How to Repair Costume Jewelry

Whether you buy costume jewelry for your own collection, for investment or for resale, it’s important to know when to repair a piece that has damage or missing stones, and when to walk away. Whether you intend to wear it, or plan to sell it “as is” will determine the wisdom of repairing it. If you plan to repair the piece and then sell it, be sure to factor in the cost of repairs to see if it’s worth fixing.

If you have a piece of costume jewelry that you’d like to wear, but has loose or missing stones, or has other condition issues, what are the best ways to repair it so you can safely enjoy wearing it?

I’ve found that some issues are easy to address, others require more time, patience and money, and still others benefit from the attention of a professional.

If you’d like to repair your jewelry yourself, there are a few things you should invest in. If you don’t already have a jeweler’s loupe, or strong magnifying glass, you should get one. I have two – one stays on my desk, and the other stays in my purse, so I always have one handy, whether I’m working at home or out shopping for jewelry. Another handy magnifier is one that straps on your head, leaving your hands free.

The most common problem I see in costume jewelry is with the stones – rhinestones, crystal, glass or plastic, they may come out of their settings, be loose, or crack or dull. Older pieces may be set with glue that has dried and let the stone fall out. It’s important to use the right kind of adhesive, and to not use too much. Krazy Glue or Super Glue is not recommended, as it may break down when attached to glass. Super Glue may be especially damaging to vintage pieces – a film may develop if it reacts to old metal and plating. If you get it on the surface of the stone, it’s difficult to remove. Never use hot glue – it can expand and contract with temperature changes and may crack the jewelry or loosen the stone. The best adhesive to use would be one designed specifically for jewelry, which can be found in craft stores and on jewelry supply web sites.

Be careful not to use too much glue when replacing stones. The glue will not dry properly, and the adhesive will flow out around the stone and onto the metal. I use a toothpick dipped in a little pool of glue to drop minute bits of glue into the setting, a drop at a time, using as little as possible.

Putting the stone back into the setting is a delicate process – you can wet the tip of your finger to make the stone stick and then carefully drop it into the setting.

Save your old broken jewelry, or any unmatched earrings for their stones. You might find broken pieces at flea markets, yard sales and antique shops. It’s hard to exactly match a missing stone, but if you build up a collection of orphan pieces, the right size and color just might be available. You can also access jewelry suppliers for stones. Keep in mind that whatever you purchase for repairs should be factored into the price if the piece is for resale.

One way to make old jewelry look new again is replating. Replating can be costly, and should only be done if you are keeping the piece for yourself to wear. Replating may diminish the value of vintage jewelry, just as refinishing antique furniture would decrease its value. An Internet search should provide the names of jewelry restorers in your area.

Now, what about that green stuff that you sometimes see on vintage jewelry? Some jewelry collectors simply pass on pieces that have green verdigris on them, as it can indicate corrosion that can’t be cleaned off. You can try to clean it with a cotton swab dipped in vinegar, but if the metal is heavily coated and degraded, you may need to gently chip the green away, taking care to not damage the metal beneath. Wipe the piece with a damp cloth and let it air dry completely. You can also try the same process with ammonia. Be careful to never immerse the piece of jewelry in liquid, as the stones may loosen or discolor due to water getting into the setting.

Costume jewelry is made to be worn and enjoyed. Replacing missing stones and cleaning the metal will give your vintage jewelry sparkle and glow and many more years of wear.

Teaching Fitness Boxing – 5 Simple Technique Cues for Personal Trainers, Coaches and Boxing Trainers

Cues are simple, memorable and colorful words or expressions to help you teach proper technique for your boxing workouts. For example, Float Like a Butterfly. Cues are much better than technical jargon because they get the point across, on the fly. These cues will work for personal trainers and group trainers teaching boxing. They will also work for anyone holding punch mitts (focus pads) for their partner.

I – Float Like a Butterfly

What it means – For Ali, I think it meant to dance around the ring, which he did very well. However, for Fitness Boxing, it means to get up on the balls of the feet and move – whenever they are not punching.

When and Why to say it Float like a butterfly helps students get up on their toes, burn more calories and work their legs. Tell students to do this between punches and combinations – not at the same time.

2. Put Out the Cigarette

What it means – This cue means to twist the ball of the foot, so the toe points toward the target, resulting in more hip and leg drive, and more powerful punches.

When and Why to say it – A good punch uses the core. By twisting the foot, like you are putting out a cigarette on the ground, the boxer / student will engage the Abs and core muscles. This cue works very well for the right cross punch.

3. Over the Brick Wall

What it means – This cue helps students keep their elbow nice and high for the left or right hook punch. They imagine there is a chest-high brick wall in front of them. The hook goes over the brick wall.

When and Why to say it – Say the cue as just before or even as they throw the hook. A high elbow helps prevent a wild swinging on the hook punch.

4. Eye of the Tiger

What it means – We’ve all heard the song, but to me eye of the tiger means to focus. A tiger keeps her eye on her prey, never looking away.

When and Why to say this – Students will look away or flinch at the moment they punch. Also, in real boxing they will look away when under attack. That is not the time to look away!

5. Corkscrew the Fist

What it means – This means twisting the fist, so it faces the ground, enabling the student to strike with the front two knuckles.

When and Why to say it – This cue works very well for both the left jab and right cross (or right jab and left cross for left handers). Tell them to twist their fist just before the moment of impact, and right through the punch mitt.

Try these 5 cues as you teach your boxing sessions. They will help your students remember and perform the technique tips that result in great punching and great fitness.

Apartments That Approve With Bad Credit Or Broken Lease in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a large vibrant city in the historic state of Virginia. This city which played such a pivotal role in the foundation of the United States and also formed a central part in the Confederate States in rich in not only history but also in culture. There are numerous individuals and families that continue to move here to settle and this definitely places a demand on the city’s apartments, rental and town homes.

