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How to Measure Your Carpeting Costs before Choosing the Right Carpet

In this article we will talk about how you can do the work yourself and save big money.

Home Remedies - How To Remove Stains from Your Carpet

Maybe we can pick up a tid bit or 2 that will help us out as well. So without further growling let's get on with it and see what they are.

Miter Saw Reviews: Read My Review of the DeWalt 713 Compound Miter Saw

Enter now my review for the master craftsman carpenter in your home. My review of the Compound Miter Saw.

See Practical Ways to Furniture Upholstery Cleaning and Upholstery Fabrics

In this article I want to give you some practical ways to keeping your upholstery clean.

Discover Variations of Outdoor Carpeting on Your Deck or Patio

In this article we'll take a look at the different variations of outdoor carpeting that is available to you. This will be a benefit to you, if you are thinking of covering your:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Simple Effective Artwork Create Striking Art

automobile airbrushing
There are myriads of types of art. Art work such as wall art, painting, crocheting, and the list continues on it seems forever. Did you know you can use your air compressor to create art? Sure ya can! I'll talk to you about it in this article.

Who's Who in Art

Who could we say the greatest artist in the world is today? There are many who we could say, are great artists in the world today. I think the answer to who is the greatest would ultimately have to be God.

All you have to do is just look around at the world you live in. It's pretty obvious. Nobody can top Him. In fact all that man can do is recreate what God has already done. But, in terms of human artists who could we say is the greatest?

It would be hard to say who is the greatest because of the diversity. The diversity of the different types of art that has been created. Some names that come to mind are..
  • Picasso - co-creator of the style of painting called Cubism
  • Leonardo da Vinci - The Mona Lisa
  • Michaelangelo - who painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling
  • Claude Monet - a leading figure in Impressionism
airbrush tigerYou May Be Next

To capture a few. These artists went on to change the way we view the world in lots of respects. But how about you? Do you have a little bit of artist in you? Perhaps you have great art ability. Maybe with drawing or canvas painting or watercolor painting.

Maybe your really good at creating posters, or your a really great tattoo artist. There is no lack in the human ability to create art.

Try Your Hand

As mentioned earlier, I want to show you a rather simple way to use your air compressor to create art. In fact you can even have your children creating masterpieces with this type of art work.

You have probably already seen and heard of this type of art work. It's called airbrush artwork. This is the same type of airbrush art that you see at the county fairs and flea markets and such. You can create customized t-shirts your kids will love.

airbrush beach scenery

And many other types of work like fabric painting, wall art, and you can even create beautiful pinstripes on your automobile with airbrushing as well as complete paintings on them.

Get The Right Tools

To do airbrushing you need a tool that easily hooks up to your air compressor and will blow a stream of paint anywhere from an eighth of an inch all the way to about 3 inches wide. Depending on the type of tip you have on the tool. That air brush tool is commonly known as an air brush gun.

Some of those are gravity guns and some are whats called siphon guns. The gravity ones have a cup on the top of them that you pour the paint into. The siphon guns have a bottle underneath the airbrush gun. The paint is siphoned by the air pressure.

Either way works very well. This particular way of creating art has made a lot of people a very good living. Airbrushing art is such a beautiful way to paint that it can be sold because of its attractiveness, beauty and popularity.

Multiple Ways and Styles

It can be done on many types of materials to make a truly beautiful work of art. Materials such as...
  • Ceramics
  • Metal
  • Wood
  • Stucco
  • And Plastic
airbrush clothingGet Your Family Involved

Just to name a few. With an air compressor and an airbrush tool the whole family can enjoy a new sense of artistry.

If you have an air compressor and have never thought about trying this kind of art work for your self, and would like to try your hand at it, I have found a very good quality airbrush tool set that is complete with all the tools you need to create beautiful works of art.

You can see it here.

Thanks or coming by...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Schedule to Keep Makita Blower Engine Clean

makita small engine
It is imperative to clean and maintain your tools in an orderly fashion. If you want your tools to work well and give you good service for many years, you should do this regularly. This prevents corrosion an premature break downs.

Especially where power tools are concerned. Any gas powered or tools with small engines, need to be inspected and cleaned and maintained at regular intervals. Not only for good continuous operating performance, but also for safety purposes.

This article will specifically focus on how to clean and maintain your Makita Gas Powered Leaf Blower. Focusing primarily on my reviewed product of the Makita model BHX2500CA Gas Powered 4-stroke CARB Compliant Blower. However, these procedures can be great reminders for all small engines as well.

If you purchase this fine model blower, it would be of benefit for you to come back to this website and print this article off and staple it to your garage or shed wall. That way you'll always have these points right in front of you to help remind you and guide you in the maintaining of your Makita Blower.

