Whether you are operating a sailboat, a motorboat, or even a canoe, it is important to be prepared. You are dealing with three unpredictable factors: the boat, the water, and people. Together they can be catastrophic.
Although some disasters cannot be avoided when it comes to boats, like engines breaking down or giant waves, it is important to learn to prevent boating mistakes as well as you can.
Get to Know Your Boat
Your boat is unique; get to know it. It’s important to take it out a few times. Take it slow. You wouldn’t jump right into saying, “I love you,” on the first date would you? You don’t know your new boat yet, its faults, its strengths, whether it will capsize if you don’t take the wave at a 45 degree angle.
Every motorboat is different. Where you sit while driving a boat with an outboard motor is different than while driving with an inbound motor. Learn the features of your boat to avoid mishaps.
Boats Don’t Always Float
The most important items to have on board your boat are life jackets. That’s not to say you can stick them onboard only to forget them faster than a kid forgets the Smarties in their Halloween bag. They need to be used; you never know what’s going to happen on a boat. Consider the following scenarios
- Your cooling system could fail. If a tube on your engine’s cooling system bursts, your boat could take on dozens of gallons of water per minute.
- Your bilge pump could break. Normally this wouldn’t be anything to be concerned about, but what if a big storm strikes while you are away from land, and you can’t get back quickly?
- Boats can be damaged when wind and waves slam them into the docks they are tied up to. Sometimes cracks and holes don’t fully manifest until the boat is out on the water and it’s too late.
Your boat can sink. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting life jackets. It’s something so simple, yet can change everything should something disastrous occur. You wouldn’t go camping without a tent, or fishing without any bait, so why would you go boating without life jackets?
Forgetting to install the boat drain plug prior to taking off can be a mistake that will quickly turn into a catastrophe with results ranging from water damage to your iPhone to injury or even loss of life.
Be careful while boating. Stay away from the most common mistakes made while boating, because usually, they are the most avoidable. You never know when disaster could strike, so make sure you are prepared for the worst. Even if you aren’t concerned about getting injured, consider how much money you had to drop to get your boat. Make sure to keep life-jackets and other emergency items on-board at all times, and inspect your boat regularly for damage and regular maintenance issues.
Cassie works for Kelmann Restoration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She loves boating and other outdoor activities. Cassie enjoys writing about Wisconsin, boating, and electronics restoration.
Finally, spring is here and summer is just around the corner! A great way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors is to create a backyard that you and your family can enjoy together over the coming months. To create the ideal backyard, consider adding pieces that will add fun, comfort, and function to your outdoor space.
Here are some popular additions to your backyard to make it an inviting atmosphere for the entire family:
Barbeque—There’s no question, summer is the perfect time to barbeque. Nothing exemplifies summer like the smoky taste of flame-grilled food. If you haven’t added a barbeque to your backyard, you can keep it simple with a traditional charcoal BBQ grill or go more high tech with a gas range.
When it comes to BBQ grills, there are plenty of options that you can add on to bring the comfort of a kitchen outside. From a mini refrigerator to cabinets and a sink, you have many choices to make your outdoor BBQ area as convenient as you’d like it to be. To beat the heat when grilling, add outdoor misting fans to your patio to cool down the chef and your guests.
Seating & Dining Area—There is a wide variety of seating options, so focus on what is most appropriate for your family. If comfort is your priority, you can find patio sets that have plush seating and adjustable chairs for maximum comfort. You can also go for the classic outdoor seating option of a traditional wooden picnic table.
To keep the sun’s rays from beating down on you directly, look for tables that come with built-in patio umbrellas. If you can’t find a table that you like with a built-in patio umbrella, you can purchase a freestanding one that can be placed wherever you prefer in your patio or yard. This might be your most useful option so that you can take the umbrella wherever your guests migrate to in the yard. For chilly nights, consider a fire pit where guests can sit around and converse.
