Archive for April, 2009|Monthly archive page

Chainsaw Craft By Thomas Husnik

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Chainsaw carving is truly a fantastic craft to create a sculpture out of a log with a chainsaw. A beautiful way to add the finishing touch to your landscaping project. The earliest record of chainsaw carving history goes back to the 1950’s when it all began. It wasn’t until the early 60’s that the chainsaw dealerships started lining up and the state fairs and forestry expos for this craft though, and it has been building popularity and following ever since.

Equipment

There are a few valuable tools in particular that are used in chainsaw carving, the main one being a chainsaw of course. It is important to choose the right chainsaw for carving, because you do not want to have one that is so heavy you will not be able to lift it. At the same time you do not want to have too light of a chainsaw that you will not be able to carve properly.

There are also other smaller tools that you may want to use for your chainsaw carving as well, such as knives or shorter blades, to get into the tight areas and do sculpting.

Just like any type of art it takes practice and patience to become proficient at chainsaw carving. If you want to become very skilled at it you will need to seek out a quality instructor who is willing to show you the fine details and tricks that are related to the art. Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. If you want to become a craftsman take your time and learn. Don’t get frustrated if your first attempts don’t work out so well. Patience and practice and it will come. After time your efforts will pay off and the skills will become more automatic and the carving will flow much easier.

There are some great chainsaw carving instructors out there that you could get to help you out, at least at the very beginning when you are just getting started. They will be able to help you find the right tools for the job and show you tips and tricks of the trade.

Take all of your lessons seriously and put all of the information to use. Your instructor will take you through all of the steps in creating a chainsaw carving. Listen to all that he has to say, even holding you chainsaw properly is vitally important, not only for your safety but for the desired angles and shapes of the cuts you are trying to make.

If you really take your time and develop quality skills you can make a good living at chainsaw carving. There are many who do and if you are interested you have to get serious and practice all the time to get really good. See Cherie Curry’s story here

http://www.chainsawchick.com/

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Betting on a Hole in One in the Virtual World By PAUL SULLIVAN

BILL STRAYTON has his wife to thank for losing $10,000 in a Las Vegas golf tournament. Last year she pushed him to enter the World Series of Golf. But no one had to prod him to pony up another $10,000 this year. “It’s like an addiction,” said Mr. Strayton, 64, a retired manufacturer from Mount Airy, Md. “It’s really thrilling. I’ve taken all the risks you can in business, and this one makes no sense.”

Maxine Hicks for The New York Times

Mr. Leiweke’s goal is ambitious — turning a high-stakes golf tournament into the next hot Web property.

World Series of Golf, Inc.

A design mock-up of the online golf game being developed by Terry Leiweke.

Mr. Strayton is an average golfer who is enthralled by a new type of golf tournament, one that combines the betting of poker with the pressure shots of golf. After breaking even the second time he played in the World Series, he is gearing up for his third trip next spring.

This type of interest was what Terry Leiweke, the chief executive of the World Series, had envisioned — a buzz-generating tournament that grew steadily each year. With that in hand, he now wants to expand into the virtual world.

“Online games are the darlings,” he said. “There are 100 million online game players. Capture 1 percent of that, then the multiples are astounding.”

Mr. Leiweke’s goal is ambitious — turning a high-stakes golf tournament into the next hot Web property — and on the surface he seems an unlikely choice for that task. For one thing, he does not use a computer, so he cannot research video games online. For another, he is not a gambler, though he does play golf. His strength, he said, is picking strong partners and marketing a good idea into a profitable one.

Then, in 2005, the World Series of Golf landed in his lap. When he was approached with the idea by two businessmen, he had a hunch that a poker-style golf tournament could be a winner. So, he secured a trademark for the name (the Professional Golfers Association had owned it but let it lapse) — and tested the concept on gamblers, not golfers, because, he said, “we needed casino types to tweak the format.”

