Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
It looks like tomorrow will be the first day of a few spring fix up projects around my home. And in case your Dad, Uncle, Grandpa, or Mom didn't teach you respect for tools, take a look at this from the AOM blog:
Posted: 18 Feb 2010 07:58 PM PST
Today we return to our series called Toolmanship. The goal of this series is to pass on the basics of tool use to a generation of men who never got around to learning how to be handy.
In this edition, we turn our attention to the lowly hand screwdriver. We’ll take a look at the different types of screwdrivers, how to use one effectively, and tips on maintaining your screwdrivers so you can pass them down to your grandsons.
Parts of a Screwdriver
The screwdriver consists of four parts: 1) The handle, 2) the shank, 3) the blade, and 4) the tip.
Types of Screwdrivers
Screwdrivers are distinguished from each other based on their tip and what type of screw they drive. The two most common screwdriver tips are 1) the slot head screwdriver, and 2) the Phillips-head screwdriver.
Slot head screwdriver (Flathead/regular screwdriver). A slot head screwdriver consists of a single, flat blade that fits in the single slot of traditional screws. It’s the oldest and most common screwdriver in the world.
Phillips-head Screwdriver. A Phillips-head screwdriver has a four star point at the end that fits into the corresponding screw’s shallow, cross-shaped depression. This design allows a user to apply more torque than is possible with a flathead screwdriver. The depression forces the blades of the Phillips screwdriver to slip out before any damaging over-torquing can occur.
While these are the most common screwdrivers, several other types exist for different jobs. Browse this site to see the different types of screwdrivers.
What Screwdrivers Do You Need in Your Toolbox?
You don’t need too many screwdrivers in your toolbox. Below is a suggested list of screwdrivers that will ensure you can handle any job you might face at home.
- Heavy-duty square blade. A long, heavy-duty square blade screwdriver will come in handy for those jobs when you need a lot of torque and driving power.
- Medium and small slot screwdriver.
- Cabinet Screwdriver. A cabinet screwdriver has a thinner shank than most screwdrivers. The thin shank allows the tip to reach screws in deep holes without damaging the surrounding wood. Additionally, the tip on a cabinet screwdriver is straight as opposed to tapered as on a traditional flathead screwdriver.
- Medium Phillips screwdriver.
- Stubby Phillips screwdriver. Use a stubby screwdriver when you don’t have much space to work.
- Ratchet screwdriver. If you do a lot of screwdriving, you might want to invest in a ratchet screwdriver. Like the name says, this screwdriver has a ratcheting device that locks the shank in place when turning clockwise, but then loosens when turning counter-clockwise. Instead of having to take the screwdriver tip out of the screw every time you make a rotation, you can leave it in the screw and just ratchet back to your starting position.
Select the Correct Screwdriver
The biggest mistake people make when using a screwdriver is using the wrong kind for the job. Consequently, they either strip the screw, making it difficult to remove if they need to, or they damage a perfectly good screwdriver. Avoid these headaches by following these tips.
Slot head screwdrivers for slot screws, Phillips-head screwdrivers for Phillips-head screws. You’d think this would be obvious, but a lot of men will take a flathead screwdriver to a Phillips screw when they don’t have a Phillips-head screwdriver handy. Don’t be that guy. Sure, you might be able to get away with it a few times, but you’re risking stripping the screw or damaging the blade on your screwdriver.
Use the right tip size. The tip of the screwdriver should completely fill the slot of the screw you’re driving or removing. If the tip is too narrow, there will be considerable loss of leverage while driving, which means you’ll have to use more muscle to drive the screw. Also, you risk stripping the screw and bending the tip of your screwdriver.
If the tip is too wide, you risk damaging the surface you’re screwing into.
If the tip is too thick, the blade won’t fit in the screw slot and will just slip out as you’re driving.
To help you get the right screwdriver for the job, use this screwdriver sizing chart.