Cooling Your Backyard Patio – Summer heat can be very oppressive and even make going outside unattractive. By installing a perimeter misting system on the patio or installing misting fans in higher humidity areas of the country, the backyard will stay much cooler and invite everyone outside. Fans can be directed to specific areas such as the dinner table, the BBQ area, or the lounging areas.
For unprotected areas of the yard, consider shade sails stretched from posts to offer relief from the sun. These improvements are rather easy to install and will make the outdoors much more inviting.
Water Activities and Outdoor Games—If you have a pool in your backyard, you can do so much more than swim. Everyone loves playing water games like volleyball or basketball. You can share hours outside enjoying water activities and or lounging around on outdoor cabanas. Just make sure that if young children are going to be in the water, that you have adult supervision, to be safe.
Then, when you’re done swimming, unplug from all of your gadgets and devices and play an old fashion outdoor game. There is so much to choose from—horseshoes, croquet, volleyball, bean bag toss, football, and much more.
Garden—Having beautiful landscaping in your backyard is another great way to enjoy the outdoors. You can plant beautiful flowers, trees, and other greenery whose beauty you will enjoy on summer days.
If you enjoy summer vegetables, you can plant a vegetable garden and harvest fresh vegetables for you and your family to enjoy.
When creating the ideal backyard for you and your family, focus on the activities that you enjoy the most as a family and find away to bring those activities outdoors. You will enjoy quality family time and will build lasting memories from your summer.
Dave Shank is the VP of a leading company providing heating and cooling products for commercial and residential use.
A covered patio is a favorite place to relax during summertime (for some – all year round). It is an outdoor extension of the house that can offer great comfort and serenity. Anybody can have a laid-back time at the veranda, either alone or with someone else.
One way of making the patio comfortable and engaging is to keep it looking pleasant. And there is no better way to make it pleasing than having a comfy outdoor sofa to sit on. If your veranda has an old and tired couch, the area will surely look deserted. That is why, it is important to keep this piece of furniture looking good to maintain a relaxing ambiance at the patio. But, the big question is – “how to protect the outdoor couch from the harmful elements?” Weather is the usual reason this furniture gets damage easily.
When thinking of ways on how to safeguard your couch from the changing weather, seat covers are the first thing that pops up in mind. Indeed they are! Seat covers can protect the sofa from different elements including dust, sunlight, rain etc. There are sofa coverings readily available in many stores. However, it is wise to have it custom-made to get exact fit. Additionally, you will be able to pick which fabric to use.
Some homeowners use the covers everyday. They make use of the covers to dress up the couch, at the same time to protect them from the weather and other damaging elements. For others, they only use the covers if necessary like when nobody is around. Be sure to pick the right kind of coverings to avoid wasting money.
Proper couch location is an effective protection against the weather. A good location could mean no direct contact to sunlight. Place your sofa in a spot where the rays of the sun cannot reach. However, this does not suggest that you set the couch very close to the wall (although you can). As much as possible, place the sofa at the center of the area.
Sometimes, there is a part of the patio which gets wet when raining. Avoid this place. Rain can develop rust in metal framed sofa or molds in wooden couch. If you want to get a better view of your surrounding, place the sofa near the edge, but make sure you pull it towards the center afterwards. Proper placement can keep your couch away from harsh elements.
Clean it! (Regularly)
The simplest way to protect your couch from the weather is cleaning it regularly. Cleaning means caring. When you clean your sofa, you are exerting effort to prolong its life. Due to the changing climate condition, your couch will likely accumulate dust and moist, which can eventually ruin your sofa. Performing regular cleaning allows you to detect signs of damages, like warping and rusting (for metal).
If your couch got wet due to heavy rain, it will likely produce a smelly odor when not dealt immediately. Bad odor might signify germ formation, which puts the health of your family at risk. Proper care and cleaning will not only extend its life, but will keep the pleasant appearance of your home couch.
