Why Can’t We Live Together?

“Why Can’t We Live Together” was the title of the hit song by Timmy Thomas in 1972. The song’s title and lyrics ask a poignant question today, for schools, communities and even nations that continue to struggle with mistrust, misunderstanding and deep-seated hatred as well as resentment and envy.

So, why can’t we live together? A question I asked myself as I watched the recent news reports from Jena, La . Perhaps it’s also an important question to reflect upon with this month being the 50 th anniversary of the Little Rock school integration. It was September 1957 when Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., became the battleground for a showdown over integration, as nine black students enrolled at the “all white” school.

For me, it was 35 years ago when integration began at my school. I was 14 years old, in the ninth grade and participating in the junior high’s drill team. I don’t recall having any particular opinion about my new fellow students other than feeling sorry that they had to wake up so much earlier than I did in order to make the long bus ride across town to attend school.

But some students did have opinions. Or perhaps they were merely asserting viewpoints they learned from their parents. Many of my new fellow students seemed unhappy to be forced to go to a new school. All in all, there was tension and conflict, and eventually there was violence.

Divisive and abusive speech became daily occurrences. I can’t say “who” said “what” “first” on any particular day. It didn’t seem to matter, actually. The animosity and hostility appeared to be mutual. But that said, I do want to be clear that the ill will that ruled my school days was not harbored by the majority of white or black students. As often seems to be the case, a few became the voice for the many. This reminds me of words by Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “We will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

And, unfortunately, the voice of the few among the white students was coming from some football players, cheerleaders and drill team members. For me, this culminated one day when I entered the gym in the middle of an argument between some white drill team members and black female students. My entrance was what some would call being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As I walked into the gym, a tennis racket was in midair, with my nose soon to be its target.

My response to the incident was the same as when I heard recently about black students in Jena feeling they must ask permission to sit under the so-called white student’s tree or three nooses hanging from that tree or six students beating up on one student: Why, please tell me, why can’t we live together? Will it ever be possible to have good will for others, regardless of the color of our skin, our religious beliefs, our sex, our age, our wealth, our political viewpoints?

Should I have been angry that day in the gym when I was caught in the middle of an argument not my own? Was it fair that I suffered for the actions of others? Who should have gotten the blame for my injury? I wasn’t angry at anyone, though. I was sad at the time that such pointless tensions continued to plague the peace and harmony of my school days. And I wasn’t about to allow myself to get sucked into what I saw as a disposition that served no good purpose.

Jesus is the ultimate role model of how to respond to discrimination and injustice — both in his actions and in his teachings. It was certainly unfair that he was arrested and treated like a criminal. Some could say his disciples were justified in fighting the guards who came to arrest him, and some would have praised the disciple who cut off the ear of one of the guards. But not Jesus. He rebuked the violent actions and healed the guard’s ear.

Even on the cross — being an innocent man wrongfully sentenced — Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34)

His teachings give us specific instruction for our response to others’ treatment of us. He said, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: Don’t hit back at all. If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, gift wrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously.”

And regarding those we think of as enemies or those who mistreat us, Jesus taught, “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ I’m challenging that. I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best — the sun to warm and the rain to nourish — to everyone, regardless: the good and the bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (The Message, Matthew 5:38-48)

It’s quite clear that we will never live together peacefully, in friendship, with mutual respect, until we agree to disagree if need be, replace ill will with good will, hold no grudges or hard feelings, and release resentment, bitterness, rivalry, jealousy — and all feelings that truly serve no good purpose and will never have a good outcome.

We must endeavor to understand one another. Understanding will impel respect and dispel fear. And we must love in the way Jesus taught. “Love, love, love — everyone — no exceptions!” Then we can live together!

Consolidate Your Debts and Your Worries

Financial management can prove difficult and worried for anyone that has a lot of different debts with a range of creditors. In addition to paying out a lot of money each month – not to mention a reasonable amount of interest over the term of the debts – you will also have to juggle a range of repayments every month, which can lead to stress and confusion as well as being time consuming. In the current financial climate many people spend time worrying about their debts and finances, but some fail to take any action and do anything about their mounting debts.

There is an effective way of alleviating the number of debts that you have to deal with and even reducing the amount that you have to pay out each month as well as in interest overall, and this can really help to reduce the worry that can come from having to deal with your debts. This can also help to reduce the chances of missed and late repayments that can stem from having too many debts to deal with.

Debt consolidation is a method that has been used by many borrowers with a large range of debts with different creditors, enabling them to reduce the number of creditors and debts that they have to deal with and helping them to reduce the amount that they have to pay out each month. The idea is to find a low rate consolidation loan and then use it to pay off all of your existing debts, so that you then have just one loan, one repayment, and one creditor to deal with – a lot less hassle and worry than dealing with a variety of different debts.

Some of the debts that you have, such as credit and store cards, may be very high interest debts, so you can also alleviate the worry of overstretching your finances by taking out a low rate consolidation loan. It is important that you compare different consolidation loans from a number of lenders, as this will boost your chances of finding a competitive deal. The Internet allows you to do this with ease and convenience, as you can browse different consolidation loans from the comfort of your own home.

