Sunday, January 31, 2010

School Fundraising Ideas -There’s Lot’s Of Them.

In today’s world school fundraising is a necessity, but to come up with new school fundraising ideas can be a task for anyone. If you go on the Internet you will find many neat school fundraising ideas that will be more than suitable for your needs. These school fundraisers usually are left up to the parents and the teachers. It can become a monumental undertaking to get this fundraiser together and make it a successful one. There are many school fundraising ideas that you can choose from, such as a car wash. You will have to choose a safe area to conduct this type of fund raiser, but it is better held near a main street where traffic is fairly heavy to have a good outcome. You can organize a bake sale and have a wide variety of cakes, cookies and breads. This too depends on having a fundraising plan, but is one of the tried and true school fundraiser ideas. Have a pizza school fundraiser. This will be a popular sale as many people enjoy pizza. You can sell coupons for discounts at pizza places. There are companies where you can order chocolate bars for one of your school fundraising ideas. This is always a popular way to make money. Candles are a sure way to make your fundraising plan a success. There are so many kinds and different scents that everyone will enjoy and prove to be a sure fire hit in any community. Make sure you have a good fundraising plan before you start. Get your support group together and make sure each one knows the part they will be playing in this school fundraiser. You will need someone to be in charge of handling the money, as well as someone to set up and clean up after your school fundraising is over. So a good fundraising plan is essential for a successful outcome no matter what school fundraising ideas you go with. If you are really stuck with looking for school fundraising ideas that will not cost you a small fortune up front, try putting off a rummage sale. All you will need is a few volunteers to give a helping hand such as collecting goods donated by the community or things that some of the students have outgrown. When you collect enough and have it sorted, then pick a day for the fundraiser and do your advertising. Everyone loves a rummage sale - it is like the old adage that someone’s trash is another’s treasure. There’s lots of school fundraising ideas, but not all will work for you.

Game Tables have Come A Long Way

When I was young, my family had a game table in our basement that my siblings and I all enjoyed. We played chess and checkers just about every night to amuse ourselves and I can still recall many fond memories of conversations we had while seated around that table. My mother would always want us to play upstairs where she could keep a better eye on us, but that would have meant bringing the game table upstairs as well. Unfortunately, that wasn't a possibility. You see, our game table was perfect for games, but horrible as a piece of furniture. Ugly doesn't begin to describe the aesthetics of our table. It wasn't that it once looked good and years of use had worn it unevenly. In fact, because we loved the table so much, we took great care of it. This table was never attractive to begin with, as gaming was its primary function. Luckily, things have changed.

I recently decided to buy a game table for my young brood. I was pleasantly surprised to find several gaming tables that were as elegant as even the nicest pieces in our home but that still retained a high level of functionality as a gaming device. From marble topped game tables to wood and veneer tables that hid the game board, the choices were almost endless. I found so many that I liked that I had a legitimately hard time choosing. We have four antique Moller chairs in Danish modern design that I wanted to use with the table, so that enabled me to narrow it down to a few choices. I have always liked the look of pedestal tables, so that further narrowed the field to two at the online furniture dealer I ended up buying from. I still couldn't decide, so I called in the experts (my children), and they unanimously voted between the two I had chosen. My wife and I are thrilled because we now have a beautiful piece of furniture that looks perfect in our family room and also helps keep the family together in one place. Our house doesn't have a basement, though we wouldn't even think of putting our game table anywhere but where it is even if we did.

I wonder what my mom would think of that.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reading glasses, contact lenses and eye glasses

Reading glasses come in two main styles: full frames, and half-eyes, the smaller Franklin glasses that sit lower down on the nose. Many people feel they look better in contact lenses rather than eyeglasses. Reading glasses are suitable for people who spend a great deal of time concentrating on material close-up. Contacts lenses are a safe and effective alternative to eyeglasses when used with care and proper supervision. The need for reading glasses has long been associated with being old. Have you found yourself having to push that magazine out at arm's length to see the fine print? You've officially reached middle age. However contact lenses, when compared with eyeglasses, require a longer initial examination, more follow-up visits to maintain eye health, and more time for lens care. Reading glasses can be custom-made for each individual through an optical dispenser, or they can be purchased "ready-made" at the pharmacy or department store. Contact lenses move with your eye, allow a natural field of view, have no frames to obstruct your vision, and greatly reduce distortions. They do not fog up, like eyeglasses, nor does mud or rain splatter them. Reading glasses are safe in that they cannot damage the eyes physically, whether or not they are the optimal strength, or whether they are used correctly or incorrectly. Contact lenses, compared to eyeglasses, generally offer better sight. Reading glasses, containing low power plus sphere lenses, and are widely available for non-prescription, over-the-counter purchase. Most eye-care professionals recommend replacing your contact lenses case every 3 months for optimum eye health.

Games To Consider When You're Event Planning

Children love so many things about birthday parties. The food, the birthday cake and the ice cream are at the top of their lists. Right below those favorites is party games. When children attend a birthday party they look forward to the party games they will get to play. A big reason for this is that party games usually have a winner and that winner might get a prize. What child doesn't love a prize?

If you happen to be in charge of event planning for a child's birthday party you are in the enviable position of having a whole host of games to choose from. One of the first things to consider is the age of your young guests. Obviously if you are in charge of entertaining a crowd of three-year-olds you'll need to choose an activity that doesn't require the player to have a long attention span. Standard favorites like pin the tail on the donkey and hot potato are fun for children who haven't mastered skills such as reading yet. Another fun game that keeps children laughing is to have them sit on air filled balloons while trying to pop them. This generally results in them rolling around on the floor as they bounce off the balloons.

For older children you might consider a treasure hunt. This is a great activity that can keep children busy and occupied while you tend to the other aspects of the event. You just hide some objects in your home and draw out maps for the children to search for them. Another twist on this idea is the scavenger hunt. In this instance you give the children a list of items they have to search for and whoever finds all of the items first, wins a prize. If your child is really enthusiastic about this idea you can make it the center of your event planning process. Perhaps choosing a scavenger hunt theme for the entire party including invitations shaped like a magnifying glass or a hunt to find the pizza you've hidden in another room for dinner. Children love activities like this and it's a great way to encourage their junior detective skills.

For the more mature crowd, you can incorporate fun activities into your event planning as well. Perhaps a game of charades or a fun board or card game will entertain a more adult crowd. These types of games are a great way to socialize and they also act as stress relievers. Many men do this already when they have their weekly poker night with their buddies. They may not view it as an event, but it's a great way for them to get together and challenge one another's skill.

Depending on the event you are planning, it can be a plus to play a game or two. It keeps the event moving along and the guests will appreciate having a fun activity to engage in. The smaller ones will appreciate it even more if they win a prize for their efforts.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Prefab Homes are Becoming Increasingly Popular

People who purchase prefab homes from all of the social classes and have different interests. There is no specific group of people who purchase prefab homes. Prefab homes are usually associated with rednecks since most prefab homes are like trailers, but that is not the case. Don’t stereotype prefab homes because even people who are well to do have a prefab home. Many of the architects that are designing prefab homes are adding special flairs and interests to their designs. They are making them bigger and better. In fact, many of them cost around $85,000-$500,000 and have been known to go up as much as a million dollars. The whole idea that only poor people would need a prefab home is ridiculous. People purchase them because they are being offered way more features for half the price that it would take them to build it. It has nothing to do with the actual price; it is more about getting the better deal. People who purchase a prefab home are getting a home with all the trimmings. They don’t have to install hardwood floors or redo the walls and other things because their home is completely designed to look fabulous. Prefab homes have this stereotype that they are like a trailer, but they are not. They are smaller than you would probably build yourself, but they are nothing like a mobile home. Prefab homes have foundation built under them and are unusually added on like a regular home. People will add a garage to it, they will add a huge wrap around porch, and so on. People don’t buy prefab homes and sit in the parks, they purchase a home and usually place it on a lot that they have purchased or inherited. They are made to look great and classy. Prefab homes are becoming increasingly popular because of the economy. Everyone wants to have a beautiful home and still purchase within his or her budget. By purchasing a prefab home you can have the beautiful home and not worry about the stress of building or paying several businesses to make your home look great. By purchasing a prefab home, you still get to choose your options and most places allow you to personalize your home so that you feel like you build it. You get to have control on what it looks like, but you get it for a fraction of what it would cost for you to build. Some homes can get up to a million dollars because they are nice and because they offer so much more than people think. Prefab homes are simply just the modern home.

Games: Which are the Easiest to Play

Here is a guide to the best online games. Find yourself winning, or at least not necessary losing in the long run. The best casino games are games that have a low house edge or games where by practicing your skill you can have an advantage over the casino. Those with the lowest house edge are blackjack and video poker. By improving the skill with which you play poker and blackjack, you gain an advantage over the other player or over the casino.

House Edge:
First, here is an explanation about the term house edge. The house edge is the way the casinos create an artificial advantage over the player to ensure their profits. The advantage is created by not paying the true odds. The house edge is the gap between the true odds and the odds the casino actually pays out for a winning.

Here is an example for clarification. The true odds in an American roulette game are 37:1. However, if you place a one dollar bet, you would be paid 35 dollars instead of 37 dollars, which are the true odds. The two dollars gap between the true odds and the actual payout is the casino house edge. You can calculate American roulette house edge by dividing 2 dollars by 38. The result is 5.26 percent.