Usually to rent an apartment in Virginia Beach involves good credit, a sound rental history and background as well. Unfortunately, there are many nice people who would want to lease housing in this city but their record is plagued with less-than-perfect credit and other rental maladies such as a broken lease.

If this is you, the obvious question comes to mind; are there any apartments in the city of Virginia Beach where one can be approved if they have a tarnished credit or a broken lease? The question is yes, but you have to be tactful.

The name given to apartments which are willing to work with people with previous broken leases or credit blemishes is “second chance Virginia Beach apartments”, and sometimes, these can be hard to find simply due to their reluctance to advertise in the mainstream media. There are however, a few places where one can start looking:

  • Lynnwood
  • Croatan Beach
  • Lynnhaven
  • King’s Grant

The difficulty sometimes in locating these types of apartments arises from the fact that few if any at all engage in any kind of advertising. This is usually because working with people who possess problematic credit is done on a case by case basis. The apartments also do not want any negative publicity which might drive their rates down or cause existing tenants to decline to renew their leases. If you are looking for a second chance rental apartment within the Virginia Beach area, there are a few tactics you can employ. One is to see an apartment locator. Sometimes these too may draw a blank but it is worth trying.

Another option is to use the Internet. Instead of spending money on gasoline driving around from apartment to apartment, you might want to plug in a term like “broken lease apartments in Virginia Beach” in Google and see what comes up. It may not be an exact science but this is a good starting point and can save you hours and money.

You can also network and ask around. Friends, co-workers, family and even neighbors can be an excellent source of information on where to rent if your credit is not what it should be or if your rental history is less than satisfactory.

One crucial point to note though is that even if you do indeed locate these types of rental properties within Virginia Beach, you must meet the minimum criteria that they ask for. One is that you must be prepared to furnish proof of income. Others may also ask that you pass a background check

Gable, Shed or Flat – How To Choose a Roof Type?

When we were building our house in Europe I wanted a flat roof. I’ve lived in India for a while in a house with 200 square meters flat roof and it was really amazing. You can go on it and walk and look at the sleeping city in the night. Lovely.

But we did not build a flat roof.

Apparently, roof types have their specifics and will not always fit your construction project, your weather or geographic location, or your budget. In this article I’ll draw your attention to the advantages and disadvantages of the most popular roof types – gable, shed or flat roof.

The gable roof consists of two equal sloped surfaces places in front of each other. There are two flat surfaces on the other two sides and often they are just sequels of the house wall. Usually the front entrance of the house is at the same side with one of these flat surfaces. The typical pith of such roofs is between 4/12 and 10/12. More than this means a really steep gable roof.

It is most popular in the Western countries and in the entire Europe. There are reasons for this. In these areas with temperate weather the roof must serve as insulation both from heat and from cold. Gable roof is good for this because it ensures a lot of air between the sloped surfaces and the actual ceiling of the house. Many houses allow using of this intermediate space either for storing stuff or for building small garrets.

Gable roof is also good for areas which have snow. The sloped surfaces fully cover the top of the house so now snow remains on it for long which reduces the problems with moisture.

Another advantage of the gable roof is that it is relatively simple to build and rather affordable. No surprise it’s so popular!

Don’t build gable roof if you live in a very windy area. These roofs get easily damaged from hurricanes.

The flat roof, like I already said earlier is very, very cool. It’s great for the hot season when you can use it as a huge terrace. You can have a play area on it or even a small pool (be careful with pools however as you don’t want water pouring in your house). In the recent years the green roofs become very popular, and essentially they are flat roofs as well.

In areas with heavy rains and snow this roof type may require a bit more investments in insulation and drainage system. Insulation will be fairly important if you live in a very hot area as well because there is no much air between the roof and your ceiling. One option is to build a ceiling under the roof allowing a meter or so but this means more money.

If you have a lot of sun out there think about installing solar panels on your roof – they’ll pay off long-term.

Finally, the shed roof is a very simple roof with a single sloped surface. It solves the problem with snow and drainage and provides some insulation area. For most houses the shed roof (known also as lean-to roof) looks a bit strange that’s why it’s typically used in garden buildings like sheds and garages. Some houses, especially mountain huts may look good with such roof.

There are also many other roof types you may want to check out before deciding what to choose: gambrel, mansard, hip, bonnet, cross gabled and more.

Understanding T1 Circuits

T1 circuits are also high-speed digital connections, which can be used for voice or data. The T1 transmits data at a speed of 1.544 Mbps, which is faster than most modems.

T1s are engineered circuits that are used for businesses. The T1 consists of 24 channels, which can be allotted to voice, data or both. The T1 transmission occurs over two-pair fiber wiring however it is sometimes brought to the building on regular copper wires.

The circuit is specifically engineered based on the distance from the central office where it originates to the final location where it will terminate. The circuit must transmit at specific speeds and repeaters are sometimes needed to help boost the signal.

T1 circuits are brought into the business and terminated onto a jack in the telephone or data room. The jack, called a smart jack, can then be used to plug a cable to extend the circuit into the appropriate equipment. This takes up considerably less space in the telephone room than standard telephone lines.

Voice T1s can be used for both incoming and outgoing calls. The 24 circuits are fluid and are available to any telephone users when they become available. This allows the best usage of the lines. Sharing the lines in this manner lets you have many fewer lines than before. For example, an office of 50 to 100 people with average telephone needs can easily be serviced with one T1.

Voice T1s can also be used with DID (direct inward dial) numbers. DIDs are like private lines. Each telephone user can be assigned a DID number from a bank of numbers that you order through the phone company. The DID numbers run over the T1 and can each be assigned to a specific telephone. The DIDs are able tot be dialed directly from the outside with no intervention from the company operator for re-direction.

For larger companies that need more lines or those that need additional bandwidth there are bigger configurations available. The T3, also known as a DS3, is a digital communications link that supports data at a rate of 43.232 Mbps. It is equal to 28 TT1 circuits are also high-speed digital connections, which can be used for voice or data. The T1 transmits data at a speed of 1.544 Mbps, which is faster than most modems.

