The Best Tips for Huting Deer with a Crossbow



Making a clean and ethical harvest out in the field when hunting deer with a crossbow will require that you practice a foolproof protocol for targeting at close range. Any small change could influence the results of your hunting trip, and you could either come home successful with a great catch or shamed due to being empty handed. Before heading out to bag your biggest buck ever, you need to know how to hunt deer with a crossbow.


Crossbow for deer hunting



Practice using your crossbow on a target before actually heading out

This will help you know the range you are comfortable with. Practice using several ranges, from 30, 40 to 50 yards or more so you can feel really comfortable making a shot. When you do get to the field and know what range you’re comfortable with, it’s important to mark that range so when the deer comes out, you are confident you can knock it down.



Wind direction, as well as camouflage, is extremely vital

Deer hunting is a stealth activity. Whenever possible, the wind should be in your face. Hunting downwind gives away your presence easily. It is sensible to have various places and stands to hunt so you can make sure the wind is always in your face.

To ensure that you do not stick out in the hunting environment, do wear camouflage clothing. This will enable you to blend yourself as much as possible into the environment. Your face and hands should also be covered.



Be quiet and scentless

Movement and sound can give your presence away. Do not move around too much while waiting for the prey to show up, or just make sure any movements are executed slowly. Be as perfectly quiet as possible. None of your gear should rattle or create noise. As the deer moves into your area, take the safety off the crossbow slowly and quietly so as not to startle the prey away with a loud clicking sound.

Scent control is also essential. Your hunting clothes shouldn’t carry a strong scent, preferably laundered in scent-blocking detergent or ordinary baking soda and then hung to dry outside.

Refrain from chewing or smoking while in the hunting stand, but if these can’t be helped, do not throw or spit your cigarette butts on the ground. Put the trash in a receptacle and never leave trash lying around after hunting.

Lure the deer in using proper deer attractants, so the prey will focus on that smell and not on yours.

Avoid brushing up against branches and leaves on the way to the stand. Instead, use the crossbow to push aside any branches.



Being out in the field is a lot different from shooting at a target

Try going after a good mature doe before trying to knock down a big master buck.

Be in the stand at least an hour early, preferably even before the sun rises to allow the woods to settle back down. Hunting in the evening requires that you go ahead of the normal time the deer moves, so the area can also settle down.

When you sight your deer, make sure the line of vision of the prey is obstructed by a bush or tree, or that its head is turned away from you. Raise your bow, making sure the deer doesn’t see your movement. Keep in mind that the whitetail species will try to see if they can detect any movement by surprise. Just keep immobile and do not look whitetails in the eye. Keep a steady stare and do not move your eyes. Look to the side of the deer’s face and not directly at the eyes. Breathe deeply and calm yourself down.


crossbow target practice



Take the kill shot

After making sure you are calm enough to take a sure, slow and steady shot, wait until the deer moves into a kill shot position. Do not take spine or brain shots. Aim instead to execute a center lung shot. Follow the back line of the front leg from broadside up to the center of the chest, then drop down a bit to obtain the perfect shot. Should the deer be at an angle, just visualize where its lungs are and aim for the center of this specific mass. When hunting from a treestand, this is the spot just behind the deer’s shoulders and right at the center of the body. This spot will ensure that you hit the heart, lungs or spine, delivering a one-shot kill.

Do keep in mind that if the deer does not move into the kill shot position or for you to take a kill shot, you should never attempt to shoot.

You’d be better off going home empty-handed than just wounding a deer superficially without killing it.

A lost or wounded big game animal is something that a serious hunter cannot easily live down.



The Best Tips for Taking Care of Your Snow Boots



Your snow boots keep your feet protected and thus go through a lot. Subjected to a variety of wintry elements, snow boots plough through snow, mud, rain, dirty snow and salt, as well as a variety of chemicals and street dirt. If you neglect your snow boots, they won’t last beyond the present winter season or will end up looking really shabby. To make sure your favorite snow footwear sees you through many winter seasons, try to give them that much needed care through these simple procedures.


Snow boots


Start protecting your snow boots when they are new

Use a waterproofing agent or formulation on new snow boots. This will increase their resilience against water even before you start using them. It is not unusual for manufacturers to recommend a specific waterproofing product. Use the waterproofing formulation on a regular basis to enhance the boots’ factory-set protection capability. Snow boots that do not have this protective layer won’t offer long term usage. By applying waterproofing agent, you seal the protective layer in.

Make sure to brush the snow boots using a suede brush before and after treatment.

Some snow boots owners suggest the use of saddle soap to keep leather boots protected longer. Thanks to the protective, softening and waterproofing agents in saddle soap, your winter footwear should last a long time. First, give the boots a wipe over using a damp cloth. With the saddle soap and water, create a lather using the cleaning cloth. Apply the lather to the snow boots, leave to slightly dry and then wipe off any lather left. Do test spot the mixture first as it can darken some types of leather.



Salt stains need to be cleaned off immediately

Living in a community where salt is used to keep the streets clear of snow will mean your favorite footwear will be picking up a lot of salt as well. Just a single salt stain that sets in will ruin the appearance of your snow boots. The metallic parts, such as hooks, zippers and others, will develop rust if salt deposits are not cleaned off immediately. It is smart to clean off salt stains the minute you spot them. Use a desalting agent that the manufacturer recommends.