The resulting game is straightforward: 125 amateur golfers put up $10,000 each and compete for a $250,000 prize. The format combines the betting of Texas Hold ’Em poker with golf’s hole-by-hole match play, and it uses a bracket structure similar to a college basketball tournament to weed out the players over three days. Five survive to play for the grand prize.See full story http://www.worldseriesofgolf.com/default.aspx

Tips on Preparing for Your Whitewater Rafting Trip

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Spring is here and summer is well on its way, which can only mean one thing in the river rat’s world – rafting season is upon us! The warm spring sunshine is melting the winter’s snow, filling the rivers to capacity and, in some cases, moving boulders and obstacles in the river to create giant waves and holes and in essence a brand-new river to run

. Colorado is one of the foremost locations for spectacular rafting adventures with several rivers to choose from and everything from gnarly rapids to relaxing float trips. If you are planning a rafting trip this season for you and your friends or family, this is your ultimate guide to ensuring that your experience is safe, fun, and memorable for everyone in your party.

1. First, identify what level of rafting your party would enjoy and is capable of handling. Rivers are labeled according to six classifications indicating the level of difficulty of the rapids and navigation. Classes I-V are commercially raftable. Classes’ I-II are usually navigable by athletic amateurs with some paddling experience. These classes indicate that the rapids have only small waves and clear routes and that no technically difficult maneuvers are required. Class III rapids have large waves, usually have clear routes but might contain some obstacles within them, and necessitate some difficult maneuvers and skills. This is also the highest level of rapid that a first-year river guide is supposed to run, though many outfitters fail to adhere to this rule. Classes IV and V have large waves and holes, unclear lines with many obstacles, and require difficult maneuvers to navigate.

If you have young children or older adults, be aware of their limitations and recognize that some stretches of river might frighten them. Also, Class IV-V stretches, as well as many outfitters, have age requirements and may also require paddling experience and physical fitness.

2. Next, check the water levels of the rivers you are considering and the weather conditions during the time of your trip. The volume of water flowing in a river is measured by cubic feet per second, a figure that not only indicates how much water is in the river but also how fast it is flowing. The larger the number, the bigger the waves and holes will be. Many rivers begin the season at around 3,000 cfs, making for an excellent whitewater trip but will drop significantly in later summer months to as low as 100-200 cfs, which creates a more technical but much slower trip. However, depending on the width of the river, even lower volumes of water can produce quite breath-taking whitewater. (The narrower the river, the bigger the whitewater during low-water seasons). Ask outfitters what they expect their river levels to be at the time of your travel and what they project the weather to be doing. In many regions, the weather is quite predictable, with clear, cool mornings and regular afternoon rain showers. Inquire about their cancellation policy due to weather.

3. Decide whether you will go with a commercial guide or will paddle yourself. Please, please make the wise decision. If water levels are high or fast, strainers (downed trees and other obstacles that block lines) are prevalent, or your experience is limited, choose a commercial outfitter. Commercial trips range from around $30/adult to about $75/adult for a half-day trip, and day trips and overnight trips are offered by many companies. Raft rentals are usually more expensive but can be divided between party members. However, ask the local whitewater rafting companies what stretches can be navigated safely by amateurs. If you do decide to go with a commercial rafting company, many companies also offer adventure packages that include another activity such as rock climbing, hiking, or mountain biking. Furthermore, some companies are Christian-owned and -operated and are great for youth group, camp, or church trips.

4. Choose between a paddle-guided trip or an oar-frame boat. If you decide to book your trip with a commercial guide, you will usually be offered the choice between two types of trips, depending on the stretch of river that will be run. In an oar-frame, the guide sits in the chair in the middle of the boat and rows the boat by herself or himself. This way, the guide has complete control over the boat, and the passengers can sit back and enjoy the ride. This is ideal for those with small children or who want to relax on their trip. In a paddle-guide, all (or most) rafters will paddle the boat, and the guide will sit at the back of the raft with a longer paddle, called a guide stick, and call instructions to the other boaters. Because of the speed and power with which the paddlers are able to propel and maneuver the boat, paddle-guides are sometimes the only options on rivers with higher classifications. However, four strong paddlers are the usual minimum requirement for a paddle-guided boat. Some combinations of oar-frames and paddle-guides can be arranged if fewer people or younger children want to paddle.

