Monday, January 14, 2013

Types Of Outdoor Lanterns

Lantern (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)
Camping has come a long way from the days of two-man tents and candles or campfires for lighting. Compactness is another technological advantage we have today, especially with outdoor lanterns used for camping, as well as any outdoor activities. Excellent liquid fuel lanterns are still available, as well as pressurized gas lanterns and battery-powered lamps. Todays innovations have also given us hand-cranked solar lanterns with extended life built in. Let's discuss a few of the different lanterns available, as well as their good and not-so-good points.

Battery powered electric lanterns
These lanterns are available in three different types; LED, which gives the user a good light output and long battery life. They also stand up to rough use. Fluorescent lanterns, while having a higher light output pose a problem with disposal of the tubes. The incandescent lantern has good light output, but only a so-so battery life. The bulbs are more fragile than LED's.

The only negative issue with these lanterns is battery usage and disposal. On the positive side, they are quiet, and have no exhaust to worry about. No heat is produced, making them safe around children and safe for use inside a tent.

Fuel burning lanternsThese lanterns run on several different fuel sources. Refillable white-gas tanks contain a liquid fuel that gives off a powerful light. They are also fuel efficient. Refillable propane gas tanks are also very fuel efficient and give off a powerful light. Disposable butane containers are compact, easy to use and store, but have only a moderate light output.

On a positive note, all the fuel-burning lanterns give off more light than most electric models. On the down-side, they are noisy, and they must be in an area with good ventilation. They can pose a danger in small, confined spaces, and they do generate heat, making them dangerous around children.

Candle lanterns
When all else fails, or there is nothing else to use, a candle in the darkness is better than nothing, or so we are told. Candles provide a soft, ambient glowing light. They are not noisy, and are fairly good for close-up work. Reflectors can be purchased, and they will increase the light output by reflection.

Candles are to be used with extreme caution. They are dangerous in a tent, and of course, fire and burns are a big hazard when using them.
Comparison shopping
The type of lantern purchased will depend on several things. Light intensity, or wattage and battery duration. Size and weight are also important factors to consider. How the lantern will be used is another consideration to take into account before making a final decision.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Merry Christmas to all!

Cover of "It's a Wonderful Life [Blu-ray]...
The real estate market is quite slow at the moment, and we should all be in the holiday spirit. I recently watched a few Christmas movies, and it's sure about time to mention them here.

A few years ago I went into a shop with the sole intention of purchasing a copy of It's A Wonderful Life on video, and then taking it back home to watch it. I had recorded copies in the past which of course was just not good enough and one November day I wanted to watch the film and didn't have a copy to hand. I decided in that moment that I had to rush out and find a shop with the video for sale (this was before the whole DVD thing). I scanned the shelves of all the shops that sold videos in the town until I found a last copy in a major retail chain. I carefully carried it to the counter holding on, hoping nothing would go wrong and interrupt my planned afternoon of James Stewart viewing. When I reached the counter I was served by the most sour-faced and miserable woman I think I have ever met. Of course I had the biggest grin you've ever seen. This only made matters worse. She looked at me like I had a hole in my head. She stared at the video confused but I just kept on grinning. I couldn't help it. I was about to watch It's A Wonderful Life for billionth time and it was at that point I realized there were actually people out there who either haven't seen or don't understand how wonderful a film can be.

I is for It's A Wonderful Life

I have absolutely no recollection of the first time I saw It's A Wonderful Life and I presume the same will be true of many of the people who will read this (if anyone reads it at all!). It just seems to have been part of my life for so long that it's a strange intangible member of the family who only comes to visit around this time of year. Only the don't because I tend to find myself watching this any time of year. In fact I recently found a channel on television which seems to show the film once a month (that's "Open Access 2" in the US on Sky Digital, I believe but I can't remember correctly. It's about 4 pages down the program guide. This sort of repeating of a good film is uncommon in the US. The channel also seem to show The Third Man and The Seven Samurai every so often but most of the time it's just one of those channels you don't pay attention to). It's unbelievable how often I've come across it and thought "No, you have to go off and do something else" but have been unable to pull myself from the story of George Bailey and how he learnt to live again. My video copy is a tad worn even though it's only a few years old and I know I'm not alone. Obviously it's hard to explain why it's so popular beyond the feel-good ending and the compelling Bailey. It's even harder to explain why it's so important to me, after all many would say that it is only a film. Perhaps they're right but if they can't see the range of emotions, the laughs and the tears, the sheer joy the film brings me and people like me then they are just plain blind. It is one of the most life affirming pieces of art ever made. Along with Harvey and Vertigo this would rank in my top three favorite films (yeah I know that they're all Stewart but that's just coincidence and by the looks of it a good choice of which films to make). For some reason I felt I should end this entry with my favorite line from the film because it makes me smile every time as the young Mary leans over the counter in old man Gower's drugstore and whispers "George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Getting Cedar Style Furniture

