7 Ways To Cook With Pineapple Sage, A Pork Recipe, And Wine Pairing

The ripe scent of pineapple can stimulate memories that whisk you away to a tropical beach where tranquil breezes caress your skin and white trimmed turquoise waves lap along the edges of pallid sand.

You’ll be happy to know that you can awaken those same senses and tantalize your taste buds with pineapple sage, an edible plant that mirrors the citrus flavor of the fresh fruit. For the last two years this herb has decorated the corner of my deck, delighting hummingbirds with its scarlet flower petals. I was pleasantly surprised when I found new growth sprouting from the middle of the dead winter stalks this past spring and it’s grown into a three-foot beauty.

Native to Mexico pineapple sage has a sweet fruity scent compared to the mustier scent of its cousin, sage, which I also use regularly. It has soft hairy lime green leaves that are lightly toothed and supported by reddish stems. It blooms in late summer into autumn and attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Pineapple sage is a big, bushy, and beautiful plant that requires more water than other herbs, so give it plenty of space.

You’ll enjoy the versatility of pineapple sage in sweet and savory dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert meals. It dresses up breads, jelly, honey, chicken, pork, ham, cantaloupe, and serves as a substitute in stuffing rather than regular sage. I’ve also muddled it into cocktails, used the elongated leaves as a colorful garnish, and utilized the bright greenery as an environmental background for food photos.

I’ve found pineapple sage is best used fresh as every time I dry the leaves they lose the pungent pineapple scent. It pairs beautifully with other citrus herbs, such as lemon verbena (another fave of mine), and scented geraniums like lime and lemon.

7 Ways To Use Pineapple Sage In Your Kitchen

1. Muddle sugar and pineapple leaves together. Puree fresh pineapple and add to glass. Pour into champagne flute or glass of choice and top with Prosecco, like this one – Gelisi Antonio 2009 – Mild aromas of citrus water with a crisp, dryish light-to-medium body and a tart lemon and starfruit finish.

2. Chop leaves into flour to coat pork or chicken before frying or baking

3. Add fresh snippets to a glass of Pinot Grigio.

4. Cover the outside of your next baked ham with the leaves along with fresh pineapple to get a double citrus impact

5. Layer pineapple sage leaves on the bottom of a bundt cake pan, pour batter over and bake, or chop leaves finely into cake batter (excellent in a pound cake)

6. Make a simple syrup for cocktails by bringing 1 Cup of water and 1 Cup of sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves. Then remove from heat and add fresh pineapple sage leaves in to steep. Add in 1 tbsp. of Amaretto and it’s a delicious syrup for pancakes and waffles! Allow to cool and store up to one month in the refrigerator.

7. Great added to a marinade for chicken and pork like this one:

Spicy Fruit And Herb Boston Pork Roast

1 – 4 lb. Boston Pork Butt Roast

1 tbsp. coriander

1 tbsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 C brown sugar (light or dark)

1 medium onion sliced in thick wedges

zest and juice of 1 lime

1/2 C apple juice

1 Raspberry Wheat Beer

2 C pineapple sage leaves (rub the leaves to activate the oils and aromas)

Directions

Spray the bottom and sides of a Dutch oven or deep roasting pan with a top. Rinse roast and place in pan.

Rub dry ingredients into all sides of meat. Add onion. Then pour in liquids. Put sage around and on top of pork. Put top on pan and bake for approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into the largest part of roast reaches 160 to 180 degrees. Ovens vary and mine tends to cook things quicker than others so judge accordingly.

Meat should be tender and able to be pulled apart with a fork.

Here’s a few wine pairing ideas for this dish:

Riesling – semi sweet with peach and citrus notes such as Dr. Thanisch Riesling Classic 2009 or Lucien Albrecht Reserve 2010

Gew├╝rztraminer (guh-VURTS-trah-mee-ner): A dry aromatic wine with a tangerine, white peach nose, and lychee flavor.

Simple Pencil Drawing Tips

Sharpening Drawing Pencils

When sharpening your pencils for drawing, use a craft knife (carefully!) Rather than a pencil sharpener. You can get a longer, more effective point on the pencil this way and you can also shave it to a chisel edge which gives you more options for creating different line widths and textures. This works for pencil crayons, watercolor pencils and pastel pencils, etc. as well as normal graphite pencils.

Conserving and Using Putty Erasers

Putty erasers are excellent for drawing, being much softer and gentler on paper surfaces – especially watercolor paper – than regular erasers. They're readily available from art supply stores. However, they're a bit more expensive than ordinary 'school' erasers – but of course, just as easily mislaid.