Slot-headed Screwdrivers and Screws
|Blade Size||Screw Size|
|3/32”||O and 1|
|3/16”||4 and 5|
|1/4”||6 and 7|
|5/16”||8 to 10|
|3/8”||12 to 14|
|7/16”||16 to 18|
|1/2”||18 to 24|
Phillips-head Screwdrivers and Screws
|Blade Size||Screw Size|
|0||O and 1|
|1||2 to 4|
|2||5 to 9|
|3||10 to 16|
|4||18 to 24|
How to Use a Screwdriver
Create a pilot hole. When driving screws into wood, it’s a good idea to drill a pilot hole first. Without pilot holes, screws tend to follow the grain of the wood, which results in crooked screws. Thus, pilot holes ensure that you drive the screw in straight.
Moreover, pilot holes prevent the wood from splinting as you drive the screw in. For small screws in softwood, make a pilot hole by using a punch hole and an awl. For larger sized screws and all screws in hardwood, drill a pilot hole with a boring tool of some kind.
Start the screw. Place the screw on the driver tip and hold both screw and tip together with the fingers of one hand. Apply very little pressure on the driver while turning in a clockwise direction until the screw engages the wood.
Keep driving. When the screw’s thread engages with the wood, move your fingers that were holding the screw in place to the screwdriver shank. Use these fingers as a guide to hold the tip directly in line with the screw. Apply enough pressure on the driver to keep it in the slot.
Screwdriver Tips From Grandpa
Rub beeswax or soap on screw threads. This makes screws easier to drive, especially in hardwood.
Get more leverage with an adjustable wrench. If you’re driving or removing a particularly stubborn screw, add an adjustable wrench to the equation. Grip the wrench onto the tip of the screwdriver’s blade. As you turn the screwdriver, turn the wrench. This will give you a bit more leverage to move even the most stubborn of screws.
For tough to reach places, use a screw holder. Sometimes you just can’t get your hands into a place to hold a screw as you start driving it. For moments like this, bust out a screw holder. It’s placed on the end of your screwdriver and has a set of jaws that holds the screw in place as you start the driving.
Get more power. For more driving power, use a screwdriver with a shorter shank. Also, try exerting downward pressure on the top of the screwdriver with your free hand.
Maintaining Your Screwdrivers
Use screwdrivers for driving screws only. Screwdrivers do one job: drive and draw screws. They shouldn’t be used as putty knives and wood chisels, for opening paint cans, or stabbling famous cyclists. Using your screwdriver for a purpose it wasn’t meant for will only result in a damaged screwdriver and life in jail.
Keep the tip square (just like your chin). No matter how much care you take with your screwdrivers, they’re bound to get worn or chipped. If you notice your screwdriver’s tip getting a bit rounded or chipped, avoid using it. You risk the screwdriver slipping from the screw and either injuring yourself or the surface that you’re screwing into. To correct any rounding or chipping in your tip, just grind it square with a bench grinder. Avoid overheating the tip. You’ll mess up the metal’s temper if you do.
Oil things up. To avoid rusting, keep your tools stored in a cool, dry place. It also doesn’t hurt to rub the shank down with oil and take some steel wool to your screwdrivers every now and then.
Can’t I Just Use a Power Screwdriver?
I bet many of you are asking, “Can’t I just use a power screwdriver?” Indeed you can. If you plan on driving a ton of screws, an investment in a quality power screwdriver might be worth it. However, be careful when using power screwdrivers or power drills that can be converted to screwdrivers. They often provide more torque and power than you need, which, if you’re not careful, can result in damage to the wood or stripping the screw. Driving a screw by hand prevents that because you can “feel” when the screw is tight enough.
If you don’t plan on doing a ton of screwing (you’re done sewing your wild tool oats), then you can get by with just a set of manual screwdrivers.DownloadThe Art of Manliness Free Man Cookbook
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Thursday, February 18, 2010
Here's what people are doing according to MarketingCharts.com.
(Click on the charts to make them BIGGER)
Americans Make Small Cutbacks
American consumers are cutting back on small purchases to save money, according to a recent Harris Poll from Harris Interactive.For example, almost two-thirds of U.S. adults (63%) say they have purchased more generic brands in the past six months to save money while an additional 12% say they have considered doing so.Other highlights of small cutbacks American consumers are making include:
- Almost half (45%) say they are brown bagging lunch instead of purchasing it, with 8% having considered doing so; 34% say this is not applicable to them.