Let's Get Started

For the Makita Blower there are 4 primary things that need to be done regularly.
Those things are...
  • Changing the Engine Oil
  • Inspecting and Cleaning the Air Filter
  • Checking and Changing the Spark Plug (if needed)
  • Cleaning the Fuel Filter & Replacement (if needed)
When you purchase your blower and its brand new, the first recommended time for change of the oil is after the first 20 hours of operation. You should use SAE 10W-30 weight oil. The same you would use for your automobile, as it is a 4- stroke motor. Here are the procedures for that:
  • Confirm that the gas tank cap is tightened securely
  • Loosen and remove the oil cap
  • Tilt the engine to the blower port side and drain
  • Stand the engine back up vertically
  • Refill oil
Make sure to snuggly tighten the oil cap as it contains the oil gauge. The next oil change and all subsequent changes should be every 50 hours of operation. Also use an appropriate container to drain the oil into. Next up is the Air Filter. You should inspect and clean the filter every 10 hours of operation. These are the procedures:
  • Remove the air cleaner cover bolts
  • Pull the lower side of the cover and detach it
  • Make sure to turn the choke lever to the full close side
  • Inspect the filter element, it should be clean with a slight oil film to it
makita blower maintainance

For heavy oil contamination and dirt, clean with gasoline. As gasoline is a hydro-carbon and will cut through the oil acting as a degreaser. After cleaning the element, let it dry, and place a small amount of clean oil, about 2-3 drops, and work it in to the element with your hands. Leaving a small film of clean oil in the element. Continue on...
  • Clean the element felt with gasoline if needed
  • Clean the air filter cover
  • Attach the cleaner cover and tighten with the bolts
  • When remounting place the upper claw first then the lower claw
Next check the Spark Plug of the motor. The spark plug should be checked about every 100 hours of operation. The procedure is as follows:
  • Locate the plug cover
When opening the cover, apply fingers to the main handle and plug cover projection. Push up the projection and slide the cover in the “OPEN” direction.
  • Remove the spark plug using the box wrench that came with your tool kit
  • Check the electrode of the plug
Check the gap between the electrodes with a spark plug gap tool. The gap should be between 0.7 - 0.8mm. Adjust if necessary. If there is heavy contamination of the electrodes, then replace it with NGK-CMR6A or equivalent. Otherwise...
  • Re-install the plug and snug it down with your box wrench
When closing the cover, slide the cover in the “CLOSE” direction till the click under the plug cover projection rides over the engine cover. Finally, push in the projection. Next check the Fuel filter and clean or replace if necessary. This should be done about every 10 tanks of gasoline. These are the procedures:
  • Remove the fuel tank cap, drain the fuel to empty the tank
  • Check the tank inside for any foreign materials. If any, make sure to clean these out
  • Pull out the fuel filter with wire through the oil filling port
  • If the fuel filter surface is contaminated, clean it with gasoline
  • Reset the fuel filter in the fuel tank and tighten the fuel tank cap firmly
A clogged oil filter may cause difficulty of startup or failure of engine speed increase. Make sure you perform this as it is important. Now, here also is the proper way to store your Makita Blower for the winter months and beyond.

This is commonly called "winterizing." This should be done whenever you're storing any small engine for a long period of time without use. Start the winterizing by removing all the gasoline from the engine. Remove the fuel filter by the earlier instructions. Push the primer pump until all gas is removed from there. makita quiet and efficientReset the fuel filter in the tank and tighten the cap. Try to start the engine up. If it starts, let it run until it stops.

Remove the Spark Plug per the earlier instructions. Place about 5 drops of clean oil into the cylinder. Gently pull the starter handle about 3 times so the oil will spread around the cylinder walls. Re-install the spark plug and store your Makita Blower in a dry place. Your good to go!

The Wrap

I know this is a hard schedule to keep up with. But, I promise you, that if you keep as close to it as possible, your Makita Leaf Blower will last you many, many years beyond what you thought possible. I hope that this article is of benefit to you.

Thanks for coming by...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leaf Blower Reviews: My Review of the Makita 4-Stroke Gas Powered Leaf Blower

Today Makita is a top of the line tool company. The Makita Tools company has every kind of tool just about that you can think of. Power tools are their specialty. Here it is August already and its hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks the swimming pools will be closed again for another year.

Seems like summer just started yesterday. As they say when you get older, "time flys". And it's true! Since in just 6 weeks we'll be entering the fall time of year, I felt a good product for review that is usable by everyone would be a leaf blower.

Everybody has trees and raking leaves is no fun. In fact its work. Depending on how many trees you have and how large your property is tells you how much that work will be.

The leaf blower is a valuable tool for both the home owner and the commercial landscaper as well. As for how my criteria for reviews goes, I looked at many different makes of leaf blowers. For you, what I look for is quality, yet in a price range affordable for everyone.

Now, there are many price ranges for leaf blowers and types. The primary types
  • Electric Powered
  • Gas Powered
  • And Back Pack style
After searching through many of these types, I decided the best quality leaf blower for the money is the Makita BHX2500CA Commercial Grade 4-Stroke 24.5cc Handheld Blower (CARB Compliant).

This blower is very powerful and is a 4-stroke, so theres no need to add oil. As with a 2-stroke motor. This was an attractive feature to me and I believe it will be for you also.  So without any further rumblings, lets see what this puppy's made of....

A Quality Feature

The first thing you notice about the Makita leaf blower is that its CARB Compliant. Let's talk a little about what CARB Compliant is. CARB Compliant has to do with Emissions Requirement.  Like the emissions control on your car or truck.

CARB Compliant stands for the "California Air Resources Board." Which approved Tier III evaporative and exhaust emission regulations for small engines, less than 19 kW, on September 20, 2004. The regulations became effective on October 20, 2004.