New wet salt lines can be fixed immediately using a warm, damp cloth to wipe the boots over. Leave the snow boots for drying in the mudroom, never by a heater. Stuff some newspaper or other scrap paper into the boots to help them maintain their shape. For salt lines that have dried on, use commercial formulations to eliminate them. You can also use your own desalting formulation if you have a specific recipe for it. One good example is using equal parts vinegar and water to make a liquid solution. Moisten a cleaning rag with the solution and then wipe on the perimeter of the salt line. Finish with a clean damp cloth to wipe the applied solution off along with any salt line left. Use a dry towel to wipe the boot/s and then leave to dry not near direct heat, of course. Buff when dry.

For suede boots, use an eraser or sand gently with an emery board to clean any marks away. A flattened nap can be straightened up with the use of a clean towel or toothbrush to brush the nap up. You can also steam gently over the spout of a freshly boiled kettle.

Heavy dirt stains can also be blotted out using a bit of white vinegar and a clean towel.


cleaning snow boots



Liquid spills can be cleaned with cornmeal or talcum powder

If your suede snow boots have liquid spills on them, pat the spot using a clean cloth or towel. Then, apply a layer of talcum powder or cornmeal. Leave to set overnight. The next day, brush the snow boots using a suede brush to clear away the dried powder.



Keep your snow boots clean and polished

Leather boots should be kept well-polished. Generally, any type of boot should be taken care of by keeping it clean. Many synthetic boots can be given a regular wipe-down using warm water to help clean away dirt and other elements that have gotten encrusted on the surface. Scuff marks on leather boots can be wiped off using a damp cloth dipped in baking soda. Leave to dry and then buff.

Suede boots should never be cleaned with water, as this will affect the footwear’s texture and color.

For oil stains, rub with talcum powder or cornmeal immediately. Gently brush off the boots using a towel, then leave for a few hours to allow the powder to soak up the grime.

Removable boot liners should be hand or machine washed separately. They should be completely dry before being re-inserted into the footwear.



Make sure snow boots are completely clean and dry before storing

Do not put snow boots into storage after the winter without cleaning and drying them. Doing the opposite will result in boots that are cracked, moldy and damaged come next winter. Stains that are allowed to set in can weaken the footwear. Articles of clothing and other shoes kept in storage with your moldy snow boots can also be cross contaminated.

Using plastic bags for storing snow boots is a no-no. Plastic bags do not allow the leather and suede material of the boots to breathe, which can result in drying out and trapping mold. You can use fabric shoe bags, pillowcases and cloth bags instead.



The Best Tips for using a Shortwave Radio



While using a shortwave radio doesn’t look like rocket science, it may not be as easy as you might have imagined it. Don’t be baffled by the amount of information you’ll find online. You can become a shortwave radio user in a timely fashion provided you use a set of tips and tricks.

To make matters easier, we’ve decided to give you a helping hand. That’s why we have put together a short list of the best pieces of advice we’ve found to be the most helpful when it comes to operating a shortwave radio as efficiently as possible.


shortwave radio



The right unit

If you already are the owner of a shortwave radio but find that you’re a bit disappointed by the features and quality it comes with, you might want to purchase a new one. Choosing from a plethora of models that now exist on the market can look like a daunting task, but you need to know that most radios can be split into three main categories.

There are analog shortwave radios, of which the price point is somewhere between thirty and seventy dollars. Then, there are SSB radios that are capable of getting both AM and single side band modes, whereas radios capable of receiving just AM. Digital tuners are the last type that can be bought nowadays, but they’re somewhat less affordable compared to the previously mentioned two kinds. They’re easier to manage as users may find it less difficult to find the right frequency.



Understand the shortwave bands

The simplest way to understand shortwave bands is to associate them with a particular frequency range. While some models display the frequency using megahertz, others do the same in kilohertz. If you’re feeling puzzled about what your unit does, just consult the instructions provided by the manufacturer to find out.

Some broadcasters and websites can announce their frequencies in megahertz or kilohertz, depending on their preferences. Just three decimal places make the difference between the two. For instance, a frequency of 15.5 MHz is the same as a frequency of 15500 kHz. If you’re trying to convert kHz into MHz, all you have to do is move the decimal place three digits to the left instead of to the right.

Why is frequency so important? Let’s say you’re talking to a friend and he or she forgets to say whether he or she is giving the frequency in MHz or kHz. As a general rule, it’s far easier to use megahertz than kilohertz, as they’re significantly easier to pronounce and won’t require you to jot down tens of zeros on end. However, if you’re an amateur who knows little to nothing in regards to the right way to give the frequency, it would be easier for you to use kilohertz. This way, switching to megahertz would be less complicated.



Can the reception be improved?

You can improve the reception by using an SWL antenna. The simplest way to get one is to look for it online, as you’ll find units you can buy and units you can make on your own if you’re into DIY. Unfortunately, most telescopic rod type antennas that come with the shortwave radios aren’t the best ones in the world, so improving the reception is something you’re likely to want to do.