This is an exceptional casino game. It is the only casino game where you play against the other players instead of competing against the casino. There is not a house edge in poker. Instead, most casinos ensure their profits by collecting a rake, which is a certain percentage of the pot used to cover expenses. Other casinos charge each player by the hour.

Poker is the best casino game to play if you are a skilled player. A skilled player with experience, excellent knowledge in certain game rules, smart strategy and an ability to read facial expressions would have an advantage over the less skilled poker players, especially those who rely on their good fortune.

This is the only casino game where the advantage can be shifted from the player to the dealer. When you are <a href="">playing blackjack</a> and using an optimal strategy, the house edge can be lower than 0.5 percent. You can increase your odds of winning and lower the house edge by learning the strategy based on the mathematics of the game.

Another way to lower the casino advantage in blackjack is by card counting. A skilled card counter can adjust his bets and his strategy according to the proportion between high cards and low cards. Mastering card counting requires skill and practice. In addition, since casinos are not especially welcoming card counters to their blackjack tables, you should also practice your hiding skills. 

Video Poker:
The resemblance between video poker and slot machine sometimes causes confusion. Nevertheless, contrasting to slot machine, video poker is a game of skill. Playing video poker using an optimal strategy can lower its house edge to less than half percent. As opposed to slot machines, in video poker machine the pay table on the front of the machine enables you to determine the expected return of the game.

For example:
1) In a 9/6 Jacks or Better video poker machine, the expected return percentage can be as high as 99.5 percent.
2) In a 8/5 Jacks or Better machine the return percentage can be 97.3 percent and 95 percent in a 6/5 Jacks or Better video poker machine.
3) In a full paying Deuces Wild  machine, the expected return percentage can be 100.17 percent.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Picnic Tables Available – No Reservations Required

One of the greatest social events ever dreamed up, a picnic is a combination of food, family, friends, recreation, entertainment, and merriment. At the first sign of spring, people begin firing up their grills and taking their meals outdoors, and they don’t go back inside until the world freezes over once again. In fact, there are some year-round, die-hard barbecuers who won’t quit unless someplace much larger and hotter freezes over, too.

Although the summer is filled with picnics, little is generally known about how and where they originated. Listed as a new word, “pique-nique” first appeared in the 1692 edition of Origines de la Langue Françoise de Ménage. It is believed to have been a combination of “piquer,” meaning to “pick” or “peck” and “nique,” an obsolete word, which meant “trifle” or “little pieces.” It was described as a potluck gathering, to which everyone brought a dish, and the food, transported in the first picnic baskets, was set out for all to “peck at.”

The word “picnic” was first introduced in English in 1748. In the 19th century, a group of wealthy Londoners formed the Picnic Society to promote this fashionable social affair, to which each attendee was expected to bring food, as well as contribute some form of entertainment. It was around the middle of the century when it became associated with the outdoors, and the first picnic blankets appeared. Its rapid rise in popularity soon led to the invention of the picnic table.

Today, a picnic can be anything from a casual meal on the porch, with paper plates and plastic forks, to a formal picnic lunch, with gourmet food served on good china. It can be a large gathering at a park, or a cozy lunch for two on a picnic blanket in a scenic spot. A picnic can be a grand affair, planned or months – perhaps even catered – or a spontaneous move outdoors to enjoy the weather. No matter how differently they may be defined, however, everyone agrees that picnics are fun!

Like the picnic itself, the picnic table has undergone many transformations. With porches, decks, and patios becoming more elaborate every year, and backyard gazebos popping up in record numbers, outdoor entertaining has reached new heights. Beyond barbecues, people are hosting dinners, formal parties, and even weddings in their own backyards. In order to accommodate these diverse uses, picnic tables have been created in a variety of sizes, styles, shapes, colors, and materials, to fit any occasion.

Besides the classic, rustic-looking cedar, oak, and pine tables, there are elegant dining sets, sometimes made from cherry or teak. Other tables are constructed from virtually indestructible aluminum, thermo-plastic, vinyl, and polywood. These are the tables you’ll find lining hospital grounds, industrial parks, office complexes, and college campuses. They can be rectangular, hexagonal, octagonal, square, round, or oval, with benches attached or detached.

Indeed, there are as many versions of picnic tables as there are of picnics. To see the entire range of exciting possibilities, visit, a division of If you don’t find the perfect picnic table, they’ll be happy to customize one for you! For more information, call 888-293-2339, or e-mail

Free Gasoline And How To Get It

Paying $3 for a gallon of gasoline is proving to be too much for some people. Taking mass transportation, riding a bike, and walking are some of the things people are doing to help them cope. Several promotions that actually give away free gasoline are being touted by a few companies. Let’s take a look at some of the more popular ones and see if one can possibly work for you.

<b>Buy a Mitsubishi, get free gasoline for one year.</b> Go to Mitsubishi’s web site and the following information about their offer is posted:  “There's only one way to beat the high cost of gas. That's in the driver's seat of a new Mitsubishi. Buy or lease any new 2005 Mitsubishi and receive a year's worth of gas from Mitsubishi Motors. You get to choose any one of Mitsubishi's 2005 vehicles or the hot new 2006 Galant or Endeavor, and we'll pick up the cost of your gas for a whole year.” Visit for details.

<b>Free gasoline for one year.</b> Shasta County, California residents have the opportunity to win free gasoline for one year by entering radio station Q97’s “Song of the Day” contest. Restrictions apply; visit for a list of all the rules.

<b>Win 1500 gallons of gasoline or $3500.</b> Survey Networks will be giving away free gasoline or cash to a lucky winner who will be chosen via random drawing:

<b>Win Free Gas For Two Years.</b> Publishers Clearinghouse is giving away up free gas for some lucky winner in a drawing to be held this December. Visit for more information.

There are other contests and promotions being held right now, but some require that you sign a contract and/or agree to purchase other products for the chance to get “free” gas. Of course, any contest or promotion that requires a separate purchase is not truly free. Read the fine print and think wisely before taking any action. Have fun!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Different type of furniture is employed for different uses. Seating furniture (such as chairs) or beds are used to support the human body. Some furniture such as cupboards, computer tables, and dressing tables provides storage and is employed to hold objects such as books, clothes, tools and household goods. <a href="">furniture</a> is a form of the decorative art and can be made of various materials such as metal, wood and plastic.

Furniture is often made in order to suit the place where it is to be used. For example, the <a href="">home office furniture</a> is made to be comfortable and soft so that a person can work comfortably at his home. Similarly the <a href="">bedroom furniture</a> is made to reflect the style and personality of the person who is staying in the room. People have to very careful while buying furniture. They should know the exact available space where the furniture is to be used or else they will end up buying furniture that doesn’t fit the space. Also a manufacturer keeps both the bad furniture and the good ones under the same roof. So a person looking for furniture must check the furniture for the wood that is used and the craftsmanship. Good craftsmanship ensures that the furniture lasts longer. There are various stores and websites available that offers wide range of bedroom, living room, home office and other furniture. Furniture comes in different shapes, sizes and color. So choosing the right furniture for your home or office can sometimes be a difficult task. Everyone can find furniture that suits his income. The manufacturer often tries to sell furniture that is very costly. Thus people often end up buying furniture that is too costly. So a person must be pretty clear about what he wants. Also some websites and furniture stores offer great discounts. A person should do a market research before buying a piece of furniture.

Investment on buying furniture is huge so care must be taken to ensure its long life. Therefore a few guidelines should be followed to ensure that your investment is protected. The furniture market has seen a huge rise in the recent years especially after the advent of internet which has allowed manufactures to showcase large number of furniture of different shapes, size and color to the customers. Trends in furniture today are almost the same from trends in furniture today. There hasn’t been much change. Just that it had been accessorized to go with the latest trend.

The notion of furniture has changed a lot over the years. From the weighty wooden couches and huge banquet tables of the Victorian and Medieval periods to the more stylish beanbags and sofas, they have come a long way.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fridges - A Brief History on how they have evolved

The chances are that you use your fridge every single day of your life, but I doubt you think about it very often. It just sits there, gently humming away, doing its job – it’s just part of life.

Yet before the 1920s, there were no fridges, and they weren’t mass-produced until after the Second World War. Instead, there were iceboxes, non-mechanical fridge-like cupboards that kept food cold using an enormous block of ice. Icemen had to come every day to deliver new blocks of ice for iceboxes, an expensive practice. Most homes didn’t have them, and instead had to settle for keeping things in cupboards and not eating anything that needed to be kept so cold.

The impact of the fridge on the post-war diet is not often looked at, but it has been huge. Fresh food like fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products can be stored for days or even weeks without spoiling, meaning that these things can be sold in shops more easily and eaten more often. Before, it would have been necessary to grow fresh produce in your garden, restricting you to foods that grew in your country and that were in season, but as refrigeration can be used during transport in refrigerated lorries and ships, fruit and vegetables from all over the world can now reach us without spoiling.

Today, fridges usually come in combined units with freezers, another endlessly useful 20th century invention. They can be built-in to the kitchen or freestanding, and often come with all sorts of extra features, such as the ability to produce cold water and ice on-demand from the front of the unit. Probably the most useful feature addition has been the advent of ‘frost free’ fridges, which use automatic temperature control to make sure that no ice forms inside the fridge.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mosquito spraying: Is it dangerous for you health?

