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Monday, June 28, 2010

Safe and Effective Diet Help

Safe diet drugs are easier to find now with the herbal ingredients available. Supplements like herbal phentermine are completely natural and easy to find too thanks to the Internet. Of course, you have to use herbal phentermine in conjunction with a solid diet and exercise plan. It helps to talk to your doctor about what is safe and effective for you at your state of dieting. Don't worry about everybody else and how much they are losing. Everyone loses at their own rate of speed. As long as you are doing what you are supposed to you will lose weight at the speed that is right for you.

Know the Rules--Minnesota Boating Laws

Minnesota is called the land of a thousand lakes. It's not just lakes either, there are plenty of magnificient rivers that run through the countryside including the mighty Mississippi River. Many of them are excellent boating destinations. Minnesota is a "sister state" to those of us in Illinois even though it's actually adjacent to Wisconsin, it is still a great boating destination. In fact, those of us on the Illinois River can get to Minnesota by water (although the long way around) by going to the Mississippi river and then North to Iowa and then Minnesota. In order to insure that you and your family have the most fun when out on your boat make sure you fully understand all of the laws concerning watercraft on Minnesota waters.

The most important rule boater's need to know is that the Minnesota DNR (Department of Natural Resources) has the authority to regulate and uphold the laws of the state on all Minnesota waters. Vehicle operators unaware of this regulation think they do not have to listen to anyone who isn't in a Coast Guard marked boat or uniform, but that isn't the case when the state in question gives authority to another agency to oversea the laws. All DNR vehicles must be marked on both sides, and law enforcement officers wearing appropriately marked uniforms.

The U.S. Coast Guard approved boater's safety courses and licensing is not required by the state to operate a watercraft, but it is recommended. Other rules do apply for motorboat operation. Someone 21 years old, or older must be on a motor vehicle with engines with greater than 25 horsepower. No engines over 75 horsepower allowed on Minnesota waters. Drivers between 12 and 17 years old must pass an approved boater safety course and carry the subsequent permit, or have someone 21 years old ready at all times to take control. PWCs (personal watercraft) have their own operater licensing rules and children under 13 years old cannot operate it regardless of adult supervision. Children 13 years of age or older must have an adult 21 years old or older with them, and have a valid boating permit available. Teenagers between 14 and 17 must have a permit, or someone 21 or older on board.

Speed limits posted on Minnesota waters exist as "No Wake Zones" and are clearly marked. Operators must slow to the lowest possible miles per hour that still allows for reasonable navigation, but no more than five miles per hour.

Boats with toilet facilities onboard must have no-discharge set up so that all waste is held in a tank onboard and is incapable of releasing into the water. No oil or fuel may be discharged from any part of the boat including bilge water, and boats 26 feet or more need a oily waste placard at least 5" by 8" displayed where everyone on board can see it. Boats 40 feet or more with galley and sleeping area must have a waste management plan in place that relegates proper garbage and pollution control.
Other Laws

Districts, cities, and municipalities may have additional rules for boating on water in their jurisdiction. Boaters are responsible for knowing the rules for the area they wish to boat in.

No operator of a motorboat may be under the influence of any controlled substance, or alcoholic beverage. BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) are as severe on the water as on land. Alcohol limits for intoxication are .08 and operators face jail time, fines and loss of water privilege. Additional offenses escalate the penalties as do increased scale of the offense. Laws for drinking onboard do not apply to anchored, beached, docked, rowed, unmotored boats or boats that are moored.

Undercover Dangers

Every time I get a pimple or something reminds me of a growth, even a mosquito bite I worry about cancer. That's not to make light of it, that's to be as serious as possible about the worries of the various types of cancer. One type in particular is malignant Mesothelioma. Although very unusual, it is due to exposure to asbestos, and it takes a lot of exposure over a long period of time to have serious problems, I live in an old house that probably has a lot of covered up asbestos so it scares me. It was and is common practice to cover asbestos walls, tile, or other hard materials rather than remove them because removal is so expensive and dangerous. Covering it is usually plenty to insure safety, but you never know when some dust, or a project that turns up unknown asbestos tile or wall sheeting will pop up and you get a good lung full.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bat on Board

Here are a couple of the new pup at the marina. We spent the night on the boat on Saturday and left for the breeder from their for two reasons. One it was our normal weekend routine, and two, it broke up the long ride up north to the breeder's house. Batty took it all in stride really well.