Shortwave radio with antenna


How to find the shortwave bands and broadcasting schedules

If you’re willing to invest in a publication filled with the frequencies and schedules, you may want to consider the Passport to World Band Radio or the World Radio TV Handbook. These two come out every year and are filled with new and updated schedules.

Another way of finding the bands is by simply scanning them. Regardless of how efficient this method is, it does little to nothing when it comes to finding out about the schedules. If you don’t want to purchase an annual publication, just look for the schedules online, as there are several websites that offer them for free.

Various websites have even grouped the content according to what users are searching, and thus provide data regarding foreign station, specialized shortwave transmissions and the actual number of channels of which the purpose may or may not be espionage.



Get a QSL card

Receiving a QSL card can be done by sending feedback to the broadcaster. While most broadcasters will ask for specific feedback, the classic way would be to create an SWL Reception Report, based on the SINPO code. You’ll have to analyze the signal, the interference, the noise, the propagation and the overall quality of the broadcast you’re receiving.



The Best Tips for Using or Installing a Climbing Tree Stand



Hunters utilize a deer stand or tree stand secured to trees to provide them with an elevated vantage point for sighting their prey. This type of equipment is either open or enclosed, depending on preference. A similar device is a tripod stand that is technically not classified as a tree stand because it is not attached to a tree and instead has a freestanding design. Knowing how to install and use a tree stand could spell the difference between optimizing every hunting trip and ending up hospitalized or dead.


Climbing tree stand


Know the parts of the climbing or tree stand

The base piece is what the hunter climbs on to get on the seat, and also serves as the platform to hunt from, to look through the woods and to shoot from.

The top portion of the stand facilitates the climbing process, and from a safety standpoint, provides a place to sit on.

Some hunters prefer leaving the climbing or tree stand attached to the bottom of the tree, especially when they own the property they hunt in. Attachment is pretty straightforward and simple.

The tree stand comes with essential accessories such as the climbing harness, which is considered by many to be the most important piece of (separately bought) equipment that should accompany the tree stand. The climbing harness is used much like a parachute harness that you suit up with. It has a D- or O-ring that clips to another harness that goes around the tree to keep the hunter strapped to the tree. It has a strap that goes between the legs, ensuring the user is secured to the tree. There are other rings through which the straps go through. Pull up any loose straps tight under your legs.

Attach the bag holding your quivers to the stand. For safety’s sake, when bringing a bow and arrow or gun to hunt, leave the bow and gun on the ground and simply attach a rope them that you can use to pull the weapons up when you’ve climbed up the tree.


climbing tree stand safety


Get on the stand

Get on the platform section and into the center of the stand, which will move on you while you get in it. The tree stand works on a fulcrum mechanism. This functions by taking the hunter’s weight on the stand to brace onto the tree even more. At the base section are straps where the feet or hunting boots are put in. While the feet are attached to the straps, the hunter uses their legs to pull the base of the tree stand up.

A strap goes around the tree, and it has the same type of latching mechanism as the harness the hunter suits up with at the start. This strap is a little more substantial than the first to ensure holding capacity. Take the strap with the D-ring that is at the back of the climbing harness, pull it to the front and hook the D-ring through the loop on the second strap attached to the tree. Listen to a click to ensure it’s in, then twist the knob around to tighten. This attaches the hunter to the harness around the tree, keeping them safe from falling to the ground. Position the harness above the head or at head level.

Make sure everything is secure and…



…start climbing

While seated on the top portion of the stand, pull your feet up. Using a fulcrum mechanism, the bottom portion attaches to the tree a little higher. Stand up, pull the top portion to you, sit then pull the bottom portion up again. This brings you higher up. Move the climbing harness with the strap higher up. Remember not to move a lot while positioning the strap and harness to a higher position, to prevent potential falls.

Sit down again to take the weight off your legs, pull the bottom portion up with your legs and move the top portion to you again while standing. You will feel the clasp of the bottom of the tree stand bite into the tree, letting you know you’re connected to the tree. The fulcrum action occurs as you lean back. Worm your way up the tree this way till you get to the height you want to hunt at.

Should you encounter a tree limb such as a twig, break it off to move the strap up. If it’s a branch, see if you can work your way around it. If not, you can only go to the height of that branch. Tip: pick trees that are clean and that will allow you to climb to the level you want to be at.


climbing tree stand height



Free your feet from the base

Make sure all the parts are secure and well attached. You will still be connected through the climbing harness, of course, but you’re free to move around in the tree stand.

Pull up your bow and/or your gun that you left on the ground below.

Remember to hunt safe. You can use a face mask so your prey won’t see you. Gloves for holding the bow can also be used. Avoid moving around too much in the tree stand. Despite the secure performance this type of equipment is supposed to deliver, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.



The Best Tips for Buying a Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker



Bluetooth speakers have come a long way and today they are more popular than ever, with users looking for portability so they can hook up their mobile devices with highly reliable speakers everywhere they go. Here are some tips on how to purchase a great waterproof Bluetooth speaker for your needs.


Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker


Go for a reputable brand

Although there are plenty of Bluetooth speaker models on the market, not all of them offer the same quality for the same price. If quality is what is most important to you, for sure you need to go for a reputable brand, such as Logitech, Olixar or Jawbone, since they are the biggest players in the field. The good news is that they do not make only very expensive Bluetooth speakers and their low entry models still deliver a level of quality you can live with, unlike no-name units that may not be able to live up to the task.


Strike a balance between sound quality and portability

Ask any salesperson from the electronics department worth their salt about what size your Bluetooth speakers should have for great quality sound and they will tell you that bigger is better. This is a simple principle that relies on how sound is rendered within a close container: the larger the enclosure is, the louder the sound will be. However, with larger sizes, portability is slowly decreasing and you also need to shell out more money. Bluetooth speakers are built for portability and this is one of their main purposes, so you should not go for the largest model unless you only want to use it at home.

The good news is that the most important players on the market have introduced portable speakers with decent sound, so you will not lose on anything if you decide to go for one of those. Make sure that you take the time to compare different models to see which is able to deliver louder, clearer sound without sacrificing portability.


Purchase a model that uses reliable, rechargeable batteries

Although AAA batteries are not as common as they were in the past, and many Bluetooth speakers use rechargeable batteries, it is worth looking into the specs to see if the model you want to purchase works with the latter. The problem with AAA batteries is that they get drained really fast, and they represent an expense that will unnecessarily increase the cost of using your Bluetooth speakers. Rechargeable batteries, on the other hand, will cost you only the electrical power you will use to recharge them which is far less than buying AAA batteries in bulk.

Do not forget that battery life is very important, too. The whole idea of getting Bluetooth speakers is to be able to use them on the go. As a rule of thumb, search for models with batteries that can last for 8 hours or more, so you can take your speakers with you on trips where you cannot reach a power source for recharging anytime you want. Here is a tip: look at the specs and subtract 1-2 hours, and you will have a clear idea about how long your battery will last.


Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker1


Waterproof speakers are the best for outdoor use

When you are looking at the specs, it serves to see if the model you want is waterproof or not. Many of the Bluetooth speakers out there are ruggedized, which means that they can handle some splashes and they can take some bumps along the way. However, take into account that these models are not waterproof, so you cannot rely on them in case plenty of water gets on them by accident. If you plan on taking your speakers out camping with you, search for an outdoor waterproof model that can really fit the bill.


Make sure a protective bag or case is included

For sure, you do not want to spend money on Bluetooth speakers that can get damaged any time or need a lot of protection and care from your part. Decent models come with their own protective case or bag for easy storage when they are not in use. An integrated handle or strap is also a convenient feature because it makes carrying the Bluetooth speaker around much easier. As these units are built for portability, it is only natural to seek more portability features in the model of your choosing. Some models even come with water resistant protective bags that allow you to hear the sound through it unhindered.


5 of the best casinos to play poker in



Online poker is a tremendous invention that has brought poker enthusiasts around the world together in the past decade. The ability to bluff, raise and bask in the glow of a massive win from the comfort of your own home have revolutionised the gambling world.

Texas Hold ‘Em, Chinese poker and a plethora of other card games are all available at the touch of a button whether you’re sat in bed, on the sofa or on the bus. However, one of the downsides of online poker is that it has discouraged people from visiting some of the best venues in the world.

Despite the allure of online poker, nothing can compare to the buzz of putting on your best clobber and looking your opponent in the eye as you bluff him to rake in a huge stash of chips. Casino holidays and poker holidays have become ever popular in the last 20 years and some of the best destinations in the world are all a budget flight away in Europe.

In this article we take a look at the five must-visit locations in the world for poker lovers.


1) The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club – Republic of Ireland


Known by locals as ‘The Fitz’, this historic venue has played host to a number of poker luminaries over the years including Padraig Parkinson and Liam Flood. Up and coming poker players across Europe visit The Fitz regularly to test their metal against some of the best amateur players in the world.

If you’re not flush with disposable income, don’t worry, The Fitz offers a range of daily tournaments which cater for all budgets. Although there are plenty of other casino games available, poker is the main draw of The Fitz with bi-monthly cash prize pools regularly exceeding 40,000 euros!

The casino is situated perfectly in the heart of Dublin allowing you to take a tour of the best cultural destinations in the Irish capital.



2) Casino de Barcelona – Spain


One of the main beneficiaries of the 1992 Summer Olympics was the Casino de Barcelona that benefitted from the renovation of the Olympic Port. The resort offers a full range of casino games, poker rooms and amazing restaurants.

The biggest draw for poker enthusiasts is the fact that the casino regularly plays host to a plethora of prestigious poker tours and festivals including The Spanish Championship, The World Poker Tour and The European Poker Tour.

For those celebrity spotting lovers amongst you, Gerrard Pique and his wife Shakira have been known to frequent the Casino de Barcelona. Along with footballing legend Lionel Messi and film star Antonio Banderas.

The casino is regarded as one of the best places to Texas Holdem in the country, although you’ll need to know what you’re doing to get a look in. The venue attracts the most serious of players, so it’s not for the faint of heart.



3) Concord Card Casino – Austria


Regardless of what you read on Lonely Planet, the Austrian capital Vienna is not a terrific holiday destination, it’s intensely boring. But if you are stuck in Vienna, you can find solace by heading to the Concord Card Casino.