Mosquito spraying is one of the most commonly used methods to stop the breeding of these nasty insects. Due to the fact that there are chemicals that are spread over areas where people live, mosquito spraying raises a lot of question like : are those pesticides safe for my health? Does it affects my pets ? What about the objects left outside are they affected by mosquito spraying? And so on. In this article we will try to answer to some of these questions. Mosquito spraying is done using mounted fogging units to apply insecticides as an ultra-low-volume (ULV) spray. These units spray units dispense very fine aerosol droplets (fog) that stay aloft and kill mosquitoes on contact. The amount of insecticide used in mosquito spraying is small compared to the area treated, usually about 3 to 5 ounces per acre, which minimizes exposure and risks to people and the environment. Mosquito spraying is also done by thermal foggers that use an oil carrier that is heated to disperse the pesticide in a dense smoke-like fog. During mosquito spraying , flying mosquitoes within the treated area are killed. Although the local mosquito population is reduced for a few days, fogging does not prevent mosquitoes from re-entering the area. The most commonly used products in mosquito spraying are pyrethrins, synthetic pyrethroid insecticides (such as Scourge ® and Anvil ®)and malathion. Pyrethrins are insecticides derived from the extract of chrysanthemum flowers. Pyrethroids are human made forms of pyrethrins. Both of them act as contact poisons, affecting the insect’s nervous system. For mosquito spraying they are combined with a synergist (such as piperonyl butoxide) that allows the insecticide to be more effective by restricting the enzyme that insects use to detoxify the pyrethrins. Pyrethrins and pyrethroids are use in mosquito spraying without posing unreasonable risks to human health when applied according to the label although, in high dosage, pyrethroids can affect the nervous system, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, runny or stuffy nose. Regarding the wild life and the environment these two insecticides do not pose unreasonable risks, also. When used in mosquito spraying they are low in toxicity to mammals, and are practically nontoxic to birds. However they are toxic to fish and to bees. Therefore E.P.A (Environmental Protection Agency) prohibits the mosquito spraying to open water or within 100 feet of lakes, streams, rivers or bays. Malathion is an organophosphate insecticide that has been registered for the first time in the United States in1956. It is used to kill insects on agricultural crops, on stored products, on golf courses, in home gardens, and in outdoor sites where trees and shrubs are grown at home and also used in mosquito spraying. Malathion comes in two forms: a pure form of a colorless liquid and a technical-grade solution (brownish-yellow liquid), which contains malathion (greater than 90%) and impurities in a solvent. The technical-grade malathion smells like garlic. For mosquito spraying, this substance is applied at a maximum rate of 0.23 pounds (or about 2.5 fluid ounces) of active ingredient per acre, so it doesn’t pose unreasonable risk to human health. However, at high doses, malathion, like other organophosphates, can overstimulate the nervous system causing nausea, dizziness, or confusion. Severe high-dose poisoning with any organophosphate can cause convulsions, respiratory paralysis, and death. Malathion degrades rapidly in the environment, especially in moist soil, and it displays low toxicity to birds and mammals, but is highly toxic to beneficial insect (ex honey bees) too. Therefore E.P.A set a few regulations for the use of this product. So these would be the most important aspects of mosquito spraying that you should be concerned about along with the main chemical components used in this process.

Fundraising Software – How Can That Help Me?

Fundraising software lets you connect with donors in a way that is unlike any communication you’ve ever had before. You can diversify your fund raising efforts with software and manage all of your day-to-day activities. There are many companies that sell fundraising software suitable for your organization. Much of the software is capable of helping you in different ways and it is available at different prices. However, you can get free software for small non-profit organizations.

Some of the software on the market is designed to help you with free fundraising ideas, while other free fund raising software deals more with accounting. You can generate thank you letters with the software for your fund raising needs showing the donors that you really appreciate their support, yet you do not have to spend time drafting all the letters because the software does it for you.

Some of the free fundraising ideas you can get by using fund raising software have nothing to do with selling any items. The software gives the donors the option of making a donation electronically on a recurring basis. This saves you the hassle of having to make phone calls every time your organization has a fundraising campaign.

One special feature of fund raising software lets you send reminder emails to donors of upcoming fund raising events. Not only this software help you get more donations through fundraising ideas, but you might also get volunteers for your events as well. These donors might also give you other free fund raising ideas that you might never have thought of.

Using fund raising software takes you from a desk job to dealing with the public where most of your fund raising takes place. This is sophisticated system that has features such as:
·    Internet usability
·    Simple maintenance
·    Requires very little training
·    Full Integration with your website
·    Secure site for making donations online
You can store all your donor information and free fund raising ideas for new campaigns. It is one piece of software that your charitable organization can’t afford to be without.

Fund raising software can save you a lot of time.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fulfilling Our Basic Need Of Self Protection

Self preservation of ourselves and our loved ones is one of man's basic needs. It is inherent in every single one of us. Mankind craves security.

I don't know why it is but every time my wife and I go to see her cousin in San Diego I get to thinking about self-defense. You see, my wife's cousin just turned 60 but he is still active in karate and has been able to stay in condition. I thinks its great that he can do this, and I'm sure his knowledge of the martial arts would be of great help to him if he or his family were ever attacked and had to defend themselves.

I sit and ponder the what the result would be for me or my family who have had no formal martial art backgrounds and possibly handicapped due to our physical disabilities. How do we prevent ourselves from becoming victims? What would you do in my place?

I have investigated crime reports and their recommendations. Pretty much across the board they recommend using some common sense and avoidance of situations and scenarios that give the edge to the criminal.

For example: Street Safety. Using common sense.

1. Stay in well lighted, busy areas. Avoid walking alone and avoid known trouble spots.
2. When you carry a purse, hold it close to your body rather than by the handles. Do not wrap purse straps around your wrist, because you can get hurt in a struggle.
3. Carry only what you need in a purse or wallet, not everything you have.
4. Avoid using shortcuts through dark alleys, fields, or vacant lots.
5. If you think you're being followed, cross the street and change directions a few times. Go quickly to a well-lighted place with lots of people. Do not go home. You don't want an attacker to know where you live.

There may come times that we have taken all the recommended precautions and still find ourselves in a position to be victimized by criminals. Is there anything else we can do?

Today we have the benefit of technology such as self-defense devices and surveillance equipment in the forms of personal alarms, pepper spray, nanny cams, etc. When we decide to use this technology we must use it wisely and be familiarized with its operation. Having knowledge about how these devices are properly used is very important.

Society's institutions no longer have the capability to protect you and your family as they once had. For the last twenty years or so the nation's crime rate has greatly increased.

Obviously our nation and society have become a dangerous place in which to live and raise our children. The laws and institutions designed to protect us are failing to do so. There is little left for us to do but arm ourselves with effective defense devices and/or learn the ancient ways of self protection long forgotten by our ancestors.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fun & Easy Halloween Party Themes and Ideas

Halloween is the day of the year that has the most parties thrown in its honor. Everyone loves to dress up and attend Halloween parties with their friends. Most people end up getting several invitations to different Halloween parties that are often on the same night. If you are planning to throw your own Halloween party, how can you get all your friends to head to your shindig and not someone else’s? You need to come up with some unique and fun ideas that will get everyone on your list so excited about your party they won’t even consider going anywhere else.

Not Just Any Old Theme

Many people don’t bother thinking of a theme for their Halloween party since it seems to be somewhat of a theme already. But rather than just putting up some Happy Halloween banners and fake cobwebs, why not come up with a great theme party idea? You can do anything from a haunted house or graveyard to a monster mash or horror movie bash. Once you’ve chosen your theme apply it to everything from your invitations to your party food. Guests will love some guidance on what to dress up as, especially if you do something a little different.

Your Halloween party invitations are one of the most important aspects of your party. Invitations are the best way to get your guests excited about your party. Many people don’t even send invitations anymore so even sending out simple ones will help your party stick in people’s minds. Be sure to apply your party theme to your invitations. If you can’t find any invitations at your local party store that go with your theme you can always use invitation templates that you can download for free from the Internet.

You can totally customize invitation templates and add colorful pictures as well. Guests will love to receive these fun invitations in the mail. You should send your invitations out approximately three to four weeks before your party to give everyone time to make plans to attend. If you’re running short of time sending electronic invitations is a great idea too. You can add animation and sound to e-invitations and even check guest’s responses online. Be sure to contact anyone who doesn’t respond via telephone since not everyone checks their email often.

Spooky Decorations

Everyone will expect to see your house decorated to the nines on Halloween so be sure not to disappoint. Your decorations should match your theme, so give them plenty of thought. For instance, a haunted house theme should be complete with low lighting, smoke, a spooky soundtrack, and even live ghouls to jump out and scare the guests as they arrive. A horror movie bash might include retro horror B-movie posters stuck on the walls which you can find on the Internet and print off at home.

Decorations can be found just about anywhere in the months leading up to Halloween. Even grocery stores carry a wide selection. Start shopping early so you can get the best selection possible and take advantage of any sales. If you can’t find just what you’re looking for you can always rent decorations from a local party supply shop or even purchase decorations from the Internet. The Internet has an almost endless selection and you can find just about any party supplies or decorations you’ll need.