Consolidation loans are available on a secured or unsecured basis, so your circumstances and needs will determine which type of consolidation loan is best suited to you. Either way, by finding a competitive consolidation loan you can enjoy easier financial management and more disposable income, which takes away much of the worry that can come with having to cope with a range of debts and repayments. Taking advantage of a low rate consolidation loan means that you no longer have to put up with the worry of trying to stretch your finances and keep track of different debts, and at a time when many living costs and bills are on the rise it could provide you with a valuable and effective way to decrease your outgoings.

Evaporative Cooler Bearings

Oil The Bearings Regularly

Oiling and inspecting your Swamp Cooler or Evaporative Cooler bearings can save you major headaches and expense. On most of the commonly used Coolers, oiling the bearings is a very simple job. The majority of residential and small commercial models originally come with a bronze bearing. There are no moving parts to these bearings as there are with ball bearings. Bronze bearings are made with a sleeve of bronze inside a steel die-cast housing. The blower shaft spins inside the bronze sleeve. These type of bearings allow for a smooth, low friction motion between the two solid surfaces. The bronze portion of the bearing is generally about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch thick and is porous for continuous lubrication. You will see an oil cup at the top of the bearing. Open the cup and then drop about 5 – 10 drops of lightweight machine oil into the oil tube. This should be done at least once a year for light Cooler use, or several times a year for heavy use. Even though bronze bearings are relatively inexpensive they are quite durable. Often times, if you oil them regularly and the belt tension is maintained correctly, the bearings will last for the lifetime of your Evaporative Cooler.

Inspect Your Bearings

It is very important that you inspect the bronze sleeve thickness when you are oiling the bearings. As I mentioned earlier, the sleeve of bronze in the bearing is only about 1/8 to 3/16 of an inch thick. The steel blower shaft is continuously spinning within the bronze sleeve. If the steel shaft eventually wears through the bronze sleeve, then you have steel spinning on steel. Steel spinning on steel always makes a loud, high pitched noise somewhat similar to the sound of a loose belt squeal. Once again it is very important that you inspect the thickness of the bronze sleeve. When any part of the bronze sleeve has worn to half of it’s original thickness the bearing should always be changed. If you let the bearing get to the point of steel spinning on steel, you have damaged the blower shaft. When the shaft has been damaged, you will never be able to use a bronze bearing again. The rough shaft will quickly wear through a new bronze bearing. At this point I would recommend that you install a more expensive ball bearing with set screws in the inner race. This will attach the inner race of the bearing to the blower shaft and the shaft damage will not cause any future problems. Also if the ball bearing ever goes out it will never damage the blower shaft.

Changing Your Cooler Bearings

Unlike most other types of blower units Evaporative Coolers are continuously producing moist air which creates rust on the bearings, blower shaft, and pulleys. This often makes it much more difficult to change the bearings. There are two things that I always recommend when you are changing Cooler bearings. Use a penetrating solvent on any parts that are rusted together. This often happens on the blower pulley and shaft, as well as the inner race of a ball bearing and shaft. Even after using a penetrating solvent I have at times had to use a pulley puller to remove the blower pulley. The other recommendation that is very important, you must always sand the rust off of the blower shaft before pulling the blower pulley or bearing. If you do not sand all the rust off the shaft, you will not only have problems removing the pulley and bearing, it will be very difficult to slide the new one onto the shaft. You might also be tempted to use a hammer to drive the new bearing into place, which often can damage the bearing. As you can see, a few pieces of sand cloth to sand the rust off of the shaft will make the job much easier and actually save you time in the long run.

Exterior House Painting

Our home is usually our largest investment. Not only that, but it's our safety blanket, the place we look forward to coming to at the end of the day, our own personal sanctuary. They are a place of pride as much as they are a piece of property. Because of this, we want to keep them looking their best. Sure, there are plenty of tasks that we can tackle ourselves but some, like exterior house painting and pressure washing, should be best left to the professionals. Not only can these two tasks be laborious and monotonous, many of us do not have the working knowledge required to bring us the result we desire.

Exterior house painting is a task not many of us want to volunteer for. Hours in the sun on a ladder spreading paint on the sides of a house is not how most of us dream of spending our free time. Aside from that, though, there are many fine details that go overlooked when we try to undergo the task by ourselves. From the correct choice of paints for our environment and weather conditions to proper paint prep and everything in between, we're spend weeks if not months trying to learn it ourselves. Professionals do this type of work day in, day out and have honed their skills to give you the best possible results.

One of the most important aspects of exterior house painting is surface prep. What's done at this step will be visible through the job and for many years to come. With pressure washers becoming more available available to the masses, most think there's not that much to using one but we'd be wrong. Pressure washing actually is a task that requires intimate knowledge of both what you are washing and the machine you are using. From correct soap to correct soap ratios, the correct tip, correct flow rates, and various other factors, everything must be accounted for or there could be detrimental results. Professionals know their equipment and know what's required of the job you wish to be performed.

