses or small plants are OK, as long as the root system is shallow and will not impede or block drain lines.

By following these 10 tips and Maintenance techniques your Septic System should last for many years to come!

5 Drills For Extreme Football Conditioning

In the dark ages of football, conditioning usually amounted to nothing more than running a few miles and maybe jogging up stadium steps. It was the old standby. And, often the only reason it was done was because that’s what your coach did when he was young, and his coach before him. . . and on and on and on. . . it was the mediocre conditioning conundrum and it struck football like a plague.

If there’s one thing that all football strength and conditioning coaches should agree on it’s that running sucks for improving football conditioning.

Jogging is boring, results killing, and, if you are over 200lbs (and you all should be), it can be hell on your knees and ankles. We never run distance in a game, and usually not much more than 30yards and often only 3 – 10yards!

Yet, no matter what, some football players continue to rely on the dreaded and unproductive jogging as the mainstay of their football conditioning programs.


I’m pretty sure it’s because most coaches grew up when the aerobics craze hit. Jogging was the solution from everything from fat loss, heart health, sports conditioning to solving world peace.

But, just because you did something 25-years ago doesn’t mean you should still do it! It used to be common practice to not allow your players to drink water during summer practices. It took a few tragic accidents before this stupid practice was put to rest.

How many times must we run around the practice field screaming “4th Quarter” before someone gets that in order to win the big games. . . the close games against good teams, we have to be in extreme football condition, or, as we like to say. . . game shape.

But, if you don’t run how the hell do you get “in shape?”

If you play a sport, you should do conditioning that is similar to the demands of your sport, which is why Football players have absolutely no business running distance. Ever.

Sprinting, of course, is the usual answer. And, it should be. But, for most of the country, sprinting outside isn’t always an option. Here in NJ it seems to either rain, snow or dump buckets of ice on us at the most random times. I can only imagine what the hell goes on in places where it really snows.

Sprinting in the snow may seem cool and hardcore, but, slip on one spot of ice and your season is done.

There are alternatives for those time. . .

But, a word of warning. . . it is not for the weak hearted.

Combining three exercises, often called Triple Threats, is not new. Early strongmen would often perform triples; typically a Two-Hands Anyhow, a Press, then a Side Press. Olympic lifters often use them and guys like Alwyn Cosgrove have applied complexes to fat loss training with phenomenal results. But, we aren’t talking about just combining exercises in the gym. Using Triple Threats for extreme football conditioning is a great way to get into amazing football shape even when going outside is impossible.

1. Prowler, Farmers Walk, Sprint

This movement is brutal. There’s just no point where it lets up. Start off by setting up a Prowler (or sled) about 30-yards from a set of loaded Farmer’s Walk bars. Very heavy dumbbells can be used if you don’t have access to Farmer’s bars.

Get down low and start pushing that Prowler. This should be a sprint, so don’t overload the sled too much. As soon as you reach the bars, pick them up and do a Farmer’s Walk back to the starting point. Then, drop the bars and sprint back to the prowler.

The last sprint might feel a little funny, especially on the later sets, but tough it out. Yell out “Fourth Quarter!” or whatever cliché gets you to keep going when you just want to vomit.

Start with 3 sets of this combo, rest as needed. When you get good, try to cut the rest periods down to 45-seconds. Gradually. Trust me, go gradually. Five sets of this will be enough for most. You can use it as a stand-alone movement, as part of a conditioning day, or as a finisher after a weight room session.

You can do this in the gym if outside isn’t a possibility. The Prowler wouldn’t go over well with the school, but, you can get a tarp or even a heavy piece of rug, throw a few plates on top, attach a rope and pull. Instant indoor sled.

2. Dumbbell Cleans, Dumbbell Front Squats, Dumbbell Duckwalk

This is a favorite of mine. It’s super easy to set up, easy to do, and is excellent for conditioning and teaching your body to be coordinated when tired. By the way, this is important. I’ve heard for years that you shouldn’t put high skill exercises toward the end of your strength sessions because you’re too tired to perform the movement correctly. But, seriously, if you play football (or any sport really) you damn well better be able to perform high skill movements when tired. You better be as fresh in the 4th Quarter as you were in pre-game warm ups!

This trio is great for teaching the body to be on point even as you tire. Grab two dumbbells and knock off 5 rapid fire Cleans.