Music is an important aspect of any party as well.  While some spooky tunes are fun at first, you’ll want to switch over to some more upbeat music once the party gets going. People love to dance so have plenty of high energy songs ready to go. If you are inviting a variety of different people have several different types of music so no ones gets bored.

Tasty Halloween Treats

Food is an important part of any party. While you don’t need to provide a full meal, some creative and tasty snacks and treats will help keep your guests fueled for the night’s festivities. Turning simple party food into ghoulish culinary delights will surprise and please your guests. Try making some bewitching cupcakes, and put out snacks such as gummy worms and other Halloween candy treats.

Costumes are a given, since this is Halloween after all. If you are having a Halloween theme of some sort, let your guests know on your invitations that they should dress to fit the theme. For instance, if you’re throwing a horror movie bash, you can simply say, “come as your favorite horror movie star”. Don’t expect all your guests to comply with your request. Some people have been thinking up their Halloween costume since last year!

Don’t forget about the party favors!  Depending on how many people you’re inviting and how much you’re willing to spend, the possibilities are endless when it comes to party favors. A simple idea is candy bags full of traditional treats such as candy corn. Something more substantial might be a pumpkin carving kit that comes with cutouts and tools. Your guests will love having a little something to take home with them.

Endless Costume Possibilities

If you really aren’t into the scary aspect of Halloween, you can always break with tradition and hold a different type of Halloween party. Have a famous couples party or a crazy hat party instead. Guests can still dress up but might be more creative then a white sheet with holes cut out of it. Dressing up for Halloween is something that both adults and kids can enjoy so great creative and have fun with it!

Having games at your party isn’t a necessity, but can be a great deal of fun for your guests. Games act as an excellent icebreaker if everyone doesn’t know each other. Any games where you can break people off into teams will help to get everyone talking. Pumpkin carving contests are a good idea, as is bobbing for apples. Be sure to give a prize to the best costume as well.

Your Halloween party is sure to be a success if you take the time to plan. Leave yourself plenty of time and don’t forget it’s all the little details that help to make a fabulous party. Enlist the help of family and friends if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and remember, planning is half the fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fuel Your Life with Wood Heat

One of the cheapest forms of fuel is firewood.  To get a winter wood supply of fuel legally you need to apply for a firewood cutting permit from the Forest Service.  This is really easy to do at the Forest Service office.  If there isn't an office in your town, just phone the nearest office and apply over the telephone.  They just require that you live in the area and have a telephone contact number, plus your mailing and residential address. 

When you receive your firewood cutting permit, it has an information sheet explaining what trees you can cut down and where you can legally cut those trees.  Basically you can cut dead trees, not valuable for commercial use, on land that is not privately owned, or leased out as tree farm or wood lot to other people.  Tree farm land must have signs posted plainly identifying it as such. 

We are assuming here that you have some knowledge of how to use a chainsaw safely, to cut down trees.  You should also have training or experience in the correct method used in cutting down trees.  You don't get a second chance here.  If something goes wrong, while the tree is being cut down, it becomes deadly serious. 

To go get your fuel for winter, you take a drive in a rural area, usually on gravel, Forest Service roads, far away from privately owned property.  The area you will cut in will not display signs indicating it is leased from the Forest Service, as a wood lot, or tree farm.  You look as you drive slowly along for areas which contain dead trees.  Trees which look discolored, with brown needles near the top or all the way down are a good indicator of this.   When you find a promising area get out and take a walk through the woods, with your saw.  If you are in hilly terrain be sure to find dead trees up hill from your vehicle, so you move the cut wood down hill to your vehicle.  Make the work as easy as possible for yourself.  Try to find dead trees as close to the road as possible. 

When you find a dead tree you want, take a good look at it first.  Check to see if it looks rotten.  Give it a kick.  Does it look sturdy?  Does the tree move at all?  Does it look like any branches are loose above you, that could fall down on you while you are working beneath the tree?  Look up in the direction you want to fall the tree to.  Is there a clear path for the tree to fall through, to hit the ground, without hitting any other nearby trees?  You can save yourself a lot of time and work, planning the direction the tree will fall, so it goes down hill toward your vehicle, without hitting any other trees, and getting stuck in their branches. 

When you have done all the planning, fell the tree carefully.  If needed, use a falling wedge and axe.  When the tree is down on the ground safely, cut off all the branches.  Next cut the trunk into 3 to 4 ft lengths.  This will depend on how big and heavy it is.  You will be flipping these lengths of wood toward your vehicle.  When you have all the wood close to your vehicle cut it into the size pieces your heater will handle. 

Load up your vehicle.  Be careful not to overload it.  Drive carefully back home, keeping an eye out for other vehicles.  Your vehicle will react slower when loaded. 

Before piling the wood in a woodshed or wood pile, split each piece in half, so it will dry faster.  Keep the wood sheltered from rain and snow.  If not piled in a woodshed, cover the wood pile with plastic sheeting, which can be obtained from a hardware store. 

There is nothing finer than a wood fire, to heat your home.  It gives off a dry, rosy, comforting sort of heat.  Another great advantage to using wood is that it is low priced, compared to other types of fuels, especially if you go get it yourself.  

Deep Fryer - Pieces of Wisdom

We all know how to deep fry food in a domestic situation but deep frying commercially is a different matter.  The process is described here as are the Deep Fryer cook's safety tips.

For a time I worked in a convenience store as a clerk and cook and I used a deep fryer quite a bit for cooking battered chicken and French fried potatoes. 

Of course the chicken doesn't start out battered.  It comes delivered frozen in big cardboard boxes.  Before the chicken is ready for the cooking part it must be prepared and time to thaw out.  Each piece of chicken is rinsed in cold water, then put in a vat of tenderising, salty water to soak for several hours in a refrigerated area.  It is again rinsed and kept cold, until needed for cooking. 

When needed for cooking the chicken is breaded in a special spicy flour mix, dipped in spice water, and breaded with mix again.  Each piece is than carefully placed in the boiling oil in the deep fryer; starting with the large, meaty pieces, and finishing with the thin bony pieces.  This gives the thick meaty pieces more time to cook.  They get the hottest oil in the pot to start off the cooking process.  The deep fryer is on a timer and part way through the cooking process the timer sets off an alarm which notifies you that it's time to stir the chicken, so it gets all sides cooked evenly, even the sides touching when first put in the fryer.  After stirring the chicken it cooks until the end of cooking cycle alarm goes off.  Then the pot elevator will automatically lift the cooking basket out of the hot oil, allowing the chicken to drip off the excess oil. 

The deep fryer also cooks French fried potatoes.  After cutting the potatoes into the elongated cube shape in a cutter, the fries are battered, dipped and battered again.  They then can be gently lowered in hands full, into the boiling oil.  The cooking is again controlled by a timer, which sounds when the cooking cycle has completed.   After 4 cooks the oil in the fryer needs to be filtered to clean it for future cooking cycles.  Another alarm indicates when oil filtering needs to occur.  

The heat on the oil is turned off, so the oil can cool down enough to work with.  The cooking basket is raised and removed from the fryer.  A valve is turned to allow the oil to drain down into the filtering drawer.  When the oil has drained the empty oil reservoir is brushed, including the heating coil element, to remove anything sticking to their surfaces.  A pump is turned on which circulates the oil repeatedly through the filter.  The filtering can take place for 10 or 15 minutes, depending how dark the oil appears in color.  When the oil has become lighter in color it is pumped back up to the oil reservoir, after the valve at the bottom of the pot has been closed.  The heating element is turned on and the oil is brought back up to cooking temperature.  The unpleasant part is scooping out the sludge at the bottom of the filter drawer.  Then the cleaned filter is dusted with a special powder, put back in its place under the fryer pot, and all is ready to go again.  

Yes the fryer does most of the cooking for you but watch out for the hot oil when loading the food into the cooking basket.  Even wearing rubber gloves won't stop the oil from burning you, should it splash on your hands as the food drops into the hot oil.  The secret is to be brave and gutsy.  Get the food close to the oil before you drop it in.  That way the splash is really small, and doesn't jump up to fry your wrist. 

Happy cooking.  Cook, but don't be cooked.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Plus Size Swimwear - Look Slimmer When You Wear It.

When you wear the right size plus size swimwear, you can actually look slimmer than you are. With plus size swimwear, ladies who are a little overweight can look their best and still enjoy the hot summer weather. Wearing swimwear that is too small shows out the bulges much more and makes them seem even bigger than they are. Plus size swimwear does not mean old-fashioned styles because plus size swimwear is available in all the latest fashions. It is often hard to find plus size swimwear when you visit a regular department store. All you can find on the racks are the tiny bikinis that probably wouldn’t fit around your leg. You start to wonder whether you are the only one that has this problem with the lack of plus size swimwear that is available. There are specialty stores that do carry plus size swimwear lines for women. Because this is often a special line that the store carries each year, it is very hard to find something unique. Most of the time, the swim wear is all the same color and style. And plus size swimwear may also be very expensive and this doesn’t fit in your budget. A lot of women want to find cheap plus size swimwear because they are buying it for a holiday and probably won’t wear it that often when they return home. You wear plus size swimwear on holidays, bring it home with you. One place where you will easily be able to find cheap plus size swimwear is at the online retailers. These retailers do not carry an inventory and most of them do not have a bricks and mortar store. When you place an order for plus size swimwear, you can get it cheap because the retailer doesn’t need to have as much mark up to make a profit. One advantage of ordering your plus size swimwear online is the wide variety you have to choose from. Online stores have plus sizes in swimwear from designers that would cost you a fortune at a regular store. This is one way you can have the latest fashions in the swim wear you choose and the prices are often so cheap, you might decide to buy two or more swimwear items. Finding plus size swimwear doesn’t have to be frustrating – do it at your own pace and time by shopping online. Plus size swimwear is good looking, fits you and is cheaper online.