This equates to a quality feature of this model of leaf blower engine. Not all Makita models have this technology. In fact not all leaf blowers, the gas powered type, have this technology from other manufacturers as well.

This makes the Makita Model BHX2500CA more attractive as per our quality criteria for this review.

Makita BHX2500CA Description

The Makita Leaf Blower has a cleaner-burning 4-stroke motor which means you don't ever have to mix oil with the gasoline any more. As opposed to the older 2-stroke technology, where you had to mix a 1:1 ratio of oil to gas before you could even use it.

makita handheld
The older 2-stroke engines give off way more emissions which is why they hardly will pass the CARB compliant requirements. This Makita model has the lowest weight in it's class for a 4-stroke, with more efficient performance.

Good for Your Home or Your Business

This Makita is engineered to be the best leaf blower in it's class, for your home or commercial projects. With it's 4-stroke, cleaner burning engine, Makita has shown it's commitment to innovative technology and engineering.

This is a very good quality unit, but you haven't seen the warranty yet. We'll get to that goodness in a bit.

Motor Features
  • Performance
The Makita BHX2500CA leaf blower boasts a powerful 24.5cc 4-stroke (as mentioned) motor capable of blowing air at speeds of 145 mph, with a maximum air volume (cfm) of 356. Folks, if you know anything about wind speed, this equates to hurricane and tornado force air blowing out of the nozzle of this thing. What does that mean to you? Simply, easier work in the fall!
  • Capacity
It has a large 17.6 oz fuel tank for longer runs around your yard before needing re-fueled. The fuel tank has easy access built on the right side of the motor. Just fuel up and git-r-done.
  • Efficiency
One of the nice features of the motor for this leaf blower is its low compression which makes for easier starting and improved design and, most important to you, making the Makita BHX2500CA very quiet at just 67 (dB(A)). Thats way less than what you listen to your music at I bet.
  • Versatility
At just 9.8 lbs weight, this Makita tools leaf blower is light enough to be moved in any direction. And as mentioned earlier with improved EPA standards all at the same time maintaining maximum performance standards. This Makita is a joy to own for your home or business.

More Attractiveness

One of the most important characteristics of this leaf blower is that it has a soft grip for less vibration, and a convenient cruise control lever for reduced operator fatigue. This is important because of comfortability.

And because it weighs just 9.8 lbs, the soft grip allows it to be carried for longer periods without having to change hands. Very nice!

Also in terms of maintenance, it has a dual stage air filter that is replaceable and easily accessible. This is important for maximum engine performance.

That Nozzle Thingy

makita best leaf blowerYeah, the part where the air comes out at. It has about a 2.5 foot re-enforced plastic, tappered nozzle. Coupled with the 145 mph force of air blowing outward creates almost jet powered force, will blow your leaves to not only where you want them but put them in a nice pile as well, in a matter of seconds.

Again making your job in the fall much, much easier. Which is what your looking for in a blower. Even moderately wet leaves can be blown with way more ease than raking them. This is a powerful benefit for you.

The Absolute Specs
  • Engine Displacement (cc) 24.5
  • Power (hp) 1.1
  • Max Air Volume (cfm) 356
  • Max Air Speed (mph) 145
  • Fuel Automobile Gasoline
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (oz.) 17.6
  • Sound Pressure (dB(A)) 67
  • Dry Weight (lbs.) 9.8
  • Shipping Weight (lbs.) 13.0

So What comes in the Box when I Receive It?
  • Long nozzle
  • Round End Nozzle
  • And Tool Kit.

Ok, thats all cool and all, but I want to see some Pro's and Con's? I knew you'd ask!

The User Pro's

  • Don't be fooled by the 145 MPH air speed from this tool. I thought it was going to be underpowered. But most leaf blowing tasks can be done at idle or 1/4 throttle. You can even blow away pesky cobwebs off windows and dry your car.
  • I ordered this to replace my 2 stroke leaf blower. When I heard these leaf blowers were available in four cycle I knew that is exactly what I wanted. For $199.00 I can tell you to buy this leaf blower.

Now some User Con's

  • Although this is the cheapest 4-stroke blower you can buy, I'm afraid you get what you pay for. Mine has always been extremely difficult to start, and with use only became more so.

Sounds to me like this poor fellow just didn't take the time to read the manual before using it. Especially if it was his first bad.

These were taken from users at Amazon. You can read more of them there for yourself. Click here.

Ok, alright, How about a Warranty? Doe's it have one? Oh boy, does it ever!

  • Every Makita 4-Stroke Product and Chain Saw is backed by Makita's 3-Year Warranty that covers repair due to defects in materials or workmanship up to three years from the date of original purchase.

hot girl makita blowerYa think ole boy up there that had some bad luck with his, was able to get his money back or get a new one? I think so. No problem...

How Much Should I Expect to Pay for One?

Right now, (as of the time of this writing)Amazon has the best price for one of these awesome leaf blowers. At just $199.00, you get all that you see above that comes in the box and the warranty. Great for a good quality 4-stroke blower.

And don't let me forget, as always at Amazon, there is Free Shipping. So couple the price, the outstanding warranty, and the Free Shipping together and what do you have? Simple, if you need or want a leaf blower, you have a no-brainer deal here.

Where's the Best Place to Buy One?

Well at Amazon this cool Makita Tools leaf blower has a 4.5 star rating. As well as they seem to have the best price going, I would say at Amazon. Click Here to see it and get yourself one today.