T1s are engineered circuits that are used for businesses. The T1 consists of 24 channels, which can be allotted to voice, data or both. The T1 transmission occurs over two-pair fiber wiring however it is sometimes brought to the building on regular copper wires.

The circuit is specifically engineered based on the distance from the central office where it originates to the final location where it will terminate. The circuit must transmit at specific speeds and repeaters are sometimes needed to help boost the signal.

T1 circuits are brought into the business and terminated onto a jack in the telephone or data room. The jack, called a smart jack, can then be used to plug a cable to extend the circuit into the appropriate equipment. This takes up considerably less space in the telephone room than standard telephone lines.

Voice T1s can be used for both incoming and outgoing calls. The 24 circuits are fluid and are available to any telephone users when they become available. This allows the best usage of the lines. Sharing the lines in this manner lets you have many fewer lines than before. For example, an office of 50 to 100 people with average telephone needs can easily be serviced with one T1.

Voice T1s can also be used with DID (direct inward dial) numbers. DIDs are like private lines. Each telephone user can be assigned a DID number from a bank of numbers that you order through the phone company. The DID numbers run over the T1 and can each be assigned to a specific telephone. The DIDs are able tot be dialed directly from the outside with no intervention from the company operator for re-direction.

For larger companies that need more lines or those that need additional bandwidth there are bigger configurations available. The T3, also known as a DS3, is a digital communications link that supports data at a rate of 43.232 Mbps. It is equal to 28 T1 circuits. This high-speed connection can run any application you may need. If you have a large company or campus environment the T3 may be a good option. It is also a good option for those with phone intensive operations such as a call center.

The T1 can’t be beat for clarity, reliability and cost efficiency. It is a highly reliable connection. The T1 is always being monitored at the central office and if any problems are detected they can often be corrected remotely. The T1 offers a clear, crisp sound as well. The T1 is also quite cost efficient. While there are typically installation charges these are often made up in the first year, or sooner. Users find monthly charges are often much less than what they were paying before. The additional features and benefits add to the value of the T1.

1 circuits. This high-speed connection can run any application you may need. If you have a large company or campus environment the T3 may be a good option. It is also a good option for those with phone intensive operations such as a call center.

The T1 can’t be beat for clarity, reliability and cost efficiency. It is a highly reliable connection. The T1 is always being monitored at the central office and if any problems are detected they can often be corrected remotely. The T1 offers a clear, crisp sound as well. The T1 is also quite cost efficient. While there are typically installation charges these are often made up in the first year, or sooner. Users find monthly charges are often much less than what they were paying before. The additional features and benefits add to the value of the T1.

Lines to Get Your Girlfriend Back – Words to Say to Win Her Back

You’re looking for lines to get your girlfriend back. It’s understandable considering the fact that you have absolutely no idea what you should be saying to get her love you again. Every time you think you know how to approach her, you try it and it ends with her being more upset than she already is. You feel that you can’t win and it’s causing you a great deal of anxiety. You love her, you need her back and you have to find a way to make that happen. It’s possible if you fully understand what you need to say to her to get her to open back up to you again.

One of the best lines to get your girlfriend back is “I’m sorry.” That sounds too easy, doesn’t it? You may think it’s unnecessary especially if she was the one who dumped you. It’s crucial though regardless of who caused the break up or who decided to call it quits. By apologizing to her you’re showing her that you are mature enough to own up to your own mistakes. Most people aren’t especially right after a break up. They’d rather point fingers and blame the other person for the failed relationship. Show her that you can recognize your shortcomings and that you’re learning from them. Apologize to her and make it as sincere as you possibly can.

Another of the things to say to your ex girlfriend is “I accept the break up.” Right now you’re likely fighting with everything you have to try and get her back. That hasn’t been working for you and unless you change that approach, you’ll continue to fail in your attempts to get her back. By accepting the break up, you’re taking control of your own position in the relationship. No longer will she determine what happens for the two of you. You’ll be on more balanced ground. It also works to ensure she understands that your future happiness doesn’t hinge on being with her. It may but you don’t want her to know that. Let her see that you have accepted that things have changed and you’re ready to move on.

“Take care of yourself,” seems like such an innocent and cordial thing to say to your ex. It speaks volumes though and can actually light a fire beneath her to want you back. By telling her to take care of yourself you’re giving her the impression that the two of you won’t be talking for some time. That will make her miss you and also make her see that you’re ready to detach yourself from her. That feeling within a woman is often enough to make her want her guy back. There’s a sense of panic that sets in when you realize that you are on the cusp of losing your ex forever.

Your California Cable TV Company Missed an Appointment? The Law Protects Cable TV Subscribers

You know the drill.

You call the cable company because you need an installation or service call. The Customer Service Representative tell you it will be a week before they can get to you, and that you have to be home all day to wait for the technician.

But as fate or bad luck would have it, the tech never shows up, and you have blown a day off of work without pay for no good reason…and you still need that service call.

You are mad. You are REALLY mad.

You call back in and a different Customer Service Representative apologies profusely, then offers to knock off $20 from your bill. Then the CSR reschedules the appointment for a few days later, and you get to plan to stay home yet another full day hoping against hope that the tech will show up this time.

There must be a better way to ensure that you don’t lose out when the cable operator misses an appointment! Well, there is.

A relatively few number of savvy California cable TV subscribers know about a little-publicized law. A law that requires the cable TV operator who misses an appointment to compensate you for your lost wages and expenses up to a cap of $600. It is California Civil Code Section 1722(b).

That very powerful law says, in essence, that if you call in for a service call and the cable company requires that you be home to meet the technician (for example, to let the tech into your home or back yard), the cable company must honor your request that the appointment occur within a fixed 4-hour period, and to work with you to determine the day and time when that 4-hour period will start.