These three tips seem basic and ordinary; but, they can make a big difference to your investment – your outdoor couch. We may not be able to stop the rain from pouring or the sun from shining – which can damage the sofa in the long run. Nonetheless, we can carry out certain preventive measures to let our sofa stay in our home for more years to come.
Ashley O’connor writes topics about home improvement specifically home furniture and couch.
Most pet owners consider their pets a part of their family, and losing a pet can be heartbreaking.
Unfortunately, pets are lost on a regular basis, and they’re often not found. They may be taken in by a stranger or picked up off the street and taken to a shelter by animal control officers. Pets can often wander many miles from home, which means they could end up in another town or city where concerned citizens won’t see your locally posted missing pet signs.
To prevent the devastating loss of a beloved household pet, follow these 5 quick tips.
1. Fences and Leashes
One rule for preventing a pet from becoming lost is to fence in your yard. There are many different types of fencing available, and choosing one that is appropriate for your pet’s size and strength can prevent it from becoming lost. Electric fences are another good option for keeping your pet confined to your yard.
When you take your dog out of the yard for a walk or a run in the park, for example, be sure to keep him on a leash at all times. It only takes a second for your dog to see something that catches his eye and he could be off and running.
Be sure that his collar fits well also, as dogs often become lost from slipping off their collars and escaping their leashes. As your pet grows, adjust the collar or buy a new one as needed.
Make sure that your pet is always wearing tags that identify him or her by name and include, at minimum, a phone number where you can be reached in the event that he becomes lost.
Tags are cheap, and you can buy them in many places, making this one of the easiest rules to help your lost pet get home. Be sure to keep the information current and to replace missing tags as soon as you discover that they are gone.
A dog’s rabies tag should also be worn at all times. If your dog goes missing and is found, he will be traceable to the vet that gave him the shot. The vet can then look up the dog’s records to find and contact you so that you and your beloved pet can be quickly reunited.
Causes of missing pets can include:
- Stolen pet
- Lost or misplaced pet
- Good citizen taking pet in
- Pets getting lost in strange surroundings
Because of the above it’s always a good idea to put extra effort into contacting all neighbors, humane societies and vet clinics because you never know where your pet will turn up or who has been helping them out.
3. Recent Photos
If your pet is lost, you will need recent photos to put on posters and to post online so that people will be able to identify your pet more readily.
Animals, like humans, change in appearance as they age, and grooming can change their look as well. Because many cats and dogs appear quite similar to others, you will increase the odds of getting your pet back if you can provide recent, up close photos.
Your posting should also include other information that might help someone distinguish your pet from another, including the pet’s name, any tricks it can do or distinguish habits it has, and any obedience training signs that a stranger might be able to observe.
Microchips contain an identification number unique to your pet. If your pet is lost and someone finds him, many vets and shelters have the necessary equipment to check the animal for a microchip. When scanned, the microchip will identify your pet by its number, and then your identifying information can be found in a database.
While tags and collars can fall off, microchips are imbedded into your pet’s skin, where they remain for life. You will need to keep your phone number and address current so that you can be promptly notified once your pet is found. Microchipping is not an expensive procedure, and it is a great way to get a lost pet home.
Tattooing an identification number on your pet’s inner thigh is also an option for getting a lost pet home quickly. The number is unique to your pet so that you can quickly be found. The tattoo process is both painless for your pet and permanent.
This method does not work on all pets, as a pet that is lost may be too upset to allow a stranger to get close enough to check for a tattoo, and your pet’s hair may grow over the tattoo, reducing its visibility.
Jet Perreault, a longtime dog groomer, book store owner and freelance writer, writes for the Pets Adviser Shop, where you can find dog toys, training aids and much more.
Spring is in the air, and if you are considering having a mighty clear out of your garden to prepare for the summer, one thing you may well find yourself left with is a large pile of garden waste, some of which could be very bulky.