The larger size of putty eraser is usually about 2 "x 1.5" so I cut or tear a new one into four smaller pieces and use one at a time. In reality, I rarely get through one piece without losing it and I have found through painful experience that is it's just as easy to lose a large eraser as a smaller one.

You can use a putty eraser by rubbing it on the paper in the normal way or use a dabbing action to lift out pencil marks. Its biggest advantage is that you can mold it to a very fine point or chisel edge if you want to remove part of an image without affecting the immediate area around it.

Cleaning a soiled putty eraser is even easier. Just pull and mold the dirty edge inwards, until a clean area appears. You can do this for quite a while before before up every clean bit.

Cleaning Pencil Erasers

If you use any other sort of pencil eraser such as the plastic or the plain old school 'india rubber' type, it's easy to get a dirty residue on your paper if you're not careful and the devil to get it off, especially if the eraser is colored.

The two main problems are that you either pick up pencil residual from erasing previous items, which then transfers to your paper next time you use it.

Alternately, if you've not used it for a while, the rubber surface oxidises and will badly smudge your paper. To solve this problem in both cases, simply rub the eraser on a handy hard, smooth surface – a drawing board or worktop is ideal.

This cleans off the residue and leaves a nice clean surface on the eraser. In fact, it's a good habit to clean your eraser when ever you pick it up so as to ensure your work lasts clean and tidy through your drawing session.

You can also shave off a sliver of the plastic or rubber eraser with a craft knife and use it to pick out small areas. But see the reference to putty erasers above.

Goat Meat Farming – The Secrets To Successful Goat Meat Farming

Some people prefer to have goats as pets, but for the most part, people have them for meat and milk. The milk and meat ones have a lot of similarities in the way they are raised.

Raising meat goats have an added benefit, as they can also be milked, so an owner gets both milk and meat from one goat.

They are pregnant for 4 months, and can have between one to 5 babies. It is important to know that female goats should not be milked until they turn a year, even though it is OK for them to mate from 7 months.

As with humans, it is best for their babies to be fed milk from the mother. The reason for this is because the baby goats get Colostrum, which contains minerals, vitamins and antibodies which make the baby goat healthy and strong.

Goat farming for meat purposes will require that the goats be fed hay, grain and pasture, until they reach a certain weight. The right weight will differ from goat to goat, but will mostly be between 35 to 90 pounds.

Whether you are raising them as pets, or for milk or meat purposes, you will need to ensure that your goats are protected from predators at all times. Besides the predators getting to your goats, they may also wander off, only to be lost, which would be quite a loss for you, so you want to make sure that they are enclosed and protected.

The fundamental difference in the way you raise meat goats or milk goats, is the food that is fed to them. There are other differences, but there is more common than differences. To ensure you raise the healthiest goats, you must provide effective fencing so they stay protected, clean water, good pasture and last but not least, they must have enough space to walk and run around as well as adequate shelter.

Homeowners Insurance Options – What is Good Neighbor Property Damage?

There is a certain type of coverage option that is often included in a standard homeowners insurance policy that many people are not aware of. It is called the good neighbor property damage coverage. For people who have it, and many do, it will provide you terrific protection for damage caused to your neighbors home that you would be considered liable for.

How does it work? Simple. Coverage is provided for damage caused to a neighbors home by you cutting down a tree and having it smash in their fence. Or, coverage is provided if your kids are playing ball in the front yard and a ball goes through a neighbors window. Surprisingly, coverage is provided even if your neighbor can prove that your kids did damage to their home intentionally.

Damage caused to your neighbors house by pets is also covered with this good neighbor property coverage. If your dog chews a hole in their fence or gets into your neighbors home and destroys their carpet or furniture, you are covered.

The amount of coverage provided varies from insurance company to insurance company but most coverage limits are between one thousand dollars and two thousand dollars. The best part about it is there is no deductible that needs to be paid when making a claim. Simply contact your insurance company and explain what happened. Sometimes you will have to come out of pocket to repair the damage, then wait for reimbursement. Other times, the check will be sent out immediately once the damage to your neighbor’s home is assessed.

Official – Biting your Finger Nails Causes Heart Disease

Scientists at WITS university have discovered that biting your fingernails greatly increases your chances of heart disease. They also have seen a likelihood that you life expectance will be dramatically shortened to that of a heavy smoker.

The heart problems are caused by Bacterial Endocarditis which is an infection of the hearts inner lining (endocardium) and / or the heart valves.