According to the law, “If the service connection or repair is not commenced within the specified four-hour period, except for delays caused by unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences beyond the control of the company, the subscriber may bring an action in small claims court against the company for lost wages, expenses actually incurred or other actual damages not exceeding a total of six hundred dollars ($600).”

But realize that this is a two-way street. As a cable subscriber, you have a duty, too. The cable operator has to start the repairs within the specified 4-hour window, but you have the duty to be home during that entire 4-hour period.

The cable operator has an ‘out’ if it can show that unforeseen or unavoidable occurrences did happen, and they made a legitimate effort to let you know. If so, then they don’t owe you any money. However, the larger the cable operator’s technical staff, the less likely they will have convincing a judge that whatever happened was truly unforeseeable or unavoidable.

Also, if you file a complaint with your cable TV franchisor (either the local City or County, or the California PUC, depending on whether your cable operator has a local or state franchise), and the government pursues the cable operator on your behalf, the doors to the courthouse are slammed in your face. Most times, you’ll get a much greater recovery by going to small claims court.

By the way, if the contract you entered into with the cable operator says that you do not have the right to file a court action for missed appointments, do not worry. The same law makes that type of contract provision unenforceable, even if you signed the agreement.

So, how do you get the benefits of Civil Code Section 1722(b)?

First, when you call in to ask for the appointment, ask for a 4-hour window appointment. Be sure to get and write down the name of the CSR who set up the appointment. Also log the date and time you called in to request the appointment.

Second, make sure that you are home for the entire time during that 4-hour window. That is your job under the law if you want to have a chance of collecting for a missed appointment!

Third, if the 4 hours runs and no one has shown up and you have not received a phone call from the cable operator, call in to the cable company and notify them of the missed appointment. Again, get the name of the CSR, and log the date and time you called in. Under the law, the cable operator has to offer you a new 2-hour window appointment (yes, 2 hours the second time around).

Fourth, call the cable operator and ask to speak with a manager. You know the drill: Get the name and log the date and time. Request that the cable operator compensate you under the terms of Civil Code Section 1722(b) for 4-hours of your missed work, plus any expenses you incurred. Know what the dollar numbers are before you call. Expect to be told, thanks, but no thanks by the cable operator. As for a that manager’s fax number so you can fax in a letter.

Fifth, write a letter to the cable operator explaining what happened (they missed the call without an excuse), and ask to be compensated for your lost wages and expenses as required in Civil Code Section 1722(b). Give the exact dollar amount in your letter, and explain how you arrived at that figure. Tell the cable operator that if you don’t hear from them within a reasonable time (say, 10 or 14 days), that you will file a small claims action to recover under the law. Fax the letter, and mail a copy via snail-mail.

Sixth, if the cable operator doesn’t contact you, or if you they do not agree to compensate you as you have requested, then go ahead and file your small claims action. Each county in California has a small claims adviser that can help you through the process. By the way, the filing and service fees you will pay becomes part of your damages, and you will request the judge order the cable company to reimburse you for those fees, too.

Now you know most everything you will need to protect yourself against missed cable TV company appointments. You can read a deeper analysis of the law at the TelecomLawFirm.com website.

And to prove that I practice what I preach, know that I’ve used the law three times over the years to secure full compensation for missed appointments. I was even interviewed once by consumer reporter Alan Mendelson on KCAL-9 TV in Los Angeles explaining how an average person can use the powerful tools given by Civil Code Section 1722(b).

Note: This article, written by a telecommunications attorney licensed in California, is not meant to offer specific legal guidance in any particular matter, or to form an attorney-client relationship. Rather, it is intended to provide general guidance. Check with an attorney for specific guidance in your legal matter. Copyright 2008 Jonathan Kramer, Esq.

Advantages of Legal Mortgage Modification Programs

If you are still confused about what legal mortgage modification programs are, it can be easily spelt out as a blessing in disguise. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity coming knocking on your door and guess what it might be the one that can help you stay in your same house without facing the dramatic consequences of foreclosure. Let us have a look at the various advantages of opting for legal mortgage modification program or the loan modification program:

o    Legal mortgage modification programs have been allowed by the government to allow those crushed under the huge debt of repayment of home loans to be able to repay them and keep the house as well. This program will help you to reduce your monthly payments which mean getting a huge burden off your head.

o    Fix your adjustable rate with proper negotiations with your lender. A loan modification program is designed to prevent your from defaulting your payments any further by fixing a rate as per your capability to repay.

o    Lowering your interest rate is a big bonus of opting for legal mortgage modification program. It will help you to get the same loan from the lender at better terms and conditions.

o    Reduce your loan balance by choosing the legal mortgage modification program. This program can negotiate a reduction in the lump sum amount that you need to repay apart from the fall in interest rates.

o    In cases where there are many default payments being made that have attracted negatively accrued interest, you can get these waived off by joining the legal mortgage modification program.

o    A very good thing coming out of joining the program is that it will help to re-amortize loan to include past due payments.

o    You can get some extensions grant regarding your payments by joining the program. The lender will be also more submissive when you approach him this way.

o    Loan modification helps you as well as your lender to save lots of money involved in the process of foreclosure. In fact, the amount of these proceedings is so high at times that even your lender would prefer to avoid foreclosures at any cost.

o    Loan modification does not involve any other costs. This is a huge advantage over re-financing option and also for those in dire needs; this is the only workable option at times.

o    Opting for loan modification will not affect your credit scores negatively unlike in the case of facing a foreclosure.  In short, it will help the borrower to keep his credit record intact.

o    Finally it all goes down to the wire and you get to save your home. This in fact is the biggest advantage of opting for legal mortgage modification program.

Loan modification reviews show that there is absolutely no reason for you to not opt for this tremendously successful program. It will help you to get a substantial decrease in the amount of interest you need to pay over the life of the loan and the lump sum money as well!

Wing Chairs, The Evolution of an Interior Design Furniture Classic

Amongst the wide range of occasional chairs available today the wingback chair has perhaps the most enduring pedigree. Few people browsing for furniture for their home today realise that the wing chair has a history spanning hundreds of years.