New Faucet Joy

I just bought a new Grohe faucet for my kitchen. It has been a long time coming. I've needed one for months now because the old one was dripping so badly it drove me nuts. I had to wait until hubby was able to get a new one and install it. I love the designs and styles available from Grohe. They are classy and elegant and fit into the room decor easily. I got one with a faucet that turns into a hand-held hose for rinsing easier. I've missed my spray hose since we bought the house. It came with one and the water softener guys immediately took it out and replaced it with an ultra filtered drinking water spigot. I wish I'd known then what I know now. I'd have made them leave the spray where it was. The spigot wasn't worth it.


After weeks and weeks of waiting for our little puppy to be old enough to come home we got her! We went and picked up Batty (Tabo's Little Fly By Night) on Sunday. It was a rather arduous trip. We got lost several times and couldn't even call the breeder for help because we were getting no coverage on the cell phones. I haven't found an area yet that we had that much trouble with the AT&T coverage but that Rockford area is it. Here's a picture of our new little puppy riding back to the marina on my shoulder.

Not batting a thousand here. The picture is too big on photobucket and my internet connection is being sucky today so I can't upload pictures today, or get photobucket's image editor to load. I'll post the picture later on.

There it is! Finally.

Find the Diet Products You Need

If you are looking for answers to what works and what does not in your diet routine search the website The reviews and in-depth articles on what products are out there for dieters and how they help or if they don't are invaluable to anyone thinking about supplements, programs, or other support forms for weight loss. These products cost money. In some cases a lot of money so it is a good idea to find out all you can about how they work, and if they will do what you need them to. Everything from fat burners to cleanses can help if used right and you know what to expect.

Resistance Exercise

For anyone looking for an easy, portable method of workout training that includes the strength of weight training and the flexibility of yoga the rubber band resistance exercise method may give you what you need. It is a simple and affordable way to bring exercise equipment into your home.

What Are Rubber Band Resistance Exercises?

Rubber band resistance exercise is a form of isolated movement exercises using opposing force to create pressure. This type of exercise is typically known as isometrics. Using force of a movement to create stress on the muscles. The flexible rubber material creates a low impact environment that is safe to use. Rubber bands used for resistance exercises are often called resistance bands and they come in many sizes and styles. The most common types of resistance bands are fully-enclosed bands and long open-ended bands.

Why Rubber Bands?

According to eOrthopod scientists in Finland studied groups of women in controlled circumstances and found that when included in a regular aerobic workout, resistance bands increased overall muscle mass along with the benefits provided by the aerobics. This gives people with less time to train a way to improve their cardiovascular system and their muscles at the same time without doing both aerobics and weight training.


Fully-enclosed bands are a good type of rubber band to use for leg and arm exercises. They slip over both legs or both arms and provide pressure for leg lifts or arm exercises. Single open-ended bands are excellent for core training and can be used in many different positions. Rubber band resistance exercises give users the same levels of intensity as other types of equipement. The elasticity changes intensity with the pressure applied. The more you stretch the band the harder it is to press, pull or hold and the harder it pulls back on return.

Stow and Go

Unlike most exercise equipment, rubber bands are easy to store. They fold up easily and fit in a small space in a drawer. That makes them ideal travel exercise, or business break exercise tools as well. They fit in a purse, suitecase or briefcase and travel anywhere you go.


The original rubber band resistance exercises used simple bands. Now there are several variations of the resistance band on the market including bands with handles so you can hold one end in each hand, loop the band around objects, your feet, or just hold it out in front of you for many different exercises. Clip tubes have cuffs attached to the ends for wrists or ankles to provide a stationary hold so you can move through motions easier. Choose various lengths of rubber bands to allow you greater flexibility in exercises and better focused strengths for specific areas.

Protect Yourself

We had a discussion on the way home from the marina last week about what happens when you get hurt and can't work, or do the job you usually do. In trying economic times like these it is hard to find a job in any way, much less in something you aren't trained for so if you have a long term inability to do the job you usually do you can be in a lot of trouble. In many cases you couldn't work in any field and then are in even more difficult situations. There are regular living expenses to pay for and on top of that extra expenses that even if you have great medical insurance still occur in small amounts that are not a normal part of your finances. That's when you need to have an excellent disability insurance in place. That can save you a world of worry and stress. You can wait until you turn blue for compensation from federal levels, or work related coverage, and you can still get them, but with your own insurance you won't go bankrupt and loose everything before they kick in.

Local Agility

Agility is a popular dog sport for both recreational fun and serious competition. It requires specialized equipment and a lot of training, so most dog owners in the Chicago area seek area agility training classes. There are dozens of agility training facilities around Chicago to choose from. To pick the one that's best for you and your dog it is helpful to understand what makes a good agility campus.