Bacterial Endocarditis occurs when bacteria enters the blood stream, either though Finger Nail Biting or dental procedures. The bacteria then lodges itself heart valves or other damaged heart tissue

This will eventually lead to extensive heart damage which will in turn cause it to fail.

Apart from finger nail biting, you can contract Bacterial Endocarditis through other forms of surgery or dental procedures, teeth whitening is also a culprit. Some other medical procedures (such as colonoscopy, cryoscopy and sigmoidoscopy) increase the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream.

Flu like symptoms, fever, chills, shaking are signs that you may have contracted Bacterial Endocarditis. You should talk to your doctor immediately. Your doctor will then need to do more tests, such as blood tests and echocardiography (ultrasound) to find out if you have Bacterial Endocarditis.

Usual treatment is a hospital stay for a few days with antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually started intravenously in the hospital, but many people can finish their treatment at home. For more complicated infections, heart surgery may be needed.

Long term damage can occur even if Bacterial Endocarditis is treated. Your heart may be weakened by the infection and may not pump properly, their also may be blood clots or damage to the heart muscle.

People who do not seek treatment for Bacterial Endocarditis may risk facing death.

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A Magical Time At A Harry Potter Party

It is time for a party, and wizardry is the catch phrase; a Harry Potter Party is a great idea for children who love all things Hogwarts! For invitations, you can purchase simple parchment paper, and download Harry Potter fonts. Print your invitation to resemble an official Hogwarts document. Include all relevant information such as time, date, and location. Be sure everyone knows how to find the party location, and provide a map, if you think there might be any question. Include precise pick up and drop off times and instructions, any additional instructions, and give parents a little advance notice by sending the invitations early, and follow up with a reminder, which can often be done using email.

If you know you plan to have a Harry Potter Party, a great time to begin gathering party favors, treats, and decorative items is at after Halloween clearance sales. You can often purchase these clearance items at 10 cents on the dollar. Witches, ghosts, goblins, and spiders and webbing will all come in handy. You can also find witches hats, wands, brooms, frogs, and often even Harry Potter related items such as crests and robes at the after Halloween sales.

A great arrival activity, that involves crafts that may be taken home as party favors when the party is over are womens and hats. You can either buy plain, black party hats, or get party hats on clearance sale. Another option is to use hats left over from other parties, and simply spray paint them black. Just be sure to do it well ahead, so they have plenty of time to dry. Have 'jewels' glitter, and glue to decorate the hats and wands. Have Styrofoam stars cut out and sprayed silver or gold. Have dowel rods cut in half or threes and spray painted. When the stars and hats are decorated and have washed (wait until near the end of the party to distribute the waves to prevent possible injury) insert the dowel carefully into the star, and you have wizard hats and wands fit for any Harry Potter Party!

Graphology at Home – Lesson 14 – The Letters D and E

D

o Imagine the letter written in two parts. We see the individual standing alone. Since this letter (D) is normally made of connected lines, this technique of writing shows a deficiency in adjusting to what others may do.

o The simple letter (d) with an arc at the right shows taste. The writer has a flair for the finer things of life. Try writing this letter. You will feel the grace of it.

o The letter, which is written in the form of a musical note, shows musical interest.

o Consider the upper length, which extends quite high into the upper zone; this shows a moral personality; this is a person who respects spiritual ideals.

o When the letter is looped, it shows vanity and sensitivity, as if the loops were an added shield of protection from getting hurt.

o There are letters, which are called the Greek d, e, and g; because they resemble the way those letters are formed in the Greek alphabet. When two or all three of them appear repeatedly in someone’s handwriting, it is a sign of culture, of a literary-oriented individual. Such letters are usually found among intellectuals and people with high IQs, and their presence indicates speed and good taste. If only one of these signs appears-and especially if it is relatively infrequent-, we see someone who is trying to appear cultured, but is not quite.

o When the head of the letter is written downward, demonstrating the writer’s feelings, it shows pessimism and depression.

o Whenever two different ways of writing the same letter appears, it indicates versatility. (In the capital I, it hints at someone who is not quite sure who he is, so he tries out different personalities.)

o When the loop is harmoniously swung around, we see one of two things: in a superior script, logic in decision-making; in an inferior script, an attempt to use logic that the writer does not possess. A superior script is one that often contains original letterforms, simplicity, words and lines clearly separated and usually speedy writing. An inferior script is one that often contains lack of originality, a strong adherence to copybook standard, ostentation, and usually a slow hand, with words and lines, which entangle.

o When there is a nice ‘swing’ in writing the letter, it reflects the mind’s ability to move in whatever direction is necessary.

o When the letters are connected, it shows the power of deduction. This writer uses logic, building fact upon fact, just as he places letter upon letter.

o Picture capital letters, which are excessively large. Since the capital letter represents the ego, they show pride, vanity, conceit, and jealousy.