You can't go wrong with Makita Tools. Thats why I picked them over Stihl or some of the other brand names for this review.  It's top quality stuff. Only difference is the massive difference in price you'll pay for a Stihl verses the same quality here in a Makita. Check it and see, you see what I'm talking about!

Thanks for coming by...

Friday, July 22, 2011

How To Hook Up Your iPod to Your Computer and to iTunes the Correct Way

Here recently I've noticed that there are a lot of people who are asking questions about having problems with their operating system recognizing their iPod when they plug it in to their computer.

Also there is a problem that exists in getting itunes to recognize the iPod as well. Let me say that itunes from Apple is an awesome program for the iPod touch and iPad and even for your computer alone.

There are lots of neat features in itunes, such as syncing your iPod as well as getting music and even getting free podcasts of your favorite categories loaded on your iPod or Apple product.

Problems, Problems, Problems

Since there are so many people having these problems, I want to in this article to tell you the correct way to get it done and why you should do it this way.  First of all just installing i tunes on your computer is not the only thing you have to do and then just plug up your iPod or iPad.

It may work that way a few times but eventually there will be a problem.  Your computer may start to not recognize your peripheral.  Thats because you are doing it all wrong and the computer will begin to rebel or not see the unit.

Hard Lesson Learned

First, I'm going to share with you an experience I had a few years back and how I learned this lesson the expensive way.  Hopefully you'll read this article before you have to go through what I went through.

Now this happened to me because my house got broken into and my computer monitor was stolen.  Of course I had to replace it and that was the expensive part. When the perpetrator took my monitor, the computer was just in sleep mode.

It was still running with full power to it.  (I'm sure your familiar with what that is when you put your computer to sleep.)  Upon the removing of my monitor,  it subsequently fried my motherboard.  Rendering the computer a total loss.

When purchasing new parts for my computer, I asked the technician why just because the thief took my monitor did it fry the motherboard?  He proceeded to teach me that you should never unhook any peripheral while there is power to the system.  That is why your motherboard got fried.

iPod disk FunctionalityThat is equivalent and tantamount to having your arm amputated while still being awake.  To me it was a strange analogy, but I got the point.  That includes unhooking anything from the computer when there is power to it - or plugging anything up to it.

Now, I know today you can plug in a mouse or another USB component fairly safely while there is power to the unit.  But still you take a chance.  Its cheaper and easier to just shutdown the computer and reboot it back up.

The Correct Way

So now you see my point where iPods and iPads are concerned.  This I believe is more than half the problem why people are having a hard time getting their unit to be seen by the computer when they hook it up.

Always shutdown first then hook up the unit and then restart and your operating system should recognize it.

As for getting itunes to recognize the unit, the correct way to do that is to first download itunes and install it first, before hooking up the iPod or iPad.  After doing that then shutdown and hook up your unit.

Then start the computer back up.  Your iPod or other unit should show up in your windows explorer as another drive.  Such as drive F: for example.  If it shows up there then it most likely will be usable to itunes software.

iPod Disabled
If it doesn't show up in explorer, then most likely you are missing a driver file for the unit.  In this case you will have to search the internet for the correct driver. Possibly just go to or Microsoft to get these.      

You shouldn't have any problem with Windows 7, however if your running XP this may happen.  Again by not shutting down the computer first not only do you take a chance of ruining hardware but you stand a better chance of corrupting files to do with the system.

Listen to This Wrap Up 

So always shutdown then hook up or unhook, then start back up.  If you do these things the way I've laid them out here you shouldn't ever have a problem with your peripherals getting recognized.

This is the correct way to always hook up an iPod and other components!!

Thanks for coming by...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

iPad in The News: Apple will Introduce the iPad 2 Plus this Fall 2011

apple could release an ipad 2 plus this year
I love the Apple products, hence my review of the Apple iPod. They continue to lead the world with their high tech devices. One of the reasons they lead is because of their ability to cover all aspects of online technology right from one small device.

They seemingly stepped out of the desktop world of computing to the online mobile computing world with their devices. Of course when they introduced their touch screen technology with the iPhone and iPads their business just skyrocketed.

Then other companies followed suit to the touch screen technology and what you have is heavy competition in the market, with Apple always at the front leading the way.

Rumor Mill

In the ipad rumor here of late, Apple will bring out the next ipad called the iPad 2 Plus. It has been thought originally that Apple would bring out the iPad 3. But, according to industry analysts they will increase the power of the ipad 2.     

Some of the new features of this already incredible device are
  • The new OSX Lion version 5 operating system
  • 250 - 300 pixels per inch (ppi)resolution
The new operating system, as I wrote in an earlier article will have over 200 new features added to it. One of those standout features is the "Facetime" app that will allow users to see and talk to each other no matter where they are in the world.

ipad 2 plus gaming
Along with the OSX Lion operating system will be the increased resolution of the display on the ipad 2 plus. Making an already crisp viewing resolution even more defined.

Staggering Numbers

Some of Apple's stats for this year as far as sales of the device include:
  • 10 million units sold in the second quarter
  • 16.5 million units believed to be sold in the 3rd quarter
  • Total iPad builds of 32.5 million units during the first three quarters of 2011
With stats like those you can see why Apple leads the way in mobile computing devices.

steve jobs and the ipad 2 plusAlthough this is just speculation and rumor at this point, analysts believe this is the way Apple will go with the iPad instead of creating the iPad 3 or next generation ipad.