On the 5th, immediately do 5 explosive Front Squats. Then, on the 5th, keep the ‘bells on your shoulders and go right into a Duckwalk. You can go for about 10 yards. But, speed of movement is more important.

The keys here are:

Speed! You have to move fast

25-Seconds rest between sets

Focus. . . you must learn to perform when tired

Go for 3 – 5 sets to begin with. This works great as a finisher, done at the end of a strength training session.

3. Kettlebell Swing, Kettlebell Bear Crawl, Kettlebell Push ups

This trio can also be done with Dumbbells, but it’s no where near as fun. It’s best to do this combo outside, preferable in crappy weather (conditioning is as much about mental toughness as it is physical). Yea, yea. . . I just said don’t sprint outside. . . there’s not sprinting here, sucka.

Start off by doing 10 – 15 reps in the KB Swing. As soon as you finish, drop down and, with kettlebells in hand, start doing a Bear Crawl. Crawl about 30 yards. When you reach the finish line, keep your hands on the K-bells and do as many push-ups as possible.

Rest as needed at first, but eventually try to cut the rest down to under 45-seconds between sets.

Once you get used to this combo, try doing it with two different size K-bells. No one ever said the weights always have to be perfectly balanced. This will increase difficulty and keep your stabilizers working the entire time.

This complex can be used as a finisher on an upper body day or as part of a conditioning day. Start off with4 sets and work up to 6. Experiment with different Kettlebell weights, try using dumbbells, or wear a weighted vest throughout to increase the workload.

4. Sandbag Bearhug Carry, Shoulder and Squat, Sandbag Deadlift

Again, best to head outside for this one, but, if you can’t then the gym is perfectly fine. I’ve said it a million times; Sandbags are excellent for improving strength and football conditioning. . . and it’s the #1 tool for bridging the gap between the weight room and the field.

You will have to play around a bit with the weight of the bag. If it’s too heavy, you’ll never make it. But, if it’s too light, the exercise becomes too easy. Starting light and going heavier is the best way to go.

Start off with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend and grab the bag just as you would a barbell Deadlift. You will have to find the best form for you, but, a good way to start for beginners is to Deadlift the bag to the thighs, then do a high-pull/hip pop combo to get it to the chest. If you’ve ever watched World Strongest Man competitions, you’ve seen this move used when lifting the large, round stones. It’ll take some practice to find your sweet spot, but, once you do, you’ll have very little problem.

Once the bag is at chest level, wrap your arms around it and squeeze the hell out of the damn thing. If you relax your grip, the bag will fall, especially as you get tired. Once secured, start walking. When you get to the 50-yard marker drop the bag, repeat the lifting sequence but this time get it to your shoulder. Do 5 reps each side.

When you hit the 10th rep, drop the bag again and do as many Deadlifts as you can. This is quite a bit of work in a short time, so it is ideal when used as a finisher. Start with 3 sets and gradually increase to six.

5. DB Swing, DB Snatch, DB OH Lunge

Again, if you are afraid of accidentally becoming a card carrying member of a Kettlebell Kult, you can use Dumbbells for this complex. This is best done with one ‘Bell at a time.

Grab one Kettlebell or Dumbbell, take a shoulder width stance and knock off 20 Swings. Immediately do 20 Snatches then, keep your arm locked out overhead and do 10 Lunges with each leg.

This is ideal for those who are forced to workout inside or in a very small gym because it takes up so little space. You can do the swings and snatches without much fear of some dummy walking directly in the path of the dumbbell. . . though I once saw Roder drop the bar he was doing Straight Leg Deadlifts onto his foot, so I guess ya never know, eh?

This is also a great way to condition when you can’t get to the school’s weight room. . . like on Christmas break. All you need is one dumbbell and some balls.

Depending on your needs, choose 1 – 3 of the combos and work them hard 2 – 3 times a week. If you are early in your off-season, one day a week should hold you. As the season draws near, or if you are looking to lose fat for a specific occasion, start to increase the amount of conditioning you do. The old mainstay of doing 3 weight training workouts and 2 conditioning sessions is a good starting point.

The Forced Labor and Tribute of the Filipinos During Spanish Period

During the Spanish regime, all male Filipinos from 18 to 60 years of age were required to give their free labor, called polo, to the government. This labor was for 40 days a year, reduced to 15 days in 1884. It was in various forms, such as building roads and bridges, constructing public buildings and churches, cutting timber in the forest, working in shipyards, and serving the Spanish military expeditions. One who rendered forced labor was called a polista.

