The Best Tips for Top Loading Washing Machine Maintenance

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Top loading washing machines are known to be the most efficient at helping you have clean clothes all the time. While they are great at what they do, and they are built to last, this does not mean that they do not need some regular maintenance. What many users often overlook is the fact that even a washing machine needs to clean itself, and the fact that it washes clothes doesn’t count. There are areas inside the washing machine that are not easily reached by water and detergent, and, while it may look clean to you, this doesn’t mean that some germs and allergens cannot find their way inside and make nest there. Here are some great tips on how to offer the best maintenance for your top loading washing machine.

 

Top Loading Washing Machine

 

Use the sanitize cycle

New models of top loading washing machines come with a sanitize cycle, which, as you may well suspect, is there for a reason. Now you should know that there are different models and each one comes with its own set of instructions. Some may require you to use bleach or another kind of cleaning substance, while others do not because they come equipped with onboard heaters.

What to do if your machine does not have a sanitize cycle? You can create one yourself. Set the machine on the hottest setting and the largest load. Add a quart of vinegar and 4 ounces of baking soda, to create a grime removing agent. This combination is very effective against removing hard water buildup, as well, which will translate in a longer life for your washing machine.

 

Protect your house against flood incidents

The hoses that connect your washing machine to the water supply can suffer from wear and tear. Cracks and small blisters can lead to serious damage and, if they burst, you will end up with a flood incident on your hands. This type of incident can cause serious damage and you will have to pay more than just for replacing the hoses. The best course of action is to inspect the hoses regularly, and replace them every five years, even if they don’t look that worn. This way, you will not have to worry about floods caused by your washing machine and the unpleasantness that comes with them.

Water level switch malfunctions are other culprits for such accidents. You can appeal to some clever products especially designed to detect water flow related malfunctions and stop the alimentation with water right away.

 

Make sure the washing machine is leveled on the ground

All the legs of your washing machine should sit firmly on the ground. If they are not leveled, the machine will start to vibrate and even shake a lot. This can cause the machine to be thrown off balance and, in time, this can lead to malfunctioning. It is a good idea to purchase a machine with adjustable legs, so you can place the machine as near to the floor as possible. You will be able to avoid any vibrations in the body of the machine and the eventual damage that can appear over time.

Another bad habit that can throw the machine off balance is to overload it. Manufacturers strongly recommend to avoid overloading the washing machine and always pay attention to the advised loading sizes.

 

Top Loading Washing Machine1

 

Take care of the outside, too

It is very important to pay proper attention to the exterior appearance of your washing machine, as well. The eventual gashes and scrapes in paint that can appear over time will give room to rust, and this is something to avoid, if you want to use your washing machine for a very long time. Some touch-up paint can solve the problem fast and easy.

Clean the exterior at least once weekly, as the remains of detergent, softener and other substances used, can turn the washing machine into a sticky mess that can accumulate a lot of germs and bacteria. An all purpose cleaner and a soft piece of cloth are all that you need to clean the exterior and give your washing machine the shine and cleanliness it deserves.

 

Avoid mildew and mold

Once you are finished with the washing machine and you have to let it rest until next time, make sure to leave the lid open, so that the interior can dry properly. Any traces of moisture remained in the washing machine can prove the perfect environment for mildew and mold which, in turn, will cause your clothes to smell badly and also put your health in danger.

 

 

 

The Best Tips for Buying a Plasma Cutter

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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?

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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.

 

5 of the best casinos to play poker in

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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.

 

Summary

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.

 

3 California Travel Tips for Digital Nomads

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Being a digital nomad has become one of the most popular types of employment over the course of the past decade, and that’s because this type of job has a lot of perks and very few downsides. You get to travel to a lot of places, and in most cases, all that you need to be able to do your work is a decent Internet connection and a more than decent laptop. You can be an entrepreneur, a computer programmer, a web designer, or a copywriter — all of these can allow you to live the life of a digital nomad.

You can even travel overseas, if you want, to places such as Thailand or other exotic destinations, but you always have to make sure that you have the practical means to be able to do what drives you — your work.

Whether you are an American or not, you’ve probably dreamed of traveling to the Golden State before. After all, the sun, the sea, and the amazing beaches are some of the common reasons you might want to consider California to be your next destination. But that’s not all. Some of the most iconic American cities are located in this state, and even the smaller ones have their charm.

But one thing that we would recommend before you set out on your Golden State adventure is to do your homework about some of the things that could get you in trouble. Some bizarre laws are still very much applicable despite being dated or downright useless. But California has unique laws. Here, you can buy marijuana, but smoking it under certain circumstances could get you in real legal trouble, in which case you’d need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.