The Wrap

If your in the market for one of these incredible devices you can get your hands on one for the best price around.  Right here!

I'll keep you posted as time goes by on any new developments where the Apple products are concerned. So come by from time to time to find out any of these.

Thanks for coming by...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Awesome Pics: Gunstock, Woodcarving and Engraving

There are lots of different types of artistry around for most anybody.  Everything from drawing to painting, knitting to crocheting, fabric weaving to basket weaving, and the list goes on and on for artworks.  As well as the list for the names of famous artists.

One of my favorite types of art has always been the art of woodcarving.  I'm sure if you have any type of interest in woodcarving you have seen the guy who makes awesome carvings out of tree stumps.  Using a chainsaw to accomplish it with.  Very cool stuff.

However today I wanted to shine the light on a more smaller and tedious type of carving wood.  The type I'm talkng about is done on the butt of a rifle usually.  Gunstock woodcarving and engraving is an art form that there are few who can do it with good accuracy and precision because of the smaller area that there is to work on.

It takes steady hands like a Surgeons or Dentists and special woodcarving tools to create the woodworkers picture on the gunstock.  Not to mention practice, practice, practice.

I'm going to hold back on my long winded article writing, cause I really wanted to share some awesome pics with you, showing you some of the work of people who have done this type of art.  I hope you enjoy these pics as much as I have.

Note:  To see who the Artists are just place your mouse on the picture and see the pop-up.  Also you can click them to see a larger image of them individually.

a1gunstock from ccw hunting

buffalo head from lance larson studios

gunstock art from beauty from scratch

gunstock from bkartchnerstudios

gunstock art from carving dreams in wood

gunstock art from custom made

gunstock art from david stansbury

gunstock art from deb lindsay

gunstock art from deb lindsay

gunstock art from engraved occasions

gunstock art from lance larson studios

gunstock art from lance larson studios

gunstock art from lance larson studios

gunstock art from western rodeo association

gunstock art from steve bartholomew studios

Now thats some really great gunstock woodcarving and engraving artwork!  Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks for coming by...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ideas To Make Your Next Tailgating Grilling Party a Fun Time

tailgating party
With todays many different venues of activities such as Pro Sports, College Sports, Concert venues, even a day at the park picnic venue, the tailgate party has become synonymous with them all. Heck, tailgating is even fun to do in your own backyard for that matter.

If theres a reason to have a party then theres a reason to get your grill out and lower down the pickup tailgate and git-r-done. Along with your favorite beverage and good grilled food, theres plenty of great games to be played either while watching your big game or before it or even after it as well.

We all love to have a tailgating party and thats what I'll try to do in this article is give you some good ideas and maybe even some good recipes to help you have a more fun time at your next tailgate venue.

Tailgate Definition:

Just in case someone reading this has no idea what a tailgating party is, I'll give some definition as to its meaning to get them started. A tailgate party is an event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle. Usually a pickup truck is the norm, but it has been done also out of the back of SUV's, the trunk or on the hood of cars as well.

It involves grilling your favorite foods. Drinking your favorite beverage and that includes adult beverages. And playing your favorite tailgating games such as Corn Hole. These are usually held in the parking lots before sporting events. Basically a fun time!

So, people that party like this are said to be tailgating. Oh, and try not to confuse this type of tailgating to following to close to the vehicle in front of you. Also known as tailgating. Thats dangerous. We're talking about having fun here folks.

tailgate party
Social Event of the Day: 

I don't think its necessary to give you any ideas to the partying aspect of tailgating, most people already know how to party and have a good time. There are 2 ideas that I can help you with to make it more fun and interesting and that is games to play and recipes to great grilling food.

Lots of times depending on the sport your at to watch such as football for example, you'll see a bunch of people playing flag football right there in the parking lot while cooking out. Same with all the other sporting events where their tailgating.

Even at a concert event people will be playing music of the band their going to see. Even playing their own instruments. It becomes a social event of fun for everyone.

Here are some other game ideas that you can play at your next event of tailgating.

  • Corn Hole - as mentioned above
  • Horse Shoes 
  • Washeroos
  • Pub Washers
  • Sholf
  • Stickzee
  • BecoBall
  • Plastic Ladder Toss

These are a few to get you started.  Can you think of anymore?  You can find out more about these games and others here .  I have no affiliation with that site.

The Sweet Delights: 

Now for the best part, the food.  Of course there are many types and meats and fixin's you can have at your tailgate party.  Tailgate food can be some of the best you have eaten or some of the worst depending on how good a cook you are.  Or how good a cook your friend is that you're eating from also.

Tailgating recipes are in abundance.  In fact your imagination is the limit.  But I have some good ones that I want to share with you.  So sit back, relax, and sink your imagination into these juicy recipes.  Just don't drool on yourself!  Go ahead and copy these recipes if you want.