The members of the principalia (town aristocracy) were exempt from the polo. Rich Filipinos annually paid the falla, a sum amounting to seven pesos, in order to be exempt from forced labor. The local officials (former and incumbent gobernadorcillos, cabezas de barangay, etc.) and schoolteachers were also exempted by law from the polio because of their services to the state.

Evidently, only the poor Filipinos who had no social or political standing in the community were made to give forced labor. This practice greatly contributed to the widespread Filipino aversion to physical labor, which has only recently been overcome by attractive wages overseas.

The conditions for forced labor were (1) that it should be used only for necessary public works and constructions intended to improve the community; (2) that the workers were to be paid in full for their work; (3) that the alcaldes mayor should consider the physical condition of each laborer, that is, the weak should not be overworked; (4) that the laborers should not be sent to work in distant lands; (5) that the giving of service should be timed so as not to interfere with the planting or harvest seasons.

All this was good only on paper, however; the laws of forced labor were often violated. Laborers were seldom paid their wages. They were separated from their families by being made to work in distant areas. They were not given food, as required by law; they had to provide their own food instead. Moreover, they were shamefully overworked, and thousands of Filipino laborers died at the worksites as a result.

The Filipino Tribute to the Colonial Government

In order to get enough money to pay for the administration of the country and the construction of churches, government buildings, roads and bridges, and improvements in transportation and communication, the Filipinos were compelled to pay tribute called tributo, to the colonial government. The tributo was imposed as a sign of the Filipinos’ loyalty to the king of Spain. Those who paid tribute were individuals above sixteen years old and below sixty. At the start, a tribute amounting to eight reales was collected. The tribute increased in 1598 and a small part of it, called sanctorum, went to the church. Because of the widespread opposition to the tribute and to the abuses in its collection, the king abolished it in 1884. The cedula personal, the equivalent of which is the present residence certificate, was introduced in its place.

Aside from the tribute, the Filipinos also paid other taxes. There were the diezmos prediales, the donativo de Zamboanga, and the vinta. The diezmos prediales was a tax consisting of one-tenth of the produce of one’s land. The donativo de Zamboanga, introduced in 1635, was taxed specifically used for the conquest of Jolo. The vinta was tax paid by people in the provinces along the coast of Western Luzon to defend the area against Muslim pirates common at the time, as can still be seen from the surviving towers of stone (where bells were rung to warn the locality when Muslim pirates arrived).

Poly Tarp Characteristics and Uses

Poly Tarps also known as Polyethylene protection, are constructed of multiple mesh fabric layers which are then coated by polyethylene sheets. Each manufactured cover is distinguished by the fabrics mesh count and mil. The mesh count is determined by the number of threads used per square inch. For example, a cover rated at a 10 x 10 mesh count would typically have 10 threads per inch in both a vertical and horizontal direction. The tarps thickness is determined and measured by the mil or thickness of the coating (1 mil =.001 inch (1/1000). The larger the number; the thicker and more heavy duty the Poly cover will be. Regular duty Tarpaulins are typically rated at 6 mils and are commonly used for temporary coverage from the outside elements. Heavy duty tarpaulins can range from 12 to 23 mils in thickness and are the preferred cover for canopy frames.

Poly Tarps are often referred to as P.E. covers and are sold in either pre-cut sizes or by the roll. In addition, there are several available sizes, colors and thicknesses. It is important to note that the actual size of the tarpaulin will be 4 to 6 inches smaller in each direction than the size listed on the package. This is referred to as the cut and finish size. The difference in the size is the result of the grommet application process. Grommets are the brass, aluminum or metal rings lining the poly tarps and are used to aid in the attaching of the cover to the canopy frame. The spacing of the grommets will vary from one manufacturer to another. Generally, spacing of the grommets will be between 18 to 36 inches. Shorter spacing of the grommets gives strength to the fabric and helps aid in the prevention of extreme movement that is associated with tearing.

In addition to grommets, Tarps have several features that help reinforce the overall strength of the fabric. On each corner of a triangular plastic covering is installed to prevent the grommets from pulling through the fabric. The corners of the fabric are subject to the most tension under harsh conditions. Furthermore, during the grommet process a perimeter rope is added before the fabric is folded back on itself and then laminated to create the hem. The combination of the perimeter rope and hem add great strength to the edges of the fabric.