If you have a job to do such as exterior house painting, you are better off finding a contractor. The financial cost that you will incur will be far less than the emotional and physical costs you will end trying to attempt it yourself. And when hiring a professional, consider their skill set and what else they may be able to provide you with. If there are well versed on pressure washing, consider having them prepare your deck as well. We could do damage damage to our most expensive investment by trying to do it ourselves. By contracting a full service contractor, you can be rest assured that it will be done correctly.

How To Have A Budget-Friendly Home Designed

Are you thinking of designing your new house? Or are you thinking of renovating your house but are worried about the budget? It is not necessary that you have to spend a huge amount for designing your home. Here are a few tips to have a budget-friendly designing for your house.


Paint is the cheapest and most effective way to make your house look lively. Paint the entire house fresh with new colors. If you do not want to spend on the painting the already painted house again, you can paint just one wall in each room to stand out from the rest of the room and make it an artistic gallery wall with a big family photo frame or a huge painting to be hung upon.

Hanging an interesting curtain

You can hang a beautiful hand painted curtain in your kitchen that compliments the area, which can be hidden to hide the mess your kitchen might be in when you have sudden guests. You can place this curtain in any area of ​​the house where it can add interest and also serve a purpose of hiding your mess.

Mix and match furniture

If you want to put out your furniture and buy new one, you need not buy an entire set from one home store. You can pick up different furniture items from different places that are in your budget. They need not form a set. But, you can pick up one common element in all of them, like color. You can decide upon a single color, say red, and you can purchase sofas, chairs and tables from different stores with a major color of red in each one of them.

Reupholster your furniture

Instead of changing your furniture just because you have had it for a long time or because its fabric is worn out, is not a good idea. If the furniture is of good quality, you can just replace the fabric with a new one.

Change your accessories

You can have a change without changing the furniture. You can let all your expensive furniture like sofas, chairs and tables remain. But, you can purchase new drapes and carpets that contrast yet complement with your old furniture.

Art wall

You can paint a steel, glass or melamine crockery set in beautiful colors and designs, and hang them in an arranged cluster on one wall of your house, which can look like one complete piece of art. You can do the same by creating a cluster of big and small photo frames of family photographs. You can also just place beautiful designer mirrors on a wall for a different look.

Change the setting

You can simply just change the position of the furniture in your room from time-to-time. Or you may interchange the furniture sets within your rooms. You can also change the placements of the paintings or showpieces in your house by interchanging them between rooms, rather than buying new ones.

Lighting effect

Try having a different set of lights in your room. Perfectly placed lights can make a small room look bigger. You can even hover light over some special areas of your room to create a focal point in the room and add drama. Add dim yellow lights along with the white tubes to be lit when you want a calm and peaceful atmosphere. You can add beautiful chandeliers, big and small, to your rooms.

Top Mistakes In Advertising & How To Avoid Them: Part 3 of 10 Part Series Identify Your Target Group

Welcome along once again, I’m thrilled you’re able to join me for a few minutes and what is article number three of our series of ten, on the Top Ten Mistakes in Advertising and How to Fix Them.

As we witnessed in articles 1 & 2, we talked about testing and about the critical importance of identifying each and every ad you prepare. Those should be the foundation for everything that goes out to the marketplace.

One challenge that I’ve run into on a number of times is that my clients have considered themselves to be the target group. And while that may or may not be the case, in the majority you are selling a product or service to fix someone else’s problem, and your tastes as the product or service solution are probably really different from the recipient who needs your expertise, your product your service.

I had one client who was infamously attached to a particular media, and it’s a very fine media, but it was the only one he would use because it was the only one that he felt delivered the message that he would see.

My challenge to him was quite simply, Ian, please remember you are not the target audience for what we are trying to sell, and I applaud you for being so attached to this particular media but it should not be the only vehicle that we utilize.

Now ultimately he relented and we did use a mix including his favorite but used the mix of media to reach a broader platform and still stay within budget.

I think that’s a critical component for too many advertisers. They unfortunately and unwittingly sometimes have blinders on so that they only want to use the media that they see, and recognize, and understand and appreciate and are familiar with, and that’s excellent.

It’s always a good comfort zone to be using something that you know and like and trust, and importantly if you have tested and if it’s working for you keep using it. I have no quarrel with that, however I want you to make sure you don’t discount or dismiss other opportunities… because I never read that magazine, I don’t listen to that radio station, I never get home in time to watch TV.

You’re right! You don’t! But you are not selling to you, you were selling to the hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands who are interested in your product,

in your service and they don’t really care what would you watch. What you want to do is put your message in front of them on the platforms and the times that resonate for them.

If you have a chance to see it that’s great, and you will see the commercial before it goes to air and we can give you scheduling as to when it will be on air if you want to take the time to record it and watch it later.