Mold Test Kit – How It Can Help You get Rid of Your Mold

A mold test kit allows you to test your home to see if you have any toxic mold present. Since many molds are not toxic and therefore not dangerous to humans, it is important to be able to test for mold and find out if it is black mold. The test kits on the market today let you do this yourself without the costly job of calling in professionals to do it for you. The test kits for mold are easy to use and use the same procedure as the professionals do. With a mold test kit, you can really give your home a really good inspection. If you notice that there is mold growing in the basement or on a surface somewhere else in the home, you can just scrape off a small portion of it into a mold test kit. You do need to wear rubber gloves and a facemask, because if it is black mold, it could be very toxic. You can use a paint scraper to get the mold sample for the black mold test kit, but make sure that you disinfect it beforehand to make sure you won’t contaminate the specimen. Then all you have to do is close the cover on the mold test kit, print your name and address and the time and date you took the sample. You can bring the test kit to a lab to have the mold analyzed. Black mold test kits are not expensive to buy. You can easily pick up a mold test kit for about $15 and it only costs another $30 to the mold sample analyzed in a lab to see if it is toxic black mold. When you look at these prices, compared to what you would have to pay professional technicians to do the job, it is quite easy to be able to do the tests yourself. The hardest part of mold tests is trying to find out whether or not you do have mold in your home. When you can’t see or smell it, it is really hard to know where to look. Fortunately, there are mold test kits for this as well. This type of mold test kit comes with a petrie dish containing a disk. All you have to do is set the dish in an area where you think there may be mold and leave it there for about two hours. Then you close up the kit and let the disc incubate for 48 hours. When you reopen the mold test kit, if you notice there is a fungus growing on the disc, then you need to have it analyzed to see if it is black mold.

Fuel Economy And Personal Choices

Copyright 2006 Donovan Baldwin

I used to be an over-the-road, long haul truck driver.  For a while, I even owned and drove my own truck.  As an owner-operator, I became interested in fuel economy, and very aware of how personal choices can affect fuel economy and fuel costs.

I'm off the road now, although I still travel a great deal, mainly by car.  Like everyone else, I have listened to, and watched, news stories, discussions, and interviews on the present and future state of energy and energy sources.

As a business man and private citizen who travels extensively by car, both for business and pleasure, I am concerned about present costs and those which might be expected in the future.

Even more, however, I am becoming concerned about what might be my future, if I live long enough, and what will almost certainly be the energy future of my grandchildren, if not my children.  As a result of these concerns, I have begun to think more about the changes that I and others can make to alleviate some of the coming ecological and economic problems related to fuel.

Because of my experiences past and present, I have some thoughts on the subjects of travel, the operation of vehicles, and the modern driver.  I would like to make a couple of points, particularly as these subjects and fuel economy meet at the nexus of choice.

For years, I have watched drivers drive far in excess of the posted speeds or rational speeds for the conditions in which they found themselves.  I have witnessed several situations in which the driver created or arrived at a dangerous situation as a result of this need for speed and I have had several opportunities to view the sad results of these choices.  Many of these individuals will eventually either grow up or remove themselves from the gene pool.  In the meantime, they will continue to drive in this manner, and many will drive this way into old age.  I remember one long traffic jam in Utah that resulted from a driver's attempt to find out what his new Porsche "could do".  In the words of another truck driver on the scene, "It could kill him.  That's what it could do."

However, let's just talk about speed from the viewpoint of fuel economy.  I regularly see interviews with "the consumer" on TV.  Often these people are bemoaning the money they have to spend on fuel.  Daily, these people, or those just like them, blow down the road at high rates of speed when driving a few miles more slowly could result in appreciable real money savings, especially at today's fuel prices.  Many of these cars are hardly fuel efficient in the first place, and, when operating at such high speeds become super-gas-guzzlers!  Many of these people also rush up to stop signs and stop lights, maintaining their speed or accelerating until the last minute before treading heavily on the brake.  They seem to give no thought to the fact that accelerating to a place where you are going to have to stop is equivalent to throwing money out the window, not to mention simply wasting fuel and causing the next expensive brake job to arrive more quickly.  For many, the simple act of looking at what is happening ahead of them and removing their foot from the accelerator before arriving at a point where they HAVE TO STOP could result in savings in fuel and money.

There are many fuel efficient cars available, including a wide and growing range of hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius I recently bought.  But, there are a great many people who insist on purchasing gas-guzzling SUV's or so-called luxury vehicles, even when they are not needed!  I recently took a trip in my very comfortable Prius and averaged approximately 56 miles per gallon.  Interestingly enough, on the second day of my trip, I was passed by another Prius going about 70 miles per hour.  The owner had possibly bought a hybrid vehicle in hopes of saving money by improved fuel economy, but apparently chose not to change his or her driving habits (they went by too fast for me to see if it was a man or a woman driver) to get the maximum possible fuel economy.

I am sure that many SUV owners, as well as the rest of the public, wish they could save even a few cents on fuel.  Properly inflated tires can help do this as can properly maintained cars in general.  Every day, I see several cars with obvious low tires, and believe I can accurately assume that many drivers do not perform regular maintenance checks on their vehicles nor do they have regular oil changes done.

In an article I wrote about a year ago, I mentioned how a service station owner had pointed out to me years ago that his number of towing calls, tire sales, and vehicle repairs had increased since the advent of self-service gas stations and convenience stores.  Relatively few people then, and probably not so many today, performed the regular maintenance chores necessary for optimum vehicle life and efficiency, as well as fuel economy.

These are just a few choices each of us has almost every day.  Each is an opportunity to save money, lower personal expenses, and help, at least in some small way, to extend the dwindling resources available to all of us.  Accepting the responsibility to make these decisions and act on them as a mature and responsible individual is a way to reduce out-of-pocket fuel costs, as well as the depletion of a diminishing supply of petroleum for fuel and lubrication of our beloved vehicles.

Other choices we might make could include the use of synthetic lubricants, alternative fuels such as ethanol, particularly E85, or biodiesel.

Rather than simply demanding that the government should "do something", we should tell them what to do!  We can demand that they choose to help expand the development of renewable energy technology, synthetic petroleum substitutes, and alternative fuels while ending the appearance of collusion between government and oil interests.

Our choices, and those of business and government, will determine the future conditions of life on this planet, as well as the current condition of our personal finances.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pets: How to Take Care of your Dog

The Bond that can come between a person and a dog can be extremely strong, especially if that bond had been strengthened living with each other for many years, I have personally cried after loosing our family dog that had been like a best friend to me from my birth till I as 15 years old, when he was hit by a car one morning. Dogs serve many different needs for people. Some people get a dog because they are lonely and need a loyal friend or because they want a dog to protect the home. A dog that is taken good care of and given attention to regularly will give his life to help protect his home and his owner. For the blind a dog can be a pair of eyes to help them get around and for the police a dog can be an important tool and a loyal partner, with a nose that nothing can beat. The first thing you need to know about taking care of a dog is that dogs need lots of exercise. This is the same for large dogs and small dogs. All dogs need to be let out at least once every 8 hours and should given at least a 20 minute walk to give the dog some fresh air, exercise and a chance to relieve themselves. It is also important to play with the dog on a regular basis. This can mean going to the park on a weekend or day off and having a good game of fetch, tossing the ball around in your back yard or just wrestling on the ground with the dog, just make sure if you are ruff housing with a little dog that you don’t accidentally hurt the dog. Playing with the dog for a half hour a day, is not only good for the dogs physical health but a dig that is played with regularly is mentally healthier and less likely to become a depressed dog, it also lowers your blood pressure as well and it will form an unbreakable bond between you and your pooch, which will extend to your family if you should start having one after having the dog. What you feed your dog is very important to the dogs continued good health. The better dog foods will be marked for what are groups the food is appropriate for. Younger dogs need certain vitamins and minerals in larger amounts then an adult dog, and the same goes for an elderly dog they need more calcium in their food to help protect their bones and joints. Feeding your dog the wrong food can stunt the dog's growth and opens the dog to a larger risk of surgery when they are older. Just like a person a dog should be taken to the veterinarian's office every 6 months, and must receive their shots every year. Regular checkups and vaccinations will also help assure that your dog grows to be an old happy dog.

Fresh Inspirations: As You Like It

Copyright 2006 Melissa Galt

Do you have a useless niche, a room without a reason, an available closet? Transform it into a space with a purpose! No, of course, it doesn’t have to fit anyone else’s definition of useful, only yours, but let’s consider some fresh ideas . . .