Poly Tarps are used for a variety of different applications. Some of the most common uses are but not limited to roof and building covers, hurricane protection, canopies, truck covers, privacy tarps, field covers, shade protection, hay storage, lumber covers, gym floor covers, fire retardant tarpaulins and boat covers. Tarps are the preferred cover for multi-purpose applications due to their strength, durability and price. Polyethylene covers are commonly found to be UV treated, waterproof, mildew and rot resistant, contain sun blocking materials and contain fibers that resist arctic temperatures. UV treated poly covers have a special chemical treatment that is applied at the time of manufacturing which helps protect the fibers from prolonged sun degradation. Polyethylene material in and of itself is naturally waterproof.

The tightly woven fibers and laminated layers of the Poly Tarp results in a durable and waterproof product that is very dependable in wet environments. Due to the fact that polyethylene is a natural waterproof material it is also very resistant mold, mildew and rot. In addition, Polyethylene performs very well in freezing temperatures, resisting the negative effects of cold weather. Most Poly Tarpaulins consist of three layers however, an additional sun blocking layer can be found in the silver or grey colored poly covers. Due to the sun blocking layer, silver tarp provides total shade and protection from the elements. The sun blocker consists of a single black layer of polyethylene which is then placed between the existing polyethylene layers to prevent any sunlight from penetrating the cover

Are Classic Board Games Better?

There are some very innovative board games coming out these days. They've re-invented Monopoly with an electronic version and even re-invented Scrabble with a digital version. I remember when major manufacturers would re-release a game and it usually just had slightly different artwork and a new color scheme but now the new digital versions take the board game genre to a new level. Lights, sounds, music and talking directions allow for an absolutely new interaction.

Is this better? Is playing Monopoly with a credit card that tells you how much money you have in your account better than counting old-fashioned paper money? Is punching words into a new Scrabble screen better than starting at your own seven letters that sit in front of you?

Although you have criticisms on each side of the fence, the important thing here is interaction. Spending time with your children and having fun. The nostalgia of sharing something with them that was important to you as you grew up. And it does not only have to be a board game. Sitting down and watching "The Wizard of Oz", "National Velvet" or "Mary Poppins" instead of the latest TV cartoon – baking a cake with flour, eggs and sugar instead of using a box mix, or – recommending a book to read and see them actually read it and then talk to you about it. There's always a special joy in watching your children light up at enjoying something that used to be special to you when you were a child.

But is this even possible? Can you pry your children away from their hand-helds or computer games? And, with the older children, can they even do something without typing away on their cell phones every 2 minutes? The answer is definitely, yes! And although this may sound surprising, your children may actually like sitting down with you for an hour or two. And usually the most fun will come from a family board game.

Dig deep and think of the games that were important to you. And, although you tend to think of classic games as being old, new games such as "Dino-Bump" put a new twist on the old-fashioned board game concept that you grow up with. It has simple rules, is very fast paced, and will keep the family laughing. Comes with six, 5-1 / 2 "dinosaur playing pieces and a beautifully designed oversized board.

Okay, so I'm a little pretested, I invented Dino-Bump. But do yourself and your family a favor. Whatever you play my game or any old classic, spend a night with your family playing a board game that you loved as a child. Whether it's a modern electronic version, an original classic, or a new classic, you may be very surprised at the results.


2 Stove-Top Green Pepper and Rice Dinner Recipes

During the summer months, I use a lot of stove-top recipes that utilize fresh vegetables from our backyard garden. What I like about these two recipes is that they are easy to prepare and make a nice hearty meal for my family.

If you are not familiar with what a Pimiento is … it's a chili pepper that is sweet, although some of them can be hot. Pimiento is the red 'stuffing' that you find in Spanish green olives.

When it comes to making healthy dinner recipes for my family, I often will use rice because its a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. We prefer using white rice in these recipes, but you can certainly substitute with your favorite kind of rice.

Green Peppers, Pimientos and Rice

1 cup episodes, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 cups white rice, fully cooked

2 1/2 tablespoons pimientos, chopped

salt and black pepper, to taste.