E

o Imagine the letter (e) written with a loop and itself in the form of a garland. Garlands indicate friendliness. The round, easy way it is written shows casualness, lightheartedness, even carelessness.

o When the end stroke comes up, over, and down the left side, it shows someone who distorts facts. Picture the beginning of the end stroke (at the right side of the letter) as the writer’s right ear. By the time the stroke has traveled around to where it ends (by the left ear), the story has changed. The true story went in one ear and out the other.

o Consider the letter as two concave arcs. This capital E looks like two eyes staring at something and it denotes the keen observer.

o When the beginning stroke touches the top part of the letter, like a weight of some kind pressing down on it, it shows the writer’s difficulty in handling his concerns.

o Picture an underlength that would underline the rest of the word. The fashion in which the writer extends this capital (the ego) shows self-admiration.

Docking Boat in a Current

Learn to dock a boat like a pro when you make smooth and easy landings in current. Follow these fast and easy sailing tips and in no time, you will be “wowing” the folks at your marina with your docking skills!

Enter any marina and you will deal with wind or current. Face the current with your bow or stern for maximum control. You will start to lose control when the current strikes the boat on the side of the hull, nearer the beam. This vital factor will help you understand boat docking in any current or wind. In this article, you will learn how to dock a boat in an open space alongside a pier or seawall.

Look for Clues

Prepare your boat with docking lines and fenders on both sides before you enter your marina or any other marina. Why both sides? What if your engine dies all of a sudden and you need to slide over to a pier to port or starboard? Or the dockmaster changes your berth assignment at the last minute? Get your boat ready for the unexpected for peace-of-mind and worry-free docking.

Observe how the current sets when you first enter a canal or channel that leads to a marina. Look for “current tails”, or tiny streams of water that flows past pilings, day beacons, finger piers, boat hulls, or pier bases. Use that current direction to line up your boat for maximum control to approach the dock.

Stem the Current

Current sets–or flows–in one of four directions relative to the dock: parallel to the dock from ahead, parallel to the dock from astern; off the dock (perpendicular); onto the dock (perpendicular). In any approach, turn to face the current with your bow if possible. If not possible, turn to face the current with your stern.

Use forward propulsion to maintain control against a bow current. Use reverse propulsion to maintain control against a stern current. In both cases, use just enough throttle speed to maintain control.

Perpendicular current can be more tricky to deal with. Face the current with your bow if the current sets off the dock. Face the current with your stern if the current set onto the dock. Use your engine to regulate the speed of your approach. Use forward propulsion to maintain control against a bow current. Use reverse propulsion to maintain control against a stern current. In both cases, use just enough throttle speed to maintain control.

Parallel Approach with Current Ahead

Keep the current as close to the bow as possible as you approach.. Use forward propulsion to control the speed of approach. Keep your speed to a crawl. Allow the current to help keep speed to a minimum. As soon as you are alongside, put over a forward bow line first to keep the boat in her position at the dock. Then, put over the rest of your docking lines.

Parallel Approach with Current Astern

Approach the dock from down-current at a narrow angle. Use reverse propulsion to control the speed of approach. Reverse your engine to slow or stop the boat. As soon as you are alongside, put over a stern line right away to keep the boat in her position at the dock. Then, put over the rest of your docking lines.

Perpendicular Approach Technique

Approach the dock at a perpendicular angle for maximum control. This keeps your bow or stern headed into the current.

Before you approach, line up the boat so that your bow faces a dock piling or dock cleat. Your crew will loop a spring line around the dock piling or dock cleat as soon as your bow reaches the pier. Make up a spring line near the bow. Cleat off one end of the spring line. Coil the remainder of the spring line and assign one crew to work the line.

Use absolute minimum speed to approach the pier. If your bow faces the current, use forward propulsion to regulate your speed of approach. If your stern faces the current, use reverse propulsion to regulate your speed of approach. Protect the bow in both cases with fenders (or have a crew hold a large fender on a line to cushion contact points.

Stop the boat when one or two feet off the pier. Use your engine to maintain this position. Loop the spring line around the dock piling or dock cleat and bring it back aboard to a boat cleat. Turn the wheel away from the pier (or hold a tiller toward the pier). Use minimum forward propulsion to bring the boat flush alongside the pier. Remember to use fenders throughout this maneuver to protect the hull. Once alongside, put over the remainder of your docking lines.