wardrobe revamp
Stylish organization is never easy. The two words do not even fit together when thinking about home decor  But all that changes when you introduce the cedar wardrobe into your bedroom. With the use of cedar to create your wardrobe, you can easily transform the look of your bedroom. With this piece of furniture to store your clothing, stylish organization is not only a possibility- it is a reality. Cedar wood can transform any and every closet in your home into a wardrobe that features easy organization and endless style.

Functionality is the key feature when thinking about choosing a wardrobe, but style is important too. Cedar looks great, and it really fits in well with a home that has a cedar exterior. When deciding to go with cedar for your wardrobe, you choose to easily obtain functionality while maintaining an elegant and classic look. If you are looking to create such a look, then the cedar wardrobe is the right fit for you and your bedroom. In selecting cedar wood for your wardrobe, you transform this simple piece of furniture into more than just an upright closet with shelves and drawers. You create an elegance that ties the rest of the room together.

Wardrobe Styles

A cedar wardrobe is not simply a wooden box that stores clothing and accessories. It is so much more. One can choose from a variety of different types of wardrobes. A corner wardrobe, made of a sturdy cedar wood can save space in smaller size rooms. Wardrobes with sliding doors are extremely convenient and functional and when your sliding door wardrobe is made up of cedar, it is equally as beautiful too. You can consolidate mirror and wardrobe space by having your solid cedar wardrobe encompass both. Children’s wardrobes are also practical and yet stunningly attractive when made up of a well chosen cedar wood. You can choose to have your wardrobe any which way you like. You may like a simple wardrobe with two doors, or add up to as much as four. Whatever your preference, you have tremendous flexibility in choosing a wardrobe for your clothing and accessories. Choosing to have this wardrobe in cedar allows you to have this wardrobe look stylish while being practical.

Organizational Accessories

Although having your wardrobe made up of cedar wood adds a touch of attractiveness to the look, you have to consider convenience and practicality. Adding cedar wood drawers and rods as needed allows you to have functionality. With cedar wood wardrobes you are able to add and take away such features in your closet space as shelves and drawers, while keeping a stylish look to this piece of furniture as well. To have such cedar wood accessories added to your wardrobe allows you to maintain both the look and usefulness to your wardrobe.

All in all, a wardrobe made up sturdy cedar wood allows you to combine style and organization to your room decor  It is useful and beautiful at the same time and because of this, your wardrobe can easily be the focus feature of your bedroom.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garage Door Repair

As sturdy as your house may be, there are some things, unfortunately, that you cannot foresee happening, or can stop from happening.  A flooded basement, termites, or burst pipes can all be a hassle, to put it mildly.  These are all potential catastrophes that can also be very costly.  Luckily, there are few necessary projects that you can pull off on your own.  One of these includes the undertaking of your own garage door repair.  With a few careful steps, there is no need to spend hard earned money.  Fix your garage door yourself!

Diagnose the Problem
Typically, a problem with your garage door is easy to fix because these problems are simple to diagnose.  There are two essential components to your garage door, for example.  One is the door itself, and the other is the garage door opener.  Once you understand what the problem is and from what part of the garage door it is coming from, garage door repair is really quite simple!

Potential Issues
Regardless to whether you garage door swings open like a restaurant door or rolls up in sections, all garage doors depend on their spring tension.  This means that your garage door, held up on metal tracks, is powered by at least one spring (usually several, depending on the size of your garage door).  Once you understand this, you can then check your tracks to determine if something is wrong that is preventing the springs from providing power to your garage door.  Damage to your metal tracks is commonly the issue with garage door malfunction and can be typically fixed easily. Check for dents on your tracks, loose hardware, or proper alignment of your tracks. Although each issue is handled in its own way (hammering out dents with a rubber mallet is something you can easily do yourself if your issue is a simple dent, for example), in order for you to pull off your own garage door repair, it is imperative that you understand what the problem with your garage door is. Be certainly careful not to injure yourself as well. No need to use a search engine to find someone to fix your leg on a Sunday afternoon.