Conversation Station: Finding yourself constantly on the phone but tired of using a cell phone or an ear piece? What about having a good old retro rotary dial or even just a normal sized cordless but in a designated niche just for calling? You can create a calling corner, as it were, beneath the stairs or even in a closet that isn’t storing useful goods. Consider adding a small desk complete with your choice of desk accessories, and I mean the good stuff. Go find a divine desk blotter, an old fashioned address book, a card holder, and even an inbox and outbox. It is a mini conversation station and a great way to renew the art of correspondence and keeping in touch.

Tis Better To Give and Give Beautifully: Whenever I have a gift to take I am always running about madly searching for the last bit of wrapping paper, tape, and scissors two minutes before I am to be out the door. How much nicer it would be to have a dedicated space stocked with creative wrapping elements and the room to use them. So consider devising your own gift niche. Even when going to a party and taking a bottle of wine, the presentation counts and so does originality and effort. Sure you can use one of those gift bags, but why not dress it up, personalize it with charms, sequins, notes and more all available at the local party supply store. If you regularly attend baby and bridal showers, anniversary celebrations, birthdays, and corporate shindigs, presents with all the trimmings really make a statement.

Zen for Better Balance: I actually know a couple of clients that have meditation rooms on their wish list, and what a great idea! A space of quiet and calm designed solely to wind down and synthesize the pressures of every day into positive energies for every life. It can include a chaise or day bed, or even just long floor cushions, an étagère with space for soothing elements of inspiration including crystals and scented candles. A mirror to witness your transformation, and a source of relaxing sounds or music are essential. Think of this as creating a way station for better balance and re-energizing.

Of course there are other rooms, niches, and nooks you can create; it depends on what you want. So take a good look around - is your house missing the haven you most want? Make it happen!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

How to buy a green Fridge Freezer

Many items that we take for granted in the home have undergone major design changes in recent years. Our understanding of those changes has sometimes failed to keep pace. Take the humble fridge freezer, for example. How should you go about examining the features of the various models that are available. To begin with, you need to understand the various features that are advertised by sales people in high street stores or described online. In the UK all fridge freezers are given an energy rating for starters but what do these ratings really mean? Fridge freezers will probably be one of the largest users of energy in your home - possibly second only to your central heating. This may come as a surprise! The reason why fridge freezers use so much energy is because they are switched on all the time - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Having an energy inefficient fridge freezer not only costs you money but also has an environmental impact. Until the last 5 years or so many popular brands were extremely inefficient. The new energy ratings, however, aim to show the consumer how various machines compare. They also help to name and shame brands who do not take the environment seriously. The ratings scheme grades every fridge freezer on the market, with an A++ rating being the most energy efficient rating available. The ratings scheme then moves down to A+, A, B and C (with C being the least environmentally friendly). So, put simply, aim for an A++ or an A+ energy rating if you want to be kind to the environment, while also saving some money on your electricity bills.

Find Great Furnitures for Your Home

Finding a perfect furniture for your home is never easy. You must plan what furniture to buy and how much it cost. First of all you must set the budget to buy the furniture. Second you must look at your room capacity.

You must know how much money do you have. If you have much money you can buy any expensive furnitures you can. If you have tight budget you must buy cheap furnitures. Don't forget to check the furniture's condition before you buy it especially when you buy expensive one.

After you set the budget, you must look at your room capacity, if you have a large room, you can buy big and many furnitures. If you only have small room, you must buy small furnitures. It is not good if your small room is filled by many furnitures.

After you know your budget and your room, you should find affordable furniture stores. You can buy furniture online, phone order, or come to their store. It is better if you come to their offline store. You can look the real furniture condition in there.

Bed room furniture is one of room which need good furniture to fill. For bedroom furniture online store you can try, you can find many great furnitures for your room. You can look for beding, mattresses and more. With a good of a <a href="">lamp set</a>, your bed room will great.

Kitchen furniture also great room to express your idea. <a href=""></a> is good online web store you can try to buy. They have many good furnitures, grill rack, stool, cookware, dinnerware and many more.

I hope with your new furnitures you life will be better.

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to Buy a Funeral or Cremation Urn

Buying an urn is something most people hope they never have to do. Unfortunately, at some point in our lives we will probably have to purchase an urn or a casket for a loved one. Here are a few things you will want to know. First, what happens if you go to a funeral home or cremation society and decide not to purchase an urn from the selection that is offered? In that case, you will receive your loved on in is a very unattractive plastic or cardboard box. It is estimated that 50%-70% of the time people leave a funeral home with this minimum option. It makes no difference if you spend $500 or $1,800 on the cremation, the boxes look the same. Many people are shocked when they go to pick up the ashes of a loved one and get a plastic or cardboard box back. The ideal combination for selecting an urn is one that can be personalized or in some way is reflective of the person’s life inside as well as being practical for what you plan to do with the ashes of the deceased. What you need to think about is; what do you plan to do with the remains? Here are a few of your options: 1. Bury the ashes. 2. Scatter the ashes. 3. Leave them in your home until you make a decision or until you die and someone else will have to decide what to do with them. 4. Put them in a niche in a mausoleum. 5. Divide the ashes up among family members. 6. Travel with the urn to a memorial service and then do one of the above. If you plan on burying the ashes you will want to check with the cemetery and see if they have a requirement. There are a few “Green Cemeteries” in the country that only allow biodegradable urns. Many cemeteries will have guidelines for you to follow. Scattering ashes can be a delicate art. There are plenty of stories of people placing the ashes off of boats only to have the wind blow the ashes back into the person’s face. This can also happen in aircraft. While the urn will not do much to prevent that, you may want to consider a biodegradable bag if you plan to place the ashes in a lake, stream or ocean. This way you will not have a problem with wind or waves and the same time you won’t be harming the ecosystem. When selecting an urn for scattering, you may want to consider a memory chest or an urn that can hold photos and other mementos. Again, if you use a biodegradable bag you can keep the urn to hold keepsakes. There are some urns on the market that are designed to be used in water. You can do an internet search or ask your funeral director for assistance. If you are scattering on someone else’s property you will want to get permission if you would like to do it the legal way. You may also need a permit. Personally, I’ve spoken to many people that do their own thing with remains and it’s basically don’t ask and don’t tell. If you plan to take the remains home, you will obviously want to choose a safe place out of reach of young children or pets. You may also consider the weight of the urn. Some bronze urns can be very heavy, and if you need to dust around the urn or move it consider the weight. Another thing to consider, what would you like done with the ashes after you are gone? You may want to mention this in your will or put a note on the bottom of the urn. If you have chosen a mausoleum, you will want to place a call to get their guidelines. Many mausoleums will not accept wooden urns or anything besides plastic, ceramic or metal. You will also want to play close attention to size. Each niche has a specific size and you will want to make sure the urn you select fits inside the urn. You may also consider having the urn engraved or somehow personalized. If a natural disaster were to occur it is more likely that the remains will be identified if the urn is personalized. Should you plan to share the ashes with loved ones, you will want to choose smaller urns or boxes for the remains. The ashes should be placed in a small zip lock bag and then into the smaller urn. Usually you will have one larger urn and a few smaller urns depending on how many people have expressed interest in receiving part of the ashes. Options like pieces of blown glass and even diamond rings are available that have the ashes put into the piece. If you plan to travel on a commercial airplane with an urn, you will want to make sure the urn is Transportation Security Administration (TSA) compliant for travel. Urns should not be made of metal due to the Transportation Security Administration's new procedure on the transport of crematory containers as carry-on baggage on airplanes. Passengers may still carry-on crematory containers, but they must pass through an X-ray machine. If an urn is made of metal or is metal-lined, it will show up as opaque on X-ray machines, preventing the security screener from being able to see what is inside - an obvious security risk. Please review this site for more detailed information Also consider who will see the urn. Will the design look dignified and respectable at a life celebration or memorial service? You may want to consider materials that are soft to the touch and colors that are soothing and up-to-date. Finally, think about price. How much would you like to spend? You may want to ask the Funeral Director if they have a variety of catalogs that you could look through and you will want to check on the internet where you will find urns in many materials, designs and prices. In summary, while it is never an easy decision choosing the right urn, by following these guidelines hopefully the process will be a bit easier.

Making a game of moving

Just over a week ago I was told I had to pack up and move yet again to another apartment. This brings the number to 3 times in only a year and a half. Needless to say I was not too happy. It became evident to me that the more I resisted the idea, the worse I felt about it, so I decided to go with the flow and make my move into an exciting game. I started looking forward to the move, was excited to see my new apartment, used the opportunity to get rid of clutter and was able to support a charity in the process. My move truly turned out to be quite an adventure and a great learning experience. When the movers knocked at my door it had started snowing heavily and there was not a single sole who could speak English. However this did not dampen my spirits and we managed very well. It turned out that I found some very willing translators, all the administrators were very understanding and the movers were extremely speedy and efficient despite the weather. Four days later I was completely moved, unpacked and settled in. My phone was reconnected, I had high-speed Internet access, the TV cable guys arrived a day early and I was once again part of the “real world”. I can honestly say that it could not have gone more smoothly had I been in my home country. On reflection I noted that life is life wherever we are. We could be in Korea, South Africa or the USA, but life situations happen on a daily basis. In essence this is the very nature of life. There is no escaping it. But, what we often fail to recognize is that it is during these life situations that we are presented with the opportunities that help us to grow and become better people. When obstacles present themselves, ease and facilitate an easy transition or find a solution by asking “How can I make this work?” and not “Why is this happening to me?” One of the things that disempowers us in life is when we take ourselves too seriously. We could lighten up a bit, have more fun and enjoy things more. Treat life like a game. This does mean to undermine the seriousness of certain events, but when we view life as a game, we are able to be more effective in finding solutions and enjoying the process. When I decided to treat my move as a game and adventure, miracles happened. People went out of their way to help me, I moved into a dream apartment and I now wake up in the morning with a view second to none. Quote of the week “Life is a challenge, meet it! Life is a dream, realize it! Life is a game, play it! Life is Love, enjoy it!” Sri Sathya Sai Baba This weeks challenge How would you feel about “playing the game”? Use this tool with a life situation this week and if you have difficulties in taking this approach, ask yourself this one question: “What is the worst thing that could happen?”