If you want to make sure that you do not end up paying a hefty fine or risk jail time, perhaps you should take a couple of minutes to read some of the tips we’ve listed below. Some of them might even put you in a good mood, especially if you’re a digital nomad.

 

Data protection

We’ll start with something positive and we’ll tell you that California is one of the places where companies cannot keep the data of their users without their consent. According to Harvard Business Review, even companies that generate revenue from targeted advertising over Internet platforms, as is the case with Google, Twitter, and, of course, Facebook, must give their users the permission to delete their data if they so wish to do.

For many digital nomads and people working in the IT&T industry, this change is more than beneficial. California passed the law in July of 2021, so it is rather recent, and there are many companies that have tried to fight it as best as possible.

The personal information that falls under the categories of data that a consumer can choose to delete, thereby forcing the service provider (such as one of the social media networks mentioned previously) to do the same ranges from personal identifiers to Internet browsing history.

So, in many ways, using the Internet in the state of California is much safer than in many other places. The law is set to come into effect at the beginning of 2021, though, so that’s one mention we must make.

 

Drinking, driving, and other important aspects

Not that we’d like to suggest that it’s one of the things you want to do when you’re traveling, but it’s good to know that California has a set of rather unique laws in this respect and that its penalties are even more so.

This state has some of the most stringent DUI laws in the United States. For example, a first offense can set you back by $2,000 for a fine, but that’s only if you’re lucky. You can also get 48h in jail, your license suspended for as many as several months, as well as an obligatory completion of a 3-month alcohol education program.

Subsequent DUI offenses have more severe punishments. A third one can get you an $18,000 fine, a 30-month alcohol treatment program, as well as a whopping of 16 months in state prison. Understand the law before you decide to get behind the wheel while you’re under the influence. Better yet, take a cab or an Uber.

Something else you might want to know about California is that the law requires you to stop for sobriety checkpoints, which means that the Police can test your blood alcohol content pretty much anytime. Don’t drive without a license, a suspended one, or a revoked one because the Police can take you into custody right away and can impound your car.

Also, it is outside the law to talk on your cell phone as you are driving, at least without the use of a headset. You cannot use the device to email or text, but apparently, you are allowed to use navigation apps such as Google Maps as there was the case of one Steven Spriggs of Fresno who appealed a ticket that he received for using the app. And he won.

 

Smoking marijuana

One thing that sets the Golden State aside from many of the rest is that marijuana consumption is legal here, under certain circumstances and limitations. If you are over the age of 21, you are allowed to purchase up to one ounce of cannabis per day, which should be enough for you to fill at least a dozen joints. If you don’t like smoking the thing, you can purchase it in the form of edibles ranging from brownies to breakfast bars, but only up to the amount of 8 grams.

Purchasing the pot needs to be done at a state-licensed recreational dispensary, where you will be required to show an ID or a driver’s license. Because it is illegal to sell marijuana from 10 pm to 6 am, you’ll have no means of getting it at night.

Another essential aspect that you have to be aware of is that you can’t smoke marijuana anywhere. If you’ve ever been to Amsterdam, you probably know that you can get the pot from a licensed store, but you aren’t allowed to smoke it in that place. However, you are allowed to do so in the street.

This doesn’t happen in California as marijuana buyers are required by law to consume it only on private property. You can’t even eat a special brownie in public. There have been some attempts to change this law so that people are allowed to smoke in public cafes (not in those on university campuses, however), but no such efforts have been successful just yet.

Since both alcohol and marijuana can affect a person’s perception of reality and most of all, reflexes, the consumption of both is illegal if you intend to drive. While there’s a limit to alcohol, there isn’t any for pot, so you’d better avoid smoking any at all if you want to get behind the wheel at some point.

If your stay in California is approaching its end and you’d like to take some of the pot with you on the road, you might want to know that transporting it by plane is illegal even if it is medicinal. According to the Department of Homeland Transportation Security Administration, you are not allowed to carry marijuana in your carry-on or checked bags.

While the security officers won’t search for it on purpose, the dogs are trained to look for potentially dangerous substances and you will undoubtedly get searched if a security screening singles you out.

 

The Best Tips for Choosing a Fun Board Game

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From the thousands of board games on the market, the consumer can pick any one that can really get the whole family or a group of friends engaged in fun competition and entertainment while developing teamwork, good sportsmanship and a variety of valuable life skills such as decision making and prioritizing. At play in this kind of entertainment are family dynamics, age groups and personal interests, so choose the most applicable board game that maximizes those elements. To be able to thresh out which board game is the best for your group, take note of the following essential factors.