We can give you a list of the websites that we’ll be appearing on if you want to personally go in and look at it, that’s excellent. But don’t dismiss other media options just because they are not familiar to you. They are familiar to your audience. Your media professionals should be able to put in front of you empirical data showing this is why you need to utilize radio in addition to magazine.

Why online platforms are going to be a powerful assist to the magazine and out of home campaign. Whatever it is, firstly it should be measurable, empirical to justify it, but importantly it has to be reaching your preferred target group.

So as I mentioned at the outset, the chances are pretty good you’re not your products’ target group so don’t just rely on your gut or your instinct or your own taste in media for where to place the ad.

Goodness sake I’ve placed hundreds maybe thousands of ads in media that I know from a buyer’s standpoint and not necessarily a users standpoint. And that’s fine because like it or not, I’m not always a target group for such-and-such a product.

But I do know the right media to get your message in front of the proper target.

So when you’re developing who your audience is, please take the time to be as specific as possible. You don’t want to get so finite that you end up with a universe of twelve people and I’ve seen that happen.

But don’t pick the wrong place or the wrong target group or both and then wonder gee, why this is such a lackluster response. Man, nobody is buying my new space-age shovel, my post hole diggers, my whatever, they need to know that you’re providing a solution and the solution it provides has to be what they need, and has to be in the media that they are going to respond to and act on.

One client in particular was a real sports fan and yours truly as well. Absolutely pick, a sport and I’m there. But they put the ad on the sports radio network because that’s what they listen to. However their primary audience was for younger females who had little, if any interest in most of these sporting programs. It’s disappointing because it was such a powerful campaign if it had been properly directed to the right audience. So here’s what I want you to do.

To fix mistake number three, do the proper research find out who is really buying your product or service and maybe that’s a survey, a store intercept survey, an online survey, a mail out, something that genuinely tells you who is buying your product or who you think your candidates are.

You can get as specific as possible by gender and age, by income and lifestyle, and a host of other demographic details that will help you zero in on them. As much as you’re able. Please do not rely on the universe of one sampling. Well my mom liked that. Oh perfect. Love your mom. You should always love Mom, but Mom’s not necessarily buying the new car ramps or the trampoline for the kids.

That’s not to say they’re not influencers, but understand importantly who is going to be making those decisions. If it is Mom that’s great.

If it’s Dad or a Dad and Mom or if it’s the boss or if it’s the treasurer, or your financial officer in the company you really truly need to know who you’re going after to make ads work harder, be more impactful and importantly cost you less, yes, cost you less.

You will get a better return on investment and give you more to spend for future marketing if you take the time to identify who it is you want to go after. What message you want to put in front of them, and which media to best reach them. Believe me, after three decades, I can tell you it is well worth the research to know your audience.

Okay, so what you’re looking for are some characteristics which consistently define your audience then you can create the message using the right radio station or website, outdoor media, newspapers that efficiently and effectively reaches them.

Equally as I mentioned at the outset take the time to test the ad. Or multiple ads on a small scale to see what works. You’ll have a lot of coding in place and a lot of planning to do but it will pay dividends when you hit the sweet spot of the ad, or the ad in the right media or media mix that bring in the customers.

By the way, many of the local media sales reps should be able to give you detailed profiles from all of their resources to give you a clear handle on who you’re after.

Let them do some leg work. Tell them who you want to reach and in many cases it’s a very specific age and income bracket that you’re after and you want to see how well their media, whatever radio station, magazine, newspaper, it happens to be, you want to see how well their media gets in front of those audience members and eyeballs on a regular basis and can you track how well they’re performing.

Respectfully I don’t mean just ‘Likes’ that’s a certain, KPI that seems to be quite a hot button and that’s great. But that’s not really a true measurement of how well the product is doing. You want a measurable return on investment. You want to be able to say that we spent $1,000 for this ad and it brought in $2,000 dollars worth of new business. Perfect.

If all you’re getting is 500 likes or 35 shares etc.,… that’s nice. That’s not what your marketing should be about. It should be bringing you back at least a dollar for every dollar you put out there. So when you are testing your ads take the time to do it on a small scale. Here’s the best analogy that I will leave you with, you don’t need to eat a whole bowl of soup to find out if it’s salty usually one or two spoonfuls will tell you

Then you’ll decide whether or not you want to eat the rest of it or move on to something else. With that I bid you adieu for number three. I look forward to seeing you in Article # 4- Learn To Be Consistent.