- Two in five (39%) are going to the hairdresser/barber/stylist less often and 8% have considered doing so.
- One-third of Americans (34%) have switched to refillable water bottles instead of purchasing bottles of water while 10% have considered doing so.
- The media is also taking a hit as 33% of U.S. adults have canceled one of more magazine subscriptions, one in five (19%) have canceled a newspaper subscription and 22% have canceled or cut back on cable television service, with an additional one in five (20%) having considered doing so.
- One in five Americans say they have cut down on dry cleaning (22%) and stopped purchasing coffee in the morning (21%).
The only thing a majority of U.S. adults say they have neither done nor considered doing is changing or canceling their cell phone service (52%), and only 15% have done so.Gen X Brown Bags ItThere are also some generational differences in what people are doing to save money. Gen Xers (those aged 34-45) are more likely to brown bag lunch (56%) and cut back on hair styling (43%). Matures (those aged 65 and older) are more likely to cancel a magazine subscription (45%). Echo Boomers (those aged 18-33) are more likely to cancel their landline service and only use their cell phone (20%) and to carpool or use mass transit (26%).Groceries, Healthcare Top Consumer Spending AgendaWhen asked where their money will go during February 2009, 49% of the general U.S. population said they will spend the same or more money this month as last month, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. Consumers listed specific spending areas including:
- Groceries – 52%
- Child/elder care – 50%
- Medical bill/healthcare – 49%
- Auto expenses – 48%
- Entertainment – 47%
- Dining out – 45%
- Loans/credit card payments – 44%
- Tax payments – 44%
- Education – 43%
About the Survey: This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States January 18 to 25, 2010 among 2,576 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Posted: 05 Feb 2010 08:05 AM PST
Every now and then I wake up in a crappy mood, feeling totally unmotivated and not wanting to do anything or see anyone. It could be due to something bad happening the previous day, or it could be due to nothing at all. I just feel crabby for no reason. Weird, I know. But, I'm sure you know what I mean. Everyone has experienced dreadful waking moments in the past.
In fact, it is not really surprising that a lot of people nowadays feel bad the moment they wake up. If you are bombarded with negative news like the recent airplane crotch-bomb threat and the Haiti earthquake, it is little wonder that you'd feel the world is all doom and gloom.
However, it is worth noting that you can actually make your day better no matter what situation you have in life. So, in order to overcome that awful feeling to make my day a rich and beautiful one, I apply a few or more of the following tips throughout the day.
Here are 50 tips to set you on your way to a better day. Do yourself a favor and don't try more than a handful of these in a single day. In fact, put these ideas in a hat and pick one randomly the next time you get in a funk.
- Think Positive Thoughts Before You Sleep
The quality of sleep you get the night before can affect your mood the next day. Thus, if you want to create a better day tomorrow, you have to make sure that you think only positive things before you go to bed at night. Do not fret about your mortgage problems or dwell on the bad things that happened to you during the day. You need a good night's rest in order to prepare your mind and body for the busy day ahead.
- Tell yourself That Today is a Better Day
The first thing that you should say to yourself the moment you wake up is that today will be great and marvelous. Know that you have control of what kind of day you will have. Telling yourself that today is going to be a great day will give you a positive attitude and a winner's outlook. The power of the mind is strong so feed your mind with positive things.
- Wake Up a Few Minutes Earlier
If you want to get out of bed at 6AM, set the alarm for 5:45 and then allow 15 minutes for your body and mind to adjust and wake up. At 6, hop out of bed! Waking up late and rushing through things will increase your heart rate and simply stress you out. On top of that, you'll inevitably forget to do something and then stress about that too!
- Take It Easy
Take things easy. Breathe deeply and slowly. If you are feeling rushed, take a deep breath and remind yourself that in the big scheme of life, being a minute late is pretty small.
- Keep a Mental Note of the Things You Need to Do
It is always a good thing to try to keep a list of the things that you ought to do or accomplish for the day. If you are forgetful, you should write these things down. Aside from the things that you need to do at the office, you also need to remember those that you need to do for your family or friends. Write them all down so that you can manage your time wisely throughout the day.