 

Board game

 

 

Board Game Type

To narrow down your choices, start with the game type the whole group can enjoy playing together.

A matching game such as dominoes or Memory is perfect for players fascinated with pattern recognition and memory. Word games such as Boggle, Scrabble and Prolix are suitable for developing word recognition, reading skills and ability to do simple math to keep score. Chess, checkers, Blokus and Go are good strategy games that require the employment of advanced planning as well as critical thinking. Some fantastic choices for reading, making inferences and trivia knowledge are Trivial Pursuit and themed variations of it. You will want to play Fantasy games such as Dread Pirate and Settlers of Catan to use your critical thinking, planning and creativity skills.

For players enticed by monetary values, counting and strategic planning, financial games in the likes of Monopoly, Easy Money and Life can be the perfect board games.Party games such as Pictionary, Cranium and Scattergories test your ability to work as a team member, read, draw and do critical thinking.

 

 

Suitability to the Group’s Age Bracket

You won’t want to have children under ten having to think of the most outrageously horrid replies to cards in games touted to be designed for people with horribly dark humor, will you? A suitably complex game is perfect for experienced gamers who like to do plenty of critical thinking. For those new to board gaming or for children, go for something simple and non-elaborate. Many games cut across borders easily, while others can get older players bored despite being tremendously entertaining for children. The bottomline: choose a board game that will engage everyone playing and not leave some participants completely out.

 

 

Fits the Allotted Time

Play times are often indicated on the box cover, so you should determine if the play group can play within this time. While some games can be finished in less than half an hour, there are some board games that provide hours of playing. For family game night, the playing time can be an issue, since young kids generally have shorter attention spans compared to older kids, making quickly finished games a suitable choice. Extended gaming sessions may not even be something that teens and older kids who can focus longer can truly enjoy. There are also games that take multiple game sessions to do completely. In order to find a suitable board game, determine the suitable length of time the players are willing to devote to it.

The most sensible thing to do is to have several games on hand and find out which one can be suitable for the time everyone has.

 

Board games

 

 

Number of Participants

Fortunately, there is a huge variety of board games designed to be played by two or more participants. This makes them perfect for various size families. On the other hand, there are games that call for at least three players or perhaps a number of teams. The information is typically found on the box cover as well as the product description. The number of tokens in the package also indicates the maximum number of participants. Other indicators are the quantity of play money, cards or dice in play. For players who are fascinated by head-on challenges, tournaments can be organized using one-on-one games.

 

 

Classic Games never lose their charm

Classic games always make good family games. People of all ages have enjoyed them for years. Suitable for kids while amply entertaining for adults, many of these do not need skills more complex than color recognition and counting, which can easily get the youngest family member to take part.

Candy Land features color-coded cards that players use to go along a path dotted with a variety of pitfalls or traps. Special cards allow players to advance to different slots through the board.

Chutes and Ladders has had variations including Snakes and Ladders and more, with a single die rolled or a spinner to indicate how a participant will move across the board, whether it is to go forward with a ladder or to slide back down through a chute.

Other classic games that only require a player to get to a finish line ahead of the others include Trouble, Sorry, and Parcheesi. These can involve bonus moves dictated by lucky card draws or dice rolls, and sending fellow players back several paces as a factor of competition.

 

 

The Best Tips for Sharpening Your Axe

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If you have been wondering what the most efficient methods of sharpening an axe were, you’ve come to the right place. We enjoy giving out a hand to people who might be struggling with sharpening and maintaining their cutting instruments. As is the case with any other tool designed for cutting, proper use and maintenance are two core ways of keeping your axe in perfect shape.

Even though sharpening an axe might look like a daunting task, we think that it might be a good idea if you had a look at the following tips and tricks that we’ve gathered for your consideration. They speak to beginners and advanced users alike.

 

Sharpening axe

 

The basics

Before getting to work, you should assess the condition of the axe and its handle. Closely inspect the cutting edge and focus on the nicks. Then, decide whether you want to sharpen it for carving or shaving, for smoothing planks for a table, or for felling a tree. You may find different methods on the internet but take into account the fact that there isn’t a universal way of doing the sharpening for every task you might need your axe for.

For example, cutting requires a flat angle while for splitting firewood you will need an axe with a short and abrupt edge.

The simplest way of removing excess metal is by axe grinding. However, this isn’t the most recommended option for people who have little to no experience, as you’ll need to use the grinder very slowly to determine whether or not you still need to remove metal. Perform any quick movement and you might end up ruining the blade.

 

 

The easiest way to sharpen an axe

If you are looking for a hassle-free experience, you might consider using an emery tool or a fine-toothed flat file. The main idea to keep in mind is to stick to the original shape of the blade. With straight bevel faces, you will have to keep the entire bevel face on the wheel or file.

