Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Women Own Weddings!

Women Own Weddings!
This week we're going to cover the subject of weddings from the man's point of view....

That's right, this week we're gonna cover weddings from the man's point of view. And why not? It's June, right? The big wedding month? Well, okay then, let's get down to business. Of all the activities or events that there are out there, one of the most feminine dominated ones are wedding ceremonies. Okay, laugh if you will, make all the comments you want about how weddings are for both the man and woman, and then sit back and answer the following questions to see if I'm not hittin it dead on the target...

What gender typically directs the wedding ceremony?

Whose preacher typically conducts the wedding ceremony?

Who is ninety plus percent of the crowd there to see, the about-to-be new husband or the about-to-be new wife?

Who benefits most from the bridal registry?

Which gender most enjoys dressing up for the ceremony, and which gender's feet hurt for days afterwards on account of having to wear black leather shoes with triple thick soles?

Whose wedding clothing is preserved for posterity afterwards, and whose is immediately taken back to the rental place?

(..and here's one to see if you all are still paying attention) What gender typically pays for the whole ceremony?

See what I mean? And it gets even worse for the poor man involved. A guy who has a zillion girlfriends can announce one day that he's found someone to marry, and everyone will laugh and wonder why he's bothering to go through with a wedding at all, sort of the why buy a cow.... type analogy. But, let a woman live with a man for ten years and then announce that she's marrying him and having a big ceremony, well, no one will say ten words about the insanity of it all, in fact, it's usually applauded. Why? But it gets even worse for us males - the man, right after the ceremony, will be whisked away along with his new bride over to the wedding reception. This will typically be a super nice, catered affair, and one that the man has somewhat looked forward to as he has had to starve himself for several hours prior to the ceremony (he can't have noises rumbling out of his stomach for everyone to hear while the vows are being recited, you know). As soon as he gets a little plate of food and readies himself for some much needed nutrition, he'll be hemmed up by some of his new bride's relatives and told to be good to her, or treat her like we always did and my all-time personal favorite, we'll be keeping an eye on you. What the male discovers over the next few years is that most of the relatives who made these statements are either unemployed, struggling with substance abuse problems, or else follow religions involving the handling of dangerous reptiles. Of course, in all fairness, all families have their share of drunks and losers, but for some reason the new bride's deadbeat ones want to dole out lots of advice to the groom right after the wedding. I guess that's because they realize that the man will soon discover the true scoop, and as a result they'll never be able to give out any advice again, so they have to take full advantage of their one good chance to do so.

Personally, if I were single and getting married tomorrow, I would forgo a traditional wedding and opt for getting married on a cruise ship. And no, not because of all the nice places the ship would take me, but because getting married on a cruise ship means that the honeymoon begins just as soon as you walk back to your cabin. The honeymoon is the highlight of the whole marriage service for the male, and also happens to be the item that he typically has to wait the longest to enjoy, so getting married on a cruise ship eliminates this particular problem.

In conclusion, ladies, please don't get too hacked off at me because of these observations - as much happiness as all bring into men's lives, the least we men can do is endure the before noted horrors of the marriage ceremony itself.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Potassium And Health

Potassium And Health
Potassium is a mineral that serves a variety of purposes within the body. Despite its importance to so many of the body's functions and systems, most people do not consume the standard recommended daily levels of this essential mineral. This is unfortunate, as long-term deficiency can contribute to and even directly cause a variety of health problems.

One of the important functions of potassium is to help regulate the fluid levels of the body. It also has a role in blood pressure, helps to keep the heart working properly, and is important to the nervous system. Potassium works to promote the proper functioning of the tissue that makes up the nervous system. It also serves to enhance muscle control, and the growth and health of cells, particularly through its importance in waste product removal. It also is necessary to the kidneys in their waste removal tasks. Potassium is also important to mental function, as well as to physical processes. It helps to promote efficient cognitive functioning by playing a significant role in getting oxygen to the brain.

Failing to meet the standard recommended daily intake levels can lead to a variety of negative consequences for both physical well being and mental health. Physical symptoms can include muscular cramps and twitching, muscular weakness, even actual muscle damage, poor reflexes, fatigue, fragile bones, irregular heartbeat and other cardiovascular irregularities, kidney failure, lung failure, and cardiac arrest. Mental symptoms can include nervous disorders of various types, anorexia, insomnia, a slowdown of cognitive processes, and depression.

There are certain health situations that can make a person more susceptible to suffering from a deficiency of potassium. These include alcoholism, health conditions requiring the use of certain types of diuretics, periods of high stress, and illnesses or conditions that result in extended periods of diarrhea and vomiting. Some situations of our own making can contribute to potassium deficiency, such as excessive caffeine use, a diet made up of mostly processed foods, and a diet that includes excessive amounts of salt.