The wingback chair is a chair, which is usually fully upholstered, with wings rising up from the arm and joining the back at a 90-degree or wider angle. The original purpose for the wings were assumed to be to prevent drafts in old houses from reaching the upper body or to protect the delicate skin of gentrified ladies from the heat of a roaring fire in the hearth.

As one of the oldest and most popular forms of furniture, the wing chair, also known as a fireside chair or an easy chair, is easily recognized by its pair of protruding wings, its considerable depth, its dramatic presence, and its upholstered framework. The first wing chair appeared in the late 1600s, but it was not until after 1720 that its popularity became widespread.

Wing chairs are sometimes called fireside chairs, and for good reason. Their design is perfect for enjoying the warmth of a fire while your back and sides are protected from chilly draughts.

However these chairs are not the earliest pieces furniture to use this approach to keeping comfortably warm. Wings were also used on some of the high-backed wooden settles found in English manor houses and pubs/inns. Usually these settles were bare wooden benches but sometimes long cushions were added for comfort, long before the new kind of upholstered chair brought an extra level of comfort to the late 17th century.

The same chairs soon appeared in colonial America. Like other Queen Anne furniture of the early 1700s, they often had cabriole legs and curving lines distinguishing them from earlier styles.The famous cabinet-makers of the age, like Chippendale in London, designed elegant frames to set off the upholstery. If you want a true antique, remember that “Queen Anne style” is just that: a style and not a guarantee that a chair is 300 years old.

Fabrics used were not necessarily subdued or subtle. Bright patterns were seen in both colonial and Georgian drawing rooms. Restorers of 18th century antiques often prefer plain coloured fabrics, but this is not necessary for authenticity. Leather upholstery is also a valid option.

If you look at antique French wing chairs, or newer chairs echoing the Louis XIV or Louis XV period, you may well see a lower seat in the bergère style. Similarly, in 18th century England Hepplewhite tried lowering the seat in his designs. He called the wings saddle-cheeks, perhaps knowing that they were called cheeks, not wings, in France. Ears is their other name, used in some parts of Europe, and remembered in the old-fashioned British name lug-chair. (Lugs is slang for ears.)

American wing chairs, also called easy chairs, were often considered bedroom furniture suitable for anyone frail or tired, sitting quietly in their room. Both antique and modern wing chairs may be associated with elderly people; a high seat and back with built-in draught-proofing offer an appropriate kind of comfort, and remind us that another name for this piece of furniture is grandfather chair.

In Britain, wing chairs remained in the parlour or living room. Writers in the Victorian era describing idealised scenes of family life round a blazing hearth often mentioned a fireside chair. 19th century chairs were often more generously padded than earlier wingbacks, often filled with a very firm horsehair stuffing.

Contemporary designers now produce all sorts of shapes and sizes of wing chair, and yet the early Queen Anne shape has an enduring popularity.Though the functional need for the wing declined as homes moved away from open fires to central heating, the design motif remained steadfastly popular. And not just in traditional furniture designs. Even with modernist furniture design in the 1950s and 1960s new chair designs using new materials (e.g. designs by Grant Featherstone 1951, Edward Wormley designing for Dunbar in the 1950s ‘The Egg’ by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen, Denmark, 1958) either retained or re-invented the wing.

Today modern homes have changed their layout and function considerably and one will find occasional chairs in almost any room, with lounge or bedroom being the most common locations. Wingback chairs may have a classic shape but they can be upholstered in the funkiest of modern fabrics. You may be surprised that a 300 year old design remains as popular today whether you are furnishing in a traditional or contemporary style.

Genghis Khan – A Look Inside the Cunning Mind of a Conqueror

Genghis Khan, although the product of an illiterate and barbarous people plagued by internecine wars, transformed the Mongol warriors into a brilliant military machine that frequently defeated the civilizations of China, Islam, and Eastern Europe. Legend claims that Genghis Khan was born with a clot of blood clutched in his hand, an omen of greatness. Regardless of omens, the cruel, creative, and cunning mind of Genghis Khan clearly was responsible for his truly legendary success.

For example, in 1207 when his Mongol army had been stymied by the fortified city of Volohai, he proposed to the city leaders that he would end his siege if they paid him a bizarre tribute of 1,000 cats and 10,000 swallows. The strange demand was met by the city and then Genghis Khan told his Mongols to tie tufts of wool to the tails of the animals and set them on fire. Terrified by the burning bits of wool, the cats and swallows were released. They fled back to their lairs and nests within the city and spread fire throughout the walls. The Mongols then successfully stormed the walls of Volohai while its defenders were occupied with the many fires. Another tactic employed by the Mongols during one of their many campaigns against the Chinese was to round up women, children, and elderly from the countryside and drive them before their army as a human shield so that the defenders of walls would not shoot.

Despite his cleverness, Genghis Khan realized that he could not depend on trickery forever. He needed to address the weaknesses within the Mongol army. The equipment and techniques of sieging needed to be added to the swift and bloodthirsty Mongol hordes.

Genghis Khan was always willing to learn from the civilizations that he conquered, including the arts of war. He commanded each tribe under him to assemble siege equipment and learn how to use it and transport it. In addition to these technical advances, he formed an elite corps of professional commanders who were to devote themselves to training for warfare. This innovation in his command structure surmounted the long standing tradition of Mongol warriors who, despite their vicious skills, were amateurs. They would follow orders as long as victory was forthcoming, but they grew restless in the face of setbacks or failure. Wanting only easy plunder, the traditional Mongol warrior had not applied himself much to long term strategies. The new command corps would provide the structure and discipline needed to transform the Mongol warriors into a multi-skilled and adaptive force.