5. Find out what amenities the price will include with various companies. Some companies offer locker rooms and showers, wetsuits or splash pants and jackets, and meals for the price of the trip. All commercial trip prices will include PFDs (personal flotation devices), shuttle to and from the river, First Aid kits, limited dry storage, and paddles for paddle-guided trips. For an additional fee, many outfitters offer wetsuits and booties (with some, this is complementary), photo services, and gift shops. Also, check whether or not your large party is eligible for a group discount.

6. Identify what you need to or want to bring on your rafting trip. For overnight trips, the companies usually provide tents and sleeping bags, but you will want to pack toiletries and extra clothes. Some outfitters allow coolers on the boats but will limit or prohibit alcohol consumption – make sure to ask if this is a consideration. Ask if you should purchase your own dry bag if your party has a great deal of extra gear they want to bring along. If you intend to bring a camera, buy a waterproof disposable one or a waterproof case to put yours in. Pelican brand cases are specifically designed to hold electronics, are shatterproof, and even float. If you plan on bringing snacks, put them in a labeled zip-lock bag.

7. Book your trip well in advance. The summer is a busy season for river outfitters, and oftentimes they book up quickly. Make sure to give advance notice if you need to cancel and make changes in your reservation.

8. When selecting a company, take note of customer service, organization, and certifications. Remember, these are the people who will be managing your trip, to whom you will be entrusting your life, and with whom you will be spending a great deal of time. Are they courteous and cheerful over the phone? Do they respond promptly and in a business-like manner? Do they seem to enjoy what they are doing? Do they treat people of the opposite sex with respect? What licenses does the company hold, and what training and certifications are required from the staff? How many years have they been in business? Make sure that the guides instruct you in river safety should the boat high-side or you fall out.

9. Dress appropriately. Avoid cotton – it holds moisture close to the skin, keeping you cold and wet. Even in warm weather, hypothermia can set in. Synthetic and quick-drying materials are best. Swimsuits are usually good to wear under other clothing (and you might even get the opportunity to swim in slow, deep areas). River sandals or watershoes with good traction help with traction on rocky river bottoms. Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater, sunglasses, and a hat (and remember to bring a means to fasten your glasses and hat to you). Keep in mind that sunlight reflects brightly on water and that you will most likely be at a high elevation and therefore closer to the sun. For warmth, bring along a polypropylene/fleece top or a rain jacket, and make sure to pack a change of clothes. Finally, do not bring along or wear valuables, as they make get lost, broken, or ruined.

10. Reward good service and report bad experiences. The staff and management will appreciate your feedback. Gratuities are welcome but not required.

When the river beckons your name, answer the call to adventure with preparedness and awareness of how to make your trip the experience of a lifetime!

http://www.whitewater.net

So you want to be a custom bike builder? Start with motorcycle kits By Michael Holmes