Our bodies are intricate systems in which there is a delicate chemical balance that keeps everything functioning as it should. Disruptions to the system are going to have consequences, with some being more severe than others. Some of these consequences can take the form of disease or irreversible damage. Prevention is always better than trying to cure illness or repair damage. One of the most important parts of prevention is good nutrition, making sure that you regularly consume the standard recommended daily intake levels of the vitamins, mineral and other nutrients your body needs.

Nutritional supplements offer an efficient and reliable means of meeting daily dietary needs. Because the balance of nutrients is so important to achieving the optimum standards of performance and health, you may want to consider setting up a consultation with either a licensed nutritionist or your health care provider to create a personalized supplement plan, one that will be best suited to your individual dietary need and health goals.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Tips On How To Save Energy And Manage Costs Now With Insulation

This winter, Americans are opening their home heating bills to find up to 35% increases in their energy costs over last year according to the Energy Information Administration. Fortunately, there are steps homeowners can implement that will immediately reduce their monthly costs and improve their comfort. Some of these steps may also help you qualify for a Federal tax credit of up to $500.

There are simple things that each of us can do at little or no cost that will help control energy use. One of the most effective things you can do to save energy and manage your energy costs is to add the right amount of insulation to your attic. Basements and crawlspaces are other good places to check since they are easy to access and likely to be under-insulated. When coupled with caulking and sealing around windows and doors, this can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs according to the Environmental Protection Agency. You can also turn down the thermostat when you are not home, install a programmable thermostat and replace regular incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs.

As a bonus, the recently passed Energy Policy Act of 2005 includes a tax credit of up to $500 for increasing insulation in homes. This incentive went into effect for improvements made in 2006 and 2007. The credit is for 10% of qualified home improvements like insulation for a total of $500 over the two tax years. Other measures you can take that will help earn you the tax credit include updating your windows and installing energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. The IRS is currently working on the final rules for this credit, but updated information is available at www.SimplyInsulate.com. This site also provides useful tips on determining how much insulation you have and how much you need, as well as advice on doing the job yourself or hiring a contractor.

The appropriate amount of insulation in a home varies depending upon where you live. The majority of American homes should have R-49 insulation in the attic for optimum savings and comfort. For most of us, this will mean adding between an R-19 and R-30 insulation to what you already have. Keep in mind, the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.

Good resources for adding insulation and increasing the energy efficiency of homes include:

* www.simplyinsulate.com
* www.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/insulation_sealing.html
* www.energystar.gov/homesealing
* www.powerisinyourhands.org
* www.ase.org

With winter and high energy costs upon us, it is more important than ever for homeowners to take these few steps to reduce their monthly costs and save energy. The Harvard University School of Public Health estimates that there are more than 46 million under-insulated homes in the US, about 65% of all homes. Chances are good, you are one of them. Adding insulation, caulking around windows and doors, and using Energy Star products will continue to provide benefits to your wallet and your family’s comfort for years to come.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Things to see in Los Angeles

Things to see in Los Angeles
Like many large cities, Los Angeles is a collection of smaller towns, glued together with a grid of roads and freeways.

Roughly 60 miles across it is one of the largest cities by area in the US. Crossing from side to side can take an hour, but with freeway traffic conditions you are more likely to take at least double this time.

Downtown LA is more of a commercial district of skyscraper office blocks than a shopping district. You will find shopping in the form of small shopping plazas and larger shopping malls dotted all over the LA basin.

In this respect LA is a little disappointing if you were looking for an american version of London or Paris. However there is still plenty to see and do, it just takes a little planning so that you are not spending your entire time in a traffic jam or driving endless miles across city.

Places To Visit Here are some selected places to visit whilst in LA.

Angeles Crest Highway A little out of the city this scenic drive twists and turns much like Mulholland Drive along the mountainous crest of the LA basin.

Long Beach Home of the Queen Mary which can be toured.

Aquarium of the Pacific Whilst in Long Beach the Aquarium of the Pacific is definitely worth a visit. From colourful corals and tropical marine fish to California Rays that come out of the water for you to pet and stroke like small dogs! Also a new shark exhibition is worth seeing.

Dodger Stadium Whether going to a ball game or not, the stadium is worth a visit. Top of the Park souvenir shop sells LA Dodger branded clothing and other baseball souvenirs. Parking is free on non-game days.

Griffith Park A good vantage point from where you can see the cluster of skyscrapers making up the commercial downtown of LA and also the world-famous Hollywood sign.

Hollywood Boulevard Aside from the famous stars lining the sidewalk there is usually some form of street entertainment and always a hustle. At the Western end of Hollywood Boulevard is . . .

Mann's Chinese A must-see, even if it's much smaller in real life than you would have imagined! Famous foot/hand/etc. prints of those legendary Hollywood stars.