Father's Day Gift Ideas Anything But The Necktie

Poor old Dad. Did you know that more collect calls are made on Father' Day than any other day of the year? Alright Mom's before you laugh too hard, Mother's Day is right behind at number 2. So maybe you've decided you're going to make up for all those bad neckties you gave dad when you were younger, and let's not forget the time you left the garage door open and it rained on all of his tools.

Like most holiday's Father's Day gift giving ideas have gotten much more sophisticated in recent years, here are a couple of ideas to get you in the right frame of mind. Is your Dad a big golf fan, if he is, how about some personalized golf balls or club covers. That's something he can show off to all his buddies at the course. If your Dad's not the athletic type but more of grill master there are some other great gift ideas you may want to think about. Why not find some gourmet bar-b-que sauces flavors from Europe, the Mediterranean, and Asia are starting to become very popular nowadays. If your Dad is more of a traditionalist how about a smoker box for his grill. Find some exotic flavors like apple or peach wood to make thing interesting. If money's no object look into one of the bar-b-que camps that are popping up across the country. Think of it as a spa-vacation where dad gets cooking tips from a famous or celebrity chef.

Let's say you're really ready to kick things up and money's no object, then why not consider race car school. They come in one or two day packages with professional race car drivers. Then Dad gets to take an actual stock car for a few laps around around the famous racetracks you see on TV. Some schools are now offering exotic cars like Lamborghini's and Ferrari's as well. But what if your Dad really has the need for speed, then you air combat. Retired military aircraft pilots take you up jets and through a series of white knuckle maneuvers and acrobatics, and throw in some simulated air to air combat. This one is sure to put a smile on Dad's face.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Gambling Horoscopes Help you Win

Many people believe that by using astrology you can tell your future, and maybe it can not, but by following the advice given in Horoscopes many people find great luck, so how else can it be explained. This phenomenon can be explained by the fact that if you believe it is true that you will have good luck on a certain day you probably will. This does not mean that the prediction was right, but if you believe good things are going to happen to you at work, in your personal life or in a casino, you will give off a positive energy that attracts other positive energies and this will help good things happen. Some people do not believe this theory either. They feel that if you believe good things are going to happen and they do it is because you were in a better mood and making better decisions which will bring about better results. No one can tell how exactly gambling horoscopes help a person win in a casino, but the fact remains that they do help people win all the time. Studies have been done to try to show exactly how horoscopes work, but no one has ever been able to come up with an explanation that seems believable. All they have been able to show is that the more you believe the better and more accurate the predictions will be. This may be because if you really believe in the accuracy of the gambling Horoscope you will find things that you rationalize to make fit into the horoscopes prediction. No one has ever been able to find any reason any form of prognosticating works, but people do believe in it and it is that belief in it that seems to make the things come true. Studies have been done in the past and have proven beyond doubt that a person who has a more positive outlook will tend to have better luck and will generally be a happier person; where as a person with a negative outlook will constantly have negative events take place around them. The only explanation scientists have ever given for this is to say that the average human only uses 10% of the brain and that the explanation for these events is hidden in the 90% of the brain we do not use, and that maybe if and when we learn the secrete for unlocking these areas of the brain we will then be able to get a better understanding of how all types of psychic predictions work. But until then all I can tell you is that if you believe that the prediction will come true then it will come true. By reading your horoscope and waiting until it says you will have a good day, then going to the casino to do some gambling you will greatly increase your chances of having a winning day and the more you believe it will happen the more it increases your chances of being successful.

Laughter: Use It to Pick Up Women

Humour, some say, is the fruit of life, and this is especially true when it comes to picking up on a girl no matter where the location. Make them laugh, and I guarantee, that you are very close to getting their phone number and even to getting them to go out with you. But, as we all know, making them laugh, is easier said than done. Precisely for those who find it difficult to come up with something funny to say, I am adding some funny anecdotes and wise cracks that you can memorize and then use in those situations where you need to get the girl in front of you to laugh. 1) The Prescription: Did you hear of the lady, who walked into the pharmacist and asked for arsenic? The man behind the counter asked in wonder, "What do you need that for? The lady calmly replied," to kill my husband." The pharmacist was taken aback," Are you crazy? Do you want to get us both into jail? And, anyway, why do you want to kill him? Go to a counselor. Get help for your marriage." The lady paused and from her purse she removed a set of pictures of her husband and the wife of the pharmacist in some very creative postures. The pharmacist looked at the snaps, put them down and smiled," lady, why did you not tell me that you have a prescription?" 2) The Tip Book A wife calls out to her husband, "Have you seen the book, 101 Tips to Live for More Than a Hundred Years? The husband sheepishly replies, "I burnt it." "What?" the wife shouted out," why?" The husband whispered back," Because your mother wanted to read it." 3) Range of Food Looking at his wife fry meat balls in all kinds of shapes and sizes, Tom tapped her on the shoulder, "Why?" His wife turned," Because you asked for a variety of food." 4) Mushrooms Tom was picking mushrooms from the forest floor with his wife, when she picked up one and showed it to Tom," Is this for eating?" Tom smiled," Yes. As long as you do not cook it." 5) Driving Around Tom greeted his wife when she returned home," So, my dear, how was your first time driving all alone?" His wife smiled coyly, "Do you want to hear it from me or read about it in the papers? 6) Drama A couple are watching a film in their local theater when the wife snuggles close to her husband and points to the screen," Do you think that they will get married in the end?" The husband sighs," Yes. These movies always have bad endings." 7) The Library Tom visited the local library, walks up to the librarian and asks, "Do you know where I can find the book, the Supremacy of Men over Women?" The librarian conducts a short search on the computer and looks up," you will be able to find it in the science fiction." Conclusion: While some of these might sound offensive, if you use them well you will be able to display not just a sense of humour, but also that you are exactly the opposite of the stereotype. How? Immediately, after you done, lean over and whisper, But I am not like that, and if you allow me to take you out, you will see that for yourself.

Five Questions To Consider When Shopping For The Perfect Gift

When buying a gift for someone, try to make sure the gift would be something that person would like. Never go out and buy just any gift. Your goal is to make sure the person would see the gift as a present that someone took the time to buy and think about.

For example if you know a person does not like fishing but you see some fishing rods on sale, don't buy one just to get your gift shopping done. Ask yourself some questions about the person you're buying for that will give clues as to how to find the perfect gift for them.

Here is a list of 5 questions to consider when looking for a perfect gift.

1. What does the person like to do? This is probably the most important question to ask yourself. For example if he or she liked boating, look for gifts in a nautical theme. Or if family was most important to that person, buy them a picture frame for their favorite photographs. A great gift idea for a person who likes to cook can be a selection of the newest kitchen gadgets.

2. Where does the person hang out? This is a great way to get ideas. If the person likes to go to baseball games, you can get them a gift having to do with their favorite teams such as a jersey or cap. If a coffee shop is their favorite hangout you could buy them a gift card or a coffee lovers gift basket. Use the places you know they visit as clues to what they like.

3. How would the person use the gift? You have to make sure the person has the capability of using the gift. For example if the person lives in Florida, don't buy them skiing equipment. Try some beach equipment or tropical themed items.

4. Why would the gift make this person happy? Think about what the person finds enjoyable. If the person likes reading, buy them a book on their favorite hobby or a gift card at a local book store such as Barnes & Noble or Borders. If that person is happiest riding around in their car, you could buy them a car related item such as car seat covers or car cleanup kit.

5. Who would the person use the gift with? If the person likes to be by themselves, a board game would probably not be a good gift idea. Look for something that they could enjoy themselves such as a movie or music. On the other hand, the perfect gift idea for someone who always has a lot of people around just may be the latest board game.