It’s all well and good putting the grass cuttings on the compost heap in the corner of the garden, but what should you do with all of the larger items? For example, if you cut down your largest tree, re-turf the lawn or landscape your garden, the amount of waste produced may well be a bit too much to handle.
If so, here is a guide to how best to get rid of your bulky garden waste in the most convenient way possible.
1. Book a Skip
If you have a large amount of bulky items to get rid of then it is nearly always a good idea to book yourself a skip. If you are unsure where to start your search, try to use a company that is accredited with the The National Skip Hire Association (NSHA).
Think about the price when you book your skip and remember that a large skip is often the most cost-effective option because if you hire one that is too small and have to book another one, the cost will go up considerably.
2. Separate the Waste
Before you start loading the waste into your skip, avoid mixing green waste with mixed waste such as furniture and plant pots. Mention this to your skip hire company when you order your skip and you may even be able to save some money because they will not have to sort the waste themselves.
3. Reduce the Volume
If you have a large number of particularly bulky items, you may not be able to fit all of them into a single skip. This can cost you more money, so to reduce the chances of this happening, try to cut up the items to reduce the amount of space that they take up. For example, if you have some large and awkward branches to fit into the skip, chop them up first if you can, and then load the heavy items on top of the softer waste to compress it all down.
4. Find Other Uses for Your Waste
To reduce the amount of garden waste that you put in your skip, try to find other uses for it. For example, if you have cut down a tree then you may want to cut the branches up into small logs that people can use for their fires (unless of course you want to burn them yourself). You may even be able to sell them and make a bit of money on the side.
If you do not want to hire a skip, there are always other options. You could take the waste to your local green recycling centre yourself after getting a permit from your local council. This is less convenient because you have to transport the waste yourself, but if you do not have that much to throw away then it could be a convenient option.
You may also be able to get a brown wheelie bin from your council that is used especially for garden waste, and the council will then take the waste to a green processing centre for you. However, this may not be that suitable for larger items. In some cases, your local council may have its own bulky waste service where they will pick up your items for you, so call them to find out if this is an option.
Another option is to use a firm like Anyjunk who will come to your home and clear your garden waste for you so you don’t have to load and transport it yourself.
Enjoy Your Garden Space
If you have just cleared out your garden, or you have large items of garden waste lying around because you do not know what to do with them, try to sort it out as soon as possible. Summer is just around the corner, so follow the tips above to clear the waste from your garden in the most economical and convenient way possible.
John is a freelance copywriter from the UK
Garden slugs are irritating like any other pests that can be found in a garden and sometimes it can be quite difficult to get rid of them. They can ruin the vegetables that you grow in garden and cause various other problems. For this very reason, they have to be removed from your garden. There are many ways of doing so. You just have to lay down the ‘traps’ and before you know it, your garden will be miraculously slug free. Here are a few methods of ridding yourself of garden slugs without making the job too icky:
One of the most effective ways of getting rid of garden slugs is to spray them with a diluted version of ammonia. The ammonia dissolves the snails in 5 minutes and does cause any harm to the foliage. You need to mix ammonia and water at a ratio of 1:6. This method is instantaneous and provides excellent results.
Beer can be used as an excellent weapon against slugs. However, they have the tendency to be attracted towards beer because of the presence of barley and yeast. Put some in a bowl and bury it in the ground so that only the brink is visible. Do not fill the entire bowl. When the snails try to drink the beer, they fall inside and drown in it.
A more natural method is to get rid of garden slugs is to use caffeine based spray like coffee. Slugs do not like caffeine and slink away before coming too close to it. Soon you will find that all the slugs have gone away from the garden to avoid caffeine as it reduces their appetite. As caffeine is harmless to everything else, you need not worry about using this method.
Salt is also an excellent way to repel slugs. All you need to do is surround the area that needs to be protected with sprinkled salt. Slugs do not dare go near salt. However, the one major problem with using salt is that if used too much it can make the land completely barren.