The card room is solely dedicated to poker, unlike many card rooms that focus on blackjack and a plethora of other card games. The venue plays host to the Concord Masters, the PartyPoker GrandPix and the 100,000 euros guaranteed game.

There are also plenty of games to suit a range of different budgets, with cash games ranging from 1,000 euros to the aforementioned 100,000 euros. Celebrity chef Scott Conant and footballer Stephan Lichtsteiner have both been seen playing poker in the Concord Card Casino



4) Les Ambassadeurs Casino – United Kingdom


One of the most historic casinos in the United Kingdom, Les Ambassadeurs or ‘Les A’ as it’s known by its patrons was first opened in the 19th-century. Previous owners include the Conyngham family and Leopold de Rothschild, son of Baron Lionel de Rotschild.

The venue was re-opened 27 years ago and plays host to a range of diplomats, royalty, celebrities and aristocracy. Phillip Green, disgraced former CEO of British Home Stores almost put the casino out of business with monster hauls of £2 million at the roulette table in 2006.

The intimate private room named in honour of Leopold de Rothschild is one of the best places to play poker in Europe. It’s reserved for small and intimate gaming parties so you can only expect to get an invite if you’re a high-roller.



5) Casino de Monte Carlo – Monaco


The casino of choice for James Bond can be your casino too. Set in the luscious backdrop of the Monegasque coast with stunning views of the Mediterranean, the casino de Monte Carlo is one of the best casinos in the world.

The venue has a very strict dress code and plays host to some of the richest and most famous people in the world, including European royalty. The best room for the new visitor in the casino is the American Casino Games room where you can play ultimate Texas Hold ‘e Poker.

The minimum bet is 10 euros so it’s not just exclusively for the high-rollers and royalty, and there is also the Societe Des Bains de Mer to visit afterwards and check out the other casino games on offer.



Casinos are some of the best places on the earth, especially when you’re on a running streak. However it’s not just about the poker, it’s about the entire ambience and vibe that you get in the casino.

All of the casinos mentioned above offer the player a unique experience, whether that’s sitting and looking out over the Mediterranean coast, gambling in the Leopold de Rothschild room or wagering bets against Gerad Pique and Lionel Messi.


The Best Tips for Buying a Plasma Cutter



With a good quality plasma cutter, the serious do-it-yourselfer can lower cutting costs while improving productivity. Craftspeople who’ve experienced air plasma arc cutting can see the huge difference from standard oxyacetylene or mechanical cutting involving the use of snips, shears, saws and cut-off wheels. The plasma cutter eliminates the need for going through a preheat cycle and is able to cut any electricity-conducting metal while enabling effortless portability and reducing the heat-affected zone. Cuts obtained are characterized with small kerfs (cut ends or slits). If you need to trace shapes, cut holes, bevel, gouge or pierce smoothly and in less time, make sure to observe the following procedures for using a plasma cutter.


plasma cutters


Make sure everything you need is in the package

A complete plasma cutter package includes all the torches and cords for use with the plasma cutter itself. Make sure you have a work or ground clamp as well. You also need the right power cord. Some models come with pigtail adapters for 220-volt current and 110-volt current. Plug the correct pigtail adapter to the power cord.

Everything in the package comes in a heavy-duty carrying case, which keeps all the items required to operate the machine in just one place, including consumables and consumables cases.



Set up the workpiece

Take the ground clamp and affix it to the workpiece.Make sure the ground clamp is attached close to the exact spot where you will cut. Although the metal you work on has light surface rust in places or has some heavy coating of mill scale, those factors won’t really cause plenty of issues to what you are going to do. One great advantage to plasma cutting is the method can cut through thick rust, but you may not be able to get a good ground through. To handle this issue, just wiggle the clamp through the surface till the teeth are able to dig through the rust, Should the rust be really heavy on the surface, work it off using a good quality grinder to give the ground clamp a spot on which to attach. The working surface should be safe while enabling you to move freely. Using a grate or something similar as a worktable should be just fine.



Select the correct tip suitable for the amperage setting

A tip used for lower amperage settings features a small orifice to ensure maintenance of a narrow stream of plasma at the exact low setting. If you have an 80-amp setting and use a tip designed for 40 amps only, the orifice of the tip will get distorted and this will also decrease the life of the consumable. On the other hand, you won’t be able to focus the plasma stream that well when you work at lower settings utilizing an 80-amp tip, which also results in a wider kerf. To cut in corners, utilize patterns or work in tight areas, you need to get further reach via extended tips.

With faster travel speeds, you can get cleaner cuts, especially on aluminum. Adjust the machine to full output and vary your travel speed as well when working on thick material. For thin material, use low amperage settings and change to a low-amperage tip to get a steady narrow kerf.


Plasma cutter


Set up the machine with the right air pressure

Plug the machine in. Connect the air hose to the back of the machine. Turn the air flow on. Make sure you have clean, dry air, as running wet air can also result in a waste of consumables, and the machine is not going to cut as well as it should. Blow the moisture out to drain the the bottom of the air compressor.