  •  Grilled Chicken Divine

    4 to 6 Chicken Breasts
    4 cup Broccoli
    4 tbsp Butter
    1 cup Mozzarella*, Shredded or Cubed, Fresh
    4 oz Parmesan, Grated or Shredded
    2 oz Romano, Grated or Shredded
    2 oz Cheddar, Shredded
    8 oz Sour Cream

    Grill the chicken breasts with you favorite seasoning. Steam broccoli. Once cooked, cut chicken and broccoli into 1" bites. Melt butter in skillet. Mix chicken and broccoli in butter on low heat for a few minutes. Remove chicken and broccoli and place in 9x12 casserole dish.

    Mix mozzarella, parmesan, romano, sour cream in skillet with remaining butter and let melt. Pour over broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle cheddar over top and place in oven at 350 degrees or on closed grill for 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

    For extra fat man yum, roll biscuit dough into long , thin strips and work into cheese mix before cooking.

    *Quesadilla cheese can be used in place of mozzarella.

    tailgaters fun
  • The World’s Best Hoppin' John Recipe
    The title pretty much tells it all

    2 ½ cups Dried Black-eyed Peas

    2 cups Uncooked Long-grain White Rice

    2 large Ripe Red Tomatoes, Chopped

    1 pound Thick-cut Slab Bacon

    1 meaty Ham-hock or Seasoning Pork

    1 large Yellow Onion, Chopped

    1 medium Vidalia Onion, Chopped

    1 medium Bell Pepper, Chopped

    4 cups Chicken Broth

    1 stick Unsalted Butter

    1/3 cup loosely packed Light Brown Sugar

    ¼ BBQ sauce (sweet, ketchup-base type is best)

    1 teaspoon Louisiana-style Hot Sauce

    1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

    1 Beef Bullion Cube

    1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

    Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

    Sort and clean dried peas. Soak peas for about one hour, rinse, and drain. Place black-eyed peas in a large pot over medium-high heat and cover with cold water. DO NOT salt water and bring to a vigorous rolling boil. Remove pot from heat. Cover and let it stand about an hour and a half. Drain and rinse beans in cool water.

    Set aside one strip of bacon. Using your BACON BOSS, cook the remaining bacon on grill, basting with BBQ sauce until slightly crispy. Remove to plate covered with paper towels and drain. Let bacon cool and then chop into small pieces.

    Using a skillet, cook the one piece of bacon that was set aside until it is about halfway done, using medium-low heat. Add and melt the butter in the pan with the bacon, then add the bell pepper and yellow onion. Cook slowly until the onion is nearly clear, add the bullion cube and dissolve in the butter while stirring. Add a small amount of water, then mix in the brown sugar and dissolve. Once bullion and sugar are both dissolved, set skillet aside.

    Using a large pot, add together the black-eyed peas, tomatoes, ham hock, Vidalia onion, and red pepper. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 2 hours.
    Remove ham hock and cut meat into bite-size pieces. Return hock meat to pot. Stir in the bacon/butter/bullion/sugar mix from the skillet and mix well, stir in the rice, add the garlic powder and hot sauce, cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, top with BBQed bacon pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Makes 8-10 generous servings.

  • Barbeque & Cheese Puffs
    The best use for leftovers ever

    1 lb Pork/Chicken Barbeque, not too heavily sauced, fully cooked and finely minced
    2-8 oz packages Cream Cheese
    1 Medium Onion
    1 tsp Louisiana-Style Hot Sauce
    ½ tsp Garlic Powder
    ½ tsp Mustard Powder
    Salt & Pepper To Taste
    4-8 oz packages Refrigerated Crescent Roll Dough

    Finely dice onion and cook over medium-low heat, adding salt and pepper to taste, until it is transparent. Soften cream cheese in a large bowl, stir in hot sauce, add garlic and mustard powders, add chopped barbeque and onion, and then mix well.

    Pre-heat oven to 375⁰. Open dough packages as needed. Roll out one large sheet of dough per package. Cut each of the four sheets into squares that are roughly 2 ½" by 2 ½". This will produce 40-50 squares total. Place a small portion of filling mixture in a dough square. Fold in the four corners of the square to cover filling and pinch slightly to make a good seal. Make sure finished dough ball is fairly round and place it pinched side down on a non-stick cookie sheet. Repeat until all filling and squares have been used. Dough balls will "puff" once they are heated. Be careful not to overcrowd cookie sheet or puffs may stick together during baking.

    Bake puffs for 20-25 minutes at 375⁰ or until golden brown. This recipe can also be performed outdoors using a skillet and a Dutch oven or your Luau Grill. Makes 40-50 puffs. Puffs may be served alone or with condiments such as Chinese duck sauce, pepper jelly, horseradish sauce, or conventional barbeque sauce.

  • Seafood Onion Bowl

    1 oz White Wine
    4 large Onions (Red, Yellow, Or White)*
    6 oz favorite Shelled Seafood (Shrimp**, Scallops, Lobster, Crab)
    2 oz Bread Crumbs
    2 tbsp Butter
    1 med Red Pepper (Bell or Chili)
    1 med Green Pepper (Bell or Chili)
    1 tbsp Sweet Paprika
    1 tbsp Minced Garlic
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Rosemary Olive Oil

    1 medium bowl
    Tin foil

    Fine chop seafood and peppers. Set onion flat side down and cut off 1/2 of top section. Set aside. Making sure not to cut the two outside layers, make an X shaped cross-cut approximately 1 inch deep in the onion. Scoop out the middle of the onion and set aside. This should create an onion bowl. Repeat with all onions and set bowls aside.