As previously mentioned, a grindstone can do the trick when it comes to repairing minor damage. Wear is something that occurs naturally in an axe, and sharpening against the rotation of a grindstone can be done efficiently and in a rather timely fashion. Perform slow and careful movements both back and forth, so that you even out the entire edge.

Once you’re satisfied with the level of sharpness, you can proceed to hone the edge. This task can be performed with a coarse and then a fine whetstone, which has been previously dipped in water or oil. If you are still looking for a keen edge once you’ve done all this, use a length of leather.

 

Axe sharpening

 

 

Sharpening with a file

This technique is different compared to the one we have described above. It won’t get you the sharpest edge, and therefore, it doesn’t speak to people who are looking to use the axe for shaving. Nevertheless, it’s a great alternative for people who don’t own a grindstone and the sharpness will do its job for all around use.

Start by removing the burrs and nicks with a rough file, once you have clamped your axe. Use a downward motion and remove the metal as evenly as possible, until you start to notice that the edge has started to reflect some light. Be careful when doing these movements, as you don’t want to risk performing a bad cut. Also, if you’re not the handiest person in the world, try using a pair of proper gloves.

Once you’ve reached the sharpening level you have been looking for, it’s time to use a fine file in order to finish the edge.  Use the same downward strokes we were mentioning above and keep the same angle all throughout the operation. To get the right finish, you are likely to require a medium stone.

This sharpening method is rather easy and offers good results for people looking to use their axe on a regular basis.

 

 

Don’t forget about safety

The process of sharpening an axe should occur slowly and carefully, regardless of the method you think is the most convenient. Always pay attention to what you are doing, particularly once you have partially managed to sharpen the blade. In the event you have to attend to some other activity, simply take a break and don’t trust your multi-tasking abilities. Once again, a pair of cut resistant carving gloves never hurt anyone, and it won’t hurt you.

 

 

The Best Tips for Huting Deer with a Crossbow

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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 Choosing New Golf Balls

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Not all golf balls are created equal. Golf balls have been manufactured nowadays to match the advances in the engineering of golf clubs, which is good news for those who love the game as much as they love playing their best golf. You can considerably improve your game by choosing the right golf ball. Amidst the tweaking in design to accommodate the different needs of players, choosing the right golf ball has become a necessity rather than an afterthought.

golf balls

 

Check out the material

The cover of the golf ball can either be urethane or ionomer.

An ionomer cover is constructed using plastic elements. On the other hand, a golf ball cover made of urethane is made using soft, rubber ingredients. Choosing the material for the golf ball cover really depends on the player’s specific skill level aspects, which include the driver distance as well as unintentional habits to spin that the player may have.

Someone new to the game or who has a high handicap is better off checking out ionomer-enclosed golf balls. This type reduces slicing and hooking while allowing the user to get the ball travelling higher, which those with slow to moderate swing speeds can fully appreciate. This type of golfer can also work well with a two-piece ball that offers emphasis on low spin and distance.

Golfers who play on an expert level will do well with a urethane-enclosed golf ball. A player of this type typically shoots in the 70’s to the low 80’s, which signifies excellent control of the swing and the capability of going on a birdie run in every round. Urethane-covered golf balls are beneficial for short games while being long on the tee. The expert player can select between 3- and 5-piece balls.

The player whose skill level lies between the first two requires more focus on their side spin. This makes a 3-piece ionomer-enclosed golf ball a good bet, which delivers low spin, high launch and more roll on the ground.

 

 

Take note of the construction

Choose the type of golf ball construction to suit your needs. Golf balls are marketed as multilayer items with 2- or 3-piece designs. Multilayer balls are geared toward minimizing the effects of spin on them.

For golfers who want additional backspin, a 3-piece ball is ideal.

In addition, once you have understood your greenside control needs, pick a ball to fit those needs.

If you are the type of player who considers control around the greens as critical to every game, a three-piece urethane covered ball should do fine. If control on the greens is not really a big deal, or even a soft feel, or all you want is just getting a long distance from your driver and a spin with full irons is vital, check out golf balls with medium- to low- hardness on the cover.

A number of golf balls can give far distances with soft feel. However, control around the greens doesn’t come with soft feel.

 

golf ball on green

 

 

Take note of compression ratings

Low core compression can give a ball a soft feel despite a relatively hard cover, which won’t grip high-loft clubs. Thanks to improvements on core technology, there are now plenty of good choices in the category for feel-distance in golf balls.