Some units have a regulator knob sticking out the side of an air compressor tank, which allows you to dial in the exact air pressure you need. Other models have an LED regulator. A top-mounted knob is to be turned until the middle LED lights up, indicating the machine is ready to go. An automatic internal regulator ensures safe operations. Set the current based on the gauge rating of the metal you will be working on.



Start cutting

It will be a good idea to make a sample cut first using the same type of material you will be cutting to make sure you have set the right setting and travel speed. The trigger activates the machine. Typically, the trigger is equipped with a safety system that has to be lifted first before the trigger itself is depressed. Engage the pilot arc, which burns through any rust, paint or grease that may be on the workpiece and comes in contact with the workpiece itself. At this point, the larger cutting arc takes over.

Make sure the cutter stays close to the metal. Use the guide around the nozzle to cut with templates when available. Some plasma cutters come with a drag shield, which enables the user to leave the torch on the surface of the workpiece while ensuring that the tip doesn’t come in contact with the metal. Allowing the tip to touch the surface of your workpiece will not only shorten consumable life but will also ruin the quality of the cut.

For models without a drag shield, use your other hand to support the hand you are using to hold the plasma cutter.

The cutting arc should exit the workpiece at a 15- to 20-degree angle opposite the travel direction. If the arc travels straight down, the user may not be moving at an optimal speed. On the other hand, you are moving too fast if the arc sprays back.

After cutting, turn the machine off and detach the clamp.




What is living on benefits really like?



Americans might not have heard about people living on benefits, but such cases are more or less common in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, over the years, various TV channels have taken the opportunity to describe the cases of multiple individuals, but the fact of the matter is that the so-called ‘truth’ exposed by the media couldn’t be farther from reality.

In an attempt to grow their audience, many TV channels from the United Kingdom have showcased some circumstances where people receiving out-of-work benefits were even more privileged than those who are forced to take a traditional 9-to-5 job.

Of course, such cases are spectacular and have somehow managed to convince the public that it is only due to a failing benefits system that these people are allowed to avoid work altogether and worse yet, even be paid for it.

The hard truth? Living on benefits is definitely not a lifestyle choice

Most of those watching these TV shows or the producers themselves have somehow gotten it into their heads that living on benefits was a personal choice of those shown on TV. In fact, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Most people on benefits need a loan today, and that’s because it is virtually impossible for them to survive on as little as forty to fifty pounds per day.

What’s more, many of these individuals have a hard time coping with the situation from an intellectual standpoint. Many claim that they feel useless and that they constantly have the feeling that, just because they are walking down the street on a workday, passersby will know that they’re living on the social aid offered by the government.

While most of the TV audience for these shows have made the call to ignore the cases altogether, others have decided that they can’t keep quiet any longer. The critics say that living on benefits is a decision that anyone can take with ease. In actuality, more than half of those who receive any type of financial aid are job seekers just like any other random person down the street.

But who makes up the rest? Some are single parents who can’t cope with taking care of their children without providing them with the attention they require. Others are disabled individuals, who make up another important part of the percentage of people living on benefits. And finally, there are people whose pensions just aren’t enough to provide them with what they need.

As some of the resources we’ve come across have pointed out, the system is failing in one respect, and that is that it is incapable of removing the stigma around this type of living. Both the politicians and the media have somehow ended up in charge with the role of stigmatizing those on benefits.


It’s not only happening in the UK

In the spring of 2016, VICE published an article about a 31-year old Frenchman, Benjamin, who had decided to quit his job and start helping the people around him. The French have a unique benefits system of their own, although it might be slightly more intelligent compared to that available in the United Kingdom, which is to say that not anyone can receive financial compensation from the government.

Benjamin was a young individual who had worked long hours at a startup for approximately two and a half years before becoming a part-time worker. After standing up for an employee who was being ill-treated by the bosses, he made sure everyone at the office started to know that he hated his job and wanted to be fired.

And fired he was, after sending an email to a shareholder with all of his bosses on cc inviting him out for a meal to tell him his perspective on his job. The VICE article was written in April 2016 and Benjamin hadn’t had a job since 2014. Guess what? That wasn’t because he was looking or because people weren’t willing to hire him — but because he wasn’t.

The man claims that he now has time to pay attention to the people and things that truly matter in his life. Whenever he gets too attached to the idea of having money, he starts reassessing his personal needs.

People quit their jobs because of burnouts

For people who have never worked in the IT and online marketing environments, it might be more or less difficult to understand the concept of burnout. In fact, it might seem like a grave exaggeration, especially in the eyes of an individual who has to make a lot of effort to get through a day’s work.

However, the hard truth is that surviving in the corporate world is very difficult. The first time you apply to a job for a big company, the ad might appeal to you because of sayings like ‘office perks,’ ‘flexible schedule,’ ‘great pay,’ or whatever else recruiters might use to lure in the candidates. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take more than two to three months for things to turn sour – overtime, not as many perks as you might have thought, and hardly any free time because you also have to work from home or on the weekends.

Of course, this isn’t the case of all corporate environments, as there are happy cases such as Google, which is a company that obviously cares about its employees.