Learn to dock a boat like a pro in current with these easy sailing tips. Gain the confidence you need to master the art of docking–wherever in the world you choose to go sailing!

Infectious Mononucleosis Symptoms – Sore Throat, Swollen Glands, Fever and Cough

Acute infectious mononucleosis symptoms can include a red sore throat, swollen lymph glands, fever and respiratory discharge. Although these infectious mononucleosis symptoms may be annoying and uncomfortable, they are your body’s way of ridding the virus from your system.

Let’s have a look at these infectious mononucleosis symptoms in more detail and see why they should be allowed to run their course, rather than be suppressed with conventional medication.

A sore throat.

When your throat is infected by a microbe like Epstein Barr – the virus that causes mono, your body responds immediately. The throat tissue sends out biochemical distress signals that attract phagocytes – the white blood cells that kill and scavenge the virus.

Your throat may appear red and inflamed but there is a reason for this. The blood vessels in the affected area widen and become more permeable in order to allow more white blood cells, immune proteins and warmth to flood the tissue.

Your sore throat is a signal that Nature is taking its course. The best response is to rest your body, avoid overuse of your voice, keep yourself hydrated and let your body heal. If you continue to rush around, use your voice or take pain killers to mask the pain you may find you prolong your recovery or get even sicker.

Swollen glands

Sore, swollen and inflamed glands are a typical infectious mononucleosis symptom seen throughout this illness. Swollen glands are normally felt in the neck although some people feel them in the armpits and groin.

The role of the lymph is to drain your body of antigens like viruses and to produce antibodies to fight infection. When your glands are swollen it means your body is working overtime to rid the infection from your body.

Fever

Of all the infectious mononucleosis symptoms, fever is probably the most debilitating. It will make you feel heavy, tired and lethargic.

Fever plays a crucial role in fighting mono. Its job is to raise your body temperature to the point where viruses and bacteria cannot survive. Fever also stimulates interferon which stops the virus from spreading to adjacent cells.

Fever should be allowed to run its course unless it goes dangerously high (above 40 degrees C or 104 degrees F). Very high fever can trigger convulsions particularly in children. To lower a high fever sponge the body with luke warm water or have a tepid bath. Avoid using aspirin or Tylenol as studies have shown that taking these can suppress the body’s ability to produce antibodies which fight the invading organism. Aspirin in particular should be avoided as it has been linked to Reye’s Syndrome – a potentially fatal disease which causes brain and liver inflammation. This risk is greatest in children under the age of 16.

Respiratory infectious mononucleosis symptoms – coughing, sneezing and nasal discharge

When an infection strikes, your body produces histamine which causes immune cells to flood the area triggering infectious mononucleosis symptoms like swelling and pain. Histamine also causes mucus to be produced to help flush dead microbes out of the body. Nerves in your throat and sinuses sense swelling and mucus, forcing you to sneeze, cough and blow your nose.

Taking cough medicine, antihistamines or nasal sprays may reduce the natural elimination of the Epstein Barr virus from your body. This can lead to a longer recovery time or it may lead to secondary conditions like sinus infections, bronchitis or pneumonia.

It is vital that you allow your infectious mononucleosis symptoms to run their course naturally. A sore throat, swollen glands, fever and respiratory discharge are all indications that your body is fighting the infection. Suppressing your infectious mononucleosis symptoms with pain killers, cough medicine, antihistamine or corticosteroids will only mask your symptoms temporarily.

Tile Ready Shower Pan – 5 Tips Before You Buy

Look, building a shower pan the old fashion way is a big hassle. The pros don’t even agree on the best way to get it done. That’s because the pan construction is mostly mortar work with several places to go very wrong. That’s why a tile ready pan looks so good. You can forget all the mortar and mud tricks and get a leak proof shower just like a pro. Watch out for the tricks though.

Cheap shower pans won’t do.

A cheap unit from the box building supply store won’t do. Those vinyl pans are not made to hold tile up and tile over cheap pans will crack and fail. Those are made for a different purpose. See, they are too flimsy. Here’s why that won’t do.

Ceramic tile must sit on a perfectly rigid base. Know why? Cracks. If the tile base moves, the grout, and maybe the tile, will crack. That’s disaster and that’s why you need a base made for tile. It’s heavier and tougher too. Then there’s this.

Consider the space where the shower must fit.

Your shower space in may cases isn’t of a standard size. Now what? Two choices. One is to do the carpenter work and fit the space to the shower base. The other is to somehow get a custom shower base. That may be possible. But it won’t be cheap.

The size issue suggests one of the main obstacles for using tile ready pans. There are easy ways to get around this challenge, but just realize that many tile shower pans are mostly just available in certain sizes. Here’s another bump.