chopperSo you want to be a custom bike builder? Well friend, before you rush out shopping for motorcycle kits, that will set you on the road to riches and fame, stop and think about the level of expertise and artistry the top builders have attained. More importantly think about how long it has taken them to attain it! Let’s look at a few key issues…
Education
You’d be surprised how well educated a lot of today’s top bike builders are. Several of them have degrees (some more than one!) ranging from mechanical engineering to business and marketing management. Billy Lane, the founder of Chopper Inc, has several patents relating to motorcycle technology in his name for example. What about someone a little more “old school” like Dave Perewitz? Dave has accumulated close to forty years of mechanical, metalworking and painting experience. Not theoretical, but genuine hands on, early morning late night kind of experience. Could you put that kind of time in? Matt Hotch is still only young, but has gained an incredible amount of practical experience customizing first bicycles, then VW’s before moving on to custom bike building.
Facilities
These guys are building choppers and custom bikes that are state of the art. They don’t get thrown together in the yard; the motorcycle shops have all the tools and equipment required to produce almost anything out of metal, not just bikes. Just as important are the other services these builders use; the local chrome platters, machinists, painters and so on. These guys have just as important a part to play in the construction of these one off bikes as the designer builders themselves.
Desire
All the top custom bike builders live for one thing; building the best bikes they can. They literally live eat even dream about custom bikes (and looking at some of the more way out creations you can totally believe this from the designs they produce!) They are constantly striving to build bikes better. It’s not about money for the top guys, I am convinced of that.
So where does that leave Average Joes like you and me? Actually, I don’t think we are too badly off; in fact if you want to build a custom bike, it has probably never been easier. Here’s my take on it….
Education
There is an unbelievable amount of information for the guys who want to start down the road to custom bike building. Videos, books websites, all of them help to flatten the learning curve for a novice. Most of the material out there relates to motorcycle kits, and for the beginner, building a motorcycle kit is definitely the best way to go if you want to get real hands on experience. After that there are motorcycle maintenance courses, which again will allow you to get up to speed as fast as possible in your quest to become the next Arlen Ness!
Facilities
To put together a shop like the ones you see on television costs thousands of dollars. But you don’t need all that stuff if you start with a motorcycle kit. Motorcycle kits can be put together with some pretty basic tools, providing they are of good quality. Two things that are an absolute must in my opinion though are a torque wrench and a basic lift. With these two tools, you can tighten the motorcycle kits fittings correctly, and not break your back while you are doing it!
Desire
Well this is one area where you can match the pros, no question. If you really want to be a custom bike builder, start doing it for fun and put your motorcycle kit together. http://www.chopperguys.com/id40.htm

Basics Camping Tips By :Thomas Husnik

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Are you ready to try camping? These  tips will help you get started. By the end of this article you’ll know what camping gear you’ll need, how to find a campground, what to expect when you get to your destination, how to set up your campsite, and how to be a good camper.

Tent, Sleeping Bag, Food/Water, Ice Chest, Stove/Campfire, Flashlights/Lanterns, First Aid Kit, Cookware/Dinnerware/Utensils, Matches, Personal Items.

Your first tent need not be expensive, but it should provide adequate weather protection. Similarly, you can find moderately priced sleeping bags that work well too. With a little care and maintenance most camping gear will last for many years. And depending on your eating habits you may need nothing more than a cooler, a bag of charcoal, and a spatula.
Making a bed at the campground is easy. First you need to have some type of pad to prospect you from the hard ground. There are inflatable pads and various closed-cell pads that work quite well. On top of the pad you’ll place your sleeping bag. If you’re a beginner, you’re probably summer camping, so you won’t need an expensive sleeping bag. A lightweight rectangular sleeping bag will do. If it gets too warm, you may opt to sleep on top of it with a sheet and/or blanket. Don’t forget to bring a pillow.
Outdoor cooking is enjoyed by many whether at the campground or in your own backyard. So if you’re a backyard chef, you already have lots of recipes to try at the campground. If not, you can always get by with a cooler of drinks, sandwiches, and snacks.Most public campgrounds provide a grill and picnic table at each campsite. With a bag of charcoal and a spatula you’re ready to make steaks, hot dogs, and hamburgers on the grill. Add a propane stove, a skillet, and a few pots, and you’re ready to cook up lots of stove-top meals. Get a Dutch oven, and now you can bake at the campground too. Depending on your cooking skills and equipment. How to build a campfire
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There are more than 3,000 state parks in the United States, not to mention county parks and recreation areas, federal lands, wilderness areas, state and federal forest areas, and undeveloped public lands. Lands that have been preserved and protected from further developments surround some of the largest metropolitan areas.                                                                                                                http://www.camping.com
How to Plan Camping Trip videoCamping World

Learn Scuba Diving and Snorkeling By Thomas Husnik

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling are great ways to get in touch with the aquatic world. Using underwater breathing equipment and professional training, Scuba diving lets you submerge and stay under water for long periods of time. SCUBA, which means “Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus”, can show you a beautiful other world. Beginners are normally given training lessons in low water scenarios (such as pools). Once you have the proper training you are led by professionals to deeper areas.That simple definition, though, belies the true excitement of this recreation – scuba divers enjoy seeing marine life up close and even see underwater shipwrecks, coral reefs, and caves, all from a unique perspective.