The same VICE article we were referring to earlier mentioned the case of Vincent, aged 37, who was used to making 4,800 pounds per month as a project manager in information technology. In 2008, he left the company he was working for after attempting to kill himself. He had already suffered a burnout in 2003, but he received only three weeks of sick leave.

Cases where people working for various corporate companies either die from exhaustion or suffer burnouts are extremely common nowadays, and some have even died at the office. In October 2017, a Japanese woman died from overwork after logging 159 hours of overtime in a month.

The common signs of burnout range from severe exhaustion, cynicism, and emotionally draining work to a complete absence of positive emotions and dire thinking, also known as catastrophic thoughts. It’s very easy for other people to judge individuals who are caught in a vicious circle that entails overworking day in, day out, but the truth is that not many of us could do it without suffering a burnout ourselves.


Let’s talk figures. What is it like to live on benefits?

Whether they were laid off or they now receive benefits because they are single parents, most of the people in these situations find it difficult to manage their money and will often end up in debt. The cases where these individuals have to live on less than 100 pounds per week are extremely common, with many of them having to do the same for not just one, but two persons.

Most people living in the United Kingdom will know that it is often difficult to rent a room in a house or flat with a minimum of 300 to 400 pounds. If what you receive per month in benefits is about 600 pounds, that 100 pound-figure we were mentioning earlier on isn’t even real. You’ll have to live with approximately fifty pounds per week, which is virtually impossible as a daily trip to any supermarket might cost you at least ten to fifteen pounds, and that’s only if you stick to the basics for yourself — not for your family, too.  


Prejudice makes it worse

There have been cases where people have tried to get a job time and again using their local Job Centers. Unfortunately, upon being unsuccessful for several weeks, they started becoming depressed, and once they manifested their concerns to the counselors at the centers, they were looked down upon and were even removed their benefits.

The reason why this has happened to so many people is that many consultants don’t have the open-mindedness that’s necessary to manage such circumstances and they fail to manifest an empathy toward the person who is in dire straits.

A small study performed by Robert de Vries in Oxford has revealed that people are far more tempted to associate benefit claimants with words like ‘useless,’ ‘bad,’ or ‘dirty’ than they would with ‘wonderful’ or ‘clean,’ for example.

What’s the progress?

According to the Quarterly Benefits Summary published by GOV.UK in November 2017, things aren’t so bad as one might think. In fact, the jobseeker’s allowance number has decreased from 1 million in 2000 to 460 thousand in May of 2017. The same happened for those claiming income support, as there used to be about 2.5 million in 2000 and in the month of May 2017, there were only 600 thousand.

The areas where we’ve noticed an increase in numbers are Universal Credit, Carer’s Allowance, as well as Employment and Support Allowance. Both the pensions benefits and the housing benefits figures have remained somewhat stationary.

So, as much as the media might like to hyperbolize the whole situation, it isn’t as tragic as one might be tempted to believe it is.


The Best Tips for Packing your Hunting Backpack



Packing your hunting backpack is a matter of trial and error. The more experience you gain, the more efficiently you’ll be able to gather the things you need. One of the first things to consider if you’re just starting out is that you’ll be spending a lot of time in the wild, all by yourself. Complete solitude has several advantages, as you’ll be able to sleep better, become more confident, and even develop an eye for the animals you intend to hunt.

If you are still having trouble figuring out just what you need to take on the road, we’re here to give you a helping hand. We have put together a short list of the things that a hunter is need of when backpack hunting. Just remember, nothing beats proper gear, so buy yourself some high-end equipment even if you feel like it’s totally ruining your budget. In the end, it might be worth it, as it’s considerably sturdier compared to cheap packs that break on your first outing.


Hunting backpack


The basics

The most important item to take along is your hunting license. You don’t want to get in trouble with the law just because you’ve forgotten it at home. Always double-check before going on the road, because licenses and tags just cannot be replaced. Next come a knife and a sharpener. It goes without saying that nothing is better than a good knife because you’ll be able to use it for a broad variety of activities in case you don’t have scissors or the likes.



Sleeping system

Any respectable sleeping system is composed of a sleeping bed, a sleeping pad, and a type of shelter. We’ve seen that bivouac sacks are amazing when it comes to keeping warm and dry. They’re extremely advantageous, as they are small and lightweight and can be carried around with little to no effort.

Tents are somewhat inconvenient, because they are far more difficult to set up. As long as we are addressing the subject of waterproofing, it might be a good idea for you to consider using a rain cover for the backpack. This item looks like a shower cap that you can use to protect the surface of the pack from rain and snow.

Whatever you do, just don’t take a pillow with you. If you have a comfortable enough jacket, you can use it as a pillow.

The sleeping bag is probably the most expensive thing you’ll have to invest in, but it definitely pays off, as you’ll be feeling refreshed in the morning and ready to hunt all over again.




The gear that you’ll need to pack can range from a good pair of binoculars to a digiscope camera. Most people prefer taking their spotting scopes and rangefinders with them. A GPS always comes in handy just in case you are beginning to feel unsure about the route you have to choose. A phone, an external charger, and even a very small-size emergency radio can do the trick when it comes to communicating with the rest of the world. Consider investing into a small waterproof sack for keeping your mobile devices safe.