- Get Some Inspiration
Do not expect manna to come down from heaven. If you want to create a better day, you have to make a conscious effort to achieve things. Give yourself a boost with some inspiration. Be sure to read, listen or watch something that can perk your day up. Sometimes, just seeing your child laugh is enough to make your heart smile.
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Your mood for the day can actually be affected by the things that you do and eat. In order to jump start your day and prepare your mind and body for the busy day ahead, you need to have a power breakfast. Make sure that you eat something healthy. Whole grains, protein, and fruits can surely give you the nutrients that you need to do the things that you need to accomplish for the day.
- Some Stretching Will Do You Good
Stretching and exercising your muscles will also help in jumpstarting your system. If you wake up sluggish, you need some exercise and stretching to perk up your day. Besides, stretching and exercising can also prevent muscle cramps and other aches that can ruin your mood for the day.
- Pay Attention to your Hygiene and Appearance
One of the things that people are conscious about is their appearance. To ensure you won't feel insecure, make sure to take a bath, wear clean clothes and pay attention to your face and grooming. If you know that you look presentable, you will feel empowered and confident.
- Compliment Yourself
Say good things about yourself. Do not be afraid to compliment yourself once in a while. However, be careful not to be conceited because people hate narcissistic individuals.
- Adopt a Positive Attitude
Before you step out of the house, make it a conscious effort to be positive in all things you do. Tell yourself that you will stay positive throughout the day.
- Exert Some Effort to Smile
Studies show that smiling, even if there is no reason to do it, can lift up your mood. Besides, a smile can make you look even more attractive.
- Try Not To Be Reactive
There is a tendency for men to react to everything negatively, especially on the road. Thus, you should try not to be reactive, especially when you are driving. If somebody cuts you on the road, just let it pass and think that the other guy may be having a bad day. Or just be please that you are not as rude as that individual.
- Count to Ten to Keep You from Exploding
If you think that you are going to get mad, count to ten to calm your nerves. This will let some steam out.
- Think before You Act
Many people end up feeling remorse after they have done nasty things without thinking. To prevent feeling guilty and remorseful, think first before you do something.
- Don't Take Things Too Seriously
Not everything that you hear people say about you should be taken seriously. Some people just like being nasty so you should not get affected with what they are saying.
- Be More Attentive to People
In order to minimize altercations or misunderstandings, it would really be a good thing to listen attentively to what others are saying. Being attentive will also help you come across as being sincere, thus making you more likable. Of course, don't do it for the sake of being likable. Be genuine in it.
- Look at People and Situations in a Positive Light
You really can't prevent bad things from happening. Sometimes shit does happen. In order not to let these things ruin your day, try to look for the silver lining in everything.
- Give Compliments to Other People
Make a conscious effort to compliment other people. This will help build better relationships. Just make sure that you are complimenting them genuinely.
- Manage Your Time Wisely
A good day can turn bad if you feel stressed out. Thus, manage your time wisely to ensure that everything that you need to do can be accomplished with time to spare.
- Take a Break
To prevent being burned out, you should take a break once in a while. Try walking around the office or doing some stretching while you are in your desk every time you are feeling a bit drained.
- Deal with Things the Mature Way
Do not be petty and do not act like a child. You are an adult so try to do things maturely.
- Laugh a Lot
Laughter can pick up your mood. Just do not laugh at other people's mistakes.
- Consider Inputs from Other People
Take time listening to the suggestions and inputs of other people. Even if you are the manager or head of your department, you need other people's contributions too.
- Grab Fruit Instead of a Bar of Chocolate
Fruits can surely wake you up in the middle of the day, whereas a bar of chocolate will just give you energy spike for a few minutes. So, you will end up feeling even more tired and sleepy.
- Always Do Your Best
You will not have regrets if you know that you have given your all in everything that you do.
- Don't Wallow in Sorrow and Defeat
Nobody is perfect and sometimes you need to experience losses and defeats to learn. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, use these negative things to make you a better person.
- Stay Away From Negative People
Negative people can just pull you down so there is really no point in spending your time with them. Stay away from them whenever possible. If they happen to be your mates, seek to inspire them. If that won't do, perhaps it's time to find yourself new mates.