Mango Muscles

Well, I started lifting weights about 6 months ago and nothing. Monday: Three hours in the gym, go home look in the mirror, guys you know how you look in the mirror before you jump in the shower pose for two hours with the hot water running, hot steam making you sweat so you look more ripped then what you really are, yeah fellas you know what I'm talking about. The rest of the week it's the same thing over and over. Then I started buying the shakes, weigh formula and taking everything at GNC I could afford just because all the guys in the gym were gaining muscle on top of muscle and I was not going anywhere fast in my body building career, just playing I ' m not a body builder. So after I've taken everything GNC had to offer me and my body has not changed a bit, I decided to change my program, you know less reps heavier weight, read a couple books on exercise motions when lifting, and low and behold nothing

So one day while working out in the gym, a guy who looked like a artist just sculpted him out of a piece of stone and placed him in a fitness magazine for GOODS came in strutting his stuff. So the first thing I did was watch very close at what his secret pot was, he sits his bag down opens it up and pulls out this, this, this bottle of water. Dang it I thought I was on my way to a new body, but he was not done yet, because the very next thing he pulled out was it; it was this beautiful glass bottle nothing that a gym rat would usually have in his bag! Well any hoo I walked over so I could get a better glimpse of what it was, it was a purplish color, and the bottle said XANGO! And I was the same night ordering this wonderful beverage!

When I first tasted it I was shocked at how good it was, it was like no other taste in the world "DELICIOUS"! and here I am 3 months later a lean mean muscle machine!

Taiwan – Living and Working

Taiwan is well known for its tourist friendly attitude, cultural attractions and scenic beauty. However, initially not many people in the west are aware of the many attractions of Taiwan. In the recent years, the influx of tourists has greatly increased, and as a result, the country is slowly gaining popularity for its varied cuisines, scenic attractions and modern sources of entertainment.

Taiwan offers a multitude of options for accommodation ranging from international hotels, mid-range, budget, and private rentals. While the international hotels offer a number of amenities like fine dining, gym facilities and shopping arcades, there are also a variety of options for budget travelers like youth hostels and budget hotels. For people intending to live and work in Taiwan for a while, then it is recommended to either rent your own apartment or share with others. Renting your own place would usually require you to sign a contract for one year, although there are an abundant amount of rooms available in shared apartments that are more flexible about this.

When it comes to Taiwanese cuisine, there are a number of options to choose from. The Taiwanese cuisine carries influences from the Chinese, Japanese and even the Dutch cultures. The Hakka cuisine is more oily and spicy as compared to the Taiwanese cuisine which is relatively simple and light. Apart from the typical restaurant fare, many tourists prefer snacks like oyster with noodles and oyster omelets, beef noodles, and other delicious dishes which are quite famous in the night markets in Taiwan. Taiwan has opened up to more western cuisine in recent years, and there are now more and more cafes and restaurants with western style menus if that is what you prefer.

There are a number of places to see in Taiwan like Taipei 101, National Palace Museum, Taipei night markets and Toroko National park.

The Taipei 101 Tower is touted as one of the worlds tallest building, and up until recently was the holder of the title. It houses luxury shops, institutions and offices apart from an observation deck and high speed elevators. There is also a food court in the basement, and one of Taipei’s biggest bookstores, Page One, on the 3rd floor.

The National Palace Museum is situated in the suburbs of Taipei and houses a great collection of works of arts, calligraphy, paintings and world famous antiques. Die hard shoppers can shop at the Taipei night markets including Shilin, Tonghua, and Huaxi Jie, also known as Snake Alley, where you can get anything from bubble tea to a snakes blood drink at a bargain price.

If you wish to explore more of the island then you can use the High Speed Rail or HSR, a hi-tech train which is fast, clean and safe and is a hot favourite with children. There is also a fast and efficient local train and bus service to get you around the island.

Nature lovers can visit the Taroko National Park which has magnificent gorges made of marble and sandstone. You can also walk on the Liushue-Heliu Trail which has some great trails and tunnels and a glimpse of the magnificent flora and fauna.

Whether you are a nature enthusiast or a modern city dweller or a person who prefers to explore the past eras, Taiwan has something for everyone who visits this beautiful country.

Barbell Training For Grapplers Made Simple!

A barbell and some plates … what could be more simple? Its probably the way you originally started your journey. Maybe it was a 5 foot exercise bar and some cement weights, but it was still just a barbell and some plates.

Back then you did not care about the latest studies and fad exercise routines … all you wanted was to get big and strong, and that one tool was your path.

Somehow along the way, we've all been kept guard by the "latest and greatest" – from late night infomercials to full page magazine ads – but it's about time we got back to REAL training. Yeah, training with just a barbell might be "old school", but in my book old school training is where it's at.

Especially for MMA fighters and grapplers, where weight training sometimes gets a bad rap, some bare bones barbell training can serve you well. Current Wake Forrest strength coach and former Ohio wrestling coach, Ethan Reeve, used to bust out his barbells after or before tough wrestling workouts so that his athletes could get in their strength work. They worked the basics – Romanian deadlifts, power cleans, front squats from a power clean, lunges and back squats with the help of a training partner, military and push presses, and bent over rows. Nothing fancy about it, but they got RESULTS.

Out of those movements, power cleans were used very heavily for power endurance. Coach reeve would have his athletes do 10 minute combo drills, where they perform a power clean, hang clean, and then another power clean every 30 seconds. Another workout was the famed 10×10 power clean routine where every wrestler on the team was expected to power clean their bodyweight for 10 sets of 10 every 2 minutes … that's 100 bodyweight power cleans in under 20 minutes!