The question of whether to attend classes held indoors or outdoors is a difficult on in Chicago. The weather in the northern Illinois region is hot in the summer, but bitter and snowy in the winter. If you pick a training class in the Chicago area that only conducts classes outside there will be a good portion of the year that you cannot train. On the other hand, most agility competitions hold their events outdoors because of the large equipment and big course space required. So it is a good idea to get your dog used to running outside where distractions are different than they are inside. The best of all situations is a training facility with both indoor and outdoor training areas.


Familiarize yourself with the type of equipment required in agility classes so you know what you are looking at when you visit a facility. Leave your dog at home to make the first trip to inspect the grounds. At the very least the training facility needs an "A" frame, several jumps, a dog walk, a tire jump, weave poles, a tunnel, and a pause box. The bigger pieces are items it is hard for all but the most enthusiastic owner with a lot of space can have at home. They are also the hardest to train dogs to accomplish correctly, so be sure they are there. When you look at the training arena check each piece of equipment for general condition. It is okay if it looks used, but it should be sturdy and not splintered, rusty, or broken in any way.


Choose your facility based on condition and location, but that is only half of the equation. The instructor is a vital part of the class. When you look at all of the Chicago agility instructors consider their past accomplishments and what they are currently training for with their own dogs. Shy away from trainers who teach, but don't do. Agility seems like all fun and games, but it is serious business that takes good training techniques to get a top performing dog, and to avoid injury to you or your dog. Even if you only want to go to a Chicago agility training course for the fun, you have to do it right.

Class Size

Of course the facility with the best training area, top notch equipment, and great trainers is going to be in high demand. However, an overcrowded class could mean you won't get much actual training time. Most Chicago agility classes are group style classes, but only one dog can be running the course at a time. Find out how classes are broken down. Do they split up the groups so there are a couple of dogs at each obstacle and rotate around the course? Or do they have each dog run the course individually which would make very small class sizes mandatory.


Last, but not least take into consideration where in the Chicago area the classes are located in regards to your home. While in theory it shouldn't matter if you have to drive a bit to get to the best facility, after awhile a longer drive becomes an excuse to skip a training session when the day is tiring and you are beat. If necessary, sign up to a class nearby, and find out if you can attend the longer distance facility on an occasional basis if you so desire.

Styles You Love At Your Fingertips

I love shopping online. Buying everything is easier. You don't have to drive and waste gas and time to get where you're going. Best of all, you can specialty store shop and have a complete selection of items without worrying if something will be out of stock. What a store carries anywhere it will have at the store you go to online. You can find clothing especially easily at boutique shops or specialty designed stores like a store catering to urban clothing, or size specific stores, or evening wear so you don't waste your time going to a store in person that won't carry a specific style. The Internet makes it possible for everyone to be on a best dressed list in the style they love.

Lemon Laws for Boats in States Like Missouri

Missouri protects buyers from vehicles that spend more time in the shop than they do in service. It is not just for automotive vehicles, or road vehicles. Missouri law protects boat buyers, too. Knowing what is, and is not covered and how to get the law on your side when dealing with a frustrating situation takes a lot of the sting out of a painful circumstance.

Who is Protected?

Federal law leaves a little bit of room for each state to decide what they will, or will not do to help consumers with their problem vehicles. New boats in Missouri that require continuous service for the same problem meet the requirements for protection. Missouri does not cover used vehicles even if they are still under warranty. However, boat owners with used boats are not without resources. Federal law protects used boat buyers from lemons. New boats that require service for the same problem four or more times, or take more than 30 days for a single repair, unless the manufacturer can prove the delay is beyond their ability to control it are considered "lemons" in Missouri.

Necessary Information

When you file your claim, make sure you include all pertinent information. You must list your full name, contact information including phone number and address, the date you purchased the boat, the date of the first repair for the problem, and all information regarding the warranty that came with the boat. Boat identification numbers from the HIN (hull identification number found stamped on the starboard (right) side of the transom (back) above the water line), title, and registration numbers must appear on the application to identify the boat.

The Process

Once your boat falls into the category of a lemon, the manufacturer must offer you a replacement of similar value, or refund of the purchase price. In Missouri, the boat dealer can deduct the reasonable value of use prior to refund. Your boat manufacturer may also file a dispute to the judgment. In that case, the complaint goes into arbitration. During the mediation between manufacturer and buyer, the boat manufacturer may offer a settlement. If you do not accept the settlement offer, your next recourse is taking the company to court under the lemon law to obtain full refund. You must go through the process of application and mediation before you can take the manufacturer to court.