Additional gear may include a saw, some rope, a marker and tape, a bear spray and some game bags.



Cooking and drinking

Since you are going to be spending some time in the wild, you already know better than to expect gourmet cuisine in the middle of the woods. If you like to cook, take a flash stove, the basic utensils you can find, and a small lighter. You’re probably going to run out of water at some point, so grab some water treatment iodine tablets so that you can drink from rivers and streams.

As for food, keep it simple. Some energy bars, bagels, jerky, trail mix, and pre-made bacon will do the trick.


Hunting backpack checklist



Survival and hygiene

Are you planning to go on a backpack hunting trip all alone? If so, you might want to take a first aid kit, as much Tylenol as you believe you require and a waterproof lighter. Provided you do not feel like taking a shower in a cold river, just pack some face wipes or regular baby wipes.




If there’s some room left and you don’t know what you can fill it up with, here’s some other items you might want to take into account: hand cleaner, latex gloves, high-quality paper towels, flagging tape and several ziplock bags. Trash bags come in handy for when your shelter breaks down and they can be used for storing meat.



The Best Tips for Cleaning Your Toilet Reliably



Keeping your toilet clean will ensure that your household stays healthy. A dirty toilet not only looks bad but also smells bad and can be a great breeding place for germs. Although cleaning the toilet is not one of life’s easiest tasks, it still has to be done to save the homeowner from headaches in the long run. There are hundreds of toilet cleaning reagents on the market, but doing the cleaning quickly and efficiently is ensured by following these instructions.


Cleaning toilet



First, remove items on countertops and ledges around the toilet

Before you work on the nitty gritty of toilet cleaning, you must first clear the top surfaces in the toilet of any items that can merely obstruct your progress while cleaning. This includes tissue boxes, photos, shampoo and fragrance bottles and other toiletries. Doing so will ensure that you can clean every nook and cranny in the toilet, allowing you to give the toilet a thorough cleaning. You won’t have to be bothered by too much obstruction to clean under and around. It will also keep the various items out of the way, uncontaminated by the strong cleaning chemicals you will be using and preventing accidental dropping into the bowl.



Wear clean gloves

The various toilet cleaning chemicals can be harsh or even harmful to human skin. You must put on clean gloves for protection. Be sure to have a pair of gloves for exclusive use in cleaning the toilet since the toilet can be a breeding ground for myriads of germs. With gloves, your hands stay as clean and dry as possible when cleaning the toilet. Be sure to keep the toilet cleaning gloves separate from other gloves you may have in the household that you use for other purposes. Buying them in a different color is sensible so you don’t mistake them for dishwashing gloves.



Wipe down every surface with a damp sponge

Give every surface in the toilet an initial once-over with hot water. While the rest of the toilet is being cleaned, the hot water will penetrate the surfaces to loosen up dirt and grime so cleaning will be easier. You can moisten a sponge with hot water then use the sponge to wipe around the tank, seat, base, lid and exterior surfaces of the bowl. This will often be enough to remove the dirt without having to use special cleaning reagents.


cleaning toilet with sponge



Start the cleaning process with the bowl

Apply bowl cleaner under the rim and allow the reagent to flow down to the bowl. Using a toilet brush, scrub the bowl, making sure to get everything hiding under the rim. Close the toilet bowl lid and allow the cleaner to soak the bowl, preferably between 10 to 15 minutes.

Open the toilet bowl lid and work on the rim of the bowl. This task may be the grossest you have to do but it can be accomplished with the right kind and quantity of disinfectant and some serious elbow grease. A good homemade soft scrub formulation requires some baking soda, liquid castile soap, tea tree oil and as an option, some sweet orange, lemon or lemongrass oil. You can also make your own toilet bowl cleaner using equal parts baking soda and white vinegar, and about 10 drops each of tea tree oil plus lavender essential oils. Scrub the bowl with your prepared mixture.

You can also use specially formulated commercial toilet cleaners to remove tough mineral deposits, stains and rings that form in the bowl.



Use a disinfectant cleaner to clean the rest of the toilet

While waiting for the bowl to soak, spray some disinfectant on the outside of the toilet, working your way from the top of the tank going down. Use the sponge and wash the surfaces out with hot water as you go. Use a spray bottle with bathroom disinfectant or all-purpose cleaner to mist the whole toilet. You should get the top and bottom of the seat, the whole exterior of the bowl as well as the base. Use some light pressure with a paper or cloth towel to work the cleaner in and wipe it off.


Ceaning toilet



Flush the toilet

To rinse the brush and the bowl, flush the toilet. As the water drains from the toilet, continue scrubbing the interior surface, as the motion of the flushed water may be insufficient to rinse all the dirt off.

You may have to reapply the toilet cleaner and allow the bowl to soak in it, scrub and flush until the stain has been removed.



Clean the handle thoroughly and spray disinfectant on the floor of the toilet

You touch the handle of the toilet every time you use it. You must clean it thoroughly to ensure germ-free use. Give it a heavy coating of disinfectant spray.

Clean the surrounding section of floor. Sweep up any loose debris or hair around and behind the toilet body. Use wet paper towels, cloth or disposable wipes to wipe the area clean