While workouts like that might sound crazy, for Coach Reeve and his wrestlers, they were common place. They understood the value of hard work, and they knew what they could accomplish with simple training tools such as just a barbell.

So the next time you start getting drawn to the "next big thing", think about those wrestlers and remember that a barbell and some plates is plenty.

My House and Garden

A Fondue Party is ideal for an informal evening with friends. This popular dish comes from Switzerland where villagers in the mountains had to rely on local produce, like cheese, wine and home baked bread during the long winter month. The name fondue comes from the French word "fondre", which means to melt or blend. Fondue meaning melted cheese in wine. You will need a chafing dish over a spirit stove and long fondue forks. Place the heated fondue dish on the spirit stove in the center of your table and hand out a fork to all your guests. Everyone spears a piece of bread onto the long fork, dips it into the fondue, turns it once or twice before eating it. In no time the ice will be broken and the party in full swing with everyone trying not to drop the bread form the fork. The custom is that anyone who looses a piece of bread in the dish must supply a bottle of wine. Even the experts find it hard, especially after a few glasses of Kirsch. Fondue Parties in Switzerland are a lot of fun with its warm atmosphere.

Lots of other delicious variations exist now, eg Fondue Bourgignonne made with Fillet Steak accompanied with Mustard, Tatar, Bearnaise, Tomato or Curry sauce and so on.

Swiss Cheese Fondue:

Ideally a rustic wine and small glasses of Kirsch and a crispy salad are served with this. Suitable for Vegetarians.

350g (12oz) Emmenthal Cheese, grated

350g (12oz) Gruyère Cheese, grated

45cl (3/4 pint) dry white wine

3 tablespoons of Kirsch

3-4 flat teaspoons of corn starch

grated nutmeg to taste

1 clove of garlic

pepper to taste

crusty firm bread, like French bread, cut into bite size pieces

rub the fondue pan with garlic

pour in the wine and heat very gently over the cooker

when hot add a small amount of cheese at a time, stirring continuously

bring it gently to bubbling point

add the kirsch mixed with the corn starch

let it simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring continuously

now place it on your fondue stand with a lit flame and serve

Tip: corn starch is a white type thickening flour and not the yellow maize variety

Electronic Rice Cookers

Electronic rice cookers are versatile, user friendly, economic and take up a very small area of ​​your kitchen. These modestly priced appliances are also frequently ignored as being unnecessary. Is this a fair appraisal? What are some of the virtues and benefits of owning a rice cooker?

The newer generation of rice cookers are now referred to as rice cookers-steamers. It is the rice cookers ability to work as a fully functional steamer that most often gets over looked. Does a steamer add much in the way of versatility to your kitchen? Well, consider having one appliance that cooks soups and stews, vegetables, boiled eggs, shrimp, chicken and much more. And, of course, it does cook rice perfectly every time.

These steamers most frequently come with digitally controlled timers that are extremely easy to use. With this feature it is absolutely possible to load up the meal before hand and have it ready when you are ready for it. When the food is cooked, the cooker-steamer will automatically go to the keep warm mode until you turn it off.

The method these cooker-steamers use to cook the food is, as the name implies, steam. Steam cooking has for a long time been the preferred way of preparing a wide variety of dishes. Cooking with these steamers is a gentle method of rapidly preparing healthy, fat free meals. How this works is that the food being cooked is suspended in a basket above and separate from the cooking water. This will help prevent many of the foods nutrients and flavors from being leached into the water during cooking process. The steam inside of the cooker will remain at a constant 212 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature of the steam will not vary unless it is put under pressure. That technique is pressure cooking and is entirely different from the steaming method that has been described.

Cooking with a electronic rice cooker steamer is a reliably fast way to prepare healthy, fat free meals. Most rice and vegetable dishes will be cooked in a short time: rice in about 20 minutes, vegetables about 10 minutes, fish and chicken pieces, depending on their size a little longer. Clean up with these appliances is a simple affair. There are not going to be any baked on or greasy crusted pans to soak and scrub.

Is a electronic rice cooker steamer a must have appliance for you? The answer to that will depend upon your cooking style and the type of meals that you choose to prepare. However you decide, the modest rice cooker does have more to offer then its ability to just cook rice.

Her Wedding Was Just So TACKY!

Stories of the wackiest and tackiest weddings of all time

We've all heard the stories – Angelina Jolie marries her first husband with his name written across her white silk blouse in her own blood. Photos are released of 'Posh and Becks' sitting on golden thrones and frosted in diamonds on their wedding day. The first words out of Black Eyed Pea's singer, Fergie's mouth after her vows are "I'm married b $% s"! Sarah Jessica Parker ties the knot wearing black. While we may think that tacky weddings are a practice reserved by the rich and famous, the truth is that they cross all socio-economic barriers. Here are a few of the wackiest and tackiest weddings, cakes and chapters in the twenty-first century:


One particular inventive couple, who chooses to remain anonymous, decided to support their men in Afghanistan by getting married in camouflage. We do not mean in a discreet yet romantic jungle location so that the press and mad Aunt Gertrude could not find them – we mean they literally got married in camouflage. The bride wore a camouflage skirt and a khaki colored veil. The groom at least had the decency to wear a white shirt; however this was coupled with a camouflage jacket. And the cake? It proudly held up two plastic army men.