    Fine chop the section of onion removed from the bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon mixture into onion bowls.

    Set onion top back onto onion bowl. Wrap in tin foil and place in oven at 350 degrees, or set on top of grill. Cook from 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve and enjoy.

    *Instead of onion bowls, this recipe can be prepared in almost the exact same manner using bell peppers

    **If using shrimp, shrimp should be cooked and peeled ahead of time, or use peeled baby shrimp. Use Vidalia onions and 2 tbsp of shredded coconut for even better results.

Eat Drink and Be Merry:

These are a few of my favorites.  These should be enough to keep your palette working for awhile.  I hope you have a fun filled, food filled time at your next Tailgate Party.

Thanks for coming by...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Are The Different Variations of Ladders In Use Today

variations of ladders
Today there are many different variations of ladders in use. We know that ladders come in all shapes and sizes and each one has its purpose. Everything from the painting stepladder to fire truck ladders and all in between.

I want to bring to light some of those that are available to society in this article.  Who knows, maybe theres some you haven't even heard of before.  So let's take a look at whats out there and see the many uses for people today.

Some of the different ladder variations that are uncommon to most are:

  • The Bridge Ladder
  • The Cat Ladder
  • The Fixed Ladder
  • The Orchard Ladder
  • The Turntable Ladder
  • The Hook Ladder 
  • The Rope Ladder
  • The Pool Ladder
  • The Assault Ladder
We have a lot of different ones and some you may already know about and some you don't.  Theres a couple that I have never heard of before.  Such as the Assault Ladder.  So let's just take it from the top down and have a look at what these are and their uses.

The Bridge Ladder:  A horizontally laid ladder that acts a connector between 2 points separated by gulf below. This is the one you may see in the movies such as in a jungle where there a vertical chasm.  It has lots of flexibility in it and when you walk across it it flexes up and down.  It always amazes me how they build these.

The Cat Ladder:  Or chicken ladder, used on very steep roofs so the workers won't slide off when working. I've done some roofing in my time and we always used a variation of this one by simply nailing down a 2x4 on the roof.  And we'd just move it as we went down working from the top to the bottom.

The Fixed Ladder:  This one is a vertical ladder that is stationary.  Usually you see them on the side of industrial buildings.  Usually made of steel and used to get up on the roofs of very high structures.  These ladders sometimes come with steel cages around them for added safety to the worker.  Since they are industrial ladders they are covered by OSHA and ANSI standards.

The Orchard Ladder:  This one is probably self explanatory.  It is a three legged step ladder with the third leg made so that it can be inserted between tree branches for fruit picking.  The sound of it seems a little unsafe to me.  But maybe some of you have had experience with them and can tell me how safe they are.

The Turntable Ladder:  This is the apparatus you see on a fire truck.  The name of it comes from the fact that its mounted on a rotating platter.  It is also a hydraulic or pneumatic extension ladder.  Used to allow the firefighter to reach great heights and project large amounts of water directly down into the fire.

The Hook Ladder:  Also called a pompier ladder, used to be a very important tool of the fire department.  This tool allowed the firefighters to reach into every window in a burning building.  They would use it if there were no way to get up the inside stairwells.  The firefighter would lean out a window with the pompier ladder and swing the hook through the window above them, latching the hook to the window stool.  Allowing access to each floor of the building.

The Rope Ladder:  This one is where the object to be climbed is too curved to use a rigid ladder. They may have rigid or flexible rungs.  Climbing a rope ladder requires more skill than climbing a rigid ladder, because the ladder tends to swing like a pendulum.  You also sometimes see these in children's playgrounds.

The Pool Ladder:  Pretty self explanatory here to.  Although you not only see them attached to swimming pools, but also they are used most boats.  They also come with large handrails to facilitate gripping of the ladder.

The Assault Ladder:  In my research I was amazed to find this one.  I had never heard of it till now.  How about you?  This ladder seems to be used primarily by the military.  It was created for covert operations such as sniper placement, and vessel boardings.  It was developed and designed for tubular assaults including buses and trains and for first story breaching.  Its extra wide design gives the user greater stability, but can be folded away to be stored.  Interesting!

There you have it. Some interesting ladders in use today by our society.  Some known, some not so known. I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it.

Thanks for coming by.....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ladder Safety: Top 9 Tips

tied off ladder
There are times when I've needed to get something done in a hurry where a ladder was needed to be used. And of course I found out the scary way that that's not the way to go about working up on a ladder. Consequently, this article post will be of benefit not only to you but to me also.

After some research on the subject here are my Top 9 tips for Ladder Safety.  May we take them to heart..

  1. Make sure the Ladder is locked into place before climbing 
  2. Be sure the ground is at least fairly level and solid
  3. Never climb to the top of the Ladder
  4. Make sure there are no obstacles to obstruct your climbing
  5. Get help to hold the Ladder if needed
  6. Pick the right Ladder - Refer to my article "How to Make the Right Ladder Choice" - Here
  7. If needed, tie off the Ladder
  8. Always use proper climbing techniques   
  9. Make sure the Ladder is not to steep or shallow 
With stepladders and extension ladders make sure the locking arms are locked fully into place.  This will help to insure that the Ladder doesn't fold up on you when your climbing.  The locking arms on a stepladder are on both sides and ensure that each leg is locked into place.