Snorkeling on the other hand is done by swimming with goggles and breathing snorkel on the surface of the water, observing the aquatic life below. It is very easy and inexpensive to try out, while providing a great marine experience.

Determine how serious your interest is. Will you dive in warm waters a few times a year at some pricey resorts, or are you interested in hardcore cold-water diving and exploring shipwrecks? It’s important to ask yourself such questions, because you can enjoy diving without becoming certified. If you vacation in popular diving spots like the Caribbean, Acapulco or the Florida Keys, you will easily find offers for “resort” dives. These are usually 1-day or weekend crash courses in diving that include a guided dive with a dive master. You do not get certified and cannot go unsupervised, but you are certainly allowed to enjoy the marine life in the area. Although often expensive, this type of introduction to diving is a wonderful way to decide if you want to pursue certification. You will probably even get a few underwater disposable-camera shots of yourself with colorful fish.

If you have a more vested interest in diving and want to become certified, there are physical and mental aspects of the sport that you should consider. It’s fairly obvious that this is a sport with a healthy amount of risk.

You first must determine whether you are physically able to scuba dive. Even if you know how to swim, scuba diving can be tiring, so your swimming skills should be fairly strong. If you are overweight, tire easily or have diabetes, a heart condition or any other predisposition to drowning, talk to your doctor before scuba diving.

Some people have problems getting used to breathing through their mouths instead of their noses. This problem can be easily fixed through practice with a snorkel or regulator in “safe” environments like a pool or bathtub. A harder problem to overcome is equalizing the pressure in your ears as you descend lower and lower into the water–that is, being able to “pop” your ears, like on a plane. As you go deeper in the ocean, pressure builds, and it is crucial to your physical being that you be able to pop your ears. Some people find this easier than others. Some can just swallow, yawn or hold their noses and blow gently. Others like to yawn and wiggle their jaws from side to side. Whatever the method, it sometimes takes a pretty long time to kick in. If you are having trouble equalizing, don’t go any deeper. Tell your buddy (more on him below) to hold up, and make sure you pop your ears, because the alternative can be ruptured eardrums.

When you have congestion, it’s very hard to equalize. People with colds and allergies should reschedule their dives.

There are also mental considerations. You must not panic while scuba diving–not necessarily in case you get in trouble, but in case your buddy has a problem. Whenever diving, you should always have such a “buddy,” someone who you’ll stick next to, and who will watch over you while you watch over him. If your buddy has a problem, it’s your responsibility to get someone (most likely, the dive master) to help him. If you panic, your buddy might not get such help.

It’s true that you would rarely encounter things like sharks, barracudas and piranhas, but how do you feel about jellyfish, slimy stingrays and thick kelp forests? If you get revolted by the thought of encountering such phenomena or even swallowing sea water, you might not be the best candidate for scuba diving. And if you are prone to seasickness, remember that scuba diving involves going on boats to get to dive sites
like the great barrier reef.
http://www.scubaduba.comrife1

Horseback Riding Awesome Hobby By :Thomas Husnik

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There’s a fabulous sense of adventure associated with horseback riding. Also almost every ware you travel you can rent horses like Barbados ride on the beach or the back country.

How about this schedule of multi-day horseback riding holidays featuring camping or inn lodging. Hondoo outfits a full schedule of multi-day horseback riding vacation featuring camping or inn lodging.

Your perception of nature improves manifold as you also enjoy several health benefits. Look at these:
Fitness and health – horse riding is a great exercise that tones your body
Weight loss
Reducing stress as horse riding helps you get rid of stress
Horse riding is an excellent confidence builder as well as making you more disciplined.

Spending time with a horse and therefore with nature can be a pleasant experience. Horses are known for their intelligence and loyalty. Learning horseback riding is not difficult or expensive, so you can rest assured that your hobby will not burn a hole in your pocket. It is not necessary to own a horse to learn to ride it since you can rent both the horse and the accessories you need to go riding.