Sand, surprisingly is really bad for snails. It cuts their bellies, thus killing them. So if you simply surround the area that needs protecting with sand, it is guaranteed that they will be safe.
Use plants that have red leaves as barriers. Snails do not like red leaves either and avoid them. It is a simple method and does not require too much work. But most importantly, it is completely natural and does not have any side effects.
All of these ways are easy to execute and have been tested and approved. Most of these methods have been used for many years to get rid of garden slugs. Some methods can be a little disgusting, especially the one involving ammonia but most are not. Ammonia is one of the most effective methods used. You can use any of the above mentioned methods to rid your garden of pests.
Often called aerophobia, fear of flying is basically a phobia of being on any kind of flying vehicle. This is one of the most well-known and common phobias around even though it is relatively safe compared with land transport accidents. Though the risk is very small, many experts believe this phobia to be a rational reaction to the idea of the horror of an aircraft accident. The severity of the condition can vary from simply being afraid of getting on a plane, to having a full blown panic attack at simply the idea of air travel.
What Are the Causes of Aerophobia?
The fear of flying may begin as a sole phobia on its own, or it can be a result of other phobias which all come together to contribute to this particular fear. Fear of heights, fear of water, claustrophobia and panic attacks are all examples of phobias that can contribute to create a fear of flying. Aerophobia can also be caused by the memory of a traumatic event that has happened involving air travel. You may have had a horrible experience take place on a plane, or even gone on a flight to a traumatic or difficult event which left you with bad and upsetting memories of the process. The media also plays an important role in putting fear into people as it sensationalises all air travel mishaps and creates a very dramatic and dangerous outlook to air travel as a result. Due to the commonality and smaller nature of land accidents, they do not receive the same type of coverage, thus not raising the same type of fear in the public.
How Can you Treat Aerophobia?
Many people who have phobias about specific things will generally avoid them and try to limit their knowledge and dealings with that particular type of thing or event. Being afraid of the unknown is sometimes worse than knowing all the details, educating yourself on the facts and the realities of air travel incidents and the type of thing you can expect can work wonders to ease the fear you feel about flying.
If simply dispelling all the myths and ideas is not enough then the next step would be to seek out some kind of therapy to help with your problem. The most effective type of therapy is cognitive behaviour therapy which helps you to change your beliefs and assumptions of a certain situation. Another type of therapy is called systematic desensitization and hypnotherapy which are psychiatric techniques commonly used to help with many different kinds of phobias.
The final step to recovery, if these methods have no worked so far, is to try medication. There are some very effective relaxants or depressant drugs available which can help to relax the nervous system in times of stress and deal with the associated anxiety.
Whichever way you find works for you, it is important for an individual to try everything they can to overcome this kind of phobia in order to live their life to the fullest and get the most enjoyment and pleasure they can from the opportunities in this world.
Blackberries have quite a number of users. Therefore, you hardly want to waste them. You should probably pick every last one of them, and then find a way to get rid of some of the bushes if they spread too far into a garden, lot, or walk way.
The Main Concern
Blackberry bushes have thorns. Therefore, if they extend to far into walking paths they can cause an injury. They often grow very quickly and they are not even easily removed by mowing, cutting, or burning.
Even bulldozing them sometimes seems to be a challenge. However, you have to do what you have to do and you should just use whatever method is available to you. It probably would be to your advantage to seek out all methods and choose the one you think is the best for you.
Elimination of Them
Here are some preventive and maintenance tips that should help you along the way:
You should plant them right in the first place. It helps to plan ahead. You should leave enough room to grow all around the area where each blackberry bush is placed. You should, for one, account for this spreading plant’s potentially extensive root system.
Dig deep to remove the roots. Blackberries are a wonderful fruit. However, the reality is that you can only have so many of them. Come time to dig them out you should dig as deep into the ground as possible and reach to the end of the root system. That is the best way to prevent further spreading of this plant.