A fantastic place to look for great gift ideas is the internet. There are plenty of sites that will give you great gift ideas. You can actually buy the items online or maybe you prefer to do your gift shopping at the local mall. Whatever the case remember that the little things you consider about the person will make a big hit in the perfect gift you select.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

More People Sing In The Car Than In The Shower

When you're driving down the road with the music turned up and your favorite tunes piping through the speakers, do you feel compelled to sing? If so, you are like the majority of Americans who tend to break out into song while cruising in their cars. In fact, according to the Music in Motion survey of more than 1,000 U.S. drivers, conducted by Directive Analytics and commissioned by Auto Expressions™, a leading brand of automotive accessories and car care products, more than nine out of 10 Americans sing in their cars...that's more than the number of people that sing in the shower! Who are the car crooners? The survey revealed that redheads, not blondes, have more fun singing in the car, since 53 percent of redheads always sing in the car. The survey also discovered that women, more often than men, sing in their cars; however, both men and women born under the Aries astrological sign are more likely to sing in their car than any other sign. Capricorns are least likely to attempt to carry a tune while driving. What are they singing? The preferred genres of song for the car crooners are rock songs, followed closely by music from the '80s and pop music. However, country songs top the charts for older Americans who exercise their vocal cords behind the wheel. What are their cars like? Car manufacturers may want to consider renaming SUVs to "Singing Utility Vehicles," since the survey found that drivers of these types of cars tend to sing the most. Car crooners also enjoy having a fragrant, organized "stage" since four out of 10 car stars have air fresheners and organizers in their cars. Turn It Up and Win Are you looking for more ways to sing in the car? Now through September 29th, or until supplies last, look for specially marked packages of Auto Expressions™ Vent Fresh® adjustable air fresheners to find a "Turn It Up and Win" scratch-off game piece. Five lucky Grand Prize winners will receive an Alpine music car makeover and 200 First Prize winners will receive an Apple iPod Nano 4GB. All game pieces, whether you are a winner or not, may be redeemed at the iTunes® Music Store for a free song download.

Keeping Firewood Safe and Dry

One of mankind’s earliest learned achievements was the ability to make fire around 800,000 years ago. Although many varied alternatives to creating heat and light have been invented, the fire remains prevalent and is used both practically and to entertain. Along with oxygen and heat, a burning material is needed for fire to take place and the most common material is wood. Once chopped, firewood needs to be stored in a cool and dry place to ensure that it burns to its optimum ability. Inside the home this is easily achieved as it is sheltered, but when stored outside a problem arises. There are several designs of outdoor log storage devices on the market ranging from wicker baskets to wooden racks and covered compartments. All styles can be used both indoors and outdoors to protect the wood from mould and damp adequately although wicker baskets should be kept under a shelter. Firewood racks are typically two planks of wood which make up the base, with supporting ‘book end’ style planks at either edge, which allow the logs to be stacked up the middle. With no sides, a through breeze can be created, which stops the wood suffering from a stuffy environment and stops fungi and mould particles from settling. These styles of firewood storage are usually made from woods such as cedar or cypress as they contain their own natural resins and oils, which protect the wood from weathering and repel pests such as termites and moths. It may seem as if the properties of a wood rack are not particularly important considering its’ structure is open plan, but this is not the case. If the firewood that you are storing develops mould or fungi then the solution is simple- just throw it out. However, if the firewood rack itself becomes infested with bugs or mould then the problem is permanent, and will transfer onto any wood that you store inside it. One way to fully ensure that a firewood rack remains durable and dry is to treat it with a specific varnish. This seals the wood from the elements and is for best results repeated every couple of years. Non-wooden firewood racks are also a popular choice, made from steel tubing which is light yet just as strong as wood. This choice doesn’t look natural as wood does, but it does fit in with modern surroundings and doesn’t require treatment. Racks are available in all sizes, from small which suits an average living room fireplace to industrial. Specially fitted canvas covers are available to fit neatly over a firewood rack so that rain, sleep, snow and hail simply rolls off the top leaving the wood underneath untouched. Each corner of the canvas slots over the corners of the rack so that it doesn’t slip off. Whether you have an outdoor fire or indoor furnace, a firewood rack is incredibly useful in keeping the fuel neat and tidy, saving the user the hassle of making sure they stack up properly.

Finding That Perfect Happy Birthday Card

If you've never tried sending happy birthday cards online, that next special birthday of someone you know is your perfect opportunity. Check out what the Internet has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

Unless you're still a kid, that inescapable yearly occasion they call, the birthday, can get a little redundant. Once you hit your forties and fifties, the routine becomes all too familiar. There's another year that just whizzed by. They always go by faster as you age. Wel...

If you've never tried sending happy birthday cards online, that next special birthday of someone you know is your perfect opportunity. Check out what the Internet has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

Unless you're still a kid, that inescapable yearly occasion they call, the birthday, can get a little redundant. Once you hit your forties and fifties, the routine becomes all too familiar. There's another year that just whizzed by. They always go by faster as you age. Well, regardless of when you were born, you know that you can always count on happy birthday cards. These sometimes inspiring, little birthday wishes can make your day. Let's face it, we all want to be remembered on our birthdays.

Ever since I was a small child, I can recall getting birthday cards. No offense to my Mom and Dad, but they were typically pretty corny. Come on, you know the ones. As I grew older, I realized that it was now my responsibility to remember the birthdays of others. This was a problem. I was terrible at remembering the birthdays of my family and friends, and forget the happy birthday cards. If you're like me, you made that late phone call one too many times, regarding a birthday that happened the previous day. Well, fortunately this does not have to be a constant problem any longer.

The prices have gone up. You can send that special birthday wish on your computer for free. The cool thing about these happy birthday cards is that they can even be animated. That's much more fun than receiving the old-school paper cards via snail mail. In addition, this new way to send happy birthday cards only takes a minute. No matter what time of day, you can send it instantly through your email account. No more worrying about the card arriving on time.

Happy birthday cards were always available at the drug stores. Someone is getting older, you head to the drugstore to get a card, but then you forget to send it or you mail it too late. If this is your problem, then check out the happy birthday cards online. You no longer have to rely on the store down the street.

Today you can send electronic happy birthday cards. Believe me, this is a truly great invention. If you have a home computer and Internet connection, jump online and check out the different ways you can send happy birthday cards via email. Don't bother with the hassles of stamps anymore.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Home Entertainment Centers

Therefore, it is very important to plan the allied furniture very carefully keeping in mind all the roles performed by it. The home entertainment centers hand out the twin purpose of providing a room for electronic equipment and optimizing space efficacy. Other than the electronic components, few addition items like decorative pieces and books can also be kept their. The central point of a home entertainment center is Television. Therefore, it is very important to decide on the entertainment center if you desire to buy any TV. You have to think on the size of the television which can vary from 29 inch TV to a home theater. Like if you buy a home theatre, you can not even think about the small entertainment system. Actually, the finest option is to purchase a system which aligns to a wall of your room so that it can serve as the affix position around which all the other furniture of the living room which includes the sofas also can be placed. Sufficient space should be provided for wiring in order to install the speaker systems so that it gives an entire theater effect. Adequate store space furniture is a huge investment in a home to systemize and cope with varied entertainment requisite for different family members and the style of room setting. Each and every family’s requirement for organizing the home entertainment gears is diverse and the final selection depends on the lifestyle, budget and the type of home. The styles for the home entertainment center are very diverse to suit and fit into the living room, entertainment center or the family room, from handsome contemporary to elegant classic and for together decorative and practical purpose. For audio visual systems, there is choice for concealed cabinets, open shelves or partly open models. Some people prefer hiding the entertainment equipments completely while others prefer a mixture of looks and convenience. The cabinets are made of either glass or wood. Some cabinets also provide storage space for books, CDs, DVDs and other accessories. Before buying on the furniture for your home entertainment center, be sure to measure the available space in your home. This ensures that you don’t end up buying furniture which is either too small or too big. If you are getting custom made furniture, it is better to call the furniture designer to take the measurement. The furniture for the home entertainment center should not only be high on style and design, but it should also have high quality craftsmanship. Great craftsmanship ensures that the furniture you buy for your home has a longer lifespan. There are various websites that offer great range of home entertainment furniture at special rates. Also they constantly update their products. These websites offer a nice option for the customers to buy the best of furniture at a lower price.

Home Remedy Treatments For Head Lice

Over the past several years there has been some speculation about the toxicity of “over the counter” and prescription head lice treatments. Some doctors believe that too much toxin makes it into the blood stream when using these types of treatments; this is especially true for children, and pregnant women. The level of toxins that could make it into the blood increases with repeated use, which may be necessary in the case of a re-infestation. Another drawback to these “over the counter” and prescription head lice treatments is that the lice are becoming resistant to the pesticides in the treatments. This often results in either the treatment not working at all, or a very quick re-infestation. As a result of the toxins in the treatments, and their increasing inability to kill lice, many people have turned to home remedies. While healthcare professionals have recommended some of these home remedies, others have been used for years as a treatment for head lice. Mayonnaise: Pediatricians often recommend this treatment as an alternative to commercial treatments. Saturate the hair with real mayonnaise, and cover the head with a shower cap. Let the mayonnaise sit in hair for at least eight hours and then wash out. After washing the hair, carefully run a nit comb through the hair to remove lice and nits. The treatment should be repeated every few days for about a week and a half. Listerine: Saturate hair with Listerine and place shower cap on head; leaving it place for at least 2 hours. After this, rinse hair and comb with metal nit removal comb. All lice should be dead at this point. Next you will need to saturate the hair with white vinegar, and again place the washed shower cap on the hair for 1 hour. After 1 hour, you can remove the shower cap to shampoo and condition hair. Again, comb hair with the nit removal comb. Coconut Shampoo & Tea Tree Oil: Use equal amounts of tea tree oil and shampoo. Lather through hair and then use a shower cap. Let the mixture set on the head for at least two hours before rinsing. Apply a coconut conditioner, and carefully comb hair with a metal nit removal comb. Use this treatment at least three times over a two-week period, making sure to comb through the hair each time. Wash all bedding, as well as coats and scarves, and soak combs, brushes, and other hair items in boiling water.