Genghis Khan also understood that a military is supported by its society, and he allowed Mongol civil society to advance with the aid of codified laws that he bade his advisor and scribe Tatatungo to write. The newly written Mongol code called for all men to work and to always be ready for battle, stated that even a leader was subject to law, insisted that all religions should be tolerated and even respected, and that the rights and responsibilities of women over the management of family assets should be greatly expanded. This inclusion of women in the management of society as opposed to total oppression allowed Mongol society to function while the men were away at war. Genghis Khan was not one to allow strict patriarchy to weaken his army. His codification and enforcement of written laws also promoted discussion and judging within Mongol society to settle disputes instead of the petty wars that had permanently raged for countless generations. With Mongol society now enjoying a greater level of peace, it could better maintain the engines of conquest.

With the natural talents of the Mongol warriors now enhanced by strategic thinking, professional leadership, and siegecraft technology, the many kingdoms of Asia would soon crumble beneath the hooves of the nomadic masses turned conquerors. Even with such might at his disposal, Genghis Khan did not deal blows thoughtlessly. He is well known for his astute use of terror. He cultivated such a frightful reputation that cities and kingdoms would surrender to him instead of suffer the assault of his bloodthirsty hordes. Genghis Khan required total and immediate submission in order to bestow his mercy. Any resistance invited brutal horrors. Although there is no condoning the slaughter and pillaging of his armies, his conscious use of terror was a well thought out practice that often brought him an efficient victory without having to spend the lives of his soldiers and waste resources and time.

The Mongols under Genghis Khan were such a colossal force that resistance was almost always futile. The fierce and highly skilled Mongol warriors seemed to have almost no match on the open battlefield. Mongol warriors were superb horse riders and able to shoot arrows while mounted. The speed and accuracy of this highly mobile force could outmaneuver and outfight almost all that encountered it. The Turks expected their great Silk Road city of Samarkand to hold out against the Mongols for at least a year, but even with 100,000 Turkish fighters to defend it, the Mongols were able to put the great city to the sword after a mere three days. Heartless slaughter descended upon Samarkand for its having the audacity to resist Genghis Khan, but he showed mercy to those within the city that sided with him, and, thoughtful as always, he saved from death those artisans and laborers that were useful to the Mongols.

Even with such glorious successes to his name, Genghis Khan experienced the inevitable pressure to supply his people with new success, and for Mongols this meant fresh victories and spoils. Historian Peter Brent, author of “Genghis Khan: The Rise, Authority, and Decline of Mongol Power” described this hungry cycle of continual war as the “debauchery of conquest.”

The empire created by Genghis Khan and maintained by a few generations of his heirs was truly of an epic scale. It imposed the will of a nomadic people upon the glorious towers of civilization, and millions of people from Chinese kings to Russian peasants to Persian traders lived in fear of Mongol invasions throughout the 12th and 13th centuries. Genghis Khan lived from 1167 to 1227, and he is truly one of the most awe inspiring figures in history. Clever and cruel yet a thoughtful administrator who managed his society on many levels, Genghis Khan was always a larger than life figure even to his contemporaries. Taller than most men and renowned for his nice beard, he received countless tributes and literally plundered the riches of the world. It is unknown if he took any of his wealth to the grave. The location of his tomb remains unknown. He rests somewhere among the cold rolling hills of Mongolia.

Embroidery Tools and Equipment

Although embroidery doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby, for those of us who get serious about our crafting there are certain techniques and equipment which help us embroider faster or fancier.

Laying Tools. When you work with multiple plies on a single needle, you’ll need to keep the threads parallel, not twisted, as you stitch. (This is called “laying” the thread.) A variety of laying tools will help you achieve this. The simplest is a large tapestry needle or bodkin. Others specifically designed as laying tools include a stroking tool (also known as a tekobari); one end resembles an awl or stiletto, and the other end is square to prevent it from slipping from your fingers. A trolley needle has a point like a tapestry needle affixed to a metal band that fits on the end of your finger.

Pincushions. Pincushions are useful for stowing threaded needles if you must change colors often. Pincushions come in a variety of sizes and styles; select one that fits in your stitching bag or basket. Many stitchers like to make their own personalized models.

Many manufactured pincushions come with an emery, which looks like a very small pincushion filled with a gritty, sand-like material which keeps needles clean and sharp.

Needlebook or Needlecase. With “pages” of soft fabric, a needlebook keeps your pins and needles protected (and protects you from the needles, too) and organized. Each “open page” is designed to store a particular needle type in a range of sizes. As with pincushions, this is an item you can make yourself to show off your stitching talents.

Many stitchers like to store their needles in needlecases, which may be narrow and cylindrical or large and box-like; some of the latter have magnets to keep needles in place.

Thread Palette. These plastic wood or paper palettes have a series of holes along the edges to hold individual colors of threads, which you attach using half-hitch knots.

Thread Organizer. There are many products on the market for storing and identifying threads you accumulate. One of the simplest is small individual plastic bags held together on a metal binder ring. Storage boxes such as those used for hardware and fishing lurs work well for thread wound on bobbins. On the other end are wooden boxes or chests that resemble fine furniture.

Ruler and Tape Measure. Clear plastic rulers calibrated in inches are invaluable and come in a 6″ length that fits easily into a stitching bag. For measuring a larger area, a tape measure is useful and takes up little space.

Thumbtacks and Tack Puller. Use these to attach fabric to stretcher bars. (Don’t use staples to attach embroidery fabric; you’ll risk pulling one of the fine threads and spoiling the appearance of the fabric.

Drafting Tape. This tape is less sticky than regular masking tape and helps keep your needlework cleaner. Use it for taping the cut edges of your fabric before mounting it in a stitching frame. Find it at art supply stores.

Lighting and Magnification. Both your eyesight and your needlework deserve optimal lighting. Choose a light that directs a circle (not a spotlight) of light onto your entire stitching surface. Floor lamps and swivel-arm table lamps (such as an architect’s light) are good choices. To avoid casting shadows over the work surface, right-handers will benefit from a light directed over the left shoulder, left-handers from the right.

For very fine work you may want to use a lamp that has a magnifier attached. Other possibilities include magnifiers that hang around the neck, attach to your eyeglasses, or are worn atop the head.