- Be Courteous and Kind
Doing other people some good will give you a warm and fuzzy feeling. And also make you more likable.
- Build Bridges and Develop Friendships
Having enemies can surely drain your energy, whereas building friendships can make your support team bigger and stronger.
- Be Careful with What You Say
It is often hard to take back the bad things that you say, so you need to be careful with your words.
- Take Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers
You can enhance your mood by counting your blessings and seeing the good in other people, things or situations.
- Learn to Pace Your Energy
You need to be careful with energy bursts and crashes. Try not to exhaust yourself in the morning because you will surely have a nasty and tiring afternoon if you do.
- Incorporate Exercise Throughout the Day
Exercise can give you a “high” because endorphins are released after a good workout.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes
It is very hard to stay positive if your feet are hurting. I've seen too many of my female friends wear heels that hurt their feet just because they look good.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can cause lethargy. So avoid it at all costs.
- Pay Attention to What You Eat
Eating junk food can contribute to mood swings. So eat moderately.
- Go Easy on the Coffee
Too much coffee can make you nervous and fidgety.
- Treat Yourself
Be sure to give yourself small rewards every time you did well. We all need to give ourselves a nice pat on the shoulders to give ourselves a little encouragement.
- Plan the Next Day before Going Home
Before you head home, make a list of the things that you need to accomplish in the office the following day.
- Spend Quality Time with the People You Love
Don't take anyone for granted. Sustain your relationships. Spending quality time together is the best way to keep and improve relationships.
- Keep in Touch With Friends and Family
If you live alone, calling your loved ones or just dropping by to say 'hi' can lift your spirit as well as theirs.
- Have a Hobby
To keep your mind off your work, do something that you love outside your office work.
- Have No Regrets
You cannot go back in time so you cannot undo the things that you have done. Instead, make a conscious effort to make things better in the future.
- Keep a Journal
Writing things and ideas down can help you to keep track of your goals and remember things you've learned and observations you've made. And it can also help you figure out new directions for your life and then guide you as you go.
- Take a Relaxing Bath
After a stressful day, a relaxing bath can help you go to sleep comfortably.
- Prepare the Things You Need Before You Go to Sleep
This will help make tomorrow less stressful because you won't feel at a lost of what to do. Being prepared always help you to stay focused and assured.
- Get in the Mood to Sleep
Do the things that can help you go to sleep early because a restful sleep can help you improve your mood for the next day. Reading a book before bed or listening to soft music helps me to sleep better.
- Make Love
Making love can also release endorphins and help you have a good night's sleep. Plus, it helps to improve your relationship. Of course, I don't expect you to do it every day.
- Go to Bed Early
Try to go to bed early and get enough sleep to prepare yourself for the day ahead tomorrow. You don't want to wake up the next day feeling like a zombie.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Posted: 12 Feb 2010 07:18 AM PST
Being Canadian, it’s hard not to beam at the thought that we are about to host the XXI (21st) Winter Olympic games in Whistler, British Columbia.
I have always loved watching the Olympics because I get a little rush watching humans surpass their own perceived limitations and achieve accomplishments that seemed impossible.
Athletes are well known for being quite respectful of their bodies. After all, their bodies are what rely on as their secret weapon when it comes to winning gold. In addition to a constant regimen of mental training, most professional athletes physically train 8-10 hours a day for up to 11 months each year! They just don’t stop and it’s their diet that allows them to have the energy and stamina to work out at these levels.
There’s a lot that non-athletes can learn from the Olympics and there is a lot we can learn from their diet.
To celebrate this joyous occasion, I suggest we take a look at the eating habits that help athletes push their bodies to these limits. Obviously, the idea is not to eat as many calories as athletes, unless you are going to work out for 8 consecutive hours everyday, but the idea is to learn from their eating habits.
- Eat Breakfast -- Everyday!
Athletes won’t roll out of bed and start exercising for two strenuous hours without having eaten a solid breakfast that contains a substantial amount of protein. If you don't have a ton of time in the morning, you're not alone. We're all busy. Here are 5 Quick Breakfast Ideas (one for each weekday).