Cook rice according to package directions and drain. In a large skillet, saute the chopped flowers and green pepper in butter until they are tender. Stir in your fully cooked and drained rice, chopped pimientos, salt and black pepper. Simmer for 1 minute and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

Vegetables and Rice Medley

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 of a red or green pepper, chopped

1 can (14 oz) chicken broth

1 1/2 cup white rice, uncooked

1 cup frozen peas

In a large skillet, heat up the vegetable oil. Stir in the chopped onion, carrots, celery and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the chicken broth and bring mixture up to a boil. Stir in the uncooked white rice and thawed peas, cover skillet. Simmer on low for 5 to 8 additional minutes. Remove from heat, stir again and serve immediately.

3 Amazing Slow Cooker Recipes For One

A slow cooker is usually used to prepare a large batch of a dish that caters to a group of people. But if you live alone, having plenty of leftovers is a problem you have to face. But who says that crockpots can only cook dishes ideal for groups? You can definitely use your crockpot to prepare a dish that is good for one or two people only.

Here are delicious slow cooker recipes for one you can enjoy at home:

Crockpot Chicken and Potato Combo

What you need:

  • 1/4 kilogram chicken, sliced into chunks
  • 1/4 kilogram potatoes, peeled and sliced into large chunks
  • 2 strips bacon, chopped
  • 2/3 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Additional cheese (for topping)
  • Avocado (for topping)
  • Salsa (for topping)

Place potatoes and bacon at the bottom of a slow cooker then season with garlic powder and black pepper. Add chicken to the pot then sprinkle with paprika. Pour chicken broth over chicken and potatoes and top with cheese. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. When ready, transfer to a serving plate and top with additional cheese, avocado and salsa if desired.

Slow Cooked Beefy Bean Chili

What you need:

  • 1/2 kilogram ground beef, cooked and drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cups black beans
  • 1 3/4 cups kidney beans
  • 1 3/4 cups petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (for topping)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place cooked ground beef, garlic, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, onion and bell pepper in a crockpot. Season with cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add chicken broth to the pot. Gently stir ingredients together. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Top with shredded cheese before serving.

Crockpot Apple-Cinnamon Pork

What you need:

  • 1 1/2 kilogram boneless pork loin roast, browned
  • 3 apples, cored and sliced with peel left on
  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cut 1/2-inch slits across the top of the pork. Mix together 1 teaspoon cinnamon, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl then rub mixture all over the pork loin, including inside the slits. Place a few apple slices and the apple cider in a crockpot. Place the pork on top of the apples then drizzle with honey. Place an apple slice inside each slit then scatter remaining apple and onion slices on top and around the meat. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon. Cover and cook for 6 hours on low.

Whether you’re cooking for 2 or for just yourself, these amazing slow cooker recipes for one will be just perfect!

Safe Bird Air Purifiers – 5 Features to Avoid

Choosing a safe air purifier for your bird is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Your cleaner needs to be effective and safe for your avian friend as well as the humans who live with it. Here are 5 features to steer clear of in a purifier.

Ozone Generators— Ozone is a harmful gas that can cause irritation of the lungs and breathing problems particularly for those who already suffer from such as asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory ailments. It is particularly harmful to children and seniors. And with the sensitive respiratory system of birds, it is not a good choice for birds.

With all of the health problems it can cause, this technology has not been found effective at removing pollutants until the levels are extremely high. It can also cause toxic by-products such as formaldehyde to be produced when it combines with certain indoor pollutants. Bottom line is you don’t want it in your home or office.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “…ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution”.

Ionizer— This type of cleaner pulls air in and uses electricity to charge the particles that are then attracted to a collector plate in the unit. The problem is that sometimes these particles escape.

When inhaled these charged particles are more likely to get stuck to the lungs. That is exactly what you do not want happening with your bird or humans either. It is also believed that this type of technology also produces some ozone. Why take a chance on any of this with your life or your bird’s?

Plastic Housing— An effective cleaner should be able to run 24 hours a day to keep up with the dust, dander, feathers and other pollutants that your bird produces 24 hours a day.

Once the motor heats up, it causes the plastic casing to heat up as well. This often results in noxious fumes being off-gassed into the air. Birds are particularly vulnerable to odors and gases, and these fumes could prove fatal to your pet. Steel casing prevents this type of off gassing.