For players who have high swing speeds and can propel their drive over 240 yards in the air, a suitable compression rating is 100. Individuals with lower swing speeds should do well with a compression rating from 80 to 90.

 

 

Check out Spin

With a low spin golf ball, the side spin of shots is reduced so the ball can fly straighter and truer through the air. The distance travel may not be much but the decreased spin will result in a higher amount of roll when landing. This type is suitable for those who find it challenging to achieve ground distance or who slice the ball.

A mid-spin gold ball offers a choice between a low spin and a high spin golf ball. By taking the benefits of the other two types of balls, the mid-spin ball delivers strong distance with a unique feel and softness. This type is usable by all players.

A high spin golf ball is engineered to raise the level of air spin for it. When hit, this type is propelled through the air with a certain level of back spin to cover a longer distance. This type is made for those who hit the ball right to left with a draw.

high spin golf ball

 

 

The golf ball should match all aspects of your game

You want a golf ball that will complement all aspects of your game. It is necessary to evaluate one’s overall game along with their weaknesses before making a final decision on a golf ball.

For those who often end up 10 to 15 yards short on their target driver length or on long par 3s, going for a golf ball geared to provide further distance is always the best choice.

Individuals who find themselves hitting greens while the ball remains unstuck, a ball geared for higher spin could enable possible hitting of more greens in moderation.

 

 

 

The Best Tips for Snow Boots Maintenance

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Protecting snow boots can look like a daunting task, particularly if this is the first pair you have ever owned. The important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. With several simple tips and tricks, you can maintain your winter and snow boots in perfect shape. We’ve put together a short guide that can assist you in caring for your boots, since they can be damaged by a lot of things, including mud, rain, and snow.

 

Snow boots

 

The basics

Let’s say you’ve recently purchased a pair of new snow boots. Believe it or not, maintenance should start ever since you’ve received them at your doorstep. Often times, the manufacturer will recommend a waterproofing spray that the buyers can utilize in order to increase the water resistance of the model they have purchased. If possible, begin by spraying the waterproofing product right off the bat.

If your boots are made of leather, you might want to consider saddle soap. Even though it might be regarded as an old-fashioned product, you may find that it can do wonders when it comes to cleaning, conditioning, and protecting the leather. If you are feeling a bit puzzled as to how you may use saddle soap to cover the boots, we’ll put your mind at ease. Use water and saddle soap to create a lather to cover your boots. Allow it to set and dry for a couple of minutes, and then remove it with a piece of cloth.

Since saddle soap can affect the coloring of some types of leather, it might be a good idea to test the lather on a small portion of the boot to realize whether or not it might affect the overall color of the unit.

 

 

Salt and the winter season

Above all, salt can take a toll on snow boot. In this sense, the crucial consideration is to clean the boots right after taking a stroll in the snow. You’ll require warm water, laundry soap or detergent, some baking soda, vinegar, and a towel, as well as soft cloths and sponges. Salt stains have to be cleaned as quickly as possible, provided you take notice of them in a timely fashion.

If you plan on soaking your boots in their entirety, use a mixture of warm water, white vinegar, and detergent. Just allow the inserts to soak and gently rinse the outside and inside of the boots.

Things are somewhat different you’re the owner of a pair of suede boots, you might want to remove salt stains by using an eraser or sand with an emery board. Brush the flattened nap with the help of a towel or toothbrush.

If possible, don’t allow the salt to penetrate the surface of the snow boots. Sometimes, whatever you do, this might occur. Rest assured, you still have the ability to clean them, but you’ll probably need to use commercial products.

 

Cleaning snow boots

 

 

Shiny, polished, and clean

Leather boots are the most difficult ones to maintain, as you’ll have to polish them rather frequently. Nevertheless, even models made with synthetic fabrics require a little maintenance, as a little warm water never hurt a pair of boots. If you are looking to remove scuff marks, you might want to know that the most effective combination is the one composed of baking soda and warm water.

If you came across an unhappy accident and somehow managed to get oil stains on your suede boots, don’t panic. Use either talcum powder or cornmeal to brush off the stains as soon as possible.

 

 

Store in a clean, dry place

This piece of advice might come up with any product you might purchase, be it food or clothing. Nothing beats storage when it comes to snow boots, because some people live in areas where winter isn’t something that goes on for ages. If you don’t store your boots properly, you have a high risk of finding them either moldy or cracked. It goes without saying that the mold that affects your snow boots may just as well contaminate the other pieces of clothing you have stored in the same area.

Both leather and suede have to breathe from time to time, which is why plastic bags should be out of the question. While keeping your boots in direct sunlight isn’t the right way to go about things, checking on them from time to time is. The warmer and sunnier the place, the more likely they are to develop cracks.