Vulgar Vegas

Vegas is a bad joke to most people. They may drop the word in a light-hearted conversation if they're joking about eloping or they may know someone who has a cousin who got married in Las Vegas. But the scary truth is that weddings in Vegas are on the rise. Since 1970, weddings have increased five-fold. In fact, recent statistics peg it at 120 000 weddings a year and 50 000 renewals of vows, making up 5% of all weddings in the USA. Elvis would be proud. In fact, Elvis is proud. But this industry is worth over $ 1 billion dollars, so who's laughing now?

Cinderella cheap

Coming in at first place for the tackiest wedding cake of all time is the Cinderella castle cake – so large it needed an entire garage just to house it. Purple and white turrets made up the cake itself with Cinderella and Prince Charming carefully positioned at the front. The cake was framed by a carriage – not made out of pumpkin but out of white balloons and silver plastic wheels. You've got to hand it to this particular bride and groom though – it might be tacky but it's pretty romantic too.

Offbeat Brides.com said it best when they wrote: "Yes everything you want to do for your wedding is tacky. .. [But] when it's all tacky, none of it is really tacky ". There you have it. So now you can use as many sequins, pink bows and cans of whipped cream as you like without even a smidgen of the usual guilt.

Six Pack Abs – Best Exercises For Six Pack Abs

If you're wondering how to get abs and are currently on a workout that has been designed to enable you to get a six pack, you're going to want to double check it and ensure there are a few key exercises in place.

Without these exercises, it's illegally that you're going to get the results you're looking for.

While the real secret to getting six pack abs is diet – as no matter how great of muscles you have, if you've got a layer of fat covering them they still will not see, exercise does play a vital role as well.

Here are the big ones that are a 'must'.

The Plank

The plank exercise is a good one to include in each core workout you do because it really targets in the deep tissue fibers within the body.

Many times you'll work the outer abs, but will not really get deep within.

By doing the core, not only will you're the front abs which form the six pack look, but you'll also work the obliques, as well as all the muscles making up the lower back.

To increase the difficulty of this exercise, try performing it while lifting one leg off the ground and out to the side.

Hanging Weighted Leg Raises

The next exercise that's really going to pose a challenge to you is hanging leg raises.

These are fantastic to perform because, provided you do not 'swing' the body, you can ensure that it is definitely the ab muscles and hip flexors being called into play.

To increase the difficulty of the moment, you should strap weights onto your ankle, as this will provide additional resistance.

Sit-ups on an Exercise Ball with the Leg Lifted

Next, consider doing sit-ups on an exercise ball with one leg lifted off the floor, straight out in front of you.

Due to the fact that you're further reducing your base of support while doing this, it only adds to the intensity that the abs get worked.

Remember to make sure you are lifting up with the muscles though and not using the arms to pull the body up.


Finally, the last exercise, while cardio in nature, will do great things for the abs simply because of the intensity and the 'after burn' effect. After a session of hard sprints, your metabolism will really be running at a high rate, so you'll torch even more calories than before, further increasing the weight loss you experience.

So, have a look over your ab program, does it include these exercises?

Important Points to Ponder Before Buying a Health Insurance Plan

A health insurance plan is an essential part of financial planning in this era of skyrocketing medical costs. Medical inflation has been aggravating at its full spree which makes it all the more important to buy a Health Insurance plan which could sponsor the hospitalization and medical treatment bills or expenses.

It is important to evaluate and look for the following parameters to get a best health plan for you and your family.

1. Check for the Waiting Period Clause

You must be feeling care free after taking an insurance, but your health insurance comes with a waiting period clause for specific conditions. There is an initial period clause which says that any hospitalization claim will not be admissible in first 30 days of the policy commencement apart from accidental hospitalization. The pre-existing diseases or conditions are also not covered immediately after you purchase a policy.There is a waiting period ranging from 2 years to 4 years as per the plan conditions in the industry. Also, there are certain surgeries and treatments like hernia, cataract, joint replacement, etc. which can be rented after a specific waiting period of 1 or 2 years.

So, it is important to check the waiting period clause before you finalize the health plan.

2. Check for Sublimits

There are certain capping or sublimits in your health plan which says that the specific kind of expenses are paid by the insurance company upto a specific limit and beyond that the insured or customer has to bear them at his own. For example: Room rent charges are capped on per day basis for different health plans. Some health plans also come with a mandatory co-pay where the portion of the claimed claim is to be born by the insured and the remaining is paid by the insurance company.