- Eat Several, Proportioned Meals
Athletes eat all day long to maintain their energy levels (you won’t see them eat one huge meal in the hopes of having enough energy for the day).
- Keep Snacks Nearby
Athletes are notorious for carrying sports bags filled with snacks that are at arm’s length when they need to satisfy their hunger. They plan their snacks in advance to always have them on hand. Here are some simple snack ideas if you want to ad a little variety.
- Eat Protein (and it doesn't have to be meat!)
Athletes eat protein with each meal! Even vegan athletes know they need vegetarian protein with each meal to keep their energy high and also to preserve their muscle mass. Need ideas on what vegetables have protein? Here you go.
- Grab a Banana
Athletes know that fruits are an essential part of their diet. The banana is THE fruit that every athlete knows is essential to their diet.
Athletes don’t spend their entire day pounding soda drinks. When it comes to refueling their bodies, athletes know that water is essential. If they drink sports drinks, athletes know they’ll have trained enough to burn off the added calories.
What change do you think you can make?
|Written on 2/12/2010 by Krizia. Krizia (aka MissK) is an international author of an acclaimed food guide. Krizia’s approach to healthy eating is about keeping it simple, approachable and REAL! In June 2009, two months after launching Eat Smart Age Smart, Krizia was awarded with the nomination of ‘Top 200 Health Blogger’ in the Healthy Eating category by Well Sphere.||Photo Credit: friskytuna|
Sunday, February 14, 2010
This is a retailers dream weekend. Valentine's Day falls on a Sunday. Which means it's not just a day, but an entire weekend. My Dad used to publicly declare it as, "another one of those merchant's holidays", but he also knew how important it was to make my Mom feel loved.
Guys, if you blow it today, it is 90% your fault. The best relationships are built around open and honest communication. Valentine's Day didn't just sneak up on you. You knew it was coming, and she did too.
Communication is when you talk ahead of an event to discover what you can do to give love to the other person that is a combination of you, and what speaks the language of love to her.
The other 10% falls on our partners. We need you to be honest with us. Open and honest communication. Don't tell us that Valentines Day isn't important to you and then act all hurt and disappointed because we took you for your word.
One of the ways to show love is to listen. Listen with your ears and with your heart.
This year I learned that my wife would be satisfied with a couple of roses instead of a full dozen, and she asked for me to fix dinner. We also have a coffee shop tradition which we did Saturday morning.
Saturday afternoon I went to our local Fresh Market where they go above and beyond when it comes to flowers. Their price was better than other places too. A dozen for $14.99. Then they re-wrapped them in my choice of color of tissue paper and ribbon so it would look like the $40 or $50 variety from a florist. I gave them to her yesterday afternoon.
The other reason I went to Fresh Market was to pick out the steaks that I am preparing today. The meat department got most of my money yesterday, but it will be worth it when we dine this evening. A couple of specially prepared ribeyes that I learned to cook a couple years ago along with baked potatoes complete with butter and sour cream; corn, and a special salad that I'll prepare. For dessert, we'll share cheesecake, also from Fresh Market.
There will also be an exchange of cards. I picked mine up Saturday, but I've been working on it all week. One of the ideas my wife had was to write in our cards some of the ways our lives have changed because of the other person. So I customized my card for her.
My wife is the oldest girl in a family with 7 siblings. Her "birth order programming" means she cares for and worries about others in her family and circle of friends. Not just kids, step-kids, kid-in-laws, but also siblings and their families.
She has an older brother who lives in Fort Wayne. Mike joined us last night when we were playing euchre and as my card playing brother-in-law partner, we won both games.
Yesterday, my wife surprised me by declaring she wanted to paint one of the walls in our family room, so after our coffee, we went and picked out the paint, bought the supplies and next week, she is planning on painting. Except....
Except, she won't have to.
Because yesterday her brother confided to me that he wanted to surprise her and so while she is at work today, he is painting the wall. That's another expression of Love.
By the time this post appears on this blog, we will be finishing our meal, bellies full, appetites satisfied, taste buds jumping for joy. Laughter will have filled our home another day because of the love that was given.
I hope your weekend is just as satisfying.