On an extension ladder it has two spring loaded locks on either side to make sure it doesn't slide down while your up on it.  For maximum safety make sure these are locked in place before you begin to climb.

The ground should be fairly level before beginning.  If it isn't, you must for safety sake find a place to get it level as possible.  The ground should be dry and hard.  Not soft so it can sink to either side.

Never climb to the top of the Ladder as your weight will surely make the ladder top heavy.  Always climb only to the 3rd step down from the top.  Any higher and it will become unstable.

When climbing up make sure there is nothing to obstruct your climb such as tree limbs, electrical wires, etc..

If you can't meet any of the first 4 tips just mentioned then get help.  Ask a friend or family member for help to hold the ladder for you.  In fact, 2 people are better than one to make sure of maximum safety.

There are different types of ladders for different types of jobs or projects.  Such as Aluminum, Wood, and Fiberglass ladders.  Which one is right for you for what your doing?  As stated, refer to my article "How to Make the Right Ladder Choice" - Here to help you in your decision.

If your climbing up on a wall or roof, for extra stability tie the ladder off on both sides.  For example, on a roof you can drive a nail into the shingles on each side and use rope to tie off the ladder so it won't slide either way on you while up working on it.  Creating greater stability and safety.

Never climb up the ladder backwards.  Don't climb up on the front of a stepladder.  Always face the ladder and climb with both feet one step at a time.  As stated before never climb beyond the 3rd step from the top.  And never step out on the shelf of a paint ladder.

When you put up the ladder make sure it is not to steep or shallow as that will cause it to slide when your on it. Remember you can tie it off for greater safety.

Most of these are just common sense steps folks.  For greater benefit, print yourself off a hard copy of this article and use it as a checklist each time you go to get up on a ladder.  Since your safety is always number 1.

For both inside and outside I have a quality review of a great all purpose ladder you can read here.

Thank for coming by......

Monday, March 7, 2011

How to Make the Right Ladder Choice

ladder choice?
There are many types of ladders to choose from today.  The question is how do you make the right ladder choice out of all the different types for the job your doing?  Well, that does depend on the project your doing. Is it inside or outside the house?

Most commonly if you are working inside your home you want an 8 to 10 foot ladder to do the work safely.  For example if you have 10 foot vaulted ceilings and you're painting the ceilings a 12 foot stepladder may do the job.  For the standard 8 foot level ceilings you're fine with a 8 foot stepladder.

Lets take a look at the types of ladders that are available for the inside of your home.
  • Painting Stepladder
  • Front Stepladder
  • Twin Stepladder
The Painting Stepladder usually comes in 8 to 12 foot heights and has a fold out shelf to place your paint cans and brushes on.  Or any other tools your using for the project.  The painting stepladder also falls under the category of Front Stepladder.

The Front Stepladder is called so because of its only having steps on one side.  And the other side has only bracing rungs.  Of course designed for one person at a time.

The Twin Stepladder on the other hand is called so because of its ability to allow 2 people to safely stand on it at the same time.  Why would a Twin Stepladder be needed?  It is very helpful to have one in the event that you are for example, repairing a ceiling fan or rather installing one for that matter.

It will allow one person to hold the fan while the other one performs the wiring attachment.  Or one person could be painting 1 side of the ceiling while another paints the other side.  But primarily I would say it is for safety.

If one person needed to go up very high to work on a ceiling, then the other person could stand on the bottom step of the other side.  Creating balance for safety.

Now lets take a look at some types of ladders for outside the home.
  • Stepladder
  • Extension Ladder
  • Multiple Configuration Ladder 

Of course the stepladder mentioned above in either front or twin sided can be used effectively outside the home as well.  Again depending on the project.

The Extension Ladder and I'm not talking about the one you see the fire department have on their big trucks. That's the one you don't want to see used at your home!...:)  No seriously, the extension ladder is a very useful tool for getting up to those high places such as your roof or maybe a tree to do some trimming, etc.

Extension ladders can come in heights of up to 40 feet.  Most extension ladders extend out in 1 foot increments at a time with latching braces or hooks.  If you have a 2 story house usually a 22 foot extension ladder will suffice.  1 story you can usually get by with a 14 to 16 foot to reach your roof.

The Multiple Configuration ladder can not only be used for all the above but can be also be used in a scaffolding configuration.  In the scaffolding position you just need to use a plank of strong wood to make the base for standing.  And adjusting to different heights also.

As you can see there are many types of ladders to the job your trying to accomplish. And of course there are the different makes of ladders as well.
  • Wood
  • Aluminum
  • Fiberglass 

All of these makes will get the job done, but there are safety concerns with each.  These will be covered in another article.

When picking out a stepladder you need to keep the height in mind. Stepladders have a huge range of height at your disposal.  The same applies for all the above mentioned ladders other than stepladders.  The smallest of the stepladders start out at three feet and can be compared to that of the step stool.

The average stepladder used is between five to nine feet, though stepladders are made as high as twenty feet. The rungs of the stepladders are set apart at ten to fourteen inch increments but most manufactures prefer to set them at one foot increments. The widths of the rungs are set at twelve to fourteen inches.

You can read my review of a great middle of the road stepladder for use both inside and outside of the home. Click here to read the review.

Thank for coming by....