Embellishments. Small, decorative accents give your embroidery beauty, whimsy, and individuality. Look for buttons, beads, and charms at your local needlework shop, catalogs, consumer shows or online. Find them also in embroidery kits, often as the focus of a design theme.

Tell Me About Yourself – Job Interview Answers

Have you been asked the job interview question, “Tell me about yourself?” It is a tried and true question or maybe a tired, but true question that many interviewers still ask. When an interviewer asks this question, it is typically one of the first questions asked. What is the interviewer really trying to find out? He wants to get an overall picture about you. Here is how you do not want to answer this interview question:

  • “Well, I was born in Kalamazoo”…NO…the interviewer does not want a biography.
  • “I am married with a baby boy, a dog named Rex, and a cat”…NO…way too personal and off subject of the job.”
  • “I am a hard worker”……NO….way too cliché and has no meaning.
  • “I am a people person”…NO…another worse cliché. A serial killer could say the same thing.

The best interview answer to the question, “Tell me about yourself,” is to talk about your successes in a way that tells the interviewer that you can fit their job needs. To give your best answer you must know what the job description is, and what the company is looking for. If your interviewer really does want to know about where you grew up, she will ask that specific question. This could lead to an illegal question, but that is a topic for another article. I pulled a job listing for an electrical engineer. I read the overall job description and the thirteen bullet points of the job description. The overall description is:

We are seeking to hire a corporate electrical engineer responsible for maintaining and improving the electrical systems for XYZ Energy’s existing facilities. The successful candidate will also be responsible for design guidance, review, and construction support for future facilities.

Then I reviewed the bullet points and chose one that was technical and one that involved people. Here are the two bullet points:

  • Lead investigations with site personnel to troubleshoot and resolve plant electrical system problems.
  • Work with site and construction personnel to develop and implement small capital projects to improve site electrical systems including providing electrical input for project proposal development.

There are many job requirements to this position. In this electrical engineer interview, you do not want to limit yourself to sounding like you have only one or two of skills, with the first interview answer you give. You do want to give actual results that you have accomplished. If you are known for finding problems others miss and you are someone who can get a team working together, then your answer to, “Tell me about yourself,” for the job listed above will be something similar to:

“I am an electrical engineer with eight years of working in a variety of situations. I am known to be able to find problems that others have missed, and then work with the on-site teams to quickly get the problems fixed, to improve the electrical systems and facilities. The last company I worked for had an issue and I saved an estimated $500,000 in equipment failures because I discovered the problem and we fixed it right away.”

You can see that the interview answer incorporated part of the overall description, as well as the bullet points listed. Be sure that you are always honest in an interview. Lying about your abilities or achievements will catch up with you. The bottom line for the answer to any interview question is to give an honest answer, and talk about your skills and results.

Free Notes – ‘To the Indian Who Died in Africa’ by TS Eliot

The 20th century witnessed few greater poets than T.S. Eliot who exercised more influence on formation of the modern style of writing poetry for more than forty years. Not only was his style distinct but he also used conversational speech laden with complex poetic images with layers of diverse thoughts to portray various aspects of life. The poet was fond of allusions and he very effectively used them to convey a wealth of meaning through just a few lines. This individuality of Eliot is perhaps best expressed in his magnum opus -‘The Waste Land.’ The canon of Karma and detachment as propagated in the Hindu philosophy was not unknown to Eliot and the present poem highlights these principles.

Themes That man should pursue his actions with a spirit of detachment is the main theme of this somber poem. Exactly such a theme has been enunciated in the Bhagavad-Gita by which the poet seems to be substantially inspired. The Bhagavad-Gita advises to renounce longings for worldly possessions such as riches, fame, family, property and the likes. That is why the poet says that every country is home to one man and exile to other. If a man is conscientiously performing his duty in another country, irrespective of the country of his birth becomes his native land. Therefore, a ‘foreign’ or ‘native’ land is but only a relative term in the sense that one has to remain detached from his native land when one has to answer the call of duty. The Indian soldier and his comrades-in-arms including his British allies in the poem are good examples of such persons performing their duty in the alien land, Africa. Some of them are not fated to reach their own country but would die in another man’s land. Nevertheless, the land on which they sacrifice their lives for a great and common cause, gets to be their home while the land that was their home now ceases to be the same. Their great action would bring its own reward though they would not know of it ‘until the judgement after death.’

Another salient theme of the poem is the doctrine of Karma. Through the selfless action of the Indian soldier and his likes in Africa, the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita is echoed that – “To action alone has thou a right and never at all to its fruits; let not the fruits of actions be thy motive; neither let there be in thee any attachment to inaction”. T.S. Eliot says in the last line of the third stanza that wherever he dies bravely that soil is his. It occurs to the poet that the soldiers of different countries fighting for a common objective may not know the outcome of their strivings. Nevertheless, this possibility does not diminish the worth of their sacrifice. They become immortal as they are glorified in the memory of their people through their sublime act. The judgement after death shows the poet’s preoccupation with the Christian doctrine ‘of the last judgement’ as mentioned in the Old Testament.

Using Paper Cups for Hot Drinks

A common question we frequently get asked which cups we would recommend to our customers; this is a tricky question as it depends on the heat of drink you intend to use. We stock a wide range of items from single-wall plain paper cups, to our latest triple wall ‘Ultimate’ hot cups. The primary difference is the insulating properties of the specific cup type.

Our Plain White or Mocha Single wall hot cups are perfect for warm drinks; however piping hot coffee would perhaps be rather uncomfortable to hold without the use of a cup sleeve (available separately). Due to their single-wall construction there is no additional layer to insulate the heat of the beverage.

Double wall and hot ripple cups are specifically designed to withstand much high tempuratures, the dual layers work in a similar way to a thermos flask; trapping air and isolating the customer’s hand from hot drinks. In addition to this, the extra cup strength is ideally suited to ‘coffee on the go’.