Consider drain location.

It matters. There’s a standard location for a drain. Otherwise, two choices again. Change the plumbing or use a custom shower base. In either case, that often becomes an expensive issue.

How does it all go together?

Some ready to tile bases offer clean designs, but the drain design is lacking. Consider how the base and the drain meet up. Strange as it may seem, getting a good seal at the drain to base becomes very much of a problem with certain designs. If you can’t easily see how the drain mates with the base, that likely is a problem area.

Consider this tile ready system.

There are a couple of tile systems that make it possible to build a tile ready shower pan in any size and shape you want. Custom size is no problem. Funny thing is, a tile shower system is what many pro tile setters are moving to. Many tile setters no longer build traditional masonry shower pans. They just use the easier method and get the best results.

One system includes a waterproof membrane that goes over mortar. This method of construction makes it easy to build a base of any size or shape. That can really be an advantage. If you have a more standard size you won’t need to do any mortar work at all.

Teambuilding Volleyball Drills

A difficult skill to teach for a volleyball coach is team building. There are some good volleyball drills that can help build teamwork and camaraderie with your players. You will want to work on this skill in order for each player to be able to trust in their teammates and know that they can count on them to make the plays that is expected of them. One of the most important concepts you will want to instill in your team is that a team is 6 players working in tandem, rather than 6 people trying to carry everything on their own. These volleyball drills will go a long way toward helping build this team spirit.

One of the great volleyball drills that will help build team work is a race of sorts. Pick a relatively long distance and have the team run together. You will want to set a realistic time to beat for the entire team. Once that is established, let the team start out running. In order to work correctly, however, you will need to set certain consequences depending upon the outcome. Because they are running as a team, you can establish that there will be a penalty of 1 suicide for every 5 seconds that elapses between the first team mate to cross the finish line and the last. This will help your team work together to cross as closely together as possible. That is also where the time limit comes into play. The same type of penalty can apply for every 5 seconds that the team misses the limit by. This will help prevent the entire team from simply walking together. These types of volleyball drills will help your team work together toward a common goal.

Using an obstacle course as teamwork building volleyball drills can be another interesting change of pace. One of the great ways to accomplish this is to set up a course that is designed to be done by a pair of players. You want to make players have to help each other. If your players are forced to help each other, they will come to depend upon each other. Using time limits will also help ensure that your teams try their hardest, rather than just coasting through the course. You can offer penalties for too much difference in the times between teams finishing, or add the times of the teams together as one overall time. This is a good way to use volleyball drills to condition as well as build a cohesive team.

Not all volleyball drills have to offer penalties to the team to be effective. You can help your team grow together by simply using typical strategies found in traditional team building camps. These can include anything that you think will help your players come to trust and rely on each other. A great example of this is having half of your team close their eyes and fall backwards into the arms of one of their teammates. This is one of the best ways to instill trust in each other. With a little imagination, you can integrate many different trust building skills into your volleyball drills.

A team is only as good as its weakest player. This is why you want to use volleyball drills to help your team come together as a cohesive unit. By building a team spirit, you will help ensure that you have a single team on the court at any time, rather then just 6 individual players. Team building volleyball drills can be as important as any other type of drill you will work on through the season.

What is the Difference Between a Band Saw and a Scroll Saw?

The structural differences between a scroll saw and a band saw are not so difficult to detect as the differences between their uses. Most of us know that both saws are used for detailed curved cutting, but what their real differences are, to many of us, is more mystery than fact. Beginning on the surface of each saw, we can zero in on the features that make each saw unique and a champion of its own niche.

The band saw is bigger than its scroll sawing counterpart, and although we know they both specialize in curved cuts, their blade designs are much different. A band saw blade, as the name implies, is a large band or continuous loop, a thin oblong blade that fits and rotates around two wheels that spin in the same direction. Similar to a pulley system or the belt systems that exist in your other power tools, the blade rotates or spins in that continuous loop. This design results in superior cutting uniformity which renders the band saw equally effective when cutting both wood, metal, and a variety of other industrial materials as well. On another hand, the scroll saw works more similarly to a seriously juiced up jigsaw; its blade is short and straight (like a jig saw or coping saw blade) and cuts with an accelerated up and down reciprocating action. The scroll saw is effective in the same variety of materials as the band saw, only it cuts with less intensity.