When cutting, cut as thoroughly as possible. This may not be the easiest method to try but when doing so you should do as thorough of a job as possible. The best way to do this is to cut off certain branches or sections from the root on up. This can be more of a challenge than digging, and cutting to shallow will cause you to need to cut more often as they will re-grow.
Do not procrastinate and do not give up. Blackberry bushes are very persistent. It takes quite a bit of persistence and determination to keep them under control. You can use a variety of methods to remove them or you can use just one method of removal.
Dandelions are a very persistent perennial weed. They can be beautiful, but many people who have them in their yards prefer them not to be there.
The main reason they are often considered a nuisance is because many people prefer just a totally green lawn with no weeds or flowers in it. Maybe they would be the type of people who would prefer that the dandelions be in decorative patches but just not spread over the whole lawn.
A variety of methods of dandelion removal have been used over the years. You can pick and choose which ways are best for you. More than one way is provided as a suggestion to help you in case one way does not work as well as you hoped.
Mow your lawn. If you do this while your lawn is in bloom it can help you get rid of dandelion patches. If you mow your lawn or garden regularly it can help prevent the dandelions from blossoming, maturing, and seeding. If you prevent seeding you can prevent future dandelion growth.
Dig out the dandelions by the root. This means more than just pulling the flowers out of the soil. You actually need to dig as deep as possible until you get to the bottom of this flower’s web of roots below the surface of the dirt.
Boil them to death. This method is otherwise referred to as “poaching.” It involves pouring hot water over dandelions in order to kill them. You might want to especially try this on a hot, sunny day-just on the dandelions not the grass.
Feed the animals with these flowers. If you do not at all like the looks of dandelions in your lawn you can at least make some use of them. You could learn how to make dandelion wine, or even use parts of this flower in salads. However, one very useful tip is to give them to animals because they have in them Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
Feed the dandelions corn gluten (safe herbicide alternative). This is a substance that has been used on quite a few types of weeds in lawns and gardens. It can be used on dandelions, too. The main purpose is to kill these flowers without using dangerous chemical herbicides.
Burn the dandelions. This is easiest done with a weed torch. You could also hire a professional burn crew if you do not want to do this yourself. This method is very effective, but it is not necessarily considered the safest so be careful.
Bamboo has long been used as a way to decorate. However, in some cases they may spread so rapidly throughout the yard that they become a total nuisance.
The method of removal may depend upon the type of bamboo. The types of bamboo are briefly described, and then you are given general methods of removal.
Types of Bamboo
There are essentially two major types of bamboo, running and clumping. The running bamboo is named for its rhizomes that spread out eventually into a full bamboo.
The clumping bamboo stays in tighter clusters and does not spread like the running type. The clumping bamboo shoots also grow slower. However, at one point both types can be equally as tough to eliminate.
A variety of ways of removing unwanted bamboo shoots is provided below. The methods you choose depend upon preference as well as severity of the problem.
Starve them and contain them. This is one method of getting rid of bamboo shoots that have gotten out of hand. The first step of this process is to dig to 16 inches below the surface of the soil where the bamboo grows, creating a trench around this area of growth. The trench should be 30 inches deep. When you are done digging, fill the trenches with concrete or gravel as this will help prevent the bamboo shoots from reaching the surface.
Put a barrier around them. If you want to control your otherwise attract bamboo trees you can build a barrier around them. This will block the bamboo from spreading throughout your yard. You can make this barrier out of plastic or metal and it should be placed about two feet under the ground for it to hold properly.
Use an herbicide. If you cannot seem to control the bamboo shoots that grow beyond the original plant sometimes killing them may be the only way to remove them. This is a method that should be used with caution, and it should be done as a last resort. For this process to be most effective you should cut the bamboo shoots down to six inches.
Cook them. First, you should cut the bamboo shoots to no more than a few inches from the ground. Then, you should spread some nitrogen fertilizer over the entire grove of bamboo. It should be thick enough to cover all the shoots that have been cut. Then, cover it with a transparent sheet.