Check for the sublimits in your health plan to avoid any last minute surprises at the time of claim.

3. Check for Network Hospitals

The insurance companies offering health plans have certain empaneled network hospitals with whom they have a tie up. Any hospitalization or treatment taken in the stated or specified network hospital list is done on the cashless basis subject to policy conditions.

Check for the list of network hospitals of insurance company and ensure you have network hospitals of the insurer near your place of residence in case of any emergency hospitalization. Also, a treatment in non-network hospital may not offer cashless treatment and some insurers have a co-pay clause if you take a treatment in non-network hospital.

4. Check for the Claim Process

Different insurance companies have different claim procedures. Some settlement or administrator claims through Third Party Administrators (TPA's) and some have their own in house claim settlement unit to foster quick and hassle free claim processing. Also, check the claim settlement ratio of the insurer you intend to buy a health plan from to have a clear picture on the number of claims settled by the insurer.

It is important to have a handy information on claims procedure to have a smooth and hassle free treatment in the times of hospitalization.

5. Compare & Buy Online

It is important to take a right buying decision which can be done by comparing the available health insurance plans online. You can compare the price, key features, policy benefits, value added benefits, eligibility, exclusions, etc. of multiple health insurance plans to make a right informed choice of your own without any interference of the agents. Buying online health insurance plan is a hassle free process which required minimum documentation and quick policy processing. There are certain online portals which will enable you to make an easy comparison and will assist you in choosing the right Health insurance plan.

Online buying of the health plan is economic as companies offer discounts on premium for buying a policy online. The reason for an insurance policy to be cost effective if bought online is because the intermediate cost of the premium component is removed. When there is no intermediary in between, Co.'s save on the commission and policy issue cost, which the Co. transfers it to the customers.

Do evaluate your need and make a right buying decision by checking the above stated parameters.

Samsung Galaxy S4 – The New Star In The Galaxy!

Samsung! A brand that singlehandedly changes the landscape of global smart phone market. Ask any mobile phone expert about the market without Samsung and you’d get a clod look. Quite frankly, the South Korean manufacturer has had a far-reaching impact not only on the fringe players but also on the big brands by forcing them to think and rethink their product and positioning strategies.

Samsung’s blitz Krieg of Marketing and product launches took everyone by surprise few years back. Before many realized, Samsung had firmly placed its grip on the Smart Phone market. If most industry reports are to be believed and followed, Apple is in for a tough fight due to Samsung while HTC, Sony, Nokia and even the great Blackberry are trying to catch-up with some of the key ground that they’ve lost to Samsung.

The latest launches from Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S4 are an intriguing offering. Though many would find it hard to distinguish between the Galaxy S3 and S4, the S4 is surely and advanced version of the S3 and has a lot to offer to its ever expanding consumer base. The one change that most people were expecting and were disappointed was in the body of Galaxy S4. The plastic-like appearance of the Galaxy S3 walks in rebranded with the Galaxy S4.

The full HD AMOLED screen is fast becoming a signature mark for Galaxy S4. The Galaxy S4 works to the advantage of the consumer with improved looks and screen resolution. The body is smaller and thinner as compared to the Galaxy S3. At 5 inches the phone certainly has a longer display surface as compared to its competitors like the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z. however; the resolution hardly gets distorted thanks to the pan-viewing angle of the device.

The 1.6 GHz processor with a 2 GB RAM is a decent combination. Though, HTC One and Sony Xperia Z houses better processors, the Galaxy S4’s processor gets the job done for the Jelly bean Android OS. Samsung is good at packing small innovations with high impact on the users. With the Galaxy S4, the new Smart Stay technology claims to ad an intuitive feel to user experience. It tracks the eyeball movement of the user and pause the videos on gaze.

The internet browsing experience is taken to a whole new level. A 2600 MaH battery powering the Galaxy S4 supports the device positively. A 13 MPa rare camera works well to its favour but the front camera is frankly a disappointment. The internal and external memory is not a cause of concern in any of the high end smart phones, and Galaxy S4 is not an exception to the same.

Samsung has invested heavily in the marketing campaigns and strongly favoured a guerrilla marketing strategy for most of its launches. Having set the benchmark quite high with the galaxy S3, the galaxy S4’s pre-launch hype certainly created a lot of anticipation around the seemingly feature-rich phone. But, what eventually turned out was a (comparatively) dismal show from a phone that was set to revolutionize the smart phone market and drive the fringe elements of Sony, LG and HTC out of the competition. Instead, Galaxy S4 has provided them an opportunity to come back and strike Samsung hard by making a dent in its market share.

Samsung is quick to learn from its mistakes. It definitely would have sensed the mood after the galaxy S4’s launch. With the HTC One and Sony Xperia Z knocking hard on their doors, Blackberry gearing up with Z10 and Q10, Samsung’s investments in R&D will have to be ramped up and complemented with smart product features. A long standing complaint about the ‘plastic-feel’ in Samsung Galaxy series has to be addressed in its next version. Especially with the competitors edging them up.