The band saw is perhaps most commonly used for cutting curves and shapes into workpieces. This fine detail work, though, because of the band saw’s blade design, can only be performed on the outside edges of a workpiece. This minor limitation, however, does not dissuade many woodworkers as the band saw is a quite universal cutting tool. A band saw can produce surprisingly straight cuts and is used in many woodshops as a resawing machine. Resawing is a technique used to create smaller sections of timber from larger sections of timber by entirely cutting or sectioning a piece of wood or log along its grain. This technique is universally useful, allows you to create new pieces of workable material, and is perhaps where the band saw performs most brilliantly.

Although detailed cuts are among the band saw’s strong suits, the scroll makes these detailed curved cuts with surpassing precision. Unlike the band saw, though, a scroll saw has the ability to cut intricate shapes on the inside of a workpiece. In other words, a band saw can cut shapes and a scroll can cut shapes and then cut more shapes inside those shapes. The band saw is strictly a perimeter cutter whereas, by pre-drilling a small hole into a workpiece and fitting the scroll saw blade into said pre-drilled hole, the scroll saw can perform detailed interior cuts as well. This is especially helpful to our most crafty and creative woodworkers.

For all intensive purposes, and with every respect to the band saw, the scroll saw is vastly more effective at detailed craft work. The machine is acutely accurate and allows for huge amounts of creativity in a relatively small package. Not only is the scroll saw’s agility during intricate curves and patterns virtually unparalleled, but the tool can also create smooth dovetail joints rendering this machine a true paradise for small scale, intricate craft projects. Similarly, the band saw most certainly takes the cake in universal effectiveness and can cut a straight line with greater ease and accuracy than a scroll saw any day of the week.

In the end, although the scroll saw and the band saw can be used to perform many of the same applications, their subtle differences may make all the difference. A band saw is a champion of curved cutting, but its truest calling comes in the form of resawing and stacked cutting. The scroll saw, on another hand, is, although less universally useful than the band saw, an ethereally good detail worker and can perform detailed cuts inside the perimeter of a workpiece. Each have their own specialized actions and each is an equally valid, equally awesome cutting machine.

Heavy Duty Tarp Maintenance

Just like any tool or piece of equipment, proper maintenance habits are the key to enjoying a long service life of dependable use from heavy duty tarp. Some people choose to see tarpaulins as disposable, especially the ubiquitous blue, but any homeowner or business owner can appreciate the savings from keeping all of their equipment well maintained.

Let’s take a look at some good habits for keeping all kinds of heavy duty products in good working condition for years to come.

Polyethylene Maintenance

A blue tarpaulin is made from polyethylene, or poly for short. This is a plastic material that is easy to manufacture, is inexpensive, and typically less durable than other materials. For these reasons, many people misuse the covers and then throw them away once they begin to show wear and tear. However, a when well cared for and maintained, they can have a long life.

Be conscientious of the types of materials you cover with a blue poly; sharp edges and abrasive materials will cut through the plastic material. Avoid using poly covers near sharp rocks or chunks of concrete as well; abrasive rocks will eventually wear through the material. Don’t try to use a poly product on a trailer; they do not have enough tear resistance to withstand the high wind force when driving a truck. Also, keep blue polys out of direct sun during the summer months or if you live in the southern states as UV radiation will degrade the polyethylene.

Overall, avoiding the above situations will allow your blue tarpaulin to last a long time. When they do eventually wear down, make sure to recycle them, just like a plastic soda bottle.

Canvas Maintenance

Canvas is a natural fiber and it is stronger than poly and will enjoy a long service life. There are two major maintenance habits for a canvas tarp. First, any tears that develop in canvas have to be repaired as soon as possible. While canvas is a durable material, existing tears will tend to spread. Second, long term exposure to standing water will eventually waterlog the canvas tarp, and it will develop mold and mildew if it is constantly soaking wet. These tarpaulins can also have a finish coating in order to improve their durability, resistance to UV rays, and to help inhibit the growth of mold. Since canvas is a significant investment compared to poly, it is a good idea to use a premium finish.

Vinyl Maintenance

Vinyl is one of the strongest materials and is used for truck tarps, lumber tarps for commercial trucking. However, lumber tarps are not indestructible and require their own maintenance routine. Laminated vinyl will crack if used outdoors in below freezing temperatures and are typically not UV treated. Vinyl coated polyester products usually have built-in UV protection and have outstanding UV performance. Tears on vinyl can be easily repaired with vinyl cement and some spare vinyl fabrics.

With a few good habits, any type of heavy duty tarp will last a long time and prove to be a good investment.

5 Tips To Sweep The Board In Tattoo Design Contests

Tattoo design contests are everywhere, especially all over the Internet. For tattoo hobbyists, arranging a design contest is a great of way to find the best designs at a very competitive price. For artists also, these contests are a very effective way of showing their skills to the tattoo enthusiasts across the globe.