Apart from being a lot of fun, horseback riding can be a rewarding experience letting you discover the horse lover in you. All you need is the right gear, a good instructor to get started. Did you know there are different styles of horseback riding? We basically hear about the Western and English style. People usually feel that western can be learned more easily since the English style can be tough. If your aim is to learn horse riding for fun, go in for the western. You must, at all times, show kindness towards the horse and make sure you don’t lose your temper or get irritated.
You can look around or ask for the stables in your locality. Good stables will take proper care of their horses. Check whether the staff readily answers questions you might have. Most stables require you to sign a liability waiver. Get all the information about schedule for the lessons and the fees applicable.

Do not forget to inform your instruction if you are learning horseback riding for the first time. This will help them choose a horse that is gentle, slow and well trained. First lessons are generally one on one and last a maximum of half an hour. Horseback riding as a hobby is a very pleasurable thing and with the right instructor there’s no limit to your enjoyment. This information is just a trigger to start you off on your hobby learning horseback riding. Happy horseback riding! http://www.horseandtravel.com

Susan Boyle, British talent show competitor

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Susan Boyle,who had previously sung only in church or for friends, became an Internet celebrity after her stunning audition on reality show “Britain’s Got Talent.” the British talent show competitor who became a YouTube sensation this week, made her first US appearance Thursday morning.
She told CBS’s “The Early Show that her fame ‘hasn’t really sunk in yet.’ and that her performance was for her mother, who died recently.
“I wanted to make this a tribute to my mother,” Boyle said. “I knew it was something I had to do. I had to get on with it. That’s where the courage came from, my mother.” Susan Boyle steps into the spotlight and opens her mouth, and before she’s sung three glorious, crystal clear notes, the audience is cheering, the judges’ jaws have dropped, and I’m choking back tears.The Imponderable, Improbable, even Impossible Dream empowering us all to reach and achieve. See her performance on Britain’s Got Talent Here. Everybody hears song and sometimes they used it to sing, it doesn’t matter that they have talent to sing or not. Some people sing song as a bathroom singer, some sing as their hobby, some sing for make fun and some sing to make their career.Exclusive: Susan Boyle’s first ever song release revealed – listen to it hereSusan Boyle’s popularity may count against her says Piers Morgan see story here.Keep Up With Susan Boyle On: Susan Boyle Fan Site.Susan Boyle – I Dreamed a Dream – BGT Final Click Here

Etsy: The Handmade’s Tale

etsy2If you have a craft you love but don’t know ware to sell it or maybe your looking for something unique and don’t know where to find it? Here it is.Etsy is a website that allows users to buy and sell handmade items. The company charges users a flat listing fee (of 20 cents per items), and takes a commission of 3.5% off all items sold. Etsy has a very slick Flash interface, which, combined with a smart taxonomy for listing items, makes it easy for users to find items, and helps sellers improve visibility. Items are listed under broad categories, such as Accessories, Clothing, Art, etc., and further listed under user-defined tags. Since its launch in June 2005, the site has continually added new widgets and features, and has seen corresponding growth. As of December 2007, the site boasts over 100,000 registered sellers, and has seen over 2 million sales.http://www.etsy.com

Learn How to Create Beautiful Unique Gift Boxes


This website is the real deal. As part of my ongoing search to help you find the absolute best tools for you to create quality Arts and Crafts, this is without a doubt at the top of my list. I Highly Endorse it.
The creator of this site, Janlia Chong, makes people from all over the world remember what Gift-Giving is all about. She helps people that cares about Giving to create Beautifully Designed and Unique Gift Boxes for all ages and tastes.

Whether you are looking for a different and unique gift or you are interested in making some beautiful craft-work, these wonderful templates are very versatile, economic and easy to use.

These unconventional Ideas, Tips and Techniques come with easy to follow instructions to help you create Incredible Gift Boxes in the comfort of your home. Click here to go to Janlia’s web site now

Thomas Husnik