Lemon Law Defense

Manufacturers may appear in their defense against a lemon law complaint. The Missouri lemon law does not apply to boats when the part of loss of function does not impair the value, use, or safety of the boat in a substantial manner. The law protects manufacturers against claims made as a result of neglect, abuse, or modifications to the boat, and any other legal defense including claims not made in good faith.

Other Expenses

The manufacturer also must pay any remaining service charges covered under the warranty prior to re-taking possession of the boat.

Best Consumer Sales Invention of the 20th Century

Using a barcode scanner was something that I remember having to get used to when they first started using them back in the 80's in the convenience store I worked at. Now they're everywhere and for good reason. They make merchandise control, price control, and check out control much more accurate. A good barcode scanner saves money for both the merchant and the customer. If merchants don't loose money on check out inaccuracies, merchandise loss, or inventory control they can keep their prices lower and that benefits them both. The barcode scanner is the best invention for consumer sales in the 20th century.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Winterizing a 4-stroke Outdrive

Modern 4-stroke outboard boat motors, like other modern appliances and technology are more complex than their earlier counterparts. Modern outboard engines can cost as much as an automobile, so to make sure it lasts as long as possible, you need to take good care of it, especially prior to a winter layup. The advanced technology that goes into newer 4-stroke engines makes them more responsive and powerful, but also more delicate and needy when it comes to precise care. With the proper care your outboard boat motor will last a long time.

Engine muffs
Water hose
Fogging oil
Spark plugs
Engine oil
Paper bag
Plastic tie
Water resistant grease

Remove the safety lanyard from the ignition so the engine cannot start accidentally. Take off the propeller and check it for nicks and dents.

Use a pair of engine muffs hooked up to a water hose to provide fresh water to the engine. Make sure the water intake holes on either side of the lower unit are completely covered by the muffs. Start the engine and run it long enough to completely flush the system and let the engine warm up to operating temperature.

Disconnect the battery and clean the terminals. Store your batteries in a warm, dry place away from any flames. Remove the spark plugs and spray fogging oil into the cylinder. Rotate the engine a ½ turn each time you spray oil into the cylinder. Replace sparkplugs with new ones for the next season. Coat the entire power head with corrosion protection oil.

Check your engine’s specific manual for instructions on the location of the lower unit oil drain plugs. Unscrew both of the two drains to allow the oil to drain. Pump the fresh oil recommended by the manufacturer of your engine into the lower oil drain to change the oil in the lower unit. Fill with fresh oil until it appears from the top drain hole.

4-stroke engines require the oil in the crankcase replaced as well. Open the drain in the upper engine compartment and let it drain out. Much easier if the engine is still warm and the oil is not thick. Replace with the proper oil type for your specific engine.

Remove the gas line and drain as much as possible from the carburetor. Store your hoses and lines where varmints can’t get at them, and keep them out of direct sunlight. Place them in a dark bag and throw a single fabric softener sheet in with it for the best protection from mice and rats.

Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas and fill the tank to the top. Keeping a full tank of gas eliminates the possibility of condensation in the tank that will harm your engine in the spring.

Grease all zerks, nuts, bolts, joints, and other moving parts. Apply a generous amount of water resistant grease all over the propeller shaft and cover with a bag secured with a tie.

Position the engine in an upright position for storage. Do not leave it up over the transom in the trailering position. That is hard on the transom of the boat, and may allow water to pool inside. Any water left inside the engine can freeze and burst lines, or crack the engine block.

Don’t cover your engine with air-tight fabrics. Putting the shrink-wrap, or other heavy canvas covers used to protect the deck and cabins of the boat over the engine cowl is a common mistake. In fact, sealing it air-tight creates condensation that is disastrous. Your outboard is well-equipped to handle the weather around it as long as you take care to protect the inside of it.

Past the Box Stage

I have long ago stopped buying toys for my own children. They are long grown up and moved out. I spend most of my money on buying toys for my pets at home. I also have two lovely grandchildren I get to splurge on and buy toys for. It is more fun now to buy toys for the grandkids because I can do it when I want, I have more money to spend on fun items than I used to, and I get to enjoy all the fun of the toys and then go home. That way, a particularly annoying bell, buzz, or crash is no longer my concern. It's my daughter's and I lovingly enjoy the payback of such items, and specifically seek them out. It is a little more difficult on one side, however. It was easier to know what toys to buy for my own kids. Being with them 24/7 I knew what their every desire was, and what they liked and didn't like. I have a clue on the grandkids, but there isn't that 100% certainty. The worst part is, they're past the wonderful "box" stage where it really didn't matter what you bought, because they'd ignore it anyway and play for hours with the box.