With different high street coffee chains and drinks providers favouring different disposable cup materials, it is interesting to find out which is the most effective insulator. Perhaps the most appropriate way to discuss the insulating properties of a paper cup is to compare it with another frequently used takeaway cups, such as the common expanded polystyrene type. This can be done by carrying out a simple test to show whether the polystyrene or paper version kept the liquid it contained hotter for the greatest length of time.

Paper cups vs Polystyrene cups

The heat retention test involves putting 200 ml of very hot water into a polystyrene cup and the same amount into a paper hot drink cup to find out which is the better insulator. For a wider comparison, you could also introduce a plastic cup into the equation to reveal how its insulation properties measure up. We all know each of these hot cups will provide a specific level of insulation, but this test will help show which is the best way to keep liquids warm.

How to Test the temperature

You can use a thermometer to test the temperature of the liquid. Taking a temperature reading every minute for at least ten minutes, then again around 20 minutes and 30 minutes, will help to show whether the paper cup is indeed the best insulator. You can record these readings as a graph if you wish to make the results clearer.

Heat retention

In an extremely similar test, cup and food container specialist Contexpan discovered that the liquid in both cups dropped in temperature very fast during the first five minutes, from around 100 degrees centigrade to around 90 degrees. However, at this point, the liquid in the polystyrene cup cooled at a slightly slower rate than the paper version, remaining at around 80 degrees after 25 minutes compared with the liquid in the paper cup, which had dropped to around 70 degrees.

The results

The findings suggest that the polystyrene cup is the better insulator, with the paper cup in second place. A third cup, a plastic cup, was used in the Contexpan test and this presenting inferior insulation properties, with the water temperature falling to below 70 degrees centigrade after 25 minutes. However, some catering supplies companies are now using double-layered disposable paper cups with an air pocket in between to trap the heat and provide an extra layer of insulation. Further tests would need to be carried out to discover whether this gives the paper cups the edge over polystyrene ones.

From the findings above, we would most likely expect the greatly increased insulation of ripple/weave paper cups to put them in first place with this sort of experiment. The ripples act like a thermos flask, greatly increasing the heat retention of the cups. Further tests are required to conslusively prove this statement however.

Biodegradable Paper Cups

Of late there has been a lot of emphasis on the use of Biodegradable hot drink paper cups. This has become a issue as traditional PE coated hot drink cups use non-renewable materials for their inner lining. Obviously this lining is required to make the cups watertight, so the only way to make paper coffee cups more eco-friendly is to replace the PE lining with an eco-friendly alternative.

The new range of Biodegradable Paper Cups use a PLA (Polylatic acid) lining instead of the traditional PE (Polyethylene) coating. Previously PLA has been mainly used on Plastic Glasses designed for cold drinks. This is because PLA would begin to dissolve if it touched a hot drink. The latest varieties are temperature treated to make it suitable for use with piping hot drinks; this advance has made the coating appropriate for use with paper coffee cups.

PLA vs PE coated cups

There is lots of erroneous information on the Internet regarding the environmental benefits of using PLA coating, primarily regarding the disposal of cups at landfill sites. Contrary to popular belief neither the PLA or PE coated paper coffee cups rot at landfill sites. These sites are specifically designed to prevent material ‘rotting’ as such, as this process released potentially dangerous methane gasses.

A main benefit of PLA coated paper cups is that the coating is made from a renewable resource, this accounts for roughly 5% of the material used for an average single-wall paper cup.

In order to legitimately state the environmental advantages of using disposable paper cups it should also be noted that they need to be recycled using appropriate facilities. This is true of both PE and PLA paper cups. Nether type of paper cup should be disposed of in normal ‘paper waste’ collections, potentialls this could completely contaminate the entire recycling batch! Currently, the best way of recycling coated cups of this nature in the UK is through the save-a-cup scheme. Specific collections are organised for paper cups, ensuring that they make their way to a suitable processing plant.

Event supplies stock a huge range of quality catering disposable items used throughout professional catering businesses, whether you are organising a large event or small party, event supplies service, prices and product range ensure your catering disposable needs are exceeded.

Stay Healthy With Green Drink Recipes

Most diets you come across claiming to help you lose weight, fight fatigue and lower your blood pH will inevitably have you removing food from your diet. This is what people typically think of when starting a new diet and to be honest, it’s what scares most people away. We hate not being able to eat the foods we love! Well, I’m sick of doing things the hard way and you should be too.

This approach has you adding things to your diet instead of taking away and will leave you healthier than ever. By utilizing green drink recipes, we can easily do this. Adding a healthy green smoothie or drink to your diet will have a profound impact on how you structure your meals. This is how it works:

  • Add a green drink or smoothie to at least one meal a day (breakfast is probably the best choice).
  • Drink it before you eat the rest of your meal.

What does this do?

Since green drinks and smoothies consist of very pure, nutritious ingredients like leafy greens, fresh fruit and fresh vegetable or fruit juices, this is a fantastic way to consume all your necessary vitamins and minerals without having to resort to a multivitamin.

It also allows you to eat less “junk food” because your stomach will be satiated from the nutritious green drink and you won’t have enough room for a giant meal afterwards. This is great for people who have a problem with overeating.

How will this help you lose weight? Simple, you’re eating less junk food and more low calorie nutritious food.

How will this help you fight fatigue? By adding a fresh green drink to your diet, your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to operate at full capacity.

How will this lower your blood pH? Green leafy vegetables are extremely alkaline and eating alkaline foods will lower your blood pH which helps remedy all sorts of dis-eases.

Soon, your body will start to crave food that is of higher nutritious quality and because of that, you will naturally start to eat better, lose weight, and be healthier overall.

Here’s a recipe you can try out:

6 strawberries

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 apple

1 stalk of celery

1 peach

1 handful of red grapes

1 handful of fresh spinach

1 banana

1 cup water

Just toss everything into a blender and blend until your desired consistency. Enjoy!