Frederick's Of Hollywood Also on Hollywood Boulevard is Frederick's flagship lingerie store, world-renowned. Includes a free museum of lingerie worn by stars of the silver screen

Mulholland Drive The famous drive that has views all over the LA basin and will introduce you to the scale of the city.

Universal Studios More of a theme park than studio tour, but true to the glamour and glitz of Hollywood.

Warner Brothers In contrast to Universal, this is a tour of a working studio. A costume museum full of fascinating history is the start of a tour that includes prop departments, workshops, sound stages, usually a chance to sit in on a TV series rehearsal in a sound stage and a chance to wander around some memorable backlot sets.

And don't forget neighboring Orange County which is home to the quintessential Southern Californian Beach Cities of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach where life slows to the ebb and flow of the Pacific along their golden sandy shores. Or for some great shopping visit world class South Coast Plaza at Costa Mesa or the outdoor mall of Newport Beach's Fashion Island.

Friday, April 11, 2008

How To Protect Your Home While Away

How To Protect Your Home While Away

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR HOME WHILE AWAY Published by FUN MATES PRESS

Be sure to lock before you leave, and let a neighbor have a key. When leaving your home, practice the following advice - it could pay big, big dividends.

GOING TO THE MARKET OR OUT TO DINNER?

A residence which presents a 'lived-in' appearance is a deterrent to burglars. Never leave notes that can inform a burglar that your house is unoccupied. Make certain all windows and doors are secured before departing. An empty garage advertises your absence, so close the doors.

When going out at night, leave one or more interior lights on and perhaps have a radio playing (TV sets should not be left unattended). Timers may be purchased that will turn lights on and off during your absence.

Do not leave door keys under flower pots or doormats, inside an unlocked mailbox, over the doorway, or in other obvious places.

WHEN PLANNING VACATIONS OR PROLONGED ABSENCES

Discontinue milk, newspaper, and other deliveries by phone or in person ahead of time. Do not leave notes.

Arrange for lawn care and have someone remove advertising circulars and other debris regularly. On the other hand, several toys scattered about will create an impression of occupancy.

Notify the post office to forward your mail or have a trustworthy person pick it up daily. Apartment house tenants should also heed this hint since stuffed mail receptacles are a give-away when no one is home.

Inform neighbors of your absence so they can be extra alert for suspicious persons. Leave a key with them so your place may be periodically inspected. Ask them to vary the positions of your shades and blinds.

When you leave, do not publicize your plans. Some burglars specialize in reading newspaper accounts of other people’s vacation activities.

If you find a door or window has been forced or broken while you were away, DO NOT ENTER. The criminal may still be inside. Use a neighbor’s phone immediately to summon police.

Do not touch anything or clean up if a crime has occurred. Preserve the scene until police inspect for evidence.

ALWAYS REMEMBER TO:

1. Lock before you leave.

2. Be a concerned neighbor - yourself.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ten Backpacking Trip Essentials

Ten Backpacking Trip Essentials

I've had backpacking trips that included rain, snow, lightning, rockslides, altitude sickness, and twenty-mile days - all in a summer weekend. Wilderness trips can be dangerous, but you can make then less so, by having the following ten essentials in your backpack.

1. Knowledge. What good is a compass if you don't know how to use it? Play with matches if your fire-making skills are shaky. Learn what to do when you see a bear. Read a little, practice a little - knowledge is more likely to save you than gadgets.

2. Map and compass. These are together, because that's the way you need to use them.

3. Matches and lighter. Bring both, or waterproof matches and a fire starter of some sort. Having two ways to start a fire is much safer.

4. First aid kit. Buy a pre-packaged one or build your own. Make sure it has pain relievers, bandages, disinfectant, and notes on basic first aid procedures.

5. Foot care. Your first aid kit needs moleskin, and maybe a pin, to treat blisters. Your feet have to be well cared for when you're hiking miles from the nearest road.

6. Water purification. A filter works, but they clog and break so often that you should have a small bottle of iodine tablets or other water purification as back up.

7. Rainwear. One of the biggest killers in the woods is hypothermia, and it often starts when you get wet. Try to stay dry.

8. Shelter. This can be a tent, tarp or bivy sack. Just be sure you know how to use it.

9. Sleeping bag. Down bags are the warmest for their weight, but be sure you know how to keep it dry, or bring a synthetic bag.

10. Specific trip items. For backpacking trips in Michigan in May, bring insect repellant. In June in Arizona, bring sunblock. Think about the specific conditions for the time and place of your trip.

Make your own list if you take regular backpacking trips. It's no fun when a friend tells us ten miles down the trail that he's allergic to bees and forgot his medicine. A little planning means less worries, and a better trip.

 
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