If you are a tattoo designer, you may find tattoo contests quite frustrating. The reason is that there is no limit to the number of participants. Any number of artists can take part and submit designs based on the tattoo ideas of the client and their instructions. So, to help create award-winning designs, here are five effective tips from an expert tattoo artist:

Read the complete rules of the contest: Before anything else, you need to keep in mind the fact that you are required to make tattoos according to rules specified by the contest holder. Your tattoo design may be outstanding, but if it does not meet the contest’s criteria, there’s no point in submitting it because that is not what the client is looking for. Reading and understanding the complete rules will help you come up with a design that suits the judge’s preferences. For example; check if they have to be traditional, tribal or contemporary. Knowing the theme of the tattoo contest will make your work stand out.

Make your work look unique and fresh: When someone starts a contest, it means that he or she is looking for a design that is other than regular and is uniquely creative and has everything that a client wants. Majority of tattoo contests put uniqueness at the top of the judging criteria. Everyone knows that there are millions of tattoo designs available. Some are used more often than the rest, so know which ones are common and try to avoid them. Remember, that while traditional tattoos are still appealing, contest holders want to see unique designs.

Put yourself in the judge’s shoes: When making a design for a contest, always think of the contest judges. Since you’re not the one who will be wearing your design, you need to follow the rules closely. Always look at it from the wearer’s perspective. Ask yourself; will this design look great on my client’s skin? Will the judge like this design? Tattoo design contests are just like a tattoo shop, where the client talks and you listen.

Do your own research: Whether you are doing a tattoo design for a contest or not, research is important. You can find lots of design ideas by checking out designs created by artists in various categories. Incorporate the most inspiring details into the design you have in mind. It is a good idea to think of all possible designs that fit the contest rules and then merge them into one. Contest-winning tattoo masterpieces are a decent mix of different ideas. Just remember that your designs must always retain uniqueness, and you should never compromise on it.

Take your time: Tattoo design contests, both online and offline, attract hundreds of entries. As such, the chances of winning can be very slim. Take your time designing your entry. You need to spend time in creating, reviewing and improving your contest entry. Only after several reviews and revisits will your design have a chance of winning a contest.

On a last note, practice is as equally important as these tips. Now that you are aware of these expert tips, you are definitely on your way to winning a tattoo design contest.

The Most Important Birthdays in a Person’s Life

We all would agree that a birthday is typically a day to sit back, relax, and celebrate! For some, every birthday is a special day, regardless of what they do or who they spend it with. Others feel the only way to really enjoy a birthday is to have a huge party where all their friends and family can celebrate with them. No matter the way you celebrate your birthdays there will always be our most memorable days of the year. However, there are just a handful of birthdays that are commonly considered the most important in our lives.

First Birthday- While you really have no choice on birthday decisions made when you are turning one year old, as a parent you have the opportunity make your child’s first birthday amazing. While they might not be able to remember much, the video and the photos will speak for themselves as they grow. To celebrate the first birthday it can be a great way to celebrate if you give them their first cake or cupcake. It is the start of all the years to come, and a great way to celebrate a baby becoming a toddler.

Thirteenth Birthday- For a child, the thirteenth birthday is just one step closer to adulthood. A child is now a teenager and they want to have a little more birthday freedom than they did before. This is their opportunity to be taken a little more seriously and seen as a small step closer to making adult decisions.

Sixteenth Birthday- Primarily for a female, the sixteenth birthday is a step closer to womanhood. For many teens they are obtaining their driver’s license, in some states they can get a job, and many are now allowed to date. Sixteen years is just a little bit away from eighteen, and a teen is going to be sure you don’t forget that.

Eighteenth Birthday- Arguably some will consider their eighteenth birthday to be the most important birthday of their life. This is the day a child legally is called an adult, and life “begins”. While there are many ways to celebrate, the ‘new’ adult is sure excited about the day in general.

Twenty-first Birthday- A twenty-first birthday is the official step into adulthood. This birthday is more about celebrating with adult parties and drinking than any other birthday before or after it. At twenty-one most people are interested in celebrating with their friends and not necessarily their family, keep this in mind if you want to plan a party for your child or family member.

These five birthdays are standard for special birthdays in the average person’s life. Do not be surprised, however, if someone you care about says their favorite birthday is their twenty-fifth, or their thirtieth, or even their sixtieth. There are various reasons why a person may find one birthday to be their favorite over all others, it is a matter of personal opinion, and the experience one has on their birthday is what makes the day special!