Although usually issues pertaining to garage door repair stem from problems with your garage door, some problems can be traced to your garage door opener.  These garage openers are complex gadgets that can drive a carriage along a rail and is attached to a drawbar to move the door from their opened to closed positions and vice versa. Any number of issues can affect whether or not the opener is working properly and thus, whether or not your garage door is working.  Some examples of issues with your garage door opener include problems with the motor and radio receiver or the locations of the bolts that allow the chains that drive the door to work.  If any issues arise from the garage door opener, you may have to simply re install the radio receiver and motor using Do It Yourself guides that can be found at any hardware store.

With all of this work, I sometimes wonder why I don't hire my neighbor for the job, and give him a gift card from here for his hard work, with an unspecified amount of cash on the card. ;)

These are some elementary steps in helping you pull off your own repair of your garage door. If the damages to your garage door are extensive, however, it may be time to replace it.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Moving Homes? You Need a Checklist.

Waiting at KLIA
Waiting at KLIA (Photo credit: Stuck in Customs)

Whether your moves takes you across town or across the country, making the move as smooth as possible will be your goal. The following tips will assist you in accomplishing this:

Give yourself enough time
It is recommended you schedule your move at least one month in advance. Eighty percent of all moving is done between May and September, so plan ahead and schedule accordingly.

Keep those receipts
Many moving expenses are tax deductible, so keep your receipts in a safe, easy to access place. You'll want to consult with your tax advisor, or you can call the IRS and request publication 521: Tax Information On Moving Expenses.

Change of address
Your local post office offers free change of address kits. The packet includes change-of-address cards to notify magazine publishers, creditors, organizations, insurance and medical companies, etc. You also will find an address forwarding card so the post office will have instructions on where to forward your mail.

Cancel your utilities
Be sure and cancel your telephone, water, sewer, garbage, electric and any other utilities. Call the same day to order your new service for your new location. Be sure your utilities are turned on before you move in, as you will want to use your vacuum, dishwasher, etc. as soon as you begin moving in your belongings.

Leaving the area?
You'll want to gather all your family's personal records. Call ahead and ask for your medical records, dental records, school transcripts, legal documents, etc. Don't forget to empty your safety deposit box.

Many thanks for William M. Cross Realty for this handy checklist. If you're ever moving out the the New York area, and are searching for Syracuse real estate, you better take a look at what they have to offer!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The History of Troy Ohio

Official seal of City of Dayton
Official seal of City of Dayton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Located in Western Ohio, just north of Dayton, Troy has quite a lot to offer for those who like history. Here are a few of the top places to look into if you're ever in the area:

The Courthouse:
Construction was completed on the Troy Courthouse in 1888, and it is one of the oldest buildings in the area. The three story Neo-Renaissance style courthouse has beautiful interior decorations, which detail highly colored floor tiles and plastered ceilings. Tours of the court house can be taken, so give them a call if you're interested.

Patriot Antique Shoppe
A great stop for those who want to see a great deal of historical variety. Customers bring in their historical inventory, which is placed online and marketed to prospective buyers around the world. Of course, you can pick up some cool items just by stopping in!

Troy Hall of Fame
Troy has produced some outstanding athletes over the years, including Kristin King, a 2006 hockey olympian as well as some great minds, including Dr. William Earl Shoupp, one of the greatest nuclear physicists of the 20th century.

Troy is also a great place to find a job and settle down. Many homes are available, and if you're looking for apartments, you can check out First Troy Corp. Rentals. They have many apartment options available for a variety of needs.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Going Off the Grid in Switzerland

Switzerland (Photo credit: siette)
Switzerland is one of the most popular tourist destinations for travelers visiting Europe, and quite often visitors are stuck in huge lines and crowds because they came at the wrong time of the year. For many, there is nothing wrong with this, but others imagine the stunning natural beauty void of humans when visiting Switzerland. Here are a few traveling tips when going through Switzerland if you are looking to avoid the big crowds.

Sadly, if skiing is your thing, ideal skiing conditions and small crowds do not mix well in Switzerland. Expert skiers come from all over the world to ski the Swiss Alps, and the winter months are usually packed with them. There are some ski resorts that are not as crowded as others during the winter months, and there are some off trail slopes that are generally free of other skiers.

During the summer months, hiking and mountain biking is a popular activity. These are quite often filled on a daily basis with tour groups, which makes knowing the crowded trails easy to predict. Just going on the websites of a few travel groups can tell you the most visited areas, however these are often the best places to visit. My recommendation would be to go only during the early morning or late afternoons of these popular spots.

You won't find many places to stay that are free of other people, and hotels and hostels are usually your best option. Hotels can be a bit pricey though, so we would recommend going to the Backpackers Villa Sonnenhof if you're ever in that area, which you more than likely will be, and need a nice hostel in the heart of the Swiss Alps.