One Filter— One filter cannot possibly eliminate both particulate and gaseous pollutants. And a unit with one filter is guaranteed to need frequent filter changes. This means the air quality will suffer each time you are performing maintenance, and the unit is not filtering the air. It also means added expense to operate the unit with minimal effectiveness because it can not adequately remove all that you need it to.

A better choice would be a cleaner that contains both a filter for both gaseous and particulate pollutants. Carbon filters a well known for their ability to remove gases, odors, and chemicals. And HEPA or high efficiency particle arresting filters are the best at removing particles. A purifier with both types of filters will give you the total coverage that is needed.

One-Sided Intake— It unit that can only pull air in from one side seriously limits its flexibility of placement in your room. A better choice is a unit with 360 degree intake. This would allow you to place it anywhere in the room with only about a 6 inch clearance necessary for it to function efficiently.

Comparison Between Egyptian and Mesopotamian Religions and Beliefs!

The religious beliefs of the ancient Egyptians were the dominating influence in the development of their culture. The Egyptian faith was based on a collection of ancient myths, nature worship, and innumerable deities. Sumerian lives were spent serving the gods in the form of man-made statues. There was no organized set of gods; each city-state had its own patrons, temples, and priest-kings. The Sumerians were probably the first to write down their beliefs, which were the inspiration for much of later Mesopotamian mythology, religion, and astrology. Sumerians believed that the universe consisted of a flat disk enclosed by a tin dome. While the Mesopotamian’s didn’t have anything quit to scale with the pyramids, they did use and build ziggurats for religious purposes.

Both civilizations were centered on religion. Egypt believed in many gods. The gods Mesopotamia believed in tended to be absolute rulers to whom the people owed total devotion. In both civilizations religious leaders were given very high status and held in high regard. Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt are two religions that believed in monotheism. Both Egypt and Mesopotamia were polytheistic, that is, they believed their worlds were ruled by more than one god. Both civilizations believed that the gods created them. Both cultures also believed that they themselves were created for the purpose of serving their gods. Both worshipers took their names from the numerous gods and the cults that honored the deities, and priests in both religions were no special clothes, and made daily offering in the temples and held annual festivals open to public.

Mesopotamian religion saw humans as the servants of the gods, who had to be appeased for protection. Egyptians believed that the gods created all humans but were also controlled by the principle of maat, or order. Unlike followers of Mesopotamian religion, the Egyptians had a strong belief in the afterlife, which they expressed by building elaborate tombs such as the pyramids. The Sumerian afterlife involved a descent into a gloomy netherworld to spend eternity in a wretched existence as a Gidim (ghost). Egyptians believed that their gods had created Egypt as a sort of refuge of good and order in a world filled with chaos and disorder. The major god for much of Mesopotamia was the sky god Enlil; later th e worship of Enlil was replaced by the worship of the Babylonian god Marduk. For Egyptians, Amen-Ra was the most powerful deity, chief of the pantheon. Statues of winged bulls were a protective symbol related to the god Sin Mesopotamia, while the ankh, a kind of cross with a loop at the top, was a prominent representation of life in ancient Egypt. The Enuma Elish tells the Mesopotamian story of creation and explains how Marduk became the chief of the gods. The Egyptian Book of the Dead was a guide for the dead, setting out magic spells and charms to be used to pass judgment in the afterlife. Ancient Nippur was the site of the chief temple to Enlil, while Babylon was the location of Marduk’s sanctuary. Thebes and the temple complex of Karnak were home to the worship of Amen- Ra. In the modern world the remains of these early religions can be seen in Egypt’s pyramids, tombs for the pharaohs, and in Mesopotamia’s ziggurats, temples to the gods. The New Year’s Festival was a major event in Mesopotamian religion, while Egypt’s most important festival was Opet. Because Egypt was the “gift of the Nile” and generally prosperous and harmonious, Egyptian gods tended to reflect a positive religion with an emphasis on a positive afterlife. In contrast, Mesopotamian religion was bleak and gloomy. Ancient Mesopotamian prayers demonstrate the lack of relationships with gods and goddesses who viewed humans with suspicion and frequently sent calamities to remind everyone of their humanity. Such was the message found in the Gilgamesh Epic.

Although the religions of both civilizations shared many similarities, the differences were vast. The most notable ones are the importance and belief of afterlife and the relationship between Gods. Because of these differences, we believe, the civilizations were different because in early times, civilizations revolved around their beliefs and values but unfortunately, there was an end to these great civilizations.